I Have delightfully read over this following Treatise, intituled, Five Lessons for a Christian to learne, being the summe of five Sermons, and finding them to be sound, solid, zealous, pious, powerfull, and very profitably seaso­nable, I judge them well worthy to be printed and published.

John Downame.

FIVE LESSONS FOR A Christian to learne.

OR, The summe of severall Sermons; Setting out,

  • 1. The state of the Elect by Nature.
  • 2. The way of their Restauration and Re­demption by Jesus Christ.
  • 3. The great duty of the Saints, to leane upon Christ by faith in every condition.
  • 4. The Saints duty of Self-denyall, or the way to desirable Beauty.
  • 5. The Right way to true peace, discovering where the troubled Christian may find Peace, and the Nature of true Peace.

By John Collings, M. A. And Preacher of Gods word in Norwich.

London, Printed for Rich: Tomlins, and are to be sold at his house at th [...] Sun and Bible in Pye-corner. 1650.

THE SPOUSE UNDER The APPLE-TREE: OR, The state of the Elect by Nature.

Wherein is discovered, The distance that the highest Saints by grace stand at by Nature from the Lord Iesus Christ, by which they may know they have nothing to boast of, but what they have re­ceived.


Psa. 51. 5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

LONDON, Printed for Rich: Tomlins. 1649.

TO THE Right HONOURABLE, the LADY St John, Grace, Mercy and Peace.


THe deep sense that I have had of those Engagements by wch it hath pleased your Honour to oblige me to your service, hath imboldned me to com­mand these Papers to wait upon your Ladiship to pay a debt, by incurring [...] further [Page] one (if your Ladiship shall please to honour them with Acceptation.) These Sermons (Madam) were but ordi­nary labours, and very unfit for a publicke view, in this extraordinary time. It was only a Sermon before publi­shed upon the Text, that tempted out these to beare it companie, yet did I not part with them without some parly. The world is full of Writers, and the Presse as much overgrowne with Au­thors, as the Age we live in is with Professors: But as the appearing spiritualnesse of many carries with it too [Page] much suspition, that they would have the spiritualnesse of a Christian meerly to consist with a luxuriant wit, and the superbiency of fancy; so too many Writings seeme to have forgot the plainnesse of the Gospell, which they so much pretend to, and would make it the worke of a Christian meerly to gape for Notions, and turne Reli­gion into speculation: To be able to speake high Notions of Christ, and to wrap up the mysteries of truth in Parables of wit and expression, is al­most growne to be thought the All of a Saint. And we [Page] may sadly feare, lest wee should be about to study more to admire Christ than understand him, more to con­template Saints dignity than remember the Saints duty; lest we should make it all our worke, as Kings and Priests, to be so taken with our Honour, that we should forget that we are thus of Grace. Humilitie is the Saint in Great. If any one thinks he knowes any thing, he knowes nothing as he ought to know it. The high spirit is infinite­ly more below Christ than he thinks himselfe above others. Lest in these privi­ledged [Page] daies, whiles so many are proclaiming before the Saints, Thus shall it be done to the persons whom Christ de­lighteth to honour; Christians should so farre admire their beautie, that they should for­get their dust, I have been content to let these unpoli­shed Sermons goe out to fol­low their Triumphs, with Christiane memento quid fueris, Christian remember what thou wer't. It is as much a duty, and will one day be found as Beneficiall, to keep a Saint humble, as to make him thankfull; to learne him to abase himselfe, as [Page] well as to admire his fel­lowes; to shew him, that all he hath is of Grace, as well as to tell him what he hath in the possessions of grace, and the Reversions of glory. I wish professors carriages spake not too much heart-Popery, as if they thought their dig­nity were earnings, not Almes; and I am sure, no soule is truely thankfull that is not throughly hum­ble. This for the subject of the Sermons. For the phrase Madam, I remember it was Pauls glory that he came not 1 Cor. 2. 1, 2, 4. (to the Corinthians) with ex­cellency of speech or wisdome to [Page] declare unto them the testimo­ny of God. And his speech and preaching, was not in entising words of mans wisdome, but in demonstration of the spirit, and in power. Gospell Misteries had not need be darkened with a misterious phrase. It doth not please me to see Religion in a Lantskip. Christ crucified, was plaine English. Seneca-Sermons, are for the most part but like the super­fluous dishes of the table, that serve meerly for sight, but must not be tasted: Preaching surely was never ordained to tickle the eare, it's businesse lies deeper [Page] then scratching an humour. Wit is the soules worst car­ver; and pieces of wit, are no better than peices of selfe. Christ never intended us an interpreter for every Sermon. Madam, as they were preached, so they are humbly presented to your Honours hands. I know your Ladiships humility to bee such, that it will spare an eye to look upon them though not commended by any no­velty of matter or excellency of Phrase. I trust thus far the meannesse of their worth will advantage the worth­lesse author, viz. By letting [Page] your Honour know how much that weak nothing of a preacher stands in need of an improved interest in your Ladiships prayers, who so much as he is, truly is,

Your Honours most humbly obliged servant in the Lord Jesus, John Collings.

To the Courteous and Conscientious Reader of these SERMONS.


SOme two yeares since, some friends prevailed with me to let the last of these Sermons slip out of my hands into thine. What was done then was in hast, which hath put me to the charge of correct­ing some slighty mistakes; Thy courte­sie to the first hath troubled thee with the second impression, in which thou art againer, and a loser: Thou hast lost the Sermon that was then its partner, the narrow handling of the subject of it not pleasing my second thoughts; but thou hast gained a fur­ther addition of some more Sermons [Page] since preached upon the same Text. I have made thee a gainer in thy hand, and eye; the Lord make thee a gainer in thy heart. If thou pleasest to read these Sermons, The first part may make thee humble, The second may make thee thankfull, The third may make the carefull. If thou learnest humility from the first, thankfulnesse from the second, and thy great duty of beleeving from the third, I am sure thou wilt learne from all the weak nesse of a poore crea­ture, and if thy selfe beest in ought a gainer, if thou wilt let the author also be a gainer of thy prayers, thou hast rewarded him, and engaged him still to be,

The servant of thy soule in the work of his Master, John Collings.

THE LOST SHEEP brought home, &c.

Solomons Song, Ch. 8. v. 5.‘Who is this that commeth out of the wildernesse, leaning upon her weld beloved? I raised thee up under the Apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there shee brought thee forth that bare thee.’

THis book is called the Song of Songs, that is, Canticunt excellentissimum, the most excellent song; so Vatablus and Estius gives the reason, because it containes a discourse between Christ, the most glorious Bridegrome, and his [Page 2] Church, or the beleeving soule, the Bride; The song of songs as a note of Quia sermo­cinationem cōtinet Chri­sti, Sponsi, & Ecclesiae spō ­sae. Estius. eminency. Mr. Brightman will have it as well Nota distinctionis, quam emi­nentiae, a note of distinction, as well as of eminency. A song more excellent than any of those that Solomon made: the song that sounded sweetest to Canticum excellentius omnibus quae Salomon composuit. Brightman. Solomons penitent heart, whose pen­man was Son and heire to the sweet singer of Israel; Whose every note is a note of free grace, where every straine is breathed by the spirit of the most high, and every close sounds the beleevers close with Christ, an u­nion with him who is the head of the Church: A song (finally) wherein e­very line breathes the perfume of the Rose of Sharon, and is beautified with the colour of the Lilly of the Vallies.

It is a song of love, sung in parts, by the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of his Fathers love, and the wife of his bo­some; whether the society of belee­vers, his Church in generall, or every beleeving soule in particular. It be­ginns with love. Let him kisse me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is [Page 3] better than wine; and it ends with love: Make hast (my Beloved!) and come a­way. The fountaine from whence it a­riseth, is a spring of love, and the Sea into which it falls, is an ocean of love, where the soule that enters is swallow­ed up of love, and drowned in sweet­nesse: The whole streame of the book, is a streame of love, running betwixt two precious bankes, Jesus Christ, and the beleeving soule: sometimes it is an higher, sometimes a lower water; it is alwayes some, though the flood­gate be not alwayes open. The two lovers, spend their long in feasting themselves with each others embraces: One while the Bridegroome courts his bride with ravishing straines of grace, another while she is emptying her soule into her beloveds bosome; In the whole there is nothing but a sweet enterchange of delightfull expressions, while both seeme to be ravished with each others embraces.

I shall in handling of the text: first open it to you. 2 Raise some proposi­tions of Doctrine from it, and 3. Han­dle them by explication, confirmation, and application.

For the finding out the meaning of the words, it is necessary we should consider them in a double Notion.

  • 1. Relatively.
  • 2. Absolutely.

1. Relatively as they stand in a neces­sary connexion with the former verses. It was now the spouses course to powre out her soul into her beloved's bosome: her part began at the 10. ver. of the for­mer Chapt. and continues to this verse. My text in the former part of it seem­eth to be a Parenthesis, and the voice of a third person, (considering the great love exprest by the spouse, and her following of him through the most rugged wildernes-ways, and even then leaning upon him: or considering the great glory and happinesse of the Spouse from the influence of Christ love upon her) either in admiration of Christs condiscention, that will admit a worm to leane upon him, and will stoop to lead it, and uphold it, in darkest, saddest conditions, and fill it with light in peace at such times; or in admiration of the Spouses glory and beauty, by the reflection of her Beloveds counte­nance; [Page 5] or of her constancy, and secret power of grace in her, that in the wil­dernesse saddest condition she could leane, that the briars and thornes would not seperate her Beloved, her quos De­us conjunxit, &c. or out of an ignorance of her, and the secret power of grace in her carrying her out in darkest times, and in a wildernesse condition to such an affiance, cryes out, Qua est illa? What manner of creature is this, that she should leane? Or, who is this so glorious a creature, that comes up lean­ing? Or what manner of love is this, that makes her follow a Beloved through such uncoth, rugged, dangerous wayes as these?

2. But to consider the words Ab­solutely now in themselves.

Who is this that commeth up?

  • The first question is, whose words these are.
  • The second, what the meaning of them is.

Expositors differ upon the first. Some would have them to bee the continued speech of the Church, and say, They are an expression of the [Page 6] great love beleeving soules beare to Expositio summi amo­ris quo Ec­clesia pro­sequitur Sponsum, an suit ulla un­quam Eccle­sia quae tot ac tantos la­bores perfer­ret, tantaque pericula susciperet ad consequendum dilectum suum? Haec igi­tur sunt pignora voluntat is meae quod fide difficultates omnes superavi. Tremell. ad locum. the Lord JESUS CHRIST by com­parison. What Church, or what per­son ever (saith she) would under­take so many and so great labours to obtaine her Beloved? These are pled­ges of my good will, that by faith I have overcome all difficulties, lean­ing upon him in the wildernesse.

I shall neither wholly embrace, nor altogether reject this sense. I am incli­nable to thinke the words may be the Spouses, but not spoken in Tremelius his sense, as from her selfe, boasting of her selfe; but spoken by a Prosopopeia, the Spouse speaking what she concei­ved others would say concerning her, and rather incline to thinke the words should be a Parenthesis, than other­wise.

Beda and M. Brightman with the rest, that would have this whole Booke to be a Prophecye of the calling of the Church of the Gentiles, [Page 7] will have the words to be the voice of the Jewish Church, admiring at the calling of the Church of the Gentiles, Who is this? What wildernesse-crea­ture is this, that she should have any thing to doe with the promised Messi­as: Quem me solum deligere caeteris autem Nationibus rebar esse ignotum. Cujus nomi­nis sit haec gens quae as­cendit ex de­serto? Insti­tui videtur haec questio de grandio­ribus natu sororibus quae stupes­cent hoc no­vo & inau­dito specta­culo. Bright. ad loc. Beda ad locum. And therfore those Ex­positors read it, Dilectum meum, my Beloved, who I thought only had loved and chosen me, and should have been unknowne to any other Churches.

But I see no reason why the words should be only restrained to the Jewish Church, nor why [illa] this, should on­ly be understood of the Church in ge­nerall, whiles that which is predicated of the subject is common to every par­ticular soule as well as to the beleeving Church: For every beleever leanes by faith upon the Lord Jesus, and comes out of his particular wildernesses, lean­ing upon him.

And therefore I rather agree with Non solum vicinae gen­tes, sed etiā ipsi qui sunt in populo hanc miran­tur sic as­cendentē ex deserto. Lu­ther. Luther upon the place: not only (saith he) the Neighbour Nations, but those of the same Nation shall admire her [Page 8] comming out of the wildernesse.

In short, I conceive the words have a Prosopopeia in them. The Church or soule speaks them, as if she should have said: Methinks I fancie the world standing wondring at me, how I can leane upon Christ in my wildernesse­conditions; and out of the saddest wil­dernesse, how I can come up by the strength of Christ, leaning upon him? They will wonder at my glory, and ho­nour, that Christ will priviledge such a worme as I am, so as to lean upon him, and that he will help me. They will not understand how I can come lean­ing in the wildernesse, they will say, Who is this? Christs power of Grace in me will be hidden to them, and yet they will admire, Who is this?

That comes up out of the wildernes.] Out of a sad, low condition, out of a lost, rugged condition, out of crosses, trials, afflictions inward or outward. But I shall open this terme more here­after. Leaning] Tremellius reads it, associans, associatura, joyning or mar­rying, or about to joyne or marry her selfe. Vatablus, Hierome and Lyra [Page 9] read it, Deliciis [...]ffluens, flowing, a­bounding with delights. Beda and Brightman read it Innixa, leaning up­on her Beloved; And so our Transla­tion. The quarrell betwixt these Expo­sitors is not so great, but I conceive it may easily be thus taken up:

1. Leaning is a posture of famili­arity; And she that is so bold as to leane upon her Beloveds arme, is sure­ly lodged in her Beloveds heart; and is associans, marrying, or associatura, about to marry to her Beloved; and 2. Lean­ing is a posture of love too. She that leanes, loves; and surely she takes plea­sure in her posture, she takes delight in her Beloveds company.

Upon her Beloved] Christ Jesus, who loves her, and having first loved her, is now beloved of her. He is called Her, to denote her propriety in him. Thus you have the sence of the former part of the Text.

The Church, or the beleeving soule, fancies that the world seeing her keep her hold on Christ, in saddest conditi­ons, and keep a close communion with Christ in the midst of briars and thorns, [Page 10] in a barren heath, and dry ground, in the midst of trials, would be ready, ei­ther out of ignorance, not knowing the power of grace that upheld, and helpt and sustained her; or else admiring her happy and glorious condition, that in the wildernesse she had such a Beloved to leane upon; or admiring the strang­nesse of her constancy and patience, that she would adhere to Christ at such a low ebbe, would either by way of scoffing or admiring, cry out, Who is this, that nothing will part from Christ? Or, Who is this that Jesus Christ will thus owne, and uphold in saddest conditions? Or, Who is this? What power is this that upholds this man or woman in such estates, as every one else would bee lost in? Who is this that commeth by the feet of faith and patience, up out of these deep sad wildernes-straights, and yet comes up with such a fixed temper of spirit, with such a stayed mind, and with such a stedfastnesse of reliance upon the Lord Jesus Christ? Who is this that commeth up? Thus you have the former part opened.

It followes now in the Text.

I raised thee up under the Apple­tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

For the opening of these words, and making my way cleare, these two things must be resolved:

1. Whose part of the Dialogue, whose speech these words be.

2. What the meaning of them is.

The first great question is, whose part in this dialogue of love these are? This is certaine, they are either Christ's or the beleevers: the opinions of men are divided about it; Some think that the words are the continued speech of the Spouse; their great reason is, be­cause the words both before it and after it, are the Spouses: Of this opinion are Gregory, Aquinas, Lyra, Hierom; yea and learned Mercer and M. Ainsworth. There are some others that think they are the words of Jesus Christ, mind­ing the Spouse, how he raised up his Church (say some) which I doe not deny, so they doe not limit it to the body of beleevers collectively: for my [Page 12] owne part I strongly incline to the lat­ter, viz. That the words are the words of Christ; my reasons are, 1. Partly because the 4 verse containes a phrase of speech, with which she had twice closed a speech before, viz. chap. 3. 5, 6. chap. 5. 8. and partly because of the congruity, which appeares to me in the sence thus: The Spouse before had seemed to cast out words as if she had bin almost ashamed of Christs compa­ny, and by her walking with him had made her selfe a laughing stock, or a wondering stock to the world (for so the phrase, Who is this? may also be taken) to which Christ replies: I raised thee, &c. as if he should have said: and do I not deserve this? and a great deale more too? Remember but what I have done for thee, I have raised thee up under the Apple-tree, &c. To which (as overcome with love) the soule re­plies, v. 6. Set me as a seale, &c. As if she should say, Truth indeed; Lord thou hast done it: O set me now as a seale upon thine arme, as a seale upon thy heart, &c. A third reason is, the in­congruity of the sence, if the word be [Page 13] taken as the words of the Spouse, which will further appeare in the opening of the words. The first question being re­solved, I come to the second; To shew you what is the meaning of these words. In doing of which, 1. I shall shew you the opinion of others. 2. I shall re­ject most of them; shewing you rea­son why I doe so. 3. I shall give you my owne opinion concerning the words and reasons for it. Sort. 1 1. I will begin with such expositors as would have these words to be the Spouses words, and these are either Papists or Protestants. The popish expositions run together: I (say they) that is, the Spouse the beleeving soule: [raised thee] awakened and applied thee; un­der the apple-tree, hanging upon the crosse. Gregory saith that the apple-tree is [procul dubio arbor sanctae crucis] the tree of the holy Crosse. Sort. 2 M. Ainsworth and Mercer carry it another way. I (saith M. Ainsworth) that is, the Spouse raised thee up, by earnest prayer, Psa. 44. 24. Raised up Christ under the ap­ple-tree, the tree of free grace, and life mentioned, Chap. 2. 3. To this [Page 14] sence Mercer inclineth. Sort. 3 A third sort of expositors, are such as would make this whole book a prophesy of the conver­sion of the Gentiles; they understand it thus: I, that is Christ, raised thee, that is, the Church of the Gentiles, under the Apple-tree, out of a low estate (say some) by the help of some inferiour Magistrate, saith M. Cotton. But I want an instance of the Metaphor so used, to patronize that opinion. I have shew­ed you now the severall opinions, which I shall reject for these rea­sons:

For the Popish opinion, If we un­derstand the sence of the words to be this, That the Spouse raised Christ upon the Crosse, what shall become of the next words, there thy mother brought thee forth? Did Christs mother bring him forth there? if so: either his per­sonall mother, or his mysticall and me­taphoricall mother; for his personall mother, in respect of his divine Nature, he had none; for his humane Nature, Mary was his mother: But how can we say concerning the Crosse, There Christs mother brought him forth? If it [Page 15] be understood of Christs mysticall, or metaphoricall mother, which say some, is the Church. 1. Besides that, I never read the Church called Christs mother, though his wife and sister: And I doe not like creating senses without we be put to great straights: I say, besides that, it is to me very harsh sense, which I scarce understand, viz. how the Church is said to have brought forth Christ un­der the Crosse: For holy M. Ainsworth's and learned Mercer's opinions, my reason or objection is the same. If we doe understand the sense of the words thus: I, that is [thy Spouse] raised thee up, by [earnest prayer] under the Apple-tree [in thine Ordinances;] I doe not know how to make sence of the next words; There thy mother brought thee forth, &c. How can we say that Christs mother, whether his naturall mother, Mary, or his metapho­ricall mother, the Church (as some would have it) painfully brought forth Christ (for so the word is) under the tree of free grace of life? To me it al­most sounds a making of Christ the object of free grace, and life, who is indeed the subject of it.

For the third sort I reject their opi­nion. 1. Because I see no reason why we should turne this whole book into a Prophecye. 2. And for M. Cottons single opinion I gave my reason against it before.

I shall now propound my owne opi­nion, and rather seeke for company than follow any. 1. I lay it downe for a ground, that the words are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking con­cerning the beleeving soule. 2. I take it for granted, that the designe of Christs speech to the beleeving soule his Spouse, is to mind her of some no­table engaging mercy he had bestowed upon her; a deliverance, 1. Out of some low estate; that methinks is plaine, both from the word used [raised] which presupposeth a fallen estate. 2. Out of some estate in which it was naturally; that me thinks is plainly hinted in those words; There thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

Now to give you the sence of the words:

[I] the Lord Jesus Christ, thy hus­band, The words opened. [Page 17] thy Redeemer [raised thee up] exalted thee by the great worke of my redemption [under the Apple-tree] The Apple-tree is Christ, Cant. 2. ver. 3. Under my selfe by the use of mine Or­dinances, which are the fruit of the Apple-tree, Christ: or [I raised thee up under the Apple-tree] when thou wert not ingrafted in me, but in a state of disunion, indeed [under the Apple-tree] in respect of eternall ordination, but not in the Apple-tree by an actuall implantation and union: When thou wert in that sad estate I raised thee up, by the great worke of my redemption. It followes, there thy mother brought thee forth, &c. there! where? in a lost condition, in a state of disunion, a stran­ger to me. There, under the Tree of forbidden fruit, involved in Adams first guilt, weltring in bloud, &c. There she brought thee forth that bare thee.

So the sence of the words is this:

Dost thou think much to leane upon me in the wildernesse O my Spouse! remember thou wert in a poor lost un­done Condition, in such an estate thy naturall mother brought thee forth; it is [Page 18] true thou wert under an eternall ordi­nation to obtaine Salvation by me, but thou wert far from such an vnion: there thy mother left thee, and could not help thee, and then I raised thee. I by the great worke of my redemption, covenanting, coming, dying, &c. for thee, raised thee from this misery to eternall life, and all the privileges of it, and this I did when all other meanes failed, [There thy mother brought thee forth] by the use of my ordinances thou wert raised under the apple-tree: so that the designe of the Lord Jesus Christ in the speech, Is to shew the beleeving soule what cause she had in all estates to cleave to him, more than all the world besides; and this he demonstrates, 1. By letting her see her miserable estate by nature. 1. She had need of raising. 2. She was in a state of disunion, not united to the apple-tree. 2. By letting of her see the hopelesnesse of any remedy from any thing in the world, any friend in the world; surely the mother is the best friend, and yet (sayes he) this estate she left you in, yea she that bare you. 3. By letting [Page 19] of her see the Honourable condition that she was now in, expressed in that word raised, which containes as much as can be spoken, even all the fruits and privi­leges of Redemption. 4. By letting of her know the Author of this happi­nesse and redemption. That is I (saith he,) all the world could not, I did. 5. By letting of her know the meanes were his (for so also the words [under the apple-tree] may be understood) I rais­ed thee. The soule may say, why? the word raised me? yes, it is true, but still thou art raised under Christ: For Christ is the apple-tree, The ordinances are the apples, and they also grow out of Christ, even as naturally, as the Apples growe out of the apple-tree.

The text being thus opened, holds out to us many pretious truths. In gene­rall it is the description of a Saint, à primo ad ultimum, from first to last. In particular you have here the Spouse de­scribed, 1. In her naturall Condition, where you are told, 1. What she is originally, so she is in a state of disuni­on to Christ, in such a condition that she hath need of raising, so her mother [Page 20] brought her forth, so she brought her forth that bare her. 2. What she is then virtually, though not implanted into Christ, yet within a reach of him; under the applee-tree, though not im­planted in it; under an eternail ordina­tion to life, though for the present a Child of wrath; in a wildernesse, yet comming out, or to come out.

2. She is described in her gratious condition, and there we have these things noted.

1. The author of grace unto her, I raised thee, Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our salvation.

2. The meanes of this grace, the ap­ples that grow upon Christ the appletree.

3. The effect of this grace in her, she commeth up out of the wildernesse.

4. The instrumentall meanes, for the application of meritorious grace, that is faith in Jesus Christ, she com­meth up leaning upon her well-be­loved.

5. The opinion of others concerning her in this estate of grace. 1. She is glorious, and creates admiration in some. 2. The hidden principle of life in her [Page 21] makes her not to be understood of o­thers, all say, who is this?

Here are two great things hinted in the text. 1. The misery that the elect are in by nature 2. The happy condi­tion they are in by grace. I might hand­dle the words in order, and raise ma­ny profitable Doctrines from them: But I will only pitch upon 3. which will comprehend all, and not handle the text as the words lye in order, but ac­cording to the order of the things con­tained in them; The 3. I will pitch up­on are these.

1. That Gods gracious Saints, and every one of them, though they lye un­der a gracious ordination to eternall life, yet are borne in a lost undone con­dition. 1. They have need of raising; 2. they are under (not in) the apple-tree, there their mother brought them forth.

2. That it is the Lord Jesus that helpeth his redeemed ones out of this condition. I raised thee.

3. That by the power of Jesus Christ the Spouse being raised comes up out of every wildernesse leaning upon her Be­loved.

I shall begin with the first Doctrine.

Doct. 1. That the best of Gods Saints by nature were born in a lost con­dition, in a state of disunion to Je­sus Christ, there their mother brought them forth, there she brought them forth that bare them.

I say the best, though they all of them lye under a saving ordination to eter­nall life, and though many of them may be borne of holy and godly parents, yet if you looke upon them as they are by Nature, they are in a lost, undone con­dition, and had need of a raising. Now for the prosecution of this Doctrine, I shall 1. prove it by testimony of Scrip­ture. 2. I shall open it to you how it comes to passe that they are so borne. 3. I shall make application of the Do­ctrine. 1. That they are by Nature in a lost, undone condition. 1. In respect of finne. 2. In respect of punishment. Take that pregnant place for it, Ephes. 2. where the designe of the Apostle is plaine to advance Christ in the hearts of the beleeving Ephesians: To this end, 1. he discovers what need they had of [Page 23] him, that he opens by setting out their sad and wofull condition without him. 1. They were dead in trespasses and sins, ver. 7. 5. 2. They lived according to the Devils wil, ruled and acted by him, v. 2. 3. They were tainted with the lusts of the flesh, and inclined to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and of the mind, v. 3. 4. They were Gentiles in the flesh, v. 11. 5. They were without Christ. 6. Aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel. 7. Strangers from the Covenant of Promise, 8. ha­ving no hope. 9. Without God in the world, ver. 12. 10. Afar off, irreconciled, ver. 13, 14. 11. To summe up all in a word, ver. 3. The children of wrath by nature as well as others: Children of wrath Active; Actively inclined or disposed to nothing but that which will undoubtedly bring downe the wrath of God upon their soules: And chil­dren of wrath Passive; passively being originally so guilty, that they deserve, and in respect of themselves, are liable to the eternall wrath of God. And who are these, ver. 19. They were such as were quickned, ver. 1. such as v. 19. were now no more strangers and forraig­ners, [Page 24] but fellow-Citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God: They were borne under the Apple-tree, but raised up. A second place is that knowne place, Psal. 51. 5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sinne did my mother conceive me. They are Da­vids words, that man of God, that man according to Gods owne heart; yet he confesseth he was borne under the Apple-tree, there his mother brought him forth, he was shapen in iniquity, yea in sinne did his mother conceive him. I will add but that one place more Ez. 16. Where God setting out the native condition of his Church, sets it out by the resemblance of a new borne infant. For her parents, her fa­ther was an Amorite, and her mother an Hittite; For her owne person, In the day wherein she was borne her navell was not cut, nor was she washed in water to supple her: she was not salted at all, nor swadled at all, cast out into the open feild, to the loathing of her person, v. 3. 4. 5. Polluted in her blood, v. 6. Yet she was one, to whom God had said live, v. 6. Whom God had beautified [Page 25] and adorned with speciall graces, v. 8. with whom God had made a cove­nant, and she was Gods claime, v. 8. &, v. 9. 2 I passe on to the 2. Question pro­pounded, viz. How it comes to passe, that all the Saints of God are original­ly in a lost undone condition, The words of the text answer this, their mother brought them forth so. Adam eat of the tree of forbidden fruit, he fell, & that guilt cleaves to all our natures. This the Apostle speaks fully to in the 5 chap. of the Epis: to the Romans, v. 12. By one man sinne entered into the world; and death by sinne. v. 15. Through the offence of one many were made dead. v. 18. By the offence of one Judgment came upon all to Condemnation. v. 19. By one mans disobedience many were: made sinners, Quest. But here is the question started How the sinne of Adam should leave a defilement upon all his Children to the end of the world; because The fa­ther hath eaten sowre grapes shall all the childrens teeth be set an edge? My inten­tion is not here to dispute like a sophi­ster, concerning those many questions about the propagation of Originall sin. [Page 26] Quid quaeris apertam rimam (Saith Au­gustine) quum habes apertam Ianuam, &c. what need we seek for a rift for it to creep in, when the Apostle hath shewed us an open door for it to come in with a full body? he sayes by one man it came into the world, not by imitation of his example (as the Pelagians dream) So he might have said [per diabolum intravit] that it entred in by the De­vill as well as [per unum hominem] by one man: but it entred [propagatio­ne carnali] by carnal propagation: what could be cleane that was borne of a woman? M. Perkins sayes it may be done two wayes. 1 1. Adam being a publique person carrying all us in his loynes, and God ordering that what he received he should receive for himselfe, and all his posterity, hereupon Adam Sinning deprived himselfe, and all his pesterity, So we became miserable, God dealing like a judge, depriving us, for Adams sin, of his Image, which except he would he need never have stampt upon us, (not any wayes be­comming by this act of judgement an author or maintainer of sinne) thus [Page 27] we become guilty Imputative, by im­putation; and privative, God depriv­ing us of his image by denying to re­store it to us againe when we had once lost it. 2 2. Another way is by carnall propagation: Our mother the Hittite brought us forth, our father the Cana­anite begate us, what can be cleane that is borne of a woman saith Job. chap. 25. v. 4. As sweet oile powred into a fusty vessell (saith M. Perkins) loseth its pure­nesse, and becometh infected by the vessell, So the soule created good, and put into a corrupt body, and made one with it, receives contagion thence; on­ly Christ who was borne of a woman, was borne cleane, and the reason for that, was (say the schoolmen) Ab A­damo humanam accepit naturā non tan­quam a principio agente sed tanquam a principio materiali: His body was from Adam, but not from the seed of Adam. And thus you see how it comes to passe that our mother brings us forth under the Apple-tree in a poore lost undone condition, there your mothers brought you forth, that bare you. Nor let any one thinke himselfe in a better [Page 28] condition, because his parents have been elect ones: what then? Except a man be born again, saith Christ, he shall never enter into the Kingdome of God. Joh. 3. 3. Whatsoever is borne of flesh Joh. 3. 3. is flesh. Parents beget not grace but na­ture. Though they have no sinne to communicate in respect of Gods grace justifying their persons, and not seeing sinne in them so as to impute it to them; yet they have sinne, a body of death; so holy Paul had; he groned under it, Rom. 7. Yea and if we say we Rom. 7. 23. have no sin, we do but deceive our selves, and there is no truth in us. (Saith the blessed Apostle) who lives and sinneth not? This question was propounded to Saint Austine, How the Saints of God that had no sinne could convey sinne to their children: he replies to it, Vicis­sim & ego interrogo, &c. Let me aske you (saith he) how one that is circum­cised can beget one that is uncircumci­sed? and how it comes to passe that when you sow your wheat in your field without any chaffe cleaving to it, you should reap it with chaffe? how one that is a baptized Christian can beget [Page 29] one that is an unbaptized heat hen? you will answer, Quia non facit generatio sed regeneratio Christianos. M. Perkins saith, God took this order in the creati­on, that whatsoever evill Adam procu­red, he should bring it not only on him­self but all his posterity, by virtue of wch decree the propagation of sinne is con­tinued without any interruption, though Parents them-selves be borne anew by the spirit of God; even as God hath set it in the order of nature that the wheat thrown pure into the ground, should yet spring and grow (so often as it is sowed) with stalk, eare, blade. And all this I conceive is the truth con­cerning the manner of conveyence of this sad legacy to all the Children of A­dam. Without fifting those Philosophi­call, and schoole questions about it, I shall conclude this Particular with on­ly this note of M. Perkins. It may be this will not satisfy the minds of all; if a­ny be so curious that he hath a mind yet to seek further, let them know there is a­nother matter of more concernment, for us to look unto: when a mans house is on fire tis no time to enquire, when, and how, and [Page 30] in what manner, it came to be so, but it will be our policy to use all means possible to quench it. That it is so, it is plain, our soules are all undone by nature. Do you ask how this thing could be? first remedy it, then enquire the manner how it came to passe: quench the fire, then aske how it came in thy dwelling. Quid quaeris rimam? in the mean time why seekest thou a crevis (saith Austine,) Quum habes apertam Ianuam; per unum hominem intravit peccatum: hast thou not an open door? doth not the Apostle say it entred in by one mans disobedience, and death by it, and so went over all? So much therefore shall serve briefly to have spoken of the doctrinal part: Give me leave to come now to an applica­tion of it, in which the Lord give me an heart affected in speaking, & you eares and hearts truly affected in hearing.

The first part of my application shall be more notionall, the other will bee more particular; for the first.

1. This may discover unto you, the lying falshood of the Pelagian Doctrine, and of diverse in these times, that have been so unhappy as to rake up all the pu­trified [Page 31] dunghills of errors, and vend them for new truths.

1 1. The Maniches of old would con­fesse this, but 1. Would have it to be the direct work of God, and to this end made a God on purpose that should be such a principium mali, carrying on the wicked designes in the world effi­ciently, as their other God (who was their principium boni) was by their ap­pointment to carry on good designes.

2 2. Then they would but in part confess it: they would have some to be borne cleane, others defiled; but even the best (as you have heard) were borne defi­led, there their mother brought them forth; there she brought them forth that bare them. The Pelagians denyed any Originall sinne by way of propagati­on but only by Imitation, if say they the Child walks in its parents stepps, or be­cause we tread Adams path, therefore we are defiled; but this is false, in the very day of our birth we were in a lost undone condition.

3 3. From hence also may appeare the falsenesse of that opinion of the Anababtists of old, and now in these [Page 32] dayes, viz, that Christ by his death, Ori­ginale peccatum ex humanâ naturâ sus­tulit, tooke away originall sin out of our natures, they are the very words of Chemnitius, repeating the error of the old Anabaptists concerning this point, and this I perceive many people harping on even in this City, especially those that have so good an opinion of Christs death, that he (as they dreame) died for all; pinch them a little and they will confesse, that all shall not be saved, but this is in regard for their actuall sins, for their originall sinne, Christ hath paid that score: if now they can but stand upon their owne leggs, and will but walke in their strength, and keep their feet for the time to come, then all shall be well. But mistake not (Christi­ans) your mother (saith the text) left you not raised, but in a lost condition; not your grandmother Eve, but your im­mediate mother, brought you forth there, and left you there long since 1 Christ died; it was since that time that the Apostle told the beleeving Ephesi­ans, that they were Children of wrath by nature, even as others, Eph. 2. 3. [Page 33] Besides that Christ useth not to pay any debts by halves, it were as good as no­thing for Iesus Christ to pardon a re­probates Originall sin to whom he ne­ver intends to pardon all sinne; yea O­riginall sinne doth not only remaine upon elected ones as an offence to God, and laying upon them an obliga­tion to death, since Christ dyed, un­till their Iustification, but even after Iustification there is a body of death; it hath lost its condemning power, and its raigning power, but it yet cleaves to our flesh, as Ivy to the tree, so deep an impression it hath upon all our natures. But this openeth a way to another question, whether originall sin remaines in any of the elect after Justification? the affirmative is truth: but in regard that my text strikes not directly against the errour I shall passe it by, and refer you to those that have defended the truth in it, as Zanchi, &c. and leaving this first use, shall proceed to some further application, which shall be more Particular.

  • 1. By way of Instruction.
  • 2. By way of Examination, and Try­all.
  • [Page 34]3. By way of Exhortation.
  • 4. By way of Consolation.

Of all these in their order.

By way of Instruction: 1 We may hence learne first, what a sad condition the most men of the world are in? Ah! Lord, how few are they whom thou hast chosen ever to obtaine eternall life? and yet these are children of wrath by nature as well as others. Poore creatures! my heart trembles to thinke of you: How many in this Congre­gation yet lye in a condition low enough, and the Lord knowes whether ever to be raised yea or no. If a child should be borne with some naturall weaknesse in its armes, or leggs, and it should live six, or ten, or twenty years, and yet not be able to use its limbs, you would say it would be a very great ha­zard if ever that child did recover its limbs, so as to have the strength and ex­ercise of it, it would be almost a mira­cle; It was such a miracle, that in the ninth of John, when Jesus Christ had restored sight to one that was borne blind, the Jewes would not beleeve it possible, and ver. 32. we find a positive [Page 35] determination upon the question, Since the world began, it was never heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was borne blind: How many poore wretches that are come here into the presence of the Lord, that were all borne blind, deafe, dead, and have lived some ten, some twenty, some thirty yeares, some more, and all this time have continually had all the meanes that could be ap­plyed to them for recovery, and yet are in the same lost, undone condition? Ah (my friends!) what can you nei­ther stretch out hand, nor foot, nor tongue, nor any member, notwithstan­ding all the meanes of grace astoorded you for quickning? Let me tell you, it is ten thousand to one, if you doe not perish for ever: My friends! It is a mi­racle, a great miracle of mercy, that any one poore wretch, considering in what condition it is borne, should ever come out of it. The Jewes would hardly beleeve the report, therefore they say, Joh. 9. 19. Is this your sonne that was borne blind, how then doth he now see? We may say so concerning every one that hath any thing of God [Page 36] in him: Was not this poore creature borne blind? how doth he now see? was not he borne lost? How is he now raised? but for those that in stead of growing better, are growne ten times worse, that have hardened their hearts, and gone on in riot, and wantonnesse, and are yet in their bloud, it is ten to one if ever the Lord say to them, live; they are growne to such a shamelesse impudence in wickednesse, I dare not say, there is no hope; But let me sadly say, there is small hope that ever the Lord should raise such wretches: And if he doth not, better ten thousand times, better (sinner,) had it been for thy soule, that thou hadst never seen the light of the morning, nor heard the voice of the Gospell in thine eares. This is your condition, the Lord awa­ken you.

2 Secondly, From hence we may be instructed, Whom we have cause to thanke that any of us are this day out of hell. Who art thou O man that boasts thou art of good parentage, or of a great birth? harke in what language my Text speaks thy birth: Thou wert borne [Page 37] under the Apple-tree; there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee. If thy heavenly Fa­ther doth no more for thee than thy earthly mother, woe to thee that ever thou wert borne. What a boasting we have of pedegrees, and great descents? What a great word it is in the world, I was better borne than you, My father was such a Gentleman, so great, so rich, &c. My mother was of such or such an ancient Family? O vanity! vanity of vanities! Poore creature! thy mother brought thee forth under an Apple­tree. The very heathen out of a meere rationall principle, could scoffe at such brags:—Genus & proavos, & quae non fecimus ipsi Vix ea nostra voco. Tully could retort to the Roman, brag­ging of his descent, Domus mea à me incipiet, tua verò in te desinet, My house shall have its Originall from me, my Nobility and worth; thy Noble Family shall have an end in thy Basenesse. Christian! what is thy birth? consider it but in a spirituall notion; the poorest wretch in the world is borne in as good a condition as thou art, and thou [Page 38] in no better an estate towards God than he. Suppose a man were borne of some great parentage, and had no Lands, no estate left him, but could only boast of fumos, & nomina vana Catonum, his fathers name, and the smoake of his chimney; Possibly he hath some gor­geous suit of apparell left him, this he weares and glisters in for a while, yet a little while and these teare, and then he hath not a rag left him, nor a penny to buy one to cover his nakednesse: how contemptible would such a poore wretch be in every mans eyes? And is not this the condition of the most of the great men, gallants of the world, they glister with an outside a little in the world, their names are great, their persons admired; yet a little while, and these weare out, the men dye, and lye downe in hell. Ah! that those that glory would glory in this, that God is their Father, and Jesus Christ their portion: Thus your Houses would have a beginning of Glory from you, and their Glory should not end with you.

2. Nor is the boasting of those much better that can boast of their Religious [Page 39] Parents. I confesse it is the better of the two, an heire of Glory being farre more noble than the greatest world­ling, and in regard that the Election of God runs much in a line; but this will not doe Christian: Esau was rejected though he was Isaacs sonne; and Ish­mael though he was Abrahams sonne. Justus non gignit justum, gignit homi­nem; Thy righteous father did not be­get thee a righteous man, but he begat thee a child of flesh, corrupt flesh and bloud. Thy godly mother brought thee forth under the Apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee. This was the Jewes great brag, that they came forth out of the waters of Judah, and were called by the name of Israel, and were of the house of Jacob, Isa. 48. 1. They call'd themselves of the Holy City, and this made them stay them­selves upon the God of Israel; but for all this observe what God sayes to them, v. 4, 5, 6, &c. This was that which the Jewes had to boast of to the Lord Jesus Christ, Joh. 8. 33. We are Abra­hams seed, and were never in bondage to [Page 40] any man, how sayest thou, you shall be made free? They tooke it ill, that they being Abrahams seed, should be so much as supposed to be in a bad con­dition. But observe how Christ takes away their brag in the 39. Jesus saith unto them, if you were Abrahams chil­dren [that is, his spirituall children] you would doe the works of Abraham: But in plainer English, ver. 44. Ye are of your Father the Devill, and the lusts of your Father you will doe. Heare this you that had godly parents, and your selves have no goodnesse in you. Abra­hams faith will carry none to heaven but himselfe: your parents faith will want a way of conveyance to doe good to your soules.

Graft a sweet Peare or Plumme up­on a wild or sowre Crab-stocke, it will grow, and yeeld a pleasant fruit, the nature will be changed in the fruit; but now take the stone or kernell of that fruit, and set it in the earth, it shall not come forth a Plum-tree, but a Crab­stock againe. It is thy case (Christian,) thy parent was a naturall Crabstocke, the Lord grafted grace upon him, then [Page 41] he brought forth sweet and pleasant fruit, worthy of amendment of life: But now thou art his kernell come out of the earth; thou art not come forth gracious, but naturall. Thy parents grace was by vertue of an inoculation, not by nature. Therefore to conclude this use, let me mind you of the words of the first Gospell-preacher, John the Bap­tist, Mat. 3. ver. 8. Bring forth fruit therefore worthy of amendment of life, and thinke not to say within your selves we have Abraham to our Father. Looke to your condition Christians: It is neither your noble, nor yet gracious parentage, and descent, will carry you to heaven; think not to say within thy self, I had a gracious parent.

3 Thirdly, from hence we may be in­structed, what a soul-cheating principle Libertines build on, that conclude thus, There is no need of Repentance, or faith, or such holy and strict life: if we be elected, we shall be saved, if not, we shall be damned. Suppose thou beest elected, poore creature yet know thou art borne under the Apple-tree. O turne not the grace of thy God into wantonnesse; [Page 42] looke to find thy selfe raised, or thou shalt never see thy soule saved. It is true, for the sinnes of those whom the Lord hath chosen by name to ever­lasting life, they are decretally pardoned from all eternity, and meritoriously par­doned in the death of Christ; but still they remaine as offences to God, and keep the soule under a reall obligation unto death, till the Lord comes, and actually and formally in justification acquits the beleeving soule from hels claime, and frees it out of the Devils imprisonment. Suppose a condemned man in prison, the Prince hath deter­mined to pardon him, and some friend of his possibly hath purchased his par­don for him; but yet he is in the dun­geon in fetters, in the Gaolers hand, till he be actually set free, &c. So it is with every Elect Vessell. Cheat not thy selfe therefore with such licentious, soule­deceiving principles of Libertinisme. I have done with the first Use of In­struction, I passe on to a second.

Use 2 How doth it now stand every poore soule in hand, to examine his condition, whether he be not in this sad condition [Page 43] yet, yea or no. Christians, the weight of your soules hangs upon this Exami­nation: This was your and my condi­tion, Try therefore your selves whether you be in the faith or no; prove your owne selves, know you not that more, more than nature is in you] Jesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobates. I have in this place not long since handled this point so fully, that I shall at this time adde very little to what I have already said: Only (it lying so full in my way) give me leave to speake a word or two, and the Lord speake it to your hearts. I will speake but foure words: 1. Ther­fore know this, If none hath done more for you than your mother hath done, you are under the Apple-tree still. That is plaine in the Text: There your mother brought you forth, there she brought you forth that bare you. What doth our Mother doe for us? she conveighes Na­ture to us, from her we derive flesh and bloud, and our naturall dispositions; if thou beest nothing but Nature, thou hast nothing of Grace. But some will say, this is a note as darke as the other: To make it therefore so as to be under­stood [Page 44] by the meanest capacities, we must understand that there are two sorts of Natures, A more corrupt, or a more refined sort of Nature. All short of Grace is Nature.

1. If thou hast nothing seen in thee but corrupt filthy nature, That thy na­turall inclination carries thee out to acts of prophane wickednesse, and thou hast not so much as put a bridle upon thy wild spirit, but letst it run at randome, and carry thee out to drunkennesse, wantonnesse, lying, swearing, all man­ner of ungodlinesse, This thou mayest be sure of, thou art not raised yet out of thy hellish danger in which thou wert borne, Eph. 5. 5. 1 Tim. 1. 9, 10. Rev. 21. 8. Rev. 22. 15. 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10.

But secondly, If thou hast no more than bridled and refined Nature, I call Bridled Nature, a kind of civility which thou pridest in, that thou art not so de­bauched a wretch as others are: It con­sists first of all in a Negative righteous­nesse; Thou canst say thou art no Papist, no Malignant, and perhaps as much as the Pharisee, Luke 18. v. 11. I thanke thee I am not (as other men are) extor­tioners, [Page 45] unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publicane; Secondly, In a Positive righ­teousnesse; Thou canst say, whose Oxe have I taken? whose Asse have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? Thou tythest Mint and Annis, and dost no more to others than thou wouldst be content they should doe to thee; thou art a good Second-table-man, keepest the rule of justice strictly; Thus had he done. To whom Jesus Christ said, [...], One thing is wanting to thee, Goe sell all that thou hast; Christian, let me tell thee, all this self-Righteousnes must be sold, not lost, but slighted. If thou hast no more than a Bridled nature, it is not enough, the young man went away from Christ sorrowfull, Mar. 10. The Pharisee went away not justified, Luke 18. ver. 14. Nay secondly, if thou hast no more than a refined Nature, it is nothing, though it be seven times refined. It is a piece of Nature, That there is a God, Nature revealeth it to men; and that this God is a spirit, and that, Si Deus est animus, &c. Hic tibi praecipuè sit pura mente co­lendus. Seeing God is a spirit, he must 1. Be worshipped. 2. Be worshipped [Page 46] sincerely, Cato could say so; this is all but Nature, the finest of Nature. Thou mayest pray in thy Family Morning and Evening, the Heathen would doe as much, they would cry to their Pe­nates, yes thou mayest doe it, and (with­out the Common-prayer Booke too, I doe not read that they had one in use to worship their Idols with (Nature had given them a tongue to speak their wants without a Tutor) and yet be a wretch under the Apple-tree. The Pharisee would be so far from being ashamed to pray in his Family, that he would not be ashamed to come and pray in the Temple, Luke 18. v. 10, 11. He fasted twice a weeke; They fasted often, Mat. 9. 14. They were strict ob­servers of the Sabbath: how many quarrels had they with our Lord Jesus Christ for healing, for his Disciples but plucking of eares of corne, on the Sabbath day? Here was Nature seven times purified and yet for all this Christ tels his Disciples, Mat. 5. 20. That ex­cept their righteousnesse exceeded the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Phari­sees, they should never enter into the King­dome [Page 47] of God. Tremble at this you that are lyers, Sabbath-breakers, prophane persons, unjust in your Callings, un­conscionable in your walkings with God. Tremble at this you that never pray in your Families, in your Closets; God never heares of you but when you come to Church, and then to no purpose neither: you are not yet raised, nay far from it. Flesh and bloud might have revealed this unto you. This is the first Note.

2 Secondly know, If you have not pluckt and tasted of the fruit of the Apple-tree, you are still but under it. You may remember I construed [under the Apple-tree] out of Jesus Christ. If you have got no benefit by Jesus Christ, you have no portion in him; if you be not in him, and if he be not in you: It is the Apostles Note, 2 Cor. 13. ver. 5. Know you not that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobates. The Apple is in the man that hath eat it: Christ is in the soule by a spirituall uni­on, if the soule hath any part in him, or shall ever have any benefit by him. Free Grace is the fruit of this Apple-tree of [Page 48] Paradise. Are the Graces of God in you? but some may say, how shall we know that? The tasted Apple is,

  • 1. Sweet.
  • 2. Cordiall.
  • 3. Nutritive.
  • 4. Diffusive.

1. Sweet, Cant. 2. 3. As the Apple-tree amongst the Trees of the Wood, so is my Beloved amongst the Sonnes. I sate down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was pleasant to my taste. The Spouse there compareth the Lord Jesus to an Apple-tree, a rare Apple-tree; as an Apple-tree amongst the trees of the wood. Now he was not only an Apple-tree in himselfe, a sweet Tree full of the Apples of Life, and free Grace; but he was [an Apple-tree to her] he was her beloved, and shee sate downe under his shadow. Now it was, 1. With great delight. 2. His fruit was sweet to her taste. If Christ be in thee, and thou beest in Christ, Christ is very sweet to thee, thou sittest under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit is pleasant to thy tast, 1 Pet. 2. 7. To you that beleeve he is precious; His name to thy soule is as an ointment [Page 49] powred forth, Cant. 1. 3. Why like an ointment powred forth? Mar. 14. v. 3. Joh. 12. 3. When the box of ointment was broken, and powred forth on Christs head, the whole house was filled with the savour of it. Is it thus with thy soule Christian? Is Jesus Christ preci­ous to thee? Is his name to thy soule like an ointment powred forth? Is thy whole heart filled with the sweet smell of Jesus Christ? Art thou ravished with his love, his incomprehensible, his unfadomable love? Is Christ in his Ordinances precious to thy soule, that thou desirest the sincere milke of the word, as the new borne babe de­sires the milke of the breasts? Doth the very thinking of Christ ravish thy heart? Doth the naming of him carry thy soule almost above it selfe in an ex­tasie of love? Is he like an Apple to thy tast, that thy mouth is filled with the sweetnesse of his juice? High thoughts of Jesus Christ argue that Jesus Christ is spiritually tasted by thy soule. Art thou melted with his love? It is a signe thou hast tasted of the fruit of the Apple-tree.

[Page 50] 2. The tasted Apple is cordiall, Cant. 2. 5. Stay me with flaggons, comfort me with Apples. Cant. 7. 8. The smell of thy nose is like Apples: It is spoken there of the Church. Apples are cordiall in tast, and comfortable in smel. Try thy self by this Christian: Is Christ cordiall to thy soul? when thy soul is fainting, swoon­ing, in the thoughts of thy self, and thine owne wickednesse and vilenesse, Doth it then comfort thee to remember Je­sus Christ his love and merits? Christ is no cordiall to wicked, unbeleeving wretches, it terrifieth them the more to remember Jesus Christ. When the Lord hath awakened their conscien­ces, and startled them in their naturall condition, tell them of Christ, this adds fuell to the flame. Why? It is this Christ, whom they have scorned, abu­sed, crucified. It is this Christ, concer­ning whom they have said, We will not have this Christ to raigne over us. Now they thinke that they heare that scor­ned Christ ringing a dolefull peale in their eares; Bring those mine enemies that said I should not rule over them, and slay them before me. But to the Be­leever, [Page 51] Christ is comfortable; when he looks upon himselfe as a great sinner, the naming of Christ comforts him; Ah! (saith he) that is he that dyed for my sinnes, and rose againe for my justi­fication, Rom. 5. 25. When he looks upon all his righteousnesse, as a mon­struous cloth, and as filthy rags, the na­ming of Christ is againe a cordiall to him; Ah! (saith the soule) that is he that was made for me wisdome, and righ­teousnesse, and sanctification, and redemp­tion. When he looks upon himselfe as a debtor to an infinite justice, the name of Christ is a cordiall againe; thats he saith the soule, that hath paid the debt to infinite justice for me, that for me, hath satisfied his Fathers wrath, that powred out his soule unto death, and was Esa. 53 4, 5, 6, 11, 12. numbred with the transgressors, that bare the sinne of many, and made inter­cession for the transgressor. That same Christ is he that bore my griefs, and car­ried my sorrowes, that was smitten of God, and afflicted, that was wounded for my transgressions, and bruised for mine iniquities, the chastisement of my peace was upon him, and by his stripes I am [Page 52] healed. When he looks upon himselfe as a daily backslider, renewing his sins as the dayes of his life, and the mercies of his dayes are increased, and is ready to swoone in these sad thoughts, the name of Christ is a cordiall againe; Ah! (saith the soule) that same Christ is that righteous one that is my advo­cate 1 Joh. 2. 1. with the Father, and makes inter­cession for me. When hee looks upon himselfe, as unfit to doe any duty, and upon all his prayers, as poore, livelesse, heartlesse duties, and considers, the deadnesse, dulnesse, distraction, vanity, that constantly accompanies him, and is ready to swoone in the thoughts of this, the naming of Christ is a cordi­all to him againe; Ah! (saith the Chri­stian) that is he, that is the Angel that stands at the Altar, having a golden Censer, and to him there is given much incence, that he should offer it up with the Prayers of all Saints, upon the gol­den Altar which is before the throne, Rev. 8. 3. Thus now try (Christian) whether thou hast tasted of the fruit of the Apple-tree; is Jesus Christ a Cor­diall to thy soule, in soule-swoonings?

[Page 53] 3. The apple is Nutritive. Eaten, mo­derately, and seasonably, it affords nou­rishment, and maintaines life, and strength: This is a plain consequence from the other, were it not nutritive it would not be cordiall. Try thy selfe by this, Christian, whether Christ be in thee yea or no: If he be, thou derivest strength from him, and he maintaineth spiritual life in thee. Observe that place, Joh. 4. v. 14. Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up to everlasting life. Dost thou find that thy heart is growing? that by a strength derived from Jesus Christ, thou walkest and goest on from strength to strength? Doest thou find that from a digestion of Jesus Christ's death, resurrection, and Ascension (the fruits that grow upon that Apple-tree of free grace) thou gettest strength a­gainst thy Corruptions, against the De­vels temptations? that upon thy tasting of Christ thou growest in grace? when thou tastest him afresh in the Sacra­ment, if thou hast a part in him, thou [Page 54] wilt find that he is Nutritive to thy soul, thou wilt quicken thy life, and increase thy strength by all the ordinances which hold out, and set forth, Jesus Christ unto thy soule. God sayes, that those that are of cleane hands shall grow stronger, and stronger; And that the Righteous shall grow up like the calves in the stall, which grow apace, and fat. Nay thou wilt find not only a growth, but that thou growest from that Nourishment that Christ Jesus affords thy soule, that thou walkest in his strength, and that all the strength of thy soule is purely derived from him, not from thy owne indeavours, and walkings: Try therefore thy heart Christian, if thou hast eaten of the Ap­ples, thou wilt find them Nutritive, it will not be like the swallowing of a dry stone or stick, that have no nou­rishing quality in them.

Lastly, the Apple Eaten is diffusive, the Vertue, and Nutritive, or com­forting quality and juce of it, diffuseth it selfe into all the body. If thou hast tasted of Jesus Christ, and hast swal­lowed the Apples of free grace, the [Page 55] vertue of them diffuseth it selfe into thy whole soule, and body. Grace is in e­very veine of thee. There is some­thing of Jesus Christ, in thy eyes, face, tongue, hands: and abundance of him in thy heart. Thy head is full of thoughts of Christ, and plottings, and designes for Christ. The wanton­nes of thy eye is restrained by the law of Christ; the vanity of thy tongue is taken away, and the Lord hath made thee one of a pure lanquage; thy hand is awed by Christ, that it dare not stretch forth it selfe to doe any iniquity; thy feet are guided by Christ, His word is a light unto thy feet, and a lanthorn un­to thy paths. And now for thy soule and inward man, thy Understanding is full of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, Yea thou hast determined with thy selfe to know nothing but Christ, and him crucified. Thou seest abundance of Christ in the rich dispensations of free and infinite grace. Thy Will hath taken the oath of Allegeance to Jesus Christ, Thy will is subordinated to his, his will is thy law, and thy will. Thou [Page 56] art ready to do his will, or suffer his will. Thy Affections are wholly car­ried out to Christ, him thou lovest, de­sirest, delightest in, above all things in the world whatsoever. In short, It makes thee to present thy body, as a living Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, & this thou judgest thy reasonable service. Thou art not conformed to the world, but thou art transformed by the renewing of thy mind, that thou may­est try, and prove what that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of thy God is, Rom. 12. 1.

2. Is it thus now with thee Christian? is the vertue of the Apple thus diffused throughout thy whole Soule? then thou mayest be of good comfort. So I have done with the second note of Triall: If thou hast not tasted of the fruit of the Apple-tree, thou art yet but under it.

3. A third note of Triall may be this: Thou mayest be sure thou couldst not pluck, and eate of the fruit of the Apple-tree, without an hand to reach, and a mouth to eate. Christ is the Ap­ple-tree, faith is the hand; without [Page 57] faith it is impossible to please God (saith the Appostle to the Hebrewes) He that beleeveth not is condemned already. Therefore the Apostle▪ 2 Cor. 13. 5. sayes, Examine your selves whether you be in the faith or no; prove your selves: And this goes before the next words, Know yee not that Christ is in you, ex­cept yee be reprobates. Christ is in you, except yee bee reprobates, that is his position: Now if you would know whether Christ bee in you or no, you must examine whether you bee in the faith or no. In Scripture you shall fre­quently finde the worke of faith set downe as the Action of the feet, com­ming to Christ; Come unto me all yee Joh. 6. 35, 37, 45. that are weary and heavy laden: who so commeth to mee hath everlasting life, &c. As the Action of the hand, recei­ving Jesus Christ, as the Action of the mouth, eating the flesh, and drinking the bloud of Christ. All unbeleevers Joh. 6. 51, 53, 54. are yet out of Christ. Nay more, you must not onely have an hand, but such an hand as will reach, to this end, 1 A true hand. 2 A perfect hand. 3 A [Page 58] lively hand.—1 It must be a true hand. A painted hand reacheth nothing; the hand must be a reall hand that plucketh the Apple-tree. There is a great deale of drossy counterfeit faith in the world. The Devils have some graines of faith amongst them, the Apostle sayes, They beloeve and tremble. Wicked and pro­phane wretches have their degrees of faith too; they will at least tell you they beleeve that Christ came into the world, and dyed, they give credence to the story, &c. But this faith is no true hand, it will plucke never an apple of Life.—2. As the hand must be true, so it must be perfect, it must have fingers enough to doe it: It must be perfect justifying faith, though it reach not the perfection of faith that a justified per­son may have. There are severall acts of faith: some will have knowledge to be an act of it; others, and the most say, that knowledge is supposed to faith, but Assent is the first and lowest act. Many goe hither, and no further, they goe away not justified: but the perfe­ction of that faith which justifies, lyeth [Page 59] in a trusting too, and a relyance upon, the Lord Jesus Christ. To this faith are all the promises pronounced, Blessed is that man that puts his trust in the Lord; And who is he that sits in darknesse, and seeth no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. I say, this is the perfection of that faith which must be [de necessitate,] necessa­rily required to justification: It is not the reflection of faith that is in a justi­fied person. Try thy selfe, O Christian, dost thou truly beleeve then, not barely assenting, and giving credence to the word of God as a word of truth, but being sensible of thy owne vilenesse, and the insufficiency that is in thy selfe for any salvation? dost thou truly relye upon Jesus Christ? and this will be try­ed by the third particular, necessary to the hand that reacheth.—3 The hand that reacheth must be lively: It must have a principle of life in it selfe, and must act in lively operations. The dead hand, let it be never so true flesh and bloud, it reacheth nothing, it hath no internall principle of life in it selfe to [Page 60] carry it out in externall operations of Life: so must it be with the souls hands, that reach, and plucke the Apples of free grace of the Tree of Life, men­tioned, Rev. 22. 1. It must have an inter­nall principle of Life. The hypocrites faith hath no internall principle of life in it, the soule is not quickned, neither hath it any power to act externall ope­rations: Viva fides est operosa, is a knowne maxime, Faith in the Saints is powerfull, 2 Thes. 1. 11. The worke of faith with power, Jam. 2. 17. Faith with­out works is dead. Now it's lively, 1. Internally, purging the heart, It puri­fieth the heart. 2. Externally, it work­eth by love; it worketh as a loving heart towards God; so in acts of love. Faith, if it be true, hath not only a per­swading and comforting quality, to per­swade the soule of God, and the faith­fulnesse of him that hath promised, and to refresh the soule by staying upon God, but it hath a quickning quality, to enliven the soule, and quicken it to an holy close walking with God. The same faith that saith to the soule, this [Page 61] promise is the truth of God, stay thy selfe upon it, saith also to the soule, this precept is the rule of God, walke ac­cording to it. Now Christian, try thy selfe whether thou hast tasted of the fruit of the Apple-tree, whether thou hast a portion in Jesus Christ, yea or no: If thou hast reached to thy soule an Ap­ple of free grace, thou hast an hand by which thou didst it; it must be a true hand: Faith is the hand. Hast thou not the painted faith of the hypocrite, but the true faith of the Saints, called by a distinguishing character, The faith of Gods Elect, Titus 1. v. 1. Hast thou not a finger only, but the perfect hand, that faith which truly justifieth thy soule, which doth not consist in a bare notion and knowledge, nor yet in a bare as­sent, but in a fiduciall cleaving to the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it lively? as li­ving, in respect of the inward prin­ciple, so lively, in respect of the out­ward operations? If so, then it may be a true faith, and thy hand with which thou hast reacht the fruit of the Apple­tree for the comfort of thy soule, may be such a one as will doe it, and thy [Page 62] hope may be upon good and justifiable grounds; but if not, deceive not thy owne soule, Christ and you are stran­gers yet, and thou art out of Christ. I shall adde but one Note more, which shall be yet further for the clea­ring of this. Lastly therefore know, Thou canst have no such hand, unlesse it be given thee from above. The hand of Faith is none of Natures products. Alas, how many cheat themselves with Faith, when the Devill hath (indeed) as much true faith as they have? There is a naturall perswasion, and there is a morall perswasion, and there is a tra­ditionall perswasion, and a diabolicall perswasion, all these differ from the worke of Faith, which is true, and that hand which must reach Jesus Christ to my soule.

1. There is a naturall perswasion. Nature hath principles to perswade the soule by to some Assent: Nature per­swades us, there is a God, and he must be worshipped. Looke upon me saith Nature, Praesentemque refert quaelibet herba Deum, I have not a spire of grasse, but tels thee there is a God. See the [Page 63] variety, greatnesse, beauty of my work; Read a great God, in a great Whale or Elephant; a beauteous God, in a glori­ous flower; A wise God, in my choice of works. Behold a God, in the order thou hast seen in me. See him in my Law written in thy heart, Rom. 2. 15. From these and such like things, Na­ture bequeathes a faith to the soule, and learnes it, credere Deum, to beleeve a God: But this is far from faith, not only from justifying faith, but also from faith, as to that point. It wants that steadi­nesse of assent which must be in assent when an act of faith. A Roman writ to Tully, to write him something con­cerning the immortality of the soule. Tully writ back againe to him, Evolve libr [...]m Platonis & nihil amplius est quod desideres. Read (saith he) Pla­to's Book over concerning it, and you will desire no more. The Roman re­turnes him answer, Evolvi, iterum at­que iterum evolvi, &c. I have read it over, saith he, againe and againe, but I know not whence it is, when I reade it, I assent to it, but I have no sooner laid the book out of my hand, but I be­gin [Page 64] to doubt againe, whether the soule be immortall yea or no. So it is with all perswasion from natural principles; as to that extent of Doctrine it would perswade us of, the perswasion that a­riseth from them is faint, and weake; one while we thinke it is true, another while we question, or deny the same principle. Naturall perswasion is no faith; if Nature gave thee all thou hast, thou hast none at all.

Secondly, If it bee Moralities gift to thee, it is no faith. I call that a Mo­ral perswasion, which is wrought from the consideration, and improvement of Morall Principles: if thou beest per­swaded to rest, and rely upon God and his promises for salvation, meerely up­on this skore, I live justly, I tythe Mint and Annis, I have taken no mans Oxe or Asse from him, whom have I defrauded? Alas, thus Aristides and Cato might beleeve.

Thirdly, If thy Faith be thy grandfa­thers Legacy to thee, it is no hand that will reach the Lord Iesus Christ. A tra­ditionall perswasion is no faith. If thou beest perswaded that Christ dyed for [Page 65] thee, &c. upon this skore, My Mother told me so, our fore-fathers held so, and they were wiser than wee, &c. A­las friend, there is as much difference betwixt faith, and thy soule, as there is betwixt heaven and hell. This was the Samaritanes Religion, which the good woman was as tenacious of, as ours are now of the Common Prayer Book, Joh. 4. 20. Our Fathers wor­shipped in this mountaine, and you say in Jerusalem is the place to worship. It is the great objection wee have against the Church of Rome, That they would have men beleeve as the Church be­leeves: But for the most part wee are condemned in what we condemne. Doe not most men beleeve as their Fa­thers beleeved? What a sinne it is thought to thinke of stripping Queen Elizabeths Reformation? Are not most men limitted to this faith? and is not here all the perswasion that men have of the saving Truths of God, that Christ was God and man, that he dy­ed, rose, and is ascended? Why? this was our Fathers Faith, this wee were taught when wee were little ones. [Page 66] and upon this skore (being perswa­ded) they must goe under the No­tion of Beleevers; and when hea­ven and hell meet, this Faith shall save them.

Fourthly, If thy faith be the Devills gift to thee, it is no hand that will reach Christ. The Devill hath his Apes-fa­ced-Graces; Morall walking instead of Gospell-obedience; Feare of Hell in stead of feare of God; and so presump­tion instead of Faith. He carries too great designes. 1. To flatter the soule to hell, by presumption. Thinke nothing ill of thy selfe sayes the Devill, venture upon God, let it never trouble thee, venture all, yes doe, and cry confidently, Lord, Lord, open to me, I have prayed in thy name, &c. Hee knowes well e­nough, that the answer will be, Depart from me, I know you not, you workers of iniquity. Feare not, saith the Devill, to apply hot boiling Lusts to the bleeding wounds of Christ, you may rest upon him that dyed for you, though you doe not take any such care to live strictly and holily with him: other folk shall goe to heaven besides Puritanes; God [Page 67] is mercifull. Is thy faith such a one as this Christian? O tremble at that Mat. 7. 24. And would not one thinke that this were the miserable faith of most of men. It is impossible, but when you heare so many peales in your eares of repentance, as you heare in these dayes, but you should have some thoughts what shall become of your poor soules: And who so lookes upon your lives a­gaine, and seeth no repentance, no sit­ting downe and saying, What have I done? no care of future obedience, but a loose irreligious walking; would he not bee confident that the Devill hath perswaded you to venture? it is but a soule lost, (but poor wretch it is lost for ever) and Christ is mercifull (but to no such hell-hounds as thou art wretch) O Lord! it would make an heart trem­ble to come to some poore Creatures upon their Death-bed, and examine the condition of their soules: Why? they are well, they rest upon Jesus Christ, they are confident he will save them, (who is bolder than blinde Bayard, is our Countrey Proverb?) though all know, the wretch never was sensible [Page 68] of his lost condition, nor ever carefull to conforme himself in the least to Je­sus Christ. Faith is not the devils gift. Diabolicall perswasion widely differs from faith. But lastly.

Fiftly, Faith is the gift of God. It is grounded upon divine perswasion, The Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Merits of Jesus Christ: these are the grounds that perswade the soule to rely upon Jesus Christ, Rom. 14. 14. I know my selfe, and am perswaded by the Lord Jesus Christ. The worldling is perswaded after ano­ther fashion, from naturall or morall Principles, or Tradition; or at best, as concerning Ahab, 1 Kings 22. 21. There is an evill Spirit gone forth, and said, I will perswade him; and the Lord hath permitted, and assented to it, ver. 22. Thou shalt perswade him, and pre­vaile also. But now the child of God is perswaded another way; come to him, and aske him, Christian, what perswades thee to rest upon Jesus Christ? he answereth with Paul, I know and am perswaded by the Lord Je­sus Christ. Sir, Ah Sir, I was despairing [Page 69] almost, & the spirit of God by its inward motions inclined me to roll my selfe on Christ, Or the word of God perswa­ded me, I heard a Voice saying, come, I knew, he that had promised was faith­full and able to performe it, Rom. 4. 21. Faith is the gift of God, saith the Apo­stle, Ephes. 2. 8. It is the Fathers work and gift, the Sonnes gift and work, the 1 Phil. 3. 9. Spirits worke, and the Words worke, 1. It is the Fathers worke and gift, John 6. 37. All that the Father gives me shall come to me; Faith is of his [willing] John 6. 40. It is the Sons gift and work, I know and am perswa­ded by the Lord Jesus Christ; It is a piece of Grace, and Christ is the well­head of all divine Grace, 1 Cor. 1. 4. He is therefore called, The author and finisher of our faith, Hebr. 12. 2. It is the gift and work of the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 12. 9. To one is given by the Spi­rit the word of wisedome; to another, faith by the same Spirit. It is there­fore reckoned as one of the Spirits workes, Gal. 5. 22. It is a fruit of the Spirit. It is wrought by the Word, which therefore is called, the Word [Page 70] of faith, Rom. 10. 8. Now try thy selfe Christian, whether thy hand be a true hand: Is thy faith a gift of God wrought by his Spirit, and grounded upon his Word? such must that hand be that plucketh the fruit of this Apple­tree of free grace; Not mans, much lesse the devills gift, but Gods gift: it will quicken thee in Gods wayes, but I spake of that before. I have now done with my rules of examination; the Lord perfect this Application in every one of your soules.

Use 3 I proceed now to a third Use, and and that is of Exhortation, To all those that are through the mercy of God recovered out of that sad condi­tion in which we were all by Nature, that are now cleansed, washed and sanctified. You heare, what you were by Nature, borne out of Christ, Chil­dren of wrath as well as others: hath the Lord raised you up? hath hee gi­ven you to taste of the Apples of free­grace? let the remembrance of your former condition perswade you, 1. To get thankfull hearts. 2. To get pitty­ing hearts. 3. To keep humble hearts. [Page 71] A word or two of each of these.

1. Let this consideration perswade with you to get thankefull hearts; Let every soule of you say, sing, that 103 Psalme, verse 1, 2, 3. Blesse the Lord, O my soule, and all that is within mee blesse his holy Name. Blesse the Lord, O my soule, and forget not his benefits; who hath forgiven all thine iniquities, who hath healed all thy diseases, &c. to the 6. verse. Christians, I have heard a Story of a Gentleman, that having rid over a dangerous Passage in the night, returning in the morning to see it, at the beholding of it, sunke down and dyed; Astonishment kild him. Ah, Christian, wouldst thou be but perswa­ded in the morning of thy Conversion, when the Lord hath brought thy soule to himselfe, wouldst thou bee but per­swaded to look with a serious eye of meditation, what dangers thou hast escaped, now many times in the mad age of thy youth thou ranst over ever­lasting burnings, and wert just sinking; wouldst thou but remember how often thou dividedst an haire betwixt thy soule and hell, and this not once, but [Page 72] againe, and againe; that the Devill had not thy soule onely in chase, but was bearing at thee many a time, and hell was opening its jawes upon thee, and thy soule was just going alive into the pit. Ah, Christian, wouldst thou but thinke of this, me thinks thou shouldst even be ready to sink downe, and dye in astonishment: nay rather live, Chri­stian, ascend, let thy heart ascend in praises; O say, Blesse the Lord, O my soule; My heart, and all that is within me, praise his holy Name; My tongue, and all that is without me, sing unto his glory. Ah! what a miracle of mer­cy it is that ever one poor soule should come to heaven? Stand amazed at it, O my soule! were not wee all borne blinde? How doe any of us see? O now let us all say with David, Psalme 116. verse 16. O Lord! truely we are thy servants, we are thy servants, and the children of thine hand-maidens, for thou hast loosed our bonds. I shall shut up this first Branch of the Exhortation, with the words of the blessed Apo­stle, Rom. 12. verse 1, 2. Now, I be­seech you (brethren) by the mercies of [Page 73] God, that you offer up your bodies a living Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service: And bee not conformed to this world, but be yee transformed by the renewing of your mindes, that yee may prove what is that good, that acceptable, and perfect will of God. Ah, Christians, God de­serves your hearts and hands. O bee thankfull. But I shall now passe over this first Branch of the Exhortation, and the rather, because I shall have a more full opportunity to meet with it againe, and presse it more home in the next Doctrine: which I shall note from those words, I raised thee.

Secondly, were you, even you Chri­stians, also out of Christ when your Mother brought you forth? Ah, me­thinkes then, the sense of your owne misery should call for the yernings of your soules to those poore creatures that are yet in it. I beseech you there­fore brethren, to put on (as the elect of God holy and beloved) bowels of mer­cies. It was the Apostles exhortati­on, Col. 3. vers. 12. though in ano­ther case. Ah, how many objects of [Page 74] such Charity is there every where? How many poore wretches in e­very Congregation, in every fami­ly, that the Lord knoweth are yet in the state of Nature? It is ten to one but all of us have either an Hus­band, or a Wife, a Father, or a Mother, or a childe, or a brother, or a sister, or a friend so. As the Elect of God put on bowels of mercy for them, pitty them, pray for them, mourne before God for them; pluck them, as brands out of the fire: you know what their condition is, how sad and deplorable, and what an object of pitty they are. Wee that never were yet in the Spanish Inqui­sition, nor ever were yet in the Tur­kish Captivity, yet from but the meer reports of the slavery that poor Crea­tures suffer there, our soules yerne to­wards their sufferings, and wee some­times could weep to thinke of them, and could bee content to part with some pence to contribute towards their reliefe. So for our poore breth­ren of Ireland, though (praised for e­ver be our God) wee have not seene such butcherings, and rapes, as they [Page 75] have done, nor felt such penury and pinching want as they have done, yet he scarce deserves the name of a Chri­stian amongst us that hath not a yer­ning soule towards them, that doth not pray for them, that is not afflicted to heare those sad and dolefull relations concerning their sufferings, and that would not to his ability contribute something to relieve them. Ah, (Chri­stians,) that you would be but as sen­sible of soule-evills, as bodily trifling calamities. Is not, think you, the Cap­tivity of hell as sad and dreadfull as to be a Turkish Gally-slave? Is not it as sad to be under the Devills clutches as it can be to be in the fingers, and under the power of the Irish Rebells. Alas! let them doe what they can, they shall doe no more but kill the body, there is their malice spit, if that bee done; but here both body and soule are in danger for ever. And my friends, do you think that the Turke hath the tenth part of the Captives that the Devill hath? Do you thinke there is not ten thousand times more poore soules under the Devills Lashes, than there is Christi­ans [Page 76] under the power of the Irish Re­bells? and have they a sword, have they torments like him? and where is the soule mournes over the Drunkard, vaine person, the swearer, or blasphe­mer? where is the soule that sayes to him, what are you about to doe? and yet I dare say, here is not one in this Congregation, that hath not a Father, or a Mother, a childe, a brother, or a sister, or a friend, in that Captivity. O Christians, consider, did not you need pitty and prayers, thinke you, when you were there? O, save others with feare, pulling them out of the fire: O pray, pray. It may bee it is but yet a day, and this Herod, the Devill, intends to make an end of these poore soules: Cry, cry mightily to God for your poor Children, Friends, Acquaintance. Hark how the Church of the Jewes prayed for the Church of the Gentiles when they were strangers to God, Cant. 8. verse 8. We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall wee doe for our sister in the day when shee shall bee spoken for? So say, O Lord, I have a little Childe, a Father, a Mother, an [Page 77] Husband, a Brother, a Sister, a Friend, that hath no grace; Lord what shall I doe for her in the day when she shall be spoken for. Remember your owne misery, and you will pitty their poor soules.

Thirdly, and lastly, Were you all borne out of Christ? in a sad undone condition by Nature? Then let mee perswade you to keep humble hearts: Remember but what you were. It is e­nough to tame the swellings of your spirits, to thinke that you were not borne worth a ragge to cover your na­kednesse, you were cast out into the o­pen field, to the loathing of your per­son. It was that which the Apostle ur­ged, to bring downe the swellings of pride in the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 4. 7. For who maketh thee to differ from a­nother? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou hast re­ceived it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? Let mee apply those very words to thy soule Christian. Art thou proud of thy gifts, and proud of thy graces, that thou dif­ferest from another, and excellest ano­ther, [Page 78] others are nothing to thee, &c. I beseech thee to consider, who maketh thee to differ? How came there to be such a difference betwixt thee and o­ther Christians? I am sure you were once both under the Apple-tree toge­ther, there your mothers brought you forth, there she brought you forth that bare you. Hath Christ made thee to differ? What hast thou then that thou diddest not receive? Now if thou diddest receive it, why diddest thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? Wilt thou boast? boast of thy owne then Christian; boast of thy workes, not of thy gifts: give Christ his owne, and thou art not worth a farthing, yea the Lord knowes ten thousand times worse than a begger. Wee say, (and truely too) that one that hath been very scandalous, if ever the Lord brings him in, he had need bee very circumspect and humble. And so con­cerning one that hath been of a verie low and meane condition, and by the meere favour of the Prince is raised up to some great dignity, wee say it will be a great deale of policy in him [Page 79] to carry himselfe humbly in his place. Truely, Christian, I know no actuall difference, by Nature, betwixt thee, and the vildest damned Reprobate in Hell. Indeed there was a difference in God the Fathers Book of Election, and in Christs Book of Redemption, (which is but a transcript of the other) but a Creature difference there was none, no selfe-difference at all. Hath the Lord brought thee in? thou hadst need walke humbly, and circumspect­ly. Philip would have the Boy to cry at his Chamber doore, Philippe memen­to mortalis es; Philip thou art a mortall man, remember it: be not proud of thy Empire, thy Diadem must lye downe in the dust. I would have the Christian that the Lord hath given great gifts, and parts, to be minded of his first e­state: I would have my Text written in his heart, repeated in his eares. O remember, Christian, who it was that Raised thee up under the Apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee. And now I have done with my Use of Exhortation in its several Bran­ches.

Use 4 I have but one word more, and that is Consolation. Is it so, that we are borne under the Apple-tree, though under [out of Christ] yet under, not out of sight or hope. The Apple-tree is over us, though by Nature we have no hand to reach up to it. Here's then a word of comfort and hope.

1. To those that upon serious exami­nation the Lord hath made seriously sen­sible, that to this houre they are out of the Lord Jesus Christ, if yet they be wil­ling to get into him.

2. To those of Gods people that walke with sad hearts, for the spirituall estate of their children, husbands, wives, friends, &c. considering that they were all borne out of Christ, and for ought they can yet see they have yet no por­tion in him.

For the first, Is there any whose hearts the Lord hath smitten with the sad apprehensions of this Truth, that they are all borne out of the Lord Jesus Christ, that begin to say, what shall we doe to be saved? Loe here is some com­fort yet, though thou beest borne for the present out of Christ, yet possibly [Page 81] thou mayest be borne under the Apple­tree, yea for ought thou knowest thou art. Christ is the Apple-tree, Christ exhibited in his Gospell, in the preach­ing of the Word, &c. is a glorious Apple-tree, full of ripe Apples, drop­ping into the hands of every soule that doth but lift up his beleeving hand to take and eat. This is certaine, whom­soever Gods secret will shuts out of heaven his revealed will shuts out none who doth not shut out himselfe. Come therefore, Turne, turne, why wilt thou dye O thou sinfull creature? For ought thou knowest, thou art in no worse condition than Manasses, and Paul, and Mary Magdalene, all of them were borne such as thou art. Christ cals, Hoe every one that thirst­eth, come, &c. Come then, let not thy sinnes hinder thee; there's merit enough and mercy enough in him, O let not faith be awanting in thee. Behold, it is now Autumne with us, Autumne in­deed, for Gospell-dispensations have been but as green Apples formerly, to the times wherein the Lord hath cast [Page 82] our lot, never was there such a plenty of soule-enlightening powerfull preaching; plenty enough, the Lord grant we surfeit not with it. O reach out an hand, take, eat, live. To encou­rage, consider how the Lord pleads with you. Some Apple-trees are so loaden with fruit, that when the Ap­ples grow once to their full quantity, the boughes bend even to the hand of the gatherer: such my friends are our dayes, the boughes loaden with Apples of free Grace, even bend again to your soules; O take, eat, and your soules shall live The Autumne is plen­teous. The Gospell is free, you may take what you will it shall cost you no­thing. Christ even bends to you loa­den with Apples of Love. Ah! how he reacheth out himselfe to your soules; despaire not, only plucke and eat; you are under the Apple-tree.

Secondly, Is there any one here that hath a child, husband, wife, friend, bro­ther, sister, &c. that he can have no comfort concerning, in regard that they can see no sigues of grace in them, let [Page 83] this comfort them yet, they may be under the Apple-tree; though the Lord hath not discovered himselfe yet to their soules, yet he may doe it: All the Apples are not gathered off the Tree of Life, it is laden yet; pray, cry for them, mourne for them, the Lord may yet give them an heart to repent. I thinke it was Ambrose told Saint Au­stines mother, being sadly lamenting the condition of her sonne then a Ma­nichee: Be of good comfort (saith he) it is impossible that a sonne of so many teares should perish. I will not say so concerning any one, but I will say, vix probabile est, it is scarse probable, that a child or friend of many teares and pray­ers should perish: Give not over there­fore mourning over them, crying, pray­ing to God for them, the Gospell-day lasts. What though thy friend by his life yet declares himselfe to be out of Christ, yet he may be under the Apple­tree for ought thou knowest, though not upon it, yet under it. Christ that saw Nathaniel under the Fig-tree, may see thy child or friend under the Apple-tree, [Page 84] and call him, and raise him up: it is Christs place where he useth to raise his Elect ones.

‘I raised thee up under the Apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee.’

THE SPOƲSE Raised FROM Vnder the APPLE-TREE: OR, The way by which Children of Wrath come to be made the Children of Grace.

Opening the Doctrine of our Re­demption by the Lord Jesus Christ, both in respect to the Pur­chase and Application.


Isa. 63. 5. And I looked and there was none to help, and I wondred that there was none to uphold, therefore my owne arme brought salvation unto me.

LONDON, Printed for Rich: Tomlins. 1649.

The Spouse raised from un­der the APPLE-TREE.

CANT. 8. ver 5.‘I raised thee up under the Apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee.’

I Have now done with my first general Doctrine, containing Mans misery: Hee was brought forth under the Apple-tree, there his mother brought him forth, there she brought him forth that bare him.

I am now come to the second Ge­nerall part, expressing Gods mercy to poore man, fallen, and undone in this [Page 4] condition, expressed in those words, I raised thee, you may observe, 1. The Agent, I. 2. The Act, Raised. 3. The Object, Thee.

I, thy Bridegroome, the Lord Jesus Christ, [raised] It presupposes a fall, I helped up [thee] My Spouse being in a sad and undone condition.

The Doctrine is shortly this:

Doct. 2. That it is the Lord Jesus Christ that helpeth his redeemed ones out of their undone condi­tion.

1. I shall inlarge and prove this truth in the generall, In these particulars, 1. He was designed to doe it. 2. He can doe it. 3. He must doe it, for none else could. 4. He hath done it. 5. He will doe it. After this I shall explicate to you the manner how the Lord Christ raised up his servants under the Apple­tree, then thirdly I shall give you the reasons, and lastly, I shall come to Ap­plication. First, in regard that the Do­ctrine is propounded indefinitely, I [Page 5] shall prove it to you in severall parti­culars, which possibly may some of them beare the force of Reasons too.

1. He was designed to doe it. It was a designe of Eternity that Jesus Christ should step out of heaven, and raise up his elected ones from their lost condi­tion: therefore Christ is said by the Apostle to the Hebrewes, chap. 3. ver. 2. To be an High-Priest, faithfull to him that appointed him. The businesse from Eternity lay thus: Here is man lost, and here are those amongst others lost (saith God the Father to his Sonne) that I have given thee for a portion, what shall be done for man? Well, yet I will study to doe good to a wretched creature: Thou shalt in the fulnesse of time goe and bee borne of flesh and bloud, and dye for them, and satisfie my justice, and they shall be thine for a portion; therefore they are called the Lords Redeemed ones, Isa. 35. 9. The holy People, the redeemed of the Lord. Isa. 62. 12. This thou shalt do (saith the Father) and upon these termes they shall live, believing in thee. This was Gods Covenant with [Page 6] the Sonne of his love for us: For it is worth the noting, that though the Covenant of Works was made be­twixt the Lord and Adam personally, yet the Covenant was made with Christ, and all us in him mystically; this the Apostle largely proves, Gal. 3. 26. The promises were made to A­braham and his seed: hee saies not to seeds, as of many, but as of one; And to thy seed, which was Christ. The Co­venant was made then betwixt God and our representative, The Lord Je­sus Christ. God sayes, thou shalt goe and dye for them, and I will yet save them, believing in thee. Content, saith the Lord Jesus Christ, I will goe, and fulfill thy pleasure, and they shall bee mine for ever. I will in the fulnesse of time dye for them, and they shall live in me, Psalme 40. verse 6. Burnt­offering and Sinne-offering thou hast not required, [no it was Self-offering] Then said I, Loe I come; in the Vo­lume of thy booke it is written of mee, [to doe thy will, O my God, Hebr. 10. verse 5, 6.] In what Booke was it written, that Christ should come to [Page 7] doe the will of God? It was written in Cyphers in the Ceremoniall Law, it was written in plainer English in the Prophets, But it was written in the Book of Gods Decrees; in this sense, the Lord Jesus Christ is called, Rev. 13. verse 8. The Lamb slain be­fore the beginning of the World. And in regard of Gods Decree, we may say, the Saints were redeemed, pardoned, Justified from eternity. His Father from before all time appointed him to be our High-Priest, and hee from be­fore all Eternity subscribed to his Fa­thers pleasure in it. Thus from Eter­nity he raised us up.

Secondly, as he was designed to doe it, so it was not a worke beyond the greatnesse of his strength: God in doing it, laid help on one that was migh­ty. There was power enough in his mercy, price enough in his merits, to have bought more than the handfull of his redeemed ones out of the hands of the Devill, had they beene to bee sold. It is a slandering thought of in­finite mercy, for me to thinke, there is no balme in Gilead, there is no Physi­tian [Page 8] there: though our sinnes be migh­ty, yet hee that hath helpe laid upon him, is mighty too; and the might of our sinnes is nothing to the power of his mercies. He was God as well as man: his manhood made him our hel­per, his Godhead made him a Mighty helper, able to pardon all the sinnes of his Saints, and to furnish all their soules with long white Robes of his Righte­ousnesse.

Yea, thirdly, Such a worke it was to raise us, that it was hee alone that could doe it: all heaven and earth had been at a losse for a satisfaction for di­vine Justice, if it had not satisfied it selfe upon it self. See it in Gods word, Isaiah 63. verse 5. And I looked, and there was none to helpe, and I wondred that there was none to uphold; therefore mine owne arme brought salvation to them. And so Isaiah 59. verse 16. And he saw there was no man, and won­dred that there was no intercessor; there­fore his arme brought salvation unto him, and his righteousnesse sustained him. He saw none would: (And no wonder at that, for none could;) but [Page 9] if they could they would not. All crea­tures would have been like the Priest and Levite, Luke 10. verse 31, 32. they would have passed by on the other side. Christ was he that was the good Samaritane onely, that had compassi­on on us. Ez. 16. verse 5. None eye pittied us, to doe any thing to us that might doe us any good: wee were cast out in the open field to the loathing of our person in the day wherein we were borne. But if they would, yet none could. Alas! they had been all Physi­tians of no value; man had beene past their cure. Here was the state of a poore Creature: An infinite debt was due to infinite justice, for mans offence; Alas, where shall it be had? as Job said concerning wisedome, Job 28. 13, 14. Man knoweth not the price thereof, neither is it found in the land of the li­ving. The depth saith it is not in mee, and the sea saith it is not with mee, &c. So may we say: The Angels said, it is not in us; for could wee assume bodies and dye, yet we were but finite Crea­tures, and there could not be an infinite value in our death. Come wee downe [Page 10] to the earth, the Beasts and other Crea­tures say, it is not in us: for is God pleased with the deaths of Bullocks, and Goats, and Lambs? Ah, no! what sayes David, Thou desirest not Sacri­fice, else would I give it; thou delightest not in burnt Offering. And again, Psal. 40 verse 6. Sacrifice and Offering thou didst not desire; Burnt-Offering and Sinne-Offering thou hast not required. Besides, how shall the flesh of Bulls satisfie the guilt of another Nature? Man said▪ it is not in me: No, Physici­an heale thy selfe; Wee were all sin­ners, and how should we pay the debt, that if we could have paid our bro­thers debt, had had as great a one for our selves to pay? Can that Malefa­ctor by his suffering death, expiate for another, when himself deserves to dye also, and stands condemned to death for his owne demerits? Besides, had all man-kinde dyed, they had been but as so many Prisoners laid in Gaole for debt that had not a groat to pay; their lying in hell for ever had paid no debts, but still increased them. Well, how shall the satisfaction be made? shal we [Page 11] buy man off? Alas no, Salvation canot be gotten for gold, nor shall silver be weigh­ed for the price of it, it cannot (as job sayes of wisedome) be valued with the gold of Ophyr, with the precious Onyx, or the Saphir: The Gold and the Chry­stall cannot equall it, and the exchange of it shall not bee for Jewells of fine gold: no mention shall bee made of Co­rals, and of Pearles, for the price of salvation is above Rubies. The Topaz of Ethiopia shall not equall it, neither shall it bee valued with pure gold: whence then commeth salvation? and where is the place of it, seeing it is hid from all l [...]ving eyes, and kept close from the Fowles of the aire. Destruction and Death say, we have heard the fame thereof with our eares. God, Christ, un­derstandeth the way thereof, and hee knowes the place thereof. Let us consi­der but what was necessarily required, of whosoever should raise l [...]st, fallen man, and we shall finde this plaine e­nough, that if Christ had not raised us up, we had not been raised to this day. I conceive these foure things were re­quired of him that should undertake [Page 12] the raising, and redemption of man, in point of Justice and Reason, so as to gaine acceptance with God.

First, One that could dye: God had made it his Statute; The day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely dye. No­thing but bloud would doe it, Hebr. 9. 22. Without shedding bloud there is no remission. Justice must have its course. Now upon this score, neither any per­son of the Trinity, (as meerely so) nor any Angell in Heaven could helpe us; for these had no bloud to shed: And without shedding of bloud there is no pardon, and remission of sinnes.

Secondly, It must bee the offending Nature that must satisfie againe. God is the Fountain of Justice, he will not let the beasts suffer for mans trans­gression: The Lords wayes are equall; The soule that sinneth that shall dye. Ezech. 18. 4. This shuts out all the Earth, but man-kinde, from ma­king a sufficient satisfaction to infinite justice.

Thirdly, It must bee one that can merit and satisfie by death: for if by death he barely payes his own debts, [Page 13] what becomes of ours? You would laugh at that Debtor, that if himselfe owes five hundred pound, would un­dertake with foure hundred to dis­charge both himselfe and anothers too: or at a Malefactor, that being condem­ned himselfe to dye, should offer to his fellow under the same condemnation to dye for him. Now upon this score all man-kinde is excluded, from finding out in it selfe a sufficient Saviour: they are all under the same condemna­tion, and when every one lay under a guilt and condemnation to dye for himself, surely none could merit for another by dying; especially if we con­sider,

Fourthly, that the Saviour of man was not onely to satisfie, but to pay an infinite satisfaction. It was was an in­finite God, an infinite Justice that was offended, and must be satisfied; and a finite satisfaction would have been too short a pay for an infinite debt. And now upon this score again are all crea­ture-satisfactions excluded. Let them doe their utmost, infinitenesse is not in them, they have a bottome may bee [Page 14] seene. Now by this time, me thinkes you should be wondring at mans sal­vation, and crying out, Lord how comes any man ever in heaven? The Text tells you, I raised you. Christ did the worke. Harke, Christian, and I will tell thee, neither heaven nor earth could save thee alone: there was nothing in heaven could suffer, and there was no­thing on earth could satisfie; and as there was no mercy without satisfa­ction, so there could be no satisfaction without suffering: Heaven and earth therefore must bee mingled together. From Heaven we must have a satisfy­ing Nature, from earth a guilty Na­ture, and a suffering person. God the Father sayes to Christ, thou shalt goe and doe it. Christ sayes I goe: It is written that I should do thy will: Fa­ther, it is my delight, I am content to doe it. But how shall it be done? (saith God) There shall spring up a branch out of the root of Jesse. A Virgin shall conceive and beare a Sonne; and that Sonne shall be my Sonne; yet my Son shall not be her Sonne; he shall take unto him the humane Nature, and hee [Page 15] shall be despised, smitten of God, re­jected of men, full of sorrowes; yea, he shall dye, and by death satisfie my wrath. Thus, in carne patitur Deus creator ne caro creaturae patiatur. God the Creator suffers in the flesh of the Creature, that the flesh of the Crea­ture might not suffer. I raised thee (saith hee) yes, he did it, when none else could doe it: his arme brought salvation to us, when every creatures Arme was too short; yea and he did it alone, hee needed no other; his owne merits were enough in them­selves, for they were infinite, and they were enough to his Father, for his Fa­ther sayes hee was well pleased with him; and as he needed none, so he had no other, Isaiah 63. verse 3. I have trodden the Wine-presse alone, and of the people there was none with me. I raised thee (saith hee) yes, it was hee, and he alone: so I have made out my third Proposition. Yet further,

Fourthly, he hath done it. This is more than all the Prophets could say, they could beleeve that he would raise his redeemed ones, wee can say he hath done it: He hath raised all of [Page 16] them meritoriously, some of them actually. I understand by Raising, a con­trary condition to our Originall con­dition in which Adam left us, he hath brought them out of their misery, who were his elected and redeemed ones; He hath pardoned their sinnes, acquit­ted them of their guilt, paid their debts, set them cleare againe in Gods books, and this he hath done for all those that are his Spouses (for to them only he speaks, saying, I raised thee) meritoriously, when he dyed upon the Crosse for them: he did it inten­tionally from all Eternity, he gave his word to his Father for the debt that it should be paid upon demand; but when he dyed, he made paiment and dischar­ged his word; yet he doth not come and proclame the soule discharged till justification, when the Lord actually and formally acquits the soule from all, and accepts it as perfectly cleare of all accounts due upon any score whatso­ever to God; and therefore I say in the second place, That some he hath raised Actually, that is, Actually and formally justified them, pardoning all their sins, and imputing his owne righteousnesse [Page 17] to them, and accepting of them as Righteous for his owne sake, even for his owne Names sake. He hath done it meritoriously, he said upon the Crosse, All is finished; he bore our griefes, the chastilement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we were healed (saith the Apostle) Isa. 53. And he hath done it for some Actually, having ju­stified them, Rom. 5. 1. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God: where the Apostle speaks of justification, as of a past act of grace, concerning the beleeving Romanes, and so 1 Cor. 6 1. concerning the beleeving Corinthians. And Christ is stil justifying every day all his time is spent, either in reading par­dons for his redeemed Saints, or in pre­senting Petitions from them, and plead­ing for them: I raised thee, I have done it, and I will doe it. That is my last Pro­position.

Fifthly, He will doe it. I meane actu­ally and formally; he hath done it al­ready. 1. By the engaging of his word to his Father, nay more than so, by pay­ing downe the price, his father aba­ted him not an ace, he paid every [Page 18] groat, yea and left a surplusage too, only he hath not taken out their pardon yet; the Actuall and formall dischar­ging of some is behind, but they need not feare, it is to come out of course, without a farthing more paid, 1 Joh. 1. 9. If we confesse our sinnes, he is faithfull, and just to forgive us our sinnes. There is not a farthing more due, and it were injustice with God to deny justifica­tion to those that sue it out by confes­sion of their sinnes, and seeking of his face. God speaks of it here therefore as done [I raised thee.] I take the words to imply the whole reparation of mankind: I meane that part of man­kinde whom the Lord had from Eter­nity chosen to everlasting life, and for whom Jesus Christ had paid the Ran­some of his precious bloud. Christ, I say, speakes of it here as done, because of the certainty of it. Take onely one place for this, John 10. 27, 28, 29. My sheep he are my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternall life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which [Page 19] gave mee them is greater than all, and no man is able to plucke them out of my Fathers hand; I and my Father are one. Observe the thing proposed, to be con­firmed, that is, that those that are Christs should never perish. Now to root this in their mindes, he tells them, 1 That they were his sheep, and hee kew them, they could not bee lost then, at unawares, and he not misse them. 2. They were his Fathers gifts to him, therefore they should not be lost, hee would have a care of his Fathers love­tokens. 3 But may they not be taken away? No: for 1. He is resolved to give them eternall life. 2. He hath gi­ven his sure word for it: Neither shall any man plucke them out of my hand. They cannot doe it whether hee will or no; for (saith hee) my Father which gave them me is greater than all. Yea and further, I and my Father are one. My owne power, and my fathers pow­er united, are ingaged for their preser­vation. Those therefore that are ele­cted, though for the present they may be out of Christ, yet they shall be rai­sed. But what I have already said may [Page 20] be enough to prove the [...] of the Do­ctrine, that it is Jesus Christ that rai­seth his elected ones out of their naturall undone condition. It is hee that was de­signed by the Father to doe it, that can, and that alone could doe it; he there­fore must, or none else can: that hee hath done it meritoriously for all his Elect, and actually for some of them, and that in his due time he will do it actually and formally for all. Now for a little further explication and clearing of this truth, let us examine how hee hath done, or will doe it? To that question I shall answer in these parti­culars, and indeed the answer may be drawne out of what I have already said.

First, he did it, [stipulatione.] by entring into a Covenant, and engaging his word for us: The Covenant of Grace (from which flowes all salva­tion to poore Creatures) was origi­nally made with the Lord Jesus Christ, as I before prooved from Gal. 3. 15, 16. Christ engaged himselfe to his Fa­ther, for the fulfilling of the Law, and satisfying his Fathers wrath for us: [Page 21] and hence it is, that the Prophet sayes, speaking Prophetically concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, He shall bear their iniquities, Isaiah 53. verse 11. & Isa. 53. 6. He hath laid upon him the ini­quity of us all. & verse 5. Hee was bruised for our iniquities. With what Justice could God our Father lay our iniquities upon the Lord Jesus Christ? Christ was a guiltlesse person, nor could wee engage him in our cause; but it was a voluntary engagement that himselfe entred to his Father. As it is with us; A poore Debtor is ready to be arrested for a debt that he is not able to pay, there is no way but one, ei­ther pay or to prison: Let him have ne­ver so rich, and great friends, the Cre­ditor cannot charge a farthing of the Debt upon them, it is no Justice. But if this poo [...] Debtor hath some rich friend that will step in and say, Sir, this is my friend, I pray bee patient with him, I will undertake for the debt, I will engage my word and bond, that the debt shall bee paid at such a time, or when you will please to call for it, &c. The Creditor it may be will [Page 22] be so favourable as to say, Sir, I know you are able to do it, if you will engage your word, I shall spare your friend; pay it at such a time, or when you will set the time, and I will acquit your friend. The engagement is entred in the Creditors Book, and from that day forward the Creditor looks upon this his Debtors friend, as now by his own voluntary engagement become his Debtor, and never regards his old Deb­tor more. This is our case, Adam had runne us in debt, an infinite debt, which neither he nor we are able to pay; A Writ of Vengeance was out, mankinde ready to bee arrested and bound in Chaines, and throwne into an everla­sting prison, from whence hee should have been sure never to come out, till hee had paid the utermost farthing, which he could never have done with all the friends and estate he could have made: Jesus Christ seeing some of his elected friends that his Father had gi­ven him, having their names in the Writ, steps in and sayes, Father, these are my friends, Isa. 63. 8. Surely they are my people, children that will not lye, [Page 23] so he was their Saviour) I will under­take their debt upon me, charge it upon my score, I will pay every farthing, if thou pleasest to accept it, it shall be paid at such a time, (Gal. 4. 4. When the fulnesse of time was come, God sent forth his Sonne, made of a woman, made under the Law, to redeeme them that were under the Law, that we might re­ceive the Adoption of sonnes.) The Fa­ther accepts this tender: therefore he is stiled, Gods beloved Sonne, in whom he is well pleased. The word is [in whom [...]] An emphaticall word, which generally signifies to love, but more specially, and properly, it signi­fies to love something by adhering to it with the minde and heart, and so to be content, and fully satisfied with it, that one desires nothing else. Me thinks I cannot but observe three things in it. 1. God signifies by it that he is plea­sed with him, and with his tender: As if wee should say, I like that well. 2. God signifies by it, that he is fully content with him, so that hee desires nothing else: As if we should say, I desire no better security than his,

[Page 24] 3. God doth signifie by it, that he will trust to it: As it we should say, in such a case to a surety, Well then, I will no more look after my Debtor, now I will trust to you onely. So upon Christs of­fer, saith God, I like thy tender as suffi­cient, and am so fully content with it, that I desire no more, but now I shall wholly trust to thee for all. Now God repeateth these words in the Gospell at Christs Baptisme, and at Christs Transfiguration, Matth 3. Mat. 17. And to what purpose? but to witnesse to the world, as that hee was well pleased with Christ as his Sonne, that in heaven, his worke was to delight in his Sonne; and he did so delight in him, that he desireth no other pleasure than the company and beholding of his Sonne, (which puts me in minde of a sweet notion of Master Rutherfords, that God spent all his time from Eter­nity, till the Creation of the World, in delighting himselfe in Christ.) But I say, as it doth signifie that, and so set out the infinite love of the Father, that he would be pleased to part with such a darling of glory for us: as also in [Page 25] this it sets out the Fathers love, that he should send to looke after inglorious wretches, when hee needed not our companies; for hee had pleasure and delight enough in the company of his Eternall Sonne; whose company did so content him, that he desired nothing else for himselfe. So I also thinke, that God by his twice repeating of it, after Christ came, would have us un­derstand, that God was well pleased with him as our Surety, with what Heb. 7. 22. Christ is called our Surety. payment hee should make, &c. But now, in regard it was in time, that Christ came in the fulnesse time (saith the Apostle) Gal. 4. 4. How did the Lord Jesus make our paiment sure? I answer, By engaging his word. God the Father had nothing but the Lord Je­sus Christs word, for the paiment of all the Elects debts, not from eternity, till Christ came and made payment, ac­cording to his engagement. Now thus hath the Lord Jesus Christ raised us out of our lost condition, by engaging his word, and entring into a Cove­nant.

2. He did it Assumptione carnis, By [Page 26] assuming of our flesh. He made a Co­venant with his Father for us from all Eternity. But hee tooke out this Bond in time, canceling it with his owne bloud: Therefore saith the Apostle, Galatians Chapt. 4. Verse 4. God in the fulnesse of time, sent forth his Son made of a Woman, born under the Law, to Redeem those that were under the Law, that they might receive the adoption of sons. He could Covenant for us as God, but he must dye for us as man: In the fulnesse ther­fore of time, he bowed the heavens, and came downe, and tooke upon him our flesh, not changing the Godhead into flesh, neither confounding the sub­stances, nor the Natures, but personally uniting of them, that the two Natures became one Person, and so he became a Saviour fit to raise us. Now to him that raised, this was necessary, 1. That justice might be done. It had been no justice in God to have charged the guilt of one Nature upon another. Gods wayes appeare equall in charging the guilt upon the guilty, Ez. 18. 3. For­asmuch then as the children [whom he [Page 27] came to redeeme] were partakers of flesh and bloud: he also tooke part with them, that through death he might de­stroy him that had the power of death, even the Devill. Heb. 2. 14. and ver. 17. In all things it behoved him to be made like to his brethren, and why, ver. 16. He had taken upon him the seed of A­braham [that is, the guilt of the seed of Abraham to satisfie for them.] 2. It was requisite, That he might be a faith­full High-priest, faithfull to his word. You shall observe it, that Christ gives it as a great reason of his condescentions, and actions of Grace; That all righte­ousnesse may be fulfilled, and that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, &c. Christ is tender of his Fathers Truth: Now God had said, that the womans seed should bruise the ser­pents head, Gen. 13. ver. 15. And though by Abrahams seed was spiritually meant Christ, Gal. 3. 15, 16. to whom the Promises were made, yet the Pro­mises had not been fulfilled if that Christ had not also been Abrahams seed, and therefore Heb. 3. 17. one rea­son is given why the Lord Jesus be­came [Page 28] man, and tooke part of flesh and bloud with us, that he might be a faith­full High-priest. 3. It was requisite that he should thus raise us, that he might fulfill the Law for us. Now the Law was to be fulfilled two wayes, 1. Actively. 2. Passively. Neither could have been done without the Assump­tion of our flesh. There is not such a contradiction between the Covenant of Grace, and the Covenant of Works, as some ignorant Libertines would this day make: God gave a Law, and his Covenant was, doe this and live; this is that which we call the Covenant of Works, man could not doe it. What is Gods mind altered now? no such matter, God sayes, Doe this and live still, and if you doe not this you shall dye. It was written long since that time, Deut. 27. ver. 26. Cursed be he that con­firmeth not all the words of this Law to doe them. And all the people must say Amen to it now as well as they did then. But herein is the Covenant of Grace more favourable: The Covenant of Works sayes, thou shalt personally doe them or dye; The Covenant of [Page 29] Grace sayes, thou shalt doe it, or get Christ to doe it for thee. the Covenant of Workes sayes, I will take no baile; no surety, doe it or dye: Durus est hic sermo; an hard saying, who can heare it? The Covenant of Grace saith, Get me Christs Baile, and I will ac­quit thee, if thou beleevest in him. Therfore saith the Apostle, Gal. 3. 10, 11. As many as are of the workes of the Law, that look to be justified by their owne workes, by their owne righte­ousnesse in fulfilling the Law, are un­der the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the Law to doe them. Look to it, (saith the Apo­stle) if you look to be justified by o­beying the Law in your owne persons, take my word for it, you have an hard taske. But verse 13. Christ hath redee­med us from the curse of the Law. But how was that? it followes in the next words. Being made a curse for us, ver. 14. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. Hee was to fulfill the Law Actively, that he might fulfill what we [Page 30] through the weaknes of the flesh could not, and in regard that he was to fulfill it for us, it was requisite he should have our nature; and as hee was to fulfill the Law Actively, so in regard that his Elect by their past Transgressions had broken the Law of God, Adam for himselfe and all his posterity, and the body of death which (he knew) was to remaine after sanctification in his E­lect ones, would lay them open to hell, He also was to fulfill the Law Passively for us; therefore saith the Apostle, He hath redeemed us from the eurse of the Law. Now he tells you how that was verse 13. by being made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs upon a tree. Now hee could not have been in capacity of be­ing subject to the curse of the Law, by hanging upon the tree for us, unlesse he had taken upon him our flesh. Nay, yet a

Fourth Reason may be given, why it was necessary that Jesus Christ should raise up his redeemed ones by the assuming their flesh. viz. That he might be a mercifull High-Priest. It [Page 31] is the Reason that the Apostle gives, Hebr. 2. verse 17. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to bee made like unto his brethren, that hee might bee a mercifull and faithfull High-Priest in all things pertaining to God, to make re­conciliation for the sinnes of the people; for in that hee himselfe suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. I shall adde nothing to it. Thus he raised us by Assuming of our flesh, which in order to our raising it was necessary for him to doe.

3. He raised us Passione, by his pre­cious death upon the Crosse; his fal­ling was our rising, his life our death The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes wee are healed. His owne bloud was the balme from Gilead, as well as himselfe the Physiti­an there. Now in order to the raising of his Elect ones, it was requisite that he should dye. 1. That he might satis­fie. 2. That he might conquer. 1. That he might satisfie and purchase Remis­sion. He that will redeem any slave out of Captivity must pay the summe of [Page 32] Redemption-money required. Now Death was that which could alone sa­tisfie for the redeemed ones. It was the Lords first Law, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die, temporally, and eternally. Now a death must be paid, or justice is not satisfied, therefore saith the Apostle, Heb. 9. 22. Without blood there is no remission: he therefore, dyed for our sinnes saith the Apostle, he was our sacrifice, 1 Cor. 4. 7. And he is no sacrifice till slaine. This was typified by the slaying of beasts for sacrifices in the old Law, which God required of all those that would obtain pardon. And in regard that man had deserved hell as well as death, Christ by dying that he might raise us, and and make the face of God againe to shine upon us, was content to suffer the withdrawings of his Fathers love, and to feele as it were the paines of hell to raise us to the joyes of heaven.

Secondly, as it was necessary in or­der to our raising, that Christ should dye, to the intent that he should satisfie for us, so it was also necessary that he should dye, that he might conquer for [Page 33] us. This the Apostle fully expresseth, Heb. 2. 14, 15. Forasmuch as the chil­dren are partakers of flesh and bloud, he also himselfe tooke part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of death, even the Devill, and deliver them, who through feare of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage. Christ was to lead Captivity captive, to take away deaths sting, and hels victory, which he could not have done without wrastling with death himselfe; had he not been deaths captive, he had never been deaths con­querour. Hee raised us by dying for us.

4. He hath raised us, Resurrectione, by rising againe from the dead, there­fore saith the Apostle, Rom. 4. 25. He was delivered to death for our offences, and rose againe for our justification. Now his Resurrection had and hath an influence upon raising his Elect ones, 1. By witnessing to them Christs con­quest for them, and therefore the Apo­stle makes the worke of satisfaction for us to be proper to his death, and the worke of our justification he appropri­ates [Page 34] to his Resurrection, Rom. 4. 25. When he dyed, he went downe that he might conquer; but it was his com­ming up out of the grave that witnes­sed his conquest over death and hell. It was in that day that this Song was sung, O death, where is thy sting! O hell, where is thy victory! When the Pri­soner is freed, it is a signe the debt is paid or the Gaoler beaten: It was a signe of both in Christ, as that the debt was paid due to his Fathers justice, so also that death and hell were beaten. 2. Christs Resurrection had an in­fluence upon our raising, by quickning us, Col. 2. 12. Buried with him in Bap­tisme, wherein you are also risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And being dead in your sinnes hath be quickned, together with him, &c. & Col. 3. 1. If then ye be risen with Christ, seeke those things which are above: and ver. 2. Set your affections on things which are above, &c. We are risen [...] with him, and this should quicken us, and strength derived from Christs Resurrection by faith, doth [Page 35] quicken the Saints of God, to live to God, as becomes the redeemed ones of the Lord.—3. It hath an influence upon our raising, by being a pledge to us of our owne rising unto everlasting glorie, to live with that Christ who was dead, and is alive againe. This the Apostle fully proves in that fifteenth Chapter of the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, from the thirteenth Verse to the five and twentieth. Now I take by raising [I raised thee] not onely to be understoed of the work of Redemp­tion, but also all the privileges that from that worke of Redemption flow out of course to the servants of God, being but as severall steps from one of which to another the Saint is raised, till hee bee got to the toppe staire of glory. Christ hath raised us by his owne rising from the pit of the grave.

5. He hath raised us by his Ascen­sion, and sitting at the right hand of his Father. Now Christs Ascension, and sitting at the right hand of the Father, hath an influence upon our raising, these wayes.—1. In going before hee [Page 36] provides a place for us. Take this out of his owne mouth, John 14. 2. I goe to prepare a place for you. And if I goe, and prepare a place for you, I will come againe, and receive you unto my selfe, that where I am there you may be also. Christ is now preparing Mansi­ons for his redeemed ones; for in his Fathers house are many Mansions: ne­ver a Saint of his shall want a seat, or a roome in glory.—2. In going he hath raised us in being our Way. He being as­cended and with the Father, wee have through him a way unto the Father, John 14. verse 6. I am the way; hee was the way by which the Father came to us; he communicated himselfe un­to us, in, and by, and through the Lord Jesus Christ; and hee is our way by which wee goe to God, whatsoever we aske in his Name, if we believe we shall receive it, we shall receive it. The Saint could not pray with comfort, if he did not remember that Rev. 13. 8. There is an Angell that stands before the Throne, to whom much Incense is given, to offer up the prayers of his peo­ple unto God. But knowing we have [Page 37] a friend in the Court, we offer up our prayers with boldnes, and a great con­fidence in his goodnesse.—3. His As­cension hath an influence upon our rai­sing, in that wee know now we have an Advocate with the Father, even Christ. Alas, with what comfort can the child of God, whose conscience the Lord hath awakened to consider his daily sinnes and corruptions, thinke upon God, or look up unto God, if he did not know Christ were with him? But now, that Christ is with his Father, wee know, 1 Joh. 2. 1. That if any man sinne wee have an Advocate with the Father, e­ven Christ the righteous. Hebr. 7. 25. He is therefore able to save them to the utmost that come unto God through him; because he ever liveth to make In­tercession for them, Rom. 8▪ 27. yea and verse 34. Now, Who is he that con­demneth? It is Christ that dyed, yea rather that is risen againe, who is even at the right hand, who also maketh In­tercession for us. Observe there how the Apostle gives Christ ascension and sitting at the hand of God, as the proximate cause of our Intercessor: [Page 38] his Death and Resurrection made him not our Intercessor, his Death made him our Saviour, his Resurrection our Conqueror, but his Ascension and sit­ting at the right hand of God, hath ul­timately made him in a capacity to bee our Advocate, and Intercessor: Thus he hath raised us by Ascension.—Yea, 4. His Ascension and sitting at the right hand of the Father, hath an influence upon our raising, in that now from thence he giveth gifts unto men, Ephes. 4. 8. When hee ascended up on high, he led Captivity Captive, and gave gifts unto men. The Psalmist, Psalme 68. 18. (from whence that passage is taken) saith he received gifts for men; he received them from his Father. Now saith the Apostle, when hee led Captivity Captive, he distributed these to men: As Conquerors use when they have taken the spoile, to deale it out in gifts. What gifts? The Apostle ex­pounds it in part ver. 11. He gave some to be Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists. In short, I take to be meant by it, all the gifts of Gods Spirit, whether of common, or speciall grace, [Page 39] whether externall or internall, gifts for the benefit of the Church, and gifts for the benefit of our soules: Nay, the descending of the Spirit was a fruit of Christs Ascension. See it, Joh. 14. 16. & John 16. 7. I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I goe away; for if I goe not away the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you. Now it is plaine, that the internall gifts of the Spirit, and workes of it, are fruits of Christs As­cension as well as the more common and externall gifts, given in the dayes of Pentecost, from the 14. of Joh. ver. 16. where Christ promiseth them that the comforter which upon his departure he would send to them should abide with them for ever.

And thus I have shewed you now, what course the Lord Jesus Christ hath taken to raise his redeemed ones, that had lost all their life, and strength, and comfort in Adam, out of this their lost condition: thus he did it meritori­ously. These were his acts for us. But now to what purpose is all this for any soules wounds, that there is Balme [Page 40] in Gilead, that there is a Phisitian there, without the Balme bee applyed to its soul?

6. Lastly therefore, as Christ hath meritoriously thus raised the whole number of the Elect ones; so he Par­ticularly, and Actually raiseth each one of those whom hee hath purcha­sed by his bloud, by applying him­selfe unto each of their soules. Now for the manner of this Application, the blessed Apostle describes it, Rom. 8. 30. Moreover, whom hee did predestinate, them he also called; and whom hee cal­led, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified: under Predestination is included Redempti­on, and Sanctification under Justifica­tion. Now therfore a little to open this mysterie of our Redemption, in the Application of it to the soules of them that shall be saved. You have seen how there came to be Balme in Gilead, and that there is a fulnesse and sufficiency in Christ. Now what doth the poore Elect one want that it hath lost in A­dam? I conceive three things, 1. Life. 2. Strength. 3. Light. 1. Life. It is [Page 41] a damned Creature in Adam, it wants a way of salvation, a pardon for its sinnes, a righteousnesse to appeare in the sight of God. 2. Adam hath left it a weak creature, not able to do any thing that is good; no not so much as to think a good thought: it wants a strength to Act in, so as to please God. 3. A­dam hath left it a comfortlesse creature, without any light of Gods counte­nance shining upon it. Now all these are purchased. The first of them is ne­cessary, to give the first being to a Saint. The second is necessary, to pre­serve the Christians being. The third, ad bene esse, for the comfortable being of all. Christ is all to the Childe of of God, Psalme 27. verse 1. But how doth Christ apply these to the soules of his redeemed ones? 1. Saith the Apo­stle, He calls them. We say that in effe­ctuall calling, which is when God joynes the irresistable power of his Spirit, with the outward preaching of the Word, God doth these three things. 1. Convince the soule of his elect ves­sell, (that is a child of wrath by Na­ture as well as others, Ephes. 2. 3.) [Page 42] what a condition it is in by reason of its Originall, and its Actuall sinnes. 2. Humble the soule for its sinnes, and discover unto the soule the insufficien­cy of all its owne righteousnesse, that it is undone in its sinnes, and undone in its righteousnesse: and thirdly, hee sayes to the soule, Yet there is hope, looke up to me and live; I am as the brazen Serpent, onely looke up, and thou shalt live. And that the soule may be able to look up with a true eye, Christ gives faith to the soule, to be­hold him, come unto him, and to re­ceive him by a true resting, and relying upon his Merits for salvation. 2. And having thus Called the soule, he then justifies it: He hath in his Decree ju­stified it from eternity; hee hathmeri­toriously justified it by his Death upon the Crosse; but now hee doth actually and formally justifie it. 1. By pardo­ning its sinnes, and acquitting the soule from the obligation it till now lay under to death, and forgetting the injury done to himselfe by any of its sinnes. 2. By imputing the Righte­ousnesse of Jesus Christ, to the soule; [Page 43] by which it appeares, the sinner is par­doned, not without a satisfaction first given to Justice. 3. By accepting gra­ciously the soule thus justified as per­fectly righteous for the Lord Jesus Christs sake, as if it had never sinned. And the worke of true faith in this Ju­stification, is to lay hold upon it. And thus now, Christ applyes the merits of his Death to the soule, in conveying life and pardon to it: thus hee raiseth it, saying to it in its bloud, live. But this is not all.

2. The soule is weake, and is not able to live an houre of it selfe; Christ therefore in the next place, in order to its more perfect raising, sanctifies the soule: which implyeth two things. 1. He gives unto the soule new prin­ciples of grace, 2. He gives the soule power to act these principles, for as (except from him) we have nothing, so without him we can doe nothing, Joh. 15. 5. Which power being given the soule from above, the soule is raised, and becomes strong in the strength of Christ, and sets upon works, 1. Of Mor­tification, to subdue the strong holds of [Page 44] Satan, viz. the remainder of corrup­tion in the soule. 2. Of Vivification, setting upon such Duties as God hath required of his redeemed ones, being exercises of the grace which they have received from the Lord Jesus Christ; he gives the soule power to live upon faith, to love, to desire him, to delight in him, to do, and to suffer for him, to be content with him, &c.

Yea, and thirdly, In his due time he raises the soule to a comfortable life, in giving it the sense of his love, a perswasion of its Union with the Lord Jesus Christ, peace in the inward man, shining upon it with the light of his Countenance, which is better to it than thousands of Gold and Silver. This I say he does in his due time, not to all, nor continuing it constantly to any, but according to his good pleasure; thus making knowne to it the Redemption he hath purchased for it, and the Justifi­cation of its soule which is past in hea­ven before.

4. And lastly, in his due time he will yet further raise the soule, by taking it to himself, and glorifying it with him­selfe [Page 45] for ever. He will come againe on purpose to raise the soules of his re­deemed ones from the dust, and to take them up to himself in glory, that where he is there they may be also, John 16. verse 3. Thus Christ hath meritorious­ly raised all his redeemed ones; and will apply their Redemption with the fruits of it to them in his due time; applying life to them by Vocation, and Justification, strength to them by San­ctification, light and comfort to them by shining with the Light of his Coun­tenance upon them, and finally giving them Glorification; hee shall then per­fect his worke of raising us, and wee shall live with him in the Highest Hea­vens for ever. I have now done with the Doctrinall part, so farre as to shew you, 1. That it is Christ that raiseth his Elect ones. 1. He is designed. 2. He can doe it. 3. Hee onely can. 4. Hee hath done it meritoriously for all. 5. Hee hath done it actually and for­mally for some, and will doe it for the rest. And so farre as to shew you the manner how he did it, and doth it; both in respect of his owne acts, in re­lation [Page 46] to the fitting himselfe for the worke, and in respect of his applicati­on of it to the soules of his servants. If now you aske me the Reasons, why, and to what end he did it? for the rea­sons of the particular Propositions, I have given you them before. Now for Reasons in the Generall, I shall give you them in two words.

  • 1. The moving cause was his owne grace, because he would.
  • 2. The finall cause was his own glory.

1. The moving cause and reason, was his owne grace and goodnesse. This is the reason of all Gods acts of grace to­wards the Creature, whether Election, or Redemption, or Vocation, or Justi­fication, or Sanctification, or Glorifica­tion, the sole cause was in himselfe, be­cause he loved us, and delighted in us, for his owne Names sake, &c. Isa. 43. 25. Deut. 7. 7. Hos. 14. 4. His owne will was all the reason, he did it free­ly, we buy without money, or money-worth. Isa. 55. 1, 2.

2. If you aske to what end hee did it, It was his own glorie; that he might get himselfe glory from poore dust and [Page 47] ashes, that little thanke him for all this mercy declared to their souls. He Pre­destinated, Redeemed, and Adopted us, meerely to the praise of the glorie of his grace, Ephes. 1. verse 6. The end which he aimed at in Calling us was his glory, Rom. 9. 23, 24, 25, 26. If you aske me, why God that could as well have been glorified in the damna­tion of poore wretches, would chuse rather to be glorified in their salvation, and bringing them to life; I must run back again, to the Fountaine againe, meerly because so it pleased him, because it was his will: There wee must rest. I shall now proceed to the Application of this mysterious, sweet and precious Doctrine; and it might be applyed se­verall wayes: But I shall onely apply the consideration of it, as offering you ground and matter, First, of Humiliati­on. Secondly, of Instruction. Third­ly, of Examination. Fourthly, of Exhortation. Fiftly, of Consolation.

Use 1 First of all for Humiliation. Harke Christians, is it so, that thou wert so lost and undone, that none but Jesus Christ could raise thee, and hee hath [Page 48] done it when none else could, and wil raise thee higher yet: and this hee could not have done without taking thy flesh, dying upon the Crosse, suf­fering the bitternesse of his Fathers wrath? consider then, what cause thou hast to be humbled for thy sins. 1. Con­sidering that these were they put Christ to death. 2 that by these, since that time thou hast crucified the Lord of life. 1. Consider that thy sins were those that put Christ to death, Rom. 4. 25. He was delivered to death for our sinnes. Me thinks every one when they heare of Christs Agony and bloudy Sweat, of his Whippings, Buffetings, of his bit­ter Sufferings, &c. should be ready to cry out with Pilate, Quid mali fecit? What evill (I pray) hath he done? Ah none Christian, it was to raise thee; thou wert dead, lost, undone, he dyed to raise thee; thou stolest the fruit, he climbed the tree; thou enjoyedst the sweetnesse of sinning, and he for that was acquainted with the bitternesse of suffering; He bore thy iniquity, even thine and mine too, if we be elected. Certainly, it was a great griefe of heart [Page 49] to David, to remember that he had an hand in the bloud of Uriah; that was surely the great transgression that hee complained of; to be sure, that heart-troubling sinne, for which hee puts up that particular Petition, Deliver mee from bloud-guiltinesse, O God: And questionlesse it was no small Trouble of Spirit to Paul, afterwards to consi­der, that he was one of them that were consenting to Stephens death, Acts 7. 59, 60. Chap. 8. verse 1. he afterwards repeats it with shame, I was a perse­cuter. Christian, here is one murde­red by cruell hands, not an Uriah, not a Stephen; but hee that is worth ten thousand of these; not an Abell, (yet his bloud troubled Cain all his life time) but one, whose bloud cries for better things than the bloud of Abell did; here's the Lambe of God slaine, slaine by thy hands, he was bruised for thine iniquities, and his soule was made an Offering for thy sinnes. Is it nothing to thee, O Christian! when Pilate was but about to condemne him, his wife came startled in, and cries, Have nothing to doe with that just man; and [Page 50] when Stephen charged the Jewes, Acts 7. 52. for being the betrayers and mur­therers of the Lord Jesus, they appre­hended it as a thing so hainous, that they would not endure him beyond that word, but were cut to the heart, and gnashed upon him with their teeth. verse 54. Christians, there is none of you here, but your sinnes were the be­trayers and murtheres of the Lord Je­sus, that Christ that had such eternall, sure and unchangeable thoughts of love to your soules. Ah! how great were those sins which could not be remitted without the bloud of the immaculate Lamb of God? Me thinks every one of you should sit downe and say, Ah Lord, that ever I should be such a wretch, so farre to provoke the fire of thy wrath, that nothing could quench it but the bloud of thy Sonne, that I should throw my selfe so deep into Hell, that nothing could raise mee but the bloud-shedding of the deare Sonne of Gods love. You have had to doe with that just man, Christians, not to doe with condemning him, but even with the vildest acts of Barbarisme were [Page 51] done unto him; your hypocrisie was the kisse that betrayed him; the sinnes of your hands and feet were the nailes that fastened his hands and feet to the Crosse; the sinnes of your body were the Spears that pierced his sacred side; the sinnes of your soules were they that made his soule heavy to the death, that caused the with-drawings of his Fathers love from him, and made him in the heavinesse of his panged soule to cry out. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? O sit downe, goe alone, weep, and weep bitterly for him whom you have pierced; for those stripes by which you are hea­led.

2. But secondly, (if any thing will move your soules to make your head a Fountaine of water, and your eyes Rivers of teares.) Consider, That this Christ you have crucified, even since his death upon the Crosse for you. When the Apostle St. Peter Acts 2. had made a long Sermon of Christs love, shewing the Auditors, what Christ had done, and what he was, he summeth up all, verse 36. God hath made that [Page 52] same Jesus, (whom yee have crucified) both Lord and Christ. Now saith the Text, verse 37. When they heard this, viz. (that they had crucified this Christ) they were pricked at the heart. This Christ (my beloved) whom you have crucified, by your youth sinnes, and life sins, this was he that was crucified for you. O be pricked at the hearts at this saying. Was it not enough that he once was pierced, scoffed, wounded, cruci­fied for you, but must you againe cru­cifie him? and which of you doe it not daily? Causinus tels us a story of Clodo­veyus one of the Kings of France, that when he was converted from Paga­nisme to Christianity, while Remigius the Bishop was reading in the Gospell concerning the Passion of our Saviour, and the abuses he suffered from Judas, and the rest of the Jewes, he brake out into these words; If I had been there with my Frenchmen, I would have cut all their throats; In the meane time, not considering that by his daily sins he did as much as they had done. Which of us is not condemning the crucifiers of Christ for their cruelty, and in the [Page 53] meane time we condemne not our selves, who by our daily sinnes make him to bleed againe afresh? Ah, let us judge our selves, and sit downe and mourne; we are they that have added to Christs bonds, that have increased his wounds, and the pangs of his grie­ved soule, (which is now glorified) with our renewing lusts and corruptions: I shall conclude this use with a prayer, that God would fulfill to all our soules, that gracious promise, Zach. 12. 10. That he would poure out the spirit of grace and of supplications upon us, and make us to look upon him whom we have pierced, and doe pierce daily, and mourn as a man mournes for his only Son. And be in bitternesse for him, as one that is in bitternes for his first-borne.

I passe on to a second way of Appli­cation, viz. by way of Instruction. Hath Christ and Christ alone raised us?

1. Let us hence be instructed, How Instructi­on. much the Lord Jesus Christ loved us. And here, let my soule be drowned in sweetnesse, and in sinking cry out, O the depth of unfadomable love! What tongue? what Saint? what Angell [Page 54] can speake out this unspeakable love? Pray, O pray (Christians,) That Christ Eph. 3. 17, 18. may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all Saints, What is the breadth, and length, and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. Is it love in a friend, to passe his word for his friend, arrested, and ready to be haled to gaole, and to take the debt up­on himselfe? and is it no love in Christ? yea is it not the [...], the un­speakable of loves, for Jesus Christ, when a writ of eternal vengeance was Ready to issue out against you, to be your surety and beare the blow off, to the breaking of his own armes? Was it love in the Roman to personate his friend, and upon the Scaffold, and after to suffer for him, and is it not infinite love, for Jesus Christ to take the raggs of your flesh upon him, and indeed to dye a death upon the crosse for you? for you (deare friends) for you he was smitten, despised, rejected of men, he dyed to make you live, he was content to fall, so you might rise. Let your [Page 55] thoughts sinke in this ocean, and spend your lives in spelling the letters of love that must be joyned in this one word, or sentence [I Raised thee]

From hence (Secondly) be Instruct­ed, What a perfect Saviour the Lord Ie­sus Christ is, he leaves nothing for thee to doe but to thanke him: hee makes the plaister and layes it on; hee trod the Wine-presse alone, and there is none with him; he hath left thee nothing to do but to believe his last words, All is finished; he conquered sinne upon the Crosse, and death and hell in the grave. He will have none to be a sharer with him, either in his worke of Merit, or Application; get but hands, he will de­liver thee thy pardon ready written, granted, sealed; nay he will help thee with hands too, He was made perfect through sufferings, Hebr. 2. 10. Heb. 5. 9. Being made perfect hee became the author of salvation to them that obey him.

3. From hence (againe) bee instru­cted (Christian) What need thou and every poore soule hath of the Lord Iesus Christ. Thou wert fallen, and layest as [Page 56] unable to helpe thy selfe, as an Infant throwne into an open field: Men and Angels were at their wits ends to an­swer to this question, How then can any be saved? The Heavens said, Sal­vation was not in them; and Earth sayes, Salvation is not in us; nothing but God-man can doe this great work. There is no other name but onely the Name of Iesus, by which thou, or I, or any of the children of men can be saved. If thou hast him, thou hast enough; if thou hast not him, it is not all the righteousnesse of Saints, and Angels that will make a garment which will not bee too short to cover thy naked­nesse. O cry, Lord give mee Christ, Lord give mee Christ, or else I dye. Thinke not of thy owne merits, thy righteousnesse is as a menstruous cloth, and as a filthy ragge. Christs Righ­teousnesse is sufficient for thee.

4. Let all the redeemed ones of the Lord be instrushed, How much they owe, and shall for ever owe to him that is be­come their Saviour. It is no slight mercy (Sirs) to be saved out of ever­lasting burnings. It is a piece of love, [Page 57] which as wee can never comprehend, so we can never walke up to. O let us all say, What shall wee render unto the Lord for his mereies? wee will take the cup of salvation, and praise the Name of the Lord. You would thinke you owed a great deale to him, that should exalt you from a Dungeon to a Throne▪ Mephibosheth thought he was mightily honoured to be admitted to eate bread at the Kings Table: How much? Ah! How much, Christians, is every of your soules indebted to the Lord Jesus Christ, who remembred you in your low estate? For his mercy en­dureth for ever. But I passe on fur­ther.

Use. 3 From hence may every one try him­selfe, whether he be raised out of that lost, undone condition wherein he was by Nature. I have spoke to this in the former Doctrine, but because I here meet it so fit again, take two Notes of Triall from this Doctrine: 1. If you be raised, you are raised by Christs merits. 2. You are raised according to Christs method.

1. If you be raised, It is by Christs [Page 58] merits, all the Abana, and Parphars, of thy owne merits would not doe it. One drop of that fountaine that was set o­pen for Iudah and Ierusalem, for sinne, and for uncleanenesse, is worth all the waters of thine own Damascus. What trusts thou in Christian? Is it what thou hast done? Alas, thou art so far from having any naturall strength (as Pela­gians and Arminians dreame) or any other strength of merits, either of thy owne, or thy friends, (which Papists dreame of) that if all the Saints in the earth, and all the Angels of heaven, could unite their forces in one arme, and to one act, they could as little have lifted thee up out of the pit into which thou wert fallen, as thou couldst lift up an house with the palme of thy hand if it were fallen downe. It was onely this mighty one, this Prince of glory, this King of power that could doe it. Say therefore as they say that great Papist concluded, Tutissimum est Chri­sti merit is confidere, it is most safe one­ly to rest upon him, believe it, all o­ther trusts are as the bruised Reed of Egypt, and as the broken staffe of As­syria, [Page 59] which if thou trusteth too, they run into thy hand, and pierce thee, they will cause thee to fall many strides short of heaven, when they have carri­ed thee to their furthest, their Nil ultra. O trust not in them, if there be all thy confidence, thou art not yet raised.

2. If Christ hath raised you, it hath been in his method of Application. Christ saves none but whom he sanctifies, and sanctifies none but whom he justifies, and justifieth none but whom he calls; Some men are justified they think, but they know not which way, and they shall be saved I know not which way too. Christian, thou wert lost and un­done, thou wert in Adams loines as well as any, thou hadst an adventure in his ship as well as any, the ship was wrackt. Did the Lord ever call thee? Didst thou ever yet find a powerfull worke of Gods spirit (joyned with the word) upon thy heart? Did the Lord ever make thee in any measure to see thy lost condition? Did the Lord ever yet bid thee (when thou sawest thy selfe lost, and wert confounded in thy [Page 60] owne insufficiency) looke upon Jesus Christ and live? Was sinne ever yet a sting to thy soule? if not, I doubt (yea I am out of doubt) Christ was never a true comfort to thee. Christ was lift up as the brazen serpent; now for whom was that lift up, but for those that felt the smart of the fiery serpent? and no way else be cured. Againe, Christ san­ctifies before he glorifies, he hath ordai­ned us to good works, and then to ob­taine everlasting life (though not for them) this is Christs method of raising. Dost thou looke to be saved? Art thou sanctified Christian? Is thy heart chan­ged, and thy tongue changed? Beleeve it, no uncleane thing shall ever enter into the new Jerusalem. Christ useth to raise to holinesse, before he raiseth to happinesse. But I have in the former Doctrine spake so fully to this worke of Examination, in relation to this thing (of so great a concernment to every soule as nothing can be more) that I shall now adde no more, but passe on.

Use 4 This Doctrine may in the fourth place be applyed by way of Exhorta­tion: [Page 61] 1. To those that yet have no part at all in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2. To those that through free grace have an interest in this Saviour, and have been raised by him.—1. Is there any poore soule here, that is to this day so mise­rable as that it hath no portion in the Lord Jesus Christ? Now I beseech you as an Ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ, as in Christs stead, I beseech you get an interest in him. You have heard, he is he whom the Lord hath ordain'd to be the Saviour of the world; he is the mighty one, upon whom help was laid, yea the only mighty one upon whom help could be laid: O then, above all things, looke for a portion in him in whom alone you can be rich. Wouldst thou be saved? This all desire; Glory and happinesse are fine things, Omnibus in voto, every man would dye the death of the Righteous, and have his later end like his; Wouldst thou goe to Heaven Christian? he is the way: Wouldst thou live? he is the life, yea, he, and none but he. Be assured, thou art now a child of wrath, and there is but an haires breadth betwixt thee and [Page 62] hell; thou art wounded, past the cure of the whole Creation, loe here is balme in Gilead: If thou wilt enquire, enquire, returne, come. Were there a poore wretch sicke of an incurable dis­ease to ordinary Physitians and Chirur­gians, and some rare one should come to the Towne, that alone had found out the mystery in the Art of curing that very trouble, he should be throng'd with Patients: How is it that Christ hath no more practise? he that is the great Physitian, that all the creatures are Physitians of no value to him? Alas, the reason is too perspicuous; men are sensible of their bodily troubles, but their soul-troubles are not felt by them. To direct thee a little to him; wert thou sicke of such a disease, and hadst heard of so rare a Physitian, what wouldst thou aske? 1. How shall I speake with him? 2. What must I give him? 3. How must I apply his physicke? 4. What Rules of diet or walking, &c. must I observe? 1. Dost thou aske how thou shalt speake with the Lord Jesus Christ, to lay open thy soules wounds unto him? And where doth he exhibite his balme? [Page 63] I answer to thee: The word is near thee, even in thy mouth, it is the word of faith which we preach. Behold, Christ keeps open shop: Wisedome cries and Understanding puts forth her voice, she standeth in the top of the high Places▪ by the way in the places of the paths. She cries at the gates, at the entring in of the doores. Unto you (O men) she cals, and her voice is to the sonnes of men. O ye simple understand wisedome, and ye fooles be of an understanding heart, Prov. 8. ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The Lord Christ keeps open shop in every place. We as the Embassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ, intreat you to be reconciled to God. Did ever such naturall balme goe on begging? The word is neare thee, there Christ offers himselfe. Dost thou aske what is his price: 2. He offers it free­ly. Heare the Market proclamed, and the price set, Isa. 55. 1, 2. Hoe every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat, wine and milke without money, and without price. This is the condition, bring nothing; the way to have thy sacke filled as full as thou canst carry it, [Page 64] is to bring it empty: Only come, and live, look up, and be healed; was there ever so cheap a Market, of so rich com­modities? Christian, poore Christian, wert thou but sensible of thy soules wants, thou wouldst give as many thousand worlds (if thou hadst them, and they could be given) as there are graines of dust upon the face of the earth, to have a portion in the Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine but what a poore damned wretch would give to have but so much liberty, as to cast up a long looke to Heaven; what a comfort it would be to them, if the light of the Gospell might but shine into hell a few dayes? And is mercy offered freely? mayest thou be saved if thy owne cur­sed will were not in the way? Ah (Christian) turne, turne, why should thy soule dye, when there is balme in Gilead, and so glorious a Physitian there? Dost thou aske how must I apply his bloud? 3. I answer, only by Faith. God so loved the world (saith the Apostle) that whosoever beleeveth in him should not perish but have ever­lasting life: Nay to speake lower yet, [Page 65] on thy part is only required a seeking of Christs face. Thus saith the Lord, seeke my face and live. The truth of it is, as the merit was Christs, so the Applica­tion is his too; Faith is required, but it is a gift infused, it is the gift of God: Indeed it is an act too, but as so, it is Gods gift, I meane the strength by which thou must act, He is the Author and finisher of our faith (saith the Apo­stle to the Hebrewes.) O therefore cry, cry mightily unto God (he will help thee doe this too.) Goe alone and wra­stle with God, and take no answer without Christ, cry, and take no deniall, like the blind man, that when the Dis­ciples discouraged him, and Christ seemed to slight him, cryed yet the more earnestly, till the Lord said, What wilt thou? And he answered, Lord that I might receive my sight. Goe thou and doe likewise, beg, Lord, that I might be washed with thy bloud; Lord, that my sinnes might be pardoned; though thou meetest with discourage­ments, and thou thinkest that thou art one that art a dog, to whom the chil­drens bread must not be given, yet leave [Page 66] not, beg againe but for a crumme of mercy, a drop of bloud, verily thou shalt not goe away without comfort. 4. There is but one Querie more. What Rules must I observe in the using of his physicke: To this Christ hath shaped an answer for me, Goe thy way, sinne no more, lest a worse thing befall thee. Thou must take heed that thou dost not returne againe with the dog to the vomit, and the swine to the wal­lowing in the mire. He that is borne of God sinneth not, sayes the Apostle, not constantly, nor wilfully, but weakly. This for direction: And remember this last, which I shall conclude with that of the Prophet, Ez. 18. 24. If the Righteous man turneth away from his righteousnesse, and committeth iniquity, and doth according to all the abomina­tions that the wicked man doth, shall he live? all his righteousnesse that he hath done shall not be mentioned, in his tre­spasse that he hath trespassed, and in his sinne that he hath sinned, shall he dye, saith the Lord. Shall I need adde any thing for motive? I should thinke not, but only call upon you to get eyes to [Page 67] see your sad and undone condition in which you are. It is no wonder that you should say, we have need of no­thing, when you thinke you are rich. Get but a true understanding, 1. Of your owne vile and undone condition, what an hell you carry about with you. 2. What an hell you tread over every day, and it will be enough to pricke on your soules to seeke a portion in the Lord Jesus Christ: especially, if yee well consider (what I have sufficiently proved to you) that it is impossible that in Heaven and earth there should be found any way of salvation for your poore soules but in himselfe. Now the Lord worke these things upon your hearts. 2. Give me leave now to speake a word of Exhortation to you my Bre­thren, to whom the Lord hath of his free grace given a portion in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you are become his raised, redeemed ones. The duty which I shall in generall presse upon you, is thankfulnesse. O give thanks unto the Lord, he remembred you in your low estate, for his mercy endureth for ever. O what shall ye render? Christians, [Page 68] what can ye render to the Lord for this mercy? For Motives, Consider but every word of the Text apart, and methinks it should be Motive enough to prevaile with those that have any thing tasted of this heavenly gift.

First [I.] To open this word a little, and shew you what there is in it to melt your hearts into obedience. 1. I that was infinitely above thee. Christ was the brightnesse of his Fathers Image, God blest for ever, even from all Eternity. He was from Eternity, [...], the unice dilectus, the only beloved of his Father, in whom his Father tooke in­finite delight; he was the Prince of glory, God blest for ever. Now for an Eternall God to stoop to a poore worme: O mercy! for a King to visit an Hospitall, to come with his owne hands and dresse the putrified wounds of his meanest subject, it is a conde­scention scarse found amongst the sons of men, and yet if you could find it, it should come infinitely short of this condescention. 2. I that did not at all need thee. The Lord stood not in need of a worme, the Father was plea­sed [Page 69] with the Sonne from all Eternity, and taken up with delighting himselfe in him, and the Sonne was againe plea­sed with the Father. They had an [...], a self-sufficiency of glory, and were enough each of them to other; had it not been his bowels of mercy that had yerned towards thee for thy good, he had never been moved to­wards thee from any other principle. 3. I whom thou hadst offended. Greater love than this is not found amongst men, than for one to dye for his friend, yet greater love than this hath Christ shewne, that he dyed for his enemy, Rom. 5. 8. Scarcely for a righteous man will one dye, yet peradventure for a good man some will dare to dye. But God com­mendeth his love to us-ward, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. O love! infinite! unfadomable love!

Secondly, consider the Act with its circumstances. I raised thee, 1. Out of a low condition. What lower than hell? that was thy portion Christian, thou wert a child of wrath by nature even as others: He remembred thee in [Page 70] thy low estate; his mercy endureth for ever. 2. To a glorious condition. It is an estate more glorious than thy natu­rall estate was or could be miserable, to be free men in Jesus Christ, Rom. 6. 18. into marvellous light, 1 Pet. 2. 9. to to be children, and if children then heirs of God, and joynt-heires with the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 8. 17. Heires of sal­vation, Heb. 1. 14. Heires of the Promi­ses, Heb. 11. 9. Heires of the Kingdome, Jam. 2. 5. Ye which in times past were not a people, are now the people of God, you that had not obtained mercy, have now obtained mercy, and are become, 1 Pet. 2. 10, 11. A chosen Generation, a royall Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar people: wherefore is it, but that you should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darknesse into marvellous light? 3. He raised you by his owne falling, yes, nothing else could doe it; Without bloud there had been no remission, Heb 9. 22. His owne soule must be grieved to the death, that your soules might be comforted; He must be smitten, despised, rejected of men, that the chastisement of your peace [Page 71] might be upon him, and by his stripes you might be healed. Was ever love like his?

Thirdly, Consider it further, in the ob­ject of this Act, I raised thee. 1. Thee, not others; Thee, not Angels: Thee, not many other men. 1. Not Angels, yet the Angels were far more glorious creatures, which (if raised) had sinned no more, but spent their time in singing forth his glory, and serving him with cheerfull readinesse all their dayes, yet Heb. 2. 16. He in no wise took upon him the Nature of Angels, but he tooke on him the seed of Abraham. 2. If the Lord would have chosen men, might not he have chosen ten thousand more great, more noble, more wise, that in a carnall eye were by Nature cut out far more fit to have made vessels of glory of than thou art? yet the Lord hath passed them by, he hath passed by Eliab and Shammah, that were sonnes of the same Father with thee, and hath chosen thee that wert the least of all, Ishmael and Esau that were thy elder brethren, and hath chosen thee. 2. Thee, that wert as low as others. Adam left thee [Page 72] as deep in hell as any reprobate there. Loe here, the infinitenesse of free grace! Two were in the same house, yea grin­ding at the same mill of iniquity, and thou art taken, and the other is left; possibly thou wert in thy wildest youth, seeming to ride faster to hell than the other were that were thy bre­thren, friends and acquaintance, yet the Lord hath raised thee, and let the others lye wallowing in their bloud, he hath not said to them, live. 3. Thee, that wert his Enemy. Was ever dying love, yea love in dying extended to an ene­my before? You have heard of two stories, one of a Grecian, the other of a Roman paire; Theseus and Perithous, Pilades and Orestes, that would have dyed for their friends, each for another, but hath any offered to dye for his Ene­my? Moses would offer to have his name blotted out for his people, that were Gods people, and which he lo­ved, but would Moses have done it for a Philistine? yet this hath Christ done. O love ye the Lord all his Saints! 4. Thee that never askt it. He was found of them that sought it not. Alas, [Page 73] mankind lay as well without a tongue to aske, as an hand to help themselves, and behold, Christ pitied them, and amongst them thee; his love declared from Eternity towards thee, had not so much cause in thee as a poore prayer would have amounted to; he was not moved by thy sighs and teares, but by his owne infinite love. 5. Lastly, thee that hast still Rebellion in thee. Christ said within himselfe, when he dyed upon the Crosse, Now is my heart-bloud powred out for as vile wretches as any are, and for those that I know will requite my bleeding wounds, my dying love, with new speares and thornes; thus he knew that thou wouldst doe in the time of thy unrege­neracie, yea and after thou shouldst be called too: Who lives, and sinnes not? Now Christian, lay these things to thy heart, meditate of, study out this love, and see if thou hast not cause to say, My soule and all that is within me, my tongue and all that is without me, praise the Lord. But, O remember! Christian, Remember! Burnt offering and sacrifice he doth not require, but [Page 74] this he requires, that thou shouldst doe his will. O say, Loe I come: I am rea­dy to do it. But more particularly let me point thee out some particular duties, that the Lord requires of thee, in a poor answer to his rich Acts of eternall love.

First, hath not he thought his glory too deare to lay aside for a while for thee, nor his Word and Truth too dear to pawne for thee, nor his bloud too deare to spill for thee? hath he valued nothing in comparison of thee? O doe thou value nothing in an equall ballance with him; be willing to deny thy selfe for him, who in every thing hath de­nyed himselfe for thee. Thy Lusts cannot be so pleasing to thee, as Christs glory was to him; Be content to leave them. Thy Honour cannot be so great as his was, which he left for thee, and became ignoble in our eyes. Surely when wee saw him, we esteemed him de­spised, smitten of God, and afflicted, Isa. 53. 4. But it was when hee was woun­ded for our Transgressions, and bruised for our Iniquities, when the chastise­ment of our peace was upon him, and that by his stripes we might be healed. Thy [Page 75] Riches cannot be greater than his; yet remember him, O remember the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who though he was rich, yet for your sake became poore, that you through his Povertie might be made rich, 2 Cor. 7. Thy life cannot be more deare than his; yet he valued not his life for thee, but powred out his bloud, his precious bloud, upon the Crosse, that through his bloud thou mightest have remission purchased. Learne hence Christian a lesson of self-deniall: Be content to suffer for him, who was content to suffer that he might raise thee; value nothing in comparison of him. This Lesson had Saint Paul learned, Phil. 3. v. 7, 8. What things were gaine to me I counted losse for Christ, yea doubtlesse and I count all things but losse for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the losse of all things, and doe count them but dung that I may win Christ, &c. ver. 10. That I may know him, and the power of his Re­surrection, and the fellowship of his suf­ferings, being made conformable unto his death. Looke upon nothing in an [Page 76] equall ballance with him, 1 Cor. 2. 2. I determined not to know any thing amongst you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Secondly, hath Christ entred into a Covenant, and given his word to his Father, and kept his word with his Fa­ther for you? O then, learne of him: Vow your selves to him, and keep the vowes of your lips. Say with David, Psal. 116. ver. 16. Ah Lord! truly we are thy servants, we are thy servants, and the sons of thy handmaids, for thou hast loosed our bonds. Say with David, Psal. 40. Mine eares hast thou opened, and bored them. Say, Ah Lord, we come to doe thy will. Christ kept his word with his Father for you, Ah, keep your word with him, pay him the vowes which you have made.

Thirdly, Hath Christ to raise you ta­ken upon him your flesh? O then, Take ye upon your selves his spirit: He hath become for you the childe of man, doe you become for him the chil­dren of God; Be made partakers of the divine Nature, having escaped the cor­ruption that is in the world through [Page 77] lust, 2 Pet. 1. 4. Your Nature was full of imperfection and weaknesse, the divine Nature is full of perfection and glory: He hath raised you, be raised, put off your filthy rags, and put on change of Raiment.

Fourthly, Hath Christ died that he might raise you from the death of Sinne, and from the power of the Se­cond death? O then, dye to sinne, Col. 3. 5. Mortifie therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleannesse, inordinate affection, evill concupiscence, and covetousnesse, which is idolatry, for which things, &c. The Apostle Saint Paul presseth the great duty of mortification from this very principle, Likewise reckon yee al­so your selves to be dead to sinne, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6. 11. and so on, ver. 12, 13. Let not sinne therefore reigne in your mortall bodies, &c. Ah, throw away the nailes that pierced your Christ.

Fifthly, Did Christ rise from the dead, that he might raise you from the death of sinne? O then rise to newnesse of life. The Apostle Saint Paul presseth [Page 78] this worke of Vivification also, from Christs Resurrection, Rom. 6. ver. 4. We are buried with him by Baptisme into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Fa­ther, euen so, we also should walke in newnesse of life; and so all along that Chapter.

Sixthly, Hath he ascended that he might raise us? O then let us likewise ascend after him, setting our affections upon things which are above, not upon things which are below. Christ who is our treasure is ascended: Let our hearts also be where our treasure is, Col. 3. ver. 1. If then ye be risen with Christ, seeke those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.

7. Lastly, Will he yet once againe come and raise you by glorification? O then, Let Christ in you be the hopes of glory. Looke for him, he is making rea­dy his chariot, He is bowing the Hea­vens, and comming downe, He hath prepared a place for his redeemed ones, and he is comming: Loe, he is com­ming to take them up into the cham­bers [Page 79] of glory, that where he is, there they may be also. But to summe up all, let me only adde,

5. A fifth and last use of Consola­tion, To all the Saints and servants of God, both touching themselves, and touching others. 1. Touching them­selves, against their worldly miseries and spirit-feares. 1. Art thou discon­solate Compl. (Christian,) to thinke what a poore low estate God hath given thee in this world, that thou art poore, despised, rejected? O consider, thou shalt have better in heaven. The Martyrs could be comforted at their bitter breakfast, to thinke they should have a good supper. There is a roome prepared for thee in glory: O be comforted in the hopes of glory. When thou canst say, I have not bread to eat, yet Christ is mine; I have not a foot of land, yet Heaven is mine; I am worth nothing, yet I blesse God I have a portion in Jesus Christ; It is enough Christian, it is enough; against thy spirit-fears be comforted. Ah (saith 2. Compl. a Christian) my sins, my great sins that my youth hath been guilty of make me feare, [Page 80] and sit downe in bitternesse; yet be com­forted, if thou beest changed: Christ hath raised thee, hee paid ransome enough for thee, if thy sinnes were greater than they are. It was a sad say­ing to remember, such were some of you: but it was joyfull newes to con­sider, But now you are washed, now you are cleansed, &c. But alas (saith the 3. Compl. Christian,) I sinne every day, my back­slidings are many, I sinne in my righte­ousnesse, my best duties are sinne. Con­sider Christian, Christ is still raising thee by pleading for thee, it is his work to make intercession for the Saints. But alas (saith the Christian) If God be 4. Compl. with me, if Christ be mine, why am I thus? why doe I walke heavily? I an­swer, Because God sees it fit for thee, thou mayst be raised, both meritori­ously and actually, though not comfor­tably and sensibly: God will shine upon thee when he thinks good, the Sun shines where it lists. Ah, But I feare 5. Compl. I shall fall away (saith another) I have a base heart full of corruption, &c. Dost thou feare, and why dost thou so [Page 81] sinne? Dost thou thinke Christ hath taken all this paines with thee for no­thing? No, no, be assured, as Heaven is purchased for thee, so it shall be given to thee. Christ useth not to doe his worke by the halves. I have not lost one of them (saith Christ) he knowes them by name, they cannot be missing, his worke shall not be in vaine concern­ing any one of his chosen ones.

Secondly, Let Christians from hence be comforted concerning others. 1. Such of their friends as they may sadly feare, have as yet no portion in the Lord Je­sus Christ. O pray for them, weep for them, speake to them in the name of the Lord, and yet hope, that though they be not actually raised, yet they may be meritoriously raised: There is many a one that hath a white name in Gods Election-booke, and whose name Christ hath engraven upon his hands, that to us is yet a black child of wrath, a stranger to the Covenant of Grace. If their names be there, Christ will in his owne time raise him betwixt this and the Judgment day; there is a spare [Page 82] roome in Heaven for them. 2. Art thou disconsolate to see some of thy friends in great terrors, in great affli­ctions of spirit? O rejoyce over them Christian, it is probable Christ is rai­sing of them. Be assured, if they be his, he will raise them, there is not the lowest worme that belongs to Christ, but he hath provided an high place for them; Not the most blubber'd-eyed, uncomely Christian (in thine eyes) in the world, but Jesus Christ hath pro­vided an handkerchiefe to wipe all teares from their eyes; Christ hath rai­sed them, and will raise them.

One Branch of my use of Instru­ction I forgate in its due place, take it now in a word.

We may hence be instructed, and let us learne, how much Christ deserves our cleaving to him in the wildernesse, in all trials, and crosses whatsoever. I take this to be the proper use of this Text. The Spouse had fancied to her selfe what the world would say of her, how they would admire her dependance upon Christ, when he seemed to leave her, [Page 83] and make her sad; Christ replyes in the words of the Text, I raised thee up un­der the Apple-tree, &c. As much as to say; And doe I not deserve all this love, and a great deale more? Is it for no­thing that thou thus cleavest to me? Remember what thou wert by Nature; Remember who hath done all the good for thee that is done for thy soule.

‘I raised thee up under the Apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee.’
THE SPOƲSES Carriage …

THE SPOƲSES Carriage In the Wildernesse, in her leaning upon her Welbeloved, Opening the temper of the Beleeving-soule in her seve­rall Wildernesses; And discovering the way of her comming out, by her acting of Faith on the Lord JE­SƲS CHRIST.

In a Sermon formerly preacht in An­drewes Parish in Norwich: Now re­printed, being corrected by the Author.


Isa. 50. 10. Who is amongst you that feareth the Lord, and obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darknes, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

LONDON, Printed for Rich: Tomlins. 1649.

TO The Right Honorable, his never enough Honou­red Lady, FRANCES HOBART, Increase of Grace, &c.


SOme time since, I presumed to present this Ser­mon to your Ho­nours hands; your Ladi­ships acceptance then hath emboldened mee now to present it againe, with some (though very small) altera­tions. It presents your Ladi­ship [Page] with a great piece of your Honours duty and pra­ctise: Faith (Madam) is al­most the Christians All; the Life of Faith is distinctively the Christians life; and if e­ver there were a time for a Christian to live this life, surely this time in which the Lord hath cast our lot is the time. The whole Church of Christ is this day in the Wildernesse; the Israelites way to Canaan lay that way; And for my part, I look still, that the Church should keep the beaten path: and as all that have lived godly in Christ Iesus hitherto have, [Page] so I expect that all that will live godly, should still suffer persecution. The portion in this life, (surely) is not the portion of the Saints; here, and hereafter is too much. After Christs Suffering time we quickly read of his As­cension. The mountaines of Edom are given to the chil­dren of Esau for a possession. Immediately after the dayes of Tribulation shall the Sonne of Man come. And truely, the little experience of the best Saints temper in this breathing time that England hath had, hath made me as little to de­sire, as to expect an Earthly [Page] happinesse. Saints have Na­ture in them as wel as Grace: Wantonnesse is the Daugh­ter of Peace; and in our time the Mother hath brought forth twinnes. The extrava­gancies of Opinion, and e­strangements of affection, the cooled love of truth, and for­getting first love, of which wee have had, and have too large experiences, I confesse have made mee little lesse than an enemy, I am sure an Infidell, to the Churches continued Peace. Broken me­talls must bee melted before they will runne together a­gaine; it must be a fire that [Page] must throughly purge away our drosse, and take away our tinne. And as I expect for the whole, so for every member, at least I would have them expect it for themselves. Let us seeke the Kingdome of God, for the [...], all things else [...], if they come, let them be thrown in; let us blesse God if wee receive them. It is a Benja­mins double Messe to have earth and heaven too. Let us not build our expectations high; if we have them, we shall but have [...] & [...], [...] quasi [...]. Dogges meat (God feeds his Dogges with such Crums,) [Page] and they will bee losse unto us: Much lesse, let us make it our worke, to get great things for our selves. (Ma­dam,) to mee it seems a busi­nesse of farre greater concern­ment to enquire and learne rather what to doe in a streight, than whether wee shall have a time that shall bee without streights. I had rather be prepared for the worst, than filled with expe­ctations of the best. Here is Isa. 43. 2. our comfort, that in the flouds, and the flames, hee will be with us, that will not suffer the flouds to drowne us, nor the flames to kindle upon us. [Page] This short Sermon will di­rect your Ladiship to a po­sture that in every condition will afford your Honour ease. It need not trouble us, that there is a Lion in our way, if wee have strength to en­counter him. We need not be troubled, that our way to Canaan lies through wilder­nesses, if we have the cloud, and pillar of fire. Much fear will argue little faith. Yet a little while Madam, and hee that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Yet a while, and we shall be beyond the feare of drownings; more a­bove feares than wee are [Page] now below enjoyments. The great God that hath directed your Honours steps towards him, multiply the dayes of Peace to your Ladiship, that you may finde a nearer way to heaven, than through much tribulation; and goe Iacobs way, betwixt Egypt and Ca­naan. But if for triall the Lord shall carrie your Ho­nor the way of the Israelites, it is more triall, and may ask more time; but in heaven there cannot be a Saint missing. Iniquity onely shall bee pur­ged Fsa. 27. 9. away, and this shall bee all the fruit, to take away sinne, and when the Lord shall make the [Page] stones of the Altar chalke­stones that are beaten in sunder, the Groves and the Images shall not stand up. The Lord in e­very Wildernesse preserve your Ladiships faith, by his power to salvation; and if he brings your Honor in, doubt not (Madam,) but hee will also bring you out of everie Wildernesse leaning on your wel-beloved; Which may be your Ladiships assured faith, and shall be (Madam) the con­stant prayer, of

Your Honors most obliged Chaplain, & humble Ser­vant in the Lord Jesus, John Collings.

The SPOUSES Carriage in the Wildernesse.

Song of Solomon. Chap. 8. ver. 5.‘Who is this that commeth up out of the wildernesse, leaning upon her wel­beloved?’

WE have already taken no­tice of two Travellers in the Text. Christ is a Traveller: For had he not come up with his Garments died from Bozra, we had been in the wil­dernesse still. And the Spouse is a Tra­veller; The Text saith, She commeth up from the wildernesse, leaning upon her welbeloved. The Text presents us the Spouse in motion.

Observe first, From whence she moves, the Terminus à quo, that the Text [Page 2] tels us is the wildernesse.

2. What her motion is, it is ascen­sive, she commeth up.

3. Her moving posture, it is leaning upon her beloved.

The Doctrine that yet remaines in the Text, which I promised to handle, is,

Doct. 3. That the Spouse of the Lord Jesus Christ (being raised by him) commeth out of every wildernesse, leaning upon her beloved.

I must take it in pieces, and handle the parts severally.

These foure things be couched in it:

1. That the Spouse of Christ hath had, and may somtimes have, her dwell­ing in the wildernesse. That is implied.

2. Though she hath had, and may sometimes have, her dwelling in the wil­dernesse, yet she rests not there; She comes up from it. Who is this that comes up?

3. She cannot come up alone; She must come up leaning.

4. She will lean upon her Beloved, and he will, and only can bear her.

First, She hath had, and sometimes may have, her dwelling in the wilder­nesse. Here first I must open the tearme Wildernesse. Secondly, I shal shew you what Wildernesse the Spouse hath had, or may have, her dwelling in.

I shall open the first in five or sixe particulars.

1. The Wildernesse is an untilled place, where wild nature is yet seen, that Art hath not yet tamed, no pruning hook hath lopt, the over-grown trees, no plow broke up the soyle to make it fruitfull; The husband-man hath not tilled the ground there, nor can the reaper fill his hand; It is a place just in its naturall state, not yet manured.

2. The Wildernesse is a losing place; no beaten road for the Traveller there to follow, no land-marks, nothing to guide him in his way, he is lost if once in it; hee looks on this side, and on the other, forward, backward, every way, still he sees himselfe lost, knowes not whither to goe: He is in a Wil­dernesse, and knowes not the way out.

3. The Wildernesse is a dangerous [Page 4] place; A man in the Wildernesse is a prey to the mouth of every Lion; the Lion is the King of those waste places; and the Bears, Wolves, Cockatrices, and Adders, his lesser subjects: There dwells the young Lion, the Cockatrice and the Adder together, each one searching for his prey. It is a dange­rous place.

4. The Wildernesse is a solitary place; where hee that walks, as hee hath no path, so he hath no compa­ny: The paths in the Wildernesse are not trodden, no beaten high wayes are there; no company but the Owles and the Ostriches, the beasts of the field, and creeping things of the earth. Nothing fit to be a com­panion for man: No, it is a Wilder­nesse.

5. The Wildernesse is a disconsolate place; no curiosities of nature to refresh his spirits with: Terror is round about him; no pleasure to delight him.

6. Lastly, the Wildernesse is a place voyd of all provisions; There is neither bread for the hungry, nor water for the thirsty soule; no necessaries, much lesse superfluities.

The expression is very apt: such a Wildernesse, yea many a such Wilder­nesse the Spouse of Christ hath had, and may have, her dwelling in.

1. A Wildernesse of Sinne. 2. A Wildernesse of Sorrow. 3. A Wil­dernesse of Affliction. 4. A Wilder­nesse of Temptation. 5. A Wilder­nesse of Desertion. Nay, lastly, This whole life is but a wildernesse to her. Shee hath been in some of these, and may be in all of them; but out of all Shee cometh up leaning. Every one of these is the soules Wildernesse: and as they come up to Christ, they come up from some of them; and in their walking with the Lord Christ, they goe through some of them; and some goe through all of them.

The first is Eremus peccati, The Wildernesse of sinne; and every soule is born in this Wildernesse. Man at first created dwelt in Paradise; but a­las, he threw himselfe out into the Wildernesse, and God lockt the Garden gate against him. Sinfull man perferr'd the Wildernesse before Paradise, and God allots him his dwelling there: [Page 6] There was man thrown, & all mankind born in it. We are all Wildernesse brats by nature, Ephes. 2. 3. You were children of wrath by nature, even as others. And sinne may well be call'd a Wildernesse; it is status naturalis, our naturall con­dition: We are in a Wildernesse ha­bit, when we are clothed with the raggs of iniquity. Ay and it is a state as dangerous as the Wildernesse: The Lion claims him in the Wildernesse as his prey; and if he scapes his teeth, it will be hard to escape the Cockatrice, and young Lion, and Adder, the lesser fry of destroyers: If in this sinfull natu­rall condition we do escape the mouth of the roaring Lion the Devill, it is greatly to be feared that the Beare, and the Wolfe, and the Cockatrice, the lesser judgments of God, will swallow us up: we are children of wrath, as well passively as actively, in a dange­rous condition. Lastly, as the Wilder­nesse is a place void of all necessary provisions for the body, so is sinne a state voyd of all necessary provisions for the soule: We are hungry, and na­ked, and bloudy, and filthy in our [Page 7] sinnes, it is a wildernesse dresse, Ezek. 16. As for thy nativity, in the day that thou wert born, thy navell was not cut: neither wert thou washed in water to supple thee, thou wert cast out in the open field, Verse. 5. Every spouse of the Lord Christ hath been in this Wildernesse. Who is this that cometh up? of this I have spoke before, and therefore passe it over.

The second Wildernesse is Eremus contritionis, The wildernesse of con­trition, or sorrow for sinne. Every soul is naturally in the Wildernesse; but every one that is in it seeth not that it is there: Every soul is born blind, though most think they see. When God opens the soules eyes, and shewes it the hell that it treads over every houre, and makes the soule apprehensive of its danger, it conceives it selfe in a worse Wildernesse than before; the physick works, the Patient thinks it is nearer death than before it took it. Here it cryes out, Oh, I am a lost undone crea­ture! Oh, whither should I goe? on one side behold terror! on the other side despaire! If it lookes up to [Page 8] heaven, there is an angry God; if downward, there is a gaping hell: Oh! whither should it goe? Now it cryes out (with the Iaylor) O what shall I doe to be saved? I am lost in my sinnes! I am lost in my owne righteousnesse! I know not what to doe: If I stay in my sinnes I perish; if I go out of the world I perish. Here stands the soule turning it selfe every way, and seeing com­fort no way, till the Lord Christ bowes the heavens, and thrusts out his arme of salvation, his shoulder of merits, and takes the soule by the hand, saying, Come (my Beloved) I will tell thee what thou shalt doe; I am the way out of this wildernesse, come out leaning; leane thy arme of faith upon the shoulder of my merits; Free grace is able to beare thee: I am thy Wel­beloved, and thy Welbeloved is thine. And ordinarily the soule when it comes to the Lord Christ, comes through this wildernesse, this losing place of con­viction and contrition, and weeps her selfe a path, where she would drown in the waters of Marah, if Christ did not hold her up. Indeed God could [Page 9] have brought the Israelites a shorter, Journey, than through the wildernesse to Canaan; and sometimes God mira­culously drawes a soul to himselfe, one­ly by the cords of mercy: God is not tyed alwayes to bring a soule the same road to heaven; Elijah was carried to heaven in a fiery chariot; but the more ordinary way is by Jacobs ladder. The common way to heaven is by the gates of hell; the way to life is through the chambers of death, through a wilder­nesse. Who is this that commeth up out of the wildernesse?

The third Wildernesse in which Christ's Spouse may somtimes have her dwelling in, is the Wildernesse of afflicti­on; bodily afflictions I meane. A Wil­dernesse is a place full of bryars and thornes; and through such a wildernesse (the holy Ghost tells us) lies the Saints way to heaven: By much tribulation [much pricking of thrones, thornes in the flesh somtimes] must we enter into the kingdome of God. The Spouse hath a dirty way to go to marrying in; and when shee is marryed, she hath a dirty way home too: A wildernesse on ei­ther [Page 10] side. The Apostle speakes plain, Heb. 11. 37, 38. They wandred about in Sheep-skins, and Goat-skines, being de­stitute, afflicted, tormented, they wandred in deserts, and in mountaines, and in dens, and in caves of the earth; And who were these that wandred thus in the wildernesse? They were such of whom the world was not worthy; the Spouses of the Lord Christ. And truely afflictions may be called a wildernesse, for the disconsolacy of them too; they are times of sorrow, no delights please; the spouse in affliction is in a wildernes.

4. A fourth wildernesse that the Spouse sometimes dwells in, is the wildernesse of temptations, The Bride­groom himself was in this wildernesse; He was led into the wildernesse, to be tempted of the Devill; The spirit took him thither, Matth. 4. vers. 1. and Paul was in this wildernesse, troubled on e­very side; this is Satans wildernesse, that he leads many a poore soule into, and it had been a sad wildernesse, had not our WAY been their first: If the Devill could have lost our Saviour in it, we should never have found the way [Page 11] out of it. A dangerous, a disconsolate place, well tearmed a wildernesse, as the Saint will tell you that hath been in it.

5. A fifth Wildernesse that the Spouse is sometimes in, is the Wildernesse of desertion. Heres a sad wildernesse, a de­sert indeed, Quum Dens deseruit, When God hath forsaken or withdrawne himselfe from the Soule; this Desert Christ himselfe was in, Eli, Eli, lama-sabachthani? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? was the voice of the Lord Jesus hollowing in the wildernesse: such a wildernesse was the Spouse in, when she sought him, but found him not, Cant. 3. v. 2. In this desert the soule is solitary, her God is gone, and she knowes not what is be­come of him; the soule never calls any company her company, if her God be not there. David was in this wilder­nesse too, he is often crying out of the wildernesse he was in, when God hid his face from him. The foule that belongs to the Lord Jesus goes through many a wildernesse in this world, but scarce any which Christ hath not walkt in before it, and hewn a way through it; [Page 12] through every wildernesse we may follow the Lamb in his own path.

6. Nay lastly, The Saints whole life below, is but a wildernes. Earth is a Christians desert; while she lives here, she lives in widowhood; it is a sinfull place, a dangerous place, a thorny place, and a place where she finds an abate­ment of the joyes she shall be swallow­ed up in in glory. Mortality is but Me­shech, and her best habitations are but tents of Kedar, nothing to the temple of Glory she shall worship her God in hereafter; and the former deserts are but as severall corners of this wilder­nesse; but she commeth up out of every wildernesse: That is the next branch of Doctrine I hasten to.

Branch 2. That though the Saint of God hath had, and may have, her dwell­ing in the wildernesse, she rests not there, but commeth up out of it.

She cometh up. It seemes to argue a propriety in the motion, as if she were not driven nor drawne up, nor made to come, but of her selfe came, and of her owne strength, and yet not of her own strength neither; her [Page 13] owne leggs would not beare her, for the text tells us she comes up leaning, she had fallen had she not leaned.

Here is the Question stated; what the soule doth towards its conversion, what power of doing any thing tend­ing towards its conversion before it is sanctified, or after it is sanctified, whe­ther it may meerly passive, what she may doe, what she cannot doe, how far she may come, where she must lean?

Whether hath the soule any power to come up out of the wildernesse of sinne to the Lord Christ, to move one step heaven ward of it selfe? And here I have a narrow path to tread betwixt the Pelagians and Arminians on the one side, that would make the soule have more power than it hath: and the Antinomians and Sectaries on the other side, that are so farre from holding that the soule hath no power to come to Christ, that they would make us beleeve she hath no power to come to Church neither.

I shall not know how to determine this Question better than in the words of pious and learned Bishop Davenant, [Page 14] Determ. Q. 9. 49. Non potest quodvis opus ex divina premissione, ad impetran­dam peecatorum remissionem, aut adeun­dam possessionem regni coelorum ordina­tum, The soule cannot doe any thing that is ordained by God, or hath the promise of God, to obtaine pardon of sinnes, or possession of the Kingdome of heaven; she cannot savingly beleeve, repent, love, &c. for these are the acts of grace, and God is the fountain and donour of all grace.

1. But first, she may, by Gods gene­rall restraining grace, without speciall and saving grace, abstaine from grosse sinnes; the heathens did so; the light of nature which God keeps from none, will shew her that this is darknesse.

2. Secondly, She may by Gods ex­citing grace, without any saving grace, performe many previous actions that are required of men to faith and repen­tance; she may by vertue of Gods ge­nerall grace, his exciting grace, goe to Church, hear the word of God, meditate of God, peccat a propria consider are & sē ­su eorum expavescere, saith Davenant; Ay, and she may beg deliverance from [Page 15] that wofull condition, which she ap­prehends her selfe in; but she stirrs not one of these stepps after a spirituall, but after a naturall manner, till the quick­ning grace of God come: A man may in a wildernesse conceive himselfe lost, look about for the way out, call for help, be willing to be out, yet not be one step in the way that will lead him out; and this the soule must doe so farr as it can: Negamus etenim hanc gratiam regene­rantem infundi hominibus inertibus, sed animis per verbum Dei erectis, & sub­act is, & per praedictas actiones quodam­modo dispositis, viz. We deny that rege­nerating grace is infused into sloathfull men, but into soules subdued by Gods word and law, and after a manner dis­posed by the foregoing actions; yet we say, that even these foregoing actions have their first motions from God; and the question is whether God doth not first work a sight and sense of sinne, and an humiliation for it by his exciting grace, before he comes with his rege­nerating, quickning and saving grace into the soule; we say he doth in his ordinary course of his dispensations, [Page 16] Only I must bee here safely under­stood, that I speak according to mans apprehension; for in respect of God, nothing is first or last, he works all in an instant, all graces together in the soule; but the question lies not whether God works the habit of Repentance be­fore the habit of Faith, or no; for without question he works together all his works; but whether God makes humiliation act before faith, which we say he doth; Esau and Jacob may be in their mothers womb together, but Esau may come out and be seen in the world before Jacob; yet not tying up the Al­mighty to this method, who can and will work any way, even which way it pleaseth him. Nor doe we say any such previous action can be performed by the Creature, ut de merito congrui teneatur Gratiam dare, That God is bound for the desert of any such privi­ous action to give his inward and rege­nerating quickning grace; But yet this Dave. ibid. we say, that in the Church of God, where men are dayly stirr'd up by the word and spirit to repent and beleeve savingly, God will give (though not [Page 17] for any of these previous or dispository actions, yet) freely, regenerating grace to all such as are capable of it, unlesse they have resisted the spirit of God in the preceding operations, and rejected his quickning grace; but yet we deny, that any man can performe these acti­ons so but he will offend and resist the Spirit of God in them: Now why, when as all resist, God should reject some, as they have rejected him, and leave them to the hardnesse of their own hearts, and work irresistibly on others who have resisted their God as much, and break open their hearts, though lock'd and barr'd against him, and fill them with quickning grace, and pull a Lot out of Sodom by force, and draw a soule out of the wildernesse by head and shoulders, I say, why he should doe it, when two are grinding at the same mill, take one and leave the other; when two are in the same field, why the one should be taken the other left; when two soules are equall in duties, fasting, mourning, in the way that God hath appointed, why he should baulke this and take the other, [Page 18] when perhaps that which is taken hath been the least penitent too, I will con­clude with Dr. Davenant, is Sacrum Misterium divinae voluntati reliquen­dum, A sacred and secret mistery to be left to the divine pleasure, and the rea­son lies in the agents own breast; It is because he will have mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and whom he wills he hardeneth: God is his owne reason, and his free grace its owne cause.

So then we conclude, that the soule cannot move one foot to a spirituall a­ction spiritually, not by any common grace, it must be only by Gods regene­rating and saving grace. So that to an­swer yet more distinctly to the Que­stion.

1 In respect of Gods exciting and pre­venting grace, if we looke so farre, we cannot come, but that preventeth us: We are as clay in the hands of the Pot­ter, we are all dead in sinnes.

2 But when the Lord hath changed the soule, then it commeth. The first motion upon the will is from God, be­fore there is any motion of the will un­to God; but when the will is healed [Page 19] of God, then the soule commeth, then the soule which was meerly passive before, is active, and will endeavour to doe somthing for that God that hath done so much for her. It followes, the drawing of Gods most holy Spirit: Draw me (saith the Spouse) and I will run after thee, First, I must be drawne; but then I will run: In the same mo­ment God makes us to will, and we will; & yet all the efficacy of the Acti­on comes from Gods most holy Spirit.

It is certaine (saith Augustine) that Certum est nos velle quum volu­mus, sed ille facit ut ve­limus qui operatur in nobis velle. wee are willing when wee are willing, but he makes us willing, that workes in us to will and to perform, Phil. 2. 13. And so he, [...] ▪ God drawes, but he drawes the soule that is willing; Ay, but first, [...], he makes it willing. So, I have shew­ed what proprietie the soul hath in the Action, how she commeth, and how willing she is to the motion. She is drawne, but she is willing to be drawne to Jesus Christ. But first, she is made willing before she is willing, ay, and in her life, after she is come to Christ, in her walking with Christ, Non suis con­fidit viribus, she trusts not her owne [Page 20] strength, she even then commeth lean­ing, which is the next Branch of the Doctrine I have to handle.

Though she comes up from the wil­dernesse, she comes up, not of her owne strength, but leaning.

First, Let us enquire what the ex­pression holds out to us.

Secondly, What is the soules hand.

Thirdly, Who is it she leanes upon.

Fourthly, What in him she hath to trust to, and how in every wildernesse she leans, and out of every wildernesse comes up leaning.

I conceive, here are foure things hin­ted in this expression leaning, which I may tearme the foure fingers of the Spouses hand, which she layes upon her Saviours shoulders.

First, It doth argue that the soule is weary, otherwise she would not leane.

Secondly, It is a willing posture; I am not forced to leane, I do it willing­ly: The soule that comes up with Christ is willing.

Thirdly, It is a posture of love; Other­wise she would not leane.

Fourthly, It doth argue a confidence that the soule hath in the Lord, that he [Page 21] is able to beare her; Otherwise shee would not trust the weight of her soule upon him.

First, it doth argue wearinesse; If she were not weary she would not leane. Humiliation is a preface to faith, and the way to be found is to be lost. It is not a leaning of wantonnesse, but a lean­ning of wearinesse. O Lord, I am sink­ing into Hell, let me save my selfe from sinking by thy shoulders; I am falling, Lord let me leane; whiles the soule hath any strength to goe, it is too proud to be beholden to leane; Come unto me ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will ease you, Mat. 11. 29. First, weary, then come: First, heavy laden; then I will ease you: What shall I doe to be saved (saith the Gaolor?) O I am lost! undone! I am at a Non-plus! O what shall I doe? I am weary! for I am farre readier to be­leeve, that that Voice, What shall I doe? is rather the Voice of the soul (at it's nil ultra) sadly sensible of it's lost and miserable condition, sufficiently hum­bled in the sense of it, than the voice of a soule, thinking it might doe any thing that might be but in the least contribu­tary [Page 22] to the desert of salvation. I cannot be perswaded, to think, that when the Gaolor spake those words, prostrated by humiliation at the Apostles feet, that he had the least thought that he could throw in so much as two mites into the Treasury of free grace. But as it is the ordinary speech of one drown'd in the depth of sorrow; O what shall I doe? What shall I doe? though at that instant they know they can doe nothing to help themselves: So the Gaoler, in a true sense of his owne lost condition, cryes out, O what shall I doe? he was weary, it was time for the A­postle to bid him leane, then beleeve (saith the Apostle) and thou shalt be saved. It is but a wresting of the place, or mocking it rather, to bring it to per­swade that duties preparatory were here excluded. Surely, had not the Apostles seen him humbled in some degrees, they would as well have prefixed Repent here, as Peter did to them, Act. 2. Re­pent, and be baptized. Christ came not to call the Righteous, but sinners to re­pentance. He is a Saviour, but it is for them that are lost in their owne feeling [Page 23] too. And the truth of it is, the soule scornes to leane upon Christ so long as it is able to goe alone, when it hath ne­ver a crutch of merits or duties to rest upon, then it lookes out for some rest for it's foot, for some shoulder to beare up, for some staffe to stay it selfe upon. Leaning doth argue wearinesse, that's the first.

Secondly, It doth argue a willingnesse in the soule to come to Jesus Christ; Leaning is not a forced action. Indeed (as I said before) Christ first works this willingnes; he it is that gives us power to will, and it is by his power that we are willing, as it is written, They shall be Psa. 110. 3. willing in the day of my power; But he doth not let us leane before we are wil­ling. Leaning is an action proceeds from the will, Who is this cometh up leaning?

Thirdly, leaning doth argue love; who leans upon his enemies? I will not leane upon one whom I cannot trust, I must have some good thoughts of his love. The soul that leans upon the Lord Jesus Christ loves Christ, that Faith, that pre­tended dependancy of any upon Christ, that proceedeth not out of a principle [Page 24] of love, groweth out of a false root; the loving soule is only the truly beleeving soule. Leaning is a loving posture, that is the third.

Fourthly, It doth argue fiduciam, a resting, a trusting the soule upon Christ; he that leans upon another reposeth his whole weight, trusteth his whole strength upon him: He doth as much as say, well, I know I cannot goe alone, I cannot stand; but I will trust my self, upon thy strength will I leane, if I fall, I fall: So the soule that comes up out of the wildernesse of sinne to the Lord Jesus Christ, doth repose it's whole weight upon the Lord Christ, it sayes, O Lord, I am a great and grievous sin­ner, I am not able to stand upon mine owne legges, but I trust my soule upon thy armes; thou hast mercies, and great mercies, and free mercies, if I fall, I fall; if be damned, I am damned; here I will leane. And here you have the se­cond thing plaine, viz,

Secondly, The soules hand with which she leanes upon Jesus Christ for salvation, and these 4. things which I have hinted from this expression, lean­ing, [Page 25] are as the foure fingers of the hand of Faith. And we may thus give a de­scription of it.

Faith is the hand of a soule which God hath humbled, whereby the soule being not able to stand alone, nor daring to trust to any thing else, and being made willing by God, out of a principle of love, layes hold upon Jesus Christ, and trusts, and rests it selfe upon him for her salva­tion. And that leads me to the third thing I propounded, the Person upon whom she leanes, the text renders it, Her beloved; or as I conceive, the old Translation better, Her welbeloved: The Latine dilectum suum, him that is her conjugally beloved.

This is the last Branch of the doct­rine, That though the beleeving soule comes up from the wildernesse leaning, yet she will onely leane upon her beloved, and he only can and will beare her.

We know, that whosoever leanes, must have a person to leane upon. Se­condly, There must be a capacity in this arme to beare her, some strength, yea, there had need to be a great deale to hold up the weight of a soule. First, let [Page 26] us enquire who the Person is, rendred in the Text dilectum, Her welbeloved; in plaine termes her Husband, one that hath more than an ordinary portion of her love.

Here are five things hinted in this Ex­pression.

1. It is one whom she loves. The word signifies a speciall sort of love; and every greater includes a lesse.

2. One that she is married to, he is welbeloved, her dearest love; not cha­rum, but dilectum; one that hath a ti­tle to her.

3. Her Beloved, not anothers Beloved.

4. Her Beloved, He that is her Be­loved, not who was her Beloved.

5. Her Beloved, not her Beloveds.

First, It is one whom she loves. This I hinted at before; it is a principle of love that drawes the Soule to leane upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The hatred of her selfe, hath bred the love of her Saviour in it. And no Soul loves Christ more than that wich loaths it self most. When the soule shall consider what a Brand for Hell it was in its originall, how worthlesse a worme it is, how [Page 27] basely it hath dealt by God, trampling upon his rich offers of Grace, scorning his Invitations. And again consider, that God hath no need at all of it; But if it were burning in hell, could be as glori­ous as in its Salvation, and yet would be pleased to powre out his precious bloud for it, yet so unworthy: To wooe the Soule that hath need of him, and yet never praies to him, nor ever was a sutor for mercy; This breeds love in the Soule: And the more the Soule fadomes her owne misery, the more yet she loves and admires the Lords mercy, and loving thus, she leanes upon him.

Secondly, It is one that she pleades some title to, and interest in, she cals him hers. Christ is the Bridegroome of the Soule, and the Soule is Christs Bride. Beloved, in all this Song is taken for the highest degree of love, and nearest relation, conjugall love; therefore Christ elsewhere calls her his Sister, his Spouse; she hath a title to, and interest in him, possession of him; and in ano­ther place, I am my welbeloved [...], and my welbeloved is mine. She is his, and [Page 28] he is hers: they have a propriety each in other. But suppose we should put the Spouse to prove her title to him, What is thy Beloved more than anothers Be­loved? Or, why is he thy Beloved (O beleeving soule) more than the Beloved of another? shew thy title to him: And againe, why is she Christs more than a­nother? Why should the beleever mo­nopolize Christ? and how came Christ to be hers? 1 she is his, and he is hers by right of gift, her heavenly Father hath given her unto him; hence is that Phrase of her Saviours Prayer, John. 17. 9. All that the Father hath given me, and I pray for them that thou hast given me. She hath given her selfe to him, Cant. 1. 2. Let him kisse me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is better than wine. She hath said, Draw me, and I will run after thee; ay, and he hath given him­selfe to her; he hath given his grace un­her, Gal. 1. 6. And his glory unto her. The glory which thou hast givē me I have gi­ven them. Her Beloved by right of gift. 2 2. She is his, and he is hers, by right of bargaine and sale. The Ancients had three waies to get themselves wives; [Page 29] by gift, purchase, or desert. The Fathers sold their Daughters, and the Bride­groome bought his Bride, he gave a Dowry for her. Hence when Sechem had a mind to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, he sayes, Aske me what Dowry thou wilt, and I will give it thee. Christ hath bought his Beloved; hence (saith the Apostle) He hath paid a price for us. A bloudy price: more than all the world was worth. But he would have her because he delighted in her, and so she is his, and he is hers, by right of pur­chase.

3. She is his Beloved, and he is hers, by right of desert, she deserved not him, but he deserved her. This was a third way by which the Ancients got them wives, by some gallant explcit, or great service. Their wives were somtimes gi­ven them for wages; Jacob served 14 years for Rachell, Gen. 29. 17. David for his Soveraignes daughter, encoun­tred great Goliah; and afterwards rob­bed the Philistines of their foreskins: he paid more for her, than she proved to be worth. By this right, the beleev­ing soule is the beloved of Christ, he [Page 30] hath served a long service for her; not fourteene, but above thirty yeares, he hath vanquished the Goliahs of our soules, and hath conquered our Spiritu­all Enemies.

4. He is hers, and she is his, by right of possession, he dwels in her, and she dwels in him. The second person in the Trinity is an inmate with the beleev­ing soule, He dwels under the roofe of her heart, He hath a chamber in the soule, and hath pitched his tent with­in her, and she is in him too, united each unto other, this is very plainly ex­prest, Gal. 2. 20. I live, but yet not I, but Christ lives in me. I am the Carcasse, Christ the Soule; the soule moveth the body, so Christ moves my soule; I move not from any principle in my selfe, but from a principle of Grace. The life I live in the flesh, I live by the life of the Sonne of God who dwelleth in me, who loved me, and gave himselfe for me. Thus you see she may well call Christ her Beloved, and Christ may well call her his Beloved, He hath a propriety in her, and shee hath a pro­priety in him also; hee hath marryed [Page 31] her, and dwels with her, yea, and in her, dilectum suum, her wellbeloved indeed.

Thirdly, It is her beloved, not ano­thers beloved. Every soule hath a Be­loved; the Drunkard hath his beloved cups; the wanton hath his beloved Queanes; the Covetous person his be­loved gold; The soule that leanes upon Christ, goes not a whoring after other Gods. The Spouse of Christ leanes not upon the Papists beloved merits, nor upon the Turks beloved Maho­met, nor upon the Pharisees beloved duties, nor upon the Idolaters beloved Saints; she sayes, Abraham knowes her not, and Israel is ignorant of her, but Isa. 63. 16. the Lord is her Father, Christ is her Re­deemer, and her Maker, her Redeemer, is her Husband, Creator tuus est sponsus tuus. Her beloved, not anothers Belo­ved.

Fourthly, He that is her Beloved, not that which was her Beloved. She once loved her sins, and her lusts were the beloveds of her soul. The name of Ba­alim was in her mouth; her lusts were her Lords, and they ruled over her. But [Page 32] now the name of Baalim is taken out of her mouth: she calls the Lord Ishi, God alone is her beloved. Sin was the dearly beloved of her soule, but now shee calls sinne no more Naomi, shee calls it Marah; that which was once the sweetnesse, is now the bitternesse of her soule, shee takes no pleasure in it; no, nor doth she account her duties her beloved; she useth them, but shee dares not trust her soule upon them; she dares not plead any desert in them, though once perhaps she had a Phari­saicall conceit, that her duties would be her healing, yet when she comes to the Lord Christ to leane upon his Arme, though she useth duties, and is as full of Prayer and humiliation as e­ver, shee knocks her hand upon her breast, and cryes she is a sinner. Oh, but what remedy? the knocking her hand upon her breast shee knowes cannot save her; no, for that, God be merciful to her, she leanes upon Christ, that is her now Beloved, not upon any duties, or any other merits that was before her Beloved.

Fifthly, Her beloved, not her beloveds. [Page 33] The soule that comes to the Lord Je­sus Christ loves him intensly, and as she loves him best, so she loves him onely. As nothing shall have her whole heart, so neither will she divide her heart be­twixt him and another: he shall have her heart, and he onely shall have her heart, and he shall have her whole heart too; she dare trust her strength upon Christ, and upon him alone: she desireth only to be found in the Lord Jesus, who is her Bridegroome; shee is a Virgin, not a Whore; she leanes not upon Christ with one hand, and her owne Merits with another, no, nor dares shee leane upon the Merits of another; shee durst not trust the weight of her soule upon the wings of an Angel, nor to the Prayers of a Saint; she relies upon God, and upon God onely. The Papists leane upon Christ, but not upon him alone: shee knowes it wil be a dishonour both to her and her husband, to take any thing in par­tem amoris, to share with her husband in his love; shee will keep her ho­nour in being the wife of one Hus­band.

And so I have shewed you how she leanes, what is her hand, who it is she leanes upon, what title she hath to him, what rules she observeth in her lean­ing. I have but one thing more, and that is, to shew you what strength there is in the Lord Christs shoulders to beare her; how she leanes even in every wil­dernesse, and what fulnesse of strength there is in her husbands arme to keep her up from falling.

1 The first wildernesse you may re­member was the wildernesse of sinne: Here the Spouse cannot be said proper­ly to leane upon her beloved, for she wants the hand of faith to lay hold up­on Christ, and indeed she is not weary: yet I doe not know why in some sense, even in this estate, the elect soule is not beholding to free grace; he is her Christ here, though he hath not yet manifested himselfe to be her Jesus, her Saviour. The elect soule in sin is elect, and decreed to be saved, though shee be not declared to be elect; she is be­loved in decree, though God hath not actually manifested his love unto her: he is not her beloved, but the soule is [Page 35] his beloved, not actually but decretally, he hath thoughts of good to her, but his thoughts are kept within himselfe, till he is pleased to reveale them to her at his best time: she is his beloved, though there be no correlation, she is in his thoughts, his Spouse, aye, and positive­ly, not conditionally. The Arminians falsely dreame of Gods conditionall decrees, because they comprehend not the wayes of God: Beleeving is neces­sarily required, yet it was not a condi­tion in Gods decree: The soule is his beloved, though yet there be no corre­lation, though she be not his wife yet, yet she is intended for his wife. To speake according to the wayes of men, I may intend to make a woman my wife, before I actually declare my in­tentions to her; she is my wife in my determinations and thoughts before I wooe her, though not actually my wife [...]fore I have wooed her, and she hath y [...]elded too, there lyes only this diffe­rence, my determination must be but conditionally, if she will accept of my proffer'd love: There lyes a power in her to refuse. We may therefore make [Page 36] the simile a little higher; A great Emperour buyeth a woman that is a slave which he intends to marry, and will, whether she will or no; yet he will wooe her, and if it be possible marry her will, as well as her person; yet whether she will or no, he will and may marry her, for she is his purchase, she is his wife in his determination before he hath married her. But yet even this simile is lame. (Every simile, compa­ring the wayes of God, with the wayes of man, must at least halt of one foot) for though this Emperour hath power to force the womans bo­dy to the action, yet hee hath no power to force her will, to be willing to the action, The will is alwayes in­dependent, sui juris; but God hath power, not only to marry the soule, which he hath bought from being a slave to the Devill, but to make her willing to marry him; yet she is in Christs decree his Spouse, before [...]e hath actually revealed his decree unto her: so though strictly and properly the soule cannot be said to lean upon Christ in the wildernesse of sinne, yet she may [Page 37] be said to be beholden unto the Lord Christ, and that thus:

1. Every soul hath the like principles of corruption, and would act to the full of it's depraved operations, were it not for Gods preventing and restraining grace, She is beholding unto God for his preventing and restraining grace, though here she is meerly passive.

Secondly, She is beholden unto God for his exciting grace. The soule heares, and fasts and prayes, meditates of her owne sad condition though for the sub­stance of the action it is her owne, yet it is Gods exciting grace makes her willing to heare, fast, pray, though not his speciall saving-grace, yet his com­mon grace: But this is not the leaning meant in the Text she leanes here upon Christ, but not upon Jesus [a Saviour] upon God, but not as her Beloved. And here the soule is brought into a second wildernesse.

2. The wildernesse of Sorrow, Contri­tion, Repentance, call it what you please, though I know the later tearme Repen­tance, be controverted by some.

Yet I know not why we may not say, That a man may repent without saving-grace. And for that Repentance which they say must be the effect of faith, If I were a School-man, I should rather call it Godly Sorrow, but I de­sire not to play upon tearmes: And for their defining Repentance, To be a sor­row for sinne out of the sense of the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ, it is a definition they have devised for their owne purpose; And give them their premises according as they please, they would be poore Logicians if they made the conclusion to displease them: For from hence they argue, If the love of God be the ground and cause of Re­pentance [viz. the love of God ma­nifested and sensible to us, we having apprehended it by faith] the speciall love of God, then faith must goe be­fore Repentance, viz. an apprehension of Gods saving love, and reliance upon it. But I answer, the definition which they give us of Repentance is deceit­full; it is a definition of a Species in stead of a Genus (as we say in Logick) As some unwary Divines define Faith, [Page 39] to be an assurance of Gods love in Iesus Christ. This is true, but this is a faith of the highest stamp, and many a precious soule is without this faith to his dying day.

Faith of adherence is another thing; as if I should goe to define a man to be a reasonable creature, skil'd in all sorts of Learning, Any man would understand me, that I did not goe about to describe a man in generall, but this or that parti­cular man. And I say once againe, if I were a School-man, I should rather call this A godly sorrow, and define Repen­tance in generall to be A sorrow for sin, there is the genus and differentia: Or if there be required a fuller definition with the ground, though I conceive such a definition would be more proper to give of Repentance in it's severall kinds, than of Repentance in generall; yet we may give it thus, It is a sorrow for sinne, arising out of the feare of Gods wrath, or apprehensions of Gods love. And I know not, why we may not say, That a man may repent without saving grace. Bishop Davenant sayes, A man by exciting the grace of God, may [Page 40] Peccata propria considerare, ad sensum eorundem expavescere, & liberationem ab hoc metu exoptare, tremble for his sinnes, and mourne for them, and desire deliverance out of them, and if this be not Repentance, I know not what is, (not taking Repentance for the whole worke of conversion, as sometimes it is taken in Scripture, but) taking Repen­tance for a wearinesse of sinne and sor­row for it.

But those of our Brethren here (that are so afraid of Babylon, that they will run quite beyond Jerusalem, so afraid of being Arminians, or Papists, to as­cribe any desert to duties, or tye that God hath to concurre with our duties, that they are resolved they will not be sober Protestants; So afraid of being Heterodox, that to avoid it, they will not be Orthodox,) tell us, that this is a legall, not a saving Repentance. It sounds ill to distinguish between a legall and saving Repentance. I will digresse a little to rend this Fig-leafe, being all they have to cover the nakednesse of their opinion: I would faine understand that tearme, saving Repentance, in what [Page 41] sence they take it; the Scripture war­rants no such distinction.

1. If they meane by saving Repen­tance, such a repentance as merits Sal­vation, or such a Repentance as God is tyed necessarily to concurre with, with his saving grace, I say, no Repen­tance can be saving repentance. No Re­pentance (saith Learned Davenant) can so dispose the heart, Ut ex merito congrui teneatur Deus gratiam cuiquam infundere.

2. If they meane by saving Repentance, such a repentance, as of it selfe without any more adoe shall be sufficient to Sal­vation, I say againe, no Repentance can be called a saving Repentance. For, Without Faith, it is impossible to please God.

3. If they meane by saving Repen­tance, a repentance that conduceth to Salvation, I say, this kind of Repen­tance (let them call it legall, or what they please) is a saving Repentance.

4. If they meane by saving Repentance, such a repentance as is wrought ordina­rily in such as shall be saved, I say, in that sense this Repentance is a saving Repentance.

Now, Whether it ought not to be preacht, as Well from law as Gospell-mo­tives, is a question lyes not in my way to determine; only I here my Saviour (though he were Gospel it self) preach­ing it from a Law-motive, Luk. 13. 2. Except yee repent, yee shall all likewise perish. Let the unprejudiced Reader judge, if damnation be not there preach­ed as a terrible motive to Repentance: Surely I then may learne to preach from the Best of Preachers, and preach, Repent, or you will goe to Hell; Repent, or you will be damn'd, as well as Repent, because God hath loved you: Yea, and John too preached repentance as well because The axe was laid to the root of the tree, and whatsoever tree brought not forth good fruit, should be hewn down and cast into the fire, as because The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. I dare not learne contrary to Christ, and the Baptists Coppy; I will preach Mercy and Judgment: The Law and the Gos­pell go well together, let me not be ac­cursed for separating what God hath joyned. But

Lastly, I conceive, Wee cannot call a­ny [Page 43] Repentance saving Repentance, til the worke of conversion be wrought fully in our souls. Nay, I make a question, whether any man (without the grace of Assurance) can properly call his Re­pentance saving Repentance, till he comes in Heaven. And for my owne part, I am full in the Negative. But I have digressed too farre, to convince some (who I feare are not so willing to suffer the word of conviction, as I to speake it.)

We left the Spouse in the second wildernesse, The wildernesse of sorrow, 'tis time we now return to her, and comfort her, and shew you how she comes out of that, leaning upon her Be­loved.

Here now the beloved Soule is mour­ning like a Turtle, and crying, O wh [...] shall I doe to be saved? I am lost! oh, how shall I finde the way out of this wildernesse? O my sins pull me back! I cannot set a step forward! Sin trips up my heeles. The Devill tels me I am his; and my sins beare witnesse to his words? Now she that is not the Spouse of Christ, sinkes in these mighty wa­teres, [Page 44] she sinkes to hell in dispaire, is quite lost, if once she comes into them: But he that said not one of those whom his father had given him should perish, seeing the poore soule like Peter, (Mat. 14. 30.) that thought to have trode up­on those waters, sinking in them, and crying, Lord save me or else I perish! when he sees such a poore soules ship in which he is, though he seemes to sleepe, tost in these bitter waves, when the tempest ariseth, and hearing the soule in this Agony, crying out, Master save me or else I perish, now he begins to arise, and stretch out his shoulder for the soule to leane upon, speakes, and rebukes the winds, and calmes the bu­sie tempests; when the Whale of sor­row hath sallowed up these Jonahs, [...]nd they are in the bottome of the Sea in the Whales belly, they cry, their God heares, and causeth the Whale to vo­mit them out on the dry land. Me thinks that voice of Jonah, is the voice of eve­ry penitent soule, Jonah 2. The soule cries by reason of her affliction unto the Lord, and the Lord heares her; out of the belly of hell she cryes, and he heares [Page 45] her voice, for he hath cast her into this deep, into the midst of the Seas, and the flouds compasse her about, and all the bil­lowes, and the waves past over her. Then the soule saith, I am cast out of the Lords sight, yet I will looke againe to­wards his holy Temple: The waters com­passe her about, even to the soule, the depths closed round about her, the weeds were wrapt about her head; she went downe to the bottome of the mountaines, the earth with her barres was about her, yet her Lord her God brings up her life from corruption: when her soule faints within her, she remembers the Lord, and her prayers come unto him, even into his holy place. And when the soule is in this wildernesse, in the deeps of sor­row, then her Beloved doth throw her his shoulder of supporting grace to lean upon: that she saith as David, Psal. 94. 17, 18. Unlesse the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence, when I said my foot slippeth, thy mercy Lord held me up. When the soule cryes, I am drowned! Then the Lords mercy holds her up: No (saith God) thou art not drowned, here is a cord of mercy [Page 46] for thee to lay hold upon, and I will draw thee out by it. Here is my hand, be still O ye waves, this soule is mine. When the soule is burthened with sins, laden with the sense of them; and in the sad apprehension of them, cryes out, my burthen is too great for me to beare; I sinke, I sinke under it; then Christ looks out of the heavens, and sayes, Cast thy burthen upon the Lord (man) and he shall sustaine thee; or, Psal. 55. 22. Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will ease you, Mat. 11. 29. The supporting grace of God is the Anchor of the soule, which staies the Ship of the soule when a tempest of sorrow arises & the waves beat upon it.

Now this Anchor hath two flukes.

The first, is her Beloveds mercies and merits.

The second, is her Beloveds promises. When she is in this sad wildernesse of sorrow, her Beloved gives her a staffe of merits, and mercy, and free grace to leane upon, and a clue of promises to lead her out of this Labyrinth: and the mercies and merits of her Beloved, have two hooks, both which take fast hold to stay her soule.

  • [Page 47]1. The fulnesse of them.
  • 2. The freenesse of them.

1 First, the fulnesse of them. The soule cries out, O I am damned: Christ sug­gests to her: But didst thou never heare of one that came to save those which were in their owne apprehension damned? I deserve to dye everlasting­ly, saith the soule; oh! but did not he dye for thee, that deserved to live ever­lastingly, (saith Christ?) I deserve in­finite torments, (saith the soule) Oh! but are not [...]hy Christs mercies infinite mercies, (saith God?) Thy mercy held me up. My sinnes have cryed up to heaven, (saith the soule;) O, but my mercies are above the hea­vens, (saith Christ) Psal 108. 5. My sins are more in number than the haires of my head, (saith the soul,) but my mercies (saith Christ) are more in number than the sand which lyes on the Sea shore, Psal. 139. 17, 18. My sins have aboun­ded, (saith the soule;) but my grace hath much more abounded, (saith Christ) [...], Rom. 5. 20. O, but my heart is as hard as Iron, and the face of my sinnes like Brasse, (saith the soule;) [Page 48] but that God that made the Leviathan, is as strong as the Leviathan. He esteemes Iron as straw, and Brasse as rot­ten wood. My sinnes are many (saith the soule;) but were their name Legion, (saith Christ) I could cast them out. O, but I am an old sinner, I have a mountaine of sinnes; But my mercies are from everlasting (saith Christ,) so are not thy sinnes, and I came to levell Mountaines, Luke 3. 4. The more old thou art, the more glory shall my free grace have, all the world shall see, I doe not pardon thee for any service thou canst, or wilt doe me, thou must ere long lye downe in the grave. Thus the soule in this wildernesse of sorrow, leanes upon the fulnesse of Gods mer­cies.

2 But secondly, there must be freenesse, as well as fulnesse, or else what hath the soule to doe with Christ? O, (saith the soule) I know that the least drop of Christs bloud is fully able to wash away all my guilt: But, what have I to doe with Christ? I am a poore creature! the fitter object for divine charity: what dowry have I for Christ to marry [Page 49] me? Because thou hast nothing, there­fore I will doe it (saith Christ.) If thou hadst any thing that thou thoughtest ri­ches, I would not have married thee (saith Christ.) Thou art mistaken in my thoughts, I doe not marry thee because thou art rich, but because I have a de­light in thee, and have an intention to make thee rich, Hos. 14. 4. I will heale their back-slidings, I will love them freely, Ezek. 16. 7, 8. 9. Now the soule being fully perswaded of this, that Christ is full of mercy, and able to par­don her, and free in his mercy, there­fore willing to forgive her, and desiring nothing for her pardon, but to live like a Spouse in his sight, begins to leane, beleeving he will pardon her: But yet saith the soule, I could desire to see it under Christs hand; I thinke I could take his word now.

So she leanes upon Christs promises, which are as the other Fluke of this Anchor. Now sayes the soule, O that I might have it but under Christs hand, that my sinnes (which I am scarse able to thinke can be pardoned) may be par­doned, though I staid his leisure for the [Page 50] sealing of it. Here she enquires for Promises, and Presidents. Did ever Christ promise (saith the Soule) to par­don such a scarlet, crimson sinner as I am? Yes, I have (saith Christ) looke Isa. 1. 18. Though your sinnes be as skar­let, they shall be as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wooll: and so Isa. 55. 6, 7. I will have mercy upon you, I will abundantly pardon you, Mat. 11. 29. O, but where hath Christ promised freely to dispence these mer­cies (saith the soule?) Christ turnes her again to Isa. 51. 1, 2, 3. Ho every one that thirsteth, come buy of me without mony, or mony-worth: But secondly, where did he ever pardon such a sinner as I am (saith the soule?) Christ puts her in mind of Mary Magdalen, Manasses. O, but where one that was so near hell as I am (saith the soule) an old sinner? the theese upon the Crosse (saith Christ.)

Now it must not be understood, that Christ Jesus should reveale these Pro­mises Audibly to the soule, but

1. Either sets his Ministers a worke to declare his Charters of Grace, and [Page 51] read the soules pardon.

2. Or else he suggests into the soule such promises in such a seasonable time, which must be taken as the voice of God to that soule. Thus the soule fur­nished with presidents, trusting upon promises, wipes her eyes, comes out of the wildernesse leaning upon her bles­sed Saviour, and saying, O my sweet Saviour! thou that hast drawne mee from the pit of hell, and hast reached out thy arme for a worthlesse lost worme, to leane upon thee. I dare beleeve thee. I now roule my soule upon thee, I am shipwrackt, but thou art my harbour; and now, O, what shall I doe for thee? O my God! I am sick of love! Thou hast ravished my heart! I am thine, I am thine. Thus have I shewne how the soule comes out of the wildernesse of sinne, and sorrow, leaning upon her Beloved. And here the ship is in har­bour, but yet ever and anon she is tossed still, persecuted, though not forsaken: This is the most dangerous wildernesse; afterwards she is often in the corner of a Desart. I must shew you how even then she leanes, and how out of them [Page 52] she comes leaning upon her Beloved. She is alwayes a dependent creature; she leanes when ever she is wearied.

3 The third Wildernese therefore is the wildernesse of afflictions; in this she leanes; out of this she comes leaning upon her Welbeloved, [id est,] in affli­ctions she leanes. Christ is her comfort in her saddest troubles; She leanes upon him, viz. upon his supporting grace: Thy rod and thy staffe comforted me, Psal. 23. The staffe held him up, while the rod was upon his back. The rod was a comfort because of the staffe; the more he had of the rod, the more he had of the staffe also. In afflictions, the be­leeving soule leanes upon God, and says, Lam. 2. 20. Behold O Lord, for I am in distresse: Out of the belly of Hell she cryes, as Jonas, chap. 2.

First, She beleeves, that she shall suffer no more than she is able to beare, 2 Cor. 12. 9. My grace shall be sufficient for thee. For Gods strength is made per­fect in the Christians weaknesse.

Secondly, She beleeves, that she shall beare no more than shall be for her good, Rom. 8. 28. All things shall worke to­gether [Page 53] for the good of those that love God. She hath a Promise or two here to leane upon also, Job 5. v. 19. He shall deliver thee in six troubles, yea in seven there shall no evill touch thee: And Isa. 43. 2. When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. She comes out also leaning, trusting upon God as before, that he would help her out, if he saw best, or support her in: so when she is come out, she beleeves that God loves her never the worse; neither doth she love him any whit the worse, she cryes, It is good for me that I was af­flicted. When she is in, she beleeves she shall come out; and she commeth out with as much love to her God, and confidence in him, as ever she had be­fore, not being weary of Gods service, because he hath smitten her: She sees a smile in a smiting, favour in a frowne, love in a lowre, and she is resolved though he kils her, yet to trust in him: she comes out of this wildernesse lean­ing.

4 A fourth wildernesse that the Spouse is in sometimes, is the wildernesse of Temptations. Even in this she leanes upon the Lord Jesus Christ. They were not the Spouses of Christ, The good ground, Luk. 8. 13. Which when they heard, received the Word with joy, but having no root, for a time beleeved, and in time of Temptation fell away. The true Disciples are those that continue with Christ in tentations, Luke 22. 18. First, they beleeve, that God who is faithfull, will not suffer them to be temp­ted above that which they are able: But will with the temptation also make way to escape, that they may be able to beare it, 1 Cor. 10. 13. They beleeve, in that himselfe suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour those that are tempted, 2 Heb. 18. The Saints that suffered many things were in many wilder­nesses, Heb. 11. 37. Amongst the rest were in this also; and they all leaned, v. 39. They received a good report through faith. Yea, temptation is so farre from making a child of God let goe his hold, that it makes him lay the faster hold, 1 Pet. 1. 6, Though now for [Page 55] a season you are in heavinesse, through manifold temptations; yet it is that the triall of your faith (being much more precious than of gold which perishes) though it be tried with the fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory. In temptations they leane upon God; and they come out of these temp­tations leaning, beleeving upon God too, having found, that he is able, and knoweth how to deliver the godly out of all temptations, 2 Pet. 2. 9.

5 A fifth wildernesse, in which the Spouse of Christ leaneth upon her Be­loved, and out of which she commeth leaning, is the wildernesse of desertion. And this is one of the saddest wilder­nesses that the Spouse of Christ comes in; and she hath an hard work to leane here, when Christ seemeth to pull away his shoulder: yet even here she leanes. Christ himselfe did so: My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me? Mark the phrase, Forsaken, yet not for­saken: the Bridegroome cryes out, he was forsaken, yet my God. Gods for­saking us is no ground for us to forsake him: If he seemes not to owne us, it [Page 56] is no warrant, nor policy in us not to owne him. It is the duty of a pious soule, when God clouds himselfe, yet to cry, My God. The bowels of the father must yearne upon the childe againe, if the childe cryes, and will not shake him off. It is a remarkable expres­sion of Job, chap. 13. ver. 15. Though he kils me, yet will I trust in him. How now? if thou beest kill'd (blest Job) how canst thou trust? O immortall faith! that puttest Spirits of confidence in the dust and ashes of Job. Let God hide himselfe from the soule, and so kill it (For Gods separation of himselfe from the Christians soule, is a worse death than the separation of his soule from his body) Yet the soule must trust in him, it must, it will leane upon him. The Spouse loseth not, but quickens her faith in a fit of desertion. That place of the Prophet is remarkable, Isa. 50. v. 10. Who is amongst you that feareth the Lord? that obeyeth the voice of his ser­vant? that walketh in darknesse and hath no light? let him trust in the Name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. They that feare the Lord, though they may [Page 57] walke in a darke wildernesse, and see no such light as they were wont to see, have no such comfortable enjoyments of their God as they were wont to have, yet they will trust and rest them­selves upon the Lord, and come out of this wildernesse leaning.

In all the wildernesses of this life, the Spouse will leane upon her Beloved, yea, and upon him alone, in all states, in all conditions, upon him for directing grace, upon him for quickning grace, upon him for whatsoever she hath need of, either pardon, or guidance, or dire­ction, or assistance, or comfort, or hea­ven; at all times she must trust in the covert of his wings, for all blessings. The Spouse of Christ is a most dependent creature. The Babe of grace is never old enough to goe alone, it hangs like a childe upon the mothers hands, and leanes like a Bride upon the Bride­groomes bosome.

Thus have I done with the Doctri­nall part, having shewed you, how she hath had, and sometimes hath her dwel­ling in the wildernesse; and how out of every wildernesse she commeth up, [Page 58] but leaning, and what strength there is in her Saviour to beare her up leaning upon him, even in every wildernesse. Who is this commeth up from the wil­dernesse leaning upon her Beleved? Now let us see what use we may make of it.

And first here may a word of re­proof, and a brand of folly be fastened upon divers erroneous opinions and practices.

1 First is it so that the Spouse of the Lord Christ, that comes, and is mar­ried to the Lord Christ, comes out of the wildernesse of sinne? Then this may reprove the errour and folly of those that dreame of heaven, and flatter themselves with the hopes of glory, but yet never regard comming out of this wildernesse. Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. These men dreame of Heaven, and yet never thinke of Repentance. Christ came to seeke and to save that which was lost (friend) how lost? what, in­sensibly lost, as all of us were by Nature? This is an idle construction that giddy headed Sectaries have of late devised to help themselves to heaven with. [Page 59] The Devils are so lost; yet Christ never came to save them. No no friend, it is those that are lost in their own appre­hensions, those that know not what to dot o be saved, those that feel themselves even in the jawes of hell: he makes apprehensions of his wrath precede the apprehensions of his love. But woe, and alas! how many thinke they have a part in Christ, That the Devill hath as great a part in Christ actually as they have? Heaven is growne the common journeyes end, and let men ride which way they list. Not the most debauched wretch in a Congregation, but aske him what he thinks shall become of him, if he dyes in that condition: why he hopes he shall goe to heaven; nay I wish he doth not say, he is sure of it too. All men are sinners: He is lost, but Christ came to seek and save that which was lost. Tell him of mourning for his sinnes, if he meanes to be comforted, of humbling himselfe, if he meanes to bee exalted, of feeling hell, if ever he means to feele heaven: O then, you are a legall Preacher. Heare what the other side saith, what those you call [Page 60] Antinomian Preachers; O these are the only Gospell-preachers to them. This makes them to passe for such honest men: O they shew a fine Cushion-way to Heaven! that you shall not need wet a foot or eye in: But let them preach what they will (friend) beleeve him, who (although he knowes but little) yet knowes you must go out of the wil­dernesse if ever you come there. The way is, neither the Drunkards Ale-way, nor the Adulterers uncleane way, nor the Covetous man his dirty way, nor the Ambitious mans high▪way, nor the Hypocrites hidden way, nor the Carnall-Gospellers formall way, nor the Antinomians easie way. It is a way through a wildernesse, not a way in a wildernesse: The Spouse is not descri­bed by her staying in the wildernesse, but by comming out of the wildernesse; Who is this commeth out of the wilder­nesse?

2 Secondly, Doth the Spouse of the Lord come out of a wildernesse of sor­row, leaning upon her Beloved? First, she is in, then she commeth out; then this reproves the folly of those that [Page 61] preach men found before they were lost, and of those that dreame of lean­ing before they are in the wildernesse: The Spouse leans, but it is when she is comming out of the wildernesse: Is there any that preacheth down a need­lesnesse of duties, that mockes at mour­ners? that learne people a way to be found before they are lost? Examine the Scriptures before you trust them; under a pretence of exalting Faith, doe they not cry downe sorrow for sinne? and all other duties? Nay, they doe cry downe the preaching of the Law, to bring men to see they are in the wil­dernesse, that they might leane: Doe they make you beleeve, that preaching the Law is a price of Anti-christia­nisme, and no one ought to preach it? And for their part, they will take heed of it, for feare of preaching away their hearers. O beware of this leaven! For my part, I cannot close with this novell Doctrine, when I consider,

First, that this other way of preach­ing, hath bin that which God hath most blest by his servants labours: Witnesse our Rogers, our Hooker, our Pious She­pard; [Page 62] those three, to which many threes may be added, though they will scarse come up to the first three. Those three Constellations of Heaven, that have more light to darke Travellers, that wandred in the night of sinne while they shined in our Firmament, then all these Ignes fatui; mis-leading poore Travellers. Was ever any of these Lea­ders so honoured (though they have beat up the Drums almost in every street of the Kingdome for followers) as to gather such Troopes of Saints to the Christian warfare, as these before mentioned? Did ever God honour their labours so much as these? who (poor soules!) shone in their daies like lights under Bushels too, had only the corner of a Pulpit, or a Pulpit in some blind corner tolerated them. Nay, looke up­on these that have lately fallen into this Veine, and were Preachers of Gods whole truth before; was not their first fruits better, and more accepted of God then their harvest is now? Hath not God distinguished wch way of preach­ing he will must honour, by making the first ripe grapes sweeter then the whole [Page 63] Vintage? were it onely for this, And

Secondly, For the constant experi­ence of the Saints of God, let them speake their minds freely; hath not this beene the way of their conversion? Have not the best Saints in Heaven cryed out of the belly of Hell before God heard their voice? Was not Paul strucken downe to the earth before he went in the Triumph of Glory? Did not the Gaolor come in trembling, and fall at the Apostles feet, and cry, what shall I doe to be saved; before they bid him beleeve, and thou shalt be saved. Neither can they evade it with saying, That trembling was not an humiliation for sinne, but occasioned for feare his prisoners were gone. Least people should wrest in that manner, The Holy Ghost hath cleared it to their hand; for before we read of his trembling, Paul had cryed with a loud voice, vers. 28. Doe thy selfe no harme for we are all here. Neither doe wee read, that he trembled for that at all; but like one struck senselesse, and his spirits dead as it were, in a fit of desperate madnesse, was about with his Sword to let out his [Page 64] owne blood. Now I say, were it no more then to heare such Doctrine, con­trary to the Doctrine which God hath chiefly honoured in his Servants lips, by making it efficacious for the sal­vation of their soules, and contra­ry to the experience of the generalitie of Gods Servants, if not contrary to the Preachers owne former and better thoughts and practice, it would be suf­ficient to make me suspend my faith, from being too hastie to beleeve this new way to heaven: But it is enough to confirme me, to heare my Christ cal­ling, Come unto me all yee that are wea­ry and heavy laden, and I will ease you. Before you are sensible of an heavy load you will need no ease, and to heare my Text speaking of leaning, but in a wildernesse; Nay, it may be noted too, The Text saith, Who is this that com­meth? Not who is this that jumpeth up from the wildernes; I cannot fancy this going to Heaven at a running jump, nor can I like this pressing faith with­out preaching repentance also: Faith is an act of an humble soule. Nor can the soule apprehend the beautie of Christ, [Page 65] and love Christ, before it apprehends it's owne miserable conditions. The onely harme this Doctrine doth, is to make poore soules presume, instead of beleeving, for alas! Tell an impenitent soule of beleeving, it apprehends it ea­sie, because it doth not understand it, and runnes upon a supposition, that it hath faith, when, alas, it beleeveth no more then the Devill beleeveth: sorrow for sinne is better understood by a car­nall heart then faith is; for the truth of it is, the humble soule onely can tell what faith is: The other sees, neither the want they have of faith, nor yet the nature of that precious grace. Shall I tell you what pious M. Rutherford sayes concerning this.

‘Faith (saith he) is bottomed upon the sense and paine of a lost conditi­on; Povertie is the nearest capacitie of beleeving. This is Faiths method, be condemned, and be saved; be hang'd, and be pardoned; be sick, and be healed. Faith is a flower of Christs onely planting, yet it growes out of no soile, but out of the mar­gin and banke of the lake, which [Page 66] burnes with fire and brimstone—Antinomians (saith he againe) make faith an act of a lofty Pharisee, apply­ing, (immediato contactu) presently, his hot boyling and smoking lusts to Christs wounds, blood, and merit, with­out any conscience of a precedent com­mand, that the person thus beleev­ing should be humbled, wearied, loa­den, grived for his sinnes: I confesse (saith he) This is hastie, hot work, but it is a wanton, fleshly, presumptuous o­pinion, that it is an immediate work to lay hold on the promises and be saved. In his Book of the Tryal and Triumph of Faith, you hear the opinion of Gods Servants, and the Text mentions a com­ming too; pedetentim, gradatim, little by little, step by step: Those that come, cannot goe so fast as these, because they are weary and heavy loadcn. Those that learne people to jump, must take away Math. 11. 29. the heavy load of sinnes which the Spouse hath upon her shoul­ders, keepes her from that hastie mo­tion that Antinomians make. I doe not speake to limit the Almighties power, but to shew you his ordinarie dispensa­tions; [Page 67] not what he can doe, but what he will doe, what he hath used to doe, and God ordinarily walkes in his owne paths, not in the paths our fancies make for him: we may looke for God in his ordinary wayes of Providence and dis­pensations of the soule; if he comes in a new way, it must be beyond our ex­pectations; though not beyond our faith that he can doe it, yet beyond our faith that he will doe it. When wee have no word to assure us, what shall faith be builded upon? God can turne mid­night into mid-day, ipso facto: But we know in Gods ordinary course of Pro­vidence, first comes the dawning of the day, then the morning, then the noone­day: God can take a soule and marry it, and never humble it, but where hath he promised it? where hath he done it? or if he hath done it, wee say, one Swal­low makes not a Summer, one exam­ple makes not a Rule, one president makes not a law. It is no rule for thee or me to trust in that, no more then the sa­ving of the thiefe upon the Crosse, might be a safe president for us to deferre re­pentance till our dying day. Let thee [Page 68] and I learne to be humbled, to get bro­ken hearts, to loath our selves, see our owne misery. Sorrow is the ordinary doore to joy, Humiliation the ordinary step to exaltation, Mourning for sinne the onely preface to Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in Gods ordinary way of dealing out grace. The Latine is full, Quae est illa quae ascendit, that ascends from the wildernesse: Our Translation commeth up, implying an ascensive mo­tion, tis her running up an hil. They that run up a mountaine, if they run too fast, they may quickly run themselves out of breath: it is bad jumpping over a broad ditch (especially if it be drowning depth) for feare if wee jumpe short we jumpe our last. It is a great jump from the bottome of Hell to Heaven, to take it at one leape. I wish, those that dare take it, doe not fall short and drowne themselves eternally. I had rather goe up Gods steps, then make such a hasty motion, God give me grace to ascend up the Saints staires to the chambers of glory. Elijah was such a favourite to heaven, that God sent a coach for him; [Page 69] But those that will expect till that fiery Chariot be sent downe for them too, I suppose may waite something a lon­ger time then they desire. O beg of God to humble you, to powre out his spirit of mourning, and supplications upon you, this will learne you to be­leeve (friends) It is the humbled soule only that construe that word Faith: it is Hebrew to others, it poseth the impeni­tent heart, Faith is a riddle to them: Christ findes his Spouse in the wilder­nesse, and there he gives her his shoul­der to leane upon: But,

Thirdly, She commeth up leaning out of the wildernesse.

Is it the duty of a soul that is in a wil­dernesse of affliction, or temptation, or desertion, to leane upon the Lord Christ? Then this may reprove those that are in these wildernesses, and yet cannot be perswaded to leane upon the Lord Christ: hence they cry out, O, faith is impossible! is it possible to be­leeve that Christ will save me? me, that have scorned his salvation, and slighted his mercies? And because thou hast [Page 70] slighted mercy, wilt thou therefore still slight mercy? still refuse his offer of grace? Thou sinnest as much now in not beleeving there is mercy for thee, that hast dispised mercy, as thou didst sinne in dispising that mercy. O why is it harder to rise up; then to cast downe a soule? Why wilt thou not beleeve, O thou of little faith? Is the mole-hill of thy sinnes, like the mountaine of his mercies? doth the voice of thy sinnes roare like the voice of his loving kind­nesse? Is there any humbled soule be­fore the Lord? O doe not provoke God by thy infidelity now he hath made thee capable of faith: You that are Christians, for shame, in your severall wildernesses of afflictions, temptations, and desertions, doe not, O do not cast downe your heads, and say, who shall shew us any good? or if you doe, say a­gaine with the Saint in the ensuing words, Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us: Beleeve in your depths of sorrow, beleeve in your most trying afflictions, most sadding temptations, most killing desertions, [Page 71] beleeve me, it is the greatest honour you can put upon the Lord Christ: And it is the greatest dishonour you can put upon your God, to have any diffidence in the Lords armes, any distruct in the Lords free grace. It is the property, nay, it is the duty of the Spouse to come out of wildernesses leaning.

Fourthly, Doth she leane upon God before shee can come? must he worke the first motion to make her willing, before she can beleeve in him?

Then how are those to be here re­proved, that would make mans will to be the Author of its first motions unto God. Pelagius was a great defender of it. First he would hold, That the grace of God was not necessary, but by the law of nature we might be saved. 2. That the grace of God (which the Apostle speaks of) was only in giving the law of nature. 3. Driven from this, he would main­taine, that the faculties of the soule, and their naturall Actions was the grace of God, understood by the Apostle. Yet here is no leaning upon our Beloved. [Page 72] Afterwards he would maintaine. Si quaera­tur an ex suis Natu­ralibus vi­ribus anima aliquid affe­rat ad suam conversionē, vel renova­tionem, vel aliquam fa­cultatē, vel actionē, quae vel partiatis causa, vel quocunque alio modo appelletur, vere respon­detur quod habet se me­rè passivè. Chemni. in loc. de lib. Arbitr. 4. That the grace of God was necessary for sinnes past, but it was in the power of mans free-will, to avoid or commit sinnes for the time to come, and to re­sist rebellious corruptions. 5. After this, he would maintaine, That some men indeed were weake, and must doe all by the grace of God, others that were stronger might act good by their owne will. But still only some Spouses leane. Lastly, he would maintaine, (and the Arminians still from him:) That grace did indeed helpe a good worke, but it had its first motion from our wils, or at least might have: and the will had a negative voice, and might resist and crosse grace which did not work irresista­bly in the soule, to force the soule to him. * Quae de gratia Dei praeveniente, & praeparente, & operante traduntur, hunc habent sensum, quod non nostrae partes priores sunt in con­versione, sed quod Deus per afflatum divinum praeveniat, post hunc autem motum, voluntatis divinae factum, voluntas hu­mana, non habet se mere passivè sed mota & adjuta, à spiritu sancto non repugnat sed assentitur. Ib

(Cassianus Monachus Pelagii Do­ctrinam am­plexus est. Faustus▪ Hormisda & Ben.) I would not rake up these graves, did not these ghosts walke in these our dayes, when every grave of Heresie is unbowelled, and no one takes care to throw the dirt upon them againe. Nay, and the Papists having beene tainted with this Leven, the Sententiaries now tell us, (Hominis est preparare cor. Aqui. in Sum. Theo. Acquiescre & assentiri est nostrûm.) That a man without grace, meerly by the strength of his free will, may avoid any mortall sinne, and prepare himselfe for Gods free grace, and ful­fill the Commandements of God; Quo­ad substantiam actus, for the substance of the Act, (Quibus de congruo me­reatur gra­tiam facien­tem. Scotus.) And another more im­pudently maintains, That a man with­out any grace of God (by the meere strength of nature) may doe workes mo­rally good, yea, even such as God shall be bound to concur with, and give his spe­ciall grace for. Even thus going back from their owne great Rabbies, one of which was pleased to confesse, (Homo sine gratiâ Dei non potest non peccare & mortali­ter & veni­aliter. Lom.) That a man without the grace of God, could not but sinne both mortally and ve­nially. What is become here of the Beloveds leaning? but no more of these; only if you heare such Doctrines (as you may heare any thing in these [Page 74] dayes) beleeve them not.

Doth God move the will attend­ding him in duties, first? secondly, 5. Spiritus Sā ­ctus praeve­nit, move [...] & impellit vo­luntatem in conversione, non otiosam, sed attenden­iem verbo. Chemnit. Vel per spe­culationem somniorum, vel per simu­lationem o­ration is illa­bi efficaciam. Spiritus Sancti. Vid. D. Featly. Dippers dipt. when the will is thus moved, doth it then come? when it is drawne, doth it runne? Then this reproves the En­thusiasts of old, the Anabaptists, An­tinomians, Seekers of our dayes, that hold, first, there is no need of duties. Enthusiasts of old affirmed, That for the receiving of the Spirit of Promise and saving grace, the Spirit of God was either infused to them in a dreame, Vel per simulationem orationis: Ay, and the motions of the Spirit, were as sensible in their flesh as the beating of the pulse, so blasphemous were they growne; and thence they would lye, and gape for Revelations, and so indeed they may have a suggestion from the Devill, but scarse a Revelation from God. Oh! How in these dayes are men tainted with these lazie. Opinions! slighting duties, vilifying Sabbaths, neglecting Ordinances; that if poore people would truely now give account of their growth in grace, and of their learning godlinesse: many of them might truly. [Page 75] As the child that ye have heard a story, in the learning of its Primmer, boasted to the father that it had learned past grace. Is not this the miserable learn­ing of our dayes? that men are grown past grace, past Prayer, past Ordinan­ces, past all duties?

6. Againe what you have heard, that after the soule is drawne, then it comes, may shew us the falsenesse of another Doctrine of Enthusiasme, too briefe even in these dayes also: that the soule is meerly passive, even after the worke of conversion also, and is even then a meere stone. Draw me (saith See the Booke set out from the Mini­sters of New-Eng­land of the Hereticks, &c. Post conversionem concurrit voluntas, non tamen quasi suis viribus adjuvet spirituales actiones. Semper addendum est non esse ple­nam libertatem, in sancto renato, sed virtutem in infirmitate perfici, Chemnit. Intelligant si filii Dei sint spiritu Dei se agi, ut quod agendum est agant, & cum egerint, illi, à quo aguntur gratias agant. Aguntur enim, ut agant, non at ipsi nihil agant. Aug. the Spouse) and then, I will runne after thee. Indeed, after our conversion, the will is but in part sanctified, and the I­mage of God in us will want of his first integrity, after it is renewed: but [Page 76] Christs strength is perfected in our weaknesse; we must understand if we be the children of God, that God hath therefore wrought in us, that we might also worke something, and when we have wrought it, give thankes to God, who hath made us to worke; for God hath wrought in us, that we might worke, not that we should be idle. Thus I have laboured to you to divide the Truth from Errour; Now you have heard of the leaven of these Pharisees; take heed of it.

In the next place, what you have heard, that the soule that comes to the Lord Jesus Christ, leanes upon a new Beloved, not upon her old be­loveds, may serve to reprove those that would faine plead a title to Christ and have a portion in Christ, but they will not take Christ alone: two sorts there are of these; The one cannot leave their old beloveds, and the other cannot trust this Beloved. O the wicked man would have his portion in Christ, if he might but have his lusts too, his pleasures, his profit; but to take Christ, alone, O this is such a hard saying that [Page 73] they cannot beare by any meanes; If Christ and his lusts would lye both in one bed, Christ at the feet, and his lusts at the head, then Christ should be as welcome as any thing to him; but he is loath to sue a divorce from this Beloved, he is loth to part with his old love for a new, till he seeth how he can love him; but at a venture he will take him in partem amoris. O wretch! flatter not thy selfe, if Christ be thy Beloved, he will endure no Polygamy; you must leave your sinnes, or be with­out Christ. The true Spouse leanes up­on her Beloved; not upon her Belo­veds, upon her now Beloved, she for­sakes her old.

Lastly, this may serve to reproove,

1. Those that would leane upon Christ, but they dare not trust their soules upon Christ alone. Forsooth he will be the Spouse of Christ, but he must leane upon Christ with one hand, and his good works with the other. The whore of Babylon commits adul­tery with her selfe.

2. Under this lash comes a better ranke of people, that when God hath [Page 74] shewed them their owne sinfull, sad condition, they doe not only performe duties, pray, and mourne, and repent, and be humbled, all which they ought to doe, but they are ready to rest in them, and make them their Beloved: It is na­turall to the soule, that God hath made to loath its sinnes, to love its duties; it finds duties almost as consentaneous to its nature, as sinnes were before; and it is too ready to thinke that its saving, or damning, depends upon such a quan­tity of teares, and humiliation: Hence, you heare soules in this condition, often complaining; Oh! I could be­leeve, if I were humbled enough, if I could but mourne enough. This soule doth well to be sensible of the hardnesse of its owne heart; and it is too true, it can never mourne, it can never be humbled enough. But it doth ill to think that free grace stints its operation, and blessed influence, to such a quantity of teares, if it be humbled enough, to see its want of Christ. The water runs through the river, that is the way to the Sea, but it doth not rest in the river, but with a swift and continued motion, [Page 75] runs betwixt the banks, till it comes, and is swallowed up in the Sea: Even so the soul ought to run through duties, but not to rest betwixt the banks of du­ties, but to run through, till it come to the Sea of free grace, where it will be swallowed up of infinite mercy; and our imperfections will be drowned in his infinite perfection; we ought to take duties in our way to Christ, but not to make duties our Jesus. God hath or­dained that they should fit us for him; but it is written, My glory will I not give to another. The glory of the Lords free grace, is his greatest glory; he will not give that to any other: None shall share with him in his Spouses love, he is a jealous Saviour. The Spouse leanes upon her Beloved, not Beloveds: Thus I have done with my use of reproofe.

The next use is for examination, here may every one try himselfe whether he be the Spouse of the Lord Jesus Christ, or no: Even by what hath been already said; I will reduce it all to three heads:

First, Examine thy selfe, whether thou beest out of the wildernesse of sinne, yea, or no.

Secondly, Whether thou wert, or art in any other wildernesse, yea, or no.

Thirdly, What was, or is thy demea­nour in these wildernesses thou hast been, or art in, and how hast thou come, or dost thou come out.

Examine whether thou beest not in the wildernesse of sinne, yea, or no: It was given as the Character of the Spouse, to come out of this wildernesse. O, but how shall I know that? (will the soule say.) I will name two or three notes, by which thou mayst suspect thy selfe as from probabilities.

1. The wildernesse, it is an incult place; a place where the soyle was ne­ver tilled, it is hard almost as a milstone; the over-growne Trees were never pruned, the unruly boughs never lopt, the bushes never cut or stubbed: dost thou find thy heart in such a condition, that it is as hard as ever; neither judge­ment breaks it, nor mercy melts it, the fallow ground of it is not plowed, nor the seed of righteousnesse sowne in it? Thy unruly lusts are not tamed, thy life is as much overgrowne with sinne as ever it was: thy sinnes were never yet [Page 77] cut off from the body of thy life. O friend! suspect thy selfe; Thou mayest justly feare, yea, and know too, that thou art not the Spouse of Christ, thou art in the wildernesse, in thy naturall estate.

Secondly, The wildernesse is a barren place, it brings forth no corne for the sickle, no wholsome fruit, no grapes for mans pallat; for can a man gather grapes of thistles, or figgs of thornes? No pa­stures wholsome for the beasts. The fire hath devoured the pastures of the wil­dernesse, Joel 1. 19. And God complai­ned that Nineveh was dry like a wil­dernesse, Zeph. 2. 13. Art thou a barren, and unfruitfull creature, that dost no­thing for God? thy heart is a barren heart, no seeds of good are sown there; thy tongue is a barren tongue, no good words come out thence; thy whole soule a barren soule; not a good action upon the record of thy life. Indeed, no soule can be barren, the soule is of a working nature; but sinfull works are unfruitfull workes (in the Apostles lan­guage.) The unfruitfull workes of dark­nesse, and what fruits had ye of those things, whereof you are now ashamed? [Page 78] Gods Spouse is a fruitfull creature, Gal. 5. 22. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, &c. A barren soule is alwayes a wildernesse-soule. Those that are borne of God, bring forth fruits unto God.

Thirdly, thou mayest know whether thou beest in the wildernesse or no, by the company thou delightest in: It is a knowne rule, Noscitur ex socio qui non dignoscitur ex se.

He that is a wildernesse-creature, loves wildernesse-company; the Wolves, and Beares, and Foxes: but he that is out, keeps the company of men; dost thou love the wildernesse-com­pany? the swinish drunkard, the politike Fox, the malitious Lyon, the venomous lyer and slanderer, the lascivious wan­ton, more than the Children of God? Oh suspect thy selfe! By this we know (saith John) that we are translated from death to life if we love the Brethren. Lazarus when he was raised from the grave, we do not read he went to keep the dead men company againe: those that God hath raised from the death of their sins, live amongst living men, and [Page 79] delight in living mens company. Thus examine whether thou beest come out of the wildernesse of sin, or no.

Secondly, As comming out of the wildernesse is a signe of the child of God: so being in the wildernesse, is likewise a note whereby thou mayest know thy selfe. Gods Spouse comes out of one wildernesse into another, out of the wildernesse of sinne into the wil­dernesse of sorrow, and out of that to their Saviour. Wouldest thou know whether thou art found, or no; Ex­amine whether thou wert lost or no: Wouldest thou know whether ever thou wert a beleever; examine whether ever thou wert a penitent, or not. This is Gods ordinary way; thence he com­plaines of his people, that they would not repent, that they might beleeve in him. Dos thou find God in another manner of working in thy soule? blesse God for it; and if thy title be good to heaven, which will be knowne by thy walking with God, beleeve me, God hath used thee kindly, heaven hath cost thee cheaper then it costs many a poore soule; and walke humbly before God, [Page 80] because he hath not humbled thee un­der his mighty hand, as he hath done many another poore creatures: And though I would not condemne those that plead their title to heaven this way, for feare I should condemne the generation of the righteous, yet beleeve me, I should suspect it in my owne cause. They that goe out weeping, and carry precious seed, shall returne rejoy­cing, and bring their sheaves with them.

2. Examine thy selfe, What other wildernesses thou meetest with? Afflicti­ons, temptations, &c. I would not give this as an infallible marke, yet God sayes, whom he loves he chasteneth, and scourgeth every child whom he recei­veth: and thence the Father drew out his Conclusion, Unicum Deus habuit filium sine peccato, nullum sine flagello; God had one Sonne without sinne, but none without a rod. But I know, even the wicked sometimes begin their hell upon the earth: and though I would sus­pect my selfe if I met with no afflicti­ons, yet I would not be glad to have a life full of crosses and afflictions, my best evidence for heaven. I rather na­med [Page 81] this for a preface to the next note.

3. Examine how thou carriest thy selfe in the wildernesse; there is a diffe­rent carriage betwixt the child of God, and the child of the Devill in afflicti­ons: the one sinkes into the grave with despaire, the other lifts up his head to Sion with hope: the one is prest to death under crosses, the other above all crosses. Cain cries, my punishment is too heavy for me to beare; Job cries, though he should kill me, yet I will trust in him: The Reprobate cryes, Who is the Lord that I should wait for him? The Saint sayes, I will patiently wait for the Lords Salvation: the wicked man dyes, the Saint leanes: the eyes of the sinners faile that day; but the Saints look up to Sion, from whence comes their helpe that day.

4. Examine How thou hast come out of thy wildernesse? of thine owne strength or leaning? Canst thou say, That God knew thee in the wildernesse, in the land of great drought, Hos. 13. 5. If thou thinkest thou camest out alone, thou art there stil, What gave thee com­fort in the depths of sorrow? what? [Page 82] thy merry company? did thy duties do it? If any thing did it but thy Christ, I feare thou art still in the Wildernesse: when thou didst mourne, as one that mourneth for his onely begotten sonne, dist thou look upon him whom thou hadst pierced? there is nothing but the blood of Christ can give a cordiall to a faint­ing soule; nothing but the hand-ker­chiefe of free grace that can wipe thine eyes; nothing but the blotting out of the hand-writing, which was written in Gods Booke, and thy owne consci­ence against thee, that can make thy heart leave trembling, and thy knees leave beating together for terror. Thou canst not come out alone, if ever thou camest out, it was leaning.

5. Examine thy selfe, How thou hast carried thy selfe since thou camest out? How hast thou beene since thou wert humbled, and lost in the wilder­nesse of sorrow? What effects hath the wildernesse of sorrow wrought upon thee? Hath thy sorrow beene like the sorrow of Achan, that thou hast been onely sorry because thou hast been un­der an Attachment of wrath? Or like [Page 83] Ahab, renting his cloathes, putting on his sack-cloth, and going softly? 2 Chron. 22. Or like Pharoah, saying, I have sinned? Exod. Or like Balaam, say­ing. I have sinned, I will returne back againe? when he might have had more thanks for his labour and never have come there, he had checks enough. Art thou worse when thou commest out of the wildernesse of affliction, that wee may brand thee with Ahaz his Brand, This was that King Ahaz? Or doest thou come out of thy Afflictions leaning, with thy weak faith strengthe­ned, and thy strong faith confirmed? Hast thou lost no graines, but got in the fire? Is thy gold as good weight now as before? it is a good signe it is good then. But I hasten to the next Use, which may be to informe us;

First, The sad condition that all un­beleevers are in.

Secondly, The joyfull condition that all the Children of God are in.

Thirdly, The great love of God, that he would send Christ to seeke us up in the wildernesse, and give his hand to [Page 84] poore creatures to lead them out.

And lastly, If in every wildernesse wee must leane upon the Lord Jesus Christ, It may informe us, what need wee have at all times to walke close with the Lord Christ. First, here see the sad condition that all men and women by nature are in, that have not the Lord Jesus Christ. It consists in two things:

First, They are in a wildernesse: Sinne is a wildernesse. Now which of you (friends) but would thinke himselfe as good as a dead man if he were in the midst of an Arabian desert, that he could not see any possibilitie of getting out, nor any comfort he could enjoy there: terror on every side, comfort on no side; the Lyons and beasts of prey of every hand ready to devour him, and it is well if he can keepe his flesh for food for himselfe, for he can get no provision for his body, nothing, except he would eate the barke of trees, or the parched grasse. What man would not tremble, to thinke of one that should be condemned to such an axile? Doe not your hearts pittie as oft as you think of those poore men that [Page 85] were left but halfe a yeare in Green­land? And yet O Lord! How few pittie themselves! O poore creatures! Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur; the Story is thy owne, apply it there­fore: You that are in your sinnes are all in a sad wildernesse; the judgements of God, like the beasts of prey, are ready to swallow you up on every hand; 'tis a miracle of mercy you are not in hell; there is but a thread betwixt you and death; the Sword of Gods wrath hangs over your head, while you are at your Drunken Banquets of sinne: Oh! what comfort? what joy can can you have in the wildernesse (friends?) that when you lye downe at night, you know not but you may wake in the morning past Repentance, even with Hell flames about you; as the Lord lives, there is but a haires breadth betwixt you and Hell.

2. Consider, That you have no one to helpe you out of any wildernesse; if Christ be not yours, nothing is yours: what will you doe in a stormy day of Affliction, when you shall cry unto God, and he shall say unto you, as he [Page 86] once said to the roaring Isralites, Jud. 10. 14. Goe, and cry unto the gods which you have chosen; let them de­liver you in the time of your tribulation. Cry unto your Gold now, unto your Lusts now, trust your Riches now, make you a golden Calfe! See if it will now save you. O think! You that live in sinne, and love and delight in sinne, what shall I doe in a sad day of sick­nesse, when the feare of the grave shall surround me, and the terrors of Hell shall make me afraid? What shall I leane upon when these comforts shall be no comforts? when I shall say to all creature-enjoyments, miserable comforters are you all. Where shall I warme me when these flashes will be out? when the sparkes of pleasure and profit shall be choakt, and kill'd with the dust and ashes of my grave? Heare yee this all yee, That kinde a fire, that compasse your selves about with sparkes; walke in the light of your fire, and in the sparkes that you have kindled; This shall ye have at the Lords hand, you shall lye downe in sorrow: Your pleasurable sinnes are but as [Page 87] sparks (Sirs,) What will you doe when your sparkes are out? They are (as we say of a short flame) but a Widdowes joy for a moment: Take heed, that when your sparks are out, you blow not your nailes in hell: Take heed, that your sparkes doe not kindle everlasting bur­nings for you. What will you doe in a wildernesse of Affliction? how will you come out? what will you come out? What will yee leane upon?

Secondly, This may serve to informe us of the happpy condition of Gods children, and that è contrario, in a just position to the others misery: O lift up your heads yee righteous, and be glad yee upright in heart: Your happi­nesse consists in these two things:

First, You are out of the wildernesse, out of the danger of Hell; and those that can spell in their thoughts but that word hell, will know it to be a mercy to be out of the feare of it. You are out of the wildernesse, O blesse that God that hath helpt you out: 'tis a great happinesse to be delivered of feares; beleeve me! Did the wicked men seri­ously thinke what a weight of wrath [Page 88] they lye under, what a cloud of bloud hangs over their heads, they would pray till all their knees were melted (though they were all steele) to be de­livered from it. Hold up your hands that you have escaped a drowning; that you feare not the wild beasts that be­long to the wildernesse; Gods dreadfull judgements you dare meet, the Lyon and the Beare, and they dare not set the print of their teeth upon you. A godly man is like a man under protection, he owes much, but the Bayliffe dares not meddle with him; Christ hath under­taken the debt for him, he is under the protection of the Sonne of God; he can looke a Judgement in the face, and never run for it. The wicked man, on the contrary, is like one that hangs up­on every bush (as we say) owes more than he is worth; he dares scarse looke out of the doores whiles the Bayliffes are about: when the judgements of God are about, the wicked wretch dares not looke out, he sinks into his grave in the thoughts of it. This Plague, this Feaver, this Ague, may be a Bayliffe to arrest me, that God hath sent to carry [Page 89] me bound hand and foot and throwne into Hell, where is weeping and way­ling, and gnashing of teeth. And then thinks with himselfe (O that they did so!) Where is my surety (if it should be so?) who would be bound for the payment of the Debt due for my sinnes, and to be paid at Gods Judgement Seat? The godly man, he likewise saith; This Plague, this Feaver, this Sicknesse, may arrest me: But suppose they should, the Son of God is bound for my Debt; My Judge surely will not demand bet­ter Surety then his owne Sonne. I blesse God I am out of the wildernesse: O happy man! Here's a portion of thy happinesse; but here is not all.

2. Consider, That if thou shouldest fall into the corner of another wilder­nesse: Thou hast one to leane upon, even in every wildernesse: If thou shouldst have a rod upon thy backe, thou hast a staffe to comfort thee. Thou hast one to lead thee out, whensoever thou art in: an arme that thou mayest trust to. Hap­py is he that hath a friend in the Court, such is thy friend. A friend in adversity, is better than a brother, (saith Solomon) [Page 90] thou hast a friend in adversity, and he is thy brother: Thy brother Christ is thy friend, that will lead thee through, and out of every wildernesse. Is the childe happy, that in want hath a father to run unto? the wife happy, that hath a hus­band in time of sicknesse to comfort her? The servant happy, that hath a Ma­ster in adversity to pitty him? then I dare pronounce thee in all times happy: Thy husband loves thee, thy father sends his son to lead thee, thy husband is alwayes by to comfort thee, and lead thee by his hand. God hath said, Esay 58. 11. That he will guide thee continually, and satisfie thy soule in drought, and make fat thy bones. Thou hast alwayes a friend at need, a brother in adversity.

Thirdly, Is it so that the Spouse comes out of the wildernesse leaning upon her Beloved? This may then shew us the infinite love of God to the creature; that he would be pleased to looke us up in the wildernesse, and let us leane upon him: Christ was led into the wildernes because thou wert there, he had a bad journey to fetch thee nome: Oh! what should? what could (besides his infinite [Page 91] free-grace) make his bowels of mercy so yerne towards the creature, as to look it up in the wildernesse, to cloath it na­ked, to wash it polluted, to save it dam­ned? Christ the shepheard had lost his stray sheep, and goes after that which was lost in the wildernesse untill he sin­deth it, then he layeth it on his shoul­ders, and bringeth it home. O, blessed be the name of the Lord for his free grace and mercy! The shepheard followed the sheep, whiles the sheep regarded not the shepheard; we were in a wil­dernesse, he came to find us out. O! was not this infinite love, astonishing mercy?

Lastly, Is it so? that we must come out of every wildernesse leaning upon our Beloved? O then let this informe us what need we have to walk close with the Lord Jesus Christ; what need we have to be fearfull of offending, and carefull to please him: It is he that must help us in every need, he that must lead us in every wildernesse: If he forsakes us we are undone. Have we but one friend? let us keep him then: if we an­ger him, we lose our best friend. Hath the shiftlesse child need to keep the love [Page 92] of the Father? the Babe need to keep in the armes of the Nurse? the wife need to keep the love of the husband? the blind man need to keep the love of his guid? O Christian, thou hast much more need to keep the love of thy Christ: It is he that must succour thee at every need; he that must make the rugged wayes plaine for thee; It is he that must carry the Babe of grace in his armes, lest it should dash its feet against the stones of affliction: It is he that must lead the child of God upon his hand, lest in this world of afflictions it fall, and hurt it self. O keep close in his armes, keep thy selfe warme in his bosome; feare that which may make thy God go free from thee. Gods departing from the creature is a piece of hell: thou knowest not how soone thou mayest need him; yea, thou alwayes needest him, therefore take heed of sinning against him; thou wilt anger thy best friend, I will assure thee.

I hasten to the last Use, which shall be a word of Exhortation: Doth the Spouse of Christ come out of the wil­dernesse leaning upon her Beloved?

First, O then, you that are yet in the wildernesse of sinnes, come out, come out, get this Spouses Beloved, and then leane upon him.

2. You that are in the wildernesse of sorrow for sinne, afflictions, tempta­tions, desertions, leane upon your be­loved, live leaning and dye leaning: you that say you are sinking, and you cannot beleeve. Oh leane and come out of this wildernesse leaning upon your Beloved.

A word to the first: Is there any before the Lord this day that is yet in the gall of bitternesse, and in the bond of iniquity, with what arguments shall I plead with such a soule? Those are not wanting, but with what argu­ments shall I prevaile with such a soul, to come unto the Lord Christ? were any here drowning in the water, a little Rhetoricke would perswade them to let me helpe them out? were any lost in a wood, I should not need much entreat them to give me their hand, and I would shew them a way out of that loosing place? why should I not as much prevaile for heaven this day?

[Page 94] 1 Consider what estate it is that thou takest such pleasure to continue in? first, it is a dangerous place, more dange­rous then the sands to the ship: thou art ready to be swallowed up of hell every houre in it. A troop of judgments waites upon thee to destroy it; how canst thou abide consuming fire? or dwell in everlasting burnings?

Secondly, Consider, it is a joylesse condition: There is no true joy to the sinner, though he sings sometimes a­mongst his drunken cups, yet he can­not feed heartily upon a feast of joy, be­cause the Sword hangs over his head, it is but a fained joy that the sinner hath, a sudden short lived flame, without any coales underneath to preserve it. There is no peace to the wicked (saith God) and if no peace, there can be no joy; when the sinner is serious he can­not rejoyce, his rejoycing is like the skipping of mad men that know not what they doe.

Thirdly, Consider, it is a starving condition; The sinners soule starves whiles he feasts his body like a glutton, his soule dyes for thirst, when his bo­dy [Page 95] is overslowne with drunkennesse. It is impossible the puffe-past of iniquity should nourish a soule: Doth an Angell feed upon the earth? doth a Saint feed upon hell? The soule is of an An­gelicke substance; it cannot feed upon sinne: sinne starves it. Dost thou love to be in the middest of thornes? dost thou delight to lye downe in sorrow? canst thou endure to see thy better part starved, whiles thou pamperest thy filthy Carcasse? O let this deterre thee from the wildernesse of sinne, and perswade thee to come out of it unto Paradise. There,

First, Thou shalt be in a safe condi­tion: Out of the feare of judgements, out of hells gunshot: There life or death will be either peace temporall, or else eternall, either grace, or glory unto thee; here thy soule shall be in a har­bour, if thousands fall at thy left hand, and ten thousands at thy right: none shall make the afraid, thou shalt laugh at trouble when it comes. Thou shalt be sure to goe to heaven either by land, or water: If thou goest through the fire, thou shalt be sure to have Christ with [Page 96] thee. Heaven is a security in all estates, a protection from all Arrests, if the King of glory hath a mind to sue thee, thou shalt not be arrested (like other men) with a writ of wrath, but invi­ted to sup with him in glory, onely by a letter of love, and he will send his Ushers of glory to waite upon thy soul to the chambers of glory, Luke, 16. 22. The soule of good Lazarus was carri­ed by Angels into Abrahams bosome: you shall not live like other men, haun­ted with the blood-hounds of wrath, nor dye like other wretches, that goe out of the world, haled by the Sarjeants of hell to everlasting prison; but quietly sleepe, and awake againe one day in glory. O who would not desire such a protection for himselfe? such a security for his soule? who would not throw off his raggs of sinne, to put on Christs livery of grace, when Christs badge upon his shoulder shall free him from all Arrests? That he shall walke up and downe, and nothing shall make him afraid?

Secondly, Consider that Heaven is a place as full of joy, as ever the wilder­nesse [Page 97] was full of sorrow and trouble; of this I spake before. O thinke of the joy of the Saints, you children of vaine pleasure, you mad-men of the earth, that can dance over the hole of the Aspe, and put your hands on the Cocka­trices den. Your false and flattering joy is nothing to the reall joyes of hea­ven; There is joy like the joy of the har­vest, like the joy when men divide the spoyle: The yoake of their burthen is broken, and the rod of the oppressour. O you that love your drinking meet­ings, and dancing dayes, that you would but love heaven, where you might drink new wine with your Lord Christ: where you might dance in glory, and make all your dayes, dayes of joy, and every houre, an houre of pleasure.

Thirdly, consider, that there, and there onely, is provision for your soule. Christs robes is the only cloathing that will cover the nakednesse of it; his flesh is meat indeed, and his bloud is drinke indeed; there my friends, Eate and drinke, and be merry, there you may have wine and milke, without [Page 98] money, or without price. O, spend not your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which profits not?

Here you may eate that which is good, and let your soule delight it selfe in fatnesse. Here is a Feast of fat things; The fatlings are killed: O come to the wedding! Why should your roomes be emptie in the day of the Lords Espou­sals? You shall bee welcome to my Masters Table: Now, O now, Be­hold he stands at the doore and knocks: (Lord, breake where thou knockest) If any man will heare his voice, and open the doore, he will come into him, and sup with him, and he shall sup with him. O let me intreat you, to pittie the yern­ing of your Saviours bowels toward you; pittie the groaning of his tender heart for you; pittie your selves, if not your Christ; and, O come, come out of the wildernesse of sinne into this wildernesse of sorrow; that of a drun­ken profane creature, thou mayest be a mourning pious soule; of a proud care­lesse sinner, become a poore humbled paenitent; that the world may admire, Saul amongst the Prophets, and [Page 99] Paul amongst the Apostles, and thee a­mongst the Saints of Christ; and say of thee, who art now a profane Swearer and Blasephemer, Behold he Prayeth! Of thee that wert a filthy Wanton, Be­hold he Mournes! Of thee that wert a filthy Drunkard and Glutton, Behold he fasts! And may in time say of thee, Who is this that commeth up from the wildernesse leaning upon her Belo­ved? But,

Secondly, Is there any before the Lord this day, that is in any other wil­dernesse of Sorrow, Affliction, Temp­tion, Desertion, &c? O leane! Come out of your wildernesse leaning upon your Beloved.

First, Is there any one here, to whom the Lord hath shewne their owne sad condition too, and yet hath not revea­led the fulnesse of his free grace to them? O leane upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and leaning come out of thy wildernesse; Beleeve and thou shalt be saved. But here's the hard taske, to perswade such a soule to beleeve.

Consider but these few things.

1 That now thou art in a capacitie of [Page 100] beleeving. Povertie of spirit is the nea­rest capacitie of faith; Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after Righteous­nesse. Now thou art weary, Christ hath promised to ease thee; now thou art heavy laden, he hath promised to help thee.

Secondly, Consider that thou hast ground enough to build thy faith upon; Christs power and love are two Pil­lars, able to hold up the weakest faith.

First, Beleeve; leane upon Christ, for he is able to pardon thy sinnes; thou shouldest blaspheme in thy thoughts if thou shouldest not thinke this. Can infinite mercy be fadomed thinkest thou? Can any one plead his underservings against free grace? Were thy burthen farre heavier then it is, cast it upon Christ, for he is able to beare it; Art thou thick darknesse? he is in­finite light: Art thou all sinne? he is all pardon: Art thou altogether lovely? why Christ is altogether lovely.

Secondly, Beleeve; because Christ is as much love as he is power: he is not only able, but he is willing to pardon [Page 101] thee; free grace thirsts after thee. Nay, beleeve me, thou canst give Christ no greater satisfaction then to receive his mercies. Christ is with child of free grace (to speake it with reverence) and he desires nothing more then to be delivered in thine heart. He is a Sea of mercy, and he would rejoyce to empty himselfe by drops into his peoples hearts. But why did I say empty? Can the Sun lose any light by communicating his light to others? When the creature speaks of God, he must speake [...], he would fill thee, and yet conti­nue full himselfe. He is satisfied when thou art full. He shall see of the travell of his soule, and shall be satisfied. Thou art not so willing to receive, as he is to bestow free grace. O then lean upon him.

Thirdly, Consider, that canst not dishonour thy God; more then when thou art humbled by him for thy sins, and cast downe in thine owne thoughts, and cal'd to beleeve in his mercies, and secured up­on his word, if thou wilt but trust him. If thou wilt not, then beleeve in him, Surely then thou art of a little faith, if not an Infidell. Thou couldst not beleeve when thou wert an impaenitent hard-hearted creature. Why? because thou knewest no need thou hadst of faith: Neither couldst thou hear Christs invitation, because thou wert not weary and heavie loaden; but now that the Lord hath humbled thee, now the promises belong unto thee; what? darest thou not take Christs [Page 102] word? Suppose a Traytour were condemned to dye, and the King should send a Pardon by the hand of his owne Son to this forlorne wretch, and he should refuse it, saying; The King cannot pardon me; what hath he to do to send me a Pardon? I know he doth but mock me, he meanes nothing lesse, &c. Were not this a peice of unworthinesse, by which he should dishonour his Prince as much as with his Treason before? O take heed of provoking the Lord still; it is enough that thou hast provoked him once, yet he will pardon thee. And on the con­trary, thou canst not honour Christ more then in beleeving; for thou acknowledgest the unfadom­able depth of his free love and mercy; Thou pro­clamest God, to be a God, gracious, long-suffering, a God that may be trusted by the creature which hath deserved nothing at his hand; that he is so pure an Essence of love, that he will create himself a cause of love where is none. And though he coould find nothing in thee to pardon thee, for thy sake, yet he would pardon thee for his owne Name sake.

So likewise, you that are in any wildernesse, or shall be, of Affliction, Desertion, Temptation, &c. O leane! leane! Tis that which God requires at your hand; 'tis that which will ease you when you are weary; help you when you are heavie la­den; Beleeving will ease you when complaining will not; 'tis that which honours God, and hon­ours [Page 103] Christ; It gives him the glory of his Power, and Providence, & Dominion, and free Grace, and mercy. Christ, beleeve me, will take it kindly at your hands, that you will try him in need, and trust him even in despaire; though he kills you, yet you will trust in him. Those that venture upon Death with such a faith cannot dye: Those that have such a Spirit must live eternally. The way to live, is to dye beleeving, and the way to stand, is to leane falling. O come all yee that love the Lord trust in his mercies: I have done, only I con­clude with my Text.

O you that are falling, as you think into the pit of despaire, that are lost in the wildernesse of sor­row: Beleeve, beleeve, and you shall be saved. Come out trusting upon God; resting upon the fulnesse of his mercy, and the freenesse of his grace; come out, come out leaning upon your Beloved.

O you that are in a wildernesse of afflictions, lean upon Gods staffe, let his rod comfort you; be­leeve that he smileth while he smiteth thee; be­leeve in affliction you shall have no more then you are able to beare; he will let his grace be sufficient for you, and all shall worke for your good. And come you out of your wildernesse leaning upon your Beloved.

O you that are in the wildernesse of temptati­on, in the snare of the Devill, beleeve, and leane, your Christ was tempted, and he knowes how to succour those that are tempted: leane upon him to [Page 104] beare you up in, and to give you an happy issue out of your temptations in which you are in, for the triall of your faith; and come you out likewise leaning upon your Beloved.

You that are in the wildernes of Desertion, cry, My God! though you be forsaken, keep your faith, retaine your Interest; O leane, lose not your hold you have upon the Almighty, leane in: and come out of this your wildernesse leaning upon your Beloved.

Finally All you that are in the wildernesse of sin; the worst wildernesse of all: Let me conclude with you, And once more as the Embassadour of Jesus Christ in my Masters name, as if he himselfe were here: I beseech you, by the many, and tender mer­cies of him, whose bowels yerne towards you, by his precious bloud, which was powred out upon the Crosse for sinners (and who knowes whether not for you; as well as others) as you tender the life & happines of your own souls, the joy of your faithfull Pastors: nay, (which is most of all) as you tender the honour of God, come out, O come out of your sad wildernesse! be humbled, and mourne, sit downe in dust and ashes, that you may rise up, adorned with grace, and be crowned with glory, that you may leane upon your Beloved; and O that my first or last words might prevaile with some great sinner this day for whom we might all re­joyce, concerning whom we might all say, who is this▪ that comes out of the wildernesse leaning upon her beloved.


A LESSON OF SELF-DENIALL: OR, The true way to desirable BEAUTY.


Mat. 10. 37. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that lo­veth son or daughter more than me, is not wor­thy of me.
Ver. 38. And he that taketh not up his crosse, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Printed for Rich: Tomlins. 1649.

TO THE Right Honourable, The Lady Frances Cecill, the only Daughter of the Right Ho­nourable the Lady Elizabeth, Coun­teise Dowager of EXETER.
Increase of true Honour, and Peace, and Happinesse.


WHen I conside­red the plenty of Gospell-sheaves, which the Gra­cious Lord of the Harvest hath in our days caused his reapers to bind up, [Page] I could not but question whe­my gleane were worth your Ladiships stooping to take up. God hath seemed to empty his treasuries upon our heads, that there is scarce a gospell-duty but some or other more eminent labourers in the Lords harvest have un­dertaken to discover and urge, which makes me sometimes tremble to think at what dis­advantage they must perish, that are yet dead or unfruit­full. But if there be any lesson that hath been lesser urged, or practised than other, it is this of selfe Deniall. I rejoyce to see the flowings of the spirit of [Page] grace in those eminent Ser­vants of the Lord, that have both hunted for venison, and caught it, to make savory meat for the Saints, discovering those secrets of the Lords strength, and unsearchable riches of love, beyond the pennes or tongues of those that have gone before them. But methinkes, I have sometimes feared lest while those Emi­nent ones have driven accor­ding to the peace of their own soules, and made it their work almost onely to dresse out the strong meat, they should have driven beyond the pace of the Lambs, and onely go a­way [Page] with part of the flock who are able to receive and have eares to heare, such sub­lime gospell mysteries. I have sometimes wished a Shepard or Hooker, or two more to stay behind, and to drive the remnant of the flock, which in heaven will overtake the other, though there be many things to be spoken which (without o­ver driving them) they are not yet able to beare. I (be­ing one borne out of due time) am onely fit for such a work, the opening the Rudiments of Christianity, and it shall be my crowne if by teaching the [Page] A B C of the wayes of grace, I may be made instrumentall but to fit Saints for their high­schooles. I have presumed here to present your Honour with the first Lesson of Grace. He that will be my disciple (saith Christ) let him deny himselfe, and take up the crosse and follow me; first deny himself, then fol­low me. Not but that I hope your Ladiship can readily en­dorse this sermon, with that speech of the young man, All these have I kept from my youth. Though I need not mind your Honour, that it is a lif's not a dayes practice. (Madam) there can be no [Page] Mistresse like Experience, which easily convinceth me, that your Ladiship (who have had a constant sight of sublunary vanities, an enjoy­ment of creature-contentments) is farre more able to read him (who now writes) a lecture of the Vanity of every thing under the Sun, than he is to read it your Ladiship, who hath been blest in the want of those advantages, and one­ly (from a guesse at the body by the foot) can subscribe Solo­mons account of them: surely (Madam) there is nothing under the Sun, but in cleaving to it, and neglecting Christ, [Page] a rationall creature must dis­honour himselfe as well as his Saviour, and as well call in question his own judgement, and out-law his owne rea­son, as disobey his God. Christ, (Madam!) Ah! Christ, Christ alone is the excelling one; that is Altogether desires; It is the Rose of Sharon only that wants prickles. His name is the onely box of Ointment, which one fly or other will not make to stinke. And now I mention his name, I remember what the spouse saith, Thy name is an oint­ment powerd forth, therefore doe the Virgines love thee. Of [Page] those Virgines, I trust your Ladiship is, those that love Christ for the ointment of his name powred forth; (so I trust hath the Ointment of grace powred upon that head from which you drew your natu­rall breath, ran downe to the skirts of all her Relations.) (Madam) This world is not so well bred, but in Christs wayes if your Ladiship de­sire to walk, you must expect to be a sharer in the scoffs of those that put out the finger at those that run not with them to the same excesse of Ri­ot. I need not mind your Ladiship of the Grace of our [Page] Lord Iesus Christ, who pati­ently endured the crosse and despised the shame for your sake. (Madam) the wayes of Christ, the paths of holinesse, are onely uncomely to those before whose eyes the Devill hath cast a mist, and the God of this world hath blinded their eyes, lest the glorious light of of the gospell should shine upon them. If the King desires our beauty, no matter, whether our rate be high or low a­mongst the children of Vanity, whose God is their Belly, and whose glory is their shame. May your Ladiship strive af­ter perfection, and yet daunce [Page] before the Ark, though Mi­chal mocks out at the window. The Moone keeps its course though the dogs bark. This Sermon (Madam) was for­merly dedicated to your La­diships eares, I never thought then, that the noise of it should have gone beyond the chappell it was preacht in, nor indeed had it, had not your Ladiships noble Mother commanded the transcripti­on of a coppy, which desire was also seconded by other Noble friends, whose com­mands I was as unwilling to disobey, as unable to performe, through my multitude of o­ther [Page] occasions, which is the on­ly reason of my publication of it, that I might be thrifty of my time for my other studies, and by troubling the world worke my own ease. Having resolved upon this course, I was desirous it should ap­peare as covertly as might be, and have therefore added it to some other Sermons, preacht long before then, sent to the presse to gratify the desire of the Printer. (Ma­dam) your Ladiship I trust will easily excuse me for the want of paines in it; If I should spend time to tickle some few ears, it would be un­thriftily [Page] done, and possibly I might by it lose the advan­tage of speaking to many an­others heart; I had rather so preach and write that those that heare or read my sermons, should read and heare with a trembling heart, than with a tickled fancy. (Madam) Such as it is) I crave leave to pre­sent it to your Ladiship, Be­seeching the God of grace so to empower every line, that it may be a drop of mercy to your Honours, and every Readers soule, That your Ladiship may grow up like the tree planted by the rivers of water, and bring forth fruit [Page] in your season, That in the re­newing of every week, there may appeare in your Ladi­ships heart & conversation, an answer of those old prayers newly returned to your La­diships Noble Parent. That the Lord may have glory, your soule peace, and hee the dayly answer of his prayers, who truely is Madam,

Your Honours most humbly obliged servant in the Lord Jesus, John Collings.

A LESSON OF Self-Denyall.

Psal. 45. 10, 11.‘Hearken O daughter, and consider, and encline thine eare: Forget also thy own people, and thy Fathers house, so shall the King desire thy beauty,—’

IT is agreed (almost a­mongst all Expositors) that this Psalme is a Marriage-Song, and principally relating to the spirituall marriage between Jesus Christ, and the beleeving [Page 2] soule, or between Christ and his Church: But there is a little question amongst them, whether the spirituall sense of it be couched under a type, or an Allegory; Some thinke that the Holy Ghost here treates of that spirituall marriage, under the type of Solomons marriage to Pharaohs daughter, of which wee read, 1 King. 3. 11. Of this opinion (saith D. Rivet) are D. Rivet Pref. in hunc Psal­mum. the Hebrew Interpreters, and most others, as Calvin, Bucer, Junius, Jan­senius. &c. yet these grant that there are some things in the Psalme not capable of that literall sense. Others are against this, partly because (as they say) that marriage of Solomons was wicked, and against Gods Law, Deut. 7. and partly because it is probable that Solomon ha­ving before that time (as 1 King. 3. 3.) the feare of the Lord in his heart, it is not probable he would have contra­cted that marriage, had not she first contracted to have forsaken her fathers house (which the Hebrewes also say was one of the marriage-Articles.) But it is probable that that marriage gave occasion to the writing of this [Page 3] Psalme; and for the reason against it, Rivet answers by a Rule of S. Hieroms, Homines mali in re non bona, sanctissima­rum rerum imo ip­sius Dei ty­pi esse pos­sunt. That In Scripture, evill men, and that in wicked actions, are oft-times types of ho­ly actions, and that of Gods owne too oft times; Ishmael was a type of the old Testament (according to the Apostle) an many other instances might bee gi­ven. Whether it be a Type or an Alle­gory is not much materiall, nor worth the disputing: Rivet thinks neither sense improbable, but conceives it might be both; nor do I see any thing of value against it. In the Psalme ob­serve:

1. The Preface, verse 1. Wherein he Psalmist declares the readinesse of his heart, and instinct of the spirit, put­ting him upon the Composure of it.

2. The narrative part of the Psalm, from the 2 verse to the last.

3. The Conclusion of it, verse ult.

In the narrative part is something, 1. Relating to the Bridegroom. 2. Re­lating to the Bride.

The Bridegroome is commended from his Beauty, v. 2. Thou art fairer than [Page 4] the children of men. 2. From his E­loquence, v. 2. Grace is powred into thy lips. 3. From the blessing of God up­on him; God hath blessed thee for ever. 4. From his Glory and Majesty, v. 3. 5. From his successe, v. 4. 6. From his Temper and Disposition, verse 4. 7. From his Valour, verse 4, 5, 6. 8. From the nature of his Kingdome, v. 6. 9. From his love to Justice, v. 7. 10. From the perfume of his Garments, v. 8. 11. From his choice in his Queene and his Attendants, v. 9. So farre it relates to the Bride­groome.

The other part relates to the Bride; and in it is a Lesson of Instruction and Exhortation read to her, prest from se­verall Motives.

The Exhortation is in the two ver­ses in which my Text lyes; And it is foure-fold, prest from severall Argu­ments. In the Text then you may con­sider, 1. An Exhortation, enforced upon the former Description. 2. Se­verall Motives to presse this Exhorta­tion.

1. In the first consider,
  • [Page 5]1. The person exhorted; set out by the name of Daughter, (O Daughter.)
  • 2. The Ex­hortation; which is five-fold:
    • 1. Hearken.
    • 2. Consider.
    • 3. Incline thin eare.
    • 4. Forget thy people, and thy fa­thers house.
    • 5. Worship him.
  • 3. The Mo­tives infor­cing it, which are,
    • 1. The former descripti­on of him; now thou art married to such an husband, hearken, &c.
    • 2. The Relation of Daughter; Children should harken to their Parents.
    • 3. Shee should bee beau­tifull.
    • 4. Her beauty should be desireable.
    • 5. The King should de­sire it; yea, greatly desire her beauty.

Let me a little open the words, and then proceed.

[O Daughter,] Quae consentit viro in matrimonium est viro in loco filiae, saith Rivet: The woman that consents to her Husband in marriage, is to him in stead of a Daughter: So saith the Parable, 2 Sam. 12. 3. The Ewe­lambe, which signified the wife, laid in the poore mans bosome, and was unto him as a daughter, Jer. 3. 4. Wilt thou not from henceforth crie unto me, Thou art my Father, the guide of my youth, the guide of her youth, that is, an Husband, and yet her Father. God can marry his Daughter, and yet the marriage not be incestuous; Yea, hee first marryes the soule, and then makes it his Daugh­ter, according to that 2 Cor. 6. 18. Wherefore come out from amongst them, and be yee separate, saith the Lord, and I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be to me Sonnes and Daughters, saith the Lord; Daughters by Adoption, Gal. 4. 6. Nor in vaine called a Daughter: It is a courteous compellation, as both Rivet and Mollerus note, by which the Lord will let his Saints know, that he [Page 7] will extend towards them the care of a father, as well as the love of an Hus­band, he will love them like an husband, and protect them like a father. Hearke Christians! Saints are Sons and Daugh­ters, as wel as Spouses to Christ. If he be a father where is his honour? If an husband where his love? But to proceed.

Hearken O Daughter] Audi filia,] What should shee heare? Shee should heare her husband. There was a voice from heaven, Matth. 17. 5. This is my well-beloved Son heare him. Christs Sheep are eare-marked, John 10. 11. The good sheep are thus markt, They hear his voice. Faith comes by hearing, yea and it growes up by hearing too; they are over-growne Saints that are growne past Ordinances, I am afraid they are growne out of Christs know­ledge; it is the deafe adder stops her eare. Davids eare was opened, Psal. 40. They that are too proud to heare Christs Voice on Earth, I am afraid will be thought too vile ever to see his face in heaven. Hearken therefore (O Daughter) Gods way to the Heart lies through the Eare, that's his ordi­nary [Page 8] way; if he at any time comes a­nother way, I am afraid it is not when wee have wilfully blockt that up, but when himselfe hath stopt it.

Hearken O Daughter, and Consider, or see] & vide: First heare, then see. There is a seeing of Faith. Faith is the daughter of hearing; the Eare must open before the soule. Doe not onely heare but also see. Hearing is not enough. He that beleeveth not, is damned already. Seeing may bee of ex­perience. As wee have heard, so have we seene in the City of our God. The soule that heares well shall see. Iohn 1. 50. Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the Fig-tree, beleevest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. Faith must goe before Sight, but Sight shall succeed saith: yet Faith is a Sight, though not of experience.

And incline thine eare.] Expositors make this Phrase to containe three things. 1. A Repetition of the first Branch, Hearken. It is a difficult du­ty, the word is doubled, that it may bee inforced; the Psalmist speaks twice, considering our deafnesse, yet he speaks [Page 9] louder in this than in the other phrase. Secondly, therefore To incline the eare, is more than to heare, it doth argue a notable stirring of Attention Hee that inclines his eare, affert aliquem a­nimi motum & propensionem, quickens up his minde, and brings with him to the duty a readinesse of Spirit, and an intentnesse of minde. 3. Inclining the Eare say some is Nota demissionis, a Note of that subjection and obedience which should bee found in the Spouse of the Lord Jesus Christ toward him. It followeth in the Text,

And forget thine owne people, and thy Fathers house.] Here are two things to be enquired into. 1. What is meant by her owne People, and her Fathers House. 2. What is meant by forget­ting of them. For the first, we must be guided by the Knowledge of the Spouse, to whom these words are spo­ken; if you look upon, 1. The Church of the Jewes as the Spouse meant here to be married to Christ, without que­stion it is meant of the Jewish Worship. the Ceremoniall Law and Worship, and their Traditions, they were to hee [Page 10] forgotten, and the Gospell-worship to be embraced; the worship of Christs In­stitution, consonant to that of Christ to the Woman of Samaria, John 4. 21, 22, 23. 2. If you understond by the Spouse, the Church of the Gentiles, then the Fathers house is all the Gen­tile worship and Paganish Idolatry, which must all be left upon their tur­ning to Christ. 3. If you understand by the Spouse the particular beleeving soule, the Fathers house, is old Adams house, all sinnne and wickednesse, all tra­ditionall worshipping. Renounce the Per patris domum in­telligo, quic­quid corrup­tionis ex u­tero afferi­mus, aut quaecunque ex prava in­stitutione nobis adhae­rent quasi ad nos hae­reditario ju­re aut edu­catione transfusa. Rivet ad loc. World (saith Deodate) and cleave to Christ: It is a Lesson of Selfe-Deny­all, consonant to that of Christ, Matth. 10. 37. By Fathers house, saith Doctor Rivet, wee may understand whatever corruption wee either brought out of the wombe with us, or have contra­cted by ill education or custome, so that they cleave to us as our inheri­tance. And by People, saith he, I un­derstand [ea quae ex mala consustudine, & conversatione cum impiis acquisita, nos a Deo abducunt, quae omnia nobis sunt deponenda] all those Corruptions, [Page 11] and whatever they be, which we have contracted by ill acquaintance, and con­versing amongst the wicked, which e­strange us from God, these must all bee laid downe, Luke 9. 23. Luke 14. 26. I shall anon in the opening of the Do­ctrine, open this tearm more fully. I now proceed.

So shall the King desire thy Beauty.] Some read it, Quia concupivit, because the King hath desired thy beauty, ma­king it a motive to induce her to forget her fathers house. So August. Cyprian. &c. Others read it, according to our Translation, [The King] The King of Glory, the King of Peace, Christ that King. I have set my King upon my ho­ly Hill of Zion: Hee is the King, [Greatly desire] Out of his love to thee, his great love to thee, he shall de­sire it; not onely love thee, but desire thee; yea not onely desire thee, but greatly desire thee. He speaks after the manner of men, whose desire is to the women they love, Gen. 4. 7. Ʋnto thee shall be his desire. And so, Deut. 21. 11. If thou seest amongst the Captives a beautifull woman, and thou hast a desire [Page 12] to her to make her thy wife. Christs Love is such to the soule, that he hath a desire to her, yea not a desire barely, but a passionate desire, he shall greatly desire, he shall be in love with the soule. [He shall greatly desire thy Beauty.] What Beauty? Pulchritudo est in mente cre­dentium, (saith Musculus) it is meant not of a face Beauty, but an heart Beau­ty. Decor Ecclesiae (saith Mollerus) est in fide, obedientia, & dilectione. In the graces of the soule, it is a Beauty that the Lord Christ puts upon the soule, it is not a Beauty of nature, but of grace that is the Saints Beauty: Sanctitas Ecclesiae est pulchritudo Ee­clesiae (saith Piscator) the holinesse of the Church is the Churches beauty, and so the holines of the soul is the souls beau­ty. This is the fairenes, this the Beauty that is meant in those places of Solo­mons Song, Cant. 1. 10, 11. Cant. 4. 1. Cant. 6. 1. Cant. 7. 1. This is the Beauty that the Lord Jesus Christ, the great King shall so desire in the soule, this is the comelinesse that shall make a­ny poore soule desireable in the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ; This is the Beau­ty [Page 13] which will make the King of Glory rest and content himselfe in his Love to the soule that hath it, and make him bee delighted with the acquain­tance of the soule, and in conversing, and having Communion with the soule. This is it that which (where it is found) will so ravish Christs heart, that he will never part from the soule (as Mollerus expounds that phrase [greatly desire.] Thus (as shortly as I could dispatch it) you have the sense of the Text. Now in it there lyes these truths.

1. That the gracious soule, by mar­riage to Jesus Christ, becomes his Daughter as well as his Spouse. Hee will not onely love her as a Wife, but care for her as a Daughter, 2 Cor. 6. 16.

2. That it is a great piece of the Daughters worke to hearken to Christ in his Word. It is no height of Saint­ship, to be beyond Ordinances, if wee be out of Heaven: It is a note of a Re­probate, being once enlightned, to fall back; but it is a new degree of Saintship; they are deafe Adders, that have lived thus long no Saints; Chil­dren [Page 14] of the Devill, not of God; his Daughters must hearken. [Hearken O Daughter.]

3. Christs Daughter must and shall see as well as heare. Hearing is not e­nough; the soule must be open to receive Christ as well as the eare to heare his voice, and if they will heare, they shall see. [Hearken O Daughter, and see.]

4. Christs Daughters must incline their eare as well as heare and see. Obe­dience must bee joyn'd to Faith and Worship. Inward affection and intenti­on of minde must bee joyned with out­ward hearing.

5. Which is the Doctrine I will In­sist upon.

Doct. That soule that would have the Lord Jesus Christ desire its beauty, must forget its owne people, and its Fathers House. And whosoever doth that shall bee beauti­full.

And the Lord-Jesus shall desire its Beauty. In the handling of this Do­ctrine I shall doe these 5 things.

[Page 15] 1. I shall shew you what it is for a soule to forget its owne people, and its Fathers house.

2. I shall shew you how, and in what sense the soule that doth it shall be beautifull.

3. I shall shew what is meant by the Lord Christs desiring such a soules beauty.

4. I shall give you some reasons, why it is requisite that the soule that would endeare it selfe to Christ, and make it selfe desireable, should forget its Fathers house.

5. Lastly, I shall apply the whole Doctrine suitably.

First, what is meant by the soules owne people, and Fathers house; and se­condly, by forgetting of them. What was meant in generall I shewed be­fore. Our Fathers house is old Adams house, the world and all therein. I shall now shew you in some particulars, First, What of our Eathers must bee forgot. Secondly, how and in what sense we must forget it. The first I shall dispatch in these few following par­ticulars, as briefely as I can.

The soule must forget the manners of its Fathers house. Our Fathers house (ever since God and hee parted houses in Paradise) is an house of ill manners, an house of sinne and wickednesse. Now every soule that would make it selfe beautions or desireable in the sight of Christs eyes, must shake hands with sin. Is. 55. 7. Let the wicked man forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him returne to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and unto our God, and he will abundant­ly pardon him; ay then the King shall desire his beauty, but first let him for­get the manners of his Fathers house. All sinne must bee forgotten: But I take it especially foure sorts of sinnes are hinted to us in this Phrase, and may more properly be called the sinnes of our Fathers house.

1. Originall sinne. If we have a­ny thing of Grace or Goodnesse, wee never learn'd that at home. It is the gift of God through the tutoring of the Spi­rit. But for Sinne, wee need not goe abroad to learne that, it was bred in the bone, that's one reason why it will ne­ver [Page 17] out of the flesh, Ez. 16. Thy Fa­ther was an Amorite, and thy Mother an Hittite. We are chilnren of wrath by nature, Ephes. 2. 3. Psal. 51. 4. In sinne did my mother conceive me; Now this must be forgotten; this is a piece of our Fathers house. Men and Women you know are usually borne in their Fathers House; We are all borne in the house of bondage, which must be forgotten, if ever the soule be desireable to Jesus Christ. It is a usu­all saying of Divines, that he that was never truely humbled for Originall sinne, was never truely humbled for a­ny sinne.

2. The sinnes of our Education. The Fathers house is the house where the Childe is brought up: All sinne is not bred in us; that which is bred in us may bee improved. Originall sinne is sinne in the seed; Actuall sinne is sinne in the Blade and Fruit. The World is a dusty house, you can set a Creature in never a corner of it, but it will contract some dust. Joseph by being in the King of Egypts house, learn'd to sweare by his Masters life. According to dif­ferent [Page 18] breedings, are men addicted to different Vanities, whether pleasure, or honour, &c. Now when the soul comes unto Christ he must come off these, he must forget his Fathers house, all his vaine sinfull breeding, and all the filth his soule hath contracted by reason of it.

3. Sinnes of Conversation and com­pany. The Fathers house, and the company of it, is the childs company, those of his Fathers house, are his owne people. It is true, as well for Religion as any thing else, Magni refert quibuscum convixeris. It is a great matter with whom we converse; from accompanying with vaine per­sons, thou shalt learne to bee vaine: Cum lupis ululare. When the soule comes to Christ, it must leave all; sins thus contracted, they are part of the manders of the Fathers House. Paul left his Pharisaisme that he had learnt at Gamaliels feet.

4. Customary sinnes must bee left. The Child learnes customes in his Fa­thers House. Customary sinning must be left of that soule that would render [Page 19] it selfe for beauty desireable to Jesus Christ; Those sinnes which are to the soule as the Leopards spot, and the blacknes of the blackamores skinne. In­ded this is hard; Custome hatcheth a second nature, Jer. 13. 23. How can you that are accustomed to doe evill, do well? Yet it must bee done, the Fathers house must be forgotten: ill customes must be laid aside, or good ones wil not be taken up.

5. Beloved sinnes must be left. E­very thing of the Fathers House al­most is deare to the child. But the dearest sinne must bee shaken hands with, Matth. 18. 9. If it bee a right hand it must be cut off: if a right eye, it must be pluckt out. Our Members must be Mortified, Col. 3. 5. Thus the maners of our Fathers house must be forgotten. All sinnes, but especially these sinnes. I proceed now.

Secondly, The soule must forget the Company of us Fathers house. What is that you will say? I will answer you in two particulars. 1. Our most near and dearest Relations. See Luke 14. 26. If a man commeth to me (saith [Page 20] Christ) and hateth not Father, and Mo­ther, and Children, and Brethren, and Wife, and Sisters, yea and his own life also, he is not worthy of mee. He shall not bee so beautifull; not so beautifull, as that the King shall desire his beauty. As it was said Levi did in another sense, so must the Saint doe in some sense: He must say unto his Father, and to his Mother, I have not seen him, neither must hee acknowledge his Brethren, nor know his owne children. Otherwise he will never have Levie's Character, to bee one that observeth the Lords Word and keeps his Cove­nant. Not that Religion teacheth, or commandeth, or indureth a Saint to break the tyes of all Religion; No, be­sides that it doth not discharge a Saint of his Duty of Nature; it puts in a Plea also against such unnaturalnesse; Honour thy Father and Mother, &c. is the fifth Commandement, the first with promise (saith the Apostle) nei­ther doth it allow a Saint to rob his parents of their due, with saying, Cor­ban, it is a gift: The Ravens of the val­leys shall picke out the eyes of such per­sons, [Page 21] as well as the Devill hath done of their Religion. Neither doth it dis­charge a Saint of his providentiall du­ty, and respect to his relation. Hee that provides not for his Family is worse than an Infidell. 1. In point of due honour. 2. In point of naturall affection. 3. In point of Providen­tiall care. Wee must not forget the Company of our Fathers House. Gods Commands doe not enterfiere, nor will the Gospell in that case give a su­persedeas to the Law. But 1. if God and they draw severall wayes, if the Parents commands crosse Gods, then [...], It is better to obey God than men: The Parent is to com­mand for God, not against him, subor­dinately, not supremely; he must be o­beyed for Gods sake, and God too for his sake, as by his command he seconds God; but Parents can as little, yea less discharge the child of its duty to God, than the Pope can discharge the Sub­ject of his Allegiance to his Prince. 2. If their love becken us out of the way when God calls us, or would intice us to make halts in our running through [Page 22] fire and water to him, then wee must forget them. I have somewhere met with a Speech of St. Hierome to that purpose: Saith hee, If the Lord Christ should call me to him, though my Father should lye in my way, and my Mother should hang about my neck, I would goe over my Father, and shake off my Mother, and runne to my Christ. Shetterden a Martyr (as it is storied of him) writ to his Mother thus; Dear Mother, imbrace the Counsell of Gods Word with Heart and Affection, read it with obedience, so shall we meet in joy at the last day, Or else I bid you fare­well for ever. In these now and such like cases, that soule that would make its beauty desireable in the eyes of Jesus Christ, must like Levi say to his Father and his Mother, I have not seen you; in these cases he must not acknowledge his Brethren, nor know his owne Chil­dren: They stand in Christs way, and Christ calls hastily. The Saint must spare no time to parley. Naturall af­fection with them he must forget his Fathers house, the deare company of it, his Rolations.

Secondly, all sinfull Company is the Company of our Fathers house, The Company of fooles, as Solomon calls it. Now all this must be forgotten, or else in stead of being saved, thy soule will bee destroied. Prov. 13. 20. A Companion of fooles shall bee destroied. Psalme 119. 63. I am a companion (saith David) of those that fear thee. You must leave your swearing Compa­ny, and your drinking Company, and your vain Company, or the King will never desire your beauty. The soul that would render it selfe desireable in the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, must make all its delight, (with David) in those that excell in vertue, the Saints upon the earth. Saul before his Conversion was a companion of those that stoned Ste­phen, and persecuted the Saints. Like to like, for himselfe consented to his death, and was a Persecutor; but no sooner had the Lord made his Motion to him, but he forgat this company, and assayed to joyne himselfe to the Church.

Thirdly, the soule that would ren­der its beauty desireable in Jesus [Page 24] Christs eyes, must forget the Honour and Pompe, and Riches and Great­nesse of his Fathers house, all the high-Towers and Treasures of it, &c. They that will be Christs Disciples must not take up Crownes, and advance them­selves, and follow him: No, they must deny themselves, and take up the crosse and follow him; their Crownes must be of Thornes, made after their Ma­sters Coppy: They must not be such as love the uppermost roomes at Feasts, and the chiefe seats of the Synagogues, and Greetings in the Market, and to be called of men Rabbi, Rabbi. Bee not yee call'd Rabbi (saith Christ) for one is your Master, even Christ, and all yee are brethren. Hee that is greatest amongst them that are Saints, must be as a Servant, Matth. 23. 7, 8, 9, 10. They must forget that naturall itching which is in the children of Adam u­sually, and must be scratched with Ma­dam, or Rabbi, or some high-swelling words of vanity: they must not bee such, as will swell (like that Toad Haman) if Mordecay give him not the knee, or if their Brother give them [Page 25] not the wall or the way; Saints are no such creatures; they are such as are not at all taken with any such high ti­tles, but Rom. 12. 10. In honour they prefer one before another. And they must look upon it as the greatest honor in the world, not that they are masters, and descended▪ —atavis Regibus, of great Parentage▪ &c. but that they are ser­vants of Jesus Christ; the name of Christian (the badge of honour first created at Antioch) must appeare to them, better than the names of Lord or Lady. Theodosius was wont (they say) more to glory that hee was a ser­vant of Christ, than that hee was Em­perour of the East. Now I say, That soule that would make its beauty de­sirable to Christ, must forget all these, not affect any of them, not value them; for hee that exalteth himselfe shall bee abased, and he that humbleth himselfe shall be exalted. Behold a miracle (saith Mat. 23. 12. Augustine) God is an high God (yea, the most high) yet the higher thou liftest up thy selfe, the further thou art off him; the lower thou humblest thy selfe, the nearer he drawes to thee; he [Page 26] looks neare to the humble, that he may raise them up, but sees the proud afarre off, that hee may depresse them. The proud Pharisee prest as neare God as hee could, the poore Publican durst not, but stood afarre off; God was farre from the one and neare to the o­ther. The high towers of the fathers house must bee forgotten, yea, and so must all the rich coffins and chests of it: these are part of the furniture of our fathers house. You know what Christ said to the young man, when he seemed to bee in love with Christ, Matth. 19. 21. If thou wilt be perfect, if thou wilt make thy beauty a desira­ble beauty, Goe, and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poore, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow mee, and againe v. 24. It is easier for a camell to goe through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdome of God. You know what Christ saies, Mat. 11. [...], the poore are those that are gospel­lized. But to proceed yet.

The soule that would render its beauty desirable in Christs eyes, must [Page 27] forget the pleasures and vanities of its fathers house, all that is in the world, 1 Joh. 2. 16. whether it be the lust of the eyes, or the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life. When the Apostle speaks of lovers of pleasures, he puts in more than lovers of God, 2 Tim. 3. 4. Jude tels us, such as are sensuall have not the spirit, Jude 18. 19. Iob in the de­scription of the wicked, Job. 21. 12, 13. tels us, that they are such as take up the tymbrell and harpe, and rejoyce at the sound of the Organ, their chil­dren dance, they spend their dayes in wealth, &c. These are they that say unto God, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of his wayes. What is the Almighty that wee should serve him? and what profit is there, that we should pray unto him, v. 15. Their fid­dles must be laid in the water of true repentance and contrition. The daugh­ters of pleasure must undresse, if they will be beautifull in Christs eyes; they must lay aside their paintings and dres­sings, their curlings and perfumings of the haire, where (as hee wittily sayes) the powder doth forget the dust; their [Page 28] ornament must not be the outward ador­ning of plaiting the haire, and of wea­ring gold, and putting on of apparell; but the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible, even the orna­ment of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Pet. 3. 3, 4. The daughters of plea­sure must undresse (I say) for the Lord, as he threatned hee would doe in the day of judgement, Is. 3. 18, 19, 20. so in the day of mercy, to the soule of the vaine creature, hee will also take away the bravery of their tinckling or­naments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tyres like the moone, the chaines, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the head­bands, and the tablets, and the care­rings, and the rings, and the nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparell, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the cris­ping pinnes, and the glasses, and the fine linnen, and the hoods, and the vailes, and instead of these send in mercy, a gir­ding with sackcloth, a rent heart, and a weeping eye, and a serious soule. It was [Page 29] a sure rule that a Divine once gave to another, enquiring of him why he did not perswade a Gentlewoman (with whom hee was acquainted) to leave off some vaine dresses shee wore; (Saith hee) I will first perswade her to get Christ into her heart, and then shee will leave these of her selfe. The soul that hath Christ in his heart, need not to be perswaded to leave its fidling and dancing, and love songs, and vaine dres­ses, and paintings, and revellings, and naked breasts; it knowes these will not make its beauty desirable in Christs eyes; and it is lost labour to perswade others to it. When Solomon forsooke God, then he ran to pleasures and va­nities, and sought every thing that should please his carnall eye, and tickle his vaine fancy; but he no sooner re­turnes to Christ, but hee sayes of mirth it is madnesse, and of laughter what doth it? Christians you must forget these, or Christ will overlook you. Ter­tullian call'd the unvailed virgins of Tetull. in lib. de ve­landis vir­ginibus. his time Capita Nundinalitia, and Pu­dor ostentatitiae Virginitatis, Phrases I will not English. You must forget [Page 30] the pleasures and vanities of your fa­thers house: that is the fourth. I will instance but in one thing more.

Fiftly and lastly, You must forget the Religion and Righteousnesse of your fathers house. Indeed, there is not much there, it may quickly bee all for­gotten; but what there is must all bee forgotten. There is a conceited Religi­on, at least, a selfe-righteousnesse, which is naturall to all the sons of Adam. Master Hooker gives this reason for it, because our first father Adam was worth so much hee could have gone to Heaven upon his own legs. Now as it is with a young spenthrift, though hee hath spent all his fathers estate, and be not worth a groat, yet hee cannot abide to think hee should bee a worse man than his father; so it is with the sons of Adam, because hee could once have done enough for heaven, wee that are his children, though he lost all his power before hee died, yet we cannot endure to think our selves worse than our father, and are ready to think hea­ven may be erned still, and we may doe something for our selves. The young [Page 31] man, Mat. 19. was at it, Master, what good thing should I doe to inherit ever­lasting life? and so the converts at Peters Sermon, Acts 2. and the Jay­lour, Acts 16. What shall we doe to bee saved? hence is Morality and Civility taken up by some, and formality in du­ties taken up by others, and man pit­cheth his staffe in himselfe, and re­solves there to rest; but this must bee forgotten if ever we would be desira­bly beautifull in Jesus Christs eyes; for all our Righteousnesses are as menstru­ous clothes, and as a filthie ragge in the sight of God, Is. 64. 6. and againe, Matth. 5. 20. Except your righteous­nesse exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees you shall never enter into the Kingdom of God. Civility rested in (saith a Divine of our owne) is but a beautifull abomination, it is but a smooth way to hell. It is true, in the world a civill man is valued at an high rate, because the world is full of grosse profanenesse, and outrageous wicked­nesse; but Civility is like the Cab of 2 Kin. 6. 25 Doves dung, or the asses head: the lat­ter was worth fourscore pieces of sil­ver, [Page 32] and the fourth part of the first valued at five picces of silver; but it was because there was a famine in Sa­maria. This is that makes Civility ra­ted so high in the world, but in it selfe it is worth nothing, and Formality in duties as little, though it amounts to as much as the Pharisees fasting twice a week, and praying thrice a day, and pay­ing tythe of all that hee hath. Not­withstanding all this, all God, I thank thee, I am not, &c. yet the poor wretch is poore, and miserable, and blind, and naked. All this must bee left, and ano­ther righteousnesse sought and found, before the soule comes up to a desira­ble beauty. And thus I have shewed what of our fathers house, and our own people must be forgot.

Let me come in the next place, to shew you how, and how farre these things must be left and forgot; To that I answer.

1. Some of these must be absolutely for­got. The manners of our fathers house, all sinne and wiekednesse must be so for­got, Is. 55. 7. Let the wicked man for­sake his way, and the unrighteous man [Page 33] his thoughts, Hos. 14. 8. Ephraim shall say, what have I to do with Idols. There must bee no willing purposed practice of any sinne how dear soever, how accustomed soever, however ac­quired, how long soever lived in; the wicked man must forsake his way, the evill of our doings must be put away; e­vill must bee eschewed, so must sinfull company too.

2. The rest of them must bee se­cundum quid forgotten, in a great mea­sure. Our relations must not be doted upon, our honours and worldly glory not hunted after, nor must our hearts be taken with them; wee must not be lovers of pleasure, wee must not rest in our righteousnesse, not dote upon it; our heat of affection to these things, the running out of our hearts to them, the fixing of our hearts upon them, this must be forgotten, &c.

3. Conditionally they must bee forgotten. If they clash with Christs commands, if our Relations would draw us from Christ, or retard our way to Christ; if in our acts of love to them we must forget the commands of [Page 34] Christ, that either wee must not obey God in our places, or wee must break with them, and not be thought to love them, in this sense they ought to bee forgotten, yea, to bee hated. Christ in this case call'd Peter Sathan; this is Christs command, Luk. 14. 26. If our honours and glory in the world would lie in the way, to keep us from stoo­ping to Christs command; and from thence our flesh it would fetch such conclusions as these, It is not fit for so great a person as you to have such strictnesse in duties, to be acquainted with such meane creatures (as many Saints are) to go to Church so often, to be at private meetingt so much, &c. In this case we must forget them. If our riches begin to stick to our heart, and to tempt our heart from God, that wee cannot enjoy them, but our hearts will cleave to them, In such a case a Chri­stian shall bee a saver, if (as Crates threw his gold into sea, that hee may study Philosophy) hee also throw away his estate to study Jesus Christ. If our pleasures be such, as in the substance (if such shadowes have any) are sinfull, [Page 35] or draw away the heart too much from God, take up our Church-time, or fa­mily duty-time, or secret duty-time, &c. in such case they must bee forgot too.

4. Comparatively they must be for­got. God must be greater than they in the throne of our heart, wee must not love father, nor mother, nor daughter, nor wife, nor child, more than Christ. So Mathew expounds that place, Luk. 14. 26. in Matth. 10. 37. wee must not be lovers of any pleasures more than of Christ, nor of house, or lands, or honour, or any piece of vanity under the Sunne. This is plaine, for we must love Christ with all our heart and soule; and though the second com­mandment bee, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy selfe, yet it doth not say, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy Christ.

5. Lastly, In effect they must be for­got. Christians must doe as if they had no relations; they may rejoyce, and buy, and sell, and purchase, and use the world, but marke how, it is in a for­getting manner, 1 Cor. 7. 30. they that [Page 36] rejoyce must be as if they rejoyced not, and they that buy as if they possest not, and they that use the world as if they used it not. Christians may be called by their titles of Rabbi, and my Lord, and Madam; but while they are so, they must have a scornfull, low, slight, e­steeme of these swelling words of va­nity, not despising the meanest of Gods Saints, but ready in honour to preferre them above themselves, and accoun­ting the title of Christian, of a servant of God, to be a greater title of honour than worldly dignities can invest them with. And now I have finished my first taske in the explication of the doctrine, in which I have shewed you, what of our fathers house must be for­gotten. 2. How farre we must forget it.

The second thing I propounded, was to shew you how that soule is beautifull, with what beauty the soule is beautifull that thus forgets its owne people, and its fathers house. This I shall shew you, 1. Negatively. 2. Positively.

1. Not with a corporall beauty, this makes not the flesh beautifull. It ads no lustre to flesh and blood, possibly it may discolour that.

[Page 37] 2. Not by a native beauty, no natu­rall beauty. The beauty that will ap­peare in the soule, upon this selfe de­niall, is not like the beauty of the face which appears after washing off dirt, which clouded natures colours.

3. Not in the eye of the vaine crea­ture, nor in its owne eyes. Aske a vaine creature, he will tell you, that the lea­ving of vaine dresses, and patches, and plaitinge of the haire, is the way to make the creature look like no body, to make it despised in the world, &c. and such a one perhaps lothes and ab­hors it selfe as a vile creature, Jo. 42. 6. Thus it shall not be beautifull, and it is no matter whether it be or no. But se­condly such a soule shall bee beautifull these three wayes.

1. Imputatione, By the beauty of Christ put upon it; see for this that notable place, Ezech. 16. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Then wast thou decked with silver and gold, and thy rayment was of fine linnen, and silke, and broide­red worke.—and thou wert excee­ding beautifull.—And thy renowne went forth amongst the heathen for thy [Page 38] beauty, for it was perfect through the comelinesse which I had put uppon thee (saith the Lord God.) Christ makes the reflexion of his beauty to bee cast upon such a soule, and it becomes beautifull through his comelinesse; the soules doing these things, doth not make it spiritually any more than corporally beautifull, but (they being done) it be­comes comely through Christs comeli­nesse, comely through a comelinesse that is put upon it, that's the first way. Se­condly, It is beautifull,

2. Through Christs Acceptation, Of free grace; Christ said to the young man in the 19 of Matth. Sell all thou hast, &c. and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, not thou shalt earne it, but thou shalt have it. Christ accepts the soule as beautifull, and accounts the soule as beautifull, that for his sake will forget its owne people, and its fa­thers house, Cant. 4. 1. Behold, thou art faire (my love) behold, thou art faire, thou hast doves eyes, &c.

3. Such a soule is beautifull, though not in the worlds eyes, yet in the Saints eyes; The world will hate and despise [Page 39] them, but the Saints will love and value them, Cant. 6. 1. the Daughters of Hierusalem say unto the spouse, whi­ther is thy beloved gone, O thou Fairest amongst women, the daughters of Hie­rusalem, the Saints, account such a soule beautifull. It may bee that shee may call her selfe black the greatest of sinners, and the least of Saints, yea, and the world may so call her; but those that are godly shall esteeme her comely, and the King shall desire her beauty. And that leads me to the last particu­lar in the explication of the Doctrine.

3. What is the meaning of that phrase, The King shall desire thy beauty.

1. Generally. It is a speech accor­ding to the manner of men, Gen. 4. 7. it is said of the husband toward the wise, Vnto thee shall be his desire. And wee meet with that phrase, Deut. 21. 11. when thou seest amongst the Cap­tives a beautifull woman, and thy de­sire shall be towards her, to make her thy wife.

2. But more particularly, I think the true meaning of the phrase may bee [Page 40] understood in these particulars.

First of all it implies, That the Lord Jesus Christ shall discover and see an excellency in such a soule; we can de­sire nothing, but we shall first discover some excellency in it. Now the Lord discovers an excellency in such a soule; hee shall eye such a soule as an excel­ling soule, as a lovely soule, worthy of him (though not through its owne worthinesse) and suitable for him.

2. It implies, That the Lord Jesus Christ shall love such a soule, discove­ring in it a suitable excellency; he shall love it, his heart will be ravished with it, Cant. 4. 9. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast ra­vished my heart. Christs affections will be drawne out to a soule that so for­gets it selfe, his heart will bee melting towards it, and on fire for it; there must first bee a love in the soule to the object, before the heart bee drawne forth to covet an union with it.

3. It implies, That the Lord Christ will in his heart preferre such a soule; when a mans desire is towards a parti­cular woman, to make her his wife, he [Page 41] preferres her above other women; his desire is not to her sex, but to her, to her rather than ten thousand others. The Lords desire shall bee towards such a soule, As you have heard described to you, that hee will preferre her above ten thousand of his creatures, though the Lord sees thousands of his crea­tures, hundreds in a congregation, that the world dotes upon, some for their faire faces, and on others for their brave parts, this Eliab and the other Shammah; yet the Lord that sees all, and can judge best, lets Eliab and Shammah passe, and fixeth his eye up­on this selfe denying (in the world) de­spised creature, and upon it hee fixeth his heart, and prizeth such a soule a­bove all the other trumperies and kick­shawes of beauty. The Lord culs out such a soule, his desire is towards her, shee is the Esther hee picks out, and such a soul is more preferred in Christs eye, than this witty man or woman, or that gallant, this Lord or that Lady, Christ hath no desire to them, but to this soule his desire is.

4. It implies, That Jesus Christ will [Page 42] indeavour and effect an union, and enjoy such a soule; what is the meaning of that phrase, the man's desire shall be to his wife, but he shall desire to be joyned in marriage to her, that they may bee no longer twaine, but one flesh? and if his desire be towards her, and it be a feasi­ble thing he will effect it, if shee con­sent and friends consent, &c. The Lords desire shall be to the soule, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ shall indeavour, yea, and unite himselfe to effect an u­nion with such a soul, he shall wooe it, yea, and shee shall yield, for when hee works who can let him? Christ will marry himselfe to such a soule, make a marriage covenant, and tie himselfe in a marriage bond to it; for though in man desire may bee frustrated, so that desire and enjoyment are two things, yet it is necessarily to be understood in Christs desiring, whose power is such, that hee shall not need starve his desire longer than he pleaseth.

5. It implies, That the Lord Jesus Christ will court neare communion with such a soule; mark how he speaks to the Spouse, Cant. 2. 14. O my [Page 43] Dove, that art in the clefts of the rocks, in the secret places of the staires, let me heare thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance comely; hee will not onely have communion, but hee will covet communion with such a soule; hee will desire to have it draw nigh, and dwell in his presence, to have it come neare him in a duty, in an or­dinance, &c.

6. Lastly, Hee will love such a soule with a constant and inseparable love, it is said, The King shall desire thy beauty, he shall desire it, and never cease desi­ring of it, hee shall for ever desire thy beauty. And thus I have opened to you all the three termes, now I come to the second taske. As I have gone along in opening the generals in seve­rall particulars, I have proved the Doctrine that it is so. But may some say, what ground is there that the Lord Jesus Christ should desire this of eve­ry soule that hee will love and marry and have communion with, that it should thus forsake its owne people, and its fathers house? why should Christ hold the soule to this hard meat? I shal [Page 44] therefore in the next place shew you the reasons of it: And there is a very great deale of Reason for it.

1. Because it is the very law of mar­riage, Gen. 2. 24. Therefore shall a man forsake father and mother, and cleave to his wife. The Lord Christ marries himselfe to the soule. It is written, I will betroth thee unto mee; yea, I will betroth thee unto mee: for this cause the soule shall forsake its owne people, and its fathers house, and shall cleave to its Christ; for this cause because the soule is married, or about to marry to the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore must look to doe as mar­ried persons use to doe, leave all for their husband.

2. A second reason is, because while the soule lives at home with its owne people, and at its fathers house, it cannot be beautifull nor desirable. Our owne people are a filthie people, our fathers house a nastie house; the soule while it hath left that cannot be beau­tifull nor desirable. The most beauti­full creature you know, if shee bee brought up by sluttish people (as wee [Page 45] say) and goes in a filthy habit, there is a cloud cast over her beauty. So it is with a soule, while it hath left its sins and vaine company, and pride, and am­bition, and pleasures, and riches, and selfe-righteousnesse, it cannot be beau­tifull in Christs eyes. Now beauty is the attractive of the soule, the soule must see a beauty, in that, which it lets out it selfe to in desiring: let that be a second reason.

3. Because there cannot bee a clea­ving to Christ, unlesse there be a parting with these. Christ requires the highest love of our soules, it is the first com­mandement you know (with our Sa­viours glosse upon it) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and all thy soule. Hence Christ tels us, no man can serve two masters, you cannot serve God and Mammon; that soule that will hug sin must hate God; that soule that will be a companion of Jesus Christ, and a companion of Saints, must not be a companion of sinners, for what fellowship hath Christ with Belial, righteousnesse with unrighteousnesse, light with darknesse, the temple of God [Page 46] with Idols, and so the rest? Your soule cannot love two thengs with an highest love. 2. You cannot in heart truly cleave to two contraries. There is a third reason, especially if you consi­der,

4. That God is a jealous God: you meet with the phrase often, and given as a reason, why they should doe this or that, For the Lord thy God is a jea­lous God. Jealousie is a passion in the soule, non patiens consortium in re ama­tâ (saith Aquinas) that will not in­dure, or that makes the soule that it will not indure any sharing in the ob­ject beloved. The woman that hath a jealous husband must leave all her old companions. Christian, thy God is a jea­lous God, if therefore thou wouldst have him desire thy beauty, if thou wouldst have him care for thee, thou must forget thine owne people, and thy fathers house. I will adde but one rea­son more. Lastly,

5. Because It is the will of Christ. It was the Apostles precept, that wives should obey their husbands. Now selfe deniall is a great piece of Christs com­mand. [Page 47] It is his first request, Hee that will be my Disciple let him deny him­selfe; selfe deniall is the first of Chri­stianity. He that hath not learned this, hath not learned the A, B, C, of Chri­stianity, not so much as the Christ­crosse row, as you call it. Here should bee reason enough if [...], [hee hath said so] was enough in Pithago­ras his schoole, to put the businesse past disputing amongst his schollers, I am sure it should bee much more in Christs schoole, wee will therefore en­quire no further reason for it. Let mee now come to application.

I shall apply it, by way 1. Of In­struction. 2. Of Examination. 3. Of Consolation. 4. Of Exhortation.

Ʋse 1 Instr.It may serve to instruct us in the truth of severall Positions, I will only pick out some few.

1. It may instruct us, That the most part of the world, yea, of those that the world most esteemes of, and sets the highest rate and value upon, are poore, indesirable, uncomely wretches, in the eyes of Jesus Christ. Christ's eye sees not as mans eye seeth, man seeth [Page 48] beauty, where Christ seeth none; man seeth a desirablenesse, where Christ's eye seeth none; man dotes upon what Christ cares not for; man calleth the proud blessed, but the Lord's soule ab­horreth them; they have not yet left their owne people, and their fathers house. You see many a gallant strut it in the world, and who but they are the people of fashion (as you call them) the glory, the beauty of the world, every one admires them, &c. many that in respect of their wisdome, or parts, or behaviour, and civility, are the desire of those amongst whom they live, and there is not one in ten of all these that the Lord Jesus Christ hath any desire too; they are poore, un­comely, indesirable creatures in Christ's eyes, notwithstanding all their honour, and greatnesse, and nobility, notwith­standing all their beauty, whether na­turall or artificiall, borrowed from the Painter or Taylor, notwithstanding all these Christ seeth no excellency in them at all. The vaine creature dotes, Christ scornes; the vain creature loves, Christ sees no lovelinesse in them, but [Page 49] looketh upon them black with the soot of hell, eyes their countenance, all blots, and their soules too, the vaine creature preferres them: there's many a poore creature that lives in a cottage, that is at an higher rate in Christ's thoughts; the poore wormes soule is carried out to desire matches, an union and a communior. with them. Jesus Christ scornes them, and hath no desire either to any union, or to enjoy any com­munion with them: Christ saith of such vaine creatures, There go poor wret­ches that my soule loathes, I am sick of them, ashamed of them as my crea­tures; And is this nothing to you? O you sons and daughters, is this nothing to you? it vexeth you to think that you live in a place where none desires you, and if you were gone none would lament you: It was an untoward cha­racter of an unworthy Emperour; & is it no trouble to you to think I live not desired, not cared for of Jesus Christ? Zeph. 2. 1. The Lord cals his people to repentance under this notion; Ga­ther together, O nation un desired. O that it might call you to some serious [Page 50] thoughts, vaine creatures! you are people not desired of the Lord Jesus Christ, as uncomely, and despised in his eyes, as you are beautifull, and admi­red in the eyes of men; nay, and more, and let me tell you in your eares, and (oh that it may make your hearts rend, and your eares tingle) if you be not desired of him here, you shall never enjoy him, nor be enjoyed of him here­after. Haman was such a poore wretch, the King had ennobled him, every hat and knee did him homage, and took notice of the Kings respects to him, at last hee came to the gibbet; have a care poore creatures else, though you compasse your selves about with sparkes, poore sparkes of friends, honours, riches, pleasures; sparks that will extinguish as quickly as rise, yet this, and onely this, you shall have at the Lords hand, you shall lie downe in sorrow, everlasting sorrow; you shall lie down in hell. It is an ill place to leave you in, but the Lord pluck you as fire­brands out of the burning. I passe on.

2. From what you have heard you may be instructed, which way the way [Page 51] to heaven lies; and 2. That it is no easie way, we are all pilgrims and stran­gers here, we were bred so, our fathers were so. Now the journies end which all pretend to (though the most ride backward) the coast which all say they are bound for (which way soever their compasse guides them) is Hea­ven, this is omnibus in Voto, though few so runne that they may obtaine. But hath any blind or misled traveller a mind to know the way? Is any poore soule startled this day? doth hell-fire flash in any of your faces, and are you crying out, Sir, What shall we doe to be saved? which way lies our way to hea­ven? Learne hence, that the next way to heaven is not the beaten road, but quite crosse Natures-fields, and so through the long street of selfe-deniall, and up the mountaine of holinesse, at the top of which you shall see God; it lies over hedge and ditch, over rockes and mountaines: you must leave your youth sinnes as you goe on your right hand, your education and custome sinnes on your left hand, your beloved sinnes be­hind you; if your father, or mother, [Page 52] or husband, or wife, or brother, or sister, or child lie in your way, you must make no halis, but over their necks; if all your vaine acquaintance, your drunken, swearing, wanton compa­nions, stand of each side and becken you another way, you must decline their invitation and go quite crosse; you must tread upon all your glory and pompe, and greatnesse; you must avoid the mountaine of Gold, and the rocks of Pearle; you must take heed of the pleasant brook of carnall and vain plea­sures; avoid your dancing, and pain­ting, and patching, and decking your selves: In short, you must put your selfe in an habit fit to carry a crosse, This is the next way to heaven. And now I need not tell you in the second place, That strait is the way, and nar­row is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that find it. By this time you will know, that if you will goe to heaven, you must goe like, and with, very few in this age of wan­tonnesse and dotage. By this time you will easily ghesse sinners are out of the way, and proud men are out of the [Page 53] way; those that glory in riches, and worldly greatnesse, are out of the way; the carelesse daughters of Sion, that stretch out their necks, and mince it as they goe, are out of the way; the selfe-righteous men are out of the way. Ah Lord! who are in it? Heaven is a difficult journey, it is an hard way to find, it is hard to flesh and blood to doe these things. It was the Martyrs speech, that the crosse way was the way to heaven. The way to heaven is astrait way, no dancing way, dancers must have the elbowroome of hell-road; they that will walke in this strait way must croud, they must not thinke to walk thither in state; no, they must croud, and never bee afraid of wrim­pling a neat handkerchiefe or cuffe, it is not opus pulvinaris (said one) but pul­veris, you shall be sure to meet with all the opposition that nature can make, all the forces of flesh and bloud, and all the forces the devill can adde; who then shall be saved? even those that God hath appointed to life, those to whom the Lord shall give such an heart as I have told you, strait is the way, and few there be that find: If you will have [Page 54] a broader way you may, Mat. 7. 13, 14. but then you must not look for the same journies end. The Lord give you hearts to consider it, and feare to tremble at it.

3. And from hence thirdly, you may bee instructed, that it must bee something more than nature that must make a poore soule beautifull, and desi­rably beautifull in Jesus Christs eyes. It must neither bee naturall beauty will doe it, nor yet naturall parts; no, nor natures glory, nor the best of nature, naturall righteousnesse, Matth. 5. 20. It must be something more than flesh and bloud, yea, something more than flesh and bloud can helpe us with. But I passe over this.

4. From hence fourthly, you may be instructed, What an infinit love the Lord Jesus Christ hath loved his Saints with, 1 Joh. 3. 1. Behold (saith the Apostle) with what manner of love the father hath loved you with, that you should be call'd the sonnes of God. Here hee sayes, hearken O Daughter; the Daughter of a King is honourable, but the daughter of the King of Kings is much more honourable. But (if I may [Page 55] say it) here seemes to be a degree of love beyond it, the Kings wife is more honourable than the Kings daughter. Behold therefore (O yee upright in heart) with what manner of love the Lord Jesus Christ hath loved you, that hee should desire your beauty; not only love you, but if uncomely, poor wret­ches, make you beautifull, according to that, Ezech. 16. 13, 14. nay, not on­ly so, but desire your beauty; not onely like it, but desire it; O love! infinit love! when David sent his servants to let Abigail know that hee desired her beauty, marke how she admires at it, 1 Sam. 25. 41. shee arose and bowed her selfe on the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid bee a servant, to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord, Doe you heare this newes, O yee daughters of men? doe you heare this newes? that the King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, that hath no need of you, that is infinitly above you, hath sent me this day to tell you, that hee desires your beauty. Rise up, O yee Saints, bow your selves, and say, Let us be servants to wash his feet, &c. [Page 56] Let us bee the doore-keepers of his house, his meanest servants. No Chri­stians, you shall be his sons and daugh­ters: Nay, hearken O daughters, here's more for you, The King desires your beauty; Spell this love at leisure, and now wash your soules, follow after Je­sus Christ, study it with your most se­rious thoughts, live to it with strictest lives. What conversation becommeth the gospell? what manner of persons should you be? Follow on, make haste and rise, and follow him, singing, cry­ing, as you goe, O the heighth, and depth, the incomprehensible heighth! the unfadomable depth of love where­with the Lord Jesus Christ hath loved sinners, before the beginning of the world, &c. And lastly.

5. Can you learn a lesse result from hence than this, that Saints selfe-deny­ing, despised Saints, are happy creatures; Ter (que) quater (que) beati, blessed againe, and againe. Surely you have not heard mee all this while, but you are preven­ting me in the words of the Psalmist, Happy are the people that are in such a case; yea, blessed are the people that [Page 57] have the Lord for their God; we may say of them, O nimium dilectis Deo, creatures strangely beloved of their God, strangely happy in this, that the King should desire their beauty. Let the world scorne one, let them put out the finger and barke at the moone, let them mock puritanisme, let the way of holinesse be every where spoken against, pro hominum arbitrio, let them talke, so long as you gaine; you dance before the ark, though Michal mock out at the window: You shall be more beauti­full, the more vile they think you; it is for the Kings sake, that hath desired your beauty and scornd theirs; for the Kings sake, that hath chosen you to ob­taine everlasting life through Jesus Christ, but hath ordained them to wrath▪ and neglected their beauty. One would not think now, that these crea­tures that ravish Christs heart, should offend worldlings eyes so much: surely Christ should have no judgement, if these were the contemptible ones of the earth, the unlovely creatures. Well▪ well, Christians, let them mocke on, after the way which they call simpli­city [Page 58] and foolery, moping; &c. worship thou the God of thy fathers; thou shalt have thy pleasures, when they shall have torments; thou shalt have thy crowne and honour, when the pride of their glory shall bee stained, and that shall lie in the dust. These children of vanity forget what Abraham (though something too late to doe him good) advised their brother to remember, Luk. 16. 25. That in their life time they received good things, and those precious Lazarus'es, evill things, but yet a little while and you shall be com­forted, and they tormented; yet a little while and you shall be honoured, and they shall be cursing the wombe that bare them, and the paps that gave them suck, cursing the honour that ruin'd them, the pleasures that damned them, the worldly glory which hath made them inglorious for ever; yet a little while and instead of their sweet smels they shall have the stinkes of fire and brimstone, and instead of their girdles rentings of heart for ever, instead of their well-set haire they shall have baldnesse; they shall spend more time [Page 59] in rending and tearing their haire, than ever they did in curling or powdring it. Yet a little while, and instead of their stomachers, they shall have girdings with sackcloth, & everlasting burnings instead of their present beauty. But blessed shall you bee, for you shall shine like the Sun in the firmament of the father, for the King hath desired your beauty. I have at last done with my first use of Instruction: I proceed now to a second, and that shall bee of exa­mination.

Ʋse. 2 Are you willing now to know, Christians, whether Jesus Christ cares for you yea or no? whether you be de­sirable in his eyes yea or no? heaven and hell hang upon this thing; Trie whether you have forgotten your owne people, and your fathers house.

The most men and women are a­fraid of the touchstone, and are willing rather to take heaven for granted, though they find hell for certaine; but this is not safe with you. Trie your selves then (Christians) I will helpe you a little in so good a work.

1. If you have forgotten your [Page 60] fathers house, you have (first) seene a great deale of folly and vanity in it: Man is a reasonable creature, and will never leave any thing, but he will see some cause to leave it. Did the Lord ever yet convince you throughly, not with a Notionall, but an heart convi­ction of the folly of your fathers house? Did the Lord ever throughly convince you of your evill wayes, the sinnes of your natures, the customary sinnes of your lives, of your education sinnes, and your beloved sinnes? Had you ever a through conviction of the vanity of your evill company, the vanity of your pleasures and carnall delights? Did your soules ever tast a reall bitternesse in them? if not, I feare me you have not left them.

2. Have you had another excellen­cy discovered to your soules? Had your souls ever yet a reall discovery made to you of the excellency of the wayes of ho­lines, those wayes that you once hated? Doe you now see a beauty, a glory in them, so much that you can even stand, and hold up your hands and admire, that you should be blind so long? A [Page 61] present pleasant thing will scarce bee left, but upon a discovery of, and an obtaining of something more excellent. Christians, under what notion do you look upon Christ, and his wayes? Do you look upon them as excellent, the wayes of strictnesse, as excellent, sanctifying a Sabboth, praying, the fre­quenting of the communion of Saints? Doe you look upon them as excellent? If you doe not, I feare mee, you but cheat your selves with a conceit, that you have forgot your fathers house.

3. If you have parted with them I am afraid it cost you some teares, you did not part with so many friends with drie eyes; friends cannot ordinarily pats without teares, but your weeping hath not beene such a weeping if it hath been true; it hath not been, be­cause you have parted with them, but because you abode with them so long; it hath for measure been like the mour­ning of him that hath lost his onely be­gotten sonne, Zach. 12. 10. but not upon the same account, not because you must now part with them, but because you embraced them so long. See the [Page 62] effects of godly sorrow, 2 Cor. 7. 11. it worketh carefulnesse and indigna­tion, &c. Were your soules ever in such a true bitternesse for sinne, that it wrought in thee an indignation against your selves: that you could even eat your owne flesh, to think you should ever have been such a vaine, wanton wretch, such a proud sinner as you have been? This is a good signe you and your fathers house are parted, and that at the parting you sorrowed after a god­ly sort.

4. If ever you truly parted with it, both at the parting, and since too, you have found something to doe with your owne spirit, some struglings and com­batings with your selfe. Before you parted you were at a dispute with your soules; shall I leave this or that cor­ruption, or shall I not? and since you have been at some debates with your spirit, shall I goe home againe? shall I returne to such a vomit? to such a wallowing in the mire? even Paul himselfe found the law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law [Page 63] of sinne, Rom. 7. 23. the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these contrary one to ano­ther, Gal. 5. 17. I dare almost say, that that soule never conquerd sinne, that is not yet in combate with it; never truly overcame it, that is not still in combate; never yet forgot its fathers house, that hath not some strong incli­nations, sometimes to be going to its old home againe, and sometimes finds not that it hath something to doe to keep his heart from (a second time) embracing what it hath beene once a­shamed of.

5. Doe you make Christ all your de­light, and your sole delight? is hee to you solus desideria, & totus desideria? Are your hearts taken more with Christ than with all the world besides, and so taken with your husband, that nothing of him, nor from him, displea­seth you? can you bee content with Christ alone, and say with David to the Lord, Thou art my portion? could you quest all things else for him? and is there nothing of him but seemes love­ly to you? doe his strictest lawes seem [Page 64] excellent to you? Is hee excellent to you in the intent of his Kingly office, as well as in the comfort of his Priest­ly office? doth his very yoke seem easie, and his burthen seem light to you?

6. Do you abide with Christ, as the wife abides with the husband, and the branch abides in the vine? every true branch abides in him, Joh. 15. 4. is your dwelling with him? or are you onely religious by fits? the hypocrite may bee so religions, but the Saint makes the Lord his dwelling place. Which is that which you count your home? the best of Gods Saints may have some inclinations to vanity, and be sometimes trading with the world; Ah! but Christ is his home, Christ is his dwelling place; hee thinkes him­selfe in a strange place, when he is not with Christ in duties of holy commu­nion. Christian, which is thy element? Is your soule in its element, when it is conversing with things below Christ? that's an ill signe, by these things you may take a scantling of your owne haarts. The Lord help you in applying these things to your soules. I proceed to a 3d use.

3. Here's comfort to the Saints, joy to the upright in heart, especially

1. Against all the uncomelinesse and indesireablenesse the Saint appre­hends in himselfe. There's none so comely as the Saint in Christs eyes, nor any so uncomely and ugly in their owne eyes; Paul cries out, O wretch­ed man that I am, Rom. 7. 24. and a­gaine, I am as one borne out of due time, the least of the Apostles, not wor­thy to be call'd an Apostle, 1 Cor. 15. 8, 9. It is an usuall account the Saints give of themselves, ah wretched creatures, poore indesireable wret­ches, hard-hearted sinners, vile per­sons, &c. Bee of good cheare Chri­stian, The King hath desired thy beau­ty; thou art black in thine owne eyes, but comely in Christs eyes: Black in respect of thy merit, but comely in re­spect of imputation; comely through the comlinesse that hee hath put upon you. Secondly,

2. Here's comfort against all the dirt the world casts upon you, all the uncome­linesse they conceit in you; who so de­spicable creatures in the eyes of the [Page 66] world, as those men and women whom the Lord delights to honour? these are the despised ones; upon the backs of these it is that the Plowers plow, and make long furrowes; they are the upright in heart, that they privily bend their bow to shoot at, against these are the puttings out of the fingers, and the liftings up of the hands; upon these are laid all the scoffes of the un­godly, and through their weaknesse the barkings of these dogges sometimes trouble them. But Christians, hath not the King desired your beauty? the beauty that these wretches are so blind they cannot see. Hath not the King de­sired it? Is it desireable in Christs eyes, and despised in their eyes? which is the best judge, think you? is it not enough for you, that you please your husband?

3. Here's comfort for you, not on­ly against all their scoffes, but against all their low esteeme of you. David saith, I am small, and of no reputa­tion. Christ was accounted the least in the kingdome of Heaven; hee was the stone which the builders refused. A [Page 67] man of no fashion in the world, who cared for him? did any of the Phari­sees believe on him? The wife, you know, takes her honour from her hus­band, and usually, if hee be accounted one of no fashion, shee is not valued at a very high rate; Saints, though they be indeed the worlds pillars, yet in the vulgar estimate they are the worlds burthens; and where ever they live, they usually live at a low rate in world­lings desires, if any (of note before) turne puritane, hee loseth his rate in the worlds thoughts presently, the Gen­tleman loseth his honour, the Lady her repute; but it is because their pri­zers have lost their wit, and their eyes, and it need not much trouble a Saint, for Christ desires their beauty still: They have put themselves out of the worlds reckoning, and heightend them­selves in Christ's esteem. Despise on (sooles) the King hath desired these soules beauty,

Ah! but will a poore misdoubting Christian say, I am afraid they have a true object of laughter in me. I am afraid I have not that desireable beauty, but [Page 68] am a painted sepulchre; were I but con­vinced, that I had indeed truly forgot my fathers house, and that the Lord Christ had indeed desired my beauty, I could naile their scoffes to my heeles, and mourne over their gallant follies: But I feare.

1 Obj. Alas! I am going home to my fathers house ever and anon, I am ready to yield to temptations, ready to fall into sinne; yea, and the Lord par­don mee, I fall seven times a day. If I had forgot my fathers house, should I have such inclinations to goe home? would my heart draw so hard for vani­ty, as it doth sometimes? should I sinne so often, &c.

I answ. 1. Which way stands your affection? your heart you say bends that way, but which way stands your affection? doe you take pleasure in such inclinations? have you a good mind to sinne, if you durst? to returne to your old vanities, if you durst? only you durst not, that's an ill signe. But upon such inclinations, doth there pre­sently arise a loathing in your soules? doe you say, Get thee behind mee [Page 69] Sathan, that's a good signe, that though you be invited by a temptation of vaine company, or the Devill, &c. yet you have truly forgotten your fathers house.

2. You goe home sometimes you say, it may be you fall into some of your former vaine courses, and are with some of your vaine companions. But I pray, What doe you when you are in your fathers house? are you pleased with your vanities, or with the vanities of your friends? or doe you spend your time in chiding? It may be your heart sometimes declines to some vanity, or you are sometimes in converse with vain persons. Are you one with vani­ty, one with sinners? or doe your spi­rits rise against your selves, and against the vanities of those with whom you are? What indignation is wrought? if any, you may have forgot your fa­thers house, for all this going home.

3. You goe home sometimes you say. But I pray, How long doe you stay there? Is sinne your trade? Doe you live in knowne sinnes? this indeed will argue your profession but hypocri­sie. But (on the contrary) though [Page 70] you fall through weaknesse, yet doe you rise through grace; though you sinne sometimes, yet is sinne as Davids concupiscence, call'd a stranger in the Parable. Thus the best Saints have sinn'd, yea, and may sinne; not of wil­fulnesse, but of weaknesse; not trading in sinne, nor lying in it, but falling into it, and rising by repentance.

2. Obj. Ah! but will another Chri­stian say, I cannot deny my selfe in the company of my fathers house, wretch that I am. I got acquaintance when I was young with vaine persons, or I am related to such, and I dare not say, but I love their company, and oft times leave better for them; neither can I deny my selfe in my relations. My heart is ex­cessively let out after them.

1. Thou saiest thou art oft times yet a companion of vaine persons, but consider (Christian) are they thy invi­ted ghests, or accidentall meerly? are they intruders, or are they the wel­come crmpanions of thy life? are they thy pickt company or no, thy intimates, or meerly companions in respect of thy trade, and converse with the world? If [Page 71] thou delightest not in them, they in­deed are sometimes thy companions, but thou art not theirs.

2. Art thou a companion with them in sinne, or onely in civill actions, or for discourse, &c. sometimes? if the first indeed it is a signe thou hast not left thy fathers house; but if the latter onely, it is no such signe, thou keepest thy course, they come to thee, and it may be disturbe thee, but thou doest not goe to them.

3. Thou sayest thou lovest them. But it would be considered, Whether thy love be meerly naturall or more? It may be thou lovest them because they are witty people, or of ingenuous dispo­sitions. Thus Christ loved the young man, Matth. 19. and thus thou may­est love them. It is an ill signe, if thou lovest them, because they will drinke, or sweare, or bee vain and wanton in their discourse or carriages.

4. Thou sayest thou lovest thy rela­tions, and thou canst not deny thy selfe in them, thy heart is so glued to them, &c. and God forbid but thou shouldst love them, 1. with a naturall [Page 72] affection, its a signe of a wretch, Rom. 1. 31. to be without naturall affection, and 2. with a providentiall love and care; hee that provides not for his family (saith the Apostle) is worse than an infidell. But 1. Sup­pose Christ should call thee to suffer for him, and thou hadst a good mind to it, and they should plead hard for thee to spare thy selfe; wouldst thou with Hierom shake off thy father, and mo­ther, and children, and runne to Christ? this would bee a signe thou hadst for­got them, Though thou lovest them. 2. Notwithstanding that thou lovest them, wouldst thou favour them in a­ny sinne against God, and onely luke­warmely reprove them, like old Elie? It is not well done of you, O my sons, be­cause thou lovest them: wilt thou ra­ther let them dishonour God, damn their owne soules, doe any thing, rather than reprove, or smite them? this love indeed is a reall hatred, and will argue little love to God in thy soule. But on the contrary, though thou lovest them with the tenderest love, & wilt provide for them with the most providential [Page 73] care; yet is thy love so truly tempered, that it shall not in the least hinder thee from doing thy duty to Christ; no, nor yet from doing thy duty to them; from reproving sharply, admonishing severely? is thy love such, that it shall not blind thy eyes, so as thou wilt wink at the least neglect of duty in them, not at the least sin in them? Love them then as wel as thou canst, it shall be no sad evi­dence against thy soule, otherwise (Pa­rents look to it) your children will curse you another day for your love to them: you have heard of killing with kindnesse; let the kind of death be ne­ver so sweet, yet the death will be bit­ter. Take heed not of killing the bo­dies (alas, that were nothing) but of damning your childrens soules, and your owne too, with miscalled kind­nesse.

3 Obj. But wil another Christian say, I have not forgot my honour and glory, I am not low enough, I feare, to get in at heavens gate. I answer first.

1. This is like the melancholy con­ceit of her, that a Divine of our owne speaks of; of a woman that conceited, [Page 74] she was so fat, shee could not get to hea­ven; it is the lownesse of mind that God looks at, Lords and Ladies, if their hearts be not as high as their ti­tles, may sit in heaven as well as mea­ner persons. I doe not say, they shall have chaires of state set for them, but they may have a roome there; it may be one or two may sit above them (if there bee degrees in glory) that gave them place here: but as Master Ru­therford sayes, the least place in Heaven is Heaven, though it bee behind the doore. But secondly,

2. Is not thy outward Pompe and glory that which thou affectest, and de­lightest in it, and huntest after? Does not thy title tickle thy eare, nor swell thy heart, if not, it can doe thee no hurt? all the feare of those swelling things is, lest they should breed tympa­nies in the soule.

3. Doe you look upon the title of the servant of Jesus Christ, the title of Christian, as the farre more honourable title? Are you of Theodosius his tem­per, which would you rather chuse, to be call'd my Lord, or Madam, or to [Page 75] be called the servant of Christ; which doe you preferre? if the latter, it is a signe you have forgot the former, though you retaine it.

4. Is your outward greatnesse and pompe no snare to your soule in the wayes of God? Great persons are too ready to think they are above prayers, above hearing, above meane Saints; should such ones as they pray in their families; no, let their boy do it? should they pray in secret, and runne up and downe to lectures? O no (forsooth) it is a dishononour to them (Heaven was made, I confesse, for the most part, for people of lesser quality, 1 Cor. 1. 26, 27. James 2. 5.) should such as they go to private meetings? no, better go to a taverne, there they shall only foule their soules, but keep their clothes cleane. But now, hath the Lord given thee another spirit? it is true, thou art great, but thy great­nesse is no such snare to thy soule; thou canst pray for all thy greatnesse, and heare sermons, and kneele in a duty for all thy silk stockings, and entertain communion with the meanest Saint; yea, [Page 76] and for a need preferre a lether dublet in honour before thy selfe. Though thou beest great it seemes thou hast forgot it.

4 Obj. Ah, but will a Christian say, I am so addicted to mirth, and pleasure; I must have my vagary, and tickle my sense sometimes, &c.

1 Answ. Christian, dost thou love thy pleasures more than thy God, that indeed were something? art thou more pleased with hearing a song, than hearing a sermon? this sounds high. But love God best, and for ought I know, thy eye (for thy recreation) may bee delighted in seeing, and thy care with hearing too.

2 Answ. Wilt thou baulk an op­portunity of communion with Christ, or with his Saints, for a vaine pleasure? Wilt thou bee a loser in thy heart, to gaine a little pleasure for thine eye, or eare, or any sense? wilt thou misse a family duty, an opportunity of hearing Gods word privatly or publiquely, thy time of secret duty, a time of commu­nion with the Saints to wait upon thy pleasure? In such a case I would have [Page 77] thee suspect thy heart, otherwise thou mayest recreate thy selfe with them, and yet have forgotten them.

3 Answ. Suppose thy pleasures have been such, and are such, as are in themselves sinfull, as wantonnesse, drunkennesse, &c. Dost thou love them so, that thou wilt have them whe­ther God will or no? thou wilt break with God to enjoy thy lust; this is an ill, and a very ill signe. But possibly thy pleasures are such as God allowes thee (temperately used) if such, thou mayest so use them, and yet the King desire thy beauty. I have finished this branch of application, I have but one word more to adde: It shall be of

Use. 4 Exhortation. Let mee now per­swade with you Christians; And (oh that the Lord would help mee to per­swade) 1. with you, who have not at all yet forgate your fathers house, and so consequently, your beauty is not at all desirable to Christ. 2. With you that have begun to doe well; I have a word to both sorts,

1 Br. Is there, alas, is there any poore soule before me this day, whose [Page 78] heart smites him, and tells him, that his soule is not at all yet desirable in the eyes of Jesus Christ? is there any poore creature so sadly miserable? pos­sibly the world dotes on you for beau­ty, wit, parts, behaviour, &c. but in the meane time, doe your soules▪ tell you in plaine English, that you are de­spised in Christs eyes. As though God did beseech you by mee, I pray you in Christs stead be reconciled to God. Ah poore soule, wouldst thou be desired of Jesus Christ? Hearken then O daugh­ter and consider, and incline your eare, forget thy owne people, and thy fathers house. I know I am pleading with you for an hard thing, especially for you that have all the world at will: But I beseech you by the love you bear to your precious soules, which shall last for ever; doe it, ah doe it. I had need now have the Rhethorick of an An­gell, yea, if I had; yet God must per­swade Japhet to come and dwell in the tents of Shem. Let mee offer but a few considerations, and venture at a perswading of you, and leave the is­sue with God.

[Page 79] 1. Consider, How will you live when your fathers house failes you? for the present it is a full house, and you live, as wee say, as well as a carnall heart would wish; you have plea­sures, and honours, and riches, even what you would aske: the colour is in your cheeks, and the marrow in your bones. But will this last alwayes? doth not the fashion of this world passe a­way? and will not the fashion of your bodies passe away? what will you doe in that day of your visitation? These things may last a while, till God comes to keep a Court in your Conscience, or hee summons you to a particular judge­ment, or layes you upon your back in a bed of affliction, or comes to his last judgement: But in any of these dayes (poore creature) what wilt thou doe? when thy perfumed body shall come to stinke in the nostrils of men, thy soule shall be more loathed of God; a future livelihood would be thought of, This will perswade a virgin to marry some­times. But besides.

2. Christian, Dost thou know the joyes of a married life to Christ? dost [Page 80] thou put no difference betwixt being a bondslave to hell, and one free in Je­sus Christ; betwixt the enjoying the communion of the children of the Devill, and enjoying the communion of Saints? no difference betwixt en­joying the communion of devils, in e­verlasting torments, and the commu­nion of God, Angells, and Saints, in the highest Heavens, where eye hath not seen, nor hath eare heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man, to conceive what things God hath prepared for them that love him? now (if thy con­science bee not seared) thou hast e­ver and anon some flashes of hell in thy face. The merriest sinner of you all, I believe is not alwayes free. Is there no difference betwixt that condition, think you, and a peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost? Now, you never lie downe in your beds, but (if you dare look back, and consider how you have spent the day) your soule is stricken with terrour, and there is a dart almost struck through your liver, and you dare not let your soules feed upon the thoughts, but are glad [Page 81] to shusfle it over, for feare you runne madde; but if your soules would but forget these vanities, ah, how sweetly would you sleep; and when you had spent a day in duties of hearing or praying, how sweetly would your soules look back upon it. Now if you were not rock't into a sleep of damna­tion, you would scarce lie downe to sleep, but you would feare lest you should wake in the morning with hell flames about your eares; nor walke in the day, but (like the selfe-accused murtherer) your eye would be over your shoulder, for feare the devill should be laying hold of you: then you would lie downe in peace, and rise up in peace, and nothing would make you afraid. Is this world nothing Chri­stian? ah, that the Lord would per­swade you of this. Besides,

3. Consider (Christian) there is nothing in your fathers house but you shall find in Christ, by a way of eminen­cy. Must you forsake your sinnes, you shall be filled with the graces of the spirit of God? Must you forsake a lit­tle [Page 82] idle vaine company, you shall have the communion of Saints, yea, a fellow­ship with the father, and the sonne the Lord Jesus Christ? 1 Joh. 1. 3. Must you forget your pompe and glory, &c. you shall bee called the sonnes and daughters of God, heires, coheires with Christ? Rom. 8. Must you forget worldly riches, you shall have the ri­ches of grace? Must you forget a few vaine pleasures, you shall have a ful­nesse of pleasures, at Christs right hand, and that for ever more? Psal. 16. 11. Must you forget your owne righteous­nesse, you shall bee clothed with the righteousnesse of Josus Christ? what's lost by the exchange Christian?

4. Consider againe, Christ forgot his fathers house for you, and yet it was worth many of yours; hee forgot the glory, the company, the pleasures of his fathers house for you; he was con­tent, for you, to be a companion of fi­shermen yea, of sinners, yea, of theeves, when he died upon the crosse for you: this he did freely, he made himselfe of no reputation, hee nothinged himselfe [Page 83] for you: Hark what the Apostle sayes, 2 Cor. 8. 9. you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who though he was rich, yet for your sake bee became poore; that you through his poverty might be made rich. Let that melting love winne you. Besides,

5. It is the way to be beautifull: what abundance of paines poor vaine wretches take to be beautifull? surely this must move. Beauty is a desirable thing, the vaine creatures of the earth would never else set nature with the heeles upward, doe any thing to ob­taine it; wee should never else have so much precious time lost, and so many precious soules undone with paintings, and trimmings, patchings, and perfu­mings, and a thousand such apish tricks: but beauty is the idoll of the world, to which the very soule shall be offered up in sacrifice, and when all this is done the soule is amisse, and the way to adorne that, is to undresse all againe. Hark, you that desire beauty, here's the way of beauty which you have not known; it is to deny your selves in all [Page 84] these things, and whatsoever else is contrary to the law of Christ, or short of him; yea, and this,

6. Shall make you desirably beau­teous, that Christ shall desire you, and the Saints shall desire you; this is the way to ravish his heart. But no more by way of motive, God must doe all I know when I have spake my ut­most.

I might tell you who it is will de­sire your beauty; It is the King of heaven, of glory, and peace; the King shall desire your beauty. If this, all this will not doe, the Lord open your eyes, and then I am sure it will.

But this is an hard work, and young ones especially had need of a great deale of helpe to it, and truly nature affords none, all is laid up in Christ onely; In order to the getting of it from Christ, let me advise you;

Dir. 1 First, With a serious eye to look up­on your fathers house, and see what there is in it desirable, that should so bewitch one that hath not outlawed his or her reason to it. Look seriously [Page 85] upon your sinnes, will you not see a fil­thinesse in them? Look upon your vaine company, bee they what they will, will you not discerne some sor­didnesse or basenesse in their actions? upon your honours and greatnesse, will they not appeare bubbles? upon your pleasures, will they not appeare shad­dowes? You look upon these things as pictures, side-wayes, or at a di­stance; that makes you admire them, and runne after them: come nee­rer to them, will they not look daw­bed with some uncomelinesse or other? Will not the colours that look'd so sweetly afarre off, stink if you bring them neere your nose? Let that bee the first piece of advice.

Dir. 2 While you enjoy these things, take heed of letting out your heart to them; rejoyce as if you rejoyced not, and use the world as if you used it not; be not too much intent upon your fathers house, converse not too much with a­ny thing there; things of the world have a glutinous quality, the heart will cleave to them, if you let it lie very [Page 86] long amongst them; and if it once cleaves, there will bee no wayes, but either your heart must be soundly rent upon the severing, or hell-fire must part them.

Dir. 3 Thirdly, Ah, Learne to live from your fathers house betimes, take the wise mans counsell, it was after a large survey and discourse of every roome, and the vanity of every roome in our fathers house, Eccl. 12. 1. Remem­ber thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth; if rottennesse enter into the bones, it will hardly ever [...]ut. You that are young, for the Lords sake think of this: Ah, come off your youthfull va­nities before they can plead custome with your soules, live from home be­times, believe it, there will bee more weeping else when you come to part.

Dir. 4 Lastly, Crie, crie mightily unto God, that he would take off your heart: Believe it, it must be his work, you will be wearied else in the multitude of your owne indeavours; if the Lord draw off the heart, it will be drawne [Page 87] indeed. Be much in publique prayer, but especially be much in secret prayer. I must conclude.

2. Br. Lastly, you that have been taught of the Lord to forget your fa­thers house, that so the King might desire your beauty, Let mee plead with you still to forget it more. Selfe­deniall is a long and hard lesson, a Chri­stian must be learning it from his cra­dle to his grave, and every time hee studies it hee shall find something to be done that is yet behind, and all that he hath done to bee done better: you have learned in part how to doe it, I need not direct you, you need no o­ther directions then▪

1. To study every day more and more the vanitie of the creature. Read over the book of Ecclesiastes well, it is e­nough to teach you that lesson.

2. Converse little with your fa­thers house, have as little to doe with the world, the pleasures, or profits, or riches, or companie, or manners of it as you can, the lesser the better.

3. Be more acquainted with Jesus [Page 88] Christ, get neerer to him, bee more in communion with him, get more tasts of Heaven, Earthw ill relish the worse for it. I might presse upon you the same motives I urged before, and I should doe it with advantages; you know what this King is, how much to bee desired, how much to bee odo­red; you know what a difference there is betwixt the worlds comelinesse, and the comelinesse which hee putteth upon his Saints. Let mee onely urge one word, or rather name it:

Some read the words, quia concupi­vit, Because the King hath desired thy beauty, here's an argument, an en­gaging argument to a Saint. The Lord hath effectually made it knowne in your soules, that hee desires your beauty more than tenne thousands of others. Hee hath whispered, not onely in your eares, but in your heart, his desire to you. Ah, now Christi­ans be you humble, self-denying ones, because the King hath desired your beauty. Let the love of Christ con­straine you, to order your hearts and [Page 89] conversations as becommeth the Gospell of the Lord Jesus Christ: According to the lawes of this King that hath so passionately desired, and so effecaciou­sly declared his desire to your beauty. I must have done: The Lord adde his blessing.


THE RIGHT VVAY TO TRUE PEACE: OR, A discovery of a Gospell-Mystery, how the spirit that is troubled may find Peace in Christ; and how, A Christian may know whither the Peace which his spirit hath in trouble, or with which it comes out of any trouble, be Christ's Peace.

Discovered in a Sermon, Joh. 16. 33.

By John Collings, M. A. & Prea­cher of Gods word in Norwich.

Joh. 14. 1. Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me.

London, Printed for R. Tomlins. 1649

To the Right Honoura­ble, the Lady Katharine Courteen, Grace, Mer­cy, and true Peace.


WHen this Sermon was first preach'd, your Honour was pleased to entitle your selfe to it, conceiving it (which indeed was composed for my selfe) to have been pre­pared and suted to the temper of your Ladiships spirit, at that time. So farre my Ma­ster onoured me that day, [Page] as to doe him a double work with the same hand. Truly (Madam) it was a salve pro­vided for my owne use, and not intended further, than for my friends, in that assem­bly where first I published it; and accordingly was laid up in my closet, till I brought it forth privately, for the use of some other noble friends, who were better able then my selfe to judge of the effi­cacy of it; having received from some of them a proba­tum est, and God having made it acceptable, and in their estimation more use­full, than my own low opi­nion [Page] of the workman's pains in it conceived it. They were pleased to desire the recent, which (to spare my owne paines in transcribing it) was the onely cause of my least thoughts of the publication of it. Truly (Ma­dam) in these unhappy times, wherein the Presse is become such a prostitute, I think I may easily be excu­sed of my ambition, to have this or any other worth­lesse notes of mine come under it. To abate the noise of many things in Print, (which, believe it, sounds not at all sweet in my eares) [Page] I have desired it should be added to some former Ser­mons which before were in the Printers hands, in which also I satisfied but his de­sires, in denying my selfe in my owne: But to those worthlesse precedent pieces, it comes in a fit place. The first of the Sermons tels us what is the state of the E­lect by nature. The second, what is their estate in Christ, and describes their way of Restauration. The third, points out their duty, as re­deemed ones, to lean upon their beloved. The fourth, minds them of the Saints great [Page] duty of selfe-denyall. Now in regard that the soule re­conciled to God, may bee sometimes saying, where is my God become? and as there is none lives and sins not, so none shall live, but at one time or other shall meet with trouble; I have added this to the other, in which I have endeavoured to disco­ver to a Christian, how hee may recover his quiet, and in the midst of those trou­bles, which in the world hee shall bee sure to meet with, find that peace which passeth all understanding. The first of these Sermons shews [Page] us our originall want of peace, being not reconciled to God. The second describes our Peace-maker, and his se­verall acts, both of purchase and application; by which he both made peace for his elect in generall, and applies it to each of them in particular. The third discovers the in­strument, and directs the soul, in the particular use of Faith, which is the instru­ment to convey this peace to the soule upon all occasions. The fourth will teach the soule, how to keep its peace. And this, in case the soule hath lost its peace, and the [Page] spirit of the Christian bee over whelmed with trouble, wil in some measure direct him how to find his peace, and how to come out of trou­ble by the hand of Christ. (Madam) this is a great Go­spell mystery; It is a subject that deserved a more lear­ned pen, and one more ex­perienced in the wayes of God, to have discussed and resolved it, than that poore worthlesse creature who hath undertaken it. That in the world the Saints must look for trouble, your Honour knowes (I believe) by as sad experiences as most of [Page] those that tread the wayes of God. That in the midst of these troubles, in Christ the soule of the Christian may have peace, This Text and Sermon (Madam) I trust wil sufficiently make good both by generall proofe, and parti­cular demonstrations. In trou­bles to have peace, is no cha­racteristicall note of a Saint; To come out of troubles, and reduce the spirit to a quiet composure, is a worke may be done, by those that have not tasted how good the Lord is: But in the midst of oppressing troubles to draw peace from Jesas Christ, and [Page] to come out of worldly trou­bles with a Gospell-peace, to have a soule calmed upon Gospell-principles, Hic labor, hoc opus est, This is a work worthy of a Saints indea­vour, and a wages worthy of his paines. Disturbed spirits may quiet of course; nature may be out of breath with sighing, and the foun­taine of teares dried up; the spirit of a man, meerly as a man, of an heroick, high­borne, gallant temper, may beare his infirmitie, and hee may break through an host of troubles, meerely by the strength of his owne spirit, [Page] or the force of his owne rea­son: But to come out of trouble this way, shall bring no comfort to the soule. This is but breaking prison, with­out a faire dismission, or pay­ing the Jaylors fees; Troubles will overtake such soules, with an hue and crie, and fetter them in a worser man­ner; and God will againe arrest them upon quare clau­sum fregit, an heavier action than before. But by this shall a Christian know, if the wound of the spirit bee healed, it is with the balme of Gilead; if he hath come out of trouble fairly, hee hath [Page] come out upon Gospell-consi­derations. The peace in trou­ble, that is not found in Christ, is not worth the ta­king up; and from it a Christian shall extract no comfortable evidence of peace to his owne soule, but in his peace hee shall have great bitternesse. I have often thought that a watching Christian might bee justly troubled, to consider some­times, how hee comes off a trouble; for it is usuall with us, either to let nature tyre out it selfe, and when our Passions are ridden off their legges, then they lie downe. [Page] or else, to conclude it upon morall principles. Thus if our spirits bee sick, as if there were no God in Israel, wee for the most part send to Bel­zebub, the God of Ekron, and forsake the cistern of living waters, to digge up to our selves ciflernes that will hold no water, or if any, none long. O that those, that professe to live above nature, and carnall reason, would also act above them. If our bodies be sick, nature prompts us to a Phy­sician, and our reason forbids us to use an Emperick. O that Gods children would learne this reason, in the midst of [Page] all trouble to runne to the balme of Gilead, to the Physi­cian there, for all other Physi­cians are of no value; and will professe much, but doe little, to the setling of a di­sturbed spirit. (Madam) I have presumed, out of all those noble friends which God hath made mee happy in, to pick out your Ladi­ship, to present this worth­lesse piece of my labours to: partly, because I know it holds out to your Ladiship a great piece of your Honours gracious practice; and part­ly, because it hath seemed good to our wise God, to [...] [Page] nothingnesse of the creature. I am afraid the City will runne out at the Gates, I shall therefore add no more, but humbly offering it to your Ladiship, shall take my leave and rest,

Your Honours most humble servant in the Lord Jesus. John Collings.

THE RIGHT WAY to true Peace, &c.

JOHN, 16. 33.‘These things have I spoken, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have trouble: but be of good cheare, I have over­come the world.’

THis (with the two former Chapters) contains Christs last Sermon to his Disci­ples; having fore-told them of his death and passion, Ch. 13. they were troubled; upon that occasion hee preacheth this Sermon, which in whole is a consolation. They were troubled, and who could be lesse, to part with such a friend? They lived under the protection of his wings. Hee [Page 2] begins his Sermon with, Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in mee. The whole Ser­mon, is partly an Exhortation, partly a consolation; hee exhorts them chiefely to continuance in the faith, and to bro­therly love; hee comforts them, partly against his death, partly against their owne death, and partly against that op­position which he knew would usher in their death, and be intermediate be­twixt his departure from them, and their following after. This is the sum of his whole Sermon.

In this Chapter Christ chiefely doth foure things. 1. Hee foretelleth them what they should meet with from the Jewes, viz. That they should bee put out of the Synagogue, that they should kill them, and think they did God good service; and as he foretells, so he com­forts them against this ill measure, from the 1 verse, to the 15 verse, 2. He foretells his owne death, and comforts them, in respect of his departure from them, from the 5 v. to the 20 v. 3. Hee foretells their flight and de­sertion of him, yet before his death, [Page 3] and comforts himselfe (as to that by the consideration of his fathers pre­sence with him, which made him not to be alone, though in respect of crea­tures hee should bee alone, v. 32. 4. Hee concludes the Sermon in this verse which I have read to you, in which you may consider these three things.

1. A Disease; In the world you shal have trouble; where note the subject of it you. 2. The disease it selfe, [...] Trouble, Tribulation. 3. The climate where it rageth, that is, [...] in the world. 4. The fate of it, it is in­evitable to those that live in that lower region; you shall have trouble. But as here's the disease, so here's,

2. A Remedy too. The Antidote stands near the Poyson; there you may consider, 1. What it is, Peace. 2. Where it is to be found, that is, [...], saith Christ, in mee you shall have peace. 3. Quibus? for whom? it is you (saith Christ.) 4. The care Christ hath ta­ken in providing it, [...], These things have I spoken, &c. And for feare of fainting, during the Physick, here is also,

[Page 4] 3. A Cordiall to refresh, and up­hold the spirits, during the fit; and there you may consider, 1. The Physitian administring it, Christ. 2 The way of administration of it, by words, and words of command; Bee of good cheare. 3. The chiefe ingredient in the cordiall; I have overcome the world: Christ's victory over the world, that was it. Let me adde a few words now, for the explication of the words before I come to the Doctrine, [...], These things have I spoken to you; seeing your hearts dejected, and cast downe, because I told you I must goe away, I have taken paines now to preach this Sermon to you, wherein I have hinted to you many comfortable notes: I have now done; And the end that I have aimed at in all, is your peace, [...], that you might have a quietment, and rest of spirit in mee, in the midst of all those troubles, and causes of dis­quietment, you will meet with in the world; for, [...], In the world, while you have any thing to doe with it, any converse in it, yea, [Page 5] any beeing in it. (You) who are my disciples, whom I have called out of the world; you who are not of the world (you shall have trouble) trouble of all sorts, inward, outward, corporall, spiri­tuall ( [...]) But be of good chear; Gather up your spirits; Take heart to you; nay more, bee confident; Bee bold, and courageous ( [...]) I have overcome the world, all the op­position of it. I have taken out the sting of every cresse, the venome out of every arrow (I have overcome the world) and what I have done is for you, that's implied. If there bee any thing else needfull for the explication of the words, you shall have it in the explication of the Doctrine. In the words lie these Doctrines plaine.

1. In the world Christs Disciples must look for trouble.

2. In their trouble they may have peace.

3. Christ hath taken care for their peace in the midst of trouble.

4. Though the Disciples of Christ meet with trouble in the world; yet they ought to be of good cheare.

[Page 6] 5. Christ's overcomming of the world is a sufficient ground of good cheare, for the Saints, in the midst of their earthly troubles.

I cannot runne through all these at large, I shall summe up the most of them in one proposition of Doctrine, and handle that more fully. It is this,

Doct. That though in the world the true Disciples of Christ must look for troubles, yet Jesus Christ hath ta­ken such order, that in the midst of their troubles, in him they may have peace. In the discoursing of this, for the more full orderly handling of it, I shall doe these things.

1. I shall shew you what is meant by THE WORLD, what that phrase implies.

2. I shall shew you, what is meant by troubles, and what troubles the true disciples of Christ must looke for in the world.

3. I shall shew you the grounds, and from what causes, Saints troubles in the world arise.

4. I shall shew you, what peace is, and what kind of peace this is, that in [Page 7] the Saints troubles, they may have in Christ; how it is in Christ, and how the Saint may draw it out of Christ for himselfe.

5. I shall shew you, what order, what paines, Christ hath taken, for the Saints peace, in the midst of earthly troubles.

6. Lastly, I shall apply the Doctrine. Of all these I shall speak briefely.

1. What is meant by the world? what doth our Saviour mean, by that phrase, In the world? Shortly, the world, I conceive, is usually made use of in Scripture, and to bee taken in Scripture-phrase, in one of these three senses.

First, Sometimes, for the men of the world, and that either largely, for all of all sorts, without any respect, as Joh. 18. 20. I have spoken openly to the world, to hearers of all sorts; so the Apostle saith, Rom: 5. 12. By one man sinne en­tred into the world, and death by sinne; all were sinners, and all must die. Or more Restrictively for some parti­cular sort or company of people in the world, and so it is used diversly.

[Page 8] 1. Sometimes, for many of all sorts, as Joh. 12. 19. The world is gone af­ter him, that is, many of all sorts are gone after him.

2. Sometimes, for the unregene­rate onely, in opposition to those that are borne againe, not of flesh and bloud, but of the spirit, called, and sanctifi­ed, so Joh. 15. 18, 19. If the world hate you, you know that it hated me be­fore it hated you, &c. It is put there in opposition to those that were cho­sen out of the world, v. 19. so Joh. 16. 8. Christ saith, that the spirit should reprove the world of sinne.

3. Sometimes it is taken, for the Reprobates onely, not at large, for those that were uncalled, but yet might bee called; but for those, that neither were already, nor yet ever should be called; so Joh. 14. 17. it is said, that the world cannot receive the spirit of truth, not, they had not yet received it, but they could not receive it.

4. Lastly, It is sometimes taken for the Elect, which live in the world, though they bee the least considerable part of it, and the least flock in it; so [Page 9] it is taken, 2 Cor. 5. 19. God was in Christ reconciling the world to him­selfe, not imputing their sinnes. Surely, the Arminians and Universalists them­selves must grant, that their bold asser­tion▪ that the world, in Scripture, is no where taken for the world of the Elect, must faile, and be dasht in pieces upon that portion of Scripture, unlesse they will hold universall Justification, and Salvation too, as well as universall Redemption. That's the first sense, (World) is used in Scripture, For the men of the world.

Secondly, sometimes it is used, for the things of the world, and that either

1. For the whole fabrick of the crea­tion, Heaven, and Earth, and Sea, &c, So it is taken, Joh. 1. 10. The world was made by him, the Apostle expounds that place, Col. 1. 16. By him were all things created that are in Heaven and Earth, visible and invisible, &c. or

2. Sometimes it is taken, for the earth onely, so saith Christ, Joh. 16. 28. I leave the world, that is, the earthly part of the world; for it followes, I goe to the father.

[Page 10] 3. Sometimes it is taken, for the vanities of this world, whether the lust of the eyes, or the lusts of the flesh, or the pride of life (according to Saint John's distribution of them) 1 Joh. 2. 16. whether ticklings of pleasure, or pompe, and honour, and greatnesse. In this sense S. Paul useth it, Gal. 6. 14. when hee tels us, that the world is crucified to him, and he unto the world.

4. Sometimes, for the profit, and traffique of it, so you shall find it, 1 Cor. 7. 31. using the world as if you used it not; it is expounded before, where the Apostle advised, that those that bought, should bee as though they pos­sessed not, v. 30. This is a second sense.

Thirdly, somtimes it is used, for our state, and present condition of life, which is in the world, so 1 Cor. 7. 3. The Apostle tells us, that shee that is married careth for the things of this world, that is of this life; shee takes care how to live, and maintaine her family, &c.

You may in the Text and Doctrine, take it in all three senses: The Saints

1. While they have to doe with the men of the world, in tradings, and con­versings, [Page 11] while they have any thing to doe with them; or Secondly,

2. While they have any thing to do with the things of this world, the plea­sures or profits, the businesses or tra­dings of it; with any thing of it.

3. Or finally, While they are in this present life, while they have a beeing on this side of Heaven, and live in a state of life on this side of glory, be it what it will, yet if it be in this world, if there way be here they shall meet with rubs; In the world they shall have trouble: But what troubles? That's the next thing to bee enquired into. What are those troubles which Saints must look to meet with in the world?

The word translated Troubles, is 1. What troubles. [...], it will helpe us to understand what troubles the Saints shall meet with, et in specie, et in gradu, both in the kind and in the degree. For the Kind first, The word doth generally signifie all kinds of troubles, bee they upon our soules or bodies, in respect of our estaies or relations, Acts 14. 22. Wee must through much tribulation [Page 12] enter into the Kingdome of God; the word there used is the same, and it were easie to prove by an induction of particular instances, that the word comprehends all troubles of all sorts. 1. It is taken for bodily sorrow, and pangs, like the pangs of a woman in travaile, Joh. 16. 21. 2. For outward crosses and afflictions that men meet with from others, and relate to their outward estate, and take away their pro­sperity and happinesse, Acts 7. 10, 11. 3. For spirit-troubles and burthens, in that sense the Apostle useth the word, 2 Cor. 2. 4. where hee tells them, that hee wrote to them in much affliction, and anguish of heart, &c. So then for the kind of them, it is plain, that they must meet with all sorts of troubles, afflictions in their body, cros­ses in their estates, relations, in all their outward enjoyments and content­ments, Adversity on all hands, yea, and they shall meet with anguish of heart too, spirit-burthens, and troubles, and vexations. Now if you enquire into the degree of them.

The word [...] will help you to 2. What de­gree. [Page 13] find out that too: Criticks tells us it comes either from [...] which signifies to teare and oppresse, and weare out; or from [...] which signifies to break. Saints must look for troubles on all hands, both without and within, from friends and foes, in bodies, and soules, and estates; and they shall not be light ones neither, but such as shall even weigh downe their spirit, and weare out their strength, and break their heart in pieces, breaking-troubles, and heart-rending, and oppressing-troubles; such degrees of heavinesse as shall make the heart to stoop, as the wise man speaks; such as shall make their hearts groane, and their backs break againe; such troubles, such afflictions are meant, so much the word imports. But may some say, whence shall this trouble, this affliction arise to the Saints? shall it come out of the dust? from what root of causes shall these branches of bitter fruit spring forth? That is the third thing which I pro­pounded, 3. What are the causes of the Saints trou­ble, and shall now speak to.

I conceive, first and last they may spring from a three-fold cause; from [Page 14] God, from themselves, and from the world.

1. First of all the cause may lie in God; and it doth so originally and pri­marily, God may bee the cause of it. 1. In respect of his just ordination. God hath determined, that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer perse­cution. 1 Tim. 3. 3. The Apostle saith wee are ap­pointed thereto, 1 Thes. 3. 3. The A­postle layes our suffring here upon the will of God, 1 Pet. 3. 17. It is better if the will of God be so, that you should suffer, and so againe, 1 Pet. 4. 19. Let them that suffer according to the will of God. Marlorate sayes, Memineri­mus nos sub hac conditione esse Christi­anos, &c. Wee may remember wee are Christians upon this condition. He that will be my disciple let him deny himselfe, and take up the crosse, and fol­low mee; No following of Christ with­out a crosse on our back. Frustrà cona­mur Christum a cruce disjungere, saith Mr. Calvin, It is a lost labour to think to part Christ and the crosse, they are nailed together. Me thinks it is worth the taking notice of, our crosses and [Page 15] afflictions come to us from the same hand & the same cause that heaven, and glory, and happinesse come. Christ saith, feare not little flock, it is your fathers will to give you a Kingdome. Wee hold that from Gods will, and he also saith, It is your fathers will to give you a crosse; it is the will of God, that you should suffer: surely then hee wills us the first as the end, the second as the meanes; the first ultimately, the crosse mediately. The cause may lie, yea; and doth lie, in Gods ordination.

2. It may lie nearer in Gods wise providence, hee sees it best for his Saints, either to purge them, according to that, I will purely purge away thy drosse, and take away thy trim, and that Is. 27. By this shall the Iniquitie of Jacob be purged, and all the fruit shall be to take away his sinne; or else to trie them, I will melt them and trie them saith the Lord; so the Apostle saith, that their afflictions and temptations were, that the truth of their faith might appeare more precious than that of gold, which perisheth; or else 3. to weane them, them from the world, [Page 16] therefore are the bigs of it rubd with wormewood. Ideo (saith the father) Deus terrenis foelicitatibus amaritu­dinem miscet, ut alia quaratur foelici­tas, cujus dulcedo non est fallax. God therefore here puts gal into our sweet­nesse, and imbittreth our happinesse, that we might look after another hap­pinesse, whose sweetnesse is not de­ceitfull. Thus God is the cause of the Saints troubles, while they are in the world: But secondly,

2. Themselves may be a great cause, yea, and are, 1. Through the infirmi­ty of their natures, and that's the rea­son, I conceive, why outward cros­ses, and trials, and afflictions are called our infirmities, as because they doe infirmos reddere, make us weak, by 1 Cor. 12. 5. bowing downe the soule, and drinking up the spirits, or enervating the body before they leave us: So also, because through the weaknesse of our natures, they are troubles to us. Saints have flesh and bloud in them, and that is not able to beare such a crosse, such a triall, the losse of such a friend, of such a neere and deare relation, but it must [Page 17] even break them in peeces, and op­presse them. This is through their weaknesse. You know that the tender­nesse of the skin, and body, will dou­ble every lash; so the weaknesse of our nature makes every crosse a double trouble, and of a double weight to a Christian, and so he is in a great mea­sure, through the meer weaknesse and inability of his nature, a cause of his owne trouble. Secondly, Wee may be, yea, and are the proximate causes of them, through the sinfulnesse of our soules; wee are here full of sinne, and it is but righteous with God, to render trouble to them that trouble him; we presse God with our sinnes, as a cart is prest with sheaves (it is his owne si­militude) no wonder if hee lades us with troubles, to the breaking of our hearts, when wee take such liberty to break his lawes. I am not of their mind, that think Saints troubles come not upon them for their sinnes: that they come not as law demands, for satisfaction. I grant, that they may come medicinally, or meerly for the exercise of faith, or patience, or some [Page 18] other graces, I also easily grant. Whe­ther wee may call them punishments or no (though I see no solid reason a­gainst the affirmative in that nicety) I will not dispute, but this is sure e­nough, If the Saint were not a sin­ner, hee should not bee a sufferer, nei­ther in body, nor in spirit, nor in his e­state, nor his relations. Death with all the appurtenances of it, death both in the egge and bird is sinnes wages, sinnes off-spring. Saints by their sin­nings, by their inconstant and une­ven walkings, are causes of their own sufferings, causes of their owne mi­series.

A third head of causes for the Saints troubles, may be the world. And that

1. In respect of the incertainty of its comforts, 1 Joh. 2. 17. The world passeth away, and againe, 1 Cor. 7. 31. The fashion of this world passeth away; Job complaines that his welfare past away as a cloud, Job 30. 15. Take what you will, of the world, it pas­seth away, our friends passe away; One generation goeth, and another com­meth. Our prosperity passeth away; [Page 19] Job's sunshines had a cloud came over them. Riches take themselves the wings of the morning and flie away: Now hence of course ariseth trouble, when the heart of the creature is fixt upon a Relation, and the Generation passeth; the parent dies, the husband, wife, child, friend, or what ever the Relation be it is gone. Man goeth to his long home, the mourners (of course) goe about the streets; the affection re­maines, but the object being gone, the spirit is disquieted, the heart dissetled, &c. and so for other things. Trouble followes of course upon the flitting, and passing away of what the heart was let out after.

2. The world is also a cause of the Saints troubles, In respect of the ill na­ture of its inhabitants, the malice of them, Joh. 15. 19. Because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. The world is very selfish in its love; it loves none but its own: If yee were of the world, the world would love its owne: The world cares for none, but those that are it's owne; [Page 20] it hateth Christ, and all that claime kinred of him, all that are in relation to him, Joh. 15. 18. it hated Christ, before it hated the Saints; but hating him, it hateth those that are flesh of his flesh, and bones of his bones, Eph. 5. 30. Thus you see various causes of the Saints troubles, and so I have dispatch­ed the third thing I promised you. The fourth followes.

What peace is that, that the Saint may have in Christ, in the midst of this worlds troubles? how is it in Christ? and what paines hath Christ taken con­cerning it? and how may the Saint get this peace, and find it out in Christ, and draw it from Christ. To this I shall answer, and first, wee must enquire what peace is; Pax est concordia, Peace is an agreement, say some, tran­quillitas ordinis, a quiet of order (saith Aquinas) [...]. Be­cause it drawes into an unity, unio cor­dium & rerum, an union of hearts and actions say others, tranquilla constitu­tio animorum ac rerum (say others) a quiet composure of differing spirits and actions; Mutuus consensus, say [Page 21] others, a mutuall consent betwixt persons. All amount to the same peace is a quiet composed frame of spirit a­mongst divers parties. Now as there are many different parties in the world to agree, and many different ca­ses upon which agreements may bee; so there are different sorts of peace. There is an outward peace, or an in­ward peace; a peace with men, and a peace with God; peace with men, may be either Politicall with Princes and subjects of different Kingdomes, or amongst the subjects of the same Kingdome, or betwixt the head and members of the same body politick, or amongst men of the same City and Corporation: contrary to forrain or ci­vill warres and dissentions. Or it may be domestick, which is an agreement betwixt Husband and Wife, Parents and Children, Governours or Servants of the same family; or more private, betwixt party and party, call'd pax so­ciorum, the friendship and agreement of friends and companions, &c. All these now are the worlds peaces, which Christ puts in opposition to his [Page 22] peace, Ioh. 14. 27. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you. There is a peace that is properly cal­led Christ's peace; It was Christ's le­gacy, hee left it by his last will and te­stament, to his Disciples and Saints; hee distinguiguisheth it from all other peace whatsoever. Now in generall this is the peace that the Saints may find in Christ, in the midst of this worlds troubles; it is Christs peace. But more particularly, what is that? what peace is that that the world can­not give, that Christs peace?

This is that peace with God, which is nothing else than mutuus consensus Dei & hominis, an agreement be­twixt God and man, the Creator and the creature; it may be considered in the root, and in the fruit, in the cause, and in the effect, in the originall, and in the coppy.

1. The originall is our Justification, in foro Dei, in Gods Court. A peace betwixt God and the soule, by vertue of an Act of Oblivion that the Lord hath passed in Heaven, concerning all [Page 23] the sinners sinnes; hee hath said, I will remember your sinnes no more, hee makes them as if they never had beene: now upon the passing this Act, there is an agreement concluded, betwixt God and the sinner; the dif­fering parties are one, the peace is made, and entered in the rolls of hea­ven. God looks upon the sinner no more as his enemy, but as his sonne, daughter, friend, in the nearest relati­on to him. From hence ariseth;

2. A piece of conscience, which is nothing else, but the agreement of the sinner within himselfe. Conscience that is Gods agent in the soule, pro­claims no more warre, bids no more defiance; the man is at peace with himselfe, hee dare say to himselfe, con­science is it peace? and his conscience shall make him answer, it is peace. Now this peace is but the sealing up of the other in the court of the mans own bosome; A coppy of the other taken out by faith, according to that, Rom. 5. 1. Beeing justified by faith wee have peace with God through our Lord Ie­sus Christ; this is also Christ's peace. [Page 24] Now this peace with God, whether considered in the originall, or the tran­script; it is a peace with the whole Trinity. The Father is he with whom it is made, the Sonne is he by whom it is made, the Spirit seales it, and be­comes Nuntius pacis, the Messenger of that peace to the soule, being hee to whom it belongs of office to set the broad seale of the Court to every par­don, Eph. 1. 13. Eph. 4. 30. But why then is it called Christ's peace? I easily answer,

1. Because hee is the meritorious cause of it, Eph. 2. 14, 15. hee is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken downe the middle wall of partition betweene us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, &c. v. 16. and that hee might reconcile both to God, in one body by the crosse, having slaine the enmity thereby. And the spirit which conveyeth the newes of this peace to the soule, is sometimes called his spirit; hee was hee that while hee li­ved upon tho earth came and preached peace to them that were afarre off, and to them that were nigh, Eph. 2. 17. and [Page 25] through him wee have an accesse, by one spirit, unto the father, vers. 18. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himselfe, not imputing their sinne, 2 Cor. 5. 19. Wee that preach the Gospell of peace to you, as though God did by us beseech you, are Ambassa­dours for Christ, and as in Christ's stead, wee entreat you to be reconci­led to God; therefore it is called his peace, and it is said to bee laid up in him: and from this peace of justifica­tion, and peace of conscience proceeds

A third peace, which is the peace of the members each with other (a peace which is too sadly broken, and too lit­tle pursued in our dayes) 1 Joh. 1. 3. The Saints have fellowship one with ano­ther, and their fellowship is with the fa­ther, and the sonne Jesus Christ; and could they walk together except they were agreed? And thus I have now (though in a discourse something too large) shewed you what peace is, and what this peace is that is Christ's peace, and that is laid up in Christ for the Saints, and they may find it in him in the midst of their earthly troubles. [Page 26] But yet more particularly, In what of Christ is this peace laid up for the Saints? 2. How shall they come by it in the day of trouble. To each of these give me leave to speak a word or two.

To the first, In what of Christ is this peace laid up? I answer in three par­ticulars.

1. It is laid up in the bloud of Christ, in his bitter death and passion, as the meritorious cause. This peace, Christian, is written and sealed with the bloud of the Lambe, the immacu­late Lambe of God; this is cleare, in that place I before quoted, Eph. 2. 16. Hee reconciled us both unto God in one body by the crosse, vers. 13. you are made nigh by the bloud of Christ, his bloud was the bloud of expiation.

2. It is laid up in the word of Christ, in his precious promises. That is plaine from the very words of the Text: These things have I spoken, that in mee you might have peace. David had peace many a time, out of a pro­mise, the word of the Lord quickned, and comforted him; hee had once a trouble that had sunk him, had he not [Page 27] found peace here; they are his owne words, Psal. 119. I had perished in my affliction, if thy law had not beene my delight. The Gospell is therefore call'd the Gospell of peace, and the word of Christ, is as well the word of peace, as the word of truth: how ma­ny poore soules have found this true, by many precious experiences; they hove been in spirit-troubles, heavi­nesse hath made their heart to stoop, till a good word hath come, and made it better.

3. It is in the spirit of Christ, who is the Nuntius pacis, hee that declares, and seales up the peace to the soule, and is the messenger of peace betwixt God and Christ, and the soule that tru­ly believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, and believing in him hath life. Thus it is in him. Now if you aske how the child of God may draw this peace from Christ, I answer these three wayes.

1. By Meditation of him; thus David, Psal. 104. 34. my meditation of him shall be sweet, the soule-feeding up [...] [...] of [...] [...]on [Page 28] the gracious acts of grace, in which the Lord Jesus Christ hath declared the yernings of his love to poor soules, shall rather peace a quietment, and e­stablishing of spirit in the midst of all its troubles: when the poore Christian is in the midst of troubles, to sit down and think, well, yet my sinnes are par­doned, yet God and I are at agree­ment; this affliction, this crosse comes not to me as a law demand, not as a piece of vindicative justice, but as a fatherly chastisement; this shall ad­minister peace to his soule, his medi­tation of Christ shall be sweet to his soule: That's one way to gaine it.

2. By a believing application, both of what Christ hath spake, and what he hath done. Faith is the hand that the soule reacheth out for peace, and by which the soule brings in peace to it selfe, Rom. 5. 1. Beeing justified by faith, wee have peace with God, through our Lord Iesus Christ. Those that believe shall bee established, and the more a soule believes, the more it is established; it is from some unbe­liefes or other, that any soule is dis­quieted. [Page 29] Faith brings in peace, it is not the bare knowing of the promise, or the bare knowing of what Christ hath done, but the chosen with the promise, the chosen with Christ in what hee hath done and suffered, for the soule that brings in peace to the soule.

3. The soule gaines this place, by a close walking with Iesus Christ, a walking in the spirit, Is. 32. 17. The work of righteousnesse shall bee peace; marke the upright man, consi­der the just man, the end of that man is peace; the wicked mans conscience is continually throwing out myre and dirt. There is no peace to the wicked (saith our God.) Peace indeed is not the wages of a day well spent; not a naturall result and fruit of a strict wal­king, but peace is the reward of righ­teousnesse, the reward not of debt, but of grace. The words of the Psal­mist hint thus much to us; To him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God, Psal. 50. 23. When a Christian hath orde­red his conversation aright, the sal­vation [Page 30] of God must be shewne him.

I have onely one thing remaining, as to the doctrinall part of my dis­course: that is, to shew you what paines, what order Christ hath taken for his Saints peace in him, while in the world they meet with trouble. It may easily be gathered, from what I have already spoken, in short, take it in these three words;

1. He hath died upon the crosse, that he might doe it, Eph. 2. 14, 15, 16. It cost him his bloud to work out our peace.

2. He hath given us many precious promises, many things hath he spoken, that in him through them wee might have peace.

3. He hath sent his spirit, Ioh. 14. hee promised the sending of his spi­rit, whom he there calls the comforter, in relation to the peace, that the spirit conveyes, and seales to the soules of his Saints. Thus much may serve brief­ly to have spoken to the doctrinall part, I proceed now to the application of what I have said; I shall apply it va­riously. First, by way of instruction.

Use. 1 Instr. Let us learne from hence, the na­ture of the world, and what to expect from it, from the men of it, from the Contentments of it, or while wee have any thing to doe in, and with it; one wittily sayes, it is like the straits of Magellane, where, which way soe­ver a ship was bound, to be sure the saylors found a wind against them. Br. 1 Truly, so it is with the world; let a man be bound for the coasts of hell or heaven, if he sailes through the world, he shall be sure to find a wind against him: they that have most Contentments in it, that think they have the world at will, they shall find, that in the world, even they shall meet with trouble. Though they bee the world's owne, and so it doth not hate them, and the cause of their troubles lies not there; yet in respect of the very incertain­ties of all things in the world, the flit­ting condition of every thing under the Sunne, where there is nothing cer­taine, they shall meet with troubles. Sirs, you may look for all faire wea­ther, but you will not find it; you may think you are above crosses, when [Page 32] you are upon your mountaines of gold, and worldly greatnesse. But (believe it) besides the clouds of divine ven­geance, which hang over your heads, and threaten you disturbance hereaf­ter, you will find that there will bee earthquakes here below, that will hin­der your quiet sitting. In the world all shall have trouble: But more pro­perly,

Br. 2 From hence we may be instructed, What is the peace or lot of the Saints, while they live on this side their fa­thers house. Every one that lives in the world shall have his hand and heart full of trouble, but all that will live godly in Christ Iesus, must look for it in a more especiall manner. I told you before, that Christ and his crosse can­not be parted; if you take him, you must have him with all the appurta­nances, of which the crosse is one; there is an emphasie in the word you: In the world you shall have trouble, o­thers shall have trouble, but you espe­cially; others may have, but you shall have. David was flattering himselfe into another opinion, Psal. 30. 6. In [Page 33] his prosperity hee said hee should ne­ver be moved, but he was quickly con­suted; the Lord hid his face, and hee was troubled. The man eat his owne words, and confuted himselfe. Is there any before me, that hath undertaken the wayes of God upon another ex­pectation, that hath forgot that he was made a Christian upon this condition, that hee should take up the crosse and follow Christ? Christians, you may ratifie your errour before experience confutes you in it; if you look for earthly peace, for immunity from troubles, it is more than Jesus Christ ever leased out for life to his Saints: feed not your expectations high, for feare your quick experiences low them. Trouble is the lot of the Saints here, as sure as hea­ven is their portion hereafter. But thirdly,

Br. 3 From hence we may be instructed, concerning the miserable condition of those poore wretches that are without Christ: They shall be sure to meet with trouble, and for the way of peace they have not knowne it. Let me a lit­tle speak to such poore creatures; Is [Page 34] there any poore wretches before mee (and O Lord, that there were not ma­ny such) that are yet, such as the Apo­stle sayes the Ephesians once were, Eph. 2. 12. that are without Christ, aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, strangers to the Covenant of pro­mise, having no hope, and without God in the world: Poor wretches, my soule trembles for you. Let me but propound to you, the same question that the Pro­phet propounds, Is. 10. 3. What will you do in the day of visitation, & in the day of desolation which will come from far? to whom will you flee for helpe, and where will you leave your glory? you are now in prosperity and plenty; you have no disturbances, no dissettlements of spirit, but what will you doe in the day of your visitation? If the Lord should come but to keep court in your conscience, to visit there a little, for all your abu­sed mercies, for all your originall and actuall sinnes, for all your youth, and life sinnes; if the Lord but comes and beats up your quarters, poore crea­tures, what will you doe in that day? whether will you flie for helpe? a woun­ded [Page 35] spirit who can beare? though none can beare it, yet Christ can heale it. Ah, but this Christ is none of your Christ, you never lookt upon him as your Priest, or your Prophet, or your King; poore wretches what will you doe? whether will you flie? Ah, that poore creatures should so quietly sleep over damnation as you doe; that you should sit at your tables of gluttony and drunkennesse, and eat, and drink, and rise up to play so freely, when there's but an haires breadth betwixt your poore soules and everlasting bur­ning. The sword of divine vengeance, that sharpe two-edged sword hangs over your head, every moment, and there is nothing but the twine thread of your life keeps it from dividing you and all your comforts; from (indeed) dividing you from all manner of hope and comfort, and peace, either from the Creator or Creature, and that for ever, (poore halfe-damned wretch) spell that word, and tell me how many syllables of time goe to the compoun­ding of it. Good Lord, how it would pose reason to find out the ground of [Page 36] any soules rest, or peace (though but for an houre, without Christ) after what rate they dance about the take, that burnes with fire and brimstone, and play about a nest of adders, and a cocka­trices denne. You that think your selves at such good quarter with God, because hee is not upon your neck eve­ry day: I will tell you what, you are like a Gentleman that rides out in a flashed suit of apparell; If the Sunne shines, hee is well enough, and glisters bravely upon the road; but if the wea­ther proves cold, or a showre of raine comes, and hee hath never a coat to put on, nor ever an hedge to shelter himselfe under, is he not washed for his bravery? what will he doe? may hee not chance to get a cold will (with his leave) beare him company to his grave? So long as the Sun shine of prosperity lasts, that your conscience doth not flash in your face, and you meet with no crosses in the world, you are well enough, and all the world well be fooles in your eyes, but especi­ally Puritanes. Ride on Gallants, but take heed of breaking your necks in [Page 37] hell; what will you doe in the day of the Lords visitation, when the reckon­ing day comes? friends, what will you have to pay, when the showre of di­vine vengeance comes? will your huf­fled suit of worldly vanities cloath you? will your sack cheare your heart, when it is wounded with an arrow of divine vengeance, drawne by the strength of an Almighty arme, and let flie at the very eye of your pleasures? Nay, suppose on this side of such a time you should meet with a showre of worldly crosses, two or three, as Job (a better man than any of you) did Job 1. Suppose the Lord should take away the delight of your eyes with a stroke, as from Ezechiel; your deare children, as from Eli and Aaron; your husband, as from Phinehas his wife; all your pleasures, riches, comforts, al your castles of greatnesse & riches. Suppose you should be throwne into prison, and have nothing given you, but the bread of affliction to eat, and the water of affliction to drink. What shall beare up your spirits in such a day? what will you doe? ah, what can you doe in the [Page 38] day of the Lords visitation? The conie (if it be started, and pursued, by a dog) it hath a burrow in the rock, thither it runnes and is safe: But the Hare, and such like beasts of sport, that have no burrowes, no holes, if once they bee found out in their covert, and be pur­sued by dogges, they are wurried down; why? alas they have no places of security. The poore wretch that hath no part in Christ, if a day of trou­ble comes, he hath no place of securi­ty, but hee is like a poore manslayer, pursued by the avenger of the blood, and either knowes not where a City of refuge was, or at best is at such a distance from it, as hee could not pos­sibly have hopes of reaching it, be­fore the pursuer and avenger of bloud overtook him, and he died without mercy. Poor creatures, this is your condition, the Lord give you an heart to consider it; you have no way of peace, that you will be able to find in a day of trouble.

Br. 4 Thirdly, from hence wee may bee instructed in the happy condition of all those that have a true interest in the [Page 39] Lord Jesus Christ; they are provided for Winter and Summer if in the world they meet with trouble, they may retire to Christ, and be at peace; if they be pursued by the dogges of the world, they have a burrow in the rocke of ages. What Iob sayes of the grave, wee may say of that hiding place; There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary be at rest; they can ne­ver be so tost, never be in such a deep of troubles, but they can cast anchor in the Lord Iesus Christ; when the kitchin of the world is on fire, they have an upper-roome, that they can go sit and sleep in, and the heat shall ne­ver trouble them. No

—totus si fractus illabatur orbis,
Impavidum feriant ruinae.

They can but runne up the staires, and sit with Jesus Christ, and they are at peace; they are at any time within a reach of peace, and may in any con­dition say to their soules as David, Psal. 42. 11. Why art thou cast down O my soule? why art thou disquieted [Page 40] within mee; trust still in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. See a no­table experiment of this in David, 1 Sam. 30. 6. It was a sad day with him, his City was burnt with fire, and his and his mens wives, & his sons and their daughters were taken captives, and to none of the kind'st enemies neither, the Amalekites had done it. David was greatly distressed v. 6. and to adde af­fliction to affliction, when hee was al­most dead of griefe, the people were almost of the mind to have helpt him on to his grave, for they also spake of stoning him. What doth David doe? doth not his back breake with all this load upon it? doth not his heart sink to the very bottome of dispaire, with all this weight of lead hung upon it? marke the latter end of the sixth vers. But David encouraged himselfe in the Lord his God, for all this hee encoura­ged himselfe in his God. In the world he met with trouble, in his Christ hee finds peace. Thus may all that feare the Lord; why is there a disturbed sad heart amongst them? Happy is the [Page 41] people that have the Lord for their God; Happy are those creatures that have an hole in the rock. But to pro­ceed.

Br. 5 Lastly, from hence may all that fear the Lord be instructed, what is the one­ly way to find true peace, in a day of trouble; it is to look for it only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Acquaint thy selfe now with Christ, and be at peace, there­by shall good come unto you; fetch peace from Christ (O yee Saints) and be at peace, thereby shall good come unto you. There bee many courses which men use to gain peace in a day of trouble, whether outward or in­ward; many wayes by which men wring their spirits out of trouble, and patch up peace to their owne spirits; but the right way of peace few have known.

1. Some let nature worke out peace, like some foolish countrey people, that conceive nature will work out all di­stemperatures, and they need no Phy­sick. Some of them are confuted by their grave, others of them, that are of more stout iron natures, possibly re­cover [Page 42] their health, but their diseases make a truce onely, not a peace with their bodies; the latent cause remains, and watcheth its advantage of the next heat or cold the body takes, or the next intemperate season comes. And thus many deale with their soules, ne­ver regarding when their spirits are troubled, to heale up the wound with the balme of Gilead, but go on in their worldly way, at last their wiled spi­rits are quiet againe, so they get their peace of course: but alas, the latent cause of their trouble watcheth but the next advantage, their soule fe­sters within, and within a while they are ready to hang themselves againe.

2. Other wretches, in a time of trouble, are like those, that upon that principle, Satanas per Sathanam ex­pellitur, one Devill drives out ano­ther. If they be in an ague, or the like, will drinke hot-waters, or store of sack, to prevent their cold-fit, and out burn nature; but alas, all the good comes is, they fall into a burning-feaver, and per­haps burne their dust to ashes. So there are such profane wretches, that if their [Page 43] conscience alarum's them, if their spi­rit troubles them, or if they meet with crosses, &c. think there is no way to wind out of the Devils fingers, but by going into his armes, and making themselves twice more the children of the Devill than they were before: they must runne to the alehouse, seek out drunken company, drink away melan­choly, &c. But had Zimri peace that slew his master? is damning a soule the way to save it?

A third sort dispute themselves out of troubles, & come out of disquietments of spirit upon morall principles; these will argue the case with themselves, what a shame it is, that they should be [...] so much troubled for a lost friend, or for a crosse in a worldly estate, and con­clude, this is below a man, or below their spirits: the peace of these men is but a logicall conclusion, upon false premises. All these have not known the way of true peace; no Christians, no, the way of peace they have not knowne. True peace neither growes in the alehouse garden, nor in natures garden, no nor yet in the Philosophers [Page 44] neither. It is a branch that springs out of the root of Jessee, a conclusion up­on gospell-premises, an effect of the balme Gilead. Are you under any bur­thens of spirit, in any troubles, and would you have peace? runne up to Jesus Christ, fetch it from his bosome, extract it out of his bloud, gather it out of his word. This, this is the peace which passeth all understanding, this is the lasting peace that hath no worme at the root, no defect, no rottennesse in it. All other peace will be as easily broke, as it is slightly made. Come out of your crosses and troubles (Christi­ans) with a peace drawn from Jesus Christ; come out this way, I say, otherwise you mistake the way of peace. But I shall proceed no further in this first branch of application.

Us. 2 Secondly, Is this a truth, that what­soever trouble a Saint meets with in the world, yet in Christ hee may have peace? what means this weeping then Christians? why doth Rachel refuse to be comforted? why doth Asaph or Davids soule runne, and not cease? why doth their soule refuse comfort? [Page 45] what is the businesse with Christians, that their spirits are heavy night and day? and no oyle will make their face to shine? All the balme of Gilead will not close their wounds? if the Lord doth but lay an outward crosse upon them, if he doth but take away a friend, call in the money hee lent them, crosse them in a relation, let their spirits but fall a little, how are they troubled, as if their fountaine of Peace were dried up, and justification and Gospell-promi­ses had lost the Nature of a Cordiall? Christians, doe not your sad disquieted troubled spirits deserve chiding, when Christ hath taken such paines, that in him you might have peace, and yet you walke under a crosse, as if there were no way of peace discovered? For shame (Christians) know your duty; are you troubled? you are by your trouble invited to Christ, that you might find peace; shew (for shame) shew that your condition is different from those that have not tasted how good the Lord is, that know not how to improve Christ in a day of adversi­ty, and

Use. 3 Thirdly, you that are Christs Disci­ples, bee of good cheare, It is Christ's owne application, [...] Get heart, be of good cheare, though in the world you meet with troubles: if you walk long with troubled spirits, it is your owne fault, for in Christ you may have peace: who will pity your star­ving, when you refuse your meat? you may have peace if you will take it; Lift up your heads therefore in the midst of your worldly troubles; Be of good cheare, Christ hath overcome the world. Disquieting your selfe is not your duty, believing is your duty, and will ease you, when that will but adde vexation unto your spirit. Are you un­der burthens of spirit? doe worldly crosses trouble you? what then? these should drive you to Christ, but not in­to the cave; go and pray, believe, &c. But what doest thou doe in the cave E­liah? Runne to Christ as fast as thou wilt; but why sittest thou still to weep? bee of good comfort, there is no trou­ble upon thy spirit, bee it what it will. But Christ hath spoken some word or other, done some action or other, from [Page 47] whence thou mayest extract peace in that trouble.

Ah, but will a poore Christian say, this is spoken to Christ's Disciples; to them indeed Christ speaks, in mee you shall have peace; but I am afraid I am none of that number, and then what have I to doe with peace. How may I know, whether I bee Christs disci­ple yea or no? and secondly, I am a­fraid, if I should make up peace, that it would not bee Christs peace. To speak a litttle to these two things, Let me in the fourth place insist a little up­on an use of examination.

Use. 4 How then doth it stand you in hand, Christians, to examine your hearts, concerning these two great things. 1. whether you bee Christ's Disciples or no? 2. Whether the peace of your spirits, with which you content your selves, and in which you satsfie your selves, after trouble sometimes, be a peace of Christs making, or of your owne making, and so false and uncom­fortable. I shall speak shortly to both these, &c. 1. Would you know whe­ther you bee Christ's Disciples yea or [Page 48] no? I will give you notes from his owne mouth, to informe you in that point.

1. Did your soules ever effectually heare and imbrace the word of Jesus Christ? this is one note, Joh. 10. 27. My sheep heare my voice; you have heard with your eares, but have you had eares to heare? have you heard with a poore and contrite spirit, so that you have trembled at it? Is. 66. 2. Hath the Lord bored your eares with the word? Hath the word of Christ beene transmitted, as from the prea­chers mouth to your eare, so from your eare to your soules? you have heard the Ministers voice, but have you heard Christ's voice to your soules in an ordi­nance, that the word came not onely to you in the letter, but in power and in the spirit of God? This is one signe, but not enough. Many are called.

2. Doe you continue in the word of Christ? this is a notable marke; marke that place, Joh. 8. 31. If you continue in my word, then are you my Disciples indeed, not in name, not in profession, not in the account of men onely; no, [Page 49] but indeed, Disciples to purpose; can your soules say, that you have made the word of God a light unto your feet, and a la [...] horne to your pathes; that you have set the law of the Lord ever before you; that as you have lear­ned Christ, so you walk in him; you fall not back, but continue in the word of Christ? then are you Disciples in­deed.

3. If you beare much fruit, then are you Christ's Disciples, Joh. 15. 8. Herein is my father glorified, that you beare much fruit, so shall you be my Dis­ciples: Doe you bring forth much fruit of holinesse unto God, and righ­teousnesse before men? thus you glo­rifie the father, thus you shall evidence your selves to be Christ's disciples, by growing in Grace, and thriving in Godlinesse.

4. If you be humble, selfe-denying, selfe-hating, meek creatures: This is a signe that you have learn'd of Christ, for hee is meek and lowly, see Luk. 14. 26, 33. concerning this note Christ in plaine English saith, whosoever hath it not cannot be his Disciple; it is the [Page 50] first lesson of Grace, Deny your selves. But are you humble, and selfe-denying ones, selfe-loathing, and abhorring creatures? doe you even loath your naturall selfe, and hate your righteous selfe, and forsake all your selfe, then are you Christs Disciples? doth the spirit of Christ, which is the spirit of meeknesse, dwell in you, and rest upon you? then have you learnd of him.

5. If you beare the crosse with that faith and patience which you should bear it, then you may know you are Christ's Disciples, Luk. 14. 27. without this you cannot be Christ's Disciple; there is nothing shall more evidence a Chri­stian to himselfe, and to others, to bee Christ's Disciple, than his religious bearing of the crosse, his religious car­riage under trialls, and burthens of spi­rit; this is a great peece of the way in which Christ will be followed of all those that are his Disciples.

Lastly, If you love one another, then you may know, and all men may know concerning you, that you are Christs Disciples, Joh. 13. 35: By this shall all men know, that you are my Disciples, if [Page 51] you love one another. Saint John in his Epistles beates much upon this, to love the Saints, meerly because they are Saints, not for their good nature, or wit, or parts, or greatnesse, or any re­spect, but impartially, because they are Saints. It is a good note. By these things you shall know your selves, whether you be Christs Disciples or no; if you be, you have a title to his peace.

And from what you have heard, that true peace for the soule, in the midst of this worlds troubles, is only to be found in Christ, and onely that which is drawne from Christ. Every Christi­an hath ground to bring the peace of his spirit, the comming of his spirit after trouble to the touchstone, that he may be able to know, whether it be Christs peace or his owne: I shall give you five or six notes for that.

1. If it be drawne from some word of God, it is true peace. Thy soule hath been troubled, thy spirit hath been burthened, now it is quieted. I pray, how came your spirit off trouble? what was it that helpt thy spirit out of the [Page 52] miry clay? what, didst thou close with some Gospell-promises? didst thou bosome a promise, and was that peace to thee? this is Christs peace, such a peace was Davids, Psal. 119. 50. This is my comfort in my affliction, for thy word hath quickened mee, so v. 81. My soule fainteth for thy salvation, but I hope in thy word, so v. 114. Thou art my hiding place, and my shield, I hope in thy word, so v. 147. Davids peace was drawne from the word of God, from what God had spoken in reference to him in particular, or at least in generall, to one in such a con­dition, Jer. 15. 16. Thy words were found, and I did eat them, and thy word was unto mee, the joy, and rejoycing of my heart. Many a poore soule before me (I doubt not) but hath known this way of getting peace, when his spirit hath beene full of trouble, that he hath not known what to doe, perhaps hath not been able to eat, or drink, or sleep, through anguish of heart; perhaps a Minister hath been made the sweet messenger of peace to the soule, and God hath used him as an instrument to [Page 53] mind the soule of some promise or other, which at such a time hath come into the soule as water to the thirsty ground, and hath been even as an apple of gold in a picture of silver; perhaps the spirit of God according to that pro­mise, Joh. 14. 26. Brings to remem­brance something that Christ hath spo­ken, some generall promise, or some particular promise which proves as the balme of Gilead to the soule, to heale its wounds; This is a Gospell-peace, a sweetly made peace, a peace of Christs making in the soule, accor­ding to the text.

2. If thy peace ariseth from a due consideration and application of some thing in the nature of God, as hee hath revealed his nature to us; whether it be from Gods will, or 2. from the medi­tation of Gods mercy and goodnesse, or 3. from a meditation of Gods faithful­nesse: the consideration of many things in Gods nature may command peace in a soule, but especially these three are fountaines out of which the Saint drawes peace. The consideration of the stroke that Gods will had in [Page 54] Davids affliction brought him peace, Psal. 39. 9. I was dumbe, I opened not my mouth, because I knew it was thy doing: hence was Elie's peace, 1 Sam. 3. 18. when his eares (amongst the rest) could not but tingle at Samuels news, hee said, It is the Lord, let him doe what seemeth him good. Hence was Hezekiah's peace, when he could not but bee troubled to heare what should become of his sons and daugh­ters, 2 Kin. 20. 17, 18. yet hee had peace, v. 19. he said, good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. Hence was those good peoples peace, Acts 21. 13, 14. They were troubled at Pauls departure, considering what Agabus had prophesied concerning him, v. 11. At last they quieted themselves, and their minds stood up­on this bottom, v. 14. They said, The will of the Lord be done: now if thy peace be concluded upon this account, the Lord hath sent a grievous crosse, a grievous affliction upon thee, and thou wert troubled, but thou begannest to think, why this was the will of the Lord concerning mee: this is the [Page 55] Lords doing, and upon the due medita­tion of this, thy spirit growes quiet, out of a meere submission, and obe­dience to Gods dispensation; This is true peace, it was the Saints peace,

2. Or perhaps it is, from a due me­ditation of the Lords mercy and good­nesse; thou hast a crosse and triall befal­len thee, but thou beginnest to think, well, yet the Lord is good to my soule, yet the mercy of the Lord indureth for ever, and upon this consideration thy soule hath peace: this is true peace, upon this account was the Churches peace, Lam. 3. 21. This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lords mercies that wee are not con­sumed, because his compassions faile not; they are new every morning, &c. v. 25. The Lord is good to them that wait upon him, even to the soule that seeketh him, &c. Hence shee concludes peace in sad troubles.

3. Or is it from a consideration of the nature of God in his faithfulnesse? Lam. 3. 23. Great is thy faithfulnesse. Thou sittest down with thy selfe, and considerest, why am I troubled? the [Page 56] Lord hath promised that joy shall be to the upright of heart, and that light shall arise out of darknesse to the upright; and that though sorrow be for a night, yet joy shall come in the morning. This God is a faithfull God, hee hath said it, and shall hee not doe it? hee hath spoke it, and shall hee not bring it to passe? and upon such like considerati­ons thy spirit begins to bee composed, and to returne to its rest. This is like­wise a gospell-peace, a true made, right bred peace. This was likewise some­thing, which the Church cald to mind, from whence shee had peace, Lam. 3. 31, 32, 33. The Lord will not cast off for ever; though he cause griefe, yet wil hee have compassion, &c. Shee lived upon the reversions of his love, by ver­tue of his faithfulnesse, that stood bound for the fulfilling it. In short, bee it from these particulars, or a­ny of the like nature, if thy peace be hatched up in thy soule, from a due consideration, and application of the nature of God, as hee hath revealed himselfe in his word, it is a true Gos­pell peace, a peace of Christs ma­king in thy soul.

[Page 57] 3. If the peace that ariseth in thy soule, ariseth from a due meditation, and a believing application of any thing that Christ hath done or suffred for thee, it is a true peace; if it arise from a me­ditation of Christ dying for thee, and washing thee with his bloud, from Gods accepting thy soule in Christ; this is true peace. As suppose that thou art under some heavy burthen of spirit, in respect of some outward crosses and trialls, and now thou sitt'st down and thinkest, well, yet my sinnes are par­doned, yet my soule is washed with the bloud of sprinkling, yet the Lord hath accepted mee in his well-beloved, why should I bee troubled? this is a bles­sed peace, Eccles. 9. 7. Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart, for God now accep­teth thy work. The Lord commands us to be at peace, if we be at peace upon this account. Rejoyce (saith Christ) that your names are written in the book of life. Or if thy soule be troubled un­der the sense of thy sinnes, and thou knowest not what to doe; at last thou resolvest to cast thy selfe upon a pro­mise [Page 58] to venture in upon Christ, saying, If I perish, I perish; and hence thou hast peace; this is a true Gospell-peace of spirit. In short, if it be upon the consideration, and application to thy selfe, of any thing Christ hath done; it is true peace. Suppose thou hast some grievous affliction befallen thee, thou art afflicted in thy body, or in thy estate, or in thy relations, and this is a sad trouble to thee, but now thou sit­test downe, and thinkest with thy selfe, why should I bee thus troubled? hath not Christ taken out the sting of this crosse? hath it any poyson in it? is it not a meere fatherly chastisement? hath not Christ overcome the world? and upon the due consideration of these things, and believing application of such meditations, thou findest a quiet secretly steale upon thy soule, and thy spirit is becalmed; this is a sweet peace, a peace of Christ's concluding in thy soule; this is according to Christ's rule, Bee of good cheare, I have over­come the world.

A fourth note, by which thou may­est judge thy peace, is this, If it bee a [Page 59] peace concluded upon thy former expe­riences, then is it a true peace; such was Davids peace, Psal. 119. 52. I remembred thy judgements of old, O Lord, and I comforted my selfe. David many a time made peace with his spi­rit this way, looking over the old records of mercies, and concluding confidently from the past or present mercy to the future, Psal. 116. 7. Returne to thy rest, O my soule, for God hath dealt graciously with thee. If upon this account thou commandest thy soule to rest, because the Lord hath dealt graciously with thee, it is a signe the peace of thy spirit is right made. The Psalmist (whosoever hee was, whether Asaph, or David, that com­posed that 77 Psal.) when hee could find peace no way, he took this course, he went and look't over the old records for it, Psal. 77. 11, 12. It may be thou art under heavy burthens, in re­spect of manifold corruptions, or ma­nifold temptations, or in respect of some crosses and afflictions that are be­fallen to thee in this world, or thou hast been troubled for some such thing, [Page 60] and nothing would comfort thee; But at last it came in thy mind, the Lord hath delivered mee in many a strait, I have seen mercy in many a judgement, I have felt his upholding power many a time, when I was even sinking, and saying, my hope is cut off from before the Lord, why should I distrust him now? why should not that God that hath delivered me in six troubles keep mee in the seventh also, that it should not hurt me? well, I will trust in him, &c. This peace now is a true peace, this is a peace of Christs making in the soul.

Fiftly, If faith be a commissioner on thy soules part in making thy peace, thou mayest then know it is a true peace. Such was Davids peace, Psal. 27. 13. I had fainted unlesse I had believed to see the goodnesse of the Lord in the land of the living: his believing kept him from faintings, and settled his soule. How is thy peace handed to thy soule (Chri­stian?) is it handed by faith? is faith the Dove that thou sendest out of the Arke of thy soule, when the waters of trouble are high? and doth that re­turne with the olive branch in her [Page 61] mouth? Open the windowes of thy soule, and let it in; never doubt but it is an olive branch of peace. Is it a belie­ving, a trusting in the Lords provi­dence, or promise? a believing, a clo­sing with God, that works out thy peace? feare not thy peace, feare not any newes for not being good if faith brings it to thy soule; faith seeth God sealing before it seales to thee. Let that be a fifth note of triall, I will adde but a

Sixth, Lastly, Peace after prayer is ordinarily true peace; It is not earned by prayer, but it is usually a fruit that groweth upon that root, and if thine be such, rejoyce in it. Such was Han­nah's peace, 1 Sam. 1. 15. 18. Hannah was a woman, as shee reports her selfe of a troubled spirit, shee goes and powres out her soule before the Lord, and the words say, her counte­nance was no more sad; no, shee had peace; her prayer was answered, shee had true peace. Indeed any temple-peace is true peace, any peace that the soule truly extracts out of ordinances is true peace. David when he was so [Page 62] unreasonably troubled with that temp­tation [Psal. 73.] of the wickeds pro­sperity, at last hee goes into the San­ctuary, there his soule was stayed, Psal. 73. 17. Wouldst thou know then whether thy peace be true or no? whe­ther it be Christs peace yea or no? such a peace as thy soule may trust yea or no, and not in thy peace have great bit­ternesse? examine thy peace whence it came, examine thy selfe how thou ca­mest by it; didst thou in trouble go and powre out thy soule before the Lord, and crie mightily to him, wrestle with him? &c. Didst thou wait upon God in the Sanctuary, and from hence did peace flow in like a river to thy soule? I say, that peace is a true peace, Christs peace, in which thy soule may rejoyce, and triumph. But I shall adde no more to this use of examination, I have but one more to adde, and that is of ex­hortation.

Use. 5 Christians, you have all heard mee largely discussing this doctrine in its severall branches, That in the world Saints must looke for trouble, but in Christ they may have peace; the best [Page 63] peace, peace without bitternesse, joy without sorrow. 1. Let me plead with you that yet are strangers to the Lord Jesus, yet unbelievers. Poore creatures, O that this might perswade you to look after an interest in Jesus Christ (who is our peace.) Indeed you make to your selves peace, none live so joyfully, and spend their dayes so in wealth as you; there are none sing re­quiem's to their soules like you: But consider,

1. Your peace is a false peace, you have cried unto your soules, Peace, peace, when indeed their hath been no true peace to you. There is no peace to the wicked (saith my God) no true peace: It may be when you heare the words of the Lords curse you will blesse your selves in your hearts, saying, wee shall have peace, though we walke in the imagination of our hearts, to add drun­kennesse to thirst; but is there any such presumptuous wretch that saith so in his heart? Harke what the Lord saith, The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord, and his jealousie shall smoak against that man, and all the [Page 64] curses that are written in the book of God shall light upon his head, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven, and the Lord shall separate that man to evill, &c. Deut. 29. 19, 20, &c. It is true, you have a peace sometimes under trouble, but a cursed peace (the Lord knowes) a dreadfull peace, in­deed no peace, for there is no peace to the wicked (saith my God.) Nay, not only so,

2. The very shadow of your peace is an inconstant shadow, and will faile you shortly: If you be put to it, you will not know what to doe. What will you doe in the day of your visitation? whe­ther will you flie for helpe? but to this I spake before. O now that you would be wise; it is the wise man's part to see things a farre off, and provide for them, prudens quasi providens, or pro­cul videns, but your trouble is not farre off, and you have no way of peace, for Christ is not knowne to your soules: the way of peace you have not knowne. When all your contentments are gone in the creature, where will you have peace? Now the Devill, the world, [Page 65] many say unto you, as Jael to Sisera, turne in hither, feare not; turne in to us, feare not; and it may bee, in a time of prosperity, they may cover your conscience with a mantle of security, and give you a bottle of milke; but if once you bee in the midst of a sleep of security, they will take an hammer in their hand, and come softly to you, and smite a naile into you temples, and fa­sten it into the ground. What will you doe when you find trouble? Poor crea­tures, my soule trembleth for you, O that you would consider. But behold, Christ saith to you (and there is no de­ceit in his words) Sinners, turne in to mee, and feare not, in me you shall have peace; while the day lasts, before the decree goeth forth, and the day pas­seth away as the chaffe; before terrour strikes into your soule, and seizeth up­on you like an armed man. O that you would be wise, that you would look out for a portion in Christ, that you would make him your friend; that when your sinfull peace failes, and your naturall shadowy peace failes, Christ may receive you into everlasting peace, [Page 66] and you may rest in his bosome. Turne in to him (sinners) and you need not feare, hee shall be your peace. But se­condly, Let me speak to you that are believers, to you that have known the way of Peace, true Peace, which flowes to your soul from Jesus Christ; Let mee presse 3 words upon you.

Br. 1 Bee not disquieted with worldly trou­ble, Christ is your peace, in him you may have peace, it was his legacy to you: O let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Je­sus Christ: Know you not that he is your Peace? why are you cast downe? why are your soules disquieted within you? if you meet with frownes from the world, crosses in your worldly inte­rests, yet why are you troubled? In Christ you may have Peace. To this end consider,

1. That Christ hath overcome the world, hee hath qualified the Mercury and Quickesilver of it, and made that which was in it selfe poyson, no more then Medicinall; hee hath overcome the world, hee hath taken the sting out of every crosse, the poyson of every [Page 67] affliction. The world is crucified to you, O be you also crucified to it; bee of good cheare (O you Saints) for Christ hath overcome the world.

2. Doe but consider what a loser Christ is by your troubles. If you be dis­quieted, if you be troubled, as other men, you make Christ a loser by you, a great loser. 1. Hee is a loser in his bloud, in the end of his death; he died upon the crosse, that hee might bleed out balme of Gilead for you, that hee might bleed out peace for his Saints under every trouble. 2. You make him a loser in his breath: To what purpose are the multitudes of his pre­cious promises, but that by these things should men live, and in these the Saints might find peace? so David, Psal. 56. 4. What time I am afraid I will trust in thy word; heark what hee sayes in the Text, These things have I spoken, that in me you might have peace. To what purpose hath Christ held out his Gos­pell promises, his good words, but that they should make the hearts of his Saints better, when heavinesse makes them stoop? 3. As to you, you make [Page 68] him a loser in his victory; to what pur­pose hath hee taken paines to conquer the world for you, if you must yet bee slaves to it, and every crosse and triall, every frowne and ill-look from the world, must bring you into a distempe­rature? Lift up your heads therefore (Christians) lest Jesus Christ bee a lo­ser by your soules: Bee of good cheare, know, and believe, that Christ hath indeed (and that for you too) overcome the world.

Br. 2 Secondly, This Doctrine calls upon you that are believers, to live much with Jesus Christ, gaine more and more acquaintance with him, with his word, with his spirit, heighten your communion with him. Thus shall you know every hiding place, and bee ac­quainted with every hole of the Rock. This is that that makes many a poore much at losse oft-times. It is a truth, that there is peace laid up in Jesus Christ, for a poore soule in every trouble, under every crosse; whence is it then, that their spirits are sometimes so much down so much sunk? whence is it, that assoone as ever a Saint is [Page 69] troubled, he doth not presently (with­out any more adoe) runne to Christ, and secure himselfe, and be at rest? but wee heare day after day, that the Spi­rit of the Saint is under the same bur­thens, overwhelmed in the same man­ner, as if there were no balme in Gi­lead, no Physician there. Truly there may bee many causes, possibly there may be a sullennesse in the soule, that it will not out of the cave; it is angry with God, and will refuse comfort. Possibly God may please to deny a pre­sent application of a comfort, by the hand of the spirit, which can alone make a plaster stick upon a wounded spirit (bee it never so well made and spread) But I perswade my selfe two great and very usuall causes, yea, most usuall, are Ignorance and negligence. Either the soule is a stranger to the Rock, or else it doth not put forth its legges in running to it.

1. A Christian may have a great in­terest in Christ, a great portion in the rock of ages, and yet be in a great man­ner ignorant of him; and this partiall ignorance, though it shall not hinder [Page 70] their finall salvation, for our high-priest hath compassion on the ignorant (saith the Apostle to the Hebrewes) yet it may hinder their present comfort. It may be the soule is not so acquain­ted with the word of God, that when it is in trouble, it can turne to a promise presently, that shall relate to its condi­tion; it may be it may not bee so ac­quainted with all the corners of Christs gracious heart, that it can presently consider Christ in a sutable notion to comfort it under its present burthen. Now this very ignorance, and not be­ing acquainted with Jesus Christ, may a great deale hinder the soules comfort, and make him go with a sad heart, a great deale longer than that soule that is more growne in the knowledge of Christ, more acquainted with every piece of his nature, more experienced in his wayes.

Indeed secondly, a great cause may be the soules negligence, a knowledge, may lie dormant in the soule; a man may have legges and not use them; so a Christian may have a sufficient ac­quaintance with Christ in his words of [Page 71] promise, and wayes of mercy, and yet for all this, if it will sit still in an houre of trouble, and never set it selfe to me­ditate upon these things, never put forth it selfe to trie if it can close with the promise that it knowes, never trie whether its faith will efficaciously worke upon the mercifull nature of Jesus Christ, though it knowes it, A soule may walk troubled long enough; (but this I have nothing to doe with here.) Christians, ah, you that feare the Lord in the dayes of your peace, be e­very day gaining more and more know­ledge of God in his wayes of mercy; be every day gaining more and more knowledge of God in his precious pro­mises; learne to know every hole of the rock, that so you may readily flie to it in an houre of straits, readily run to it in an houre of trouble. That your spirits may no sooner be troubled, but you shall (being so acquainted with the book of God) presently turne to a good word of promise that shall make it better, or presently fix your eye up­on Christ, and consider him in some sutable notion of love or other, from [Page 72] which your soules shall gather peace. This shall be your wisdome.

Br. 3 Lastly, you that are believers, have you heard, that there is peace laid up for the Saints against the dayes of trouble? Then learne (if ever you meet with trouble in the world) whether outward or inward: Not only to look after peace, and a quietment, and settling of your spirits againe, but look to draw your peace from the Lord Jesus Christ, in the day of trouble, to quiet your spi­rits in him, and to heale your spirits with something drawne from him, some word of his, some meditation con­cerning him, &c. Fetch out your peace and quietment, in all troubles, from the bosome of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let mee for this exhortation onely give you some few directions, and then I shall conclude with two or three motives. I know every child of God is listning after this, and appre­hends a great deale of sweetnesse in this, fully conceiving, that it would be a very sweet thing, if he could bring this about, that his soule should come out of every disturbance, Walking [Page 73] upon Christs hand, you cannot but say, this would be a sweet comming off, in­deed. Ah, but (will some say) how should this bee? what course should we take to worke this about? what would you advise a poore creature to doe, that it might come out of trou­bles on this fashion? To this I shall answer in a few directions, and that briefely.

Dir. 1 First, Let it be thy first work, when thou art overwhelmed with a rrouble (be it from what cause it will) to sit downe and think, what is now a bitter dispensation that doth not please mee. I am troubled at it, but let me think, is there nothing of God in this dispensa­tion? commeth this affliction out of the dust? see if thou canst see nothing of Gods power or soveraignty, wisdome or justice, providence, love and good­nesse, &c. I dare say there is scarce a­ny affliction befals thee, but if thou studiest it well, thou wilt see all of these; yea, more of God than these come to in it, thou wilt be brought at last to conclude, surely God was in this crosse, in this losse of a friend,, in this [Page 74] losse of estate, and I was not aware of it; surely it is the will of the Lord concerning me, and shall I not submit? God might doe what he hath done, he is my Lord and soveraigne, why then doth my spirit rise up in armes against him? this is the ordering of a wise Providence: If what I would have had had come to passe, then surely I could not have mended it, it would have been worse for me; surely here is love in this dispensation, for that God is all love that measured it out to mee. Thus by understanding, what of God there is in thy triall, thou wilt gaine a true peace. The truth is, it is the usuall course of men and women, holy men and women (as well as others) if a trouble come upon them, to sit downe, and conceit what of man there is in it, and say, This was such a ones malice to mee, now hee hath done me an ill turne, &c. whereas this (instead of bringing the soule off trouble in a san­ctified manner) doth nothing else but involve the soule in an inextricable Labyrinth of afflictions; and if ever it comes out, it is at the back-doore too.

Dir. 2 When thou hast considered, what there is of God in it, then mediate a little, what there is in God to mend it. Sit downe, and think with thy selfe, is ther not love enough of God remaining, to sweeten this soure potion, to make pleasant this bitter dispensation? will not Christ's dying for my sinnes, and washing me with his bloud, make me a­mends for Gods present bitter dealing with mee? is there not faithfulnesse in that God, who hath said, Hee will ne­ver leave, nor forsake his people? who hath said, joy shall come in the morning, and that light is sowne for the upright in heart. But thirdly,

Dir. 3 Sit downe and meditate in thy hour of trouble, what particular promises the Lord hath made out to his Saints under such troubles, that so thy soule may close with them, and thou mayest be still'd with a good word from God; some of you know what it is, so to bee still'd, to have a disturbed spirit quie­ted, by the seasonable comming in of a Gospell promise in an houre of straits: oh! how sweet is that peace say now to your selves, The Lord hath here [Page 76] brought an houre of trouble upon me, hath he no where made out a word of promise to suit my condition? I dare say it, there is no condition, no sad, dark condition, that a poore Christian can be in, (but somewhere or other) the Lord in his word hath suited the soule in that condition with a speciall pro­mise; find it out Christian, it is the bladder, that under the arme-holes of the soule, must keep the soule from sinking in the deep waters of afflictions. Peace made by Gods good words (you heard before) is a true peace, a peace of Jesus Christ's making in the soule.

Dir. 4 Sit downe in thy day of trouble, and weigh Gods mercies against his frowns, then thou shalt find, that the beame of thy soule will stand even, nay, it will leane to the scales, where his mercies are; sit down, and think with thy self, here's a bitter triall, a bitter affliction; but have I no mercies to countervaile them? The Lord hath taken away one of my children, but hath hee not left me my fruitfull vine yet? hee hath nipt off one of my olive branches, but hath he not left me many remaining [Page 77] about my table? he hath left mee my husband, my wife yet: It may be he hath taken away part of thy estate, but hath he not left thee food convenient for thee? If not, hath he not left thee an estate in Christs love yet? a sure e­state in Grace, and a richer reversion in glory? It may be hee hath hid his face from thee, for a moment, for a little moment; but hath he not given thee everlasting mercies? Think of this, Christian, and doe thus, and thou wilt find thy spirit will begin to bee rightly quieted.

Dir. 5 Study in the day of trouble, how far Christ hath overcome the world; the frownes of the world as well as any thing else; and is not his victory thine (Christian?) sit downe and think, well, here's a bitter crosse, a sad dis­pensation, but my Saviour hath pull'd out the sting of it, it comes not upon mee as a law demand. O crosse where's thy sting? O hell where's thy victory? this comes not upon mee as it would have come upon another, as it would have come upon a Reprobate, Is. 27. 7. Hath he smitten them, as hee smote [Page 78] those that smote them? the gall and vinegar is taken out of the cup; Christ had that when he hung upon the crosse for mee; this will helpe something to calme thy spirit, to think it is a fathers rod, not a sword of an enemy.

Dir. 6 Consider the dayes of old, thus I told you before David did, Psal. 119. 52. and the Psalmist, Psal. 77. sit downe and think how God hath dealt bitterly with thee, but did he never deale kind­ly with thee? hadst thou never the shinings of his countenance. Think how graciously God hath formerly dealt with thee; and see what that will doe towards thy peace.

Dir. 7 Let reason sleep, and set faith on work, I told you before, that in a day of trouble peace may bee brought to the spirit as a conclusion from reason. I cannot helpe it, and it is a foolish thing in me, to feare what I cannot avoid; I cannot alter this dispensation, why should it trouble me? &c. Let Tully or Cato work out their peace upon this account, let heathens (that know not faith's nature or objects) quiet them­selves upon such considerations, Chri­stian; [Page 79] In the day of trouble, if thou wouldst have peace let reason sleep, and let faith act upon the promises, and pro­vidence, and nature of God.

Dir. 8 Lastly, Pray unto God to settle thy soule, to send thee his peace, and wait upon God in his ordinances. The way of peace is in the Sanctuary; True Peace is some of the water of life, that must be drawn by the bucket of faith, out of the wells of salvation. I shall adde no more by way of direction: But now lest Christians should think this of flight concernment, and that if they can get their spirits quiet, it is no matter what quiets them, Christian, know there is a great difference be­twixt Peace and Peace, betwixt the world's Peace and Christ's Peace, be­twixt adulterate and true borne Peace. I will not stand at large to set them to­gether (though they would best ap­peare so) but in short saith Musculus; the worlds peace is, Fusa, instabilis, nu­dis verb is ad perditionem, a large peace (upon no good grounds) an instable peace (upon no good bottome) a meer verball Peace, and that which will [Page 80] end in everlasting trouble. But on the contrary, consider by way of motive, that the Peace which I have been describing to you, which is laid up in Christ for the Saint, and may be drawn from Christ by the Saint in a day of trouble is,

1. A true Peace, the other is no Peace, a meere truce Peace, made with the spirit for a while, till some new breakings forth; a flattred shadowy Peace, a conceited imaginary Peace: Peace in a Picture, where is onely the resemblance, not the substance. This is a true Peace, Peace indeed to the soule.

2. This Peace is a sweet Peace, a Rose without Prickles, a Potion with­out Gall, a sweetned Cup without any rubbings of Wormewood; Hezekiah complained, that in his Peace hee had great bitternesse. It is true (though in another sense) concerning all the world's Peace, and all morall Peace, but Prov. 10. 22. The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and addes no sorrow there­with: This is Peace with the Lord's [Page 81] blessing, the other is, but at the best, the Peace of a warme Sun; there will be no sorrow added with this Peace, with all other Peace sorrow will be added.

3. This Peace is a lasting Peace, all other Peace will fade and die. Na­ture in time may bee out of breath, of course, that it can sigh, and groane, and weep no more: But let it get but breath againe, and that Peace will be distur­bed. Reason may tame Passion a while, but let but Passion at any time get the upper hand in Reason's sleeping time, or let it but get any Reason of its side, and that Peace will be broken. Ah, but let the soule be quieted by Gospell-courses; let it but draw forth its Peace out of the bosome of Christ, and as the founda­tion lasts, so shall the structure of Peace that is builded in the soule, last too. I can adde no more, the Lord give his blessing to what hath been spoken, and send your troubled soules his Peace.


An exact Alphabeticall table of the severall things contei­ned in the preceding Ser­mons, Cant. 8. 5.

The first figure denotes the part, the second the page.

  • ADam's sin how it defiles all. 1 p. p. 25
  • Afflictions a wildernesse, why p. 3. p. 9. how the soule in that wildernesse leanes upon Christ, and comes out of it leaning. p. 3. p. 52, 53
  • Anabaptist's errors concerning originall sinne. p. 1. p. 32.
  • Appletree, what 1 p. p. 16, 17. Christ the Appletree Ib. p. 47. his Apples must bee tasted, and being tasted are sweet, cordiall, nu­tritive, diffusive. 1 p. p. 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53
  • The Application of our purchased redemption how it is. p. 2. p. 40. 41
  • [Page]The Ascention of Christ hath a fourefold influ­ence upon our raising. p. 2. p. 37, 38, 39
  • THe Beloved of believers, a new one, but one, Christ hee. p. 3. p. 31, 32, 33
  • Believers title and interest in Christ, how and what. p. 3. p. 28, 29, 30.
  • Birth, Noble, or Religious, neither will doe us good. p. 1. p. 37
  • Religious Birth most noble, yet not to bee rested in. p. 1. p. 38. 39
  • CAlling effectuall, what it is God doth in it, 3 things. p. 2. p. 41, 42
  • Christ, how hee was free from originall sinne. p. 1. p. 27. hee hath not taken away originall sinne out of our nature, hee payes no debts by halves, hee doth nothing to so little purpose. p. 1. p. 33. how sweet hee is to the Believer. Ib. p. 48. how hee is cordiall to them. Ib. p. 50. how nu­tritive. bI. p▪ 53. how diffusive. Ib. p. 54. hee raiseth his elect from under the appletree. p. 2. p. 4. hee was designed for that worke. p. 2. p. 5, 6. the Covenant of Grace for us was made between his father and him. Ib. p. 6. [Page] he alone could goe through the work of our Re­demption. ib. p. 8, 9. Reasons for it. ib. He hath redeemed us. p. 2. p. 16, 17. He from eternity gave his Word for us. ib. He hath raised some, and will raise all his Elect actually and formally. p. 2. p. 17, 18. his and his Fathers power are jointly engaged for Saints salvation. p. 2. p. 18, 19. How hee hath raised, and will yet further raise his Elect. ib. p. 20, 21, 22. 1. By his voluntary ingaging his Word, and entring into an everla­sting covenant with his Father for them. p. 2. p. 20, 21. 2. By assuming their flesh. ibidem. p. 26. How hee assumed it. ibidem. 3. By his Passion. How. p. 2. p. 31, 32. Why that was necessary. ib. 4. By his Resurrection, how and why. p. 2. p. 33, 34, 35. 4. By his Ascen­sion. What influence that hath upon our raising. p. 2. p. 37, 38, 39. Christ gives his Saints new principles of grace, and power to act those prin­ciples. p. 2. p. 43, 44. He will in his own time raise up the soule to a sight of its salvation, how. p. 2. p. 44. He will at last perfectly raise it by glorifying it. ib. He is moved by his own grace, and aimes onely at his own glory. p. 2. 46, 47. He hath in­finitely loved us. p. 2. p. 53. He is a compleat Saviour. p. 2. p. 55. He is highly needfull to e­very poor soule. p. 2. p. 55, 56. He is the greatest Physician, yet he hath but little practice. ib. p. 62. yet his Fee for soule-Physick is nothing. ib. [Page] p. 64. He keeps open shop. ib. p. 62, 63, 64. He is highly to be valued by Saints. p. 2. p. 74. He is an high patterne of Self-denyall to Beleevers. p. 2. 74, 75. What his severall Acts of grace, in order to our redemption should teach us. p. 2. p. 75, 76, 77, 78. He deserves Saints cleaving to him in saddest straights. p. 2. p. 82, 83.
  • Covenant of God with Christ for us, That of Works was made between God and man personally, that of Grace between God and Christ personally, and God and man representatively. p. 2. p. 6. How the Covenants of Grace and Works differ, that of Grace how more favorable than the o­ther. p. 2. p. 28.
  • Consolation for Saints, in respect of them­selves and of their friends yet in the state of Na­ture. p. 1. p. 80, 81. against severall complaints relating to themselves, and concerning others. p. 2. p. 79, 80, 81, 82, 83.
  • DEsertion, a Wildernes state: why. p. 3. p. 11.
  • How in that wildernesse the soule leanes and comes out leaning on Christ. p. 3. p. 55, 56.
  • The Designe of Heaven for mans salvation. p. 2. p. 5, 6, 7.
  • Diabolicall perswasion sinfull presumption. p. 1. p. 66, 67.
  • Diffusivenesse of grace. p. 1. p. 55.
  • [Page]ELect, v. pl. Saints, Beleevers.
  • How raised by Christs severall acts of Grace in order to the purchase of our Redemption. p. 2. p. 24, 25, 26, 27. They were to fulfill the Law two wayes; How Christ did it for them. p. 2. p. 29, 30. They naturally want three things in order to their restauration, viz. life, strength, light, p. 2. p. 40, 41. They are highly in Christs debt. p. 2. p. 56, 57. They are call'd unto for thankfulnesse for their redemption, and perswa­ded to it by Motives. p. 2. p. 68, 69, 70. How they are beloved before calling. p. 3. p. 35. How in their wildernes of contrition they lean upon Christ, and come out of it leaning. p. 3. p. 45.
  • Errors concerning Originall sin discovered and confuted. p. 1. p. 31, 32.
  • Experiences of Saints prove that sorrow for sin goeth before comfort. p. 3. p. 63.
  • FAith is the only hand can pluck fruit of the Ap­pletree Christ. p. 1. p. 56, 57. it must be 1 True, 2 Perfect, 3 lively. Its life will appear, Inter­nally, and Externally. p. 1. p. 58, 59, 60. How it is the gift of God. p. 1. p. 68, 69. How it is grounded on a divine perswasion. p. 1. p. 68, 69. What Faith is. p. 3. p. 25.
  • Freenesse and Fulnesse of mercy in Christ, how, [Page] supporting to the soule that is broken with the sense of sin. p. 3. p. 47, 48, 49.
  • GOd well pleased with Christ as our surety. p. 2. p. 24, 25.
  • Grace tasted, how sweet, cordiall, nutritive, and diffusive. p. 1. p. 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54.
  • How Grace supports the soul broken with the sense of its sins. p. 3. p. 46, 47.
  • By Gods Generall Grace the soule may avoid grosse sins. p. 3. p. 14. and by Gods exciting grace it may doe many actions that are praevious to Faith and Repentance. p. 3. p. 14, 15.
  • HOpe for those yet in the state of Nature. p. 1. p. 81, 82.
  • Humiliation whether before Faith or no, and how. p. 3. p. 16, 17. it is. p. 64, 65, 66.
  • Humiliation for Saints, from the considerations of the great work of our Redemption by Christ. p. 2. p. 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52.
  • Humility becomes Saints that were borne children of wrath by Nature, as well as others. p. 1. p. 77, 78.
  • INcarnation of Christ, how it conduceth to our Raising. p. 2. p. 25, 26. in what respects it was necessary as to that work. p. 2. p. 26, 27, 28.
  • [Page]Justice of God in charging our debts upon Christ, cleared from his voluntary ingagement for us. p. 2. p. 21, 22.
  • Justification of a sinner what it is. God doth in it three things, by Calling, and that the dead soul gets life. p. 2. p. 42, 43.
  • LEaning implyes foure things, 1 Wearinesse, 2 Willingnesse, 3 Love, 4 Confidence. p. 3. p. 20, 21, 22. 23. Christ only leaned upon by Saints. p 3 p. 25.
  • MAnichees errors concerning Original sin. p. 1. p. 31.
  • Most Men and Women in a dreadfull condition. p. 1. p. 34, 35. yet they are not so sensible of soule diseases as of bodily. p. 2. p. 63.
  • Mercies of Christ in their fulnesse and freenesse, how they support the soule in a broken conditi­tion. p. 3 p. 46, 47, 48.
  • Morall perswasions nothing to faith. p. 1. p. 64.
  • Mortality a Wildernesse state to Saints. p. 3. p. 12.
  • Mothers convey Nature, nothing saving. p. 1. p. 43.
  • Motives to perswade Saints to bee thankfull for their Redemption. p. 2. p. 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73,
  • Mourners for sin exhorted by severall Arguments to lean upon Christ. p. 3. p. 99, 100, 101.
  • [Page]NAture whether corrupt or refined will not carry any to heaven. p. 1. p. 44.
  • Naturall Righteousnes, Negative, or Positive, will not. p. 1. p. 44, 45, 46.
  • Nature may beget a perswasion in us. p. 1. p. 62. Natures perswasion and faith is sickly. p. 1. p. 63, 64.
  • Naturall men perswaded to look for a part in Christ. p. 2. p. 61, 62.
  • ORiginall sin how dangerous, how it defiles all. p. 1. p. 25, 26.
  • PArentage, whether Noble or Religious not to be gloried, nor rested in, wee may bee damned notwithstanding it. p. 1. p. 36, 37, 38, 39.
  • Pardon of sinnes in severall senses. p. 1. p. 42. How it is from eternity, how in time. ib.
  • Papists error about Free-will. p. 3. p. 73, 74.
  • Passion of Christ how necessary, why. p. 2. p. 31.
  • Pelagians errors about Originall sinne. p. 1. p. 27, 28. about Free-will. p. 3. p. 71, 72.
  • Perswasions, various; naturall, morall, traditio­nall, diabolicall; what all these are. p. 1. p. 62, 63. 64, 65. all differ from the perswasion of faith. p. 1. p. 62, 63, &c.
  • [Page]Preaching of the Law ought to be. God hath ho­nourd that way of preaching. p. 3. p. 61, 62.
  • Promises, how they support the soule broken for sin. p. 3. p. 49, 50, 51.
  • Propagation of originall sin how it is. p. 1. p. 25, 26, 27.
  • Whether the soule hath any Propriety in its acti­on of comming to Christ. p. 3. p. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
  • A Question answerd, viz. Whether the soule doth any thing, and what it doth or can do towards its conversion. p. 3. p. 14, 15, 16, 17. 18. The question determined by Dr. Davenant. ibid.
  • RAised, what it meanes. p. 2. p. 2, 3. How the elect are raised. p. 2. p. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, &c. those that are raised, are raised by Christs meanes, and in Christs method. p. 2. 58, 59.
  • To accomplish our Redeemer 4 things necessary, all found in Christ only. p. 2. p. 12, 13, 14.
  • Redemption of sinners, not a work beyond Christs strength. p. 2. p. 7. but beyond all strength but his. p. 2. p. 8, 9, 10. Reasons for it. ibid.
  • Repentance and holinesse needfull to the Elect. p. 1. p. 41, 42. How far it may be without sa­ving grace. p. 3. p. 38, 39, 40. In what sense [Page] it is saving or not. p. 3. p. 40, 41. How it ought to be preach'd. p. 3. p. 42.
  • Reproofs for severall sorts of people. p. 3. à p. 58. ad p. 75. Especially for such as will not leane on Christ alone. p. 3. p. 74, 75, 76.
  • Resting in the soule that leanes. p. 3. p. 24.
  • Resurrection of Christ in what respects necessary to our raising. p. 2. p. 33, 34.
  • Righteousnesse morall and negative, not sufficient to salvation. p. 1. p. 45.
  • SAints by nature in a state of disunion to Christ. p. 1. p. 22, 23. Proved. ibid. How they are originally guilty. p. 1. p. 25, 26. They beget not Saints, why. p. 1. p. 28, 29. How highly they are engaged to thankfulnesse. p. 1. p. 71. They should pitty those in naturall conditions. p. 1. p. 74. 75. They should be humble conside­ring their naturall estate. p. 1. p. 77. Their weaknesse how helpt by Christ. p. 2. p. 43. All is done for their justification, they have onely to believe that all is finished. p. 2. p. 55. Saints calld upon for thankfullnesse for their Redemp­tion, by severall arguments suasory. p. 2. p. 68, 69, 70. They should value nothing equally with Christ. p. 2. p. 74. They should tie themselves to God by a perpetuall Covenant, and keep their words. p. 2. p. 76. They should assume the di­vine nature. p. 2. p. 76, 77. Die to sinne and a­rise [Page] to newnesse of life. p. 2. p. 77. and set their affections on heavenly things. p. 2. p. 78. Christ should be in them the hopes of glory. ibid. They may have dwellings in six wildernesses. p. 3. p. 5, 6, 7, &c. They are in an happy condi­tion p. 3. p. 87. 88, 89. Highly beloved of Christ. p. 3. p. 90, 91. They had need walke close with Christ. p. 3 p. 91, 92. Their estate is safe, and joyfull, and full. p. 3. p. 95, 96. In any wildernesse they are perswaded by seve­rall arguments to leane on Christ. p. 3 p. 99, 100, 101, 102, 103.
  • Self-deniall taught Saints from Christs example. p. 2. p. 74, 75.
  • Sinne is a wildernes condition. p. 3. p. 5, 6, 7.
  • Sinne-sick soules how they may speak with Christ their Physitian. p. 2. p 63.
  • Sinners reproved that dream of a portion in Christ, and yet are in the wildernesse of sin, and think not of coming out. p. 3. p. 59 60.
  • Song of Songs, why the Canticles are so called. p. 1. p. 1, 2.
  • Sorrow for sin, a wildernesse state, why. p. 3. p. 7, 8.
  • Every Soule hath infinite need of Christ. p. 2. p. 55, 56.
  • The Soule sanctified is not meerely passive, p. 3. p. 75.
  • Spouse of Christ who is, she hath had and may a­gaine [Page] have her dwelling in the wildernesse: in what wildernesses, what the tearm meanes, and how it is true. p. 3. p. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, &c, She comes up out of the wildernesse. p. 3. p. 12, 13, 14.
  • Strength enough in Christs arme to beare up the soule comming up out of every wildernesse. p. 3. p. 34, 35, 36.
  • Sufferings of Christ how they were conducible to our raising, and why necessary. p. 2. p. 31, 32.
  • Sweetnesse of Christ to the soule that tasts him. p. 1. p. 48.
  • TEmptations a Saints wildernesse, why. p. 3. p. 10. How the soule in them leanes and comes out of them leaning on Christ. p. 3. p. 54, 55.
  • Thankfulnesse how highly the duty of Saints. p. 1. p. 71, 72, 73. Motives to it. p. 2. p. 68, 69.
  • Traditionall faith nothing. p. 1. p. 64, 65.
  • Trial of our selvs whether we be in the state of na­ture or grace, how it may be made. p. 1. p. 43, 44. Notes of Triall whether we be raised or no. p. 2. p. 57, 58. Whether we be the Spouses of Christ, or no. p. 3. p. 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81.
  • [Page]VNbeleevers sad condition opened. p. 3. p. 83, 84. They are exhorted to look out for a part in Christ. p. 3. p. 93. 94, 95.
  • WEaknesse of the soule how helpt by Christ. p. 2. p. 43.
  • Wearinesse in the soule that will leane on Christ. p. 3. p. 27, 28.
  • Wellbeloved of the soule who. p. 3. p. 26.
  • Will of man, doth not first stir in the soule for God. p. 3. p. 71, 72.
  • Wildernesse what it meanes, what manner of place it is, opened in six particulars. p. 3. p. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 76, 77. Saints may dwell in a sixfold Wildernesse. p. 3. p. 5, 6, 7, 8. Wilder­nesse company what it is. p. 3. p. 78. How sad a condition it is to be in the wildernesse. p. 3. p. 84.
  • Willingnesse: how, and when in us. p. 3. p. 17, 18, 19. willingnes in the soul that comes to Christ, how. p. 3. p. 21.

An Index of the severall Con­tents of each Sermon in the follow­ing Treatise.

In the first Sermon and Part.
  • THe words considered, Relatively, Absolute­ly. p. 4, 5.
  • Severall senses of the words given by Expo­sitors, declared and rejected, with reasons for the rejection. p. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.
  • The true sense given (according to the Au­thors judgement) with his reasons for it. p. 16, 17, 18, 19.
  • The words analysed. 19, 20.
  • 3 Doctrines propounded to be insisted upon. 21.
  • 1. Doct. The best of Gods Saints by nature were borne in a lost condition. 22, 23.
  • The doctrine proved by Scripture. ibid. 24.
  • [Page]Adams sin how it goes over all, and how all are Originally defiled. ib. 25, 26.
  • How Christ came to be free of this guilt. 29.
  • Saints beget not Saints, why. 28, 29. St. Au­stines and Mr. Perkins his opinion. 28, 29.
  • Mr. Perkins his counsell to such as are inqui­sitive to know how Originall sin came to bee propagated. 29, 30.
  • 1. Use of the Doctrine, to discover the errors of Pelagians, Manichees, Anabaptists, and Universalists. 30, 31, 32.
  • Christ by his death hath not taken Originall sinne out of our nature. 32.
  • Christ payeth no debts by halves for any. 33.
  • Christ useth not to do things to no purpose. 33.
  • 2 Use for Instruction. 34.
  • 1. What a sad condition most men and women are in. 34.
  • It is a miracle if withered sinners be saved. 34.
  • 2. Whom we have cause to thank that wee are this day out of hell. 36.
  • Not our Noble Parentage: there is a great deale of bragging of that in the world to little purpose. 36, 37.
  • Vain-glorying will have an end in hell. 37, 38.
  • Religious Parentage best; most noble, most to be gloryed in, 38, 39. but not enough. 39. It was the Jewes brag. 39, 40.
  • Parents faith wants a way of conveyance to save our soules. 40.
  • [Page]This made plain by a familiar instance. 40.
  • 3. Br. From hence we may be instructed what a soule-cheating-Principle it is of Libertanisme to say we have no need of Repentance, &c. If we be elected we shall be saved, if not, damned. 41.
  • 3. Use. Let us try our selves whether wee bee not yet in a state of disunion to Christ. 4 [...], 43.
  • 4. Notes of Triall, 43, 44.
  • 1 Note. If none have done more for us than our Mother hath done, we are yet in the state of Nature. 43.
  • Mothers convey Nature. 43.
  • Nature is either corrupted or refined, neither enough. 45, 46.
  • 2. Note. If we have not tasted of the fruit of the Apple-tree we are yet but under it. 47.
  • Christ is the Apple-tree. ib.
  • 1. The Apple if tasted is sweet. 48.
  • Christ sweet to Saints. 48, 49.
  • High thoughts of Christ argue a spirituall tast of him. ib.
  • 2. The tasted Apple is cordiall. 50.
  • 1 In taste. 2. In smell. ib.
  • Christ how cordial to swooning Saints. ib. No Cordiall to unbeleevers. ib. 50, 51, 52.
  • 3. Tasted Apples are nutritive. 53.
  • Soules that have tasted Christ will from him draw nourishment. 54.
  • 4. The tasted Apple is diffusive of its vertue. 54, 55.
  • [Page]3. Note of Triall: If thou hast pluckt the fruit of the Apple-tree, thou hast a hand to do it. 56.
  • Faith is the hand. 57.
  • This hand must be, 1 True, 2 Perfect, 3 Live­ly. 58, 59.
  • Painted hands pluck no fruit. ib.
  • Faith, how perfect is necessary, 58, 59. Dead hands pluck nothing. 59, 60.
  • Faith is lively, Internally, Externally. 60.
  • It must be given us from above. 62.
  • Perswasions various, Natural, Moral, Traditio­nall, Diabolicall, &c. 63, 64, 65. All these good for nothing. ib.
  • Nature's Legacy of faith. 63. Natures faith is sickly. ib.
  • Morall perswasions nothing. 64.
  • Legacies of faith from Parents will not bring heaven and Christ. 65.
  • Most men believe there is a God and Christ, &c. because their Father taught them so, and their Mother so learnt them their Catechisme. 65.
  • This was the good womans Religion. 65.
  • Most believe as their Fathers believed. 65, 66.
  • True faith is the gift of God. 68. it is groun­ded upon divine perswasion. What that is, &c. 68, 69.
  • Use 4. Exhortation in severall Branches. 70, 71, 72, 73, 74.
  • [Page]1 Br. To perswade Saints to thankfull hearts, what cause they have. 71, 72.
  • 2 Br. Put on Bowells of mercy to other lost un­done soules. 73, 74.
  • We pitty bodies, but not souls. 74, 75, 76
  • 3 Br. The consideration of this Doctrine cals to Saints for humble hearts. 77, 78, 79.
  • Use 5. It may bee applyed to give us a ground, 1 of Consolation, 2 of Hope. 80, 81, 82.
  • Hope for those yet in the state of Nature. 81.
  • Hope for Saints, concerning their friends yet in the state of Nature. 82, 83.
An Index of the severall things contained in the second part.
  • 2 Doct. It is the Lord Jesus Christ that helps his redeemed ones out of their lost condition. 4.
  • The Doctrine inlarged in five particulars. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, &c.
  • 1. Christ was assigned to doe it. 5, 6, 7, 8, &c.
  • The Covenant of Grace was made betwixt the Father and Christ personally, and us repre­sentatively in him. 6.
  • God in laying our Redemption on Christs shoulders laid help on one that was mighty. 7, 8.
  • 2. Christ alone was able to goe through with the work of our Redemption. 8, 9. Reason for it. ib.
  • [Page]Angels, Creatures, man, could not do it. 9, 10.
  • Foure things necessary to accomplish our Re­demption, which alone could be found in Christ. page 12.
    • 1. One that could dye. 12.
    • 2. One that had the offending nature. 12.
    • 3. One that could merit by death. ib.
    • 4. One that could pay an infinite satisfacti­on. 13.
  • The Riddle of mans Redemption solved. 14.
  • 3. Christ hath done the work of our Redempti­on. 14, 15.
  • Christ hath raised all Intentionally, and Mo­ritoriously, whom his Father elected, some also Actually and formally, 16, 17.
  • 4. Christ will raise all his chosen ones actual­ly, and formally. 17, 18.
  • Pardon is to come out of course to all the E­lect. 18.
  • Christs and his Fathers power are united and joyntly engaged for his Elects salvation. 18, 19.
  • 5. Christ hath raised, and will raise his Elect; How he hath already, and will yet further do it. 20, 21. 22, 23.
  • 1. By entring into a Covenant and engaging his word for them. 20, 21, 22.
  • The justice of God in charging our debts on Christ cleared by his voluntary engagement for us. 21, 22.
  • [Page]How the Father is well pleased, and satisfied in Christ, as Mediator. 23, 24, 25.
  • Till Christ came, God the Father had nothing but Christs word for the paiment of our debts. 25.
  • 2. How Christ raised us by assuming our flesh. 26, 27.
  • That was necessary in order to our redempti­on, 1 That he might suffer, 2 That the same Na­ture might. suffer. 3 That righteousnesse might be fulfilled. 4 That he might fulfill the Law for us. 27, 28.
  • The Govenant of Grace and Works how they differ, how the latter is more favourable. 28. Christ was to be a mercifull high Priest. 30, 31.
  • 3. Christ raised his Saints by his suffering. How and why that was necessary. 31, 32.
    • 1. That he might satisfie. ib.
    • 2. That he might conquer for us. 32, 33.
  • 4. Christ raised us, by his resurrection. 33, 34, 35.
  • What influences Christs Resurrection had up­on our raising. 33, 34, 35.
    • 1. It witnesseth Christs Conquest for us. 33.
    • 2. It quickens us. 34.
    • 3. It is a pledge to us of our rising to glory. 35.
  • 5 Christ hath raised his Elect by his Ascension. 35, 36.
  • What influence that act of Christs had on our raising. 35, 36, 37.
    • [Page]1. In going before hee provides a place for us. 36.
    • 2. He is by that our Way to the Father. 36.
    • 3. Hee is by that our Advocate with the Fa­ther. 37, 38.
    • 4. In that ascending up on high, hee gave gifts to men. 38.
  • Elect ones Naturally want three things, 1 Life, 2 Strength, 3 Light. 40, 41.
  • 1. Christ first calls the soule effectually, in that work he usually, 1 Convinceth the soule of its misery, 2 Humbles it, 3 Gives it hope. This is the first meanes of Application of the purchased Redemption to the soule. 41, 42.
  • 2. He justifies the soule. What that is. Three things God doth in justification.
    • 1. He pardons the soules sins.
    • 2. He imputes Christs Righteousnesse unto it.
    • 3. He accepts it. 42, 43.
  • By these two acts the soule hath life given it. ib.
  • Weaknesse of the soule how helped by Christ. 43.
    • 1. Christ gives the soule new principles of Grace. ib.
    • 2. He gives the soule power to act those Prin­ciples. ib.
    • 3. How Christ will in his owne time raise up the soules of his Saints to a sight of their salva­tion. 44.
    • [Page]4. Christ will at last fully raise them up, by taking them to glory. 44.
  • Why Christ undertook the work of our Re­demption. 46, 47.
  • The moving cause was his own grace. The finall cause his owne glory. 46, 47.
  • The Application of the Doctrine variously. à 47. ad 83.
  • 1. Use For Humiliation. 47, 48.
  • For our sins; and that from hence upon a double ground.
    • 1. To consider that our sins put Christ to death. 48, 49.
    • 2. That by any renewing sinnes we should a­gaine crucifie the Lord of life. 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52.
  • 2. Use For Instruction, in foure Bran­ches.
    • 1. Br. How much hath Christ loved us? 53.
    • 2. Br. Christ is a compleat Saviour, he hath left us nothing to doe, but to beleeve all is done. 55.
    • 3. Br. Christ is highly needfull to every poore soule. 55, 56.
    • 4. Br. All the Elect and Redeemed ones are highly indebted to Christ. 56, 57.
  • 3 Use For Triall, whether wee bee yet raised or no. 57. 58.
  • 2 Notes of Triall. ib.
    • [Page]1. N. If we be raised it is by Christs act. 57, 58.
    • 2. N. It is in Christs Method of Application. 59. What that is. ibid.
  • 4. Use. Of Exhortation.
  • 1. To Naturall men. 2. To Saints. 61, 62, 63, &c.
  • 1. Let poore undone creatures look for a por­tion in Christ. 61, 62, 63.
  • Men are not, so sensible of soule-diseases as of bodily sicknesses. 62.
  • 4. Directions for such poor creatures. 62, 63, 64.
    • 1. How they may speak with Christ. ib.
    • 2. What his Fee is. ibid. The condition is, Bring nothing. ib.
    • 3. How they must use his Balme. 64.
    • 4. VVhat rules of Dyet must be observed af­ter taking it. 66.
  • The second part of the Exhortation turn'd to Beleevers. 67.
  • Saints exhorted to thank fulnesse. 67, 68.
  • From the consideration,
    • 1. Of the person of their Redeemer, in three particulars. 68, 69.
    • 2. Of the act and manner of their Redemp­tion, in three things. 69, 70.
    • 3. Of the Object of this act opened in five particulars. 71, 72, 73.
    • [Page]He hath done it, that was
      • 1. Infinitely above thee.
      • 2. In no need of thee.
      • 3. The offended Creator.
    • He raised thee
      • 1. Out of a low condition.
      • 2. To a glorious condition.
      • 3. By his own falling.
    • He raised Thee
      • 1. Not others
        • Angels.
        • Great persons.
      • 2. That wert as low as others.
    • Thee.
      • 3. That wert his enemy.
      • 4. That never ask'd it be­fore it was done.
      • 5. That hast still rebellion in thee. p. 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73.
  • Particular exhortations to believers to the performance of severall duties. All which are inforced from Christs severall acts of grace in raising us. 74, 75 76, 77, 78, &c.
    • 1. Value nothing in an equall ballance with Christ. 74.
    • 2. Vow your selves to God, and keep your vowes. 76.
    • 3. Beleevers, as Christ hath taken upon him their nature, should likewise strive to be made partakers of his Nature. 76.
    • [Page]4. From Christs death they should learne to die to sin. 77.
    • 5. From Christs resurrection they should learn to rise to newnesse of life. 77, 78.
    • 6. From Christs ascension, Beleevers should learne to ascend, by setting their affections on hea­venly things. 78.
    • 7. Let Christ be in you the hopes of glory, ibid.
  • 5. Vse. This doctrine affords consolation for believers.
    • 1. Against their outward poverty. 79.
    • 2. Against their feares because of their many and great sins. 80.
    • 3. Against their daily back slidings. ib.
    • 4. Against their present sadnes. ib.
    • 5. Against their feares of falling away. 80, 81.
  • Belevers from hence may be comforted with hope.
    • 1. Concerning such of their frends as are no [...] yet raised. 81.
    • 2. Concerning such as are full of terror and sadnes. 81. 82.
  • A Branch of instruction added that was for­gotten in its order. viz.
  • How much Christ deserves our cleaving [...] him in saddest conditions. 82, 83.
An Index of, the severall contents of the third part.
  • [Page]Doct. 3.
  • The Spouse of Christ (being raised by him) commeth out of every wildernesse, leaning upon her beloved. p. 2.
  • The Doctrine divided into four branches. ib.
  • 1. Br. of the Doctrine.
  • Christs Spouse hath had and may againe have her dwelling in the wildernesse. 3.
  • The wildernesse is 1. Untilled. 2. A losing place. 3. A dangerous place. 4. A solitary place. 5. A disconsolate place. 6. A place void of all provisions. 3, 4.
  • Saints have had and may have their dwelling in a sixfold wildernesse.
    • 1. Of sin, why that is call'd so. 6.
    • 2. Of sorrow for sin. 7, 8.
    • 3. Of bodily afflictions, this is a wildernesse-state, why. 9.
    • 4. Of temptations. 10, 11.
    • 5. Of divine desertions. 11.
    • 6. Of mortality. 12.
  • 2. Br. of the Doctrine. viz.
  • The Spouse of Christ comes out of the wilder­nesse. 12, 13, 14, 15, &c.
  • The question answerd, whether the soule [Page] doth any thing, and what it doth or can do to­wards its conversation. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
  • The soule by Gods generall grace denied to none, may avoid grosse sinnes. 2. By Gods ex­citing grace it may performe many praevious a­ctions. 14, 15.
  • It cannot move one foot to a spirituall action spiritually. 18.
  • When the Lord changeth the soule then it commeth. 18.
  • 3. Br. of the Doctrine.
  • The soule in comming up out of the wildernesse, comes not in its own strength but leaning. 20.
  • Leaning implies four things. ib.
    • 1. Wearinesse. 21, 22.
    • 2. Willingnesse. 23.
    • 3. Love. 23.
    • 4. Resting. 24.
  • A description of faith. 25.
  • The fourth Br. of the Doctrine. viz.
  • The Spouse of Christ comming up out of e­very wildernesse, will leane upon her wellbeloved, and him only. 25, 26, 27.
  • The Spouse. 1. Leanes upon one whom she loves. 26.
  • 2. Vpon her wellbeloved, one that she is mar­ried to. 27.
  • Christs neare relation to saints and theirs to [Page] him, by. 1. The Fathers, and their owne gift. 2. By Bargaine. 3. By purchase and desert. 4. By right of possession. 28, 29, 30.
  • 3. The soule leanes upon her Beloved, not ano­thers. 31.
  • 4. It leanes upon him, that is, not those that were her Beloveds.
  • What strength there is in Christs shoulders to beare up the soule comming out of every wilder­nesse. 34 &c.
  • How the elect are beholden to Christ before effectuall Vocation. 36.
  • 1. For his preventing and restraining grace. 37. 2. For his exciting grace. ib.
  • Some Repentance may be without saving grace. 40, 41.
  • Repentance in what sense call'd saving. 40, 41. how it ought to be preach'd. 42.
  • How in the wildernesse of sorrow the soule leanes upon Christ, and comes out leaning. 44, 45.
  • Gods supporting grace how it staies up the soule at such a time. 46.
  • How the fulnesse and freenesse of Christ's mercy supports the soule broken with the sense of sin. 46, 47, 48.
  • How Christ's promises support the soule bro­ken with sorrow for sin. 49, 50.
  • How Christ speakes to the soule in such a [Page] condition, 1. By his ministers, 2. By his spirit. 50, 51.
  • How the soule leanes upon Christ in the wil­dernesse of affliction, and comes out of it leaning. 52, 53.
  • What Acts of faith the beleeving soule puts out in affliction. ib.
  • How the beleever leanes upon Christ in temptations, and comes out of them leaning. 54, 55.
  • How in desertions the gracious soule leanes upon Christ, and comes out of them leaning p. 55, 56.
  • The application of the Doctrine. à p. 58. ad p. 104.
  • 1. Vse Reproofe,
    • First, To such as think to get to heaven, and are not com out of the wildernesse of sinne. 58, 59, 60, &c.
    • Secondly, Those are reproved that preach down sorrow for sin as a precedent worke. 61, 62.
  • The Law ought to be preach'd. 60.
  • God hath most honoured such preachers. 61, 62.
  • Experiences of Saints prove that sorrow for sin goeth before comfort. 63.
  • Mr. Rutherfords opinion of precedent Humi­liation. 65.
  • God is not to be limited, he can save without [Page] it, but he rarely doth. 67, 68.
  • Thirdly, Those are reproved that are in wilder­nesses, and yet will not leane. 69.
  • Fourthly, And those That would make mans will the author of his first motion to God. 71.
  • Pelagians and Arminians errors about free­will. 72, 73.
  • Fifthly, Those are reproved That deny any motion of the sanctified will. 74, 75.
  • Sixthly, Those are reproved That will not leane upon Christ alone. 1. Such as would have Christ and their sinnes too. p. 75. 2. Or Christ and their merits. Or 3. Christ and their duties. 73, 74, 75.
  • 2. Vse of Examination and triall whether we be the spouses of Christ or no. 75.
  • 1. Examine whether thou beest come out of the wildernesse of sin or no. ib.
  • Three notes to know that by. 76, 77, 78.
  • 1. The wildernesse is an untilled place. 76.
  • 2. It is a barren place. 77.
  • 2. Those that are in the wildernesse keep wil­dernesse company. 78.
  • 2. Examine whether ever thou wert in the wil­dernesse of contrition of no. 78.
  • 3. Examine what other wildernesses thou hast met with. 80.
  • 4. How dost thou carry thy selfe in the wilder­nesse? 81.
  • [Page]5. How hast thou used to come out of the wil­dernesse? 81.
  • 6. How hast thou carried thy selfe since thuo camest out? 82.
  • 3. Vse, for information.
  • 1. Br. What a sad condition all beleevers are in. 83, 84.
  • 1. They are in a wildernesse. ib.
  • 2. They have no way to get out. 85.
  • 2. Br. What an happy condition Gods people are in. 87, 88, 89.
    • 1. They are out of the wildernesse of sinne. ibid.
    • 2. In every wildernesse they have one to leane upon. 88.
    • 3. Br. How great is the love of God to us that he would look us up in the wildernesse, and let us leane upon himself. 90, 91.
    • 4. Br. What need we have to walk close with Christ. 91, 92.
  • 4. Vse, for exhortation.
    • 1, Br. To unbeleevers to come out of their wildernesse of sinne to Christ. 93, 94, 95, &c.
    • 2. Motives to perswade them. ib.
  • 1. The danger of their present state. 94, 95.
    • 1. It is a dangerous condition.
    • 2. It is a joylesse condition.
    • 3. It is a starving condition. 94, 95.
  • [Page]2. Motive, The happinesse of the beleevers state. 95, 96, &c.
    • 1. It is a safe condition. 95.
    • 2. It is a joyfull condition. 95, 96.
    • 3. In that estate and that onely there is pro­vision for the soule. 97. 98.
  • 2. Br. To exhort those that are in any other wildernesse to come out of it, leaning upon Christ. 99, 100, &c.
    • 1. Consider thou art how in a capacity of be­leeving. 99.
    • 2. Thou hast ground enough to build thy faith upon, there is, 1. power enough, 2. love enough, in Christ to save thee. 100, 101.
    • 3. Thou canst not dishonor Christ more than not to beleeve in him. 101, 102.
  • Christ will take beleeving kindly at our hands. p. 103.
Courteous Reader,

THe Author upon a slight perusall of these sheets, findes that the Printer hath bin so courteous to him in his absence, that for the escapes of the Presse, they are either literall, which thou maist easily see and correct, or some few, so grosse, that thou wilt easily discerne the mistakes; he hath therefore rather chose to put himselfe upon thy charity, then put thee or himselfe to the trouble of a table of Errata's, which is usually made with trouble, and seldome used when it is done.

A short Table of the severall things contained in the two last Sermons.
  • THE Psalme analysed, and the words of the Text opened. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
  • 5. Doctrines noted out of the words. 13, 14.
  • The fifth Doctrine handled, viz. ‘That soule that would have the Lord Je­sus Christ desire its beauty, must forget its owne people, and its Fathers house, and whosoever doth that shall be beautifull.’ 14, 15, 16, &c.
  • The Method of handling the Doctrine pro­pounded. 15.
  • What is meant by our Fathers house. 15. What of our Fathers house must be forgotten, o­pened in five particulars.
  • 1. The manners of our Fathers house, viz. our sins. 16.
  • 5. Sorts of sins chiefely hinted in that expres­sion. 16, 17, 18, 19.
    • [Page]Sinnes
      • 1 Originall. 16.
      • 2 Of Education. 17.
      • 3 Of Company & Conversation. 18
      • 4 Of Custome. 18, 19.
      • 5 That are our beloved sins. 19.
  • 2. The Company of our Fathers house. 19, 20.
  • That is two-fold. ib.
  • 1. Our dearest Relations. 19, 20.
  • How they must, and must not be forgotten. 20. Not 1 in honour, 2 nor affection, nor 3 providen­tiall care: but.
    • 1. If God & they draw severall wayes. 20, 21.
    • 2. If their love becl [...]e [...] us out of the way, when God calls us. 21.
  • 2. Sinfull Company is the company of our Fathers house. 23.
  • 3. The soule must forget the honour and pomp, and riches, and greatnesse of its Fathers house. 24, 25, 26.
  • How that must be. ibid.
  • 4. The soule must forget the pleasures and va­nities of its Fathers house. 27.
  • That explained. 28, 29.
  • 5. The soule must forget the Righteousnesse of its Fathers House. 30, 31.
  • VVhat that is. ib.
  • Civility is but a smooth way to hell, it is worth nothing, no more is f [...]lity in duties▪ [...]
  • 2. Br. Of Explic.
  • [Page]How these things must be forgotten. 32, 33, 34, 45. &c.
    • 1. Sin and sinfull Company must be forgotten absolutely. 32, 33.
    • 2. The rest must bee forgotten secundùm quid. 33.
    • 3. They must be forgotten Conditionally. 33. that explained. 34.
    • 4. Comparatively they must be forgotten. 35.
    • 5. In effect they must be forgotten. 35, 36.
  • 3 Br. of the Explication, viz. How that soule shall be beautifull that thus forgets its Fa­thers house. 36, 37, 38.
    • That shewed
      • Negatively,
      • Positively. 36, 37.
    • Negatively, not
      • with
        • A corporal beuty. 36.
        • A natural beauty. 37.
      • in
        • its owne eyes,
        • a creatures eye. 37.
    • Positively it shall be beautifull,
      • 1. By Imputation. 37.
      • 2. By Christs Accepta­tion. 38.
      • 3. In Saints eys. 38, 39.
  • 4. Branch of the Explication, viz. what is meant by that phrase, The King shall desire▪ thy Beauty. 39, 40.
  • [Page]Opened Generally. 39.
  • 2. Particularly. Six things implyed in it. 40, 41, 42, 43.
    • 1. Christ shall see an excellency in such a soule▪ 40.
    • 2. He shall love such a soule. ib.
    • 3. He shall in his heart preferre such a soule. 40, 41.
    • 4. He will endeavour and effect an union with such a soule. 42.
    • 5. He will covet a neare Communion with such a soule. 4.
    • 6. He will love such a soul with a constant and inseparable love. 43.
  • 5. Reasons of the Doctrine. 44, 45, 46.
  • Because, 1. It is the very law of marriage. 44.
  • 2. While the soule lives in its Fathers house it cannot be beautifull. 44.
  • 3. Till the soule part with these it cannot cleave to Christ. 45.
  • 4. Because God is a jealous God. 46.
  • 5. Because it is the will of Christ, to whom a [...] an Husband the united soule must bee obedient▪ 46▪
  • The Application of the Doctrine, à 47▪ ad 89.
  • 1. For Instruction in severall Branches.
  • Br. 1. That the most part of the world [...] those which the world esteems of are uncomely [Page] indesireable creatures in Christs eye. 47, 48, 49, 50.
  • Br. 2. Which may the way to heaven lyes, and that it is a straight way. 51, 52, 53, 54.
  • Br. 3. That something more than Nature must make a soule beautifull in Christs eyes. 54.
  • Br. 4. With what an infinite love hath Christ loved his Saints. 54, 55, 56.
  • Br. 5. What happy creatures are poore self-de­nying Saints. 56, 57, 58.
  • 2. Use, For Examination: Whether we have forgotten our fathers house, and our beauty be de­sireable in Christs eyes or no. 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, &c.
    • 1. You have seen a great deale of folly in your Fathers house. 60.
    • 2. You have had another excellency discovered to you. 60, 61.
    • 3. Your parting hath not been without some teares. 61, 62.
    • 4. You have some combatings of spirit with your fleshly inclinations to go home againe: 62, 63.
    • 5. Christ is your sole delight, and all Christ is your delight. 63, 64.
    • 6. Doe you abide and dwell with Christ. 64.
  • 3 Use. For Consolation.
    • 1. Against all the uncomelinesse Saints appre­hend in themselves. 65.
    • 2. Against all the dirt the world casts upon Saints. 65, 66.
    • [Page]3. Against the worlds low esteem of them, 66.
  • Severall Objections of misdoubtings Christi­ans answered. 67, 68, 69, 70, 71.
  • 1 Ob. I am ready to yeeld to temptations, and fall into sinne, I feare I have not forgot the man­ners of my Fathers house.
  • An. Notwithstanding thy falling into sinne sometimes, yet thou maist have forgot it: try therefore,
    • 1. Which way stands thy Affection. 68.
    • 2. Doe you not chide your selves back. 69.
    • 3. How long doe you stay at home. 69.
  • 2. Ob. I have not forgotten my Fatheas house, I am often in vaine company, yea and I love them: my heart is too much glued to my Re­lations.
  • Answ. 1. Are they thy invited guests, or intru­ders? 71.
  • 2. Art thou a companion of them in sin, or only in civill actions. 71.
  • 3. Dost thou love them with a meer naturall love, or more? 71.
  • 4. Could thy Relations hinder thee from Christ, or thy love hinder thee from discharging thy duty to them faithfully. 72, 73.
  • 3. Ob. I am not low enough for Christ, I am rich and noble, &c.
  • Answ. 1. This is a melancholy fancy: fat folk [Page] may get in at the straight gate with crowding. 74.
  • 2. Dost thou not affect and delight, and hunt af­ter worldly pompe and glory. 74.
  • 3. Dost thou look upon thy title of the servant of Christ as the highest title of honour. 74.
  • 4. Is thy outward greatnesse no snare to thee in the waies of Christ; if none of these it cannot hinder thee. 74, 75,
  • 4. Obj. Ah! But I am so much addicted to vaine pleasures, &c.
    • 1. Answ. Dost thou love thy pleasures more then God? 76.
    • 2. Wilt thou baulk an opportunity of commu­nion with Christ or his saints, to enjoy a vaine plea­sure. 76.
    • 3. Dost thou affect pleasures that cannot con­sist with holinesse, as adultery, &c. 77.
  • If none of these, thou mayest enjoy them and yet be beautifull in Christs eyes. ib.
  • Vse 4. For exhortation.
  • 1. To those who have not forgotten their fa­thers house. 77 78, 79, 80, 81.
  • They are exhorted to forget it. 78.
  • The exhortation urged by 6 motives. 79, 80, 81, 82, 83. Consider,
    • 1. How will you live when your fathers house failes. 79.
    • 2. The great joyes of a married life to Christ. 79, 80, 81.
    • [Page]3. There is nothing in our fathers house but is more eminently in Christ. 81, 8 [...].
    • 4. Christ left his fathers house for us. 82.
    • 5. It is the way to be beautifull. 83.
    • 6. It shall make you desirably beautifull to the King. 84.
  • 4. Directions for such people to help them in that hard work. 84, 85, 86.
    • 1. With a serious eye look upon your fathers house, and see what in it can be desirable. 84, 85.
    • 2. While you enjoy the things of the world let not your hearts out to them. 85, 86.
    • 3. Learn to live from home betimes. 86, 87.
    • 4. Cry to God to part you. 86.
  • 2. Br. Of the exhortation to Saints.
  • They are exhorted more and more to forget their fathers house. 87.
  • Three directions propounded. 87.
    • 1. Direct. Study the vanity of the Creature more. 87.
    • 2. Direct. Converse little with your Fathers house. 87.
    • 3. Direct. Be more acquainted with Jesus Christ. 87.
  • One motive urged. 88.
  • Viz. Because the King hath desired your beauty. 89.
In the second Sermon upon that Text, John, 16. 33.
  • [Page]The Chapter and text analysed and opened. p. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • 5. Doctrines noted out of the words. 5.
  • The doctrine insisted upon, propounded, viz.
  • That though in the world the true disciples of Christ must look for trouble, yet Jesus Christ hath taken such order, that in the midst of their troubles in him they may have peace. 5, 6.
  • The method of handling it propounded. 6.
  • 5. Things to be done in order to the explica­tion of it. 6, 7.
  • 1. Br. To open what is meant by the tearme world. 7.
  • It is taken chiefely in three senses.
  • 1. For the men of the world, and that either, 1. largely, or 2. restrictively severall waies. 7, 8.
    • For
      • 1. Many of all sorts.
        • 8, 9.
      • 2. The unregenerate only.
      • 3. The reprobates only.
      • 4. The elect only.
  • 2. It is taken For the things of the world.
    • [Page]Sometimes
      • 1. For the whole fabric of the creation. 9.
      • 2. For the earth only. 9.
      • 3. For the vanities of the world. 10.
      • 4. For the trafique of it. 10.
  • 3. For our present state of life in the world. 10.
  • In what sense it is taken in the doctrine. 10. 11.
  • 2. Br. Of the explication: What is meant by troubles, and what troubles Saints must meet with. 11, 12.
  • What the word signifies. 11.
  • For the kind.
    • 1. Bodily sorrowes. 12.
    • 2. Outward crosses. 12.
    • 3. Inward troubles. 12.
  • For the degree, the word signifies, wearing, breaking, crosses. 13.
  • 3. Br. From what causes do Saints troubles arise.
  • A threefold head of causes assign'd. 1 [...].
  • 1. From God: two waies God may be the cause.
    • 1. In his just ordination. 14.
    • 2. In Gods wise providence may lie hid a cause, he may bring them upon his people,
    • To
      • 1. Try
        • them. 15.
      • 2. Purge
      • 3. Weane
  • [Page]2. Themselves may be a great cause of their own troubles. 16.
    • 1. Through the infirmities of their natures. 16.
    • 2. Through the sinfulnesse of their soules. 17, 18.
    • 3. The world may be a cause of the Saints trou­bles. 18
    • 1. In respect of the incertainty of its comforts. 18, 19.
    • 2. In respect of the malice and ill nature of it in­habitants. 19.
  • 4. Br. What is peace? what is Christs peace? why is it call'd his? how is it laid up in him? how may Saints draw it from him? what paines hath he taken about it?
  • What peace of every sort is. 20.
  • What peace with God is. 22.
  • What Christs Peace is. 22.
  • What the peace of our Justification is. 22.
  • What peace of conscience is. 23.
  • Saints have peace with the whole Trinity. 24.
  • It is called Christs peace because he is the me­ritorious cause of it. 24.
  • What peace with the Saints is, how that is Christs peace. 25.
    • [Page]Peace is laid up for the Saints in the
      • 1. Blood
        • of Christ. 26, 27.
      • 2. Words
      • 3. Spirit
  • 3. Wayes by which a Christian may draw forth this peace from Christ. 27, 28.
    • 1. By meditation of him. 27.
    • 2. By a beleeving application of what Christ hath spoke and done. 28, 29.
    • 3. A close walking with Christ. 29.
  • Now to gaine this peace, Christ hath taken great paines.
    • Hee hath
      • 1. Died upon the Crosse for it. 30.
      • 2. Given us many precious promises. ib.
      • 3. Sent us his Spirit. ib,
  • The Application of the Doctrine. [...] p. 31. ad finem.
  • 1. For instruction in severall branches.
    • 1. Br. Learne hence what we are to expect from the world. 31.
    • 2. Br. Learne what is the peculiar lot of the Saints while they live here below. 32, 33.
    • 3. Br. What a miserable condition poor crea­tures are in that are out of Christ. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38.
    • 4s Br. What an happy condition are those in that have a part in Christ. 39, 40.
    • [Page]5. Br. Learn hence, the onely way to find true peace in a day of trouble. 40, 41.
  • 3. False wayes of peace discovered, by which men use to come out of trouble. 41, 42, 43.
    • 1. Some let Nature worke out peace. 41.
    • 2. Some drink a way trouble. 42.
    • 3. Some dispute themselves out. 43.
  • 2. Use. For Reprehension.
  • Of such Christians as have a part in Christ, yet walk heavily. 44, 4.
  • 3. Use: For Consolation to such as have an interest in Christ. 46, 47.
  • 4 Use: For Triall.
  • Br. 1. Whether we bee Christs Disciples, or no. 47,
  • Six Gospell Notes to know that by. 47, 48. 49, 50.
    • 1. If you have effectually heard Christ. 48.
    • 2. If you continue in Christs Word. 48, 49.
    • 3. If you beare much fruit. 49.
    • 4. If you be humble, self-denying, self hating, meek creatures. 49, 50.
    • 5. If you beare the crosse aright. 50.
    • 6. If you love one another. 50, 51.
  • 2. Branch of the Use of Triall.
  • How we may know, if the peace our spirits come off a trouble with, be Christs peace or no, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55.
  • It is a true peace, if
  • [Page]N. 1. If it be drawne from some Word of God. 51, 52.
  • N. 2. If it ariseth from a due consideration and true application of something in the nature of God commanding it silence. 53, 54.
  • 3. Things in Gods nature, which considered may still a spirit troubled: 1 His Will, 2 His Goodnesse, 3 His Faithfulnesse. 53, 54. How to improve each of them accordingly. 53, 54, 55.
  • N. 3. If it ariseth from a due meditation and application of what Christ hath done for us. 57.
  • N. 4. If it be concluded upon some former experiences. 59, 60.
  • N. 5. If faith be a Commissioner in making the peace. 60, 61.
  • N. 6. If it be a peace after prayer. 61, 62. Any Temple-peace is true, 62, 63.
  • 5. Use: For Exhortation.
    • 1. To such as are strangers to Christ, to get an interest in him. 63.
    • 2. Motives to perswade it. 63, &c. Consider.
    • Your peace is
      • 1. A false peace. 63.
      • 2. An unconstant peace. 64, 65.
  • 2. Branch of Exhortation, to those that have [Page] a portion in Christ. 66, 67, &c.
  • 1. Be not disquieted with worldly troubles. 66. To this end Consider,
    • 1. Christ hath overcome the world. 66.
    • 2. Christ by your troubles is a great loser by you,
    • In his
      • 1. Bloud.
        • 67.
      • 2. Breath.
      • 3. Victory. 68.
  • 2. Exhortation: Live much with Christ. 68, 69.
  • Causes of Saints trouble notwithstanding the peace laid up in Christ for them. 69 70.
    • 1. Ignorance. 69, 70.
    • 2. Negligence. 70, 71.
    • 3 Exhortation to Saints. Learn in all your troubles to look to draw peace from Christ. 72, 73, &c.
  • 8 Directions given to Christians in this case. 73, 74, 75, 76, &c.
    • 1 Dir. In the beginning of a trouble sit dow [...] and think what there is of God in it. 73.
    • 2 Dir. Then consider what there is in God to helpe thee. 75.
    • 3 Dir. Consider what promises God hath made to his Saints under such troubles. 75.
    • 4 Dir. Weigh Gods mercies against his frowns▪ 77.
    • [Page]5 Dir. Study how far Christ hath overcome the world. 77.
    • 6 Dir. Consider the dayes of old. 78.
    • 7 Dir. Let Reason sleep and set faith on work 78.
    • 8 Dir. Pray unto God to settle thy soule in peace. 79.
  • Motives to perswade Christians to look for such a peace. 80, 81.
    • Consider this peace will be
      • 1. A true peace. 80.
      • 2. A sweet peace. 80.
      • 3. A lasting peace. 81.

A Note of the chief Errata's of the Presse in the two last Sermons.

  • PAge 18. for mand [...]rs, read manners.
  • P. 19. for nundinalitia, r. nundinatitia.
  • P. 42. for cour [...], r. covet.
  • P. 57. for dilectis Deo, r. dilecti Deo.
  • P. 58. for they received, r. he received.
  • P. 63. for quest, r. quit.
  • P. 64. for intent, r. extent.
In the last Sermon.
  • P. 28. for rather, r. gather peace.
  • P. 32. for peace or lot, r. peculiar lot.
  • P. 33. for ratifie, r. rectifie your error.
  • P. 42. for wiled, r. veiled.

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