CHRIST THE Perfect Pattern, OF A Christian's Practice, Being the substance of seve­rall Sermons, about the Imitation of Christ. PREACHED, By the Reverend and faith­full Minister of Jesus Christ, Mr. Ralph Robinson, late Minister of Mary Wolnoth London.

Phil. 2. 5. Let this minde be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Eandem humilitatem eligeret servus, quam sectatus est Dominus. Leo.
Quid vobis cum virtutibus, qui virtutem Christi ignora­tis? Ubinam quaeso, vera prudentia nisi in Christi Doctrina? ubi vera temperantia nisi in Christi vita? ubi vera fortitudo nisi in Christi passione? Bern.
Absonum est, membrum superbum & delicatum esse, sub capite humili, & spinis coronato. Davenantius.

Published by Sim. Ash, Wil. Taylor, Sam. Clarke.

London, Printed by J. S. and are to be sold by John Sims, at the Crosse-Keys in the new Buildings in Pauls Church-yard, 1658.

Christ the Perfect Pattern.

Christian Reader,

IT is not long since, that a Book of Mr. Robinsons, attested with Our Names, was published; the Subject whereof was this, That Christ is All in All; wherein were opened those Elegant Scripture Similitudes, by which, it pleased the wis­dom of the Holie Ghost, to illustrate unto us, the Person, Dignitie, and Offices of our Lord Jesus Christ: which Book, (as we are informed,) hath been verie acceptable to the People of God; especially, of those who still retain the fresh remem­brance of Mr. Robinson's precious, and profitable Mini­strie.

[Page] It were to be wished, that those Ministers, who have leasure, answerable to their great parts and abilities, would inrich the Church of God, with the fruits of their studies and experiences, whilst God conti­nues them in this life: that so their Works might neither be neglected as posthumous, nor suspected as spurious.

This little Treatise, now put into thy hands, thou mayst be assured, is printed, accord­ing to the Copy, left written by the Authours own hand.

The subject here handled, is most Noble, viz. the imitati­on of Christ, who is the grand [Page] Exemplar, and Perfect Pat­tern to all Christians. Though we dare not say, that the onely or main end, either of Christs Life and Death, was to leave us an Example; yet we say, that one end thereof, was to leave us an Example, 1 Pet. 2. 21. We do not, dare not, press the imitation of Christ upon that design that some have done, thereby, to enervate the satis­faction & propitiation by Christs death: For we do abhorre both those opinions, viz. that the first Adams sin, and the second A­dams righteousness, are no o­therwise ours, then by imitation. But yet we say, that it concerns [Page] all Christians, so to improve the Example of Christs humilitie, meeknes, mercifulnes, obedience and zeal, that they should walk, even as Christ hath walked. 1 Joh. 2. 6. who hath not onlie left us, 1 Pet. 2. 21. [...] a Copie to write by; but also Joh. 13. 15. [...], a perfect example; shew­ing us, and guiding our hearts and hands, to vvrite according to that incomparable Copy.

The Lord Jesus Christ by his Spirit, lead thee (Christian Reader) into all truth,

So pray, Thine in Christ,
  • Simeon Ash.
  • Sam. Clark.
  • Wil. Taylor.
Imprimatur, Edm. Calamy.

CHRIST The perfect Pattern, OF A Christians Practise.

Mary Wolnoth, Aug. 27. 1648.

1 John 2. 6.‘He that saith he abideth in Christ, ought himself so to walk, as he walked.’

THe Apostle having laid down the sum [...] of the Doctrine of the Gospel in the former Chapter, doth in this and the following Chapter, make the applica­tion of it.

There are four principal duties, to which he exhorts in this Chapter, viz.

  • 1. To sanctity and holiness of walking, vers. 1. ad finem vers. 6.
  • 2. To brotherly love, ad finem 14.
  • 3. To the contempt of the World, vers. 15. ad 18.
  • 4. To shun seducers, and to be constant in the faith, v. 18. ad finem.

[Page 2] Each of these are urged by sundry Argu­ments.

The Arguments exciting us to holiness of life, are,

  • 1. From the end of the Gospel, v. 1. These things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
  • 2. From the Mediation, and intercession of Christ, v. 1, 2.
  • 3. 'Tis an Argument of the truth and since­rity of our Faith, v. 3, 4.
  • To know Christ, is to believe in him.
  • 4. 'Tis an Argument of the sincerity of our love, v. 5.
  • 5. 'Tis an Argument of our union with Christ, v. 5. latter part, which is amplified, v. 6.

So the Text is the amplification of one Ar­gument, pressing holness of life, in which we may observe two things.

  • 1. A high Dignity.
  • 2. A special duty.

To abide in Christ, is the same with that in v. 5. To be in Christ to have fellowship with Christ, Chap. 1. v. 6.

[...], saith the Scholiast.

The Phrase is further opened, and illustra­ted, Iohn 1. v. 4, 5, 6.

Explication.

That great mystery of our union with Iesus Christ, it is comprehended in this Phrase.

There is an external abiding in Christ, by outward profession; & an internal, by spiritual union.

[Page 3] To walk as he walked, is,

[...], To tread in his steps, to follow his Example, to imi­tate him in his holy actions and vertues.

From the whole Text ariseth this Lesson.

That 'tis the duty, and should be the care Doct. of every one, who pretends an interest in Jesus Christ, to imitate the holy life and conversati­on of Christ. 'Tis laid down peremptorily and positively, not as an Arbitrary thing, but an act of debt; he ought. This is that which this Apostle enjoynes in other places also, vid. Rom. 13. ult. [...]. This is the true putting on of Christ, which we do not only [...], but in our Conversations, put on his example.

Math. 11. 29. Col. 2. 6. To walk in Christ, signifies two things; To live the life of Christ, to persevere in him, Phil. 2. 5.

There are three things to be done in the ex­plication of this Doctrine.

  • 1. What it is to imitate.
  • 2. Wherein we must imitate Christ.
  • 3. Why we should do so.

1. There are three things which must con­curre to imitation, viz.

1. There must be a performance of the same actions which are done by him, whom we imi­tate. Identity of practise.

2. A performing of those actions, out of a desire to imitate; else, though there be the same actions, yet that is no imitation. Chil­dren do the same actions which their Parents [Page 4] do, viz. eat, drink, walk, &c. yet they are not said to imitate their Parents in them, because they do them naturally, not out of any desire of imitation.

3. An endeavour to come as exactly as we can to the Copy: So now to imitate Christ, is,

  • 1. To do the like actions which Christ did.
  • 2. To do them out of a desire to be like him.
  • 3. To do them with all the care and exact­ness we can, that if it were possible, we would out-strip his example. A Christian should be, Alter Christus.

2. Wherein we must imitate Christ. This is not unnecessary, because there are some actions of Christ, which are not imitable. There are three kind of actions which Christ did.

1. Some things he did, quà Deus, his works of Divinity and Omnipotency: As his miracu­lous works of forgiving sins, raising the dead, casting out Devils, and curing Diseases by his word, walking upon the Sea, &c. 'Tis the pride of the Papists, to imitate Christ in these things, as their Quadragesimal Fasts, &c. These are for our admiration, not for our imitation.

2. Some things he did, quà Mediator, his works of office. As his Dying to reconcile God and man, offering up himself a Sacrifice for sin. This is not for our imitation, only the mo [...]al of these is for us, That as Christ did, carefully, the works of his Calling, so should we of our particular Calling.

3. Some things he did as he was made man, under the Law. And tehse were of two sorts: [Page 5] Some in obedience to the Ceremonial Law, as he was the Son of Abraham, according to the flesh. As his submitting to Circumcision, keep­ing the Jewish Feasts of Tabernacles, Pentecost, &c. these we are not bound unto: Others, in obedience to the moral Law, those moral acti­ons of Christ, the works of piety, of charity, which he did: his vertues as they are called, 1 Pet. 2. 9. his humility, meekness, &c. And therefore 'tis observed in Matth. 11. 29. Learn of me, saith Christ: what? not to cast out Devils, raise the dead, &c. but learn meekness, lowli­ness, &c.

These are the things which we are tyed toi­mitate Christ in: The Reasons why; these are,

1. Those Relations between Christ and a Christian, call for it, viz.

1. Master and Servant, this is a Relation of Imitation, Matth. 10. 24, 25. 'tis there spoken, in regard of suffering: 'tis as forcible, in re­gard of doing. Our Saviour urgeth us in a par­ticular case, upon this very ground, Ioh. 13. 13, 14. Other Masters cannot require imitation from their Servants in every thing, because they mislead, but Christ may.

2. That of Captain and Souldiers, that's a Relation of Imitation. Abimelech to his Soul­diers, Iudg. 9. 49. Christ is our General and Captain, Heb. 2. 10. Iosh. 5. 14.

3. That of Father and Children, Children should imitate their Parents, not in every thing, many Parents would lead their Children to Hell, should they follow them. The Apostle [Page 6] argues upon this ground this duty, Eph. 5. 1.

2. 'Tis one end of Christs Incarnation. There are in reference to man, two principal ends of Christs Incarnation; (for in reference to God, his main end was, Eph. 1. 6.) One was to re­concile God and man, by his obedience and suf­fering, and so to bring in everlasting righte­ousnes. The other was, that he might set us an example for our Imitation, 1 Pet. 2. 21. that there might be found a perfect Pattern of grace and holiness in our natures. Now unless we imitate his example, we shall, as much as lyeth in us, frustrate one end of his incarnation.

3. 'Tis the highest pitch of spiritual perfecti­on. 'Tis the duty of every Christian, to grow up to as great a height as he can in grace and holiness. Christians are as Trees, which from a small graff, grow up to a great stature, vid. Mat. 5. ult. 'Tis a [...] of simi [...]itude, not of equa­lity. Now the very top of this perfection, stands in this, that we be like Christ.

There is a threefold likeness of Christ.

A likeness of nature, so we are all like him.

A likeness of glory, that is reserved for Hea­ven, of which the Apostle, 1 Ioh. 3. 2.

A likeness of Grace, which consists in the renewing of the mind, and in walking after this holy Pattern. This is the very Apex of that poor imperfect perfection which we can reach to here. Greg. Nyssen defines Christianity to be Imitationem Divinae Naturae. Qui plus habet [Page 7] Christi, plus habet Christianitatis, so doth the Apostle also, Phil. 3. 10.

4. There is no other perfect Pattern to walk by, while we are in this World. All men, ei­ther give us a bad example, or else an imper­fect example. There are two things which make a perfect pattern,

First, That it have exactness of every thing, which should be required.

Secondly, That it have no blemish, or redun­dancy of any thing which should not be. Now there is no such Pattern, besides Christs ex­ample. The Scripture indeed calls upon us, to follow the example of the Saints, the Apostle propounds his own example, Phil. 3. 17. but there are these limitations:

1. We must not imitate them in all things, because they had graces in imperfection, and because they had obliquities and deformities, as well as graces. That which is said of Books, is as true as men in every thing else. Etiam in op­timis Authoribus quaedam vitia. Moses was not without his murmuring. David had his Adul­tery, Peter his denyal. These are recorded to be as Shelfs of caution, not Copies of Imitati­on; we must follow these only in their re­flections, and sparks of piety.

2. We must not follow the example of any one of them alone, because there was in no one of them a compleat Pattern of all grace. God scattered his graces among the Saints; one was more eminent in one grace, a second in another, &c. Moses for meekness, Job for [Page 8] patience, Paul for contentment, &c. This God did to preserve the Communion of Saints, as the Apostle speaks in another case, 1 Cor. 12. 8. but now we may follow Christs example, with­out any of these limitations, for there is in him,

1. A full concurrence of all graces com­pleatly, Cont. 5. 10, 11. ad finem. Col. 1. 19.

2. There is no obliquity in him. No spot, Cant. 5. 16. The Saints are like the Moon, the best of them have a dark side as well as a bright, who is she that looketh as the Moon? Cant. 6. 10. Christ is as the Sun, which is all light, without the least spot.

5. The Saints are the Image of Christ, there­fore they ought to walk as he walked. As the shadow followeth the substance, Christians are (as it were) the shadow of Christ. And the goodness of all the actions and works which we perform, doth not stand in the substance of the work, but in relation and conformity to the Rule and Example, by which they are done.

Information 1. That 'tis the duty of every 1. Use. Christian, to know, and to be acquainted with the life of Christ: he that is ignorant of what Christ did, cannot possibly walk as he walked. What a sad condition are they in, who having but one Copy to write after, are altogether without the knowledge thereof.

2. What a great blessing it is, that God hath given unto us the Gospel, and with what care [Page 9] and diligence, should we bend our selves to the study of it; for Christs Example is to be found only there. In the volume of the Book it is writ­ten of me, There are but three places where Christ is,

In Heaven corporally;

In the hearts of his people, by his Spirit;

In the Gospel, by his Example.

The Gospel is the Table, wherein the lively picture of Christ is, it reads us a Lecture of the life and death of Christ. Here are vestigia Chri­sti, you may see the prints of his feet here, here is the golden Sampler, its a rich Treasure the Gospel, vid. Col. 3. 16. not to sojourn with us, but to dwell, &c. What strange Families that want Bibles, or having them read them not: what strange work would Children make, had they no Sampler?

3. This is justification for a strict and cir­cumspect life. Many are ready to quarrel with the Servants of God for their preciseness, be­cause they will not run into the same excess of riot, 1 Pet. 4. 4. Profaneness is not so much quar­rel'd as Piety. Gods Servants dare not swear, dare not omit prayer, &c. wicked men re­proach them for it; but God commands it, Eph. 5. 15. and Christs example calls for it. Christ never sware, never spake idle word, &c. He that reproaches them for their holiness, re­proacheth Christ. As the Apostle saith in ano­ther case, Jam. 4. 11. so 'tis in this; he speaks e­vill of Christ, and judgeth Christ.

[Page 10] 4. It shewes us, that many who live in the visible Church, are far from true Christianity, because they have so little of Christ upon them, Swearers, Blasphemers, &c. yea, formall Pro­fessors, &c. Our Saviour argues well with such men, shewes them their Pedigree by their works, Joh. 6. 39. They claim Abraham for their Father, because of their outward priviledges, Circumcision, &c. yea, v. 41. They claim God to be their Father: our Saviour, v. 44. tells them whose they are, or if Christs Example must be the Standard of true Christianity; we may com­plain, Quam pauci, &c. Many hate his Ex­ample, many only talk of it, many follow it in one kind only, few take up his whole Example, &c.

Exhortation. That we would be more care­ful Use 2. for time to come, to do our duty. A Chri­stian should be alter Christus. When you mis­carry, or are tempted to it, say then, Did Christ thus? I might use many more, viz.

  • 1. 'Tis the will of God.
  • 2. 'Tis the end of your Calling.
  • 3. It will credit Religion.
  • 4. It will vex the spirit of Satan.

As sin grieves Gods Spirit, so holiness grieves Satan.

5. Christ will direct you, if you desire to walk as he did, he will shew his actions to him that would be like him.

6. Christ will protect you, when you act by his example.

[Page 11] 7. Christ will give you comfort in such Actions, Matth. 11. 29. you shall find rest.

8. Christ will be sure to walk with you, if you take up his Copy.

9. Else you shall have no benefit by his sufferings: none have benefit by his Ransom, but such as imitate his Example, 1 Pet. 2. 21. A serious motive.

This shall suffice for the urging of this Do­ctrine in general.

I shall further press this necessary Subject, by giving you a more large Table of Christs Actions severally, which I shall gather out of the Gospel, from other Texts, and then I shall urge them upon your practise, severally by this Text.

And I shall begin with that grace, which was very eminent in Christ, viz. the grace of humi­lity, and lowliness of mind, out of that Text, Matth. 11. 29.

And I shall urge it upon you in the words of this Text. He that saith he abides in Christ, ought so to walk as he walked.

So much for this Text, which is only a Pre­amble, or Preface to those which follow.

Septemb. 10th, 1648. Mary Wolnoth.

Matth. 11. 29.Lowly in heart. [...].’

THere are in this Chapter, several passages [...]. recorded for our instruction, viz.

1. A Message sent by John Baptist, now in prison, to our Saviour, wherein we have,

(1) The occasion of it, viz. the report brought to him, of the great works of Christ, particular­ly, that miracle of restoring the Widdowes Son Vers. 2. of Naim from death to life, so Luke sets it down, Luk. 7. 18.

(2) The Messengers sent; two of Johns Dis­ciples. Vers. 2.

(3) The Message it self, Art thou he that should come? &c. This Message he sent, not for his own sake, as though he were ignorant Vers. 3. or doubtful, but for the sake of his Disciples, who it should seem, were doubtful of Johns Testimony.

(4) The Answer returned, which hath two branches.

[Page] 1. A Narrative of his works, the blind receive Vers. 4. 5, 6. their sight, &c.

2. A positive Answer, which is propounded by way of admonition; blessed is he, &c.

(2) The Testimony which is given by our Vers. 7. ad 16. Saviour, to John Baptist, and his Ministery, to the multitudes which were with him, ver. 7. ad 16.

(3) A sad complaint of the obstinate carriage of the Jews, both in the rejecting of John Bap­tist, Vers. 16. ad 20. and Christ, vers. 16. ad 20. Neither the retiredness and austerity of John, nor the soci­ableness and affability of Christ, did prevail with them, but both of them were quarrel'd, v. 18. 19.

(4) A sharp reproof of Chorazim, Bethsaida, Vers. 20. ad 25. and Capernaum, Cities of Galilee, for their impe­nitency, unbelief, and intractableness, vers. 20. ad 25.

(5) The Argument used by our Saviour, to Vers. 25. ad 28. comfort himself and others, against this obsti­nacy, and incredulity of the Jews, in rejecting him and his Doctrine, viz. from the determi­nation of God, in giving effectual grace to some, and denying it to others, I thank thee, O Father, &c.

(6) A general Exhortation unto all wea­ried Vers. 28. ad finem. and penitent sinners, v. 28. ad finem, where­in we have,

1. The matter of the Exhortation, viz.

1. To come to Christ, and submit to his yoak.

2. To follow his Example.

[Page 14] 2. The Arguments urging both these; which are three,

1. From the nature of Christ, meek and lowly.

2. From the benefit and advantage, find rest, &c.

3. From the Nature of Christ's Govern­ment, my yoak is easie, my burden is light.

That part of the Verse which I have read, is a description or commendation, which our Sa­viour gives of himself; and for orders sake, they have two parts.

  • 1. The excellent quality, [...].
  • 2. The Subject of it, [...].

Lowly, the word [...] properly signifies, one that is neere the ground, quasi [...] ab [...] pavimentum solum, as the Latine word Humilis doth, ab Humo. Quum de homine dici­tur, à corpore ejus ad animum translatum est.

Its opposed sometimes to rich, Jam. 1. 9, 10. [...]. usually its [...]pposed unto proud, Jam. 4. 6. [...]. So 1 Pet. 5. 5.

Significat non tam humilem statum, quàm de­missum animum & humilem affectum. So 'tis used in this Text: therefore the word [...] is added, quasi [...], as the Greek Tongue sets it out sometimes in one word.

[...]. That's the shrine of this Saint, the princely Palace, where this Queen inha­bits. Sin is sealed in the heart, the sin of pride. No Room but the best, will serve Satan, pride [Page 15] is in the heart, Obad. 1. 3. so grace is planted in the heart, vid. 1 Pet. 3, 4.

The Lesson which we learn hence, is,

That the Lord Jesus Christ was very lowly, Doct. and humble-hearted, while he conversed with men upon the Earth, he was [...]: In all his actions and carriages, he expressed very great humility.

  • 1. I shall demonstrate his humility.
  • 2. I shall give the grounds of it.
  • 3. I shall apply the point.

Sundry things testifie his humility, viz.

1. His avoiding and declining earthly great­ness, upon all occasions. 'Tis a sign of a humble heart, to contemn and reject worldly honours, and promotions. A man may perhaps, seeming­ly decline such advancement, either out of a de­sire to be accounted humble, or that more im­portunity may be urged to prevail with them for acceptance, or out of a Complement, or to avoid trouble and charge, or because of un­titeness as Saul, 1 Sam. 10. 22. A man of quali­ty may take the lowest place, and decline to sit in the highest Seat, that it may with more so­lemnity be conferred upon him.

Visne Episcopari? Nolo, that Answer was gi­ven by the Bishop, he must modestly shew him­self unwilling, though he had used both Cap and Purse to get the Chair. But Jesus Christ did really avoid all earthly dignity, and that out of humility of spirit, vid, Joh. 6. 15. he ran a­way [Page 16] for fear of a Crown; not as Saul, because of the care and the trouble, but meerly out of a contempt of outward greatness.

2. His concealing and suppressing his own prayses. Proud persons will be alwayes stroak­ing their own heads, and trumpetting out their own prayses; but humility will cast a vail over that goodness and glory which is in it self, vid. Prov. 20. 6. and thus did the Pharisees, Luk. 16. 15. our Saviour he kept-under the glory of his own miracles;

1. Sometimes by doing them in secret, Mar. 5. 37. Pride loves to act upon an open Stage, in the face of many spectators, it would be seen of men; but humility acts under Cur­tains. And,

2. Sometimes by charging those who were beholders and partakers of them, not to make him known, as Math. 17. 9. concerning the vision at his transfiguration, Mar. 5. 43. when he restored to life, the Daughter of the Ruler of the Synagogue, and Mar. 7. 36. when he gave speech to the dumb man; and so Luk. 5. 14. to the Leper. His disciples we find, did earnestly sollicit him to set up his Bills (as it were) and to practise his mighty works openly, John 7. 4. And yet he declined it, yea, we find, that he rather chose to be in the Desert, when his miracles were noysed abroad, than in the Cities, as Luc. 5. 16.

Sometimes indeed, he commanded his mi­racles to be made known, as Luk. 8. 39. that his Father might be glorified in the World, and [Page 17] that there might be an accession of people to himself, to receive his Doctrine, and believe in him; but we finde, that for the most part he concealed them.

3. He mixed and joyned himself to persons of the poorest and meanest condition: he ne­ver declined converse with any, either because of their low parts, or mean condition. Proud persons will not keep company with beggars, and ragged persons; they keep at a distance, and shun their Company, though perhaps nearly realted to them: many a proud Child, when once rich, forgets his Parents, or nearest friends. Jesus Christ did otherwise, he conversed freely with the poor Woman of Samaria, who came with her Pitcher to draw water as freely as if she had been a royal person, John 4. His Disciples we finde, wondred at it, when they saw their Master discoursing with a Woman, as thinking it too low for him, John 4. 27. their spirits were a little higher than their Masters. A poor blinde beggar at the high-way side, calls to him, he straight commands him to be brought, and discourses with him, Luk. 18. 40. yea, not only with mean persons, but many times with lewd and vicious persons, such as the Publicans and sinners were, when he might do them any good: Though his credit with men was blasted for his condescension that way, called a friend of Publicans, yet for their be­nefit, he regards not that. He even made him­self equal with them of low degree, Rom. 12. 6. yea, he did not scorn to have, even Children [Page 18] brought to him, Matth. 19. 14. his Disciples they find fault with it, vers. 13. as thinking it too far below the dignity of his person, to have any thing to do with them, but Christ enter­tains them.

4. He was ready and willing to do the meanest Offices for men, he takes water, and washes his Disciples feet, John 13. 5. as though he had been their Servant, and not their Ma­ster, he was ready to go at every ones call, Matth. 8. 7. I will come and heal him, though it was but a Servant.

5. He did bear with the weakness and igno­rance of his Disciples, in many things, without scorn or derision. We are exhorted to this, Rom. 15. 1, 2. When he preached to the multi­tude, concerning the Parable of the Tares, they come to him, and he interprets without upbraiding them. They dreamed of an earthly Kingdom, though Christ had often told them, that his Kingdom was not of this World, yet he humbly informs them.

6. He lived meanly in the World, did not chuse Kings, but mean persons for his Disci­ples; was contented to lie hard, and fare hard; was of a mean Trade and employment in the World, till he took him upon the work of the Ministry, Mark 6. 3. If you trace him from the beginning of the Gospel to the end, you will Zach. 8, 9. find his humility.

7. His miserable and cursed Death, Phil. 2. 7, 8. his patient sufferings from meanest per­sons, 1 Pet. 2. 23.

[Page 19] Second thing, Why Christ was thus humble? Not because he had nothing in him, though he had all things in him, which might have height­ned his heart.

(1) Psal. 2. 7. he was high born, the Son of God.

(2) He had high Offices, King, Prophet, Priest.

(3) He was rich, Heir of all things, Heb. 1. 2. greater than Solomon, Mat. 12. 42.

(4) He had all excellent parts; he was wise, He was beautiful, Psal. 45. 3. Cant. 5. 10. He was full of grace, John 1. 14. He had Angels his Servants, &c.

(5) He was appiauded by many: yet was he lowly in heart: which will appear by seven particulars.

1. It was suitable to his condition, he ha­ving taken upon him the form of a Servant, by taking our Nature upon him, Phil. 2. 7. it was meet, that he should be humble. He came not to be ministred unto, but to minister, Mat. 20. 28. He was in statu humiliationis, as he stood in our stead, and it was necessary, that his carriage should be suitable to his state.

2. He was full of every grace, John 1. 14. He was full of the Spirit.

3. To teach his Disciples, both the twelve 1 Pet. 2. 21. that followed him in the flesh, and all others after them, how they should carry themselves in the World, John 13, 14, 15, 16.

Third thing, is the Use. I will only make one.

[Page 20] That we would all endeavour to walk as Christ walked, in this regard. We live in a proud age: Christians were never swollen big­ger, either with corporal, or spiritual pride, than now they are, as though they were not Disciples of Christ, but Disciples of Lucifer. Hardly is there a foolish garish fashion in the World, but its taken up, if not invented by Professors of Religion. The Apostle would not have Christians to be conformed unto the World, Rom. 12. 2. but most Christians study nothing more than this comformity. This flag of pride is not displayed any where larger then in the houses and hearts of those who would be ac­counted most eminent in Christianity. Solomon speaks of such a generation, Prov. 30. 13. if ever such a Generation lived upon Earth, it lives in the present age.

The Servants of Christ in former ages walk­ed in another posture, they were little in their own eyes. See what Abraham saith, Lord, I am but dust and ashes, Gen. 18. 27. God calls him the great man, Isa. 41. 2. See what Jacob saith, Gen. 32. 10. I am lesse, &c. See what A­saph saith, Psal. 73. 22. I am even as a Beast be­fore thee. Wise Agur, what he saith of him­self, Prov. 30. 10. See what Paul saith, I am lesse then the least of all the Apostles, I am as one born out of due time, 1 Cor. 15. 8, 9. And in another place, lesse then the least of all Saints, Ephes. 3. vers. 8. In another place, The chiefest of sinners; 1 Tim. 1. 15. David, 2 Sam. 7. 18. The Publi­can, Luk. 18. Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. [Page 21] But what is the Language of Christians now? just like that in Esay 65. 5. Stand by thy self, come not near me, I am holier then thou. We may say as he did, when he read the Gospel, Aut hoc non est Evangelium, aut nos non sumus Evangelici. The Apostle foretells of the sins of the last days, 2 Tim. 3. Pride and high-mindedness are two of those sins. Surely that Prophesie is calcula­ted for the meridian of our time. They are the two sins of our age, what else meanes the blea­ting of the sheep, &c.

1. Why else comes it to passe, that there is such distance amongst the people of God? why such with-drawings one from another? Too much pride, and too little love, is the cause of Schisme. Solomon tells us, Only by pride, comes contention, Prov. 13. 10. If contention be the child of pride, surely we are guilty.

2. Why are Christians of low parts so much despised? Is it not for want of humility? vid. Phil. 2, 3.

3. Why else do men thrust themselves from their private Callings, into the Ministery? Is it not because of pride? They think too well of themselves certainly, vid. Psal. 131. 1.

4. Why do men sleight the plain wholsom truths of God?

5. Why will not men come under the Go­vernment of Christ? 'Tis for want of lowliness of heart. Our Saviour hints it in this Text, where he puts lowliness of heart, and the ta­king of his yoak, together; other things are pretended, but pride is at the root.

[Page 22] Be instructed therefore, as the Apostle ex­horts, Col. 3. 12. to put on humbleness of mind. Be ye cloathed with humility, 1 Pet. 5. 3. Consi­der your Master, as in other respects, so in this, Phil. 2. 3, 4. If you will not be like Christ in his humility, you shall not be like him in his exal­tation.

Having fallen upon this necessary subject, I shall,

1. Presse you by some Motives to this grace.

2. I shall lay down some Directions, or helps to attain to it.

1. Motive. From the mischief and danger of pride of heart. The danger of high-minded­ness will appear in two things.

1. It brings men into many sins.

2. It brings them into many punish­ments.

There are 11. mishapen births of Pride.

Pride of heart doth beget many sins, viz.

1. It will not patiently suffer the word of re­buke, neither private from Christian friends, nor open rebuke from the publick Ministry. Pride will not bear reproof, but will rage at it. Its a great mercy to be reproved and rebuked for sin, Rebuke an Ordi­nance of God. Lev. 19. 17. Pearles Matth. 7. 6. Prov. 10. 17. Ezech. 3. 26. Cap. 12. 1. Cap. 15. 10. David prayes for it, Let the righteous smite me, it shall be as precious balm, Psal. 141. 5. But Pride in the heart will make the spirit fret and rise against home-reproofs, and against the re­prover also, Esa. 29. 21. Reproofs are veri­tates mordaces, and a proud heart cannot bear [Page 23] them. Proud Ahab cannot bear the reproofs of Micajah, 1 King. 22. 8. Proud Amaziah storms at the rebukes of Amos, the Land is not able to bear his words, Amos 7. 10. The proud men were they who raged at the reproof of Jeremiah, Cap. 43. 2. A humble heart lies open to rebukes for sin, will pray for them, and bless God when it comes home to his Conscience, &c. Prov. 9. 8.

2. Pride of heart, it will incline them to envy the graces of God in other men. A proud person hates and malignes every one who out-strips and out-shines himself: he cannot bear either an equal or superior. Its a duty to re­joyce in, and to blesse God for, the excellent gifts and graces of other men.

Moses did well: Would all the Lords People were Prophets, Numb. 11. 29. Joshua he is a little troubled at it, Moses rejoyceth: high-minded men are very apt to sleight, and grieve, and re­pine at other mens eminency, which is a very great sin. A proud man is glad to see others e­clipsed, that he may shine the clearer. Yea, its his ingeny and disposition, to be blotting and disparaging others, to make himself the more glorious. Now what a fearful sin is this, to hate and despise men for their goodness!

3. It will incline a man to be glad at the sins and slips, and miscarriages of others. Its a ve­ry great sin to rejoyce in iniquity, 1 Cor. 13. 6. 'Tis a very diabolical thing to be delighted to see others fall into sin, or into misery. It can­not stand with grace.

[Page 24] 'Tis Satans great work and design. Now he that is proud in heart, is easily tempted to this sin.

4. It inclines a man to sleight and contemn all other men, and to think very meanly of them, vid. Phil. 2, 3. there is a duty laid down, To esteem others better then our selves, and there is the way to attain unto it, viz. lowliness of minde. Vid. Luk. 18. 11. proud Pharisee.

5. Pride keeps a man from seeing or con­fessing his own sins, errors, &c. Yea, it will put a man upon the maintaining of them: it hinders a man from retreating, or retracting a­ny evil which he hath done. Humility will make a man acknowledge what is amisse in himself, and recede from it presently. Pride keeps off conviction.

Luther would have retracted his Doctrine of consubstantiation, but he was afraid all his o­ther Doctrines would have been called in que­stion. There was a little want of humility. Had David been proud, when Nathan told him, thou art the man, he had not confes­sed.

6. Pride of heart will make a man content to arrogate to himself, or to have others as­cribe to him, that which is not indeed in him. It is the voyce of a God, and not of a man. Proud Herod will swallow and digest that flattery from the people, Acts 12. 22, 23. 'Tis a great sin for a man to think of himself better then he is, or to desire that others should do so. 'Tis a sin for a man to think himself something, when [Page 25] he is nothing. Magus. Acts 8. 9.

7. It will hinder a man from doing and per­forming those duties he owes to others, whe­ther Superiors, Equals, or Inferiors. He will not honour his superiors, not condescend to do those offices to inferiors, which he ought. Should I stoop to such a one as he is? so mean, so poor?

He will not make himself equal to men of low degree, Rom. 12. 6. In giving honours prevent one another.

8. He will not bear the least indignity, or injury from another, but will revenge himself. Should I put up such a wrong from such a mean hand? &c. I will make him know who I am, vid. Col. 3. 12, 13. No forbearing one an­other, if there be not humbleness of mind. Haman will destroy Mordecai, if he give not Cap and knee.

9. He will never be so thankful as he ought, for mercies received, either from God or man: A proud person judgeth all of debt, which comes in, either from God or man. Low thoughts of our selves, is that which makes us thankful for mercies. Lord, what am I, &c. 2 Sam. 7. 18. this made him thankful, Gen. 32. 10. Psal. 8. 4, 5. Lord, what is man?

10. It makes men contentious, Prov. 13. 10. Its ill living by a proud man.

11. It will create discontent and risings of heart against Gods hand upon him. Humility [Page 26] makes the heart quiet, Levit. 10. 9. Psal. 39. 10. Pride thinks all crosse providences injurious, & therefore frets and rageth, Pauls humility learned him contentment. Phil. 4. 11, 12.

It brings upon men much anger, many judge­ments. Pride hath trouble.

1. God hates them, Prov. 6. 16, 17.

2. God resists and fights against the proud person, vid. Jam. 4. 6. [...]. God hath determined, that every knee shall bow unto him, Isa. 45. 23. that all things and persons should be level'd and laid flat, that he alone may be exalted. Now the proud person will not stoop, therefore God is re­solved to make warre with him, to set himself in battle array, to bring his Armies against him, to constrain him to subjection; as the light­ning doth break in pieces that which resists, so doth God. Vid. Esa. 2. 12, 13, & 11. 17.

Explication. This is a sad judgement, to have God an adversary. Vid. Prov. 5. 25. God overthroweth the house of the proud. All men are enemies to the proud man: His hand is a­gainst every man, and every mans hand against him. Though all Creatures resisted him, yet if God take his part, his condition were safe; but God is more against him then man. God re­sists his person, and God resists his services, &c.

2. Pride is the ready way to blast all your excellencies. It either removes, or brings a Absalom proud of his hair. Cloud upon every precious thing which God hath given you. There is but a few steps be­tween [Page 27] pride and destruction, Prov. 16. 18. It is Many have lost their wits and me­mories by pride. God strikes men, in that which they set highest, usually. the grave of every thing which is precious, Isa. 3. 24. To be proud of beauty, of parts, of graces, is the way to lose them, &c. Vid. Ezek. 16. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. see her sin, vers. 15. Pride, this stript her of all. God hath resolved to stain, and marre the pride of all glory, Isa. 23. 9. Pride will moath-eat your Garments, and rust all your brightness.

3. Pride, it is venenum omnium virtutum & recte factorum. It deprives a man of the bene­fit and comfort of every good thing which he doth or hath.

Austin saith, Magis placet Deo humilitas in malis factis, quàm superbia in bonis. God would rather have Paul to be buffetted with Satan, than to be proud of his visions, 2 Cor. 12. 7. He that is humbled after an act of prophaneness, is better then he that is proud of an act of pie­ty. As our Saviour saith of the Hypocrite, He hath his reward, Matth. 6. 5, 6. his ostentation and pride, bereaves him of the wages he might have of his work. A Servant that is humble, though he do not his work so well, is better than he that is excellent at working, and puffed up with pride. Vid. Luk. 18. the proud Phari­see, and lowly Publican. Vid. vers. 14. Solo­mon prefers humility in a low condition before pride, in a higher condition. Prov. 16. 19.

2d Motive, From the excellency of Humi­lity.

1. Its an excellent grace in it self.

[Page 28] 2. Precious Promises are made to it.

1. In it self its very excellent. It is a very choice part of the Image of Christ. Pride and self-admiring is the chief part of the Image of Satan. Initium Peccati, superbia: the Devils sin was pride, he would be equal to God, Ye shall be as Gods, Gen. 3. 5. Diabolus superbus ho­minem superbientem produxit ad mortem. Hu­mility is Christs Image, I am lowly in heart. It is the Ornament of all other parts and graces, its the varnish of graces, and the beauty of Chri­stianity. A humble Christian is a lovely Chri­stian. Pride brings contempt upon rich parts, humility casts glory upon them. It is the pre­server and keeper of all other excellencies in a man, its the basis which upholds all. A buil­ding set upon a good bottom, will stand, when high Turrets which stand upon Sand will fall. The Devils pride destroyed all his excellency: had they been humble, they had saved all, as well as the other Angels. Humility is the lock and key of all the rest.

Humility is the first, second, and third grace, as he said of elocution in Rhetorick. Its love­ly to Men, to God. It makes a man do any thing, bear any thing. It makes men fear Gods frowns, &c. Mich. 6. 8. It will carry a man through scorns, 2 Sam. 6. 22. 'Tis the to­tum postulatum of a Christian.

2. God hath made many excellent promises to it.

1. That he will teach them, Psal. 25.

[Page 29] 9. Humility is one necessary qualification for instruction. Proud men scorn to be learn­ers. The Philosophers Scholar must be Hu­milis. Its a great happiness when God under­takes to teach a man, he hath skill, and he hath ability, he can give men a heart to learn, Vid. Isa. 54. 13. The reason why men learn no more by God word, by his works, is, because God doth not teach them, and God refuseth to in­struct them, because they are so proud. Men will not instruct proud persons, no more will God.

2. God hath promised to hear their cryes, Psal. 9. 12. He forgetteth not the cry of the humble. Proud beggars are usually answered with scorn and denyal, so are proud Christians. Proud person will not receive Commands from God, and God will not receive Petitions from them. 'Tis a certain Rule, God will receive prayers from none who will not receive Commands & Precepts from him. 'Tis a singular favour, to have our prayers granted, and a discouraging thing to have our suits rejected: what Com­plaints the people of God have made, when they have been refused, vid. Lam. 3. init. and many sad complaints in the Psalms to this pur­pose: and much gladness of heart, doth the re­ceiving of our Petitions, create in our hearts, Psal. 66. 20. in the saddest troubles. Humility prepares Au­dience, Pride puts a barre in the way; fasting and prayer are found together, fasting notes Humility.

[Page 30] 3. God hath promised to respect them, and to dwell with them. Vid. Psal. 138. 6. and Isa. 66. 2. God despises the proud, and looks upon them afar off.

They look upon all others at a distance, and so God looks upon them, vid. 1 Sam. 15. 17. Gregory upon those words, Magnus mihi fuisti quia despectus tibi; at nunc quia magnus tibi es mihi despectus es. 'Tis a singular happiness to have respect and good looks from God, to have com­munion with him. This is our Heaven upon Earth. This the Servants of God have beg'd, and mourned for the want of it. Humility drawes Gods eye.

4. God promiseth to fill them, Jam. 4. 6. Parisiensis calls Humility Vacuum Spirituale. Ayr will descend, water as­cend to prevent a Vacuum. Now Nature admits no Vacuum, but fills it presently. God will not suffer the humble heart to be unfilled, vid. Luk. 1. 52. The rain which falls upon the Mountains, falls down in­to the Vallies. Your Vallies and low grounds have the richest crops; your humble Christians have fullest souls, high Mounts are barren, &c.

3d. Motive. In Nature we see humility; your fullest ear hangs lowest, and your fruitful­lest boughes. Slicker eares stand highest &c.

2d thing is, To lay down some directions or helps, to attain to this grace.

A Medicine of these seven Ingredients.

1. Often and serious reflecting upon our [Page 31] mean condition, we are but animated earth: we have a low Original, Houses of Clay, whose foundation is in the dust. Job 14. 17, 18. This weighed Abraham to the ground, Gen. 18. 27. If men would look to the hole of the pit, &c. Isa. 51. 1. they would not sore so high. A piece of red clay, &c. Who am I Lord, and what is my Fa­thers house? this kept David down, 2 Sam. 7. 18. We have black feet: The Peacock looks on her feet.

2d Meditation of our base condition by sin. This hath put us lower then the dust; inve­nom'd, poyson'd, infected souls, full of all Dis­eases. This was that which made Paul humble, 1 Tim. 1. 13. I was a persecutor, &c. A Chri­stian would say, I that have so many diseases upon me, and should I be proud?

3d Meditation upon the condition which death will put us in. We must say to corruption, thou art my Father, Job 17. 13, 14. a moath­eaten Garment, a rotten thing, Job 13. 28. the body must breath out to dust, &c. Charles the fifth had his Winding-sheet for a Standard to keep him humble. If that cry in Isa. 40. 6. were more in our eares, it would make us stoop.

4th. The vain, frail nature of all outward things, Jam. 1. 10, 11. That is the receipt which he gives.

5th Consideration, That all our good is imperfect: We want more then we have, maxima pars eorum quae scimus, est minima pars eorum quae nescimus. We have more deformity [Page 32] then beauty, &c. we have more worst then best, more chaffe then wheat.

6th Consideration, That all the good we have is received, 1 Cor. 4. 7. for a man to be proud of a borrowed suit, &c. is ridiculous, Rom. 11. 18. It growes not in our own Gar­den, we cannot say, Is not this great Babylon which I have builded, God hath found materials and tools to work also, Deut. 8. 14. 17, 18.

7th Consideration, Of the account which must be given for what we have, what little improvement hath been made, either of riches health, strength, parts, graces, &c.

8. That others have an equal share of all ex­cellencies, and are instruments of Gods ho­nour, and the good of men, as well as we our selves: we are not alone, other Stars shine as bright as we do.

Mary Wolnoth, October the 8th, 1648. [...].

Matth. 14. 23.‘He went up into a Mountain apart to pray.’

[...].

IN this Chapter we have several things consi­derable, viz.

1. The History or Narrative of John Bap­tists death, by the hand of Herod, vers. 1. ad 13. wherein we have, 1. The occasion of this History, vers. 1. 2. Herod hearing the report of the mighty acts of Christ, his Conscience smites him presently with thoughts, that this was cer­tainly John Baptist, whom he had lately ex­ecuted.

Note, Sins formerly committed, are often­times [Page 34] brought to sad remembrance, upon the a­waking of conscience. Conscience, though it be long silent, yet will speak at last, and recoyl upon men for sins, long since committed.

2. The History it self largely set down, vers. 3. ad 13. wherein we have,

1. The ground of Herods opposition and per­secution, vers. 4, 5. Herein is that of the Pro­phet fulfilled, Isa. 29. 21. John Baptist stood between Herod and his lust, this makes Herod incensed against him.

2. The reason of the former forbearance of his execution, vers. 5.

3. The proximate occasion of his death, vers. 6, 7, 8.

4. The manner of his death, vers. 10, 11.

5. The care of his Disciples, for his dead body, vers. 12.

2. The miraculous feeding of 5000. men, be­sides Women and Children, with a small quan­tity of provision, vers. 13. ad 22. He had heal­ed their bodies, and now he feeds their bo­dies.

3. The great miracle of asswaging the tem­pestuous Sea, which had so much distressed his Disciples, vers. 2 2. ad 34. wherein we might observe many things.

4. The miraculous healing of divers diseased persons in the Land of Gennesaret, by the touch of his Garment, vers. 34. ad finem.

The words which I have read, fall within the third general part. And they are a discovering of the employment of our Saviour, in the ab­sence [Page 35] of the multitudes of his Disciples. He went up into a Mountain apart to pray.

In which we have two things.

1. The Act of Devotion, prayer.

2. The accommodation for this duty, He went up into a Mountain apart. Christ had several pla­ces of prayer, sometimes a Mountain, some­times the desert, &c. Any place is fit for prayer, if the heart be in frame, 1 Tim. 2. 8. Put them together, and this is the lesson.

Doct. That our Lord Jesus Christ was very frequent in the duty of private and solitary prayer.

He was frequent in publick prayer, and o­ther publick Ordinances, witness his frequent resorting to the Synagogues, Matth. 12. 9. Mar: 1. 21. insomuch, that Luk. 4. 16. its said, [...]at He went as his custom was, into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day. He did not neglect the pub­lick; nor did he omit the private neither, as will appear by several Texts of Scripture be­sides this, Mark 6. 46. where the same History is related, Luk. 5. 16. when the same of his mi­racles began to be noysed abroad, he with­drawes himself to private prayer, Luk. 6. 12. when he ordained his 12 Apostles, he spends the whole night before in private prayer. And before his passion, he was much in this duty, so all the Evangelists agree, Matth. 26. 36. 39. 42. 44. Luk. 22. 32. 44, 45. John 17. per totum. His life was a life of prayer.

In the prosecution of this Doctrine, I shall,

1. Shew why Christ prayed at all.

[Page 36] 2. Why he prayed private [...]y?

1. Christ did not pray in regard of want, as we do, we are alwayes wanting something, there­fore have constant need of prayer, but our Sa­viour wanted nothing, Col. 1. 19. all fulness was in him, fulness for himself, and fulness for o­thers; fulness of the Vessel, and fulness of the Fountain. He indeed took our nature upon him, and so our wants. He did not pray, because he wanted; but because he would pray, therefore he would want.

2. Christ prayed in reference unto precept and command Prayer is a duty enjoyned of God un­to all Christians. Its a special piece of Gods worship. Its an Act of Adoration. Prayer gives unto God the glory of many of his Attributes, viz. of his wisdom, Power, Providence, Om­niscience. And if we should be under no wants, yet we should pray. Its our sin, that we look more at necessity, then at duty. Now in this respect Christ prayed. He being made man un­der the Law, it was necessary, that he should stoop to every command thereof.

3. Christ prayed to honour prayer. Prayer is a very great priviledge, as well as a duty. Though there were neither necessity to move us, nor command to enforce us, yet the very dignity and Prerogative were enough, that dust and ashes should be admitted into such familiar ac­quaintance, and converse with God, this is a great advancement. Jesus Christ he honoured prayer by performing it, but we are exceeding­ly honoured by prayer. Christ therefore, to [Page 37] preach up the worth of this duty, was so fre­quent in it, to make us in love with it.

4. Christ was, Os Ecclesiae, the Mediator of the Church, our intercessor and high Priest, er­go; prayer was a very principal part of his me­diatorious office and work. He was no lesse me­ritorious, when he lay praying in the Garden, than when he hung upon the crosse of his pas­sion. There are two parts of Christs Priestly Office; Satisfaction, Intercession. He began his Intercession on earth, he continues it still in Heaven. There is great difference between his prayer in Heaven, and his prayer on Earth. That is only the prayer of intercession, this was also the prayer of supplication, vid. John 17. I pray for them whom thou hast given me out of the World, &c.

5. Christ prayed for our Imitation, ut Magi­ster noster, that he might teach us to pray. Audis Christum orantem? saith Austin, Disce orare, Ideo Christus oravit, ut doceret te crare. As the Apostle speaks of his sufferings, that they were for our imitation, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps, 1 Pet. 2. 21. Hereupon, one well descants upon this; Orat miserecordia? Tacet miseria? Orat innocentia? silet impie­tas? Orat is qui non fecit peccatum? silet pecca­tor? Orat medicus? cessat agrotus? Orat Judex ut parcat? & silet reus? The Physician prayes, to teach the Patient his duty: the Judge prayes, that he may excite the guilty and condemned sinner, to do his duty. Mercy is upon her knees, to teach misery to bow.—Vid. Luk. 11. 1.

[Page 38] 6. Christ prayed, to sanctifie his other perfor­mances, his preaching, his miracles. Our Savi­our knew well, that its prayer which renders other things efficacious. Hence it is, that we finde prayer following his preaching, and his miracles. His preaching, so it is in Luk. 5. 16. Vid. vers. 1. it was after his preaching, and so after his miracles; so in the Text, he had wrought a great work in the sight of the people, and afterward he betakes himself to prayer. Our Saviour would not have, either his Sermons, or miracles to fall to the ground, ergo, he prayes, when he ordained his Disciples, and sent them abroad to preach the Gospel, he spends a whole night in prayer beforehand, Luk. 6. 12. Our Saviour was much in publick works, Ergo, frequent in prayer. Every Creature of God is sanctified by the word and prayer, saith the Apostle. Christians miscarry in other per­formances ordinarily for want of this duty. The Seed sowen, doth not prosper for want of the watring of prayer.

2. Why Christ used private prayer.

1. Obedience to divine Command. God hath enjoyned Christians, not only the publick, but the private also. Families apart, and their Wives apart, Zech. 12. 12, 13. Closer-prayer is com­manded, as well as Church-prayer, Matth. 6. 6. Enter into thy Closet. As this made him pray, so it made him to pray privately, to honour pri­vate prayer.

2. Christ goes apart to pray, that he might not be observed. He hath given others a Rule, and [Page 39] he walks by it himself, Matth. 6. 6. Our Saviour did earnestly despise and decline vain glory. He did many miracles in private, that they might not be known, and he prayes in private, that he might not be seen of men, that he might a­void all ostentation, and shews of popular ap­plause.

3. That he might not be interrupted in the du­ty. Our Saviour would not be disturbed in prayer, therefore he go [...]s apart: secresie is an advantage, in regard of distraction.

It is granted, that our Saviour could prevent distractions, when he was in the greatest con­course of people. As he was never simply a­lone, because the Father was with him; so neither was he simply in Company: but because men are not able to avoid disturbance, when they are with others, therefore he sets them the cor­poral way.

4. To set us an Example, that we should not content our selves with publick prayers only, but should also be employed in the private also.

Use of this point, is threefold.

  • (1) Consolation.
  • (2) Instruction.
  • (3) Exhortation.

1. Its great comfort to a Christian, that Christ prayed so much. All his prayers, both publick and private, are for our consolation. He prayed not so much for himself, as for us. The Incoms of his prayers are exceeding precious, and ad­vantagious to Christians: we reap the benefit of his prayers on earth to this day, and so shall [Page 40] all the servants of God to the end of the World. Some of his prayers are recorded those are full of comfort, as that in John 17. how much is there in that prayer: others are only generally related, the duty is mentioned, the words are not mentioned. Its a comfort to us.

1. When we go to pray, that our prayers shall be welcom to him. He that prayed so much on Earth for us, will gladly accept our Petitions, when they are preferred; and the rather, be­cause his work now in Heaven is to present our prayers to the Father. We may come boldly there­fore to the Throne of Grace, Heb. 4. 16. He lives for ever to make intercession Heb. 7. 25.

2. It comforts us in the assurance of being taught, and instructed by him how to pray. He that was so oft speaking to God for us on Earth, will not deny his spirit of prayer and supplica­tion to us, when we ask it; and this the rather we may be perswaded of, because of his word of promise, that is gone out of his mouth. He that is the spirit of prayer, is the spirit of the Son. God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son in­to their hearts, Gal. 4. 6. He taught his Disciples to pray, Luk. 11. 1, 2.

3. When we are interrupted, and taken off by a­ny hand of God from this duty of prayer; if sickness, weakness, be upon us, &c. Tis our comfort, that Christ was so frequent in this work for us: the vertue of his prayers are in force to this very day. Tis a comfort, when we are hindred in prayer, that the Saints are a praying for us, not [Page 41] the Saints in Heaven, Abraham is ignorant of us, Isa. 63. 16. How much more, that we have so many prayers of Christ on the file for us.

4. Against the infirmity of our prayers, its a ground of comfort, our prayers are much soyl­ed, many deformities are upon them, but all the prayers Christ put up were pure and holy: ours are smoak, Christs were pure incense.

5. When we are in trouble, when the Disci­ples are rossed on the Sea, Christ is a praying in the Text.

2d Ʋse, Instruction: teacheth, that Jesus Christ was a very faithfull Mediator and High-Priest. He was careful of both parts of his Priestly Office, not only of satisfaction, but of Intercession also. He was the Churches Spokes­man, and he performed it faithfully for them. Not a day passed over his head, in which he did not make mention of his Church unto God by prayer. He did constantly poure out teares, breath out sighs and prayers for them. There was not the least piece of his Office in any kind, but he faithfully performed it.

3d Ʋse. Exhortation. He that saith he abi­deth in Christ, ought himself so to walk, as Christ 1 Joh. 2. 6 walked. Let us imitate his example in the duty of private prayer. I fear this duty is much neg­lected by Christians in our dayes. I fear the publick swallows up the private. Shall our Ma­ster pray in private, and shall we neglect it? It is not enough, that you pray in your Families with others, or that you pray in the Church with the Congregation. Christ did this, and [Page 42] yet he had his private prayers besides. The ser­vants of God, they have been careful of this. Peter, he goes to the house-top to prayer, Acts 10. 9. Daniel he had his closet-prayers, Dan. 6. 10. it had been his manner, so to do. So had David Psal. 119. 164. Isaac, Gen. 24. 63. Jonah he had his private prayer, in the belly of the Whale. Chap. 2. 1. and generally, all the Saints, Masters, Pa­rents, Servants, Children, &c. every one apart, Vid. Zech. 12. 12, 13. and Matth. 6. 6. 'tis en­joyned. Governours of Families must do it themselves, and perswade and call upon their Children and Servants to do it, particularly, morning and evening.

I would urge this by some Motives.

Motive 1. The advantage of this secret prayer would be considered, besides all the benefits of Prayer in general, secret prayer hath these, viz.

1. The soul hath more freedom and liberty than it hath in the publick; many sins are to be confessed, which cannot so well and conveni­ently be done in the publick.

It is not so convenient, not is there such op­portunity of ripping up the particular secret sins of the soul in publick, but the Closet gives us conveniency to unbare all, even the most se­cret sins. The soul may without shame or fear, &c. discover all. And so for the wants for soul and body, they may more particularly and with greater freedom, be represented to the Lord in secret, then they can else-where. In publick, perhaps many a Petition is omitted, [Page 43] and many a consession which is suitable to our private necessities. The Minister in the Church, and the Master in the Family, cannot meet so particularly with all my necessities, &c. as I can do in private, &c.

2. Private prayer hath not so many occasions of distraction and interruption as the publick. The heart can keep more close to God. In publick there are many aversions, &c. many objects upon which the eye fastens. Many noy­ses after which the eare too much runs, &c. the irreverence and vain carriage of others, are a great cooling to the affections of those, who are good, many times in the publick, &c. one gazing eye disturbs many, &c. the demeanors of many is such in the publick, that their pre­sence is occasion of much hurt to those, who would have their hearts fixed, by their whisper­ings and talkings, and wandrings, &c. they take off from the fervency of others; or else by the garish attire, &c.

3. In private, the duty may be performed, when the heart is in the best frame; for the publick, its not so much in our power, to undertake it at this ro that instant, when the heart is best turned, and most elevated. It is true, we should alwayes have our hearts tuned for prayer, &c. but they are not, &c. for the publick you must pray, when others call, &c.

4. In private prayer, we have greater advan­tage of learning to pray; for then we exercise our own gifts, &c. in publick, we only hear o­thers, exercise their parts, &c. we are more [Page 44] passive in the publick, more active in the private.

Motive 2. Private Prayer is an Argument of greater love to the duty. A man may publick­ly pray, who hath not love to it, out of other re­spects, as to gain credit and applause, &c. but to perform the duty in a corner, when no eye sees us, &c. this evidenceth more affection. And its a greater Argument of sincerity, &c. That mans heart is not right in his publick de­votion, who is very seldom, or never in private devotion. Ille dolet verè qui sine teste, &c. He prayes but hypocritically in the Church, or in the Family with others, who neglects praying alone. Vid. Matth. 6. 5, 6. An hypocrite is all for the publick, little for the private: sincerity is equally for both. A Christians heart is what it is when he is alone.

Motive 3. He that neglects private prayer, shall be neglected in his publick prayer. If thou wilt not call upon God in secret, God will not hear thee in publick. Want of private duties, is the reason why the heart is so dead under the publick, &c. Ordinarily, that man or womans heart is best in publick, who is most frequent in private. Private duties fit the heart for pub­lick, &c. If thou wilt carefully call upon God in private, God will enable thee to serve him in publick.

Motive 4. Private prayer is more our own, then publick is, its personal service. Its true, in some sense, publick prayer is personal; but private and secret is more personal. A man in the publick, tenders up Confessions and P [...]titi­ons, [Page 25] and Thanksgivings, by the mouth of ano­ther, but in private by his own mouth.

Motive 5. God hath usually let out himself most to his people, when they have been alone at the Throne of Grace. There have been more melt­ings, and greater manifestations of God. Peter when he was alone on the house-top, sees the vision, &c. Acts 10. 11, 12. Daniel when he was alone a praying, hath the Angel disparcht to him, with a Message that he was greatly be­loved, &c. Dan. 9. 20. 21, 22, 23. many Saints have had their assurance seal'd to them, when they have been in their Closets a praying, and meditating.

Motive 6. There is more of the power of god­liness in private prayer: the publick may be only in form, the private is more in the power and life.

Let all these things move you to this duty.

Object. 1. I have no time to pray, I am a ser­vant, &c. my time is not my own, &c. my Masters business will not allow me.

Sol. 1. I would not stay with such a Master, if thou beest a servant that canst remove, &c.

2. 'Tis no neglecting of thy Masters business, to take a little time daily for prayer, &c. and other duties. Its Gods, not thy Masters.

3. Rather take time from sleep, then omit this duty. God will, I warrant thee, blesse two houres sleep better to thee, than 12. houres, if thou takest it from thy sleep or recreation, to give to him.

2. Object. I cannot pray.

[Page 47] Sol. 1. Beg of God to teach thee, he hath pro­mised his Spirit to them that ask.

2. God doth not so much look for eloquence, as sincerity in prayer. Thou canst smite thy breast, and say, God be merciful to me a sinner, &c.

3. Make use of other helps of prayer, till thou hast attained ability to pray.

4. Thou canst mannage thy worldly calling, as well as another; why then canst thou not pray as well as others? It is because thou dost not re­gard this, so well as the other.

FINIS.

Mary Wolnoth, October the 15. 1648. [...].

Matth. 20. 34. init.‘Jesus being moved with compassion, touched their Eyes.’

[...].

IN this Chapter, we have four things consi­derable.

1. A Parable of Labourers sent forth into the Vineyard. This Parable is 1. Pro­pounded, vers. 1. ad 16.

2. Applyed, vers. 16. The scope of it, is to o­verthrow the Doctrine of merit, and to esta­blish the gift of salvation, and eternal life up­on the meer mercie and free grace of God. E­ternal life is not given unto any for his work­ing; [Page 48] it doth not flow from any good in the person receiving, but from the free love of God in Christ, chusing unto holiness and salva­tion, whom he pleaseth. It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy, that's the Apostles determinati­on of this Question, after a serious debate, Rom. 9. 16. Eternal death, that's of merit, but eternal life is of grace, Rom. 6. ult.

1. A premonition, or Prediction of the Passion and sufferings of Christ at Jerusalem, vers. 17. ad 20.

2. And of his Resurrection from the dead: the Doctrine of the Crosse is not easily submit­ted unto, therefore there is necessity, that it should be often preached. Our Saviour ever and anon, was preaching the Doctrine of his sufferings to his Disciples, as Matth. 16. 21. Matth. 17. 22. and in this Chapter again, he takes up the same Argument. They dreamed of an Earthly Kingdom, and earthly honours, therefore our Saviour preacheth so frequently of his sufferings, to take them off from such a conceit, and to prepare them for Tryal. And he doth not only foretell of his suff [...]rings, but of his Conquest also, his Resurrection, vers. 19. We shall finde ordinarily, that when his death is mentioned, his Resurrection also is spoken of, as in those places before cited, Matth. 16. 21. Mat. 17. 23. and here in this place, Mark 8. 31. Mar. 9. 31. Mar. 10. 34.

Its very profitable and necessary for the Mi­nisters of Christ, when they preach of sufferings, [Page 49] to add something concerning the issue and con­sequence of sufferings: when we speak of Death, its good to mention the Resurrection also. The Spirits of the best Christians, will soon sink un­der sufferings, if they be not acquainted with the victory they shall have over sufferings. We finde in the Scripture, that when the Apostle spake any thing of the Crosse, there is usually mention made of the good issue of it, as Heb. 12. 6, 7, 8, 9. there is the Doctrine of the Crosse. And vers. 10, 11. there is the Doctrine of the Resurrection. So 1 Pet. 4. 12. there is the cross; Vers. 13, 14. there you have the Crown also.

3. A solemn charge given to the Disciples, a­gainst affectation of Dominion, and preheminencè one over another, vers. 20. ad 29. where you have,

1. The occasion of it, viz. A Request made by the Mother of Zebedees Children, for her two Sons, James and John, vers. 20. ad 25. It was their ignorance and fault, that they would not be beat [...]n off from the thoughts of a worldly Kingdom, &c. This gave occasion to the other 10. Disciples, to be angry with the two Bre­thren.

2. The urging of the thing it self, vers. 25. ad 29. our Saviour solemnly calls them together, and gives them a charge against any such ambi­tion.

4. A great miraculous Cure, wrought by our Saviour, upon two blinde men, in the sight of a great multitude which followed him, vers. 29. [Page 50] ad finem. They hearing that Jesus, who had done so many miracles, passed by, send out their cries after him. The multitude rebuke them, that they should hold their peace: grace growes stronger by opposition, the more they are re­buked, the lowder they cry. Their prayers and importunity stop the Lord Jesus in his way: he calls them to him, reasons with them, desires to know why they called him. And upon the hearing of their desire, grants their request, He had compassion on them, and touched their eyes, &c.

In that part of the Verse which I have read, we have two things.

1. An Act done, [...], that shewes the miracle, Christ could heal with a touch of his hemme sometimes, Matth. 14. 36.

It shewes his condescension, that he would touch them, mean persons, Mat. 8. 3. the Leper Mat. 8. 15. the Fever, Mat. 7. 33. deaf, and the impediment of speech, Luk. 22. 51. Malchus his eare.

Note, The least touch of Christs finger, will cure perfectly the greatest disease of soul, or of body. If Christ do but touch the hand, the fe­ver is gone, the eyes are opened, &c. If the wo­man that had the bloody issue for twelve years, do but touch his Garment, she findes a present cure, Mark 5. 25. &c. when the Disciples are overwhelmed with fear at Christs Transfigura­tion, a touch of their Masters hand revives them, Matth. 17. 7. When Daniel is in his Ago­ny, [Page 51] overwhelmed, a very touch of the Son of man strengthneth him, Dan. 10. 18, 19. The hard heart is broken with a touch of Christs finger; the dead heart is quickned, if Christ doth but lay his hand upon it: the troubled conscience is pacified and quieted, if Christ put but his finger in at the hole of the door: the deaf ear is unstopped, the stammering tongue speaks plainly, the frozen heart is thawed, &c. If Christ do but touch the bier, the dead body is raised, Luk. 7. 14.

Nay, Our Saviour cures with lesse then a touch. His very word healeth any Disease of soul or body. He cast out Devils with his word, a Legion out of one man, Thou unclean Spirit come out of him, Matth. 8. 16. He rebuked the fever with his word, Luk. 4. 39. The Noble­mans Son, who lay at point of death, labouring of a Fever, was healed with a word, speaking at a distance, John 4. 50. 52. He hath absolute power over all Diseases of body, and all spiri­tual maladies, and when he saith, Go, they go, when he saith, Be removed, they depart imme­diately.

Nay, He can cure with the glance of his eye, which is lesse then his word. When Peter's heart was grown hard with sin: first denies, and then denies with Oaths and curses that he knew not the man: Christ did but cast his very eye up­on him, and his heart relented presently, Luk. 22. 61. As the very look of Christ can make the Earth to tremble, and his enemies to lan­guish, so the least glance of his eye cures all Dis­eases. [Page 52] As he can kill with his touch, so can he cure with his touch. All Job's troubles, was nothing but a touch of Gods hand, Job 19. 21. He did but touch Jacob's thigh, and it was out of joynt presently, Gen. 32. 25.

The touch of his hand sets the Hills a smoak­ing, Psal. 104. 32. so his touch revives, comforts, strengthens. He did but put his finger through the hole of the door, and the languishing love-sick Church was comforted, Cant. 5. 4, 5. He did but touch Jeremiahs mouth, and he was embolden­ed against all the contradictions of men, Ier. 1. 9. He did but touch the Prophet Esays lips, and his iniquity was purged, and his guilt removed, Isay 6. 7.

1. Use. We have here a notable and clear proof of Christs Divinity from this passage. He that can open blinde eyes with the touch of his finger, is no lesse then God undoubtedly, his touch is omnipotent.

2d Use. It is a ground of exceeding great com­fort and joy unto the Servants of Christ, who la­bour under many spiritual Infirmities. Its the condition of the Servants of God, to be exerci­sed under many foul maladies; they have blinde mindes, dead hearts, cold affections, feavorish heats of inordinate and worldly love, they use many Medicines, and finde not heal­ing. Well, do not despait, do not despond, Christ hath a healing hand, his very touch can cure you prefectly of all; the very tip of his fin­ger, the very breath of his mouth, the very glance of his eyes can make your flesh whole. [Page 53] Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean, saith the Leper. I will, saith Christ, be thou clean, and immediately, his Leprosie was cleansed, Matth. 8. 3. If he do but touch your eyes, they will be o­pened; if he touch your tongue, it will be un­tied; if he touch your hearts, they will relent; what though you have layn very long, and in your own thoughts, be ever at the point of death, yet his touch, his word can recover you. Jesus Christ never sent any diseased persons a­way, for want of power, he never said to any, the Disease is too far gone; no, though they lay gasping for life, yet he wrought their reco­very.

Be strengthned therefore, and you have the more reason to be so, if you consider, that he is not only able, but willing too; for he hath compassion in him toward those, who seek to him in their misery, which is the second part of the Text.

2. The impulsive cause of this act, viz. his own goodness [...]. The word comes from [...], or [...], which signi­fies the bowels, [...]. Phil. 2. 1. bowels of mercies, hence comes the verbe, [...], to shew compassion, Intima mise­recordia tangor. It answers the Hebrew word, rachamim, which signifies mercy proceeding from the bowels. And indeed, thats true mercy, which springs out of this Fountain, it must be spun out of the bowels, or else it is not true charity. There may be hand-charity, where there is no heart-charity. Therefore ye have [Page 54] the expression, of drawing out of the soul to the hungry, Isay 58. 10. Though we do satisfie the soul of the afflicted, yet if that do not spring from our very soul, 'tis not mercy, but hypocri­sie. The Apostle speaks of shutting up the bowels from the poor, Col. 3. 12. Though the doors be opened, to take in the wanderers, and the hand and purse opened to relieve the needy and di­stressed, yet unless the bowels also be opened, it falls short of true mercy.

This is enough for the word. The Doctrine Doct. is this: The Lord Jesus Christ, when he was up­on the Earth, was exceeding compassionate towards those who stood in need of mercy. He had bowels of compassion towards those who were in mi­sery. He was very pittiful and tender hearted towards the distressed.

1. Towards the souls of men, he shewed com­passion, vid. Mat. 9. 36, 37, 38. He sets his Disci­ples a praying, when he saw how they were necessi­tated and distressed, for want of Preachers, to open to them the way of life, his soul was grieved for them. They perhaps had no compassion towards themselves; perhaps, thought themselves better without a Preacher, than with a Preacher, as many Congregations in this City, but Christ had compassion towards them: and in the ve­ry next Chapter, sends out his twelve Apostles, to preach the word to them for their salvation. This is the very first Commission which Christ gives them, to preach. His very bowels yearned within him, to see souls perish for want of in­struction. Their ordinary Teachers which they [Page 55] had, the Priests and Levites, and the Pharisees were as good as no Shepherds: therefore Christ out of meer compassion, ordains another Mini­stry for them.

1. The spiritual distempers of their hearts, was a great grief to his spirit, Mark 3. 5. He went up and down preaching in their Synagogues, and teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, conferring privately upon occasion, with persons about their souls.

2. Towards their bodies, he was full of compas­sion.

(1) Whensoever any came to him, for any cure of any malady upon himself, or any of his; his bowels were moved, & he healed them, as these blinde men in the Text: the Leper comes to Christ, Mark 1. 41. Christ is moved with compassion towards him. We do not read of any that desired cure, that were rejected. Vid. Mat. 15. 30.

(2) We finde many times, that even undesired, he did acts of mercy to the distressed. Vid. Matth. 15. 32. he spreads a Table for them, was loath they should faint by the way, Luk. 7. 12, 13. meeting with a Widdow of Naim, following her only Son to the grave, his bowels roll with­in him, and without being desired, he raiseth him up. At the pool of Bethesda, seeing a poor helpless Cripple, who had layn long there 38. years for cure, but could not prevail with any to throw him into the water, when the Angel stir'd it, he applies himself to him, and heales him, John 5. 5, 6. So Luk. 10. 33. when he sees [Page 56] the wounded man by sprawling in his blood, of his own accord, he goes and takes him up, and makes provision for him, he is the compassio­nate Samaritan.

(3) We finde, that he shed teares, when men had incur'd irrevocable misery upon themselves. That in Luk. 19. 41. &c. Jerusalem had let slip the opportunities of her healing. This pierced his soul.

[...] The Reasons of it are,

1. Vinculum Naturae, He was Goel our Kinsman, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, he being truly in our Nature, had a condolency and sympathy towards our Nature. There is another ground of that sympathy and compassi­on, which Christ hath towards his own, viz. the mystical union. He is the head of the mysti­cal body; therefore he compassionates them. Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Identity of Nature works this compassion. All Creatures have a compassion towards their own Nature. As the affections of Christ, viz his joy, sorrow, &c. argue the truth of his humanity; so the truth of his humanity puts out these affecti­ons Heb. 2. 17. towards us.

2. Vinculum officii, It was suitable to that Office which Christ sustained, and to that em­ployment for which he came into the World. He was that great Physitian which was sent f [...]om Heaven, for the healing of men. He was that Saviour, who came to recover men out of their misery, therefore requisite, that he should be moved with their misery. He came pur­posely [Page 57] to help fallen man out of the pit: there­fore he must reach his hand to them. He was that Shepherd, who came to seek that which was lost. To binde up the broken hearted, to appoint to them that mourn in Zion beauty for ashes, &c. Isa. 61. 1, 3. His work being to save, to heal, to com­fort, to restore, he could not but shew compas­sion towards Creatures, who wanted him.

3. Vinculum Doctrinae. To teach us compas­sion. To take away that cruelty which we have in us. To put us upon the practise of mercy. Be ye merciful, for I am merciful.

4. Vinculum experientiae. His own experi­ence of misery. Non ignara mali miseris suc­currere disco. He felt the weight and burden of many miseries. All the infirmities of our Na­ture, Christ was subject to, not personal infir­mities▪ &c. This the Apostle makes a ground of his compassion, Heb. 4. 15. He was a man of sorrowes, and acquainted with grief, Isa. 53. 3.

1. Use. You who are the Servants of Christ, you may expect much more compassion from him now. Heaven and glory, and the advancement of your head, hath not dried up the bowels of his com­passion, nor made him mindful of your sor­rows. Though he be in glory, and so not ca­pable of any sufferings; yet he hath a condo­lency towards them in their troubles. In all their afflictions he was afflicted, Isa. 63. 9. vid. Heb. 4. 15. 'Tis an exceeding great mystery, how Christ in glory can be touched with a sense of his Saints Infirmities, yet it is a truth. He that [Page 58] did compassionate strangers, will he not much more pitty his Brethren? he that healed his enemies, will he not much more tender his friends? Quid si ipse amâsset? Quid mihi hic faciet Patri? when you seek to him in your try­als, Temptations, &c. you may expect to have his very bowels melt over you. He will not look disdainfully and strangely upon you, who looked with such a compassionate countenance upon all, who came to him when he was on earth, He is a merciful High-Priest still. Vid. Heb. 4. 15, 16. He will not suffer you to lie for ever under your troubles: he will not leave you without comfort, while your affliction lasts.

Object. I, but he delayes and defers, I have been long afflicted, &c.

Sol. 'Tis not for want of compassion, but from abundance of compassion. He would rather have you under trouble, than under sin. He is not so without compassion, as to take away the Phy­sick, till the Disease be cured. To remove the Plaster, till the corruption be drawn out, &c. He is so compassionate, that he will not let you be in sorrow one minute longer, than need re­quires. And in the mean time, he stands weep­ing over you, &c.

1. Its an exceeding comfort under sorrow, and a good preparative to prepare us for greater sufferings. Though we must be tossed more, and longer in the waves of affliction, &c. Jesus Christ will hold our head, stroke our wounds, [Page 59] strengthen our loines: When the Disciples are upon the tempestuous Sea, Jesus Christ is a praying for them, Matth. 14. 23, 24. And so is he continually, while his Church is on this tempestuous Sea. He that despised not the cries and sighs of men upon earth, how should he de­spise their cries who are the beloved of his soul [...] you may come into as much affliction as any other, passing through the fire and water, Isa. 43. 2. but this is your comfort, Though you may want compassions from men, you shall have bowels of mercy from Christ. In the day of temptation and spiritual fear, then will he open his bowels to you, for he was tempted, that he might succour those who are tempted, Heb. 2. 18. In the houre of death, when you are strug­ling with those pains. He that prayed his Dis­ciples when himself was in that case, to tarry with him and watch, Mark 14. 34. will shew you the same compassion to watch with you. He was pittiful towards his Disciples; when he saw them bewailing his absence, see how his compassions rowl, how his bowels work, John 14. init. you shall finde him the same to daey and for ever. 2. Its a great ground of lifting up the head under all your troubles. He that comman­ded his Ministers to promise all the afflicted so much in his Name, and he will make it good, Isa. 35. 3, 4. He will help you to bear your bur­thens.

2. Its an encouragement to you, when you go to beg any thing of him by prayer. A com­passionate Saviour will not cast out the desires [Page 60] of the afflicted. The Apostle upon this very ground, invites you to come with boldness to his Throne, Vid. Heb. 4. 15, 16. He was pittiful towards those who never made request to him; healed many without a Petition, as you have heard; and will he be cruel, and hard-hearted to those who cry after him? The prayer of the blinde men here, put such an impression upon him, that he can go no farther, till he hath call­ed them to him; And he hath now as much love to prayer as then, and is as sensible of all your burdens, as he was of theirs. He will speak to the Father for you.

3. It gives you comfort to believe, that when you go to seek Reconciliation, after any provocati­ons and fallings out, that he will be easily in­treated to shew you respect, and to turn his countenance towards you, and shine upon you. Compassion will remove Clouds from his face, and forgive offences, Vid. Mat. 18. 27. his com­passion moves him to remission, Vid. Psal. 78. 38. Harsh dispositions keep anger long, but candid and tender-hearted persons are perswa­ded.

He would have us to be so courteous, and compassionate as not to sleep in anger: The Sun must not go down upon our wrath, Eph. 4. 26. He will observe it himself. Vid. Mich. 7. 18, 19.

2d Use. Exhortation.

(1) It should be an invitement to all sinners to come unto him. Lay your diseased souls in the [Page 61] way of Christ, that when he travels, he may see them and heal them. The first part of mans mi­sery is, That he is fallen from happiness to mi­sery. The other is, that he is not willing to be helped out of his misery. God calls, Christ intreats, the spirit knocks, but man is deaf. Je­sus Christ complains of mans untowardness, Ye will not come to me, that you may have life, John 5. 40. If Jesus Christ were harsh, cruel, rugged as men are, something might be said for your keeping off from him; but since he is so com­passionate, and ready to accept, why do you stand at a distance? you cannot please him bet­ter, than to cast your distempered souls down at his feet. He will not send you away with harsh answers, but will touch your blind eyes, and recover them; your hard hearts, and sof­ten them; your dead souls, and quicken them; he never did, never will send any away, that come to him. He is compassionate towards sinners, let not sinners be cruel to themselves. Try how tenderly he will deal with you.

(2) Let us learn in this particular grace, to walk as Jesus Christ walked, 1 Iohn 2. 6. Our Saviour was full of bowels; if we be truly his Disciples, let us walk in his steps, let his com­passions move us to pitty our distressed Bre­thren, who are plunged into misery. This is a duty recommended in the Scripture, in many places, Vid. 1 Pet. 3. 8. Col. 3. 12. Heb. 13. 3. And the Servants of Christ have followed their Ma­sters steps in this grace. They did sympathize with others in their distress, Iob professeth it [Page 62] of himself, Iob 30. 25. Hanani was thus affect­ed, Neh. 1. init. Ieremiah, Cap. 9. 1. Isa. Cap. 22. 4. and generally, all the servants of God, let us be like affected.

  • 1. Let us be compassionate to mens outward wants and miseries.
  • 2. To their inward and soul-miseries.

(1) To the bodily afflictions of men, never had this Doctrine need of more serious urging, than in our dayes.

(1) Objects of Compassion, were never more, the necessities of men are great: the Rod of God hath layn long and heavily upon the Land, and upon our Brethren abroad. It is the day of Iacobs trouble. Many rich Families impover­ished. Those who were cloathed in Scarlet, embrace the Dunghill; never so many leane cheeks and ragged bodies, &c. Poverty and want, as an armed man hath seised upon them, and sorrow as the pains of a travailing Woman, Prov. 6. 11. many constrained to receive from others, who have been able to contribute formerly.

2. As Objects of pitty are increased, so com­passion and pitty is much abated. Mens bowels never more straitned than now. We have had a long winter of affliction, and our spirits are frozen up by reason of it. Warre hath made us cruel and hard-hearted &c. Jehoram had a Dis­ease in his bowels, 1 Chron. 21. 18. 'Tis an epi­demical Disease in our times, never did men in affliction finde such incompassionatenes gene­rally: the last day's sin is, unnaturalnes, or want of natural affection, &c. 2 Tim. 3. init. [Page 63] This Doctrine therefore is necessary.

Two things I would speak to, in this Use.

(1) Shew you how Christian compassion is to be shewed.

(2) Give you some Motives to urge the practise.

1. Would you know how you must shew compassion.

Consider these three things.
  • 1. Kind language and condoling Carriage.
  • 2. Fervent prayers, and Petitions for them.
  • 3. Actual relief and administring to their wants.

1. We must give kind and comfortable Lan­guage to them. So did our Saviour. He con­doles with them. Iesus wept. John 11. 35. He washed their sores in his teares, when he sees the lame man lye at the pool, he hath friendly discourse with him about his trouble. When these blinde men come to him, he doth friend­ly discourse with them. What will you, that I do for you. As the Lord answers the Angel that spake to him about the troubles of the Church with good words, and comfortable, Zech. 1. 13. This is that which Iob blames his friends, and shewes, that if they were in his condition, he would speak to them after another manner, Iob 16. 4, 5. Harsh, rigid, and biting language heaped up to men in distress, argues want of compassion. Good words are cordial, bitter speeches are as Vinegar and Wormwood. We must not answer men in distress with taunts & [Page 64] scorns, as Nabal answered Davids Messengers, Vid. 1 Sam. 25. 10, 11. Be of good cheere, Weep not, that was our Saviours word often.

II. Compassion must not rest and determine in words, but the condition of the afflicted must be also recommended to God by hearty prayer: words are but dry charity. Our Saviour, he puts up requests to God, for the distresses of men. He is praying for the Disciples, when they are tos­sed, Matth. 14. 23, 24. And he taught this act of compassion to his Disciples, vid. Mat. 9. 36, 37, 38. And Zech. 1. 12; we have his prayer for the Myrtle Trees in the bottom. Thus Daniel shewed his compassion to the afflicted Jewes, Dan. 9. per totum. And thus did Nehemiah te­stifie his pittifulness, Neh. 1. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. And this must be not only in the publick, but in secret also. Nehemiah's and Daniel's were private prayers.

III. We must actually administer supply to their wants. Good words and prayers are not sufficient without this. St. James tells us, how we must shew compassion, Vid. Jam. 2. 15, 16. So did our Saviour, he doth not only look up­on the wounded man, but binds up his wounds, and layes him upon his own beast, &c. takes care of him, makes provision for him, Luk. 10. 34, 35. Thus Iob shewed his com­passion, Iob 31. 17, 18, 19. He fed the hungry, and cloathed the naked, and relieved the op­pressed, and set at liberty the Captives, &c. Drawing out of the soul to the hungry, and satis­fying the afflicted soul, are joyned together, [Page 65] Isa. 58. 10. As Dorcas made Coats for the Wid­dows which were naked, Acts 9. 39. Bread must be broken to the hungry, and drink given to the thirsty in soul, &c. Playsters must be spread upon the sore, &c. And all this out of a fellow-feeling of others wants.

Motives to this are very many, viz.

(1) Consider the compassion that we have re­ceived from Christ, and from God. The bowels of Heaven have melted over us in our mi [...]ery. Christ yearned over us, when we were in our blood, Ezech. 16. init. we have lived upon Gods compassion, ever since we were. This is our Saviours Motive. Vid. Mat. 18. 27. 33.

Explication. The Apostle makes this a strong Motive for brotherly love, 1 John 4. 9. 10. see the inference, vers. 11. and our Saviour makes this very Application, of that Act of compassi­on of his, in washing his Disciples feet, John 13, 14. Consider it, Incompassionate men, for­get Gods compassions to them.

(2) Consider what Relation there is between thy self, and every reasonable Creature. There is a fraternity between man and man, a double fraternity betwixt Christian and Christian; be­lievers and believers, are fellow-members of one mystical body: therefore there should be compassion amongst them. This the Apostle presseth, 1 Cor. 12. 26. And man and man are related. There is Vinculum Naturae. We are [...], Acts 17. 26. By this Argument, the Holy Ghost enforceth this duty, Isa. 58. 7. I know the hand must be stretched out first to [Page 66] the Houshold of Faith, Gal. 6. 10. because there is Duplex Vinculum. They are not only one flesh, but one spirit also, 1 Cor. 12, 13. yet the relation betwixt man and man, is strong e­nough to unlock the bowels of compassion. All men are Consanguinei. Every man in misery, is our Neighbour, &c. So our Saviour teacheth, Luk. 10. 29, 30.

(3) We are lyable and obnoxious to the same sufferings and infirmities which others are under. Our lot may be to indure the same miseries of every kind. Quod cuidam cuivis. The Apostle speaks of [...]. 1 Cor. 10. 13. Thou mayst be as poor, as diseased, as dejected as any object thou beholdest, Iob in one day fell from the Throne to the Dunghill. Ergo, upon this consideration, this grace is enforced in the Scripture, vid. Gal. 6. 1. and Heb. 13. 3. and Eccles. 11. 2. And if trouble befall any of us, that compassion which we have extended to others, will be an Argument of singular com­fort to us, in the evil day. Iob in his misery, drawes exceeding consolation from this, Iob 31. 17, 18, 19. Now when he had scarce Clothes for his own back, his comfort was, that he had with his fleece cloathed many. And as it will be our comfort in an evil day, so it will be a ground of comfort, that the bowels of o­thers shall be turned towards us at such a time, vid. Psal. 41. 1, 2. Iob sound the return of all that compassion he had extended to others; The Lord made others to shew mercy to him. Judgement without mercy, is threatned to him, [Page 67] who will shew no mercy, Jam. 2. 13. Vid. Psal. 109. 12. 16. That's a very serious Text in A­mos 6. 6, 7.

(4) Incompassionateness argues want of love to God. Love to our Neighbour, is the fruit and testimony of our love to God: where the love of God dwells, there tenderness of heart to men dwelleth also. The Apostle is clear for this, 1 Iohn 3. 17. i. e. the love of God doth not dwell under that roof. Men may boast what they please of high affections to Christ, but he is a lyer, who saith he loves God, who hates his Brother, 1 Iohn 4. 20. Nay, he that hath not brotherly compassion, is a stranger to Religi­on, vid. Iam. 1. ult. Jesus Christ tells Peter, how he should expresse his love to him, Iohn 21. feed my sheep, feed my Lambs, Acts of compassi­on. 'Tis a sign of a converted man, vid. Acts 16. 33.

(5) Incompassion is a worse condition then any sufferings: better far to be under the sorest trouble, then not to pitty others in trouble, Hos. 9. 14. dry breasts in this sense, is a sore judgement, unmercifulness is reckoned a­mongst the worst of sins, vid. Rom. 1. 31. Bet­ter to be in the sick mans condition, then to look upon him in his sickness, without bow­els.

(6) Compassionate persons are most fit for Church-employment, 1 Tim. 5. 10.

(7) Denying compassion to men in trouble, is a very great heightning of their trouble, I may say, it is the sting which pricks them to [Page 68] the heart. Iob bewailes as much the want of compassion in men, from whom he expected relief, as he did all his troubles. To him who is in trouble, pitty should be shewed from his friends, vid. Job 19. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21. Incom­passionateness is as stripes to the naked body.

(8) Consider what sentence will be pro­nounced at the last day against incompassion, vid. Mat. 25. ult. the mentioning of that sin is enough to shew the haynousness of it. Cruelty towards the afflicted, will send men into eter­nall fire. Paul prayes for One siphorus, that He may finde mercy at the day of judgement, 2 Tim. 1. 18.

(2) As, to mens bodies, compassion must be shewed; so especially to the souls of men. Jesus Christ (as hath been said) was very tender to­wards mens souls, so should we. This should be manifested by every Christian.

(1) By endeavouring to convince them that are impenitent of their sins, and perswading them to forsake their sins, viz. by reproving, counselling, &c. labouring for their conver­sion by all meanes. Its an evident character of a true penitent and Convert, to seek the con­version of others. When thou art converted, strengthen thy Brethren. The Woman of Sama­ria, John 4. calls all the City to Christ, when she believed in him. This was in Paul, I could wish my self accursed from Christ for my Bre­thren &c. Rom. 9. 3. Set out Christ in his beauty to their souls, as you have occasion. Andrew, [Page 69] when he hath found Christ, he brings Simon to him. Philip he brings Nathaniel, John 1. 40, 41, 45. Private Christians might be very in­strumental in the conversion of men, did they bear such tenderness, as is meet to the souls of others.

(2) By mourning for the stubborn and obdu­rate, who will not be reclaimed. Thus did David. Rivers of teares run down mine eyes, &c. I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved, Psal. 119. 136. 158. Thus did Jeremiah, If ye will not lay it to heart, my soul shall mourn in secret for your pride. Ier. 13. 17. Iesus Christ, yee hear, was grieved for the hardness of mens hearts, Mark 3. 5. We can perhaps reproach, scorn men, for their blindness, ignorance, impiety, stubborn­ness, &c. but where is he that mourns in se­cret for ir? perhaps your teares might prevail with God for softning grace, for the rocky hearts of others.

(3) By comforting the afflicted in spirit, the troubled conscience, powring in Oyl to supple, &c. holding out a light to them in the dark, reach­ing the promises to their lips, putting our arms under them, &c. Thus did Iesus Christ, he had cordials for languishing souls, Isay 61. 3. He would not break the bruised Reed, &c. when his Disciples were overwhelmed with sorrow for his absence, how doth he revive them, &c. To Mary Magdalen, Iohn 20. 15, 16. vid. 2 Cor. 1. 4.

[Page 70] (4) By endeavouring to reduce the erroneous into the right way again. We generally com­plain against the Heresies, errors, which are ta­ken up, &c. but what meanes do we use to re­claim them? vid. Jam. 5. 19, 20.

(5) By helping up them who are fallen down, Gal. 6. 1. giving them a hand to pluck them out of the ditch again. To set the bones that are out of joynt in their right places a­gain.

All this was eminent in our Master, where­fore study the worth of a reasonable soul: the soul hath more of God upon it, them all the Creation besides. Its the richest Iewel, next to God, Christ, and the Spirit, in all the World; the Sun, Moon, and Stars, are but a Dunghill to the reasonable soul.

(6) By endeavouring to underprop them, who are wavering and staggering. Many a one is fallen for want, (perhaps) of our hand. Jesus Christ stretched out his hand to keep Peter from sink­ing, &c.

(7) By endeavouring to get and keep the means of salvation amongst others, Mat. 9. 36. Cap. 10. init.

2d Motive, God will have honour by the souls which are saved. You will have prayse, Dan. 12. 3. You will be gainers by all you do for other's souls, both in this life, and here­after.

3. Let us shew compassion to Iesus Christ, [Page 71] Christ stands in need of our compassion. He is reproached in the World, crucified afresh by sinners, despised in his Government, rejected in his Ordinances, &c. Much indignity is done to Chri [...] every where. Where is our Sympa­thy? who cares for the things of Christ, whe­ther he be exalted or no? That which was of old complained of in the Jews, is too true of us, vid. Isa. 53. 3. He suffers in his Sabbaths, in his Ministers, in his Ordinances, in his truths, &c.

Well, This is an undutiful thing, and 'tis an unnatural thing too, that we should see our Master thus used, and not pitty him. When Jesus Christ went to the place of execution, the very Women followed him weeping, &c. Luk. 23. 27. Jesus Christ now goes to the place of cru­cifying, and that without weeping, &c. Very little grief for his great sufferings.

Well, for a conclusion. I beseech you, study and practise this grace. Papists upbraid our Religion, that it wants hands. Pudet haec op­probria nobis—Et dici potuisse & non potuisse re­felli. Heathens and Infidels will rise up in judgement against Christians. Pharaohs Daughter, she is moved with compassion upon Moses his Teares, &c. Exod. 2. 6. We see Infants a weeping, and their Mo­thers weeping, and yet our bowels are not stirred. Pharaohs Daughter will condemn ma­ny [Page 72] a Christian; she wept for the poor Child, though she knew not whose it was; and we hardly weep for the miseries both of soul and body, of many of our Brethren.

FINIS.

Mary Wolnoth, October the 29. 1648. [...].

Luk. 24. 27.Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he ex­pounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself.

IN the former Chapter, we have the History of Christs death, in this the story of his Re­surrection. His Death was not so ignomi­nious, as his rising again was glorious. The Churches Head received no losse by suffer­ings, no more shall any of the members. The highest exaltation followes the lowest debase­ment, entring into glory immediately suc­ceeds suffering, vers. 26. The Crown of glo­ry followes the Crown of Thorns. We have in [Page 74] this Chapter, (1) The Narrative of his Re­surrection, vers. 1, 2, 3. (2) The several ma­nifestations and proofs of it, which are of two sorts.

(1) The Report of the Angels to the Wo­men, and of the Women to the Disciples, vers. 4, 5. ad 11.

(2) The Apparitions of our Saviour himself, First, to Mary Magdalen, Mark 16. 9. Second­ly, To these two Disciples in this place. Third­ly, To the eleven as they were at meat, vers. 36. ad 49. where to put them out of doubt, he eats with them, vers. 43. These are set down, Mark 16. 9. 12. 14. Iohn 20. 26. Fourthly, To Thomas.

(3) That which followes after the mani­festation of his Resurrection, vers. 49. ad finem, viz. The promise of the Holy Ghost, v. 49. The sending of them to the work of the Ministry, amongst all Nations, Mat. 28. 19. Several in­structions which he gives them, for the order­ing of the Church, which is set down, Acts 1. 3.

Lastly, His glorious Ascension in the sight of his Disciples, vers. 50, 51, &c. The words which I have read, are apart of the conference which our Saviour hath by the way, with the two Disciples, who were reasoning together about the death of Christ, and the report of his Resurrection, which was made by the Wo­men. This Text is the Epitome, and compen­dium of our Saviours discourse, viz. A summa­ry Collection out of the Scriptures of the old [Page 75] Testament, of all those places which speak of the Doctrine of his sufferings and Resurrecti­on. These he alledgeth, and expounds in or­der. Wherein we have two Parts.

(1) The matter of Christs Discourse.

(2) The Text from whence he urgeth this Doctrine, or matter. I might observe this Do­ctrine, That Moses and the Prophets have ve­ry much in them, Iohn 5. 46. concerning Christ: Not any thing can be named concerning Christ; but Moses and the Prophets, have it in one place or another. Christ, never since the Scriptures were, left his Church without a Go­spel. Moses was the Gospel veiled: the Gospel is Moses unridled, &c. Clearness. This is worthy to be noted, against those who reject Moses and the Prophets, Antinomians, &c. And tis worthy to be observed, to stir up Chri­stians to the reading of Moses and the Pro­phets, Christ is there, as well as in the New Testament. His Birth, his Death, his Resurrecti­on, Intercession, Ascention, &c. His Natures, Offices, merit, &c. are Doctrines, not unknown to the old Testament. Moses and the Pro­phets preach Christ as well as the Gospel; and the Gospel preaches Moses and the Prophets, obedience as well as Christ.

But that which I would commend to you, is this, viz.

That our Lord Iesus Christ was very profitable and fruitful in those private communions and converses which he had with men, while he was upon the Earth. He overtakes two Travellers [Page 76] in the way, and see here what his discourse is, not vain and idle talk, not discourse about the things of this life, nor is it about novelties, in which many men spend their time; but it is a­bout spiritual matters, its Scripture-Discourse, he doth here in a short space, run through, and interpret all the Scriptures in the old Testa­ment, which had any thing concerning those excellent Doctrines of his death and exaltati­on. And as it was here, so we shall finde his practise in every company. In the 4th of John, vers. 6. he, in his Travel, occasionally meets with a Samaritan Woman, and see what his conference with her is, vid. vers. 10. ad 29. not about things unprofitable, but about matters of salvation and eternal life: you may read what a glorious Sermon he makes to that poor Woman. In the 14th of Luke, he is in­vited to one of the chief Pharisees to a feast, vers. 1. what is his discourse there? not that frothy and sinful discourse which usually at­tends such meetings, but spiritual and heaven­ly talk.

First, He preaches to the guests, an excel­lent Sermon of humility, vers. 7. ad 12. obser­ving their ambition, how they affected the highest rooms, he puts forth a Parable to them, to teach them lowliness of minde. When he hath done that, he begins another Discourse with the Master of the house, and its the Do­ctrine of right feasting and invitations, vers. 12. ad 15. namely, to invite the poor and needy, &c. Not as though our Saviour would con­demn, [Page 77] or disallow these friendly courtesies, shewed to Allies, or rich Neighbours and Kinsfolks, but that he might hereby refute that error of the Pharisees, who thought by such acts, sufficiently to fulfil the Law of charity, whereas indeed this was not charity, which extends it self especially to those who are in want, but rather a covetous practise to bring in the like, or greater courtesies to our selves, from others. Therefore our Saviour tells him, feasts should be made for the poor, as well as for rich Neighbours and friends. The Pharisees enter­tainment and good cheare, shall not stop our Saviours mouth, but he will tell him of his duty. Christ is no Trencher-Chaplain, he will not smother any mans miscarriages for his great provision. Many would perhaps, think it rudeness or incivility in our Saviour, to fall thus bluntly upon guests and hoast too, yet he doth it freely. Shortly after, one of the Com­pany begins to break forth into the admirati­on of the happiness of those, who should enjoy life eternal, vers. 15. hereupon, our Saviour, vers. 16. ad 25. by an apposite Parable shewes unto him, and all the rest, how that happiness might be attained, viz. by laying hold on, and receiving the offer of Christ, made in the preaching of the Gospel, in which he doth set out the obstinacy of the Jewes, in the refusing of this tender, and also layes down the great danger of such refusal. Here's the excellent Table-talk of our Saviour.

[Page 78] And if you trace him from house to house, from Company to Company, you will finde him alwayes speaking to the good of those who were with him, vid. John 5. 14. when he meets with the man, whom he had cured at the pool of Bethesda. When he comes to the house of Mary and Martha, John 11. 25. Luk. 10. 39. Christ falls to work, as soon as he comes, his discourse is profitable, &c. When he was pri­vate with his Disciples, his discourse is alwayes edifying &c. either he is expounding some Do­ctrine delivered in publick, or else propoun­ding some new discourse to them for their good. Would you know why? He hath com­manded men, Eph. 4. 29. He obeys his own Rule.

1. Resol. His work was to convert men to God, and to edifie men converted. Therefore he took all opportunities for the accomplishing of this end. This is the reason he gives his Disciple for his conference with the Samaritan Wo­man, John 4. 34. He was the great Seedsman whom God had sent from Heaven, to sow the seed of grace in the hearts of men: therefore he would be scattering it abroad, both in pub­lick & in private. The wise man gives counsel, which is exceeding good, Eccles. 11. 6. Christ comming for this work, took all occasions to perform it. He came for spiritual and Heaven­ly ends, therefore his discourse looked that way.

2d Resol. Jesus Christ was full of all grace and perfection: therefore he could not but o­verflow, [Page 79] wheresoever he came, vid. John 1. 14. Col. 1. 19. He was an over-flowing Fountain, The Spirit was not given to him by measure, as it is to all his members, but above all measure, John 3. 34. The best of men have received but their scantling and proportion, God hath dealt to eve­ry man, the measure of Faith, Rom. 12. 3. and so of every other grace, they have but a mea­sure, and a small measure too, therefore they cannot give out in such abundance; But Christ had an unmeasurable fulness, therefore in eve­ry Company he came, he could not but cause something to flow out. He was so richly per­fumed, that his savour went abroad in every place where he set his feet—.He had a full Heaven within him. Ergo.

3d Resol. His large affections to the souls of men, and his exceeding and abundant love to, and desire of, the honour of his Father. He valued souls at a high rate: his heart was set upon the glorifying of his Father. Therefore he is al­wayes labouring for the advancement of him, both publickly and privately, Iohn 17. 4.

4th Resol. He knew he had but a short time to continue amongst men on Earth. He was he knew within a very little while, to remove from whence he came: therefore will he neglect no opportunity, wherein he may be useful to men.

This Consideration hath put forward the servants of Christ, to use all diligence, vid. 2 Pet. 1. 12, 13, 14. And this also made our Sa­viour [Page 80] so careful, vid. John 13. 1. 3, 4. &c. in a particular case.

5th Resol. Our Saviour knew the worth and preciousness of time: therefore he would not lose one moment. He was acquainted with the rareness of opportunity: what a Jewel it is. 'Tis true, he could make opportunity when­soever he pleased. He was the Lord of time and opportunity. But being man as we are, he would teach us how to husband time, and how to lay hold upon, and improve opportu­nity when tis offered. He hath given men a Command, to redeem time, Eph. 5. 16. And by his own example, he will put us upon the work, and shew us the worth of opportunity.

Use of this Doctrine is two fold.
  • Conviction.
  • Exhortation.

1. Ʋse. Conviction and reproof.

(1) To those who are not able patiently to bear any such discourse from others. Many there are, who are in a Prison, or little-ease, when they are in the company of such as would gladly speak something of God. They use all their endeavours to silence such language. The discourse of Christ and salvation, and grace, &c. these are as smoak to the eyes, and Gravel stones to the Teeth, unpleasant, bitter, undelightful. They are soon weary of such conference, either that must be laid asleep, or else they must be withdrawn. Vain and unprofitable discourse, merry stories, discourse about novelties, &c. [Page 81] in this they can willingly spend dayes, &c. but conference about things Heavenly, makes them very melancholy and heavy. There is nothing which discovers a heart more unlike to Christ, then this. He was never pleased better, nor so well, as when he was speaking of Heaven, &c. and they are never discontented more, then when they are hedged in with such Discourse. Such as these would have been marvellous un­fit to have attended upon Christ, when he was on Earth, and they are as unfit, and more, for Heaven. There is nothing but the Language of Canaan, speaking of God, and admiring of him; discourse which their souls account very unsavoury.

(2) Others there are, who not only neglect this duty, but on the contrary, are very destructive, and [...]. corrupt in their private discourse: they speak but things as do putrifie the hearts, heads, and lives of the hearers. The Apostle speaks of some words which are not only unprofitable, but also do subvert the hearers, 2 Tim. 2. 14. [...]. The Apostle speaks 2 Tim. 3. 6. to some, who creep privily into houses, and by their private conference do [...], instead of edifying them in the faith, they lead them headlong to error, &c. Jesus Christ never came into any house, but all the Family were, or might have been better for him; others, their private conference is only to tempt men to sin and profaneness, &c. to quench their zeal, to take them off from godli­ness. These are not the members of Christ, they [Page 82] walk not like their Master. Christs Discourse was of Heaven, and the Scriptures, &c. their discourse is about sin, and wickedness, &c. what the Apostle saith of some in his time, concer­ning their private actions, that they did such things as was even shame to speak of, Eph. 5. 12. we have cause enough to say, concerning ma­ny in our dayes, &c. every place, where they come, keeps some infection, receives prejudice from them.

(3) It blames the best of us all, for our dissimi­litude to Christ, in this respect: where is the Chri­stian much regards this duty? How unprofita­bly are many houres spent in private Commu­nion, even by the Servants of God, wherein there is scarce a word spoken for God, or which may edifie? The Servants of God here­tofore, were otherwise minded; They spake much one to another, about the things of God, Mal. 3. latter end. God was set up in the hearts of Luk. 24. 14, 15. one another, &c. But now even many of Gods own people, have as little of God, and Religi­on in their occasional conversings, as other men. This is one reason, why the power of godliness is so much abated, &c. to what, it was in former times. What's the reason of this neglect?

1. Pride may be one hindrance: some have high parts, they will not stoop.

2. Want of heavenliness of minde, and large­ness of affection to spiritual things. Christians are grown more worldly, then hereto­fore.

[Page 83] 3. Want of affection one to another. There is not that care in Christians, one towards an­other, and one over another, which should be. Whatever the cause be, 'tis utterly a fault, and that which Satan rejoyceth at.

2d Use. Exhortation. Let every one, who a­bideth in Christ, walk in this, as Christ walked, 1 John 2. 6. Improve your private converse with men for their good. Edifie one another. Never meet together, but let something be said and done, that may tend to Gods honour, and the good of men. Supporting words to the weak, reproving sin, &c. comforting words to the distressed, &c. set up God where you come, &c. I would I could say something to perswade you to it. Consider, two things are much o­mitted by the godly; frequent meetings, and, improvement of meetings.

(1) The things of God and salvation, are of the greatest worth and moment. There is no o­ther thing so absolutely necessary as these things. Indeed, there is nothing so deserving of your time, as the things of God are. One houres time is of greater value then the World, time is too precious to be consumed with o­ther discourses. If the worth of it were known, it would be improved. A Christians breath is too good to be wasted about other things.—vid. Luk. 10. 42. Mary gets to Christs feet, re­solves to have something out of him.

(2) This is the only way to make society ho­nourable and comfortable. This is the chief and [Page 84] principal end of Communion. Take away this, and there is not much difference between the society of Christians and Beasts.

They can eat together, and drink, and they can walk together, &c. I am sure, take away this, and there is no advantage more from the society of Christians, then of other men. This sweetens society.

(3) God takes notice, and especial regard of such discourse, vid. Mal. 3. 16. They lived in dayes of trouble and distress, when prophane­ness was promoted, &c. and they, when they met together, used to exhort, and comfort one another, &c. and God hearkens to them, and makes them a gracious promise. They shall be mine, &c. and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own Son that serveth him.

(4) God will call all men to account, for the improving of their Communion with others. God never casts his people into any Company, or society, but he either sends them to deliver something from him to others, or to receive something from others for their good.

(5) Men of all Employments, when they do meet together, will be discoursing about the things which belong to their own Calling and kind of life. Your Lawyers will be putting Cases. Physitians a­bout Cures, &c. Statesmen of Politicks, &c. Yea, even wicked men, when they come toge­ther, will be reasoning, consulting, their wicked projects, &c. And should not a Chri­stian be discoursing about his Trade?

[Page 85] (6) There is sometimes a greater liberty of speaking in private then in publique. Christians have greater liberty in private, then the Mini­ster in the Pulpit.

(7) You will exercise your own Talents much by this meanes, warm your own hearts. There is that scattereth, yet increaseth; he that water­eth, shall be watered himself.

(8) By this meanes, you may prevent much sin­ful speaking. Grace and Piety hath a majesty in it, even amongst wicked men; a few who are godly and religious, may by speaking of holi­ness, stop the mouth of prophaneness.

(9) Consider how much hurt you have done in many Companies heretofore: perhaps you have deaded many a heart, &c.

(10) How greatly God hath blessed the en­deavours of many of his Servants, in matters of this nature. Our Saviours Discourse in private, was the first conversion of that Samaritan Wo­man, &c. John 4. and in this place, vers. 3 2. he sets his Disciples hearts on fire: many have found a Reproof in private, carried home by God, and an Instruction brought to the heart, &c.

The very presence of some good men hath restrained swearers, &c. and restrained sin, Mark 6. 19, 20.

11. All those Motives which moved Jesus Christ, may be as goads in our sides. Was it his work to convert men, & so should be ours:—did this argue grace in Christ, that he was [Page 86] full of grace; so it will argue, thou hast grace: this will evidence thy affections to the preci­ous and immortal souls of the Brethren.

When thou hearest a swearer, &c. thou mayst die before thou see him again, or death may snatch him away, &c. do all the good whilest you may.

When others get Play-books, Newes-books into their hands, or Sr. Philip Sidney, &c. Do you take Moses, the Prophets, and the A­postles, and read them together, &c.

This would recover the decayed power of godliness, bring a new spring after a long win­ter, and be very much to the honour of God and Religion.

The Trade of godliness would be driven on, and prophaneness will wither, and go down exceedingly.—The Trade of error is driven by peoples jangling and disputing, this course would drive on the Trade of godli­nesse.

You are to have a care of others, as well as your selves. Thy Brother is thy charge, and thou art his charge, &c. Heb. 10. 24.

Others have a share in your gifts, &c.

A Minister in a private Family, may do as much good sometime, as in the Church.

It is a sad thing to consider, that many a Christian Minister is very familiar with this, or the other great man, but the family gets no good by their comming, &c. Elijah did good [Page 87] in that Family, where he lay in his sojourn­ing.

Objection. Let none put off this duty with this excuse, I shall be but scorned and slighted, and hated for my endeavour, &c.

Sol. 1. He that observes the wind, shall not sow. Eccles. 11. 4, 5, 6. Success belongs not to thee, but to God, meddle not you with that. Duty is thy work, every good work hath its difficulties.

2. Whether they will hear, or whether they for­bear, thou hast delivered thy soul, and they shall be left without excuse, Vid. Ezech. 2. 5. 7. Chap. 3. 11.

3. As our Saviour saith to his Disciples in another Case, so say I, Thy peace shall return into thine own bosom, Matth. 10. 13. Vid. Psal. 35. 13.

4. If some one get but benefit by thee, if God incline but the heart of the meanest in the Company, to hearken, &c. Thy labour is a­bundantly recompenced, &c.

5. Though they regard not for the present, yet God may perhaps afterward awaken Consci­ence, to remember and regard what thou hast said.

[Page 88] Prov. 28. 23.

He that rebuketh a man, afterwards shall finde more favour, then he that flattereth with his lips.

FINIS.

Mary Wolnoth, December the 10th, 1648. [...].

Isa. 53. 7.He was oppressed, he was afflicted, yet he o­pened not his mouth, &c.’

THis Prophet is well stiled by one of the Ancients the fifth Evangelist, be­cause there is so much Gospel in his Writings. He that doth exactly con­sider these Sermons, shall finde Jesus Christ in his Person, Natures, Offices, Doctrines, Suf­ferings, Glory, Benefits, Effusion of his Spirit, &c. almost as clearly described, as by those who had been Eye-witnesses of them all.

This Chapter is the Model and Compendi­um of the whole Gospel. Here we have both the Humiliation, and the Exaltation of Christ, [Page 90] his low debasement, and his high advance­ment. The former is from Vers. 1. ad 10. The latter is from vers. 10. ad finem.

In the [...], we have two things especi­ally.

(1) A sad complaint of the Worlds rejecti­on of Christ, ver. 1. Who hath believed, &c. or, to whom the Arm of the Lord revealed, i. e. the Gos­pel in the preaching of it, Rom. 1. 16.

Few of those who heart the Gospel, do truly receive and embrace it. The Arm of God is stretched out to many, its revealed effectually to a very few. Many are called, few are chosen. It was so in the Apostles time, in Christs time, it will be so in our time. It may be a support to the Ministry and Ministers, when their la­bours prove succesless: if the Ministry of Christ and his Apostles was fruitless to many, why should we be dejected?

(2) The Reason of this Rejection, viz.

1. The meanness of his person, and Kingdom outwardly in the first Original of it, vers. 2. He shall grow up, &c.

2. His sufferings and afflictions, vers. 3. &c. his Kingdom was but mean, and his sufferings were great; his crosse was a scandal to many.

The Exaltation, vers. 10. ad finem, hath many things in it. Christs exaltation in his seed, v. 10, 11. His exaltation in his person, v. 12.

In the Text, we have two things,

1. A Description of the great sufferings of Christ, in these words. Oppressed, afflicted, brought as a Lamb to the slaughter, as a Sheep to [Page 91] the Shearer. In voce [Pecudis] forte allusio est ad legales victimas; quo sensu alibi vocatur Agnus Dei. John 1. 29. 36. Calvin. in Locum.

2. His carriage under those sufferings. He was dumb, he opened not his mouth: so he opened not his mouth. Expressions of his patience, and contentment, which is amplified by the resem­blance of a sheep.

Here are two Lessons in the words.

1. Doct. The Lord Jesus did suffer very much of men, while he was in the flesh.

2d Doct. Jesus Christ, did with great patience and contentedness, bear those sufferings which he lay under. I made choice of this Text, because of this second Doctrine, that I might speak to you of our Saviours patience, which is another vertue for our Imitation. But because the for­mer is very profitable, I shall spend this hour about that.

1 Doct. The Lord Jesus did suffer very much while he was on Earth. He was a very great suf­ferer. He is called here, by this Prophet, vir Dolorum, peritus infirmitatis, vers. 3. We read here, of despising, rejected, stripes, smitings, wounds, sorrows, bruising, chastizement, op­pression, affliction, cutting off, putting to grief, and powring out his soul to death. Gather all these together, and they will make up a very great sufferer.

I shall do two things for explication.

1. What Christ suffered, the kindes of it.

2. Why he suffered, the causes of it.

1. For the Nature of his sufferings, he suf­fered [Page 92] every kind of way. He suffered from men. And he suffered from God. He suffered in his Body, in his Soul, in his Name, &c.

1. He suffered Revilings, and Reproaches, He was a scorn of men, and despised of the People, Psal. 22. 6, 7. How often shall you see him laughed to scorn in the Gospel? how often do you read of his deridings? Mark 5. 40. Luk. 16. 14. Luk. 23. 35. Friend of Publicans. He was called Belzebub, Deceiver, Matth. 27. 63. He suffered derision in every one of his Off­ces.

1. In the Kingly Office. They put a Scepter in his hand, a Crown on his Head, bowed their knee, saying, hail King of the Jewes.

2. In his Priestly Office. They put upon him a gorgeous white Robe, such as the Priests weare.

3. In his Prophetical Office, when they had blind-folded him, Prophesie, say they, who it is that smiteth thee. Sometimes they said, Thou art a Samaritan, and he hath a Devil. Sometimes, He is beside himself, why hear ye him?

2. He suffered stripes, spittings, buffettings, Isa. 59. 6.

3. He suffered false accusations, from sub­orned witnesses. He said, Destroy the Temple of God, and in three dayes I will build it up, and Luk. 23. 2. that He forbad men to give Tribute to Caesar.

4. He suffered stoning, John 8. 59.

5. He suffered Death it self, a shameful, painful death, crucified between two Theeves, as a malefactor.

[Page 93] In his soul he suffered from God. Desertion, sweated blood, &c. Temptation, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? In a word, he suffered the whole wrath of God. And then, He suffered from all sorts of men, from friends, as well as enemies, Iohn 13. 18. Psal. 55. 14. Matth. 26. 47. From Military men, Luk. 23. 11. From them in the Ministry: From Magistrates.

Why he suffered?

1. That he might satisfie for our sins, and pay the price of our Redemption This is made by this Prophet, the main end of all he endured, Isa. 53. 4, 5, 6. He was our Surety, and he could neither satisfie for our sins, nor reconcile us to God, without these sufferings, &c. He endu­red nothing for himself; for he had no spot of sin upon him, &c. but the just for the unjust, vid. 1 Pet. 3. 18. This was the prime end.

2d Subordinate ends were, That he might sanctifie suffering to us, and take away the sting and curse of it. Therefore he underwent all kind of sufferings, that he might sweeten all: he was oppressed, that he might sweeten oppression.

3. That he might be able experimentally to succour, comfort, sympathize with us in our sufferings, vid. Heb. 2. 17, 18.

4. That he might be prepared for glory, vid. Luk. 24. 26.

5. That he might be a Conqueror over suffer­ings. Conquest is one piece of Christs. Ho­nour. [Page 94] He could not have overcome, if he had not been a sufferer.

1 Ʋse. Information. These Corollaries fol­low hence.

1. Take notice of the preciousness of our Sal­vation and Redemption. 'Tis called in Scripture, by all Names which intimate preciousness. A weight of glory, 1 Cor. 4. 17.

An Inheritance incorruptible, immortal, undefiled, &c. 1 Pet. 1. 4. Every grace hath an unspeakable worth in it, Precious Faith, preci­ous promises, 2 Pet 1. 4. The worth of things are known best by the price payd for them. I note this for two Reasons.

1. Because these things are of so little value, so despicable to men, Justification, Sanctifica­tion, Heaven, the Promises, are undervalued, men reject them, as if they were trifles, as vile things.

2. That those to whom they belong, may have them in higher esteem and value them the more. 'Tis an Argument which the Apostle useth to presse careful inspection in the Elders over the Church, Acts 20. 28. He who despiseth any of these, despiseth the sufferings of Christ.

2. Take notice of the haynousness of sin. There are many glasses, wherein the sinfulness of sin may be seen; as namely, the Judgements which it drawes down upon the committers of it, look upon the old World, drown'd in water: look upon the flames and ashes of Sodom, Go­morah: behold the Graves of the dead. See An­gels and men in Chains of fire, &c. But this, [Page 95] above all, discovers its vileness, It could not be expiated without Christs sufferings, and those deadly: the haynousness of Covenant­breaking in Israel, appeares from the judge­ment inflicted for it, vid. 2 Sam. 21. 1, 2, 6. Our sins could not be done away, without Christs sufferings, Heb. 9. 12. Thy lying, swearing, cheating could not, without this, be done a­way.

3. Take notice from hence of the exact Justice of God, and his perfect hatred of sin. Nothing in the World, can so clearly demonstrate this, as the sufferings of Christ. God loved his Son, with an intire affection, his very soul and heart was upon him, and yet when he had taken up­on him the sins of men, the Father would not acquit him without sufferings. Justice would not forbear one stripe. Neither the prayers of Christ, Matth. 26. 31. nor the groans of Christ, nor his teares would prevail, till all were satis­fied: That expression Isa. 53. 10. would be considered well, vid. Rom. 11. 21. You who doubt of Gods justice and rigor against sin, look upon Christs oppressions, and receive satis­faction.

Object. But you will say, how could it stand with the Justice of God, to lay affliction upon Christ, who was an innocent person, that the just should suffer for the unjust?

Sol. We are to consider two things in the guilt of sin.

1. The Desert or merit of punishment. And this is alwayes inseparable from sin, in this re­spect, [Page 96] The soul which sinneth, is lyable to personal suffering.

2. Designatio ad poenam. Now it is not ab­solutely necessary, that the same person which is lyable to punishment, should be designed to suffer; but it may be inflicted upon another, who is [...], if these four things con­cur.

1. If all parties be agreed, as they are here; for,

  • 1. God is well pleased; He gave his Son.
  • 2. Christ is well pleased, Psal. 40. 8.
  • 3. The sinner is well pleased, Psal. 110. 3.

2. If all parties be glorified. Now it is so in this case.

God is glorified, he hath the obedience of his Son, Iohn 17. 4.

Christ is glorified, he hath his purchase, Iohn 17. 10.

The sinner is glorified, Iohn 17. 22.

3. If the party which suffereth, have an ab­solute power, and Soveraignty over his own life: so had Christ. We cannot lay down our life for another, because we are not Lords of our lives.

4. If the partie who suffers, have ability to re-assume that life again, and to raise it up to glory: so had Christ, Iohn 10. 18.

2d Use. Exhortation to the godly.

1. Do not think it strange, when you are oppres­sed and afflicted, vid. 1 Pet. 4. 12. When bur­dens are layd on your backs, trouble upon your loyns: you cannot be used so bad as Christ was. [Page 97] You do but fill up the sufferings of Christ in the flesh: vid. Col. 1. 24. The Apostle Peter, would have Christians rejoyce in this respect, 1 Pet. 4. 13. vid. Phil. 3. 10.

2. Arm your selves for sufferings, 1 Pet. 4. 1. expect to be like Christ in this respect. It is the will of God, that all the members of Christ should be made conformable to their head in sufferings. So the Apostle, Rom. 8. 29. he speaks of sufferings. Christs oppressions are a great com­fort to Christians in their sufferings. He hath drank up all the bitterness of the Cup. We have but a few drops left for us. If you will be like him in glory, you must be like him in suffrings.

2d Doct. That Iesus Christ did with great patience, bear and undergoe all the afflictions and oppressions which were layd upon him. As his suf­ferings were greater then any, so was his pati­ence remarkable. He opened not his mouth, he was dumb, as a sheep before her shearer. As he was contented to do the will of God, Psal. 40. 8. so was he also contented to suffer his will. We do not read of a discontented word, of an an­gry look falling from his lips or eyes, in the greatest of his sufferings. Vid. 1 Pet. 2. 23. His Crosse was very heavy, and yet he bare it with patience. He was mediis tranquillus in undis. When they buffetted him, when they spat up­on him, when they reproached him, when they pierced him and crucified him; the worst word he uttered, was, Lord lay not this sin to their charge, Father forgive them, they know not what they do, Luk. 23. 34. When Peter in his heat and [Page 98] Zeal, drew out his Sword in his Masters de­fence, our Saviour presently commands him to sheath it, Put up thy Sword, &c. Mark 14. 47. when they had arrested him, and were leading him to the High Priests Hall, he went with them patiently, made not the least resistance. When Iudas comes to betray him, he suffers him to kisse him, and saith nothing but this, Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kisse? when they gave him Vinegar and Gall, &c. He was in all his sufferings, a mirror of patience.

In this Doctrine, I shall shew,
  • 1. Why he was so.
  • 2. What use we may make of it.

(1) It was not for want of power, Mat. 26. 53. He could by his own hand have smitten them Neg. dead, he made them fall to the ground, when they came to arrest him, Iohn 18. 6.

(2) Nor was it because he was insensible of his sufferings. He was true man, and no man in the World was ever more sensible of any sufferings then Christ was. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, Mat. 26. 38. he was in an Agony, he felt all the pains, both of soul and body, My God, my God, why hast thou for­saken me?

(3) Nor was it to move his oppressors to pitty him, to moderate their fury, or to purchase his release. Our Sauiour knew they would not a­bate one drop; he knew what was determi­ned by the Lord, for him to undergo, and that that which was determined, must be done. It [Page 99] was not to procure favour, or for fear of their rage.

(4) Nor was it from sense of any guilt; for he knew himself to be an innocent person, he knew all their accusations to be false and un­just, Which of you accuseth me of sin? John 8. 46. that which Samuel said, our Saviour could much more truly say, both in regard of the Act, and of the Principle, Whose Asse have I taken, &c. 1 Sam. 12. 3. Nay, he knew that his Ac­cusers and Judges were convinced of his inno­cency. That their Objections were false and malicious, &c.

(2) Positively.

But (1) It was from Duty to God. A principle of obedience to his Fathers will. Our Saviour knew very well, that all his sufferings were [...]yd upon him by his Father, who had Autho­rity over him, as he was Man; and as he was in all other things obedient and subject, so he would be in sufferings. This is that which we may clearly gather from his own words. The Cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink of it? John 18. 11. He was in all things, obedient to his Earthly Parents, Joseph and Mary, Luk. 2. 51. and he would not be disobe­dient to his Heavenly Father. God had not only enjoyned him to suffer, but to suffer pati­ently. This is that which the Apostle layes down in Heb. 5. 8. his holy life and conversati­on, was a part of his obedience to the Father: but his obedience in suffering, was obedience in an higher degree, vid. Calvin. in locum.

[Page 100] (2) It was from the consideration and certain knowledge of the benefit which would redound and accrue to his Elect, by his sufferings. He knew his sufferings would accomplish the Salvation and Redemption of his people, it would save them from their sins, and reconcile them to God, who were enemies by Nature. Ergo, he did it patiently, out of meer love to mans salvati­on. He considered the Seed which he should see, and be satisfied withall, Isa. 53. 11. He was in Travel for our salvation, &c. as a Woman in Travel, endures grief with patience, out of love to her fruit, which she hopes to see, &c. His imprisonment would let many out of prison; His oppression would be our Redemption; His death would be our life; His wounds our heal­ing; and His bruising, our strengthning, &c. Ergo, He knew his being cast over-board, would calm the wrath of God to us ward: therefore he did silently throw himself into the Sea.

(3) That he might set us a pattern of bearing our crosses with patience: our Saviour knew, that afflictions and troubles abide over all the Ser­vants of God, while they are in this time. He knew that those whom his Father foreknew, them he predestinated to be conformable unto his Son, Rom. 8. 29. He oftentimes foretold his Disciples, what usage they must expect to finde in the World. Ye shall be brought before Rulers and Councels, &c. and ye shall be hated. And he knew also, how hard it is to flesh and blood, to be patient at such a time. Therefore he would [Page 101] not only by his Command, but by his own ex­ample, teach them this lesson. This is that which the Apostle saith, 1 Pet. 2. 21, 22, 23. And hence it is, that the Apostle doth so often presse this grace, from the patience of Christ.

The use of this point is twofold.
  • Reproof.
  • Exhortation.

1. Use. It is a just check to those, who in any affliction are filled with rage, murmuring discon­tents against God, like the raging Sea, they are ever casting forth mire and dirt, venting choller, spleen, the bitterness of their own hearts a­gainst God. The Servants of God have been much overtaken with this infirmity, Job a mir­ror of patience, Iam. 5. 11. yet he is wonder­fully discontent, vid. Job 3. init. and thou wilt finde very many unsavory speeches in that book. Moses, a very meek man, yet how doth he quarrel with God many times. Lord, why is it that thou hast sent me? Exod. 5. 22. and at another time, If thou deal thus with me, kill me, I beseech thee, Numb. 11. 15. And Jonah, he speaks nothing but thundring and [...]ightning a­gainst God, vid. Jonah 4. per totum. This is not a Christ-like spirit, he was dumb in his suf­ferings, and wilt thou rage? He opened not his mouth, and darest thou speak? This is a very sinful frame. Tis a charging of God, and how sinful is it for Creatures to impeach their God? he that reproveth God, let him answer it, Iob 40. 2.

[Page 102] 1. It accuseth Gods wisdom, that he knowes not how to order things better.

2. It accuseth his Justice, That his procee­dings are unequal, Iob 40. 8.

3. It accuseth his holiness, It is in effect, as if we should say, God is wicked. And see what he saith to Iob, Iob 34. 18.

4. It accuseth his mercy, That he is severe, harsh, rigorous, &c. that he delights to make his Creatures miserable, &c.

2d Use. Exhortation, That we all of us would learn to be like Christ in this respect, 1 John 2. 6. This is a necessary lesson in these times, we are as a Sheep before the shearer, &c. as Christ was silent, and dumb, as he opened not his mouth, so let us be, &c. we may speak against the wick­edness of men, &c. I shall shew here,

1. What this is to be dumb, and not to o­pen our mouthes in affliction.

2. Give some Motives.

3. Add some Directions how to attain to it.

To be dumb under afflictions, &c.

(1) It is not any sinful dumbness, or shutting 3. Neg: Rules. the mouth. There is a five-fold sinful dumbness, viz.

1. A sullen dumbness, a crabbed froward silence. When the perversness of a mans spi­rit will not suffer him to speak, many men are of such harsh, rugged dispositions, that if any trouble be upon them, their dearest friend, or nearest relation, cannot procure one word. They are peevishly silent. If God should deal [Page 103] with such as he did with Zachary, Luke 1. strike them dumb, it would be just.

2. There is a stupid dumbness. When a man, though he be sorely afflicted and oppressed, yet is like a stock or stone, stupidly dumb. God would not have our mouthes shut in this man­ner, vid. Isa. 26. 11. Isa. 42. ult. for this Ephraim is reproved, Hos. 7. 9. This is like Ionahs si­lence, when he was asleep. Balaams Asse re­proves this dumbness, 2 Pet. 2, 16.

3. There is an over-whelming despayring dumb­ness. This ariseth from infidelity. When men under some affliction apprehend it irreparable and past recovery, and so in an incredulous manner, give themselves to dumbnes & silence. This is sinful. To be swallowed up of afflicti­on. This questions Gods power, wisdom, &c. Of this, see Psal. 42. ult. Psal. 43. ult. A Christi­an should rather be as David, Psal. 27. 3. or as Iob, Though he kill me, &c. or as Ionah, Chap. 4.

4. There is a proud dumbness, when a man, though he be under great pressures, yet out of heighth and gallantry of spirit, scorns to com­plain; Thinks it too effeminate a thing, &c. to complain, when we have to do with God: this is a sinful silence. God would not have such worms as we are, to think to outbrave his judgements. Such Iron sinews, God both can, and will subdue, vid. Isa. 2. 12, 13, 14, 15. This is to harden the heart against God: and shall I­ron break the Northern Iron; and that Steel? Ier. 15. 12.

[Page 104] 5. A timorous silence, when men do not open their mouthes under afflictions and op­pressions, for fear lest their yokes should be made more heavy: an Issachars silence. I grant, that every Christian should use all holy prudence to preserve himself from sufferings. No affliction is joyous, &c. and, Thou shalt not murther, commands all care and diligence, &c. for self-preservation, and it is not pru­dence to exasperate the spirits of men, &c. if it may be done without neglecting a duty. But if Gods honour lye at stake, then the mouthes of men, who have a Call, must be open, and let come what God will. Anathema est esse pa­tientem, saith Luther, in such a case, Tis a brave Heroick Resolution of Luther to this purpose, Inveniar Impius, homicida, avarus, &c. modo non impii silentii arguar, cum patitur Dominus. He cared not what he was reputed, what he suffer­ed, so he might not be sinfully silent in Gods dishonour.

Object. What say you to that in Amos 5. 13. The prudent shall be silent, &c. The evil of that time, see vers. 10.

Scorning of Magistrates. For those are they who reprove in the Gate, who used to keep their Courts by the gates of the Cityes, 2 Sam. 15. 2.

Scorning of Ministers. Those are they, who speak uprightly. And in such dayes its said, the prudent shall be silent, Ergo.

Sol. Most Interpretors expound, that in re­spect of God, they shall be silent, i. e. not mur­mur [Page 105] against God; and in this respect, whatso­ever troubles arise, we must be silent. It cannot be, to be silent at sin: vid. 2 Tim. 4. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Calvin expounds it thus, Propheta hic non lo­quitur de prudentibus, quidnam facturi sint vel omissuri; Potius significat quoties loqui incipie [...], tantam fore superbiam judicum ut repellant omnes objurgationes. The meaning cannot be, that their sins shall not be reproved by the Mini­sters. Hoc enim non esset honimis cordati praeterire silentio tam gravia scelera; etiamsi Tyranni mini­tentur mortem centies, quibus tamen incumbit do­cendi ne [...]essitas, illi non debent obmutescere. And again, non intelligit sponte tacituros: quia turpis ignaviae esset ita prodere veritatem & bonas cau­sas. Quid igitur? Nempe tantam fore improbi­tatem, ut ne finant quidem Tyranni verbum unum proferri à prudentibus. Tantam audaciam gras­sari, ut sublata sit prorsus omnis libertas cordatis viris. Coguntur ergo tacere quia nihil proficiunt loquendo; imò non est illis liberum loqui; & quan­quaem praestare officium conantur, tamen statim compescit eos tyrannica violentia. Tyranni isti ad silentium omnes cogent, & compescent Doctores: & nunc conjicient in carceres, nunc vero in exilia extrudent, nunc etiam denunciabunt mortem, nunc mulctabunt aliqua poena, vel convitiis repudia­bunt, & habebunt ludibrio, ut sint contemptibiles. This, saith he, is the meaning of the Prophet. Esa. 53. 7

2d Rule. This silence, or not opening of the mouth, doth not exclude prayer, or the use of lawful meanes to remove it, e. g. A man may [Page 106] be dumb under a Disease, and yet may keep dayes of prayer, to deprecate it, and send for the Physician to apply his skill to cure it, vid. Psal. 39. 9, 10.

This is a duty as well as patience. Our Sa­viour prayed, Father, if it be possible, let this Cup passe. He indeed prayed with subordina­tion to God, and so must we. And we must not use any indirect, or unlawful meanes to remove it. That's worse than any affliction can be.

It excludes not complaining against unjust 3d Rule. dealings, in being Authours of our oppression. Our Saviour complains of Judas, Pilate, &c. Psal. 69. 21. Psal. 109. David complains of Doeg, &c.

2. Positively. To be dumb, and not to o­pen the mouth, &c. implyeth these 4. things.

1. A holy calmness of heart and spirit under Gods hand. No inward frettings or quarrel­lings against Gods providence, &c. No heat of heart, no distempered heat. No anger in spirit against God. Jonah was angry. No boyling within Psal. 39. 3. My heart was hot within me, his spi­rit did boyl with impatience, though his tongue was silent.

2. Resignations surrendring and referring our selves to God, to be yet further and longer af­flicted, if he please. Thus David, 2 Sam. 15. 26. God had put a heavy yoak upon his neck al­ready; yet, if he please, he shall add more weight to it. So Eli, 1 Sam. 3. 18. So David, 2 Sam. 16. 10. Abishai would gladly have been [Page 107] about his eares. No, saith David, Let him a­lone.

3. Satisfaction of Spirit. When a soul is well pleased in his heart, with the affliction which God hath laid him under, as Paul, Acts 21. 13. He was not displeased, but well satis­fied with that Prophecy of Agabus. He had ne­ver the worse thoughts of God for it, or for any other of his sufferings.

4. A patient waiting upon the Lord under his hand, till deliverance come. When a soul is willing to stay the Lords leasure, and not surri­pere liberationem, steal a deliverance, before God would have him free, vid. Psal. 62. 5. & Psal. 37. 7. Thus the Church manifests her pa­tience under troubles, Mich. 7. 9. So in Lam. 3. 26. Contrary to this, is that frame of Spirit, which will not suffer a soul to wait; but rather use any foul shift to be freed, then wait till God call off the Disease▪ vid. 2 Reg. 6. 33. vid. Heb. 11. 35. [...], not ac­cepting of deliverance.

This is the first thing what it implies, what this duty is.

The 2d thing is to give Motives, to this patient and silent bearing: for which consider these.

1. Motive. Consider, that all conditions are ordered by, and according to the will and provi­dence of God, vid. Matth. 10. 29. Iob 5. 6. This was that that silenced Iob, under very heavy pressures, Cap. 1. ult. Not the Sabeans, or Chal­deans, but the hand of God.

[Page 108] This very consideration silenced Eli, 1 Sam. 3. 18. and so David, Psal. 39. 9. and in ano­ther case, 2 Sam. 16. 10. Abishai looks no far­ther then Shimei, and therefore he is all on hot fire, let me go, and take away his head from him. David sees a Commission in his hand from Heaven, Ergo. Vid. Acts 21. 13. they took on very much at first hearing; but when they were once perswaded that it was from God, they did acquiesse, the will of the Lord be done. And the great Motive which kept our Saviour so silent under all his sufferings, was this. The Cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink of it?

Consider 1. Gods Soveraignty and Regali­ty. He hath an absolute right to order of things, as he pleaseth, to set us higher or lower, to bring us into bondage or freedom. Ergo, vid. Iob Cap. 38. per totum. Cap. 39. Cap. 40. 5. Theres no man hath such power over his beast, to put him to a fat or lean pasture, as God hath over man, vid. Iob 11. 10. Not to be silent, is either to deny, or at best, to question and dis­pute Gods Dominion over him. 'Tis as much as to say, He is his own, not the Lords.

2. Consider his wisdom. All the works which God doth, have rayes of Divine wisdom in them, Psal. 104. 24. Eccles. 3. 11. Even the most confused and seemingly disordered wayes and works of God, are wrought most wisely and artificially. Now not to be silent, is to lay to the charge of God folly, bungling, &c.

2d Motive. Consider, that you have deserved [Page 109] many times more and heavier things from the hands of God. Art thou in poverty? thou hast deserved beggery. Art thou in sickness? thou hast deserved death. Art thou in a prison? Hell is not beyond thy demerits? vid. Lam. 3. 39. Mich. 7. This consideration was that which did silence that good Thief upon the Crosse, Luk. 23. 41. A Man who hath deserved hanging, drawing, and quartering, may well be silent to under­go whipping, or burning in the hand. He who had confiscated all his Estate, by some illegal Act, hath no reason to speak, because the Off­cer comes to demand 6 d. or 12 d. for a fine. Just thus it is with us, we have deserved the losse of all, and the Lord only takes twelve pence as it were, from us. The wages of sin is death, Rom. 6. ult. and that eternal. And this is the wages of every sin. Now we have com­mitted an innumerable number of sins, beside that unfathomed Fountain of corrupt nature which hath all sin in it, in the principle; And yet God comes but with small rods to whip us, and that in measure too: we may well hold our peace indeed.

3d Motive. Consider the great good of this si­lence, and patience under our afflictions.

1. Tis in it self, a very excellent and precious grace, full of beauty and glory. It renders us most like to Christ.

2. Tis very precious in the effects of it. I will shew you these four effects of it.

1. It renders the heaviest burden tolerable. That which wil bruise the back of another, will lye very light and easie, upon the shoulders of a [Page 110] patient Christian. Levius fit patientia Quicquid corrigere est nefas. Yea, it doth take away the whole weight of the burthen. For when the spirit is in such a frame, tis all one, whether poverty or riches, whether freedom or re­straint, &c. A patient spirit, hath the happi­ness and comfort of his condition still.

2. It makes a soul Conqueror over all condi­tions. The impatient complaining spirit is van­quished under every small suffering, his spirit Rom. 8. 37. is quite overcome, whereas the patient Chri­stian doth tryumph, and gets the Victory over all distresses. Iob by his patience, did conquer all his troubles.

3. It preserves and keeps a Christian from ma­ny snares and temptations; which affliction and distress, puts a man upon. There is no conditi­on, but it hath its peculiar temptations. Pover­ty, reproach, persecution, &c. As it is a hard thing, so it is a happy thing to be preserved from these snares. Not to steal in poverty, not to apostatize in persecution, &c. Now pati­ence is the best Antidote and Preservative to keep us from these. The patient Christian, will not think of any shifts which are sinful, to deli­ver himself. The faith and patience of the pri­mitive Martyrs, was that which kept them from accepting of deliverance upon sinful termes, Heb. 11. 35.

The answer of that Martyr to his friends, when they would have had him to make an es­cape out of Prison, was wrought by his pati­ence. No, He would stay Gods time. He would [Page 111] not come out when his friends desired, then he should come out too soon; nor when his enemies would have him, then he should stay too long, but when God would have him, that was the best time. So Paul and Silas, Acts 16. 26. The Prison­doors were all open, &c. yet they would not stir. Patience prevents many such Temptati­ons. It prevents sinful complyances, &c.

4. It fortifies the soul against the fear of trou­blous conditions, when threatned or imminent. Tis a happy thing, to be freed from fear of evil, and tis promised to the godly, Psal. 111. 7, 8. Now nothing is more likely to support the soul a­gainst the fear of such storms, then this grace of patience. The patient Christian is provided for the worst storm. Patience is his Tower, his Anchor, &c. It's a setling grace.

4th Motive. Consider, that the present condi­tion is also simply the best condition for thee, if thou art a true Christian. Poverty is better then riches, sickness then health, bondage then free­dom, Winter then Summer, &c.

Tis best for thy self, tis best for thy graces, tis best to bring thee to Repentance, tis best to humble thee, &c. Tis best, considering the di­stemper which is in thy heart.

Consider 1. Gods Wisdom, that he knowes what is best.

2. His goodness, that he will not put any Child of his, out of a better estate, into a worse.

God sees thou hast a proud heart, God knoweth thou hast an ambitious heart; there­fore [Page 112] disgrace is better then a state of honour. A tender Father would never correct his Child, but that he thinks that correction is better at that time, then cockering and indulgence: he would never deny him a meales meat, but that he sees that fasting is better then food, &c. so God, vid. Heb. 12. 10. The Apostle teacheth us, that God doth aym at his Childrens profit, and advantage in all his dispensations. Now if one State or Dispensation, were better then ano­ther, and God should cast him into a worse, out of a better, then it could not be true, that God in all his dealings, aymes at their benefit.

5th Motive. Consider, that there is a far greater good in patience and Christian silence, then there is, or can be hurt or evil in the fo­rest Crosse. For mans happiness, lyeth not in comforts, but in a complyance in his will, to the will of God. Patience is absolutely a grace, affliction is not absolutely a curse. Ergo.

6th Motive. Consider, that God will put a good issue to all your sad conditions. The end will un­doubtedly be good, vid. Jam. 5. 11. The hopes and expectation of this, prevailed upon the Church, to be silent under all her long and te­dious darkness, vid. Mich. 7. 9. When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light unto me, there­fore I will bear, &c. Your reproach shall end in honour, your disgrace in glory, Isa. 61. 7. yea, your glory shall exceed your shame; yea, it shall be double to your shame. And your Crosse, shall bring you to a Crown, vid. Isa. 66. 5.

[Page 113] It may be in this World, they who re­proached you, shall change their Language, and blesse you. It sometimes falls out so. You have a promise of this, made to the Church, vid. Isa. 60. 14. and Rev. 3. 9. We have examples, and instances of this. Haman, and the confede­rates with him: and so did Iobs friends. Cap. ult. Iob. However, death will take away the remembrance of all your sadness, vid. 1 Cor. 10. 13.

There are three great Arguments in that one Text. Explain it.

7th Motive, Consider the evil of Impatience.

1. 'Tis a mighty torment to the soul. 'Tis a worm at the heart, which gnaweth continual­ly. It weakens the Spirits, and renders a man more unable to bear his crosse; yea, impati­ence and discontent, is heavier then the burden it self. The nayl in the yoak is much more op­pressing then the yoak it self, and galls more. Impatience is as a nayl in the crosse: What Solomon saith of the cruel man, Prov. 11. 17. we may say of the impatient, its a degree of self-murther, it wasts and exhausts the Spirits, what the Apostle saith of worldly sorrow, that it works death, 2 Cor. 7. 10. is true of impati­ence.

2. It doth exceedingly indispose the heart, for those holy duties which an afflicted and di­stressed condition calls for.

There are four things calld for in a state of di­stresse.

[Page 114] 1. Prayer, Jam. 5. 13. Psal. 50. 15. Hos. 5. ult. Now a wrathfull impatient spirit is not fit to pray. The heart must be composed in prayer. One principall qualification in pray­er is, That it be, [...], 1 Tim. 2. 8. See how Jonah prayes when he is angry, vid. Iona. 4. in it, a meer quarrelling and scolding with God.

2, Accepting the punishment of our iniquity, and lying low at the feet of God, vid. Lev. 26. 41. Repentance, selfe searching. Impatience hinders all this, the calme Spirit will see the cause and bewaile it, when the discontented mutinous passionate soul passeth it by, vid. Lam, 3. 39. 40. Complaining hinders selfe-judging, vid. Mic. 6. 9. This will not be done in an angry passion, fury will not hear any message.

3. Teaching and instrusting others in afflicti­on. This is a duty; sick mens words have a sharp point. Paul writes many excellent Epi­stles to the Churches in his bonds, Gal. Eph. Phil. Col. 2 Tim. &c. Philem, &c. He begat Onesimus in his bonds, Philem. 10. we are to discover our supports, our encouragements, &c. Now impatience will take us off from this duty. Impatient and angry men are very bad Tutors; men can aske them no questions, Nabal.

4. Hearing and receiving comfort from o­thers. This is a duty in affliction, to have our eares opened to instruction, &c. Iob. 36. 9. 10. Now impatience hinders us from this. [Page 115] Physitians will not give Physick in a fit. The seed sowed in a storme is lost. Pearles before swine. Impatience is as bad a Scholler as a Ma­ster.

(3) It provokes God to smite harder, to add to our misery. As a father by a spiritfull angry child, he will beate him into a calme. Iona Psal. 107. 17. got nothing by his contending and discontent, cap. 4. 8. The bleak East wind blew but the harder, had he been quiet, he had kept his screen, and not been exposed to that violent blast.

(4) It provokes God to deny or remove those inward comforts which might support us, and sweeten our Crosse. Iobs impatience lost him many a lightsome look, which he might have had, had he been calme. A man's froward­ness in sicknesse hinders himself of many a good word which friends present; and of ma­ny a visit which absent friends would give were his spirit quiet.

(5) It will provoke God to keep on the burden longer. No man ever got off his load by kick­ing, it makes it the more snarld and intangled. A wild Bull in a Net. Esa. 51: 20. God doth not usually take off the burden, till the spirits of men be willing to beare it, when Iob was out of his heare, then did the Lord remove his Crosse, Iob. 42. 3, 4, 5. ad ver. 10. Content­ment of Spirit is the best way to get rid of any trouble, many of Gods servants have found by experience, both in the troubles of conscience and other griefes, that when they have been [Page 116] brought to such a frame of spirit, as to be con­tented, to be in the dark, then hath light shin­ed forth; when the wound is healed, the plai­ster drops off of it self.

(6) Impatience will put the soul upon unwor­thy unwarrantable wayes of being freed and deli­vered: An angry Spirit will not stick at any thing, so he may remove the cause of his dis­content. If Rachel be impatient of barrenness, she will not stick to give her Maid to her Hus­band, so shee may have issue, Gen. 30. 3. so ver. 1. If the unjust Steward know not how to work or beg patiently, he will steale, Luk. 16. 3, 4, 5. If Eliah cannot beare persecution, he will flee from his work, and pray God to take away his life, 1. Reg. 19. 4. so Moses, Num. 11. 7. 15. If a man cannot beare sickness, he will flee to Witches, or any body or help, 2 Reg. 1. 3. Ahaziah. Or lay violent hands on himself with Saul, 1 Sam. 31. 4. If Peter can­not be content to dye, he will deny Christ. Any Casement discontent will fly out at. vid. 1 Tim. 6. 9.

Will is opposed to Content, ver. 8. he that will have liberty, health, &c. and not be con­tent wirhout them, is hurried into many and dangerous snares.

Three Directions or Helps unto Patience. Take this medicine which consists of these ingredi­ents.

(1) Get self-denyall, Matth. 16. 24. Could we deny our selves in point of honour, we would not storme at reproach. So of Bon­dage, [Page 117] &c. He that cannot deny himself will deny Christ. Self-love hinders from suffering or from patience, Eccles. 7. 8. self denyall is to lay self aside.

(2) Labour for humility, consider the op­position patient in Spirit is opposed to pride of Spirit. Price is the mother of murmuring and discontent. Pride makes the Spirit furi­ous: vid. Pro. 13. 10. A proud man will con­tend with God. Pride thinks all the good he hath too little, all the evill he endures too much: humility, contrary,

(3) Labour for a life of Faith. To make up all wants in God, Phil. 3. 20. This quieted David, psal 42. 11. This kept the Apostles from fainting under their trouble, 2 Cor. 4. 18. This was that which kept David quiet under great afflictions, 1 Sam. 30. 6. It was a very sore trou­ble, that his own guard should now set upon him, &c.

(4) Consider often the patience of Christ, vid. 1 Pet. 2. 19. 20. 21, 22. This, if it were well studied, would alone allay all discontents. Affli­ctions had a sting in them to Christ, and yet he was meek in induring. They were full of Di­vine wrath, Christs suffrings were scorpions, yours are but rods of men; Christs were un­just, yours are just; Christs were for others, yours are for your selves: we should not be such lions, as we are, if we could but get our hearts upon the meeknesse of this Lambe. If this copy be out of our eyes, our hearts will rise.

[Page 118] (5) Consider how many present comforts you yet enjoy. If superfluities be gone, you have conveniences still, you have peace within still, &c. vid. 1 Sam. 1. 8. we have our eyes still po­ring upon what we want, or upon what we de­sire. This mercy is removed, this mercy can­not be attained, &c. This heates the heart and makes it mutiny, whereas if we would but set before our eyes our present enjoyments, we would be quiet, for we shall see that what is removed, is justly taken away, and what is de­nyed, is not only justly denyed, but in mercy: we want nothing but that the presence where­of would be for our disadvantage, neither do we lose any thing, but that the presence whereof would annoy us. We are like Haman in this respect: All he had was nothing, while Mor­decai the Jew was at the Kings gate, and would not bow to him, vid. Est. 5. 13. one discon­tent deprives us of the sweetnesse of our com­forts. Rejoyce in what you have still.

(6) How little improvements you have made of any prosperous condition or of any mercy you have enjoyed, vid. Neh. 9. 35. the misery was great, ver. 37. yet this quiets them. They had long lived in a good land to no purpose. He that shall well consider what little use he hath made of his health, while he enjoyed it, will not rage against God in a time of sicknesse, so for strength in a time of weaknesse, for li­berty in a time of bondage, what good use did you make of your liberty while you had it? so for riches in a time of poverty. Did not you [Page 119] use all these for Gods dishonour, for your brethrens hurt, for your own prejud­dice?

(7) Consider the patience of Saints. Their spirits were quiet under as great sufferings as yours can be. Look upon Prophets, look up­on Apostles, see their carriage. This is the Apostles direction, Iam. 5. 10. Thus were men highly honoured of God; so much is inti­mated in that expression, Who have spoken in the name of the Lord. They suffered much, and they suffered quietly. Now the argument is strong, Shall a holy Prophet, shall one who came in the name of the Lord to the world, shall they be patient under their sufferings, and will you speak? Thou who art far behind the mea­nest of the Prophets in worth, in grace, in knowledge, &c. will you be unquiet? Shall such as Esay, Ieremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other great Prophets be so silent, and will you rage? Nay, we may not onely take the Pro­phets for an example of patience, but the Apostles too. They suffered not onely silently, but joyfully.

8. Consider, How much better it is with you, then with others. Are there many above you? well, but there are more below you, &c. If thou wert the lowest of all the Sons of men, it were thy duty to be quiet; but there are 1000. above thee in grace, in service, in obedience, who are yet very far below thee in misery in sufferings. Art thou weak? others there are, that lye bed-rid, art thou in fear of a prison? There are better [Page 120] then thou in close bondage? Dost thou drink thy teares? others there are, who drink blood. Art thou in the fire of persecution? There are many in the fire of Hell. 'Tis our fault, we are alwayes looking to them, who are above us, such and such, they have friends, they have li­berty, they are in high places, they have not my crosses, they feel non of my pains, &c. well, but are there none in the World, thinkest thou, that esteem thy condition as happy in respect of theirs? 'Tis very good counsel, the Apostle gives us, That we would make our selves equal with them of low degree, vid. Rom. 12. 16. If we would do thus in this matter, it would (through God) go very far to the quiet­ting of us.

There is much difference between the com­paring of our spiritual and our outward condi­tion with others. In comparing our spiritual condition, we should measure with the high­est, that we may be excited to growth; but in comparing of our outward condition, we should measure with the lowest, that we may be preserved from repining.

9. Frequent Prayer. He that is seldom in prayer, will be frequent in repining; and he who is much in prayer, will be very little in murmuring. Prayer will allay heates of spirit. Prayer will expel the venom of impatience. Davids Prayer to God, made his soul so silent under his sufferings, vid. Psal. 39. 9, 10.

In Prayer, the soul hath a view of God, which doth much quiet.

[Page 121] In Prayer, the soul hath an interview of it self, and a view of sin.

Prayer, layes the soul low in it self.

Prayer, kindles faith, &c. which sees an is­sue out of trouble, &c.

10. Be much in the Duty of Thanksgiving. It is the Duty of a Christian, to give thanks in e­very condition, 1 Thes. 5. 18. Now he that a­bounds in Thanksgiving, will be preserved from impatience. Impatience will take us off from hearty giving of thanks; and giving of thanks will drive away murmuring. Doth a Fountain send forth sweet waters, and bitter at one place? out of the same mouth proceedeth there blessings and cursings? Jam. 3. 10, 11. He that sees cause why he should give thanks, will see no reason why he should murmur; and he that can finde in his heart to murmur, will hardly ever blesse God so heartily as he should: where there is much of due blessing of God, there will be little, or none at all, of murmuring; which indeed is no better then cursing and blasphe­ming.

11. Consider the Divine Calling. Christians are under no troubles or sufferings; but if they can see that they are called thereunto by the Lord, the very Call of God may quiet their hearts. This Direction the Apostle giveth as a Help to patience, 1 Pet. 2. 21.

Obj. But when doth God call a man to suffer?

[Page 221] Sol. When a man is in this Dilemma, that either he must suffer, or sin, then doth God call him. Vid. Job 36. 21.

12. Consider, That if you do not suffer pa­tiently, you will lose all the benefit of your suffer­ings. No suffering is acceptable with God, but the patient suffering. Vid. 1 Pet. 2. 20. No Christian would undergo sufferings, and yet lose the benefit and acceptance of them.

13. Meditate much upon the day of Death, and especially, of the Day of Judgement. This the Scripture makes a very great Argument to quiet our hearts: especially, in such sufferings as are for the Cause of God. Vid. Heb. 10. 36, 37. Vid. Jam. 5. 7, 8.

14. Take heed of anger and passion. Passion will set the tongue on fire. Vid. Eccles. 7, 8. The help to patience, is Vers. 9. Be not hasty in thy spi­rit to be angry.

Anger is the bane of patience; and such pas­sionate ones, are so far from this silent frame of heart, that they are clamorous; for anger and clamor are joyned together, Eph. 4. 31.

Object. 1. But my afflictions are not single, but many: if it were but one affliction, &c. wave after wave.

Sol. 1. They are not so many as God could have layd.

2. They are not so many as thy sins.

3. They are not so many as the sufferings of Christ were, &c.

[Page 123] 4. If they be many, do not make them more by impatience. This is the way to increase them.

2d Object. But I suffer from my friends, from whom I have well deserved.

Sol. So did Jesus Christ. These are the wounds I received in the house of my friends.

3d Object. I know not how long they shall last, Ergo. I cannot see to the further end of them, &c.

Sol. 1. Let this the rather make thee silent. Im­patience doth but lengthen out your suffer­ings. Every impatient Word or Act, adds one link more to the Chain.

2. Thy sufferings do not last so long as thy Glory: that shall be eternal, 2 Cor. 4. ult.

3. Thy sufferings shall last no longer, then shall be for thy good.

4th Object. But my affliction is in such a thing, which is so dear and precious, &c. Any thing else I could have endured but this, &c.

Sol. 1. If it were not in something very dear, it would not amount to an affliction.

2. Thy sins have been of the highest Nature, Colour, the deepest Dye. Thy iniquity hath reached to the heart.

[Page 124] 3. All that God requires of us, is to suffer what he inflicts. We are not to choose our Crosse, but to take up our Crosse. That which God layes before us, That is our crosse, and we must bear it.

Mary Wolnoth, February the 11th, 1648. [...].

Heb. 3. 2.‘Who was faithfull to him that appointed him.’

[...].

THis Epistle was written to the scat­tred Hebrews who through grace had beleeved in the Lord, and were now scattered by reason of persecution, so the inscription shewes, [...]. For the Author of it, interpreters are of seve­rall judgments, some referring it to Luke, o­thers to Barnabas, others to Clement, others to some other of the Apostles. The most gene­rall and probable opinion, is, that it was writ­ten by Paul, and that he suppresseth his name on purpose, lest it should hinder the successe of his writing. The Name of Paul was odious to [Page 126] the Jewes who were not converted, they look­ed upon him as an Apostate from their Religi­on; and he was also much suspected by some of the weaker beleeving Jewes who were yet too much addicted to the ob [...]ervation of the ce­remoniall law, therefore he doth de industriâ conceale his Name. Amongst other reasons which doe probably evince Paul, to be the Au­thor of this Epistle, these two are cogent. (1) The conclusion of this is agreeable to the conclusion of his other writings, Cap. 13. 25. This salutation is Paul's marke to all his Epi­stles, 2 Thes. 2. 17. vid. Davenant. Col. 4. 18.

(2) And that which is most strong is the Authority of the Apostle Peter, who writing his second Epistle to these very Hebrews, makes mention of an Epistle written to them by Paul which was then received by the Church as Ca­nonicall 2 Pet. 3. 15. 16. Scripture. This Epistle was now in their hands, and by them acknowledged to be Pauls. Now we do not find any Epistle writ­ten by the Apostle Paul, to them besides this. And it is not likely that through negligence they would lose such a rich Jewell recom­mended to their study by two such Apostles; or that they should lose that of Paul, and reserve and keep this of Peter's which makes mention of that,

The matter of this Epistle is threefold.

1. He labours to take off these beleeving Hebrewes from the observation of the Leviti­call ceremonies, whereunto they were too [Page 127] much inclined, and to perswade with them to entertaine the Gospell in the simplicity there­of. This he endeavours to do, by setting be­fore their eyes the excellency of Jesus Christ in his person, and in his Propheticall and Priestly office. This he doth from the beginning of the Epistle to the 23. v. of Chapter 10.

2. To encourage them to stand fast in the profession of the Christian Religion. That al­beit persecution should arise for the Truth, yet they should not prove Apostates and Renega­do's, but as that Cloud of witnesses which he sets before them had done, so they should be constant to the death. This is from cap. 10. 23. v. to the end of the twelfth Chap­ter.

3. To exhort them to the practise of many necessary Christian Duties, Chapter 13. v. 1. ad finem.

In this third Chapter he exhorts them that from all that discovery he had made of Christ's Person and propheticall office in the two former Chapters, they would be perswaded to embrace him, and to take heed that they did not fall through unbeliefe and hardnesse of heart, from the profession of the faith they had received, ver. 1. Wherefore, &c. He useth many arguments in this Chapter, amongst others this is one in the Text, drawen from the fidelity of Christ; which that he may ensorce the better, he makes a deliberate comparison of Christ and Moses. They had high opinions of Moses's fidelity in appointing the Legall services; but [Page 128] for Christ they had not such high thoughts of him as it was meet they should have had; The Apostle therefore compares Christ and Moses together, and p [...]oves, that as Moses was faith­full in the appointment of the Typicall wor­ship under the law, so Christ was faithfull in the abolishing of that, and appointing Evan­gelicall worship in the place of it; yea he tells them there was great difference between Moses and Christ. Moses was faithfull as a Servant, Christ as a Son over his own house, ver. 3. 5, 6. Thus you have the Text.

Tis a glorious commendation of Jesus Christ and his Apostleship.

In which we have two things.

1. The thing commended, He was faith­full.

2. The specification of the person to whom this fidelity was shewed, [...], namely to the Father, for he made him both Priest and Prophet to his Church. Or if you please, you may observe rather.

(1) Christs call to his Apostleship, he was constituted, made by his Father, [...].

(2) His carefull execution of that work to which he was called. [...].

Two things are necessary (as Reverend Cal­vin upon this Text) ad comparandam doctrinae authoritatem.

A Divine Call from God.

A faithfull Execution of the trust com­mitted.

[Page 129] Both these meet in Christ. Therefore is he to be observed. This is the Apostles Argu­ment in this place.

Faithfull is taken:

1. For one who beleeveth the Gospell of Christ, Eph. 1. 11.

2. For one who keeps his promises, 1 Joh. 1. 9.

3. For one who performes a trust faithfully, Col. 4. 9. Rev. 2. 10. Thus its taken here.

To him that made him. viz: To God who ordained and consecrated him Priest.

Here are two Doctrines.

1. Doct. That Jesus Christ was appointed and made by the Father, the Apostle and High Priest of the Churches profession. Here is a [...] in the Text. He had a Divine call to the executi­on of all those offices which he susteined as our mediator. He did not run before he was sent, he did not act without a due Commission and Warrant. He was lawfully conssituted by him who had power to undertake that great charge which he hath over the Church.

2. Things. 1. That Christ is made. 2. How he is made.

(1) That he is appointed.

He hath both mission and commission for this great service. (1) This is that which the Scripture holds out clearly in generall. He is made to us of God, saith the Apostle, Wisedome, Righteousnesse, Sanctification and Redempti­on [Page 130] 1 Cor. 1. 30. there is his constitution, God hath given him to be the head of all things to his Church, Eph. 1. 22. He did not undue­ly usurpe this jurisdiction and dominion, and headship over the Church. God gave it him. All power is given unto me, both in Heaven, and in Earth, Matth. 28. 18. God hath put all judgment into the hand of his Son, Joh. 5. 22. and God hath given him Authority to exe­cute judgement, because he is the Son of God, ver 27. when the fulnes of time was come, God sent his Son made of a woman, Gal. 4. 4. And our Saviour in the Gospell doth many times make mention of his Fathers sending, My Doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me, Joh. 7. 16. The Father that sent me, beareth witnesse of me, Joh. 8. 18. As my Father hath sent me, so send I you, Joh. 20. 21. We read in Scripture of his anointing, Esa. 61. 1, 2. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospell to the meek, &c. Therefore he is called the Servant of the Lord and his elect, Esa. 42. 1.

(2) This we shall find asserted of every parti­cular branch of his office.

(1) For his Priestly office. He was made a Priest by an immediate call and ordination from God, vid. Psal. 110. 4. and Heb. 5. 4, 5, 6. The scope of the Apostle in that Chapter is to set out the excellency of Christs Priesthood, by comparing it with the Leviticall: his Priest­hood had a concurrence of all things necessary to the Leviticall, and it had many excellen­cies [Page 131] about that: amongst other things required in the Priesthood of Aaron, this was one, there must be a Divine regualr Call. This was in the Priesthood of Christ. He was called of God an high Priest after the order of Melchise­dech.

(2) For his Kingly office. Hee is lawfully created. The Scepter is given into his hand, the Crown is put upon his head, by God him­selfe. God hath his Throne, and God hath set him in his Throne. I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion, Psal. 2. 6, 7. I will declare the Decree, &c. The Government is put upon his Shoulders, vid. Esa. 22. 20, 21, 22, 23. Eliakim was a figure of the Kingdome of Christ, and if you look into Dan. 7. 13. 14. after that abo­lishing of the four Monarchies we have the e­stablishment of Christs Monarchy, and we see the Ancient of dayes gave his dominion, &c. Christ did not thrust himself into the Throne as many do, though they leape over the heads of the right heyres; no he stayed till Au­thority was given him, vid. Heb. 1. 8. 9. Psal. 110. 2.

(3) For his Propheticall office. He hath his thority from God for this also. Moses preach­ed this long agoe, Deut. 18. 18. he did not raise himself, God raised him to this great office. He was anointed of God to preach glad tidings, Esa. 61. 1.

In a word, whatsoever work belongs to Christ as mediator, tis put into his hands by a power Divine. The Father loveth the Son and hath [Page 132] given all things into his hand, Joh. 3. 35. He hath ordained him to be Judge of quick and dead, Acts 10. 42.

(2) How hee is made and appointed. Here are three things.

(1) There is a Divine Decree, by which Je­sus Christ is from all eternity appointed for this service, Psal. 2. 7. Yea there is the oath of God, Psal. 110. 4. vid. Heb. 6, 20. 22.

(2) By Covenant, There is a firme Covenant, and stipulation passed between God and Christ, vid. Esa. 53. 10. Christ was to undertake an office of service and obedience for the good of men. To take mans nature, to offer himself up a Sacrifice, &c. and for this, God was to prolong his dayes, to give him a seed, the utter­most part of the earth for his inheritance, &c. to di­vide him a spoil with the great, &c. to set a glo­ry for him, Heb. 12. 2. vid. Heb. 10. 9. 10.

(4) There is a very solemn and publike Pro­mulgation of the eternall Decree by God him­self, first to Adam, Gen. 3. 15. Then at the Baptisme of Christ; by vertue of which Christ is declared to be appointed for this work, We read of it, Math. 3. 17. and repeated againe at his transfiguration, Math. 17. 5. & 1 Pet. 1. 17. And afterwards by his Apostles who were com­manded to testifie, that he was ordained of God, &c.

(3) By Divine unction, which was the work of the holy Ghost, Heb. 1. 9. The holy Ghost formed him in the womb, anointed his humane nature, &c.

[Page 133]1. Use.

Information. (1) That the work of our sal­vation, is a work which God doth exceedingly approve and delight in, as well as Jesus Christ. Tis the Father's work, as well as the work of Christ, My Meate, saith Christ, is to do the work of him that sent me, Joh. 4. 34. He that ap­points another for a work, is as well the Au­thor of it, as he that doth the work appointed. Tis called the pleasure of the Lord, Esa. 53. 10. though it be put into the hands of Christ. We only look at Jesus Christ in the work of our sal­vation, &c. seldome or but little at the Father, &c. we are to look at the Father's appoint­ment, as well as at the Son's accomplish­ment.

(2) That those who reject Jesus Christ, they reject God himself, by whose Authority and power Christ is made Lord, King, Priest, Sa­viour. Our Saviour oftentimes in the Gospell hints this, My doctrine is not mine but his that sent me, and he that rejecteth me, rejecteth him that sent me, &c. Tis a great aggravation of the rejecting of Christ because he is Authoriz'd by a Commission from the Father, vid. Exod. 23. 21.

(3) That the Salvation of the Church of God by Iesus Christ is bottom'd and builded upon a sure and stable foundation. Its builded upon Christ, and Christ is appointed to that work by the supreme Authority of all. All those who have [Page 134] layed hold on Christ, are fled to a sure refuge and Sanctuary. He is verily that Messiah, in whom all the Patriarchs and Prophets be­leeved, vid. Heb. 6. 18. Gods call is mans com­fort.

(4) That all the Lawes, Ordinances, and Ad­ministrations appointed by Iesus Christ, are of Di­vine Authority. Baptisme, Ministry, Govern­ment, Censures, and every thing he hath ap­pointed in the Church, are of God. Thus are all according to the instructions given him by God.

All power is given to me in Heaven and Earth. Goe ye therefore, &c. Matth. 28. 18.

(5) That God will most certainly uphold main­taine and defend all the dominion, power, admini­strations of Iesus Christ, against all who oppose them or incroach upon them. All his Kingly dignities, all his Priestly and Propheticall dig­nities. Ministry, Ordinances, Government, &c. God who hath called him to the work, will uphold him, and all he doth by vertue of his offices. Though Satan and men storme, &c.

Behold my servant whom I uphold, Esa. 42. 1. he doth all by Gods appointment, ergo, God will maintaine what he doth, vid. Psal. 110. 1, 2. There is Gods appointment, see what fol­lowes, ver. 5, 6. God will stand by him, vid. Esa. 45. 13. he will maintaine Christs right in thy soul.

[Page 135] 2 Use. What can those say for themselves who intrude themselves into offices in the Church with­out any due and regular appointment. Those who are not afraid to do ministeriall acts, Preach, baptize, &c. and yet were never made by God, or by them, whom he hath Authorized for that purpose.

There is a double call to the work of the mini­stry. Neither of man; nor by man. (1) Immediate, such as were the calls of the Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, &c. of this Paul speaks, 1 Tim. 1. 2. and Gal. 1. 1. This call was accompanied in them who had it with extraordinary gifts, &c. This is not to be pretended to, by any now, when the Church is setled, and the Scripture compleat.

2. Mediate, by men whom Jesus Christ hath put apart, and Authorized for that work Of God by man. and employment, viz. Those who are Pastors and Teachers in the Church, who are by pray­er, fasting, imposition of hands, to set apart those who are fit and called, to these employ­ments.

Now what an act of boldnesse and usurpati­on is it in any to undertake such a work as this of their own accord, though they have gifts, &c. when Jesus Christ would not without Gods appointment? I would have such to consider,

1. What became of Uzziah who usurped the Priests office, vid. 2 Chr. 26. 18. 19. 20.

2. What God pronounceth against those Prophets who run without being sent, Ier. 14. 14, [Page 136] 15. The people are threatned for hearing them, vid. Ioh. 10. 5. 8.

Tis an act of high Treason against Jesus Christ, his Crown and dignity, to take such im­ployments, uncalled of him. Tis as if a man should make himself an Ambassador, and goe to some forraine Prince, without letters of credence from rhe King.

3. Use. Exhortation. (1) Let us learne from A generall rule and direction, not to act without a lawfull call hence, not to take any office or publick work upon us, in Church or State, without lawfull appointment, by those who have lawfull Au­thority, no not in civill things, 1 Cor. 7. 20. 1. Tis sinfull. 2. Tis dangerous.

(2) Tis a dangerous thing to take any work without a due appointment. What dost you heare Elijah? Christ would not be a judge, Man who made me a Judge?

(1) Such can expect no successe or comfort Pro. 3. 6. Ps. 91. 11. Promise is made to Saints in their own wayes. in what they undertake. They cannot goe to God to beg a blessing upon their labours. They are none of his Servants. Who hath required this at your hands? Nay they may expect the curse of God, &c. for their usurpation. They confound Callings.

(2) If the work they have in hand do mis­carry, they have nothing to support their spi­rits in such a time. Tis a mans call which en­courageth him in case of disappointments he meets with, in his work, &c. Jacobs call was his comfort, when he was way-laid by his Bro­ther, vid. Gen. 32. 9. 10. 11.

[Page 137] If they suffer, they will suffer as busie bo­dies in other mens matters. Gods-call armes men against any inconveniences: we must row in a storme if God calls. Abraham Heb. 11. 16.

Qui habet certum Dei verbum in quacunque vocatione, credat tantum & audeat, & dabit de­us hand dubie secundos successus, Luther.

(1) Nor is it enough that the work in it self be lawfull.

Uzzah's work was lawfull enough, To keep the Arke from falling, 2 Sam. 6. 6.

(2) Nor will it serve that they have a good intention.

Uzzah had a good intention. Saul had a good intention in sacrificing, vid. 1. Sam. 13. 7. 8. &c. And so in sparing the Amalekites cat­tle. 1 Sam. 15. 21.

Its a maxim, Malum factum excusatur Stock on Mal. cap. 1. p. 84. per bonam intentionem, opposed by all our Di­vines.

(3) Nor is it enough that you have abilities to discharge the work of the place.

Ʋzzah had abilities enough for what he did.

As the danger is great, so is the sin great, to act without a call; for, tis a despising of Gods power, who hath right to set men where he will. Its a casting off of Divine Domini­on.

There lies a Quo warranto? against all such persons, vid. Minsheus dictionary, p. 598.

[Page 138] (2) Tis a despising of Gods wisdome, as though he knew not who were fittest for every employment.

Christ would not act in this kind, Man who made me a Judge, Luc. 12? Let Christs call be a generall rule for you, not to step out of your place to any work, without a warrantable com­mission. He that breaks this hedge, a Serpent will bite him, Eccles. 10. 8.

(2) Let us thankfully acknowledge this ap­pointment of Christ to this work. Blesse God for this designation of Christ. All the good you have or expect by Christ, is made over to you, by vertue of the Fathers appointment: he is made unto us of God, wisdome, &c. vid. Ro. 7. 25. he thanks God as well as Christ. so vid. Phil. 2. 11. he mentions the glory of God. When we reade of the Priviledges purchased by our high-Priest, as we are to be thankfull to Christ, so let us not forget, that we are as much engaged to God for his designation and ap­pointment. He hath made us accepted through the beloved, Eph. 1. 6. God hath done it. And God, saith the Apostle, was in Christ reconciling, &c. God did it, 2 Cor. 5. 18.

4. Ʋse. Consolation. (1) It gives us com­fort that Christ is no impostor, deceiver, &c. but he of whom the Prophets foretold. Tutò acquiescant in eo fideles, Calvin. in Textum.

(2) It gives us a ground of great comfort and assurance that God will readily accept of all that which Christ hath done for us; and that he [Page 139] will readily and freely put us into possession of all that which Christ hath purchased for us, and which he hath promised in Christ, Since he was made our high Priest, by Gods appoint­ment and ordination, nothing surely of all the good purchased shall be kept back. This is the first doctrine from Christs Call.

2. We come to the Execution of this trust. [...].

Doct. Christ did very faithfully discharge all that trust which was reposed in him by God, as the Apostle and high Priest of our profession. As he was free in undertaking, so he was very faithfull in accomplishing, Heb. 2. 17. Rev. 1. 5. Esa. 11. 5. By his Pro­phets of old 1 Pet. 1. 10. 11. Heb. 3. 7. 1 Pet. 3. 19 By himselfe and his A­postles, af­terwards.

Fidelity appeares in all his Offices.

(1) He was faithfull in his Propheticall office.

(1) He did exactly and plainly reveale and make known to the Church, the whole Coun­sell & will of God. He kept nothing from them which was necessary for them, and which was given him in Commission to unfold for their benefit, vid. Ioh. 15. 15.

Though he was flattered by some, and threat­ned by others (as the Gospell witnesseth) ma­ny times in danger of his life, and at last actu­ally died for it; yet he would not, from a thred to a shooe latchet hide any thing from the Church: For this cause was I borne, and for this cause, came I unto the world, that I should beare witness to the truth. Joh. 18. 37. When the Scribes [Page 140] and Pharisees had corrupted the doctrine of the Law, by their false glosses. Our Saviour, Math. Cap. 5, 6, 7. in his Sermon upon the Mount, vindicates the law from those false glosses, and expounds it in the spirituality thereof. Nothing concerning doctrine, worship, government, discipline, necessary and fundamentall, but Je­sus Christ hath faithfully discovered.

(2) Inlightning the minds of his elect in­wardly, by his spirit, Iohn. 6. 45. Act. 16. 14.

(3) As he revealed the Truth, so did he con­fute all false doctrines and opinions, which were opposite to Truth. This was a part of his propheticall off [...]ce. Not onely to lay down Truth positively, but to oppose all Hetero­dox opinions. How many times shall you heare him publikely, confuting the false Te­nets of the Scribes and Pharisees, of the Sadu­ces, Herodians, &c. vid. Math. 22. 29. vid. ver. 23. ad. 34. and other Sects in those times.

(4) He appointed a standing ministery, qua­lified with Authority, and furnished with gifts, graces, and abilities to teach publickly in his Church. Prophets, Priests and Scribes under the old Testament, vid. 1 Pet. 1. 11. 12. and 1 Pet. 3. 18. 19.

By Apostles, Evangelists, Pastors and Tea­chers under the Gospell, Math. 28. 18. 19. Eph. 4. 8. 11, 12, 13. 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19, 20.

[Page 141] This belonged to the Propheticall office of Christ.

2. He was faithfull in all the parts of his King­ly office, viz.

1. He gave lawes, according to which his people ought to live and demeane themselves, both towards God and men. He is the Churches Law-giver, Esa. 33. 22. yea he brings them into obedience to these Lawes, by writing them in their hearts; Ezech. 36. 27.

(2) To gather together his elect, which are his subjects out of the world into one body or Church. This Christ hath done in part, and doth daily by his word and spirit, vid. Ioh. 12. 32. Ioh. 11. 52. Math. 28. 19.

3. To subdue and vanquish all the enimies of his Church. Thus Christ hath done in his own person, Col. 2. 14. Ioh. 12. 31. he hath over­come sin, Satan, the world, and he doth con­tinually repress them by his word and spirit, 2 Cor. 10. 4, 5. and will perfectly do it at last, 1 Cor. 15. 25, 26.

4. To communicate and convey unto his sub­jects all those good things which are necessary for them, for this or another life. This Christ hath done.

5. To appoint and establish Governours, and a setled Government in his Church, whereby it might be rightly ordered, according to his mind. This Christ hath done, vid. Acts. 1. 3. and Math. 28. 19. 20. vid. 1 Cor. 12. 28. 29. vid. Esa. 9. 6. 7.

[Page 142] 3. He was faithfull in his Priestly office.

There were two parts of this office.

Satisfaction.

Intercession.

(1) Satisfaction is that whereby Jesus Christ having taken our nature upon him, did in that Nature make full satisfaction to divine justice for the sins of man, paid all our debts, and so set us free from the curse.

This was done two wayes.

By his perfect obedience,

By his sufferings for our guilt.

Now Jesus Christ did faithfully do both these. 1. He did by his righteousnesse and o­bedience, perfectly fullfill the Law.

He did fulfill all Righteousnesse, Rom. 5. 19.

2. He did faithfully suffer, and undergoe all that punishment which was due to our sins. The Apostle speaks of both these parts of his satisfaction, Phil. 2. 5, 6, 7, 8. and Esa. 53. 5, 6.

(2) Intercession, is that part of Christs Priestly office, whereby he appeares before the Father, desiring, that for the perpetuall vertue and merit of his sacrifice, all his members may find acceptance with God, and may en­joy the benefit of his obedience and suf­ferings.

Now this Christ faithfully began on earth, Heb. 7. 5. Ioh. 17. per totum. And is faithfully continued still in heaven, Heb. 7. 25. and Heb. 9. 24.

[Page 143] In the opening of this doctrine, I shall shew you,

1. That Christ was faithfull.

2. Why he was so.

(1) That Christ was faithfull in per­forming what service was appointed him, will ap­peare.

(1) By the many publicke Testimonies which God gave to him, when he was on earth. At his Baptisme, at his Transfiguration. This is my wellbeloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Math. 3. 17. and Math. 17. 5. The Testimo­ny of God is according to truth. God would never thus have borne witnesse to Christ, if there had been in him the least unfaithfullness. He could not have been satisfied and well-pleased with him, if there had been the least failure: yea before his incarnation, God beares him witnesse, vid. Esa. 42. 1. 2. 3. 4.

(2) By the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God in glory. He should never have had either Crowne or Throne from God, if he had not faithfully discharged every thing which he undertook: for his glorification was upon that condition, that he should faithfully discharge every part and parcell of what he undertook, vid, Esa. 53. 12. The Apostle saith, he was taken from prison, Esa. 53. 8. the prison of the grave. Jesus Christ could never have risen out of the grave, the prison-doores would never have opened, the Jaylor, Death, would never have let his Prisoner out, if he had not faith­fully [Page 144] performed all, The Heavens would ne­ver have opened to him, or given him any en­tertainment, had he been in the least unfaith­full. Therefore our Saviour demands his glo­ry from God, upon the faithfull discharge of his duty, as that which by compact and cove­nant was due to him, vid, Ioh. 17, 5. When you read that Scripture, 1 Tim. 3. 16. conclude that Paul was faithfull.

(3) By all those commands which are given by God to all sinners to beleeve in Christ, And by all those promises which God himself hath made of acceptance of all those who receive Jesus Christ upon the Termes of the Gospell. Many commands are given by God. This is my be­loved Son, heare him. This is the will of God, that ye should beleeve in him, whom he hath sent. And for promises of acceptance of us in Christ, how doth the Scripture a­bound? vid. Ioh. 3. 16. Yea we know that all the Patriarchs before Christs incarnation, they were accepted and saved by vertue of Christs satisfaction to be made. God accepted of Christs intention. There would have been no such thing as reconciliation between God and man, or salvation, if Christ had not been faithfull. No promises of pardon, &c. or A­doption, &c. No giving of the Spirit, &c. if Christ had been unfaithfull.

1. Consider the Father who imposed the trust.

2. Why Christ was faithfull.

[Page 145] Consider 1. The person trusting. 2. The trusted. 3. The trustee.

(1) For the honouring of his Father who had intrusted him. The work which he had to ac­complish, was a work which would bring great glory unto God. It was a work with which God was marvellously delighted. 'Tis called the pleasure of the Lord, Esa. 53. 10. Therefore out of that respect which he had to Gods ho­nour, he would be faithful. God would have been disappointed of his end, if Christ had not been faithful. He would promote his Fathers joy. This is in the Text, [...].

(2) For the honouring of himself. Its the ho­nour 2. The Trustee. of an Embassador, to be faithful in the discharging of his trust: unfaithfulness is one of the greatest stains and blots which can be fastned upon a person: faithfulness is a Crown of glory, Prov. 13. 17. The work was his own, as well as his Fathers. This is in the Text, Heb. 3. 6. John 10, 12, 13, 14.

(3) From that love he bare to those, for whom 3. Those for whom he was trusted. he was intrusted and employed. The work which was put into the hands of Christ, was a work which exceedingly pleased him. The saving of souls, the reconciling of men to God, the Re­demp. of his Elect, from everlasting destructi­on, &c. The Scripture speaks very clearly of the affection of Christ, to the work he undertook. I have a Bapt. to be baptized with, and how am I straitned, &c. Luk. 12. 50. [...]; he was (as it were) in prison, till the work was done, he was in pain till he was delivered, vid. [Page 146] Esa. 53. 11. That travel of his soul, pleased him, Ergo.

1. Use. Confutation and Reproof, to all those Doctrine and opinions which deny faithfulness Christ, and overthrow it.

(1) The Papists, by establishing their unwrit­ten Traditions, and humane Inventions, they do de­rogate from the faithfulness of Christ in his pro­phetical Office. Jesus Christ was not faithful in revealing the will of God, necessary to mans salvation, if there be need of their unwritten Traditions; if Christ was a faithful Prophet, then they are unfaithful Impostors, to obtrude their unwarrantable Traditions upon men, in­stead of Scripture, vid. Rev. 22. 18, 19.

2. That opinion of the Enthusiasts, who not contented with the written word, depend upon im­mediate Revelations from Heaven, above the written word. These no lesse then the Papists, by their Traditions, do enervate and over­throw the fidelity of Christ, in his prophetical Office.

They think the teachings of Christ are not sufficient. These are no better then the younger brethren of Papists.

3. The Papists in their daily offering up of sacrifice for the quick and the dead, they over­throw his faithfulness in his Priestly Office, vid. Heb. 10. 14.

4. The Papists by joyning other Mediators with Christ, thy overthrow the fidelity and suffi­ciency of Christ in his Priestly Office of Intercessi­on. [Page 147] If Christ was faithful and sufficient, we need no other Intercessor.

5. They who are of opinion, that there is no set­led Government in the Church, &c. They deny the fidelity of Christ in his Kingly Office. His work as a King, was to appoint Lawes, &c.

He had not been so faithful as Moses was else; for Moses gave Lawes, for the governing of the Jewish Church. According to all that which God shewed Moses in the Mount, so did he.

2d Use. Consolation to the Servants of God, and that 1. in general, 2. in particular.

(1) In general, it layes down this comfort, That all the work of your Salvation and Redemption which Christ undertook, is fully and really ac­complished. Consummatum est. Against all de­spaires, doubtings, against all their own un­faithfulness, & distrust. You may live upon the joy and comfort of this Truth in all your feares. When Conscience accuseth, when Satan tempts you to despair, you may cling to this Doctrine, as a sure refuge. And the rather, be­cause thy salvation is builded and bottomed upon the fidelity of Christ, not upon thy faithfulness, but upon Christs. Now as God laid help upon one that was mighty to save. So he laid help upon one, who was faithful in sa­ving.

Thy Salvation is most certain.

(2) That God will give thee all thy good which Christ hath purchased. See the Covenant, Ezech. 36. 25, 26, 27.

[Page 148] 2. Particularly, Here ariseth comfort from every Office of Christ, to all his members.

1. From his Prophetical Office, these four comforts.

(1) That Jesus Christ will open thy heart to understand, and believe, and apply those truths which are held out, in, and by the Ministry of the Word. Thou hast a blind mind, darkness clouds thy understanding, &c. Thou wantest memory, &c. well, Christ hath undertaken this, as thy Prophet, to teach thy heart, &c. to annoint thy eyes, He is able to remove all the blind­ness, rudeness, intractableness, indocibleness of thy soul, &c. Vid. Esa. 54. 13. He can teach irresistibly, infallibly.

(2) That Jesus Christ will teach thee to put a difference between truth and error. We live in er­roneous times, &c. many false lights, &c. are risen up, many seducers gone out, &c. well, Christ is a faithful Prophet. And by vertue of that Office, he hath undertaken to lead his Chil­dren into all truth, John 16. 13. Ye have an unction, &c. 1 John 2. 20. Esa. 30. 21. To de­ceive (if it were possible) the very Elect, that is impossible, Mark 13. 22. For a time, they may go astray; but Christ their Prophet, will reduce them.

They went out from us, because they were not of us, &c. 1 John 2. 19.

(3) Jesus Christ will at last, root out of his Church error, Heresies, and false Doctrines, &c. This belongs to his Prophetical Office. He hath in all Ages, done so. He overthrew Arri­anisme, [Page 149] &c. All those old errors which over-spread the face of the Church, in the beginning of the Gospel, they are all routed and scatter­ed. Vid. Rev. 12. 15, 16. They are not the Ana­baptists in Germany. They are not. &c. We may live in hopes, now Toleration is endeavoured.

(4) That Jesus Christ will endue his Ministers with gifts of teaching, governing; and that he will preserve & continue them in his Church, notwithstanding all the malice of men, and Devils against them, vid. Rev. 2. 1. 2.

The Devil hath laboured in all Ages, to rout the Ministry. Chariots and Horsemen, 2 Reg. 13. 14. Antesignani: all shoot at the Colours. I will smite the Shepheard, and the Sheep shall be scattered.

Antichrist could never yet put out these Lamps, Stars, vid. Jer. 33. 18, 19, 20. A Gospel-promise.

2. For his Kingly Office, comfort ariseth, in these five particulars.

(1) That Jesus Christ will settle the Govern­ment of his Church, He will not suffer the Lawes he hath made, the hedge he hath set up, to be alwayes demolished, vid. Esa. 54. 11, 12, 13, 14. A Gospel-promise. He will fit men with gifts, and hearts to be Rulers in his Church. Though some should fall off, after they have put their hands to the Plough. Luk. 9. 62.

(2) That he will vanquish all the enemies of thy soul. Corruptions, passions, &c. These invisi­ble [Page 158] enemies, vid. 2. Cor. 10. 4, 5. vid. 1 John 3. 8.

(3) That He will destroy all the visible enemies of his Church. Antichrist, &c. the last great enemy, vid. Psal. 2. 9. Psal. 110. 5. Rev. 8. init. vid. Zech. 1. 19. 21. vid. Mich. 4. per totum, espe­cially vers. 9. 13. Gospel-promise.

(4) That He will communicate, and convey into thee, those gifts, graces, which are necessary for thee, for all thy Relations. Of his fulness we have all received, Iohn 1. 16. Col. 1. 19. Jesus Christ is a Feoffee, or Guardian, intrusted with thy Patrimony of grace. He hath no need of thy grace, he hath enough of his own, he will not pocket up any of that which belongs to thee.

(5) That he will effectually gather all his sheep together, vid. John 10. 16.

(3) For his Priestly-Office, much com­fort ariseth.

(1) In reference to the satisfactory part, thy comfort is,

(1) That Jesus Christ hath left nothing upon the score, which God can exact from thee. All that thou didst owe to Divine Justice, is faith­fully discharged. The Law, Satan, Conscience, can lay nothing to thy charge, vid. Rom. 8. 33, 34. Heb. 10. 14. vid. Col. 2. 14.

(2) That thy person is accepted through him.

(2) In reference to the Intercessory part of it, thy comfort is,

(1) That he will faithfully present thy Prayers [Page 151] and procure acceptance with God for them, through Rev. 8. 34. the sweetness of his incense, though they be rough, harsh, smoky in themselves.

(2) That He will appear, and suffer no plea to fasten against thee in Heaven. Satan is conti­nually preferring Inditements and Accusations a­gainst thee. He is the accuser of the Brethren, Rev. 12. 10.

We may see by his suggestions against Iob, Cap. 1. 10. Cap. 2. 4.

As fast as he brings Accusations in, so fast doth thy Advocate cast them out, vid. Zech. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4. When Satan shewes to God, the filthy Garments of thy pollution, then doth Christ shew the glorious Garments of his righteous­ness, and so non-suites Satan presently, and casts out the Bill.

And this thou mayst the rather be confident of, because he is alwayes present in the Court. Nothing can be entered or done, without his knowledge.

He lives for this very work, Heb. 7. 25.

He is yet in the habit of the High Priest, vid. Rev. 1. 13. He hath his Robe on him, and his curious Girdle, even now in Heaven. Steephen sees him in his mediatory posture, standing at the right hand of God, Acts 7. 56.

3d Use. Exhortation. 1. That you would be­lievingly and fiducially trust Iesus Christ with all your concernments. He is able, and besides, he is faithful. Cast all your cares upon him, and that without wavering, vid. 1 Pet. 5. 7. venture all upon him. It was spoken to the Church in [Page 152] scattered times. So Psal. 55. 22. There are ma­ny burdens.

  • 1. A burden of sin.
  • 2. A burden of duty.
  • 3. A burden of suffering.
  • 4. A burden of success. Throw all these upon him boldly.

(2) Make that use which the Apostle com­mands, vid. 1 John 2. 6. Let us be like to him in faithfulness, let us be faithful to God, to men, to our selves, in all matters of trust repo­sed in us. It was the honour of Jesus Christ, that Righteousness was the Girdle of his loyns, and faithfulness the Girdle of his reyns, Esa. 11. 5. Let us get this Girdle about us: Faithfulness is one of Christs Names, Rev. 19. 11. Let it be our Name also. As we are Christiani à Christo, so let us be fideles from him, who is Faithful.

(1) We are fallen into unfaithful times, Necessity of urging this Do­ctrine threefold. Davids Complaint may be ours, Psal. 12. 1. or the Prophets complaint, Mich. 7. 5. Every Brother is a supplanter. Treachery is one of the last dayes sins, 2 Tim. 3. 4. [...]. Every where, you may hear sad complaints of unfaith­fulness. Masters complaining of their Servants. People of their Ministers, Subjects of Rulers, Orphans of their Guardians, Clients of their Advocates, &c. Jer. 9. 2. therefore very neces­sary to presse this Duty of fidelity.

(2) We all of us have some matter of trust reposed in us, some way or other, though some more then other; yet all in some case or other, some one Talent or other. As we are Christi­ans, [Page 153] God hath trusted us with our souls, (a great trust) life, health, time. As we are particular­ly related, something of trust is committed to us: Ministers are trusted with peoples souls: Magistrates, they are trusted with the Lawes, &c. Governours of Families, they are trusted with Children, Servants, &c. There's no man, but he hath some Feoffeship or other. Steward­ship is committed to us all, Ergo, necessary; And the lesse the trust, the greater the treache­ry, because its easie. Your Prentices are trusted in your hands, by their Parents, for education, nurture, &c.

(3) We have all of us, the same seed of un­faithfulness, which is manifested in any, who do betray their trust; Ergo, treacherous hearts in the best.

I shall handle this, only in a general way. And herein I shall,

  • 1. Shew you wherein fidelity consists.
  • 2. Give some Motives to it.
  • 3. Give some helps or meanes.

(1) Fidelity in discharging any Trust or Of­fice, hath these three things in it, which makes it up, viz.

(1) All and every branch, and piece of work belonging to that Office; must be done, respect must be had to every part of the Commission. Equal re­spect. These things ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Universality in respect of the Object of the charge enjoyn­ed. You often read in Scripture, of keeping the Charge, Zech. 3. 7. Partiality overthrowes fi­delity. [Page 154] To instance in particulars, A Minister that is faithful, must deliver the whole Coun­cel of God, Acts 20. 27. He must teach every truth, reprove every sin, confute every error which is crept abroad in the age he lives in: if he keep back any thing of that which he is en­joyned to deliver, he is an unfaithful Minister, vid. 1 Tim. 5. 21.

A Servant who would be faithful, must per­form every piece of his Masters work; if he do one thing, & leave another undone, he proves unfaithful, vid. 1 Sam. 2. 35.

An Embassador that would be faithful, must deliver the whole Message of him who sent him, vid. 1 Sam. 3. 18.

A Magistrate that would be faithful, must discharge every piece of his Duty.

An Executor that would be faithful, must fulfill the whole will of the Testator, pay eve­ry debt, discharge every Legacy, perform every pious and charitable work.

An Agent or Factor, who would be faithful, must observe all his instructions, pay every peny enjoyned, deliver to him that employed him, every peny he receives.

An Advocate must plead every part of the Cause, urge every Argument, &c. look how far any part of our taske is omitted willingly, so far we fail of fidelity.

(2) Fidelity must have diligence in acting, and exactness in fulfilling what is undertaken. All that is done, must be done, as well as is possible, as seasonably as can be, with all the skill, strength, [Page 155] knowledge we have, or can attain to. A Minister that is faithful, must not only preach every truth, confute every error, reprove every sin, but he must do it convincingly, as powerfully, as fully as he can. A Servant must do his Ma­sters work, as carefully, perfectly as he can. To this purpose is required, a very diligent use of all meanes, helps to fit a person for his em­ployment undertaken, that he may be able to mannage it, with all exactness and dexterity. vid. Gen. 24. 33. He would not eat, till he had delivered his Embassage. So Jacob, Gen. 31. 6. and vers. 40. Let him who hath an Office, wait upon his Office, vid. Rom. 12. 7, 8. A man may be as guilty of an unfaithful­ness in a careless and negligent doing, as in a total and careless omission. As good never a whit, as never the better, vid. 1 Reg. 20. 33. and 2 Cor. 8. 23. Faithfulness is set out by diligence, we have often proved diligent in many things.

(3) All that which is done, must be done out of a sincere respect and love to him that hath in­trusted, and to those for whom we are intrusted and employed. Self-seeking and faithfulness have no agreement, they are not consistent. If an Embassador discharge all his trust, and that with all exactness, yet if he aim not at the ho­nour of him who sent him, but at his own ho­nour, he is not a faithful Embassador. If a Mi­nister be exact, in discharging his whole trust, yet if he aym at his own applause, profit, &c, and not at Gods honour, and the peoples good, he is not faithful. If Iob had kept the Crown of Rabbah to himself, and had not put it on [Page 156] Davids head, he had been an unfaithful Gene­ral: therefore he sends to David, to come and take the Crown, 2 Sam. 12. 26, 27, 28. If A­brahams Servant, when he had used all his skill to get Rebeckahs consent, had kept her for him­self, and not brought her to Isaac, he had been an unfaithful Servant. In this only, Jehu fails of faithfulness: he did every thing which God had commanded, and he used much exactness and diligence in doing it; but he acted not for Gods honour, but for his own greatness, 2 Reg. 10. 16. He pretended to act for God, but it was really for himself. If an Advocate should be diligent in pleading for his Client, and when he hath done, should keep the Inheritance re­covered to himself, he would be a treacherous man. John Baptist shewes his fidelity in this, he had been a careful Preacher, had converted many souls, but he surrenders them all to Christ, and that when the people had so good an opinion of him, as that they would have ad­hered to him, rather then to Christ, vid. Joh. 3. 26, 28, 29. And so our Saviour testifies his own Faithfulness. I seek not my own glory, but the glory of him that sent me.

If a Servant should toyle and sweat about the sowing of his Masters ground, and the ga­thering of it in, and then should sell it for himself, and keep his Master out of possession, would this be faithfullnesse? If Souldiers sent out to subdue a City, &c. Should lay a hard siege to it, &c. and after all should keep it as their own, would you call this faithfullnesse? [Page 157] would it not be Treachery, perfidious­nesse?

Thus for the requisites of faithfullnesse,

(2) By way of motive, much may be said, consider. (1) The excellency of fidelity, (1) Its a very glorious vertue in it selfe, in its own Nature. Its reckoned by our Saviour amongst the great matters of the Law of God. vid. Math. 23. 23. By faith is meant fidelity. It hath one of the highest Thrones amongst Christian ver­tues Magnalia Legis. and graces. Justice is said to be the Queen or Foundresse of all other vertues. Fi­delity in discharging trust, is no small piece of Justice and Righteousnesse. The Law of Justice is violated, when fidelity is nor ob­served: there are Righteousnesse and faithfull­nesse put together very often, as Esa. 11. 5. Hos. 2. 19. 20. A man cannot be just, unlesse he be faithfull. (2) Its excellent in the use of it. It is one of the great bonds of humane So­cietie; fidelity is as the very nerves and sinews of all societies, by which they are tied and kept together. Tis the ground of all commerce between man & man, Nation & Nation, King­dome and Kingdome. If you untie this knot, if you cut this sinew, there is nothing but broyles, contentions, fires, strifes, dissentions in the world; unfaithfullnesse doth dissolve and disjoynt all humane societies.

Mot. 2. Consider the many promises made unto faithfulnes, the great reward which are designed and set apart for it. (1) God hath promised [Page 158] to fill him with blessings, vid. Pro. 28. 20. [...] a man who carefully fulfills every kind of engagement, and is true to every trust he shall abound with blessings in this life, he is right heire to all the blessings of God. Solomon in these heavenly Proverbs, crosseth the poli­tique Proverbs used amongst men. They say Qui nescit dissimulare, nescit vivere, faithful­nesse they think, is the way to beggery. So­lomon here confutes this opinion, assuring us that fidelity is the high way to prosperity and externall happinesse.

(2) God hath promised eternall happinesse unto them who are faithfull, vid. Luc. 12. 42. Luc. 19. 17. and Rev. 2. 10. Paul upon this consideration beleeves and hopes for the Crown of Righteousnesse. 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8. Though he had done many things weakly, yet he did act in every thing faithfully, Math. 25. 20, 21. 23.

Mot. 3. Consider how honourably the Scripture makes mention of the faithfullnesse of men. Pro. 13. 17. a faithfull Ambassador is health, un­faithfullness is sickness, weakness, death, vid. Pro. 25. 13. As the cold of Snow, &c. And how carefully the faithfullness of men is re­corded in the Scripture. Eliezers faithfull­ness to Abraham, Gen. 24. Iacobs faithfull­ness to Laban, Gen. 31. vid. 2 Reg. 12. 15. how is that to the praise of those workmen, the Ho­ly Ghost hath taken their account, and 2 Reg. 22. 7. and 2 Chr. 34. 12. vid. Neh. 7. 2. and 2 Chr. 31. 12. Consider this, Eph. 6. 21. Col. 1. 7. Col. 4. 7.

[Page 159] 4. Consider the odiousnesse of the sin of Treachery and unfaithfullness, falsifying of trusts. Its a sin against the very light of Na­ture. Heathen Infidels are not guilty of this infidelitie. Heathens have blushed at it, Its a sin which is very scandalous to Religion. Its a sin which causeth very great discusions and breaches. Its a sin which is branded in Scrip­ture, with many markes of dishonour and re­proach. As there is an infamy fastened upon every sin, so upon no more then upon unfaith­fullness. Every man hates the Name of Perfi­fidiousness, vid, 2 Sa. 16. 1, 2, 3, 4. Treache­rous Ziba, Who doth not loath him for his unfaithfulness? vid. Cap. 19. 26, 27. Perfidi­ousness is a sin of a double dye, because its a sin against engagement. And its a sin which God will certainly punnish, both here and hereafter. Many instances in Scripture of Gods severe hand, against violation of faith.

(1) Of faith in covenants, and promises, vid. 2 Sa. 21. init. though 400. yeares after­wards, and Jer. 34. 17. 18. ad finem, and Ezech. 17. per totum, concerning Zedechiahs unfaithfulness in his engagement to the King of Babylon, vid. ver. 16. 27. &c.

(2) Of Faith in trust.

In all Nations, men who betray trust are accounted more worthy of punishment then professed enemies. And usually God pun­nisheth this sin, lege talionis, Esa. 33. 1.

[Page 160] (3) I shall give something by way of Helpes.

If you would be faithfull in your trusts, Some things are to be taken heed of. Some things are to be done.

There are four things to be taken heed of by him who would not be unfaith­full.

(1) Be sure that you undertake nothing of trust which is above your ability, beyond your power. Let this be the first question; Am I able to car­ry on such a work? Is the burden proportio­nable to my Shoulders? Quid humeri valeant quid ferre recusent: we must not lay upon a Ser­vant more then he can beare. If it be too hea­vy for your strength, if it be longer then your fathom, let it alone; better, not to act at all, then to act unfaithfully. Many out of Pride, Self confidence, &c. stick at no undertaking. It was Davids wisedome and piety, that he did 1 Cor. 10. 13. Priviledge. Num. 11. [...]4, 15, 16. not ayme at, nor ambire any employment, which was higher then his arme could well reach, Psal. 131. 1, 2. It is impossible that that should be discharged faithfully, which is beyond the strength of the undertaker. Our Sa­viour gives this caution, No man, when he goes to war with a great King, but will consi­der first wh [...]ther he be able, &c. with 10000 to meet him that comes with 20000. Luc. 14. 31. Every arme is not fit for every worke, nor every head for every employment: every man who is fit to row, is not able to steer the ship; every Souldier who is fit to fight, is not fit to [Page 161] command. Its a very direct tempting of God for a Child to take upon his shoulders a heavy-burden, vid. 1 Sa. 17. 32. If Phaeton will mount his fathers Chariot, he may burn himself and the whole world.

In charity a man may not give beyond abi­lity, Deut. 16. 17. 1 Cor. 16. 2. much more in this.

(2) Undertake no charge or trust rashly and in­considerately, usually he that is rash and preci­pitate in undertaking, is unfaithfull and tardy in fulfilling. Tis that expedient, which Solo­mon propounds, as a helpe to faithfulness in promises, Eccles. 5. 2, 4, 5, 6. Consider well before hand, all circumstances, all conveni­ences, inconveniences &c. which afterwards may arise, vid. Pro. 29. 20. vid. Pro. 25. 8. that which is said of striving, holds as wel in al other matters of undertaking. vid. 2 Sam. 18. 22, 29.

(3) Ʋndertake nothing against your will and judgement, upon any sollicitation, perswasion, &c. This will certainly lay a foundation of unfaith­fulness in discharging; that which is underta­ken by an overruled and overpowred will, can­not be carried on without a failer in execution. There is an unwilling willingnesse, vid. 1 Pet. 5. 2. [...]: when that which forced the will, or the practise at least, is taken off, there will either be an utter cessation or a remiss­nesse in acting, vid. Ro. 14. 5.

(4) Nothing without a faire call. Trust not your selves.

[Page 162] (2) There are things which must be ob­served.

(1) Be often times looking upon the matter of your undertaking. Acquaint your selves duly and throughly with the matter of your trust, what belongs to your office, calling, employment, &c. Many men are to seek what belongs to their office. They do not know their charge, &c. Ger a Table of the particulars, with which you are intrusted, that ye may know your work; without this it is impossible you should ever be faithfull in any place. Masters, what is your work to your Servants? Servants, what is your work towards your Masters? Parents, Children, &c.

John Baptist's converts, vid. Luc. 3. 10. 11. 12.

(2) Be much in prayer, for a faithfull and trusty heart; beg this grace of God, and he will not deny it you: He gave Moses his faith­fulness, Num. 12. 7. He gave David, Samu­el, their faithfulness. Solomon first lookes upon the greatness of his charge, and then begs for a wise and faithfull heart, 2 Chr. 1. 9. 10. If you leane upon your own strength and neglect, prayer, you will warp, and be faulty: self­confidence, is dangerous, Pro. 3. 5, 6, 7.

(3) Frequently remember the account you must give of all your Stewardship: Thinke of that Text, Give an account of thy Stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer Steward, Luc. 16. 2. We are but Stewards, and it is required of a Steward, that he be found faithfull, 1 Cor. 4. 2. vid. Luc. 12. 42. 46. 47. 48. Consider that [Page 163] your Lord will come to cast over your ac­counts very shortly.

(4) Meditate much upon the faithfulnesse of Christ for thee, in every thing he undertook, he prayed faithfully, and suffered faithfully, and dyed faithfully &c. and is still faithfull in in­terceding, communicating of grace, blessing of ordinances, &c.

(5) Think upon the joy of thy Lord, into which the faithfull servant shall enter, Math. 25. 23. A faithfull Servant is a good Servant, and that is accounted well done, which is faithfully done, though it be done with infirmity and frailty.

Faithfull, and called, and chosen, are they which walk with the Lambe, Rev. 17. 14.

(6) Consider the eye of God upon thee in all thy actings, he seeth thy fraudulency and false­hood, &c. his feare will make thee faithfull, vid. Neh. 7. 2. Hanani.

(7) Take heed of and keep watch over thy own heart, trust not thy self too far, Pro. 28. 26. vid. Mal. 2. 14. 15. Watch over your Spirit.

(8) Desire thy Christian friends to have an eye to thee, an over-seeing friend is a good help.

When you consider the gaine of unfaithful­nesse, remember these things, Gehezi may by his Treachery, get two Talents of Silver, and two suites of apparell, but the leprosy shall goe along with his gaine, 2 Reg. 5. 26. 27.

[Page 164]I might urge this in particulars.

(1) Servants be you faithfull to your Masters in all your trust. Do not wrong nor defraud them. Remember good Eliezer, Gen. 24. read that Chapter often and study it well: And Jacob, Gen. 31. 6. 40. read that Chapter well.

(1) You are your Masters goods.

The Civilians say, a Servant is not persona, but res. You are his money, Jobs Servants is reckoned amongst his estate, Job. 1. init.

(2) Tis the way to be rich, Jacob grew rich by his faithfulness, Gen. 31. 8. 9. you may grow rich as Ziba, but you will have a curse with it as he had, and the brand of Treachery, vid. 2 Sam. 16. init. vid. 2 Reg. 5. 26, 27.

Gehazi got two Sutes and two Talents, and the Leprosy with it.

(4) Tis your honour, Pro. 14. 35. the Kings favour is towards a wise Servant.

Do not think it enough to excuse you, that your Masters deale deceitfully with you. Laban dealt so by Jacob, Gen. 31. 7.

(3) Tis the way to provaile with God for Ser­vants to be faithfull to you.

2. Masters, be you faithfull to your Ser­vants, [Page 165] performe your Trust.

You undertake to

1. Diligently instruct them in yuor Trade, do this.

2. Have care of their good education, look after their souls. Motives

(1) You have a Master in Heaven.

2. You are Loco parentum to them.

(3) It encourageth them in their duty to you: your breach with them, doth not excuse them of any unfaithfulnesse, yet it will make you guilty of their sin.

(4) They are the spring of the Ci­ty, may do much good or hurt here­after.

(5) You can never make them and your Parents recompence, for the breach of this trust.

(3) Parents: God hath intrusted you to see to the education of his Children. Be faithfull in this trust. Motives

1. Preciousnesse of souls would be con­sidered.

2. You have been instruments of conveying poyson into their Natures.

[Page 166] 3. It will be the renowne of your family when you are dead.

4. You shall perish with them and for them, if you fail this trust.

When God shall say, What is become of the Childrens soules I gave thee, what will you answer?

Mary Wolnoth, April the 8. 1649. [...].

Luke 23. 34.‘Then said Jesus, Father forgive them, for they know not what they doe.’

[...].

IN this Chapter, we have the saddest Tra­gedy, that ever was acted upon earth by the Sons of men, the cruell and bloody murthering of Jesus Christ, by the Jewes his own Countrey-men, for whose salvation he came from heaven, the best of Kings put to death by his own subjects. We may divide this Tragedy into these five acts, which are the parts of the Chapter. Five Acts of this Tra­gedy. 1. His Be­traying, Cap. 22. v. v. 3. ad 54. 2 His appre­hending and ar­raignment, Cap. 22. 54. Cap. 23. v. 1. ad 23.

(1) His Betraying. This Act is in the 22. Chapter, ver. 3. &c,

(2) His arraignment and apprehending, ver, 1. [Page 168] ad. 23. in which there are many things very observable, both concerning the Judges, Herod and Pilate, they post him from one to another Pilate sends him to Herod, and Herod, when he had made sufficient sport with him, re­mands him to Pilate; Neither of them find any fault in him worthy of death, and yet nei­ther the one, nor the other would deliver him.

And concerning the prosecutors and wit­nesses, we see their violent fiercenesse and eagernesse after his blood.

Though they were told once and againe, that neither Pilate nor Herod had found any thing done by him, worthy of death, yet they would not be satisfied, but like furious blood-hounds, rather then reasonable men, they cry out for justice and execution, and would not be appeased with any thing lesse then this, ver. 5. and ver. 23. Barabbas is released, Christ destroyed.

(3) His Condemnation or sentence, ver. 23, 24, 25. Pilate washeth his hands, Math. 27. 24. 3 His Con­d [...]mnation ver. 23, 24, 25. Knowing that for envy they had delivered him, ver. 18. pronounceth Christ just; and yet to please a giddy headed multitude, gives a sen­tence against him.

(4) His execution, ver. 26. ad. 50. in which 4. His exe­cution, ver. 26. ad. 50. there are many very remarkable thin [...]s.

(1) Concerning the action. It was done after the most cruell savage, reproachfull and deriding manner, that was possible to in [...]ent on their parts: Two theeves with mocking, scorning, &c. And at a great publique feast, [Page 169] Passover: publike place, Calvary, Math. 27. 51, 52. &c. a place famous for execution.

(2) Concerning the Concomitants. There were a concurrence of many strange and wonderfull miracles on Gods part, the Sun darkned, vaile rent, &c. the Earth quaked, Rocks rent, and which was great, One of the malefactors con­verted, &c.

(3) Concerning Christ, his patience, his pi­etie, ver. 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. As he went to the place of sexecution. And 2 at the time of his execution, ver. 33. &c. mild, candid patient, &c.

(5) His buryall, ver. 50. ad finem. This act 5. His Bu­rial, v. 50. ad finem. onely hath something of mercy, love and piety in it. Ioseph of Arimathea, who had not consented, &c.

The words of the Text are within the third part; The prayer of Christ for his bloody ad­versaries.

3. Parts. 1. The person to whom he prayes, [...]: though he was now under Torment, wrath, &c. Yet he sees Fatherly love in God. However God afflict his people, yet he is still their Father.

2. The matter of his prayer, [...].

3. The person for whom he prayes, [...], the Iewes, the Souldiers, Pilate, &c. all who had a hand in his Death.

A quibus vulneratur illis medetur, vitam pro­curat illis à quibus occiditur; illis compatitur à quibus patitur, &c. Aust: Tract. 111. in Ioh.

[Page 170] Doct. Iesus Christ did heartily and freely for­give the worst of his adversaries, he prayes that God would forgive them, who did malicious­ly embrue their hands in his innocent blood, the Souldiers who spit in his face, the Jews who unjustly prosecuted him, Pilate who condemn­ed him, &c. he forgives them freely, and whilst they are busily employed in the taking away of his life, he is petitioning the Father for their pardon and forgivenesse. It was prophe­sied of him long before his incarnation, Esa. 53. 12. and here it is accomplished by him. As he taught this lession of forgiving enemies unto others, so he did carefully practise it in himself. He doth not break forth into revi­ling or raging passion, he doth not curse and reproach them, as they did him, but from his heart intreats for mercy, and begs remissi­on from God for them.

In the opening of this Doctrine I shall shew,
  • 1. What is meant by forgivenesse,
  • 2. Why Christ begs for this mercy for them:
  • 3. Whether they were all forgiven.

(1) The word [...] doth properly and strictly signifie à se amovere, ab [...] mitto, so Math. 4. 20. They presently leaving their nets followed him; [...]. It is used also for to set a man free; Debitorem per acceptilationem, libero, Budaeus in comment. Gr. Ling. fol. 370. it also signifies Manumitto. It is especially used for pardoning of Debts and Sins, Math. 6. 12. and Math. 9. 2. and [Page 171] Math. 12. 31. when God removes a mans sin from him; when God gives the sinner an ac­quittance and discharge; and when he breaks those bonds and fetters in which he is held; then is he said to forgive their sins, vid. Psal. 103. 12. pardon is described by removing sins far from us. Job. 10. 14. pardon is described by acquitting and discharging: so Nah. 1. 3. Rom. 6. 22. pardon of sin is described by mak­ing free from sin, so that the meaning of our Saviour is, Father, these sinners have in the taking away of my life brought upon them­selves a great sin; They have contracted a very great debt to themselves, &c. but doe not re­quire this debt from them, let them have an acquittance from it, remove their sin away from them, &c. I desire no revenge, therefore Father please to pardon them.

2. Why Christ prayes for forgivenesse of this sin?

(1) That by this meanes they might be con­vinced of their own sin and pray for themselves, that it might be forgiven them, Christ begs of the Father that he would give them an acquit­tance, that so their consciences might be a­wakened to aske God forgivenesse. This rea­son Austin gives. oravit miserecordia, ut ora­ret miseria: oravit medicus, ut oraret aegrotus; oravit Judex parcere desiderans, ut reus indulgen­tiam quaerat. Jesus Christ intended to mollify and pierce their hearts by this meanes—and to bring them to repentance.

[Page 172] (2) To testify his great love and kindnesse to the sons of men, how unwilling he was that sin should be their ruine: he did beare a great good will to the whole Nature which he had assumed, it was a trouble to him to see that any misery should befall them. Therefore he forgives them, and prayes the Father to do so likewise, it was an act of compassion. Pitty moved him to it: He looked upon them as a company of ignorant people that were doing they knew not what; and his soul is troubled for them. Therefore he desires it might not be imputed.

Illis compatitur á quibus patitur, Aust.

(3) That he might be [...] an example and patterne to us. That we might all learne to be willing to forgive them who have done us injury. This is the reason which the Apostle renders, 1 Pet. 2. 21, 23. Christ would not onely give us a precept but a patterne too, to this great duty—.

(4) That he might instruct them for what cause his blood was shed; viz. that it might be a propitiation for the sins of man—, that it was powred out to purchase pardon, and attone­ment for all them who should by faith apply it to themselves, vid. 1 Joh. 2. 2. [Explica], This Christ hinted by this prayer, better things then Abels blood, Heb. 12. 24.

Ill is petebat veniam à quibus adhûc acci piebat injuriam; non enim attendebat quòd abipsis morde­batur, sed quòd pro eis moriebatur, Aust. Tract. 111. in Joh.

[Page 173] (5) To shew the willingness of his death, he suffered without the least regret. He had not so much as the least grudge in his heart, against those, who caused his Death; he could embrace them in the arms of love, &c. Had he died involun­tarily, he would never have passed by the occa­sioners of his Death so freely.

(6) To signifie, that the greatest of sinners, are capable of pardon, upon true Repentance and Humiliation. Of all sinners, those who com­mitted this murtherous Act upon Christ, are worthily accounted the greatest; and yet there is place of pardon for them: yea, we read, that even of these, 3000 at one Sermon of Peter, were upon their Repentance received to mercy, vid. Acts 2. 37. 41. Multi ex populo qui san­guinem fuderunt, postea fide biberunt.

(3) Whether they were all pardoned. The Af­firmative may seem to be held, because God heard Christ in all things which he prayed for. I know thou hearest me alwayes, John 11. 42.

And Christs intercession is effectual, to save and procure acceptance with God, for all tho [...]e for whom he intercedes.

Sol. We read, that many of those who were guilty of Christs Death, were afterwards con­verted, and saved by that blood they shed, as hath been said, Acts 2. 37. 41. and is prophe­cied, Zech. 12. 10. But that all those who were guilty of his blood, were forgiven; we have no reason to think, yea, the Scripture hints the contrary. And yet the mediatorious Interces­sion is not in vain to any, for whom tis made, [Page 174] but all such for whom he intercedes as Media­tor, shall be saved.

Divines do very well distinguish of the Prayers of Christ. There are two sorts of Pray­ers which Christ made.

Those which he made Ex officio mediatoris, as he was Advocate, and Mediator of the Cove­nant of Grace, between God and Man; such is that Prayer which is recorded, John 17. Cap. that Prayer was instituted by Christ, in order to his mediatory Office; And all those for whom he thus intercedes, shall certainly be saved.

Those which Christ made Ex Officio homi­nis privati. Now this prayer in the Text, be­longs to this latter sort, where Christ, as a man made under the Law, prayed for his enemies, as other of the Servants of God have done. Such was that Prayer which Christ made a­gainst Death, Father, if it be possible, let this Cup passe from me, &c. Mat. 26. 39. 42. 44.

1. Use. I shall only make this one use of it, viz. That we would all learn to imitate our Saviour in this grace, vid. 1 John 2. 6. He that saith he a­bideth in him, ought himself so to walk as Christ walked. Tis a very difficult and hard Lesson, but it is a very glorious Lesson, to be willing to forgive them, who have done us injuries—Did Christ passe by such an Act as this, and wilt not thou?

Obj. But may not a man in any case, require reparation for injuries received, from [Page 175] the hands of the Magistrate?

Sol. Yes certainly, The Servants of God have done so, and not blamed for it, vid. Luk. 18. 3. And Magistracy is an Ordinance of God for this purpose, vid. Rom. 13. 4. and Deut. 25. vers. 1. only we must carefully observe these Rules in such cases, viz.

1. We must not seek this remedy, for every small and trivial offence, we must not be litigi­ous.

2. This Remedy is not to be sought, till all pri­vate meanes have first been used, vid. 1 Cor. 6. init.

3. This Remedy must be made use of at last, not so much for the satisfying of our private wrongs, as for other publick ends, as

1. That God may receive honour.

2. That the offender may be reclaimed, a­mended, &c.

3. Out of love to justice.

4. There must be all possible willingness to sur­cease from such impleadings upon the parties wil­lingness to give reasonable satisfaction.

Nor doth this hinder the publike justice of the Magistrate against others.

So in lawful Warre, a man may kill his Ad­versary, and yet forgive him, &c. And a man may lawfully demand his debts, &c. 2 Reg. 4. 7. But from this Example of Christ, we are bound to forgive our enemies, so far forth, as justice may not be prejudiced, or offendors be not encouraged. We must not have an Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth, we must study [Page 176] forgiveness, and forgetfulness; we must forgive.

I would give (1) Some Motives.

(2) Some helps.

Motive 1. Many of the Servants of God, have attained to a very great measure of this grace. Stephen the Protomartyr, the first that followed his Master this way, died with a Prayer in his mouth, for the pardoning of his Persecutors, Acts 7. 60. He suffered very innocently, and ve­ry cruelly, and yet he freely forgave them, while they were casting stones at him, he was casting up prayers for them; he was pouring out peti­tions, while they were powring out his guilt­less blood. Moses, he forgives Miriam, and when the hand of God was broken forth upon her for his sake, he begs for a playster, Heal her now O Lord, I beseech thee, Numb. 12, 13. Jo­seph, he forgives his Brethren, Gen. 50. 17. 21. and shewes much compassion to them. Phile­mon, he forgives the injurious dealing of One­simus, upon the intreaty of Paul and his sub­mission. These are rare examples.

Motive 2. This is one of the highest Acts of Christianity. And it is one of the best evidences that our sins are forgiven of God, vid. Mat. 6. 12. forgive us as we forgive. Our forgiving of wrongs is not indeed a Cause of Gods for­giving us; There's no Cause of forgiveness, be­sides Gods mercy, and Christs merit, but its a sure fruit and consequence of it. Its a Testimony, that God hath been, and will be very indulgent to our offences, if we finde this disposition in our hearts: and while we retain rancor, and en­mity [Page 177] in our spirits towards others, we can have no confidence or assurance to think, that God will be propitious to us, vid. Mat. 18. 23. ad fi­nem.

Motive 3. Tis the way to melt and mollifie the hearts of injurious dealers. A soft tongue break­eth the bone, Prov. 25. 15. A hard flint is sooner broken upon a soft Cushion, then upon a hard Marble, vid. Rom. 12. 20, 21. This is Gods way of overcoming a wrong Doer. Davids forgiv­ing of Saul, melted his rocky heart, Thou art more righteous then I, and he wept over him, 1 Sam. 24. 16.

Motive 4. The peaceableness and calmness which followes in a mans spirit, that is able to forgive. Your forgiving Christians, are the quietest Christians. Endeavours of revenge, they torment the soul, heat and boyl the heart many times more then the injury received. When a man shall be studying how to satisfie his fury, the very gathering together, and shar­pening these stones of Revenge, they make more deep wounds in the spirit, then 1000. offences received.—The envious, and the re­vengeful man, troubles his own flesh. Injuria­rum remedium oblivio. He that hath but learn­ed perfectly this Lesson of forgiving, hath a salve against the greatest injuries.

Motive 5. Tis a very honourable frame of heart. He that can thus overcome his own spirit, is better then he that overcommeth a City. You know him of whom it is said, That he never forgat any thing but injuries.

[Page 178] Anger may fall into a wise mans breast, but it lodgeth in none but the bosom of fools, Ec­cles. 7. 9.

You know who saith, Its the glory of a man to passe by transgressions, Prov. 19. 11.

Its the brightest Crown a man can weare.

Helps are of two sorts,

(1) Negative.

(2) Positive.

1. Negatively, you must take heed of four things.

(1) Take heed of pride, and haughtiness of spi­rit. Pride of heart, foments revenge, Prov. 28. 25. Should such a one as I, be so injuri­ously dealt with? This keeps out thoughts of forgiveness, and gives strength to animosities, vid. Rom. 12. 16, 17.

(2) Take heed of passion and rash anger. If anger lodge in the bosom, forgiveness will not be suffered to enter, vid. Rom. 12. 19. He that yields much to wrath, will never yield to any motion of forgiveness. The Apostle, Eph. 4. 26. gives this direction; Put away anger, &c. and then, Forgive, &c. It is good Advice, Rebeckah gives Jacob, to this purpose, Gen. 27. 45.

(3) Take heed of envy and malice. This is the Apostles Counsel, Eph. 4, 31, 32. put away an­ger, malice, &c. Malice is nothing else but fe­stered Anger.

(4) Take heed of hearkning to the Counsel and advice of whisperers and Tale bearers. These will put the Javelin into the hand; these are the De­vils [Page 179] bellows, who go about to kindle sparks of variance.

(2) Positively. Observe these Directions.

1. Look upon all wrongs, injuries, violences, op­pressions, &c. done by men, as comming out of the hand of God. Messengers, they bear no blame. He that looks upon Gods hand, draw­ing the Bow, will be easily perswaded, to for­give the Arrow, which is but a dead Instru­ment in it self, and could neither put it self up­on the string, nor make such violent impressi­on, if the hand of him that drew it, had not been in it. If thy name be unjustly blasted, say, God hath moved the tongue of such a one to reproach: if violence be done to thy person, say, God hath given thee a blow by the hand of an Enemy. Though he had no reason to smite thee, yet God who lifted up his hand, had, &c.

The Executioner is but the Judges hand, he should be forgiven, though the Judge and wit­ness have both done wrong, &c.

This no doubt, was one thing, which mo­ved Joseph to forgive his Brethren: You sent me not, but God, Gen. 45. 8. Though they were cruel, yet they were Gods Arrows.

(2) Consider this, that if you belong to God, good shall betide you, for all injuries, and from all injuries and offences done to you: Will you not forgive a man, who runs at you with a Sword to kill you, and by that thrust, only breaks an Impostume in the body, which would destroy you? Surely yes, All the violence, injuries, men do to you, are no other, &c. You may [Page 180] well forgive them therefore, vid. 2 Cor. 12. 13.

(3) Believe, and be perswaded, that God is in­deed a God of Recompences. God will requite, if thou forgive; but if thou forgive not, God will not plead thy cause. This was that consi­deration which was in our Saviour, 1 Pet. 2. 23. he committed himself to him, who judgeth righteously, vid. Rom. 12. 19.

(4) How much evil thou hast done to others, vid. Eccles. 7. 22. vid. Tit. 3. 2. 3. we are all ha­bitually injurious, and if thou hadst the temp­tations, &c. which others have, thou wouldst do as they, or worse.

(5) Meditate very much upon all the wrongs which God hath freely forgiven thee, vid. Eph. 4. ult. and Mat. 18. 28, 29. ad finem.

This will answer all Objections thy heart can make, against forgiving others.

If it be objected,

Object. 1. He is a vile person, &c.

Sol. Not so vile as thou art, in respect of God. Iob 19. 19.

Obj. 2. I never did him hurt, but much good, &c.

Sol. Did God ever do thee any hurt? Mich. 6. 3. Jer. 2. 31.

Obj. 3. He hath multiplyed wrongs to me.

Sol. Not half so many as thou hast against God.

Obj. 4. He pretended friendship to me.

Sol. Didst not thou pretend friendship to God?

[Page 181] Obj. I have often threatned, and yet for­born him.

Sol. Doth not God do so by thee?

Obj. My wrongs are publick.

Sol. And are not the wrongs thou dost to God, as publick, &c?

(6) Get a Spirit of brotherly love. Love will cover a multitude of sins, vid. 1 Pet. 4. 8.

This is a Gospel-grace, labour for it.

But what manner of forgiveness must it be?

(1) It must be, ex Animo. Cordiall, not com­plementall. Mat. 18. ult. from your hearts, for­give not one another your Trespasses. Such is Gods to us-ward.

(2) There must be forgetting, as well as for­giving. Those who forgive, and will not for­get, do not forgive at all.

When God forgives, he forgets.

God casts them behinde his back, and blots them out, &c.

(3) There must be a manifestation of all Acts of friendship afterwards, as though the offence had never been committed.

God holds familiar correspondency with the sinner, when he hath pardoned him, so must we—

Thou shalt lift up thy face with joy, Thou shalt not bear any grudge, Lev. 18, 19.

I shall conclude with that of our Saviour, Luk. 17. 3, 4.

'Tis the Duty of them who have done wrong, to submit and repent, and then though he of­fend [Page 182] often, the injured is bound to forgive.

Quest. But you will say, What shall we do to Psal. 140. 8. Ps. 7. 9. the enemies of Christ, and the Gospel? may we not pray against them? must they be for­given?

Sol. 1. We may pray against the Plots of the enemies of God, and of our own enemies.

Sol. 2. We may pray against the persons of in­vincible enemies of Christ, God, the Gospel, the Church, as they are Gods enemies, and as they incorrigible and implacable enemies: so the Servants of God have done, Psal. 74. 22, 23. vid. Psal. 49. 23. Psal. 10. 1, 2. Psal 58. 6, 7 8. 9. and Psal. 59. 5. &c. Christ did so, Psal. 109. init, & per totum. Only herein we must take care,

(1) That we do not particularly conclude of this or that person, that he is an incorrigible ene­my. This is a secret, with which we must not meddle: the Prophets, they had this revealed to them by God, we have not. And we must be very careful,

(2) That when we pray against such, nothing of personal private revenge, lye at the bottom of our prayers, nor come into our mindes with liking that we do not pray against their persons, as they have, or may do us personally hurt; but meerly,

1. Out of true affection to Gods rule, and which we would have preserved, by the destruction of its enemies. And

2. Out of zeal to Gods glory, that it may be manifested by this meanes, to the ends of the [Page 183] Earth, Psal. 59. 13. and Esa. 37. 17, 18. the re­proaching of God, was more to him, then his own reproaching.

2d Use. Consolation, from hence, ariseth to e­very true member of Christ, viz. If Christ as man, prayed for the forgiveness, and for the good of them, who shed his blood, &c. he will much more now, as Mediator, make constant and careful intercession for thee, who desirest to be his friend, and preserve his honour: if a man can forgive an enemy, he will certainly forgive a Childs miscarriage, whom he knowes to love him, and not willingly to offend. See what is promised to all the godly, Mal. 3. 17. as a Son who serveth him.

Mary Wolnoth, April the 29. 1649. [...].

Mark 3. 5.‘Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.’

[...].

IN this Chapter, we have a great miracu­lous cure, wrought by our Saviour, upon a man, who had a withered hand. We may take notice of four things in this story,

(1) The place where, in the Synagogue.

(2) The time when, on the Sabbath-day.

(3) The Cure, and the manner of it, he only spake the word, and it was healed.

(4) What passed between Christ and the Jewes, before the Cure.

[Page 185] 1. On their parts, we may observe these two things.

(1) They question with him, about the law­fulness of healing on the Sabbath-day; for Math. observes that 12th Matth. vers. 10.

(2) They did carefully observe, what he would do, that they might maliciously accuse him, so vers. 2.

(2) On Christs part, we may note these two things, viz.

1. His expostulation with them, to con­vince them of the lawfulness of this matter, vers. 4. which is further amplified by a like in­stance, Matth. 12. 11. What man amongst you having one sheep, if it fall into the ditch, &c.

2. His just indignation and anger against them for their malice and blindness, vers. 5. together, with his grief for them.

In the words I have read, we have these two things.

(1) The sinful malady and distemper of the Jewes, hardness of heart, [...].

(2) The compassionate carriage of Christ, towards this their distemper, [...].

I shall not much meddle with their distem­per, only give you this Note from it, and a word of Use.

Doct. That naturally there is great hardness, blindness, and benummedness upon the hearts of men. Mens hearts by nature, are very brawny, Chemn. harm. in locum. very hard, [...], proprié significat callosam concretionem, instar Tophi, ut in artieulis poda­gricorum, [Page 186] quae in membro callo obducto, non facile admittit tactum, & sensum; sed duritie sua quasi repellit, ut non sentiatur. This is the natural frame of every mans heart; steely, flinty, be­nummed, and senselesly obdurate: the Prophet Zech. calls it an Adamant, Cap. 7. 12. which is the hardest of all stones. The Prophet Jeremiah sets it out by the hardest of Metals, Jer. 6. 28. and so the Prophet Esa. Cap. 48. 4. This hard skin is spread over the souls of all men natu­rally. This is an hereditary Disease.

1. Use. This shewes the reason, why the preaching of the Word, and all the Dispensati­ons of grace, are so ineffectual, and do so little good upon the hearts of most men: why there are so few converted and brought home to God: the heart is hard, hard by nature, har­dened more by Custom in sinning. Tis not so easie a matter, to work in marbles, to mollifie steel, &c. Rocks are not so soon softned: ra­ther we may admire, that any one heart should be broken, and brought in to God, when as by nature they are so obdurate; that water should come out of the flint.

2d Use. The Ministers of God should, from hence, learn to use all their might and skill, in dispensing the word of Gods grace to the Sons of men. They must cry aloud, and lift up their voyce like a Trumpet, Esa. 58. 1. They must not only smite it softly, but use all their strength, and all little enough. Those who would soften [...]el, have need of the hottest fire, and heaviest Hammers, and the strongest [Page 187] Arms. Chips will not do it. Ministers, they work in stones: therefore have need to use all their strength. The hearts of men are baked and crusted with sin; nay, they are dead in sin, and without very much stirring, very little good is like to be done upon such Subjects.

But I passe this. And I shall now only speak to the second. Our Saviours affection towards them in this Condition. He was grieved.

[...]. Condolesceus. The preposition [...], hath in this place, as Beza notes, peculia­rem vim quandam. It doth not signifie the same that pati or compati, with the Latines; as one, qui aliorum dolore ad Commiserationem commo­vetur: Nec enim isti obdurati suam vicem do­lebant, sed adversus Christum frendebant: sed hoc verbo significatur, Christum fuisse quidem graviter illorum desperata improbitate offensum, sed ita ut illorum etiam misereretur. He was so angry with them, as that he was also grieved for them. That Lesson which I would learn from hence, is this.

Doct. That the sinful Distempers and miscar, riages of other men, was a matter of grief and sor­row to the soul of Jesus Christ. They did not only provoke his Spirit to Anger, but to grief & sorrow also. He could not only chide, but he could also sigh and weep, to behold their des­perate wickedness. As he was moved often­times to sorrow, because of the poenal evils of men; so was he moved to grief, because of their sinful evils. He knew no sin in himself, he was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sin­ners, [Page 188] Heb. 7. 26. He had no sinful venome within, nor was ever guilty of the least sinful Imagination, word, or thought, yet could his heart break within him, to behold the woful miscarriages of others. He could powre out teares, when he saw men powring out their a­bominations. The unbelief, the blasphemies, the prophanesses which he observed amongst the Sons of men, were a cause of grief, vexati­on, and trouble to his righteous soul, from day to day.

And this is grounded upon these Considera­tions, viz.

(1) Reas. From that hearty respect and affecti­on he bore to the honour of God his Father. As the Father had a singular affection to the Son, so the Son bare a singular love to his Father. He did every thing for his Fathers glory, Joh. 8. 49. He lived, he died, he wrought, he prayed, he preached for the glory of his Father. He rejoyced, when he saw his Father glorified, and he mourned when he was dishonoured. Now he knew that the sins and impieties of men, did deface his Fathers glory, therefore he was both angry, and grieved for them, vid. Psal. 69. 9. That this Psalm was penned concerning Christ, will appear from hence, that it is cited in the new Testament, as relating to him, vid. Iohn 2. 17. and Rom. 15. 3. He saw that his Father was reproached by the sins of men, therefore did they fall so heavily upon his Spi­rit. A dutiful affectionate Child, is troubled to see, or hear his Fathers Name blasted.

[Page 189] (2) Reas. From that love he bare to the souls of men, our Saviour knew the price and worth of a soul: how it was created, how it was redeem­ed, what the saving of it would cost; and he knew, that sin would be the ruine & destruction of precious souls. Therefore did his heart bleed within him, when he saw men do any thing which would ruine their souls. These Jewes did not know what the sad consequence of their malicious hardness against Jesus Christ would be, but Christ knew whereto it must ne­cessarily tend, to the destroying of that Jewel, in comparison of which, all the World was no­thing worthy: therefore he mourned for them. He saw such invaluable things as souls, ready to fall into the pit of everlasting perdition, and he could not behold it, without sighes and teares.

(3) Reas. From the Antipathy and Hatred, which the soul of Christ bare to sin. It was a thing which he loathed with a perfect hatred; he could not look upon it, without displea­sure and grief: what a man hates naturally, he cannot behold without trouble. Now whether we look upon Christ as God, or as man, we shall finde sin to be abhominable to his soul.

Its contrary to his very Nature.

(4) Reas. That he might teach them what they should do, he expresseth grief, that he might set them a grieving. His eyes drop, that he might open in their hearts, the sluces of godly sor­row. In Nature, one mournful countenance, [Page 190] hath a great influence upon others, to make them mourn. They must needs think, that there was something more then ordinary, in sin, which did so affect the heart of Jesus Christ. Our Saviour had a design upon them, to per­swade with them, to look more narrowly into the Nature of sin, than they did before. The teares which Christ shed for sin, doth discover the odiousness of it, as much as any thing. Next to his blood, nothing discovers sins vile­ness, more than his sighs and teares. Fools make a mock of sin, Prov. 14. 9. But the holy wisdom of God, who understands it better then we do, he laments it.

(5) Reas. Particularly, for those Jewes he was grieved, to consider their great unkindness towards himself: how all his miracles, all his preach­ing, and all his love towards them, was sleigh­ted, vilified, contemned, could not reclaim them, could not convert them to God. Though he had spent his strength amongst them, though he had done such miracles, as never were wrought, yet their hearts were hardened against him, and against his Doctrine. They had from their very infancy, been exercised in the Law of Moses, they had known the Writings of the Prophets; and besides this, they had en­joyed the Ministry of Christ himself, and yet were hardened. This causeth grief in Christ, it was wilful blindness.

1. Ʋse. Information 1. That to sorrow and mourn for sin, is not an Anti-Evangelical frame of spirit. Its most suitable to a Gospel-frame of [Page 191] heart to bewail sin. It doth not derogate from the grace of Christ, or the Gospel; yea, it ho­nours Christ, and honours the grace of the Gospel. Jesus Christ, who brought grace into the World, he bewailes the sins of the Jewes; and whosoever is like Christ, will be affected as he was: the purest times of the Gospel will be the most sin-lamenting times, Ezech. 12. 10, 11, &c.

(2) The truth of the humane Nature of Iesus Christ. He was very man, as well as very God. He was made like unto us, in all things, sin only excepted. He had the very passions belonging to humane Nature. Anger, love, hatred, fear, joy, sorrow, &c. Tis true in us, these passions are not without sin, because our Natures are corrupted: therefore our passions exceed their due bounds, and overflow the banks; but in Jesus Christ, there was Naturae Integritas: therefore passions in him, were without the least irregularity. He could sorrow without excesle, he could be angry without sin, &c. whensoever we read of any mention of these passions in Christ, let our Faith from hence be established in the truth of the Doctrine of his Humanity against all those soul-destroying o­pinions which would deny this, and over­throw our Faith. As some deny the Divinity of Christ, so others there have been, who have de­nyed his humanity. The Familists make the In­carnation of Christ a meere Allegory: the Ma­nichees, the Eutychians, the Marcionites taught, that Christ really, and indeed, had neither bo­dy [Page 192] nor soul, but was man only in appearance. Therefore let us be, from hence, strengthned a­gainst all such: he was [...], as its said of Elias, Jam. 5. 17. therefore, very man.

2d Ʋse. Exhortation (1) To that Duty en­joyned by the Apostle, 1 John 2. 6. This is a Duty not much cared for by Christians.

(1) There are very many, who can reproach others for their sins. They can revile and rail upon the iniquities of others, but very few who lament them.

(2) There are many, who encourage and tempt others to do wickedly, such are those in Prov. 1. 11, 12, 13, 14. This was the sin of Jona­dab, 2 Sam. 13. 5. He did blow up those sparks of uncleanness which he discovered in his heart; he whets the knife which was too sharp already. This also was Jezebels sin, 1 Reg. 21. 7. 11. 25. This was the sin of those Jewes at Antioch, Acts 13. 50. and Acts 14. 2. the Jewes at Iconium.

(3) There are also very many every where, who are glad to hear of the haltings and mis­carriages of others, they can rejoyce over their defilements. And

(4) There are not a few, who mourn and lament, because of the piety and forwardness of others, in that which is good, and labour to quench and put out their graces. Such were those of whom we read, Acts 16. 19, 20. and those, Acts 17. 5. and those in Acts 19. 25. 27. But every few, who do indeed lay to heart, the sins of others. Its very necessary there, to urge [Page 193] this point, we live in a sinful Age, wherein ini­quity abounds. The present age is stained with the sins of former Ages, besides all the new sins committed. Oppression, prophaneness, Cove­nant-breaking, Covenant-despising, Heresie, Apostacy, &c.

I would (1) lay down some Motives. (2) Subjoyn some helps.

(1) Motive. Consider the practise of the Ser­vants of God. They have been like Christ, in this respect, vid. Lot. 2 Pet. 2. 7, 8. there are two words, which set out this frame of his heart, [...], vers. 7. and [...], vers. 8. the things which he saw and heard a­mongst the Sodomites, were the very breaking of his heart. So Neh. Cap. 13. 8. and holy Ez­ra, Cap. 9. 3, 4. is put into a deep Agony, upon this occasion. David, Psal. 119. 158. 136. His eyes were like Flood-gates, because of the trans­gressions of other men. Daniel he was grieved in his Spirit, in the midst of his body, &c. Dan. 10. 2, 3. the Apostle Paul, [...], for the sins of the Athenians: and, Phil. 3. 18. he could not without teares, mention the sins committed by others: and those Inhabitants of Jerusalem, Ezech. 9. 4. These are noble Presi­dents for our Imitation.

(2) This frame of heart, will evidence all our anger, and passionate exclamations, and bitter cryings out against the sins of others, to be real, sin­cere, and Christian. Every where, a man may hear very loud cries, (and not too loud for such astonishing stupendious wickedness) against the [Page 194] iniquities committed. Now I dare pronounce against every man, who only clamours against others sins, but doth not grieve, &c. that all such fiery indignation is not against the sins done, but against the men that do them; for wherever anger against sin is right, there will follow grief. I need not go out of the Text to prove this. Our Saviour hath put Indignation and grief together. He is not truly angry at o­ther mens sins, who doth not [...]. Thou wouldst certainly be as vile, as desperately wicked, as any are, hadst thou their Temptati­ons, &c. If thou do not from thy heart, be­wail their misdoings. Haec vera est zeli mode­ratio, quum de hominum impiorum exitio sumus anxii & pro impietate condolescimus. Calvin Tex­tum? All your fury and zeal against sin, is but distempered rage, if it do not end in grief.

(3) All the sins of others, which thou dost not grieve for, will be made thy own sins, and required at thy hands. The Apostle gives us very Christi­an Counsel, not to be partakers with other mens sins, 1 Tim. 5. 22. And Eph. 5. 11. that we have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Now 'tis a most certain Truth, that all the iniquities of others, which do not work us to grief, will be in the day of Judge­ment layd to our charge. For this, see 1 Cor. 5. 2. He layes that sin of incest, to the charge of the Church, if they should not lament it. Who would become accessary to all the great ini­quities of the Kingdom!

[Page 195] (4) By this meanes, thou shalt obtain the assu­rance of the Remission of thy own sins, from the hand of the Lord. As David found in his own bosom, the benefit of all the Prayers he made for others, Psal. 35. 13. so will you finde the benefit of all thy sighes, for the sins of others. Daniel, when he was lamenting the sins of his People before, the Lord had an Angel dis­patched to him, to give him certain Intelli­gence of his own acceptance with God, Dan. 9. 20, 21, 22, 23.

(5) However God shall please to deal with others sins, thou shalt have a seal of preservation set upon thy forehead, when the evill day comes. Josiahs mourning for the wickedness of his age, pro­cured peace for himself all his dayes, vid. 1 Reg. 22. 19, 20. And those who wept and lamen­ted for the abominations done in Jerusalem, were marked by an Angel, against the Day of Gods publick visitation, vid. Ezech. 9. 4.

(6) 'Tis an argument of Sincerity, and of reall Hatred of sin. Men may mourn for their own sins, out of self-love, &c.

For helps, take these six.

(1) Labour for a publick Spirit. A narrow selfish Spirit, as it hinders men from rejoycing at the graces of their Brethren, so it keeps men from bewailing the sins of their Brethren. Look not every man on his own, but upon the things of thers also. Phil. 2. 4. What is that to us? say the Jewes to Judas, when he told them of the great [Page 196] sin he had committed in crucifying Jesus Christ, Mat. 27. 4.

(2) Get your hearts truly, and throughly broken for your own sins. If the heart have not yet been even pricked to the quick for thy own sins, it is not possible that thou shouldst ever truly grieve for the sins of others. Josiahs heart being morti­fied for his own offences, is so much affected with the Transgressions of his Brethren, 1 Reg. 22. 19.

(3) Be well studied in the Nature of sin. How much vileness it hath in it, and how much evil ariseth from it. What odious names are put upon it in the Scripture. Filthiness, Darkness, Abomination, Davus omnia perturbat: what Confusions, Desolations, hath it wrought in the World?

(4) Consider the venome and poyson of thy own Nature. Thou hast in thy heart, all the a­bominations which others act. They have them in the fruit, and thou hast them in the root. And if thy temptations were as violent as o­thers are, & the grace of God restraining, or re­newing were not more powerful in thee than in others; thy feet would run in the way, in which others walk, and thy hands would act as great and as horrid wickednesses as others do.

(5) Get thy heart affected with Gods ho­nour.

(6) Get thy heart affected with the love of souls.

[Page 197] (2) This should perswade all of us to abstain from sin for Christ his sake. Do not voluntarily put him to grief. Be not occasion of sorrow to him, who is the cause of all your joy. Hard­ness of heart will still grieve him, your impeni­tency will put him to grief. The Apostle speaks of crucifying afresh the Son of God, Heb. 6. 6. [...]. Not as if Christ in glory were ca­pable of suffering, but by so doing, they put themselves into the same Predicament with Judas, and the rest, who crucified Christ, &c. They do by Apostasie from Christ, allow and approve of the crucifying him as just, &c. so Jesus Christ in glory, is not capable of any mourning, &c. yet the Scripture speaks of the trouble which our sins are both to Christ, and Psal. 55. 18. to God, and to the Spirit, &c. Therefore we are forbidden to grieve the holy Spirit of God, &c. Eph. 4. 10. Methinks we should not finde in our hearts, to take any pleasure, in doing that which made our Saviour grieve. Thou that ta­kest pleasure in sin, art as unlike Christ, as light is to darkness, Who would grieve his friend?

3d Use. Consolation.

(1) That he will, if thou desire, give thee power and strength against thy sin; he will sub­due thy sin for thee, and help thee to over­come it. He that grieves to see another fall into misery, will not deny him his assistance, to get out of his misery, vid. Esa 63. 9. because their afflictions were his trouble, therefore he redeemed, assisted, and helped them out of [Page 198] their afflictions: if Christ be grieved to see Mary and Martha mourn, he will be perswa­ded to remove the cause of their mourning, John 11. 33. 38. We may be more confident of his assistance against our sinful evils, because those are absolutely and directly against us. Therefore go to him for power, to mortifie sin, and make this thy Argument, Say to him, in prayer, after this manner, Lord, sin is a cause of grief to thy soul, and it is likewise, a trouble to the poor Creature; why then, Lord, is it not put to death? Arise, dear Redeemer, and rid thy self and thy servants, of that which puts us to grief, &c.

(2) That Iesus Christ will be avenged of Sa­tan, and of all such as tempt men to sin.

And as I would intreat you to sorrow for all sins; so particularly, for this which Christ be­wailed, The hardness of mens hearts in standing out against the Gospel. In that so many malici­ously oppo [...]e and reject Jesus Christ with so much obstinacy.

Hath the Ministry any better entertainment now, then Christs Ministry had?

Many only watch them, that they may ac­cuse them. They lay a snare for him that re­proveth in the gate, Esa. 29. 21.

Many rage, and even gnash their Teeth at them, are filled with Indignation.

If they preach the Duty of men in Authori­ty, then the great Statists of the times are up in a hurrey. Ministers must not meddle with State-matters.

[Page 199] If against Toleration of errors, then they are Incendiaries, &c.

If they preach Repentance, then they are le­gall Preachers.

If they preach zeal, then they are too fiery.

Neither John Baptists severity, nor Christs Comity, could please the Iewes, Matth. 11. 17, 18.

If they preach up the Kingdom of Christ, then they preach up their own Power.

Well, you who are godly, even you, make up all in grieving, &c.

Mary Wolnoth, May the 20. 1649. [...].

Rom. 15. 3.‘For Christ also pleased not himself.’

[...].

THe Apostle having spent the former Chapter in giving exhortations to stronger Christians, how they should carry themselves towards their weaker brethren, about the use of Christian li­berty, in things indifferent, viz. that they should neither be censorious in judging one a­nother, nor should put a stumbling block in the way of one another, to occasion their falling; doth go on with the same subject in this Chap­ter, ver. 13. In which he layes down the Do­ctrine, and confirmes it with some more ar­guments.

[Page 201] The Doctrine is laid down in the 1. ver. we then that are strong, ought to beare the infirmi­ties of the weake, and not to pelase our selves.

The arguments to presse this Doctrine, are reduced to two heads.

(1) From the command and injunction of God laid upon every Christian, vor. 2. Let every one please his Neighbour for his good, to his edification. God hath given to every Christian a charge over his brother, as well as over him­self, therefore he must not onely look after himself and his own concernments.

(2) From the example of Christ, ver. 3. he did not please himself; Therefore such as professe faith in him, must study to be as he was. Now that Jesus Christ did not please himself is proved farther, ver. 8 and 9. ad. 13. he sought the benefit both of the Jews, and of the Gentiles. Therefore both Jews and Gen­tiles converted to the faith, should by his ex­ample learne to please, and to seek the edifica­tion one of another; This the Apostle urgeth from the generall end of the Scripture, ver. 4. And concludes with a prayer and ex­hortation, ver. 5, 6, 7. for them, That they might be of the same mind towards one another.

In the words I have read, we have two things.

1. The glorious commendation given to Christ, he pleased not himself.

2. The Inforcement of this Example upon these Christians. For Christ, &c.

1. What self-pleasing is? There is a good [Page 202] self-pleasing, viz. when a man takes pleasure in good, Pro. 21. 15. And a sinfull self-plea­sing.

1. When a man takes pleasure in sin, Esa. 2. 6.

2. When a man looks no farther then him­self, so in the Text, its opposed to the plea­sing of our Neighhour, ver. 2. and what he doth.

I shall first handle the grace it self by way of Doctrine. And then enforce the imitation of it, in the application.

The doctrine is this, That Jesus Christ did not please himself. Nothing was more remote from Jesus Christ, while he was upon the earth, then self-seeking and self-pleasing. This we shall find made good two wayes.

(1) By his professions. He doth many times publikely professe against self-pleasing, & self-seeking; And we are sure that his Testimony is true. Mens bare expressions, especially con­cerning themselves, are not valuable. Their tongues and hearts many times are contrary: But Jesus Christ, neither did any sin, nor had any guile found in his lips, 1 Pet. 2. 22. he was not acquainted with fraudulency; nothing but truth lay in his heart, and nothing but truth came out of his lips, therefore we may sub­scribe, yea we must subscribe to his Testimony. Now we have this Testimony, Joh. 5. 30. Joh. 8. 50.

(2) If we look upon his practise, we shall find it, yet more clearely, his actions answer­ed [Page 203] his words. Men they often professe against self-pleasing; that they my please themselves more securely: self-denying, votes make but more way for self-seeking practises, but Christ did not onely professe self-denyall, but practise it, we shall find self-denyall written upon all his actions—. Self-detriment and self-losse, and self-shame, was all which Jesus Christ gained.

(1) In taking our nature upon him, he lost his glory; the beauty and brightnesse of the Divine nature, was shadowed and hid under the rags of our flesh, the ashes of the humane flesh did obscure the shining beames of the Di­vine Nature, therefore the Apostle saith, he emptied himselfe, Phil. 2. 7, 8. he made himself of no reputation, [...]. He fell from the height of glory, to the depth of shame, from the Throne to the Dunghill.

(2) When he had taken our flesh, what ad­vantage of his own did he look after?

(1) He denyed his own ease, his life was full of labour, watchfullnesse, painfulnesse, wearinesse.

(2) He sought not his own honour, he was exposed to shame, reproach, contempt, dis­grace, &c. he was vilified by every tongue, scorned and stigmatized by every mouth.

(3) He sought not his own profit, he had no lands, no houses, no revenues: Foxes have holes, the birds of the ayre have nests, the Son of man hath not where to lay his head, he was [...], 2 Cor. 8, 9. he begd a draught of water, Joh. 4. 7.

[Page 204] (4) He sought not his own pleasure, he liv­ed a retired, obscure life.

There's a twofold pleasing of men.

(1) A sinfull pleasing of them.

(1) When men are humord, & flatterd in their sin: of this the Apostle speaks, Gal. 1. 10.

(2) When we act onely for the applause of men, [...], Eph. 6. 6. Col. 3 22.

(2) A [...]o [...]y pleasing of men.

(1) When we apply our selves to their weak­nesse, in things lawfull, for their salvation, 1 Cor. 10. 33.

(2) When we seek their profit, Rom. 15. 2.

(5) He sought not his own life, he submit­ted himself to the most vile, shamefull, pain­full, cursed death of the Crosse. If you trace him from his birth to his grave, you shall find nothing that can be called self-pleasing, or self-seeking. All he acted, all he did was out of respect to others: he was borne for others, he laboured, he wept, he preached, he prayed, he lived, he dyed, not for himself, but for others.

He might have had all the honours, glory, preferment, &c. the world could afford, but he sought none of these things, he would leave any thing of self-concernment, when he had opportunity to do others good.

The reasons are these. The [...]

(1) Self-pleasing was not sutable to the stae and condition which Christ had taken upon him­self. He took upon himselfe the forme of a Ser­vant. [Page 205] Now Servants are not to seek themselves, but them for whom they are employed and in­trusted. This is the reason which the Apostle gives for this very thing, Phil. 2. 4, 5. 7. he speaks, ver. 5. how Christ looked not at his own things, &c. and the reason is hinted, ver. 7. he took upon him the forme of a Servant. And this is the very reason which he gives his Disciples of that self-neglect, which they saw in him, Joh. 4. 34. my meate is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Christ in his word, requires of all Servants, that they look not at what is of advantage to themselves, but at what may be for the benefit of those that Tit. 2. 9. have chosen them, 2 Tim. 2. 4. Even Souldi­ers; they must please them, who have chosen them, not themselves. And having taken upon him the office of a Servant, he would act as became a Servant, vid. Joh. 6. 38.

(2) From the strength and Ardency of the affection which he bare to the glory of God, and the good of men. The honour of his Father was precious to him, the advantaging of his Church was the delight of his Soul. He could neither have brought glory to his Father, nor been be­neficiall to men, if he had pleased himself and sought himself, therefore he looks off himself, and looks to others. The seeking of himselfe would have been the losing of the world; the pleasing of himself would have been the de­struction of others; his ease would have been his Churches torment, his pleasure would have been their paine, &c. Paul he was so far in [Page 206] love with the Churches good, that he can be content to neglect himself, for their advan­tage, vid. 2 Tim. 2. 10. if self and Church stood in competition, as many times they did, he would displease self to please the Church. The love of Christ is stronger then the love of 10000 Pauls.—

(3) That he might teach us the sinfulnesse and danger of the sin of self-pleasing and prevent us from falling into it, what the Apostle speaks of the patient suffering of Christ, we may say also of this, vid. 1 Pet. 2. 21. Therefore we find that when the Apostles endeavour to take off Christians, from this they ordinarily urge the example of Christ. As there are two wayes, whereby the excellency of duty appeares, viz. Gods command and Christs example; so there are also two wayes whereby the evill of sin ap­peares, viz. the prohibition of Gods law, and the care of Christ in declining it.

(4) From that humanity, curtesy, and comity, which was in Jesus Christ, where there is sweet­nesse of nature, there will not be self-pleasing, usually self-pleasing is found in morose, rugged, harsh natures; such as Nabal was.

But Nature in Jesus Christ was in its per­fection. The Scripture makes mention of the grace of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. 8, 9. i. e. the good­nesse of his disposition. There was no soureness of nature in our Saviour. Grace is powred into thy lips, Psal. 45.

(5) Our Saviour knew well that the end of his coming into the world, was of publique, not of pri­vate [Page 207] and personall concernment, therefore his desire was to please, to seek others not him­selfe. The wisedome and happinesse of men is to know their end, and to serve their end; our Saviour had this wisedome, we shall find him very often arguing in divers cases, from the end of his coming into the world. I came not to do my own will, Io. 6. 38.

1. Use. Information.

(1) We may from hence take notice of the very great humility of our Lord Jesus Christ, he was so lowly and so full of condescension, that he would stoope to the meanest of the sons of men. Though he was the excellent glo­ry, yet he did not so far insist upon his own greatnesse, as to the disregard, and overlook the concernments of others; He did undervalue and passe over (as I may say) the things of per­sonall concernment, that he might take care of the things of others. Great men they think it too far below themselves, to take into their thoughts the things of others, to look to them in their actings, &c. they judge it a disparage­ment, but Jesus Christ did not so. If they may please, profit, advantage themselves, they mat­ter not though many be ruin'd, undone, de­stroyed,—Jesus Christ was of another mind; He would not do any thing, which might scan­dalize anorher, though he might have done it: he payed tribute to avoid scandalizing of others, Math. 17. 27,

(2) We may from hence see the reason of severall Acts of Christ.

(1) Why it was that our Lord Jesus did [Page 208] so contentedly passe by and disregard all the indignities, all the hard usage he receives from men, sometimes he was called Beelzebub a Samaritan, and, hath a Devill a Wine bibber, and riotous person, yet we do not read that he was much moved, &c. when he was reviled, he re­viled not againe, &c. 1 Pet. 2. 23. The cause is, He did not please himself.

(1) It lets us see the reason also why he was so little taken with popular applause. The Euges, Hosannas of men did not much affect him, when he had wrought great miracles, to noyse his fame, he would retire into the wil­dernesse, he acted his greatest works often in corners, When his brethren importune him to take a publike stage to act upon, he slights them, &c. Joh. 7. 4. he rejects it.

(3) Why his converse was with men of low­est condition, &c. he came as readily to the poore Cottage, as to the Centurion's house.

(4) Why he did beare so many weaknesses in his Disciples.

How [...] breeds these following lusts,

(1) It breeds Covetuousnesse: [...] will 2 Tim. 3. 2. be [...], he that seeks himself, will rake all things to himself; such a man will never make an end of heaping up, and that by any meanes, direct or indirect. Covetuousnesse is the root of all evill, and selfe love, is the cause and root of that.

(2) [...] boasters. [...] est mendaci­um quo nob [...]s plura arrogamus & tribuimus; quàm reverâ possidemus, Keck. Ethic. And [...] [Page 209] is one that boasteth of what he hath not, a great sin. Self-seekers, they look upon themselves, as men of great worth: therefore there will be arrogating, boasting of their excellencies, and Deserts: its an Epithet of the Peacock, (Lee Critic). They arrogate to themselves, the Names of Saints, &c. high Titles, &c.

(3) [...]. Proud. Praeferentes se aliis, cos (que) praese contemnentes—. Self-love will bring in this sin.

(4) [...], Blasphemers. Qui bonorum famam non morantur laedere. Self-admirers must needs cast dirt upon all Faces, that they may shine alone.

(5) [...]. Despicientes legitimam authoritatem. Anti-magistratical. Self-seekers cannot endure any Superior, they must Regna­re soli—

(6) [...], Unthankful. 'Tis against the Nature of self-seeking to acknowledge any re­ceipt, or to recompence any courtefies, &c.

(7) [...], Ʋnholy. Prophane men, with­out holiness, not caring for the study of it. He that seeks himself, cannot study holiness, that checks his lust, bids him seek others, therefore he turns prophane, &c.

(8) [...], Without Natural Affection. Re­specting no Relations. All Relations of con­sanguinity, affinity, are swallowed up in self.

(9) [...]. Covenant-breakers. Self-seek­ers will never make Covenants, but upon self­ish [Page 210] respects; and upon selfish respects, they will violate all again.

(10) [...]. False accusers. Qui co [...]fic­tis criminibus aliorum innocentiam onerant. They must make all others Devils, that they them­selves may appear Saints. They must brand o­thers, that Self may be clear.

(11) [...]. Incontinent. Men that wal­low in all kind of voluptuousness. A self-seeker will deny himself in nothing. Self must in­dulge it self.

(12) [...]. Fierce. Cruel as Beasts, with­out meekness or humanity.

(13) [...]. Despisers of them that are good.

(14) [...] Traytors. Qui amicos bene­meritos periculis vitae objiciunt, who expose their friends, that have well deserved of them, to danger of their life.

(15) [...]. Heady. Men that have no other guide but wil. Rash, inconsiderate, sumpta metaphora ab avium pullis qui implumes dum vo­la [...]e conantur humi decidunt. A Metaphor taken from the young-ones of Birds, which endea­vour to fly, before they are feathered.

(16) [...]. High-minded. Pleasing themselves with an opinion of their own worth and excellency. Inflati, puffed up with the thoughts of their own glory.

(17) [...]. Lovers of pleasures, more then lovers of God. A self-seeker, will at any time cast Gods commands behind his back, to take up his own pleasure.

[Page 211] (18) [...]. Having a form, &c.

This is the Colours, or Ensign of this black Regiment. They have an appearance of godli­nesse.

Their Colours are white, though their acti­ons are very black.

The Cup is guilded, that the poyson may be lesse suspected.

God is set up in the Banner, that the Devil may lodge more quietly in the Camp.

2d Ʋse. Exhortation. Let us imitate our Saviour in this grace, vid. 1 John 2. 6. This Doctrine was never more necessary, then in our times. Self-pleasing, and self-seeking, is the Epidemical Disease of the present Age. Eve­ry one seeks himself, and not the things of Je­sus Christ, was the Apostles complaint of old, Phil. 2. 21. We may take up the same Com­plaint now, too truly. The greatest part of men look no further then themselves; if they be pleased, they care not who be displeased; if they be advantaged, they care not who be pre­judiced; if their Houses be builded, they care not if all others Habitations be pulled down: if they can but swim, they matter not if all o­thers sink. Look to thy own House David, &c. Shake off this frame of Spirit, all ye who pre­tend to Jesus, &c.

I shall (1) give you some Motives.

(2) Propound some Helps, or Directi­ons.

[Page 212] Motive 1. Consider the many pressing Com­mands of God to this purpose. The Scripture is very frequent in commending the care and respect of others to us, vid. Phil. 2. 4. [...], to look as to the scope or mark we aym at, Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. And Joh. 13. 14. Ye ought also to wash one anothers feet, i. e. not to look after your own welfare, but after the welfare of o­thers also, Gal. 5. 13. By love, serve one another, Gal. 6. 2. 1 Thes. 5. 11. Edifie one another, even as also ye do. Heb. 10. 24. Consider one another, [...], to provoke unto love, and to good works. The care of others welfare, is commanded no lesse then our own. Thou shalt love thy Neigh­bour as thy self, Mat. 19. 19. 1 Cor. 10. 24.

Motive 2. You have the examples of the Saints. They have displeasured themselves to please others. The Apostle Paul, he could be contented to be vilified, abused, imprisoned, &c. any thing, so he might do others good, 1 Cor. 9. 19, 20, 21, 22. in rebus mediis. Yea, when his own personal glory, and the good of his Brethren, came into competition, though he was in a strait for a while, yet doth he set a­side his present glory, that he might advantage others, Phil. 1. 22, 23, 24. He rather chuseth to live a laborious life, to be instrumental for the good of the Church, then go to Heaven, and take his Crown. Its a famous commendation which Paul gives to Timotheus, Phil. 2. 20, 21. and so Epaphroditus, Phil. 2. 29, 30. vid. 1 Cor. 10. 33. Consider that of Moses and Paul, [Page 213] Exod. 32. 32. Rom. 9. 3. They layd their souls to pledge.

Motive 3. Consider the danger of self-seek­ing and self-pleasing. See it in a few particu­lars. These 4.

Consider (1) Its the inlet to many other sins, 2 Tim. 3. 2. [...] Self-love marcheth in the front, and see what a black Regiment follows in the reare; Covetousness, Pride, Boasting, &c. its a fruitful breeder of lusts. It ingenders pride, its the nurse of covetousness, its the rise of boasting, and vain glory: its the stirrop of blasphemy, its the root of Disobedience, its the ground of unthankfulness, its the spring of un­holiness, its the bane of natural affection, its the Midwife of Covenant-breaking, its the womb of false accusations, its the fewel of in­continence, its the kindler of fierceness, it casts contempt upon good men, its the key of trea­son, its the high road to headiness and ambiti­on, its the gate of voluptuousness and hatred of God. These Children will follow the Mother. A sinful self-pleaser will in time stick at no wickedness.

Consider (2) It is the cause of jars, dissenti­ons, quarrellings, it dissolves societies, it breaks concord. The Apostle looks up­on this, as the sluce of division and va­riance, and therefore enjoyns, that for the pre­venting of Discord, this sluce may be stopped up, Phil. 2. init. 1, 2. There is the exhortation to unity. As a help to this, he cautions against three things, which will unty the strongest [Page 214] knots in the World, viz. vain glory, pride, ver. 3. and this Incendiary of self-seeking, vers. 4. when men look at their own things, and neg­lect others, they will raise up flames. Luther upon Psal. 127. Ego planè in ea opinione sum, Monarchias longe diuti­us duraturas, si Monarchae hoc unum pronomen (Ego) omnisissent, if Self were left out. Those who are neglected, will think themselves wronged, and from hence will proceed bitter­ness, envying, malignities, and at last deadly hatred and division: where self-pleasers rule the Rost, there discontents and variances, will grow and heighten. Self-pleasers hate every one, and all others hate them; and from ha­tred, arise animosities, oppositions, contra­dictions, and at last, down-right contenti­ons.

Consider (4) Its the way for a man to lose himself, and to displease himself. No men lose themselves more at the long-run, then such as make it their business to se [...]k themselves. None do more crosse themselves, then such as study only the pleasing of themselves. Jonah saved himself, by sacrificing himself for others, Jonah. 1. 12. 17. And so did David, 2 Sam. 24. 17. Me me ad sum qui fe ci, in me convertite fer­rum. Bur. Divis. p. 117. Gods way of pun­ishing self-seeking, is by self-undoing. It doth take off the care and tuition of God from such, and it doth enrage, and set men against them. God will not seek the good of a self-seeker, and all men seek his hurt: therefore his condition [Page 215] must needs be dangerous: What our Saviour saith in another case, in Matth. 25. is as true in this.

Consider (4) What a great sin it is in it self, its to make self an Idol, its to make self our end, which is a breach of the first Command: None of us, saith the Apostle, lives unto him­self, neither doth any of us die to himself, saith the Apostle, Rom. 14. 7. He makes it an Argu­ment against self-pleasing. Self-seeking, is an absolute shaking off the Authority and Domi­nion of God over us. It is the professing of our selves to be sui juris, which is not allowable to any created Nature. Its Gods excellency, that he cannot act any thing, but out of self-respect; For men to do so, is to make themselves Gods.

Motive 4. In all the Creation, there is no Creature which is made for it self: the Universe, say the Philosophers, is maintained by union of one Creature with another. A Vacuum would dissolve all: Heavy things, will ascend to prevent a Vacuum. Draw ayr out of a Pipe, and water will ascend to fill it. The Sun shines to others, the Fountain is filled for others, the Earth brings forth Fruit for others, the Trees feed others, the Fire warms others, &c. The Angels they serve others, they are [...]. Heb. 1. ult. Yea, the very beasts, they are for the use and service of others. And shall man the noblest Creature, shall Chri­stians the noblest men, be only for themselves? The Heathen man could say long since, Non [Page 216] nobis solum nati sumus, partem parentes, partem patria, partem amici vendicant. And many of the more generous Heathens, have contem­ned and slighted self, for the good of others. They have sacrificed their own lives, to save their Countrey. They have drowned themselves to preserve their Brethren from drowning. They have pulled down their own Houses, to repair the publick. Decius, & Nuntius, & Codrus, & Curtius, for this very act, are called piac [...]ares homines, or sacri homines. St. Austin speaking of their Acts, saith, that it was stre­nue magis factum, quàm bene. But it should teach Christians in a religious regular manner, according to the Scripture, to disregard self, for the good of others. Should a Christian burn whole Cities and Kingdoms, to save their own Houses, when as Heathens have set their own on fire, to preserve others from the flame? This is shameful and abominable.

(2) For Helps or Directions, consider these following,

A Receipt of seven Ingredients.

(1) Take heed of Pride and Vain glory. As self-seeking ingenders pride, so pride doth much foment and nourish this sin of self-plea­sing. Humility makes men stoop to others, and take their good into consideration; but pride fastens a mans eyes only upon himself. A proud man scorns all others, and all others [Page 217] scorn him. Where there is most condescension, and humility, there will be the least self-plea­sing. The Apostle prescribes the Physick of Humility, to prevent the Disease of self-pleas­ing, where it is not; and to cure it, where it is, vid, Phil. 2, 3, 4.

In the 4th Verse, we have the duty enjoyn­ed, Look not every man on his own things, &c. in the 3d Verse, he doth removere prohibens, Let nothing be done through strife and vain glory, &c. Could we but think meanly of our selves, and highly of others, we would please others though by our own displeasure.

(2) Beg for, and labour to attain unto a very great measure of Brotherly love. Self-love is the breeder of self-pleasing; and want of brotherly love, is the rise of brother-neglect­ing. The truth is, uncharitableness is the Foun­dation of self-pleasing; you must dry up the Fountain, if you would have the streams to cease. Were there more love, there would be lesse self-pleasing. The Apostle describing the Nature of Charity, makes this one property of it, [...], 1 Cor. 13. 5. Charity, it begins at home, but it doth not end there. It hath two eyes, one for it self, another for the Brethren: if it work with one hand for it self, it works for the Brethren with the other; yea, it will go naked it self, rather then pluck the covering from off others. Self-seeking is so scalding hot in our dayes, because brotherly love and charity are so Icy-cold.

[Page 218] (3) Often read over, and think upon that gol­den Rule of our Saviour, whatsoever ye would, that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, Mat. 7. 12. Its a very equitable, and a very compre­hensive Rule. The remembring and observing of this one Rule, would sufficiently help us to discharge all the Duties of the 2d Table, if there were no more said of them. There's not a man upon Earth, but would have his con­cernments cared for by others; he would have himself, and his affaires, taken into thought by others: how unreasonable and unjust is it then, that any man should only seek, and act for him­self, when as he would have no other to do so?

(4) Consider often of the Union and Con­junction there is between thee and others. There is Vinculum Gratiae, between Believers and believers; They are members of one my­stical body. There is Commune vinculum Na­tura, between man and man; They are one Communi humanitate. There is Vinculum Na­tionis, & Cognationis, & Amicitiae, we shall finde ties enough upon us, to take in the care of more then our selves; yea, to leave out the care of none: if one member of the body seek it self only, the rest will soon wither, and come to nothing: You know the fable of the Hands and other members, which would take no care of the Belly; they thought the belly was given to pleasure, &c. The hands would not procure any more sustenance, &c. the issue was, Both the belly, and the rest of the members were [Page 219] sodainly wasted, &c. vid. 1 Cor. 12. 26.

The like may be said for the members of po­litical societies, &c.

(5) Often think of the meaness of self, what a low, unworthy, and mean end he propounds, who confines his care, thoughts, &c. only within the narrow compasse of Self. Noble Spirits aym at high ends. Now the more that are concerned in your actings, the more no­ble your actings are. Ronum quo communius e [...] melius. And I may say further, he seeks him­self most profitably, who doth not seek himself solely, but lodgeth with others. Every mans self, every mans interest lyes truly and proper­ly more in Community, then in Unity; more in the general, then it doth in his particular good. Self is a shadow, a nothing.

(6) Often consider of that of the Apostle, the Ministration of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall, 1 Cor. 12. 7. God hath gi­ven nothing to any man for himself alone; nei­ther parts, graces, comforts, &c. others have a share in them, vid. 2 Cor. 1. 4. it may be ap­plied to all things received, as well as comforts &c.

And as no man should please himself, so espe­cially, those who are in places of publick trust. Magistrates, they are for publick good, Rom. 13. 4. They are Fountains, Pilots, Stars, &c. Self-seeking in a Magistrate, is the transgressing of his main end, which is to be for others. They are to stitch up the breaches of the Common-wealth, nor to share it in parts amongst them­selves. [Page 220] What was said to Shebna, should be minded by such, Esa. 22. 15, 16. &c. Wise Ci­tizens, would chuse such into no publick em­ployment.

(7) Seek your selves spiritually, that you may be taken off from sinful self-seeking. Did but men seek pardon of sin, seek to make their Calling and Election sure, seek salvation, as they should, &c. They would have no time, nor no heart to seek such poor things as self is.

I shall conclude all with this one Conside­ration, That its just, that God should leave such to themselves, who seek only themselves, vid. Ezech. 22. 16. Thou shalt take thine Inhe­ritance in thy self, in the sight of the Heathen. 'Tis a threatning, as vers. 14, 15. sheweth. Self will do a man more mischief, then all the De­vils in Hell. Eripe me à meipso, should be our prayer, vid. Prov. 14. 14. To be given up to self, is worse than to be given up to Satan. To do what is right in our own heart. To walk after the sight of our own eyes, how sinful is it?

Mary Wolnoth, July the 8th. 1649. [...].

Mark 3. 5.‘Joh. 2. 17. The zeale of thy house hath eaten me up.

[...].

VVE have a prophecy of the Messiah by Malachi, the last of the Prophets, that the Messenger of the Cove­nant should come to his Temple, and sit as a refi­ner and purifier of Silver, to purifie the Sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord, an offer­ing in righteousnesse, Mal. 3. 1, 2, 3. And in this Chapter we have the accomplishment of this prophecy. Jesus Christ, as was foretold, beginning his propheticall office, comes to purge his Temple of those corruptions, which [Page 222] through the ignorance and profanenesse of the people, and the covetousnesse of the Priests and Scribes had been introduced and continu­ed in that place.

In the Chapter we have two great mira­cles.

(1) The turning of water into wine at a marri­age-feast in Cana of Galile, ver. 1. ad 12.

(2) The reforming and purging out of the abuses of the Temple, ver. 12. ad finem. It is Jerome in Math. 21. 12. the opinion of Jerome, that this was (all cir­cumstances considered) one of the greatest mi­racles which Christ wrought.

Multi arbitrantur maxima esse signorum quod Lazarus suscitatus est, quòd caecus ex utero lu­men accepit, quòd transfiguratus in monte glori­am ostendit triumphantis: mihi autem inter omnia signa quae fecit Dominus, hoc videtur esse mirabi­lius, quòd unus homo, & illo tempore contemptibi­lis, & in tantum vilis ut postea crucifigeretur, Scribis & Pharisaeis contra se saevientibus & vi­dentibus lucra sua destrui, potuerit ad unius fla­gelli verbera tantam eijcere multitudinem, mensas­que avertere, & confringere cathedras, & talia facere quae infinitus non fecisset exercitus.

There were at that time a very great multi­tude of people come from all parts to observe the Passeover. The Scribes, Priests, and Pha­risees were sufficiently enraged against Christ, and the Tower called Arx Antonia, wherein were the Souldiers of the Temple, was neere at hand; and yet that no man should dare to oppose Christ in this act; that one man under [Page 223] tempt and scorne, not with sword and armes, but with a whip made of small cords, which they who brought Sheep and Oxen, had laid there for their use, should drive so many out of the Temple, and not one of the Merchants or people, so much as speake a word in oppositi­on, this is miraculous, and more then prodi­gious

In this miracle we have these two things.

1. The miracle it selfe: in which,

(1) The time when. A little before the Jew­ish passeover, ver. 13.

(2) The place where: the Temple. Not that part of it, into which the Priests onely en­tred, but the Atrium, or outward Court, in which the people prayed, were taught, and offered sacrifices, ver. 14.

(3) The occason of this miracle, this is ver. 14. The original of this custome, is from that which is written, Deut. 14. 24. The Jewes were at this time scattered throughout almost all Nations, now that they might not at their repairing to Jerusalem for worship, be con­strained to run up and downe to provide sacri­fices, it was agreed by the Priests and Scribes, &c. that those things which were necessary for sacrifice, should be sold about the Temple—.This was their pretence, but that which really caused this, was the covetuousnesse of the Priests, who made great gaine by these mer­chandizings.

(4) The manner of it, ver. 15.

[Page 224] (5) The reason rendred, ver. 16. make not my Fathers house, &c. The Temple was a sha­dow and type of those things, the lively Image whereof is in Christ; therefore it was to be applyed onely to spirituall uses, for this reason our Saviour denyes it to be lawfull to convert it to such a common use as a Market place.

(2) The effect or consequence of this mira­cle.

1. The effect it wrought upon the Disci­ples, ver. 17. Not that they presently remem­bred this; but afterwards when they had been better instructed, then God brought this Scrip­ture to their minds, as the reason of this act of Christ; with which they were satisfied.

2. The effect it wrought upon the Jewes: this is twofold.

(1) Some quarreld with him, ver. 28, 19, 20, &c.

(2) Others did seemingly professe faith and subjection to him, ver. 23, 24, 25. upon this and other miracles; whom Christ did not trust. The Text is the effect which this great Heroick act of Christ wrought on his Disciples. They remembred, &c. This Scripture is Psal. 69. 9. where David writing of himselfe as a Type of Christ hath these words, The zeale, &c.

I shall handle them distinctly, as spoken of Christ.

In them we have two things.

(1) An excellent vertue or grace of Christ, 1. Grace in the Habite the zeale of thy house.

[Page 225] (2) The operativenesse of this grace, hath eaten me up, the activity of it. Grace in exercise.

Zeale, [...]. If we consider the word, it comes from a verbe that signifies to boyle [...], 1. Wh [...]t▪ zeal is. it signifies the hissing noyse of water when it boyles. If we consider the Nature of the thing, we find it used both in a good sense, and in a bad sense. There is a zeale which is a fruit of the Spirit. And there is also a zeale which is a fruit of the flesh, Gal. 5. 20. The fruits of the 2 Cor. 7. 11. [...] flesh are manifest, which are these, Adulteries, &c. Emulations, [...]. When it is used in a bad sense it signifies,

(1) Envy. Acts 5. 17. [...], and Acts 7. 9. the Patriarchs moved with envy [...], Jam. 3. 14. If ye have bitter envy­ing and strife in your hearts, glory not, [...]. vid. Bezam in textum de zelo distinguentem

(2) For misguided blind zeale, Phil. 3. 9. concerning zeale, persecuting the Church, [...], Gal. 1. 14. being more exceedingly zealous of the Traditions of my Fathers, [...].

(3) For contentiousness of spirit, Jam. 3. 16. where strife and envying is, there is confusion [...].

(4) For pretended jealousie and affection towards another, Gal. 4. 17. They zealously affect you, but not well, [...].

When it is used in a good sense, it signi­fieth,

(1) Godly jealousie, 2 Cor. 11. 2. I am [Page 226] jealous over you with a godly jealousie, [...].

(2) For a good Emulation, when we desire to be followers, and imitators of others, in that which is good, Gal. 4. 18. Tis good to be ze [...] ­lous alwayes in a good matter, [...], 1 Cor. 12. 31. Covet earnestly t [...]e best gifts, [...].

(3) For the violent fervor of all the affecti­on towards others, whom we love, Gal. 4. 13. I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, [...]. And so tis used here in the Text, [...]. Some of the Schoo [...]men there are, who only place this in the affection of love; others make it to be a mixture of love and anger: but its clear, that it hath place in every other affection, as well as these, and the heighth and intention of every affection, is called zeal. The heighth of anger is the zeal of anger: the heighth of pitty, is the zeal of pit­ty, and the heighth of love, is the zeal of love, &c. Of thy house. This is the Object of Christ's 2. What Gods House is. zeal, the house of God, which by a Synechdoche, doth comprehend the whole worship and ser­vice of God, appointed to be observed in the Temple. All matters of Religion and Wor­ship. Hath eaten me up, [...]. This 3. What to de­vour, is. shewes the fervor and heat of Christs zeal, it was not any ordinary heat, but an extraordina­ry and violent, which put forth it self by such an heroical Act as this was; Christ was even [Page 227] as if he had had fire in his bowels, he could not refrain himself. The Lesson which we may learn, is this,

The Lord Jesus Christ, was exceeding zealous Doct. against all manner of Corruptions and defilements in Religion, & in the worship of God. He had in his breast a very hot zeal for his Fathers house, and all the Ordinances and Services thereof. As it was prophesied of him, that he should come as a Refiner to his Temple, and should be very hot for the worship of God; so was his carri­age from his taking upon him the publick Mi­nistry, to the day of his Death and crucify­ing.

There are three things, wherein Christ ma­nifested [...], proved 3. wayes. his zeal this way. (1) He did very zealously assert the purity of Religion and Gods worship, in his publick Ministry, and zealously defend it against the corrupters of it. In the 5th 6th and 7th Chapters of Matth. in that excellent Sermon upon the Mount, we shall finde many Instructions given by our Sa­viour, both concerning matters of Doctrine, and concerning matters of worship, as Chap. 5. vers. 21. ad finem, and Chapter 6. concerning prayer, fasting: vid. Chap. 6. v. 5. ad 16. con­cerning prayer: and v. 16. ad 19. concerning the right manner of fasting. And Mat. 15. v. 1. ad 21, Christ preacheth against their Traditi­ons, which they had brought into the Church. And Matth. 19. 3. ad 10. preacheth against the Doctrine of Divorce, which they had in­troduced. And Chap. 22. v. 23. he cleares the [Page 228] Doctrine of the Resurrection against the sad­duces. And he that reads seriously the Evange­lists, will finde, that there was no corruption, either in Doctrine, or worship, but Christ boldly, and zealously refuted it in his Mini­stry.

(2) As he had zeal to reprove, so he had zeal to reform the corruptions which he had reproved. We read of two solemn Reformations of things amisse, in the worship of God, which Christ made with his own hands. One we have in the Text. Another we read of Mat. 21. 12, 13. They are two several stories. This is John was done in his entrance, upon his Prophetical and Kingly Office, as appeares John 2. 11. That in Matth. was towards the end of his life. In this of John, Christ drave only the sellers out; but in that of Matth. he proceeded farther, and cast out both them that sold, and them that bought. Here in John, our Saviour speaks only of the deceit of their Merchandize; but there in Mat. he speaks of a Den. of Theeves. First, he rebukes them mildly, then afterwards more severely, so that twice Christ took this work into his own hand.

(3) His zeal for the worship of God, will appear by his care in the institution of Gospel-worship, when he had abolished the Jewish, vid. Mat. 28. 19. 20. and Mat. 26. 26, 27. And Acts 1. 3. those 40. dayes which he spent in the World, after his Resurrection, were passed in giving them order about worship, and other matters of the Church. He gave them punctual Di­rections [Page 229] for every piece of worship, and bindes up their hands, that they should exactly keep to the Rule Mat. 28. 20.

The Reasons hereof, are these.

(1) The work of reforming corruptions in the [...]. Church, did appertain to Christ, by vertue of his Offices. As the Prophet and King of his Church, it lay upon him to remove all the Rubbish which was in the worship of God. Jesus Christ was the great Reformer, and the great visitor of the Church, sent from Heaven for this pur­pose. John Baptist, the immediate forerunner of Christ, describes the manner of his comming, Mat. 3. 13. whose Fan is in his hand, and he will thorowly purge his floore, &c. He could not have been a faithful King, if his soul had not been stirred within him, at the beholding of such corruptions. All the Prophets which foretold of him, speak of that glory which he should bring to the Church, Hag. 2. 7. vid. Zech. 6. 12, 13. and Mal. 3. init.

(2) This proceeded from that love, and duti­ful Respect he bore to his Father. There is no­thing, by which God is more dishonoured, then by corruptions in worship. The Name of God is in his worship; and the soyling of Gods worship, is the defiling of his Name. Now Gods honour was very dear to Christ; there­fore his zeal burned within him, to see such a­buse done to his Father. This is that which is [Page 230] in the verse before the Text, vers. 16. Make not my Fathers House, an house of Merchandize. The Temple was the House of God, the place of his rest, the place where he had set his Name, &c. It was the Court of God upon Earth, &c. Therefore was our Saviour so offended, to see it polluted.

(3) From that love and affection he bore to Religion, and to the worship of God. Jesus Christ saw a great Beauty in the holy Institutions of God in the Church. The Ordinances of God were glorious in his sight: therefore was he so zealous against the corruptions which were in them. Vid. Mat. 7. 6. Holy things, Pearles: those words, testifie what our Saviour thought of the Institutions of God. They were Pearles in his sight, they were holy things in his esteem, and the corruptions of men, would soyl these Pearles, would prophane these holy things, &c.

(4) From that love he bore to the souls of this People.

1. Some amongst them, who loved the wor­ship of God, were without question, much grieved to behold such defilements. And for their sake, did our Saviour now act so vigo­rously, vid. Zeph. 3. 18. Its spoken there, of the [...]educing of the Captivity. God would do it for their sakes, who were grieved for the solemn Assembly, &c. Now its not to be imagined, but many were grieved, especially after Christ, had the first time acted about it, Ergo.

[Page 231] 2. All of them had losse by it. This must needs cause an Intermission of those things which were to be performed in this place. Both publick Instruction, and publick sacrifi­ces were to be performed in this place, &c. They had not then liberty to sacrifice else­where, as we have now, &c.

1. Ʋse. This is good newes for us, and a ground of consolation, to all the Sons and Daughters of the Church, that are so in truth; That the corruptions which are now in the Church, shall at last be purged out, and reform­ed. It is now many years, since we engaged our selves in a work of Reformation: where the work hath stuck, and still sticks, the God of Heaven knowes very well; for he can see clear­ly, through all the masks which the Sons of men shall put upon their faces, who have hin­dered the sweeping out of corrupt and noy­som Doctrines, and who have impeded the re­moval of false Worships, and setling the true. And the Lord Jesus hath not lost one spark of his zeal, by ascending into Heaven. And be­sides,

1. It belongs as much to him now, as it did while he was on Earth: he hath not laid aside any of those Offices which he had, when he was upon Earth. He is still Prophet, and he is still King. He cannot be deposed, nor de­throned from his Regency and Kingship over the Church, Psal. 110. per totum. What charge he had on Earth, he hath still in Heaven.

[Page 232] 2. His love to his Father, is not any thing abated: his affections are still, within him, burning and boyling.

3. Nor is his love to the worship of God, and Religion cooled: the worship of God, and the truth of Religion, is still as precious to him, as ever it was on Earth.

(4) Nor are his bowels straitned in the least measure, towards his Servants on Earth. He is still as sensible of their mournings for the corruption of worship, and the defilement of Ordinances, as ever he was. And he is as care­ful of their edification, as when he was on Earth.

The Reasons of his former zeal continue, and therefore his zeal also continueth.

And besides all this, he hath given us many promises, which he will never break, that his worship in the Gospel Church, shall be esta­blished in purity, vid. Esa. 9. 7. Esa. 54, 11, 12. which refers to the Gospel-Church, Rev. 21. per totum. Most understand it of a Reforma­tion of the Church in this World.

Therefore lift up your heads, O ye mournful Sons of Zion to whom the present corruptions in the Church are a burden, Christ will at last free you from this burthen.

And let it not seem the lesse possible, or feisible, because of the small power that is visi­ble on the Churches part, or for the great visible power that opposeth it. Christs whip of Cords is strong enough against all the power of Creatures. If he do but take up his whip, he [Page 233] will soon put to flight all opposers.

2d Ʋse. How unlike to Jesus Christ, are the greatest part of Christians in our dayes? we may take up sad complaints against sundry sorts of persons.

(1) There are some like Gallio, that care for no such things, as the worship of God. They are Act. 18. 17. indifferent, whether they have Religion a­mongst them or no: if they have the worship of God, they can be content, and if the Taber­nacle of God be removed, they can bear it with­out grief, it doth not much trouble their spi­rits, though all the Synagogues of God in the Land be burnt up. So they may enjoy their ci­vil liberties, have free Trading, secure their E­states, raise their Families, fill their Treasu­ries with the good things of this life, they are not much solicitous for the concernments of Religion, or the worship of God. They will not much dispute against Religion; neither will they contend for it with any great life: the presence of Religion is no great burden to them, and the want of it is no great losse. They will not repine, if they have the Ark, and they will not be greatly offended if they have it not; if the Ordinances of God be in the Temple, tis well; and if the buyers and sellers there be, tis not much amisse. They stand in aequilibrio, as to these matters: if Religion dwell in their Coasts, they will not thrust it out of doors, and if it be removing, they will not lament after it, nor beg its continuance. They are affected with these matters, as [Page 234] some men are with their ordinary friends; if they will stay with them, they will not bid them be gone; and if they have a minde to de­part, they will not desire their stay, &c.

They are concerning Religion of that minde, which Paul commands, believing Husbands to be of, towards their unbelieving Wives, 1 Cor. 7. 13. 15. If she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away; but if she will depart, let her depart: so they say, and so they act concerning Religion, and the Ordinances of God.

I have a few things to say to such. They are not like the Gaderenes, Matth. 8. 34. Nor are they like the two Disciples, Luk. 24. 29.

1. Certainly, they are not acted by the Spi­rit of Jesus Christ: his was a fiery Spirit, but theirs is a cold Spirit; he had life, they are dead.

2. God hath threatned, that he will spue such luke-warm Christians out of his mouth, Rev. 3. 15, 16. They are just between Heaven and Hell. They are like Ephraim, Hos. 7. 8. Half­baked. The Prophet Elijah, chides such halters as these, 1 Reg. 18. 21.

3. The Ordinances of God, are not very like to do much good upon the Spirits of such Christians, The Kingdom of Heaven suffers vi­olence, and the violent take it by force, Mat. 11. 12. Heaven must be stormed, or never en­tred.

(2) Others there are, who are zealous a­gainst the worship of God, and against Religi­on. [Page 235] Some are very zealous for superstition: the Traditions of their Fathers. Unsawful and unwarranted Ceremonies, and sinful Inventi­ons of men in the worship of God: such was Demetrius, and his Associates, Acts 19. 24. He was as hot for the golden shrines for Diana as if they had been the golden Plates of the Temple. Great is Diana of the Ephesians. Such were those old Idolaters, with whom the Pro­phet Jeremiah, had to do, Jer. 44. 16, 17. We will do as we have done, We and our Fathers, to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven. They are grieved to see any endeavour to purge the wa­ters of the Sanctuary from defilements.

Others are zealous for errors in Doctrine. They would have an unlimited Toleration of all opinions, and all kindes of worship in the Church of God. The Woman Jezebel shall have liberty to vent her falsehoods, as well as the Prophets of God to preach their Truths. An­tichrist shall have his Throne as well as Christ. Altars shall be set up to the unknown God, as well as to the true God: the Ministers of Satan, shall keep as free Markets as the Ministers of Christ: the envious man shall have Field­room to scatter his Tares, as well as the Seeds­men of the Gospel their wheat. And if any of the Ministers of Christ, out of zeal to Gods glo­ry, endeavour to whip out these abuses out of the Temple, they are looked upon as fire­brands, Incendiaries, by them who are the true Incendiaries. They are reputed worse then Theeves, because they disturb this Den of [Page 236] Theeves, from nesting in the Temple of God. They are looked upon as abominable, because they would sweep out these abominations, They are thought unworthy to have a liberty in the Kingdom, because they will not pro­claim a liberty to all these false wayes in the Church, the Kingdom of Christ.

This zeal is certainly none of that which was in Christ. It is Diabolical zeal, like the unruly Tongue, set on fire of Hell, James 3. 6.

Jesus Christ whipt the buyers and sellers out of the Temple; and these lash such as would whip them out. Jesus Christ was sore displeased with the Angel of Thyatira, for suffering such cor­ruptions, Rev. 2. 20. and they are displeased with the Angels of the Churches, because they will not tolerate such corruptions. Jesus Christ would not have any bid God speed to such, 2 E­pist. John 10: and they would have such em­braced and encouraged. Jesus Christ saith, the mouthes of such as teach false Doctrines, must be stopped, Tit. 1. 11. And they are ready to stop the mouthes of such as would have these disturbed. Jesus Christ layes a Command upon Ministers and Magistrates, to apprehend these Foxes; but they lay snares for such as would have them apprehended, vid. Cant. 2. 15. Take us the Foxes, the little Foxes, &c.

Answ. By Foxes, there, we are to understand Hereticks and false Prophets, as Ezech. 13. 4. they are Foxes for their subtilty, therefore the [Page 237] Apostle calls them deceitful workers, trans­forming themse [...]ves into the Apostles of Christ, 2 Cor. 11. 23. Now Christ would have these ta­ken and rooted out. The Church is to take them by censuring, confuting, and casting them out of the Church: and the godly Magistrate is to take them by penal lawes, civil punish­ments, &c. vid. Deut. 13. 6, 7, 8, 9. which is again Zech. 13. 3. applyed to Gospel-times. And that Law was given by Jesus Christ, the Mr. Cot­ton, Bloo­dy Tenet washed, &c. p. 66. 67. Angel of Gods presence, whom God promised to send with his People, Exod. 33. 2, 3. And that Angel was Christ, whom they tempted in the Wilderness, 1 Cor. 10. 9. Therefore Jesus Christ appointed the civil Sword for a Reme­dy in such a case, and hath not repealed it in the Gospel. And accordingly, the good Kings of Judah exercised this power, Asa, Joash, Jo­siah, and are commended for so doing. Nor are only the greater and the worser sort of Foxes to be taken; but even the little Foxes, the les­ser sort of errors, false Teachers, which also do much spoyl in the Church. And yet these men would have the Foxes nourished. Those gins of penal Lawes, which zealous Magistrates have made to take these Foxes, must now be re­pealed, that they may devoure uncontro­lably.

And yet these men have the impudence, as to repute themselves the chief Patrons, if not the only friends of Religion, and are displeased with those, who account them otherwise. But wisdom is justified of her Children. If they be the [Page 238] friends of Religion, Religion hath no enemies in the World.

Is he a friend to his Patient, who knowing him to be full of mortal Diseases, will suffer no effectual meanes to be used, which may remove them? then are these men friends to Reli­gion.

Is he a Friend to his Garden, who plucks up the hedge, and proclaims liberty to all kinde of wilde Beasts, to come and tread down the flowers? then are the Patrons of Toleration, friends to Religion.

Is he a Friend to a Garison City, who would have all the watch Towers demolished, all the Works slighted, all Guards removed, and pro­claim License for all enemies to come in, and plunder, and destroy at their pleasure? Then are they friends to Religion, who contend for this universal Toleration.

If these be the Guardians of Religion, Reli­gion is not like to be long lived under their protection. God grant Religion better Pro­tectors. How soon will our Church be over­flow [...]n, if liberty be granted to all Hereticks, and seducers, to spread their pernicious Do­ctrines? if all manner of Religions be let in, true Religion, at least the power of it, will soon be destroyed. All you who have any Interest in the Bridegroom of the Church awaken him by your prayers, that he would scourge such defilers out of his Temple; who for sinful respects, and private advantage, would permit all cheats and deceivers, to put off and vent [Page 239] their abominable falshoods in the Church of Christ: how soon would a City be infected, if all rotten, unwholsom meats should be free­ly sold in an open Market. This is the way to make a whole Church sick, not to make a sick Church whole. God hath told us of a better cure to recover a sick Church, Jer. 33. 6. Peace and truth, not dissension and error, is the way to recover a languishing Church, a dying Na­tion. And that which doth most highly aggra­vate this wickedness, is this. That its endea­voured by a People, who have solemnly pro­mised, to settle purity of truth, and purity and unity of worship, and to abolish all false wayes of worship, and all things contrary to sound Doctrine.

3d Ʋse. Exhortation, 1 John 2. 6. Let us be zealous for the House of God, as Christ was zealous for the Doctrine, zealous for the wor­ship of Gods House. In this use, I shall,

  • 1. Give Motives.
  • 2. Some Rules.
  • 3. Meanes.

Motive 1. 'Tis that which is commanded every Christian, vid. Jude 3. Contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered to the Saints, [...], the word notes a holy heat, eagerness and violence, Rev. 3. 19. Be zealous therefore and repent.

Motive 2. The Saints of God, who are re­nowned in Scripture, they have been zealous in these matters. The fire of God hath sparkled out of their mouthes: we may see their hands, [Page 240] feet, hearts, lips, red hot with zeal for the house of their God. Nehemiah, how zealous was he against the corruptions of Gods Courts, he could not endure any filthiness there: when he understood that Elias [...]ib the Priest had given to Tobiah his Kinsman, one of the Chambers of the Temple, for his private use, where the things for Gods worship were wont to be laid; see how his Spirit works against that corrup­tion, Neh. 13. 8, 9. He cast forth his Houshold­stuffe out of the Chamber and commanded the Chambers to be cleansed, and brought again the Vessels of the House of God with the meat­offering, and the Frankincense. And when he understood, that the Levites and Priests, who did the service of Gods House, had been de­frauded of their portions, designed for that work, see how zealously he contended with the Rulers, and so reforms that corruption, vid. vers. 10, 11, 12, 13. When he saw the Sabbaths of the Lord prophaned, see how he bestirs him­self, vers. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. Elijah also was a man of zeal, for Gods House, vid. 1 Reg. 19. 10. 14. He hath reference to that zealous act of his, upon the Prophets of Baal, Cap. 18. 40. David, Psal. 69. 9. The Apostle Paul, Acts 17. 16. His Spirit was stirred within him, when he saw them wholly given to Idolatry, Moses, how was his Spirit set on fire, when he saw the Idol-Calf set up, and worshipped, Exo. 32. 20, 21, 22. And generally, all the Prophets and Apostles. So the primitive Martyrs and Confessors, &c. All these should be as sparks, [Page 241] to set our hearts on fire: and those holy mourners in Ezekiels time, Cap. 9. 4. they had a zeal for Gods worship, vid. Cap. 8. see what those abominations were. Corruptions in the House of God, defilements in Worship. Vid. Luc. 6. 15. Simon the Zelot. They had a jealousie against the Image of jea­lousie, set up in the House of God.

These are written for our learning and imi­tation.

Motive 3. Consider what a long and hot Summer we have enjoyed, of the Ordinances of God. The Gospel of God hath been preach­ed amongst us, for almost 100. yeares, since the first Reformation. And are we still cold and careless? This should put some life into us. We have had many burning Tapers, who have wasted themselves, to heat us, &c.

Motive 4. Consider how likely we are to lose the Worship and Ordinances, and the Truth, if our zeal do not keep them with us. Never was there more heat against the Truth and Worship of God, then now there is. Some are zealously undermining the very Foundation of Gods House, endevoring to take away all that which hath a tendency to sup­port Religion, laying snares for Ministry, re­moving all that which should maintain Mini­stry and Worship, that so the Levites may flee every one to his field, setting up the lowest of Gen. 47. 22. the People to be Preachers in the Church, o­pening a door to Idolatry, by endeavouring to take away all punishments from Papists, and I­dolaters, &c.

[Page 242] This is enough to turn Ice into flames, to make the coldest heart to burn violently with zeal, for God. This was that which made Eli­jah so zealous; he looked upon the Worship of God, as being in danger to be lost, 1 Reg. 19. 10. They have forsaken thy Covenant, throwen down thy Altars, slain thy Servants with the Sword, and I only am left, &c. The glorie of the Lord seems to be removing from the Che­rubims, to the Threshold of the Temple; and if we be not now more then ordinarilie zea­lous, Religion will be gone.

Motive 5. Consider how zealous all People are for their false Worships. Papists, what heat is there in them for their Idols? The Worshippers of Baal, how zealous were they, 1 Reg. 18. 28. The Ephesians for their Diana, what extraordinarie zeal? when they per­ceived, that by Pauls preaching against gods made with hands, was like to overthrow their Religion; they cryed for the space of two Iudg. 6. 28, 29, 30. houres together, Great is Diana of the Ephesi­ans, Acts 19. 34.

Motive 6. If you will be zealous for the House of God, God will be zealous for your houses, vid. 2 Sam. 6. 10, 11. Obed Edom, he had a zeal for the Ark, when others were afraid of it, God blesses him, vid. Hag. 2. 18, 19. If you will be dead and cold for the matters of God, God will be cold for your civil concern­ments.

[Page 243] Motive 7. Its one of the best wayes, to take off, and abate the heat of enemies, against the House of God. The colder you are, the more hot will they be; and the more zealous you are, the more cold will they be in promoting their designes.

2. Rules for zeal.

(1) Your Zeal must be universal, and that

1. In respect of things, you must be zealous for everie part of Gods House; for all and e­verie part of Truth, against all and everie kind of corruption in Worship: some are zealous against Schisme and Heresie; but they have no great Zeal against superstition, and humane inventions; others have a Zeal against Super­stition, but they have not against Heresie, &c. This is not right heat, vid. Psal. 119. 104. Jo­siah his Zeal was against everie Corruption, 2 Reg. 23. 4. ad 20. God commands him, vers. 25. Such was the Zeal of Christ also. He leaves nothing behinde, Sacraments, Preaching, Prayer.

2. In respect of persons, he that hath a right zeal for Truth, will oppose all; is contrarie to Truth, in one person, as well as in another; in great, as well as in small, &c. in a Friend, as well as in an Enemie. Zeal is like God in this, there is no respect of persons with it. Whoso­ever defiles the House of God, let his Professi­on, his Power, be what it will, Zeal will op­pose him. Zeal doth not hate error in a Pre­late, and love it in another, &c. Christ will [Page 244] throw down the Tables of the Money-chan­gers, whosoever they be that fit there, &c.

3. In respect of times. True Zeal for Gods House, hath no winter, it burns in one Age, as well as in another. Manie men were verie zea­lous against corruption in Worship and Do­ctrine, in the raign of Prelacie, which now are cold against the same, or worse corruptions in the raign of Heresie. These were never truly zealous for Gods House. Corruption of Truth and Worship, is as bad one year as another, &c.

(2) Zeal must be joyned with prudence and knowledge, Rom. 10. 2. God hath given to man an understanding, as well as affection. Zeal without Discretion, is rashness, like mettle in a blinde Horse, or a sharp edged Sword, in a mad mans hand. Those 4. Beasts, Rev. 4. 8. which represent the Churches of the Gospel, they had 6. Wings, and they were full of Eyes: a Christian must have Eyes, as well as Wings, Knowledge as well as Zeal. Zeal with Knowledge, saith one, is like an Unicorns Horn, in the hand of an Artist, verie precious; but Zeal without Knowledge, is as the Uni­corns Horn, in the Beasts Head, verie dange­rous. Zeal without Knowledge, is like Pega­sus without a Bridle, or like an Offering, with­out an Eye, which God accepts not. Lev. 22. 22. Mal. 1. 8. Its like Phaeton in his Fathers Chariot, may burn himself, and the World too.

[Page 245] (3) Zeal for Gods House, must be confined within the Compasse of our Calling. The Mi­nister in his place, the Magistrate in his, the private person in his place. 'Tis a good glosse which Calvin hath on this Text. All must imi­tate Christ, all must as much as in them lyeth, preserve the Temple of God from defilement; yet everie man must take heed, that he go not beyond his bounds. Non omnibus protinus licet flagellum arripere, ut vitia manu corrigamus, ne (que) enim eadem nobis potest as data est, nec idem injunctum munus. Zeal out of its place, is like fire in the Thatch. Private Christians, they must express their zeal by Prayer, Teares, Dispute, complaining to the Church, to the Magistrates, where they are, if they be such as care for Re­ligion. He that should, being a private person, do as Phinehas did, and pretend zeal, would be a murtherer; or as Christ here did, would be seditious, &c.

(4) Our zeal for Gods House, must be for the glorie of God; not either to get our selves a name, or to oppose men, or to please others, &c. but meerly discharge of duty, respect to Gods Honour. This was the ground of our Saviours zeal, make not my Fathers House, &c. Jehu lost all his zeal, for want of a right end, vid. 2 Reg. 10. He did verie much, and he calls it zeal for God, vers. 16. but the truth is, it was meerly for his own house; and therefore God threatens, Hos. 1. 4. to avenge the blood of Jezreel, upon the House of Jehu, &c. look well to this.

[Page 246] (5) It must be put out against private cor­ruptions in your own case.

3. Meanes to get zeal for Gods House.

(1) Consider often the worth and excel­lency of Gods House, Truth, Worship, they are glorious things, beauties of holiness, Psal. 110. 3. the glorie of God: the glorie is departed from Israel, &c. 1 Sam. 4. latter end: the Ta­bernacle of God with men, &c.

(2) Beg much of the Spirit of God, that spi­rit of fire; the fire of the Altar came down from Heaven, so doth the fire of zeal; get much of that fiery Baptisme of the Holy Ghost, &c. vid. Acts 2. 3.

(3) Be much in the Company of zealous persons, he that kisseth the lips of the Servants of God, who are zealous, will get heat from them.

(4) Take heed of too much carnal policie. This will make you but cold and dead, for the Worship of God. He whose zeal is extreme hot, for outward things will be extreme cold, at least luke-warm, for the Worship of God, a little Earth cast on a hot fire, puts it out.

Mary Wol [...]oth, Septemb. 30th 1649. [...].

Luk. 19. 47.‘And He taught daily in the Temple.’

[...].

THere are five principal Passages, or Stories, recorded of Jesus Christ in this Chapter, which is the best divi­sion can be made of it, viz.

(1) The story of the Conversion of one Za­cheus, a Publican, a little man, but a very great sinner: this we have from the first verse, to the 11th. He came out of curiosity, to gaze upon Christs person, having heard the fame of his works, and he did not only behold his Person, but was converted by his Power: we may note from his conversion,

[...]
[...]

[Page 248] 1. Its good to be in the way in which Christ travels. Zach [...]us being in Christs way, was ap­prehended by Christs power, and made partaker of his grace.

2. Those who come to Christ, meerly to look upon him, may possibly be converted by him.

3. The calling of Gods Elect to [...], is often done, when the sinner doth not expect it.

4. When Christ calls effectually by his grace, he enables the soul to yield present and chearful obe­dience.

5. That Jesus Christ holds great correspon­cy and familiarity, with converted sinners, that own his Call; he dines with him, Rev. 3. 20.

6. The familiarity which Christ sheweth to converted sinners, is a scandal and stumbling to proud Just [...]aries.

7. That [...] repentance and conversion to God, must be manifested by restitution of things frau­dulently taken from men. Non tollitur peccatum n [...] restituatur [...]b [...]atum.

8. When the work of Conversion is wrought upon the soul, then is salvation come to the soul.

9. The end of Christs Incarnation is the sin­ners salvation.

10. That there is no sinner so flagitious but he may be converted by the power of Christ: this is from the whole storie, he was the chief of the Publicans, vers. 2. and yet converted.

(2) We have the Parable of the Talents depa­sited to the Servants to trade withall, vers. 11. ad [Page 249] 28. In which we may observe these two things.

1. The occasion of this Parable, vers. 11, 12. The Disciples thought that their Master should have possessed an Earthly Kingdom, and that he should have presently entred upon the ma­nagement of it, and that he should have been immediatly at Jerusalem, installed into it. Our Saviour to confute their fond Opinion, pro­pounds this apt Parable, A certain Nobleman, &c.

2. The Parable it self, vers. 13, ad 28. in which our Saviour would teach both his Dis­ciples, and all others, how they should carry themselves, and what work they should minde, till his second comming, viz. employ their parts and graces for his advantage, &c. And he also shewes what the issue should be in the end, both to those that do employ the Ta­lents received for that end; and what shall be the conclusion of those that misimploy them, and of such as will not have him as their Lord and King, to rule over them.

(3) The triumphant riding of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, vers. 28. ad 41. In which we have,

1. The preparation to it, vers. 29. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 35.

2. The manner of his entrance into the Citie, vers. 37. 38. and then,

3. We have the effects following, upon the same, vers. 39. 40. He rebukes the Pha­risees, & approves the action of his Disciples.

[Page 250] (4) The sad lamentation made by Jesus Christ over Jerusalem, vers. 41. ad 45. in which we may note,

1. Christs Compassion to his Creatures, how near to his heart their punishment lay, ver. 41.

And then 2. What a dreadful thing it is, to neglect the offers of grace, ver. 42. 43, 44.

(5) The famous Heroical Act of Christ, in reforming the Temple, vers. 45. ad finem. In which we have these two things, 1. The work. 2. The event of it. The work hath two parts.

1. He purgeth out corruptions which they had introduced, v. 45. 46.

And then 2. He restores it to the right end, for which it was appointed, v. 47. He taught Tub. re­formation daily in the Temple.

2. The event of the work, and that hath two things also.

1. The bloodie attempt of the Priests and Scribes, with the chief of the People; they sought to kill him, vers. 47. 2. the hindrance and prevention of their wicked purpose, v. 48. The words of the Text contain you see, the second part of Christs Act, in reforming the Temple, he did not cast out the corruptions, and then sell the Temple for gain, or alienate it to his own private use, as the manner of some is; but when he had separated it from the abuse they had made of it, he converts it to the right use, for which God had appointed it, and makes a preaching-place; he taught daily in the Temple. To handle the words distinct­ly, they have these two things in them.

[Page 251] (1) We have the work of our Saviour, He taught in the Temple; and then observe,

(2) The assiduity, or diligence used in this work, [...]. He taught daily. That which it commends to us is, that, viz.

Doct. That our Lord Jesus Christ, was very diligent in following the work of his particular Calling. He was a Minister of the Circumci­sion, as the Apostle saith, Rom. 15. 8. And he was very industrious, and diligent, in fulfilling the Ministrie which he had received. He did not only take the honour of the work, but he did also diligently perform the work, and task of his Calling. He did not live idly in his Calling, working now and then for pleasure and recreation, as many do; but he was very painful, and very constant in his work; he taught powerfully, and also taught constantly. He did not preach only once a moneth, or once a quarter, as the practise of very many negligent Preachers is; but he preached daily, vid. Mat. 26. 55. I [...]ate daily with you, teach­ing in the Temple, and ye took me not: we finde, that not only in the Temple, but in o­ther places also, in the Ship, in the Mountain, in the House, at the Table, by the way side; where-ever Christ came and had opportunity, he was still working at his Trade, he was a most constant and assiduous Labourer, in his particular vocation. He meets with a single Woman, at Jacobs well, and he falls a preach­ing to her, John 4. 7, 8. 9. &c. and it was a very excellent Sermon. Its said of him, Mark 6. 6. [Page 252] that he went round about the Villages, teaching, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom.

The Reasons are these.

1 Reas. To testifie his obedience to his own Law. Jesus Christ knew, that God had commanded labour and diligence to men; and as he obey­ed the Law in other things, so he would do it in this also. It is true, it was a voluntary con­discention in Christ, to be subject to the Law; but having taken our Nature upon him, he did voluntarily submit himself to the obedience of the same.

2. Reas. It was from that great Affection he bare to the souls of men. The Calling which Je­sus Christ had upon him, was a work which concerned the souls of men. He was by his Luk. 19. 10. Ministry, to convert men from their sins, unto God, to bring them to saving Faith, and sound Repentance: to gather, plant the Church, propagate the Gospel. This Consideration, made him use all diligence in the fulfilling of his work. As he testified his love to souls, by his Incarnation, and taking this Office upon him, so the same love to the Salvation of men, ex­cited him to diligence in performing it.

3. Reas. He knew that he had but a short time to work in this World, He considered, that his life was very shortly to be taken off from the Earth: this moved him to be diligent in this [Page 253] work: he knew the light of his personal Mini­stry, was to shine but a few moneths in the World, therefore he would lose no opportuni­ty; yet a little while, and the light shineth, with you, saith our Saviour to the Jewes, Iohn 12. 35. work while ye have the light: as he would have you to improve his light while it continued, so he was diligent to improve it to the Worlds advantage. And then,

4. Reas. It was from the respect he had to his Fathers glory. His work was, to bring souls in­to subjection to his Fathers Commands, to ho­nour his Father, by revealing his will unto men. This lay so close upon his soul, that he Ioh. 4. 34 wrought earnestly, and constantly, that he might accomplish it. And,

5. Reas. That he might set his Disciples, and the succeeding Ministry, unto the end of the World, a Copy and example of diligence and pain­fulness in the same Office, after his discease. He wrought, to teach them to work: He preach­ed daily, to teach them to preach frequently. And therefore, we read, that the Apostles after his Ascension, remembring, no doubt, as well the Example, as the Command of their Ma­ster, were very diligent in the same work. Its recorded of them, Acts 2. 4. That they con­tinued daily, and with one accord in the Temple: And Acts 5. 42. that daily in the Temple, and in every house they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

[Page 254] 1. Use. Information.

(1) This lets us see the necessity lying upon all the sons of men, to have some particular lawfull calling; Christ himself was laborious in his calling, therefore he had a particular calling, and that not onely in the time of his publick life, but also in the time of his pri­vate life. Is not this the Carpenter, the Son of Mary? Mark. 6. 3. They indeed spake it by way of scorne and derision, that a Person of so meane education as Christ was in his pri­vate life, should pretend himself to be the Messiah, vid. Math. 13. 55, 56. but the story shews clearly that our Lord, before he entred upon the publick ministry, did employ him­self in that Calling. And so the Ancients have understood that place. Justin Martyr in his Dialogue with Trypho against the Jewes, testatur Christum juga & aratra fabricavisse. Chemnit. Harm. in Mar. 6. 3 And Basil in his Book, de vita solit. Cap. 5. af­firmeth, that Christ did assiduo corporalium laborum exercitio victum sibi necessarium unà cum parentibus pauperibus compara­re. And the Apostle would have all Christians to have some lawful particular Calling, 1 Cor. 7. 20. When God had created Adam, he put him into a particular Calling, Gen. 2. 15. The Lord took the man, and put him into the Gar­den of Eden, to dresse and to keep it. There should have been labour, if sin had never entred into the World. Its true, that labour would have been without toylsome painfulness, weariness, with which it is accompanied since the fall; but [Page 255] Man should not have lived idly, though he had not fallen from his innocency. We read also, that all the Patriarchs had particular Callings. Noah was an Husbandman, Gen. 10. 20. Abel was a Keeper of sheep, Gen. 4. 2. The Sons of Jacob were Shepherds, and keepers of Cattle, Gen. 46. 34. All the Apostles, before they were called to the work of the Ministrie, had their particular vocation. Men who live without a Calling, are useless and unprofitable burdens to the Common-wealth, and places where they live. They are well compared to ill hu­mours in the Body, which are very pernicious and destructive to the well being of the Body. They are like wandring Starres, which have no certain station. Nay, those who have no parti­cular Calling, they will certainly make sin their Trade, either theeving, or else vain and sinful pleasures and delights, as many do, or 2 Thes. 3. 11. busie-bodies. He is ready for any work, which the Devil and his own wicked heart can put into his hands.

Such cannot pray over that Petition, Give us this day our daily bread: he eats that which is none of his own. All Divines make it a breach of the eighth Command (Thou shalt not steal) for any man to live without some lawful par­ticular vocation. The holy Servants of God, brought up their Children in some Calling or other. Adam, who had a whole World to be­queath to his Children, did dispose of them to several Callings, Gen. 4. 2. Cain and Abel.

[Page 256] (2) This is a good plea for frequent preaching. Some think one Sermon, or at least a very few Sermons, are sufficient to serve a mans turn all his life, and that often preaching, is but a need­less and superfluous thing. Certainly, Jesus Christ would not have been so diligent in a work, which had been unnecessarie, and super­vacaneous. Consider but these particulars, to shew the necessitie of it, besides Christs Ex­ample.

(1) We have the Command of God for it, Preach the Word, be instant in season, and out of season, 2 Tim. 4. 2. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, &c.

(2) There's very great need of frequent preach­ing; for,

(1) There are many Truths which are to be made known unto the People of God. The whole Counsel of God is to be published: the Scriptures are a large and fruitful Field, they cannot presently be gone over; the Body of Di­vinity, is very large; many, and many steps, must be taken before all the pathes, and parts of it, can be unfolded. There's a great deal of Trea­sure in this Cabinet, which cannot be shewed at once, many duties to be performed, many sins which are to be avoided, &c. many Cases of Conscience to be answered, many scruples to be resolved, &c. If it were possible, that a Minister could live 100. yeares, twice told, and preach without interruption, yet there would be a [...], something would be left un­done [Page 257] which would have been necessary to have been declared, &c.

(2) The Sons of men, even the very best are subject to forget many things, which have been committed to them: man's memory is very lax and brittle, since the coming of sin in­to the world; the same things had need be preached over and over againe, precept upon precept, duty upon duty, &c. frequent preach­ing is a necessary help for a loose memory, vid. Phil. 3. 1. Which of you beare in mind a Sermon of two or three yeares standing?

(3) The hearts of men are soon gone out of or­der, even, after the most kindly working upon in a Sermon, partly from that corruption which workes within, and partly from Satan which tempteth without; heats are soon cooled, impressions wrought with much painfulnesse are soon worne out, &c. vid. Gal. 1. 6. they were presently warped aside, even after Pauls ministrie, vid. Hos. 6. 4. It was the sad com­plaint of one of the Ancients, and it is that which all have cause to lament, That a Mi­nister can never find his work as he leaves it. Let a Carpenter hew his timber, let a Mason polish his stones, let a Painter make his draught &c. and if they come not a year after, they find it as they leave it: but the work of a Mini­ster is undone from Sabbath to Sabbath; the soft­ned heart, growes hard againe, the tender con­science growes stupid, &c. Moses left the Chil­dren of Israel pretty orderly, when he went up into the Mount of God, but they had soon [Page 258] corrupted themselves, Exod. 32. 7. 8. so we find it in all our hearts by sad experience, &c. the Iron which was glowing hot, is key cold againe, the affections which were extended, they are contracted againe, &c. Satan and a wicked heart, even unravell all which is done in one Sermon before another Sermon, &c. It is with us in this case, as it is with little Chil­dren, wash them never so clean, if the Mother leave them an hour or two, they have as much need of washing as before, &c. Satan never ceaseth tempting; ergo, necessary to preach fre­quently. Many Ministers will not preach too often, because of state; whereas indeed the Pulpit is the most honourable place for a Prea­cher. Cum venerit Christus, inveniat me praedi­cantem, was the good wish of Bishop Jewell; others think often preaching, is the way to cast contempt upon preaching, whereas 'tis indeed the vvay to make it more glorious to a spiritu­all heart; the vision is made more lovelie by frequent beholding, &c. Tis true, all mens parts of body and mind are not alike.

(4) The lives of Ministers are very short, 2 Pet. 1. 12, 13, 14. The Fathers are dead, and the Prophets are dead.

(5) There are some newly admitted and grow­ing up in the Church daily, which must not be neglected, ergo. And if you would have Mi­nisters to be frequent in preaching, you must incourage them by being frequent in hearing; thin auditories occasion seldome preaching. Its said here in this place, our Saviour taught [Page 259] dailie in the Temple, and its said in the very next verse, the people were verie attentive to heare him, [...]. Thick Au­ditories should not be the marke a Minister should aime at, where two or three are gather­ed together, there God is as well as in a crowd; the conversion of one soul, is vvorth all a mans paines: but forvvardness to heare is a great motive. If you therefore vvould have your Ministers to do as Christ did, you must for your parts imitate this people, and be at­tentive to hear them.

2. Use. Exhortation to that of the Apostles, 1 John 2. 6. let all Christians ansvver Christs coppie in this businesse, make the vvork of your calling, your daily business, as your Sa­viour did. In the prosecution of this ex­hortation, I shall handle these three things, viz.

(1) I shall lay down some Rules from the right understanding of this diligence in our particular callings. And then

(2) I shall give some motives to press dili­gence. And

(3) I shall add some helpes or directions.

1. Rule. That diligence in our particular calling doth not deny or forbid the daily practising of such things as doe belong to our generall call­ing, as praying, reading the Scriptures, hear­ing of Lectures when vve may have opportu­nity on the vveek daies, &c. There are some who either out of a profane or ignorant spirit, think themselves so tied up to follow their par­ticular [Page 260] callings, that they must not in any time of the six daies of the week, intermeddle with any religious work, but spend it vvhollie about their vvorldlie business. I would have such to consider that,

(1) The same God which hath commanded di­ligence in your particular calling has also com­manded daily praier, & reading the Scriptures, and other duties of vvorship. The Jews who vvere commanded to labour six daies, yet were commanded to offer the morning and evening sacrifice daily, vid. Exod. 29. 38, 39. and Num. 28. 3. They had their morning sa­crifice vvhen they entred upon their vvork, and they had their evening sacrifice when they ended their work. They divided the daie into three parts, the first, ad tephilla, orationem, to prayer, the second ad torah, legem, for the reading of the Law: the third, ad malacha, opus, for the vvorks of their lavvfull calling: al­though Weemse, mor. Law p. 223. they vvere daies appointed for vvork, yet they gave God his part of them every day. And vve knovv that all governours of families are enjoined, Deut. 6. 6, 7, 8. to speak morning and evening at least, of the statutes of God to their Children and Servants. God hath reserved to himself, vvho is the Lord of all time, part of our time every daie, and the particular calling must give way to the general.

(2) Jesus Christ commended Mary, for setting by her particular calling, to wait upon an occasion and opportunity offered to hear a Sermon, vid. Luc. 10. ult. Christ justifieth [Page 261] Mary for that holy neglect of her particular calling, and reprooves Martha for her com­plaint, and for her own too much worldli­nesse.

(3) These exercises of Gods worship, do not hinder, but further the works of the particular calling. Its the way to draw down a blessing from heaven upon the workes of our hands, Psal. 127. 1, 2. Psal. 128. 1. &c. Whet is no Let. The travellor loseth nothing by baiting his horse, and refreshing himself. Prayer is like Jacob to Laban, it brings Gods blessing upon what we do, Gen. 30. 27. 30. Onely this; diligence in our particular calling requires us not to be quite taken off from it, upon pre­tence of praying, hearing, reading, &c, Every one that is fit for labour, must labour as wel as pray; the generall calling must not eate up the particular, nor the particular the generall: As he sins, who upon pretence of diligence in his calling, will neither pray, nor read, nor heare a Sermon on the week daie; So doth he offend who being fit for labour, doth upon pretence of hearing, praying, &c. all the week long, neglect his particular cal­ling.

2. Rule. This diligence doth not exempt us from setting daies apart, for publick humiliation, and publick thanksgivings, lawfully commanded upon lawfull occasions; These are enjoyned by God to his people, as well as labour, Jehosha­phat proclaimed a fast in a time of trouble, and the people are commended for their ready at­tendance [Page 262] upon that service, 2 Cor. 20. 3. 4. So Ezra, 8. 23. and Joel, 1. 14. Now in such times, upon such occasions, all bodily labours are to be laid aside, and bodily delights, and it is to be spent as a holy Sabbath, Esa. 58. 3. they are reproved for exacting their labours, and finding their pleasure. And so for publick Thanksgivings, when the Church of God hath received some notable mercy, &c. And 2 Chron. 20 26. so for private fastings and thanksgivings, we are enjoyned in all such cases, to set apart our particular callings; that we may give our selves to the worship of the Lord, vid. Lev. 23. 7, 8.

3. Rule. Diligence in our particular calling, doth not take us off from doing works of mercy, &c. We may leave, yea we must leave our particular callings, if need be, to attend upon the sick, to quench houses on fire, &c. The works of our generall calling on the Sabbath day, may, yea must be left upon any such oc­casion. I will have mercy and not sacrifice, Hos. 6. 6. By this Scripture our Saviour war­ranted, and justified his Disciples plucking of the eares of Corne, Math. 12. 7. though it was done upon the Sabbath day, &c. much more must the works of our particular calling give way, to such acts. Paul leaves preaching and the people hearing, to take up Eutychus fallen down from a window, Acts 20. 9, 10.

[Page 263] 4. Rule. Diligence in our particular calling doth not forbid the use of naturall rest, or of law­full recreation, both to our selves and to those un­der our charge. God would not have the very beasts overburdened, or overwrought; a good man sheweth mercy to his beast, Pro. 12. 10. much lesse would he have a reasonable Crea­ture overtoyled beyond his strength. There must be a time for sleep, as well as a time for labour. Man goeth forth to his work untill the evening, Psal. 104, 23. To deny either our selves, or others, that rest which God hath afforded unto all living Creatures, is not di­ligence, but sinfull worldlinesse, and ex­cessive labour, and indeed oppression. And so for Recreation, diligence doth not for­bid the use of that. There is a time for every purpose under Heaven, Eccles. 3. init. A time for work, and a time for relaxation. Onely in our recreations, we must observe these things;

(1) It must not be used, but when the body or mind are by wearinesse made unfit to wait upon the particular calling, without hurt or prejudice.

(2) It must be of such things as are not scandalous, but lawfull: now for this, that Rule of the Apostle is well to be considered and carefully practised, Phil. 4. 8. Whatsoever things are true, &c.

(3) It must onely be so much and so long, as till the body and mind be repaired, the spirits and strength recruited, and so made fit [Page 264] for the following of the particular employ­ment, in which God hath placed us, the end of recreation is to fit for labour in our gene­rall and speciall vocation. And when the body and mind are fitted for employment then the end of recreation is accomplished; and it is a sin to use it any longer.

2. These Rules being premised, I shall now proceed to give some Motives, to stir us up to be like Christ in diligence. And they are.

(1) Motive. From the mischiefe of idleness. And that,

(1) In regard of the sinfullnesse of it.

(2) In regard of the evill effects of it.

(1) Idlenesse is a great sin in it self. It is a sin,

(1) Against the Law of Creation. God cre­ated man to labour: before he had sinned, he was put into the Garden, to dresse it, and to keep it, Gen. 2. 15. and after sin, this Law was put upon him; In the sweat of thy face, thou shalt eat thy bread all the dayes of thy life, Gen. 3. 19. Sweating labour is a fruit of sin; but labour was imposed upon man, though he had not sinned. Now the idle person doth violate this Law of Creation, and doth by idleness cast off the Authority of his Creator, who made him for labour. God hath given to man hands, which are the Instruments of working, and a head furnished with understanding, to con­trive and finde out employment for the hands: Now the idle person doth frustrate one princi­pal [Page 265] end of God, in bestowing such apt Instru­ments of work upon him. And its no small sin for a man to pervert the end of his Crea­tion.

(2) Idleness is a sin against the Law of ju­stice. Justice requires, that a man should sub­sist and live on that which is his own. Now the idle person, like lice and vermine, lives up­on other mens sweat; and so, sins against ju­stice. Our Saviour hath commanded us to pray that God would give us our daily bread. That bread which is not gotten by labour, either of body or minde, is not our bread, but anothers: the idle person enters into other mens la­bours, whereas justice requires, that every man should eat the labour of his own hands, Psal. 128. 2.

(3) Its a sin against the Law of Charity. Charity requires, that every man should be useful to that society, whereof he is a member. And there is no Calling, that is lawful, so meane, but by diligence in it, a person may be serviceable to mankind. Now, the idle person breaks this Law, he is telluris inutile pondus; and like a dead member, in the natural body, con­fers no good, but much prejudice to the whole body. Ambrose calls idle persons, Creaturas Domini superfluas.

(2) Idleness hath evil effects.

1. Sinful effects, and

2. Poenal effects.

1. Idleness is an inlet to many other sins. It is indeed, pulvinar Diaboli, the Devils [Page 266] Cushion, on which he sits, and the Devils An­vile, on which he frames very many sins. Toads and Serpents breed in standing waters, so in the idle person.

(1) Its the door of lust, and uncleanness of body. Quaeritur Aegistus quare sit factus Adul­ter: In promptu causa est, Desidiosus erat. The Scripture makes this to be the cause of Davids Adulterie with Bathsheba, 2 Sam. 11. 2. David was out of employment, he was sloathfully lying upon his bed, in the day time, and walk­ing upon his roof, when he should have been employed about the matters of his Kingdom; and now Satan takes this opportunitie, and excites lust in his soul.

(2) Its the way to theft, and purloyning; your idle person, is within a few steps of this sin, if he have but a temptation, and a fair op­portunity. You know, how it was with that idle Steward, Luk. 16. 3, 4, 5. He could not dig, he had that foul Disease of idleness upon him, and therefore could not dig; and he that cannot dig, will steal and cheat, and defraud. He that will not work, will not stick to set down 100. for 50. &c.

The Apostle hints this also, Eph. 4. 28. Let him that stole, &c. but let him work, &c. And indeed, idleness is a degree of Theevery, in its own Nature; it breaks that Commandment, Thou shalt not steal.

(3) It brings in tatlings and tale-bearings, which is a great sin. The Apostle, 2 Thes. 3. 11. puts these two together, as the Tree and [Page 267] the Fruit, [...] & [...] He that is idle in his Calling, or lives without a Calling, he will go up and down as a busie-bo­dy, either to hear newes, or to tell newes. He that is idle, when he should work, will be sure to be busie, where he should not meddle. 1 Tim. 5. 13. And,

(4) To wrap many things together, the idle person is as tinder, to take any spark of tempta­tion, which the Devil, or evil Company, the instruments of the Devil, shall let fall upon him: he sits at Satans receit of Custom, ready to do the worst work Satan shall put into his hands. Drunkenness or gaming, or riot, or a­ny kind of wickedness, nothing comes amisse to his hands.

(2) It brings poenal evils, as well as sinful, viz.

(1) It ingenders Diseases, both of body and minde; idleness weakens the endowments of Nature, and destroyes the gifts of the minde, which God and Nature hath bestowed. Its the rust and canker, both of gifts and graces; it worm-eats, marres, and, in time, utterly con­sumes all a mans excellencies, and eminen­cies. Plutarch tells us, that Labour brings strength to the body, and vigour to the minde. Ex­erci [...]e is the way to increase. Many a man by idleness, hath lost very excellent parts, which might have been improved for Gods honour, and mans benefit.

(2) It brings poverty; idleness shall cloath a man with rags, Prov. 23. 21. vid. Prov. 6. 9, 10, [Page 268] 11. The diligent hand maketh rich, Prov. 4. 10. And that property which is the fruit of idle­ness, findes no pitty with God, nor compassion with men; but scorn and derision from both.

(3) Its a sin which God punisheth in this life; sometimes with destruction. It was one sin which brought ruine upon Sodom, Ezech. 16. 49. The idle person may fear the same hand of God upon him. And then,

(4) It brings condemnation at last, without repentance. Take the unprofitable servant, and cast him into utter darkness, where is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of Teeth, Mat. 25. 30. Not only servum flagitiosum, but servum inutilem. The reward of eternal life, is given only to the Labourers, Mat. 20. 8. Call the La­bourers, and give them their hire, beginning at the last, even unto the first.

(2) Motive. From the excellency of dili­gence, viz.

1. It sweeteneth all the comforts of life: the sleep of the labouring man is sweet to him, Eccles. 5. 12. The meat and drink, and sleep of the loyterer, cannot be sweet to him, because he doth not enjoy them in the way of holiness; they are not fruits of honest Labour, but fruits of idleness, vid. Prov. 12. 27.

(2) It doth not only sweeten, but its one way to sanctifie all the Comforts of life; he may pray to God, for a blessing on what he en­joyes; whereas the idle person, can have no [Page 269] confidence to pray for Gods blessing upon his enjoyments: the diligent man, may look up­on what he gets by labour, not only as a fruit of Gods bounty, but as a reward of his o­bedience unto the Commandment of God, which hath enjoyned labour and travel unto the sons of men. And then,

(3) Diligence used in a mans Calling, will exceedingly comfort and keep up his spirit, if the providence of God crosse him, and bring troubles upon him.

And then (4) Diligence keeps a person out of many snares and temptations. Satan usual­ly sets upon a man, when he is doing no­thing.

3. To give some Helps to it.

1. Be often observing such as are diligent; look upon all the commendations given in Scripture, to persons for their diligence, vid. Prov. 30. 10, 11, 12, 27, &c. All the Patriarchs, all the Apostles, all the Prophets, were men of diligence in their Calling, &c.

(2) Consider the very brute Creatures, they are emblems of diligence. The Ant, the Bee, how diligent are they in their labours? Prov. 6. 6. And if you look upon the inanimate Creatures, how diligent are they? The Sun, Moon, Stars, they are alwayes in their travel, doing the work of their places, &c.

(3) Consider, how God hath honoured diligence. Elisha was called to be a Prophet, when he was at his labour, vid. 1 Reg. 19, 19. Christ called Simon Peter, and Andrew, to be [Page 270] Disciples, when they were at their labour, Mat. 4. 18. And so James, the Son of Zebedee, and John his Brother, Matth. 4. 21. They were mending their Nets. And Matthew was called, when he was following his work, Matth. 9. 9. And the first tidings of the birth of Christ, were published to the diligent Shepherds, Luk. 2. 8, 9.

(4) Study well the preciousness of time and strength. The idle person hath not a true esteem of the worth of time, else he would not spend it idly. Time passeth, strength wears a­way, old age and sickness are a comming, when you must necessarily cease from labouring: the ship of the body, must shortly come to be laid up in the Harbour, when it cannot fail.

(5) Consider, that others are interested in your labours, as well as your selves. If you be servants, you owe both your parts, and labour unto them who have employed you: the idle­ness of servants, is robberie to their Masters, if you be Masters, your Family and Relations, which you are bound to provide for; if you will not be worse then Infidels, 1 Tim. 5. 8. may challenge your diligence; and if you have no such, yet the Common-wealth and Societie of Man-kind, are much prejudiced by your standing still.

(6) He that is negligent in his particular Calling, will never be diligent in his general: he that is negligent in his Shop, will be negli­gent in prayer, &c. Working six dayes, and the observing of the Sabbath, are joyned together, [Page 271] Exod. 20. 9, 10. These two, help forward one another: he that is not faithful in his Calling, will be unfaithful in the Sabbath; and he that is consciencious in following his Calling six dayes, is likely to perform the duties of the se­venth also.

Mary Wolnoth, Octob. 21. 1649. [...].

Mark 4. 34.‘And when he was alone, he expounded all things to his Disciples.’

[...].

IN this Chapter, there are five principal passages, which are the five parts of the Chapter.

(1) The Parable of the Seed, propoun­ded, and expounded, from Vers. 1. ad 21.

(2) An Exhortation to that necessarie, and profitable Duty, of communicating unto one [Page 273] another, of that light of spiritual knowledge, and other gifts received from God, vers. 21. ad 26.

And (3) The Doctrine of the working of the Word, preached upon the hearts and Con­sciences of men, illustrated by the manner of the growth of Seed, sowen by the hand of the Husband-man, vers. 26. ad 30.

(4) The growth and increase of the Gospel, set out by the Parable of Mustard-seed, vers. 30. ad 35.

(5) The miraculous Act of Christ, in the suddain swelling of the Tempest, v. 35. ad fi­nem.

The words which I have read, hold out a verie excellent Act of Christ, towards his Dis­ciples, in reference to this Sermon: when he was alone, he expounded all things to his Dis­ciples, &c. In which words, we have two things.

(1) Christs Action, He expounded [...], He untyed all knots, made all things plain to his Disciples.

(2) The Circumstance of time and place, [...], when they were in private. That which it teacheth us, is this, viz.

Doct. That the Lord Jesus, in the dayes of his flesh, was very careful, in teaching and instruct­ing those which were under his charge in the things of God. Jesus Christ was a Master of a Family, though he had no where to lay his [Page 274] head; yet he had Servants, the Disciples were his Servants; and, as he did in all other respects, carrie himself as a faithful Master to them, so was he not negligent in teaching them the things of God. We shall finde our Saviour, verie careful of them in this respect: he taught them to pray, Luk. 11. 2. And upon everie occasion, he was dropping Religious know­ledge and Instruction upon their souls: he did not only preach publiquely to them, as he did to others; but in secret also, and in private: his use was, to repeat what he had preached in the publique Assemblie, with Explanation, as need required: when he had reproved the hy­pocritical and ceremonial washings, used by the Pharisees before meales, and had uttered an obscure passage, Mat. 15. 11. we finde, that vers. 16, 17. He interprets that Doctrine in private to his Disciples, and makes them un­derstand the meaning of it more perfectly, Do ye not know, &c. That was in private, vid. Mar. 7. 17, 18. So Luk. 24. 25, 26. &c. to the two Disciples. Mat. 24. 3, 4. Mat. 13. 16.

The Reasons are these.

(1) The Disciples were called to be Ministers of the Gospel. Therefore it was necessarie, they should be instructed. Vid. Acts 1. 8. Ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Judea, and in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and [Page 275] unto the uttermost part of the Earth, both that they might have fulness of knowledge, and might learn willingly, to answer scruples pri­vately, to any that should repair to them, as well as preach in publick; so Paul did, Acts 20. 20.

(2) It, was out of sense and compassion to their ignorance. Our Saviour knew how blind the heart of man is by Nature, to receive the things of God; and he had often had experi­ence of his Disciples weaknesses in many things: this made him so careful, to use all diligence in instructing them; and the rather also, that he might convince them of their ig­norance.

(3) To teach all Masters and Governours, what their dutie is, towards such as are under their charge, and that they might by his ex­ample, be helped forward to do their Duty. Omnis Christi actio, nostra instructio, Christ in­tended mans information by all he did.

Ʋse 1. To exhort all persons, who have a charge over others, to imitate this Example, 1 John 2. 6. Christ instructed his Servants, and if thou wilt be a Christian, thou must walk af­ter thy Masters Example.

I would here,

  • (1) Give some Motives.
  • (2) Lay down some helps.
  • (3) Answer Objections.

[Page 276]1. Motives are these six.

1. Consider Gods strict command, vid. Deut. 6. 6, 7. The Law of God is indispensable; every Israelite of God is absolutely bound to the per­formance Deut. 4. 9. Psal. 78. 5, 6. thereof. Gods command is both the strongest reason, and the highest Motive of any dutie; and obedience is not pure and sincere, till Dixit Dominus prevaile with us.

2. Consider the practise of the Servants of God whose names are renowned, and whose memories are precious in the book of God. I will begin with Abraham, Gen. 18. 19. David, Pro. 4. 4. and so Bathsheba, Pro. 31. 1. And it is not to be questioned, but he also taught his Servants, as well as his Children. The Parents of Ti­mothy, they taught him the Scriptures of a Child, 2 Tim. 3. 15. These are rare examples, and Joshuah 24. 15. he could never have un­dertaken for himself and houshould, had he not been an instructor of his houshould.

(3) Consider the benefit of it.

(1) Your Servants will never do your work faithfully, if they be not instructed how to do Gods work. Those are likely to have the best service from such as are under the charge, who are most diligent to teach them their trade of Godlinesse. Conscience is the surest and safest obligation in all the world; and your servants will without doubt be faithfull to [Page 277] you, if you can perswade them to do your du­ty to God.

(2) For your Children, 'tis the way to preserve and keep up the honour of your family. There is a naturall desire in every man, that his family may be renowned when he is laid in the dust. Tis Religion and Piety which builds up and keeps up the renown of Families. Riches may be imbezeld, and titles of honour may die, but godlinsse and pietie can never die. Isaacs pietie kept up the credit of Abrahams familie when he was in the dust. Ishmael was rich, but he was wicked, Jacob preserved the memory of Isaac by his piety, Esau had wealth, but his wickednesse was a blot, both to himself and his Fathers house. Its just that God should curse that man in his posterity, in his waies of Religion, and its righteous with God that such Servants should become scour­ges to their Masters as have not been taught by them the knowledge of the Lord.

(3) By informing of them which are under your charge, you will informe your own souls. He that whets the word of God upon his Ser­vants and Children, will with that whetting set a sharper edge upon his own affections. By repeating a Sermon to others, you will strengthen your own memories, and warme your own hearts. As iron sharpens iron, so the heart of a man, his friend, Pro. 27. 17.

[Page 278] (4) You may benefit the Church of God for ma­ny generations. A good man would have the Church of God to flourish not onely while he lives, but after his decease, he would have generations to come, to know and blesse the Lord. This is the waie to propagate Religion after thine own decease. Children and Ser­vants are likely to survive Masters and Parents. And if they be not instructed and taught in their youth, the next generation may for ought you know, be atheisticall and paga­nish. A good man layeth up an inheritance for his Childrens Children, Pro. 13. 22. Thou doest not know in what place God may cast the lot of thy Children and Servants. They may be instruments of spreading the knowledg of God in remote parts.

(5) Consider the many present Errours that are sprung up amongst us. The firmament of our Church is filled, and even darkened with the thick black smoak of profane, and grace­destroying opinions. And every one of your Children and Servants have a biasse upon their hearts which draweth them violently this waie; they may bring the plague of Errors and Heresie into your families, they may bring home the leaven of the Pharises, and sadduces into your houses. The best Anti­dote against this infection, is frequent praier and instruction.

[Page 279] (5) Consider the great mischief of the igno­rance of God and of his wayes, together with the happiness of this knowledg.

(1) Without Knowledge the mind is not good, Knowledge is the eie, the Candle, the Pilot of the soul. A man without knowledge, is like a blind guide, is like a ship without a Pilot, he is readie to stumble on every stone, he is apt to run upon every Rock: he that walk­eth in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth, Joh. 12. 35. He is like Sampson when his eies are put out, the Divell may make him grind in any mill, use him for any kind of imploi­ment. He can do nothing well, nothing accept­able.

(2) Ignorance of God is damnable, our Sa­viour saith, It is life eternall to know God and Je­sus Christ whom he hath sent, Joh. 17. 3. And therefore it must needs be eternall death, to be ignorant of God, and of Jesus Christ; especi­allie when sufficient means for this knowledg, is and may be enjoyed. It is the complaint of God, that his people were destroied for want of knowledge, Hos. 4. 6. not onely with temporall, but eternall destruction. And if any soul perish through ignorance un­der your roofe, through your default, his soul will be required at your hands. What God saith to the Watchman concerning his charge, is as applicable to every governour of a family in his sphere. If you give not the wicked man warning, he shall die, but his blood will [Page 280] I require at thy hands, Ezech. 33. 8. Every Master of a family is as well and as truly made a Watchman of God, to do all domesticall duties within his sphere (where of this is one) as the Minister is over the Congregation, and must as wel be accountable to God for the souls under his charge. And therfore God in the 4th. Commandement, puts the care and inspection of all within the family, upon the governours, Thou & thy Son, & thy Daughter, & thy man-Servant, &c. Thou mightst perhaps, be the in­strument of saving thy Child or Servant from Hell, wert thou carefull of doing thy dutie.

(6) Consider the justice and equity of this duty. That you shouldst instruct those who are thy Children by Nature, is but Equitie, in as much as the blindness and ignorance which is in them, is from thee conveid, as the imme­diate instrumentall cause. They drew their blindness from thy loines, thou didst beget and bring them forth in thine own sinfull Image, whereof this ignorance is a part, and therefore thou art bound by all rules of justice to do what thou canst to make restitution. And for adopted Children and Servants, by contract committed to thy care by friends or guardians, the like obligation lieth upon thee in point of justice, to teach them the know­ledge of the Most Holie, according to thy po­wer; for though expresly this clause be not put into the engagement, yet virtuallie and implicitly it is intended: the parent or friends [Page 281] commit their Children into thy hands, upon such termes that the soul should be looked af­ter as well as the bodie; and if They do not ex­pect it, yet Theologically, by vertue of thy place, as a Master, God expects it from thee; and thou art not onely uncharitable, but unjust also, if thou neglect this part of the engage­ment. It will not be enough to say, I have instructed them in all the parts of the mysterie I profess, I have made them skilfull in their Art, but if they be uninstructed in the know­ledge of God, the least halfe of the Covenant is made good, & God will both judge & punish thee for a fraudulent and unfaithfull man that hast betrayed thy trust.

2ly. Directions. Take these three.

(1) Thou must be carefull to furnish thy self with a competency of knowledge and understand­ing in Religion. To govern a small familie, requires no small knowledge. God would have a Master of a familie to be able to instruct both Wife and Children. Dwell with thy Wife as a man of knowledge, 1 Pet. 3. 7. and the woman is commanded not to speak in the Church; but, if she want, to ask her husband at home, 1 Cor. 14. 35. If the Wife must aske, the Husband should be able to resolve necessa­rie questions. I doubt the want of know­ledge in governours takes them off from this duty; indeed renders them uncapable to dis­charge [Page 282] it. Therefore by studying the Scrip­tures, by reading good Catechisms, and other good books, and by Praier get sound knowledge.

(2) Pray for a good Conscience, and keep a good Conscience. As a good conscience will keep men close to God in other Duties, so will it do in this, and truely though a man have never such plenty of knowledge, yet if he want Conscience, the work will fall.

(3) Get large bowels of affections to God, to the knowledge of God, and the Souls of such as God hath given thee inspection over. This will promote the work. He that loves God truly, will disperse the knowledge of God freely; and he who beares any affection to souls, will be willing to light his Candle, to set them in the waie to life and happinesse. He that doth not teach his Child, I dare say hath not a true Fatherlie love, either to God or his Child: Love will seek the best wellfare of that which is beloved.

3dly. The Objections are these.

1. Object. If I should instruct thus my Fa­mily, and be so strict, repeat Sermons, &c. I should be reproached, &c.

[Page 283] Sol. 1. No good man would reproach thee, no, they would love thee, & honour thee: & if Michal scoffe and reproach, 'tis no great mat­ter, vid. 2 Sam. 6. 21, 22. 'Tis no honour, to be praysed, no dishonour to be reproached by a wicked man.

2. Such reproach is the way to happiness, vid. 1 Pet. 4. 14. The Saints of God have glori­ed in reproaches for Christs sake, they have worn them as a Crown.

3. If thou art afraid of reproach, be afraid of Gods reproach. He will reproach thee, if thou neglect this duty; and that not only here, but hereafter, vid. Dan. 12. 2. If thou neglect this duty, for fear of the Worlds re­proach; thou mayst lie down at last with the Worlds honour, but thou wilt rise again to e­verlasting shame.

2. Object. But my Servants, they will not submit to instruction, they think their Consci­ences are free, and that no such thing should be imposed upon them, &c.

Sol. 1. And what if they should pretend the like freedom of Conscience, as they call it, for the not doing of thy work in thine employ­ment, wouldst thou think it a sufficient Salvo? and why wilt thou take it for a discharge from doing Gods work?

2. I answered, they are not free by any Law of God; nay, they are bound: if Abraham must teach his Houshold the way of Jehovah, surelie his Houshold must submit to be in­structed, else the Commandment is void. And [Page 284] Joshuah took it for granted, that his House should serve the Lord, together with himself, Josh. 24. 15. He should not dwell in Joshuahs House, that would not serve Joshuahs God, whatsoever they pretended. The Rod of Disci­pline should teach such other practices, if after admonition and conviction, they remain ob­stinate.

3. Object. But they are catechised, and in­structed by the Minister, therefore its needless I should meddle.

Sol. The Ministerial instruction, doth not excuse Domestical instruction. Christ taught his Disciples publickly as a Minister, and yet he neglected not private instruction also; pri­vate instruction helps on the publick, and the publick the private.

2. Ʋse. This is a Doctrine of singular com­fort for the godlie. Jesus Christ hath a Familie on Earth still, though he be in Heaven, and the Church is his Houshold, Heb. 3. 6. And its his Office, to teach and instruct now, as much as ever, when he was on Earth. And be confi­dent, you ignorant Christians, that Christ your Master, will untie all knots, which you cannot untie your selves. Qui docet corda, Cathedram habet in Coelo. Carry your doubts to him freely.

FINIS.

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