A FOUNTAINE SEALED OR The Dutie of the sealed to the SPIRIT

And the worke of the Spirit in Sealing.

By Rich: Sibbes, D. D. The 3d. Edition.

Printed for L: Chapman & are to be sould at his shope at Chancery Lane end in Holborne.

will: Marshall. sculpsit. 1638.

A FOUNTAIN SEALED: OR, The duty of the sealed to the Spirit, and the worke of the Spirit in Sealing.

Wherein Many things are handled about the Holy Spirit, and grieving of it:

As also Of assurance and sealing what it is, the priviledges and degrees of it, with the signes to discerne, and meanes to preserve it. Being The substance of divers Sermons prea­ched at Grayes Inne.

By that Reverend Divine, RICHARD SIBBES, D. D. and sometimes Preacher to that Honourable Society.

LONDON, Printed by Thomas Harper, for Law­rence Chapman, and are to be sold at his shop at Chancery lane end, in Holborne, 1638.

To The truly Noble, and much honoured Lady, the Lady Elizabeth Brooke, Wife to Sir Robert Brooke.

Madame:

BEsides that dese [...]ved in­terest your Ladyship held in the [Page]fections and esteeme of this worthy man more then any friend alive, which might intitle you to all that may call him Authour. This small piece of his acknowledgeth a more speciall propri­ety unto your Lady­ship. For though his tongue was as the Pen of a ready Wri­ter in the hand of Christ who guided [Page]him, yet your Lady­ships hand and Pen was in this his scribe and Amanuensis whi­lest hee dictated a first draught of it in pri­vate, with intention for the publique. Jn which labour both of humility and love, your Ladyship did that honour unto him which Baruch (thogh great and Noble) did but receive in the [Page]like, transcribing the words of Ieremiah, from his mouth: wher­in yet your Ladyship did indeed, but write the story of your owne life, which hath beene long exactly framed to the rules herein prescribed. We there­fore that are intru­sted in the publishing of it, deeme it but an act of Justice in us to return it thus to your [Page]Ladyship, unto whom it owes, even its first Birth: that so where ever this little Trea­tise shall come, there also this that you have done, may bee told and recorded for a memorial of you. And wee could not but esteeme it al­so an addition of ho­nour to the worke, that no lesse then a Ladies hand (so pi­ous [Page]& so much honou­red) brought it forth into the world, al­though in it selfe it de­serveth as much as any other this blessed wombe did beare. The Lord in way of recom­pence, write all the ho­ly Contents of it, yet more fully and abun­dantly in your Lady­ships heart, and all the lineaments of the I­mage of Iesus Christ, [Page]and seale up all unto you by his blessed spi­rit, with joy and peace to the day of Re­demption.

Madame,
we are your Ladyships devoted, THO. GOODWIN. PHILIP NYE.

THE CONTENTS.

  • GRieve not the ho­ly Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost why called a Spi­rit, page 3
  • Why holy, page 5
  • From the Apostles disswasi­on, these foure presupposed truths.
    • 1 That the holy Ghost is in us, page 8
    • 2 And is as a guide to us, page 12
    • 3 The best of us are apt to grieve him, page 13
    • [Page] 4 Therefore wee should bee carefull of it, page 14
  • § 1. Of grieving the Spirit.
    • I What it is to grieve the Spirit, 16. how the Spirit wor­keth in us, page 20
    • II Wherein doe we especial­ly grieve the Spirit.
      • 1 In our selves, and that in these particulars.
        • 1 In walking contrary to, and in neglecting of its moti­ons, 25. and comforts, 27. seeking comfort from the flesh, page 28
        • 2 By unkindenesse, 29. the sinnes of Professors, and those that have most acquain­tance with the Spirit, grieve most, page 30
        • 3 By presumptuous sinnes, 33, sinnes against knowledge [Page]of two sorts. ibid. why volun­tary sinnes are so great, and grieve the Spirit so much, 36, the reason why sinnes of the se­cond Table grieve most, 39, up­on divers respects the same sort of sinnes may grieve more and lesse, page 44
        • 4 By worldlinesse and pay­ing tribute to the flesh, page 45
        • 5 Abusing spirituall things to our owne ends, 48. and fa­thering the workes of the flesh upon the spirit, page 49
        • 6 By sins against the Gospell, 49, slighting ordinances, page 51
        • 7 Sinnes plotted and contri­ved, page 57
        • 8 By false judgement of things, page 55
        • 9 By not using the helpes we have, page 58
        • 10 Cavelling against the truth, page 59
        • [Page] 11 By doing duty in our owne strength, page 61
        • 12 Thrusting our selves into over-much worldly employ­ment, 61, whence,
        • 13 Omission or sl [...]ght perfor­mance of duty, page 63
      • 2 In others many ways, as
        • 1 Neglecting the grace in them, page 65
        • 2 Sharpe censures, page 65
        • 3 Superiours by unjust com­mands, page 66
        • 4 Inferiours by untractable­nesse,
        • 5 By evill examples, page 68
    • III How we may know when we have grieved the spirit, 69 and what is the danger of it, page 71
      • How farre a childe of God may grieve the Spirit. page 76
      • Of the sinne against the Holy Ghost, 81, and a twofold mis­carriage [Page]about it in censuring, page 82
    • IIII What course we should take to prevent grieving the Spirit 84, in divers rules.
      • 1 Give your selfe up to the go­vernment of it, page 84
      • 2 Subject constantly to the Spi­rits motions: they are knowne from other motions.
        • 1 By a speciall strength in them, by which they are raised to higher ends, page 87
        • 2 By their constancy, page 88
        • 3 They proceed from a chan­ged heart, page 89
        • 4 They are seasonable, ibid.
        • 5 A self evidēce in them, page 90
        • 6 Orderly, in respect of both Tables of the law, ibid.
        • 7 Dependant upon God, page 91
      • 3 Ioyne and co-operate with the Spirit, page 92
      • 4 Turne motions into resolu­tions, [Page] 94 and resolutions into practise, page 95
      • 5 Depend on ordinances, and get a heart suteable to them, page 96
      • 6 Observe the Spirits first withdrawing, and search the cause, page 100
      • 7 Take heed of such sinnes as wee terme little ones, 102, and looke upon all sinne in the rise and root of it, 104
      • 8 Get spirituall wisedome to know what is pleasing and dis­pleasing to the Spirit, page 105
      • 9 Vpon breaches, renew repen­tance, page 108
      • 10 Avoyd corrupt communi­cation, page 109
      • Whereby you are sealed.
  • § 2 Of the sealing of the Spirit.
    • 1 Christ is sealed, page 122
    • 2 So are Christians, page 125
      • [Page]I What this sealing is, and how it is wrought, page 125
      • II The priviledges of it.
        A seale serveth for
        • 1 Confirmation, page 131
        • 2 Distinction, page 132
        • 3 Appropriation, page 139
        • 4 Estimation, page 141
        • 5 Secrecy, page 144
        • 6 Security, page 146
      • III Degrees of sealing.
        • 1 The worke of faith, page 149
        • 2 Sanctification, 150. yet not without a new act of the Spirit, 153, the reasons, page 155
        • 3 Ioy, 156. which hath its degrees also, 158, being from the spirit, page 159
        • Of the three witnesses on earth, 160, their order, page 164,
        • Of the witnesse of the Spirit immediately from it selfe, which is the highest, and that which bringeth most joy, page 166
        • [Page]Of such joyes and raptures of the Spirit, and how they are knowne from illusions, Page 169. as
          • 1 By what goes before them: as
            • 1 The word imbraced by faith, Page 171
            • 2 Deep humiliation, Page 172
            • 3 Selfe-denyall, Page 174
            • 4 Comfort & victory, Page 175
            • 5 Spirituall strength put forth in duty, Page 176
          • 2 By what accompanieth them: as,
            • 1 Pryzing ordinances, Page 177
            • 2 Liberty & boldnesse with God, Page 179
            • 3 And for the most part Sa­thans malice, Page 180
          • 3 By what follweth them,
            • 1 More humility, Page 180
            • 2 Increase of spirituall strength, Page 181
            • 3 A joyfull expectation of Christ. Page 183
            • [Page] 4 Other degrees of sealing from the divers degrees of revelati­on, Page 185
            • Vnto the day of Redēption.
  • § 3 Of the day of Redem­ption. Page 191
    • From the consideration of what formerly hath beene spo­ken, some generall conclusions are collected, Page 202
      • I Concl. Wee may attaine to the knowledge that wee are in the state of grace, Page 203
        • All that have faith, have not assurance, Page 209
      • II Concl. Vpon knowledge of our state of grace for the pre­sent, wee may be assured of our future full redemption, Page 215
        • Why we pray for forgivenesse of sinnes notwithstanding, Page 218
        • This assurance we have, Page 221 that, first, God may be glorifi­ed, [Page] 222, secondly, our soules comforted, Page 223
      • III Concl. This assured know­ledge is wrought by the Spirit, Page 224
      • IIII Concl. The sealing of the Spirit unto salvation, should bee a prevailing argu­ment not to grieve the Spirit, Page 228
        • 1 To those that are not as yet sealed. Page 230
        • 2 To those that are sealed either in a lower, 233. or high­er worke of sealing, 236 and that from
          • 1 Ingenuity, Page 237
          • 2 Benefit received from the Spirit, Page 239
          • 3 A kinde of necessity, Page 240
          • 4 The nature of love, Page 241
          • 5 And other graces, as faith and hope, that worke by assimi­lation. Page 242
          • [Page]The doctrine of assurance is [...]0 doctrine of liberty Page 243
          • But of deepe and sweet in­ [...]agement, Page 244
          • Therefore we should preserve he worke. Page 247
FINIS.
Ephes. 4.30.‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby yee are sealed unto the day of redem­ption.’

WHether the words bee a Command ensuing from au­thority, or coun­sell, from wisedome, or a caveat from Gods care of our soules, it is not materi­all: considering both Coun­sell and Caveats of the great God, have both force of a Command, with some mixture of the sweetnesse [Page 2]of love: the Apostle as his manner is, from in the large­nesse of his Spirit, riseth from a particular disswa­sive from corrupt commu­nication,Scope of the words. in the verse be­fore, to this generall advise of not grieving Gods Spi­rit by sinne; especially a­gainst conscience inlighte­ned: and this disswasive from evill, is inforced from a dangerous effect of grieving the spirit of God; and the danger of grieving ariseth from this, that it is the Spirit of God, and God himselfe whom we grieve, and a holy Spirit, holy in himselfe, and holy as the cause of all holinesse in us; and hee that after he hath wrought holinesse in us, sealeth and confirmeth us [Page 3]in that act of grace, untill the day of our glorious re­demption: so that the grounds of not grieving, are from the greatnesse and goodnesse of the person whom we grieve, and from the greatnesse and constan­cy of the benefits we have by him.Holy Ghost cal­led Spirit, why. To speake some­thing of the person, the ho­ly Spirit is called a Spirit, not onely by nature, as be­ing a spirituall essence, but in regard of his person and office, he is both breathed from the Father and the Sonne, as proceeding from them both; and by office, breathed into ail that God hath given Christ to re­deeme, and him to sanctifie; he is so the spirit of God in proceeding from God, as [Page 4]that he is God, which who so denieth, deny their owne Baptisme, being as well Baptized into the name of the Holy Ghost, as into the Father and the Sonne; and no lesse a person, then God, is needfull to assure our soules of Gods love, and to change our nature, being in an opposite frame: who can reveale to us the minde of GOD, but the Spirit of God? and herein wee may see the joynt forwardnesse both of the Father and Son and holy Ghost; when both Father and Sonne joyne in willingnesse to send so great a person to apply unto us, and to assure us of that great good the Father hath decreed, and the Son performed for us.

[Page 5] Holy Spirit.That attribute the Spirit delights in, is that of holi­nesse, which our corrupt nature least delights in,Holinesse not onely an attri­bute in God, but the excel­lency of all his at­tributes. He is holy in mercy, in justice, in good­nesse, &c. and most opposeth: holinesse is the glory and crowne of all other excellencie; without which they are neither good in themselves, nor comfortable to us. It im­plies a freedome from all impuritie, and a perfect ha­tred of it; an absolute per­fection of all that is excel­lent. What is it then to grieve such an holy Spirit; before whom the heavens themselves are impure, and not onely the Divels trem­ble, but the Angels cover their faces? What shall wee thinke then of them which doe not onely neglect, but despise, yea oppose this [Page 6]holinesse, and indure any thing else? what is hated in the world with [...]eene and perfect hatred, but holy­nesse, without which yet, wee shall never see God, nor enter into that pure place, into which, we all professe a desire to enter?Two de­sires in man by nature. There was planted in man by na­ture, a desire of holinesse, and a desire of happinesse: the desire of happinesse is left still in us, but for holi­nesse which is the perfecti­on of the image of God in us, is both lost, and the de­sire of it extinguished: and that men might the better drive it out of the world under a forme and shew of it; they oppose the truth of it, and that with the greater successe, because under that [Page 7]great colour the Divell and his Vicar, carry all their divellish policies under a shew of holinesse. We see in Popery, every thing is holy with them, but that which should be holy, the truth of God, and the ex­pression of it. The man of sinne himselfe must have no worse title, then his Ho­linesse: a shew of devised holinesse pleaseth mans na­ture well enough; as being glorious for appearance, and usefull for ends. But the truth of it being crosse to the whole corrupt na­ture of man, will never be entertained, untill nature be new moulded by his ho­ly Spirit in the use of holy meanes, sanctified by him­selfe for that end: it is this [Page 8]that makes a man a Saint, and civill vertues to be gra­ces, which rayseth things that are (otherwise) com­mon, to an higher degree of excellency: this is that to a Christian which reason is to a man: it gives him a being, and a beauty diffe­rent from all other: it makes every action we doe in obe­dience to GOD a service, and puts a religious respect upon all our actions, dire­cting them to the highest end.

Foure things presuppo­sed.Now that which the Apo­stle disswades from, is from grieving so holy a Spirit. These truths, are presuppo­sed: First, that the holy Ghost is not in us personal­ly as the second Person is in Christ man,1 The spirit in us. for then the [Page 9]holy Ghost, and wee should make one person: nor is the holy Ghost in us essentially only: for so he is in all crea­tures: nor yet is in us onely by stirring up holy moti­ons, but hee is in us mysti­cally, and as Temples dedi­cated to himselfe: Christs humane nature is the first temple, wherein the Spirit dwels; and then we become temples by union with him.Difference of the Spirits be­ing in Christ, and in us. The difference betwixt his being in Christ & us, is, that the Spirit dwels in Christ in a fuller measure by reason that as a head hee is to con­veigh spirit into all his members. Secondly, the Spirit is in Christ intirely without any thing to op­pose: the Spirit alwayes findes something in us, that [Page 10]is not his owne, but ready to crosse him. Thirdly, the Spirit is in us derivatively from Christ, as a fountaine wee receive grace at second hand, answerable to grace in him.How the Spirit was in Adam in innocency. The holy Ghost was in Adam before his fall, immediately; but now hee is in Christ, first, and then for Christ in us, as members of that bo­die, whereof Christ is the head: & it is well for us that he dwels first in Christ, and then in us: for from this it is that his communion with us is inseparable, as it is from Christ himselfe, with whom the Spirit makes us one. The holy Spirit dwels in those that are Christs af­ter another manner then in others in whom hee is in,How in carnall men. in [Page 11]some sort by common gifts, but in his owne, hee is in them as holy, and as making them holy, as the soule is in the whole body in re­gard of divers operations; but in the head onely as it understandeth, and from thence ruleth the whole body: so the holy Ghost is in his, in regard of more noble operations, and his person is together with his working, though not per­sonally; and though the whole man be the temple of the holy Ghost, ye [...] the soule especially, and in the soule the very Spirit of our mindes, a most suteable to him being a Spirit. Whence the Apostle wishes the grace of Christ to be with our Spirits, the best of spi­rits [Page 12]delight most in the best of us, which is our spirits: in the Temple the further they went, all was more holy, till they came to the holy of holiest. So in a Christian the most inward part the spirit is, as it were the holy of holies,The holy Ghost dwels not in us as in ordinary houses, but as Tem­ples. The holy spirit makes all holy, where ever he comes. where incense is offered to God continually. What a mercy is this that hee that hath the heaven of heavens to dwell in, will make a dungeon to bee a temple; a prison to be a para­dise; yea an hell to bee an heaven? Next to the love of Christ in taking our nature, and dwelling in it; we may wonder at the love of the holy Ghost, that will take up his residence in such defi­led soules.

The second thing pre­supposed, [Page 13]is that the holy Spirit being in us after hee hath prepared us for an house for himselfe to dwell in,2 The spirit a Coun­sellor and Comfor­ter. and to take up his rest and delight in, hee doth al­so become unto us a Coun­sellour in all our doubts, a Comforter in all distresses, a Solicitor to all dutie, a guide in the whole course of our life, untill wee dwell with him for ever in heaven: unto which his dwelling here in us doth tend: he go­eth before us as Christ did in the pillar of the cloud and fire before the Israelites into Canaan: being a defence by day, and a direction by night. When we sinne,3 We are prone to grieve the Spirit. what doe wee else but grieve this guide?

The third ground is, that [Page 14]we, the best of us, are prone to grieve this holy Spirit: what use were there else of this caveat? wee carry too good a proofe or this in our owne hearts: we have that which is enmitie to the spirit within us, sinne; and an adversary to the spirit & us, Sathan: These joyning together, and having intelli­gence, and holding corre­spondence, one with ano­ther, stirre us up to that which grieves this good Spirit.

4 We should be carefull of grie­ving it.The fourth thing presup­posed, is, that we may and ought by Christian care and circumspection, so to walke in an even and plea­sing course, that wee shall not grievously offend the spirit, or grieve our owne [Page 15]spirits. We may avoyd ma­ny lashes and blowes, and many an heavy day which wee may thanke our selves for, and God delighteth in the prosperity of his chil­dren, and would have us walk in the comforts of the holy Ghost, and is grieved when we grieve him: that then hee must grieve us to prevent worse griefe. The due and proper act of a Christian in this life is to please Christ, and to bee comfortable in himself, and so to bee fitted for all servi­ces.

These things premised, it is easie to conceive the e­quitie of the Apostles dis­swasive from grieving the holy spirit. For the better unfolding of which, we will [Page 16]unfold these foure points. First,Foure points observed. what it is to grieve the Spirit. Secondly, is wherein we specially grieve the Spirit. Thirdly, how wee may know when wee have grieved the Spirit Fourthly, what course wee should take to prevent this griefe.

1 What it is to grieve the Spirit.For the first: The holy Ghost cannot properly be grieved in his owne person, because griefe implyes a defect of happinesse in suf­fering that wee wish remo­ved. It implyes a defect in foresight, to prevent that which may grieve. It im­plyes passion, which is soone raised up, and soone laid downe: GOD is not subject to change; it implyes some want [Page 17]of power to remove that which we feele to be a grie­vance: and therefore it is not beseeming the Majestie of the Spirit thus to bee grieved. Wee must there­fore conceive of it as befit­ting the Majestie of God, removing in our thoughts all imperfections. First then we are sayd to grieve God,Spirit grieved how. when we doe that which is apt of it selfe to grieve: as wee are said to destroy our weake brother, when wee do that which he taking of­fence at, is apt to misleade him, and so to destroy him. Secondly, we grieve the Spirit, when wee doe that whereupon the Spirit doth that which grieved persons doe; that is, retireth and sheweth dislike, and returns [Page 18]griefe againe. Thirdly, though the passion of griefe be not in the holy Ghost, yet there is in his holy na­ture a pure displicence and hatred of sinne, with such a degree of abhomination as though it tend not to the destruction of the offender, yet to sharpe correction: so that griefe is eminently in the hatred of God in such a manner as becomes him. Fourthly,Spirit con­fidered as in him­selfe, as in us. wee may con­ceive of the Spirit as hee is in himselfe in heaven, and as hee dwels and workes in us; as wee may conceive of God the Fa­ther, as hidden in himselfe, and as revealed in his Son, and in his word; and as wee may conceive of Christ as the secōd persō, & as incar­nate: [Page 19]so likewise of the holy Ghost as in himselfe, and as in us, God in the person of his Sonne: and his Sonne as man, and as Minister of Circumcision, was grieved at the rebellion and destru­ction of his owne people. The holy Spirit, as in us grieveth with us, witnesseth with us, rejoyceth in us, and with us; and the spirit in himselfe, and as hee wor­keth in us hath the same name, as the gifts and gra­ces, and the comforts of the Spirit are called the spirit; even as the beames of the Sunne shining on the earth are called the Sunne: and when wee let them in, or shut them out, wee are said to let in or shut out the Sunne. We may grieve the [Page 20]spirit, when we grieve him as working grace, and offe­ring comfort to us: the gra­ces of the Spirit have the name of the Spirit whence they come, as the Spirit of love and wisedome. Againe, our owne spirits, so farre as sanctified, are said to be the Spirit of God: So the Spi­rit of God, not in it selfe, but in Noah did strive with the old world; and so we grieve the Spirit, when wee grieve our owne or other mens spi­rits, so farre as they are san­ctified by the Spirit.

How the Spirit worketh in us.Now the spirit as in us worketh in us, according to the principles of mans na­ture, as understanding and free creatures, and prefer­veth the free manner of working proper to man; [Page 21]and doth not alwaies put forth an absolute preroga­tive power, but dealeth with us by way of gentle and sweet motions and per­swasions; and leaveth it in our freedome to imbrace or refuse these inferiour workes of the Spirit: and our hearts tell us it is in our power to entertaine or re­ject the motions: which when wee doe in our owne apprehension, wee churlish­ly offend the spirit, as wil­ling to draw us to better waies; and wee cannot o­therwaies judge of this, but as grieving. God in his dea­ling with men, puts his cause into our hāds, that by our prayers and otherwise, wee may helpe or hinder him against the mighty. [Page 22]And Christ puts himself into our hands in his Mini­sters, and in the poore counts himselfe regarde [...] or neglected in them: so the holy Spirit puts as it were his delight and content­ment in our power, and counts when we entertaine his motions of grace or comfort, we entertain him, and when we refuse them wee grieve him. And the holy Ghost will have us in­terpret our refusing of his motion, to be a refusing of him; and not onely a refu­sing of him, but of the Son, and of the Father, whose spirit he is. Oh, if wee did but consider how high the slighting of a gracious mo­tion reaches, even to the slighting of God himselfe: [Page 23]it would move us to give more regard unto them. As we use these motions. so would wee use the Spirit himselfe, if he were in our power. They are not onely the Ambassadors, but the royal off-spring of the spirit in us, and when we offer violence to them, we kill as much as in us lyeth, the roy­all seed of the Spirit.

Object. We intend not in sin, to grieve the Spirit. Answ. We doe it in the cause. Ob. It may be objected, when wee doe any thing a­misse, we intend not the grieving of the Spirit? It is true, unlesse we were di­vels incarnate, we will not purposely and directly grieve the Spirit; but when we sinne, we will the grie­ving of him in the Cause. No man hates his owne soule, or is in love with [Page 24]death, yet men will wil­lingly doe that, which i [...] they hated their own souls. and loved death, they could not doe worse. Why wil [...] you perish, you house of Is­rael? saith God, they inten­ded no such matter as peri­shing: Gods meaning is, why will you go on in such destructive courses, as will end in perishing? if we could hate hell in the cause of it and way to it, as we hate i [...] in it selfe, we would never come there.

2 Wherein we grieve the Spirit.For the second point, wherein wee especially grieve the Spirit: griefe ari­seth either from antipathy and cōtrariety, or from dis­union of things naturally joyned together. In grea­ter persons especially, [Page 25]griefe ariseth from any in­dignity offered from neg­lect or disrespect, and most of all from unkindenesse af­ter favour shewed. Thus the holy Ghost is grieved by us: what more contrary to holinesse, then sinne, which is the thing, and the onely thing that God ab­hominates, yea, in the di­vell himselfe? But then adde to the contrarietie in sinne,We grieve the Spirit by unkind­nesse. the aggravations from un­kindenesse; and this makes it more sinfull. What grea­ter indignity can wee of­fer to the holy Spirit, than to preferre base dust before his motions, leading us to holinesse and happi­nesse? what greater unkind­nesse, yea, treachery to leave directions of a friend [Page 26]to follow the counsaile of an enemy? such as when they know Gods will, yet will consent with flesh and bloud, like Balaam, who was swayed by his profit a­gainst a cleere discovery of Gods will. Wee cannot but make the Spirit of God in us in some sort ashamed to thinke of our folly; in lea­ving the Fountaine, Ier. and dig­ging Cisternes: in leaving a true guide, and following the Pirate: men are grieved especially, when they are disrespected in their place and office. It is the office of the Spirit to enlighten, to soften, to quicken, and to sanctifie; when wee give content to Sathan, it puts the holy Ghost out of of­fice. The office of the holy [Page 27]Ghost is likewise to bee a comforter: it cannot there­fore but grieve the holy Spirit, when the consolations of the Almighty are either forgotten, or seeme no­thing unto us in the perish­nesse of our spirits; when with Rachel wee will not bee comforted. Who in stead of wrastling with GOD by prayer, wrangle with him by cavelling objections: They take pleasure to move objections, instead of a ho­ly submission to higher reasons that might raise them to comfort: and take Satans part against the holy Spirit, and their owne spirit: and against argu­ments that are ministred, by those that are more skilfull in the wayes of sal­vation, [Page 28]then themselves. How little beholding is the holy Spirit to such, who please themselves in a spirit of opposition? and yet so sweet is this holy Spirit, that after long pati­ence, hee overcomes ma­ny of these with his good­nesse: and makes them at length with shame, lay their hands upon their mouthes, and bee silent. Yet that is one reason they sticke so long in temptati­ons, and are kept so long under the Spirit of bondage. Those likewise cannot but grieve the Comforter, that leave his comforts, and seeke for other Comfor­ters: that thinke there is not comfort enough in Religi­on, but will bowe downe [Page 29]to the world, such as linger after the liberties of the flesh, after stolne waters; as if God kept house not good enough for them. It is a great disparagement to preferre huskes before the provision of our fathers house, and to dye (like fish out of their proper ele­ment) if wee want carnall comforts. But above all, they grieve the Spirit most, that have had deepest ac­quaintance with the Spirit; and have received greatest favours from the Spirit. When the holy Ghost comes in love, and wee have given way to him to enlighten our understan­dings, and when in our af­fections, wee have tasted of the good things of God, [Page 30]that the promises are sweet, and the Gospell is good. When wee have given such way to the Spirit, then to use him unkindely; this grieves the Spirit. Where the holy Ghost hath not on­ly set up a light, but given a taste of heavenly things, and yet wee upon false al­lurements will grow to [...] distast, it cannot but grieve the Spirit. And this makes the sinne against the holy Ghost so desperate, because there hath beene a strong conviction and illumina­tion.Aggrava­tion of sinnes of Professors. Therfore of all sinnes the sinnes of Professours o [...] Religion, grieve the Spiri [...] most; and of all Professor those that have most mean [...] of knowledge: because their obligations are dee [...] [Page 31]and their ingagements grea­ter. The deeper dee affe­ction hath entred, the grea­ter the griefe must needs be in unloosing. The offence of friends, grieves more than the injuries of ene­mies. And therefore the sinnes that offend GOD most, are committed within the Church; where is the greatest sinne of all, the sin against the holy Ghost committed, but within the Church? and where there is the greatest light, and the greatest meanes. Sinnes against knowledge grieve most, especially, if there be a malicious opposing: for there can be nothing to ex­cuse it. The malice of the will maketh the sinne of the deeper die: and it is con­trary to the spirit, as it is a [Page 32]Spirit of goodnes, & hence is it that pr [...]sūptuous sins so much grieve the spirit, for by such sinnes we abuse the sweetest Attribute of Gods Spirit, his goodnesse, and be therefore evill because he is good, and turne his grace into wantonnesse,Sins a­gainst knowledg are such either, 1 Directly the sin of this age. Sins against know­ledge are either such as are 1. Directly against know­ledge, as when we will not understand what wee should doe, because wee will not doe what wee understand: such put out the candle, that they may sinne with the more freedome. This kinde of ignorance doth not free from sinne, but increaseth it; some men will not heare the Word, nor reade good Bookes, lest their consci­ences [Page 33]should bee awaked; this affected ignorance in­creaseth the voluntarinesse. Againe, when we maintaine untruths for any advantage, knowing them to bee un­truths; as many learned Pa­pists cannot but doe. What a great indignity is it to the Spirit of GOD to sell the truth, which we should buy, yea with the losse of our lives: and to prefer the plea­sing of a base man, or some gaine to our selves before a glorious beame of GOD? Other sinnes if wee know them to be sinnes, are sinnes against knowledge,2 Indi­rectly, not so directly, but collateral­ly: yet this will bee the chiefe aggravation, when our conscien [...]s are once awaked, not so much that [Page 34]we have sinned, as that wee have sinned against the light, when the will hath nothing to plead for it selfe, but it selfe; it would, because it would, though it knew the contrary. Involuntari­nesse, takes away something of the hainousnesse of sinne: when there is ignorance, perturbation, or passiō, there is lesse sinne, and lesse grie­ving of the Spirit: but when there are none of these, but a man will sinne, because he will; accounting it a kinde of soveraignty to have his will, this wil prove the most miserable condition: for not to have the will regulated by him that is the chiefest good, is the greatest per­versenesse, and will end in desperation.

[Page 35] Q. Why are voluntary sinnes so great, and so much grieve the Spirit of God?

Why vo­luntary sins grieve the Spirit so much. Answ. When there is pas­sion, there is some colour for sinne; as profit, pleasure, feare to displease, &c. When there is ignorance, there is a want of that that might help the understanding; but when there are none of these, and a man willingly sinnes, hee is more directly carried against the com­mand and will of God: there is nothing puts him on: yet hee accounts it so small a matter, that hee will doe it without any provocation, out of a slight esteeme of the good pleasure and will of God.

As common swearers, can they plead ignorance? they [Page 36]know the Commandement, God will not hold them guilt­lesse, Exod. 20. that take his name in vaine: can they plead per­turbation? They doe it oft in a bravery, when they are not urged: there is no in­gagement in that sin of pro­fit or pleasure, but a volun­tary superfluity of pride. They would have you to know, that they are men that care not for God him­selfe; let God and his Mini­sters take it as they will, though I have no pleasure or prosit by it, yet I wil have my liberty. The heart that hath been thus wicked, will hardly admit of comfort, when it stands in neede of it.

We are not said to be ill, because we know ill, but be­cause [Page 37]we will and consent to ill; it is the will that makes up the bargain, sin were not sinne else. God hath given us the custody of our owne soules, and as long as wee keepe the keyes faithfully, and betray not our soules to Sathan, so long wee pos­sesse our owne soules, and our comfort: but when hee suggests; doe this, or speake this, and wee consent; hee takes full and free possessi­on of us, as much as in us lies; and God in judgment saith Amen to it. God saith take him Sathan: since hee will not have my Spirit to rule him, it is fit hee should have a worse. The more willingnesse, the more sin­fulnesse, and the lesse de­fence; and Gods justice [Page 38]cannot better bee satisfied than by punishing thē mos [...] against their wils, who sin­ned most with their will. The clearer the light is, and the more advantages it hath the more we sinne.

Sinnes a­gainst the second Table in [...] what re­spect they grieve most.In this respect it is, that sinnes against the second Table grieve more then sinnes against the first; be­cause here the conscience is more awaked. These be sins against a multiplied light, a­gainst the light of nature, light of the Word and Spi­rit: and such sinnes are con­trary to humane society, they dissolve those bonds that nature, even by the common reliques it hath left, studies to maintaine. Though corrupt nature hath no good in it, for we deser­ved [Page 39]to bee like divels, yet God intending to have ci­vill society, out of which he usually gathers his Church, preserveth in mans nature, an hatred of sinnes that o­verthrow society: such sins therefore being committed against more light, wound more: as in case of murther, notorious perjury, theft, &c.

Gods me­thod in dealing with sin­ners.Therefore God oft gives up men, upon breach of the first Table, to breaches of the second, that so they may come to more griefe, and shame, as being the breakers of both Tables: Men never fall into the breach of the second Table, but upon breach of the first: No man despiseth mans Law, but he despiseth Gods [Page 40]law first; No man breake [...] the law of nature, but he de­spiseth the God of nature. Prophane Atheisticall per­sons that glory in the breach of the third Commande­ment by swearing; GOD meets with them by giving them over to grosse abho­minable sinnes of the se­cond Table; which vexeth them more (though they should no [...]) than sins against the first Table, exposing them, besides inward griefe, to open shame; then God opens Conscience to tell them, not onely that they are too blame for their grosse sinnes, but for the root of them; Atheisme, prophanenesse, loosenesse, which are sinnes against the first Table. This is an ag­gravation [Page 41]of sinnes against knowledge, when our knowledge hath beene hol­pen and strengthened by e­ducation, by example of o­thers running into our eyes, which is a more familiar teaching than that of Rule, and strengthened also by observation and experience of our selves; and the for­mer strength wee have had, against the sinne wee now commit: and sweetnesse we have found in the resisting of it. None are worse than those that have been good, and are naught, and might be good, and will be naught. When there is more delibe­ration and fore-knowledge of the dangerous issue, and this also joyned with the warning of others. As Reu­ben [Page 42]said unto the rest of hi [...] brethren, Spake I not un [...] you, &c? So may Gods Spi­rit, and conscience, say t [...] men, Did not I acquai [...] you with the danger of sin [...] You are now in misery, an [...] terrours of conscience, bu [...] did you not sleight forme [...] admonitions, and helps, and meanes? Conscience is a [...] inferiour light of the Spirit to doe things against consci­ence, is to doe them against the Spirit. God spake to me, and I heeded him not, how doth God speake? When conscience speakes, and saith this is good, this is bad then God speakes, consci­ence hath somewhat divine in it: it is a petty god, it speakes from God; especial­ly when the Spirit joynes [Page 43]with conscience, then God speakes indeed, then there is light upon light.

Some sins grieve more than other.Vpon divers respects some sinne may grieve more or lesse than another. As the holy Ghost is a Spirit, so spirituall sinnes grieve most; as pride, envy; imprinting upon the soule as it were, a character of the contrary ill spirit. Carnall sinnes, where­by the soule is drowned in delight of the body, may more grieve the spirit in a­nother respect; as defiling his Temple, and as taking away so much of the soule; love and delight, carry the soule with them, and the more deeply such sinnes en­ter into the creature, besides the defilement, the lesse strength it hath to spirituall [Page 44]duties: grace is seated in the powers of nature, now car­nall sinnes disable nature: and so sets us in a greater distance from grace, as ta­king away the heart, Hos. 4. Hereupon the Apostle sets being filled with wine, con­trary to being filled with the Spirit. Eph. 5.18. And hence it is the Apostle forbids, in the for­mer words, uncleane commu­nication: the holy Spirit is a Spirit of truth, hates hy­pocrites, being painted se­pulchers; but as a spirit of purity, hates soule livers, and soule-mouth'd spea­kers, as open sepulchers. They cannot therefore but much grieve the spirit, that feed corrupt lusts, and studie to give contentment, and pay tribute, to the [Page 45]flesh; to which they owe no service and are no debters: and by sowing to the flesh from which wee can reape nothing but corruption.Gal. 6. When our thoughts are ex­ercised to content the out­ward man, to contrive for the things of the world one­ly; this is to pay tribute of the strength and vigour of our affections to the utter e­nemy of Gods Spirit, and our owne soules: when our thoughts runne deeply into earthly things, we become one with them.

Who will think himselfe well entertained into an house, when there shall be entertainement given to his greatest enemy with him? and shall see more regard had, and better countenance [Page 46]shewed to his enemy, than to him? when the motions of corrupt nature are more regarded, then the motions of the Spirit. The wisedom [...] of the Spirit which is from above, is first pure, and ma­keth us so, and rayseth the soule upward to things a­bove. Christians indeed have their failings; but if true Christian examine himselfe, his heart will say that every day hee intends the glory of God, and the good of the state hee lives in: hee hath a larger hear [...] than a base worldling, that keepes within the sphere o [...] himselfe; spending all his thoughts there, and con­sults onely with flesh and bloud, with profit and pleasure, to heare what [Page 47]they say. Such basenesse cannot but grieve the Spi­rit, as contrary to our hopes, and heavenly calling, which are glorious.

It is a dangerous grieving of the Spirit, when instead of drawing our selves to the spirit, we will labour to draw the spirit to us, and study the Scriptures, to countenance us in some corrupt course; and labour to make God of our minde, that wee may goe on with the greater libertie. When men get to themselves teachers after their owne [...]sts, as many doe (especial­ [...]y if they be in place) Ahab [...]hall not want his 400 false Prophets. When men cut [...]he rule and standard to fit [...]hemselves, and not fit [Page 48]themselves to it. You have some that are resolved wha [...] to do, and yet will be askin [...] counsell, and if they hav [...] an answer to their minde [...] then they rest; if not, the [...] their answer is: This is you [...] judgement, but others a [...] of a contrary opinion: an [...] thus they labour to mak [...] the Spirit of God in his M [...] ­nisters to serve their turne so did the Iewes in Ierem [...] time.Jer. 42.

Some will father tho [...] sinfull affections that ari [...] from the flesh, and a [...] strengthened by Sathan [...] upon the holy Spirit, counting wrath that is kindle [...] from hell to be fire of hol [...] zeale comming from heaven. Thus the enemies [...] Religion thinke they do [...] [Page 49]God service in their massa­cres; such are those that wickedly oppose the wayes of God, and yet are ready to say, Glory be to the Lord; such men study holinessen in the shew, that they may o­verthrow it in the power; and will countenance an ill course by Religion.

Such also are faulty who lay the blame of an uncom­fortable life upon Religion, when men are therefore un­comfortable, because they are not religious enough. The wayes of wisedome are the wayes of pleasure.

The Spirit is grieved by sinnes against the Gospell.In these times, being the second spring of the Go­spell, wee must take heed of sinnes against the Gospell. Benefits, the greater they are, being neglected, or a­bused, [Page 50]bring the greater judgement. The office of the holy Spirit is, by the Ministery, to lay open the riches of Christ, and the glory of Gods grace in him: by neglecting so great salva­tion, and by thinking this favour of God to be a com­mon favour; wee sinne a­gainst, both Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost, and in that they desire most to be glo­rified. Such therefore as say to the clouds, Drop not, and to the winds, blow not; and to the Prophets, prophe­sie not; that study to keepe out the light and sin against it, as discovering them, and awakening them, and hin­dering them from taking that solace in carnall cour­ses of the world: as opening [Page 51]the eyes of others to know them further than they would be knowne, and so to lose that respect they would have in the hearts of men. This cannot but grieve the Spirit of God; and move him to take away that truth that wee are so farre from thinking a blessing, that wee are weary of it, and fret a­gainst it.

The office of the Spirit is to set out Christ, and the favour, and mercy of God in Christ:Slighting ordinan­ces. when wee slight Christ in the Gospell, the ordinance, & organ of wor­king good in us, the holy Ghost is slighted, and grie­ved. Bad is our condition by nature, and what a deale of misery doe wee adde to this bad condition? Are we not [Page 52]all the children of wrath? And have we not since wee were borne added sinne un­to sinne? Doe we not grow in sinne as we do in yeares? Is not God just? and hell terrible? Now God out of infinite mercy having pro­vided a way to free us from the danger of sinne; and not onely so, but to advance us to life everlasting; and that wee should not be ignorant of that he hath done for us, he hath set up an ordinance wherin the holy Ghost dis­covers his love. When wee sleight this, and account it but an ordinary favour, nay, rather a burthen, and thinke the opening of divine my­steries, things that may be spared; that there is too much preaching, and what [Page 53]needs all this adoe? This grieves the Spirit, whose office is to lay open the un­searchable riches of Christ, thé infinite and glorious mercy, and goodnesse of God in Christ, wherein God hath set himselfe, in all his attributes, to triumph, and be glorified. We grieve all the sacred Trinity: God the Father is grieved, to see his mercy slighted: God the Sonne, to see his bloud ac­counted common; and God the holy Ghost, whose of­fice it is to discover these things.The sinne of these times. This is the common sinne of the times, and king­dome, which threatneth judgement more than any thing else. When the Go­spell, the blessed truth of salvation is published, The [Page 54]axe is layd to the root of the tree, the instrument of de­struction: if men slight the mercies of God, entertaine not Christ, walke not wor­thy of the Gospell, they shall feele the stroke of his sharpe anger. The bloud­red horse followeth the white horse, Revel. 6.4. The white horse is, the publish­ing of the Gospell: when God sets himselfe to glori­fie himselfe, in mercy, in the greatest benefits, and wee account them nothing, or but common favours, God removes the Candlesticke; the red horse of bloud, and destruction, followes. And indeed what man will en­dure his greatest favours and kindnesses to be sleigh­ted?

[Page 55]Now a degree in grie­ving the Spirit this way, is, when men will not be tho­rowly conceived of their owne sinfull condition, and of the infinite love and mer­cy of God in Christ, in the pardoning of them. If God by his Spirit in the Ministe­ry, or in a particular re­proofe come to men, and discover their naturall con­dition, and tell them they are worse than they take themselves to be: they will oppose it, and study re­venge, as Saint Paul saith, Am I become your enemie, be­cause I tell you the truth? this must needs grieve the Spi­rit.

By false judgement of things.Againe the holy Spirit is grieved, when yee have a corrupt judgement of [Page 56]things, not weighing them in the right ballance, nor value them according to their worth. When wee e­steeme any knowledge ra­ther than divine know­ledge, any truths but truths that concerne Christ, when men looke upon grace as contemptible, and prefer o­ther things above it, make a tush at holinesse, give us (say they) gifts and parts. Alas, what are all gifts and parts, without a gracious heart? Have not the divels greater parts then any man? Are they not called Daemo­nes, from the largenesse of their understanding? If parts and gifts were best, the divels were better than wee. What an indignity is this to the holy Spirit, to thinke it [Page 57]better to be accounted wit­ty, and politicke, then to be holy, and gracious?

When we plot and contrive sinne, the Spirit is grieved. Again, those sins wherein there is plotting, and contri­ving, exceedingly grieve the Spirit: because they are done in cold bloud. David deeply wounded his consci­ence, and grieved the Spirit, in plotting the death of V­riah, which was the diminu­tion of the credit of David: that the Scripture saith, he was good in all things, ex­cept in the matter of Vriah: why? because therein he grieved the Spirit most, in plotting, and contriving the cruell murther of so good a man. How can they thinke they have the Spirit of God, that plot, and under­mine mens estates, to have [Page 58]their wils in unjust courses; or if they have the spirit, can this be without grieving it; for the Spirit will perpetu­ally suggest the contrary.

And sinne having helps to doe the contrary.Againe, we grieve the ho­ly Spirit, when we commit such sinnes, as we might a­void, such sinnes as we have some helps against, and least provocation unto. It is a ge­nerall rule, Quanto major fa­cilitas, &c. The more the fa­cility of not sinning, the greater the sinne. Therefore when we are tempted to sin, consider what conscience saith: I have beene an hea­rer of the word, what hath the Spirit of God revealed and discovered unto mee? He hath shewed that this is a sinne: whom do I grieve, by the commission of it? The [Page 59]Spirit of God, and wound my owne conscience: and then consider, will that, that I sin for, countervaile this? Doe I not buy my sinne too deare? Sinnes are dearely bought, with the grieving of the Spirit of God: there­fore wisely thinke before hand what sinne will cost.

By cavel­ing against the truth.Men grieve the Spirit, by cavelling against the truth. The heathen mā could say, It is an ill custome to be ca­velling against Religion, whether in good earnest, or in jest: yet wee have a sect, a generation of men, that are of all religions, of no religion, men of a con­tradictory spirit, that al­wayes take the opposite part; that cavell at the truth to shew their parts: this is [Page 60]too ordinary among the wits of the world.

Neglect of prayer and depen­dance.This grieves the holy Spirit also, when men take the office of the Spirit from him, that is, when we will doe things in our owne strength, and by our owne light, as if we were gods to our selves. Man naturally affects a kinde of divinity (it was the fault of Adam) and till God drive him out of himselfe by his Spirit, and by afflictions, he sets much by his owne parts, and wit, and thereupon neglects prayer, and dependance on God, as if the Spirit had no­thing to doe with his regi­ment. When men set upon actions in the strength of na­turall parts, perhaps they may goe on in their course [Page 61]as civill men, but never as Christians, to have comfort of their actions, because they will bee guides, and gods to themselves. If a man belong to God, God will crosse him in such wayes, wherein he refuseth to honour God, and to give him his due place: he shall miscarry, when, perhaps, other men shall have suc­cesse, though it be to har­den them to destruction. This is a subtle way, by which Sathan abuseth men. The life of a Christian is de­pendant on an higher principle than himselfe, to rule and guide him.

Over­much worldly businesse.Another way whereby wee commonly grieve the Spirit of God is, when the minde is troubled with a [Page 62]multitude of busines; wher [...] the soule is like a mill, where one cannot heare another: the noyse is such as takes a­way all entercourse: It dimi­nisheth of our respect to the holy Spirit, when wee give way to a multitude of businesse: for multitude of businesse, begets multitudes of passions and distractions; that when Gods Spirit di­ctates the best things, that tend to our comfort, and peace, wee have no time to heed what the Spirit advi­seth. Therefore we should so moderate our occasions, and affaires, that we may be alwaies ready for good sug­gestions. If a man will be lost, let him lose himselfe in Christ, and in the things of heaven: for if wee be [Page 63]drowned in the world, it wil breed discomfort.

Omission of duties.Lastly, omission, or slight performance of du­ties, grieve the Spirit: the Spirit as he comes from the Father, and the Sonne, from God, so he is great in him­selfe being God; Offer this to thy King, saith Malachy, when hee saw them come negligently and carelesly to the worship of God; when people heare drowsily, and receive the Sacrament un­preparedly: this grieves the Spirit, because it comes from irreverence and disre­spect: And the reason why so many are dead hearted, is because they make no conscience of omissions, of drowsinesse, of negligent cold performances. Such [Page 64]Christians what doe they differ from carnall men induties, for they will heare, pray, receive Sacraments. He is the best Christian that is the most reverend Chri­stian, the most carefull Christian, most jealous o­ver his owne heart. Vsual­ly those are the richest in grace. Even amongst good men, those that are most carefull, and watchfull over themselves: they goe away inriched with the greatest blessing. Therefore let us heare, and so heare, let us receive, and receive Thus, So let us eate of this bread, &c. The Scripture fixeth a reve­rend respect before duty, su­table to the Majestie of the great God, whose businesse we are about.

[Page 65] The Spirit grieved in others, is grieved by Besides grieving Gods Spirit in our selves, there is an heavy guilt lyes upon us for grieving the Spirit in others, which is done many wayes.

First,Neglects. by neglecting the grace of God in them, or despising them for som in­firmities, which love should cover.Contempt. Contempt is a thing which the nature of man is more impatient of, then of any injury, those that are given this way to wrong o­thers, are punished with the common hatred of all.

Censures. Wee likewise grieve the spirit of others, by sharpe censures: and the greater our authority is, the deeper is the griefe, a censure infli­cteth: many weake spirits cannot enjoy quiet, while [Page 66]they are exercised with such sharpenesse. They thinke themselves excommunica­ted out of the hearts of those, in whose good liking they desire to dwell.

By superi­ours.Againe, those that are a­bove others, grieve the spi­rits of those under them by unjust commands: as when Masters presse their Ser­vants to that which their consciences cannot digest, and so make them sinne, and offer violence to that tender part.

By inferi­ours.Againe, wee grieve the Spirit of others when those that are inferiour, shew themselves untractable to those above them in magi­stracie or ministerie. When they make them spend their strength in vaine: thus [Page 67]the Spirit of God in Noah strove with the old world: our duty is therefore, to walke wisely in regard of others: and if it bee a dutie to please men in all things lawfull in the way of humanity, much more ought we to please Christi­ans in those things where­in wee doe not displease God; as being joyned in communion with them in the same spirit. Yet here wee must remember that it is one thing to crosse the humour, and offend the pride of another; and ano­ther to grieve the Spirit in him: no cures can bee wrought without griefe in that kinde, and if wee grieve not their spirits, when such humours prevaile in them, [Page 68]we shall grieve our own for neglect of duty.

By ill ex­ample the Spirit is grieved.And in the last place this causeth another griefe when those that are good watch not over their waies▪ the Spirit is grieved for the reproches of religion tha [...] come from the wicked: for what say they? doth religi­on and the Spirit teach yet this? thus Christians make the name of God to be ill spoken of; and this grieves the Spirit, and will grieve them if they belong to God. Oh wretch that I am, that I should open the mouthes of others and grieve the spirit of God, not onely in my selfe, but in others, be­cause he is grieved by mee!

Scandalous courses: ei­ther by unreasonable use of [Page 69]our liberty, without respect [...]o the weakenesse of others; [...]r by actions that are in themselves evill, or of ill re­ [...]ort; by such actions wee [...]rieve the spirits of others. An ill example alwaies ei­ [...]her grieveth or infecteth. The spirit of Lot was grie­ved for the uncleane con­versation of the Sodomites, which no question hastened their ruine.

How it may be knowne when the Spirit is grieved.How shall we know when we grieve the Spirit? wee may know that by the sins before mentioned, as the cause of griefe. Againe, the Spirit will bring report of [...]s owne griefe: wee may know wee have offended a friend when he leaves our company; so we may know wee have discontented the [Page 70]Spirit by spirituall defen [...] ons, both in respect of assi [...]stance in the performance o [...] duties, and resisting tempta [...]tions, and bearing afflicti [...]ons; as also in respect o [...] comfort, as when wee find a strangenesse and dulness [...] of disposition; unlesse it be from some naturall distem­per of body, wee may feare all is not well.

When wee finde a proune­nesse to divert to other comforts, and to hold cor [...]respondency with carnall persons: and delight not a [...] formerly in the communion of Saints, but finde an in dif­ferency for any acquain­tance. When we drive hard­ly, and our wheeles fall off; when conscience will not let us omit good duties, [Page 71]and yet we want the oyle of the Spirit to make us strong and nimble in the perfor­mance of them: whereupon they come not off with that acceptance to God or our owne spirits. These indis­positions shew we have not used the Spirit well, whom otherwise wee should finde a Spirit of strength, a Spirit of comfort, a quickening Spirit.

Issues of grieving the Spirit.The issues of grieving the Spirit, will prove very dan­gerous: for the Spirit may justly leave us to our owne spirits and deceitfull hearts; which as they are arch Flatterers, so will prove arch-Traitors to us, and so let in a worse guest into our soules. The ill Spirit is al­wayes ready, presently to [Page 72]take possession; who, by joyning with the streame o [...] our corruptions, may please us for a time, but will de [...]stroy us for ever.

When we grieve the good Spirit of God, and cause him to leave us; our soule is left as a hell: for what is hell but the absence of God, in his favour and mercy?

Againe, we cannot grieve the Spirit of God in doing any thing against it,Grieving our spirits. but it will grieve us againe, and being a spirit, may fill our spirits with that griefe that may make our conditions a kinde of hell upon earth. Few reprobates feele those terrours here, that the god­ly oft doe by their bold ad­ventures: for besides the terrours of the naturall con­science, [Page 73]they have the Spirit, to set them on; and that spi­rit, that had so well deser­ved of them before: which cannot but increase the hor­rour and shame. In hell it selfe, this will be the bitter­est torment, to thinke of re­fusing mercy, mercy pres­sed, and offered with all love. A carelesse spirit oft proves a wounded spirit, and that, who can beare? and that, who can beare? untill hee that woundeth, healeth againe by giving grace to afflict our selves, and wait his good time to take pitty of us: that which wee say of conscience, is true; it is our best friend, and our worst enemy. If a mans consci­ence bee his friend, it will make all friendly to him: it will make God his friend, [Page 74]affliction his friend, nothing can sit at the heart to grieve him. But if a mans consci­ence turne his enemy, there need no other enemies be sought out, he hath enow in his owne heart, his owne tormenting conscience tea­ring it selfe. This may be as truely said of the Spirit of God, who is above Consci­ence: if wee make him not our best friend, we are sure to have him our worst ene­my, that sets all other ene­mies upon us. Displeasure is as the person is: it is a feare­full thing to fall into the hands of the living God, who knowes the power of his wrath? it is a powerfull wrath, no crea­ture hath power over the Spirit immediately, but this Spirit of spirits, who can fill [Page 75]the soule, the whole soule, and every corner of it, being adaequate to the soule, as large as the soule, and lar­ger, he can fill it with wrath, of God, when the Spirit of God sets it on once?

Qu. Whence is it that we grieve the Spirit?

Answ. Because there is a cursed principle in us, al­waies active, which is not perfectly subdued in this life. Death is the accom­plishment of mortification: but while we are, here, this corruption in us will alway be working. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit: the flesh is an active busie thing, it be­stirs it self: now when cōtra­ries are so neare, as the flesh [Page 76]and Spirit, in the same soule: they must needs thwart and grieve one another continu­ally.

Quest How far a childe of God may grieve the Spirit.It may be emanded how farre forth a childe of God may grieve the Spirit, and yet remaine the childe of God?

In Answer to this,Answ. know, that wee must not judge of sinne by the matter in which, but by the Spirit, from which sinne is com­mitted. There is no sinne so grosse, but the Saints of God may fall into it, but yet the childe of God is hindered by a contrary law of the Spirit, from yeelding full consent before, or ta­king full delight in a sinne, or allowing or persisting after. And though in regard of [Page 77]ingratitude, the sinne of a godly man admits of agrea­ter aggravation, than the finne of others: yet setting that aside, the sinne it selfe of a godly man is lesse, for his temptations be stronger, and Sathans malice more eager against him, and his resistance of sinne greater; all which doth abate the hainousnesse of the guilt. The more resistance from within, argues a stronger party from within, in the godly, the force of sinne is broken from within: take a godly man at the worst, there is some worke of the Spirit in him, that in some measure is answerable to the counsels and motions of the Spirit without him: the holy Sprit hath some hold in [Page 78]him, by which hee doth re­cover him. A wicked man proceeds from grieving to quenching, and from quenching to resisting. The Spirit hath no party, no side in him, and therefore when the Spirit is gone, fare well he: glad they are, that then they can follow their pleasures and sinnes without checke.

Sometimes God leades his children to heaven through some to heaven through some foule way, by which hee lets them see what need they have of washing by the bloud and Spirit of Christ; which o­therwise perhaps they would not so much value, when they grieve the Spi­rit, and the Spirit thereup­on grieves them, and that [Page 79]griefe proves medicinall; the griefe which sinne breeds, consumes the sinne that bred it. We are in cove­nant with so wise and powerfull a God, that o­ver-rules even sinne it selfe, to serve his purpose in bringing his to heaven. They have that in them whereby they hate the sinne they doe, and love the goodnesse they doe not: whereas others hate the good in some respects they doe, and love the ill which they dare not commit. Howsoever they are drawn into sinne, yet they will ne­ver breake their conjugall bond betwist Christ and their soules, so farre as that sinne should raigne in them as a commanding Lord: [Page 80]they will not forsake their oath of allegeance to serve willingly a contrary King. They may presume some­times upon Christ, thinking they have a Balme ready to cure the wound againe, (as some to shew the vertue of their oyles, doe make wounds in themselves) the deceitfulnesse of sinne se­ducing them: but God ever chastiseth this boldnesse, and taketh such a course with them, that it ends in taking the greater shame to themselves; and by so much, as they have beene more presumptuous. The losse of comfort, and the sence of sorrow they feele, makes them say from experience: that there is nothing gotten by sinne, and that it proves bitternesse in the end.

[Page 81] Gods children commit not the sin against the holy Ghost.Againe, though they are not kept from sinnes (in some sence) presumptuous, yet they are alwayes kept from that great offence. Though they may commit a sin against the holy Ghost,Since a­gainst the holy Ghost, what? yet they can never commit the sinne against the holy Spirit, because this is a sinne of malice after strong con­viction: expressed in words dipt in malice by a tongue set on fire by hell, and in actions comming from an opposite spirit, and tending to oppo­sition, and to bitter persecu­tion, if their malice bee not greater then their pow­er. And it ends alwaies in impenitencie, by reason they despise that grace, and cast away that poti­on whereby they should re­cover: [Page 82]their pride will not stoope to Gods way.

Thirdly, after such feare­full relapses, darkenesse in the understanding, and re­bellion in the will increa­seth, sinne growes stronger, and they weaker and wea­ker to resist.

Fourthly, Sathan being once cast out by some de­gree of illumination and re­formation, brings seven di­vels after, worse than him­selfe; when they see their former courses stand not with their lusts and hopes, they take a contrary course, and so fall to bitternesse in the end.

Miscarri­age con­cerning the sinne against the holy Ghost.There is a double mis­carriage about this sinne: some are too head-long in their censures of others, [Page 83]whereas the greater the sin is,1 Concern­ing others. the greater caution should be in fastening it up­on any, especially whose spirits we are not thorowly acquainted withall; consi­dering so many thing must meet in this sinne.

2 Concern­ing them­selves.The second miscarriage is, in an ungrounded cen­sure of our selves: there be three things that feare frees us from the danger of. First,Fearefrees from three things. feare lest the time of our conversion be past, because we have so often grieved the Spirit: whereas if their time were past, they would be given up to a carelesse se­curity. A second is feare of some judgement which God stirres up in the heart to prevent the judgement that wee may not feele that [Page 84]we feare, because feare stirs up care, and care stirres up diligence to avoid what we feare: a third is, feare, lest we have committed the sinne against the holy Ghost, which shewes wee have not committed that sinne; it is never committed but with­out feare, and with delight. In these cases we need feare them least, that feare them­selves most.

How to prevent grieving the Spirit.The fourth point is, what course wee should take to prevent this grieving of the Sprit.

1 Give up our selves to the guidance of the Spirit.Let us give up the govern­ment of our soules to the Spirit of God; it is for our safety so to doe, as being wiser then our selves, who are unable to direct our owne way: it is our libertie [Page 85]to bee under a wisedome and goodnesse larger then our owne. Let the Spirit thinke in us, desire in us, pray in us, live in us, doe all in us: labour ever to be in such a frame as we may be fit for the Spirit to worke upon; as Nazianzen saith of him­selfe, Lord I am an instru­ment for thee to touch. A mu­sicall instrument though in tune soundeth nothing, un­lesse it bee touched; let us lay our selves open to the Spirits touch. Thus Saint Paul lived not,Gal. 2. but Christ lived in him: this requires a great deale of sefle-deny­all, to put our selves thus upon the guidance of the Spirit: but if we knew what enemies wee are to our selves, it would be no such [Page 86]hard matter.

2 To obey him per­fectly.Secondly, study to walke perfectly in obeying the Spirit in all things, which requires much circumspe­ction in knowing and re­garding our wayes: and then we shall sinde the Spirit rea­dy to close with us, and tell us, This is the way, walke in it: and upon obedience wee shall finde the Spirit incou­raging us by a secret intima­tion that this or that is well done. Thus Paul was said to be bound in Spirit, the Spirit so put him on, that he could not withstand the motions untill the execution of it. We must take especiall heed of slighting any motion, as being the Spirits messenger, they are Gods Ambassa­dours sent to make way for [Page 87]God into our hearts, there­fore give them entertaine­ment. Many men rather then they will be troubled with holy motions, stifle them in the birth, as harlots, that to avoid the paine of childe-birth, kill their fruit in the wombe: let us take heed of murthering these births of the Spirit. But seeing Sathan will oft interrupt good mo­tions by good motions, that he may hinder both:

How shall we know from whence the motions come?Quest.

Answ. How to know the motions of the Spi­rit.When two good motions arise, seeming divers, the Spirit of God carries strong to one, (and that is from God) more than to the o­ther. Good motions are ei­ther raised up in us,3 They raise higher. or sent unto us, by the Spirit, both [Page 88]these if they bee raised by the Spirit, will carry us to God: they will rise as high as the Spring is whence they come: what ariseth from our selves, endeth in our selves.

2 Are con­stant.Those motions that the Spirit stirs up from within, come from sanctified judge­ment & estimation of what they are moved to; other motions, are hasty, and gone before they have their er­rand: holy motions are con­stant, (as strengthened from constant grace within) will they see the issue of what they are moved to: other motions are like lightening, and sudden flashes, that leave the soule more da [...]ke and a­mazed then before. Holy motions are answerable to [Page 89]the duties of our calling: o­ther motions oft leade us out of the compasse of our calling.

3 They change the heart.The Spirit moveth in the godly, first by a dwelling in them, and working in them gracious abilities, and then drawes forth those abilities to good actions. But the Spi­rit dwelleth not in others, nor produceth any sanctifi­ed abilities in them, but one­ly moveth them sometimes to good actions, without changing of them.

4 Are seaso­nable.The holy Spirits moti­ons are seasonable: other motions oft presse upon us, to disturbe an holy duty. The breath of the Spirit in us is suteable to the Spirits breathing in the Scriptures: the same Spirit doth not [Page 90]breath contrary motions.

5 Evidence themselvesMotions of the Spirit when they come in favour carry their owne evidence with thē, as light doth. The motions of the Spirit are sweet and milde, and leade us gently on; they are not ordinarily violent raptures. Removing the soule from it self, but leave in the soule a judgement of them, and of other things.

Againe,6 Orderly. the Spirit mo­veth us so to duties of Re­ligion, as agree with civill honesty, and charity to our neighbours. Those there­fore know not what spirit they are of, who under a pretence of zeale, will be uncivill, and cruell, shewing they are not led by that spirit that appeared in the [Page 91]shape of a dove. Both Ta­bles in this are one; that they come from one spirit: and the second of like the first, and require love. And because all graces and duties come from the same spirit, there­fore one duty never crosses another; but the wisedome of the Spirit moves to all holy duties in their severall and suteable places.

7 Depen­dant on God.Motions for the matter good, yet may be carnall, in regard of selfe-confidence from whence they come. That which Peter resolved upon was good, but confi­dence in himselfe marred it: those motions which the Spirit stirres up, are carryed along in relying upon as­sisting grace. So much for that question.

[Page 92] 3 To con­curre with the spirits motions.Againe, if we would not grieve the Spirit, let us take heed of being wanting to the Spirits direction. The flesh here will make a fro­ward objection, Wee can doe no more then me can.

Answ. The Spirit is al­wayes before-hand with us, preventing us with some knowledge, and some abili­ty, which if we joyne with the spirit in putting forth, the spirit is ready to con­curre with us, and leade us further. And our conscience will tell us so much, that if we doe otherwise; it is not for want of present assi­stance, or privitie, that the Spirit will deny us strength if we put our selves upon if: our own hearts, though de­ceitfull, will tell us, that we [Page 93]doe what we doe out of wil­lingnesse; preferring some seeming good before the motions of the Spirit. Here­in wee carry in our con­science, that which will quit God, and condemne our selves. There is not the worst man, whose heart runnes away from God, but God followes him a great while with sweet motions, though such bee the invin­cible stubbornesse of the heart, that it will not yeeld: this will take away all ex­cuse, as Saint Austin argues well. If I had knowne (saith a wicked man) I would not have done thus: saith hee, the pride of thy heart sug­gests that, hadst thou not motions and admonitions that told thee the danger of [Page 94]it? if the Spirit even in the worst actions, concurre se [...] farre as they are actions and motions; may we not thinke that he is much more ready to concurre with holy mo­tions stir'd up first by him­selfe? if the Spirit be willing to concurre in naturall acti­ons, much more in spiritu­all, whereunto it selfe is the first mover; the Spirit leave [...] not us, till wee leave the Spirit.

4 Cherish holy mo­tions.When the Spirit suggests good motions, turne them presently into holy resolu­tions. Is this my duty, and that which tends to my comfort? certainely I will doe it. Let not these moti­ons dye in us. How many holy motions are kindled in hearing the Word, and [Page 95]receiving the Sacraments, &c. which dye as soone as they are kindled, for want of resolution? therefore let us not give over till these motions be turned into pur­poses; and those good pur­poses ripened to holy acti­ons, that they be not nip­ped in the blossome, but may bring forth perfect fruit. Let us labour to im­prove these talents, to the end for which they are sent: are they motions of com­fort? let us use them for comfort: are they motions tending to duty? let us make conscience to doe our duty: let not our despairing hearts crosse the Spirit in his com­forts, nor stand out stub­bornely as enemies against our duty, for that is to crosse [Page 96]God, and to nip his motion [...] in the bud.

5 Give the Spirit scope in his ordi­nances.Let the Spirit have fu [...] scope both in the ordinances and in the motions stirred up by the ordinances this is the way to make the ordinances and the time glorious; but the liberties of the Gospell are contrary to the liberties of the flesh [...] it turneth all things upside downe, and men out of themselves. Hence is it tha [...] there is nothing so much opposed by the spirit of the world, as the purity and power of the Gospel, which is a sufficient prejudice of an ill condition that all such men are in. But there is ano­ther spirit in gracious men, they are the children of light, and love it. If wee [Page 97]would not grieve the Spirit, we must be willing to bring our selves under all advan­tages of the Spirits work­ing: as conversing with those that are spirituall, and espe­cially attending on those ordinances wherein the Spirit breatheth: wherein wee may meet the Spirit. The walkes of Gods Spirit are, in the meanes of salva­tion, hearing the Word preached, and holy commu­nion one with another: the Word & Spirit go together, therefore if we will have the comforts of the Spirit, wee must attend upon the Word. Men grieve the Spirit by neglecting the Word, and holy conference, &. It is with the Word and Spirit, as with the veynes and [Page 98]arteries: they veynes have ar­teries, that as the veyns car­ry the bloud, the arteries carry the spirits to quicken the bloud. The Word is dead without the Spirit, and therefore attend on the Word; and then wait on the Spirit to quicken the Word; that both Word and Spirit may guide us to life everla­sting. Motions of this kinde come from the Spirit: as it is said of old Simeon, that he came by the motion of the Spirit into the Temple. Iohn was in the Spirit on the Lords day: our Manna fals most then, Christs Spirit and Word dwell together in the heart: therefore the A postle useth the dwelling of Christ in us, and the Word, indefinitely. Faith [Page 99]wrought by the Word, layes hold upon Christ, and brings him into the soule, and keepes him there. It is a blessed thing, when the Spi­rit in the ordinance, and the Spirit in our hearts meet to­gether: this is the way to feede and cherish the Spirit in us, and to put oyle as it were into the Lampe; be­cause the Spirit as it is in us, is thus nourished, even as the fire, though in its owne ele­ment, feedeth upon no­thing, yet with us here be­low, it is maintained with fuell, otherwise dyeth and goeth out. Take heed of slighting any helpe of faith, that God affords us, as wic­ked Achaz: Isay. 7. GOD offered him for the strengthening of his faith, a signe from [Page 100]heaven, or from earth, or a­ny other creature: oh no, hee would not tempt God: hee seemed a pious man, hee would not tempt God, but what saith the Prophet? Is it little for you to despise mee, but you will grieve God? insi­nuating, that when wee de­spise those helpes God hath given, wee grieve the Spirit of God. Those that neg­lect the Word and Sacra­ment, what do they despise, a poore Minister? and neg­lect bread & wine? no, they despise God himselfe, who knowes better then our selves what need wee have of these helpes.

If the Spi­rit with­draw, [...]ea [...]ch the [...]se.Againe, when wee finde the Spirit, not assisting and comforting as in former times, it is fit to search the [Page 101]cause, which we shall finde; some slighting of holy mo­tions, or the meanes of breeding of them, or yeelding to some corruption which wee are more especi­ally addicted unto, or some sinne unrepented of, which wee take no notice of. It is good therefore to scarce our soules to the bottome: there may bee some hidden corruption lying in the soule, which may under­mine our grace & comfort: there may bee a privy thiefe that robs us of all. And besides beloved and secret sinnes: it is good to bethinke our selves of old sinnes, which perhaps hitherto wee have but outwardly thought of: and God is wil­ling by some deadnesse and [Page 102]trouble of spirit, to minde us of renewing of sorrow for them: for want of strict accounting with our selves, God cals us to these arrera­ges and backe reckonings as wee see in Iosephs Brethren. If wee finde not that sweet­nesse of communion with the Spirit, that formerly we enjoyed, bethinke our selves when and wherein wee lost it, that wee may meete the Spirit againe in these waies wherein wee found him be­fore wee lost him, and take heed of those courses, in the entrance of which we found the Spirit leaving us.

Take heed of lesser sinnes.Againe, take heed of lit­tle sinnes, which wee count lesser sinnes perhaps than God doth. We weigh sinne in our owne ballance, and [Page 103]not in his, whereas no sinne is to bee accounted little: for if it were once set upon the conscience, and the wrath opened due unto it; It would take all comfort from us. And therefore wee must judge of sinne, as the Spirit doth, if we would not grieve the Spirit; as the communi­on of the Spirit, is of all the sweetest, so the preserving of it, requires most exact watchfulnesse, and through understanding of our selves. Take heed of the beginning of sin, when any lust ariseth, pray it downe presently, say nay to it, let it have no con­sent, be presently humbled, otherwise wee are indange­red by yeelding to grieve, by grieving to resist, by re­sisting to quench, by [Page 104]quenching, maliciously to oppose the Spirit: sinne hath no bounds, but those which the Spirit puts, whom ther­fore wee should not grieve. And let us looke to the head and spring of sinnes,Looke to the first rise of sins. where­by wee grieve the Spirit of God, not to the sinne so much, as to the root. Wee are angry with our selves for being passionate, but what is the cause of passion? It comes from pride. Ionas was a passionate man, in that measure that he was passio­nate, hee was proud: hee was loth to be shamed when hee had said, Niniveh shall bee destroyed, hee thought upon the sparing of them, hee should bee discredited; and he preferred his credit be­fore the destruction of a po­pulous [Page 105]Citie. So there is much depraving, and detra­ction in the world, and ther­upon brawles, and breaches. What is the cause? a spirit of envy, and oft times a spi­rit of pride. So men runne into the danger of others, by wronging them, what is the cause? worldlinesse, base earthly-mindednesse. Men thinke not of the root of sinne, but dwell upon the act done, wee should be led from the remote streames, to the Spring and sourse of all, and bewayle that espe­cially.

This care will be helped by spirituall wisedome, whereby wee may discerne both wherein we have grie­ved the Spirit, and wherein for the time to come wee [Page 106]may. We cannot maintaine friendship in perfect and sweet termes with any, whose disposition we know not, what will please or dis­please them; therefore wee should study the nature and delight of the Spirit, and wherein we are prone both to forget our selves and the Spirit. Wee esteeme not much the friendship of those who are so much friends to themselves, as they passe not much whe­ther friends bee contented or discontented. The Spirit dwels more largely in that heart that hath emptied it selfe of it self: the Israelites felt not the sweetnesse of Manna, till they had spent their flesh pots and other provision of Egypt. The na­ture [Page 107]of Gods Spirit is holy; as it is holy, so delighteth onely in holy Temples: those therefore that set up any Idoll of jealousie in their soules against God, that doe not preserve their vessels in holinesse, cannot thinke of a­ny communion with the Spirit. The Spirit is jealous of our affections, and will have nothing set up in the heart above God; though the Spirit stoopes to dwell in us, yet wee must not for­get the respect due to so great a Superiour, but reve­rently entertaine what ever comes from him. Reverence and obedience is the carri­age due to a superiour, and where this distance is not kept, a breach will follow. Wee should reverence our [Page 108]selves for the spirits sake, and thinke our selves too good for any base lust to lodge in; that heart that the Spirit hath taken for it selfe, should turne off all contrary motions with abhominati­on: what should pride, and envy, and passion doe in an heart consecrated to the spirit of meeknesse and holi­nesse?

Renew re­pentance.Vpon any breach, wee must first looke by renew­ing repentance, and faith in Christ, to renew our peace with God, before wee can expect the grace and com­fort of the Spirit. For as the Spirit commeth from the Father and the Sonne, and is procured by the death and satisfaction of the Son to the Father, without [Page 109]which, we could never have expected the gift of the Spi­rit: so still we must have an eye to this satisfaction by Christ, and reconciliation through it, before wee can recover communion with the Spirit, as being the best fruit of the love of God re­conciled through Christ. We see David in the 51. Psalme, first importunes God for mercy againe and againe, and then for the Spi­rit, and for the joy of salvati­on.

Avoyd corrupt communi­cation.And take heede that no­thing come in, nor goe out of our soules that may grieve the Spirit of God: some things come in to us that grieve the Spirit; the corruptions wee receive from others: some things [Page 110]come out of our hearts that grieves Gods Spirit, as cor­rupt thoughts, and speeches, that indeed is the scope of this place, Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouthes, &c. and then fol­lows, And grieve not the holy Spirit of God. And after a­gaine he saith, Let all bitter­nesse, and wrath, and clamour bee laid aside; insinuating that one way of grieving the Spirit, is by ill and cor­ [...] [...]g [...]age. Wee can ne­ver [...]a [...]e with company that is not spirituall, but they will either vexe, and grieve us or [...]t, and defile us; unlesse it bee in such exigen­ces of our calling as re­quires our converse with them. But I speake of a vo­luntary choyce of such as [Page 111]savour not good things. Ma­ny men to please their owne carnall spirits, and the car­nall spirits of others, they vent that that is against con­science, and against that that is higher then conscience, a more divine principle, the holy Spirit of God: loose carnall speakers, are people voyd of the power of Reli­gion.

Let no man say,Object. Here is ado indeed, duty upon duty, this will make our life trou­blesome.

The life of a Christian is an honourable,Answ. a com­fortable, sweet life; indeed it requires the most care, and watchfulnesse of any life in the world, being the best life, it is begun here, and accomplished in an everla­sting [Page 112]life in heaven. Nothing in this world, neither our e­states, nor our favour with great persons, can be preser­ved without watchfulnesse: and shall wee thinke to pre­serve the chiefe happinesse of our soules without it, ha­ving so many enemies with­out and within, that labour to draw us into a cursed con­dition?

Motives not to grieve the Spirit.Therefore to stirre us up to the practise of these du­ties, that wee may give con­tentment to so sweet a guest, consider what reason we have, to regard the Spi­rit, and his motions, from the good we have by them.

The holy Spirit of God is our guide: who will dis­please his guide? A sweet comfortable guide that [Page 113]leades us through the wil­dernesse of this world, as the cloud before the Israe­lites, by day, and the pillar of fire by night: so hee con­ducts us to the heavenly Canaan; if wee grieve our guide, we cause him to leave us to our selves. The Israe­lites would not goe a steppe further then GOD by his Angell went before them. It is in vaine for us to make toward heaven without our blessed guide; wee cannot doe, nor speake, nor thinke any thing that is holy and good, without him: whatso­ever is holy, and pious, it growes not in our garden, in our nature, but it is planted by the Spirit.

There is nothing in the world so great and sweet a [Page 114]friend that will doe us so much good as the Spirit, if we give him entertainment. Indeed he must rule, he will have the keyes delivered to him, we must submit to his government. And when he is in the heart, hee will sub­due by little and little all high thoughts, rebellious risings, and despairing fears. This shall be our happinesse in heaven, when we shall be wholly spirituall, that God shall be all in all; wee shall be perfectly obedient to the Spirit in our understan­dings, wils, and affections. The Spirit will then dwell largely in us, and will make the roome where hee dwel­leth, sweet, and lightsome, and free, subduing whatso­ever is contrary; and bring [Page 115]fulnesse of peace, and joy, and comfort. And in the meane time in what conditi­on soever wee are, wee shall have suteable helpe from the Spirit. Wee are partly flesh, and partly spirit, God is not all in all, the flesh hath a part in us, wee are often in afflictions, and under clouds. Let us therefore prize our fellowship with the Spirit. For are we in darkenesse? he is a Spirit of light: Are wee in deadnesse of spirit? he is a Spirit of life: Are wee in a disconsolate estate? hee is a Spirit of consolation: Are we in perplexity, and know not what to do? he is a Spi­rit of wisedome: Are wee troubled with corruptions? Hee is a sanctifying, a sub­duing, a mortifying Spirit: [Page 116]in what condition soever we are, hee will never leave us, till hee hath raised us from the grave, and taken full possession of body and soule in heaven; hee will prove a comforter, when neither friends, nor riches, nor any thing in the world can com­fort us. How carefull should wee be to give contentment to this sweet Spirit of Gods?

No Christian is so happy as the watchfull Christian that is carefull of his duty, and to preserve his com­munion with the holy Spi­rit of God: for by entertai­ning him, hee is sure to have communion with the Fa­ther and the Sonne. It is the happiest condition in the world, when the soule [Page 117]is the Temple of the holy Spirit; when the heart is as The holy of holies, where there be prayers, and pray­ses offered to GOD. The soule is as it were an holy Arke, the memory like the pot of Mannah preserving heavenly truths. It is an hea­venly condition, a man pro­spers to heavenward, when the Spirit of God is with him. You know Obed-Edom, when the Arke was in his house, all thrived with him: so while the Spirit and his motions are entertained by us, wee shall bee happy in life, happy in death, happy to eternity. For it is he

By which you are sealed to the day of redemption.

The Apostle sealeth this [Page 118]grave admonition by an at­gument taken from the Spi­rits sealing of them to the day of redemption.

Wee are all by nature in bondage to sinne and cor­ruption: we are all redeemed from sinne by the first com­ming of Christ, and are to be redeemed from corrupti­on by the second.

There is a day appointed for this glorious worke.

In the meane time God would have us assured of it aforehand.

This assurance is by sea­ling.

And this sealing is by the Spirit, none esleneed doe it, no meaner person can doe it.

And what respect is due to the Spirit, for doing so [Page 119]gracious a worke, that wee grieve him not; and not one­ly so, but that wee indevour so to please him, as hee may with delight goe on with this blessed worke, that it hath pleased him to take up­on him.

As the duty is spirituall, so the arguments that in­force it are spirtuall; and the argument here is fetched from that which hath a most constraining force; love ex­pressed in the sweetest fruit of it, and the stability of it sealing, and sealing to the day of redemption, as if the Apostle should reason thus; God the Father hath ordai­ned you to salvation by the redemption of Christ his Sonne, and that you might have the comfort of it in the [Page 120]way to it against all discou­ragements you may meet with; the holy Ghost hath assured you of it, and set his seale upon you, as those that are set apart for so great sal­vation: that the sence of this love might breed love in you againe, and love breed a care out of ingenuity, not to offend so gracious a Spi­rit.

The holy Spirit by which you are sealed.

THe holy Ghost de­lighteth to speake in our owne language: we cannot rise to him, ther­fore he stoopeth to us.

This sealing is either sea­ling of persons, or of good things intended to the per­sons. Sealing is not onely a witnessing to us, but a worke upon us, and in us, carrying the Image of him that seal­eth us, whereby we are not onely assured of the good [Page 122]promised to us, but fitted for the receiving of it. God prepareth no good for any but whom hee prepares and fits for that good. There is not only an outward autho­rising of the great grants we have by promise, oath, and Sacrament; but an inward, by the spirit: perswading of our interest in them, and working that which doth authorise us to lay claime unto them after the use of a seale, both in confirmation and representation, and re­semblance of him that sea­led.

The persons sealed are first Christ, and then those that are given to Christ Christ is sealed,

The sea­ling of Christ.1 By the Father, Chris [...] was ordained by him to be [...] [Page 123]a Saviour in our nature, pre­destinate to be the head of the Church. Wherefore he often saith hee came to doe his Fathers will. Him hath the Father sealed, Ioh. 6.27. anointing him, calling him, setting him forth, sanctify­ing him by the spirit, and e­very way fitting him with all grace to be a Saviour.

2 He was sealed, by the fulnesse of the Godhead dwelling in flesh, abased, and exalted for us, so his flesh is the flesh of the Son of God, and his bloud the bloud of God.

3 Sealed by a testimony from heaven of all three Persons by the Father, Act. 20.28. This is my welbeloved Son: by the Holy Spirit descending like a dove: by himself, to his [Page 124]humane nature dwelling in all fulnesse in it. Christ is sea­led by miracles done upon him, & by him, by his bap­tizing and installing into his office, and by giving himself up to shed his bloud for sinne, by which bloud the Covenant is established and sealed.

In being justified in the spirit, being raised from the dead,Rom. 1 4. and declared thereby to be the Sonne of God mightily with power, and then advan­ced him to the right hand of God, that through him our faith and trust might bee in God, 1 Peter 1.14. and ap­pearing there for ever for us, sheweth not onely his habilitie and willingnesse to save us, but that it is done already: Wee any see all [Page 125]what ever we can looke for to our selves, performed in our head, to our com­fort.

2 Christians are sealed.As Christ was sealed and fitted for us, so we are sealed and fitted for Christ. There is a privy seale in predesti­nation, this is knowne onely to God himselfe: The Lord knoweth who are his. And this knowledge of God of us, is carried secret,Simile. as a River under ground, untill his cal­ling of, and separating us from the rest of men. When first by his Spirit hee convinceth us of what wee are in our selves, and of our cursed condition; and thereby layeth us low by sorrow and humi­liation for finne, as the greatest evill. And then a [Page 126]pardon is more to us then a Crowne; then we will wait for mercy, and continue so, and begge for mercy, and that upon Christs own con­dition, by denying and re­nouncing any thing of our owne, then Christ is Christ unto us. Indeed after this, it pleaseth Christ by his Spi­rit to open a doore of hope, and give some hints of mercy, of love; and withall, to raise up the soule by a spirit of Faith, to close with particu­lar mercy opened and offe­red by the Spirit, whereby the soule sealeth to the truth of the promise, Ioh. 3. Hee that beleeveth hath set to his seale that God is true. It is strange, that GOD should stoope so low as to receive [Page 127](as it were) confirmation by our beliefe: but thus GOD condescends in the phrase of Scripture; As wee are said to helpe God, curse yee Meroz, because they came not to helpe the Lord, &c. God stoopes to be helped by us, and to have his truth, and power, and goodnesse ratified, and confirmed by us, when we beleeve the promise of God in Christ (though it bee by the helpe of the Spirit) wee seale Gods truth. And then God honoureth that sealing of ours, by the sealing of his Spirit; After you beleeved, you were sealed, saith the A­postle; that is, the gracious love of Christ was further confirmed to them. GOD honours no grace so much as Faiths Why? because it [Page 128]honours God most of all others; it gives GOD the honour of his mercy, and goodnesse, and wisedome, and power, and of his truth; especially hee that beleeves in God, by beleeving seales that God is true, and God honours that soule againe by sealing it to the day of redemption: God hath pro­mised▪ Those that honour mee, I will honour. Therefore, Hee that beleeveth, hath the wit­nesse in himselfe, that grace promised, belongeth to him, for hee carries in his heart the counterpaine of the promises; hee that con­fesseth and beleeveth shall have mercie. I beleeve, saith the soule, therefore the promise belongs to mee, my faith answering Gods [Page 129]love in the promise, witnes­seth so much to mee. The Spirit not onely revealeth Christ, and the promises in generall, but in attending upon the ordinances by an heavenly light: the spirit discovers to us our interest in particular, and saith to the soule, God is thy salva­tion; and inableth the soule to say, I am Gods: I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine. Christ loved mee, and gave himselfe for mee. Whence came this voyce of Saint Paul? It was the still voyce of the Spirit of GOD; that, together with the generall truth in the Gospell, discovered in par­ticular Christs love to him. It is not a generall faith that will bring to heaven, but [Page 130]there is a speciall worke of the Spirit (in the use of means) discovering and sea­ling the good will of God to us, that hee intends good unto us; and thereupon our hearts are perswaded to be­leeve in God, and to love God as our God, and Christ as our Christ.

This is excellently set downe in the sweet commu­nion of marriage, the Spirit is the paranymphos, the pro­curer of the marriage, be­tweene▪ Christ and the soule. Now it is not suffici­ent to know that God and Christ beare good will to all beleevers (though that be the ground, and generall foundation of all, and a great preparative to the speciall sealing of the Spirit) but [Page 131]then the Spirit comes, and saith, Christ hath a speciall good will to me, and stirres up in mee a liking to him a­gaine, to take him upon his owne conditions, with con­flict of corruptions, with the scornes of the world, &c. Whereupon the mutu­all marriage is made up be­tweene Christ and us: this worke is the sealing of the Spirit.

Many are the priviledges of a Christian from this his sealing, as the use of a seale in mans affaires is manifold.

1 Seales serve for con­formation and allowance,1 For con­formation. to that purpose measures are sealed: God is said to seale in­struction. Iob 33.16. Confir­mation is either by giving strength, or by the autho­rity [Page 132]of suck as are able to make good what they pro­mise; & also willing, which they shew by putting to their seale, which hath as much strength to confirme him to whom the promise is made, as he hath will and power to make it good that hath ingaged himselfe. A­mongst men, there is the writing, and the seale to the writing; when the seale is added to the writing, there is a perfect ratification: So there are abundance of gra­cious promises in the Scrip­tures▪ now when the Spirit comes and seals them to the soule, then they are sure to us; the Spirit puts the seale to the promises.

22 Distincti­on. The use of it likewise is for distinction from o­thers [Page 133]that carry not that mark. So the sealing of the Spirit distinguisheth a Chri­stian from all other men. There is a distinction be­tweene men, in Gods eter­nall purpose, but that con­cerns not us to meddle with, further then to know it in generall.1 Tim. 2. God knoweth who are his, and who are not his [...] but in time the holy Spirit distinguisheth, and rankes men, as they were distingui­shed before all worlds, and as they shall be at the day of judgement: the beginning of that distinction that shall bee afterwards is in this life.

A seale maketh the imapres­sion of an Image; the Prin­ces Image useth to be in his seale: so is Gods Image in [Page 134]his, which destroyeth the old▪ Image and print that was in us before. Holy and good men by this worke of the Spirit are distinguished,

1 From civill men by the worke of holinesse, which meere civiil men have not at all, but despise.

And secondly, from see­ming good men, by the depth of that worke, the Spirit of God workes a new nature in them, whereby they are distinguished. Now nature in every creature is carried to one thing more then to another. There is a distinct propension in a good man, to God, to grace and goodnesse, his aymes, and bent are distinct: and thereupon he hath a greater inlargement of heart suta­ble [Page 135]to his great aymes; hee looks above the world and worldly men; they are nar­row, low, base spirited men, the best of them.

Againe, things by nature worke from within: Herein painted hypocrites are di­stinguished from a true sub­stantial Christian: he workes from a principle within, a­nother man is moved as the Automata, things of motion,Simile. Clockes, and the like, en­gines of wit, that move from a weight without that poy­seth them: if they doe any good, it is from somewhat without that swayeth their aymes and ends, and not from an inward principle: nature workes from an in­ward principle; light things goe upward, and heavie [Page 136]things downeward, natural­ly: artificiall things are for­ced. Thus good men are di­stinguished from those that are seemingly holy; there is a new nature wrought in them.

Againe, nature is con­stant; what is done natural­ly, is done constantly: hea­vie bodies goe alwayes downeward, and light bo­dies upward: every crea­ture works according to his nature, an holy man is ex­ercised in holinesse con­stantly, because hee doth it from an inward principle, from a worke and stampe within. Different things may seeme the same; as wilde hearbs may have the colour and forme of those that are planted in the gar­den, [Page 137]but there is difference in the vertue of them:Similie. the seeming graces and actions of an hypocrite, they have no vertue in them: as there are some drugges without vertue, dead things. But there is a distinguishing vertue in the faith of a Christian, whereby he over­comes the world and his lusts, whereby hee doth all duties, prayes, and heares, and is fruitfull in his conversation; in all his graces, there is a comforting streng­thening vertue.Similie. True gold hath the vertue to comfort and strengthen the heart, that Alchymy gold hath not. True grace hath a wor­king comforting vertue. Another mans formall arti­ficiall actions have no ver­tue [Page 138]in them, neither is it in­tended; they being only put on to serve a turne. Two men may doe the same things, and yet there bee a grand difference; the one doing them from the seale of the Spirit, from a deeper dye and stamp of the Spirit: the other if from the Spirit, yet it is but from a common work at the best. Some dyes cannot beare the weather, but alter colour presently; but there are others that having something that give a deeper tincture will hold. The graces of a true Chri­stian, hold out in all kinde of weathers, in winter and summer, prosperity and ad­versity; when superficiall counterfeit holinesse, will give out: thus we see the [Page 139]seale of the Spirit, serves for distinction.

The use of a seale is like­wise for appropriation.3 Appropri­ation. Mer­chants use to seale their wares they would not have others have any right unto.

A Christian is Gods in a more peculiar manner than others; there is not onely a witnesse of the Spirit that God is his, but the Spirit workes in him an assent to take God againe: there is a mutuall appropriation,Can. 6. I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine; when the soule can say, thou art my God, it is not frustrate; because God saith before, I am thy salvation: where the Spirit seales, God appropriates:Psal. 4. GOD chooseth the righteous man to himselfe. And wee may [Page 140]know this appropriation by appropriating God againe; Whom have I in heaven but thee, Psal. 73. and what have I in earth in comparison of thee? There is no action that God works upon the soule, but there is a reflect action by the Spi­rit to God againe. If God chuse and love us, we chuse and love him againe. God appropriates us first: wee are his, and wee are Christs; wee are Gods, because hee hath given Christ for us; we are Christs, because hee hath given himselfe for us; we are, as the Apostle saith, a people of acquisition, A people purchased, purchased at a deare rate by the bloud of CHRIST; those that are Christs, the Spirit appropriates them: [Page 141]this appropriation is by sea­ling.

Againe, we use to see our seale onely upon that wee have some estimation of;4 Estimati­on. set mee as a seale, saith the Church in the Canticles, upon thy right hand, have mee in thy eye and minde, as a speciall thing thou va­luest.

The witnesse and worke of the Spirit, shewes Gods estimation of us: the Scrip­ture is abundant in setting forth the great price that God sets on his children; they are his Children, his Spouse, his Friends, his Portion, his Treasure, his Coyne, he sets his marke, his likenesse on them; they are things hallow [...]d and consecrated, they are first-fruits. [Page 142] Israel is a holy thing; Ier. 2.3. their titles shew the esteeme that God hath of them; he values them more than all the world besides, which are as chaffe and drosse. The righteous man is more excel­lent than his neighbour. As there is a difference of ex­cellency betweene pretious stones, and other common stones, betweene fruitfull, and barren trees; so there is amongst men: and in this re­gard, God sets a higher e­steeme upon some, and thence it is that they have those honourable and glori­ous titles in Scripture, of Sonnes, Heires, Kings, and co-heyres with Christ: when others are termed drosse and dung, and thornes, and have all the base termes [Page 143]that may be.

Now this estimation, by sealing is knowne to us by the grace God works in us: common gifts and privi­ledges, and favours of the world, are no seale of Gods estimation. If God should give a man kingdomes, and great Monarchies, it seales not Gods love to him, at all; but when God makes a man a spirituall King to rule o­ver his base lusts, this is a seale of Gods valuing him above other men. Therfore we should learne how to va­lue others, and our selves, not by common things that cast-awayes may have, but by the stampe of God set on us by the Spirit, which is an argument that God intends to lay us up as [Page 144]coyne for another treasury, for heaven. It is the com­mon grand errour of the times, to be led with false e­vidences. Many thinke God loves them, because hee spares them, and followes them with long patience, and makes them thrive in the world. Alas, are these fruits of Gods speciall love? What grace hath hee wrought in thy heart by his Spirit? hee gives his Spirit to them that pray; insinuating, that next the gift of his Son, the greatest gift is the Spi­rit, to fashion and fit us to be members of his Sonne: this is an argument of Gods love and esteeme.

Seales likewise are used for secresie,5 Secresie. as in Letters, &c. so this seale of the Spi­rit [Page 145]is a secret worke, GOD knoweth who are his, they are onely knowne to him, and to their owne hearts; The white stone is onely knowne to him that hath it, Revel. 3. and the hidden Mannah: none so in­fallibly can know the state in grace, as those that have the gracious worke them­selves. Holy men in some degree are knowne one to another, to make the com­munion of Saints the swee­ter: there is a great deale of spirituall likenesse in Chri­stians, face answereth to face; that one hath strong confi­dence of the salvation of another: but the undoubted certainty of a mans estate is knowne onely to God, and his owne soule: nay, some­times it is hidden from a [Page 146]mans selfe; there are so ma­ny infirmities, and abase­ments, and troubles in the world, that this life is cal­led a hidden life in Scrip­ture: our life is hidde with Christin God: it is unknowne to the Saints themselves sometimes, and the world alway; they neither know him that begets, nor them that are begotten.

Hence likewise the use of a seale,6 Security. is to shew that things should be kept invio­lable: hereupon the Church is as a sealed fountain; sealing shewes care of preservati­on from common annoy­ance: hereupon likewise it is, that sealing is the secu­ring of persons or things sealed from hurt. No man will violate a Letter, be­cause [Page 147]it is sealed: the Tombe where Christ was butied, was sealed, and the Prison doores upon Daniel, that none might meddle with them: so the Spirit of God by this worke of sealing, secures Gods children, as the bloud sprinckled upon the posts of the doores of the Israelites, secured them from the destroying An­gell. In Ezek. 9. there was a marke set upon those that were to bee perserved; that secured them; and in Revel 7. the sealed ones must not be hurt. So where this seale of the Spirit is, it is an ar­gument that God meanes to preserve such a one from eternal destruction, and from prevailing dangers in this world. They are Gods [Page 148]sealed ones, no man can hurt them without wrong to God himselfe, Touch not mine a­nointed, and doe my Prophets no harme: And likewise from devouring sinnes, and dange­rous apostasie: a man that is truely sealed by the Spirit of God, hee never becomes a member of Antichrist, a stigmatized Papist (for An­tichrist hath his seale too) he is kept from soule-murthe­ring errours, he hath this se­curity upon him by the worke and witnesse of Gods Spirit. Whatsoever the use is, or can be, of a seale in mans affaires, that God will have us make use of in his heavenly intercourse be­twixt him and us.

[Page 149] Whereby you are sealed.

Degrees of sealing.Now there are divers degrees of the Spirits sea­ling.

1 Faith:1 Faith. Hee that beleeves hath the witnesse in himselfe. 1 Ioh. 5.10. hee carries in his heart the counterpane of all the promises. This grace is first planted in the heart, and answereth to Gods love and purpose to­wards us of giving eternall life: the seale and first dis­covery of election is mani­fested to us in our belee­ving, Act. 13.48. As many as were ordained to eternall life beleeved. This belee­ving is also a seale to us, in that it is of whose gifts that accompany salvation, of [Page 150]which GOD never repents him by calling back againe, it is a feed that abideth for e­ver.

2 Sanctifi­cation.2 The worke of sancti­fying grace upon the heart, is a seale, whom the spirit sanctifieth, hee saveth. The Lord knoweth who are his: but how shall wee know it? By this seale, Let every one that nameth the name of the Lord, depart from iniquity: not onely in heart and affecti­on, but in conversation, and that shall bee a seale of his Sonneship to him: none are children of God by adop­tion, but those that are children also by regenera­tion: none are heires of heaven, but they are new­borne to it. Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Ie­sus [Page 151]Christ, who hath begot­ten us a new to an inheri­tance immortall, &c. This seale of sanctification leaves upon the soule the likenesse of Iesus Christ, even grace for grace.

But because in time of desertion and temptation we are in a myst, and cannot reade our owne faith, and our owne graces, it pleaseth Christ after some triall and exercise to shine upon his owne graces in the heart, whereby we may know we beleeve, and know we love: untill which time the heart sees nothing that is good, and seemes to bee nothing but all objections, and doubtings. Wee may bee sometimes in such a state as Paul and his company [Page 152]was in the ship, Act. 27.20. when they saw neither Sun nor Starres many dayes to­gether, almost past all hope. So a Christian may for ma­ny dayes together see nei­ther Sunne nor Starre, nei­ther light in GODS coun­tenance, nor light in his own heart no grace issuing from GOD, no grace carrying the soule to God, though e­ven at that time GOD darts some beame through those clouds upon the soule: the soule againe by a Spi­rit of faith, sees some light through those thickest clouds, enough to keepe the soule from utter despaire, though not to settle it in peace.

In this darke condition, if they doe as Saint Paul and [Page 153]his companie did, cast An­chor even in the dark night of temptation, and pray still for day; God will ap­peare, and all shall cleere up, wee shall see light with­out, and light within: the day-starre will arise in their hearts.

Thought by reflecting upon our soules we are able to discerne a spirit of faith, GOD may hide himselfe from the soule in regard of comfort: Nay, a Christian may know himselfe to bee in the state of grace, and yet bee in an afflicted con­dition. As in Iobs case, hee knew his Redeemer lived, and hee resolved to trust in him even though hee killed him: hee knew hee was no hypocrite, he knew his gra­ces [Page 154]were true: an for all the imputations of his friends, they could not dis­pute him out of his sinceri­ty; you shall not take my uprightnesse from mee. Yet for the present hee saw no light from heaven, till it pleased GOD to reveale himselfe in speciall favour to him. There is alwayes peace and joy in beleeving, yet not in that degree which gives the soule con­tent, untill by honouring God in beleeving and wai­ting still his good time, hee honoureth us with further sence of his favour, and powreth forth his Spirit to us, manifesting his speciall love towards us: and this is a further degree of sealing of us, confirming us more [Page 155]strongly then before.

The reason why wee can neither have grace to be­leeve, nor know wee be­leeve, nor when wee know we beleeve, enjoy comfort without a fresh new act of the Spirit, is because the whole carriage of a soule to heaven is above nature, where the Spirit makes a stand, we stand and can goe no further; wee cannot con­clude from right grounds without some helpe of the Spirit, some doubts, some feares will hinder the ap­plication to our selves, e­ven as those that live in some damnable sinne can­not but grant that those that live in such a sinne shall never inherit heaven: and their conscience tels them [Page 156]they live in such a sinne, yet selfe-love blindes them so, that they will not conclude against themselves that they shall be damned, so true be­leevers cannot conclude for themselves without divine light and helpe.

It pleaseth God thus to keepe every degree and act of sealing in his owne hand, to keep us in a perpetuall de­pendance upon him, and to awe us, that wee should not grieve the Spirit of grace, and cause him to suspend either act of grace or com­fort.

Ioy and strong comfort come from a superadded seale of the Spirit. The works of the Spirit are of a double kinde: either in us by imprinting sanctifying [Page 157]grace, or upon us, by shi­ning upon our soules in sweet feelings of joy: what the Spirit worketh in us is more constant, as a new na­ture which is alwayes like it selfe, and worketh uni­formely: but comfort and joy are of the nature of such priviledges as God vouch­safeth at one time, and not another, to some, and not to others.

This degree of sealing in regard of joy hath its degrees likewise : some­times it is so cleare and strong, that the soule que­stioneth not its state in grace ever after, but passeth on in a triumphant manner to that glory it lookes for. Sometimes after this seal­ing, there may bee interrup­ting [Page 158]of comfortable com­munion of farre as to que­stion our condition: yet this calling into question comes not from the Spirit, which where it once witnesseth for us, never witnesseth a­gainst us, but it is a fruit of the flesh not fully subdued, it is a sinne it selfe, and usu­ally a fruit of some former sinne. For howsoever wee should not doubt after a former witnesse of the Spi­rit, yet there will be so much weakening the sence of our assurance, as there is yeeld­ing to any lust. The know­ledge of our estate in grace and comfort thereupon, though it may bee weake­ned by neglcd of our watchfulnesse, yet still it hath the force of an argu­ment [Page 159]to assure us when the Spirit pleaseth to direct us to make use of it, because Gods love varies not as our feeling doth, and a fit doth not alter a state. The childe in the wombe stirres not al­waies, yet it lives, and that may bee gathered from the former stirrings.

This degree of sealing by way of witnesse and comfort, is appropriated to the holy Spirit: every person in the blessed Tri­nitie hath their severall worke; the Father chuseth us, and passeth a decree up­on the whole ground-work of our salvation. The Sonne executeth it to the full. The Spirit applyeth it, and wit­nesseth our interest in it by leading our soules to lay [Page 160]hold upon him, and by rai­sing up our soules in the as­surance of it, and by breed­ing and cherishing sweet communion with Father and Son, who both of them seale us like wise by the Spi­rit. This joy & comfort is so appropriated to the Spirit, as it carrieth the very name of the Spirit, and is one of the three Witnesses on earth, that witnesseth not onely Christ to bee a Savi­our, but our Saviour. The three witnesses on earth are the Spirit, water, and bloud: for the better conceiving of which place, wee must know th [...] great worke of Christ of redemption and justification was typi­fied in the old Testament by bloud; and the great worke of Christ of redemption justification was typi­fied in the old Testament by bloud; and the great [Page 161]worke of our sanctification typified by their washing: To answer which types, when Christs side was pier­ced, there came forth both bloud and water, shewing that Christ came not onely by bloud to justifie us, but by water to sanct [...]fie us. Hereupon bloud and water have the power to bee wit­nesses. The bloud of Christ being sprinckled on the heart by the Spirit, doth pa­cifie the conscience in assu­ring it that God is pacified by bloud, as being offered by the eternall Spirit: this quieting power sheweth that it was the bloud of God, and shed for me in par­ticular.

The witnesse of water is from the power the Spirit [Page 162]hath to cleanse our nature: which no creature can doe but the Spirit of GOD; change of nature is peculiar to the Author of nature. If wee feele therefore our na­tures altered, and of un­cle become holy, in some measure wee may know we are the children of God, as being begotten by the Spirit of Christ, conforming us to his owne holinesse: our spirit as sanctified can wit­nesse to us that wee are Christs.

But oft it fals out, that our owne spirits, though sanctified, cannot stand a­gainst a subtill temptation strongly inforced, God su­per-addes his owne Spirit: guilt often prevailes over the testimony of bloud, [Page 163]that of water by reason of stirring corruptions runneth troubled. Therefore the third the immediate testi­mony of the Spirit is neces­sary to witnesse the Fathers love to us, to us in particu­lar, saying, I am thy salvati­on, thy sinnes are pardoned. And this testimony the Word ecchoeth unto, and the heart is stirred up, and comforted with joy unex­presseable. So that both our spirits and consciences, and the spirit of Christ joy­ning in one strongly, wit­nesse our condition in grace, that wee are the sonnes of God.

In this threefold testimo­ny the order is this; bloud begets water: satisfaction by bloud procures the Spi­rit [Page 164]from God, as a witnesse of Gods love; and by fee­ling the power of bloud and water, we come to have the Spirit witnessing, and sealing our adoption unto us to establish us in the state of grace against stormes of temptation to the con­trary. The Spirit petiwa­deth to looke unto bloud, convinceth the heart of the efficacie of it, and then qui­eteth the soule, which gi­veth it selfe up to Christ wholly, and to whole Christ: and thence feeles his heart established against carnall reason, so as hee can and doth oppose Christs bloud to all the guilt that doth arise. And this wit­nesse of the Spirit comfort­ing the soule is the most [Page 165]familiar, and affects most.

If wee feele it not (as oft we do not) then rise upward from want of this joy of spirit to water, and see what worke we finde of the spirit in clensing our soules, and if wee finde these wa­ters not to runne so clearely as to discerne our conditi­on in them; then goe to the witnesse of bloud, and let us bathe our soules in it, and then we shall finde peace in free grace procured by bloud: for oft times a Chri­stian is driven to that passe, that nothing can comfort him, within, or without him, in heaven or earth, but the free and infinite mercy of GOD, in the bloud of Christ, whereon the soule relyeth when it feeles no [Page 166]comfort, nor joy, of the Spirit, nor sees no worke of sanctification: then it must rest on the satisfaction wrought by the bloud of Christ; when the soule can goe to God, and say, If wee confesse out sinnes, thou art just to forgive them, and the bloud of Christ shall cleanse us from all sinne. Therefore though I feele not inward peace, nor the worke of the Spirit, yet I will cast my selfe upon thy mercy in Christ. Hereupon we shall in Gods time come to have the witnesse of wa­ter and the Spirit more evi­dently made cleare unto us.

The Spirit is that wit­nesses with bloud, and wit­nesses with water, and by [Page 167]water, whatsoever of Christ is applyed unto us, by the Spirit, but besides witnessing with these wit­nesses, the Spirit hath a di­stinct witnesse by way of inlarging the soule: which joy in the apprehension of Gods fatherly love: and Christs setting the soule at libertie. The Spirit doth not alwayes witnesse unto us our condition by force of argument from sanctifi­cation, but sometimes im­mediately by way of pre­sence; as the sight of a friend comforts without helpe of discourse: the very joy from sight prevents the use of dis­course.

This testimony of the Spirit containeth in it the force of all, word, promise, [Page 168]oath, seale, &c. this is grea­ter then the promise, as a seale is more then our hand; & as an oath is more then a mans bare word. The same that is said of Gods oath in comparison with his bare promise, may bee said of this sealing in comparison of other testimonies. That as G O D was willing more abundantly to cleare to the heires of promise their sal­vation, hee added an oath, Hebr. 6.18. So for the same end hee added this his Spi­rit as a seale to the promise, and to the other testimo­nies, Our owne graces in­deed if wee were watchfull enough, would satisfie us: The fountaine is open as to Hagar, but shee seeth it not, &c. howsoever the Spirit, [Page 169]if that commeth, if subdueth all doubts.

As God in his oath and swearing joyneth none to himselfe, but sweareth by himselfe: so in this witnesse hee taketh confirm it, but wit­nesseth by himselfe. And hence ariseth joy unspeake­able, and glorious, and peace which passeth all understan­ding; for it is an extract of heaven when wee see our being in the state of grace, not in the effect only, but as in the breast and bosome of God.

But how shall wee know this witnesse from an en­thusiasticall fancie and illu­sion?Quest.

This witnesse of the Spirit is knowne fromAnsw. [Page 170]the strong conviction it bringeth with it, which wayeth and over-powers the soule to give credit un­to it. But there be, you will say, strong illusions? True, bring them therefore to some rules of discerning. Bring all your joy, and peace, and confidence to the Word, they goe both together, as a paire of In­dentures, one answers ano­ther. In Christs transfigu­ration upon the Mount, Moses and Elias appeared together with Christ. In whatsoever transfiguration and ravishment, wee cannot finde Moses, and Elias, and Christ to meet, that is, if what wee finde in us bee not agreeable to the Scriptures, wee may well suspect it as [Page 171]an illusion.

That you may know the voyce of the Spirit of God from the carnal confidence of our owne spirits, inquire,

  • 1 What went before.
  • 2 What accompanieth it.
  • 3 What followeth after this ravishing joy.

1 What go­eth before this wit­nesse of the Spirit.1 The Word must goe before it, in being assented unto by faith, and submit­ted unto by answerable o­bedience. In whom after you beleeved the word of pro­mise, you were sealed. So that if there be not first a belee­ving of the word of pro­mise, there is no sealing, The God of peace given you joy In beleeving. There must be a beleeving, a walking ac­cording to Rule, Gal. 6. or else no joy nor peace will bee unto [Page 172]us. If wee cannot bring the Word and our hearts toge­ther, it is not Gods, but Sa­thans sealing, a groundlesse presumption, and it will end in despaire: as Christ came by water and bloud, so doth this testimony, it commeth after the other two. First the heart is carried to bloud, and from thence hath quiet: then followeth water, and our nature is washed, and changed, and then com­meth this of the Spirit; though it bee not grounded on their testimony, but is a­bove theirs, yet they goe be­fore. Where wee thus finde the worke, wee may know it to bee right by the order of it.

It commeth after deepe [Page 173]humiliation, and abasement: though wee know our selves to bee the children of God in some such measure, as we would not change our con­dition for all the world; yet we would have more evi­dence, wee would have fur­ther manifestation of Gods countenance towards us, we are not satisfied, but waite: After wee have long fasted, and our hearts melted, & sof­tened, then God powreth water upon the dry wilder­nesse, and then it comes to passe, through his good­nesse and mercy, that hee comforts, and satisfies the desires of the hungry soule; GOD will not suffer the spirit of his children to faile.

[Page 174]3 Likewise after selfe-denyall in that which is pleasing to us, it is made up with inward comfort: if this selfe-denyall bee from a desire of nearer commu­nion with GOD, God will not faile them in what they desire. There are wretches in the world that will deny their sinfull nature nothing, if they have a disposition to pride, they will bee proud; if they have a lust to bee rich, to live in plea­sures, to follow the vanities of the times, they will doe so, they will not say nay to corrupt nature in any thing: will God vouchsafe to give any true joy or comfort of spirit to such ones? No: those that let loose their natures without [Page 175]a checke, shall never taste of this hidden Manna. But when wee deny our selves, deny to heare or see that which may feed corrupti­on: When wee deny to take delight in that, that wee might if wee would goe the course of the world, there is a proportionable mea­sure of joy, and peace, and comfort in a higher kinde made good to the soule. GOD is so good, wee shall lose nothing for parting with any thing for his sake.

4 It is usually found af­ter conflict and victory, as a reward. To him that over­commeth, Revel. 2. will I give to eate of the hidden Manna. Gods children after strong con­flict with some temptation [Page 176]or inward corruption, espe­cially, that which accom­panieth their disposition and temper, when they have so conflicted as that at last they get the better, they finde by experience sweet inlargement of spirit: to strive against them, is a signe of grace; but to get victory over them, even to subdue our enemies under us that rise up against us, this bringeth true peace and joy.

5 After wee have put forth our spirituall strength in holy duties, God crownes our indeavours with in­crease of comfort. A Chri­stian that takes paines with his heart, and will not serve God with that which cost him nothing, enjoyes that [Page 177]which the spirituall slug­gard wishes for, and goes without. God is so just that those men which have stri­ven to live according to principles of nature, have found contentment propor­tionable to their indeavours; some degree of pleasure attends every good acti­on, as a reward before a re­ward.

2 What ac­compani­eth, &c.Besides these things that goe before this joy and te­stimony, there are second­ly some things that doe ac­company it, if it bee right: as,

1 This spirituall comfort inlargeth our hearts to a desire after an high prizing the ordinances; so farre is it from taking us off from a dependance upon them. [Page 178]In the Word and other meanes it found comfort from GOD, therefore de­lights to be meeting GOD still in his owne wayes. The eye of the soule is strengthe­ned to see further into truths, and is inabled more spiritu­ally to understand the things it knew before: as in ma­ny of the same truths that wise men understand, they understood them when they were young, as when they were old, but then more clearely. So all truths are more clearely knowne by this; the Spirit by which wee are sealed, is the Spirit of illumination, not that it reveales any thing different from the Word, but giveth a more large understan­ding, and inward know­ledge [Page 179]of the same truths as were knowne before.

2 A libertie and bold­nesse with GOD: for where the Spirit is, there is a graci­ous liberty; that is, further inlargements from the law, guilt of sinne, and the feare of the wrath of GOD, that wee can come with so me boldnesse to his throne, and to him as our Father, a free­dome to open our soules in prayer before him. This stands not so much in mul­titude of words, or formes of expressions, but a sonne-like boldnesse in our ap­proaches in prayer. The Hypocrite especially in ex­tremity, cannot pray, his Conscience stoppes his mouth: but where the Spi­rit [Page 180]sealeth, it giveth this li­berty, freely to open and spread our case before him, and call upon him, yea under the evidence of some dis­pleasure.

3 There doth likewise ordinarily accompany this sealing of the Spirit, Sa­thans malice and oppositi­on; who being cast from heaven himselfe, envies this H [...]aven upon earth in a creature of meaner ranke by crea ion then himselfe: wee must not thinke to en­joy pure joy here without molestation, If there bee danger of exalting above measure, wee must looke for some messenger of Sa­than.3 What fol­loweth af­ter th [...]s witnessing of the Spirit.

After this witnesse it leaves the soule more hum­ble: [Page 181]none more abased in themselves, then those that have neerest communion with God; as wee see in the Angels that stand before God, and cover their faces: so Isa. 6. Iob after God had manifested himselfe unto him, abhorred himselfe in dust and ashes. It brings with it a greater desire of sanctification and heavenly-mindednesse. As Elias as­cended up into heaven, his cloake fell by degrees from him: the higher our spirits are raised, the more wee put off affections to earthly things.

2 Againe, the end of this further manifestation of the Spirit being incourage­ment to dutie, or suffering in a good cause, the soule [Page 182]by this witnesse of the Spirit findes increase of spirituall mettle, it findes it selfe stee­led against opposition. Whi­lest this winde filleth their sayles, they are carried on a maine, and are frighted with nothing that stands in their way. See how the be­leevers triumph upon the Spirits witnessing to their spi­rits, that they are the sonnes of God, Rom. 8.

GOD usually reserveth such comforts for the worst times,Pro. 32.6. Give wine to those that be of heavy hearts: Proverbs 31. The sence of this love of Christ is better then wine. This refreshing Paul had in the dungeon, and he sung at mid-night. After this witnessing therefore looke for some piece of ser­vice [Page 183]to doe, or tryall to un­dergoe.

Much must bee left to GODS fatherly wisedome in this, who knowes whom to cheare up, and when, and in what degree, and to what purpose and service, and remember alwayes, that these inlargements of spirit are as occasionall refresh­ings in the way, not daily food to live upon: we main­taine our life by faith, not by sight or feeling. Feasting is not for every day, except that Feast of a good con­science which is continuall: but I speake of grand dayes, and high feasts: these are disposed, as GOD seeth cause.

3 Where this sealing of the Spirit is, there fol­loweth [Page 184]also upon it a lift­ing up of the head, in thin­king of our latter end; it makes one thinke of the times to come with joy, as the holy Ghost here menti­oneth the day of redempti­on; as a motive to them to take heed that they did not grieve the Spirit: intima­ting, they should thinke of the day of redemption with a great deale of joy and comfort. The Saints are described in Scripture to be those that looke for the appea­ring of Christ: they are Christs, and in him their reckonings and accounts are even. And therefore with delight they can often think and meditate upon the blessed times that are to come.

[Page 185]There be divers degrees of sealing, arising from di­vers degrees of revelation. God first reveales his good will in his promises to all beleevers; this is the privi­ledge of the Church, espe­cially in these latter times: then by his Spirit reveales those saving truths to those that are his by a divine light. So that by argument drawne from the power, they feele from truths in searching secrets, in casting downe, in raising up, in stay­ing the soule, they can seale to them that they are di­vine.

The same Spirit that re­veales the power of the Word to mee, reveales in particular mine owne in­terest in all those truths [Page 186]upon hearing them. Where­upon they are written in my heart, as if they had beene made in particular to me: the comfortable truths in the Word are transcri­bed into my heart answer­able to the Word; as that GOD in Christ is mine, forgivenesse mine, grace mine: whereupon adoption in Christ is sealed; which God still sealeth further to my soule by increase of comfort, as hee seeth cause for incouragement. The same Spirit that manifest­eth in me the word, I heare and reade to bee the truth of God, from the power and efficacie of it: the same Spi­rit teacheth to apply it, and in applying of it, sealeth me.

[Page 187]Therefore wee ought to desire to bee sealed by the Spirit, in regard of an holy impression; and then that the holy Spirit would shine upon his owne graces, so as wee may clearly see what is wrought in us above na­ture; and because this is furthered by revealing his love in Christ in adoption to us, wee must desire of GOD to vouchsafe the Spirit of Revelation, to reveale the mysteries of his truth unto us; and our portion in them in particu­lar; and so our adoption: and in the meane time to wait and attend his good pleasure in the use of all good meanes. Thus wee waiting, God will so farre reveale himselfe in love to [Page 188]us, as shall assure us of his love, and stirre up love a­gaine: and the same Spirit that is a Spirit of Revelati­on, will bee a Spirit of san­ctification, and so adoption. Dignity, and fitting qualities sureable to dignity, go both together.

In that grand inquirie a­bout our condition, there is a great miscarriage, when men will beginne with the first worke of the Father in election, then passe to re­demption by Christ: I am Gods, and Christ hath re­deemed mee; and never thinke of the action of the third person in sanctificati­on, which is the neerest action upon the soule, as the third person himselfe is nearest unto us. And so [Page 189]fetch their first rise where they should set up their last rest. Whereas wee should begin our inquirie in the worke of the third person, which is next unto us: and then upon good grounds we may know our redemption and election.

The holy Spirit is both a Spirit of Revelation, and of Sanctification together, as hath beene said: for toge­ther with opening the love of the Father, and the Son, hee fitteth us by grace for communication with them.

People out of selfe-love will have conceits of the Fathers and Sonnes love severed from the worke of the Spirit upon their hearts which will prove a dange­rous [Page 190]illusion. Although the whole work of grace by the Spirit arise from the Fathers and Sonnes love, witnessed by the Spirit, yet the proofe of the Fathers love to us in particular, ariseth from some knowledge of the worke of the Spirit: the er­rour is not in thinking of the Fathers and Sonnes love, but in a strengthening them­selves by a pleasing power­lesse thought of it against the worke of grace by the Spirit, which their corrup­tion withstands. So they will carve out of the worke of the Trinitie what they thinke agreeable to their lusts, whereas otherwise if their heart were upright, they would for this very end think of Gods love, and [Page 191]Christs, to quicken them to duty, and to arme them a­gainst corruption.

To the day of Redemption.

Redemp­tion dou­ble.There is a double re­demption: redemption of the soule by the first comming of Christ, to shed his bloud for us; redemption of our bodies from corruption, by his second comming. Wee have not the perfect con­summation and accom­plishment of that which Christ wrought in his first comming, till his second comming, then there shall bee a totall redemption of our soules and bodies, and conditions. There is a dou­ble redemption, as there is [Page 192]a double cōming of Christ; the first, and the second; the one to redeeme our soules from sinne and Sathan, and to give us title to heaven, the other to redeeme our bodies from corruption, when Christ shall come to bee glorious in his Saints. As likewise there is a double resurrection, the first and the second, and a double re­generation of soule and bo­dy.

In sicknesse & weaknes of body, or when age hath o­vertaken us, that we cannot live long here, and the hor­rour of the grave, the house of darkenesse, is presented to us. Oh let us thinke, there will bee a redemption of our bodies, as well as of our soules! Christ will re­deem [Page 193]our bodies from cor­ruption, as he came to work the redemption of our soules from sinne and death; and hee that will redeeme our bodies out of the grave, he will redeeme his Church out of misery, hee will call the Iewes; hee that will doe the greater, will doe the inferiour. When wee heare of this, let us thinke with comfort of all the promi­ses that are yet unperfor­med.

Full re­demption not yet.Secondly, full redem­ption is not yet, What need I bring Scripture to prove it? It is a point that every mans experience teacheth. Alas, let our bodies speake [...] wee are not free from sick­nesse and diseases: nay, what is our life but a going [Page 194]to corruption? the sentence is passed upon us, earth re­turneth to earth; till death wee are going to death, so besides sicknesse and weake­nesse here, we must dye, and after death bee subject to corruption. The Apostle in this respect calleth our bo­dy, a vile body. As for our soules, though they bee freed from the guilt and damnation of sinne, yet there are remainders of corruption that breed feare and terrour; and though they be freed from the rule of Sathan, yet not from his molestation and vexations by temptations. In a word, our whole state and condi­tion in this world, is a state and condition of misery, wee are followed with ma­ny [Page 195]afflictions, so that there is not yet perfect redemption, whether we looke to body, soule, or state; the body be­ing subject to diseases, the soule to infirmities, the state to misery.

But there is a day appoin­ted for it.

A day of Redempti­on.By a day wee are not to understand the time measu­red by the course of the Sunne in 24 houres, but in the Scriptures meaning, a day is a set time of mercy or judgement. As there was a solemne day, the ful­nesse of time, for the work­ing of the first redemption, so there is a solemn time set for the second redemption, when all the children of God shall bee gathered; those that lye in the dust [Page 196]shall be raised, and for ever glorified. It is the day of all dayes: that day that by way of excellency, is called THAT day in the Scriptures, and the day of the Lord. The day that were should thinke of every day; especially in sicknesse and trouble, and crosses, and molestations, from the wicked world, and in sense of the remain­ders of corruption. There is a day of redemption to come, that will make a­mends for all. The fre­quent thoughts of that day would comfort us, and keepe us from shrinking in any affliction and trouble; it would move us to a carri­age and conversation an­swerable to our hopes, and also it would helpe to fit us; [Page 197]it would infuse a desire of qualification to be prepared for that great day.

The day of Re­demption ought to be thought on.But how little of our time is spent in thoughts this way? If wee could oft thinke of the day of re­demption, our lives would bee otherwise, both in re­gard of gracious, as also of cōfortable carriage, should we be disconsolate at every losse and crosse, at sicknes­ses, and the thought of death, when wee shall be turned into our first princi­ple, the earth? if wee did thinke of the day of re­demption, when all shall be restored againe, all the de­cayes of nature, and the I­mage of God be perfectly stamped: the thought of this would make us goe wil­lingly [Page 198]to our graves, know­ing that all this is but a pre­paration for the great day of redemption The first day of redemption, when Christ came to redeeme our soules, and to give us title to heaven; It was in the ex­pectation of all good people before Christ; they are said to wait for the consolation of Israel; that was the chara­cter to know those blessed people by. And what should be the distinguishing character of gracious soules now, but to bee such as wait for the comming of Christ? how oft in the E­pistles of Saint Paul is it? There is a Crowne of righteous­nesse for mee, and for all that wait for the appearing of Christ.

[Page 199]There was a yeare of Iu­bile among the Iewes eve­ry fifty yeares; then all that were in bondage were set at liberty. So at this blessed Iubile, this glorious day of redemption, all that are in bondage of death, and un­der corruption, shall be set at everlasting liberty. No question but the poore ser­vants that were vexed with hard masters, they thought of the Iubile, and those that had their possessions tooke away, they thought of the Iubile, the day of recove­ring all. So let us oft thinke of this everlasting Iubile, when wee shall recover all that wee lost, for ever to keepe it, and never to lose it againe as wee did in the first creation. Let us oft [Page 200]thinke of this day; it will infuse vigour and strength into all our conversation. Indeed to the ungodly, it is not a day of redemption, but a day of judgement, and the revelation of the just wrath of God, when their sins shall be laid open, and receive a sen­tence answerable.

Day of vengeance to wicked.Alas, there is such a deale of Atheisme in the world, (and the seeds of it in the best, unlesse it be wrought out daily) that we forget the God of vengeance, and the day of vengeance. Would men goe on in sinnes against conscience, if they thought of this last day? It is impos­sible: such courses come frō this abhominable root of A­theisme, and unbeliefe, for had they but a slight Faith, [Page 201]it would be effectual to alter their course in some mea­sure: therefore the Scripture gives them the name of fooles (though they would be thought to bee the onely wise men.) The foole hath said in his heart, there is no God: and what followes? Corrupt are they, and abho­minable. The cause of all is, the foole hath said in his heart, he will needs force it upon his heart; that there is no God, hell nor heaven, nor judgement; thence come abhominable cour­ses.

Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby yee are sealed unto the day of Redem­ption.

FRom the consideration of all that hath beene formerly spoken of, the sealing of the spirit to the day of Redemption, there ariseth these foure conclusi­ons.

First, that we may attaine unto to knowledge that wee are in that state of grace.

Secondly, that upon know­ledge of our state in grace for the present, we may be assured of our future ful Re­demption.

Thirdly, that this assured knowledge is wrought by the Spirit.

[Page 203]Fourthly, that the consi­deration of this assurance wrought by the Spirit, is an effectuall argument to disswade from grieving the Spirit.

The first conclusion.For the first wee may know wee are in the state of grace: first, because the Apostle would not have used an ar­gument moving, not to grieve the Spirit, from a thing unknowne or gues­sed at; it is an ill manner of reasoning to argue from a thing unknowne.

2 Againe, sealing of us by the Spirit, is not in regard of God, but of our selves. God knoweth who are his, but we know not that weare his, but by sealing.

3 The scope of the Scrip­tures indited by the Spirit, [Page 204]is for comfort, the Apostle saith so directly, and what comfort in an uncertaine condition, wherein a man knowes not but hee may be a reprobate? Wherefore came our Saviour into the world, and tooke our na­ture upon him; why became he a curse for us; why hath hee carried our nature into heaven, and there appeares for us till hee hath brought us home to himselfe, but that hee would have us out of all doubt of his love af­ter once by faith wee have received him? whence pro­ceeded those Comman­dements to beleeve, those checkes of unbeleevers, the commendation of them that did beleeve, those upbraidings of doubting, [Page 205]as springing from unbe­liefe: to what use are the Sacraments, but to seale un­to us the benefits of Christ? if upon all this wee should still doubt of GODS love, especially when be­sides the sealing of the pro­mises to us, wee are sealed our selves by the Spirit of promise.

Object. This is true, if wee know we doe beleeve:

Answer. It is the office of the Spirit, as to worke Faith and other graces, so to reveale them to us: every grace of GOD is a light of it selfe, com­ming from the Father of lights: and it is the proper­ty of light, not onely to dis­cover other things, but it selfe too; and it is the of­fice [Page 206]of the Spirit to give further light to this light by shining upon his owne grace in us: an excellent place for this is the 1 Cor. 2.12. Wee have received the Spirit that is of God, that wee might know the things that are freely given to us of God, in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every thing bee confirmed: one witnesses is the Spirit of man which knowes the things that are in man; the other witnesses is the Spirit of God, witnessing to our spirits that we are the children of God. Here is light added to light, wit­nesse added to witnesse, the greater witnesse of the Spi­rit to the lesse of our Spirits: the Apostle joynes them both together,Rom. 9. My consci­ence [Page 207]bears me witnesse through the holy Ghost.

Obje. Mans heart is deceit­full.

Answ. But the spirit of God in mans heart is not deceitfull, it is too holy to deceive, and too wise to be deceived in this point of assurance: wee plow with the Spirits Heifer, or else we could not finde out this Riddle: where there is an object to be seene, and an eye to see, and light to dis­cover the object to the eye, sight must needs follow. In a true beleever, after he is inlightened, as there is grace to bee seene, and an eye of Faith to see, so there is a light of the Spirit dis­covering that grace to that inward sight: in the bot­tome [Page 208]of a cleare River, a cleare eye sight may see a­ny thing; where nothing is, nothing can bee seene; it is an evidence that the Pa­trons of doubtings have lit­tle grace in them, and much boldnesse in making themselves a measure for other. Those that are base borne, know their Mothers better then their Fathers;Ioh. 1. the Church of Rome is all for the Mother, but the babes of Christ know their Father; the remainder of corruption will indeed be still breeding doubts, but it is the office of the Spirit of Faith to quell them as they arise. Wee are too rea­dy in time of temptation to doubt, wee need not helpe the tempter, by holding it [Page 209]a duty to doubt; this is to light a candle before the di­vell as we use to speake.

Question. May not there be doubtings where there is true faith, may not a true beleever bee without assu­rance?

1 Answer. There bee three rankes of Christians: first, some that are yet under the spirit of bondage, that like little children doe all for feare. Secondly,2 those that are under the spirit of a­doption, and doe many things well, but yet are not altogether free from feare; these are like those chil­dren that are moved with reverence to obey their Parents, and yet finde their commands somewhat irke­some unto them.3 The third [Page 210]are [...]h as by the love of God shed into the [...] hearts by the Spirit of adoption, are carried with large Spi­rits to obey their father, and herein like unto those children, that not onely o­bey, but take a delight in it upon a judgement that both obedience and the thing wherein they obey is good; this wee ought to labour for, but wee finde many Christians in the se­cond ranke, many truely beleeve in Christ by some light let into their hearts by the Spirit of adoption, who are not yet fully assu­red of the love of Christ. There is the act of faith, and the fruit of Faith; the act of faith is to cast our selves upon Gods mercy [Page 211]in Christ, the fruit of faith is in beleeving to bee assu­red of this: wee must know that faith is one thing, as­surance another, they may have faith, and yet want a double assurance: first, as­surance of their faith, being not able to judge at all times of their owne act; likewise, secondly, assu­rance of their state in grace, as in time of deserti­on and temptation: a soule at such a time casts it selfe upon Christ, as knowing comfort is there to be had, though hee bee not sure of it for himselfe: and this the soule doth out of obedi­ence, though not out of feeling, as the poore man in the Gospell, Lord I be­leeve, helpe my unbeliefe: [Page 212]the soule often times out of the deepe, cryes, and in the darke trusts in GOD, and this is the bold adven­ture of faith, the first ob­ject whereof is Christ held out in a promise; and not assurance, which springeth from the first act when it pleaseth God to shine up­on the soule, and is a reward of glorifying Gods mercy in Christ by casting the soule upon his truth and goodnesse. Assurance is GODS seale, faith is our seale; when wee set to our seale by beleeving, hee sets to his seale, assuring us of our condition: we yeeld first the consent and the as­sent of faith, and then God puts his seale to the con­tract: there must be a good [Page 213]title before a confirmati­on, a planting before a roo­ting and establishing, the bargaine before the ear­nest. Some would have Faith to bee an over-pow­ring light of the soule, whereby undoubtedly they beleeve themselves to bee Christ, and Christ to be theirs: which stumbleth many a weake, yet true Christian, for this is rather the fruit of a strong Faith, then the act of a weake, which struggleth with doubting, untill it hath gotten the upper hand. True it is, there must bee so much light let in to the soule, as the soule may re­ly upon Christ, and this light must bee discovered by the Spirit, and such a [Page 214]light as shewes a speciall love of Christ to the soule. And againe, it is true that wee are not to take up our rest in the light, untill the heart be further subdued: as many are too hasty to con­clude of a good condition upon uncertaine signes, be­fore they have attained un­to fuller assurance, but yet wee must not deny faith where this strong assurance is wanting, so farre as to conclude against our selves; if there be desires, putting on, to endeavour with con­flict against the rising of unbeliefe, with a high pri­sing of the favour of God in Christ, so as to value it above all things. Degrees doe not varie the kinde, weakenesse may stand with [Page 215]truth; but where truth is, there will be an uncessant desire of future sealing.

The se­cond con­clusion.The second conclusion: We may upon the knowledge of our present estate in grace bee assured for the time to come: for this sealing is to the day of Redemption; that is, till wee be put into full possession of what we now beleeve; and besides, sea­ling is for securing for the time to come, and our Sa­viours promise is, that though He departed from them, yet the Comforter should abide with them for ever, Iohn 14. And why are wee certaine of the favour of God to our comfort for the present, but that wee doubt not of it for the time to come?

[Page 216]Faith and love, and these graces, they never faile fi­nally; therefore when the Scripture speakes of Faith, it speakes of salvation by it for the present: as if a man should bee in heaven pre­sently so soone as hee be­leeves. Wee are saved by faith, say the Scriptures: we are not yet saved; but the meaning is, wee are▪ set by faith into a state of sal­vation. Being put into Christ by Faith, we are ri­sen with Christ, and sit in hea­venly places with him. Col. 2. Faith makes the things to come, present: and Faith beleeves, that neither things present, nor things to come,Rom. 8.shall bee a­ble to separate us from the love of God in Christ. So that our assurance is not onely [Page 217]for the present, but for the time to come. We are sealed to the day of Redemption, and who can reverse Gods seale, or Gods act & deed? Grace is the earnest penny of glo­ry: God hath made a cove­nant, and given earnest, hee will not lose it, the earnest is never taken away, but filled up; if we be assured of grace for the present, wee may bee sure it shall bee made up full in glory hereafter. If the spirit of Christ bee in us, the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead, will raise us up likewise,Rom. 8.11 and not leave us untill wee bee in full redemption, wee shall walke, filled with his i­mage. Psal.

No opposition shall pre­vaile, God hath set us as a [Page 218]seale on his right hand to keep us, I and on his breast (as the high Priest had the twelve Tribes) to love us, and on his shoulder to sup­port us. The marked and sealed ones in Ezech. 9. and Rev. 7. were secured from all destruction. If we be in Christ our Rocke, temptati­ons and oppositions are but as waves, they may dash upon us, but they breake themselves.

Quest. Why then doe we pray for the forgivenesse of sinnes?

Why wee pray for forgive­nesse of sinnes. Answer. Wee pray for a clearer evidence of what wee have: secondly, as the end is ordained, so the meanes must be used: God doth and will pardon sinne, and therefore we must pray [Page 219]for pardon, as a meanes or­dained. Thirdly, prayer doth not prejudice the cer­tainty of a thing: Christ prayeth for that hee was most sure of, Iohn 17. I pray for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine.

Pregnant for the proofe of this point,1 Pet. 1.3, 4, 5. is that of Pe­ter, Wee are begotten againe to a lively hope, a hope of that life which maketh live­ly. Oh but wee are weake! true, but wee are kept by the power of GOD: an in­heritance is not onely kept for us, but we are kept for it.

Ob. But Sathan is strong, and his malice is more than his strength?

Answ. True, but wee are kept as by a Garison, wee [Page 220]have a guard about us.

Ob. All this is true, while faith holdeth out; but that may faile?

Answ. No, we are kept by the power of GOD through faith; God keepeth our faith, and us by faith.

Ob. But the time is long betweene us and salvation, and many dangers may fall out?

Answ. Be it so that the time is long, yet wee are kept unto salvation, even untill the day of Redemption: for the Spirit by vertue of the Covenant, puts the feare of GOD into our hearts, that wee shall never depart from him: GOD doth not promise what wee shall doe of ourselves, but what he will doe in us, and [Page 221]by us. Thus the holy Ghost putteth a shield in­to our hands to ward off all objections; and helpes us to subdue the reaso­nings that are apt to rise within us against this bles­sed hope. So that this happy condition is not onely sure to us, but God hath assured us of it.Why God assur [...] us of our salvation. Gods gracious indulgence is such, hee sees here wee goe through a wildernesse, and are molested every way, therefore he would have us assured of a blessed con­dition to come. So good is God, hee doth not onely finde out a glorious way of Redemption by the bloud of his Sonne▪ God-Man, but hee acquaints us with [Page 222]it in the dayes of our pil­grimage.1 For his glory. Partly, that wee may glorifie him, that hee may have the praise before hand of what good hee in­tends us: for assurance of that blessed condition will stirre up our spirits to blesse God. What the thing it selfe would worke, Faith workes the same in some measure. Therefore Saint Peter, 1 Pet. 1. Blessed be God (saith hee) who hath begotten us againe to a lively hope of an inheritance immor­tall, underfiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in the hea­vens. Why doth hee blesse God before we have it? be­cause wee are as sure of it as if wee had it: what is revea­led before hand, is praised for before hand. GOD [Page 223]would have us assured, that he may have glory.

Partly to comfort us:2 For our comfort. for Faith is effectuall to worke that comfort that the thing present would doe in some measure. What comfort would the soule have, if it should see heaven open, and it selfe entring into it, if re­dēption were at hand? The same Faith workes in some measure. What is more sure then the thing it self? What more comfortable then Faith in it?

When the Israelites were in the wildernesse going to Canaan, they had many promises that they should come to Canaan, and many extraordinary helpes to leade them thither; the pil­lar, and cloud, and Angell: [Page 224]and God out of indulgence condescending to their weaknesse, gave them some grapes of Canaan: he put it into the minde of the spies to bring of the fruits. So God give us some work of his blessed Spirit, whereby hee would have us assured, and sealed to the day of re­demption.

The third conclusion is this,The third conclusion that the spirit doth seale us. This cannot bee other­wise, for who can establish us in the love of God, but he that knowes the minde of God towards us; and who knowes the minde of God, but the spirit of God?

Then am I sealed, when I doe not onely beleeve, but by a reflecting act of the soule, know I doe be­leeve: [Page 225]and this reflection though it be by Reason, yet it is by Reason inabled by the Spirit; our spirits by the Spirit onely can discerne of spirituall acts: it is not for us to know things above na­ture, without a cause above nature. None can know the meaning of our broken desires, so as to helpe us in our infirmities, but that Spirit that stirred up those desires. Againe, none knowes the grievances of our spirits, but our owne spirits, and the Spirit of God, who knowes all the turnings and corners of the soule.

Who can mortifie those strong corruptions, that would hinder us in the way to heaven, but the Spi­rit [Page 226]cloathing our spirit with power from above? who pu­rifieth the conscience, but he that is above cōscience? Who can raise our spirits a­bove al temptations & trou­bles, but that Spirit of power that is above all?

The strength and vigour of any creature is from the spirits: and the strength of the spirits of all flesh is from this Spirit, whose office is to put spirit into our spirit.

As GOD redeemed us with his bloud, so GOD must apply this bloud, that conscience may bee quie­ted. Hee onely can subdue the rebellion of our spirits, and soften our hearts, and make them fit for sealing. The Spirit onely can so re­port the mercy of God to [Page 227]our souls, as to perswade and worke our hearts to this as­surance, otherwise wee would never yeeld. For part­ly the greatnesse of the state is such, that none but God can assure: and partly the misgiving and unbeliefe of our heart is such, that none but God can subdue it. The thing being so great, and our deservings so little, be­ing unworthy of the things of this life, much more of that eternall happinesse; this cannot be done without the high and glorious Spirit of God.

How earnest and desi­rous then is both the Fa­ther and the Sonne to save us, that pleased to send such an Orator and Embassa­dor as is equall with them­selves [Page 228]to perswade us, to as­sure us, to fit us for salvati­on? and how gracious is the Spirit that will vouchsafe to have such communion with such poore fi [...]full spi­rits as ours? And should not this worke upon our hearts a care not to grieve the holy Spirit? and so wee come to the fourth conclu­sion.

The fourth conclusion is,The forth conclusion that the sealing of the spi­rit unto salvation, should bee a strong prevailing argument not to grieve the Spirit, that is, not to sinne: for sinne onely grieves the Spirit.Tit, 2.11.12. The grace of God (saith Paul to Titus) that bringeth salva­tion, Christ appeared: and what is Christ but grace? Christ appeared, and the [Page 229]free favour of GOD in Christ, whereby wee are assured of salvation: which teacheth us, what to doe? to deny all ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, and to live so­berly, righteously▪ and godly in this present world. Even the consideration of the benefits of Christ, that are past, such as came with Christs first comming, but that is not all, Verse 13. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savi­our Iesus Christ. The second comming of Christ enfor­ceth likewise the same care of holin fle.Phil. 3.20 Our conversati­on is in heaven, and not as theirs (spoken of in the for­mer Verse) whose end is damnation, whose belly is [Page 230]their GOD, who minde earthly things: no, we minde heavenly things, and these heavenly desires from whence sprung they, but from the certaine expectati­on of our Saviour the Lord Ie­sus Christ, who shall change our vile bodies, &c. that is, shall redeeme us fully even our bodies as well as our soules.

It is an argument to them that are 1 Not sea­led.It is an argument of force, whether we be not yet sea­led, or be sealed: if not sea­led, then gieve not him whose onely office it is to seale, entertaine his moti­ons, give way to him, that hee may have scope andli­berty of working.

Set no reasons against his reasons, hearken to no counsell against his coun­sell, [Page 231]stand not out his per­swasions any longer, but yeeld up your spirits to him, lest hee put a perio [...] to his patience: hee is long suffering, but not alwayes suffering: if hee give us up to our own spirits, wee shall onely be witty to worke out our owne damnation: wee are not given up to our owne spirits, but after ma­ny repulses of this holy Spirit: and at length, what now will not serve for an argument to perswade us, shall bee used hereafter as an argument to torment us. The Spirit will helpe our spirits to repeate and recall all the motions to our owne good, that wee formerly put backe. Wee should thinke when con­science [Page 232]speakes in us, God speakes, and when the Spi­rit moves us, it is God that moves us, and that all ex­cuse will be cut off: answere will bee, did not I tell you of this by conscience, my deputy? did not I move you to this good by mine owne Spirit? Take heed of keeping out any light, for light, where it doth not come in and soften, har­dens: none so hard hearted, as those upon whom the light hath shined: there is more to bee hoped from a man, that hath onely a na­turall conscience, then from him, whose heart and spirit hath beene long bea­ten on: there is more to bee hoped from a heathen Pi­late, than a proud Pharisee. [Page 233]Those that will not bee sea­led to their salvation, it is just with GOD that they should be se [...]led up to their destruction; the soule with­out the spirit is darkenesse and confusion, full of selfe accusing and selfe tormen­ting thoug [...]ts: it we let the Spirit come in▪ it will scat­ter all, and settle the soule in asweet quiet.

2 Those that are sealed ei­ther in a 1 Lesser degree.For those that have beene sealed by the Spirit, and yet not so fully, as to si­lence all doubts, about their estate: those should out of that beginning of comfort which they feele, study to bee pliable to the Spirit, for further increase. The Spirit sealeth by de­grees: as our care of plea­sing the Spirit increaseth, [Page 234]so our comfort increaseth; our light will increase as the morning light unto the perfect day. Yeelding to the Spirit in one holy mo­tion, will cause him to leade us to another, and so on forwards untill wee bee more deepely acquainted with the whole counsell of God concerning our salva­tion: otherwise if wee give way to any contrary lust▪ darkenesse will grow upon our Spirits unawares, and we shall be left in an unset­led condition, as those that travaile in the twi­light, that cannot perfectly finde out their way. Wee shall be on and off, not da­ring to yeeld wholly to our lusts, because of a worke of grace begun: nor yeeld [Page 235]wholly to the Spirit, be­cause we have let some un­ruly affection get too much strength in us, and so our spirits are without comfort, and our profession without glory.

We shall lye open to Sa­than, if hee be let loose to winnow our Faith: for if our state come to bee que­stioned, wee have nothing to alledge but the truth of our graces: and if wee have not used the Spirit well, we shall not have power to al­ledge them, nor to looke upon any grace wrought in us, but upon those lusts and sinnes whereby wee have grieved the Spirit; they will bee set in order before us, and so stare us in the face, that wee cannot [Page 236]but fixe our thoughts upon them. And Sathan will not lose such an advantage, but will tempt us to call the worke of grace in questi­on: which though it bee a true worke, yet for want of light of the Spirit to dis­cerne it, wee cannot see it to our comfort. Whereas if the Spirit would witnesse unto us the truth of our state, and the sincerity of our graces, wee shall bee a­ble to hold our owne, and those temptations will va­nish.

2 Those that are sealed in a higher degree.For those that the holy Spirit hath set a clearer and stronger stampe upon, that doe not question their condition, they of all others should not grieve the Spi­rit.

[Page 237] 1 A Spirit of ingenuity will [...]inder them, and stirre up [...] shame in them to requite so ill, such a friend. No­thing so ingenuous as grace: what is commenda­ble in nature, is in greater perfection in grace. How doth the conscience of un­kindenesse to a friend that hath deserved well of us, trouble our spirits, that wee know not with what face to looke upon him? And will not unkindenesse to the Spirit make us ashamed to lift up our face to hea­ven?

2 Benefits are bonds, and the greater favour, the stronger obligation; now what greater favour is there, then for the Spirit to renew us according to [Page 238]the Image of God our glo­rious Saviour: who carried the Image of Sathan be­fore? And by this to ap­propriate us unto GOD, to be laid up in his treasure, as carrying his stampe, and by this to bee separated from the vile condition of the world; although wee carry in us the seeds of the same corruption that the worst doth, differing no­thing from them but in GODS free grace and the fruits of it. For God to e­steeme so of us, that have no worthinesse of our owne, but altogether per­sons not worthy to bee be­loved: as to make our un­worthinesse a foile, to set out the freenesse of his love; in making us worthy, [Page 239]whom he found not so. For the Spirit by sealing of us to secure us in the midst of all spirituall dangers: and to hide us as this secret ones, that that evill one should not touch us to hurt us. These, as they are fa­vours of an high nature, the more care they require to walke worthy of them. We cannot but forget our selves, before wee yeeld to any thing against that dignity the Spirit hath sealed us to.

Nature helped with or­dinary education, moveth every man to carry him­selfe answerable to his condition: a Magistrate as a Magistrate, a Subject as a Subject, a Childe as a Childe; and wee thinke it [Page 240]disgracefull to doe other­wise: and shall that which is disgracefull to nature, not be much more disgrace­full to nature renewed, and advanced by the Spirit? And indeed as wee should not, so wee cannot grieve the Spirit so farre forth as wee are renewed.1 Ioh. 3. Our new nature will not suffer us to dissemble, to be worldly, to bee carnall, as the world is, wee cannot but study holinesse, wee cannot but be for GOD and his truth, wee cannot but expresse what we are, and whose wee are.

It is impossible a man should care for heaven, that doth not care for the be­ginnings of heaven: hee cannot bee said to care for [Page 241]full redemption and glory, that doth not care for the spirit of grace: fulnesse of grace is the best thing in glory; other things, as peace and joy, and the like, they are but the shinings forth of this fulnesse of grace in glo­ry.

Againe, when the Spirit assureth us of Gods love in the greatest fruits of it, as it doth when it assureth this redemption: That love kin­dles love againe, and love constraines us, by a sweet necessity to yeeld cheerefull and willing obedience in all things: there is nothing more active and fuller of inventi­on, than love, and there is nothing that love studies more than how to please, there is nothing that it fears [Page 242]more than to discontent. It is a neate affection, and will indure nothing offensive, ei­ther to it selfe, or the spirit of such as we love: and this love the Spirit teaches the heart, & love teaches us not onely our duty, but to doe it in a loving and acceptable manner. It carries out the whole streame of the soule with it, and rules all, whilest it rules, & will not suffer the soule to divert to by-things, much lesse to contrary.

Againe, these graces that are conversant about that condition which the Spirit assureth us of, as faith and hope, are purging and puri­fying graces, working a suteablenesse in the soule, to the things beleeved, and ho­ped for: and the excellency [Page 243]of the things beleeved & ho­ped for, have such a work­ing upon the soule, that it wil not suffer the soul to de­file it selfe. Our hopes on high, will leade us to wayes on high, therefore whilest these graces are exercised a­bout these objects, the soule cannot but bee in a pleasing frame.

It hath been an old cavill, that certainty of salvation breeds security & loosenesse of life. And what is there that an ill disposed soul can­not sucke poyson out of? A man may as truely say, the Sea burns, or the Fire cools: there is nothing quickens a soule more to cheerefull o­bedience, than assurance of Gods love, & that our labour should not bee in vaine in the [Page 244]Lord; this is the Scriptures Logick and Rhetorick to in­force and perswade a holy life from knowledge of our present estate in grace. I be­seech you by the mercies of God, Rom. 12. saith Saint Paul: what mer­cies? such as he had spoken of before. Iustification, San­ctification, Assurance that all shall worke together for good, that nothing shall bee able to separate us from the love of God in Christ: all duties tend to assurance, or spring from assurance.

Gods intendment is to bring us to heaven by a way of love, and cheerefulnesse; as all his wayes towards us in our salvation, are in love. And this is the scope of the covenant of grace; and for this end hee sends the Spirit [Page 245]of adoption into our hearts, that we may have a childe-like liberty with God in all our addresses to him. When he offers himselfe to us as a father, it is fit we should of­fer our selves to him as chil­dren; nature teaches a child, the more hee desires his fa­thers love, the more he fears to displease him. And hee is judged to be gracelesse, that will therefore venture to of­fend his father, because hee knowes hee neither can, or will disinherit him. Certaine it is, the more surely wee know God hath begotten us to so glorious aninheritance, the more it will worke upon our bowels, to take all to heart that may any way touch him: this wrought up­on David, when the Prophet [Page 246]told him, God hath done this and this for thee, and would have done more, if that had beene too little, 2 Sam. 12. it melted him presently into an hum­ble confession. Those that have felt the power of the Spirit of adoption on their hearts, will both by a divine instinct, as also by strength of reason, bee carried to all those courses wherein they shall approve themselves to their father. Instinct of na­ture strengthened with grounds, wil move strongly.

To conclude this discourse, let Christians therefore bee carefull to preserve and che­rish the worke of assurance and sealing in them.

2 What God doth for us,1. Meanes. he doth by grace in us, he wil preserve us that we shall not [Page 247]fall from him by putting the grace of feare into us, Ier. He will keep us, but by what means?Phil. 3. The peace of God which passeth all understan­ding, shall guard our hearts. God maketh our Calling and Election sure in us,2 Pet. 1. by stirring our hearts up to be diligently exercised in ad­ding one grace unto ano­ther, and in growing in eve­ry grace, as 2 Pet 1. There­fore wee must attend upon al spiritual means of growth and quickening: so shall you have a further entrance into the kingdome of Iesus Christ: that is, you shall have more evident knowledge of your ent [...]āce into the kingdom of grace here, and likewise into the kingdome of glory here­after. Those that do not so, [Page 248]shall have no comfort either from the time past, for they shall forget they were purged from their sinnes, or from thoughts of the time to come, for they shall not bee able to see things farre off.

2 If assurance be in a les­ser degree,2 Meanes. yet yeeld not to temptations and carnall rea­sonings: if our evidences be not so faire, yet we will not part with our inheritance. Coynes, as old groates, that have little of the stamp left, yet are currant. We lose our cōfort many times, because wee yeeld so easily, because wee have not such a strong and cleare seale of salvation as wee would, to bee borne downe that we have none at all, is a great weakenesse: ex­ercise therefore the little [Page 249]faith thou hast in striving a­gainst such objections, and it will bee a meanes to pre­serve the seale of the Spirit.

3 Because this sealing is gradually,3 Meanes. wee should pray as Paul, Ephes. 1. for a spirit of revelation, that wee may be more sealed: (the Ephefi­ans were sealed, for whom Paul prayes, and so the Co­lossians; yet) that GOD would reveale to their spi­rits, more their excellent cō ­dition.Col. 2.2. There are riches of assurance, the Apostle would have thē labour not only for assurance, but for the riches of it, that will bring rich comfort, and joy and peace. Times of temptations and tryall may come, and such as, if we have not strong as­surance, wee may be sorely [Page 250]troubled, and call all into question. This may be the sad condition of Gods owne children, and from this, that in times of peace, they con­tented themselves with a lesser degree of this assu­rance and sealing.

4 Lastly,4 Meanes. be watchfull o­ver your owne hearts and wayes, that according to what you have now learned, you grieve not the spirit, for by it you are sealed, intima­ting, that if in any thing wee withstand and grieve the spirit, wee shall in so doing, prejudice our selves, and suffer in the comfort and e­vidence of our sealing.

FINIS.

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