SVVEET AND Soule-Per …

SVVEET AND Soule-Perswading INDVCEMENTS Leading unto CHRIST.


  • 1. From the Consideration of Mans Misery, Emptinesse, Basenesse, and Dishonour without Christ.
  • 2. From the Meditation of the Comforts attending the Soules receiving of CHRIST.
  • 3. From the Apprehension of the Joy and Excellency of Christs living in Man: The whole singularly sweet­ning the Meditation of Christ to the Soule of Man.

Hoe every one that thirsteth come to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye buy, and eat yea come buy wine and milke without money, and with­out price: Wherefore doe ye spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not. ISA [...]5.1, 2.

Draw me, and we will run after thee, the King hath brought me into his cham­bers, we will be glad and reioyce in thee, we will remember thy love more then wine, CANT. 1.4.

BERN. SERM. 43. in CANT.

Aridus est omnis animae cibus si non oleo isto infunditur, insipus est si non hoc sale conditur, si scribas, non sapit mihi nisi legero ibi Jesum, si disputes, aut conferas, non sapit mihi nisi sonuerit ibi Jesus

By Alexander Grosse, Minister of CHRIST.

LONDON, Printed by G. M for Iohn Bartlet at the Signe of the Gilt-Cup neare Saint Austins-Gate. MDCXXXII.

To the Christian READER.

Reverend and Christian Reader,

THere is nothing more pleasant and comfortable, more animating and inabling, more ravishing and soule-contenting to a true Christian, then the frequent and serious meditation of Christ, then an holy and humble, sweet and constant commerce and communion with Christ: Christ Ie­sus being the whole of mans happinesse; the Sunne which gives him light in darknesse; the Physition which heales his soules sicknesse; the wall of fire which defends him in the assaults of all enemies; the Friend comforting him in his heavinesse; the A [...]ke supporting him in the deluge of all his distresses; the Rocke sustaining him under the heavi­est pressures; the enjoyment of Christ solaceth in the deepest sorrowes; the want of Christ distracteth in the greatest worldly abundance.

Who but Christ is the cloudy Pillar, protecting and lea­ding Gods Israel; the heavenly Manna feeding the Lords people; the brazen Serpent curing Gods children of the sinfull venome which the fiery Serpent hath infus'd into them: Who but Christ is the Propitiatory or Mercy-Seat in whom mercy is seated, and through whom it is re­vealed [Page] and communicated to all that thirst after it; the Ja­cobs ladder by whom God descendeth unto man, and man ascendeth unto God; the Table of Shew-bread on whom our soules are feasted; the Candle-stick by which the Church of God is enlightned; the Altar of perfume, in whose name and through whose mediation we and our pray­ers are accepted the brazen Laver in whose blood we are washed, and the fiery Chariot by which we shall at the last like Eliah be translated in transcendent glory and tri­umph: Nothing can make that man miserable who hath Christ for his possession; the fullest confluence of all abili­ties can never make that mans estate truly comfortable who hath no Christs fullnesse communicated to him: Christ be­ing the onely Well which is able to refresh and fill us, when all our vessels like Hagars, prove empty bottles: the onely [...]onductor, who is able to lead us, when we are to passe thorough the Wildernesse, and red Sea of mani­fold adversities: the only Companion able to comfort us, When God cals us with the three children to walke in the fie­ry fornace of sharpe and scorching trials; the onely Jo­shua, the onely Captaine of the Lords Hosts, who can rescue us, when the Amoritish Princes, either men or Divels doe besiege us: sweet and sure is their Refuge, who are under the protection of the Lord Iesus: He is a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, rivers of waters in a dry place, the shadow of a great rock in a weary Land: The life and liberty, peace and safety, joy and victory, wealth and glory of a Christian is treasured up in Christ.

Be therfore instant and industrious, giving all diligence,

1. To make Christ sure unto thy selfe: With Boaz in another case be in no rest untill thou hast finished this [Page] thing this day. Christ is richly worth the having, all the residue without Christ is worth nothing. Stand not upon the cost, whither paines or study, teares or prayers, peace, or wealth, goods or name, life or liberty;Rom. 8. [...]. sell all for this pearle. Christ is of that worth and use that thou canst ne­ver over buy him, though thou gavest thy selfe and all the world for him; the making sure of Christ is the assurance of all the rest.

2. Stand for Christ, take Christs part, be on his side, whoever be against him; the victory ever passeth on Christs side at last; all his faithfull Souldiers are glorious Conquerours: they all have crownes, though sometimes they swimme unto them in blood; take to thee therefore the heart and courage of Shammah one of Davids Worthies, who stood and defended the field when all the rest fled. Thus abide thou with Christ, stand for him, defend his Truth, his Worship, his Church and children, though all others fly from him or rise up against him: there is more joy and glory in Christs sufferings, then in the triumph of profane persons, there is more dignity in Christs thornes then in their golden crownes; the more thou loosest for the Lord Iesus, the greater is thy advantage: he is unworthy the name of a Servant that will not stand by his Lord and Master in time of dangers; She dishonours the name of a wife that refuseth copartnership with her husband in his troubles; he is unworthy of a name either with God or man, worthy to have his name buried in everlasting in­famy, that will not stand by Christ with most resolution and confidence, wi [...]h most courage and boldnesse, when men and Divels oppose Christ with most rage and violence, ô then as Maevius that noble Centurion of Augustus being taken and brought unto Antonius and demanded how hee [Page] would be handled,Iugulari me jube, quia non salutis beneficio, nec mortis sup­plicio adduci possum, ut aut Caesaris miles esse desinam, aut tu u esse incipi­am. Bruson. lx. c. 1. heroically answered, Command mee to be slaine, because neither the benefit of life, no [...] the punishment of death can move me, either to cease to be Caesars souldier, or to begin to be thine. Thus what­soever doe befall thee, though a thousand deaths be threat­ned to be inflicted on thee, let neither the hope of life, nor the feare of death draw thee to cease from being Christs souldier, or to begin to sight under the worlds banner; it is more noble and comfortable to die the most ignominious death for Christ, then to live the most glorious worldly life with the deny all of Christ.

3. Doe not stand aloofe off from Christ when Christ is upon the Crosse: Doe not halt and neutralize in the houre of Christs and his Churches troubles; he that is not Christs friend is Christs enemy: He that is not with him is against him: It is Salomons observation of the sloathfull, He that is sloathfull in his worke is brother to him that is a great waster, accordingly, he that is sloathfull in Christs worke: that doth not readily put forth his hand, to the helpe and assistance of Christ and his Church, is brother to him that is a great waster of the Kingdome and Church of Christ: Christ lookes on all Neutralists, as on enemies, and not on servants, Aut totum mecu [...] tene, aut totum omitte. Greg. Nazien. he that holds not wholy with Christ, doth very sham [...]fully neg­lect Christ: there is no consistence between the service of two Masters, men cannot possibly at once be the followers of two contrary leaders: And what are these time serving Politicians and carnall Neutralizing middle men? but spi­rituall Harlots, their hearts are divided betwixt Christ and other lovers: Ignominious Disgracers of the Christian name and profession, their way like the goings of the lame whose legs are not equall: prodigi­ous [Page] Is proditor est veritatis qui aut non libere pronunciat, aut non sufficienter eam defendit. Chrysost. Traitours to their heavenly Prince, the truth, the cause and Church of Christ: The very off spring of Ju­das. Shamefull exposers of themselves to the scorne and hatred of all men, both good and bad: it happening unto these middle men, as to them who dwell in theAristot [...]l [...]s de mediis. middle roomes of some high building, as they are smoaked and smothered by them that dwell under them, and polluted with slime and filth from them that dwell over them; so smoake and smother, disgrace and shame is the portion of such neutralizing and middle people: they that cleave heartily to neither side, are justly suspected and abhorred of each side: He that is neither thoroughly for God, nor for man, is rejected both of God and man: doe not say then in the day of Christs and worlds contestation, as sometime the Roman Cato did in the civill warre be­tweene Caesar and Pompey Quem fugiam video, quem sequar non video. I discerne whom to fly, but I see not whom to follow. Whosoever be deserted, Christ must be fully followed, or the curse of Meroz must be expected. Curse ye Meroz, said the Angell of the Lord, Jud. 5.23. curse ye bitterly the Inhabitants therof, because they came not to the helpe of the Lord, to the helpe of the Lord in the day of the mighty. Which words I wish, as once Chrysostome did that sentence. Eccles. 2.11. were en­graven on the doore-posts, into which these Politicians and Neutralizers enter, on the Tables where they sit, on the dishes cut of which they eat, on the cups out of which they drinke, on the bedsteeds where they lie; on the walles of the houses where they dwell; on the garments which they weare; on the heads of the horses on which they ride; and on the fore heads of all them whom they meet, that they might learne and continually remember, That there [Page] is bitter curse attending not only them that openly op­pose Christ, Rev. 3.16. but also such as neglect to minister their assistance to Christ: Who will spew all them out of his mouth who are neither hot nor cold; such as halt in the profession of Christ are the greatest abomination to Christ, Christ will make their condition very base and ignomi­nious, who are not Zealous in Christs cause and ser­vice.

4. Be not terrified with the multitude of opposers or opp [...]sitions which thou shalt see against Christ; but rather say as that noble Paedaretus. Souldier in Erasmus did to him that told him of that numerous and mighty Army which came against him, Tanto plus gloriae reforemus, quoniam [...]o plures superabimus, the number of oppo­sers makes the Christians conquest the more illustrious: say to thy soule in this case as Hezekiah did to his Souldiers in the like: [...] Cro. 32.7, 8. Be strong and couragious, be not affraid nor dismayed for the King of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him, for there be more with us then with him; with him is an arme of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to helpe us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the word of Hezekiah King of Iudah: and that thy heart may not meditate a revolt from Christ, nor enter­taine a thought of conspiring with the profane multi­tude in hope of temporall preservation and safety: con­sider,

1. How the profanest part doth ever in the issue prove the weakest part: the power of ungodlinesse cuts in sunder the sinewes of the greatest earthly forces, as Jonah weakened the Marriners in the Ship, Achan the Souldiers in the Army, and a reigning disease the [Page] greatest body of flesh, their sinne against God brings a curse on them that oppose God, and though they may pro­sper for a season, for the tryall or castigation of Gods chil­dren, yet at length like the Isa 10.6. rod in the fathers hand they are burnt or broken. God at length resolves even unto nothing, all the powers which exalt themselves a­gainst Heaven, as is manifest in the fall of the Midianites, Goliah, Absolom, Zera the Aethiopian, the King of As­siria, and infinite others.

2. Consider, how they who for safety forsake Christ, and betake themselves unto an arme of flesh,Jer. 14.3. Have no o­ther but a withered reed to leane on, no other then a sandy Foundation to build upon. They go like the children in the Prophet with their vessels to empty pits, and returne ashamed, they shelter themselves with the men of Shechem under a bramble,Jud. 9. where they are pier­ced and goared, instead of being shadowed; their ima­ginary way and meanes of supportation, turnes to their reall shame and ruine: all worldly powers to them that desert the Lord Iesus, prove not onely vaine hel­pers, but miserable destroyers: for thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, Jer. 17.5, 6. and maketh flesh his arme, and whose heart departeth from the Lord, for he shall be like the heath in the desart, and shall not see when good commeth, but shall inhe­rit the parched places in the wildernesse in a salt land and not inhabited. W [...]en a people have most of man for them, and least of God with them, then are they usually nearest unto utter ruine.

3. Consider how they who goe from Christ and unite themselves to the profane and disaffected multitude for safety, doe engage themselves in a common quarrell [Page] against Christ, and make Christ their enemy, and having armed Christ against them, all the world cannot preserve them;Psa 2.9. Mat. 21. but now they are dash'd in peeces as a Potters vessell by an iron rod, now Christ like a Rocke fals upon them and grindes them unto dust: Conjuncti­on with Christs enemies is the worst of all wayes and meanes for refuge; Shouldest thou helpe the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? (said the Prophet to that good King Iehoshaphat) therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.

2 Cro. 19 2. 4. Consider how combination with the adversaries of Christ and his cause for temporall preservation, hath e­ver more a crosse and curse attending it; enterprizes a­gainst the Lord Iesus have in all ages proved dismall to their undertakers, Who (saith Iob) did ever harden himselfe against the Almighty and prosper. Job 9.4. No wea­pon (saith the Lord) that is formed against thee shall prosper, Isa. 54 17. and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemne. They who cast the three children into the fiery fornace burnt themselves. Pharaoh perished in the very waters into which he forc'd the Israelites: there is nothing but an expectation of crosses and curses to that man that doth oppose Christ the fountaine of all blessings.

5. Consider, when the Church is weakest and the combination strongest against it, then God is alwaies nearest to it, and most ready to shew his power in the preservation of it. The Churches deepest misery is Gods choisest opportunity; the Lords people never see and en­joy more of Gods presence then in the fiery fornace: God takes occasion by his Churches distresses at once to manifest his power, wisdome, justice, truth and goodnes.

[Page] 6. Consider, that Christ is the strength of every thing, the foundation is the strength of the house, the rootes are the strength of the Tree; Christ the Creatour is the strength of the creature. He turnes the strength of the mighty into weaknesse, and the impotency of the weak into strength, the creature alwaies proves more or lesse powerfull, according to the concurrence of Christs arme either with or against him; all the Nations of the world, when the influence of Gods power is suspended, are but as a drop of a bucket, Isa. 40.15. Is. 41.11, 12, 13 and as the small dust of the ballance: the weakest people, the worme Jacob when Christ joynes with them are stronger then the Moun­taines: No mans station is firme or stable beside his, who hath Christ sustaining him. Gods Church hath no cause of contracting, despairing cogitations either from her owne weaknesse, or from the power of her adversa­ries,1 Sam. 2.9. receiving her supportment from the power of Christ Iesus; for he will keepe the feet of his Saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darknesse, and by strength shall no man prevaile.

7. Consider, how they who step out from Christ and betake themselves to the shadow of carnall men for re­fuge, doe therein associate and combine themselves with Satan, for an uncertaine, bodily preservation, doe expose their soules unto certaine and inevitable ruine, and what can it availe a man, to loose the jewell in hope to keep the casket, or to destroy the Inhabitant, in hope to preserve the house: How ever it goe for the pre­sent. Christ will prevaile at last; and whither wilt thou runne then, that runnest from Christ now: Hee that now flies from the cause of Christ, will not be then able to fly from the wrath of Christ: He that now re­fuseth [Page] Christ suffering, shall with dreadfull horrour and amazement at last behold Christ triumphing.

Lastly, Consider, There is more Majesty, terrour and security too, in the presence and consortship of a few good men then in the presence of a great number of profane men: There is a manifestation of God in them, which makes the hearts of their enemies to shake, as they who came to apprehend Christ fell back­ward at the very beholding of Christ. Gods powerfull and blessed presence among his people, the efficacy of their prayers, the power of godlinesse apparant in their lives, the very perswasion which wicked men have of their in­tegrity, of their intimacy and communion with God, and of Gods taking part with them, doth make their presence dreadfull to the eye and apprehension of profane men: thus the Psalmist, Ps. 48.2, 3, 4. Beautifull for scituation, the joy of the whole Earth is Mount Syon, on the sides of the North the City of the great King. God is knowne in her Palaces for a Refuge: for loe the Kings were as­sembled, they passed by together, they saw and so they marvelled, they were troubled and hasted away, feare tooke hold upon them there, and paine as of a woman in travell. Hest 9 2. And in the dayes of Hester the feare of the Iewes fell upon all people: And in the dayes of Ioshua, such a feare fell upon the profane Na­tions that their hearts melted neither was there spirit in them any more,Josh. 5.1.because of the children of Israel. The enduring of affliction with Gods people, is better, more honourable, more comfortable, more safe and profitable then the enjoyment of the pleasures of sin for a season.

5. Pray for the peace of Ierusalem, for the safety, unity, tranquility of the Church of Christ. Pray for [Page] the blessing of Heaven upon our deare and dread Sove­raigne, and upon his great Councell, that his Name, his Throne and Kingdome may flourish and shine in glory like the Sun to the end of the world, and that their Coun­cell may be acceptable to him, the divisions of Reuben sweet­ly and fully reconciled, & our threatned storm changed into a blessed calm, having one Prince of peace commanding us, one word of peace instructing us, one spirit of peace con­ducting us, one way of peace, wherunto the Lord hath called us: let every man cast the disobedient Ionah out of the Ship of his own soul, which makes our waters tempestuous. Let e­very man cut off the Sheba of his owne rebellious lust, which causeth God to threaten the laying of a Siege a­gainst the City both of our soule and body. Let us meet the Lord as Abigail did David, that the Lord may be intreated, that all that is amisse may be thoroughly refor­med, and the Gospel of our peace in the purity and perfection therof continued, and the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace preserved.

6. Communicate freely and fully to the necessities of the Church of Christ, as the Sun his light to them that sit in darknesse, the mother her breast to the hungry child, and the Cloud its raine to the thirsty ground; the Chur­ches wants are for the tryall of thine abundance, the Church purchased by the blood of Christ is more precious then all worldly possessions and challengeth preheminence in thy affections above all earthly treasures. What thou pos­sessest is not so much thine as Christs, and therefore ought freely to be expended in the cause of Christ. It is the ho­nour of thy substance to be imployed in the Lords service; it is the glory of a Christian to be Christs Almoner to feed his Church and children; the Church is a Vineyard whence [Page] a liberall harvest returneth to every man that sowes plenti­fully to it. Christs bloud is infinitely more precious then thy gold. He gave his blood for thee, and how canst thou with-hold thy mony from him. Depart ra­ther with all thy substance, then that one member of Christ perish for the want of it. It is not mans riches, but mans bounty to Christs members that honours man; it is not the presence, but the well using of thy abilities which will give thee comfort in the houre of thy last and dreadfull Summons.

7. Be constant in the knowledge, faith, love, feare and profession of Christ. Be not in the matter of Gods worship and thy salvation like a Reed shaken with the wind. Be not carried too and fro with every vaine and empty Do­ctrine like a Ship without an Anker. Be not tossed up and downe with every gust and wave of affliction; take not thy leave of Christ as Orpah did of Naomi for any distresse that doth befall the Church or cause of Christ; doe not leave the Sun for a Gloc-worme, the favour of God for the love of men; doe not change the Arke for Dagon, the [...]heat for chaffe, the Doctrine of Christ for the tradition of Anti­christ, pure Religion for fordid and slavish Superstition. Forsake not the bridegroome of thy soule for a Harlot, the Lord Iesus for the creature; perfidiousnesse to Christ is the shame of all shames to a Christian; God and man, friend and fo [...] abhorre him that proves unfaithfull to the Prince of his salvation: It was the saying of the Father of Constantine the great, occasioned by some of his housholds sacrificing to Idols upon a Commandement which he gave for tryals sake, Eos Regi suo nunquam fideles fore, qui Deo infideles ex it ssent. He that will be false to God will never be true to man for conscience sake. He that breaketh faith with [Page] God is worthy of least credit with man. Take heed there­fore, let not thought arise within thee of departing from the living God; but presse forward, draw nearer and nearer unto God, breake thorow all the Armies of opposition and discouragement which doe or shall encounter thee, as Da­vids worthies brake thorow the Army of the Philistines, and came to the wels of Bethel: grow in Knowledge as the light shining more and more to the perfect day: grow in faith as the Tree in rootes; increase in love as the fire in heat having much wood. Be not terrified with any commi­nations, bee not disheartned with any losses, revolt not for feare of any sufferings, there is enough in Christ to make a super abundant recompence. In him thou hast a li­ving Spring, when all thy bottles are empty; an iron pil­lar when all thy withered reeds are broken; a wall of fire, when all the refuges and hiding places of chaffe and stubble are scattered like the dust before the wind; in him thou hast a glorious Sun when all the blazing stars of thy world­ly comfort are extinguish'd and come to nought; a bride­groome the fairest of ten thousand, when all thy friends ac­cording to the flesh are put to perpetuall silence in the grave. O then suffer thy self now to be guided by Christ, prostrate thy self under the feet of Christ, be contented with Christ, repose thy self upon Christ, increase thy interest in Christ, live wholy to Christ, and be ready to suffer and dye for Christ, that so thou mayest for ever tryumph with Christ: So prayeth

The most unworthy of them that serve the Lord Christ, A. G.

SWEET AND Soule-Perswading INDVCEMENTS, Leading unto CHRIST.


Psal 1 [...]8.26.

Blessed be he that commeth in the name of the Lord, we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

CHrists triumphant comming into Ierusalem,Mat 21. is a lively Embleme and cleare representation of his gracious comming in the Gospell to his people, and in his spirituall and heavenly king­dome, to the soules of his chosen. Christ com­ming into Ierusalem, sent two of his Disciples to loose the colt which was tyed, and to bring him unto Christ. Christ comming in his spirituall kingdome, sends his Mi­nisters by their preaching to loose and free the soules of men [Page 2] which are fast chained and fettered to sinne, Satan, and the world. All men in their naturall estate and condition are slaves to the world, servants of corruption, and bondmen to Satan. Christ by the labours of his Ministers in the Gospell com­municates spirituall liberty and freedome to the soules of Gods chosen. We all continue fast tyed with the cords and bands of carnall lusts and affections, till Christ sends his Ministers amongst us.

The colt was first loosed, and then brought to Christ. The powers of sinne and ungodlinesse must first be dissolved within us, before we can come to Christ Iesus. We must be loosed and set free from the power of sinne, Satan, and the world; which formerly ruled and swayed like Masters over us, or else we are unfit for Christs service: He that will not be untyed and loosed from his sinne, cannot be united unto Christ; the la­bours of Christs Ministers in respect of us are fruitlesse, if they doe not loose us from the power of ungodli­nesse.

Christ commandeth the two Disciples to bring the colt to him, not to keep him to themselves, not to imply him in their owne service. It is the duty of Gods Ministers to draw the soules of men not unto themselves, but unto Christ: They are corrupt and carnall Ministers that seeke to exalt them­selves, and not the Lord Iesus, in the eyes and hearts of their hearers; the drawing and working home of the soules of men to Christ Iesus, is the chiefest crowne and honour of all ministeriall labours; they who make either their owne pro­fit, or applause the end of their ministeriall service, are certain­ly deceitfull workers.

The Lords and owners of this colt, though they questi­oned with the Disciples, why they loosed him, yet at their word they readily let him goe. Christ makes his word in the mouth of his Ministers powerfull and effectuall in the hearts of his people to move them to resigne themselves and all that they have to Christ and his service. Christ makes the soules of such as be­long to Gods Election, to obey the voice of his Ministers in the Gospell. Christ sent not his Disciples to loose and bring unto him some magnificent and stately horse, such as Prin­ces [Page 3] and Nobles use to ride on, but the fole of an Asse, an or­dinary, dull, and plaine beast. Christ doth most usually set up his spirituall throne and kingdome in the hearts of men of meane and low condition, and of little of no esteeme in the world. Men most eminent for their morall and temporall endowments, are often found the greatest strangers to Christ and his ser­vice: Christ is many times carried in triumph in the hearts of poore and despised people, when such as have the ful­nesse of the world will not vaile and stoop to him.

The Disciples did not onely bring this colt to Christ, but they also spread their cloathes upon him, and so prepared and fitted him for Christ to ride thereon. Gods Ministers must by their doctrines garnish the soules of men, that they may be fit for Christ to raigne in them. Nothing should be of such esteeme or use with us, but we should readily spare it for Christs ser­vice, be ready to strip our selves of all, even our very gar­ments to exalt the Lord Iesus; we should rather chuse to make our selves naked, then suffer Christ to be dishonou­red.

The Disciples having cast their garments upon the beast, they set up Christ thereon. The exaltation of Christ must be the prime intendment and labour of every Minister of Christ; they must never rest nor please themselves in their labours, till they have set up Christ, and caused him to raigne in the hearts of their hearers. That man is very low, and base in his undertakings, who strives not to make Christ glori­ous.

Christ being by the Disciples set upon this colt, a great multitude spread their garments in the way, and others cut downe branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. When Christ is by his Ministers exalted, and lifted up in the prea­ching of the Gospell, many soules vaile and bow to him, embrace, and reverence him, as their spirituall King and Soveraigne, prostrating themselves and all that is theirs under him. The multitude did not only straw the way with their garments, and branches, but they also cryed Hosanna to the sonne of David: Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest. Humble and beleeving soules receive [Page 4] and entertaine the Lord Iesus with very great ioy and gladnesse. The blessed presence of Christ in the Gospell ministers matter of very great rejoycing; here is such a sunne of heavenly light shining, such a streame of consolations flowing, such a store-house of spirituall treasure set open, and such dewes of grace, mercy, and peace distilling, that every man that hath an eye of wisedome to discerne Christ, a hand of faith to lay hold on Christ, and a heart of love to embrace Christs comming in the Gospell, must needs say with the Psalmist, Blessed be he that commeth in the name of the Lord. We are blessed out of the house of the Lord.

Scope of the words.The words are an Acclamation of the people, declaring and setting forth the welcome of Christ to all beleeving soules; their ioy, and rejoycing, conceived upon the comming of Christ among them; their gratulation and thanksgiving for Christs appropinquation and comming nigh unto them; their vote and exoptation of all prosperity, blessed and happy suc­cesse to Christ in his kingdome.Note. Christs comming proves most ioyfull to them that lovingly receive and entertaine him. All true beleevers are holy and hearty welwishers to the Gospell and Kingdome of Christ Iesus, all manner of blessings attend and wait on the Lord Iesus, in the humble and gracious use of his ordinances. True Christians have such experience of the be­nefits and blessings, mercies and comforts flowing from Christ in the ministery of his Gospell, that with great joy and thanksgiving they cry out; Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord. We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

Analysis.In the words we have in the generall two things conside­rable:

1. A Gratulation, uttered by the people, Blessed be he that commeth in the name of the Lord.

2. A Benediction pronounced by the Ministers of the Lord, We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

1. Agens. Note.In the gratulation, there is 1. the Agent, the people, they blesse, they rejoyce, they are thankfull for Christs comming. Man hath greatest cause of all creatures to reioyce in and for the com­ming of Christ Jesus. 2. Actus. 2. there is the Act, Blessed, praised, exal­ted, [Page 5] magnified be Christ. Christ is worthy to be celebrated with all praises for his comming to us. 3.3. Modas. there is the manner of their gratulation, Blessed, expressed 1. by way of thanksgiving and rejoycing, and 2. by way of exoptation and wishing.Note. Who­soever truly reioyceth in Christ, doth also wish well to the cause and kingdome of Christ. 4. there is Movens, or the party comming,4 Movens. He, who is the sonne of God by eternall generation, and by grace of hypostaticall union, the Prince of the Kings of the earth by authority and dominion; He who is the head of the Church by spirituall Jurisdiction; He who is the Redeemer of man by the merit of his obedience and passion; He who is the Con­querour over hell, death, sinne, and Satan by his Resurre­ction; He who by his office is the Prophet instructing us, the King commanding and defending us, and the Priest offering himselfe a sacrifice for us. He who is the Mediator between God and us by his intercession, the fountaine of all mercy, grace and peace unto us by divine ordination. Blessed be he, welcome be he, in him let our soules rejoyce, his comming let us entertaine with the chiefest and strength of our rejoy­cing.Note. The Lord Jesus ought to be the prime and compleat obiect of mans joyfulnesse. 5. Here is his Motion, Commeth. 5. Motus. Christ as God is every where, and neither goes nor comes, but fils all places; yet he commeth by his Lawes and ordinances, as a Prince by his Proclamations; He commeth by his Ministers, as a King by his Embassadours; He commeth by his Incar­nation; as a brother taking our nature upon him; He commeth by his gifts and graces best;owed on us, as a friend commeth by his love-tokens; He commeth by his Word and Gospell, as the Sun commeth by his light, enlightening us, as a King com­meth by his Scepter binding, bowing, and inclining our hearts unto obedience; as a Generall commeth by his military wea­pons, casting downe the strong holds of sinne within us; as the Cloud commeth by his dew, watering, refreshing, and fru­ctifying us; as the Master of a feast commeth by his dainties, feeding and feasting us; as a Bridegroome commeth by his voice, solacing and comforting us; He commeth by his Sacra­ment; as the King by his Broad Seale, sealing to us the remis­sion of our sinnes, and justification of our soules through his [Page 6] righteousnesse; he commeth by his holy and gracious operation upon our soules; as the Sunne by casting a sweet and hea­venly influence into our hearts; as a King setting up his throne within us; as a heavenly and Almighty Work-man new moulding, new framing, and fashioning us, all these wayes comes the Lord Iesus to the soules of his servants. Blessed is that person that knowes the way and manner of Christs spirituall and gracious comming. Terminus à quo. Here is the terme, from whence he commeth, from God, in the name of the Lord, by the ordination and appointment of God, with au­thority and commission from God, every way fitted and fur­nished for the administration of his kingdome, and accom­plishment of the worke undertaken by him.


I Will not insist on all these particulars, but onely upon the peoples gratulation, and Christs authority or commission. First, the peoples gratulation, Blessed be he that commeth, ex­pressing their rejoycing and thanksgiving for Christs com­ming in his Gospell and spirituall kingdome: Man blesseth man, by making prayer and supplication for him: God blesseth man by bestowing good things upon him, by removing evill things from him, and by turning all for good unto him, and man blesseth God and Christ by thanksgiving to God and Christ, well speaking of God and Christ, holy and hearty re­joycing in God and Christ, gracious and unfained wel­wishing unto the cause of God and Christ, and thus the people in this place blesse Christs comming in the name of the Lord; and hence we learne,

Doct. That Christ comming in his Gospell & spiritual kingdome, ought to be received and entertained with much thanksgiving & reioycing. The Arke was a type of Christ, David at the comming of the Arke into the Tabernacle, 1 Sam. 6 danced with all his might, and all [Page 7] the house of Israel brought up the Arke with shouting, and with the sound of a Trumpet. Thus should the soules of men be filled with very great thanksgiving and rejoycing at the comming of Christ among them, this was prophecyed also, and also given in charge long before the comming of Christ in the flesh. Z [...]ch. 9.9. Reioyce greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of Ierusalem, behold thy King commeth unto thee, he is iust, and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an asse, and upon a colt the fole of an asse. As men rejoyce at an earthly Kings comming in love and mercy unto them, so and much more should we rejoyce at Christs, the spiritual and heavenly Kings comming in grace and mercy unto us, the people piped with pipes, and were exceedingly joyfull in the day of Salomons co­ronation, when he was set up to raigne over them, much grea­ter should be our rejoycing in the day when Christ commeth to us by his Gospell, and setteth up his spirituall kingdome in the hearts of his people. This joy and rejoycing is promi­sed by the Prophet, Isa. 12.1. in that day, in the day of the Gospell, in the day of Christs gracious and mercifull comming, in the day of Christs erecting his spirituall and heavenly kingdome, thou shalt say, Lord I will praise thee, I will be thankfull to thee, I will exalt and magnifie thee, I will confesse and acknow­ledge thy power to be a rocke that never sinketh, thy truth to be a word that never faileth, thy mercy to be a river whose water never decayeth,Ʋer. 3. and thy love to be a Sunne that never setteth, and with ioy shall ye draw waters out of the Wells of sal­vation; then shall we draw by the bucket of a lively faith, spirituall and sweet, strong and plentifull consolations from Christ, who is a fountaine opened for sinne and for unclean­nesse, and out of the doctrine of the Gospell, which like a river refresheth and maketh glad the hearts of the Lords people: This joy and rejoycing is illustrated by a similitude taken from the light: Isa. 9.2. They that walked in darknesse, have seene a great light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, to them hath the light shined. As the comming of the light is very joyfull to them that are in darknesse, so is the com­ming of Christ in the Gospell, very joyfull, bringing spi­rituall and heavenly light to them that sate in darkenesse, [Page 8] and the shadow of death, all light is but darknesse, and all joy but heavinesse, in respect of that light and joy which ariseth from the comming of Christ Iesus; and with great joy and gladnesse hath this comming of Christ been cele­brated by the Angels: Feare not (saith the Angell to the Shep­heards) Luk. 10 11. behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is borne this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, and suddenly there was with the Angell a multitude of the heavenly hoast praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and in the earth peace, good will towards men. Thus likewise the multitude of Disciples beholding and seeing Christ come, observing his miracles,Luk. 19.37 and embracing his doctrine, they began to reioyce and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, Blessed be the King that commeth in the name of the Lord, grace in heaven, and glory to the highest. The true and saving discerning of Christs com­ming, and mighty operation in the Gospell ever makes the soule joyfull: It is said of the Gentiles hearing Saint Paul to cite that prophecye of our Saviour, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation to the ends of the world, that they were Act. 13.47, 48. glad and glorified the word of the Lord; they were glad, as a man that sits in dark­nesse is glad of a light, as a man that is arrested is glad of a surety to pay his debt, as a man that is mortally sicke is glad of a Physitian to heale his disease, as a man that is condemned is glad to heare of his comming that brings him a pardon; very sweet and strong is that soules joy and gladnesse which hath a lively taste of the comforts and be­nefits springing from the comming of Christ in the Gos­pell: They were not onely glad,Aug. Gauleat sanctus quoni [...] recipietremune­rationem, gau deat peccator, quoniam invi­tatur ad veniā, gaudeat, &c. but they also glorified the word of God, by understanding it as a word of wisedome, by beleeving it as a word of truth, by obeying it as a word of power, by loving it as a word of goodnesse, and by de­lighting in it as a word of surpassing and comfortable sweet­nesse; the soule that looks on Christ with joyfull appre­hensions is very active, and ready to glorifie Christ by faith and obedience.Luk. 16.6. Zacheus was very industrious to see Christ [Page 9] joyfull in his entertainment of Christ, he made haste, Gaudium piorū tu ipse es, & ipsa est beata vita gaudere de te propter te, ipsa est, & non altera. Aug. and came downe, and received him joyfully. Questionlesse every soule that truly desires to know Christ, receives Christ comming in the Gospell with much thanksgiving and rejoycing. Thus it is, and thus it must be.

In regard of the cleare and comfortable revelation of God in Christ. God is truly and savingly knowne,5. Grounds hereof 1. Revelation of God. only in and through his son, God indeed is obscurely & darkly known in hisRom. 1.19.20 works, as a God of power; in his providence, as a God of authority, wisedome, & order; in his common mercies, as a God of boun­ty, and in his punishments and judgements as a God of justice; but in Christ opened & preached in the Gospell, God is known with a cleare, a comfortable, and saving knowledge, as a father of grace and singular mercy and loving kindnes: In Psal. 76.1. Judah (saith the Psalmist) is God known, & his name is great in Israel; in Iudah in his Church, where his Word and Ordinances are, where Christ is preached, and the mystery of mans salvation is opened, there God is knowne truly without errour, perspi­cuously without obscurities, and savingly without uncertain­ties; there he is knowne as a King in his Courts, for the glory and beauty which he there manifesteth; as a teacher in his schoole, for the wisedome and knowledge which he there dispenseth; as a dweller in his house, for the holy orders he there prescribeth, and gracious rule and domi­nion he there erecteth, and beareth in the soules of his ser­vants; as a bridegroome in the banqueting house, for the spi­rituall dainties he there maketh, for the cleare and open ma­nifestations of himselfe, and love and comforts hee there ministreth to his spirituall friends and guests, and his name is great in Israell: His power, wisedome, truth, love, and goodnesse is much magnified, and very glorious in their apprehensions who know him in Christ Jesus. Mans know­ledge of God, out of the Lord Jesus is nothing else but blindnesse, nothing but miserable and uncomfortable igno­rance; for no man (saith Christ) Mat. 11.27 knowes the Father but the Sonne, and he to whom the Sonne will reveale him. Christ is the lively image of the Father, and God is knowne in Christ as a father is knowne in his sonnes face: The soule [Page 10] of man is full of hellish darknesse, that is not taught of Christ Jesus: For as the Apostle saith, the 2 Cor. 4.6. light of the knowledge of the glory of God is given in the face of Iesus Christ: The knowledge of the glory of Gods wisedome in the mystery of mans redemption, the knowledge of the glory of Gods power in dissolving the works of Satan, the knowledge of the glory of Gods justice in satisfying him­selfe for mans sinne by Christs suffering, the knowledge of the glory of Gods mercy in forgiving mans transgression, the knowledge of the glory of Gods holinesse in sanctifying mans soule, and the knowledge of the glory of Gods love in reconciling man unto himselfe, all this knowledge of the glory of God is given in the face of Jesus Christ, it is all manifested and made knowne in and through Christ, of all Christian schollers he is the choisest that knowes most of God in Christ, and because this knowledge is given in the face of Christ, we should receive Christ comming in the Gospell with very great rejoycing; for as the light is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing to the eye to behold the Sunne: so this wisedome Prov. 6 10. when it entreth into the heart, and this knowledge is pleasant to the soule, in regard of spirituall liberty and freedome brought to the soule of man by the com­ming of Christ in his Gospell and spirituall kingdome. 2. Spirituall li­berty. Christ is the worker, and the Jo [...]. 8, 32, 36. Gospell the instrument of mans free­dome: Christ comming in the Gospell brings liberty from ignorance, as the Sunne brings liberty from darknesse: Christ comming into Capernaum, the Evangelist saith, the Mat. 4.16. Io [...] 1 [...].44. people that sate in darknesse saw a great light, and to them that sate in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up: By this Christ brings liberty from death in sinne, as by his voice he raised Lazarus, and set him free from the grave: so the dead in sinne Ioh. 5.25. heare the voice of the Sonne of God in the Gospell and live, by this Christ brings liberty from Satan, 1 Sam. 17. 2 Cor 10 4. Luk. 10. as David by his staffe and stone over­threw the great Goliah, and brought liberty to Israel: so doth Christ by his Gospell cast downe the strong holds of sinne, and make Satan fall like lightening from heaven, and frees the soules of Gods chosen: Hereby Christ brings [Page 11] liberty from uncleannesse: 2 Kin [...]. As Iordan freed Naaman from his leprosie, so doth Christ by his word Iob. 17.17. sanctifie and cleanse the soules of all beleevers; Hereby Christ brings liberty from the Wrath of God, and curse of the Law, as a surety paying the debt brings liberty to the principall from the prison, the arrest and sentence of the Judge. Christ prea­ched in the Gospell, is the end of the law for righteousnesse to all that beleeve in him. As we therefore rejoyce in the light which frees us from darknesse, in the Physitian which frees us from diseases, in the ransomer which frees us from bondage, in the surety which frees us from the Serjeants, that they doe not arrest us, from the prison that it doth not hold us: so should wee rejoyce in the comming of Christ, bringing manifold, sweet, and comfortable free­dome to us. The Prophet having declared how God had given Christ for a Isa. 49.8. Covenant of the people, for a mediator of the people, to establish the earth, the elect living on the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages, to restore them 9 to that heavenly inheritance, out of which they were cast by their sinne and Satan; and to say to the prisoners goe forth, to loose them that were bound with the fetters of their corruption, and captivated by Satan, addeth this as a duty of the people, and a fruit of that freedome which Christ hath brought unto them. Sing O Heaven, and be joy­full 13 Oh Earth, breake forth into singing O Mountaine, for God hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. And thus Philip preaching Christ in Samaria, and the devils departing out of many that were possessed by them, it is said there was Act. 8.7, 8. great ioy in that City: spi­rituall freedome from the power of Satan, and our owne corruption ministers matter of much and very sweet rejoy­cing.

In regard of that heavenly and blessed victory which we ob­taine by the comming of Christ in the Gospell; 3. Heavenly victory. the Priests soun­ding the rammes-hornes, the Iosh. 6.20. wals of Jericho fell, and the Israelites obtained the victory: Gods Ministers crying aloud, and lifting up their voyces like a trumpet in the preaching of the Gospell, the holds of sin are w cast downe, [Page 12] and the soules of men are made victorious, according to that of the Apostle, the weapons of our warfare are not carnall but spirituall, and mighty through God to the ca­sting downe of strong holds. [...] Sam. 5.4. When the Arke was erected Dagon fell. When Christ is erected, exalted, and set up among the people in the ministery of the Gospell, then the Devill fals from his possession, then sinne fals from its do­minion, and then the world fals from the roome and sway it had in the hearts of the people; the souldier is made vi­ctorious by his weapon, the Christian by the Gospell, the word being the Eph. 6.17. sword of the Spirit, that instrument by which the Spirit shewes his power in making the soule of man a glorious conquerour. Why doth the Prophet (spea­king in the person of Christ) say, the Lord had made his mouth a Isa. 49.2. sharp sword, and a polished shaft, but to shew the energy and working of his doctrine, in piercing the heart, in wounding sinne, as a sword and shaft doth the body of the enemy in the day of battell: The right use of this wea­pon ever gives man victory over his corruption. What is the Rev. 6.1. white-horse mentioned by Saint Iohn, but the Primi­tive Church being, white and bright for the purity and per­fection of doctrine and discipline; the Apostles like a horse swiftly running, propagated the faith of Christ through the world. Who is the rider there spoken of, but Christ who is exalted, and carried in spirituall triumph by the Mi­nistery of his Word: What is his bow, but his Word, the Law and Gospell, with which hee wounds the hearts of his elect, that he may heale and enliven them; The hearts of the reprobate to terrifie and destroy them, according to that of the Psalmist, Thine Psal. 45.5. arrowes are sharp in the hearts of the Kings enemies whereby the people fall under thee. And how went Christ forth conquering and to conquer? he went forth conquering, overcomming sinne by his death and passion, and overcomming death, hell, Satan, and the world, by his Resurrection, and hee goeth forth to conquer, converting his chosen, and convincing his enemies, by the preaching of the Gospell, and in this victory there is matter of great joy; It is greater joy to a Christian to see the Devill and [Page 13] his owne lust overcome, and cast downe, then to Israel, to see Pharaoh and the Egyptians lye drowned before them in the waters; this gives them occasion in a holy and tri­umphant manner to say, the Lord hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and the rider hath he throwne downe together: He cannot but rejoyce in Christs comming that partakes of the victory comming by him.

In regard of the spirituall and heavenly peace hence arising to the soule: 4. Heavenly peace. Christs comming to the soules of men in the Gospell, is like the comming of the Dove to Noah, with an Olive branch in her mouth, certifying the soule of the abatement, and removall of Gods wrath, of the speedy de­parture of the deluge of present sorrowes, and the happy returne, and re-appearance of spirituall and heavenly com­forts. Here Christ as a bright and shining Sunne, dispels the clouds of sorrow from the soule. Here Christ as a valiant Captaine, removes the siege,Ios. 10.6. which the infernall Princes lay against the soules of his servants, as Joshuah drove the Amoritist Princes from the Gibeonites: Here Christ as a Physitian heales the wounded consciences, and binds up the broken hearts of his children, as he sometime healed the diseased woman whom no Physitian could cure: Here Christ as an absolute Commander appeaseth the inward stormy troubles of the heart, as by his voice he appeased the stormy tempest and gave a calme to his Disciples:Mat. 8.26. Here Christ as a King of mercies assures the soules of men of the pardon of their sinnes, and gives them the sence of his love, and so fils them with sweet and blessed peace; therefore Christ is stiled a Sunne of Mal. 4.2. Righteousnesse appea­ring with healing in his wings; in the wings of his ordi­nances without, and in the wings of his grace within, and it was prophecyed of him that he should Isa. 61.1. preach good tidings to the meeke, bind up the broken-hearted, proclaime liberty to the captive, and open the prison to them that are bound to comfort all that mourne, and God hath cre­ated the fruit of the lips to be Isa. 57.19. peace, to be the instrument of peace, and the Gospell is called the Gospell of peace, for the Author of it, the God of peace, for the Subject of [Page 14] it, Christ the Prince of peace, for the parties receiving it, the children of peace, and for the fruit of it, spirituall and heavenly grace.

Soul-refreshing Communion with God.In regard of that blessed, and soule-refreshing Com­munion which wee attaine with God through Christ com­ming in the Gospell. Josephs brethren were brought nigh to the King, of Egypt by Ioseph: Man is brought nigh to God by Christ, Christ preached in the Gospell, is like Iacobs ladder, by him God descendeth unto us, and through him we ascend unto God, the Arke was an assurance of Gods presence among the people, and God dwelled there: Where Christ is preached in the Gospell, there God is in mercy present with his people, there is the Lords dwelling, in Psal. 76.2. Salem is his Tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion; In the Gospell men are regenerate, and made the children of God, men are humbled, and made loyall Subjects to God, men are endowed with faith wrought into Gods Covenant, and made the friends of God: Men are separated from the world, and gathered home to God, and made the sheep of his pasture, so that now they have communion with him, as children with a father, as favourites with a King, as schollers with a teacher, as the members of a house with the master of the house. Now they are made Eph. 2.13. Christus oculus noster, ut per il­lum videamus patrem, ipse vox nostra per quam loquamur ad Pa­trem, ipse dex­tra, per quam Deo sacrificium nostrum offera­mus, quo nisi intercedēto, nec nobis, nec sāctis quicquam cum Deo est. Ambr. nigh through Christ; nigh in knowledge, nigh in faith, nigh in love, nigh in likenesse, nigh in conformity and obedi­ence, nigh in the participations of spirituall comforts, and in the enjoyment of the light of Gods countenance, very pleasant and comfortable is a gracious soules communion with God in the Gospell; Christ is most worthy of all acceptation for that communion which we have with God through him.

CHAP. 3.

THis discovers their sinne,Such very mise­rable to whom Christ is un­welcome. their miserable and wretched condition, who are not thankfull for, who rejoyce not in the comming of Christ in his Gospell, and in the king­dome of his grace among them: There were children of Belial that said of Saul when he was set up King over Is­rael, How shall this man save us, they despised him, 1 Sam. 10.27. and brought him no present. There are many children of Belial in the world, that say of Christ comming in the Gospell, comming in his word to reigne and rule over them, how shall Christ save us by this preaching of the Gospell, the preaching of Christ seemes foolishnesse unto them,1 Cor. 1. a darke doctrine wherein is no light, no wisedome, no excellency of lear­ning, an empty doctrine wherein is no fulnesse, no worth, a very babling, a weake doctrine wherein is no power: The false Apostles said of Paul, his bodily presence is weake, 2 Cor. 10.10. and his speech contemptible. Many false and counterfeit Chri­stians say of Christ in the closet of their owne hearts, Christs presence in the Gospell is weake, and his speech in the Gospell is contemptible, and thus they despise Christ in his offices, in his Ministers, in his Ordinances, in his members, they bring him no present, they present not themselves in Christs schoole as schollers to learne Christ, they present not themselves in Christs house, as children to feed on those dainties which Christ hath there prepa­red for them, they present not themselves in Christs Courts, as Subjects to receive his Lawes and doe his will, they pre­sent not their soules and bodies as a living, holy, and accep­table sacrifice unto Christ: But as the men of the old world said in the Atheisme of their hearts unto God, so say these in the ignorance, infidelitie, pride, and prophanenesse of their soules unto Christ, Iob. 21.14.15. Depart from us we care not for the knowledge of thy wayes. What is Christ, that we should serve him? and what profit shall we have if we pray [Page 16] unto him? if we attend him preached in the Gospell, surely Christ preached in the Gospell is very strangely and shame­fully undervalued by many people: In stead of rejoycing, they grieve at the preaching of Christ among them; as Herod, and all the men of Ierusalem were Mat. [...].2. troubled to heare of Christs being borne King of the Jewes, and of the appearing of a starre, declaring the comming of Christ, the true light of the world; the cleare and full opening of Christ, and the setting up of Christ to reigne and rule over the hearts and wayes of men, is very troublesome to many people, like those evill citizens in the parable, Luk. 19.14. they will not have this man Christ to raigne over them, they will not have him reigne over their understandings, as a light guiding them, over their wils, as a Prince comman­ding them, over their affections, as a Lord, and Master ruling, and ordering them, over their lusts, as a Physitian lancing, purging, mortifying, and taking them off. Many men de­light to talke much of Christs salvation, but they have no pleasure to heare of his kingdome, it is acceptable to them to be saved by Christ, but very troublesome to serve Christ: But what a shame, what an abomination, what foule hypocrisie is this, that wee should professe Christ, and yet deny him in his Gospell, in his Kingdome? Is it not a shame for a wife to professe such a man to be her husband, and yet deny him her presence, her hand, her heart, her body, her love, dwell with a stranger, love a stranger, delight in a stranger, and bring forth children to a stranger, what is this but shamefull disloyalty, and odious adultery? What a shame for a man to professe such a man to be his Master, and yet deny him all service, and shut the doores of the house against him? and what a shame is it for us to professe Christ to be our husband, our Master, and yet deny him our service, breaking his bands, and casting away his cords from us, shutting the doores of our hearts against him, denying him our presence in his house, denying him our heart to love him, our affecti­ons to rejoyce in him, our hand to worke for him, deny­ing him our soules and bodies to be a holy Temple for him [Page 17] to dwell in, bringing forth all our fruit to the flesh, and to the world, and none to Christ, what disloyalty? what hypocrisie? what spirituall adultery is this? certainly such men like the Angell of the Church of Sardis, though he had Rev. 3 1. Irenaeus of He­reticks, similia nobiscum lo­quntur, dissimi­lia sentiunt: so these professe as Christians, love as Infidels. Ioh 5.44. a name that he lived yet he was dead: so these though they have the name of Christians, yet they are none of Christs: This is an evill of which Christ is very sensible, whereof he much complaines: If (saith he) a man come unto you in his owne name, bring a corrupt and carnall doctrine, seeke himselfe, exalt, and magnifie himselfe, him ye will receive, his person you will reverence, his doctrine you will receive, his say­ings you will beleeve, to his dictates you will vaile and stoop,; but saith Christ, I am come in my Fathers name and ye receive me not, I am come from God, I have my calling and commission from God, I bring no humane, but a hea­venly doctrine, I seeke not mine owne, but my Fathers glory, and ye receive me not, ye regard not my person, ye beleeve not my doctrine, ye obey not my precepts, you love not me, you rejoyce not, you delight not in me. Generally men are more addicted to, and delighted in cor­rupt and carnall inventions, then in the spirituall and hea­venly doctrine of Christ, and his Gospell. Christs com­ming in the power and brightnesse of his Gospell is very unwelcome to many people; as the comming of the King to a Rebell, the comming of an officer to a theefe, or the comming of the husband to his wife that playes the harlot; and what is this? but the shame of all shames, and disho­nour of all dishonours, to a Christian to deny his Christ, to refuse his Christ, not to rejoyce and delight in his Christ comming to him in the glad tydings of his Gospell. We all conclude it a foule dishonour to a subject, a servant, a wife, to deny their King, their Master, their Husband, not to rejoyce in their comming, in their presence, but to shut the doores of their houses against them, to deny them en­trance and entertainment: And is not a foule staine so to deale with Christ, so to exclude Christ comming to us by his Word and Ministers.

If you aske me whence it is that Christ is so unwel­come, [Page 18] that many of us are so farre from rejoycing in his comming?

5. Grounds of Christs unwel comnesse.I answer, there are these 5. grounds of this:

Ignorance. Men doe not know Christ, they doe not dis­cerne Christ in the Gospell,1 Ignorance. Christ in the Gospell is 2 Cor. 4.3, 4 hid­den from them, as the light is hidden from the blind, the God of this world hath blinded their eyes that the light of the Gospell of the glory of Christ may not shine into them; they doe not discerne Christ in his Gospell shining like the Sunne for the excellency of his knowledge there appea­ring, they doe not discerne Christ there triumphing like a conquerour in the subjugation of Satan, and their corrup­tions; they doe not discerne Christ there as a Prince of peace, sweetly and graciously ruling in their hearts, by the Scepter of his Word; they doe not discerne Christ there as a Physitian healing their sinfull maladies, as the impo­tent discerned the Ioh. 5.5. Angell moving in the poole of Bethes­da, and healing their bodily infirmities; they see not these Psal. 27.2. beauties of Christ, which David desired to see in the Tem­ple of the Lord: they see not that Psal. 63.2. power and glory of Christ in the Gospell,Delictorum me­ritum est ut qui vita indigni vitam ante ocu­los habeant, nec tamen videant. Cypr. which the Psalmist saw in the Sanctuary; and therefore as a blind man rejoyceth not in the appea­rance and comming of the Sunne, because he sees not the Sunne, no more doe these in the comming of Christ in the Gospell, because they doe not there discerne him.

2 Earthly mindednesse Their hearts are glued to the world, this is the Master whom they serve,2 Earthly min­dednesse. this is the rocke on which they build, this is the wife or harlot rather whom they marry, this is the object of their joy, they rejoyce in the creature,Amos 6.13. in a thing of nought, saith the Prophet, and therefore having another Master whom they serve, they cannot receive and rejoyce in Christs Lawes, having ano­ther rocke on which they build, they cannot beleeve and delight in Christs promises, having another husband to whom they are wedded, they cannot embrace and rejoyce in Christ, as the Bride rejoyceth in the Bridegroome, when the people rejoyced in Isa. 8.6. Rezin Remalials son, they refused the waters of Shiloah. When man rejoyceth in the creature he [Page 19] refuseth Christ, his soule takes no pleasure in Christ.

3. Ʋnsensiblenesse of Christ; 3. Vnsensible­nesse. they have no feeling of Christ within them, the Apostle saith they are Eph. 4.19. past feeling, they are past the feeling of their sinne, as a dead body is past the feeling of the disease, they are past the feeling of the shame of sin, as a common harlot hath cast of all mo­desty, is even degenerated from her sexe,Ier. 33. and takes no shame of her whoredomes, they have no feeling of the iudgements of God denounced against them, they sleep in the midst of these, as Ionah did in the storme, they take no notice of them, they have no feeling of the workings, bitings, and convulsions of an accusing and condemning conscience; their consciences are like a mastive fallen asleep after long and much barking; like flesh seared with a hot yron; their sence and feeling is gone, they are alienated from the life of God, dead and have no feeling of the life of Christ, Christ doth not live in them; they are blind,Ioh. 1.5. and have no feeling of the wisedome and knowledge which commeth from Christ, as a blind man hath no feeling of the light which commeth from the Sunne; they are deafe and have no feeling of the sweet and comfortable voice of Christ in the Gospell, any more then a deafe man feeles the sweet sound of a musicall instrument; their pallates are distem­pered, and they cannot taste the sweetnesse of Christ, they loath him as the full stomacke the honey-combe; he is unsavoury to them as the Manna to the Israelites; as some­times the pottage were to the Prophets children, he seems to them a pot of death, the very savour of death unto death; they feele not the necessity of Christ, as of a quickner to enliven them, as of a guide to direct them, as of a surety to pay their debt for them, as of a ransomer to free them out of prison, as of a fountaine to replenish and fill them▪ and being thus unsensible of Christ, they cannot rejoyce in the comming of Christ; the Israelites rejoyced not in Moses comming to them, but refused him before they felt the cruelty of the taske-masters which Pharaoh set over them, and the weight of the burthens which he laid upon them. Hee that is void of the sence of his owne corrup­tion, [Page 20] rejoyceth not in Christs comming.

4. Contrariety to Christ.4. Contrariety to Christ, there is no likenesse, no sutable­nesse, no answerablenesse between them and Christ, they are as contrary as life and death, light and darknesse, the Arke and Dagon, the house of David and the house of Saul, they are 2 Tim. 2.25. contrary-minded; they are contrary to Christ in their iudgements, wise in their owne eyes, reputing light darknesse and darkenesse light; contrary in their wils, Christ wils his Fathers glory, and teacheth his Disciples to pray that his Fathers will may be done, they will them­selves, and their owne ends, they looke not beyond them­selves in any thing, they make their owne will their rule and guide; contrary in their affections, they hate holinesse which Christ loveth, and love prophanenesse which Christ abhorreth; contrary in their society and fellowship, All Christs delight is in them that excell in vertue, they delight themselves in the frowardnesse of the froward; contrary in their natures. Christ is holy and without all sinne, they are totally sin­full, and void of all holinesse; they are contrary to Christ in his Offices, they oppose him, as a Prophet they will not receive his instruction, as a King they will not obey him, as a Priest they will not be sanctified by him, their whole man is wholly set in opposition against whole Christ, there is a marvellous distance and unlikenesse between them and Christ, they are altogether uncapable of him. Man can never rejoyce in Christs comming untill God doth put some new and gracious principle into him; Man never delights to doe the will of God untill God hath written his Law in the heart of man, Christs comming is ever more or lesse joyfull unto man, as man hath more or lesse of Christs image within him.

5. Infidelity.5. Infidelity. The Israelites beleeved not the word of God, and therefore despised the pleasant land, that rich and plen­tifull land which God had promised them: He that doth not beleeve in Christ sets a low price upon him, and re­joyceth little or nothing in the testimony of Christs pre­sence:I [...]. 6. The Disciples which beleeved not aright, were of­fended, and went backe from Christ, they tooke no plea­sure [Page 21] in Christ and his doctrine: He that doth not by the eye of faith discerne Christ, and by the hand of faith sin­gle and take out Christ unto himselfe, as his light and coun­sellor to guide him, as his Rocke to sustaine him, as his Prince, to be commanded by him, as his pearle, looking for no other treasure, and as the husband to whom he marries his soule, and on whom he places all his love: Hee that doth not thus beleeve cannot rejoyce in Christ, Christ is none of his; therefore he cannot rejoyce in him no more then the poore can rejoyce in a rich mans treasure, to which himselfe hath no title, or a woman in a man that is a stranger to her, in whom she hath no matrimoniall interest, towards whom she hath no matrimoniall love. Unbeliefe blinds the understanding, that it discernes not the beauty, worth and excellency of Christ; it hardens the heart,Isa. 53.12. and makes it un­sensible of Christ, as the rocke is of the dew; it shuts up the soule, and makes it uncapable of Christ; as the eye that is shut, is uncapable of the light, untill it is opened againe; it alienates the mind of man from Christ, and causeth him to depart from Christ to the creature; as the men of She­chem did from the vine to the bramble, from the sonnes of Ierubbaal to Abimelech: Through unbeliefe Christ is to the soule as a Sunne under an Eclipse, whom it sees not, as a sealed well of which it drinks not; unbeleefe shuts out the soule from Christ, and all his benefits, as Adam was kept out of the garden, and from the tree of life, it makes Christ a stranger to his soule, and his soule a stranger unto Christ; and as it excludes man from all communion with Christ, so it deprives him of all joy in Christ, He that beleeves not in Christ, and in the benefits flowing from him, can never rejoyce in him, because the soule is filled with all ioy in beleeving.


Perswasion to a ioyfull enter­tainment of Christ.THis should excite and move us all to worke our hearts to a ioyfull and thankfull receiving and entertainment of Christ comming in the Ministery of the Gospell, the wise men Mat. 2 10. rejoyced with an exceeding great joy at the appearing of the Starre which pointed out the birth of Christ: Christ ap­peareth in the Gospell, as a heavenly Starre, ministring ce­lestiall and comfortable light to them thar sit in darknesse; his appearance ministring matter of choisest rejoycing, doubtlesse he is no wise man, a man farre from true and saving wisedome, that doth not rejoyce to see Christ shi­ning in the Gospell; the men of Bethshemesh were rea­ping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they lifted up their eyes, and 1 Sam 6.13. saw the Arke, and rejoyced to see it, and breaking off their labours, ceasing their harvest-worke, they offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed sacrifices the same 15 day unto the Lord. The man that lifteth up his eyes, his heart, his thoughts, his desires from the world, and sees Christ in the Gospell, cannot but rejoyce to behold him. Men should with great alacrity and readinesse breake off their bodily labours to entertaine the Lord Iesus, and offer to God the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving on that day, when Christ comes among them in his Gospell, joyfull attendance upon Christ in the Gospell should have prehe­minence above every ordinary undertaking: When Iehoiada the Priest brought forth Jehoash the Kings sonne, and put the Crowne upon him, all the people of the land 2 King. 11.12, 14. rejoyced and blew with trumpets. When the Minister of the Lord doth bring forth Christ in the Congregation, reveale and shew forth Christ the Sonne of God, in the ministery of the Gospell, and doth set the Cant 3 11. crowne (according to Solo­mons phrase) upon Christs head, by declaring Christs Sove­raignty, and causing the people to submit to Christs law and government, all the Congregation should rejoyce and blow [Page 23] the trumpet of spirituall joy and gladnesse: Agracious soule drawes matter of choise and sweet rejoycing from Christs exaltation in the Gospell.

This joyfull and thankfull entertainment of Christ com­ming in the Gospell, was shadowed by the feast of solem­nity, called Lev. 23.14, 25 blowing of Trumpets, signifying the spirituall joy and gladnesse occasioned and raised in the hearts of men by Christs comming in the flesh, and in the preaching of the Gospell, the Lord Jesus being the gladsome body and substance of all the Leviticall and Ceremoniall joyous fe­stivals; this was also foretold and often prophecyed, How Isa. 52.7. beautifull (saith the Prophet Esay) are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings that publisheth peace, and bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Sion thy God raigneth; which Prophecye the Apostle re­ferres to the preaching of the Gospell;Rom. 10.15. the feet carry the body in motion and going; the ministery carry Christ in the preaching of the Gospell; the feet lift and beare up the body, the Ministers lift up and carry Christ aloft, and make him conspicuous in the eyes of the people, by their holy and wholsome doctrine; the feet of him that brings tidings of a pardon to a condemned person, tidings of re­demption to a captive, tidings of supply to him that is in want, are very beautifull in the eyes of such people; the feet of Gods Ministers bringing tidings of forgivenesse, ti­dings of deliverance, tidings of all fulnesse, in and by Christ Jesus, are very beautifull in their eyes who know and feele the danger of their owne sinfull condition; therefore Isa. 52.9. breake forth into ioy (saith the Prophet) sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The comming of the Sunne comforteth him that sits in darknesse; the comming of the Physitian comforts him that is opprest with sick­nesse, the comming of the ransomer comforts him that is in bondage, the comming of Christ in the Gospell, like the comming of the light comforts men with knowledge, like the comming of a Physitian, with healing in his wings, comforts men with spirituall health, and like the comming [Page 24] of a ransomer gives the comfort of spirituall freedome; sweet, and blessed, and full of refreshing is the joy arising from Christ, his comming in the Gospell: This makes the Isa. 51.3. wildernesse like Eden, and the desart like the garden of the Lord. This fils the desolate, sad, and sorrowfull soule of man, full of joy and gladnesse, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody; and to this joyfull entertainment of Christs com­ming in his spirituall kingdome, Let us all provoke our hearts, and frame, and dispose our soules, as the eye is dis­posed to a joyfull entertainment of the light, the eare to a joyfull entertainment of musicke, and the bride to a joyfull entertainment of the bridegroome.

And that we may give Christ comming in the Gospell, a Christian and wel-pleasing entertainment, there are three things in the generall observable. 1. Modus, the manner how we must entertaine him. 2. Medium, the meanes which we must use to entertaine him. and 3. Motivum, the inducements perswading thus to entertaine Christ.

1. Manner of entertaining Christ.1. The manner how Christ must be entertained and re­ceived; and thus Christ must bee entertained, recei­ved.

1. Spiritually.1. Spiritually. The entertainment of the King is sutable to the condition, quality, and nature of the King; earthly entertainment is given to earthly Kings: Christ is a spi­rituall and heavenly King, his kingdome is not of this world, and therefore he must not be carnally but spiritually enter­tained; the Exod. 25.11, 16. Tabernacle into which the Arke was received had in it the two Tables of the Law, it was overlaid within with pure gold, and the Arke had a crowne of gold about it: Hee that will entertaine Christ must have the Law of God written in his heart, his soule within, and his life without must be overlaid with the gifts and graces of the Spirit, more pure and precious then the gold which perisheth; holinesse and righteousnesse must crowne the soules of such persons as will entertaine Christ Jesus; slimy, sluttish, and filthy houses are fitter to enter­taine swine then Princes; corrupt, and carnall, unsancti­fied, and ungracious soules are fitter to entertaine Satan, [Page 25] the prince of darknesse, then to entertaine Christ the King of Righteousnesse. The Kings daughter, the Spouse of Christ, the Type of all that truly entertaine Christ, was Psal. 45 13. all-glorious within. Heavenly graces are the peculiar glory of Gods servants, making their soules a fit receptacle for the Lord Iesus: As men therefore to receive and entertaine an earthly King, cleanse their houses, perfume and garnish all their roomes, and prepare such delicacies as the King delights in: Thus wee, to entertaine and receive Christ the heavenly King, must cleanse our soules of all sin, we must put all iniquity farre from us, as a spot from our fa­ces, a disease from our flesh, and a theefe from our house; we must garnish all the roomes of the house of our soules, with spirituall ornaments, our understandings with spiri­tuall knowledge, our wils with gracious liberty and free­dome to embrace and chuse Christ, our imaginations with holy thoughts and medetations upon Christ, our affections with filiall feare to offend Christ, with lively faith to be­leeve in Christ, with pure and fervent love to Christ, with heavenly joy and delight in Christ; He that is most holy and gracious is most capable of Christ Iesus; the soule which abides under the sway and power of prophanenesse cannot receive the Lord Iesus, the swaying presence of ungodlinesse, nullifies the gracious presence of Christ Iesus. No man receiveth Christ with true and sollid comfort in the Gospell, but only he whose soule is endowed with Iam. 4 8. Heb. 10.22. Mat. 5.8. purity and sanctification.

2. Speedily. 2. Speedily. The servant speedily opens the doore of the house when the Master knocks, and readily entertaines him. Christ is the great Lord and Master of the house of mans soule, at the doore whereof he knocks by the ministery of the Gospell, and man must speedily open to Christ so knocking, Behold (saith Christ) I stand at the Rev. 3.20. doore and knocke: the heart of unregenerate man is a doore shut, a hard, a stony doore: God and Christ are shut out,Eph. 2.12. to this doore Christ knocks by the preaching of the Law, threat­ning destruction to him that will not open; by the prea­ching of the Gospell, promising pardon to all that speedily [Page 26] and sincerely open; by the rod of affliction and terrour of conscience on all that doe delay to open; by the inward motion and powerfull operation of his Spirit on Gods cho­sen; repairing and disposing their hearts to open to him: If any man (saith Christ) heare my voice, speedily without delay, unfainedly, without hypocrisie, humbly without dis­daine, beleevingly, without unbeleefe, joyfully, without re­pining, and obediently without rebellion: If any man thus heare my voice, and open unto me, by understanding me and my will, by beleeving me and my promises, by loving me and my testimonies, by embracing me and my benefits, by dedicating himselfe to me and my service. I will come into him, I will make his soule my temple and holy habi­tation, I will enter into a neare and sweet communion with him, and I will sup with him, I will accept and delight in his knowledge, faith, repentance, and new obedience; and he shall sup with me, I will commu­nicate unto him justification, sanctification, peace, the joy of the Holy-Ghost, the heavenly treasure of all saving grace; their blisse and happinesse is very great and comfor­table, who give a full and speedy entertainment to Christ comming in the Gospell: It is a point of Christian and choisest wisedome (according to the charge of the Pro­phet) to Isa. 55.6. seeke the Lord while he may be found, and to call upon him while he is neare at hand: The Sunne of hea­venly light which now shineth may set, and we be left in darknesse; the Well of salvation now opened may be sea­led up, and we perish with want of spirituall water to re­fresh us; the gate of mercy now opened to us may be shut against us, Christ may withdraw himselfe, and refuse to be found of us; the things belonging to our Luk. 19.42. peace may be hidden from us: It is just with Christ to withdraw himselfe from them that delay to receive him, Christ will be to them as a deafe man that heares not, in the day of their trouble and afflictions, who are deafe to Christ, and will not heare him in his Gospell, in the day of his mercifull visitation: O therefore Psal 95.7, 8. to day, if ye will heare his voice, harden not your hearts, behold 2 Cor. 6.2. now is the accepted time, [Page 27] now is the day of salvation. Now while Christ is preached in the Gospell, salvation, pardonall mercy is offered, now if ever is the time to accept it; therefore as Zaccheus Luk. 19.6. made haste, and came downe from the Sycamine tree, and re­ceived Christ into his house joyfully: So let us make haste and come downe, every man from all high thoughts of our owne worth, and joyfully receive Christ into the house of our heart. When Christ appeared unto Abraham in the plaine of Mamre in the forme of an Angell, and two other Angels with him; it is said that Abraham Gen. 18.1, 2, 6 ranne to meet them from the tent doore, and hasted to his tent to make provision for them, he used all speed in their enter­tainment. Thus when Christ appeares in the Gospell, and comes to us by his Ministers, we should run from our tent doores, from our selves by Christian denyall, from the world by desertion, from our sinnes by mortification. Thus we should run to meet Christ comming in the Gospell, and hasten every man into his tent, into his heart, and there make all spirituall provision to entertaine him: The use of hast and speed in the entertaining of Christ comming in his Gospell, is more necessary and commendable then in any other undertaking.

3. Cordially, With much and fervent affection;3. Cordially. Rom. 6.17. the heart is Christs house, where he must dwell, Christs throne where he must raigne, and the pallace whereinto he must be re­ceived; the place of the Arke was not in a corner, but in the 2 Sam. 6.17. midst of the Tabernacle, Christ must not be thrust into a corner of the soule, his dwelling must be in the midst thereof, in the heart of man, he must have the best and choisest roome of mans affection; this Christ requires, My sonne Prov. 23.26. give me thy heart, not thy head barely to know me, nor thy memory nakedly to remember me, nor thy tongue formally to speake of me, nor thy foot onely to come outwardly unto me; but thy heart to love and em­brace me, to surrender and yeeld up all unto me. This was the Apostles prayer in the behalfe of the Ephesians, that Eph. 3.17. Christ might dwell, not onely in their care, or in the tongue, the outward roomes of the body, nor in the head, [Page 28] or memory, the upper roomes of the soule; but in their heart, the middle and choisest roome of the soule of man: Our prayers are but empty and fruitlesse untill wee have prayed Christ into our hearts and affections; Christ com­meth in the Gospell as a King of mercies to pardon us; as a bridegroome to marry us, and we must entertaine him with love, much, strong, and fervent love; as a malefactor his King comming to him with a pardon, or the bride the bridegroome; our love to Christ must be like the love of 1 Sam. 18.1. Ionathan to David, a love passing the love of women; our soule must be knit to Christ, as Ionathan seeing what Da­vid had done for Israel, in the overthrow of Goliah, his soule was knit to David: so we seeing what Christ hath done for us in the overthrow of Satan, our soules must be knit to Christ; our soules must long for Christ, as the soule of Shechem Gen. 34 8. longed for Dinah, our soule must delight in Christ, as the soule of the rich in his treasure, and the soule of the bride in the bridegroome; thus the Spouse expres­seth her selfe, shew me O thou whom my Cant. 1 7. soule loveth, whom I love fervently, unfainedly, and with a longing desire to enjoy; and in the banqueting house, in the ministery of the word she found her selfe Cant. 2.4.5. sicke of love, ravished with love to Christ.Plus est habere Christum in corde quam in domo; quia cor nostrum interius est nobis, quam domus nostra. Aug. The entertainment of Christ into the heart is the glory of a Christian, as the entertainment of the King to a house is the glory of a Subject: This is the ful­nesse of the soule, as the entertainment of the Sunne into the eye is, the fulnesse of the eye, the heart is an empty vessell untill Christ hath the possession of it; this is the de­fence and safety of the soule, as the being of the Pilate in the ship, is of the safety of the ship; the being of the kee­per in the Castle, is the safety of the Castle; the being of Christ in the ship in the stormy tempest, was the safe­ty of the Disciples;Mat. 8.25, 26. the being of Christ in the soule, is the safeguard of the soule in all the stormy tempests of trou­ble; the soule where Christ hath no dwelling lyeth open to all the assaults of Satan. This brings the soule to a sweet communion with Christ in the Gospell, as Iehu said unto Ie­honadab comming to meet him, 2 Kin. 10.15. Is thy heart right as my heart [Page 29] is with thy heart, if it be give me thine hand, and he gave him his hand, and he tooke him up to him into the charet. Non pertiuet domine ad te, [...]ec de tuis est qu [...] te non deli­git, nec deligit te qui scienter offendit; dilecti­oni tue detra­bit qui terminos a te positos irā sit, & Evan­gelij tui decreta contemni [...]. Cypr.4. Cheerfully. Thus when we come to meet Christ in the Gospell, Christ loo­keth to the integrity of our hearts, if our hearts be right with Christ, and we give him the hand of faith, and the hand of love; then he takes us up into his charet; then he takes us to himselfe; then he brings us into a neare, a sweet, and comfortable communion with himselfe; the soule which doth not love Christ, hath neither cleare discerning of Christ, nor gracious fellowship with Christ.

4. Cheerfully. Old Jacob seeing the waggons which Jo­seph had sent to carry him to Egypt to bring him to him­selfe, it is said his heart Gen 45 27. revived. Man seeing Christ in the Gospell, comming by the labours of his Ministers, as by a charet, to take and carry him of from the world, to bring him nigh unto himselfe, and to the participation of his fulnesse, should have his heart revived, and his soule made cheerfull: Christ in the Gospell ministers all matter of re­joycing to his children; in the Gospell Christ commeth as a M [...]l. 4.2. shining Sunne, and here we should rejoyce in him, as the eye rejoyceth in the light; Here Christ commeth as a Psal. 110.2, 3. King in his armies, and we should rejoyce in him, as the captive rejoyceth in him that commeth with warlike weapons to beat downe the prison, and set him free; here Christ commeth as a Mal. 4.2. Isa. 6.1, 2. Physitian with healing in his wings; and we should rejoyce in him, as the sicke in the Physi­tian that comes to cure him; here Christ commeth as Ios. 10.6. Jo­shuah came to the Gibeonites, to rescue them from the Amo­ritish Princes; and in him we should rejoyce, as the be­sieged City in him that comes to drive away their ene­mies: Here Christ commeth as a Master of the Cant. 2 4. feast in his banquetting house▪ and in him we should rejoyce as the hungry stomacke in a feast of all varieties: Here Christ commeth as a Ioh. 3.29. bridegroome in his letters, in his friend, in his voice, to wooe, and betroth us, and in him wee should rejoyce, as the bride in the letters, voice, and pre­sence of the bridegroome; superlatively sweet, and soule-ravishing are the comforts which Christ dispenseth by [Page 30] his word and doctrine; he is altogether unworthy the name of a Christian that doth not joyfully entertaine Christ comming in the Gospell.

[...] Humbly.5. Humbly. Abraham entertaining the Angels Gen. 18.2. bowed himselfe to the ground. Man must entertaine the Lord Ie­sus in the Gospell, with all humility, meeknesse, lowly and reverent submission: Hee must prostrate himselfe, and all that is his at the feet of Christ; he must be low and base in his owne eye and apprehension; he must looke on him­selfe as Gen. 18.28. dust and ashes, Rom. 7.18. he that is most sensible of his owne vilenesse, is most capable of Christ Iesus; he must Rom. 12.16. capti­vate his owne wisedome, and carnall reason; he hath the most cleare and comfortable discerning of Christ in the Gospell, that is most apprehensive of the vanity of his owne wisedome. He that will be made wise unto salva­tion by the Gospell, must become as a 1 Cor. 3.18. Luk. 9.23. foole in his owne opinion; he must deny himselfe that will acknowledge and embrace Christ, abase himselfe that will exalt and set up Christ, and be out of love with himselfe that will be in love with Christ; he must discerne and feele his owne sicknesse, his owne poverty, his owne bondage, and emp­tinesse, that will receive Christ in the Gospell, as a Physi­tian to cure him, as a surety to make satisfaction for him, as a conquerour to free him, and as a fountaine to fill him. When David sent his servants, and communed by them with Abigail to take her to wife; she arose and 1 Sam. 25.40, 41.bowed her selfe on her face to the earth, and said, behold, let thy hand­maid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord. When Christ communeth with us by his ser­vants, the Ministers in the preaching of the Gos­pell, to take our soules to him to wife: We must rise up, with all lowly reverence, entertaine their message, recei­ving it as the Word of God,1 Thes. 2.13. and not of man; wee must bow our selves to the earth, humble and abase our selves very low, shewing all obedience to their doctrine, and ready to minister any service to their persons, as Saint Paul testifies of the Galathians, My temptation (saith he) which was in my flesh ye Gal. 2.14.15.despised not nor reiected, but received [Page 31] me as an Angell of God, even as Christ Iesus. I beare you record, that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your owne eyes, and have given them to me. Great is the love and reverence shewed by Gods children towards Christ and his Ministers in the Gospell. Christ is ever so much the more precious unto men, by how much the more they are abased in their owne sence and feeling; Christs favour, dwelling, and communion, is onely with the soule which is truly Isa. 57.15. Isa. 66.2. humble.

6. Chiefly. Christ is the highest King,6. Chiefly. and must have the chiefest roome in the heart of man, Christ excels all creatures, and must have preheminence above all others in the hearts of his receivers,1 Sam. 5.4. Dagon in the Philistines Temple fals before the Arke; the creature, and whatsoever else in the heart of man, must fall before Christ; all must be base and vile in comparison of Christ; the Elders of Gilead bringing home againe Ieptha to fight for them against the children of Ammon, made him their Iudg 11.9, 10 head. Man bringing home, and receiving Christ into his heart to fight for him against Satan, and his corruption, must make him his head, exalt him, and give him preheminence above all creatures. Christ is King of Kings, and must have preheminence in our obedience, Rev. 19.16. as Kings have in the hearts of their loyall Subjects; Christ is the husband of his Church, and must have preheminence in our love, 2 Cor. 11.2. as husbands have in the hearts of their chaste and loving wifes; Christ is the pearle of choisest worth, and must have preheminence in our choise, and estimation,Mat. 13.44. as the pearle with the Merchant above the drosse. Christ is the Sun of clearest and sweetest light, and must have pre­heminence in our understanding, Mal. 4.2. as the Sun in the eye above other lights; Christ is the surest, the most constant and loving friend,Cant. 5.16. and must have preheminence in our delight and joy, as a friend hath preheminence in the joy of his friend above all strangers: He is farre from the true recei­ving of Christ, that doth not thus exalt Christ; he doth very shamefully abase Christ that sets up any thing above Christ; hee neither discernes the worth, nor tastes the sweetnesse of Christ in the Gospell, who makes not him­selfe [Page 32] and all things to vaile and stoop to him.

7. Fully.7. Fully. Whole Christ must be received, we must en­tertaine Christ according to all his Latitudes, as all the points and lines are received in one Center, whole Christ must meet in mans heart, as in a Center: We must receive Christ in his person, as God and man in one person, as our onely Mediator, the only Jacobs ladder, by whom God and all blessings come downe to us, and by whom we ascend againe to God. We must receive Christ in his Attributes, in his wisedome, as a light to guide us; in his power, as a rocke to support us; in his truth, as a faithfull witnesse that never deceives us; in his justice as a righteous Judge to awe us; in his mercy, as a King of mercies to forgive us; in his holinesse, as a fountaine of grace to sanctifie us; in his righteousnesse, as a royall roabe to cloathe and cover us; and in his love, as a bridegroome to marry us, and in his All-sufficiency as a fountaine to fill us. We must receive Christ in all his Offices, as a Prophet to instruct us, making Christs doctrine the compleat and only rule of our faith and obe­dience; as a King to reigne and rule over us, wholly sub­jecting our selves to the Scepter of Christ Jesus; as a Priest to sanctifie us, to expiate our offences, and make atonement for us, relying solely on Christs merits. We must receive him in all his Ordinances, in his word regenerating, renewing, reforming us; in his Sacrament feasting, strengthe­ning, sealing up his love, and the forgivenesse of our sin unto us: We must receive him in his Ministers, as a Prince in his Embassadors; as a Bridegroome in his friends, in his members; as a father in his children; as a husband in his wife, in his precepts, as a King in all his Lawes obeying them; in his promises, as a faithfull friend in all his words beleeving them; in his gifts and dispensations, as a giver in his gifts, as a workman in his workmanship▪ as the eye receiveth the Sunne in his light, and the ground the cloud in the raine, and dew distilling thereupon: Wee must re­ceive him in our understandings as a light, in our wils as a Prince, in our thoughts as a treasure, in our affections as a Lord and Master, fearing him, as a sure foundation, building [Page 33] upon him, as a bridegroome being full of love towards him: The full receiving of Christ in the Gospell fils the soule with fulnesse of grace and consolation He that doth not universally receive Christ, doth not at all receive Christ: He that doth not surrender all truly, surrenders none to Christ: He that shuts Christ out of one roome of his soule, leaves his whole man to the possession of sinne, Satan, and the world.

8. Perpetually. Christ must be received once, and forever;8. Perpetually. the Covenant between the soule and Christ is an Ier 32.40. ever­lasting Covenant, a Covenant of wedlocke; Hos. 2 19. the Covenant between the husband and the wife is for ever, untill death; the husband is the guide, delight, and object, the wifes love for ever, so long as life lasteth; Christ must be re­ceived as the soules guide, and love for ever; Christ must shine in the understanding as an everlasting Sunne, rule in the will as an everlasting Prince, possesse the soule as an everlasting dweller, and abide in the affections as an ever­lasting husband: The soule which truly receives Christ in the Gospell, is an everlasting lover of Christ; as Hyram loved David 1 Kin. 5.1. ever, an everlasting servant to Christ; as the servant under the Law, which had his eare boared, abode a servant in the house Exod. 21.6. for ever; as the land of Canaan was to Jacob and his seed an Gen. 48.4. Psal. 73.26. everlasting possession, so must Christ be our everlasting portion; we may not receive Christ and thrust him out againe, as sicke men receive a Physitian, and put him off againe as soone as the disease is put away; as a besieged City receiveth souldiers, and turnes them off againe as soone as the siedge is removed; as the Philistines received the Arke,1 Sam. 5. 2 Kin 13 15. and sent him away againe when Da­gon could not stand before him; as Amnon received Tha­mar and thrust her out of doores againe, hating her more then ever he loved her: Such are very base receivers of Christ, as receive him either for fancy, novelty, or constraining necessity. He is a very Philistine, that will rather thrust Christ from him, then suffer the fall of his Dagon, his base lust, or corrupt affection; their love to Christ, when at the best was but fained, and counterfeit, which afterwards [Page 34] turnes to hatred: He is no Ioh. 8.3 [...]. sonne, but a slave; no Spouse, but a harlot, which abides not with Christ to the end. Ha­ving therefore once received Christ, to seweth Christ, re­taine Christ in every estate, abide with Christ; Man changes, as Ittai with David, 1 Sam. 15.21 in life and in death.


Meanes dispo­sing and in­abling to re­ceive Christ.THus of the manner of receiving Christ in the Gospell, the second thing is the medium, or meanes disposing and inabling us to receive Christ with rejoycing and thanks­giving. The meanes are these:

1. Full deposi­tion of what is contrary to Christ. 3. Things to be deposed and laid aside. 1. Sin.1. A full and through deposition and putting aside of all that is contrary to Christ. 1. there must be a deposition of sinne, all motes, distempers, and blindnesse being put away out of the eye, the eye joyfully receives the Sunne, ignorance and errour being put out of the understanding; Christ the Sunne of Righteousnesse is joyfully received in our know­ledge, the knowledge of Christ becommeth cleare and plea­sant to the soule; witherednesse and infirmity being removed from the hand, the hand readily receives the gift: Unbe­leefe which wounds and withers the hand of faith, be­ing removed from the heart, man cheerFully enter­taines Christ, and is filled with Rom. 15.13. all ioy in beleeving; re­bellious, proud, and mutinous persons being put out of the kingdome, the King is joyfully entertained by the people; pride, 2 Cor. 10.5. imaginations, and every high thing which doth exalt it selfe against the knowledge of God being cast downe and brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, Christ is gladly received; strange love and strange lovers being put farre from the wife, the husband is cheerfully received by the wife; the removall of strange lusts, and corrupt affe­ctions prepares the heart to a joyfull entertainment of [Page 35] Christ; He that doth not sorrow for his sinne, cannot re­joyce in Christ; He that doth not hate the former, can never love the latter; He that doth not empty himselfe of the one, can never be filled with the other. The Jebusites told David, unlesse he tooke away the blind and the lame hee should not enter into the fort of Syon. Unlesse wee take away the blind and the lame, ignorance, infidelity, and all uncleannesse out of our soules, Christ will never enter into our hearts, we cannot receive Christ into our soules, the keeping in of sin is the keeping out of Christ; the holding fast of corrupt affections, is the loosing of Christ Jesus; as the Philistines keeping up of their Dagon wrought a removall of the Arke. 2.2. The World. There must be a deposition of the world 1 Ioh. 2.15. in affection. We must not love it in Mat. 6.25. cogita­tion; we must have no distracting thoughts about it; in Prov. 23.5. Col. 3.2. estimation, we must not overprize, but esteeme it as a thing which is not; in c inquisition, we must not seeke the things which are here below, as if our happinesse consisted in the finding of these things; in Mat. 6.24. subjection, we must not be the servants of the world; in Psal. 62.10. affiance, we must not build upon them; in Iam. 4.16. Iam. 4.4. 1 Ioh. 2.15. Mat. 6.24. rejoycing, we may not rejoyce in them. He that is married to the creature is divorced from Christ; he that loves this hath no love to Christ; he that is the servant of this cannot serve Christ; therefore as Christ overthrew the Ioh. 2.15. tables of the money-changers, and whipt the buyers and sellers out of his fathers house: so must we whip the love, thought, command, and delight of the world out of our hearts, that we may receive Christ; it is a great unhappinesse to lose Christ for the gaine of the world; it were strange folly in a woman to refuse a wise, a potent, beautifull, victorious, and noble Prince, and marry her selfe to a foolish, impotent, base, beggerly, and deformed captive.

3. There must be a deposition of our selves, 3. Our selves. we must lay aside our selves in respect of opinion, we must have very low thoughts of our selves in respect of delight and pleasure, we must not please our selves in our selves, but loath ourselves in respect of Love; we must not love our selves, please, [Page 36] mind, and exalt our selves, but deny our selves; in respect of trust, we must not trust in our selves, but be jealous of our selves, distrust our owne hearts, accuse and condemne our selves; and in respect of the end, we must not intend our selves, propose our owne ends, but intend Christ, and the glory of Christ. Thus we must lay aside our selves, and empty our selves of our selves, that wee may receive Christ; the empty vessell receives the liquor, there is no place for it in the full.

2. Holy prepa­ration.2. Holy, wise, and carefull preparation to the hearing of Christ in the Gospell. Elisha before he prophes [...]ed before Jehosa­phat and Jehoram, called for a Musitian to play some sacred song, the better to appease his spirit, and put his mind in a quiet and heavenly frame, and then the hand of the Lord was upon him, and he prophecyed: Thus before we come into the presence of Christ, to heare, we should by some holy meditation, and fervent prayer, gather home our thoughts, take off our selves from the world, suppresse and put away the distemper of our spirits, worke our hearts into a holy and gracious frame and tempor, and compose our selves to heare; so shall the hand of God he upon us in hearing, and we shall heare, and receive Christ with much joyfulnesse; the preparednesse of the eye to see, of the care to heare, and of the pallate to taste, makes them joy­full in seeing, hearing, tasting; the soules joy and com­fort in hearing is ordinarily sutable to mans preparation. Man is ashamed and grieved to receive his Prince into a s [...]rded and filthy house; but having his house clensed, gar­nished, and all things set in order, he is joyfull in the en­tertainment. Want of preparation is the cause of much dis­comfort, sadnesse, and dulnesse in hearing: Christ comming in the Gospell is very comfortably entertained by the soule which is duely prepared.

3. Gracious in­terest in Christ.3. Sure and gracious interest in Christ. Beleeve in Christ, lay hold on Christ, select, and take Christ unto your selves, make him yours: As the Merchant sold all for the preci­ous pearle in the parable, and made the pearle his owne: so sell all, put away all your sinnes, remove all worldly [Page 37] vanities, and interest your selves in Christ; as the woman leaves her owne people, and her fathers house, to make another man her husband, thus, leave the world, your sinfull acquaintance, your corrupt and carnall customes, come off from them all, and apply your selves to Christ, espouse your selves by faith and love to him, and then your soules shall joyfully wait upon him in the Gospell; as the Queene waits upon the King in his Psal. 45.15. palace, with joy and gladnesse; as the bride doth joyfully heare the voice of the bridegroome; thus the Spouse professeth her joy and comfort in Christ in the Gospell, his mouth, his word and doctrine, is most sweet, he is altogether lovely. There is the expression of her joyfull receiving Christ in the Gos­pell, this is my Beloved, and this is my friend; there is the declaration of her interest in him; Christ is ever more or lesse joyfull to the heart of man in the Gospell, according to mans assurance of interest in him; he never feeles Christ a sweet and gracious comforter, that looks upon him in his word as a stranger.

4. Cleare and lively discerning, 4. Cleare dis­cerning of Christ worth. and apprehension of the dig­nity, worth, and excellency of Christ: He that hath a jewell and knowes not the worth of him, is nothing affected with him; like Esops cocke, he rejoyceth more in a barley corne; Isa. 53.1, 2. ignorance of the worth of Christ takes away the soules delight and joy in Christ; the wise Merchant knowes the worth of a pearle, and is much joyed at the finding of him; the wise Christian knowing the price and worth of Christ, is much joyed when he meets with Christ in the Gospell [...] the Spouse in Solomons Song sets forth her Cant. 5. ap­prehension of the beauty, worth, and excellency of Christ; of his Godhead and manhood in one person; of his glory, innocency, grace, mercy, and justice, of his preheminence and exaltation above all creatures, of his glorious kingdome, his unsearchable wisedome, his gracious and mercifull be­holding of grieved sinners, his beauty and comelinesse to the eyes of faith, and concludes at length, his mouth is most sweet and altogether lovely; His mouth, the doctrines, words, promises, comforts of his Gospell, are very sweet [Page 38] as the honey or the honey-combe; strive then more clear­ly to discerne the worth of Christ, if you intend the in­crease of your comfort in Christ: The prophane Mat. 8. Gaderine that thinks more highly of his swine then of Christ never meets with joy in Christ.

5. Holy ma­king use of Christ.5. Holy and gracious making use of Christ in the Gospell. The eye makes use of the Sunne, it sees by it; the care makes use of the voice, it discernes what is spoken by it; the thirsty traveller makes use of the fountaine, he quen­cheth his thirst with it, refresheth himselfe by it: And all these rejoyce, the eye in the Sunne, the care in the sound, and the thirsty in the fountaine, and in these they rejoyce because they make use of them. Make use then of Christ in his Gospell; as a scholler doth of his teacher, learning heavenly wisedome; as a sicke man doth of his Physitian, recovering spirituall health by him; as a besie­ged City doth of their Captaine, feeling him casting downe the holds of sinne, and restoring thy soule to freedome; as the wise man in the parable did of the rocke, build upon him; the more use you make of Christ, the more com­fort you shall find in Christ, Christ is both unprofitable and uncomfortable to him that makes no use of him, as a sealed Well, and an eclipsed Sunne. There is a price (saith Solomon) in the hand of a foole, but he hath not a heart to make use of him. We have Christ in the Gospell, a pearle of great price, and it is mans exceeding great foolishnesse not to make use of Christ Iesus.

6. Experience of Christs sa­ving worth.6. Blessed and heavenly sence, and experience of Christs san­ctifying and saving worke upon our soules in the Gospell. The influence and operation of the Sunne upon the earth in the Spring, makes it appeare very pleasant and joyfull; the sence of Christs gracious worke upon the heart, glads the heart, he Cant. 1.4. brought me (saith the Spouse) into his chambers, that is, he revealed unto me the secret of the Lord, the se­cret worke of the Lord in the illumination of my under­standing, in the regenerating of my heart, in the quick­ning of my soule, in the putting of a new nature upon me, in the pacifying of my conscience, and comforting of my [Page 39] soule, these are the chambers whereinto she was brought, the secret and blessed wayes of Christ with a gracious soule; and what found she in these chambers? how was she af­fected with this worke of Christ? We will (saith she) be glad and rejoyce in thee, we will remember thy love more then wine. Experience of Christs gracious operation upon man makes the soule of man joyfull; the more we feele the blessed working of Christ within us, the greater are our rejoycings; Mans unsensiblenesse of Christ and his gra­cious dispensations, deprives man of Christs sweet and bles­sed comforts,


THe third thing is Motivum. Inducements to entertaine Christ joyfully The inducements perswa­ding to a ready and joyfull embracement and receiving of Christ comming in his Gospell, and spirituall kingdome, and to move our selves to this let us wisely consider, and se­riously looke upon,

1. The condition of the creature without Christ. 1 Condition of creature. 1. Empty. To him that receives not Christ, the creature, all earthly perfection and fulnesse is 1. an empty thing, it never filleth, never satis­fieth, never contenteth him that hath it; the more man drinks of this brooke, not drinking of Christ, the full and everliving fountaine, the more hee thirsteth; the more he feeds on this, not feeding on Christ, the true bread of life, the more his hunger increaseth; The soule which re­ceives not Christ, like the horsleaches daughters in Solomon, is ever crying, give, give, and can never have enough: The fulnesse of the world without Christ is but a dry bone without marrow, an empty pit without water, a barren tree without fruit, like that in the Gospell which had leafe but no fruit, promising much to him that beholds it afarre [Page 40] off, but ministring no satisfaction to them that draw neare unto it; emptinesse ever attends their greatest possessions who are strangers to Christ Iesus; the soule is a vessell of that largenesse that none can fill it but Christ, in whom is all fulnesse; the barren eares in Pharaohs dreame eat up the full, and the leane kine eat up the fat; and when they had ea­ten them up, it n could not be knowne they had eaten them; but they were still ill-favoured. Man that stayes upon the creature, and comes not to Christ, that entertaines the creature and not Christ, eats up the full and fat of the earth, and yet it cannot be knowne that he hath eaten, his de­sires and his hunger after it, are as great as ever; he is no­thing at all filled with it, his desires grow as his pos­sessessions grow, the creature hath a power to inflame, but not to satisfie mans desire; ordinarily the greatest worldly possessors are vexed with most insatiable desires; of such the Lord saith, they shall not be satisfied, and their desire is enlarged as hell, and they can never have enough: The emptinesse of the creatures must make Christ the more pre­cious in our apprehensions. Hagar seeing the emptinesse of her bottle, came readily for water to the fountaine; the emptinesse of the creature should make us ready in com­ming unto, and cheerfull in the entertainment of Christ Iesus; the gracious and through receiving of the Lord Iesus is the only way to satisfaction and fulnesse.

2. Uncomfor­table.2. The creature to him that receives not Christ is an un­comfortable thing. The world without the Sunne is an un­comfortable dwelling; the fulnesse of the world without Christ is an unquiet possession; the waters of Marah with­out the tree were Exod. 15.25. bitter, the children of Israel could not drinke of them; the greatest rivers, the deepest flouds, and most pleasant things of earthly abundance, are very bitter and distastefull without Christ; Christ is the sweet­ner of mans earthly possession, as the honey-combe sweet­ned the Lyon unto Sampson; the man that receives not Christ is in Ioh. 20.22. straights, in perplexities, feares, doubtings, and great distractions; in the fulnesse of his sufficiency, in the plenitude and presence of his greatest worldly abundance, [Page 41] his path is a way of snares, and his bed is a bed of thornes; his abundance will not suffer him to Ecel. 5.12. sleep, that doth not repose his soule on Christ; his bread is bread of Psal. 127.2. sorrowes, that doth not feast and feed his soule upon Christ. World­ly abundance is a 1 Tim. 6.9, 10 snare entangling, an arrow piercing, a sword wounding, a tempestuous sea tossing, shaking, drow­ning them that possesse it, and possesse not Christ with it; the greater possession, the greater trouble to him that re­ceives not Christ in the Gospell; It is not the having of the creature in the house, but the having of Christ in the heart, that ministers true peace and comfort.

3. The creature to him that receives not Christ,3. Enthralling. Gloria regnorū splendida ser­vitus est. Anti­gonus Rex Ma­cedonum. Iust. 16. is an inthralling and inbondaging thing; it takes away the liberty and freedome of the soule, it fetters and imprisons it, it makes a slave and servant of it; Sampson doting upon, and inordinately applying himselfe to Dalilah, she cut off t his locks, delivered him into the hand of the Philistines, and made him their slave. Man that neglecteth Christ, that re­ceives not Christ, that is not ravished with his beauties, is so enamoured with the creature, and so gives himselfe to the creature, that the creature [...]obs him of the strength of faith, and spirituall love, and makes him a slave to him­selfe and his owne lusts, the creature ever swayes in that soule like a tyrant, where Christ is not; he that refuseth to be Christs Subject, makes himselfe the creatures slave; therefore are they termed the Mat. 6.24. servants of Mammon, for their alienation from Christ and spirituall freedome, for their subjection and slavery under the world, and they are said to Rom. 16.18. serve their owne belly and not Christ. Most misera­ble and wretched is the soules bondage, which receives not the Lord Iesus.

4. The creature to him that receives not Christ,4. Polluting. is a pol­luting and defiling thing, it makes the soule a very sinke, and cage of uncleannesse, a very den and dungeon of filthinesse; as the Temple before Christ entred into it, was made a den of theeves. Exclude the housewife out of the house, and all the residue of goers and commers, and implements brought into the house make a foule house; exclude Christ out of [Page 42] the house of the soule, and their going, and comming, and travell of the creature will quickly make a very uncleane and filthy soule;Gen. 34 2. La [...]ro spiritu­alium honorum Basil. Dinah went out from her fathers house to see the daughters of the land, and Shechem tooke her and defiled her; Man steps aside, goes out from Christ, neg­lects and leaves Christ, abides not close with Christ, but sets his eye, his thought, his heart upon the creature, and the creature takes him, ensnares him, and shamefully defiles him; it defiles his understanding with errour, dust blinds the eye of the body, the creature, the dust of the world duls and blinds the eye of the mind: The love of 1 Tim 6 10. money (saith Paul) is the root of all evill, Isa. 59.7. which while some have co­veted after, they have erred from the faith: It defiles his thought, his thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, wasting and destruction, thoughts of injustice and oppression, thoughts of fraud and treason,Psal 10.6. thoughts of pride and selfe-admiration, thoughts of carnall confidence, and fleshly contentments; it defiles the heart of man with covetousnesse: Thine eyes and thy heart (saith the Lord to Jehoiakim) are not but for thy covetousnesse, and for to shed innocent bloud, and for oppres­sion, and for violence to doe it; it defiles the affections with idolatry, and with spirituall fornication and adultery: the covetous man is an idolater (saith Saint Paul) and the adul­terers and adulteresses (saith Saint Iames to such as embrace not Christ, but the creature) know you not that the love of the world is enmity with God, Fallax suavi­tas, & infru­ctuosus labor, & perpetuus timor, & peri­culosa sublimi­tas: initium sine providentia fi­nis cum paeni­tentia. Aug. and that he that is a friend to the world is an enemy to God. The world fils that mans soule with most shamefull uncleannesse, that embraceth not the Lord Iesus; therefore as Hagar seeing the emptinesse of her bottle, came readily to the fountaine; as the mariner feeling the tempest and troublesomnesse of the seas, comes willingly to the haven; as the Israelites feeling the cru­elty of Pharaohs task-masters, and the insupportablenesse of his burthens, willingly embraced Moses; and as the diseased woman feeling the loathsomnesse of her bloudy issue, and ha­ving experience of the vanity of all Physitians came gladly unto Christ: so we seeing the emptinesse, feeling the un­comfortablenesse, and knowing the inthralling and defi­ling [Page 43] nature of the creature without Christ, let us readily, willingly, joyfully, and thankfully receive and embrace Christ, that our soules may be freed, sanctified, and filled with all saving graces, and heavenly comforts. Experience of the vanity, trouble, bondage, and evils which attend the naked having of the creatures, should marvellously endeare unto us the Lord Iesus, and make his comming in the Gospell surpassingly sweet and welcome.

2. Let us throughly view and consider the state of man with­out Christ: Man not receiving Christ in the Gospell,2 Throgh view of mans estate without Christ hath no spirituall life, but is dead in sinnes, as the body is dead without the soule; he hath no saving knowledge, but is in spirituall blindnesse, as he that is without the Sunne is in darknesse; he hath no heavenly gift or grace, but is empty of all the fruits of the Spirit, as the branch which is sepa­rated from the vine, hath neither juice nor fruit; he hath no Christian liberty, or freedome, but is a bondman to sin, Satan, and the world, as Peter lay in Herods prison, in fet­ters, and under the custody of the souldiers before the An­gell came and freed him; he hath no interest in Gods pro­mises, but as Adam was shut out of the garden of Eden, so is man shut out of Gods Covenant,2 Cor 1.20. Gods promises are a sealed well whereof his soule drinks not; he hath no garment of righteousnesse to cover him, no jewell of grace to adorne him, no spirituall treasure to enrich him, but is poore, blind, naked, miserable, and wretched: Rev. 3 17. As the Egyp­tians were led away by the King of Assyria, prisoners, cap­tives, naked, Isa. 20.4. barefoot with their buttocks uncovered to the shame of Egypt: so man without Christ is led away by the prince of darknesse, a spirituall prisoner, and captive, his soule bare, naked, uncovered to the shame of mankind; he hath no holy and heavenly peace, but as the Disciples were tossed upon the tempest till Christ calmed the wa­ters, so is man like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose Isa 57.20. waters cast up mire and dirt, untill Christ mi­nisters comfort. Man without Christ is like a blind travel­ler that hath no guide to leade him; like a dead man in the grave, putrifying in sinne, having none to raise him; like [Page 44] an empty cisterne having no fountaine to fill him; like a bondman having no ransomer to free him, like a woman in travell, having no midwife to help her, lik a sheep in the midst of wolves, having no shepheard to conduct and defend it, and like a besieged City in the midst of many enemies, having no wall to protect it, no captaine to fight for it: Miserable is mans condition that receives not Christ in the Gospell; did man know and feele his unhappinesse with­out Christ, he would never be so regardlesse of Christ, ne­ver so carelesly let Christ passe, but would meet Christ where he commeth in his word, as the blind men went out, and stood by the high-way side where Christ was to passe, and cry after Christ as they did; as the woman of Shunem hasted to the Prophet for the raising of her dead son, and laid hold upon the Prophets feet, and would not let him goe, untill he came with her, and raised her sonne againe to life: so would man hasten unto Christ, lay hold upon Christ in the Gospell, and bring Christ home into his heart, he would be at no rest untill Christ had raised, freed, pur­ged, and comforted his dead, captived, polluted, and com­fortlesse soule: He would as joyfully entertaine Christs comming in his Gospell to free him from the power of his corruptions, as ever the Gibeonites gladly entertained Io­shuah comming to rescue them from the Amoritish Prin­ces; it is mans unsensiblenesse of the misery of his owne condition, that causeth Christs comming to bee unwel­come.

Mans appre­hension of God without Christ terrible.3. Meditate the soules apprehension of God without Christ: God, who to the soules of them that savingly embrace Christ, is looked on, rejoyced, and delighted in, as a father for his love, as a gracious King for his mercies, as a sure and sweet friend for his comforts, as a loving husband for his amiable and soule-refreshing presence, as a shield for the defence, as a rocke for the supportment, and as a full foun­taine for the satisfaction which he ministreth: This thrice blessed and gracious God is apprehended, considered and lookt upon, by him that doth not embrace Christ in the Gos­pell; as a severe Iudge to condemne him, as an enemy full [Page 45] of displeasure against him, as a man of warre bending his bow, and whetting his sword to destroy him, as a rocke ready to fall upon him, and grinde him to pouder, as a tempestuous sea, ready to swallow him, and as consuming fire, and everlasting burning, ready for ever to consume and to destroy him. Very dreadfull, and soule-amasing, and frightening is mans meditation and apprehension of God, that doth not savingly apprehend him in Christ, such a man flies from the thought of God, the voice of God, and the presence of God, as Adam fled into the thicket, as a silly sheep flies before the Lyon, a guilty malefactor be­fore the hue and cry, or a Partridge before the Hawke. This makes them cry to the hils to Rev. 6.16. cover them, and to the rocks and the mountaines to fall upon them, to hide them from the day of the Lord, and the wrath of the Lambe. God lookt upon without Christ Iesus, is the terrour of all terrours to a guilty soule, and accusing conscience. Were men truly apprehensive and sensible of the wrath of God without Christ, their soules would be at no rest untill they had as­sured interest in Christ; the fiercenesse and terrour of God against sinners, doth exceedingly endeare and sweeten the Lord Iesus to the soules of his faithfull servants, had we frequent and right consideration of the terriblenesse of God without Christ Iesus, Christs comming in the Gospell would be unspeakably joyfull.

4. Looke upon the frustration of all the Ordinances of God, 4. Frustration of Gods Ordi­nances not en­tertaining Christ. and labours of Gods Ministers by mens not receiving of Christ in the Gospell. He that doth not receive and embrace Christ preached in the Gospell, annihilates all the labour of Gods messenger; had not Rebeckah received Isaac to husband, she had frustrated all the labour of Eleazar the servant of Abraham: If we receive not Christ to husband, we fru­strate the labour of the Ministers, the Lords servants. Should not 2 Sam. 3.17. Abner have brought about Israel unto David, he had lost his labour, his communication with the Elders of Is­rael, and his speaking in the eares of Benjamin had been in vaine. Thus all our preaching, all our speaking in the cares of men is in vaine, if they be not brought about to Christ; [Page 46] if they doe not truly subject themselves to Christ, if they receive not Christ as their spirituall King; for what is the end of our preaching, but to 2 Cor. 11 2. espouse you to Christ, to worke you to the receiving and embracing of Christ, as the husband of your soules; and to present you as a chaste virgin unto Christ; besides all your hearing, all your attendance upon the word is vaine, it is all hypocrisie and vaine osten­tation if you receive not Christ. Gen. 42. Iacobs sonnes had gone to Egypt in vaine, if they had returned empty handed, and not carried home provision with them. You come to the Well in vaine, if you drinke not, if you carry home no water with you: you come to Gods house, to Gods trea­sury, to the wels of salvation in vaine, if you returne empty hearted; if you receive not, if you carry not home Christ with you in your hearts, all your labour is lost: The tem­porall curse denounced on the people by the Prophet Hag­gai, is in a spirituall sence fulfilled in such: Ye Hag. 1.6. have sowne much and bring in little, ye eat but ye have not enough, ye drinke but ye are not filled with drinke, ye cloath you but there is none warme, and he that earneth wages, earneth to put it in a broken bag with holes. Thus in this case, much is heard, much spirituall seed is sowne, but little or no fruit is rea­ped; they eat much, they heare much, but there is no spi­rituall filling, their worldly thirst is not quenched, their soule is not satisfied in Christ; there is no warmth, no love, no zeale for Christ, no burning of heart in hearing, no fervency in supplication; all that the Minister hath pro­vided and dispensed for the soules enrichment, it is all put in a broken bag with holes, it is all lost, it runnes out as fast as it is powred in; if we recive not Christ in the Gos­pell, all our hearing is worth nothing.

5. Excellency of receiving Christ. Christ received giveth 1. Life.5. Meditate upon the dignity, excellency, utility and com­fort of receiving and embracing Christ in the Gospell. 1. Christ received in the Gospell, giveth life unto the soule: Hee quickned Lazarus by his corporall voice accompanied with the power of his God-head; he quickeneth the soule by his Evangelicall voice attended with the lively operation of his Spirit, the Gospell is the externall instrument and [Page 47] meanes by which Christ liveth in the soule; therefore is the Gospell called the word of Phil. 2.16. life, revealing and effecting life in Gods chosen; Christ hath in himselfe all life, our life is hid in Christ, as the life of the branch is hidden in the roote, and he that 1 Ioh. 5.11, 1 [...]. hath the sonne hath life; hee that hath the Son in the Gospell, as in the seed of his regene­ration, as in the instrument of his conversion, as in the warlike weapon, by which are throwne downe all the strong and mighty holds of Satan, as in the Scepter, by which Christ doth sway within him, and bind, and bow his heart unto subjection; He that hath Christ in his heart by faith, and love, as a root of life living in him, as a foun­taine filling him with his fulnesse, as a King sitting up his throne within him, as a bridegroome betrothing himselfe unto him, he hath life; but he that hath not the sonne hath not life: The evill of neglecting Christ in the Gospell is no lesse then eternall death and destruction.Isa. 9.3. 2 Light. 2. Christ recei­ved in the Gospell giveth light, spirituall, heavenly, and comfortable light; the receiving of the Sunne giveth light to the body, the receiving of the Sun of Righteousnesse giveth light to the soule; he that doth not embrace Christ in the Gospell hath no light but all darknesse within him. 3. Christ received in the Gospell giveth health, 3 Health. health of soule: Here he commeth with Mal. 4.2. healing in his wings, the Angell in 1 Ioh. 5.5. Bethesda cured the bodily impotent, in the Gospell Christ cureth them that are spiritually diseased, here he openeth the eyes of the understandings which are blinded, strengthens the hand of faith which is withered, rectifies the feet of the affections which are crooked, pur­geth away the leprosie of the soule which is defiled, Christ by the Gospell as by a spirituall Iordan, works many bles­sed cures upon the soules of Gods people.4. Honour. 4. Christ recei­ved in the Gospell giveth honour. He makes them that re­ceive him in the Gospell, the Ioh. 1.1.. sonnes of God by adoption; the friends of God, by revelation of the will and mind of God unto them; heires of God for that incorruptible inheritance whereof he makes them partakers; the Lords free-men, free from the guilt and punishment of sinne, free [Page 48] from the power and dominion of sinne, free from the ty­ranny and captivity of Satan, free from the curse and ri­gour of the Law, and free to serve God with an ingenu­ous and free spirit; Kings and Priests to God, for their dignity and dominion, and for their holy and gracious con­secration unto God; high and excellent is the honour which Christ communicates to them that truly receive him in the ministery of the Gospell. 5. Christ received in the Gospell giveth riches, 5. Riches. Eph. 3.8. unsearchable riches, riches which the wit of man cannot find out, incomparable riches, to which all the riches of the earth is not to be compared, that knowledge, faith, and love, which is farre more excellent then the gold that perisheth. The poorest Lazar receiving Christ in the Gospell, is endowed with greater riches then the weal­thiest Dives in the world not embracing him. 6. Christ received in the Gospell giveth prosperity, 6. Prosperity. the Arke received into Obed-Edoms house caused all that he had to prosper. Crist received into the soule maketh the whole man pros­perous; he makes him prosper in hearing, in prayer, in meditation, in the use of all Gods Ordinances; as the tree prospers that is planted by the waters side; he makes him prosper in all his undertakings, whatsoever he doth shall pros­per, all the affaires of soule and body are made successefull and prosperous through the blessed presence of Christ Ie­sus: He makes him prosper in the inward man, making him victorious over all his corruptions, replenishing him with all heavenly fulnesse, communicating to him peace and reconciliation with God, and tranquillity of consci­ence:Ioh. 3.2. He that receives the Lord Iesus, like Joseph hath the Lord Gen. [...]9.2. with him, and is a prosperous man; Mans not em­bracing Christ Iesus exposeth him to all plagues and cur­ses, in his soule, in his body, in all his services, all bles­sing attends the holy and gracious embracement of Christ, all curses follow the prophane refusall of Christ. 7. Christ received in the Gospell sweetens and sanctifies all afflictions, 7. Sweetnesse. Exod. 15.25. the tree sweetened the waters of Marah, Christ takes away the bitternesse of affliction from the soule which beleeving­ly entertaines him, he makes them see light in darknesse, [Page 49] he sends them water out of the hard and stony rocke, he gives them honey out of the belly of Lyons, Meat out of the Eater, and sweet out of the sowre, he makes them sing in prison, he makes them glory in tribulation, he turnes the fiery furnace into a Paradise, he so takes away the evill of affliction that it doth no more harme them, then Nebu­chadnezzars fire did the three children; his affliction that enjoyes Christ in the Gospell, is more pleasant and joy­ous then the carnall mans peace that shuts his heart against Christ, peace without Christ is full of trouble, trouble with Christ is full of consolation.8. Comfort. 8. Christ received in the Gos­pell giveth comfort, holy, sweet, and sure comfort. In the Arke was the pot of Manna, in Christ is the treasure of all true comfort. Christ in the Gospell makes a feast for his faithfull receivers, a feast of Isa. 25.6. fat things, of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well re­fined: Of all comforts such have most fulnesse and sweet­nesse as are ministred by Christ Jesus, all others like Iobs friends prove miserable Comforters, if Christ doth not com­fort us; Christ received in the Gospell comforteth the soules of his servants, as a nurse her children feeding them, as a Physitian his patients healing them, as a mercifull King his delinquent, and humbled subjects, pardoning them, as a teacher his schollers, filling them with heavenly wisedome, as a Bridegroome his Bride, speaking graciously to them, making them sensible of his love towards them, repleni­shing them with strong Heb. 6.15. 2. Thes. 2.16. and everlasting consolation; his estate is of all mens the most joyfull, who hath the most full and sweet enjoyment of Christ in the Gospell. Per­plexities, distractions, and convulsions of soule and consci­ence are infallible attendants of the neglect and refusall of Christ Iesus, he that shuts his eyes against the Sun abides in darknesse, he that shuts his heart against Christ abides in heavinesse.9. Satisfaction. 9. Christ received in the Gospell giveth sa­tisfaction: The Sunne satisfieth the eye with light, the fountaine satisfieth the thirsty with water, the pearle sa­tisfied the Merchant in the parable with treasure, Christ in the Gospell satisfieth the soule with wisedome in the under­standing, [Page 50] with holy and sweet meditations in the mind, with the sence of his love in the heart, with the treasure of spirituall gifts in the affections, with sure and blessed peace in the conscience. He that rightly possesseth Christ in the Gospell, may say as Iacob did, I have enough. Christ in the Gospell is a living spring, he that drinks of him shall thirst no more: He is an al-sufficient portion to them that enjoy him; he that seeks contentation with the neg­lect of Christ in his Gospell, seekes for water to quench his thirst in a broken cesterne: The soule is restlesse, and never truly contented untill Christ is enjoyed; the house without the husband seemes an empty place to the wife; the world without Christ proves an empty thing to the soule.10. Abiding substance. 10. Christ received in the Gospell is an abiding sub­stance to the soule, he is an Isa. 9.6. everlasting father, he will ne­ver forget us, he is a husband Hos 2.19. for ever, he will never cease to love us, he is a faithfull friend loving Ioh. 13.1. Rom. 11.19. Ioh. 3.9. Ioh.4.14. at all times; his love is a Sunne that knowes no setting, his gifts are t with­out repentance, his grace an immortall seed that never dyes, a well-spring springing up to life everlasting: All that is without Christ is full of vanity and changes, only Christ is a possession of everlasting continuance, the meditation of all which should sweetly allure and draw us, graciously dis­pose and frame us, and mightily perswade, and move us to give Christ a joyfull welcom comming to us in his Gos­pell.

6. Fastening thoughts upon brevity of life6. Fastening our frequent and most serious thoughts upon the brevity and vanity of the life of man. Man hath no abiding City here, he flourisheth like Ionahs gourd in an evening, and is smitten and withered in the morning; Death like the waters of the red sea drownes all, onely Christ makes a safe passage through death, for his Israel, for all that re­ceive him; the Arke divided Iordan, and Israel went dry, and safe over to Canaan; Christ makes a ready way for all that beleevingly entertaine him, through the horrours of death, to the heavenly kingdome; death like the deluge spares none, as Noah therefore betooke himselfe to the Arke, and was preserved, so let us betake our selves to Christ, [Page 51] that we may be preserved from the second death; all they who were out of the Arke perished in the waters, all they that are out of Christ will perish in the deluge of Gods vengeance, the Lord Jesus is the soules onely refuge and deliverance. Exod 9.19. Behold (saith the Lord by Moses in ano­ther case) to morrow about this time, I will cause it to raine a very grievous hayle such as hath not been in Egypt from the foundation thereof untill now. Send therefore now and ga­ther thy cattell, and all that thou hast in the field, for upon every man and beast that shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hayle shall come downe upon them and 10 they shall dye: He that feared the word of the Lord among them made his servants and his cattell flee into the houses, and he 21 that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattell in the field, and they were all smitten and died. Thus in this case behold to morrow, ere long, very shortly, the Lord will cause a mighty raine, he will raine downe snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest, send therefore now and gather your soules, your selves, your friends, husbands, wives, children, servants, kindred, and neighbours unto Christ, get yee interest in Christ, hide your selves by faith, and love in Christ, for upon every soule of man that shall not be found in Christ, upon every parent and childe, husband and wife, master and servant, young and old, bond and free, that shall not be brought home to Christ, the haile, fire, and brimstone of Gods wrath shall come downe upon them, and they shall dye, both the first, and the se­cond death; and now I know that he that feares the word of the Lord among you, will flee to Christ, give all dili­gence to receive and entertaine Christ, to get a sure and blessed interest in Christ; but he that regards not the word of the Lord will stay in the field, abide in the service, way, and practise of the prophane world, and be for ever destroyed, for there is no salvation out of Christ; He is the re­surrection and the life, and our life is hid with him in God; therefore let us say with Augustine, let all these things perish, let us let passe all these vaine, and empty things, and let us betake our selves to the onely inquisition of those [Page 52] things which have no end, let us betake our selves to Christ who is the same, yesterday, to day, and for ever; He like Noahs Dove will bring us an Olive branch of peace, when all the comforts of the creature are drowned; he will stand by us, and defend us as Shamma, one of Da­vids worthies stood, and defended the field when all the residue fled from it. When all worldly staffes, and stayes, pillars and supporters, leave us and stay behind us, then as Isaac went up to the Mount with Abraham, so will Christ goe up with us, and present us with acceptance, with great joy and gladnesse in God his fathers presence; and let the remembrance and thought of these things swee­ten and make exceedingly joyous Christs comming among us.


Christs welcōe manifested.ANd let us declare and manifest the truth of Christs welcome, and our joy at Christs comming by our prepared, humble, and hearty receiving of Christ, according to the charge of the Psalmist, Let us Psa. 24.7. By opening and elevating the heart. lift up the gates and doores of our hearts from the creature, and all things here below, let us remove the bolts and bars of infidelity, obstinacy, pride, security, and selfe-love; and let us by faith, love, repen­tance, and humble obedience, open the doors of our hearts, that Christ the King of glory may come in. As the Mat. 9.24. Min­strels, and other people, were put forth out of the Rulers house, and Christ received, that his dead daughter might be raised to life. Thus let us put out of the doores of our hearts, all carnall joyes, and fleshly lusts, that Christ may enter into, and minister the life of grace to our soules; let all give place to Christ, that Christ may have the full possession of us, and worke effectually within us. 2 Let [Page 53] it appeare that Christ is welcome by our garnishing our hearts with all spirituall ornaments, sutable,2. By garni­shing the heart and fit for the entertaining of Christ, putting our hearts into such a gra­cious frame and temper, that Christ may take pleasure in us: The gate of the Tabernacle was very costly and glo­rious, having a hanging made for it Exod 26.36, 37. of blew, purple, skar­let, and fine twined linnen wrought with needle-worke, the pil­lars for the hangings being overlaid with gold, and their hookes of gold, to shadow out, and signifie the making glorious of the hearts of Gods elect by faith, and other gifts of the Spirit, to entertaine Christ the glorious King.3. By offering our selves to Christ. 3. Make Christs welcome apparant, by offering your selves to Christ; the wise men rejoyced in Christs comming, and they fell downe and worshipped him, opened their treasures, and Mat. 2.10, 11. presented to him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Thus let us rejoyce in Christ comming in the Gospell, fall downe before him, make the whole man vaile and stoop to Christ, and to him let us offer the gold of a pure heart, the frankincense of holy and humble prayer, and the myrrh of patient suffering, and bearing Christs crosse to him, let us yeeld our Rom. 12.1. bodies, soules, and all our substance, as a holy and acceptable sacrifice.4. By exalting Christ 4. Manifest every man Christs welcome by exalting Christ above every thing in your heart, doe not set him as Jesse did David 1 Sam. 16.1 [...]. behinde the ewes, but set him as Pharaoh did Joseph, above all his Nobles, and over all his land; allow him universall and absolute jurisdiction over the whole man, cut off whatsoever doth rebell against him.5 By Love. Faith confor­mity and ac­quiescence. 5. Declare Christs welcome by your love to him, as to the bridegroome of your soules, by your faith and dependance upon him, as upon your onely rocke, and sure foundation, by your full and through-conforming your selves to his statutes and testimonies, as to that which is the light of your feet, the lanthorne of your paths, and the delight of your soules, and by a holy and gracious ac­quiescence in Christ, as in the Counsellor in whom is all wisedome to direct; as in the King, in whom is all au­thority to command; as in the rocke, in whom is all strength to support; as in the fountaine, in whom is all [Page 54] fulnesse to satisfie us, Christ will not be pleased with a ver­ball, he will have a reall entertainment; with Judas to kisse Christ with our lips, outwardly to give him faire words, and secretly to nourish treason and rebellion in our hearts against him, is a cursed welcome. With Joab to salute Christ with one hand, and stab him with another hand, as Joab at once saluted and slew Abner, to salute Christ by an outward and open profession, and to stab him by a corrupt and dissolute conversation is very unseemly, shamefull, and dishonourable for any Christian. Let there­fore our spirituall, universall, cheerfull and constant subje­ction unto Christ declare the truth and joy of Christs wel­come unto us.

Want of joyful receiving Christ shewes, 1 Want of knowledge.If we rejoyce not in Christ, if Christ comming in the Gospell be not welcome, Where is our knowledge of Christ if we rejoyce not in Christ comming in the Gospell; the blind eye hath no joy in the Sunne, but to the seeing eye the light is sweet, and It is a pleasant thing to behold the Sunne; to the ignorant Christ is nothing joyfull, but to them that have the eyes of their understanding opened, Christ is very pleasant, he is in their eye the fairest of ten thousand, Prov. 2.10. to them the knowledge of Christ is pleasant, to him that knowes the Wisedome of Christ shining into his heart, and making him wise unto salvation, to him that knowes the death of Christ, mortifying his lusts and cor­rupt affections, the resurrection of Christ spiritually re­viving and quickning him, to him that knowes the righ­teosnesse of Christs cloathing, and justifying him, to him that knowes the blessed presence of Christ encouraging him, to him that knowes the Al-sufficiency of Christ satisfying him, to him that knowes the gracious dispensation of Christ, ministring the sence of his love and peace to him; to that man Christ is welcome in the Gospell. Mans ignorance deprives him of all Christs comforts.

2. Want of Love.2. Where is our love to Christ, if Christ be not welcome? David loved Jonathan, and Jonathan was very pleasant to him. Old Jacob loved Joseph, and his spirit revived when he saw the waggons which Joseph had sent, he was very [Page 55] glad that Joseph was alive, I will goe (saith he) and see him before I dye: Christ is very pleasant to him that loves him, it is a reviving of heart to such a man to heare of Christ, he will surely goe, and see Christ in the Gospell; Love to Christ, and joy in Christ are inseparable compa­nions, in all the Friends of Christ, David was a man of love to God, a man of sweet and strong affections: He useth many feeling and lively expressions hereof, and his joy was sutable to his love; he was Psal 122.1. glad to goe up to the house of the Lord, he rejoyced in praysing God, Psal 71.23. My lips shall greatly reioyce when I sing unto thee: He rejoyced in visiting the house of God, he went to the house of God with the Psal. 42.4. voice of ioy and praise, with the multitude that kept holy day; He rejoyced in the understanding, medi­tation, and service of God; he rejoyced in the Way of Gods testimonies as much as in all riches. Psal 119.14. He is no friend of Christ that doth not rejoyce in Christ; he is no lover, that is not a joyfull receiver of Christ in the Gospell: His pretence and profession of love is not reall, but counterfeit and hy­pocriticall. How canst thou say thou lovest me (said Dalilah once to Sampson) Iudg. 16.15. when thy heart is not with me. Thus how can man say he loves Christ, when his heart, the joy and delight of his heart is not with Christ; how is it pos­sible man can love Christ, and yet Christ be unwelcome; Christs unwelcomnesse to man in his Gospell, pro­claimes the enmity of mans heart against him.

Where is our faith in Christ, if Christ be not welcome?3. Want of f [...]ith. doe we chuse and single out Christ to our selves, to be our Mediatour and Saviour? Doe we build on Christ as on a sure rocke? Doe we apprehend and take Christ by the hand of faith into a spirituall wedl [...]cke, as the husband of our soules? Doe we make Christ our treasure, our crowne, our royall roabe of righteousnesse? Doe we by the bucket of faith draw waters of salvation out of Christ, as out of a living fountaine? and yet not rejoyce in Christ, not bid him joyfully welcome, it is impossible: A beleeving ap­prehension is comfortable, an unbeleeving apprehension ministers no rejoycing. It is recorded of Jacob, that his sons [Page 56] telling him Joseph is yet alive, and he is Governour over all the land of Egypt. Jacobs heart fainted, for he belee­ved them not, afterwards beleeving, he much rejoyced; but now, not beleeving, his heart fainted. Thus man hearing of Christs life and kingdome, hearing him preached in the Gospell, as the Author of life, and King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, hearing great and glorious things spoken of Christ, and his heart fainting, his soule sad, dull, trou­bled, and not solaced with it, that man beleeves not, for the soule is filled with all ioy in beleeving.

4 Want of pri­cing Christ.Where is our pricing of Christ? He that doth not re­joyce in Christ comming in the Gospell, hath a very low esteeme of Christ: The Spouse had a high esteeme of Christ surpassing all creatures, and her soule was ravished with love to him, and with joy in him: The Merchant in the parable prized the pearle above all that he had, and as he highly prized it, so he was glad when he found it: Did we prize Christ as the hungry prizeth food, the sicke health, the captive liberty, the rich his treasure, the King his crowne; we could not but rejoyce in Christs com­ming as people in a famine rejoyce in the comming of the harvest, sicke men in restoration of health, captives in a Ju­bilee, and the rich in his treasure; the true valuing of Christ makes his comming in the Gospell matter of more rejoycing, then the comming of all the fulnesse of the world.

5. Want of re­lishing Christ.Where is our taste and rellish, our sence and feeling of Christ, if we rejoyce not in Christ comming in the Gos­pell; the taste of wine rejoyceth the thirsty, the taste of meat rejoyceth the hungry: He that hath no joy in Christ, hath no taste of Christ; Christ is not unto him as Isaacks venison was to him, Gen. 27.4. savoury meat which his soule loved. The things of God are unsavoury unto such; but the soule which doth rellish Christ, which tasteth how good Christ is, doth abundantly rejoyce in Christ; to him Christs Cant. 1.3. good oynt­ments, his saving gifts and graces, are savory,; are tasted, perceived, felt, like good oyntments, with great joy and re­vivement of heart; and his name is as an oyntment powred [Page 57] forth, the doctrine of his grace, the name of his wisedome, in opening his fathers counsell; the name of his merit in purchasing mans salvation; the name of his mercy, in par­doning mans sinne; the name of his righteousnesse in justi­fying mans soule; the name of his love in embracing and so­lacing mans heart; this is an oyntment powred out, this in the preaching of the Gospell casteth a sweet savour, as oynt­ment doth in the powring forth, as the breaking of the boxe of oyntment in the Gospell, and powring it upon Christs head, filled the house with the Mar. 14.3. Ioh. 12.3. savour thereof: so the ope­ning of Christ in the Gospell, giveth a sweet savour to the hearts of all Christians. The true receivers of Christ find a very sweet, and blessed, a very gracious and soule-refreshing taste in Christ.

And as we professe our selves to be schollers in Christs schoole, servants in Christs family, members in Christs body,Ioy in Christs comming per­swaded. subjects, friends, and Spouse of Christ; so let us rejoyce in the comming of Christ, in his Gospell, as a traveller rejoyceth in the comming of the Sunne to guide him, as the subject re­joyceth in the comming of the King to honour him, as the captive rejoyceth in the comming of the ransomer to free him, as the sicke rejoyceth in the comming of the Physitian to cure him, as the childe rejoyceth in the comming of the nurse to feed him, and as the bride rejoyceth in the comming of the bridegroome to marry her: In him let us rejoyce as in the Sun enlightening us, as in the friend solacing us, as in the shield defending us, as in the King honouring us, as in the treasure enriching us, as in the jewell adorning us, as in the fountaine filling us, and as in the paradise of our most choise and everlasting pleasures; and in the joy of our soules let us say, Blessed be he that commeth in the name of the Lord.


DAvid did not onely rejoyce in the Arke, and dance before it in testimony of his joy, but did also erect and set it up in the 2 Sam 16.17. midst of the Tabernacle: Every man that doth indeed rejoyce in Christ, every man to whom Christ is truly welcome, doth desire and endeavour the ex­altation of Christ, the setting up of Christs kingdome, the welfare of Christ and his Gospell; therefore the people here say,Welfare and exaltation of Christ and his kingdome de­sired. Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord; not only by way of exaltation and rejoycing in Christs com­ming, but also by way of exoptation and wel-wishing, hear­tily desiring the welfare and prosperity of Christ, his king­dome, and Gospell, Blessed be he; furnished be he, with the greatest and choisest wisedome, righteousnesse, prudence, mercy, power, fortitude, and courage for the administra­tion of his kingdome and people; successefull be he, in the promulgation and preaching of his Gospell, in the guberna­tion of his Church and children, in the dissipation of all ad­versary powers; victorious be he in the subjugation and conquest of his enemies; glorious be he in the conversion of sinners, in the multiplication and increase of his holy and loyall subjects; beautifull and amiable be he, in the eyes of all persons; Let his Gospell shine like the Sun from the one end of heaven unto the other; Let his name be as an oyntment powred out, casting a sweet smell throughout this great house of the world; to him let all the Kings and kingdomes of the earth vaile and stoop, become truly obedient and subject. This is the prayer, desire, and endea­vour of all that rejoyce in Christ aright, teaching us, That,

Doct. It is the duty of all people unfainedly to desire, and earnestly [Page 59] to endeavour the welfare, promotion, and advancement of Christ, his spirituall kingdome and Gospell. David and 2 Sa [...]. 6.15. all the house of Israel joyned together in erecting and setting up the Arke in the Tabernacle, Kings and Subjects, Masters and ser­vants, parents and children, the people of every calling and condition should unite their forces, their hearts and hands, their counsels and tongues, their affections and endeavours to set up Christ, to advance his Gospell, to honour and en­large his kingdome: This was shadowed in the building of the Temple; to the building thereof concurred Solo­mon and his servants Hyram of Tyrus, and the Sydonians,1 King. 6. who did hew the timber for it; to the building of the Church of Christ, to the setting up of Christ and his Gos­pell, there should be an universall, unanimous, full and sweet concurrence of men of all nations, of Kings and sub­jects, of Lords and servants, of Ministers and people, every man in the place and calling wherein God hath set him, according to the gift and endowment which God hath bestowed on him, must concurre in his prayers and endeavours, to advance the honour and kingdome of Christ Jesus. This was also figured in the neighbouring Kings payment of tribute unto Solomon, desiring his friend­ship, and by variety of gifts and presents making their peace with him. All people comming from all the Kings of the earth to heare his wisedome; the whole as in a sha­dow, presignifying mens payment of the spirituall tribute, of feare and reverence, faith and obedience, love and thank­fulnesse unto Christ; their entring into a Covenant of peace with Christ, their seeking of the love and friendship of Christ, their attendance upon the Gospell to heare and learne Christs wisedome, their dedication of themselves and their substance to the service of Christ, their spirituall subjection unto Christ, and their holy and gracious endea­vours to make the name of Christ glorious. This was fore­told by the Psalmist, Psal. 72, 9. they that dwell in the wildernesse shall bow before him, and his enemies shall licke the dust, they shall humble themselves under the mighty hand of Christ, they shall acknowledge and receive him as their Lord, they [Page 60] shall feare and reverence him as their King, they shall vaile and bow to his scepter, they shall put themselves and all that is theirs under Christ, they shall give themselves to 10 the exaltation and setting up of Christ: The Kings of Thar­sis and of the Isles shall bring presents, the Kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts; they shall consecrate their abilities to Christs service, they shall communicate of their sub­stance to the maintenanne of Christs Church and Mini­sters, to the preservation and increase of Christs kingdome. 11 All Kings shall fall downe before him, all nations shall serve him. All shall adore and serve him as their King, all shall exalt and honour him, as loyall subjects their heavenly So­veraigne; all persons from the highest to the lowest must serve the Lord Jesus, and study to make him glorious; grace works obedience in the hearts of Princes, as well as in the hearts of beggars: The Sun as well as the stars did obeysance unto Joseph in his vision; Kings as well as inferiour persons, doe ob [...]ance unto Christ under his king­dome and Gospell.Rev 4.10. The foure and twenty Elders in Saint Johns vision, fell downe before him that sate on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crownes before the throne. Godly Kings and Governours cast their crownes, their dominion, dignity, power, honour, and ju­risdiction, and all that they have before Christ, they make all serviceable to the exaltation of Christ and his king­dome. This was like prophecyed by the Prophet Esay, the Isa. 60.5. abundance of the sea; multitudes of men dwelling in Islands, shall be converted unto thee, shall be gathered unto the Church and kingdome of Christ, and the forces, great troupes and companies of the Gentiles shall come to thee, shall be joyned to the people of God, embrace their Re­ligion, and enter into a sweet and gracious fellowship with 6 them: They shall bring gold and incense, they shall contri­bute liberally to the maintenance of the Gospell, and Christs poore members, they shall dedicate their earthly abundance to Christs service, and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord, they shall be very industrious and studious to make 10 the name of the Lord Jesus glorious. The sonnes of stran­gers [Page 61] shall build up thy wals, become members in thy house, and fellow-helpers in thy worke, and their Kings shall mi­nister 13 unto thee, shall serve Christ and labour the welfare of his Church and kingdome. The glory of Lebanon shall come to thee, there is nothing so excellent which shall not put it selfe under Christ, and be made serviceable to his Gospell and kingdome; and thus our Saviour taught his Disciples to pray, that Gods kingdome might Mat. 6.10. come, that the Gospell might be preached, and men filled with the light thereof, As the aire is filled with light upon the com­ming of the Sunne; that the Holy-Ghost might be powred out, and the hearts of men inspired with the knowledge, love and obedience of the truth; that all the lusts of men, the impediments of Gods gracious kingdome in the soule of man might be crucified, and utterly extinct; and that God might universally, spiritually, and fully reigne in the hearts of men, all the weapons of their rebellion laid aside, and their soules brought into a gracious subjection; and it is the Apostles charge, pray that the word of the Lord may 2 Thess. 3.1. run, have a free and a speedie passage, running as the Sun, shining to all the corners of the world, and running as the rivers, to water the earth, and be glorified by the pure and powerfull preaching of it, by the holy and gracious working of it, by the ready and cheerfull entertainment of it, and by the holy and humble subjection of the soules of men under it: Mans obedience makes the word very glorious, and the free and speedy passage, and power­full working of the Gospell, should be earnestly prayed for by the Lords people; this is the charet on which Christ rideth in spirituall triumph; this is the scepter by which he swayeth in the soules of his chosen, and the welfare of this doe all the friends and welwishers of Christ much de­sire, and with great earnestnesse endeavour, Psal. 45.3. gird thy sword upon thy thigh (saith the Psalmist in the person of the faith­full unto Christ) O most mighty, shew thy selfe in thy word and Gospell like a mighty man of warre, fully armed, to mortifie the lusts, to humble the soules, and to bring into subjection all the thoughts of thy servants, and doe this [Page 62] 4 in thy glory and in thy maiesty, make thy selfe appeare dread­full, and glorious, by the powerfull and gracious effects of thy Gospell, and in thy majesty ride upon the word of truth, the Gospell of salvation, prosperously.: Be thou suc­cessefull in the preaching of the Gospell, for the speedy and universall manifestation of it to all people, for the profli­gating and putting to flight of all false doctrines and cor­rupt worship, as the Sunne doth dispell the clouds, and Aarons rod devoured the Magitians serpents; for the reclai­ming and gathering home the soules of men, as the shep­heard gathereth home the sheep by his voice; for the hea­ling of the diseased soules of men, as Bethesda healed the diseased bodies; for the setting up of thy throne in their hearts to raigne and rule within them, as a King reigneth in his Throne. Christs blessed successe in the ministery of the Gospell, is both the wish and prayer, joy and labour of all that love him. He is a very stranger to Christs king­dome that seekes not Christs exaltation. The true mem­bers of Christ preferre the welfare of Christs Church, king­dome, and Gospell, above the welfare of their owne estate and person. As the arme lifteth up it selfe to receive the blow, rather then it shall fall upon the head; such as clear­ly discerne and truly taste Christ in the Gospell, are very solicitous to uphold Christs kingdome, and propagate his Gospell: Psal. 122.9. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seeke thy good, saith David to Jerusalem, because the do­ctrine of salvation is there published, the worship of God there erected, and God there manifested and made knowne: I will seeke thy good, I will endeavour thy safety, I will doe what in me lies to uphold the doctrine there taught, and the worship there established: I will seeke the good thereof by prayer and supplication, by advice and counsell, by communicating whatsoever is behoofull, either for the supportation, honour, or comfort of it. A good man will not willingly keep backe any thing which may tend to the advancement of Christ,1. Grounds of this truth. his Gospell, and kingdome; and thus it ought to be.

1. Covenant.1. In regard of the Covenant between us and Christ, [Page 63] we are baptized into the Mat 28.19. name of Christ; into the faith of Christ, to beleeve in him as the authour of our salva­tion; into the religion of Christ, to adore and worship him as our spirituall and heavenly Soveraigne; into the doctrine of Christ, to learne him as the truth is in him, to heare him as the great Prophet and Doctor of his Church; into the profession of Christ, openly declaring our hope and ex­pectation of salvation by Christ, our subjection under Christ, and our dependance upon Christ; into the service of Christ, being dedicate and set apart by Baptisme unto Christ, as his peculiar people, to adore and serve him, to honour and exalt him; and into the death of Christ, receiving Bap­tisme as a testimony of mortification, and as an instrument of the Holy-Ghost, for the extinguishing and killing of sinne by the death, and for the quickning of our soules by the resurrection of Christ, to the end that we who live should live no more unto our selves but unto Christ: This is the tenour of the Covenant which the Lord himselfe ut­tered by the mouth of the Prophet, I Ier. 37.39. will be their God. I will be their King to command them, their counsellor to guide them, their shield to defend them, their Saviour to minister salvation to them, their father to make provision for them, to communicate the sence of my love unto them, and their portion to satisfie them; and they shall be my people, the schollers of my schoole to learne my will, the subjects of my kingdome to honour and exalt me, the servants of my family to obey and serve me, and the bride of my delight to love me, and to bring forth fruit to me. By vertue of the Covenant between us and Christ, our names are given unto Christ, as souldiers to their Cap­taine, to fight for Christ; as subjects to their Soveraigne, to exalt and magnifie the name of Christ, to labour the welfare and honour of the kingdome of Christ. Abner en­tring into Covenant with David, 2 Sam. 3. went forth to bring about all Israel unto David, to exalt and set up David, and to increase the kingdome of David. Thus man being en­tred into Covenant with Christ must bring himselfe, and all that is his, and all other people, so much as in him [Page 64] lies into subjection unto Christ, he must to the utmost of his power, labour the exaltation of Christ and his kingdome: such men are very regardlesse of their holy covenant and sacred promise, as labour not the exaltation of Christs king­dome and Gosple.

2. Relation.2. In regard of the Relation betwixt us and Christ. Christ is the King and we the Subjects; Christ is the Lord and we the Servants; Christ is the Head and wee the mem­bers: Christ is the Bridegroome and we the Bride; true Subjects endeavour the honour of their King and King­dome. Sauls Subjects would put to 1 Sam. 11.12 death all them who would not have Saul to reigne over them. Davids Sub­jects preferred him above themselvs, endeavoured his 2 Sam. 18.3. safe­ty, put themselves in hazard to safegard him, accounted him worth ten thousand of themselves; the members sup­port and beare up the head, imploy all their strength in the defence and honour of the head; good servants labour their Masters honour and welfare; Thy servants said Davids men to him, 2 Sam. 15.15 are ready to doe whatsoever my Lord the King shall appoint, and the Centurian could say of his ser­vant, Doe this and he doth it: And the faithfull Spouse brings forth children to her husband, she was a fruitefull Ʋine by the sides of his house, and her children like Olive plants round about his Table, a great honour, a crowne as Salomon saith to her husband: thus must we by vertue of that Relation which is betwixt us and Christ, as loyall subjects mortifie and put to death, whatsoever doth in us oppose Christs honour and dominion, exalt Christ and his Gosple above our selves, our ease, profit, or credit; ex­pose our selves to all difficulties, dangers and inconvenien­ces amongst men, for the magnifying of Christs name, and the welfare of Christs Gosple; as good servants be ready to doe whatsoever Christ shall appoint us for the making of him glorious; as true and living members of Christs my­sticall body, we must put our selves under Christ, beare up Christ and make him conspicuous in the eyes of others, and like a chaste Spouse bring forth all our fruite unto Christ, endeavouring to the utmost of our power the welfare [Page 65] of Christs kingdome and Gospell. Such men are altogether unmindfull of their relation unto Christ, who desire not, who labour not the prosperity of the Gospell and kingdome of Christ.

3. In regard of Christs interest in us.3. Christs inte­rest in us. We are not our owne, but Christs, as sometimes the King of Syria said to the King of Israel, thy silver and thy gold is 1 King 20.3, 4 mine, thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest are mine. Thus may Christ say to us, thy body and thy soule, thy wife and thy children, thy gold and thy silver, thy lands and thy livings, and whatsoeuer thou hast is mine; and we must answer as the King of Israel did, My Lord, O King, I am thine, and all that I have. This the Lord claimeth by the mouth of the Prophet: Now thus saith the Lord that created thee O Jacob, and that formed thee O Israel, I have redee­med thee, I have called thee by thy name, Isa. 43.1. thou art mine, my chosen vessell, my redeemer, and sanctified one, my childe, my servant, my jewell, and the Lords Deut. 32 9. portion (saith Moses) is his people, Jacob is the Lot of his inheritance; He hath separated and taken us unto himselfe, to be his pecu­liar people, whom he loves, in whom he delights, and to whom we must bring forth all our fruit, and be unto him whatsoever we are, as a portion or inheritance, is all that it is to him that ownes it; and Christs we are in­deed, by Ioh. 17.7. donation. We are given unto him from eternity in the decree of Gods election; by redemption, he hath bought us with a price; by vocation he called us out of darknesse into a marvellous light, and hath made us a peculiar people to himselfe, and also by way of spirituall Conjunction and wedlocke. We are espoused unto Christ, and are stiled Rev. 19.8. his wife. And as we are Christs, so we must be for Christ, so we must seeke the prosperity of Christs kingdome, and advancement of his Gospell: 1 Chr. 12.8. Thine are we O David, and on thy side, thou sonne of Jesse, said Amasai to David, peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be unto thine helpers. Thus must we say unto Christ, thine are we O Christ, and on thy side O Sonne of God, peace, peace, all welfare and prospe­rity be to thee, and thy kingdome, successefull be the la­bours [Page 66] and undertakings of all them that are thy ministeriall and underhelpers. This is urged as a fruit and effect of Christs interest in us. 1 Cor. 6.20. We are bought (saith the Apostle) with a price, therefore let us glorifie God in our bodies and in our spirits; and againe Christ hath died, that wee who live,2 Cor. 5.15. should not henceforth live unto our selves, but to him who died for us, and rose againe. That man doth not well consider Christs interest in him, who puts not him­selfe and all that is his upon Christs service. He is doubt­lesse a stranger to the efficacy and fruit of the worke of Christs redemption, who doth not throughly apply him­selfe to the setting up of Christ and his Gospell.

4. Subversion of Satan.4. In regard of the Subversion of Satan and his king­dome. The setting up of the Arke was the fall of Dagon; the setting up of the house of David was the overthrow of the house of Saul; the setting up of Christ, his King­dome, and Gospell, is the overthrow of Satan. Where the Gospell is preached, and Christ set up, Satan fals like Luk. 10.18. light­ning from heaven, his holds of sin are overturned, like the wals of Jericho at the blowing of the rammes hornes. There is no competition between the Devils kingdome, and the powerfull preaching of the Gospell. When David was once set upon the throne all Israel by degrees came about, left the house of Saul, and bowed unto Davids scep­ter: When Christ is set upon his Throne, exalted and lif­ted up in the preaching▪ of the Gospell, all that are or­dained unto life come about and stoop to Christ, they leave the service of sinne, Satan, and the world, and vaile to Christs scepter, they Act. 26.18. Acts [...]. turne from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. When Philip preached in Sa­maria, the Devils went out of many that were possessed by them: The Lord hath ordained the ministery of the Gospell to be the instrument and meanes of the ruine of Satans kingdome; and for this cause we should come our selves to Christ, and labour the welfare and increase of Christs Kingdome, that Satan the grand adversary of our soules, of our peace, of our salvation, may be overthrowne and troden under Rev. 16.20. foot, and have no more place Rev. 12.8. in heaven, [Page 67] in the Church of God, in the hearts of the people of God, but be Ioh. 12.3 [...]. cast out, as a strong man bound is put out of his house, and a King vanquished and overcome is cast out of his Kingdome: He is no true subject unto Christ, that en­deavours not the subversion of Satan and his kingdome, that Christ alone may raigne, and have compleat dominion over Gods Church and people.

5. In regard of the Glory, Crowne, and dignity of Gods Church, and people. The setting up of Christ, his Gospell, and Kingdome, is the glory of the Church of God; the appearance and shining of the Sunne in the fulnesse of his beauty is the glory of the world; the presence of the Arke was the 1 Sam. 4.23. glory of Israel, being a witnesse of Gods glori­ous presence among them, the Lord there giving forth his oracles, and hearing the prayers of his people. Thus the presence, appearance, and bright shining of Christ the Sun of Righteousnesse in the Gospell, is the glory of the Church. Where Christ is in the Gospell, there God is graciously pre­sent, clearly manifesting himselfe to mens understanding, and mercifully hearing and answering the prayers of his people, and the place where the ordinances of God are, where the Gospell is published, and the mysteries of Gods Kingdome opened, is called the habitation Psal. 26 8. of his house, and the place where his honor dwelleth. The Lord doth ever shew himselfe very glorious to the soules of his servants, in the use of his ordinances; and vouchsafes great honour to the people, in setting up his Gospell and Kingdome among them; and therefore the Church of God is called the Isa. 11.10. glo­rious rest of Christ, because Christ by his Gospell, and by his love and grace doth rest there; that place is of all pla­ces most glorious, which is the Evangelicall resting place of Christ; and the Lord foretelling the multiplication of his Church, the increase of his faithfull people, and aug­mentation of his sonnes Kingdome, saith he Isa. 60.7, 15. will glorifie the house of his glory, and make his Church an eternall ex­cellency; and therefore we should mightily endeavour the exaltation of Christ and his Gospell, because this is the honour, crowne, and glory of the Church: The cleare, full, [Page 68] and open enjoyment of Christ in the Gospell, is the prime glory of any place or people. Such people are very base and ignominious, whatsoever be their outward abundance, who enjoy not Christ in his ordinance; that man is altogether regardlesse of the honour, dignity, and glory of Gods Church and people, who labours not the exaltation of Christ and his Gospell.


Impiety of three sorts opened. 1. Non-regar­ders of welfare of Gospell.IN this as in a glasse we may with open face behold the great impiety and shamefull prophanenesse of three sorts of men. 1. Such as have no regard, nor desire unto, no plea­sure nor delight in the prosperity and welfare of Christs King­dome and Gospell: Like Gallio, they care for none of these things, it is a matter indifferent unto them, whether the Gospell sinke or swim, whither Christs Kingdome stand or fall, flourish or wither; the Lord saith of the wilde Asse. Iob 39.6, 7, 8. I have made the wildernesse his house, and the bar­ren land his dwelling: He [...] scorneth the multitude of the City, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver, the range of the mountaines is his pasture, and he sear­eheth after every greene thing: Such wilde Asses are these men, the wildernesse of the world is their habitation, they regard not, they desire nor with David to Psal. 24.4. dwell in the house of the Lord; they delight in a barren land, where are no waters, and wels of salvation; they regard not the Psal. 23.2. greene pastures of holy and heavenly doctrine, in which the Lord feeds the soules of his people: They thirst not after the still waters of the Gospell, and sweet consolati­ons of the Spirit, with which God refresheth the soules of his children, they scorne the multitude of the citizens of the new Jerusalem, the holy assemblies of Gods peo­ple; [Page 69] They Psal. 41.4. goe not to the house of God with the voice of joy and praise, with the multitude that keeps it holy day, neither regard they the voice of the spirituall driver, they esteeme not the voice of Gods Minister endeavouring to drive them from the world unto Gods Church, from sinne to holinesse, and from Satan unto Christ, the range of the mountaines is their pasture, they seeke no food for their soules but worldly vanities, they looke after no treasure but earthly substance; they care not what become of Christ and his Gospell, if it goe well with them according to the world. The Harp and the Ʋioll, Isa. 5.12. the Tabret and pipe (saith the Lord by the Prophet) and the wine are in their feasts, but they regard not the works of the Lord, neither con­sider they the operation of his hands. Such men are blind, Grounds of this evill. and see not the beauties of Christ and his Gospell, and therefore as it is a thing indifferent to the blind, whether the Sun rise or set, shine or be eclipsed: so it is all one to these men, whether the Sunne of Righteousnesse in the Gospell, rise or set, shine or shine not, they neither rejoyce at Christs comming, or grieve at Christs departing. Such men are unsensible of the want of Christ, and therefore doe no more regard Christs presence in the Gospell, then a dis­eased man that feeles not his sicknesse, regards the pre­sence of a Physitian. Such men are earthly minded, alto­gether taken up with the world, and therefore are uncapable of Christ, unable to rellish any sweetnesse in Christ, or to give him any audience in his Gospell. Eliah spake moc­kingly of Baal, to his worshippers, 1 Kin. 18.27. Cry aloud, for he is a God, neither he is a talking, or he is a pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked; and 28 they cryed aloud from the morning to the evening, but there was 29 neither voice nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. We may truly say of these, they are men, but they are either a talking of the world, or pursuing of the world, with such earnestnesse, or fallen into such a sinfull sleep and slumber, that they cannot heare; and though the Minister lift up his voice like a trumpet, and cry aloud, yet there is no voice, nor answer of faith and obedience, nor any regard shewed by them to Christ [Page 70] and his Gospell: Such men are halting Israelites, and luke­warme Laodiceans, void of all true love to Christ, and far from all Christian zeale for Christ. Solon reputed him no good citizen, who in a civill dissension risen in the City did adhere to neither party: Such as cleave not to Christ and the Gospell in the dissention and opposition of the world are no true citizens of the new Jerusalem. He that is not with me is against me (saith Christ) he that stands not on Christs side stands on Satans side,Mat. 12.30. he that serves not God serves Mammon, he that hath not communion with Christ, hath communion with the world. Christ lookes upon all such as are not zealous for him, as on enemies against him,Rev. [...].16. and he will spew them out of his mouth at last as foule abomina­tion.

2. Opposers of Gospell 2 Sam. 3.1.2. A second sort, are such as oppose Christs Gospell and Kingdome. The house of Saul made long war against the house of David. There is a family of prophane Saulites, that make Luk. 19.14. continuall opposition against the Gospell and Kingdome of Christ, they will not have Christ rule over them, they take Psal. 2.2. counsell against the Lord and his Christ, and say, come let us breake their bonds asunder, and cast away their cords from us.Grounds of opposing the Gospell. Some are superstitious, and as the Philistines would not suffer the Arke to stand upon the right hand of their Dagon, no more will they suffer Christ and the Gos­pell to have preheminence above their traditions and devi­ses; some are covetous, and as Jesse set David behind the ewes, so doe these men set Christ and his word behind the world, below their earthly imployments, and undertakings; some are ambitious, and as Josephs brethren conspired against him, because they were loth to vaile and bow to him. Thus proud men conspire and combine against Christ and the Gospell, being loth to deny, and humble themselves, and put their necks under Christs yoke; some are under the power of prophanenesse; with Ahab they sell themselves to commit wickednesse, they are impatient of reproofe, and therefore imprison the Prophet of the Lord; Christ comming in the power of his Gospell is very uncomforta­ble, and terrible to such as are under the power of their cor­ruption; [Page 71] some are prophanely iealous, least the setting up of Christ and his Kingdome will crosse their profit, and eclipse their honour and credit amongst men; and therefore they seeke to suppresse the Gospell, as 1 Sam. 18.29. & 19.1. Saul sought to suppresse Da­vid: This moved Act. 19 24. Demetrius to accuse Paul, and this caused Mat. 2. Herod secretly to plot the death of Christ. Christ and his Gos­pell have ever met with many oppositions from the world.

3. A third sort,3 Grievers at prosperity of the Gospell. are such as grieve at the prosperity and welfare of the Gospell and Kingdome of Christ. When Nehe­miah came to repaire the wals of Jerusalem, Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the Ammonite grieved Neh. 2.10. exceedingly that there was a man come to seeke the welfare of the chil­dren of Israel. It is a great griefe to many ill affected men, that beare evill will to Sion, to heare that God raiseth up any to repaire and build up Christs Church and Kingdome, to seeke the spirituall welfare of his children. The Psalmist having mentioned and set forth the felicity and prosperity of the faithfull servants of God: In the multiplication of their seed, in the increase of their wealth, in the Lords dis­pensation of joy in heavinesse, of safety in dangers, of de­liverance in distresses, of exaltation after all oppositions to Gods Church and children; concludes thus, The Psal. 112.10. wicked shall see it and be grieved, he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away, the desire of the wicked shall perish. Wicked men are more grieved at good mens prosperity, then at their owne misery. It is a sure argument of raigning pro­phanenesse to sorrow for the welfare of the righteous. All H [...]st. 5 13. Hamans honours and preferments availe him nothing while he sees Mordecai sitting in the gate. Wicked men often lose the comfort of all their owne earthly fulnesse, whiles they behold the prosperity and welfare of Gods Church and righteous servants: The exaltation of Christs King­dome, and flourishing of the Gospell doth fill some men with such vexation, that all their wealth, honours, and high places seeme to them as nothing: No doubt it much troubled the Philistines to see the 1 Sam. 5.4.5. Arke of the Lord stand upright, and Dagon broken to a stump. It is a great trou­ble to many people to see the Kingdome of Christ stand, [Page 72] and the Gospell to flourish, and the Dagon of superstition, usury, drunkennesse, &c. disgraced, shamed, and cast to ground; the Priests, the Captaine of the Temple, and the Sadduces, were Act. 4.1.2. grieved that the Disciples taught the peo­ple, and preached through Iesus the resurrection from the dead, and the two Prophets in the Revelation are said to Rev. 10.10. torment them that dwell on the earth. The glorious shining of the Sunne is a trouble to diseased eyes, the bright and cleare shining of the truth is a torment to prophane, and ungracious soules; such as grieve not for their sin, grieve at the Gospell, the meanes of mortifying sin; such as most rejoyce in superstition, prophanenesse, and the vanities of the world, are most grieved and troubled at the powerfull preaching of the Gospell. O how great is mans blindnesse! how strange is mans perversenesse! that he should be most grieved and troubled at the presence of that, which God hath ordained to be the instrument of mans greatest honour, profit, and comfort.


Admonition to set up Christs Kingdome and Gospell.ALl men should learne by this, to worke their hearts, to imploy their thoughts, and to give themselves to the utmost of their abilities to the advancement of Christs Kingdome and Gospell, to the setting up of Christ upon his throne, in his Church, here on the face of the earth. Zadok the Priest, Nathan the Prophet, Benaiah the sonne of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelithites, 1 King. 1.44, 45, 46, 47. caused Solomon to ride upon the Kings mule, they anointed him King in Gihon, and all the servants of King David came and said, God make the name of Solomon better then thy name, and his throne greater then thy throne: All Kings and rulers, all Ministers and teachers should set up Christ, and cause [Page 73] him to ride in spirituall triumph upon Gods Church, and all the servants of the Lord from the highest to the lowest should pray for the prosperity, successe, honour and enlarge­ment of Christs Kingdome:Magistrates. All Magistrates as represen­tative Psal. 82.1. gods should be in stead of God to Christs Church, as Isa. 44 28. shepheards they should see that spirituall pastures be pro­vided for Christs flocke, and that all wolves, beares and foxes, all instruments of annoyance be kept far from them; as Isa. 49.23. nursing fathers and nursing mothers they should be care­full that provision be made for Christs family; and as they are stiled the Psal. 49 7. shields of the earth, so they should be carefull to minister defence to Christs Church and people against the power and fury of all that offer any injury to them. Thus they must Psal. 1.12. kisse the sonne with the kisse of love and affection, with the kisse of honour and exaltation, with the kisse of reverence and subjection, with the kisse of congra­tulation and rejoycing, with the kisse of prayer and wel­wishing, endeavouring to the utmost of their power the propagation of Christ and his Gospell.

All Ministers as builders in Christs house,Ministers. as stewards in Christs family, as teachers in Christs schoole, as labourers in Christs vineyard, as under-rowers in Christs ship, as burning lamps in Christs Temple, as watchmen in Christs City, should by their frequent preaching, wholsome do­ctrine, sharp reprehension, wise admonition, seasonable and gracious consolation, and holy walking propagate the Gos­pell, advance the Kingdome, and increase the number of Christs people, and make the Lord Jesus every day more and more glorious in the eyes of all beholders.

All Masters and rulers of families should strive the ex­altation of Christs Kingdome, by being as Kings, Prophets,Masters of Fa­milies. and Priests, within their domesticall wals, by their godly government, Christian instruction, and holy prayer and sup­plication with and for them, that are under their jurisdiction, teaching them with Abraham to know the Lord, bringing them with Cornelius to the ministery of the word, and ma­king their houses with Philemon a Church of God.Private persons

All private persons should likewise put their hands to this [Page 74] worke, and labour the setting up of Christs Kingdome and Gospell, by Mic. 4 1. Isa. 60. flowing to the house of God, as rivers to the ocean, by comming speedily and unanimously, as the doves unto the windowes, as the Eagles to the carkasse, or the lame unto Bethesda; by growing in all spirituall gifts and graces, as children grow in stature, as trees in fruitfulnesse, and as the light shineth more and more unto the perfect day; by consecrating themselves to Christ, and his service, as souldiers to their Generall, as servants to their Lord and Master, and as a Spouse to their husband, to fight Christs battels, to doe Christs worke, to love Christs name, and to bring forth all their fruit to Christ, as a wife brings forth all her children to her husband, and by holy exhor­tation, and gracious counsell, perswading and drawing others to Christ, to the knowledge, faith, love, and obedience of Christ, leaving other imployments at convenient seasons, as the woman of Samaria left her water pot to bring other men to Christ, as she brought her fellow citizens, Consi­dering (as the Apostle saith) one another, and provoking one another to love and to good works; being to their fellow bre­thren, as spurres quickning them, and as loadstones draw­ing them daily nearer and nearer unto Christ, labouring to make Christ appeare more amiable and glorious in the eyes of all their fellow-servants: As all the rivers great and small empty themselves into the sea, to the filling up of the sea; so let us all, high and low, young and old, rich and poore, bond and free, empty our selves, and all our abi­lities, and endeavours into Christ, to the filling up of Christ, his Church, his Kingdome, his mysticall body, which is the Eph. 1 23. fulnesse of him that filleth all in all. As all the people who were willing hearted, both men and women, came and offered freely to the building of the Tabernacle: so let us both men and women, all that have a willing and a loving heart to Christ, come and offer our selves, and all that we have to Christ, for the building up of the Church and Kingdome of Christ, for the advancement of the Gospell of Christ.Inducements to exalt Christ.

And to excite and move our selves hereunto, doe but con­sider [Page 75] how the exaltation of Christ, his Gospell and King­dome, is the honour and glory of a Christian; 1 Honour of a Christian. what is the glory of a servant, but the enrichment of his Master by his industry? what is the honour of a Subject, but his loy­alty to his King? his exalting the name, crowne, king­dome, and jurisdiction of his Prince? what is the honour of a wife, but her fidelity to her husband, her cleaving close to her husband, her bringing forth of many children to her husband? and what is the crowne and dignity of all Chri­stians, but their serviceablenesse to Christ, their exaltation of the name of Christ, their cleaving close to Christ, their brin­ging forth of much fruit to Christ, their enlarging the ter­ritories of Christs kingdome. Alphonsus had written on his Symboll as a character of his greatest honour, these words: Pro Lege, & pro Grege, for the Law, and for the people; and this is the most honourable character of a Christian to make his heart and tongue, his thoughts within, and his works without, to carry this inscription, for Christ and for his Kingdome, for his Church, and for his Gospell: He is eve­ry way of all persons the most honourable and glorious who is every way most for Christ Jesus.

2. The argument and evidence of our love to Christ. 2. Love to Christ. Where is our love to Christ, as to our Lord and Master, as to our King and Captaine, as to our head and husband? if we seeke not Christs honour, if we doe not endeavour the ex­altation of Christs kingdome: Ionathan loved David as his owne soule, and he stript himselfe of the roabe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword. He that loves Christ will keep backe nothing from Christ, he will disroabe himselfe to honour Christ, to exalt his kingdome, and beautifie his Gospell. Jacob loved Rachel, and he served for her twice seven yeares. He that loves Christ will put himselfe upon any hardnesse for Christ; Christian love reputes the honouring and exaltation of Christ Jesus, a sufficient recompence to its greatest losses, and hardest service. Love will make a man even holily prodi­gall, in his layings out for the exaltation of Christs Gospell and kingdome.

[Page 76] 3. Perill of not endeavouring welfare of Christs Gospel.3. Observe the perill of not endeavouring the welfare of Christs Church and Gospell. He that is not a friend of Christ is an enemy against Christ; he that doth not help to set up Christs kingdome, is by interpretation, and in Gods con­struction, an overthrower of Christs kingdome: He that is not with me is against me (saith Christ) and he that doth not gather doth scatter. He that is not a labourer is a scat­terer in Christs vineyard. He that fights not under Christs ensigne is a souldier under Satans banner. He that is Prov. 18.9. sloth­full in his worke, is brother (saith Solomon) to a great wa­ster. Thus he who doth not labour for Christ is a brother to them that are great wasters of the kingdome of Christ; and fearefull is the curse pronounced on them that stand still, and put not their helping hand to Christs Kingdome, Cause, and Gospell. Iud 5.23. Curse ye Meros (said the Angell of the Lord) Curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

4. Christ with­holding no­thing to ex­alt man.4. Looke upon Christs sparing and withholding of nothing for our exaltation. Christ humbled himselfe to the lowest degree of humiliation and abasement, for our elevation and advancement. He emptied himselfe to fill us; he abased himselfe to honour us; he stript himselfe to apparell us; he made himselfe a man of sorrowes to fill us with spiri­tuall and soule-refreshing consolations: 2 Cor. 8 9. Ye know (saith Saint Paul) the grace; the love, the bounty, the rich li­berality of our Lord Jesus Christ; that though be was rich, rich in the glory of his divine Essence, in his absolute do­minion over all creatures, in his plenary possession of hea­ven and earth: Yet for your sakes he became poore; vailing his Diety, Majesty and glory, under the poore and unwor­thy garment of humane flesh, being borne of poore parents, and appearing in the forme of a servant, humbling and aba­sing himselfe to the Phil. 2 7. death, the shamefull death of the crosse, that ye through his poverty might be rich; rich in the par­ticipation of the divine nature, rich in the fruition of the fulnesse of Christ; Christs humiliation is the meritorious cause, spring, and fountaine of mans exaltation; Christ was [Page 77] very free and full in his exinaition, and abasement for our honour and advancement: The condition of man was so extreamely base and shamefull, that nothing but the humi­liation of the Sonne of God was able to restore honour to him: And how ready should we be to put all under the feet of Christ, to imploy all to the honour of Christ, who hath done so much to honour us. We should (saith Chry­sostome) preferre nothing above Christ, Nil debemus Christo prepo­nere, quia nec nobli, ille quic­quam praeposuit because he preferred no­thing above us. As he vailed and bowed downe himselfe, and all that was his, for our salvation: so should we vaile and bow our selves, and all that is ours, for the exaltation of his Gospell and kingdome. The meditation of Christs abasing himselfe for us, should make us studious and inqui­sitive how to honour Christ:2 King. 4.13. Thou hast been carefull for us with all this care (said the Prophet to the woman of Shunem) what is to be done for thee: Thus should we say to Christ, thou hast been humbled and abased, thou hast suffered a great suffering for us, what is now to be done for thee? what shall we doe to honour thee, to exalt and magnifie thy name, who hast undergone so great disgrace and shame for us. The more Christ humbled himselfe for us, the more he should be exalted by us; Christ made him­selfe a Eph. 5 1. sacrifice for us, and we should Rom. 12.1. sacrifice our selves, and all that is ours to him, and his service. Christ gave himselfe for our salvation, and we should give our selves to him, and the exaltation of his kingdome; Christ was contented to be made low, and as a very nothing, as a Psal. 22.6. worme and no man, that we might be made the Eph. 1. fulnesse of him who filleth all in all, and we should be content to abase our selves, and to be reputed vile and as nothing in the eyes of men, to set up Christ, to make him and his Gos­pell glorious in the eyes of the people. He doth neither wisely, nor graciously consider Christs humiliation, that doth not give himselfe to the exaltation of Christs name and kingdome.

5. Meditate the sweet, the great, 5. Blessing at­tends the exal­tation of the Gospell. and wonderfull blessing that commeth unto men by the exaltation of Christs Gospell. The setting up of the Arke in the house of Obed-Edom [Page 78] caused all that he had to prosper. 2 Sam. 6.11. The setting up of the Gospell brings great and singular prosperity to the people: Christs Gospell, the revelation of Christ, and the mysteries of his kingdome,Luk 10.23. is a great blessing: Blessed (saith our Sa­viour) are the eyes which see the things which ye see; having the Gospell preached to them, the tydings of salvation pub­lished among them, Christ revealing and opening himselfe unto them: These are blessed in the illumination of their understandings, having the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ communicated to them: Bles­sed in the vivification of their soules, having the word of life quickning them: Blessed in the sanctification of their hearts, the Gospell cleansing their sinne, as Jordan clean­sed the leprosie of Naaman: Blessed in their Conquest, over sin, Satan, and the world, the Gospell overturning all the holds of Satan, as the sounding of the rammes hornes over­threw the wals of Jericho: Blessed in [...] pacification of their consciences, the Evangelicall voice of Christ quie­ting their perplexed consciences, as his personall voice quieted the stormy tempest; and blessed in the sweetning of their afflictions, the Gospell sweetens all tryals and troubles to Gods children, as the tree sweetned the wa­ters of Marah to Israel; Blessed in their very temporall pos­sessions and bodily undertakings. Where God gives his Gos­pell the food of the soule, he will also give the staffe of bread, the food of the body: Christ did not onely feed the soules of them who followed him, with his doctrine, but he also miraculously fed their bodies with corporall provision: the Gospell is indeed even the choisest of all blessings, where this goes, all goes, that is behoofull for the welfare of Gods children; therefore blessed (saith the Psalmist) is the nation Psal. 33.11. whose God is the Lord, and the peo­ple whom he hath chosen for his owne inheritance. God is the God of all by creation, by absolute dominion, by common preservation; but he is their God to whom he gives his Gospell, by gracious manifestation, heavenly instruction, spirituall regeneration, familiar and comfortable habitation, sweet and celestiall dispensation of heavenly fulnesse to [Page 79] them, God is there alone sweetly, and spiritually knowne, and enjoyed, where his Gospell is erected; and for this cause we should mightily endeavour the advancement of the Gospell. King David being told how the Lord had blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that pertained to him, because of the Arke of the Lord, 1 Sam. 6.12. went and brought the Arke into the City of David with gladnesse. Men hearing of the prosperity and blessing which doth attend the Gos­pell, should with great care and diligence, with much ala­crity and cheerfulnesse endeavour the erection of the Gos­pell among them: He is altogether unsensible of the ma­nifold and singular benefits, and mercies accompanying the Gospell, that doth not heartily desire, and effe­ctually labour the welfare thereof. As the Gospell ex­cels all temporall endowments, so should we endeavour the successe and stability of the Gospell more then of any, or all other possessions.


ANd for the disposing, framing, and working our hearts,Meanes dispo­sing man to advance the Gospell. 1 Distaste of Sin. thus to advance the Gospell and kingdome of Christ, there must be, 1. A distasting, disrellishing, and being weary of sinne: The Gospell never seemes sweet untill that sinne seemes bitter; he will never effectually endeavour the set­ting up of Christ, and the Gospell, that desires not the deposition of sinne; the Philistines having a desire to main­taine and uphold Dagon, set the Arke below Dagon,1 Sam. 5. on the left hand of Dagon. Man having a desire to uphold sinne, abaseth Christ, and his Gospell, puts them below his lusts, gives preheminence to his lust above the Gospell, and above Christ; Herod not disrellishing his incestuous [Page 80] sinne, not being weary of it, but intending the mainte­nance thereof, Mar. 6. cut off the head of the Baptist, the forerun­ner of Christ. Man can neither truly desire, nor faithfully endeavour the advancement of Christ and his Gospell, that is not weary of his sinne, as of a heavy burthen. Man to whom sinne is pleasant and delightfull, is very impatient and weary of the presence and power of the Gospell; he alone consecrates himselfe to Christ, and the advancement of his kingdome, to whom sinne is distastefull, as gall to his palate, gravell to his teeth, a disease to his flesh, or fetters to his feet. When Abner was wroth with Ishbe­sheth the sonne of Saul, then he 2 Sam 3.8, 10 came to David to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah from Dan even to Beersheba. When man is wroth with sinne, full of in­dignation against sinne, then he comes to Christ, then he joynes himselfe in a holy and solemne Covenant with Christ then he labours to set up the throne of Christ over his soule and body, then he prayes, and strives that Christ may raigne from Dan to Beersheba, from the highest to the lowest faculty of his soule, and from the greatest to the smallest undertaking of his life. Man is ever so much the more industrious to set up Christ and his kingdome, by how much the more his corruption doth grieve and trouble him.

2. Holy feare2. A holy and filiall feare towards Christ making loath to offend Christ, willing in every thing to please Christ. All the Rulers of the Provinces, the Lievtenants, Deputies, and Officers of the King helped the Iewes, when the Hest 9.5. feare of Mordecai fell upon them. When the holy and gracious feare of Christ doth fall upon the soules of men, enter in­to, and take possession of the hearts of men, then they joyne themselves to the help of Christ, to the help of the Gos­pell, and Church of Christ; then they study and endeavour the advancement of Christ and his kingdome; therefore Psal. 2.11, 12. serve the Lord with feare (saith the Psalmist) rejoyce be­fore him with trembling, and kisse the sonne, embrace the son, rest and relye upon the son, acknowledge, exalt, and mag­nifie the son; put your selves with all readinesse and ful­nesse [Page 81] upon the service of the sonne; true feare ever makes the Lords servants subject, and serviceable to Christ Iesus. I will Ier. 32.40. put my feare into their hearts (saith the Lord) and they shall not depart from me; they shall not depart from my knowledge by ignorance, from my promises by unbe­liefe, from my precepts by disobedience, from my covenant by unfaithfulnesse, nor from my worship by prophanenesse. Such as doe not truly and throughly apply themselves to Christs service, are prophanely fearelesse. A servants true and ingenuous feare makes him labour his Masters welfare, the matrimoniall feare of a wife moves her to desire, and endea­vour her husbands honour: Act. 2.43. feare came upon every soule (saith S. Luke) and what followed thereupon, All they that beleeved were together; there is their unity in affection in divine in­vocation, They sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. There is their com­munication to Christs members, their putting of them­selves and their abilities upon Christs service. He that truly feares Christ will withhold nothing which may tend to the exaltation of Christ, his Church, and Gospell.

3.3. Feeling of the necessity of Christ. Lively sence and feeling of the necessity of Christ and his Gospell. Mens exaltation of Christ is according to their apprehension of the necessity of Christ. When the Elders of Gilead saw the necessity they had of Jeptha, then Iudg. 11.11. they made him head and Captaine over them. When men see, and feele the want of Christ, the perill of their estate without Christ, then they put themselves under Christ, then they exalt and magnifie Christ, then they labour the setting up of Christ and his Gospell. Sence of sicknesse, famine, siege, bondage, makes physicke, food, an army, a ransomer very precious; Physitians were of great esteeme with the wo­man troubled with a fluxe of bloud, she spent all her sub­stance upon them;Mar 5. Christ and his Gospell are of great price with the man to whom sinne is a torment, a griefe, a trouble, he will withhold nothing which may tend to the exaltation of Christ and his Gospell, to the working out, and removing of the sinne which doth molest him. When Josephs brethren were in want, and had no bread [Page 82] to sustaine them, then they came and bowed themselves before Joseph; and when they called to mind their great trespasse against him, then they besought his favour, and were very submissive to him; Mans sence of his owne emp­tinesse drives him to Christ, and causeth him to vaile and stoop to Christ; to put himselfe under the feet of Christ, and readily to exalt and set up Christ; selfe-opinion, ignorance of mans want of Christ▪ and the Gospell is a great impediment to our setting up of Christ and his king­dome.

4 Elevation of the heart to a spirituall tem­per.4. Elevation and raising of the heart of man to a holy, spirituall and noble frame and temper. The heart of man na­turally is very base, carnall, and earthly, delighting like the swine in the mire and mud of the world, rellishing and savouring nothing but that which is Ier. 22. worldly and fleshly; his spirit is very low and ignoble, and his high­est aime is but to ascend some mole-hill or mountaine of the earth;Luk. 15. like the prodigall, he is a companion of swine, and feeds on the huskes of worldly vanities, his long­ings like the besotted Israelites, is after the onyons and flesh-pots of Egypt, poore things, unworthy and empty things of the earth;Dan 2. Man like Nebuchadnezzars image, how ever deckt with gold and silver, authority and domi­nion, and glorious in outward appearance to the world; yet his feet are yron and clay, his thoughts, his affections, the motions, and goings of his heart are very base and di­shonourable: The spirit of man must be therefore subli­mated and refined by Christ, the great Mal. 3. refiner of the soule. Mans drosse and tin must be purged out, the earthinesse and basenesse of his spirit must be taken away, and man endow­ed with a more spirituall, sublime, and noble disposition, and temper of soule, or he can never intend Christ, exalt Christ and his Gospell. It is recorded in Ezra that the chiefe of the fathers rose up with all them whose spirits God had Ezra 1.5.raised to goe up to build the house of God in Ierusalem: First God raised their hearts, put willingnesse, alacrity, en­largement, opennesse, and courage into their hearts to doe the worke, and then they went to build. Thus God must [Page 83] raise our hearts, innoble our spirits, make us spiritually heroicall, or we shall never build Ierusalem, never labour the advancement of Christ and his [...]ospell; Christ Ioh. 11. raised La­zarus out of the grave, and then he followed him: Christ must raise our spirits from their earthlinesse and basenesse, or they will never be serviceable to him: The Spirit of the living creatures was in the wheeles, and they Ezek. 1.moved where the living creatures moved. Christ must put his Spirit into us, or we shall never follow him, never seeke his honour and the welfare of his Gospell. It is said of Saul when the Lord had made him King, that he went home to Gibeah, and there 1 Sam. 10.24 went with him a band of men whose heart God had touched. God hath set Christ his King upon his holy hill of Sion; but there is no man followes him, no man exalts and honours him as a King, but such whose hearts the Lord doth touch with the gracious finger of his Spirit; the base­nesse, cowardlinesse, and earthlinesse of our spirits must be put away, and our hearts throughly refined, otherwise we cannot discerne Christ, we cannot rellish Christ, we cannot love Christ, we cannot prize Christ, we can never put our selves upon the exaltation of Christ, his Kingdome, and Gospell; but when 2 Cor. 5.17, 18 Rom. 12.2. old things are past away, and all be­come new; when we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, when the Spirit of God, like Eliahs fiery charet, hath taken us up from the earth, and hath raised our hearts, thoughts, de­sires, and affections to the things which are above; then shall we rejoyce in Christ and his Gospell, then shall we put our selves and all that we have upon the service of Christ and the Gospell; then shall we pray for the prosperity, welfare, and advancement of Christs Gospell and kingdome; then shall we say, Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord.


CHrist came not as the false prophets of old, in his owne name, he had his calling and commission from above. Heb. 5.4. Christ com­meth in the name of the Lord in 6. re­spects. No man (saith the Apostle) speaking of Christ) taketh this honour to himselfe, but such an one as is called of God as Aaron was; and this is the second particular in the first generall part of these words, Christs Calling and Commission. He came in the name of the Lord; Christ is said to come in the name of the Lord. 1. Ordination.1. In respect of Ordination. Christ as Mediator was appointed of old to minister salvation to Gods chosen; 1 Pet. 1.20. Rev. 13.8. fore-ordained (saith Saint Peter) before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times: A lambe slaine from the foundation of the world saith Saint John, slaine from the foundation of the world in the eter­nall preordination of God, in the promise of the seed of woman to breake the serpents head, in the legall sacrifices, in the faith of the fathers; and in the sufferings of his members, in whose sufferings Christ suffered, their suffe­rings then shadowing Christs suffering to come.2. Preparation. 2. In re­spect of preparation, Christ as Man and Mediator is prepa­red and furnished with all abilities to execute and accom­plish his office; it pleased the Father (saith Paul) that in him should all Col. 1.19. fulnesse dwell; fulnesse of wisedome, power, grace, righteousnesse, and worth to minister to his Church, whatsoever appertained to the salvation, welfare, or peace thereof,Ioh. 3.34. he having the Spirit poured out upon him above measure. 3. Calling. 3. In respect of Calling, designation, and investi­ture into his office. The Lord (saith Christ as Mediator) hath Isa. 49.1. called me from the wombe, from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name; and I (saith God the Fa­ther 8 unto Christ) will preserve thee, and give thee for a Cove­nant of the people to establish the earth; and when Christ was baptized and solemnly entred upon his calling: He was confirmed by a voice from heaven, saying, This is my Mat 3 17. Be­loved [Page 85] Son in whom I am well pleased. 4. Doctrine. 4. In respect of the doctrine which he taught, no private, nor humane doctrine, but the doctrine of God his Father. I am come (saith Christ) in my Fathers Ioh. 5 43. name, declaring his truth, and seeking his glory, and ye receive me not, if another shall come in his owne name, preaching his owne invention, exalting and magni­fying himselfe; him ye will receive, to him ye will adhere, him you will admire and adore. And againe elsewhere, I have not Ioh. 12.49, 50. spoken of my selfe (saith Christ) but the Father which sent me; he gave me a commandement what I should say, and what I should speake; and I know that his com­mandement is life everlasting; whatsoever I speake there­fore even as the Father said unto me, so speake I. 5.5. Benediction. In re­spect of benediction, Christ is come in the name of the Lord, accompanied with the fulnesse of all blessing from God: In thy seed (said God to Abraham, speaking of Christ) shall all the kindreds of the earth be Act. 3.25, 26. blessed, unto you first saith Peter, God having raised up his son Jesus sent him to blesse you, in turning away every one of you from his ini­quities;Eph 1.3. 6 End. and God (saith Saint Paul) hath blessed us with all spirituall blessings in heavenly places in Christ. 6. In respect of the end which Christ proposed to himselfe, his Fathers glory; he came in the name of the Lord, not see­king his owne, but his glory who sent him. I seeke not mine owne Ioh. 8 50, 54. glory (saith Christ) I honour my Father, if I ho­nour my selfe, my honour is nothing. And thus Christ came in the name of the Lord; ordained, prepared, called of the Lord, declaring his Fathers will, accompanied with the fulnesse of his Fathers blessing, intending and see­king his Fathers glory: The whole shewing, That,

Christ is furnished with authority and all divine abilities to minister all peace and salvation to Gods servants. Doct. This was tipyfied in Gen. 37.13. Mat. 9 15. Joseph; Joseph was sent of his father to visit his brethren in the wildernesse; Christ was sent of God his Father to visit mankinde, sinfully straying in the wildernesse of the world; Joseph was set over the whole land of Egypt, and over the Kings house, by Pharaoh King of Egypt. Jo­seph was furnished with wisedome, understanding, and the [Page 86] Spirit of God to rule the people, and with all the store and fulnesse of Egypt, to minister to the necessities of the peo­ple. Christ is set by God his father, the King of Kings, over the whole Zach. 14 9. world in generall, over the Psal. 2 6. Church of God in speciall; Christ is furnished with Col. 2 3. treasures of all wisedome, to guide the people; and with all divine and heavenly Ioh 10. fulnesse to minister to the severall necessities of Gods servants, to fill them with all spirituall fulnesse. This was also figured in Josuah. Josuah was confirmed in his calling by the dividing of the waters in Iordan, at the presence of the Arke, standing therein, Christ was con­firmed in his calling by the opening of the heavens, and the Spirit descending in the forme of a Dove upon him, when he was baptized in Iordan; Moses being dead, Joshuah was made the Captaine of Gods people, Moses lea­ding them to the land, Joshuah entring them in the land; the Law ceasing, and the Ceremonies thereof vanishing. Christ is appointed the Captaine of Gods Church and peo­ple, the Law leading to Christ, Christ by his death and conquest, giving men entrance into the heavens. Joshuah overcame the enemies of Israel, and going before them, brought them into the land of Canaan, allotting to each one their portion: Christ hath overcome the enemies of his Church, and is ascended into heaven before us, there to prepare for all the Lords servants: It is not the Law, but Christ that ministers salvation to the Lords people: Christ Iesus is the authour of our spirituall conquest, there is no way for man to heaven, but onely by Christ, who came from heaven: Christ is the Iacobs ladder, by whom God descends to us in his grace, and through whom we ascend to God by our faith. This was likewise typified in David, David was anointed King and Ruler over Is­rael, Christ is anointed King and Ruler over Gods Church. David delivered Israell from the great Goliah, he slew him with his owne weapon, Christ overcame the infernall Go­liah the Devill, and brought deliverance to Gods chosen; Christ by Heb. 2 14. death, Satans weapon, destroyed him that had the power of death: The power of all opposers is meere [Page 87] weaknesse to the power of Christ Jesus. Such is the tran­scendent fulnesse of Christs abilities, that he turnes the in­struments of mans destruction, to further mans salvation; this calling, preparation, and mission of Christ, was pro­phecyed by the Psalmist, His dominion Psal 72. shall be from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. There is Christs universall jurisdiction and kingdome over men of every nation: I will give thee (saith the Lord by the Pro­phet, for a Isa. 42 6. Covenant of the people, a light of the Gentiles. There is Christs ordination to be the publisher of the Co­venant of peace, the Author of reconciliation between God and man, the revealer of the mystery of mans salvation, and Isa. 6 [...].1. the Spirit of the Lord (saith the Prophet in the person of Christ) is upon me, and he hath anointed me to preach glad tidings to the meeke: There is the calling, the preparation, unction, and full furnishing of Christ with all abilities to execute his Mediatory office; and in this respect Christ is sometimes termed by the Prophets a Isa. 42. [...]. servant for his cal­ling and obedience to his fathers will, an Mal. 3.1. Angell for his mission being sent of God, and for his publication of the tydings of salvation; a Isa. 28 16. stone, a tryed stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, for his strength to sustaine them that are built upon him; a noble Ier 30.21. Ruler for his sa­cred prescription, and gracious administration of Gods Church and kingdome; a Zach. 13.1. fountaine for his efficacy to purge out sinne, and for his fulnesse to satisfie the thirsty soules of all beleevers; a Mal. 4.3. Sun of righteousnesse for the fulnesse of the light of knowledge and comfort which he dispenseth, and for his blessed influence into the soules of his servants: The Sunne doth not shine more clearly in the starres, then the authority and ability of the Sunne of righteousnesse to save us, doth shine in these Propheticall predictions; and this calling, mission, full and through preparation of Christ to this office of mediation between God and man, is plain­ly declared by the Evangelists and Apostles. Saint Ma­thew speaks of Christ as of a Mat. 15. [...]4. Mar. 9 37. Shepheard sent to gather the sheep which are lost. Saint Marke as of an Embassador sent with tydings of peace, as of an heire sent to rule over [Page 88] us,Luk. 4.18, 43. to be honourably entertained by us. Saint Luke, as of a Physitian sent to heale us, as of a ransomer sent to free us, and to restore spirituall liberty to us. And Saint Paul saith plainly, When the fulnesse of time was come, Gal. 4.4, 5. God sent forth his sonne made of a woman, made under the Law, to redeeme them that were under the Law, Col. 2.9. that we might receive the adop­tion of sons, and in him dwelleth the fulnesse of the Godhead bodily, and he filleth all in all.

And the authority, calling, preparation and fulnesse of Christs abilities to save us is very manifest.

4. Grounds of Christs autho­rity and abili­ty to minister salvation. 1. Power.1. In regard of the power communicated unto Christ as Mediator. All power both in heaven and in earth is given unto him; power of vivification, he quickneth whom he will, as he raised Lazarus out of the grave; power of illu­mination, he openeth, and no man shutteth, as he opened the eyes of him that was borne blind; power of sanctifi­cation, he purgeth away all sinne, as he cleansed the lepro­sie from the uncleane; power of remission, as Lord and King he forgiveth sinne, he blotteth out sinne as the Sun the cloud; power of pacification, as he appeased the winds, and waters; power of administration, as the high Steward of Gods family, the supreme Pilot over the ship, which is the Church of God, as the great Centurion over the Lords army, and chiefe Justice in Gods Kingdome; power of sub­iugation, casting downe and breaking in pieces all opposing forces, as the stone out of the mountaines burst Nebuchad­nezzars Image; power of protection and sustentation in all troubles, as Noahs Arke sustained him in the deluge, and Christ safe guarded the three children in the fiery furnace. The miraculous and mighty acts of Christs power are cleare and manifest declarations of his calling and commission, and of his ability to minister salvation.

2. Exaltation.2. In regard of Christs exaltation [...]. He is exalted above all Eph. 4.21. principalities, he is exalted above all the common crea­tures, as the Creator and workman above the worke, as the Lord above his lowest servants; he is exalted above all Angels, as the Prince above the Nobles, as the son above the attendants; he is exalted above all devils, as the Con­querour [Page 89] above the captives; he is exalted above all the Saints of God, as the head above the members, as the King above the subjects, as the bridegroome above the bride: He is Heb, 1.3. set at the right hand of God, an exaltation whereof no meere creature is capable. Christs Majesty, dignity, glo­ry, and exaltation, doth even infinitely surpasse the dignity and honour of man and Angell; Heb. 7.1 [...]. He is made higher then the heavens, others ascend into heaven, have their dwel­ling in heaven; but Christ is made higher then the hea­vens, being God and man in one person, having an exal­tation above all Saints and Angels, the inhabitants of hea­ven, all that is in heaven and in the earth being put under him, Christs sitting in his Fathers throne. Christs exalta­tion above all creatures fully declared his ability to save his chosen from all evils.

3. In regard of Christs impletion and filling of all. 3 Impletion. He as­cended farre above all heavens that he might Eph. 4.10. fill all things: Christ filleth all things with his power, and common and generall operation, as the Sunne fils all the earth with his influence; with his absolute authority and dominion, as a King fils his kingdome with his common gifts and mer­cies; as the Master of the house fils all the persons of the house; Christ filleth the Devils and damned men with his justice, wrath, vengeance, but he filleth his Church and children with his ordinances, as a teacher fils his schoole with books and rules of instruction, as a nurse fils the childe with her breasts, and the Master of the feast his guests with food; these he filleth with knowledge, as the Sun the aire with light; with spirituall life, sence and motion, and all heavenly graces, as the head the members, as the root the branches, as the Sun the starres; sweet and comfortable, ex­cellent and gracious is that fulnesse which Christ ministers to his members, and by his filling of his faithfull servants, he verefies his Fathers mission and preparation of him to accomplish mans salvation.

4. In regard of his proposing of his Fathers glory, 4. Proposing Gods glory. and refer­ring all to his Fathers praise, as the supreme and ultimate end of all his service and undertakings; an ingenuous son [Page 90] preferres his fathers honour above his owne honour; a good servant his Masters profit, above his owne profit; a loyall Embassador the Kings will, message, advantage, and re­nowne above his owne will, errant, benefit, or credit. Christ as Mediator was both a sonne, a servant, and Gods great Embassador, preferring his fathers will, pleasure and praise above his owne: I Ioh. 5.30. seeke not mine owne will (faith Christ) but the will of him that sent me; and againe, he sought not his owne glory, but the glory of him that sent him, and to the father Christ thus speakes of himselfe: I have glorified thee on earth, Ioh. 7.18. I have finished the worke which thou gavest me. Ioh. 17.4. He glorified his father on earth, by decla­ring his fathers will and counsell, by making his fa­ther appeare glorious in the eyes of the people, by ascri­bing all his miraculous and mighty works to his fathers power, by fulfilling his Law by his obedience, by sa­tisfying his fathers justice by his sufferings, by gathering home the soules of men to God his Father, to know his Fathers will, to adore his Fathers name, to obey his Fa­thers precepts, to beleeve his Fathers promises, to love his Fathers truth, to glorifie his [...]athers name, and every way to conforme themselves and their doings to his Fa­thers testimonies; and by his full intendment, and glo­rious accomplishment of his Fathers honour, he compleat­ly demonstrated his ordination and preparation, his com­ming in the name of his Father to be mans Saviour.


Salvation dis­pensed by Christ.IN this with open face may all men behold and see Gods dispensation of salvation unto man by Christ his Sonne: Christ is come in his Fathers name, ordained; prepared, most absolutely and compleatly furnished, to communicate [Page 91] salvation to the Lords chosen; others come in the name of the Lord to procure and promote the salvation of man, instrumentally, ministerially, subordinately, dependantly; but Christ is come in his fathers name to give salvation unto man absolutely, and independantly, by his owne power, meritoriously, by his owne worth and merit, efficiently by the efficacions and mighty worke of his owne Spirit, ful­ly and everlastingly, being Heb. 7.25. able to save them to the utter­most that come unto God by him; the Lord Jesus is the ef­ficient and meritorious cause, spring and fountaine of mans salvation: There is no Mat. 4.12. other name given under heaven wher by man can be saved, but onely the name of Christ. The name of the creature is a name of weaknesse, emptinesse, unwor­thinesse; the name of mans righteousnesse is a name of many pollutions; the name of mans worke and services, is a name of debt and manifold imperfections; the name of birth, of wealth, of art, of strength and humane excellen­cies, are a name of no esteeme with God, for God is no re­spector of persons. None of these names have wisedome to open the mystery of mans salvation, worth to satisfie Gods justice, or ability to dissolve the works of Satan, or sancti­fie the soules of men; Christ alone communicates salva­tion to the Lords people; the Arke was the only place of safety to Noah from the deluge; Christ is the onely safe­guard of the soule of man from the deluge of destruction; all that were out of the Arke perished in the waters, there is no salvation to them that are out of Christ Jesus. Christ is the head and root. enlivining man. The body of Lazarus lay corporally dead till Christ raised it; the soule of man lies spi­ritually dead untill Christ quickens it, Christ is the Sunne enlightening man, the world without the Sun is in dark­nesse, the soule without Christ is in blindnesse, none of the Magitians and wise men, onely Joseph was able to inter­pret Pharaohs dreame: Neither man nor Angell, but Christ onely, hath revealed his fathers will, and counsell touching mans salvation; Christ is the Conquerour that vanquisheth the adversaries of mans peace; all Israel stood trembling onely David overthrew the great Goliah: Christ through [Page 92] death destroyed the Devill that had the power of death, and delivered them who through feare of death were all their life time subject to bondage: Christ is the surety that payes mans debt, he gave himselfe a ransome for man, whom all the world could not redeeme; Christ is the fountaine purging the sinne of mans soule, none of the rivers of Damascus, only Jordan cleansed the leprosie of of Naaman; neither man nor Angell, only the Lord Jesus can purge away mans uncleannesse: Christs righteousnesse is the roabe which co­vers us, and makes us appeare just in Gods presence: Ja­cob obtained the blessing not in his owne, but in his el­der brothers apparell: Man is accepted of God, ob­taines the blessing of pardon and peace, not through his owne but through the righteousnesse of Christ; Christ is the treasure and store-house which filleth man, all the gar­ners in the land of Egypt were empty, onely Joseph had provision for them; all the soules of men are empty, on­ly Christ filleth all in all: Christ is the Prince of mans peace, and Authour of mans reconciliation with God. Io­sephs brethren being shepheards were an abomination to the Egyptians; but by Iosephs meanes they came nigh to Pharaoh, and found favour with him: Man by reason of his sinne is an abomination to the Lord, but through Christ he commeth nigh to God, and finds sweet and gracious acceptance of God; and thus as in a glasse we see all the causes of mans salvation and eternall happinesse derived, and flowing from and through Christ Iesus. God mini­string all his fulnesse unto man by Christ, and accepting man and all his holy service in Christ; he that looks be­side or beyond Christ for salvation, looks beyond the fountaine for water to refresh him, beyond the Sunne for light to guide him, and beyond the rocke for a founda­tion to support him; he that layes not firme and sure hold on Christ, never meets with sweet, with sure and ever­lasting peace; he that truly embraceth Christ, may un­doubtedly perswade himselfe of his salvation; he hath a guide of infinite wisedome to direct him, a rocke of invin­cible strength to sustaine him, a rich and royall roabe of [Page 93] absolute purity to cloath and cover him; a Conquerour of insuperable power to subdue all that doth oppose him; an Advocate or never failing intercession, to take off all the accusations which are brought against him; and a fiery Charet to carry him through all difficulties, to sweet and everlasting rest in the highest heavens.

Christs comming in his Fathers name,Danger of stepping our from Christ to humane tradi­tions. Evils hereof. 1. Derogatory to Christs Au­thority. Christs authority and ability to minister salvation makes manifest their folly and vanity, their pride and insolency, who leaving Christ and the rules which he hath given, the lawes of divine worship which he hath prescribed, betake themselves to humane traditions, and selfe-inventions, teaching and recei­ving for doctrines the commandements of men; a practise 1. very derogatory to the Authority and dominion of Christ who is the King of the Church, whose voice alone ought to be heard in the Church of God, who is set over the house of God, and ought to be observed as the Lord and Master of the house by the whole family of faith, and hou­shold of God, who is exalted above the Church, as the head above the members, as the husband above the Spouse. Doth not a Subjects receiving of Lawes from a forraine Prince much derogate from the authority of his owne So­veraigne? Doth not a servants receiving direction from another man in his service annihilate his Masters juris­diction? Doth not a wives conforming her to the pre­scription of a stranger, obscure and darken, and even dis­anull the authority of her husband? And what else doe the embracers of forraine and strange inventions, but deny and disanull the jurisdiction and dominion of Christ? Doth not our Saviour say to such, You have made the Commande­ment of God of none effect through your traditions. The ob­servation of mens devices in Gods service is a transgression of Gods precepts. He that thinks to honour and please God by thrusting upon God his owne devises, in stead of ho­nouring and pleasing him, doth very highly dishonour and provoke him: No man doth further honour Christ,2. Argues great pride and pre­sumption. then he conformes himselfe to the Law and rule of Christ. 2. This also argues much pride and presumption in man, [Page 94] who but a proud Subject will take upon him to give a Law to his Soveraigne how he shall be obeyed; who but an inso­lent servant will take upon him to prescribe to his Lord and Master how he shall be served; and who but a proud soule durst take upon him to give a Law unto his God how he shall be adored; who but the great Master of humane traditions sitteth in the Temple of God as God, and exalts himselfe above all that is called God: The most superstitious are the proudest of all persons, their very hu­mility is ambition who have a spirit of superstition over­swaying them; they adore themselves and not Christ, who neglect the rule which Christ hath given, and wor­ship after their owne invention: His servant man is to whom he obeyes; he that worships according to a rule of his owne framing serves himselfe and not God; instead of obeying God he becomes a Law-giver unto God.3. Dispa [...]age­ment of Christs wisedome. This doth much impeach and disparage the perfection of Christs and the sufficiency of the Scriptures. If there be light enough in the Sunne what needs a candle? If all the treasures of wisedome be hidden in Christ, and his word able to make man wise unto salvation, what need or use in this behalfe of mans invention? addition ever supposeth imperfection. 4.4 Perillous to the soule. This is very perillous to the soules of men. He that leaves Christ and his word, and applyes himselfe to tradition, like the foolish man in the parable, he leaves the rocke, and builds upon the sand, which will sinke under him; he for­sakes the firme pillar, and leanes upon a withered reed, which will pierce him; he goes from the living fountaine to the broken cisterne wherein is no water to refresh him; he refuseth the wheat, and feeds upon the chaffe which will choake him; he rejecteth the vine, the Olive, and the Fig­tree, and addresseth himselfe to the bramble which will nor feed nor shelter him, but scratch and pricke, goare and torture him. Humane observations like the foolish Virgins Lamps are empty, Isa. 8.20. there is no light in them: Like the Tree in the Gospell which had leaves and no fruit; these are no trees of Gods planting, no good fruit groweth on them, no blessing, but a curse attends them: These like [Page 95] the sonnes of Sheva have no power to overcome Satan; in stead of ministring freedome they imbondage the soule to Satan; these like Jobs friends are miserable comforters and Physitians of no value, in stead of healing they wound, instead of nourishing they destroy, in stead of gathering home the soule of man to Christ, endearing man to God, and bringing him to communion with God and Christ; they separate man from God, oblige man to Satan, and associate the soule with the Devill, according to that of the Apostle dissuading the Corinthians from the superstitions and inven­tions of the Gentiles, saying, I would not that ye should have fellowship with the Devils, ye 1 Cor. 10.10, 21. cannot drinke the cup of the Lord, and the cup of the Devils, ye cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of Devils, He that wor­ships God by humane tradition serves not God but Satan; as we cannot serve God and Mammon, no more can we worship God and an Idoll. The sacrifice which is not of­fered to God with fire from his owne Altar, is an abo­minable oblation; whatsoeuer duty, act, or exercise of Religion, hath not Gods word for the rule of it, is in Gods interpretation, a service of Satan, and in stead of pleasing provokes Gods indignation: They have Deut 31.21, 22. moved me to jea­lousie (saith the Lord) with that which is not god, they have provoked me to anger with their vanities, a fire shall be kind­led in mine anger, and shall burne unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase. As Christ therefore is come in Gods name, furnished with all authority and domi­nion, so let us in every thing receive our commission and di­rection from him.

The perfection of Christs authority and dominion,Christs Autho­rity and abili­ty pressing to [...] duties. 1. Of Subjectiō Properties of Subjection. 1. Spirituall. and fulnesse of divine abilities, presseth man to foure duties to­wards Christ. 1. A duty of Subjection, as to him that hath supreame authority. We are charged by a voice from heaven to heare him, to him is given a name above every name, and to him must we make all the faculties of our soules, and all the members of our bodies to vaile and stoop, as all the sheaves in Josephs vision fell downe before his sheafe. To him let us subject our selves, 1. Spiritually. The end [Page 96] of the commandement is love out of a pure heart, arising from an inward principle of true grace. Worshipping in Spirit and in truth is the worship which Christ requireth, accepteth, and wherein he delighteth, obedience from an unsanctified heart is but filthy water from an uncleane fountaine, and bad fruit of a corrupt tree: Christ takes no pleasure in it, the sacrifice, prayer, and whole way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.2. Filiall. 2. To Christ let us subject our selves, filially, not as slaves for feare of hell, but as sonnes for love, having a holy affection awing us, and making us loath to offend Christ, our love to and delight in holinesse moving us to walke in the way of Gods pre­cepts, serving him Luk. 1.74, 75 without feare, without base and servile feare, in holinesse and righteousnesse before him all the dayes of our life. 3 Universall. 3. To Christ let us be subject universally, Moses built the whole Tabernacle after Gods patterne, man must build his whole conversation according to Christs prescrip­tion; that obedience which is not universall, is un­sound and hypocriticall; the Law is one Copulative, he that allowes himselfe in the breach of one precept is guilty of the whole Law; he that makes not conscience of all truly makes conscience of none. It is in vaine with Herod to doe many things reserving an Herodias in our bosomes: It is to no purpose with Saul to slay the refuse of the stuffe, reserving to our selves the lowing. Oxe, and blea­ting Sheep; his heart is not right with God that walks not in all the wayes of God; he doth truly hate no sinne, that labors not the mortification of all sinne. As the care­full Scholler therefore writes according to the whole copy: so let us have respect to the whole Law of God; and as sometime Jonathans armour-bearer said to him, Loe I am with thee according to thy heart, turne thou which way soever thou wilt. Thus let us be with Christ, even after Christs owne heart, let us be with him which way soever he turnes before us, in his word, walking with Zachary and Elizabeth, 4 Speedy. in all the ordinances of God. 4. To Christ let us sub­ject our selves speedily: As Abraham rose up early, and put away the bond-woman and her sonne: so let us rise [Page 97] up early, and put away our sinnes betimes: Let us not sleep and slumber like the foolish Virgins, with empty Lamps; but let us hasten our soules out of sin to Christ, as the Angels hasted Lot out of Sodome: Let us Psal. 119 60. consider our wayes, and turne to the testimonies of the Lord: Let us make haste and not delay, as the erring traveller haste­neth to his right path: Let us remember our Creator in the dayes of our youth, and seeke him while he may be found; and as 2 Sam. 18. Ahimaaz ran as soone as Joab gave him a com­mission, so let us labour to be as ready to obey, as Christ to command; speedy obedience doth much honour and com­mend mans service. 5. To Christ let us subject our selves freely, not mercinarily as hirelings,5. Free. but freely as friends serving Christ for Christ himselfe, intending Christ and his glory above our selves, in all our services, moving to Christ fully and freely, as the rivers to the Ocean. As Rachels beauty induced Jacob to twice seven yeares service: so let Christs beauties, the apprehension we have of Christs per­fections worke and draw us to a free and ready service of Christ in all difficulties; Christ abhorres all basenesse, all by and sinister respects in mens services: He that serves not Christ for Christ himselfe, serves not Christ but himselfe. 6. To Christ let us subject stedfastly, 6. Steadfast. as the wise to the hus­band untill death, keeping the commandement alwayes unto the end, abiding with Christ, as Ittai with David, in life and in death: Perseverance with Christs Jesus crownes mans service; He that continueth to the end shall be saved.

A second duty which the fulnesse of Christs authority and divine abilities doth presse upon us is a duty of Depen­dance. 2. Of Depen­dance. Christ is no withered reed, no sandy foundation, no weake, poore, and empty person, but one endowed with all power and authority, with all abilities; therefore depend upon him, cleave to him, when you are in dark­nesse and have no light; Isa 50.10. Trust in the name, in the power, truth, faithfulnesse, and al-sufficiency of the Lord; Christ is a Isa. 32.2. hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as, rivers of waters in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rocke in a weary land. Christ is a comforter in all sorrowes, [Page 98] a helper at all needs, a deliverer in all distresses, a counsel­lor in all doubts, and a supply in all wants; therefore stay upon the Lord: He can command a deliverance for Jacob when there is no deliverer, as he commanded the stormy tempest, and restored a calme to the Disciples: He can support man when he is ready to sinke, as he supported Pe­ter sinking in the water; he can provide, as he made pro­vision for the Disciples attending him, and having nothing to eat, as he prepared a Well for Hagar when her bottle was empty; he can comfort, when all the starres of con­solation are set; he can give light in darknesse, as he gave Sampson honey out of the Lyon: therefore looke unto Christ, fasten the eyes of your faith upon him, commit your selves to him, trust your selves with him, and you shall see in due sea­son a ministration of whatsoever is behovefull.

3. Of Love.A third duty whereunto this presseth us is a duty of Love to Christ: In Christ is the fulnes of all abilities, what­soever is worthy of love is in Christ in the highest perfe­ction; therefore this should much endeare Christ to man, and make him very amiable and glorious in the eyes of man: He indeed is worthy of all love, he is the King that rules over us, the guide that leads us, the shepheard which watcheth over, and feeds us, the ransomer that redeemes us, the builder which new makes us, the Captaine that over­comes for us, the teacher that instructeth us, the treasury that enricheth us, and the husband who betrotheth himselfe unto us; therefore he should be in our eye the fairest of ten thousand, our soules should be sicke of love towards him, and in our love we should prostrate our selves, and all that is ours under him.

4. Of Acqui­escence and contentation.A fourth duty whereunto this doth presse us, is a duty of Acquiescence in Christ, and contentation with Christ; in Christ are all divine abilities; he that hath Christ hath all, he that hath the Sunne hath all light, he that hath the fountaine hath all water, he that hath Christ may say as Jacob did, I have enough. Elkan [...]h gave to Hanna a worthy portion, he hath the choisest portion to whom God gives Christ; he that possesseth most of Christ, hath the richest, [Page 99] the sweetest, the most noble and sure possession; he hath no cause to complaine of want who hath the fruition of Christ; the soule which enjoyeth Christ as his King, as his counsellor, as his friend, as his treasure, as his bridegroome, as his shield and fountaine, hath the highest honour, the choisest wisedome, the sweetest comfort, the best riches, the most heart-reviving love, the surest defence, and the chiefest and most abiding and soule-contenting fulnesse: Of all the gifts of God Christ is the worthiest; of all the estates of men theirs is the sweetest and most comfortable who have Christ for their possession.


THe second generall part in these words is a benediction, uttered by the Ministers of the Lord, We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord; wherein we have, 1. the parties blessing, the Ministers of the Lord; we, who are cal­led of God to this sacred function, who are appointed to make prayer and supplication for you, to pronounce a bles­sing upon you.Note. Holy and faithfull Ministers are the instru­mentall causes of great blessings to Gods Church and servants. 2. here is their Act, an act of blessing, We have blessed: Ministers blesse the people sometime by way of vote and exoptation, prayer and supplication; sometime by way of vocall pronunciation, pronouncing good things in the name of God upon them; sometime by way of prophecye and pre­diction, foretelling great blessings to come; sometime by way of doctrine and instruction: They declare and open the blessings which God hath prepared for them, and the Lord by them as by his ministeriall instruments commu­nicates his grace and blessing to the people. It must be the care of Ministers so to demeane themselves in their function,Note.[Page 100] that they prove a blessing to the people. 3. Here is the Ob­iect or parties blessed, You, you to whom Christs comming is acceptable, you who wish well to Christs kingdome, you who readily endeavour the exaltation of Christs name, and Gospell,Note. we have blessed you The labours of Gods Mi­nisters prove a blessing onely to such people as reioyce in, and en­deavour the advancement of the Gospell. 4, Here is the place from whence they blessed the people, out of the house of the Lord, the place of Gods publike worship, where his Saints are assembled, his ordinances sincerely handled, his name invocated, his word preached, and religious duties cele­brated:Note. God useth to dispense his spirituall blessings in the publike and sacred assemblies. From all these particulars knit together we may gather, That,

Doct. God by his holy and faithfull Ministers dispenseth every great, sweet, and heavenly blessing to his Church and servants: The Lord by Joseph brought great prosperity to the house of Pharaoh; he Gen 39.5. blessed the Egyptians house for Josephs sake, the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house and in the field; the Lord by the presence and la­bours of his Ministers blesseth his Church and servants, his blessing is upon their soules, and upon their bodies, upon all their labours, and upon all their possessions; the estate and persons, the undertaking and possessions of men are made very prosperous through the prayer and labours of Gods Ministers. This was prophecyed by the mouth of Esay, in Isa 19.19. that day, in the day of the Gospell, when salva­tion shall be preached and published in and through Christ: There shall be an Altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord; an Altar and a pillar, the worship of God shall be erected, the word preached, the Sacraments administred, Christ the true Christians Altar and pillar shall be clearly manifested, his name published, his kingdome established, his truth pro­pagated among the people of Israel, Egypt and Assyria, whom the Lord of Hosts shall blesse, saying, blessed be Egypt my 25 people, and Assyria the worke of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance: There is the blessing attendant on the Mini­stery [Page 101] of the Gospell, a blessing of regeneration, renovati­on, remission, and sweet reconciliation with God in Christ; they are the choisest and best blessings which God commu­nicates by his Gospell to the soules of his people; the very names and titles given to Gods Ministers, doe as in lively characters declare how great a blessing they are to Gods Church and people; being stiled Seers, Lights, Watchmen, Shep-heards, Salt, Nurses, Labourers, Stewards, Horsemen and Charets: The eyes are a blessing to the body, to guide it; the light is a blessing to the world enlightening it; the watchmen are a blessing to the City, giving warning to it; the Shepheards are a blessing to the flocke, watching over it, conducting and feeding it; the Salt is a blessing to the meat, preserving it from putrefaction; the Nurses are a blessing to the children, ministring provision to them; the Labourers are a blessing to the vineyard, manuring and dressing it, removing the thornes and bryars out of it, and sowing good and profitable seed in it; Stewards are a bles­sing to the house, guiding it, distributing to the severall necessities of the persons in it; Horsemen and Charets are a blessing to the kingdome, strengthening and protecting it; Gods Ministers are a great blessing unto Gods Church and people, as eyes guiding them, as lights laying open the deep things of God before them, as Watchmen ad­monishing them, Shepheards leading and defending them, as Salt seasoning their soules, preserving them from the putre­faction of sin, and making them a sweet savour unto God; as Nurses feeding, as Labourers manuring, and dres­sing their soules, and as horsemen and charets defending them against their spirituall adversaries, making them vi­ctorious, and driving them forward in the wayes of peace and holinesse; and the having of Gods Ministers, the en­joyment of them and their labours hath heretofore been conceived, and taken as a great blessing, as a meanes at­tended with a blessing from the Lord; as appeares by that speech of Micah, having gotten a Levite for his Priest, Now Iudg. 17.13. know I (saith he) that the Lord will doe me good, seeing I have a Levite to my Priest: His judgement was good con­ceiving [Page 102] Gods blessing to attend the labours of Gods Mini­sters, though he shamefully erred in expectation of it by an idolatrous service; and our Saviour plainly pronounceth them blessed who enjoyed the light of his doctrine, to whom he opened the mysteries of Gods kingdome: Bles­sed (saith he) are the eyes which see the things that ye see: Blessed for the presence of the Sonne of God amongst you, for the neare appropinquation of God unto you, for the ma­nifestation of the great things of God before you, for the detection of the sinne which is within you, for the reve­lation of the love of God in Jesus Christ towards you, and for the great salvation offered you: great and manifold, sweet and comfortable is the blisse and happinesse tendred unto man by the presence of Gods ordinances, and holy labours of Gods Ministers; of all light, the light of Gods countenance, and the light of the Gospell, are the chie­fest and sweetest blessings: 1 Kin. 10.8. Happy (said the Queene of Sheba to Solomon) are thy men, happy are these thy servants which may stand continually before thee, and that heare thy wise­dome. Christ is greater then Solomon, they are more happy who may stand continually before him in the house of his ministery, and heare his wisedome in the Gospell: The nearer man approacheth to Christ Jesus, the greater is mans happinesse; therefore, Blessed (saith the Psalmist) is the Psal. 65. [...]. man whom thou chusest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy Courts, he shall be satisfied with the goodnesse of thy house, even of thy holy Temple. Blessed is the man, happy is the man, sweet and comfortable is the estate, and condition of the man whom thou leavest not, as a house in darknesse without light, as a field overgrowne with thornes and bryars, without husbandman to manure and dresse it, as a dead man in the grave without life, as a captive in prison without freedome, as a sicke man in his disease without Physitian, as a City in famine without food to feed them: Blessed is the man whom thou doest not cast away, as the ungodly, reprobate, and rejected mul­titude, to perish in their sinnes; but chusest, adoptest, and takest to thy selfe to be thy sonne by adoption, and to be [Page 103] and heire of thy celestiall and everlasting kingdome; and causest to approach unto thee, calling him by thy word, to be a scholler in thy schoole, a member of thy Church and of thy Christ, a partaker of those benefits, gifts and gra­ces which thou dispensest by thy ordinances; a dweller in thy Courts, conversant in that Congregation, where he may heare thy voice, learne thy will, embrace thy truth, and his soule have interest and acquiescence by faith in thy promises; and be satisfied with the goodnesse of thy house; with the heavenly mysteries there opened, with the gifts and graces there dispensed, as the eye is satisfied with the Sunne, as the palate is satisfied with the fountaine, and the hungry stomacke with the full feast set before it; and this the Lord promiseth and proposeth as a great blessing to the people, as an anker in the storme to sustaine and stay them, as a feast in the famine to feed them, as a light in the darknesse to revive and solace them, as an answer and recompence to all their tryals, troubles and disasters: The people (saith the Lord) shall dwell in Sion at Jerusalem, they shall returne from their captivity and bondage, and shall enjoy the house of God, the sacred assembly, and his ordinances; thou shalt weep no more, the sorrow of thy cap­tivity, exilement, and estrangement from the house of God shall be taken away; The Lord will be very gracious unto thee, at the voice of thy cry, when he shall heare it he will an­swer thee; and though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, though he bring you into many straights, and great distresses, yet shall not thy Isa. 30.19. teachers 20 be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers, and thine eares shall heare a word behind thee, saying, this is the way walke ye in it: The having of Gods ordi­nances is a blessing sweetning the most disastrous estate of Gods people. The presence of the Gospell ministers sweet consolation to Gods children, in the greatest affliction; better is the estate of man in the enjoyment of the labours of Gods Ministers in the absence of all worldly abilities, then in the presence of all worldly fulnesse, the Lords Mi­nisters being strangers; great is the blessednesse of that [Page 104] people to whom the Lord affords his Gospell, singular soule-ravishing, and heart-satisfying are the gifts and favours, com­forts and mercies, which God dispenseth by his Ministers.

In regard of Gods communication of Christ to the soules of men by the labours of his Ministers;Groūds hereof Pharaoh communi­cated the fulnesse of Egypt to the people, by Joseph, the Steward of his house God communicates the fulnesse which he hath put into Christ, to the soules of men, by his Mi­nisters, the Stewards of his house, the Church; the Stars in the night season communicate the fulnesse of the Sunne to the aire, and inhabitants of the earth; the Ministers as Starres in the right hand of Christ the Sunne of Righteous­nesse communicate to the soules of men the fulnesse of Christ Jesus in the night of this world;6. Communi­cation of Christ by Gods Ministers. we are all stran­gers to Christ Jesus without the Lords Ministers; Christ is hidden from that people which enjoy not the ministery of the Gospell; Gods Ministers by their labours commu­nicate the knowledge of Christ, as the Embassador commu­nicates the knowledge of the King and of his mind.1. Knowledge of Christ. God (saith the Apostle) who commanded the light to shine out of darknesse, hath shined into 2 Cor. 4.6. our hearts to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. God is knowne in and through Christ, as a man is knowne in and by his face: We know an earthly Father in the face of his Sonne begotten by him; we know God as a father of mercies, only and through the face of Christ Jesus; we see the face of man in a glasse, in the Gospell, in the labours of Gods Ministers; we behold as in a 2 Cor. 3.18 glasse, the face of Christ Jesus: Christ is a storehouse in whom are hidden Col. 2.3. all the treasures of wisedome. The Ministers have the ministeriall key of know­ledge to open Christ unto the people: Christ is a living fountaine, a well of salvation, a well sealed and shut up in the Scriptures: Jacob rowled away the stone from the mouth of the well, and gave Labans flocke water to drinke, the Minister rowles away the stone, removes the obscurity of the Scripture, opens and interprets it, and makes the people drinke of Christ,2. Faith of Christ. the true and everliving fountaine; the Ministers communicate the faith of Christ as Gods in­struments [Page 105] the worke of faith in men; the man of God by his prayer restored 1 King. 13. Jeroboams withered hand; the Mini­ster by his preaching and prayer restores the hand of faith in the heart of man, formerly withered, dryed up, and of no use: Faith commeth by Rom. 10.17. 1 Cor. 3. 3. Life of Christ. hearing. Who is Paul, and who is Apollo but Ministers by whom ye beleeved, even as the Lord gave to every man. The Ministers communicate the life of Christ to men; Christ by his corporall voice called Ioh. 11.44. Lazarus out of his grave, by his Evangelicall voice, by his word in the mouth of his Ministers he cals the soules of men out of the grave of sinne; the dead in sinne Ioh. 5.25. heare the voice of the Sonne of God in the Gospell, and they that heare, live. The ministery of the Gospell is the instrument of the soules vivi­fication, a meanes of Christs living in them that are Gods children; the Ministers communicate the love of Christ,4. Love of Christ. Christ Cant. 7.12. gives his love to the soule of man, in the mini­stery of his word; Isaac gave the pledges of his love to Rebeckah by Eleazar his father Abrahams servant: Christ gives the pledges of his love to his Spouse the Church by the Ministers, God his fathers servants; by them he wo­eth and 2 Cor. 11.3. espouseth them unto himselfe, and in the ban­quetting house of his ordinances, his banner over them is 2 Cant. 2 4. 5. Peace of Christ. Isa. 9 6. love; the Ministers communicate the peace of Christ, the Embassador speaks words of peace from the King, and com­municates the Kings peace unto the people; the Minister, the Embassador of Christ the Prince of peace, Act. 10 30. preacheth peace by Iesus Christ to the soules of men. The Lord hath created, ordained, and appointed the fruit of his lips to be peace to them that are nigh, and to them that are afar off. Christ feeding the multitude corporally,6. Whole trea­sury of Christ. distributed bread unto them by his Disciples; Christ feeding the soules of men spiritually with himselfe, the true bread of life come downe from heaven, communicates himselfe to men by the labours of his Ministers. Abraham by the hands of his ser­vants ministred jewels and bracelets to Rebeckah; God by his Ministers communicates many spiritual and heavenly jew­els, even the whole treasury of Christ Jesus to his faithfull Church and servants, whom he joynes in wedlocke with [Page 106] his sonne: Manifold, sweet and gracious are Gods dispen­sations of his Sonne, by the labours of his Ministers; Christ in and by the ministery of the Gospell is made very conspi­cuous and glorious in the eyes of the people; very great is their blessednesse who have Christ communicated to them by the labours of Gods Ministers.

2. Deliverance from 5 evils dispensed by Ministers. 1. Spirituall death.2. In regard of the evils from which God delivers man by the labours of his Ministers. God delivered the woman of Shu­nems sonne from bodily death by the ministery of the Pro­phet; the Lord delivers the soule of man from spirituall death, from being dead in sinnes by the labour of his Mi­nisters; the ministery of the Gospell is the instrumentall cause of the first resurrection; the word is termed a word of life, declaratively revealing life, and operatively as an in­strument working life. God delivered Paul from his bo­dily blindnesse by the hands of Ananias; 2. Blindnesse. he delivers man from spirituall blindnesse, by the doctrine of his messengers, by their instruction, Act. 26.18. he opens their eyes, and turnes them from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. The Lord delivered Peter from Herods prison by the mi­nistery of the Angell: He delivers man from Satans prison, and bondage by the worke of his Ministers,3. Bondage. by this as by a warlike weapon he casts downe the holds of sinne: Satan fals like lightening from heaven, and the soules of men partake of spirituall freedome; as Goliah fell before Da­vid with a stone out of Davids sling, so doth Satan before the Minister of the Lord, with the word of God out of their mouth. God delivered Naaman from his leprosie in Iordan, 4. Vnclannes. and the impotent from their infirmities in Bethes­da: The Lord in and by the Gospell sanctifies the soules of his children, this washeth away their uncleannesse, this heales their infirmities, this makes them new creatures. Christ by his voice appeased the stormy tempest,5 Soul tortures and gave a calme to his Disciples; Christ by his Gospell appeaseth the tempestuous and perplexed consciences of his servants, and brings them into a haven of spirituall peace and qui­etnesse: He makes his Ministers as an Angell of God, and one of a thousand to the afflicted soule, comming like [Page 107] Noahs Dove with an Olive branch, quieting him that is tossed upon the deluge of trouble, turning his perplexity into peace, his feare into confidence, and his sorrow into sweet rejoycings. God abundantly declares his dispensa­tion of blessings by his Ministers, through the removall of evils by their labours: The Gospell is the choisest instru­ment averting evill; foule and shamefull, perplexing and mortall are the plagues and miseries resting upon them, that neither enjoy nor regard the labours of Gods Mini­sters.

3. In regard of the blessed state and condition whereinto God puts man by the labours of his Ministers. Deut. 11.29. 3. Man by la­bours of Mini­sters put into a condition of 6. Excellencies. 1. Of wisdome. The estate of man under the Gospell, making a true use of the doctrines and instructions of Gods messengers is an estate of blessings: The blessing of old was upon Mount Gerazim, the blessing is now upon the Gospell: He that savingly entertaines the Gospell, enjoyes a most blessed condition; a condition of divine and heavenly wisedome, Gods Ministers feed him with knowledge and understanding, and make him wise unto salvation; a condition of holinesse and sanctification,2. Of Sanctifi­cation. 3. Of Freedome the ministery of the word doth wash him, like water, and pu­rifie him like fire; a condition of liberty and freedome, Moses freed Israel from Pharaohs bondage, Gods Minister frees the soules of his children from the servitude of Satan, the world, and their owne corruption; the word makes them free; from ignorance in their understandings, from perversenesse in their wils, from vanity in their thoughts, from infidelity, servile feare, worldly love, and carnall joy in their affections; the word makes them free, to know God, as the cleare eye is free to see the Sunne, to receive Christ as the strong and open hand, is free to receive a gift; to love Christ, as the bride hath an open and en­larged heart to love the bridegroome, to attend Gods Or­dinances, to run the way of Gods Commandements, as he whose feet and ankle-bones received strength by the mini­stery of Peter, was free to Act. 3.7, 8. stand and leap, and walke and enter into the Temple, 4. Of Exalta­tion. and free to move and come to God by faith, and love, and joy, as the rivers are free to move [Page 108] and flow unto the sea; a condition of honour and exalta­tion, the Gospell making them Sonnes of God by rege­neration, the friends of God by love, the members of Christ by faith, and heires annexed with Christ, for their present title to, and future participation of the same inheritance with Christ Jesus; a condition of fulnesse and satisfaction, they are satisfied with the goodnesse of Gods house; 5. Of Satis­faction. the Gos­pell leads them unto Christ, the Sunne in whom is all light, the tree on whom growes all fruit, the fountaine from whom flowes all refreshment, the rocke in whom is all strength, the pearle in whom is all worth, and the Paradise in whom is all pleasure and peace; very sweet and wonderfull, gracious and overflowing are the comforts and contentments derived from Christ to Gods children, under their enjoyment of the Gospell. Lastly, a condition of permanency and duration;6. Of Duration though the grasse wither, and the flower fade, yet the word of the Lord abideth for ever. Though worldly fulnesse change like the Moone, and va­nish like a vapor, and wither like the flower and the grasse, yet the estate of grace, into which men are called by Gods Ministers, is an estate of firme and sure continuance; they are sonnes abiding alway in their fathers house; they are trees planted by the water side never withering; they are houses built upon the rocke never sinking; their graces like the light shine more and more to the day of their perfection; the excellency of their estate who enjoy and make best use of the Gospell, abundantly declares Gods dis­pensation of very great, sweet and heavenly blessings by the labours of his Ministers.


THe Lords dispensing of sweet and heavenly blessings unto man, by the labours of his holy and faithfull Mi­nisters, shewes what the estate and condition of man is without the Lords Ministers; even an estate of woes,Mans estate without the Gospell, an estate. 1. Of Death. of myseries, and curses: Mans condition without the mini­stery of the Gospell is very wretched and miserable, an estate of death without spirituall life; the earth without the Sunne is but a dead and fruitlesse lump; the soule without the Sunne of Righteousnesse shining in the Gos­pell is Eph. 2.1. dead in sinnes and trespasses; a tree twice dead, oncce by originall corruption, and secondly by actuall transgression, and plucked up by the Iud. ver. 12. roots, wholly separate from all the meanes of life; 1 Ioh. 5.12. he that hath not the Sonne, externally in the Gospell, internally in his heart, ministe­rially in his word, and efficiently in his worke of grace; he hath not life: Such are farre from the life of grace and sanctification, as are strangers to Christ in his Gospell: The woman of Shunems sonne remained dead,2 King. 4. according to the body, till the Prophet came and raised him; the soule of man continues dead in respect of the inward man, untill the Minister of the Lord comes to quicken him. 2. An estate of darknesse: 2. Of Darknes. Man without the ministery of the word is in darknesse and the shadow of death, a darke body without an eye, a darke house without a Lamp. The soules clearest light is nothing else but darknesse, as long as the Gospell doth not shine into it, to irradiate and enligh­ten it. There was once no light in all the land of Egypt, onely the children of Israel had light in Exod. 10.23. their dwellings; there is no spirituall and heavenly light in all the world, but among Gods Israel; there is light only in their dwel­lings who enjoy the Gospell, In Judah is God knowne, and his name is great in Israel. God is truly and savingly knowne only by that people who enjoy the light of the Gospell. [Page 110] 3.3. Of Servitude. An estate of servitude and bondage. Israel continued un­der hard bondage, untill Moses and Aaron came to deliver them, untill the Lord raised a fiery pillar to conduct them out of Egypt unto Canaan. Man abides under the hard bondage of Satan and his owne corruption, untill the Lord sends his Minister to free him, and sets up the fiery pillar of his word to lead him out of this servile and slavish con­dition; Man without the Gospell is in prison, and hath no key to open it; he is taken captive, and hath no wea­pon to resist his enemy, to procure his freedome; he is manacled with many fetters, and hath no hammer to dis­solve and loose them; Mans condition without the mini­stery of the Gospell is very base and servile: When and where the Gospell shineth, then and there as the Prophet speaketh, The Isa 42.7. eyes of the blind are opened, the prisoners are brought out from the prison, and they that sit in darknesse out of the prison-house. 4. Of Emptines 4. An estate of emptinesse and barren­nesse. The field without the dew is unfruitfull, the soule without the dew of divine and heavenly doctrine distilling thereupon, beares no good fruit; there is no lawfull con­ception without an husband, all the fruit of the soule, not espoused to Christ by the Gospell, is illegitimate, and a very abomination; there is no reaping, where is no sowing: The soule which is not sowne with the seed of the word yeelds no harvest of grace, they are barren ground nigh to burning, who are strangers to the Gospell. 5. An estate of pollution and unclea­nesse. [...]. Of Pollutiō. The house without the besome is overspread with slime and cobwebs; Naaman continued leprous untill he went seven times into Jordan and washed; the Temple was a den of theeves till Christ came with his whip, and drove them out; the heart of man is an unclean house, without the besome of the word sweeping it; the soule of man is oversread with the lothsome leprosie of sin, untill he bathe himselfe in the Jordan of the Gospell; the whole man is a very den of theeves, untill Christ comes, and by the ministery of his word scourge and drive them out: The ministery of the Gospell is the outward instrument and meanes of the soules cleansing: Every foule estranging it selfe from Gods ordinance is under the power of [Page 111] uncleannesse. 6.6. Of Sorrow [...]. An estate of continuall and remedilesse sorrowes, straights and perplexities. If God begin to wa­ken the conscience, and make man a little sensible of his wrath, then without the Gospell, his estate like the wa­ters of Marah without the tree is very bitter,Exod. 15.25. he cannot drinke of it, he cannot meditate upon it, without any com­fort, then he is in Iob 20.22. straights in the midst of his sufficiency; then he is in the green meadow of his worldly plenty, as a Psal 42.1. Mat. 8. chased Hart without the water brooke; then he is full of blessings and agitations; like the Disciples in the storme, and nothing but the voice of Christ in the Gospell can mi­nister peace or comfort to him; Better be deprived of all worldly possessions, then of the Gospell, and Gods Mini­sters. O that such men would consider and study the misery of their condition, as are left without the Gospell, and a faithfull Minister to instruct them: All our blessings will prove at last as curses, if we have not the Gospell to sweeten and sanctifie them to us; the waters about Jericho were naught, untill the Prophet powred salt into them;2 Kin. 2. the dee­pest rivers, and fullest flouds of mans worldly abundance, prove naught, an instrument of death and condemnation, to him that hath not the Gospell to season them; not the estate of him that wants earthly abilities, but the estate of him that wants the labours of Gods Ministers, is an estate of woes, miseries, and curses.

Doth God dispense his greatest, his heavenly,Their folly opened who estrange them­selves from the ministery. his choi­sest blessings by his Ministers? Then in this, as in a plaine and open character may we read their folly, and their im­piety, who estrange themselves from the house of God, who sleight and undervalue the labours of Gods Ministers; these men estrange themselves from the place, and from the meanes of blessing: The soule which is regardlesse of the ministery of the Gospell is far from blessing; such as come not to the light abide in darknesse; such as reject the Physitian, perish in their diseases; such as cast away their weapon, fall in the bat­tell; such as refuse the ministery of the word, the light, the physicke, and armour of their soules, abide in ignorance, perish in their impieties, and fall before their spirituall ad­versaries. [Page 112] Such as came not to the Arke, the place and in­strument of preservation in the deluge, were drowned in the waters: such as refuse the ministery of the Gospell, the instrument of the soules preservation, are swallowed in the deluge of Gods vengeance; Corah, Dathan, and Abiram refusing to come up at Moses call, the Num. 16. earth ope­ned her mouth and swallowed them; the earth will prove the occasion and instrument of their ruine, who through their earthly mindednesse despise the Gospell, and sleight the call of Gods Ministers inviting them: Such men are blind, Grounds of neglecting the ministery. and see not the worth of the Gospell, dead in sinne, and taste not the sweetnesse of Christ in the Gospell, un­sensible of their owne misery, and know not the necessity of Christ; as of a Physician to heale them; as of a ran­somer to redeeme them; and as of a fountaine to wash and cleanse them: Such men are selfe-conceited, self-admi­rers, puffed up with an opinion of their owne fulnesse, and consider not the need they have of Christ, his Ministers, and Gospell; as of a guide to direct them, as of a jewell to adorne them, as of a pearle to enrich them, and as of a living spring to fill them. Such as have least sence of their owne misery and emptinesse, are the greatest despisers and undervaluers of the meanes of their eternall happinesse: And such as are most exalted with an opinion of their owne wisedome, doe ever prove the most foolish of all others; neither doth man ever declare greater folly and madnesse, then in sleighting the Gospell and worke of Gods Mini­sters;Folly and evill hereof. for every such man is blind, and will not be guided, leprous, and will not be cleansed, in thraldome, and will not be freed empty, and will not be filled, naked, and will not be cloathed, condemned and will not receive a pardon were it is tendred: Such men refuse Gods sweetest mer­cies, and expose themselves to Gods bitterest curses; they cast aside the Seales and pledges of Gods greatest loving kindnesse, and thrust themselves upon Gods severest judge­ments, and God will at last be farre from them, in the withdrawment of the light of his countenance, who are now far from him, by their absence from his ordinances, God [Page 113] will at last sleight their prayers, who now sleight the voice of his Ministers.

As the Lord dispenseth many sweet and heavenly bles­sings by his Ministers,Care not to withdraw our selves from Gods house. so it should be our care and wise­dome, 1. Not to estrange our selves from their labours, not to withdraw our selves from Gods house, as the Pro­digall in the parable withdrew himselfe from his fathers house: Forget not (saith the Apostle) the Heb. 10.25. assembling of your selves together; absence from the sacred assemblies, proves uncomfortable and perillous. The proffer of Gods mercy is refused, the tender of Gods sweetest love is rejected, the choisest comforts of the soule are despised; the estate of the men of the old world despising the Arke, the only in­strument of preservation from the waters, proved dange­rous; the estate of such as refuse the Gospell, the meanes of salvation proves ruinous, everlasting perdition proves their last portion; the Scholler estranging himselfe from the Schoole, remaines void of learning; the sicke man estranging himselfe from the Physician continues diseased; the souldier withdrawing himselfe from the Artillery house, remaines unarmed; the diseased woman in the Gospell could not get her bloudy issue cured, untill she came to Christ; Man estranging himself from the house of God remaines ignorant, his soule unarmed, his whole man mor­tally diseased. Sinne ever proves an incurable and mortall sicknesse to him that absents himselfe from Christ in his ordinances, absence from the house of God, spoyles the soule of all gracious and comfortable communion and acquain­tance with God; he that refraines the Kings Court, lo­seth all communion with the King: Gods house is Gods Court, his Gospell the voice by which he speaketh, the glasse in which he shineth and shewes himselfe; the ban­quetting house wherein he communicates himselfe, as the Master of the feast unto his guests. He that neglecteth this, neglects the medium of his soules communion with God; estrangement from the house of God brings poverty upon the soule; the Prodigall forsaking his fathers house, became very poore and base, he made himselfe a compa­nion [Page 114] of Swine and would have eaten of the huskes, if any man would have given to him; great is their basenesse, swinish are their dispositions, shamefull is their spirituall poverty and emptinesse, who forsake the house of God, their Father, reject the labours of Gods Ministers, and fol­low their owne [...]: Absence from the house of God, argues want of love to God; Can you love a man from day to day, inviting you, preparing a costly feast for you, and yet you refuse to come within the threshold of his house, and to taste of his dainties? Mans absence from the house of God proclaimes the alienation of his heart from God. How canst thou say (saith Dalilah to Sampson) that thou lovest me, when thy heart is not with me. How canst thou O man say that thou lovest God, when thy heart is not with God, exciting, thee to come to God, when thy foot is not with God, to carry thee to the house of God, when thy eare is not with God, to heare the word of God: He is far from God in his inward affections, who wittingly denies God his bodily presence; Estrangement from Gods ordinance provokes God, causeth him to become a stranger to us, to reject and leave us, and to walke as an adversary against us. When Ʋasthi refused to come to the Kings feast at the Kings command, it was ordered that Ʋasthi should come no more before the King, and that her royall state should be gi­ven unto another better then she. Many people refusing to come to God, to partake of that feast which God hath prepared for them in his Gospell, have been rejected of the Lord, ex­cluded from his gracious presence, and the Gospell given unto others. God will deny that man the comfort of his face and counteance, who denyes God his presence in his sacred assembles; shamefull and soule-destroying desertion is the usuall attendant of mans refusall of the Gospell. When Joah refused to come to Absolon inviting him, Absalon sent, and set sire in his corne fields: Mans rejection of Gods invi­tations, turnes his favour into anger, his mercy becomes fury. Great were Gods mercies towards Jerusalem, great was Jerusalems abuse of Gods goodnesse, patience, and long-suffering, and at the last very dismall was Ierusalems desolation; [Page 115] Capernaums fall and destruction was answerable to her exal­tation. God will make such men desolate at last, as leave the house of God desolate now.

Secondly, let it be our care and wisedome,Care not to sleight Gods Ministers. not to sleight and undervalue the labours of Gods Ministers, and the pre­sence and publication of the Gospell; preferring our base and servile lusts above it, as Esau did a messe of pottage above his birthright, exalting the vaine and empty things of the world above it, as the men of Shechem set the bramble above the vine; this is the cisterne by which God conveyed the rivers of his grace, of his sweetest and choisest blessings to the soules of men; therefore doe not deride this as a foolish thing; a light, an idle, a fruitlesse thing, as a light head, 1 Cor. 2.14. Num. 11.5. as a babling speech; but remember this is Gods ordinance, the instrument by which he hath appointed to minister salvation unto man, as he ordained to save Israel by the staffe and stone in Davids hand; this is the arme and power of God unto salvation; this is the fiery pillar by which he will guide us; this is the Bethesda in which he will heale us; this is the immortall seed by which he will regenerate us; this is the greene pasture and still water by which he will leade and feed us; this is the trumpet, [...]t the sound whereof he will make the wals of Jericho, the holds of sinne to fall; this is the store-house in which the Lord will enrich us; this is the ban­quetting-house in which God will betroth us to his Son Christ Jesus; this is the river by which the Lord will water, re­fresh and glad us; and this is the Dove by which God will send the (live branch of peace unto us. Undervalue not this then, which is to our soules a Sun of so many bright and comfortable beames, a tree loaden with such variety of soule-nourishing fruit, a messenger comming with such joyfull, peaceable, and pacifying tydings, a store-house enriching us with such matchlesse treasures, and an instrument of the choi­sest, fullest, and everlasting blessings. How blind are they who sleight the light of this Sun? how ignorant are they who disesteeme the worth of this pearle? how distempered are their palates who rellish not the sweetnesse of this feast? how deafe are their eares who are not affected with this joy­full [Page 116] sound? O! how base are they in the eyes of God, who have such base apprehensions of Gods Ordinances, and the la­bours of his Ministers. God will surely sleight them that sleight his Christ, his Gospell, or any of Gods appointed instruments and meanes of their salvation: Honour therefore and attend the Gospell as the Starre in which Christ the Sun of Righteousnesse doth shine unto you; as the cloud whence Christ distilleth like the dew upon you; as the fiery pillar wherein Christ goes before you; as the Schoole wherein Christ instructeth you; as the feast whereat Christ feedeth you; as the Physicke by which Christ healeth you; and as the fiery charet in which Christ triumphantly carries you to everlasting blisse and glory. *⁎*



Discoursing of the necessity, utility, and comfort of mans prostrating himselfe, and all that is his under Christ: Discovering the danger of Self-seeking, Self-admiration, and Self-exaltation, and also opening the Mystery, Comfort, and Excellency of Christ living in Man. The whole conducing to the working of Man out of himselfe into CHRIST.

Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it,

Mat. 16.25.

They that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts,

Gal. 5.24.

By Alexander Grosse, B. D. Minister of the Gospell, and Pastor of Bridford near Exon in Devon-shire.

LONDON, Printed by G. M. for John Bartlet, at the Signe of the Gilt Cup near Saint Austius Gate. 1642.



Gal. 2.20.

Neverthelesse I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

THE condition of the man in the Parable, travelling between Jerusalem and Jericho, is a cleare and lively Embleme of the estate of a Christian. The man in the Parable descended from Jerusalem to Jericho: Man is fallen from Jerusalem to Jericho, from heaven to the world, from God to Satan, from knowledge to ignorance, from [Page 118] holinesse to uncleannesse, from liberty to bondage, from honour to ignominy, from fulnesse to emptinesse, from pure and perfect Religion to corrupt and carnall superstition: He is wholly gone downe from Jerusalem to Iericho, from the participation of all grace, from all interest in God, and from all communion and acquaintance with God, into the servitude of corruption and consortship with the world: The sinne of man hath cast him from the top and crowne of the choisest glory, into the gulfe and sinke of the fou­lest and basest misery. The man in the parable fell among theeves which stripped him of his rayment, and wounded him, leaving him halfe dead: Man is fallen among three great theeves, the Devill, sinne, and the world; and these have stripped man of all his spirituall rayment; these have taken all grace and holinesse from man, which once covered him, like a rich and costly garment; and they have also woun­ded, and left man halfe dead in his very naturall abilities. The fall of man hath totally stript him of all grace and ho­linesse, and also given a mortall wound to his morall and na­turall faculties. Hee that abides not with God at Jerusa­lem, makes himselfe a prey to sinne, the Devill, and the world.

There came a Priest and a Levite passing by, and looking upon the man thus stript and wounded, but neither of them had compassion upon him, neither of them ministred any consolation, nor lent an assisting hand unto him: Nei­ther the Priest, nor the Levite, neither the Morall, nor Ce­remoniall Law, can deliver sinfull man from Satans bon­dage, nor heale his wounded conscience; neither the works of the one, nor the Rites and Ceremonies of the other, can restore man to his originall happinesse, nor justifie him in Gods presence. Mans best abilities and all-humane devises are miserable comforters to sinfull and perplexed soules in their anguish.

Though the Priest and the Levite had no compassion up­on him, yet there came a Samaritan which had compassion upon him; though the Law shew no pitty, nor minister no comfort to wounded soules, and afflicted consciences; [Page 119] yet the Lord Jesus communicates both great and sweet mer­cies to broken hearted sinners. The Samaritane, a man from whom this distressed man could not expect any mer­cy, had compassion upon him, and helped him. Christ is become the Authour of mans comfort and salvation, beyond all humane and Angelical thought, conceit or imagination; the wisedome, worke, and love of God in providing a Savi­our for distressed sinners, was farre above the reach and comprehension of all creatures: The Samaritan bound up this poore mans wound, and poured in wine and oyle; the Lord Jesus binds up the broken-hearted, and gives the oyle of joy for mourning to them whose soules are truly hum­bled; the Samaritan set the man upon his owne beast. Christ communicates his owne honour to the penitent and broken-hearted sinner; sinne is the cause of mans dejecti­on, Christ is the Authour of mans exaltation; the Sama­ritan brought this distressed man to an Inne, and tooke care for him, gave two pence to the Hoast, charged him to take care of him, and promised payment of whatsoever he should spend more: The Lord Jesus brings perplexed soules to God as to their spirituall Hoast, and to the ministery of the Gos­pell, as to an Inne full of spirituall provision, gives his Mi­nisters the two Testaments, the Law and the Gospell, out of them to minister to the soules of his people, and char­geth them as the ministeriall Hoast of poore and perplexed soules, to make all necessary and plentifull provision, and in the end by his merits, his active and passive obedience, his two great pence, he dischargeth the debt of all penitent and beleeving sinners. The whole of a sinfull and grieved soules happinesse flowes from the Lord Jesus; all the supply of mans want and emptinesse is derived from Christs super-abundant fulnesse.

All the myrrh and odours, and instruments of Hesters pu­rification, and all her rich and costly apparell were given her out of the Hest. 2.13, 17. Christ the Au­thour of mans welfare. Kings house, and the royall crowne was put upon her head by the Kings hand. All the purity and perfection, all the righteousnesse and justification, all the dignity and excellency of a holy and gracious soule is drawne from [Page 120] Christ, the spirituall and heavenly King. All mans holy and heavenly excellencies are borrowed from the Lord Je­sus: Man is an empty cisterne, and hath all his fulnesse from Christ, the true and everliving fountaine; Christ is the root by whom he is sustained, the spring by whom he is filled, the Sun by which he is enlightened, the garment wherewith he is covered, the crowne with which he is ho­noured, the head by which he is guided, the eye by which he seeth, the hand by which he worketh, the foot by which he walketh, yea the very soule by which he liveth. What­soever goodnesse or excellency is in a Christian, it is Christs and not his owne; his very life is nothing but the living of Christ in him; he must say with Paul, Neverthelesse, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

Scope of the Apostle.The words are a declaration of a Christians life. Christ living in beleeving man, and man living unto Christ. The Apostle setting forth how he was dead to the Law, that he might live to God, tels us that he was crucified together with Christ. Christ being crucified for us, and we being by faith ingrafted into him, doe dye to sinne, and mor­tifie our earthly members which are upon earth; the death of the Lord Jesus is the death of sinne in all beleeving Christians, they live no more as formerly they did, they have Christ now living in them, and communicating him­selfe unto them: He that hath not experience of Christs living in him, in the way and worke of sanctification, pre­sumes in vaine of being saved by his death and suffering; no man knowes the benefit of Christs death, but he that feeles the vertue of Christs life. Man hath no further assu­rance of Christs dying for him then as he feeles Christ li­ving in him: He that knowes the power of Christs death in the mortification of his lusts, knowes also the vertue of Christs life in the quickning of his soule, and can say with Paul, now I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

Analysis. 2. Parts.In the words, not to trouble you with many particulars, we have two generall things proposed, 1. Christian abnega­tion, I live, yet not I. 2. Holy and gracious vivification, but Christ liveth in me. In the abnegation, we have 1. the [Page 121] Subiect: I Paul the Apostle,Subdivision. 1. Subjection. Note. a man chosen and called of God, a man filled and furnished with the fulnesse of Christ; and in and under him is understood all beleeving Christi­ans. Such alone as are truly sanctified and gracious people are the compleat and proper Subiect of that life which is heavenly and spirituall: Onely the living body is the seat and sub­ject of the soule; and that man alone that is spiritually quick­ned, hath Christ residing and dwelling in him, communica­ting holy and heavenly life to him.

2. Here is the Predicate, or thing affirmed, Life; 2. Praedicatum. and that is two wayes proposed: 1. affirmatively, I live. 2. Ne­gatively, yet not I. First affirmatively, I live, I lived once under the Law, which made me a persecutor of the Church of God, convinced me of sinne, wrought in me all man­ner of concupisence, and slew me, and I then found my selfe to be dead in sinne, but now I have embraced Christ, and am crucified with him; now I am no more the man I was, but now I have Christ, who doth quicken me, who doth rule, and guide, and strengthen me by his Spirit; now I live spiritually and holily, now I live to God, and not unto my selfe, to Christ, and not unto the world; now I live under grace, and not under the Law; now I live ac­cording to the will of Christ, and not after mine owne lust and fancy; now I live indeed,Note. formerly I did but seeme to live; All life is as nothing,1 Tim. 5.6. Mat 4.16.yea as a very death in comparison of a holy and gracious life. Men without grace are as dead, even while they live: He that hath not Christ living in him, sits in darknesse, and the shadow of death, all the dayes of his naturall and temporall life, as the Apostle said of the Law compared to the Gospell, That which was made glo­rious had no glory by reason of the glory that excel­leth: so in this case, the naturall life of man, how­soever deare, and precious, sweet or glorious, it may seeme to be; yet it is of no price, of no sweetnesse, of no glory, in comparison of the worth, 2 Cor. 3 10. glory, sweet­nesse, and comfort of a spirituall life, which excel­leth; great is that mans happinesse that lives by the life of Christ Jesus. Hee is the most blessed [Page 122] and happy of all living persons that lives the life of grace and holinesse.


SEcondly this is proposed negatively, yet not I. I live in deed, and yet I live not, in respect of originall. The life which I live is not of nature, but of grace, not of my selfe but of Christ: In respect of the rule which guides my life, though I live in the flesh, yet I live not after the flesh, I am not led by my lusts, but by the Spirit of Christ, I live not after my owne fancy, but according to the will of Christ, in respect of the meanes by which I live, I live not, by the Ier. 23.28. chaffe of humane traditions, selfe-devises, car­nall doctrines, and inventions of men, or superstitious ob­servations, but I live by the wheat of Christs doctrine, the 1 Pet. 2.2. sincere milke of Gods word, this is the staffe and stay of my life: In respect of the end or terme to which I live, I live not to my selfe, I seeke not, I exalt not, I magnifie not my selfe, I propose not mine owne ends; but I live to Christ, I intend, propose, and exalt Christ, I strive to be all that I am unto Christ: In respect of the opinion, and apprehension which I have of my selfe, I live not as mine owne Lord and Master, but I carry my selfe as a crucified man, suffering nothing in me to exalt it selfe against Christ; but I prostrate all at the feet of Christ, I make all to vaile and bow to Christ, that Christ may live and reigne in me, looke upon my selfe as the chiefe of sinners, and the basest of creatures, as unworthy of the least of Christs mercies, I deny my selfe, I allow no place within me, to mine owne wisedome and reason, to my owne will and affecti­ons, to mine owne fancy and desires; I looke on these as empty lamps that have no light, as on false guides and trea­cherous [Page 123] friends, that have no truth: I handle these as trai­tors, that conspire against the welfare of my soule: I tram­ple and tread these under foot, as enemies to my peace: I silence these, and will not heare them speake, I suppresse these, and will not suffer them to raigne, I mortifie these, and will not suffer them to live; and thus I live and live not, hence we learne,

That he who lives the life of grace and true holinesse, Doct. doth wholly deny himselfe, his owne ends, counsels, and affections, and altogether prostrates himselfe and all that is his under Christ Iesus: He put himselfe and all that he hath under Christ, he implyes himselfe and all that he hath for Christ, in all that he doth he chiefly minds and intends Christ: In Iosephs vision the Gen. 37.7, 9. Sun, Moone, and eleven Starres, these celestiall creatures did obeysance unto him, and all the sheaves in the field vailed unto his sheafe; in the soule, life, way, and worke of a regenerate man; all the supernaturall gifts and graces, all the morall abilities, and endowments, and all the naturall powers and faculties of the soule, with all the members of the body, all the labours of the life, and what­soever else doe obeysance unto Christ, are made sub­ject and serviceable unto Christ: True Christians are ter­med by the Apostle, a Rom. 12.1. living sacrifice. The sacrifice under the Law was no more his that offered it, but the Lords, and wholly to be spent in the service of the Lord; the Christian who offers himselfe unto God under the Gospell, is no more his owne, but the Lords, to be imployed whol­ly in the service of the Lord; this our Saviour imposeth as a necessary duty, and setteth it forth as a cleare and lively character of a true Disciple, and sincere Christian:Luk. 9.23. If any man (saith he) will come after me, let him deny himselfe, and take up his crosse and follow me: If any man will come after me, as a Scholler after his teacher, receiving my instruction; as a sheep after his shepheard, feeding in my pastures, as a soul­dier after his Centurion, fighting my battels; as a Subiect, after his Soveraigne, obeying my commandements; as a bride after her bridegroome, making me the compleate ob­ject of his love, and embracing me as the husband of his [Page 124] soule, if any man will come after me, in the knowledge of my will, in the beleefe of my promises, in the love of my truth, and in the obedience of my precepts: Let him deny himselfe, Let him lay aside his owne wisedome as an empty lamp, his owne will as an evill commander, his owne ima­gination as a false rule, his owne affections as corrupt coun­sellors, and his owne ends as base and unworthy marks to be aymed at; let him deny himselfe whatsoever is of him­selfe, within himselfe, or belonging to himselfe as a cor­rupt and carnall man; let him goe out of himselfe, that he may come to me; let him empty himselfe of himselfe, that he may be capable of me, that I may raigne and rule within him, that he may wholly subject himselfe to me and my service; there is no true following of Christ and his example, no through subjection to Christ and his pre­cepts, without the denyall of our selves and our affections, without the rejection of our owne ends and counsels; this the Apostle stiles 2 Cor 5.15. a living not unto our selves, but unto him that dyed for us; not to live unto our selves, by following our owne imaginations, not to serve our owne lusts and affe­ctions, not to terminate our selves within our selves, by seeking our owne applause and profit, by making our selves the Lords and Masters of our service, serving our selves, and not the Lord Jesus; but to live to Christ, to doe all in love and obedience unto Christ, to referre all to the praise and glory of Christ: It is a very base and carnall service which doth not primarily intend the Lord Jesus; surely he is farre from the life of Christ, that doth not live to Christ; that mans life is of a base, corrupt, and earthly originall, the energy, operation, and intendment of whose living is not to exalt and make Christ glorious; he alone truly understands the end of Christs death, that makes Christs glory the end of his life; and thus runs the charge of the Apostle to the Romanes, Rom. 6.13. Yeeld your selves unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousnesse unto God. Yeeld your selves to God, as souldiers to their Captaine, as servants to their Ma­ster, to fight for God, to worke for God, to doe all for [Page 125] Gods glory; let every faculty of the soule, and member of the body, even whatsoever belongs unto you be dedicated unto God, and imployed in the worke and service of God; that service which is not universall is hypocriticall; he alone is a perfect servant, that puts the whole man upon the service of the Lord, as all the rivers Eccl. 1.4. come from the sea, and returne, and empty themselves into the sea: Thus must we returne to God, and empty our selves, and all that we have into God, prostrate it all under Gods feet, and put it all upon the service of the Lord; as Moses Exod. 10.26. lest not a hoose behind him in Egypt, but carried all out, that he might sacrifice to the Lord of whatsoever the Lord would have; thus, we must not love a hoofe of our hearts, thoughts, loves, desires behind us upon sinne, and the world, but take of all, and sacrifice all to God and his service; we must with the Baptist be willing to Ioh. 3.30. decrease that Christ may increase, to become vile, and of no esteeme with men, that Christ may be exalted; we must with the Macedonians, 2 Cor. 8.5. give our selves to the Lord. We must give our understan­dings to know God, our wils to chuse God, our imagina­tions to thinke upon God, our memories to remember God, our affections to feare, trust, love, and rejoyce in God, our eares to heare Gods word, our tongues to speake God, praise, our hands to worke for God, and all our substance to the honour of God.


ANd a holy and gracious Christian doth thus deny him­selfe,Grounds of Self-denyall. and put himselfe and all that he hath under Christ.

1. In regard of that carnality, vanity, basenesse, 1. Self-vanity. earthli­nesse, unworthinesse, corruption, and uncleannesse, which he sees, [Page 126] and feeles in his owne flesh, in his owne affections, ends and coun­sels: He sees there is an emptinesse in himselfe, that his owne flesh is an Rom. 7 18. empty house, wherein dwelleth no good, and wherein is 2 Cor. 3.5. no sufficiency to the performance of any good duty; he sees that his owne heart is a City full of treason, Ier. 17.9. deceitfull above measure, and not to be trusted; he feeles a Rom. 7.23. law in his members, rebelling against the law of his mind, as Rebeckah felt the twinnes in her wombe stri­ving the one against the other; he discernes that his owne wisedome is foolish, an empty lamp, a bleare-eye, a false light; he discernes that he is brutish, and hath not the Prov. 30.2. knowledge of the holy; he sees much uncleannesse within himselfe, many spots in his soule; he sees that he is like Jacobs flocke, spotty coloured; like Noahs Arke, wherein are many uncleane beasts among the cleane; like the field in the parable, wherein are many teares among the wheat; he sees how he is yet in part Rom. 7.14 carnall, and sold under sin, not fully freed and discharged from the strength and wor­king of sinne; he discernes an unhappy pronenesse in his heart, to consult with flesh and bloud, and to propose bie, and sinister, low, and base ends; and having the sight, sence, and sorrowfull experience of all this; he denyes him­selfe, as Jacob having experience of the Gen. 31.7. deceitfulnesse of Laban, grew weary of him, denyed him his service, and went forth from him. Thus a gracious man having expe­rience of the corruption and deceitfulnesse of his owne heart and flesh, growes weary of himselfe, denyes him­selfe, goes out of himselfe, commeth unto Christ, and puts himselfe wholly under Christ; and as the Evangelist said of Christ, that Ioh. 2.13. knowing what was in man, he would not com­mit himselfe unto man: so sanctified man knowing what is in himselfe, he will not commit himselfe unto himselfe, he will not trust himselfe with himselfe, he denyes his owne wisedome, he becomes 1 Cor. 3.18. a foole in his owne appre­hension, and seeks to Christ to be made wise unto salva­tion; he looks upon his owne righteousnesse, as Isa. 64. rotten ragges, and comes to Christ for justification; he considers his owne weaknesse, and comes to Christ as the Ios. 10.6. Gibe­onites [Page 127] came to Joshuah, to rescue him from his enemies, he is experienced in the vanity of all other helpers; and there­fore comes to Christ, as the diseased Mar. 5.29. woman, whom the Physitians could not cure, that Christ may heale his spiri­tuall maladies; Man is ever so much the more strong, and powerfull in the worke of self-denyall, by how much the more clearly he discernes the carnality and basenesse of his owne heart and counsell. He that knowes how subject he is to miscarry when he leanes upon himselfe, will readily put himselfe and all that he hath under Christ.

2. In regard of the holy, strong, and constant bent, 2. Holy incli­nation to Christ. and inclination of the heart of a gracious Christian unto Christ: As every thing moves towards its proper centre, and is at no rest untill it comes to that: so doth the sanctified soule incline and move to Christ, the true centre of the soule, and resteth not untill it comes to Christ, and hath the fruition of Christ; there is in a gracious soule such a principle of grace, such a communication of Christ, such a sutablenesse between the soule and Christ, such a fervent and operative love towards Christ, such a vehement longing af­ter Christ, that it mightily moves to Christ as the rivers to the sea; that nothing but Christ can answer it, quiet and content it; there is in the soule such a blessed residence, such a powerfull and gracious energy, and operation of the Spirit of Christ, that as the Ezek. 1.20. wheeles in Ezekiels vision mo­ved, wheresoever the living creatures moved, because the Spirit of the living creatures was in the wheeles: so the soule moves after Christ, because the Spirit of Christ is in the soule; this makes it Psal. 42 1. pant after Christ, as the Hart after the water brookes; this makes it Psal 63.1, 8. thirst for Christ, as the dry ground for waters; this makes it follow hard af­ter Christ, as the childe with cryes and teares after the fa­ther going from it; this makes it cry for Christ, as some­times Gen. 30.2. Rachel did for children, O give me Christ or else I dye; and as David thirsted, and his worthies 2 Sam. 23.15. burst through the army of the Philistines for water out of the wels of Bethel: so the soule thirsting for Christ, breakes through all the armies of opposition to come to Christ, to refresh [Page 128] it selfe with Christ; now it denies all, leaves all, passeth through all, prostrates it selfe and all that it hath under Christ, that it may enjoy Christ, it hates all that hinders its comming to Christ, and embraceth all that may further its communion with Christ, sutablenesse between the soule and Christ, readily denyes and rejects all that hinders the fru­ition of Christ.

3. Uanity of all things.3. In regard of the vanity, nullity, and nothingnesse which a gracious man discernes in himselfe, and in all things else without and beside Christ; he looks upon himselfe as on Gen. 18 28, dust and ashes; he is vile in his owne apprehension, as a Psal. 22.6. worme and no man; he humbles and abhorres himselfe Iob 42 6. be­low the dust and ashes; he looks on all other things as Phil. 3.8. dung and drosse, and a thing of Prov. 23.5. naught in comparison of Christ; he reputes all things in respect of Christ, as Iudg. 9.9. Jo­than did Abimelech in respect of the Sonnes of Jerubbaal; but as a bramble in respect of the vine, fig-tree, and olive-tree; and having such a low opinion of himselfe, and all things else; he readily denyes himselfe and all things else, and makes all to vaile and stoop to Christ; with Mat. 4.21, 22. Simon and Andrew they are ready to leave their nets, their ship, and their father, to deny their possessions, and their friends, to put all under Christ, to leave whatsoever is most profi­table and deare, according to the flesh for Christs sake, with Paul to esteeme their very Act 20 24. life as nothing, that they may glorifie Christ, and finish Christs worke: The more any man doth undervalue himselfe, and the creature; the more he exalteth Christ, the more freely, fully, and readily he prostrates all at the feet of Christ.

4. Rule of Christ.4. In regard of the holy, powerfull, and universall raigne, rule and dominion of Christ in a gracious and sanctified soule: Here Christ reignes as a King in his Throne,Psal. 72.8. as Solomon reigned over the land of Canaan from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth: so doth Christ raigne in a regenerate and gracious soule, from the highest to the lowest faculty thereof, and from the head to the feet, and from the highest to the lowest undertaking of a Christian: Here Christ reignes as a Eph. 3.17. dweller in his house; the dweller rules [Page 129] over all the roomes, members, and goods of his house, and disposeth all to his service; Christ rules over all the faculties of the soule, members of the body, and disposeth all the endowments and doings of a Christian to his owne service, and for his owne honour: Here Christ rules as the Eph. 1.20. head over the body, acting, moving, guiding, and fra­ming the whole man, to a holy, humble, and free subje­ction: Here Christ reignes as a Mat. 8.8. Centurion in his army, and as the servants of the Centurion did goe and come at his command, and doe whatsoever he bad them: Thus all the faculties of the soule, and members of the body of a true Christian, are at the command of Christ, receiving their direction and commission from Christ, doing every thing in subjection and obedience to Christ: Thus the Psalmist speaking of Christs kingdome, saith, Psal. 110.3. in the day of thy po­wer, when Christ should reigne by his Gospell and Spirit in the soules of men, the people should be willing, free, ready, and full in their subjection unto Christ, and his Psal. 72.9. enemies should bow before him, and licke the dust; such as were enemies, rebellious, and disobedient in their unregeneration, should after their conversion bow themselves, and licke the dust, acknowledge and receive Christ as their Lord and King, and in very great humility subject and prostrate both them­selves and all theirs to him, and his service; for as Abner entring into Covenant with David, and taking David for his King, undertooke to 2 Sam. 3. bring about all Israelite to David Thus the soule entring into Covenant with Christ, and taking Christ for its King, brings about all to Christ, and puts all in subjection under Christ.

5. In regard of the holy and fervent desire of a gracious soule to exalt and set up Christ: This is the prime [...]our,5 Desire to ex­ [...] Chr [...]st. joy and comfort of a godly soule, to see and feele Christs kingdome within him, to set up Christ in his heart, and to discerne him ruling and commanding there, as a King in his Throne, as a Pilate in the ship; this is his suite and supplication unto God, that Christs Mat. 6.10. kingd [...]m [...] may come, that Christ may reigne and rule within him as David some­times thirsted, and longed to see the Psal. 63.2. power and glory of [Page 130] God in the Sanctuary: so doth a godly man long to see the power and glory of Christ in his soule; to behold him raigning in his heart: In the day of Solomons coronation the 1 King 1.40. people piped with pipes, and rejoyced with great joy, so that the earth rung with the sound thereof: In the day of Christs coronation, and reigne in the soule of man, the heart of man rejoyceth with exceeding great joy, Christs dominion is a holy soules rejoycing, the kingdome of God is righteousnesse and peace, and Rom. 14.17 joy in the Holy-Ghost. It was the care, labour, and joy of David to bring the Arke of the Lord into the Tabernacle, in that day David 2 Sam. 6.14 danced before the Lord with all his might, and all the house of Israel brought up the Arke of the Lord with shouting and 15 with the sound of a trumpet, and set it in the midst of the Ta­bernacle. Thus it is the care, labour, and comfort of the whole man that is godly, to set up Christ in the midst of his soule, to see him reigning in his understanding, as the Sun in the eye; guiding in his will, as a Prince comman­ding it; in his imagination, as the obiect on which he thin­keth with most frequency, delight and comfort; in his trust, as the onely rocke whereon he buildeth; in his feare, as the King of Kings, whom he chiefly reverenceth; and in his love, as an husband in the love of the wife: so powerfull and operative is this desire, labour, and joy of a gracious soule, touching the exaltation, reigne, and rule of Christ within it; that as the people would have all the men put 1 Sam. 11.12 to death which would not have Saul reigne over them: so doth such a man mortifie all his lusts which oppose Christs kingdome, remove whatsoever may hinder Christs spi­rituall dominion, and makes all vaile, and stoop for Christs exaltation within him.

Acquiescence in Christs ap­probation.6. In regard of a gracious soules acquiescence and conten­tation with the approbation of Christ: In this it pleaseth, in this it blesseth, delighteth, and satisfieth it selfe, whatso­ever it hath besides it, this is in stead of all, as the Sun is to the eye in stead of all lights, and the fountaine to the thirsty in stead of all bottles; the approbation of Christ is of very great price with a true Christian; his Rom. 2.29. praise is not [Page 131] the praise of men but of God; not to have the approba­tion of men to his doings, but of God; not to have his eare tickled with the empty breath of vaine mans applause, but with the solide and sweet inspiration, and breathing of Gods Spirit, assuring him of Gods acceptation of him; as our Saviour sought not himselfe, nor his owne praise, but the Ioh. 8.50. praise of his Father, made it his Ioh 4. [...]4. meat and drinke to doe his Fathers will, and contented himselfe with his Fa­thers approbation, how unworthily soever men thought of him: Thus all the members of Christ in proportion seeke not themselves, nor the applause of men, but the testimony of Christ; in this they rejoyce and solace themselves, in all things 2 Cor. 6.4. approving themselves to God, as good servants, in all estates, in all changes, in all their undertakings; and this is the holy glorying, rejoycing and comfort of the soule, to 2 Cor. 10.17, 18. glory (as the Apostle saith) in the Lord, to glory in the dominion of God, subjecting himselfe unto him, to glory in the power of God, resting upon him, to glory in the testi­mony of God, blessing and pleasing himselfe in Gods appro­bation for not he that commendeth himselfe is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth: Gods approbation is the crowne and comfort of a Christian; and therefore as the wife seeks and rejoyceth in the approbation of her husband, though she displease her selfe, and all the family to enjoy it: Thus the soule which is wedded to Christ seeks the approba­tion of Christ, pleaseth himselfe herein, and for the enjoyment whereof will displease his owne flesh, and all the world, he de­nies whatsoever is a hinderance hereunto, he subjects himselfe wholly unto Christ, to gaine and keep the testimony of Christ; for as he said of Plato, unius Platonis calculum inter mille, the approbation of Plato alone was in stead of a thousand: so the testimony and approbation of one Christ, of Christ alone, is more to a gracious soule, then the applause of the world or whatsoever the earth can affoord, and for these and such like causes doth a man endued with true holinesse deny himselfe, his owne ends and counsels, and prostrates all under Christ Jesus.


Want of self­denyall dan­gerous.COnsider this then, and see the dangerous estate of men not denying themselves and their owne ends and thoughts, not subjecting themselves and all that they have to Christ and his service; as the Sodomites would not have Lot to be a Gen. 19.9. Judge among them, no more will many men have Christ to reigne over them; the sonnes of Be­lial 1 Sam. 10.27 despised Saul, and brought him no presents. Many like sonnes of Belial despise Christ in his person, they see no beauty nor comlinesse in him, they despise him in his Gospell, they will not vaile to his Scepter, they despise him in his Embassadors, they deny audience, and reverence to their message, they despise him in his offices, they doe not heare him as their Prophet, obey him as their King, they doe not beleeve in him as the Priest who hath offe­red himselfe to God an al-sufficient sacrifice for them, they despise him in his Psal 2 2. lawes, they burst them asunder, as Sampson burst his withs: strange and shamefull is the contempt offered by prophane persons to the Lord Jesus, and though they pro­fesse Christ, and pretend Christ, & will have Christ to be prea­ched and spoken of among them; yet as the Philistines though they entertained the Arke, yet they set Dagon 1 Sam. 5.4. above, and would not endure the presence therof when Dagon fell before it: so these men though they outwardly entertaine Christ, and give him some place amongst them, yet they will set their Dagon, their lusts, their pride, pleasures, profits, inventions above Christ; and if their Dagon fall, if Christ begin to shew his power, and worke upon their Dagon, discover, reprove, shame, and offer to cast downe their lusts, and will not suffer these to raigne, they grow very weary of Christ, his presence is uncomfortable: Christ preached in his power ever proves a burthen to the soule where sinne is pleasant and delightfull; he that doth not deny him­selfe, denies Christ; he that allowes not Christ a full and [Page 133] universall dominion, is a great stranger to selfe-deni­all.

Some deny not their owne wisedome, 4. Sorts non-denyers of themselves. 1. Self-wise. Christ reignes not in their understanding, they are Isa. 5.21. wise in their owne eyes, they embrace not Christs direction, Christ is not in stead of eyes unto them, as Num. 10.30. Hobab was to Moses and Israel in their journeyes through the wildernesse; they aske not coun­sell of Christ, but walke after their owne counsell, they make not their wisedome to stoop to Christs wisedome, and therefore folly dwels with them, Christ is not knowne to them; he of all men sees least of Christ, and continues most foolish that most exalts and magnifies his owne know­ledge.

Some deny not their owne wils, 2. Self-willed. they make not Christs will the rule of their will, but set up their owne wils to be the rule of Christs will, and make their owne will the Law by which they walke, as it was foretold of the King of Greece, that he should Dan. 11.3. Psal. 2, 2. stand up and rule with great dominion, and doe according to his will: so it is true of these men, they stand up against Christ, and they rule and sway over Christs Lawes, Ministers, Ordinances, and Offices, and doe all things according to their owne will. In the dayes of Micah the Idolater, there was no King in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his owne eyes: Thus these men are without a spirituall King, Christ doth not reigne in their soules, but they doe what is right in their owne eyes, they are Isa. 30.9, 10. rebellious people, lying children, children that will not heare the Law of the Lord, which say to the Seer see not, and to the Prophets, prophesie not unto us right things, speake unto us smooth things, prophesie to us deceits. Christ hath no kingdome in the soule which is swayed by vaine delusion, and carnall counsell.

Some will not deny their owne affections, Self-lusted. they will not put them under, but suffer them to Lord it over Christ, Christ hath not the preheminence in their feare, trust, love, joy; but as the Lord said to Ely, thou 1 Sam. 2.29. honourest thy sons above me, so these men honour their affections and lusts above Christ. Solomon observed in his time Eccl. 7.10. servants riding [Page 134] on horsebacke, and Princes walking on foot. Euery man may see in these times mens naturall lusts and affections which should like servants be kept under and suppressed, humbled, brought low, and made to walke on foot; yet these are set on horsebacke, exalted, honoured, preferred, and Christ the Prince of peace, and all his ordinances, statutes, and testimonies, which should reigne and rule like Princes in the soule of man, these are made like servants to travell on foot; these are of no esteeme and price with men; these have no rule and sway in the hearts of men: Hero­dias hath preheminence in the heart of Ma [...]. 6. Mat. 8. Herod above the Baptist; a Swine is of more esteeme then▪ Christ with the Gaderine. Mans exaltation of his corrupt affections is a foule and shamefull abasement of Christ and his ordinan­ces.

4 Worldly minded.Some deny not their worldly profits; Jesse set David be­hind the 1 Sam. 16. ewes, many set Christ behind the oxe and the asse; the Luk. 14 18. farme and the wife, their merchandise and world­ly trafficke, they prize the world above Christ, they love this more then they love Christ, the love of the world car­ries their Ezek. 33.31. heart farre from Christ, when their bodies draw neare to Christ; the overvaluing of the earth is an under­valuing of Christ; when the world is over sweet and sa­voury to mens palates, their soules Amos 8.5. disrellish Christ and his ordinances; whon the earth is pleasant like a Paradise, Christ and all the meanes of grace are apprehended as a very wildernesse.

5. Voluptuou­sly affected, and vainly exalted.Some deny not their owne pleasures, but value them above Christ, as Esau did a few pottage above his birthright; some deny not their pride, but as Absalom sought to raigne, though it were to the dishonour and deposall of his fa­ther David from his throne: so they seeke to magnifie themselves, though to the dishonour of God, and deposall of Christ from his Throne in their hearts; some deny not their owne worth and goodnesse, they are rich and full in their owne opinions, as the man in the Prophet, which dreamed, he had eaten and was full; some deny not their owne superstitions, they receive for doctrines the comman­dements [Page 135] of men, they will see Christ in a glasse of their owne framing, learne Christ in a schoole of their owne ere­cting, and draw the waters of salvation out of a cisterne of their owne digging; doubtlesse they are a very small number that have learned the lesson of self-denyall, questi­onlesse Christ hath spirituall and heavenly dominion in the soules of few men. Very full of base respects and purposes are the hearts of many that professe Iesus Christ: The Pro­phet speaks of a day, wherein Isa. 4 1. seven women should take hold of one man, saying we will eat our owne bread, and weare our owne apparell, onely let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach. There is a day now, wherein seven, a very great number, take hold of one man Christ, by an out­ward profession; but they will eat their owne bread, and weare their owne apparell, they will find their owne plea­sures, walke in their owne wayes, keep themselves appa­relled with the old man, they will not deny themselves, they will not put away their old things, and make all things new, they will only be called by the name of Christ to take away their reproach, of being reputed Atheists and Infidels among men. Many men that professe themselves Christians doe shamefully deny the Lord Iesus, and are far from the denyall of themselves, their owne counsels and affections.


IF you demand whence it is, and how it comes to passe that men are so backward in denying themselves and their owne ends,Seven grounds of backward­nesse in self-deniall. 1. Self-prizing. and in subjecting themselves and all that they have unto Christ. I answer of this there are seven grounds:

1. Mans overvaluing of himselfe. Man is very prone to [Page 136] thinke of himselfe above that which is convenient, to pride himselfe in his endowments, abilities, to thinke of him­selfe as the Queene of Babylon did, that he is a Isa. 47. Queene and no widow, wise and not ignorant, rich and not poore, full and not empty, holy and not prophane, free and not bound, as Goliah 1 Sam. 17. prided himselfe in the talnesse of his stature, and bignesse of his armour: so doth man pride himselfe in his naturall, morall, and temporall habiliments and furniture, contrary to the charge of the Apostle, Rom 12 16 Man is wise in his conceit, and will not stoop to wholsome instruction, he thinks himselfe sufficient for himselfe, to guide himselfe, to sustaine himselfe, to make himselfe ac­ceptable unto God. Gen 33 9. Esau thought he had enough, and re­fused his brothers present: vaine man thinks he hath enough, wisedome, faith, love, holinesse enough; and therefore refuseth the spirituall and heavenly presence of Christ, his or­dinances, benefits, graces, and all helps to happinesse; he dreams that he is wise, when he is foolish, spirituall, when he is carnal, full when he is empty, like the Rev. [...].17. Laodicean; and this disables him to deny himselfe, and subject himselfe to Christ; he that supposeth he hath water enough at home in his owne cisterne, will not goe to his neighbours well. Thoughts of self-suffici­ency hinder men from going out of themselves, and com­ming unto Christ: The Pharisees conceited so highly of their owne wisedome, that they refused Christ and his doctrine; the whole puts not himselfe under the hands of the Physitian to be dieted, lanced, and purged by him.

2. The overswaying of corrupt and carnall lusts: These over­sway man,2. Overswaying lusts. as a Master doth his servant, or a King his subject, they rule and reigne within man, and make man their 2 Pet. 2.10. servant; the servant (as S. Peter saith) of corruption; and as a servant is not his own man, but his Masters, is guided by his Master, minds and intends his Master, seekes the pleasing and profiting of his Master, is bound and cannot enter into the service of another. Thus these men are not their owne men, but the servants of their lusts, moved, led, and guided by their lusts, min­ding and intending their lusts, seeking to please and profit their lusts, making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts [Page 137] thereof: To these they are bound, and cannot put them­selves into Christs service, they cannot take upon them Christs yoake; these oversway man as a lover is overswayed by his love: Man is very indulgent to them as David to Absalom, and as he charged the Captaines of his armies to deale gently with the young man Absalom: so man is very loath to have his lusts roughly handled; he wishes that all the Prophets would prophesie smooth things and deceits; and as the ha [...]lot in Solomon caused the young man with her much faire Prov. 7.11, 22 speech to yeeld, and forced him with the slattering of her lips, so that he went after her as an oxe goeth to the slaughter: Thus these lusts with their flatte­ries, and fleshly-seeming sweetnesse, and bewitching elo­quence doe make the soule yeeld and follow them; and as strange love in a wife takes away her matrimoniall love from her husband, and makes her regardlesse of him, and disobedient to him: Thus the indulgency and love of man to his lusts takes away his Isa. 4.4. 1 Ioh. 2.15. love from Christ, makes him regardlesse of Christ, and rebellious against Christ: These lusts oversway man as a disease overswayes the body, di­stempers the palate, destroyes the appetite, and makes the meat distastefull and irksome: Thus doe these lusts distem­per the foule, and make Christ and his word the bread of life and food of the soule unpleasant, the very savour of death unto death. There is no possibility of self-denyall and subjection unto Christ as long as the soule is overswayed by any carnall lusts; the dominion of sinne, and subjection unto Christ are incompatable, and inconsistent; Abner could not serve David untill he denied his service and obedi­ence to the house of Saul.

3.3. Inordinate disposition to­ward the crea­ture. An inordinate disposition of the heart toward the Crea­ture. The heart of man is inordinate towards the creature, in his opinion and judgement of the creature, judging it to be strong as a mountaine, when it is weake as the sand, to be full as the Sea, when it is empty as a broken [...]sterne to be noble and honourable, when it is base and full of thraldome, to be permanent as the Sunne, when it vani­sheth like a meteor: The heart of man is inordinate about [Page 138] the creature, in his thoughts, of its filling it selfe with distra­cting and perplexing thoughts about it, making his bed a bed of thornes whereon he cannot sleep; the heart of man is in­ordinate about the creature, in his pursuit of it, pursuing it as the choisest and most desirable object, in his trust in it, building on it as a rocke that never sinketh, in his love to it, his heart going after it, as the heart of the adulterer after the harlot, in the price he puts upon it, prizing it above Christ, as the men of Shechem did the bramble above the vine, in his sorrow for the losse of it, as Micah grie­ved as a man undone for the losse of his Idoll, and in the promises he makes unto himselfe from it, promising him­selfe like the rich man in the parable, fulnesse of all peace, and contentment from his worldly abundance; and judging of Gods love towards him, according to that outward abundance which God bestowes upon him; the heart of man being thus inordinately disposed towards the crea­ture, he cannot deny the creature, he cannot come fully and freely off from the creature, and submit himselfe to Christs Scepter; the Elders of Iudg. 11. Gilead came not to Jep­tha, made him not their head, untill they saw their owne and Israels weaknesse. Man never comes to Christ, never makes Christ his head, never truly and throughly subjects himselfe to Christ, untill he sees both his owne and the creatures weaknesse, emptinesse, and unworthi­nesse.

4. Over-prizing man.4. An over-piercing of man. Man is very prone to over-prize man, the favour and countenance of man, the society and fellowship of man, the praise and applause of man: These are chaines and fetters which bind and imbondage man to man; and make man the 1 Cor. 7.24. servant of man, flatterers and admirers of vaine man, companions in evill with sin­full man, inordinate haunters after the approbation and applause of idle man, doing many things contrary to Christ, for the winning and retention of this; he that is ambiti­ous of the favour, fellowship, and praise of men, can never solace and satisfie himselfe with the favour and approba­tion of Christ; he cannot subject himselfe to Christ, and [Page 139] make him in stead of all friends, companions, applauders, and approvers to his soule. What hindered the parents of the blind man from professing Christ, from making men­tion of Christ having done such a miraculous curtesie to their childe; but their overprizing of man, they Ioh. 9.22. feared the Jewes, they were loth to displease the Jewes, unwilling to lose their place in the Synagogue among the Jewes. Why did not the Rulers, which with a dogmaticall and historicall faith beleeved in Christ, confesse Christ? why did they not deny all for Christ? why did they not open­ly professe and exalt Christ? Ioh 13.42.4 [...]. because of the Pharisees they did not confesse him, least they should be put out of the Sy­nagogue, for they loved the praise of men more then the praise of God. We can never rightly value Christ, till we have learned to sleight and undervalue man, the vaine and empty favour and applause of man. How Ioh. 5.44. can ye beleeve (saith Christ) how can ye embrace me, dedicate your selves to me, and partake of me: Which receive honour one of another, and seeke not the honour which commeth from God onely; the soule never gaines sweet and gracious communion with Christ, which esteemeth and doats on the fellowship of sinfull men. Luk 14.26. He that cannot hate father and mother with a comparative hatred, that can­not reject the fellowship, friendship, and applause of car­nall men for Christ, can never come to Christ, never be a true Disciple of Christ, never have the sweet enjoyment of Christ.

5. A carnall iudging and mistaking of Christ. 5. Mistaking of Christ. Men doe not discerne nor conceive of Christ aright, they learne not Christ as the Eph 4.27. truth is in him, they misjudge the knowledge of Christ, esteeming it, 1 Cor. 2.14. foolishnesse, vaine, idle, unprofita­ble knowledge, whereas this is Phil. 3.8. excellent and superlative knowledge, transcending all the knowledge and wisedome of the world, as the Sunne the gloe-worme, they discerne not the love of Christ any more then the dead doe the warmth of the Sunne, being Eph. 4.19. alienated from the life of God, and past feeling, they taste not any sweetnesse, they feele not any comfort in Christs love, whereas his love is [Page 140] sweeter then Cant. 1.3. wine, and better then life, their soules are not married to Christ, Christ is not brought into the cham­ber of their hearts, as the bridegroome into the chamber of the bride, but stands afarre off, as a stranger whose love they know not, they discerne not the Isa. 53.1. beauties of Christ, they see no comelinesse in him, they doe not see him in his ordinances shining as a Sunne, sweetly and gloriously triumphing as a King; his beauties are hidden from their eyes, they judge of Christ as Samuel did of the sonnes of Jesse, according to the 1 Sam. 16. outward appearance, they discerne not the fulnesse of Christ, he seemes to them a Isa. 53.2. dry tree, their soules never found any satisfaction in him, he is a sealed well whereof they never dranke, and a hidden Manna of whom they did never eat, they discerne not the dispen­sations of Christ, they suppose that he dispenseth nothing but sorrowes, feares, terrours, and anguish to the soules of men, whereas he dispenseth love, peace, comfort, making for them a feast of Isa. 25.6. fat things, of marrow, and of wine well refined upon the lees, filling them with all Rom. 15.13. ioy in belee­ving, they discerne not Christs purpose in humbling the soules of his servants, they perceive not how he gives them light in darknesse, how he makes them rejoyce with 1 Pet. 1.7, 8. ioy glorious, and unspeakable, when they suppose them to be of all men most miserable; they discerne not the con­tentments which Christ giveth to them that lose and leave all for him; they perceive not that Mat. 19.29. hundred fold more which Christ giveth them, in bestowing himselfe upon them, being infinitely more to them then all friends, ho­nours, riches, and whatsoever worldly comforts; as the pearle in the parable,Mat. 13. [...]0. was much more to the Merchant then all that he gave, though he gave all that he had for it. Men thus mistaking and misjudging Christ, thinke di­shonourably of Christ, esteeme him no better then another Cant. 5.9. beloved, no better then gold, silver, honour, the covetous and ambitious mans beloved; and man will ne­ver leave much for that wherein he discerneth little, or no worth: we shall never be able to subject our selves to Christ, untill we have rightly learned the worth of Christ; [Page 141] he that knowes the comfortable dispensations of Christ in the time of Christian suffering, will chuse to live with Christ in the deepest outward misery, rather then live without Christ, in the greatest worldly prosperity, peace and plenty.

6. A corrupt framing and devising of false Christs, 6. Corrupt de­vising of false Christs. and false wayes to life and peace. Some frame unto themselves a car­nall Christ, placing all his worship, and their service in a carnall and bodily attendance upon his ordinances; they thinke it enough to Ier. 7.10. come and stand before him in his house, in this they stay and looke no further, they suppose the having of the outward ordinances is the having of Christ; some frame unto themselves a ceremoniall and superstitious Christ, embracing the traditions of men, and being very severe and frequent in the observation of humane devises, they blesse themselves as the onely true worshippers of Christ; some frame unto themselves a licentious Christ, such a Christ as died to bring redemption to man, but re­quires no obedience from Man, this is the Libertines Christ, and all these suppose they have Christ when yet they have him not; and as he that is full is loath to beg, and the full stomacke Prov. 27.7. loatheth the honey-combe: so these supposing that they have Christ, are full of Christ, though yet they have him not; as he in Solomon made himselfe rich when yet he Prov. 13.7. had nothing; they are loath either to deny them­selves, or to seeke any further for Christ: He that falsly faines himselfe to have Christ, is of all others most uneasily drawne and wrought home to Christ: The heathen man could say, Many might have been wise, if they had not alrea­dy thought themselves wise; and so many might have Christ, if they were not perswaded they had already gotten Christ.

7. Ignorance of the nature and sweetnesse of Christs yoake, 7. Ignorance of nature of Christs yoke. and of the comfort of living under the command of Christ. Men know not how good and pleasant the service of Christ is, how full of joy and contentment the fruition of Christ is; they imagine that Christs yoake is an yron yoake, Christs way a way of thornes, and the day of a Christi­an [Page 142] as a day of clouds and darknesse; they know not that Christs yoake is made Mat. 11.29. easie through grace, that his wayes are wayes of Prov. 3.17. peace, and his paths paths of plea­santnesse; they know not the 2 Cor. 1.11. ioy and reioycing arising from the having of our conversation in simplicity and godly sin­cerity; they see not the Sun of love that shines upon the heads of the righteous, they drinke not of that Psal 46 4. river of com­forts which refresheth the city of the Lord, they feed not upon the Psal 23.2. greene pastures, nor taste of the still waters, by which Christ leadeth and pa [...]ureth his flocke; they never knew the peace, confidence, security, satisfaction, safety and glory derived to the soule from the participation of Christ, and therefore they will not put their neckes under Christs yoake.


IF you demand what the evils are which attend the want of self-denyall,Evils arising from want of Self-denyall 1. Vncapable­nes of Christ. and full and through subjection unto Christ: I answer, hence arise these evils and great inconveni­ences to the soules of men.

1. Ʋncapablenesse of Christ: The full vessell is uncapable of other liquor, the full house is uncapable of another dwel­ler, the full soule, the soule which doth not deny it selfe, which is not emptied of all self-sufficiency, is uncapable of Christ, as long saith the Apostle, Rom. 7.3, 4. as the husband li­veth, the wife is bound to the law of her husband, and she cannot marry another, when her husband is dead she is free to marry whom she will: As long as the creature liveth, as long as opinion of self-sufficiency or any other lust doth live, and beare sway in the heart of man; Man is bound to the law of the creature, and his owne lust, he is under the power and authority of the creature, and [Page 143] lust, and he cannot marry his soule to Christ; but if the creature be dead, if the world be Gal. 6.14. Gal 5.24. crucified unto him, and he to the world, if he hath crucified the flesh with the af­fections thereof, then he is free to marry himselfe to Christ, then he is capable of Christ. Christ hath no gracious be­ing where there is no true and through self-denyall; that soule alone which is truly humble is Christs dwel­ling.

2. Alienation and estrangement from all the benefits and comforts flowing from Christ. 2. Alienation from the bene­fits and com­forts of Christ. The Subject which exalts himselfe, and denyes obedience to his Soveraigne, deprives himselfe of all the prerogatives which the King grants un­to his loyall people: He that exalts himselfe with an opi­nion of his owne worth, or sets up the creature in the roome of Christ, and will not vaile and bow to Christ, excludes himselfe from all the comforts of Christ: He is estranged from the knowledge of Christ, as a diseased eye from the light of the Sunne, from the love of Christ, as a harlot from the love of her husband, from the Ioh. 5.14. faith of Christ, as the house builded upon the sand was estranged from the rocke, from the communion and fellowship of Christ, as Joab exalting Adoniah into the Throne, was ex­cluded from communion with 1 King. 1. Solomon: so man exalting the creature, or any lust into the heart, the Throne of Christ loseth all communion with Christ; he that denyes not himselfe receives nothing of Christ, he receives not Christ as a Prophet instructing, he is still in darknesse and in the shadow of death, he receives not Christ as a King, to raigne and rule over him, he feeles nothing of Christs kingdome within him, he receives not Christ as a Priest; he knowes not the vertue of Christs death in the death of his sinne, he is still in his sinne without justification. Adam preferring the perswasion of his wife, above the commandement of God, lost all his communion with God, and was excluded from the Tree of Life. Man exalting any thing Luk. 14.26, 27. above Christ excludes himselfe from God and Christ.3. Emptinesse and hallown [...]s of profession.

3. Ʋanity, emptinesse, hallownesse of profession of Christ, and [Page 144] attendance upon the ordinances. The profession of Christ without self-denyall, and full subjection under Christ, is nothing worth; a tree of leaves without fruit, like that in the Gospell, whose end was accursed. Joah exalting Ado­niah fled in vaine to the hornes of the Altar, he was there slaine; Man exalting himselfe, or any thing else above Christ, flyes in vaine to the ordinances of God, to the out­ward profession of Christ; Herods hearing the Baptist, and doing many things, stood him in no stead, exalting Hero­dias in his heart; the Philistines exalting Dagon, had no benefit by the Arke, they were the more plagued for the presence of it. Mans very profession of Christ turnes to the increase of his condemnation, not throughly subjecting him­selfe to Christs dominion.

4. Abasement under the creature.4. Subiection, abasement, and thraldome under the creature, and his owne sinfull flesh. They that dreame of liberty by re­fusing to take the yoake of Christ upon them, in stead of freedome meet with thraldome: The Apostle saith of false Prophets, while they promise others liberty, themselves are the 2 Pet. 3. servants of corruption; such false Prophets are these men to their owne soules, for whiles they promise themselves liberty, they make themselves the servants of the creature, and of their owne lusts, for of whom a man is overcome of the same is he brought in bondage. The Lord sometime threatened Israel, because they would not serve him, they should serve their enemies; they that deny holy and cheerfull service to the Lord Jesus, make themselves mi­serable and wretched slaves to the creatures, and many base affections; Man ever make that a Lord and Master over him, which he will not deny to make himselfe Christs servant; the service of Christ is spirituall freedome; the denyall of obedience to Christ is accursed thral­dome.

5. Annihilatiō of the fruit of Christs death.5. Annihilation of the fruit and benefit of Christs death. A ransome is paid in vaine for him that will not put off his fetters, and come forth of the house of bondage: Christs death without self-denyall is no way beneficiall; he that puts not off his lusts as fetters, and comes off from the [Page 145] world as from a house of bondage, hath no benefit by the ransome which Christ hath given: For this 2 Cor. 5.15. end (saith Saint Paul) hath Christ dyed, that we that live should live no mere unto our selves but unto Christ who died for us.

6. Deprivation of the heavenly fruit, 6. Deprivation of the fruit of Gods O [...]di­nances. and soule-refreshing comfort of the ordinances of God, and labours of Gods Mini­sters. The reserving of one moate in the eye, frustrates the shining of the Sunne; the allowing of thornes in the field makes the sowing of the seed fruitlesse; the Word, Sa­crament, Ministers can doe you no good, unlesse you will deny your selves, and resigne your selves wholly unto Christ; Ionah 1. Jonah being kept in the ship, the mariners row­ed in vaine, they could not bring the ship to the shoare; without an universall self-denyall, the Minister cannot bring the soule to Christ, he cannot wave and worke it into the ha­ven of everlasting peace.

7.7. Losses wai­ting on the want of self-deniall. The losse which attends the want of self-denyall and sub­iection unto Christ. Achan exalted the golden wedge and Babylonish garment in his heart, and thereby losed both that and all his substance with his life; Adam overprized the fruit of the forbidden tree, and eat of it against Gods precept, and thereby lost both the tree and all the garden. That which man gaines with Christs dishonour, and with the neglect of Christ, proves mans greatest losse; soule­losing is the fruit of self-seeking; they that seeke their owne things, and not the things which are Jesus Christs, lose both their owne things, and the things which are Jesus Christs. He (saith Christ) that will save his life, that is, by denying Christ, by preferring man above Christ, that man shall lose his life: so he that will save his goods, his credit, his peace among men, with the neglect of Christ, by shunning the crosse of Christ; that man shall lose his goods, the comfort of them, he shall eat the bread of sor­rowes; he shall lose his credit with men, he shall be a slave to men, he shall be reputed vile in the eyes of men, they shall no more esteeme him then the High-Priests did Judas: He shall lose his peace with men, who will trust him, or have communion with him, that proves unfaithfull to [Page 146] his God; in the midst of his sufficiency he shall be in straights, every hand of the wicked shall be upon him, and all darknesse shall be hid in his secret places, everlasting confusion shall be his last portion: The gaine of all is a very fearefull losse to him that for gaine doth lose Christ: He that for world­ly honours, and outward riches denies and loses the Lord Jesus,Mar. 9.34, 35. is the most poore, base, and contemptiole of all per­sons.

8. Apostacy from Christ.8 Apostacy and falling away from Christ. He that can­not throughly deny himselfe, and all things else for Christ, he will never hold out with Christ; he will fall a lusting after his old wayes, as the Israelites did after the onyons and garlicke of Egypt, retaining still his corrupt and car­nall nature, he will returne like the sow to his wallow­ing in the mire; when trouble and affliction comes, he will repine and wish himselfe in his former estate, as the Israelites repined at the red Sea, and wished they had tar­ried in Egypt: He that began to build in the parable, and considered not the cost before hand left off with shame: He that takes upon him the profession of Christ, and con­siders not what it will cost him, resolves not to deny all, to leave all, to suffer all, and to content himselfe with Christ alone, can never hold out with Christ to the end: A horse of unsound feet may travell well a few miles, but at length his feet faile him, and he can travell no fur­ther; a rotten vessell may row speedily upon the Seas for some houres, but as soone as a storme ariseth the ship sin­keth: Thus man of a rotten and unsound heart may make a glorious profession, be very zealous for a season, but not having throughly denyed himselfe, he faints and Ioh. 6.66. Luk 14 23. M [...]. 1 [...]. [...]. 9. Christs reje­ction of such. fals away, he makes shipwracke of faith and a good conscience at length

9. Christs denyall, and rejection of such as will not deny themselves for him and his sake: He (saith Christ) that shall deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father which is in Heaven. He that shall deny Christ in his Go­spell, refusing to attend and embrace it; in his Ministers, refusing them and their doctrines; in his members, deny­ing [Page 147] love and fellowship to them; in his offices, refusing to heare him as a Prophet, to obey him as a King, and to rest upon him as a Priest, and Mediator for salvation: He that shall deny Christ in his promises, refusing to beleeve them, or in his precepts, neglecting to observe them; he that shall deny him in his understanding, not caring for the knowledge of Christ; in his will, not chusing and taking Christ unto himselfe; in his imagination, not delighting in the thought of Christ; in his affections, not fearing, trusting, loving, and rejoycing in Christ: He that shall deny him before men, for the feare of mens displeasure, or game of mens favour, him will Christ deny; he will deny him his blessed presence, and power in his ordinances,2 Tim. 2.13. au­dience to his prayers, deliverance in his distresses, peace in his conscience, pardon of his sinnes, justification in the sight of God, and at the last day before the face of his Father, in the presence of all men and Angels, he will deny them to be his, he will not offer them unto God as his owne; very fearefull is their estate that want self-denyall, if Christ deny us, who but the Devill will acknowledge them, what more dishonourable and discomfortable to a childe, then to be denyed of his father, or to a wife then to be denyed of her husband. It is the greatest dishonour and shame of a man, professing himselfe a Christian, to be denyed of Christ. Better deny our selves and all the world now then be denyed of Christ at the last.


THis must therefore perswade us to worke our hearts to a full and through denyall of our selves,2. Perswading Self-denyall. to a hearty, free, and effectuall subjection of our selves to Christ; as Gen. 12. Abraham left his kindred, habitation, countrey, and all, and followed the Lord, going whither the Lord comman­ded him: so let us leave all that is most neare, and deare, [Page 148] most pleasant and profitable, and follow the Lord Jesus, doing whatsoever he should enjoyne us: As Moses left the Court of Pharaoh, Heb. 11. refused to be called the sonne of Pha­raohs daughter, and chose rather to endure affliction with the people of God, then to enjoy the pleasures of sinne for a season. Thus let us leave the world, refuse to be called the sonnes and daughters, friends and favourites of the earth, and of the prophane men thereof; and let us chuse rather to endure affliction, reproach, disgrace, and any thing with Christ, in the service of Christ, in the enjoyment of Christ, rather then enjoy all the pleasures, riches, honours, and comforts of the world without Christ: Let us take heed with Paul that we be not brought under the 1 Cor. 6.12. power of any creature, or of any lust whatsoever: Let us see that our denyall be not 1.1 Kinds and qualifications of Self-denyall. 1. Spirituall. a naturall, morall, or superstitious de­nyall, as some heathen have, and many Papists doe, in ma­ny things deny themselves; but let our denyall be a spi­rituall denyall, arising from a principle of grace within, inabling us to reigne and rule over our affections, to for­sake and renounce the motions of our owne corrupt will and reason, putting all in subjection under Christ, that Christ alone may raigne in our soules.2. Voluntary. 2. Let not our de­nyall be a forced and constrained denyall; as a Mariner in a storme casts away his goods, which yet he loves very well; but let it be a voluntary and free denyall, arising from the ha­tred and detestation of what doth oppose Christs king­dome in our soules; as Amnon hated Thamar and thrust her from him; and also from unfained love to Christ, as the bride in love to the bridegroome, leaves her fathers house, to live with and enjoy the bridegroome.3. Vniversall. 3. Let not our denyall be partiall and halting; as Saul slew some of the cattell, and spared others; but let it be universall, he that doth not deny all truly, denyes none; as Joshuah put downe all the Kings of Canaan, so depose all, leave nothing in the soule to exalt it selfe against Christ, to lift up it selfe above Christ.4. Continuall. 4. Let not our denyall be temporary and va­nishing; as a bulrush that bowes downe the head for a day; as a sicke man denyes himselfe many dainties during his [Page 149] sicknesse, and no longer; but let it be continuall and con­stant, grow in it; a man once dead lives no more, but daily rots and consumes away in his grave. Thus the world and sinne being once denied, once crucified, must live no more, but daily decay and dye within us.

And let us not only deny our selves,Subjection joi­ned to Self-denyall with the qualifi­cations. 1 Holily. 2. Cordially. but to our self-denyall joyne subjection unto Christ, prostrate all under Christ; and to him let us subject our selves holily, with obedience out of a pure heart, being holy in all manner of conversa­tion, as he that hath called us is holy. 2. Cordially, obey­ing from the heart root the forme of doctrine delivered us, able to say with the Psalmist, thy Law O Lord is in my heart, I delight to doe thy will. 3. Fully, 3. Fully. let us not in­dent with Christ as Pharaoh did with Joseph, reserving chiefly the Throne unto himselfe; but let us put all un­der Christ, let Christ reigne over all, in our understandings as a Prophet enlightening us, in our wils as a King com­manding us, in our affections, as a Priest mortifying us, in our love, as a husband marrying us, let the whole man be subject unto whole Christ. And 4. Perpetually, 4. Perpetually. let there be no end of Christs kingdome, let his kingdome in our soules like the house of David in Israel grow stronger and stronger. And the better to induce us thus to deny our selves, and to put all under Christ. Looke upon,

1. The interest which Christ hath in a Christian, Inducements to Self-denyall 1. Christs inte­rest in a Chri­stian. as a workman in his workmanship, for we are the workmanship of God in Christ created unto good works; as a ransomer in the redeemed, he hath bought us with a price; as a dwel­ler in his house, he dwelleth in our hearts by faith; as a doner in his gift, we are given unto him of God by eter­nall election, and by effectuall vocation; Christs interest in us doth challenge full obedience from us, none hath such claime and title to us, none should have such service and sub­jection from us.

2. The relation between us and Christ, 2. Relation to Christ. a relation of King and people, husband and wise, shepheard and flocke, head [Page 150] and members, in all which we may reade, as in live­ly characters the duty of selfe-denyall and obedi­ence.

3. Subjection of all things under Christ.3. The subjection and putting of all things under Christ: He hath all power both in heaven and earth, he is made the head over all things to the Church, all is Christs ser­vant: It is a great wrong to the Master of the house, to draw away the service and obedience of his servant from him, to exalt his servant above him: The withholding of any thing from the service of Christ, the setting up of any thing in the roome of Christ is a great dishonour to Christ.

4. Abuse of things not made service­able to Christ.4. The abuse of all things which are here made subiect and serviceable unto Christ. There is in every thing a power and a disposition to doe some service to Christ, to worke to the exaltation of Christ, they are all made for this end and use, they have an energy and inclination hereunto; there is in all the implements of a house an artificiall ap­titude to doe some service to the Master of the house; there is in all the things of the little house of man, and in this great house of the world a virtuall aptitude to doe some service to Christ, the Master of this house, Rom 11.36. all things (saith the Apostle) are of him, by creation, through him, by preservation, and to him, in their service, use, and ap­plication, and whatsoever man hath which he doth not put under Christ, which he doth not use as an instrument of Christs glory, he doth abuse it, the gold and silver, lands and livings, art and learning, friends and acquain­tance, understanding, will, memory, affections, speech, or whatsoever else man hath; he doth abuse and prophane it, he doth divert and turne it from its true and proper inclination, end, and appointment, when he doth not glorifie Christ with it. Know you not (saith the Apostle) that your bo­dies are the members of Christ, shall I then take the mem­bers of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot, God forbid. Thus know we not that that all the faculties of our soules, all the members of our bodies, and all things else, are the gifts and creatures of Christ, shall we then take [Page 151] the gifts and creatures of Christ, and use them against, and not for Christ, God forbid.

5. The sweet and heavenly comforts arising to the soule, 5. Comforts [...]sing from Self-denyall. from a through self-denyall, and full subiection unto Christ. Hence ariseth the comfort of liberty and freedome from the servitude of the creature, and of every sinfull lust, mi­nistring matter of greater joy to the soule, then Israel had, to see themselves freed from Pharaoh, and the burthens of E [...]ypt. Hence ariseth the comfort of the evidence of grace, by this man knowes the holy and gracious worke of God: Now he can give thanks to God the Father, for that he hath made him meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the Saints in light, and hath delivered him from the power of darknesse, and translated him into the kingdome of his deare Sonne: Now he can with joy say with the Psalmist, come and I will shew what the Lord hath done for my soule. Hence ariseth the comfort of alacrity and cheerfulnesse in the ser­vice, now the heart is enlarged, and man can runne the way of Gods commandements, now he commeth forth like the Sun, and rejoyceth like a mighty man to run his race. Hence springeth the joy of love to Christ, now the objects of all corrupt and base love are removed, and Christ is become the sole object of the soules love, and now it delights it selfe in Christ, as the bride in the bride-groome. Hence commeth the comfort of Christs power and presence, now he is discerned reigning in the soule as a Prince of peace in his Throne, subduing all corrupt and carnall lusts, as Joshuah subdued the Amalekites, driving Satan from the soule of man, as the Gibeonites discerned Joshuah driving away the Amoritish Princes; now he is discerned dispelling all blindnesse and errour from the un­derstanding, as the Sunne dispelleth darknesse from the eye; now he is discerned binding up the broken heart, and hea­ling the wounded conscience, as the sicke discerneth the Physitian healing his disease; now he is discerned paci­fying and quieting the troubled and perplexed soule, as the Disciples discerned him appeasing and calming the stormy tempest; now he is discerned powring in the spirituall oyle [Page 152] of heavenly consolation into the soule, as the wounded man in the parable discerned the Samaritan powring oyle into his wounds; now he is discerned feasting, cheering, and ministring the sence of his love to the heart, as the Spouse in Solomon discerned the bridegroome in the banquetting house, spreading his love over her as a banner; and this ministers matter of sweet and singular comfort; and hence ariseth the comfort of sweet and gracious communion with God, the Lord dwels with the humble. The more man goes out of himselfe, the nearer he commeth unto God, the more man is emptied of himselfe, the more he enjoyes of God. Very sweet and manifold is the consolation which the soule derives from holy and gracious selfe-denyall.

6. Mitigation of disasters.6. The mitigation and sweetning of all disasters. Self-denyall in all troubles, tryals, losses, and temptations is to the soule, like the honey-combe in the belly of the Lyon unto Sampson; a blessed sweetner of them, affliction is ever so much the lesse burthensome, by how much the more per­fect man is in the worke of self-denyall: He that truly and throughly denyes himselfe, puts a low price upon all out­ward abilities, and can take the spoyling of his goods ioy­fully; he sees and feeles the good of afflictions, and can readily receive them, as a wise patient a bitter purgation, and quietly beare them, as an Oxe the yoake, that is ac­customed thereunto; he can sing with Paul in the prison; he can walke comfortably in them, as the three children in the fiery furnace; he can rejoyce with ioy glorious and unspeakable, that he is accounted worthy to suffer for the cause of Christ. The want of self-denyall makes affliction a most in­supportable burthen.

7. Contentatiō in all estates.7. The Contentation which Self-denyall ministers with the least earthly portion and possession. He that can deny him­selfe, knowes how to want, and how to abound, and to be content in every state; the humble man possesseth Christ, and in possessing him possesseth all things; there is more in a holy mans little, then in a carnall mans great abun­dance. God proportions his thirst accordingly.


SEeing this self-denyall is a worke so necessary, so excel­lent, of such great profit, so rare, and few partakers of it, it may be demanded how a man may discerne it, and assu­redly know himselfe to have attained to it? Whereunto I answer, that Christian, gracious, and true selfe-denyall may bee discerned by these ensuing market or chara­cters:Characters of Self-denyall 1. Captivation of Self-reason.

1. Captivation of a mans owne reason, wisedome, and will: Self-denyall emptieth man of self-wisedome and self-wil: He that denyes himself is not wise in his owne eyes, 1 Rom. 12.16. or wise in him­selfe, but all his wisedome is in Christ, he hath a very low opinion of his owne understanding, he reputes his owne wisedome to be folly, his owne knowledge to be ignorance, his owne reason to be blind and carnall; he complaines, abaseth, and shames himselfe before the Lord for his igno­rance; he confesseth and saith with Agur, surely Prov. 30.2, 3. I am more brutish then any man, and have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisedome, nor have the know­ledge of the holy. He that abounds most in saving know­ledge, is most sensible of his ignorance, and hath the low­est opinion of his owne wisedome: The more a man is taught of God, the more he sees his ignorance of God; he that hath high thoughts of his owne understanding is far from the least and weakest beginnings of Christian lear­ning; he never truly learned Christ in the Gospell that hath not denyed his owne humane reason. When the Sun appeareth and sends his light into the house, the light of the candle which lightened the house before the dawning of the day goeth out and appeares as no light; when Christ the Sunne of Righteousnesse shineth into the heart, then mans humane reason, and the wisedome of the flesh (the only light of the soule before the dawning and appearance of Christ these) goeth out, and is lookt upon as darknesse [Page 154] it selfe; and Christ is made the only guide and counsellor of the soule; the eye thereof receiveth all its light from Christ shining in the Gospell. Carnall wisedome 1 Cor 8.1, 2. pusseth up, saving knowledge humbleth: In much Eccl. 1.18. wisedome (saith Solomon) is much griefe, and he that increaseth knowledge in­creaseth sorrow; because the more man knows, the more he sees amisse: Thus the more a man increaseth in the know­ledge of Christ, the more he sees amisse in himselfe, the more he is grieved for his owne ignorance and corruption; true wisedome is ever accompanied with godly sorrow, and self-denyall; and self-denyall 2 Cor. 10 5. casteth downe imaginati­ons or carnall reasonings, and every high thing that exalteth it selfe against the knowledge of God, and bringeth into capti­vity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Self-denyall makes him that formerly seemed to be 1 Cor. 3.18. wise in this world, according to the opinion of the world, dreaming of a suf­ficiency of wisedome in himselfe to guide himselfe, making himselfe his owne counsellor and instructer: Self-denyall maketh such a one to become a foole, by reputing his owne wisedome, ignorance, his owne knowledge foolishnesse, by rejecting his owne understanding, as an empty lamp wherein is no light, by distrusting his owne reason, as a blind guide, by resigning himselfe wholly unto Christ, as a scholler to the teacher, to be taught by him; by depen­ding solely upon Christ, as a traveller upon the guide, to be directed by Christ, by placing all his wisedome, in be­ing teachable and obedient to Christs doctrine: Man must be emptied of his owne reason, that will be filled with Christs wisedome; he must renounce his owne will that will have the will of God to rule over him; he that denies himselfe makes Christs wisedome, his wisedome to guide him, and Christs will the rule of his owne will, to sway and command him.

2. Cessation from mansself.2. Cessation from mans owne selfe. He that denyes him­selfe ceaseth from himselfe; he ceaseth from his owne Prov. 23.4. wise­dome, from his opinion of it, from his subjection under it, from his being guided by it; he ceaseth from his owne will, from the sinfull bent and inclination of it, from the carnall [Page 155] objects which it chuseth, and from the corrupt dictates which it prescribeth; he desires not the doing of his owne but of Gods will, as a servant ceaseth from his owne, and doth his Masters will; he is borne of God, and the mo­tion and inclination of his will is towards God, as the mo­tion of the rivers is towards the Sea, the Law of God is in his heart, by knowledge and understanding, by meditation and affection, by inscription and dominion, and he delights to doe the will of the Lord; he ceaseth from his owne Isa. 58.13. ima­ginations, his thoughts are not high thoughts, carnall thoughts, worldly thoughts, vaine thoughts; but his thoughts are holy thoughts of God, low thoughts of himselfe, hate­full thoughts of sinne, joyfull thoughts of Christ, and sweet and pleasant thoughts of the word of God, sleight and weake thoughts of the world. The meditation of the Lord is sweet unto him, and the Law of the Lord is his meditation all the day long; he ceaseth from his owne affections, he hath crucified the flesh with the Gal. 5.24. affections thereof; he doth not trust in himselfe, but in the Lord, he is no self-lover, but an unfained lover of the Lord Jesus, he doth not re­joyce in himselfe, but in Christ; he ceaseth from his owne pleasure, he doth not Iam 5.5. live in pleasures, making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof; he is no lover, no follower of corrupt and carnall pleasures; he chuseth rather to en­dure affliction with the people of God, then to enioy the Heb. 11.25. pleasures of sin for a season, sinfull pleasures are more bit­ter and distastefull then any affliction to the soule which hath attained Christian self-denyall; he ceaseth from his owne applause among men, he is Gal. 5.36. not desirous of vaine glory, he is not affected and tickled with the sounding of the trum­pet of mens praises, he seeketh not the praise which comes from men, but that which comes from God: The more perfection man attaines in this gracious worke of selfe-denyall, the lesse he regards mans commendation: He that denyes himselfe reputes the testimony and approbation of God to be honour enough; he ceaseth from his owne pro­fit, he seeks not his owne things, but the things which are Christs: He that denyes himselfe, reputes it his choisest [Page 156] riches to glorifie Christ by his service; he esteemes these labours of his most profitable which prove most advanta­gious and beneficiall to Gods Church and children, not see­king 1 Cor. 10.33. his owne profit, but the Prophet of many, that they may be saved: He that denyes himselfe is well pleased to be temporally poore, that he may thereby make others spi­ritually rich. A humble and gracious man reputes it a grea­ter gaine to gaine a soule to God, then to gaine the fulnesse of the world to himselfe. Lastly, he ceaseth from his Heb. 4.10. owne works, from his owne carnall and sinfull works, from his owne proud and ambitious works, from his owne greedy and covetous works; he ceaseth from these, as a traveller from a false path, as Israel ceased from Pharaohs worke, so doth he from the works of sinne, Satan, and the world, he is no longer their servant; he that denyes himselfe, serves not himselfe but the Lord; Christ is his high and great Master; him he serves, and to his honour he referres all his service: The glorifying of the Lord Jesus is the su­preame end of a good mans undertakings, and the crowne of a true Christians labours.

3. Application of mans selfe to Christ.3, Full, free, and ready application of mans selfe to Christ. He that denyes himselfe, resigneth himselfe wholly into the hands of Christ, as a scholler to the teacher to learne of Christ, as a traveller to the guide, to be directed by Christ, as a servant to the Master, to worke and serve for Christ, as a souldier to the Generall, to fight for Christ, as a subiect to the King, to receive Christs lawes, and seeke Christs ho­nour, as a bride to the bridegroome, to dwell with Christ, to love and delight himselfe in Christ: 1 Pet 4.1, [...] He that hath suf­fered in the flesh (saith Saint Peter) by mortification of his lusts, by abnegation and denyall of himselfe, he hath ceased from sinne; from the life and power of sinne, from the love and pleasure of sinne, and from the trade and practise of sinne, as a man that hath suffered death in the flesh, ceaseth from his former life, love, pleasure, and worke; and he thus ceaseth from sinne, that he may no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God; he is no longer conformable to the sinfull ex­ample [Page 157] of men, a follower of the lusts of men, a servant of corruption; but being crucified to these, he lives to the will of God, receiving all direction from it, every way obsequious to it, wholly applying himselfe to this one thing, even to please God: Self-denyall takes a man off from himselfe and the world, and puts him wholly under God, and sets him fully and effectually upon the worke of God: This is sometimes termed a Rom. 12.1. yeelding up of our selves to God, as a sacrifice to be wholly spent in the Lords service; sometimes 2 Cor. 8.3. giving of our selves to the Lord, as a wife gives her selfe to the husband; and sometimes a 2 Cor. 5.15. living unto Christ, and a Rom. 7.4. bringing forth of fruit unto the Lord; and all this is to expresse their full application of themselves unto Christ, who truly deny themselves; and this is that which Christ cals a Mat. 16.24. following of him, and makes it a concomitant of self-denyall, to follow him in his doctrine as a Disci­iple, in his precepts as a servant, in his promises as a belee­ver, in his sufferings as an imitator: Self-denyall makes a man embrace Christ, as the Pilate to guide him, as the King to command him, as the rocke to sustaine him, and only fountaine to minister all fulnesse to him; and causes a man also to apply himselfe againe wholly to Christ, to the wisedome of Christ to be guided by it, to the authority of Christ to obey him, to the truth of Christ to beleeve in him, to the al-sufficiency of Christ to be filled with all spi­rituall and heavenly fulnesse. He applyes himselfe to Christ in his understanding, to know Christ, in his will to chuse and embrace Christ, in his thoughts to meditate upon Christ, in his feare to serve and honour Christ, in his faith to trust and depend upon Christ, in his love to affect Christ, in his ioy to delight in Christ, in his desires to long after Christ, in his endeavours to exalt Christ, in all his possessi­ons, abilities, and endowments to make them serviceable unto Christ; he applyes himselfe to the ordinances of Christ, as to a light guiding, food feeding, and physicke healing his soule; to the precepts of Christ as to the rule directing him, and to the promises of Christ as to the staffe sustai­ning him. Mans full application of himselfe to Christ, doth [Page 158] minister cleare and comfortable evidence of mans denyall of himselfe for Christ.

4. Ascribing of all to the grace of God.4. The humble and hearty ascribing of all the good which is in man, or done by man unto the grace of God. He that de­nyes himselfe translates the doing of all that good which he doth from himselfe unto God, as the proper Authour thereof; he puts all from himselfe, as being nothing in himselfe, and ascribes all to God as to the fountaine whence all grace flowes, as to the almighty hand by which all good is accomplished: He acknowledgeth his owne 2 Cor. 3.5. insufficiency without God, as the cisterne is insufficient to minister water without the fountaine, and the branch to beare any fruit without the root, or the toole to worke without the hand: Self-denyall abaseth man and the abi­lities of man, and exalteth God and his grace. A humble man will not endure the glory of any thing to be ascribed to himselfe, but referres all to God and Christ, and strives to raise the eyes and hearts of men to God and his grace. Paul and Barnabas perceiving the men of Lystra had too high thoughts of them, reputing them as Gods when they were but the Lords instruments, they Act. 14.14, 15. rent their cloathes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, why doe ye these things, we also are men of like passions with you, and preach that ye should turne from these vanities to the living God. The immoderate honouring of men is a great disho­nouring of God; a humble and gracious man is not so much displeased to heare himselfe unjustly traduced, as to see himselfe inordinately magnified; he that doth de­ny himselfe that he may exalt God, cannot but much grieve to see himselfe by the applause of vaine men set in the roome of God, and made a dishonourer of God: It is questionlesse the study of him who sees his owne vilenesse, emptinesse, and unworthinesse, to make the name of God glorious; he is very willing and ready to be abased, that God may be the more glorified. When God hath made him the instrument of any excellent worke, he is jealous of being deified and idolized; and therefore saith with Pe­ter, why Act 3.12, 13, 16. marvell ye at this, or why looke ye so earnestly on [Page 159] us, as though by our owne power or holinesse we had done this: The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, hath glorified his sonne Jesus, and his name through faith in his name hath done this thing: Be he never so well qua­lified and fitted for the worke of the Lord, yet as the Lord said of Israel, so he conceives of himself, that without the Lord his Isa. 31.7. strength is to sit still. He that is most fully fur­nished with spirituall abilities, is most sensible of his owne emptinesse, most free and ready in the magnifying of God, and his grace. Who more eminent then Paul for his gra­cious and ministeriall endowments? yet who more effe­ctuall in self-denyall, and in the exaltation of the grace of God? 1 Cor. 3.3, 4, 5 Are ye not carnall (saith he) and walke as men; for while one saith I am Paul, and another I am of Apollo, are ye not carnall, who then is Paul, and who is Apollo, but Ministers, servants and not Lords, instruments and not supreame agents, by whom ye beleeved as God gave to every man. I have planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the increase: so then neither is he that planteth anything, nei­ther he that watereth, not any thing, of no ability, of no efficacy of themselves, but God that giveth the increase: The choisest instruments prove unprofi­table without the hand of God assisting: The soule which knowes and feeles its dependancy upon God, cannot but referre the fruit and worth of all its labours to the grace of God. There was not a greater borne of woman then the Baptist, he farre surpassed all the Prophets, yet how low doth he abase himselfe, to exalt Christ, how freely doth he referre the whole efficacy of his ministery to the grace of Christ. I indeed (saith he) baptize with water unto re­pentance, but there is one that commeth after me is mightier then I, whose shooes I am not worthy to beare, he shall bap­tize you with the Holy-Ghost, and with fire. He that hath low thoughts of the grace of God, and high thoughts of his owne abilities, is far from the self-denyall which is proper to Gods children.

5. A low prizing and Christian undervaluing of mans selfe, and all things else in comparison of Christ. He that denyes [Page 160] himselfe, looks upon himselfe as a Gal 6.14. crucified man: In a cru­cified man there is no beauty, no dignity, no excellency to be seene, no pleasure to be taken: He that denyes him­selfe sees no beauty, no worth, no excellency in himselfe, he taketh no pleasure, no delight in himselfe; he looks on his owne flesh as on an empty Rom. 7 18. house, wherein dwelleth no good thing, he is Rom. 6.8. dead with Christ, for the mortification of his flesh, for his low opinion and denyall of himselfe; he is Gal. 6.14. crucified to the world, willingly contented for Christs sake to have no honour, no favour, no esteeme among the men of the world; as a crucified man hath no place, no authority, no esteeme in the world; he is willing to be traduced, reproached, and rejected of the world, for the love he hath to Christ, as a crucified man is despised and accounted odious in the world: David being vile in the eyes of Michal for dauncing before the Arke, said, I will yet be 2 Sam. 6.22. more vile then thus, and will be base in mine owne sight▪ He that denyes himselfe, being vile in the eyes of men, for his profession of Christ, for his subjection and obedi­ence to Christ, for his zeale and earnestnesse for Christ, is willing and ready to be more vile, to be more reproached, more traduced, more despised; and will be base in his owne sight, neglect himselfe, abase himselfe, and make himselfe as nothing, that he may exalt and honour Christ. True self-denyall makes a man neglect and abase himselfe below the very dust, for the exaltation of Christ; to have his Luk. 6.22. name cast out as abominable among men, and to be accounted as the 2 Co [...]. 4.13. filth and obscuring of all things: He that hath the highest esteeme of Christ, hath the least and low­est esteeme of himselfe: Self-denyall makes a man not only to undervalue himselfe, but all other things in comparison of Christ, to esteeme all the glory of the earth as dung and drosse in comparison of Christ, to repute all learning but ignorance in comparison of the knowledge of Christ, all ho­nour but ignominy in comparison of the crowne which Christ gives, all riches but poverty in comparison of that treasure which is in Christ, all joyes but sorrowes in com­parison of the joy which commeth from Christ, all friends [Page 161] and friendship but dumbe idols in comparison of Christs love, and all worldly fulnesse but empty vessels in comparison of the al-sufficiency of Christ. Gal. 6.14. The world is crucified to him that is crucified with Christ, and hath denyed himselfe, as men have no commerce with, put no price upon, have no love unto, no pleasure in a crucified man: so he that denyes himselfe hath no intimate and entire communion with the world any more then the living with the dead, is free from the creature, from the power and command of the crea­ture, as a woman is free from her dead husband; his thoughts and joy are not taken up with the creature, no more then Abrahams thoughts and delights were taken up with dead Sarah, whom he desired to be removed out of his sight; he puts no price upon the creature in comparison of Christ; he prizeth all as straw and stubble in comparison of Christ the true treasure; he esteemeth all things in respect of Christ but as a bramble in respect of the vine, as Iudg 9 9. Jotham to ano­ther purpose speaks in his parable. He that over values either himselfe, or any thing else of the world, is far from holy self-denyall.


VOluntary and cheerfull desertion and leaving of all for Christ. 6. Desertion of all. He that denyes himselfe will deny all things else for Christ; Ruth in love to Naomi left her father and mother, and the land of her Ruth 2.11. nativity, and came unto a people which she knew not theretofore. The man that de­nies himselfe will for the love he hath to Christ, leave fa­ther and mother, and the land of his nativity, whatsoever is most neare and deare unto him, and come to Christ, whom before this worke of self-denyall he knew not; he that denyes himselfe seeth so much worth in Christ, and [Page 162] finds in him so much love to Christ, that he will leave all to enjoy Christ; he leaves all for the present, in respect of affection, his love to the creature in comparison of his love to Christ is a comparative Luk. 14.26. hatred; he leaves all in respect of price and estimation, Christ in his eye the Cant. 5.10. fai­rest of ten thousand: A vine, a lilley, a glorious Prince, a bright and shining Sunne: The creature a thorne, a weed, a beggar, a very glo-worme, a thing of Prov. 23.5. nought; he leaves all in respect of service and subjection, he is not under the power of the creature, he is not the servant of the creature, he 1 Cor. 7.20. possesseth as if he possessed not, and he is ready actually to leave all, whensoever he shall be called to it, as a woman leaves her Psal. 45. Fathers house, and her owne people, to cohabite with her husband; he that denyes him­selfe leaves his friends with Deut. 33.8, 9 Levi, leaves his countrey with Gen. 12.1. Abraham, leaves his Ioh 9. place of dignity with the blinde man, leaves his Mat. 4.22. possessions with the Disciples, and is ready with Paul to leave his life for the testimony, honour, and service of Christ; he chuseth rather to enjoy Christ with the losse of all, then to lose Christ with the gaine of all the world can affoord him: Where self-denyall dwels, and beares dominion, Christ is infinitely more deare then all the treasure of the world; he that denyes himselfe, chu­seth rather to be the servant of Christ in the lowest world­ly emptinesse, then to serve himselfe, and be a stranger to Christ in the greatest earthly fulnesse.

7. Mans plea­sing and de­lighting him­selfe in Christ under the crosse.7. Mans pleasing and delighting himselfe in Christ under the crosse and hatred of the world. He that denyes himselfe is well pleased, and fully satisfied with Christ, though the world hate him, rise up against him, poure great contempt upon him, and minister much trouble to him; the bride pleaseth her selfe in the bridegroome, though her other friends become strangers to her, or turne enemies against her, though many troubles and disasters attend her, yet the enjoyment of her husband mitigates and sweetens all, and comfortably answers all. The soule that is married unto Christ, pleaseth and delighteth it selfe in Christ, though all friends according to the flesh become strangers, or prove [Page 163] enemies, yet Christ is in stead of all friends, though many clouds of sorrow and stormes of trouble arise, and no star of worldly comfort appeares; yet Christ is a Sunne, in stead of all lights, a rocke, in stead of all supporters, and a haven, in stead of all hiding places. Christ to him that de­nyes himselfe, is an Isa 32.2. hiding place from the wind, and a co­vert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rocke in a weary land: Christ is in stead of all, and much more then all to him that for Christs sake denyes all, and is denyed of all. Christ is a recompence answering all losses, to his holy and humble servants, Psal. 73.25, 26. whom have I in haven (saith the Psalmist) but thee, and there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee, my flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever: The world never brings a gracious and humbled man so low, but he sees power enough in Christ to raise him up, never makes him so empty, but he sees fulnesse enough in Christ to replenish him, never so hates him, but he sees love enough in Christ to comfort him, never so filleth him with trouble, but he sees peace enough in Christ to quiet him; and this makes him that denyes himselfe, when he Isa. 50.10. walks in darknesse, and hath no light, to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himselfe upon his God: This makes him account it all ioy Iam. 1.7. to fall into ma­nifold temptations for Christs sake; all temptations and troubles being to him that denyes himselfe, arguments of his separation from the world, pledges of his effectuall cal­ling, testimonies of the Devils and the sinfull worlds ha­tred against him, physicke to cure and purge out many un­happy diseases of sinne, trumpets to awaken him, preserva­tives against security, conflicts to try his faith and love to Christ, and meanes of the endearement of his soule to Christ, Christ sweetning them unto him, Christ being to him in the midst of them, as the honey in the belly of the Lyon unto Sampson; as the Arke to Noah in the deluge, appre­hending, tasting, and pleasing himselfe in the love of Christ, he doth glory in tribulation, and though he is in heavinesse through manifold temptations, yet beleeving in Christ, [Page 164] he 1 Pet. 1.8. reioyceth with ioy unspeakable and full of glory. Christ to him that denyes himselfe is a crowne in disgrace to ho­nour him, a friend in heavinesse to solace him, a Sunne in darknesse to enlighten him, a precious pearle in poverty to enrich him, a helper in all desertions to sustaine him, and a fountaine in all wants to supply him; sweet and plea­sant, satisfactory and soule-ravishing are Christs ministrati­ons to mortified and humble soules in their Christian suffe­rings.

8. Valuing of Christs crosse above the worlds crowne8. The prizing and valuing of Christs Crosse above the worlds Crowne. He that indeed denyes himselfe, esteemes it more happy, more excellent, and more honourable to partake of Christs sufferings, then of the worlds rejoycings, to be conformed unto Christ in holy sorrowes and afflicti­ons, then to be conformed to the world in carnall plea­sures, and fleshly exaltations; he preferres the poverty, re­proach, exilement, bondage, and death which doth usually at­tend Christ in the Gospell, above the riches, honour, favour, li­berty, and life which the world ministers to her follow­ers. Thus Moses denying himselfe, Heb 11.26. esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches then the treasures of Egypt. The re­proach of Christ, the disgrace, losse, trouble, and persecu­tions with which the world doth pursue Christ truly preached and sincerely professed in the Gospell, was of more esteeme with Moses then all the treasures of Egypt, then all the honours, riches, favours, and contentments which the world can affoord without Christ. Christs poverty, prison, contempt, hatred, persecution, is of greater price with him that denyes himselfe, then the riches, liberty, crowne, favour and peace which the world bestowes upon her choisest favourites and followers. There is more dig­nity in the contempt of a Christian, then in the crowne of a worldling; there is more joy in Christian sufferings, then in worldly pleasures. The losse which man sustaines for Christ, is greater gaine then the winning of the whole world without Christ; the Devill and the world are much mistaken in their offering of violence, wrongs and inju­ries to Christs members; the poverty, sorrow, shame, trou­ble, [Page 165] bondage, which they impose upon them, prove ri­ches, joy, honour, peace, and freedome to them; Men are much deceived in their judgements, supposing Christian sufferings miserable and contumelious; the wife, subject, souldier, servant repute it an honour to suffer for their Hus­band, Soveraigne, Generall, Lord and Master, and doubt­lesse he that denyes himselfe, cannot but account it as an honour to suffer for his spirituall Husband, King, Captaine, Lord and Saviour: He that denyes himselfe will chuse with David to be a Psal 84.10. door-keeper in the house of God, rather then dwell in the tents of wickednesse; to live in any low, poor, contemptible, and despised condition, enjoying communion with Christ, rather then partake of all worldly fulnesse without Christ. The Lord Jesus is a humble souls fulnesse, whether it hath much or little of the world; a little with Christ is honourable, and full of contentation, the greatest abundance without Christ is shamefull, and attended with much distraction; therefore the Apostle saith of himselfe, and such as he was, men denying themselves and enjoying Christ, that they were as 2 Cor 6.9, 10. unknown, and yet well known, as dying and behold we live, as chastened and not killed, as sor­rowfull yet alway reioycing, as poore yet making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all things. God is wonder­full in honouring, protecting, delivering, rejoycing, and satis­fying the soules of the humble, in sanctifying and sweet­ning their low, poore, and sad condition: The Lord makes them see such glory springing out of their ignominy, and such light shining out of their darknesse, that they Act. 5.41. reioyce they are accounted worthy, that they are vouchsafed this ho­nour to suffer for Christs name; they rejoyce in Col. 1 24. filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, suffering for Christ, being thereby made conformable to Christ, and ha­ving thereby communion with Christ, and Christ taking their sufferings as his sufferings; Christ suffering in them, and they for him, they are very joyfull in suffering; the more a man denyes himselfe, the more he rejoyceth in the crosse of Christ, in Christ crucified, for his sake, and in his owne sufferings for Christs sake.

[Page 166] 9. Mans ma­king it his honour to honour Christ.9. Man making it his greatest honour to honour Christ. He that denyes himselfe, is 1. so inflamed with love to Christ, that as a wife reputes it her choisest matrimoniall honour to advance her husbands honour, to be according to Solomons phrase, a Prov. 12.4. crowne to her husband, by her subjection under him, by her choise, sober, and pious carriage towards him, by her fidelity to him, and by her industry and labour for him: so the man that denyes himselfe, reputes it his highest honour to honour Christ, to be a crowne to Christ his spirituall husband, by his gracious subjection under Christ, by his holy walking towards Christ, by his godly 2 labour and industry for Christ 2. He that denyes himselfe, hath his heart put into such a holy and humble frame, made so graciously subject unto Christ, and is so strongly and fully devoted to the service of Christ, that as a good ser­vant takes it as his, prime glory, to honour his Master, to advance his Masters credit and profit: so he that denyes himselfe, like the good servant of Christ, taketh it for a speciall honour to serve Christ, to have Rom. 6.21. Gal. 1.10. his fruit unto holinesse, to please Christ, and not himselfe or others. 3. He that denyes 3 himselfe, is so so sensible of, so experienced in the vanity, emp­tinesse, basenesse, and fugitivenesse of the honour that comes from men; so out of love and liking with, and so low prizing and esteeming the applause and praise of men, that he accounts all other honour as no honour, to that which ariseth from the honouring of Christ. He esteemes it a grea­ter honour to serve Christ in true holinesse, in the lowest and poorest condition, then to command nations, and rule kingdomes, remaining a stranger to Christs Scepter and service; for he that in these things (saith the Apostle) in holinesse and true righteousnesse Rom. 14.18. serveth Christ is acceptable to God and approved of men. Gods acceptation, and good mens testimony is a crowne of much honour to them that serve the Lord Jesus in true righteousnesse. 4. He that 4 denyes himselfe is so wrought out of himselfe, so taken off from himselfe, from minding, intending, and seeking him­selfe, that he reputes all his labour lost, if it doth not bring some glory to Christ, it is in his eye an arrow be­low [Page 167] the marke, a casting of seed upon the sand,Gal 6.8. a sowing to the flesh; he reputes it a base and unworthy service which terminates in himselfe, and not in Christ, it is an abo­mination to him to be of their number who Rom 16.18. serve their owne belly, their owne lust of pride, pleasure, or covetous­nesse, and not Christ. 5. He that denyes himselfe, is so ta­ken up with the thought of Christ, with the admiration of 5 Christ; his soule doth so please and delight it selfe in Christ, that he esteemes Christs service a Paradise, for the pleasures of it, a rich store-house, for the treasures of it, a wall of fire, for the safety of it, and a high preferment, a singular crowne for the glory which it ministreth, and this indeed is the summe of that which our Saviour pro­poseth as an inducement, encouragement, and wages to his servants. If any man (saith he) Ioh. 12.26. serve me, let him follow me, and where I am there shall also my servant be; if any man serve me him will my father honour. Christs service is a good mans crowne and comfort, and therefore he that de­nyes himselfe referres all to the glory of God and Christ; and this is his glory, joy, and rejoycing, to be the ser­vant of Christ, to approve himselfe to Christ, by 2 Cor. 1.12. having his conversation not in fleshly wisedome, but in simplicity, and in godly sincerity.

Lastly, sincerity, humility, piety and plainnesse of heart, Sincere heart. ac­companies and argues self-denyall in Gods children. He that denyes himselfe, hath 1. a sincere heart, his heart like Christs 1 coat, is without seame; he is a true Nathaniell in whom is Ioh. [...].47. no guile; Ioh. 19.23. self-denyall abhorres and abandons hypocri­sie farre from the heart, it puts it selfe upon the tryall; Psal. 139.23. search me O Lord and try me, if there be any evill way within me, and lead me in the way that is everlasting;Ionah 1. it searcheth it selfe, as the Master in Jonah searched the ship; if there be any disobedience, any lust, any carnall or sinister respect there, it casts it out, it drownes it in the teares of godly sorrow, as the Master of the ship cast Jonah into the sea; he is very severe against sinne, [...] not onely in others, but chiefly in himselfe, his owne sinne is most odious in his eye; as a man is most sensible of and [Page 168] most troubled with a moate in his owne eye, or a disease in his owne flesh; he is most jealous and suspitious of his owne heart, as best acquainted with the deceitfulnesse thereof; he is the 1 Tim. 1.15. worst of sinners in his owne eye, he will not spare nor suffer sinne upon himselfe, as a man will not suffer a spot upon his owne flesh, but speedily wash it away; nor a disease in his owne body, but hastens the purging of it out; as a traveller will not knowingly walke in a false path, but hastens himselfe into his right way, so he Psal. 119.60. considereth his wayes, maketh haste and turneth unto the te­stimonies of the Lord: As Asa spared not his owne mo­ther, but deposed her being an Idolatresse; so this man spares not his owne sinne,Hab. 1.16. though a mother sinne, be it never so deare or pleasant, he will depose it; as God is a God of pure eyes, and cannot behold iniquity, so is such a man, a man of a pure heart, and he cannot behold iniquity with al­lowance in himselfe.

2 Humble heart2 He hath a humble heart; the proud man, the self-lover, who hath not denyed himselfe, doth all for the praise of men, his lamp will not burne without this oyle, his mill will not turne unlesse it hath this wind or water to drive it; but he that hath denyed himselfe is humble, he aymes at the glory of God, he seeks not himselfe, but God in what he doth, he leanes not upon himselfe, but upon God in whatsoever he doth, he leanes on Gods wisedome to guide him, on Gods power to support him, on Gods blessing to make all successefull, and when the worke is done, and men would deifie him, he continues hum­ble, hee putteth all the glory from himselfe unto God, his rejoycing is not in himselfe, but in the Lord.

3. Pious heart.3. He hath a pious heart, a heart cherishing an Ps 119.104. universall hatred of all sinne, universally bent and inclined to observe the whole will of God, having a disposition and frame of soule answerable to the Psal. 40.8. whole Law of God, resolved in no­thing willingly to offend God, endeavouring to the ut­most to walke in Col. 1.10. all well-pleasing towards God. All sinne is as gravell to his teeth, gall to his palate, snares to his [Page 169] feet, and a heavy burthen on his backe, his sinne is more troublesome to him, then all affliction, as bad or worse then death it selfe; but the worke of righteousnesse is his joy; this is the seed he sowes, the race he runs, to this he gives himselfe, this is his meat and drinke, this is the joy and rejoycing of his heart, this is the element in which he desires to live, and wherein he pleaseth and delighteth himselfe; as the fish in the water, he Psal. 112.1. delighteth greatly in Gods commandements, to know them, to meditate upon them, to receive direction from them, to doe all things in obe­dience to them.

4. He hath a plaine and open heart; 4 Plaine heart. he will not smother nor conceale his sinne,Ios. 7. as Achan hid his golden wedge and Babylonish garment, as Rachel sate upon and covered her Idols; he will not disguise and faine himselfe to be ano­ther then he is, as Jeroboams wife 1 Kin. 14. disguised her selfe, and faigned her selfe to be another then she was: He doth not desire that the Prophets should prophesie smooth things and deceits unto him;Isa 30.10. 1 King. 22. he will not with Ahab have the mes­sengers of the Lord bid him prosper in a way which the Lord allowes not; but his desire is to have his heart ran­sacked, his sinne opened,Psal. 141, 5. the estate of his soule truly dis­covered; he saith with the Psalmist, let the righteous smite me, by discovering my sinne, by reproving me for what is amisse, by wounding my conscience, and humbling my soule for my corruption; he is a most welcome messenger to him, that most clearly and fully sets his sin before him; he rejoyceth in the detection of his sinne, as a rich man in the detection of a theefe, that lyes in ambush to rob him, as a sicke man in the finding out, and purging away of the disease which would bring death upon him.

5. He hath a heart grieving at evill, 5. Heart-grie­ving at evill. Ezi [...] 9. and reioycing in good­nesse and good things: He grieveth for his owne and other mens sinnes, for the dishonour done to God; he that grieves for his owne and not for other mens sins, grieves rather out of self-love, fearing some plague which will fall upon him for sinne, then out of any true love to God, for the dishonour which sinne is unto God; for God is disho­noured [Page 170] by other mens sinnes as well as ours; he therefore that denyes himselfe, mournes with David, because Ps. 119 [...]16. other men keep not the Law of God; Gods dishonour is the prime motive of true and godly sorrow; the more a man de­nyes himselfe, the more his soule is humbled and grieved, because Gods name is dishonoured: He likewise that de­nyes himselfe, rejoyceth when God is honoured, whoso­ever be the instrument. Many can rejoyce when God hath been glorified by some act of their owne, but are not joy­fully affected, but rather grieved, when God is honoured by some worke of others, wherein themselves have been no sharers: Men are often very dangerous self-lovers in their ho­liest and most honourable performances. It argues a humble, sweet and gracious disposition of mens affections, to be able to rejoyce in the godly service of others; a humble soule is joyfull and thankfull that God is honoured, the Church benefited, the Gospell preached, the cause and kingdome of Christ promoted by others, as if himselfe had been the instrument; Gods glory is a humble mans maine desire and intendment, and is much joyed to see the same ac­complished; and in these characters as in plaine letters, may all men reade the truth and power of their self-denyall, and accordingly judge of their condition.


BUt it may be here demanded how many wayes a man may deceive himselfe in the point and matter of self-denyall. The heart of man is deceitfull above measure, and man is very prone to deceive himselfe, as in other necessary points and parts of salvation, so in this of self-denyall. To this there­fore I answer,8. Deceits in Self-denyall. that man is apt to deceive himselfe in this be­halfe eight wayes.

[Page 171]1. By denying himselfe superstitiously. 1. Superstiti­ously. Thus many deny rest, food, and liberty necessary, lawfull, and allowed; whipping, scourging, macerating, pinching, and even starving their owne flesh, denying themselves the use of such creatures, as God hath ordained and provided for the comfort and supportment of his servants. God hath made man subordinate Psal. 8.6, 7, 8. Lord over the works of his hands, and hath put all things un­der his feet, all sheep and oxen, and the beasts of the field, the fowles of the ayre, and the fishes of the sea. 1 Tim. 4 1 [...]5 Every creature of God (saith the Apostle) is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving, for it is san­ctified by the word of God and prayer; yet many in their superstition deny themselves the free and Christian use of the creature, placing their Religion and self-denyall in ab­stinence from some sorts of creatures. This is a law of Antichrist mentioned by Saint Paul, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstaine from meats which God hath cre­ated to be received with thanksgiving. Such self-deniers are none of Christs, but Antichrists subjects. Men placing their self-denyall in the observation of humane inventions, are farre from denying their owne corrupt and carnall lusts and affections; they that make tradition the rule of their Religion, are farre from spirituall and true mortification, zealous observers of humane devises in stead of denying them­selves, deny the Lord Jesus: Of such therefore the Apostle testifies, that they are Col, 2.18, 19 vainly puft up in their fleshly mind, and not holding the head which is Christ, and rebuking their superstition as repugnant to Christs death, he saith,20 wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why as though living in the world are ye 21 subject to ordinances (touch not, taste not, handle not,22 which all are to perish with the using) after the comman­dements and doctrines of men. This is the superstitious mans self-denyall.

2. By denying himselfe covetously. 2. Covetously. Many out of an im­moderate desire after earthly riches, and inordinate love to the world, deny themselves bodily rest, Psal. 127.2. rising up early, and sitting up late, and eating the bread of sorrowes; they de­ny [Page 172] themselves necessary food and rayment, they travell un­der their worldly abundance, as a galled horse under a heavy burthen; they want nothing of all their soules desire, yet God Eccl. 6.1, 2. gives them not power to eat thereof. This is the miserable worldlings humility and self-denyall, and in this he is ready to please and applaude himselfe; this man indeed abaseth himselfe below the dust, but he doth not humble himselfe under Christ; he makes himselfe the drudge and slave of worldly dung and drosse, he makes not himselfe the servant of Christ.

3. Partially.3. By denying himselfe partially. He denyes some, but not all his lusts; he walks in some, but not in all the or­dinances of God. Jehu denyed Baals Priests, he 2 King 10. put them to death, but he allowed the calves in Dan and Bethel. Saul denyed himselfe in the refuse of the Amalekitish stuffe, he destroyed the 1 Sam 15. refuse, but he denyed not himselfe in the blea­ting sheep,Mat. 6. and lowing oxen, he spared them; Herod de­nyed himselfe in many things, he heard the Baptist gladly, and did many things, but he denyed not himselfe in Hero­dias, he continued his incest. He that denyes not himselfe in all things, truly denyes himselfe in nothing; he that allowes himselfe under the power of one sinne, is farre from Christ, farre from the knowledge of Christ; as he that allowes one moate in his eye is farre from the cleare and comfortable sight of the Sunne; far from the life of Christ, and health of grace, as he that allowes himselfe in one dis­ease is farre from health of body, farre from the love of Christ, as the woman which allowes one strange lover in her bosome, is farre from the love of her husband; he is farre from the way to life, as he that keeps himselfe, and travels on in one false way, is farre from his right path; farre from all interest in Gods promises, as he that breakes one Covenant and condition of his Lease, hath forfeited his whole Lease; and farre from spirituall liberty and free­dome, as he that is fettered with one strong chaine, is farre from bodily freedome; he that denyes not all sinne, denyes none as it is sinne; hypocriticall, miserable, deceit­full is their self-denyall, which is partiall, and halt like Israel [Page 173] between God and Baal, between vertue and vice, between the earth and heaven, still abiding under the power of sin, without either truth or perfection in grace.

4. By denying himselfe Constrainedly; Not for love,4. Constrai­nedly. but for feare; not for the hatred of sinne, but for the sence of misery attending sinne; as the dog denyes himselfe his meat when he is sicke, and the Sow denyes her wallow­ing in the mire by reason of the coldnesse of the weather. Lord saith the Prophet, in trouble have they Isa. 26.16. visited thee; they powred out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. When the hand of God is heavy upon them, they walke humbly, they deny themselves their former carnall contentments; with the Mariners they cast out Jonah in the storme: This is the afflicted mans self-denyall, a de­nyall not springing from any principle of grace, but forc't upon the soule, not arising from any hatred of sinne, but from the punishment of sinne: As Mariners cease from the Sea, and lye fast in the haven, while the stormes last, but as soone as the weather is calme, they put themselves forth againe: Thus many when the storme is up, when their soules are tossed with the tempest of trouble, they cease from their worldly and carnall wayes; but as soone as their estate is cleare and calme againe, they returne to their for­mer trade and practise of sin: Constrained deny all is neither cordiall nor perpetuall.

5. By denying himselfe hypocritically; 5. Hypocriti­cally. seeming to others to deny himselfe, when yet indeed he doth not; as Ahab put off his Kings roabes, and disguised himselfe, and went into the battell as a common man, when yet he was in­deed the King of Israel: Thus many disguise themselves, enter the profession of Christ, as if they were humble and mortified men; when yet they are Kings for their pride, self-conceit, and high opinion of their owne worth, their change is onely in appearance, not in truth; outwardly they have sheeps cloathing, the shew of sanctity, humility,Mat. 7.15. and self-denyall, inwardly they are ravening wolves: Though they know themselves to have Rev. 9. Lyons teeth, yet like the Locusts in the Revelation, they put on the haire of a woman, and [Page 174] the face of a man; they pretend much love to God, much curtesie and kindnesse unto man, and yet they truly love neither God nor man, they draw Isa. 29.13. nigh with their lips, but their heart is farre from God; they fast from bodily food with the Pharisees,Luk. 18. Isa. 58. but they feast and feed their soules with pride; they hang downe their heads with them in the Pro­phet like a bulrush, but their hearts stand upright, these are nothing humbled; their denyall is not cordiall, sincere and true, it is onely superficiall, formall, and seeming, as the Devill appeared in the likenesse of Samuel, but was not Sa­muell: so these appeare in the likenesse of penitent, morti­fied, humble men, men dead to the world, yet in truth they are not so;Iam. 1. therefore the Apostle saith of such, they seeme to be religious: As a painted man seemes to be a man, and yet is no man but a rotten post; as an exhalation seemes to be a bright and shining Starre, and yet is no Starre, but a vanishing vapor;Prov. 15.7. as he in Solomon made himselfe rich, and yet had nothing: Of such our Saviour saith, they ap­peare Mat. 23.27, 28. righteous before men: As whited sepulchers appeare beautifull outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all uncleannesse; as Ixion in the fable embraced a cloud in stead of Juno: so many under the Gospell take the shadow in stead of the substance of self-denyall.

6. Sinisterly.6. By denying himselfe Sinisterly and politickely, to de­ceive others, to insinuate himselfe into others, to accomplish some earthly project with the more facility. As the Gibe­onites came to Joshuah with Ios. 9 12, 13. old shooes, and old garments, and rent bottles, as if they had come a long journey, and thus politickely drew Joshuah to make a league with them: In like sort many pretend self-denyall, mortification, the putting off the old man, to procure the favour of Gods ser­vants, to increase their worldly profits, to accomplish their owne sinister ends; oftentimes men bring about, and finish most mischievous designes and enterprises under a pretence of godlinesse, mortification, humility, and meeknesse: Si­meon and Levi cloake the massacring of the Sichemites with the conscience of Circumcision;Gen. 34. [...]5. Mat. 2.8. 1 King. 21 9. Herod intending to kill Christ, pretends the worship of Christ; Iezabel plotting [Page 175] the death of Naboth, proclaimes a fast, ordaines a day of humiliation; the Crocodile first weeps upon man, and then kils and makes a prey of him: Such Crocodiles are these men who under a pretence of teares, repentance, and self-denyall, deceive, and make a prey of their bre­thren.

7. By denying himselfe vain-gloriously, 7 Vain-glori­ously. Mat. 6.2, 5. many men doe much, and goe outwardly very farre in the way of self-denyall, for the praise of men; Iacob to get Isaacks bles­sing put on Esau's clothes, and some men to get the blessing of mens applause and praise, put on the outward habit of truly mortitied men; the Pharisees were very liberall in their almes, very frequent in their prayers, very severe in out­ward appearance in their fastings; and all this they did to 16 be Mat. 23.5. seen of men, to gaine the praise of men, for this men may, and doubtlesse some doe, give their goods to the poore, and their bodies to the prison, to the fire. Wherefore else doth the Apostle say, 1 Cor. 13 3. If I give my goods to the poore, and my body to be burned, and have not Love, I am nothing. Vaine men are carried by their self-love to suffer martyr­dome, as true love carries Gods children; Gods glory car­ries his children to suffer death, that God may be honou­red, and to this pride and vain-glory carryes some men, that their name may be magnified: Many who will suffer nothing for God out of true love and affection, will suffer much for themselves out of an ambitious humour of vaine boasting and ostentation: They that care little for a name with God, that doe nothing for Gods approbation, will many times doe much for a name with men, for mens praise and commendation. He that doth not humble and abase himselfe, that God may be exalted is deceitfully hum­bled.

8. By denying himselfe Temporarily, 8. Tempora­rily. to walke heavily with 1 King. 21.29. Ahab for a few dayes, to bow downe the head Isa. 58.5. for a day with the bulrush, is an hypocriticall and counterfeit self-denyall; false denyall may bow, and bring a man very low; as Dan. 4.14, 15 Nebuchadnezzars tree was brought to a stump, but as that stump was bound with bands of brasse and yron, fast [Page 176] tyed, and not rooted up, and therefore sprung and sprouted up againe; thus many men are very deeply humbled for the present, but their inward lusts not being truly morti­fied, and plucked up by the roots, but fast bound up within them, they sprout and spring againe, after some dew of temporall ease and peace, hath a little distilled and dropt upon them; they returne againe with the dog to 2 Pet. 2.22. the vo­mit, and with the Sow to the mire: That self-denyall which is not constant and increasing, is built upon a false founda­tion. He never truly denyed himselfe for God, that doth not abide and hold out to the end with God; the hypo­crite is off and on, he changeth like the clouds, sometimes moving low, and sometimes mounted on high; sometimes following the Sunne, and sometimes moving against the motion of the Sunne. The hypocrite will not alwayes delight himselfe in the Almighty, Iob 27 9, 10. he will not alwayes call upon God; whatsoever pretence of piety or love he make towards God, like Orpah to Naomi; Ruth 1. yet as she forsooke Naomi, so will he forsake the Lord, but the meeke Isa. 29.19. shall increase his strength; the truly humble and mortified man shall hold out and abide to the end; as his other works, so his self-denyall shall be more at last then at first; the longer he liveth in the estate of grace, the more his lusts are mortified, the more his owne wisedome, will, thoughts, affections, desires, and carnall ends and purposes are denyed.


IT may be yet further here demanded how a man may com­fort himselfe touching the truth of this holy and graci­ous worke of self-denyall,Rom 7. [...]3. finding and feeling many lusts yet remaining and rising up within him, and rebelling (as the Apostle saith) against the law of his mind, sometimes cap­tivating, [Page 177] overswaying, and leading him away to the min­ding and seeking of himselfe, and serving of his owne base affections.

To this I answer,Comforts in the work of Self-denyall against remai­ning lusts. 1. Troublesomes of Lust that in this case and estate a man may comfort himselfe, and assure himselfe of the truth of his self-denyall.

1. By the trouble which remaining and rebelling lusts are unto the soule of man: If they be troublesome to the soule, as the Iudg. 2.2, 3. Canaanites to Israel, as thornes in our sides, and prickles in our eyes, as diseases in our flesh, and burthens on our backs, as rebels and mutinous persons in a common-weale are a trouble to the common-weale. Though we are not fully freed from, yet we have truly denyed them; when sinne is not sweet as wine, but bitter as gall to our palate, not pleasant as bread, but troublesome as gravell to our teeth, not pleasing as the wife of a mans bosom, but offen­sive as a contentious and quarrelsome inmate; there the lusts of a man are denyed, they doe not raigne and beare do­minion, they have not the full and peaceable possession where they are a trouble. Paul was one that had in a very high measure denyed himselfe, yet he complaines of sinne, as of a Rom. 7.23, 24. law in his members rebelling against the law of his mind, and sometimes leading him captive; yet this being a trouble to him, as a dead member to the body, as a mote to the eye, as a thorne to the foot, the Lord comforts him with the sufficiency of his grace, My 2 Cor. 12.8. grace is sufficient for thee.

2. By the godly griefe and sorrow of the heart of man for the lusts yet remaining, and making warre within him.2. Godly griefe for remaining lusts. When the presence and opposition of corruption makes man to sorrow, as a woman in travell, untill his soule is deli­vered and discharged of them, to mourne as the Israelites lift up Iudg. 2.3. their voice and wept, because the Canaanites conti­nued among them, and to grieve for the presence of sin­full lusts in his heart, as Sarah was grieved for the presence of the daughters of Heth in her house. When a mans sor­row is continually Psal. 38.17. before him, because sinne is continually within him; such a man may assure himselfe of his self­denyall: [Page 178] He that hath a continuall godly sorrow for his sinne is not under the dominion of sinne; true repentance argues an infallible denyall of corrupt and carnall affe­ctions.

3. Holy Conte­station against lusts.3. By a holy, gracious, and constant Contestation against the lusts which remaine within him. He that feeles the Spirit, the regenerate part Gal. 5.17. striving against the flesh; as Rebeckah felt Jacob striving against Esau in her wombe: He that fights against his lusts,Exod. 17. as Joshuah against the Amalekites; he that makes warre against his corruptions, as the house of David against the house of Saul, and prevailes and increaseth his strength,2 Sam 3.1. as the house of David did, may ascertaine him­selfe of freedome from the Lordship, and power of his corrup­tions: He that warres against sinne makes no provision for sinne, any more then a man doth for the enemy against whom he wages warre: He that warres a good warfare against Satan, the world, and his owne lusts, holding faith and a good conscience, is a blessed conquerour, hath won the con­quest, though much assaulted by Satan, and his owne cor­ruptions: It is not mans being assaulted by his lusts, but mans yeelding to his lusts, which argues absence of self-denyall.

4. Humiliation for want of humility.4 By mans humbling himselfe for his want of humility, and tendernesse, and softnesse of heart; freely confessing the pride, self-love, and high thoughts which he discerneth in him­selfe, shaming, and loathing himselfe for the obstinacy, haughtinesse, and deceitfulnesse of his heart; as David con­sidering and feeling the pride and rebellion of Absalon, 2 Sam. 15.30 went weeping with his head covered and his feet bare: So man that feeles the pride and rebellion of his heart, must mourne, humble, and abase himselfe before the Lord for it; the hy­pocrite is proud of his humility, the sincere man is abased and ashamed for the remainders of pride which he discer­neth in himselfe: The state of him that is exalted with his gifts is very dangerous; the state of him that is made vile in his owne eyes with the sence of his corruptions, is hope­full and gracious. It is a blessed argument of self-denyall, when the sence of a mans secret self-love, and lurking cor­ruption [Page 179] doth abase him in his owne apprehension; pride and self-love have no dominion as long as the soule is mo­ved to humiliation by the sight and sence of them. He that abhorres, abases, and humbles himselfe because his heart is not more humble, is undoubtedly truly humbled, though his humility want some perfection.

5. By mans frequent and fervent prayer to be freed and throughly purged from all pride, self-love, and sinister respects: 5. Fervent prayer against pride and self-love. Exod. 17.11. He cannot be a lover and servant of sinne that prayes fee­lingly, fervently, and constantly against his sinne: If Moses hands be lifted up the Amalekites will fall; If the heart be constantly lifted up in holy and gracious prayer unto God; proud lusts and self-respects will fall, prayer will surely bring them downe,Act. 12.5.7. and worke the heart to a very humble and gracious frame: The Church prayed, and Peter was set free from his fetters, from the souldiers, and Herods pri­son, holy and earnest prayer hath a very forcible operation to worke the soule to spirituall freedome from all sorts of evill, to make it truly sincere and humble, both in the in­ward disposition, secret intention, and outward execution of every action: Certainly mans prayer is but lip-labour, no cordiall prayer but vaine babling, words of custome, or of ostentation, if they make not the heart sincere and hum­ble. He that knowes the holy, humble, constant, and ear­nest way of his heart in secret prayer with God, may assure himselfe of his self-denyall before God.


AS Self-denyall is a holy and gracious worke of Gods Spirit,Self-seeking very dangerous. a lively and honourable character of a true Chri­stian, the prostrating of mans selfe and all that he hath un­der Christ: The seeking and exalting of Christ above all, [Page 180] is the crowne and glory of a Christian: so self-seeking and self-exaltation is a very shamefull and dangerous evill, an evill indeed very common: Most men sowing to the flesh, and not to the Spirit, to themselves, and not to Christ; Men generally moving, and tending in their understandings, wils, thoughts, and affections to themselves, as rivers to the sea, levelling the arrowes of their endeavours to some car­nall marke of their owne, and not to the honour of Christ: All (saith the Apostle) seeke Phil. 2. [...]1. their owne; all comparatively in respect of the paucity of others, seeke their owne, their owne profit, their owne ease, their owne pleasure, their owne honour, they confine themselves within themselves, they seeke themselves, and not the things which are Jesus Christs: The honour of Christ, the edification of the Church of Christ, the propagation and welfare of the Gospell they seeke not, this they mind not, this they intend not; they are all I [...]. 6 given (said the Prophet of old) to their covetousnesse, to the minding and seeking of themselves, their owne low, base and unworthy ends, from the highest of them to the lowest, and from the Priest unto the people. Self-seeking like the deluge overslowes the whole world; few then ad­dressed themselves unto the Arke, few now addresse them­selves to Christ, seeke interest in Christ, or seriously in­tend and mind Christ. Generally, then they lay drowned under the waters, commonly now they are overwhelmed with the Sea of self-cogitations, self-desires and intendments. Mans neglect of Christ, and self-seeking ever turnes to mans ruine, as their neglect of the Arke, and seeking other places of refuge proved their destruction: Many indeed professe Christ, but few intend Christ, like bad servants, they call him Lord and Master, but they doe not his worke, they mind themselves and not Christ. Rehoboam 2 Chron 12.13, 14. strengthened himselfe, but he did evill, and prepared not, or fixed not his heart to seeke the Lord. There are many of Rehoboams gene­ration, they strengthen themselves in wealth, in friends, in carnall policies, and worldly honours; but they prepare not, they doe not dispose and frame their hearts to seeke Christ, to exalt and set up Christ; they doe not fixe their [Page 181] hearts towards Christ in their intendments and underta­kings, as the rivers are fixed towards the sea in their mo­tion, and the arrowes towards the marke in their slying; This is an evill from which the Lord disswadeth, Seeke ye Numb. 15.39. not (saith the Lord by Moses) after your owne heart, and your owne eyes, after which ye use to goe a whoring. Wherein the Lord calleth them from their owne wisedome as from a false guide, from their owne will as from a corrupt com­mander, from their owne thoughts, as from a pernicious sug­gester, and from their owne ends, as from low, base and carnall markes:1 Evill proper­ties of Self-seeking. And indeed self-seeking is a spring of many bitter streames, and a poysonous root of many mortall and soule-slaying branches: For,

1. Self-seeking is insatiable. 1. Insatiable. Gen. 41. He that seekes the creature and not Christ can never have enough, his desires are never answered: Like Ph [...]raohs leane kine after the eating of the fat, his soule is still leane, empty, hungry, he finds no sa­tisfaction: Like the dropsie-man, he is in a continuall thirst; the more man seeks himselfe the further he is from satis­faction, his desires are endlesse that desires not the Lord Jesus he is alwayes poore that makes not Christ his riches, distracting and perplexing thoughts of want doe ever pe­ster their minds who mind not Christ Jesus in whom is all fulnesse: The eye which sees not the Sun of righte­ousnesse is never Ec [...]ll 1.8. satisfied with seeing: The eare which heares not the glad tydings of Christ in the Gospell is never sa­tisfied with hearing: The hand which receives not Christ, is never filled with receiving: The soule which finds not Christ is never satisfied with finding, though it finds all the fulnesse of the world. No man doth lesse enjoy himselfe then he that doth most inordinately mind himselfe: Disor­derly intendment of the creature deprives man of the com­fort of the creature; the least of the creature with Christ ministers much contentation, the most of the creature with­out Christ works great vexation and trouble, and fils the soule with restlesse and insatiable longing: To them there­fore that intend themselves and not Christ, that mind the multiplication of their worldly abilities, and not the exal­tation [Page 182] of Christ, the Lord threatens Pro 27 20. Isa 9.20. Mica 6.14. emptinesse, to them that intend Christ and not themselves, the Lord promiseth fullnesse and satisfaction to their desires; the soule which applyes it selfe to the creature, discernes a seeming beau­ty in the creature, and that inflames the soul with love to it, with lusting after it; the soule promiseth it selfe great things from the creature, and therfore is much in the mul­tiplication of the creature; it discernes a pronenesse in the creature to change, and therfore labours much to make it sure; such a man placeth his confidence in the creature, and yet is very jealous, least the creature should faile and prove a sandy foundation; and therefore is he very solli­citous and laborious about the creature, thinkes he never bestowes pains and care enough, to make it sure unto him­selfe: but the man who sincerely minds and intends Christ, sees such perfection, tastes such sweetnesse, discernes such power and stability, and meets with and feels such a full­nesse of all goodnesse in Christ, that in Christ his soul hath a sweet acquiescence, and sure reposall, whether he enjoy much or little of the world; the more man neglecteth and denyeth himselfe and the creature for Christ, the more sa­tisfaction he findeth in Christ; the more a man intends himselfe and the world, with the neglect of Christ, the more vanity, vexation and emptinesse he finds in himselfe, and in his earthly abundance: There is no Eccl 4 8. end (saith Salomon) of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches: He spends his mony for that which is not bread, Isa. 55. and his labour for that which sa­tisfieth not, saith the Prophet.

2 Hypocriticall2. Self-seeking makes man hypocriticall, corrupt and full of sinister and by-respects in his profession and duties of Religion; the wife of Jeroboam comming to the Prophet 1 Kin. 14.5. disguised her selfe, and fained her selfe to be another then she was; self-seekers comming to Christ, taking upon them the profession of Christ, disguise themselves, and fain them­selves to be others, then they are; to be the friends of Christ, the followers and servants of Christ and seekers of the honour of Christ, when they are the enemies of Christ, followers of the world, Rom. 16 18. serve their owne bellies, and seek [Page 183] their owne worldly profit and temporall advancement: Selfe-seekers make their attendance upon the Lord Jesus a meanes to accomplish their owne carnall purposes, like cunning Anglers they make Religion a bait to cover their hooke, the more readily to take the fish of some worldly profit, men often gaine that riches and ascend the steps of that honour, under a pretence of godlinesse, which they could never attaine in the way of open profanenesse; An­ti-christ puts on the Rev. 13.11. hornes of the Lamb, and under pre­tence of being Christs Vicar, he sets himselfe in Christs throne, and acts the part of the Dragon; under colour of seeking the welfare of the Church, he doth prey upon, and brings ruine to the Church; the Pharisees were great self-seekers, men of covetous and ambitious spirits; they rob'd widowes houses, and for a Mat 23.14 pretence made long prayers; their whole Religion, who are given to self-seeking, is altoge­ther corrupt and carnall: Iudas followed Christ not for a­ny love to Christ, but because he bore the bagg. Man may goe farre in the way of Christ, and doe much in the worke of Christ, as long as Christs service tends to his worldly advantage, having no true love at all to the Lord Jesus;Joh. 6. why did the Disciples mentioned by Saint John follow Christ, but because Christ filled them with the loaves, earthly gaine is the only load-stone that draws self-seekers to the observation of religious duties, Hemor and Shichem, perswading their fellow Citizens to be circumcised, drew them by an argument taken from their worldly profit, Shall not (say they) their Gen. 34.2 [...], 23, 24. Cattell and their substance, and every beast of theirs be ours, and to this they hearkned and were circumcised. Self-seekers never put themselves upon the profession of godlinesse, but under the promise of some worldly advantage; did they not perswade themselves that some honour, favour, or other earthly benefit would ther­by accrew unto them they would never put their foot with­in the lists of Religion; Abimelech was kind to Abraham, not for Abrahams, but for Sarah's sake; self-seekers some­times pretend much kindnesse to Christ, but it is not for Christs, but for the worlds sake, they cloake and colour [Page 184] their earthly purposes with religious pretences, and this is the cursed Hypocrisie of self-seeking, to make God, Christ, Religion and Christian profession as servants and slaves to mans carnall lusts and purposes, most shamefully injuri­ous are all such selfe-seekers to the Lord Jesus.

3. Polluting.3. Selfe-seeking is a polluting and defiling evill, termed by S. James Adultery, Yee Joh 4 4. adulterers and adulteresses (saith he to such self-seekers) know you not that the love of the world is enmity with God, and that he that is a friend of the world is an enemy to God, and it is stiled by Moses a Num 15 39. going a whooring; adultery and whooredome defile the body and self-seeking defiles the soule; the Iewes by their covetous practises and self-seeking, polluted the Temple, and made it a Den of theeves, Ioh. 2. and men by their self-seeking pollute their souls, which should be a holy Temple to Gods Spi­rit, this they make a den of theeves, a very cage of un­cleannesse; Gehezi sought himselfe in running after Nao­man for a talent of silver and two changes of garments, and what was the issue of it, a 2 Kin. 5.22, 27 loathsome leprosie clave unto him: all self-seekers are in the sight of God as loathsome lepers, self-seeking defiles their understanding with ignorance, as dust defiles the eyes, disabling them to discerne the things of God, the Pharisees were covetous, and because they sought themselves, they Lu. 16.14. derided Christs Doctrine, with self-seekers the Doctrine which crosseth their carnall projects is repu­ted a Doctrine of no knowledge; this defiles the thoughts of men with worldlinesse, injustice, carnall plots and ima­ginations; this filled Saul with thoughts to 1 Sam. 18.25. Hest. 3 6. make David fall: This filled Haman with thoughts to destroy all the Iewes, throughout the whole Kingdome of Aha [...]huerus; this defiles the affections of men with base feare, carnall confidence, self-love and fleshly joy; this made the Rulers afraid to confesse Christ, they were self-seekers, they Ioh. 11.42 lo­ved the praise of men more then the praise of God, and ther­fore did not confesse Christ; this makes men ambitious of a name with men, for this they seeke to perpetuate their memory upon earth, their inward thought is (saith the Psalmist) that their houses shall continue for ever, and [Page 185] their dwelling places to all generations,Psal. 49 11. Ier 48. [...]. Psal, 52.7. Ier. 13.25. they call their Lands after their owne names; this makes them leane upon an arme of flesh, and to trust some in their workes, some in their treasures, some in their false­hood selfe-seekers ever build their confidence upon false foundations, and cast their souls into many shamefull pollu­tions.

4. Self-seeking alienates the soule of man from God, 4 Alienating. and from all interest in, and communion with Christ; the men of Israel following Sheba, alienated themselves from David, they had no part in David; self-seekers following their own lusts walking after their owne imaginations, alienate them­selves from God, they have no part in Christ; a wife that goes a whoring from her husband, dissolves the wedlocke, and alienates herselfe from her husband; the soule by self-seeking goes a whooring and commits fornication with the creature, and altogether estrangeth it selfe from Christ; of such the Lord saith, they are Psal. 58. Ier 5.23. estranged, they are revolted and gone: Self-seeking alienates a man from God in his un­derstanding; Self-seekers have no knowledge, They eate up my people (saith the Lord) as bread, there is their selfe-seeking; they have no Psal. 14. knowledge, no true, no cleare, no saving knowledge, there is their ignorance of God; this alienates man from the thought of God, of such the Psalmist saith, God is Psal 10. not in all his thoughts, he thinks not of God as of his Counsellour to advise him, as of his rock to build up­on him, as of his fountaine to replenish him, as of his King to glorifie him; this alienates man from the love of God. If any man 1 Ioh. 2.15. love the world, the love of the Father is not in that man; from attendance upon the Ordinances of God, the invited guests in the Parable were so eager in the pursute of the world that they could not come; from tasting and relishing the sweetnesse of Christ in the ministry of the Word, the fruit of Christ, the fruit of his Doctrine, the fruit of his death and resurrection communicated by the Gospell, are not sweet unto them, as to the Spouse in Salomons Song, Cant. 2.3. but as Iob sometime said of Eliphaz his speech, Can that which is Iob 6.6, 7. unsavoury be eaten without salt, or is there any taste [Page 186] in the white of an egge? The things which my soule refu­seth to touch are as my sorrowfull meat: Such is the Mi­nisters speech and preaching of Christ to self-Seekers, alto­gether unsav [...]ry, having no sweet rellish, or comfortable taste to their palates; their soule refuseth it as sorrowfull meat, troubling rather then comforting, grieving rather then rejoycing them. Christ ever proves very troublesome to the soule that is addicted to self-Seeking; Man spoyles himselfe of many sweet and heavenly comforts in Christ Jesus, by seeking himselfe, and the satisfaction of his owne corrupt affections: This alienates man from the faith of Christ. He that seeks himselfe cannot beleeve in Christ, he cannot take unto himselfe Christ for his husband to love him, for his King to honour him, for his Counsellor to be guided by him, for his rocke to build upon him, and for his pre­cious pearle to rest himselfe contented with him: The foo­lish man (in the parable) who built upon the sand, did not also build upon the rocke: He that leanes upon the creature, leanes not upon Christ; He that seeks himselfe trusts in himselfe, and not in Christ: True faith and self-seeking like the Arke and Dagon cannot stand together. How can ye beleeve (saith our Saviour) which receive honour one of another, and seeke not the honour that commeth from God onely. You seeke the praise and applause of men, to exalt and magnifie your selves in the eyes of men, you seeke not the testimony and approbation of God, you labour not to approve your selves unto God, and therefore you cannot beleeve, you cannot receive and embrace me, you cannot rest and relye upon me, you cannot quiet and content your selves with me. Doubtlesse all worldly and ambitious self-seekers are mise­rable and wretched unbeleevers; all inordinate self-lovers are very great strangers to Christ Jesus; Cursed and shame­full is that fruit of self-seeking which turnes off the soule of man from Christ, and spoyles him of all interest in Christ: This alienates man from the service of Christ, all self-seekers serve themselves,Rom. 16.18. Mat 6.24. they serve not our Lord Jesus Christ (saith Saint Paul) but their owne belly, they serve not God but Mammon (saith Christ) Self-seekers are the servants of world­ly [Page 187] vanities, and the slaves of carnall lusts and affections; the soules unhappy bondage and enthralment is the fruit of self-intendments; all self-seekers like Israel are Hos. 10.1. empty vines; they bring forth fruit unto themselves and not to Christ: Such mens services are an illegitimate brood, spurious works begotten by the world, Satan, and the flesh, and not by the Spirit of Christ: To such our Saviour saith,Ioh. 8.44. ye are of your father the Devill, and the lusts of your father you will do [...] Of such Saint John saith, they are of the world,1 Ioh 4.5.therefore speake they of the world; they have worldly hearts, worldly thoughts, worldly language, and worldly intendments, and all their labours are a worldly service: The intendment of man in his undertaking is ever sutable to mans originall: He that is not of Christ cannot intend Christ, nor referre his [...]ervice unto Christ.1 Ioh. 4.6. We are of God (saith the Apostle) he that knoweth God heareth us, he that is not of God heareth not us, hereby know we the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of errour. Lastly,2 Cor 11.13. this alienates from all true and sweet delight and joy in Christ. Self-seekers rejoyce in them­selves, and in the creatures, and not in Christ; as the men of Sichem rejoyced in Abimelech, the bramble, and not in the sonnes of Jerubbaal, the Vine, Olive, and Fig-tree,Iud. 9. in Jothams parable. He that seekes himselfe rejoyceth in a very empty and unworthy object, in the creature which like a bramble, hath neither fruit, nor shadow to minister either satisfaction or safety; but pricketh, scratcheth, vexeth all that set their hearts upon it, and he leaves Christ, who like a Vine, Olive, and Fig-tree communicates food and sha­dow, pleasure, contentation, defence, and sweet refresh­ment to all that come unto him, and place their confidence in him: The Jewes in the Prophet Isa. 8.6. refused the waters of Shiloah, the defence and ayde which God promised them, and rejoyced in Rezin and Remeliahs sonne. The man that seeks himselfe refuseth Christ, sleighteth and undervalueth Christ the fountaine of living waters, from whom slowes all protection, comfort, and contentation to them that sin­cerely embrace him; and rejoyceth in the creature, which proves a sandy foundation, and a broken cisterne. Of such [Page 188] the Prophet saith, Amos 6 13. Mat. 2. they rejoyce in a thing of nought; in a thing of no strength, of no fulnesse, of no continuance; He­rod sought himselfe, the establishment of himselfe in the kingdome, and the tydings of Christs birth was terrible to him: The Pharisees were great self-seekers, and the pre­sence, preaching, and miracles which Christ wrought, did very much perplexe and grieve them: Mans inordinate min­ding and intending himselfe, and worldly riches, honours, or pleasures, deprives him of all delight and joy in Christ Jesus. Self-seeking works a very unhappy alienation from Christ, and makes the soule a very great stranger to Christ.

5. Full of un­lawfull means.5. Self-seeking puts a man upon unlawfull and forbidden meanes to accomplish his corrupt and unworthy ends: Through self-seeking the covetous man thrusts himselfe into unlaw­full wayes of gaine; the ambitious man into forbidden wayes to attaine honour and high places, and the volup­tuous man into unlawfull wayes of carnall and fle [...]hly plea­sures; the covetous man seeking himselfe and worldly wealth, defraudeth, oppresseth deceiveth: He intrudes him­selfe upon the time and things which God hath made sa­cred: He turnes the day of sacred rest into a day of bo­dily labour, into a day of treading wine-presses, bringing in of sheases, and bearing Neh. 13 15. of burthens, as sometime Nehemiah saw it in Judah. This makes them according to Salomons phrase, to devoure Prov 20.25. holy things, things dedicated to the honour, worship, and service of God: This makes them use as the Lord speakes by the Prophet, the Mic. 6.11, 12 wicked bal­lances, and the bag of deceitfull weights: For this they are full of violence, speake lies, and their tongue is deceitfull in their mouth; they fell as Amos saith, the righteous for silver and the poore for a paire of shooes. Amos 2.6. Self-seeking sets man upon many ungodly, injurious, and dishonourable practises, to gaine the wealth of the world: This makes the ambi­tious man full of fraudulent and bloudy plots and designes to exalt himselfe, and make himselfe a man of eminency and great authority amongst men. Why did Joab murther 2 Sam. 3. 2 Sam 15. Abner? why did Absolon seeke to put his owne father [Page 189] from the throne? The one feared lest through Abner en­tring into Covenant with David his honour would be eclip­sed, and the other was ambitious of his Fathers Throne, carried away with an inordinate desire to reigne. Self-seekers are not terrified with the horridnesse of any pra­ctise, be it never so unnaturall and mercilesse: The Lu. 15. Prodi­gall in the parable making carnall pleasures the prime ob­ject of his desires, fully minding and intending the satis­faction of his owne lusts, left his Fathers house, put him­selfe into consortship with harlots, and spent all his pa­trimony: Man being over indulgent to himselfe, and his owne corrupt affections forsakes God, the Word, and way of God, and runs into all exorbitancies; very shamefull and odious are the wayes and courses entred upon by self-seekers. He that restraines not himselfe from self-seeking, will never containe himselfe within the bounds and limits which God hath prescribed to him, but will wander from God, and the rule of holy walking, into many forbidden evils. Sarah and Rahel being carried with an over-strong desire after children, seeking themselves too much in that behalfe, became impatient and would not wait for God any longer in Gods way, they put themselves upon a forbid­den way, and Gen. 16.3. & 30.3, 4. 1 Sam 15. Ios. 7. gave their handmaids to their husbands. Saul contrary to the Lords commandement, intending his owne worldly profit, spares the best of the Amalekitish beasts: Achan in a self-seeking humour layes his greedy hands upon the golden wedge, and Babylonish garment, the cursed thing which God had forbidden to be spared; there is no evill so odious, soule and hatefull, which he will not adventure upon, that is overswayed with the lust of self-seeking.

6. Self-seeking makes man unthankefull and discontented with his present estate and condition, 6 Discontented. though in it selfe an estate very full and comfortable: The eyes of a self-seeker are so much upon what he hath not, that he neither takes notice, nor tasts the sweetnesse of what he hath; his full vessell is an empty bottle, and his Paradise in his owne apprehension as a barren wildernesse, his thoughts are more perplexed with the desire of what he seemes to want, then comforted with the pre­sence [Page 190] of what he doth indeed possesse; the more he hath, the more his desire of having is increased. There is no Eccles. 4. [...]. end (saith Solomon) of all his labour, neither is his eie satisfied with riches: His abundance gives no satisfactory answer to his desires, he hath no contentment in what he hath, but is full of murmu­ring and repining, he dreames of a condition more happy then that wherein the Lord hath set him, and therefore loseth the comfort of his present plentifull possession. This is the constant an [...] common lot of them that seeke themselves and not the Lord Jesus, to be strangers to contentment and satis­faction in the great abundance of the world. A foolish sonne (saith Solomon) is a Prov. 17.25. Eccl. 5 12. griefe to his father, and bitternesse to her that bare him; his parents have no contentment in him, such a foolish birth, such an unhappy possession is the worldly ful­nesse of self-seekers, a griefe and bitternesse to their soules, they have no satisfaction with it, it is a bed of thornes, and a feast of gall and gravell, Ps. 127.2. Eccles. 2.23. bread of sorrowes, as the Psalmist termes it: Their dayes (saith Solomon) are sorrowes, and their travell griefe, their heart taketh not rest in the night, they are eve [...] discontented; the Lord gave Israel Manna from Heaven, he fed them with Angels food; yet having a self-seeking lust within them, they were not contented, they murmured and fell a lusting after the flesh-pots of Egypt, their Manna seemed to be a Num. 11.5. Gen. 3. light bread: If God doth not crucifie mans carnall lusts and affections, man meets with nothing but distraction and trouble in the choisest condition under Heaven, what felicity like that of our first parents? being created after Gods Image, placed in Paradice, and having nothing within or without them, to molest them; yet through self-seeking having a de­sire to be as Gods, they undervalued, and grew discontented with their present holy, happy, and blessed estate. Surely did not the blessed vision and fruition of God abolish the lust of self-seeking, man would in a short time be discontented with Heaven. Like the lapsed Angels he would not long keep his station, but grow weary of that glorious Kingdome.


SElf-seeking opens the eares of men to Satan,7. Attentive to evill counsell.and corrupt Coun­sellors, makes men ready to give audience to Satans suggesti­ons, and the perswasions of his instruments, prone to enter­taine any ungracious counsell that may promote their owne carnall ends, and further the accomplishment of their fleshly and worldly purposes. This makes men hearken to corrupt teachers, Satans trumpeters. As the Israelites hearkened to 2 Sam. 20.2. Sheba the sonne of Bichri when he blew the trumpet of Re­bellion, and drew the people from David: This makes men apt to receive him that Joh. 5.43. comes in his owne name, with a humane, carnall, and deceitfull doctrine, when like the deafe adder they stop their eares against him that comes in Gods name, preaching Christ sincerely, seeking Gods glory, and hand­ling the word of God truly. Self-seekers are 1 Joh. 4.5. of the world, worldly minded, carnally disposed, and therefore they heare him that speaketh of the world, that delivereth a carnall and earthly doctrine to them. The Rev 13.3. 1 Kin 21.20. world wonders after the beast, all self-seekers are very ready to become Antichrists followers. Ahab was a man that sold himselfe to commit wickednesse, a great self-seeker, and when the Devill became a 1 Kin. 22.22. lying spirit in the mouth of his Prophets, he gave them full and ready au­dience, followed their counsell though to his utter ruine, contrary to the charge of the true Prophet: Self-seeking makes a man a ready embracer, a great admirer of corrupt perswasion, a prophane despiser of wholsome admonition; our first Parents inclining to self-seeking gave present enter­tainment to Satans counsell, and Gen. 3. eat of the forbidden Tree: Self-seeking makes the heart to Satans suggestions like tinder to the fire, it kindles without any resistance. Judas having a worldly and self-seeking spirit, his heart was Ioh. 13.2. open to en­tertaine Satan, as ready to betray Christ for gaine, as the De­vill was to suggest the thought, or the Priests to offer the money: Self-seekers are of all others the fittest subject to receive Satans counsels, to swallow his hookes when they are baited with something sutable to their owne lusts, and [Page 192] tending to their owne ends, there is no power nor possibility for that man to decline Satans temptations, who is strongly addicted to self-seeking. Satan seldome failes of accompli­shing his end, in such as are given to the seeking of their owne ends.

8. Servile and a­basing.8. Self-seeking doth exceedingly abase man, it makes man, the Lord of the creature, to become the servant of the crea­ture; It fils him with base thoughts about the creature, with base counsels to gaine the creature, with base and servile love to the creature, with base confidence in the creature, with base services under the creature; Self-seekers are even the most base of all persons: Such are under the creature and their owne lusts, as Israel under Pharaohs burthens and taskmasters: Man by self-seeking spoiles himselfe both of corporall and spirituall freedome; therefore these are stiled the Mat. 6.24. servants of Mammon. The servant is not his own but his Masters, goes and comes at his Masters command, cannot dispose of himselfe, but is disposed by his Master, works not for himselfe but for his Master. Thus self-seekers are not their owne, but the crea­tures, goe and come at the command of the creature: As the souldiers in the Gospell went and came at the command of the Centurion,Mat. 8.8. and did what he would have them: They can­not dispose themselves to any good duty, they cannot put themselves upon the service of Christ, they cannot marry themselves unto Christ; but are altogether at the disposall of the creature; they are so under the power of the creature, that with the invited guests in the Parable, they cannot Lu. 14.1 [...]. come to Christ: They cannot intend Christ, the honour of Christ, and the everlasting welfare of their owne soules; the creature and their owne lusts are the prime and ultimate objects of their intendments; they can looke neither above nor be­yond these: And the Apostle expresseth the shamefull abase­ment of such men by terming their Phil. 3.19. belly their God, and their glory their shame; their belly their God, true worshippers put themselves under God, study how to please God, referre all to to the glory of God: Self-seekers prostrate themselves under the creature, study how to please their lusts, and referre all to their owne corrupt and carnall ends, and that wealth, [Page 193] that honour, that ease, that pleasure, that applause where­in they now glory proves their shame at the last. The pre­sent condition of self-seekers is a wretched bondage, and their latter end most shamefull and ignominious.

9. Self-seeking makes a man both an Idolater and an Idoll. An Idolater in serving the creature and his owne lusts,9. Idolatrous. and an Idoll in exalting and setting up himselfe in the roome of God: Self-seekers bow downe to the creature, and to their owne base and carnall affections: As Gideons many thousands Iudg. 7.6. Gen. 49.14, 15 bowed downe to the waters. Jacob prophesied of Issachar, Issa­char is a strong Asle couching downe between two burthens, and he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was plea­sant, and bowed his shoulder to beare, and became a servant unto tribute: Such base, sloathfull, and stupid asses are all self-seekers, couching downe between the creature and their fleshly lusts as between two burthens: They see it appeares to them in their carnall apprehension, that the creature is good, that riches, honours, pleasures are much to be desired, and that the fulfilling of their owne lusts is very pleasant, and therefore they bow downe the shoulders to beare the com­mands and injunctions of the creature, and all the impositi­ons of the flesh, and become servants unto tribute: To these they pay the tribute of distracting thoughts, of tormenting cares, of carnall confidence of inordinate love, and of hard service and base servitude, worshipping and serving (as the Apo­stle saith) the Rom. 1.25. creature more then the Creator. And for this cause Saint Paul stileth covetous self-seekers Idolaters, because their self-seeking doth alienate them from God, and drawes that love and confidence, joy and delight which they should place in God to the creature; and that service which they should imploy for God, and that subjection which they should yeeld to God, they bestow about, and yeeld unto the crea­ture and their owne lusts. And as they are Idolaters for their prostration of themselves to the creature and their owne cor­rupt affections: so they are Idols, For the exalting of them­selues above God, minding, intending, and seeking them­selves and not God, they adore and serve themselves and not the Lord, his s servants yee are (saith Saint Paul) [Page 194] to whom ye obey: Rom. 6.16. Self-seekers obey not God, but themselves, they conforme not themselves to the rules of Gods word, but to the dictates of their owne hearts; they propose not the glory of God, but their owne ends, and therefore they serve, and adore themselves and not God: Self-seeking excludes the soule of man from all communion with the true God, and carries it to the world as to a false God, and so proves a double abomination in the sight of God.

10. Self-seeking is ever attended with self-loosing. He that seekes himself and not Christ,10. Self-losing. loseth both himself and Christ: He that seeks himselfe takes a false rule to direct him, erreth in his seeking, and therefore loseth in stead of finding: He builds his worke upon a false foundation, and therefore sinks in stead of standing, like the house built upon the sand in the Parable: He puts himselfe out of Gods service, and therefore misseth his great Lord and Masters wages: He levels all his arrowes to a false marke, and therefore like an Archer that shoots below the marke, he shoots in vaine: He leaves out God, God is not in his Psal. 10.4. thoughts, he takes not God with him, he takes not Gods counsell to guide him, Gods power to assist him, Gods blessing to make his undertaking prosperous and successefull; and therefore in stead of a blessing the curse attends and waits upon him: He intends not God, but himselfe, and therefore God leaves him to himselfe, to prove the Author and work­man of his owne ruine. Present self-seekers and self-gainers prove in the event the greatest self-losers. The last end and issue never answers the expectation of self-seekers; their la­bour like the labour of the Ostritch is in vaine: The Ostritch leaveth her Job. 39 16. egges in the dust, the foot crusheth them, and the wilde beast breaketh them. Self-seekers lay all their labours in the dust, all their care & desire, all their industry and endeavour is about the things which are here below; they lay all their egges in the dust, and all their labours at last are crusht and brought to naught; Rahel had Gen. 35 16, 17. hard labour, but the birth of her belly proved the death of her body: Self-seekers have hard labour, they labour like a woman in travell, but their birth proves their death, their gaine turnes to their losse, their pleasure to their torment, their honour to their shame. Against such the [Page 195] Lord denounceth woe in stead of joy, shame in stead of glory, and desolation in stead of exaltation. Hab. 1. Woe (saith the Lord) to him that coveteth an evill covetousnesse to his house, that he may 9 set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evill: 10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, 11 and hast sinned against thy soule: For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beame out of the timber shall answer it. Woe to 12 him that buildeth a Towne with bloud, and stablisheth a City by 13 iniquity: Behold is it not of the Lord of Hoasts, that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity. Very great and shamefull are the losses which wait on self-seekers; their riches proves their poverty, their refuge becomes their ruine, and their exaltation their shame­full downfall; Very great is that mans unhappinesse who in the prophane neglect of God and Christ Jesus, labours to fill and furnish himselfe with earthly abilities: Self-seekers build on false promises, and feed themselves with deceitfull expe­ctations: The Lord turnes their imaginary calme into a tem­pestuous storme, their devised paradise into a troublesome wildernesse, and their intended crowne into reall shame. The last event of their undertaking doth ever crosse their first intention; that which is unlawfully sought and gotten pro­veth the instrument of mans great discomfort and trouble. He that labours for himselfe, and not for God and Christ Jesus, is vaine in his labours, like him that builds on the sand, his house sinketh as fast as he erects it: Like him that weaves a piece of cloth in or over the fire, the fire burnes it as fast as he weaves it. Losse, vexation, shame and ruine is the recom­pence and portion of self-seeking: The estate of him that hath nothing is farre more pleasant, blessed and comfortable, then of him that hath a great abundance by self-seeking. Of such the Lord saith by the Prophet, declaring the vanity, pe­rill, and perniciousnesse of their labours, they have Hos. 8.7. sowne the wind, they have laboured in vaine, as he that casteth forth an empty hand, strives to sow but sowes not, and they shall reape the whirlewinde; their harvest, the fruit of their labours shall be more troublesome then their first undertakings; they that will be rich (saith the Apostle) they whose bent and incli­nation [Page 196] is to themselves, and to the world, who chiefly mind themselves and things earthly, fall into 1 Tim. 6.9. temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtfull lusts, which drown men in destru­ction and perdition. Most wretched and uncomfortable is the gaine of self-seeking, Satan hath great advantage against them, they expose themselves to many temptations, they lay them­selves open to his arrowes to wound them, the world like a snare intangles them, their lusts grow strong within them, and get Lordship over them; and they make shipwracke of soule and body, splitting the ship of their soules upon the rocke of worldly riches, and what they supposed should have been a staffe to sustaine them, becomes a burthen oppressing them, and what they thought would have been a spring re­freshing them, becomes a Sea swallowing and utterly consu­ming them. There is no other cause of self-seeking but inbon­dagement to Satan, inthralment to the world, servitude to cor­ruption, separation from God, self-condemnation from mans owne conscience; emptinesse in the greatest worldly fulnesse, straights in the midst of all sublunary sufficiency, and a tempe­pestuous Sea of dismall agitations, tossings, and terrours in the soule of man: Looke upon all self-seekers, from the first to the last, and you shall find them all self-losers; Adam sought himselfe the bettering of his condition, but lost that blessed Image in which God created him, and that pleasant Pa­radise wherein the Lord had set him: Cain sought himselfe, and slew his brother Abel, but he lost himselfe, he became a fugitive and vagabond upon the earth: Gen. 4.12. Absolon sought him­selfe, he strove much to seat himselfe in his Fathers Throne; but he lost his life in the battell: Gehazi sought himselfe, he ran after Naaman for two change of garments; but he proved a shamefull loser, he sought change of rayment, but God chan­ged his cleane into a leprous skinne. The Babylonish King sought himselfe, he said, he would exalt his Throne above the Starres of God, and ascend above the height of the clouds, and be like the most High: But he lost himselfe, he was brought downe to hell, to the sides of the pit; cast out of his grave like an abo­minable branch, and as a carkaise troden under foot. Judas sought himselfe, he sold his Master to gaine a few pieces of [Page 197] silver, but he lost himselfe, in the issue and upshot he went away and hanged himselfe. Invaluable is the losse of self-seeking, heerby men loose their spirituall freedome and be­come bondmen to their own lusts, to Satan and the world, hereby they loose their communion and acquaintance with God, and goe out like Caine from the presence of the Lord, and are spirituall vagabonds upon the Earth, hereby they loose the benefit of all Gods ordinances, living under them as the blind man under the Sun, receiving no light from them, as Rocks in the midst of a River, no way soft­ned nor made fruitfull by them; hereby they loose the love of God, as a woman that seeks strange lovers looseth the love of her husband; hereby they loose the peace and comfort of their soules,Ps. 127.2. and pierce themselves thorough with many sorrowes, they make their bed a bed of thornes, and their feast becomes gravell to their teeth and gall to their palate, and at last they loose their soules and bodies forever. Happy is that mans losse that looseth all with the gain of Christ, cursed is that mans gain that wins the world with the losse of Christ, he that hath Christ hath also the true sweet and comfortable use of what he doth possesse, he that hath not Christ is a very slave and bondman in the midst of his greatest possession, the self-seeker neither truly enjoyes himself, nor a­ny thing els.

11. Selfe-seeking works the heart of man to a base and slen­der esteeme of holy and heavenly things; 11. Undervalu­ing holy things Christ his ordinan­ces and benefits are nothing precious in the eyes of selfe-seekers, their eyes are blinded, and see not the beauties of Christ, their palats are distempered, and tast not the sweet­nesse of Christ; their hand is withered, they cannot re­ceive Christ; they commit Jam. 4.4. spirituall adultery with the world, and cannot love Christ; nothing but the creature is preci­ous in the eyes of self-seekers: Esau preferred a Gen. 25.32. messe of pottage above his birth-right, the men of Shechem esteemed the Jud. 9 9. bramble above the Vine, the Olive and the Fig-tree; the self-seeker prefers the poore, low and empty things, the very bramble of the world, above Christ the true and living Vine, above the ordinances of Christ, whose fruit is better [Page 198] then the fruit of the Olive and the Fig-tree, and above the holy and heavenly inheritance, the blessed birth-right of Gods new-borne children: the Pharisees were great self-seekers, they Joh. 12. loved the praise of men more then the praise of God, they did all their workes to be seene of men; and as they were great seekers of themselves, so they were strange un­dervaluers of Christ; they saw no Isa. 53.2, 3. beauty nor comelinesse in him for which they should desire him, they despised and e­steemed him not, they derided his doctrine, they nourished in themselves a dishonourable opinion of his person, they said of him, Is not this the Mat. 13. Carpenters sonne, is not his mo­ther called Mary, and they were offended in him; they reviled and despised him, by reason of the externall humility of his person, they drew matter of calumniation from the lownes of his outward condition; such as judge of Christ and his or­dinances according to the outward appearance, are ever filled with base and contemptible apprehensions; the Gaderines were Mat. 8.34. great Swine-masters, and like their Swine they were fall of swinish dispositions, groveling upon the Earth and minding only things earthly, trampling under their feet like Swine the precious things which Christ did cast before them, and when the uncleane spirit which Christ cast out, carried their Swine into the Sea headlong, they desired Christ to depart from them; self-seekers value the basest things of the world above the choisest things of God, they had rather be deprived of Christ Jesus, then of the least and lowest of the creatures.

12. Seven evill branches of this unhappy root. 1 Imbondage­ment.12. Self-seeking shortly is a root of many unhappy branches, a spring of many bitter streams. 1. It imbondageth men to their corrupt and carnall lusts, makes them the servants of corrupti­on, and puts them under the power and command of the world, it robs them as the Lu. 10. thieves in the Parable did the man travelling betweene Jericho and Jerusalem, of all their spirituall abilities, it wounds them in their understandings that they cannot see God; as the Philistines put out Sampsons eyes and made a slave of him; it wounds them in their wils that they have no liberty, no inclination, no disposition to choose or imbrace Christ; it wounds them in the hand of [Page 199] their faith, that they cannot believe in Christ, they cannot imbrace nor lay hold on Christ, it puts them under the creature as a servant under the command of his Master, as an adulterer under the power of the Harlot.

2.Enmity. Self-seeking filleth man with enmity against his fel­low brethren; other mens successe and happinesse, is a self-seekers anguish. Josephs brethren being led by a self see­king spirit, hated him, because his Father loved him, the increase of their indignation against him was according to the increase of his Fathers love towards him; this moved Saul to envy and eye David, to lay snares for his life; he that is gi­ven to self-seeking is farre from all true love to his fel­low-brethren, their prosperity is a great eye-sore unto him.

3. Self-seeking makes men mercilesse and cruell, 3 Cruelty. the lives of them who ecclipse the honour, or hinder the gain, or disturbe the pleasure of self-seekers are of no esteem with them. Why did Gen. 27.42. Esau plot the death of Jacob? Why did Josephs brethren conspire against him, and cast him into the pit? but by reason of that dominion which self-seeking lusts had within them. Self-seeking dissolves the strongest bonds and obligations of naturall affection, and turns fraternall unity into unnaturall and mortall enmity.

4. Self-seeking fils men with causlesse,4.Causles jea­lousies.base and cursed jea­lousies over others, and makes them wrong interpreters of o­ther mens actions, and presumptuous and injurious expoun­ders of other mens hid and secret purposes; this self-see­king lust made Pharaoh jealous over the Israelites, least they should Ex. 1.10. joyne with his enemies, and make warre against him: This made Herod jealous of Christ, fearing least Christ would take his crown and Kingdom from him; what made the chief Priests and Pharisees jealous of Christ, preaching ma­ny heavenly Sermons, and working many miracles among them; but an ambitious and self-seeking lust of theirs, they feared least therby they should loose their place and Nati­on; Christ came as a Servant to minister to them, to suf­fer for them, to bring them to an heavenly Kingdom, and they out of their self-seeking humour suspected him, least [Page 200] by his meanes they should loose their present jurisdiction; self-seekers are very uncharitable in their constructions of other mens purposes and undertakings.

5. Soule-tortu­ring grief.5. Self-seeking creates much needles, unhappy and soul-tor­turing griefe, and anguish in the hearts of self-seekers, like gall in the cup, a thorne in the foot and strong winde in the Sea, it imbitters their estate, troubles their walke and makes their inward man a very tempest; it makes their food bread of Ps 127.2. sorrows, their bed a bed of thornes, and their day a day of clouds; self-seeking Ahab is 1 Kin 21. sicke upon his bed for want of Naboths vineyard; self-seeking Pharaoh is grieved because the Israelite multiplieth: the self-seekers in the Psalmist are grieved, Ps 112.10. gnash with the teeth and melt a­way to see the prosperity of the godly and the frustration of their owne desires; every self-seeker is a self-tormentor, he that is given unto self-seeking needs none besides him­selfe to molest and vex him; he carries his executioner still within him.

6. Unsuccesse­fullnesse.6. Self-seeking usually proves unsuccessefull, the event doth contradict their expectation; Rebecca out of her strong af­fection sought by sinister meanes to get the Gen. 27.15. blessing for Ja­cob, she waited not for it in Gods way, she obtained it in her owne way, and when she had procured it, how fared it, she was greatly crossed Esau purposed to ver. 42, 43. kill Jacob, Jacob is sent away and becomes a stranger to his mother; the cros­ses of self-seekers ever exceed their comforts; Sarah was ve­ry desirous of children, the Lord restrained her from bearing, she Gen. 16.2, 3, 4 gives her maid Hagar to her husband, but what was the issue of it; Hagar conceived, and Sarah was despised in her eyes, the birth of self-seeking proves uncomfortable, the self-seekers intended instrument of consolation, turns to an instru­ment of vexation; Lot Gen. 13.10, 11. beheld all the plain of Jordan that it was well watered every where, and he chose it for his habi­tation, and pitched his tent toward Sodome; But it came to passe that the King of Shinar with three other Kings, Gen. 14.12. tooke Lot and all his goods and departed, thus was Lot crossed in his choise; the chiefest worldly fullnesse is often attended with the greatest crosses, and men meet with most disquiet, [Page 201] where they promise themselves most comfort; it is the Lords and not the worlds presence that ministers both safety and con­tentation to Gods servants.

7.7. Losse of the comfort of pre­sent havings. Self-seeking takes away the comfort of what man possesseth for the present; the having of all is as nothing to him that is possessed with a spirit of self-seeking; Ahabs crown and king­dome neither content nor comfort him, having a lusting hu­mour after Naboths vineyard, the want of this doth more mo­lest and vex him, then the having of all the residue doth solace him, for this he came heavy and 1 Kin. 21 4. displeased to his house, laid him downe upon his bed, turned away his face and would eate no bread: Most unhappy and wretched is the estate and con­dition of that person whom God delivers over to the lust and humour of self-seeking, this makes him apprehend the Sunne of his prosperity, as a dark cloud wherin is no light, and the deepe river of his earthly abundance, as an empty pit wherin are no waters. Haman was highly honoured by Ahasuerus, yet having an ambitious and self-seeking lust within him, when he had related all his honours, concluded, All this Hest. 5.13. a­vailes me nothing so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the Kings gate: Many a gracious poore man that hath no­thing of the world, hath more satisfaction then he that hath the greatest earthly abundance with an iniatiable greedy and self-seeking lust within him: great is the vanity, emp­tinesse and vexation of worldly fullnesse without the bles­sed presence of Christ Jesus; happy is the soule to whom God gives freedome from the lust of self-seeking.Self-seeking lust how to be handled. And this insatiable, polluting, base and imbondaging lust, let us mortifie and put to death with all the concomitants and attendants of it, as Joshua destroied self-seeking Achan with all that appertai­ned to him; this let us wound with godly sorrow, self-denyall and a vocation of our hearts from the world, as Joab with three darts thrust through self-seeking Absolom; this let us root up as a most pernicious weed out of the garden of our souls; this let us put to death, as a most dangerous traitor and mutinous rebell in the common-weale of our hearts; let us daily strive for the increase of our liberty from self-seeking, as from the most loathsome of all spots, the most servile of all imbon­dagements [Page 102] the most sly and subtle of all snares, the most mortall of all diseases, and the most prevalent of all inti­cing, soule-deceiving and soule-slaying instruments.


IS it their property and practice who are indowed with the life of true holinesse to prostrate themselves and all that is theirs under the feet of Christ Jesus? Then here may we see with open face the vanity, impiety and perill 1.1. Self-admira­tion very dan­gerous. Of Self-admiration, of mans having high thoughts, an arrogant opinion of himselfe, and an over-weening con­ceipt of his owne excellency and worth. Goliah much ad­mired the tallnesse of his owne stature, and the bignesse of his armour, vain and carnall man is often much taken, and extraordinarily lifted up with the thought of his own worth, and transcendency of his owne gifts, contrary to the charge of the Apostle, Ro. 12.16. be not wise in your owne con­ceits: Doe not dreame of a sufficiency of a light in the lampe of your owne souls, take not upon you to be your owne guides and Counsellours, presume not of a fullnesse at home in the house of your owne hearts: to which a­grees that of Salomon, Pro. 3.5, 7. leane not to thine owne understan­ding, be not wise in thine owne eyes: make not thine owne abilities the foundation wherupon thou buildest, the light by which thou walkest, the strength by which thou stan­dest, nor the weapon by which thou expectest the conquest, promise nothing to thy selfe of thy selfe; be neither con­fident in, nor exalted with an opinion of thine own full­nesse and worth,Six evils of self-admirations. 1. Ignorance. For 1. Such as are over-swayed with self-opinion and self-admiration are very ignorant, they know not the state and condition of their owne soules. Ephra­im had gray hairs here and there upon him, howbeit (saith the Prophet) he knew it not. Self-admirers are full of the [Page 103] characters of profanenesse carry about them the signes and symptomes of spirituall blindnesse, basenesse, uncleannesse, poverty, bondage and everlasting ruine, but they know it not: No man more ignorant of himselfe, then he that hath highest thoughts of himselfe, the Pharisees were great selfe-admirers, extraordinarily lifted up with the thought of their owne wisdome, holinesse and perfection, yet ve­ry miserably blinde and ignorant, blind leaders of the blind, Ro. 7.9. without the law, as S. Paul confesseth, without the know­ledge of the law in their understandings, without the in­scription of the law in their hearts, without conformity to the law in their lives. Without the light of the law discovering their sinnes, without the power of the law humbling their soules; ignorance of mans owne vilenesse begets self-admirations; the Laodicean was strangely puffed up with thoughts of his owne spirituall excellencies, and the maine ground therof was his blindnesse, he said he was Rev. 3.17. rich and increased in goods and wanted nothing, not knowing that he was poore, blinde, naked, miserable and wretched, he that is of all men the worst, is usually in his owne opi­nion the best: carnall men thorough their blindnesse, doe often take that for very great spirituall riches, which in the account of God is no other then very poverty and base­nesse.

2. Self-admirers are non-apprehensive of the Majesty and perfection of God, and transcendent beauties of Christ,2. Non-appre­hensivenesse of Gods & Christs perfections. mans opinion of himself is sutable to his apprehension of God, the more apprehensive the soule is of Gods incomprehen­sible Majesty, holinesse and glory, the more it is abased in the sense of its owne emptinesse, basenesse and impurity. I have heard of thee (saith Job unto the Lord) by the hea­ring of the eare, but now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I Iob. 42.6. ab­horre my selfe and repent in dust and ashes, he that is filled with the admiration of Gods perfections is emptied of self-admiration, and made very low and base in his owne thought and meditation of himselfe. When the Prophet Esay had in vision seen the Lord sitting upon the throne, he cryed out and complained of his uncleannesse, then he [Page 204] said, Isa 6.1. woe is me I am undone, I am a man of uncleane lips, the sight of other mens rich and costly apparell, makes a 5 poore man blush and be ashamed of his owne rotten rags. God and Christ are questionlesse great strangers to the thought of self-admirers,Ps. 10.4. of such the Psalmist saith, God is not in all their thoughts; were the soule of man well stu­died and insighted in, full, and frequent in the meditation of, and throughly acquainted with the Lords perfections, he could not but be much abased in the knowledge, sence and feeling of his owne imperfections, His comelinesse with Daniel would be turned into Dan. 10.8, 9 corruption, and his face toward the ground, he would be humbled below the dust, and be baser in his owne eye than the earth: mens unacquainted­nesse with Gods excellencies is a maine cause of their be­ing self-admirers.

3. Ingratitude and sacriledge.3. Self-admirers are, very ungratefull and sacrilegious, they rob God of the praise of all his gifts, they ascribe all un­to themselves, they say with Nebuchadnezar, is not this great Babell that I have built by the strength of mine owne arme, and for the honour of my name, as they referre all to their owne ends, so they looke on all as proceeding from their owne strength, They Hab 1 16. sacrifice (saith the Prophet) to their net, and burne incense to their drag. God is neg­lected, their own art, wit, power and industry are admi­red, they deisie themselves and their own abilities. God is not regarded, his honour is wholy ecclipsed; they go not like David in the 1 Sam. 17.45. name of the Lord, in the name of Gods authority commanding them, in the name of Gods wisdome guiding them, in the name of Gods power assi­sting them, in the name of Gods glory to honour him; but like Goliah they goe in their owne name, in the name of their, owne pride exciting them, in the name of their owne fancy leading them, in the name of their owne wit, art, and strength helping them, and in the name of their owne praise and honour moving them, this is the Alpha and Omega of their undertaking, the first in intention, the last in execution. Self-admirers of all others are the most injurious unto God and Christ Jesus.

[Page 205]4. Self-admirers are uncapable of Christ and his graces, 4 Uncapable­nes of Christ. no man partakes lesse of Christ,Pro. 29.20. then he that doth most ad­mire himselfe, such a man hath no right, nor cleare dis­cerning of Christ, no sence and feeling of his want of Christ, no hunger nor thirst after Christ, no honorable opinion and e­steem of Christ, no room in his soule to receive and entertaine Christ, and therfore continues empty of Christ.Ioh. 9.41. There is more hope (saith Solomon) of a foole then of a man that is wise in his owne eyes: he is full of self-wisdome,Pro. 27.7. and therfore is uncapable of in­struction, as a full vessell of other liquor, the Pharisees had their own learning in such admiration, that they utterly rejected Christs Doctrine. The full stomack (saith Solomon) loath­eth the honey-combe, the full soule loatheth, slighteth, un­dervalueth those Doctrines and gifts of Christ, which are sweeter then the honey or the honey-combe. Self-admi­rers are very profane despisers of Gods choysest gifts and graces, and as they are full of self-opinion, so God turns them away empty of things heavenly and spirituall, he sends the rich away Luk. 1.53. empty. God fils that mans soule alone with heavenly goodnesse, who is emptied of all opinion of his own excellencies.

5. Self-admiration alienates the soule from God, 5. Alienation from God. cuts off all communion and acquaintance betweene the soule and God. God will not looke in grace and favour towards him, God opposeth himselfe against him,1 Pet. 5.5. he resisteth the proud by withholding his grace from him, by rejecting his prayer and supplication, by infatuating his wisedome, by dissipating his power, by crossing his undertaking, by leaving him as a prey to Satan, and powring contempt upon him. The Lord is very terrible in his opposition against the proud person. Very great and uncomfortable is the distance between God and self-admirers. He that admires himselfe cannot draw nigh to God by holy and humble supplication, pride hath such dominion within him, he cannot draw nigh to God by faith; he leanes so much upon himself, he cannot draw nigh to God by love, self-love doth so strongly oversway him, he cannot draw nigh to God by obedience, his pride will not suffer him to stoope to Gods precepts; he cannot draw nigh to God by holy [Page 206] hunger and thirst after Gods gifts and graces, he is so trans­ported with the thought of his owne fullnesse: Self-ad­miration excludes man from all the wayes of communion betweene God and his children, therefore Pro [...].5, 6, 7. trust in the Lord (saith the Wise-man) and leane not to thine owne un­derstanding, in all thy wayes acknowledge him, be not wise in thine owne eyes, feare the Lord and depart from evill: imply­ing that as long as a man leanes to his owne wisdome, and hath himselfe in admiration, he can neither trust in God, nor humbly acknowledge God, nor truly feare God, nor depart from evill, but continues in the state of a to­tall and uncomfortable alienation and estrangement from God.

6. Shame and confusion.6. Self-admiration is attended with shame and confusion at last; Goliah much admired himself, his owne stature and armour,1 Sam. 17. yet was shamefully overthrowne in the bat­tle, the Sword in which he gloried cut off his head. God often turnes the instrument and matter of mans pride, in­to the instrument and matter of mans shame. Nebuchad­nezar magnified himselfe above measure in his Palace, which he had built,Dan. 4.30, 31. but from thence he was driven to dwell and eat grasse among the beasts; the Lord will make the con­dition of proud people most base and contemptible; hee that magnifies himselfe above men is unfit for the society of men; beasts and brutish creatures are the fittest conforts for ambitious self-admirers.

Cure of self-ad­miration.Looke then, ô man, upon the basenesse and uncleannes of thy Originall, upon the absence of all spirituall good, upon the presence and plenitude of all sin, upon thy imbondage­ment unto Satan, upon thy inthralment unto the creature, upon thy servitude under many noisom lusts, upon the rottennes and deceitfulnes of thy heart, upon the loathsomnes of thy wayes, upon the imperfection of thy best services, upon the strict ac­count which thou must make for all thy abilities; and be no more a self-admirer, but a self-shamer, a self-condem­ner, a humbler of thy soule, and an admirer of God and Christ Jesus, for all thy freely received favours.


SEcondly, In this may we also behold the pernicious and hatefull evill of self-exaltation:Danger of self-exaltation ope­ned and disswa­ded. mans magnifying him­selfe above the statutes and ordinances of God, by setting up his own inventions; above his brethren, by thinking better of himselfe then of others, hunting after the praise and applause of men, striving to commend himself to men, and to make himselfe glorious in the eyes of men; this is repugnant to the property and practise of them that live the life of true holinesse, of them that prostrate themselves and all that is theirs under the feet of Christ Jesus, and evill from which the Apostle disswades us, Gal. 5.26. let us not be desirous of vaine glory. Let us not exalt our selves above others, let us not strive nor study to bee magnified of others, let us not please and blesse our selves in the vain applause of others; it is not humane applause, but Gods approbation, which mi­nisters matter of true glorying to a Christian; we should re­joyce to see God glorified, but feare to heare our selves applau­ded, least our persons be idolized, least our hearts be vainly elevated, and Gods glory obscured. It is the crown and glory of a Christian to abase himselfe in the eyes of his Brethren for Gods exaltation; but shame at last will be that mans portion, who is ambitious and studious of selfe-exaltation; that man hath no cause to thinke that God will at last put the crowne of glory upon his head, who now takes the crown of praise from his God, 1 Sam. 2.30. them that honour me, saith the Lord, will I honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed; them that honour me, by consecration of themselves to my service, by subjection unto my precepts, by sincere intendment of me, and my glory in their undertakings, them will I honour, with the communication of my choysest graces to their soules, with the dispensation of my blessing upon their labours, by causing their way to be prosperous, and by making them amiable and acceptable in the eyes of their godly brethren, and by putting into the hearts of their very enemies, an honourable opinion of [Page 208] them; humble subjection under God, holy walking with God, and comfortable fruition of the witnesse of God, is the most bright and beautifull crowne of a Christian; he that can most readily suffer himself to be abased for God, shall undoubtedly be most highly exalted by God; but God shall cover that mans face with shame and confusion, who dishonours God by false exaltation, for they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed, saith the Lord; they that despise me, by nourishing dishonourable thoughts in themselves of my most glorious and incompre­hensible essence, of my most sacred and divine attributes, of my most wise and unsearchable counsels, or of the high and holy way of my most powerfull, just and gracious providence; they that despise me, by contemning my statutes, by neglecting my ordinances, by slighting my servants, by profaning my name and my service, or by not using and benefitting by my word, by my chastisements and favours; they shall be lightly e­steemed, accounted vile in my sight, and made vile in the eyes of men; he that exalts himself and his own lusts to the dishonour of his God, is of all persons the most base and ignominious. And self exaltation is indeed a very great and dangerous evill. For

Evils of self-exaltation 1 Root & spring of foule impie­ties.1. Self-exaltation is the root and spring of many foule impieties, the unhappy mother of many cursed daughters; mans pride and prophane contempt of Gods precepts, is the Originall of all vices, mans elevating himselfe and his owne corrupt affe­ctions and carnall purposes above the sacred limits which God hath set him, leads him into every transgression: Pride in the heart, like Sheba in Israel, blowes the Trumpet and draws the whole soule into rebellion against God, as he drew Israel to rebell against David. Self-exaltation moved our first Parents to eat the forbidden fruit; Corah, Dathan and Abiram to rebell against Moses; Saul to plot the death of David; Pharaoh to lay heavy burthens upon the children of Israel; Absolon to la­bour the deposition of his Father from the throne: Pride makes a man H [...]b. 2.5. Pro. 13.10. Psa. 10.2. Psa. 119.69. Psa. 123.4. in [...]atiable in his desires, contentious with his neighbours, injurious to his fellow-servants, slanderous in his speeches; a contemner of such as are truly holy and gracious, and impatient of the yoake of Gods precepts; thorough pride man will not have Christ rule over him, hee will not stoope [Page 209] and bow to Gods Commandement, but exalts himselfe above God, and becomes a law-giver to himself, walking after the counsell and imagination of his owne heart; God hath ever least possession, where pride hath most sway and dominion; all sorts of vices are the Subjects of the Common-weale of that soul, where pride sits in the heart as a King in his throne: Pride (saith Augustine) is the beginning, Superbia est om­nium peccato­rum initium & sinis, & causa; quum non solum peccatum est ip­sa superbia, &c. end and cause of all sinne, pride being not onely sin, but also no sinne can, could or may be without pride, since sinne is nothing else but a contempt of God, whereby we despise his precepts, and nothing perswades man to this but pride; and pride (saith Aquinas) is the begin­ning of all sinne; in regard of time, the first sinne of the Divell in heaven, and of Adam in Paradise; in regard of the cause, con­tempt of God the cause of sin, being found in every sin, and in regard of Originall, all other vices springing either mediately or immediately from this; the more a man exalts himselfe, the more he dishonours God, the more a man doth lift himself up in his own conceit and opinion, the more he doth cast & plung himself into the gulf and mire of spirituall pollution: fulnes of pride and fulnesse of uncleannesse are inseparable companions.

2. Self-exaltation is the patron and protector of all other vices, 2. Patron of all vices. this blinds men, that they cannot see their sinnes, this har­dens men, that they will not confesse their sinnes, this makes men such admirers of themselves and their owne wayes that they apprehend their very vices to be virtues, this makes men studious and artificiall to cloake and colour, and hide their sins, this makes instruction and admonition the meanes of suppres­sing sin contemptible, and causeth man with impudency and shamelesse boldnesse to maintaine and plead for his profanenesse, the soule which learnes not to be humble, cannot cease from transgression; pride among other vices is like Goliah among the Philistines, the Philistines were invincible untill Goliah was o­verthrowne, other lusts in the soule of man are impugnable, untill pride and self-exaltation is cast downe, mans labour in the worke of mortification is vain and fruitles untill his pride is mortified, the spirituall conquest is never gotten, as long as pride beares the dominion: He that overcomes not this, overcomes no lust; Selfe-exaltation in the soule [Page 210] of man is like a Castle or Fort, and other vices like hou­ses built under the Castle, which cannot easily be assaulted and beaten downe, because the Fort defends them, the o­verthrow of other vices is impossible, untill the Castle of pride is beaten downe in the heart of man; the Pharisees being given to self-exaltation, to the seeking and lifting up of themselves, were under the power of every base lust, erronious, superstitious, covetous, malicious, their very pi­ety was nothing but hypocrisie; he that doth not cease from himself will cease from no sinne, if he be but once put upon the temptation;Pro. 3.7. therefore be not wise (saith So­lomon) in thine owne eyes, feare the Lord and depart from e­vill, implying that where there is not a cessation from self-wisdome and self-exaltation, there is no feare of God, no keeping of Gods precepts, no disposition, no care to please God, no cessation from sin for conscience sake, ther­fore take away this vice (saith Chrysostome) that men would not appeare to men; Tolle boc vitiū ut nolint homi­nes apparere hominibus & si­ne labore omnia vitia resecantur this vice of self-exaltation, and all vi­ces are cut off without labour. Vpon the death of the first-borne of Pharaoh the children of Israel were delivered, up­on the mortification of pride, the first-borne of the spiritu­all Pharaoh, the soules of men obtain a gracious freedome. Goliahs head being cut off, all the Philistines fled, the death of pride is the slight of all sinne; he that exalts himselfe remaines both a stranger to the life, power and comfort of all godlinesse, and a nurse and patron to all unclean and base affections.

3. Most invin­cible of all vi­ces.3. Self-exaltation is the most invincible of all vices; the roots thereof are so deepe and strong, and so largely spread in the heart of man, it puts the soule at such a great di­stance from God, makes man so uncapable of Christ, and heavenly wisdome, so weds man unto himselfe, and causeth man so to please and delight himselfe in himselfe, so to prize the applause of man, and to slight the approbation of God, that there is no disease in the soul of man so uneasily cured, no weed in the garden of mans heart so uneasily plucked up, no enemy in the common-weale of mans soul so difficultly overcome as self-exaltation, it is the hardest [Page 211] taske that ever man undertooke, truly to deny himselfe and fully to prostrate and put himselfe under God and Christs yoake. Pharaoh did many things in the way of love and honour to Joseph, he put his ring upon his hand and array­ed him in vestures of fine linnen, and set him over his house, but yet he reserved this unto himselfe, to be greater in the throne then Joseph; man may doe much in the way of out­ward zeale for God, he may exalt God very farre, above his profit, above his pleasure, above his peace, yea above his life, and yet still reserve to himselfe a preheminence a­bove God, he may cloath the naked, feed the hungry, and give his body to be burned in the cause of God, and yet doe all this for himselfe, more then for his God, for his owne applause more then for the praise of God, for the having of a name with men, more then for the glorifying of the name of God. Of all conquests, selfe-conquest is the most difficult, most excellent, most noble and glorious, he that can Pro. 16.32. rule his spirit (saith Solomon) his proud, his self-seeking and self-exalting spirit, is better then he that taketh a City. Man hath no greater enemy then himself, he never doth more excellently then when he overcomes himselfe, the o­vercoming of a Kingdome is nothing in comparison of mans conquest of his owne corruption, pride is the first evill in mans departure from God, and the last evill which is o­vercome in man returning unto God. 2 Sam. 23 12 Cum bene pug­naris cum cun­cta subjecta pu­taru, que post intestat vincen­da superbia re­stat. Shamma stood it out and defended the field when the people fled. Self-exal­tation stands it out like a mighty champion in the heart of man, when all other lusts seeme to fly; when other lusts goe out like fire that wants fewell, yet this lust of self-exaltation, as long as any thing of the old-man remaines in man, will put it self forth and strive to soare aloft, and climbe up in the thron of God. Man hath most cause to watch & pray against self-exaltation of all the evils which are within him.

4. Self-exaltation corrupteth and destroyeth all the gifts and graces bestowed on man; 4. Corrupter of all gifts the evill herbe in the Prophets pot made the pot a pot of death; 2 Kin 4.40. ambition and self-exal­tation in the soule of man marres all the excellencies of man, turns all his gifts into a pot of death, poysons all the [Page 212] endowments of man, the more he hath received, the lesse mindfull he is of God, the higher thoughts he conceiveth of himselfe, the more able and active he sheweth himself in evill, and the more he sleights and scornes all instruct­ion: That man of all others is the fittest instrument to doe the worke of the prince of darknesse in whom abili­ties and a proud spirit are concurrent; this like leaven sowrs the whole lump of mans vertues, the Ex. 15.25. tree sweetned the wa­ters of Marah which were bitter, but this like gall and wormwood sowres and imbitters those gifts and abilities which in themselves are very sweet and of singular use, making vertue and the duties of piety, subject and service­able to mans vain-glory; it is Gregories observation that as humility cuts the sinews of all vices, and strengthens all vertues, so pride destroyes all vertues, and strengthens all vices; pride is a very pernicious and venimous herbe, poysoning all the liquor in the pot, his vertues will at the last be censured as vices, in whom the ambitious humour of self-exaltation beares dominion, the least measure of grace with humility and meeknesse is farre better then the greatest abilities with a proud spirit: It is better fee­ding on a slender dish well seasoned, then on a great dish furnished with all dainties having poyson mingled with it.

5. Spirituall barrennesse.5. Self-exaltation keepes the soule barren, barren of know­ledge; he that exalts himselfe regards not wholesome coun­sell, he rejects the Word of God, and there is no true wis­dome in him; the proud (saith the Apostle) 1 Tim. 6.4. knowes no­thing: Nothing of God the Father regenerating him, of Christ redeeming him, of the Spirit sanctifying him, of the Word enlightning, humbling, changing and renewing him; he leanes upon his owne corrupt and carnall reason, a lamp wherin is no light; the proud mans light is dark­nesse, his very knowledge is miserable and wretched igno­rance; he continues barren of Faith, he builds on man and not on Christ, How can ye Ioh. 5.44. beleeve (saith Christ) who seeke honour one of another, and not the honour which cometh from God; he remaines barren of love, a self-lover, and no [Page 213] lover of God, the motion of his heart is terminated within himselfe, he brings forth all his fruit unto himselfe, and is an Hos. 10.1. empty vine in Gods accounts he continues barren of all grace. God giving grace to the humble, but Iam. 4 6. resisting the proud. Isidore relates that on the mountaine on Libanus there are Cedars very tall, and gloriously flourishing, but never bearing fruit, and the reason is rendered, because the Mountains on which they grow are so high, that they receive not the reflection of the Sun-beames, and the waters naturally descend unto the val­leyes. Thus self-exalters seated on the high Mountaines of common abilities are barren of all fruit acceptable unto God, because they are neither savingly enlightned, nor warmed with the beames of the Sun of Righteousnesse, nor watered with the dew and moysture of heavenly grace; none more empty of saving goodnes then such as are most exalted in their own imaginations.

6. Self-exaltation abaseth God: 6. Abasement of God. The Philistines placed their Dagon above the Arke, the proud man sets himself above God, ambitious self-exalters, like so many petty Antichrists, ex­alt themselves above all that is called God. They set them­selves above the law of God, they Ps. 2.2. breake the bands therof asunder and cast away the cordes therof from them, they serve not God according to Gods institution, but after their own invention, instead of receiving Gods prescription, they pre­scribe how God shall be served by them: they exalt them­selves above the Ministers of God, they esteeme not their instruction, their words are in their account but babling; they exalt themselves above the offices of Christ, they entertain not Christ as a Prophet instructing them, as a Priest to sanctify them, as a King to beare spirituall dominion within them; they exalt themselves above the attributes of God, above the dominion of God, refusing subjection above the wise­dome of God, rejecting his counsell, not suffering them­selves to be guided by him, and above the power of God, resting upon an arme of flesh, and not upon the arme of the Lord; there is no sin that makes man more injurious unto God, nor that sets man in greater opposition against God, then self-exaltation; all other vices, saith Gregory, fly from God to the creature, as cove­tous [Page 214] to gold and silver, luxury to fleshly delights, &c. Onely pride opposeth it selfe against God and usurps that unto it selfe which is proper to God. I say unto you (saith Bernard) that every proud man exalts himselfe above God, for God will have his will to be done, and the proud man will have his will to be done, but God only in things which right and reason doth approve, the proud man in things which are beside and against both right and reason; man doth very shamefully abase God by exalting himselfe and his own will, above the word and will of God.

7. Self deceit­fulnesse.7. Self-exaltation deceiveth, making man thinke himselfe wise, when he is ignorant; holy, when he is profane; free, when he is captive; full, when he is empty: It makes man appeare unto himselfe to be another then in deed he is. Like him in the Prophet that dreamed he had eaten, and was full, but when he awakened he found himselfe empty: No man more apt to be deluded then he that is self-conceited and desirous to be applauded.

8. Shamefull a­basement of man.8. This likewise shamefully abaseth man, makes him the con­sort and very habitation of Satan. God dwels with the hum­ble, Satan with the proud, whom God resisteth, Satan pos­sesseth, the more a man doth exalt himselfe against God, the more he doth abase himselfe under Satan, the more God with-drawes himself from him, the nearer Satan draw­eth to him, the more God abhorres him, the more delight Satan takes in him; and therfore the proud man is not unfitly termed by one, umbraculum Satanae, a shadow set by Satan against the Sun of Righteousnesse, driving the light of grace from him, and making himselfe a shadow for Satan to sleep and rest in. O how dishonourable, base and shamefull is their condition, who seeke their owne honour with Gods dishonour: Hee that most magnifies himselfe above others, is the most base of all others: He alone that puts himselfe and all that is his under Christ is tru­ly honourable; he that exalts himselfe and denyes obedi­ence to Christ is most base and contemptible; he that is not Gods holy and gracious servant is Satans shamefull and unhap­py slave.

[Page 215]9. And lastly, Self-exaltation alienates man from Heaven; 9 Alienation from heaven. the way to Heaven is by humility and self-denyall; Jona­than and his Armour-bearer ascending the hill, 1 Sam. 14. crept upon their hands and their feet; Christ humbled himselfe and then he was exalted, he went by the Crosse to the Crowne, and all believers his armour-bearers and followers, as many as intend Heaven must tread the steps of Christ, vaile and bow to Christs Scepter, he must learn of Christ to be meeke and lowly, hee must deny himselfe and take up his Crosse and follow Christ, or he can never enter into Christs glorious rest; hell is the appointed habitation for every soule that is not humble, God will cast downe them that exalt themselves; the Lord will shame them, who honour themselves and not him, this is the great evill and dan­ger of self-exaltation.


IF you demand how it comes to passe that vain man is so prone and forward to exalt himself,Grounds of mans pronenes to self-exalta­tion. to magnifie him­selfe in the eyes of men, and so slow and backward to ex­alt and set up Christ?

I answer, this ariseth 1.1 Mans igno­rance of his base estate. From mans ignorance of his own corrupt and base estate; did man see how he is a dead man in whom is Eph. 4 19. no life of grace, a bond-man, a spirituall Isa. 49.9. prisoner unto Satan, having many lusts like chains and fetters tying him, an Ro. 7.18. Lev. 13. empty house wherin dwelleth no good, and a loathsome Leper having no spirituall beauty on him, but altogether deformed and defiled with the contagi­on of sinne, he would with the Leper in Leviticus lay his hand upon his mouth, and cry out, uncleane, uncleane, un­cleane; Paul while he saw not the basenesse and badnesse of his naturall estate, put no price upon Christ, walked as [Page 216] an adversary against Christ, being filled with high thoughts of himselfe; but after the commandement Rom. 7.9. came, presenting his spots like a glasse before him; he humbled himselfe, he was in his owne apprehension as a dead man, in whom was no life, no beauty, no excellency, then he was an abhorring to himselfe, and Christ was precious in his eyes, then all was dung and drosse in comparison of the Phil. 3.8. excellent knowledge of Christ; then he did no more exalt himselfe but Christ; then hee determined to know 1 Cor. 2.2. nothing but Christ and him cru­cified; then he preached Christ and not himselfe; then he put himselfe wholly upon the service of Christ, and made it his crowne and comfort to draw men unto Christ. He that is most ignorant of himselfe, is most proud, and most studious to exalt himselfe. Mans ignorance of his necessity of Christ makes him regardlesse to exalt Christ.

2 Inconside­ratenesse of receivings.2. Mans inconsideratenesse of his receivings. He considers not that he is a cisterne, and God the fountaine, a branch and Christ the root, that all that he hath is a Iam. 1.17. gift, a borrowed thing, the Lords and not his; He remembers not that he hath nothing of his owne besides his sinne, that all his 2 Cor. 3.5. sufficiency is of God, both naturall and morall, temporall and spirituall, as all the bright and lightsome sufficiency of the aire is from the Sunne: He cannot sensibly confesse with David, 1 Chron. 29. riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all, and in thy hand is power and might, and in thy hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Vaine man lookes on all that he hath, as Nehuchadnezzar on his Dan. 4.30. Babel, as on a house of his own building, as on a tree of his owne planting. He Hab 1.16. sacrificeth to his owne net, and burneth incense to his owne dragge; and therefore like Nebuchadnezzar, he exalts and magnifies him­selfe and not Christ. He that doth not see and feele Christ in his receivings, can never admire Christ in them, nor be drawne to Christ by them, but is vainly puffed up against Christ in the presence of them. When Jesuran Deut. 32.15. waxed fat, was filled with all earthly abundance, he kicked, rebelled against God, refused the Lawes and ordinances of God, he forsooke God which made him, and lightly esteemed the rocke of his salvation. And why so, whence proceeded this exalting of [Page 217] himselfe, and this sleighting of his God. The reason is tendred: He was unmindfull of the rocke that begate him, and forgot the God that formed him, He remembred not that God was the authour of his being, the rock of his preservation, and the fountaine that ministred all his fulnesse to him. The great receivings which should move man to walke humbly with God, through inconsideration doe often occasion man to exalt himselfe against God.

3. Forgetfulnesse of mans place and station. 3. Forgetful­nesse of mans place & station. Man remembers not that his place is not the place of a Master, but of a servant, not of a King but of a Subject, not of a Lord but of a Steward: The greatest earthly Potentates are under God as servants, ly­able to an Luk 16 2 [...] account for all their receivings, bound to imploy their Mat 25 23. 2 Cor. 8.14. talents to Christs advantage, to minister to others of their abundance, and not to exalt themselves above others, because they possesse more then others. The Mother hath full breasts given her not for insultation over the childe, but for ministration of milke to the childe; God fils the breasts of some with great abundance, not to magnifie themselves above others, to trample and tread downe others, but to commu­nicate to others necessities. Kings and Queenes are the Isa 49.23. nur­ses of the Church, no mans greatnesse exempts him from obe­dience unto God, and serviceablenesse to the Church of God: On some God bestowes but little to try their patience, on others he conferreth much to exercise their humility and meeknesse: But mans forgetfulnesse of this doth often occa­sion him to walke insolently towards his poore brethren, and in stead of being an Olive, a Vine, a Fig-tree to his brethren to shadow, feed, refresh, and cheere them: He becomes a Iudg 9.9. bramble to vexe and annoy them; in stead of honouring God with his substance, he labours to honour himselfe in the eyes of others.

4. Misprision of the true glory of man. 4. Misprision of Mans glory. Mans honouring Christ is the truest honour of man: Holy and humble obedience is the honour of a Christian; The honouring of the Father, Husband, Soveraigne, is the honour of a Sonne, a Wife, a Subject; and the honouring of Christ is the glory of them who are the Children, the Spouse and Subjects of Christ. [Page 218] He (saith Saint Paul) that in Rom. 14.18 these things, in righteousnesse, peace of a good conscience, and spirituall joy, serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men: Very honourable in the eyes of God and good men; but vaine and carnall man thinks no honour comparable to the honour which men give, he Joh. 12.42. loves the praise of men more then the praise of God; and there­fore labours more to worke himselfe into the hearts of men, then into the favour of God, doth more to draw the eyes of mens vaine admiration, then the eyes of Gods gracious ap­probation towards him, and strives more to have the testi­mony of man applauding him, then the witnesse of Gods Spi­rit, sealing him up unto the day of redemption; and for this he studies to exalt and make himselfe appeare Simon Magus like, Some great one in the eyes of the people, for this he many times shunnes Christ, and declines him in his ordinan­ces, in his heavenly truths, in his members, in his prescrip­tions, so farre as he discernes them to prejudice his reputation in the eyes of the people.

5 Vnsensible­nes of the un­happy fruits of Self-exaltation5. Ʋnsensiblenesse of the evill and unhappy fruits of self-exal­tation. Many men have no thought, no apprehension of the wretched and shamefull effects of this exalting and magnify­ing themselves above that which is convenient, they perceive not how it makes their soules the Subiect of all uncleannesse, the slaves of Satan, the servants of men, the enemies of God, strangers to Christ, an abomination in the eyes of God; uncapable of all benefit and comfort by the ordinances of God; impa­tient of crosses; despicable in the eyes of men, discerning their ambition; unteachable receiving no instruction of wisedome from them that teach them, no reproofe from them that ad­monish them; hypocriticall in their profession of Christ, like a Sepulchre whited without, but full of dead mens bones with­in; envious and full of griefe to see the welfare, prosperity, and honour of others; unsavoury in the nostrils of their bre­thren, through the rotten and loathsome breath of their self-commendation; and at last, the Subiect of all shame and confu­sion, the Lord making their shame sutable to their pride, and the degree of their confusion answerable to the measure of their self-exaltation.

[Page 219]O therefore if thy gifts be more eminent then others,Cure of Self-exaltation. 1. God makes the difference. con­sider it is the Lord makes thee to differ, and Gods favour must be unto thee as motives to humility and meeknesse, and as obligations to sincere and sound obedience.

2.2 Well using of gift, honour of receiver. Remember that it is not the greatnesse of the gift, but the well using of the gift, that is, the glory of the receiver: It is not the having of any thing, whether much or little, but the having of Christ with it, that makes it full and satisfacto­rie, sweet and comfortable, usefull and beneficiall unto man.

3 Consider whatsoever thou hast, if it puffe thee up, 3 Gifts puffing up, a curse. and make thee swell, it is not food but poison, no mercy but a curse, no evidence of divine favour but of severe anger to thy soule.

4.4. A mans te­nure, a tenancy at will. Thinke upon the tenure by which thou holdest all that thou hast, thou art but a tenant at will, the inheritance is Christs, and he may turne thee off when he list: All things goe and come at his command, as the souldiers at the com­mand of the Centurian.

5.5. Christ mans glory and ful­nesse.Know and be assured that the glory and fulnesse of man is Christ, all abilities are a very vanity and emptinesse with­out Christ Jesus. He that hath most of Christ Jesus is of all persons the most glorious, neither hath man cause of glory­ing and rejoycing in any thing but in Christ alone. He that glories must glory in the Lord, and in nothing else: He must glory in the power of Christ supporting him, in the wisedome of Christ directing him, in the blessing of Christ making all successefull to him, in the all-sufficiency of Christ putting a fulnesse into his possession, whether much or little, in the righteousnesse of Christ justifying him, in the presence of Christ encouraging him, and in the love of Christ solacing him. That man hath the greatest glory, and the sweetest and surest fulnesse who hath most of Christ Jesus.

6 Issue of all dependant up­on Gods All-disposing hand.6 Observe and weigh well how the issue and event of all is not so much dependant upon the abundance and excellencies of mans abilities, as upon the all-disposing hand of God. I returned and saw under the Sunne (saith Solomon that the race is not to the swift, nor the battell to the strong, neither yet bread to the [Page 220] wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all. The event and issue is not according to the abilities of man, but accor­ding to the decree and dispensation of God: It is not in the power of the swift to escape by running, nor in the power of the strong to overcome in the battell, nor in the power of the wise to fill himselfe with bread, nor in the power of the prudent to furnish himselfe with wealth, nor in the power of the skilfull to obtaine favour with men. Hasael though swift as the Hart yet he fell in running; Goliah a man of mighty stature fell in the conflict with little David; The Bar­ley cake in the Midianites dreame overturned the Midianitish Hoast: David a man of singular wisedome sometime wanted bread, and Paul was in hunger and in thirst often: Joseph a man of singular wisedome was hated of his brethren, and un­deservedly cast out of the favour of Potiph [...]r. Mans welfare, comfort and happinesse springs not from the excellency of his abilities, but from Gods gracious, wise, and all-ruling providence. A horse (saith the Psalmist) is a vaine thing for the battell, neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Be­hold the eye of the Lord is upon them that feare him, upon them that hope in his mercy. It is not the perfection and excellency of the instrument, but the Coagency of God with it that puts efficacy into it, and makes it helpfull, honourable and com­fortable to the user of it. The meditation of the subjection of all abilities under Gods gubernation and providence is of great power to purge their possessors of all self-exalting cogi­tations.

7. Vnexpected change.7. Meditate upon the sudden and unexpected change which may come. The river of mans abundance may be turned ano­ther way, dryed up, or faile like the waters of Tema, and be empty like Hagars bottle: The Sunne of mans prosperity may be suddenly ecclipsed, and shine no more: The shadow of mans earthly comforts may be smitten, and vanish like Jo­nahs gourd. Very sudden and dismall outward changes are in­cident to all sorts of persons. Jobs riches was soone changed into poverty, Nebuchadnezzars glory was quickly turned into ignominy. Man (saith Solomon) knoweth not his time, he [Page 221] knoweth not his time of want when he is full, his time of trouble when he is at peace, his time of disgrace when he is in honour, nor his time of death when he is in health. As the fishes that are taken in an evill net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sonnes of men snared in an evill time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. Man hath small cause to magni­fie himselfe in the presence of things subject to such sad and sudden changes. Were man well studied in, and truly sensi­ble of the mutability of all abilities, he would never glory in their presence, he would undoubtedly walke in a holy feare, and in much humility and meeknesse in the midst of the grea­test fulnesse.


LAstly,Prerogatives and benefits of Self denyall. in the meditation of this we may behold and take notice of the happinesse of their estate, of the sweet and gracious frame of their soules who are able to deny themselves and their owne affections, and prostrate themselves and all that is theirs under the feet of Jesus Christ: These men have a blessed liberty and freedome from the odious monsters of im­piety, self-seeking, self-admiration, and self-exaltation with many other evils: He hath ever most freedome from the po­wer of corruption, whose heart is filled with the greatest measure of self-denyall. It is a very great blessing to be truly and throughly humble.

1 Full & com­fort. He posses­sion of Christ.1. This works the soule of man to a very full and comfor­table possession and fruition of Christ▪ The more man is wrought out of himselfe, the more he is wrought into Christ: The more man is emptied of himselfe, the more he is filled with the fulnesse of Christ: The more man is removed from him­selfe, the nearer he approacheth unto Christ: The more fully he participateth of Christ, the more sweet and comfortable communion he hath with Christ: The Altar under the Law [Page 222] was hollow to receive the fire, the wood and the Sacrifice. The heart of man which is humble, empty of all spirituall pride and self-conceit, is most capable of the fire of the Spirit, and of Christ who offered himselfe a Sacrifice for our sinnes. The soule of the humble is Christs habitation; the vessell which he filleth with his grace, and receives into a sweet consortship with himselfe: For thus saith the Isa. 17.15. high and the lofty One that inhabiteth Eternity, whose name is holy. I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and hum­ble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite Ones. God ministers most spirituall con­solation to him that is most low and base in his owne eye, and apprehension.

2. Invincible­nesse.2. This makes the soule of man most invincible. The low shrub endureth all the gusts, and blasts of wind, abiding fast rooted; No winds of trouble or temptation can over-throw the humble though they may a little shake him: The humble soule puts a Phil. 3.8. low price upon the world, the gaine of it doth not much affect him, the losse of it doth not much disquiet him: He leanes not on himselfe, or any other arme of flesh, his whole 2 Cor 1.9. dependance is upon Christ; Christ is the Phil. 4.13. strength by which he standeth, the light by which he walketh, the crowne and portion in which he rejoyceth, and nothing can separate him from Christ: Satan hath least opportunity to fasten a temptation upon him: The proffers of the world have no rellish with him, the menaces of men raise no terrour in him; Christ is every way so compleat in his apprehension, that he accounts both the favour and the hatred of the world as nothing, being Gal. 6.14. crucified to the world, and the world also unto him. Bede relates a poeticall fiction of a man whom they called Terrae filius, who fought with a tyrant named Hercu­les. This Terrae filius when he was weary cast himselfe on the ground, and recovered his strength, which Hercules percei­ving lifted him up into the aire, and so overcame, and slew him. In like manner man fighting with Satan, humbling and abasing himselfe, abhorring himselfe with Job below the dust and ashes, reneweth his strength, and remaineth invincible; but Satan lifting him up, filling him with high and proud [Page 223] thoughts of his owne worth, prevailes against him, obtaines victory over him. Pride makes man a slave to Satan; humility makes man victorious over him. The meek (according to that of the Prophet) shall Isa. 29 10. increase his ioy in the Lord. The soule which is truly humble drawes matter of consolation out of all suffering, and from every estate and condition wherein the Lord sets him.

3. This exceedingly indeares man unto God. 3. Endearemet of man to God. He that is least in his owne eye is greatest in the esteeme of God: He is best beloved of God who is most out of love with himselfe. The humble soule is most capable of spirituall instruction: The best scholler in Christs schoole; most obedient unto Gods precept, the best servant in Christs family; most fruitfull in every good worke, most apt to every good duty, the choisest Tree in Gods Orchard; most sincere and full in the intend­ment of Gods glory, the truest lover among all the friends of God; most thankefull for all blessings, the best receiver and improver of Gods mercies; most apprehensive of Gods perfe­ctions; most affected with Gods goodnesse, the greatest ad­mirer of Gods and Christs excellencies, and therefore most deare to God of all others. To Isa. 66.2. this man (saith the Lord) will I looke, with the eyes of my love solacing and accepting him, with the eyes of my mercy pardoning and forgiving him; and with the eyes or my care and providence, sweetning and disposing all for good unto him: Even to him that is poore and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my Isa. 66.2. word. To him will I looke when he heareth my word, dispensing my grace into him; when he prayeth, returning a gracious answer to him; when he mourneth, putting all his teares into my bottle, comfor­ting him; when he is in distresse, delivering him; and when he is in want, supplying him: God is very wonderfull in his gracious manifestations to soules filled with humility and meeknesse, to men denying themselves and their owne affe­ctions. The 1 Pet. 3.3. ornament of a meeke spirit is in the sight of God a thing of great price; a contrite and a broken spirit God will not despise. Mans estimation with God is sutable to his disestima­tion of himselfe.

4. This doth very wonderfully exalt a man. 4. Exaltation of man. He that is most [Page 224] humble is most honourable. Mans self-denyall ever tends to his exaltation: It is Christs promise, he that Luk. 14.11. humbleth him­selfe shall be exalted: The humble soule is the Iam 4 6. vessell which God filleth with the wine of his choisest grace, the Temple in which the Spirit of God dwelleth, the servant whose worke the Lord accepteth, the Psal 10.17. Petitioner in whose prayer the King of mercies delighteth, the Favourite whom the King of Kings honoureth, the Spouse whom the Prince of peace receiveth in wedlocke, and the friend to whom the Psal. 25.9, 14. Secret of the Lord is imparted. God communicates great ho­nour unto them, who for his honour are contented to abase themselves in the eyes of men. David was content to appeare outwardly vile, yea 2 Sam. 6.22. more vile, that he might honour God, and God made him more honourable, confirming and streng­thening him in the kingdome. Moses was the Num 12.2. meekest man on earth, a man that had low thoughts of himselfe, a man of singular perfection in the way and worke of self-denyall,Heb. 11. re­fusing all the honour of Egypt, and chusing to endure affliction with Gods people: But God made him most honourable, called him up unto himselfe in the Mount, and made him the leader of his people: It is good losing for God, the in­curment of dishonour for God is recompenced with the grea­test honour from the hand of God:Mat. 3. The Baptist abased him­selfe very low to exalt Christ; he told the people that such was Christs dignity, worth and excellency, that he was not worthy to stoop downe and untie the latchet of his shooe; and Christ very highly honoured him, telling the people, that there was not a greater borne of women then the Baptist. Man is ever so much the more precious in the eyes of Christ, by how much the more despicable he is in his owne, and other mens eyes for the love and cause of Christ. There is more honour in the humble mans ignominy, then in the proud mans pomp and glory: He that is Mat. 18.4. least, through self-denyall, holy abase­ment, and unfained humiliation, shall be greatest in Gods King­dome; Greatest in spirituall liberty and freedome, in the measure of Sanctification, in Gods account and acceptation, and in the degree of future glory communicated to him.

5. Sweet and blessed free­dome.5. This ministers a very sweet and blessed freedome to the [Page 225] soule. He that is most humble is the choisest Freeman in the world: Self-denyall is a very great and happy freedome: He that is most humble hath the greatest measure of grace con­ferred on him, and wheresoever is most grace there is most freedome: Where the 2 Cor. 3.17. spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (saith the Apostle) The humble man is free from ignorance in his understanding, with the lowly there is Prov. 11.2. Psal. 25.9. wisedome (saith Solomon) and God doth guide the humble in iudgement (saith the Psalmist) He that is most humble hath the most cleare and comfortable discerning of the mysteries of Gods Kingdome; He is free from perversenesse and frowardnesse in his will, to Rom. 7.18. will that which is good is present with him; ready at hand, his soule is very strongly bent and inclined thereunto; as the rivers to flow downe the channell: Holy and religious duties suite with him, as the Sunne with the eye, and the path with the foot; he is free from much vanity in his thoughts, vaine thoughts doe not lodge with him; his thoughts of God are high and honourable, his thoughts of himselfe are low and humble, his thoughts of Christ are sweet and full of admiration, his thoughts of sinne are sorrowfull and full of detestation, his thoughts of the world are sleight and contemptible, his thoughts of the word and worke of God are pleasant and de­lightfull: He is free in his heart from obstinacy and hardnesse, his heart is soft and tender, trembling at the word of God: The Law of God is in his heart, and he delights to doe the will of God; he is free from base and servile feare, carnall confidence, and fleshly ioy, and worldly love in his affections; he is free from impatience and murmurings in his afflictions, free from discontentment in his low and empty estate, free from high and exalting thoughts in his greatest earthly fulnesse, free from limiting and prescribing unto God in his hardest conflicts and greatest tryals, free from being daunted with the worlds threatenings, inticed with the worlds perswasions, corrupted with the worlds proffers, seduced by the worlds example, or intangled in the snares of Satan; very sweet and comfortable, very pleasant and delightfull is the humble mans freedome; all are slaves and bondmen in respect of them in whom God hath wrought the great and gracious work of Self-denyall.

[Page 226] [...].6. This makes men very peaceable. The measure of mans peace is according to the measure of mans humility and self-denyall: The humble man doth not grieve, but rejoyceth at the prosperity of others, doth not hinder, but delighteth in the furtherance of other mens welfare; doth not willingly minister any off [...]ce, but patiently endureth injuries, puts the best interpretation upon things doubtfull; humility and self-denyall, as the Apostle saith of Love, suffereth long, and is kind, envieth not, vaunteth not it selfe, is not puffed up, doth not behave it selfe unseemely,, seeketh not it's owne, is not easily provoked thinketh no evill, reioyceth not in iniquity, but reioyceth in the truth, beareth all things, beleeveth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Pride is the bellowes kindling the fire of contention, humility and self denyall prevents strife, and preserves peace among men; there is no hope of his living in peace with any man, who is at variance with the humble. It is a rule among the Geometricians, Quod corpora Spherica quae quasi tumi [...]a sunt, non possunt se tangere nisi solo puncto, &c. that Sphericall or round bodies which are a swelling kind of bodies cannot touch one another, be applyed one to ano­ther, but onely at the very point; but the hollow body can re­ceive the round within it selfe. Thus pride dissolves communi­on between man and man; Men are never at a sweet agree­ment, where pride and self-conceit reigneth; humility dispo­seth, openeth, and prepareth the heart to the unfained embrace­ment of others, to the patient toleration of other mens pride, injustice, and vaine boastings. The Iam. 3.17. wisedome (saith S. James) which is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easie to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits. The low shrub is lit­tle or nothing moved with the winds which shake and shat­ter many tall Cedars: The humble man is little or nothing d [...]squieted with the gusts and blasts of opposition, losse and disgrace, which doe even vexe, and utterly distract the man of a proud spirit: The soule which is spiritually and through­ly humble, is an inhabitant residing in a very sweet, and quiet dwelling, a ship rowing in a very calme and peaceable ha­ven.

7. Fruitfulnesse in all graces.7. This makes fruitfull in all gifts and graces: Like the low [Page 227] valleyes; cheerfull in every tryall and trouble, able to count it all ioy to fall into manifold temptations; Profitable under affli­ction, as the vine under the hand of the Pruner dressing it; capable of the word of God, as the broken ground of the seed, and the empty vessell of water: Every word of God is a Star of some light, a flower of some comfortable smell, and a cloud of some refreshment to the humble: This fils the soule with very cleare and ioyfull, high and honourable apprehensions of God. He that hath the lowest thoughts of himselfe, hath the highest thoughts of God; This makes Christ very wel­come, very amiable in the eye of the soule, the fairest of ten thousand: As the Sunne to him that is in darkenesse, as the river to him that thirsteth, or the Physitian to him that is extreamely pained, mans sence of self-emptinesse, makes Christ very precious: This sweetens the word of God as the famine sweetens bread, and makes the messen­ger of God as an Angell of God, or one of a thousand: This disposeth man to every good duty; this makes the yoake of Christ easie, the service of Christ pleasant, and suf­fering for Christ comfortable: This makes the inward man very joyfull, when the outward man is loaden with much affliction, the whole man heavenly minded, graciously dis­posed, holily exercised, abundantly thriving in all well-doing, and incessant in the way tending to the heavenly Kingdome. And thus you have seene the mysterie, the worth and dignitie, the fruit and excellencie of Selfe-denyall. Most sweet and blessed is that mans Condition, who is truly humble, happy is the soule in which God hath wrought a through Self-denyall.

CHAP. XVIII. The second generall Part. Spirituall Vivification.

THe seed first dies, and then is quickened, and springeth up into a greene and flourishing blade: Man first dyes to sinne, and then lives to God: The Syens is first removed out of the old and naturall stocke, and then he is grafted into another stocke, becomes a living branch in another Tree: Man first denyes himselfe, goes out of himselfe, ceaseth from himselfe, and then he is ingrafted into Christ, Christ lives in him, and he lives in Christ, according to this of the Apostle here, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

The second generall thing observed in these words, is, spirituall vivification. Christ living in all them that live the life of grace: The life of a Christian is a borrowed life, he hath it not of himselfe but from another, it is no naturall, but a spirituall life, a life not springing originally from man, but derivative and flowing from Christ: Every Christian though wondrously enriched by Christ, yet is very poore of himselfe, his very spirituall life is a borrowed thing; Sinne hath made man extreamely poore, it hath not onely robbed him, but also slaine him, it hath utterly taken the life of grace from him, and none but Christ can quicken him. The Christian hath no cause of glorying in himselfe, but all his glory is in Christ; the very whole of true Christians is from Christ Jesus; Christ is both the fountaine filling, and the life quickening them; they cannot but acknowledge with Paul, It is Christ lives in them.

In the words we have,

1. A terme of opposition, But

2. An Agent or Authour, Christ he is the Author of this spirituall life.

3. An Act, liveth. Christians live not the life of grace by themselves, it is received from Christ.

[Page 229]4. A Sub [...]ect, in me. True believers are the only subject of spirituall life.

First of the terme of opposition, but, a word signifying an opposition of things in that sense in which things are opposed, Labour not for the meat (saith Christ) which peri­sheth, Ioh 6.27. but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, and again, lay not up for your selves treasure on earth, Mat. 6.19, 20. Ephes 5 17, 18. but lay up for your selves treasures in Heaven: And so likewise it is the Apostles charge; be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is: And be not drunke with wine wherein is excesse, but be filled with the Spirit: And thus the Apostle here, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; I live indeed, but it is not of my selfe, but from Christ, it is not of nature, but of grace, Christ is the root of spirituall life in me.

It is plaine and manifest to the feeling and experience of Gods children that they have not the life of Grace and holinesse from themselves, but from Christ Jesus: Note. they know that Christ is the authour and finisher of their salvation; they know that Christ is in them: Examine your selves, proove your selves, know yee not that Christ is [...] Cor. 13.5. in you, except yee be re­probates, saith the Apostle:1 Ioh. 5.20. We know (saith S. John) that we are of God, quickning, regenerating, enlightning and san­ctifying us; and we know that the sonne of God is come, and hath given us an understanding to know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his sonne Jesus Christ, this is the true God and eternall life; they know that Christ is in them, as a root enlivening them, as a Sun illuminating them, as a Refiners fire purging them. The woman of Shunem 2 Kin. 4. knew that the Prophet had raised her dead son to life, the children of God know that Christ hath raised their soules which were dead in sinnes and trespasses; the blind man Ioh. 9. 2 Kin 5. knew that whereas he was blind he did now see, and that Christ had opened his eyes, Gods children have experience of Christs opening the eyes of their under­standing. Naaman knew that Jordan had washed away the leprosie which clave unto him, Gods servants 1 Cor. 6.9. know that they are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Je­sus, and by the Spirit of God.

[Page 230] The ground hereof.Gods children know that of themselves, they are dead in sins and trespasses, and that Christ is the authour of spirituall life unto them; they know that of themselves they are empty of all spirituall good, and that Christ is the fountaine fil­ling them; they know that in their naturall estate they are the slaves of Satan, the bond-men of the world, the servants of corruption, and that Christ alone is the worker of their freedome, the beginning and the end of their salvation.

The life of grace and holinesse is not of man but of Christ, no child in the course of nature can beget it selfe,Mans life of holines of Christ. but is begotten of another Parent; no child of God in the way of grace is the authour of his owne regeneration and new birth, but is 1 Pet. 1.3. begotten again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God perswading them of the truth, informing them in the virtue, and applying to them the power and efficacy of Christs resurrection, begetteth them againe un­to a lively hope; mans receiving of Christ is the recei­ving of spirituall life and new-birth; As many (saith the Evangelist) as received him, to them Ioh. 1.12, 13. gave he power to be­come the sonnes of God: which were borne not of blood, not by the Nobility and dignity of their Parents, according to the flesh; nor of the will of the flesh, not by the ability and strength of nature, not by any activity, liberty or freedome of their owne; nor of the will of man, not by the art or industry education or instruction of man, but of God: It is not in the power of man to regenerate man, God useth man as his instrument, but God himselfe ac­complisheth the worke, as a supreme and free agent, when and where he pleaseth. Man is an alien to the Eph 4.19. life of God, and can no more raise himselfe to a spirituall life, then Lazarus could raise himselfe to a naturall life: Mans con­version is a new 2 Cor. 5.17 creation, which is as farre beyond the power of man, as the forming of himselfe of nothing. All the instruments of spirituall life are 1 Cor. 3.6. dependant, no more able to quicken the soule of man, then Gehazi with his Masters staffe was able to raise the woman of Shunems sonne to life without Elisha himselfe; the life of the soule is hidden in Christ, and he that hath not Christ is farre from all spirituall life.

[Page 231]Such therefore as have no experience of Christs commu­nicating the life of grace and holinesse unto them are none of Gods children; their life is a naturall, a worldly,No experience of new life no child of God. a car­nall, and not a spirituall, a heavenly and holy life; they live by a fleshly and not by a spirituall principle, by a cor­rupt and humane, and not by a divine and heavenly rule, they live unto themselves and not to Christ; they are of themselves, and they incline and move to themselves as to their proper Center, they confine themselves within themselves, they can nor looke, nor move beyond them­selves. Ioh. 3.6. That which is of the flesh; of a fleshly originall, com­pounded wholy of fleshly principles, having no other then fleshly ingredients in it, that is flesh; discerning after a flesh­ly and carnall manner, and not perceiving the things of God, which are spiritually discerned; savouring and relish­ing only things carnall and fleshly; minding only that which is vaine, corrupt and earthly; walking by a fleshly rule, the imagination of their owne hearts; and proposing a fleshly end, the satisfaction of their owne corrupt and sinfull lusts; they are not of God, as a childe is of his Parents, they beare not on them the Image of God, as a child doth beare the image of his Father: they depend not upon God as a child depends upon his Parents; they abide not with God as a child with his Parents; they receive not Gods instru­ction, as a childe receives his fathers instruction; they love not God as a child his Parent; they delight not in God as a child rejoyceth in his Parents; the meditation of God is not sweet, the thought of Gods presence is not plea­sant to them; they frequent not Gods house, they make it not their dwelling, and place of their delight, as chil­dren doe their Fathers house: He that is without Christ is without God, empty of God, a stranger to God, an e­nemy against God. Christ is the Jacobs ladder by whom God cometh unto man, and man ascendeth unto God. God is knowne as a Father of love, God is beleeved in as a king of mercies, God is felt and tasted as the fountaine of grace and goodnesse only in and thorough Christ Jesus. He that knowes not Christ working the life of grace and holines [Page 232] in him, is under the death of sin, and hath no cleare know­ledge, no comfortable remembrance, no blessed taste and feeling, no honourable and soul-ravishing apprehensions of God; no delight in God, no comfortable communion with God; we discerne and apprehend God loving, mercifull and gracious, onely in and thorough Christ working in us the life of true holinesse; mans thoughts of God are more or lesse joyous and delightfull according to the measure of Christs working within him.


THe second thing in these words, is an agent or Author, and that is Christ, Christ liveth in his Saints, he is the worker of this life; the life of Gods children hath a very honourable originall, it is not from a naturall, but from a spirituall seed: the life of nature is farre inferiour to the life of grace. Life communicated by earthly Parents, is an unworthy life, in respect of that life which Christ doth mi­nister unto us; a life which goes not by generation, but by regeneration; a life communicable by no creature, dis­penced only by him who lives of himselfe, and gives life to others at his pleasure; according to S. Pauls open profession that Christ lived in him, was the authour of the life of grace to him, shewing us,

Doct. That Christ is the Authour of spirituall life to all Gods children; he raised the body of Lazarus to a bodily life, he rayseth our soules to a spirituall life; he Ioh. 5.21. quickens whom he will, he hath power to quicken all, his will is to quic­ken only some; when he was on earth, he could have ray­sed all the dead to life, yet he raysed but only a few, thus now he hath power to quicken all men to a spirituall life, but his will is to quicken only some, such as God the Father [Page 233] hath chosen to salvation; Christ, saith S. John, hath Ioh 17.2. power over all flesh that he should give life to as many as God the Father hath given him, all that partake of the life of grace, derive and borrow the same from Christ; who is the way leading, the truth enlightning, and the life quickning un­to life everlasting, and the Apostle saith, our life is hid with Christ in God, as the life of the branch is hid in the root; and Christ is called, our life, by S. Paul, and our life, or the au­thour of spirituall life, he is in us, by way of Revelation, he opens and shewes the way to life, without Christ we are all in darknesse and the shadow of death, and no man knows the Father but the Sonne, and he to whom the Sonne will reveale him. Our life he likewise is by way of meritorious impetration, he hath purchased life for us. Our life by way of originall; the life of grace is originally in Christ, and from him communicated unto us. Our life by way of ope­ [...]ation, he quickneth us by the powerfull worke of his Spi­rit. And our life by way of conjunction; he unites himselfe, communicates himselfe, and all his benefits to us, as the Prophet applyed himselfe to the woman of Shunems sonne, and raysed him to life. And that Christ is the Authour of spirituall life to Gods children is appa­rent.

1.Groūds hereof 1. Mans aliena­tion from the life of grace.By mans alienation and estrangement from the life of grace without Christ; the branch without the root, the bo­dy without the soule hath no life; man without Christ is a withered branch, a dead carcasse, dead in sinnes and trespasses, twice dead and plucked up by the roots; and it is in Christs hand alone to quicken him, Lord, said Peter to our Saviour, whither shall we goe, thou hast the words of eter­nall life: the word revealing, promising and working life in all that are ordained unto life.

2 By Christs ordination and appointment to minister all things to Gods chosen; 2 Christs ordi­nation to mini­ster life. the fullnesse of light is dispenced to the ayre by the Sun, fulnesse of water is dispenced by the Sea unto the earth; the fulnesse of Aegypt was dispenced to the people by Joseph; the fulnesse of God is dispenced to the soules of men by Christ; Christ is the Sunne by [Page 234] whom they are enlightned; the root by whom they are en­livened; the Store-house by whom they are enriched; the fountaine by whom they are replenished, they are blessed with all spirituall blessings in Christ. God convayes all in mercy unto man thorough Christ; nothing proves a bles­sing unto man, but what he hath by vertue of his con­junction with Christ; there is no relation of love and peace betweene God, and the soule of man, but only in and through Christ, Jacob and his sonnes found favour with Pharaoh, only for Josephs sake. Christ is the only Medium Eph. 1.6. of mans favor and acceptance with God, he alone is made of God to be wisdome, righteousnesse, sanctification and redemption unto man: God hath put the very whole of mans happinesse in Christ Jesus.

3 Insufficiency of any created power to mi­nister the life of grace.3. By the insufficiency of any created power to minister the life of grace to man; this is above the power of men and Angels; the dispensation of life is peculiar to him that is Lord of life; the industry of man is used indeed as an in­strument of spirituall vivification, but the efficacy is from Christ; to this worke all created strength without Christ is like the strength of Aegypt in another case to set still, the diseased woman in the Gospell spent all her substance up­on the Physitians, and yet there was no healing, man may spend all his time and substance upon the creature, and the creature may spend all its ability about man, and yet when all is done, without Christ there will be no spirituall quick­ning; Am I a God (said the King of Israel to Naaman) to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosie: Thus may the holiest Saint and most glorious Angell say, Am I a God to kill and to make alive, to kill sin and to enliven the soul, that man should looke to me for spirituall vivification, the sufficiency of the choysest creatures is a borrowed sufficiency, derived from Christ, and the efficacy and working thereof is wholy dependant upon Christ.

4. Excellency of spirituall life.4. By the dignity and excellency of spirituall life; a life of that noblenes and eminency, that none but Christ, who is life it self, can communicate it; a seed which none but Christ can sow, a tree which none but Christ the great Husbandman of the soule can plant; the life of grace ariseth from a principle [Page 235] farre more noble then the life of nature; Saul was head and shoulders above the residue of the people; the life of grace is head and shoulders, very high and farre above the life of na­ture; whither vegitive, sensible or reasonable; Job sometime said of wisdome: Where shall wisdome be found, and where is the place of understanding, man knoweth not the price thereof, neither is it found in the land of the living, the depth saith it is not in me, and the Sea saith it is not with me: thus may we say of spirituall life: where shall spirituall life be found? and where is the place of true and saving grace? man knoweth not the price therof, neither is it found in the land of the living; Nature saith it is not in me; Art and industry say it is not with us, this life is Col. 3. hid with Christ in God: It is hid in God, in regard of the original preservation, protection and continuance of it, as the life of the branch is hidden in the root, and the life of the streame in the fountaine; it is hid in God, and there and no where els it is to be found, therfore termed the Eph. 4.18. life of God; for the spirituall originall and celestiall excellency therof, re­generation and new-birth, being of all lives, the most excellent life, which God communicateth unto man, because God doth then very graciously and sweetly live in man, and man enjoyes the life of God, when God doth sanctifie and guide man by his Spirit, and this life is ascribed by our Saviour to the Spirit, as to the proper cause of it: the flesh profiteth nothing, it is the Spirit that quickneth; and all the faithfull are born again of the Spirit, begot­ten of God by the word of truth, & as they have the most noble & excellent Parent, so they have the most honorable & eminent life, a life of such dignity that none but God can communicate.

5. By the medium of spirituall life: conjunction with Christ by faith is the medium of this life,5. The Medi­um of this life, Conjunction with Christ by faith. as the naturall life is a conjunct­ion of the body with the soule; so the spirituall life is a con­junction of the soul with Christ and his Spirit; Christ is the head and they the members: Christ is the Vine and they the branches, being enlivened by their conjunction with Christ, the members are enlivened by the head, and the branches by the Vine, and believers coming to Christ, as to a living Stone, are said as lively stones to be built a spirituall house: In which words, Christ is likened to a Stone for his [Page 236] strength and stedfastnesse, for his truth and unchangeablenes, for his union of Jew and Gentile, and for his supportation of all Gods children; to an elect and precious stone, for his worth and excellency, and to a living stone, for his ever­living vertue, ministring the life of grace to all the faith­full, and preserving them therin to the life of glory, and all true beleevers are called lively stones; for their being founded upon Christ, and enlivened by Christ, the head-stone▪ and of this life they participate by coming unto Christ; comming to Christ, by the doctrine of the Gospell inviting them, and by a lively faith resting upon him, incorporated into him, and recei­ving spirituall life from him; and this is Christs promise, he that beleeveth in me, that is united and joyned unto me, and made one with me by faith, he shall live, he shall live the life of grace first, and the life of glory last; and it is the plain assertion of the Evangelist, he that beleeveth on the Son hath everlasting life, he hath it in inchoation, by the work of grace, he hath it in promise by faith, he hath it in expectation by hope; he hath that life begun in grace, which shall be consummate in glory.

6 Opposition against the working of spi­rituall life.6. By the opposition made against the working of this life in the soules of men; the working of grace in the hearts of men is op­posed by corruption, as naturall life is opposed by death, all men by nature being dead in sins and trespasses; this life is opposed by sin, as naturall health is opposed by a mortall, an over-swaying and incurable disease; the cure of the diseased woman in the Gospell, was so opposed by her bloody issue, that no Physition could cure her, she bestowed all her substance upon the Physiti­ons in vaine, she could not be healed untill she came to Christ; the cure of the disease of sin is so difficult, that neither the mi­nistry of man, or Angell can accomplish it; Christ alone is the Physitian healing the diseased soul of man; he is the son of righ­teousnes who hath healing in his wings; in the wings of his ordi­nances instrumentally, in the wings of his gracious gifts and o­peration efficiently: the Apostle layeth down the opposition of sin against the working of spirituall life 4.Sin opposeth spirituall life. 1 By ignorance ways. 1. Through ig­norance, alienated from the life of God, through the Eph. 4.18, 19. ignorance that is in them; they are ignorant of the absence and want of it, they suppose they are alive to God, when they are dead in [Page 237] sinne; they are ignorant of the Originall and Authour of this life; they know not that he that hath not the Sonne hath not life; they are ignorant of the meanes working it, they know not that the word is the word of life, that the Gospell is the power of God unto salvation, the immortall seed of mans re­generation; they are ignorant of the necessity of this life of grace, they thinke there is a greater latitude in Religion then there is, they know not that the way to life is a narrow way, they imagine they may doe well enough, though they be not so strict and so zealous as others are; they are ignorant of that worke of Christ, of that holy and gracious change of heart, of that faith, repentance, purity of heart, and circumspect walking which belongs to this life. And thus, through their ignorance doe they undervalue it and oppose the working thereof.

2. Their corruption doth oppose it through the hardnesse of their hearts, 2. By hardnesse of heart. being alienated from the life of God through the hardnesse which is in them. This hardnesse of heart makes them uncapable of the word of life,Acts 7.51. as the hard ground is un­capable of seed: This causeth them to resist the meanes of grace, as the hard rocke resisteth the raine distilling there­upon: This makes them regardlesse, and fearelesse of all judge­ments, and cominations; Affliction doth not better them, but rather make them worse, as the anvill hardens under the hammer: This makes them impenitent, they cannot mourne for their sinnes, any more then a hard rocke can send forth a streame of water.Ier. 5 3. O Lord (saith Jeremy) thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them but they have refused to receive correction, they have made their faces harder then a rocke, they have refused to returne; and after their hardnesse and impenitent heart (according to Saint Paul) they treasure up wrath against the day of wrath; and thus their hardnesse of heart doth oppose the working of this spirituall life.

3. Their corruption opposeth this spirituall life through unsensiblenesse; 3 B [...] [...]siblenesse. they are strangers to this life (saith the Apostle) being past feeling, being unsensible of their sinne, as a dead man of his disease, unsensible of the misery of their estate, [Page 238] and perilousnesse of their condition, as the drunkard in Salo­mon had no apprehension of his danger; unsensible of the word of instruction, as a deafe man that heares not, is unsen­sible of advice and counsell: They heare (saith the Prophet) but understand not, they see but perceive not, they heare out­wardly, but not inwardly, they see confusedly, but not clear­ly, the light shines upon them, but not within them, they walke not in the light, they are not guided in their goings by the light; they are unsensible of the characteres symptomes of destruction which are upon them, as Ephraim had gray haires here and there upon him, howbeit he knew it not: Unsen­sible of the goodnesse and sweetnesse of Christ, as a distem­pered palate is unsensible of the sweetnesse of the wine given him to drinke; unsensible of the comfort, and pleasantnesse of spirituall life, as the dead are unsensible of the joyes of the living; and being thus past feeling, they regard not the life of grace, it is of no esteeme with them.

4. By cusing them to give themselves over to lascivi­ousnesse.4. Their corruption doth oppose the life of grace, by cau­sing them to give themselves over to lasciviousnesse, to worke un­cleannesse, disposing and inclining them to evill, as heavy things incline downeward, the whole current of their affe­ctions moving towards sinne strongly, speedily, undefatiga­bly, and unchangeably, as the Rivers move towards the Sea; soaking and surfeting themselves with carnall delights and pleasures, as the drunkard soakes his flesh with strong drinke, and the glutton surfets himselfe with sweet meat; deligh­ting and sporting themselves in sinne as the fish in the water, drinking iniquity (as Job speaks) like water, as the dry ground drinks in the water, and looks for more; giving themselves over unto sinne, as the souldiers to the Centurion, to be com­manded by it, to be wholly subject to it, as the harlot to the adulterer, prostituting and laying themselves open unto sinne, and bringing forth all their fruit to sinne, and this their ser­viceablenesse to sinne, delight and pleasure in sinne, voluntary and full subjection under sinne, doth mightily oppose the working of the life of grace within them, so opposing it that none but Christ can worke it. Besides, Satan doth also with much force and fraud hinder this worke, Rev. 7.1. holding the [Page 239] winds that they may not blow, endeavouring to the utmost to stop the ministery of the word, the meanes of begetting this life in the soules of men, blinding the understandings of men, that the glorious light of the Gospel may not shine into them; labouring by all meanes to hinder the regeneration of Gods children, represented in Saint Johns vision of the Dragon, ready to devoure the Rev. 12 4. womans childe as soone as it was borne. This worke the world also hinders, by distracting men with worldly cares, by priding men with worldly wealth, by mini­string many prophane and soule-bewitching examples, by with-holding men from attendance upon Gods ordinances, the meanes of life, by choaking the word of God, the instrument of life, with worldly cares, by disabling men to discerne and judge aright of Christ, the Authour of life: Such is the op­position made against the worke of grace in the soules of men, that there is a meere impossibility of attaining spirituall life, without the mighty worke of Christ the Lord of life.


Their pride opened who dreame of abi­lity in them­selves to re­store them­selves to spi­rituall life.SEe then in this the pride and vanity of such men as dreame of a power and ability in themselves to restore themselves unto spirituall life. As Sampson burst his withs, and went out when Dalilah cryed, the Philistines are upon thee Sampson. Thus they thinke to breake the chaines of sinne, to come forth of the grave of their corruption at their pleasure, having the word of exhortation to call them. Man indeed indowed with true and saving grace may come when God cals him, as Sampson went forth at the voice of Dalilah, while his lockes were upon him; but as Sampson had no power to preserve himselfe when his lockes were cut off, no more hath man destitute of saving grace any power to restore himselfe to the life of grace, or to defend himselfe against the adversaries of [Page 240] his peace:Mans n [...]bility to this worke opened. 1. No princi­ple of grace left. Rom. 7.18. Col. 2.12. The branch cannot live without the root, nor the soule a spirituall life without Christ; Man is wholly disabled unto this worke, having no feed nor principle of grace re­maining in him, being as fully under the dominion of sinne, as the dead are under the dominion of death, at as great a di­stance from the life of grace as they who have been long dead, and divers dayes, like Lazarus, in the grave, are from the life of nature.

2. Vtter blind­nesse. Luke 19 41. Isa 5.21.2. Being so blinded that they cannot discerne the things which belong to their spirituall vivification, from the things which tend to their destruction, the wayes of death are wayes of life in their apprehension, as the Assyrians smitten with blindnesse thought the way leading to Samaria to be the way leading to Assyria. Thus they repute the way which lea­deth unto death to be the way leading unto life, they call evill good, and good evill.

3. Declination of meanes. Psal. 58.5.3. They decline the meanes of their spirituall quickning, they stop their cares against the voice which should awaken and enliven them, they shut their eyes against the light which should illuminate them.

4. Enmity against the ministery. Rom. 8.7. Iohn 3.19. Gal. 4.16.4. They are full of enmity against the ministery which should convert them, they make warre against the ministery of the word, as Saul against David: This troubles them as the Star troubled Herod, the Minister is their enemy because he tels them the truth.

5. Sweenesse of sin Iob 20.12.5. Sinne is a sweet dish to their palate, they are insatiable in the commission of it, their soules are wedded to it, they have made a Covenant with it, they boast and glory in it.

6. Grace and holinesse di­shonourable in their eye. Iob 21 14.6. The life of grace and holinesse is dishonourable and con­temptible in their eye; Nothing with them is beautifull and amiable, excellent and honourable, but that which is either for the matter or for the circumstances sinfull: And therefore when the dead can raise themselves out of their graves, when the stones can turne themselves into flesh, the thornes into vines, when the Leopard can change his spots, and the Blackamoore his skinne, then may man by his owne power, without the mighty worke of Christ, raise himselfe to a new life, turne his hard into a tender heart, his barren into a fruit­full [Page 241] soule, and his uncleane into a pure conversation. Were man sensible of his emptinesse of all spirituall good, of his ob­stinacy against grace, of his strong and unchangeable bent to evill, of the desperate disposition of his heart to sinne, of his through subiection under Satan, and of the prophane antipa­thy which is in his heart against grace, and of his inability to receive it when it is proffered, he would never exalt him­selfe into Christs roome, and take upon him to be the work­man of his owne conversion; he would never continue in sinne, presuming to repent at last, when he list; doubtlesse that man never felt the power of Christ in his conversion, that dreames of a power in himselfe to convert and change him­selfe; Presumption of self-goodnesse invincibly argues the ab­sence of all saving goodnesse: The diseased came either by their owne strength, or by the help of others to Bethesda; but when the foot was in the poole, if the Angell did not move the waters there was no healing: Man may come to the ministery of the word by his owne strength, and by the perswasion of others; but when he is come, and heares the word, there is no healing unlesse Christ worke mightily with the Gospell: For Paul plants and Apollo waters, but God giveth the increase.

Is Christ the Author and worker of spirituall life?Comming un­to Christ for spirituall life perswaded, be­ing as dead me without Christ 1 For Igno­rance. Eccl 9.5. Isa. 59 10. Then we must addresse our selves to Christ, that Christ may quic­ken and enliven us. Whiles we stand aloofe off, and continue strangers to Christ, we are all dead men, dead spiritually while we live corporally, alienated from the life of God while we enjoy the life of men; continuing strangers to Christ we are all dead in sinne; and as the dead know not any thing, no more doe we savingly and comfortably know any thing of God, of Christ, of his word, or of the Spirit of grace; we are in darknesse like the dead, we are blinde and groape at the noone day as in the midnight:2. Vnsensible­nesse. As the dead have no feeling of the disease which killed them, of the burthen of earth cast upon them, no more have we of the sinne which wounds us, and hastens the second death upon us; we are, as Saint Paul said, past feeling: As the dead have no vigor, no strength,Eph 4.19. 3. Weaknesse. no motion, no more have we any power, disposition, or incli­nation [Page 242] to any thing holy, and savingly good in the sight of God.4. Vncomfor­tablenesse. As the dead are an uncomfortable spectacle, and cast an evill savour, so are we very unsavoury in Gods nosthrils, an abomination in the eyes of God:5. Exclusion from Christ. As the dead have no claime nor title to any thing, their interest in what they once enjoyed is lost: Thus we have no title to Christ, no interest in Gods Covenant of grace;6. Growing worse. and as the dead putrifie and rot more and more, so we grow worse and worse as long as we continue without Christ. O therefore let us come to Christ that he may enliven us, as he raised Lazarus, the Widowes sonne, and the Rulers daughter! Let us come to Christ to raise our soules, as the woman of Shunem came to the Prophet to raise her dead sonne, she made haste to the Prophet; we must come speedily unto Christ, in the dayes of our youth, before we have continued long under the death and dominion of sinne; the woman of Shunem came humbly to the Prophet, she cast her selfe downe at the feet of the Prophet: We must come to Christ in great humility, humbling our selves before him, having our hearts full of sorrow for our sinne, earnestly peti­tioning the vivification of our soules: The woman of Shu­nem laid hold upon the Prophets feet, and would not let him goe, untill he went with her and raised her sonne. Thus must we lay hold on Christ, carry him with us, bring him home into the house of our hearts, that Christ may quicken us to the life of grace here, and to the life of glory hereafter.

Mans best works with­out Christ are dead works.This likewise discovers to us what all our works and ser­vices are as long as we are without Christ; Christ is the Au­thor and worker of spirituall life, and while we are without Christ, we are without spirituall life; and where is no life, there is no action, no motion; where is no life of grace, there is no moving, no stirring in the wayes of godlinesse: All the workes of naturall men, how specious soever in out­ward appearance, yet they are as the Scripture termes them, but dead workes; 1 They pro­ceed not from a Principle of spirituall life. their hearing, praying, receiving of the Sa­crament, and other duties of righteousnesse done by them are works without life:

For 1. they proceed not from an inward Principle of spiri­tuall [Page 243] life, all their motions in and about the duties of godli­nesse, like the motions of Clockes and Watches, proceed not from life, but from art, from the feare of hell, from the apprehension of death, from the sence of affliction, from the desire of the applause and favour of men, from the hope of reaping the harvest of some worldly benefit; and therefore as the clocke ceaseth his motion, when the Spring is downe, so doe these men usually cease their motion in the wayes of godlinesse, when the outward loadstone which drew them, is taken away, as yron having no principle of life within it, stops it's motion when the loadstone is removed; then they are at a stay, then they goe backe.

2. Their services, if we consider the nature of them,2 Morall, not spirituall, for­mall, not powerfull. they are but morall and ecclesiasticall services, no spirituall servi­ces; They have (as the Apostle saith) a forme of godlinesse, but they deny the power of it: As a dead man hath the forme and lineaments of a living man, but not the power and vivacity of a living man; their works for the matter of them may be morally and ecclesiastically good, but not spiritually good; their coine, their service, as Jeremy termes it, is reprobate silver; Reprobate silver may have the stamp, colour, and similitude of true coine, and yet is base mettall: A naturall mans duties of service, and obedience to God may have the similitude and colour of a spirituall mans service; but when they are tryed, they are found to be counterfeit, abominable in the sight of God, how beautifull soever in the eyes of men: Swines bloud is of as cleare and perfect colour to the eye, as sheeps bloud; yet it is of another nature, and to offer Swines bloud under the Law was an abomination: Thus the service of a carnall man may have the outward colour of a regenerate mans ser­vice, and be as pure and perfect in the outward appearance, as the service of the holiest persons, and yet it is of another na­ture, and a very abomination in the sight of God.

3. Their services, if you looke upon the adjunct of them are cold services; coldnesse is a Symptome of death, when a man is dead, the whole man is cold; the works of a naturall and carnall man are cold, they have no spirituall life, no hea­venly warmth, no vivacity and holy quicknesse in them. It is [Page 244] said of David that he had many cloathes, yet he got no heate: Thus carnall men have all the ordinances of God, all meanes to warme their soules, and yet they continue cold, as a dead body under many cloathes; they may performe many religi­ous duties, and yet have no heate, no warmth in them; At the best they are but like Ephraims cake halfe baked, like luke­warme meat, such as is offensive to the stomacke, and there­fore Christ threatens to spew them out of his mouth; they have nothing of the Spirit of God within them, whose working is likened unto fire, making men fervent in Prayer, causing their hearts to burne within them in hearing, as the hearts of the two Disciples did; this fire, this heavenly heate is wan­ting, and therefore all their service is but as a sacrifice without fire, of no use, of no acceptance with the Lord.

4. Services ten­ding to base ends.4. Their services, if you observe their end, are arrowes le­velled to a low marke; A dead man cannot lift himselfe up from the earth; A man without Christ, and empty of spiri­tuall life, cannot looke above himselfe and his owne flesh in any thing he doth: The effect ever suites with the cause; the thorne cannot beare figges, the fruit is answerable to the na­ture of the Tree; He that hath nothing of God in him can­not intend God in his undertaking; he that is alienated from the life of God, cannot worke for God. That (saith our Savi­our) which is of the flesh is flesh, fleshly disposed, intending the flesh, and nothing else, doing all for himselfe; seeking his owne things, and not the things which are Christs; his owne profit, his owne ease, his owne applause; he serves not the Lord Jesus, but his owne belly, as Saint Paul speakes; and thus the originall, the nature, adjunct, and end of a carnall mans works demonstrate them to be dead works, of no esteem with God, how glorious soever in the eyes of men.

The glory of spirituall life due to Christ. Isa. 9.6.As Christ is the Author and worker of Spirituall life, so the glory and the praise of all grace and holinesse, of the whole spirituall life of Christians is to be attributed unto Christ Je­sus; Christ is the everlasting Father, from whom we have our new birth, the high and heavenly workman, from whom we have our spirituall being and new Creation;Eph. 2.10. the life by whom we are quickened; the Sun by whom we are enlightened; the [Page 245] Physitian by whom we are healed. Christ Jesus is the foun­taine of all grace and goodnesse, life and holinesse to true be­leevers; they are all members enlivened by this head, Stars enlightened by this Sunne, fields manured by this husband­man, houses builded by this Architect, and vessels filled by this fountaine; the praise of all mans grace and holinesse is due to Christ Jesus. Art thou awakened out of thy spirituall sleep and slumber? it is Christ hath done it, as the Acts 12 7. Angell awake­ned Peter; the Lyon by his cry awakens his young, Christ the Lyon of the Tribe of Judah, by his mighty voice in the Gospell awakens Gods chosen. Are the eyes of thy under­standing enlightened? Christ is the Iohn 1.9. Iohn 9. light who hath enlighte­ned thee, as he opened the eyes of him that was borne blind. Art thou cleansed from thy sinne? it is Christ who is the Mal. 3.3. re­finers fire, and the fullers sope that hath purged thee, as Jordan cleansed Naaman from his leprosie. Art thou Isa. 49.9. Isa. 61.1, 2. delivered from the prison of thy corruption, and the bondage of Satan? it is Christ hath brought thee forth, as the Angell brought Peter out of Herods prison. Hast thou liberty to come to God by faith and love? it is Christ hath made thee free in thy under­standing to discerne the things of God, in thy will to chuse and intend God, in thy imagination to thinke upon God, in thy memory to remember God, in thy affections to feare, trust, love and rejoyce in God, in thy eares to attend to the word of God, in thine eyes to behold God in his works, in thy tongue to speake of God, to the edification of others, and to celebrate God for his mercies; Christ is the Authour and workman of all Christian freedome. Art thou filled with the gifts and graces of Gods Spirit? Christ is the fountaine that hath filled thee, all thy receivings are of Christs Iohn 1.16. 2 Cor. 5.19. fulnesse, as the branches are filled by the root, and the Starres by the Sunne. Hast thou reconciliation and acceptation with God? it is Christ that hath brought thee nigh to God, procured favour for thee with the Lord, as Joseph procured favour for his bre­thren with the King of Egypt; Christ is the Eph. 1 6. beloved in whom thou art accepted. Art thou able to endure temptation, to un­dergoe the heavy burthen of affliction? Christ is the rocke that sustaines thee, as the rocke in the Parable sustained the [Page 246] house from sinking, when the winds and waves did beate and blow upon it; Christ is the Arke that beares thee up, as Noah was borne up in the Deluge; Christ is the shield and buckler, and wall of fire that defends thee; it is Christs po­wer in thee, it is Christs presence with thee, as with the three children in the fiery furnace, that strengthens and inables thee to hold out, that makes thee victorious over all opposing powers. In a word, it is Christ that works all thy works of grace and peace, faith and love, hope and patience, constancy and perseverance in thee; he begins the life of grace within thee, and continues it to the life of glory: Ascribe therefore to the Lord Jesus the praise of all thy goodnesse, acknowledge him to be the giver of all thy gifts, the Authour of all thy holy and gracious works, the Sunne that hath enlightened thy darknesse, the quickning Spirit who hath enlivened and freed thee from thy deadnesse, the Physitian who hath healed thy diseases, the Counsellor who hath resolved thee in all thy doubtings, the fiery pillar who hath gone before thee, prote­cting and guiding thee in all thy goings; the Moses rod which hath divided the waters, and made a passage for thee, through the red Sea of all thy afflictions; the Captaine who hath overcome for thee in all thy Conquests; and the King who of his owne mercy crownes thee, and his owne works in thee, after all thy tryals: Let Christ have the glory of all from thee, because he accomplisheth all for thee by his living in thee.


THe third thing in these words, is, an Act, liveth. Christs living in man; the soule liveth in the body, enlivening, preserving, and strengthening the body; and Christ liveth in man, enlivening man with the life of grace, preserving man [Page 247] in the estate of grace, Col. 1.11. strengthening him with all might accor­ding to his glorious power. Christ is the soule of our soules, the 1 Cor. 15.45. quickning Spirit, by whom we are spiritually enlivened; Christ by the supernaturall, gracious, and powerfull operati­on of his Spirit, raising us to newnesse or life, and living in us, by this powerfull and holy worke of his. Whence ob­serve,

That Christ lives in Gods children by his holy and powerfull worke of Sanctification. Doct.

The Ezek. 1.20. Spirit of the living creatures in Ezekiels vision was in the wheeles, and when the living creature went they went, and when the living creature was lifted up, they were lifted up, because the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheeles. Thus the Spirit of Christ is in the children of God, and they live as Christ lives, they move according to Christs prescription, because the Spirit of Christ is in them, because Christ lives in them, and works effectually by his Spirit upon them, putting a Principle of spirituall life into them: The Prophet Elisha applyed himselfe to the woman of Shunems sonne that was dead; 2 King 4.34. He lay upon the childe, and his mouth upon the childes mouth, and his eyes upon the childes eyes, and his hands upon the childes hands; he stretched himselfe upon the childe, and the flesh of the childe waxed warme; the childe neesed and opened his eyes. Christ applyeth himselfe and his benefits to the understandings of men, to the soules and consciences of men, and their cold hearts are warmed, their blind eyes are opened, their soules are enlivened, and Christ lives with­in them, raising them from the death of sinne, and restoring them to the life of God, from which they are alienated by sinne; therefore Saint John saith, 1 Iohn 5.12. He that hath not the Sonne, hath not life; He that hath not the Son graciously possessing him, spiritually quickning him, powerfully working upon him, and causing a holy change in him; he hath not life, the life of God, that holy and gracious life, which God through Christ communicates to the soules of his servants; but he that hath the Sonne, he that beleeveth in the Sonne is united to the Sonne, and hath the Sonne living in him; he hath life, he is spiritually quickened and enlivened; And God (saith the [Page 248] Apostle) hath 1 Iohn 5.11. given us eternall life, and this life is in his Sonne: God hath placed this, and the fulnesse of all divine and hea­venly good things in his Sonne; he dispenseth all these by the Sonne, that no man may live before him, without the Sonne living in him, and the Sonne is called Iohn 1.4. Life, having in himselfe the fulnesse of all life, having the power of life and death, being the Authour and the root of life in all them that live the life of grace, no man comming to the Father, receiving life from the Father, finding grace and favour with the Father, but in and through the Sonne, who is to us, the Iohn 14.6. Way, the Truth, and the Life; the way by whom we walk; the truth by whom we are guided, and the life by whom we are quickned, called by Saint Paul our Col. 3.4. life, because we live not the life of grace of our selves, but by Christ: It is a life which ariseth not from our flesh, but is derived to us from Christ; Christ liveth in us, begetteth, preserveth, and per­fecteth this life in all beleevers; and for this end Christ came, that all the chosen of God might Iohn 10.10. have life, and that they might have it more abundantly; Ministring not onely an inchoation, but a daily increase of the life of grace, untill they come to the life of glory; and Christ is termed eternall life; having life eternall in himselfe,1 Iohn 5.20. working life eternall, and living for ever in us, we enjoying the true and eternall God in and through Christ.

And Christ liveth in all them that are the children of God.

Grounds of Christ living in us. 1. By way of Originall1. By way of Originall. The life of grace is originally from Christ; Christ being not only the Author of this life, with the Father and the Holy-Ghost; but also the root of this life in us, living in us as the root liveth in the branches, as the parent liveth in the childe; therefore Christ is called the Iohn 15.1 vine, and we the branches: As the life of the branches is originally in the vine, so is our life originally in Christ; and as the branches live by the vine living in them, so we live by Christ living in us: And the Apostle termeth the second Adam, which is Christ, a 1 Cor. 15.45 quickning spirit: For as the life of the body of man is originally from the soule, the soule quickning and living in the body: so the life of grace is originally from Christ, Christ spiritually quickening, and [Page 249] living in all beleevers; and as the body without the spirit is dead, so is man without Christ spiritually dead in sins.

2. By way of Coniunction. 2 By way of Conjunction. Christ liveth in vs by being uni­ted to us, and made one with us: The stocke liveth in the graft, by union with the graft, we being takenRom. 11.24. out of the wilde Olive, separated from our naturall and corrupt estate, called and gathered home to Christ, and grafted in the true Olive; we live in him, and he lives in us: If ye Iohn 15.5. abide in me, and I in you, ye shall bring forth much fruit, saith Christ:1 Pet 2.5. If ye be united unto me, and I united unto you, then you shall live, and be very fruitfull. By being built upon Christ the living stone, they become lively stones.

3. By way of influence, infusion, and transmission. 3 By way of influence. The hea­vens by an influence into the earth, doe quicken and enliven the earth, and make all the seeds and roots hidden in the earth to revive and put themselves forth, to sprout and flourish; there is an influence going forth from the Sun of righteous­nesse into the soules of men, reviving and quickning them, and making them of dead to become living, of barren to be­come fruitfull: To M [...]l. 4.2. you (saith the Lord) shall the Sun of Righ­teousnesse arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall goe forth and grow up as the calves of the stall. There is an influence goeth forth from the skill seated in the mind, and strength seated in the hand of the Artificer, which passeth upon the worke, whereby he moulds and fashions it, and sets a stamp upon it, according to his pleasure; Thus there is a heavenly influence, a holy vertue, and power comming from Christ, and his Spi­rit, that new moulds and fashions, that mightily quickens and enlivens the soule of man, by which Christ sets his owne Image upon man; and this is called the Phil. 3.10. power of Christs Re­surrection; That I may know him saith Paul, and the power of his Resurrection, that I may know Christ, and be made partakers of the good things which come by Christ, that I may know him as a Prophet instructing me, as a Priest sancti­fying me, as a King reigning spiritually within me; and that I may know the power of his Resurrection, in the vivification of my soule, in the abolition of my sinne, in the taking away of the guilt of my transgression, in the acquisition of righte­ousnesse, [Page 250] and in the restoring of me to the assured hope of fu­ture glory and immortality; There is a virtue flowes from the Resurrection of Christs body from the grave, to the re­surrection of the soules of men from the death of sinne: As Christ Rom. 6.4. was raised from the death by the glory of the Father, even so should we walke in newnesse of life, saith the Apostle; and this influence of Christ into the soule of man is called the Eph. 1.19. ex­ceeding greatnesse of his power; an exceeding great power for the omnipotency of the Agent; for the mightinesse of the Devill, sinne, death and the world, who are overcome by it; for the greatnesse of the holy and gracious change wrought thereby in the soules of men, changing the whole frame of the hearts of men, from death to life, from darknesse to light, from bon­dage to liberty, from uncleannesse to holinesse, from earthli­nesse to heavenlinesse; and by this powerfull and mighty influence doth Christ live in the soules of Gods chil­dren.

4. By way of Gubernation.4. By way of gubernation and direction. The head liveth in the members, acting and guiding the members to move, and worke according to the dictates of the head; and Christ as head liveth in beleevers, his members, acting and guiding, framing and disposing them to move and walke, and doe the things pleasing in his sight; the will moves the members of the body too and fro by a commanding active power, that goes from the will, acting and stirring the members, accor­ding to the disposition of the wil, the Pilot by his presence in the ship, and by his activity, strength and skill, turnes the rud­der of the ship, and guides the course therof to a quite contrary point of the Compasse; the King by an influence from his Ma­jesty, authority, power and Laws, lives and reigns in the hearts of his loyall and obedient Subjects, binding and bowing them to the observation of his Edicts. That there is a commanding active power passeth from Christ upon the soules of all sancti­fied persons, whereby he lives and reignes in them, acts and moves them, according to the disposition of his will, turnes the rudder of their affections, and guides the course of their lives to a quite contrary point, then what they formerly mo­ved and tended to, hence it is that our Saviour saith, the Luke 17.21. king­dome [Page 251] of God is within you; Christ by his Spirit enlightening their hearts, and effectually moving, working, and framing their soules to beleeve his promises, and doe his will; and they are said to have the Law in Psal. 40.8. their hearts; Christ ruling and commanding there, by putting into their hearts a dispo­sition of holy and humble subjection, sutable to the holinesse of the Law: And it was prophecyed of Christ, that in the day of his Psal. 110.3. power, when Christ should be preached, and his kingdome erected in the hearts of men: The people should be willing, voluntarily and freely subject and obedient unto Christ, as the members to the head; and thus Christ lives in men by his holy gubernation, raigne and rule in the soules of men.

5. By way of preservation and continuance unto perfection. 5. By way of preservation. The soule lives in the body, preserving the body from putre­faction, continuing the body unto its appointed perfection; Christ liveth in the soules of Gods children, preserving them from sinne, that they doe not putrifie in sinne, though annoy­ed with sinne, as the body with nasty humours, and keeping them from the death of sinne, that it never get dominion over them, as death over dead men, though it abide like a disease within them; perfecting also the life of grace in them, un­till they come to the life of glory: Those thou gavest me (saith Christ) I have Iohn 17.12. kept, and none of them is lost. Whom God the Father gives to Christ by eternall election, and effectuall voca­tion, them Christ keeps in the state of grace, in them he nou­rishes and maintaines spirituall life, them he keeps in the knowledge of Gods truth, in the saith of Gods promises, in the love of Gods testimonies, in the obedience of Gods precepts; them he keeps in prosperity, that they swell not; in adversity, that they repine not; in temptation, that they despaire not; in all changes, that they change not; he doth 1 Pet 5.10. perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle them; he makes spirituall life more full and active, strong and vigorous in them; the longer Christ liveth in them, the more perfection he ministers unto them, the more abundantly he fils them, the more he manifests the power of his grace towards them: and thus Christ lives in Gods children, by preserving and perfecting the life of grace [Page 252] in them. And thus you see it is apparent that Christ doth live in Gods children, by his gracious and powerfull worke of Sanctification.


Christ living in man descri­bed.IF you demand what is the life of Christ, or Christ living in the children of God? I answer, it is a spirituall power or Principle of grace which Christ by his Spirit doth put into the hearts of the elect at their regeneration inabling them to move themselves to God-ward, in knowing, willing, inten­ding, thinking, loving, speaking and doing the things which are pleasing unto God; called the life of Christ, because Christ is the Authour and the root thereof; because it is a life which Christ commandeth and approveth, and because hereby Christ liveth in all them that are regenerate; and this is sometimes termed a Rom. 6.11. being alive to God, because men are hereby moved and quickned to doe what pleaseth God; sometimes it is stiled a Rom. 6.8. living with Christ, having communion and fellowship with the grace of Christ for newnesse of life, or with the glory of Christ for eternall felicity; sometimes it is termed a Rom. 6.4. new life, a pure and unblameable life, framed (not after the lusts of the old man, but (after the will of God in his word; and some­times it is called a Rom. 14.8. living unto God; regenerate man conse­crating and ordering his whole life after the will of God, and unto his glory. Christ living in man, doth inable, move, and worke the heart of man to acknowledge God and Christ to be his Lord, and himselfe not to be his owne but Gods and Christs servant. 2. To frame and order his thoughts, words and works according to the word of God and Christ in every thing. 3. To referre and apply himselfe, his whole life, and whatsoever he hath to the honour of God and Christ. And fourthly, in all the changes, dangers, and afflictions of his [Page 253] life to depend upon God and Christ, for counsell, supportment, protection and deliverance; and this is Christs living in man, and Christs keeping and continuing man in the state of grace unto the state of glory.

If you aske me how or in what manner Christ begins to live in man? I answer:Manner of Christs living in Man. 1. By awake­ning Man.

1. Christ doth awaken man, as the Angell smote Peter upon the side, and Acts 12.7. awakened him when he slept between the two souldiers, with fetters upon him in Herods prison. This doth Christ by his word without, and the motion of his spirit with­in, smite upon the heart and conscience of man sleeping be­tween two great souldiers, the devill on his right hand, and the world on his left hand, in the prison of sin; Christ thus smiting upon man, awakens man, causes him to open his eyes, to see his miserable and wretched estate, to see the dan­ger wherein he stands: As the Prophet 2 King. 6.20. opened the eyes of the Syrians, and let them see they were in Samaria, in the hands of their enemies. Thus Christ awakens man, opens the eyes of mans understanding, and makes him see himselfe in the hands of Satan, lead away captive by him at his will, in the gall of bitternesse, and under the bond of iniquity, poore, blind, naked, miserable and wretched; Christ makes him see the necessity he hath of his righteousnesse to justifie him, of his power to deliver him, of his intercession to reconcile God unto him, and of his fulnesse to fill him. Thus when Christ intended to live in Paul, he first awakened him out of his spirituall sleep and slumber, he made him see himselfe: I was Rom. 7.9. alive once (saith he) without the Law, I was once ig­norant of the Law, I was blind, and knew not the meaning of the law, I thought my selfe to be a living man in Gods family, a shining starre in the firmament of Gods Church, and a fruitfull vine in the Lords vineyard, but when the commande­ment came, sinne revived, and I dyed; when Christ awakened me, opened my eyes, and inabled me to discerne a right of the commandement, then I saw I was under the dominion of sinne, as a dead man is under the dominion of death, wholly possessed by sinne, as the dead by death. Man hath first the sence of his being dead in sinne before he hath the sence of [Page 254] Christ living in him; Christ makes man to know his misery by sinne, before he knowes his happinesse by Christ; Christ lives not where the soule is not awakened, where the eyes of the understanding are not opened; therefore Eph. 5.14. awake (saith the Apostle) thou that sleepest and stand up from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

2. By humbling Man.2. Christ intending to live in man doth humble man, and cau­seth man to dye to sinne: Saul first dyed before David reig­ned in Israel: The death of sinne in order of divine operation, precedes the life of Christ, and his grace in the soule of man; first we are buried with Christ, and then we are raised with Christ to walke in newnesse of life; first we are planted into the likenesse of Christs Rom. 6. death, and then into the likenesse of his resurrection Christ therefore in the dispensation of spiri­tuall life, doth first kill, and then make alive, first wound, and then heale; he makes man sensible of his sinne, as of a heavy burthen, before he doth ease him, as of a body of death, before he doth raise him, as of a mortall disease before he doth cure him; he chargeth sinne upon the conscience of man, he sets it upon him, to pursue and follow him, as the avenger of bloud under the Law pursued the malefactor. The Lord let loose Pharaoh and the Egyptians upon Israel to im­pose heavy burthens upon them, to deale hardly with them, to beat and scourge them, to pursue and follow them, when he intended to set them free from Egypt: Christ lets loose Satan and corruption upon man, to tempt and vexe, to accuse and torment man, when he intends to free man, to restore spirituall life and liberty unto man. The Israelites were first led into the red Sea, and the Egyptians there drowned, be­fore Israel triumphed; Man is led into a sea of griefe and sor­row for sinne, and his sinne there drowned, and then he tri­umpheth in Christ, then Christ lives in him, and he in Christ. When Christ therefore doth humble man as he Acts 9. cast Paul to the earth, emptieth man of all thought of his owne worth, and makes man abhorre himselfe below the dust, causeth man with the Jewes at Peters Sermon to cry out, Acts 2.37. men and brethren what shall we doe; to accuse and condemne themselves, to loath that sinne as a Isa. 30.22. menstruous clout, which was formerly [Page 255] worne by them as a garment of great choise, to Iob 20.15. vomit up that sinne (it is Jobs expression) as the gall of Aspes, which he for­merly kept in his mouth, and swallowed downe like sweet meat; to hate his sinne more then ever he loved it, and to thrust it out of the doores of his heart, as Amnon hated Tha­mar more then ever he loved her, and thrust her out of his house. When Christ doth thus humble man, thus set the heart of man against sin, and mortifie sinne in man,2 Sam. 13.15. then Christ be­gins to live in man. When a man puls downe a house that is ruinous and unhabitable, and begins to lay a new foundation, then we know he usually intends to dwell and live there. Thus when Christ puls downe the old man, a ruinous and un­habitable dwelling, unfit to entertaine Christ; when Christ puls downe our pride, when our old man (as S. Paul speaks) is crucified with Christ, when all high thoughts are cast downe, and Christ hath laid another, a new foundation of self-denyall and true humility, then Christ meanes to dwell there, then undoubtedly Christ begins to live there.

3.3 By putting a restlesnesse into the heart of Man.Christ beginning to live in man puts a restlesnesse into the heart of man in his naturall and corrupt estate, makes him out of love with himselfe, fils him with dislike of his owne wayes and works, alienates and takes him off from creature, and works him to an earnest longing after Christ, as the cha­sed Hart panteth after the water-brookes,Psal. 4 [...].1. being chased and frighted with the sence of his sinne, and the hideous noise of his guilty, accusing and tormenting conscience; he begins to thinke of Christ, to betake himselfe to Christ, for com­fort, pardon and salvation, as the guilty malefactor under the Law, being pursued by the avenger of bloud, betooke him­selfe to the City of Refuge for shelter and defence, now his soul [...] followeth hard after Christ, Psal. 62.8. now he prizeth interest in Christ farre above interest in the creature, now he would take Christ upon any termes, he would gladly leave all for Christ, he sees there is no other Physitian can heale him, no other surety can make satisfaction for him, no other shield and buckler can protect him, no other friend can comfort him; and therefore he flies to Christ, as Joah to the hornes of the Altar; he presseth after Christ, labours to lay hold on Christ, [Page 256] as the diseased woman did, whom no Physitian could cure; and as there went a Mar. 5. vertue out from Christ, that healed her bloudy issue, when she touched the hemme of Christs gar­ment, so there goes a vertue out from Christ, healing and en­livening the soule, longing after Christ, and touching Christ by faith, though it may seem to be but weakly and afar off: For as when the iron comes neare the loadstone, there goes a vir­tue from the loadstone, that moves and drawes the iron to it: so when man comes neare Christ, in hearing, in prayer, in humiliation and earnest longing, there goes a vertue from Christ, which moves, enlivens, and drawes the soule of man home to Christ, and Christ begins to live in man, to sustaine and strengthen the soule of man.

4. By a Revela­tion of Christ in Man.4. Christ beginning to live in man, there is a revelation of Jesus Christ in the soule of man. The Sonne of God (as S. Paul speaks) is Gal. 1.15. revealed in man. There goes a light forth from the Sunne in the Firmament which reveales the Sunne to the eye of man, and there goes forth a spirituall and heavenly light from the Sunne of Righteousnesse into the soule of man, which reveales Christ unto man; which the Apostle cals a 2 Cor. 4.6. shining of Christ into our hearts. Christ revealing himselfe unto the soule, as the only Saviour ministring salvation to the soule, as the only Prophet instructing man, and filling him with hea­venly knowledge, as the only Jordan, bathing and cleansing the soule from sinne, as the only Prince of Peace, sweetly and powerfully ruling in the heart of man, and graciously recon­ciling God and man, as the only beloved Husband, marrying himselfe to man, as the only precious pearle, in whom is all the treasure of the soul of man, as the only rocke, in whom is all the strength of man, and by whom man is supported, as the only rich and royall roabe, by whom mans sinne is covered, and the soule of man justified; and as the onely fountaine, in whom man meets with fulnesse of satisfaction; and where Christ is thus revealed, there he liveth. This Reve­lation of Christ in man ministers life and comfort unto man.

5. By changing Man.5. Christ beginning to live in man doth very powerfully and graciously change and reforme man; he doth cause his Gospell to come to man not in [...] Thes. 1.5. word only but in power also, [Page 257] humbling man, breaking and bruising the stony heart, plow­ing up the fallow ground of mans heart, making it of barren to become good ground, causing the choisest plants of his grace, and fruits of righteousnesse to grow there. Christ doth not onely proffer his grace, and stirre up good desires and purposes, but he infuseth supernaturall qualities of holinesse into the soule of man; he makes him a new creature, causing old things to passe away, and making all things be­come new; he puts not a forme, but a power of godlinesse into man; he dyes the heart in graine with grace and holinesse; he makes him a living man indeed for his life and power of grace, for his unfained love to God, for his burning zeale for God, for his gracious progresse in the wayes of God, for his sweet and blessed delight in God, and for his full and through conformity to the will of God: Christ causeth his Spirit to come upon him mightily, as it came upon Iud. 14. Samp­son, inabling him to overcome the Devill, the world and his owne corruption, as the Spirit inabled Sampson to over­come the Lyon, transforming man into the Image and like­nesse of God, not as the Devill transformed himselfe into the Image and likenesse of Samuel, remaining a Devill still; but as Christ Iohn 5. turned water into wine, graciously changing the qualities of man, making him of a dead a living man, of proud humble, of ignorant wise, of obstinate soft and tender hearted, of prophane holy, of cold fervent, of bar­ren fruitfull, of weake and impotent, untoward and indi­sposed, he makes him strong and able, apt and ready to every good duty, and this is the manner of Christs living in man.


Ʋse. A Christians life the most noble life.DOth Christ live in man? Then the life of a Christian is the most noble and honourable life of all others: the life of sensible creatures is more excellent then the life of vegitive creatures; the life of reasonable creatures is more excellent then the life of sensible; the life of man is more noble then the life of beasts; but the life of spirituall and sanctified persons is more excellent then the life of reaso­nable creatures; the life of a true Christian surpasseth the life of man, as farre as the life of man surpasseth the life of beasts. Saul was in stature head and shoulders above the residue of the people. The life of grace is head and shoul­ders in dignity, worth and excellency above all other lives; this is the life of Christ, a living of Christ in man; and as Christ is infinitely more excellent then man, so doth this life exceedingly transcend the life of man, called the Eph. 4.18. life of God, in regard of the cause efficient, God working it by his holy Spirit; in regard of precept, God commanding it; in regard of approbation, God accepting and approving it; in regard of noblenesse and dignity, as the life of God is more excellent then the life of the creature, so is this life the most honourable, sweetest and choysest life communi­cable to any creature; and in regard of likenesse with God, holy and gracious resemblance of God; he that lives the life of man is like man, participates of the nature of man; he that lives the life of grace is like God, is made partaker, as S. Peter speaks, of the divine 2 Pet. 1.4. nature, not in respect of essence, but in respect of holy and gracious qualities: hee that lives the life of grace commeth nighest unto God, par­ticipates most of Gods fulnesse,Christian life honourable. and hath nearest and sweetest communion with God of all persons. And this life is indeed a very honourable and noble life.

1. Originall.1. For the Originall of it, it is not from nature, but from grace, not from man, but from the Spirit, it is the Spi­rit [Page 259] that Ioh. 6.63. quickneth: It is a beame from the brightest Sun, even Christ Jesus the Son of Righteousnesse: I (saith Christ) am the bread of life come downe from Heaven, if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever. It is a streame from the highest and purest fountaine, the Spirit of grace, becoming in the soule of man a well of Ioh 4.14. water springing up into ever­lasting life.

2. In regard of the nature of it, a spirituall life,2. Nature. a life of holinesse and righteousnesse; a life surpassing the life of nature, as the Sun the Glo-worme, as the Vine the bram­ble; and they that live this life are said to Rom. 6.4. walke in new­nesse of life: Having a new-birth, being borne againe, and having new principles and qualities put into them by the Spirit of God; the Lord according to his promise, put­ting a Ezek. 11.19. new heart into them; their soules being renewed and changed, not in substance, but in qualities, framed a new after God in knowledge, righteousnesse and true ho­linesse, made 2 Cor. 5.17. new creatures, and leading a conversation pure, and unblameable in the sight of God, and that life which is most full of grace and holines, is of all lives the most noble and glorious.

3. In regard of the rarity of it;3. Rarity. few men live this life, the whole world (as S. John saith) lies in wickednesse, dead in sins and trespasses, as the old world lay drowned in the deluge, only Noah and his Family, a few persons lived in the Arke; it is but a little remnant, Ier. 3.14. one of a city and two of a Tribe, as the Prophet speakes, that live this life. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way (saith Christ) which lea­deth unto life, and few there be that finde it. A godly per­son is a rare jewell; God dispenceth the life of grace only to his chosen: Christ in the dayes of his flesh raysed not all the dead to life, but onely a few, one now and another then: thus Christ in the day of the Gospell, doth not quicken all, but a few, one here, and another there: the number of them, that professe themselves Christians, is indeed very great, but the number of them in whom Christ lives is very small, the greatest part, like the Angell of the Church of Sardis, having a Rev. 3.1. name that they live, and yet are dead, the outward forme and [Page 260] shew of Christianity is very frequent, but the life, power and practise very rare.

4. Pleasantnes.4. In regard of the sweetnes and pleasantnesse of this life. Christ living in the soule of man is the choysest joy of man, The light (saith Salomon) is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing to the eye to behold the Sun; the light of Christ is sweet to the soule, the beholding of the Sun of righteousnesse living in man is very pleasant unto man; the heart of old Jacob revi­ved, hearing that his son Joseph lived; the sence and fee­ling of Christ living in man, is a sweet and powerfull re­viving of the heart of man. Christ is the Prince of peace, and where he lives there is sweet and sure peace. Christ is the Paradise of all comforts, he that enjoyes Christ hath strong consolation; where Christ liveth, the wounds of the soule are healed, the adversaries of the soule are vanquished, the sinnes of the soule are purged, the stormy tempest of the conscience is appeased, the clouds of sorrow which darkned the soule are dispelled, spirituall liberty is restored, forgivenesse of sin is sealed, sence of Gods love communicated, and the soule graciously reconciled unto God: all other life is bit­ter and unsavoury as death, in comparison of a holy and graci­ous life.

5. Exaltation.5. In regard of that estate and condition, whereinto this life doth exalt and advance man; Christ living in man makes man a childe of God by adoption, a spirituall freeman, a glorious Conquerour over Satan, himselfe and the world, a living member of that mysticall body whereof Christ is the head, a King and Priest to God, and an heyre of an inhe­ritance incorruptible reserved in the Heavens; no crowne doth so honour man as his Sanctification; man is more to be esteemed for his holy walking, then for the highest ho­nour the Earth is able to conferre upon him; it is not mans naturall, but his new-birth that makes him truly no­ble; though holinesse, thorough mens ignorance and pro­fanenesse, be of no esteeme with men, yet is this the prime advancer of man.

6. Lownesse of mans estate without this life.6. In regard of that lownesse and basenesse of spirit from which this life doth free man: man in his naturall estate [Page 261] is very basely minded, very dishonourably disposed, like the decreped woman in the Gospell, he is altogether bowed down, and wholy bent to the things which are here below, min­ding only things earthly, wallowing like a Swine in the dirt and mire of the world, and fleshly lusts; but when Christ lives in man, when he puts the life of grace into man, he ennobles the heart of man, communicates a heavenly dis­position to him, and puts the whole man into a heaven­ly frame, and sets his heart to seeke the things which are a­bove, he rayseth his heart, his thoughts, his desires to the love, meditation and seeking of things spirituall, as he ray­sed the body of Lazarus from the grave: hee makes man to looke upon the world, as upon a Pro. 23.5. Phil. 3.8. thing of nought, to repute all the fullnesse of the Earth as dung and drosse in comparison of Christ, to leave all and follow Christ, as E­lisha left his yoakes of Oxen and followed Elijah; having Christ living in him, he minds Christ, adheres to Christ, pursues and followes after Christ, makes Christ his crown and portion: he hath an Numb 14.24. Heb. 1 [...]. excellent Spirit, like the Spirit of Christ, contemning the glory of the world, as Christ contemned it, with Moses reputing the reproach of Christ, greater riches then the treasures of Aegypt; despising all the profers and perswasions of the Earth, not regarding all the cominations of the world; hee chooseth rather with the three children to walke with Christ in the fiery Dan 3. fornace, then to live without Christ in the choysest earthly pallace. He had rather be nayled with Christ to the crosse, then set with Herod upon the throne. He saith to the men of the world, as Abraham in another case to the King of Sodome; give me the persons, take thou the substance, give me Christ, take ye the world, give me things heavenly and eternall, take ye things earthly and temporall. He that hath Christ living in him reputes the world as nothing, Christ is both his crowne, joy and portion.

7. In regard of their honourable walking, 7. Honourable walking. Gal. 5.25. who have Christ living in them, they c walke in the Spirit, saith the Apo­stle; the Spirit moves and guides them to walke according to that rule which the Spirit hath in the word proposed to [Page 262] them, the Spirit makes their hearts within and lives with­out sutable to that holinesse which the law prescribeth, they walk in the power of the Spirit quickning and assisting them; in the light of the Spirit directing them; in the motion of the Spirit exciting them; and in the operation of the Spi­rit, enlarging their hearts with the knowledge of God, faith in God, love to God, and with the sence and feeling of Gods goodnesse towards them, and in the testimony and e­vidence of the Spirit, sealing up the forgivenes of their sins un­to them; as the soule is not idle, but operative in the bo­dy, distributing sence, and motion to every member of the body: So the Spirit of Christ, in them, in whom Christ lives, is not idle, but operative, manifesting it selfe in the fruits and effects thereof; the soule inables man to humane works and services, the Spirit of Christ living in man ina­bles man to spirituall duties and exercises, to shine as a light in the midst of the froward generation among whom hee lives; to walke as a childe of light, with Zachary and E­lizabeth to walke in all the Commandements of God and be blamelesse; and this is the honour and crowne of a Christians life, to walke as beseemeth the Gospell, to walk worthy of God, and his Christian and holy calling; he is most honourable who expresseth most holinesse in his conversa­tion.

8. In regard of the terme whereunto they live, who have Christ living in them; carnall men who are aliens to the life of God and Christ, live to a very low, ignoble and base terme, they live to the world, minding and intending the world, conforming themselves to the example, custome and fashion of the world, they serve Mat. 6.24. Mammon and not God; to this they live as servants to the Master whom they serve: they live unto themselves and their owne lusts, walking af­ter their owne imaginations, proposing their owne by and base ends, doing all things for themselves, for their owne profit, pleasure and applause, they serve their Rom. 16. owne belly, and not the Lord Jesus; they live to Satan, not doing the will of God, but the Ioh. 8.44. lust of the Divell, as Christ speakes, and this is the shame and dishouour of the life of man, to live [Page 263] to live to such low, by and base ends as these; but they who have Christ living in them, doe live unto God, inten­ding God, making God and his prayse, the supreame end of their living; as a wife liveth to her husband, bringing forth children to her husband; a vine liveth to the Master of the vineyard, bringing forth his fruite to him; and a flocke liveth to him that is the Master of the flocke, yeelding all their encrease to him that ownes them: thus these men live to God, bringing forth all their fruit and encrease to God: Whether we live (saith the Apostle) we live Rom. 14.8. unto the Lord, or whether wee die we die unto the Lord, whither we live therefore or die we are the Lords: They live unto the Lord, 1.Living to God what? Acknowledging themselves not to be their owne, or under their owne pow­er, but to be Christs as his proper and peculiar people. 2. By receiving all their direction from Christ, and not wal­king after their owne imagination, taking Christs word, as the Israelites did the fiery pillar, and the wise men the starre, to conduct them in all their goings. 3. By surrendring them­selves up to Christ, to doe his and nor their owne will; as servants to doe the will of the Master with whom they are entred into covenant. 4. By making Christ their re­fuge, flying to him in their distresses, as servants to their Masters. 5. By minding Christ, and intending his glory in all that they doe, even to the very end of their life, preferring Christs honour above their owne wel­fare, being willing to abase themselves, that they may exalt Christ: and as they live to Christ, so they dye to Christ, acknowledging him to have the power of death in his hand, submitting with patience to the de­cree of Christ, touching both time and manner of their dissolution, being willing to glorifie Christ by their death, resigning themselves wholy into the hands of Christ, when the houre of death comes upon them. It is the earnest de­sire and unfained indeavour of all gracious persons, both in life and death, to make the name of Christ glorious; looking beyond themselves to God and Christ Jesus in all their doings and sufferings. As they are endowed with [Page 264] noble principles within, in their inward man, so they have honourable ends without, in their externall worke: as their life is originally from Christ; so their motion is to Christ, he is the prime object of their intendment, as they have their use from him, so they live unto him; and this is the honour of the life of a Christian, to live to Christ. What is the honour of a wives life? but to live to her husband, and not to strangers: What is the honour of a servants life? but to live to his Master in the faithfull discharge of his office. And what is the honour of a Christians life? but to live to Christ, and not to his owne corrupt affections; doubtlesse every mans life is more or lesse honourable and glorious, as hee lives more or lesse to God and the Lord Jesus: And thus it ap­peares that their life in whom Christ lives, is of the lives of all people, the most excellent and honourable: Their life is glorious in prosperity, by walking humbly in the midst of their abundance; in adversity, by walking pati­ently in all their sufferings: In temptation, by walking beleevingly, resting upon God with a firme and sure confidence; In opposition, by walking couragiously, hol­ding fast their profession of Christ Jesus: In losses, by walking joyfully, knowing they have an abiding substance in Heaven; In all estates and conditions, by walking holily and circumspectly, shining like the light more and more to the day of their perfection.


BUt if their life in whom Christ lives, be of all lives the most honourable and glorious; how cometh it to passe that such people as live this life are often in outward appearance of all others the most ignominious and dishonou­rable.

[Page 265]I answer it so comes to passe. 1.Causes of the obscurity of holy life ope­ned. By reason of the secrecy and spirituality of their life: their life is a hidden life, it is hid with Col. 3. Christ in God, saith the Apostle, as the life of the branch in the winter is hidden in the root, and hath little appearance in the branch; thus the glory of a Christians life, is hidden in God, the outward splendour and beauty thereof, many times appeares not; Beloved (saith S. John) now we are the sonnes of God, we have now a very blessed and glorious life with God; but it doth not yet 1 Ioh. 3.1, 2. appeare what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appeare we shall be like him; the flower hath a glorious life surpassing Salomon in all his royal­ty, yet in the winter, it is hidden under the Earth, but when the vernall Sun appeares, then the flower appeares in her beau­ty; thus when Christ who is our life shall appeare, Mat. 6. then shall we appeare with him in glory, though our life be now hidden in obscurity.

2. This comes to passe thorough the ignorance of carnall men; 2. Ignorance. the blind man sees not the glory of the Sun, the carnall man by reason of his spirituall blindnesse, sees not the glory of a Christians life. Christ had meat and drinke which the Dis­ciples knew not, the true Christian hath a life, and in that life an honour, and a glory which the carnall man discernes not; The naturall man (saith S. Paul) receiveth 1 Cor. 2.14. not the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishnesse unto him, nei­ther can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned: carnall men thorough their ignorance repute that the foulest shame of man, which is indeed the choysest glory of man; holinesse the speciall workmanship of the Spirit of God upon man, the brightest starre shining in the firmament of mans soule, the richest and most orient pearle in the Cabinet of mans heart, is looked on, and censured by corrupt and car­nall man, as the only disgrace and shame of man; spea­king 2 Pet. 2.12. evill (as S. Peter saith) of the things which they under­stand not.

3.3. Reproach. It so comes to passe thorough the disgrace and reproach which is cast upon them that live the life of grace: holinesse hath ever beene cumbred with the foulest traducements. Scandalous mouths have ever beene most shamefully open a­gainst [Page 266] such as have been most holy in their conversation; the best men have ever had the worst report. Christ surpassed all in holinesse as the Sunne the candle in brightnesse, and who ever was equall to him in reproaches, they said of him that he was a friend of Man. 12. Publicans and sinners, that he had a Divell, was madd, and that by Belzebub the Prince of the Divels he cast out Divels; and Christ f [...]re-told his Dis­ciples that men should revile them and persecute them, and say all Mat. 5. manner of evill saying against them falsly for his sake: It is not some, but all manner of evill saying, which is heaped upon Gods children; the wayes and workers of godlinesse are l [...]aden with innumerable reproaches, as the smoake out of the bottomlesse pit in the Revelation did darken the Rev. 9. Sunne and the aire; so doe the smoaky scandals of carnall men, whose throate is an open Sepulcher, obscure and darken the names, persons and lives of Gods servants; hee that departs from iniquity making himselfe a prey, as the Prophet of old spake, a prey to the thoughts of men secretly to censure him, a prey to the hands of men to oppresse him, and a prey to the tongues of men to traduce him, and the ho­nour and glory of the lives of Gods children is much ob­scured thorough the scandals which alwayes are cast upon them.

4 Corruption remaining.4. This likewise comes to passe thorough some corruption yet remaining in Gods children; thorough some failings wherewith they are sometimes over-taken; though Christ live in them, yet they are not so full of life, but that there is some sinne, like a disease, or evill hu­mour in a living body, abiding in them, they have an Esau as well as a Jaacob in their wombe, some tares of sinne growing with the wheate of grace in the field of their hearts; they carry a 2 Cor. 1 [...]. pricke of im­bred corruption in their flesh, and this lusteth against the spirit, against their regenerate part, as the Ama­lekites fought against Joshuah, and sometimes it foiles them, as they sometime prevailed over Joshuah; and as an inward evill humour sometimes breakes out in­to an open ulcer, so doth this hidden and remaining [Page 267] corruption, sometimes vent and shew it selfe in some open fayling, as in Job, David, Jeremy, Peter, and the choysest of Gods servants; and as one ulcer doth much obscure the beauty of the face, so one failing doth much ecclipse and darken the glory of the conversation of Gods children; if a childe of God keepe not himselfe Iam. 1.26. unspot­ted of the world, if hee faile but a little, the world will blot and blaze his name all over, if they espye but a little spot now and then in him, they will report and pro­claime him as one that is leprous all over.

Mis-judging.5. This also commeth thus to passe, thorough mens misprision and mis-interpretation of the wayes and workes of Gods children: Their eyes are blood shot, they behold the doings of Gods servants in a false glasse, and they appeare unto them in contrary colours, and as Hanuns servants misinterpreted Davids 2 Sam. 10. kindnesse, and handled his men as spies, who were sent as comforters; thus they misinterpret the doings of the righteous and censure their knowledge as errour, their piety as hypocrisie, their zeale as fren­sie, their attendance on Gods ordinances as idlenesse, their sacred meetings as confederacies and combinations, their workes of mercy as workes of ostentation and vain-glory; such as are farthest from sincerity, and the greatest deceivers, are most ready to charge hypocrisie upon o­thers; such as are least industrious to examine their owne hearts are usually the severest censurers of other mens lives, and thus they change the cleare and shining day of a god­ly mans life, into an obscure and darke night,1 Sam. 17.28. calling e­vill good, and good evill, putting light for darkenesse and darkenesse for light, as wee may see in David, Paul and others.

6 Base out-side6. This likewise is so, by reason of the base out-side of Gods children: They in whom Christ lives are for the most part of low estate and slender reputation in the eye of the world, Christ at first was borne of a Virgin, espou­sed to a Carpenter, her condition no way conspicuous and glorious in the eyes of men, and Christ is now for the most part formed againe in the hearts of men, farre from [Page 268] all externall pomp and glory, God having chosen poore things and base things, 1 Cor. 1. and things which are not, to con­found the things which are, and the poore (saith Christ) receive the Gospell, and blessed is hee that is not offended in mee, that doth not stumble and take offence at mee, by reason of the low and slender estate of them that re­ceive and imbrace me preached in the Gospell. And the Prophet hath told us long since that Gods people are an afflicted poore people; and this doth much obscure the honourablenesse of their life, in the eye of the world, who usually judge nothing excellent and honourable, but that which is externally pompous and glorious, as wee see by experience both in Christ and his members, Mat. 13.55. Ioh. 2.1, 2, 3, 4. Ioh. 7.48, 49.

7. Lastly, thus it likewise commeth to passe, thorough the manifold afflictions which attend the righteous; they in whom Christ lives are hated of the world, persecuted by the men of the Earth and pursued with many troubles, walking like the Israelites thorough the red Sea of many afflictions, destitute, afflicted, tormented in Sheepes and Goates-skinnes, in Caves and in Dennes; Killed all the day long, and accounted as Sheepe for the slaughter, as the Psalmist speakes, and these afflictions are a great darkning of the glory of their life in the eyes of the World, as the cloudes darken the Sunne in the eyes of men, continuing in it selfe bright and beauti­full.


DOth Christ live in the soules of Gods children?2. Life of Gods children a cheerfull life. then the life of Gods children is of all the lives of men, the most ioyfull and cheerfull, the most pleasant and comfortable. The Sunne is the joy and comfort of the world; Christ the Sunne of Righteousnesse is the glory, joy and comfort of the soule: The more fully and powerfully Christ liveth in man, the grea­ter is the joy of man;Luk. 2.10. Christs comming unto man is tydings of great joy, Behold (said the Angell) I bring you good ty­dings of great ioy, which shall be unto all people, for unto you is borne this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. This is great joy for the Author, matter, quality, quan­tity and duration of it: All joy is but heavinesse to the having of Christ living in us, purging our corruptions, pardoning our offences, filling us with all heavenly blessings, and sweet­ly and powerfully ruling over us:1 Sam. 4 5. The comming of the Arke ministred such joy to Israel, that they gave a shout, which made the earth to ring; how much more doth the comming of Christ in the Gospell, and ministration of spirituall life to Gods chosen, make them joyous and comfortable, wit­nesse the men of Samaria, of whom it is recorded, that upon Philips preaching the Gospell to them, the ejection of Satan, and consequently Christs beginning to live within them, there was great joy in that City: Acts 8.8. Where Christ lives is joy of 1. Life. And all joy and gladnesse doth indeed accompany Christs living in man. 1. Where Christ lives, there is the joy of life, of spirituall life, of the life of God, a life in respect whereof all other life is but death; and therefore as the Father of the Prodigall said to his servants,Luk. 15. bring hither the fatted Calfe and kill it, and let us eat and be merry, for this my Sonne was dead and is alive, he was lost and is found. Thus the man in whom Christ lives, hath great cause to be merry, because his soule was dead and is alive, was lost and is found 2. Where Christ lives, there is ioy of Light. 2. Light. The Sunne fils the aire with temporall light; Christ fils the soule [Page 270] with spirituall light, with all knowledge and wisedome, and spirituall understanding: And as the beholding of the Starre filled the wise men with exceeding great ioy; so doth the shining of Christ into the soule of man fill man with great joy and rejoycing.Mat. 2.10. 3 Liberty. Iohn 11.44. 3. Where Christ lives, there is the ioy of li­berty; Christ restoring life to Lazarus set him free from the grave, and from the fellowship of the dead, his eyes were free to see, his eares to heare, his tongue to speake, his hands to worke, and his feet to walke; Christ living in man makes man free from the death of sinne, from carnall fellowship with them that are dead in sinne; he makes him free in his understanding to know God, in his thoughts to meditate up­on God, in his memory to remember God, and in his affecti­ons to beleeve in God, to love God, and to walke in the wayes of God;Exod. 15. And this liberty ministers to the soule as great a cause of rejoycing, as ever Israel conceived upon their freedome from the Egyptians.4. Victory. 4. Where Christ lives, there is the ioy of victory. When David came into the Israelitish army he gave them victory over Goliah and all the Philistines, they all fled; when Christ comes into, and lives in the soule of man, he overcomes Satan, he dissolves his workes, he casts that strong man out, he subdues all the corruptions that are in man: They that are Christs (saith Saint Paul) have cruci­fied the flesh with the affections and lusts; they have gotten a blessed and honourable victory over Satan, themselves, and the world; a victory ministring to them greater cause of rejoy­cing, then Israel had, when they gave a shout for their vi­ctory over the Philistines. 5. Regeneratiō 5. Where Christ lives, there is the ioy of regeneration, adoption and sanctification Christ makes us the sonnes and daughters of God, the friends and lovers of God, who were aliens and enemies to God; he makes us cleane who were defiled; he abolisheth the character and stamp of Satan, and engraves the Image of God on our soules; he like a refiners fire, and fullers sope, puts away the spot and drosse of our sinne, purifying and purging us as gold and sil­ver, that we may offer to the Lord an offering of righteousnesse: And this affords us matter of greater rejoycing then Naaman had upon his being cleansed from his leprosie in Jordan: Re­ioyce [Page 271] not in this (saith Christ) that the spirits are made subiect unto you, but rather reioyce in this, that your names are written in Heaven, that you have a name with God, that you are by adoption the children of God, that you are sanctified and cleansed from your sinnes: The worke of holinesse ministers more joy to Gods servants, then the gift of working mira­cles; there is more comfort ariseth from the subiugation of our corrupt affections,6. Riches. then from having all the world put un­der us. 6. Where Christ lives there is the ioy of riches, he cannot be poore and miserable that hath Christ living in him, Christ is unsearchable riches, as Gideon said of Ephraim the gleanings of Ephraim are better then the vintage of Abiez [...]r: so the glea­nings, the smallest gatherings of Christ, are better then the vintage, then the greatest abundance of the world. Christs spirituall gifts and graces are the choisest of all riches; all the riches of the world are but straw and stubble to this pearle; he that hath this hath cause of holy glorying & rejoycing in his wealth, as the Merchant in the Parable had joy upon the fin­ding of the precious pearle: The rich man in Saint Luke ha­ving pulled downe his barnes, builded them greater, and fil­led them with worldly store,Luke 15. bid his soule (though upon weake grounds) eat, drinke and be merry, because he had goods enough laid up for many yeares. The man that hath pulled downe his lusts, new built his heart, and received Christ to live and dwell there, may upon better grounds bid his soule eat, drink and be merry; for having Christ he hath a full and an abiding substance, he hath treasure enough for ever.7. Peace. 7. Where Christ lives, there is the ioy of peace, reconciliation, and sweet communion; he brings us nigh to God, as Joseph brought his brethren nigh to Pharaoh; he makes God a father and friend to us; he causeth the face of God to shine upon us more com­fortably then Sunne, and filleth us with that peace which passeth all understanding, and thus he makes the life of them in whom he lives a very sweet and pleasant life, a life of choi­sest comforts, a life for delights, surpassing the lives of rich men, Nobles, Conquerours, and all pleasure-hunters, as the Paradise doth surpasse the wildernesse, and the glorious Sunne the rotten gloe-worme.

[Page 272]But you will say if their life in whom Christ lives, be such a sweet and pleasant, such a joyous and comfortable life, whence is it that many of them in whom Christ lives, are so sad and sorrowfull, and of all others many times in out­ward appearance the most uncomfortable livers?

Grounds or cause, of sor­row in Gods children. 1. Remaining corruption.I answer, the sorrow and sadnesse of them in whom Christ lives ariseth:

1. From the corruption which yet remaines in them: Diseases in the body though they doe not destroy the body, yet they now and then abate and hinder the comfort of bodily life: Clouds in the aire though they doe not abolish the Sunne, yet they hinder the light of the Sunne, and darken the aire. Thus cor­ruption in them that live the life of grace, though they doe not destroy and abolish this holy life, yet they many times abate the comfort of it, obscure and darken Christs living in man, and untill they are overcome and dispelled, they mi­nister occasion of sorrow and sadnesse to the soules of Gods children, causing them with David to complaine of them as of a heavy burthen; and with Paul to cry out, O miserable man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death. Where Christ lives there is joy, because the life of grace hath there an inchoation; there is sorrow, because sinne hath not yet it's compleate dissolution, and perfect buriall. Israel had joy in their victory over the land of Canaan; they had sor­row, because some Canaanites yet remained among them: The children of God have much joy from their spirituall con­quest, though somewhat sadded by their fleshly oppositi­ons.

2. Aberrations2. This ariseth from some particular aberrations of Gods chil­dren, of which they are sometime guilty; sometimes they step aside from Gods way, their hearts hang loose, and cleave not close to God, Satan gets an advantage against them, and foiles them; and as so [...]e great fall takes away the sence and comfort of bodily life for the present: Thus Gods children through some fall doe lose the comfort of Christ living in them,Psal 51. and are very sorrowfull, as a man whose bones are bro­ken.

3. Satans as­saults.3. This ariseth from some violent assault of Satan, God lets [Page 273] him loose upon them, to buffet them for their humiliation for sinne past, or for excitation from security for the present, or for prevention for the time to come, and while this tempta­tion lasteth, the joy of their spirituall life is eclipsed, as the joy of a rich man is darkened, while his house is besieged; the joy of a City is disturbed, while the siege against it lasteth; and as the joy of the Merchant in his rich treasure ceaseth, while the violent storme continueth: Though Gods children have a rich treasure of grace, a blessed portion of spirituall wealth within them; yet the joy hereof is much abated for the present, by reason of Satans violent temptation; Gods chil­dren through the force and fury of the assault of Satan, are somtimes disabled to make a comfortable use of the gifts they have received.

4. Impieties of others.4. This ariseth from the sinfulnesse and great impieties which they see in others among whom they live. The Lords people have matter of sorrow and humiliation ministred to them, not onely from their owne sinnes, but also from the sins of other people; they see the name of God is dishonoured, the Chri­stian profession is disgraced, the mouth of the common ad­versary is opened, the welfare of the Church is hazarded, the removall of the Gospell is threatened, and many punishments are inflicted, by the exorbitancies of many living within the Pale of the Church, and for this they are much grieved and very deeply humbled;2 Pet. 2.8. their righteous soule with Lot is vexed from day to day with their unlawfull deeds,Ps. 119.136. in seeing and hea­ring; and their eyes with David gush out with rivers of teares, because men keep not the Law of God; and with the marked ones in Ezekiel, Ezek. 9.4. they sigh and cry for all the abomi­nations which are done in the Family, City, Congregation, and Kingdome whereof they are members; they are unwor­thy the name of Christians, who sorrow not for other mens impieties.

5. This ariseth from their prevision, preconsideration, 5 Foresight of future calami­ties. and foresight of future calamities. Noah foresaw the comming of the floud, and prepared an Arke; Joseph foresaw the com­ming of the famine, and accordingly made preparation; the skilfull Mariners foresee the storme, and betake them­selves [Page 274] unto the haven;Prov. 2 [...].3. The wise man (saith Solomon) foreseeth the evill, and hideth himselfe, humbleth himselfe, ad­dresseth himselfe to God, makes his peace with God, and hides himselfe with the Lord: Be mercifull unto me, O God, be mercifull unto me (saith the Psalmist) for my soule trusteth in thee, Psal. 57. [...]. yea in the shadow of thy wings will I hide my selfe untill these calamities be over-past. He saw the rage of the adversary against him, their intendment of evill to him, their conspiracy and determination to take his life from him, he saw the absence of all humane help to assist him; and therefore he makes his petition unto God, humbles himselfe before him; and as the chickens betake themselves to the wings of the Hen, to hide them from the tempest, raine, wind and cold comming upon them: So did the Psalmist betake himselfe to the Lord, to the wisedome, power, truth, and goodnesse of God, as to the wings of protection; the clearer discerning men have of in­cumbent evils, the more effectually they apply themselves to God for future refuge; Mens ignorance and inconsiderate­nesse of future judgements, makes them obstinate in present impieties, taking no notice of the evill of sinne, untill the evill of punishment come upon them: The simple (saith So­lomon) passe on, and are punished; but good men whose soules are sanctified, whose eyes are opened, see the raine of Gods displeasure afar off in the clouds, and hide themselves from it. Elijah, seeing a little cloud arising out of the Sea like a mans hand,1 King. 18.43, 44. bid his servant goe up and say to Ahab, prepare thy charet, and get thee downe that the raine stop thee not, and Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. The children of God discer­ning the wrath of God afar off, when it is but a little, even in the first appearance, prepare themselves by prayers and teares, confession, contrition, and humiliation, and make all hast to draw nigh to God, that they may be safe with the Lord, when the cloud of Gods anger shall raine upon the earth. When I heard (saith Habakuk) the threatenings of the Lord, H [...]b. 3.18. the dread­full judgements, the great destruction, and grievous desola­tion which God had appointed to bring upon the people, what then? how was he affected with the hearing of this: My belly (saith he) trembled, my lips quivered at the voice, [Page 275] rottennesse entred into my bones, and I trembled in my selfe, that I might rest in the day of trouble, when he commeth up unto the peo­ple he will invade them with his troupes. Here is a declaration of his great sorrow and humiliation at the hearing and fore­seeing of a judgement yet to come; and here is the reason why he did it, and the fruit arising from it, even rest in the day of trouble, sweet and sure acquiescence in God, gracious and mighty protection under God, when the trouble foreseene should come. Although the fig-tree shall not blossome, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the Olive shall faile, and the fields shall yeeld no meat, the flocke shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no heard in the stals: There is the great desolation and devastation of the land, all this notwithstan­ding the Prophet having humbled himselfe, is confident of comfort in this great distresse: Yet (saith he) I will reioyce in the Lord, I will ioy in the God of my salvation; the Lord is my strength, my helper, my shield, my comforter; he shall make my feet like Hinds feet, and he will make me to walke upon mine high places, making me secure and safe, comfortable and cheerfull in the day of trouble. Unfained humiliation in the dayes of peace ministers great comfort and confidence in the houre of distresse. He that sees the evill afar off, and is humbled, shall have comfort when the evill commeth.

6. This ariseth from the distresse which Gods children see upon the Church of Christ; 6. Sence of Churches misery. they say not of the Church as Cain did of Ab [...], am I my brothers, am I the Churches Keeper? they answer not the Church complaining in her afflictions, as sometimes the Priests and Elders answered Judas in his anguish, what is that to us, see thou to that; Mat. 27. but Gods chil­dren have a sympathy and fellow-feeling of the troubles of their brethren;Amos 6. they are not of their number who are at ease in Sion, eating the Calfes of the stall, drinking their wine in bowles, Amos 6. &c. but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph: But they like the members in the body naturall, if one member suffer all the members suffer with it; weeping with them that weep; Heb. 13. remembring them that are in bonds, us bound with them, and them which suffer adversity, as being themselves in the body. Such is their love to the Church of Christ, such is their desire [Page 276] after, and pleasure in the Churches welfare; such is their coniunction with the Church, and their apprehension of the estate of the Church, that the Churches miseries are their sorrowes.


THe consideration of Christs living in all Gods children, may give us just occasion to examine our selves, and to get good and cleare evidence of Christs living in our soules. This is the crowne and comfort of a Christian to have Christ living in him: The more we are assured of this, the more sweet and comfortable will the meditation of Christ be unto us, and the greater our courage against all opposing powers, and the more cheerfull shall we be in Christs service. And this we shall discerne.

1. Purity.1. By the purity of our conversation. The order of our life without is sutable to the root and Principle of our life with­in; he that hath a humane soule, and life within him, doth outwardly walke, speake, and worke as a man; he that hath Christ living in him, converseth, walketh, worketh, doth all things outwardly as a Christian, conformeth himselfe to Christ, is acted, moved and guided by Christ living in him, as the body is moved and guided by the soule living in the same:Ier. 31.33. Christ living in him, writes his Law in his heart, new moulds, new fashions and frames his whole man, and makes it sutable to the Law, causing him to be holy in all manner of conversation as he that hath called him is holy, Rom. 6.11. making him alive to God; receiving all his direction from God, to be wholly sub­ject unto Gods will, totally devoted to Gods service, to doe every thing for God, and to intend God above himselfe, or any thing else; as Christ in the dayes of his flesh did all accor­ding to the Commandement his Father gave him, he sought [Page 277] not his owne but his Fathers honour. Thus he in whom Christ lives, makes Gods word the rule that guides him, he seekes God and not himselfe, he purifieth himselfe as Christ is pure, and strives what in him lies, that he may approve himselfe to God by walking humbly and holily with God.

2. By mans invinciblenesse. He that hath Christ living in him is very victorious, even as Christ is victorious,2. Invinciblenes Christ is his life, and as Christ is invincible, so is the life of Christ in them that are his, sinne and Satan may now and then foile them, but can never extinguish the life of grace in them; be­cause Christ who liveth in them is stronger then all that doth oppose them.1 Iohn 4.4. Ye are of God (saith Saint John) endowed with the life of God, and have overcome, because greater is he that is in you then he that is in the world Christ living in his children, is greater then Satan who lives in carnall men, and therefore they are invincible.1 Iohn 5.18. We know (saith the same Apostle) that whosoever is borne of God sinneth not, is not under the power of sinne, gives no allowance to sinne, makes not a trade of sinne; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himselfe, and that wicked one toucheth him not, he keepeth himselfe; that which is proper unto God, is transferred to the children of God, and they are said to keep themselves who indeed are kept of God, being kept (as Saint Peter saith) through the power of God unto salvation, having Christ living in them, the whole armour of God put upon them, the gifts of the Spirit commu­nicated to them, giving themselves to the study and practise of godlinesse, and being frequent and fervent in holy and hum­ble supplication unto God, they are kept that the evill one doth not touch them, his temptations are resisted, he cannot extinguish the life of Christ in them, in all assaults, afflictions, temptations, and tryals, they are more then Conquerours through Christ loving them, and living in them;Rom. 8.37. Christ su­staines them in the deluge of affliction, as the Arke sustained Noah in the deluge of waters: And though they sometimes slip through the infirmity of the flesh, yet they grieve under the burthen of their corruption, they are displeased with themselves, they depart not from the feare of the Lord, they recover and revive, they prevaile as Joshuah over the Amale­kites, [Page 278] they grow stronger and stronger like the house of Da­vid, they goe forward like Israel in the way to Canaan, from strength to strength, untill they appeare before the Lord in Sion, they shine more and more, like the light unto the day of perfection; The longer Christ liveth in them, the more perfe­ction of life is ministred to them.

3. Preservation from sinne and the world.3. By mans preserving and keeping himselfe from sin, and from the world. Life preserves the body from putrefaction, when the life is gone the body putrifies and rots; but whiles life is strong and vigorous in the body, the body is fresh and come­ly; Man without Christ doth putrifie and rot in sinne, he growes worse and worse; Rom. 6. Gal. 5. but Christ living in man, he is pre­served from sinne, sinne doth not reigne over him; they that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and dusts, their soules are purified by Christ as the gold by the re­finers fire, and the cloath by the Fullers soape; they are kept by Christ as the Garden by the dresser, as the house by the dweller; they are purged from sinne as the aire is purged from clouds and vapors by the wind and Sun; they are washed and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 6. and by the Spirit of our God. Christ communicates spirituall health, and heavenly beauty to their soules, he purifies them to be a peculiar people to himselfe, he makes them shine as lights, he will not suffer sinne to remaine like a mortall wound or loathsome ulcer upon them; but he ministers spirituall healing to them by the wings of his ordinances outwardly, and of his grace inward­ly. Secondly, they in whom Christ lives are preserved from the world; life inables man to lift up his body from the earth, to tread upon it with his foot; they in whom Christ lives have their conversation in Heaven, they mind the things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, they first seeke the kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse thereof: This is the fountaine after whose waters they thirst, the Sunne in whose light they rejoyce, the treasure with which they desire to be enriched, the thing which they de­sire suites with the quality and nature of their life; Christ living in them, they chiefly desire the things of Christ, their hearts and thoughts are taken off from the world, they prize [Page 279] it as a thing which is not, they undervalue it as dung and drosse in comparison of Christ, and the things of Christ; and they use it as if they used it not, Like Gideons three hundred men, they lap a little, but bow not downe to these waters; Christ doth marvellously innoble their disposition in whom he lives, he will not suffer them to be carnally affected, nor worldly minded. The world is crucified to that man in whom Christ liveth.

4 Expulsion of what is con­trary to Christ.4. By mans oppugning and expelling out of himselfe whatsoever is contrary to Christ. It is the property of life to expell what is contrary to it, whatsoever doth oppose or prejudice it: The life of nature labours to the utmost the expulsion of diseases tending to the dissolution of nature, and the life of grace, or Christ living in man expels what is contrary to Christ, and to the life and worke of grace. Such a man is sicke of the least sinne, he complaines of it, he strives against it, the Law of his mind strives against the Law of his members; as Jacob strove against Esau: so doth the spirituall part in him strive against the carnall and fleshly part; and as the living fountaine strives against, and works out the mud which fals into it, so doth he that hath Christ living in him, worke out the vaine thoughts which fall into his mind, and the carnall lusts which rise in his soule, and is never at rest untill he hath cleared him­selfe of them; as Sarah was at no rest untill she had freed her house of the bond-woman, and her sonne. Nothing is so dis­pleasing to him that lives the life of grace as that which dis­pleaseth Christ, his choisest care is to keep his heart a cleane house for Christ to dwell in, and to make his soule the ple­nary possession of Christ, that Christ may dwell and reigne alone there; he allowes himselfe in no sinne, as a chaste wife allowes of no strange lover in her heart; his soule is entire with Christ, hating what Christ hateth, loving what Christ loveth, expelling daily more and more whatsoever doth oppose Christs kingdome within him; he is as impatient of sinne in his soule, as of a moate in his eye, as a loyall Sub­ject of a traitor in his house, as a King of a forraine ene­my in his Kingdome. If sinne doe but once beginne to shew it selfe, he raiseth all his forces to drive it out, and [Page 280] is at no peace untill he hath emptied himselfe thereof.

5 Imbracemēt of what suites with Christ.5. By mans assuming and taking to himselfe that which is most sutable, and best agreeing with Christ. Every life drawes unto it selfe that which is most sutable, and most agreeable there­unto, on that it feeds, with that it is maintained, and there­in it delights. Thus he that hath Christ living in him takes unto himselfe that which suites and agrees with Christ, in this he delights, on this his soule feeds: As his life is a spirituall life, so he drawes to himselfe spirituall food, and exerciseth himselfe in spirituall duties; he desires like a new borne babe the sincere milke of the word, as his food, and to dwell in the house of the Lord, as in the banquetting house of his soule, where the ordinances of God are unto him, as a feast of mar­row and of fat things, and of wines well refined upon the Lees: Nothing so fits and suites with the soule where Christ lives, as the word, and other ordinances of Christ; therefore such men desire this as their appointed food, pant after this as the chased Hart after the water-brooks, and long for it as the dry ground doth thirst for waters: This is the food which main­taines the life of grace in their soules; this is that wherein their life delights it selfe as in its proper element; this is swee­ter then the honey or the honey-combe; this is better then thousands of gold and silver; he hides it in his heart as good seed in good ground; he suffers it to worke upon him, as fire upon the mettall, purifying him, and working a gracious change within him; he exerciseth himselfe in duties of god­linesse, he takes upon him Christs yoake, applies himselfe to Christs precept, walks in all the ordinances of Christ; he lives not to himselfe, but to the Lord; he delights himselfe in the meditation of Christ; the doing of Christs will is his meat and drinke, and thus drawing to himselfe what is most sutable and agreeable, most pleasant and delightfull unto Christ, he makes it manifest that he lives by Christ living in him.

6 Thriving by ordinances.6. By mans feeding, nourishing, and strengthening himselfe by the ordinances of Christ. The living man in whom is life and health doth not onely eat, but gathers strength by his eating: The man in whom Christ lives, doth not onely use [Page 281] the meanes of grace, but is perfected in grace by them: Many there are who are frequent in the use of Gods ordinances, and yet for want of spirituall life, and an inward gracious dige­stive faculty, they are as a man in an Atrophy, that eats much, and yet is leane and meager, as if he had eat nothing; Like the leane Kine in Pharaohs dreame, that eat up the fat, and yet were as leane and ill-favoured, as if they had not eaten at all, of whom Saint Paul saith, they are alwayes learning, 2 Tim. 3.7. and yet never come to the knowledge of the truth; but they in whom Christ lives, doe thrive by use of Gods ordinances;2 Pet. 3 18. they grow in grace, as a childe by the mothers milke, as a field by the dew; they increase in knowledge, as a Scholler in learning; they waxe strong in saith, as a Tree in roots;Rom 15.14. they grow fer­vent in love, as a fire in heate by the multiplication of wood; they abound and are full of goodnesse, as a Tree planted by the waters side, is greene and flourishing, and full of fruit; and this is a comfortable argument and evidence of Christ living in us, when we thrive by the meanes of grace, and are filled with all those fruits of righteousnesse which are to the praise and glory of God in the day of Christ Jesus.

7. By the sweetnesse of Christ to the soule of man. 7 Sweetnesse of Christ to soule. Life is sweet to the living, Christ is more sweet to them in whom he lives; honours are sweet to the ambitious, pleasures to the voluptuous, and wealth to the covetous;Cant. 2.3. but Christ sur­passeth all sweetnesse to them that are true Christians: As the Apple tree among the trees of the wood (saith the Spouse) so is my Beloved among the sonnes; I sate downe under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my tast. All the fruits of Christs Prophecye, Priesthood, and Kingdome, his death, resurrection, and all the benefits of them communica­ted to the Spouse by the Gospell, on which she feedeth by faith, to the revivement and refreshing of her soule, are very sweet unto her. Christ is all sweetnesse to true beleevers; the knoweledge of Christ is sweet to their understandings, as the light is sweet unto the eye; the meditation of Christ is sweet to their imagination, as the meditation of the husband is sweet unto the wife; the love of Christ is sweet unto their soules, as the wine is sweet unto the palate: The word of [Page 282] Christ is sweet unto their eares, as a joyfull sound, his mouth is sweet and altogether lovely: Cant 5.16. The presence of Christ is sweet unto them, as the presence of the bridegroome unto the bride: The Spouse affirmes of him,Cant. 5.13. that his cheekes are as a bed of spi­ces, as sweet flowers, and his lips like Lillies dropping sweet myrrh, declaring the surpassing sweetnesse, which beleeving and holy soules doe find in Christs manifestation of himselfe, and in the gifts and comforts which he communicates to them by the Gospell. The more cleare and strong, sweet and comfor­table apprehensions we have of Christ, the greater is our assu­rance of Christs living in us.

8. Heavenly heate.8. By the spirituall warmth and heavenly heate which man hath within him. Heate is an evidence of life, Christ warmes the soule where he lives; they that have Christ living in them, are not like David in another case, having many cloathes and no heate, much meanes of grace and no spiritu­all warmth; they are not like Hoseah's Cake halfe baked, nor like the Laodicean Angell neither hot nor cold; but as the flesh of the Shunamites childe waxed warme when the Pro­phet spread himselfe upon him:2 King 4. Thus their hearts in whom Christ liveth are heated, and warmed by the labour of the Prophet, by the Ministers opening and applying the word of life unto them,Luke 24.321 Ier. 20.9. Mat. 3.11. their hearts burne within them, with indignation against sinne, with love to God, and with zeale for God: The word is like fire in their bones, the whole man is set in a holy flame, they are baptized with the Holy-Ghost and with fire: The Holy-Ghost like fire enlightening and purging their soules, and warming them with holy and fervent love, ma­king them fervent in prayer, and burning in spirit serving the Lord. All the duties they performe have a sacred fire mixed with them, a holy heate put into them, as the sacrifice under the Law was off [...]red up with fire: Thus their whole service is no dead carkasse without fire, but a burnt offering unto the Lord, they doe all in love to God, and in zeale for God; holy men like Eliah, in their hearing, prayer, meditation, are car­ried in a fiery chariot; their religious exercises kindle a fire in them, which burnes up their corruption like stubble, pu­rifies their soules like silver, and puts their heart into a very [Page 283] sweet and gracious temper; lukewarmnesse is farre from them that are enlivened by Christ Jesus; Mans deadnesse in the duties of godlinesse argues mans alienation from the life of Christ; Mans zeale for Christ is proportionable to the measure of life received from Christ; he doth in vaine as­sume the name of a Christian, who joynes not zeale to his profession: For as to him that desired to know what manner of man Basill was, there was presented in a dreame a pillar of fire, with this Motto, talis est Basilius, such a one is Basill, and such in deed in some measure may be the Motto of every true Christian, because he that is enlivened by Christ, and hath his whole dependance upon Christ, and graciously filled by Christs ministrations, he must of necessity have his thoughts taken up with Christ, and his heart burning with zeale for Christ.

9. By the price which man doth put upon Christ. 9. Christ pri­zed. Iob [...].4. 2 Sam. 18. Life is valued at a high rate, above all the residue of mans temporall possessi­ons: The Devill could say, skin for skin, and all that a man hath will he give for his life. Christ to them, in whom he lives, is more deare then temporall life; he is the choisest of all their possessions; as the people esteemed David, so they esteeme Christ better then all their thousands, whether ho­nours, riches, liberty, life, or whatsoever else; he is to them in respect of all things else, as the Apple Tree among the Trees of the wood, as the Prince among the beggars, as the Sunne among the gloe-wormes, as the jewell among the drosse: Man that hath Christ living in him, so prizeth him, that he will sell all to enjoy him, as the Merchant did for the preci­ous pearle, he will leave all to keep communion with him, as the bride to keep her fellowship with the bridegroome; Christ is to his apprehension the fairest of ten thousand, the Para­dise wherein he is delighted, the crowne with which he is honoured, and the fountaine in whom his soule finds all satis­faction.

10. By mans care to keepe Christ. 10 Care to keep Christ. Man is very carefull to preserve his life, he contendeth much to maintaine this, he will part with any thing rather then with his life. In like manner, a man that hath Christ living in him is very carefull [Page 284] to keep Christ; he will endure any hardnesse rather th [...]n be deprived of Christ; he will lose his goods, his credit, his liberty, and his life rather then lose Christ; because Christ is the life of his life, Christ is the rocke on whom he builds, the root by whom he lives, the royall Roabe with which he is cloathed, the precious pearle in which lies all his riches, the Paradise wherein grow all his comforts, the friend in whom he chiefly delighteth, and the husband with whom his soule is joyned in everlasting wedlocke; and therefore his grea­test care is to keep Christ, he layes hold on Christ, as the wo­man of Shunem upon the Prophet, and will not be thrust away, as Joah on the Hornes of the Altar, and will rather dye then leave his holdfast on Christ; he resolves to be with Christ, as Ittai with David, whether in life or in death, what­soever be his estate: Nothing is sweet and deare to him as Christ is, and therefore strives by prayer, hearing, conference, meditation, holy and humble walking, and the use of all holy meanes to keep Christ, neither losse nor gaine, threatnings nor perswasions,Rom. 8.38. peace nor trouble, life nor death, can worke him to a desertion of Christ. And in these particulars as in so many lively characters may we discerne the living of Christ in us.


Care to see Christ living in us.AS Christ lives in all Gods children, so let all that professe Christ, and call God Father, see and dis­cerne Christ living in them. This is the crowne and comfort of a Christian to have Christ living in him, and without this he hath but the naked and empty name of a Christian, like an Idoll that hath the name of a [Page 285] man, and is no man, a name that he lives, and yet is dead: Feele Christ therefore living in your understan­ding, by prizing the knowledge of Christ above all lear­ning, by determining to know nothing in comparison of knowing Christ, and him crucified, by learning Christ as the truth is in him, being filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisedome and spirituall understanding: Feele Christ living in your will, in making your will free to chuse and embrace him and the things of God, to intend and will him and the glory of God above eve­ry thing, making his will the rule of your will, and fa­shioning and framing you to be a willing people, in and about his worke and service: Feele him living in your imaginations, by thinking upon him with more frequen­cy and delight, then of any other thing, by having more high, honourable, and sweeter apprehensions of Christ, then of all the creatures: Feele Christ living in your af­fections, by being rooted in Christ by a lively faith, as a Tree in the Earth; by fearing Christ above all earthly po­wers, as the Subject his Soveraigne above all Civill Ru­lers; by loving him, as the Bride the Bridegroome, a­bove all other persons; by rejoycing in him, as the rich man in his jewell above all the residue of his Substance: Feele him living in your members, by circumcising, and preparing your eares to heare with meeknesse and reve­rence, by returning to your tongues a pure language, that your speech may minister grace to the hearers, by restrai­ning your eyes from beholding vanitie, by disposing your hands to worke that which is good, and by making your feet swift to every good duty; as you discerne your soule living in your humane body, moving all the members to humane services; so discerne Christ living in your bodi­ly members, disposing, and framing them to religious du­ties: Feele Christ living in all your services, as the chiefe worker of them, and inabler of you to them, doing all in his name, by his assistance, and for his glory: Feele Christ living in the Prayer which you make, praying by the Spirit of Christ, in the name of Christ, and for the [Page 286] honour of Christ: Feele Christ living in the Word which you heare, making it an immortall seed to regenerate you, a sacred Fire to purge you, a heavenly Light to guide you, and a message of peace to comfort you: Feele Christ living in the Sacrament which you receive, ma­king it a Coelestiall Manna feeding you; a Seale of Righ­teousnesse, assuring you of your Justification; an obliga­tion binding you to new obedience, and a pledge of Gods unchangeable love towards you: All holy Ordi­nances, if Christ live not in them, shew not himselfe po­werfull by them, are but an empty shell without ker­nell, and a dry breast without milke, ministring no nou­rishment. All the Religious Duties wee performe, if Christ live not in them, are but a Sacrifice without Fire, a dead Carkasse, of no esteeme with God: Our affecti­ons, if Christ live not in us are a charet without wheeles, they sinke and fall unto the earth, they cannot encline nor move towards the Lord: All our best abilities, if Christ live not in them, are as standing Waters with­out a living Spring, they putrifie, and rot, and prove un­profitable: If Christ live not in us, our knowledge is ignorance, our wisedome foolishnesse, our faith presump­tion, our love dissimulation, and our obedience no bet­ter then rebellion: If Christ live not in us, our under­standings are blinded, and wee cannot savingly know God; our will is inthralled, and wee cannot intend God; our faith like Jeroboams arme is withered, and wee cannot lay hold upon the promise of God: The whole sufficiencie of a Christian is from Christs living in him. Christs living in man, makes him wise in dis­cerning the things of God, sincere in intending the glo­ry of God, powerfull in withstanding what doth op­pose him in the wayes of God, fruitfull in the worke of God, meeke and humble in submitting to the hand of God, faithfull in keeping the Covenant of God, joyfull in hearing the Word of God, fervent in in­vocation upon the Name of God, patient in waiting for the Comforts of the Lord, contented with the por­tion [Page 287] God giveth, constant in running the race which God hath set before him, and graciously per­swaded of living the life of Glory for ever in Heaven. *⁎*


OPENING The sinfull, perplexed, dishonoura­ble, and Soul destroying Condition of Man without CHRIST, tending to the driving and drawing of every man out of himselfe unto CHRIST.

By Alexander Grosse, B. D. Minister of the Gospell, and Pastor of Bridford near Exon in Devon-shire.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the Doctrine of Christ hath not God,

2. Epist. Ioh. ver. 9.

If ye beleeve not that I am he, ye shall dye in your sins,

Ioh. 8.24.

If any man abide not in me he is cast forth as a branch, and is wi­thered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

LONDON, Printed by G. M. for John Bartlet, at the Signe of the Gilt Cup near Saint Austins Gate. 1642.


EPHES 2.12.

At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

CHAP. I. Shewing mans alienation from CHRIST, misery without CHRIST, and opening the scope of the words.

ADam after his eating the forbidden fruit, was without the Garden of Eden, disabled to come to the tree of life; man feeding on the forbidden fruit of sinne, is a stranger to the Paradise of all spiri­tuall and heavenly comforts, wholy excluded from the true tree of life Christ Jesus. There is no sweet and gracious communion betweene the Lord Jesus, and carnall per­sons; [Page 292] The men of the old world were without the Arke, and perished in the deluge of waters; men who are in their old corrupt estate, who have not put off that old man which is cor­rupt according to divers lusts, are without Christ, and shall certainly perish in the deluge of their impieties, and the Lords vengeance; the fruition of Christ is mans happinesse, mans crowne and comfort; alienation from Christ is mans misery, mans shame and the soules great distraction and trou­ble: of all estates on Earth mans naturall and corrupt con­dition is most wretched and miserable, a condition of death without spirituall life, of darknesse without divine and hea­venly light, of bondage without Christian freedome, of uncleanenesse without sanctification, of emptinesse with­out all celestiall fulnesse, of alienation without all comforta­ble communion with Christ, without all interest in Christ and his benefits, without either claime or title to Gods Promise, to Heaven or eternall happinesse, an estate of ex­clusion from all holy and gracious society with Gods chil­dren, an estate of profanenesse without God, without the knowledge of God, without faith in God, without love to God, and without zeale for God; for at that time, in that estate and condition, We are without Christ, being a­liens from the Common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

Scope of the Apostle.The Apostle in these words declares and amplifies the miserable and wretched estate of man, the uncomfortable and dishonourable condition of the soule of man without Christ, without the knowledge of Christ, without faith in Christ, without incorporation into Christ, without par­ticipation of Christ and his benefits:Analysis. 5. fold aliena­tion. 1. From Christ. And this misery and wretchednesse of man, the Apostle doth open, set forth and amplifie, by a five-fold alienation. 1. An alienation from Christ; at that time yee were without Christ. Christ was not preached to you, Christ was not knowne of you, Christ was not imbraced, nor beleeved in by you; this is the first alienation and the ground of all the rest; Hee that is an alien to the Lord Iesus is a stranger to all things appertai­ning [Page 293] to life and happinesse; mans interest in Christ gives him interest in God and in all good things of God: there is no way for man to come to God and eternall happinesse, but only by and thorough Christ Jesus; the neglect of Christ is the lesse of all.

2. An alienation from the Common-wealth of Israel, from that forme of Religion and divine worship, which God had prescribed to the Israelitish people, they alone at that time having the oracles of God among them; Ʋery mise­rable and shamefull is carnall mans ignorance of Gods worship and service; the carnall mans adoration is after the rules of his owne invention, and not according to Gods pre­scription, being a stranger both to Gods Gospell and faith­full people.

3. An alienation from the covenants of promise; the pro­mise of the covenant of grace, the promise of remission of sinne by the merit of Christ, and of regeneration and renovation of heart by the efficacy of Christ, belonged not to them. Man remaining under the power of corruption re­maines a stranger to the promise of Salvation; the promise of Gods free and gracious wages, belongs onely to Gods holy and gracious labourers; he that regards not Gods com­mandement, hath nothing to doe with the Promise of Gods covenant,

4. An alienation from hope, the of hope eternall life, a hope arising from faith which they wanted. Carnall mens hopes of eternall happinesse are very rotten, false and groundlesse; no truths, but meere fancies and vaine imaginations: The estate of corruption is an estate of desperation.

5. Alienation from God, without God, Atheists in the esteeme of God. That man hath nothing of God in him who doth not imbrace Christ as the authour of his salvation. E­very man that lives under the power of profanenesse is a very stranger to God in his way and worke of grace and holi­nesse.

First of the first of these alienations,1. Alienation. 1. Tempus. an alienation from Christ, At that time yee were without Christ: Wherein we have. 1. The time or season of their alienation or estrange­ment [Page 294] from Christ; at that time, when you were in your Paga­nisme and profanenes, when you had not the Oracles of God among you, when you had not Christ preached to you, when you sate in darknesse and the shadow of death, without light, when you lay dead in sins, without the life of grace, when you walked after your owne lusts, and the vaine imaginations of your own hearts: then ye were without Christ: The time and season of mans being without the Gospell and under the power of his corruption is of all times and seasons the most unhappy and misera­ble; Note. it is not the time of mans trouble & affliction, but the time of mans being left under the power of Satan and his own lusts, which is mans most wretched and accursed time; it is farre better to be exercised with the greatest troubles, and filled with all sorts of sorrowes, then to be left under the power of profanenesse in a paradise of carnall pleasures; there is more wrath in being left under the dominion of one sinne, then in being put under the burthen of all afflictions.

2. Subjectum2. Here is the Subject or parties alienated, ye; the Gentiles be­fore the coming of Christ, and all men before their receiving of Christ by faith and love, all corrupt and carnal, unregenerate and unsanctified people, ye, without exception, of whatsoe­ver outward condition or calling.Note. All men abiding under the power of their corruption are without exception miserable; no outward prerogatives and priviledges can exempt raigning profanenesse from ensuing woes and curses

3 Terminus à quo.3. Here is the obiect and terme of their alienation, from whom they were alienated, not from worldly riches, earthly fullnesse, humane helps and fleshly comforts, they might have enough of these; but they were alienated from Christ, the Sun and the shield, the fountaine and the treasure; the paradise and the crowne of the soule of man: they were without Christ; they were without him ecclesiastically and ministerially, Christ was not preached to them, they had not the Oracles of God amongst them, they had not the Ministers of Christ to instruct them; they were without Christ spiritually and efficiently. Christ did not enlighten and sanctifie them: Christ did not communicate himselfe unto them, they had nothin of Christ within them, and thus are all corrupt and carnall men with­out Christ, Shewing us,

[Page 295] That all men in their naturall and corrupt condition are alto­gether strangers to Christ Jesus: Doct. Carnall men within the pale of the Church have Christ Ministerially preached to them in the outward ministery of his Word, sacramentally offered to them in the administration of the Sacraments, and ec­clesiastically frequenting the sacred Assemblies, and taking on them the name and profession of Christ Jesus; but they have not Christ internally, really and spiritually. He doth not dwell within them by faith, he doth not live in their soules by grace, he doth not fill them with his fullnesse; he doth not minister the saving gifts of his Spirit to them. In this respect they are altogether strangers to Christ Jesus: this is represented in the Parable of the foolish Virgins, they hadMat. 25. Lamps, but no oyle. Carnall men professe Christ, but they have not Christ, they take up the name of Christ, but they have not the oyle, the saving gift and grace of Christ. Many professe Christ who are neither enlightned nor san­ctified by Christ; this alienation of man from Christ,Alienation from Christ il­lustrated the Scripture doth illustrate by divers similitudes, by the simi­litude of a Tree Iude v. 12. twice dead and plucked up by the roots. Carnall man being originally and actually dead in sinne, and participating no more of Christ then a tree pluckt up by the roots doth partake of the Earth [...] by the similitude of a Io 15.6. withered branch. Unregenerate man receiving no more of Christ, then a withered branch receiveth joyce and nou­rishment from the tree; by the similitude of an Rom. 7.18. empty house, in an empty house there is no dweller, no imple­ment, in an ungracious soule there dwelleth no good thing, neither Christ nor any saving gift dwelleth there; by the similitude of an Iam. 4 4. Adulteresse; an adulteresse is estranged from her husband, her heart is gone after strange lovers. Corrupt and sinfull man is alienated from Christ, the hus­band of his soule, his heart is gone a whooring after the creature, and many strange lusts: by the similitude of a 1 Pet. 2.25. straying Sheepe, a straying Sheepe is gone from his Shep­heard, and from his pastures, wandering among strange flocks in the wildernesse; unholy man goes astray from the wombe, he hath forsaken Christ the Shepheard, and the [Page 296] ordinances of Christ the pasture of his soule, wanders in the wildernesse of the world and comes himselfe to the assemblies either of hereticall, erronious, superstitious or profane persons, and by the similitude of a Isa. 30.1. rebell; a re­bell is fallen from his lawfull Soveraigne, and either makes himselfe his owne King, or betakes himselfe unto some forraine Prince; profane man rebelleth against God and Christ, he magnifies and exalts himself, becomes his owne Lord and commander, and betakes himselfe to the Prince of darkenesse, the world and his owne vile affections, these he makes the Soveraignes to whom he vailes and bowes; very various and open, manifest and shamefull are corrupt mans alienations from Christ Jesus; and such are plainely said to be estranged from the Psa. 58.3. wombe, and to goe astray as soone as they be borne: They goe astray from God, like Rebels from their Soveraigne, like fugitive servants from their Lord and Master; they goe astray from Christ, like wandering sheepe from their Shepheard, and harlots from their husband; they goe astray from the way of God, like erring travellers and blinde men from their path: the whole way and walke of carnall persons is a sinfull aberration from God and Christ Jesus. Reigning profanenesse dissolves all communion betweene Christ and the soule of man, If a­ny man 1 Ioh. 1.6. walke in darknesse and say that hee hath fellowship with Christ, that man is a lyar and there is no truth in him, and the Apostle testifies of such, that they are a Eph. 2.13. farre off, farre from the life of Christ as the dead are farre from the life of nature; farre from the knowledge of Christ, as the blind is farre from the sight of the Sun; farre from spirituall union with Christ by faith, as a branch cut off is farre from naturall conjunction with the vine; farre from the love of Christ, as a harlot is farre from the love of her husband; farre from the fulnesse of Christ, as a dead mem­ber is farre from the fulnesse of the head; farre from the feare and obedience of Christ, as a disobedient servant is farre from the feare of his Master; and▪ far from the sweet and blessed presence of Christ, as exiled Absolom was farre from the presence of his Father Davids face: Very [Page 297] great and unhappy is the distance between Christ and all car­nall persons. Of such therefore the Apostle pronounceth, that they are aliens and enemies by their evill works; not onely aliens, but also enemies: The very whole of corrupt and car­nall persons is an opposition against God, and the Lord Jesus: The gate of their hearts is [...]hut against Christ, their whole way a very contradiction of Christ.

CHAP. II. Laying downe foure grounds of carnall Mans Ali­enation from Christ.

THe Alienation of corrupt and sinfull men from Christ is very apparant and manifest.4. Grounds or demonstratiōs of this Aliena­tion.

1. In regard of corrupt and carnall mans plenary and totall sub­iection under sinne: Gal 3. 2. 2. Subjection under sinne. The Scripture (saith Paul) hath conclu­ded all under sinne. All men, and all the services of men, in their unregenerate estate, are concluded, demonstrated, and determined by the Scripture to be under sinne, under the ple­nary possession of sinne, as a house is under the possession of the dweller: The whole house and all the roomes thereof are possessed and ordered by the dweller; the whole of a cor­rupt and carnall man, all the faculties of his soule, and all the members of his body are possessed and ordered by sinne; un­der the dominion of sinne, as a servant under the dominion of his Lord, and a dead man under the dominion of death, there­fore stiled the 2 Pet. 2.19. servants of corruption, and dead in sinnes and trespasses. Under the captivity of sinne, as a 2 Tim. 3.6. slave under the command of the Conquerour, as voluntary slaves borne un­der the bondage of corruption, ignorant of, and despising Christian freedome: Under the love of sinne,Ier. 5.31. as an Adulte­rer [Page 298] is under the love of the harlot. The young man in Salo­mon was under the power of the whorish woman,Prov. 7. she caused him to yeeld with her faire speech, and forced him with the flattering of her lips, and he went after her as an Oxe to the slaughter, and as a foole to the correction of the stocks: The corrupt and vicious man is under the power of his lusts, he yeeldeth to them, is led by them, followes after them, and fulfils the will of his flesh, as an Adulterer the will of the har­lot; and also under the guilt and condemnation of sinne, as a guilty, convicted, and condemned malefactor is under the sentence of the Law to dye; and carnall man being thus under sinne, he cannot be under Christ; fulnesse of subje­ction under sinne annihilates Christs gracious dominion in the soule of man: The more man applyes himselfe to his lust, the more he is estranged from Christ. He that is the friend and servant of sinne, is an enemy and opposer of Christ. The fulnesse of sinne leaves no roome for Christ in the heart of meere naturall and corrupt man.

2. Vncapable­nes of Christ.2. In regard of carnall mans uncapablenesse of Christ. The kingdome of Israel was uncapable of David untill Saul and his house was deposed: The soule of man is uncapable of Christ, untill sinne is deposed: There is no setting up of Christ and his Kingdome, as long as sinne doth beare domi­nion;Mundus neque duos soles, Asia neque duos Reges simul capere potest. Alexander told Darius that the world was uncapable of two Sunnes, and Asia could not endure two Kings: Christ will not divide his Kingdome with mans corruption, the soule is not at once capable of the Kingdome and dominion of Christ, and of sinne: If the one reigne the other must fall, there is no competition between Christ and an unregenerate heart: The Fort of Sion was uncapable of David, untill the blind and lame were removed: The heart of man is a Fort uncapable of Christ, untill the blindnesse of the understan­ding, and the lamenesse of the affections are removed, and taken away.Causes of this uncapablenesse Such is the blindnesse of carnall mans understan­ding, that he is uncapable of the knowledge of Christ, as the blinde eye is uncapable of the Sun. The light (saith the Evangelist) shineth in the darknesse, and the darkenesse Ioh. 1.5. com­prehendeth it not. The Egyptians darknesse was so thicke, that [Page 299] it comprehended not the light which shined thereupon. Such is the darkenesse of unregenerate mans understanding, that it comprehends not the Sun of Righteousnesse shining in the Gospell: 1 Cor 2 14. The naturall man receiveth not the things of the Spi­rit of God, for they are foolishnesse unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. The carnall mans heart is so Ezek. 33.31. wedded to the world, and his lusts, that as a woman joyned in wedlocke is uncapable of a se­cond husband, untill her former husband is dead: so is man uncapable of Christ, he cannot receive Christ, as the husband of his soule, untill his lusts are mortified and put to death: Such is the Iohn. 5 44. infidelity of corrupt man, that as Ieroboam could make no use of his withered hand, he could neither put it forth, nor pull it in, no more can carnall man make any use of faith, he cannot put it forth to the receiving and embracing of Christ; and because of unbeliefe, when Christ came among his owne, his owne received him not; and such is their Col. 2.13. death in sinne,Iohn 1.11. that as the dead are uncapable of the voice of the living, they heare it not, of the society of the living, they rejoyce not in it, and of all feasts and provision made for them by the living, they feed not upon it. Thus are they uncapable of Christ, they cannot heare him speake to them in the Gospell, they have no communion nor fellowship with him, they feed not upon him: He is a Rev. 2.17. hidden Manna of whom they taste not, and a sealed Well of whom they drinke not: There is no sutablenesse betweene their soules and Christ, all his Ordinances are unto them as an empty vessell, they savingly partake of nothing of Christ in them.

3.3 World hath full possession in carnall man In regard of that full possession which the world hath taken in corrupt and carnall man. The Inne where Christ was borne was so full, that there was no roome for Christ, but in a man­ger. The hearts of earthly men are so taken up with the world, so filled with the creature, that there is no roome for Christ; carnall persons give every worldly businesse preheminence above the Lord Jesus. The world affoords Christ a very disho­nourable entertainment; unholy men are in such subiection under the creature that they cannot serve Christ: He that serves the creature cannot have Christ for his Lord and Ma­ster, [Page 300] ye cannot Mat. 6.24. serve God and Mammon, saith our Saviour; the world hath so many Luk. 14, 15. imployments for them, that they have no leisure to come to Christ, their inclination to things earth­ly is so strong, that they cannot come at Christs invitation, they are so wedded to this that they cannot come to the wed­ding feast, which Christ makes for his friends, and Spouse in the Gospell; Or if they doe come, they bring no Mat 22.12. wedding garment with them, and therefore are unwelcome: The creature is so glorious in their eyes, that they see no glory nor beauty in Christ for which they should desire him: Or if they have some weake and low apprehensions of Christ, some slender inclinations after Christ, now and then stirred up within them; yet the price of enjoying Christ is so great, that rather then leave the world, they will Mat. 19 21. goe away sorrowfull. It is impossible that the soule of man can receive Christ untill it is emptied of the world; Christ never appeares glorious and precious, till the world appeares Phil. 3.8. base in our apprehensions. When the world becomes bitter to our palates, then our soules relish much sweetnesse in Christ Jesus.

4 Repugnance against Christ.4. In regard of the repugnancy of a carnall mans heart against Christ. There is no answerablenesse, no sutablenesse between Christ and an unsanctified heart, the unregenerate soule is full of antipathy and opposition against Christ: The house of Saul opposed the house of David, the house and fa­mily, all that is in a corrupt and carnall man, doth oppose Christ in his Ordinances, in his Offices, and in his operati­ons: As darkenesse opposeth light, sicknesse health, and death life: so doth corruption in sinfull man oppose Christ, The carnall minde or wisedome of the flesh, the counsell, dis­course, reason, purposes, desires, motions, and all the acti­ons of carnall wisedome, the very Principles and beginnings of them, in unregenerate man, with all the lusts and afecti­ons of the will, as anger, wrath, envy, covetousnesse, pride, emulation, &c. are all enmity against God, set in full and per­petuall opposition against God and Christ, the very whole of a carnall man, is an armed, and fighting enemy against God, it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be; lo­ving [Page 301] that which Christ hateth, hating that which Christ lo­veth, practising that which Christ forbiddeth, and eschewing that which Christ commandeth. The carnall man like an un­tamed Haifer, breakes Christs Psal. 2. yoake, and casts away his cords. The man in the countrey of the Gadarens possessed with an uncleane spirit, mentioned in the Gospell, was so fierce that no man could binde him: He Mar. 5. plucked asunder the chaines which were put upon him, and brake in pieces the fetters which tyed him, so that no man could tame him. Corrupt and carnall man is possessed with such a spirit of uncleannesse, and power of prophanenesse, that he breakes asunder all the chaines and fet­ters, all the Lawes and precepts which God hath given to binde him, his lusts are so rebellious and unruly that no man can tame him; the Iob 41. Leviathan laughs at the speare, and cares not for barbed irons; the horse mocketh at feare, and is not affrighted, neither turneth backe from the sword; the car­nall man laughs at the judgements denounced against him; he feares not the word of God, though sharper then a two-edged sword: No exhortation moves him, no invitation af­fects him, all instruction is but as the sounding of a trumpet to the deafe, and the setting of a candle before the eyes of the blinde: Nothing can worke him to subjection under Christs Scepter, till God makes him a new creature. Every unrege­nerate person is unchangeable in his opposition against Hea­ven. Very great is the distance between Christ Jesus and car­nall persons: There is not a greater Antipathy between fire and water, then between Christ, and prophane mans cor­rupt nature, and thus you see mans Alienation from Christ in his corrupt and sinfull estate.

CHAP. III. Setting open the dolefulnesse and danger of Mans estate without Christ.

Dolefulnesse and danger of carnall mans estate.MAns Alienation and estrangement from Christ, declares and layes open the misery and wretchednesse, the dan­ger and dolefulnesse of mans estate and condition by nature, a condition in which he is without Christ, and to be with­out the Lord Jesus is the misery of all miseries. It is not the man that is without the crowne of worldly dignities to ho­nour him, without the treasury of earthly abundance to en­rich him, without the sensuall and seeming paradise of car­nall pleasures to delight him, or without the presence and countenance of fleshly friends to solace him, but it is the man that is without Christ, who is of all men the most misera­ble. The estate of Israel without the Arke was very uncom­fortable, their 1 Sam. 4.22. glory was departed, the wife of Phineas tooke no comfort in the birth of a sonne, the ordinary joy of Mothers: The condition of man without Christ is very dolefull, his glory is departed from him, all that man hath, not having Christ with it, is but an Ichobod, there is no glory in it: For man that is without Christ, is,

1. Without Life. The woman of 2 King. 4. Shunems sonne was without life, untill the Prophet came, and spread himselfe upon him. Man is without the life of grace, alienated from the life of God, Col. 3. untill Christ comes and applyes himselfe to the soule of man: For Christ is our Life. Declaratively he reveales it, meritoriously he hath purchased it, originally and efficiently he communicates it, as the head communicates life unto the members. Christ Jesus is the dispencer of the life of grace and glory to all Gods faithfull servants; and 1 Iohn 5.12. he that hath not the Sonne hath not life, saith Saint John: He that hath not the Sonne by cleare and saving knowledge, as the eye hath the Sun in the Firmament, enlightening and guiding by true [Page 303] and lively Faith, as the living branch hath the Vine by incor­poration into it, by receiving juice and nourishment from it, by fervent and unfained Love, as the wife hath the husband by wedlocke with him, by matrimoniall affection to him, and by holy and humble subiection, as the Subject hath the King, by vailing and bowing to him: He who thus hath not the Sonne, he hath not life, his soule is not spiritually quick­ned, Christ not living in him, spirituall death beares domi­nion over him. He is Eph. 2 1. dead (saith S. Paul) in sins and trespasses: A Tree twice dead and plucked up by the roots, according to Saint Jude. Every man is a sinfull dead man that hath not Christ graciously enlivening him, and this is a great misery,Unhappinesses of this estate. a condition of manifold discomforts, an estate of great un­happinesse; the dead according to the flesh, sees nothing of all that sweet and glorious light which the Sun casteth forth upon him; the dead in sinne hath no comfortable apprehension of Christ shining in the Gospell more gloriously then the Sunne;2 Cor 4.3. Christ in the Gospell is altogether hidden from them that have not Christ living in them:E [...]el. 9.5. The dead (saith Salomon) know not any thing: The dead in sinne know not any thing of the wisedome of Christ guiding them, of the death of Christ mortifying their lusts, of the resurrection of Christ quickning their soules, of the dominion of Christ reigning in their hearts, of the holinesse of Christ sanctifying their affe­ctions, nor of the fulnesse of Christ satisfying their desires. Prophane persons are altogether empty of the knowledge of Christ Jesus: In death (saith the Psalmist) there is no remem­brance of thee, in the grave who shall give thee thanks: Un­der the death and in the grave of sinne,Psal. 6.5. there is no remembrance of Christ, he is not in all their thoughts, they thinke not upon him, as the traveller upon the guide leading them, as the rich man upon the treasure enriching them, as the Bride upon the Bridegroome marrying them. Christ with carnall persons, like David among his carnall acquaintance, is Psal. 31.12. for­gotten as a dead man out of minde, and like a broken vessell. Can a maid, saith the Lord, forget her Ornaments, or a Bride her attire, yet my people have Ier. 2.32. forgotten me dayes without num­ber. Christ the ornament and attire of the soule of man is [Page 304] forgotten by carnall people, as dead men are unmindfull of their apparell. 3. The dead are unsensible of all diseases, they have no feeling of any burthens; Man alienated from Christ and the life of God is past Eph. 4.10. feeling, he feeles not his sinne, as a heavy burden oppressing him; he feeles not Satan, as an ene­my buffeting him, as a Tyrant molesting and captivating him; his conscience, as a witnesse accusing, and a Judge con­demning him, it is 1 Tim. 4.2. seared with a hot iron. Mans unsensible­nesse of his owne wretchednesse argues his unhappy and great estrangement from Christ Jesus. 4. The body separated from the soule is an unprofitable lump, a loathsome carkasse; the soule separated from Christ is an unfruitfull branch separated from the Vine, an unprofitable member rent from the body, a loathsome object in Gods sight, uncleane, Psal. 141.1, 3. corrupt, abomi­nable, and doing no good, as the Psalmist speakes. The whole man separate from Christ Jesus, is a vessell full of all unclean­nesse; his best service like the savour of a dead man is unsa­voury in Gods nostrils. 5. The dead is uncapable of the food set before him, his body fals to the ground, cleaves unto the earth, and resolveth into dust. Man that hath not Christ li­ving in him, is uncapable of the meanes of grace, his soules food,Gen. 41. he thrives not by the ministery of the word, his soule is leane and ill-favoured still; like Pharaohs leane Kine after their eating of the fat; the Quailes choaked the Israelites, they proved not a nourishing, but a destroying food unto them. The word proves the savour of death unto 2 Cor 2.14. death, to him that is separated from the Lord of Life. All that are with­out Christ are fallen from God unto the world, they minde onely Phil. 3.19. earthly things, they resolve into the very dust, they are buried under the world, as a dead man under the earth. The World hath the full possession of them, the sole Lordship over them, nothing but the World suites with them, nothing but the earth is savoury to them. 6. The body without the soule moves not, walks not: Man without Christ hath no motion, no inclination unto God,Iohn 11. makes no progresse in the way to life. Lazarus moved not, walked not untill Christ raised him: Man moves not in the way towards God and Heaven untill Christ gives him [Page 305] part in the first Resurrection: Man in the state of corruption, like Israel in the Prophet is bent unto Hos. 7.11. backesliding; Mans continuance in sinne increaseth his estrangement from God. The longer man lives in the state of corruption, the farther he removes from Heaven, the greater is the distance between him and salvation. Lastly, in a word, a dead man is offensive to the house where he is, hath no communion with the li­ving, hath lost all his dignity and priviledges which he en­joyed in his life time, can doe nothing for his owne defence, but is exposed to the foot to tread upon him, to the fowles of the aire to devoure him. Thus the carnall man that is without Christ, is an offence to them that live the life of grace, hath no spirituall communion with Gods children, is estranged from all the Prerogatives and dignities belonging to the living members of Christ, unable to doe any thing in defence of himselfe against the adversaries of his soule, being exposed and laid open as a very prey to Satan: And thus mans Ali­enation from the life of grace and holinesse shewes his great misery in being estranged from Christ Jesus.

2. Man that is without Christ, is without Light. He that is without the Sunne is in darknesse: He that is without the Sun of Righteousnesse is in darknesse and the shadow of death: There is no oyle of saving knowledge, no Starre of spiritu­all Light shining in the house and region of his soule:Iohn 16 3. Of such our Saviour saith, they have not knowne the Father nor me: They have not knowne the Father as a spirituall Parent regenerating them, as a heavenly King reigning and ruling within them, as a gracious dweller, possessing, furnishing, and adorning their soules with his gifts and graces, as a dwel­ler possesseth and furnisheth his house: They have not known the Father in his Word, adoring him according to his prescrip­tion; in his Sacrament, as the Master of a feast in his banque­ting house, feasting and feeding them; in his precepts as a Lord and Master fearing him nor in his promises as a sure and faithfull friend resting and relying upon him; Neither have they knowne me; they have not knowne me in my natures as God and Man in one Person; in my Offices, as their Prophet instructing them; as their Priest, offering my selfe a sacrifice [Page 306] for them; as their King, bearing spirituall dominion with­in them; as their Mediator, bringing them night to God, making reconciliation between them and God; they have not knowne me in my sufferings, being crucified together with me; in my exaltations being planted with the likenes of my Resurrection; in my communications, being filled with my fulnesse, solaced with my comforts, and revived and chee­red up with my blessed presence; very miserable is the car­nall mans ignorance of God and Christ Jesus. Therefore sti­led Eph. 5.8. darkenesse, not darke, but darkenesse: it selfe. Ye were once darkenesse, universally darke, wholly darke, having no mix­ture, or glimpse of spirituall light. Very sad and sorrowfull is that soules darkenesse which is estranged from the Sunne of Righteousnesse.

3. Man that is without Christ is without grace; without ho­linesse. Naaman without Jordan was overspread with a loth­some leprosie;2 Kin 5. there is a very filthy leprosie of uncleannesse upon them that partake not of Christ: For Christ, as the Apostle saith, is our 1 Cor. 1.30. Sanctification effectively, as the worker of it, originally as the head and spring from whence it is de­rived, without whom our soules are as empty of grace as the cisterne of water without the fountaine; as full of errour, superstition, pride and prophanenesse as Baals house of Ido­laters, as full of earthly mindednesse, and covetous practises, as the sluggards field of thornes and bryars, as full of hypo­crisie, deceitfulnesse, and unrighteousnesse, as the Pharisees Sepulchers of dead mens bones, or the Temple of money-changers before Christ whipt them out. Our soules are in­deed a very sinke of uncleannesse untill Christ doth possesse us.

4. Man that is without Christ is without Liberty: Peter without the Angell continued in Herods prison, without the Lord Jesus man remaines the prisoner of Satan, the world, and his owne corrupt affections Every unregenerate man is a miserable bond-man, led away captive at the will of Satan, un­able to make any resistance against him, a voluntary slave re­fusing liberty tendred to him, loving darkenesse more then light, and Satans prison better then Christs Palace; having [Page 307] no liberty in his understanding to discerne the things of God, in his imagination to meditate and thinke upon them, in his will to chuse them, or in his affections to love, prize and delight himselfe in them: The Liberty of the soule estranged from Christ Jesus is nothing else but bondage. He that is most free to sinne is the greatest slave to Satan; where Christ is not, there is no Life quickning, there is no Sunne enlightening, there is no Conquerour dissolving the holds of Satan, there is no dew suppling and softening the hard and fallow ground of mans heart. There is no fire warming the cold and frozen affections, and therefore no liberty from corruption, no inclination to the wayes and works of sancti­fication. It is only Christ Jesus that ministers to the soules of Gods servants freedome from uncleannesse, and liberty to true holinesse.

5. Man that is without Christ is without acceptation with God. Christ is Gods beloved, in whom man is accepted; Man that is out of Christ, beares not Gods Image, is not Gods gracious workmanship, is estranged from Gods Covenant, hath no love of God within him; is the slave of Satan, the servant of the world, and a very sinke of corruption. He is no Tree of Righ­teousnesse of Gods planting, no childe of Gods begetting, no loyall Subject of Gods Kingdome, no vessell of Gods gracious filling, no partaker of Christs Righteousnesse to cloath and cover him; he brings forth no fruit to God, but all to him­selfe, to the flesh, and to the world, and therefore can have no aceptation with God. Joseph his brethren might not looke him in the face, unlesse they brought their brother Ben­jamin with them; Man cannot looke God in the face with my confidence, or acceptance, unlesse he bring Christ with him in the armes of his faith; Mans person and service finds acceptance with God only in and through Christ Jesus; with­out Christ man is stubble, and God a consuming fire to destroy him; Man is a guilty malefactor, and God a severe Judge to condemne him; the whole of man without Christ Jesus is a very abomination in Gods presence.

6. Man that is without Christ is without Contentation. In Christ the soule meets with all satisfaction and fulnesse. He is a [Page 308] Sun in whom the beleeving soule beholds all fulnesse of light, a precious Iewell in whom he finds all fulnesse of worth, a rocke in whom he feeles all fulnesse of strength, a fountaine from whom he drawes all fulnesse of satisfaction, and a Paradise in whom he enjoyes all fulnesse of pleasures; but without Christ the soule finds vanity and emptinesse in the greatest abundance; the wife findeth an emptinesse in a rich and full house, the husband being absent, Christ wanting, the soule meets with vanity in the largest possession. Christ is the mar­row and the f [...]tnesse, the fulnesse and the sweetnesse of all our endowments, separate Christ from them, and they are bit­ter, and doe not please us; weake and doe not sustaine us; empty and doe not fill us; dumbe and doe not comfort us. It is not the abundance of any thing, but Christ comming with it, that gives contentation whether the thing be much or little. Without Christ the desire is enlarged as hell, and never satisfied; the Lord Jesus is the choise and onely fulnesse of all Christians.

7. Man without Christ is without all spirituall splendor and beauty. The Sunne is the glory of the world; the eye is the glory of the head; the soule of the body; the jewell is the glory of the Ring; the Flowers, Herbs, Trees and Fruit, are the glory of the Garden and the Field; the Arke was the glory of Israel, and Christ is the glory of the Christian; stiled the Luk 2.32. light of the Gentiles, and the glory of Israel, being both the Author and the matter of their glory. Their glory in respect of instruction, as the teacher is the glory of the Schoole; in respect of vivification, as the soule is the glory of the body; in respect of Redemption, as the ransomer is the glory of the captive; in respect of Conquest, as David was the glory of Is­rael, overcomming the great Goliah; in respect of Justification, as the garment is the glory of him that weares it; in respect of Sanctification, as Jordan was the glory of Naaman, clean­sing him from his leprosie; in respect of repletion, as the foun­taine is the glory of the cisterne; and in respect of wise and powerfull gubernation, gracious and plentifull ministration, as the King is the glory of the Kingdome, the shepheard of the flocke; and as Joseph was the glory of the Land of Egypt, mi­nistring [Page 309] provision to it: He that partakes most of Christ Je­sus, is the most beautifull and glorious of all others; but man without Christ is without all spirituall beauty, in regard of ignorance, as a darke house without light, even Eph. 5.8. darkenesse it selfe; in regard of nakednesse, as a man without a garment, Rev. 3.17. naked, miserable and wretched, having no other cloathing then a menstrous clout to cover him, led by Satan like Egypt by the Assyrians, naked, Isa. 20.4. barefoot, his buttockes, yea the whole man uncovered; in regard of spirituall contagion and foul-sicknes, his soule like the body of Lazarus full of sores,Luk. 16. or like the body of Job full of sore boiles, from the sole of his foot unto his crowne; loathsome and incurable are the soules-maladies which hath not Christ as a Physitian to heale him; in regard of the plenitude and fulnesse of all sinne, like the sluggards field (inProv. 24. [...]0. Salomon) full of nettles, thornes and bryars, wanting Christ the great husband man to manure and dresse him, and in regard of the residence of Satan in him, as a cage of uncleane birds; in regard of the presence and inhabitation of loathsome lusts, as a sepulchre full of dead mens bones; in regard of the dominion of corruption, as a dead man under the power of death, in whom is no beauty left; and in regard of the sordidnesse and basenesse of his practise, way and order of his life, as a Sow wallowing in the mire; fowle and shamefull, horrid and loathsome is mans uncomelinesse without Christ: The grea­test sinner is the fowlest monster; bodily beauty without Christ is but greene grasse upon a rotten grave, or a faire garment upon a leprous backe. Did man see his uncomelinesse and deformity without Christ, he would stile himselfe as the Pro­phet stiled Pashur, Ier. 20.4. Magor-missabib, feare round about, every way a terrour to himselfe.

8. Man without Christ is without honour. He is no Sonne of God, but one of Satans spurious brood; no Free man, but a slave to Satan and his owne corruption; no Spouse of Christ, but a spirituall harlot committing fornication with the world; no Conquerour, but a captive led away by divers lusts; no friend nor favourite of God, but an alien and enemy in Gods account, likened to the dung and the drosse, the chaffe and stub­ble; for their emptinesse, basenesse, and vilenesse in the sight [Page 310] of God, being base in their corrupt originall; In their carnall disposition, base in their Ier. 4.22. understandings, wise onely to doe evill; base in their wils, chusing the evill and refusing the good; base in their Phil. 3.21. imaginations, minding onely low things; base in their feare, trust, love, ioy, fearing where no feare is, fearing man that shall Isa. 51.12. dye, and the sonne of man which shall be made as grasse, trusting in an arme of flesh, leaning upon a withered reed, loving and setting his eyes on that which is not, and rejoycing in a thing of nought, and base in all their intendments; the satisfying of the lusts of the flesh are the highest marke, to which they levell the arrowes of all their endeavours. The whole way and practise of man without Christ Jesus, savours of nothing but basenesse: He that hath not Christ to innoble him is most ignoble in his inward dispo­sition, in his outward condition, in all his undertaking: We may say of them, as Job did of some of his time: They are Iob 30.8. children of fooles, yea children of base men, they are viler then earth. He that is the greatest stranger to Christ Iesus, is the most base of all creatures.

9. Man without Christ is without peace. Christ is the Prince of Isa 9.6. peace, his Subjects are the onely Subjects of peace. God is in none, but in Christ, 2 Cor 5 19. reconciling the world unto himselfe. Josephs brethren found favour with Pharaoh onely through Joseph; Christ alone is the Authour of reconciliation between God and man, peace is Act. 10.36. preached onely by Christ Jesus. God Ministers are the instruments of peace onely to such per­sons as embrace the Lord Iesus, and Christ (saith the Apostle) is our Eph. 2.14. peace, the revealer, the procurer, and the worker of peace in al [...] the children of peace. Man that is without Christ is an enemy to the God of peace, a stranger to the Covenant of peace, uncapable of the word of peace, an alien to the way of peace, and full of sinne, the maine impediment of peace, to him therefore that wants Christ there is no peace. No true, no spirituall, no heavenly peace, no joy and peace in the Holy-Ghost; Sinne is mans trouble, but Christ is mans peace; He that is full of sinne and empty of Christ, hath nothing to doe with peace. Joram once asking, is it peace, Jehu? was answe­red, 2 Kin. 9 22. What hast thou to doe with peace so long as the whoredomes [Page 311] of thy mother Iezabel, and her witchcrafts are so many. Carnall man asking, Is it peace, O Messenger of God? can looke for no other but Jehu's answer, what hast thou to do O carnall man with peace, so long as thy lusts are so strong within thee, thy fornications with the creature so many, and thy estrangement from, and rebellions against the Prince of peace so great: His thoughts of peace are all vile and base delusions, who continues empty of Christ, the sole dispencer of peace to all beleeving soules.

Lastly, and in a few words, Man without Christ is without protection. He hath no shield to defend him in the day when Satan makes warre upon him: He hath no helper to rescue him when the prince of darkenesse, the world, and his owne lusts besiege him. He is without supportation, and must sinke like the house built upon the sand, in the houre, when the winds and waves of affliction doe beate upon him. He is with­out remission, the Law stands like the hand writing in Belshaz­zars wall against him, and fils him with dismall feare and trem­bling, his sinnes are upon him, and he must dye in them. He is without blessing, all becomes a curse unto him, all without Christ is bitter, like the waters of Marah without the Tree. He is without salvation, there is no other name given under hea­ven whereby he may be saved. He that is without Christ is a childe without nurse, his soule doth starve; a City without a Watchman, the enemy makes a prey of him; a Ship without a Pilot, his soule splits upon the rockes of desperation, when the stormy tempest of an accusing conscience begins to tosse and shake him: He is a sicke man without a Physitian, he dyes in the disease that is upon him: He is a withered branch without root, prepared fewell for everlasting burning: Surely mans base­nesse, wretchednesse, woes and miseries continuing a stranger to Christ Jesus, doe even surpasse the expression of the tongues of men and Angels. O how are they beyond measure stupid, blockish and sencelesse, who please and blesse themselves in their impieties, in an estate of estrangement from Christ Iesus! O how should the meditation of mans misery without Christ set his soule on worke to get interest in Christ.

CHAP. IV. Declaring mans great cause of humiliation for being without Christ, and also discovering the cause of mans under­valuing Christ.

Cause and matter of hu­miliation.THe meditation of mans alienation from Christ in his na­turall estate, ministers matter of Humiliation unto man, man in his naturall condition having nothing of Christ within him; and this is the misery of all miseries to be empty of Christ Jesus, neither doth the want of any thing minister such cause and matter of humiliation, as the want of Christ. Hagar wept because her bottle was empty of waters, Hannah was in great bitternesse, because her wombe was barren, shut up from child-bearing. The women in the day of Famine cryed helpe ô King: Micah ran too and fro, like a man besides himselfe, when his Idoll, his ima­ginary God was taken and carried from him; what is the want of children, of bread and water, to the want of Christ? or the losse of an Idoll, an imaginary God, to the losse of the true God? The want of all things is as nothing in comparison of the want of Christ: man that hath Christ hath great matter of rejoycing in the want of every o­ther thing; man that wants Christ hath great cause of humiliation, in the presence of all worldly fullnesse: And every man in his naturall estate, is as empty of Christ as the foolish Virgins lampes were of Oyle, or the tree which Christ cursed was of fruit, even wholly and alto­gether without Christ. Without the life of Christ, Christ liveth not in them any more then the root doth live in a dead and withered branch:How carnall man is with­out Christ. Without the knowledge of Christ, the mystery of Christ is a sealed Isa. 29.11. Booke, which they cannot open, or a booke written in a strange language [Page 313] which they cannot reade, the treasures of wisdome hid­den in Christ are hidden from their understanding; as the light of the Sunne is hidden from the eyes of the blind; without the fruit of Christs death, it doth not mortifie their lusts, their old Rom. 6. man is not crucified with Christ; their lusts are not dead with Christ, as the Philistines dyed with Samp­son: Without the benefit of Christs resurrection, they are not planted into the likenesse of Christs resurrection; they rise not from sinne and from the world, as Christ rose from the grave; Sampson rose at Jud. 16.1, 2. midnight and carried a­way the gates of Gaza, but the Gazites were quiet all night, they rose not: Christ is risen and hath made an open way for us to passe from death to life, but carnall men con­tinue their sleepe and slumber in sin, they rise not to new­nesse of life and conversation; they are without the fruit and benefit of Christs offices, Christ is not to them a Pro­phet revealing Gods will, and enlightning their under­standings; a Priest expiating their sinnes, and reconciling them to God; a King subduing Satan and their corrupti­ons, and reigning graciously within them, and making them truly subject and obedient unto God: They are with­out the apprehension of Christs beauties, and taste of Christs sweetnesse. Christ is to them like the Manna to Israel, a light Num. 11.5. bread; they see no Isa. 53.2. beauty nor comlinesse in Christ, he is no more to them then Cant. 5.9. another Beloved: then gold and silver, the covetous mans beloved: then honours and high places, the ambitious mans beloved: then idols and humane rites and ceremonies, the superstitious mans be­loved: they are without the righteousnesse of Christ, he doth not justifie them, he doth not cloath them with the gar­ments of salvation: Without the presence of Christ, as an empty house without the dweller; Christ dwelleth not in their hearts by faith: Without the love of Christ, as a Harlot without the love of her husband; without the dispensation of Christ, he doth not communicate himselfe, and his saving gifts unto them, any more then the head communicates it selfe to the members which are dead; Christ suspends his gracious influence from their soules: [Page 314] There is not the least character or cognizance of Christ upon them: they are without the power of Christ streng­thening them, without the holinesse of Christ sanctifying them, without the fullnesse of Christ satisfying them, and without the goodnesse of Christ sweetning their troubles, and turning all for the best unto them: and man thus be­ing without Christ is matter and occasion of great abase­ment and humiliation to the soule of man: man that is without Christ hath nothing whereof he may truly glo­ry. The want of all things is nothing to the want of Christ: If Moses want a guide in the wildernesse Ho­bah may be instead of eyes to him; if Noah have not where to rest his foot upon the Earth, the Arke may beare him up in the waters: If Hagar have no water in her bottle, her eyes may be opened to see a well: If there be no corne in the Land of Canaan, Aegypt may supply them: If the Gibeonites be besieged, Joshua may rescue them: If Peter be in prison the Angell may free him: If the woman of Shunems sonne be dead, the Prophet may raise him. There is a supply in Christ Jesus for all mans ne­cessities, a helpe for all mans distresses, a comfort for all mans sorrowes; but if man want Christ there is none to quicken and restore him to the first resurrection, there is none to free him from the bondage of Satan, there is none to guide him in the way to Heaven, there is none to reple­nish him with grace and sanctification, there is none to rescue him from the spirituall enemies which doe besiege him. In the absence of the Lord Jesus there is no re­dresse for soul-distresses, no helpe against soul-discomforts; the having of all things is as nothing if man have not Christ with them; what if thou hast the stature and ar­mour of Goliah? yet without Christ, thou wilt fall in the battell: what if thou hast the favour and honour of Ha­man? yet without Christ, all this will availe thee nothing, and at length shame will be thy portion: what if thou hast the riches of him in the Parable? yet not having Christ, thou wilt eat the bread of sorrowes, be in straights in the midst of thy sufficiency, and at last the evill spirits [Page 315] will take thy soule from thee: What if thou hast the wis­dome of Achitophell? yet not having Christ, thy wisdome will be turned into foolishnesse, and thou mayest faile of wisdome in thy head to restraine thy hands from being thine owne executioners: What if thou hast all the Or­dinances of God to feed thee, all the Ministers of God to instruct thee, all naturall and morall indowments and com­mon illuminations to adorne thee, and all Ecclesiasticall pri­viledges to honour thee, and yet hast not Christ, all these like Pharaohs Chariots without wheeles, will suffer thee to sinke and perish in the red Sea of Gods vengeance; the pre­sence of all worldly abilities is very frivolous in Christs absence, and man should never so abase and humble him­selfe for the want of any thing, as for the want of Christ and his communication of himselfe unto him; all that can be said to demonstrate mans being miserable, or to move man to humiliation, is briefly comprehended in this, that he is without Christ.

3. Mans alienation from Christ in his naturall and cor­rupt estate doth discover and lay open the cause,3. Cause of un­dervaluing Christ. why Christ is of no more esteeme with the men of the world, no more precious in the eyes of carnall men; here is the ground of it, they are without Christ, they are strangers to Christ, and Christ is a stranger unto them. For this cause. 1. They have no cleare and comfortable knowledge, no true and gracious discerning of Christ, Christ is hid­den from them, as light from the blinde. He was in the world (saith the Evangelist) and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He was in the world by his great and mighty workes of Creation and Providence, as a maker and a ruler; by his universall presence, as a dwel­ler; by his generall and common influence, as a root in the branches, ministring preservation to all creatures, and by his Ordinances and Prophets, as a teacher in his Schoole; yea, he came among his owne, among the Iewes, by in­carnation, in the visible [...]orme of a man, but the world neither knew him, nor his own received him; they know not the necessity of Christ, the men of the old world knew [Page 316] not the necessity of the Arke, untill it was too late, and therefore they entred not into it: The Elders of Gilead at first knew not their necessity of Iep [...]ta, and therefore ex­pelled him out of his Fathers House: Mens ignorance of the necessity of Christ makes them regardlesse of getting interest in Christ, and causeth them profanely to reject Christ; they know not the worth and excellency of Christ; and therefore they set the empty things of the world a­bove Christ; as the Philistines set Dagon above the Arke; and Esau preferred a messe of pottage above his birth-right; they know not the holy and gracious dispensations of Christ; and therefore they preferre the ministrations of the Earth, above the ministrations of Christ, as the men of Shechem pref [...]rred the bramble above the Vine: They know not the Al­sufficiency and fullnesse of Christ, and therefore they exalt the creature, a vaine and empty thing above Christ, as Is­rael in the Prophet preferred the Jer. 2.13. broken cisterne above the living fountaine: They know not the sweetnesse and plea­santnesse of the face and love of Christ; and therfore they prize the love and favour of the world above the love of Christ; as Harlots sometimes doe the love of base and de­formed strangers, above the love of their owne honourable and comely Husbands: Christ is never precious in the eyes of such persons as are under the power of spirituall blind­nesse.

2. Men being without Christ, doe not taste the sweetnesse and goodnesse of Christ; 2. No taste of Christ. he doth not relish well with their palates: He is not sweet and savoury to their soules; they have not tasted how 1 Pet. 2.3. good Christ is; there is a goodnesse of illumination, of regeneration, sanctification, spirituall free­dome, consolation, contentation and pacification flowing from Christ to the soules of men, which to carnall men is a sealed well, whose waters their palates never tasted: an ecclipsed Starre with whose light their eye was never af­fected, they taste not the sweetnesse of Christ, in the illu­mination of their understandings, as the eye tastes the Eccles. 11.7. sweet­nesse of the light: Christ is not sweet to them in his or­dinances; as the Master of the Feast to the guest in his [Page 317] dainties, these are not to them a Isa. 25.6. feast of marrow, of fat things, and of wine well refined upon the lees, for the de­light and refreshment, comfort and contentment, which they minister: Christ is not sweet to them in his Mi­nisters, as a mercifull King in his Embassadours, bringing tidings of peace to the people; Christ is not sweet to them in his gracious distillations, as the cloud in the raine is sweet unto the dry earth: They cannot say of Christ as the Spouse did, As Cant. 2.3. the Apple-tree among the Trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sonnes, I sate downe under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my tast. Nothing savours well with their palates, but things car­nall and worldly, to them the bread of deceit, and stolne waters are sweet; but they savour not the things of God. Barzillai excused himselfe from going to Davids house, from eating of Davids meat, because he could not tast what he did eat or what he did drinke, nor could heare any more the voyce of singing men or of singing women. Carnall men decline the House of God, and the Feast which Christ there maketh, because they cannot tast the things of God, nor heare the spirituall melody which Christ there makes to the soules of his servants: Mens not tasting of Christ in his ordinances and in his graces, makes him of no esteem with their soules.

3. Men being without Christ have no love to Christ,3. No love to Christ. he is not the Cant. 5.10. 1 Cor. 16. fairest of ten thousand in their eyes; they love not the Lord Jesus, as the Bridegroome to whom their soules are married, as the choisest pearle by whom they are enriched, as the son of consolation, with whose beames their soules are comforted, as the fountain by whom their hearts are refreshed, and their desires every way satisfied: Their love to Christ is not like the love of Jonathan to Da­vid, a love wonderfull, and 2 Sam. 1.26. passing the love of women; there is no sutablenesse betweene Christ and their soules, as between the hearts of lovers; they meditate not up­on Christ, as lovers upon their love; they delight not themselves in Christ as the rich-man in the treasure, and the bride in the bridegroome which they love, their hearts and [Page 318] their thoughts are upon the world and not upon Christ, they 1 Joh. 2.15. love the world, and the love of Christ is not in them, and where love to Christ is wanting, Christ is of no estimation; he will put himselfe upon no service, nor undergoe no diffi­culties for Christ,Amor Dei si est operatur mag­na, siopera [...] renuit amos non est, Greg. who is destitute of love to Christ. Mans prizing of Christ is ever sutable to the love of man towards Christ, hee that hath great love to Christ will doe great things for Christ, he that hath no love to him will give every base thing preheminence above him.

4. No pleasure in Christ.4. Men being without Christ take no pleasure in Christ, they doe not delight themselves in Christ; diseased eyes have no pleasure in the Sun; distempered palates have no pleasure in the choysest wine, Christ is a trouble to men that are cor­rupt and carnall, as the Starre was to Mat. 2.2. Herod and the men of Hierusalem. Christ is a very great crosse and trouble to their corruptions, he fals heavy upon them, they cannot stand before him, no more then Dagon before the Arke; and therfore Christ is a great offence to them, as the Ark 1 Sam. 5 4. to the Philistines; Christ is not to them a plaine and pleasant way; they cannot according to the Apostles phrase Col. 2.6. walke in Christ; by believing Christs Promises, by obeying Christs Precepts, by conforming themselves to Christs Example, with fulnesse and chearfulnesse, as a Travellor walks fully and joyfully in a plain and pleasant path: they cannot walk in the light of Christ, as a man walks joyfully in the light of the Sun; in the strength of Christ, as the Rider moves speedily in the strength of the Horse which carries him, as the Ship rows in the strength of the wind which drives him, and the Prophet walked to Mount Horeb in the strength of the Barly cake which fed him; they can­not walk in the love of Christ, as Jacob walked thorough his service, in the love of Rachel; Christ and his way and worke, is not thus pleasant to them, they can no more walk in Christ, then David could in 1 Sam. 17. Sauls armour, they doe no sooner try it, but they are presently weary of it. We cannot say of them and Christ as David did of Saul and Jonathan, They were 2 Sam. 1. lovely and pleasant in their lives and in their death they were not divided, they were swifter [Page 319] then the Eagles, they were stronger then Lyons. No they take no pleasure in Christ in their lives, and they are divided from Christ in their deaths; the way of Christ is to them a way of thornes, they move slowly in Christs service, like Pharaohs Chariots without wheels, the waters of Gods wrath overwhelming them at the last, Christ is to them a rocke of 1 Pet. 2.8. offence, and a stone of stumbling: to beleevers he is an elect and precious stone for his great worth in hims [...]lfe, the price they put upon him, the enrichment they receive from him, a living stone quickning them, a stone of strength supporting them; but to other men thorough their infidelity, pride and profane refusall, he is a stone of offence; they have no delight in his Ier. 6.10. Doctrine; they are Mat. 13.57. offended in him, they guash their teeth at him; they thinke dishonou­rably of him in his offices, in his ordinances, in his Mini­sters, and in his attendants: Under the Law if a man Deut. 21.14. de­lighted not in his wife, he gave her a bill of divorce: The man under the Gospell, that takes no delight in Christ, di­vorceth himselfe from Christ, observes not his Covenant, with-draws himselfe from Christ, puts no more price upon him, hath no better esteeme of him then a hard hearted Israe­lite of his divorced wife. Man doth ever evidence his high esteeme of Christ by his pleasure, delight and joy in Christ. He that doth not rejoyce in him puts a very unworthy price upon him.

5. Men being without Christ have no longing after Christ,5. No longing after Christ. it is the having of Christ in measure and in truth that breeds fervent and unfained longings after Christ; no man more de­sires Christ then he that enjoyes most of Christ: No man so contents himselfe without Christ, as he that never savingly enjoyed any thing of Christ; he that never knew what li­berty was is well pleased with a servile estate; he that never saw the Sun pleases himselfe in darknesse; man that never discerned the beauty and brightnesse of the Son of Righteous­nesse, that never knew the liberty and comforts which Christ ministers, pleaseth himself in his spirituall bondage, applauds himselfe in his blindnesse and ignorance, and saith with them in Job, Iob 21.14. Depart from us, we care not for the knowledge of thy [Page 320] wayes: 1 Sam. 23.15. Gen. 30.1, 2. He doth not long after Christ, as David after the wa­ters of Bethell; he doth not cry for Christ, as Rachel did for children; he thinkes like Esau in another case that he hath enough already; he imagineth that he is rich and full and wants nothing; the soul that is wholy estranged from Christ is farre from longing after Christ; the Disciples did first eat of the bread which Christ gave them, and then they cryed, Lord give us Ioh. 6.34. evermore of this bread: It is mans tast of Christ, mans feeding upon Christ, that makes him long af­ter Christ: The experience which the Spouse in Salomon had of the bridegroomes love, moved her to intreat the Cant. 1.2. kisses of his mouth, Let him kisse me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better then wine. Christians are first Passive and then Active in their love to Christ-ward; love like the heat of the Sun first descends, and then it ascends. Christs love to us begets our love to him, Christs love was first over the Spouse as a Banner, and then she was Cant. 2.5. Ioh. 11.44. sicke of love to him: Lazarus lay fast in the grave, the Earth was his bed, his pa­lace, his resting place, and all in all, till Christ raysed him; Man lyes fast in the grave of sin, the world, the Earth, the things here below are his bed, his palace, his Paradise, he minds nothing els till Christ doth quicken him. The strange woman in Salomons Song marvelled what Christ the Chur­ches Cant. 5.9. Beloved was, they mused why she should be sick of love toward him, why she made such great inquiry after him. Carnall men thinke Gods people besides themselves in being so earnest after Christ, so zealous for Christ, they marvell why they are so inquisitive in their hearings, pray­ers, fastings, meditations and conferences after Christ Je­sus: they wonder what Christ is more then any other Be­loved, as gold, silver, honours, pleasures; having no love nor longings in themselves after Christ, they muse at the love and longings of others; and as they long not after him, they put no price upon him, shew no respect to him, but set him with David behind the Ewes, give him the least and lowest, yea, even no roome at all in their hearts. Christ is of no esteem with man, untill he comes with­in man, and makes the soul of man his gracious habitation.

CHAP. V. Opening the folly of man in retaining his sinne and contenting himselfe without Christ.

4. THe meditation of mans estrangement from Christ in his naturall and corrupt estate, opens the exceeding great folly of man in being loath to change his corrupt estate, to put off the old man, as unwilling to forsake his carnall con­dition, as Micah his Idoll, though this separate and keepe him from Christ, make him uncapable of Christ, exclude him from all claime and title to Christ; and this is the folly of all follies to retaine any thing which may exclude man from Christ, or hinder mans fruition and enjoyment of Christ; he that by retaining his sin keeps himself from Christ, abides in darknes and chooseth darknes rather then light, sicknesse rather then health, bondage rather then li­berty, famin rather than fulnes, woes and miseries rather than joyes and comforts, curses rather than blessings, base­nes rather than honour, the leprosie rather then beauty, what shall I say death rather than life, hell rather than heaven, and evelasting consortship with the Divell in endlesse bur­nings, rather than communion with God and Christ in everlasting rejoycings. Men are easily perswaded to leave sicknes for health, darknes for light, straw for pearls, thral­dome for liberty, the tempest for a calme, &c. But men are uneasily perswaded to leave their sin for Christ, to deny themselves, and forsake the world for Christ, as Elisha left his friends and his yoakes of Oxen to follow Elijah. This is a perswasion beyond the Rhetorick, Art and Eloquence of man and Angell, yea of Christ himselfe, as he was man and a Minister of the Gospell: for thus may you here him in the dayes of his flesh expostulating and pleading with, reproving and upbraiding the men of Jerusalem, O Jeru­salem [Page 322] Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered you together even as a Hen doth gather her Chickens under her wings, and you would not; and again you may behold him weeping over that City, and saying, O that thou hadst known in this thy day, the things belonging to thy peace, but now they are hidden from thine eyes! And of old also may you heare him complayning in the mouth of the Prophet, I have labou­red in vaine, I have spent my strength for nought and in vain: None but God can perswade Japhet to dwell in the Tents of Shem. Such is mans aversenesse from Christ, that God a­lone can worke man into Christ: But perhaps some will say, What is this to us? We are all borne within the pale of Christs-Church, we are all baptized into Christ, we have all put on Christ, therefore no such folly, no such estrange­ment in us and our soules from Christ?

How man is in Christ.To this I answer, It is one thing to be in Christ by an Ec­clesiasticall Generation and birth within the Church: Another thing to be in Christ by spirituall Regeneration and new-birth, being borne againe of Christ; it is one thing to be in Christ Sacramentally, by participation of the outward ordinance and element, another thing to be in Christ spiritually, by par­ticipation of the inward grace; it is one thing to be in Christ by an outward and formall profession: another thing to be in Christ by an internall and gracious incorporation, Rom. 9.6, 7. They are not all Israel, which are of Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children.

Characters of man being without ChristIf you demand therefore how a man may discerne his being without Christ?

I answer, a mans being out of Christ may among many be discerned by these Characters or marks therof.

1 Without the Spirit & grace of Christ.1. By being without the Spirit and Grace of Christ. He that is without the light of the Sun is without the Sun; If any man (saith S. Paul) have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his: He is without Christ, he that hath not the Spirit of Christ enlightning him, savingly to know God, as a childe his father with an affective knowledge; regenerating and en­dowing him with a child-like affection to God and Christ; [Page 323] reviving and quickning him to live to God and Christ Jesus in true holinesse; incorporating him into Christ, and making him partaker of Christs fullnesse: Sanctifying and cleansing him from his sin, as the water doth wash the spots from the flesh; directing and guiding him to walke aright in the waies of God, and to doe the things pleasing to God, as the hand of the teacher guides the hand of the learner to write ac­cording to the copy: He that hath not the Spirit thus wor­king upon him, thus framing and disposing his heart, hath not Christ; for he that is in 2 Cor 5.17. Christ, as a living member, by spirituall union, as a son by adoption, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, and all things are become new: When Christ came into the Ioh. 2, 15. Temple, he purged his Fathers house, he overturned the mony-tables, he drove out the buyers and the sellers. When Christ cometh into man, takes his holy habitation in the soule of man, he throwes downe the holds of sinne, he drives out all corrupt and carnall lusts, he purgeth the heart of man and makes it a holy house:2 Kin. 5.14. when Naaman put himselfe into Jordan, his Leprosie departed from him. Man that is put into Christ by Faith, is cleansed from the Leprosie of his sin; Faith Act. 15.9. purifieth his heart, and every man that hath this hope 1 Ioh. 3.3. purifieth himselfe even as Christ is pure; 1 Ioh. 16. his thoughts of being in Christ Jesus who remaines under the power of prophanenesse are meere delusions. Reigning ungodlinesse disan [...]ls all communion with Christ Jesus: He that walks not in Christ is a stranger to Christ. Where there is no expression of true and saving grace, there is no evidence of being in Christ.

2. By being in Subjection under any lust;2 Subjection under lusts. 2 Kin 4.40. one raigning sin destroyes the life of the soule; an evill Herbe made the Pro­phets pot, a pot of death, one ruling lust makes the soule the Subject of spirituall death; the breach of one Covenant for­fets the whole Lease, allowance of the soule in the breach of one Commandement makes forfeture of whole Christ. [...] Sam. 20.1, [...]. Iam. 2.10. One Sheba blew the Trumpet and drew all Israel into Rebellion a­gainst David: One ruling sin makes the whole man a Re­bell against Christ: One raigning sin so blinds the understan­ding that it cannot savingly discerne Christ, as one moat so [Page 324] blinds the eye that it cannot comfortably behold the Sun▪ one allowed sin so distempers the soule that it cannot receive any benefit by the ordinances of God; as one strong disease, so disaffecteth the body, that it frustrates the use of the food: One swaying corruption so alienates the heart, that it can­not love Christ, as one stranger in the bosome of the wife so takes up her affection, that she cannot love the husband. One person in the house so keepes the possession that another can take no possession. One domineering sin so possesseth the soule, that Christ hath no possession there: One chain dis­ables the prisoner to come forth and returne to his owne house: One fettering and binding lust holds man fast in Sa­tans prison, and disables him to come to Christ, though a woman have but one husband, yet she cannot marry a second untill that husband is dead; the soule married, though but to one lust, cannot marry it selfe to Christ, untill that lust is mortified and dead. One covetous lust in Judas; one incest­nous lust in Herod; one ambitious lust in many of the chiefe Rulers; one worldly lust in the young-man, was of strength enough, to with-hold each of them from Christ, to continue them all without Christ; mans thoughts of interest in Christ remaining under the power of any one lust are but vaine and idle dreames. He that comes not universally from the world, from himselfe and every sinfull lust, never comes tru­ly unto Christ. Israel came not to Canaan untill they for­sooke Aegypt, renounced the service of Pharaoh, saw the Ae­gyptians drowned in the waters, and left not a hoofe in Ae­gypt behind them. Man cometh not to Christ untill he for­sakes the world, renounceth the service of Satan, drowns eve­ry lust in the tears of true Repentance, and leaves not a hoof, not one affection of his soule behind him, under the jurisdi­ction and command of the world; the love of the world is en­mity with God, the service of any sin is Rebellion against God.

3. Mans confi­ning himselfe within himself3. By mans terminating and confining himselfe within him­selfe, not going out of himselfe, nor looking beyond him­selfe to Christ, but doing all things for himselfe and re­ferring all unto himselfe; That (saith our Saviour) which is Ioh. 3.6. of the flesh is flesh; he that is altogether fleshly and hath [Page 325] nothing of Christ in him, he is fleshly in his disposition, in his affection, in his intention, in his undertaking hee minds himselfe and his owne fleshly ends and nothing els, he cannot looke beyond himselfe, his owne flesh is the circumference within which he moves, and the Center wher­in he terminates his motion:Nihil agit ul­t [...]a suum genus. Nothing in the course of Nature works beyond the Spheare of its owne activity, a thorne beares not grapes, a Sparrow begets not an Eagle, the corrupt Mat. 7.17. Tree brings forth corrupt fruit; the waters move no higher in the cisterne then they are in the foun­tain: He that is not of Christ by a holy and gracious O­riginall, cannot sincerely intend Christ, but himselfe in his undertaking; and he that lookes not beyond himself, hath nothing of Christ within him, he hath no principle, root nor spring of grace in his heart. Were he a tree of Christs plan­ting, he would bring forth his fruit to Christ. Were he a child of Christs begetting he would encline and moove towards Christ in his affection; he would primarily intend Christ in all his doing, as the Rivers comming from the Sea, re­turne and Eccl 1.4. empty themselves into the Sea, thus they who are of Christ returne and empty themselves into Christ, doe all for Christ, for the filling up▪ and making of Christ glorious; he that confines himselfe within himself,Evils of selfe-intendment. hath no love of Christ within him; Jonathans love to David caused him to strip himselfe for David, 1. No love. 1. Sam, 18.1. love to Christ will make a man as occasion requires strip himselfe of all his honour, favour among men and earthly riches for Christ, according to the measure of mans love to Christ, are his manifestations of himselfe for Christ: For love seeketh not 1 Cor. 13.5. her owne: He that loves Christ will abase himselfe for Christ, put himselfe and all that is his under the feet of Christ; he that seeks himself, that terminates his thoughts within the circumference of his owne flesh,2 A base sp [...]rit. hath a very low and base spirit, Christs Spirit which is a Spirit of 2 Tim. 1.7. pow­er, a Spirit of magnanimity and courage, a Spirit of 1 Pet. 4.14. glo­ry, a most glorious and excellent Spirit doth not rest up­on him.3. No comfor­table discer­ning of God He that minds himselfe and his owne ends hath no cleare apprehension and comfortable discerning of Christ [Page 326] and his beauties, he that minds straw and stubble doth not discerne the worth of gold, silver and precious stones: such a man hath no faith in Christ,4. No faith. he takes not Christ unto himselfe to be the rock on which he buildeth, the Coun­cellour by whom he will be guided, the King to whom he will be subject, and the husband to whom he joynes his soule in wedlocke; he hath not this faith in Christ; for as man by faith receiveth Christ to save him, so he gives himselfe againe to Christ to love and serve him, to intend and honor Christ above himself and every creature; and thus man minding and intending himselfe, demonstrates his alienation from Christ. When man in the doing of workes of mercy blows a Trumpet,Mat 6.2.5. Mat 23.5. seekes himselfe and his owne applause among men, and in the performance of the duties of piety, stands praying in the corners of the Street, hunts after the praise of men; [...] Sam. 15 30▪ Phil. 2.21. when a man with the Pha­risees doth what he doth to be seene of men; or with Saul to be honoured before the people. When man in his ordinary and common imployments seeks his own things and not the things which are Christs, he declares himselfe to be a stranger unto Christ.

4. Foure [...]old fulnesse.4. By mans fullnesse of himselfe. Self-fullnesse ever in­ferres an emptinesse of Christ; he that is filled with him­selfe is empty of Christ: There is a foure-fold fullnesse which argues an utter emptinesse of Christ in man.

1 Self-fulnes.1. Self-fullnesse, which is a high opinion of mans selfe, a conceit of sufficiency in himselfe; ambitious thoughts of fullnesse enough at home in the House of mans own heart, which our Saviour termes a Lu. 18.9. trusting in a mans self. Mans leaning upon his owne arme to sustain him, upon his own righteousnesse to justifie him, upon his owne ability to doe all things for himselfe; this the Prophet cals a being Isa. 5.20. wise in mans owne eyes; man taking upon him to be his own guide, his owne instructor and counsellour; this was an unhappy adjunct of the Laodicaean Angell, Rev. 3.17. rich, full and wanting nothing, not knowing that he was poore, blind, naked, miserable and wretched. Hee that hath high­est thoughts of his owne fullnesse is most empty [Page 327] of Christ Jesus, the rich (saith Luke) are sent Luk. 1.53. empty away; the rich, they who in their owne eye are full of wisdome to guide themselves, full of power to correct themselves, full of righteousnesse to justifie themselves, full of worth to obtaine every good thing at the hands of God for them­selves, these are sent empty away, empty of Christ, emp­ty of all saving knowledge, lively faith, fervent love and of every good gift and blessing which commeth by Christ: Self-fullnesse disables man to discerne any beauty or worth in Christ: the Pharisees were great self-admirers, very deep­ly guilty of self-fullnesse, and they had very low opini­ons of Christ: Self-fullnesse disables the soule to taste any sweetnesse in Christ, The Pro. 27 7. full stomacke loatheth the honey combe: This makes man uncapable of Christ; the full ves­sell is uncapable of other liquor; the man that is full of himselfe cannot receive Christ, there is no roome in their hearts to entertaine Christ; Christ came among his owne: a generation of men ful [...] of the thoughts of self-sufficien­cy, dreaming of fullnesse enough at home in themselves, ignorant and unsensible of their necessity of Christ, and therfore they Ioh. [...].11. received him not.

2. There is a fullnesse of sinne, 2. Fulnesse of sin. which argues an emptinesse of Christ, there is no competition betweene the fullnesse of sinne and Christ in the soule of man: If sin have the possession, Christ hath no dominion. David did not reigne untill Saul was deposed, there must be a deposition of sin, before Christ can reigne in the heart of man; there is no sutablenesse betweene Christ and a heart full of sin: Christ will not dwell in a soule so sordid and defiled with sinne, he abhorres all fellowship and communion with uncleane and vicious people; he delights in none, but in them that excell in Psal. 16.3. vertue; the Sun shines not where the house is full of darknesse; the physick works not where the body remaines full of diseases; the Husbandman sows not, where the field is full of thornes and bryars. Christ shines not in­to that soule, workes not upon that heart which is full of ignorance, earthlinesse, infidelity and spirituall maladies. Such as are full of sin, as Naaman was full of leprosie, as [Page 326] [...] [Page 327] [...] [Page 328] the Pharisees Sepulchers were full of dead mens bones, are farre from Christ; it is a thing altogether vaine and fruitlesse once to mention or name, the 2 Tim. 2.19 Name of the Lord Jesus, unlesse there be a departure from ungodli­nesse.

3 Fulnesse of man.3. There is a fullnesse of man, which argues an emptinesse of Christ. Many are so addicted unto man, their hearts and thoughts are so taken up with man, that there is no entertain­ment for Christ in them; their soules are so possessed by man, that Christ hath no possession in them: some are so devoted to the service of man, that they cannot serve Christ, contrary to the charge of the Apostle, They make themselves the 1 Cor. 7.23 1 Sam. 5.4. servants of men; not the civill, but the prophane and sinfull servants of men; they exalt and set up man above Christ; as the Philistines did set Dagon above the Arke, they study man more then they study Christ, they doe more to in­gratiate themselves into the favour of man, then into the fa­vour of Christ, the precepts of men are of more authority with them then the precepts of Christ: they accommodate and apply themselves more to mens lusts then to Christs ser­vice; they adore and magnifie man more then they adore and magnifie Christ; they abolish the worship of Christ, by ma­king mens dictates the rule of their service, as our Saviour himselfe faith, In Mat. 15.9. vaine doe you worship me, teaching for Doctrines the commandements of men; the observation of mens inventions, subjection to mens dictates in the matter of divine worship, is not only vaine and fruitlesse, but also pernicious and dangerous, a very profanation of Christs wor­ship and service, a shamefull abasement of Christ below man, and a superstitious and idolatrous exaltation of man above Christ; a wretched separation of the soule from Christ and inthralment of man to man; therefore the Apostle saith of such, That they Col. 2.18. hold not the head which is Christ; they are not subject to Christ, as the members to the Head; they are not guided by Christ, as the members by the head; they doe not exalt and lift up Christ, as the members do the head; they are not enlivened, acted and moved by Christ, as the members by an influence from the head, but they are subiect [Page 329] to ordinances after the commandements and Doctrines of men: mens inthralment of themselves to mens lusts and inventi­ons, utterly excludes them from Christ Jesus, If I yet plea­sed men (saith St. Paul) I should not be the Gal. 1.10. servant of Christ. If I studied and observed men, made my selfe ob­sequious to the lusts of men, did haunt after the favour of men, or did make the wisdome and invention of men my guide in things spirituall, I should not be the servant of Christ. Christ hath no gracious Lordship and dominion in the souls of such persons, as are superstitiously devoted to mens inventions.

Some againe are extraordinarily delighted in and taken up with the applause of men: All their workes of charity and piety are levelled to this marke, they doe all to be seen of men, to be praised of men, their Mat. 6.2. Almes, Prayers, Fa­stings are as lost labours, if men doe not observe them, if they gaine not the applause of men by them; mens prai­ses are the first mover in all their services, They love the Ioh. 12.42. praise of men more then the praise of God, and when man is thus full, thus swolne and puffed up with the applause of man, thus ambitious of the praise of man; there is no­thing of Christ in man, How Ioh. 5 44. can you beleeve, saith Christ, how can yee imbrace me, partake of me, subject your selves to me and quiet and content your selves with me, satiate and delight your selves in me, which receive honour one of another and seeke not the honour that cometh from God onely. Hee that is ambitious of the applause of man is uncapable of Christ; the man that is vaine-glorious is farre from all sweet and comfortable communion with Christ.

Some likewise Mat. 16.23. savour only the things of men, and not the things of God, the Word and Ordinances of God, the wayes and workes of God, the gifts and communicati­ons of God to the soules of men, have no savour with them: These things are to them as the words of Eliphaz unto Job, Iob 6, 6, 7. Ʋnsavoury things, having no more taste then the white of an Egg; sorrowfull meat which their soule refuseth to touch, they taste no sweetnesse, they find no pleasure in these [Page 330] things, they loath and leave them, as the Israelites loath­ed their Manna, and as the full stomack doth loath the hony-combe; they savour and relish onely the things of men, that which is humane, corrupt and carnall, that which hath it's originall and spring from the wisedome of the flesh, this they savour, this sutes with them, as meat wi