Good Tydings for SINNERS, Great Ioy for SAINTS;

OR, A Word to the World, and two to those that are chosen out of the WORLD.

Wherein is held forth, First, the sweet tenders of grace from the Father through the Son to all dejected Sinners; he Invites them, he Woes them, he Intreats them, nay, he beseecheth them to accept of mercy.

IN The second part of this Book, called, Two words to those chosen out of the World, is spoken to the Saints under their severall Forms, taking notice first of the things commen­dable in them: and in the second place reproving them for things amisse among them.

With a short Prophesie of the downfall of

  • Presbyterie,
  • Independencie,
  • Anabaptismie,
  • Vaine Notions,
  • Free-Will.

With a brief description of a true Church-state, against which the gates of Hell shall not prevaile; it being founded upon a rock, it will stand against all Waves and Storms, that either Men or Devils can raise against it.

I will give you all one heart, and one way.
Then the Lord shall be one, and his name one.
Robert Purnell.

Printed at London for Giles Calvers, and are to bee sold at the Black-spread Eagle at the West end of Pauls. 1649.

To the Reader.

COurteous Reader, I shall in few words give thee a just accompt, why I have writ­ten this little Book In these latter daies many books are published, some good and wholesome: but few to ends not carnal; for with every man is imperfection more or lesse, I must own it also. Yet I faith­fully professe, that had my own credit or advantage been my inducement hereun­to, these thoughts had been buried in the wombe; because I know, I could reap no such fruit; or if I did, it were but vanitie. He that gave me my being, hath given me a com­mand to learn of him; not onely to love his people, but also to love his enemies, Matth. 5.44.

God having kindled in me, a love to you both Saints and Sinners; I have here written a word to the one, and two words to the other: Rom. 1.14. I am debtor to the Greek, and to the Barbarian, both to the wise, and to the unwise:

And to thee fellow sinner, is the first word; because I see many of those that undertake to teach thee, shutting the door of the kingdom against thee; and instead of the Gospel of Christ, they preach to thee Moses, at least Elias; and that in the letter. The things I lay be­fore thee, and commend unto thee; are such, and onely such, as I my self have past through, and found aboundance of comfort in: And looking upon that place 2 Corinth. 1.4. I finde it my duty to endea­vour to comfort others with the same comfort wherewith I my selfe have been comforted of God.

Expect not heare a pleasing methode, sugard words, nor schola­sticall [Page]expressions; for that savours more of the wisdome of man than of God. Though it be not scholastick yet if thou findest it authen­tick; let it have acceptance with thee. First read, and then judge of what I have said; and the Lord that hath power, give thee under­standing in all things.

In the first part of this [...]o [...]k called, A Word to the World, is held forth in few words; the sweet tenders of grace from the Fa­ther through the sonne, to the poore dejected Sinners; wherein God [...], woes, and entreates them to be reconciled to himselfe. He [...]swers all the Objections that lye in the way, he useth very strong and powerfull arguments: He not onely saith but swears, he delights not in the death of a sinner, Ezek. 33.11.

In the second part of this Book called, Two Words to those cho­sen out of the World; I my self having had communion with the Sain [...]s in each of those forms, more or lesse▪ their principles and pra­ctises I have in some measure weighed, examined, and tryed with an unbyassed affection: And I finde among all these (except those in this book excepted) many excellent, sweet, and sound truths, both in Do­ctrine and Discipline, Principle and Practise, worthy not onely of commendation, but also of our imitation.

But notwithstanding, there are many things that savour more of the flesh than of the spirit among all these Assemblies, which are ra­ther of mans invention than of Gods institution: as their knowing Christ and Saints after the flesh; crying, Lo here, lo there is Christ; and most in a sence building upon the Sand. Wherefore I have here Prophesied of their fall, in which I mean not that they shall be without Church-order; but they shall have Pastors and Teachers, Elders and Deacons, Helps and Governments. But the ground of this com­munion shall be spirituall union: and when this day is dawned, and this day-star risen in our hearts, Ephraim shall not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; Presbyterians shall not so bitterly cry out a­gainst Independents, nor Independents have such hard thoughts of the Presbyterians. Yea, they will be ashamed to own one another by these fleshly titles; but look upon and love one another as Christians, members of the same body, heires of the same Promise, children of the same father: having all the same spirit, all clothed with the same robe, inclined to the same work; ruled by the same Word and Spirit. And so their love to each other shall arise from the Ʋnion in the Spirit. And against this Church-State the gates of hell shall not prevaile.


THat Sin had its first entrance into the World by Adam, we all know; What sin is in it own na­ture, most of us doe know; But that sin is clearly taken away by the second Adam, Christ Jesus, that, very few doe know.

Poore sinner, why dost thou lye groaning, come along with me, and hear Christ thy Lord speaking to thee.

Quest. What is that that doth so trouble thee?

Answ. Oh! my sins, my sin.

Quest. What is sin?

Answ. The breach of a command, or the transgression of a law.

Chr. Though thou hast broken this law, yet consider, that there is one to be found, that hath kept it; first, in thy nature: secondly, for thee, and imputes the keeping of it to thee, as really, as if thou hadst fulfilled it thy selfe; Art thou a sinner? Christ saith, He came to call sinners, and why not thee?

Sinner, Oh, but I am one of the greatest of sinners.

Chr. Yet consider what the Lord saith in these Scriptures, Joh. 1.29 Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the World. 3. Joh. 16. God so loved the World, that he sent his onely begotten Son, to take away the sins of the world. 1 Tim. 1.15. He came into [Page 2]the world to sinners, of whom I am chief.

Object. Oh, but though he came to save sinners, it is a question, whether he died for all sinners, and therefore I question, whether he came to call me, or to take away my sins, I see no ground why I should believe; nay, I cannot believe, Faith is too high a thing for me to attain unto.

Answ. But consider, God is the alone worker of it, Heb. 12.2. And when thou lookest upon Faith, and seest it too hard a thing for thee; yet consider that nothing is too hard for God, who hath un­dertaken to work it.

Ob. It I could see a promise wherein God had promised to work it, that were something.

Quest. What art thou? A Jew or a Gentile, Scythian or Barba­rian?

Ans. I am a Gentile, a sinner.

Chr. Thou these are promises for thee, see Matt. 12.21. Rom. 15.12. In him shall the Gentiles trust, in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Sin. But all Gentiles doe not, neither shall they believe; therefore if I could see my name written in Scripture, and a promise made to me in reference to that name, then there were hope indeed.

Chr. Thou art just like Thomas, Joh. 20.25. Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nailes, and thrust my hand into his side; I will not believe: Well, saith Christ, thou shalt see the print of the nailes, reach hither thine hand, &c. Wilt thou see thy name inscri­pture indeed?

Sin. Yea, with all my heart, But I fear it is not there.

Chr. Why dost thou doubt? all things are possible to him that be­lieves: wilt thou see thy name? Then what is thy state? How is it with thee?

Sin. My state is miserable, I am full of blindenes and ignorance, and can understand nothing in a spirituall way.

Chr. Here is thy name then recorded, Isa. 50.10. Who so walketh in darknes and seeth no light, let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon God.

Sin. But I am dead almost, my heart and my flesh do faile me.

Chr. Why, canst thou read the beginning of the verse (with David) and not the latter end of it, and God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever: Psal. 7 [...].26.

Sin. But I am weak (faith another poore soule) where is my name?

[Page 3]Chr. The weak shall be as David, there is thy name.

Sin. But saith another distressed soule, I am quite dead; where is my name?

Chr. Ephes. 5.14. Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light: There is thy name.

Sin. But I have not ears to hear Christ voice, nor strength to arise; if I could hear.

Chr. But Christ can give strength with his voice, as to Lazarus, come forth, and he came forth.

Sin. Here is comfort for these indeed; But oh! that you could shew me my name, in scripture, and God speaking to me by name; Then I should believe and rejoyce with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Chr. Well: What is thy name?

Sin. Rebell; That is my name; for I have rebelled against the Lord ever since I was born; I have lived in a continuall breach of e­very command.

Chr. Yet behold thy name, Psal. 68.18. Christ hath received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell a­mong them: Read thy name in every promise, endeavour to see thy name enrolled in the book of Life, where all the Devils in Hell, and all the wicked men in the world can never blot it out.

Sin. Oh! saith another poore distressed soule, I have no minde, nor heart to seek after God, Where is my name?

Chr. Isa 65.1. I am found of them that sought me not, There is thy name: though thou wilt not seek for him, yet he will seek and finde thee.

Sin. But I cannot believe; Where is my name, saith another?

Chr. 2 Tim. 2 13. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithfull, he can­not deny himself.

Sin. But I have called and cryed for mercy, and that often, yet God would not answer me: Where is my name?

2. Saith another, others have prayed for me, and the Lord gave them an answer; he was not sent to save me: Where is my name?

3. A third poore soul steps in, and saith, I spake with the Lord, as it were, and he told me, I was a Dog; and that Dogs have nothing to doe with Childrens bread; oh, where is my name?

Chr. Will you see all your three names together?

Sin. Oh that it might be so, faith the troubled soule.

Chr. Then read and well consider that 15. Matt. 22, 23, 24, 25, [Page 4]26, 27, 28. And behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cryed unto him, saying; have mercy on me O Lord, thou son of David: But he answered her not a word: There was the first step of his deniall.

Secondly, His Disciples came and besought him, saying, send her a­way, for she cryeth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house Israel. There is the second branch of his deniall.

Thirdly. Then came shee, and worshipped him saying: Lord help me, But he answered and said, it is not meet to take the childrens bread and cast it to dogs: There is the third branch of his deniall.

And she said, truth Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their Masters table: Then Jesus answered and said unto her; ô woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt.

Oh the unsearchable love of a tender father, to a prodigall Son!

To summe up all in a word; Search diligently in what state thou standest, examine well thy present condition what it is: and when thou hast found out the true temper of thy soul; that thou canst tru­ly say, thus and thus it is with me: Then search the Scriptures, for they were written for thy learning; and thou shalt finde upon seri­ous consideration, that some one or other of the Saints (gone before the) hath been in the same condition, and yet hath found mercy: Then thou wilt break forth with Paul, and say, There is no tenta­tion hath befaln me, but such as is common to all men, and the Lord will deliver mee. 1 Cor. 10 13. &c. Are thy sins so many that thou canst not look up! so it was with that pretious saint, David, Psal. 40.12. Psal. 38.4.

Deare friend, who ever thou art that readest these words, let me tell thee, I speak by experience; I have been in so sad a condition, e­ven as it were in despaire: And when I have read or heard these words, that such and such of the Lords own children, were in the same condition; my heart hath begun to revive and say, well: The Lord hath dealt no otherwise with me, than he hath with such a Saint left upon record: now I see, I am not alone in this heavines, I cannot now say; Was ever sorrow like unto my sorrow. Lam. 1.12. But I can now say with Ieremiah, Lam. 3 32. Though he cause griefe, yet will he have compassion, according to the multitude of his mercies. I re­member that sweet place of Scripture: 2 Cor. 1 3, 4. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulations, [Page 5]that (saith he) we may be able to comfort them that be in trouble, by the comfort wherewith wee our selves are comforted of God.

Here by the way wee may take notice, that it is a duty well be­coming the Saints, to endeavour as instruments in Gods hands, to comfort others with the same comforts, wherewith the Lord hath comforted them, Come (saith David) I will tell thee what the Lord hath done for my soule.

Againe: Oh thou drooping sinner, listen a little unto the voyce of Christ, and thou shalt heare him calling to thee and saying, Come come unto mee all yee that bee weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Hee cals thee, hee invites thee, hee entreates thee, hee beseecheth thee to come in, and to bee reconciled unto the Lord thy God. See and consider well that Scripture 2. Cor. 5 20. Now then wee are ambassadours for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, wee pray you in Christ stead bee you reconciled unto God, you see hee is willing to have sinners reconciled to him, and that hee doth manifest, by many demonstrations, or evidences.

First, His patience towards thee all this while, he is long suffering, not willing that any should perish 2 Pet. 3 9. Rom. 2.4. The goodnesse of God, or the patience of God doth (or should) lead thee to repentance.

Secondly, Hee doth manifest his willingnesse, in that hee hath made this the master-piece of all his works, to provide a Saviour for us: in sending his Son, and making him a curse for us, in this great worke the Lord doth proclaime to all the world, Oh all you people of the world, if I had not beene willing to bee reconciled to you, or rather, to have you reconciled to mee, (as I have for ever beene) I would never have sent my dearest Sonne from the bosome of my love, to die for you. So that this is the greatest worke; all my other workes are subordinate to this. In this was the love of God mani­fested to us, that he sent his onely begotten Sonne into the world, that we should live through him, 1 Joh. 4.9.

Thirdly, The Lord doth professe this to the people, That there is no one thing wherein hee doth more glory, than to shew mercy to poore sinners, yea to his enemies. Micah 7.18. Hee delighteh in mercy. Exod. 34. The Lords glory passed by, and what was that? The Lord, the Lord, most mercifull and gratious, long suffering &c. Pardoning iniquity, transgressions and sinne. Here is my glory. Hence it is exprest, Isa. 30.18. Therefore will the Lord waite that hee may bee gratious, and therefore will hee bee exalted that hee may [Page 6]have mercy upon you. So then, the Lord doth accompt himselfe, an exalted God, when hee hath brought in a sinner to accept of mer­cy.

Fourthly, The Lord doth expresse his willingnesse even with a sigh (as it were) which doth much denote his willingnesse, Deut. 5.29. Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would feare, my Name and keepe my Commands, and that for one good too, for so the words follow, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever. Now these people had said before, whatsoever the Lord hath spoken wee will doe. Oh that there were such an heart in them (saith the Lord.)

Fifthly, The Lord doth expresse his willingnesse with an oath too, and that, the greatest that ever hee tooke; That sinners shall not dye. Ezek. 33.10, 11. As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turne from his way and live. Turne yee, turne yee from your evill wayes, for why will you die, oh house of Israell &c.

Sixthly, God doth manifest his willingnesse in this; that above all other workes, this worke of beleeving on him, is most pleasing to him, and our not beleeving, is the greatest offence that wee can give to God, Joh. 6.29. This is the worke of God, that you beleeve on him whom he hath sent, as if the Lord had said, This doth please mee better than any other worke, Let a poore soule come in, and rowle himselfe upon the love of God in Christ, for reconciliation. This is a more glorious worke, than the conquering of a whole world; If you give all your goods to the poore, and your bodies to be burnt, all is nothing if this be wanting. Joh. 3.19. This is condemnation that light is come unto the world, and men love darknesse more then light. In a word, binde all your sinnes together in a bundle, (except this sin of unbeliefe) and put them in a ballance together, And put this sin of unbeliefe in the other ballance, you shall finde that unbeliefe will weigh downe all the rest, and from this unbeliefe, as the roote, springs all other evils, as the branches.

Seventhly, Consider further, God doth seeke to sinners first: Therefore it is said, The Lord Christ came to seeke and to save them that were lost. Isa. 45.22. Looke unto me and be you saved all yee ends of the earth, the Spirit and the Bride say come, and let him that is a thirst come and take of the waters of life freely.

Eightly, Consider, the Lord sends forth his grace to allure thee and to entice thee, a sinner, to come to him, Hee doth with cords of [Page 7]love draw the heart to come, Hee sends forth his mercy to stand be­fore the soule, and tender its service (as it were) to the sinfull soule, Hosea 2.14. Therefore will I allure them saith the Lord. There was a great breach betweene this people and God, as you may see at large in this chapter, And yet saith the Lord I will allure them Hosea 11.4. I will draw them with the cords of men: with the bands of love.

Ninthly, The Lord is so yeelding unto his creatures, th [...]t to keepe his owne honour and glory he cannot yeeld further. At first, wee are all going astray, the Lord cals us backe. 2. Wee were going to prison, The Lord steps in, saying, I will provide a surety. The Covenant of workes requires satisfaction, saith the Lord, I am con­tented to take this, in a surety. Wee are like a Beggar, begging an almes of one that passeth by, to whom it is answered, I will give thee oh Beggar that which thou desirest, but thou must come and fetch it: I cannot come saith the Beggar, I want legs: I will give thee legs (saith the giver) that thou mayest come. But saith the Beg­gar, when I am come, I have no hands to receive that which you will give me: I will give thee hands also. Oh! But I want wisedome to make use of that gift: I will give thee wisedome saith the Lord. Oh that ever, so glorious a God, should so farre stoope and yeeld to his poore creatures, as to answer all questions, cleare all doubts, and take away all scruples!

Tenthly, He yet comes nearer to a sinner (as it were) and doth professe, that the greatest sins that ever they have committed against him, shall not hinder them from comming to him, nor him from par­doning them. Isa. 1.18, Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord. though your sins be as Scarlet, they shalbe as white as Snow. Oh here the Lord proclaimes that all thy sinnes past shall bee done away, Thy continuance in sinne will be thy undoing, if any thing.

Eleventhly, Againe Consider, The Lord doth in his Word use very powerfull arguments, to draw the heart to bee reconciled to him; Hee doth not onely offer mercy, and set it before the soule, but he doth labour with strong reasons, and arguments, and motives, to draw the soule to himselfe, and doth use these arguments, that will take the heart most. Sometimes hee doth draw arguments from his equity. Ezekiel 18. [...]5. Are not my wayes equall saith the Lord. Sometimes from our nec [...]ssity. Joh. 3.36. Hee that beleeveth not, the wrath of God abideth on him. Sometimes from the benefit [Page 8]and profit we shall have, if we do come in; Prov. 1.23. Turn yee at my reproof, and behold I will powre out my Spirit upon you, I will make known my words unto you. Oh blessed promise! one would think, this should break the heart of Devils; as if the Lord had said, well, though thou hast been a great sinner, and though thou hast re­belled against me ever since thou wast born; yet if thou wilt but turn at my reproof, or say to thy God, Turn us and we shal be turned, (for I must doe it) I will powre out my Spirit upon thee, I will give grace and [...]ory, a House, a City, a Kingdome, Light, Life, and all things: The Lord doth seem to out-bid all other comforts that we have in sin; therefore he doth tell us of honey, milk, raiment, such things as do most take with our hearts, that so he might gain us to come in and be at one with him. Now I shall appeal to your consci­ences, that have felt this in some measure: Doth not the Devill come with strong arguments? The World with the like? And wick­ed men with strong perswasions? The corruptions within you with strong motives? And yet doth not the Lord out-bid them all, and so win the Soule to himself.

Twelfth, Consider further, The Lord comes and answers all obje­ctions that lye in the hearts of sinners.

Ob. 1. Saith one I am unworthy; I have nothing in me that good is:

Ans. The Lord saith, Isa. 55. Come and buy milk and wine with­out money, and without price, three times it is spoken in one or two verses. So that God doth set forth his kingdome by milke, wine and bread, things usefull for the body; sometimes by a marriage, some­times by a supper, wherein are all kindes of dainties; sometime he doth invite them to the supper, and to the marriage of his Sonne, and sometimes doth compell them to come in. Then the Devil working with our corrupt nature; doth what he can to make the Soule slight the Gospel, and to look upon the blood of the Covenant as a mean thing: When the soul doth begin indeed to apprehend the greatnes and sweetnes of the Gospel of glad tidings, then steps in Sathan; What such a one as thou have such mercy? Fellow sinners; mark the policy of the subtle Devil, he doth at first labor to set at naught the Gospel, accounting it as a mean thing: But when the Lord doth shine through that mist, and shew the soul the excellency of his son, and the glory of the Gospel: Then comes the devil the other way, saying, with thee these be great things indeed; But thou art vile and base both in thy principles & practice: and canst thou think that God ever intended [Page 9]these things to thee? What to such a one as thou art; Then the Lord answereth for thee, Come without money and without price, as if he had said, though thou hast no ability to doe any thing; yet come I will make thee rich enough; thou hast no money (that is no self righ­teousnes) let not that hinder, Revel. 22.17. The Spirit and the Bride say come, and let him that bears come, and let him that is a thirst come, and whosoever will let him take of the water of life free­ly.

Ob. It may be (saith the Soule, though the Lord doth require no­thing before hand; yet when I am come he will require hard things of me, I must live so strictly, and abandon all my pleasures, what? shall I leave all those pleasant wayes, and have nothing but according to the word, and according to conscience; Then farewell all the comfort and joy of all our life, if we come to this once.

Ans. I appeale to you, whether your hearts have not been kept of by such things as these. But now (ó fellow sinners) mark how Christ doth take off these objections, Matth. 11. Come unto me and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you (and mark what follows) my yoke is easie and my burthen light. As if Christ should say, I will lay no yoak upon you but what is easie, nor any burthen but what is light. And this I affirme, though this may seem to be hard to you at first; you will finde the wayes of God more easie than ever you found the wayes of sin: Do but ask them that have any experience of the love of God to them, and they will tell thee; that they have found more sweetnesse in one day, in following of God, than they found in the wayes of sin many years: Prov. 3.17. Her wayes are wayes of plea­santnesse, and all her paths are peaceable paths: Now if you will believe the spirit of God, you see there is more peace, more joy, more sweetnesse, more comfort than ever you had before.

13. Again consider, The Lord doth not onely use strong argu­ments, and answer all objections. But he is importunate too, as first; He doth cry out after sinners; Prov. 1. Wisdome cryeth in the streets, and so Prov. 9. and Isa. 55. He doth make Proclamation, Ho, every one that thirsteth come! He doth importune, and bid come, over and over again, and again; Come, come, come, three times together: So that God doth seek more earnestly to sinners, than they doe to him. It may be thou wilt seek to God once for a mercy thou wantest, and give over; But behold, God cals to thee again and again, come, come, come.

[Page 10]14. If all this will not prevaile with sinners to come in, yet the Lord leaves them not, but appeals to the very Consciences of sinners, & deals with them that way. If you were in great distresse concerning your estate or life, and you go to a man that hath both wisdom and power to help you; and open the case to him, but cannot prevaile: then you bring strong arguments; and they do not move, then you take away all objections: but yet prevaile not; then you importune him, and urge your arguments againe and again; and all this doth not prevaile; then you appeale to his own conscience whether you have not spoken right to him, saying; I will even leave this to your own conscience to judge of it; and this many times doth prevaile when no [...]hing else will: even thus (of all the world) doth God deal with sinners and appeals to their own consciences. Isa. 43.26. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together. Declare thou that thou mayest be justified: as if the Lord had said, If thou canst declare any thing why thou doest not come, that lyeth in thy way, I will remove it, and thou shalt be accepted. Ier. 2.5. Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your Fathers found in me, that they are gone farre from me. Vers 31. Have I been a barren wildernesse to Israel. Ezek. 18.25. Hear now ô house of Israel, are not my ways equall? are not your waies unequall? as if the Lord had said, doe you think in your conscience, that these wayes that you walk in are right? Is this equall, that sin­ners should go on their dayes and passe their time in sin; and when they can sin no longer, then to plead for mercy: Is this equall? If this will not doe, the Lord will say, Conscience let him alone; So con­science may be quiet, but the Lord hath left pleading with him.

15. Again, the Lord hath many times brake forth into tears to see the stubbornesse of m [...]ns hearts: O Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, &c. if thou hadst known in this thy day the things that make for thy peace. Now suppose that Christ should come and weep over a company of poore sinners, as he did over Jerusalem, saying, ô thou sinfull soule, hadst thou known in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace, and suppose thou shouldest see one tear trickling down after another, and he should say; Oh, that this people did but know the things that belong unto their peace: If thou hadst a heart of stone, it could not but melt.

16. The Lord doth foresee, what a little honour hee shall have of this sinner when he hath brought him home; he seeth still that thou wilt have abundance of corruption in thy heart, and that thou wilt grieve his holy Spirit, and walk very offensively, dishonour the way [Page 11]of Religion, and open the mouths of the enemies as David; I say, God doth foresee, that after he hath taken all this pains to bring thee unto himself, what a little honour he shall have by thee, and yet he doth perswade thee to come: This also doth note his willingnesse to save thee.

Lastly, consider, that after the Lord our tender Father hath used all these means and many more to bring in sinners; yet he is conten­ted to waite a long time upon sinners, and to take advantages to win them. Isa. 30.18. The Lord doth waite that he may be gracious unto you. O how many years hath the Lord waited upon me, and thee, and other sinners: How long hath he knocked, and yet we let him stand at the doore. O Jerusalem wilt thou not be made clean, when shall it once be. Isa. 51.17, 18. I smote him, and he went on frowardly; but I have seen his waies, and will heal him, and restore comfort to him, and to his mourners. Though he went on frowardly, I will restore comfort to him.

Now put all this together, and see how infinitely willing God is to save thee, ô thou drowping sinner.

Quest. If any should ask a reason, why God is so importunate and desirous to draw up sinners to himself?

Answ. 1. The ground of this love is in himself, and I can give no reason of it, but the same that he hath left upon record, Exod. 33.19. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mer­cy on whom I will shew mercy.

2. He doth this, because mercy pleaseth him: Micah. 7.18. I will pardon because mercie pleaseth mee, saith the Lord; Now then, that that doth please a man, he is ever desirous after: The scripture saith, He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men; but hee sheweth mercy willingly, because he delighteth in it.

3. The blood of Christ his onely sonne doth cry aloud in the ears of the Lord for mercy; and that obedience of Christ wherewith the Lord is satisfied, is so well pleasing to him, that whatsoever this blood doth plead for, God must needs grant: Now the blood of Christ, cryeth mercy, mercy Lord, for sinners; the blood of Abel cryed vengeance, vengeance; but the blood of Christ speaketh bet­ter things, and cryeth pardon, pardon. Nothing in the world can stop the current of Gods mercy to a people, when it doth come to the blood of Christ; Then saith the father of mercies, open all the flood­gates now, and let mercy be shewed in the highest degree; seeing the blood of my sonne cryeth for this: though this be wonderfull [Page 12]mercy to pardon such a great sinner, there is not a drop onely, but a Sea of mercy, to cleanse thee throughly. Come, saith the Lord, let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet; they shall be as white as Snow. Isa. 1 18. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy trans­gressions for my own name sake, and will not remember. thy sins. Isa. 43 25. Put me in remembrance, saith the Lord, put me in remem­brance of this my promise, and let us plead together, saith the Lord; Declare these words with thy mouth, that I have put into thy heart, that thou mayest be justified. Isa. 43.26.

O thou troubled sinner (for to thee I speak) I mean thee, to whom sin is a but then; See how our tender father hath dealt with our bro­ther prodigall; Luke 15 28. He arose and came to his Father; but when he was yet a great way of, his Father saw him, and had com­passion on him, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him.

1. Take notice, his father sees him, before he sees his Father. No sooner doth a sinner think of looking toward heaven, but the Lord spyes him and pities him.

2. He saw him whiles he was a great way off; he was but in the beginning of his way to come: his father might have let him alone till he had been come quite home to his house, and it had been sin­gular mercy to have bid him welcome then; but it is done whiles he is a great way off. So thou art at a great distance from the mercy of God in thy apprehension, that is, thou canst not believe, nor scarce hope in his mercy; yet he will draw nigh to thee.

3. The scripture saith, his father had compassion on him: I see the Lords bowels yearn, work, and stir within him at the sight of his son, Jer. 3.20. Therefore my bowels are troubled for him, I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord. Jer. 9.24. I delight in loving kindnes, Mich. 7.18. He pardoneth because mercy pleaseth him.

4. It is said, that his father ran: How rich, abundant mercy had it been in his father, though he had stood still, till his son had come to him: But what mercy is this? he will go towards him, and give him a meeting; O mercy! that his father ran not from him; but what mercy call you this, that he runs to him: Why, would it not have ser­ved (if he would needs go meet him) to have walked toward him with a soft and grave pace? No, no, that will not serve the Lords turn: if a sinner will but go towards the Lord, mercy will not go a foot-pace, but runs to meet him; yea, mercy draws him and puts him upon comming at first-step: The sonnes pace is, he arose and came he came walking towards his father; this is the fathers pace he ran; the [Page 13]sonne most needed to have run, his belly was pinched with hunger, yet hee onely walkes, but his father runs, bowels full of mercy out­pace bowels pinched with hunger.

5. I see him falling upon his necke, that is, he hugg'd and em­braced him, How? fall on his necke? Who would not have beene loath to have touched him? yea, to come neare him? Is he not in his loathsome stinking rags? Smels he not of the Swine hee kept? Could a man come neare him without stopping his Nose? Would not a man bee ready to cast up his Stomach, upon such an embrace­ment? Mercy is not nice and dainty, will God thus embrace a Prodigall in his loathsome rags? Oh sinner be encouraged to draw neare to God, for the worst of all wickednesse and basenesse in the world cannot make him rejct thee. Ezekiel 16.4 5, 6.

6. But yet behold, a greater wonder than all the rest: I see him kissing his Sorne; who could have brooked to have imbraced a person, in so futhy a pickle? Much lesse would any one kisse such a one; what kisse those lips that had beene so lately lapping in the Hogs-Trough: Those lips that had so often kiss'd those base and beggerly Harlots; Kisse him? A man would rather have thought he would have kick'd him, and yet his Father kisseth him. There is a passage somewhat like this, Gen. 33.4. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his Neck, and kissed him. A strang and wonderfull thing that hee that had threatned to kill him and came now upon that errand to kill him and all his, That his heart should bee so strangely altered by God, that killing should bee turned into kissing: It was very strange that Esau should kisse Jacoh, but it is more strange here, that this Father should kisse this Prodi­gall.

Read and consider well these Scriptures.

Joh. 1.29. Behold the Lambe of God, that taketh away the sins of the World.

Luke 2.10.11. Behold I bring you good tydings of great joy, that shall bee to all people. That is, That unto you is borne this day in the City of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.

John 3.16. God so loved the World that he gave his onely be­gotten Son, to this end, that all that beleeve in him should not perish, but have life everlasting.

John 3.17. God sent not his Son into the world, to condemne the world, but that the world through him might be saved.

[Page 14]1 Tim. 1.15. This is a true saying that Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chiefe.

Heb. 13.12. Jesus that he might sanctifie the people with his own blood, suffered without the Gate.

1 John 2.1, 2. If any man sinne wee have an Advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous, and hee is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours onely, but also the sinnes of the whole world.

Rev. 5.8. Thou wast killed and hast redeemed us to God out of every kindred, tongue and people.

Psalm 145.19. Hee will fulfill the desire of them that feare him.

Zach. 13.1. The Lord hath opened a Fountaine for sinne and for uncleannesse.

He every one that thirsteth come then. Isaiah 55.1.

Blessed are they that bunger and thirst, for they shall be filled. Math. 5.6.

If any man thirst, let him come unto mee and drinke. John 7. ver. 37, 38.

And hee that commeth to me I will in no wise cast off; oh marke, I will in no wise cast him off, John 6.37, that is, there is no cor­ruption in thee, nor all thy enemies without thee, that shall so farre prevaile with mee, as that I shall forsake thee.

Oh then come unto mee, come unto mee, all you that are heavy laden, and I will undoubtedly give you rest.

1. Consider, Hee that hath made these promises, is able to make them good.

2. Hee is not onely able to doe it, but hee is willing to doe it, hee delights in it.

3. Hee is not only able and willing, but he is faithfull too in keeping promise; In so much that not one title shall faile of all that he hath promised: He never saith, Seeke yee me in vaine.

1. Take notice, the Lord keepes open house, Rev. 22.17. Let him that will, come and take of the water of life freely.

2. Because of our backwardnesse to come, he invites, Isa. 55.1. He, every one that thirsteth, come.

3. Hee answereth objections, and taketh away all excuses, in these words, come without money and without price, though thou hast not righteousnesse to commend thee to mee, yet come, without money and without price.

[Page 5]4. He assures thee, thou shalt be welcome, John 6.37. Him that commeth to me, I will in no wise cast off.

5. Hee tels thee, that if thou come, thou shalt not loose thy labour, He will give thee rest, Mat. 11.28.

Hee will give thee rest from thine owne righteousnesse, that thou shalt see thy acceptance in the righteousnesse of another, and so cease from thine owne. Hee will give thee rest, that is, hee will still those troubles that arise in thine heart, and take off those veiles from thine eyes, and the bondage that lay upon thy heart, and shew thee that he hath set the free from hell, death, law, sinne past, present, and to come, and so gives thee faith, which is the evidence of things not seene, which will evidence this to thy soule: Thy soule no sooner apprehends this, but presently it wilbe ready to break forth in these words of Mary, Luke 1.46, 47, 48. My Soule doth magnifie the Lord, my Spirit hath rejoyced in God my Saviour: For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaid &c.

And now to draw to a conclusion (for as I said in the beginning) I have but a Word to the World. 1 He gives free liberty to come. 2. Hee invites thee 3. He will bid thee welcome. 4. He will case thee of all thy troubles.

Object. But thou wilt say, Heare are indeed sweet rules and blessed promises amongst these things that you have layd downe. But I have no abillity to walke in the one, nor heart to embrace or beleeve the other, and I finde it written, Jer. 10.23. The way of man is not in himselfe, It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Answ. But consider, hee requires nothing of thee, but what he hath promised hee will inable thee to doe. For instance, Isa. 1.16. He requires thee, and saith, wash thee and make thee cleane, put a­way the evill of thy doings, cease to doe evill: Learne to doe well. Here is his precept, and thy duty. Now turne from this precept to that promise, Jer. 3 [...].8. I will cleanse them from all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against mee. Now when thou goest about that duty required, and findest thy selfe unable, then looke to that same promise; And in the apprehension thereof, thy soule shall looke up, and goe about the worke in the strength (not of thy selfe) but of the mighty God of grace, who hath spoken, and will doe it for thee. So for Repentance, He commands thee to repent. Acts 17. [...]0. Thou goest about it, but findest the worke of Repentance (true and unfayned) too hard for thee to performe: Then turne from this [Page 16]precept to that promise, Acts 5.31. And when thou there seest, that hee that hath commanded thee to repent, even the God of power, and truth, and that cannot lye, hath engaged himselfe to enable thee to the performance thereof, wilt thou not bee encou­raged?

Againe, He commands thee, not to let sin reigne in thee, Rom. 6.12. And is not the promise nigh thee (ver. 14.) that it shall not reigne in thee

Object. Thou wilt say, These promises indeed are made to the E­lect, and to Saints!

Answ. Let that bee granted: Yet art thou excluded? Canst thou say thou art not elected? How wilt thou prove it? wilt thou dive into the secret Counsell of God? It is too deepe for thee to fathome. Doest thou complain that thy wicked life doth evidence it? Well; Consider then: hast thou denyed Christ? So did Peter, hast thou persecuted Christ? did not Paul so? And yet for all this, were not they elected? In a word; There is not a man or woman under the whole Heavens can justly or truly say, he or shee is not elected, of this many reasons and testimonies might be given, but I would not be tedious.

Hee commands thee to love him, with all thy heart with all thy strength and with all thy soul, Deu. 10.12. and Deut. 30.6. The Lord comes in with his promise, saying. I wil circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soule, that thou mayest live. He commands Col. 3 5. To mor­tifie thy earthly members which are upon the earth &c. And Micah 7 19. he undertakes the worke: Hee will subdue our iniquities, and cast all our sins into the depth of the Sea.

2 Cor. 15.2. The Lord saith by Paul, Thou must keepe in memory, what is preached unto thee. But thou wilt say (as most doe) thou canst not remember; then have recourse to that promise, John 14 26. There the Lord undertakes and promiseth to thee, saying, Hee will teach thee all things, and bring all things to thy remembrance, whatsoever he hath said unto thee. So David Psal 25 5. intreates the Lord to teach him, and instruct him in his way. And in Psal. 25.12. The Lord undertakes the worke, and Psal. 32.8. The Lord saith to him, I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt goe; I will guide thee with mine eye. And so for all things whatsoever the Lord thy God requireth of thee in any Scripture; In the same or another Scripture hee comes in with his sweet, and [Page 17]blessed promises of assistance, to enable thee unto it: He knows right well as saith Jeremiah, chap. 10.23. Ehe way of man is not in himselfe, it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. In a word, consider; There bee many of the greatest promises amidst the greatest precepts. So Deut. 10.20. Hee commands thee to feare him, and Jer. 32.39. Hee comes with a sweet promise saying, I will give thee an heart to feare mee, and in another Scripture. I will put my feare into your hearts. Truly friend, the consideration of this, will sweeten all the commands of the Lord unto thee, and it will cause thee to set about what is required, in the strength (not of thy selfe) but of the Lord, then goe on, and bee strong in him and in the power of his might. Now to draw to a conclusion, consider these particulars.

First, That if after all these sweete encouragements, invitations, entreatings, perswasions, beseechings, thou continue still in unbeliefe, and will not come to him that thou mayest have life, although hee doth protest that him, that doth come to him, hee will in no wise cast out, John 6.37. It is the greatest of thy sinnes, and it may be, thou shalt heare the Lords voyce changed and telling thee, the axe is laid to the root of the tree, and hee that brings not forth good fruit shall be hewen downe and cast into the fire: Or suppose thou should­est heare him saying to thee as once he was to Jerusalem, Mat. 23.37. Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a Hen gathereth her Chickens, but yee would not: Behold your house is left unto you desolate. Prov. 1.24. 25. Because I have called and yee refused, I have stretched out my ha [...]d and no man regarded, verse 26. I also will laugh at your cala­mity, and mocke when your feare commeth. Reade and well consider that in Heb. 12.16, 17. Esau having slighted and undervalued his birth-right, would afterwards have repented, but could not, though hee sought it with teares. Therefore to day if you will heare his voyce harden not your hearts.

Secondly, Consider; The day is at hand, in which all the Na­tions of the world, all the Tribes, Kindreds and Tongues under the heavens that now are, ever were or shall be, I say all, both small and great shall be gathered together before the judgement Seat of Christ. Math. 25.32.33, 34. &c. Yea the Sea shall give up her dead, and the Grave shall give up her dead: Death and Hell shall give up their dead. Rev. 20.12, 13, 14. In another place wee reade, that we shall all appeare before the judgement Seat of Christ, and all that ever thou hast done, good, or evill, shall be laid open before all the [Page 18]world, all thy sins, secret and open, shall be brought to light; and thou shalt bee judged according to thy workes, Math. 25.32, 33, 34, 35. Rev. 20.12, 13. Then when the secrets of all hearts are laid open, if thou art found a beleever in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that thou hast made him thy confidence, then thou shalt in that terrible day stand up with boldnesse, 1 John 4.17. And thy Judge (which is thy Saviour) shall say to thee, as in Matth. 25.34. Come yee blessed of my Father, inherit yee the Kingdome prepared for you, from the foundation of the world, then shall all teares bee wiped from thine eyes, and sorrow and sighing shall flye away, there shall bee ease without payne, beauty without blemish, credit with­out disgrace, in a word, thy priviledges and enjoyments shall be so great, as the heart of man cannot conceive, much lesse his tongue re­port: for thou shalt be like him. 1 John 3.2.

But if thy name be not writen in the Lambs book, if thou conti­nuest still in unbelief, and endest thy days with an evill life: Oh what a terrible day will this be unto thee! 2 Pet. 3.12. The heavens shall be on fire and dissolve; the earth also it shall melt with fervent heat: then, if the rocks and mountains might fall on thee, thou wouldest think it a favour, to hide thee from the face of him that sitteth on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lambe; for the great day of his wrath is come: and who shall abide it? Rev. 6.16, 17, &c. Then shalt thou hear that dreadfull sentence passe on thee, Matth. 25.41. De­part from me yee Cursed into Everlasting fire, prepared for the De­vill and his Angels. Consider a little, this dolefull sentence.

1. Thou must depart from the presence of the Lord.

2. Thou departest (not blessed but) a cursed wretch. Depart from me yee cursed.

3. Not onely into fire, but into everlasting fire, no hope of retur­ning.

4. The companions that thou shalt have there, are the Devill and his Angels, Depart from me yee cursed into everlasting fire, prepa­red for the Devill and his Angels. And this dreadfull day will come as a thiefe in the night, 2 Pet. 3.10. In which the heavens shall passe away with a great noise, and the element shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up, &c. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved. 2 Pet. 3.11. What manner of persons ought you to be, in all holy conversation and godlinesse? Oh! then take heed, Watch and pray, for you know not how near the time is. Mark 13.33. The day of the Lord commeth as [Page 19]a thiefe in the night, 1 Thess. 5.2. Wherefore (beloved) seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot and blamelesse, 2. Pet. 3.14.

Thirdly, consider, if it should be a few moneths or years before this great and terrible day come; yet it may not, for ought that thou knowest, be many dayes, no, not so much as many houres or minutes, before thy particular end come; in which, thou shalt be gasping for life, and breathing out thy last breath: If then thou look up, God will appear as an angry Judge; if thou look down, the bottomlesse Pit will strike terrour into thee; on thy right hand, thy sins stand accusing thee; on thy left hand, the Devill is ready to execute Gods eternall sentence upon thee; within thee, thy conscience gnawing; without thee, thy friends bewailing. So that look which way thou wilt, above thee, beneath thee, within thee, without thee; every ob­ject will adde to thy miserie. Therefore, Oh, remember thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth, before these evill daies come Eccles. 12.1. Intreat the Lord, as David did, Psal. 39.4. Lord make mee to know mine end, and the measure of my daies, what it is; That I may know how fraile I am. And wilt thou know how fraile thou art, oh vaine man? then consider,

One scripture saith of thy dayes, it is as water spilt upon the ground, 2 Sam. 14.14. Another scripture saith, Our dayes are like a shad­dow. Psal. 102.11. And as if that were too long, Job saith, Job 7.7, My life is but a winde: Psal. 102.3. Our daies consume like smoak. Wee all doe fade as a leafe, Isa. 64 6. All flesh is grasse, and all the glory of man, as the flower of the grasse, the grasse withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. 1 Pet. 1.24. And as if all these re­semblances signified too much length, to hold forth the shortnes of our life; the holy Ghost doth contract it shorter. Psal. 39 5. Thou hast made my dayes as an hand breadth. And as if that resemblance also, were too long, he saith in the same verse, Mine age is as nothing. Well then doth the scripture in many places say, We are like a buble of the brooke, a tale that is told, or a dream. Oh how should the seri­ous consideration hereof, teach thee so to number thy dayes, that thou mightest apply thine heart to true and perfect wisdome. Or as the wise man saith, Eccles. 12.6. Remember thy creator before the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowle be broken, for as death leaves thee, so Judgement will finde thee, &c. In a word, it is a point of high wisdome, to be often thinking and meditating of out latter end, for the Lord himself faith, Deut. 32.29. That they were wise, that they [Page 20]understood this, to consider their latter end. So he that made thee, teach and perfect thee.

Two Words to those chosen out of the World.

NOw I shall come to speak two words to those that are chosen out of the World.

First, Generally, to all the Saints.

Secondly, More particularly, to the Saints under those titles, or forms, by which they are most commonly known.

1 The word in generall. To all that are truly godly, for now to you I speak, even to you my fellow members, and brethren in Christ. Awake, awake, Put on t [...]y strength O Sion, put on thy beautifull garments, O Ierusalem, thou holy City. Isa. 52.1. Arise my belo­ved, and come away, 2 Can. 10.13. For the day is dawning, and the day-star arising in your hearts, 2 Pet. 1.19.

Oh Saints! Consider a little upon what ground you stand, upon what foundation you are built: doest thou believe there was such a Christ as the scriptures mention? Doest thou believe that this Christ took thy nature, and also thy sins? Doest thou believe, that in this thy nature, he fulfilled the law, took it away, nailed it to the Crosse, and so is become the end of the law to all that believe? also freed thee from sin past, present, and to come, and so from death the wa­ges thereof? doest thou conceive; that God will make good his gra­cious promises, in particular these? Isa. 25.7, 8, &c. He will de­stroy in this mountain, the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vaile that is spread over all nations, He will swallow up death in victory: And the Lord God will wipe away tears from of all faces, And the rebuke of his people shall bee taken away, from off all the earth. Doest thou believe that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters the Sea, and that We shall all know him from the greatest to the least. Jer. 31.34. Doest thou believe those words, which the Lord spake to Daniel, chap. 7.27. And the kingdome, and the dominion, and the greatnes of the kingdome under the whole heavens (mark this word under the whole heavens) shall be given to the people of the Saints, for their kingdome is an everlasting king­dome, and all dominions, shall serve and obey them. Doest thou be­lieve those words, Isa. 30.26. Moreover the light of the Moone shall be as the light of the Sun, and the light of the Sun shall be se­venfold? [Page 21]Doest thou believe, that the Lord will wipe away all tears from off all faces, and that there shall be no more sorrow nor crying: neither shall there be any more pain. Revel. 21.4. Doest thou believe what the Lord saith, in Isa. 35.10. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Sion, with songs, and everlasting joy, upon their heads; They shall obtain joy and gladnes; and sorrows and sighing shall flie away. Doest thou believe the Lord will heal all our back­slidings, all our distractions? and compose all our differences? and give all his people one heart and one way? Jer. 32.39. Read under­standingly, that 11. Isa. 6.7, 8, 9 The Woolfe also shaell dwell with the Lambe, and the Leopard shall lie down with the Kid, and the Calf, and the young Lion, and the fatling together; and the Cow, and the Beare shall feed their young, and lie down together. And the Lion, shall eate straw like the Oxe, and the sucking childe shall play on the hole of the Aspe, and the weaned childe shall put his hand on the Coc­katrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all mine holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the Sea. Light is sown for the righteous; and gladnes for the upright in heart. Isa. 79 11.12. Therefore rejoyce in the Lord yee righteous and give thanks at the remembrance of his holines. These (and, many scriptures more, which for brevity I omit) doe shew thee, ô most noble overcomming Saint, that glorious times are com­ming; wherefore, gird up the loins of thy minde, be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto thee, at the reve­lation of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1.13. And when he is revealed; a­mongst many mercies, which thou shalt receive, I will onely mention two.

First, he shall appear without sin; and thou shalt appear so in him Hebr. 9 the last.

Secondly, Thou shalt be like him; for thou shalt see him, as he is. 1 John 3.2, &c. Then when thy soule apprehends this, it will even break forth into praises, and songs of deliverance, as once David: God let in a light, whereby he saw his sins pardoned. Psal. 103. 1, 2, 3, 4. Blesse the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me, blesse his holy name. Blesse the Lord O my soule and forget not all his be­nefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy dis­eases. Who redeemeth thy life from death, who crowneth thee with loving kindnes, and tender mercies. If thou ask, why I doe ci [...]e so many scriptures, and not explain them, I answer. Remember to whom I speak, that is, to the chosen generation, to the Saints enligh­tened, [Page 22]and they have the sum of them opened to them already; or at reast they have the spirit of God in them, which is the truest Key to unfold, or unlock the mysterie of them, unto them.

Object. 2. But I suppose; that many of these forementioned pro­mises were made unto particular Saints, as, to the Jews, or the like; And so have been fulfilled to them: And if so, Then what matter of comfort can they administer unto me?

Answer Suppose it were so; That they bee fulfilled already: (which I know, most doe say) yet in some measure (through Gods goodnes) I doe know the contrary; they are wholly, or for the greatest part, yet to be fulfilled: as I could prove by scripture; but I forbear because I would not be tedious. But suppose they were made to some particular Saints, and fulfilled to them, yet they are in whole, or in part, appliable to thee, as to instance in one scripture for all. Josh. 1.5. The Lord promised Joshua, that he would never leave him nor forsake him. And the Apostle in Heb. 13.5. presseth the Saints to make use of, and to lay hold on that promise, as made to them, though it was made to Joshua many hundred yeares be­fore.

Object. 3. If they be yet to bee fulfilled, it is a great question whether I shall live to see any of them fulfilled, and then what com­fort doe they hold forth to mee?

Answ. If thou doest not live to see them fulfilled with thy bodily eyes, yet with the eye of Faith, which is the evidence of things not seen (with naturall eyes) Heb. 11.1. Thou mayest see them fulfilled to thee: as the Saints Hebr. 11.13. They all dyed in the Faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them a farre off, and were perswaded of them, and embraced them, that is, They lived in the enjoyment of them, in the Spirit. Again, 1 Thess 4.16.17. There are promises made; one, That the dead in Christ shall rise first, and another, That we shall ever be with the Lord. And in the 18. vers. He commands the Saints, that they should comfort one ano­ther with these words. Then (in one word) this is the summe to be learned from hence; that we should not onely rejoyce in the present enjoyments, but live in a full expectation of (and comfort in) what wee shall shortly enjoy; and comfort one another with these words.

Is not that time drawing neare which is prophesied of, Rev. 11.15. And the seventh Angel sounded, and there were great voyces in Heaven, saying, the Kingdomes of this world are become the King­domes [Page 23]of our Lord, and of his Sonne Christ, and hee shall reigne for evermore. Wherefore, most noble over-comming Saints, Servants of the most high, and mighty God, looke for great alterations, and mighty changes. See what desolations God will make in the earth, when he hath accomplished his worke upon mount Sion, then hee will Judge the Mountaine of Esau; that is, when God hath fully brought up his people to enjoy nothing but himselfe, then he will declare himselfe to be a God taking vengeance, on his, and our ene­mies. Wherefore rejoyce O you Saints, for the time of your singing is come. The day of our redemption is appearing. Howle oh Ba­bylon: Mourne oh thou proud opposer of Christ, thy pride is fal­ling, thy end is comming: Who will mourne for thee? Then shall all thy lovers stand a farre off, for feare of thy torments; they stand farre off, they will not come neare to comfort thee. Bee silent then, oh all flesh, for the Lord is risen out of his holy habitation. Then wilt thou break forth as in Isa. 25.9. And it shall be said in that day, This is our God; wee have waited for him: This is our Lord; wee have waited for him; we will bee glad and rejoyce in his salvation. Then by this glorious appearing hee will destroy the face of the co­vering cast over all people, and the vaile that is spread over all nations, and hee will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away teares, from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall be taken away, from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. Isa. 25.7, 8. Oh Saints, lift up your heads, your redemption draws nigh; and now will our God make good to us, that which is written. Zephe. 3.9. I will turne to the people of pure Language, and they shall serve me, with one consent. This pure Language is the Language of the Spirit.

Is appointed by God to put an end to these divisions, not till then shall the envy of Ephraim depart, and the enemies of Judah be cut off, Ephraim not envy Judah, nor Judah vexe Ephraim. Then the Kingdome, and the dominion, and the greatnesse of the King­dome, shall bee given to the Kingdome of the Saints; Whose King­dome, is an ever lasting Kingdome, and all dominions shall serve and obey them, Dan. 7.27. Then the Nations that will not serve thee (that is Christ in the Saints) shall perish Isa. 60.12 Now God, hav­ing given you all one heart, and one way, as it is written Jer. 32.19 Now shall bee brought to passe that saying, Isa. 11.6, 7, 8. The Woolfe shall dwell with the Lambe, and the Leopard shall lye downe with the Kid &c. verse 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all [Page 24]mine holy mountaine, for the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the Sea. The envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the Adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Then all you, the Israell of God, shall have your Fathers law written in your hearts. Then you shall cease, teaching one another, saying, know the Lord, for they shall all of them know mee, from the least to the greatest of them, saith the Lord, Jer. 31.34

My deare friends, I have much more to write unto you of these things, but being more straitned in time, than in love; at present, I shall passe by many things, first concerning the restitution of all things spoken of Rom. 8.19, 20, 21, 22, 23. and Acts 3 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. And to in many other Scriptures, which for present I omit, and then, what shall follow upon the restitution of all things Rev. 11.15. Rev. 21.2, 3, 4. These things were in my heart, to write of distinctly, seeing that all, as well Saints as sinners are extreamely ignorant of these tnings, though most clearly held forth in Scripture, that a man can hardly speake of them, though he speaks no more than the History holds forth, but one is offended and another is troubled, therefore at present I am silent therein: As our Lord said, I have more things to speake, but yee cannot beare them now; and this Scripture likewise, Hast thou faith? have it to thy selfe &c. So I passe by that which thou shalt shortly enjoy, and come to speake a few words of what many of the Saints doe already enjoy, and oh that all the Saints did but truly consider these ensuing things, which I never received of man, neither was I taught them by man: but of God alone.

Thou that art a beleever, consider;

First, The law that thou hast broken, Christ hath kept, fulfilled, and taken away.

Secondly, Thy sinnes which were many, both originall, and actuall, of omission, and commission, thy sins past, those present, and those to come, are all laid upon Christ, and the wages due to them heereceived.

Thirdly, Consider, Upon what accompt thou now standest, before the Father, not of thine owne righteousnesse but the righteous­nesse of Christ.

Fourthly, Consider, That thou being made free from sin, doest reckon thy selfe so, Rom. 6.11. Likewise reckon your selves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God.

Fifthly, When thou art thus built upon Christ; and thus rooted, [Page 25]and grounded in him, Ephe. 3.18, 19. Then thou shalt be able to com­prehend with all Saints, what is the height, and depth, breadth, and length of his love, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.

Now followes, the fruit of this knowledge; The soule that is enlightened, will not goe on in sinne, but the love of Christ will con­straine him from a course of sinne, I shall speake a word to every one of these particulars, briefly, and plainely.

1. Of the first, the Law, that thou hast broken, Christ hath kept, fulfilled, and taken away. The Law required obedience of thee, Christ comes, and yeelds obedience for thee, and imputes it to thee, Rom. 5.19. As by the disobedience of one, many are made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many bee made righteous. The Law required the keeping of every title, of the first and second Table, Christ comes and walkes up to it, step by step. So that the Law could no sooner require obedience, but presently Christ yeelds obedience, as it was in the old Testament prophesied, and in the new, testified of him. The Law required an holy life; Christ lived a holy life: The Law required perfect obedience, as well in the principles, as in the practise; Christ yeelds it in both: The Law requires death for the least disobedience, and though Christ had not broken it in any title, yet hee representing the persons of those that had broken it, became obedient unto the Law in this also, Phillip. 2.8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himselfe, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Crosse: And that the Law is done a­way by Christ see 2 Cor. 3. foure times in that chapter it is said to bee done away. Also Rom. 7. Rom. 10.4. and so the 2, 3, 4. chap. to the Galathians, and many other Scriptures.

2. Consider, Thy sinnes which are many, both originall, and actuall, of omission, or commission, against the first Table, or the second, thy sins, past, present and to come, are all laid upon Christ, and the wages due to them hee received, Isai. 53 6. And the Lord hath laid on him, the iniquities of us all: 1 Pet. 2.24. Who himselfe, bare our sins in his owne body, on the tree, &c. 2 Cor. 5.21. Hee hath made him to be sin for us, that knew no sin, that we might bee made the righteousnesse of God in him, Mat, 8.17. Himselfe tooke our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

3. Consider, Upon what accompt you stand before the Father, viz. not of your own righteousne, but upon the accompt of the righteousnesse of Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1.30. Hee is made unto us, [Page 26]wisedome, righteousnesse, sanctification, and redemption. Phil. 3.9. And be found in him, not having mine owne righteousnesse, which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the righteousnesse of God by Faith.

4. Consider, If the Law be fulfilled, thy sinnes pardoned, and thou now standest before thy Father, by the righteousnesse of ano­ther, Then thou canst not but looke upon thy selfe as free from sin, and so breake forth, as in Rom. 6.11. Likewise, reckon your selves dead unto sinne indeed, but alive unto God. Being then made free from sinne, yee became the Servants of Righteousnesse, Rom. 6.18, But now being made free from sin, and become Servants to God, yee have your fruit unto holinesse, and the end everlasting life, Rom 6.22 Collo. 1.22. Hee hath reconciled you in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and unblameable, and unreprovable in his sight, 1 Thess. 3.13. Now one that is, 1. Holy, 2. Unblameable, 3. Unreproveable, must needs be free from sin.

5. When thou art thus rooted and grounded in love, thou shalt be able to comprehend with all Saints, What is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, Ephe. 3.18. So shalt thou be filled with all the fulnesse of God, verse 19. My thinks I see many of the Saints, even breaking forth in the language of Mary, Luke 46, 47.48. My soule doth magnifie the Lord, my Spirit doth rejoyce in God my Saviour, (and then gives occasion of this Joy) for he hath regarded the low estate of his hand-maid. The tongue of the dumbe doth begin to sing, the eyes of the blind to be opened, and the eares of the deafe to heare. Reade the 35. of Isaiah: that whole chapter, briefly and plainly layes downe, by way of prophesie; that he, our tender father, is bringing downe the mighty from their seat, and exalting them of low legree: yea, he rebuketh Kings for your sakes; your God, is no respecter of persons: If Kings and Princes rebell against him, and his chosen ones, hee will bring downe their heads as low as the block, and if these great ones endeavour to seperate God and his peo­ple, God will seperate their heads from their bodies, you see these dayes of ours doe witnesse to this; in a word, He is pulling downe the Kingdomes of men, and setting up the Kingdome of his deare Sonne. And how doth the brutish Malignant, rage, and the poor blind Presbyterian murmure, at the going on of Gods worke, let mee say to both as Prov. 1.22. How long you simple ones, will you love simplicity? What; doe you not know that God, hath an attribute [Page 27]of justice, that he will magnifie, as well as that of his mercy. If he afflict his own dear children whom he so loves, will he not execute vengeance on his adversaries? Be silent then all flesh before him, for the Lord will bring to passe his work; yea his strange work. True Justice hath no respect of persons: wherefore turn your murmuring, and repining, into rejoycing, and thanksgiving for the just judge­ments of God, upon the enemies of his truth. O you most noble overcomming Saints, servants, of the most high God, you shall judge Angels as well as earthly Kings. Your Father loves you, and there­fore he will honour you, (nay, he doth honour thee already.) Th [...]s [...] that honour me I will honour, saith the Lord. First,

1. He cals thee his servant, and that is a great honour, to be a ser­vant to so heavenly a Prince, but, as if that were too little.

2. He cals you his chosen ones, his friends, Joh 15.15.

3. He cals you his brethren and sisters. Heb. 2.11.

4. He cals you his sonnes and daughters, a more near relation, yet as if that were a stile too low to expresse his tender love unto you.

5. He cals you his chosen Spouse, and Wife, Rev. 21.9.

6. He cals you members of his own body, 1 Cor. 12.12.

7. Hee tels you, yee are coheires with himself, Rom. 8.17.

8. He tels you, that the glory that the Father gave to him, he hath given to you; that you may be one, as the Father and he are one.

9. He tels you, that you are not onely one in the body; but one in the spirit also. 1 Cor. 6.17.

10. And lastly, He tels you that this is but a short taste of what you shall be, 1 Joh. 3.1.2.

How will the consideration of these near relations cause you to break forth with the holy Ghost, 1 Joh. 4.17. As he is so are we in this present world, Or as in Heb. 2.11. Both he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified are all one: again, Hence it is, that the Lord saith, He that toucheth them, toucheth the apple of mine eye: In a word, the Lord takes all the wrongs done to any of his, as done to him­self. Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou mee? I was an hungred, and yee gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and yee cloathed me not. Sick, and in Prison, and you visited me not: In asmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to mee.

Again, consider, As thy most wise God, turns all things to his own glory; so likewise he turns them to thy good: To instance in a few [Page 28]things, as first; The very fall of Adam, wherein the Devill thought to have wrought thy ruine, God in his wisdome hath turned it to thy greatest good. And in the same thing, wherein the Devill thought to cast thee, thy God appointed to recover thee: Adam fell through unbelief; thou rifest again by Faith; and the state in which thou standest in the second Adam, is a more firme and glorious state than that of the first Adam. So that thou hast gotten many priviledges by his fall: For instance,

1. Adam, though made without sin, yet might sin. Now it is im­possible for thee, as thou art made a new creature by Christ, to sin. 1 Ioh. 3.6, 9

2. The first Adam was made inferiour to Angels, but the second Adam hath made thee equall with (if not above) the Angels Luk. 22.36. Matth. 22 30.

3. The first Adam had power over visible creatures of the earth; but thou (being restored by the second▪ Adam) hast power over principalities, and spirituall wickednesses in high places. Ephes. 6.12. 2 Cor. 10.4.

4. Adam was made righteous, and that was a glorious state, but the second Adam hath made thee the righteousnes of God in him. 2 Corin. 5. vers. 21.

5. The first Adam, in his best estate, was subject to fall by the temptation of evil Angels. But nothing can make a separation be­tween thee and thy God. Rom. 8.35.

6. Adam had but a temporall paradise, at the best; but the sonnes of Sion by virtue of their second Adam have a spirituall Paradise. Heb. 12.22, 23.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledgeoff God, how unsearchable are his judgements, and his wayes past finding out. Well doth John say, Ioh. 3.36. Hee that believeth on the soune, hath everlasting life, mark: he doth not say he shall have everlast­ing life; but he hath it already. And particularly he hath it thus,

1. He hath everlasting life in the promise; Feare not little flock: it is your fathers good pleasure to give you the Kingdome

2. He hath it in the first fruits: for what is heaven, but a more full enjoyment hereafter of what is begun here?

3. He hath it even now in possession, by Christ his head; for Christ his head is entred in already. Oh then you servants of God! If you be entred into heaven, if you have received a kingdome that cannot be moved, Serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

[Page 29]So having spoken a word in generall, to all the sons of Zion; give me leave to speak a word in particular to each of them under their severall forms, and herein, I shall somwhat differ from the practice of most men.

I shall first take notice of those things that are commendable in the Saints, to whom I write; to cherish and commend that. And

Secondly, Reprove them sharpely (but yet in the Spirit of love and meeknes) for the evill among them. So did Paul with the Church of Corinth. 1 Corin. 1.4. and so to the 15. verse. So dealt Christ with the Church of Ephesus Rev 2. from the first ve [...]se to the end of the fift. And in the same manner he spake to the Church of Pergamus, Revel 2. from the 12. verse to the end of the 16. And so when he wrote to the Church of Thyatira, Revel. 2.18, 19. I know thy works, and charitie▪ and service, and faith, and thy patience; and how thou growest, for thy last works be more than thy first. So having taken notice of the things commendable, and praised them for that, verse 20. in the next place (not the first) he reproves their evill, saying, Neverthelesse I have a few things against thee, &c.

In this order or method, I shall at present speak; not in opposition to, or deniall of any way now in practice amongst the godly, and warranted by the Scriptures.

A Word to those that have taken to themselves the name of PRESBYTERIANS.

My Brethren,

MY hearts desire and prayer to God is, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of glory may give unto each of you the Spirit of Wisdome and Revelation, in the knowledge of him: That you may be able to comprehend, with all Saints, what is the breadth and length, and height, & depth, & to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulnesse of God; I thank my God on your behalf, for the grace of God that is in some measure given to many of you already, by Jesus Christ. God hath made some of you instrumentall, for the conversion of souls, by the preaching of his Word. And I my self, must acknowledge to the glory of God, and to your praise; that I have had many sweet and heavenly refreshments by your teachings, and solid discourses, both in publique and private. In some things God hath enlightened me [Page 30]by you; and in some other things, I have been convinced by you; and in some other things, I have been confirmed by you: These things I speak by experience; and besides, I have heard from some others, that they have also received the like benefits from the Lord by you. Again, Many of you are men of tender consciences, In so much that when you see but the very appearance of evill, you will abstain from it. And the Charitie of many of you to the Poore is very large, as ap­pears by the relation of many poore Souls, whose bowels you have refreshed; and appears also by your stirring up others, to the per­formance of that duty.

By my Brethren! there are faults amongst you: therefore I have a few things against you.

1. Why do you so frequently complain against this present Parlia­ment, and Army, saying; they be pulling down Magistracy and Mi­nistry? are they pulling down any such Magistracy or Ministry, as Christ hath set up? Or else such as Anti-christ hath set up, and acted his designs by? Let him that is spirituall judge: if you examine our pre­sent Magistracy and Ministry, by the word of Truth; you shall easily see, that they are not according to Christ, but to Anti-christ.

First, Touching the Magistrate, I appeal to your Consciences; Hath he been the Magistrate of God, for good to thee, in countenan­cing them that do well; and punishing of evill doers, or rather: Hath he not continually, for a long time, punished those that doe well; and countenanced those that do ill: Herein, I will appeal to the sons of Sion to judge: Have they not banished, imprisoned, reproached, persecuted, despised, and contemned, and that to the highest pitch of their power, all those, in whom the fruits of the Spirit of Christ have appeared in any measure? And is this a lawfull authority which we ought to obey? Then let us never accompt it blasphe­my, to say, that the most wicked of actions are lawfull and just: For is any thing lesse from the will of God, or more contrary to his commands, than this? Is not one unrighteousnes as absolute a trans­gression as another?

It is worth you pains to examin, what lawfull authority is? and let us consider,

It is said, Rom. 13.1. The powers that bee, are ordained of God. There is no power (that is lawfull) but it is of God; for this is most true, that the most high God is to reigne in the kingdome of men: and whosoever are his instruments in governing, they must derive their power from him, and act purely the command of God, and no [Page 31]more, nor no lesse, but even so; as it is recorded of the children of Israel. Exod. 39.42, 43. They had done the worke of the Tabernacle, as the Lord had commanded, even so they had done it. And (there­fore it follows) Moses blessed them. Wherefore were they blessed? Sure, you see, not for their own inventions, but for their obedience: so purely and exactly after the command of God. And Paul saith, Be not the servants of men, that is; doe not you observe the things that men doe command, unlesse God hath commanded them. But you will ask, How may we know the true power, from the false? Oh, that you were so teachable. Then

The Scripture will tell you, that the lawfull powers are of God; both of his Commandements, and bearing his image, holy as he is holy; being a terrour not to good works, but to evill. And whoso­ever doth resist this power (onely this) he resisteth the Ordi [...]ance of God, and shall receive judgement to himself.

But the Parliament and Army do not resist this power (spoken of by Paul to be obeyed) But they doe resist (and I admire that you the Seers doe not see it, that they do resist) that power spoken of by Micha, Mic. 3.11. The heads thereof that doe judge for reward (and that establish iniquity by a law) the Priests thereof that teach for hire, and the Prophets thereof that divine for money; and yet lean upon the Lord and say, is not the Lord amongst us; No evill can come upon us. That the powers of this nation (that have been resisted) have been and are such, their late actions are proofes, than which nothing can be more full or plaine, to men of reason.

2. For the Ministry, that are said, to be pulling down: what are they? Apostles from Christ or from our Universities? who hath taught them? God or man? How are they constituted Ministers? By God or man? a power internall or externall? By the hand and power of Gods Spirit upon their souls, and in them; or the hands of flesh upon their heads of flesh, without them? They fast and pray for them; but is it therefore certain, that God doth hear and grant that particular thing? What is their principle? The Spirit and living power of God? Of the naturall and carnall Spirits of men? What is their knowledge? Of Faith, or of reason meerly humane? Is it of the Type, or Truth? Letter, or Spirit? Forme, or Power? have they received it by Revelation, or Tradition? And what is the end of most of them? Is it not worldly honour and power, earthly riches? will they preach if their profit invite them not? Doe they reckon themselves rewarded, if they receive not money? Is not their [Page 32]cry great, and their labour extream for Mammon, judge you. But these Ministers are made such, in a way of imitation: They say, they follow the pattern of the Apostles: But is it so? The Apostles had a glorious Spirit of light and power, poured out upon them; migh­tily manifested in them, so that they were in a holy extasie, seeming as men drunk, filled not with Wine, but the Spirit: that they plain­ly saw the promises and prophesies fulfilled in them; and the world also might see, and say, that God was in them, because of the works that were done by them. They professed and declared, that they had not their doctrine of man, nor by man; but by God: they were not instructed through, or by means of the fleshly Organs, or faculties of their bodies: or any fleshly, or outward forme. But say they, the Gospel of God is revealed in us, from Faith to Faith; the Spirit of God doth reveale it to us; we have tasted, and seen, and felt of the Word of Life. The things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God; but we have the Spirit, &c. And now are the pourings out of the Spirit upon all flesh, heretofore prophesied and promised, &c. By all which and other expressions of scripture, which are many and abundant; it is apparent that the Apostles had a ministration of light, life, power, and efficacie in them; which went forth by them in marveilous operations. Now they could with great boldnes and clearnes declare, and Preach the mysteries of the Gospel; because they had a clearnesse of sight of them, by a proper demonstration and immediate manifestation, the Spirit of God dwelt in them, taught them plainly; and they certainly knew, that he taught them; they had sure experience, as wee by our bodily sight have experience or knowledge, that the Sun shineth.

But amongst all these pretenders to the ministry, and that appro­priate to themselves that function, so distinct, as being the true and singular Apostle-imatators, or as if they were thereunto anointed and sanctified above the rest of Christians, their brethren; where is he that God hath made so distinct by any guifts or endowments which either are comparable to those of the primitive Christians, or doe competently inable him to declare the mystery of the Gospel which as spirituall, so deepe and mysterious? Or wherein is he a Minister more than an ordinary Christian? Nay I will be bold to say, that if they that are called the Ministers, had but so much true light of the Gospell revealed in them, as many private weake Children of God, it would cause them absolutely to be ashamed to be termed Ministers, so unlike are they to and untruly counted such. Can their humane [Page 33]wisedome, their schoole-learning and arts, which are flesh and of the world, unfold unto them the mystery of Godlinesse (so great?) If so, then the Apostle said not truly, That God hath hid the things of his Spirit from the wise and prudent of the world, and revealed them to babes. And then also may the naturall man perceive the things of God, though Paul saith he cannot.

And now if all your worldly and fleshly wisedome be no more to be accompted of, what then is your ministry? What is your complaint and murmuring against the Authority of the Nation? What are they pulling down, Apostles of Christ, or imposters of Anti­christ, Shepherds that feed the Sheep, or Wolves that devoure them; do they pull downe their feeders? or else their fleecers? Are they pul­ling downe leaders or seducers? May I not say to you in this case as our blessed Lord said to Nicodemus in another case, John 3.10. Are you Masters in Israel, and know not these things. Indeed they are pulling downe such a ministry as is spoken of by the Prophet Micah, Micah 3.5. Thus saith the Lord, concerning the Prophets that make my people erre, that bite with their teeth, and yet cry peace, and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare warre against him. And in the next verse you may reade their judgement at large.

Well then, will you be offended with Parliament and Army for pulling downe such a magistracie and ministry, as this, let me beseech you: Give over with speed least you fall with them.

Againe; My friends: I doe admire that you complaine of the badnesse of these times, surely you doe but dreame, for if you doe awake, you shall plainly see, that they are the best times with us in England, that ever we had, to live by faith, what? Hath the Lord with the Besome of destruction swept away the head of the enemies of truth? And yet sad times?

What? Doth hee take Princes and Lords which were so high, and bring their Heads so low as the Blocke? And yet sad times?

What? Have the Saints in obedience to the command of their Fa­ther, given them to drink of the bitter, that they have given you so long? And yet sad times?

What? Is the Lord making inquisition for blood; and meeting the same measure to his enemies, as they have meeted to his people? And yet sad times? What? Is the Lord magnifying the attribute of his Justice, upon his and our implacable enemies? And yet sad times?

[Page 34]What? Is the Lord pulling downe the powers of the world, and the Kingdomes of men, and setting up, or at least making way to set up the Kingdome of his owne deare Son? And yet sad times?

Hath the Lord prospered our Armies and given us so many Victories over them that would have devoured us? And yet sad times?

My Brethren: I am afraid you did not mourne with Jerusalem, because you doe not now r [...]joce with her. It is true, unto some, the times are sad, but to whom?

Answ. To the deceivers of our nation, for these times doe disco­ver them, and (plainly) it is a bad time for false Prophets and cor­rupt Judges, for God hath threatned their ruine, it is bad times for Babylon and all her brats, for the day of her destruction is dawning, and the houre of her plagues is comming when Kings and Princes, No­bles and Merchants, shall all lye howling, weeping and wailing, cry­ing alas, alas▪ And all the Saints shall stand before the presence of their tender Father, singing, rejoycing and praising the Lord for his judgements upon their enemies.

Againe; You Ministers of the Presbiterian Congregations, me­thinks you have lost your beauty: I doe not see you in the affections of the Heires of promise, the Sonnes of Sion as formerly, the cause of this must be in the people or in your selves; and I have spent a lit­tle time, and made diligent search for to finde where the cause lyes, and have, with an impartiall heart, weighed the Saints in one bal­lance and you in another: And I finde you, not them, to light. I meane, I finde the cause of your being sleighted to be in your selves, wherefore let me intreat you to take a word of advice from me, for, I assure you, I have taken advise from you, and (I hope) shall a­gaine, though you looke upon me as onely worthy to be your ser­vant or scholler, and not your teacher, yet I pray you, minde what Job saith, He will not despise the counsell of his Servant. And if you will indeed heare with your eares, treasure up in your hearts, and practise in your lives these ensuing things, you shall soone grow in fa­vour both with God and man.

Then there be foure things that you must lay aside and forsake, and there be five things that you must immediately doe.

First, Lay aside or leave of charging your hearers for breach of the Scotch Covenant, untill you have repented of your owne breach of that Covenant, for how can you preach, thou shalt not steale and steale your selves? How can you boldly reprove another for sin, when [Page 35]you your selves are guilty of the same? How can you pull out th [...] moat that is in your brothers eye, untill you have pulled out th [...] beam, that is in your own eye. I will appeal to your very Conscience then, whether you be not breakers of covenant in the highest nature: For saith the Covenant, You must bring to condigne punishment all delinquents: and you have often declared in the faces of your Con­gregations, besides, in your private discourses, that the King was a delinquent in the highest nature: and yet almost all of you were a­gainst the bringing him to condigne punishment. Shall not many of the Army; which never took the Covenant; and yet had their hands in bringing malignants to punishment, rise up in judgement a­gainst you, which took a covenant to doe it; and yet above all men were against it; If this be not breach of Covenant, I do not know what is a breach.

Again, you covenanted to endeavour in your places, the reforma­tion of Religion, according to the scriptures; but if you examine your Church-discipline by those rules there held forth, and you shall see you have broken the Covenant in this also. And more I could shew you; but a word to the wise is enough: O my dear friends doe not you be like the Tribe of Levi in the dayes of Isaiah, Isa. 28 7. They erre in vision, they stumble in judgement; I say, do not you be like them in their sin, least the Lord make you like them in their punishment; and so speak to his people as Isa. 28.11. With a stam­mering lip and another tongue will he speak to his people: and you that a little before were cryed up of many, as the onely Ministers of the Gospel, now are made like to those prophesied of Micah,. 6, 7. Therefore night shall be unto you, that yee shall not have a vision, and it shall be dark unto you, that yee shall not divine: and the Sun shall go over the Prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the Seers be ashamed, and the Diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their faces, for there is no answer of God.

2. Lay a side or leave off, that cold, lukewarm letter-preaching, which seems to be onely in the notion, received from tradition; ha­ving a form, but not the power: Remember how it was with Paul, he compared spirituall things with spirituall; and most of you (for I speak not of all) compare letter with letter, and so come up with a voice of words, so cold, that some of your hearers begin to sleep, and others to withdraw from your Congregations. Those that doe indeed attend to what you speak, are profitted very little by it. O come then, in the fulnesse of the Gospel of Christ; and as you have [Page 36]received the gift (not studied) so administer the same. See what Paul saith, Rom. 15. v. 8. I will not dare to speak of those things which Christ hath not wrought in mee: to make the Gentiles obe­dient by word and deed. Again, 2 Cor. 10.15, 16. Wee will not (saith the Apostle) boast of things without our measure; that is, of other mens labours: Wee will preach the Gospel, and not boast in another mans line; of things made ready to our hands. Let me then appeal to your consciences, whether this be your practice. Again, Why do you tye your selves, to preach onely so long, and not some­times longer, or shorter: did ever the Prophets or Apostles doe so? Why do you tye your selves, to speak onely from one text, in one Ser­mon? did ever the Prophets and Apostles tie themselves constantly as you do your selves to this. But think not that I write against preaching an houre, or speaking from, or to a particular text; for I am not against it: but onely, this your making ties; where God doth not tie you, and cry up forms, more then the power of god­linesse.

3. Leave off the Idolizing of humane learning, and use it onely in its place; then you will look upon it as convenient, but not of absolute necessitie: it will inable you with expressions, but not with spirituall interpretations. Never think that you know more of the minde of Christ than others, because you know more of of the ton­gues than they: Alas! take all the learning, arts, parts, in the whole world, and give them together into one man; yet this man by all his parts, wit, and arts, in Logick, tongues, and phylosophie, is unable to give a true spiritual sence of one of the easiest and plainest scri­ptures. The spirituall mysterie is so high, he cannot reach it; so deep that he cannot fathom it; so long, he cannot measure it; and so broad, that he cannot comprehend it. Hence it is, that many in our daies, are great schollers in humanitie, and meer ignorants is divinitie. Was not Paul a great scholler, as he testifieth of himself; and yet igno­rant of Christ, knowing nothing of the spirituall sence of scriptures. O you schollers, have you been so long at Oxford and Cambridge (the two eyes of our land) and can you not see without Spectacles: have you been at the fountain, and must the streams teach you? Doe you not know, that there is a spirituall learning as well as a humane? If you do know it, why do you give, a false interpretation of most scriptures; taking them in the litterall, when they are to be under­stood, in the spirituall sence. To instance, in one for all, 2 Pet. 3.16. There are somethings hard to be understood, which they that are un­learned [Page 37]wrest, as they doe also other scriptures to their own destructi­on. Now the question is, of those things in Pauls Epistles, which Peter here speaks of, as hard to be understood, and which the igno­rant did wrest, the question is: What is meant here, by unlearned? Doth hee mean unlearned in humane, or unlearned in spirituall things?

Answ. Mee thinks the Apostle in the same verse, resolves the scruple.

1. For, first it is said, Paul wrote these things according to the wisdome given unto him; which is not meant wisdome of the world, for God doth accompt that but foolishnesse (saith the scripture) and Paul renounced it also, and said; I came not with excellency of words, or of wisdome, shewing unto you the testimony of God: Nei­ther (saith he) stood my Word and Preaching, in the enticing speech of mans wisdome; but in plain evidence of the Spirit, and of power: that your Faith should not be in the wisdome of men, but in the power of God. And we speak wisdome, and not the wisdome of this world, &c. but we speak the wisdome of God in a mystery, even the hid wisdome, &c. which the Princes of this world have not known, &c. But God hath revealed them unto us, by his spirit, which searcheth the deepe things of God, &c. and which we have received, that we may know the things that are given to us of God, &c. Which things also wee speak, not in the words which mans wisdome teacheth; but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, &c. 1 Cor. 2. chap. throughout; which you see doth abundantly testifie, that Paul spake not according to humane learning: reade also 1 Gal. 12.16.

2. Peter, here saith, that one of those difficult sayings of Paul, which the unlearned understood not, was this; That the long suf­fering of our Lord is salvation; which being a spirituall thing (as all the things of salvation are) cannot be understood by natural wis­dome; for the things of God, knows no man, but the spirit of God: therefore Pauls wisdome was spirituall, and their unlearnednes, there spoken of, was this; that they had not that wisdome, in which he knew salvation; that is, the wisdome of God: for worldly wis­dome they might have, and bee neverthelesse ignorant of all spiri­tuals.

Thirdly, They were unlearned, that is, they had not the learning, by which they might understand those things in the sence which would tend to their salvation, or true knowledge of God; and that, [Page 38]surely is onely a spirituall sence: For else to wrest it to another sence, could not be to their destruction.

Fourthly, Peter here exhorts the Saints, to take heed of that errour of the wicked, least they also should be lead away with it, accounting it (you see) a wicked errour. And then in the next place, exhorts them to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ, as being a thing contrary to that wicked errour, and a remedy against it. Now if the knowledge of Christ and growing in grace, be a remedy against that errour; then, it is most plain, That their unlearnednesse (which is there said, to be the cause of their errour) was not of humane tongues and sciences (for then Peter would have bidden them studie these to keep them from errour:) But it was of the grace of God, and of the knowledge of Christ they were ignorant or unlearned; and therefore he bids them grow in that grace and knowledge, that they might not erre.

So that that saying of Peter being thus truly understood; it is most plain that their unlearnednesse which caused them to erre, was their ignorance of Grace, and of Christ, not of humane learning:

To which also let me adde these rules, viz.

First, That a mans principle, by which he doth converse with (or apprehend) any thing; must be of a nature suitable to the nature of that thing which he converseth with or apprehendeth; as in particular,

You cannot apprehend or discover any object of sence, by the prin­ciple of reason; for example, you cannot by your reason (or any thing else, but your sence of hearing) apprehend or know, that there is any sound or noise, nor how it soundeth. But the care and voice are suitable: not a voice and another sence, as, we cannot see a voice, &c. Just alike impossible it is for reason (meerly naturall) to know spirituall things, as the scripture saith, the naturall man knows not the things of God: nature hath not a power suitable to attain to them.

Second rule, Every evill or defect is remediable, onely by its contrary good, or supply; as darknes is remediable by light, carnal­nesse by spiritualnesse, weaknes by strength, ignorance by know­ledge, &c.

Which two Rules (if you observe them) will help to the under­derstanding of those words of Peter.

But if yet you are perswaded that your Universitie learning can [Page 39]dive into the spirituall sence of scripture, I would propose to a whole Synod of your function to reconcile these Scriptures hereafter cited, that are in the letter so contradictory one to another, for instance,

One Scripture saith, Thou must love thy Father, Mother, Wife, Children &c Another Scripture saith, Thou must hate all these if thou wilt be my disciple Luke 14.26. One Scripture saith of God, Anger is not in me: Another saith, He is angry with the wicked e­very day, Psal. 7.11. One saith, Yee doe alwaies resist the holy Ghost, Acts 7.51. Another saith, They could not resist the Spirit by which he spake, Act 6.10. Another Scripture saith, That he that saith he hath not sinned, is a lyar and the truth is not in him, 1 John 1.8.10. One Scripture saith of John, That he was not Elias, John 1.21. Another saith of the same John, That he was Elias, Math 11.14. Matth. 11, 12.

I might instance in at least 40. Scriptures thus contradictory in the letter.

Now this is the thing that I would aske you, whether through the understanding of tongues or arts humane, you can give the true genuine sence of those Scriptures? surely you cannot, for these Scri­ptures were pend by the holy Spirit, whose mysterious language, the eare of man naturall cannot heare, nor his heart conceive much lesse his tongue expresse or interpret.

To conclude, you doe ignorantly looke upon your selves as so many learned Apostles, now considering that there are many Aquillas and Priscillas that can teach you the way of God more plainly. Read and well consider that Acts 18.25, 26.

That place of Peter about the unlearned, hath led me to a long digression, but now to returne againe to advise you.

Fourthly, Lay aside or leave off your kindling of flames in the State, and blowing the bellowes of contention and vaine jangling, and fall to preaching the Gospel of peace: Let the State Governours alone with the State affaires. And also let the Lord Christ alone with the discipline of his Church. Let it not be said of you as once it was of the high-Priests, that they were the onely enemies to the Kingdome of Christ, and yet the great pretenders to it. Doe not reproach the Lords people as once they did, for beleeving in and following of their Lord Christ, saying, Have any of (us) the Rulers beleeved on him? No, none (said they) but a few ignorant people that know not the law. Doe not accuse the Lords people in your Pulpits, as the [Page 40]Priests did Paul, Act. 24.5. saying, he was a pestilent fellow; amover of sedition, and a ring-leader of the sect of the Nazarens. Least the Lords people should answer you as Paul did them, Acts 24. v. 14. After the way which you call heresie, so worship I the God of my Fa­thers, &c.

So having spoken of the things that you must lay aside, or forsake; Give me leave, as briefly as I may, to lay before you a few things that you ought immediatly to practise; I say, immediatly: because it is high time, if you have not staid too long.

First, If you be the Ministers of Christ, observe your Commission given you Mark 6.15. and Matth. 28.19. The summe of which is this, Go yee to all the world and Preach the Gospel to every crea­ture; And Paul elswhere gives an account of his commission, and saith, Christ sent him to preach the Gospel, and so he went Preach­ing peace by Jesus Christ. Seeing God in these latter dayes speaks unto us by his Son Heb. 1.2. Why do you speak so much by Mo­ses; you say Moses must prepare us for Christ sure that is not in Your Commission: Me think I hear you saying with Peter; Master, let us build here three tabernacles, one for Moses, one for Elias, and one for thee; and there appeared a bright cloud, upon the appearance of which, Moses and Elias (which was John Baptist) vanished a­way. And God answered Peter from heaven, and told him, This is my beloved sonne: heare him. Why do you then build a taberna­cle for Moses, and another for Elias, seeing the bright cloud hath ex­pelled the dark administrations of them both.

O then follow the advise of Christ, and keep close to your com­mission; and into whatsoever house you enter, let your first words be, Peace, to this house, Luke 10.5.

Why doe you teach repentance before Faith, seeing true and un­feigned repentance is a fruit of Faith, not a preparation for Faith. The Ninevites believed God before they proclaimed a Fast: and thou must first look upon Christ, whom thou hast peirced, by Faith; be­fore thou canst mourn, as one mourneth for his onely Son. The good­nesse of God will lead thee to repentance. Rom. 2.4. And the grace of God will teach thee to deny ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, 2 Tit. 11. vers. 12.

Faith is a notable ground-work, in a sence of true repentance; without this Faith, it is in vain to think to build up our selves in san­ctity of life, and sincerity of conversation; For he that commeth to God must first believe, that God is: Heb. 11.6. And without this [Page 41]Faith, it is impossible to please God: and whatsoever is not of this Faith is sin, Rom. 14.23 My friends, is not faith the first stone in the spirituall building, the first step in a Christian race, the first linke in our golden chain of Christianity, the first act of our new life, the first degree in our holy conversation, the first round in your Jacobs ladder, wherby you ascend up into the presence of your Lord? Should you not acquaint your hearers first with the doctrinall part of Divinity, before you presse the practicall part; endeavour to have them truly prin­cipled, and then presse obedience as the fruit of those principles; I have heard some of you say, that whatsoever obedience doth flow from any man; if it flow not from good principles, that obedience is in a sence disobedience. See what Christ commands Matth. 12 33 Make the tree good, and his fruit will be good, and good reason, for Matth. 7.18. a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Now here is the reason, why you see so little fruit of all your labours? you preach so much, yet doe so little good: you do not doe Gods work in his own way; you preach and contend for order, and scarce are any in the kingdome more out of your order, than your selves. In a word, you require good fruit from a corrupt tree, and Christ tels you, it cannot bee. When David taught his son Solomon, 1 Chron. 28 9. He instructs him first in the doctrinall part, before the practi­call part; He must first know the God of his Fathers, before he is prest to serve him: This was Pauls advise, Titus 3.8. Again, our blessed Lord Christ, Joh. 15.4. exhorts the people first to abide in him; and being in him by Faith, then bids them bring forth fruit, saying, as the branch cannot bear fruit, except it abide in the Vine; no more can yee except yee abide in mee. So Paul dealt with the Collossians, 1 Coll. 9.10. He prays and desires, first that they might be filled with the knowledge of Gods will; and then vers. 10. (as the fruit of that knowledge) that they might walke worthy of the Lord, being fruit full in every good work.

2. The next thing that you should practice after you have exalted Christ alone, to be the onely King, Priest, and Prophet, not in word only, but in power; in expecting the teachings of God the father to your soules, by, and through him, have recourse to his rules in the Gospell for your practice: and then you will not look so much upon Synods, and not be ashamed to confesse him before men: If you have been in the Pulpit delivering his message, why are you so afraid to have your doctrine questioned? why will you not give your hearers that liberty, that Christ hath given them; to judge of what you have [Page 42]said? are you ashamed to own Christ, when his doctrine is examined? Or else, do you finde your selves unable by sound doctrine to con­vince the gain-sayers. But you will say, If any be not satisfied, let him come to us in private; let me ask you: where have you a rule for that? do you not deliver your things publiquely? And do not the scriptures tell you, that a publique evill must have a publique reproof? But you will say, we have done no evill: we have preached Christ according to our commission. Then (my friends) never fear to have it qu [...]stioned: but (I beseech you) if any can object against what you have taught, so he do it in the spirit of meeknes, rather to finde out truth, then to carp at truth: And seeing Christ hath given him that liberty. 1 Cor. 14. Do not you deprive him of it. If you would but make tryall of this; I will assure you, you might gain many privi­ledges by it: In particular, I will shew your two or three.

1. You will take away all just occasions, for any to cavill at your doctrine, or speak evill of you in private.

2. You will increase your own knowledge; for there are some Aquila's and Priscillas doe heare you: and you also may bee more inabled to instruct.

3. It will make the lustre of the truths which you assert, the more beautifull, if you vindicate them.

4. It will make all your sayings seem the more worthy serious and sober consideration.

O that I could see the ministers of England, as willing to be taught, as they are to be teachers; as swift to hear, as to speak: Truly, this were a way to untie the greatest things we want in our kingdome.

3. When you have exalted Christ alone, and diligently observed his Commission; next I beseech you, be tender of his Lambs, and feed them; and so much the rather, because they are yet stan­ding in the streets of Sodom, and the Dogs of Egypt do bark at them: Oh send forth no more Dogges to bark and snap at the poor tender ones; for they have a tender father, the Almighty Lord God, that doth take all the injuries done to them, as done to himself; and takes notice of all the hard sayings against them, as you may read at large in the Epistle of Jude 15.

But you will (as I have heard you) say, we speak not against those that are truly godly; but we cry out against blasphemers.

So was our blessed Lord Christ persecuted, and reproached under the name of a blasphemer. Luke 10.33.

And so was Stephen (a man full of the holy Ghost, and of Faith) accused for a blasphemer. Acts 6.13.

[Page 43]And they were great learned men that did this: and this is written for some to learn. Again, Christ was called a deceiver, Matth. 27.6. And a Wine-bibber. Matth. 11.19.

It would be worth your labour, to examine from the beginning of the Bible to the end; how in all ages, and under all administrations, the Priests, and Levites, and pretended Ministers, which would be known by the names of Prophets, Seers, Watchmen, or Leaders, and in this present generation above all others, have had their hands in (almost) all the Wars, divisions, combustions, uproars, tumults, and troubles in the Kingdome. For matter of blasphemy, heresie, super­stition, Idolatry, &c. were not this tribe the ring-leaders, as also in persecuting the Lords people: nay, the greatest opposition that our Lord Christ himself met withall, was from that tribe; and have not they the chiefest hand in our present troubles, I leave to the whole kingdome to judge. Wherefore, my friends, consider upon what ground you stand, and upon what foundation you are built: and let it be your studie to put out, not to kindle flames in the kingdome; to heal the wounds with which we languish, not to make more. Re­member these words of Christ; Blessed are the peacemakers. Matth. 5.9. I know this is the practice of some of you; but truly, the number of such is but few: yet I do believe there are, and so in all former ages, there were a few scattered up and down, that were true Prophets waiting upon God for an heavenly message; and that they doe re­ceive and declare unto this kingdome.

4. Seek not your maintenance in an unjust way: But cast your selves upon the providence of God; as for the salvation of your souls, so also for the maintenance of your bodies; can you trust God with a soul, more worth than ten thousand words; and can you not trust him with a little earth, your bodies. You teach us to pray for daily bread, and you do well: but must you selves take canal care for yearly bread; if not, what means this bleating of Sheep, and lowing of Oxen; your pleading for Tythes in your Pulpits. On my friends! bee yee sure to doe Gods work; and I will pawn my life for him, he will pay you your wages: feed his Lambs, and your God will give you your meat in due season: O let the same minde be in you, as was in your brother Paul, 1 Cor. 9.15. where he renders three reasons why he would not preach for money, not tythes.

First, because he would not make his glorying voide, 1 Cor. 9. v. 15.

2. Because he would not make the Gospel of Christ chargeable to them, vers. 18.

[Page 44]3. He would not compell any to pay money or tythes for preach­ing, least he should hinder the Gospel of Christ.

How many such Pauls have wee in our dayes; is there indeed one of a thousand: yes, (my friends) there are through Gods goodnes (to my knowledge) a few.

I speak not in this against a just maintenance for a true ministery, for then I should sin against God and my own Conscience; for I know God saith, he hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel: and my own conscience tels me that if they have sown unto me spirituall things, I should not keep back from them carnall things. All that I here speak against is this, your looking for your maintenance in an unjust way.

Fifthly, Give no offence unto any man, neither to Jew nor to Gentile, nor to the Church of Christ; but keep a conscience void of offence both towards God, and towards man: be patient towards all, speak evill of no man; seek the glory of God before your own honour, and the good of his people as your own good: and as you would that others should doe unto and speak of you, so do and speak you of them; in all you actions, propound Christ, for your pattern; and learn of him, for he was meek and lowly.

Now to you called Independents.

I May say to you, as once Paul did to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 1.4. I thanke my God alwaies on your behalfe; for the grace of God that is given you by Jesus Christ. Yea I may say to you as Christ did to the Church of Ephesus, Rev. 2.2. I know thy workes, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not beare them that are evill, and thou hast tryed them which say they are Apostles, and are not; and hast found them lyars. And thou hast born, and hast had pa­tience under all thy reproaches; for thou hast had many opposers, reproachers, slanderers, back-biters, and evill surmisings against thee; if thou holdest to the end, and art willing to be a follower of Christ, as well in his humiliation, as in his exaltation; thou hast a fellowship with him in the one, as well as in the other.

Again, This I finde in thee (O thou Independent.) Thou desirest to walk by rule. When thou wouldest know the minde of God, thou lookest into the testimonies of his revealed will, the Old and New Testament; Thou groundest what thou holdest, upon that word; [Page 45]thou accountest the principles and practices evill, that are not warran­ted by that word: And if men come unto thee, and speak with the tongues of men and angels, thou wilt (with the noble Bereans) seach the Scrip ures, to see, whether the things they speak of be so or no; and if they speak not, according to that rule, thou wilt present­ly conclude; it is, because there is no light in them: Nay, thou knowest, that if a man come, and preach any other Gospel than that which thou hast received, 1 Gal. 8, 9. he is to be accursed: and this thou hast also (to thy commendation) the more others doe slight, de­spise, and lay aside the scripture, as a thing out of date; the more thou doest embrace it, read it, conferre, and meditate on it; and account it sweeter than the honey, or the honey combe, and esteem it (with Job) more than thy naturall food. Thou knowest right well, they were written for thy learning. Again, I may say of thee, as once it was said of the Church of Pergamos, 2 Revel 12.13. I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satans seat is: yet thou holdest fast Christs name, and hast not denyed his Faith. Again, this thou hast, that thou withdrawest from every brother, that thou clearly seest to walk disorderly; thou doest reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all long suffering. Again, this thou hast; thou lookest to the spirituall growth of those with thee: thy members watch over one another, and in love reprove one another, and many of you do it in the spirit of meeknes, as you would that they should doe unto you in the same case, even so you doe to them.

Again, This you have; you take a speciall care of the poore among you, and you loath the unjust practices of some other Congregations of the Presbyterians, that gather a just maintenance for the Poore in an unjust way: They cut large thongs, but it is of other mens Hides: they doe not with Christ choose Deacons, but with Anti­christ Collectors. Some of which must pay the Poore, and are sure never to receive their money again, though they borrowed it for that purpose: but God be thanked (oh thou Independent) thou hast not so learned Christ; thou knowest well, that the Lord loveth a chearfull giver, and accepts none but a Free-will offering: you give unto all, but have a speciall regard unto the houshold of Faith, according to rule. Gal. 6.10.

Again, This thou hast, thou forsakest not the assembly of Saints, as the manner of some is; you hear the Word in publique, and build up one another in private; you doe not (as some others) cry up the publique, and contemn the private; nor cry up the private in con­tempt [Page 46]of the publique: thou lookest into the Gospel and findest both of them commanded and commended, and therefore makest use of both: Thou knowest that as God is no respecter of Persons, so he is no respecter of places. Thou findest him teaching thee in pub­lique and also in private; abroad, and at home; thou findest him in the Fire to save thee, and in the Water to help thee, and in the Pri­son to free thee: thou knowest thy God is in all places, and yet com­prehended in no place.

Now having thus taken notice of the things commendable in thee, according to that rule, 1 Cor. 1.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 And as Christ dealt with the Church of Ephesus, 2 Rev. 2.3.

Give me leave also to deal plainly with thee, as Paul did. 1 Cor. 1.11, 12. and as Christ with Ephesus: and then, I shall not spare to tell thy Congregations and Members, that there are faults, amongst you; therefore I have somewhat against you.

1. If you be not guilty of that sin that Paul reproves the Corin­thians, for 1 Cor. 1.11, 1 [...]. I am sure you are guilty of that sin that is reproved, 2 Jam. 2, 3.4. You have the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ the Lord of glory, with respect of persons; for if there come into your assembly (as James faith) a man with a gold ring, and in goodly apparrell; and there come in also a poore man in vile raiment, you are apt to say to him in gay clothing; Sit thou here, (in a good place) and though you do not in plain terms or words, say to the poore, stand thou there, or sit at my footstoole; yet you let him stand at a di­stance, or sit at your feet: and James tels you, Jam. 2.4. Yee are par­tiall. And many times those poore ones whom you sleight, God hath chosen; and the rich ones, whom yee honour, God hath rejected: vers. 5. Hath not God chosen the poore of this world rich in Faith, &c.

2. You are strange to those that are called Presbyterians, which many of them being truly godly, you should visite; and if there be any way of wickednesse in them, reprove them; if they bee low in their principles, endeavour to raise them; and where they are imperfect in the way of God, teach them more perfectly: Love not one man, because he is an Independent, hate none for being a Pres­byterian; for this were to know men after the flesh, 2 Cor. 5.16.

3. There is utterly a fault among you in that many of you do fa­shion your selves according to this world; if there be any new foo­lish fashion going, yee are in hast to take it up with the first, quite contrary to the command of God, 1 Pet. 1.14. And as in your ap­parrell, [Page 47]so in your long haire; why doe you Christians were it like Ruffians? It is true I know that as religion stands not in meat or drinke, so neither stands it in cloathes nor haire long or short: But your abuse of this doth dishonour religion, grieve the Saints, and har­den the world, especially of the first of these, to wit, cloathes. There­fore I beseech you heare a few words further.

Is your Kingdome or glory of this world or in things outward, or fleshly, or even in vanity? Is it your worke appointed and your de­light (yee Saints) to please the irrationall fancies of your fleshly mindes? Can you who are so distinct and distant in your principles from the carnall and ungodly, so suite and conforme to them in those things whose very fountaine or cause is none other but ignorance of God, which also are rationally censured even of those that are with­out? Have you not better enjoyments: no better kingdome than this? Is not your glory within? Is not the most excellent your satisfaction, his presence in your hearts your great refreshments? Union and conversation with him your heaven and blessednesse: Doe you walke as Christ did: Whose meat and drinke was to doe the will of his father, are you like him?

And seeing your fashions are costly, let me aske you, doe you be­lieve that God hath given you so much of his creatures for any such purpose? Can you say to the Lord, we blesse thee in our soules that thou hast given us these creatures, and disposed our hearts by thy spi­rit to use them thus? Did ever God call such things sacrifices well pleasing to him? Or have you the creatures in such superabundance, or are better opportunities so scarce that you cannot better use them? doe you thinke so? Then harken hither.

Here are many of us poore miserable wretches, whose bodies pine for hunger and thirst, and starve with cold: Some of us are exiles and strangers, some of us in prison, some of us sicke, some wounded, lame, some weake, some widdowes, fatherlesse and friendlesse. Here wee stand before you, yee see us, yee know us: and can you yet withold reliefe? Have you no bowels of compassion? Hath mercy taken wing and returned to her eternall fountaine that sent her forth? Hath shee no tabernacle nor temple with men? Hath she left all hearts to hardnesse? Will shee not vouchsafe us any of her divine bounty now, but leave us desolate, captives to necessities till they have pursued our flesh to dissolution? Where are these promises of our deare redeemer, to dwell with men to the end of the world. When shall the powrings out of the spirit of grace (promised) be? Or [Page 48]where are those Temples of his habitation, that wee may goe unto them? Will no man shew us? Ah sad! Oh dolefull case miseries devoure us: and pitty is departed from us.

Oh deare friends: Are there all these sad cryes and teares, and yet doe your vaine pleasures bewitch you to bee deafe? Awake, a­wake, for now your Lord commands, goe heare what those my (and your) poore membes say, see why they weepe: Lord, they cry for want.

Chr. What, want? And thou stand by with such rich stores of mine? Oh most unfaithfull! Most unkinde! Doest thou love me: and doe I hunger in my members? and wilt not feede me with mine owne? but imbessell those my stores to such base Harlots as thy fleshly fancies. Ah unfaithfull wretch, get hence, thou shalt not stay with me, nor see my face these many dayes. I desire you to consi­der whether Christ doth not speake thus to your Spirits. But I have digressed and now I returne.

4 This is also a fault among you, that you doe not pitty the poore blinde world, and endeavour to bring them into the knowledge of the truth, by laying before them the free love of God through Jesus Christ; all your studies are how to build up Saints, therefore to them you doe altogether speake: Nay I have heard Sermon after Sermon in publique, besides your practice in private, and you speake onely to Saints enlightened, though most of the people to whom you speake are yet in the old man, and have neede of such a Sermon as Christ preached to Nicodemus. And so you are blame-worthy as the Presbyterians are, yea more than they, for many of them doe teach the practicall part of divinity before the doctrinall; and you tell of great enjoyments, before your hearers are truly principled; he that doth truly preach the Gospell must preach to sinners to convince them, as well as to Saints, to confirme them. If you will indeed be followers of Christ, you must not content your selves to preach a piece of the Gospell, for Christ when he came among sinners he was intreating and perswading them and calling them to come to him that they might have life; He often encouraged them to come to him, telling them, he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to re­pentance. He bids come unto him, all you that are weary and heavy laden, and he will give you rest: And saith, They that come to me I will in no wise cast off. And when he gave his Commission to his Disciples, he told them, they must preach the Gospell to every crea­ture. Oh then pitty the world, pray for the world, rebuke, instruct, [Page 57]exhort, perswade, and beseech them to be reconciled to God: your father lets the Sun shine and the Rain fall upon them, and bids you learn of him to love them.

Doe they revile thee? Then with Paul, blesse them, 1 Cor. 4.12. Doe they persecute thee? Then with him suffer it, 1 Cor. 4.12. Do they take away thy cloak? give them thy coat. Doe they smite thee on the one cheek? offer the other.

Do they curse thee as Shimei did David? Then as David, let them alone: It may be the Lord hath bid them doe it. To you it is given, in the behalf of Christ; not onely to believe, but also to suffer for his sake: And how knowest thou, but that he will reward thee good for all their evill. If thou wer'st of the world, the world would love thee; but because he hath chosen thee out of the world, there­fore the world doth hate thee.

A Word to those that goe under the name and title of ANABAPTISTS.

MY Brethren, there are these things worthy of commendation among you.

You meet often together, and when you come together, as good Stewards of the manifold grace of God; as every one hath received the gift, so he doth administer the same: you exceed, in some sort, all other Churches, namely in this; That you doe administer a right ordinance to right objects: you will doe God work in Gods way, I mean, you Baptise those to whom Baptisme belongs; you do that which is required, and as it is required. And in some measure you doe according to the command of Christ, 1 Thess. 5.14. You warn them that are unruly: you doe comfort the feeble minded, support the weake; and in some measure yee endeavour to have patience to­wards all men. And when men begin to deny, or sleight Gods or­dinances, you withdraw your selves from such; and this also is found in you, for which, I commend you: You look upon the scripture, as written for your learning; and therefore you often read, and medi­tate of it; you cannot bear with those that slight it, and speak reproach fully of it: you have experience, that God doth teach you by his word mediately, more than by immediate revelations.

But, my Brethren, there are faults among you; therefore I have [Page 48] [...] [Page 57] [...] [Page 48] [...] [Page 57] [...] [Page 58]a few things against you, wherefore bear with me, if I deale plainly with you: first, the Scripture bids you speak evill of no man; why then doe you imagine in your hearts, and speak evill of the Indepen­dent, because he will not be rebaptized? Why doe you so judge the Presbyterian for Baptizing children, to whom it doth not belong. They doo not see by your eies, therefore they cannot walk by your ruks: are they in darknesse in this? so once wast thou: Doest thou out-strip them in this? it may be (nay I am sure) they do go beyond thee in other particulars of obedience: Doe they neglect the ordi­nance of Baptisme? that is their evill; but thou doest rest upon it, and this is thy evill: do they sin in sleighting Baptisme, thou sinnest in idolizing of it: Oh then, be sparing to censure, and judge thy Brother!

Here is another branch of your miscarriage; you suffer no man (though never so well gifted) to speak among you: no, though he be able to teach you all, unlesse he be joyned to you by the ordi­nance of Baptisme with water, and though he be baptized with the Baptisme of the Spirit, without which that of water is nothing; you hear him not.

Again, you often take Scripture in the literall, when you should take it in the spirituall sense; When Christ speaks of the baptisme of the Spirit, you understand it to be of Water: In a word

You live much under the administration of John, who tels you, that he must decrease, but not so much under the administration of Christ who shall encrease.

Again, you make Baptisme the ground of your communion, and so disorder, what God hath ordered; for the ground of communion should arise, first, from that union you have with Christ your head; and secondly, from that near relation you have each to other, as be­ing one in the same spirit: In a word, your knowledge that you have one of another, is after the flesh: when will you be of Pauls minde, 2 Cor. 5.16: to know no man after the flesh: I may truly say of you, as once it was said of Apollos, Acts 18.25. that he was instructed in the way of the Lord; knowing onely Johns Baptisme of water: and surely you have great need as once he had, to have Aquilla and Priscilla to take you aside, and teach you the way of God more perfectly, &c.

A Word to those that hold Free-Will, and General-Redemption.

MY Friends, some things I have observed from you, by my be­ing among you; which I desire to learn of you, and for which I commend you: I have seen you bearing one anothers burthens, relieving one anothers necessities, according to your abilities, often visiting one another, with many outward expressions of that inward love, which you bear one to another, these things ought to be done; and there are other things which you ought not to leave undone; as also to love those that are not under your form.

These Principles also do you hold.

First, That Jesus Christ gave himself a ransome for all; and you prove it by Scriptures, 1 Tim. 2. v. 6. 1 John 29. 1 John 2. v. 2. 2 Cor. 1.15.

Secondly, That remission of Sins ought to be preached to every crea­ture; which proves the first, that Christ gave himself a ransom for all; and therefore remission of sins must be preacht to all, and that you prove by these, and the like Scriptures, Luke 24.47. Mark 16.15 Luke 10.5. Isa. 45.22.

Thirdly, That every one is to believe the forgivenesse of his sins; for if Christ died for all, and the Gospel ought to believe, and that all are called upon to believe: you bring these and the like Scriptures, John 1.7. John 17.21. Now if your principles drawn from these or the like Scriptures, be according to the spirituall sence of them; you doe well: So much for the things worthy of commendation in you.

But my friends, there are many faults among you, for which I have at present, a few things against you.

The first, is your abuse of Scriptures: first, in taking them in a li­terall sence; secondly, looking into, and speaking of onely those scri­ptures, that seemingly in the letter doe confirm your principles: Whereas if you rightly understood them, you would finde the sence of one scripture to stand with the sence of another; As to instance a little in the forenamed things.

[Page 60]First, you say, That Jesus Christ gave himselfe a ransome for all, and remission of sins is to be preached to all: Now compare those scriptures with Rom. 8.30. where he speakes of particular, not of ge­nerall predestination. So when he speakes of election to the Ephe­sians, he points at a particular, not at a generall election. And when Christ prayes John 17. hee prayes not for the world, but onely for those whom the Lord had given him out of the world. And Joh. 6.44. There can none come to him but whom the father draweth. Read and well consider that one Scripture, which all of you are not able to answer, Acts 13.48. And as many as were ordayned to eternall life believed. I know what false glosse you put upon this text through your ignorance; you say the originall saith thus, As many as believed were ordayned to eternall life. And with this false sence you deceived me for a few dayes, but when I searched the originall, I found you lyars, for that word is truly translated; and I have spo­ken with many poore soules that you have deluded with these and the like things. You say election depends upon qualifications and bring these or the like Scriptures, The Lord chooseth to himselfe the man that is righteous, never minding that other text which saith, there is none righteous no not one. So then, if he chooseth none but the righteous, and there are no righteous, not one, then he chooseth none. Oh you simple ones, how long will you love simplicity? Scorners delight in scorning? and Fooles hate knowledge? If this text doth speak to any such in England this day: It speaks to, and concerns you chiefly.

Did you never reade with understanding that text which saith, that wee and all the Nations of the World are in the hands or God, as clay in the hands of the potter, who maketh one vessell to honour, another to dishonour as he pleaseth: And if there bee any man so impudent to say, as I have heard some of you say, that then God is partiall. See how Paul checks such, Rom. 9.19.20. Oh man who are thou that replyest against God, shall the thing formed say to him that formed it why hast thou made me thus?

If thou wilt know a reason why the Lord doth elect some to life and to passe by others, he is pleased to give thee no other accompt than this Exod. 33.19. I will be gratious to whom I will be gratious, and I will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy; and whom he will he hardeneth.

If thou wilt also know a reason why he will cast some into the pit of destruction, and give to others life everlasting: I answer, [Page 61]God hath no rule to act by but his owne will, so that for him to doe what he willeth, is just, and it is just for no other reason nor upon any other ground, but this, viz. because it is his will to doe it, and this is the justnes of mans actions, to doe what God hath comman­ded or declared that he will have man to doe. Now I say, this is the reason why he will cast some to destruction, viz. to magnifie his justice, or perform his will determined upon such as doe transgresse the law given them, and for this cause is such destruction just, because it is that which the eternall will or decree hath appointed to follow upon transgression. And after the very same sort doth he exalt the attribute of his mercy in the salvation of others. Reade the 9. of the Romans and thou wilt finde most of that chapter spent in dispu­ting this very thing.

Another grosse error that you hold contrary to the scripture is this, That the soule is mortall as well as the body.

Againe you hold and teach, That if God commanded the Gospel to be preached to all, and Christ dyed onely for some, then God commands a lye to be preached to the most part of men, and that is blasphemy to say that God commands a lye to be preached.

Againe, You ground your owne particular faith upon that gene­rall redemption, and if your ground be false, your faith must needes be so; for no good fruit proceeds from a corrupt tree; and where­in doth such faith exceede that of the Devils, that beleive and trem­ble.

You say there is a power in every man to doe whatsoever is com­manded, a power to choose and a power to refuse; you cite that of Joshuah and the like scriptures. Behold I have set before you this day, life and death, choose you whether &c. Ergo (say you) the peo­ple have power to choose and to refuse.

You say also that upon your doing, or not doing, depends your eternall blessing or everlasting cursing, and yet unlesse it be in some few things which I have fore-spoken in your commendation, you are the most unfruitfull people that ever I came amongst, except our new upstart wantons or new Notionists (to whom I shall speake next.) You spend the most of your time, in speaking evill of almost all other Christians that walke not by your rules, and hold not to your errours, you back-bite and reproach them with that bitternesse of spirit, as is more suitable to the principles of Heathens than of Christians, I will forbeare to speake the one halfe of what I have beene an eye witnesse unto of this kinde, in that little time when I [Page 62]was among you. You spend your time to spye a Mote in your Brothers eye, but when will you pull the Beame out of your owne eyes.

Againe, You hold that a man may fall from Christ or Grace, you have often affirmed that a man may bee a childe of God to day, and a limbe of Satan to morrow, that he stands by obedience and not by grace.

When he doth well he is accepted.
When he doth ill be is rejected.

And so by your errours, our salvation seemeth to depend upon workes, and so the free grace of God is nullified, and the obedience of Christ made of none effect; and in effect you plainly deny Christ: In a word,

You hold more foolish, sottish, unsound, unwarrantable, and un­comfortable points; than any Sect; And your conversation is just answerable to your principles, so joyne both together and behold their ill shapen forme and fruit. 1. By them both you dishonour God. 2. You grieve his people. 3. You delude the world 4. You cause the way of truth to be evill spoken of.

Remember therefore from whence you are fallen and repent or else the Lord will come unto you quickly, and fight against you

A word to the new upstart Wantons that deny Gods Ordainances, or New NOTIONISTS: full of Whimsies.

MY Freinds, I have spent a few dayes and made diligent search to finde something in you worthy of commendation, that so I might speake to you as I have to other Churches, taking notice of your Good and of your evill, but (my Friends) I cannot finde any thing among you but blasphemy and heresie, and trusting in lying vanities. Therefore as John said in another case 1 Iohn 1.3. I shall say to you in this case. That which I have seene and heard declare I unto you: and what I shall now charge you with, I have beene an eye and care witnes of, in conversing with you and being among you. Our Lord Christ speaking to the seven Churches of Asia by John, discovereth in each of them something worthy of commendation, but when he comes to the seventh Church, the [Page 63] Laodiceans, there was not so much as one graine of goodnesse to be found in her: And yet this Church looketh upon her selfe as the on­ly excellent Church, transcending all the rest, Rev. 3.17. I am rich and encreased with Goods, (saith she) and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and poore, miserable, blinde, and naked.

Here is thy state to a haires breadth, oh thou New Notionist, thou lookest upon thy selfe as one gone beyond all others in high en­joyments, and that can live upon God without use of ordinances, and worship God without formes.

You say the Scriptures are not the word of God.

Some of you have said the Scriptures will teach you to lye, and steale, you say God cannot be dishonoured by any Action you doe.

And some of you have said, the reason why they will not be drunk, is, because they would not waste their money and cause others to laugh at them, and because it is hurtfull to their bodies, not for any dishonour to God.

You say, That the Scriptures doe not concerne you, that it is one­ly a declaration of the Administrations that others have formerly beene under and worshiped God in, you say there are one hundred and fifty lyes in it.

You deny the resurrection and the judgement, and say that there is no sinne in the world, but that all actions are alike.

You say that the highest enjoyment and perfection that a Christian shall have, is in this life.

You make your owne wils your rule, and when you are car­ryed forth by them, you say you are carryed forth by the Spirit of God.

You say there are neither Angels nor Devils, but an administra­tion of life, and an admistration of death, or one of light and another of darknesse.

When you come together you spend your time for the most part in jesting stories and Carnal merryment, and if any reprove you for it, you say you are carryed forth to it.

You speake evill of others that waite upon God in the use of means, you call them Legallists, Formallists &c.

Most of you despise to heare any Minister preach, though never so excellent a teacher.

Some of you say that you can make better Bibles your selves, than [Page 64]that which is made already; saying, this Bible is but the opinions of men. You call Prayer, and all other Ordinances, bondage.

You say, if one man kill another, it is God that doth it; yea, you can use deceipt in your particular Callings, and say, you do no evill.

You care not for the weak, how you offend them; nor for the strong, if you grieve them.

And you above all other Sects in the world, cause the way of truth to be evill spoken off; most of the offences are come by you (wee be unto you) as saith the Scripture. The Presbyterians heare of your blasphemies, errours, and abhominable things that you hold: and because some of you were heretofore Independents, and some A­nabaptists; It makes the Presbyterian cry out so bitterly against the Independents and Anabaptists, thinking them to be all such as you are; when I must needs bear witnes for them both, they doe hate your principles, and practices, as they do the Devil, the father of them; In a word, you have turned with the Dog to the Vomite, and with the Sow to the wallowing in the mire.

Wherefore, If there by any sparks of grace remaining in you; If there be any consolation in Christ, any comfort of love, if any fel­lowship of the Spirit, if any bowels of mercies: then, oh then, re­member from whence you are faln and repent! Learne of the Prodi­gall Son, and come back again to your Father: for you have fed a long time upon husks, and your companions have been the Swine. You have back-slidden from your God, return to him again: It may be he will receive you: Seek meeknes, seek righteousnesse; it may be you may be hid in the day of the Lords anger. Wash you, make you clean, put away the evill of your doings; cease to doe evill, learn to doe well.

There is also another sort of people called Millenarians, who hold that Christ shall come, and Reign a thousand years upon earth personally: But seeing the number of these is but few, and their er­rours (for the most part) but in circumstantials, not in substantials; I shall at present omit to say any thing to them.

A Word to another sort of People, that are under none of those Forms.

THere are also a quarter part, if not more of the People of Eng­land, that are not under any of the aforesaid formes; neither [Page 65] Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists, Free-willers, nor those up-start men of vanitie and emptie notions last mentioned; I say, They walk not, nor keep company with any of these, but a distance.

And these are of two sorts.

The first is a precious, sweet, moderate sort of men and women, looking after and enquiring into the power and glory of truth, and godlinesse, more than the forme: They clearly see all those to whom I have spoken before, to be in extreams, either towards the right hand, or towards the left; and for the most part knowing Christ af­ter the flesh; yet this sort not under forms, look on those that are under forms, for many of them to be (as indeed they are) members of the same bodie, whereof Christ is the head. These men desire to know no man after the flesh; they love not any man because he is a Presbyterian; neither do they hate another, because he is an Inde­pendent; They desire to have their moderation known unto all men, seeing the Lord is at hand: As these mens hearts are tender to all, so their Purses are open to all. They desire to be good, more than to be thought of others to be so; and esteem the power of godlinesse more than the form.

But secondly, there are another company, and these are the greatest part, that are under none of the aforesaid forms; who look upon all the rest, and count it strange, that they run not with them to the same excesse of ryot, speaking evill of them all: The greatest piece of these mens Religon is, to watch for the haltings of the rest. These men and women spend their time, for the most part, in gaming, drinking, back-biting, railing at all others, that will not doe as they doe. These will not joyn themselves with the Presbyterians, be­cause they will not love them: They will not come among the Inde­pendents, because there they shall meet with reproof; they esteem their liberty more than their Religion: therefore they keep compa­ny with those, where they may have their liberty.

A few Words by way of Prophesie of the downfall of Presbyte­rie, Independence, Anabaptisme, Antinominisme, Free-Willers, Vain-Notionists, and all other Sects now extant in England.
A word in generall to all the Saints, who are under any of the aforesaid Forms.

OH all you servants of the most high and mighty God, heires of Promise, and Sons of Sion; look for great alterations, and mighty changes, see what desolations God will make in the earth, and looke for nothing but the Lord to be revealed from Heaven, which will be mighty in his dispensation and exceeding glorious in revelation, strong and powerfull in operation. He will bring to passe his determination, that is, he will destroy in this Mountaine, the face of this covering cast over all people, and the vaile that is spread over all Nations, Isa. 25.7.

If you aske what this vaile is, that shall be taken away.

I answer, There are many vailes whereof this is one, thy knowing of Christ and Christians after the flesh: As soone as ever the Lord tooke this vaile of our deare brother Pauls eyes, see what a change it wrought immediately upon him, 2 Cor. 5.16. Henceforth know Ino man after the flesh, yea though I have knowne Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know I him so no more. Our looking upon men and loving them because they are under this or that forme, is a know­ing them after the flesh. Presbyterians looke upon others of the same judgement, worshiping God in the same forme, and therefore love them. But let these speake never so little against their forme, and presently they cast them out of their affections. and also the Independents, they know men after the flesh much after the same manner: And likewise the Anabaptists, and Free-willers, they are vailed with the same vaile. And therefore what I say to one Sect, I say to you all; you shall speedily receive a totall rout: You have gathered your selves together, but you shall be seattered, yea you shall be broken in peices. Lo here is Christ, (the Presbyterian saith) in the publique ordinances, therefore highly esteeme the pub­lique preaching, and frequent the publique assemblies. Then comes in the Independent, and taking a strict view of the Presbyteriall Way, sees many disorders amongst them, and so seperates himselfe from them, and joynes himselfe to those o [...] his owne judgement, and so meet in private, saying in effect, Lo here is, Christ, Lo here is Christ: Then stands up the Anabaptist in opposition to both, and saith, Christ is not with you in publique, nor with the Independent in private, But Christ is with us in the baptisme of John. Lo, lo, here is Christ: [Page 67]Then comes in he that holds generall redemption and free-will, and saith, Christ is among none of you all, for you doe eclipse his free­grace, and limit his unlimited mercie, for he dyed for all, but you say it was but for some. 2. The Gospel is to be preached to all, but yon say, though he preached it to all, yet he intended it only to some. 3. Whereas we hold that all should beleeve the remission of their sins, you say, none can beleeve but a few that are elected. But we hold that as in the first Adam all dyed, so in the second A­dam all are made alive. So that, if any perish, let him thanke him­selfe, for upon his obedience, or disobedience, depends his weale or woe, and so God doth neither elect one, nor reprobate another, be­fore he hath done good or evill. Lo here is Christ, here is Christ, say the Free-willers.

And so all other Sects, Lo here is Christ, saith one, Lo there is Christ, saith another, wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold he is in the Desart, Goe not forth, Behold he is in the secret Chambers, Beleeve it not.

You all have built your outward house of externall discipline, up­on the sand, and it must fall because it is not grounded upon the rock Christ, you have made your communion the ground of your union, and that must fall, because it is not the Lords but mans building

Quest. But how doe you know that Presbytery must downe, and Independency, Anabaptisme and the rest of the Sects must downe.

Answ. I answer, Christ told the Jewes John 8.56. that Abraham saw his day and was glade Now if Abraham by faith did see the day of Christ, comming in the flesh, many yeares before he came, why may not I and others see the day of christ comming in the Spirit to destroy all fleshly formes, some few yeares before it be finished.

But if thou askest, How shall I know that thou prophesiest true concerning the downfall of all these.

I answer thee in this case, as the Lord himselfe answered his peo­ple in another case, Deut. 18.21.22. If thou shalt say in thine heart, How shall we know the word that the Lord hath spoken, from the word that he hath not spoken? The Lord there answereth, When a Prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing come to passe, it is from the Lord, if it come not to passe, it is not from the Lord.

Againe, I have by faith seene all these opinions fallen, and I have [Page 68]heard from many others that they have seene them fallen also. Therefore that which I have heard and seene, declare I unto you, that you might have fellowship with the Father and the Sonne in the spirit, for then, and not till then, you will give over saying, as (in effect) you doe, I am of Paul, I am of Appollo, I am of Cephas: Then you will not so much crye up a forme but endeavour the pow­er of godlinesse.

Deliver thy selfe, then, oh Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babilon, Zecha 2.7. For the Lord shall slay Babylon, and call his Ser­vants by a new name, Isa. 65.15.

A short description of a true Church-state, or communion of Saints that shall stand against al opposers.

PAul▪ writing to the Church of Corinth, beseecheth them in the name of Christ, that they would endeavour a perfect joyning to­gether, in one minde and one judgement, and good reason he had for so doing, for he well knew that all joynings whatsoever that were imperfect, were not of God, and so could not stand. In oppo­sition to all such imperfect unitings or unsound communions, he dis­swades this Church of Christ, from pleading or standing for patties, and from saying, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos &c. He doth in effect, tell them they must cease from knowing Christ and Christians after the flesh, for that must vanish. He doth perswade them not to build upon the sand, for that will fall. The Spirit of Christ doth exhort you to give over saying, lo here is Christ, lo there is Christ, for that is unsound and cannot stand.

That communion of Saints, that shall stand, against which the gates of hell shall not prevaile, let the winde blow, the raine descend and the floods come and beate upon it, it will not fall, for it is founded on a rocke. That communion then is this.

A communion that doth arise or flow from union, I say, It is a communion of Saints, arising from a cleare apprehension of their u­nion with Saints, 1 Cor. 12.13, 14. For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jewes or Gentiles, bond or free. And have beene all made to drinke into one spirit, for the bod [...]s not one member but many▪ verse 20. For now are they many mem­bers, yet but one body. Now when a Saint comes to see that every one in whom the Lord Jesus appeareth, though in the least measure, is a member together with him in the same body, whereof Christ is [Page 69]the head; then his heart longeth to joyne himselfe in fellowship with such, who have fellowship with the father and the son in spirit, whether in ordinances or otherwise.

He considers that he and all the faithfull under the whole Heavens have all one father, all one mother, all one elder Brother, all one cal­ling, all one hope of their calling, all cloathed with the same robe, all inclined to the same worke, all united by the same spirit, all ruled by the same word, and so he honours them all, as the body of Christ, and nourisheth and cherisheth them all, as his owne body. Oh who can breake the linkes of this golden chaine? Who can throw downe this spirituall building? No, no, The gates of hell cannot prevaile against it. Reade, and well consider that in the 1 Pet. 2.5. Yee also as lively stones, are built up a spirituall house, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spirituall sacrifice acceptable to God by Jesus Christ &c. or as it is in the margin, be you built up a spirituall house. Goe now through all the Shires and Cities of England, and enquire, nay make diligent search among all sorts of people, professing and pretending, to Christ, for such a Congregation, that of lively stones hath built up such a spirituall house, and note that Church: It shall never fall.

Oh where is such an assembly of Saints to be found, as is spoken of Ephes. 2.22. that are built together for an holy habitation of God through the spirit. Shall I appeale now to thy very conscience, and aske thee, oh thou zealous Presbyterian. Is your building which is so much cried up in England, such a building?

Shall I appeale now to thy conscience, oh thou Independent; and aske thee, Art thou built up for an habitation of God through [...]he spirit? Doest thou indeed offer up a spirituall sacrifice? Me thinks there is so much truth in both the Presbyterian, and the Independent. as to answer in the negative.

Well then, Hence it is you love one Saint, and hate another be­cause you are not perfectly joyned together; You yet know Christ and Christians after the flesh, you have been joyned together in one forme, but not united together in one spirit. But the day is dawn­ing before you, and the day star is rising in you, at the appearance of which your communion shall be in the spirit as well as in the forme, and your love shall be to all as well as to some, and when you are ab­sent in body (as Paul) you will be present in spirit, joying and be­holding their spirituall order.

Now there are many reasons why the Saints ought to bee thus joyned together: Take two,

1. Because they are commanded to stand fast in one spirit, Phil. 1. [Page 70]27. And how can they stand fast in the Spirit if they be not joyned in the Spirit.

2. Because that worship wherewith they must worship God, must be a spirituall worship, John 4.23.24. 1 Pet. 2.5.

And untill Saints are thus joyned together they are not fitly joyn­ed, according to that Ephes. 4.16.

Neither untill they be thus united in one spirit, can they be said to have any fellowship of the Spirit, according to that Phil. 2.1.

Againe untill they be thus united in one spirit, how can they yeeld obedience to that command Ephes. 4 3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. And that they might keepe the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, see what power­full convincing arguments hee brings, Ephes. 4.4, 5, 6. There is one body, (saith he) and one spirit, even as yee are called in one hope of your calling: One Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Mark then (I beseech you) the Lord by Paul doth here lay downe. 1. The uni­on thou hast with him, 2. The union thou hast with his people, and from both these, as from the ground, he puts his people upon a sweet communion and fellowship both with himselfe and his peo­ple. Upon this rocke hath Christ built his Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevaile against a Church thus stated. But I have beene in communion with all sorts of Professors now extant in England, and waded out of one forme into another, and at the last I have clear­ly found that much of their building, hath beene upon sandy founda­tions, I shall then shut up all with one word of advice to all.

Oh ye sons of Sion! Behold your union with God, consider also that yee are one, not with some (onely) but with all the Saints under whatsoever forme they be. Wherefore love them all, pitty them all, doe good to them all, and as you are united in one spirit, so let the the word and spirit be your rule. When you have gathered your selves together according to the order of the Gospell, choose to your selves Pastors, and Teachers, Elders, and Deacons, make use of all Gods ordinances but rest upon none, looke upon them all but as Pipes and Organs through which he conveyes himselfe to the soule &c.

Quest. But me thinkes I heare some say, What religion, or (at least) opinion is he himselfe off, that hath written this Treatise? He can be no Presbyterian, for he writes against them: He is no In­dependent, for he reproves them: No Anabaptist, for he dislikes [Page 71]them: No Free-willer, for he writes directly against them: What then is he?

Answ. I answer, I am a Christian.

You will say, So are all the people of England, Christians.

But that I deny, For though there are many Christians of mans making, yet there are few, yea very few of Gods making.

But you will say, What are they then, if not Christians.

I answer, There are many Heathens, and Turkes, Jews, and Infidels many Canaanites, and Amorites, Perrizzites &c.

But I am a Christian, This name was given first to the disciples in Antioch, I beleeve in one God, Father of all, and in one Lord Jesus Christ redeemer of all, and in one sanctifying Spirit of Grace; I beleeve that it is the office of the Father to elect, the office of the Sonne to redeeme, and the office of the Holy Ghost to Sanctifie those and onely those, whom the Father hath elected, and the Sonne re­deemed, And I doe beleeve my owne interest in all these, without which the knowledge of it is nothing; the Father loves me freely, the Son manifests that love to me, and the Spirit doth evidence it in me: The Father loveth me, as redeemed by his Sonne; The Son lookes upon me, and loves me, as being given by the Father, for him too redeeme; And the Holy Ghost seeing the love of the Father in choosing me, and the love of the Sonne in redeeming me, he also sets his love upon me, and manifests this unto me, which is the earnest of my inheritance. I beleeve that God hath his being in himselfe, and gives being to all other creatures, and the cause, why he made mee, was for his owne glory, and the end, why he elected me in Christ, was that I should bring forth fruit to him, I know I am not my own I am bought with a price, wherfore I desire to glorifie God with my body and my soule, which are the Lords. I endeavour, as to love God, so also to love his people, not some but all, and to love my enemies, desiring to become all things to all that I might in my place gaine [...] ▪ I doe bel [...]ve that I [...] to give no just offence to the Jew, nor the Gentile, [...] the Church of Christ, wherfore as much as in me lieth, I endeavour to keepe a conscience voide of offence both towards God, and towards man. I love all, and yet I desire to with­draw my selfe from every brother that walketh disorderly.

I doe beleive that I am a Servant of Christ.

I doe beleeve I am a Friend of Christ, John 15.15.

I doe beleeve that I am a Brother of the Lord Christ, Heb 2.11.

I doe beleeve that I am in as neare relation to Christ, as the wife is to the husband, Rev. 1.9.

[Page 72]I doe beleeve that I am a Member of his owne body, 1 Cor. 12. verse 12.

I do beleeve that I am a Joynt-heire with Christ, Rom. 8.17.

I doe beleeve that I am joyned to the Lord, and so one Spirit with him, 1 Cor. 6.17.

I doe beleeve that the Lord takes all the evill done to me, as done to himself, Zac. 2.8. Mat. 25.45.

I doe beleeve that I have everlasting life already, according to that John 3.36.

1. In the promise, feare not little flocke, it is your fathers pleasure to give you a kingdome.

2. In the first fruites, for what is heaven hereafter but a more full enjoyment of what is begun here.

3. I have everlasting life already in possession by my head Christ.

I doe beleeve that all this is but a taste of what I shall be, accor­ding to that 1 John 3.1, 2. Now are yee the sons of God, and it doth not yet appeare what you shall be. But when he shall appeare yee shall be like him. The serious consideration of which, (I doubt not) will draw up my conversation more and more to be in heaven, even whil'st I remaine here on earth.

I doe beelve that my sinnes by Christ are taken out of the sight of God.

I doe beleeve that the designe of Christ was to take it away out of my Conscience, that there might be no more conscience of sinne, Heb. 9.14.

I doe beleeve that as Christ hath taken away sinne out of the sight of God, and out of my owne Conscience, so in due time, he will take away sin out of my conversation, according to that scripture 1 Pet. 1.15. and Luke 1.75.

In a word, I doe beleeve, my sinnes past, present, and to come, are all laid upon and done away by Christ, Isa. 53.6.

I doe beleve that as there was no good fore-seene in me, that did cause the Lord to set his love upon me, so there is no evill that can be done by me, that can cause him to hate me.

A Word to the Parliament the Representative body of the Kingdome.

I Cannot put a period to this little Volume, without one word to you, who are Members of the High Court of Parliament. Ho­noured Worthies, you have begun well, go on that we may finde in England that that was so earnestly sought for in Jerusalem, Jer 5.1, Men executing judgement, and speaking the truth: And then why may we not expect to be partakers of the mercy there promised; a pardoning of the sin, and a healing of the Land. Eye the Lord Jesus in all your actings, and advance his Kingdome, as much as in you lyeth: honour him and hee will honour you, and endeavour with David to deliver his Lambs out of the Lyons mouths, for they are tender in your Fathers eyes, let them be so in yours: Your un­daunted courage in not fearing the faces of men, and your executing of justice upon all offenders, without respect of Persons or partiality: as it is very acceptable in the sight of God, so the sound of it is ve­ry sweet in the ears of his People. And as the Saints in England have put up many Petitions at the Throne of Grace, that God would give you undaunted Spirits; and having by experience found God answering their request by your late actings, as touching the King and Lords; they are now turning their Prayers into Praises, to the Almighty for answering their Prayers in assisting you. And the more difficulty you found in the work, the more God will honour you for the same.

But Right Honourable Worthies, What should be the cause that the people of England whom you doe represent; yea, they that have chosen you, and have ever since with their Lives and Estates assisted you: What is the reason, that they all with one voice since the death of our late King are saying to you, as once the children of Is­rael to Rehoboam after the death of their King, 1 King. 12.4. Ease us of our heavy burthens, take away our taxations so heavy: and you have answered the people as Rehoboam did, if not in your words, yet in your deeds: saying, My little finger shall be heavier than my Fathers loins, and whereas you had a heavy yoak before, I will make it heavier: and whereas my Father chastized you with whipps, I will chastise you with Scorpions.


[Page 74]If you say, this is none of our answer, or practice; Let me aske you, What means the Excise, the doubled contribution, and Free-quarter, and many other grievous taxations and assessements: And when we consider the time in which you encrease and continue these devouring Caterpillars, it doth aggravate your evill, as well as our sence of the misery; as to instance.

1. In a time when our trading at Sea is spoyled, and our Shipps daily lost and taken.

2. In which our trading by Land is almost utterly decayed.

3. In which all sorts of provisions for the nourishment of our almost famished bodies is risen almost to a double price.

4. Though what little Money and Pla [...]e we had, we lent before upon the Publike Faith; which proves a dead Faith, or at best, but a historicall Faith: For notwithstanding all Promises, wee receive none of it back again.

5. In a time, in which many People are but, as it were newly re­turned to their Homes, after banishment for a long time from their habitations and estates, left to the cruell mercies of the adversary.

6. In which many thousands have had their Houses burnt to ash [...]s, and cry for help to their neighbours that have escaped that calamity.

7. And lastly, Which adds to our misery more than all the rest; In a time, when we expect a full deliverance; having by the assi­stance of the Almighty power, gotten the victory over all our ene­mies: so that we may yet lament in the words of Jeremiah; Wee looked for Peace, and there is no good: and for times of Peace, and behold trouble.

God hath put into your hands a power, if you have but hearts to make use of it, to take off these heavy burthens, wherewith your friends are laden.

Are not the Crown Lands in your hands, and all the treasures thereunto belonging: Are not also the Bishops Lands in your hands.

Are not all the Customes in England in your hands, which a­mount so high.

And also Delinquents Fines and Compositions.

And yet must we have Excise remaine? and Contribution doub­led? Is this the reward that we shall have for all our Obedience to you? Oh consider, consider! To reward us evill for all our good, it is not sound; and to make your friends your foes, it is not safe: Shall I acquaint you with what I know, and that upon sound ground. [Page 75]If the King had gotten the day, and all into his hands, as you have: would not he have freed those that assisted him? And have main­tained his Armie upon the cost of those that did oppose him? did not his practise begin to testifie the truth of this? So tender was he of those that assisted him in his extremity.

And will not you that professe your selves to be the servants of Christ, and favourers of his people; doe as much for Christ, as hee for Antichrist? Oh then! Oh then! let the cost light upon those that were the cause; and they that forced you to raise an Army, let their estates pay the Army.


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