The Path-way to PEACE. OR, The only assured and most certain Means, whereby to heal the sores, make up the breaches, remove the fears, prevent the ruine, reconcile the differences, and put a finall end to the manifold divisions of this famous (though now much distracted) Kingdom.

By that faithfull and painfull Preacher of Gods Word, THOMAS GARDENER, late Pastor of St Maries in Sandwich.

PSAL. 147.14.

He maketh Peace in thy borders.


Who maketh thy borders Peace.

IT is Ordered this thirteenth day of February, 1642. by the Committee of the House of Commons in Parliament con­cerning Printing, That this book, intituled, The Path-way to Peace, be printed.


London, Printed by J. R. for John Browne, and are to be sold at his Shop in St Dunstans Church-yard, Fleet-street. 1643.


The Publisher hereof Dedicateth these First Fruits of their PASTORS Labours:

And wisheth, That their wayes may so please the Lord, that they may enjoy Peace Externall, Internall, Eternall.

The Path-way to Peace.

PROVERB. 16.7.

When a mans wayes please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

THe righteous have so many and so exceeding great encouragements, to strengthen them in the prosecution of a religious course of life;The godly have manifold encourage­ments to stren­then them in their religious courses. so sweet invitations, and strong allurements, with such glorious promises, that if they be not very heartlesse cowards, they cannot but be resolute, in the declaration of the powerfull profession of the grace of Christ Jesus; for to let passe those unspeakably sweet and comfortable promises of grace in this life, and its consequents; and of glory hereafter, and its concomitants; not to speak of them (for indeed they are inexplicable, and if I had the tongue of men and Angels, I should but bungle in setting them forth unto you) I say, beside these spirituall and heavenly blessings appropriated unto the Saints, there are also many temporall priviledges, which more peculiarly belong unto them; all which compared together, makes their present condition (though outwardly never so base and de­spicable) to transcend and over-top the Bay-flourishing estate [Page 4]of the ungodly sons of Belial, though they bathe themselves never so plenteously in the rivers of the pleasures of this life, and be never so much encompassed with the restlesse desires of their own carnall heart. Amongst those promises, this may not undeservedly be ranked, which the wisest of meer men propounds unto us in this proportion of holy Scrip­ture, which as a costly jewell in a Ring of fine gold, or as a glorious glistering Star fixed in his Orb, offers it self un­to our consideration, containing thus much in effect; That when a mans courses, The sum and substance of the promise here laid down. proceedings, and all his actions; his carriage towards God, his intercourse and conversation with men: When (I say) these his wayes are so equally and evenly levelled and squared, that they are well-pleasing to the eyes of the Almighty, the Lord doth su prosper him in all his affairs, that if he get not the love and hearty affection of his enemies, yet at least­wise he so orders it, that be makes them to be outwardly at peace with him.

The Division of the Text.The words being thus unfolded, we may conceive two generall parts therein:

1. An Exhortation to a godly life, viz. That our wayes may please the Lord; which is propounded by way of supposition, When a mans wayes please the Lord.

2. A Motive to enforce the same, from the benefit ensuing thereupon; Our enemies shall be at peace with us: When a mans wayes please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

The Expositi­on of the words with the parti­cular observa­tions included therein.In these two generall points, there are many particulars observable, included as hand-maids to the main point, and are wrapped about the body of the Text, as the Ivy about the tree; But because they are not so directly incident to the Text, I will but touch them, and so leave them.

What we are to understand by Wayes. Wayes. Men actions, motion of their affections, and common course of life, are usually called wayes in the Scrip­tures, in regard of the neer resemblance of each to other; for as by the way which a man travelleth, we may conjecture whither he goeth, East-ward or West-ward, so our actions shew wither we are going, to infernall AEgypt, or to [Page 5]the celestiall Canaan; whether to Hell or Heaven: There's no third way.

Mans wayes. Mens wayes of themselves cannot please God, Mens wayes o themselves cannot please God. Rom. 8 7. Isa. 64 6. for the most Reformed are abominable before the Lord. The very wised in of the flesh is enmity against God; and, We all are as an unclean cloth, and our righteousnesse is as filthy rags▪ We are therefore here to understand mans wayes sanctified and directed by the spirit of the Lord.

The wayes of the true con­vert are plea­sing wayes.Please the Lord. The wayes of the true convert are pleasing wayes, pleasing in their own nature, as being the actions of divine grace in their Originall, as proceeding from an upright heart, and faith unfaigned; and in their effect, as being very delightfull and comfortable unto us in the performing of them; and therefore in Scripture the wayes of wisedom, that is,Prov. 3.17. of him that is truely wise, are called wayes of pleasantnesse, and King Solomon admires this pleasingnesse of Christs Spouse, saying, How fair, and how pleasant art thou, O Love, Cant. 7 6. for delights.

Again,The wayes of the godly are pleasing to the Lord. Isa. 62.4. Though di­stastefull to the wick [...]d. Prov. 29.27. Cant. 4.9. The wayes of a righteous man are indeed pleasing unto the Lord; and therefore he calls his Church Hepbzibah, that is [...], My delight is in her: But contrarily they are unsa­voury and distastefull to the wicked, who finde no more taste in such wayes then in the white of an egge. He that is up­right in the way, is an abomination to the wicked.

The Lord, The Object of all the righteous mans actions must be Jehovah, our God. We must not regard our selves, nor the world. As we are the Spouse of Christ, so we must behave our selves as the chaste Spouse, whose care is, how she may please her Bride-groom, who hath betrothed himself unto her; other mens love she mindes not: So we, if we can please God, no matter whom we displease.

The godly have many enemies.His enemies. The godly have their enemies, not one, but ma­ny, enemies, in the Plurall number: Wicked Angels and men, men both without and within the Church.

The extent of Gods goodnesse to his.Even his enemies, Or, his very enemies. This is to ex­presse the extent of Gods goodnesse unto us, by way of em­phasis; some are friends to the faithfull, oth [...]rs are enemies, others are Neuters, like Gallio the Deputy,Act. 18.16, 17. caring neither for [Page 6]the wicked Jews, nor zealous Paul; now the Lord will not onely make such at peace with us, who as yet are indifferent, but even our very professed enemies.

The wicked can never truly love the godly.At peace. The wise man doth not say, That the Lord will make his enemies love him; no, for the unsanctified heart can­not truely love a righteous man, as righteous (that is the pro­perty of the faithfull soul) but he will make him at peace with him; that is, Outwardly there shall be quietnesse, and professi­on of love.

He maketh;Its of the Lord, not from the wicked, when they are at peace with the godly. Isa. 57.19. namely, The Lord. It's not any naturall in­clination, or vertuous disposition the wicked have to the righ­teous, but the Lords work. He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Again, Who is the author, who worketh our Peace? It's the Lord that createth Peace for us, whether it be peace within, or peace without us. The wicked have peace, such as it is, inward and outward, but not from the God of peace. There were that prophesied,Jer. 14.13. Ezek. 13 16. 1 Thess. 5.3. That the Jews should have assured peace, whose Prophesies were found Lyes; God having said, That there was no peace for them. When the wicked shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travell upon a woman with childe, and they shall not escape. This is the com­fort of the faithfull, That what they have of these temporall blessings, it's from the Lord.

So long as our wayes are plea­sing to God, this promise be­longeth unto us. When a mans wayes, &c. This promise is warranted unto us, during our continuance in well-doing: while our wayes are so undefiled, that they be acceptable before God. If we forsake this secure way, we forsake our own mercy.

Thus of the Particulars observable from the words several­ly confidered:Jonah 2.8. Come we now to the two Generalls of the Text, which have been already propounded, namely 1. The duty of every Christian, To order his wayes so, that they may please God. 2. The reward of the duty; namely, That then the Lord will make the enemies of these his friends to be at peace with them; Joh. 15.14. both which may be reduced into this one Point, which is here chiefly aymed at, and the principall scope of the whole Text; namely, That

The Doctrine. When our conversation is pleasing to the Lord, and we so live, [Page 7]as walking with God, he brings it to passe, that our very enemies are at peace with us.

This Doctrine will be sufficiently laid open unto us, if we shall examine, 1. The truth of it by Scriptures. 2. The manner how the Lord doth make our very enemies at peace with us. 3. The reasons why he doth thus shew his love to his Saints. Then 4. Answer such places of Scripture as seem to oppose this truth. 5. Make use and application of this comfortable promise.

The first Point.

The proof of the Doctrine out of Gods Word. Proved. This we will expresse 1. Affirmatively, shewing, That when our wayes please the Lord, he makes our enemies at peace with us. 2. Negatively, or by way of contraries, to make the truth more evidently appear; namely, That when our actions and life are displeasing to God, he makes our very friends at enmity with us.

Affirmatively by examples. Affirmatively, and that by sundry examples; for they are more familiar and convincing.

The first is between Abimelech King of the Philistims, The 1 example Gen. 26.16.27, 28. and Isaac the faithfull seed of Abraham. Isaac was hated of this Heathenish King, and driven away; yet in processe of time, the Lord apparently shewed his blessings upon him, that the King could not but perceive it, and is constrained to come and seek to make a League with him.

The second is of Jacob, The 2 example Gen 35.5. who thought his sons had so ty­rannously slaughtered a whole City of men, the inhabitants of Shechem, that there could be nothing expected of upright Jacob, but that the neighbouring Nations should have reven­ged their cruelty, with the like slaughter of him and his houshold; yet the terrour of the Lord fell upon the people round about them as they travelled, that they suffered them peaceably to take their journey, without making any pursuit after them.

The third unto the Israelites, The 3 example Exod. 12.26. when the Lord gave them fa­vour in the eyes of the Aegyptians, their cruell enemies.

The fourth.The 4 example Jer. 39.11, 12. This promise was also made good unto Jere­my, when (being ungently used of his own people) in the ge­nerall Captivity of the Jews, he was restored to liberty, and kindely entreated of the enemies.

The fifth.The 5 example Gen. 33 4. But never was this truth more compleatly ac­complished, then when the Lord made Esau at peace with his brother Jacob; for where there is hatred betwixt brethren, its usually most extreme,Prov. 18 19. as the wise man teacheth; the bro­ther offended is harder to be won then a strong City, and their contentions are like the bars of a Castle. This is more marvel­lous, if we consider, That he was even then in his march with four hundred men towards his brother, to revenge him­self of his long unforgotten injuries, when he was reconciled unto him.

Negatively by examples. Negatively. When we displease God, he makes our very friends at enmity with us; whereof we have also pregnant examples:

The first,The 1 example 1 Sam. 15.23. of Saul, because his wayes were rebellious against the Lord, his own servants, his own Tribe, his son in law, David, and his own son out of his bowels, all were against him;Sam 22 7, 8. yea, Jonathan did favour David, his greatest adversary, whereof he himself did pitifully complain.

The 2 exampleThe second, of David, under whom the Lord had subdued all all his enemies, till such time as he sinned against God in the matter of Ʋriah the Hittite, and then the Lord raised a­gainst him his own darling Absalom, 2 Sam. 15.10. to conspire against him for his Kingdom.

The 3 exampleThe third, of Solomon. All the while his heart was perfect with his God, he had peace within his own Dominions from Dan to Beersheba; 1 King 4 24. but after he multiplies women to himself and sacrifices to strange gods, then God stirs up Hadad and Rezon, 1 King 28. such as were formerly at peace with him; yea, even his own servant and favourite Jeroboam.

The fourth,The 4 example 2 Chron. 24.18.25. of Joash, who thrived while he did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord; but falling to Idolatry, and hatred of Reformation, his own servants conspired against him, and flew him.

Thus have we the truth of the doctrine, both affirmatively, and negatively.

The second Point.

THe manner how the Lord doth make our very enemies at peace with us. The Lord makes our ene­mies at peace with us, by changing their affections. Prov 21 1. Gen. 41.38.39. 1 Sam. 29.6.9. This he bringeth to passe divers wayes:

1. By altering and changing their affections (for he turneth mens hearts as the rivers of water, which way it pleaseth him) and working in them an admiration of his hidden ones. Thus Pharaoh King of Aegypt wondered at the wisedom of Joseph, and his gift in the interpretation of dreams. So was David admired of Achish King of Gath, an Heathen, as if he had been an Angel of God. This effect was most illustrious in the Officers which were sent by the Scribes and Pharisees to appre­hend Christ, and went to seek him for that very purpose; but when they came and heard him preaching to the people, they either forgot their errand, or willingly disobeyed the com­mand of their masters, and fell into admiration of our Savi­our, saying, Never man spake like this man. John 7 46 Converting them. Isa. 11.5, 6.

2. By converting their wicked hearts, to become godly Saints: for JEHOVAH, by the power of his Word, can change the savage Leopard, into an harmlesse Kid; and the ravening Wolf, into an innocent Lamb. Thus persecuting Saul, Acts 9.1.6. who breathed out nothing but threatnings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, was made a true convert, and a preach­ing Paul. And thus the Jaylour, who once imprisoned, stocked, and whipped Paul and Silas, Acts 16.24 33, 34. was converted to the faith, and became a friend to those whom formerly be hated, washing their stripes, and setting meat before them.

3. By a divine terrour which the Lord striketh into the hearts of their enemies. Striking terror into their hearts. Gen 31.24. Thus the Lord dealt with the fury of La­ban, when he and his company pursued after Jacob, in all probability, intending to offer violence unto him, he charged him that he should not so much as speak ought but good unto Jacob. This terrour was wrought in Jeroboam, 1 Kings 13 48 by withering of his arm miraculously, when he intended evill against the man of God, who spake to him in the Word of the Lord, and thereby Jeroboam was constrained to receive him courteously.

Destroying them.4. By destroying them, that their irreconciliable hatred may pe­rish with their lives, if their heart be so hard that it will not be [Page 10]made pliable to his will. Thus dealt the Lord with Senacherih, and his Host,2 Kin. 19 35 37 when they encamped against his people, he slew him by his own sons, and of his Army 185000 men by an Angel. Thus doth the Lord with the enemies of his Church, when they will needs band themselves against his anoynted Ones.Isa. 8.9. Let them associate themselves, they shall be broken in pieces; let them gird themselves, they shall be broken in pieces, saith the Lord by his Prophet.

5. By working (as we say) against the hair, when by permitting of the wicked to be at enmity with us, Suffering them to do their worst. he procures our peace and prosperity. Satan was at enmity with man-kinde, and the Lord permitted him to do his worst: He thought to bring everlast­ing contempt upon all man-kinde,Rom. 5.15. through Adams fall, but God made it an occasion of the greater exaltation of his Church. God suffered the AEgyptians to afflict his people; but the more they were afflicted, Exod. 1.12. Deut. 23 5. Gen. 50.20. Rom. 8.28. the more they multiplied. Balaams curse was turned into a blessing. The hatred of Josephs bre­thren, turned to his greatest advancement. Thus all things conspire for the welfare of Gods beloved ones. Thus of the manner how the Lord maketh our very enemies to be at peace with us.

The third Point.

The Lord doth thus deal with his own, 2 Sam 19.36. WHy the Lord doth thus graciously reward his servants. As B [...]rzillai said to David, Thy servant will go with thee this little way, and why should the King recompence it me with such a reward? So may we say in this case: Behold, we have done the Lord this little piece of service, and why should be recom­pence us thus bounteously? Surely not for this our service (for is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous? Or is it gain to him that thou makest thy wayes perfect? Job 22 3. Luke 17.10. And when we shall have done all those things which are commanded us, we may say, We are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to do) nor for the righteousnesse of our wayes in pleasing him.Deut. 9 4, 5. The Scripture teacheth us another lesson. The main reasons are these:

For the mani­festation of his goodnesse.1. His goodnesse and kindenesse towards us free and un­deserved, whom it pleaseth to reward his own gifts, and to [Page 11]crown his own graces in us.1 Cor. 15.10. That we can do any thing well pleasing to God, it's his gift, and that while we do thus please him, he makes our very enemies to be at peace with us, is also from him, who neglecteth nothing that might be an encou­ragement unto us in well-doing.

For the de­monstration of his power.2. The necessity of consequence; for if the Lord be once our friend, who can, or dare be our enemy? This the Apostle sheweth: Having evidently demonstrated, That God hath re­conciled us unto himself in Christ Jesus, and is become our friend, he doubts not of the infallibility of this consequence, If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom. 8 31. As if he should have said; I ask you all, if you can name that creature, that can be at enmity with us; no, ye cannot: He is the Lord of Hosts, namely, Of the Armies of his Creatures, and he rules over them with more then Imperiall Authority; And if he be on our side, the very stones of the street,Job 5.22, 23. Simil. and the beasts of the field shall be in league with us. It's not with the favourites of the King of heaven, as with the favourites of the little kings of the earth; These may be in great favour with their Prince, and yet one of the subjects of the same Prince may lay violent hands upon them, even to the deprivation of their life, as was long ago exemplified in Abner, who though in league with King David, and entertained into his favour,1 Sam. 3.27. yet was treacherously slain by Joab, Davids subject:Isa. 37.38. Yea, even Kings themselves cannot in this case protect their own persons from the injury of their own subjects; but those are in a more safe condition. And in this respect, he that hath a care that his wayes may be pleasing to God, hath more security and safety for his person, then even the greatest Monarchs that are with­out this care. The Lord is a sure Bulwark to all those that are his precious treasure.

For the accom­plishment of his promises. 1 King 8.49. 1 King 9.3.3 That he might fulfill his promise which he made unto Salomon, when he prayed, That if his people should sin against him, and he given over into the hands of their enemies, that then if they should repent them of their evill wayes, the Lord should give them favour in the sight of those which had carried them captives. How this prayer was heard of God, as the Lord testified unto him in a Vision. Thus why the Lord doth thus gratiously re­ward his servants.

The fourth Point.

THe cleering of such places of Scripture as seem to oppose this truth, nay, to imply the direct contrary; viz. Object. That when our wayes please the Lord, our very friends are at emnity with us. Thus Jeremiah's brethren,Jer 12 6. Jer. 15.10. and they of his fathers house, dealt treacherously with him; and though he had done no evill, yet every one cursed him, whereof he himself complaineth. Also the Prophet Isaiah saith,Isa. 59.15. He that departeth from evill, maketh him­self a prey. Our Saviour also foretold, That even they of our own houshold should be our enemies, Mat. 10.3, 36. all wch seem to thwart this truth.

For Answer unto these, and such like places, we are.

Answer. 1. To search our selves, whether there be not some speciall sin abiding within us, deserving this speciall punishment, that God should with-hold the fulfilling of this promise from us.

2. To confider, That as God hath made this promise, so he hath appointed the use of all lawfull means conducing there­unto. Thus Jacob, Gen. 32.28. though he had a promise from Christ, (wrestling with him in the form of a man) That he should prevail with man,Gen 35.8. and consequently, with his brother Esau, yet he prepare; a Present, that he might thereby reconcile him­self unto his brother Esau. Thus also did Jacob send a Pre­sent unto his son Joseph, who did then govern in Aegypt under Pharaoh, Gen. 43.11.14. conceiving him to be his enemy. So must we use all lawfull means to have the good will of all men.Heb 12 14.

3. To comfort our selves: Forasmuch as however the wic­ked are at variance with us for our sincerity, yet this enmity proceedeth from their own hearts, and not from God.

4. To conceive of all temporall promises made unto us in Scripture, that we are not to expect them as absolute promi­ses, but conditionally made unto us, so far forth as they shall be for Gods glory, and our comfort and salvation; and if promises be not sanctified to these ends, we are far better with­out them then with them.Psal 119.7 [...]. It's good for us sometimes to be afflicted, sometimes to be persecuted of enemies, that we might have the stronger evidence, that we are not of the world, be­cause it hated us:Joh. 15.19. Yea, it is good for us sometime that we should be suffered of God to fall into sin, though not in it self, yet bee use it makes us more fervent in prayer, more [Page 13]wary and faithfull. It may be demanded, Whether we ought (being hated for righteousnesse sake) to suspect that our wayes are not pleasing to God, Quest. because of this promise made of peace with our enemies, and the Command of our Saviour, That we should rejoyce when we suffer persecution for his Names sake. Matt 5.11 12.

As this promise made in this Text should not make us de­spair of the uprightnesse of our wayes,Answ. so neither should that rejoycing which our Saviour commands us, restrain us from en [...]ring into an examination of our own wayes, and the true cause of our suffering the hatred of others, that thereby we might take occasion to magnifie Gods goodnesse unto us in translating the punishment of our sins upon an unjust cause, that we should suffer for righteousnesse sake, when as at other times, many sins have passed from us, for which we might justly have suffred the malice of the wicked.

The fifth Point.

THe Ʋse and Application of this comfortable promise. This may be branched into divers particulars:

1. Is it thus, That the Lord, if our wayes please him, will make our very enemies at peace with us? Use 1▪ When our friends are at enmity with us, we have then cause to suspect the up­r [...]ghtnesse of our wayes. [...]hen what shal we think of our selves, when not only our enemies, but our very friends are at debate & variance with us, and ready to do what mischief they can unto us? When servants, children, & wives conspire against the Master of the family? when Prince and subjects are against each other? Have we not here just cause to suspect the upright­nesse of our wayes, and that we walk contrary unto God, and that therefore God walks contrary to us, and crosseth us even in those things which should be blessings unto us?Lev. 26 23, 24. Yet we impute these things usually unto the second causes; as to the wickednesse and bad disposition of such as are becom our enemies, as if the Lord had no stroke in this. Who stirred up Absalom against his fa­ther? was it not the Lord? yes, I will stir up an enemy against thee out of thine own house, saith the Lord to David; 2 Sam 12.11 and yet we in such cases cry out upon the unnaturalnesse of children, wicked­nesse of servants, perversenesse of wives, churlishnesse of hus­bands, &c. whereas we ought principally to look up unto God, warning us of our sins by such like castigations, intimating un­to us thereby, That something is amisse in the family, good du­ties are neglected, servants not instructed, Sabbath not wholly [Page 14]sanctified, or something there is, not as it should be: This I am sure, here lies the cause, Our wayes are not pleasing to the Lord;Lam. 3 39. Use 2. When our wayes please God, our friends shall be at peace with us. Luk. 15 20.22. for man suffers for his sins.

2. Shall our enemies be at peace with us if our wayes please the Lord? then surely much more our friends, and such as have been well-willers of the houshold of faith unto us in the time of our unregenerate estate, whether fathers, brothers, or other friends. If the father bear a naturall affection to the prodi­gall, whilst he is wasting his substance amongst harlots, how much more will he run unto him, when he is yet afar off, af­ter he repenteth, and is come to himself? As the Apostle speaks in another case not much unlike to this; If when we were his enemies, Rom. 5 8, 9, 10. God loved us, and sent his Son to redeem us, much more now will he be affected towards us, and save us?

3. If our enemies and our friends be at peace with us, then what can be against us?Use 3. When our wayes please God, nothing can be against us. What can Satan, hell, death, and all the armies of darknesse (for they also are of the number of those, which shall, will they, nill they, be at peace with us al­so) prevail against us? Oh how comfortable is the state of a Christian in this regard! Come war, the sword, captivity, yea, and death is self, or any outward calamity through enemies opposition, yet here a word of sure comfort, That if our wayes shall be so ordered, that we may have peace with God, he will so bring it to passe (one way or other, as hath been already shewed) that our enemies shall be at peace with us. The Lord will be that unto us, which he promised to be unto his elect, under the Babylonish Captivity; Though I scatter them into the furthermost parts of the earth, Ezek. 11.16. yet I will be a little sanctuary unto them in the midst of their enemies. Oh how ought this to stir us up to be undefiled in all our wayes (especially in these times of the generall combustion of Gods Church, wherein the time is come,1 Pet. 4 17. whereof Saint Peter spake, That judgement should begin at the house of God) that so in the times of di­stresse we may have boldnesse towards God, and challenge the Lord of his promise here, and in other places of Scri­pture, That he would be a sanctuary to us in the midst of troubles, and that we may say as good Hezekiah; Remember, Is [...]. 38.3. O Lord, that I have walked before thee with a [Page 15]perfect heart, and fulfill thy promise to thy servant.

4. Since it is a confirmed truth,Use 4. We must labour that our wayes may please the Lord. Psal 120.7. That they whose wayes please the Lord, he will make their very enemies at peace with them: Is there any that with David, are for peace, or that would be freed from the grievances of outward enemies, here's the way chalkt out unto him by Salomon, to strive that all his wayes may please the Lord. Most of us, when we seek the favour of others, trie all wayes; but this true way, this comes last, or never into our mindes; and yet sure I am, it's the most cheap and husbandly of all wayes.

Quest. But some will ask me,Joh. 6 28. What wayes are those which are plea­sing to God, as the Jews said to Christ, What shall we do that we may work the works of God? For we may be deceived in the choice of our way.Prov. 14 2. There is a way (saith the wise man) seems good unto us, and the end thereof is death.

Answer. Answ. The Scriptures are the onely lantern and light to direct us into the true way; they must be our guide,Psal, 119.105. Wayes pleasing to the Lord. and they will inform us that these are the wayes must be our wayes we must walk in, if we will please the Lord; namely,

1. The way of faith (for without this (whatever we do) it is impossible to please God) not onely a bare knowledge of the lawfulnesse of such actions as we perform to be pleasing to God, but also faith to do them,The way of Faith. Heb. 11 6. even for this very respect that God requires them; and yet so doing them, as expecting on­ly salvation by Christ.

2. The way of Gods Commandments; The way of his Command­ments. Matth 15.9. Psal 119.1.3. not mans inventions of will-Worship, nor humane prescriptions; they are all vain, if we may believe him in whose mouth there is no guile: but Blessed are they that walk in the Law of the Lord, and they do no iniquity that walk in his wayes.

3. The strait and narrow way: The strait and narrow way. Matth 7 14. Strive to enter into the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that lead­eth unto life. This is not the way of the loose Libertines, and profane persons of these times.

4. The old way. Stand ye in the wayes, The old way, Jer. 6.16. and ask for the old way, where is the good way, and ye shall finde rest for your souls. This old way is the way of faithfulnesse and truth, which are called Gods counsells of old, as being that eternall truth of [Page 16]God, written in the heart of Adam, in the state of inno [...] ­cy, and after revealed in Scripture, and more briefly unfold [...] in the ten Commandments, opposed to the new devised do­ctrines of the Popish Church, so strictly binding the consci [...] ­ces of simple people.

5. They must not be unequall and uneven wayes (swelling with the high mountains,The way of humility. and pride and presumption, either of Gods mercy, or our own merit) but plained and made equ [...] with a sanctified humilty of heart. When Iohn the Baptist wa [...] to prepare the way of the Lord,Isa. 40.4. he cryed out, That every val­ley (of despair) should be exalted; and every mountain (of pride and presumption) should be made low. These are the wayes wherein we must walk; wherein if we shall walk, we shall please the Lord; and if our wayes please the Lord, he will make our very enemies to be at peace with us.

Laus Domino Christo. Amen.


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