OR, The prime and principall Points which a Christian is to know and believe.

Handled in sundry SERMONS upon Texts of Scripture selected and chosen for the purpose.

Wherein the Method of the CREED, (Commonly called The Apostles Creed) is observed; and the Articles thereof are confirmed, explained and applied, for the instructing of the ignorant, and the establishing of all in the TRUTH.

BY CHRISTOPHER CARTWRIGHT, Minister of the Word at York.

LONDON, Printed by R. A. for RICHARD LOVVNDES at the Unicorn on Lud-gate Hill over against Bell-Savage. 1649.

To the Christian Reader.

WHat hereticall, blasphemous and damna­ble opinions have of late years been vented and published amongst us in this Land, is over-notorious, and but too well knowne both at home and abroad: For both the reformed Their words are presently after cited. Churches in forraigne parts have complained of it, and also we our selves by publike order and appointment have professed March 10. 1646. solemne humiliation for it: ▪Surely it is a very sad thing and much to be deplored, that Protestants who have abandoned communion with the Romish Babylon, because of those impious and Antichristian Doctrines, that are maintained in it, should fall themselves to imbrace opinions no lesse erroneous, yea, indeed more monstrous then those of the Papists, Yea, and that a Nation should even then be most grossely infected in this kind, when it hath but newly in a most sacred manner promised and pro­fessed Reformation: Divers years ago when things were nothing so bad in this respect, as since they have been, the Walachrian Churches in an Epistle sent to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, set forth the hainousnesse of the crime that we are guilty of: and have not we great reason now to be sensible of it, and affected with it? Let your consciences judge (say they) how all kind of heresies can passe un­punished, Judicent conscientiae vestra, quo­modo omne haercsium genus in [...]l­tum permitti, multifaria schisma­tum semina spargi, & profana er­rorum dogmata passi [...] in vulg [...]s proferri possint in illa civita [...]e, quae tam expresso, sancto & sever [...] juramento sesc devinxit ad omnes errores, haereses, schismata è dom [...] Dei ejicienda. Ep. praefix. Apoll [...]. manifold seeds of Schismes be sowne, and prophane Doctrines of errors be commonly vented abroad in that City (yea, in that Nation) which by so ex­presse, sacred and severe an oath hath bound it selfe before God to cast out all errors, heresies and schisms from the house of God. [Page] The consideration of the growth and spreading of such pernicious errors, moved me in the course of my Ministery to spend some time in handling the first principles of the Oracles of God, (as they are called, Heb. 5. 12.) the prin­cipall and fundamentall points of Religion, according to the method and order of the Creed, called the Apostles Creed, wherein they are comprized. This I conceived very requi­site and needfull, as a chief means, if not to recover those that are infected, yet to preserve others from infection: For (as one well observes) a principall way of fortifying ourMr. Vines Serm. on the day of humiliati­on for the growth of errors, he­resies, &c. pag. 57. selves against the allurements and assaults of false Teachers, is to be grounded in the principles, of the Doctrines of Christ, or else we shall easily be tumbled up and downe like loose stones that lie not fast in the building upon the foun­dation. The Apostle himself doth shew, that such as are children (to wit, in understanding, either altogether igno­rant of the Doctrine of Faith, or not well grounded in it, 1 Cor. 14. 20.) are ready to be tossed to and fro, and carried away with every wind of Doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftinesse, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Ephes. 4. 14. And that such are soon led captive, who are ever learning, but never able to come to the know­ledge of the truth, to wit, a thorough and well-grounded knowledge of it, 2 Tim. 3. 6, 7. This knowledge is (as wofull experience shewes) much wanting in many: And hence it is, that errors and heresies have so prevailed amongst us, whilest some through ignorance are circumvented, se­duced and drawne away, and others (though perhaps full of invectives against Sects, yet) have nothing to alledge in defence of truth, or onely that which is to little purpose, custome, example, and the like; whereby it comes to passe, that the Authors and abettors of error do the more tri­umph, and such as are insnared by them, are the most fast­ened unto them.

I grant indeed, that it is not Christ in the head, but Christ in the heart; not a bare notionall knowledge of Christ, but a spirituall knowledge of him, that will serve the turne. But yet neverthelesse Christ must be in the head, or els he cannot be in the heart; (I speak in respect of such as are of years) there must be a notionall knowledge of Christ, or else there cannot be a spirituall knowledge of [Page] him: As the Athenians were far wrong, who thought to worship an unknowne God, Acts 17. 23. so are they, who think to believe in an unknown Christ; That ye may know and believe, said he, Joh. 10. 38. first know, and then believe. It's true, (as Austine saith) not the quicknesse of under­standing, but the simplicity of be­lieving doth make many safe: YetCaeteram. turbam non intelligendi vivacitas, sed credendi simplici­tas tutos facit. Aug. contra Epist. Fundam. cap. 4. Quaenam est ista, quaeso, simplici­tas, nescire quod credas? Hieron. adversus Luciferian. that of Hierome is no lesse true, What simplicity, I praey you, is this, to believe you know not what? Belfarmine himself though in the heat of contention, and carried away with a spirit of contradicti­on, he sticks not to say, that Faith Fides meliùs definitur per igno­rantiam, quàm per notitiam. Bel. de Justif. lib. 1. cap. 7. §. Judicium autem. Cognitio apprehensiva praeexigi­tur quidem ad fidem, sed non est ipsa propriè fides. Bel. de Justif. lib. 1. cap. 16. §. Restat caput. &c. is better defined by ignorance then by knowledge: yet afterwards being in a more calme temper, he confesseth, that an apprehensive knowledge is pre-required unto faith, though it be not faith it self. Therefore not to speak now of the impiety of the Church of Rome, that seeks by all means that may be, to nuzzle people in ignorance, dealing with them as the Philistines dealt with Sampson, who first put outJudg. 16. his eyes and made him blind, and then made a slave of him, and abused him at their pleasure: Not to speak, I say, of this; others there be, who are worthy to be abhorred of all Christians, in that they so flie unto the Mystery of the Gos­pell, as that they quite abolish and annull the History of it; they turne all that the Scripture doth record of Christ into a meer Allegory. And some again, though perhaps they be Orthodox, and deliver nothing but what is sound and true, yet are faulty in this, that they think it a sufficient, yea a more then ordinary preaching of Christ, to have his Name fre­quently in their mouthes, and in a generall way to speake much of him, when as yet they never shew what he is, or what he hath done and suffered, nor scarce e­ver handle any one Article of FAITH concerning Christ, as if this were too triviall for them to trouble themselves about, so that many poor souls, though they hear [Page] Christ mentioned a thousand times, yet still remain as igno­rant of him, and so as apt to entertain any false opinion con­cerning him, as ever they were. For the instructing of such, as also for the confirming and further edifying of those, who have more knowledge, these Sermons here presented to publike view, may (thorough Gods blessing) be usefull and profitable. This is that, which I aimed at in the preaching, neither have I any other design in the publishing of them. I know, these times afford but small incouragement to the Writers, and publishers of books of this nature. For though we may seem to crosse the Pro­verb, What have the Muses to do Quid Musis cum Marte? [...] Si literae, non arma; si arma, non literae. Sic Hebraei teste Buxtorfio in praefat. More Neb. with Mars? The pen and the pike seldome find room in one place, Yet (alas) so it is, either new Oc­currences, or new Opinions are the things, which now most look af­ter: that which is sober, serious and solid, will find but few that will regard it. But he, who is wisdome it selfe, doth tell us that wisdome is justified of her children, Mat. 11. 19. And he, who was as wise as any meer mortall, saith, A wise man will hear, and will increase learning, Prov. 1. 5. And again, Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase learning, Prov. 9. 9. Some are apt to mind not so much the matter, as the man, not so much what it is that is spoken, as who it is that speaks it. What ever proceeds from some, shall be applauded; and what ever proceeds from o­thers shall be sleighted. But as the Jewish Doctours say well, Look not on the canne, but on that which is in it. A preposterous [...] Ex personis probamus fidem, an ex fide personas? Tertul. de Prae­script. cap. 3. and perverse course it is, in stead of judging the authour by the work, to judge the work by the Authour. But (I fear) I exceed the bounds of an Epistle; I will adde no more but, The Lord, who is the God of truth, Isai. 65. 16. and the God of a [...] grace, 1 Pet. 5. 10. by his word and Spirit lead us into, & keep us in all sanctifying and saving truth. So I rest, Thine to serve thee in the Lord,

Chr. Cartwright.


HEB. 11. 6. He that cometh unto God, must believe that God is.’

FAith and a good conscience are two things which it concerns every one to have, and to hold, Holding faith and a good conscience, 1 Tim. 1. 19. Faith hath the precedency that must go be­fore, without a right and sound faith there can be no good conscience, Male vivitur, si de Deo Aug. de Civ. De [...], lib. 5. cap. 10. no [...] [...]enèt [...]reditur, (saith Augustine) Where there is not a right faith concerning God, there will be exor­bitancy in the conversation.

In this Chapter, out of which the Text is ta­ken, we have a large Encomium, or commenda­tion of faith, and a clear demonstration both of the necessity, and of the efficacy of it: that no­thing can be done without it, Without Faith it is impossible to please God, v. 6. that nothing but [Page 2] may be done by it; this is proved by a cloud of witnesses throughout the Chapter.

Faith is taken two wayes: 1. There is fides quae creditur, faith which we believe, the object and matter of Faith; thus is faith to be under­stood, Jude v. 3. That you should earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints. 2. Fides quâ creditur, Faith whereby we believe, the grace of faith inherent in the soule, the act whereof is to believe; thus is the word taken, Rom. 1. 17. The just shall live by Faith, and Jam. 1. 6. Let him ask in Faith; and so in many o­ther places this is the proper acception of the word, though the other acception be not un­usuall.

The object of Faith is God, and whatsoever is revealed by God; Secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but things revealed unto us, &c. Deut. 29. 29. The first thing concerning. God to be believed, is as the Text doth tell us, that God is, He that cometh unto God, must believe that God is; it followes, and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him: this must also be believed, but the other first, and then this; first that God is, and then that he is a rewarder of those that dili­gently seek him.

I shall now by Gods help insist upon this first principle of Religion, that God is, or that thereThat there is a God. is a God.

Let none think that this is a superfluous and needlesse labour, to go about to demonstrate a thing so plain and evident as this is.

For, 1. If this be a truth necessary for all to [Page 3] know and believe, then it is not unnecessary to insist upon it, and to confirm it, that we may see we have just reason to believe as we do.

2. The Scripture tells us of such fools as say in Psal. 14. 1. their heart, there is no God: And we read of some, though but few, who have denyed it not onely in their hearts, but with their mouths also.

3. This is a corrupt age into which we are fallen, most of the fundamentall truths are either denied, or doubted of; and though I doe not read or hear of any, that yet seeks to shake this basis of Religion, yet seeing (as the Apostle saith) evill men and seducers will wax worse and worse, it2 Tim. 3. 13. is good to be fore-armed, and to prevent the worst.

4. This being the main foundation of all Re­ligion, it must be laid sure, that so the superstru­cture may be the more firm.

These things premised, I come to the proof of the point, viz. that there is a God.

And 1. We have in this the generall consent even of the Heathens, although Diagoras (they say) denied it, and Protagoras doubted of it, yet generally the Heathens did acknowledge it: yea, it's said, that Protagoras was banished by his Countrey-men the Athenians, because he presu­med to question such a truth as this. Tullie aTul. de Nat. De­or. lib. 2. Heathen man saith, Nulla gens tam effera ac bar­bara, quae non cognoscit esse Deum. There is no Na­tion so rude and barbarous, but it knowes that there is a God: It's observed, that even such as are sine Rege, sine Lege, without Magistrates, and without Lawes, yet are not sine Religione, altogether with­out [Page 4] Religion. Idolaters that worship a false God, shew that they believe there is a God; they are ignorant indeed of the onely true God, and therefore they worship a false God instead of him, yet this they assure themselves of, that there is a God, or else they would worship none at all: So that (as Calvin well observes) even Idolatry it selfe is hujus conceptionis amplum documentum, Calv. [...]st. l 1. c. 3. an ample token and testimony of this conception, that there is a God.

2. There are many wayes, whereby the Hea­thens, having only the light of nature, did yetTul. de Nat. De­or. see this, that there is a God. Tullie mentioneth four wayes, by which they came to be convinced of this, and (which is observable) I find all those mentioned in Scripture as so many evictions of a Deity. 1. The fore-knowledge of things to come, viz. things that have no necessary depen­dence upon secondary causes, but in that respect are altogether contingent, though the predicti­ons of the Heathens were generally such as did not argue a divine power, yet the argument in it selfe is good, and sufficient to convince an A­thiest: It is certain, that things in respect of in­feriour causes meerly contingent, have been fore­shewed long before they came to passe. The Prophet Isaiah prophecied of Cyrus by name, though he died long before Cyrus was borne; soEsa. 44. 28. & 45. 1. 1 King. 13 2. did another Prophet in like manner of Josiah. Now this knowledge of things to come is pecu­liar unto God, neither can any have it, but as in­spired by God. By this argument God proves himselfe to be the true God, and the gods of the [Page 5] Heathens to be Idolls, vanity, and nothing. Pro­duce your cause (saith the Lord) bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring forth, and shew us what shall happen; let them shew the former things what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them, or declare us things to come: shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are Gods, Isa. 41. 21, 22, 23. And again, Isa. 43. 9. Let all the Nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? viz. before they happen, as God shewed them by his Prophets, as Kimchi a Jewish Rabbin upon the place doth [...] Kimchi ad loc. well expound it. Men and Devils may ghesse at things to come, but not certainly and infallibly know them: The Chaldeans were famous for Astrologie and divination, yet the Prophet Isaiah derides them, and those that gave credit to them; Stand now (saith he to Babylon) with thine in­chantments, and with the multitude of thy Sorce­ries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth, if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevaile: Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsells, let now the Astrologers, the star-gazers, the monethly Prognosticators stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee: Be­hold they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them, they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame, Isa. 47. 12, 13, 14. and v. 11. it's said, that evill should come suddenly upon Babylon, that she should not know of before it came upon her; so that her Diviners could not only not pre­vent [Page 6] her, and their own destruction, but not so much as fore-see it.

2. The great benefits which accrue unto men by the temperature of the seasons, and the fruitful­nesse of the earth, and the abundance of many o­ther commodities; and the Scripture shewes this also to be a good argument to prove that there is a God: The Apostle saith, that when God did not vouchsafe his Word unto men, yet never­thelesse he left not himself without witnesse, in that (saith he) he did good, giving us rain from heaven, and fruitfull seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladnesse, Acts 14. 17.

3. Thunder, pestilence, earthquake, and such like terrifying and destroying accidents; so the Scripture also notes this as one means whereby God doth make himselfe known, The God of glory thundereth, saith David, Psal. 29. 3. and di­vers times in that Psalme he calleth thunder Gods voice, by it God speaks unto men, and proclaimes unto them that there is a God. It's said of Caligula the Romane Emperour, that though he were otherwise most monstrous, and would needs make himself a God, yet he were so affrighted with thunder, that he would run under a bed to hide himself; this voice of the Lord did make him know, that there is one who is not a meer titular God, or a God only by usur­pation and presumption, but a God indeed: So all the fearfull judgements that are in the world demonstrate that there is a God. The Lord is knowne by the judgement that he executeth, saith the Psalmist, Psal. 9. 16.

4. The constant and uniform motion of the celestiall bodies, the variety, beauty, and order of these and other things in the world. If (saith Tullie) thou shouldst come into a stately and beau­tifull Tul. ubi supra. Palace, curiously composed, exquisitly ador­ned, and richly furnished and shouldst see nothing in it but cats or weazells, or the like, thou wouldst never imagine that it was framed and fashioned by those creatures, but wouldst assure thy self that there was some man, by whom it was built and put into that form that it is in: So all must needs acknow­ledge that there is a God, who made this great and glorious house the world, man could never do it. No, (as one saith) man could never raise such a roof as heaven, nor lay such a floore as earth. Thus also David tells us, that the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handie worke, Psal. 19. 1. and Paul, that the in­visible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternall power and Godhead, Rom. 1. 20.

To these arguments I will adde but one more, and that is drawn from mans conscience: There is a conscience in man, which upon occasion will accuse, or excuse; Their conscience also bearing wit­nesse, (saith the Apostle) and their thoughts in the mean while accusing, or else excusing one anonher, Rom. 2. 15. though no man els be able to accuse a man, yet conscience will do it. A notable exam­ple to this purpose is that of Josephs brethren, whose consciences a long time after accused them of selling their brother, when none besides [Page 8] themselves and Joseph (whom they then little imagined to be within hearing) knew of it, Gen. 42. 21, 22. Seneca therefore saith excellently, Quid refert neminem scire, cùm tu seias? What matter is it, though no man else know what thou hast done, when as thou thy self dost know it? So on the o­ther side, though all the world bear witnesse a­gainst a man, [...]et if his conscience be cleare, it will testifie for him, and this is enough to com­fort him: Th [...] is our rejoycing, even the testimony of our conscience, saith S. Paul, 2 Cor. 1. 12. and so the Heathens could say, that a good conscienceHic murus aheneus esio, Nil con scire sibi. Juven. is murus aheneus, a wall of brasse, a most sure de­fence against all calumny, and all opposition. Now this conscience is the Candle of the Lord, as Soloman calls it, Prov. 20. 27. it shewes plain­ly that there is a God, from whom nothing is hid, and by whom all shall be rewarded.

Ob. But it may be objected, if there be a God who made the world and governs the world,Cùm rapi­ani mala fata bonos, ignoscite fasso; Sollicitor nullos esse putare de­os. Pro­pert. who is most great, and most good, most wise and most holy, &c. how then comes it to passe, that there is so much evill, so much ataxie, and con­fusion in the world?

Answ. I answer: God therefore suffers evill, because he knowes how to bring good out of e­vill: A skilfull Physitian can so temper poyson, as to make a Soveraigne medicine of it; and so God can cause sin it self to be subservient to his glory, and the good of those whom he hath cho­sen: if there were no sin, the glory of Gods grace in the pardoning of sin could not appeare as it doth, Eph. 1. 6, 7. Mic. 7. 18. nor on the otherside, [Page 9] the glory of Gods justice in punishing sin, Psal. 119. 120. Aben Ezra therefore a learned Rabbin [...] saith well, It doth not belong to the supreme wis­dome, because of a little evill to hinder much good.

This is the only objection that I find worth the answering; for that is a most silly and sottish one that some are said to make, that they see no God, and therefore have no reason to believe that there is any: By the same reason they may de­ny that there is a soul in man; for neither do a­ny see it otherwise then by the operations and effects of it, and thus also they must needs see God, who are not altogether blind and brutish.

Vse 1. This then may let us see the wonderful per­versenesse of mans heart, that will rebell against so clear light, either denying, or doubting of so manifest a truth as this, that there is a God: though their consciences convince them of this truth, yet they do what they can to suppresse and extinguish it, they with-hold the truth in un­righteousnesse, as the Apostle saith, Rom. 1. 18. Mens actions outwardly declare what their hearts inwardly think: How did David know that wic­ked fools say in their heart, that there is no God? He knew it by their wayes and doings, they are corrupt (saith he) and have done abominable things, Psal. 14. 1. so Psal. 10. 4. speaking of the wicked, he saith, God is not in all his thoughts, or as the Marginall reading hath it, all his thoughts are there is no God. This Atheisme is that root from whence doth proceed all sin deliberately and wilfully committed. Did men indeed believe [Page 10] that there is a God, who sees all, and will judge and recompence for all, they durst not be so e­normous and abominable as they are: They pro­fesse that they know God, (saith Paul) but in their works they deny him, being abominable and disobe­dient, and to every good work reprobate. This root of bitternesse doth naturally grow in all, even Atheism it self, a denying that there is a God, is a part of that in-bred corruption, that we are infected with; that the regenerate are not whol­ly free from an evill heart of unbeliefe even in this particular, appears both by the thoughts that somtimes arise in their hearts, and also by those enormities that they sometimes fall into. We are therefore to take notice of this vile and cursed nature that is in us, and to be humbled for it, and to labour that it may be changed and renewed more and more.

Ʋse 2. Againe, if there be a God, we must be carefull to know him, and to glorifie him as God.

1. To know him; for to what purpose is it to know that there is a God, except we also know what he is, so farre forth as he is pleased to make himself known both by his works, and by his Word? Thou Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, said David, 1 Chron. 28. 9. Some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame, said the Apostle to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 15. 34. And surely it is a great shame for such as professe themselves Christians, to be so ignorant of God, as many are. The Booke of Nature may afford some knowledge of God, but much more the Book of Scripture; In Judah is God knowne, saith [Page 11] the Psalmist, Psal. 76. 1. Why in Judah more then else-where? because to them there were commit­ted the Oracles of God, Rom. 3. 2. they had the Scriptures which others wanted, of whom there­fore it is said, (not simply, but comparatively) that they knew not God, 1 Thes. 4. 5. Study both these books therefore, but especially the later, the Scriptures, which are able to make us wise un­to salvation, 2 Tim. 3. 15.

But, 2. So know God, as to glorifie him also; Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his Name, Psal. 29. 2. Know thou the God of thy Father, and serve him, 1 Chron. 28. 9. First know him, but then also serve him: The Gentiles were without ex­cuse, because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, Rom. 1. 20, 21. How much more shall Christians be without excuse, if they doe not glorifie God as they ought, they having a farre more excellent knowledge of God, then the Gentiles had, or else it is a shame for them? Let us remember that of our Saviour, To whom­soever much is given, of him shall much be required, Luk. 12. 48.


JOH. 4. 24. God is a Spirit.’

THe true knowledge of God is that which e­very one ought to seek and labour for: Let not the wise man (the worldly wise man) glory in his wisdome, nor the mighty man glory in his might: let not the rich man glory in his riches, but let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, (saith God) Jer. 9. 23, 24. Now the knowledge of God is:

1. That he is; Heb. 11. 6. He that cometh un­to God, must believe that God is. Which words I have already insisted on, and have handled this point, That God is, or That there is a God.

2. What he is: For, (as I also before touched) it availes little to know that God is, except we also in some competent measure know what God is; we shall but be like the Heathens, of whom it's said, that they were vain in their imaginations, Rom. 1. 21 and their foolish heart was darkned.

True it is, the nature of God is of that infinite perfection, that it is incomprehensible, we can ne­ver attain to the full knowledge of it: It's re­ported [Page 13] of a Philosopher called Symonides, thatCic. de Nat. De­or. being asked what God is, he desired a daies time to deliberate and consider what to answer, after that he desired two dayes, and then four, and so still he doubled the time, confessing, that the more he did inquire into the nature of God, the further he found himselfe from attaining to the knowledge of it: And so it will be with us, al­though we have a far clearer light to search by then he had; Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfe­ction? Job 11. 7. No, it cannot be, the adequate and comprehensive knowledge of God, to know him to the very utmost of his perfection, is pecu­liar to God himself, none but God can thus know God, neither men nor Angels are capable of this knowledge: For, God is infinite, and every crea­ture is finite, and nothing that is finite can ade­quately and fully comprehend that which is in­finite; besides, our knowledge of God here in this life, is very weak and imperfect, in compari­son of what it shall be hereafter in the world to come. Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live, said God to Moses, Exod. 33. 20. Now (saith S. Paul) we see through a glasse darkly, but then face to face; now know I in part, but then shall I know even as (in the same manner, but not in the same measure) also I am knowne, 1 Cor. 13. 12. we must not therefore asOecumen. in Heb. 11 6. one saith, [...], curiously bu­sie our selves about Gods essence, but we must be wise unto sobriety, Scrutator Majestatis op­primetur à gloria, He that will be over presumptu­ous [Page 14] to prie into Gods Majesty, shall be overwhelmed with his glory; but yet so far forth as God hath been pleased to reveal himselfe, we must study and indeavour to know him, and this we may and must know concerning God, that (as the Text doth tell us) he is a Spirit.

The words were spoken by our Saviour, and that upon this occasion, he was discoursing with a woman of Samaria, who by what he had alrea­dy said unto her, perceived him to be some ex­traordinary person, and therefore she propoun­ded a case of conscience unto him, and desired to be resolved by him, viz. which was the right and true place of Gods worship; for about this the Samaritans had a controversie with the Jewes, they worshipping God in a certaine mountaine which they had, as their Fathers had done before them; the Jewes on the otherside affirming that Jerusalem was the place where men ought to worship: Our Saviour first let her know, that the Jewes were in the right, they having Gods VVord for their warrant, for that God in his VVord had appointed Jerusalem for the time then present to be the place of his VVorship; but withall [...]e told her, that the hour was at hand when such difference of places should cease, and instead of that ceremoniall and carnall VVorship that was then in use, there should be a more pure and spi­rituall Worship consisting not so much in out­ward performances as before, but more in the in­ward devotion of the heart and spirit: and he gives a reason why God requires such a Worship, viz. because it is most agreeable to his nature, [Page 15] God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Object. But may some say, this reason is of no more force for the time of the Gospell, then for the time before: For Gods nature was the same before, he was then a spirit as much as now he is, therefore no more reason to worship God in spi­rit now then before.

Answ. Yes, some more reason there is: for, though God were the same before that he is now, yet he did not so clearly and fully make himselfe knowne before as now he doth: and therefore though before he did require to be worshipped in spirit, (divers places there are to this purpose in the Old Testament, some of which I shall al­ledge anon) yet now he requires it much more.

Thus having shewed the coherence of the Text, I will propound the Doctrine in no other termes, then the Text it self doth contain in it, viz. That Doct. God is a Spirit.

But what is meant by Spirit? The word spirit is [...], it hath many significations, and is very variously taken. The Greek word [...], and so the Hebrew ruach, which signifie spirit, are somtimes used for breath, Ezek. 37. 5. I will cause breath to enter into you: in the Originall the word is that which in that language usually sig­nifieth spirit, viz. ruach, so Iam. 2. 26. The body without the spirit is dead, in the Margent for spi­rit is put breath, so Job 33. 4. The Spirit of the Lord hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life, saith Elihu: there the Spirit of the [Page 16] Lord, and the breath of the Almighty, are [...], termes [...]q [...]table one to the other.

Againe, somtimes these Greek and Hebrew words which signifie spirit, are used for the wind, Joh, 3. 8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, the word translated wind is the same with this in the Text, whereas usually else-where it is translated spirit, viz. [...]: and so the Hebrew ruach in the Old Testament is often thus used, viz. for the wind.

But thirdly, the word spirit is after a sort ap­propriated to an incorporeall substance, when Christ after his Resurrection appeared to his Dis­ciples, and they thought that they had seen a spi­rit, Behold my hands and my feet (said he unto them) that it is I my selfe, handle me and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have, Luk. 24. 37, 39. and thus by spirit is sometimes meant the soule of man, 1 Cor. 6. 20. Glorifie God in your bodie, and in your spirit, that is, your soul▪ so Heb. 12. 23. the soules of the godly separated from their bodies, are called, the spirits of just men made perfect: somtimes by spirit is meant an Angell, the good Angells are called spirits, Heb. 1. 14. Are they not all ministring Spirits? and so the evill Angells the Devills, when the seventy Disciples came unto Christ, saying, Lord even the Devills are subject unto us through thy Name, Christ an­swered, Notwithstanding in this rejoyce not, that the spirits are subject unto you: but rather rejoyce, be­cause your names are written in Heaven, Luk. 10. 17. 20. those whom the Disciples called Devills, Christ called Spirits: And in this sense, viz. as by [Page 17] spirit is meant an incorporeall substance, it is at­tributed to God, and he is called a Spirit; the name of spirit, the spirit, the holy spirit, is appro­priated to the third Person of the Trinity, but the other Persons are a spirit too, they are indeed all one and the same spirit, having all one and the same essence and nature: the divine nature of Christ is called the spirit, 1 Pet. 3. 18. Being put to death in the flesh, (that is, his humane nature) but quickned in the spirit, that is, by his divine nature: And our Saviour here in the Text having imme­diately before spoken of the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, saith, God (viz. the Father, yet not excluding, but including the Son and the Holy Ghost) is a Spirit.

That God is a spirit, may be further proved by these Arguments:

1. That which is of most excellency must needs belong unto God, O Lord, how excellent is thy Name? saith David, Psal. 8. 1. 9. His Name only is excellent, saith he, Psal. 148. 13. Now as a­mongst all things, substances, so amongst all sub­stances spirits are most excellent: As substances are of more excellency then accidents, so are spirits of more excellency then bodily substan­ces; the soul is more excellent then the body, and Angels being meer spirits, are more excellent then men, who are not incorporeall as the An­gels are. God therefore being most excellent, must needs be as a substance not an accident, so a spirit, not a bodily substance: Indeed God is so excellent that no names can be found out, whereby sufficiently to expresse his nature, he [Page 18] infinitely transcends all other substances, and all other spirits; but yet apprehending God as we are able, we cannot but attribute the names of substance, and of spirit unto him.

2. Invisible substances are called spirits: by this our Saviour proved that he was not a spirit,Luk. 34. 29. as the Disciples supposed, because he was a visible substance. The soul of man being a spirit, is not visible, so neither the Angells, as being spirits: They have indeed sometimes appeared unto men, but that was only in respect of those bodies, which for the time they assumed: and after this manner hath God himselfe also appeared, as we find in Gen. 18. and Gen. 32. and thus more especially by the Incarnation God (viz. the second Person of the Trinity, the Son, one and the same God with the Father, and the Holy Ghost) was made visi­ble; by this means God was manifested in the flesh, 1 Tim. 3. 15. The Word was made flesh (that is, the Son of God, God the Son, was made man) and dwelt among us, and we beh [...]ld his glory, &c. Joh. 1. 14. but God in himself as God, is invisible, so he is stiled, 1 Tim. 1. 17. and so Joh. 1. 18. it's said, No man hath seen God at any time: and 1 Tim. 6. 16. whom no man hath seen, nor can see. It's said in­deed of Moses, that he saw him that is invisible, Heb. 11. 27. that is, by the eye of Faith (which is the evidence of things not seen, Heb 11. 1.) he saw him, like as Abraham saw Christs day many ages before Christ came into the world, Joh. 8. 56. but properly Moses did not see God, neither could see him, God being (as in that very place is expres­sed) invsible.

[Page 19]3. Gods immensity and ubiquity, his being in every place, yet so as not to be included in any place, proves that he is a spirit: For, although not every spirit is immense and every where pre­sent, neither the souls of men, nor the Angells are so; yet every substance that is so, must needs be a spirit. For, bodily substances are necessarily limited and circumscribed, they have their bounds within which they are contained, He is not here, for he is risen, said the Angell to those that came to seek Christ in the sepul [...]hre, Mat. 28. 6. Christ having a true humane body, in that respect could not be both in the grave, and out of it at the same time: But God is every where at all times, Do not I the Lord fill heaven and earth? saith he, Jer. 23. 24. God is said to be in heaven, as there especially shewing forth his glory, Heaven is my Throne, saith he, Esa. 66. 1. but he is not confined there, no, the heaven, and heaven of heavens can­not contain thee, said Solomon to God, 1 King. 8. 27. therefore God is no corporeall substance, but a spirit.

Ʋse 1. This serves to confute that grosse con­ceit of the Anthropomorphites, who held God to have the form and shape of a man, and thus ab­surdly doe now some simple ones conceive of God; but if God be a spirit, then he neither hath the shape of a man, nor any other bodily shape whatsoever.

Ob. But it is said, that God made man after his own Image and likenesse.

Ans. That is not meant in respect of bodily shape, as if God had the like shape as man hath: [Page 20] But first, because man is a rationall and under­standing creature, in which respect still since the fall man retains in him the Image and likenesse of God, Jam 3. 9. Gen. 9. 6. And secondly, as man hath dominion over the other creatures, in this respect man is said to be the Image of God, 1 Cor. 11. 7. Thirdly, and principally, man was at first made after the image and likenesse of God, in that he was made righteous and holy, Put on the new man which after God is created in righteousnesse and true holinesse, Eph. 4. 24. The image of God therefore is seated in the soul, although it appear and shine forth in the body, viz. as by outward and bodily actions man doth shew forth his rea­son and understanding, and doth exercise autho­rity over the creatures, and (if he be regenerate) that righteousnesse and holinesse with which he is indued.

Ob. But in Scripture God is often said to have eyes, ears, hands, &c.

Ans. The Scripture speaks of God after the [...]. manner of men, condescending to the weaknesse of our capacitie because we see with eyes, heare with ears, work with hands, therefore these bo­dily parts and members are attributed unto God, only to signifie, that God doth exercise the same acts (though not in the same manner) as we ex­ercise with and by these parts and members: to shew that God doth see, the Scripture attributes eyes; to shew that he doth heare, it attributes ears; and to shew that he doth work, it attributes hands unto him: but properly God doth see without eyes, hear without ears, and work without hands, [Page 21] having no bodily part or member whatsoe­ver.

Ʋse 2. This also makes for the confutation of Papists, who make pictures and images where­by to represent God, whereas he is a spirit, and so cannot be set forth by any bodily representa­tions; the second Commandement forbids the making of any image of similitude to represent God by it. And what a strict charge doth Moses give the Israelites, The Lord (saith he) spake unto you out of the midst of the fire, ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude, onely ye heard a voice.—Take ye therefore good heed unto your selves, (for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire) least ye corrupt your selves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any fi­gure, the likenesse if male or female, the likenesse of any beast that is on the earth, the likenesse of any winged fowle that flieth in the aire, the likenesse of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likenesse of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth, Deut. 4. 12. 15, 16, 17, 18. and the Prophet Isaiah cries, To whom will ye liken God? or what likenesse will ye [...], &c. Plut. in Numa. [...]. Ibid. compare unto him? It is very observable that Plutach re­cords of Numa Pompilius, the second King of the Ro­mans, viz. that he forbad the Romans to use any Image of God, having the forme of a man, or of any other living [Page 22] creature; and the same Author moreover testi­fies, that for 170. years after Rome was built they had no Image of God, neither painted nor carved; Temples (he saith) they had, but no image at all in them; and he gives this reason for it, that it is not lawfull to resemble better things to worse; nor possible to apprehend God otherwise then by the conception of the mind and understan­ding: How is Rome now professing it selfe Christian, become much more superstitious and idolatrous in this particular, then it was when it was Heathenish?

Ʋse 3. Here again we may see what it is, in re­spect of which man is excellent in Gods account; it is not in respect of any corporall thing, any thing belonging to the body, as beauty, strength, &c. much lesse in respect of things more extrinse­call, as riches, honour, &c. but it is in respect of things spirituall, things belonging to the soule, as grace and holinesse: Looke not on his counte­nance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man beholdeth the outward appearance, but the Lord beholdeth the heart: thus spake the Lord to Samuel, (1 Sam. 16. 7.) when Samuel seeing the goodly personage of Eliab, Davids eldest bro­ther, presumed that it was he whom God had sent him to annoynt King in the room of Saul; So David saith, that God neither delighteth in the strength of a horse, nor taketh pleasure in the legs of a man: but the Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy, Psal. 147. 10, 11. Favour is deceitfull, (saith Solomon) and [Page 23] beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be praised, Prov. 31. 30. Thus (beloved) it is, as our spirits are, so doth God esteem of us, He regardeth not the rich more then the poor, saith Elihu, Job 34. 19. No, it's not the rich, but the righteous that God regardeth; The righteous is more excellent then his neighbour, saith Solomon, Prov. 12. 26. although wicked men in respect of outward things be worth never so much, yet with God they are of no account, because (asProv. 10. 22. the Wiseman saith) the heart of the wicked is lit­tle worth: Therefore as we desire to be esteemed of God, it behoves us to look and labour for spirituall things to furnish our soules, and to adorne them with the gifts and graces of Gods Spirit: S. Paul requires, that women adorn them­selves in modest apparell, with shamefastnesse and sobriety, not with broydred haire, or gold, or pearls, or costly array: but (which becometh women pro­fessing godlinesse) with good works, 1 Tim▪ 2. 9, 10. those outward and bodily ornaments are not simply forbidden, but they are to be sleighted and neglected in comparison of the other: So in like manner S. Peter, Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparell: but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Pet. 3. 3, 4.

Ʋse 4. Finally, we may hence learne what Worship and Service it is that God requires, and will accept at our hands, viz. that which is spiri­tuall, [Page 24] which proceeds not onely from the out­ward man, the body, but principally from the inward man, the heart and spirit: this is the more to be considered, in that (as was shewed before) for this very end Christ thus describes the nature of God, and sayes, That God is a Spirit, from thence to inferre, that he will be worshipped in Spi­rit and in truth, this being that Worship which is agreeable to his nature, My Son give me thy heart (saith God) Prov. 23. 26. Whom I serve with my spi­rit, (saith the holy Apostle) Rom. 1. 9. For we are the circumcision (saith the same Apostle) which wor­ship God in the spirit, Phil. 3. 3. God expresseth all the detestation that may be of those Services, though such as himselfe prescribed, which are meerly outward and formall, not proceeding from a pure heart, and holy affections; see E­sa. 1. 10, 11 12, 13, 14. he threatens severely to pu­nish those that draw neer him with their mouth, and honor him with their lips, but remove their heart far from him, Esa. 29. 13, 14. Christ told the Phari­sees, that though they justified themselves before men, yet God knew their heart, and that which was highly esteemed amongst men, was abomi­nation in the sight of God, Luk. 16. 15. and Mat. 23. many a woe doth Christ denounce against them for their hypocrisie, saying seven severall times, Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hy­pocrites: and he bids his Disciples beware of the leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees, which is hy­pocrisie, Luk. 12. 1. Though the outward per­formance be very weak, yet if the heart be right­ly affected, God accepts it, and will passe by the [Page 25] imperfection; The high places were not taken away Quin da­mus id su­peris, de magna quod dare lance Non possit magai M [...]ssalae lippa pro­pago; Composi­tum jus fas (que) ani­mi, San­ctos (que) re­cessus Mentis, & incoctum generoso pectus ho­nesto. Hoc cedo ut admo­veam tem­plis, & far [...]e lita­bo. Pers. Sat. 2. out of Israel, neverthelesse the heart of Asa was per­fect (that is, sincere & upright) all his days, 2 Chron. 15. 17. Ezekiah knew this, and therefore when many did eat the Passeover otherwise then they should have done, he prayed for them, saving, The good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his Fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary, 2 Chron. 30. 18, 19. Thus our Saviour seeing his Disciples drowzie, and not able to keep from sleeping, when he had speciall reason to require their attendance, yet knowing the since­rity of their hearts and affections towards him, excused them, saying, The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak, Mat. 26. 41. On the other side, though the outward actions seem glorious, yet if the inward affections be not right, God doth little regard them: Amaziah did that, which (in it selfe considered) was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart, 2 Chron. 25. 2. Let's therefore have a care of our hearts and spi­rits, whatsoever we doe: Let us remember that of the Prophet, Take heed to your spirit, Mal. 2. 15. Let us be sure, that as well our spi­rits as our bodies, be ingaged in those ser­vices which wee performe unto God, that our hearts be therein upright before him; Let my heart be sound in thy Statutes, that I may not be ashamed, (saith that man after Gods own heart, David) Psal. 119. 80.


DEUT. 6. 4. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.’

THis place of Scripture the Jewes much mag­nifie, and it is indeed a place very famous and remarkable: When one asked our Saviour which was the first, or chiefest Commande­ment, he alledged these words, together with those in the next Verse, saying, The first of all the Commandements is, Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God Vide Fagi­um in Chald. Paraph. ad hunc lo­cum. with all thine heart, &c. Mar. 12. 29. 30. But the Jewes superstitiously abuse the place, writing it in parchment, and binding it to their head, and to their hands, and to the posts of their houses: so they pervert the meaning of that Deut. 6. 8, 9. And thou shalt bind them for a signe upon thine head, and they shall be as frontlets be­tween thine eyes: And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates, and so of those parallel places Exod. 13. 9. & 16. some think [Page 27] that these Texts of Scripture are meerly meta­phoricall, only importing how mindfull people should be of Gods precepts:See Aben Ezra on Deut. 6. 9. by whom it appears, that some among the Jewes have understood those places in Moses, as parallel to those in Solomon. And else▪ where indeed the like expressions are thus me­taphorically used, as Prov. 3. 3. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee, bind them about thy neck, and write them upon the table of thine heart: and Prov. 7. 3. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them on the table of thine heart. But others more pro­bably conceive, that those Precepts in the Law were also literally to be observed, even as that concerning fringes, Numb. 15. 38, 39. Speak unto the children of Israel (said God to Moses) and bid them, that they make them fringes in the bor­ders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that you may looke upon it, and remember all the Commandements of the Lord, and do them, &c. That the Jews were to observe this even according to the Letter, is without question, the words can­not otherwise be understood, and it seems, that the other Precepts also were of the same nature, viz. such as were to have a literall observation, yet withall a mysticall signification: For we find them joyned together as homogeneall, Mat. 23. 5. They make broad their Phylacteries, and inlarge the borders of their garments: By the Phylacteries, are meant those sentences of Scripture which the Iewes (who call them Tephillin) used of old, and still use to write in parchment, and to fasten up­on [Page 28] their heads and hands, as by the borders of their garments are meant the fringes, which they wore in those borders of their garments: Our Saviour there reproves the Scribes and Pha­riseesSee Beza on Mat. 23. 4. alike for both, not for having those Phyla­cteries and those borders, but for making those Phylacteries broad, and inlarging those borders, as desirous to seem more religious, and more holy then others, so that the use of both it seems was required, though the abuse were condemned, and this abuse the Jewes were many of them guil­ty of, of old, and much more are they now guilty of it, the ceremonie being out of date, and not to be used at all in the times of Gospel.

But to returne to the words of the Text, they contain in them an Exhortation directed at first to the Israelites, but which concerns us, and all Gods people, [Hear] that is, hearken, mind, ob­serve and consider what is said, as He that hath ears to hear, let him hear, Luk. 8. 8. And, he that hath an ear, let him heare what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, Apoc. 2. 11. Hear and give ear, Ier. 13. 15. [O Israel] Jacob was first called Israel, because he prevailed with God, Gen. 32. 28. after him his posterity (whom God chose to be his peculiar people) were also called Israel, or the children of Israel, or the people of Israel; so that Israel and the people of God are used as terms equi­valent: Heare O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testifie unto thee, Psal. 50. 7. so Gal. 6. 16. The Israel of God, is as much as the people of God. [The Lord] In the He­brew it is (as they call it) the name of [Page 29] foure letters, Jehovah as weNomen tetragrammaton; [...] Jehovah, comes of Havah, which signifies the same with Hajah, whence is Ehjeh, rendred, I am. now pronounce it, a name peculiar unto God, and not communicable to any besides him; Whose Name alone is Jehovah, Psal. 83. 18. Jehovah comes of a word that signifies to be, and God is so called, as having his being of himselfe, and giving being to all things besides himself: Our Translators sometimes, yet but sel­dome, have the word Jehovah (about the pro­nounciation whereof learned men differ) for the most part instead thereof they have Lord, like as the Septuagint and the vulgar Latine Interpre­ter do constantly render it, but so, as that to distinguish this word from other words which signifie Lord also, they use to write the word Lord, when it is to expresse Jehovah all in great Letters thus, LORD: so that where in our Translations we find LORD so written all in great letters, there in the Originall is Jehovah, ex­cepting some few places where it is Jah, which is taken to be the contract of Jehovah. [Our God] God is the God of all the world, as being the Creator, preserver and governor of all; he is called, the God of all flesh. Jer. 32. 27. but in a more especial manner was he the God of that people to whom Moses spake, viz. Israel, they being the seed of Abraham, with whom God entred into Covenant, saying, I wil be a God to thee & to thy seed, Gen. 17. 7. I am the Lord thy God, said he unto them when he gave the law, Exo. 20. 2. so he is stiled the God of Israel, 2 Sam. 23. 3. The true God whom the people of Israel did worship, is so distinguished from false gods which the [Page 30] Heathens worshipped, All the gods of the Nati­ons See Esa. 37. 16. are Idols, saith the Psalmist, Psal. 96. 5. and the Apostle saith of them, that they were without God in the world, Ephes. 2. 12. Is one Lord] only one, as Heb. 9. 27. It is appointed unto men to die once: that is, once and no more. So here, one Lord, that is one▪ and no more but one; there is no other LORD, no other God truly and properly so cal­led, but he only.

The words thus opened, the Doctrine which I observe from them to insist upon, is this, That Doct. there is but onely one God truely and properly so called: There be that are called gods, saith S. Paul, 1 Cor. 8. 5. in that respect there be gods many, and lords many, as he there addeth: But some are falsly called gods, as Idols, which are somtimes called gods in respect of that opinion, a false opinion which Idolaters have of them, With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, &c. said Jacob to Laban, he called his Idols his gods, not that he did account them gods, but he spake on­ly in respect of that account which Laban did make of them: so Ezekiah in his prayer unto God, Of a truth, Lord, the Kings of Assyria have laid wast all the Nations and their Countries, and have cast their gods into the fire: he calls them their gods, because they reckoned them as gods, but so did not Ezekiah, for he addes immediate­ly, for they were no gods, but the worke of mens hands, &c,

Againe, some are called gods improperly, viz. because in a peculiar manner they resemble God, in respect of some speciall dignity and eminency [Page 31] which they have over, or above others. Thus the Angells are called gods, Thou madest him a little lower then the Angells, Psal. 8. 5. in the Originall it is Elohim, that is, gods. And whereas it is said Psa. 97. 7. Worship him all ye Gods, it is thus cited, Heb. 1. 6. Let all the Angells of God worship him: In this sense also Princes, Judges, and Magistrates are called gods, I have said ye are gods, Psal. 82. 6. Thou shalt not revile the gods, Exod. 22. 28. in the Margent it is the Judges; that Magistrates are there meant is cleare by the later part of the Verse, nor curse the Ruler of thy people; so God speaking unto Moses concerning Aaron, Thou shalt be unto him (said he) instead of God, Exod. 4. 16. that is, Moses should be superiour to him, he should instruct and direct him, and apppoint him what he should say and do, so Exod. 7. 1. And the Lord said unto Moses, see I have made thee a God to Pharoah: that is, Moses should exercise power and authority over Pharoah, he should bring plagues upon him, and remove them from him at his pleasure: but truly and properly so called there is but one God. The Apostle having said, that there are many that are called gods, he adds, But unto us there is but one God, 1 Cor. 6. 8. so 1 Tim. 2. 5. For there is one God: This is life eternall to know thee the only true God, &c. Joh. 17. 3. Thou even thou art Lord alone, Neh. 9. 6. For who is God save the Lord? 2 Sam. 22. 32. The Lord he is God, there is none else besides him, Deut. 4. 35.

The Heathen Philosophers and Poets, though they would not strive against the streame, but gave way to the common error of the times, yet knew [Page 32] and somtimes also acknowledged this truth. Pla­to Plato E­pist. 13. ad Dionys. writing to Dionysius, told him, that when he did write seriously, he made mention of one God, when he wrote otherwise, then he mentionedAristot. Metaphys. lib. 12. gods in the plurall: So Aristotle proves the world to be governed by one only, and brings in that of Homer, [...]. Is is not good that there should be many Rulers, (viz. supreme) let there be one Ruler, and one King. And he saith, That as a governour in Aristot. de Mundo if that book be his. a ship, and a generall in an Army, so is God in the world and that there is but one God, though he be [...], i. e. called by many names. Thus also Phocylides, [...], i. e. There is one God, wise, powerfull, and blessed. And Sophocles, [...], i. e. In very deed there is but one God. Many such sentences and sayings [...]mò ipsum vulgus Ethnicorum u­ [...]um Deum confitetur. Anima licet falsis diis exancillata, cum tamen tesipiscit, ut ex crapulá, & somno Deum nominat, & quod Deus de­derit omnium vox est. Judicem quo (que) contestantur illum, Deus vi­det, & Deo commendo; & Deus mihi reddet. O testimonium animae naturaliter Christianae! Denique pronuntians haec, non ad Capitolium, sed ad coelum respicit. Tert. Apol. Cum purant, cum optant, cum gratias agunt, non Jovem, aut De­os multos, sed Deum nominant; adeò ipsa veritas cogente naturâ etiam ab invitis pectoribus erum­pit. Lactan. l. 2. c. 1. are to be found in the wri­tings of the Heathens; and even the vulgar sort a­mong them by their ex­pressions which they som­times used, did shew them­selves convinced of this truth, that there is but on­ly one God. For, as Tertul­lian observes, they did use to say, God sees, I commend to God, God will render unto me, and the like. And when they spake thus, they did not (he sayes) look to the [Page 33] Capitol, (where they worshipped their false God Jupiter,) but to heaven, where the true God hath his Throne: and the like observation also hath Lactantius.

Reason also may demonstrate, that there are no more gods then one.

For, first, Gods immensity and infinitenesse proves his Unity: for if there were more Gods then one, then either one should include another, or not; if one should include another, then that which is included should not be infinite, and so not God: if one should not include another, then neither should any of them be infinite. For, that which is infinite, includes every thing, but is it selfe included in nothing; whence the Hebrews call God Makom, that signifies place, he contain­ing all things, but not contained himselfe in any thing, Behold, the heaven, and heaven of hea­vens [...] Kimchi in 1 Reg. 8 27. cannot contain thee, said Solomon unto God, 1 King. 8. 27. upon which place Kimchi a Jewish Rabbin glosseth thus: Thou art the place of the world, but the world is not thy place. God con­taineth the world, but the world doth not con­tain God.

2. God hath in him all excellency whatsoever, His Name only is excellent, Psal. 148. 13. therefore there can be but one God: For, if there were many Gods, then one must differ from ano­ther, and so one should want some excellency which another hath, and consequently should not be God.

Ob. But the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost, God.

Ans. True, yet all but one God: For, these three are one, 1 Joh. 5. 7. though three Persons, yet one God.

Ʋse. This serves first to confute the Papists, & to prove them guilty of Idolatry: For though in word they confesse onely one God, yet in deed they make many Gods, giving divine worship and honour unto Saints and Angells; they make vowes and prayers unto them, whereas this ho­nour belongs unto God only: Call upon me, saith God, Psal. 50. 15. When ye pray, say, Our Father, &c. saith our Saviour, Luk. 11. 2. Vow and pay un­to the Lord your God, saith David, Psal. 76. 11. so Solomon, When thou vowest a vow unto God, &c. Eccles. 5. 4 Bellarmine him­selfIn Scripturis nomen voti semper accipitur pro promissione factâ Deo. Nam cum Scriberentur Scripturae S. Nondum caeperat usus vovendi Sanctis. Bellarm, de Cultu Sancto­rum, lib. 3. cap. 9. sect. Praetered. confesseth, that in the Scriptures the name of vow is ever taken for a promise made to God: And marke his reason, For, (saith he) when the holy Scriptures were written, the use of vowing unto Saints was not begun. It is without all question; and therefore the more to blame they, who besides and against the authority of the Scriptures did begin it afterwards.

So also they do in effect make the Pope a God, taking themselves bound to believe all his deter­minations, and to obey all his injunctions, not presuming to examine and try whether they be true or false, right or wrong, whereas God on­ly is capable of this honor; Let God be true and every man a liar, Rom. 3. 4. Call no man your Fa­ther upon earth, (so as to yeeld absolute obedience [Page 35] unto him) for one is your Father which is in heaven, Mat. 23. 9. yet Bellarmine sticks not to say, that if the Si Papa erraret, praecipiendo vi­tia vel prohibendo virtutes, tene­retur Ecclesia. credere vitia esse bona, & virtutes malas, nisi vel­let contra. conscientiam peccare. Bellar. de Pontif. lib. 4. c. 5. §. Se­cundò, quia tunc. Pope should erre, so as to com­mand vices and forbid vertues, all were bound to believe vices to be good, and vertues to be e­vill, except they would sin a­gainst their conscience: He takes it for granted, that all should do whatsoe­ver the Pope injoynes, without daring once to enter into the examination of it: This is to make the Pope above an Angell, and therefore equall with God; for the Apostle doubted not to say, If an Angell from heaven preach unto you any other Gospel, then that which we have preach­ed unto you, let him be accursed, Gal. 1. 8.

Ʋse 2. But to leave them; there are also many others, who though they pretend to believe that there is but one God, yet indeed they make more Gods then one; for the voluptuous person makes his belly his God, Whose God it their bel­ly, saith the Apostle of some, Phil. 3. 19. so the covetous makes mammon or riches his God: If I have made gold my hope, and said unto the fine gold, thou art my confidence, Job. 31. 24. Job ab­horred this, but the covetous man is guilty of it; The rich mans (viz. the covetous rich mans) wealth is his strong City, saith Solomon, Prov. 10. 15. and so Prov. 18. 11. The rich mans wealth is his strong City, and as a high wall in his own conceit. Hence the covetous person is called an Idolater, Eph. 5. 5. and covetousnesse is called Idolatry, Col. 3. 5. [Page 36] so whatsoever it is that any set their heart upon, and put their trust in, they make it their God; the proud person also, and the vain-glorious makes himself his God, seeking himselfe in all that he doth, and arrogating the good successe that he hath in any thing, unto himself. They sa­sacrifice to their net, and burn incense to their drag, because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous, Heb. 1. 16. that is, they ascribe all their plenty and prosperity to their own industry, By the strength of mine hand have I done it, and by my wisdome, &c. Thus vaunted the King of Assyria, Esa. 10. 13. and therefore he is taxed, Esa. 14. 14. as saying, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high: So God bade the Pro­phet Ezekiel say unto the Prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God, because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, &c. Why was this charged upon him? be­cause he ascribed all his greatnesse unto himself; With thy wisdome, and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasuries.

Ʋse 3. Let us therefore have a care to know and acknowledge the only true God, to serve and worship him, and him only, Thou shalt wor­ship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve, Mat. 4. 10. Thou shalt have none other Gods before me, Exod. 20. 3. This is the first and great Com­mandement, Mat. 22. 37, 38. with Mar. 12. 29, 30 the true God is a jealous God, as he stiles himselfe, Exod, 20. 5. he will indure no corrivall, no co­partner, My glory will I not give unto another, [Page 37] saith he, Esa. 42. 8. & 48. 11. Let's know and con­sider, that if we be [...], we are [...], if we have more Gods then one, we have none at all, but are even without God, as the Apostle saith the Gentiles were, who had a multitude of Gods, Eph. 2. 12. And let us take heed of Polytheisme, as in opinion, (whether directly with Pagans, or by consequence with Papists) so in practice, in which respect we are much more prone unto it. Let's remember that of our Saviour, Ye cannot serve God and mammon, Mat. 6. 24. so not God and any lust whatsoever; God will have our whole heart, he will not yeeld that any besides him (but only in subordination unto him) should have any part of it: Their heart is divided, now shall they be found faulty, Hos. 10. 2.


1 JOH. 5. 7. There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.’

BEfore I build any thing upon this Txet, or deduce any thing from it, I must assert and vindicate the Text it self: I had rather that you should heare what is objected, so as withall to heare what is answered, then that (as otherwise it might happen) you should meet with the Ob­jection, and not know what Answer can be given unto it. In this respect I like not that matters of controversie should be medled with, but so as that the principall Objections should be produ­ced and answered; for otherwise the opposers of the truth may have great advantage, and people are apt to be seduced, or at least, to stagger, when [Page 39] either in books or conferences they find things objected, which before they never had any no­tice of: This therefore I will not now dissem­ble, that the adversaries of the Doctrine con­cerning the Trinity, do except against this place, as not written by S. John, nor any part of the Scripture, and they have some colour for this ex­ception. For, it is confessed, that in some Greek copies these words are not extant, nor in the Sy­riack Translation, which is ancient, and of good account, as likewise that Chrysostome and some o­ther ancient writers in their Commentaries up­on the Epistle, make no mention of these words, which argues that they did not find them in those books which they perused. But to this I answer:

1. That this Text for the matter contained in it, fully agrees with other places of Scripture, so that although this Text were not, yet the truth which it containeth may otherwise suffici­ently be proved.

2. Those words in the Verse following, in earth, shew that these words in the seventh Verse are genuine, and not to be omitted; for those words in that Verse, in earth, answer to these in this Verse, in heaven.

3. Most of the Greek copies have this Text in them, and so hath the vulgar Latine Transla­tion: Hierome also (as ancient as Chrysostome) reads it as part of the Epistle, and so doth Cypri­an, Cyprian. de vint. Eccles. one more ancient then them both; neither doth it appear, that these words were ever que­stioned, untill after such time as the Arrian He­resie (impugning the Divinity of Christ) was [Page 40] growne up; so that it is most probable, that (as Hierome and others conceive) these words were scraped out by the Arrians, as making sore against them, and so came to be wanting in some copies, and to be omitted by some Commenta­tors. The Heresie of the Arrians for a while pre­vailedIngemuit orbis, & se miratus est factum esse Arria­num. Hie­ron. much, and bore great sway in the world, especially in the Eastern parts of it: And it hath been the wicked policy and practice of Heretikes to expunge such places of Scripture as were most pregnant against them, which they might do in some copies, though not in all. Tertullian chargeth Marcion an Arch-heretike with this crime, and thereupon calls him the Mouse of Pontus (the Countrey of which Marcion was) because like a Mouse he gnawed the Scriptures, and cut a­way some part of them so farre as he was able. Gods prooidence and goodnesse towards his Church is to be admired, in preserving the Scrip­ture, notwithstanding all the machinations and devices of heretiques, and other professed adver­saries to abolish it. And thus much for the vindi­cation of the Text.

I will not stand about the coherence of the words, but something must be said for the expli­cation of them.

[There are three,] viz. three Persons, which are presently after expressed, [that beare witnesse in heaven,] viz. to the truth spoken of, v. 6. name­ly, that Christ came both by water and blood, both to sanctifie and to justifie, and to be a perfect Sa­viour of his people from their sins, by taking a­way both the staine and the guilt of them.

[The Father,] the first person of the Trinity, so called in reference to the second Person, com­monly called the Son.

[The Word,] that is, the Son, the second Per­son of the Trinity; for that is here meant by the Word. Thus also the second Person is termed, Joh. 1. 1. & 14. and Revel. 19. 13. For there by the Word of God, is not meant the Word of God ei­ther written or spoken, but the substantiall Word, Christ the Son of God, the second Per­son of the sacred Trinity, as is evident there by the context: why the second Person is called the Word, is not so clear by the Scripture; divers reasons are alledged, and some such as seem o­ver-Philosophicall, and too remote from the sim­plicity of the Scriptures: That which seems to have most ground in the Scripture, is this, that the second Person the Son, taking upon him the nature of man, became the Interpreter of the Father, and as his Word, making knowne his will unto men: No man hath seen God at any time, the onely begotten Son, which is in the bosome of the Father, he hath declared him, Joh. 1. 18. These words follow but a little after those, wherein this only begotten Son is called the Word; so Heb. 1. 2. It's said, that in these last times God hath spoken unto us by his Son.

In this respect may the Son be called the Word; or because he is the Word, or In the Hebrew [...] word is also put for thing; and so in Greek [...] Luk. 20. 3 Acts 8. 21 & 5. 6. and [...], Luk [...] thing so much spoken of by the Prophets: To him give all the Prophets witnesse, Act. 10. 43. Howsoever this is clear, and this may suffice, that by the Word, both in the Text, and elsewhere in the Scripture, the Son is meant.

[And the Holy Ghost,] The third Person of the Trinity, called the Spirit, the holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost: God (as God) is a Spirit, Joh. 4. 24. and so is holy; and therefore this appellati­on of Spirit and holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, belongs also to the Father, and to the Son, yet it is more peculiarly attributed, and in a manner appropriated to the third Person, why it is so, I will not now stand to inquire.

[And these three are one.] Some (most Ortho­dox) expound it thus, agree in one; as it is ex­pressed of those other three that beare witnesse in earth, v. 8. And this is true; yet the phrase used here, differing from that which is used v. 8. I see [...]. v. 7. [...]. v. 8. not that they are to be taken as equivalent, and importing both one and the same thing: some one or two copies indeed are said here to have the same phrase as v. 8. but generally it is other­wise,Unum sunt, not in unum. and so Cyprian read it, are one, not agree in one, and he was before the time of Arrius, by whom, or by some of whose sect probably this place was either razed out or corrupted. This therefore is the meaning of the words, and so much the phrase imports, that these are essential­ly and substantially one, that they are one essence and one substance, one God: This Exposition is agreeable to other places of Scripture, to the words themselves, and is generally imbraced. From the words thus explicated, there ariseth Doct. this Doctrine, That the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, are three distinct Persons, yet but one and the same God.

First, they are three dictinct Persons, differing each from other; so that the Father is not the Son, nor the Holy Ghost, neither is the Son the Holy Ghost; they are clearly distinguished, Mat. 3. 16, 17. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straitway out of the water, and loe the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a Dove, and lighting upon him: And loe, a voyce from heaven, saying, This is my be­loved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Here we have the first Person, the Father, who spake from heaven, as is plaine by those words, My beloved Son: He who hath a son must needs be a father. We have here also the second Person, the Son, of whom the Father spake, and who is ex­presly mentioned. And so also is the third Per­son, the Spirit, the holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, who came down in the likenesse of a Dove: All these three are here so described and set forth, as that they plainly appeare to be distinct each from other. So the distinction of the Father and the Son, is evident from that 1 Joh. 4. 9, 10. where it's said, that God sent his Son: by God there, must needs be meant the Father, and the Person sen­ding must needs be distinct from the Person sent, so consequently the Father and the Son are two dictinct Persons: And by the same reason so are also the Father and the Holy Ghost; for the Father sends, the Holy Ghost is sent, The Holy Ghost whom the Father will send, &c. Joh. 14. 26. And so also the Son and the Holy Ghost are by this reason proved to be two distinct [Page 44] Persons, the Son being the Person sending, and the Holy Ghost the Person sent; I will send him unto you, saith Christ, speaking of the Com­forter, that is, the Holy Ghost, Joh. 16. 7. How these three Persons are distinguished one from another, is not so necessary to be known, as that they are distinguished, neither may we be over-curious to inquire into it; but thus much the Scripture doth manifest unto us con­cerning the distinction of these divine Persons, that the Father is from none, the Son is from the Father, and the Holy Ghost both from the Father and the Son: This is cleare from the places already alledged, 1 Joh. 4. 9, 10. Joh. 14. 26. & 16. 7. And this is sufficient to shew, not only that they are distinguished, but also how they are distinguished.

Secondly, as they are three distinct Persons, so they are one & the same God: This appears by that, Mat. 28. 19. Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: except the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost were each of them God, we might not baptize, nor be baptized in their Name. For it is not lawfull to baptize, or be baptized in the Name of any but God, Were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Cor. 1. 13. And again, v. 14, & 15. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius, least any should say, that I had baptized in mine owne name. Paul (we see) abhorred this as most vile sacriledge, as a rob­bing of God of his honour, that any should [Page 45] be baptized in his name: So that prayer, 2 Cor. 13. 24. The grace of the Lord Iesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all; that also proves these three Persons each one of them to be God; for prayer is to be made only unto God, Call upon me, Psal. 50. 15. Now if they be each one of them God, then there being no more Gods then one, they must needs be one and the same God.

The Godhead of the Father is confessed by all, the Godhead of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, I shall prove more fully and distinctly hereafter in their places; this proof may suffice for the present.

Ʋse. Seeing therefore this mystery of Trini­ty in Unity, and Unity in Trinity, of three Per­sons being one God, and one God three Persons, seeing (I say) this is revealed unto us in the Scrip­tures, let us not doubt of the truth of it, much lesse deny it, but let us firmly assent unto it, and believe it: Let us not say, as Nicodemus did inJoh. 3. another case, How can these things be? There are many things in Religion which are above reason, though not against reason: Surely, it is the grea­test reason that can be, that we should believe God concerning himself. For, can we know God better then he doth himself? And shall we not then believe what God doth say and testifie of himself? We are not able to comprehend how it is; well, but let us believe that it is, because so much is revealed: Secret things belong unto the [Page 46] Lord our God, but things revealed unto us, Deut. 29. 29. There are many things in nature, the reason whereof we know not, yet do we not therefore doubt of the things themselves, though we can­not tell how they came to be so, yet we are assu­red that so they be; The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth, Joh. 3. 8. Thou knowest not what is the way of the Spi­rit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, Eccles. 11. 5.Scrutaeri hoc, temeritas est, crede­re, pietas, nesse verò, vita, & vita aeterna est. Bern. de Consid. l. 5. c. 8. Bernard speaking of this my­stery saith well, To inquire in­to it (above what is revealed) is rashnesse, to believe it, is pie­ty, to know it, is life, even life eternall.


GEN. 17. 1. I am the Al­mighty God.’

GOd being to make a solemne Coveant with Abraham, and so both to promise all man­ner of blessings unto him, and to require sin­cere and intire obedience of him, premiseth this, that he is God Almighty, that so Abraham might be incited both to obey him, and to trust in him.

[The Almighty God,] In the Originall it is, El Shaddai, which are two names of God, and both of them import might and power: El is a name of God, as may appear by that, Eli, Eli, &c. Mat. 26. 46. that is, My God, my God, &c. The word doth signifie as much as might or power, as it's rendered Mic. 2. 1. or mighty, as Ezek. 31. 11. And thus when it is used as the Name of God, Aquila a Greek Interpreter, renders it [...], that is, mighty. As for the other word, Shaddai, some derive it from Shadad, to wast and destroy, as if the word [Page 48] imported thus much, that as God by his Al­mighty power made all things, so by the same power he is able to destroy all, Joel 1. 15. As a destruction from the Almighty shall it come; in the Hebrew there is an elegant Paromasia, [...] Ceshod misshaddai. Others take the word as compounded of asher dai, that is, that is sufficient, as if God were therefore called Shad­dai, because he hath all sufficiency in himself, hath no need of any other, but is able to supply the wants of all: Neither is (he) worshipped with mens hands, as if he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life and breath, and all things, Act. 17. 25. The Greek Interpreters called the Septua­gint, or Seventie, sometimes translate the word [...], that is, sufficient, as Ruth 1. 20, 21. some­times, [...], that is, Almighty, as Job 5. 17. Here in the Text, [...], that is, thy God; and so in other places. Hierome renders it, Omni­potens, that is, Almighty, and so our last Transla­tors: In the Geneva Translation it is rendered, Alsufficient; both these Almighty and Alfuffi­cient import the same thing, and do most fitly expresse the Originall word Shaddai.

The Doctrine to be observed, is, That God is Doct. Almighty Gen. 49. 24. He is called the Almigh­ty God: And so also, Esa. 9. 6. Once hath God Psal. 62. 11 spoken, yea twice have I heard it (saith David) that power belongeth unto God. But might and power are attributed likewise unto men, and to Angels, The mighty men of Moab, &c. Exod. 15. 15. His mighty Angels, 2 Thes. 1. 7. Therefore to distin­guish God from all others, he is called Almigh­ty; [Page 49] so here in the Text, and likewise in many other places, as Gen. 28. 3. God Almighty blesse thee, 2 Cor. 6. 18. saith the Lord Almighty, Ruth 1. 20, 21. Job 5. 17. and elsewhere he is stiled, the Almighty.

He and only he is Almighty: For, first, he and onely he can do all things. Men can do much, Angells can do more; but neither men nor An­gels can do all things. This power belongs unto God, and to him only, He hath done whatsoever he pleased, Psal. 115. 3. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? Gen. 18. 14. With God nothing is impossible, Luk. 1. 37. He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we can either ask or thinke, Eph. 3. 20. He is able even to subdue all things unto him­self, Phil. 3. 21.

2. All the power that is in all the creatures, is from God, and therefore in a more eminent manner in God. The great Behemoth, that is, (as is supposed) the Elephant, whose strength is in his loines, and whose force is in the navell of his belly: Who moveth his taile like a Cedar,—Whose bones are as strong pieces of brasse, and like barres of iron, Job 40. 16, 17, 18. This great Behemoth (I say) is but one, though amongst such-like creatures, the chief one of the wayes (or works) of God. Job 40. 19. He that made him, can make his sword to ap­proach unto him. Ibid. Though he be never so strong, yet he hath his strength from God, who therefore is stronger, and can subdue him. Yea, further, all the power that all the creatures have, is Gods power, not onely as from him, but also as subservient to him, he ordereth it and maketh [Page 50] use of it as he pleaseth: The Angels that excell in strength, do his Commandements, hearkning to the voice of his word, Psa. 103. 20. Nebuchadnezzar that had such majesty, and such might, that all People, Nations, and Languages, trembled and feared before him; whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive; whom he would he set up, and whom he would he put downe, Dan. 5. 19. even he was but Gods servant, as God doth call him, Ier. 25. 9. & 27. 6. God made him an instrument to execute his will, and to fulfill his pleasure: They wrought for me, saith God, speaking of Ne­buchadnezzar and his Army, when they had de­stroyed that rich and strong City Tyrus, Ezek. 29. 26. The strength of Bears and of Lions God useth at his pleasure, 2 King. 2. 24. & 17. 25. So the inanimate creatures which are of most force and might, as fire, and haile, snow and vapour, and stormy wind, they doe but fulfill his Word, Psal. 148. 8.

Furthermore, God can inhibit and restrain the force and fury of the creatures, that they shall not put forth themselves, nor act at all except he pleaseth: He stopped the mouthes of the Li­ons that they could do nothing unto Daniel, Dan. 6. 22. He curbed and kept in the rage of the fire, that it could have no power over the three young men, Dan. 3. 27. Againe, God can lift up the creature above it self, and make it act above its power, when he pleaseth. He made one repast sufficient for Eliah to go in the strength of it forty daies, and forty nights, 1 King. 19. 8. with five barley loaves and two small [Page 51] fishes he satisfied many thousands, and caused much to remain also of the fragments, Ioh. 6. 5. &c.

Finally, God can make the creatures work e­ven quite contrary to their nature: He made the waters to divide themselves, and to stand on heaps, as if they had been walls of brasse, or of marble, Exod. 14. 21, 22. He made the Sun to stand still, Iosh. 10. and to go back, Esa. 38. He made clay a meanes to open the eyes of him that was blind, Joh. 9. 6. This may sufficiently demonstrate that God is Almighty.

Ob. But there are some things which God cannot do, He cannot deny himself, 2 Tim. 2. 13. He cannot lie, Tit. 1. 2.

Ans. Some things imply imperfection, as sin, death, mutability, and the like: these things are not compatible unto God, being inconsistent with his perfection; the not being able to do such things, doth not derogate from his pow­er, nor argue any inability in him, but the con­trary: For indeed he could not be Almighty, as he is,Deus dicitur omnipotens facien­do quod vult, non patiendo quod non vult. Quod si ei accideret, nequaquam esset omnipotens. Ʋn­de prop [...]erea quaedam non potest, quia omnipotens est. Aug. de Civ. Dei, l. 5. c. 10. if he could do (or rather suf­fer) things of that nature: God (saith Austine) is said to be Almighty, in doing what he will, not in suffering what he will not; for if he were sub­ject to that, he were not Almighty: And there­fore because God is Almighty, there are some things that he cannot do, viz. such things as ar­gue imperfection: For, (as Aquinas saith well) [Page 52] though in word and expression those thingsQuaedam sunt, quae dicunt po­tentiam quantum ad modum dicendi, dicunt ta­men impo­tentiam à parte rei. Aquin. seem to import power, yet in deed and in truth they import weaknesse: How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou dost all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman! E­zek. 16. 30.

Againe, some things imply contradiction: as to make that which is past, not to be past; that which is, whiles it is, not to be, and the like: These things also do not fall under the power of God, yet neither is this any diminution or a­abatement of his power: God is the God of truth. Esa. 65. 16. but both parts of a contradiction can­not be true: If it be true, that a thing is past, it cannot be true that it is not past. Whosoever (saith Au­stine)Quisquis dicit, si Deus omnipo­tens est, faciat ut quae facta sunt, facta non fuerint; non videt hoc se dicere, si Deus omnipotens est. faciat ut ea quae vera sunt, eo ipso quòd vera sunt, falsa sint. Aug. contra Faust. lib. 26. cap. 5. saith, If God be Almigh­ty, let him cause that those things which are done should not be done, he sees not that he saith, if God be Almigh­ty, let him cause that those things which are true, in that they are true, should be false. Quae implicant contradictio­nem, &c. convenientius est di­cere, quod ca non possunt fieri, quàm quòd ca Deus non possit facere. Aquin. par. 1. qu. 25. art. 3. Concerning things of this nature, it is more meet (as A­quinas acutely observes) to say, that they cannot be done, then that God cannot do them; that is, the reason why God cannot do such things, is in the impossibility of their nature, not in any defect of Gods power: Thus then God is Almighty, in that he can do all things, which [Page 53] do not imply either contradiction or imper­fection.

Now if God be Almighty, able to do whatsoe­ver he pleaseth, then let us not doubt of any thing that he hath spoken, but though it may seem ne­ver so strange, yet let us be assured of the truth of it. Why should it seem a thing incredible with you, that God should raise again the dead? (said the Apostle) Act. 26. 8. So Christ told the Sadduces, who denied the Resurrection of the dead, that they erred, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the pow­er of God, Mat. 22. 29. Whatsoever it be that God hath promised, let us assure our selves that it shall be fulfilled; let us take heed of calling into question the power of God, as that noble man did, who when in a time of most great scarci­ty, the Prophet Elisha fore-told most great plen­ty, and that to happen the very next day after, said, Behold, if the Lord should make windowes in heaven, might this thing be? 2 King. 7. 1, 2. where­upon the Prophet told him, that he should see it with his eyes, but should not tast of it; and so (as the storie shews) it came to passe, for when that plenty happened, he being appointed of the King to keep the gate, was trodden on by the people, and so died. So the Israelites in the wil­dernesse, questioned whether God were able to supply their wants, saying, Can God furnish a ta­ble in the wildernesse?—Can he provide flesh for his people? Psa. 78. 19, 20. In speaking thus, it's said, they spake against God: It is a great indig­nity unto God, to speak or think so of him, as if his power were limited, as if there were any [Page 54] thing above his reach, or without the sphere of his activity, yet (which may make us take the more heed unto our selves) even the godly them­selves are subject thus to distrust Gods power. Sarah hearing the Lord to promise that she should bear Abraham a son, laughed at it, as thinking it could not be, that Abraham and she being both so old as they were, should yet have a child, Gen. 18. 10, 11, 12. So when God told Moses, that he would give the Israelites in the wildernesse flesh to eat, and that for a moneth together, it seems that Moses did doubt of Gods ability to perform this promise: The people a­mong whom I am (said he) are six hundred thousand foot-men, and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole moneth: Shall the flocks and the heards be slain for them to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the Sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? That Moses did not meerly inquire how this should be done, but did even doubt how it could be done, may appeare by Gods answer unto him, And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lords hand waxed short? Thou shalt see whether my word shall come to passe unto thee, or not, Num. 11. 21, 22, 23. Thus also again, when the people murmuring for water, God bad Moses and Aaron speak unto the Rock, and it should powre forth water: Moses instead of speaking to the Rock, smote it twice, which God comman­ded not, and spake to the people, saying, Heare now ye rebells, must we fetch you water out of this Rock? As if he should say, Is this a likely thing to be done? And yet God had plainly said un­to [Page 55] him that it should be done, it is evident both by his speech and by his action, and most of all by Gods words following after, that both he and Aaron did doubt of that which God had said should be, Num. 20. 8, 9, 10, 11. And so Zacharias, the Father of John the Baptist, when the Angell told him that he should have a son, could not be­lieve it, because he was old, and his wife also stricken in years, Luk. 1. 18. These examples shew how apt the godly are to faile in the be­liefe of this point, touching Gods Almighty power: But let's beware of this evill heart of unbelief; for it much provokes God, as appears by these very examples now alledged: How he punished the noble man for his incredulity, was noted before; Sarah also did not passe with­out a check, Gen. 18. 13. Moses and Aaron were likewise reproved, and not onely so, but also debarred from entring into Canaan, Numb. 20. 12. 24. Deut. 32. 48, 49, 50, 51. so Zacharias was immediately stricken dumb, and was no more able to speak, untill such time as he saw the ac­complishment of Gods promise, which he had doubted of, Luke 1. 19, 20. No maryell if God be thus provoked by mans unbeliefe. For it makes Gods a liar, 1 Joh. 5. 10. And what greater dishonor can be done unto God then this? On the other side it's said, that Abraham gave glory unto God, when as against hope he believed in hope, &c. and being not weak in faith, he considered not his owne body, now dead, when he was about a hundred yeers old, nor the deadnesse of Sarahs womb, [Page 56] and staggered not at the promise of God through unbeliefe, but was strong in faith, and fully per­swaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to performe, Rom. 4. 18, 19, 20, 21.

Ʋse 2. But secondly, let us be sure to get in­terest in God, that he may be our God: For o­therwise what are we the better, though his power be never so great? If we be aliens from him, what comfort can this afford unto us? But if the Almighty be ours, what can we want? What moved the Septuagint here in the Text in­stead of God Almighty, to render, thy God (and in like manner they also interpret the word in o­ther places) I cannot tell, but sure I am, except he be thy God, and my God, it will availe us no­thing that he is God Almighty. Tolle meum & tolle Deum; take away our propriety in God, and take away God, we are as if there were no God, in respect of any benefit that we can expect from him, even without God in the world, (as it is said of the Gentiles) Ephes. 2. 12. David incou­raged himself in the Lord his God, 1 Sam. 30. 6. had not the Lord been his God, how could he have incouraged himselfe in him? so Jehoshaphat, Art not tho [...] our God? 2 Chron. 20. 7. And again, O our God, wilt thou not judge them? v. 12. Hence it was that Balaam with all his inchantments and divinations could do the people of Israel no hurt: The Almighty God was the God of that people, The Lord his God is with him, (said Ba­laam) Num. 23. 21. And therefore surely there is no inchantment against Jacob, nor any divination a­gainst [Page 57] Israel, v. 23. Now if we would have interestGen. 17. 7. in God, we must have interest in Christ; I will be a God to thee, this is Gods Covenant, and it is fulfilled in Christ, In whom all the promises of God are Yea, and Amen, 2 Cor. 1. 20. they that are without Christ, are also without God, Eph. 2. 12. There is no Mediator betwixt God and Man, but Christ, 1 Tim. 2. 5. No man cometh unto the Fa­ther but by me, saith Christ, Joh. 14 6. And as by Christ we must have interest in God, so by faith we must have interest in Christ: Faith is that whereby we receive Christ, Joh. 1. 12. whereby Christ doth dwell in us, Eph 3. 17.

Ʋse 3. Thirdly, Let this make us to fly unto God in all our necessities, and in our greatest dangers and distresses to trust in him: Our con­dition cannot be so dismall, nor so deplorable, but he is able to deliver us, He is able to do excee­ding abundantly beyond all that we can either aske or thinke, Eph. 3. 20. Who is that God that shall de­liver you out of my hands? said Nebuchadnezzar to the three Nobles; but our God (said they) whom we serve, is able to deliver us, &c. Dan. 3. 15. 17. Though there be never so many against us, yet if God be with us, there are more with us, then with those that are against us; as Elisha told his servant, 2 King. 6. 16. and so Ezekiah in like man­ner comforted and incouraged the people, 2 Chron. 32. 7. Hereupon the Saints and Servants of God triumph, saying, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble: Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and [Page 58] though the mountains be carried into the midst of the Sea: Though the waters thereof roare, &c.—The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Iacob is our re­fuge, Psal. 46. 1, 2, 3, 7. What time I am afraid (saith David) I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his Word; in God I have put my trust, I will not feare what flesh can do unto me, Psal. 56. 3, 4. And again, In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid what man can do unto me, v. 11. So the Apostle saith, We may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not feare what man shall do unto me, Heb. 13. 5. If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom. 8.Ne exi­stimemus plus ad impug­nandum posse hu­mana co­namina, quàm ad protegen­dum valet divina tu­tela. 31. that is, so against us, as to prevail against us? Let us not thinke (as Cyprian saith excellently) that man can be more able to hurt, then God is able to defend.

Ʋse 4. Finally, this consideration of Gods om­nipotency, should make us to feare him, and not to dare to provoke him as we use to do, but to study to please him, and to approve our selves be­fore him. We labour, that whether present or ab­sent (whether alive or dead) we may be accepted of him, saith S. Paul, 2 Cor. 5. 9. And great reason why we should all so labour, God being Almigh­ty, and therefore able abundantly both to reward those that obey him, and also to avenge himselfe on those that rebell against him; Wherefore camest thou not unto me? Am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour? said Balak to Balaam, because he made him send the second time before he came unto him. Num. 22. 37. How much more may God thus expostulate with us, when we are slow and [Page 59] negligent to do what he requires? For this rea­son did God tells Abraham that he is the Almigh­ty God, that so he might be the more incited to obey him, knowing that he should lose nothing by his labour, but that his reward should be ex­ceeding great, as God told him, Gen. 15. 1 And as God is able to blesse those that fear him, so is he to curse those that despise him; Do we provoke the 1 Cor. 10. 22. Lord to jealousie? (saith the Apostle) are we stronger then he? Indeed if we were stronger then God, we might be the more bold to provoke him, but he being stronger, infinitely stronger then we, it is madnesse for us to provoke him: Can thy heart indure, and can thy hands be strong when I shall have to do with thee? (saith God) Ezek. 22. 14. Thou, even thou art to be feared, (saith David unto God) for who may stand when once thou art angry? Psal. 76. 7. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fiercenesse of his anger? his fury is powred out like fire, and the Rocks are throwne down by him, Nah. 1. 6. Let us therefore fear the Lord, and walk humbly with him, even in all holinesse and obedience before him, that so his Almighty power may be for us, and not a­gainst us; to our comfort and salvation, not to our terror and destruction.


HEB. 3. 4. He that built all things, is God.’

THe Apostle speaking of Christ, and setting forth his excellency, compares him with Moses, who was of great account with the Jews, to whom the Apostle wrote; Who was faithfull to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faith­full in all Gods house, v. 2. But least any should conceive an equality betwixt Christ and Moses, he goes on, and shewes the excellency of Christ above Moses; For this man was counted worthy of more glory then Moses, in as much as he who hath builded the house, hath more honor then the house, v. 3. Moses was but a part of the house, (viz. the Church) but Christ the builder of the house, and so the Lord and Master of it, whenas Moses, though he had a great place in it, yet was but a servant, v. 5. & 6. Now having thus occasionally mentioned house and building, he inserts as by way of Parenthesis, these words, For every house [Page 61] is builded by some man, but he that built all things is God.

[That built,] That is, made; as Gen. 2. 22. And the rib, &c. made he woman: In the Originall it is, built; and that which 2 Sam. 7. 11. is, He will make thee an house, is 1 Chron. 17. 10. will build thee an house.

[All things,] Calvin liketh rather to limit this to all things belonging to the Church, the house of God, mentioned both before and after; yet he confesseth, that it may be extended to the whole Creation: This sense seems most agreeable to the words, that as every house hath some man or o­ther by whom it is built, so the great house of the world that comprehends all things in it, had God for the builder, or maker of it.

Hence then the conclusion is this, That God is Doct. he, who made all things.

In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth, saith Moses, Gen. 1. 1. And then he shews distinct­ly how all the severall kinds of creatures were made of God: So Neh. 9. 6. Thou, even thou art Lord alone; thou hast made Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens, with all their host; the Earth and all things that are therein; the Seas, and all that is therein. And Revel. 4. 11. Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Moses writing of the Creation, makes no ex­presse mention of the Angels: It seems that his purpose was onely to expresse the Creation of things visible; yet they may be implicitly men­tioned in the word Heaven, thereby being meant all [Page 62] things in heaven, all the host of heaven, as it is expressed, Gen. 2. 1. & Neh. 9. 6. Now by the host of heaven are meant both the Sun, Moon, and Stars, Deut. 4. 19. and also the Angels, 1 King. 22. 19. Howsoever, though it be not so cleare when the Angels were created, yet the Scripture is expresse for this, that they were created, and that they also, as all other things, are Gods crea­tures: Praise ye him all his Angells.—Let them praise the Name of the Lord; for he commanded, and they were created, Psa. 148. 2. 5. By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities or Powers, &c. Col. 1. 16.

The light of naturall reason is sufficient to demonstrate that God made the world, the hea­ven and earth, and all things therein; for what­soever is, must either be of it self, or be made by some other; if it be of it self, then it is God, for only God is of himself: if it be made by someQuòd Deus mundum fecerit, nulli tu­tius crede­dimus quàm ipsi Deo. Aug. de Civit. Dei, l. 11. c. 4. Opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt in­divisa. other, then either by God immediately, or by that which was made by God; so that either immediately, or mediately all things are of him. But (as Austine saith) that God made the world, we do not more safely believe any then God himself: His testimony is above all other argu­ments and ratiocinations whatsoever. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, Heb. 11. 3. The work of the Crea­tion is common to all the three Persons, To the Father; To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, 1 Cor. 8. 6. to the Son, All [Page 63] things were made by him, Joh. 1. 3. By him were all things created, &c. Col. 1. 16. to the Holy Ghost, The Spirit of God hath made me, Job 33. 4.

Ʋse 1. Hence let us see and consider the ex­cellency of God, and so give him the glory due unto him: God is excellent, Psal. 8. 1. and because of his excellency he is to be glorified, Psal. 148. 13. Now Gods excellency appears by the creation of the world, the world is a glasse wherein to behold Gods excellency: His eternall power and Mundus est specu­lum Dei­tatis. Godhead are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made, Rom. 1. 20. The heavens declare the glory of God, Psal. 19. 1. His glory is above the earth and Pulchra terra, pul­chrum coelum; sed pul­chrior ille qui fecit illa. heaven, Psal. 148. 13. Whatsoever excellency is in any thing, is from God, and consequently much more in God; and therefore the glory of all must be given unto God. For of him, and through him, and to him are all things; to whom be glory for ever, Amen. Rom. 11. 36. Blessed be thy glori­ous Name, which is exalted above all blessing and above all praise: Thou, even thou art Lord alone, thou hast made heaven, &c. Neh. 9. 5, 6. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power, for thou hast created all things, &c. Re­vel. 4. 11.

More particularly, by the Creation of the world we may see,

1. The excellency of Gods power, that could make all things of nothing: Philosophy tells us, that nothing is made of nothing. It is true, in re­spectEx nihilo nihil fit. of naturall agents, they must have some matter to work upon, else they can do nothing. [Page 64] But Divinity tells us, that all things were made of nothing; that things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear, Heb. 11. 3. This is most true in respect of God, a supernaturall agent: By this God shewes himself to be God, doing that which none can do but he. One saith excellently, If any besides One shall say, I am God, he must [...]. shew us such a world as this is, and say, this is mine, of my ma­king. The Lord (saith David) is great, and greatly to be prai­sed; he is to be feared above all gods: for all the gods of the Nations are Idols, but the Lord made the Heavens, Psa. 96. 4, 5. The gods (saith Jeremie) that have not made the Heavens and the Earth, even they shall perish from under these Heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, Jer. 10. 11, 12.

2. The excellency of Gods wisdome, who could make such an infinite variety of creatures, and not the least or meanest of them, but to have its use and office in the universe: He hath establish­ed the world by his wisdome, and hath stretched out Deus cum sit bonum nullo in­digens bo­no, non nisi ex benig­no honita­tis suae af­fectu mundum creavit. Aug. Con­fess. the heavens by his discretion, Jer. 10. 12. & 51. 15. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdome hast thou made them all, Psal. 104. 24.

3. The excellency of Gods goodnesse, Thou art good, and doest good, saith David unto God, Psal. 119. 68. This was it that moved him to make the world, not that he had any need of the crea­tures, (for from all eternity he was most blessed and happy in himself) but that he might com­municate his goodnesse to the creatures: The earth [Page 65] is full of the goodnesse of the Lord, saith David, Psal. 33. 5. And again, The earth is full of thy riches; so is this great and wide Sea, &c. Psal. 104. 24, 25.

Moses saith of the severall things that God made, God saw that it was good, and of them all collectively, that they were very good, hereby inti­mating unto us, (as Austine observes) that there was noScriptura per omnia Dei opera subjungens, Et vidit Deus quia bonum est, completis (que) omnibus inferens, Et vidit Deus omnia quae secit, & ecce bona valdè, nullam aliam causam faciendi mundi intelligi voluit, nisi ut bona fierent à bono Deo. Aug. de Civ. Dei, lib. 11. cap. 23. Re­rum creatarum causa non est ni­si bonitas Creatoris. Ibid. cap. 21. other cause moving God to make the world, but that he being good might make things that are good; The goodnesse of the Creator (as the same Author speaks) is the cause of the creatures.

4. Gods eternity: He that made all things, must needs be before all things; he that made all things in the beginning, must needs himselfe be without beginning, and consequently eternall: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, e­ven from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Psal. 90. 2,

These excellent attributes of God shine forth, and shew themselves in the work of the Creati­on, and therefore let's take notice of them; let's look upon the world, and the creatures in it, so as to see God, his power, wisdome, goodnesse and eternity in them, and let us praise and glori­fie him for them. Let us consider,

1. That God expects this of us, He made all things for himself, Prov. 16. 4. that is, for his owne [Page 66] glory, that we might know and acknowledge (so far forth as he is pleased to reveal it) the excel­lency that is in him.

2. That the other creatures in their kind do glorifie God, by keeping the order in which God hath set them, and by ministring matter unto us whereby to praise God. Thus the Heavens declare the glory of God, Psal. 19. 1. and all his works do praise him, Psal. 145. 10. But we ought to praise and glorifie God not only objectively, but effe­ctively, as being indued with reason and under­standing whereby to do it: All thy works praise thee, O Lord, and thy Saints shall blesse thee, Psal. 145. 10. Gods Saints will do it, and so all should do it. And even Galen a heathen man, admiringBeza in Rom. 1. 20 the frame and composure of mans body, could not but praise and extoll the Maker of it, for his goodnesse that did move him, his wisdome that that did direct him, and his power that did ina­ble him to make it so exquisitely as he hath done; besides, God hath made all the other creatures for us, and therefore we are bound to glorifie him, as for our selves, so for them also: When I consider thy Heavens (saith David) the work of thy fingers, the Moon, and the Stars, which thou hast or­dained: What is man that thou art mindfull of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower then the Angells, and hast crowned him with glory and honour: Thou madest him to have dominion over the workes of thy hands, &c. Psal. 8. 3, 4, 5, 6.

But (alas!) how many turne Gods glory into shame? as he complaines, Psal. 4. 2. Instead of [Page 67] glorifying him for the creatures, they dishonor him by the creatures, setting their hearts and af­fections on the creatures rather then on him: They assemble themselves for corn and wine, but they rebell against me, saith he, Hos. 7. 14. Excellent to this purpose is that of Au­stine, Deum ex illis lauda, & in arti­ficem eorum retorque amorem; ne in his quae tibi placent, tu displiceas. Aug. Confess. Take occasion by the crea­tures to praise God, and bring back your love from them to him that made them, least in those things which please you, you your selves dis­please God.

Ʋse 2. Secondly, we must take heed how we judge of the creatures, seeing they are Gods crea­tures: The Apostle fore-tells, that some would forbid the use of meats, which God hath created to be received with thankesgiving, 1 Tim. 4. 3 But he addes, that every creature of God is good, and no­thing to be refused, if it be received with thankesgi­ving, v. 4. So Rom. 14. 14. I know and I am per­swaded (saith he) by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of it self, &c. I feare not (saith Austine) the uncleannesse of the Non ego immunditiam obson [...] timeo, sed immunditiam cupi­ditatis. Aug. Confess. meat, but the uncleannesse of the appetite.

The superstition of some is exceeding grosse, who think they should be polluted, if they should eat a little flesh in Lent, or on a Friday, though it be Gods creature at one time, as well as at another, and no more forbidden by him at one time then at another, yet they will lie, swear, &c. and fear no pollution, See Mar. 7. 14. &c. to 23.

Ʋse 3. Thirdly, we must have a care how we use the creatures; we may use them, but we may not abuse them, 1 Cor. 7. 31. Ʋse the world as not abusing it: We must use the creatures,

1. Soberly, Take heed least at any time your hearts be over-charged with surfetting and drunken­nesse, Luk 21. 34. We must so use the creatures, as that we may be more fit to glorifie the Creator, and to do him service: Whether ye eat or drinke, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10. 31.

2. Righteously; so as not to oppresse, de­fraud, or any way wrong others in the use of them: It must be our bread, Mat. 6. 11. we must come lawfully by it, have a just right to it. We command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietnesse they worke, and cat their own bread, (saith the Apostle) 2 Thes. 3. 12. Bread of deceit (saith Solomon) is sweet unto a man, but after­wards his mouth shall be filled with gravell, Prov. 20. 17.

And again, to use the creatures righteously, is to use them not only not to the hurt of others, but also to the good of others, viz. so as to suc­cour and relieve others with them: He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise, Luk. 3. 11. This is a work of righteousnesse: Break off thy sins by righteousnesse, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor, Dan. 4. 27. He hath dispersed a­broad, See Beza on Mat. 6. 1. and given to the poor, and his righteousnesse indureth for ever, Psal. 112. 9. & 2 Cor. 9. 9. Na­bal argued like a fool, as he was, saying, Shall I [Page 69] take my bread, and my water, and my flesh, that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? 1 Sam. 25. 11. Cast thy bread upon the waters, Eccles. 11. 1. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry? Isa. 58. 7. It is not so thine, but that thou must communicate to such as stand in need; all thou hast is Gods, he is the Lord of all, and thou art but his stew­ard, and therefore must dispense that which he hath committed unto thee, not as thou pleasest, but as he appointeth: As every one hath received the gift, so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God, 1 Pet. 4. 10.

3. Religiously: 1. In faith, so as to be perswa­ded of the lawfulnesse of the use of them. For to him that thinketh any thing unclean, to him it is unclean, Rom. 14. 14. And he that doubteth (viz. of the lawfulnesse of that whith he doth) is dam­ned (that is, condemned of his owne conscience) if he eat. For whatsoever is not of faith, is sin, Rom. 14. 23. To use the creatures in faith, is also to use them with a perswasion of interest in them, and right unto them through Christ, in whom we re­cover that which we lost in Adam. And there­fore that which David speaks in the eight Psalm of the dominion that God gave unto man over the creatures, the Apostle applies unto Christ, Heb. 2. 6. &c. And Heb. 1. 2. it's said, that Christ is appointed heire of all things. And 1 Cor. 3. 22, 23. All things are yours, and ye are Christs. This is not to be understood as if unbelievers and ali­ens from Christ had not a civill right to the [Page 70] things which they possesse, but that they cannot have a religious and sanctified use of them, be­cause they cannot use them in faith, so as to be perswaded of their interest in the creatures thorough Christ, they having no union nor com­munion with him.

2. With prayer and thanksgiving; prayer for Gods blessing upon them, and thanksgiving un­to God for the comfort and benefit of them: Nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanks­giving: For it is sanctified by the word and prayer, 1 Tim. 4. 4, 5. Christ took the loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, &c. Mat. 15. 36. so Paul took bread, and gave thanks to God. &c. Acts 27. 35. And it is said of the Israelites, 1 Sam. 9. 13. that they would not begin to eat untill the Prophet came and blessed the sacrifice, or feast to which they were bidden: He that eateth, eateth to the Lord; for he giveth God thanks, saith the A­postle, Rom. 14. 6. so that they which eat, and do not give God thanks, eat not to God, but to themselves; as he complaines of some, saying, And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did ye not eat for your selves, and drink for your selves? Zach. 7. 6. But our thanksgiving must be reall and serious, not formall and perfunctory: For God is not mocked, Gal. 6. 7. He cannot indure that peo­ple should draw near him with their mouth, and honor him with their lips, whenas they remove their hearts far from him, Isa. 29. 13.

Ʋse 4. If God made all things, then all things are his, and consequently he may dispose of them as he pleaseth: Is it not lawfull for him to do [Page 71] what he will with his owne? Mat. 20. 15. The Lord saith thus, Behold that which I have built, will I break down, & that which I have planted, wil I pluck up, Jer. 45. 4. We ought therefore to be content with that portion which God doth allot us, though it be but little, and to take patiently all losses and crosses that do befall us. The Lord gave; and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord, Job 1. 21.

Ʋse 5. Hence also we ought to consider how we are degenerated from what God did make us: He is good, and made every thing good, more e­specially man, whom in a more especiall manner he made like unto himselfe, Gen. 1. 26. But now (alas!) we are naturally altogether corrupt and sinfull, Gen. 6. 5. & 8. 20. Psal. 51. 5. Eccles. 7. 29. we must therefore be regenerated, and be made new creatures: We must put on the new man which after Christ is created in righteousnesse and true ho­linesse, Eph 4. 24. We lost our originall integrity in Adam, we must recover it in Christ: As by the disobedience of one man (viz. Adam) many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one man (viz. Christ) shall many be made righteous, Rom. 5. 19. As in Adam all dye, so in Christ shall all be made alive, 1 Cor. 15. 22. viz. all that are Christs, as the Apostle explains himself, v, 23.

Ʋse 7. Finally, this may teach us, that meer outward and ceremoniall Worship is not suffi­cient to please God, but that the heart must be given unto him. God did indeed prescribe unto the Jewes many carnall Ordinances, as they are called, Heb, 9. 10. And now also he doth require [Page 72] some bodily performances, as to hear the Word, receive the Sacraments, &c. But he neither doth nor did require such things, as if he needed any thing that the creature can do, seeing he made all, but only he would have the creature to shew its subjection to him, as the Creator. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in Temples made with hands; neither is he worshipped with mens hands, as if he needed any thing, seeing he gi­veth to all life and breath, and all things, Acts 17. 24, 25. Thus saith the Lord, the Heaven is my throne, and the Earth is my footstool: Where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all these things hath my hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my Word, Isa. 66. 1, 2.


JOH. 5. 17. My Father work­eth hitherto, and I work.’

OUr Saviour having cured a lame man on the Sabbath day, the Jews hearing of it, and be­ing desirous to take any occasion whereby to quarrell with him, sought to prosecute him as a transgressor of the Law, and one that had bro­ken the Sabbath, v. 16. Our Saviour so answe­red for himself, as to let them know that they did not rightly understand the Commandement concerning the Sabbath, which was not to inhi­bit and restrain such works as did evidently make for the glory of God, and the good of men, but only ordinary works, which hinder the perform­ing of those duties which God then requires. And he further shewes, that Gods resting on the se­venth day, after that he had made all things in six daies, is not so meant, but that God doth still continually work, though not in that man­ner as in those first six dayes wherein he made the world, viz. so as to make any new kinds of crea­tures, [Page 74] yet so as to preserve and govern the things that he hath made: And therefore to do any thing that is requisite and needfull for the pre­servation either of man or beast, is not unlawfull. This is the meaning of these words; But Jesus on­swered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

[My Father worketh hitherto,] viz. by preser­ving and governing his creatures.

[And I work,] viz. as God together with the Father, and as Man conformably to the Father.

This sufficing for the explication of the words, we may observe from them, That all things are Doct. continually preserved and governed of God.

As God at first made all things, so he still un­cessantly preserveth and governeth all things: That Gen. 2. 2. And he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made, is meant in respect of creating, not in respect of preserving and governing.

God then on the seventh day ceased to create any more, as he had done in the six dayes before; but he did not then, neither doth he yet cease to preserve and govern what he had created.

That all things are preserved of God is clear by that Act. 17. 28. In him we live and move, and have our being; not only from him as our Crea­tor, but in him as our preserver. So Neh. 9. 6. more expresly it is said, that God not only made all things, but also preserveth them all. And Heb. 1. 6. it is said of Christ as God, that he upholdeth all things by the word of his power.

Reas. Thus it must needs be, the creatures must needsCuncta in illa subsistunt à quo creata sunt. Cuncta quippe ex nihilo facta sunt, corum (que) essen­entia rursus ad nihilum tende­ret, nisi eam autor omnium ma­nu retineret. Gregor. Mor. l. 16. c. 18. be preserved by the Creator, or else they cannot subsist; but as they were made of no­thing, so if they were not up­held by him that made them, they would presently fall a­gain to nothing: The creatures do not depend upon God, as a house depends upon the builder; for though the builder go his way, and think no more of the house, yet it stands: It is not so with the creatures, but they depend upon God as the light in the air dependsSic se habet omnis creatura ad Deum, si [...]ut a [...]r ad Solem illu­mina [...]tem. Aquin. 1 par. quest. 104 art. 1. on the Sun, viz. not only in respect of production, but al­so in respect of preservation: if the Sun with-draw it self never so little, the light in the aire faileth, and so would the creatures, if he should never so little with-draw his preserving in­fluence from them. So thatQuamdi [...] creatura est, tamdiu creatur à Deo; quia quoad De­um est eadem actio creationis & conservationis creaturarum. Du­rand. l. 2. dist. 1. quaest 2. God doth as it were continu­ally create the creatures, his preservation of the creatures is as it were a continued crea­tion.

Again, that all things are likewise governed of God, is most evident by the Scripture: His King­dome ruleth over all, Psal. 103. 19. Nothing is so small, but God orders it by his providence; not so much as a Sparrow doth fall to the ground, but as it pleaseth God, Mat. 10. 29. nothing is so [Page 76] casuall, but God disposeth it. The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord, Prov. 16. 33. No agent is so free and potent, but God rules over it, and doth with it what he plea­seth: The heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of waters, he turneth it whither­soever he will, Prov. 21. 1. There's no evill of affli­ction, but Gods hand hath the chief stroke in it; Shall there be evill in a City, and the Lord hath not done it? Amos 3. 6. There's no evill of sin, but God, though he be not the doer, yet is the orde­rer of it: Though men sin of themselves, (for to sin argues not power, but weaknesse, How weak is thine heart, seeing thou doest all these things! Ezek. 16. 30.) yet they cannot sin either for the kind, or for the degree; or for the manner, otherwise then God is pleased to permit: Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together (viz. against Christ) to do whatsoever Gods hand, and his counsell before deter­mined, Acts 4. 27, 28.

Ob. But it often fares ill with the godly, and well with the wicked, and how then are all things ordered and governed by God?

Answ. We judge of things too rashly: Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement, saith our Saviour, Joh. 7. 24. It is not well with the wicked, nor ill with the godly, when it seems to be so with them: When it seems to be well with the wicked, it is ill with them; The prosperity of fools destroyeth them, Prov. 1. 32. Their table is made asnare unto them, and that which should have been for their welfare, is un­to [Page 77] them an occasion of ruine, Psal. 69. 22. They are but fatted as sheep for the slaughter, Jer. 12. 3. Nei­ther on the other side is it ill with the godly, when it seems to be ill with them; All things work together for their good, Rom. 8. 28. Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy Word, Psal. 119. 67. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might keep thy Statutes: V. 71. By this shall the iniquity of Iacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take away his sin, Isa. 27. 9. When we are judged, we are chast'ned of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world, 1 Cor. 10. 32.

Ob. Doth God take care for Oxen? saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 9. 9. And how then is his provi­dence over all?

Answ. The Apostle there speaks not absolute­ly, but comparatively; God takes care for Oxen, so as to provide for them: He preserveth man and beast, Psal. 36. 6. He causeth the grasse to grow for the cattell, Psal. 104. 14. But the Apostles meaning is, that God doth not so take care for Oxen, as for men, and for his Ministers, not so as to make a Law meerly in respect of Oxen: That Law, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the Oxe that treadeth out the corn, was not (as the Apostle shews) so much in the behalf of Oxen, as to shew that Gods Ministers, who labour like Oxen, ought to be maintained. Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes no doubt this is written, &c. 1 Cor. 9. 10.

Ʋse 1. Hence we may see, and should consi­der our dependance on God, and so should learn [Page 78] to trust not in our selves, nor in the creature, but in him only: Self-confidence is a thing which e­ven the best are subject to, but a thing which God cannot indure, and in both respects we have the more cause to beware of it; I said in my prospe­rity, I shall never be moved. Thus David confef­seth of himself, but he presently addes, that God did hide his face, and then he was troubled, Psal. 30. 6, 7, For this very end God doth with-draw the light of his countenance from his children, and lay his afflicting hand upon them, that so they may the better know and acknowledge how they depend upon him; We had the sentence of death in our selves, that we should not trust in our selves, but in God, &c. 2 Cor. 1. 9.

Vse 2. Again, what cause have we to feare God, and to walk humbly and obediently before him, seeing our dependance upon him is such, as that we cannot subsist one moment without him? When Herod was incensed against them of Tyre and Sidon, they were very diligent and carefull to use all means that might be to appease him, and to reconcile themselves unto him, and that because their Countrey was nourished by the Kings Countrey, Acts 12. 20. How then should we take heed of provoking God! how should we lay to heart his displeasure! we depending upon him infinitely more then they did upon Herod: God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy wayes, hast thou not glorified: said Daniel to Bel­shazzar, Dan. 5. 23.

Vse 3. Again, God being he that governs all, and provides for all, if we fear him as we ought, [Page 79] we need not feare any thing, not the oppo­sition that can be made against us, not the want of any thing that is needfull for us: We may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me, Heb. 13. 6. Let them that suf­fer according to the will of God, (otherwise they cannot suffer) commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithfull Creator, 1 Pet. 4. 19. And how little reason they that fear God, have to fear the want of what is good for them, David plainly shews, saying, O fear the Lord ye his Saints; for there is no want to them that fear him. The young Lions do lack and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord, shall not want any good thing, Psal. 44. 9, 10. Behold (saith he also) the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine, Psal. 33. 18, 19. Let's not therefore be anxious and solicitous about the things of this life, for he that provides even for the meanest of the creatures, will assu­redly provide for us, if we fear him and trust in him. See how our Saviour urgeth and presseth this argument, Mat. 6. 25, 26, 28▪ 29, 30, 31, 32, 33. So the Apostle Paul, Be carefull for nothing (saith he, meaning The word is [...] which is also used Mat. 6 and it import­eth a di­stracting care. anxiously carefull) but in every thing by prayer and supplication with giving of thanks, let your requests be made known unto God, Phil. 4. 6. And so S. Peter, Cast all your care upon him, for he careth for you, 1 Pet. 5. 7.

Vse 4. This must also teach us in all our inter­prizes, and affairs, to seek unto God to direct us, and to prosper [...]s in that which we take in [Page 80] hand: Man purposeth, (we say, and that truly) but God disposeth; So the Wiseman tells us, Ma­ny devices are in the heart of a man; but the coun­sell [...]. of the Lord, that shall stand. All successe de­pends on his blessing: if we have it, no opposi­tion can hurt us; if we want it, no indeavour of our own, no assistance of others can do us any good: Except the Lord build the house, they la­bour but in vain that build it: Except the Lord keep the City, the Watchman waketh but in vain. It is in vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows, &c. Psal. 127. 1, 2. All is in vain without Gods blessing: and therefore needfull it is to hearken to that advice of Solo­mon, Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and leane not to thine own understanding. In all thy waies ac­knowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths, Prov. 3. 5, 6. Needfull it is to pray, as the Man of God doth, Establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands establish thou it, Psal. 90. 17.

Ʋse 5. So also in our successes and atchieve­ments, in all our prosperity and welfare, we must acknowledge the goodnesse of God towards us, and give him the glory of all, seeing that all is from him, and by his providence: VVe must take heed of being like to those complained of, Hab. 1. 16. They sacrifice to their net, and burn in­cense to their drag, &c, Moses earnestly admo­nished the Israelites to beware of this fault; When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt blesse the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the [Page 81] Lord thy God, &c. least when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein: And when thy hards and thy flocks mul­tiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied, then thy heart be lif­ted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, &c. Deut. 8. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. And thou say in thine heart, My power and mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, &c. v. 17, 18. Nehemiah as he was carefull to seek unto God, when he was to make a request unto the King, Neh. 1. 11. & 2. 4. so was he also carefull to give praise and glory unto God, when the King had granted him that which he requested of him. And the King granted me (saith he) accor­ding to the good hand of my God upon me, Neh. 2. 8. And v. 18. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me. So Ezra having obtained a very large Commission of the King for the good of Jerusalem, glorifies God for it; Blessed be the Lord God of our Fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the Kings heart, &c. Ezra 7. 27. And v. 28. And I was strengthned, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me.

Vse 6. On the other side, in all adversities, crosses, and afflictions, we must take heed of murmuring and impatience, seeing all comes to passe by Gods providence. It is the Lord, (said Eli) let him do what seemeth good in his sight, 1 Sam. 3. 18. I was dumb, and opened not my mouth, because thou didst it, saith David, Psal. 39. 9. This consi­sideration [Page 82] also did work upon Job, and made him take all that befell him so patiently as he did; he over-looked the Chaldeans and Sabeans, and Sa­tan himself, he looked up to God, and acknow­ledging his hand submitted unto him, and gave him glory: The Lord hath taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord, Job. 1. 21.

Applicat. In these times of trouble and di­straction, let this quiet and settle our minds, that notwithstanding all commotions and com­bustions that are, or may be, yet God rules and governs all. Say not (saith Solomon) what is the cause that the former dayes were better then these? for thou doest not inquire wisely of this matter, Eccl. 7. 10. Thou lookest only downward unto men, whereas thou shouldest rather look upward unto God, and consider his hand in all. So Eccles. 5. 8. If thou seest (saith he) the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgement and justice in a Province, marvell not at the matter; for he that is higher then the highest (viz. of those that are upon the earth) regardeth, and there is higher then they. In a word, let us consider this, and com­fort our selves with this, that things do not come to passe by the will and pleasure of men, (for then indeed we might well fear what should be­come of us) but by the will and pleasure of God, who will order all for his own glory, and his peoples good. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoyce; let the multitude of the Isles be glad there­at, Psal. 97. 1. And v. 8. Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoyced, because of thy judgements, O Lord.

Vse 7. Finally, as in respect of the work of Creation, so also in respect of the work of pre­servation and providence God is to be glorified. O blessed be thy glorious Name, &c. (say they) for thou hast made the Heavens, &c. and thou pre­servest them all, Neh. 9. 5, 6. So David exhorts, saying, O blesse God ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard, who holdeth our soul in life, &c. Psal. 66. 8, 9. But still we must remember this, that we glorifie God not in word and tongue only, but in deed and in truth, that we praise him with our lives, and not with our lips only; Let your light so shine forth before men, that they seeing your good works, may glorifie your Father which is in Heaven, Mat. 5. 16.


ACTS 4. 12. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name un­der heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’

THese words were spoken by Peter, being full of the Holy Ghost, v. 7. And he spake them of Christ, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, v. 10. He told the Jewish Rulers, that this Christ is he in whom alone is to be found salvation: Neither is there salvation in any other, &c.

[Salvation,] There is a temporall salvation, that is, a deliverance and freedome from some temporall danger; as Exod. 14. 13. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. And Exod. 15. 2. The Lord is become my salvation. There is also e­ternall salvation, which is called the salvation of our soules, 1 Pet. 1. 9. This is a deliverance and [Page 85] freedom from eternall miserie. Now its true of temporall salvation, that there is not salvation in any other, but in Christ onely. As Christ is God, so it's he and onely he that can save tem­porally; He is the God of salvation, Psal. 68. 20. In the Originall it is in the plurall number, [...] of salvations: All manner of salva­tion whatsoever belongs unto him, as the author and worker of it. So as Christ is Mediator, there is no temporall salvation to be expected but in and through him: For in him all the pro­mises of God are yea, and in him amen, 2 Cor. 1. 20. But here in the Text we are to understand eter­nall salvation, which is usually meant where Christ is spoken of as the purchaser and procurer of salvation. And so it is said expresly, that he is the Author of eternall salvation, Heb. 5. 9. and which is equivalent, that he hath obtained eternall redemption for us, Heb. 9. 12.

[In any other,] Or by any other; the Greek Preposition [...] in, like the Hebrew [...] being oft put for by: But here the phrase seems emphati­call, implying that salvation is wholly contained in Christ, and not to be found any where but in him only.

[Nor any other Name,] That is, Person; as Acts 1. 15. The number of names together were a­bout an hundred and twenty; of names, that is, of persons.

[Vnder Heaven,] This is not referred to those words, nor any other name; for no other neither under heaven, nor in heaven is given unto men, whereby to be saved. Whom have I in Heaven but [Page 86] thee? Psal. 73. 25. But we must referre these words to the word given, thus, There is no other name given under heaven, &c.

[Among men,] The Angels in heaven never sinning, needed none to be given among them, whereby to be saved; neither did God vouch­safe this mercy unto the Angels that sinned, and therefore were cast out of heaven: God spared not the Angels that sinned, 2 Pet. 2. 4. This was Gods [...], love towards man, Tit. 3. 4. To us a child is borne, to us a son is given, Isai. 9. 6. So said the Prophet, but not so the Angell, not, to us, but, to you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, Luk. 2. 11.

The words hold out unto us this conclusion, That Salvation is not to be found in any but in Doct. Christ only.

Jesus Christ yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever, Heb. 13. 8. He ever was, and still is, and ever shall be the only Author of salvation; none ever were, nor are, nor ever shall be saved, but only in and through Christ Jesus. This Doctrine of salvation by Christ only hath been revealed from the beginning of the world, throughout all ages, though in a different manner, and by de­grees, at first more darkly and sparingly, after­wards more clearly and fully. Search the Scrip­tures (saith Christ) for in them ye think to have e­ternall life, and they are they that testifie of me, Joh. 5. 39. By the Scriptures he means the Old Testament, for as then no part of the New Te­stament was written. And again, in the same Chapter, v. 46. Had ye believed Moses, ye would [Page 87] have believed me, for he wrote of me. Moses was the first pen-man of holy Scripture, and (as Christ himself doth testifie) he wrote of Christ: And so we find he did, and that in his first Book even about the beginning of it; He records how im­mediately after man was fallen, Christ was pro­mised to be his Saviour. God told the Serpent, that the seed of the woman should bruize his head, Gen. 3. 15. That is, that Christ made of a wo­man, Gal. 4. 4. should destroy the power of that old Serpent the Devill, Rev. 20. 2. So also Moses relates how God promised unto Abraham, say­ing, And in thy seed shall all the Nations of the earth be blessed, Gen. 22. 18. In thy seed, that is, in Christ, Who took not upon him the nature of Angels, but the seed of Abraham, Heb. 2. 16. and is called the Son of Abraham, Mat. 1. 1. And we may observe how Christ at first was called more generally the seed of the woman, but afterward more parti­cularly the seed of Abraham. But further, all the Prophets did testifie of Christ, and of salvation thorough him only: This may be seen in the Prophets themselves, if we peruse them diligent­ly, and compare their writings with the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists. But because this would be a long businesse, and it would re­quire much time to demonstrate this in that man­ner, I will only produce two or three places of the new Testament, where thus much is clearly asserted: Zacharias the Father of John the Bap­tist, having said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israle, who hath visited and redeemed his people: And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of [Page 88] his servant David, (where observe that Christ is described still more particularly, as being not on­ly the seed of Abraham, but of David, and so called the son of David, Mat. 1. 1.) immediately he addes, As he spake by the mouth of his holy Pro­phets, which have been since the world began, Luk. 1. 68, 69, 70. So Stephen speaking to the Jewes, Which of the Prophets (said he) have not your Fa­thers persecuted? And they have slaine them which have shewed before of the coming of the just One, of whom now ye have been the betrayers and murthe­rers, Acts 7. 52. Peter also in his Sermon to Corne­lius, and the rest that were with him, speaking of Christ, saith, To him give all the Prophets witnesse, that thorow his Name whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sinnes, Acts 10. 43.

And as Moses and the Prophets did in words testifie that Christ is the only Saviour, so from the time of Moses untill the coming of Christ, there were many types and figures, whereby this was signified: Some of these types and figures were extraordinary and transient; some were or­dinary and permanent. Of the former sort was the brazen Serpent, which by Gods appointment Moses made, and set upon a pole, that the peo­ple being stung with fiery Serpents, looking up­on it might be healed, as we read in Numb. 21. This was a fi­gure of Christ lift up on the Crosse, on whom whosoever being stung by that old Se [...]pent the Devil, looketh with the eye of faith, he shall be healed. Our Saviour himself shewes this to have prefi­gured him, and the benefit that cometh by him; As Moses (saith he) lift up the Serpent in the wildernesse, so must the Son of Man be lift up: that whosoever believeth in him, might not perish, but have everlasting life, Joh. 3. 14, 15. So the [Page 89] cloud which went before the Israelites in the wildernesse when they journeyed, and was a guide unto them, and when they rested abode over their heads, and kept off the scorching heat of the Sun from them, this cloud, I say, (of which see Exod. 13. 21, 22.) was likewise a type of Christ, by whom alone we are protected from the fire of Gods wrath, and are directed to the heavenly Canaan. The Apostle saith, that the Israelites were baptized unto Moses in the cloud: It was a kind of Baptisme unto them; it was to them as baptisme is to us, a Sacramentall sign pointing at Christ, and shadowing forth salvation by him, and him only. And so also the Sea, as the Apo­stle sheweth in the same place, viz. 1 Cor. 10. 2. the Sea thorough which the Israelites passed, when Pharoah and the Egyptians pursued them, and were ready to destroy them, wherein also their adversaries were drowned, as the story is recorded in Exod. 14. Of this nature also was Manna wherewith God did feed the Israelites, Exod. 16. The Apostle calls it Spirituall meat, 1 Cor. 10. 3. because it had a spirituall significa­tion, it signified Christ, and the body of Christ, (even as now the bread in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper doth) that true bread which doth feed the soul unto eternall life, as Christ sheweth at large, in Joh. 6. So also was the rock out of which God gave drink to the Israelites in the wildernesse, Exod. 17. That Rock was Christ, saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10. 4. That is, it did represent and signifie Christ, like as Christ called the bread in the Sacrament his body, and the wine his blood, [Page 90] which blood of his was also represented and sig­nified by that water out of the Rock, which therefore the Apostle there calls Spirituall drink, in respect of the spirituall signification of it. These types and figures of Christ, I call extra­ordinary and transient, because they were only appointed upon occasion, and to continue but for a short time: But there were other types and figures of him which were of a more so­lemn institution, and of a more durable nature, which therefore I call ordinary and permanent. Of this kind was the Passeover, or the Paschall Lamb, the blood whereof being sprinkled on the doors of the Israelites, they were preserved when the first-born of the Egyptians were de­stroyed, Exod. 12. That Lamb was a figure of Christ, the Lamb of God, Joh. 1. 29. by whose blood we are saved, whenas all that are not sprin­kled with it, shall be destroyed; what is spoken of that Lamb, Exod. 12. 46. is applied unto Christ, and alledged as meant principally of him, Joh. 19. 36. So all the sacrifices and other rites and ceremonies of the Law had reference unto Christ, and did typifie him as the only Redeemer and Saviour; Which are a shadow of things to come, (saith the Apostle, speaking of some of them) but the body is of Christ, Col. 2. 17. The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, Joh. 1. 17. Grace in opposition to the Mo­rall Law, and truth in opposition to the ceremo­niall Law, which was but a shadow of those things, the truth whereof is in Christ. For the Law having a shadow of good things to come▪ and [Page 91] not the very image of the things, &c. Heb. 10. 1. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin, v. 4. No, it's only the blood of Christ which was typified by the blood of those creatures, that can do it. See there what follows in the same Chapter: And indeed the scope of the whole Epistle is to shew that the ceremoniall Law did but shadow out Christ, and therefore is now abolished, Christ being come and having accomplished that which it sha­dowed.

Thus in the Scriptures of the Old Testament is Christ set forth, as he in whom alone salvation is to be found. But much more clearly and fully is this revealed in the Scriptures of the New Te­stament; We use great plainnesse of speech: And not as Moses, that put a vail over his face, &c. saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 3. 12, 13. The Text in hand doth plainly tell us, that there is not salvation in any other, &c. So Mat. 1. 21. it's said that there­fore he is called Jesus, because he doth save his peo­ple from their sins. And S. John saith, God hath gi­ven unto us eternall life, and this life is in his Son: He that hath the Son, hath life; but he that hath not the Son, hath not life, 1 Joh. 5. 11, 12. Every where in the New Testament such sentences and sayings are obvious.

But for the fuller manifestation of the truth of this Doctrine, let us further consider that all the links of the golden chain of salvation, viz. Election, Redemption, Adoption, Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification, all have reference unto Christ, and dependance upon him.

[Page 92]1. Election; God hath elected such as shall be saved: God hath chosen you unto salvation, 2 Thes. 2. 13. All they, and only they whom God hath chosen, shall be saved. Now the Apostle speaking of Christ, saith, that God hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1. 3.

2. Redemption: All being by nature the bond-slaves of Satan, none can be saved except they be redeemed; God hath visited and redeemed his people. And how? By Christ, whom he hath raised up to be a horn of salvation for us, &c. Luk. 1. 68, 69. It's Christ who by his blood hath purchased eternall redemption for us, Heb. 9, 12.

3. Adoption: They that shall be saved are called Heirs of salvation, Heb. 4. 14. But if chil­dren, then heirs, Rom. 8. Now by nature all are the children of wrath, Eph. 2. 3. It is therefore by grace and by adoption, that any become Gods chil­dren; and this is through Christ. God hath prede­stinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself, Eph. 1. 5. When the fulnesse of time was come, God sent his Son made of a woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were un­der the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons, Gal. 4. 4, 5.

4. Justification: All being naturally under the guilt of sin, they must be justified and ac­quitted from that guilt, or else they cannot be saved; to die in sin is as much as to perish for e­ver, Joh. 8. 24. Now there's no being justified but by Christ, who is the Lamb of God that taketh a­way the sin of the world, Joh. 1. 29. Be it known [Page 93] unto you therefore men and brethren, that thorow this man is preached unto you forgivenesse of sinnes. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses, Acts 13. 38, 39.

5. Sanctification: All being by nature, as guil­ty of, so polluted with sin, they must first be sanctified, before they can be saved: That they may receive forgivenesse of sinnes, and an inheri­tance among them that are sanctified, Acts 26. 18. But this sanctification also is thorough Christ: According to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour, Tit. 3. 5, 6. It is said of Jesus Christ, that of his fulnesse we all receive grace for grace, Joh. 1. 16.

6. Glorification: This is the highest step of salvation, that which makes it compleat and per­fect; that which is called salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, 1 Pet. 1. 5. is called, the glory that shall be revealed in us, Rom. 8. 18. Now this also is attained through Christ, it's called the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Thes. 2. 14. Christ is himself already entred into this glory, and he makes way for us to enter into it: I go to prepare a place for you, saith he, Joh. 14. 2. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entreth into that within the vaile, whither the fore-runner is for us entred, e­ven Jesus, &c. Heb. 6. 19, 20.

Ʋse 1. This serves to confute the Papists, who think to find salvation in others, as in the Virgin [Page 49] Mary, and the rest of the Saints, and so in them­selves, thinking (if they think as they write) to be justified by their own inherent righteousnesse, to satisfie the justice of God by their own per­formances, and to obtain heaven by their own merits. But we have not thus learned Christ: If righteousnesse come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain, saith S. Paul, Gal. 2. 21. So in vaine did Christ come to be our Saviour, if we could sa­tisfie and merit for our selves, or if the Saints could satisfie and merit for us. All our righteous­nesses are as filthy rags, Esa. 64. 4. That elect ves­sell Paul desired to be found in Christ, not ha­ving his own righteousnesse, which is of the Law, but that which is thorough the faith of Christ, the righteousnesse which is of God by faith, Phil. 3. 9.

Ʋse 2. So likewise are they here confuted, who think that people may be saved by the meer light of nature, if they make a right use of it, and walk according to it: The meer light of nature cannot bring to the knowledge of Christ, with­out whom there's no salvation: Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven, said Christ to Peter, when he had made a worthy confession of him, Mat. 16. 17. Search the Scriptures, &c. for they are they that testifie of me, saith he, Joh. 5. 39. From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, thorough faith which is in Christ Jesus, said Paul to Timothy, 2 Tim. 3. 15. Whiles the Ephesians were onely under the light of nature, they were without Christ, and so having no hope, viz. of salvation, Eph. 2. 12. [Page 95] Ʋse 3. We then here may see, and should consider the great goodnesse of God towards us, in revealing Christ unto us: In former ages Christ was totally hid from the greatest part of the world, Eph. 2. 12. That which is there spo­ken of the Ephesians, was (as the Text it self al­so there doth shew) the case and condition of all the Gentiles, that is, of all the world, except the Jewes only: And the Jews themselves had no such clear and full revelation of Christ, as we now have. Things were delivered unto them more obscurely in types and figures, as before noted; But now the grace of God which bringeth salvation unto all men, hath appeared, or hath shi­ned forth, as the word in the Originall doth im­port. [...]. Christ hath now brought life and immor­tality to light thorough the Gospell, 2 Tim. 1. 10. If our Gospell be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, &c. 2 Cor. 4. 3, 4.

Ʋse 4. Let us therefore have a care to make sure of Christ, and of salvation thorough Christ: Receive not the grace of God in vain, 2 Cor. 6. 2. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? Heb. 2. 3.

1. Let us take heed of being ignorant of Christ, By his knowledge (that is, by the knowledge of him) he shall justifie many, Esa. 53. 11. This is life eternall to know thee the only true God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ, Joh. 17. 3. The more clearly that Christ is now made manifest, the more inexcusable are we, if we be ignorant of him: This is the condemnation of the world, that light [Page 96] is come into the world, but men loved darknesse ra­ther then light, &c. Joh. 3. 19.

2. Let us take heed of relying on any thing but Christ: Only Christ is a sure foundation, in whom whosoever believeth shall not be ashamed, Esa. 28. 16. Rom. 10. 11. It is faith in Christ, not works, the righteousnesse of Christ apprehended by faith, not our own righteousnesse that we must build upon: We conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the Law, Rom. 3. 28. By grace ye are saved thorough faith, Eph. 2. 8. Not as faith is considered absolutely, but as it is con­sidered relatively; not in respect of it self, but in respect of Christ, whom it layeth hold on and receiveth: For Christ doth dwell in our hearts by faith, Eph. 3. 17. And He is our peace, Eph. 2. 14. and our hope, 1 Tim. 1. 1. Christ is the medicine that doth work the cure, faith the hand that doth apply it, without which application though the medicine be never so Soveraign, it can do us no good. But herewithall, we must remember that faith without works is dead, Jam. 2. The same faith that looks at, and layes hold on the pro­mises, (which are Yea and Amen in Christ) hath respect to the precepts also, see Heb. 11. 7, 8, 17. And Christ came as to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1. 15. so to call sinners to repentance, Mat. 9. 13. He came as to save, so also to sanctifie; see Eph. 5. 25, 26. and Tit. 2. 14. In a word Christ is Lord as well as Je­sus or Saviour, and therefore except we yeeld obedience to him, let us not think to be saved by him. He is the Author of eternall salvation unto all them (and only them) that obey him.


HEB. 7. 25. Wherefore he is a­ble to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him.’

THe scope of the Author of this Epistle, is to shew, that the Leviticall Priesthood▪ was but a type and figure of Christs Priesthood, and that all the rites and ceremonies of the Law were ful­filled in Christ: And in this Chapter more pe­culiarly is shewed, that Christ being a Priest after the order of Melchisedek, his Priesthood was much more excellent then that of Aaron, who was the first Priest under the Law. In the two Verses before the Text it's noted, that under the Law there were many Priests, one succeeding a­nother, because they were mortall, and so one failing, another must succeed in his place; but that Christ is the only Priest having no Successor, nor was there need of any, because though he died, (as it was requisite he should, he being both Priest and Sacrifice) yet he quickly rose again, and [Page 98] liveth for ever. Hence he inferreth, that Christ is a most sufficient Saviour; Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Observe we therefore this Doctrine, That Christ is a most powerful and a most sufficient Saviour. Doct.

He is mighty to save, as it is said of him, Esa. 63. 1. He is a horn of salvation, as he is called, Luke 1. 69. that is, a strong and mighty salvation, for so the word horn in Scripture somtimes im­ports strength and might; The Lord shall give strength unto his King, and exalt the horn of his An­noynted, 1 Sam. 2. 10. And thus David calls God his rock, his fortresse, and his deliverer, his God, his strength, in whom he would trust, his buckler, and the horn of his salvation, and his high Tower, Psal. 18. 2. Those many other titles which are heaped up together with it, shew what is meant by this horn of salvation. So Esa. 28. 16. Christ is called, a sure foundation: It's safe building uponLXX. [...]. But the o­ther Greek Inter­p [...]ters, [...]. V [...]lg. non festinet. [...] to make hast; [...] to be ashamed. him, as it there followes, Whosoever believeth in him shall not make hast; that is, not stumble and fall, as they are apt to do that make hast: The Apostle hath it, shall not be ashamed, Rom. 10. 11. viz. as they use to be whose confidence proves vain, who trust in that which does them no good, or not so much as they did expect from it. And so the Greek Interpreters called the Septuagint, render it; the words in the Hebrew for to make hast, and to be ashamed, being somewhat alike in sound and in figure, and the sense of them both equally agreeing to this place.

The power and sufficiency of Christ to save, [Page 99] may appeare in these respects:

1. He is able to save as well one as another: He is not only able to save one, or two, or a few, but all, be they never so many: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, saith he, Esa. 45. 22. It is a light thing saith God unto him, that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the Tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth, Esa. 49. 6. See also Act. 13. 47. where this place is cited and expounded of Christ: So Simeon having Christ (as then a young babe) in his armes, said, Lord now lettest thou thy servant de­part in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, Luk. 2. 29, 30, 31. True it is, all are not saved by Christ, but that is not through defect in Christ, nor through any inability in him to save, but through the indisposednesse that is in others to be saved: The pool of Bethesda had in it vertue sufficient to cure any, yet only such were cured by it, as after the moving of the water by an Angell, did first enter into it, Joh. 5. 4. So there is sufficient vertue in Christ to save any, yet only such as believe in him, shall be saved by him. By him all that believe, are justified, &c. Acts 13. 39. To as many as received him, to them he gave power to be the Sons of God, even to them that believed on his name, Joh. 1. 11, 12. Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life, Joh. 5. 40.

2. He is able to save as wel at one time as at an­other, as well before his Incarnation, as since; [Page 100] Jesus Christ yesterday, & to day, & the same for ever, Heb. 13. 8. They that were before Christs coming in the flesh, did find the power and sufficiency of Christ to save them, as well as they have been since his coming: We believe that thorough the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved e­ven as they, said Peter, speaking of those that were before Christ, Acts 15. 11. Abraham rejoyced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad, said Christ, Joh. 8. 56.

3. He is able to save as well from one enemy, as from another: he came for that end, that we should be saved from the hand of all our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us, Luk. 1. 71. He is able to save from corporall enemies; Be not a­fraid, (said he unto Paul) but speak, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee, to hurt thee, Acts 18. 9, 10. And he is able to save from spirituall enemies: From sin, Thou shalt call his Name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sinnes, Mat. 1. 21. From the Law: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, &c. Gal. 3. 13. From death; The last enemy (that ene­my that holdeth out to the last) that shall be de­stroyed, is death, 1 Cor. 15. 26. And v. 54. &c. When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortall shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to passe the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law; but thanks be unto God, that giveth us victory thorough Iesus Christ our Lord. From the Devill: He came [Page 101] to bruise the head of that old Serpent, as was pro­mised in the beginning, Gen. 3. 15. Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he like­wise took part of the same, that thorough death he might destroy him that had the power of death; that is, the Devill, Heb. 2. 14.

4. He is able to save not only for a while, but for ever: Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, Esa. 45. 17. He is the Author of eternall salvation unto all them that obey him, Heb. 5. 9. He hath obtained eternall redemption for us, Heb. 9. 12.

5. He is able to save not only privatively, so as to remove all evil from us, but also positively, so as to confer all good upon us: Had Ioseph only been delivered out of prison, he would have thought it no small favour; this was all that he requested the chief Butler to do for him, when he had so comfortably interpreted his dreame unto him: But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindnesse, I pray thee, unto me, and make men­tion of me unto P [...]araoh, and bring me out of this house, Gen. 40. 14. But that he should be so ad­vanced as he was, this was much more. Now who­soever believeth in Christ, shall thorough him not only not perish, but also shall have eternall life, Joh. 3. 16.

Reasons why Christ is such a powerfull and suffi­cient Saviour.

1. Because of the dignity of his Person, He is the mighty God, as he is stiled, Esa. 9. 6. therefore he must needs be a mighty Saviour. God with his [Page 102] own blood did purchase his Church, as it is said, Acts 20. 28. The blood of Christ is the blood not of a meer man, but of that person that is as well God as man, and therefore that blood must needs be of infinite value, it must needs be of sufficient force to purchase the Church, and to work the redemption of it.

2. Because both of the greatnesse, and also of the willingnesse of his suffering: He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruized for our iniqui­ties, &c. Isai. 53. 5. And v. 10. it's said, that his soule was made an offering for sin; and therefore he shall see his seed, and v. 11. He shall see of the tra­vell of his soul, and shall be satisfied. Therefore doth my Father love me (saith Christ) because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again: No man ta­keth it from me, but I lay it down of my self, Ioh. 10. 17, 18.

3. By the vertue of his Resurrection: Hereby he hath made it appear, that our debt is dischar­ged, and Gods justice satisfied. He was delivered (viz. unto death) for our offences, and rose again for our justification, Rom. 4. 25. Who is he that con­demneth? it is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen againe, Rom. 8. 34. Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, through the Resurrection of Ie­sus Christ from the dead, 1 Pet. 1. 3.

4. By the power of his Ascension: He ascen­ded up into heaven to make way for us; I go to prepare a place for you, saith he, Ioh. 14. 2. and in this respect he is called our fore-runner, Heb. 6. 20.

[Page 103]5. By the efficacy of his Intercession: Being ascended into heaven, and sitting at Gods right hand, he maketh intercession unto God for us, presenting unto him the merit of his death which he suffered for our sinnes. See Heb. 9. 24. And this reason is alledged why Christ is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, because he ever liveth to make intercession for them: So Rom. 8. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen againe, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Ʋse 1. Now if Christ be such a powerfull and sufficient Saviour, then the more injurious are they of the Church of Rome both unto Christ and unto Christians, in setting up other Saviours besides Christ, as if he alone were too weak and insufficient to save us. But as the Gentiles being [...], such as had many Gods, were indeed [...], such as had no God at all, but were without God in the world, Eph. 2. 12. so they that will needs have many Saviours, have indeed no Saviour: they that will not be content with Christ alone for salvation, shall neither have sal­vation by him, nor by any other; for there is none other by whom to have it. There is not sal­vation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby to be saved, Acts 4. 12. If you will not believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins, Ioh. 8. 24. Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken dili­gently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let [Page 104] your soul delight it self in fatnesse. Incline your ear and come unto me, hear and your soul shal live, &c. Esa. 55. 2, 3. It was the saying of one of the Mar­tyrs in Queen Maries daies, and it must be one principall part of our Creed, None but Christ, none but Christ.

Ʋse. 2. Again, there being such power and suf­ficiency in Christ to save, here is comfort for all sin-sick soules, for all distressed consciences; here is incouragement for them to come unto Christ, and to roll themselves upon him: He is a Physitian able to cure them, be their maladies never so great, never so grievous. He cured Mat­thew a Publican, Zacheus chief of the Publicans; Paul a persecutor; Mary Magdalen, that was possessed with seven Devills, and the Thief on the Crosse, when he was at the point of death, which he suffered for his lewdnesse: Doubt not there­fore, whosoever thou art, but he can cure thee al­so; come unto him, and say as the Leper did, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean, Mat. 8. 2. and assuredly Christ will say unto thee, as he did to that Leper, v. 3. I will, be thou clean: For, he is not lesse willing to save those that come un­to him, then he is able. He invites all to come, and offers his grace unto all, if they do come; Ho, every one that thirsteth, come unto the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat, yea come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price, Esa. 55. 1. Come unto me all ye that are wea­ry and heavy laden, and I will give you rest, Mat. 11. 28. Therefore whatever thou art, if thou beest [Page 105] sensible of sin, if burthened with it, if thine ini­quities be gone over thine head, and be as a heavy burthen, too heavy for thee to bear, as David com­plained of his iniquities, Psal. 38. 4. Come and cast thy burthen upon the Lord, as he exhorts, Psal. 55. 22. Cast it upon the Lord Christ, who is both able and also willing to beare it. If thou beest as perplexed as the soul smitten Iaylor was, who cryed out, What must I do that I may be saved? I say unto thee, as Paul said unto him, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, Acts 16. 30, 31.

So, are we troubled for want of sanctificati­on, because grace is so weak, and corruption so strong in us? let us come unto Christ, who is full of grace, Ioh. 1. 14. And of his fulnesse we all re­ceive grace for grace: V. 16. He is made of God unto us sanctification, 1 Cor. 1. 30. His grace is suf­ficient for us, 2 Cor. 12. 9. Though in us there be nothing but want and weaknesse, yet in Christ is all fulnesse, and all power: I can do all things thorough Christ that strengtheneth me, Phil. 4. 13. As the conies being in themselves weak, yet pro­vide for their safety by this, that they make their houses in the rocks, Prov. 30. 26. So let us get in­to the rock Christ, and then how weak soever o­therwise we be, we are safe; though the Devill our adversary be a lion, a roaring lion, and go a­bout seeking whom he may devoure, 1 Pet. 5. 8. yet Christ is a lion as well as he, Rev. 5. 5. yea, a lion stronger then he, more potent to save, then he is to destroy; He will bruise Satan under our [Page 106] feet, Rom. 16. 20. Therefore be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, Ephes. 6. 10. Ioab fled to the horns of the Altar, and yet was never the better, 1 King. 2. but let us flie to Christ the horn of salvation, and whatsoever the danger be that doth pursue us, it shall not overtake us, we shall either escape the thing it self, or at least the evill of it, we shall not be the worse, but the better for it: All things shall work together for our good, Rom. 8. 28. Even death it self shall be gain unto us, Phil. 1. 21.

Ʋse. 3. But as there is this consolation for us, so is there also admonition, to take heed least we fail (or come short) of the grace of God, Heb. 12. [...]. 15. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great sal­vation? Heb. 2. 3. And they neglect this so great salvation, 1. Who expect salvation from any thing but Christ only: And so do not only the Papists, but also many simple and superstitious ones among our selves, who build upon them­selves, their own righteousnesse, their good pray­ers, good meanings and the like; whereas though all were indeed good, (as without a true faith in Christ nothing is good) yet are they not so good, as that it is safe to rest in them, and to build up­on them. Paul was as good in every respect, I dare say, as any of these, yet did he renounce all his own righteousnesse, as not sufficient, if God should contend with him, and flie unto Christ, and his righteousnesse, as that which alone is suffici­ent unto justification and salvation, Phil. 3. 9.

2. They who pretend to Christ, and presume [Page 107] of salvation by Christ, and yet indeed are aliens from Christ, and have no interest in him; they say, that they believe in Christ, and hope to be sa­ved by Christ, and yet live in their sins, which Christ came to destroy: For the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the Devill, 1 Ioh. 3. 8. Therefore though Christ be never so able to save, yet such as remain impenitent and disobe­dient, shall have no salvation by him, they have neither part nor portion in this matter: Christ commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his Name, Luk. 24. 47. No remission of sins thorough him without re­pentance. Paul testified both to the Iews, and al­so to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Iesus Christ, Acts 20. 21. As many as walk according to this rule, peace shall be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God, Gal. 6. 16.


JOH. 10. 30. I and my Father are one.’

I Have Serm. 7. p. 63. before shewed, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are three distinct Persons, yet but one and the same God. Now I shall treat more particularly, and more fully of the second Person, the Son, our Lord Iesus Christ, and shall prove his Divinity, which hath been much impugned both of old, and of late, yea, is still at this day: Christ himself here speaking of himself, and of his Father, affirmes, that they are one, that is, (as I shall indeavour to demonstrate) one in essence and nature, one and the same God. And thus they to whom he spake these words, did under­stand them, as appeares by the Verses im­mediately following, where it is said, that the Iewes presently upon these words took up stones to stone him, charging him with blas­phemy, for that he being a man, did make him­self [Page 109] God. Indeed Calvin up­onAbusi sunt hoc loco veteres ut probarent Christum esse Patr [...] [...]. Neque n [...] Christus de Vnitate substantiae disputat, sed de consensu, quem cum Patre habet, quicquid scilicet geritur à Christo, Patris virtute con­firmatum iri. Calv. in loc. the place likes not that these words should be made use of to prove the God­head of Christ, as the Ancients have done; for he supposeth that Christ here speaketh not of the unity of substance, but onely of the consent and agreement that he hath with the Father, so that whatsoever is done by him, is authorized and ratified by the Fa­ther.

But first, Calvin himself for the thing, viz. Christs Divinity, and consubstantiality with the Father, is expresse and full.

2. So is the Scripture it self (as shall be shewed) in many places.

3. Not only the ancient Writers have thusHilar. de Trinit. l. 8. interpreted it, (amongst whom Hilarie doth tax and confute the Arrians who expounded it of u­nity of will and consent) but the later also, Beza, Zanchius, &c.

4. Christ having immediately before spoken of the power of his Father, brings in these words (as Calvin also notes) to prevent the objection, that his adversaries might have made, viz. that although the power of God, whom he called his Father, were never so great, what was that to him? What was it to prove that he could give eternall life unto his sheep, and that none should pluck them out of his hand? as he spake of him­self, V. 28. To meet with this objection, Christ affirmes, that he and his Father are one, and con­sequently [Page 110] his Fathers power is also his power, and none can therefore pluck his sheep out of his hand; because none can pluck them out of his Fa­thers hand, v. 29. The argument that Christ useth in these words, is more firm and strong, the words being understood of his being one with his Fa­ther in respect of substance, then if they be un­derstood of his unity with the Father in respect of will. It is well observed by Junius against S [...]cinus, thatIn praecedentibus, ad quorum confirmationem hoc affer [...]ur, non agit Christus de suo & Patris erga oves suas affectu; sed de sua & Patris ad salvandas oves poten [...]ia, ut illa verba Neque rapiet cas quisquam è manu meâ: neque quisquam potest eas eripe­re è manu Patris mei, demon­strant clarissimè. Jo. Jun. adver­sus Socinum. p. 169. in the words before Christ speaks not (meerly) of his own and his Fathers affe­ction towards his sheep; but of his own and his Fathers power to save his sheep, as is most clearly demonstrated by those words, Neither shall any pluck them out of my Quocunque ergo modo exponan­tur illa Joannis verba; sive pri­mò de potentiae & voluntatis u­nitate, ut à nonnullis, & per il­lationem de unitate essentiae; sive primò de unitate essentiae, & illativè de potentiae & volun­tatis, ut ab aliis; illud fixum manere debet, essentiae unitatem hinc concludendam, &c. Ibid. p. 167. hand; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand. And therefere whether the words be expounded (as they are by some) first of the unity of power and vvill, and by consequence of the unity of essence; or (as by others) first of the unity of essence; and by consequence of theHanc essentiae unitatem, non autem solummodò voluntatis consensum significare voluisse Christum, cum dixit. Joan. 10. unity of povver and vvill; yet still the unity of essence (in Christ and the Father) must be concluded from hence. [Page 111] In like manner Zanchie ur­gethEgo & Pater unum sumus, non solum Patrum, & omnium fer­mè doctissimorum hominum con­sensus, verùm etiam contextus ipse evincit. Conclusio enim Christi fuit, oves meas è manu meâ eripere nemo potest, eóque non possunt perire. Ra [...]io ab aqua­li, imò eadempotentiâ suâ cum potentiâ Patris, quae significatur nomine manus, ducitur: Nemo potest rapere de manu Patris, quia major, id est, potentior omnibus est. Ergò neque de manu meâ▪ Ego enim & Pater unum sumus: Quid hîc aliud significat unum, quàm unum non solùm consensu, sed etiam omnipotentiá, cóque naturá & essentiâ? Zanch. Re­spons. ad Arrian. Antith. 37. this place against an Ar­rian, saying, that besides the consent of the Fathers, and almost all the learned, the very context it self doth evince so much, that here not only the consent of will, but the unity of essence is meant: For that this was Christs conclusion, None can pluck my sheep out of my hand, and therefore they cannot perish: And the reason is drawn from hence, that he hath the same power that the Father hath; None can pluck them out of my Fa­thers hand; for he is greater [that is, more powerfull] then all: And therefore not [...]. Theophylact. in loc. out of my hand; for I and my Father are one: What can here be meant by one, but one not only in consent, but also in omnipotency, and so in nature and essence? After this man­ner also Theophylact in his Commentary upon the place Why [saith he] doth Christ say, they shall never perish? be­cause none can pluck them out of my hand; for that my Father that gave them me, is greater [Page 112] then all, neither can any pluck them out of his hand, and therefore not out of my hand: for my hand, and the hand of my Father is one and the same; for I and my Father are one in nature, and essence, and power.

Ob. But it may be objected, that whenas the Jewes by these words conceived that Christ did make himself God, and therefore would stone him as a blasphemer, Christ intimated unto them, that they did mistake his meaning, which was not so to make himself God as they supposed, but on­ly in such sense as the Scripture doth sometimes attribute the name of God unto men, V. 34, 35, 36.

Ans. I answer: Christ might think this enough to shew how absurd and unjust their quarrell a­gainst him was, by alledging that meer men are somtimes called Gods in the Scripture; yet doth it not [...], &c. [...]. Theoph. in Joan. 10. See al­so Zanch. de tribus Elohim, l. 4. c. 5 follow, that therefore he should acknowledg himself a meer man; yea his own words do shew (as Theophy­lact observeth) that he makes a great difference betwixt himself & others, to whom the name of God is attribu­ted. He denies not himself to be God truly & properly so called, but rather confirms it: For thus he argueth; If they who have received their Divi­nity by grace, are yet Gods, and not traduced, because so [Page 113] called, what reason is there for you to tax me, who am God by nature, being he whom the Father hath sanctified, that is, set apart to be slaine for the world? (For t [...]ings set apart for God, are said to be sancti­fied, or to be holy.) It is manifest therefore, that see­ing the Father hath sanctified and separated me for the saving of the world, I am not meerly like others that are called Gods, but am God indeed: For to save, belongs unto him who is indeed God, and not unto Man, who is onely made a God by grace.

And further, Christ having confuted the calum­ny of the Jewes by an Argument drawne from Scripture, he goes on and fetcheth an argument from his works for the confutation of it: If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not; but if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him, v. 37, & 38. The Jewes them­selves did plainly perceive, that Christ here did confirme that which he had spoken before of his being one with the Father, and that his meaning was, that he is one and the same God with the Father; for hereupon they were still more in­raged against him, as it is said, v. 39. Therefore they sought againe to take him, but he escaped out of their hands: And this may suffice for the clearing and vindicating of the words; and so I may justly inferre from them this doctrinall conclu­sion, That Christ is God truly and properly so cal­led, Doct. even one and the same God with the Father.

For further proof hereof we have many testi­moniesEsa. 9. 6. Christ is called the mighty God, though the faith­lesse Iewes seek to wrest that Scripture another way. See before Serm. 7. of Scripture, as that Joh. 1. 1. In the be­ginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: By the Word, is here meant Christ, as is clear by v. 14. and by Revel. 19. 13. Christ (I say) is so called in respect of his divine nature; for the Word here denotes the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, as is evident by 1 Joh. 5. 7. Here therefore it is expresly affirmed, that Christ as the Son of God, was before his In­carnation, before he was Man, and that he was God. The same also is confirmed by that confes­sion that Thomas made of him, My Lord and my God, Joh. 20. 28. Thomas did not mean to flatter Christ as the Poet did Augustus, calling him hisNamque erit ille mihi De­us, &c. Virgil. God, although he knew him to be but a man; no, he believed what he spake, and he knew what he believed: Christ approved him for believing as he did, only blamed him for being so slow to believe as he was, v. 29. Whereas it had been no lesse then Idolatry in Thomas to have called Christ his God, if Christ had not been God in­deed. The Prophet Isaiah taxeth Idolaters for saying to an Idol, Deliver me, for thou art my God, Esa. 44. 17.

Again, the Godhead of Christ is likewise ma­nifest by that, Acts 20. 28. Take heed to your selves, &c. to feed the Church of God which he hath pur­chased with his own blood. It is Christ who with his blood did purchase the Church, yet here it is said, that God did it, therefore it necessarily fol­lowes that Christ is God, and so is he plainly cal­led, Rom. 9. 5. of whom (viz. the Jewes) as concer­ning [Page 115] concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Some would not have this clause referred unto Christ, and therefore not to be read thus, who is over all, &c. but to be ad­ded as a Doxologie, or praising of God, and to be read thus; God who is over all (be) blessed for e­ver. Amen. But neither will the words so easily bear this sense, neither were this so fit a place for such a Doxologie: And besides, those words, as concerning the flesh, being spoken by way of li­mitation and restriction to shew how Christ came of the Jewes, viz. not simply and absolutely, but only in some respect, in respect of the flesh, his humane nature, as man, those words, I say, suffi­ciently evince, that Christ hath another nature, a divine nature, and is God; and to make that more clear in reference unto him, it followes, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. And yet further, consider that the Apostle is speaking of the Prerogatives of the Jewes, and mentions this in the last place as the greatest, that of them [...]ame Christ: and to shew what an honor this was unto them, he shewes what an honourable Person Christ is, even over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. So Col. 2. 9. it is said of Christ, that in him doth dwell all the fulnesse of the Godhead bodily, that is, [...]. Oecumen▪ ad loc. really and substantially: And 1 Tim. 3. 16. God was manifested in the flesh, that is, Christ being God, and as God, invisible, assumed flesh, was made man, and so in the flesh as man was made visible and manifest: See Joh. 1. 14. So Heb. 1. 8. Ʋnto the Son he saith, Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever. What can be more plain then this, that [Page 116] Christ the Son of God is here stiled God, even that God, whose Throne is for ever and ever? And thus also 1 Joh. 5. 20. of Christ is it said, This is the true God, and eternall life, immediately be­fore these words is Jesus Christ mentioned, nei­ther can they without violent perverting of them be referred to any other.

Thus are there many places of Scripture where Christ is expresly termed God, the name of God, even the only true God, is given unto him: There are also many other arguments which the Scripture affords, whereby to prove Christs God­head.

1. This is proved by those places where Christ is called the Son of God, his begotten, his only begotten Son: The unbelieving Iewes did ac­knowledge the validity of this consequence, that if Christ be the Son of God, viz. properly so called, as begotten of God, then also he is God, onely they denied the antecedent, that Christ is thus the Son of God. They sought to kill him, be­cause he had said, that God was his Father, making himself equall with God, Ioh. 5. 18. They well per­ceived, that Christ did so call God his Father, as to make himself God, even the same God with the Father: For otherwise they themselves did call God their Father, Joh. 8. 41. And so Christ hath taught all believers to call God, saying, Our Father: but they knew that Christ did call God his Father in another sense, and so he did. For God is our Father, and we his children onely by adoption: God hath predestinated us to the adop­tion of children, &c. Eph. 1. 5. But God is the Fa­ther [Page 117] of Christ, and Christ is the Son of God by generation. To him God speaks, saying, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, Psal. 2. 5. To be thus the Son of God is peculiar unto Christ, neither Man nor Angell is capable of this honor, To which of the Angels said God at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? Heb. 1. 5. Therefore is Christ in Scripture called [...], the only begotten Son of God, Ioh. 3. 16. 1 Ioh. 4. 9, 10. because none but he is the Son of God in that manner: Indeed in some sense believers are said to be begotten of God; Of his owne will be­gate he us, &c. Iam. 1. 18. But this is onely in re­spect of that renovation which God doth worke in us by his Spirit, in which respect we are said also to be partakers of the divine nature, 2 Pet. 1. 4. But Christ is so begotten of God, as to have the same essence, nature, and substance with God, e­ven as he that is begotten of man, is man; so Christ being proper­lyIntelligentiae istud humanae sensus exclu­dit, ut aliquid à naturâ originis suae nas­cendo diversum sit.—Quis, rogo, furor est, nativitatem unigeniti Dei ad degene­rem ex Deo referre naturam, cum nativitas non nisi ex proprietate naturae sit? Et jam nativitas non erit, si proprietas naturae in nativitate non fuerit.—Secundum quod ait, Quod ex carne nascitur, caro est, &c. non ambiguum est, nascenti diversum at­que alienum aliquid ab eo, ex quo natum sit, non inesse.—Tenet nativitas eam, ex qua subsistit naturam, & Filius Dei, non aliud, quàm quod Deus est, subsistit.—Universa nativitas non potest non in eâ esse naturâ, unde nascitur. Hilar. de Trinit. lib. 7. Vide etiam ibidem plura in hanc sententiam. begotten of God, is God, even God of God, (as the ancients have expressed it) one & the same God with the Father. This Argument drawne from hence, that Christ is the begotten and the only begot­ten Son of God, Hi­lary (who lived in the time when the Arri­ans [Page 118] bore great sway, Constantius the Emperour si­ding with them) much and often urgeth against the adversaries and opposers of Christs consub­stantiality with the Father, proving that Christ being begotten, as he is, of the Father, must needs have the same substance with the Father, for that universally it holds in every thing that is properly begotten of another, that it is of the same nature with that, of which it is begotten.

2. That Christ is God truly and properly, and so one and the same in essence and substance with the Father, may appear by comparing places of the Old Testament and of the New together: For so we may see, that what in the Old Testament is spoken of Jehovah the LORD, the only true God, that in the New Testament is interpreted of Christ, and applied to him as meant of him. Numb. 21. we read how the Israelites in the wil­dernesse murmured against God, and tempted him, and therefore he sent fiery Serpents among them to destroy them: The people spake against God, &c. v. 5. And the Lord sent fiery Serpents among the people, &c. S. Paul 1 Cor. 10. 9. applies this to Christ, and sayes, that they tempted him, and warnes Christians to take heed of tempting him as they did: Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of Ser­pents. Though it be not expressed, as some of them also tempted him, viz. Christ, yet in no congruity of speech or reason, can it be otherwise interpre­ed: And therefore this doth clearly prove that Christ is God the LORD. So Psal. 68. 18. The Psalmist speaking unto the LORD God, (as [Page 119] v. 16. & 17. do manifest) saith, Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast re­ceived gifts for men. This the Apostle shewes to be spoken of Christ, But unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ: Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts un­to men, Eph. 4, 7, 8. So that of David, Psal. 102. 25, 26, 27. Of old hast thou (O my God, v. 24.) laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands: They shall perish, but thou shalt indure; yea, all of them shall wax old as a garment, as a vesture [...]alt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. That (I say) is cited Heb. 1. 10, 11, 12. as meant of Christ. And whereas the Pro­phet Esay saith, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, &c. Esa. 6. 1. and addeth v. 9, 10. that the Lord bad him go and say unto the people, Hear ye in­deed, but understand not, &c. S. John citing the words of the Prophet saith, that he spake them of Christ, when he saw his glory, Joh. 12. 39, 40. 41. And whereas the Lord, even he who is God, and none else, Esa. 45. 22. saith, I have sworne by my self, &c. that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, Esa. 45. 23. The Apostle shewes this to appertaine to Christ; for having said, We shall all stand before the Judgement seat of Christ, he confirmes it by this, For (saith he) it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confesse to God, Rom. 14. 10, 11. And to that place of Esay doth he allude Phil. 2. 9, 10, 11. Where speaking of [Page 120] Christ, he saith, Wherefore God also hath highly ex­alted him, and hath given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, &c. And that every tongue should confesse that Jesus is the Lord, &c.

3. Divine attributes, such as are proper and peculiar to the only true God, are given unto Christ, and therefore he is God truly and proper­ly so called; eternity, immutability, omnipoten­cy, and omniscience belong only unto God, only God is eternall: The Psalmist speaks it as a thing proper unto him, Before the Mountaines were brought forth, or ever thou hadst for [...]d the earth, and the world, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God, Psal. 90. 2. So God is described by this, that he inhabiteth eternity, Esa. 57. 15. And he is stiled the eternall God, Deut. 33. 27. So only God is immutable: I am the Lord, I change not, Mal. 3. 6. Thou art the same, Psal. 102. 27. And onely God is omnipotent, able to do all things, he is called the Almighty, Ruth 1. 20, 21. He likewise only is omniscient, one that knoweth all things. Thou, even thou only knowest the hearts of all the children of men, 1 Kings 8. 39. So that all these Attributes are peculiar unto God, yet they all belong un­to Christ, and are given unto him: he is eternall, His goings forth have been from of old, from everla­sting, Mic. 5. 2. He is before all things, Col. 1. 17. He is the first and the last, Rev. 1. 17. So he is im­mutable; to him is it spoken, They shall be chan­ged, but thou art the same, Heb. 1. 12. He also is omnipotent; He is able to subdue all things unto himself, Phil. 3. 21. And he is omniscient; He need­ed [Page 121] not that any should testifie of man; for he knew what was in man, Joh. 2. 25. And Jesus knew their thoughts, Mat. 12. 25. When Jesus perceived their thoughts, &c. Luke 5. 22. I am he that searcheth the reins and the hearts, it is spoken by Christ, Rev. 2. 23. Adde unto the fore-mentioned Attri­butes immensity, which only God is capable of: It is proper unto him to fill heaven and earth, Jer. 23. 24. yet this also belongs unto Christ, The Son of Man which is in heaven, Joh. 3. 13. Even then when he was upon earth, at the same time he was also in heaven; which, if he were meer man, and not God also, had not been possible.

4. Divine works are ascribed unto Christ, such as none can do but God only: It is God that made all things, Gen. 1. 1. Yet is it said of Christ, that all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, Ioh. 1. 3. That by him were all things created, that are in hea­ven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be Thrones, or Dominions, or Principa­lities or Powers, all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist, Col. 1. 16, 17. It is God also that doth preserve all things, Neh. 9. 6. Yet this like­wise is ascribed unto Christ, He upholdeth all things by the word of his power, Heb. 1. 3. Only God can raise the dead, 2 Cor. 1. 9. Rom. 4. 17. Yet this Christ did, as the History of the Gospell sheweth, and that not instrumentally and ministerially, but authoritatively, and by his owne power: Young man, I say unto thee arise, Luk, 7. 14. Maid arise, Luk. 8. 54. Lazarus come forth, Ioh. 11. 43. None [Page 122] can forgive sins, but onely God, Esa. 43. 25. yet this Christ did, Mar. 2. 5.—12. The Scribes were right in this, that none but God can forgive sins, viz. authoritatively, as Christ did; onely in this they were wrong, that from a true principle they inferred a false conclusion, viz. that therefore Christ taking upon him so to forgive sins, was a blasphemer: Christ by the miracle which imme­diately he wrought before their eyes, shewed that he was another manner of person then they took him to be, and that he had power to forgive sins, as he did.

To redeem, and to save, are acts properly be­longing unto God, Esa. 49. 26. I the Lord am thy Redeemer, and thy Saviour. Yet Christ also is our Redeemer and Saviour, as the writings of the Evangelists and Apostles every where do shew.

5. Divine worship is given unto Christ, such as may not be given to any but to God onely: When he was a young Infant the Wisemen fell downe and worshipped him, Mat. 2. 11. His Disciples seeing him ascend up into heaven, they worshipped him, Luk. 24. 52. Of him it was said, Let all the Angels of God worship him, Heb. 1. 6. All these pla­ces, as the circumstances of them do evince, speak of religious worship, which is peculiar unto God, and may not be given to any meer creature: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou serve, Mat. 4. 10. The Angell would not be worshipped by John, but bad him give that honor to God, and worship him, Rev. 19. 10. & 22. 9. More particularly, Faith and Hope are onely to [Page 123] be in God, 1 Pet. 1. 21. yet they are and ought to be in Christ: Ye believe in God, believe also in me, Ioh. 14. 1. Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be ashamed, Rom. 10. 11. In him shall the Gentiles trust, Rom. 15. 12. Prayer is to be made only un­to God; Call upon me, saith God, Psal. 50. 15. yet Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost, gave this honour unto Christ, he prayed unto him, saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Acts 7. 55. & 59. Thus both testimonies of Scripture, and arguments drawn from Scripture make it most evident, that Christ is God truly and properly so called, even one and the same God with the Father.

But divers places there are which may be ob­jected, as seeming to make against this truth, which therefore are to be cleared, that it may ap­peare, that beeing rightly understood they do not make against it.

Object. 1. Mark 13. 32. Christ speaking of the day of Judgement, saith, Of that day and houre knoweth no man, no not the Angells that are in heaven; nor the Son, but the Father: If the Son be ignorant of that which the Father doth know, how then is he God consubstantiall and coequall with the Father?

Answ. Some interpret that so, as that the Son is said not to have knowne the day of Iudgement, because he did not know it so as to make it knowne unto others: In which sense the Apostle said, I determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucifi­ed, 1 Cor. 2. 2. But this Exposition cannot be [Page 124] admitted; for so neither doth the Father know that day, viz. so as make others also know it: Therefore the true meaning of the words is, that Christ there spake of himself as Man, not denying but that in some other respect he did know that, which in respect of his humane nature was not known unto him.

Object. 2. But againe, when one came unto Christ, saying, Good Master, what shall I do, that I may inherit eternall life? Christ said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God, Luke 18. 18, 19. Here Christ seemes to deny himselfe to be God.

Answ. Not so, Christ spake onely in re­spect of that opinion, which he to whom he spake, had of him, who looked on him as a man, and no more; neither was it Christs meaning, that no meer man may be called good; for it is said of Barnabas, that he was a good man, Acts 11. 24. But his meaning was to teach, that when any goodnesse is found in man, the praise and glory must be given unto God, who alone is essentially good; if any be­sides him be good, it is onely by participati­on from him, and therefore the honour is due unto him: For of him, and through him, and for him are all things; to him be glory for ever, Rom. 11. 36.

Object. 3. But may some say, Doth not Christ himself confesse himself inferiour to the Father, saying, My Father is greater then I? Ioh. 14. 28.

Answ. Yes, but how? not simply and ab­solutely, but only in some sort, viz. in respect [...]. Theophy­lact. ad loc. of his humane nature, whereby he took upon him the forme of a Servant, Phil. 2. 7. but o­therwise he was in the forme of God, and thought it not robbery to be-equall with God, v. 6. That Christ there spake of himself as Man, may appear by the words immediately going before, I go unto the Father, this Christ did as Man; for otherwise as God, he was then with the Father, yea, in the Father, and the Father in him, Joh. 14. 11. & 10. 38.

Object. 4. Againe, it may be objected, that Christ (John 17. 3.) speaking to the Father, saith thus; This is life eternall, to know thee the only true God, and him whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ; where Christ seems to make his Father only the true God.

Answ. Nay, he makes his Father the onelyIt is [...] not [...]. true God; but there is great difference betwixt these two Propositions, The Father is the only true God, and Only the Father is the true God: The one imports that there is but only one true God, and that the Father is this God; the o­ther imports that none but the Father is this God, which is false; for the Son also is this on­ly true God, this true God which is only one, and so also is the Holy Ghost: The same An­swer serveth for that 1 Cor. 8. 6. To us there is but one God, the Father. The Apostle there onely affirmes, that there being but onely one true God, the Father is he; he denies [Page 126] not but that the Son, and so the Holy Ghost is so also, even as when he addes, and one Lord Jesus, he only affirmes Jesus to be the only Lord, he denies not but that the Father is so likewise.

Ʋse 1. Thus the truth of the Doctrine con­cerning Christs Divinity and consubstantiality with the Father, being sufficiently demonstrated and vindicated; here we may see and ought to consider the excellency of Christ, and so learn to give him the glory due unto his Name: We can­not honour the Father except we in like manner honor Christ also, he being one and the same in substance and Godhead with the Father. That all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Fa­ther. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him, Joh. 5. 23. Whosoe­ver denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father, 1 Joh. 2. 23. The Jewes both now and of old have vilified and despised Christ, He came unto his own, and his own received him not, Joh. 1. 11. For the most part they did not, yet some did, as the Evangelist there immediately after sheweth. And so the Iewish writings testifie, that some of the ancient Rabbines have spoken very honourably of Christ, and indeed have said that of him which shewes that they believed him to be God, though the later Rabbines reciting their words, indea­vour to pervert the meaning of them, descanting upon those words which are meant of Christ,Abraba­neel in I­saiam. Esa. 52. 12. He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high; they say, that Christ should be exalted a­bove Abraham, and extolled above Moses, and be [Page 127] higher then the Angels. And in the new Testament the dignity of Christ is thus comparatively set forth, by preferring him to all these, to Abraham, when the Iews said unto Christ, Art thou greater then our Father Abraham? Ioh. 8. 53. Christ an­swered v. 56. Your Father Abraham rejoyced to see my day, and saw it, and was glad: And v. 58. Veri­ly, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am. So to Moses, For this man (Christ) was counted worthy of more glory then Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house, hath more honour then the house.—And Moses verily was faithfull in all Gods house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things that were to be spoken after: But Christ, as a Son o­ver his own house, &c. Heb. 3. 3, 5, 6. And so to the Angels, Christ is likewise preferred to them, Being made so much better then the Angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name then they: For to which of the Angells said God at a­ny time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And againe, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son. And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the Angels of God worship him, Heb. 1. 4, 5, 6. But not only the Iews and such like professed infidells and enemies of Christ, but also many that have professed themselves Christians, have impugned his Divinity and Equality with the Father, so robbing him of the glory due unto his Name. Thus Arrius and Photinus with their followers of old, and Servetus and others of late, and some even at this day: And therefore, beloved, seeing ye [Page 128] know these things before, beware least ye also be carried away with the error of the wicked, and fall from your own stedfastnesse; but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; to him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Pet. 3. 17, 18.

Ʋse 2. Here again we may see what cause we have to trust in Christ as a most sure Redeemer and Saviour, with that courage and confidence in all our troubles and distresses whatsoever, whe­ther inward or outward, we may come unto Christ and unto God by Christ, that we may have help from him and by him, he being such a Mediator betwixt God and Man, as is not only Man but also God, coessentiall and coequall with the Fa­ther. Hence it is, and must needs be, that he is a stone, a medstone, a precious corner stone, a sure foun­dation, See before Serm. 9. Esa. 28. 16. mighty to save, Esa. 63. 1. a horn of salvation, Luk. 1. 69. able to save to the utter­most all that come unto God by him, Heb. 7. 25. Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and high Priest of our profession Chrst Jesus, Heb. 3. 1. Seeing then we have a great high Priest that is passed into the Heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.—Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need, Heb. 4. 14, 16.


MAT. 1. 20. For that which is conceived in her, is of the Ho­ly Ghost.’

IN the two Verses going before, S. Matthew relates how Mary being espoused unto Joseph, before they came together, was found with child, which Joseph not knowing how it came to passe, was so troubled at, that he thought to put her a­way, though privily: But (as he addes in this Verse) God by his Angell let him know, that he had no reason to be troubled as he was, nor to to take such a course as he intended, for though Mary was with child, yet it was far otherwise then he suspected, even by the miraculous power of the Holy Ghost working in her. But while he thought on these things, behold the Angell of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Josph thou Son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; For that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.

In this last part of the Verse, which I am only to insist upon, we have, first, Who it was that con­ceived Christ, viz. Mary the wife of Ioseph, he was conceived in her. Secondly, how she concei­ved him, viz. not by any naturall and ordinary means, but by the supernaturall and extraordinary power of God: For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

First therefore, let us observe from hence, That Doct. 1 Mary the wife of Joseph was the Mother of Christ our Saviour.

He was conceived in her, and so in her, as that he was conceived of her, that is, of her substance. It's said of Christ, that he took upon him the seed of Abraham, Heb. 2. 16. And that according to the flesh, he was raised up of the fruit of Davids loines, Acts 2. 30. But this could not be, except that Christ did receive the substance of his body from Mary, who did descend from Abraham, and from David. A more direct testimony to thisGeen. 3. 15 Christ is called the seed of the woman. purpose is that Gal. 4. 4. where it's said of Christ, that he was made of a woman, which woman was Mary before mentioned, he was not only made in her, but also made of her: so Luk. 1. 42. Christ is called the fruit of her womb, which shews that he was as well conceived of her as in her.

Ʋse 1. This then confutes that heresie which some of old maintained, viz. that Christ did not take a body of the substance of his Mother, but brought a body down from heaven, and onely passed thorough the womb of his Mother, as wa­ter passeth thorough a channell. This is a most erroneous conceit, and flatly repugnant to the [Page 131] Scriptures before alledged; and though there be some places which may seem to favour it, yet indeed they do not; as that 1 Cor. 15. 47. The se­cond man is the Lord from heaven: And that Ioh. 3. 13. No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came downe from heaven, &c. And that Ioh: 6. 38. I came down from heaven. These places do not import any such thing, as that Christ brought a body downe with him from heaven, but onely he is said to be from heaven, and to come from heaven, because as God being in hea­ven (which is called Gods dwelling place, 1 King. 8. 39. and his throne, Esa. 66. 1.) by his Incarna­tion being made man he was upon earth, and so after a sort came down from heaven: Christ as man did not come down from heaven, for he was not as man in heaven untill his Ascension: That Ioh. 3. 13. The Son of man which is in heaven, was spoken of Christ the Son of Man, but not as the Son of Man; for so he was then when it was spoken upon earth, and not in heaven. There is in those words that which Divines call a commu­nication of properties, that which is proper to the [...]. one nature of Christ, is attributed unto him, be­ing denominated by the other nature; Christ as God was then in heaven when he was upon earth, for God filleth heaven and earth, Ier. 23. 24. And the same Person being both God and Man, Christ denominated by his humane nature is said then to have been in heaven, though this did agree to him only in respect of his divine nature. Christ therefore, I say, as man, did not come downe from heaven, neither properly did he come down [Page 132] from heaven as God, but only in a Metaphoricall sense in that the divine nature was united to the humane nature; The Word was made flesh (God was made man) and dwelt among us, Joh. 1. 14. otherwise properly the divine nature can nei­ther ascend nor descend, cannot remove from one place to another, because it is immense and infinite.

Ʋse 2. But again, if Mary were the Mother of our Saviour, then surely we have cause to ho­nour her, so that we consider and have a care how we honour her; those whom God doth honour we also ought to honour. Now God did highly honour her, whom he vouchsafed to make his [...] Deipara. Mother; For in that she was the Mother of Christ, who is God, she was the Mother of God, though not as God, but as Man. We ought therefore to honour her so, as to think and speak honourably of her, to acknowledge Gods singu­lar favour towards her, and to account her bles­sed. Haile thou that art highly favoured, (said the Angell unto her) the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, Luk. 1. 28. So Elizabeth be­ing filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto her, Blessed art thou among women, Or for blessed, &c. the particle there is rather cau­sall then copula­tive, as the He­brew [...] is, Isa. 64. 5. and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Luk. 1. 41, 42. And Mary her self magnifying God for his mercy and goodnesse towards her, Behold from henceforth all Generati­ons shall call me blessed: For he that is mighty hath done to me great things, Luk. 1. 48, 49. But here we must take heed least we exceed and go beyond our bounds, as the Papists do, who will needs give unto Mary the honour which is no way [Page 133] due, nor may be given unto her.

For, first, they hold, that she was conceived without originall sin; of which more anon.

2. That for her merits she became the Mother of our Saviour, whereas besides that none can properly merit any thing at the hands of God, every one being lesse then all Gods mercies, as Iacob confessed he was, Gen. 32. 10. Besides this, I say, those very places which they build upon, are directly against them: As that Luk. 1. 28. which they read thus, Haile thou that art full of grace, and thence they inferre, that for the fulnesse of grace that was in her, she merited that honour to be Christs Mother. But the word in the Origi­nall there used, doth not signifie full of grace, but [...]. highly favoured, graciously accepted, or much graced, as it is explained, v. 30. Thou hast found favour with God: So that although she had (no doubt) a great measure of grace in her, yet that was not it, but Gods grace and favour to­wards her, which was the cause why such ho­nour was conferred upon her. Iansenius a learnedJansen. Concord. c. 3. Papist, grants that this is the sense and significa­tion of the word used in the Originall: He ad­deth indeed that this doth imply the other, viz. that she was full of grace.

But first, there is no necessary connexion of these two together; Iudas was much graced and highly favoured to be made one of Christs Apo­stles, and so Saul to be made King of Israel; yet were they not therefore full of grace.

2. We deny not but that the Mother of our Lord both was much graced, and also had much [Page 134] grace, onely we say, it was the grace and favour which was shewed her, not the grace and good­nesse which was in her, which was meant by the Angell as the true and proper cause why she was chosen to be our Lords Mother. So that Luk. 1.Vulg. Re­spexit hu­milita­tem, &c. 48. He hath regarded the humility of his hand­maiden, according as the Rhemists after the vul­gar Latine Translator, render it, or (as some of our English Translations) the lowlinesse of his hand­maid; this the Papists for most part so under­stand, as that for the grace and vertue of humi­lity and lowlinesse of mind which was in her, God did shew such respect unto her. Thus in the LadiesPsalter B. Mar. Psal. 33. Quia Domina humillima fuisti, increa­tum verbnm ex te carnem assu­mere coëgesti. Psalter (as they call it) they say unto her, Because thou, O Lady, wert most humble, thou didst cause the uncreated Word (the Son of God) to assume flesh of thee. But the word which is used [...]. in the Originall, doth not signifie humility or low­linesse of mind, but humility or lowlinesse (or rather lownesse) of estate and condition. It is the same word which the Apostle useth Phil. 3. 21. to set forth the vilenesse of the body, as now it is in this life, in comparison of what it shall be in the life to come, Our vile body, word for word according to the Originall, it is, the body of our vilenesse. So that the blessed Mother of our Lord, doth therefore magnifie the Lord, because he so regarded her being of such low and mean estate in comparison of many others: He hath put down (saith she presently after in her Magnificat) the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted them [Page 135] of low degree: Where also the word rendred [...] them of low degree, is that from which is derived the other before mentioned. The Rhemists hereVulg. ex­altavit humlles. also have, and hath exalted the humble; but not such as are vertuously humble are here meant, (by the force of the word that is used) but such as are of low degree, as is clear by this, that they are opposed to the mighty, such as are of high degree, great and eminent in the world. Besides, what could have been more repugnant to true humili­ty and lowlinesse of mind, (with which as with other graces, we grant the Mother of our Savi­our was replenished) then to boast of it, and to ascribe Gods bounty and favour unto it? For these reasons both Jansenius and Maldonate (lear­ned men of the Romish Church) do ingeniously confesse, that not humility of mind, but of estate is here meant.

3. Whereas they pray unto all Saints depar­ted (an honour which is due onely unto God, Psal. 50. 15. Mat. 6. 9. Rom. 10. 14.) this they do above all to our Lords Mother. And here first they are no lesse ridiculous then impious in tru­ning the Angels Salutation into a Prayer, saying unto her, Haile Mary, &c. wherein (as a reve­rend Writer saith truly and wittily) they do at once abuse the Virgin, the Angell, and the Salutati­on. Againe, some of their famous Doctors haveSo testifies Cassander one of their owne Authors in his Consul­tation. avouched, that whereas Ahasuerus promised to Esther the one half of his Kingdom, if she would desire it, God hath indeed given one half of his Kingdome to the Virgin Mary: For his King­dome consisting of mercy and judgement, that [Page 136] part of it which concerns mercy, they say, he hath given unto her, reserving to himselfe the other part concerning judgement, or bequeathing it to his Son: And thus also they speak in the fore­mentioned Psalter, Give, O God, thy judgement to Psalt. B. Mar. Psa. 71. the King, and thy mercy to the Queen his Mother. And the whole Book of Psalmes they have so metamorphosed and changed, as instead of Lord to put in Lady, and to ascribe that to her, which David ascribeth to the Lord: As Psal. 7. In thee, O Lady, have I put In te Domina speravi, de in i [...]is meis, &c. Usqu [...] Domina obli­vis [...]? In ma [...]s tuas Domina commendo spiritum me­um. Domina refugium no­strum es in omni necessi­tate. Venite ad eam omnes qui laboratis, &c. Ibid. Psal. 2. my trust, deliver my soul from mine enemies: And Psal. 12. (or after the Hebrew the 13.) How long wilt thou forget me, O Lady? And Psal. 30. In­to thy hands, O Lady, I commend my spirit. And Psal. 45. O Lady thou art our refuge in all our necessities. And whereas Christ saith, Mat. 11. 28. Come unto me all that labour, &c. they apply it to his Mother, and say, Come unto her all ye that labour, &c. And if yet any thing can be more grosse, they pray unto her to command her Son. Bellarmine it seems, was ashamed of this impiety, for he complaines much of Calvin as being very injurious unto them in offering to charge them in this manner; with great indignation he cries, Quis nostrûm hoc dicit? Cur non probat ullo exemplo? Which of us doth speak so? Why doth he not prove it by some example? Yet their own Cassander (for so he carried him­selfCassand. Consult. as one of the Church of Rome, though he disliked many things in it) testifies, that in some [Page 137] Churches publikely they did sing on this wise, O O felix puerpera, nostra pi­ans Scele­ra, jure Matris impera Redemp­tori. happy child-bearing woman, who dost expiate our wickednesse, by the right of a mother command our Redeemer. Surely, if it be possible to dishonour God, they do exceedingly dishonour him in pre­suming thus to honour her, whom otherwise (so we keep our selves within the bounds of sobrie­ty) we ought to honor.

But I leave this point, and come to the other Doct. 2 which the Text doth hold forth unto us, viz. That Mary the wife of Joseph was so the Mother of Christ, as that neverthelesse when she bare him she was a most pure Virgin, conceiving him not by the opera­tion of man, but by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Whereas it is said in the Text, of the Holy Ghost, it is meant of the Holy Ghost not as the matter, but as the efficient, in which sense it is said, 1 Cor. 11. 12. All things (are) of God. Again, though the Holy Ghost only be expressed, yet the other Persons of the Trinity are not excluded: The Apostle speaking of the Father, saith, Of whom are all things, 1 Cor. 8. 6. If all things be of the Father, then Christs body was of him, viz. as the worker and maker of it; and as of the Fa­ther, so also of the Son, who is the same substance with the Father, Ioh. 10. 30. And by whom like­wise all things were made, Ioh. 1. 3.

Now that Mary was thus the Mother of Christ, is evident both by the Text, and also by that which goes before, Mat. 1. 18. and that which followes after, Mat. 1. 22, 23, 24, 25. so by that Luk. 1. 34, 35.

Object. It may be objected, that Ioseph is called [Page 138] Christs Father; Is not this Josephs Son? said some of him, Luk. 4. 22.

Answ. I answer: They supposed so, but it was not so as they supposed: That this was but a supposition, S. Luke shewes in the fore-going Chapter, v. 23. where he saith that Christ was (as was supposed) the Son of Ioseph, not so indeed, but only as was supposed.

Object. But may some say, Mary her self did call Ioseph Christs Father; Thy Father and I have sought thee sorrowing, said she to Christ, Luk. 2. 48.

Answ. True; but how did she mean that Ioseph was his father? not his naturall father that begot him, but his legall father, as being the hus­band of his mother: Ioseph also was Christs fo­ster-father, or nursing-father, he who did educate him and bring him up.

Object. But some may yet object, if Ioseph were not Christs naturall Father, how is Christs Genealogie fetched from Ioseph? how is Christ shewed to be the Son of Abraham and of Da­vid by this, that Ioseph did descend from Abra­ham Mat. 1. Luk. 3. and from David? How doth this follow, except as Ioseph did proceed from them, so Christ did proceed from Ioseph?

Answ. To this it is answered, That Mary and Joseph were both of one Tribe and of one Family, by vertue of that Law, Numb. 36. 8. where it is required, that every woman being an inheritresse, should marrie to one of her own Tribe and Family, that so inheritances might not passe from one Tribe or Family to another: And therefore the rehearsing of Christs Genea­logie [Page 139] by Joseph was a rehearsing of it by Mary, it being shewed that Joseph was of the posterity of Abraham and of David, the same was conse­quently shewed concerning Mary, who by ver­tue of that Law fore-mentioned was married un­to him, and so it followes that Christ also by that rehearsall is demonstrated to descend from Abraham and from David.

Object. Some may yet object, that Elizabeth is called Maries Kinswoman, Luk. 1. 36. Now E­lizabeth was of Aaron, who was of the Tribe of Levi, Luk. 1. 5. whereas David was of the Tribe of Judah, and so Christ who descended from David, Heb. 7. 14. How then did Mary descend from David, and not rather from Aaron as Eliza­beth her kinswoman did?

Answ. It doth not follow, that because Eliza­beth was of the daughters of Aaron, therefore Mary being her kinswoman was so too: For though such women as had no brethren, and so had inheritances, were to marrie in their owne Tribe and Family, yet others were not tied to this. The men of Benjamin did marrie women that were of other Tribes, as we read Iudges 21. And had it not been lawfull for them to marry in that manner, what needed that Oath men­tioned Iudg. 21. 1.? why should the other Tribes swear (as they did) that they would not give their daughters to the Benjamites, if it were not lawfull for those of one Tribe to marry with those of another Tribe? So 2 Chron. 22. 11. it's said, that Iehoshabeath the daughter of King Ie­horam of the Tribe of Iudah, was wife to Iehojada [Page 140] the Priest, who was of the Tribe of Levi: There­fore Elizabeth might be of Levi and of Aaron by the fathers side, and of Judah and of David by the mothers side, and so by her mother be a­kin to Mary.

Now it was requisite that Christ should thus be conceived, viz. so as that his Mother should be a Virgin, because it was requisite that he should be conceived without sin; he that came to take away our sin, was himself to be without sin. For such an high Priest became us, who is ho­ly, harmlesse, undefiled, separate from sinners, Heb. 7. 26. But such as are conceived after the ordi­nary manner, are conceived in sin, Psal. 51. 5. The Papists generally of late times do except the mo­ther of Christ, and will have her to have been conceived without sin, to have been free from o­riginall corruption: Thus (I say) they do of late times; for Bonaventure who was betwixt 300.Bonavent. in 3. Sent. dist. 3. art. 1. quaest. 2. num. 15. and 400. yeers ago, saith that in his time all gene­rally held the contrary. And he also gives this reason why all should hold so, Nè dum gloria Matris ampliatur, gloria filii minuatur, least whiles the glory of the Mother be increased, the glory of the Son (of Christ) be diminished. But now as Bel­larmine Bellarm. de amiss. grat. l. 4. [...] c. 15. tells us, The whole Christian world almost (but it is that whole world spoken of Rev. 13. 3.) doth celebrate the Feast of the Conception of the Vir­gin Mary, and doth call it the immaculate Concep­tion. And he addes, that three severall Popes (viz. Alexander the sixt, Julius the second, and Leo the tenth) did confirm and adorn with priviledges, a certain religious Order instituted in honor of [Page 141] that immaculate Conception of the Virgin Ma­ry; he saies indeed, that notwithstanding all this, they do not hold that opinion (of the Virgin Maries being conceived without sin) as certain, but only as probable: How this will consist with that infallibility and authority which the Pope challengeth, and Bellarmine also maintaineth to belong unto him, let others judge; but, say I, what probability is there in that opinion which hath no warrant from Scripture? yea, 'tis against Scripture: The Scripture affirming, that by A­dam sin entred into the world, and all have sinned, Rom. 5. 12. Neither doth the Scripture except a­ny but Christ onely, who was conceived and born by the miraculous power and operation of the Holy Ghost.

Ʋse 1. The use of this point is first for our consolation: For Christ being thus conceived, and so without sin, whatsoever he suffered, it was not for himself, but for us, not for any sin of his own, but for our sins. And therefore, Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, Ioh. 1. 29. Look unto me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth, Esa. 45. 22. Let us look unto him and behold him with the eye of faith, and then whatsoever our sinnes be we shall be saved: For him that knew no sin (viz. in him­self) hath God made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him, 2 Cor. 5. 21.

Ʋse 2. But secondly, it serves also for our ad­monition: For as Christ was corporally concei­ved by the Holy Ghost in the Virgin Mary, so [Page 142] must he also by the Holy Ghost be spiritually conceived in us, or else we shall have no benefit by him: we must conceive him in our hearts by faith working thorough love, and bringing forth the fruits of righteousnesse. The Apostle told the Galathians, that he did travell with them in birth untill Christ were formed in them, Gal. 4. 19. And Gal. 2. 20. he saith, that not he, but Christ did live in him. The blessed Virgin her selfe should have had but small blessednesse by conceiving Christ in herNihil illi materna propinquitas profuisset, nisi faelicius Christum in corde quàm in carne gestasset. Aug. Beatior fuit percipiendo fidem Christi, quàm concipiendo carnem Christi. Idem. womb, if she had not also conceived him in her heart: She her self in her Magnifi­cat did rejoyce not so much that God was her Son, as that God was her Saviour, which except she had conceived him in her heart by faith, he had not been. When some told Christ that his mother and his brethren desired to speak with him, he said, Who is my Mother? and who are my brethren? And pointing to his Disciples, he said, Behold my mother and my brethren; for whoso­ever shall do the will of my Father which is in hea­ven, the same is my brother, and sister and mother, Mat. 12. 47, 48, 49, 50. Not that Christ did despise his kindred according to the flesh, but that he did prefer his spirituall kindred: so when one said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps that gave the sucke; he answered, yea, ra­ther blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it, Luk▪ 11. 27, 28.


ISA. 53. 3. A man of sorrowes, and acquainted with grief.’

THis Chapter containesDeinde etiam hoc adjiciendum, quod non tam propheta dicendus sit, quam Evangelista. Ita enim u­niversa Christi ecclesiaeque myste­ria ad liquidum prosecutus est, ut non putes eum de futuro vaticinari, sed de praeteritis historiam texere. Hieron. prefat. in Isaiam. in it a most famous pro­phecie of Christs suffering and humiliation, the sacred Pen-man of the holy Ghost, Esay, writes so clearly, and so fully, that as Hierome said of him, he might seem rather like an Evangelist to record things past, then as a Prophet to foretell things to come. The Chaldie Paraphrast, and the Rabbines of old were con­vinced, that the Prophet here did speak of the Messiah, that is, of Christ, and so some of the later Rabbines also; as witnesseth Abrabaneel upon the place, though he as divers others of them would pervert and wrest it another way. Yea so clear andJo. Isaacus Defen. hebr. ve­rit. adver­sus Li [...] ­dan. convincing is this prophecie contained in this Chapter, that John Isaac a learned Iew of late years (as himself testifieth) was converted from [Page 144] Iudaisme, and became a Christian by the very rea­ding of this Chapter. It was a part of this Chap­ter that the Eunuch read as he was riding in his Chariot, and he not at first understanding of whom the Prophet spake, Philip expounded it un­to him, and let him know that it was of our Lord and Saviour Christ Iesus, Act. 8. 30. 35.

The Prophet in the beginning of the Chapter foreshews, that few of the Iews would believe that which he did write of Christ: Who wil believe our report? &c. v. 1. For as the Apostle saith, Christ crucified was unto the Jews a stumbling block 1 Cor. 1. 23. Therefore they despised and rejected him, because he came in an humble & despicable man­ner, and not in that pomp and state as they expe­cted. So much the Prophet here foreshews; For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no forme, nor comelinesse, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrowes and acquainted with grief, &c. v. 2. & 3.

A man of sorrowes] that is, a man wholly sub­ject to sorrows, a man most full of sorrows: As a man of understanding, Prov. 24. 5. that is, a man full of understanding. A man of strife, Ier. 15. 10. that is, a man subject to strife, a man with whom every one striveth, for the phrase is there taken passively.

And acquainted with grief] In the originall it is word for word, and knowing grief, or rather, [...] and known of grief, the phrase imports that he was so continually exercised with grief, that grief and [Page 145] he were become (as it were) familiar, and were well acquainted one with the other.

These words, as considered with reference to those Chap. 52. 12. where this Section concern­ing Christ begins, as also with reference to what followes in the last Verse of this Chapter, afford this observation, That Christs sorrow and humilia­tion Doct. went before his joy and exaltation.

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Luke 24. 26. First, he was to suffer such things, and then having suffered them, to enter into his glory: Now that he ascen­ded, what is it, but that he descended first? &c. Eph. 4. 9. His descension was before his ascension, He was made perfect through sufferings, Heb. 2. 10.

It was necessary, that if Christ should have any estate of humiliation at all, it should be before his estate of exaltation: For being once exalted and in glory, he could not possibly be subject to any sorrow or suffering. The estate of glory is inconsistent with sorrow and suffering; Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him, Rom. 6. 9. So, had he at first entred into glory before his suffering, nei­ther death, nor any affliction (which seems to make way for death) could have laid hold on him.

Quest. But may some say, why should Christ be subject to any sorrow at all?

Answ. I answer: There was reason for it in divers respects:

1. God so determined, it was his will and pleasure it should be so: It pleased the Lord to [Page 146] bruise him, he hath put him to grief, Esa. 53. 10. It was the cup that his Father gave him to drink, Joh. 18. 11. Herod and Pilate, with the Gentiles and the Jewes, did but what God had before deter­mined to be done, Acts 4. 27, 28.

2. God not only determined, but also signifi­ed and made it knowne before-hand, that so it should be, that Christ should suffer; Saying none other things then Moses and the Prophets (that is, God by them) did say should come, that Christ should suffer, &c. Acts 26. 22, 23. Those things that God before had shewed by the mouth of his Prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled, Act. 3. 18. Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, &c. even therefore because it was so written, Luk. 24. 46. Thinkest thou (said Christ to Peter, who sought to keep him from suffering) that I cannot now pray unto my Father, and he shall presently give me more then twelve Legions of An­gels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Mat. 26. 53, 54.

3. Our case and condition did require that so it should be; Christ was to suffer, that so we might not suffer; I mean, not suffer so, as other­wise we must have suffered, even so, as to lie down in sorrow, so as to suffer eternall woe and misery:Esa. 50. 11 God was injured and offended, and his Justice would be satisfied; we were utterly unable to make satisfaction without lying under everla­sting condemnation. Therefore that we might not perish, it was requisite that Christ should suf­fer, and by suffering satisfie for us: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrowes.—He [Page 147] was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes are we healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, and turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all, Esa. 53. 4, 5, 6. God made him to be sin, an offering and a sacrifice for sin) for us, who knew no sin, [that is, was guilty of none] that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him, a Cor. 5. 21.

Ʋse 1. If it were thus with the Head, then so also it must be with the Members; if thus with Christ, then so also with Christians: For whom he did fore-know, he also did predestinate to be con­formed to the Image of his Son, &c. Rom. 8. 29. God hath predestinated us to be conform'd unto Christ, viz. first in sorrow and suffering, and then in glory and happinesse: If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together, Rom. 8. 17. If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign, 2 Tim. 2. 11, 12. If Christ the Captain of our Salvation were made perfect by sufferings, as it is said of him, Heb. 2. 10. then we must not think to be made perfect without sufferings, but must look to fol­low Christ, as souldiers do their Captain. Thou therefore endure hardnesse as a good souldier of Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. 2. 3. When some desired of Christ, that they might sit one at his right hand, the other at his left in his glory; Christ told them, that they knew not what they asked: and asked them, if they could drink of the cup that he was to drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that he was [Page 148] to be baptized with, Mar. 10. 37, 38. He gave them to understand, that they should first think of partaking vvith him in his sufferings, before they could partake vvith them in his glory.

1. Suffering is a means vvhereby Christ doth try vvho are his: The Lord knoweth who are his, saith the Apostle, 2 Tim. 2. 19. True, but God makes it appear by the crosses and afflictions that he layes upon them; hereby their faith, patience, self-deniall, submission unto God, and depen­dance upon God is made manifest: Thou, O God, hast proved us, thou hast tried us as silver is tried, say the people of God unto him; And hovv did he prove and try them? They adde, Thou broughtest us into the net, thou laidst affliction upon our loins: Thou madest men to ride over our heads, Psal. 66. 10, 11, 12. Now for a season (saith S. Pe­ter, speaking to those vvho had received Christ into their hearts by faith) if need be, ye are in hea­vinesse through manifold temptations, that the triall of your faith being much more pretious then of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory at the ap­pearing of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1. 6, 7. And beloved, think it not strange (saith he) concerning the fiery tri­all which is to try you, &c. 1 Pet. 4. 12. See also Rev. 2. 10. & 3. 10.

2. Suffering is a means vvhereby God doth purge and refine those that are his, and so vvhere­by he doth prepare and fit them for the glory that he hath prepared for them; even as the fire not onely tries the gold or silver, but also pur­geth it from the drosse that vvas mixed vvith it: [Page 149] Some of them of understanding shall fall (into affliction) to try them, and to purge them, and to make them white, Dan. 11. 35.

Ʋse 2. Let us then be admonished to think of this, that Christ suffered before he reigned, first he was crowned with thornes, before he was crowned with glory, and so it must accordingly fare with us, if we belong unto Christ: let us (I say) think of it, and prepare for it. For,

1. We are apt to put far away sorrow and suffering, to put it far from our thoughts, like the sons of Zebedeus, Mar. 10. 37. who were more ready to think of reigning with Christ, then to think of suffering, though (as Christ taught them) that be first to be thought of.

2. Hereupon we become unable to suffer, be­cause we are so unmindfull of suffering: Think not strange, &c. 1 Pet. 4. 12. Because we do not think of it before it cometh, therefore we think it strange when it cometh: The blow that comes suddenly strikes sore, whereas praemonitus praemu­nitus, fore-warned, fore-armed; praevisa jacula, minùs feriunt, the blow that is fore-seen, if it can­not be prevented, yet it may be received so as to do the lesse hurt; Jerusalem remembred not her last end, therefore she came down wonderfully, Lam. 1. 9. And the Apostle tells the Thessalonians, that he sent Timotheus unto them, that no man should be moved with those afflictions, (which happened unto him, and might also happen unto them) for (saith he) your selves know that we are appointed thereunto: For verily when we were with you, we told you before, that we should suffer tribulation, e­ven [Page 150] as it came to passe, and ye know, 1 Thes. 3. 3, 4. He fore-told them of it, that so they might not startle or stagger at it vvhen it came to passe: So Christ having told his Disciples, that the time was coming, vvhen as they that did kill them would think they did God service, he addes, But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them, Joh. 16. 24. And Luk. 14. 28. &c. Christ propoundeth tvvo Parables to this end, to shevv that if vve vvill indeed be his Disciples vve must reckon be­forehand, and make account of suffering vvith him, and for him.

Object. But may some object, If this be the con­dition of a Christian, hovv then is Christs yoke easie, and his burthen light, as he affirmes it to be, Mat. 11. 29?

Sol. To this I ansvver, that the yoke and bur­then as of service, so of suffering, which Christ doth put upon a Christian, is easie and light. For,

1. Christ having gone before, hath made way for a Christian to follow after; In the world [saith he] ye shall have tribulation, but be of good com­fort, I have overcome the world, Joh. 16. 33.

2. Christ doth moderate the affliction, and gives strength to bear it; he will not suffer those that belong unto him to be tempted above what they are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape it, that they may be able to bear it, 1 Cor. 10. 13. His grace is sufficient for them, 2 Cor. 12. 9.

Vse 3. Here is comfort and incouragement for [Page 151] all true Christians; they need not to be dejected and dismaied, because of any sorrow or suffering that doth befall them; for it fares no otherwise with them, then it fared with Christ himself; yea, indeed all that they can suffer is nothing in com­parison of what he suffered: Let's consider,

1. That it is very absurd, and against all reason, that we should think much to be under that condition that Christ himself was under: The Disciple is not above his Master, nor the Ser­vant above his Lord. It is enough for the Disciple to be as his Master, and the Servant as his Lord, if they have called the Master of the house Belze­bub, how much more will they call them of his hous­hold? Mat. 10. 24, 25.

2. That it is an honour for us to be conform­ed unto Christ in suffering as he suffered: If I must needs glory, I will glory in the things which concern mine infirmities, saith Paul, 2 Cor. 11. 30. God forbid (said he also) that I should glory save in the Crosse of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world, Gal. 6. 14.

3. That Christ having himself been so acquain­ted with grief and sorrow, he can and will com­passionate us in our sufferings: For in that he himself hath suffered, he is able to succour them that are tempted, Heb. 2. 18. For we have not an High Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtaine mercy, and find grace to help in time of need, Heb. [Page 152] 4. 15. 16. yea, Christ doth account the suffering of his members to be his own suffering: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? said he, when Saul did persecute Christians, Act. 9. 4. & v. 5. I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

4. That if we would be conformed unto Christ in suffering, we shall also be conformed unto him in glory, Rom. 8. 17. and 2 Tim. 2. 11. 12. There­fore S. Peter bids, Rejoyce, inasmuch as ye are par­takers of Christs sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy, 1 Pet.. 4.. 13. This is the miserie of such as are a­liens from Christ, that their joy shall be turned into sorrow; Even in laughter the heart is sor­rowfull, and the end of that mirth is heavinesse, Prov. 14. 13. As the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool, Eccles. 7. 6. On the other side this is the happinesse of those that are Christs, that their sorrow shall be turned into joy, as Christ told his Disciples, Joh. 16. 20. And see there, v. 21. & 22. Let us therefore look unto the end of our suffering, what it tends to, and what will be the issue of it, and we shall see there's reason not to be troubled at it, but to rejoyce in it: Christ for the joy that was set before him, indured the Crosse, despising the shame, Heb. 12. 2. And there we are bidden to look unto him, to imitate him, and so to run with patience the race that is set before us. Thus by faith Moses, when he was come to years, re­fused to be called the Son of Pharoahs daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, then to injoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches then [Page 153] the treasures in Aegypt: And why? for he had re­spect to the recompence of reward, Heb. 11. 24, 25, 26. So Paul professeth of himself, saying, We faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the in­ward man is renewed day by day. For our light af­fliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternall weight of glory, whiles we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporall, but the things which are not seen are eternall, 2 Cor. 4. 16, 17, 18.

Caution. But our care must be, that in respect of the ground and cause of our suffering, we be like unto Christ, that is, that we do not suffer for ill-doing, but for well-doing, I mean in respect of men; for otherwise if God shall contend with us, we cannot answer to one of a thousand, Job 9. 4. Righteous art thou O Lord, and just are thy judge­ments, said David, Psal. 119. 137. Yet in the same Psalme speaking of men, v. 86. he saith, They per­secute me wrongfully. So must it be our care to suffer, when we do suffer by the hands of men, or else we are not conformed unto Christ in our suf­fering, we do not suffer as he suffered; for he did nothing for which to suffer: No, He was holy, harmlesse, undefiled, separate from sinners, Heb. 7. 25. He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, 1 Pet. 2. 22. Which of you convinceth me of sin? said he to his most malicious adversaries, Joh. 8. 46. They hated me without a cause, said he, Joh. 15. 25. This man hath done nothing amisse, said one of him, that was crucified together with him, Luk. 23. 41. And so Pilate that condemned him, [Page 154] did yet often times (as the Evangelists record) confesse that he found no fault in him: There­foreNon paena, sed causa facit Mar­tyrem. Non quid quisque patiatur, sed quare patiatur, attendi debet. Aug. if we suffer as Malefactors and evill doers, we do not suffer as Christ suffered. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousnesse sake, (saith Christ not simply, they that are per­secuted, but that are persecuted for righte­ousnesse sake) for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and perse­cute you, and shall say all manner of evill against you falsly for my names sake. Rejoyce and be exceed­ing glad, &c. Mat. 5. 10, 11, 12. for this is thank­worthy, if a man for conscience towards God indure grief suffering wrongfully: For what glory is it if when ye are buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? &c. 1 Pet. 2. 19, 20, 21. If ye suffer for righteousnesse sake, happy are ye, 1 Pet. 3. 14. If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye, &c. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evill doer, or as a busie body in o­ther mens matters: Yet if any man suffer as a Chri­stian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorifie God on this behalf, 1 Pet. 4. 14, 15, 16. And V. 19. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as to a faithfull Creator.


ISA. 53. 3. A man of sorrowes, and acquainted with grief.’

HAving finished one point observed from these words, as they cohere with other words both before and after, I come now to that which in themselves considered they hold out un­to Doctr. us, to wit, That Christ was a man full of sorrows and of sufferings.

The whole life of Christ was a continuall suf­fering, his very incarnation was a passion, Who being in the forme of God, thought it no robbery to be equall with God, but made himself of no reputation (word for word according to the original, emptied [...]. himself) and took upon him the form of a servant, &c. That the Creator should become a creature, God be made man, he whom the heaven of hea­vens cannot containe, be inclosed in the womb, this was surely a wonderous suffering. Again, im­mediately after he was born, he was laid in a man­ger,Luk. 2. as if he had not been worthy to have a place amongst men, within a few daies after he was cir­cumcised, [Page 156] shortly after that he was persecuted by Herod, so that to escape the danger, he was fain to be carried into another Countrey, even into E­gypt.Mat. 2. For the rest of his life, until he was about 30. years old, the Scripture speaks but little of it, on­ly it shews us that he was with Mary his trueLuk. 2. 51. Mother, and Joseph his supposed Father, and was subject unto them; and intimates that he did exe­cute the same trade that Ioseph was of, whence it seems as some called him the Carpenters son, Mat. 13. 55. so others called him the Carpenter, Mar. 6. 3. When he came abroad to execute the office for which he was sent, presently he was set upon and assaulted by the divell, and continually was heMat. 4. haunted and baited as it were by the Scribes and Pharisecs, and such as could not indure the splen­dor of his life and doctrine. Besides, he was poor and indigent, having no home, no habitation of his own, though he were rich, yet for our sakes he became poor 2 Cor. 8. 9. Even so poor, that others did minister unto him of their substance, Luk. 8. 3. And whereas the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, he had not where to lay his head, viz. otherwise then to be beholding unto others for it, Luk. 9. 58. But all this was but the begin­ning of Christs sorrows, his chief suffering was at last, at and immediately before his death, from the time of his agony in the garden, to the time of his hanging and dying upon the Crosse. That which he then suffered was such and so great; that [...] it is called his Passion, or his suffering. Let us therefore a little (as we are able) see and consider what he then suffered. And he fuffered (as [Page 157] the Scripture shews) both outwardly & inwardly.

He suffered outwardly, 1. in his reputation, for goods he had none to suffer in, except his clothes, which he was devested of, Ioh. 19. 23. 24. But for his reputation he suffered much in it; and that is no smal suffering. For a good name is better then precious ointment, Eccles. 7. 1. A good name is rather to be cho­sen then great riches, Prov. 22. 1. A good report maketh the bones fat, Prov. 15. 30. Therefore on the other­side, an evil report, slaunder, and defamation, con­tempt and reproach maketh the bones lean, its a great griefe, a great vexation. False witnesses did rise up against me, they laid to my charge things that I knew not. Thus David complains of the hard mea­sure that he found from some, Psal. 35. 11. & v. 21. Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, Aha, our eye hath seen it. And Psal. 120. 2. he cries out, Deliver my soul from lying lips, & from a deceitfull tongue. And Psal. 123. 3, 4. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, cry the people of God unto him, for we are exceedingly filled with contempt: our soul is exceedingly filled with the scor­ning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud. Amongst other grievous suffe­rings which the Saints endured, are reckoned mockings, Heb. 11. 36. In this respect its said that Ismael persecuted Isaac, Gal. 4. 29. in that he mock­ed him, Gen. 21. 9. Now how was Christ traduced and slandered? how visited and reproached? how taunted and mocked? We have found this fellow per­verting the Nation (said his malicious adversaries of him) and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. Luk. 23. 2. Thus [Page 158] they accused him most falsly; for he taught the people quite contrary both by word and deed, as appears Mat. 22. 17. & 17. 24, 25, 26, 27. So they called him a deceiver, yea that deceiver, as if he had been the grand Impostor, Mat. 27. 63. whereas he is the Amen, the true and faithfull witnesse, Revel. 3. 14. Yea the truth it self, Joh. 14. 6. They cloathed him with a scarlet robe, put a crown of thorns up­on his head, and a reed (in stead of a Scepter) in his hand, and bowed the knee before him, and mock­ed him saying, Hail King of the Iewes, Mat. 27. 28, 29. As he hung upon the Crosse, they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it againe in three daies, save thy self; If thou be the Son of God, come down from the Crosse, likewise also the chiefe Priests mocking him, with the Scribes and Elders, said, he saved others, himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the Crosse, and we will believe him. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now if he will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God: The thieves also that were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth, Mat. 27. 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44. They not only crucified him, which was a thing ignominious and shamefull en­ough, but they crucified him betwixt two thieves, so that he was numbered among the transgressors, Isai. 53. 12. Mar. 15. 28. Yea he was accounted the chief transgressor.

2. He suffered outwardly in his body, What part of his body was free from suffering? his head was [...]ricked with thorns, his face spit upon and buffe­ted, his back scourged; all this he suffered before [Page 159] he was crucified. And by these sufferings, together with the tossing of him from place to place, want of sleep, and the like, he was so wearied and so vveakned, that he vvas not able to bear his Crosse (it seems) to the place vvhere he vvas crucified. Its said, Ioh. 19. 17. that he vvent bearing his Crosse; Lipsius de Cruce. and so the learned observe, that they vvho vvere crucified used to do. But its said Mat. 27. 32. As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; him they compelled to bear his Crosse. So Luk. 23. 26. It appears by comparing the Evange­lists together, that Christ at first (as the manner vvas) bore his Crosse himself, but aftervvards in the vvay, they perceiving him unable to bear it, laid hold on that Simon, whom they met, and made him to bear it. After this, his hands and feet (parts [...] Psal. 22. 16. most tender, & sensible of pain) vvere pierced, yea as the Hebrevv vvord signifies, vvere digged vvith nails, & his vvhole body vvas stretched & vvracked upon the Crosse, for many hours together beforeAquin. part. 3. quaest. 46▪ art 6. he gave up the Ghost. All this bodily pain that Christ indured, is justly conceived to have been so much the more vehement and grievous, by hovv much his body vvas of a more excellent temper & complexion, as being miraculously formed and framed by the holy Ghost, Luk. 1. 35. For things that are vvrought supernaturally by miracle, ex­cell those things that are effected by naturall cau­ses, as the vvine that Christ did miraculously make of vvater, was better then other vvine, Joh. 2. 10.

Christ also suffered invvardly, and his invvard suffering vvas his sorest suffering; the suffering of his body, vvas but as the body of his suffering; the [Page 160] suffering of his soule, was as the soule of his suffe­ring. The spirit of a man will bear his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear? Prov. 18. 14. Now Christs spirit was wounded. He was sore amazed, and very heavy, Mar. 14. 33. The words in the ori­ginall [...]. are very emphaticall, and the force of them not easie to be expressed to the full; the one im­ports a vehement astonishing fear; and the other such grief and heavinesse, as makes one to be a­lone, and to avoid all company: it follows there in the next verse, that he said, My soul is exceeding [...] sorrowfull unto death. He was invironed, compassed round about with sorrow, so that there was no way to turn, but still sorrow was in the way; so much the Greek word there used doth import. In the cold night, lying on the cold ground, he did sweat, and that in a most strange manner, his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground: when he was upon the Crosse he cri­ed out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? All this shews what a wonderfull suffering he had in his soul; which how great it was, only he knows that felt it. Let none marvell, that Christ should be in such perplexity of spirit, whereas usually the Martyrs did shew no such consternation and amazement in their sufferings, but did indure them with much patience, yea with much alacrity and chearfulnesse, with much joy and gladnesse: let none, I say, marvell at this, for the Martyrs were filled with inward joy and comfort, which did much mitigate, if not quite extinguish the sense of their outward sufferings; but it was other­wise with Christ, although the divine nature were [Page 161] personally united to the humane nature, yet it did for a while suspend and withhold the influ­ence of consolation. If Job being but tried of God, did yet so complain, saying, O that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the ba­lances together; for now it would be heavier then the sand of the Sea. Job. 6. 2, 3. And if David being chastned of God, did yet so cry out, saying, O Lord rebuke me not in thy wrath, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure; for thine arrows stick fast in me, and thine hand presseth me sore: there is no sound­nesse in my flesh because of thine anger, nor any rest in my bones because of my sin, Psal. 38. 1, 2, 3. How great needs must be Christs sorrow, and the suffering of his soul, when it pleased the Lord to bruise him? Isai. 53. 10. and to lay upon him the iniquities of us all, Isai. 53. 6. Certainly if Christ had been a meer man, he had sunk under the burthen, and had never been able to bear it; he could never have g [...]ne tho­rough such sorrows and sufferings as he did.

For the efficient causes of Christs sufferings, the inferiour and subordinate were Satan and wicked men. The Prince of this world cometh, Joh. 14. 30. The devil put it into the heart of Judas to betray him, Joh. 13, 2. The Kings of the earth stood up, and the Rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles, and the people of the Iews were gathered to­gethor, Acts 4. 26. 27. The superiour causes were God and Christ himself. All those that were ga­thered together against Christ, did but what God had before determined to be done, Act. 4. 28. When [Page 162] Pilate vaunted that he had power to crucifie Christ, and power to let him go, Thou couldest have no power over me (said Christ again unto him) except it were given thee from above. ThereforeJoh. 7. 30. & 8. 20. we read in divers places, that though the adversa­ries of Christ indeavoured to lay hands on him, yet they could not, they had no power to do it, be­cause his houre was not yet come, viz. the houre or time wherein God had appointed him to suffer, and so accordingly he was willing to suffer: for he did not suffer any thing but as himselfe pleased, Therefore (saith he) doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again: No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my selfe; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again: this Commandement I have received of my Father, Joh. 10. 17, 18. When they came to ap­prehend Christ, as they did, so little were they a­ble to do any thing unto him against his will, that no sooner did he tell them, that he was the man whom they did seek, but they went back and fell to the ground, Joh. 18. 6. Besides, as the story there sheweth, he knowing before hand vvhat things were to befall him, vvent forth to meet them, and to expose himself unto them. True it is, he pray­ed, and that again and again, that the Cup mightMat. 26. passe from him, that he might not suffer as he did, but it was still upon supposition, if it might stand with the will of his Father, and with submission unto his vvill: considering the things vvhich he suffered in themselves, so he vvould not have suf­fered them; for it is naturall for every thing to desire the preservation of it self; and Christ took [Page 163] upon him our nature, though not the sinfulnesse of our nature. He was tempted like unto us in all things, yet without sin, Heb. 4. 15. But considering the things which he suffered, as ordained of God for him to suffer, so he was willing to suffer them, Neverthelesse not as I will, but as thou wilt, Mat. 26. 39. And v. 41. thy will be done, And Joh. 18. 11. The cup which my Father hath given me to drink, shall I not drink it?

As for the finall causes of Christs sufferings; they were Gods Glory, and mans Redemption.

1. Gods Glory. Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say, Father save me from this houre, but therefore came I to this houre: Father glorifie thy name, Joh. 12. 27. 28.

2. Mans Redemption. He suffered to redeem man from sin, He was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our transgressions, &c. Isai. 53. 4; 5, 6. He himself bare our sins on his body on the tree, 1 Pet. 2. 24. And so to redeem man from misery: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, Gal 3. 13.

Ʋse 1. The consideration of Christs sufferings may serve for our consolation.

1. Are we burthened with sin? do we groane under the heavy weight of it? Let's consider what Christ hath suffered, and why he hath suffered. His soul was made an offering for sin, Isai. 53. 11. Not for any sin of his own, for he had none, but for our sin, as was before shewed; our sin hath he sa­tisfied for by his suffering: For what can be the sins of the sons of men, for which the sufferings of the Son of God are not a sufficient satisfaction?

Therefore in all affliction and distresse of con­science lets flie unto Christ, lets roll our selves on him, and cleave to him, and we are safe. The blood of Christ is that fountain set open for the washing away of sin and uncleannesse, Zach. 13. 1. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be sa­ved, Act. 16. 31.

2. Are there any outward troubles and pres­sures upon us? Let us consider what Christ hath suffered, and how by his suffering he hath recon­ [...]ised us to God, and purchased eternall Re­demption for us, and therefore we need not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar, and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Psal. 46. 2. 3. He that spared not his own sor, but gave him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Rom. 8. 32. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, distresse or persecu­tion, or famin, or nakednesse, or perill▪ or sword? (As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long, & counted as sheep for the sl [...]ughter) Nay in all these things we are more then Conquerours thorough him that loved us. For 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 be a­ble to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Iesus our Lord, Rom. 8. 35, 36, 37 38, 39.

Ʋse 2. Here also is instruction for us, not to re­ly on our own, but on Christs sufferings. We must [Page 165] turn unto God, as with all our heart, so with fast­ing, and with weeping, and with mourning, Joel. 2. 12. We must so lay to heart our sins, as to be affli­cted, and mourn, and weep, our laughter must be tur­ned into mourning, and our joy into heavinesse, Jam. 4. 9. We must take a holy revenge on our selves for our sinners, 2. Cor. 7. 11. If we would judge our selves we should not be judged of the Lord, 1 Cor. 11. 31. Because we neglect to judge our selves, therefore God doth judge us, and lay his afflicting hand up­on us, to bring us to a sight and sense of our sins, that we may repent of them, and so not perish in them. When we are judged, we are chastned of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world, 1 Cor. 11. 32. The Antinomians are much wide & wrong▪ who wil not have God to afflict his chil­dren at all for sin, yet the Apostle saith, we are chastned of the Lord, and chastning presupposeth a fault for which one is chastned. And so the Apo­stle expressely, For this cause many among you are weak, &c. 1 Cor. 11. 30. viz. for their sin in recei­ving the Lords Supper so unworthily as they did.

Yet the punishment that God doth inflict up­on his children, is but castigatory, not satisfacto­ry, as the Papists would perswade us, who hold that men may and must satisfie the justice of God, by their own sufferings, which they must either voluntarily or els perforce endure: only Christ is the propitiation for our sins, 1 Joh. 2. 2, Only the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sins, 1 Jo. 1. 7. Only Christs suffering is our satisfacti­on.

Ʋse 3. Again by Christs sufferings, we may see [Page 166] the evill and odious nature of sin: how exceed­ingly God doth hate and abhor it, in that his ju­stice would not be satisfied but by such sorrows and such sufferings of his own son! O let not us love that which God doth so hate, Ye that love the Lord, hate evill, Psal. 97. 10. Sin is evill in the sight of God, let it be so in ours also, he hates sin, and therefore let us also hate it; let us not make light of that which Christ found so heavy, let us remember what he said as he went to the Crosse, If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? Luk. 22. 31. If Christ who himself had no sin, did so suffer for sin, what shal become of those who are ful of nothing but sin, & wil still go on to fill themselves more & more with it? O let us look on him whom we have pierced, and let us mourn for him (that is, for our sins by which we have pierced him) as one mourneth for his only son, & be in bitternesse for him, as one is in bitternesse for his first born, Zach. 12. 10.

Vse 3. Finally, here we may see the wonderfull love of God, and of Christ towards us, that rather then we should receive the just recompence and reward of our sins, God would give his own Son, and Christ would give himself to suffer for us. God so loved the world, that he gave his onely begot­ten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life, Joh. 3. 16. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, &c. Joh. 4. 9. Who loved me, and gave himselfe for me, Gal. 2. 20. Amat non immeritò, qui amatus sine merito, Great cause have we to love God, and to love Christ, who so loved us when there was no cause [Page 167] to love us, but to hate and abhor us. God commen­deth his love towards us, in that whiles we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Rom. 5. 8. Herein is love, not that we loved him, but that he loved us, and sent his son into the world for us, 1 Joh. 4. 10. He adds v. 19. We love him, because he loved us first. It be­hoves us to do so, but so as to testifie our love by our obedience. This is the love of God, that we keep his Commandements, 1 Joh. 5. 3. If ye love me, keep my Commandements, Joh. 14. 15. And as such was the love of God and of Christ towards us, so we accordingly ought to love one another, If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, 1 Joh. 4. 11. Walk in love, as Christ also loved us, and gave himself for us, &c. Ephes. 5. 2. A new Commande­ment give I unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my Disciples, if ye have love one to another, Joh. 13. 34, 35.


PHIL. 2. 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he hum­bled himself, and became obe­dient unto death, even the death of the Crosse.’

THe Apostle exhorting unto unity and con­cord, v. 1, & 2. as a means conducing there­unto, he exhorts unto humility and lowli­nesse of mind, v. 3. & 4. And to incite unto this, he propounds the example of Christ, whom Chri­stians ought to imitate, v. 5. &c.

Having shewed how Christ humbled himself in being made man, he shewes how he humbled himself when he was made man, viz. so as to be obedient unto death, even the death of the Crosse.

[Being found in fashion as a man,] This doth not import that Christ only had the shape and form of a man but was not man indeed, as some [Page 169] Heretikes have maintained: Every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, (is true man, having true humane na­ture) is not of God, 1 Thes. 4. 3. This particle as is not alwaies a meer note of similitude, but some­times is used to set forth the truth of a thing, as Joh. 1. 14. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt a­mong us, and we beheld his glory as the glory of the only begotten Son of God, &c. That as the glory, &c. imports that the glory of Christ, which S. John speaks of, was indeed the very glory of the only begotten Son of God. So Philem. v. 9. being such a one as Paul the aged, saies Paul of him­self; it is therefore as much as if he had said, being Paul the aged. So likewise Mat. 14. 5. They counted him as a Prophet, it is spoken concerning John Baptist, and the meaning is, they counted him indeed a Prophet, as his Father Zacharias prophe­cied of him when he was newly born, saying, And thou child shalt be called the Prophet of the highest, &c. Luk. 1. 76. So here it being said, that Christ was found in fashion as a man, the meaning is, that he was very man indeed, like other men, sin only excepted, Heb. 4. 15.

The scope of the Apostle is to shew how low Christ did humble himselfe: 1. Unto death. 2. Such a kind of death, even the death of the Crosse.

First therefore observe from hence, That Christ Doct. was obedient unto death: where three things are to be shewed, viz. 1. That Christ did suffer death. And 2. That it was the will of God, that Christ should suffer death. And 3. That Christ in obe­dience [Page 170] to the will of God did suffer death.

1. Christ did suffer death: So all the Evange­lists record, and so S. Paul preached, 1 Cor. 15. 3. So the Prophets fore-shewed, Saying none other things then those which the Prophers and Moses did say should come, that Christ should suffer, (viz. death, as appears by the words following, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead,) Acts 26. 22, 23. Daniel fore-told Christs death, saying, After threescore and two weeks shall Mes­siah be cut off, Dan. 9. 26. So Isaiah prophecied of him, saying, He was cut off out of the Land of the living, Esa. 53. 8. And v. 12. He hath powred out his soul unto death. Christs death also was prefi­gured in the Law, which was given by the Mi­nistery of Moses: all the sacrifices were figures of Christs death, therefore he is called the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, Joh. 1. 29. All the Lambs (and so other beasts) that were sacrificed in the time of the Law, did typifie and prefigure Christ, who as a Lamb was to be slaine and sacrificed for us. The Author of the Epistle to the Hebrewes shews Christ in this among o­ther things to have differed from the Priests that vvere in the Law, that whereas they offered of­ten, Christ offered but once, and that because he offered himself his offering was his suffering, so that if he should have offered often, he must also have died often, whereas men use to die but once, and so was Christ to die, but not oft'ner. See Heb. 9. 25, 26, 27, 28.

Ob. But it may be objected, that some places of the Old Testament speaking of Christ, seem to [Page 171] import that he should not die: Thou art a Priest for ever, &c. Psal. 110. 4. His dominion is an ever­lasting dominion, &c. Dan. 7. 14.

Ans. Indeed some from those and the like places did inferre that Christ should not die: For when they heard Christ speak of his death, they objected against it, saying, We have heard out of the Law, that Christ abideth for ever, Joh. 12. 34. As if because he should abide for ever, as was sig­nified in the The Law is sometimes put for a­ny part of the Old Testa­ment, as Joh. 15. 25. and 1 Cor. 14. 21. Law, that is in the writings of the Old Testament, therfore he should not die; but they erred, not rightly understanding the Scriptures which speak of Christs abiding for ever. For the meaning of them is not, that Christ should not die, but that although he did die, yet he should soon rise again, and so abide for ever: Christ being risen from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him, Rom. 6. 9.

2. It was the will of God that Christ should suffer death: There is nothing whatsoever comes to passe but by the will of God; Who hath said, Nihil fit nisi omni­potens fie­ri velit, vel ipse faciendo, vel per­mittendo ut fiat ab aliis. Aug. and it cometh to passe, and the Lord commandeth it not? Lam. 3. 37. otherwise then by the will and pleasure of God not so much as a sparrow doth fall to the ground, Mat. 10. 29. much lesse could so great a thing as Christs death have been, had it not been the will and pleasure of God that it should be. Pilate condemned Christ to die, and others did execute the sentence which Pilate had pronounced; but neither Pilate nor others did any thing to Christ, but as God had before deter­mined to be done, Acts 4. 27, 28.

3. It being the will of God, that Christ should [Page 172] suffer death, Christ in obedience to the will of God did suffer it: This Commandement have I received of my Father, said Christ, Joh. 10. 18. viz. that he should lay down his life, and therefore he would and did lay it down. And Joh. 18. 11. The cup which my Father hath given me to drinke, shall I not drink it? As if he should say, Shall I not suf­fer death, seeing he will have me suffer it? True it is, Christ considering death in it self, would have avoided it; but considering it as that which his Father would have him to suffer, so he was willing to suffer it, Mat. 26. 39, 42.

Q. But why would God have Christ to suffer death?

A. 1. For the satisfying of his Justice: God had de­termined & declared death to be the punishment that should be inflicted for sin, Gen. 2. 17. & 3. 19. Rō. 6. 33. Christ was to satisfie for sin, and therefore he was to suffer death. His soul was made an offering for sin, Esa. 53. 10. Without shedding of blood is no re­mission, Heb. 9. 22. And v. 26. He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Thus Christ died for our sins, 1 Cor. 15. 3. 2. God would have Christ to suffer death, for the magnifying of his mercy. God com­mendeth his love towards us, (sets it out in this) that whiles we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Ro. 5. 8.

By Christs death, first, we are reconciled unto God: When we were enemies we were reconciled unto God by the death of his Son, Rom. 5. 10. In whom we have redemption thorough his blood, even the forgiveness of our sins, Col. 1. 14. And v. 21, & 22. And you that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your mind thorough wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, in the body of his flesh through death.

2. VVe are delivered from Satan. Now shall the Prince of this world be cast out, said Christ, when the time of his death was at hand, Joh. 12. 31. For asmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himselfe took part of the same, that tho­rough death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devill, Heb. 2. 14. The devill is there said to have the power of death (though that properly belong unto God; for it is he that killeth, and he that maketh alive, 1 Sam. 26. Deut. 32. 39.) because by the malice of the devill man be­came guilty of sin, and so liable unto death. Christ by his death hath vanquished Satan, and freed those that belong unto him from Satans power. Therefore they that believe in Christ, are said to be brought from the power of Satan unto God, Act. 26. 18. and to be delivered from the power of darknesse, Col. 1. 13.

3. We have right unto eternall life. Had not Christ died, we had been uncapable of life, that life which is to come. This was signified by that Gen. 3. 24. where it is said, that Adam having sin­ned, God drove him out (viz. of Paradise) and he placed at the East of the garden of Eden, Cherubins, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. By reason of sin the life to come, eternall life (which was shadowed by that tree of life) was inaccessible unto us, we could have no accesse unto it; but Christ by his blood hath made a new and living way for us, Heb. 10. 20. And for this cause he is the medi­ator of the new Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions, that [Page 174] were the first Testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternall inheritance, Heb. 9. 15. And in the two verses following is shewed, why the new Covenant that God hath made with his people, is called a Testament, because it is of force by Christs death. For where a Testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a Testament is of force after men are dead, other­wise it is of no strength at all, whiles the testator li­veth. Neither doth this make for the Popish opi­nion of Limbus Patrum, as if before Christs death none did go to heaven, and enjoy the happinesse of the life to come: For Jesus Christ yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever, Heb. 13. 8. The death of Christ was of force, as well before, as since Christs coming; they that did believe in Christ to come, did enjoy the benefit of his death, as well as they that now since his coming do believe in him.

Ob. But may some say, notwithstanding Christs death, yet still all die.

Answ. True, but not so as otherwise, had it not been for Christs death, they should have died. For 1. By the death of Christ all that believe, are alto­gether freed from the second death; over such the second death hath no power, Revel. 20. 6.

2. The first death to believers is as no death, but an entrance into life, even life eternall. Blessed are the dead which die in our Lord, from henceforth, yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their la­bours, &c. Revel. 14. 13. The souls of the faith­full being separated from their bodies, do imme­diately enter into happinesse, which made the A­postle [Page 175] say, that to die was gain unto him, Phil. 1. 21. And v. 23. that he desired to be dissolved and to be with Christ, which was far better. And the bodies of believers shall also in due time be raised up, and together with their souls be made parta­kers of eternall blisse. Christ by his death hath o­vercome death, so that they that believe in him shall not be overcome by it, not so as for ever to remain under the power and dominion of it. I will ransome them from the power of the grave, (saith Christ) I wil redeem them from death: O death I will by thy plagues; O grave I will be thy destructi­on, Hos. 13. 14. To which place the Apostle allu­deth, saying, O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? And he addes, the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But [...]ks be unto God, who giveth us victory thorough Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor. 15. 55, 56, 57.

Vse 1. Here then is consolation for us in respect of the guilt of sin, and the fear of wrath as due for sin. Do our consciences accuse us? doth Satan throw his fiery darts at us? The meditation and application of Christs death is sufficient to quiet our consciences, and to repell Satan and all his assaults: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? it is God that justifieth. Who is he that Turbatur conscien­tia, sed non per­turbabi­tur, qui [...] vulnerum Domini recorda­bor. condemneth? it is Christ that died, Rom. 8. 33, 34. My conscience (saies one) is troubled, but it shall not be orewhelmed: for I will remember the wounds of the Lord Jesus.

Vse. 3. But as Christ died for sin, so must we die unto sin; thus must we be conformed to his death, or els we can expect no benefit by it. We thus judge [Page 176] (saith the Apostle) that if one died for all, then were all dead; And that he died for all, that they that live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them, and rose again, 2 Cor. 5. 15. They are therefore most foolish and absurd, who think that because Christ died for them, therefore they may live as they list. As if Christ by his death had purchased not freedome from sin, but freedom to sin: this is, to turn the grace of God into lasciviousnesse, and to deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, Jude v. 4. But we have not so learned Christ, Ephes. 4. 20. our very Baptism doth teach us another lesson. The Apostle having said, Where sin abounded, there grace hath a­bounded much more, Rom. 5. 20. To prevent the a­buse of this doctrine, he addes presently after; What shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid: How shall we that are dead unto sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not that so many of us, as were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptisme into death, &c. Rom. 6. 1. 2, 3, 4. So Col. 3. 2, 3. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth, for ye are dead, viz. unto sin, and v. 5. Mortifie therefore your members that are upon the earth, fornication, uncleannesse, inordi­nate affection, evill concupiscence, and covetousnesse, which is idolatry. This mortifying of sin, and dy­ing unto sin, imports 1. A serious and setled pur­pose to eschew sin. I said (that is, I purposed, I re­solved) I will take heed unto my waies, that I offend not with my tongue, Psal. 39. 1. I am purposed, that my mouth shall not transgresse, Psal. 17. 3.

2. A care to avoid the occasions of sin: De­part from me ye wicked, for I will keep the Comman­dements of my God, Psal. 119. 115.

3. A diligent use of the means whereby to subdue sin: Thy Word have I hid within my heart, that I might not sin against thee, Psal. 119. 11.

Ʋse 3. As Christ was obedient unto death, so we must learne by his example to be obedient also as well in suffering as in doing, and that in suffering death it self, if God call unto it; You have not yet resisted unto blood, Heb. 12. 4. As if he should say, in obedience unto God you must re­sist, striving (as there it followes) against sin, e­ven unto blood, the shedding of your blood, if need be; so did Christ who is there propounded as a pattern for our imitation, Looking unto Je­sus, &c. v. 2. Consider him, v. 3. Not that we are to expose our selves to danger when we may avoid it by good and honest means, without dishonour to God and his truth: When they persecute you in one City, flee into another, so did Christ counsell his Disciples, Mat. 10. 23. And Christ himself did so, when some being offended at his Doctrine would have throne him down from the brow of the hill, on which the City was built, he convey­ed himselfe away from them, and escaped their hands, Luk. 4. 29, 30. And so when Paul was like to be apprehended by the Governour in Damas­cus, he was let down in a basket thorough a win­dow, and by that means escaped, 2 Cor. 11, 32, 33. But if God call us to suffer, if it appear to be his will, if it cannot be avoided without dishonour­ing of God and his Gospell, in this case we must [Page 174] be willing to submit unto God, and to be obedi­ent unto death as Christ was, to lay down our lives for God, and for his truth as Christ did: Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternall life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a goood profession before many Witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickneth all things, and before Iesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession, that thou keep this Com­mandement without spot, unrebukeable, untill the appearing of our Lord Iesus Christ, 2 Tim. 6. 12, 13, 14. As if the Apostle should say, Christ bare wit­nesse to the truth before Pontius Pilate unto death; so must we also, if need be, bear witnesse to it, though we die for it: He that loveth his life (to wit, inordinately, so as that he will not part with it when God doth call for it, but doth pre­ferre it before Gods glory, he that so loveth his life) shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternall, Joh. 12. 25. See the like saying, Mat. 16. 25. & 10. 39. And Christ would have all that take upon them the professi­on of his Name, to consider this, that for his sake they must be ready (if the case so require) to forgo whatsoever is neare and deare unto them, even life it self. So S. Luke shewes us, saying, And there went great multitudes with him, and he turned & said unto them, If any man come to me, & hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my Disciple, Luk. 14. 25. 26.


PHILIP. 2. 8. Even the death of the Crosse.’

THus the Apostle shews the greatnesse of Christs humili­ation and obedience, in that he not only humbled him­self, and was obedient unto death, but such a kind of death, even the death of the Crosse, that is, death on the Crosse; he was crucified, nailed alive to the Crosse, and so did hang up­on the Crosse untill he died. This point then offers it self to be considered, That Christ was obedient even to the death of the Crosse.

In the handling of this point I shall shew. 1. That Christ suffered death on the Crosse. 2. That this was a great aggra­vation of Christs suffering. 3. What use is to be made of the point.

For the first, That Christ suffered death upon the Crosse, it is a thing clearly recorded by all the foure Evangelists, So Paul in his Epistles often speaks of the Crosse of Christ (that is, of Christs death on the Crosse) and of Christ cru­cified. See 1 Cor. 1. 18. 23. & 2. 2. 8. Gal. 6. 14. Phil. 3. 18. So Peter saith, that Christ bare our sins on his body on the tree, that is, on the Crosse, 1 Pet. 2. 24. David also prophe­cied of this, saying, They pierced my hands, and my feet, Psal. 22. 16. He spake those words prophetically in the person of Christ; as the very beginning of the Psalm doth shew, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? which words (as the Evangelists record) Christ uttered, when he was upon the Crosse. So v. 18. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. Which (as appears likewise by the history of the Gospell) was fulfilled in Christ, when he was crucified.

Christ also himself did foretell what kind of death he should suffer, to wit, the death of the Crosse. Behold (said he to his Disciples) We go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief Priests, and to the Scribes, and they shall condemn him to death. And they shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucifie him. Mat. 20. 18, 19. So Joh. 12. 32, 33. And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. That by his lifting up he meant lifting up upon the Crosse, to die upon it, the Evangelist immediately declares, saying, This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Christs death upon the Crosse was likewise typified, and prefigured by the brazen Serpent, of which we read, Num. 21. There the sacred history tells us how God when the Is­raelites sinned against God, and provoked him by murmu­ring, he plagued them by sending fiery Serpents among them; but in wrath remembring mercy, he commanded Mo­ses to set upon a pole a brazen Serpent (the similitude of a serpent made of brasse) that whosoever was stung by a fiery serpent, by looking up to that brazen serpent might be made whole: This brazen serpent so lifted up, was a type and fi­gure of Christ lifted up upon the Crosse, that whosoever are stung by that old serpent the devill, may look up to him with the eye of faith, and be saved. This Christ himself doth sig­nifie unto us, saying, As Moses lift up the Serpent in the wildernesse, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that who­soever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everla­sting life, Joh. 3. 14, 15.

Ob. But it may be objected, that among the Jews this kind of death was not in use. The Iewish Talmud tells us, thatSanhedr. c. 7. they had foure kinds of capitall punishments, to wit, stoning, burning, killing with the sword, and strangling. They make no mention of crucifying; neither do we find it mentioned any where in the old Testament. There indeed we read of hanging, but it was not a hanging of any whilest they were alive, but only a hanging of them after that they were other­wise put to death, to wit, for the greater infamy of those who were hanged, and for the greater terrour of others. Joshua first smote and slew the five Kings of Canaan, and then hang­ed them upon trees untill evening; for by the Law, Deut. 21▪ [Page 177] 23. none were to hang longer, Jos. 10. 26. This hanging was quite another thing much different from crucifying. For they that were crucified were hanged alive, being nailed to a crosse, and so did hang untill they were dead. It's said indeed that the Iews slew Christ, and hanged him on a tree, Act. 5. 30. & 10. 39. But that is not so to be understood, as if they did first slay him, and then hang him on a tree, that had not been crucifying; neither doth that agree with the sacred hi­story of the Gospell. The meaning of those places is, that they slew him by hanging him on a tree. The particle and in those places is exegeticall or explicative rather then copula­tive, it shews how they flew him, to wit so, as that they hang­ed him on a tree.

Answ. Some of the Iewish Rabbines indeed think by this argument (to wit that crucifying, or putting to death by hanging upon a Crosse, was not used among the Iews) they think (I say) to convince the Gospell of falshood▪ but they bewray either their ignorance or malice, or both. For in theR. Lipman in Nizza­ction, ut est apud Mun­ster. in Mat. Hebr. time of our Saviour, and some while before, the Iews were under the power and jurisdiction of the Romanes, as appears not only by the new Testament, Luk. 2. 1. 4, 5. & 3. 1. and so other places; but also by forraign Writers, as Josephus a Iew, and Tacitus a heathen man. Now crucifying was a punishment, which was much used among the Romanes; and they brought it into use among the Iews, when they had do­minion over them. And those forementioned Authors, to wit Josephus and Tacitus, do both of them record how Christ was put to death by Pontius Pilate, being Gover­nourIoseph. Antiq. l. 18. c. 4. Ta­cit. Annal. l. 15. in Iudea under the Roman Emperour Tiberius; and one of them, namely Iosephus, expressely saith that Pilate caused him to be crucified. Christ himself foretelling his death, and the manner of it, shewed how it should come to passe, that he should be crucified, to wit, that the Iews should deliver him to the Gentiles, namely the Romanes, and they (as their custom was) should crucifie him, Mat. 20. 18, 19. So it was, as the Evangelists relate. Pilate willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Je­sus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the souldiers led him away, &c. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe from him, and put his own [Page 178] clothes on him, and led him out to crucifie him, Mar. 15. 15, 16, 20. S. John also having said, that Pilate bade the Iews take Christ, and judge him according to their Law, and that the Iews answered, that it was not lawfull for them to put any man to death; he addes, That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die, Joh. 18. 31, 32. Christ had signified, that he should die the death of the Crosse, which was ful­filled by the Iewes delivering of Christ unto Pilate, who being a Roman, condemned him to that kind of death, which was in use among the Romans: Peter indeed told the Jewes, that they had crucified Christ, Acts 2. 22, 23. 36. & 5, 30. But that was because it was done thorough their instigation. See Luk. 23. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. And Acts 3. 13, 14, 15. the Jewes are justly charged with it, because they were the workers and procurers of it. Thus then the objection is sufficiently answered, and the first thing pro­pounded is sufficiently cleared, to wit, that Christ suffered death on the Crosse.

2. The next thing to be considered is, that this was a great aggravation of Christs suffering: The Apostle (we see in the Text) aggravates his suffering by this, that he not only suffered death, but even the death of the Crosse. This death was more grievous then other kinds of death in divers respects: For, first, it was a more painfull death; [...] Lxx. [...]. Vulg. Lat. Fodcrunt. Crucis no­men à cru­ciatu. Lip­sius de cruce. Acerbissi­mum inter supplicia censeba­tur. Lips. Ibid. He indured the Crosse: So it is said of Christ, Heb. 12. 2. which intimates that the death of the Crosse was very grie­vous and hard to be indured. It is grievous to indure any death that is violent, but especially the death of the Crosse; to have the hands and the feet (which by reason of the multitude of sinewes, are of all parts most sensible of pain) pierced thorough with nails, yea digged, as the word used Psal. 22. 16. doth indeed signifie, and so to be fastened to a Crosse, and to hang for many hours together, this must needs be very dolourus and painfull: The Latine word for a Crosse comes of a word that signifieth torment, of all punishments that of the Crosse was accounted most bitter and most tormenting. And in the Scripture-phrase the Crosse is put for all affliction whatsoever; If any man will come after me (said Christ) let him deny himself, and take [Page 179] up his Crosse and follow me, Mat. 6. 24. And Luke 14. 27. Whosoever doth not bear his Crosse, and come after me, cannot be my Disciple. For one to beare his Crosse, is as much as patiently to indure any affliction that shall come upon him.

2. The death of the Crosse was a most shamefull death: It's said of Christ, that he indured the Crosse, despising the shame, Heb. 12. 2. Any death that is inflicted as a punish­ment, is ignominious, and carries shame along with it, but the death of the Crosse especially; it was called a slavish punishment, because it was at first only inflicted on slaves, afterwards it was also inflicted on others, yet but seldome, and onlyServile supplicium. Lips. de cruce. Primùm receptum in servos iis (que) quodammodo approbrium. Ibid. Et si interdum & in liberos homi­nes sic animadversum reperio; sed raro, non nisi ob insigne sce­lus, ut in latrones, grassatores, & transfugas. Lips. Ibid. on such as were notorious malefa­factors, as robbers, murtherers, and renegadoes. When Verres be­ing the Romane Governour in Sicilie, put some of the Romanes to this kind of death, Cicero plea­ding against him, aggravated this as a most great and horrid crime. It is hainous thing (said he) to Facinus est vincire civem Roma­ [...]um, scelus verberare, propè parricidium necare: quid dicam in crucem tollere? Verbo satis digno tam [...]efaria res appellari nullo modo potest. Cic. in Ver. Orat. 3. bind a Roman Citizen, a great wickednesse to scourge him, al­most as bad as murthering ones own father to put him to death: What then shall I call it to hang him on the Crosse? Such a dete­stable act cannot by any word be sufficiently expressed. What manner of persons they did use to inflict this death of the Crosse upon, we may see by those who were crucified together with Christ; There were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left, Mat. 27. 38. They were thieves, robbers, murtherers, as the word in the Originall doth import: The word in the singular number used of Barabbas, is rendred a robber, Joh. 18. 40. And of this same Barabbas Acts 3. 14. it is said, that he was a murtherer. It is said of Constantine the first Emperour that made publike profession of Christiani­ry, that in honour of Christ he took away this kind of pu­nishment, [Page 180] (crucifying) so that since it hath not been used as before it was.

3. It was a more cursed death. For he that is hanged, is accursed of God, Deut. 21. 23. Every death inflicted as a punishment due to him, on whom it is inflicted, is a token and testimony of Gods curse. But hanging more especially, it exposing a man more then ordinary to the open view of all, to take notice of him, as one whom God hath accursed. This I take to be the reason, why he that is hanged, is rather then any other, said to be accursed of God, because he more especially is made a spectacle of Gods wrath and indignati­on against him. Christ (saith S. Paul) hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree, Gal. 3. 13. The Apostle there alledgeth that of Moses, and thence sheweth why Christ suffered on the Crosse rather then otherwise. Other reasons some give, viz. that Obediens factus? Usque ad mor­tem, mortem autem crucis, eam, quae in ligno fuerat, inobedientiam sanans. Iren. l 5. Vti quemadmo­dum per lignum facti sumus debi­tores Deo, per lignum accipiamus nostri debiti remissionem. Ibid. [...]. Theophyl. ad [...]oh. 19. [...]5. as death came by it: and that as Satan vanquished man by a tree, so Christ by the same means might vanquish Sa­tan. But although Gods wisdome and power in so ordering it, may thus be observed, yet the Scripture doth not assign these reasons, but only the other, to wit, that so it might appear that Christ bare our sins, and the curse that was due unto us for them.

Ʋse. 1. What comfort then is here for us. 1. in all spiritu­all conflicts, in all distresses of consciences? Seeing Christ hath not only suffered, not only suffered death, but even the death of the Crosse for us. Therefore if that old Serpent the devill sting us, let us by faith look upon this brazen Ser­pent, Christ lift up upon the Crosse, and then we shall be safe. Christ being crucified for us, hath blotted out the hand-writing of Ordinances that was against us, which was contrary unto us, and hath taken it out of the way, nai­ling it unto his Crosse. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it, Col. 2. 14, 15.

2. In all outward troubles and afflictions. Do we suffer pain? Do we suffer shame? Why? did not Christ so be­fore us? Yea, what is our suffering in comparison of his suffering? Therefore let us run with parience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endu­red the Crosse, despising the shame, &c. Heb 12. 1, 2. Paul though he suffered never so painfully, never so shamefully, yet gloried in Christ crucified, and abhorred to glory in any thing besides. God forbid (said he) that I should glory in a­ny thing, save in the Crosse of our Lord Jesus Christ, where­by the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world, Gal. 6. 14. We read that when the Israelites passing through the wildernesse towards Canaan, came to a place where wasExod. 15. 23. 25. water, but bitter, that they could not drink of it, Moses (as the Lord appointed) cast in a tree into the water, and so it became sweet. So whatsoever bitter waters of affliction we meet with, as we passe thorough the wildernesse of this world unto the heavenly Canaan, let us cast into them the tree on which Christ suffered, let us meditate of Christs suffering upon the Crosse, and this will sweeten all. Christ by his cursed death which he suffered, hath taken away the cursed­nesse of all our suffering, so that all shall work together for our good, Rom. 8. 28.

Vse 2. Therefore let us labour and have a care to know Christ crucified; let all our thoughts and meditations be ta­ken up about him. I determined (saith S. Paul) to know no­thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified, 1 Cor. 2. 2. He means that all his preaching and teaching a­mong them, should aim at this, that they might rightly know Jesus Christ and him crucified. The preaching of Christ crucified is that foolishnesse of preaching (as the world ac­counts it) by which it pleaseth God to save them that be­leeve, 1 Cor. 1. 21. For the preaching of the Crosse (saith he there v. 18.) is foolishnesse to them that perish, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. So again v. 23. & 24. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stum­bling block, and to the Greeks foolishnesse, But unto them which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdome of God. True it is, we preach [Page 182] Christs Incarnation, and the holinesse of his conversation whilest he lived upon earth, his Resurrection, Ascension, &c. yet still with reference to his Crosse, either as going before, and making way for it; or as following after, and shewing the efficacy of it. Yea, we preach the Law, but with reference to Christ crucified; either to convince of sin, and so to shew the need of Christ, or to preserve from sin, and to conform unto Christ. By the law is the knowledge of sin, saith the Apostle, Rom. 3. 20. And so the Law is the rule of righte­ousnesse, according to which Christ himself did walk, and so must they that are in Christ. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself to walk, even as he walked, 1 Joh. 2. 6. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Commandements of God, 1 Cor. 7. 19. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh thorough love, Gal. 5. 6. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new Creature. And as many as walk according to this rule (viz. of a new creature, of faith that worketh thorough love, and of the keeping of Gods Commandements) peace shall be upon them, and mer­cy, &c. Gal. 6. 15. 16. In a word, as Christ was crucified, so also must we be crucified, or els Christ crucified shal profit us nothing. Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, Rom. 6. 6. I am crucified with Christ, neverthelesse I live, yet not I but Christ doth live in me, and the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me, Gal. [...]. 20. And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts, Gal. 5. 24. Such as wilfully give themselves up to evill and sinfull courses, are the ene­mies Terret ac fugat dae­monas; pel­lit mor bos & omnia mala; san­ctificat ea, quibus im­primitur. Bellarm. of the Crosse of Christ, as the Apostle calls them, Phil: 3. 18. They do what in them lies, to make the Crosse of Christ of no effect. For he his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we being dead unto sin, should live unto righteousnesse, 1 Pet. 2. 24.

Caution. But let us take heed and beware of the supersti­tion and idolatry of the Papists, who adore the Crosse, and make an Idoll of it. Bellarmine sticks not to affirm, that the [Page 183] signe of the Crosse doth affright and chase away the devills, drive away diseases, and all evills, and sanctifie those things upon which it is imprinted. But the Scripture doth teach us otherwise; viz. that it is faith in Christ crucified, and not the signe of the Crosse, whereby we must resist Satan, and whereby we must obtain of God whatsoever is requisite and needfull for us: The devill your adversary goeth about like a roaring Lion, &c. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, 1 Pet. 5. 8, 9. Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my Name, he will give it you, Joh. 16. 23. Again we must al­so take heed and beware of the blasphemy of the Socinians, who hold that Christ suffered death, even the death of the Crosse, only to confirm his Doctrine, and to give us an ex­ample, but not to bear the curse that was due unto us, and so to satisfie the justice of God for us. But what more repug­nant to the Scripture, which saith that Christ was made sin (that is, a In the Hebrew the word that signi­fieth sin, is often put for a sacri­fice for sin. sacrifice for sin) and a curse for us, 2 Cor. 5. 24. Gal. 3. 13. I conclude with the words of S. Peter, Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these things before, be­ware least ye also be carried away with the errour of the wicked, and fall from your own sted fastnesse: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Je­sut Christ, to him be glory both now and for ever, Amen. 2 Pet. 3. 17, 18.


1 COR. 15. 4. And that he was buried.’

THe Apostle here in the beginning of this Chapter puts the Corinthians in mind of the Gospell which he had preached unto them, and rehearseth some of the chief heads [Page 184] of it, amongst the rest this of Christs buriall, so that this is a point for Ministers to preach, and for people to think of, viz. That Christ was buried. Doct.

This is recorded by all the Evangelists; and it was also long before spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah, And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, Esa. 53. 9. It was likewise prefigured in that which happened to the Prophet Jonas, For as Jonas was three dayes and three nights in the Whales belly, so shall the Son of man be three dayes and three nights in the heart of the earth, (that is, in the grave) said Christ, Mat. 12. 40.

Ob. It may be objected, that such as were crucified as Christ was, did not use to be buried, but were wont to hang upon the Crosse untill they rotted, and to that end there were Soul­diersSolenne illud fuit, crucifixorum corpora militari custodiâ signari, donec putruissent, ne quis ea ad sepulturam detraheret. Lips. appointed to watch them, lest any should come to take them a­way to bury them. Thus they u­sed to deal with those that were crucified, as they relate who are versed in the Antiquities of the Romanes, among whom crucifying was in use, and so (as before was shewed) they having dominion over the Jews, by that means it was that Christ was crucified.

Ans. I answer, that although that were the custome of the Romanes not to permit those whom they did crucifie to be buried, yet they were so indulgent to the Jews as to suf­fer them to observe their owne Lawes which God prescri­bed unto them. Now one Law which the Jewes were to observe, was this, that if any were hanged on a tree, he should not hang all night, but be taken down at even, Deut. 21. 23. And so S. John relates, that the Jewes came to Pilate and desired him that the bodies (of Christ, and the other that were crucified with him) might not remain on the Crosse on the Sabbath day, which was the day after they were crucified, Joh. 19. 31. There was then more especiall cause why they desired to have the bodies taken down, because besides that Law in Deuteronomie before mentioned, the day after was the Sabbath day, and an extraordinary Sabbath (as it is there said, for that Sabbath day was an high day) by reason [Page 185] of the feast of the Passeover, which also was at that time. But by this place of the Evangelist we may see that the Ro­mans were not so strict with the Jewes, but that they would let them injoy their liberty in things that did con­cern their Religion. And moreover the Evangelists shew that there was speciall leave given by Pilate the Romane Governour for Christs buriall, Joh. 19. 38. And the like may be seen in the other Evangelists.

It was meet that Christ should be buried: First, for the greater certainty of his death, that it might the better appear that he was dead indeed, and not in appearance only; for none use to be buried, but such as are first dead: And Pi­late was very carefull to be certified first of Christs death, before he would give leave that he should be buried, Mar. 15. 43, 44, 45.

2. For the greater certainty of his Resurrection: And in this respect the Evangelists observe not only that Christ was buried, but also they record the circumstances of his buri­all, and shew how he was buried, viz. In a new sepulchre wherein never man was laid, Joh. 19. 41, 42. That so none might cavill, and say, it was not Christ, but some other that [...]. Theophy­lact. ad loc. did arise from the dead; and that none also might pretend that Christ did not rise by his owne power, but by the touch of some other who had been buried in the same grave before: As we read of one, who being cast into the grave where the Prophet Elisha was buried, by the touch of the dead bones of the Prophet revived, 2 King. 13. 21.

And again, the Evangelists record that Christ was laid in a sepulchre which was hewen out of a Rock, and that a great stone was rolled to the door of the sepulchre, and that the stone vvas sealed, and a watch set to keep the sepulchre, Mat. 27. 60, 66. So that it could not with any probability be pretended that either by undermining or otherwise, Christ was stolne out of the sepulchre.

3. Christs burial was a further degree of his humiliation: It was much for him to die, and more to die the death of the Crosse, and yet more to condescend and stoop so low, as to be laid in the grave the common receptacle of the dead. Job speaking of a man that is high and eminent in the world vvhile he liveth, shevves that yet vvhen he dieth he [Page 186] shall be brought so low as to be laid in the grave: Who shal declare his way to his face? and who shal re­pay him what he hath done? Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shal remain in the tomb, the clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, &c. Iob 21. 31, 32, 33.

4. This served to make Christs victory over death, & over him that had the power of death, that is, the Devill, the more glorious; that he not only died, but also was buried; death seemed to have ful conquest over Christ, having gotten him into its den, yet even there did Christ vanquish and subdue it: Thus did he most gloriously triumph, fulfilling that, O death, I will be thy plague, O grave, I will be thy destruction, Hos. 13. 14.

Ʋse 1. This point concerning Christs buriall doth make much for the confirming of our faith in Christ, to assure us that our sins are fully expi­ated and abolished by Christ, that as they were nailed to his Crosse, Col. 2. 14. so also buried in his grave, never to rise up against us to our con­demnation. Christ bare our sins in his body on the tree, 1 Pet. 2. 24. Therefore Christ being bu­ried; our sins also were buried with him, so that we being united by faith unto Christ, and having interest in him, we are freed from sin, and needIoh. 1. not fear the imputation of it. Ionah being cast in­to the sea, and buried as it were in the belly of the fish, presently the storm ceased, and the Sea was calm. So Christ being laid in the grave and buried, our consciences, though otherwise by rea­son of the guilt of sin, full of vexation and horror, have good cause to be calm and quiet.

Vse 2. Again, here is good comfort and incou­ragement [Page 187] for us (if we belong to Christ) against the fear of death, and the horrour of the grave. Christ hath grapled with death and the grave, and hath overcome them, and therefore we need not to be afraid of them, Christ having followed death into its den; and there gotten victory over it: we may assure our selves, that though death prevail so far over us, as to draw us into it's den, yet it shall not be able to keep us there, but Christ will make good that which is promised, Hos. 13. 14. I will ransome them from the power of the grave, I wil redeem them from death. So Christ assures us, that the houre is coming in the which all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, Joh. 5. 28. 29. In like manner the Apostle saith, Then shall be brought to passe the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be unto God, who giveth us victory thorough Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor. 15. 54, 55, 56, 57. The graves of the Saints are called beds wherein they lie and rest for a while, but at length arise and come out of them. They shall rest in their beds, Isai, 57. 2. So by Ecclesiasticall writers burying places [...]. Caemite­ria. are expressed by a word that properly signifies pla­ces to sleep in, even as in Scripture death is usu­ally termed sleep.

Vse 3. But if we would have such hope in Christ, in that he was buried, then we must be conformed unto him in respect of his buriall; as he was buried literally, so must we be buried mysti­cally. We are buried with him by baptisme, saith [Page 188] the Apostle, Rom. 6. 4. Our Baptism is a seal of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our communicating with him, and conforming unto him even in his buriall. So Col. 2. 12. Buried with him in baptisme, This is in respect of our old man, as it is called, Rom. 6. 6. that is, our corrupt nature, this must be cruci­fied, mortified and buried, so as not to serve sin, as there the Apostle doth expresse it. Even as a dead body is laid in the ground, and overwhelmed with earth, so the corruption that is in us, must be sub­dued and brought under, that it may not reign in us, nor have dominion over us. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortall body, Rom. 6. 12. The greatest tyrants and oppressours being in the grave, all their tyranny and oppression ceaseth. There the wicked cease from troubling, Joh. 3. 17. So we being in the sense before expressed, by way of analogy and resemblance buried with Christ, sin shall not have that power over us, as over the unregenerate. I say, not so, as over the unregenerate. But we must not think that whiles we are here, we can be so conformed unto Christ, so dead and buried with him as to be without sin, to be quite free from it. No, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our selves 1 Joh. 1. 8. In many things we offend all, Iam. 3. 2. But if we have the spirit of Christ (And if any have not the spirit of Christ, the same is none of his, Rom. 8. 9.) then we are so in a spirituall sense dead and buried with Christ, as not to be un­der the reigning power of sin, and the dominion of it. Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the Law but under grace, Rom. 6. 14.

Again, there is not the like reason of spirituall death and buriall, and of that which it corporall. For corporal death and buriall is finished at once; but not so that which is spirituall; this is done by degrees, by little and little: He that is already dead and buried in a spirituall sense, that is, he whose old man, whose imbred corruption is as it were put to death, and laid in the grave, yet must still die in that kind, and be buried still more and more, because he hath still some reliques of the old man, still some sin and corruption remains in him. The Apostle having said, ye are dead, Col. 3. 3. Yet addes v. 3. Mortifie therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleannesse, &c.

But let us consider this; we professe our selves Christians, Disciples, and followers of Christ, and so consequently dead and buried with him. If then we walk in sin, we make our selves prodigi­ous: for is it not a prodigious thing for one that is dead and buried, yet to walk as if he were alive? O then as we have put on Christ by profession, and so at least all that are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, Gal. 3. 27. Let us also put on Christ by imitation, conforming our selves unto him, and walking as he walked. Of this putting on of Christ the Apostle speaks, and to it he ex­horts saying, Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and in drunkennesse, not in cha [...]bering and wantonnesse, not in strife and envy; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof, Rom. 13. 13, 14.

Vse 4. In the last place, the doctrine of Christs [Page 194] burying may serve for our information. As 1. That it is a Christian course to bury the dead: Nature it self doth teach so much, and much more Christia­nity, that the dead ought to be buried. The Saints have shewed a speciall care to perform their duty in this respect. Sarah being dead, Abraham was very carefull to have her buried. I am a stranger and a sojourner with you (said he to the Hittites) give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight, Gen. 23. 4. And it is observable, that he purchased nothing in the Land of Canaan, but only the place there spo­ken of to bury in. So Stephen being stoned to death, devout men carried him to be buried, Act. 8. 2. It's re­corded of Isaac and Ismael, that when Abraham their Father was dead, they buried him, Gen. 25. 9. And so of Iacob and Esau, that they did the same for Isaac, Gen. 35. 29. Though Ismael and Esau were prophane persons (Gal. 4. 29. Heb. 12. 16.) yet they joyned with Isaac and Jacob, who were godly, in the burying of their Father: that there­fore which we read in the Gospell, that when Christ called one to follow him, and he desired first to go and bury his Father, Christ said, Let the dead bury the dead; That, I say, is not so to be ta­ken, as if Christ did condemn, or vilifie the office of burying the dead, as if this care did not become the godly. For (as the Apostle saith in another1 Tim. 5. [...]. case) He that neglects this, hath denied the faith, and is worse then an infidell, because he omits that which even infidells will be carefull to perform: But it was only the intent and meaning of Christ, to teach that all carnall affections must be laid a­side, [Page 195] and nothing must hinder us from following Christ, when he doth call, nor from doing that which he doth enjoyn. How far Christ was from intending to disparage the office of burying the dead, may appear by that which he spake in de­fence of Mary, whom some excepted against, be­cause of the precious ointment that she had pow­red upon him, saying, that it might better have been sold, and the money given to the poor, Let her alone (said Christ) for against the day of my burying hath she done this, Joh. 12. 7. They are therefore inhumane, who not content with the death of those whom they hate and persecute, wil not suffer them to be buried, or not to rest when they are buried. This indeed is a punishment de­nounced against, and inflicted upon some for the example of others. He shall be buried with the bu­riall of an asse, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem, Jer. 22. 19. Their dead bodies shal be for meat to the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth, Jer. 32. 20. And as Josiah turned himself, he espied the Sepulchers that were there in the mount, and he sent and took the bones out of the Sepulchers, and burnt them upon the Altar, &c. 2 King. 23. 16. God had long before declared, that Josiah should thus deal with the dead bones of Idolaters, 1 Kings 13. 2. But what doth this make for them, who deal thus even with the Saints, whose death is precious in the sight of the Lord? This the Psalmist complains sore of, The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat to the fowls of the heavens, the flesh of thy Saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have [Page 196] they shed like water round about Ierusalem, and there was none to bury them, Psal. 79. 2, 3. Thus barbarously did they of the Romish Church here in the time of Q. Mary deal with those worthy men Bucer and Fagius, they digged up their dead bodies out of their graves, and consumed them in the fire: and this inhumanity have some used towards the dead, out of a desire to revenge them­selves on them to the uttermost; as it is said of Syl­la, that he caused the dead body of Marius his adversary to be digged up. And so Pope Sergius the third is reported to have dealt in like manner with his Predecessour Formosus, whom he hated, because he had gotten the Papal dignity before him.

2. From Christs burying, we may learn that the custome of the Country (having nothing super­stitious, nor uncomely in it) is in this respect to be observed: It is said that for the manner of Christs burying, it was as the manner of the Iews was to bury Joh. 19. 40. Whence Austin observes, that in those offices In hujusmodi officiis, quae mortuis exhibentur, mos [...]ujuslibet regionis est servandus. Aug. that are performed to the dead, the custome of each Countrey is to be observed.

Caution. But concerning buriall, this caution is requisite, not to think any there­fore more aliens from Christ, if they be not buri­ed at all, or but meanly buried; nor therefore to think any the nearer unto Christ, if they have a sumptuous and stately buriall. The Papists are ve­ry superstitious in this, thinking it to concern the welfare of the soul, to be buried rather in one [Page 197] place then in another. Purgatory is the ground of this conceit, but Purgatory it self hath no ground in Scripture for it. The Scripture tels us, that whenEccl. 12. 7. a man dies, as the body goeth to the earth, so the soul goes to God, viz. to be judged by him; nei­ther shal the soul fare better or worse, whether the body be buried or not, or buried after this, or ano­ther manner. We read of the rich mans burying, Luk. 16. yet his soul went to hell: We read not of any buriall that Lazarus had, yet his soul was carried into Abrahams bosome. True it is, the Pa­triarks of old were very solicitous about their burying in the Land of Canaan, though they di­ed out of it, Gen. 47. 29, 30, 31, & 49. 29. &c. And 50. 26. But that was not out of any superstitious opinion that they had, as if the welfare of their souls did depend upon the place where they were buried, but only to shew that they died in faith, being fully assured that God would at length per­form what he had promised, viz. that he would give them (in their posterity) the Land of Cana­an: God will surely visit you, said Joseph, speaking of this very thing, Gen. 50. 25. And besides they looked on Canaan, not as a bare earthly Countrey, but as a type of heaven. To conclude therefore, let it be our care to live and to die in faith, and then however it fare with us in respect of buriall, we are happy, our souls enter into [...]lisse immedi­ately, 2 Cor. 5. 1. And so also shall our bodias at length be made par [...]akers of it, 1 Cor. 15. 53.


PSA. 16. 10. Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.’

THe Article of Christs descending into hell, is grounded upon this Text, wherein as S. Pe­ter shews, Act. 2. 25. &c. David spake concerning Christ. And therefore Austin mightQuis nisi infidelis nega­verit fuisse apud inferos Christum? Aug. Epist. 99. wel say, who but an infidel wil de­ny that Christ was in hell? For this, that Christs soul should not be left in hell, doth necessarily pre­suppose that his soul was in hell: For it is most irrational and absurd, to say that one shall be left there, where he never was, nor should be. All therefore (as Bellarmine observes)Omnes conveniunt, quòd Christus aliquo modo ad in­feros descenderit. Bell. de Christi anima lib. 4. cap. 6. agree in this, that Christ some way, in one sense or other, was in hell. But for the manner how Christ was in hell, there is much diffe­rence among Divines; and all arises from the word hell, which some take in one sense, and some in another, I shall as briefly, and perspicuously as I [Page 199] may set down the several opinions, that there are about this point, confuting those which I hold to be erroneous, and confirming that which I judge to be true.

First therefore, because the word Hell is some­timesThe first opinion a­bout Christs descending into hell. in Scripture used metaphorically, for most great & grievous affliction, which is indured here in this life, (the sorrows of hell compassed me about, saies David, Psal. 18. 5. So Psal. 116. 3. The pains of hell got hold on me.) Some by Christs descending into hell spoken of in the Creed, understand the inward sufferings of Christs soul, which of all his sufferings were most grievous. But to omit other arguments against this opinion, it is sufficiently overthrown by this, that these words of David (Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell) as cited and expounded by Peter in the second of the Acts, are the ground of that Article in the Creed; for else it hath no ground in Scripture, as I think I am sure, there is no place which doth so clearly hold out unto us by necessary consequence Christs be­ing in hell, as this doth. And therefore though Calvin, (a prime Author of this first opinion, and a man most deservedly renowned in the Church of God) spake consentaneously to his opinion, when in his Commentary upon this sixteenth Psalm, he liked not that upon occasion of these words of David, any should fall upon the point of Christs descending into hell, which is mentioned in the Creed, yet I can by no means assent unto him. For if not these words of David which we have now in hand, no place in all the Scripture (I dare say) will afford occasion to treat of the Article. But it [Page 200] appears that Calvin (being a man very acute) did well perceive that these words of David, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, as commented upon Act. 2. will not admit, that Christs descending in­to hell should be expounded of the sufferings of Christs soul. For by hell in the words of David, must needs be meant something that con­cerned Christ when he was dead: Peter tells us that in those words (Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell) David spake of the Resurrection of Christ, Act. 2. 31. Now if this, that Christs soul should not be left in hell, import that Christ should rise from the dead, then it must necessarily follow, that Christs being in hell, which is impli­ed in Davids words, imports something that con­cerned him being dead: And consequently the sufferings of Christs soul, which were before his death, cannot be meant by it.

Secondly, the Papists take hell here for Lim­bus The se­cond opi­nion. Patrum, as they call it, a place where they say the souls of the godly that died before Christ, were. For they divide hell into four severall re­gions, 1. The hell of the damned, the place of e­ternall torment, 2. Purgatory, where they say the souls of such are as were not sufficiently purged from their sins, whiles they were upon earth, and therefore for the thorough purging of them, are there in torment equall for the time to that of the damned, 3. Limbus Infantium, a place where they place such Infants as die without baptisme, whom they make to suffer the losse of heaven and heavenly happinesse, but no pain or torment, 4. Limbus Patrum, where in like manner the Fathers [Page 201] before Christ (as they hold) were, suffering no pain, but only wanting the joys of heaven. To that place (say they) did Christs soul when it was se­parated from his body, descend, to deliver the souls from thence, and to carry them to heaven; this is their opinion, and their exposition of the Article of Christs descending into hell.

But not now to contest with them about those other regions of hell, viz. Purgatory and Limbus Infantium, as for this Limbus Patrum, it is a place of their own devising, we see no ground for it in Scripture, but strong reasons against it. For 1. Christs death was efficacious to believers before his coming, as well as it is now since his coming. Jesus Christ yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever, Heb. 13. 8. We believe that thorough the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved even as they, said Peter, speaking of those that were before Christ. He doth but equall us to them in point of salvation thorough Christ.

2. The faithfull before Christ did account this life upon earth a pilgrimage, and did expect hea­ven as their country, when this life was ended. These all died in faith (it is spoken of Abraham I­saac and Jacob) having not received the promises (that is, the things promised) but saw them afar off, and were perswaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a Countrey. And truly if they had been mindfull of that country, from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that [Page 202] is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a City, Heb. 11. 11. 14, 15, 16.

3. Abrahams bosome (as the place is called, where the souls of the godly were before Christ) could be no such place as that which they call Limbus Patrum. For 1. Lazarus was carried thi­ther by Angels, Luk. 16. 22. But Angels (the good Angels, as they were) should rather carry to heaven then to hell, as they make their Lim­bus to be. 2. It was a place of com­fort, Luk. 16. 25. But where hellNondum inveni, & adhuc quaero, nec mihi occurit In­feros alicubi in bono posuis­se Scripturam duntaxat Ca­nonicam, non autem in bo­no accipiendum sinum Abra­hae, & illam requiem, quò ab angelis pius pauper ab­latus est, nescio utrùm quisquam possit audire. Aug. de Gen. ad lit. l. 12. c. 33. in Scripture is taken for a place of comfort, let them look: Augustine confesseth that he did seek, but could not find it; and thought this a good argument, why by hell should not be meant Abrahams bosom. 3. There was a great space, a great gulfe betwixt the place cal­led Abrahams bosome where La­zarus was, and the place of torment where the rich man was, Luk. 16. 26. Whence also Austin inferreth that Abrahams bosome is no part, and as it were a mem­berIn his ipsis tanti magistri verbis, ubi ait dixisse A­braham, Inter vos & nos Chaos magnum firmatum est, satis, ut opinor, ipparet, non esse quandam partem, & quasi membrum inferorum tantae illius faelicitatis si­num. Aug. Epist. 99. Jan­sen. Concord. cap. 97. of hell, which the Papists make it to be. Jansenius a learned Papist (being much more ingenious then Bellarmine, and Gregory Martin, who would gladly fasten upon Austin that which is quite contra­ry to his meaning) confesseth that Austin by discourse and argumen­tation [Page 303] did gather, that Abrahams bosome was no part of hell; neither doth he, nor any other that I know, indeavour to answer the reasons that in­duced Austine to be of this judgement.

4. Christ promised to the believing thief, say­ing, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Now Bellarmine himselfe (handling anotherBellar. de Beatitud. Sanct. l. 1. c. 3. point) holds Paradise there to be heaven, as the word is used; 2 Cor. 12. 4. compared with v. 2. Now how doth this stand with that assertion of theirs, that the souls of the Saints were not in heaven untill Christs ascension? or that Christs soul went to Limbus, a place very farre distant and different from heaven? Some say, that the Thief to whom Christ spake, descended with Christ into Limbus, and that it was then Paradise when Christ was there: But this (as a reverend Author saith well)B. Ʋsher of Christs descent in­to hell. Bellar. de beat. Sanc. l. 1. c. 6. is to turn the third heaven into the third or fourth hell.

5. Bellarmine proves that the faithfull now since the coming of Christ; go immediately af­ter death to heaven, (except Purgatory stop them a while) and that because God is not more prone and ready to punish, then he is to reward; there­fore seeing the wicked go immediately to hell, there is no reason to conceive but that the godly go immediately to heaven. And that the wick­ed when they die go immediately to hell, he proves by the example of the rich man mention­ed Luk. 16. Now if this argument be of force, (as I grant it is) then it proves as much for the faithfull that were before Christ: For that of the rich man, Luk. 16. shewes that then (before [Page 204] Christs death) the wicked immediately after death went to hell, where the damned are in tor­ment; and neither will the Papists however de­ny that. And therefore why should they deny that the godly then did go immediately to hea­ven, God being no lesse ready to reward, then to punish? These reasons there are against that Limbus which they speak of, and so against their Exposition of the Article of Christs descending into hell: But some Objections they make, which are to be answered.

Object. They object that Gen. 37. 53. I will go down to the grave (to hell, as they read it) to my Son, &c. Thus spake Iacob concerning his son Joseph, when his brethren had sold him, and made Jacob believe that some wild beast had devoured him. The Hebrew word there used viz. Sheol, which we sometimes translate grave, somtimes hell, they say cannot there signifie grave, but must signifie hell, viz. that part of hell, which they call Limbus Patrum; Jacobs meaning (say they) was that he would go mourning thither, whither Jo­seph (as he supposed) was gone before him: And they prove that the grave cannot there be meant, because Jacob imagined Ioseph torne in pie­ces by some wild beast, and so not to have been buried.

Answ. But this place makes nothing for their purpose; all that Iacob meant was, that in vain did they go about to comfort him, for he would not be comforted, but would mourn unto death, even as Joseph (he thought) was dead: It's not unusuall for those that mourn for their friends [Page 205] being dead, to say that they will go unto them,Aben Ez­rae a Jew­ish Rabbin doth upon that very place Gen. 37. 33. re­prove them that take Sheol for hell. See B. Ush­er of Christs descent. meaning that they also will die as they died: As for the word Sheol, it signifies the estate of the dead, (as hereafter I shall shew) and so the grave, yet not properly an artificiall grave, but a natu­rall grave, such an one as nature one way or o­ther doth provide for every one, whatsoever the manner of his death be. It's reported of the Hyr­canians, that they were so barbarous, as to cast dead bodies unto doggs to be devoured: And that thereupon Diogenes used to say, that if he were torne in pieces by dogs, yet he should have an Hyrcanian buriall; so if Ioseph had been de­voured by a wild beast, the very belly of the beast had been a grave unto him.

Object. But again, they object likewise that Joh. 14. 2. I go to prepare a place for you; thence they infer, that before Christs ascension none did go to heaven.

Answ. But this inference is not good; for (as was shewed before) Christs death, and so his resurrection and his ascension was effectuall from the beginning; as by vertue of Christs death the faithfull that were before Christ, had their sins re­mitted, so also by vertue of his ascension did they go to heaven.

Object. But (say they againe) the Scripture plainly tells us, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first Taber­nacle was yet standing; therefore during that time none did go to heaven.

Answ. This doth not follow; the meaning of those words is only this, (as Aquinas himselfAcquin. ad loc. [Page 206] doth expound them) that Christ who is the way, as he stiles himself, Ioh. 14. 6. was not then in the time of the Law so clearly revealed, as now he is in the time of the Gospell; before he was set forth more darkly under types and figures, but now is plainly preached. And so much for this second Opinion touching Christs descent in­to hell.

Thirdly, some taking the word hell for theThe third Opinion. hell of the damned, the [...]ace where the damned are in torment, (which is the most usuall accep­tion of our English word hell) conceive and main­tain, that when Christ died his soul went thither, there to triumph over Satan in his own Palace; and this they hold to be the meaning of that in the Creed, He descended into hell: But that ever Christ was in that hell, I can make no part of my Creed; for I see nothing in Scripture (upon which faith must be grounded) for it, but much against it.

1. The Hebrew word Sheol, and the Greek word Hades, which are translated hell, do not properly signifie the hell of the damned, but are of a more large extent, as I shall shew here­after.

2. The foure Evangelists (as we use to call them) Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, writing professedly the History of our Saviour Christ from his Incarnation to his Ascension, do neither directly, nor by consequence, neither expressely nor implicitely record any such thing as his go­ing to hell, as hell is taken for the place of tor­ment. And it is observable, that S. Luke in his [Page 207] Preface to his Gospell tells Theophilus, that he did write unto him that he might know the cer­tainty of those things wherein he had been in­structed, Luke 1. 4. wherein he had been catechi­sed, as according to the Originall it doth sound; [...]. so that Christs descending into hell in this sense, whereof S. Luke makes no mention, was no part of Theophilus his Catechism.

3. S. Paul rehearsing the chiefe heads of the Gospel which he preached to the Corinthians, mentioneth Christs death and buriall, and his resurrection, 1 Cor. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4. but for his going to hell according to this Exposition, he neither expresseth nor implyeth any such matter. So that it was no part of the Gospell which Paul preach­ed to the Corinthians, and yet there was no defi­ciency in his preaching, it was sufficient to save them, v. 2.

4. These words of the Text in hand, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, together with S. Peters comment upon them, Acts 2. shew, that by hell is not to be understood the hell of the damned, according to this Exposition.

For, 1. It is spoken of as a great benefit, a mat­ter of joy and rejoycing, that Christs soul was not left in hell; Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory [my tongue, Acts 2. 26.] rejoyced: my flesh also shall rest in hope; for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, &c. Psal. 16. 9, 10. But is it to be ac­counted such a benefit, such a matter of joy and gladnesse for one not to be left in that place, to which he goeth to that end that he may triumph over his adversaries whom he hath conquered? [Page 208] as they that imbrace this Exposition say that Christ went to the hell of the damned, there to triumph over the Devills.

2. S. Peter, Acts 2. 31. saith, David in these words, Thou wilt not leave my soule in hell, did speak of Christs Resurrection, and so to that pur­pose to prove the Resurrection of Christ, S. Paul Acts 13. 35. doth cite the later part of the Verse, Thou wilt not suffer thy holy one to see corrup­tion. But Christs Resurrection though it presup­pose his being in hell in some sense, yet not in that sense as hell is taken for the place where the damned are in torment: Christ might well enough as he did, rise againe, and yet never be in that hell.

3. That hell that Christ was not left in, David was left in, else S. Peter could not argue as he doth, that David in these words, Thou wilt not leave my soule in hell, spake of Christ, and not of himselfe; for that the words being understood of David are not true, but most true as under­stood of Christ: Men and brethren, said Peter to the Jews, let me freely speak unto you of the Patriarch David, that he is both dead, buried, and his Sepulchre remaineth with us to this day; there­fore being a Prophet, and knowing that God had sworne with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loines according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit upon his Throne; He seeing this before, spake of the Resurrection of Christ, that his soul should not be left in hell, nor his flesh see corruption, Acts 2. 29, 30, 31. By Davids Sepulchre remaining with them, to that day, S. Peter means that David was left in [Page 209] the hell which he speaks of, and therefore did not speak of himself, but of Christ, who was not left in it. So S. Paul having cited the words im­mediately following these of the Text, Thou shalt not suffer thy holy one to see corruption, he also pro­veth that this was meant of Christ, and not of David; For David (saith he) after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid with his fathers, and saw corruption: But he whom God raised again, saw no corruption, Acts 13. 35, 36, 37. David spake not of himself, but of Christ, when he said, Thou wilt not suffer thy holy one to see corruption, because David did see corruption, but Christ did not see it; so David spake not of himself, but of Christ, when he said, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; because Davids soul was left in hell, but Christs soul was not left in it: This is the Apostles argument, which ne­cessarily evinceth, that by hell here spoken of, is meant some other thing then the place of tor­ment; for Davids soule was not left in that hell, it never came into it; that hell belonging not to the godly and elect, but to the wicked and re­probate: Therefore neither is this the hell in which (as the words imply) Christs soule was for a while, though it did not remaine there.

5. This Exposition of Christs descending into the hell of the damned there to triumph, makes his descending into hell a part of his exaltation; for it's ones exaltation to triumph over his ene­mies. But Christs descending into hell expressed in the Creed, and intimated in the Scripture, was [Page 210] a part of his humiliation. Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: surely it was a part of Christs humili­ation to be there, seeing he speaks of it as a bene­fit, and an argument of his joy and gladnesse (as before noted) that he was not to be left there. Be­sides, Christs Resurrection was the beginning, and [...]. Euseb. Demonst. Evang. lib. 10. the first step of his exaltation, & therefore what went before his Resurrection, as his descending into hell did, belonged to his humiliation. The Apostle saith that Christ humbled himself, and be­came obedient unto death, even the death of the Crosse, Phil. 2. 8. And it is unquestionable, that Christs death was a part, and a chief part of his humiliation. Therefore so long as he remained dead, that is, untill his Resurrection, he was in the estate of humiliation.

6. It appears by Scripture, that when Christ di­ed his soul went to heaven, and therefore not to hell, as taken for the place of torment, which is most opposite and contrary unto heaven. This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise, said Christ to the penitent malefactour. Therefore Christs soul being separated from his body, went to Paradise, which is all one with the third [that is, the high­est] heaven, as was before shewed. Some answer that Christ meant of himself in respect of his di­vine nature, which is in all places, and in Paradise or heaven in a more especiall manner; in that respect (they say) Christ did promise the repen­tant thief that he should be with him that day in Paradise. But first, Bellarmine doth well refell thisBellar. de Beatitud. Sanct. l. 1. c. 3. answer; for that Christ promised that the thiefe should be where he was; but in respect of his di­vine [Page 211] nature, Christ was with the thief here in this world, even then when he played the thief; so that in this sense Christ in those words (with me) had promised no new thing unto him. 2. The word of Christ cannot without doing violence unto them be otherwise taken, then to import this, that as the thief was then in respect of the body, part­ner with Christ in pain and torment, so that same day both their souls should be together, where they should injoy blisse and happinesse. Some therefore yeelding that those words, with me, have reference to Christ in respect of his soul, say that Christs soul betwixt his death and his Resurrection, might be both in heaven, and in hell the place of torment, one while in the one, another while in the other. But this is a groundlesse conjecture, the Scripture Act. 2. clear­lyVidetur quòd us­que ad ho­ram resur­rectionis. manserit in inferno. A­quinas part. 3. qu. 5. art. 4. enough sheweth, that Christs soul from the time of his death was in the hell that it speaks of, untill the time of his Resurrection. Again, some of the ancients do not without cause infer from those words of Christ, which he spake when he gave up the Ghost, Father into thy hands I com­mend my spirit. For though Christs soul even in the hell of the damned, might yet be said to be in the hands of the Father, yet muchEusebius Emisenus, [...]. Juenricus. Tunc clamor Do­mini magno conamine mis­sus, Aetheriis animam co­mitem commiscuit auris. rather might it be said to be in his hands, being in heaven.

Some arguments used in de­fence of this opinion are to be an­swered.

Ob. As first that drawn from Mat. 12. 40. As Jonas was three [Page 212] daies and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the son of man be three daies and three nights in the heart of the earth: Here by the heart of the earth, they understand hell, the hell of the damned, which they suppose to be in the heart, or midst of the earth. The Papists also make use of this place for their Limbus before spoken of: but it makes for neither opinion. For 1. The Scripture doth not declare where hell (the placeQui ignis (gehennae) cujus­modi, & in quâ mundi, vel regionum parte futurus▪ sit, hominem arbitror scire neminem, nisi fortè cui Spi­ritus divinus ostendit. Aug. de Civ, Dei lib. 20. cap. 16. of torment, to which the Papists make their Limbus to be conti­guous) is seated. Austin speaking of the fire of hell, saith, that he supposed no man could tell of what kind it is, or in what part of the world, except perhaps Gods spirit did reveal it. 2. In those words of Christ which are objected, by the heart of the earth is meant the grave. For Christs abiding so long in the heart of the earth, was to be a sign to the Jews (as the context sheweth) therefore it was to be a thing apparent unto them, which his abiding so long in the grave was, but not his abiding so long either in Limb, or in the hell of the damned. For if ever Christ were there, yet it was more then the Jews could see, but they might see that at such a time he was laid in the grave, and that he conti­nued there untill such a time after.

Ob. Against this it is objected, That the heart is put for the midst of a thing, and therefore the grave being not the midst of the earth, cannot be the heart of it.

Answ. But in the Scripture that part of a thing [Page 213] which is betwixt the extremes, though it be not equally distant from the extremes, is called the midst, or the heart, Ezek. 14. 14. 16. 18. 20. where its said, if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, &c. in the originall it is word for word, in the midst of [...] it; where by the midst of the Land is not meant precisely the middle part of the Land, but any place within it. S [...] Ezek. 27. 4. Tyrus is said to be in the midst of the sea; in the originall (as the mar­gent notes) it is, in the heart of the sea. Yet this heart or midst of the sea was not exactly the mid­dle of it; for Tyrus as it is said there v. 3. was si­tuate at the entry of the sea.

Ob. But Bellarmine yet further objects, that Christs sepulcher seems to have been above the earth, and not at all within it, because it was hewn out of a rock, as the Scripture telleth us.

Answ. But this hindreth not why it might not be within the earth; and that it was so, the Scrip­ture sheweth, relating how a great stone was rol­led to the mouth of the sepulcher, Mat. 27. 60. and that John stooped down to look into the se­pulcher, Ioh. 20. 5. These circumstances argue that the sepulcher was beneath in the earth, and there­fore might well be called the heart of the earth.

Ob. Again they argue from Ephes. 4. 9. where it is said, That Christ descended into the lower parts of the earth, which some will have to signifie hell, the place of torment, and the Papists will have Limbus Patrum to be meant.

Answ. But 1. why the lower parts of the earth [Page 214] should denote the hell of the damned, or Limbus Patrum (if there had been any such place at all) I do not see, it being unknown to us [as I said be­fore] where that hell is seated. 2. Therefore Ca­jetans exposition is much better, that by the lower parts of the earth Ad inferiores partes ter­rae, i. e. ad inferiorem par­tem mundi, terram, Cajet. ad loc. Comparatur non u­na pars terrae cum altera, sed tota terra cum caelo, acsi diceret, ex sede tam excelsâ in hoc nostrum Barathrum descendisse. Calvin. ad loc. is meant the earth, which is the lower part of the world, heaven being the higher part of it. This ex­position doth wel agree with the A­postles argument which he there useth, This that he ascended, what is it, but that he also descended first in­to the lower parts of the earth?

Before Christ could ascend into heaven, it was necessary that he should descend to the earth by his Incarnation; but there was no necessity of his descending either to the hell of the damned, or to Limbus Patrum before his Ascension into hea­ven: he might well ascend thither, though he did never descend to either of those places. 3. If by the lower parts of the earth, it be not meet to under­stand the whole earth, as being the lower part of the world, but that some certain parts of the earth lower then the rest must be understood, then most fitly thereby is understood the grave, into which Christ deseended. The grave is called the lower parts of the earth (that is, one of the lower parts, as Iudg. 12. 7. it's said, Iephtah was buried in the Cities of Gilead, that is, in one of the Cities) in opposition to the surface on upper part of the earth, on which we live. Thus Ezek. [Page 215] 32. 18. by the nether parts of the earth are meant graves, as it is expressed v. 23.

Object. But againe, some alledge that Rom. 10. 7. Who shall descend into the deep? that is to bring up Christ againe from the dead: where the Apostle insinuates that Christ being dead was in the deep; and by the deep is some­times meant hell the place of torment, as Luk. 8. 31. where it is said, that the Devills be­sought Christ, That he would not command them to goe out into the deep. And so Re­vel. 9. 1. and 20. 1. where the same word in the Originall is used, but is rendred bot­tomelesse pit. Some therefore from those words of the Apostle, draw an argument to prove that when Christ died, his soule went to hell, where the damned are in torment.

Answ. But though the word which the Apo­stle useth, be somtimes taken in that sense, it fol­loweth not that it must be so taken here, it be­ing not the proper signification of the word, nor any thing appearing to restrain it here to that sense: The Apostle there, I grant, doth imply that Christ was in the deep when he was dead, but by the deep I see not why we should under­stand any other thing then death, or the grave, which like a great deep doth swallow up that [...] LXX. [...]. which falls into it; Thou shalt bring me again (saith David) from the depths of the earth, Psal. 71. 20. that is, from death, or from the grave, as appears by the words immediately before, thou shalt quicken me. So Psal. 88. 6. Thou hast laid me [Page 216] in the lowest pit, in darknesse, in the deeps; where [...] LXX. [...]. in the Originall is used another word, but of like signification, and what he means by being laid in the deeps, we may see by that in the Verse going before, Free among the dead, like the slaine that lie in the grave: And the Septuagint there for in the deeps, have in the shadow of death. And so much for the third Opinion about the mean­ing of the Article of Christs descending into hell.


FOurthly, some by hell, where Christs being inThe fourth O­pinion. hell is spoken of, understand the grave: In this sense divers both ancient and modern Wri­ters take it. And it is observed, that in all the ancient Creeds that wereRuffin. in Symb. Scien­dum san [...] est, quòd in Ecclesiae Romanae symbolo non habetur additum, descendit ad inferna; sed neque in orientis Ec­clesiis habetur hic Sermo. Vis tamen verbi eadem videtur esse in eo quòd se­pultus dicitur. See B. U­sher, who hath many testi­monies of the ancients to this purpose. within 600. years after Christ, ex­cept one, which Ruffinus followed, if Christs buriall be mentioned, then his descending into hell is not men­tioned; and if his descending into hell be mentioned, then his buriall is not mentioned. See to this pur­pose Athanasius his Creed, and the Nicene Creed, which are both to be found in the Book of Com­mon-Prayer. This argues, that the ancients did take Christs buriall and his descending into hell to import both one thing, and therefore they thought it sufficient to mention either the one or the other, and Ruffinus mentioning both, yet thinketh the one to differ nothing from the o­ther. Certain it is, that Sheol and Hades, which words are rendred hell, are often used for the [Page 218] grave, which though some of the Papists either ignorantly or impudently deny, yet some ofGenebr. in Symb. A­thanas. them again do acknowledge it, and one (name­ly Genebrard) otherwise none of the modestest and most ingenuous among them, Gen. 42. 38. If mischief befall him by the way, in the which you go, then you shall bring down my gray [...]airs with sorrow to the grave. The word there rendred grave is Sheol, which in the Text is rendred hell; and so it's the same word that is used Gen. 44. 29. 31. where it is likewise translated grave. And in these places the grave must needs be meant; for to the grave and to no other hell do gray haires (mentioned in those same places) go down: So by the same reason the word signifies the grave, 1 King. 2. 6. Let not his hoare head go downe to (Sheol, that is) the grave in peace. And v. 9. But his hoare head bring down to (Sheol, i. e.) the grave with blood. So Job 17. 13. If I wait, the grave (in the Originall it is Sheol) is mine house; that the grave is there meant, appears by v. 14. I have said to corruption, thou art my Father, to the worm, thou art my mother and my sister. And Psal. 141. Our bones are scattered at the graves mouth. In the Hebrew is Sheol, which can there signifie nothing but the grave, though the Vulgar Latine Transla­tor there have secus infernum, near hell, as the English Papists at Doway render it, yet Genebrard upon the place expounds it, juxta sepulchrum, by the grave: For how should bones lie scattered by any other hell then that? Psal. 6. 5. In the grave [Sheol also is there in the Originall] who shall give thee thanks? That Sheol is there rightly ren­dred [Page 219] the grave, appeares by that parallel place, Psal. 88. 11. Shall thy loving kind­nesse be deelared in the grave? Where the Hebrew word is Keber, which onely signifieth the grave. And by that word Keber do the So R. So­lomon ex­pounds it, Gen. 37. 35. And so also there A­ben Ezra. So like­wise R. Le­vi, 2 Sam. 22. 6. Jewish Rabbines usually expound the word Sheol, which in the Text and in other places is rendred hell.

Ob. But it is objected, that in these words, Thou wilt not leave my soule in hell., the grave cannot be meant by hell; because here the Scripture speaks of Christs soule not being left in hell, whereas it is not the soul, but the body that is in the grave.

Answ. To this it is answered, that some lear­ned Papists themselves in these words, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, by hell understand the grave, and by soul the body. And therefore Bel­larmine & others had no reason to exagitate Beza * See B. Vsher whocites Pagnine, Vatablus, Arias Montanus, and Isido­rus Clari­us. for interpreting those words in that manner. But may some say, Is the soul sometimes put for the body? I answer, yes that it is, Gen. 46. 26. All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, &c. There by souls are meant bo­dies; for according to the opinion generally re­ceived of Papists and Protestants, the bodies and not the souls of children are from the loins of their parents. If any shall say, that there in that place of Genesis, by souls, are meant persons, who are called souls, the part, (and that the better part) being put for the whole: I reply, 1. That yet the persons there are called souls in respect of their bodies; for that in respect of them it was [Page 218] [...] [Page 219] [...] [Page 220] that they came out of Jacobs loins. 2. That the same may be said here, that soul is put for the per­son, whereof the soul is a part, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, that is, thou wilt not leave me in hell, where by hell may still be meant the grave.

But some may yet further inquire and say, Is the body alone, when the soul is departed out of it, any where in Scripture called soule? I answer, yes it is, Levit. 21. 1. There shall none be defiled for the dead, &c. In the origi­nall the word rendred the dead, is Nephesh, [...] which in the Text, and usually, is rendred soul. The same word also is used for a dead body, Num. 19. 13. Whosoever toucheth the dead body of [...] Bellar. de Christo lib. 4. cap. 12. any man, &c. Bellarmine answers, that there is great difference betwixt the Hebrew word Nephesh, and the Greek word (used Act. 2.) Psyche, for that Psyche, and so the Latin word anima (he saith) is not of so large ac­ception as Nephesh: but nothing could be said more absurd then this is. For as here in the Text the Hebrew word Nephesh is in Greek rendred Psyche, that is, soul; even so is it also in those other places, to wit, Le­vit. 21. 1. Num. 19. 13. where Bellarmine con­fesseth Nephesh to signifie either the whole man, or the body apart by it self; the same must there­fore necessarily be confessed of the Greek word Psyche. And thus also sometimes is the Latin word anima used, to wit, for the body when it is dead, as in that of the Prince of Latin Poets,—Virgil. animam (que) sepulchro Condimus, that is word for [Page 221] word, And we lay the soul in the sepulcher, where by the soul must needs be meant the dead body. Austin useth a fit similitude where­by to illustrate the reason why theSicut appellamus Ecclesi­am, Basilicam, quâ conti­netur populus, qui verè ap­pellatur Ecclesia, ut nomi­ne Ecclesiae, id est, populi, qui continetur, significe­mus locum qui continet. Ita quòd animae corpori­bus continentur, intelligi corpora filiorum per nomi­natas animas (Gen. 46. 26.) possunt. Sic enim me­lius accipitur etiam il­lud, quod Lex inquinari dicit cum, qui intraverit super animam mortuam, hoc est, super defuncti ca­daver; ut nomine animae mortuae mortuum corpus intelligatur, quod animam continebat; quia & ab­sente populo, id est, Eccle­siâ, locus tamen ille nibi­lominus ecclesia nuncupa­tur. Aug. Epist. 57. ad Optat. soul is sometimes taken for the bo­dy, and that even when the soul is departed from it. As we common­ly call the place where the people of God assemble together for reli­gious exercises, the Church, when­as properly the people themselves are the Church. So the soul con­tained in the body, is put for the body in which it is contained. And as the place is called the Church, e­ven when the people (which is in­deed the Church) is out of it. So also the soul is sometimes put for the body, even when the body is dead, and the soul separated from it.

Ob. But against this exposition it is objected, that in the Creed Christs buriall is spoken of before, and that plainly, and therefore it is not probable that it should be mentioned over again, and that in such obscure words as these, he descended into hell.

Answ. This objection seems to be of much force, and in this respect I am inclined to think, that the meaning of these words, he descended in­to hell, is not the same with that which went im­mediately before, and buried, but that something [Page 222] more is signified in Christs descending into hell, then in his buriall; yet they that follow this Ex­position do not altogether want what to answer to the Objection. For, 1. When as anciently (as before I noted) only one of these (either Christs buriall or his descending into hell) was men­tioned in the Creed, it might so come to passe, that afterward both were joyned together, and yet the same thing be signified by them. 2. Christs funeration or preparing for his bury­ing, may be understood in the Creed by the wordSee. B. Usher. buried; She did it for my burial, so we read Christs words, Mat. 26. 12. where be speaks of the wo­man [...]. that powred ointment upon him. The words in the Originall, which are rendred, for my buriall, properly signifie, to prepare me for buriall. And by Christs descending into hell, may be meant his interring, or laying in the grave. 3. If these answers do not satisfie, as I confesse I am not satisfied with them, it may be said, (and so some do interpret their meaning) that they who expound those words, Thou wilt not leave my Ames. in Bel. Ener. soul in hell, so as by hell to understand the grave, do not by Christs being in hell, or descending in­to hell simply understand his be laid in the grave, [which is his buriall] but his abiding in the state of death, which in respect of the body, was his abiding in the grave: But this last answer falls into another Exposition of Christs descen­ding into hell, which though it be neare a-kin to this last mentioned, yet is distinct from it.The fifth Opinion.

Fifthly, therefore some by Christs being in hell understand his being in the state of the dead, and [Page 223] under the power and dominion of death. And this I hold the best and most genuine Exposition of these words, Thou wilt not leave my soule in hell, that is, thou wilt not leave me in the state of the dead, or under the power of death, but wilt raise me againe from the dead. And so con­sequently the Article of Christs descending into hell (whereof these words are the foundation) imports no more, but that Christ went into the other world, was in the state of the dead, and under deaths dominion, to wit, untill his Resur­rection. This Exposition keeps the propriety of the words, and the order of the Creed, neither is there any thing that I know of weight against it. The Hebrew word Sheol, and the Greek Hades, which are rendred sometimes hell, do signifie the estate of the dead, or the power of death; Hell and destruction are before the Lord, Prov. 15. 11. Jansenius a learned Writer of the Church of Rome, upon the place notes, that by hell and destructionPer infernum & perditionem significatur status mortuorum, & non solum damnatorum, ut nos ferè ex his vocibus auditis concipimus, sed in genere status defunctorum. Jansen. ad loc. is signified the state of the dead, and not onely of the damned, as we usually when we hear these words, do con­ceive, but the state of those in generall that are departed out of this life. Thus also Genebrard another Romish Author, and a skilfull Hebritian, on Psal. 30. 3. (as we reckon)Ab infer­no, id est, è statu mor­tuorum liberasti. Geneb. ad loc. where David sayes, O Lord thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol, (hell, our Translators have, the grave) Genebrard I say interprets it thus: From hell, that is, out of the state of the dead hast thou de­livered [Page 224] me. And so that Psal. 89. 48. What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? and shall he deliver his soul from the hand of Sheol, of hell? So Viz. That in the Booke of Com­mon-Prayer. Infernus significat totum mortuo­rum sta­tum. Gen. ad loc. one of our Translations hath it, the last Transla­tion hath of the grave; that likewise doth Gene­brard expound in like manner, though first he would draw it to their fained Limbus before­mentioned, yet upon second thoughts (which use to be wiser) he addes, Hell doth signifie the whole state of the dead.

And it is evident, that by hell there, cannot be meant the hell of the damned; for David would not make it a thing impossible for any to escape that hell, as he doth make it for any to escape the hell that he speaketh of: Therefore by hell he must needs mean either the grave (and then the word [soul] is not taken properly) or the state of the state of the▪ dead, from which without ex­traordinary dispensation, none is exempted. Thus also is the Greek word Hades used, 1 Cor. 15. 55. O Hades, [O hell, so our Translators in the Margent render it, though the Textuall reading be, O grave] where is thy victory? There is no o­ther hell, but the state of the dead, and the pow­er of death, which is vanquished and destroyed at and by the Resurrection, of which the Apostle there speaketh. So Rev. 20. 16. Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, that is, death and the power of death: For the hell of the dam­ned, the place of torment, cannot there be meant by hell, that hell being the lake of fire, into which hell, there spoken of, is cast: The meaning of the words is, that at the Resurrection there [Page 225] shall be no more death, nor any power of death any where, but only in that lake of fire, the place where the damned are in torment, whose condi­tion because of the wretchednesse of it, is called death, the second death, Rev. 20. 6. And thus both Ecclesiasticall and Heathen Authors do use the word Hades, making all that are dead, and so under the power of death, to be [...], in in­ferno, See B. U­sher. in hell, as we English it. And thus have some of the ancients expounded Christs descending into hell. This is the Law of humane necessity, (saith Hila­ry)Humanae ista Lex necessitatis, ut consepultis corporibus ad inferos animae descendant. Quam de­scensionem Dominus ad consum­mationem veri hominis non re­cusavit. Hil. in Psal. 138. that when the bodies are bu­ried, the souls descend into hell, [he means by hell, the state of the dead in generall, and the power of death keeping the soul separated from the body] which descent, the Lord [Christ] to prove himself true man, did not re­fuse; in like manner other of the Ancients. S. Pe­ters words also do confirm this Exposition, Acts 2. 24. where speaking of Christ he saith, Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden by it. The word in the Originall signifies to be hol­den [...] by force and strong hand, to be holden under ones power and dominion. And to prove that Christ could not possibly be thus held by death, he alledgeth the testimony of the Prophet David, who speaking in the Person of Christ, said, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: So that by Peters Commentary upon these words of David, it ap­pears [Page 226] that Christs not being left in hell signifies nothing els but his not being left under the pow­er of death, from which he was freed by his Resurrection, of which Peter saith that David did speak in those words, Acts 2. 31. And conse­quently Christs being in hell (which is implied in these words of David, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, and expressed in the Creed) imports nothing els but his being under the power of death, under which he was kept for a while, though not long. So that of S. Paul, Rom. 6. 9. Christ being risen from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him; that also intimates that Christ being dead, untill he rose from the dead, death had dominion over him, not whe­ther he would or no, but through his own per­mission, Joh. 10. 18.

Ob. But may some say, according to this Ex­position, there is nothing more signified in the Article of Christs descending into hell, then in the other that he died.

Answ. I answer: Yes, there is more signified in the one, then in the other: For that Christ died, imports only that his soul was separated from his bodie; but, that he descended into hell, im­ports that his soule and bodie continued for a while in the state of separation, to wit, untill his Resurrection, when they were again united one to the other. Such difference as there is betwixtB. Usher. birth and life here, such also is there betwixt death and descending into hell: Death performs its work in a moment, but hell continues this [Page 227] work, to wit, the separation of the soule from the body, untill the body rising again, the soule and it are reunited together: Therefore it may seem to be said, Rev. 6. 8. that hell followed after death, and thus both soul and body are said to be in Sheol, or Hades, or hell, whilest they remaine separated one from the other.

Object. But again it may be objected, that if the soul whilest it is in a state of separation from the body, be said to be in hell, then it is in hell even when it is in heaven.

Answ. It is granted; nor is this uncouth or in­convenient, as some may think it to be, because of the usuall sense and signification wherein the word hell is taken: For as the word flesh is inB. Usher. our ordinary speech taken strictly in opposition to fish, yet sometimes, and in propriety of speech it is of a more large extent. For, there is a flesh of fish, 1 Cor, 15. 39. So though we usually take the word hell in opposition to heaven, taking hell for the place of torment, as heaven for the place of happinesse; yet the word hell as answering the Hebrew Sheol, and the Greek Hades, is so large as to comprehend even heaven it self in the notion of it: Not indeed as heaven is the place of blisse and happinesse, nor as it shall be after the Resurrection, when the soul and body shall be in heaven, but as heaven is the receptacle of souls separated from their bodies; which state of separation (though it rea [...]h to heaven, as it doth in respect of the souls of the godly, yet) [Page 228] appertains to the dominion of death, and the imperfection of the Saints, who are not set free from that dominion of death, and that imperfe­ction, untill the Resurrection.

Object. Some may yet again object, That the word descended, which is used in the Creed, argues that hell is below, whereas heaven is a­bove: and how then can it be said, that Christ (in respect of his soul) descended into hell, when­as his soul went to heaven?

Answ. To this it is answered divers wayes:

1. That although when the godly die, in respect ofLicet ex mortuis aliqui as­cendunt in coelum, omnes ta­men, qui sepeliuntur, descen­dunt in terram; unde à con­ditione prima descensus cada­verum, totus reliquus mortu­orum status appellatur descen­sus. Alsted. in Theol. Catechit. in Exposit. Symb. their souls, they ascend up to heaven, yet because general­ly all in respect of their bo­dies (when they are buried) descend down into the earth, therefore from that first con­dition of the descending of dead bodies, the whole estate of the dead is called a descent.

2. That the word which signifieth, to descend, is often used for to remove from one place to [...] another, though it be not from a higher place to a lower, which is properly to descend: AsB Usher. Acts 13. 4. So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost departed unto Seleucia. The word in the [...] Originall rendred departed, is that which pro­perly signifieth descended. So Acts 18. 5. When Silas and Timot [...]us were come from Macedo­nia; in the Originall the same word (rendred [Page 229] were come) is used. And so in other places; so that whereas it is said in the Creed, he de­scended into hell, the word descended is not to be pressed, but to be taken as if it were said, he went to h [...]ll. And this may suffice for the explicating of the Article of Christs descend­ing into hell, which was the thing I aimed in the handling of these words, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.


ACTS 10. 40. Him God rai­sed up the third day.’

THese words were spoken by Peter, and I need not tell of whom he spake them; for they that know any thing in this kind, know that it is Christ whom God raised up the third day.

Him God raised up,] viz from the dead, as it is expressed, Rom. 8. 11.

The third day,] viz. after that he died, as ap­peares by the context; Whom they slew, and hanged on a tree, Him▪ God raised up the third day.

Here then we have,

1. The Resurrection of Christ, Him God rai­sed up.

2. The time of his Resurrection, the third day.

First then let us observe this, That Christ did Doct. rise again from the dead. The Resurrection of Christ is an Article of main concernment: Peter [Page 231] told the Disciples, that one was to be chosen in the place of Judas the traitour; and why? to be a witnesse with us (said he) of his (that is, of Christs) resurrection, Act. 1. 22. The Apostles were to testi­fie other things besides the resurrection of Christ, but this is mentioned as a principall point to which they were to give testimony. So Act. 4. 33. And with great power gave the Apostles witnesse of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The Jews, the professed enemies of Christ, believe that he died, even died the death of the Crosse; but they will not believe that he rose again, therefore ChristResurre­ctio Chri­sti est fides Christia­norum. crucified is a stumbling block unto them, as the A­postle saith, 1 Cor. 1. 23. But Christs resurrection is the faith of a Christian. He that doth not be­lieve this, doth believe nothing to any purpose, If Christ be not risen (saith S. Paul, and he is as not risen, to those that do not believe him to be ri­sen) then is our preaching vain, and your faith also is vain, 1 Cor. 15. 14. And again v. 17. If Christ be not raised your faith is vain. It behoves every one therefore, not only to say that he believeth the article of Christs resurrection, but to believe it indeed, and to know upon what grounds he doth believe it. Let us therefore see what grounds we have for this in, and from the Scripture.

1. Christs resurrection was tipified and prefi­gured. Some conceive Isaac to have been a type and figure of Christ in this respect; Isaac, I say, who (as the story shews, Gen. 22.) was bound, and laid upon the Altar, and as good as dead, yet was raised up and delivered: whence it is said, that A­braham received him from the dead in a figure, [Page 232] Heb. 11. 19. Some understand it thus in a figure of [...]. Eras. (re­surrectio­nis) typo. [...]. Occumen. Christs resurrection. But I insist not on that place, which others more probably interpret otherwise. That Ionas his deliverance out of the whales bel­ly, wherein he was (as it were) buried, was a type of Christs resurrection from the dead, we have Christs own testimony. As Jonas was three daies, and three nights in the whales belly (and then was delivered out of it) so shall the son of man be three daies, and three nights in the heart of the earth, that is, in the grave, and then be raised up out of it, Mat. 12. 40.

2. Christs resurrection was prophecied and fore­told: Christ himself the great Prophet did foretel it in those words even now cited. And so in o­ther places, Mat. 17, 22, 23. The son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men; and they shall kil him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And Joh. 2. 19. Jesus answered, and said unto them; destroy this Temple, and in three daies I will raise it up. This he spake of the Temple of his body, as it follows there v. 22. And when he was risen from the dead, his Disciples remembred that he had said this unto them, v. 22. Although Christs owne Disciples (it seems) did not understand the mean­ing of those words untill they were fulfilled, that is, untill Christ was risen from the dead, yet Christ had so plainly at other times foretold his resurre­ction, that the chief Priests and Pharisees could say unto Pilate, when Christ was crucified, dead and buried, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three daies I will rise again. And so the Prophets that were before [Page 233] Christs coming in the flesh, did foreshew (as other things concerning him) that he should rise from the dead. David in those words, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor suffer thine holy one to see corruption, Psal. 16. 10. did speak of Christs resur­rection, as is testified by S. Peter Act. 2. 31. He see­ing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, nor his flesh did see corruption. And so by S. Paul, Act. 13. 35, 36, 37. Wherefore he saith also in another Psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine holy one to see corruption. For David after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption. But he whom God raised again, saw no corruption. So all the Prophets speaking of Christ, his Priesthood, and Kingdome induring for ever, did consequently speak of Christs resur­rection. As Or Solo­mon who by the title seems to have been the com­poser of that. 72. Psalme. David Psal. 72. 17. & 110. 4. And Daniel chapt. 7. v. 14. Some from those and the like places of the Prophets falsly und [...]stood, did infer that Christ should not die, Joh. [...]. 34. But the Prophets had no such meaning, but that though Christ did die, yet he should rise againe and so abide for ever. And therefore Christ called them fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets had written, who would not believe his resurrection, when they were told of it, Luk. 24. 25. And Paul professed that he did say no other things, then those which the Prophets and Moses did say should come, That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, Act. 26. 22, 23.

3. All the foure Evangelists (as we call them) [Page 234] Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, have carefully recorded Christs rising from the dead. Though as in other of their relations, so in this, they differ in circumstances, some relating one cireumstance, some another, yet they agree in the substance, all relating this, that he rose again. They shew us al­so that Christ after his resurrection by many in­fallible proofs did shew himself alive, as S. Luke speaks, Act. 1. 3. That when his Disciples thought him to have been a spirit, he said un­to them, Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I my self, handle me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet, Luk. 24. 39, 40. And presently after it fol­lows, that he called for meat, and did eat before them. S. Iohn also relates how when Christ had ap­peared after his resurrection to the Apostles, Thomas not being among them when he heard of it, he would not believe it, professing that except he should see in his hands the print of the nails, and put his finger into the print of his nails, and thrust his hand into his side, he would not believe. And that afterward Christ appeared unto them again, Thomas being with them, and that he spake unto Thomas saying, Reach hither thy fin­ger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithlesse, but believe: And that then Thomas cried out, My Lord and my God, Joh. 20. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. The Evan­gelists also record that Christs resurrection was witnessed by an Angel from heaven, Mat. 28. 5, 6. Mar. 16. 5, 6. Yea by more Angels then one, Luk. 24. 4, 5, 6.

[Page 235]4. The Apostles did no lesse diligently preach and publish Christs resurrection. Paul preached it, as he testifieth, 1 Cor. 15. 4. Where also in the verses following he doth largely insist upon the proof and demonstration of it. So Act 13. 30. &c. We find that in one of his Sermons he was much upon this point. And so also was Peter, Act. 2. 24. &c. And it is said of all the Apostles in generall (except Paul who was called to the Apostleship afterward) that with great power they gave wit­nesse of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, Act. 4. 33. And Paul urgeth the force of this argument drawn from the preaching of the Apostles, Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God, that he raised up Christ, whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not, 1 Cor. 15. 15.

5. Divers reasons and arguments grounded upon Scripture prove that Christ did rise from the dead. For 1. It was meet that as Christ did free­ly and voluntarily humble himself, so again he should be exalted, Those that honour me, I will ho­nour, saith God, 1 Sam. 2. 30. Therefore as Christ did honour God by submitting himself unto death, so God would honour him by raising him from the dead. He humbled himself, & became obe­dient unto death, even the death of the Crosse, Where­fore God also hath highly exalted him, Phil. 2. 8. 9.Mansit & in separa­tione inse­parabilis unitas. Bern. de Consid. l. 5. c. 10.

2. Although when Christ died, his soul and body were separated one from the other, yet the divine nature was separated from neither the one nor the other. Come, see the place where the Lord lay, said the Angel, speaking of the grave where [Page 236] the dead body of Christ was laid, Mat. 28. 6. which shews that the divine nature was still united to the body, though the soul were separated from it. And otherwise we could not rightly confesse (as we do) in the Creed, that Christ the only son of God was buried. Now there being this union be­twixt the divine nature, and Christs body, it was not only meet, but necessary that his body should be raised up, and not be held under deaths domi­nion. Though being man he died, yet being God he rose again; being put to death in the flesh, (his humane nature) but quickned by the spirit, his di­vine nature, 1 Pet. 3. 18.

3. For the working out of our redemption it was requisite that Christ should not only die, but also rise again. Some when Christ did hang upon the Crosse, blasphemed, saying, He saved others, himselfe he cannot save, Mar. 15. 31. Whereas that he might save others, himself he would not save, viz. not so as not to die. But had he so died, as not to rise again, his death would have been of none effect. For how could we have believed, that he by his death had redeemed us from death (e­ven eternall death and destruction) if he himself had been so swallowed up of death, as for ever to lie under the power and dominion of it? There­fore the Apostle saith that Christ was delivered for our offences, and rose again for our justification, Rom. 4. 25. And, if Christ be not risen, your faith is in vain, you are yet in your sins, 1 Cor. 15. 17. And as Christs resurrection was thus necessary in re­spect of our redemption, the forgivenesse of our sins; Ephes. 1. 7. Rom. 8. 23. so was it also in respect of the redemption of our [Page 237] body. How could we have expected the resurre­ction of our bodies, if Christs body had not been raised up? If the Head had not risen again, how should the members rise again? The resurrection of the members depends upon the resurrection of the Head; the resurrection of Christians upon Christs resurrection, as the Apostle shews at large, 1 Cor. 15.

Vse. 1. Now if Christ rose again; then how wretched and miserable are the Jews, who wil not believe Christs resurrection, but as their fa­thers did, so do they still, impugne and oppose it. S. Matthew relates that when the souldiers that were set to guard Christs sepulcher, went and told the chief Priests what had happened they gave them large money that they might say, that whiles they slept, Christs Disciples came and stole them away, And this saying, (saith he) is commonly reported among the Iews untill this day, Mat. 28. 11. 15. Now consider a little what an ab­surd and foolish fable this was, which yet the Jews were so ready to believe. 1. How improbable that a few weak timorous men, who but a few daies before did forsake, yea one of them for­swear Christ, yet now should be so valiant, or rather fool-hardy, as to adventure to steal Christ out of the grave, knowing that a guard of souldi­ers was purposely set to prevent such a designe? 2. Suppose they should have so far adventured, as some of them to espie whether the souldiers were asleep or no, yet how could they assure them­selves, that the souldiers should continue asleep, [Page 238] untill they had dispatched that for which they came? Yea, how could this be, there being a great stone for them to roll away from the mouth of the sepulcher, which could not be done without making such a noise as to awaken some of the souldiers at least, if they were asleep before? 3. Grant the Disciples should have had such cou­rage as to attempt the businesse, and such happi­nesse as to effect it, yet would they have been so foolish and unwise, as to stay at the sepulcher to unloose the cloaths in which Christs body was wrapped? Would they not rather have hasted a­way with the body as it was buried, and have loo­sed the cloths then when they had more leisure to do it, and might do it with more safety? But the linnen cloths were found lying in the grave, and the napkin that was about Christs head, not ly­ing with the linnen cloths, but wrapped together in a place by it self, Ioh. 20. 6. 7. And 4. if the Dis­ples could break thorough all difficulties, and get Christs body away with them, yet could they put life into it when they had it? But Christ after his passion, by many infallible proofs shewed himself a­live, Act. 1. 3. otherwise it is senslesse to imagine, that the Disciples (having so deserted Christ, when he was alive) would have so constantly preached and avouched his resurrection, as they did. And lastly, the very tale doth sufficiently con­fute it self, and shew its own absurdity. For if the souldiers (as they said) were asleep, how then could they tell that Christ was taken away by his Disciples? it might be otherwise (as indeed it [Page 239] was) for any thing thar they did know.

Vse 2. Secondly, Christs resurrection serves to demonstrate Christs divinity. The divinity of Christ and his resurrection, so mutually help to demonstrate each other. His resurrection is demonstrated by his divinity, as the effect by the cause: and his divinity by his refurrection, as the cause by the effect. That which God the Father speaks unto Christ, Psal. 2. 7. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, the Apostle re­fers to Christs resurrection, Act. 13. 32. 33. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the pro­mise which was made unto the Fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us, in that he hath raised up Iesus again, as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. The Apostle by this day, shews that the day of Christs resurrection is understood; not that then Christ was first begotten of the Father, and became the Son of God (for he was so from all eternity▪ Mic. 5. 2.) but then when Christ rose again he ap­peared to be the Son of God, his begotten Son, God of God, one and the same God with the Pather. Thus the same Apostle saith plainly, that Christ was declared to be the Son of God, with power, according to the spirit of holinesse, by the resurrection from the dead, Rom. 1. 4. Christs divine nature before did lie hid under the infirmity of his hu­mane nature, but by his rising from the dead it did look forth, and shew it self.

Ob. Some may say, many others (as we find re­corded both in the old, and in the new Testa­ment) [Page 240] did rise from the dead besides Christ, yea many before Christ, and how then doth his re­surrection demonstrate his divine nature?

Answ. I answer, Christs resurrection did ex­cell the refunction of others in a twofold respect. For 1. Others did rise again, but so as to die again the life to which they rose was this mortall life, But Christ arose to life immortall; Christ being. risen from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him, Rom. 6.

2. Christ arose by his own vertue and power, which none ever did, or shall do, but he only. De­stroy this Temple (said Christ, meaning his body) and in three daies I will raise it up, Joh. 2. 19. I lay down my life (said he) that I may take it up again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again, Joh. 10. 17. 18. Now except Christ were God, it had notResurrexisse per se ex mortuis in vitam, nisi Dei natura non po­tuit. Hilar. de Trin. l. 7. been possible for him to raise himself from the dead, this is not competible to a meer humane nature.

Ob. But may some object, it is said in the Text, and in other places, that God raised up Christ; therefore [it seems] he did not raise himself, but was raised by another.

Answ. This doth not follow; Christ both was raised of God, and also did raise himself. As man, so God did raise him up; as God; so he rose of himself; Christ and the Father are one, Joh. 10. 30. That which the Father doth, he doth also, [Page 241] Joh. 5. 17. & 14. 10, 11. There­foreCum eadem fit divina virtus & operatio, & Patris, & Filii, haec duo se mutuò consequuntur, quòd Christus fit suscitatus divinâ virtute Patris &▪ sui ipsius. A­quin. part. 3. quest. 53. art. 4. ad. 1. these two are so farre from crossing one the other. Christ was raised up by the power of his Father, and Christ arose by his own power; that they confirme one the other; they follow one upon the other.

Ʋse 3. Thirdly, by Christs Resurrection our faith is confirmed in him as a most perfect Re­deemer: For seeing that Christ died for our sins, he as our Surety, was arrested by death as Gods Serjeant, and cast into the prison of the grave, in that he was not still detained there, but re­leased and set free, it clearly shewes that the debt is discharged, Gods justice satisfied, and we through faith in Christ, reconciled unto God, and at peace with him. The two Disciples that knew Christ to be dead, but knew not that he was risen again, seemed to have but small hope of redemption by him, We trusted (said they) that it had been he that should have redeemed [...]srael, Luk. 24. 21. They did trust so before, but now (it seems) they did in a manner despair of it: And indeed had Christ so died as not to rise againe, we could have had but a dead hope, as I shewed before. But now our hope is a lively hope, as S. Peter calls it; Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abun­dant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope. (how?) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Pet. 1. 3. So S. Paul having said that [Page 242] Christ was delivered for our offences, and rose a­gain for our justification, he addes immediately, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 4. 25. & 5. 1. And Acts 13. 38, 39. having imme­diately before confirmed Christs Resurrection, he thereupon inferres, Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that thorough this man is preach­ed unto you forgivenesse of sins: And by him all that believe are justified, &c. And Rom. 8. 34. he cryeth out, Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again. And Heb. 7. 25. Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever li­veth to make intercession for them.

Ʋse 4. Fourthly, by the Resurrection of Christ we may be assured of our owne Resurrection: The Apostle 1 Cor. 15. to convince some among the Corinthians, who denied the Resurrection of the dead, first proves at large Christs Resurrecti­on, and from thence inferreth the resurrection of Christians: Now if Christ be preached (saith he) that he rose from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, 1 Cor. 15. 12, 13. And v. 16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. And v. 20. &c. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and be­come the first fruits of them that slept: For since by man came death, by man also came the Resurrection from the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order, Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are [Page 243] Christs at his coming. So 2 Cor. 4. 14. Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, &c. And 1 Thes. 4. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.

The force of this inference (viz. of the resur­rection of Christians from Christs resurrection) consists in that near relation and union that is be­twixt Christ and Christians, he being their head,Quod prae­cessit in caepite, impletum erit in corpore. Bern. and they his members: As in the naturall body, though all the members be under water, yet the head being above they are safe, and there's no fear of drowning; so is it in the mysticall body, Christ our head being risen, though we his mem­bers lie in the dust, yet there is a sure and certain hope of our resurrection. For the members must be with the head, and conformed to it; Father I will that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, said Christ, Joh. 17. 24. We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like unto him, 1 Joh. 3. 2. Christ shall change our vile bodies, and shall make them like unto his own most glorious bo­dy, Phil. 3. 21.


Vse 5. FIftly and lastly, as Christ rose corpo­rally, so ought we to rise spiritually, viz. from the death of sin, to the life of grace. There is a death of the soul by sin, and a resurre­ction of the soul by grace. Awake thou that sleep­est, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light, Ephes. 5. 14. And that we must be con­formed unto Christ by a spirituall resurrection, the Apostle sheweth Rom. 6. 4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptisme into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newnesse of life, And v. 11. Likewise reckon ye also your selves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God thorough Je­sus Christ our Lord. We must thus be conformed unto Christ by the resurrection of our souls here, or els we shall not be conformed unto Christ by the resurrection of our bodies hereafter. For though all shall corporally rise again, yet not so as to be conformed unto Christ in glory and hap­pinesse. No, thus shall none rise corporally, but only such as now rise spiritually, so as to be con­formed unto Christ in grace and holinesse. Only they that whiles they are upon earth, have their [Page 245] conversation in heaven, can expect that the Lord Jesus will change their vile bodies, and make them like unto his own most glorious body, Phil. 3. 20, 21.

Now if we would know whether we be parta­kers of this spirituall resurrection, we may try and discern it by these marks.

1. Heavenly mindednesse. If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth, Col. 3. 1. 2.

2. Love of Gods children. We know that we are passed from death to life, because we love the bre­thren, 1 Joh. 3. 14. This is meant of loving the god­ly, eo nomine, in that very respect as they are godly, not for by ends, or carnall respects, which they may do who are not godly.

3. A sense and feeling of spirituall wants and infirmities. VVhere there is such a feeling there is life, as there was in Paul, who complained of the corruptions that were in him, as grievous and burthensome unto him; For I know (said he) that in me (that is in my flesh) no good dwelleth. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I find not. For the good that I would do, I do not, but the evill that I would not, that I do. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God, after the inward man; But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin, which is in my members. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death, Rom. 7. 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24. [Page 246] On the other side, such appears to be alienated from the life of God, as are without feeling, Eph. 4. 18, 19. such as are full of sin and of corruption, and yet are nothing sensible of it, but like the Angell of the Church of Laodicea, think that they are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, when as indeed they are wretch­ed, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, Rev. 3. 17.

4. A love of Gods Ordinances: As they that have corporall life, so also they that have spiri­tuall life, will desire food convenient for them, whereby their life may be preserved, and where­by they may grow: As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow there­by; If so be that you have tasted, that the Lord is gracious▪ Pet. 2. 2, 3.

5. Communion with God by prayer. The Spirit which is the worker of this spirituall re­surrection, is the Spirit of grace and supplications, Zach. 12. 10. The Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father, Rom. 8. 15. Behold he prayeth, said Christ to Ananias, speaking of Saul (after called Paul) when a spirituall life was newly put into him, Acts 9. 11.

The ordinary means whereby this spirituall resurrection is wrought, is the Word preached: As at the last day, the Trumpet shall sound, and the dead (corporally) shall be raised, 1 Cor. 15. 52. So they that are spiritually dead, are raised by the Trumpet of Gods Word, sounding in their ears: Verily, verily, I say unto you, (saith Christ) that the houre is coming, and n [...]w is, that the dead [Page 247] shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live, Joh. 5. 25. That is spoken of the spirituall Resurrection, as appears by these words, and now is, even as that which presently after fol­lowes, v. 28. & 29. is spoken of the corporall Re­surrection; The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.

But the corporall Resurrection and the spiri­tuall in this do differ, that the corporall Resurre­ction is compleat and perfect at once; In a mo­ment, in the twinkling of an eye, 1 Cor. 15. 52. But the spirituall resurrection is carried on by de­grees, by little and little, the inward man is re­newed day by day, 2 Cor. 4. 16. Therefore they that are already in some measure made partakers of spirituall resurrection, must still labour that they may be made more and more partakers of it; Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3. 18. So much for this point concerning Christs Resurrection, That Christ did rise again from the dead. I come now to speak a little of the time of his Resurrection, the third day, and here this point is to be considered, Doct. That Christ did rise again the third day. So we con­fesse in the Creed, & the Scripture is clear & express for it: Christ fore-telling his resurrection, did like­wise fore-tell this circumstance of time when it should be; Destroy this Temple, and after three dayes I will raise it up, Joh. 2. 19. From that time farth began Jesus to shew unto his Disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the Elders, and chief Priests and Scribes, and be [Page 248] killed, and be raised again the third day, Mat. 16. 21. So Mat. 20. 18, 19. Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief Priests, and unto the Scribes, and they shall condemn him to death; And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and crucifie him, and the third day he shall rise again: And so much the chief Priests and Pharisees had understood, as ap­pears by their words to Pilate, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three dayes I will rise again. And therefore they desired to have Christs Sepulchre watched but till the third day, Mat. 27. 63, 64.

All the four Evangelists also do record, as that Christ rose again, so that he rose again the third day.

So also Paul preached, how that Christ did for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, 1 Cor. 15. 3. 4.

It was congruous and meet that Christ should rise again the third day, not sooner nor later. Not sooner, to shew that he was truly dead, and for a while under the power of death, and the domini­on of it, which is meant by his being in hell, as was shevved before. Not later, that so he might comfort and revive the drooping and dying spi­rits of his Disciples, who after his death, untill they heard of his resurrection mourned and wept, Mar. 16. 10. And that he might strengthen their faith which was ready to fail, as appears by that Luk. 24. 21. We trusted that it had been he, that should have redeemed Israel.

Again, it was not only congruous and meet, but also requisite and necessary that Christ should rise the third day, because so it was 1. prefigured; viz. by that which happened unto Ionas; his being three daies and three nights in the fishes belly, neither more nor lesse, signified that Christ should be so long, neither more nor lesse in the grave, Mat. 12. 40.

Ob. If Christ were three daies and three nights in the grave, how then did he rise again the third day.

Answ. Those three daies, and three nights are taken synecdochically, that is, not for three whole daies, and three whole nights, but for part of three daies, and part of three nights. Christ died and was buried (as the Evangelists shew) the day before the Jewish Sabbath, that is on Friday (as we call it) towards evening; that part of the day is [by a synedoche] reckoned for a day, and to it belongs the night going before, the Jews be­ginning the naturall day, which consists of 24. hours, at evening, Levit. 23. 32. Then Christ lay in the grave the night following, and the day af­ter, which we call Saturday, here are two daies and two nights, and so likewise he remained in the grave the night after, and rose early in the morning, to which night must be added the day following, which we call Sunday, as being a part of that naturall day to which it belonged; and so there are three daies and three nights, and yet Christ rose the third day. Thus are those three daies and three nights to be understood, that Est­her and the Jews fasted Esth. 4. 16. For the fast [Page 250] ended the third day, as is clear by this, that then Esther put on her royall apparell, and went to the King, &c. Esth. 5. [...] &c.

2. It was requisite and necessary that Christ should rise again the third day, because it was so prophecied, Thus it is written [said Christ to his Disciples after his resurrection) and thus it beho­ved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day, Luk. 24. 46. So S. Paul saith that Christ rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Cor. 15. 4.

Quest. But (may some say) where in the Old Testament is it prophecied that Christ should rise the third day?

Ans. 1. Those words of David, which he spake of Christ, and of his resurrection, Thou wilt not suffer thine holy one to see corruption, Psal. 16. 10. though they do not precisely mention the third day, yet they plainly shew so much, that he should not remain long in the grave, but should speedily rise again. And by this S. Paul proves that the words were not meant of David himself, but of Christ; for that David saw corruption, but Christ (being raised from the dead the third day) saw no corruption, Act. 13. 35, 36, 37. In the like manner did S. Peter argue, Act. 2. 29. 30, 31, 32.

[...]. There is expresse mention of the third day in reference to Christs Resurrection, Hos. 6. 2. Aster two daies he will revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Although those words be directly and immediately under­stood of Gods people (as it seems both by the words themselves, and also by the words going [Page 251] before and after) yet it is with reference unto Christ and his Resurrection; for otherwise why should the third day be specified? Neither do I know, how it could be said that Christ rose again the third, according to the Scriptures (viz. of the old Testament) if in this place there be not an allusion at least to Christs rising again the third day; seeing that in all the old Testament the third day in this respect is no where mention­ed, except in this place. And therefore not with­out cause [I think] in the margent of our Bibles over against this place of Hosea, is noted that place, 1 Cor. 15. 4. as having reference the one to the other: and so many of the Ancients have ex­pounded this place in Hosea of Christ: and this is to be considered, that there is such a near unionLactant. Iustit. l. 4. 1. 19. Aug. de Civit. Dei l. 18. c. 28. Bern. Serm. 1. de Resurrect. And so o­thers cited by R [...]her [...] upon the place. betwixt Christ and believers, that sometimes that which belongs to believers is spoken of Christ: As, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? said Christ, when Saul did persecute those that believed in Christ, Act. 9. 4. And so on the other side, that which belongs to Christ is spoken of believers; as here in the Prophet, the third day he will raise us up, whenas properly Chr [...]st was raised up the third day; but believers are said to be raised up in him, and with him: Even when we were dead in sins, God hath quickned us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, E­phes. 2. 5, 6.

Now from the time of Christs Resurrection, the third day after that he died, it is worthy toBern. Ser. 1. de resur­rect. be observed (as Bernard hath noted) that the same [Page 252] day of the week whereon Christ as God did make man (viz. the sixth day) the same day did he also as man die to redeem man: and as on the seventh and last day of the week Christ did rest, having fi­nished the work of the Creation; so also did he rest the same day in the grave, having by his death finished the work or the Redemption: and the third day being the first day of the week (as the Evangelists expressely call it) he rose again, as be­ing the first fruits of them that slept, as the Apostle calls him, 1 Cor. 15. 20.

And as the seventh day of the week (called Sa­turday) was observed by the Jews in memory of the Creation; so the first day of the week (called Sunday) is observed by Christians in memory of Christs Resurrection And so of the Re­demption, which Christ wrought for us by his death, and made it appear by his re­surrection. and it's called the Lords day, Revel. 1. 10. Of the observation of this day in the Apostles time we read also, Act. 20. 7. & 1 Cor. 16. 2.

The one and twentieth SERMON.

EPHES. 4. 10. He that de­scended, is the same also that ascended farre above all hea­vens, that he might fill all things.’

THe Apostle having v. 8. spoken of Christs as­cending up on high, and having v. 9. noted, that his ascending did presuppose his descending, he returns here to speak again of his ascending, and to shew how high he ascended, far above all all Heavens; and why? that he might fill all things.

[He that descended] either from heaven to earth by his Incarnation, in which respect it is said, that he came down from heaven, Joh. 3. 13. or from the upper part of the earth to the grave, in which respect it seems to be said v. 9. that he descended into the lower parts of the earth; though that also [Page 254] may be meant of Christs Incarnation, as was shewed before, pag. 214. &c.

[Is the same that ascen­ded,] The same Person, [...]. Oecumen. ad loc. whence (as Oecumenius ob­serves) the heresie of Nesto­rius is confuted, who would divide the Person of Christ, denying one and the same Person to be both God and Man: For if this descen­ding here spoken of, be meant of the Incarnation, then Christ as God, descended, (viz. metaphorically) and as man▪ as­cended; yet he that descended is the same that as­cended; therefore God and Man in Christ are but one Person. And if this descending be meant of of Christs death and buriall, yet still it serves to the same purpose; for so Christ descended as man, (in that respect he died and was buried) but ascended as God, that is▪ by the power of his di­vine nature, by which also (as was shewed be­fore) he rose from the dead.

[Far above all Heavens,] viz▪ all visible hea­vens, as the aire, and that wherein are the Sun, Moon and Stars, above which two heavens there is the third Heaven, as it is called, 2 Cor. 12. 2. And thither is Christ ascended; Whom the Hea­ven must receive untill the time of restitution of all things, Acts 2. 21

[That he might fill all things] with his spirituall presence & power, which he doth since his ascen­sion shew forth otherwise then he did before: Or [Page 255] it may be read (as the Margent hath it) that he might fulfill all things, viz. which were prophe­cied and fore-told of him, as the Apostle shewed immediately before that this was, that Christ should ascend upon high; and therefore he did ascend, that as other things, so this Prophecie and prediction concerning him might be ful­filled.

From the words thus explicated, I ob­serve Doct. onely this one point. That Christ after his Death and Resurrection, did ascend up into heaven.

Christs ascension was prophecied by David, Psal. 68. 18. Thou hast ascended up on high. This was spoken concerning Christ, as the Apostle te­stifieth, Eph. 4. 8.

Christ also himself did fore-tell his ascension, Joh. 6. 62. What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? And Joh. 20. 17. Iesus saith unto her, (viz. Mary Magdalen [...], to whom he shewed himself after his Resurrection) Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Fa­ther; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father, and to your Father, to my God, and to your God.

Divers of the Evangelists do also record Christs ascension: He was received up into heaven, Mar. 16. 19. He was parted from them, (viz. his Disci­ples,) and was carried up into heaven, Luk. 24. 51. While they beheld he was taken up, Acts 1. 9.

S. Luke also relates the circumstances of Christs ascension: As,

1. The time when he ascended, viz. forty daies [Page 256] after his resurrection: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty dayes, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, Acts 1. 3. where he giveth two reasons why Christ did continue so long upon earth after his resurrecti­on before he ascended into heaven, viz. 1. To confirme unto his Disciples his resurrection, and to assure them of the truth of it. 2. To instruct them in things pertaining to the King­dom of God.

2. The place where, viz. Bethany: And he led them out as far as to Bethany, &c. Luk. 24. 50. Now Joh. 11. 1. it's said that Bethany was the Town of Mary and her sister Martha, that is, the towne where they dwelt, and had their abode; in which sense Bethsaida is called the City of Andrew and Peter, Joh. 1. 44. Yet it seems that the place where Christ ascended, was not the town called Betha­nie, but the Tract of Mount Olivet, where the Town stood. For it is said, Acts 1. 12. That the Disciples who were with Christ at his ascension, immediately after he was ascended, returned unto Ierusalem from the Mount called Olivet. It is not likely that Christ would be in a Town, when he ascended; for then all promiscuously would have seen his ascension, whereas only his Disci­ples were Spectators of it: Neither is it said, Luk. 24. 50. that Christ led them to Bethanie, and there ascended, but that he led them out [viz. from Jerusalem] as farre as Bethanie. S. Luke ch. 19. v. 29. tells us, that as Christ went to his Pas­sion, he went by Bethanie; so that by the [Page 257] same place by which he went to his Passion, he had his ascension.

And Bethany also signifies as much as the house of affliction; if we will ascend up to our Fathers house to heaven, it must be by Bethany, the house of affliction: We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God, Acts 14. 22.

3. The manner how he ascended; And it came to passe while he blessed them, he was parted from them and carried up into heaven, Luke 24. 51. Thus having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them to the end, Joh. 13. 1. At the very last moment of his abiding here upon earth, he blessed those that were with him, and in them us, and all that belong unto him: As he said Ioh. 17. 20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; So neither did he blesse them alone, but them also which through their word believe in him. Again, for the man­ner of Christs ascension, it is said, Acts 1. 9. That while they (his Disciples) beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight, So that Christ did ascend visibly, and there were eye-witnesses of his ascension: and lest they should have imagined, that their senses were de­luded, or any way have doubted of the truth of Christs ascension, two Angels from heaven in the likenesse of men appeared unto them, both to confirm Christs ascension into heaven, and also to shew that he was not so ascended, but that he shall at length come againe, viz. at the last judgement. And while they looked stedfastly to­ward heaven, as he went up, behold two men stood [Page 258] by them in white apparell, which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven, Act. 1. 10. 11.

Ob. Some may here object that Joh. 3. 13. The Son of man, which is in heaven. If Christ then being upon earth, were in heaven, how could he ascend into heaven?

Answ. Yes, being in heaven (even when he was upon earth) as God, he might neverthelesse, and did as man ascend into heaven. Christ consi­sting of two natures, the divine, and the humane, something belongs unto him in respect of the one nature, and something in respect of the o­ther. In respect of his divine nature he is every where, in respect of his humane, he is onely in one place at one time. The man Christ, yet not as man, but as God, was in heaven at the same time that he was upon earth. On the other side, Christ being God, yet not as God, but as man, left the earth, and went up to heaven.

There are many reasons why Christ ascended into heaven.

1. As he came from heaven to work our Re­demption, so having finished the work which heReasons of Christs Ascension had to do, it was meet that he should return thi­ther from whence he came; I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father, said he, Joh. 16. 28. And Joh. 17. 4, 5. I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do, and now, O Father, glorifie me with thine [Page 259] own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

2. After Christs humiliation, was to follow his exaltation, as Christ himself shewed, Luk. 24. 26. And so Paul Phil. 2. 8, 9. Now as Christs Resurre­ction was the first step of his exaltation, so his As­cension was another step, and a further degree of it.

3. Thus Christ made it appear, that (as he told Pilate) his Kingdom is not of this world, Joh. 18. 36. Contrary to what his own Disciples did ima­gine, even after his resurrection, as appears by that question which they asked him, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel? Act. 1. 6.

4. Christ by his ascension shewed himself to have fully conquered sin, death and Satan; he did manifest his victory over these by his Resurrecti­on, but more fully by his ascension, whereby he did triumph over them: Therefore it is said, that when he ascended up on high, he led capti­vity captive, Ephes. 4. 8. that is, he led a mul­titude of captives, as the phrase is used, Iudg. 5. 12.

5. It was requisite that Christ should ascend in­to heaven, that as he executed the office of a Priest, by offering himself upon the Crosse for us, so he might also do it by appearing before God in heaven, and there making intercession unto him for us. Aaron the Jewish high Priest was to bear the names of the children of Israel in the brest­plate of judgement upon his heart, when he went into the holy place for a memoriall before the [Page 260] Lord continually, Exod. 28. 29. This was a type and a figure of Christs entring into heaven for us as our high Priest, Whither the forerunner is for us entred, even Jesus made an high Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec, Heb. 6. 20. For Christ is not entred into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven it self now to appear in the presence of God for us, Heb. 9. 24.

Christ was to ascend into heaven, that so he might powre his spirit upon his Church: When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Ephes. 4. 8. viz. spirituall gifts, the gifts and graces of his spirit, Psal. 68. 18. it is said that at his ascension he received gifts, but for men, and that is as much as to give gifts unto men. Fetch me a little water, said Eliah to the wi­dow, 1 Kings 17. 10. according to the originall it is, Receive, or take me (or for me) a little water; [...] and that is as much as if he had said, Give me a lit­tle water: So v. 13. Bring me a morsell of bread; in the Hebrew, Receive, or take me, &c. It is the same word which is used Psal. 68. 18.

Quest. But some may demand and say, Was not the spirit given unto men before Christs a­scension?

Answ. I answer, yes, but not so freely and fully as afterwards: He that believeth on me (said Christ) out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This he spake (saith the Evangelist) of the spirit which they that believe on him should receive. For the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified, [...]oh. 7. 38. 39. I tell you the truth, said Christ [Page 261] to his Disciples, it is not expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you, Joh. 16. 7. Besides that, Christ was to be glori­fied before that he was to send the Holy Ghost, the Disciples having Christs corporall presence, did so fix themselves uponSpiritalis presentiae plenitudo, quamdiu conspectu carnis praesens aderat, adventare non poterat. Cyprian de Ascens. Christi. it, that they were not so ca­pable of his spirituall pre­sence; and therefore to make way for this, the other was to be removed.

7. Christ ascended into heaven, that he might there prepare a place for his members. Thus he told his Disciples saying, In my Fathers house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you, Joh. 14. 2. In this respect Christ is called the fore-runner, Heb. 6. 20. as going before, and preparing the way for others to follow after.

Vse 1, Now this point concerning Christs A­scension, serves t [...] confute the Papists concerning Transubstantiation, and that reall presence of Christ in the Sacrament which they maintain, viz. a carnall and corporall presence, for we deny not a reall presence, onely we hold that is a spirituall presence. And as the Angell argued from Christs Resurrection, and thereby proved that he was not in the grave in that manner as some supposed; He is not here, for he is risen, Mat 28. 6. So may we argue from Christs Ascension, and prove that he is not in the Sacrament in that manner, as they of the Church of Rome; He is not there, for he is ascended. And to this end did Christ speak of his Ascension, thereby to convince some, [Page 262] and to let them see how much they did mistake hisProptereà Ascensionis suaein coelum mentionem fècit, ut eos à corpora­li intellectu abstraheret. Athanas. in illud Quicunque dixerit ver­bum, &c. meaning, when they under­stood that which he had spoken about eating his flesh, in a carnal sense, where­as it was to be understood spiritually. When Jesus knew in himself that his Disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? what and if ye shall see the son of man ascend up where he was be­fore? It is the spirit that quickneth, the flesh profi­teth nothing, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life, John 6. 61, 62, 63. As if he should have said, the fleshly manner of eating which you dream of, would avail nothing; that therefore which I spake, of eating my flesh, is not so to be understood, but in a spirituall sense; and that will more plainly appear by my ascension in­to heaven.

Again, by Christs ascension the Papists are con­futed in respect of Crucifixes, and other such like Images, which they make to represent Christ. For Christ hath purposely withdrawn himselfe from us corporally, that we might acquaint our selves with him spiritually, and yet they will needs have some corporall representation of him. Thus do they directly crosse Christs intent in ascending into heaven, which is, that now he should not be knowne so as when he was upon the earth, viz. in a carnall, but in a spirituall manner. Though we have known Christ after the flesh, saith the Apostle, yet hence­forth know we him no more, 2 Cor. 5. 16. Not now [Page 263] any more after the flesh, as being a man of such a stature, such a feature, &c. This place doth utterly overthrow the representing of Christ by an Image, it serving to no end but to breed carnall cenceits and apprehensions of Christ, which now since Christs ascension are not lawfull.

Vse 1. Christs ascension makes for our consola­tion.

1. It serves to encourage us to goe unto God in all our necessities, and with confidence to pray unto him both for pardon of sin, and for supply of whatsoever is needfull for us, see­ing we have such a Mediatour, who is gone into heaven, there to appeare and make in­tercession for us. If any man sin, saith S. John, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins, 1 John 2. 1, 2. He is with the Father, for he is ascended up to the Father, and therefore we may be sure that the Fa­ther will be propitious to us for his sake. Seeing then we have a great High Priest, that is pas­sed into the heavens, Iesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, Heb. 4. 14. 16. So Heb. 10. 19, 20, 21, 22. Having therefore brethren, boldnesse to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he hath conse­crated for us, thorough the vail, that is to say, his flesh: And having an High Priest over the house of God, let us draw neare with a [Page 264] true heart in full assurance of faith.

2. It also affords unto us a ground of assurance, that we belonging unto Christ, and being his, shall ascend into heaven: For the Head being ascended, the members must in due time ascend al­so, the head and the members must be together; Where I am, there shall also my servant be, saith Christ, Joh. 12. 26. And Joh. 17. 24. Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me, be where I am. And Joh. 14. [...], 3. I go to prepare a place for you: And if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto my self, that where I am, there ye may be also. The A­postle speaks of our ascension as a thing al­ready effected and wrought by Christs ascen­sion; God (he saith) hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Iesus, Eph. 2. 6. Thus Christs Ascension serves to comfort us in all adversity, and to take away the fear of death, yea, to make death desirable, seeing it will but convey us thither, whither Christ is gone before to prepare a place for us: Therefore we are alwaies confident (saith the Apo­stle) knowing that while we are present in the body, we are absent from the Lord. (For we walk by faith and not by sight.) We are confi­dent, I say, willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord, 2 Cor. 5. 6, 7, 8. And so Phil. 1. 23. Desiring to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, which is far better.

Ʋse. Lastly, the ascension of Christ serves to admonish us to ascend thither spiritually whi­ther Christ is ascended corporally; to have our [Page 265] hearts and affections in heaven where Christ is: Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen, said the Angells to those that came to seek Christ in the Sepulchre, Luk. 24. 5, 6. So, Why seek we Christ among the things of the earth? He is not here, but is ascended. There­fore if we seek Christ, let us seek those things that are above, where Christ is; let us set our affecti­ons on things above, and not on things that are upon the earth, Col. 3. 1, 2. As Christ is in heaven, so our conversation also must be in heaven, Phil. 3. 20.

The two and twentieth SERMON.

HEB. 12. 2. And is set downe at the right hand of the Throne of God.’

THe Apostle, v. 1. exhorts to patience and per­severance in the way of holinesse; Let us run with patience (or patient continuance, as the word there used is rendred, Rom. 2. 7.) the race [...]. that is set before us. And this exhortation he in­ferreth from the examples of the Saints mention­ed in the 11. Chapter, Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with such a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run, &c. Then he further infor­ceth the exhortation from the example of Christ, who above all is to be followed, v. 2. Looking un­to Iesus the Author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him indured the Crosse, despising the shame; that is, for the blessed and happy estate that he was to enter into after his passion, he was well content to suffer as he did. [Page 267] And then he goes on, shewing that Christs expe­ctation was not in vain, but that he obtained the glory and happinesse which he looked for; And is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God, that is, of God sitting in his Throne: He speaks of God as a King in his Throne, and so Christ sitting at the right hand of God, is said to sit at the right hand of the Throne of God.

Hence then let us observe this point, That Doct. Christ after his Passion and humiliation, not on­ly rose from the dead, and ascended into hea­ven, but also sate down at the right hand of God.

Christs resurrection was the beginning of his exaltation, his ascension was a higher degree of it, and his sitting at the right hand of God, yet higher then both, and the highest that may be: This degree of exaltation is peculiar unto Christ, whereas the other are common to him with his members: They shall all rise from the dead, and ascend up to heaven, David is not ascended into the heavens, saith Peter, Act. 2. 34. As yet David is not ascended (in respect of the body, to which ascension properly belongs) but he shall ascend, and so all the Saints likewise; they shall be caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the ayre and so shall be ever with the Lord, 1 Thes. 4. 17. But besides Christ, none ever did or shall sit at the right hand of God; this honour is not commu­nicable to any other, whether man or Angell. For to which of the Angels said God at any time, sit on my right hand? Heb. 1. 13.

Now that Christ doth sit at the right hand of [...]. God, it is most clear, as by the Text in hand, so by many other places of Scripture: As Heb. 1. 3. When he had by himself purged our sins, he sate down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. And Heb. 8. 1. We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the Throne of the Ma­jesty in the Heavens. And Heb. 10. 12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sate down on the right hand of God. So S. Mark testifies of Christ, that he was recei­ved up into heaven, and sate on the right hand of of God, Mar. 16. 19. And this Christ himselfe did fore-tell, Luke 22. 69. Hereafter shall the Son of Man sit on the right hand of the power of God. And David did prophecy of it long before, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right Hand untill I make thine Enemies thy footstool, Psal. 110. 1. which words were spoken concerning Christ as Christ himselfe hath shewed, Mat. 22. 41, 42, 43, 44, 45. And so S. Peter, Acts 2. 34, 35. And the Author of the Epistle to the He­brewes, c. 1. v. 13.

But now let us see what is meant by Christs [...]. sitting at the right hand of God: The ex­pression is metaphoricall, and there is a double metaphore in it, viz. both in that Christ is said to sit, and also in that he is said to sit at the right hand of God.

1. For the phrase of sitting, as here it is used, and applied unto Christ, by the consent of all, is metaphoricall, not denoting the site [Page 269] and posture of Christs body, which is the pro­per acception of the word, but the honour and majesty that Christ is in. Thus the word is figuratively used, because Masters use to sit, and servants to stand, and wait upon them. Whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? Luke 22. 27. So Kings use to sit in their Thrones, and Judges and Magistrates in their seats of honour. Assuredly Solomon thy sonne shall reigne after me, and he shall sit upon my Throne, said David to Bathsheba, 1 Kings 1. 13. So Exod. 18. 13. it is said, that Moses sate to judge the people, and the people stood by Moses, &c. Hence metaphorically God is said to sit, God reigneth over the Heathen, God sitteth upon the throne of his holinesse, Psalme 47. 8. So Psalme 2. 4. He that sitteth in heaven, shall laugh them to scorn.

God being a spirit cannot properly either sitNon de corporis constituti­one, sed de imperii majestate hic agi­tur, Cal­vin. In­stit. l. 2. c. 16. [...]ct. 15. or stand, they being bodily postures, and proper­ly belonging to bodily substances And though Christ having still after his Resurrection and a­scension, a true humane body, as before, may pro­perly sit, yet that is not the intent of the Holy Ghost in the Scripture, to shew what bodily po­sture Christ is in, but to shew what dignity he is in: and therefore sometimes in Scripture Christ is said, to stand at the right hand of God, viz. Act. 7. 55, 56. But he being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up [Page 270] stedfastly into Heaven, and Quid est quod hunc Marcus se­dentem, Stephanus verò stantem se videre testatur? Sed scitis, fratres, quia sedere judicantis est, stare verò pugnantis, vel ad­juvantis. Quia ergò Redemptor noster assumptus in coelum, & nunc omnia judicat, & ad extrentum omnium judex veniet, hunc post assumptionē Marcus sedere descri­bit, quia post ascensionis suae glo­riam judex in fine vid [...]bitur. Ste­phanus verò hanc in labore certa­minis positus, stant em vidit, quem adjutorem habuit; quia ut iste in terrâ persecutorum infidelita­tem vinceret, pro illo de coelo illius gratia pugnavit. Gregor. homil. 29. in Evang. saw the glory of God, and Je­sus standing on the right Hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the Heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right Hand of God. He is there described standing, as ready to aid and assist Ste­phen in the great conflict which he indured for his sake: but otherwise in the Scripture he is usually said to sit, to signifie the honour and authority that he is in­vested with.

2. For the right hand of God, it must needs be taken, not properly, but metaphorically, God being a spirit, and therefore having no hand, either right or left, nor any bodily member whatsoever. It was a grosse heresie of the Anthropomorphites to hold God to be of humane form and shape, whereas Christ saith plainly that God is a spirit, Joh. 4. 24. And that a spirit hath not flesh and bones, Luk. 24. 39. Therefore when hands, eys, ears and the like are attributed unto God in the Scripture, [...]. it is by a figurative kind of speech, whereby in condescension to the weaknesse of our capacity, that is attributed unto God, which properly be­longs unto man, and not unto God: because man doth hear with his ears, see with his eyes, & work [Page 271] with his hands, therefore to shew that God doth hear, and see, and work; these bodily parts and members are attributed unto God, though properly they do not belong unto him. By the right Hand of God is often signified the force, might and power of God, Thy right Hand O Lord, said Moses, is become glorious in power, thy right hand O Lord hath dashed in pieces the enemy, Exod. 15. 6. So David Psal. 118. 15, 16. The right Hand of the Lord doth valiantly, The right Hand of the Lord is exalted; the right Hand of the Lord doth valiantly. But the right hand also is used to denote the more honourable place; as when Bathsheba the mother of Solomon went unto him, as he sate on this Throne, he rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her; and sate down on his Throne, and caused a seat to be set for her; and she sate on his right Hand, 1 Kings 2. 19. So Psal. 45. 9. Ʋpon thy right Hand did stand the Queen in gold of Ophir. Thus Christ is said to be at Gods right Hand, as being in highest honour next unto God, even as Bethsheba was set in highest place of honour next unto the King: Christs sitting at the right hand of God imports his Kingly power, and soveraign power over all creatures; that all power both in heaven and in earth is given unto him, as he said, Mat. 28. 18. That he hath a name above every name, that at the name ef Jesus every knee should bow, &c. that is, that all should be subject unto him, Phil. 2. 9, 10. Whereas David speaking of Christ, saith, The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou thou on my right Hand, untill I make thine enemies thy footstool, Psal. 110. 1. S. Paul in reference to [Page 272] those words, saith, For he must reign untill his ene­mies be made his footstool, 1 Cor. 15. 25. VVhereby we see that Christ sitting at the right hand of God, and his reigning, are one and the same thing, So what is meant by Christs sitting at the right hand of God, the same Apostle sheweth, Ephes. 1. 20, 21, 22. Where he saith that God raised Christ from the dead, and set him at his own right Hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church. And so likewise S. Peter, who speaking of Christ saith, Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, Angels, and Authorities, and Powers being made subject unto him, 1 Pet. 3. 22.

Thus then we see both that it is so, that Christ doth sit at the right hand of God, and also what is meant by it.

And by this which hath been said it may ap­pear, that Christ is said to sit at the right hand of God in respect of his humane nature. In that re­spect he was humbled, and in that respect he was exalted, the divine nature properly being capable neither of the one, nor of the other. As man, he suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, and des­cended into hell; and so as man he rose again, as­cended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God. The divine nature is said to be humbled, not properly, as if it's glory was indeed dimini­shed, but that assuming to it self humane nature [Page 273] subject to infirmity, its glory did lie hid, and not appear, So also it is said to be exalted, not proper­ly, as if any glory indeed were added unto it, but by the exaltation of that humane nature, which it assumed, it's glory is made to appear and shine forth. Now this glorious exaltation of Christs humane nature, did belong unto it by vertue of the hypostaticall union, and so was due unto Christ at the first moment that the two natures were united together in one person: but by dis­pensation, for the working out of our Redemp­tion, Christ did not enter into the possession of his glory, till after his passion, Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory? viz. af­ter his suffering, Luk. 24. 26. It was his glory, that which of right did belongQuomodo suam, si oportuit? & quomodo oportuit, si suam? Si glorii ejus fuit, quomodo ut a [...] illam intraret, pati oportuit? Sed suam propterff se; oportuit propter nos.—Si aliter venisset, per­venisset, sed non subv [...]nisset. Hu­go. de S. Vict. unto him, even as man, that man being God also; yet for our sakes, that our Redemp­tion might be essected by him, it behoved him first to suffer, as he did, and then to enter into his glory.

Vse 1. Here then we may see the glorious and transcendent excellency of Christ, even as man, and so in him the wonderfull exaltation of our humane nature. Lord, what is man, that thou art mindfull of him, and the son of man that thou visi­test him? Thou hast made him a little lower then the Angels, and hast crowned him with glory and ho­nour, Psal. 8. 4, 5. Yea the man Christ is made a great deal higher then the Angels. We see Jesus, saith [Page 274] the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews having cited these words of David, who was made a little [...] (or for a little while) lower then the Angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with Glory and Ho­nour, Heb. 2. 9. Christ for a while, that he might suffer death for our Redemption, was lower then the Angels, being a man subject to infirmi­ty, but now he is crowned with glory and honour, whereby he is far above the An­gels.

Caution. But here we must beware of that er­rour which some have faln into: We must not think that because Christ as man doth sit at the right hand of God, therefore Majesty and Glory properly divine and infinite is communicated to Christs humane nature. This is exceeding grosse, and the very heresie of Eutyches, who because he would not with Nestorius divide the person of Christ, therefore falling into another extreme he would confound his natures, making the humane nature to be swallowed up (as it were) by the divine nature. But Christs glory doth not take away the truth of his huma­nity; it is exalted, but notGloria humanitatem non tollit, sed extollit, non interfi [...]it; sed perficit. Gerson. abolished. And therefore neither must we (as some do) from Christs sitting at the right hand of God, infer the ubiquity of Christs body, as if therefore it were every where. For ubiquity, or being eve­ry where, is proper and peculiar to the divine na­ture, the humane nature is not capable of it. He is not here (viz. in respect of the body) [Page 275] for he is risen, Luk. 24. 6. So he is not here (in that re­spect)Secundùm hanc formam non est putandus ubique diffusus. Caven­dum enim est, ne ita divinitatem astruamus hominis, ut veritatem corporis destruamus. Aug. Epist. 57. for he is ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of God. Indeed Christ as God, when he was upon earth, was also in heaven, Ioh. 3. 13. And so now in that respect being in heaven, he is also on earth, Mat. 28. 20. But as man he was not in hea­ven, when he was on earth, neither is he in that respect now on earth, when he is in heaven.

Ʋse 2. This also makes exceedingly for the comfort of all such as belong unto Christ, and are his; they need not fear either to want any good or to suffer any evill, seeing he to whom they belong, is so exalted over all, and there­fore able to protect them, and to provide for them: Are we afraid of the rage and malice either of men or Devills? Though they be too strong for us, yet Christ is too strong for them, and much lesse are they able to resist him, then we are to resist them. This was enough to ani­mate and incourage Stephen notwithstanding the fury of his adversaries, that he saw Christ stan­ding at the right hand of God ready to defend him, Acts 7. 55, 56. So let us with the eye of faith look up unto Christ, and not fear what men or Devills can do unto us: When Saul per­secuted the members of Christ upon earth, Christ from heaven spake unto him, and let him know that he did persecute him, and that he had a hard match of it; Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?—I am Jesus whom thou persecuiest; it is hard for [Page 276] thee to to kick against the pricks, Acts 9. 4, 5. So Eph. 1. 22. it is said that all things are put under Christs feet, and that he is head over all things to the Church, or for the Church, that is, for the comfort and welfare of the Church.

Again, doth the guilt of sin sting and wound our consciences? Let us consider what a mighty Redeemer, Mediatour, and Advocate we have, Who when he had by himself purged our sins, sate down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, Heb. 1. 3. Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is e­ven at the right hand of God, who also maketh in­tercession for us, Rom. 8. 34.

Again, do we want any thing that is good and needfull for us? We may go with boldnesse unto God, and ask of him in the Name of Christ, whom he hath so exalted, as to set him at his own right hand. Adonijah thought himself sure to speed when he had Bathsheba, whom Solomon did so honor, to intercede for him; and so, had his re­quest been just and reasonable, it had been gran­ted. See 1 King. 2. 17; 18, 19, 20. How much more may we be assured, that having Christ to medi­ate and intercede for us, we shall obtain what we ask in his Name? Whatsoever you ask the Fa­ther in my Name, he will give it, saith Christ, Joh. 16. 23. Therefore let us come with boldnesse to the Throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need, Heb. 4. 16.

Finally, whatever our trouble or distresse be, yet let us not be dejected nor dismaied, conside­ring that Christ is at Gods right hand, and as he [Page 277] is thus exalted, so we also as members of his bo­dy, shall proportionably be exalted in due time: Run with patience the race that is set before you, looking unto Iesus the Author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, indu­red the Crosse, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God, Heb. 12. 1. If we suffer (with Christ) we shall also reign with him, 2 Tim. 2. 12. To him that overcometh (saith Christ) will I grant to sit with me in my Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his Throne, Rev. 3. 21.

Ʋse 3. This also serves for the terror of such as stand out against Christ, and will not come in, and submit unto him: All the wicked and un­godly are Christs enemies, (the enemies of the Crosse of Christ, Phil. 3. 18.) but especially such as having means and offers of grace, yet sleight and despise them. Now if Christ be invested with such dignity and power, then woe unto his ene­mies, they must be made his footstool, Psal. 110. 5. & 1 Cor. 15. 25. He will rule in the midst of his E­nemies, Psal. 110. 2. He will one day say, Those mine Enemies, that would not suffer me to reign over them, Vicisti Galilee, vicisti. bring hither, and slay them before me, Luk. 19. 27. Ju­lian the Apostate was forced at length to con­fesse that Christ was too hard for him, and had got the victory over him; & so shal all such proud and presumptuous opposers of Christ, as he was. He shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potters vessel, Psal. 2. 9.

Vse 4. Lastly therefore, this may teach and ad­monish all to reverence Christ, and to submit un­to [Page 278] him; S. Peter having spoken of Christs sitting at the right hand of God, addes immediately, Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Iesus whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ, Act. 2. 36. He is Lord and King over all, and therefore to be obey­ed by all; he will rule and reign over all whether they will or not, even the Devills themselves are under his power, and are constrained to be sub­ject to him. But let us willingly subject our selves unto Christ, and yeeld obedience unto him, that so his Majesty and power may be for us, and not against us; for our comfort, and not for our con­fusion: Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoyce with trembling: Kisse the Son lest he be angry, and you perish from the way: if his wrath be kindled, yea but a little, blessed are all they that trust in him, Psal. 2. 11, 12.

The three and twentieth SERMON.

ACTS 10. 42. And he com­manded us to preach unto the people, and to testifie that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.’

CHrists sitting at the right hand of God, is (as I have formerly shewed) the highest de­gree of his exaltation; and therefore his coming to judge both the quick and the dead, is not a de­gree above it, but belongs unto it as a part of it: Christs sitting at the right hand of God (as hath been shewed) denotes that supreme power and dignity unto which Christ is exalted above all creatures: Now the most clear evidence and de­monstration of this dignity and power, in the full exercise of it, shall be seen by Christs coming to Judgement; then shall every knee be made to [Page 280] bow unto him, Phil. 2. 9, 10, 11. with Rom. 14. 10, 11. compared together: Therefore Christs com­ing to Judgement and his Kingdome are joyned together as equivalent, 2 Tim. 4. 1. because when Christ cometh to judgement, then his Kingdome shall be consummated and made perfect. Where­as therefore in the Creed after the Article of Christs sitting at the right hand of God, it's said, From thence he shal come to judge both the quick and the dead; those words from thence, are not so to be understood, as if Christ should come from the right hand of God to judge both the quick and the dead: No, Christ shall then especially sit (that is, appear to sit) at the right hand of God, when he cometh to judgement. And so much Christ himself hath shewed us, saying, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven, viz. to judgement, Mat. 26. 64. But the words from thence have reverence unto heaven, which was mentioned in the Creed a little before; He ascended into heaven, and (there) sitteth at the right hand of God, from thence (that is, from heaven) he shall come to judge both the quick and the dead. Thus the Angells told the Disciples, who beheld Christs as­cension,De caelo venturus est ad ju­dicandum▪ vivos & mortuos. Aug. En­chir. c. 54. This same Iesus which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall come in like manner as you have seen him go into Heaven, Acts 1. 11. So S. Paul, 1 Thes. 4. 16. The Lord himself shall descend from Heaven, &c. And again, 2 Thes. 1. 7. When the Lord Iesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty Angells, &c.

Quest. But who are meant by the quick and [Page 281] dead, vvhich are spoken of both in the Creed, and in the Scripture, as in the Text, and so in other places; as 2 Tim. 4. 1. & 1 Pet. 4. 5.

Answ. Some by quick are said to understand mens souls, and by dead mens bodies; as if whenTeste Danco in Enchir. Aug. c. 55. it is said, that Christ shall judge both quick and d [...]ad, the meaning were, that he shal judge both soul and body: but this is an un [...]duth and in­congruous exposition. For by quick and dead are meant, not divers parts, but divers persons▪ like as Rom. 14. 9. where it is said, that to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. Augustine givethIn Enchir. cap. 55. two interpretations of these words, quick and dead. 1. That by quick are meant the righteous, and by dead the wicked, vvho are dead vvhilest they live, 1 Tim. 5. 6. Dead in trespasses and sins, E­phes. 2. 1.

But neither is this interpretation to be embra­ced, for thus the words quick and dead, are taken metaphorically, and not properly, whereas we ought not to recede from the propriety of words, except necessity enforce thereunto, which here it doth not. 2. That by quick vve are to under­stand those vvho are novv alive, or shall be alive at Christs coming; and by dead those vvho are novv dead, or shall be at Christs coming: and this indeed is the true and genuine meaning of the vvords. The Scripture shevvs, that they vvho are alive at Christs coming, shall so remain, and they vvho vvere before dead, shall be raised up, and together vvith the other shall be judged; and in this sense is it said, that Christ shall judge both [Page 282] quick and dead; not that any shall be dead, when they are judged, but where as they were dead, they shall be raised up, and so be judged. Thus is that to be understood, Revel. 20. 12. I saw the dead, small and great stand before God, viz. to be judged, as it there followeth; the dead, that is, those who had been dead. And in opposition to these are the quick, that is, they who are found living when Christ cometh, and so remaining alive come to judgement. For the Lord himself, saith S. Paul, shal descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the ayre, &c.

1 Thes. 4. 16. 17. Here the A­postle sheweth, that the E­lectElecti qui relinquimur, non mori­emur, sed de vitâ corporali, trans­feremur in vitam immortalem. Hoc n. clarè significat, repetendo qui vivimus simul rapiemur cum illis. Hoc consonat verbis Petri Act. 10. Ipse est, qui constitutus est à Deo judex vivorum & mortuo­rum. Et ideò in symbol. cantamus, &c. Cajetan. ad 1 Thes. 4. vide etiam Cajetan. ad 2 Tim. 4. 1. & ad Act. 10. 42. (for of them only he here speaketh) that remain and are alive at Christs com­ing, shall not die, but shall together with those that were dead, but then are rai­sed up, be conveyed unto Christ, and be with him for ever, viz. after the judge­ment, which shall passe up­on them. Austin indeed having alledged these words of the Apostle, makes a question, whetherAug. de Civ. Dei l. 20. c. 20. they, whom Christ at his coming shall find alive, in that very space, whilest they are caught up, as the Apostle speaks, shall not have their souls se­parated from their bodies, and presently re-uni­ted [Page 283] unto them. But there is no ground at all for any such conceit: and that other parallel place of the Apostle is against it, viz. that 1 Cor 15. 51, 52. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in a twink­ling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, a [...]d we shal be changed. Here the Apostle plainly shew­keth, that the Elect (of which likewise he here spea­eth) that are alive at Christs coming, shall not sleep, that is, not die, but only shall be changed, that is, as he after explaineth it, of mortall shall be made immortall, and of corruptible incorrup­tible. Indeed this place to the Corinthians is di­versly read, and that was it that did mislead Au­stin, he followed another, and a contrary reading viz. We shall all rise again, or We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed, But these readings are false, and the other, which we have in our Tran­slations, and is found in the Greek, is the true rea­ding,See Caje­tan on 1 Cor. 15. 51. 522. as may appear by divers reasons, 1. Other­wise this place to the Corinthians, and that other to the Thessalonians should but ill agree; and therefore for the reconciling of them, Austin was fain to make that strange quaere before mention­ed, and to imagine that which neither by Scrip­ture nor by reason hath any probability for it. 2. If we should read it thus, we shall not all be chan­ged, then the Apostle should comprehend himself in the number of those that perish; for the change there spoken of, is a change unto glory and hap­pinesse, as appears by the words following: and therefore all the Elect have that change, only the [Page 284] reprobrate have it not, though a change also they shall have, but a wofull and miserable change, and not that which the Apostle there intendeth. 3. That which seemeth to me most convincing, is this, that except we should read it as we do, We shal not all sleep, but we shal al be changed, that pre­face which the Apostle useth, were impertinent & improper, Behold, I shew you a mystery. For what mystery is there in this, that all shall sleep, and die, but not all be changed, that is, inherit glory & e­ternall life? If this had been that which the Apo­stle was to say, he would never have brought it inƲerè hoc est mag­num, my­sterium, quòd ali­qui electo­rumabsque morte in­tercedente assequen­tur omnes immutati­ones supra scriptur, &c. Ca­jetan. i [...] 1 Cor. 15. with such a preamble, he would never have spo­ken of it as a mystery; for surely nothing is more obvious to every understanding, then that though all shall die, yet all shall not enjoy the life to come. But this is a mystery indeed, except the Apostle had by the spirit of God revealed it, we should have been ignorant of it, that all shall not die, but that some shall be exempted from death, and without the intervention of death shal passe from this life to another incomparably bet­ter.

Ob. Some may object that Heb. 9. 27. It is ap­pointed unto men to die once. And how then should the Apostle say, We shall not all sleep, that is, die?

Answ. But this objection is easily answered; Cajetane speaks briefly, but pithily, Statutum regu­lare Cajetane ad. Thes. 4. 17. est, illos autem non mori singulare est, That is, the Statute or appointment for men to die, is re­gular and ordinary, but for those who remain at Christs coming, not to die, is singular and extra­ordinary. [Page 285] And so necessarily those words, It is appointed unto men to die once: must be understood of Gods usuall and ordinary dispensation; for by once there is meant onely once, as appears by the context; yet we know that Lazarus and some o­thers, who were raised from the dead to this mor­tall life, did die more then once: and besides, the Scripture shews that Enoch and Eliah were so tran­slatedSee Calvin on 1 Cor. 15. and taken from the earth, as not to die once. Some further answer, that the change, which the Apostle speaks of, shall be as a kind of death; but being no separation of soul and body, it is not properly death; I therefore rather acqui­esce in the former answer. And so also is that to be understood, which Austin objecteth, That which thou sowest, it is not Quomodo, quos viventes hic Christus inveniet, per immortali­tatem in illo vivificabuntur, etsi non moriuntur, cum videamus propter hoc esse dictum, Tu quod seminas, &c. Aug. de Civ. Dei l. 20. c. 20. quickned except it die, 1 Cor. 15. 36. The Apostle there al­so speaks of that which is regular and ordinary, and so it is true, regularly and ordi­narily none are quickned, that is, inherit eternall life, but they first die: yet this hinders, not but that in respect of some it may be otherwise by a singular and extraordinary pri­viledge vouchsafed unto them. So it was with Enoch and Eliah, and so it shall be with those that are alive at Christs coming to judgement.

This being premised for the understanding of those words, quick and dead, from the Text I shall deduce two points whcih clearly arise from it, viz. 1. That both quick and dead, even all gene­rally whosoever they be, must be judged.

2. That Christ is he who must be the Judge of all, both of quick and dead.

For the first, That all generally shall be judged, the Scripture is plain and expresse, Heb. 9. 27. It is appointed unto men to die once, and after this the Judgement, Eccles. 12. 14. God will bring every work to judgement, Heb. 6. 2. the judgement to come there called eternall judgement, to distin­guish it from judgements executed here, which are but temporall, that judgement, I say, is rec­koned amongst the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ; as they are there called, v. 1.

This truth also may be confirmed by divers ar­guments.

1. The judgements which God hath already executed, or doth execute upon transgressors, prove that there is a judgement to come; S. Pe­ter maketh use of this argument, from Gods dealing with the Angells that sinned, with the old world, and with Sodome and Gomorrah, he infers, that God will at length meet with all the wicked, that those fore-going judgements are tokens of this judgement which is to come; If God spared not the Angells that sinned, but cast them down to hell, &c. And spared not the old world, &c. And turning the Cities of Sodome and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an over­throw, &c. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the righteous out of temptation, and to reserve the wic­ked unto the day of Judgement to be punished, 2 Pet. 2. 4. 9

2. Mans own conscience is enough to convince him of this, that all shall be judged: For con­science [Page 287] will check and reprove for doing ill, though otherwise amongst men none know of it, or if some do, yet either they cannot, or will not punish for it. When David had but cut off the lap of Sauls garment, whereas some would have had him cut off his head, his heart smotehim for it, 1 Sam. 24. 5. And so when he had sinned in cau­sing the people to be numbred, 2 Sam. 24. 10. On the other side, conscience will comfort and in­courage in doing well, though in the world one be traduced and slandered as an evill doer: This is our rejoycing (said the Apostle) even the testimo­ny of our conscience, 2 Cor. 1. 12. Neither is this work of conscience only in the regenerate, but even in the unregenerate also. The Apostle speak­ing of the Gentiles who had but the light of na­ture, and so a meer naturall conscience, yet saith saith of them, that they shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witnesse, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another, Rom, 2. 15.

We find that the Heathens could say, thatConscien­tia mille testes. Hic murus aheneus esto, Nil consicre sibi Juven conscience is a thousand witnesses; no matter who testifie for a man, if conscience testifie against him; no matter who testifie against him, if con­science testifie for him; A good conscience (say they) is a wall of brasse, able to protect and de­fend against all opposition. But on the other side, What skills it, or what matter is it (saith Seneca)Quid infert neminem scire, cum tu scias? O te miserum, si con­temnas hunc testem! though none know what thou hast done, whenas thou knowest it? O the wretchednesse of thy condition, if thou doest [Page 288] despise this witnesse, thine own conscience! True it is, conscience doth often lie asleep, it is stupified and seared many times; but at one time or other it will awake, it will accuse, convince, condemne, and torment; affliction doth use to awaken con­science if it were asleep before. Josephs brethren after they had sold him, concealed the matter for a long time, and their conscience did little trou­ble them (for ought we find) about it: But when they found themselves in distresse, Joseph (whom they knew not, though he knew them) dealing roughly with them, then their conscience did awake, and cry out against them for that which they had done so long (twenty years and more, as appears by the story) before: They said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; there­fore is this distresse come upon us. And Ruben an­swered them saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child, and ye would not heare? therefore is this distresse come upon us, Gen. 42, 21, 22. And not only Josephs brethren, who though guilty of much sin, yet were indued with true grace, but even Pharoah himself when Gods hand was heavy upon him, cryed, peccavi, saying, I have sinned this time, the Lord is righteous, but I and my people are wicked, Exod. 9. 27. And so A­doni Bezek a cruell Tyrant, when the Israelites had taken him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes, then his conscience accused him of his cru­elty, and he confessed that he was dealt with, as he had dealt with others, Judg. 1. 7. Threescore [Page 289] and ten Kings (said he) having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered meat under my ta­ble; as I have done, so God hath requited me: Thus the conscience of man doth sufficiently shew that there shall be judgement, wherein all shall receive according to their wayes and their do­ings.

3. Justice requires, that it should fare betterUt bonis benè fit, malis au­tem malè. with the good, then with the bad, with the righ­teous, then with the wicked: That the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee, said Abraham unto God, Gen. 18. 25. And so this is far from God; for the just Lord will do no iniqui­ty, Zeph. 3. 5. No, as Elihu speaks, far be it from God that he should do wickednesse, and from the Al­mighty that he should commit iniquity: For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his waies. Yea surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty per­vert judgement, Job 34. 10, 11, 12. God bids, Say unto the righteous, it shall be well with him, &c. Woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him, &c. Esa. 3. 10, 11. But this difference betwixt the righteous and the wicked, doth not alwayes appear in this world; No, here no man know­eth love or hatred by all that is before them, Eccles. 9. 1. That is, by Gods outward administra­tions none knoweth whom he loveth, and whom he hateth, because (as it followeth) All things come alike unto all; there is one e­vent to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good, and to the cleane, and to the uncleane, to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sa­crificeth [Page 290] not; to him that sweareth, and to him that feareth an Oath. Yea, oftentimes so it is here in this world, that the wicked flou­rish and prosper, whenas the righteous are afflicted and in misery. Here prophane Esau stayes at home, and takes his pleasure, while godly Iacob is forced to indure much hardnesse in a forraigne Countrey. Here Na­bal (a man of Belial) feasts it like a King, while David, a man after Gods own heart, is in want and penury. Yea, here Barabbas, a murtherer, is released, and set at liberty, and Christ himselfe is condemned and crucifi­ed. It must needs be therefore, that here­after there shall be a Judgement, wherein men shall discerne between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not, Mal. 3. 18. The sufferings of the godly here in this life (as the Apostle tells us) are a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God, 2 Thes. 1. 5. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you that are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Iesus shall appear, &c. v. 6.

Thus both Scripture and Reason shew, that all must be judged: And the Heathens have knowne and acknow­ledged so much: The [...]. Plato in Gorgia. [...]. Soph. dead must be judged, (saith Plato.) In the other world (saith Sophocles) we hold that there are two paths, [Page 291] one for the just, and another for the unjust. [...] Philem.

More fully to this pur­pose Philemon, another Heathen Poet; If the righteous and the wicked shall both fare alike, then go rob, steale, defraud, do what thou wilt: Be not deceived, even after death there shall be judgement, which God the righ­teous Judge of all will execute.

The four and twentieth SERMON.

IT being now sufficiently proved, that gene­rally all must be judged, we must further know that there is a twofold judgement to come, viz. a particular judgment, & a general judgment. A par­ticular judgment, whereby one immediately after death is judged. Thus is that understood, Eccles. 12. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, (that is, when one dieth, the body called dust, because it was made of dust, shall returne to the earth, of which it was made) and the spirit shal re­turn to God that gave it; that is, the soul shal return to God, who did create and infuse it into the bo­dy: A part shall go to God to be judged by him, [...] as the Chaldee Paraphrast doth well explaine it. And that parabolicall history, or historicall pa­rable of the rich man and Lazarus, which shews how immediately after they were dead, the one went to hell, and the other to Abrahams bo­some; that (I say) doth shew that every one par­ticularly when he dieth is, judged, and receiveth either reward or punishment: But besides this particular judgement, there shall also be a gene­rall judgement, wherein all together shall be judged: God hath appointed a day wherein he [Page 293] will judge the world, Acts 17. 21. This is that Judgement which is meant in those places of Scripture which speak of the day of Judgement, and so in the Text, and other places, where the judging of quick and dead is spoken of.

Now there are d [...]vers reasons why besides the particular judgement there should also be a generall judgment.

1. Because the particular judgement reacheth only to the soule: the difference betwixt the god­ly and the wicked when they die, is in respect of the soul, not of the body; but the body ha­ving been partner with the soul either in well or ill doing, reason requires that they should both share either in reward or punishment: We must all appear before the Iudgement-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evill, 2 Cor. 5. 10. The things were done in the body; therefore the recompence must be re­ceived also in the body, and consequently there must be a Judgement wherein both soul and body shall be judged.

2. The particular Judgement is secret and un­knowne to those that live here in this world, they cannot ordinarily tell what sentence doth passe upon any when they die; therefore it is meet that there should be another judgement, which shall be open and manifest unto all, that so Gods ju­stice in his administrations towards men may be made clear and evident. Hence the Apostle calls the day of Judgement, the day of the revelation of the righteous judgement of God, Rom. 2. 5. Not [Page 294] simply the day of the righteous judgement of God, but the day of the revelation of the righ­teous judgement of God, that is, the day where­in the righteous judgement of God shall be re­vealed and made manifest: Gods Judgement is al­wayes righteous, Is there unrighteousnesse with God? God forbid, Rom. 9. 14. But here many times the righteousnesse of Gods Judgement doth not appear; David having said that Gods righteousnesse is like the great mountains, that is, most firme and unmovable, addes immediately, that his judgements are a great deep, it is not easie for us to dive into them, or to find out the reason of them, Psal. 36. 6. So the Apo­stle cryes out, How unsearchable are his judge­ments, and his wayes past finding out? Rom. 11. 33. But in the great day of the Lord which is to come, Gods judgement shall not onely be righ­teous, as it ever is, but also shall appear to be righteous, all shall clearly see the righteous­nesse of it.

3. The generall judgement is congruous and requisite, besides the particular judgement, for the greater comfort and honour of the godly, and for the greater horrour and confusion of the wicked. What comfort and honour shall it be to the god­ly, whenas they, who whilest they lived here, were accounted as the filth and off-scouring of all things, and were exposed to all kind of injuries and indignit [...]es, shall receive their reward openly in the view of all the world? And so on the o­therside, what horrour and confusion will it be to the wicked, whenas they who here were accounted [Page 295] the only happy men, shall publikely in the sight of all be adjudged to eternall torment? The A­postle speaking of the generall judgement, saith, that then Christ shall be glorified in his Saints, and admired in all them that believe, 2 Thes. 1. 10. So Da­niel saith, that then the righteous shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament, Dan. 12. 3. but that the wicked shall have shame and everlasting con­tempt.

Vse 1. This point concerning the iudgement to come, serves to convince many.

1. Those mockers and scoffers mentioned by S. Peter; Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last daies scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? 2 Pet. 3. 3, 4. They mean of Christs coming to judgement? where is it? say they: as if they should say, We have heard much of it, but we can­not see it, and because they do not see it, neither will they believe it: so the Prophet Zephany tells of some that are setled on their lees, and say in their heart, the Lord will neither do good, neither will he do evil, Zeph. 1. 12. But the Prophet there shews that the Lord will punish such as these, Prov. 19. 29. Judgements are prepared for scorners; Esa 28. 22. Now therefore be ye not mockers lest your bonds be made strong; he speaks of temporall Judgments that shall be inflicted on them, how much lesse shall they escape eternall judgement? Enoch also (saith S. Iude) the seventh from Adam, prophecied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thou­sands of his Saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, [Page 296] of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which un­godly sinners have spoken against him, Jude v. 14, & 15.

2. Hypocrites and formall professors, who have a form of godlinesse, but deny the power of it, 2 Tim. 3. 5. Who think it enough to carry it fair outwardly in the eyes of men, not considering nor caring what they are in the sight of God. But God will bring every work to iudgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evill, Eccles. 12. 14. He will bring to light the hidden things of darknesse, and will make manifest the counsells of the heart, 1 Tim. 4, 5.

3. Such presumptuous ones, who though they be foolish & ignorant, froward & disobedient, yet doubt not but that when they die they shal go to heaven. But be not deceived, God is not mocked; as a man soweth, so shall he reap, Gal. 6. 7. Christ will come in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those that know not God, and obey not the Gospell of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Thes. 1. 8. And therefore woe unto all that remain either in their ignorance, or in their disobedience.

Vse 2. The consideration of this judgementAug. Confes. l. 6. c. 6. should therefore stir us up unto repentance, and provoke us unto all holy obedience. What can work upon us, and prevail with us, if not the con­sideration of the judgement to come; Austin in his Confessions testifies, that it was Metus Mor­tis, & futuri judicii, the fear of death, and of judge­ment after death, which did bring him out of the deep gulf of sin and sensuality, wherein he was al­most [Page 297] swallowed up and drowned. And he saith that disputing with his friends, de finibus bonorum & malorum, of the chiefest good and evill, he should have given the garland to Epicurus, who made happinesse to consist in sensuall pleasure and de­light, but that he was perswaded that after this life is ended, men shall receive of God according to their waies and doings, which Epicurus would not believe. Oftentimes in the Scripture is this consideration used and urged as a forcible motive to repentance and circumspect walking. Rejoyce O young man, saith Salomon, in thy youth, and let thine heart chear thee in the daies of thy youth, and walk in the waies of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eys, As if he should say, I know this is that which thou desirest, and art prone unto; well, do so if thou wilt, but know that for all these things God will bring thee unto judgement, Eccl. 11. 9. So Eccl. 12. 13, 14. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep his Commandements; for this is the whole duty of man, for God shall bring every work to judgement: So S. Paul And the times of this igno­rance God winked at, but now commandeth all men every where to repent, because he hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousnesse, &c. Act. 17. 30, 31. And 2 Cor. 5. 9, 10, 11. Where­fore we labour, that whether present or absent (that is, whether alive or dead) we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the Judgement seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whe­ther it be good or evill. Knowing therefore that ter­rour of the Lord, we perswade men. As if he should [Page 298] say, surely this if any thing will perswade them to have a care what they do, seeing there must be a judgement, wherein God will render unto them according to their deeds. So also S. Peter ha­ving spoken of this judgement, infers from [...]hence, What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godlinesse! 2 Pet. 3. 11.

But let us take heed lest we put far away the e­vill Amos 6. 3. day, thinking that this judgement will not come yet, & that there is time enough to prepare for it. The Scripture in many places tells us that the day of the Lord, the day of Judgement, will come as a thief, suddenly, when it is little expected by many, and therefore it behoves us to watch, and prepare for it continually, that it may not surprize us ere we be aware. Your selves know per­fectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say peace, and safety, then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as tra­vell upon a woman with child, and they shall not e­scape, 1 Thes. 5. 2, 3. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, 2 Pet. 3. 10. If thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what houre I will come upon thee, Revel. 3. 3. Behold, I come as a thief, blessed is he that watch­eth, Revel. 16. 15. Watch therefore, for you know not what houre your Lord cometh. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an houre as you think not, the Son of Man cometh, Mat. 24. 42, 43, 44. Take ye heed, watch and pray, for you know [Page 299] not when the time is, Mar. 13. 23. Take heed to your selves least at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfetting and drunkennesse, and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare will it come upon all them that dwell on the face of the earth: Watch ye therefore, &c. Luk. 21. 34, 35, 36. We see how earnestly Christ admoni­shed those that lived so many hundred years a­go, to take heed least the day of judgement should come on them ere they were aware. And good reason, for he that is unpre­pated at his death, shall beImparatum inveniet ille dies, quem imparatam invenerit vitae hujus ultimas dies. Aug. Qualis [...] die isto [...]isque moritur, talis in die illo judicabitur. Idem. unprepared at the last judge­ment. As death leaves a man, so will the day of judgement find him. Yea there is (as hath been shewed) a particular judge­ment upon the soul immediately after death, and as it fares with the soul then in the particular judgement, so must it after fare both with body and soul, in the generall judgement. But further, as the consideration of judgement to come, should deter us from all sin, and provoke us unto all o­bedience, so there are divers particular duties which it both serves to admonish us of, and in­cite us unto. As 1. To take heed of judging, cen­suring and condemning one another. This is not so to be taken, as some are apt to mis-interpret and misapply it, as if we might not admonish and reprove one another. He will needs make himself a Judge, said the Sodomites of Lot, when he said to them, Nay my brethren, I pray you do not so wicked­ly, Gen. 19. 9. So when Moses reproved one for [Page 300] doing his fellow wrong, presently the man took him up saying, Who made thee a Iudge and a Ruler over us! Exod. 2. 14. But all in their places and callings ought to do this, Ministers must do it; These things teach and exhort, and rebuke with all Authority, Tit. 2. 15. Preach the word, be instant in season, and out of season, reprove, rebuke, &c. 2 Tim. 4. 2. So also private Christians; Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdome teaching and admonishing one another, Col. 3. 16. Warn them that are unruly, 1 Thes. 5. 14. Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him, Levit. 19. 17. But though this be required of us, yet are we forbidden to be censorious: judge not, that ye be not judged, Mat. 7. 1. Yea because vve must our selves be judged, therefore vve must not take up­on us to judge others. Why doest thou judge thy brother, or why doest thou set at nought thy brother? we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ, As it is written, As I live saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confesse to God. So then, every one of us shall give an account of himselfe unto God. Let us not therefore judge one a­nother any more, Rom. 14. 10, 11, 12, 13. There is one Law-giver, who is able to save, and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another? Jam. 4. 12. And how must we refrain from judging, because of that judgement that is to come? we must take heed of judging further then we know, as of mens purposes and intentions further then they mani­fest them by their actions. Judge nothing before the time, untill the Lord come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darknesse, and will make manifest [Page 301] the counsels of the heart, 1 Cor. 4. 5. If mens actions be good, we must take heed how we judge their intentions, as to say, that they do things for by ends, and earthly respects, for profit, credit, and the like. And if their actions be doubtfull, we are to interpret things in the best sense, Charity think­eth no evill, 1 Cor. 13. 5. VVhere it seeth none, it thinketh or suspecteth none. Neither if mens acti­ons some of them be apparently evill, must we therefore presume to judge so of their persons; for so we shall offend against the generation of Gods chil­dren. Psal. 73. 15. The wicked may do some things that are good, and so the godly some things that are evil, for in many things we offend all, Jam. 3. 2. Finally, though it be evident, that any for the present are in a damnable estate, in that they set themselves Psal. 36. 4. Isai. 3. 9. in a way that is not good, and do not abhor evill, They declare their sins as Sodom and hide them not, yet may we not therefore be peremptory to judge of their eternall condition; we may not therefore say that they are reprobates, castawaies, damned wretches, and that there is no hope of them. For this is more then we know, we must leave it unto him, Who hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth, Rom. 9. 18.

There are two sorts of people, who are especi­ally faulty in this kind, 1. Such as take upon them to judge and censure others, that so themselves may seem the more pure, and the more perfect. As the depressing of the one scale is the lifting up of the other; so they think, that what they detract from others, they shall adde unto themselves. See Absalons hypocriticall censoriousnesse, 2 Sam. 15. [Page 302] 3. 4. But thou art inexcusable O man, whosoever thou art that judgest, for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thy self, for thou that judgest, doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth, against them that com­mit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that iudgest them, which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the iudgement of God? Rom. 2. 1, 2, 3. If a man think himself to be something when he is nothing; he deceiveth himself. But let e­very man prove his own work, and so shall he have reioycing in himself alone, and not in another. For e­very man shall bear his own burthen, Gal. 6. 3, 4, 5. My brethren be not many Masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all, Jam. 3. 1, 2.

2. Such as wittingly and wilfully traduce and slander others, whose conversations they know to be holy and good, and even therefore they seek what they can to defame them. They think it strange that you will not run with them to the same excesse of riot, speaking evill of you. Who shall give an account to him who is ready to iudge both the quick and the dead, 1 Pet. 4. 4, 5.

2. To beware of abusing that power that we have over, or above others. For though they be not a­ble to plead their own cause, and to vindicate themselves, yet God at the last judgement, if not before, will plead their cause for them, and will a­venge them on those that have done them wrong. Rob not the poor, because he is poor, neither oppresse the afflicted in the gate. For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them, [Page 303] Prov. 22. 22, 23, He that doth wrong, shall receive for the wrong that he doth, and there is no respect of persons, Col. 3. 25. Therefore Masters give unto your servants, that which is iust and equall, knowing that ye also have a master in heaven, Col. 4. 1. This consideration of Gods judgement to come wrought so upon Iob, that he durst not oppresse either servants or others. If I did despise (saith he) the cause of my man-servant, or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me. What then shall I do when God standeth up, and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Job. 31. 13, 14. If I have lift up my hand against the father lesse, when I saw my help in the gate (that is, when by his greatnesse he could have easily escaped censure in the courts of hu­mane judicature) Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder-blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. For destruction from God was a terrour unto me, and because of his highnesse I could not indure, Joh. 31. 21, 22, 23.

3. To shew mercy unto others, that we our selves in that great day may obtain mercy. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again, Mat. 7. 2. Blessed are the mercifull for they shall obtain mercy, Mat. 5. 7. But he shall have iudge­ment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy, Jam. 2. 13. Now we must be mercifull in forgiving. For how can we expect that God should forgive us, if we will not forgive others? Christ hath taught us to pray, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespasse against us, And he adds, For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not [Page 304] men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses, Mat. 6. 14. 15. And to this end he propounded a Parable of a certaine King, who having forgiven one of his servants a great debt which he was never able to pay, when he heard how that servant would not remit a small debt that his fellow-servant owed him, he was wroth with him, and exacted his debt of him, Mat. 18. 23. &c. And the Application of the Parable is subjoyned v. 35. So likewise shall my heavenly Fa­ther do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses: Therefore let not the Sun go down upon your wrath, Eph. 4. 26. Yet some will continue in their wrath and en­mity,In ipsa morte ira vivebat. Flor. not only untill night, but even untill death, they will lie down not onely in their beds, but in their graves with it.

2. In giving, that is, succouring and relieving those that are in want and misery: The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus, for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he was in Rome he sought me out very di­ligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him, that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day, 2 Tim. 1. 16, 17, 18. And what account shall be made at the last judgement of this kind of mer­cy, Christ hath plainly shewed, Mat. 25. 34. &c. where he fore-tells how to those who have been carefull to succour and relieve others, he will say, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit ye the Kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink, &c. On [Page 305] the other side to those, who have refused thus to shew mercy, he will say, Depart from me ye cur­sed into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devill and his Angells: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat, &c. Some (as Austine records)Aug. de Civit. Dei. l. 212. c. 17. have strained this, and other such like places, be­yond all due measure, inferring from thence, that if a man did not neglect to give almes how­soever otherwise he lived, yet he should not be damned. But this is a most erroneous and dam­nable opinion: For though a man give all his goods to feed the poore, yet if he be without charity, it shall profit him nothing, as the Apo­stle teacheth, 1 Cor. 13. 3. Now where sin and ungodlinesse doth reign, there is no charity; for charity proceeds out of a pure heart, a good con­science, and faith unf [...]ined, as we learn of the same Apostle, 1 Tim. 1. 5. That of our Saviour holds good in respect of all, as well almes-givers as others, Except ye repent, ye shall all perish, Luke 13. 3, 5. Gregory saith well, that he that givesDat sua Deo, se diabolo. Greg. Pa­stor. par. 3. admonit. 21. almes liberally, and yet otherwise lives wickedly, gives his goods to God, and himself to the Devill: That of our Saviour, Luk. 11. 41. Give almes of of such things as you have, and behold all things are clean unto you, is not so to be taken, as if gi­ving of alms alone would serve the turn; but he spake in respect of the Pharisees, as the context sheweth: The Pharisees were superstitious in washing and cleansing their cups, and platters, but regarded not to wash and cleanse their hearts. And because coveousnesse was the sin which was predominant in them, as appears, [Page 306] Luke 16. 14. Mat. 23. 14. Therefore Christ pre­scribed a remedy sutable to the disease; as a Phy­sitian will say, to such as are given to excesse, Use abstinence, and all will be well: So Daniel know­ing that Nebuchadnezzar had been a great op­pressor, exhorted him to the exercise of that ver­tue especially which was most contrary to the vice that reigned in him; Wherefore O King, let my counsell be acceptable unto thee, break off thy sins by righteousnesse, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor, Dan. 4. 27.

The error of the Papists also is here to be avoi­ded, They hold that by works of mercy we may satisfie for our sins, and merit heaven: But it is only Christ, who is the propitiation for our sins, 1 Joh. 1. 2. and who hath purchased eternall re­demption for us, Heb. 9. 12. It is mercy that we must expect in the day of Judgement, notwith­standing all the works of mercy, or what ever good works we have done, as is clear by theDignatio locum non habet, ubi fuerit praesump­tio digni­tatis. Bern. Gal. 5. 6. places before cited, 2 Tim. 1. 18. Now Gods mer­cy and our merit will not stand together: But as other good works, so works of mercy being the fruits of a living faith, that worketh thorough love, shall be found pleasing unto God, and profi­table unto us at the last judgment.

Vse 3. Thirdly, and lastly, This Judgement to come being considered, affoards comfort unto the godly, and is sufficient to incourage them against all the molestations and troubles that here they meet with, As,

1. The prosperity of the wicked doth some­times not a little vex and grieve the godly: [Page 307] Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea and are mighty in power? Their seed is established in their sight, &c. Job 21. 7, 8. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? Wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? Jer. 12. 1. But as for me my feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipt: For I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked, &c. Psal. 73. 2, 3. &c. But what reason is there to envy the wicked, because they prosper and flourish for a while, whenas at last God will pay them home, and they shall perish for ever? The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction, and shall be brought forth to the day of wrath, Job 21. 30. Pull them out as sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter, Jer. 12. 3. When I thought to understand this, it was too painfull for me, untill I went into the Sanctuary of God, then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places, thou castedst them down into destruction: How are they brought into desolation as in a m [...] ­ment? They are utterly consumed with terrors: As a dreame when one awaketh, so O Lord when thou awakest thou shalt despise their image, Psal. 73. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Therefore fret not thy self because of evill doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity: For they shall soon be cut down like the grasse, & wither as the green herb, Psa. 37. 1, 2.

2. We are apt to be troubled at the disorder and confusion that is in the world, that much sin and wickednesse doth passe without controle, that judgement is perverted, the righteous are con­demned▪ and the wicked justified: But let us [Page 308] consider that there is a judgement to come which will rectifie all, and set all straight; I saw under the Sun (saith Solomon) the place of Judgement, that wickednesse was there, and the place of righte­ousnesse, that iniquity was there; I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose, and for e­very worke, Eccl. 3. 16, 17. If thou seest (saith he) the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgement and justice in a Province, marvell not at the matter; for he that is higher then the high­est regardeth the matter, and there be higher then they, Eccles. 5. 8.

3. The godly are subject here to slanders, calum­nies, and defamations: But let them consider that the day is coming when all foul and falsle aspersi­ons that were cast on them, shall be wiped off, and their innocency be made manifest unto all; Commit thy way unto the Lord trust also in him, and he shall bring it to passe: And he shall bring forth thy righteousnesse as the light, and thy judgement as the noon day, Psal. 36. 5, 6. But with me it is a very small thing, that I should be judged of you, or of mans Judgement.—But he that judge [...]h me is the Lord, 1 Cor. 4. 3, 4.

4. Persecution which the godly here indure, is sometimes bitter and grievous unto them. But this (saith the Apostle) is a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which ye also suf­fer. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to re­compense tribulation to those that trouble you: And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord [Page 309] Jesus shall appear from Heaven, &c. 2 Thes. 1. 5, 6, 7. &c. Be patient therefore brethren (saith S. James) unto the coming of the Lord: Behold the hus­bandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the Earth, and hath long patience for it, untill he receive the former and the latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, Iames 5. 7, 8. And so much for this Doctrine, That all generally shall be judged.

The five and twentieth SERMON.

THe second point to be considered from the Text, is this, That Christ is he, who must be the Doct. 2 judge of all, both the quick and the dead.

The Text is clear and expresse for this, and so also the Scripture in many other places. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Iesus Christ, who shall iudge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and his Kingdom, 2 Tim. 4. 1. We must all appear before the iudgment seat of Christ, 2 Cor. 5. 10. We shal all stand before the iudgment seat of Christ, Rom. 14. 10. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Iesus Christ, Rom. 2. 16 Because he hath appointed a day wherein he will iudge the world in righteousnesse, by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath gi­ven assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead, Act. 17. 31. For the Father judg­eth no man, but hath committed all judgement to the Son, Ioh. 5. 22. And hath given him authority also to execute iudgment, because he is the Sonne of man, v. 27.

Quest. But how is it said, that the Father judg­eth no man? the contrary is affirmed by S. Peter, If ye call on the Father, who without respect of per­sons iudgeth according to every mans work, &c. 1 Pet. 1. 17.

Answ. It is not meant that simply and abso­lutely the Father judgeth no man, but only in some respect, that is, the Father judgeth no man immediately by himselfe, but mediately by Christ, as the Apostle sheweth, Rom. 2. 16. & Act. Ferus on Ioh. 5. 22. 17. 31. In judgement (as some observe) four things are to be considered. 1. The judiciary power and authority. 2. an inward approbation of good, and detestation of evill. 3. a retribution of reward. 3. an outward sitting in judgement, and pronouncing of sentence, in respect of the three first particulars, the last judgement is com­mon to the whole Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; but in respect of the fourth and last particular it is proper and peculiar unto Christ.

Quest. But again it may be said, Christ being one and the same God with the Father, Ioh. 10. 30. how hath he this authority assigned unto him? All things that the Father hath, are mine, saith Christ, Joh. 16. 15.

Divers of the Ancients understand it so, thatHilary Chryso­stomand Theophy­lact: See Iansenius in Con­cord. the Father begetting the Son, and communica­ting the divine nature unto him, in that respect gave him authority to execute judgement. In which sense it is said, As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself, Joh. 5. 26. But Austin justly disliketh this exposition; for so it could not be said, The Father iudgeth no man. For as the Father beget­teth the Son, who is equall to the Father, so the Father judgeth together with the Son: [Page 312] the one judgeth in likeSecundum hoc enim quòd Pater aequalem genuit Filium, judicat eum Filio. Aug. Opera Trinita­tis ad extra sunt indivisa. manner as the other. For the works of the Trinity that are without, are common to all the three Persons: In this respect therefore he saith it is to be un­derstood, that the Father hath committed all iudg­ment to the Son, in that theSecundum hoc ergò dictum est, quòd in judicio non in formâ Dei, sed in formâ Filii hominis appa­rebit. Aug. Son shall appear in judge­ment, not in the forme of God, but in the form of man. And this he well con­firms by that, He hath given him authority to exe­cute iudgement, because he is the Son of man, Joh. 5. 27. The power of judgingPater Filio potestatem judicandi, quam ab aeterno habuit ut Deus, de­dit in tempore, qui [...] Filius homi­nis est, hoc est, quatenus est homo. Aug. belonged to the Son from all eternity, as God, but as man, in time he received that power of the Father. I saw in the night visions (saith Daniel) and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of daies, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a King­dome, that all people, Nations and languages should serve him, &c. Dan. 7. 13, 14. This shews, that Christ as the Son of man, that is, as man, had a Kingdome given unto him of God; and to the administration of that Kingdome, this appertain­eth, that he should judge the world. For he must reign untill hes enemies be made his footstool, 1 Cor. 15. 25. Which shall be fulfilled at his coming to [Page 313] judgement; then shal he exercise his Kingly pow­er to the full. And therefore it is said, that he shal judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdome, 2 Tim. 4. 1. The reason why Christ is to be the Judge of all, is the will and pleasure of God, it is his ordination and appointment, he is ordained of God to be the iudge of quick and dead, saith Peter in the Text. So Paul Act. 17. 31. saith that God hath ordained him to judge the world.

It is congruous and agreeable to reason that it should be so in divers respects, 1. For a reward to Christs humiliation, for he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted, Luk. 18. 14. Now Christ humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Crosse. Wherefore also God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: And that every tongue should confesse that Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father, Phil. 2. 8, 9, 10, 11. The full accomplish­ment hereof shall be at the last judgment, as ap­pears by comparing this place with that, Rom. 14. 10, 11. We shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confesse to God. That which is written (to wit, I­sai. 45. 23.) of every knee bowing unto God, and of every tongue confessing unto him, the Apostle interprets of Christ, as meant of him, and thence proves that all must stand before his judgement seat; for that then indeed shall every knee bow, that is, every one shall be subject unto him, and [Page 314] every tongue shall confesse him to be Lord over all. And thus some understand that, Ioh. 5. 27. And hath given him authority to execute iudgement also, because he is the Son of man, that is (say they) be­cause he did so humble himfelf as to be made man, and being man to suffer as he did.

2. That so the judiciall proceedings might be in an outward and visible manner. And thus o­thers do more fitly expound that, Ioh. 5. 27. Where it is said that authority to execute judgment is given unto Christ, because he is the son of man, that is, because he only of all the three Persons is man, and consequently is meet so to execute judg­ment, as that he may generally be seen of all. Thus it is said, that when he cometh, every eye shall see him, Revel. 1. 7.

Ob. But may some object, This honour to be the judge of all, is not peculiar unto Christ; for it is said, that the Saints shall iudge the world, 1 Cor. 6. 2.

Answ. I answer, One may be said to judge ma­ny waies. 1. Comparatively, thus it is said, Mat. 12. 41▪ 42. The men of Nineve shal rise in the iudgement with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold, a greater then Jonas is here. The Queen of the South shall rise up in the judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdome of Solomon; and behold, a greater then Solomon is here. Thus also is it said, Mat. 12. 27. If I by Belzebub cast out devills, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. Thus compara­tively, [Page 315] not only the Saints shall judge the wicked, that is, make it appear, that the wicked are justly to be condemned; but even the wicked also shall judge the wicked, some being far more grossely then others.

2. Interpretatively, by way of approbation: and thus also shall the Saints judge the world, by con­senting unto, and approving of Christs judgment, as just and right. They shall say, as it is, Revel. 16. 5. Thou art righteous O Lord, which art, and wast, and shall be, because thou hast iudged thus.

3. Eminently, as an assessor and Bencher next unto the Judge. Thus shall some of the Saints judge the world, to wit, the Apostles to whom Christ said, When the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, iudging the twelve Tribes of Israel, Mat. 19. 28.

4. Authoritatively, and so none of the Saints shall judge the world, but Christ only.

Vse 1. Here then is terrour to all those who are enemies to Christ, and aliens from Christ, as all the wicked and unregenerate are. Some there are who conspire against God, and against Christ, say­ing, Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their cords from us, Psal. 2. 3. We will not have this man to reign over us, Luk. 19. 14. But O ye sons of men how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long Psal. 4. 2. will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? What do these but strive against the stream? and kick against pricks? They do but imagine a vain thing, Psal. 2. 1.Act. 9. 4. Christ is King, and shall reign over them whether they will or no, if not by their voluntary subjecti­on [Page 316] to their eternall comfort, yet perforce to their eternall confusion. He shall break them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potters vessell. Psal. 2. 9. He shall say at the last day, Those mine e­nemies, that would not suffer me to reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me, Luk. 19. 27.

More particulerly here is terrour for divers sorts of the ungodly.

1. Adulterers, Fornicatours and unclean per­sons, who professing themselves Christians, yet consider not that of the Apostle, Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the mem­bers of on harlot? God forbid, 1 Cor. 6. 15. shall any be thus injurious unto Christ, and yet escape when he shall come to judgement? No, Whoremongers and adulterers he will iudge, Hebr. 13. 4. Though they escape here, they shall not escape hereafter. The Lord knoweth how to reserve the uniust to the day of iudgement to be punished; Chiefly those that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleannesse, 2 Pet. 2. 9, 10.

2. Swearers, who never mention Christ but in their oaths, never think of his sufferings, his wounds, his blood, his death, but to swear by them, as much as in them lies, they crucifie him again and again, and continually make his wounds to bleed afresh. Some such miscreants there are, as Salvian complained of in his times, They never lesse in­tend Nunquam minus cogitant quippi­am facere, quàm cum iurant per Christum se esse facturos. Salv. de Gubernat. l. 4. to do a thing, then when they swear by Christ that they will do it. Yea those things [Page 317] that are most evill and odious unto Christ, theyCogitant se scelera etiam re­ligiosè fa­cturos. Salv. Ibid. will swear by Christ, that they will do; as if (saith he) they thought that by this means their wic­ked acts shall be done religiously.

3. Such as sleight, or prophane the Ordinan­ces of Christ, his Word, and his Sacraments: Instead of observing that of the Apostle, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdome, Col. 3. 16. they are like those, Jer. 6. 10. The Word of the Lord is a reproach unto them, and they have no delight in it. So for the Sacraments, they think with Naaman, Are not Abana and Parphar, ri­vers of Damascus, better then all the waters of Is­rael? 2 King. 5. 12. What is there more in the water of Baptisme, then in other water? What more in the bread and wine on the Lords Table, then in bread and wine elsewhere?

4. Such as despise and hate, traduce and perse­cute Christs members: These more especially shall give an account unto him, who is ready to judge both the quick and the dead. All the respect that is shewed unto the members of Christ, and so all the indignity that is done unto them, Christ at the last Judgement, will take as shewed and done unto himselfe: Come ye blessed, &c. For I was an hungred, and ye fed me, &c. Forasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me, Mat. 25. 34. &c. On the other side, Depart from me ye cursed, &c. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat, &c. Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me, V. 41. &c. Therefore who­so [Page 318] shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Christ, it were better for him that a milstone were hanged about his necke, and that he were drowned in the depth of the Sea, Mat. 18. 6.

5. They who in place and office are the Mi­nisters of Christ, but do not take heed to the Mi­nistery which they have received in the Lord, to Col. 4. 17. fulfill it: How strictly did Paul charge Timothy to have a care of this, setting before him Christs coming to Judgement? I charge thee therefore (said he) before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge both the quick and the dead at his appearing, and his Kingdome, preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season, &c. 2 Tim. 4. 1, 2. So Peter, The Elders that are among you, I exhort, &c. Feed the flock of God, which is a­mong you, taking the oversight thereof not by con­straint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither being Lords over Gods heri­tage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a Crown of glory that fadeth not away, 1 Pet. 5. 1, 2, 3, 4. See Mat. 24. 45,—51.

Ʋse 2. Secondly, here is comfort for those that belong unto Christ, and have interest in him; what need such to fear condemnation, whenas it is Christ by whom they shall be judged? HeAdvoca­tus noster factus est judex no­ster Greg. hom. 34. in Evang. that is our Advocate, who maketh intercession for us, he shall be our Judge, and how then shall we be condemned? Though Satan be (as his name imports, and S. Peter terms him) our ad­versarie, 1 Pet. 5. 8. though he cease not to accuse us,, Rev. 12. 10. Yet we repenting and believing [Page 319] in Christ, may say with the Apostle, Who is he Rom. 8. 34 that condemneth? seeing Christ is he that judg­eth. When the wicked shall be at their wits end, and shall say to the mountains and to the rockes, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? Rev. 6. 16, 17. Then shall all true believers lift up their heads, for that their redemption is at hand: Then shall they say, L [...], Luk. 21. 28. this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad, and rejoyce in his salvation, Esa. 25. 9.

Vse 3. Thirdly, and lastly, let us be admonish­ed to consider Christ, and to think of him, not only as a Redeemer, but also as a Judge; let's know and consider, that as Christ came once to save sinners, so he will come againe to condemn sinners, even all impenitent sinners: His first coming was in humility and meeknesse, his se­cond coming will be in majesty and terrour; For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his Angels, and then he shall render to every man according to his works, Mat. 16. 27. So Mat. 25. 31. When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy Angels with him, then shall he fit upon the Throne of his glory. The terriblenesse of Christs coming to judgement is lively set forth by the Apostle, 2 Thes. 1. 7, 8, 9. The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty Angells, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospell of our Lord Jesus [Page 320] Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting de­struction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power: Well might he say, as he did, Knowing therefore this terror of the Lord, we perswade men, 2 Cor. 5. 11. Let us take heed lest we now despise that sweet invitation, Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you ease, Mat. 11. 28. lest hereafter we hear that dreadfull denuntiation, Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the De­vill and his Angels, Mat. 25. 41. Let us remember that of Paul, The grace of God which bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all men, teaching us, that denying ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, we live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, Tit. 2. 11, 12, 13. And that of Peter, Where­fore beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent, that you may be found of him in peace, with­out spot and blamelesse, 2 Pet. 3. 14. In a word, let's have a care so to assure our selves of interest in Christ by faith, and so to shew forth our faith in Christ by our love and obedience unto him, that as he saith, Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man as his work shall be, Rev. 22. 12. Surely I come quickly, v. 20. So we may have courage and confidence to say, as there im­mediately it followeth, Amen, even so come Lord Jesus.

The six and twentieth SERMON.

2 COR. 13. 14. And the Com­munion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.’

THese words are a part of the conclusion of this Epistle. The Apostle usually begins and ends with prayer in the behalf of those to whom he writes. So in other Epistles, and so in this, Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, Chap. 1. v. 2. And here in like manner, The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen.

I am to treat only of that part of the verse, which concerns the Holy Ghost, and before I come to the doctrine which the words afford, I must insist a little upon the name, nature, person, and operation of the Holy Ghost.

1. For the name, Holy Ghost: Ghost is as much asOf the name Holy Ghost. spirit, and ghostly as much as spirituall. In the Scripture where this Person called the Holy Ghost, is spoken of, our Translators sometimes [Page 322] use the word Ghost, and sometimes the word Spi­rit. Yet (as I observe) they do not altogether use the words promiscuously, but with this difference. Where the word Holy is not prefixed, they alwaiesThe word Ghost ex­plained. use the word Spirit, and not the word Ghost. And so also when this Person is spoken of in rela­tion to God, or to Christ, although the word Ho­ly be prefixed. As the Spirit, not the Ghost, the Spirit of God or of Christ, not the Ghost of God or of Christ: his holy Spirit, not his Holy Ghost. Otherwise when this Person is spoken of without any such relation, and with the Epithite Holy pre­fixed, they use the word Ghost rather then Spirit. But however, the word in the Originall is the same, and these words Ghost and Spirit differ in sound, rather then in sense and signification. Now the word in the Hebrew, and in the Greek, and [...]. Spiritus. in the Latin (the three learned Languages) which is rendred sometimes Ghost, but more fre­quently Spirit, this word (I say) is attributed to divers things. 1. Sometimes it is taken for breath; I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live, Ezek. 37. 5. In the Originall the word rendred breath, is that which usually is rendred Spirit. So [...] Jam. 2. 26. Where it is said, the body without the Spi­rit is dead, in the margent for spirit is breath. 2. The word sometimes is used for the wind, as Joh. 3. 8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, so is eve­ry one that is born of the spirit. In the Originall it is [...]. one and the same word which is rendred in the beginning of the verse Wind, and in the end of theSpiritus ubi vult spirat. verse Spirit: & the vulgar Latin there hath not Ven­tus which properly signifieth wind, but Spiritus, [Page 323] whence we have the word Spirit. 3. This word Spirit is used to signifie an incorporeall and im­material substance. A spirit hath not flesh and bones, Luk. 24. 39. And thus by spirit sometimes is meant the soul of man. VVhen a man dies, then shall the dust, that is, the body (made of dust) return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God that gave it, Eccles. 22. 7. Where by spirit is meant the soul of man, which is a spirituall substance. Thus also the Angels, whether good or bad, are called spirits. The good Angels, Are they not all ministring spirits? &c. Heb. 1. 14. The bad Angells, when some said unto Christ, Lord, even the devils are subiect unto us thorough thy name, Luk. 10. 17. Christ answered them, Notwithstanding in this re­joyce not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but ra­ther reioyce because your names are written in hea­ven, v. 20. And in this sense is the word Spirit at­tributed unto God, Ioh. 4. 24. God is a Spirit. And so 1 Pet. 3. 18. By spirit is signified Christs divine nature, which is the Son, in all the three Persons. Being put to death by the flesh (that is, the humane nature) but quickned in the spirit, that is, the divine nature. And peculiarly the third Person of the sa­cred Trinity hath the name of Spirit appropria­ted to him. Sometimes this Person is called the Spirit, Rom. 8. 16. Sometimes the Spirit of God, 1 Joh. 4. 2. Sometimes the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8. 9. Sometimes the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, as in the Text, and other places. VVhy the third Person is peculiarly called the Spirit, though the Father be a spirit, and the Son a spirit as well as the Holy Ghost; the Scripture doth not expresse, [Page 324] neither is it much material for us to inquire. Some giveSecundum quod spiritus dicitur à spiritualitate; sic convenit toti Trinitati.—Secundum autem quod dicitur à spiratione, sic con­venit illi soli Personae, quae pro­cedit ut amor, &c. Bonavent. in Sent. l. 1. dist. 10. quest. 3. this reason, that this Person proceeds from the Father and the Son by spiration, or breathing; which must be understood after a spirituall and ineffable manner. It may be said, that this di­vine Person is therefore called the Spirit, because he was inspired or breathed into, and did breath in the Prophets and Apostles. This inward and spiritual inspiration was sig­nified, and confirmed byCum arcanâ inspiratione poss [...]t Christus gratiam conferre Apo­stolis, visibilem flatum ad dere vo­luit ad cos melius confirmandos. Calvin. in Ioh. 20. 22. that outward and corporall breathing, which is mentio­ned, Ioh. 20. 22. Where it is said, that when Christ gave the Holy Ghost unto his Apostles, he breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, Ioh. 20. 22. This Person is called Holy. Now there is a holinesse, which is only externall and adhe­rent, which doth not constitute a thing holy in it self, but only in its use and relation. Thus Ierusa­lem is called the Holy City, Mat. 4. 5. to wit, becauseThe word Holy ex­pounded. it had speciall relation unto God, it was the City of the great King, that is, of God, Mat. 5. 35. Thus also the Temple, and the things of the Temple were holy. And thus the water in Baptism, and the bread and wine in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper are holy, as having peculiar reference un­to God, and set apart for holy uses. There is al­so an internall and inherent holinesse, whereby a thing is in it self holy. And thus all true believers [Page 325] are holy, being inwardly purged and cleansed in some measure from the filth and pollution of sin. You are washed, you are sanctified, 1 Cor. 6. 11. Let us cleanse our selves from all filthinesse both of flesh and spirit, perfecting holinesse in the fear of God, 2 Cor. 7. 1. Thus also the good Angels are holy, they are called the Holy Angels, Mat. 25. 31. And after a most eminent manner God is holy, he is stiled the Holy one, Iob. 6. 10. Isai. 40. 25. Yea it is said that he only is holy, Revel. 15. 4. to wit, independently and essentially, men and Angels being but holy by participation. And peculiarly holinesse is attribu­ted to the third Person in the Blessed Trinity; though the first person and the second person be holy too, yet the third person is peculiarly stiled holy, it being the peculiar work of this person to sanctifie and make holy. Not as if the Father and the Son did not sanctifie as well as the Holy Ghost, but the Father and the Son do sanctifie by the Holy Ghost; whence sanctification is called the sanctification of the spirit, 2 Thes. 2. 13. because it is peculiarly wrought by the spirit, and so much for the name Holy Ghost, or holy Spirit.

2. The nature of the holy Ghost is to be con­sidered, viz. that the holy Ghost is God truly andOf the na­ture of the Holy Ghost that the Holy Ghost is God. properly so called, having one and the same di­vine nature with the Father and the Son, for these three are one, 1. Ioh. 5. 7. three persons, yet but one God, as hath been shewed before upon that Text; but here the Godhead of the Holy Ghost is to be proved more fully: and we have clear testimony of Scripture for it: VVhy hath Satan filled thine [Page 326] heart, to lie unto the Holy Ghost? said Peter to A­nanias, Act. 5. 3. And he adds presently after, Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God, v. 4. This clearly shews the Holy Ghost to be God. And the same may further be confirmed by divers arguments.

1. Divine attributes belong unto the holy Ghost, such as are proper unto God, and conse­quently the Holy Ghost is God. Ubiquity, omni­presence, to be every where, which is peculiar un­to God, is attributed to the Holy Ghost. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Psal. 139. 7. So also is om­niscience, to know all things, which likewise ap­pertains to God only: The spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God, 1 Cor. 2. 10.

2. Divine works are ascribed to the Holy Ghost, such works as none can do but only God, and therefore also the Holy Ghost is God. The work of Creation, which is proper unto God, belongs to the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God hath made me, said Elihu, Job 33. 4. And surely he that made him, made all. So also the work of sanctification be­longs only unto God; The very God of peace sancti­fie you wholly, 1 Thes. 5. 23. Yet this work is ascri­bed to the Holy Ghost; yea this Person (as hath been shewed) is therefore called the Holy Ghost, because he peculiarly doth work sanctification, and make holy.

3. Divine honour is given to the Holy Ghost, that honor which is due only unto God: And this also evinceth that the Holy Ghost is God: Bapti­zing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Mat. 28. 19. We may not bap­tize, or be baptized in the name of any, but only [Page 327] of God. Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Cor. 1. 13. Seeing therefore that we bap­tize and are baptized, according to Christs own institution, as in the name of the Father, and of the Son▪ so also of the holy Ghost, it necessa­rily follows that as the Father is God, and the Son God, so is the Holy Ghost God also. And so in the Text, that we have in hand, the Apostle prayeth for the Corinthians, that they might en­joy, as the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Son) and the love of God (the Father) so likewise the communion of the Holy Ghost; and it is an impli­cit invocation as of Christ the Son, and of God the Father, so of the holy Ghost; as if the Apostle should have said, I pray to our Lord Jesus Christ, that his grace, and to God (the Father) that his love, and to the Holy Ghost, that his communion may be with you all: and this may suffice to prove that the holy Ghost is God.

3. I passe to the person of the holy Ghost; andOf the person of the Holy Ghost. here three things are to be considered. 1. That the Holy Ghost is a Person. 2. That the Holy Ghost is a person distinct from the Father and the Son. 3. That the Holy Ghost is a person proceeding both from the Father, and from the Son.

1. The holy Ghost is a person, not an attributeThat the H. Ghost is a person. or affection, as mercy, justice, power, wisdom, and the like. For those things which are proper and peculiar to a person are attributed to the holy Ghost, as to be vexed & grieved, They vexed his ho­ly spirit, Isai. 63. 10. Grieve not the holy spirit of God, Ephes. 4. 30. True it is, the holy Ghost being God, cannot properly be vexed or grieved, but this (as [Page 328] other things in Scripture) is spoken after the manner of men, but however it argueth that the holy Ghost is a person, even as that Psal. 95. 10. Fourty years long was I grieved with this generati­on, shews him that spake it, to be a person. So when the holy Ghost is said to speak, to command and injoyn, it argues that the Holy Ghost is a per­son. The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, &c. Act. 13. 2. Above all, that Mat. 3. 16. is most strong and forcible for this purpose. There it is said, that the Holy Ghost came down in the likenesse of a dove, which could not be except the Holy Ghost were a person: For nothing but a person can assume a shape wherein to appeare; a meer attribute or affection cannot do it.

2. The Holy Ghost is a person distinct from theThat the H. Ghost is a person distinct from the Father and the Son. Father and the Son. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, said Christ to his Disciples, Joh. 14. 16. The Comforter there spoken of is the Holy Ghost, as appears v. 17. Even the spi­rit of truth, &c. and v. 26. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost. This therefore is another, a person distinct from Christ the Son, and so likewise from the Father. For the Father doth send this Comfor­ter, the Holy Ghost, Iohn 14. 26. Now the person sending, and the person sent must needs be distinct the one from the other. And this same reason al­so proveth the Son and the Holy Ghost to be two distinct persons, because the Holy Ghost is sent by the Son; When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you, said Christ, Joh. 15. 26. And so Ioh. 16. 7. If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto [Page 329] you. The distinction also of the Holy Ghost both from the Father, and from the Son, is evident by that Mat. 28. 19. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son; and of the Holy Ghost. As likewise by this conclusion, whereof the Text is a part, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. These places do clearly shew that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three di­stinct persons: and so S. John speaking of them,That the H. Ghost proceedeth both from the Father, and from the Son. saies, There are three, and these three, 1 Ioh. 5. 7.

3. The Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Fa­ther and the Son: this is the difference, whereby the divine persons are distinguished one from a­nother: the Father proceedeth from none, the Son proceedeth from the Father, and the Holy Ghost proceedeth both from the Father and the Son: that the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, the Scripture is expresse, Ioh. 15. 26. The spi­rit of truth; which proceedeth from the Father. And that the Holy Ghost also proceedeth from the Son, is there implied, Whom I wil send, said Christ. If the holy Ghost be sent by the son, then also he proceedeth from the Son, for the Father procee­ding from none, is never said to be sent by any; the1 Pet. 1. 11. The Holy Ghost in­spring the Prop [...]s, is called the Spirit of Christ. Son proceeding from the Father, is said to be sent by the Father, 1 Ioh. 4. 9. 10. And so the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is said to be sent by them both: the Holy Ghost also is called the spirit of the Son, as proceeding from the Son, Gal. 4. 6. And so Rom. 8. 9. the Spi­of Christ: therefore also Christ speaking of the [Page 330] Holy Ghost, said, He shall receive of mine, Ioh. 16. 14. because the holy Ghost hath the divine nature communicated unto him by the Son, even as the Son hath it communicated unto him by the Fa­ther.

Quest. But some may say, How is it said of the Holy Ghost, that he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak? Ioh. 16. 13.

Answ. I answer, The Holy Ghost is there spo­ken of as a messenger, or an Embassadour, one sent by another, who is not to speak of himself, but what he hath received from him by whom he is sent: and Christ spake thus of the Holy Ghost, not to derogate from the Holy Ghost, but to pre­vent the spreading of errour and false doctrine, under a pretence of the spirit, and to assure us, that if any Doctrine be dissonant from that which Christ hath delivered, it is not from the Holy Ghost, but to be rejected, though they that vent it, doe never so much pretend the spirit for it.

4. In the fourth and last place we are to consi­derOf the o­peration of the Holy Ghost. the operation of the Holy Ghost. In respect of operation it is that the Holy Ghost is said to be sent, or given, Gal. 4. 6. Rom. 5. 5. For the Holy Ghost is not so sent, or given, as to be where be­fore he was not, but only so as to operate other­wise then he did. The operation of the spirit is called, the manifestation of the spirit, 1 Cor. 12. 7. because by the operation of the spirit, the pre­sence of the spirit is made manifest, the operation it self being such as is manifest.

Now the operation of the spirit is either such as is common to the Elect and reprobate, or such as is proper and peculiar to the Elect.

1. Such as is common to the Elect and repro­bate: and that is of divers sorts. 1. That whereby one is fitted for his particular calling, whether it be sacred or civill. It is Iudg. 11. 29. that the spirit of the Lord came upon Iephthah. And 1 Sam. 11. 6. that the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul. So Exod. 31. 3. that Bezaleel was filled with the spirit of God. The meaning is, that Iephthah and Saul by the o­peration of the Spirit were indued with courage and valour, and Bezaleel with wisdome and un­derstanding, whereby both they and he were made meet for that office, and imployment to which they were called. In the primitive times of the Gospel, there were extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, as ability to speak strange tongues, to work strange cures, and to do many miracles; and these gifts were common to the reprobate, as appears by that, Mat. 7. 22, 23. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophecied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devills, and in thy name done many wonderfull works? And then will I professe unto them, I never knew you, Depart from me ye that work iniquity. And when Christ sent the Apostles, giving them power to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to raise the dead, and to cast out devils, he sent Iudas among them, and gave him power in this kind as well as the rest, Mat. 10. 1. &c. And in respect of those extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, most probably it was, that some being asked if they had received the Holy [Page 332] Ghost, answered, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost, Acts 19. 2. It is hardly to be imagined, that they who spake this, having been partakers (as they said themselves) of Johns Baptisme, could be ignorant whether there were such a divine Person which is called the Holy Ghost; but they might be ignorant whether there were such miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost given unto believers: It followes there v. 6. that when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spake with tongues, and prophecied. The Holy Ghost did then manifest himself in them by extraordinary gifts which he did confer on them.

2. Some measure of illumination: This also is a common work of the Spirit; the reprobate are illuminated in some measure by the Holy Ghost, as well as the elect. They who are inlight­ned, and in that respect made partakers of the Holy Ghost, may fall away and perish for ever, Heb. 6. 4, 6. The sin against the Holy Ghost pre­supposeth this operation of the Holy Ghosts illu­mination: None can fall into this sin, but they that are inlightned so as to know the truth, and to be convinced of it, and yet out of diabo­licall malice do impugne and oppose it; as they that knew and were convinced in their conscien­ces, that Christ did cast out Devills by the pow­er of God, and yet would blaspheme and say, that he did it through Beelzebub the Prince of Devills; which occasioned Christ to speak of the sin against the Holy Ghost, and of the unpardon­ablenesse of it, Mar. 3. 22. 30.

[Page 333]3. Some stirring of the affections: this is likewise an operation of the Holy Ghost com­mon to the wicked with the godly: thus the Holy Ghost did operate in Agrippa, when he said unto Paul, Almost thou perswadest me to be a Christian, Act. 26. 28. And so in Felix, when hearing Paul speak of righteousnesse; temperance, and judgement to come, he trem­bled, Act. 24. 25.

4. Some restraining grace, whereby to with­hold from acting the evill which otherwise one would act; this also the Holy Ghost doth work, as well in the unregenerate, as in the regene­rate. It is probable, that this was all that was wrought in Abimelech, to whom God said, that he withheld him from sinning against him, and suffered him not to touch Sarah, as he thought to have done, Gen. 20. 6. These operations of the Holy Ghost are common.

2. There is an operation of the spirit, which is proper to the Elect. As 1. Regenera­tion, whereby one is so changed, as in a spirituall sense to be borne again, and to be a new creature. That which is born of the spi­rit, is spirit, John 3. 6. Not by works of righteousnesse, which we have done, but accor­ding to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of re­generation, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, (that is, renewing wrought by the Holy Ghost) which he shed on us abundantly, thorough Iesus Christ our Saviour, Tit. 3. 5, 6. This work of the Holy Ghost is peculiar to the Elect. God hath [Page 334] from the beginning chosen you unto salvation, tho­rough sanctification of the spirit, 2 Thes. 2. 13. In re­spect of this operation of the spirit, some are sensuall, not having the spirit, Jude v. 19.

2. Direction; whereby to be guided in all ne­cessary and saving truth, and to be kept from all destructive and damnable errour, either in opini­on or practice. I will put my spirit wtthin you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, &c. Ezek. 36. 27. When the spirit of truth is come, he wil guide you in­to all truth. Joh. 16. 13. This promise might have peculiar reference to the Apostles, who were gui­ded by the spirit after an extraordinary manner; but in respect of things necessary unto salvation, it belongs to all believers, and to them only. For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God, Rom. 8. 13.

3. Consolation and incouragement in greatest troubles and afflictions. The Holy Ghost is called the Comforter, Ioh. 14. 16, 17, & 15. 26. & 16. 7. The wicked and reprobate may have some comfort and incouragement, but it is frothy and fading, whereas that which is wrought in the godly by the Holy Ghost is solid and permanent. We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God, (the assurance of Gods love to us in Christ) is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us, Rom. 5. 3, 4, 5. The spi­rit it selfe beareth witnesse together with our spirits, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs, &c. Rom. 8. 16, 17. By the spirit the Saints are [Page 335] sealed unto the day of Redemption, Ephes. 4. 30. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the spi­rit in our hearts, 2 Cor. 1. 22. As a seale serves to confirm a writing, and an earnest to make a bargain sure; so the children of God by the Holy Ghost are confirmed in their faith, and as­sured of Gods love towards them, and of their e­ternall happinesse.


The seven and twentieth SERMON.

HAving discoursed in generall of the Holy Ghost, I come to the Doctrine which the words of the Text do offer unto our considerati­on, viz. That the communion, participation, so­ciety Doct. and fellowship of the Holy Ghost is a thing muchThat which in the Text is called the Communion of the Holy Ghost, is called, Phil. 2. 1. the fellowship of the spirit. As the same word in the Originall, that is rendred in the one place communion, in the other fellowship. to be desired.

The Apostle in the very conclusion of his Epistle praies for those to whom he writes, that they might en­joy this communion, which argues that it is a thing very precious and desi­rable.

The same may appear by that which we read of Elisha, who when Eliah being to be taken from him, bad him ask what he should do for him, made only this request, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me, 2 Kings 2. 9. The mea­ning is not (as some are apt to mistake it) that E­lisha desired to have twice as much of the Spirit as Eliah had, but the phrase there used, is the same with that which is used, Deut. 21. 17. and from thence the true and genuine meaning is to [Page 337] be fetched. There it is said, that the first born was to have a double portion, word for word, the mouth of two, that is, he was to receive twice as much of his Fathers substance as any of his bre­thren; So Elisha desired, that he might be rec­koned as Eliahs first borne, and that he might have twice as much of the Spirit which was up­on him, as the other Prophets should have: Thus is the place to be understood; but still it shewes what account Elisha, who had already so much of the Spirit, as to know the worth of it, did make of this communion of the Holy Ghost: David also, by whom the Spirit of the Lord did speak, as he said, 2 Sam. 23 2. when his consci­ence was afflicted for his foule and grievous e­normities, was very sollicitous in this respect, lest he should not injoy the communion of the Ho­ly Ghost, as he had done; Cast me not away from thy presence (saies he unto God) and take not thy holy Spirit from me, Psal. 51. 11. And v. 12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and stablish me with thy free Spirit.

How the communion of the Holy Ghost is to be prized, we may likewise perceive by those exhortations of the Apostle, Quench not the Spi­rit, 1 Thes. 5. 19. Grieve not the Spirit, Eph. 4. 30. Be filled with the Spirit, Eph. 5. 18. So also by that commemoration which the people of God made unto him of his singular favour shewed unto their Fathers, Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them, Neh. 9. 20.

For the further confirmation of the point, let us consider,

[Page 338]1. The excellency of this communion, which appears by the excellency of the Holy Ghost: This Spirit is called good, Neh. 9. 20. excellent, Dan. 6. 3. the spirit of wisdome, Eph. 1. 17. the spirit of truth, Joh. 15. 26. & 16. 13. the spirit of grace, Zach. 12. 10. Heb. 10. 29. the spirit of life, Rom. 8. 2. the spirit of glory, 1 Pet. 4. 14. the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8. 9. the Spirit of God Rom. 8. 9. Yea, this Spirit is God, as hath been proved before; and therefore this spirit must needs be excellent, and so consequently the communion or fellowship of the Spirit.

2. The commodity of this communion of the holy Ghost: For,

1. The Holy Ghost will teach, informe, and instruct; Thou gavest thy good spirit to instruct them, Neh. 9. 20. He is the spirit of counsell, and knowledge, and understanding, Esa. 11. 2. We are naturally blind and ignorant of the truth, and many errors creep in, and insinuate themselves under the name of truth; but the Holy Ghost is the spirit of truth, and will inlighten our minds, and teach us to know and understand the truth: Joh. 14. 26. 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, whatsoever I have said unto you: Joh. 14. 26. Howbeit when the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth, Joh. 16. 13. How ignorant were the Apostles before they had received the Holy Ghost in that measure as afterwards they did? Are ye so without understan­ding also? said Christ unto them, Mar. 7. 18. [Page 339] when they thought that which was a plain speech to be a parable. So Christ having spoken of his Passion, it is said, that they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they per­ceived it not, Luke 9. 45. So concerning some things that were done unto Christ according as it had been prophecied of him, S. John saith, These things understood not his Disciples at the first, but when Jesus was glorified, (and so they had recei­ved a greater measure of the Spirit, for the Holy Ghost [...]s not yet given (in such measure) because Jesus was not yet glorified, Joh. 7. 39.) then remem­bred they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him, Joh. 12. 16. So Joh. 20. 9. As yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead: Thus it was with them for a while, but when the Holy Ghost was plentifully powred upon them, then they were filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the Sea, Esa. 11. 9. So much their words and writings do make manifest.

2. The Holy Ghost will strengthen and incou­rage: The Prophet Je [...]emie complains, They are not valiant for the truth upon the earth, Jer. 9. 3. Even they that both know and also love the truth, yet may be so timorous and faint-hearted, as not to dare to avouch it, and to stand up in defence of it, though God call them to it, as is clear by the example of Peter when he deni­ed Christ: But the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of might and of power, Esa, 11. 2. and 2 Tim. 1. 7. How weak and fearfull were the Apostles whilst they had but (as it were) a scantling of the Spirit? [Page 340] They all forsook Christ, and fled from him, when he was apprehended by his adversaries: and Pe­ter who had professed most courage and confi­dence, of all others most bewrayed his weaknesse, being not able to indure the encounter of a silly damosell, as the story shews of him. But after­ward when they had the spirit in more abundant measure, they were so full of courage and bold­nesse, that their greatest adversaries did admire it. When the Jewish Rulers and Elders examined Peter and John about a miracle that t [...]y had wrought in making a lame man sound, saying, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then P [...]ter filled with the Holy Ghost (mark that) said unto t [...]em. Ye Rulers of the people, and Elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole, Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Iesus Christ of Naza­reth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone, which was set at nought by you builders, which is become the head of the cor­ner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldnesse of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled, and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus, Act. 3. 7. 13. So v. 31. it is said of the A­postles, that they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake the word with boldnesse, And v. 33. And with great power gave the Apostles witnesse of the [Page 341] Resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

3. The Holy Ghost will direct and order. Cou­rage without wisdom and discretion, will do hurt rather then good; but wisdome and courage joy­ned together will do much good, and no hurt. A wise mans heart discerneth both time and iudgment, saith Solomon, Eccl. 8. 5. that is, a wise man know­eth both when to do a thing, and how to do it. Now the Holy Ghost being the spirit of wisdome, will order and direct us to do things wisely, in due time, and in right manner. Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost, was also full of wisdome, so that although he had to do with most implacable adversaries, yet they were not able to resist the wis­dome and the spirit by which he spake, Act. 6. 10. So Christ promised unto his Disciples saying, I will give you a mouth, and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gain-say or resist, Luk. 21. 15. And how they should be indued with such wisdom, we may see by that, Luk. 12. 12. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same houre what ye ought to say. And so Mat. 10. 20. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speak­eth in you.

4. The Holy Ghost will comfort and incou­rage, as to do the will of God, so also to suffer what by his permission and providence shall be inflicted for so doing. For though the godly be­have themselves never so well and wisely, yet they may fall into the hands of their inraged per­secutors, as that Protomartyr Stephen, and so the other Martyrs did. But though they do, yet (as it fared with Stephen and the Martyrs) as their suffe­rings [Page 342] abound, so shall their consolations abound also, 2 Cor. 1. 5. For the spirit of glory, and of God resteth on them, 1 Pet. 4. 14. And this spirit will make them to rejoyce with joy unspeakable and full of glory, 1 Pet. 1. 8. It is such a peculiar work of the Holy Ghost to afford comfort, that he is stiled the Comforter, Ioh. 14. 16. 26. & 15. 26. & 16. 7. And sound joy is called, joy in the Holy Ghost, Rom. 14. 17.

3. Consider we the necessity of this communi­on of the Holy Ghost.

1. Without the Holy Ghost we can know no­thing, viz. of the things of God, the things that concern salvation. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? e­ven so the things of God knoweth no man but the spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world; but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given unto us of God, 1 Cor. 2. 11. 12. & v. 14. But the naturall man (who is destitute of Gods spirit) receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse unto him, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.

2. Without the Holy Ghost we can do no­thing, viz. that is pleasing unto God. Not pray, for the Holy Ghost is the spirit of grace and of sup­plications, Zach. 12. 10. Likewise the spirit also help­eth our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the spirit it self maketh in­tercession for us, with groanings that cannot be utte­red. And he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the spirit, because he maketh intercessi­on [Page 343] for the Saints, according to the will of God, Rom. 8. 2 [...] 27. So neither can we without the Holy Ghost rightly hear the word, or receive the Sa­crament, or perform any other duty whatsoever. For the Holy Ghost being the Spirit of grace, without the Holy Ghost we can have no grace: and we must have grace, whereby to serve God ac­ceptably, Heb. 12. 28. Whatsoever service is per­formed by the unregenerate, who are not indued with Gods spirit, though in it self considered it is pleasing unto God, yet as done by them, God is not pleased with it. They that are in the flesh can­not please God, Rom. 8. 8.

3. Without the Holy Ghost we can enjoy no­thing, viz. that is truly good for us. The Holy Ghost being the Spirit of Christ, and of God, we can have no communion with Christ, nor with God but by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost being the spirit of life, the spirit of grace, the spi­rit of glory, without the holy Ghost we can have no life, neither of grace here, nor of glory hereaf­ter: therefore we have that hope which maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us, Rom. 5. 5. This may suffice to demonstrate what a desirable thing the communion of the holy Ghost is.

Vse 1. And if it be so, then O the wretched folly and madnesse of many, who desire and la­bour for any thing rather then for this communi­on. Let Elisha, or whosoever will seek a double portion of the spirit, so they may have a double portion of the things of the world, of the profits, [Page 344] pleasures and honours of it, it's all they desire. If the holy Ghost in the mouths of his Mi [...]ters strive with them, they oppose and resist him all they can. Ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do alwaies resist the Holy Ghost, as your Fathers did, so do ye, Act. 7. 51. If the holy Ghost in­sinuate himself a little into them, putting good motions into them, presently they quench the spi­rit, which the Apostle bids Christians beware of, 1 Thes. 5. 20. saying, Quench not the spirit, that is, the good motions of the spirit, which like sparks are kindled within you. If the holy spirit begin to search them, and to discover their sins unto them, and to put them in mind of their estate to God­ward, they are weary of such a guest. Like Felix, who when Paul reasoned before him of righte­ousnesse, and temperance, and judgment to come, trembled and said, Go thy way for this time, when I have convenient season I will send for thee, Act. 24. 25. They judge this spirit to be a spirit of melan­choly, and therefore to drive it away they betake themselves to their merry company, wine, strong drink, and the like. This is all that many do care for the communion of the holy Ghost.

Some will say, but we desire this communion more then so. It is well; but let all take heed of deceiving themselves, as we are all apt to do. Let our desire of this communion be proved rather then presumed; and so I come to a second use of the point, viz. for examination and triall.

Ʋse 2. Secondly therefore, let us examin and try our selves whether the Communion of the holy Ghost, which is so much to be desired, be an [Page 345] object of our desires or no: and let us try it thus.

1. Are we sensible of the want of the spirit? They that do not feel the want of a thing, will never desire to enjoy it: When Elisha desired of Eliah, that he might have a double portion of his spirit, Thou hast asked a hard thing (said Eliah un­to him) Neverthelesse if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee, but if not, it shall not be so, 2 King. 2. 10. Upon which answer of Eli­ah Bernard hath a no lesseNunqnam absque conscientiâ nostrâ magistra unctio tollatur [...] nobis, si duplicato munere volu­mus non fraudari. Bern. pious then elegant observa­tion, viz. that the spirit of God must never be absent from us, but so that we are sensible of it, if we would have the spirit to be doubled upon us.

2. Do we affect those in whom is found the manifestation of the spirit? they that are carnall love those that are carnall, and so will they that are spirituall love those that are spirituall. This is a speciall evidence of the holy Ghost dwelling in us, if we delight in those in whom the gifts and graces of the holy Ghost do appear and shine forth. David having much of Gods spirit in him, and desiring still more, calls the Saints excel­lent, and professeth that all his delight was in them, Psal. 16. 3. And it is said of Barnabas that when he came to Antioch, and had seen the grace of God, which was there bestowed upon believers, he was glad, and exhorted them all, that that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord▪ And the reason follows immediately why [Page 346] he was thus affected, For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, Act. 11. 23. 24.

3. Are we carefull to use the means whereby to obtain the spirit? It is but a fained and frivo­lous desire that doth not put forth it self in en­deavours to obtain the thing desired. Some pre­tend above others to magnifie the Spirit, and to be all for the spirit, yet vilifie the word, which is the means whereby to obtain the spirit. Surely the spirit which such vaunt of, is none of Gods spirit, but their own spirit, not a spirit of illumination but of illusion; not spiritus veritatis, the spirit of truth, but spiritus virtiginis, a spirit of giddinesse,Isai. 19. 14. or as we read it, a perverse spirit: For God in his Covenant with his people, joyneth his spirit and his word together, As for me, this is my Covenant with them, saith the Lord, My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shal not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seeds seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever, Isai. 59. 21. And how did Cornelius and they that were with him receive the spirit, but by the word? While Pe­ter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word, Act. 10. 44. And therefore Paul having said, Quench not the spirit, immedi­ately adds, Despise not prophecying, 1 Thes. 5. 19. 20. Prayer also is a means whereby to obtain the spi­rit: Indeed we must first have the spirit in some measure before we can pray to any purpose, as was shewed before: but prayer is a means to obtain the Spirit in greater measure. For God wil give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, Luk. 11. 13. They [Page 347] therefore who either restrain prayer before God, or pray only in formality or fashion sake, think­ing it enough if they can read a prayer in a book, or say a prayer by rote, yea will scorn and deride praying by the spirit, these, I say, plainly shew how little they look after the communion of the holy Ghost. I am not against all use of book­prayer, or of a form of drayer, yet I may say to some in this respect, as Paul said to the Atheni­ans, that they are too superstitious. Whe­therAct. 17. 22. we pray with a book, or without, in a set form, or otherwise, yet must we howsoever pray with the spirit, or els our prayer is to no1 Gor. 14. 15. purpose.

4. Do we study to bring forth the fruits of the Holy Ghost? The fruit of the spirit is in all good­nesse, and righteousnesse, and truth, Ephes. 5. 9. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gen­tlenesse, goonesse, faith, meeknesse, temperance, Gal. 5. 22, 23. and v. 25. If we live in the spirit; let us walk in the spirit, that is, if we pretend to be indued with the spirit, let it appear by our spirituall life and conversation.

Vse 3. Thirdly and lastly, suffer the word of exhortation, and but a word: Let this be our de­sire and care, our study and indeavour, that we may have the communion of the holy Ghost. We have seen the excellency, the commodity and the necessity of this communion; let us not despise that which is so excellent, nor undervalue that which is so commodious, nor neglect that which is so necessary. VVe have also seen the marks whereby to try whether we enjoy this communi­on [Page 348] in any measure or no, and withall, meanes whereby to obtain it: let us labour to find those marks in our selves, and let us have a care to use those means: For so an entrance shall be ministred unto us abundantly, into the everlasting Kingdome of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Chrsst, 2 Pet. 1. 11.

The eight and twentieth SERMON.

MAT. 16. 18. And upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’

CHrist having asked his Disciples, whom men did say that he was; they answered, that some said that he was John the Baptist, some Eli­as, some Ieremias, or one of the Prophets; & he ask­ing them again whom they did say that he was, Peter (in the name of them all) answered, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God. VVhereupon Christ commending that confession, said, Blessed art thou▪ Simon Bar Jona; for flesh and blood hath hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Ʋpon this rock] The Papists make much ado about this place, & think it a Rock for them to build the Popes supremacy upon. For by the Rock here men­tioned [Page 350] they understand Peter, and they will have the Church built upon Peter, and so upon the Pope, as being (they say) Peters Successor.

But first, the Scripture shewes Christ and only Christ to be the foundation of the Church: Thus saith the Lord God, behold I lay in Sion for a foun­dation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, &c. Esa. 28. 16. Which to be meant of Christ appears by S. Peter, 1 Pet. 2. 5, 6, 7, 8. And S. Paul is plain and peremptory, Other foundation can no man lay, then that which is laid, Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 3. 11.

Object. Some may object that Eph. 2. 20. Ye are built upon the foundation of the Prophets and the Apostles.

Answ. But first, that makes nothing for Peter more then for the rest of the Apostles, and for the Prophets also, and so makes nothing for the Papists.

2. It is meant in respect of Christ, who was foretold by the Prophets, and preached by the Apostles; To him give all the Prophets witnesse, said Peter, Acts 10. 43. We preach not our selves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, said Paul, 2 Cor. 4, 5. So that Rev. 21. 14. where it is said, that the new Jerusa­lem had twelve foundations, Fundamenta igitur hujus muri sunt, quia ipsi doctrinâ suâ & ex­emplo aeter [...]ae tranquillitatis & securitatis causa fuerunt electis. Riber. ad loc. and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb; that, I say, by the confession of Ribera a Iesuite, is meant in respect of their Doctrine and example, as they preached Christ, and were followers of him, 1 Cor. 11. 1. Here therefore by [Page 351] Rock is not meant Peter, but Christ whom Peter confessed, or which is to the same effect, the confession which Peter made, or the faith where­of he made confession: Thus Augustine, Chrys­ostome, Theophylact, and others have expounded it, and those of the Ancients that have inter­preted it of Peter, are to be understood as mean­ning not his person, but his faith and confession, viz. in respect of Christ the object of it. Theophylact [...]. Theoph. ad Mat. 16. 18 the latest of the Ancients doth well shew the mean­ing both of them and of the Text it selfe: The Lord (saith he) doth answer Peter, and give him a great reward to wit, that the Church should be built upon him: For be­cause Peter confessed him to be the Son of God, he saith, This confession which thou hast confessed, shall be the foundation of Believers, so that whosoever will build the house of faith, must lay this confession for a foun­dation.

2. Though the words in the Originall for Peter and Rock be neer akin, yet rhey are diffe­rent [...]. words, and shew that Christ meant different things by them: For otherwise Christ would have said, Thou art Peter, and upon thee, or, and upon this Peter, I will build my Church.

Ob. It may be objected, that the word in the Syriask Tongue which Christ used is one and [Page 352] and the same, viz. Cepha, both for Peter and for Rocke. And that Syriack word (onely having a Greek termination added unto it) together with the interpretation of it, is found Joh. 1. 42. When Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jonas, thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.

Answ. I answer: It is true, that Cepha is both the same with Peter a proper name, and also sig­nifieth a stone, or a Rock; but the Greek Text ha­ving one word for Peter and another for rocke, shewes that by Cepha the rock is not meant the same as by Cepha Peter, but some other thing, viz. Peters faith and confession, and the object of his faith and confession, Christ Jesus. This may suffice to shew what the Rock here spoken of is, and how, little this Scripture makes for the Papists, besides what might be said to prove the vanity of their conceits concerning Peters su­premacy over the other Apostles, and the Popes succeeding Peter as supreme over the Church.

[Will I build,] The Church is compared to a house, 1 Tim. 3. 15. 1 Pet. 2. 5. therefore it is said to be built, and Christ saith that he will build it, it being his house, Heb. 3. 6. and so here he calls it his Church.

[My Church,] It is called the Church of God, 1 Tim. 3. 15. and so in other places, but here Christ calls it his Church: So Rom. 16. 16. The Churches of Christ salute you; Christ is God, and there­fore the Church being the Church of God, is consequently the Church of Christ. And besides, [Page 353] Christ as Mediatour is the Head of the Church, E­phes. 5. 23. and the Church is his body, Ephes. 1. 23.

Church] what is meant by the Church, I shall shevv at large by and by.

And the gates of hell] Christ having in the word build, compared the Church to a house, or a City, he speaks now of another house or City which is opposite unto it, viz. the house or City of Satan, here called the gates of hel, in which words there seems toHo. also speaks of the gates of hel, [...]. be a synecdoche, whereby the part is put for the whole, the gates for the whole house or City, So Gen. 22. 17. Thy seed shall possesse the gate of his enemies. And Gen. 24. 60. Let thy seed pos­sesse the gate of thofe that hate them.

Shal not prevail against it] viz. not so as utterly to overthrow and destroy it. That is it which the devil and his instruments seek, but are not able to effect; as I shal shew (God willing) more hereafter.

But before I come to the observation which I purpose to raise from the Text, and to insist upon, I will spend some time in speaking of the word Church, and of the thing which here, and usually elswhere is called the Church.

1. For the word Church, we find it not in theOf the word Church. old Testament, I mean our English word is not u­sed by our Translators in it. Not that God had not a Church then in those times that were before Christs Incarnation: no, he had a Church from the beginning; and we have the word in the new Te­stament with reference to times of the old Testa­ment. [Page 354] This is he that was in the Church in the wil­dernesse, &c. said Stephen speaking of Moses, Act. 7. 38. The people of Israel, who were in the time [...] of Moses, are there called the Church: the He­brew words used in the old Testament, vvhich we [...] So the Sep­tuagint render the Hebrew. Psal. 26. 5. 12. & 89. 5. but com­monly they use the word [...]. translate Congregation, the Greek interpreters sometimes render by that word, which in the Text, and elswhere in the new Testament we translate Church, though for most part they use another word.

The Greek word, vvhich the Nevv Testament useth for Church, comes of a word that signifieth to call out, and so it imports as much as a compa­ny called out. The faithfull are often in the New Testament said to be called, viz. Of God, and of Christ, 1 Cor. 1. 2, 24. & 1 Thes. 4. 7. & Rom. 1. 6. And they are called out, viz. of the vvorld, or from theCamero Myroth: ad Mat. 16. 18. likes not that the Preposition in the word [...] should be thought to have any weight in it, but I see not why the force of it should not be weighed, See 1 Pet. 2. 9. rest of the world. I have chosen you (and all that are chosen are called, though all that are called, are not cho­sen) out of the world, said Christ to his Disciples! Joh. 15. 19. And Ioh. 17. 14. They are not of the world. But the word rendered Church, is used in the nevv Testament sometimes for any profane assembly. The Assembly was confused, Act. 19. 32. & v. 39. it shall be determined in a lawfull assembly, & v. 40. he dismissed the assembly. In these places the vvord rendred Assembly, is it, vvhich excepting these places, is ever in the Nevv Testament rendred Church. And so the vvord is peculiarly used to [Page 355] denote the company of believers, vvhether they be assembled together or not.

Our English vvord Church, is in ordinary speech used for the place vvhere the people of God as­semble for the partaking of Gods Ordinances, but in the Scripture it is alvvaies used for the people. Some places there are, in which the word may seem to import the place, as 1 Cor. 11. 18. When ye come together in the Church, & v. 22 Have ye not houses to See Came­roes My­roth. ad 1 Cor. 11. 18. eat and to drink in? or despise ye the Church of God▪ But it seems not meet to recede from that accep­tion of the vvord, in vvhich it is generally used in other places, there being no necessity for it. For the vvord may vvel and fitly enough in those pla­ces also denote the people. When ye come together in the Church, that is, in the Assembly, Despise ye the Church of God? that is, the people of God, or the assembly of Gods people: and so in that other place, vvhich may be added to the former, 1 Cor. 14. 35. It is a shame for a woman to speak in the Church, that is, in the assembly.

2. For the thing signified by the vvord Church, What the Church is. the Church may be thus defined, the Church is a company of persons, whom God hath called out of the estate of sin and misery, unto the estate of grace and salvation thorough Christ Jesus. Ye are a chosen generation, a royall Priesthood, a Holy Na­tion, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him, who hath called you out of darknesse into his marvellous light, 1 Pet. 2. 9.

So doth Augustine Ench. c. 56. & Pola­nus Symph. Cathol. c. 18. thes. 1. & Danae­us in Euch. Aug. Some make Angels to be of the Church; but so far as I see, the Scripture speaks of the Church as consisting of men only, and not of Angells. The [Page 356] Angells are called Elect, 1 Tim. 3. 21. but they are never said to be called, which the Originall word for Church doth properly import. The Angells (I speak of the good Angells) never were in a­ny other estate then now they are in, though now they be more confirmed in that estate then they were at first, as appears by the fall of the evill Angells, who kept not their first estate, Jude v. 6. They never were in any estate of sin and mi­sery out of which they should be called. And for the Angels that sinned, God spared not them, as S. Peter tells us, 2 Pet. 2. 4. Again, the Angells are clearly distinguished from the Church, Eph. 3. 10. To the intent that now unto the principalites and powers in heavenly places might be knowne by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.

But further, the Church thus taken for such aOf the Church militant, and the Church trium­phant. company of persons, is divers wayes distin­guished.

1. There is the Church militant, and the Church triumphant: The Church militant is that company which is here upon earth in warfare, warring with Satan the world and the flesh. The Church triumphant is that company which ha­ving vanquished and overcome those adversaries, doth reign and triumph in heaven. This distin­ction is grounded upon the words of the A­postle, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole Family in heaven and earth is named, Eph. 3. 14, 15. And in other places sometimes the Church militant, sometimes the Church triumphant is hinted; Fight the good fight of faith, said Paul to Timothy, being a mem­ber [Page 357] of the Church militant, 1 Tim. 6. 12. I have fought a good fight, said he, when he was about to passe from the Church militant to the Church tri­umphant, 2 Tim, 4. 7. So it is the Church tri­umphant that S. John speaks of, saying, After this I beheld, and loe a great multitude, which no man could number, of all Nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues stood before the Throne, and be­fore the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palmes in their hands, viz. in token of the victory that they had atchieved, Rev. 7. 9. But the Church militant is that which usually is spoken of in the Scrip­tures, God hath set some in the Church, first Apo­stles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, &c. 1 Cor. 12. 28. Yet in the Church I had rather speak five words with mine understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, then ten thousand words in an unknown tongue, 1 Cor. 14. 19. And so in many other places.

And the Church as here upon earth, consists partly of such as are indeed of it, partly of such as onely in shew and profession belong unto it; For all are not Israel, that are of Israel, Rom. 9. 6. that is, all are not indeed the people of God, who professe themselves to be of that number: No, some call themselves Jewes, that is, Gods people, yet are not, but are the synagogue of Satan, Rev. 2. 9. Onely true believers are indeed of the Church: For, if any one have not the Spi­rit of Christ, the same is none of his, Rom. 8. 9. Prophane persons and hypocrites are rather in the Church, then of the Church, like woodden leggs that are outwardly joyned to the body, yet are [Page 358] indeed no parts of the body; They went out from us but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, 1 Joh. 2. 19. So speaks S. John of some Apostates and back-sliders, shewing that then when they professed themselves to be of the Church, yet indeed they were not of it.

And hence is another distinction of the Church into the Church visible, and the Church invisible:Of the Church visible and the Church invisible. The visible Church is a visible company of peo­ple professing the Gospell, whether they do it in truth and sincerity or no; it doth consist of good and bad, of elect and reprobate: It is com­pared to a [...]et that was cast into the Sea, and ga­thered of every kind▪ &c. Mat. 13. 47. &c. And to a field wherein were both wheat and tares, Mat. 13. 24. &c. And to a great house wherein are ves­sells of severall sorts, some to honor, and some to dishonor, 2 Tim. 2. 20. The invisible Church con­sists only of such as are elect, and are indeed that which they professe themselves to be, like Na­thanael, Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile, Joh. 1. 47. The Church in this respect is called invi­sible, because it is not visible to the eyes of men; they can see the profession, but whether it be sincere and proceed from the heart or no, they cannot see. For God only knowes the hearts of all the children of men, 1 King. 8. 39. And so he only knoweth who are his, 2 Tim. 2. 19.Of a par­ticular Church, and the Church u­niversall.

3. The Church is distinguished into particular and universall: A particular Church is a compa­ny professing the faith in some particular place. Thus we read of the seven Churches in Asia, [Page 359] Rev. 1. 4. that is, of Churches that were in seven Cities of Asia, as it followes there v. 11. So we read of the Church that was at Antioch, Acts 13. 1. the Church which was at Jerusalem, Acts 8. 1. Yea, we read of Churches in particular houses, as in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, Rom. 16. 5. in the house of Nymphas, Col. 4. 15. in the house of Philemon, Philem. v. 2. The universall ChurchThis is the universall Church as upon earth, o­therwise the uni­versall Church compre­hends both the Saints on earth, and the Saints in heaven. is the whole company of believers throughout the world. The Apostle having spoken first of a particular Church, Ʋnto the Church of God which is at Corinth, &c. presently after he speaks of u­niversall Church, with all that in every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ, &c. 1 Cor. 1. 2. The universall Church is that which is mentioned in the Creed, and is called the Catholike Church; for Catholike is as much as generall or universall. The Church of Rome most absurdly will be the Catholike Church, Roman Catholike is frequent in the mouths of Papists; but this is over-grosse, Catholike importing the whole, and Roman but a part: The Church of Rome was once indeed an eminent part, yet but a part of the CatholikeRibera [...] Iesuite is forced to confesse that by Babylon is meant Rome. or universall Church, Rom. 1. But now it is so de­generate and corrupt, that it is termed Babylon, Rev. 17. and the people of God are required to come out of it, Rev. 18. 4.

In the Creed the Church is stiled holy, and so it is: They that are indeed of the Church, are indeed holy; Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, 1 Cor. 6. 11. Wherefore holy brethren, &c. Heb. 3. 1. And they that are of the Church but by professi­on, yet by profession are holy, Called to be Saints, [Page 360] 1 Cor. 1. 2. Which becometh women professing godli­nesse, How the Church is stiled ho­ly. 2 Tim. 2. 10. And though the visible Church contain in it hypocrites and unholy persons, as well as those that are holy, yet the Church is called holy from the better part; even as a heap of wheat and chaffe being mixed together, we use to say of it, this is wheat, rather then this is chaffe, though there may be more of that then of the other.

Now the Church which is so indeed, is holy two wayes:

1. Out of it self in Christ, as being united un­to him, and one with him, and so having the righteousnesse and holinesse of Christ imputed unto; For God made Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteous­nesse of God in him, 2 Cor. 5. 21. In this respectSine ma­culâ de­putatur, quia culpa non impu­tatur. Gil. in Cant. 4. 7. Christ speaking to the Church, saith, Thou art all faire, my love, and there is no spot in thee, Cant. 4. 7. The Church is said to have no spot in her, because no spot is imputed to her.

2. In it self from Christ: For the Church be­ing united to Christ, and partaking of his Spirit, it must nees be conformed unto Christ in some measure, and be made holy, as he is holy; And of his fulnesse have we all received, and grace for grace, Joh. 1. 16. If any man be in Christ, he is a new crea­ture, 2 Cor. 5. 17. He that saith that he abideth in him, ought himself to walk even as he walked, 1 Ioh. 2. 6. But this inherent holinesse of the Church here in this life, is imperfect; The inward man is renewed (not altogether at once, but by degrees, by little and little) day by day, 2 Cor. 4. 16. Let us [Page 361] cleanse our selves from all filthinesse both of flesh and spirit, perfecting holinesse in the fear of God, 2 Cor. 7. 1. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3. 18. As for that Eph. 5. 27. That he might present it to himself a glo­rious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish: As for that, I say, it is not so to be un­derstood, as if the Church were such now here in thisNon est ita intelligendum, quasi Ecclesia ita jam sit, sed quia praepa­ratur ut sit. Aug. in Retract. In regno caelorum Ecclesia plenè & perfectè erit non habens macu­lam aut rugam, aut aliquid isti­usmodi. Cum enim non tantum dixit, ut exhiberet sibi Ecclesia [...] non habentem maculam, aut rugam, sed addidit, gloriosam, satis sig­nificavit quando erit sine maculâ & ruga. Beda ad loc. life, but it is prepared, that it may be such hereafter in the life to come: And the Apostle saying, That he might present it unto himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, sufficiently shewes when the Church shall be without spot or wrinkle, to wit, when it shall be glorious, and that is, not here upon [...]arth, but hereafter in heaven.

The nine and twentieth SERMON.

I Come now to the notes or marks of theOf the notes or marks of the Church. Church whereby it is to be discerned, I mean of a visible Church; for the invisible Church can­not be discerned by us, but (as I shewed be­fore) by God onely. And this consideration of the notes of the Church is very requisite, and of great concernment: For as Christ said to his Disciples, Mat. 24. 23, 24. If any shall say unto you, loe, here is Christ, or there: believe it not; for there shall arise false Christs. So though Papists on the one hand, and Sectaries on the other hand will be ready to say, loe, here is the Church, and loe there is the Church, yet believe it not; for there are false Churches.

First therefore let us examine the notes of theNotes as­signed by the Pa­pists. 1 Antiqui­ty. Church which the Papists assign, and they are principally these:

1. Antiquity: This they boast much of, their Religion (they say) is the old Religion, and therefore the true Religion, and consequently their Church is the true Church. But we must distinguish of Antiquity, there is a primary, and there is a seconda [...]y Antiquity: Primary Anti­quity is indeed a mark of the truth; for error and [Page 363] falshood being an aberration & [...] deviation from the truth, it must needs be thatId verum, quodcunque primum, id adulterum, quodcunque posterius. Tertull. advers. Prax. c. 4. truth is before errour and falshood. Therefore Jeremy bids, Ask for the old paths, where is the good way. But secondary antiquity doth not argue truth. There is Vetustas erroris, an antiquity of errour, as Cyprian truly observes. Our Fathers worshipped in Cypr. E­pist. 74. E­dit. Pani­el. this mountain, said the woman of Samaria unto Christ, Joh. 4. 20. They could plead prescription for vvhat they did, yet vvas it not therefore right: You worship you know not what, said Christ unto her, v 22. And Mat. 5. v. 21. & 27. & 33. Christ tels his Disciples, that so & so it had been said of old, yet he would have them to knovv that it was other­wise, and vvhich here is chiefly to be noted, the Apostle tells us, that even in his daies the mystery of iniquity did begin to vvork, 2 Thes. 2. 7. If the Doctrine of Antichrist (vvhich is there spoken of) did begin to work then in those daies, no marvell if it be novv very ancient, yet is it never a vvhit the better for all that. If a prescription of many hundred yeares were sufficient to demonstrate truth, then might the Heathens have vvell and justly maintained their idolatry and superstition against the doctrine and vvorship of Christian Re­ligion: and indeed some ofIam si longa aetas autoritatem re­ligionibus faciat, servanda est tot seculis fides, & sequendi sunt nobis parentes, qui secuti sunt foe­liciter suos.—utar ceremoniis a­vitis.—Sera & contu [...]eliosa est emenda [...]io s [...]n [...]ctutis. Symmachus pro sa [...]ris Patriis. them have used and urged this argument, which seems so plausible to our Romish adveriaries. Let them an­svver the Pagans, and with­all they will ansvver, them­selves. [Page 364] This therefore I say, that although the Church of Rome can plead antiquity, yet this is not enough to prove it to be the true Church, this antiquity which it hath, being but a seconda­ry antiquity. If they could evince that their Do­ctrine is simply and absolutely most ancient, this were to some purpose: but this they can never do.

Ob. But (say they) the Church of Rome was once a true and a sound Church, by S. Pauls own testimony, Rom. 1.

Answ. True, but as the Prophet saies, How is the faithfull City become an Harlot? Isai. 1. 21. So may I say, How is Rome degenerate, and quite chan­ged from what it was in the Apostles time? Cer­tainly if the Apostle were now upon earth, he would never acknowledge the present Church of Rome, to be that, or any thing like that, which he did so much commend in his Epistle to the Ro­manes. Did the Church of Rome then worship Images? did it pray to Saints? did it pray for the dead? did it perform divine worship in an un­known tongue? did it withhold the Cup from people in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper? was the Church of Rome then in the Apostles time guilty of these and many other such like errours and absurdities, which are now maintained by the Romish Church?

But our adversaries think themselves able to e­vince any thing by the subtilty of their wit, and their strength in arguing. They would not be ac­counted inferiour unto those, who would make make men believe, that snow is not white, nor [Page 365] that the heavens do move, and the earth stand stil, but that all is quite contrary to what vve imagine.

Ob. There is no change (say they) in the Church of Rome, but it is now the same in point of Reli­gion, as it was in the Apostles daies. And to prove this, they say that in every change of Religion sixBellarm. de Eccles. l. 4. c. 5. things may be demonstrated, 1. the authour of the change. 2. the new opinion brought in. 3. the time when. 4. the place where. 5. who opposed it. 6. the smal company by which the new opinion was first embraced. Now these circumstances [they say] cannot be shewed concerning a change of Reli­gion in the Roman Church; and therefore [they conclude] there hath been no such change in it.

Answ. But (say I) the change may be certain and evident, though these circumstances be uncer­tain and unknown; neither need we be solicitous about them. Christ did not think it requisite to stand about these circumstances, when he shewed how the Jewish Doctors had of a long time corrupted the true meaning of the Law, with their false glosses and interpretations, Mat. 5. So in the parable of the tares, Mat. 13. there is no inquiry after these circumstances, yet it plainly appeared that there were tares, and that was sufficient, though these particular circumstan­ces were not known. And it is to be observed, that it is there said, that while men slept the tares wereMat. 13. 25. sown. Errours often creep in secretly, when men are not aware, because they do not watch and seek to prevent them as they should do. And An­tichristian Doctrine especially is called a mystery. [Page 366] 2 Thes. 2. 7. it came in slily under a colour of piety, and so was not at first so easie to be discerned. Some of the Papists themselves are forced to con­fesse, that great and notable change there hath been, and yet they cannot tell when it first began, nor by whom, and the like.

Cassander confesseth that in the Roman Church,Cassand. Consult. art. 22. for above a thousand years after Christ the Sacra­ment of the Lords Supper was administred in both kinds (so that people received both the bread and the cup) now we know it is otherwise, though the first introduction of this change cannot be shew­ed. So for private Masses (as they call them) that is, such as wherein the Priest alone doth receive the Sacrament, the people being by, and looking on, but not communicating with him: the same Authour cites another Romanist, viz. Hoffmester, saying, that the thing it self doth shew, that both in the Greek and Latin Church, the people did use to communicate with the Priest, and that it is aRes ipsa clamat, & quodqitomodo cessaverit, mirandum est, & ut bonus ille usus in Ecclesiam revo cetur, laborandum. Hoffmest. apud Cassand. Consult. de miss. Solitar. wonder how this custome ceased, and to be indeavou­red that it may be restored. Yet concerning many erro­neous opinions and practices of the Church of Rome, our Divines have by records and monu­ments of antiquity shewed, who first brought them in, and when they did it, as also who oppo­sed them, &c.

But this sufficeth to convince them of novelty, that we can easily make it appear that (as Christ said concerning the matter of divorce as used a­mong [Page 367] the Jews) from the beginning it was not so, Mat. 19. 8.

Ob. But however our Adversaries think to lay us flat on the ground, and to strike us dead by say­ing, Where was your Church before Luther?

Answ. Truly this is as idle and ridiculous a que­stion, as if a Masse of gold having contracted much drosse, and after being purged, one should ask Where was that gold before it was purged? Or as if a body having been ful of sores and diseases, and after being made whole, one should ask, Where was that body before it was made whole? Luther and others whom God stirred up and made in­strumental and subservient unto him in that kind, did not erect a new Church, but reform the old. As it is the same gold now as before, but more pure, and the same body, but more sound; so it is the same Church, but reformed. The Papacy dif­fers from the Church, as the drosse from the gold, and the botch from the body.

Quest. And hence also that captious question of our adversaries is easie to be answered, What is become of your Fore-fathers, who lived and died before Luther?

Answ. Our Fore-fathers we hope well of, they might live and die in the Church of Rome, and yet be free from many errours that are in it. Even now since the Councell of Trent some on their death beds, at least, are found to renounce that grand point of Popery concerning Justification, disclaiming all confidence in their own inherent righteousnesse, and flying wholly to the mercy of [Page 358] God in Christ Jesus, which Bellarmine himself af­ter a long and contentious dispute against it, confessethPropter incertitudinem propriae justitiae, & periculum inanis glo­riae, tutissimum est fiduciam totam in solâ Dei misericordiâ & be­nignitate reponere. Bellarm. de Iustit. l. 5. c. 7. propos. 3. to be the safest course, Be­cause (saith he) of the uncer­tainty of our own righteous­nesse, and the danger of vain­glory, it is most safe to repose our whole trust in the sole mercy and goodnesse of God.

Much more (may we well suppose) before the Councell of Trent, when people were more free, the doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome, being not so established as afterwards, ma­ny in this and other points did keep themselves pure. Besides, errours and corruptions being now more clearly and fully discovered then before, it is not safe now to continue in the Communion of that Church, though God might graciously passe by and pardon the ignorance and weaknesse of our Fore-fathers. It is now clear as the Sun at noon day, that the Church of Rome is that Babylon, concerning vvhich the precept is expresse, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, Revel. 18. 4.

2. Another note of the Church, which the Pa­pists2. Succes­sion. assign, is succession of Pastours and Teachers, they can shevv such a succession, and thence they conclude that they are the true Church. But there is a twofold succession, viz. personall and doctri­nall, a succession of persons, and a succession of [Page 369] Doctrine; the former vvithout the latter is as no­thing. The Priests that condemned Christ had a personall succession, but vvanted doctrinall succes­sion. They could shew hovv their persons did suc­ceed those that vvere before them, and they o­thers, and so on untill they came to Aaron; but they could not shevv the like succession of their doctrine: so neither can the Papists shevv that they hold the same faith, vvhich vvas delivered by the Apostles, and therefore in vain do they vaunt of this, that they can shevv a personall succession of their Popes from the times of the Apostles. Bel­larmine Bellarm. de. Eccles. l. 4. c. 8. confesseth that the argument drawn from succession doth not hold for the affirmative, viz. that vvhere there is succession, there is the true Church, but only negatively, that there is not the Church, where succession is wanting. So then by their own confession this argument makes little for them, and as little doth it make against us. For though our Divines have laboured not unprofi­tably to shew that successively in all ages there have been some or other who have asserted the truth which we maintain, this is sufficient, that we can make it appear, that we hold the same faith, which was once delivered to the Saints, and have notIude v. [...]. departed from the Church of Rome, further then they have departed from this faith. This the an­cient Doctors thought sufficient, and though sometimes they have alledged personall successi­on, yet it was still with this supposition, that it was accompanied with doctrinall succession, o­therwise they made no reckoning of it. We must [Page 400] adhere unto those (saith Iraene­us) who keep the doctrine of Oportet adhaerere his, qui Apo­stolorum doctrinam cu [...]diunt. Iren. l. 4. c. 44. &c. 43. he calls this principalem successionem. Non habent▪ Petri hariditatem, qui fidem Petri non babent. Am­bros. de pentt l. 1. c. 6. In eadem side conspirant [...]s, non minus Apostolica depu [...]r pro consanguinitate doctrine Tertul. de Praescript. c. 32. the Apostles. This succession he calls the principall succes­sion. So Ambrose, They do not succeed Peter (saith he) who have not the faith of Peter.

And Tertullian speaking of Churches planted since the Apostles times, saith that they agreeing in the same faith, are neverthelesse accounted to be Apostolicall for the consanguinity of Doctrine.

3. They of the Church of Rome do also make3. Ampli­tude. amplitude and largenesse of extent a note to dis­cern the Church by. But this is no true note of the Church; for errour and heresie may so prevail as to have more professors and abettors then the truth. In the time of Ahab, for one true Prophet Micaiah, there were four hundred false Prophets 1 King. 22. 6. &c. And Eliah complained unto God saying, The children of Israel have forsaken thy Covenant▪ thrown down thine altars, and slain thy Prophets with the sword, and I▪ even I only am left, and they seek my life also, 1 King. 19. 14. So in the time of our Saviour the history of the Gospell shews how few in comparison did embrace the truth, when it vvas preached unto them. He came unto his own, and his own received him not, Joh. 1. 11. So some few hundred years after Christ, the Sect of the Arians grew so great,Ingemuit orbis, & Arrianum se esse miratus est. Hieron. advers. Luciferian. that (as Hierome expresseth it) the world did groan and [Page 401] wonder to see it self become an Arrian. And in after Ages what marvell if Antichrist did so in­large his dominion, S. John having foretold that so it should be? All the world (saith he) wandred af­ter the beast, Revel. 13. 3. And he tells us, that the Angell interpreting unto him the mystery of the whore sitting upon many waters, said thus, The waters which thou sawest where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and Nations, and tongues, Revel. 17. 15.

4. Our Romish adversaries amongst other4. Union with and subjection to the Pope as Head of the Church. See B. Mortons Book en­tituled the Grand Impostor. 5. Miracles notes of the Church do much stand upon this, that the members of the Church be united toge­ther under one head, viz. the Pope. But we have not so learned Christ, we know and acknowledge him and him only to be the head of the Church. So the Scripture plainly termeth him, Ephes. 5. 23. Col. 1. 18. But of any other head of the Church besides Christ, we find nothing.

5. Miracles also are made one note whereby the Church is to be discerned. But though miracles were requisite in the first planting of the Church Mar. 16. 20. Yet now it is otherwise: Yea the Scrip­ture hath taught us to suspect those that shall pre­tend miracles, shewing that this shall be the guise of false teachers, and of Antichrist himself. There shall arise false Christs, and false Prophets, and shal shew great signs and wonders, &c. Mat. 24. 24. Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders, 2 Thes. 2. 9. And he doth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men; And de­ceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of [Page 372] those miracles, &c. Revel. 13.Ecclesiam suam demonstrent, si possunt, non in sermonibus & ru­moribus Afrorum▪ non in conci­liis Episcoporum suorum, non in literis quorumlibet disputatorum, non in signis & prodigiis fallaci­bus, quia etiam contra ista verbo Domini praeparati & cauti reddi­ti sumus, sed in praescripto legis, in praedictis Prophetarum, in Psalmorum cantibus, in ipsius Pa­storis vocibu [...], [...] in Evangelista­rum praedicationibus & laboribus, hoc est, in omnibus Canonicis sanctorum librorum authoritati­bus, Aug. de Unit. Eccles. c. 16. 13, 14. Excellent is that of of Austine concerning the Donatists, Let them demon­strate their Church, if they can, not in the speeches and ru­mours of the Africans, not in the Councells of their Bi­shops, not in the writings of a­ny disputers, not in lying signs and wonders; for against them we are prepared and made cautious by the Lords owne word, but in the prescript of the Law, in the Predictions of the Prophets, in the songs of the Psalms, in the words of the Shepherd himself, in the preachings and la­bours of the Evangelists, that is, in all the Canonicall authorities of the holy books, Ne dicar, quia illa & illa mira­bilia fecit Donatus, vel Pontius, vel quilibet a [...]ius.—Remo­veantur ista▪ vel figm [...]nta m [...]a­tium hominum, vel portenta falla­cium spirituum. Aut enim non sunt vera, quae d [...]cuntur, aut si haereti­corum aliqua m [...]ra facta sunt, ma­gis cavere debenius, quod cum dix­isset Dominus futuros esse fallaces qui non nulla signa▪ faciendo etiam Electos, si fieri posset fallerent, ad­jecit vehementer commendans, & ait, Ecce praedixi vobis. Aug. I­bid. or the Bible. And again, Let him not say, Donatus, or Pon­tius, or any other did such and such wonders.—Let such things be waved, which are but either meer fictions of ly­ing men, or els strange acts of deceiving spirits. For either those things that are repor­ted, are not true, or if any wonders be done by heretikes, we ought so much the more to beware of them, in that when the Lord had said, that there should be deceivers, who [Page 373] by doing wonders should deceive, if it were possible, even the Elect: to let us know that this is a fair warn­ing, he added, saying, Behold I have foretold you.

Divers other marks of the Church doth Bel­larmine insist upon, but it is not worth the while to trouble our selves about them. These already mentioned are they which our adversaries of Rome do make chief account of; and therefore I passe from the notes assigned by Papists, to those which are assigned by others.

The thirtieth SERMON.

SOme there be who are averse from, and ad­verse to them of the Romish Church, but they run into extremes on the other hand: And forNotes of the Church assigned by Sepa­ratists or Semi-se­paratists. 1. Holi­nesse of Church-members. Ainsw. a­gainst Bern. p. 60 the notes of the Church, which they mainly in­sist upon, they seem to be these.

1. Holinesse of such as professe themselves, and are admitted to be members of the Church; for want of such holinesse in Church-members, as they conceive requisite to the constituting of a Church, some will not acknowledge us to be a Church, but with-draw and separate from us as no Church, or a false Church, such as they may not hold communion with: What manner of peo­ple [saith M. Ainsworth, a Separatist] is joyned to­gether in your Church? Are there not all sorts of prophane, wicked, and irreligious persons, as well as religious, and men of better life? And where find you in the Scriptures such matter for Gods house?—The Apostle Yet compare 1 Cor. 3. 9. with 1 Cor. 1 [...]. 17, 18, 20, 21. & 1 [...]. 12. Ibid. p. 74. & 75. never said to any prophane or confused people, ye are Gods husbandry, ye are Gods building.—To be separated from the unbelievers, and to be joyned together unto a holy communion and Church is needfull unto salvation: This is neither [Page 405] taught nor practised in your Assemblies, &c. By these and such like passages it appears, that they make it a necessary mark of a true Church, such as we may joyne our selves unto, to be so holy and so pure, as to have no open and notorious transgressors in it: But how holinesse belongs unto the Church, I have Serm. 28. heretofore shewed, viz. so as that all who are indeed of the Church, are indeed holy; and all who are of the Church by profession, are by profession holy, and ought to be so indeed; and that a visible Church though it hath many in it that are not holy, far more then that are holy, yet it is called holy, being denomi­nated not from the greater, but from the better part. This also I willingly grant, that scanda­lous persons ought to be admonished and censu­red, and if the case so require, excommunicated and cast out of the Church untill they shew them­selves penitent; Warne them that are unruly, 1 Thes. 5. 14. If any obey not our word by this Epi­stle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed, 2 Thes. 2. 14. Put away from among your selves that wicked person, 1 Cor. 5. 13. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many, 2 Cor. 2. 6. But all this notwithstanding, it followes not that it is no true Church, wherewith it is lawfull to communi­cate, if such Discipline either be not established, or not executed in it, but such are tolerated as are not meet to be members of it. For we find that in all times the Church hath been so infected and polluted, as to have corrupt and rotten mem­bers, not only close hypocrites, but also openly [Page 376] profane persons, yet did it not therefore present­ly cease to be a Church, from which the godly were not to make a separation, although they ought to keep themselves pure from contagion, and in their places and callings to indeavour the reformation of what was amisse in it. Moses spea­king to all the Congregation of Israel, said, Thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God, Deut. 7. 6. So they all were by profession, but many of them were far from being so indeed. And that Moses knew very well, he had frequent and manifest proof of it. He saw how upon every occasion they were murmuring and provoking God, and how when he was but a while absent from them, they fell to open idolatry. As in divers other places, so Deut. 9. 6, 7, 8. he dealt plainly with them, and told them of their wickednesse: Ʋnderstand therefore (said he) that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possesse it for thy righte­ousnesse; for thou art a stiffe-necked people. Remem­ber, and forget not how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wildernesse; from the day that thou didst depart out of the Land of Aegypt, untill ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious a­gainst the Lord: Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you. So what is more frequent and usuall with the Prophets, then to complaine of, and cry out against the notorious sins of the Israelites? They declare their sins as Sodome, they hide them not, Esa. 3. 9. They are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men: They bend their tongue like their bow for lies, &c. Jeh. 9. 2, 3. Infinite of [Page 377] such like passages there are in the writings of the Prophets; yet did they not therefore deny the Jewish Church to be a true Church, to which all ought to joyn, they did neither make themselves, nor exhort others to make separation from it: So in our Saviours time the Evangelicall story shewes how exceeding corrupt it was, yet still Jerusalem is termed the holy City, Mat. 4. 5. the City of the great King, Mat. 5. 35. And our blessed Saviour did joyn himself to that Church, thoughSee Mr. Hilder­sham on Joh. 4 22. not to the corruptions of it; Ye worship ye know not what, (said he to the woman of Samaria) we know what we worship, John 4. 22. meaning we Jewes, as it followes, for salvation is of the Jewes.

Ob. Some perhaps may say, although it were thus in respect of the Jewes, yet it is otherwise in respect of Christians: more holinesse is now re­quired in the time of the Gospell, then was be­fore in the time of the Law.

Ans. I answer: It is true, the light being now more clear, and the means of grace more abun­dant, we ought to be more holy; For unto whom­soever much is given, of him shall much be requi­red, Luk. 12. 48. But neverthelesse the writings of the Apostles shew that even Christian Chur­ches in their times were not free from grosse and scandalous offenders, and yet they were still ac­counted Churches, neither were any required to separate from them: It hath been declared unto me of you my brethren, by them which are of the house of Cloe, that there are contentions a­mong you: Now this I say, that every one of you [Page 408] saith, I am of Paul, and I am of Apollos, and I am of Cephas, and I am of Christ, 1 Cor. 1. 11, 12. Ye are carnall; for whereas there are among you envy­ings and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnall, and walk as men? 1 Cor. 3. 3. Now in this that I de­clare unto you, I praise you not, that you come toge­ther, not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the Church, I hear that there be divisions among you, and I part­ly believe it: For there must also be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made ma­nifest. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lords Supper; for in eating every one taketh before other his own supper, and one is hungry, and another is drunken: What have you not houses to eat and drink in? Or, despise ye the Church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say unto you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not, 1 Cor. 11. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. How say some among you, that there is no re­surrection of the dead? 1 Cor. 15. 12. I feare lest when I come I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not, lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults; and lest when I come again, my God will humble me a­mong you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the unclean­nesse, and fornication, and lasciviousnesse which they have committed, 2 Cor. 12. 20, 21. By these passa­ges we may see how farre from that purity and holinesse that was requisite, the Corinthians were, and yet the Apostle stiled them the Church of God, [Page 409] 1 Cor. 1. 2. & 2 Cor. 1. 1. and blessed God for them, 1 Cor. 1. 4. so far was he from admonishing any to separate from them, notwithstanding the er­rours and disorders that were among them. So it appears by the second and third Chapters of the Revelation, how corrupt and unsound the Churches of Asia there spoken of, were both in doctrine and manners, yet still Christ accounted them Churches, and only exhorted them to repent and amend, o­therwise threatning to powre his wrath upon them, he never taxed any for abiding in them, so that they did not joyn in those corruptions.

Ob. Some may object that of the Apostle, Come out from among them, and be ye separate, 2 Cor. 6. 17.

Answ. But it was not the Apostles meaning, that Christians should separate from a Church; wherein are found wicked persons, as if it were not lawfull to joyn with such in the use of Gods Ordinances, for then we should not know where to find a Church upon earth to joyn our selves un­to, and the whole series and tenour both of the old and new Testament is against such separation: but the meaning is, that Christians must separate from all wicked ones so as not to joyn with them in their wickednesse. So immediately there it fol­lows, touch not the unclean thing, that is, do not joyn with others in their pollutions. So Ephes. 5. 6, 7. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be ye not therfore partakers with them, viz. in those things, for which the wrath of God cometh upon them. & v. 11. Have no fellowship [Page 380] with the unfruitfull works of darkness, but reprove them rather.

Thus then by Scripture the case is clear, that such holinesse of Church-members as some stand upon, is not essentiall to the Church, nor any necessary mark of it. And in this all our famous Protestant Divines (that I know) agree. I will only cite one, who for his worth and excellency may be in stead of all, viz. Calvin. the Ana­baptists (saith he) say, that Anabaptistae aiunt, ubicunque ma­li non excluduntur à communione, illic Christianum communicando sese polluere. Nos è contrà dici­mus, Christianum maestitia affici debere, cum sacrosanctam caenam pollui videt ab iniquis & impro­bis, qui ad eam admittuntur, & curare quantum in ipso est, ne id fiat, quod si fiat ipsi tamen sese privare caenâ, & à communione subducere non licere; debere potius in eo persistere, ut quamdiu in eo loco agit, cum caeteris Deum adoret, verbum audiat, caenamque recipiat. Calvin. Instruct. advers. Anabap­tist. vide Ibid. plura. wheresoever evill persons are not excluded from communi­on, there a Christian doth pol­lute himself, if he communi­cate. We on the otherside say, that a Christian ought to be grieved, when he sees the Holy Supper polluted by the wick­ed, that are admitted unto it; and that he ought to indeavor what he can, that it may not be so polluted. But if it be, yet he may not deprive himself of the Sacrament, and withdraw himself from communion, but must rather persist in this resolution, so long as he abides there, together with others, to worship God, hear the word, and receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper. Much more he hath to this purpose, alledging many places both of the old and new Testament for proof of it.

2. Another note of the Church which some2. Church Covenant. much stand upon, is a Church-Covenant, viz. an expresse Covenant, which all the members of the [Page 381] Church must enter into, whereby they expressely and formally bind themselves to the performing such duties as they conceive to be required of them. This some make so necessary, as if there could be no true and rightly constituted visible Church without it. They will not admit any to the Lords Table, though they cannot but judge them such as have reall union and communion with Christ, neither will they admit their children to Baptism, except it appear that by such a Covenant they are in Church-fellowship, or members of a Church, that is, gathered together by such a Cove­nant. But so far as I can see, the Scripture no where shews us, that such a Covenant is requisite. I grant, that in some case, upon speciall occasion it may be meet for the members of a Church to Covenant together about those things that con­cern them, viz. for the reforming, or preserving of the Church from grosse corruptions that have got, or are likely to get into it. Thus Asa and the people of Judah entred into a Covenant, as we read, 2 Chron, 15. But ordinarily such a Covenant is not necessary. We read of many Churches plan­ted by the Apostles, yet of no such Covenant: on­ly we find that the members of the Church were admitted into it by Baptism, by which all do ver­tually Covenant one with another. Then they that gladly received the word, were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfast in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread and prayers, Act. 2. 41, 42. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, 1 Cor. 12. 13. There is [Page 412] one body, and one spirit, &c. one Lord, one faith, one baptisme, Ephes. 4. 4, 5.

Having hitherto spoken of those notes of theTrue notes of the Church. Church, which the Papists and others do errone­ously assign, I come now to the true notes of it, and they are these.

1. The sound preaching of the word: this is1. The se­cond preaching▪ of the word. a principall note whereby the Church is to be dis­cerned. For 1. The word is that whereby the mem­bers of the Church are begotten. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, 1 Pet. 1. 23. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, Act. 2. 41. And (so by the preaching of the word) the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved. v. 47.

2. The word is that whereby the members of the Church are nourished. As new born babes de­sire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, 1 Pet. 2. 2. And he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pa­stours and Teachers▪ for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry▪ for the edifying of the body of Christ, &c. Ephes. 4. 11. 12. And now bre­thren I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, &c. Act. 20. 32.

3. The ministery of the word being taken away, the Church ceaseth. I will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent, Revel. 2. 5. As if he should say, I will dischurch thee, I will make thee cease to be a Church, viz. by taking away the word and ministry. For in that respect Churches are called candlesticks, Revel. 1. 20. because they [Page 413] hold forth the light of Gods word by the mini­stry and dispensation of it.

A false and corrupt Church is known by false and corrupt doctrine. Therefore on the other side a true and sound Church is known by true and sound doctrine. True it is, false doctrine may get into a true Church, and through the prevalency of false teachers may bear sway in it; but if it come to prevail so far, as that all must either subscribe to it (as in the Church of Rome) or els they can have no communion with it, then it ceaseth to be a true Church, I mean, such as wherein it is lawfull to abide, but there is a necessity of making separa­tion from it: Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, &c. Rev. 18. 4. and so far forth as any Church is infected with false doctrine, so far forth it degenerateth into a false Church. I mar­vel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospell, Gal. 1. 6. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed on you labour in vain, Gal. 4. 11. the Apostle feared least by that corruption of doctrine that was in the Churches of Galatia, they would quite be dissol­ved and come to nothing. And Christ speaking to the Angell (or Pastor) of the Church in Perga­mus, in the name of the whole Church, saith thus: But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto Idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or els I will come unto thee quickly, &c. Revel. 2. 14, 15, 16.

2. Another true note of the Church, is, The2. The right ad­ministra­tion of the Sacra­ments. right administration of the Sacraments: When Christ sent his Apostles to gather his Church, he commanded them, as to preach, so also to bap­tize; Mat. 28. 19. Go ye therefore and teach all Na­tions, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: That of the Apostle 1 Cor. 1. 17. Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, is not to be taken simply and absolutely, that the Apostle was not at all sent to baptize; for, no doubt he had the same Commission as the other Apostles had: and be­sides, he there testifieth, that he did baptize some, though not many, v. 14. & 16. whereas if Christ had not sent him to baptize, he might not have baptized any. It is therefore spoken compara­tively, like that, Receive instruction, and not silver, Prov. 8. 10. that is, rather then silver: and that, I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, Hos. 6. 6. that is, rather then sacrifice: So here Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospell, that is, not so much to baptize as to preach the Gospell. But though in that Commission Mat. 28. 19. onely Baptisme is expressed as being the Sacrament of initiation, that whereby we solemnly enter into the Church, yet there is also the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, which is to be administred in, and celebrated by the Church: See 1 Cor. 11. 23. &c. These Sacraments as they are seals of the Cove­nant which God hath made with his Church, so are they badges and cognizances whereby the Church is knowne and discerned; For by one Spi­rit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be [Page 385] Jewes or Gentiles, whether bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit, 1 Cor. 12. 13. As these Sacraments are more or lesse purely administred, so the Church is more or lesse pure.

3. A mutuall connexion and due order of3. A mu­tuall con­nexion and due order of the parts and mem­bers of the Church. the parts and members of the Church, this is also a note and mark of it: As in a naturall body the parts and members are united together, and fitly ordered: so is it in the mysticall body, the Church.

1. There must be union and connexion of the parts and members: Let us not forsake the assem­bling of our selves together, as the manner of some is. Heb. 10. 25. Mark those that cause divisions, &c. Rom. 16. 17.

And secondly, there must also be order, a due order and disposition of the parts, some to teach and govern, some to be taught and governed; Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? 1 Cor. 12. 29. Not all, but some; He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, Eph. 4. 11. Take heed to your selves, and to the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, &c. Acts 20. 28. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, &c. 1 Thes. 5. 12. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves, for they watch for your souls, &c. Heb. 13. 1.

Some may take in Discipline as a note of the Church, but I thinke it not properly a note of it, because it is not of the being, but only of the [Page 386] well-being of the Church: As a hedge or wall is to a garden, so is Discipline to the Church; re­quisite and needfull is it for the preservation of the Church in purity both of Doctrine and Manners, and where it is long wanting the Church will be apt to grow very corrupt, yet it is not of such necessity, but that the Church may subsist without it; neither may we for want of Discipline conclude that it is no Church, or not such as wherin we may continue, but must needs separate from it: For in our Saviours time what Discipline was in the Jewish Church, whenas they that confessed him were cast out of the Sy­nagogue? Joh. 9. 22. & 34.

The one and thirtieth SERMON.

HAving treated sufficiently of the name and nature, the distinctions and notes of the Church, I come to the point, which these words [Ʋpon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it] afford unto us, and that is this:

That the Church is so strongly built, that Doct. no adverse power whatsoever can prevaile a­gainst it.

This our Saviour plainly and expresly testifies here in the Text; so David speaking of the Church, saith, God will establish it for ever, Psal. 48. 8.

The strength and stability of the Church may yet further appear,

1. By Gods promises made unto it; I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment, lest any hurt it I will keep it night and day, Esa. 27. 3. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, shalt thou condemn, Esa. 54. 17. For I, saith the Lord, will be a wall of fire round about her, and will be the glory in the midst of her, Zach. 2. 5. In such places of Scripture as wherein God [Page 388] doth threaten to afflict and punish his Church, yet still he mitigates the sharpnesse of his threat­nings with sweet promises, that he will not utter­ly destroy it, Esa. 10. 6. God saith that he would send the Assyrian against an hypocriticall Nation, and against the people of his wrath, (so he cal­led the Jewish Nation and people, which was then his Church) and would give him a charge to take the spoile, and to take the prey, and to tread them downe like the mire of the streets. But lest any should think that the Church should quite be destroyed, it follovves v. 20. & 21. And it shall come to passe in that day, that the remnant of Israel and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them, but shall stay upon the Lord, the holy one of Israel, in truth: The remnant shall return, even the rem­nant of Jacob unto the mighty God. And againe, v. 24. & 25. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Hosts, O my people that dwellest in Sion, be not a­fraid of the Assyrian; he shall smite thee with the rod, and shall lift up his staffe against thee after the manner of Aegypt: For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. Though God be provoked against his Church, and smite it sore, yet his anger shall cease in the destruction, not of his Church, but of the adversaries of it: So Esa. 17. 4. the Lord threatneth, saying, And in that day it shall come to passe, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatnesse of his flesh shall wax lean; but v. 6. he addes, Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the [Page 389] top of the uttermost bough, four or five in the out most fruitfull branches thereof, saith the Lord God of Is­rael. And Isai. 24. 13. Having said that there should be desolation and destruction, to shew that yet this should not be utter desolation, and utter de­struction, the like promise is annexed. When thus it shall be in the midst of the Land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an Olivetree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done, So Jer. 3. 14. Turn, O back-sliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you, and I wil take you one of a City, and two of a Family, and I wil bring you to Sion, & Jer. 46. 28. Fear not thou, ô Iacob my servant, saith the Lord; for I am with thee, for I wil make a ful end of all the Nations whither I have driven thee, but See the margent and De Dieu upon Exod. 34. 6. 7. wil not make a full end of thee; but correct thee in measure, yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished. Ezek. 6. 8. The Lord having before threatned to inflict sore plagues and punishments, adds, Yet wil I leave a remnant, that you may have some that shall escape the sword among the Nations, when ye shall be scattered thorough the Countries, And Ezek. 14. 22. Although he threatned to send his four sore judg­ments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famin, and the noisom beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast, Yet behold (saith he) therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, &c.

Thus Gods promises to his Church shew that no adverse power shall prevail against it, viz. so as utterly to overthrow it.

2. The same also may appear by Gods providence towards it: as he hath promised, so he hath per­formed, [Page 390] as the story of the Church in all ages doth make manifest. He hath remembred his Covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which Covenant he made with Abra­ham, and his Oath unto Isaac: And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a Law, and to Israel for an e­verlasting Covenant, saying, unto thee will I give the Land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance. When they were but few men in number, yea very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one Nation to another, from one Kingdome to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong, but reproved Kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed, & do my Prophets no harm, Psal. 105. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

The Church hath been much and often perse­cuted by her adversaries, yet it hath been preser­ved; maugre all their malice & fury against it, they were not able to destroy it. Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say; many time have they afflicted me from my youth, but they have not prevailed against me: the plowers plowed upon my back, & made long their furrows. The Lord is righ­teous, he hath cut asunder the coards of the wicked, Psal. 129. 1, 2, 3, 4. Pharoah and the Egyptians did wickedly conspire against the people of God, and did cruelly oppresse them, yet could they not pre­vail against them. The Church was but as that bush that Moses saw, all on fire, yet not consu­med, Exod. 3. 3. God was in the bush, he was in his Church, he preserved it, and with a strong hand and an out-stretched arm he did deliver it. After­ward the people of God were many a time grie­vously afflicted in Canaan, by Moabites, Ammo­nites, [Page 391] Philistines and others, yet stil God did raise them up one or other to deliver them, as is re­corded in the book of Judges. I will only cite one place to this purpose, viz. that Judg. 2. 14, 15, 16. And the anger of the Lord waxed hot against Israel (because of their sins mentioned in the verses im­mediately going before) and he delivered them in­to the hands of spoilers, that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever [...]went out the hand of the Lord was against the [...]r evill, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them, and they were greatly distressed. Neverthelesse the Lord raised up Iudges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. After the time of the Judges, when in the daies of Eliah the Saints and servants of God were so persecuted by Ahab and Jeze­bel, that Eliah thought they were all destroyed, and none left besides himself, God let him know that it was otherwise then he supposed, Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 1 King. 19. 18. After this also when the ten Tribes were carried away captive into As­syria, as is related, 2 King. 17. besides many parti­cular persons that remained of those Tribes, there remained still the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Its said indeed, 2 King. 17. 18. There was none left but the Tribe of Judah only; but Benjamin is com­prehended in Iudah. So it's said, 1 King. 12. 20. that when the Kingdom was divided in the reign of Rehoboam. There was none that followed the house [Page 392] of David, but the Tribe of Iudah only. Yet 2 Chron. 11. 1. it's said that Rehoboam gathered of the house of Iudah and Benjamin, a hundred and four­score thousand chosen men, &c. And v. 12. that he had Judah and Benjamin on his side. After this a­gain when Judah and Benjamin were carried away into Babylon, yet besides that some still remained in the Land, Ier. 40. 6. God caused the rest to re­turn after seventy years, 2 Chron. 36. 22, 23. Ezr. 1. 1. &c. After all this, when that misery came upon Jerusalem, which our Saviour f [...] [...]ld, Luk. 19. 41. &c. besides that God did re [...]e unto himself some among the Jews, a remnant according to the Election of grace, as the Apostle calls them, Rom. 11. 5. God in stead of the Jews that were rejected, took in the Gentiles, so that the Church was so far from being destroyed, that it was exceedingly amplified and inlarged. The fall of the Jews was the riches of the world, and the dimihishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, as the Apostle saies, Rom. 11. 12. Thus far the history of the Scrip­ture doth lead us; and Ecclesiasticall history yet further tells us, that the Christian Church was un­der fierce and fiery persecution for a matter of 300. years after Christ, but though infinite num­bers were slain, yet still many remained, yea theirSanguis martyrum semen Ecclesiae. Semen est sanguis Christia­norum. Tertul. Apolog. very sufferings were a means to make them in­crease and multiply the more. As it is said of the Israelites in Egypt, that the more they were affli­cted, the more they multiplied and grew, Exod. 1. 12, So was it with the Christians, in those primi­tive times, whence arose that saying, The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church. Thus like­wise [Page 393] in after ages Antichrist under a pretence of being Christs vicar, and head of the Church, ma­king great havock in the Church, yet was never a­ble to destroy it, but it hath subsisted still and continued unto this day, and so will continue as long as the world continues, yea when the world is destroyed, yet the Church shall continue still, even for ever and ever. Come out of her, my people, saith the Lord speaking of mysticall and Anti­christian Babylon, Revel. 18. 4. Which shews that God would have a people even in Babylon, even under the tyranny of Antichrist, and would in his good time bring them out of Babylon from under Antichristian tyranny, as he hath in these last ages done in great measure, and will at length do in full measure, as the Book of the Revelation suffi­ciently testifieth.

The reasons why the Church cannot so be pre­vailedReasons why no adverse power can prevaile against the Church to destroy it. against, as to be destroyed, are reducible to these two heads, God is able to preserve the Church, and he will preserve it.

1. God is able to preserve the Church: the A­postle argueth from Gods power, and thence proveth the stability of a particular member of the Church, though a weak member. Yea, he shal be hol­den up, for God is able to make him stand, So our Savi­our from hence likewise sheweth the certainty of the perseverance & salvation of the whole Church, and all the members of it. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give un­to them eternall life, and they shall never perish, nei­ther shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me is greater then all; and [Page 394] and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand, I and my Father are one, Joh. 10. 27, 28, 29, 30.

2. God will preserve his Church, and that in divers respects.

1. In respect of the relation that is betwixt him and the Church. It is his Church. So Christ who is God blessed for ever, Rom. 9. 5. calls it in the Text, my Church, and 1 Tim. 3. 15. it is called the Church of the living God. In the same place it is called, the house of God. And Psal. 48. 8. and in o­ther places, the City of God. It is his Spouse Cant. 4. 9, 10, 11. his Body, 1 Cor. 12. 27. Ephes. 1. 23. The Church having such near relation unto God, he will assuredly look to it, and preserve it.

2. In respect of his decree and purpose in pre­destinating and electing the Church. The Apostle having spoken of some, whose faith was over­thrown, adds, Neverthelesse, the foundation of God standeth sure, the Lord knoweth who are his, 2 Tim. 2. 20. Many are called but few are chosen, Mat. 22. 12. But they that are chosen are sure to be saved. Fear not little flock, it is your Fathers pleasure to give you the Kingdome, Luk. 12. 32. Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit ye the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, Mat. 25. 34. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called, viz. ac­cording to his purpose, v. 28. and whom he called, [viz. in that manner] them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified, Rom. 8. 30.

3. In respect of the price that he hath purcha­sed his Church with. Take heed, &c. to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own [Page 395] blood, Act. 20. 28. He that hath paid so dear for a thing, as God hath for the Church, will not loose it, if he can keep it.

4. In respect of the Seal that he hath set upon his Church, and the earnest which he hath given unto it, even his holy Spirit. Men seal things which they would have preserved and kept safe, and by giving earnest they make a bargain. So God hath sealed his Church by his spirit, and hath given it the earnest of his spirit. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the spirit in our hearts, 2 Cor. 12. 22. In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, &c. Ephes. 1. 13, 14. And grieve not the Holy spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption, Ephes. 4. 30.

5. In respect of the great affection that he bears towards the Church. Remember me O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest to thy people; O visit me with thy salvation, Psal. 106. 4. That intimates that God doth bear a singular favour to his people, and so will visit them with his salvation. His soul was grieved for the miseries of Israel, Judg. 10. 16. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angell of his presence saved them; in his love, and in his pity he redeemed them, &c. Isai. 63. 9. He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye, Zach. 2. 8. These expres­sions are used to shew how dear Gods Church is unto him.

6. In respect of his Covenant, which he hath made with his Church, and by which he hath in­gaged himself unto it. I entred into Covenant with [Page 396] thee, and thou becamest mine, Ezek. 16. 8. But now thus saith the Lord, that created thee O Jacob, and he that formed thee O Israel, Fear not, for I have re­deemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine [viz. by Covenant, and what then?] When thou passest thorough the waters, I will be with thee, and thorough the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: When thou walk [...]st thorough the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy one of Israel thy Saviour, Isai. 43. 1, 2, 3. The people of God being in distresse, cry unto him, and plead with him thus, Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give the praise, for thy mercy and thy truths sake, Psal. 115. 1. Gods mercy moved him to make the Covenant, both his mercy and his truth will move him to keep the Covenant. He will ever be mind­full of his Covenant, Psal. 111. 5. My Covenant will I not break &c. Psal. 89. 34. Therefore also Jeremy in a time of calamity and misery prayed unto God, saying, Remember, break not thy Covenant with us, Jer. 14. 21.

7. In respect of his glory, which is concerned in the preservation of his Church, and in the esta­blishment of it. This people have I formed for my selfe, they shall shew forth my praise, Isai. 43. 21. So v. 7. I have created him for my glory, &c. The most of the world dishonour God, and blaspheme his Name, but God hath, and will have a people, that shall honour him, and give him the glory due un­to his Name. It's said, Psal. 22. 3. That God inha­bits the praises of Israel. And both to provoke his people the more to praise him, and also that his [Page 397] enemies may have lesse occasion to blaspheme, though he afflict his people, and suffer their ene­mies a while to tyrannize over them, yet his eye is still upon them, he hath a care of them, and in due time will deliver them. For my Names sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I re­frain for thee, that I cut thee not off, Isai. 48. 9. And v. 11. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it, for how should my name be polluted? (viz. if his Church should be destroyed) and I will not give my glory unto another. See also Ezek. 36. 20, 21, 23. Therefore the people of God make use of this as a most strong argument, whereby to prevaile with God, Help us O God of our salvation for the glory of thy Name, and deliver us, and purge away our sins for thy Names sake. Wherefore should the Heathen say, where is now their God? Let him be known among the Heathen in our sight, &c. Psal. 79. 9, 10. And v. 13. So we thy people, and sheep of thy Pasture, will give thee thanks for ever, we will shew forth thy praise to all generations, So Jer. 14. 7. O Lord, though our iniquities testifie against us, do it for thy Names sake. And v. 21. Do not abhor us for thy Names sake.

Ʋse 1. This then serves to convince the adver­saries and opposers of Gods Church and people, it serves to let them see how vain their enterprize and attempt is in so setting themselves against the Church and people of God as they do. Come (say they) let us cut them off from being a Nation, that the name of Israel may be no more in remem­brance. Psal. 83. 4. But they do but imagine a vain thing, Psal. 2. 1. a thing that they are never able to [Page 398] effect. He that sitteth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn, the most High shal have them in derision. Psal. 2. 4. If they be able to do any thing against the Church, it is but as they are the rod of Gods anger, as he calls the Assyrian, Isai 10. 5. as the instruments that he doth make use of for the correcting of his people. They mean not so, neither doth their heart think so, but it is in their heart to destroy, and to cut off, &c. Isai. 10. 7. But shal the axe boast it self against him that heweth therewith? or shal the saw magnifie it selfe against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake it selfe against them that lift it up; or as if the staff should lift up it self, as if it were no wood, Isai. 10. 15. In fighting against the Church they do but [...], fight against God, Act. 5. 39. And doe they think to overcome in this fight? Keep not thou silence O God, hold not thy peace, and be not still O God, for lo thine enemies (so he calls the ene­mies of Gods Church) make a tumult, and they that hate thee have lift up their head. They have ta­ken crafty counsell against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones, Psal. 83. 1, 2, 3. Their machi­nations and devices against Gods people are a­gainst God himself, as it follows there, v. 5. they are confederate against thee, So Psal. 21. 11. They in­tended evill against thee, they imagined a mischie­vous device, which they are not able to perform. Be­cause it was against God, therefore they were not able to perform it. Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? said Christ from heaven, when Saul persecu­ted his Church upon earth, Act. 9. 4. And v. 5. I am Iesus whom thou persecutest, it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. When a mighty multitude [Page 399] came against Asa, which he had no power to withstand, he cryed unto God, and used this ar­gument to prevail with him, and to obtain help of him, Let not man prevail against thee, 2 Chron. 14. 11.

Ʋse. 2. Secondly, this also serves to comfort the mourners in Sion, and the members of Sion. Though Sion (the Church) be never so sore shaken, yet it standeth sure; though it be exposed to never so many and great dangers, yet it shall be preserved. Though the Church be a little flock, as it is termed, Luk. 12. 32. Yet it hath a great Shepherd. Though the people of God be as sheep among wolves, Mat. 10. 16. Yet God who is their Shepherd can and will defend them. Ye shall be hated of all men for my Names sake, said Christ to his Disciples, but he adds withall. But there shall not a hair of your head perish, Luk. 21. 17, 18. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not for­saken, cast down, but not destroyed, 2 Cor. 4. 8, 9. He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me, Heb. 13. 5, 6.

Ob. Some may say, But many members of the Church are oft prevailed against and destroyed.

Answ. I answer, 1. None can do any thing to any member of the Church further then God is pleased to permit; otherwise the devill could not so much as touch Iob, as the story witnesseth, Iob. 1. & 2.

2. God suffers none to do any thing to any member of the Church but for their good. All [Page 400] things work together for the good of those that love God, that are called according to his purpose. Rom. 8. 28. The Saints and servants of God do then in­deed overcome when they seem to be overcome, and when their condition seems most calamitous and miserable, then is it in­deedHâc tempestate omnis ferè sacro Martyrum cruore orbis infectus [...]st.—Nullis unquam bellis mundus magis exhaustus est, neque majori unquam triumpho vicimus, quam cum decem armorum stragi­bus vinci non potuimus. Sulpit. most glorious and hap­py. In all these things we are more then Conquerours, tho­rough him that loved us, Rom. 8. 37.

Vse. 3. Thirdly and lastly, This may serve to admonish those that are with­out, to come in, that they may be no more stran­gers and forreiners, but fellow-Citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God, Ephes. 2. 19. As the condition of those that are in the Church, is most safe, so theirs that are out of the Church, if they so continue, is most miserable. As Noah and all that were in the Ark were preserved from the flood, but all they that were out of it were drow­ned. So shall all that are in the Church, truly inExtrae Ecclesiam non est salus. it, so in it as to be of it, be saved, but all that are out of it shall perish. The Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved, Act. 2. 47. We are all indeed in the visible Church by profession, but that is not enough, we must also be in the invisi­ble Church by a reall union with Christ, being incorpoarated into him by faith, and made mem­bers of his body. And he that saith that he abideth in him, ought himself to walk even as he walked, 1 Joh. 2. 6. The foundation of the Lord standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth who are his: and [Page 401] let every one that nameth the name of Christ, depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. 2. 19. Chaffe may be in the floor as well as wheat, and goats in the fold as well as sheep; but Christ will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner, and burn up the chaffe with unquenchable fire, Mat. 3. 12. He will divide the sheep from the goats, and will set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left, and will say to the one, Come ye blessed of my Father, in­herit you the Kingdom, &c. But to the other, Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, &c. Mat. 25. 32, 33, 34, 41. Let us therefore have a care, and make sure, that we be wheat and not chaffe, sheep and not goats; let us have a care that we be indeed built upon the Rock, the sure foundation, Christ Jesus, and then whatsoever happen, we are safe, the gates of hell shall not prevail against us.

The two and thirtieth SERMON.

1 JOH. 1. 3. That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Je­sus Christ.’

IN the Apostles Creed (as it is called) after the Article concerning the Church, followes the Article of the Communion of Saints. IndeedCalv. In­stit. l. 4. c. 1. §. 3. this Article Calvin notes to be for the most part omitted by the ancient Writers, and so I find it to be by Ruffinus in his Exposition of the Creed; for from the holy Catholike Church he passeth immediately to the forgivenesse of sins. And so Austine in his Enchiridion, wherein he handleth briefly the Principles of Christian Religion con­tained [Page 403] in the Creed, takes no notice of this Article; yet it is well and fitly inserted: for the Church being one City, one house, one body, they that belong unto the Church, as the Saints onely do indeed, must needs have communion and fellowship together. And this communion or fellowship S. John here speaks of, he shewes those to whom he writes (and in them all Chri­stians) why he instructs them in those heavenly mysteries, about which he writes, viz. that they might have fellowship with him & such as he was; That which we have seen and heard, declare we un­to you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: And moreover he shewes what an excellent fel­loship this is, extending it selfe even to God, and the Lord Jesus Christ; And truly our fel­lowship is with the Father, and with his Son Iesus Christ.

Fellowship] Communion and fellowship are termes equivalent: The Greek word which here is rendred fellowship, and so Phil. 2. 1. [...]. is rendred communion, 2 Cor. 13. 14. & 1 Cor. 10. 16.

The Doctrine arising from the Text which I Doct. shall insist on, is this: That the Saints have communion and fellowship with God, and with Jesus Christ, and with one another.

By Saints are meant holy men and women, true and reall members of the Church: As for Angells, though they be holy, as they are stiled, the holy Angells, Mat. 25. 31. And Jude v. 14. by Saints seem to be meant those same holy Angells; yet (as hath been shewed before) the Angells are [Page 404] not properly of the Church, and so not of the Saints now spoken of, which consist onely of men and women.

And these Saints are partly in heaven, where they are perfect and compleat Saints, so holy as to be without spot or wrinkle, Ephes. 5. 27. there are the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb. 12. 23. Partly upon earth, where there are true Saints, though incompleat and imperfect, such as have still sin and corruption remaining in them: For there is not a just man upon earth that doth good, and sinneth not, Eccles. 7. 20. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us, 1 Joh. 1. 8. Some are so simple as to think that there are no Saints but in heaven, when as the Scripture speaks expresly of the Saints that are upon the earth, Psal. 16. 3. And u­sually where Saints are mentioned in the Scrip­ture, the Saints on earth are meant: As Psal. 34. 9. O fear the Lord all ye his Saints; for there is no lack to them that fear him. And Psal. 79. 2. The flesh of thy Saints [have they given] to the beasts of the earth. And Prov. 2. 8. He preserveth the way of his Saints. And 2 Cor. 13. 13. All the Saints sa­lute you. And Phil. 4. 22. All the Saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesars houshold. So in many other places: Now when we speak of the Communion of Saints, both the Saints in heaven, and the Saints on earth are to be un­derstood; both the one and the other have the communion here spoken of, viz. with God, and with Christ, and with one another.

Now the ground of communion is union; [Page 405] first therefore, the Saints have union with God, and with Christ, and with one another, and then they have communion with God, and with Christ, and with one another.

1. With God: The Saints in heaven have perfect union with God, and so perfect commu­nion with him. They have a clear sight of God, they see him not (as here) through a glasse, darkly, but face to face, 1 Cor. 13. 12. And they have a full fruition of God: In his presence they have fulnesse of joy, and at his right hand they have plea­sures for evermore, Psal. 16. 11. So they are un­cessantly sounding forth Hallelujahs, they are continually exercised in praising and magnifying God; Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee. Psal. 84. 4. This is espe­cially true of those that dwell in Gods upper house, in heaven.

The Saints on earth also have union and com­munion with God, though not in that perfect manner as they in heaven: The Saints in hea­ven have union with God by sight, the Saints on earth have only union with God by faith; For we walk by faith, and not by sight, 2 Cor. 5. 7. And so the Saints on earth have communion with God by exercising their faith, and shewing forth the fruits of it; by praising God, and praying unto him, and performing such acts of worship and service as he requires of them. Moses spea­king but of one act of communion which the Saints here have with God, how doth he admire the excellency of it? For what Nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the [Page 406] Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? Deut. 4. 7. And in respect of that commu­nion which they have with God in the observa­tion of all his Ordinances and injunctions, he add [...]s, v. 8. And what Nation is there so great, that hath Statutes so righteous, as all this Law which I set before you this day? David also speaking of communion with God in his Sanctuary and ser­vice, which the Saints on earth have, cries out, How amiable are thy Tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soule longeth, yea even fainteth for the Courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God, Psal. 84. 1, 2. So Psal. 42. 1. 2. Most affectionately he expresseth his desire to injoy this communion with God, As the Hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee O God: My soule thirsteth for God, for the li­ving God, when shall I come and appear before God!

2. With Christ: the Saints in heaven have per­fect union and communion with him. Father I will that they whom thou hast given me, be where I am, that they may behold my glory, Joh. 17. 24. Ha­ving a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better, Phil. 1. 23. The Saints on earth also have, though not in that perfection, as they in heaven, union and communion with Christ. For he is the Vine, and they are the branches, Joh. 15. 1. &c. He is the Head, and they are the members, Ephes. 5. 23, 25. By him they are reconciled unto God, and at peace with him. Being justified by faith we have peace with God thorough Jesus Christ our Lord. By whom also we have accesse by faith unto this grace, [Page 407] wherein we stand, &c. Rom. 5. 1, 2. And not only so, but we also joy in God thorough our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have now received the at­tonement, Rom. [...]. 11. Of his fulnesse they all re­ceive, and grace for grace, Joh. 1. 16. By him they have boldnesse to call upon God, and to make known their requests unto him, see Ioh. 16. 23. By him all their services though weak and imperfect, are accepted of God. Ye also as lively stones are built up a spirituall house, an holy Priesthood to offer up spirituall sacrifices acceptable unto God thorough Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 2. 5.

3. With one another. The Saints, both they in heaven, and they on earth, are all united together in one mysticall body, whereof Christ is Head. For it pleased God, to gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him, Ephes. 1. 10. They are all knit together by one and the same spirit. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentils, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit, 1 Cor. 12. 13. The Apostle there speaks of baptizing and drinking, because the Sacraments, Baptisme and the Lords Supper, are outward tokens and testi­monies of the union of the Saints, as they are here upon earth; but still he mentions the spirit, as that whereby the union is indeed wrought. And as u­nion, so communion which flows from union. For as it is in the naturall body, so is it also in the mysticall, the members being united one to ano­ther, have communion one with another, because as the members of the naturall body partake all [Page 408] of one soul, so the members of the mystical body partake all of one spirit. Because the Saints have the communion of the Holy Ghost, 2 Cor. 13. 14. the fellowship of the spirit, Phil. 2. 1. therefore they have communion and fellowship one with a­nother.

Now the Saints being some in heaven, and some on earth, there ariseth a fourfold communi­on or fellowship which the Saints have one with another.

1. There is a communion which the Saints in heaven have one with another. They certainly re­joyce one in anothers happinesse, and praise God one for an other. Here men, and even sometimes good men, through the corruption that is in them, envy one another, as Aaron and Miriam did Moses, Num. 12. 1. But the Saints in heaven are wholly free from this distemper, they are made perfect in love and charity, which envieth not, 1 Cor. 13. 4. rejoyceth not in iniquity, but rejoyceth in the truth, v. 6.

2. There is a communion, which the Saints in heaven have with the Saints on earth. They wish them that happinesse which themselves have at­tained to, and in generall (as we may conceive) pray for them. For though they be not acquain­ted with the particular estate of the Saints here below, yet in generall they know that as they in heaven are triumphant, so their fellow-members on earth are militant, and therefore charity (as the Apostle saith) never failing, they have a fel­low-feeling2 Cor. 13. 8. of their case (so far forth as is consi­stent with their own happinesse) and a care for them.

[Page 409]3. There is a communion which the Saints on earth have with the Saints in heaven. They rejoyce in their happinesse, praise God for them, and fol­low their faith and conversation, that so they also may partake of the same happinesse with them. Thus far forth the Scripture doth warrant our Communion with the Saints in heaven. For the memory of the just is blessed, Prov. 10. 7. All gene­rations shall call me blessed said the Virgin Mary, Luk. 1. 48. And the Apostle bids, Be followers of those, who through faith and patience inherit the pro­mises, Heb. 6. 12. But for praying to the Saints de­parted, as they of the Church of Rome teach, we have no Scripture to countenance any such Com­munion, but it is quite dissonant and repugnant to Scripture. God is he, to whom we must pray, Call upon me, Psal. 50. 15. As for me I will call upon God, Psal. 55. 16. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee, Psal. 32. 6. After this manner therefore pray ye, Our Father, &c. Mat. 6. 9. Neither must we pray in the name of any but of Christ only. For there is one God, and one Mediator be­twixt God and man, the man Christ Iesus, 1 Tim. 2. 5. Besides, the Saints departed do not understand our particular affairs. When a man is dead he is ig­norant of the estate of such as had most near re­lation unto him. His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he per­ceiveth it not of them, Job. 14. 21.

4. There is a Communion which the Saints on earth have one with another; & this is that com­munion of Saints, which the Scripture chiefly spea­eth of. They are kindly affectioned one towards ano­ther, [Page 410] Rom. 12. 10. They rejoyce with them that re­joyce, and weep with them that weep, v. 15. They have the same care one for another; If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; if one member be honoured, they all rejoyce with it, 1 Cor. 12. 25, 26. They bear one anothers bur­thens, Gal. 6. 2. As every one hath received the gift, so they minister the same one to another, as good ste­wards of the manifest grace of God, 1 Pet. 4. 10.

More particularly the Saints on earth have communion one with another. 1. in respect of spirituall things; they joyn together in the use of Gods Ordinances. Thus it is said of the primi­tive Christians, that they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers, Act. 2. 42. And v. 46. that they continued daily with one accord in the Temple, &c. And the Apostle exhorts saying, And let us consider one another, &c. Not forsaking the assem­bling of our selves together, as the manner of some is, Heb. 10. 24, 25. According to their places and callings they teach and admonish one another, Col. 3. 16. They exhort one another, Heb. 3. 13. & 10. 25. They comfort and edifie one another, 1 Thes. 4. 18. & 5. 11. They pray one for another, Ephes. 6. 18. Jam. 5. 16.

2. In respect of temporall things; they succour and relieve one another. It is recorded of the Saints in the Apostles time, that they had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need, Act. 2. 44, 45. So Act. 4. 32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul, nei­ther [Page 411] said any of them, that ought of the things that he possessed wa [...] his own, but they had all things common, &v. 34. & 35. For as many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the Apostles feet, and distribution was made unto every man ac­cording as he had need. This example of the primi­tive Saints, the Anabaptists before these times have abused, inferring from thence that meum and tuum, all propriety of goods ought to be taken a­way from among Christians, and that all things should be so common among them, that none should have right to any thing more then ano­ther. But this is over-grosse. For 1. What was done by a few living together in one City, cannot conveniently be done by all throughout the vvorld. Neither then in the Apostles time was that communion injoyned, none was required to part with the interest that he had in any thing, as is clear by that of Peter to Ananias, Whiles it remained, was [...] not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Act. 5. 4. This shewes that, Anamas might have chosen whether he would fell his possession or no; and when he had sold it, whether he would bring the money, that he had for it, to the Apostles or no. But thus far that example is to be followed, that they which have, must communicate to those that want. To do good, and to communicate forget not, Heb. 13. 16. Charge them that are rich in this world, &c. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, 1 Tim. 6. 17, 18. As we have opportunity let us do good unto all, es­pecially [Page 412] unto them that are of the houshold of faith, Gal. 6. 10.

Ʋse 1. The use of this doctrine is, first, to con­vince and reprove such as professe themselves Christians, and so consequently Saints, [...]et do little regard the communion of Saints, that communi­on which all true Saints have, with God, with Christ, and with one another. In stead of commu­nion with God, some have communion with Satan, in stead of communion with Christ, they have communion with Belial, with fin and wick­ednesse, in stead of communion with Saints, they have communion with the ungodly; in stead of joyning in the worship and service of God, they joyn in the practice of iniquity, swearing and swaggering, drinking and revelling together, and this they account and call good-fellowship, but it is far from that fellowship which the Text doth speak of, which indeed is the only true good­fellowship. God is light (saith S. Iohn presently af­ter the Text) and in him is no darknesse at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darknesse, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, &c. 1 Joh. 1. 5, 6, 7. Be ye not une­qually yoked together with unbelievers, for what fel­lowship hath righteousnesse with unrighteousnesse? and what communion hath light with darknesse? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth, with an Infidel? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols? 2 Cor. 5. 14, 15, 16.

Some under a pretence of sanctity violate the [Page 413] communion of Saints; they forsake the assemblies of the Saints, because of some in those assemblies by whose society they fear to be polluted: but this is either great hypocrisie, or a grosse errour. Let a man examin himself, (said the Apostle) and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, 1 Cor. 11. 28. Therefore it is not the unworthinesse of others that can prejudice thee, if thou thy self beest not unworthy. Come out from among them, and be ye separate; how? and touch not the unclean thing, 1 Cor. 5. 17. So separate, as to have no com­munion with others in that which is evill. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darknesse, but reprove them rather, Ephes. 5. 11.

Some will exercise communion of Saints in respect of spiritual things, but in respect of corpo­rall things they wil have no such communion. The Hebrew Doctors note that there are four sorts of persons;

1. Such as will say, Mine is thine, and thine is Pirke A­both c. s. [...] mine. They will communicate to others, but only so as that others communicate to them again. But Luk. 6. 32. 33. If ye love them that love you what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to those to those that do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

2. Such as will say, Mine is mine, and thine is [...] thine: They will keep what they have, and let o­thers keep what they have; they will neither be beholding to others, nor shall others be behol­ding unto them: And this (say some) was the disposition of the people of Sodome: The Pro­phet [Page 414] Ezekiel speaking of the sins of Sodome, mentioneth this for one, neither did she strengthen the hands of the poor and needy, Ezek. 16. 49. They are not taxed for robbing, defrauding, and op­pressing the poor, but for not succouring and re­lieving them, as they should have done.

3. Such as will say, Thine is mine, and mine is [...] mine: They will take from others, but will not impart to others; these are grossely wicked.

4. Such as will say, Mine is thine, and thine is thine: They will impart to others, not expecting that they should impart to them againe. This is the disposition of the godly; it is that which our Saviour requires, Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (that is, not hoping to receive the like kindnesse by bor­rowing afterwards of those who now borrow of you) and your reward shall be great, &c. Luk. 6. 35, 36.

Ʋse 2. Secondly, as we professe Christianity, and so sanctity, let us practise this communion, which is the communion of Saints, and so of all true Christians, communion with God, and with Christ, and with one another.

To this end, first, let us have a care that we be Christians indeed, and so Saints indeed; Saints I say, in some measure, though not full measure: God is holy, and Christ is holy, and all the true children of God and members of Christ are holy, and so if we would have communion with them,Simile gaudet fimili. we must be holy also: For every thing seeks communion with that which is like it selfe; Birds of a feather flie together. Follow holinesse, without [Page 415] which no man shall see the Lord, Heb. 12. 14.

2. As we must follow after all holinesse, so e­speciallyAmor. unit amantem cum re amata. Love, which wo [...] [...]nion and so com­munion; And above all [...]e things put on chari­ty, which is the bond of perfectnesse, Col. 3. 14. Be­loved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and know­eth God: He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love, 1 Joh. 4. 7, 8.

3. Humility is also a great means to preserve and maintain this communion: Onely by pride cometh contention, Prov. 13. 10. With all lowlinesse and meeknesse, with long-suffering forbearing one another in love; indeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, Eph. 4. 2, 3. Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind: Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory, but in lowlinesse of mind, let each esteem other better then themselves, Phil. 2. 2, 3.

The three and thirtieth SERMON.

Isai. 33. 24. The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.’

THe Prophet here speaking of the Church under the notion of a City, and under the name of Sion and Jerusalem, v. 20. sheweth what a great benefit belongs unto it, and to the mem­bers of it, viz. the forgivenesse of sins; The peo­ple that dwell therein (in Zion or Jerusalem, in the Church, they that are so in it, as to be of it) shall be forgiven their iniquity. It is the happinesse of the members of the Church triumphant, of the Saints in heaven, that they have no sin, no iniqui­ty: It is the happinesse of the members of the Church militant, of the Saints on earth, that their sin and iniquity is forgiven. The point which Doct. we are to observe from the Text, is this; That for­givenesse of sins is a benefit of which Gods people are made partakers.

It is a part of that new Covenant that God hath graciously made with his people; I will [Page 417] forgive their iniquity, and not remember their sin a­ny more, Jer. 31. 34. So Christ told Paul that he would send him to preach unto the Gentiles, to that end, that they might receive forgivenesse of sins, Acts 26. 18.

For the more full handling of this point, I will shew by whom sins are forgiven, for whose sake they are forgiven, what is required of those to whom they are forgiven, and then make use and application.

1. By whom sins are forgiven: As some sins are committed against man, so they may be forgiven by man; If thy brother trespasse against thee, rebuke him, and if he repent forgive him: And if he traspasse against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day, turn again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him, Luk. 17. 3, 4. But sin, all sin whatsoever, being a transgression of the Law, 1 Joh. 3. 4. As sin is against God, a trans­gression of his Law, an indignity and dishonor done to him, so only he can forgive it; I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, &c. Esa. 43. 25. The Scribes there­foreMovet Scribas remissum ab homi­ne peccatum. Hominem cuim tan­t [...]m in Jesu Christo contuebantur.—Verum enim nemo potest dimitiere peccata nisi solus Deus: Ergo qui remittit Deus est, qui [...] nemo remittit nisi Deus. Hilar. in Mat. can. 18. might well say, Who can forgive sins but God only? Mar. 2. 7. They were right in the Doctrine, onely they were wrong in the applica­tion; their position was good, that onely God can forgive sins, only their supposition was nought, that Christ was a meer man, and therefore did blaspheme when he took upon him so to forgive [Page 418] sins as he did. As for that which Christ said to his Apostles, and in them to all his Ministers, Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, Joh. 20. 23. it is not so to be taken as if they could remit sins authoritatively, but onely ministerial­ly; they are said to remit sins in that they preach remission of sins, and declare unto people that their sins are remitted, viz. they performing those conditions which God requireth of those whose sins he remitteth. John Baptist was to go before the face of the Lord to prepare his wayes; To give know­ledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Luke 1. 76. 77. And Christ after his Re­surrection told his Apostles, that they and his o­ther Ministers should preach remission of sins, Luk. 24. 47. Be it knowne unto you (said Paul) that through this man (viz. Christ) is preached unto you forgivenesse of sins, Acts 13. 38. That the Apostles did otherwise then thus forgive sins we find not. The Priest in the time of the Law was said to make theIn remittendis vel retinendis cul­pis, id juris atque officii habent Ecclesiastici sacerdotes, quod olim habebant sub lege legales in cu­randis leprosis. Hi ergo peccata dimittunt vel retinent dum di­missa à Deo vel retenta judicant & ostendunt. Lombardus Hierony­mum secutus, lib. 4. dist. 18. Leper clean, Lev. 13. when he did pronounce and de­clare him to be clean: Our Translators render it, The Priest shall pronounce him clean, v. 17. and so in other Verses of that Chapter; but in the Originall it is shall make him cleane, [...] [...]. and so the Septuagint have it; yet our Transla­tors do well and truly expresse the sense, for that making cleane is no more but a pronouncingMundum esse decer­net. clean, and so also the vulgar Latine Interpreter [Page 419] doth render it. Just so (as Hierome and after him Lombard hath observed) the Ministers of the Gospell are said to forgive sins, when they de­clare whose sins are forgiven.

2. For whose sake sins are forgiven. viz. For Christs sake: He commanded that remission of sins should be preached in his Name among all Nations, Luke 24. 47. So Paul told them to whom he preached, saying, thorough this man is preached un­to you for givenesse of sins; And by him all that be­lieve are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses, Acts 13. 38, 39. He is the propitiation for our sins, 1 John 2. 2. He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, John 1. 29. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses un­to them, 2 Cor. 5. 19. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, v. 21. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruized for our iniqui­ties, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, and we have turned every one to his own course, and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all, Isai. 53. 5, 6.

3. VVhat is required of those to whom sinnes are forgiven. Although sin in respect of us is for­given freely, we can do nothing whereby to pur­chase forgivenesse of sin, yet something is requi­red to prepare for it, and to make capable of it. Thus there is required, 1. Faith; To him give all the Prophets witnesse (said Peter speaking of Christ) that thorough his Name whosoever believeth in him, [Page 420] shall receive remission of sins, Act. 10. 43. By him all that believe are justified, &c. said Paul Act. 13. 39. Faith is the hand that laies hold on Christ, and re­ceives him, for whose sake sin is forgiven. To receive Christ is nothing els then to believe in him, Joh. 1. 12. The nature of faith is set forth com­pleatly, Heb. 11. 13. All these died in faith, having not received the promises (that is, the things promi­sed) but saw them afar off, and were perswaded of them, and embraced them; which shews that to the making up of Faith, justifying and saving faith, there must be first knowledge, they saw the promises, though it were afar off, yet they saw them, they had some, though but a dim and weak knowledge of them. 2. Assent, they were per­swaded of them. 3. Application, they embraced them,

2. Repentance. Christ commanded, that repen­tance and remission of sins should be preached in his Name, Luk. 24. 47. First Repeutance, and then re­mission of sins; no remission of sins without re­pentance. So Peter preaching Christ unto the Jews, said, Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repen­tance unto Israel, and forgivenesse of sins, Act. 5. 31. And Act. 3. 19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Now repentance importeth,

1. Sorrow for sin. I will be sorry for my sin, said David, Psal. 38. 18. Ephraim repenting smote upon his thigh, Jer. 31. 19. And the penitent Publi­can smote upon his breast, Luk. 18. 13. This sorrow for sin presupposeth knowledge of sin, and pro­duceth acknowledgement and confession of it. I [Page 421] will declare mine iniquity, Psal. 38. 18. I Or, know, Heb. [...] acknow­ledge mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me, Psal. 51. 3. If we confesse our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us, 1 Joh. 1. 9. viz. if with a true pe­nitent heart we confesse them: but this sorrow for sin must be godly sorrow, that is, sorrow for sin as sin, not so much as sin is bitter unto us, but especially as it it evill in the sight of God, a thing whereby he is injured and dishonoured. This is to be sorry after a godly manner, 2 Cor. 7. & 11. This godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvati­on, not to be repented of, v. 10.

2. Turning from sin; He that covereth his sinnes shall not prosper; but he that confesseth and for saketh them, shall have mercy, Prov. 28. 13.P [...]nitentiam agere, est & perpe­trata mala plangere, & plangen­da non perpetrare. Gregor. hom. 38. in Evang. Peccati paenitentia est, ab eo quod paenitendum intel­lexeris, destilisse. Hilar. in Psal. 118. s [...]u 119. in Pe. In the Hebrew, repentance is called Teshubah, which properly signifies turning. And so these are joyned to­ther, Repent and be conver­ted, Act. 3. 19.

3. Forgiving of others; this also is requisite for the obtaining of forgivenesse. So Christ hath taught us to pray, Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespasse against us, Mat. 6. 12. & he adds v. 14, & 15. For if ye forgive men their tres­passes, your heavenly Father wil also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither wil your Father forgive your trespasses. And when Peter came unto Christ, saying, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? untill se­ven times? Christ answered, I say not unto thee un­till [Page 422] seven times, but untill seventy times seven, Mat. 18. 21, 22. And immediately he propounded a pa­rable whereby to shew how much it concerneth every one to forgive others, if he would have God to forgive him. The parable is of a King, who having a servant that ought him a huge debt, which he was no whit able to pay, upon his humble submission and intreaty forgave him; but hearing that the said servant would not forgive his fellow-servant a small debt, was exceeding wroth with him, and exacted his debt of him. So likewise [said our Saviour, making application of the parable] shall my heavenly Father do also un­to you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Vse 1. Novv for the use of the point. 1. VVhat comfort is here for the people of God? Although in themselves they be guilty of sin, both original, and actuall, though they vvere born in sin, Psal. 51. 5. and have lived in sin, Isai. 53. 6. though con­tinually they are falling into sin, Jam. 3. 2. Yet this is their comfort (and greater comfort then this they need not desire) thorough Christ they are reconciled unto God, all their sins are pardoned, and done away as if they had never been. See what expressions are used in Scripture, whereby the forgivenesse of sins is set forth vnto us.

1. VVhen sins are forgiven they are said not to be imputed: God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, 2 Cor. 5. 19. Sins are injuries done unto God, of­fences committed against him; but though we have offended him, and have been injurious unto [Page 423] him, yet if we lay hold on the Covenant that he hath made with us in Christ he will forgive us, and not impute the sins that we are guilty of un­to us.

2. Sin when it is forgiven, is said to be blotted out; According to the multitude of thy tender mer­cies blot out my transgressions, Psal. 51. 1. Sins are debts, Forgive us our debts; so it is according to the Originall, Mat. 6. 12. As God hath a note­book for good deeds, A book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought on his Name, Mal. 3. 16. And in reference to this book Nehemiah prayed, saying, Remember me, O my God, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, &c. Neh. 13. 14. So he hath also a debt-book for sins; but if we humbly and unfainedly turne unto him, he will blot our sins out of his book, he will ne­ver charge them upon us, never exact payment and satisfaction of us, seeing Christ hath made it for us, having with his blood blotted out the hand­writing of Ordinances that was against us, &c. Col. 2. 14. The Prophet Esay useth this same meta­phore of blotting out, but he fetcheth it another way; I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins, Esa. 44. 22. There sinnes are compared to a cloud, a thick cloud which interposeth betwixt God and us, and keepeth off the bright beams of Gods favour and the light of his countenance from shining upon us: Your iniquities have separated betwixt you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, saith the same Prophet, Esa. 59. 2. But [Page 424] sins being remitted the cloud is blotted out, it is dispersed and dispelled, it vanisheth and is gone, that we may behold the face of God as of a loving Father, reconciled to us in Christ Jesus.

3. Sinnes are said to be covered when they are pardoned; Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin, Psal. 85. 2. By this expression is signified, that the people of God, even his true and faithfull people, have sin in them, but their sin being forgiven, it is as it were covered and hid from the sight of God, he doth no more impute sin unto them then if he did see no such thing in them: If in this sense onely the Antinomians did hold that God sees no sin in his people, I should readily side with them; but they have a perverse meaning in it,See Mr. Gatakers book, inti­tuled, Gods eye upon Is­rael. viz. that a child of God cannot sin, need not, nay ought not to be humbled for sin, which opi­nion is as agreeable unto Scripture, as that which is most repugnant to it.

4. Sins are said to be cast behind Gods back when he doth forgive them; Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy backe, said Ezekiah to God, E­sa. 38. 17. God sets the sins of the wicked before his face, they are before my face, saith he, Hos. 7. 2. But for such as turne unto him, he casts their sins behind his back; he will no more condemn them for their sins, then if they were quite remo­ved out of his sight, and he had no knowledge of them.

5. When sins are remitted, they are said to be cast into the bottome of the sea: Thou (O Lord) [Page 425] wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the Sea, Mic. 7. 19. This shewes more emphatically how when God forgives sins, they are done (as it were) quite out of his sight; that which is cast into the depths of the sea is not like to be found again, nor to be seen any more; In those dayes, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Is­rael shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve, Jer. 50. 20.

6. Sins in this case are said to be forgotten, and never more to be remembred. I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more, saith God, Jer. 31. 34. God wil no more take vengeance on his people for their sins, then if he had quite forgotten them, and had no remembrance at all of them. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him, E­zek. 18. 22.

Ob. Some may object, that after David had truly repented of his sin, and also had the pardon of it declared unto him by the Prophet, he was punished for it, 2 Sam. 12, 13, 14.

Answ. I answer, the Papists abuse this and the like examples, inferring from them, that God re­mitting the fault, yet doth not remit the punish­ment, but that still vve must one vvay or other, either here or hereafter make satisfaction unto God for sin committed against him. But as the Antinomians erre in denying castigatory punish­ment to be inflicted upon Gods children, so doe the Papists erre in affirming satisfactory punish­ment to be inflicted on them. God afflicts some­times [Page 426] them whom he pardons, not as exacting sa­tisfaction of them (for how then are they pardo­ned?) but as chastening them, that they may the better learn to beware of sin afterwards, and that others seeing them to smart for it, may beware of it. When we are judged, we are chastned of the Lord, It is [...], not [...]. that we should not be condemned with the world, 1 Cor. 11. 32. So that God doth execute judge­ment, he doth inflict punishment upon his chil­dren, yet it is but a chastening of them for their good, not that he doth take vengeance on them, or exact satisfaction of them.

Vse 2. Secondly, seeing this great benefit be­longs unto the people of God, let us take heed least we come short, let us make sure that we may be partakers of it. To stir us up hereunto let us consider, 1. How much the purchasing and procu­ring of this benefit hath cost, even no lesse then the bloud of the Lord Jesus, This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the re­mission of sins, said Christ when instituting the Sa­crament of his Supper he gave the Cup unto his Disciples, Mat. 26. 28. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great saluation? Heb. 2. 3. If we make light of that, which did cost Christ so dear?

2. What account the Saints have made of this benefit: The Prophet Mica admiring the goodness of God in this respect, cries out, Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he re­taineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy, Mic. 7. 18. How earnestly did David [Page 427] sue unto God for it? Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to thy loving kind­nesse; according to the multitude of thy ten­der mercies blot out my transgressions: Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sinne, Psalme 51. 1, 2. And v. 9. Hide thy face from my sinnes, and blot out mine iniquities. And Verse 14. Deli­ver me from blood-guiltinesse, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousnesse: And how exceedingly did he rejoyce when he was as­sured of this benefit? Blesse the Lord, O my soule, and all that is within me blesse his holy Name: Blesse the Lord, O my soule, and forget not all his benefits; Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, and healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from de­struction, and crowneth thee with loving kind­nesse and tender mercies, Psalme 103. 1, 2, 3, 4.

3. That forgivenesse of sins is such a benefit, such a blessing, as even blessednesse it selfe the greatest blessednesse that we are capable of here in this life, doth consist in it; Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered; Blessed is he to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, Psal. 32. 1, 2. Sin being forgiven, nothing can doe us hurt, all affliction will be light and easie, death it selfe will be advantage to us; see Rom. 8. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37. This is it that makes affliction grievous and hard to be indured, then usually a mans con­science [Page 428] will flie in his face, and set his sins before him: Thus it is sometimes even with the godly themselves; Thou writest bitter things against me, (said Job unto God) and makest me to possesse the sins of my youth, Job 13. 26. Mine iniquities (said David) are gone over my head, and are as a heavy burthen too heavy for me to bear, Psal. 38. 4. Woe un­to us that we have sinned, said the people of God, Lam. 5. 16. And they adde, v. 17. For this our heart is faint, for these things our eyes are dim. O what a happinesse then is it in time of affliction to have sins forgiven, and to be assured of the for­givenesse of them! So also when death approa­cheth: For the guilt of sin lying upon the con­science will make death terrible, it will cause us to say unto it, as Ahab said to Eliah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? Whereas if we be assured of interest in Christ, and of forgivenesse of sinnes tho­rough him, we may say with old Simeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Luke 2. 29, 30. This blessednesse here to have our sinnes forgiven, doth make way immediately for the blessednesse of the life to come, for that inheritance of the Saints in light, as the Apostle calls it, Colos. 1. 12. Forgivenesse of sinnes, and an inhe­ritance among them that are sanctified, are immediately joyned together, Acts 26. 18. Therefore as we desire the inchoation of happinesse here, and the consummation of [Page 429] happinesse hereafter, as wee would live comfortably, die chearfully, and after death injoy immortality, and glory; let us make sure of this benefit, the forgivenesse of our sins, and then nothing can debar us from all blisse, all happinesse.

The four and thirtieth SERMON.

HEB. 6. 2. And of the Resurre­ction of the dead.’

THe Author of this Epistle speaking of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, as he calls them, v. 1. mentioneth this as one of them, the Re­surrection of the dead. And therefore also in the Creed, wherein those principles of Christian do­ctrine are contained, among other articles is that of the Resurrection of the body: and mark of the bo­dy; for there is also a Resurrection of the soul (as hath been shewed * before) but that is a meta­phoricallSerm. [...]0. in the be­ginning. Resurrection. The soul being since the fall of Adam naturally dead in sin, is said to rise again, when the life of grace is infused into it: but the Resurrection of the dead spoken of in the Text, is in respect of the body, as appears by the words immediately following, and of eternal iudg­ment. For the Resurrection of the body is previ­ous to the last judgement, and accompanied with it.

The point then to be insisted on is this, [Page 431] That the Resurrection of the body is a fundamen­tall Doct. point of Christian Religion. It is necessary for all to know and believe, that the bodies of the dead shall rise again.

This is a great mystery, naturall reason cannot reach to the knowledge of it, will not yeeld as­sent unto it. When Paul preached at Athens, the most famous Academie in the world for humane learning, the Philosophers encountred him, and some called him a babler; and others said, He see­meth to be a setter forth of strange gods, because he preached unto them Jesus, and the Resurrection, Act. 17. 18. & v. 32. it's said again, And when they heard of the Resurrection of the dead, some mocked, and o­thers said, we will hear thee again of this matter: they would demur upon it, and not be forward to believe it.

So Eusebius relates, that the Heathens perse­cutingEuseb. Hist. l. 5. c. 1 Christians burnt their bodies to ashes, and cast them into the river, insulting over them, and upbraiding them with their belief of the Resurre­ction, saying, Let us see now if they will rise again: Yea among the Jews, Gods peculiar people, who had the Oracles of God committed unto them, there was a sect of the Sadduces, who denied the Resurrection of the dead, Mat. 22. 23. The same day came to him the Sadduces, which say that there is no Resurrection. So Act. 23. 8. For the Sadduces say, that there is no Resurrection. Yea and also among Chri­stians, there have been some who have said, that there is no Resurrection of the dead; some such there were among the Corinthians, as the Apostle sheweth, 1 Cor. 15. 12. And it seems that Hymene­us [Page 432] and Philetus were of this opinion, for the A­postle speaking of them, saith, Who concerning the truth have erred, saying, That the Resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some, 2 Tim. 2. 17, 18. In that they said, The Resurrection is past already, it seemeth that they would only have a Resurrection of the soul here, but no Resurrecti­on of the body hereafter. But mark, the denying of this article, the Resurrection of the body, is called by the Apostle an overthrowing of the faith. Whatsoever we believe, if we do not be­lieve this, that the dead shall rise again, is all in vain and to no purpose, as the Apostle sheweth, 1 Cor. 15. 12. &c.

Now the Resurrection of the dead is proved two waies, as we see by those words of our Savi­our to the Sadduces, Ye do erre, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, Mat. 22. 29.

1. The power of God proves that the Resurre­ction is possible, and may be. Power belongeth un­to God, Psal. 62. 12. Even such power, as that he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can either ask, or think, Ephes. 3. 20. And therefore, as the Apostle said, Why should it be thought a thing impossible, that God should raise again the dead? Act. 26. 8. In the very beginning of the Creed, we pro­fesse that we believe GodDeus non a [...]iâ lege credendus est, quam ut omnia posse cr [...]datur. Tertul. de Resurr. c. 11. to be almighty, and that he is so the Scripture plainly and plentifully testifies, and it hath been abundantly demonstrated Serm. 3. before. Now if God be Almighty, he can do all things, and if all things, then this, the raising up of the [Page 433] dead. He that could make the body of the dust, canVtique idoneus est reficere, qui fecit. Quanto plus est fecisse, quàm refecisse? in [...]ium dedisse, quàm reddidisse? Eta restitutio­nem carnis, faciliorem credas in­stitutione. Tertul. ibid. Potest utique eadem potentia, quâ de nihilo cuncta fabricatus est, reddere quae fueraut: quia multo minus est restituere quod fuerit, quàm facere quod non fu­i [...]. Hieron. ad Pammach. surely raise it up though it be turned into dust. He that could make all things of nothing, can undoubtedly raise up the body, which though it be dead, and have suffered never so many transmutations, yet is it not turned into nothing.

2. The Scriptures shew that the Resurrection is certain, and shall be; that as God can raise the dead, so he will do it: Job made no question of it; For I know (said he) that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for my self, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reines be consu­med within me, John 19. 25. 26, 27. True it is, the words there in the originall, as in many other places of that book, are so concise, as that they render the sense obscure, and are subject to divers expositions, so that both the Jewish Commenta­tours,Mercerus in lo [...]. and also some among Christians carry the sense another way, but the most understand the words of the Resurrection, neither do I see any o­ther exposition that doth so well agree with them. Daniel also spake of the Resurrection of the dead, saying, And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to perpetuall shame and contempt, Dan. [Page 434] 12. 2. By awaking these out of the dust of the earth, he means the rising again of the dead. And whereas he saith that many shall, it is not so to be taken as if all should not; for many sometimes are opposed not unto al, but only unto few. So it's said, Rom. 5. 19. that by the disobedience of one man (of Adam) many were made sinners, that is, all; but those all are many, and so are they that shall a­wake out of the dust of the earth, as all that sleep there shall. So the Prophet Esay likewise doth sing the same ditty. Thy dead men shall live, toge­ther with my dead body shall they arise: awake, and sing ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead, Isai. 26. 19. And that parable in Ezekiel chap. 37. where by the raising and reviving of the dead bones, is shewed that God wouldSi figmentum veritatis in ima­gine, imag [...] ipsa in veritate est sui. Necesse est esse prius sibi, quàm alii configuretur. De vac [...]o similitudo non competit, de nullo parabola non convenit. I [...] opor­tebit ossium quoque; credi revis­cerationem, & inspirationem qualis dicitur, dequa poss [...]t expri­mi Judaicarum rerum reformatio, qualis aff [...]ngitur. Tertull▪ de Resurrect c. 30. certainly restore the people of the Jews out of captivi­ty, though they seemed to be quite dead, and past re­covery: that parable, I say, doth presuppose the Resur­rection of the dead, as a thing well known, and cer­tainly believed by the peo­ple of God, and therefore the parable drawn from thence is used to con­firm their faith touching the deliverance there promised unto them.

Thus the Scriptures of the old Testament give sufficient proof of the Resurrection of the dead; but much more clearly and fully do the [Page 435] Scriptures of the new Testament▪ speak of it. The hour is coming (said our Saviour) in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. &c. John 5. 28, 29. I know that he shall rise again in the Resurrection at the last day, said Martha of her brother Lazarus, John 11. 24. The Apostle 1 Thes. 4. 14. and so on to the end of the Chapter, speaks of the Resurrection of the dead; and so 1 Cor. 15. thoroughout the whole Chap­ter. Besides these direct and expresse testimonies of Scripture, there are divers arguments & reasons grounded upon, & confirmed by Scripture, which do further prove the Resurrection of the dead.

1. That is recovered in and by Christ, which was lost in and by Adam. This argument the A­postle useth to prove that the dead shal be raised. For since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, e­ven so in Christ shall all be made alive, 1 Cor. 15. 21, 22. viz. all that are Christs, as he explains it, v. 23.

2. Christs Resurrection doth necessarily inferre the Resurrection of those that belong unto Christ. How the Apostle both 1 Cor. 15. and also in o­ther places proves the Resurrection of Christi­ans by Christs Resurrection, and also in what re­spect this inference is of force, I have shewed be­fore, speaking of the resurrection of Christ (Serm. 19. towards the end.)

3. Gods Covenant with his people, that he will be their God, Gen. 17. 7. Jer. 31. 33. this Cove­nant, I say, is an everlasting Covenant, death can­not dissolve nor disannul it: after Abraham Isaa [...] and Jacob were dead, yet God stiled himself their [Page 436] God, Exod. 3. 6. And hence our Saviour confuted the Sadduces, who denied the Resurrection; But as touching the Resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, Mat. 22. 31, 32. In some sense God is the God of the dead, as the Apostle saith, that to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living, Rom. 14. 9. But in the Sadduces sense God is not the God of the dead, that is, not so of the dead, as if they should be alwaies dead, so they supposed, and should never live again: For all live unto him, said our Saviour immediately after the words before cited, as S. Luke records chap. 20. v. 38. All live unto God both in respect of his pow­er, and also in respect of his purpose; he both can quicken the dead, and also will quicken them, as that very speech shews, wherein he calls himselfe the God of those, with whom he had entred into Covenant, though now they were dead when he thus spake of them.

Ob. Some may say, that God may be the God of his people in respect of their souls, though their bodies never rise again.

Answ. I answer, that this is not sufficient, the soul is not the whole man, but a part only, the body also is a part as well as the soul. But God is by Covenant the God of his people in respect of the whole man, and not in respect of a part only. And therefore this argument drawn from Gods Covenant, and the everlastingnesse of it, [Page 437] proves a necessity of the Resurrection of the body.

4. The body is partner with the soul either in sin, or righteousnesse; and therefore also it must be partner with the souleNon possunt separari in mercede [caro & anima] quas opera con­jungit. Tertul. de Resur. cap. 8. & cap. 15. Age, scindant jam adversarii nostri car [...]is animaeque contextum, priùs in vitae admini­stratione, ut ita audeant scindere illud etiā in vitae remuneratione. Negent operarum societatem, ut meritò possint etiam mercedem negare. Non sit particeps in sen­tentiâ caro, si non fuerit & in causa. Et cap 38. Secundum col­legia laborum, consortia etiam decurrant necesse est praemiorum. hereafter either in reward or punishment: As soule and body work together here, so they must be recompen­sed together hereafter; E­ry one must receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evil, 2 Cor. 5. 10. As the things were done in the body, so the recompence and reward must be received in the body: And this is one reason (as I have shewed Serm. 24 before) why besides the particular judgement, which passeth only upon the soule, there must be a generall Judgement wherein both soul and body must be judged.

Ʋse 1. Now if this be so, that the dead must rise againe, then even in this respect there ought to be a respect had unto the dead, to bury them in a devout manner: Nature it self doth teach this, that the bodies of the dead are to be com­mitted to the earth; the Heathens generally did use it, excepting some who were more barbarous then others. As it is said of the Hyrcanians, that they used to cast dead bodies to dogs to be de­voured.

The Romans in later times used to burne the [Page 438] bodies of the dead, but more anciently (as Plinie Plin. Hist. l. 7. c 54. testifies) they did use to inter them, and that cu­stome of burning Sylla (as the same Author re­lates) brought in, fearing least some should deale with him and his adherents after their death, as he had dealt with his adversary Marius, whose body he had caused to be digged up after it was buried. But to speak of Gods people, they have shewed themselves very carefull to perform this office of buriall unto the dead: The Story of A­braham in this respect is recorded, Gen. 23. where we find how sollicitous he was about the burying of Sarah when she was dead: So it's said Act. 8. 2. that devout men carried Stephen to be buried. It was a custome among the Jewes to wash the dead body before they did bury it, as appears by that Acts 9. 37. Whom when they had washed, Tarquinii cor pus bona fae­mina la­vit, & unxit. Ennius. they laid her in an upper chamber. The same cu­stome also was among the Heathens. The Jewes used also to imbalme the dead, as appears by Ioh. 12. 7. and 19. 39, 40. The Heathens also have used the same, especially the Egyptians, as both for­raigne History sheweth, and also sacred, Gen. 50. Now though the Heathens did use these cere­monies vainly and superstitiously, yet no question but the people of God had respect therein to the Resurrection, shewing by these ceremonies which they used about the dead, that they believed that the dead shall rise again. Now there is no need of such ceremonies for that end, the Article of the Resurrection being by the Gospell more fully manifested then before: Yet this is of perpetuall observation, that the bodies of the [Page 439] dead be decently buried, as being in due time to be raised up againe.

Ʋse 2. Secondly, this point touching the Re­surrection doth teach us not to lament immode­rately for the dead: Lawfull it is to mourne in this case; nature requires it, and grace doth not forbid it, as not extinguishing naturall affections, but only rectifying them, and setting bounds un­to them: Yea, the Apostle reckons it among the grossest sins, to be without naturall affection, Rom. 1. 31. The Saints have expressed their affection in this kind: Abraham mourned for Sarah, Gen. 23. 2. Joseph fell upon his fathers face and wept when he was dead, Gen. 50. 1. The godly made great lamentation for Stephen, Acts 8. 2. Yea Christ himself wept at the grave of Lazarus, Joh. 11. 35. Whereupon the Jewes that were present said, Behold how he loved him, v. 36. But this affe­ction of sorrow for the dead, must be moderate, and that as in other respects, so in this, that the dead even in respect of the body, do not perish for ever, but at length shall rise againe. This ar­gument the Apostle useth to this purpose; But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, con­cerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others that have no hope: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose againe, even so them also which sleep in Iesus will God bring with him, 1 Thes. 4. 13, 14.

Vse 3. The consideration of this point, touch­ing the Resurrection of the dead, is of great force to comfort us in all afflictions, and to ani­mate us against the fear of death it self. This did [Page 440] support Iob in his greatest extremity, as appearsJob. 19. 25. 26. 27. by the words before cited, and so it may well support all that truly fear God, as Iob did: Death (which is the worst that can befall them) is but as the pulling down of an old ruinous house, to build it againe in a more excellent and glorious manner: Or as if a statue of brasse, or any other mettall, being full of rust, and decayed with age, should be cast into a furnace and melted, that so it may be made more pure and perfect then be­fore. Death in Scripture is often termed sleep; as when a man sleeps, he awakes again, and rises up more lively and vigorous then he was before, so shall the godly arise after death, and be in a condition incomparably better then this which here they are in. The Apostle shewes what a dif­ference there is betwixt the body as now it is, and as it shall be in the Resurrection; It is sowne in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: It is sowne in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sowne in weaknesse, it is raised in power: it is sowne a natu­rall body, it is raised a spirituall body, 1 Cor. 15. 42, 43, 44. The hope of this Resurrection did in­courage the Saints and servants of God to indure the greatest torments that their inraged adversa­ries could inflict upon them: They were tortured, not accepting of deliverance, that they might obtain a better Resurrection, Heb. 11. 35.

Ʋse 4. Finally seeing there shall be a Re­surrection of the dead, it behoves us to la­bour whiles we are here that we may attaine unto a blessed Resurrection hereafter, the Resurrection of life, Joh. 5. 29. which is the [Page 441] Resurrection of the just, Luke 14. 14. There shall indeed be a Resurrection of all, both of just, and the unjust, Acts 24. 15. But as Christ said of Iudas, It had been better for him that he had not been borne; so may I say of the wicked, It were better for them that they should not rise againe, because they shall rise unto condemnation, John 5. 29. But as for the righteous, they shall so rise, as to shine like the Sun in the Kingdome of their Father, Mat. 13. 43. Let us labour that we may be partakers of this Resurrection: And to this end we must here have our part in the first resurrection, thatRev. 20. 6. of the soul from the death of sin to the life of grace, and then the second death shall have no power over us.

More particularly, first, we must be incorpo­rated into Christ by faith; For he is the Resur­rection and the life, he that believeth in him, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall ne­ver die, viz. eternally, Iohn 11. 25. Christ is al­ready risen from the dead, and entred into glo­ry, and so in due time shall all that belong unto Christ, that are members of his body; He will change their vile bodies, and make them like unto his owne most glorious body, Philip. 3. 21.

2. But if we would be thus conformed un­to Christ in glory, and happinesse, we must be conformed unto him in grace and holinesse; Every one that hath this hope, purifieth him­selfe [Page 442] even as he is pure, 1 Iohn 3. 3. Paul having said, that he believed that there shall be a Resurrection both of just and unjust, addes, And herein doe I exercise my selfe to have alwayes a conscience void of offence both towards God and towards men, Acts 24. 16. As many as walke according to this rule, peace shall be upon them, and mercy, Gal. 6. 16.

The five and thirtieth SERMON.

LUK. 18. 30. And in the world to come life everlasting.’

LIfe everlasting is the conclusion of the Creed, and so S. Peter calls it the end of our faith; even the salvation of our souls, 1 Pet. 1. 9.

For the words of the Text, they were spoken by our Saviour, and that upon this occasion: Pe­ter having seen how a certain rich man was ra­ther willing to forfeit his portion in the world to come, then to forgo his wealth that he had here in this world, said unto Christ, Lo we have left all, and followed thee, v. 28. Then Christ let him and the rest of his Disciples know, that nei­ther they nor any others should loose any thing by parting with all for his sake, but should be well recompenced for it even here in this world, and much more in the world to come: And he said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or Parents, or brethren, or wife, or children for the Kingdome of Gods sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present [Page 444] time, and in the world to come life everlasting, v. 29, & 30.

The point to be observed is this, That as there Doct. is a temporall life for all here in this world, so there is an eternall life for some hereafter in the world to come.

Both the Old and the New Testament beare witnesse to this truth, life everlasting is asserted in both, yet more sparingly and obscurely in the Old Testament, more frequently and clearly in the New Testament.

As for the Old Testament, I do not find that everlasting life is expresly mentioned in it, save only once, viz. Dan. 12. 2. Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to e­verlasting life, &c. Yet though not in such ex­presse words, the Old Testament doth afford ma­ny proofs, that after this life there is another life to come, not as this, induring only for a time, but for ever: God did shew this unto his peo­ple, first by types, figures, and resemblances:

As first, the tree of life mentioned Gen. 2. & 3. That was a type and figure of everlasting life, as appears by that Rev. 22. 14. Blessed are they that do his Commandements, that they may have right to the tree of life, &c. And so Rev. 2. 7. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. In these places by the tree of life is meant eternall life, whereof that tree called the tree of life was a figure. What further use that tree was ordain­ed for, is over-curious, and not necessary to in­quire: As for that Gen. 3. 22, 23. where it is said, [Page 445] that Adam having sinned, God cast him out of Paradise, least he should put forth his hand, and take of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; that (I say) the best Expositers take as spoken onely in respect of that opinion which Adam had, viz. that if he did eat of that tree, he should never die; like as when God said (as is there re­lated) Behold the man is become as one of us to know good and evill; it was spoken ironically in respect of that which the Serpent said unto the woman, that if they did eat of the forbidden fruit, they should be as Gods, knowing good and evill, Gen. 3. 5. Some have thought that if man had eaten of the tree of life, he should have thereby been free from death: But certainly the tree in it selfe could have no such vertue in it, onely God ap­pointed it as a Sacramentall signe of everlasting life, and man having by his transgression made himself unworthy of the thing, God would not suffer him to meddle with that whereby the thing was signified.

2. The Sabbath spoken of in the fourth Com­mandement, and in other places of Scripture, did also prefigure eternall life, it was a figure of that everlasting Sabbath or rest (for so the word Sab­bath doth signifie as much as rest) which the god­ly shall keep in heaven. This is evident by the Apostles discourse, Heb. 4. where having spoken of Gods rest when the workes of Creation were finished, in memory whereof God instituted the Sabbath, he saith, v. 9. There remaineth there­fore a rest to the people of God; the word there ren­dred a rest, imports (as is noted in the Margent) a [...]. [Page 446] keeping of a Sabbath. So that in the very word there used there is a manifest allusion to the Jewish Sabbath, as a type of that Sabbath or rest there spoken of, viz. eternall in the world to come. Which is further evident by that which follow­eth, v, 11. Let us therefore labour to enter into that rest, &c.

3. The Land of Canaan, into which God brought the Israelites, after that he brought them out of Egypt, as is recorded in the book of Ioshua, that likewise did typifie heaven, and that rest which the Israelites after a long and wearisome travell in the wildernesse enjoyed in that Land, did typifie that rest, which the Saints having pas­sed thorough the wildernesse of this world, shall enjoy in heaven. This also is clear by comparing the words of David, Psal. 95. 11. with the Apostles discourse upon them, Heb. 4. 7, 8. David saith that God being provoked by the Israelites that came out of Egypt, sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest.

And David alledgeth this to deter others in after ages from provoking God in like manner, saying, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, &c. Psal. 95. 7, 8. The Apostle hence proveth that by Gods rest cannot be meant the Land of Canaan, or rest in that Land; for that the people to whom David spake, were then in that Land, and did enjoy that rest, and so the Israelites had done long before: Again, he limiteth a cer­tain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time, (viz. that the Israelites had rested in Canaan) as it's said, to day if ye will hear his voice harden [Page 447] not your hearts. For if Iesus (that is Iosua as the margent noteth, who brought the Israelites into Canaan) had given them rest, then would he not af­terward have spoken of another day. That is, if that rest in Canaan which Josua as their Captaine and Leader brought them into, had been all the rest which God intended for his people, then he would not so long after by David have said, To day, &c. threatning them that except they were obedient unto him, they should be debarred from entring into his rest. This argues that God by his Rest meant another rest, viz. an everlasting rest in hea­ven, whereof that rest in Canaan was but a figure. Thus the Apostle there immediately infers, There remaineth therefore a rest unto the people of God, v. 9. and addes v. 11. Let us labour therefore to enter in­to that rest, least any man fall after the same exam­ple of unbelief. And hence it was that the Patri­arkes did make such account of the Land of Cana­an. Jacob caused Joseph to swear that he would not bury him in Egypt, where he died, but carry him into Canaan, and bury him there, Gen. 47. 29. 30, 31. And the same charge he gave to all his sons immediately before his death, Gen. 49. 29. &c. And they did what he enjoyned them, as is related Gen. 50. where also v. 25. is shewed how Ioseph likewise made his brethren to swear that they would car­ry his bones with them into Canaan when they went. And Exod. 13. 19. it is said that Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, when he and the Is­raelites went out of Egypt. Stephen also shewes that so the rest of Jacobs sons, though they died in Egypt, were carried into Canaan to be laid [Page 448] there, Act. 7. 15, 16. These Patriarks had not any superstitious opinion of that Land, as the Jews of late times have, and so the Papists have of Churches and Church-yards, but they both shew­ed themselves to die in faith, not doubting but that God at length would perform the promise that he had made concerning the Land of Cana­an, and also they looked at that Land as a type of heaven, where eternall rest is prepared for all Gods elect people.

2. In the time of the old Testament God shew­ed unto his people that there is a life everlasting in the world to come, by examples of some, whom he took and translated out of this world into the other without death intervening: Thus it is said Gen. 5. 24. that Enoch wnlked with God, and he was not, for God took him; That is, he was translated that he should not see death, Heb. 11. 5. So Eliah was ta­ken up alive into heaven, as we read 2 King. 2. These examples shew that besides this life here in this world, there shall be another hereafter in the world to come.

3. After that Abraham Isaac and Jacob were dead, God stiled himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, & the God of Jacob, Exod. 3. 6. Now as Christ said unto the Sadduces, God is not God of the dead, but of the living, Mat. 22. 32. God so stiling himself their God, shewed that both their souls did still live, though separated from their bodies, and also that their bodies should be raised again, and both souls and bodies being reunited, should live for ever. And thus is life everlasting proved by the old Testament.

But the new Testament is more full and ex­presse to this purpose. Christ hath brought life and immortality to light thorough the Gospell, 2 Tim. 1. 10. Before Christs coming life and immortality lay hid, it was but darkly discovered, but now by the Gospell it is brought to light, it is clearly re­vealed. The places of the New Testament, [...] in which everlasting life is expressely mentioned, are so many, that it were endlesse, and they are so ob­vious that it is needlesse to recite them.

Now everlasting life is begun here but perfe­cted hereafter.

1. It is begun here: He that believeth on the Son, hath (not, shall have, but hath) everlasting life, Joh. 3. 36. Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath e­verlasting life, John 5. 24. Everlasting life as begun here is the life of grace, of which that is meant, 1 John 3. 14. We know that we have passed from death to life, (that is, from the death of sin to the life of grace) because we love the brethren: that this life of grace is life everlasting by inchoation, S. John shews immediately after, v. 15. Whosoever hateth his brother, is a murtherer, and ye know that no murtherer hath eternall life in him. So that eter­nal life doth abide in the children of God whilest they are here; it is here begun in them.

2. It is perfected hereafter; and therefore it is said in the Text, in the world to come life everla­sting, because the fulnesse and perfection of it is not here in this world, but in the world to come▪ In respect of the soul this life is perfected immedi­ately after its separation from the body. For it is a [Page 450] grosse and monstrous opinion, that some both in former times, and also in these times, have main­tained,Vide Aug. de Heres. cap. 83. Calvin. de Psycho­panncuhia. that the soul doth either die with the bo­dy, or doth sleep when it is out of the body. This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise, said Christ to the believing malefactor, Luke 23. 43. We know tht when this earthly house of our Tabernacle is dis­solved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternall in the heavens, saith the Apo­stle, 2 Cor. 5. 1. And the spirits or souls of just men departed out of this life are called the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb. 12. 23. In respect of the body everlasting life is perfected when the body is raised up, and of corruptible and mortall, be­comes incorruptible and immortall. And in this respect both in the Creed, and also in the Scrip­ture, everlasting life is put after the Resurrection of the body. See Dan. 12. 2. and John 5. 29. because at, and by the Resurrection everlasting life is con­summated and made perfect in respect of the whole man, both soul and body. Now as everla­sting life in respect of it's inchoation and begin­ning here, is called the life of grace, so in respect of it's consummation and perfection hereafter, it is called the life of glory. That which is called the Crown of life, Revel. 2. 10. is called the Crown of Glory, 1 Pet. 5. 4. And that which in other places is termed eternall life, is termed eternall glory 1 Pet. 5. 10. The life of grace here, and the life of glory hereafter, differ not in kind but in degree. Grace is an inchoation and beginning of glory; and glory is a consummation and perfection of grace.

What a life this everlasting life (considered in its fulnesse and perfection, the life of glory) is, on­ly they fully and perfectly know, who do enjoy it. It is a glory that shall be revealed, Rom. 8. 18. It is not revealed yet, but shall be hereafter. This life is hid with Christ in God, Col. 3. 3. It doth not yet appear what we shall be, 1 John 3. 2. But thus much the Scriptures plainly shew, that this life is admi­rable. Christ when he cometh, shall be glorified in his Saints, and admired in all them that beleeve, 2 Thes. 1. 10. And that it consists in a clear vision of God, and a full fruition of him. Now we see thorough a glasse darkly, but then face to face, 1 Cor. 13. 12. When he shall appear, we shall be like unto him; for we shall see him as he is, 1 John 3. 2. Christ pronounceth the pure in heart blessed, because they shall see God, Mat. 5. 8. And he also makes the happinesse of the Angells to consist in this, that they alwaies behold the face of God, Mat. 18. 10. The Queen of Sheba thought Solomons servants hap­py, that they did continually stand before him, and hear his wisdome, 1 King. 10. 8. What a happinesse then is it to be for ever in the presence of God, and to enjoy immediate communion with him!

Such is the happinesse of the life to come, as that it shall be free from all evill, and full of all good.

1. It shall be free from all evill, both evill ofPosse non peccare. sin, and evill of affliction. 1. There shall be no sin there. Adam had a possibility of not sinning; but there shall be an impossibility of sinning: the best here are imperfect, but there all imperfection isNon posse peceare. [Page 452] abolished, just men are made perfect, Heb. 12. 23. Now if sin even in the regenerate be so grievous, as the complaints of the Saints do shew it is, mine iniquities are gone over mine head as an heavy bur­then, they are too heavy for me to bear, said David Psal. 38. 4, And Paul by reason of those reliques of corruption that were in him, cried out, O wret­ched man that I am, who shall deliver me, &c. Rom. 7. 24. How great a happinesse then will it be to be altogether freed from sin, as they are that do par­take of the life to come? Then shall the Church indeed be glorious, when it shall be without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, Ephes. 5. 27.

2. Neither shall there be any affliction in the life to come. All tears shall be wiped away, Revel. 7. 17. There shall be no suffering, no sorrow there.

But to be exempt from evill, all evill, this is but one and the lesser part of happinesse. To en­joy good, all good, this is it indeed, that which doth make happy. And therefore,

2. The life to come is not only free from all e­vill, but also full of all good. VVhat good can be desired, but there it shall, and that in full measure, be enjoyed? There God is enjoyed to the full, and they that enjoy him, enjoy all: There are ri­ches, the true riches, Luke 16. 11. There is glory, a far more exceeding and eternall weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4. 17. There is joy and pleasure, even full­nesse of joy, and pleasures for evermore, Psal. 16. 11. Peter having but a glimpse of this celestiall hap­pinesse, when he saw Christ transfigured in the Mount, was so ravished with it, that he said, Lord, [Page 453] it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three Tabernacles &c. Mat. 17. 4. How then shall they be ravished, who shall have the full and perfect enjoyment of this happinesse?

Ʋse 1. Now if there be such a life as the Scrip­ture speaks of in the world to come, how great then is the folly and madnesse of the most, who only look after the things of this life, but heed not the things of the life to come! They live so as if there were no life after this, or as if it were not worth the looking after; or as if they were sure of it, though they never labour for it: they spend their thoughts, cares and endeavours upon the profits, pleasures and preferments of this life, and they forfeit their hope of the life to come, for e­very toy, every trifle. O ye Sons of men, how long will ye turne my glory into Ocur [...]s hominum! quantum est in rebus inane? Pcrs. Ocurvae in terras animae, & coele­stium inanes! Idem. shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah, Psal. 4. 2. Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that com­passe your selves about with sparks; walk in the light of your sire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled, (solace your selves in your earthly injoyments) this shall you have of mine hand, you shall lie down in sorrow, Isai. 50. 11. O that they were wise, and un­derstood this, and would consider their later end, Deut 32. 29.

Vse 2. Let us be wise, and consider it. VVhat so­ever we do, let us be sure to lay hold on eternall life, 1 Tim. 6. 12. However it fare with us in this life, let us make sure of that life that is to come. Let us consider that,

[Page 454]1. It is life: and skin for skin, and all that a man hath will he give for his life, even this temporall life, as Satan said truly in respect of the thing which he spake, though falsly in respect of the end for which he spake, Iob 2. 4. But what is this life in comparison of that to come? what is life temporall in comparison of life eternall? Life and good, death and evill, are joyned together as terms equivalent, Deut. 30. 15. and so v. 19. life and blessing, death Non est vera vita, nisi ubi foeli­citer vivitur. Aug. Enchirid. c. 92. In damnatione novissima quamvis homo sentire non desinat, tamen quia sensus ipse necv [...]luptate sua­vis, nec quiete salubris, sed do­lore poenalis est, non immeritò mors est potius quàm vita appellata. Aug. de Civit. Deil. 13. c. 2. and cursing: therefore the e­state of the damned in hell is called death, because it contains in it nothing but pain and misery: and on the other side the estate of the Saints in heaven is called life, because there is no­thing but joy and delight in it.

2. It is eternal: Methusela and others lived many hundred years, yet at length they died, Gen. 5. But they that obtain this life, shall never die. They cannot die any more, for they are equall unto the Angels, Luke 20. 36. then shall be brought to passe the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? 1 Cor. 15. 54, 55. And eternity is that which both makes the misery of the reprobate misery indeed, and the happinesse of the Elect happinesse indeed: the reprobate shall be punished with everlasting perdition, 2 Thes. 1. 9. But the Elect shall be ever with the Lord, 1 Thes. 4. 17. all the misery and happinesse of this world is as nothing, [Page 455] because it is but temporall; but the misery and happinesse of the world to come is misery and happinesse indeed, because it is eternall.

3. The assurance of everlasting life will make all the sorrows and sufferings of this life light and easie to be indured: The godly here are sub­ject to crosses and afflictions as much as any, yea more then any; which made the Apostle say, If in this life only we had hope in Christ, we were of all men most miserable, 1 Cor. 15. 29. But we faint not (saies he) but though our outward man perish, yet the in­ward man is renewed day by day. For our light affli­ction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternall weight of glory. Whilest we look, not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen, are temporall, but the things that are not seen are eternall, 2 Cor. 4. 16, 17, 18. This made the Saints take joyfully the spoiling of their goods, they knew that they had in heaven a better, and an endu­ring substance, Heb. 10. 34. This made them indure the sorest torments that could be inflicted on them, they knew they should obtain a better Resur­rection, Heb. 11. 35. the Resurrection of life, John 5. 29. even everlasting life, Dan. 12. 2.

4. Every ones portion must be either the one or the other of these two, either everlasting life, or everlasting damnation: there is no middle e­state betwixt these, whatsoever they of the Church of Rome would perswade us. Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast in­to the lake of fire, Revel. 20. 15. Could we seriously consider this, that we must be either eternally hap­py, [Page 456] or eternally miserable, it would make us to passe our time of sojourning here in fear, 1 Pet. 1. 17. And to give diligence to make our calling and electi­on sure, 2 Pet. 1. 10.

Now that we may be partakers of everlasting life,

1. We must know that by nature we are estran­ged from it, and have no right unto it. For by na­ture we are dead in trespasses and sins, and are the children of wrath, Ephes. 2. 13.

2. We must be translated out of Adam into Christ. For in Adam all die; and in Christ must all be made alive, 1 Cor. 15. 22. God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life, and he that hath not the Son, hath not life, 1 John 5. 11, 12.

3. Holinesse of life here is requisite for the ob­taining of the happinesse of the life to come. God will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in wel-doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life. But unto them that are contentious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness indignation & wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doth evill, Rom. 2. 6, 7, 8, 9. Be not deceived, God is not mocked; as a man soweth so shall he reap. He that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth to the spirit, shal of the spirit reap life everlasting, Gal. 6. 7, 8. Follow holinesse without which no man shall see the Lord, Heb. 12. 14. Every one that hath this hope, purifieth himself even as he is pure, 1 John 3. 3.

I'le only adde this in a word to you that are pa­rents. [Page 457] As you have been instruments under God, whereby your children obtain a temporall life; so labour to be instruments whereby they may obtain eternall life. As nature doth teach you to provide for them in respect of this life; so let grace teach you to provide for them in respect of the life to come. As you are careful to bring them up in learning and trades, that they may live a while here; so be carefull to bring them up in the Eph. 6. 4. nurture and admonition of the Lord, that they may live for ever hereafter.

The six and thirtieth SERMON.

JUDE V. 3. That you should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to theThis Sermon was prea­ched at the Fast, which in respect of errours & heresies was kept March 10. 1646. Saints.’

THe writer of this Epistle was Iude, or Iudas, as John 14. 22. or Judah, as the word is in the Old Testament: they are all one and the same name, though diversly pronounced. As there were two of the Apostles that were called Iames, viz. James the son of Zebedeus, the brother of Iohn, and Iames the son of Alpheus, the Lords brotherZanchius de Scrip­turâ. Non connume­ratur inter Apostolos Mat. 10. Judam Apostolum non lego sed Iscari­otem. (Gal. 1. 19.) that is, his near kinsman; so there were also two of them, that were called Iudas, viz. Ju­das Iscariot that betrayed Christ, and Judas the brother of James (viz. James the son of Alphe­us) and he it was that wrote this Epistle. I mar­vell much at a learned Divine, who thinks that the Author of this Epistle was no Apostle, and saies that he finds no Judas to have been an Apo­stle, [Page 459] but only Judas Iscariot: Nothing to me is more clear then that this Jude (or Judas) was one of the twelve Apostles, viz. the same that is called Thaddeus, Mar. 3. 18. and Lebbeus, Mat. 10. 3. For Luk. 6. 16. amongst the Apostles is ex­presly mentioned Judas the brother of James, and so also Acts 1. 13. And the writer of this Epistle stiles himself J [...]de the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.

This Apostle after the inscription, v. 1. and the salutation, v. 2. tells them to whom he writes how desirous and carefull he was to write unto them, and for what end, v. 3. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you, of the common salvation, it was needfull for me to write unto you, and exhort you, that you should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered to the Saints. And he shewes why there was such need that he should thus write unto them, and exhort them, v. 4. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnati­on, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousnesse, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will adde no more con­cerning the Epistle, but will come to the words of the Text:

That you should earnestly contend.] The simple [...] Verb of which this here used is a compound, sig­nifies to strive, as they used to do in the Olym­pian games, or such like exercises, wher [...]n by wrestling, running, and the like, they did strive for mastery, as the word is rendred, 1 Cor. 9. 25. It is used metaphorically, Col. 4. 12. for striving [...]. [Page 460] with God by prayer, it is rendred, labouring fer­vently: [...]. The Compound in the Text is more im­phaticall, the Preposition addes to the significa­tion of the word, and increaseth the force o [...] And therefore it is well rendred, not simply to contend, but to contend earnestly.

For the Faith] There is faith, by which we be­lieve;Fides quâ creditur. thus is faith taken, Rom [...] [...]. 1. justified by faith; and so in many other places: There is al­so faith which we believe, viz. The Doctrine ofFides quae creditur. Faith; thus it's said that Paul preached the faith which once he destroyed, Gal. 1. 23. And so is it here taken; for faith whereby we believe is infused into us, but it is faith which we believe, that is delivered unto us.

Delivered] viz. first, by preaching, and then by writing: The Apostles did deliver the faith to the Primitive Christians both wayes, Gal. 1. 23. Ioh. 20. 31. But to the Christians of succeeding a­ges they delivered the Faith only by writing; for being dead they could not deliver it by preach­ing, neither can we tell what they preached, but onely by seeing what they have written; There­fore this delivering of the faith here spoken of, as it concernes us and the Church ever since the Apostles times, must be understood of delivering by writing. As for Popish unwritten Traditions, how groundlesse they are, and how injurious to the written Word of God, I shall shew more anon▪

Once] That is, fully and perfectly; as 1 Sam. 26. 8. Let me smite him, I pray thee, with the speare to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the se­cond [Page 461] time: Heb. 10. 10. it is expressed once for all. This is not so to be taken, as if the faith were not again and again, even continually while the world lasteth to be delivered; but it must be no new faith that is delivered, but the same that was before delivered by the Apostles; they have de­livered the faith once, that is, the whole faith, whatsoever is in matter of Religion to be belie­ved; we must hold that which they delivered, and (according to our callings) deliver it, but not any thing, as matter of faith, besides it, much lesse against it; Timothy, keep that which is com­mitted unto thy trust. Upon which words an ancient Writer doth thus descant, That which is com­mitted Quod tibi creditum, non à te in­ventum; quod accepisti, non ex­cogitâsti.—Cùm dices novè, non dicas nova.—Pròfectus sit fidei, non permutatio. Vincent. Lirin. unto thee, not that which is invented by thee; that which thou hast received, not that which thou hast de­vised.—When thou speakest after a new manner, do not speak new matter.—Let there be a growing in the faith, not a change of the faith.

To the Saints.] So Christians are termed, Eph. 1. 1. Phil. 4. 21, 22. All that are called to be Christi­ans, are called to be Saints, 1 Cor. 1, 2.

The words being thus explicated, afford first this observation, That the Doctrine of Faith is Doct. 1 fully delivered in the Scripture; or that the Scrip­ture containes in it whatsoever is in matter of Religion to be believed.

The Law of the Lord is perfect, saith David, Psal. 19. 7. That is, the Doctrine of the Lord, as [Page 462] the word there used doth import, and the Do­ctrine [...] comprehended in the Scripture. The Rab­bines indeed speak much of a Law given only by [...] word of mouth, besides that which is written: And there is nothing almost so frivolous, but they will have it a thing delivered to Moses from [...] Mount Sinai, and so continued by Tradition. But we know no such traditionall Law as they talk of: Whatsoever things were written before, were written for our learning, Rom. 15. 4. Search the Scriptures, for in them you think to have eternall life; and they are they that testifie of me, [...]oh. 5. 39. From a child thou hast knowne the holy Scrip­tures, which are able to make thee wise unto salva­tion, thorough faith which is in Christ Jesus: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnesse, that the Man of God may be perfect, thorough furnished unto every good worke, 2 Tim. 3. 15, 16, 17.

Ʋse 1. This then serves first to confute the Papists, who charge the Scripture with imperfe­ction, and hold that many things are necessary to be believed which are not contained in the Scripture; and that therefore the defect of the Scripture must be supplied by unwritten Tradi­tions. But if the Scripture be the Word of God which they do not deny, then by the testimony of God himself (as the places before cited doe demonstrate) the Scripture is so compleat, that we have no need of Traditions.

Ob. They object that the Apostle commended1 Cor. 11. [...]. the Corinthians for keeping the traditions (so [Page 463] the word signifies, though we read it Ordinances) [...]. as he delivered them unto them.

Answ. I answer, all doctrine that is delivered, though it be written, is a tradition, that is, a thing delivered. In the same Chapter v. 23. I have recei­ved [...]. of the Lord, that which I also delivered unto you, &c. the word is that from whence is derived the other that signifieth Tradition. That which the Apostle there saith he delivered, was delivered not only by speaking, but also by writing, as is evident by that which follovveth in the same place. See also, 1 Cor. 15. 3. & Act. 6. 14.

Ob. But (say they) the Apostle bade the Thessa­lonians hold the Traditions, which they had been taught, whether by word, or by his Epistle: and therefore unwritten Traditions are to be held, as wel as those that are written.

Answ. It follows not; that because Paul deli­vered some things to the Thessalonians by word, which he did not deliver by writing, therefore some things are to be received by Tradition, which are not contained in the Scripture, For 1. Pauls Epistles to the Thessalonians are but a part of the Scripture, so that many things are contai­ned in the Scripture, which are not contained in those Epistles. 2. Paul might deliver something to the Thessalonians, which was requisite for them, and yet was no matter of faith, necessary for all to hold. If it were of such concernment, the Pa­pists for all their Traditions, are as far to seek as we. For I presume they can no more tell then we, what it was which the Apostle delivered to the Thessalonians meerly by word, which he did not [Page 464] deliver by writing: But no marvel if the Papists so contend for Traditions, when as they hold and maintain many Doctrines: as Purgatory, Prayer for the dead, Prayer to Saints, and a hundred more, which have no ground at all in Scrip­ture, but are most repugnant to it: they are like [...]. the Pharisees, who (as Josephus relates of them) delivered many rites and customs to the people which were not written, but received only by Tradition. And so much also the Scripture shews of them, Mar. 7. 3, 4. But see how our Saviour cen­sured them for this, Mar. 7. 7, 8, 9.

Again, they of the Church of Rome will not allow us to build upon the Scripture, but upon the authority of the Church, that is indeed upon the authority of the Pope, for so they resolve all at length into him. His decrees and determinati­ons they wil have all to submit unto without any more ado, without examining or considering whether they be consonant or no unto Scripture. But to the Law and to the Testimony (saith the Prophet Esay) if they speak not according to this Isa. 8. 20. word, it is because they have no light in them.

Ob. They object that heretikes alledge Scrip­ture; and therefore it is not safe to rest in it.

Answ. I answer, so the devil did alledge Scrip­ture, yet did our Saviour confute him by Scrip­ture, Mat. 4. and so by Scripture must heretiques be confuted, although in defence of their heresies they alledge Scripture. See Act. 18. 28.

But again, they of the Romish Church with­hold the Scripture from people, and wil not with­out special dispensation allow them to look into [Page 465] it, and how then should their faith be grounded upon it, as it ought to be? They pretend that the Scripture is dark and difficult, and so by misun­derstanding it people fal into errour and heresie, but we wil believe the Scripture rather then them; and the Scripture tels us, that though there [...] [...] Pet. 3. 16. be some things in it, hard to be understood, yet that neither all things in it, nor the most are such, but that as there is that which may puzzle the most learned, so that which may instruct the most sim­ple. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psal. 19. 7. The entrance of thy words gi­veth light, it giveth understanding to the simple, Psal. 119. 130. therefore God would have the book of the Law read before all the Congregati­on of his people, men, women, and children, that saith he, they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this Law: and that their children which have not known any thing, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, &c. Deut. 31. 11, 12, 13.

2. To confute the Enthusiasts, who rely on im­mediate inspirations and revelations of the spi­rit, and so vilifie and despise the Scriptures: but let them boast of the spirit as much as they will, certain it is, that whilest they contemn the word as they do, the spirit which they are led by, is not that spirit which Christ promised, the Spirit of Joh. 16. 13. Spiritus veritatis. Isa. 19. 14 Spiritus vertiginis. Vulg. truth; but that which the Prophet saith the Lord had mingled in the Egyptians, a perverse spirit. God in his perpetual and unchangeable Cove­nant hath joyned his spirit and his word toge­ther, Isai. 59. 21. And therefore most presumptu­ous [Page 462] are they, who wil disjoyn them one from the other.

3. To confute many opinions that are started up among us in these times, they are called new lights, but whether they be new or old they are falsly called lights, being opposite to that true light, the Scripture, to which we must take heed,2 Pet. 1. 19. Isai. 8. 20. as to a light shining in a dark place: they that broach these opinions, speak not according to the Law and the testimony, and therefore there is no light in them. That the moral Law is now of no use to a believer; that he is not to confesse sin, nor to be humbled for sin; that the soul is not immortall, that Christ is not God coessentiall with the Fa­ther: if these and many such like doctrines, which are now spread abroad in the Land, be lights, I wonder what we shall call darknesse. Certainly the Prince of darknesse, even in the darkest times of Popery, did never devise such damnable here­sies, and hellish blasphemies, as are now maintain­ed: I say with S. Peter, Seeing you know these things before, beware least ye also be carried away with the errour of the wicked, and fall from your own stedfast­ness: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord, and Saviour Iesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3. 17. 18.

Vse 2. Secondly, if matters of faith be fully con­tained in the Scripture, let it be our care to ac­quaint our selves well with the Scripture▪ to em­brace the doctrine therein delivered, and to hold it fast. There are 3. branches of this Exhortation.

1. Let us acquaint our selves well with the Scripture. Search in the book of God, and read, Isai. 31. 16. Search the Scriptures, John 5. 39. Let us con­sider, [Page 463] 1. That God hath ordained the Scriptures for this end, that we might be instructed and edi­fied by them. They were written for our learning, Rom. 15. 4.

2. That it is a singular mercy that we have the Scriptures. David magnifies the goodnesse of God towards the Israelites in this respect; He hath given his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his Ordinances unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any Nation, &c. Psal. 147. 19, 20. So Paul notes this as the great priviledge which the Jews had above others, that unto them were com­mitted the Oracles of God, Rom. 3. 1, 2. The greater the mercy is, the more grievous is the contempt of it. I have written unto them (saith God) the great things of my Law, and they were counted as a strange thing, Hos. 8. 12.

2. Let us embrace the doctrine delivered in the Scripture. Not every doctrine that is preached or printed; no, take heed of that. Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; for there are many false Prophets gone out into the world, 1 John 4. 1. Prove all things, 1 Thes. 5. 21. And how must we prove and try every doctrine but by the Scriptures? so the Bereans did, and they are commended for it, Act. 17. 11. But having1 Pet. 2. 8. tried a doctrine, and found it agreeable to the Scripture, we must embrace it, we must take heed of stumbling at the word, as Peter [...]aith some do. Some stumble because of the many opinions that are abroad, because some hold one thing, some a­nother, therefore they will hold nothing. Take heed of this; consider 1. That it hath been thus of [Page 468] old in matters of Religion: In our Saviours time there were severall opinions concerning him, Some said he is a good man; others said, nay, but he deceiveth the people, Joh. 7. 12. See al­so Joh. 7. 40.—43. and Mat. 19. 13, 14.

2. The Scripture hath foreshewed, that there shall be false doctrines and heresies; There shall arise false Christs, and false Prophets, &c. Mat. 24. 24. But there were false Prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false Teachers a­mong you, who privily shall bring in damnable here­sies, &c. 2 Pet. 2. 1.

3▪ Such is the malice of Satan, that he will doe what he can to pervert the truth: where God sowes good corne, he will sow tares, Mat. 13. 39.

4. God suffers it to be so, first, to try those that are his; There must be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest, 1 Cor. 11. 19. See Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3.

2. That the truth may be more cleared and confirmed then otherwise it would be, if it were not impugned and opposed: See Acts 15. 1. 2. 6. 7, 22. &c. 30. 31. It is observed, that the Doctors that were before Pelagius, wrote more securely concerning grace and free will, but when Pelagi­us arose, and asserted free will, so as that he o­verthrew grace, then Austine and others bestir­red themselves, and made it evident, that with­out Gods grace man hath no power nor a­bility in him to do any thing whereby to please God.

But again, some stumble at this, that such as [Page 469] were eminent for profession, fall into grosse o­pinions; but neither is there any cause to stum­ble at this: For thus also it hath been even in the Apostles time, Nicolas was of no mean repute in the Church, as appears Acts 6. 5. Yet (it seems) he became the Author of a detestable Sect called the Nicolaitans, Rev. 2. 15. So what account Paul made of Demas, we see Col. 4. 14. and Philem. verse 24. yet he proved an Apostate, 2 Tim. 4. 10.

2. This also is fore-told: The Spirit speaketh expresly, that in the later times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, &c. 1 Tim. 4. 1. The falling away of Professors should make us take heed to our selves, and cleave the more close to the truth, as Peter admonisheth, 2 Pet. 3. 17. Take heed lest ye also be carried away with the error of the wicked, and fall from your stedfastnesse. So I come to the third branch of the Exhortation.

3. Therefore let us hold fast the truth delive­red in the Scripture; Buy the truth and sell it not, Prov. 23. 23. Hold fast that which is good, 1 Thes. 5. 21. Hold fast the form of sound words, &c. That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep, &c. 2 Tim. 1. 13, 14. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, Heb. 10. 23.

To this end, first be well grounded in the truth; false Teachers easily lead captive silly women, that are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, 2 Tim. 3. 6, 7. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, &c. Eph. 4. 14.

2. Be sincere in the profession of the truth: Because they received not the love of the truth, &c. For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had plea­sure in unrighteousnesse, 2 Thes. 2. 10, 11, 12.Superbia est mater omnium haereseôn.

3. Be humble: Pride (saith Austine) is the mo­ther of all heresies. And Calvin found it verified in Servetus a wretched heretike; he notes of him, that he was exceeding proud, and being desirous to get himselfe a name, thought this the fairest wayLusitanico fastu inflatus, magis etiamnum propriâ arrogantiâ turgens, hanc sibi comparandi no­minis rationem optimam esse sta­tuit, si omnia religionis principia convelleret. Calvin. advers. Servet. whereby to attaine unto it, to shake the very foundati­ons of Religion: So the Scripture testifies of Simon Magus, who bewitched the people of Samaria, (and as Ecclesiasticall Writers record of him, was the Author of divers here­sies) that he gave out that himself was some great one, Acts 8. 9. Doubtlesse, this is a main cause why many in these times fall into grosse and mon­strous errors, they are puffed up with a conceit of themselves, and they would be eminent above others; and therefore rather then they will be content with plain truth, they will imbrace pal­pable error. Besides, the proud trusting in them­selves, God leaves them to themselves, and so what is so absurd, but through the suggestion of Satan, and the corruption of their owne heart, they are ready to imbrace it? A scorner seeketh wisdome, but he findeth it not, Prov. 14. 6. For God scorneth the scorners, but giveth gracee unto the [Page 467] lowly, Prov. 3. 34. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble, Jam. 4. 6. and 1 Pet. 5. 5.

4. Beware of covetousnesse and worldly­mindednesse; earthly advantages are of great force to with-draw from the truth. This was it that drew away Demas, 2 Tim. 4. 10. Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world: Peter speaking of false Teachers, shewes that this doth set them on work, And through covetousnesse shall they make merchandise of you, 2 Pet. 2, 3.

5. Beware of all sin whatsoever. For it dar­kens the understanding, perverts the will, disor­ders the affections, alienates from God, and gives advantage unto Satan. What Solomon saith of a strange woman, may be applied to a strange Doctrine; Who so pleaseth God, shall e­scape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her, Eccles. 7. 26. The Apostle therefore bidding hold faith, addes, and a good conscience, which some ha­ving put away, concerning faith have made ship­wrack, 1 Tim. 1. 29. And so he notes, that they are not only silly women, but such also as are laden with sins, that are usually led captive by false tea­chers, 2 Tim. 3. 6.

6. Labour to increase grace more and more; Take heed lest ye also being carried away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastnesse; but (as a means to avoid that mischief) grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3. 17, 18.

7. Pray continually unto God to guide and keep you in the truth, except God lead us into [Page 472] it, we shall never find it, and except he keeps us in it, we shal soon lose it: The God of al grace, &c. make you perfect, stablish, strengthen settle you, 1 Pet. 5. 10. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, &c. Jude v. 24. and so much for this point.

Again the words of the Text hold out unto us this, That Christians ought earnestly to contend Doct. 2 for the truth; to do what in them lies to preserve & maintain it, against those that do oppose it. All Christians ought to be fellow-helpers to the truth, 3 Jo. 8. Such are commended as do this: I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evill, and thou hast tried them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars, Revel. 2. 2.

Such are reproved as neglect this. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, &c. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate, Repent &c. Revel. 2. 14, 15, 16. Good reason there is why Christians should do this.

1. Out of zeal for Gods glory. As wicked pra­ctices, so also wicked opinions dishonour God. Heretikes especially set their mouths against hea­ven: and therefore they that are zealous for God will set their mouths against them, and doe what they may to represse them.

2. Out of compassion towards others. Compassi­on is to be shewed towards an oxe or an asse that goes astray, Exod. 29. 13. How much more towards the souls of men, that either are already, or are like to be seduced and carried away with errours?

3. Out of compassion towards themselves. For [Page 473] it being a duty required of them, a necessity is laid upon them to do it, and woe unto them if they do it not, 1 Cor. 9. 16. Whatever it be that God injoyns us to do, if we have no respect unto it, we reward evill unto our selves, Isai. 3. 9. but as all must do this, so not all one & the same way, but severally according to the places and callings God hath set them in.

1. Magistrates must do it. The care of theCustodes utriusque Tabulae. Church and of Religion belongs unto them, as well as of the Common-wealth and of civill ju­stice: otherwise how are they nursing Fathers, and nursing Mothers, as God hath said they shall be? Isai. 49. 23. How by their means do we live a quiet & peaceable life in all godlinesse and hone­sty? in which respect the Apostle bids pray for them, 1 Tim. 1. 2. Magistrates therfore must do their endeavour to preserve and maintain the truth. and that 1. By making Laws and Ordinances for the profession and preservation of it. Thus did the good Kings of Judah, not only David and Solomon who were Prophets, as well as Kings, but also they Kings only, and not Pro­phets, as Asa, Jehoshaphat, Ezekiah, and Iosiah: and memorable to this purpose is the example of Artaxerxes though a heathen. See what a decree he mad [...], Ezr. 7. 25, 26. And how Ezra blessed God for it, v. 27. & 28.

2. By providing Orthodox Ministers to teach the truth, and by incouraging them that do it. Thus Jehoshaphat sent Levites who taught in Ju­dah, and had the book of the Law of the Lord with them, and went about thoroughout all the Cities of [Page 470] Judah, and taught the people, 2 Chron. 17. 8, 9. And Ezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites, that taught the good knowledge of the Lord, 2 Chron. 30. 22. Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem, to give the portion of the Priests & the Levites, that they might be incouraged in the Law of the Lord, 2 Chron 31. 4.

3. By repressing such as pervert the truth, and divulge errours. The Magistrate is the Minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evill, Rom. 13. 4. Now if they do evill that hurt the body, and prejudice the temporall estate; how much more they that hurt the soul, and pre­judice the eternall estate?

2. Ministers must do it, and that 1. By preach­ing and teaching the truth with all diligence: See Act. 20. 28, 31. & 2 Tim. 4. 1, 5. & Tit. 1. 10, 11. with 2. 1.

2. By refelling such as oppose the truth, and [...]. Non lo­quintur diserta, sed fortia. Cypr. confuting their errours: a Minister must not only be apt to teach, 1 Tim. 3. 2. but also able to convince gain-sayers, Tit. 1. 9. To this end he must preach, not with entising words of mans wisdom, but in demon­stration of the spirit, and of power, 1 Cor. 2. 4. Apol­los was eloquent, and that is good, but withall he was mighty in the Scriptures, Act 18. 24. And so he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publikely, shewing by the Scriptures, that Jesus was Christ, v. 28.

3. Private Christians must doe it: And 1. By praying for good and sound teachers: they must pray that they may be sent, Mat. 9. 38. And that they may do the work for which they are sent, 2 Thes. 3. 1. Col. 4. 3. Ephes. 6. 19, 20.

2. By affording them all incouragement that may be: See 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. & 1 Tim. 5. 17. & Heb. 13. 17.

3. By giving no assistance, shewing no counte­nance to false teachers, but doing what they may to restrain them: See 3 Iohn 10, 11. Deut. 13. 6, 9.

4. By instructing and admonishing one ano­ther, Col. 3. 16.

5. By humbling themselves, and mourning for the errours that are vented, and for those that are seduced; See Psalm 119. 158. & 136.

Ʋse. Let us then according to our places and callings be mindfull of this duty, and carefull to perform it: to this end let us consider, 1. That truth (especially the truth of Religion, the truth of the Gospell) is a thing most precious and excel­lent,Col. 1. 5. most worthy to be contended for with all earnestnesse, and to be maintained with all care and diligence: God is the God of truth, Isa. 65. 16. Christ hath stiled himself the truth, John 14. 6. the Holy Ghost is the spirit of truth, John 16. 13. The Gospel is the word of truth, Ephes. 1. 13. If therefore we contend for other things, which in comparison are vain and frivolous; how much more should we contend for this which is of such worth, of such excellency?

2. That the Saints & servants of God have ever shewed great zeal in this kind. How zealous Paul was for the truth, his Epistles every where shew. See especially Gal. 1. 8, 9, & 2. 5, 11, 12, 13, 14. & 4 & 3. 1, 3, 4, 11, 19. & 5. 7. 12. of S. John it is recorded by Eusebius, and before him by Irenaeus, that being in a bath, and hearing that Cerinthus (one who [Page 476] besides other hereticall opinions, denied Christs divinity) was come into the place, he would stay no longer, but departed with all speed, saying to those that were with him, Let us flie, and be gone, least the building fall upon us, in which this enemy of the truth Cerinthus is. So it is said of Polycarpus (S. Iohns Disciple) that meeting with Marcion a­nother Arch-heretike, and being asked by him, if he knew him, answered, Yes, I know thee to be the first born of the divell. And such was the zeale of Hierome against heretikes and heresies, that in his second Apology against Ruffinus he writes thus; In this one thing I cannot In uno tibi consentire non possum, ut parcam haereticis, ut me Catho­licum non probem. Si ista est causa discordiae, non possum tacere, non possum. yeeld unto thee, that I should forbear heretikes, and so not prove my self a sound and true believing Christian. If this be the cause of our diffe­rence, I cannot hold my peace, I cannot do it.

4. That wicked opinions are rather worse then wicked practises; corrupt Doctrines more dan­gerous then corrupt manners. Some do well ob­serve, that he who had the leprosie in his head, is pronounced not simply unclean, as others, but ut­terly unclean, Levit. 13. 44. Whence is collected, that corruption in judgement is worse then cor­ruption in practice. And so it is; the understand­ing is the eye, and so the light of the soul; and if the light be darkness, how great is that darkness? Mat. 6. 23. Sound doctrine is a means to reforme a corrupt conversation; but corrupt doctrine is a means to marre a good conversation. Evill communications corrupt good manners, 1 Cor. 15. 33. Whosoever [Page 477] shall break one of the least Commandements, and teach men so, &c. Mat. 5. 19.

4. Great need especially at this time to be earnest for the truth, and to do what we may for defence of it. For, first, when was it ever more opposed then now it is? What he­resie almost was ever broached, which is not now taken up, and maintained by one or other? Scarce any truth in all the sphere of Christian Religion is so sacred, as to remain inviolate.

2. These wicked opinions that are among us cause the name of God to be blasphemed, and the way of truth to be evill spoken of. Hereup­on Papists take occasion to traduce our Religi­on, and prophane persons to despise all Religion.

3. These are times wherein God expects, and we pretend Reformation: Therefore that now in these times should be such Sects and Heresies amongst us, is the more hainous; I said surely, thou wilt feare me, thou wilt receive correction, &c. but they rose up early, and corrupted all their ways, Zeph. 3. 7. Thou saidst, I will not transgresse, when on every high hill, and under every green tree thou wandredst, playing the Harlot, Ier. 2. 20.

4. We have solemnly sworne unto God, and covenanted with him to indeavour in our places and callings the preservation of the truth, and the extirpation of heresie, and whatsoever is con­crary to sound Doctrine: Let us remember that of David, Psal. 76. 11. Vow and perform unto the Lord your God. And that of Solomon Eccles. 5. 4, 5. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: Pay therefore [Page 474] that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldst not vow, then that thou shouldst vow and not pay. Some have shewed themselves very zea­lous against Superstition, Popery, Prelacy, &c. but concerning Sects and Heresies, which swarm in the Land, have been remisse enough: Why is not one part of the Covenant regarded as well as another? Zeale if it be not impar­tiall, is not right, howsoever we may please our selves in it, and vaunt of it as Iehu did; Come, see my zeal, 2 King. 10. 16. But Jehu regarded not to walk in the Law of the Lord with all his heart; for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the so [...] of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, v. 31. Had his zeal been sincere, it would have shewed it selfe as well against the Idolatrous Worship of th [...] Calves set up by Ieroboam, as against that of B [...]al set up by Ahab.

Let us consider these things, and let the con­sideration of them incite us by prayer and humi­liation, and all good means (as our places and callings require) to indeavour that truth may be preserved, and error suppressed; that such as are yet in the truth, may persist in it, and such as are swerved from the truth, may be reduced to it, or at least may not seduce and draw others from it. In a word, let us do what in us lies, that the land may be purged, as from other pollutions and de­filements, so from these Sects and Heresies, that are so rife in it; that so the Lord may not (as o­therwise we must needs fear he will) abhor us, and depart from us, but may still continue his gracious presence with us, and rejoyce over us to do us good.


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