THE EXALTATION OF CHRIST In the dayes of the Gospel: As the alone High-Priest, Prophet, and King, Of Saints.

By THOMAS COLLIER, somtimes Teacher to the Church in Yorke.

1 Cor. 2.2.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Iesus Christ and him crucified.


LONDON, Printed, by R. L. for Giles Calvert, at the black Spred-Eagle, at the West end of Pauls. MDCXLVI.

The Epistle to the Reader.

PIous Reader, such is the tran­scendent Excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, that we may say of it, as theArist. Anima, Phylosopher somtimes spake concern­ing the Soule of Man. Praestat paucu­la exmeliora scientia degust âsse, quàm de ignobiliore multa: that is, A small & dim understanding of it is to be valued farre above any other science: And the Apo­stle esteemed all things losse and dung, [ [...]] for the ex­cellency of the knowledge of Christ Je­sus: Phil. 3.8. Now that thou mayst grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, here is offered to thy diligent perusal a little Treatise, wherein Christ Is exalted in all his Offices; It contains three parts, the first treats of his High-Priests Office; the second contains his Propheticall Office; and the third [Page]handles his Kingly Office. Thou must not expect Excellencie of speech, and the enticing words of mans wisdom, but thou maist (by Gods blessing) learn somthing more of the excellen­cie of the Knowledge of Christ Je­sus, and mayest finde the tongue of the Learned speaking a word in season to thy weary soule in the plain and powerfull evidence and demonstration of the Spirit, and such is the excellen­cie of Scripture learning, which con­tains in it florem delibatum, the flower & quintescence of soul-saving-know­ledge, that it will abundantly satisfie the hungry soule: A man may have excellent knowledge in other things and yet perish, but this is life eternall to know God and Jesus Christ, John 17.3. There are some shinings forth of the eternall Power & godhead in the creatures, [ [...]] So that the invisible things of him from the creation of the World, are cleerly seen being understood by the [Page]things that are made: we know the diffused brightnesse of the Sun-beams is not so pleasant in large windows, nor can the bright shinings of him who is invisible be so cleerly, sweetly, plea­santly discerned in the creatures, as in the face of Jesus Christ, in whom dwels the fulnesse of the God-head bo­dily, Col. 3.9. And in whose face the light of the knowledge of the glory of God hath shined in the hearts of his Justified-sanctified ones, 2 Cor. 4.6. and therefore by way of eminencie Jesus Christ is called [ [...]] the Bright­nesse of his glory, and the expresse I­mage of his substance, Heb. 1.3. O how excellent then is the true knowledge of Jesus Christ? and how acceptable will this little Treatise be unto those who with a spirituall appetite are en­quiring after the true knowledge of Christ in all his Offices. The Author being far distant from the City, could not see to the correcting of his Book, [Page]and it is an usuall thing for some faults to escape the Presse un-corrected in such a case, which thou maist amend with thy pen as thou readest; and for any materiall thing which thou ap­prehendest not sound, carry it to the Touch-stone of the Word, Try all things, and hold fast that which is good, And as we would have others mode­rate in censuring us [Hanc veniam pe­timus (que) damus (que) vicissim] go and do thou likewise, & if but a mite of know­ledge shall be (through Gods blessing) by this his labour added to thy under­standing, let God have the glory, and the Author hath his end.

Thy friend, and the Truths servant, Hanserd Knollys.

The Table.

  • ADmire, We are to admire the Wisdome of God, page 42.
  • The love of God, 45. The iustice of God, 48. And the power of God, page 50
  • Agreement betweene Christ and the Iewish High-priests, page 16
  • BAptism and Circumcision are not one, 96. proved ibid. Baptisme is not come in the place of Cir­cumcision, page 100
  • Believers, the iustice of God as well as his mercy pleads for them, page 50
  • Bloud of Christ makes peace, page 19
  • CHrist to be lifted up, how 2, 3. When he is exalted, 10, 12, 13. He is the Saints righteousnesse, 11. He is meat and drink to them, 14. He is their cloath­ing, 15. Sin laid upon him, 35. He bare the sins of his people, ibid. Hee is the wisdom of the Father, 43. His offering what, 16. He excels the Iewish High-priest, 27 Wherein he doth it, 18, 19. How he bears the names of the Saints upon his heart, 21, 22, 23. How hee taught his people before hee came in the flesh, 84. Hee is the Teacher of his people, now he is in heaven, 85. How be teacheth his people, 114. His Kingdome in this world is twofold, 203. Why be rules in it, page 237
  • Circumcision and Baptisme not the same, 96. Proved, page 97
  • Church of the Iews under the Law, and of Christ un­der the Gospell how they differ, 94. The Iewish Church Typicall, page 94
  • Commands of the Gospell, what, page 60
  • [Page] Covenant, the misunderstanding of it, what evill it brings, page 109
  • DEny why men should Deny themselves, 147. Why Christ teacheth men so to do, page 151, 154, 155
  • Difference, betweene the Iewish High-priest and Christ 16, 17, 27. Between the Iewish Church and the Christian Churches, 94 Between the Iews priviledges and the priviledges of Christians under the Gospel, page 101
  • EFfects of receiving Christ, page 75
  • Effects of the Kingdom of Christ in the sule, page 220
  • Eternity, God loved his from Eternity how, page 39
  • Evill, the misunderstanding of the Covenant, what Evill, page 109
  • Exalted, When Christ is Exalted, 12, 13. How be is to be Exalted, 15. Why he is to be Exalted, page 247
  • Excellency of the grace of love among the Saints, page 176
  • FAith, Why God gives it to his people, 66. What it is to live by Faith, 165. How it overcomes the De­vill, 188. When we live by Faith, page 190
  • Fiery Serpent what, page 248
  • Foolish, Why the Virgins, Math. 25. called foolish, page 57
  • GOd laid sin upon Christ, 35. Hee hath nothing a­gainst the Saints, 57. His glory and the Saints good ioynd together, page 146
  • Gospel faith what, page 122
  • Grace, man cannot fall away from Grace, page 25
  • HIghpriest, Christ is the Highpriest of his people, 15. The Iewish Highpriest, and Christ the High priest their agreement, 16. Their difference, page 17.
  • INtercession of Christ, 40. How hee Intercedes for the Saints, 41. Whether it be part of his satisfacti­on, page 41
  • Ioy, peace with God the ground of it, page 77
  • Iustice of God to be admired, 48, 49. It pleads for Be­lievers, page 50
  • KIngdome of Christ in this World twofold, 203 The effects of it, page 220
  • Kingly Office of Christ, 202. Kingly power in Israel after the flesh, a Type of Christs Kingly power in the spirituall Israel. page 95
  • Knowledge of Christ brings men to the knowledge of themselves. page 117
  • LIve by saith what. 165. How the soule doth live in the want of the full enioyment of him. page 103
  • Love of God to be admired, 45 It is free, Ibid. Full, 45. Everlasting, 47. What love is, 170. Proper­ties and effects of it, 172. It is quieted in the single enioyment of Christ, 174. It slights all hardships, 175. Love among the Saints, the excellencie of it, 176. It covers a multitude of infirmities, 178. It is an ever­lasting grace, 179. How it is manifested. page 193
  • MAns righteousnesse what. page 10
  • Marter of Christs Kingdom spirituall. page 223
  • Miracles, How Christ Works them at this day. page 199
  • NEw, Why Christs commandement called new. page 169
  • Naturall conscience and the Law have a con­flict, 217. How to know it. page 228
  • OBedience the fruit of faith. page 123
  • Offering of Christ what, 16. The offering of the [Page]High-priest what. page 16, 17
  • Offices of Christ, 15. Priestly Office of Christ, wherein it consists, 32. Office of Christ as Prophet, page 82
  • PEace with God, the ground of a Christians ioy. page 77
  • Power of God to be admired. page 50
  • Priests, Christ hath made the Saints Priests. page 71
  • Priviledges of the Iews and of Christians, their dif­ference, 101. Priviledges under the Gospel what, page 101
  • Propheticall office of Christ. page 82
  • REconciliation wrought by Christ. page 32, 33
  • Remedies against corruption oppressing the soule, 64, 65. against temptations. page 71
  • Resting in any thing beneath Christ what an evill. page 57, 58, 59
  • Righteousnesse if Christ onely iustifies, 11. Righte­ousnesse of man what. page 10, 15
  • Rule for Baptisme, not one with the rule for Cir­cumcision, 97. The Scripture the rule by which Christ teacheth his people. page 92
  • SAints, Why oftentimes sorrowfull, 20. They are made Priests, 78. God hath nothing against them, 78. Their estate happy in the world to come. page 80
  • Selfe-denyall, 124, 125. Selfe-sinfull, 125. Selfe-righteous, 127. Selfe-wisdom, 131. Selfe-profit, 134. Selfe-pleasure, 135. Selfe-love, 141. Selfe-will, page 142
  • Selfe-sufficiencie, 144. Selfe-ends. page 145
  • TEach, Christ teacheth those whom he teacheth to know themselves, 109. To believe, 121. How wee may know when Christ teacheth the soule, page 156. seq.
  • Type, The Iewish Church a Type of the Christian [Page]Church, 94. Kingly power put in Israel after the flesh, a Type of the spirituall power Christ hath in his Church. page 95
  • VIrgins, Mat. 25. Why called foolish. page 57
  • WIsdom of God to be admired, 42. Christ the wisdom of the Father. page 43
  • Word, The Word is the rule by which Christ teach­eth his people. page 86
  • World to come, what benefit to the Saints. page 80
  • Worke of the Devill, Christ destroys two wayes. page 205


Pag. 14. l. 7. for her. 1 He p. 23. l. 11, your. thou p. 26. l. 3. for hear no pray, r. hear nor pray, p. 66. l. 7 as r. us. p. 67. l. 19. two r. few. p. 76. l. 8. the r. thou P, 79. l. 14. stay r. way, p. 88 l. 4. walk r. work. l. 15. to r. too, p. 89. l. 10. That is mentioned, is the first, r. The first that is mentioned is, p. 100. l. 10. once, should the type r. once come, the type should p. 103. l. ult. or r. are, p. 118. l. 25. dele, o, p. 132. l, 22. put in not, p. 140. l. 17, was not so, r. was so, p. 186. l. 1. for freed r. frets, p. 187. l. 24. fire, r. fiery, p. 198. l. 14. add, r. and, p. 219. l. 10. enow, r. ere now, p. 225. l. 26. professe, r. proceed, p. 233. l. 4. dele It.


JOHN 3.14.

And as Moses lift up the Serpent in the wildernesse, so it behoves the Son of man to be lift up, &c.

THis text presents you with the exaltation of the Lord Jesus, and the manner of it.

Occasioned by a discourse be­tween Christ Iesus, and Nicode­mus: from the beginning of the Chapter, [Page 2]these words being a part of that discourse, and they are the words of Christ who is truth it self and cannot lie, the faithfull and true wit­nesse the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last of all truths, and heavenly mysteries of the Gospel.

The text divided in two parts:

In this Scripture you may be pleased to take notice of two particulars: first, an act to be done, Christ lifted up: Secondly, how it must be done; even as Moses lifted up the Serpent in the wildernesse, &c. I shall not meddle with that title by which Christ is pleased to describe himself (the sonne of man) I might note that Christ is the sonne of man, and so true and perfect man, as well as God, Ro­mans 3.4.

But I shall rather pitch upon the mayne glorious Gospell truth held forth in this Scripture, and the truth or conclusion is this.

Doct. That the Lord Jesus Christ now in the dayes of the Gospel, is to be lifted up even as Moses lifted up these pent in the wil­dernesse.

Christ is to be lifted up now in the dayes of the Gospel.

Note. 1 Christ is to bee lifted up in the preaching of the Gospel.

[Page 3] 2 In the soule of believers.

1 In the preaching of the Gospell, and that first for justification and life, as the alone Priest Attonement and peace maker, be­tween God and his people.

2 He is to be lifted up as the alone Pro­phet, to teach as the alone King and Law­giver to his Church and people: And this is to be done both in the preaching of the Gos­pel, and in the hearts of believers.

1 In the preaching of the Gospel, Christ is to be lifted up for justification and life, this was the end for which Christ came into the world John 10.10. I am come that yee might have life, and that yee might have yet more a­bundantly, ô beloved, Christ came to give life to dead soules, John 5.25. The dead shall heare the voyce of the Sonne of God, and they that heare shall live: and this life Christ communicates to his, in giving his life to purchase life for his own, who were dead in trespasses and sins, Ephes. 2.1. And so freely and fully ustifies all whom he intends to save, Rom. 3.24. And this justification although free, through the redernption that is in Christ, yet we come to participate of that justifica­tion by faith, Rom. 3.26, 27, 28. And the preaching of the Gospell is the Instrumentall [Page 4]means in the hand of God working faith, Rom. 10. from ver. 14. to 17. Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God: therfore Christ is to be exalted in the preach­ing of the Gospel, for justification and life, that men beholding him, may have life by him.

See this truth confirmed, Mat. 10.27. What I tell you in darknesse, speak yee in the light, and what ye hear in the eare, that preach yee on the house tops: Note, what Christ doth tell his servants in the darke? he tells them that he is their life, and their light, their justi­fication, reconciliation; and peace, and hee tells them in the dark in secret, that there is no light or life to be attained in any creature or thing beneath the Lord Jesus, and Christ having called them to it, this they are to speak in the light, and to preach it upon the house tops, that is publikely, to make it known to all, that men through the blessing of God may come to the sight of it.

This was the commission Christ gave to his Disciples, to lift up Christ for justification, and life, in the preaching of the Gospel, see Luke 24.47. compared with Mar. 16.16, 17: In Luke the Text sayes, And that repent once and remission of sins should be preached in his [Page 5]name among all Nations: And in Marke Goe preach the Gospel to every creature, hee that believeth and is baptized shall be sa­ved &c.

Note. In the first, remission of sins is to be preached; in the second, salvation through believing: and both these in Christ, remissi­on of sins in the name of Christ salvation and life through believing in Christ, who is the alone justification of believers, so that justi­fication, remission of sins, &c. through Christ is to be held forth to the view of the soule, that the soule who is a sinner may by the power of God come to see the Sonne; that is to see that remission of sins, that justification that is held forth in Christ, and so come to be made partakers of it: This you shall see farther confirmed by a second word from heaven, Act. 5.20. Goe. stand, speak in the Temple, all the words of this life, that is, all the words of the Gospel of Christ, the means God hath appointed by the workings of his Spirit, to discover life unto the soules of men.

And secondly, as Christ thus requires it, so likewise the Apostles practice it, you shal ever finde them exalting Christ, so the Apostle Peter, Act. 4.12. exalts Christ to the heavens [Page 6]above all, Neither is there salvation in any others for there is none other name given un­der heaven among men whereby we may be saved, but by the name of Jesus (Harke you) beloved friends, here is Christ exalted his name above every name, for the remission of sins, salvation, and thus, is Christ to be exal­ted above all duties, creatures, every thing, Act. 5.42. and daily in the Temple, and e­very house they ceased not to preach and teach Iesus: What did they teach and preach of Jesus? they preach justification by Jesus in opposition to all legall righteousnesse, Act. 13.39. And by him all that believe are justified, from all things, from which yee could not be ju­stified by the law of Moses: This is the Ser­mon (beloved) the Apostles preached Iesus Christ dying, and rising again, 1 Cor. 15.3, 4. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures: And that he was buried and rose againe the third day, according to the Scriptures: this the Apostle Paul prea­ched first of all unto them justification and life by Christ, Rom. 4.25. Who was delive­red for our offences, and raised again for our justification, that he dyed for sin, and was raised again for justification, this is the first [Page 7]Sermon you see the Apostle preaches; and it is, that he is ever indeavouring to make it more abundantly clear to the soules of the Saints. Rom. 10.4. He is the end of the Law for righteousnesse, to all them that believe. Rom. 3.20. And that by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified, Gal. 2.16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but by the faith of Iesus, for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified. Thus, beloved, you see the Disci­ples of Christ, they cease not to teach, and preach Iesus, that Christ is indeed the Me­siah promised, Act. 9.22. the very Christ that he died and rose again for our justification that the Saints participate of this justification and life by faith in his bloud: thus the Apo­stle Peter came preaching and exalting Christ for remission of sins Act. 5.31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand, a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance and remission of sins, according to Christs commission Luke 24 47. so is the Apostles practice, preaching peace by Jesus Christ, Act. 10.36. Who is Lord of all.

Note And this they preached as the command of Christ, beloved, and not as the idle fancie of their own brain, as the servants [Page 8]of Christ are now charged by those ignorant of the righteousnesse of God, going about to establish a righteousnesse of their own, Rom. 10.3. but beloved, they, and so, we, that are the Ministers of Christ, thus exalt Christ, preach justification and peace by Christ, by the command of God, so Act. 10.42, 43. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testifie that it was he which was ordai­ned of God to be the judge of quick and dead, and to him all the Prophets give witnesse, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall have remission of sins: Note, beloved, this is the command of God, where is it com­manded? why, Mar. 16.16, 17. he that be­lieveth shall be saved, that is, shall have his sins pardoned, his person justified, and so be everlastingly saved, that is, by faith the soule comes to eye it, and apply it, to see it and to hand it: for beloved, the word saved, im­plies all, that free, and full salvation, held forth in Christ to believers, which is a salvation from all their enemies, Luke 1.71. That wee should be saved from our enemies, and from the hands of all that hate us: but especially, and in the first place, that wee shall be saved from sin, that we might through faith in his bloud receive remission of sins, be saved from [Page 9]sin, for this Jesus signifies a Saviour, see a blessed word, Mat. 1.21. Thou shalt call his name Iesus, for he shall save his people from their sins, and this salvation God hath com­manded to be preached, this remission and salvation the Prophet witnesseth, Ier. 31.34. speaking of the Covenant of grace, the Gos­pel Covenant, he sayth, For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more, &c. and this remission of sin is to be preached among all Nations, beginning at Ierusalem, and Luke 4.47. and in some mea­sure this hath, and shal be performed, Act. 13.46 47 48,

2 Christ is to be exalted and lifted, as in the preaching of the Gospel, so in the hearts of believers, which I shall indeavour to speak a word unto, before I come to speak of Christs exaltation in his offices: I say, he is highly ex­alted and lifted up in the hearts of all that rightly believe in him, so the Apostle Paul desires to know nothing but Christ, and him crucified, 1 Cor. 2.2. and indeed beloved, hee that rightly knows Christ crucified, knows enough, therefore the same Apostle sayth, Gal. 6.14. God forbid, that I should rejoyce in any thing else, save in Iesus Christ and him crucified. Christ crucified is a Christians [Page 10]onely joy, onely delight; therefore the Apo­stle Paul prays, Rom. 15.13. That God would fill them with all joy and peace through be­lieving, and why? by believing, the soule comes to enjoy this crucified Christ, and so justification, and peace, Rom. 5, 1.

Question. But some may say, how shall I know that I doe indeed exalt Christ in my soule?

Answer. First, Christ is then exalted in the soule, when the Lord brings over the soule to look upon Christ, as its alone justifi­cation. O beloved then is the Lord exalted, when the soule comes to see that there is no­thing but emptinesse in it selfe, when the soule can through the power of God cast down all at the feet of Christ, and looke upon all its own righteousnesse as dung and drosse in com­parison of Christ, so the Apostle Paul Phil. the Apostle having in the 5 and 6 verses laid down what he was once in di­vers particulars in his own righteousnesse, he amongst all the grounds, (as once he thought them grounds of comfort) one and the least was, hee walked as touching the Law blamelesse: but what things were gain that is, I counted gain, and rested upon them, I now count them losse for Christs sake, yea [Page 11]doubtlesse, I count all things but losse for the excellencie of the knowledge of Christ Iesus my Lord, and ver. 9. and be found in him not having my own righteousnesse which is of the Law but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousnesse which is of God by faith: ô here is a soule exalting Christ a­bove all, laying all his own righteousnesse low, even as low as dung and drosse in com­parison of Christ: ô what saith thy soule to this, now man, woman, didst ever see thine own righteousnesse, or at least thine own unrighteousnesse? hath the Lord opened thine eyes to see a vanity, an emptinesse in that you once trusted? hath the Lord let forth a glimpse of his glory into thy soule, shining down in the face of Jesus? can you say, Yea donbtlesse, I account all things but losse for the excellencie of the knowledge of Christ Iesus my Lord. Is thy soule carryed forth above, and beyond thy selfe to the Lord Jesus as thine alone righteousnesse? see Esay 45.24, 25. Su ely shall one say in the Lord, have I righteousnesse and strength, ver. 25. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israell be justified, and shall glory. In the Lord Christ thou seest thy justification, and in him thou gloriest, thou canst say, God forbid, I should glory in any [Page 12]thing below Christ, Ier. 23 6. This is his name by which he shall be called, The Lord our righ­teousnesse, the Lord our covering, our justi­fication, this is the ground, when thou canst look upon Christ as thy alone righteousnesse and justification, and so seeing an excellencie in the knowledge of Christ in this particu­lar.

2 A soule then exalts Christ, when it looks so upon Christ, as that it is carryed with a principle of love after him, and it is by love as it were glewed and knit up to him, so the Apostle Rom. 8.35.38. Who shall sepa­rate us from the love of God? and when love constrains thy soule to follow God, 2 Cor. 5.14. the love of Christ constrains us, and when love so glews and knits thy soule to Christ, that thou takest him as the wife takes her husband, for better for worse, as we use to say: when thon canst follow Christ in all conditions, to tryall, prisons, death, nothing severs thee from him, when as with Abra­ham thou goest forth from thine own Coun­trey, thy sins, sinfull companions, and fol­lowest Christ, not knowing whether thou goest, whether to liberty or prison, that makes nothing with thee, Heb. 11.8. By faith A­braham obeyed and went forth of his own [Page 13]Countrey, not knowing whither he went, this flows from faith, Gal. 5.6.

3 When the Lord Jesus is the alone de­light and joy of thy heart, believe it beloved, if the soule exalt Christ rightly, he will bee thy delight and joy, thou wilt be able to sing the song of Mary, Luke 46.47. My soule doth magnifie the Lord, and my Spirit rejoyceth in God my Saviour; there will be joy and peace come in through believing, joy unspeak­able and full of glory, according to Phil. 4.4. Rejoyce in the Lord always, and again, I say rejoyce, &c.

4 The soule that truly exalts Jesus, is sa­tisfied in the enjoying of him, and now the soule hath enough, when it hath Christ, let who will have the world, sin, pleasure, I have Christ sayth the soule, a goodly porti­on, now the soule is fitted for any condition, come affliction, persecution, the soule glories in all, because it enjoyes God through Christ in all, 2 Cor. 11.30. after the Apostle has mentioned his afflictions, he concludes that he will glory in all, see Chap. 12.9.

5 Lastly, when Christ is all in all to the soule, then doth the soule rightly exalt and lift up Christ, when it enjoys a fulnesse in Christ in the want of all things, and sees an [Page 14]emptinesse in all things without Christ, this the Apostle could see and say, he is all and in all, Col. 3.11. Christ is all and in all, he is the way, the truth and the life, Iohn 14.6. He is the light and life of men, Ioh. 1.4. He is meat, drink and cloathing as wee use to say, to the Saints, he is their meat and drink see Iohn 6.55. My flesh is meat indeed, and my bloud is drinke indeed: ô beloved, revery believer spiritually eats and drinks the flesh and bloud of Christ that is, lives upon Christ, he doth not build upon ordinary prayers, duties, no, no, give me Christ sayth the believing soule, Christ in hearing. Christ in preaching, in the Supper of the Lord &c. Believe it, beloved, nothing lesle then Christ can satisfie the li­ving, the believing soule and likewise in tem­porall things, the believer sees all purcha­sed for him by the bloud of Christ, and so in every creature, he lives upon the flesh and bloud of Christ, and believe it beloved, thus every beleever lives upon Christ, see ver. 53. Then Jesus said unto them verily verily I say unto you, except yea eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drinke his bloud, you have no life in you, (harke you friends) Hee: that doth not thus spiritually eat and drink the flesh and bloud of Christ hath no life in him: a [Page 15]signe of a dead soule that lives upon ordinary creatures without Christ.

2 Christ is cloathing and covering also, he covers the nakednesse of men and women that believe, see Rev. 3.18. I counsell thee to buy of me, &c. white rayment that thou maist be cloathed: what is this cloathing? the righteousnesse of the Saints, see Rev. 19.8. The fine linnen is the righteousnesse of the Saints, Christ Jesus is the Saints righteous­nesse, 1 Cor. 1.30. Jer. 23.6. and so the Saints covering. The Saints spiritually enjoy Christ also in their externall cloaths and covering, so that I say, he rightly exalts Christ in his soul, that sees Christ to be all, and in all to him, &c.

I shall now come to the exaltation of Christ in his offices, in the dayes of the Gos­pel, Priest, Prophet and King, in these is Christ to be exalted.

1 He is the great High-Priest of his people,Christ Priest and in this particular he is to be exalted in the dayes of the Gos­pel, that is, as the alone atonement and peace maker betwixt God and man.

The Leviticall High-Priests under the Law were a type of Christ our great High-Priest under the Gospel.

[Page 16] Therefore, for my more cleer proceeding, I shall indeavour to un­fold unto you what was the Office of the High-Priest under the Law,wherein Christ & the Iewish High-Priests agree, & wherin they differ. and wherein Christ our Gos­pel High-Priest, and those High-Priests a­gree: and wherein they differ.

What their office, is, and wherein they a­gree, for those High-Priests in all their ad­ministrations, typed forth Christ our High-Priest.

1 The Office of the High-Priest, it was to offer sacrifice for the sins of the people, Exod 28.29. Levit. 9. from the 1, to the 7, ver. this hath Christ done, he hath offered sacri­fice for sin, and herein Christ doth not onely agree with those High Priests in offering sa­crifice for sin, but he differs also, excelling those High-Priests, for they offered sacrifice it is true, but it was the flesh and bloud of creatures, a lambe, a ram, goats, buls, &c. Levit 9.3.4. Heb. 9.13, 22.

But Christ Jesus, he offered not the bloud of goats and calves, but his own bloud, Heb. 9.12, 14. his own body, Heb. 10.10. Christ hath offered himselfe a sacrifice, Ephes. 5.2, Christ hath loved us, and given himselfe for [Page 17]us an offering and a sacrifice to God, &c. so you see Christ exceeds in the very first, in the offering, in the Sacrifice, he offers his own body, his own bloud upon the crosse a sacri­fice for sin, and indeed those legall sacrifices were but a type of Christ our sacrifice, and in themselves could not doe away sin, but as they directed to Christ, therefore Christ is called the lamb slain from the beginning, or from the foundation of the World, Rev. 13.8. & 1 Pet. 1.18, 29.

2 The High-Priests by offering sacrifice were to make a tonement and peace for their own sins, and for the sins of the people, Levit. 19.7. Moses said unto Aaron, goe to the Al­tar, offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offe­ring, make an atonement for thy selfe and the people, Chap. 15.30. The Priest for the unclean woman, was to offer a sin offering, and a burnt offering, to make an atonement for her before the Lord: This was the end wherefore he went into the holy place, Cap. 16.3. To make an atonement for the children of Israel before the Lord, ver. 34. This Christ our High-Priest hath done: harke you beloved, Christ our High Priest hath offered sacrifice, and by his sacrifice he hath put away sin, made an attonement, that is peace and reconciliation [Page 18]between God and man, Rom. 5.10, 12. Being enemies were reconciled to God by the death of his Son: Nore, here is Christ reconciling by his death, Christ a sacrifice dying, and so reconciling: you shall see all along the Scrip­ture that it is Christ a Sacrifice, Christ dying, that is, our reconciliation, our attonement, and peace, Ephes. 2.13. They which were som­times afar off, are made night by the bloud of Christ, ver. 14. he is our peace, ver. 15. having abolished in his slesh the enmity, &c. ver. 16. and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Crosse, &c.

You see Christ hath made peace by his bloud, having abolished in his flesh the en­mity of the Law, made reconciliation by his crosse, see Col. 1.20. and making peace how? through the bloud of his crosse, it is by the bloud of his crosse, by his death, where­in he offered himselfe a Sacrifice for sin, that he hath made peace for all his people.

Note, in this also, that Christ our High-Priest exceeds those Jewish High-Priests: Christ our High-Priest hath indeed made peace and reconciliation for sin, he is our peace: and that the Jewish High-Priest could not doe, their Sacrifice could not make peace farther then the soule was lead unto [Page 19]Christ, see Heb. 10.1. The Law having but a shadow of things to come, can never with those sacrifices that they offer, make the commers thereunto perfect, and ver. 4. For it is not possible that the bloud of buls and goats should take away sin, Christ hath done that which the bloud of buls and goats could not doe, that which never a High-Priest in the world could doe, he hath taken away sin, he hath made peace, and every believer re­ceives the atonement from his hands, Rom. 5.11. By whom (namely Christ) we have now received the atonement.

O beloved! What doe your soules say to this? Christ hath wrought peace for every soul rightly receiving him, he hath done that which the Priest could not do, he hath done that, thou thy selfe couldest never have done, if the Load help thee rightly to look to him: and this hee hath done in offering himselfe a Sacrifice for sinne, dying upon the crosse.

How should this informe poor creatures where to look for their peace and atonement? O doe not loook for it in duties, in teats, in professions, it is not crying but dying that will take away sin; it is not tears but bloud that will make peace, Col. 1.20. Heb. 9.22. [Page 20] Without bloud there is no remission: believe it, if ever thou hast peace, thou must have [...] from a Christ dying, Rom. S. 33, 34. Who shall lay any things to the charge of Gods elect? it is God that justifieth, who is he that con­demneth? it is Christ that dyed, &c. Hee dyed for our sins, and rose again for our iusti­fication, Rom. 4.25. it is through him who hath given himselfe a Sacrifice for sin that you must come to see your sin pardoned, if e­ver you see it pardoned.

O how doe poor ignorant blind creature deceive themselves, seeking peace where it [...] not to be found, in duties, tears, &c. The dig broken cisterns to themselves that will hold no water, They, (that is the reason they are so empty,) compaesse themselves about with sparks of their own kindling, Esay 50.11. that is the reason they ly down in sorrow, they seek the living among the dead, that is, living consolations amongst dead works, and that is the reason they finde it not: be­lieve it beloved, if ever your soules enjoy true peace, it must be let into your soules by a dying Christ, if ever you are saved it must be by eying of, and believing in the Lord Jesus, Esay 45.22.

3 The High-Priest was to bear the names [Page 21]of the children of Israel in two srones be­tween their shoulders Exod. 28.12. so hath Christ born, not onely the names, but the sins of his people also upon his shoulders, 1 Pet. 2.24. He hath born our sins on his own body on the crosse. Hee which knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him, believe it, belo­ved, those sins and corruptions that so much trouble the soules of Saints, he hath borne them all himselfe, hee himselfe bare our ini­quities upon his own body.

4 The High-priest bare the names of the children of Israel on a brest-plate of judg­ment, for a memoriall before the Lord conti­nually: Exod. 28.29. He beares their names, and judgments before the Lord, &c.

So doth Christ, our High-priest, beare the names of his people; yea, their nature, and judgments upon his heart, before the Lord continually: he presents them before his Fa­ther continually. Now Christ may be said to beare the names of the Saints upon his heart.

First, In his continuall presenting them to himself, and Father, (without spot) righteous in his own righteousnesse, Ephes. 5.25, 26, 27.

Secondly, In respect of their neernesse un­to him. Beloved, that that comes to a mans [Page 22]heart: comes neere him: the Saints of God are as neere unto him as his own heart: hee that toucheth them, toucheth the apple of his eye: he that persecutes them persecutes Christ, Acts 9.4. O, therefore, let men take heed how they persecute Christians; It were better a milstone were hanged about their necks, and they cast inco the Sea, then offend or perse­cute the Saints.

But the Saints, whom the Lord hath, or shall call, are upon his heart, in respect of his love unto them. Beloved, the elect were up­on the heart of Christ from all eternity: E­phes. 1.4. That was the reason, why he comes into the world, to take your nature, your sins, become sin and a curse for sinners: It was his love, The elect of God was so upon the heart of Christ from eternity: and hee will give his heart bloud before hee will lose one of them. O what do your hearts say to this (deer brethren and sisters) is not heere comfort for your souls? ô thou art perhaps affraid whe­ther Christ loves thee: this is the complaint many times of the gracious soule: but know this, you, to whom, God hath given faith in his Son, thou art upon the heart of the Son in respect of means, in respect of love, hee loves thee more then thou canst love him, [Page 23] for God is love, John 4.26. He bears thee up­on his heart (poore soule) and what canst thou desire more? see Cant. 8.6. see what Christ sayth of his Church, Chap. 4.9. & 6.5.

Thirdly, The Saints are upon the heart of Christ in respect of his remembring of them. The righteous shall be had in continuall remembrance, Psal. 112.6.

O here is comfort for the poor afflicted souls of the Saints! it may be, you are under affliction, either externall or internal, and art ready to complain, as once David did, as if the Lord had forgotten to be mercisull, Ps. 13.1, 2. what ever thy condition be, God hath not forgotten thee, no no, thou art upon his heart, thou art neer and deer unto him, thou art very precious unto him, he hath set thee as a seale upon his heart, and hee cannot forget thee.

Object. But you will say, perhaps, will not God forget me when I forget him? I I have a wicked deceitfull heart that gives me the slip, when I come to pray, and the name of the Lord is not so precious upon my heart as I wish it were many times.

Ans. But God will not forget thee, Esay 49.15, 16. Can a woman forget her [Page 24]sucking childe, from having compassion on the Sonne of her womb? yea, they may forget yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have in­graven thee upon the palmes of my hands, thy walls are continually before me, &c. O blessed word, the Lord will not forget, thou art not onely upon his heart, but upon his hands, also, ever in his sight, his eye is ever over thee for good.

Fourthly, The Saints are upon the heart of Christ, and there he will keep them, Those which thou hast given me have I kept, and none of them is lost, &c. Joh. 17.12. Ah blessed word! able to bear up the spirits of the Saints, to whom God hath given faith: ô you poor doubting Christians, who are som­times affraid that your hearts will deceive you, and perhaps are ready somtimes to com­plain with David, I shall one day fall by the hand of Saul. So thou art ready to say, ô this wicked heart of mine, ô this proud, this stub­born heart of mine, I am afraid least all is no­thing, and that I shall one day fall by it: O beloved, you (to whom God hath given faith) are upon the heart of Christ, and if thou canst but once see thy selfe there, it is enough, thou needest not fear thy falling. Dost think (man, woman) that Christ hath set thee there for [Page 25]nothing? no, no, he will keep thee there: it is true, were the power of standing or fall­ing left to thy selfe, then thou mightest well doubt, but thou art kept by the power of God, through faith: 2 Pet. 1.5. thou art preserved at, and in the heart of Christ, his love is so to thee that hee will not lose thee. none shall pluck thee out of his hands, he loving thee once, will love thee to the end, however some pretend a falling away from grace, after the soule comes truly to believe in the Lord Je­sus, but it is but a vain fancie, and an imagi­nary conceit, for it is a part of the Covenant of grace on gods part, to keep thee from fall­ing. Jer. 32.40. I will put my fear in their hearts, and they shall not depart away from me.

Fifthly, The High-Priest was to beare the iniquity of the holy things in a plate of pure gold on their fore-heads, before the Lord, always, that they might be accepted before the Lord, Exod. 28.37, 38. So Christ bears the iniquity of the holy things of the Saints, the best Saints, I mean the most holy, is not able to performe any duty to God, but there is a great deal of sin in it, iniquity cleaves to it, now beloved, as Christ hath borne all the rest of the sins of the Saints, so [Page 26]he bears all the sin, all the iniquity of the ho­ly things of the Saints, O comfort for the Saints, thou caust not hear, noe pray without sin, why? Christ bears all the iniquity of thy holy things, he presents thy person and pray­ers to God without spot, Ephes. 5.27. There is never a prayer put up unto God in the name of Christ in faith, but Christ presents it, John 16, 23. Whatsoever ye shall aske the Father in my name, it shall be given you, see Rev 8.3. The Angel Christ Jesus stands at the Altar, and having a golded censer with much in­sence, that he might offer it or add it to the prayers of the Saints, ô beloved, here is a blessed word for the soules of the Saints, whe­ther particular Saints or Churches: Christ adds to your prayers much incense, the in­cense of his own merit.

Sixthly, The High-Priest was to goe once a year into the most holy place, within the vail, Exod. 30.10. Levit. 16.2. & 34. compa­red with Heb. 9.7.

So is Christ our great High-Priest, Heb. 4.14. passed into the heavens, within the vail, into the Holy of Holies, chap. 9.12. Neither with the bloud of goats and calves; but by his own bloud, hee entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternall redemption for [Page 27]us: What doth Christ there? why beloved, as he hath made peace and reconciliation for his people, so he is entered in within the vaile to make intercession for them: Heb. 7.25.

The second particular is, wherein Christ and those High-Priests dif­fer,Christ excels the Iewish High-Priests. wherein Christ exceeds them: It is true, that in all these Christ excels them, for they were but the Type, Christ the sub­stance.

1 Christ exceeds those High-Priests, as he was the Son of God, Heb. 4.14. Seeing then that we have such a great High-Priest, Iesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profes­sion, Chap. 5.5.

The Jewish High-Priests were Aaron and his sons, Exod. 28.16. Numb. 18.1. but Christ our High-Priest is the Son of God, He was declared to be the Son of God with power, by his resurrection from the dead, Rom. 4.

2 They offered the bloud of buls and goats, of lambs and rams, as you heard, Heb, 9.12, 13. but Christ offered his own body and his own bloud, ver, 14. Chap. 10.10. He offereth a better Sacrifice, having obtained [Page 28]a more excellent Ministry, by how much also he is a Mediator of a better covenant, establish­ed upon better promises, Heb. 8, 6.

3 They first offered for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people: Levit. 9.7.

But Christ our High-priest, offered himself a sacrifice for the sins of his people only: for he had no sin of his own, there was no sinne found in his mouth: he was the innocent, ho­ly, harmlesse, lambe of God, slaine, without spot, or blemish: Heb. 9.14. He offered him­self without spot or without fault to God. Here­in Christ wonderfully exceeded the High­priests: they, it is true, had holy garments, made them, Exod. 28.2. typing forth what holinesse it was meet a High-priest a Peace­maker, should have; likewise typing forth what perfection of holinesse which was in Christ: hee was the perfection of that type, see Heb. 7.26. For such an High-priest became us holy, harmlesse, undefiled, separate from sinners, made higher then the Heaven: the High-priest had holy garments, Christ is ho­linesse it self. Beloved, here was a meet Sa­crifice, to be offered for poore sinners: had he not been such a one, hee could not have taken away sin: therefore such a one became us.

4 The High-priests they offered many sa­crifices; [Page 29]once every yeere they went into the holy place: Exod. 30.10. Heb. 10.3. But Christ our High-priest, offered himself once for all, Heb. 10.10. By which will wee are sancti­fied through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; and after hee sate down on the right hand of God: a wonderfull Gospell mystery! under the Jewish Priests, and there was a remembrance of sin in the consciences of the sinners, though holy, and godly: for that ministration, could never take away sin, Heb. 10.11. that is, never take away, the e­verlasting guilt of sin: they held under those sacrifices, but present pardon, and so present peace, every new sacrifice being a new re­membrance of sin. But by Christ our High­priest, who hath offered himself once for all, and by that one sacrifice, wee have obtained eternall redemption, Heb. 9.11.

Object. Had not the believing Jews eter­nall redemption by Jesus Christ under the le­gall Priesthood?

Answ. It is true, they had but by that Priest­hood they had it not so sealed to their souls at once, but had their peace comming in by new sacrifices: there was ever conscience of sin, a remembrance of sin, if they had had everla­sting pardon come in at one sacrifice, there [Page 30]need not to have been an offering for sin a­gain, Heb. 10.1, 2. but wee under the Gospell, who believe, have obtained everlasting re­demption, that is, see all our sins past, present, and to come, done away, by one sacrifice, so that now there remaynes no more conscience of sin, Heb. 10.1. that is, sin doth not lye up­pon the conscience of believers unpardoned, but they see all done away in Christ.

Use. This may inform you of the reason, why so many poore creatures, goe without comfort: they have their comfort by fits, as we use to say, namely, when they can pray well, and their comfort comes in from their duties; an argument of a legall spirit. They pray to get peace from hence: these things will never make you perfect, that is, bring you perfect and true peace, but Iesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, to day, and the same for ever, brings in true and perfect peace, eternall redemption to the souls of his people.

5 The Legall High-priests were but for a time, till Christ: but Christ our High-priest is an everlasting High-priest, a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedeck, Heb. 11.5, 6. vers. 20. Melchisedeck was without begin­ning, that is known, & without end, so is Christ without beginning & without end, Heb. 7.3. [Page 31]Hence it is that all that ever Christ (as hee is a High-priest) hath purchased for his people, is like himself, everlasting: everlasting recon­ciliation, everlasting life, &c.

6 Lastly, the High-priest entred into the holy place, within the vaile once a yeere: namely, into a worldly Sanctuary, indeed-type of Heaven, Heb. 9.1, 3, 4. but Christ as he hath obtained a more excellent ministry, Heb. 8.6. so he is not entred into the holy place made with hands which are the figures of the true, but into heaven it selfe, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Heb. 9.24. O blessed word for believers! Christ our High-Priest is entred into the very heavens, to ap­pear for his people, as he undertook to bear their sins, and pay their debts, so he now e­ver apppears personally for his people, and thus you see beloved that Christ is our great High-Priest, and wherein he not onely an­swers the Legall High-Priests, but also ex­ceeds them.

The second particular to be considered is, that Christ Jesus as he is Priest, is to be exal­ted and lifted up in the dayes of the Gospel, and that both in the preaching of the Gos­pel, and in the hearts of his people.

1 In the preaching of the Gospel Christ is [Page 32]to be exalted, as the alone High-priest, the atonement, peacemaker, and reconciliation, between God and man: and that in opposi­tion to all legall righteousnesse, or peace, sought for in a legall way: beloved, thus Christ was exalted in the days of the Apostles, Acts 10.36. Peter came preaching peace by Jesus Christ: and in the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is the main drift of the Spirit of God, to discover, yea to exalt, to lift up Christ, the a­lone High-Priest, holding forth the dignity, the excellencie and utility of his office.

And this was received always in the hearts of the Saints, Christ our High-Priest, Christ our peace, Ephes. 2.14. for he is our peace, &c.

Now to speak more punctually to the Priestly office of Christ, it consists in these two particulars, partly in Reconciliation, partly in Intercession.

1 In Reconciliation, that is, in reconci­ling God to man, and man to God: Now it is true, God was ever reconciled to his e­lect in his Son from all eternity, for he loved them in his Son, Ephes. 1.4. from before the foundation of the world: he never looked upon them but in his Son, yet so, as with relation to his death, so working peace. [Page 33]Beloved, this was the great designe of God in sending Christ into the world to make peace and reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5.19. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himselfe, namely the elect (amongst the Gentiles, who were always counted for the world, see Rom. 11.11, 12, &c.) not impu­ting their sins, &c. This was the great work God had to doe in the world, when he ma­nifested that great mystery of godlines, 1 Tim. 3.16. God manifested in the flesh &c.

And this Christ hath done (beloved) hee hath perfected it, and finished it, see 2 Cor. 5.18. and all things are of God, who hath re­conciled us to himselfe by Jesus Christ, so also, Rom. 5.10.11. & Heb. 2.17. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a mercifull and faithfull High-Priest, in things pertaining to God, why? to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, a blessed word for all be­lievers. God is reconciled to them in his Son, God is at peace with them, this was the end wherefore Christ came into the World to make peace for the Saints, and to give life unto them, hence it is Christ sayth, John 10.10 I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have yet more abundantly: hence it [Page 34]is, that the Gospel of Christ is called the Gospel of peace, Ephes. 6.15. and the glad ti­dings of peace, Esay 57.7. the Covenant of the Gospel is a Covenant of peace, Esay 54.10. Ezek. 37.26. God is a God of peace, and at peace with believers, Rom. 5.1. 1 Thes. 5.23. and Christ is a Prince of peace, Esay 9, 6.

Thus you see (beloved Christians) what peace and reconciliation here is wrought by Christ for all believers, a God of peace, a co­venant of peace, a Gospel of peace, God hath reconciled us to himselfe through his Son, for he is our peace, who hath made both one, and broken down the middle wall of partiti­on, and made us Gentils one with the Father through faith, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, to make to himselfe of two in one new man, so working peace, that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the crosse.

The second thing considerable is, the man­ner how he makes this peace, and that is first in bearing their sins: 2 In laying down his life and bloud: In bearing their sins, belo­ved, Christ bears all the iniquities of all his people. Esay 53.4, 5, 6. surely he hath borne all our griefs, and carryed our sorrows, he was wounded for our iniquities, and bruised for [Page 35]our transgressions, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes are we healed: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Note, First, God laid sinne upon Christ, Secondly, Christ bare them, Thirdly, their God condemned them.

1 God laid sin upon Christ, All we like sheep have gone astray, but he hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, it is all laid upon Christ, so that now the sin of all the elect, be­comes the sin of Christ, they are laid upon Christ, He is become sin for us, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him. 2 Cor. 5.21.

2 Christ bare the sinnes of his people, God did not onely lay sin upon Christ, but he bare it, 1 Pet. 2.24. he bare our sins on his own body on the crosse, and so hath born our grief, and carryed our sorrows: this is the way beloved, by which Christ hath made peace for his people in bearing their sins, there was no other way left for reconciliation between God and man, but God must be­come man, that so he might bear our sins, and so our griefs and sorrows, that he might be bruised for our iniquities, and that the chastisement of our peace might be upon him.

[Page 36] 3 There God condemnes sin, and Christ now bears not onely sin, but justice for sin, mansins, justice is offended, and that must bee satisfied; Christ steps in, he takes the blow, he becomes surety for sinners, stands in our room, and payes the debt, see Rom. 8.3. For what the Law could not doe, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent his Son in the likenesse of sinfull flesh, and for sin con­demned sin in the flesh. Note beloved, God did not onely lay sin upon Christ, but Christ bears it, and there God condemnes it, where God finds sin there he condemnes it: God condemnes the sin of his people in the flesh of his Son.

O what doth thy soule say to this, dear Christian? before ever thou couldest be re­conciled to thy God, Christ Jesus must bear all thy sins, and the condemnation of them in his own body. O see, see man, what a burthen thy sins were to thy Saviour, if thou hast any interest in him, follow him to the mount of olives, see him in his agony, Luke 22.44. sweating drops of bloud, great drops of bloud, trickling down to the ground, this was the weight of thy sins laid upon thy Saviour, be­fore ever thy peace was purchased, see him upon the crosse (bearing thy sins and my sins, [Page 37]man, woman (if we have any interest in him) and the condemnation of them) crying out, My God, my God, why hast thou for saken me? beloved, it went heavy with our Savi­our.

Use. Learn hence to take heed of sin, doe not take delight in any sin, truly beloved, if you love the Lord Jesus, you cannot love that which was such a heavie burthen unto him, ô beloved, how should justified saved per­sons take heed of sin, of every sin? the least sin that thou canst imagine tooke hold on Christ as well as the greatest, ô therefore take heed of pride, of anger, foolishnesse, va­nity, the least sin is much unbecomming Christians: ô beloved, how seasonable comes in that earnest exhortation of the Apostle? Rom. 12.1, 2. Christ having given up him­selfe for your sins, that you give up your selves your soules and bodies, a holy, living, accepta­ble sacrifice to the Lord.

2 As Christ hath made peace in bearing the sins of his people, so also in laying down his life and bloud for them: beloved, before ever there could be peace and reconciliation made, Christ must dye for it, give his life and bloud for it, all those ceremoniall sacrifices under the Law were a type of a dying Christ, [Page 38]hence it is that he is called a Lamb slain from the beginning: beloved, Christ having undertaken to become a High-Priest, a peace­maker between God and man, nothing lesse then his bloud could doe it, Heb. 9.22. With­out bloud there is no remission: no justification without bloud, Christs dying is a Christians justification. Rom. 5.9. being now justified by his bloud, we shall be saved, &c. no purging of sin without bloud, Heb. 9.14. how much more shall the bloud of Christ, who through the eternall spirit offered himself, purge your con­sciences from dead works to serve the living God? Rev. 1.5. who hath loved us, and wash­ed us from our sins in his own bloud, &c. there is no pardon and so no peace without bloud, Heb. 9.22. Thus beloved you see that all must be done by bloud, and that by the bloud of Christ too, the bloud of all the creatures in the world, nay of all the men in the world, was not able to redeem, to make satisfaction for one soule, nay, for one sin, nothing lesse then the bloud of Christ could doe it, 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. silver and gold could not doe it, the bloud of creatures could not doe it, Heb. 10.5. It is not possible that the bloud of buls and goats should take away sin.

Object. But some may say, that God had [Page 39]never any thing against his elect, he ever lo­ved them from eternity, Jer. 31.3. I have lo­ved thee with an everlasting love, Ephes. 1.4. he chose us in him from before the foundatien of the world.

Ans. True, God ever loved his elect, and ever intended mercie and love unto them, yet he so loved them as with relation to the death of his Son, and from everlasting deter­mined to satisfie his justice, to take away sin and work peace by the death of his Son, and the truth is, that God had as really an eye to the death of his Son from all eternity, and saw it as actually then, as if Christ had then suffered, see Ephes. 1.4. He chose us in him, from before the foundation of the werld, in him, with relation to his death, to his making satisfaction for sin, not that God could not have made the Saints at once, and have sa­ved them presently, and never have suffered them to sin, but this is the way God in his wisdome appointed to manifest his mercie on the vessels of mercie: and his justice on his enemies, so that now beloved, God having appointed this to be the means to bring sons to glory, there could never have been any re­mission, any peace, but by a dying Christ, ther­fore he is called, a Lamb slain from the foun­dation [Page 40]of the World, Rev. 13.8. and indeed, Christ was as a lamb ever slain in Gods ac­count, and he beheld all things as present, and saw both the work of creation, redemption, and glory of his Saints, from all eternitie.

The second part of Christs priestly office, consists in his intercession at the right hand of the glory of his Father, Rom. 8.34. Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that dyed, year ather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh inter­cession for us, Heb. 7.25. Hee ever liveth to make intercession. Beloved, this is one part of Christs Priestly office to intercede for the Saints.

Note beloved, Christ intercedes, 1 In the Saints. 2 For them.

1 In them, Rom. 8.26, 27. The Spirit it selfe, (to wit of Christ) Gal. 4.6. Maketh intercession for us, or, in us according to the will of God, that is, God by his Spirit, help­eth us to ask things according to the will of God, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit helpeth us, &c.

2 He maketh intercession For us, also hee ever liveth to make intercession. O blessed word for the Saints! hee maketh intercession for every particular Saint, hee maketh inter­cession [Page 41]for his Churches, for us saith the Apo­stle, and through him it is, wee have accesse with boldnesse, unto the Father, &c.

Object. But some may object, did not Christ make satisfaction, peace, and reconci­liation when hee dyed upon the crosse, when he sayd, It is finished?

Ans. It is true that Christ in his death, and resurrection finished, the work of mans justi­fication, Rom. 5.9. being justified by his bloud: and he made peace and reconciliation, Col. 1.20 having made peace by the bloud of his crosse: but wee are not to understand by Christs interceding any new act of Christ, done, eyther in way of satisfaction, or justifi­cation: neyther are wee to understand that Christ sits in Heaven pleading with the Fa­ther in words, as a counfellour pleads a cause before the judge; but Christ is in Heaven with the Father at his right hand, that is, in glory with him, presenting our persons, and in presenting our persens, all our services, in his owne person: not by any new act of do­ing, but by the worth of his merits, the ex­cellency of his person, the neer relation of the Saints to himself, viz. members of his body; so that now God cannot look upon the Son but he must behold the Saints in him, he ha­ving [Page 42]so neer a relation to his Father, both by his personall presence, and the excellent worth of his merits (whose bloud spake better things then the bloud of Abel) Heb. 12.24. he continually makes intercession to God for the Saints, Esay 53.12. He hath poured out his soule to the death, and he was numbred among the transgressors, he bare the sins of ma­ny, and made intercession for the transgressors: here you have the whol priestly office of Christ 1 Bearing sin, and so working peace, 2 Making intercession by that means for transgressors.

Use. If so that Christ Jesus is to be exalted, and lifted up as the alone High-Priest in the dayes of the Gospel, hence will properly a­rise foure words of application. 1 A word of Admiration. 2 A word of Information. 3 A word of Exhortatiō. 4 A word of Consolatiō.

Use. First, a word of Admiration, O what cause have the Saints to admire God, who hath manifested himselfe in his Son? I say to admire him. 1 His Wisdom, 2 His Love and his Mercie, 3 His Iustice, 4 His Power, all manifested in his Son, to and for the good of sinners, whom he maketh Saints,

1 How should the Saints admire his wis­dom? truly beloved, the wisdom of God as in other things, so in this particular (making [Page 43]peace by the bloud of his Son) is very admira­ble, the wisdom of God wonderfully appea­red in the whole work of God, with relation to the creation. Iob 37.14, 15, 16. Chap. 38.4, &c. and this the Saints should be acquainted with, that their hearts might admire him.

But the redemption of the Saints is much more admirable, for beloved, this was Gods end in making a world, that he might set forth his wisdom in the redemption of the Saints, Esay 40. The Lord speaking as it seems, with relation to the comming of his Son, a Savi­our, ver. 11. he shall feed his flock like a sheep­herd, and gather his lambs in his armes, &c. sayth, ver. 13. Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, and who was his Counsellor? with whom took he counsell, and who instructed him? &c. certainly none beloved, there was none to do it, for he determined his whole work, both of creation and redemption before all things: if there had bin any being then for any of the sons of men, who could have invē ­ted such a way, such a means of recovering, of reconciling fallen man? truly none but the God of wisdome, and therefore Christ is called in Scripture the wisdom of God, Luk. 11.49. ther­fore also he is called the wisdom of God, 1 Cor. 1 21. we preach Christ the wisdom of God, &c. [Page 44]Chap. 2.7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordai­ned before the world began. Note, beloved, the Lord Jesus Christ, the wisdome of the Father, him in whom the Father manifests his wisdome, was ordained before the world began, Ephes. 3.10, 11. it is called the mani­fold wisdom of God.

Well may it be called manifold, for it is infinite, there is no numbering of it, Ps. 47.5. Great is the Lord, and of great power, of his understanding there is no number.

How should this take off from the Saints all cares and feares concerning the things of this world? he who is infinite in wisdom; wisdom it selfe hath taken care for thy soul, for thine eternity. Doubt not, but rest upon him, his wisdome shall be for thee, hee will so order, and dispose of all thy actions, as shall be most advantagious for his owne honour, and thy good. And know this, that nothing comes to passe but by his wise disposing hand of grace: nay, he is made unto thee, that belie­vest, wisdome, 1 Cor. 1.30. ô admirable mercy, that the God of wisdom, should not only, wisely contrive a way for the reconciling of sinners to himself, but should become their wisdome, he is made to us wisdome, admire at this, all [Page 45]the sons and daughters of God: what, God himself become your wisdome! then truly, thy solly shall not harm thee: ô thou art ready to say I am so foolish, so ignorant, &c. ô poore soul, it matters not, it is mercy thou seest, thy solly, for the truth is, thou must be a foole that thou mayst be wise, 1 Cor. 3.18. & 4.10. that is, thou must renounce all thine own wisdom, as folly; for it is self-wisdome that is the grea­test enemy to Christ. Therefore let no man deceive himself, If any man amongst you seem to be wise in this world, let him be a fool that he may be wise.

2 What cause have the Saints to admire God in Christ, for his love? ô admirable love! what, God to give his Son to become a pro­pitiation for the sin of sinners? Is not this rich grace, and mercy? for God to take upon him the nature of man, and the sins of men, to make peace and reconciliation for men? what soule can behold this love, this mercy, and not stand admiring in the enjoyment of it?

Beloved, this love of God manifested un­to men, it is Free, Full, Everlasting. Love, it is free without desert, there was nothing in man for to procure it, hee hath loved thee freely, poore soule, Hos. 14.4. I will heal their back-sliding, I will love them Freely, for [Page 46]mine anger is turned away, Beloved, God loved freely, for he loved his before they were, Ephes. 1.4. he loved them freely, for he loved them when they were sinners, Rom. 5.8. the manifestation of it, is free, for it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercie, Rom. 9.16. 1 Cor. 1.27. he manifests it unto them, when they would none of it, when men had rather keep their sins then receive Christ, as a Priest, and an atonement, so Paul Act. 9. the Lord meets him and over powers him, when he was go­ing in a way of persecution, as it is in Esay 65.1. I am sought of them that asked not for mee, and found of them that sought me not, &c. God first seeking and finding, causes the crea­ture to seek after God.

2 It is full grace and love, great love, John 3.16. God so loved the world, that hee gave his Son, &c. O unspeakable love, that nothing lesse then the Son of God can serve for a gift, and truly beloved, nothing lesse could have done the deed, and therefore nothing lesse could be given from a God of love, who intended in his gift to doe good to man, John 4.9, 10. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that hee loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our [Page 47]sins, and herein is the love of Christ ma­nifested to become a Priest, a Sacrifice, to lay down his life for sinners. Iohn 5.13. Greater love then this hath no man, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Here is great love, love to be admired of al the Saints.

3 This love of God manifested in the Son, is everlasting love, Jer. 31.3. I have loved thee with an everlasting love, there­fore in loving kindnesse have I drawn thee. Harke you, (beloved friends) God hath loved his people from everlasting, and he will love them to everlasting, Iohn 13.1. Having loved his own, which were in the world, hee loved them to the end, that is, for ever: Hence it is that the kindnesse of God is called everlasting kindnesse, Esay 54.8. In a little wrath I hid my face frone thee for a moment, but with everlasting kind­nesse will I have mercie on thee, &c. his mer­cie is everlasting mercie, Psal. 100.5. For the Lord is good, and his mercie is everlasting, and his truth endureth to generation and gene­ration. His Covenant made with thee who art a believer, is an everlasting covenant, Esay 61.8. I will make an everlasting cove­nant with them saith the Lord, a Covenant that shall not bee removed, Esay 54.10. [Page 48] neither shalt thou depart out of it, Jer. 32.40. and hence it is that the joy of the Saints shall be everlasting, for indeed, were not Gods mercies, Gods Covenants, &c. everlasting, There could he no true joy, but this is that which occasions both true and everlasting joy and consolation, 2 Thes. 2.16. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himselfe, and God, even our father, which hath loved and given us ever­lasting consolation, and good hope through grace, &c. Note, beloved, here is everlasting consolation flowing from the love of God, and truly the consolation could not be ever­lasting, were not that love communicated through grace everlasting. Here is admira­ble mercie, admirable grace, free full, everla­sting.

3 The Saints have cause to admire God in his Justice, for beloved, those two attri­butes of God are admirably exalted in this one particular, giving Christ a reconciliation between God and man, his love and his mer­cie is exalted, in that he to accomplish his own end in a way of grace, gives his own Son to become an offering for sin, to this very end and purpose, to reconcile and save sinners, Iohn 3.16. 2 Cor. 5.19. such was the love of God from all eternity, that nothing could [Page 49]hinder their design of grace. The Jews, that had a hand in putting Christ to death, shall have a part in that mercy and grace purchased by his death: Acts 2.37, 38. For they did nothing but what God in his coun­sell had determined, Acts 4.28.

Now as the mercy of God was herein admirably exalted to men, so is his justice, his severity also, Rom. 11.12. Behold, therefore the goodnesse, and severity of God, &c. Be­hold, here is goodnesse and severity, mercy and justice, to be admired.

First, the mercy of God is here admirably manifested, In freely chusing some, and secondly, his justice in leaving others: First, His mercy in chusing some in his Son to life and glory, Rom. 9.23, 24. That he might make knowne the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, &c. here is the mercy of God wonderfully made known unto the sons of men: and note, that this mercy was never manifested but in a way of justice: justice must be sarisfied for mans transgressi­on: now that God may shew mercy without any wrong to his justice, hee gives his Son to take upon him mans sin, and to suffer for the sins of his people, that so mercy and justice [Page 50]might meet together. An admirable worke of grace; where God shews mercy, and his ju­stice is satisfied. Never any mercy to be ex­pected, but where justice is satisfied: it is in vain for thee, ô man, to expect mercy out of Christ: there justice is satisfied, if ever thou hast mercy, it must be there, therefore Christ calls, Matth. 11.28. Come unto me, &c.

Now, beloved, the Saints may admire of, and rejoyce in the justice of God: for the ju­stice of God is for every believer, and is as ready to plead for them, as the mercy of God. A creditour, that is honest, hee will be ready to acquit and cleer the principall, when the surety hath paid the debt, and made full sa­trsfaction, and to declare, that he hath nothing against him: it is true the surety may pay the debt, and the principall not know it, and hee may be affraid and troubled; but when the surety shall come and tell him that the debt is paid, and the creditour satisfied; and when the creditor shall send his bond, and discharge under his hand and seal; now this satisfies the man, and now he is cleer, and comforted, now he walks boldly.

So it may be with the poore soule; Christ hath paid thy debt, he hath satisfied the justice of his Father, but perhaps thou wantest the [Page 51]assurance of it: beloved, to whomsoever the Lord hath, or shall give faith, there it is sure: the Lord hath sent his Ministers to proclaime it to your souls, That whosoever believeth shall be saved; and here hee hath sent his word to confirme it unto you, and if that will not sa­tisfie, thou shalt have his seal too, Ephes. 1.13 And justice is now ready to plead for such a soule, to acquit him, I am satis fied, I have no­thing against him: and so justice is thine, and for thee, who (indeed) believest.

2 The Instice of God is manifested in lea­ving others in a lost condition, herein is the severity of God admirably manifested, espe­cially of the Saints, see Rom. 9.22. What, if God willing to shew his wrath and make his power known, endured with much long suffering, the vessels of wrath made up to destruction? see Chap. 11. the elect obtained mercie, the rest were hardened, ô how should the Saints ad­mire at this justice? what? God to leave so many in a hardened-blinde-perishing-con­dition, and shew mercie to me: O wonder­full! what should God see in me more then in such and such hardened ones? what? God shew mercie, perhaps to one, and leave twenty, a hundred, in a hardened, lost con­dition, and shall I bee one of the small num­ber? [Page 52]O beloved, how will the due conside­ration of this mercie and justice, this good­nesse and severity of God, set your selves: work to admire God, and to praise him? this is the new song of the Saints, Rev. 5.9. And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthie to take the booke, and to open the seale thereof, for thou hast redeemed us to God by thy bloud, out of every kinred and tongue, and people and nation: O this is that which will set thy soule a praysing God indeed, when thou shalt see people, tongues, nations left, and thou taken out of them, some taken, perhaps one or two out of a family, others left; one or two out of a generation, others left; some few out of a City, a Nation, and others left. O beloved, the due consideration of this one thing, will occasion your fouls to sing that song, that none else could ever learn, Rev. 14.3. They sung a new song, and no man could learn that song, but they which were redeemed from the earth (called out from earthly men) from Nations, peoples tongues, &c.

4 The Saints have cause also to admire the power, the almighty power of God, working salvation for them, he doth declare himselfe to be the Al-mighty God, able to doe what­soever he pleaseth, he is able to save, he is a­ble [Page 53]to work salvation for his people which way he pleaseth, and the power of God is manifested in Christ, working salvation for his people, see Esay 63.1. I that speak in righteousnesse mighty to save, behold the Lord Jesus is called the mighty God, Esay 9.6. and a mighty redeemer, Prov. 23.11. and their re­deemer is mighty, he shall plead their cause, &c. and truly beloved, hee had need bee mighty, for he hath undertaken a mighty work, the redemption and salvation of sin­ners, and this appears to be a mighty work, 1 Because none else could do it: beloved, God hath done such a work for his people, that no creature nor created power in heaven or earth could doe it, Esay 45.21. There is no God besides me, a just God and a Saviour, there is none beside me, none can save beside God, Hos. 13.4. There is no Saviour besides me, therefore in vain is salvation hoped for from the mount ains, truly in the Lordour God is the salvation of Israel, Jer. 3.23. Beloved, it is in vain to look for salvation from the hills and mountains, from creatures, or any thing beneath the Lord Jesus, There is none other name given under heaven whereby wee may be saved, but by the name of Jesus, Act, 4.12. O beloved, how should the Saints [Page 54]praise God, and admire him for that great and glorious salvation he hath wrought for his people: this is the song the Saints sing unto his praise, Rev. 7.10, 11, 12. And they cryed with a loud voyce, salvation to our God, &c. blessing, and glory, and wisdome, and thanks­giving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever, &c. They sing forth Gods saving power, Who is a God able to save after this manner?

2 It appears to be a mighty work, excee­ding the work of the creation, or any of the rest of the works of God, if we consider the severall circumstances, or concomitants there­unto appertaining. Beloved, the Lord made the world with his word, he spake the word and it was done, but it was not a word that could save man being falne, no, no, beloved, there is more to be done, first, God must take upon him the nature of man, that is, the seed of David, Rom. 1.3. of Abraham, Heb. 2.16. he must bear the sins of sinners, 1 Pet. 2.24. and their curse, being made a curse for them, Gal. 3.13. and their condemnation, Rom. 8.3. And to effect this great work of mans salva­tion, He that was in the forme of God, and thought it no robbery to be equall with God, was found in the forme of a servant, became [Page 55]obedient to the death, even the death of the Crosse, Phil. 2.6, 7. here is a great work be­fore mans salvation is accomplished: was there ever the like work wrought by God, greater then the creation? there a word doth it, here must be bloud, not of an ordi­nary man, but of the Son of God, greater then the destroying or building of Nations or Kingdoms, here a word doth it, Jer. 18.7, 8. here must be bloud, Heb. 9.22. Thus you see, beloved, the admirable power of God, manifested in this work of reconcilia­tion.

2 Use. If Christ be the alone High-Priest, the alone reconciler and peace-maker be­twixt God and man, as you have heard he is, 1 Tim. 2.5. There is one God and one media­tor between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Then here is a word of information, to informe us of the vanity and folly of those that create to themselves other grounds of peace and comfort besides Christ.

Note first, that there are many that doe thus create to themselves other grounds of comfort, other Saviours besides Christ, not­withstanding the Lord hath sayd, there is no other name given under heaven whereby you may be saved: yet believe it many there [Page 56]are, that rest upon duties and performances, and make that the ground of their consolati­on, Jer. 2.12, 13. They have forsaken me the fountain of living water, and have digged un­to themselves, cisterns, broken cisterns, that will hold no water, my people, that is, not one­ly mine by creation, but by profession, yet they forsake me, and digg'd cisterns to them­selves: how doe men love to draw water out of their own cisterns? to create comforts to themselves, to kindle sparks of their own fire, untill the Lord bring them off from it: Mat. 25.1, there were five wise virgins, & five foolish, the foolish have lamps, a profession, and in that they rest, without oyle, that is, Christ his grace and mercie: and note, Christ sayth, the Kingdome of heaven is like ten vir­gins, and it may be the state of the Church for all that I know, men shall content them­selves that they are members, and boast them­selves, and comfort themselves in it, with a name of Christians, a name that they are a­live, and yet are dead: therefore it neerly con­cerns you, beloved, to look to it: it is not e­nough that you hear, profess, pray, or be mem­bers of Churches, unlesse Christ bee yours, there is nothing else can make peace but the bloud of the Covenant and many there [Page 57]are, that shall deceive themselves.

2 See the sin the evill, of trusting upon any thing, beneath Christ.

1 It is a vaine and foolish thing, therefore the five Virgins, Mat. 25. are called foolish Virgins, and well might they be called foo­lish, they content themselves with Lamps without oile: how long is that Lampe likely to burn, that wants oile, think you? so that professour, that wants Christ. It is a foolish thing for a man to be content with the shell without the kernell, the shadow without the substance. Beloved, all things without Christ, is but a shadow, it will prove nothing: hee is the substance of all Ordinances, and professi­ons: farther then you have Christ in them, they are dead. O how foolish would you count that man, that woman, that should strive to catch the shadow, leaving the substance? It is a vain thing without profit, the vanity of it is this, they deceive themselves, they thinke they have something; when they have no­thing. Revel. 3.19. Because, thou sayest, thou art rich and increased with goods, and hast need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miser able, and poor, and blinde, and naked: this is thy folly, this is thy vani­ty, thou thinkest, that thou hast much to say [Page 58]for thy self, because thon hast gotten a forme of godlinesse, when the truth is that all (with­out Christ) is nothing, nay, lesse then no­thing, vanity: they cannot helpe thee, certainly Christ died in vaine, if any thing beneath himselfe can save thee, Galath. 2.21.

But secondly, to create comforts to thy selfe, beneath Christ, is an evill and a bitter thing; certainly, beloved, it will prove very evill and bitter one day, eyther here when discovered to thy soul, or else hereafter, when too late. See Jer. 2.19. Know therefore, and see that it is an evill thing, and a bitter, that thouhast forsaken the Lord thy God. An evill end bitter thing to forsake the Lord Jesus, the fountain; and to rest upon any other thing beneath himselfe.

Object. What is the evill of it, perhaps you will say?

Ans. The best end of it is sorrow, certain­ly sorrow must needs follow it. Esay 50.11. Behold, all you that kindle a fire, that compasse your selves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that yee have kindled, this shall yee have of mine hand, yee shall ly down in sorrow.

Question. What is the reason, poor souls walk so sadly and so sorrowfully?

[Page 59] Answer. Is it not because they forsake the Lord the fountain, and dig eisternes to themselves? kindle a fire of their own, and then sit down, and thinke to comfort them­selves? and hence it comes to passe, that so many poor souls ly down in sorrow: it is not thy case poor soule? thou settest up this duty and that duty, this prayer, and that ordi­nance, and expectest comfort in them, and thou wouldest fain compasse thy selfe about with those sparks of prayers and duties, &c. and this makes thee ly down in sorrow, and all because thy soule is not carryed through these to Christ, who is the substanee of all Or­dinances.

3 It is a shamefull thing to rest upon any thing beneath Christ, certainly, beloved, it will make you ashamed one day, either here or hereafter: see Rom. 6.21. What fruit had you then in those things whereof yee are now ashamed? the end of those things is death. What were those things? deeds of dark­nesse, and certainly to rest upon any thing beneath CHRIST, is a deed of darknesse, and will cause shame: see Ier. 17.13. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed. And they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, they have forsaken the [Page 58] [...] [Page 59] [...] [Page 60]Lord, the fountain of living water. O belo­ved, will it not be a shame, when men shall professe Christianity all their dayes, when they shall hear, and pray, and performe du­ties, resting in those things, and when they shall come to appear before the Lord Jesus, shall be rejected? Esay 45.16. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them to­gether, that are makers of Idols, that rest upon any thing beneath Christ, wher's the Lords Is­rael, ver. 17. shall be saved with an everla­sting salvation, &c. and they that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion that shall never be removed, Psal. 125.1.

4 Lastly, to trust in any thing beneath the Lord Jesus is a cursed, damning sin, so it is, to those that live and die in that condition, see Mat. 7.22, 23. Many will say in that day, Lord Lord, have wee not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out Devils, and in thy name done many wonderfull works? and then will he professe to them, I never knew you, depart from me yee that work iniquity. O beloved, this will be the sad sentence pronounced against all that shall come before Christ at the last day in their own righteousnesse, see Luke 13.27. depart from me ye workers of iniquity, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

3 Use. A word of exhortation, If it be [Page 61]so that Christ be the alone High-Priest and peacemaker, between God and man, O how should this stir up your soules to look to Je­sus for salvation? doe not mistake me, I shall not set you upon this duty as if it were in your own power to doe it, it is God that work­eth both to will and to doe of his own good plea­sure, but as a means by which God may come in with power upon thy spirit, working up thy soule above thy selfe to his Son, and to in­courage any poor soule to whom God shall be plesed to come in graciously in his own means

Note first, God calls thee to look above and beyond all, to himselfe, in his Son, see Esay 45.22. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; and Esay 55.1. O every one that thirsteth, come, buy wine and milke, without money and without price, wherefore will you spend your money for that which is not bread? O beloved, God would not have poor souls, for which Christ dyed, to spend their time for that which is not bread, he hath given Christ the living bread for that very end and purpose. God hath given his Son a Sacri­fice, a peace-offering for sin, so making recon­ciliation for the sins of his people, he hath put in us the word of reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5.19, 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ (sayth the Apostle) as though God did beseech you by us [Page 62]to be reconciled unto him, that is, to receive this reconciliation held forth by Christ in the Word. O beloved, what doe your soules say to this? is reconciliation and peace with God through Jesus Christ worth the own­ing? is it worth the receiving? men and wo­men consider of it, Act. 13.26. Men and bro­thren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth the Lord, to you is the word of salvation sent: to whom ever among you God shall give an eye to see it, and a hand to receive it, to you it is sent.

2 Consider Christ is ready to receive when ever you come unto him, hee will not put you off, John 6.37. All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that commeth to me, I will in no wise cast out. O beloved, the Lord is ready to receive sinners, the worst of firmers, the greatest of sinners: believe it, the Lord never did nonever will cast forth a poore sinner, that comes to him in truth, that is, who the Father draws to him. See the Parable of the prodigall son, Luke 15.20. his father see­ing him afar off, ran and met him and em­braced him: ô the readinesse of God, to em­brace poore sinners, that come unto him! wit­nesse Mary Magdalen, Saul, Acts 9. The betrayers and murderers of the Lord of life [Page 63]Acts 2. All which manifests the readinesse of God to receive sinners: and believe it, hee would never invite thee, he would never give thee a heart willing to come to him, did hee not intend willingly to embrace thee.

2 Exhortation, for the Saints: if wee have such a High-Priest, making peace and recon­ciliation for us; ô beloved, how should this incourage us to hold fast our profession to the end, this is the use the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews makes of it, Chap. 4.14. Ha­ving then such a great High-Priest that is passed into the Heavens, the Son of God, lee us hold fast our profession, or confession, let us hold it fast, with a strong hand (so the word signifies) [...], hold fast your profession, with a violent or strong hand. Now there are three things that are all most ready to make a poor Christian (many times) to throw away his profession. 1 The pow­er and strength of corruption. 2 Inability, and indisposednesse to that which is good. 3 Those hard temptations and tryalls, that they are lyable unto in their Christian pro­gresse. Against these three diseases will flow in from Christ our great High-Priest, rea­medies answerable, even to the satisfaction of the soule.

[Page 64] The first is, the power and strength of cor­ruption: this is that which troubles thee, is it not, poore soule? ô thou hast such a body of sin, such a vile, cursed nature, thou artready to cry out, as the Apostle Paul. O wretched man, that I am, who shall deliver mee from this body of sin? And as Esay Chap. 6.5. Wo is me, I am undone, I am a man of polluted lips, &c. and this makes thee almost ready to throw away thy profession.

To this I shall propound a threesold reme­dy, all flowing from a crncified Christ, from Christ as he is our High-Priest.

1 That all the sins of believers, were con­demned in the flesh of Christ, Rom. 8.3. [...], it signifieth the pronouncing of guilt, and so of condemnation, upon Christ. Belo­ved, Christ hath born the guilt and punish­ment of all thy sins, to whom hee hath given faith in his bloud: all those lusts and corrup­tions that so much trouble thee, he hath born them all, 1 Pet. 1.24. Hee bare our sins in his own body on the crosse, &c.

2 He hath destroyed the power of all thy sins, as hee is a High-priest: See John 3.8.9. For this cause the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devill: Whosoever is borne of God, doth not commit [Page 65]sin, that is, as he is born of God, he doth not sin, willingly with his mind: hee can say as the Apostle Paul, Rom. 7.17. It is no more I that do it, but sin, that is, I (Paul, borne of God) do not sin. O here is the power of sin destroyed! though there is, and will be, the Being of corruption. So, 1 John 1.18. If wee say we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and there is no truth in us: now consider (belo­ved) is not the power of fin destroyed in thee? Dost thou not looke upon it as thine enemy? wouldst thou not be rid of it? O that is thy desire; why then be not dismayed, it is the condition of all the Saints, to have sin raging in them: Christ hath destroyed the power of sin, it shall not reigne over you, Rom. 6.14.

3 Christ thy High-priest will have thee to live, in, and upon him out of, and above, thy self: therefore he is pleased to let alone in the Saints, A prick in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet them: he will have thee to fetch all from himself, Col. 3.3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God: dead to sin; and dead in your selves, not able to act or do any thing, but as you are carried on by the power of God, John 15.5. Without me you can do nothing, Christ is, and will be, all and in all, to your souls, Col. 3.11. If all [Page 64] [...] [Page 65] [...] [Page 66]sin in the Saints were subdued, and they made perfect in this life, I mean pesonally perfect, otherwise they could not live by faith upon another, & so should not be in a dependencie upon Christ: this was Adams condition, and he quickly lost it: but it is the wisdom of God, and it is much for our good, to keep as al­ways in a dependencie upon himselfe, where our stock remains: for our life, our consola­tion, our salvation, it is all hid with Christ in God, and therefore it is sure, although we have not the full enjoyment of it in this world: God keeps his people always in a way of believing, and so causes them to live by faith, and when they are made meet for such a way, namely perfection, perfect free­dome from all sin, that is, when Christ shall change their vile bodies, and give them glo­rious bodies, then they shall be made like unto Christ, but not before, Phil. 3.22. Iohn 3.2. O consider of it I beseech you (brethren) you would fain be glorified in a state of mortality, what need of faith then? this is one end why God gives faith unto his people, that they might live comfortably in their patient ex­pectation of what God hath promised, Heb. 10.35, 36. Chap. 11.1. Faith is the evidence of things not seen: not seen with a carnall eye, [Page 67]not enjoyed-after a carnall manner, but eyed by faith, and expected by hope, and so com­fortably waited for. Esay 28.16. He that be­lieveth maketh not hast, therefore that which you and I have to look to, is this, whether Christ be ours? whatif there be lust and cor­ruptions? if thou hast Christ he is thy life, 1 Iohn 5.12. He that hath the Son hath life, if thou hast the Son thou hast life, he is thy life, and in him it is thou art to live, he it is that is thy fulnesse, thy all and in all.

The second thing that troubles the Saints is their inabilities to performe duties: O thou canst not pray without sin, thou canst not performe any duty as thou wouldest, and shouldest, thou canst say as the Apostle, When I would doe good, evill is present; and for to remedy this, consider and bee sure of these two things.

1 That Christ hath done all for thee, so that thou art not to look to thine own righ­teousnesse, that righteousnesse that is of the Law, but the righteousnesse that is of God through faith, Phil. 3.9. What doth trouble thee poor soule? ô thou canst not pray, that troubles thee. Why, considerfirst, Christ hath trayed for thee, Iohn 17.9. and certainly he was heardin all things that he prayed for, his [Page 68]Prayer stands effectuall for every believer to the end of the world.

2 He by his spirit makes intercession in thee, Rom. 8.26. with sighes and groans which cannot be expressed.

3 He makes thy prayer acceptable, pre­sented in his name, Ioh. 16.23. Whatsoever yee shall aske the Father in my name, he will give it you, look upon Christ thou shalt see him per­forming all righteousnesse, for thee that art in thy self unrighteous, doing all for thee that canst do nothing for thy selfe, he hath prayed for thee that canst not pray, nay, he doth still breath in by his spirit into thy soule, sight desirings, groanings (and somtimes) expres­sions, and then accepts of his own work is thee.

3 What ever thy weaknesse is, he passes it by and pardons it, see Micah 7.18, 19, 20. Who is a God like unto thee? that pardoneth the iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his people: thou maist think God hideth his face from thee, when thou seest thy Iusts to be strong and prevailing but he will turn again, he will have compassi­on on thee, he will subdue thine iniquities, &c. see the Covenant of grace, that Covenant which Christ hath purchased with his blouse [Page 69] Heb. 10.29. see Heb. 8.12. For I will be mercifull to their unrighteousnesse, and their sins and their unrighteousnesse will I remem­ber no more: thou art afraid thou art so dead, so unprofitable, so unlike Christ, that he will not own thee, but be assured, it is a part of the Covenant of grace in the administration of it, to pardon all thy sins, 1 Iohn 2.2. If we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Ie­sus Christ the righteous, who is a propitiation for our sins. Christ is thine advocate to plead thy case, look to Christ who is thy propiti­ation, thy peace.

Object. O but I have a cursed wicked nature, there is nothing in it that is good, I cannot pray nor performe duties, certainly now Christ hath shewn mercie to me, and made a difference between me and the world, he expects somthing at my hands answerable to his mercie.

Ans. 1 It was the condition of the Apo­stle Paul. Rom. 7.18. I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing, thou hast nothing that is good in thee. it is true, no more had the Apostle Paul, When I would doe good evill is present, &c. thou canst not pray nor performe that good thou wouldest, no more could the Apostle, v. 19. for the good [Page 70]that I would doe, I doe not, that is. I doe it not as I would doe, free from sin, from cor­ruption, evill is present O this is thy case, I know it is, and this was the case of the Apostle Paul, it is my case, and shall be thine, while thou and I live in this world.

2 I answer, Christ Jesus knew very well before ever he gave his life and bloud for thee, a Sacrifice for sin, that thou wouldest have a cursed nature, a disposition in thee to that which is evill, even after he had ma­nifested his love unto thee, he knew that thou wouldest not be able to pray or performe any duty without sin, nay, he never intended it should be otherwise with thee or me, while we are in this world, and that is the reason he gives us such comfortable words to assure us that those corruptions committed after faith, shall be pardoned, Heb. 8.12. for these sins are indeed contrary to the holy and pure nature of God, but hee pardons them: and now dost think that Christ would give his life and bloud for thee when thou wast an e­nemy to him, and so reconcile thee to him­selfe and Father? and now when he findes sin and corruption in thee, inabilities to per­forme holy duties, &c. which he knew would be in thee before, doest think he will now [Page 71]reject thee and cast thee off? no, no, he will not cast thee off, do not think it, nay know it, that God expected no better of thee, he knew that thou wouldest have a vain foolish minde, full of passion, pride, and the like, farther then he gave thee power to subdue it, he knew that without him thou canst doe nothing, Iohn 15.5. ô therefore be not dis­couraged, look to the Lord Jesus thy High-Priest, who hath reconciled thee when thou wert an enemy, Rom. 5.8, 9. But God com­mended his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ dyed for us: much more now being justified by his bloud, we shall be saved from wrath through him ver. 10. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved.

3 A Third thing that many times troubles the Saints, it is those temptations and persecutions they are lyable to in this world, for the name and sake of Christ.

For this I shall propound these five con­siderations, as remedies, all flowing from Christ our great High-Priest.

1 Consider that he hath made the salva­tion of every believer sure, Esay 55.3. The Covenant God makes with his people is the sure mercie of David, I will make an ever­lasting [Page 72]Covenant with you, even the sure mer­cies of David, that is of Christ: It is sure the devill may rage and men may rage, but they shall never be able to prevail, Mat. 16.18. The gates of hell shall not prevail, &c. Feare not hell, thy High-priest hath the keyes of death and hell, there shall not one soule goe in there more then Christ thy High-priest permits, therefore feare not him that can im­prison, banish, kill the body, and cannot kill the soule, but feare him that can kill both body and soule: be not afraid to confesse Christ be­fore men and devils, they shall never be able to separate between God and thy soule, see the confidence of the Apostle Paul, and this was his comfort, and this will be thy com­fort, Rom. 8.35, 38, 39. Who shall separate us from the love of God? I am perswaded that neither death nor life, nor Angels nor Princi­palities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord: true it is, afflictions will come, stormes and tempests will arise, but you being founded upon the rock Christ Jesus shall stand, see Mat. 25. The raine discended, and the flouds came, and the winde blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a [Page 73]rock: a poor weak soule, carryed out of it selfe to Christ, built wholly upon him, shall stand, when perhaps some that have seemed to be far more glorious professors, building upon the sand, upon duties and professions, shall fall.

2 Consider that Christ thy High-priest hath gone before thee in every condition, therefore it follows, Heb. 4.15, He was in all points tempted like unto us, yet without sin. O how should the consideration of this helpe thee through thy temptations: art troubled with sin? so was Christ with thy sin, yet him­self without sin, he was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him, 2 Cor. 5.21. yea, and a curse for sin too, and that thou shalt never be, Gal. 3.13. art troubled with the Devill, with temptations, it may be to pride, to the world? &c. so was Christ Mat. 4. Art persecuted? so was Christ; art contradicted of sinners? so was Christ, Heb. 12 3. art mocked? scorned? set out at nought? so was Christ, John 8.48, 52. art accused perhaps for an Incendiary, or per­vertor of the City, of the Nation? so was Christ, Luke 23.2. They began to accuse him, saying we found this fellow perverting the Na­tion.

3 Consider that Christ hath not only gone [Page 74]before in the Saints sufferings, whereby hee is sensible and feelingly sensible of all the Saints sufferings, but hee goes with them, into their sufferings. Consider, Christ will be as deep in thy affliction as thy self; hee takes all as done to himself, Acts 9. Saul, Saul, why persecu­test thou Me. Christ wil go with thee into thy affliction, Esay 41.3 When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not over flow thee, when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt: and Esay 41.10. Feare not, for I am with thee, (what to do? not for nothing) I will streng­then thee, yea I will help thee, yea, I will up­hold thee, with the right hand of my righteous­nesse: and this you see verified, Dan. 3.25. Acts 12.7, 8, & 6.25. in all which Christ ma­nifested his gracious presence, both for sup­port and preservation.

4 Use. Is a word of consolation beloved, all the Saints consolation flows frō the manifesta­tion of Gods love in Christ their High-priest.

Many are the consolations that issues forth to the Saints from this full fountain of grace, all received in by faith: a Christians justifi­cation which he receives by faith, it comes in by the bloud of CHRIST, Romans 5.9. Beloved, it is Christ dying, that is a Christi­ans justification, Rom. 8.33. and that is the [Page 75]reason why the Apostle is so carefull to make known a crucified Christ, 1 Co. 15.3. Christ dying for sin, because it was the first truth to be received for a sinners justification: but now beloved (supposing I speak to those that have received this dying, Christ as their alone ju­stification) I shall rather passe this first parti­cular, and come to speak of the true effects of this receiving Christ: and all flows from Christ, as our High-priest.

The first is reconciliation and peace with God: every man and woman that have in­deed received Christ in a way of believing, as they are justified; so they have peace with God: this is a truth, the Lord helpe you to see it, Rom. 5.1. Being justified by faith, wee have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; And this peace Christ hath made for us, by his bloud, Col. 1.20. And having made peace by the bloud of his crosse, &c. this is a sweet mercy, a rich grace, for a poore sinfull creature, to be reconciled to, and made one with the God of Heaven: think upon it (be­loved) is not this a ground of consolation? now God has nothing against thee, to whom he hath given faith in his Son; although it is true, the Devill, hee will have much against thee, the world, that is the men of the world, [Page 76]will have much against thee, for thy religion, as once those against Daniel 6.10, 11, 12. nay, thou mayst have much against thy selfe; yet God hath nothing against thee; he is at peace with thee, Christ hath made peace for thee: and secondly, thou hast nothing now against God: perhaps when thou wast in a naturall condition, before faith came, the mightiest have some hard thoughts of God, like the evill servant in the Gospell, Luke 19.20, 21. thou thoughtest God to be a hard master: time was perhaps, that thou thoughtest, do what thou couldest, yet thou shouldest be damned; but now thou seest that God hath given Christ to do all for thee to bear all thy sins, to performe all righteousnesse, to make true and perfect peace: thou canst say, or at least mayst say it, God hath given al faith, as the Apostle, Ephes. 2.14. He is my peace. O blessed word! what comfort may this afford your souls? I speak to you believers, it is your portion: what ever men may do unto thee, yet God is thy friend, hee is at peace with thee; what ever man or Devill hath against thee, there is nothing in heaven against thee, a high priviledge for poore christians! that can look upon Christ as their peace.

The second spring that flows forth from [Page 77]hence is joy and consolation, peace is a fruit of justification, joy a fruit of peace, and all flows from Christ our High-priest the foun­tain, received by faith: here lyes the ground of a Christians joy; Peace with God, Rom. 15.13. The God of hope fill you, with joy and peace through believing: through believing of what? that our peace is made with God, through Christ. This is the alone ground of joy, I mean in the first place: it is true that when once a soul attains to this, he then shall have cause to rejoyce in every good thing of God, wherein God is honoured, or the Saints benefited, as Acts 15.3.

But this is the first fundamentall ground of joy, Rom. 5.11. And not only so, but wee also joy in God through our Lord Jesus, by whom wee have now received the attonement, when once your souls come to receive the at­tonement, the peace, that is, Christ who is our peace, then your souls will rejoyce indeed, with joy unspeakable and full of glory, 1 Pet. 1.8.

What do your souls say to this now? is your peace made with God? and cannot yee re­joyce? Is God become thy friend, thy true friend, thine everlasting friend, and can ye not rejoce? Mee thinks, your hearts should leap for joy. What if thou hast corruption [Page 78]stirring in thee? What if thou art persecuted for the name and sake of Christ? yet rejoyce. See Luke 6.22.23. Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out you, name as evill, for the Son of mans sake, rejoyce in that day, and leap for joy, and this the Apostle Paul doth, 2 Cor. 12.9, 10. Most gladly therefore will I glory in mine infirmi­ties, that the power of Christ may rest upon me, therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in re­proaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in di­stresses for Christs sake, Mee thinks your soules should rejoyce in the Lord always, as Phil. 4.4. Rejoyce in the Lord always, and a­gain, I say rejoyce, that soule that hath fled to the Lord Jesus who is the alone hope set before us, may have strong consolation, Heb. 6.18.

The third ground of consolation is, that the Saints are made Priests to the Lord, and so can now through Christ have accesse with boldnesse to the throne of grace: every belie­ver is made a Priest in Christ, and note this by the way, that those that dare attribute that name to themselves, by way of office, it is no lesse then blasphemy against the Lord Jesus, but every believer is made a spirituall [Page 79]Priest to the Lord, and so the Church. a holy Priesthood, to offer up acceptable Sacrifice to God by Jesus Christ, not propitiatory sa­crifice, that belonged to Christ alone, but yet acceptable sacrifice, 1 Pet. 2.5. Yee also as li­ving stones, are built up a spirituall house, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spirituall sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Beloved, here is your priviledge, let it be your comfort, that now you are made a holy priesthood unto God, you may come boldly to the throne of grace, Heb. 4.16. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, through that new and living stay, which he hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh. Beloved, is not this a mercie, that God should make way for sinners to come unto his pre­sence, and to have accesse unto him, E­phes. 2.18. Chap. 3.12. and that with confi­dence of acceptance: Now thou maist goe to thy Father, and make all thy wants known unto him, and lay open all thy wrongs before him, as those Act. 4. from the 24. to the 30 verse.

The fourth ground of cōsideration that flows from Christ thy High-Priest, it is that assu­rance of in joying everlasting peace, joy, and glory with himselfe in another world, after [Page 80]the resurrection of the just, there shall be a fredome from sin, and a freedome from sor­row: a time will come when there shall be a deliverance from those miseries; that the best of the Saints are now incident unto. Note, beloved you shall be freed from sin: O thou hast a body of sin now, and thou couldest be contented to part with any thing to be rid of sin why thou shalt be rid of it one day, and thy vile body shall be changed, and made like the glorious body of Christ, Phil. 3.21. 1 John 3.2. Then thou shalt be rid of the Devill and wic­ked men, there shall be no Devill to torment thee, the accuser of the Brethren shall be cast down there shall be no wicked men to perse­cute thee; here will be a glorious deliverance for the Saints, when there shall be no bad thing to them, no bad person amongst them: hence it is that there shall be no more death, nor crying, nor sorrow, for the former things are passed away, Rev. 21.4. and they shall not onely be freed of those former things, but they shall possesse the same glory with Christ. Col. 3.4. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory, and Rom. 8.17. If so be that we suffer together with him, that we may be glorified together, and this glory is conferred on the Saints [Page 81]by Christ Jesus. John. 17.24. Father, I will that they which thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory. Note here, 1 They were given to Christ to the end that hee might redeeme them and save them, John 6.39. And secondly, those whom Christ hath redeemed, he will not leave them till hee bring them into his presence, to behold, and to be made parta­kers of his glory.


I Come in the next place unto the Prophetical office of Christ, wherein hee is also in the dayes of the Gospell to be exalted. In the handling of which, I shall first shew you from the word of life, That he is the Prophet and teacher of his people, and [Page 83]secondly, that hee is to be exalted in the days of the Gospell, as the alone teacher of his people.

First, that he is the Prophet and teacher of his people: now for the better proceeding in the unfolding of this particular unto you, I shall goe along comparatively, holding forth the Prophetick office of Christ, by the Prophets under the Law.

Now there were three things ordinary to the Prophets under the Law, viz. Teaching, working miracles, and foretelling of things to come.

Now in all these three, Christ answers them, yea, and excels them all, for he him­selfe is the substance of all their prophesies, Iohn 1.45.

1 It was the worke of the Prophets to teach the people, so Moses a type of Christ; both in respect of Law and worship, God taught Israel by him, so Esay 1, throughout: Jer. 1.5, 6, 7, Chap. 2. and all the Prophets. In this Christ hath manifested himselfe won­derfully to be a Prophet: this part of Christs Propheticall office (to wit, as hee is the teacher of his people) may be considered un­der these three heads: First, as hee was a teacher of his people, before he came in the [Page 84]flesh. Secondly, When he was in the world Thirdly. Now he is in heaven.

1 before hee came in the flesh: Christ taught them by the Prophets, therefore you have ever the Prophets in the Old Testament saying, The word of the Lord came unto me, Jer. 1.4. Cap. 2.1. This Peter confirms, 2 Pet. 1.20.21. For the prophesie came not in old time by thye will of man, but holy men of God, spake as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit: No Scripture is of private interpretation, that is, men did not speak of their own private spi­rits, not that private men (as they call them) may not interpret Scripture, there is no such thing in the word, but the truth held forth to us in it, is, that holy men that writ the Scripture, did not speak their own mindes, their own fancies, but spake as they were in­spired by the holy Spirit, and hence it is, that upon good grounds, we receive the Old Te­stament for Scripture, because it is the Word of God.

But 2, Christ performed his Propheticall Office when he was in the World, hee then taught personally Mat. 5.12. He teaches his Disciples in the Mount, he teaches a very long Sermon, the longest Sermon we read of in all the Gospel, it continues to the end of the [Page 85]seventh Chapter, Mat. 13.1, 2. you have Christ teaching multitudes in a ship by the Sea shore, hee continues his Sermon almost throughout that Chapter, speaking to them in parables. In John, you have Christ often teaching, in the third Chapter, teaching Nicodemus, in chap. 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. and almost in every Chapter, you have Christ teaching the Jews.

But beloved, in the third place, Christ is still a Prophet to his people now he is in hea­ven, which is the principall thing I intend to speak unto. In the handling of which I shall indeavour, First To prove from Scrip­ture that Christ is still the Prophet of his peo­ple. Secondly, By what rule he teaches his people now he is in Heaven. Thirdly, The manner how he teaches. Fourthly, The matter what he teaches.

1 That he is a Prophet still to his people, now he is in heaven, he never fails teaching his people, he is still powerfully present with his people now he is in heaven, Mat. 28.20. I will be with you to the end of the world, hence it is that Christ sayth, John, 6.45. And they shall be all taught of God: and Christ when he ascends promiseth to send the Holy Spi­rit, what to do? to teach his people, Ioh, 14.26. [Page 86] But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance: and this is the new Co­venant, the Covenant of Grace, Heb. 8.10.11. I will give my Laws into their mindes, and write them upon their hearts, and they shall all know, mee from the least to the greatest, for they shall be all taught of the Lord, Esay 54.13. so that you see Christ is still teaching and leading his people as a Pophet in the way he would have them to walke.

The second particular propounded was, by what rule Christ teacheth his people now he is in heaven, and that is by his Word: the word of God is the alone rule by which Christ teacheth his people, now he is in hea­ven, therefore he sayth, Iohn. 5.39. Search the Scriptures, for in them you think to have eter­nall life, and they are they that testifie of me: and Esay 8.20. To the Law, and to the testi­mony: if any speak not, according to this rule it is, because there is no morning in them.

Ob. But some may say, this was before Christs ascension into heaven.

Ans. True, but the same rule holds still, see it confirmed after Christs ascension, Gal. Co 6. He that walketh according to this rule, [Page 87]peace shall be upon him, and upon the Israel of God. Marke it, he that walketh according to this rule, peace shall be upon him, &c. Note first The Word of God is the rule of a Chri­stians life, and secondly, they are to walke according to it, see 2 Pet. 1.18, 20. We have also a more sure word of prophesie, wherento you doe well, that yoe take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a darke place, &c. A sure word of prophesie, that is the Scriptures, and note in ver. 20. he confirms the Scriptures for that end, Know this, that no prophesie of the Scrip­ture is of any private interpretation, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit: now the Scripture brings a sure word of truth. It is that which ought to be the rule of the Saints in all their actions, and believe it, Christ never teacheh contrary to this Scripture. If this be truth, how may this reprove two sorts of people? First, those that cast off Scripture, and refuse to walk ac­cording to it, under a pretence of being lead by the Spirit, and so above Scripture, refusing to receive the Scripture, as the rule by which Christ teacheth, looking upon the Scripture as nothing to them.

It is a very sad thing, that men professing Godlinesse, should fall into such absurdities, [Page 88]in receiving such principles as are destructive to the very power and being of godlinesse, how can a man walke if he have no rule? how can a man walke without his compasse, his line: he knows not when he is in or when he is out, so it must needs be with those that cast off Scripture, they cannot know when they walke according to the mind of God, or when they doe not.

Object. Christ hath promised, to write his laws in the hearts of his people, and that they shall be all taught of God, and that hee would send his spirit, which should teach them all things, Ergo, for those thus taught of God, it is to legall for them, to walke by Scrip­ture.

Answer. First, those that deny some Scri­pture, must by the same ground, deny all: and if one Scripture be not a truth to mee, and to be received in any practice, how can I judge of the truth of another: and the truth is, that those, that will believe, but on that Scripture which they have a minde to believe (rejecting the rest) do not rightly believe any: there is the same ground to believe all, as to the be­lieve one, 2 Pet. 1.20, 21.

2 I answer, If you doe indeed believe these Scriptures to be a truth, I make no question, [Page 89]but you will anon believe the truth of the whole Scripture, these being opened in com­paring them with other Scriptures.

First, Christ promising to find his spirit, &c. I answer, that it was a particular promise made to the Apostles most principally; and in some measure, to all the Saints. Two things here mentioned in this Scripture, are most principally to the Apostles.

1 That is mentioned, is the first, Hee shall bring all things to your remembrance, what­soever I have said unto you: Note, the Disciples of Christ were with him, saw his miracles, heard his word: but now when Christ is gone to heaven, he will send his spi­rit, which shall bring all things that Christ spake or did, (necessary to be be remembred; for our information and consolation) to their remembrance: that they might leave it upon record to future generations; and this pro­mise of the spirit properly belongs to the Dis­ciples of Christ, who were both eye, and eare witnesses of all he did or spakes: and this may confirme us admirably in the truth of the Go­spell, it was you see, written by the imme­diate inspiration of that Spirit of promise, bringing it to the remembrance of those that wrote it, and by no meanes serves to destroy [Page 90]the rest of the Scriptures.

The second thing promised is, That it shall teach them all things: note, here also an ad­mirable word, Christ tels his Disciples, that that spirit, he would send them, should teach them all things, that is, all things that God intended to make knowne to man, for their rule and direction in this life: and this with­out question, Christ who is truth it self, made good to his Disciples. Therefore I hope this doth not serve to destroy Scripture, but to con­firme it abundantly: for if Christ did (as without question, it is blasphemy to say hee did not) teach his Disciples all things, then are the rules prescribed by the Apostles in their Epistles true, and perfect rules, and you, and I are bound in duty, as wee will approve our selves Christians, to submit unto them, to re­ceive them, as the holy, promised truths of God.

Object. But Christ makes this promise not only to the Disciples, but to all the Saints also, for all Scriptures is written for our learning. &c.

Ans. True, but in the first place it is to the Disciples, that they might leave us a perfect patern from himself, and in this there is much comfort for the Saints, that wee have in the [Page 91]Scripture, truth and all truth, needfull for a Christian to know: and secondly, this pro­mise is made good to all the Saints in its mea­sure, God gives them his spirit to understand the Scriptures, and therefore it is, that the Apostle sayth, 2 Tim. 3.16, 17. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profita­ble for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousnesse: that the man of God may be perfect and throughly furnished unto all good works. Note, it is the Scriptures that thorowly furnishes or perfects the man of God, to every good worke: and wee are said to be built upon the Apostles and Prophets, that is, the doctrine, the truth, layd down by the Apostles and Prophets, Christ himself be­ing the chief corner stone, Ephes. 2.20.

And for the second Scripture, that God hath promised, to write his laws in the hearts of his people, and they shall be all taught of God, &c. It is true, God makes this promise good, hee writes his law in the heart; where hee once corres in a way of grace: that is, he puts his spirit in them, makes them freely willing to walke according to the rule of Scripture: for the spirit and the word, do answer each other. If any man will say he hath received the spirit of Christ, and refuses to walk according to the [Page 92]rules of Christ, hee is alyar, 1 Iohn 2.4, 5, 6. and the truth is not in him.

It is true also, God teaches all his people, they are all taught of God: but how? God doth teach, and leade into all truth, by the rule of Scripture; therefore Christ sayth in his prayer, 1 Iohn 17.17. sanctifie them through thy truth, thy word is truth: see then what a sweet harmony is held forth in all the Scrip­tures: the spirits teaching and leading; it is still according to the Scriptures. The spirit of Christ, where it is, leads into truth, and that truth is contained in Scripture. Now for any man to say, hee hath the spirit of Christ, and yet cast away Scripture, or for every man to say, hee hath the spirit of Christ, and yet cast away Scripture, I must give him leave to say it; but he must give me leave not to be­lieve him: and also to tell him, that it is a diabolicall lying spirit, that casts away Scrip­ture, if any man speaks not according to this rule, it is because there is no truth in him. E­say 8.20.

A second sort of people that are here to be reproved, are those that pretend to be all for the Scripture, and yet walk not up according to the rules of Scripture: without question, those whom Christ teacheth, hee teacheth to [Page 63]walk according to the rules that he prescribes them.

Of these there are two sorts, 1 those that do not rightly divide between Law and Gospel, between Legall rules, and Gospell rules. 2 those that instead of following the rules of Christ follow the rules and inventions of men; that wait for what men will prescribe, resol­ving to make that their rule.

First, those that doe not rightly divide be­tween Law and Gospell. And of these there are both Ministers and people, not rightly di­viding the word of truth, as the Apostle ex­horts Timothy, 1 Tim. 2.15. And this is ig­norance which remayns to this day, upon the hearts of many, whom I question not for their godlinesse, and honesty; yet God hath not taught them to this day, that cleere difference betweene Law and Gospell: and the igno­rance of these men consists principally under these five heads. 1 In not understanding the difference betweene Gospell Churches and the Church of the Jews. 2 Gospell Ordinances and the Ordinances of the Jews. 3 Gospel priviledges and the priviledges of the Jews. 4 the difference betweene Gospel Ministers and the Ministers of the Law. 5 The dif­ference between the Gospell, and the Legall Co­venant.

[Page 94] 1 The Church of the Jewes, before, and the Church of Christ under the Gospel: some say, the Church of the Jews was a type of the Church of the Gospell, both Jew and Gentile: and hence doe draw this conclusion, That as the Church of the Jews was Nationall, so the Churches of the Gentiles under the Go­spell must be Nationall: and that it is the du­ty of the civill Magistrate, to compell all in the Nation to the Christian Religion: now here lyes the mistake; 1 It is true, the Church of the Jews was typicall, the body of the Jews being the naturall seed of Abraham, and so all that was of Abrahams posterity, were born members of the Church: the Church of Christ under the Gospel, are the spirituall seed, the seed according to the promise, Rom. 2.29. He is a Jew which is one inwardly, Cap. 4.16. none are to be looked upon as the sons of Abraham by naturall generation, as they are borne of the bodies of believers un­der the Gospel: see a cleare Scripture. Gal. 3.26.29. Yee are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and if yee be Christs; then are yee Abrahams seed, and heirs accor­ding to the promise. Observe it, you must first bee Christs, before you are Abrahams seed, not Abrahams seed as soone as you are [Page 95]borne, it is by faith that ye are manifested to be Christs, and being thus manifested by faith, then they are Abrahams seed according to the promise: Abrahams promised seed are onely believees, such as are indeed Christs. It is true, some may professe faith in hypocri­sie, of whom we having no ground to the contrary, are bound to receive, but none are indeed Abrahams seed, but they that are Christs.

2 The kingly power of Christ put in Is­rael after the slesh, was a Type of the kingly power of Christ, ruling in and over his spi­rituall Israel: their compelling or ensla­ving those that would not submit to that go­vernment, holding forth that power Christ hath left in his Churches, spiritually to slay those that walk inordinately in any Church of Christ, according to that Scripture, Luke 19.27. As for those mine enemies that would not that I should reigne over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me. It is true, this shall perfectly be fulfilled at Christs se­cond comming, but in its measure it is, or ought to be fulfilled of every true Church of Christ, according to Act. 3.23. Whosoever will not he are, that is, submit, to the Prophet, shall be cut off from amongst the people, that is, [Page 96]cut off by excommunication; as a dead and withered branch: this is the first ground of mistake between Church and Church.

The second is betweene Ordinance and Ordinance? they judge baptisme to be one with that of circumcision, and there­fore is to be administred upon infants, as well as circumcision, and this is the ground of much confusion at this very day.

Now for the cleering of this argument, I shall lay down these grounds.

1 That the Scripture no where sayth it, that baptisme is one with Circumcision, there­fore it may be a delusion: nay, to say what the Scripture sayth not, is but a meere fancie, and invention of man: Now there is but one Scripture that is mentioned for this purpose by those that stand most strongly in this opi­nion, and that is, Col. 2.11, 12. mentioning circumcision, that, to wit, that circumcision made with hands in ver. 11. sayth ver. 12. being buried with him in baptisme; here, say they, the Apostle sayth, baptisme is come in the roome of circumcision: judge your selves, whether there be ever such a word in the Text, whether it be not a meere forged and forced interpretation: but say they, the A­postle is here perswading the Collosians from [Page 97]Circumcision, and therefore mentions Bap­tisme, as come in the room of it. I answer, this is also forged, for the Apostle doth not in any measure tax the Collossians with this errour of holding circumcision, throughout his Epistle, onely in the 11. ver. he sayth, They are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands: holding forth unto them, what they have in Christ, namely, righte­ousnesse through the circumcision, that is, the righteousnesse of Christ, for Christ being circumcised, performed all the righteousnesse that circumcision required. This is the first ground. The Scripture no where sayth that baptisme is one with circumcision.

2 The ground why baptisme is not one with circumcision, is, because the rule for baptisme under the new Testament, is not one with the rule for circumcision under the Law: the rule for circumcision was, that every male childe of the naturall seed of Abraham, was to be circumcised the eighth day, the rule for baptisme under the Gospel, is, that whosoe­ver believeth, man or woman. Jew or Gen­tile, shall bee baptised, Mark, 16.17. with Mat. 28.19. Act, 8.12. Both men and wo­men, hearing and believing, were baptized, so that the command for circumcision and [Page 98] baptisme, doe in no case agree, the one is for males onely, the other for believers, both men and women.

3 Circumcision hath its authority in other things, as namely, 1 In the circumcision of the heart, the cutting off of sin, lust and cor­ruption, it is called in the fore-mentioned Scripture, the circumcision made without hands, Col. 2.11. see also, Rom. 2.29. Circum­cision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, this was the type of circumcision. And 2 it typed forth Christ his fulfilling the righteousnesse of the Law, to which cir­cumcision had a relation Rom. 2.25. and so of the Christians freedome by Christ, Col. 2.11. we are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ. Note, it is by the circumcision of Christ, that is, by that righteousnesse: Christ being circumcised, and so bound over to fulfill the Law, hath performed for us (namely) who believe.

4 Baptisme hath no where those titles gi­ven unto it which circumcision hath, as namely, a Covenant, Gen. 17.10. A seale to Abraham, Rom. 4.11. baptisme is no where called a seale, neither doe I read of any seale [Page 99]to the believer, but the Spirit of God, al­though it is true, this of baptisme hath (though for all that I know) groundlesly been called a seale: Yet it is true, the spirit of God in it, may convey comfort to the soules of the Saints, as in other Ordi­nances.

5 Baptisme and circumcision differ in the thing it selfe, the one being the cutting off the foreskin of the flesh, onely of the males, the other the dipping in or under water, of believers, men or women, In the name of the Father, Son; and Holy Ghost.

6 They differ in the ends, the end of cir­cumcision was, 1 To confirme to Abrahams and to his posterity, that Christ should come of that seed, therefore it was annexed unto that promise, Gen. 17. No such thing in bap­tisme, that holds forth Christ comming, Washing away the sins of believers in his bloud, Acts 22.16.

2 To type forth Christ, who being cir­cumcised, was to performe perfect obedience for all his elect, and so bring in everlasting Spirituall circumcision, that is Righteousnesse: out baptisme holds forth a conformity in the believer, to this Chrise in his suffering, in his death and but all. Rom. 6.4, 5, 6.

[Page 100] 7 Circumcision was no type of baptisme because baptisme is but a type it selfe: Now for one type to type forth another, I conceive is very absurd, for Christ was the substance of all types, and therefore of this.

8 Lastly, Circumcision was no type of bap­tisme, for they were both on foot many year together, all the time Christ preached in the world: baptisme was the substance of circum­cision, then when the substance is once, should the type have been abolished.

Object. But if it be objected that baptism came in the room of circumcision, because that circumcision was the means by which the Jews were admitted into the Church, and so is baptisme to us.

I Answer, I suppose baptisme is not come in the room of it, proved, first it is true, Baptisme is that which gives visible admit­tance after the manifestation of faith into the Church of Christ, Act. 2.41. As many as gladly received the Word, were baptized and added, but circumcision did not admit the Jews into the Church, for they were borne members of that Church, and circumcised be­cause members: note this, if circumcision gave admittance to the Iews into the Church estate, then they were no members before [Page 101]they were circumcised, and then the Iews when they came over Jordan, into the land of Canaan, were no Church of God, for there was none circumcised but Joshua and Caleb, as you may see, Ios. 5.2. where circumcision is renewed: but it was an Ordinance God required of the children of Israel meerly cere­moniall and typicall, as all the rest of the Iews ordinances were: thus you see, what a great mistake here lies in the not rightly dividing between Ordinance and Ordinance.

A third ground of mens ignorance is, in not understanding the difference between the Iews priviledges, and the priviledges of the Gospel: hence it is that men are ready to ar­gue for Gospel priviledges: O say they, it was the Iews priviledge, that their children should bee circumcised, and is the Gospel straiter? have not Christians more priviledge under the Gospel, then the Iews under the Law? is there not more liberty, grace and glory under the Gospel then under the Law? Why then should not the infants of believers be baptized, as well as Abrahams naturall seed circumcised?

Ans. It is true, there is indeed, more liber­ty, grace and glory under the Gospel then un­der the Law: but wee are to understand what the Christians priviledge is: The Iews [Page 102]Priviledges would be a christians bondege: this you say was the Iews priviledge, that their children were to be circumcised: it was such a priviledge, as bindes them over to the whole Law, Rev. 2.25. Gal. 5.3. but perhaps you will say, What advantage then had the Iews, land what profit is there in circumcisi­on? Rom. 3.1. that is, what benefit then had the Jews by circumcisions? see verse the second, much every way, chiefely be­cause that unto them were committed the Ora­cles of God, the Oracles, that is, the Ordinan­ces of God was amongst them, namely, cir­cumcision and worships, &c. wherein Christ was typed forth to those which had faith, the world being without those Ordinances wherein Christ was thus prefigued.

Quest. But what are our priviledges un­der the Gospel?

Ans. We have the substance, they had but the shadow: we have Christ indeed, as a Church of Christ: they had but the Type, we have the righteousnesse typed forth to them in circumcision: they had the Oracles of God amongst them, these were priviledges unto them, yet indeed were held under much bon­dage by those Oracles, the Law ever ready to condemne them: our priviledge is, that Christ hath set us at liberty from these priviledges. [Page 103]which would be to us indeed yoaks of bon­lage, Gal. 5.1. And he hath made the Law, A Law of liberty to the Saints, that they may rejoyce in that Law, from which they are set it liberty by Christ.

In a word, there is never a priviledge that can be mentioned that the Iew enjoyes, but would be a Christians bondage.

The Christians priviledges under the Gos­pel, they are all spirituall, and so are their Or­dinances, Phil. 3.3. We are the circumcision that worship God in the Spirit, and rejoyce in Christ Iesus, having no confidence in the flesh. So that (in a word) the Christians priviledge is, that they have received Christ the sum of all the Iews priviledges, ceremonies and sa­crifices, all is in Christ, which the Christian onely by faith enjoyes.

Tell mee, what priviledge it is for a poore infant to have a little water sprinkled upon him? will it confer grace, or will it not? will it regenerate, as you have been taught? O Ig­norance! the Lord cause it to vanish: can the Infant, if elected, make any use of this orodinance, or receive any thing held forth in it, to the eye faith? nay, he cannot: faith is re­quired in those that participate of Gospell ordinances; and indeed, men and women, or [Page 104]to be baptized, because they are regenerate not to regenerate them.

God owned the Jews under a covenant of works, and so indeed (for the most part of them) they were but a carnall people: and they had carnall, typicall ordinances, and a worldly sanctuary, Heb. 9.1, 2. but God own­ing his church under the Gospell, in a cove­nant of grace, Acts 20.28. Heb. 8.10, 11. hath given us more spirituall ordinances, and these ordinances, are always presented to the eye of faith, in those that receive it: our priviledge is that wee are freed from the covenant of works and bondage, under which the Jews were held, Gal. 5.1, 2, 3. vers. 13. and so being free from that covenant, Heb. 8.7, 8. are freed also from those carnall, and legall ordinances, from all fleshly and carnall priviledges, in the spirituall enjoyment of the substance of all, Christ Jesus, who is our light and life; our All in all.

A fourth ground of mens comming short, and not walking up according to the rules of Scripture; is, in not understanding the diffe­rence between Priest and Priest: and this may be taken notice of under a twofold conside­ration.

First, in not understanding the difference [Page 105]between the Iewish High-Priest the type, and Christ our High-Priest the substance, who hath in deed made present peace and reconci­liation for all his people. Hence it is, that ma­ny agracious soule, comes short of that peace, of that consolation, which otherwise they might enjoy, and not eying Christ their Priest and Sacrifice, they themselves are ever sa­crificing for peace, and yet no longer then they are offering sacrifice, can they have peace; and so they come short of walking up with God according to the Gospel, being filled with joy and peace through believing.

The second is, in expecting that from those, who (indeed falsly) have appropriated that title of Priest to themselves: which they are to expect from Christ, as namely, Teaching. O how have those men been, and still are to this day, set up as Christ, amongst many people, making their words their rule? as if it were not possible such learned men might erre; and I conceive it arises partly from the misunder­derstanding of that Scripture, Mal. 2.7. The Priests lips should preserve knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. Now this u­sually is applyed to the Ministers, who have given themselves the title of Priests, and that [Page 106]the people should seeke the law at their mouthes: and indeed, they themselves have done, what in them lyes, not only to bring people into this errour, this ignorance, but to keep them in it; whereas Christ is indeed the alone Priest, the substance of the lews type; And the people are to seek the Law at his mouth, for hee is the messenger of the Lord of hoasts, he is called the messenger of the cove­nant, Mal. 3.1. the alone Prophet and Tea­cher of his people.

Object. But Christ hath appointed Mini­sters to teach his people: are not the people to seek the Law at their mouthes?

Answ. 1. Not by vertue of that Scrip­ture, for Christ is the alone Priest, and there is none in that office beside him: though it is true all the Saints are Priests, and the Church a holy Priesthood.

2 Wee are to receive nothing from any man as truth but what hee brings from Christ; and therefore our duty is to try all things, and hold fast that which is good. We are men subject to errour, and it is our duty, to try the truth of what is delivered, and not receive any thing because, another sayth it; but see whether the Lord hath said it: therefore the Apostle sayth, Gal. 1.8. If I, or [Page 107]an Angell from Heaven, teach you any other dectrine, then that you have received, hold him accused: And the Noble Bereans were commended for searching the Scriptures, to try, if those things preached were truth, Acts 17.11. If the Bereuns try the truth of Pauls doctrine, by the Scriptures, who spake by di­vine inspiration from Christ, much more should you search and try the truth of things delivered; and not build your faith upon any others word, but the word of Christ, your High-Priest, who keepeth knowledge for you, and hath promised to teach you, Esay 54.13.

The fifth and last ground of mens (I meane still those that have some knowledge of God) comming short of answering the rules of the Gospel, is their ignorance, in not understand­ing the difference between covenant and co­venant.

God owned the lews as they were a body, a Church, under a covenant of works, but the church of the Gospel under a covenant of grace: It is true, the covenant God made with Abraham Gen. 17. from the first verse no the fifth, is a covenant of grace, and by vertue of that covenant he promised to be 2 God to Abrahams naturall seed, but he ne­ver [Page 108]owned Abrahams naturall seed in a cove­nant of grace, if so, then they must all of them have been saved, for the covenant of grace is sure to those that were under it, see Esay 55.3. it is called An everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David, Ier. 32.40. I will make an everlasting Covenant with them, that I will not turne away from them to doe them good, but will put my feare in them, and they shall not depart from me. But God never made such a covenant with Abrahams naturall seed, nay the truth is, that God never intended such a thing, neither to Abraham nor any man in the world, to make a covenant of grace with their naturall seed, for God himselfe sayth of the Iews, the seed of Abraham, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet but a remnant of them shall be saved, Esay 10.22, 23. with Rom. 9.27. now the covenant under which God owns his church, under the Gospel, is an everlasting covenant, Heb. 8.10, 11, 12. when God promi­seth this covenant in Ier. 31.3, 32. Behold, that day is come (sayth the Lord) That I well make a new covenant, not according to the covenant I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt, which covenant they brake, &c. [Page 109]This covenant of works it was under which God owns the children of Israel as a church, to which circumcision hath a relation, there­fore called a covenant, Gen. 17.10. binding to to this covenant, the Law, Gal. 5.3. Rom. 2.25.

Now there are two evils that usually flow from this misunderstanding of the, co­venant.

The first is this, (that seeing the cove­nants are one and the same, under which God owned the church of the Iews under the Law, and now owns the church [...] Gen­tiles under the Gospel, (which [...] is not so) the conclusion is drawn, that we must lay the foundation of Gospel churches, and Gospel Ordinances in the Law, and hence it is, that men are so hardly drawn off from their legall principles, we must have nationall Churches, we must have infants baptized, the ground a­riseth from the Law, because the Iews were a nation all church, and their males were bap­tized. O grosse legality! Is not this to deny Christ to be come in the flesh, 1 Iohn 4.3. Truly if it be not, I confesse I am yet ignorant of what God intends in that Scripture. O how hard it is, to bring learned wise men to lay the foundation of their practice in the [Page 110]Gospel? It is almost impossible, nay, I had almost sayd altogether impossible, if God doe not mightily work to perswade them, that Christ Jesus as a Son over his own house, is faithfull in all things, giving exact rules in every particular, for the well ordering and governing of his house, that is, the Church, 1 Tim. 3.15. and for the administration of every ordinance: although Moses himselfe hath sayd. Deut. 18.15. A Prophet shall the Lord thy God raise up unto thee of thy bre­thren, like unto me, him shall yee hear, If the Lord [...] you once to see that yee are not under the Law but under grace, Rom. 6.14. Then you will be contented to receive your rules from the hands of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ.

A second evill, that flows from hence is this, many a poore soul (for want of a cleer appre­hending of the differēce between the covenān, the one of works the other of grace) are held under much slavish feare and legall bondage; the poore creature lookes upon the law, the covenant from Mount Sinay, (Exod. 19. & 20. chapters.) Where is nothing, but feare and dread: and hence it is, that no longer then the creature can worke, can it have comfort; and the reason is, because it hath been ever set up­on [Page 111]working out salvation, not remembring that blessed word of truth, Heb. 12.18. to 23. For ye are not come to the mount that might not be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blacknesse and darknesse and tempest, &c. ver. 23. but unto mount Sion, &c. Believers are not come to mount Sinay, to burnings, blacknesse, and darknesse, they are not called to a cove­nant wherein is the administration of con­demnation; that is done away to believers, 2 Cor. 3.7, 11. But they are come in deed to mount Sion, to the city of the living God, to the covenant of Grace, where is mercy and par­don in its administration, Heb. 8.12. To the bloud of sprinkling which speaketh better things then that of Abel, where is nothing but cause of joy and gladnesse: joy unspeakable and full of glory, 1 Pet. 1.8. All which many a poore soule is deprived of, for want of a right under­standing, between the covenants of Law and Gospel.

Thus have I plainly (though very briefly) endevoured to lay open the grounds, or true causes why, many men and women, though otherwise godly; yet come short of walking up with God according to Scripture rules: I must leave it to the great Prophet Christ to reach your souls.

[Page 112] The second sort of people, that comes here, to be reproved, are those that pretend to be for Scripture, yet indeed, doe make the prescriptions of men their rule: that resolve, what ever the Magistrate requires or com­mands, they will do: a very sad thing! and as much to be lamented, that ever men that would be counted Christians, should set up man in the room of God, see what a dread­full curse is pronounced upon such, Jer. 17.5, 6. Thus sayth the Lord (note, it is the word of God) cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arme, whose heart departeth from the Lord: What is the curse? ver. 7. He shall be like the hearth in the desart, he shall not see good when it commeth, he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilder­nesse.

Note, The curse consists in two parti­culars.

1 He shall be barren like the hearth in the desarts: dry, empty, poore, nothing of God in him, O this is it that is the cause men grow so barren, dry, empty, because they rest upon man, they durst not entertain thoughts of go­ing farther then they conceive the Magistrate intends, ministers admire, why so many gracious people leave them, they see they are [Page 113]grown barren through their dependencie up­on men, the curse of God is come upon them, they are like the barren hearth in the wilder­nesse. Professours wonder why they are left of their companions many of them, why they are barren, empty, they cannot profit by them, and all because they trust upon men, they dare not entertain thoughts of submit­ting to Scripture farther then the Magistrate goes along with them, and therefore it is that they leave them.

A second curse is, They shall not see when good commeth, this is the reason why so ma­ny, choice lerned men see not that good which is comming that truth, that grace, that glo­ry, that God lets shine through the Gospel) into the soules of many of his people, but they oppose it and persecute it, the curse of God being upon them, blinding them because they trust upon man, and make flesh their arme, and their strong confidence, and had rather deny truth, then suffer affliction with the people of God: but blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, & whose hope is the Lord, ver. 7. He shall be fruitfull as a tree planted by the rivers of water, &c. O take heed of receiving, or (at least) of resolving to receive rules from man in matter of worship, [Page 114]without an exact tryall of it by the word of God. If ever men should again, as I trust it shall not be, but I say, if it should be so, that men should as those Mat. 15.9, teach for do­ctrines the traditions of men, yet that you would not receive those traditions for your Scripture, for in so doing you can doe no lesse then incur that curse of being made like unto a barren hearth in the wildernesse, &c.

The third thing propounded concerning Christ as he is a Prophet, is the manner how he teacheth his people now he is in heaven, and that is, 1 Ministerially, 2 Spiritually, 3 Powerfully.

1 Ministerially, by his Ministers, yet ever according to the rule, viz, the Scriptures thus Christ when he ascended to heaven, sent forth his Disciples, Mat. 28.19, 20. and pro­mised to be with them to the end of the world, and you shall ever finde Christ teaching by this means, Act. 2. Peter preaches, the Jews are converted, Chap. 5. and so the 8.12, Philip preaches the things concerning Jesus, and they believed, and in the churches Christ, hath appointed Ministers with their gifts, sed Ephes. 4.11. and all for the edifying of the body of Christ, so that this is the first means by [Page 115]which he teaches, Rom. 10.14, 17. How then shall they call on him on whom they have be­lieved? How shall they believe on him, of whom they have not heard? How shall they learn without a Preacher? ver. 17. Faith com­meth by hearing, &c. 1 Cor. 5.19, He hath put in us the word of reconciliation.

2 Christ teacheth Spiritually, The Word and the Spirit goe both together: the word is but a dead letter in it selfe, farther then the Spirit goes along with it, therefore Joh. 6.36. It is the Spirit that quickneth, the flesh profit­eth nothing, the words that I speak are Spirit and life, but if the spirit goes with the word, then the word proves Spirit and life: the Spirit worketh freely in the preaching of the Gospel, the word is but an instrument in the hand of the Spirit, by which it works, see Iohn 3.8. The winde bloweth where it listeth, so is every one that is borne of the Spirit: so it is the Spirit that worketh in the word, and by the word.

3 He teacheth powerfully, where Christ comes he teacheth powerfully, therefore the Gospel is called, The power of God unto salva­tion, Rom. 1.16. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, it is the power, of God to salvation, to every one that believes, 1 Thes. 1.3. [Page 116] For our Gospel came not to you in word onely, but in power and in much, assurance, &c. So that the Gospel, it is the power of God you see: that it is that, wherein Christ manifests his power in teaching poor ignorant, un­knowing creatures, therefore it is said, Mat. 7.29. that He taught them as one having au­thority, and not as the Scribes, that is, his Word had a commanding power and autho­rity over their spirits: beloved, if Christ once comes to teach your spirits, he will come with power, with authority, he will make a sepa­ration between thy soul and thy sins, he will pluck thee off from thy base lusts and cursed practises, as once he did Saul, Christ came with power and great authority upon him, and took him off from his persecution, and makes him a preacher of that truth which before he persecuted, and so will Christ deal with thy soule, whoever thou art that clea­vest as close to thy sins, as thy skin to thy flesh, he will fetch thee off from it, if thou be­long unto him.

The fourth particular propounded, was the matter, which Christ our Prophet teacheth.

First, he teacheth man to know himselfe, for it is life eternall to know God and Jesus [Page 117]Christ, John 17.3. and therefore you shall e­ver finde men (in Scripture) appointed by Christ for the work of the ministry, to preach the Gospel, (that is) a crucified Christ, Peter, Act. 2.36, 37. preacheth Christ crucified, brings them to know that it wa Christ indeed whom they had crucified: so Philip, Act. 8.12. preacheth the truth that concerne the Kingdom of God, and the name of Iesus: So Paul, 1 Cor. 15.3. preached that Christ dyed for sin according to the Scripture: this is the first thing to be preached, Christ and glad ty­dings by him: and therefore surely this is the first thing, that Christ effectually teacheth where he comes.

Object. Must men be taught the know­edge of Christ before they know their own misery, by reason of sin? surely no man will accept of Christ unlesse they see a need of him.

Ans. It is the sight and knowledge of Christ, that brings men truly to see, and know themselves. Saul Acts 9. thought himselfe a very holy and happy man, till he met Christ on the way: and note, Christ teaches him in the first place the knowledge of himself; Who art the Lord (sayth Saul) I am Jesus of Na­caroth (sayth Christ) whom thou persecutest. [Page 118]Christ did not tell him of his sin; O thou [...] accursed, persecuting creature, dost aske whol am? thou haddest more need know thy selfe, &c. No, no, hee discovers himselfe unto him; and this I am sure was Gods usuall dealing in the Gospel: those whom he taught, he taught them first to know Christ: and this, Christ our Prophet, must teach thee, if ever thou be taught: it is not mans wisdom that will help thee to the knowledge of Christ: See 1 Cor. 1.21. For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God; all the wis­dom in the world, cannot teach thee, to know God, it may spoyle thee, and undo thee, but not help thee, Col. 2.8. Beware lest any man spoyle you through Phylosophy, that is, through the wisdom of man: mans wisdom may; nay will (if God prevent it not) spoyle you for ever: for there is no greater enemy in the world in it self (mans corrupt nature so wor­king with it) to hinder man in the true know­ledge of Christ, then mans carnall wisdome, and learning: see Rom. 8.6. For the * wisdome of the flesh is death, so the word in the Grecke is, * [...] see 1 Cor. 1.20. Where is the wise? where is the Scribe? &c. Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? O take heed of resting [Page 119]upon humane wisdome, arts and sciences, they are dangerous things, if the Lord pre­vent it not, for a malicious devill, and a de­ceitfull heart, to deceive you withall.

Secondly, Christ teacheth these whom hee teacheth, to know themselves, and that as I have sayd, by a reflecting back upon them­selves, from beholding of Christ. They come now to see themselves cursed, lost creatnres, and believe it, every one whom Christ effe­ctually teacheth, hee teacheth them to know themselves, to be poore, lost and undonecrea­tures in themselves. Thus Christ brings those, Acts 2.37. from beholding of Christ, to be­hold themselves; and make them cry out, Men and brethren, what shall we do? &c. and so Saul, Acts 9.5, 6. after hee had seen Iesus; I am Jesus whom thou persecutest, &c. and then hee sees himselfe a poore creature, and comes trembling, and astonished, and sayd, Lord, what wouldest thou have me doe? So if our Christ come, hee will make you see your selves sinners, with a witnesse: and this thou canst never do savingly, unlesse Christ teach thee: Saul could persecute and think hee did well, till Christ meets him, and shews him his sin, but hee could never see himselfe a persecu­tor, till Christ taught him, Saul perfecutes, [Page 120]but he confesseth, he did it ignorantly, through unbelief, 1 Tim. 1.13. So there are many that out of zeal, are persecutors of Christ in his Saints; but they do it ignorantly, they are perswaded, that it is their duty, and that they doe God service in it, as Christ himselfe) foretelleth, John 16.2. (but I dare say as Saul sayd of himselfe) it is through ig­norance, out of zeale; thinking they doe God good service, that it is their duty so to doe. Did they know, that in so doing, they persecute Christ, who indeed takes every wrong done to his, as to himselfe, I dare say, they would not doe it: but it is the power of Christ that must come upon their spirits, be­fore they can see it: O men can hardly believe it; tell such a man that persecutes and impri­sons the Saints, (as did Saul) that they persecute Christ, they will not believe it; they will be ready to say, as Hazael, 2 Kings 8.13. when the Prophet Elisha tels him, what great wickednesse he should commit, vers. 12 What am I a dog? that I should do this great thing? so many men who are bitter enemies to the Saints, ready to do any mischiefe unto them, yet cannot be perfwaded, that they are the men, that persecute Christ; What I such a dog, to persecute Christ? God forbid, yet can, and will persecute the Saints. Beloved, consider of [Page 121]it; Christ takes any wrong done to them, as done to himself, Acts 9.4. Why persecutest thou Me?

3 Where Christ comes in power, he teaches men to believe: this he taught when he was upon the earth, John 6.29. This is the work of God that they believe on him whom he hath sent: and verse 47. Verily, verily, he that be­lieveth on me, hath everlasting life, Chap. 3.18 He that believeth on him, is not condemned, and verse 36. He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life, &c. And this was it hee gave in commission to his Disciples to preach, Mar. 16.16, 17. To preach the Gospell to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, and this Paul preached, Acts 16.31. Believe in the Lord Iesus, and you shall be saved &c. and this Christ doth not onely teach to the care, but to the heart also where he comes in power: this he taught his Disci­ples, Mat. 16.16. and Iohn 6.69. We believe and are sure, that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And this hee taught all that ever came to him effectually, Acts 2.41. All that gladly received the word, that is the truth held forth in the word, the glad tydings of life by Christ preached in the Gospel, and this is the work of Christ, Heb. 12.2. the gift of Christ, Ephes. 2.8.

[Page 122] Quest. What is that Gospel faith Christ teacheth to his people?

Ans. It is a believing of that record God hath given concerning his Son, with a de­pending upon him for Iustification and Life.

1 It is a believing of the report God hath given concerning his Son: that is, that he is the Son of God, Mat. 3.17. the son of man, God and man, Rom. 1.3, 4. Col. 2.9. That he is a mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace, Esay 9.6. That he came into the world to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1.15. To save them from their sins, Mat. 1.23. and from all their enemies, Luke 1.71. This is the record God hath in Scripture given, concerning his Son, and faith is required to believe it, John 5.10. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witnesse in himselfe, he that believeth not God, hath made him a lyar, because he be­lieved not the record God gave of his Son, that is, to believe that he is the Christ the Auointed sent of God, and fitted for the work to save sinners, ver. 1. with ver. 11. This is the record that God hath given to us eternall life, and this life is in his Son.

2 Faith is a dependancie upon this Christ for life, flowing from a sensible apprehending [Page 123]of all that fulnesse that is in him, John 6.68. When many Disciples went from Christ, Je­sus said to the twelve, Will yee also goe away? Simon Peter answered and said, Lord, to to whom shall we goe? thou hast the words of eternall life: we believe, and are sure, that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, marke here is the Apostles faith, We believe thou art the Christ, thou hast the words of e­ternall life, therefore, whether shall we goe but to thee? If all forsake thee yet we can­not, whether shall we goe? Here is faith, when a soule believes indeed Jesus to be the Christ, the Sonne of the living God, and there leaves it selfe, sees no way or means else in the world of help, but sticks close to the Lord Jesus in a way of dependancie: and this none can doe, but by the power of God, see Mat. 16.17. Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou Simon, flesh and bloud hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven, and none can call Iesus the Lord but by the Holy Spirit, &c. 1 Cor. 12.3.

Now the fruit of this faith is Obedience, where ever Christ works this faith, it produ­ceth obedience, Rom. 1.5. By whem we have received Grace and Apostleship, to the obedi­ence of faith, so is the word in the Greeke. [Page 124]Faith is a working grace, it is not idle where it is, it worketh by love, Gal. 5.6. Circumci­sion availeth not, nor uncircumcision but faith which worketh by love, Christ is ever teaching a believer, and hee receives this teaching, by faith which worketh by love, and constraineth the soule in whom it is, to submit unto the teachings of Christ, which still is according to Scripture, as you have heard.

Quest. What doth Christ teach a believer after he hath given him faith?

Ans. Christ teacheth many things to his Disciples which they receive by faith, and they may be called (in some sort) the fruits of faith, because by faith we receive them, and submit unto them, but they are indeed the fruits of the spirit, which Christ our Prophet giveth to his people, Gal. 5.27. but I shall confine my selfe in the discovery of the teachings of Christ to the Saints under three heads: The first is Selfe denyall, 2 Universall obedience, 3 To live by faith.

The first is, self-denyall, and this Christ teacheth in the first place where he comes, (I mean) to a believer, for self-denyall is a fruit of faith: how can a man deny himselfe till hee sees somthing out of himselfe wor­thy [Page 125]thy of his love? See Christ teaching this les­son Luk. 9.23. If any man will be my Disci­ple, let him deny himself, and take up the crosse and follow me. Christ teacheth his Disciples to deny whatsoever is of flesh, in the creature: Now there are ten things in selfe, which Christ teacheth his in some measure to deny, and to lay all down at his feet.

There is, 1 Selfe sinfull. 2 Selfe righ­teous. 3 Selfe wisdome. 4 Selfe glorying, and boasting. 5 Selfe profit. 6 Selfe pleasure. 7 Selfe love. 8 Selfe will. 9 Selfe strength & Selfe sufficiencie. 10 Selfe ends.

First, Self sinfull, or sinfull self: now it is true, that it is in it self all very sinfull: whatsoever is of self, is sinfull. But for the more cleer opening of this grace of self-deny-all, I branch it forth under these heads, the first is Sinfull self, where Christ is, hee tea­cheth men thus to deny themselves: they can­not sin willingly, see 1 John 3.9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin, for his seed remayneth in him, and he cannot sin, that is, he cannot sin with a mind to sin: he denies his sin, he loves not his sin, therefore he is able to say, It is no more I, that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me, as the Apostle, Rom. 7.17. and [Page 126]therefore he is ever at enmity with his sin, and lusts; the grace of God teaching him to de­ny them: Titus 2.11, 12. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men, hath appea­red, teaching us, that denying ungodlines, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, and righ­teously, and godly, in this present world. The grace of God manifested in the Gospell, tea­cheth men that rightly receive it, to deny themselves, to deny all ungodlines, and world­ly lusts: believe it, this is the grace of the Gospel, it is not as some pretend, a Gospell of liberty, to sin, but such grace as teacheth men to deny sin, who-ever he be that takes liber­ty in sin, under a pretence of grace, certainly, it is not that grace that brings salvation, that teacheth men to deny ungodlinesse and sinfull lusts, that teacheth them to live soberly in re­spect of themselves, righteously towards men, and godlily towards God.

This is the effect of the grace of the Gospels Saul a persecutor, shall be so no more, Za­cheus an oppressor shall be so no more: it makes a separation between a man and his lusts, and between man and his sinfull cour­ses, as Job. 40.4, 5. Behold I am vile, and what shall I answer the? I will lay my hands upon my mouth, once have I spoken, but I will [Page 127]not answer, yea twice, but I will proceed no farther. So when once the grace of the Gos­pel comes, then it makes a man lay down all sin and lust, whatever it be, as Saul, Acts 9.4, 5. once have I spoken, but I will proceed no farther, perhaps once I have been a perse­cutor; yea twice, but I will proceed no fur­ther: once I have been light, vain, prodigall, walked unbeseeming the Gospel of Christ, yea twice, but I will proceed no further: this grace teacheth men to deny ungodlinesse.

2 There is righteous selfe, that is in selfe apprehension, though it is true, none can doe good, and the best actions out of Christ are but filthinesse, yet such a disposition there is in nature, that is ever apt to have high thoughts of it selíe, they that know any thing know it.

But when Christ commeth, he teacheth men to deny it, to cast off all their own righ­teousnesse as filthinesse: see Paul, who was (indeed) full of selfe righteousnesse before his conversion (as himselfe confesseth) Phil. 3.5, 6. He was circumeised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the Tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, and touching the Law a Pharisie, concerning zeale persecuting the Church, touching the righteousnesse which [Page 128]is in the Law blamelesse, here was a righte­ous soule, who would think now this man should have any need of a Christ? but fol­low him a little, and see the change, all this must bee denyed, cast off and rejected, as a thing of naught, as filthy polluted things, see ver. 7, 8, 9. But what things were gain to mee, those I counted losse for Christ, that is, those things that I once esteemed gain, all that confidence that I had in the flesh, I see they were all nothing, I was content to lose them all for Christ, Yea doubtlesse, and I account all things but losse for the excellencie of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the losse of all things (that is, all that was mine own) and doe count them dung that I may win Christ. Beloved, here is selfe-denyall in a wonderfull measure, to account all your own righteousnesse but as dung or filthinesse, that you may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousnesse which is of the Law (the Apo­stle exclaims that, casts it away) but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righ­teousnesse which is of God by faith: here is a denying of righteous selfe, a rejecting of all his own righteousnesse as nothing nay, as very filthinesse, and believe it, where Christ [Page 129]comes in some measure, he teacheth this les­son. I confesse, this is a very hard lesson, flesh and bloud cannot attain it: herein lies the great mystery of the Gospel, which ap­pears to flesh and bloud to be the greatest folly: for a man to deny himselfe, his du­tles, prayers, best actions, cast them down at the feet of Christ, as dung and drosse. O it is a hard lesson, yet such a lesson as the Saints must learn, yea, and doe learn it, in some measure from Christ: See Mat. 25.37. The righteous shall say, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink. Note it, the Saints dis-own all that ever they have done, they take no no­tice of it, they doe not remember it. It was not that whereon they built their consolation: they looked to the righteousnesse of Christ and there they lay their salvation: And note again, Christ remembers the good works of the Saints, when they doe not remember it themselves. O it is a sweet thing to be a­bove these things, then Christ will remem­ber them: but when men live upon these things, and come to remember duties as a ground of comfort, then Christ will not re­member them, see Mat. 22.23. Christ will professe, I never knew you. Now the want [Page 130]of this grace in this particular, it occasions two evils, the first and best of them is, and that even to the Saints, it deprives them of much comfort and spirituall peace: the poore soule looking upon its duties, seeing the weaknesse, the imperfection of them, hee is troubled and complains, and doubts and questions its condition, and all for want of selfe denyall, that is not looking for any thing in those duties. I dare say that the Saints duties kils them in their own apprehensions more then any other of their sins: but if the Lord help you to deny your selves, that is, not to expect any thing in duty, but lay it down at the feet of Christ, and to live upon Christ your All in all, you shall finde abun­dance of influence of grace, and new mani­festations of love, and in your duties you shall have more fellowship and communion with God, then ever: it is your expectation of com­fort in your own righteousnesse that deprives you of it: and just it is that it should be so, nay, it is a mercie that it is so, for if God should give thee thy desire in duties, thou wouldest then live upon them, and undoe thy selfe for ever.

The second evill that flows from hence is, that men doe indeed destroy themselves by [Page 131]this means: that is, it is an instrumentall means by which they destroy themselves, as all men are destroyed by some means, and that is sin: and by this sinne, selfe righteous, men destroy themselves: men living and dy­ing, trusting upon their duties destroy them­selves: and this is that which makes men spiritually proud, lifts up men when they have least cause, when they live upon their own righteousnesse: But Christ teacheth his to deny themselves.

3 There is selfe wisdom in every man and woman naturally, and this Christ teacheth his to deny all, men are naturally too wise for Christ, so were the Grecians, 1 Cor. 1.22. The Greeks seeke after wisdome, There is a great deale of carnall earthly wisdome, that naturally dwels in men, and this wisdome is enmity against God, and Gods wisdome ap­pears foolishnesse unto it, see what the Apo­stle sayth, 1 Cor. 3.18. If any man among you seemeth to be wise, let him become a fool that he may be wise, for the wisdome of the world is faolishnesse with God. Here is an exhortation for a Church to take heed of selfe-wisdome: you and I have need to learn this wisdome, the Lord help us in it, to see our selves fools: see who is the right foole, Prov. 28.26. Who [Page 132]so trusteth in his own heart is a fool. The readi­est way to attain wisdome, is to lay all our own wisdom down at the feet of Christ: the Apostle Paul had boundance of humane wis­dome and learning, yet he abases himselfe, he accounts all, not onely his righteousnesse, but wisdome also, but dung and drosse, all losse in comparison of the excellencie af the know­ledge of Christ Jesus. This is true wisdom in­deed, truly to know God in Christ: this is that wisdome which is from above, that brings life eternall with it, John 17.3. I be­seech you consider of it, hath Christ taught your souls this lesson? is your wisdome hea­ven-borne wisdome? or is it earthly? is it your own wisdome? I am. 3.13, 14 15. Who is a wise man, and indued with knowledge amongst you? let him shew out of a good con­versation his works with meeknesse of wisdom, but if yee have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glorie not, ly not against the truth, this wisdome descendeth from above, but see ver. 19. The wisdome that is from above, it is first pure, peaceable, gentle, easie to be intrea­ted, full of-mercie and good fruits: it is all heavenly, like him whose it is: but mans wisdome is all earthly, sinfull, and devilish: which Chist teacheth his in some measure to deny.

[Page 133] 4 There is naturally in every man. selfe boasting. and selfe glorying in the creatures own wisdome, and apprehended selfe excel­lencie: but where Christ teaches, he gives power against this cursed fruit of the flesh, in some measure there is a disposition of nature even in the Saints, to be exalted, and that a­bove measure, not onely in their own perso­nall excellencie, but in those graces received from Christ. The Apostle Paul was sensible of both, in 1 Cor. 9.27. where the Apostle sayth, he beats down his body, &c. There was a lifting up & the Apostle was sensible of it: he found that in him that which was enough (had not God let him see it, & helped him in it, as he apprehended, notwithstanding his preaching to others) to make him a cast away, so also, a Cor. 12.7. Least I should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of re­velations, the Lord sent me a prick in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me: that was to pull him down, that he might not be ex­alted in himselfe: there is in every childe of God a naturall disposition to spirituall pride, he that knows any thing knows it: The Lord teach you and I to search our own hearts in this particular, and give us power against it, see 2 Cor. 6.1. Having such promi­ses, [Page 134]let us cleanse our selves from all filthinesse of flesh and spirit, &c. This is the filthinesse of spirit that the Saints are lyable unto: truly we have little cause to glory in any thing, ex­cept in Christ Jesus: What hast thou (sayth the Apostle) that thou hast not received? and if thou hast received it, why dost thou yet boast? 1 Cor. 4.7. therefore (the Prophet sayth) Let not the wise man glory in his wisdome, nor the strong man in his strength, but let him that gloryeth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth the Lord.

It is the exhortation of Christ to his Disci­ples, Luk. 10.20. Rejoyce not that the Devils are made subject to you, but rejoyce rather that your nanaes are written in heaven: and this lesson, the Apostle Paul learned, and every Christian in some measure must learn, Gal. 6.14. God forbid that I should glory in any thing, save in the crosse of our Lord Iesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

5 There is selfe profit, which every man naturally is apt to looke after. O how hard is it for a poore creature to deny himselfe? How hard is it for a rich man (sayth Christ) to enter into the Kingdom of heaven? The world is a common baite, wherewith the [Page 135]Devill inticeth man to sin, as Iudas, Ananias and Saphyra Act. 5. Nay, Christ lumselfe is set upon with this temptation, Mat. 4. O this profit, the love of money, is the root of all evill.

But where Christ comes teaching effectu­ally, he teacheth the soule to deny it selfe, to look upon the world as a very empty thing: he gives power to overcome the world, Who­soever is borne of God over commeth the world, and this is the victory that over commeth the world, even our faith 1 Ioh. 5.4. Now the soule sees that it is his duty, not to looke onely on his own things, but every one on the things of a­nother, Phil. 2.4. Now hee hath learned to sympathize with the body, & every member, he looks not upon himselfe at a distance from the meanest member, making himselfe equall to them of the lower sort.

6 There is self. pleasure also, and this of two sorts.

1 In delighting in pleasures, of these the Apostle speaks of, 2 Tim. 3.4. They shall be lovers of pleasure, more then lovers of God: Beloved, it is much unbeseeming Christians to be lovers of pleasure, see 1 Tim. 5.6. But shee that liveth in pleasure, or shee that liveth delicately, is dead while shee liveth. Now be­loved, [Page 136]Christ takes off his people from these pleasures, by presenting better pleasures to them, he makes them drinke of the river of his pleasures, Psalme 36.8. so that the Saints are not without pleasures spirituall, and that abundantly and eternally, Psal. 16.11. At his right hand are pleasures for ever more: But God takes off his from those earthly, carnall pleasnres, which is indeed dangerous and destructive, Prov. 21.17. Hee that loveth pleasure, shall be a poore man: it is true spiritually as well as temporally: carnall carthly pleasures and profits, are two great enemies to the power and being of god. linesse, Luk. 8.14. cares, and riches, and pleasures is that which choaketh the Word, that men bring forth no fruite to perfe­ction.

A second sort of Self-pleasure is, when men resolve to please themselves O sad word! that men should have such a disposition to please themselves: but where Christ teacheth, hee teacheth men in this case to deny them­selves.

Now this may be considered under a two­fold relation eyther to God or our brethren.

1 To God, where Christ teacheth effectual­ly, there the soule will rather deny it selfe then [Page 137]God. It will rather please God then it selfe: Christ, who is the Saints pattern, did, always so walk as to please God. John 8.29. For I do always those things that please him, to wit, the Father. Now Christ as hee was man in our flesh, pleasing the Father alwayes in all things, and so was our pattern; so he teacheth his the same lesson. This is a Maxime in Re­ligion, That whosoever chuseth to please him­self, rather then God, Christ hath not taught him. 1 Thes. 4.1. We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Iesus, that, as ye have received of us, how yeought to walk and please God, so ye would abound more and more. As if the Apostle had sayd, that which ye have received of us is, that ye ought to walke ac­cording to the example of Christ, to please God. This is the doctrine, that wee have taught you, we beseech and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, That ye abound more and more in this grace. This is an excellent choice grace, to please the Lord: ever to have that in thine eye to please God, though thou displease thy selfe, that is, thy fleshly carnall selfe, Col. 1.10. O this is a soule taught indeed by the spirit of God, when he prefers the pleasing of the Lord before himself, or carnall friends, or any thing: see Prov. 16.7. When a man ways please the [Page 138]Lord, hee maketh, even his enemies to be at peace with him: when a man seeks to please God, in walking answerable to the rule of God, though hee displease his enemies, God will make those enemies to be at peace with him.

1 This being rightly learned, is that which would carry you along through all op­positions in a way of truth: perhaps some­things, yea, some truths, may seeme hard to a poore creature to be submitted unto; per­haps the poore creature resolving with flesh and bloud, which will have its bouts even in the Saints, Rom. 7.21. may be ready to con­clude sometimes, if I submit to this way, to this truth, I must expect reproach, persecution, perhaps losse of liberty, estate, yea, life and all: now it would wonderfully please carnall reason to deny such a truth, to hide and con­ceal such a truth in unrighteousness: but when a soule comes to this; it is my duty to please God; therefore hath Christ required it: will it please the Lord Jesus? O then I dare not but doe it: come what will, I cannot but doe it, truly you who indeed love the Lord Jesus, that Love will constrain you to please him, al­though you displease your selves.

But secondly, those who are taught of God [Page 139]will rather displease themselves, then displease their brethren, the Saints. This is a neces­sary lesson, a gracious soule will displease him­self rather then the Saints: this is a lesson, that both you and I, have need to learn; and I doubt wee come shott in our practice of it. I speak not eyther to blame or shame any of you, I have more against my selfe in this par­ticular then against you all: but I speake to informe, to forewarn both my self, and you in this particular: but to prevent any mistake or misunderstanding of what I shall speake concerning this thing, I desire, before I pro­ceed, to let you to know, that I do not intend that you should be men-pleasers, that is, that ye should so please one the other, as to suffer any sin in each other, without reproofe, or admonition in love; therein you come to hate one the other. Neyther be ye externally in shew only such, for the Apostle reproves such, speaking of the duty of servants, Ephes. 6.6. Not with eye service as men-pleasers: but so pleasing the Saints, as in that you please God, 2 Thes. 2.4. So speake we as not pleasing men, but God. See Gal. 1.10.

But to proceed, it is the duty of the Saints so far to please their brethren, as to deny themselves, as the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 10.33 [Page 140] Even as I please all men in all things; not see­king mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved: the Apostle seeks to please all men, that hee might winne some to the Gospell, which is every Saints duty: much more then to please the Saints in love, rather then in every thing to seek to please our selves. It is this Self pleasure that is the cause of so much division amongst the Saints. How hard a thing is it for one Saint to stoop to the weaknesse of another? love would cause us to stoop to each other, and to performe every service of love each to other, Rom. 15.2. Let every one of us please his neighbour, for his good to edification: And why? vers. 3. For Christ pleased not himself, &c. If your hearts and my heart, was not so moulded into this forme of doctrine, as that you could count it your joy to please you brethren, that you could choose rather to please a Saint, then to please your selves, and so every one to have this heart of love toward each other; what comforta­ble life of love in the Lord might the Saints live? Whereas one the contrary, when every one stands off to please himself, men run an end, to have their own minds: what whispe­rings? what bitternesse, will arise even in the Saints? nay, how doe they come sometimes [Page 141]even to byte and devoure one the other, as the Apostle speaks?

But my beloved, I hope better things of you: I speake not to condemne, but to fore­warne, both my selfe and you of this great evill, which too much creeps in among the Saints: and to let you see a glimpse of the amiablenesse of that grace of love, which is so usefull amongst the Saints.

7 There is Self love naturally in every man: so the Apostle fore-tels, 2 Tim. 3.2. Men shall be lovers of their own selves and that Professours too, and that in the last dayes. See Verse 1. Now Christ who is the Saints Prophet, and Teacher, hee teacheth them to deny this selfe love: (not that a man may not, love himselfe, love his soule, love to enjoy good. Prov. 19.8. He that getteth wis­dome loveth his own soule: So likewise, 1 Pet. 3.10. but that he should not love himselfe and himselfe onely, this is sinfull love, Christ Jesus never taught this love; but a man may to love himselfe, as that he love his brethren also; nay, he may so love himselfe, as that he love his brethren as himselfe, Rom. 13.9. Thou shalt love thy neighbour (to wit, thy brother) as thy selfe: This is the love Christ teacheth where he comes, and he doth not [Page 142]onely teach it in word, but in example also; be may be said so far to deny himselfe, as not to love himselfe, in comparison of that love manifested to us; he loved us better then he loved himselfe; our life better then his own life; for he gave his own life freely, to pur­chase life for our souls: here was great love, John 15.13. Greater love then this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends, and we ought to be followers of Christ in this grace of love, Ephes. 5.1, 2. Be yee followers of God, as dear children, and walke in love, even as Christ hath loved you, and given himselfe for you.

8 There is selfe will also, and this Christ teacheth the Saints to deny, and to submit unto the will of God: this Christ our pat­tern hath given us an example, who came not to doe his own will, but the will of him that sent him: It is my meat and drinke to doe the will of my Father, Iohn 4.34. In his prayer before his suffering, Mat. 26.39. Not as I will, but as thou wilt.

O blessed example, to be imitated of all the Saints! What? Jesus Christ deny himselfe, his own will, and shall not the Saints doe it, his Disciples and followers? But Christ hath not onely given us his example, as our [Page 143]pattern, but he hath exhorted us thereunto al­so, Mat. 7.21. Not he that sayth Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdome of heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father, &c. Ephes, 6.6. the Apostle exhorting servants to be obe­dient to their masters, sayes, not with eye ser­vice as men pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God. This selfe will is a cause of much stirre and division in the world, I had almost sayd amongst the Saints.

What is the cause of this warre and bloud but self will? I mean next under God, one will establish one Religion, an­other will establish another Religion: one will establish Episcopall, another will establish Presbyterian Government; or else the Kingdome must rue it: being stirred up thereunto on both sides by the Clergie, and is likely to bring ruine upon the Kingdome, if God prevent it not; in teaching those whom it concerns, that they have nothing to doe in either side, to compell men to any Religion: that it is the will of men, and never the will of Christ, to give his Kingdome and Do­minion [Page 144]minion to the will of men, to the will of the Magistrate.

This self will is that causeth stirs and trou­bles in families, the husband will have his mind, and the wife will have her minde: this causeth stirs in Churches amongst the Saints, when every one will have his own mind: his own way, will please himself, whoever be dis­pleased. O how sweetly might the Saints live if the Lord teach them to deny themselves?

9 Christ teacheth to deny Self sufficiencie, and selfe strength: there is a naturall disposi­tion in the creature to think that it hath pow­er in it selfe, to act to wards God: and those that hold freewill, make it a part of their faith, that although in word, they seem to de­ny freewill, yet indeed they hold it; and that the creature acts of his owne strength, and may fall from grace, or may stand if he will: but where Christ comes in power, he teaches men to deny this principle, John 15.5. With­out me you can do nothing, and the Apostle, that had experience of the workings of God, consesseth it, 1 Cor. 15.10. I laboured more then they all, yet not I, but the grace of God in me, and Phil. 2, 13. It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

[Page 145] 10 And lastly, there are self ends also: and these Christ teacheth his to deny. There is a naturall disposition in the creature to seeke himselfe and his own ends in every thing. Phil. 2.21. For all seeke their own, and not the things that are Jesus Christs, therefore the Apostle exhorts the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 10.24. Let no man seeke his own, but seeke yee one anothers wealth: Christ teacheth his in some measure to lay downe all self ends at his feet, and to seeke him and his honour, so that now what ever the Christian doth, it is for Christ, if he preach it is Christ, and for Christ, 2 Cor. 4.5. We preach not our felves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and our selves your servants for Je­sus sake: All that ever the Saints doe, they doe for the honour of Christ, 2 Thes. 1.11. and why? they are not their own, they are bought with a price, therefore they are to glorifie God in their bodies and spirits, 1 Cor. 6.19, 20.

Quest. May not a Christian seeke him­selfe in any case? may he not seeke his own good?

Ans. Is without question a man may seeke his own good, but he may not seeke himselfe. 1 He may not seeke himselfe a­lone, but first, the glory of God, and in [Page 146]seeking to glorifie God, he must of necessity seeke his own good, for God hath so con­joyn'd his glory, and the Saints good toge­ther, that it is impossible to glorifie the Lord, but the good of the Christian must be inclu­ded in it, for this is the Saints rule, doe all to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10.31. this is the Saints priviledge All shall work together for good, to them that love God, Rom. 8.28.

There are many base and selfe ends, that professors may have in their actions, as those John 6. that followed Christ for the loaves, more then for love to him: so it is possible that men may follow Christ for outward and by-ends, although I confesse I see but little ground, why men shall now turn Christians for the world, for they are like to enjoy least of it, as the Scribe that came to Christ, and would follow him whither soever he went, he thought to gain somthing by Christ, Mat. 8.20. but Christ tels him, that he was not like to gain what he expected: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Sonne of man hath not where to rest his head: and therefore he had no house of preferment for him. It was a good resolution of the Scribe, had his end been as good to follow Christ whither soever he went: this [Page 147]is the noble resolution indeed of every one that rightly comes to Christ, to follow him, whither ever he leads him: they follow him through good report, and bad report, through any tribulation, to the Kingdome of hea­ven.

But those that come to Christ in expectati­on to gain the world, they are likely (for all that I know) to misse of their ends.

Some come that they may get heaven, and so they pray, preach, doe all to get heaven by it, but they are like to misse of their end. Mat. 7.22. Luke 13.26.

Some professe that they may be counted Christians amongst others, as the Scribes and Pharisees, they did what they did to be seen of men, Mat. 23.5.

But these are not the Saints ends in their duties, they seeke Jesus of Natereth, a cru­cified Christ, and his glory, and therein they glory and rejoyce, Gal. 6.14.

Thus you see when Christ teacheth effectu­ally, he teacheth men to deny themselves, and sindeed there is good reason for it, that it should be so.

1 There is great reason that man should deny his own righteousnesse, or else he is like never to partake of Christs righteousnesse: [Page 148]Christ will be the alone justifier, or elsone justifier, he will be all or none at all, Gal. 2.16, 21. Col. 3.11. Therefore the Apostle Paul who once had as much selfe-righteousnesse as another man, he thought himselfe once a­live, but when Christ came, he taught him to lay down all that was his own at the feet of Christ, and to suffer the losse of all things, that seemed gain to him before, that he might win Christ, Phil. 3.8.

2 There is a necessity for Christians to deny sinful-selfe: And that.

1 As they stand in relation to Christ, who is their justification, for is it the naturall pro­perty of grace to subdue sin, to purge forth iniquity, Christ dwels in every justified be­lieving soul, and where Christ dwels, there cannot be a love unto, and a delight in sinne, 1 John 3.9. Whosoever is borne of God, doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin because he is borne of God, he doth not sin, because his seed remaineth in him, that is, the spirit of grace and of Christ remaineth in him, that now he cannot sinne, because borne of God: that is, as he is a man born of grace, he cannot sin, he cannot sinwith a minde to sin, with a delight in sin, therefore the Apostle Paul sayth, Tit. 2.11, 12. The [Page 149]grace of God that brings salvation, teacheth men to deny ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, and righteously, and godly, in this present evill world: it is the proper­ty of grace, to teach men to deny ungod­linesse.

2 There is great reason why it should be thus: and that,

1 With relation to the great contrariety that is between Christ and sin, Christ and Sa­tan, for all sin is of the devil. 1 John 3.8. Hee that committeth sin is of the devill, Christ and Satan, Christ and sin, which is Satans work, are one of the effects of his work, are open adversaries each to other, and sin and Satan are absolute rebels against Christ, so that they cannot possible dwell together in one and the same soule: that is the reason, Christ in the Saints is ever weakning and subduing sin and Satan, he ever teacheth the Saints to deny sin, it being so contrary to his holy and pure nature, they being made partakers of the same divine nature, 2 Tim. 1.4. their spirits are ever carryed forth against sin.

2 The Saints cannot but deny sin as they stand related to Christ, in relation to his glo­ry, Christ is holy, and he will have a holy people, that may be for his praise and honour, [Page 150]1 Pet. 2.9. But yee are a chosen generation, a royall priesthood, a holy Nation, a peculiar people, why? That yee should shew forth the praises of him, who hath called you out of dark­nesse into his marvelous light. Christ hath made you and I holy, that so we might shew forth his praise, that is, that so we might give occasion to praise God.

Are not the eyes of the world upon the Saints, expecting much from them? although it is true, they doe not, nay, they cannot love holinesse, yet they expect the Saints to be holy, and to deny sin: are they not ready to watch opportunities to scandall Saints and truth withall, and would it not be a very sad and grievous thing, if those that professe themselves to be for Christ, should give just cause of offence? would it not be very dis­honourable to the name of the Gospel and profession of Christ,? therefore Christ teaches men and women where he comes to deny ungodlinesse and sin, and to live soberly, righ­teously, and godly in this world. It is his exhortation, Mat. 5.16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorifie your Father which is in heaven: Let your light shine before the men of the world, that they may have no cause to [Page 151]speak evill, but rather cause to glorisie God: Let your light so shine before the Saints that they may rejoyce and glorifie God. A close walking with God is that which gives great cause of joy and rejoycing in each other, and an occasion of praysing God, one for another: so the Apostle, Rom. 1.8. I thank God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of through all the world: How was their faith spoken of? it was the fruit of their faith, their obedience in walking up with God, answerable to that faith they pro­fessed, for by our works we manifest our faith: so likewise, Phil. 1.3, 5. the Apostle thanks God for their constant fellowship in the Gospel, from their first submitting to it: This is a cause of joy. But on the con­trary, for such as beare the name of Christi­ans, to live in, and delight in sin, to be vain, and carnall, and earthly, this is a cause of sorrow and weeping, amongst Saints. Phil. 3.18. For many walke, of whom I told you before, and now tell you weeping, they are enemies to the crosse of Christ, they cause the crosse of Christ, and the way of Christ to bee evill spoken of, a cause of sadnesse indeed to the Saints.

3 Reason, Why Christ teacheth his to [Page 152]deny self wisdome, self love, self will, and all of self, is, because they are to take up their crosse and to follow Christ: that is, they must expect reproaches, afflictions, tribulations for the name and sake of Christ. John 16.33. In the world you shall have tribulations. Now what wise man in the world, can or will suffer reproch, the losse of the world, and the worlds reputation, the losse of friends, liber­ty, ease, it may be of life it selfe, in a word, all that is neer and deer to the carnall man? what man but a foole (thinks the wise men of the world) is there, that will lose all on such light terms, as the gaining of a crucified Christ.

A man not taught of Jesus, as the truth is in Jesus, can never suffer with comfort and joy: these things the Saints are like to suffer for the name of Iesus. Self wisdom, and self love, will come in: O sayth wise selse, when it eyes that persecution, those hardships, that are like to follow those that follow Christ; May I not passe by such atruth, and such a practice, and it be a Christian, and get to heaven? what need I to adventure my selfe upon such hardships, when perhaps for the neglecting of such, or such an opinion or practice, I may attain my liberty, my good reputation? Is it not a sad thing, that men professing Christ, should thus consult with [Page 153]flesh and bloud? the Apostle Paul did not so, when hee was converted to the faith of Iesus, hee consulted not with flesh and bloud. Gal. 1.16. It is self wisdom, and self love, that sets men to consulting with flesh and bloud: but flesh and bloud cannot inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 15.50. That is a man not taught of Christ, not made partaker of his divine nature, and grace, bearing only the image of the earthly Adam, cannot enter into the Kingdome of Heaven.

When a man shall come to submit to Go­spell Ordinances which are contemptible in the eyes of the world, for which hee is like to suffer shame and disgrace, here is need of self deniall. O sayth the self denying Christian, Let mee submit to Christ, to every truth; to every ordinance, although I suffer losse in the world, reproch, and shame from my friends, and acquaintance; though I loose the love of my best friends; whether father, mo­ther, husband, wife, &c. yet sayth the self de­nying Christian, Christ hath sayd, that who so loveth father, mother, wife, or children, more then me, is not worthy of me: and the love that CHRIST hath shed abroad in my heart by his Spirit, Rom. 5.5. constraineth me to deny my selfe, and follow Christ in all [Page 154]conditions. 2 Cor. 5.14. Thus you see the self. denying soul, and none else, is meet to be a Di­seiple, a follower of Christ: hee is ready to take up the crosse daily and to follow him.

4 Christ teacheth his to deny self sufficien­cy, and self strength, that so they may be able to hold out in the evill day, when a day of adversity comes, when a man is put to it, ey­ther by his spiritual or temporal enemy, Bles­sed are they then, that trust in the Lord, Psal. 2.12. Men standing upon their own strength are gone. Esay 40.30. The youth shall faint, and be we ary, the young men shall utterly fail: that is, those that apprehend a power in them­selves to stand, but Verse 31. They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. If men stand upon their own strength, they are like to fall: Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. But they that see an insufficiency in themselves, and trust upon the name of the Lord, shall be as mount Sion that shall never be moved, Psal. 125.1. but abideth for ever. Christ would have his work, to be a perfect and fair work: his covenant a sure covenant, Esay 55.3. Therefore hee un­dertakes, not only to bring men and women [Page 155]intocovenant, but to keep them there, Ier. 32.40. I will not turn from them, they shall not de­part from me, sayth the Lord. But if Christ had left the power of standing to man, hee might have been as likely to fall away as A­dam, nay, and more likely, for there is a body of sin left still in the Saints, matter for the Deuill to work upon; but Adam was with­out sin, therefore there is no possibility for that man to stand, that stands upon his owne strength. But it is in the strength of Christ the believer stands; without me ye can do no­thing, Iohn 15.5. You cannot pray, or per­form any duty acceptably, Rom. 8.26. much lesse stand and hold out to the end against all spirituall oppositions, a Christian is to en­counter withall.

The fifth and last reason why Christ teach­eth this grace of self denyall to the Saints is, that so they might live in love and peace one with another. If every Saint should seeke to please himself. and love himselfe, and to have his own will in every thing; how is it possi­ble love and peace should be continued a­mongst the Saints, if there should not be a bearing with, and forbearing one with ano­ther, if the strong should not beare the infir­mities of the weak, and not please themselves? [Page 156]but God hath so tempered the body together, that they should all seek the good of each other in love: that there should be no Schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one of another, as of themselves, 1 Cor. 12.25. that every one might secke, not their own, but one anothers good. That they might all grow up together a compleat body, a holy temple in the Lord.

Use. 1 A word of examination and tryall, hath Christ bin thy Prophet? hath he taught thee this lesson of self denyall? this is a very needfull use, not only for carnall men, but for Saints: it was the exhortation of the Apostle, 2 Cor. 13.5. Examine your selves, prove your selves, know you not, Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates. Christ is in every Saint; and if there, what doth he there? Surely hee is not there for nought, he will be ever teach­ing the soul, hee will be there as they Prophet, shewing thee the way thou shalt walk in.

Consider a little now, I beseech thee, hath Christ taught thee to deny thy owne righte­ousnesse? canst look upon it all as filthinesse? or else art thou stuffed and filled with thine own righteousnesse, lifted up as high as the heavens in thine own conceit? like the proud Pharisee, I thank God I am not as bad as other [Page 157]men. I pray and performe duty, I have a good heart, and as good a mind to God as any man. If this be thy condition, the Lord Iesus hath never been thy Prophet: thou art yet in the gall of bitternesse, and bond of iniquity: Thousayst thou art rich, and wantest nothing, when the truth is (if the Lord open thine eyes to see it) thou art poore and miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked.

Hath Christ taught thee to deny vngodlines and sin? or else canst thou take pleasure in un­righteousnesse? I dare say it, that some there are in the world, that have high thoughts of of themselves, yet indeed, make a mocke of sin, take pleasure in unrighteousnesse: if this be thy condition, the Lord Christ hath never taught thy soule, 2 Pet. 1.9. Christ teacheth to be holy, and humble; hee gives power a­gainst sin, and Iust, 1 Cor. 6.9.10, 11. Consider you, who have been taught of God, hath hee taught your souls this lesson, to deny your owne wisdome, will, end, strength, and all? to lay down all as nothing, at the feet of Je­sus? The Lord help you and I a little now to examine our selves how much of self yet re­mayns, self wisdome, self glorying and boast­ing, self love, self ends: O how doth the Devill crowd in these things into the soules of the [Page 158]Saints, the Lord help you and I to see it, and give us power against it? certainly if it be with your souls, as it is with mee, you have some experience of these things: hardly can you performe any duty, but self will present it selfe to your view in one shape or another. Now where Christ teaches he ever sets the soule a work against those sins, and causes the soule ever to have high thoughts of it selfe, and to have high thoughts of God, and of the Saints, esteeming every one better then himselfe.

2 Wherein you finde you come short in this duty, selfe denyall, looke up to the Lord for help and assistance, it is the Lord that teacheth, to profit: therefore if you want any thing, the exhortation of James is, Aske of God who giveth to all men liber ally & upbray­deth none, Jam. 1.5. For every good gift comes down from God, ver. 17. Therefore have re­course to heaven, make known thy condition to the Lord Jesus, this thou maist doe, thou oughtest to doe it, thou must goe to God and tell him what thou wantest, what grace thy soule needs, tell him thou hast a poore-selfe­seekeing-heart that will not stoppe farther then he bends it, and bows it, looke to him and he will help thee, come unto him and [Page 159]he will ease thee, and give thee thy hearts desire.

Note this one word where God hath be­gun this work in any measure, though you find much of self, and it is thy burthen, yet here is a ground of comfort for such a soule: it is mercy thou seest that evill of self, that is in thee, and that it is thy burthen. The com­fort is, 1 that Jesus Christ hath beene thy Prophet: hee hath taught thee in some mea­sure to deny thy selfe, and given thee a desire after the perfection of this grace. 2 That where Jesus hath began this work he will fi­nish it, he will perfect it to the days of Christ. 8 Thou mayst live upon him henceforth, and expect teachings from him; new manifesta­tions, new discoveries of grace and love, new influences of power from himself as thou stan­lest in need for his own honour, the Saints good, or thine own consolation, Heb. 13.5. Thus much for the first, which is Self-deniall.

2 Where Christ becomes a Prophet, hee eacheth that soule to yield universall obedi­nce to himselfe: this is an effect of the tea­ching of Christ. Mat. 28.20. teaching them to observe and doe all things whatsoever I shall say unto you, and Acts 3.22, 23. A Pro­phet, shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, [Page 160]him shall you heare in all things, &c. And this obedience Christ doth not only require as he is a King, but he teacheth it as he is a Pro­phet See Esay 54.13. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children: It is the covenant of grace, Heb. 8.10. I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts, &c. Hee will make them a willing people, hee will teach them to yield willing obedience, he will teach them to do spirituall things with an ap­petite, with a minde to them: now this obe­dience flows from faith, it is a fruit an effect of faith, Rom. 1.5. Christ first teacheth faith, and then obedience.

Quest. What are the great commands of the Gospel.

Ans. 1 Love is the great command: and where true faith and love is, there will be the effects of it: 1 Tim. 1.5. Now the end of the commandement is love, out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfained. This is both the beginning and end; the first and last, in the Law of the Gospel Love; first God out of love hath given us a law, wee out of love yield obedience to it: James calls it the royall Law, Jam. 2.8. If ye fulfill the royall law ac­cording to the Scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyselfe.

[Page 161] 2 Now this love is manifested, 1 To Christ. 2 To the Saints.

1 To Christ, and that, first in keeping his commandements, Joh. 14.23. Jesus answe­red and said, If a man love me, he will keepe my words, ver. 24. he that loveth me not, keep­eth not my sayings. Love will cause those in whom it is to submit to Christ in every thing, 1 John 5.3. This is the love of God, that wee keep his commandements: that is, here in is our love to God, made manifest, in keeping his commandements.

Quest. What are the commands of Christ to his children with relation to him­self?

Ans. His command is first love as you have heard. 2 Obedience flowing from her: this obedience is first to Gospel commands. 2 In a Gospell manner. 3 To Gospel ends. First, it must be to Gospell commands; wee are to heare Christ in all things, not Moses: Act. 3.22. him shall you heare in all things, &c. believers are to receive every comand as from the hands of Christ, John 15.14, Ye are my friends, if you doe whatsoever I command you.

The first command that Christ requires of believers, and that next after faith received, [Page 162]is Baptisme, Mar. 16.17. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: so likewise, Mat. 28.19. Disciple Nations, and baptize them: this was the first thing in the commis­sion, to be submitted to, and it was ever so in the Apostles practice, which must be our pat­tern, Act. 2.41. As many as gladly received the Word (that is, believed the truth of the Gospel, and gladly received the Lord Jesus, the summe and substance of the Gospel) were haptized, so Act. 8.12. They believed and were baptized, both men and women, so Act. 16. Lydia and the Goalar: In a word, this was the first duty that ever the Saints perfor­med, the first ordinance that ever they sub­scribed to after faith received: in the Scrip­ture there is neither precept nor president, either to baptize before faith, or after, to teach faith, or else after faith is received, to neglect or slight baptisme, it being a com­mand of Christ: love in the Saints compel­ling them to yield obedience to every ordi­nance of Christ for his own sake, with an ex­pectation of a farther discovery, and manife­station of love and grace from God, in his own ordinance, in his own way.

Now I confesse there are many objections that by many are made against this truth, [Page 163]who plead for, and practice the baptizing of insants: But because I have in another trea­tise indeavoured from the light of Scripture to cleare the truth and answer those objecti­ons, I shall in this place passe them by, onely by reason of our late conference, I shall briefly touch upon these three Scriptures we then had in disputation. The first is, Act. 2.38, 39. The promise is to you and to your children, &c. The Promise in this place was conclu­ded upon, that it was remission of sins, and the gifts of the holy spirit: hence was drawn this conclusion, that the infants of believers found as large an interest in this promise as their parents, and therefore ought to bee bap­tized.

Which I cannot but deny, and assirme, that the promise here was to the Iews, as many as the Lord did call; to their children, as ma­ny as the Lord should call: to the Gentiler afar off, as many of them as the Lord should call: There is a sound truth in the Scripture thus interpreted; for God gave remission of sius, his spirit, all the good things of the Gos­pel, to as many as he called, both Iow and Gentile, and so he will to the worlds end, and indeed he never promised it to any o­ther, He that believeth on the Son hath life. [Page 164]he that believeth not hath not life, Joh. 3.31. If the promise of the Covenant of grace, re­mission of sins, and the goodthings of the Gos­pel, had been to the Iews that beleeved, and to their naturall seed, it must then have been made good to them, or else there was no truth in the promise, but it was never made good to them, for then they had not been apostated, as they are to this day, nay, the Lord was so far from intending any such thing to the Iews, that hee intended their rejection and casting off, Rom. 11.15. nei­ther was the promise to the naturall seed of the believing Gentiles, but the elect of God both Iews and Gentiles obtain it, Rom. 2.7. and God under the Gospel makes no diffe­rence between the seed of the believer and unbeliever, with relation to their Genera­tion, but it is grace that makes the dif­ference.

The second Scripture was, Mar. 10.13, 14. Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdome of God. That which is hence inferred is, that children are blessed, that they are a part of the Church, and therefore have a right to baptisme, whereas it is very probable that those infants were brought to Christ to be [Page 165]cured of some diseases, for the Text sayth, They brought young children to him, that he might touch them, and he blessed them, that is, gave them the blessing they came for, to wit, health and cure: and whereas Christ sayth, of such is the kingdome of heaven, that is, of such qualified spiritually as those infants were naturally, so Christ himselfe interprets it, ver, 15. Verily I say unto you, whosoever doth not receive the Kingdome of Heaven, as a little childe, be shall not enter therein: that is, whosoever doth not receive the Kingdom of God, both of grace and glory, as a little childe, that is, humble and meek, and teach­able, able to doe nothing himselfe, but Christ is his all and in all he shall never enter there­in; so that Christ takes occasion from those little infants, to discover a Gospel mystery, a mystery indeed to naturall men, Mat. 18.2, 3.

The third Scripture was that in 1 Cor. 7.14. The unbelieving wife is sanctified to the believing husband, else were your children un­clean, but now are they holy. Now it was first granted, that the sanctification of the wife is but a civill sanctification, shee is san­ctified to his use, that he ought not to put her away. 2 This was granted also, that [Page 166]holinesse is a fruit of sanctification: then I say, the fruit or effect, cannot be greater then the cause, the cause cannot produce a greater effect then it selfe, the cause being onely a civill sanctification, the holinesse of the chil­dren must be the same; so that now under the Gospel, the believer may lawfully keepe the unbeliever, whether husband or wife, and their children, whereas under the Law, if a Iew marryed with an idolatrous Gentile, he was to put away both wife and children, Ezra. 10.3. but under the Gospel there is no such thing, unlesse the unbeliever will de­part.

2 After faith and baptisme, the will and command of Christ is, that his people should yield obedience to all his comands, & indeed he doth not onely command it, but gives power: there is a power goes with the com­mands of Christ: he is the King of his peo­ple, he gives laws and statutes, and withall gives in abilities to doe what he commands: Christ knows that without him you can doe nothing, John 15.5, the will and commands of Christ is, that his people should be holy is all manner of holy conversation: the will of God is their sanctification, 1 Thes. 4.2.3. For yee know what commandements we gave [Page 167]you by the Lord Iesus, for this is the will of God your sanctification, to abstain from sin, to ver. 7. and the reason is rendred, ver. 7. For God hath not called us unto uncleanuesse, but unto holinesse: God hath not given his Son to redeeme men, that so they might live in unclean, unholy ways, he doth not call them to fellowship with himselfe, and one with another, that so they might take their plea­sures in the world, in sin; no, no, God calls his to holinesse, and therefore the Apostle Peter sayth, It is written, be yee holy, (or yee shall be holy) as I the Lord your God am ho­ly: 1 Pet. 1.16. And he that hath this hope purifieth himselfe, even as Christ is pure, 1 Iohn 3.3, And the Apostle Pauls exhorta­tion answers this command, Rom. 12.1. I be­seech you brethren by the mercies of God, that yee present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reaso­nable service, and be not conformable to this world, but be yee transformed by the renew­ing of your mindes, &c. that is, seeing God hath renewed your mindes, let your bodies, your externall walkings, be made conforma­ble to Iesus Christ, and not to the world. O beloved, holinesse becomes the Saints, espe­cially holinesse becomes the houshold of [Page 168]Saints the Churches of Saints: the Church of Saints is Gods house, 1 Tim. 3.10. his dwel­ling place, Psal. 132.13, 14. and holinesse be­comes the Lords house for ever, and it is the love of Christ that constrains the Saints thus to walk?

Quest. But is it not the Saints duty, thus to walke.

Ans. Yea, without question it is their duty, Gal. 6 16. He that walketh according to this rule, peace shall be upon him: but they are to performe this duty of holy walking out of love, therefore Christ sayth, If yee love me keepe my commandemenst, Iohn 14.15. none hath to doe with the commands of Christ but those that love him, which love flows from faith, for faith worketh by love, Gal. 5.6.

A second command of Christ is, love the Saints, which was the second thing I pro­pounded in the manifestation of love. It is first to Christ, Hee that loveth not the Lord. Iesus, let him be accursed: ver. 17. These things I command you, that yee love one ano­ther: And, a new commandement give I un­to you, that you love one another, as I have lo­ved you.

Quest. Why is it called a New comman­dement, [Page 169]seeing it is not new, but the same that was from the beginning.

Ans. 1 It is New, because given a new by Christ, and so are all the commands of Christ given a new, and are new commands given to a new people, to wit, believers; Mose's com­mands were given to all the whole body of naturall Israel: Christs to the whole body of spirituall Israel, the Saints. None else hath to doe with any law as it comes from Christ, but are still under the Law, as it came from Mount Sinay.

2 It is new in respect of the nature of it, which is double: 1 as it flows from Christs love to us. 2 It must be the same as Christs love was to us ever; as I have loved you: and as this is the speciall comand of Christ, so it is the property of the Saints, that the grace they receive from Christ, causeth them to doe it: the love of Christ constrains them. There­fore the Apostle thanks God for the Colossians, Col. 1.3, 4. For the increase of their faith, and love to all the Saints. Where faith increaseth, love increaseth: for faith increaseth love to Christ: and love to Christ increaseth love to the Saints.

For my more cleer proceeding in this par­ticular, I shall endevour from light and truth [Page 170]to discover unto you, first, what love is. 2 the excellent properties and effects of this love. 3 the manifestation of this love.

1 What love is: Love is an affection of the soule carried forth after, and setled upon, something, from an apprehended worth and ex­cellency in the thing: this I conceive to be love, whether it be spirituall or naturall; whe­ther set upon a good or bad object: for it is not possible there should be true love, but where the soul apprehends something worthy to be beloved. First, the understanding goes forth, and takes a view of the object presen­ted: if the understanding so apprehend any worth or excellency in the object presented, then the affection of love is let forth upon it, and is not satisfied without the enjoyment of it. Hence it comes to passe that when the understanding is truly enlightned, and the judgement rightly informed, the affection is carried forth, and setled upon a right object: but if the understanding be corrupted and blinded, and the judgement misinformed, the affection of love is carried forth after, and set upon wrong objects. When the understand­ing is so blinded, it apprehends an excellency in the world, in pleasures, in sin, &c. for be­lieve it; it is the blindnesse of mens under­standing [Page 171]usually, that causeth men to love sin­fully.

So on the contrary, when Christ is presen­ted to the view of the soule, the understand­ing by the power of God, is enlightned, and comes to apprehend in some measure, that ex­cellent worth, that is in him, the affection of love goes forth after him: and desire is not sa­tisfied untill it enjoy him. Thus it was with the Spouse in the Canticles, chap. 5.10. My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand: and hence it is, her love is so drawn forth after him: that shee seeks him, and is never satisfied till she find him, vers. 6. she is sick of love after him, chap. 2.5. and this love unto Christ carries forth the soule in love to the Saints, for the sake of Christ, where it sees the Image of Christ: the same love where with the soule loves Christ, it loves the Saints, 1 Iohn 4.20, 21.

That it is the command of Christ, and the property of the love of God, where it is shed abroad in the heart, to carry forth the soul in love, not only to Christ, but to the Saints, you have heard: 1 John 5.1. Every one that loves him that begate, loveth him also that is begotten.

2 I come to the excellent properties and [Page 172]effects of this love. 1 With relation to Christ. 2 To the Saints. 1 To Christ. 2 It refuses to receive satisfaction in any en­joyment beneath the Lord Jesus. A soule truly enlightned in the excellency of the knowledge of God in Christ, refuseth to take content and satisfaction in any thing that comes short of Christ. It is true, there may be many turnings and windings in the heart, and the profits and pleasures of the world, shall be presented (as Satan presented them to Christ) and duties and creatures, and performances, gifts, &c. and thus Satan can, and often doth present him­self like an Angell of light, and that to the Saints too: they that know any thing of God, know it, if possibly he could, hee would de­lude and cheat a poore creature, but the soul truly loving Christ will not be thus cheated and deluded, by that old Serpent, he must have Christ, nothing lesse will satisfie him. A living child may be quieted awhile with a bable, a counter, or ratle, which is nothing but folly: but in conclusion, it findes by experience the emptinesse and vanity of such things, then casts away all, and nothing but bread will satisfie him. So it may be with the soule the living Christian, it may receive some content in duties and prayers for a time; but in the conclusion it comes to [Page 173]see the emptinesse of these things, and then nothing but Christ will content him. When a soule truly loving Christ, comes to see how he hath deluded himselfe in mistaking Christ, thinking that he hath had Christ, when in­deed he had nothing but the externall ordi­nance, visible forme, which is indeed the shell without the kernell, ô then nothing lesse then a Christ will satisfie: ô give me Christ, sayth the soule, or else I die, Christ in every ordinance: it will not take ordinances and duties for Christ any more: but now the soule must enjoy Christ in ordinances, Christ in preaching, in praying, in the Supper of the Lord, nothing gives content to the soule but Christ: O this is the excellent quality of true spirituall love to the Lord Iesus. Hence it is that the spouse in the Canticles, Cap. 3.12. so earnestly seeks her beloved, shee could take no rest untill shee had found him, ver. 4. and then shee holds him, and will not let him goe. This is the property of love, it soars very high, flies aloft like the Eagle, and why? because God in Christ is its object, and where the dead carkesse is, thither will the Eagles be gathered together: Christ is the alone object of faith and love, and to him all true beleevers come, in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory, Esay 45.25. [Page 174]onely note this, that the soule comes by faith to enjoy him whom the soule loves.

A second excellencie of love to the Lord Jesus is, It is quieted and satisfied in the single enjoyment of Christ: the soul that hath Christ hath enough, it can say as Jacob, It is enough, Ioseph my son is yet alive; so the believing soule, whose heart is truly inflamed with love to Christ for his own excellencie, it hath e­nough, it is content now to lose all, as the Apo­stle Paul, Phil. 3.7.8. He accounts all things but losse, yea, dung, that he may win Christ, This is the excellencie of the grace of love to Christ, it carries the soule above the world, above creature, or any thing beneath Christ, it desires nothing but Christ, 1 Cor. 2.1. It gloryeth and rejoyceth in nothing but Christ, Gal. 6.14. and him crucified: If it have the world, so it is, if not it is contented, it is quiet in any condition, if it enjoy all things, I mean (in the world) yet Christ is the summe of all: if it want all things, yet in Christ it enjoyes all, so the Apostle, as having nothing, yet possessing all things, so that now the soule that believes in, and loves the Lord Jesus, knows how to be abased, and how to abound, that is, it know how in that lowest condition to live satisfied upon Christ, [Page 175]and it knows how in the highest condition to live also upon Christ, it can doe all things through Christ that strengthens it, Phil. 4.12, 13. Doe you not see on the contrary, men that have no love to the Lord Jesus, how they let forth their hearts upon the creature? they live upon the creature; take away the world from them, you take away their life: but the man that loves Christ, hath enough in the enjoyment of him, what ever befall them in the world, they can say as Christ, I have meat to eate that yee know not of, John. 4.32. the Lord Iesus is the Saints meat and drinke they live upon him, and are satisfied with him.

The third property of love is, It slights all hardships and sufferings that it meets withall for the name and sake of Christ. Nothing can quench this love, many waters cannot quench it: many flouds of affliction cannot quench love: when others that love not the Lord Je­sus but themselves, and their own ease, start and are affrighted at the reproach of Jesus, as at some strange apparition; when the soul that sees spiritually, that looks not at things that are seen, that is at the outside of things, which carnal eys only see, but at things that are not seen, that is at the outside of things, which [Page 176]carnall eyes: They hence go cheerfully, sligh­ting persecutions being perswaded that no­thing can make a separation betweene Christ and their souls; glorying and triumphing in the crosse of Christ, being not only ready to suffer reproach, but death it self, if the Lord call them to it, for the name and sake of their beloved. Thus you see the excellencie of this grace, it carries the soule sweetly out to Christ, it lies down in the bosome of love, and there it is satiated, there it is satisfied, there it hath enough, there it lives, and there it dies, yet with him it shal for ever live, ô the admi­rable excellencie, in this grace of love, it makes hard things easie, and bitter things sweet: it lives upon that others canot see, no, not never shall see, unlesse the Lord open their eyes, it rejoyceth in that others dread: it takes that for a crown, that others count shame: it makes their hearts to leap for joy, in the beholding of those things, that makes others faint and fail.

2 I come to the excellencie of this grace of love, in, and to the Saints, for that is the great thing we have now in hand, the excel­lencie of the grace of love among Saints, a­mong brethren.

1 It is of a knitting nature, it knits or [Page 177]bindes up the soules of the Saints as one, it makes them to be of one heart and of one minde. What is the reason of such divisi­ons amongst Saints, but the want of love? this grace of love is that which would knit the hearts of christians one to another: It was the Apostles desire and care for the Colos­sians, that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, Col. 2.2. This knitting together of the Saints, is that which makes them meet to watch over each other, to build up each other: it is as the joynts and sinews of the body naturall, knitting each member together, and so nourishing the whole body, Col. 2.9. Being knit together in­creaseth, with the increase of God, this is the excellent property of love, it knitts up the souls of the Saints together, where it is in truth, there cannot be an easie dissolving of this knot of love, this was the love of David and Jonathan 1 Sam. 18.1. The soule of Io­nathan was knit with the soule of David, and Ionathan loved him as his own soule: this is the true property of love, it knits the soul to the partie beloved: it is not possible, if there were true love that there should be such di­visions amongst the Saints: if it be but a difference in opinion, presently, the love, [Page 178]the fellowship is broken.

A second excellencie of true love is, It coven a multitude of infirmities, it is not easily mo­ved, it is not easily provoked, it is naturally easie to be intreated, it will not suddainly be­lieve evill reports, it will not suddainly have bitter envyings and evill surmisings: this is the excellencie of the grace of love, it will bear much and long, it will not censure with­out wonderfull just cause, 1 Cor. 13.4, 5, 6, 7. Love suffereth long, it is not easily provoked, it will not starte at shadows, love envyeth not anothers prosperity, but rather rejoyceth in it, as one member of the body rejoyceth in the prosperity of another, it vaunteth not itselfe, it is not puffed up, love is an humble grace, it maketh those in whom it is, to serve each other in love, to prefer each other be­fore itselfe: it seeketh not its own, it seeketh not its selfe, but the good of another, it is not easily provoked, it thinketh noill, it rejoyceth not in iniquity, but rejoyceth in the truth, it beareth all things it believeth all things (all things that it hath any ground or warrant to believe) it hopeth althings, that is, the best of all things, where there is any ground or pro­bability of hope it endureth all things, that is, all things that God himself inflicts, or suffers [Page 179]man to inflict upon him, here is the excel­lencie of love O who would be without this grace of love? nay, but who can ever attain it but those, whom God sheds abroad his love in their hearts by his holy Spirit? how is this grace of love wanting among the Saints? whence is it that there are such discords? such bitter enyings? such secret whisperings? in a word, such rents and breaches of com­munion and fellowship amongst Saints, for slight things, but the want of this grace of love? truly, were the love of God shed a­broad in the hearts of his people more abun­dantly it would not be thus: love is of ab­solute necessity, for the peace and communion of Saints.

3 Excellencie of love. It is, on everlasting grace, it shall be made perfect in another world: other graces fail, but love never fail­eth: 1 Cor. 13.8. Prophesies they fail, and faith that shall cease, but love shall abide for euer, it shall be so far from ceasing, that it shall after the ceasing of faith and other gra­ces, be made perfect, and the Saints that love God indeed here (and from that fountain of love, love each other) they shall then for ever live in the bosome of love, their souls being satisfied in the enjoyment of him the [Page 180]fountain, they shall be then perfectly knit to­gether in one, being filled with the enjoy­ment of God, made perfect in love, through that abundance of love it enjoyes in him.

The third particular propounded is, the manifestation of this love, how the Saints manifest this their love each to other.

1 In a faithfull diligent watching over each other in love, Phil. 2.4. look not every one to his own things, but every one to the things one of another: there should not be such a spirit amongst Christians as was in Cain, who said, Am I my brothers keeper: no, no, you are keepers of each other, and it is love that will make you faithfull to each o­thers soule in this particular.

The second manifestation of love is, in building up one the other in the most holy faith, edifying one the other in love, helping forward each other in the way of holinesse being compacted together in the order & fel­lowship of the Gospel, maketh increase of the body, to the edifying it self in love Eph. 4.16.

3 In bearing with the weaknesses of each other, Col. 3.12, 13. Put on, as the elect of God bewels of mercie, kindnesse, humblenesse of minde, meeknesse, long suffering, for bearing one another, and for giving one another, even [Page 181]as God for Christs sake forgave you. Here is the manifestation of love, when you are a­ble to beare with, and forbeare one another, from this principle, because God hath borne with you, God hath forgiven you, Rom. 14.1. him that is weak in the faith, receive unto you.

4 In restoring a falne brother with the spirit of meeknesse, Gal. 6.1. If any brother be falne through weaknesse, yee that are spi­rituall, restore such a one with the spirit of weeknesse: much tendernesse is to bee used towards a brother in this case; the ground is, we our selves, the strongest of us are sub­ject to, and may fall by the like temptation, if the Lord prevent it not.

5 In speaking kindly to each other; good words and comfortable: this is the manife­station of love: and truly where there is love in the heart, it will appear in the counte­nance, in the words; a cheerfull and loving countenance, loving words; here will be words both for the Saints, and to the Saints. First, for the Saints to go to God in prayer, E­phes. 1.16. for them, in their vindication, when any scandall is unjustly laid upon them: so Ionathan for David, 1 Sam. 19.4. Ionathan spake good of David, and good for David 2 In speaking kindly one to another, so the [Page 182]Apostle Paul, he ever gives the Saints the ti­tle of Brethren, wherefore holy Brethren, per­takers of the heavenly calling: and Solomon sayth, That a soft answer turneth away strife.

6 And lastly, love is manifested incondo­ling each with other, in afflictions: the Saints are all of them members of the body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12.27. and the members of the naturall body are sensible of the sufferings of each other, if one member suffer all suffer with it; if one member rejoyce, all rejoyce with it: so it is or should be in the body spirituall, we should beare part of one anothers afflictions; be truly sensible of the affliction of each other, and so beare part with each other, bee truly sensible of the comsorts of each other, and so rejoice together, this is the property of true love where it is: I have very briefly hin­ted upon some particulars, much more might be said in this particular: but I desire not to be tedious in this place. I might branch forth in many other particular Gospel commands which would be too tedious: only thus, where the love of Christ is indeed shed abroad by the holy spirit, there love cōstrains the soul to yeeld itself up wholly to the Lord Jesus, & all his comands: whatsoever things are of good report, whatsoever things are lovely, whatso­ever [Page 183]things are warranted, and required in Gospel, the soule that truly loves the Lord Ie­sus, is ready in the peace and strength of Je­sus to walk up unto it: it will not consult with flesh and bloud, it will not stand upon carnall arguments: but as the Lord Jesus hath glori­fied mercy, grace, and love, in doing unto the soule, so it will now look what it is may con­duce to the exaltation of his name, & then the soule that truly loves the Lord Jesus, is satis­fied; let the name of Iesus have the glory, and the soul that truly loves him, hath its end, and and rests satisfied.

Use. It concernes every one to looke if Christ hath been their Prophet: hath Christ given thee a heart willing to submit unto him in all things? ready in his power to yeeld u­niversall obedience to all his commands? ô it neerly concerns you, to try your selves, and if so, then whether your obedience flows from love. It is possible there may be externall obedience from base and by-ends, and then all is nothing; Love is the fulfilling of the Law: whatsoever is done in love, that is, from the love, of Christ shed abroad in the heart, is well done: but all done without love is no­thing; preaching, praying, professing, com­municating, it is all nothing without love: it [Page 184]is one thing, to preach, and pray, and professe, it is another thing to doe it out of love to Christ; then it is a fruit of faith. Faith work­eth by love, and all works done without this, are not acceptable, 1 Cor. 13.1, 2. Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels, and have not love, it is nothing, it is but as a soun­ding brasse or tinkling eymball: a man may have excellent words, fine composed sentences) admirable expressions, all flowing from a no­tionall knowledge, that may much affect the eares and hearts of the people, and yet all be but a sound of words attained by art, as a sounding brasse or a tinkling cymball, which seems to make a sweet sound to the eare, when there is nothing in it indeed but a composure of humane art; and so being brought out of that frame, there is nothing indeed worth looking after, or harkning unto: even so are those persons, who seemingly do glorious a­ctions, and yet indeed have not the love of God in them.

But to proceed: the third thing that Christ usually teacheth his people, as to beleeve, which faith, you have heard, produceth its effects, so in the third place he teacheth them to live by faith, that is, to act and exercise this faith upon all occasions, in all times, according [Page 165]as they have need, to make use of it: and in­deed this is a great Gospel mystery, which the Saints are too much ignorant of. It is one thing to have faith, and another to live by faith it is one thing to have legs, and ano­ther thing to make use of them, to goe with them.

Quest. What is it to live by faith?

Ans. 1 It is to exercise faith, that is to make use of it as need requires: or, 2 It is a living upon Christ in the want of all things. Or 3 It is a living by believing of what the soul shall one day enjoy.

1 It is to exercise faith as occasion calls for it: that is, to exercise it upon the object: for faith hath ever an object, and if it be right and true, the object is Christ: now it is true, there is occasion for the Christian to ex­ercise faith in every condition, either Internal­ly, or Externally, for the Christian hath many enemies to encounter with all, the flesh, and the Devill and the World, all these comes in a mayn upon the soul. Now faith overcomes; 1 The flesh that will be ever lusting against the spirit, Satan comming in, working by it; self will be in every action, self wisdom, self priding, and self boasting: this is contrary to the mind of the spirit, and now the spirit is [Page 186]troubled, and freed, so that many times there is a hot conflict in the soule of the Saint: but how comes the Christian to overcome it? by cying and applying Christ, it can say as Paul, I haue a body of sin, a proud cursed self seek­ing nature, but thanks to God through Jesus Christ, &c. and there is no condemnation to them in Christ. It is true, I have a base na­ture, a wicked, cursed, deceitfull, proud, self­seeking heart, yet the Lord hath let forth a glimpse of his glory to my soul, hee hath let mee see, and hath sealed this by his spirit unto me, that I am in Christ, and there is no condemnation for me: and so by faith, seeking to Christ, the soul overcomes this enemy flesh. and then secondly, it ever lives in believing, that this fleshly corrupt part, shall be every day more and more subdued, and so is ever cying a crucified Christ, for the killing and crucifying of this body of sin.

2 The Devill, hee will come in with his darts, daying hard and heavy things to the charge of the soul, although the Apostle faith, Rom. 8.33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? It is God that justifieth: although God himself pronounce a man cleet and just, yet the Devill will come in and en­devour to make work in the godly justified [Page 187]soule. O sayth the Devill, thou art a vile cur­sed creature, thou hast a base earthly carnall heart, thou art able to performe no duty, but it is full of sin, and as good never a whit, as never the better. Thy services (hadst thou no other sin to be accountable for) are enough to condemne thee? and besides all the rest of thy sins of thy basenesse in performing duty, this is that is worst of all, thou hast a wicked proud heart of thine owne, thou art ready, when ever God hath assisted thee, to take the honour to thy selfe, and to pride thy selfe in those weak duties thou performest.

What sayst thou to this Christian? hast any experience of this try all in thy soule? I dare say thou hast, if Christ dwell there: but what course will you take to over come in this combat? see Ephes 6.16. There are the ene­mies the Saints are to encounter with, they are no small, no mean enemies, see Verse 12. and the armour; the Christians armour its all armour of proof; but above all take the sheeld of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fire darts of the wicked: the Devill will come, and come againe, hee will have one dart, and another dart: now the way to overcome, is to take the shield of faith: a sheeld is for defence, so this faith both [Page 188]defends and resists the Devill.

Quest. But how doth faith overcome?

Ans. It ever hath an eye to the foundation Christ, it knows the foundation standeth sure, and so it turns over the devill, the false conclusion that the devill and the heart is ready to make together to Christ: and now the soule sayth, it is true Satan, or it is true heart, I am base, I have a vile cursed nature, I cannot pray nor performe any duty as I should, sin is in my best action, I confesse I am in my selfe as bad as man or devill can make, not a worse heart in the world more subject to evill, farther then God restrains it, more unable to doe good, farther then God inables: and what of all this Satan? I know there is enough to condemne me for ever, were I to answer in mine own person for my selfe; but Christ hath been condemned for me, Satan, he hath borne all my sins, and so my condemnation, and he hath made himselfe over to me, so that now thou must first have something against Christ, before thou canst shake my hold, and thus by faith flying to Christ, the soule overcomes the ene­my: but if the soule cannot thus have re­course to the Lord Jesus, he is gone when the tempter comes, he is not able to resist. Then [Page 189]sayth the beleeving soule, it is true, Satan, I have a proud self seeking heart, ready ever to take that honour to it selfe that is due to God; but it is as true, that I may thank thee for it, who hast thus metamorphozed my nature, and made it like thine own, and not onely so, but commest in and ever stirrost up the heart to pride and selfe-seeking, know­ing well by experience, that it is a sin that much provokes God; but this is my mer­cie, God lets me see into this depth of wick­ednesse, and it is my burthen: but Christ hath freed me from the power of it, and from the iniquity of it, hee is ever subduing it in me, and one day I shall for ever be freed, both from it and thee: thus by faith the soule over­comes the devill: this is the first particular wherein the Christian comes to liue by faith, in the exercising of it, according to the many­fold occasions it meets withall.

2 To live by faith is a living upon Christ in the want of all things, and that both ex­ternall and internall.

1 Externall, in the want of outward things: when the creature is tripped naked and bare, brought even to a morsell of bread, then to live in beleeving the Lord will care for you, when that you are brought to Christs [Page 190]condition, that you have neither house nor home, nor any thing in the world, besides a Christ besides a God to live upon; then when thou canst get a promise, as that Heb. 13.5. He hath sayd, I will not fail thee, nor for sake thee, and stick close to the Lord Jesus in such a promise, this is a living by faith, when the creature fails Hab. 3.17, 18. Although the figtree shall not blossome, neither shall fruit be in the vine, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yeeld no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no therd in the stalls: Yet will I rejoyce in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation? This is to live by faith, when all creatures fail, then to live upon God, then to rejoyce in the Lord, believing that God is able and will help, the Lord will sustain. The want of this faith, was Israels sin, Psal. 78.18, 19. they spake against God and sayd, Can God prepare a table in the wildernesse? how is the deceitfull heart of man ready to distrust God in such a condition as those Jews? can God prepare a table when all is gone? but faith in such a condition, believes, and lives by blieving, and the Lord will care for moe sayth the soule, and the Lord hath sayd it: The lions shall luck, and suffer hunger, but [Page 191]they that wait upon the Lord shall want no­thing that is good. This is a hard thing, it is easily sayd, but not so easily done; you thinke it is easie, perhaps, to live by faith, while you have a house, a calling that brings you in money, perhaps every day or every week, or money by you, or land, &c. you can live comfortably upon Christ and your cal­ling, upon Christ and your house or land, but let all be taken from thee, see then how then canst live? this may be your condition, and then you will be put to the tryall.

2 Spiritually, when the soule hath nothing of its own to rest upon, when duties and per­formances and all is gone, then to believe and live by believing: this is to live by faith indeed, upon this ground the soule believes, Rom. 4.4.5. He that worketh not, but believ­eth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted to him for righteousnesse, he that worketh not, he that cannot performe one acceptable duty in way of righteousnesse, but sees all is nothing, yet believes in Christ, and so lives by believing, this is the constant stay of a believer, he eversees his own emp­tinesse, the untighteousnesse of his best acti­ons: I say, to believe in, and to live upon Christ in all such conditions, it is to live by [Page 192]faith, above duties and performances: but how doe many a professing man and woman comfort themselves in the performing of duties, in their inlargement in duty, and the like, but when they fail in this, then they call all in question again: this faith was not right, for they thinke they believe, because they can pray and meditate, &c. when indeed the soul that rightly believes, doth believe because he cannot pray, nor act or doe any thing that is acceptable, and therefore he cannot live by faith, but when that power he has to per­forme duty fails, his faith and all fails, this is not to live by faith, yet this hath been the life of most professours in this Nation.

3 A living by faith, it is to live by belee­ving of what the soule shall one day enjoy, and this mightily bears up the spirits of the Saints.

And this we may take notice of under a threefold consideration.

1 That which the gracious soule longs most after is the full enjoyment of God, no­thing lesse can satisfie the believing soule, the soule that hath tasted how gracious the Lord is. O sayth the Soule, when shall I come to the full enjoyment of my God, and so the seule groanes, as the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5.2 [Page 193]earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with the house from heaven, and the reason is, ver. 7. for while we are here we walke, that is, live by faith, and not by sense, while we are at home in the body, wee are absent from the Lord, that is, absent comparatively with re­lation to what it shall be, for the soule has but a glimpse of glory, but a tast of the excel­lencie it shall one day enjoy, in Christ.

Quest. Now what is it that bears up the soule in this condition? how doth the soule live in the want of this full enjoyment of God?

Answer. 1 By faith he can look upon God, as having a relation to him, God in Christ is my God, sayth the soule, and I shall one day enjoy him, I shall one day see him and for ever be satisfied in the beholding of him, this quiets, this satisfies the believing soule, it is content to wait upon God, hee that believeth maketh not haste: It is in this case with the believing Christian, as with a loving and tender wife, her desire is always to live in the enjoyment of her hus­band, but when her husband is absent, far away from her, it may be shee receives now and then a comfortable letter from him, wherein shee sees a glimpse of his love, and [Page 194]reads his letter, and wil have as much fellow­ship with him in his letter as shee can: shee will look to every word, every sentence, and note what expressions of love shee can finde there, and then shee is cheer'd and comforted: I have a letter from my husband, sayth the loving wife, wherein he lets sorth a caste of his kindnesse and love unto me: O here are sweet words of love, of a tender affection! But sayth the wise, this is not all, hee will come home unto me at the time appointed, and I shall enjoy him, and this is that which most of all cheeres up the heart of the wife, my husband will returne at the time ap­pointed.

Thus it is with the beleeving Christian no­thing lesse then the enjoyment of God can give satisfaction to the soule that hath once rasted of him: but beloved the Lord Jesus, the souls beloved, is gone as far as any, hee hath only espoused, betrothed, the soule to himself, he hath reserved the full enjoyment that the beleeving soule shall have in him, till another world; only hee discovers this his love, lets forth a glimpse of his glory, into the souls of the Saints; and then the soule having once tasted of God, how good, how gracious, the Lord is; then nothing, but the full enjoy­ment [Page 195]of Christ can satisfie. Now the Lord Christ hath left his word here for his beloved, to have recourse unto, and there he hath made known his love, and his heart to his poore people: and now the soule that longs after Christ, hath recourse to the Scripture, and there searches what Christ hath said, & when the soule meets Christ in the Scripture, then it is cheer'd, then it is comforted, here is a blessed word sayth the soule, Christ is my all and in all, though I cannot come to the full enjoyment of him? and then the believing soule will to ordinances, preaching, and the Supper of the Lord, fellowship and commu­nion of Saints, get what it can of Christ, meet with her beloved every way God hath appointed for that purpose: but still, this is the great support, my beloved will come at the time appointed, he is gone to receive for himselfe a Kingdome, and he will return, and I shall enjoy him in his fulnesse, in his perfe­ction, and here the soule lives and waits pa­tiently, here the anchor of hope is cast, and holds the soule close to the Lord Jesus, living by believing what it shall one day enjoy, Heb. 11.1.

2 That which the gracious soule longs af­ter is, a full and perfect freedome from [Page 196]corruption: it is that body of sin that bur­thens the Saints, that is it makes them cry with the Apostle Paul, O wretched man that I am, Who shall deliver me from this body of death? and the gracious soule could well be contented somtimes to embrace death, that it might be freed from this body of death; under which God is pleased (for ends best known to himselfe) to exercise his children under. Now what is it bears up the Spirits of the Saints in this condition? it is this, the believing of this, that they shall one day be rid of this base proud deceitful heart, a day is comming when I shall change this vile body of sin, and I shall be made like unto the glo­rious body of Jesus Christ, Phil. 3.21. I am already justified, and so made a Son, a daugh­ter of God, and this I know, I shall one day be made like unto him, 1 John 3.2. This is that which cheers the heart of a Christian many times, when it is in a low condition, when put to a stand in the beholding of those base haunts of heart, that it findes within it selfe: when perhaps it is put to a stand in the beholding of it: O sayth the soule, what I after so much experience of Gods love, so much faith in the name of Jesus, and have such a base heart, such a thought for wicked­nesse, [Page 197]the Christian is somtimes put almost to a stand here: but then he comes to consider, God is wise, and he is pleased to exercise me under this body of sin, to keepe me in a con­tinuall dependancie upon himselfe, and this is my comfort, I shall one day be rid of all these enemies of mine, and I shall one day enjoy the Lord Jesus, in his holinesse and in his glory, When Christ which is my life shall appear, then shall I appear with him in glory, Col. 3.4. and in this case the believing soule lives in believing what it shall one day enjoy, namely, freedome from sin, glorious liber­ty, even the glorious liberty of the Sons of God.

3 The Saints of God are subject to affli­ctions and reproaches while they are in this world, so Christ sayth, Iohn. 16.3. In the world yee shall have tribulation: It is true, Christ hath prepared a Kingdome for them, but they are not like to enjoy it in this world, I mean that Kingdom of glory, although it is true, they enjoy much of God here in this King­dom of grace, The Kingdom of God is within you.

But the Saints here are liable to persecuti­ons and afflictions; now the beleeving Chri­stian lives in beleeving it shall one day bee [Page 198]freed from those hard things it suffered here, free'd from evill men, and I shall one day have a Kingdom, sayth the soule: Thus Paul comforts himselfe, 2 Cor. 5.1. 2 Tim. 4.5, 6, 7. and this was it with which Peter comforts the scattered Jews, 1 Pet. 1.3, 4, 5. They were begotten to an inheritance incorruptible, unde­filed, reserved in heaven for them, and this was the ground of that exhortation to con­stancy to the end in time of affliction, Rev. 2.10. Be faithfull to the death, and you shall have a crown of life.

Thus Christians have I indeavoured, both from the light of Scripture, add the light of experience, to hint out briefly unto you a taste of the Christians living by faith, and this Christ teacheth all those whom he effectual­ly teacheth. Heb. 10.38.

I might proceede to other particulars, namely, that Christ teacheth us to own him as our Priest, as our King: it is Christ our Prophet indeed, that teacheth us all things that we rightly know, we know nothing as we ought to know, farther then Christ Jesus by his Spirit teacheth. But I proceed to the next particular propounded in the office or work of a Prophet, namely to work mira­cles; this the Prophets before Christ did, [Page 199] Moses a type of Christ, and the great Pro­phet of Israel, work't many miracles when the Lord sent him to deliver his people.

And this hath Christ our Prophet done, and doth to this day, this hee did when he was in the world, turning water into wine, raysing the dead to life, restoring those borne blinde to sight, &c. and this be still doth, Christ our Prophet is ever working mira­cles: The conversion of a soule is a miracle, it is the changing of the nature, and it is a­bove nature to doe it, to raise a man from the dead to life is a miracle, and this Christ doth to every soule who is indeed raised, Ephes. 2. the 1. and 5. verses compared, ver. 1. and you who were dead in trespasses and sins, ver. 5. Even when wee were dead in sins, hath hee quickned us, &c. now to quicken, to give life to a dead soule is a miracle, and this Christ doth ordinarily; and hee gives sight unto blinde men, it was a miracle for Christ to give sight to the man that was borne blinde, beloved, every man and woman in the world is borne blinde, spiritually blinde, and this is a greater miracle to cure such, yet this is the ordinary work of Christ: and every man na­turally is both blinde, lame, and deaf, but Christ when he comes he opens the blinde [Page 200]eyes, he un-stops the deaf eares, he causeth the lame to walke, and the tongue of the dumb to sing, Esay. 35.5.

3 The Prophet did foretell of things to come, Moses and the rest did fore-tell Christ, &c. and so did Christ in many particulars, Mat 24. but I passe this also.

2 Christ is to be exalted Prophet in the dayes of the Gospel, see Act. 3.22, 23. A Pro­phet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, him shall you hear in all things.

Use 1. To examine if Christ have been thy Prophet. When Christ comes first to the soule, he findes men dead and gives life unto them, he findes men blinde and gives sight unto them: Hath the Lord discovered thy dead condition unto thee, and given thee life? art borne from above? That which is borne of the flesh is flesh, and thou wert borne flesh, dead in trespasses and sins, hath the Lord changed thee from a state of death to a state of life; from a state of infidelity, to a state of believing? thou wert blinde, thou wert borne blinde, not able to see into spiri­tuall things, 1 Cor. 2.14. Hath the Lord o­pened thine eyes? canst say I was blinde, but now I see, I was dumb, but now I speak, ô this is worth your consideration!

[Page 201] Use 2. A word of consolation to the Saints whom the Lord Jesus hath taught: what is the comfort, you will say?

1 He will for ever be thy Prophet, and will be ever teaching thee: Thou shalt hear a voyce behinde thee, saying, this is the way, walke yee in it, when thou turnest to the right hand or to the left, the Lord Jesus will be for ever thy Prophet, he will never fail thee nor for sake thee: his eye shall ever be over thee for good, he will direct thee in all thy wayes, and is not this a mercy?

2 He hath made all the Saints Prophets, he hath powred down a spirit of Prophesie upon them, that now they are enabled by the spirit of prophesie to speake one to another, for edification, exhortation, and consolation, 1 Cor. 14.3. and therefore the men of the world might hence be warned to take heed how they meddle with the Saints, to perse­cute them, for they are the Lords Prophets: 1 Chron. 16.22. Touch not mine anointed, doe my Prophets no harme, Christ takes every wrong done to them, as done to himselfe, therefore you had need look to it, for it is that which will work your ruine in the end.


I Come to the Kingly Office of Christ: Christ is the alone King of his people: believe it, Christ is the alone King of his people: Christ is a King, and hee hath a Kindome, Psal 45.6. His Kingdome is spiri­tuall, it is not of this world, although it is in the world.

[Page 203] Christ hath a twofold kingdome here in this world: there is the kingdome within the Saints; and the kingdome without the one in the heart, the other in the Church; they are both spirituall.

1 Christ rules and reignes in the Saints; the kingdom of God is within you: beloved, Christ hath a kingdom within you, if ye are his; Christ is in you except yee be reprobates, 2 Cor. 13.5. And this is a priviledge more then all the Kings in the earth have, they may reign here over their subjects, but not in them: but Christ first reigns in them, & then over them: he reigns I mean spiritually over none; but those in whom he reigns.

Now Christ reigns in the souls of the Saints; first opposing all things that are contrary to himself: there are other Lords that will seeke to rule in the hearts of the Saints, if Christ subdue them not: the Devill hee will seek to be Lord, (he that is the God of the world, and rules and reigns in the hearts of the children of disobedience) where Christ doth not rule; but when the Lord Jesus coms he dispossesseth him, and casts him out, and so keeps him out. The Devill will make many a strong assault, throw many a fiery dart at the soule of the Christian, endevouring if possible hee can to [Page 204]shake his hold; but Christ he is the King, hee is the watchman, the keeper of Israel, hee gi­veth in power to the weak fainting soul, to o­vercome all those Laws and Edicts, Satan shal endevour to set up in the soule; so that now the Christian espyes all Satans plots and arti­ficiall devices to trap and ensnare him, rejects all his temptations, and says as Christ, Get thee behind me Satan: when the Devill acts and works in others, he hath no power over the soule where Christ reigns: it is true hee may throw in his darts, sometimes make as­says eyther to tempt to some evill, or to shake the faith of Christians, but Christ the King reigns there still, conquers him, subdues him, and so caries on his own work, that the gates of hell cannot prevail against that soul where he dwels. Thus Christ reigns keeping under Satan, beleeve it, beloved Christ and Satan cannot reign both in one soul.

2 Christ opposes the power of sin in the soul, where he reigns: sin bears a strong sway in the soul, now Christ he opposeth it; sets himselfe against it: hence it is there is such a strong opposition between the flesh and the spirit, that is, the spirit of Christ: the spirit Iusting against the flesh, & the flesh against the spirit, and these two are contrary each to other. [Page 205]And thus the Lord Jesus continues opposing of sin, of the Iust and corruption that is in the hearts of the Saints.

Quest. How doth Christ oppose sin and Satan? for sin is Satans work, 1 John 5.8. For this cause was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the work of the Devill. The work of the Devill is sin, hee that committeth sin is of the Devill,

Ans. Christ destroys sin, which is the Devils work, two ways.

1 First, Christ he destroys the guilt of it, and that he did, in bearing both the sin, guilt, and condemnation of it upon his own body, 1 Pet. 2.24. Rom. 8.3. and now he comes, and in the Gospel makes it known unto his people, Rom. 5.11.

2 Hee destroyes the power of it by his spirit, by the operation of his power, work­ing, reigning, and ruling in the hearts of his people: Rom. 6.4. Now Christ subdues this iniquity by his Kingly Office, reigning in the Saints; Ye are not under the law but under grace, under Christ, in whom was manifested the fulnesse of grace.

This doth Christ two ways: first, he comes to the soule of a poore sinner, discovering his excellency, the riches of his grace, and so shed­ding [Page 206]abroad his love in the heart, gets the soule willing to receive him out of love unto him, desires to have Christ set up, and his Kingdome within it selfe: for Christ hath ne­ver a Kingdome in the heart of man, till hee thus comes and breaks in upon the soul, disco­vering love: yet now sayth the soul, let Christ be King, and none but him: although it is true, it is by his power he breaks in upon, and subdues the stout spirit of man, who would not willingly submit of himselfe, yet Christ makes him willing, by the shedding abroad of his love in the heart, Rom. 5.5. So that now, the Lord Jesus with the free consent of the gracious soul, sets up his kingdome in the heart, so that when Christ sayth, My Sou give me my heart: Lord, take my heart, sayth the soule, dwell there, rule there, ser up thy kingdome there: so that you see Christ doth not rule as Tyrant in the souls of his people, but with the free and full consent of the mind of the person in whom hee reigns, for this is both the wisdome and power of Christ, that hee makes his people a willing people, Psal. 110.3.

Then secondly, Christ having purged the heart of man in some measure, overcomes those strong lusts and affections, and makes it [Page 207]a meet mansion house, a Temple for his holy spirit to dwell in: he then sets up laws and sta­tutes in the hearts of his children, in his king­dome; and there he rules, opposing all other laws, for there are, and will be, the stirring of corruption, and that very strongly too.

Now Christ first sets up the law of faith in the hearts of his people, and that in oppo­sition of infidelity: for naturally the Saints are subject to infidelity, through the motions of corruptions, and temptations of Satan. The beleeving soule, when it sees, what a base na­ture it still carries about within it selfe, being sensible of the stirring of lusts and corrupti­ons, Satan helping seriously, then it is trou­bled; O this evill nature of mine, sayth the soul, who shall deliver me from this body of sin?

Now the law of Christ is to beleeve, and in this condition to live by believing: and so Christ enables to put faith in exercise, and to beleeve above hope, almost as Abraham; and so hee still quiets the soule by enabling it to believe constantly in the name of the Sonne God; and that when it cannot worke, for hee is the Prince of our faith, the au­thour and finisher of it: and so here is in the heart of the Christian a strong conflict between the law of faith, and the law of in­fidelity; [Page 208]the spirit of faith and the spirit of infidelity: infidelity it comes in with a mighty commanding authority upon the soule of that Christian, set on by the Devils malice, and perhaps, sometimes seemes almost in the eyes of reason to get the victory over faith; but then Christ (who maintaines his laws, puts them in execution) arises and rayseth up the heart above those doubtings and caries on the soul in a way of beleeving still, and so quashes infidelity, and treads it under fect, and leaves it dead, executed for present by the law of faith.

2 Christ sets up the law of love in his Kingdome, I mean in the heart of the Saints; and that in opposition to hatred. For the truth is, that every soul in whom Christ reigns not, doth indeed hate Christ: now Christ sets up this law of love in the hearts of the Saints: love to himself, to his holinesse, to his Gospell, Or­dinances, Saints, every thing, that have the name of Christ stampt upon them: it loves it for his sake, and this law of love opposeth ha­tred, for there may come sometimes, hard thoughts into the souls of the Saints under afflictions, and fiery tryals, ready perhaps, to say with David, Hath the Lord forgotten to be mercifull? hath he shut up his tender mercy in disple asure? Now the law of love comes [Page 209]in, and helps the soule to see that there, is in Christ nothing but love to it, notwithstand­ing the souls present apprehensions, and sees all things shall worke for good to them that love the Lord; and so can say with the Pro­phet, Lord, out of very love hast thou afflicted me: and so the soule is knit to Christ in all conditions, & cannot but have high thoughts of him, even then, when it suffers either for him or from him.

For him, That is, for want of the enjoy­ment of the manifestations of his pleasing countenance, and the fresh incomes of his love, the kissings of his mouth, Cant. 1.2. or for the bearing up of his name in a visible profession of the Gospel of Christ.

From him, Fatherly chastisements out of love, to make us partakers of his holinesse, Heb. 12.10. In all these sufferings, when per­haps somtimes the carnall part is ready al­most to quarrell against Christ, this law of love quells and subdues all, brings this heart-rising in subjection, and knits the soule to the Lord Jesus

2 As it causeth the soule to love the Lord Jesus so it causeth it to love all that is Christs, and highly to esteem of it: it opposes any o­ther Law that may seeme to arise; as some­times [Page 210]perhaps through the workings of Sa­tan, with the corruptions of the Saints, there may be some beginnings of slighting the Saints, of entertaining hard thoughts of them, but then Christ stirs up, and revives this Law of love in them, kills that hatred, those hard thoughts, that it was apt to con­ceive against them, and so knits the soule to them by a more firme united love then ever, and thus this law of love, overcomes this law of hatred: in a word, it causeth the Saints to doe all that they doe out of love, the love of Christ constr ains them, 2 Cor. 5.14.

3 Christ sets up in his Kingdome the Law of meeknesse and humility, and that in oppo­sition to the Law of pride and vaineglory, Learn of me, sayth Christ, for I am meeke and lowly in heart, Mat. 11.29. and this Christ sets up in the hearts of his people, for he makes them partakers of his own graces, Joh. 1.16. it is a fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5.23. and of the Law of Christ, set up in the soules of the Saints, against which there is no law can prevail. It is true, there will be a ri­sing somtimes in the spirits of the Saints, pride will thrust it selfe in, and be ready to life up the creature in the apprehension of some selfe excellencie, although there is no [Page 211]cause, yet this is a truth, I believe it, those that have any experience of the Kingdome of Christ, or of the working of corruption know it right well, pride will be pirking in, & ready to lift up the creature above measure, either somtimes Externally, & to make a dif­ference betwixt himselfe and others, as nobi­lity of birth, parents or kinted, honour in the world, Externall carnall excellencies: O how will it worke somtimes upon the heart of a poore creature, as if he were sombody above others? O is not thy soule sensible of this somtimes dear Christian? I cannot but think it is: But then comes in Christ; with his law of meeknesse, of humility, and puls down this pride of heart, and lays it low, and brings the soule again to lay all in the dust: what is honour sayth the believing soule? what is nobility of birth? this is my honour, that I am a sonne, a daughter, of Iesus Christ, and so the soule comes down, ready to doe any service of love to the meanest Saint, and now the Saints come to serve one another in love, and now they come again to see that they are all one in Christ Iesus.

Somtimes Internally, or with relation to Internall gifts received, although we have nothing but what we receive, yet this is the [Page 212]basenesse of mans nature, it wil grow proude, be ready to be lifted up, even with those gra­ces received, is it not so with thy heart? art thou not naturally proude? doth it not presse in upon thee somtimes? I know it doth, and I dare say it troubles thee that art a Christi­an: But now Christ comes with his law, and casts all down to the ground, lays low those mountains, those strong lusts that exalt them­selves thus against the Kingdome of Christ, for this pride is, absolutely against the King­dome of Christ, he will not have such things in his Kingdom, it will thrust it selfe in, but the Law of Christ discovers it, and vanquish­eth it, and keeps the soule in an humble, low­ly, meeke condition. O consider of it, where pride, domineers and rules, Christ hath no Kingdome in that soule, there Christ dwels, there he reigns, where he hath made the soule humble: faith in Christ doth not make men proud and high, no, no, it is the greatest ene­my to it in the world, a proud heart did never, can never believe, before brought low in the sense of its own nothingnesse, and emptynesse.

4 Christ sets up in the hearts of his Saints in his Kingdom, the law of patience and con­tentednesse, in opposition to anger, impatien­cie, and discontentednesse.

[Page 213] Rash anger, impatiencic, peevishnesse of spirit, how will they arise and be striving somtimes in the hearts of Christians for a small matter? how will the heart be out of order and distemper? what words will be ready to flow forth, the heart being in this temper? but now in the heart of a Christian, Christ puts in execution his law of patience and quietnesse of spirit. O sayth Christ to the soule, thou must be patient and meeke, thou must learn of me, didst thou ever read that I was moved to anger, and impatiencie, to fret and fume? no, not against mine ene­mies: and then sayth the soule, ô what a fool am I thus to fret, and then to be angry? how unlike to Christ am I? and then down coms that proud peevish spirit into the dust, and so foolish was I and ignorant, I was even a beast before thee: and then the soule is turned again into a sweet disposition of love, a compound of patience, not easily pro­voked, not easily again stirred to wrath.

Somtimes in the soule of a Christian is apt to arise perhaps some impatiencie and dis­contentednesse under afflictions and persecu­tions, hardly can it bear with patience, some heart rising this way may arise: but then in comes Christ purting in execution the Law [Page 214]of patience and contentednesse, and puls downe all those impatient discontented thoughts, and then let patience have her per­fect worke, and the soule is quieted and contented, and willingly submits unto the minde of Jesus, and then it can say with the Apostle Paul, Phil. 4.11. I have learn'd in what estate soever I am, therewith to bee content, and now the soule is quieted, and waits patiently upon the Lord, and now the soule sayth, ô how unlike am I to Christ 3 he suffered (meekly as a lamb dumb before the shearer, and opened not his mouth) for me a sinner, he suffered for me, the just for the un­just, that hee might bring me to God, and shall not I be contented to suffer reproach and shame for him, and then come what will come, patience possesseth the soule.

5 Christ sets up the Law of heavenly mindednesse in the heart of a Christian, and indeed it is no wonder, for his Kingdom is there, heaven is there, The Kingdome of hea­ven is within you, Luke, 17.21. and therefore needs must Christ set up this Law in his Kingdome, and that in opposition to earthly mindednesse, sinfulnesse, or any thing that is opposite to holynesse and heavenlynesse; and you know how the spirits of men, nay, [Page 215]of Christians, are apt to be below the Lord Jesus: somtimes on earthly object; somtimes, vaine, proud, unprofitable things run in the mind, but Christ he comes, and scatters those low things, and raiseth the heart to himselfe, and keeps the heart in such a temper, that nothing can satisfie it but himself, and when it loseth its heavenly temper, its heavenly glo­ry, it is presently troubled, and it cannot pos­sibly take comfort in any thing beneath the Lord Jesus: and here is a continuall combat and conflict between the flesh and the spirit, the corrupt nature and the divine nature; and certainly here corruption and Satan, ma­nytimes brings sadnesse upon the spirits of the Saints, in darkning, in overshadowing their heavenly enjoyment, I meane in way of sense, although they can never shake the faith of the soule in whom Christ dwels, Mat. 16. The gates of Hell shall not prevaile a­gainst it.

Consider now, doe you finde Christs King­dom, Christs laws, these set up in your hearts? do you find Christ opposing lust and corrupti­on within you, or do you not? If Christ be there, you will finde it in some measure: I confesse it, that Christ according to his diversi­ties of operations and workings, keeps this [Page 216]law of sin under in some souls more then in other, both the workings of it, and the guilt of it, Rom 8.2. The law of the spirit of life, hath made free from the law of sin and death: that is free from the power, as it comes with authority, as a law; there Christ subdues, al­though it wil be there as a rebel reigning, yet it shal set up no law in the soul where Christ is. Consider of it you that were never troubled about your sins, but all things are at peace within you: it is a sad signe Christ hath not set up his Kingdome there: While the strong man (the Devill) keeps the house, all things are at peace, all quiet, and so the poore creature lives in a fools Paradise, and plcases himself in this condition, but beleeve it when the Lord Jesus comes, He will sit as a refiner, and as a purifier, hee will purge out the drosse when hee comes: Mal. 3.3. But who may abide the day of his comming, he will come with the refiners fire, and the fullers sope, he comes not to bring peace, that is, with lust and corruption, but the Lord cuts them downe: corruption dyes when Christ comes.

Object. But perhaps, some soul may ob­ject: I find indeed some stirring within me, some to evill, and some motions to good, how shall I know that this flows from the King­dome [Page 217]of Christ, set up in my soule, or from some other principle?

Answ. There is a conflict betweene the law and naturall conscience, and there is a conflict between the spirit of Christ, his work in the spirit of the Christian, and the flesh corrupt nature and Satan.

1 There is a conflict betweene naturall conscience, and the law, or the minde legally enlightned and the law: and this may be in a naturall man or an Hypocrite. Thus it was with Judas, I have sinned in betraying the in­nocent bloud. He saw his sin, he had transgres­sed the law, and now hee is troubled, not be­cause of his sin, as it was a sin, but because his conscience now dogs him, will not let him rest. This conflict may be in the heart of a poor creature, and Christ never come there in the way of mercy; and the soule deceive and cozen it self, thinking Christ is their opposing sin, when it is nothing else, but the minde of man legally enlightned, apprehending wrath, and anger, from the breach of the law: and now walks more circumspectly yeelds more perfectobedience, opposes sin, as a transgression of the law, and so thinks it selfe in a goodly paradise, in a fair way for heaven. And thus many poor souls deceive themselves and undo their souls everlastingly.

[Page 218] But perhaps some may say, how shall I know the difference between mine one oppo­sing sin, from a principall of legall light? whe­ther the conflict be betweene naturall con­science and the law? or the Kingdome of Christ set up in my soule, and sin?

Answ. The conflict betweene naturall conscience and the law, it is only from the ap­prehension of the condemnation of the Law: the law saith, thou shalt not sin; if thou do'st it, thou must suffer, thou must be condemned: conscience enlightned, seeing this is cast down, and perhaps is much perplexed for sin; sets against sin, opposeth it with might and mayn, and resolves to sin no more: and anon sin presents it self, and the Law presents it self, and then out of doors sin must: but why? because of the law, not because of Christ: the law will give it no rest, no peace there? now to illustrate this by a comparison in these days of war; I do not question, but there are many in this countrey that are turned Palia­menteers for feare lest the Law seize upon their goods and persons, and so they loose all: their mindes are so far enlightned, that they see it is good to sleepe in a whole skin as they say, and hence they can perhaps talk somtimes, and do for the Parliament, when indeed their [Page 219]mindes are contrary: well, there comes one whose minde is not so farre enlightned as to seeke their owne externall good, while he is here, one whom this man loves, and could gladly entertain him; but for fear of the law he shall be counted and taken for an enemy to the State; out of doores this man go; none dares entertain him: but why? not for want of love, but for feare: beloved I have known the truth of this on the otherside enow.

And thus it is with this man, perhaps the poore creature could be content to entertaine sinne in his bosome, lust, anger, pride, &c. but no sooner doth sin appeare, but the law that appeares, conscience that is troubled, out must the sin, else conscience cannot be quier: and so (beloved) for the quietnesse of consci­ence, who fears eternall flames, Esay 33.14. out sin must and an externall conformity fol­lows, and so the man is become a Christian. It is as a man that hath a loving friend, hee brings him to his houfe, but the wife will not be satisfied, she scolds, out must the man, else there will be no peace: so sin would finde welcome, perhaps, and kinde entertainment with the man, but naturall conscience from the apprehension of the law, scolds and threa­tens, and out must the beloved lust, else there [Page 220]will be no peace. I feare mee many a poore soule split themselves upon this rock.

But when Christ comes and sets up his Kingdome in the soul, he presently writes his law in the heart, makes them partakers of the divine nature, makes them awilling people: and now the conflict is not between the mind and the law, but between the spirit and sin: were there no law, that matters not with the gracious soule, it sees such a great dispropor­tion and distance betweene its beloved, and sin, that there ariseth a bitter enmity between sin and the law of love, in the soule of the Saints; that the every appearance, the very motions of sin, as it is sin, not as it brings condemnation, but as it is filthy, polluting, contrary to the minde of Christ. O the soule hath a continuall loathing of it, and thus hee that is born of God sinneth not, gives not the least allowance to sin, in the very thought; the very thought of it is bitter.

Quest. But what are the effects of this Kingdom of Christ in the souls of the Saints?

Answ. First, is the utter subversion and destruction of the Kingdom of Satan and sin: for all sin is of the Devill, and he that is borne of God, sinneth not as you have heard.

2 Is the continuall possessing of the soule [Page 221]with the enjoyment of God. Christ always dwelling in the heart of the Saints: for it is his Kingdom and the presence of Christ makes it heaven.

3 Is joy and peace, Rom. 15.13. The God of hope fill you with joy and peace through be­lieving: And the kingdome of heaven consi­steth not in meat and drinke, but in righteous­nesse and peace and joy in the holy spirit.

Joy unspeakable and full of glory: the soul in whom Christ dwels, who lives in the con­tinuall enjoyment of God, must needs enjoy much consolation, In his presence is fulnesse of joy, and at his right hand pleasures for ever­more.

4 He brings over those in whom he rules, to submit to the outward regiment of his Kingdome.

The second particular propounded is, the Kingdome of Christ over the Saints, as Christ reigns in, so he reigns over the Saints. It is this Kingdom in them, that brings them in submission to his Kingdom without them: and this is a spirituall Kingdom likewise: note I pray you, this kingdom of Christ is all spiri­tuall likewise: 1 There is spirituall matter. 2 Spirituall Laws and Institutions. 3 Spiri­tuall executions. 4 Spirituall ends.

[Page 222] 1 Christ he is a King, he is the King of his people, and God will exalt him, and manifest him to be King one day, Psal. 2.6. Yet have I set my King upon the holy hill of Sion. Christ is King, and he shall reign, not­withstanding the opposition of men, of great men: Why do the Gentiles rage, and the peo­ple imagine vain things? they consult, they take counsell together, against the Lord and against his Christ: Kings and great men, and wise learned men, they rage, they consult, they take counsell together against Christ to de­stroy his Kingdome. The most great and learned men in the world at this day rage a­gainst the Kingdom of Christ, they would set up a Kingdom of their own, and then compell men unto it: who ever it is that e­stablishes a worship with Laws and E­dicts, to compell all unto it, and to in­flict bodily punishments, upon all that re­fuse it, or cannot joyn with it, doth what in him lyeth absolutely to destroy the Kingdome of Christ; over the soule: and if men be er­roneous and worship contrary to the rule of truth, it is Christ himselfe that must judge him, and not man, he (to wit God) hath com­mitted all judgment to the Son: therefore saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 4.5. Judge nothing before [Page 223]the time, and Jam. 4.11, 12. if thou judge an­other (sayth the Apostle) thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy: What art thou that judgest another? Note, for men to passe a finall sentence, is not to doe the minde of Christ, but to get into the room of Christ; for man to set up a law in matter of worship, and compell unto it, and judge and condemne bo­dy, and soule, for not submitting, is to exalt themselves above Christ, and so indeed is An­tichristian: not but that the Churches of Christ have power to judge and determine of things amongst themselves, about the spiri­tuall affairs of Christ, and to excommunicate a wilfull offender: it is according to the rule, to cut him off from every fellowship with the Saints, as you shall heare anon; but not to de­stroy his body: but the Church of Christ hath nothing to doe to judge or meddle with those that are without, 1 Cor. 5.12, 13. Therefore if any Church or Magistrate would exercise that power they conceive Christ hath entrusted them in, about spirituall Church affaires, I humbly conceive that they have nothing to do with those that are not of the same body with them, or the same society, as many Churches may be in society: but those that are [Page 224]without, be they Saints, be they what they will, good or bad, they are without to them; and what hast thou to doe with them that are without? God judgeth them: Rom. 14.4. Who art thou that judgest another mans servant? to his own master, he standeth or falloth: If it be objected that the Church of England is a true Church, and all these that absent them­selves, were members, and therefore they are to be dealt with as offending members in the Church. This is all can be objected I am sure against them, for I think their faithfulnes to the State, speaks in the eares of every man (almost) of reason; and therefore, the State cannot meddle, where there is no Civill law transgressed? Therefore for answer to that objection, suppose Englands Church were a true Church (which will never be proved; but I passe it in this place) yet can they but pro­ceed according to the rule Christ hath given in Scripture: if in this perticular, there might be a proceeding according to rule, that is, to admonish those that are contrary minded, if that will not do, to excommunicate, passe the Church censure upon them; this is the fur­thest that I know can be done by any Church of CHRIST: and they are then (not to cut them off out of the Land, out of [Page 225]the World) but to admonish them as bre­thren, 2 Thess. 3.15. If such as do not, or can­not cōform, to the worship prescribed by man should be cut off our of the land, out of the world, what meanes could then be used for their conversion? Is there not still hope while the creature is yet alive; and above ground? Therefore I conceive it to be unchristian cru­elty to judge men in this case: never any wee read of, but heathens, that did the like under the Gospel: and Christ hath said, Judge not that ye be not judged, for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged? Mat. 17.1, 2. & Jam. 2.13. For hee shall have judgment with­out mercy, that sheweth no mercy: Mercilesse men are the miserablest men under Heaven, there is no mercy for them, God wil deal with them as they deal with others: it is both the Law and Prophets to do: as we would be done unto. Now consider a little, I pray thee, thou that canst be content in thy heart to persecute those that differ from thee in judgement: wouldest thou be content to be so dealt with thy self? Doth the Lord Jesus the King of Saints, require or accept of any service, but that is free and voluntary? but I professe; Christ you see is King, and he shall be exalted King, and manifested to be King on day, [Page 226] Psal. 45.6. with Heb. 1.8. But unto the Son hee sayth, thy throne, ô God, is for ever; a Scep­ter of righteousnesse is the Scepter of thy king­dome. Here is a King, a Kingdome, a Scepter, Christ the King, the Saints the Kingdome, the Word the Scepter, Esay 9.6, 7. He is a King, and of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end: that is, till there be no more time, till time shall cease in this World; after he shall give up the King­dome to the Father, and God shall be all in all, 1 Cor. 15.28. Thus you see Christ is King: I come in the second place to the Kingdome which is wholy spirituall, My kingdom, sayth Christ, is not of this world.

1 The matter of Christs Kingdome is spi­rituall, Saints called out of the world: this is the Church, the Kingdome of Christ; the Saints gathered out of the World, by the preaching of the Gospel, into the order and fellowship of the Gospel; they are Saints, al­though some thinke strange to hear of Saints in this World, yet they are in Scripture called Saints, that is Sanctus holy, see 1 Cor. 1. called to be Saints, called to be holy, so Heb. 3.1. Wherefore holy brethren partakers of the hea­venly calling: so that the kingdome of Christ is, or should be Saints, holy ones; not the [Page 227]world, for all the world are not Saints, but the Kingdome of Christ, are Saints called out of the World, John 15.19. Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, The Church of Christ are Saints chosen out of the World, they are not of the World, they are a people separated, or severed out of the World, so was the Church of the Iews, Levit. 20.26. Ye shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you, from other people, that you should be mine. And thus it is with the spirituall Israel of Christ, under the Go­spel, of which the naturall was a type: they are not of this World, they are called out of this World, and severed or separated from the World, 2 Cor. 6.14, to the end: they are to be separated from the world, although the world hath gotten a forme of godlinesse. See 2 Tim. 3.1, 5. The Apostle speaking of the last times, reckons up what courses men should take, what sins they should be addicted to, and yet concludes they shall have a forme of godlines, but from such turne away, or be ye separated. So that you see, the Church, which is Christs Kingdome, are a people called out of the world, they are not of this world as he is not of this world. Then certainly those are no friends to Christ, that would turn the World [Page 228]in to a Church, and so make the kingdome of Christ not a spirituall, but a carnall kingdom; and so make the Lord Jesus a lyer, for he hath said, His Kingdome is not of this world: but let Christ be true, and every man a lyer. The Church of Christ, his kingdom, they are such as are in the order and fellowship of the Go­spel, compacted together, according to the Gospel rule, in order and fellowship: it is in the spirituall kingdome of Christ in this case, as in the body politick: the whole kingdome under one governmēt is but one body politick, or state: so the Kingdom of Christ, his church, although gathered in many bodies, yet it is but one body, and every body hath the same power, the same priviledges, so that it ought to be a body compacted together, under the reign and rule of one Lord lesus, Ephes. 4.16. and the externall way, by which the Saints enter into this fellow ship, it is by baptisme, as you may see, Acts 2.41. Then they with the godly received the word, and were baptized, and so added, but I have spoken of this formerly, and therefore I passe it here.

2 As Christ hath a Kingdom, and that is spirituall, in relation to the matter, so he sets up Laws and they are spirituall, the Laws [Page 229]of Christ in his Kingdom is.

  • 1 The law of love.
  • 2 The law of edification.

1 The law of love, Gal. 5.13, 14. By love serve one another, for all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy selfe, and Jam. 2.8. It is cal­led, the royall Law of God, Thou shalt love thy neighbonr as thyselfe, this is the Law of the Gospel, love to Christ, and love to the Saints. A new commandement give I unto you, that yee love one another, Joh. 13.34. Now this love breaks forth in causing the Saints to walke up according to every rule of the Gospel, it constrains them to submit to e­very word, to every comand of Christ, it cau­seth the Saints to watch over each other, to build up each other in the most holy faith, to restore a weak brother with the spirit of meek­nesse, being falne, Gal. 6.1. to beare one ano­thers burthens, and so to fulfill the Law of CHRIST: Thus CHRIST rules in and over his Kingdom, by this law of love, It is the end of the command of the Gospel, love out of a pure heart and faith unfained, 1 Tim. 1.5. He gives rules unto his people, out of love, he causeth them to obey out of love, there is no condemnation in his law [Page 230]to his people, but if they sin, they have an ad­vocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righ­teous, 1 Joh. 2.1. who is a propitiation for their sins. Here is love in the King, love in the sub­jects, love in Christ commanding, love in Christians obeying, a Kingdom upheld and maintained by the law of love. O that the God of love would increase this love more abundaritly, both in your and my soul, 1 Thes. 3.12. The Lord make you to abound in love one towards another, and to wards all men. O this love is sweet, amiable, pleasant, Psal. 133.1. love to the Saints, love to all men, it is the way to win them to the Lord Jesus, 2 Tim. 2.25. This is the main law by which Christ rules in and over his Saints, his Churches, his Kingdom: and this is spiri­rituall.

2 There is the law of edification, 1 Cor. 14.26. Let all things be done to edifying. It is the law of Christ in his Church, that all things should be done to edification, for the building up of the Saints in their most holy faith, therefore the Apostle 1 Cor. 10.23. makes light of that which tends not to edifi­cation, All things are lawfull for me, but all things edifie not, that is it which a Christian should looke most unto, that is it that will [Page 231]edifie most: it is the end of their compacting and building together in faith and fellow­ship, that they might edifie each other in love, Ephes. 4.16 All done in the Church is for the edification of the body, or should be: every Ordinance that Christ hath set up in his Kingdom is for Edification; Watching over each other, Exhortation, Admonition, it is all for edification: Baptisme, Preaching, the Supper of the Lord, Communion and fellow­ship, it is all for edification, and consolation, as Christ hath appointed it, Act. 2.41. to 46. 1 Cor. 14.3. Church censure, excommuni­cation, it is an Ordinance appointed of God for edification, to bring the sinner into the sight of his sinne, and that should bee the Churches end in the use of it: Give him up to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the soule might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Cor. 5.5. that is the end of this ordi­nance, and should be the Churches end in the execution of it, 1 Cor. 16.22. If any man love not the Lord Jesus, let him be Anathema Maranatha, let him be accursed till the Lord come, so the word Maranatha implies: it consists of two Syrian words, Maran out Lord, Atha come, till our Lord come.

That is, as I understand it, till the Lord [Page 232]come, either in a way of love convincing him by this ordinance, or to judge and con­demne him, so that other Scripture seems to imply, 1 Cor. 5.5. That his soule may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, the day Jesus comes in to doe good unto him, for when e­ver the Lord Jesus takes an oportunity to doe good to a sinner, that is the day of the Lord, or the Lords day, when he manifests mercie, see Psal. 110.3. 2 Cor. 6.2.

Thus Christ rules by his Law generally in the Assembly of Saints: But

2 He manifests his Kingly power in or­daining officers with their gifts and cal­lings, which the Scripture seems in the strict­est and most refined sense to call Elders and Deacons, or Bishops and Deacons, 1 Tim. 3.1, 2, 3, &c.

Of Bishops or Elders are two sorts, or a different administration, with relation to their gifts, ruling and teaching, these al­though they ought not to seeke it, for they are the Churches servants, yet by the Church are to be accounted worthy of double honour, 1 Tim. 5.17. and in things partaining to Christ are to be obeyed, for they watch for soules, Heb. 13.17.

Quest. But what power hath Christ com­mitted [Page 233]to his Church, wherein his Kingly office appears?

Answer. Hee hath given power to his Church.

  • 1 To Judge,
  • 2 To Determine,
  • 3 To Passe sentence.

1 To Iudge, and this under a twofold con­sideration, 1 Of the faith of members that are to be received. 2 Of proceedings within the same body.

1 Of the faith of members that are to bee admitted: This belongs to the Church, or some appointed thereunto by the Church: For if faith be required of those that are to be admitted, then faith is to be manifested in those received, to those that receive it, this is a truth generally held forth in Scripture, Act. 2.38. with the 41. and Act. 8.37. and 19.17, 18. And likewise there seems to bee somthing to this purpose in that Scripture, Mat. 16.19. I will give unto thee the keyes of the Kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt binde on earth, shall be bound in heaven: Whatsoever the Church of Christ concludes on on earth, is approved of in heaven, while they walke according to rule, although I be­lieve [Page 234]the great mystry couched under these words is another thing, to wit, the power Christ gives to the faith of Peter, & all that ob­tain like precious faith: whatsoever is bound on earth (that is, whosoever believes on earth) that is, bound in heaven: whosoever believeth not on earth looseth all, it is loosed in heaven: for it is to Peters faith Christ commits the keyes

2 There is power to judge of things in the Church, and this every member ought to make use of in looking to the wayes of each other, Phil. 2.4. Look not every one to his own things, but every one to the things of one ano­ther, Mat. 18.17, 18. Thus all the body ought to watch over each other, and to judge the actions of each other, thus the Elder is to watch over the body, and to judge the a­ctions, and to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with patience and love where is occasion: and thus may, nay, and ought, the whole Church to watch over (and if occasion be) reprove, admonish, &c. the Elder. Thus is the King­ly office of Christ, carryed along sweeetly in the Church of Christ, 1 Tim. 5.19, 20. When all watch over each other, when all are sub­ject each to other. 1 Pet. 5.5.

2 Christ hath given power, as to Judge, [Page 235]so to Determine of things, and this for the good of the body, for the order of the Church of Christ,

3 And also It, to passe sentence (I mean) spi­rituall, by way of excommunication, as you heard before. I conceive the Church and state of the Jews, who was Abrahams natu­rall seed, was a type of the Church of the Gospel, the spirituall seed of Christ, Gal. 3.26. They had laws and statutes, so hath the Church of Christ now, onely theirs carnall, ours spirituall: for that Church was more carnall then Spirituall, for that was the na­turall seed, this the spirituall: they were to admit none but those that were naturally or bodily circumcised, we none but those that are spirituall, Rom. 2. ult. They were not to touch any thing, whereupon was any exter­nall uncleannesse, wee are not to touch the spirituall unclean thing, that is Sin, or sinfull worships or fellowships, 1 Cor. 6.15, 16, 17. They were to put offenders that were grosse to death bodily, the Church of Christ spiri­tually by excommunication: Thus is the Kingly office of Christ carried along in the Kingdom, in the Church of Christ under the Gospel, and you see both Church and Laws are spirituall.

[Page 236] 3 The executions of the Churches Laws are spirituall, but this I have opened alrea­dy in my foregoing discourse, therefore I passe.

4 The ends of it are spirituall, namely, as you have heard.

1 The good of the body, the edifying of the body of Christ, see Ephes. 4.11. And

2 The glory of Jesus, the execution of the Laws of Christ, as it tends to the Saints good, so Christs glory, Yee call me Lord (sayth Christ) but where is mine honour? This should be the end, as of all the Saints Church actions, so of all civill actions, the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10.23.

Thus you see Christ is King, and he hath a spirituall Kingdome, and he rules by his Scepter in this Kingdom, and there is good reason for it.

1 He was borne King, he hath a right to it by birth, it is his birthright, Mat. 2.2. Where is he that is borne King of the Iews? He is a Iew that is one inwardly, and it is Christs birthright to reigne over them, and those who take the rule, the Kingdom from Christ, are no lesse then enemies and traitors to the royall crowne and dignity of the Lord Jesus: and he will take them alive one day, and cast [Page 237]them into the lake of fire: Revel. 19.20.

2 He is thereunto appointed by the Fa­ther: God the Father hath committed all judgement to the Sonne, Iohn 10.22. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement to the Son, ver. 27. And hee hath given him authority to execute judge­ment, because he is the Son of God. God the father hath given up the Kingdom to the Son, and all government, rule and dominion, is in the hand of Christ, as he is man as well as God, Act. 17.31. He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the World, by that man whom he hath ordained, Mat. 28.18. All power is given to me, both in heaven and in earth, &c. Thus you see, power and au­thority is given to the Lord Jesus, and he is to exercise it, and not man, farther then hee hath appointed, for the good of his Church.

3 He hath purchased this Kingdom with his own bloud, and therefore good reason he should reigne in it and over it: Act. 20.28. He hath purchased his Church with his own bloud: is it not reason then that Christ should reigne over those whom he hath purchased? those who were lost and undone, children of wrath as well as others, Christ having re­deemed them out of the hands of all their [Page 238]enemies, and now rules-over them in love for their good, the end wherefore he hath saved them, That he might have a people to serve him in holinesse and righteousnesse, Luke 1.74.75. So that the Saints are not their own, They are bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6.19, 20. Therefore glorifie God in your bodies, and in your spirits, which are Gods: They are Gods own by purchase, and he purchased them, That they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that dyed for them, and rose again, 2 Cor. 10.11. Thus you see there is good reason that Christ should be King of Saints: He was borne to it, He is thereunto appointed, He hath purchased them for that end and purpose.

Use A word of information; if it be so that Christ be the King of his people, and he alone ought to rule in all spirituall things, then

1 Those that get in to the throne of Christ, & beare rule where Christ should, are no friends to him. He, who ever he be, That exalts him­selfe above all that is called God, and sits in the seat of God, is the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2.4, 8. Whom Christ will take as his enemy, and destroy him with the breath of his mouth, and the brightnesse of his comming.

2 Those are enemies, who will not have [Page 239]Christ to reign over them, who resolve to sub­mit to the power of man in the things of God: they are no friends to Christ, but enemies, and so he will take them, and so he will deal with them. Luke 19, 27. But those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither and slay them before mee, &c. Acts 3.23. And he that will not he are this Prophet shall be cut off from amongst his people.

3 If the kingdom of Christ be spirituall, not of this World, then those are no friends to Christ, that turn the World into Church; I mean, by a humane Law and Ordinance. Let men turn the World into Church by preach­ing as fast as they can, or as Christ will, but to compell all, to bring in, earthly, ignorant, car­nall men into the Church of Christ, is not as according to the mind of Christ, Ezek. 44.7. to the 14. and this is none of Christs Church, but the Synagogue of Satan; the World, and not the Church. And truly I am apt to con­ceive, from that fore-mentioned Scripture that those, that have been chiefe in this busi­nesse, who are godly amongst them, shall ne­ver be honoured with doing much in the work of God; but they shal come in last, they shall be the meanest, and the lowest; I mean with relation to gifts in the house of God. [Page 240]This may seeme strange to some, but a truth: for God will have none to glory in their own present gifts or excellency, but that hee that gloryeth may glory in the Lord.

Use 2. If the Kingdome of Christ be spiri­tuall, then here is a word of exhortation, to stirre up spirituall people, spirituall men and women, to submit to Christ, to come under the government of Christ, to walk with, to have fellowship with the spirituall people of Christ. Beloved, it is a sad thing to see spiri­tuall people, to walk with the World, to joyn in the Worlds fellowship, in the Worlds worship, What communion hath light with darknesse? What fellowship hath Christ with Beliall? What part hath the believer with the unbeliever? ô that the exhortation might take place in your souls, Come out from amongst them, and be yee separate, and I will receive you. 2 Cor. 6.17. The Lords people are a ho­ly people, and the Lords ways are holy ways: Holinesse becomes thy house, ô Lord, for ever.

Use 3. A word of consolation and joy for the Saints, the Church, the kingdome of Christ: you have cause of joy, and cause of rejoycing. First, that you have such a king, a great king, above all gods; hee that is the Lord of Lords, and the king of kings: hee is [Page 241]our king, he is the king of Saints: the Saints have such a king, who is able to defend them, able to save them from all their enemies: and he will save them, he is able to dash all his and his Saints enemies in peeces, like a potters vessell: and he will, he shall do it, Psal. 2.9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in peeces like a potters vessel. Be wise now therefore, ô ye Kings, and be instructed yee judges of the earth, serve the Lord with fear, and rejoyce with trembling, kisse the Son least he be angry, &c. But let the Saints re­joyce in the Lord, let Israel rejoyce in him that made him, let the children of Sion be joyfull in their King, Psal. 149.2.

2 The Saints have cause to rejoyce and to be comforted, they are all made Kings to the Lord. They are Kings and they shall reign, they reign already over sin and lust, over Sa­tan, Rom. 6.12. Sin shall not have dominion over you: others are slaves to sin and Satan, sin reigns in, and over them, but the Saints reign over sin, they have a Kingdom already within them, without them the Church, which is both Christs and the Saints King­dom, where Christ and the Christian solace themselves together, and they shall have a Kingdom although they are now rejected [Page 242]and reproached of men: Servants ride on horseback, and Princes walke as servants on the ground, Ecles. 10.7. but they shall rule and have dominion, they shall reign, for they are made Kings, Rev. 1.6. chap. 5.10. They shall rule their enemies, those that perhaps formerly have ruled them, Rev. 2.26, 27. To him that overcommeth, and keepeth my words to the end, to him will I give power over the Nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of a potter shall they be bro­ken to shivers, even as I received of my Fa­ther: Thus Christ shall judge, thus the Saints shall judge, Psal. 149.5, 6. A wonder­full comfort for the Saints, but a sad word for the enemies both of Christ and Christians, Let the Saints be joyfull in glory, let them sing aloud upon their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouthes, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the Heathen, and punishment upon the people, to binde their Kings in chains, and their No­bles in fetters of iron, to execute upon them the judgement written, this honour have all the Saints, praise the Lord: Thus the Saints are made Kings you see, and shall have domini­on, and rule, and a Kingdom, although they are rejected and slighted, and counted the [Page 243]off-scouring of all things here, by the men of the world, yet they are Kings, and shall have a kingdom. A great joy for Christians! Dan. 7.27. Luke 12.32.

Lastly, this should stir up the Saints to walk humbly, to walk holily, as becommeth the subjects of the spirituall kingdome of Ie­sus Christ: that as Christ hath called them out of this world, so they should no longer fashion themselves like unto this world, but walk as becomes Christians, professing god­lines, that the name of God be not blasphe­med among the Gentiles. And likewise how doth it concern you who are members in the kingdom, the Church of Christ, to carry on the kingly office of Christ in his Church with majesty, that so all things may be done in or­der, that so confusion and disorders may be avoided, and that every member in particu­lar submit to order: and for that end, to or­daine officers according to rule, the want whereof I conceive is one means of confusion in the Churches, and causeth some to breake from all order: so much briefly concerning the offices of Christ. In all these he is to be ex­alted now in the dayes of the Gospel, Mat. 28.18, 19, 20. Acts 3.22, 23.

Now I come to my text, for the manner [Page 244]how he is to be exalted, as in the preaching of the Gospel, and in the hearts of his people, in his offices, so in my text, Hee is to be exal­ted and lifted up even as Moses lifted up the Serpent in the wildernesse. Now it is true, this might have some relation to his lifting up up­on the crosse, John 12.32, 33. and I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto mee: now John interprets it in the next verse, this hee spake, signifying what death hee should dye: so that Christ was lifted up upon the crosse, chap. 8.28. so hee is still to be lifted up, a dy­ing, a crucified Christ for sin.

But he then was, and still is to be lifted up as the Serpent was lifted up in the wilder­nesse. First, there was the lifting up of the Ser­pent with the manner of it above all the peo­ple. 2 The cause of it, that whosoever was bitten with the fiery Serpent, might look to this brazen Serpent and be cured.

1 The lifting up of the Serpent, with the manner of it, Numb. 21 8, 9. And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery Serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to passe, that every one that is bitten, when hee looketh upon it, hee shall live, verse 9. And Moses made a Serpent of brasse, and put it up­on a pole, and it came to passe, that if a Ser­pent [Page 245]had bitten any man, he beheld the Serpent of brasse and lived.

Here was the lifting up of the Serpent in the wilderness: he was lifted up, upon a pole above all the people, to the end that all that were bitten, might behold him: so Christ is to be lifted up, he is to be exalted above all, as the Serpent in the wildernesse; and that either in the world, or in the Church: in the World, so hee is to be exalted in the preaching of the Gospel, in the view of all, above all, that so men may come to the view of him: and in the Church that so Christ may still have the preheminence.

1 He is to be exalted above the world, or any creature: O how doth the world prevail amongst men? nay, too much amongst Chri­stians: but where Christ comes, hee sets the soul above the creature, 1 John. 5.4, 5. Whoso­ever is borne of God overcommeth the world, and this is the victory that overcommeth the world, even your faith, who is he that over­commeth the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. It is the cleere sight and apprehension of the Lord Jesus, that sets the soule above the world, the more the soule enjoys of Christ, the more it slights things below, thus Christ is to be lifted up, both in [Page 246]the preaching of the Gospel, and in the hearts of the Saints.

2 Christ is to be lifted up above duties and all legall righteousnesse, thus the Apostle lifts up Christ, both in preaching and in his own soule: he preached Christ and him one­ly, 1 Cor. 1.1, 2. I desire to know (that is to make known) nothing but Christ and him crucified: Christ as the alone justifier of all that believe, Rom. 3.24. Being justified free­ly by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, so that he is just, and the ju­stifier of all that believe in Jesus, ver. 26. Christ is the end of the Law, for righteousness to all that believe; Rom. 10.4. Christ justify­ing believers from all things, from which they could not have been justified by the Law of Moses, act 13.39. and thus is Christ to be lifted up in the view of all, Mar. 16.16. God preach the Gospel to every creature, and thus is Christ to be lifted up above all and every name, that is or may be named under hea­ven, wherein men usually rest and deceive themselves, for There is none other name gi­ven under heaven among men, whereby we may be saved, Act. 4.12.

2 In the hearts of the Saints, Christ is to be lifted up above all duties, legall righteous­nesse, [Page 247]or any thing that may be named: all in the soule of the Christian is laid down as emptinesse, nay, as dung and drosse, at the feet of Christ, and the soule glories in no­thing else but Christ and him crucified; thus Christ is to be exalted and lifted up as upon a pole, as the brazen Serpent, above every thing or name, that may be named under heaven.

Quest. What is the reason, that Christ is thus to be exalted?

Answ. 1 Because God hath exalted him and lifted him up for that end and purpose: Phil. 2.9. God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, above every name, &c. God hath given to Christ a high transcen­dent name, a name above every name, the name of a Saviour, and there is no salvation to be attained without him: The desire of all Nations, Hag. 2.7. That the desire of all his people in every Nation might be to him, as the desire of the wife to the husband: The King of his people, men may come, and bow and fall down, and worship before him. God the Father hath set him up as the ensigne to whom the Nations must come, Esay 11.10. as the common Saviour and Gouernour of all Gods elect.

[Page 248] 2 Christ is to be lifted up, that so men may have life by him, the serpent was lifted up, that whosoever was bit with the fiery serpent might live, for the Lord sent fiery serpents amongst the Jews in the wilderness, for their sins, as you may see, Numb. 2.6, 7. who bit them that they dyed, and this was the end, that whosoever was bit with the fiery serpent might looke to the brazen Ser­pent and live. Now I am apt to conceive, that the fiery serpent holds forth the Law, for I finde the Law called a fiery Law, Deut. 33.2. From his right hand went a firy Law: and the brazen Serpent holds forth Christ: Now as the fiery serpent did bite the children of Israel for their sin in the wildernesse, so the Law who hath nothing but fire in it, bites men, and when they are bitten of the Law, they are to look to Jesus.

Object. It seems then that the preaching of the Law, is that prepares for Iesus.

Answ. Nay, it is not so, for although all men are under the law by nature, yet it is the preaching of the Gospel that discovers it. I give you these grounds.

1 A man never savingly sees his evill con­dition without a Christ, but it is the spirit of God that discovers it unto him: this all that [Page 249]are sound in the faith agree unto, then the preaching of the Law brings not this spirit, see Gal. 3.2. This onely would I learn of you (sayth the Apostle, speak out of your expe­rience) received yee the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? Beloved, God hath appointed his spirit to be the means in the preaching of the Gospel, to convince the world of sin, Iohn 16.9. It is the spirit of God that convinceth the world of sin, and that in the preaching of faith, the Apostle was once alive without the Law, that is, without the spirituall understanding of the Law, but when the commandement came, sin reigned, and I dyed: that is, when Christ had opened his eyes to see into the spirit of the Law, for you may see, Act. 9.4, 5, &c. the ministry by which Paul comes to see himselfe, is the voyce of Christ, I am Iesus of Naze­reth, then Paul comes trembling, &c. so that it is Christ in the preaching of the Gospel which is glad tydings for sinners, remission of sins for believers, and this Gospel, this glad tydings, cannot be rightly held forth to the world, but with all, men must be shewed that they are sinners, and the emptinesse of duties, all other foundations must be discove­red, the danger of not accepting Christ, &c. [Page 250]this preaching of Christ and faith in oppo­sition to all legall works and duties, is the means Christ hath appointed to bring men to the knowledge, both of himselfe and them­selves: it is true, every man and woman without faith, is bitten with the fiery ser­pent, the fiery Law, but are not sensible of it, till Jesus come in the preaching of the Gospel, to discover it unto them.

So that this is the reason why Christ is to be lifted up in the dayes of the Gospel, that sinners who behold him may live.

This is the reason following my Text, That whosoever believeth in him, may not pe­rish, but have everlasting life, this is the main reason of the exaltation of Christ, that men believing may have life, this is ever annexed to the preaching of the Gospel, Mar. 16.16. Goe preach the Gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized (that is, whose faith produceth obedience) shall be saved: This is the reason of the Gospel preaching you see, and this is the reason why Christ came into the world, that men might have life through him, John 10.10. for this end God gave him, Ioh. 3.16. God had never sent his Son into the world, had it not been that men by believing in him might have [Page 251]life: and therefore hath Christ left this Or­dinance of preaching in the world, that men might be brought to believe, and there­fore those men are (me thinks) much beside the truth and the Gospel, who pretend to hold forth Christ dying for all alike, and yet deny the preaching of the Gospel, the means by which God brings over the soules of men and women to believe, Rom. 10.17. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, Those who deny the preaching of the Gospel, deny the meanes of working faith.

Quest. But may every one that will, be­lieve?

Answ. Every one to whom God gives faith to believe, may and shall believe, for faith is the gift of God, Ephes. 2.8. and God works faith by the preaching of the Gospel, and this is the maine end of the exalting and lifting up of Christ in the Gospel, that men by believing in him may have life, and there­fore is he to be lifted up as the serpent upon a pole, above all things, all duties, creatures, legall performances, any thing that the crea­ture may rest upon beneath him: Thus you see, beloved, the truth cleered, that Christ is to be exalted in the dayes of the Gospel.

[Page 252] Use, Generally three, 1 A word of Exa­mination, 2 Of Exhortation, 3 Of Con­solation.

1 A word of Examination: and that is double: 1 For our selves in particular, what say you to this? Hath Christ been lifted up in your soules above all things? hath he had the preheminence above all? he who is in­deed above all, and in all, and through all? Have your souls seen Christ, the chiefe among ten thousand? and is it still so with you? are you satisfied with him as the wife with her husband, lying down in the bosom of love, content with him and him alone, seeing and enjoying all comfort and consolation in him? Is Christ exalted in your soules as your a­lone Priest and atonement, your peace-maker with God, or else doe you look upon any thing beneath Christ, as the ground of your peace? I feare me the Saints live too much below Christ, and that is the cause of so much sadnesse of spirit, resting upon duties and le­gall performances, they deprive themselves of much comfort they might otherwise enjoy.

2 Is Christ exalted as your alone Pro­phet to teach you? are your eyes upon the Lord Jesus in all his dispensations, expecting [Page 253]teaching from him? Is Christ exalted as King in thy soule? submitting to him in all things, yielding uniuersall obedience to him, and that out of love submitting to all his laws and statutes.

2 Examination, Whether Christ have been thus exalted in the Kingdom, in the Nation, as they desire to stand to him under the relation of a Church as their Priest, Pro­phet and King, and in all these it would easily appear that he hath not been thus ex­alted; he hath not been exalted the alone Priest and atonement indeed and in truth, but in word and shew, but duties, prepara­tions, and qualifications, have been held forth with him, and that none but those thus fitted and qualified might in any case be­lieve. First, bringing men to the Law, and then to Christ, which is a legall way, and not evangelicall: it is true, the Jews were first brought to the Law and then to Christ, but under the Gospel men are first to bee brought to the Gospel to Christ, and then to duties of the Gospel, for all preparations and qualifications whatsoever, which is not of faith, is sin, and I am sure faith comes by preaching of the Gospel, not of the Law, Mar. 16.16, 17. Therefore the preaching of qua­lifications [Page 254]and preparations before faith, is sin, for all things before, or without faith, is sinne.

2 Hath Christ been received as the alone Prophet, to teach? hath his Word been made the rule of all actions, submitting to him in all things, Act. 3.22, 23. any way? Judge of the truth of it.

3 Hath Christ been exalted as King, to submit to him as the alone law giver of his Church of his people? hath not man been submitted unto? hath not man sate in the feare of God, making laws and constitutions of their own, compelling all thereunto, as once Darius made a Decree, Dan. 6. That all that should aske any Petition of God or man for thirty dayes, should be cast into the den of lyons? so men set up themselves, their own decrees, and compell unto it: this is not a­greeable to the Kingly dominion of Christ: Christ hath not been exalted King, it is true, there hath been a name of Christ, but that is all: the power of Christ in all his offices, hath been rejected, and the truth is, that the gene­rality have been wholy legall, fetching rules from the Law, from Moses, and so denying Christ to be come in the flesh.

Legall churches, Nationall, as the Jews: [Page 255]legall Covenant of works made with the Jews, taken away to us that believe, Heb. 10.9. legall preaching, setting up of works with Christ, when the Apostle sayth, Hee that worketh not but believeth, &c. Rom. 4. 4, 5. Legall Priests, the very title, and legall maintenance, tythes, but they that preach the Gospel, live of the Gospel. Legall administrations, I mean after legall rules, circumcision, and the like, legall prayers and duties to make peace and atone ment: legall laws and institutions compelling all to one worship, persecuting the contrary minded, because the Iews did so: thus be­loved, hath the men of this and former Ge­nerations, both in this and other Nations, raised up Moses from the dead, and put his laws in execution, under the name of Christ: and so in deed and practice deny Christ to be come in the flesh, although in word they ac­knowledge him: the Lord open their eyes that they may see farther into the mystery of the Gospel.

In a word, Christ hath not been exalted as the brazen serpent upon a pole, above eve­ry thing, all duties, prayers, ordinances, in the hearts of men, and that hath caused so many (as I cannot but judge gracious soules) [Page 256]to goe with sorrow to their graves, ever kept in a way of working, under a legall bondage, no longer pray and be spirituall in duty, no longer comfort, as if a Christian li­ved by prayer, preaching, and ordinances: no, no, beloved, they live above these, upon the Lord Jesus by faith: not that the Saints should not make use of these, but not live up­on them: Christ is the Christians life, and so far as he communicates himselfe in these to the Christian, he hath cause of joy, but if he deny himselfe there: for the tryall of the soule, it is to let him see the emptinesse of all things without himselfe, and to cause the Christian to live by faith, for we live by faith and not by sense, 2 Cor. 5.7. But enough of this, here onely let the Saints who are de­livered out of this bondage, this spirituall, Babylonish, confused captivity, give God the Glory.

Use 2 A word of Exhortation to the servants of Jesus: in all things to exalt and lift him up; to lift him up in preaching; in their hearts; in their obedience to him, that Christ may be all and in all to your soules: that you give up your selves a holy, living, acceptable, sacrifice, to God, that you who have taken his name and truth upon you, exalt him as your [Page 257]alone Priest, Prophet, King, in your conver­sations; that yee may be such as become the Gospel of Christ, holy, humble, full of love to all: as much as in you lyeth do good unto all, but especially to the houshold of faith: that so your light shining before men, they may have cause to glorifie your father which is in hea­ven: and that gain-sayers may be convinced by your godly converstion: Beloved if you seeke the lifting up of Christ above all, then certainly your care will be, to live a Christ-like life while you are in this world.

3 And lastly, a word of Consolation, for poor sinners: Christ is to be lifted up in the dayes of the Gospel, that men by beleeving in him might have life by him: what doe you say to this? is there ever a soule present that wants faith, and is sensible of it, that wants life? Christ came to give life, he is lifted up now in the days of the Gospel, for that very end and purpose, that dead men might have life by him. O is not here mercy! here is a way made whereby sinners may become Saints, slayes may become sons. Here is a fountaine opened for sin, and for uncleannesse, if the Lord help your soules to wash there. What say your souls to this? is there ever a poore creature bit with the fiery serpēt with the sense [Page 258]of the evill of sin! O here is a Christ lifted up for that very end, and purpose that poore self-destroying sinners may come to him and live? Esay 45.22. looke to me, and be yee saved, all the ends of the earth: O here is blessed newes, a blessed word for sinners if the Lord give you hearts to make use of it! Christ excludes none, to whome he gives a heart to receive him: is it not a mercy that God hath pro­vided an object for dead soules to looke upon, and live? Truly beloved, it is the richest mer­cy in the world, where God gives a heart to accept it.

Here is discovered the blessed condition of the poore despised Saints. O they are in a saved condition, those to whom Christ hath given faith. O they have cause to rejoyce overmore, they have cause to be filled with Joy and peace, Joy unspeakable and full of glory. What if they are reproached, and per­secuted for the name and sake of CHRIST their Saviour, their Husband, their All in, the delight of their soules? yet they are happy, and they shall never perish, but they shall one day be freed from all these enemies, and when Christ who is their life shall appeare, they shall appeare with him in glory: that Christ who is lifted up high in [Page 259]their hearts, in their souls here, will lift them up one day as high as himselfe in glory, above devill, above men, above sin, and set them with himself where they shall en­joy pleasure without sorrow, felowship with­out mixture, and sing prayses and Halelujahs without end.


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