[...]nd who can promise himself with Hezekiah [...]ere shall be truth and peace in my dayes. Peace may fail thee, but let not Truth. [...]very good Christian may and should say, [...]ith the good King, there shall be truth in my dayes, if not Peace and Truth, as to re­vive the love of it. I will hold it fast by [...]ith, hold it forth by practise, praise God [...]ayly for it, and venture all in defence [...] it▪ so did the Martyres, whose memory [...]s sweet, whose reward is great. It is bet­ [...]er suffering for truth, then with truth: yet [...]f truth must suffer or can die, better it is to die with Truth, then out-live it.

But that truth may live, and we live by Truth, let us magnifie God much for Truth, for his Word and good Books that [...]pring thence. Some probablie may say, it's [...]nough to praise God for his Word, other Books are not [...]. Wilt thou praise God for the sea and be thankfull for the rivers and springs? Wilt thou lift up thy voice for the great waters, and be silent for the [...]lver drops and showrs? If the former rain affect thee, be not ungratefull for the lat­t [...]r. God would have men to value his ser­ [...]ants, and praise him for their labours.

But they have errors in them.

Be it so, shall we refuse to praise God for the flowres and the corn, because there be [...]me weeds in the garden, and thistles in [...]he field? Preiudice not thy self, buy, read, take thy delight, here is a garden without weeds, a corn field without either cockle or [...]ar [...]l, thorne or thistle. Art thou a Sincere Convert [...]here are truths sutable, solide and wholesome, thou mayest feed and feast without fear.

The Author is one of singular piety, in­ward acquaintance with God, skil'd in the deceits of mens hearts, able to enlighten in the [Page] dark corners of the little world, and to give satisfaction to staggering spirits. His work needs not the purple of anothers commenda­tion to adorne it. But because Custome▪ not necessity, for it's truths prerogative to tra­vel without a pass port (I say) because cu­stome causeth truth to crave and to carrie E­pistles commendatory; know that the work is weighty, quick and spiritual: and if thine eye be single in perusing it, thou sha [...] find many precious souls-searching, soul-quickning, and soul-enriching truths [...] yea, be so warned and awakened, as that thou canst not but blesse God for the man and matter, unlesse thou be possest with a dumb Devil.

To conclude, Christian Reader, take heed of unthankfulnesse, spiritual mercies should have the quickest and fullest praises. Such is this w [...]k, thou [...] if not, thou contrabutedst nothing to the birth of it; it's a preventing mercy. By it and o­thers, of the same nature, God hath made knowledge to abound, the waters of the sanctuarie are daily increased and grown deep. Let not the waters of the Sanctuary put out the fire of the Sanctuary. If there be no praise, there is no fire, if thy head be like a winters Sun full of light, and heart like a winters earth without fruit, fear left thy light end in utter darknesse, and the tree of knowledge, deprive thee of the tree of life. The Lord grant that thou mayest find such benefite by this work, as that thy heart may be ravished with truth, and raised to praise God to purpose, and made to pray. Lord still send forth thy light and truth, that they may lead us. So prayes

Thine in Christ, W. Greenhill.


THe knowledge of Divinity is necessary for all sorts of men, both to settle and establish the good, and to convert and fetch in the bad. Gods principles pulls down Sathan false principles set up in mens heads, loved and believed with mens hearts, and defended by their tongues whilst strong holds remain unshaken, the Lord Jesus is kept off from conquering of the soul.

Now spiritual Truths are either such as tend to enlarge the understanding, or such as may work chiefly upon the affections. I pass by (in this known age) the first of these and (being among a people whose hearts are hard enough) I being with the latter sort: For the understanding, although it may literally, yet it never savingly enter­tains any truth, until the affections be therewith smitten and wrought upon.

I shal theref [...]re here prosecute the un­ [...]lding of thes [...] Divine princip [...]es.

First, that there is one most glorious God.

Secondly that this God made all man­kind at first in Adam, in a most glorious [...].

[Page]Thirdly, that all mankind are now f [...]l­len from that estate, into a bottomlesse gulf of sin and misery.

Fourthly, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only means of Redemption out of this estate.

Fif [...]hly, that those that are saved out of this woful estate by Christ, are very few, and those few are saved by much difficulty.

Sixthly, that the greatest cause why so many die, and perish in this estate, is from themselves either.

  • 1. By reason of their bloody Ignorance they know not their misery: or
  • 2. By reason of their carnal security, they feel not, they groan not under their sin and misery.
  • 3. By reason of their carnal confidence, they seek to help themselves out of their misery by their own duties, when they see or feel it: or,
  • 4. By reason of their false faith whereby they catch hold upon and trust unto the merits of Christ too soon, when they see and feel they cannot help them­selves▪
[Page 1]


CHAP. I. There is one most glorious GOD.

EXOD 33.18. I beseech thee, show me thy glory.

THIS is the first Divine Truth, and there are these two parts considerable in it.

1 That there is a God.

2. That this God is most glorious.

I will begin with the first [...] and prove (omitting many philosophical [...]rguments) that there is a God, a true God; for every Nation almost in the world, u [...]til Christs coming, had a several God, Some worship­ped the Sun, some the M [...]n, called by Ezekiel, The Queen of heaven;Plin. lib. 1. na [...]. Hist. which some made cakes un [...]o; some the whole heavens, as some worshipped the fire some the brute beasts, som [...] Baal, some Mol [...]ch. The Ro­manes, saith Virro, had six thousand Gods▪ who impriso [...]ing th [...] [...] of nature,Rom. 11. were given up to sin against nature: either to wor­ship [Page 2] Idols, of mans invention, as the igno­rant: or God and Angels in those Idols, as the learned did: but these are all false Gods.

I am now to prove that there is one true God, the being of beings, or the first be­ing. Although the proving of this point seems needless, because every man runs with the cry, and saith, There is a God, yet few throughly believe this point. Many of the children of God, who are best able to know mens hearts, because they only study their hearts, feel this tempations; is there a God? bitterly assaulting them sometimes. The devil will sometimes undermine, and seek to blow up the strongest walls & bul­warks. The light of nature indeed showes that there is a God: but how many are there, that by foul sins against their con­science, blow out and extinguish almost all the light of nature? And hence, thogh they dare not conclude, because they have some light, though dim▪ yet if they saw their heart, they might see it secretly suspect and question, Whether there be a God? But grant that none questions this truth, yet we that are builders, must not fall to a work without our main props and pillars. It may appear therefore, that there is a God, from these grounds.

First, from the works of God, Rom. 1.20. when we see a stately house, although we see not the man that built it, although also [Page 3] we know not the time when it was built, yet will we conclude thus. Surely some w [...]se Artificer hath been working here. [...] we when we behold the stately theater of Hea­ved and Earth conc [...]ude other but that the finger arms, and wisdom of God hath been here, although we see not him tha [...] is invi­sible, and although we know not the time when he began to build? Every creature in heaven and earth is a loud preacher of this truth. Who set those candles, those torches of heaven on the table? Who hung out those lanterns in heaven to enlighten a dark world? Who can make the stature of a man but one wiser then the stone out of which it is hewen? Could any frame a man, but one wiser and greater then man? Who taught the birds to build their nests, and the bees to set up and order their Com­mon-wealth? Who sends the Sun post from one end of heaven to the other, carrying so many thousand blessings to so many thou­sands of people and Kingdoms? What power of man or angels, can make the least [...]ile of grass, or put life into the le [...]st flie, if once dead? There is therefore a power above all created power, which is God.

Secondly, from the Word of God. There is such a majesty stirring, and such secrets revealed in the word, that if men will not be wilfully blind, they c [...]not but cry out. The voice of God, and not the voice of man. [Page 4] Hence Calvin undertakes to prove the Scripture to be the Word of God, by rea­son, against all Atheists under heaven. H [...]st thou not thought sometimes at a Ser­mon, the Minister [...]ath spoken to none but thee, and that some or other hath told the Minister what thou hast sad, what thou hast done, what thou hast thought? Now that word which tells thee the thoghts of thy heart, can be nothing else but the word of an all-seeing God that searcheth the hea [...]t.

Again, that word which quickeneth the dead is certainly God Word; but the word of God ordinarily preached, quickneth the dead▪ it maketh the blind to see, [...]he dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk; those that never felt thei [...] sins to load them, to mourn; those that never cou [...]d pray, to breath out unutterable groans and sighs for their sins.

Thirdly, from the children begotten of God. For we may read in mens foreheads, as soon as ever they are born, the sentence of death: and we may see by mens lives, what hellish hearts they have. Now there is a time that some of this monstrous brood of men, are quite changed, & made all new: they have new minds, new opi­nions, new desires, new joys, new sorrows, new speeches, new prayers, new lives, and such a difference there is betwixt these and others, that they are hated by others, who [Page 5] [...]ved them well while they loved their [...]ins: and whence came this strange change? [...]s it from themselves? No: for they hated this new life, & these new men once them­selves. Is it because they will be credited thereby? No: is it to be hated of father, mother, friends, & maligned every where? Is it out of simplicity? Or are their brains grown crazie? They were indeed once fools, & I can prove them all to be Solomons fools: but evē simple men have been known to be more wise for the world, after they have been made new. But lastly, is it now from a slavish fear of hell, which works this alteration? Nothing less: they abhor to live like slaves in Bridewell, to do all for fear of the whip.

Fourthly, from Gods Register or Nota [...]e which is in everie man: I mean the con­science of men, which telleth them there is a God; and although they silence it some­times, yet in thunder-time, or great plague, as Pharao; or at the day of death, then they are near Gods Tribunal, when they ac­knowledge him clearly. The fearful terrors of conscience prove this, which like a Bail­liffe arreists men for their deb [...]s; Ergo, there is some creditor to set it on sometime like a [...]ang-man, it torments men; Ergo, there is some strange Judge that gave it that cō ­mand: Whence arise these dreadful terrors in man? Of themselves? No, surely: all [Page 6] desire to be in pe [...]c, & so to live and sleep in a whole skin. Comes it from melancho­lie? No: for melancholy comes on by de­grees. These terrors of conscience surprize the soul suddenly at a Sermon, suddenly after the committing of some secret foul sin. Again, melancholy sadness maybe cured by Physick; but many Physicians hav [...] given such men over to other Physicians▪ Melan­ch [...]ly sadness may be born, but a wounded spirit who can bear? Thus ye see that there is a God But who ever saw God, that every one is bold to affirm that there is a God? Indeed his f [...]ce was never seen by mo [...]tal man, but his back-parts have been seen, are seen, and may be seen by all the world, as hath been proved.

Object. All things are brought to pass by second causes. [...]bject.

Answ. 1. What though? Is there no Master in the house, [...] bec [...]u [...]e the servants do all the work? This great God maintains state by doing all by t [...]e cre [...]tures subje­ctions; yet sometimes we may cry out in be­holding some special pieces of his admini­stration, Here is the finger of God

2. What though [...] be much confu­sion 2 in the world, as that sh [...]llings stands for pe [...]c [...] [...]nd counters stands for pounds, [...]he [...] bought and sold at a low rate, and [...] and preferred; yet if [...] and conceive, we should [Page 7] see an harmony in this discord of things. God is now like a wise Carpenter, but he­wing out his work. There is a lumber and conf [...]sion seemingly amongst us, let us stay till the day of judgment, and then we shal see infinite w [...]sdom in fitting all his for his own gl [...]ry, and for the good of his people.

Object. But if there be a God why hears he nor his peoples prayers?Object. Why doth he forget them when they have most need of him?

I answer:Answ. Noahs dove returns not pre­sently with an oli [...]e branch of peace in his mouth. Prayers sometime that speed well, return not presently, for want of company enough, to fetch away that abundance of mercy which God hath to give. The Lord ever gives them their asking in money or money-worth, in the same thing or a bet­ter. The Lord ever gives his importunate beggars their desires, either in pence, by little and little, or by pounds: Long he is many times before he gives, but payeth them well for their waiting.

This is an use of repr [...]of [...]o all Atheists, use 1 either in opinion or practise. A disco­verie of Atheism

First in opinion, such as either conclud, or suspect there is no God. Oh blasphe­mous thought! Are there any such men? Men? Nay, beasts; nay, devils; nay worse then devils; for they believe and tremble. Yet the fool hath said in his heart, there is no [Page 8] God, Ps. 1 [...].1. Men that have little heads little knowledge, without hearts, as scholars sometimes of weak brains, seeing how things come by second causes, though they might believe their books, yet cannot ra [...]e their dull thoughts to the beholding of a first cause. Great Politiciās are like children always standing on their heads, and shakin [...] their heels against heaven: these think Re­ligion to be but a piece of policy, to keep people in aw▪ Prophane persons, desiring to go on in sin, without any rub or check for sin, blow out all the light of nature, wi­shing there were no God to punish, and are willing to suspect that which is not. Those also that have sinned secretly, though not openly against nature, or the light of con­science: God smites men for incest, sodo­my, self-pollution, with dismal blindness. Those also that are notorious worldlings, that look no higher then their barns, no fur­ther then their shops▪ the world i [...] a pearl in their eye, they cannot see a God.

Lastly, I suspect those men that never found out this thief, this sin, that was bred and born with them, nor saw it in their own hearts; but [...]here it lyes still in some dark corner of their souls to cut their throats: these kind of men sometimes su­spect there is no God. O this is a grievous sin; for if no God, no heaven, no hell, no Marty [...]s, no Prophets, no Scriptures, Christ [...] [Page 13] shame or sorrow, and to say the Lords Prayer without understanding; to hear the word that thou mayest only know more, and not that thou mayest be affe­cted more. Oh, these carcasses of holy duties, are most odious sacrifices before God.

2. He is a living God, whereby he li­veth use 2 of himself, and gives life to all other things. Away then with thy dead heart to this principal of life to quicken thee, that his mighty power may pluck thee out of thy sepulchre, u [...]lose thy grave-locks, that so thou mayest live.use 3

3. He is an infinit God, whereby he is without limits of being, 2 Chr. 6.8▪ Hor­rible then is the least sin that strikes an in­finite great God, and lamentable is the e­state of all those with whom this God is angry▪ thou hast infinite goodness to for­sake thee, and infinite power and wrath to set against thee.

4. He is an Eternal God, without begin­ning or end of being, Psal. 80.1. Great use 4 [...]herefore is the folly of those men that pre­ [...]er a little short pleasure before this eter­ [...]al God; that like Esau sell away an ever­ [...]sting inheritance for a little pottage, for [...] and the pleasure of it.

5▪ He is an all suffi [...]ient God, Gen. 17.use 5 [...] what lack you therefore, you that would [...] have this God, and the love of this [Page 14] God, but you are loath to take the pains to find him, or to be [...] cost to purchase him with the losse of all? Here is infinite, E­ternal, present sweetnesse, goodnesse, grace, glory, and mercy to be found in this God. Why [...] you from mountain to hill? why spend you your money, your thoughts, time, Endeavors, on things that satisfie no [...]? Here is thy resting place. Thy cloaths may warm thee, but they cannot feed thee, thy meat may feed thee, but cannot heal thee, thy Physick may heal thee but cannot main­tain thee, thy money [...] ma [...]n [...]ain thee, but cannot comfort thee, when distresses of Conscience and anguish of heart come up­on thee: This God is joy in sadnesse, light in darknesse, li [...]e in death, Heaven in hell. Here is all thine eye ever saw, thine heart ever desired, thy tongue ever asked, thy mind ever conceived. Here is all light in this S [...]n and all water in this Sea, out of [...], as ou [...] of a Christal fountain, thou shal drink down all the refined sweetness of all creatures in heaven & earth, for ever and ever. All the world is now seeking &c crying▪ ou [...] themselves for rest, here on [...]y [...] can be found,

6. He is an Omnipotent God, whereb [...] use 6 he can do what ever he wil [...]: [...] th [...]r [...]fore, and stand [...] in the sinfull or sub­tile close maintenance of any one sin a­gainst this God so powerful, who can [...] thee at his pleasure.

[Page 15]7. He is an all-seeing God: He knows use 7 that possible can be of may be known; [...] self▪ therefore to this▪ God only [...] thy wayes. It is no matter what men [...] censure, or think of thee. It is no mat­ [...]r what thy fellow Actors in this stage of [...] world imagine [...] God is the great [...] or that beholds thee in every place▪ [...] is thy spy, and takes compleat notice [...] all the actions of thy life; and they are [...] print in heaven, which that great [...] and Judge will open at that great day▪ [...] read aloud in the ears of all the world▪ [...] to sin therefore in s [...]cret, unless thou [...] find out some dark ho [...]e where the [...] of God cannot discern thee. M [...]urn for [...] secret neglect of holy duties; mourn [...] thy secret hypocrisie, whoredom, [...], and with shame in thy face come [...] this God for pardon & mercy. [...] and wonder at his patience, that ha­ [...]ing seen thee, hath not damned thee.use 8

[...]. He is a true God, whereby he means [...] as [...]e saith. Let every Child of God [...] know to his comfort, that those [...], which he hath not under feelings, [...] under a promise, shall one day be all [...] ▪ good, and [...]et all wicked men know▪ [...] threatning God hath denunced, [...] ever Arrows are in the bow-string, [...] one day flye, and hit a [...] deep, [...] [...]he longer the Lord is a drawing the [Page 16] deeper wound will Gods arrow (that is, Gods threatning) make.

9. He it a [...] holy God, be not ashamed use 9 therefore of holinesse, which if it ascend above the common strain of honesty, the bli [...]d and mad world accounts it madness▪ If the righteous, that is, those that be most holy, be scarcelie saved, where sha [...]l the un [...]godly and sinner appear, 1 Pet. 4 [...]8. Where? Not before Saints and Angels, for holiness is their trade: Not before the face of the man Christ Jesus▪ for ho [...]inesse was his meat & drink; Not before the face of a blessed God, for holinesse is his nature: Not in heaven, for no unclean thing crawls there, they shal never see God, Christ, Saints, Angels, or Heaven to their comfort, that are not holy: wear there­fore that as thy crown now, which will be thy glory in heaven, & if this be to be vile, be more vile.

use 10 10. He is a just and mercifull God, just in himself, and so w [...]l punish all sin; mer­cifull in the face of Christ, and so will pu­nish no sin. A just God against an hard hearted sinner. A merciful God towards an humble sinner. God is not all mercy & no justice, nor justice and no mercy. Submit to him, his mercy embraceth thee. Re­sist him, his justice pursues thee. When a Child of God is humbled indeed, com­monly he makes God a hard-hearted cruel [Page 17] God, loath to help; and saith, Can such a sinner be pardoned? A wicked man that was never humbled, makes God a God of [...]louts, one that howsoever he speaks heavy words, yet he is a merciful God, and will not do as he saith, and he finds it no diffi­cult work to believe the greatest sin may be pardoned: conceive therefore of him as you have heard.

Thirdly, God is glorious in his Persons, which are [...]; Father begetting▪ Son be­gotten, & the holy Gh [...]st the third persō pro­ceeding. Here the Fa [...]her is called the Fa­ther of glory, Eph. 1. Christ is called the Lord of glory, 1 Cor. 2. and the Spirit is called the Spirit of glory, 1 Pet. 4 the Fa­ther is glorious in his great work of Electi­on, the Son is glorious in his work of Re­demption; the holy Ghost is glorious in hi [...] work of Application the Father is glori­ous in choosing the house, the Son is glo­rious in buying the house, the Spirit is glo­rious in dwelling in the house, that is, th [...] heart of a poor lost sinner.

4. He is glorious in his works, in hi [...] works of C [...]eation, & in his wo [...]ks of providence and government: wonder there­fore that he should so vouchsafe to loo [...] upon such worms, such dung-hills, such Lepers as we are, to provide, protect, to slay his Son, to call, to strive, to wait; [...] give away himself and all that he is wor [...] [Page 18] unto us. O fear this God when ye come before him. People come before God in prayer, as before their fellows, or as be­fore an Idol. People tremble not a [...] his voice in the word. A King or Monarch will be served in state, yet how rudely, how slovenly do men go about every holy duty.

Thus much of the first principal head that there is one most glorious God. Now we are to proceed to the second, viz.


THat this God made all mankind at f [...]rst, in a most glorious and happy estate, like unto himself.

For the opening of which assertion, I have chosen this Text, [...]. Eccles. 7.29. God made man righteous, which clearly demonstrates, That God made all mankind at first in Adam, in a most glorious, happy, and righteous estate. Man when he came first out of Gods mint, shined most glorious. There is a marvelous glo­ry in all creatures (the servants and hous­hold [...] [...] of man) therefore there was a greater glory in man him [...]elf, the end of them▪ God calleth a Parliament, and ga­ther [...] a Counsel when [...] was to be made, and said: Come let us make man in our own Image: as [...] all the wisdom of [Page 19] the Trinity should be seen in the creati­on of man.

Wherein did the glory or blessedness of man appear. Quest.

In the impression of Gods Image upon him, Gen. 1.26.Answ. Can there be any grea­ter glory for Joseph, for a subject, then to be like his Prince?

What was the Image of God?

The Schoo [...]-men and Fathers,Quest. have many curious (yet not necessary) though difficult questions about this:Answ. I will omit all theirs, and tell you only what is the Apostles judgement, Col. 3.20. out of which this general discription of Gods Image may be thus gathered.Eph. 13.

It is mans perfection of holinesse, re­sembling Gods admirable holinesse,The I­mage God i [...] man. where­by only man pleaseth God.

For all other inferior creatures did [...] the works and footsteps of Gods Power, Wisdom, Goodness, whereby a [...]l these attributes were seen. Now the most per­fect attributes of God, that is, his holiness, that he would have only appear in, and be made manifest by man, his best infe­riour creature, as a Kings wisdom and bount [...] appears in managing the affairs of [...] in [Page 20] Image of God appeared in these four par­ticulars.

1. In mans understanding, this was like unto Gods. Now Gods Image here chiefly consisted in this particular, viz. As God saw himself, and beheld his own infinite endless glory and excellency, so man was privy to Gods excellency, and saw God most gloriously; as Moses, though a sinful man, saw him face to face, much more Adam, a perfect man. God loving man, could do no less then reveal himself to man.

2. In his affections, the Image of God chiefly appeared in two things.

First, as God seeing himself, loved him­self: So Adam seeing God, loved this God more then the world, more then himself; as yron put into the fire seems to be no­thing but fire; so Adam being beloved of God, was turned into a lump of love, to love God again:

Secondly, as God delighted in himself, so did Adam delight in God, took sweet repose in the bosom of God. Me think I [...]. Adam wrapt up in the continual exta­sies in having this God.

3. In his will, the Image of God chie [...]y appeared in two things.

1. As God [...]

[Page 21]2. As God willed nothing but good; so did Adam will nothing but good, for Gods wil [...] was his.

4. In his life, Gods Image did appear thus: that even as God, i [...] he had assu­med mans nature, would have lived out­wardly; so did Adam, for God would have lived acc [...]rding to his own will, law and rule: So did Adam▪ Adams body was the lantern [...]hrough which holiness, like a lamp burning in heart, shined; this was Gods Image; by means of which (as it is said in the description) he pleased God, similitude being the ground of love [...] and hence God did most dearly love him, and highly honor him, to be Lord over all creatures: hence no evil could hurt him here was no sorrow, no sickness, no tears, no fears, no death, no hell, nor ever should have been, if there he had stood.

Object. How was this estate ours?Obj [...].

Answ. Answ. As Christs righteousness is a believers by imputation, though he ne­ver performed it himself: so Adams righ­teousness and image was imputed to us, and accounted ours; for Adam received our [...]ock or patrimony to keep it for us, and to convey it to us: Hence he proving banquet out, we lost it. But we had it in his hands, as an orphant may have a great estate left him, though he never receive [Page 22] one penny of it from him that was his Guardian, that should have kept it for him, and conveyed it to him.

use 1 Here see the horrible nature of sin, that plucks man down by the ears from his throne, from his perfection, though ne­ver so great. Adam might have pleaded for himself, and have said; Although I have sinned, yet it is but one, and the first fault. Lord, behold I am thy first born, Oh, pity my poor posterity. who are for ever undone, if thou forgivest not, Yet see one sin weighs him down, and [...] posterity (as we shall hear) into eternal ruine!

use 2 Hence learn how justly God may re­quire perfect obedience to all the Law, of every man, and curse him if he cannot perform it: Because man was at first made in such a glorious estate, wherein he had power given him to please God perfectly: God▪ may therefore require this debt of perfect obedience. Now man is broke and in prison; in hell must he ly for e [...]e [...]; if he cannot pay justice every farthing, because God trusted him with a stock, which if he had well improved, he might have payed all.

use 3 See what cause every man hath to la­ment his miserable estate he is now fal­len into. For beggers children to live vagants and poor, is not so lamentable, [Page 23] as for great Princes children, to become such. One never in favor with the Prince, grievs not as he doth that was once in favour, but now cast out. Man is now rejected of God, that was beloved of God: he is now a runagate up and down the earth, that was once a Prince and Lord of all the World. This is one aggravation of the damneds sorrows: Oh, the hopes, the means, the mercies, that once I had. Can these, do these lament for the losse of their bare hopes, and common mercies? Lord, what hearts then have men that cannot, do not, that will not lament the [...] of such special high favors, now gone which once they had. It is said, that those that saw the glory of the first Temple, wept when they saw the glory of the second, and how inferior it was to the first. You that either have the Temple of God begun to be repaired in you, or not begun at all. Oh, think of the Temple burnt, the glory of God▪ now vanished and lost.

This speaks comfort to all Gods peo­ple.use If all Adams posterity were perfectly righteous in him, then thou that art of [...]he blood Royal, and in Christ, art pe [...] ­ectly righteous in him much more; [...]n [...]s much as the righteousness of the second Adam exceeds the first, so are thou more [...]appy, more holy in the second Adam, [Page 24] then ever the first in himself was: He might loose all his righteousness, but the second Adam cannot, hath not; so that if Christ may be damned, then thou mayest, else not.

use 5 This likewise reproveth three sorts of people.

A [...] three­fold re­prehen­sion.1. Such as are ashamed of holiness. Lord, what times are we fallen into now? The Image of God, which was once mens glory, is now their shame; and sin, which is mens shame, is now their glory. The world hath raised up many false re­ports of holy courses, calling it folly and preciseness, pride, hypocrisie, and that whatsoever shows men may make, they are as bad as the worst, if their sins were written in their fore-heads. Hence it co­meth to pass, that many a man, who is almost perswaded to be a new man, and to turn over a new leaf, dares not, will not for shame of the world, enter upon religious courses: What will they think of me then? saith he▪ Men are ashamed to refuse to drink healths, and hence maintain them lawful. Our gallants are ash [...]m [...]d to stay a mile behind the fashion▪ hence they will defend open and naked breasts, and strange apparel, as things comely. O [...] time servers! that have some conscience to desire to be ho­nest, and to be reputed so, yet conform [Page 25] themselves to all companies; if they hear others swear, they are ashamed to re­prove them; they are ashamed to enter the lists of holy discourse in bad company, and they will pretend discretion, and we must nor cast pearls before swine; but the bottom of the business is, they are ashamed to be holy. O fearful! Is it a shame to be like God? O sinful wretches! It is a credit to be any thing but religious, and with many Religion is a shame▪ I wonder with what face thou darest pray, or with what look thou wilt behold the Lord of glory at the last day, who art ashamed of him now, that will be admi­red of all men, angels and devils then? Dost thou look for wages from Christ, that art ashamed to own Christ, or to wear his livery!

2. It reproves them that hate holiness which is more then to be ashamed of it.

3. It reproves them that content them­selves with a certain measure of holiness. Perfect holiness was Adams image, where­by he pleased God, and shal a little holi­ness content thee?

Now there are these three sorts of them.

1. The formalist, [...] who contents him­self with some holiness, as much as will credit him.

The form and name of Religion▪ is [Page 26] b [...]n [...]s, [...]easure of holi­nesse, & go no further. honor sometines: but the power and practise of, it is onus, a burden▪ hence men take up the first, and shake off the second. And indeed the greatest patt take up this course, if they have no goodness, they should be the shame, scorn▪ and table-talk of the times; therefore every man will for his honors sake, have his frame. Now this form is according to the mould wherein he is cast. If his ac­quaintance be but civil, he will be like them: if they be more exact, as to pray, read, confer, he will not stay one inch behind them: If to be b [...]tter then his companions, to bear the bell before them will credit him, he will be so what ever it cost him; but yet he never will be so exact in his courses as to be hated for it, unless he perceives the hatred he con­tracts from some men, shal be recom­penced with the more love and credit by other men. He disguiseth himse [...]f accor­ding to the places, or company he comes into. King Juash was a good man, so long as Jeboiada the Priest lived. If a little Religion will serve to credit men, that shall serve for that time▪ if more in ano­ther place, you shal then have them com­mending good men, [...] good sermons, good books and drop forth two or three good sentences: what will they think of him then? They cover themselves over with [Page 27] these fig-leaves of common honesty to co­ver their nakedness yet they had [...] all their courses over with honesty, that they may catch, for they [...] only for credit [...]

One may trap these people [...] ▪ Fol­low them in their private houses, [...] end is worldinesse, passion, loosnesse; and to their private chambers, there they ordinarily neglect or shuffle, over duties to their pri­vate vain thoughts. In this cyting house, you shal the [...] see these Stage-players, their shop-windows are shut▪ here no honesty is to be seen scarce [...] because their gain, their respect comes [...] is door▪ where [...] beholds them. [...] ei­ther Minister, or [...], search, try, discover, accuse, and con­demn these men, as rotten (though g [...]ded) post, as unsound, hallow-hearted wretches, their hearts will swell like [...]oad [...] ▪ and [...] like snakes, and hard like dogs against them that thus censure them, because they rob them of their God they served, their gain is gone.

2. The guilty self-condemned sinner, that go [...]th fur [...]her then [...] formalist, and contents themse [...]ves with so much holi­ness as will quite [...]hem: and hence all the Heathen have had some Religion, be­cause they had some conscience to trouble them. This man, [...] if he hath live [...] in foul sins, and begins to be wrackt and trou­bled [Page 28] for them, he will then confess an [...] forsake those roaring sins: but how? A [...] a dog doth his meat, not because he hate [...] his carrion, but because he fears the cud­gel [...] he performs holy duties, not because he will use them, but because he mu [...] use them, there is no quye [...] else. If con [...]science be st [...]ll, he omits duties: If con [...]science [...] and stir, he falleth to duties and so hath his good mood, as conscienc [...] hath his fits. They b [...]ast and crow ove [...] hypo [...]rites, because holiness they have is not a bare show: No, but it is to stop thy conscience, and only to quyet the cla­mors of that. Thou dost bribe, and so quyet (the Bailiff) thy conscience, by thy praying, hearing, and sorrowing; but God thy Judge hath heavy things to lay to thy charge, before whom thou shalt shortly wi [...]h dread appear.

3. The pinching devote hypocrite, that 3 being pu [...]sued with the fear of hell, goes further, and labors for just so much ho­liness as will save him only, and carry him to heaven at last. Hence the young man in the Gospel came with that great question to Christ, which many unsoun [...] hearts come with to Ministers [...]ow▪ What he should do to inherit eternal life? The [...] people set up s [...]ch a man in their thought [...] to be a very honest man, an [...] one doubtle [...] that shall be saved: and hence they wi [...] [Page 29] take him to be their copy and sampler, and labour to do as he doth, and to live just as he lives, and to hold opinions as he holds, and so hope to be saved. They will ask very inquisitively, What is the least measure of grace, and the least gr [...]n of faith? And the best Sermons are not such as humble them most, but such as flat­ter them best, wherein they may hear how well good desires are accepted of by God: which if they hear to be of that ver­tue to save them, God shal be served only with good desires, and the devil indeed all their lifetimes

Thus they pinch God: they labor not after so much holiness as will honour Christ, but after just so much as will bear their charges to heaven, and save them­selves. For this is one of the greatest dif­ferences▪ betwixt a child of God and an hypocrite. In their obedience, the one takes up duties ou [...] of love to Christ, to have him, and hence he mourns daily, be­cause Christ is no greater gainer by him: the other out of love to himself, meerly to save his own soul; and hence he mourn [...] for his sins, b [...]c [...]use they [...] damn him. Remember that p [...]ace [...], 1 Cor. 15 [...].

Lastly, labor to get this Image of G [...]d renewed again. Honest men will labour to pay their debts: this is Gods [Page 30] [...] heavens▪ [...], angels fashion [...] when the [...] Jesus shal [...]. Then [...] superscription and Image of the devil, [...] not the Image of God upon thee, God [...] Christ will never own thee [...] Labor therefore to have Gods Image [...] stored again, and [...] washe out [...] not, as many do, to purchase such [...] such a grace first: but,

1. Labor to mortifie and subdue [...] sin which is opposite in thine heart to [...] [...].How to gain the Image of God. First, put off the old man, and [...] put on the new, Eph. [...].

2. Labor [...] me [...]ting tender hear [...] for the [...] Gold is then only [...] receive the impre [...]ssion, when it is [...] is melted. When thine heart is [...] therefore at a Sermon, cry ou [...], Lord now [...], now imprint thine Imag [...] upon me.

3. Labor to se [...] the Lord Jesus in [...]. For as w [...]cked men looking upon the evil ex [...]m [...]le of great ones in [...] world,Rom. 6.7. that will be at them out, gr [...]w like th [...]m in villa [...]; so the very behol­ding the glorious grace in Christ, this great Lord of g [...]ory transform to me [...] into his Image. 2. Cor. [...].17.18. As the [Page 31] glass set full against the Sun receiveth not only the beams, as all other dark bo­dies do, but the image of the Sun: so the understanding with open face beholding Christ, is turned into the Image and likeness of Christ. Men now a dayes look only to the best mens lives, and see how they walk, and rest here. O look higher to this blessed face of God in Christ, as thine own. As the application of the seal to the wax imprints the Image, so to view the grace of Christ, as all thine, imprints the same Image strong­ly on the soul. I come now to the third principal head, in order, which I shal in­sist upon, out of, Rom. 3.23. All have sin­ned, and are deprived of the glory of God. Whence observe.


THat all mankind is fallen by [...], from that glorious estate he was made in, into a most woful and miserable condi­tion. The devil abusing the Serpent, and man abusing his own free will▪ overthrew Adam ▪ and in him all his posterity by sin, Gen 3.1.2, 3. &c.

Now mans misery appeareth in these two things▪

1. His misery, in regard of sin.

2. His misery, in regard of the conse­quents of sin.

[Page 32]1. His misery in regard of sin, appears in these particulars.

1. Every man living is born guilty of Adams sin. Now the justice and equity of God in laying this sin to every mans charge, though none of Adams posterity personally committed it, appears thus.

First, if Adam standing, all mankind had stood; then it is equal that he falling, all his posterity should fall. All our e­states were ventured in this ship▪ there­fore, if we should have been partakers of his gains, if he had continued safe, it's [...] we should be partakers of his losse too.

2. But secondly, we are all in Adam ▪ as a whole Countrey in a Parliament-man, the whole Countrey doth what he doth; And▪ although we made no par [...]icular choice of Adam to stand for us, yet [...]he Lord made it for us; who being good­ness it self, bears more good will to man, than he can or could bear to himself; and being wisedom it self, made the wise [...] choice, and took the wisest course for the good of man: For this made most for mens safety and quiet; for if he ha [...] stood, all fear of losing our happy, estat [...] had vanish'd, whereas if every man ha [...] been left to stand or fall for himself, a man would ever have been in fear of fal­ling.

And again, this was the sure way [...]o [Page 33] have all mens estats preserved; for ha­ving the charge of the estates of all men, that ever should be in the world, he was the more pressed to look the more about him, and so to be more watchful, that he be not robbed, and so undo and procure the curses of so many thousands against him. Adam was the head of mankind, and all mankind naturally are members of that head: and if the head invent and plot treason, and the head practise treason against the King or state, the whole body is found guilty, and the whole body must needs su [...]fer. Adam was the poysoned root and cistern of all mankind, now the branches and stre [...]ms being in the root and spring originally, they therefore are tainted with the same poysonous prin­ciples. If these things satisfie not, God hath a day coming wherein he will reveal his own righteous proceedings before m [...]n and Angels, Rom. 2.4.

Oh, that men would consider this sin, and that the consideration of it could humble peoples hearts. If any mourn for sin, it is for the most part for other soul and actual sins, few for this sin, that first m [...]de the breach and b [...]gan the contro­versie betwixt God and man. Next unto the sin▪ against the holy Ghost, and con­tempt of the Gospell, this is the greatest sin that cryeth lowdest in God ears [Page 34] for vengeance:The hor­rible na [...]ture of the first sin. [...] and [...] against worlds of men. For now mens sins [...] against God in their base and [...] but this sin was committed against [...]ight when man was at the [...] preferment. Rebellion of a traitor [...] dunghill, is [...] great as of a favorite in the Court. Li [...]tle sins against [...] are more horrible. No sin by any man committed, was ever against so much ligh [...] as Adam had. This sin was the first th [...] ever displeased God. Drunkenness deprives God of the glory of sobriety: whoring of chastity [...] but this sin darke [...] verry Sun, defaces all the Image [...] the glory of man, and the glory of God [...] man. This is the first sin that ever did th [...] a mischief. This sin, like a great Captai [...] hath gathered together all those troup [...] & swarms of sins that now take hold upon thee. Thank this sin for an hard hear [...] thou so much cōplained of: thank this s [...] for that hellish darkness that oversp [...]ea [...] thee. This hath raised satan, death, judg [...] ment hell and heaven against thee.

The ha [...] ­ [...]ousnesse of A­dams sin.O consider those fearful sins tha [...] a pack [...] up in this one evil.

1▪ Fearful apostacie from God, [...] devil.

1 2. Horrible rebellion against God, 2 [...] devil. [...] Go [...] greatest enemies part against God.

[Page 35]3. Woful [...], in suspecting Gods [...] to be true.3

4. Fearful blasphemy in conceiving 4 dev [...]l [...]. Go [...]s [...] mans [...] to be [...] true in his temptations, [...] G [...]d [...] breathing.

5. Ho [...]rible pride, in thinking to make 5 [...] of [...] the forbidden fruit, to be step and a stay to rise higher, and to be [...] God himself.

6. Fearful contempt of God, making 6 [...] to [...]ush upon the sword of the threat­ [...]ing secretly, not fearing the plague de­ [...]o [...]rred.

7. Horrible unthankfulness, when God [...] given him all but one tree, and yet he 7 mu [...]t be fingring that too.

8. Horrible theft, in taking that which [...] one of his own.

9. Horrible idolatry, in doing upon, and loving the creature more th [...]n God [...] Creator who is blesse [...] forever.

You therefore that now [...], no man [...]an say black is your [...] you have lived [...] all your dayes, look upon this one [...] sin, [...] a full view of it, which [...]ou hast never shed one ear for as [...] see thy misery by it, and wonder at [...] pa [...]ience. He hath spa [...]d thee who [...] born bra [...]ded within, and hast lived [...] of it▪ and must perish for ever for it, [...] Lord from heaven pitty thee not.

[Page 36] Second­ly, dead in sin.But here is not all, consider secondly, every man is born stark dead in sin, Eph, 2.1. he is born empty of every inward principle of life, void of all graces, and hath no more good in him (whatsoever h [...] thinks) then a dead Carrion hath. And hence he is under the power of sin, as [...] dead man is under the power of death▪ and cannot perform any act of life: their bodies are living coffins to carry a dead soul up and down in.

'Tis true (I confesse) many wicked men do many good actions,Best ac­tion of the wic­ked, how sinfull. as praying, hearing, almsdeeds, but it is not from any inward principle of life. External motives like p [...]u [...]ates, on a dead (yet artificial) clock set them a running. Jehu was zea­lous, but it was only for a Kingdom: the Pharisees gave almes only to be seen of men. If one write a Will with a dead mans band deceased, that Will can hold no Law, it was not his Will, because it was not write by him, by any inward prin­ciple of life of his own. Pride makes a man preach, pride makes a man hear▪ and pray sometimes. Self-love st [...]rs up strange desires in men▪ so that we may say, this is none of Gods Act by his grace in the soul but pride and self-love. [...] a dead [...] to the fire, and [...]afe him, and rub him you may produce s [...]me hea [...] by this ex [...]er­nall working upon him: but take him [Page 37] from the fire again, and he is soon cold: [...] many a man that lives under a sound Minister, under the lashes and kn [...]cks of [...]chiding, striving conscience, h [...] hath [...]me heat in him, some affections, some [...]ears, some desires, some sorrows stirred, yet take him from the Min [...]ster, and his chafing conscience, and he growes cold a­gain presently, because he wants an in­ward principle of life.

Which point might make us to take use 2 up a bitter lamentation for every natural man. It is said, Exod. 12.30. that there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not an house wherein there was not one found dead. Oh, Lord▪ in some towns and fa­milies what a world of these are there? Dead husband; dead wife, dead servants, dead children, walking up and down with their sins (as Fame saith, some men do after death) with their grave cloaths about them, and God only knows whether ever they shal live again or not. How do men lament the losse of their dead friends? O [...], thou hast a precious sou [...] in thy bo­some stark dead, therefore lament thine estate, and consider it seriously.

First, a dead man cannot stirre,How e­very na­tural mā is dead while he lives. nor of­fer to stir. A wicked man cannot speak one good word, or do any good action, if heaven it self [...]id lye at stake for doing of it, nor offer to shake off his sins, nor [Page 38] think one good thought. Indeed he may speak and think [...] good things, but he can­not have good speeches, nor good thoghts: as in holy man may think of evil things, as of the [...] of the times, yet the thought of those evil things i [...] good, not evil, so è contra.

Secondly, a dead man feareth no dan­gers, use 2 though never so great, though never so near. Let Ministers bring a natural man tydings of the approach of the devou­ring plagues of God denounced, he feareth them not.

Thirdly, a dead man cannot be drawn use 3 to accept of the best offers. Let Christ come out of heaven, and fall about the neck of a natural man, and with tears in his eyes beseech him to take his blood, himself, his Kingdom, and leave his sins, he cannot receive this offer.

Fourthly, a dead man is stark blind, use 4 and can see nothing,Matth. 23.37.38. and stark deaf and hears nothing: he cannot taste any thing; so a natural man is stark blind, he seeth no God, no Christ, no wra [...]h of the Al­mighty, no glory of heaven: He heareth the voice of a man [...] but he heareth not the voice of God in a Sermon [...]he [...]avoreth not the things of Gods Spirit.

use Fifthly, a dead man is sensless, and fee­le [...]h nothing: so cast mountains of sin upon a wicked man, he feeleth no hurt, until [Page 39] the flames o [...] hell break out upon him.

Sixthly, a dead man is a speechlesse man, he cannot speak, unlesse it be like use 6 a parrat.

Seventhly, he is a breathlesse man: a natural man may say a prayer, or devise use 7 a prayer out of his memory and wit, or [...]e may have few short-winded wishes; but to pour out his soul in prayer, in the bosom of God, with groans unutterable, he cannot. I wonder not to see so many families without family prayer: Why? They are dead men, and ly rotting in their sins.

Eightly, a dead man hath lost all beau­ty; use 8 so a meer natural man, hath lost all glory: He is an ugly creature in the sight of God, good men and angels, and shall one day be an abhorring to all flesh.

Ninthly, a dead man hath his worms gnawing him; so natural men have the use 9 worm of conscience breeding now, which will be gna [...]ing them sh [...]rtly.

Lastly, dead men want nothing but use 10 ca [...]ing into the grave; so there wanteth nothing but casting into hell for a natural man. So that as Abraham loved Sarah well while living, yet when she was dead, he seeketh for a burying place for her to ca [...]y her out of his sight: so God may let some fearful judgement loose, and say to it, Take this dead soul out of my sight, [Page 40] &c. It was a wonder, that Lazarus though lying but four dayes in the grave, should live again. O wonder thou that ever God should let thee live, that hast been rotting in thy sin twenty, thirty, perhaps sixty years together▪

Fulness of sin.III. Every natural man and woman is born full of all sin, Rom. 1.29. as full as [...] Toad is full of poyson, as full as ever his skin can hold▪ Mind, Will, Eyes, Mouth; every limb of his body, and every piece of his soul is full of sin; their hearts are bundels of sin: hence Solomon saith, foo­lishness is bound upon the heart of a child; whole treasures of sin, An evil man (saith Christ) out of that evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things; Nay, raging seas of sin, Isaiah 20. Nay world [...] of sin:Ja [...]. 3.9. The tongue is a world of mischief: what is the heart then? for out of the a­boundance of the heart, the tongue speak­eth: so that look about thee and see, what ever sin is broached and runs out of any mans heart into his life throgh the whole world, all those sins are in thine heart, thy mind is a nest of all these foul opini­ons, heresies, that ever were vented by any man; thy heart is a [...]inking sink hole of all Atheism, Sodomy, Blasphemy, Mur­ther, Whoredom▪ Adultery, Witchcraft, Buggerie; so that if thou hast any good thing in thee, it is but as a drop of Rose­water [Page 41] in a bowl of poison, where fallen, it is all corrupted.

It is true thou feelest not all these things stirring in thee at one time, no more then Hazael thought he was or should be such a blood-sucker▪ when he asked the Pro­phet Elishah if he were a dog, but they are in thee like a nest of snakes in an old hedge. Although they break not out in­to thy life, they ly lurking in thy heart, they are there as a filthy puddle in a bar­rell, which runs not out, because thou happily wantest the temptation or occasi­on to broach and tappe thine heart, or because of Gods restraining grace, by Fear and shame, Education, good company, thou art restrained and builded up: and therefore when one came to comfort that famous picture, pattern and monument of Gods justice by seven years horrour and grievous distresse of conscience,Francis Spire. when one told him he never had commit­ted such sins as Manasses, and therefore he was not the gre [...]test sinner since the Cre­ation, as he conceived; he replyed that he should have been worse then ever Manas­se [...] was, if he had lived in his time, and been on his throne.

Master Bradford would never look up­on any ones l [...]wd life with one eye, but he would pres [...]ntly return within his own breast with the other eye, and say, [Page 42] In this my vile heart remains that sin, which without Gods special grace I should have committed as he. O me thinks this might pull down mens proud con­ceits of themselves, especially such as bear up and comfort themselves in their smooth, honest civil life, such as through education have been washed from all foul sinnes, they were never tainted with whoredom, swea [...]ing, drunkennesse, or prophanenesse, and here they think them­selves so safe, that God cannot find in his heart to have a thought of damning them.

Oh, consider this point, which may make thee pul thine hair from thine head, [...] thy cloathes to sackcloath, and run up and down with amazement and palenesse of thy face, and horror in thy conscience, and tears in thine eyes. What though thy life be smooth what though thy outside, thy sepulchre be paint [...]d; Oh thou art full of rottennesse of sin within. Guilty not before men as the sins of thy life make thee, but before God of all the sins that swarm and roar in the whole world at this day, for God looks [...] heart; guilty thou art therefore of heart-whoredom, heart-sodomy▪ heart-blas­phemy, heart-drunkennesse, heart-bug­gery, heart-oppression, heart-idolatry, & these are the sins that terribly provoke the [Page 43] wrath of A [...]mightie G [...]d against▪ thee, Isai. 56 17. For the iniquities of his co­veto [...]sness (saith our Translation) I smote him: but the Hebrew endteth it better, for the iniquitie of his conscience (which is the sin of the heart & nature (I smote him. As [...] King is angrie, and musters up his arm [...]e against rebels, not onlie who brin­geth his souldiers out to sight, but who keepeth souldiers in their trenches readie for to fight. These sins of thine heart are alreadie armed to fight against God, at the watch [...]word of all-arm of anie temp­tation. Nay, I dare affirm, and will prove it, that these sins provoke God to anger, and are as bad, if not worse, then the sins of thy life.

1. The sin of thine heart and nature, it is the cause the womb that containeth,1 Sins of the heart worse then sins of the life. breedeth, bringeth forth, sucketh all the bitter, all the troup of sins that are in the life; and therefore giving life and being to all other, it is the greatest sin.

2. Sin is more aboundantly in the heart 2 then in the life. An actual sin is but a little breach made by the sea of sin in thine heart, where all sin, all poison is met and mingled together. Everie actual sin is but a shred broken off from the great bottom of sin in the h [...]art: And hence Christ saith: Out of the aboundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh: and out [Page 44] of the evil treasure of the heart we bring forth evil things. A man spending money, I mean sin in the life, is nothing to his treasure of sin in the heart.

3. Sin is continually in the heart: Actu­all sins of the life flies out like sparks and vanish, but this brand is alwayes glowing within, the Toad spits poyson sometimes, but it retains and keeps a poy­sonfull nature alwayes. Hence the Apo­stle calls it sin that dwels in me, that is, which alwayes lyes and remains in me, so that in regard of the sins of thy heart thou dost rent in pieces and break, 1. All the lawes of God. 2. At one clap. 3 Eve­ry moment of thy life: Oh, me thinks the thought of this might rent an heart of Rock in pieces, to think I am alwayes grieving God at all times, whatsoever I do.

4. Actuall sins are only in the life and outward porch, sins of the hea [...]t are within the inward house. One enemy within the City, is worse then many with­out: A traytor on the throne is worse then a traytor in the open field. The heart is Christs throne. A Swine in the best room is worst then in the outward house. More I might say, but thus you see, sins of the life are not so bad, nor provoke Gods wrath so fiercely against thee, as the sins of thine heart. Mourn therefore not so [Page 45] much, that thou hast not been so bad as others are, but look upon thy black feet, look without thine own heart, and lament that in regard of the sins, there thou art as bad as any; mourn not so much meer­ly that thou hast sinned, as that thou hast a nature so sinfull; that it is thy nature to be proud, and thy nature to be vain and deceitful and loath, not only thy sins, but thy self for sin, being brim-full of un­righteousnesse. But here is not all, consi­der fourthly:

4. Th [...]t what ever a natural man doth 4 is sin; as the i [...]side is full,Every action is sinful as coming from a natural man. Luke 15 16. so the outside is no [...]hing else but sin, at least in the sight of an holy God, though not in sight of blind sinfull men. Indeed he may do many things which for the matter of them are good, as he may give almes, pray, fast, come to Church, but as they come frome him they are sin; as a man may speak good words, but we cannot endure to hear him speak, because of his stinking breath which defiles them: some actions indeed from their generall nature are indifferent, for all indifferences, ly in generals, but every deliberat action con­sidered Indiv [...]due with all its circumstan­ces, as time, place, motive, end, is ei­ther morally good, or morally evil, as may be proved easily; morally good in good men: morally evill in unregenerat and [Page 46] bad men. For let us see particular actions of wicked men.

1. All their thoughts are only evil, and 1 continually, Gen. 6.5.

2 2. All their words are sins, Ps. 50.16. their mouthes are open sepulchers, which smel filthy when they be opened.

3 3. All their civil actions are sin, as their eating, drinking, buying, selling, slee­ping, ploughing, Prov 21.41

4 4. All their religious actions are sins, as coming to Church,Isai. 13.14. praying, Prov. fasting and mourning: roar and cry out of thy self till dooms-day, they are sins. Isa. 58.

5. All their most zealous actions are 5 sins, as Jehu who killed [...]ll Baals Priests, because his action was outward [...]y and ma­terially good, therefore God rewarded him with temporal favors: but because he had a hawks eye, to get and settle a Kingdom to himself by this means, and so was theo­logically evil, therefore God threatens to be revenged upon him. 2. King. 10.

6 6. Their wisdom is sin. Oh, men are often commended for their wisdom, wit, and parts; yet those wits, and that wisdom of theirs is sin Rom. 8. The wisdom of the flesh, is enmity against God.

Thus all they have [...] do, are sins: for how can he do any good act [...]on whose Person is filthy? A corrupt tree cannot [Page 47] bring forth good fruit: Thou art out of Christ, therefore all thy good things, all thy kindnesses done unto the Lord, and for the Lord, as thou thinkest, are most odious to him. Let a woman seek to give all the content to her husband that may be, not out of any love to him, but only out [...]f love to another man, he abhorreth all [...]hat she doth. Every wicked man wanteth [...]n inward principle of love to God and Christ; and therefore, though he seeketh [...]o honor God never so much, all that he [...]th, being done out of love to himself, God abhorreth all that he performeth. All the good things a wicked man doth, are for himself, either for self-credite, or self-ease, or self-contentmen [...], or self-safe­ty. He sleepeth, prayeth▪ heare [...]h, spea­keth, professeth for himself alone; hence a­cting [...]lwayes for himself, he cōmitteth the h [...]ghest degree of idolatrie, he plucketh God out of his throne, & maketh himself a God▪ because he maketh himself his last [...]nd in every action: for a man puts him­ [...]elf i [...] the room of God, as well by making himse [...]f is finis ultimu, as if he should [...]ak [...] hims [...]lf primum principium. Jer. 20.13. Sin [...] a fors [...]king, or dep [...]rting from God. Now everie natural man remai [...]ing al­wayes in a state of separation from God, because he alwayes wanteth the bond of union which is faith, is alwayes sinning,Deut. 28▪ [Page 48] Gods curse lyes upon him; therefore he bringeth out nothing but briers and thorns.

Object: Object. But thou wilt say, if our pray­ing and hearing be sin,Answ. why should we do these duties;Why good du­ties must be re [...] ­formed, though we sin in doing them. we must not sin?

Answ. 1. Good duties are good in themselves, although coming from thy vile hearts, they are sins.

2. Ill is less sin to do them, then to omit them; therefore if thou wilt go to hell, go in the fairest path thou canst in thither.

3. Venture and try, it may be God may hear, not for thy prayers sake, but for his Names sake. The unjust Judge help the poor widow, not because he loved her or her suit, but because of her importuni­ty; and so be sure thou shalt have nothing if thou dost not seek: what though thou beest a dog, yet thou art alive, and art for the present under the table. Catch not at Christ, snatch not at his bread, but wait till God give thee him; it may be thou mayest have him one day. Oh, wonder then at Gods patience, that thou livest one day longer, who hast all thy lifetime like a filthy [...]oad, spit thy venome in the face of God, that he ha [...]h never been quyet for thee. Oh, look upon the black bill that will one day be put in against thee, at the great day of account, where thou must [Page 49] answer with flames of fire about thine [...]rs, not only for thy drunkenness, thy bloody oaths, and whoring; but for all [...]e actions of thy short life, and just so many actions, so many sins.

Thou hast painted thy face over now with good duties, and good desires, and a [...]ittle honesty amongst some men, is of that worth and rarity, that they think God is beholden to them, if he can get any good action from them. But when thy painted face shal be brought before the fire of Gods wrath, then thy vileness shal appear before men and angels. Oh, know [...], that as thou dost nothing else but sin, [...]o God heaps up wrath against the dread­ [...]ul day of wrath.

Thus much for mans misery, in regard of sin.

Now followeth his misery, in regard of [...]he consequents or miseries that follow upon sin. And these are,

  • 1. Present.
  • 2. Future.

First, mans present miseries that al­ready ly on him for sin, are these seven, that is,

First, God is his dreadful enemy, Mans present misery. Psal. 5.5.

Quest. How may one know another I to be his enemy?

Answ. 1. By their looks. 2. By their [Page 50] threats. 3. By their blowes. So God:

1. Hideth his face from every naturall man, and will not look upon him, Isai. 59.2.

2. God threatneth, nay curseth every natural man, Gal. 3.10.

3. God giveth them heavie bloodie lashes on their souls and bodies.

Never tell me therefore, that God bles­seth thee in thine outward estate: no grea­ter sign of Gods wrath, then for the Lord to give thee thy swinge, as a father never looketh after a desperate son, but letteth him run where he pleaseth. And if God be thine enemie, then every creature is so too, both in heaven and earth.

II Secondly, God hath forsaken them and they have lost God, Eph [...].12. It is [...]id, that in the grievous famine of Samaria, Isai. 55. doves dung was sold at a large price, be­cause they wanted bread. Oh, men live and pine away without God, without bread; and therefore [...]he dung of worldly con­tentments are esteemed so much of. Thou hast lost the sight of God, and the favor of God, and the special protection of God, and the government of God. Cains pu­nishment lyeth upon thee in thy naturall estate: thou art a runagate from the face of God, and from his face thou art hid. Ma [...]y h [...]ve grown mad to see [...] houses burnt, & all their goods lost. Oh, but God [Page 51] the greatest good is lost. This loss made Saul cry out of distresse of conscience, 1. Sam. 28 15. The Philistians make war against me, and God is departed from me The losse of the sweetnesse of whose pre­sence, for a little while only, made the Lord Jesus himself cry out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? whereas thou hast lost God all thy lifetime. Oh, thou hast an heart of brass, that canst not mourn for his absence so long. The dam­ned in hell have lost God, and know it, and so the plague of desperate horror lyeth upon them. Thou hast lost God here, but knowest it not, and the plague of an hard heart lyeth upon thee, and thou canst not mourn for this losse.

Thirdly, they are condemned men,III condemned in the Court of Gods Justice, by the Law which c [...]yeth, Treason, treason, against the most high God, and condem­ned by Justice and Mercy by the Gospel; which c [...]yeth, Murder murder ag [...]inst the Son of God. John 3.18. so that every na­tural man is damned in he [...]ven, and dam­ned on earth. God is thy all-seeing ter­rible Judge▪ conscience is thine accusers, an heavy witnesse his word is thy [...]ayle: thy [...]ust are thy fetters [...]. In this Bible is p [...]o [...]unced and will thy doom, thy sen­tence: Death is thy hang-ma [...]; and that fire that shall never go out, thy torment. [Page 52] The Lord hath in his infinite patience reprived thee for a time▪ O take heed▪ and get a pardon, before the day of execu­tion come.

IV Fourthly, being condemned, take him jaylor,Acts 28.22. He is a bound slave to satan, Eph 2.3. for his servants ye are whom ye obey saith Christ. Now every natural ma [...] doth the devils drugery, and carrieth the devils pack: and howsoever he saith, h [...] defieth the devil, yet he sins, and so doth his work▪ Satan hath overcome and con­quered all men in Adam, and therefor [...] under his bondage and dominion. An [...] though he cannot compell a man to si [...] against his own will, yet he hath power.

First, to present and allure a man [...] heart by a sinful temptation.

Secondly, to follow him with it, if [...] first he be something slie of it.

Thirdly, to disquyet and wrack him if he will not yeeld, as might be made t [...] appear in many instances.

Fourthly, besides he knoweth mens hu­mors, as poor wandring beggerly gentle­men do their friends,Mans fearful slaverie under satan. in necessity (yet in seeming court [...]sie) he visits and applye [...] himself unto them, and so gains them as his own. Oh, he is in a fearful slavery who is under satans dominion, who is.

1. A secret enemy to thee.

2. A deceitfull enemy to thee, that will [Page 53] make a man believe (as he did Evah) even in her integrity, that he is in a fair way, yet most miserable.

3. H [...] is a cruel enemy, or Lord over them that be his slaves, 2 Cor. 4.3. he gaggs them, so that they cannot speak, as that man that had a dumb devil, neither for God, not to God in prayer: he starves them, so as no Sermon shal ever do them good. [...] robs them of all they get in Gods ordinances; within three hours after the marke [...], the Sermon is ended▪

4. He is a strong enemy, Luke 1 [...].21. so that if all the devils in hell are able to keep men from coming out of their sins, he will: so strong an enemy, that he keeps men from so much as sighing or groaning under thei [...] burthens and bondage, Luke 11▪ 21. When the strong mam keeps the pa­lace, his goods are in peace.

Fifthly, He is cast into utter darkness, V as cruel jaylors put their prisoners into the worst dungeons,2. Pet. 2.10. so satan doth natu­ral men, 2 Cor. 4.3.4. They see no God, no Christ: they see not the happiness of the Saints in light: they see not these dread­ful torments that should now in this day of grace awaken them, and humble them, Oh, those by-paths which thousands wan­dred from God in: they have no lamp to their feet, to show them where they erre. Thou that art in thy natural state, art [Page 54] born blind, and the devil hath binded thine eyes more by sin, and God in ju­stice hath blinded them worse for sin, so that thou art in a corner of hell, because thou art in utter darknesse, where thou hast not a glimpse of any saving truth.

VI Sixth [...]y, They are bound hand and foot in this estate, and cannot come out, Rom. 5.6. 1 Cor. 2.14. for all kind of sins, like ch [...]ins, have bound every part and facul­ty of man, so that he is sure from stirring▪ and these are very strong in him, they be­ing as dear as his members, nay his life, Col. 3.7. so that when a man begin­neth to forsake his vile courses, and pur­poseth to become a new man, divels fe [...]c [...] him back, world inticeth him, and locketh him up; and flesh saith, Oh, it is too stric [...] a course, and then farewell me [...]ry dayes, and good fellowship. Oh, thou mayest wish and desire to come out sometime [...] ▪ but canst not put strength to thy desire, nor endure to do it. Thou mayest hang down thy head like a bul [...]-rush for sin▪ but thou canst nor repent of sin: thou mayest presume, but thou canst not be­lieve: thou mayest come half way▪ and forsake some sins, not all sins: thou ma [...]es [...] com [...] an [...] k [...]ck at heavens ga [...]e, as the foolish vi [...]i [...]ins did, but not ente [...] in a [...]d passe thr [...]ugh the gate: thou m [...]yest [...] the land of Canaan, and take much pain [...] [Page 55] to go into Canaan, and thou mayest taste of the bunches of graps of that good land, but never enter into Canaan, into heaven: but thou lyest bound hand and foot in this woful estate, and here thou must ly and rot like a dead carcasse in his grave, untill the Lord come and rowle away the stone, and [...]id thee come out and live.

Lastly, They are ready every moment VII to drop into hell. God is a consuming fire against thee, and there is but one paper wall of thy body between thy soul, and eternal flames. How soon may God stop thy breath, th [...]re is nothing but that be­tween thee and hell; if that were gone, then farewell all. Thou art condemned, and the muffler is before thine eyes, God knoweth, how soon the ladder may be turned: thou hang [...]st but by one rotten twined threed of thy life, over the flames of hell eve [...]y hour.Mans future miseries

Thus much of mans present miseries.

Now followeth his future miseries,I which are to come upon him hereafter.

They must die, either by a sudden, sull [...]n, or desperate death, Psal. 89.48. which though it was to a child of God a sweet sleep, yet to the wicked it is a fear­full curse pr [...]ceeding from Gods w [...]ath, whence like a lyon, [...]he tears body and soul asunder. Death cometh hissing upon [Page 56] them like a fiery dragon wi [...]h the sting of vengeance in the mou [...]h of it: It puts a period to all their worldly contentments, which then they must forsake, and carry nothing away wi [...]h [...] bu [...] a rotten winding she [...]t. It is the beginning of all all their wo [...]: It is the C [...]ptain that first strikes the stro [...]k, and then armies of end­lesse woes [...], Rev. 6. [...]. Oh, thou hadst be [...]et be [...] a dog then a man, for there is an end of th [...]ir tr [...]u­bles, when they are dead and gone; they [...]all now as men from a sleep, they know not where they [...] go N [...]w [...] is too late, e [...]p [...]cial [...]y if thou hast [...]ved under means before. It [...]s either a cold repen­tance, when the b [...]dy is weak, and the heart sick; or an hypocritical repentance, only for fear of hell, and therefore thou sayest, Lord Jesus, receive my soul, Nay, commonly then mens hearts are most hard, and therefore men die like lambs, and cry not out. Then it is hard plucking thy soul from the devils hands, to whom thou hast given it all thy life by sin: and if thou dost get it back, dost thou think that God will take the devils leavings? Now thy day is past, and darknesse beginneth to overspread thy soul: Now flocks of devils come into thy chamber, waiting for thy soul to fly upon it, as a ma [...]ive dog, when the door is opened. And this is the reason [Page 57] why most men die quietly that lived wic­kedly; because satan then hath them as his own prey: like pirats that let a ship passe by that is empty of goods, they shoot commonly at them that are richly loaden. The Christians in [...]ome parts of the Pri­mitive Church, took the Sacrament every day, because they did look to die every day. But these times wherein we live, are so poisoned and g [...]utted with their [...]ase, that it is a rare thing to see the man that looks death sted [...]ast [...]y in the face one hour together. But death will lay a bi [...]ter stroak on these one day:II

II. After de [...]th they appear before the Lord to judgement, Heb. 9.27. their bo­dies indeed for in their graves, but their souls r [...]urn before t [...]e Lord to judge­ment, Eccles. 12.7 The general Judge­ment is at the end of the world, when both body and soul appears before God and all the world, to an account: But there is a particular judgement that every man meets with after this life, immediately at the end of this [...]ife, where the soul is con­demned only before the Lord.

You may perceive what this particular [...]udgement is thus, by these four conclu­ [...]ns.1

1. That every man should die the first day he was born, is clea [...] [...]or the wages of sin, is death; in justice therefore it [Page 58] should be payed a sinful creature as soon as he is born.

2 2. That it should be thus with wicked men, but that Christ beggeth their lives for a season, 1 Tim. 4. He is the Savior of all men; that is, not a Savior of ete [...]nal preservation out of hell, but a Savior of temporal reservation from dropping into hell.

3 3. That this space of [...]me thus begged by Christ, is that season wherein only a man can m [...]ke his peace with a displeased God, 2 Cor. 6.2.

4 4. That if men do not thus within this cut of time, when death hath dispatched them, judgement only remaineth for them; that is, when their doom is read, their date of repentance is out, then their sentence of everl [...]sting death is passed up­on them, that never can be recalled again. And this is judgement after death. He that judgeth himself, saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. [...]1.31. shall not be judged of the Lord. Now wicked men will not judge and condemn themselves in this life, therefore at the end of it, God will jugde them. All natural men are lost in this life, but they may be found, and recove­red again; but a mans loss by death is [...] ­recoverable because there is no me [...]s after death to restore them: There is no friend to perswade, no Minister to preach [Page 59] by which faith is wrought, and men get Christ. There is no power of returning or repenting then; for night is come, and the day is past. Again, the punishment is so heavy, that they can only bear wrath, so that all their thoughts and affections are taken up with the burden. And there­fore Dives cryeth out, I am tormented. Oh, that the consideration of this point might awaken every secure sinner, What wil [...] become of thine immortal soul, when thou art dead? Thou sayest, I know nor, I hope well. I tell thee therefore that which may send thee mourning to thine house, and quaking to thy grave, if thou diest in this estate, thou shalt not die like a dog, not yet like a toad, but after death cometh judgement; then farewell friends, when dying; and farewell God for ever, when thou art dead.

Now the Lord open your eyes to see the terrors of this particular judgement,The [...] er­ror of mans particu­lar judg­ment. which if thou could see, unless you were mad, it would make you spend whole nights and dayes, in seeking to set all e­ven with G [...]d.

I will [...]ho [...] you briefly the manner and nature [...] in these particulars.

1. Thy soul shal be dragged out of thy b [...]dy, as out of a stinking pri [...]on, by the devil the J [...]yler, into s [...]me place within the bowels of the third heavens, [Page 60] and there thou shalt stand stript of all friends, all comfort, all creatures, before the presence of God, Luk. 19.27. as at the Assizes, first the jay [...]or bringeth the prisoner out.

2. Then thy soul shal have a new 2 lig [...]t put into it, whereby it shal see the glorious presence of God, as prisoners brought with guilty eyes, look with ter­ror upon the Judge. Now thou seest no God [...]broad in the world; but then thou shalt see the Almighty Jehovah, which sight shal strike thee with that hellish ter­ror and dreadful horror, that thou shalt call to the mountains to cover thee: [...] rocks, rocks, hide me from the face of th [...] Lamb, Rev. 6. ult.

3 3. Then all the sins that ever tho [...] hast or shalt commit, shal come fresh t [...] thy mind; as when the prisoner is com [...] before t [...]e face of the Judge, then his ac­cusers bring in their evi [...]ence: thy sleep [...] conscience then will be in st [...]ad of a thou­sand witnesses, and every sin then with all the circumstances of it, shall be set in order, armed wit [...] Gods wrath round about thee, Ps 50.21. as letters writ with juce of Oranges canno [...] be read until it be brought unto the fire, and then they appear: thou canst not read that bloody bill of indictment thy consci [...]nce hath against thee now; but when thou shal [Page 61] stand near unto God: a consuming fire. [...]hen what a heavie reckoning will appear. [...] ma [...] be thou hast left many sins now, [...]nd goest so far, and profitest so much, [...]hat no Christian can discern thee; nay, thou thinkest thy self in a safe estate; but yet there is one leak in thy ship that will [...] thee: there is one secret hidden sin in thine heart, which thou livest in, as all unsound people do, that will d [...]mne thee. I tell thee, as soon as ever thou art dead and gone, then thou shalt see where the knot did bi [...]d thee, where thy sin was that now hath spoiled thee for ever, and then thou shalt grow mad to think, O that I never saw this sin I loved, lived in, p [...]o [...]ted, perfected mine own eternal ruine by, until now, when it is too late to amend.

4. Then the Lord shal take his everla­sting 4 fare-well of thee, and make thee know it too. Now God is departed from thee in this life, but he may return in mercy to thee again: but then the Lord de­ [...]rts with all his patience to wait for thee m [...]re: no Christ shal be offered thee any more: no Spirit to strive with thee any more: [...]nd so shal passe sentence, though haply, not vocally, yet effectually upon thy soul, [...]nd say, Depart thou cursed. Thou shalt see indeed the glory of God that o­thers find; but to thy greater sorrow, shalt [Page 62] never taste the same, Luke. 13, 28.

5. Then shal God surrender up thy forsaken soul into the hands of devils, who being thy Jaylors, must keep thee till the great day of account; so that as thy friends are scrambling for thy goods, and worms for thy body, so devils shal scramble for thy soul▪ For as soon as ever a wicked man is dead, he is either in heaven or in hell. Not in heaven, for no unclean thing cometh there: if in hell, then amongst de­vi [...]s: there shal be thine eternal lodging 1 Pet. 3, 19. And hence thy forlorn soul shal ly mourning for the time past, now too late amazed at the eternity of sorrow that is to come, waiting for that fearful hour, when the last trumpet shal blow, and then body and soul meet to bear that wrath, that fire that shal never go out. Oh, therefore suspect and fear the wor [...] of thy self now: [...]hou hast seldome, or never, or very [...], troubled thine head about this matter, whether Christ wh [...] save thee or not: Thou hast such strong hopes and confidenc [...]s already, [...] will: Know that it [...] thou mayes [...] be deceived: and if [...] when th [...]u sh [...] know thy doom a [...]ter death, thou [...] not get an hour more to make thy [...] in with God, a [...]tho [...]gh th [...]u [...] weep tears of blood. If eit [...]er the [...] of ignorance shal be before thine eyes, [Page 63] like an hand-kercher,, about the face of one condemned; or if thou art p [...]nioned with any lust; or if thou makest thine own pardon; proclaimest (because thou art sory a little for thy sins, and resol­vest nev [...]r to do the like again) peace to [...]hy soul, thou art one that after death [...]halt appear before the Lord to judge­ment: Thou that art thus condemned now, dying so, shalt come to thy fearful execution after death.

There shal be a general judgment of [...]oul and body at the end of the world, wherein they shal be arraigned and con­demned before the great Tribunal seat of Jesus Christ, Jude [...]4.15. 2. Col. 5.10. The hearing of judgement to come, made Felix to tremble: Nothing of more effi­cacy to awaken a secure sinner, then sad thoughts of this fiery day.

But thou wilt ask me,Object. how it may be proved that there will be such a day?

I answer, Gods justice calleth for it,Answ. this world is the stage wh [...]re Gods pa­tience and bounty act their parts, and hence every man will profess & conceive, because he feelth it, that God is merciful;Why there must be a day of judge­ment. but Gods justice is questioned: men think God to be all mercy, and no justice; all [...]oney, and no sting. Now the wicked prosper in all their wayes, are never puni­ [...]hed, but live & die in peace, whereas the [Page 64] godly are dayly afflicted and reviled, Therefore because this Attribute suffers a totall eclipse almost [...]ow, there must come a day wherein it m [...]st shine out be­fore all the world in the glory of it▪ Rom. 2.5.

The second reason is from the glory o [...] Christ: He was accused, arraigned, con­demned by men, therefore he shall be the judge of men, John 5.27. for this [...] an ordinary piece of Gods providence to­wards his people, the same evil he casts them into now, he exalts them into the contrary good in his time. As the Lord hath a purpose to make Joseph ruler over all Egypt, but first he maketh him a slave, God had a meaning to make Christ Judge of men, therefore first he suffers him to be judged of men.

Quest. Object. But when shall this judgement day be?

Answ. Though we cannot tell the day and hour particularly,Answ. yet this we are sure of, that when all the Elect, are called, for whose [...]ake the world stands, Isa. 1.9. when these pillars are taken away, then wo to the world, as when Lot was taken out of Sodom; then was Sodom burnt▪ Now it is not probable that this time will come as yet: for first Antichrist must be consumed; and not only the scattered visi­ble Jews, but the whole body of the Israe­lites [Page] [Page 65] must first be called, and have a glori­ous Church here upon earth, Ezek. 37. This glorious Church Scripture and rea­son will enforce, which when it is called, shal not be expired as soon as it is born, [...]ut shal con [...]inue many a year.

Quest. But how shal this judgement be?Quest.

Answ. The Apostle describes it,Answ. [...]. Thes. 4.16, 17.

1. Christ shal break out of the third 1 heaven, and be seen in the air, before any dead arise, and this shal be with an admi­rable shout, as when a King cometh to tri­umph over his subjects and enemies.

2▪ Then shal the voice of the Arch-an­gel 2 be heard, now this Arch angel is Jesus Christ himself, as the Scripture ex­pounds, being in the clouds of heaven; He shal with an audible Heaven-shaking shout, say, Rise you dead and come to judg­ment, even as he called to Lazarus, Laza­rus arise.

3. Then the T [...]ump shall blow, and 3 even as at the giving of the Law, Exod. 19. Its said the trumpet sounded, much more lowder shall it now sound when he comes to judgement, that have broken the law.

4. Then shal the dead arise. 1. The bo­dies 4 of them that have died in the Lord shal rise first, then the others that live, shal like Enoch be translated and changed, [...] Cor▪ 15.

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[Page 66]5. When thus the Judge and Justices are upon the bench at Christs right hand one their Thrones, then shal the guilty Prisoners be brought forth, and come out of their graves, like filthy toads, against this terrible storm. Then shal all the wicked that ever were, or ever shal be, stand quaking before this glorious Judge [...] with the same bodies, feet, hands, to re­ceive their doom.

1 Oh, consider this day, thou that livest in thy sins now, and yet art safe: there is a day coming wherein thou mayest and shalt be judged.

1. Consider who shal be thy Judge, why, mercy, pi [...]ty, goodness it self, even Jesus Christ, that many times held out his bowels of compassion towards thee. A child of God may say, Y [...]der is my bro­ther, friend, husband. But th [...] mayest say, yonder is mine enemy. He may say at that day, Yonder is he that [...] his blood to save me: Thou mayest say, Yonder [...] cometh whose heart I have pierced with my sins, whose blood I have despised. They may say, O come, Lord Jesus, and cover me under thy wings: But thou shalt then cry out, O rocks, fall upon me, and hide me from t [...]e fac [...] of the La [...]b.

2 2. Consider the manner of his co­ming, 2. Thesse 1.7. He shal come in fla­ming fire, the heavens shal be on a flame: [Page 67] the elements shal melt like scalding lead upon thee. When an house is on fire at midnight in a town, what a fearful cry is there made? When all the world shal cry, Fire, fire, and run up and down for shel­ter to hide themselves, but cannot find it, but say: O now the gloomy day of blood and f [...]e is come: here is for my pride, here is for my o [...]hes, and the wages for my drunkenness, security, and neglect of [...]

3. [...] regard of the heavie [...]ccusations 2 that shall come against thee at that day: There was never a wicked man almost in the world, as fair a f [...]ce as he carrieth, but he hath at some time or other, committed some such secret villany, that he would be ready to hang himself for shame. If ot [...]ers did know of it, as secret whoredom, Eccle [...] ult. [...]. self-pollution, speculative wantonness, men with men, women with women, as the Apostle speaketh, Rom. 1. Why at this day, all the world shal see and hear these privy pranks, then the books shal be ope­ned. Men will not take up a foul busi­ness, nor end it in private; therefore there shal be a day of publick hearing: things shal not be suddenly shuffled up, as car­nal thoughts imagine, viz. That at this day, first Christ shal raise the dead, and then the separation shal be made, [...] the Sentence past▪ and then sud­denly [Page 68] the judgement day is done: No, no, it must take up some large quantity of time, that all the world may see the secret sins of wicked men in the world; and therefore it may be made evident from all Scripture and reason, that this day of Christs kingly Office in judging the world, shal last haply longer then his pri­vate administration now (wherein he is less glorious) in governing the world. Tremble thou time-server, tremble thou hypocrite, tremble thou that livest in any secret sin under the all-seeing eye of this Judge: thine own conscience indeed shal be a sufficient witness against thee, to discover all thy Sins a [...] thy particular judge­ment▪ but all the world shal openly see thine hidden close courses of darkness, to thine everlasting shame at this day.

4. In regard of the fearful Sentence that then shal be passed upon thee; De­part thou cursed creature into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, Thou shalt then cry out, O mercy, Lord: O a little mercy. No, will the Lord Je­sus say: I did indeed once offer it you, but you refused, therefore Depart. Then thou shalt plead again, Lord, if I must depart, yet bless me before I go. No, no, Depart, thou cursed. Oh, but Lord, if I must depart cursed, let me go to some good place. No, Depart, thou cursed [Page 69] into hells fire. Oh, Lord, that is a tor­ment I cannot bear: but if it must be so, Lord, let me come out again quickly▪ No, Depart, thou cursed, into everlasting fire. Oh, Lord, if this be thy pleasure, that here I must abide, let me have good company with me. No, Depart, thou cur­sed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. This shal be thy sen­ [...]ce. The hearing of which may make the [...]ocks to rent▪ so that go on in thy sin, and prosper; despise and scoff at Gods Mi­nisters, and prosper; abhor the power and practise of Religion, as a too precise course, and prosper; yet know it, there will a day come when thou shalt meet with a dreadful Judge, a doleful Sen­tence. Now is thy day of sinning, but God will have shortly his day of condem­ning.

When the Judgement day is done, then the fearful wrath of God shal be poured out, and piled upon their bodies and souls, and the breath of the Lord like a stream of brimstone shal kindle it, and [...] burning, and none shal ever quench it. This is the execution of a sinner after judgement, Rev. [...]1. [...].Where [...] consists the wrath of God.

Now this wrath of God consisteth in these things.

1. Thy soul shal be banished from the face and blessed sweet presence of God [Page 70] and Christ, and thou shalt never see the [...] of God more. It is said, Acts 20. that they wept sore, because they should see Pauls face no more: Oh, thou shalt never see the face of God, Christ, saints nor ange [...] more. O heavy doom, to famish and pine away for ever without one bit of bread to comfort thee, one smile of God to refresh thee. Men that have their sores running upon them must be shut up from the pre­sence of men sound and whole. Oh, thy sins like plague-sores run on thee, there­fore thou must be shut out like a dog from the presence of God and all his people, 2 Thes. [...]. [...].

2. God shal set himself like a consum­ing infinite fire against thee, and tread thee under his feet, who hast by sin troad him and his glory under foot all thy life. A man may devise exquisite torments for another, and great power may make a little stick to lay on heavy stroaks; but great power stirred up to strike from great fury and wrath, makes the stroke deadly. I tell thee all the wisedom of God shal then be set against thee to [...] tor­ments for thee, Mich. 1.3. there was ne­ver such wrath felt or conceived as the Lord hath devised against thee that livest and dyest in thy natural est [...]te. Hence it is called wrath to come, 1 Thes. 1. ult. The torment which wi [...]dom shal devise, the [Page 71] almighty power of God shal indict upon thee, so as there was never such power seen in making the world, as in holding a poor creature under the wrath, that holds up [...]he soul in being with one hand, and bears it with the other, ever burning like fire against a creature, and yet that crea­ture never burnt up, Rome. 9.22. Think not this cruelty, it is justice; what cares God for a vile wretch whom nothing can make good while it lives. If we have been [...]ng in h [...]wing a block, and we can make [...]o meet vessel of it, pot it to no good use [...] our selves, we cast it into the fire: God sheweth thee by Sermons, sicknesse, losses and crosses, sudden death, mercies and mi­series, yet nothing makes thee better, what should God do with thee, but cast thee [...]ence? Oh, consider of this wrath before you feel it. I had rather have all the world burning about mine ears, then to have one bl [...]ing frown from the blessed face of an infinite and dreadful God. Thou canst not endure the torment of a little kitchen fire upon the t [...]p of thy finger, not one half hour together: how wilt thou bear the fury of this infinite, endless con­suming fire in body and soul throughout all eternity?

3. The never dying worm of a guilty conscience shal torment thee, as if thou h [...]dst swallowed down a living poysonfull [Page 72] snake, which shal ly gnawing and biting thine heart for sin past, day and night. And this worm shal torment by showing the cause of thy misery; that is, that thou didst never care for him that should have saved thee. By showing thee also thy sins against the Law. By showing thee thy sloath, whereby thy happiness is lost. Then shal thy conscience gnaw, to think, so many nights I went to bed without pra­yer, and so many dayes and hours I spent in feasting, and foolish sporting. Oh, if I had spent half that time, now mis-spent, in praying, in mourning, in meditation; yonder in heaven had I been. By sho­wing thee also the means that thou once hadst to avoid this misery: Such a Mini­ster I heard once, that told me of my par­ticular sins, as if he had been told of me: Such friend perswaded me once to turn over a new leaf. I remember so many knocks God gave at this iron heart of mine: So many mercies the Lord sent: But, oh! no means could prevail with me.

Lastly, by showing thee how easily thou mightest have avoided all these mi­series. Oh, once I was almost perswa­ded to be a Christian! but I suffered my heart to grow dead, and fell to loose com­pany, and so lost all. The Lord Jesus came unto my door, and knocked: and if [Page 73] I had done that for Christ, which I did for the devil many a time, to open at his knocks, I had been saved. A thousand such bites will this worm give at thine heart, which shal make thee cry out: O time, time! O Sermons, Sermons! O my hopes, and my helps are now lost, that once I had to save my lost soul!

4. Thou shalt take up thy lodging for 4 ever with devils, and they shal be thy companions: Him thou hast served here, with him thou must dwel there. It scar­reth men out of their wits almost, to see the devil (as they think) when they be alone: But what horror shal fill thy soul, when thou shalt be banished from angels society, and come into the fellowship of devils for ever.

5. Thou shalt be filled with final de­spair.5 If a man be grievously sick, it comforteth him to think it will not last long. But if the Physician tell him he must li [...]e all his lifetime in this extremity, he thinketh the poorest begger in a better estate then himself. Oh, to think when thou hast been million of years in thy sor­rows, then thou art not nearer thy end of bearing thy misery, then at the first co­ming in. Oh, I might once have had mercy, and Christ; but no hope now ever to have one glimpse of his face, or one good look from him any more.

[Page 74]Thou shalt vomit out blasphemous oathes and curses in the face of God the Father for ever, and curse God that never elected thee, and curse the Lord Jesus that never shed one drop of blood to redeem thee, and curse God the holy Ghost that passed by thee, and never called thee, Rev- 10, 9. And here thou shalt ly and weep, and gnash thy teeth in spight against God and thy self, and roar and stamp, and grow mad, that there thou must ly under the curse of God for ever· Thus, I say, thou shalt ly blaspheming, with Gods wrath, like a pile of fire on thy soul burning; and floods, nay seas, nay more, seas of tears (for thou shalt for ever ly weeping) shal never quench it. And here, which way soever thou lookest, thou shalt see matter of ever­lasting grief. Look up to heaven, and there thou shalt see (oh!) that God is for ever gone. Look about thee, thou shalt see de­vils quaking, cursing God: and thousands, nay millions of sinful damned creatures crying and roaring out with dole [...]ul shri­kings; Oh, the day that ever I was born! Look within thee, there is a guilty con­science gnawing. Look to time past: Oh, those golden dayes of grace, and sweet sea­sons of mercy are quite lost & gone! Look to time to come, there thou shalt behold evils, troups and swarmes of sorrows and [...]oes, and raging waves, and billows of [Page 75] wrath coming roaring upon thee. Look to time present: O not one hour or mo­ment of ease or refreshing, but all courses meet together, and feeding upon one poor lost immortal soul, that never can be re­covered again. No God, no Christ, no Spirit to comfort thee. No Minister to preach unto thee: no friend to weep away thy continual tears: no Sun to shine u­pon thee: nor a bit of bread: not one drop of water to cool thy tongue.

This is the misery of every natur [...]l man. Now do not you shift it from thy self, and and say, God is mercifull. True, but it is to very few, as shal be proved. It is a thousand to one, if ever thou be one of that smal number whom God hath pic­ked out to escape his wrath to come. If thou do not get the Lord Jesus to bear this w [...]ath, fare-well God, Christ and Gods mercy for ever. And I am sure that it is no common evil which God giveth to every wicked man: If Christ had shed seas of blood, set thine heart at rest, there is not one drop of it for thee, until thou comest to see, and feel, and groan under this mi­serable estate. I tell thee, Christ is so far from saving thee, that he is thine enemy. If Christ were here, and should say, Here is my blood for thee, if thou wilt but ly down and mourn under the burden of thy misery: and yet for all his speeches, thy [Page 76] dry eyes weep not, thy stout heart yeel­deth not, thy hard heart mourneth not, as to say: Oh, I am a sinful, lost, con­demned, cursed, dead creature: What shall I do? Doest thou not think but he would turn away his face from thee, and say: Oh, thou stony hard-hearted crea­ture, wouldest thou have me save thee from thy miserie, and yet thou wilt not groan, sigh and mourn for deliverance to me out of thy misery? If thou likest thine estate so well, and prizest m [...] so little, pe­rish in thy misery for ever.

Oh, labour to be humbled day and night under this thy woful e [...]ate.The scope of knowing our mi­series, is to be hum­bled. Thou art guilty of Adams griveous sin; will this break thine heart? No. Thou art dead in sin, and top full of all sin; will this break thine heart? No. Whatsoever thou doest, hast done, shalt do, remaining in this estate, is sin; will this break thine heart? No. God is thine enemy, and thou hast lost him, will this break thine heart? No. Thou art condemned to die eternal­ly, satan is thy jaylor, thou art bound hand and foot in the bolts of thy sins; and cast into utter darkness, and ready every moment to drop into hell; will this break thine heart? No. Thou mayest die, and after that appear before the Lord to judge­ment, and then bear Gods everlasting in­supportable wrath a which renteth the [Page 77] rocks, and bu [...]neth down to the bottom of hell; will this break thine hard heart, man? No. Then farwell Christ for ever; never look to see a Christ, untill thou doest come to feel thy misery, thy misery out of Christ.

Labor therefore for this, and the Lord will reveal the brazen Serpent, when thou art in thine own sense and fee­ling, stung to death with thy fiery ser­pents.

So I come to open the fourth principal point, viz.


THat the Lord Jesus Christ is the only means of redemption and deliverance out of this estate, Eph. 1.7. In whom we have redemption through his blood. Which plainly demonstrateth, that

Jesus Christ is the only means of mans Redemption and deliverance ou [...] o [...] his bon­dage and miserable estate. And this is the doct [...]ine I shal now insist upon.

When the Israelites were in bondage and misery, he sendeth Moses to deliver them. When they were in Babylon, he stirreth up Cyrus to open the prison gates to them. But when man is in misery, he sendeth the Lord JESUS, God [Page 78] and Man, to redeem him, Acts 4.12.

Quest. Quest. How doth Christ redeem man out of this misery.

Answ. Answ. By paying a price for them, 1 Cor. 6. ult. Gods mercy will be mani­fested in saving some, and his justice must be satisfied, by having satisfaction or price made and paid for mans sin.

Hence Christ satisfieth Gods justice.

1 First, by standing in the room of a [...] them whom mercy decreeth to save.How men are redee­med. A surety standeth in the room of a debter, Heb. 7.22. As the first Adam stood in the room of all mankind fallen; so Christ standeth in the room of all men risin [...], or to be restored again.

Secondly, by taking from them, i [...] 2 whose room he stood, the eternal gui [...]t of all their sins, and by assuming the gui [...] of all those sins unto himself, 2 Cor. 5.2 [...] ▪ Hence Luther said, Christ was the greates [...] sinner by imputation.

3 Thirdly, by bearing the curse and wrath of God kindled against sin: God is so ho­ly that when he seeth sin sticking only b [...] imputation to hi [...] own Son, he will not spare him, but his wrath and curse must he bear, Gal. 3.13. Christ drinketh up the cup of all the elect at one draught, which they should have been supping, and drinking and sw [...]lling, and tormented with millions of years.

[Page 79]Fourthly, by bringing into the pre­sence 4 of God perfect righteousness,Dan. 9.2. Rom. 5.11. for this also Gods Justice required (perfect conformity) to the Law, as well as (perfect satisfaction) suffered for the wrong offered to the Law-giver, Justice thus requiring these four things. Christ satisfieth justice by performing them, and so payeth the price.

II. Christ is Redeemer by strong hand.II The first Redemption by price is finished in Christs person at his resurrection: the second is begun by the Spirit in mans vo­cation, and ended at the day of Judge­ment; as money is first paid for a captive in Turkie, and then because he cannot come to his own Prince himself, he is fetcht away by strong hand▪

Here is encouragement to the vilest sinner, and comfort to thy self succourless,use 1 and lost sinner, who have spent all their moneys, their time and endeavours upon these duties and strivings that have been but poor Phisicians to them. Oh look up [...]re to the Lord Jesus, who can do that cure for thee in a moment, which all crea­turs cannot do in many years. What bolts, what strong fetters? what unruly lusts, temptations, and miseries art thou lockt into? Behold the Deliverer is come out of Sion, having satisfied justice, and paid a price to ransom poor captives, Luke [...] [Page 80] with the keyes of heaven, hell, and thy unruly heart, in his hand, to fetch thee out with great mercy and strong hand; who knows but th [...]u poor prisoner of hell, thou poor captive [...]f the devil, thou poor sh [...]kled sinner, mayest be one whom he is c [...]me for? Oh, look up to him, sigh to heaven for de [...]iverance from him, and be glad and rejoice at his coming.

This strikes terror to them, that though use 2 there is a means of deliverance, yet they ly in their misery, never groan, never sigh to the Lord Jesus for deliverance, nay, that rejoice in their bondage, and dance to hell in their bolts; nay, that are weary of de­liverance, that sit in the stocks when they are at prayers, that come out of the Church when the tedious Sermon was somewhat beyond the hour, like prisoners out of jayl, that despise the Lord Jesus, when he offereth to open the doors, and so let them out of that miserable estate. Oh, poor creatures! is there a means of deliverance▪ and doest thou neglect, nay despise it? Know it, that this will cut thine heart one day, when thou art hanging in thy gibbets in hell, to see others standing at Gods right hand, redeemed by Christ; thou mightest have had share in their ho­nor, for there was a Deliverer come to save thee, but thou wouldest have none of him. Oh, thou wilt ly yelling in those [Page 81] everlasting burnings, and tear thy hair, and cu [...]se thy self: from hence might I have been delivered, but I would not. Hath Christ delivered thee from hell, and hath he no [...] d [...]livered thee from thine ale-house? Hath Christ delivered thee from satans society, when he hath not de­livered thee from thy loose company yet? Hath Christ delivered thee from bur­ning, when thy faggots, thy sins grow i [...] thee? Is Christs blood thine that makest no more account of it, nor feelest no more vertue from it, then in the blood of a chic­ken? Art thou redeemed? Doest thou hope by Christ to be saved, that didst ne­ver see, nor feel, nor sigh under thy bon­dage? Oh, the devils will keep holy-day (as it were) in hell, in respect of thee, who shalt mourn under Gods wrath, and lament. Oh, there was a means to deli­ver us out of it; but thou shalt mourn for ever for thy misery. And this will be a bodkin at thine heart one day, to think there was a Deliverer, but I, (wretch) would none of him.

Here likewise is matter of reproof, to use 3 such as seek to come out of this misery, from and by themselves. If they be igno­r [...]n [...], they hope to be saved by their good meaning, and prayers. If civil, by paying all they owe, and doing as they would be done by, and by doing no bod [...] any [Page 82] harm. I [...] they be troubled about their estates, then they lick themselves who [...]e by their mourning, repenting, and refor­ming. O [...], poor stubble, canst thou stand before this consuming fire without sin? Canst thou make thy self a Christ for thy self? Canst thou bear, and come from under an infinite wrath? Canst thou bring in perfect righteousness into the pre­sence of God? This Christ must do, else he could not satisfie and redeem And if thou canst not do thus, and hast no Christ, desire and pray, that heaven and earth shake, till thou hast worn thy tongue to the stumps; endeavour as much as thou canst, and others commend thee for a diligent Christian: mourn in some wilderness till dooms-day: dig thy grave there with thy nails: weep buckets full of hourly tears, till thou canst weep no more: Fast and pray till thy skin and bones cleave together: promise and pur­pose with full resolution to be better; nay, reform thy head, heart, life and tongue, and some, nay all sins: live like an angel, shine like a Sun, walk up and down the world like a distressed pilgrim going to another Countrey, so that all Christians commend and admire thee. Die ten thousand deaths: ly at the fire back in hell so many millions of years as there be piles of grass on the earth, or sands upon [Page 83] the sea shore, or stars in heaven, or mo [...]s in the Sun; I tell thee, not one spark of Gods wrath against thy sin, shal be, can be quenched by all these duties, nor by any of these sorrows or tears, for these are not the blood of Christ. Nay, if all the Angels and Saints in heaven and earth should pray for thee, these cannot deliver thee; for they are not the blood of Christ. Nay, God as a Creator, ha­ving made a [...]aw, will not forgive one sin without the blood of Christ. Nay, Christs blood will not do it neither, if thou doest joyn never so little, that thou hast or doest unto Jesus Christ, and ma­kest thy self, or any of thy dut [...]es, co-part­ners with Christ in that great work of saving thee. Cry out therefore, as that blessed Martyr did, None but Christ, none but Christ.

Take head of neglecting or rejecting so great salvation by Jesus Christ. Take use 1 heed of spilling this potion, that only can cure thee.

But thou wilt say,Object. This means of re­demption is only appointed for some, it is not intended for all, therefore not for me, therefore how can I reject Christ?

It is true,Answ. Christ spent not his breath to pray for all, John 17.9. much less his blood for all; therefore he was never in­tended as a Redeemer of all: but that he [Page 84] is not intended as a deliverer of thee.The of­fer of Christ universal and why. How doth this follow? How dost thou know this?

But secondly, I say though Christ be not intended for all, yet he is offered unto all, and therefore unto thee. And the ground is this chiefly.

The universal offer of Christ arriseth not from Christs priestly office, immedi­atly but from his Kingly Office, whereby the Father having given him all power and dominion in heaven and earth, he hereupon commands all men to stoop un­to him, and likewise bids all his Disciples and all their successors to go and preach the Gospel to every creature under hea­ven, Mat. 28.18 19. For Christ doth not immeditatly offer himself unto all men as a Saviour,Mat. 19.15. whereby they may be encoura­ged to serve him as a King: but first as a King commanding them to cast away their weapons and stoop unto his Scepter, and depend upon his free mercy, acknow­ledging, if ever he save me, I will blesse him: if he damne me, his name is righte­ous in so dealing with me.

But that I may fasten this exhortation 1 I will fasten these four things.The of­fering of Christ universal and wherein

1. The Lord Jesus is offered to every particular person: which I will shew thus, what hast thou to say against it, that thou doest doubt of it? It may may be thou wilt plead.

[Page 85]Oh, I am so ignorant of my self, God, Christ, or his will, that surely the Lord offers no Christ to me.Prov. 9.8.

Yes, but he doth, though thou lyest in utter darkness. Our blessed Saviour glo­rified his Father for revealing the miste­ry of the Gospel to simple men, neglecting those that carried the chief reputation of wisdom in the world. The parts of none are so low,2 Cor. 5.20. as that they are beneath the gracious regard of Christ. God be­stoweth the best fruits of his love upon mean and weak persons here, that he might confound the pride of flesh the more. Where it pleaseth him to make his choise and to exalt his mercy,Prov. 1.22, 23. he passeth by no degree of wit, though never so un­capable:

But thou wilt say,Object. I am an enemy to God, and have ane heart so stubborn and loath to yeeld: I have vexed him to the very heart by my transgressions.

Yet he beseecheth thee to be reconci­led. Put case thou hast been a sinner,Answ. and rebellious against God, yet so long as thou art not found amongst malicious oppo­sers, and underminers of his truth, never give way to despairing thoughts, thou hast a mercifull S [...]viour.

But I have despised the means of re­conciliation, and rejected mercy.Object.

Yet God calleth thee to turn,Answ. Thou [Page 86] hast [...] the harlot with many lovers▪ yet [...] again to me, saith the Lord, Jer. 3.1. Cast thy self into the arms of Christ, and if thou perishest, perish there; if thou do [...] not, thou art sure to perish, if mercy [...]e to he had any where, it is by seeking in Christ, not by running from him. Herein appeareth Christs love to thee, that he hath given thee an heart in some degree senseble: he might have given thee up to hardness, security and prophanness, of all spiritual judgements the greatest. But he that died for his enemies, will in no wise refuse those, the desire of whose soul i [...] towards him. When the Prodigal set himself to return to his father, his father stayeth no [...] for him, but meeteth him in the way. If our sins displease us, they shall never hurt us, but we shall be estimed of God to be that which we desire and labour to be, Psal. 145.19.

But can the Lord offer Christ to me, so poor,Object. that have no st [...]eng [...]h, no faith no grace, nor sense of a [...]y povert [...]?

Yes even to thee: why should we ex­cept our selves,Answ. when Christ doth not except us? Come unto me all ye that are wearie and heavie laden We are therefore poor, because we know not our riches. We can never be in such a condition, wher [...]in their will be just cause of utter despair. He that fitteth in darkness and [Page 87] [...]eth no light, no light of comfort, no light of Gods countenance, Yet let him trust in the Name of the Lord. Weakness doth not debar us from mercy; nay, they [...] God the more. The husband is bored to bear with the wife, as being the weaker vessel: and shal we think God will exempt himself from his own rule, and not bear with his weak spouse?

But is this offer made to me that cannot love prize, no [...] desire the Lord Jesus?Object.

Yes, to thee:Answ. Christ knoweth how to pity us in t [...]is case. We are weak, but we are his. A father looketh not so much at the blemishes of his child, as at his own nature in him; so Christ findeth matter of love f [...]om any t [...]ing of his own in us▪ A Christians carriage towards Christ may in ma [...]y things be very offensive, and cause much strangene [...]s, yet so long as he [...]eso [...]veth not upon any known evil, Christ wil [...] own him, and [...]e Christ.

Oh! but I have fallen from God oft,Object. [...]ince he hath inlightened me: and doth [...]e reader Christ to me?

Thou must know, that Christ hathAnsw. [...]arried every believing soul to himself, [...]nd that where the work of grace is be­gun, sin looseth strength by every new fall. If there be a spring [...]f sin in thee, there is [...] spring of mercy in God, and a fountain [...]ayly opened to wash thy unc [...]eanness in: [Page 88] Adam indeed lost all by once sinning; [...] we are under a better covenant, a cove­nant of mercy; and are incouraged by the Son to go to the Father every day for the sins of that day.

Object.If I was willing to receive Christ, I might have Christ offered to me. But wil [...] the Lord offer him to such an one as de­sireth not to have Christ?

Answ.Yes, saith our Savior, I would hav [...] gathered you, as the hen gathereth he [...] chickens under her wings, and you woul [...] not. We must know, a certain power can­not only bring something out of nothing but contrary out of contrary: of unwil [...]ling, God can make us a willing peopl [...] There is a promise of pouring clean water upon us: And Christ hath taken upo [...] him to purge his Spouse, and make her [...] for himself.

What hast thou now to plead again this strange kindness of the Lord, in [...] Christ to thee? Thou wilt say, may be.

Object.Oh, I fear time is past: Oh, time past: I might once have had Christ, [...] now mine heart is sealed down with har [...]ness, blindness, unbelief. Oh! time now gone.

Answ.No, not so, see Isai. 65 1. [...], 3. A [...] the day long God holdeth out his [...] to a back-sliding and rebellious peop [...]

[Page 109]

soon quenched; and his zeal soon spent; they hold not out. Whereas I am constant and preserve in godly courses.

So did that young man, yet he was a graceless man, Matth. 19.20.Answ. All these things have I done from my youth: what lack I yet?

It is true, Hypocrites may preserve,Object. 13. but [...]ey know themselves to be naught all the while, and so deceive others, but I am perswaded that I am in Gods favor, and and in a safe and happy estate, since I do all with a good heart for God.

This thou mayest verily think of thy self and yet be deceived, and damned,Answ▪ [...] go to the devil at last▪ Prov. 13.12. There is a way (saith Solomon) that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death. For he is an hypocrite, not only that makes a seeming outward shew of what he hath not, but also that hath a true shew of what indeed there is not. The first sort of Hypocrites deceive others only; the latter, having some inward, yet com­mon work deceive themselves too, James 1.26. If any man seem to be Religous (so many are, and so deceive the world) but it is added, deceiveth his own soul. Nay, thou mayest go so fairly, and live so honestly, that all the best Christians about thee may think well of thee, and never suspect thee, and so mayest passe [Page 110] through the world, and die with a delu­ded comfort; that thou shalt go to heaven, and be canonized for a Saint in thy fune­ral Sermon, and never know thou art counterfeit, till the Lord b [...]ingeth thee to thy strict and last examination, and s [...] thou receivest that dreadful sentence▪ [...] ye cursed. So it w [...]s with the five [...] virgins, th [...]t were never discovered by [...] wise, nor by themselves, until the gate of grace was shut upon them. If thou hast therefore no better evidences to show for thy self, that thine estate is good, then these; I will not give a pins point for all th [...] flattering false hopes of being saved. But it may be thou hast never yet come so far as to this pitch: and if not, Lord! what will become of thee? Suspect thy self much: and when in this ship-wrak o [...] souls thou seest so many thousands sink, cry out and conclude: It is a wonder of wonders, and a thousand to one, if ever thou comest safe to shear.

use 3 Oh! st [...]ive [...] to be one of them tha [...] shall be saved, though i [...] cost thee thy blood, and the loss of all that thou hast. Labor to go beyond all those that go so far, and yet perish at the last. Do not say, that seing so few shal be saved, therefore this discourageth me from seeking, be­cause all my labor may be in vain. Con­sider that Christ here maketh another i [...] [Page 111] better use of it, Luke 13, [...]. Seeing that many shal seek, and not [...]; therefore ▪ saith he, str [...]ve to enter in at the strai [...] gatepunc; venture at least, and try what the Lord wil do for thee.

Wherein doth a child of God (and so [...]ow may I?Object.) go beyond these hypocrites [...] go so far?

In three things principally.Answ.

First, no unregenerate man, though he 1 go never so far, let him do never so much,Where­in a child of God goeth beyond an hypo­crite. but he liveth in some one sin or other, secret or open, little or great. Judas went far, but he was c [...]vetous. Herod went far, but he loved his Herodias. Every dog hath his kennel, every swine hath his swill, and every wicked man his lust: for no unregenerate man hath fruition of God to content him. And there is no mans heart but it must have some good to con­tent it; which good is to be found only in the fountain of all good, and that is God: or in the cistern, and that is in the creatures. Hence a man having lost full [...]o [...]tent in God, he seeketh for, & feedeth [...]pon contentment in the creature, which [...]e maketh a God to him; and here lye [...] his lust or sin, which he must needs live [...]. Hence, ask those men that go very far, [...]od take their penny for good silver, and [...]ommend themselves for t [...]eir good de­ [...]es: I say, ask them, if they have no sin▪ [Page 112] Yes, say they, who can live without sin? So they give way to sin, and therefore live in sin: Nay, commonly all the duties, prayers, care, and zeal of the best hypo­crites, are to hide a lust, as the whore in the Proverbs, that wipeth her mouth, and goeth to the Temple, and payeth her vows: O [...] to feed their lusts, as Je [...]u hi [...] zeal against Baal, was to get a Kingdom, There remaineth a root of bitterness in the best hypocrites, which howsoever it be lopt off sometimes by sickness, or horror of conscience; and a man hath purposes ne­ver to commit it again, yet there it secret­ly lurketh: and though it seemeth to be bound, and conquered by the Word; or by prayer, or by outward crosses, or while the hand of God is upon a man, yet the inward strength and power of it remaineth still: and therefore when temptations, like strong Philisti [...]s, are upon this m [...]n again he breaketh all vows, promises, bonds of God, and will save the life of his sin.

Secondly, no unregenerate man or wo­man ever came to be poor in spirit, and so to be carried out of all duties unto Christ: if it were possible for them to for­sake and break loose for ever from all sin, yet here they stick, as the Scribes and Pharisees, and so like zealous Paul, before hi [...] conversion, they fasted, and prayed, an [...] kept the Sabbath, but they rested in thei [...] [Page 113] legal righteousness, & in the performance of these and the like duties. Take the best hypocrite that hath the most strong per­swasions of Gods love to him, and ask him, Why he hopes to be saved? He will answer: I pray, read, hear, love good men; cry out of the sins of the time. And tell him again, that an hypocrite may climb these staires, and go as far. He will reply, True indeed, but they do not what they do with a sound heart, but to be seen of men. Mark now how these men feel a good heart in themselves, and in all things they do, and therefore feel not a want of all good, which is poverty of spirit, and therefore here they fall short, Isai. 66, 2. There were divers hypocrites forward for the worship of God in the Temple, but God loathes these, because not pure in spirit, to them only it is s [...]id, The Lord will look. I have seen many professors very forward for all good duties, but as ignorant of Christ, when they are sifted, as blocks. And if a man (as few do) know not Christ, he must rest in his duties, be­cause he knoweth not Christ, to whom he must go, and be carried, if ever he be saved. I have heard of a man that being condemned to die, thought to be saved from the gallowes, and to save himself from hanging, by a certain gift, he said he had, of whistling: so men seek to save [Page 114] themselves by their gifts of knowledge, gifts of memorie, gifts of prayer: and when they see they must die for their sins, this is the ruine of many a soul, that though he forsake Egypt, and his sins, and flesh-pots there; and will never be so as he hath been, yet he never cometh into Canaan, but looseth himself and his soul in a wilderness of many duties, and there perisheth.

Thirdly, if any unregenerate man come unto Christ, he never getteth into Christ; that is, never taketh up his eternal rest, and lodging in any thing else but Jesus Christ, Heb. 4.4. Judas followed Christ for the bag▪ he would have the bag, and Christ too. The young man came unto Christ to be his Disciple, but he would have Christ and the world too. They will not content themselves with Christ alone, nor with the world alone, but make their markets out of both, like whor [...]sh wives, that will please their husbands and others too. Men in distress of conscience, if they have comfort from Christ, they are con­tented: if they have salvation from hell by Christ, they are contented: but Christ himself contenteth them not. Thus far an hypocrite goeth not. So much for the first doctrine observed out of the Text. I come now to the second.

Do [...]t. 2. That those that are saved are [Page 115] saved with much difficultie: or it is a won­derful hard thing to be saved.

The gate is strait, and therefore a man must sweat and strive to enter: both the ent [...]ance is difficult, and the progress of sa [...]vation too. Jesus Christ is not got with a wet finger. It is not wishing and desiring to be saved, will bring men to heaven: hells mouth is full of good wishes. It is not shedding a tear at a Sermon, or blubbering now and then in a corner, and say over thy prayers, and crying Gods mercy for sins, will save thee. It is not, Lord, have mercy upon us, will do thee good. It is not coming constantly to Church; these are easie matters. But it is [...]ough work, a wonderful hard matter to be saved 1 Pet 4.18. Hence the way to heaven is compared to a race, where a man must put forth all his strength, and stretch every limb, and all to get forward. Hence a Christians life is compared to wrestling▪ Eph. 6.12. All the policy and power of hell buckle together against a Christian, therefore he must look to him­sel [...], or else he falleth. Hence it is compared to fighting ▪ 2. Tim. 47. A man must fight agai [...]st th [...] devil, the world, himself, who shoot poisoned bullets in the soul: where a man must kill, or be killed. God hath not li [...]ed the way to Christ with velvet, nor stre [...]ed it with rushes: he will never [Page 116] feed a sloathful humor in man, who will be saved, if Christ and heaven would drop in their mouthes, and if any would bear their charges thither. If Christ might be bought for a few cold wishes and lazie desires, he would be of [...]mal reckoning amongst men; who would say, Lightly c [...]me, lightly go? Indeed Christs yoke is easie in it self, and when a man is got in­to Christ, nothing is so sweet: but for a carnal dull heart, it is hard to draw in it: for,

There are four strait gates which every one must pass through, before he can enter into heaven.

F [...]r strait gates [...] passed through, [...] can enter in­to hea­ven.There [...] first, the straite ga [...]e of humi­liati [...]n. God saveth none but first he hum­bleth them: [...]ow it is hard to pass through the gates and flames of hell, for [...]n heart as stiff as a stake to bow, as hard as stone to bleed for the least prick, not to mourn for one sin, but all sins, and not for a fit, but all a mans lifetime. Oh▪ it is hard for 1 a man to suffer himself to be loaden with sin, and prest to death for sin, so as never to love sin more, but to spit in the face of that which he once loved as dearly as his life. It is easie to drop a tear or two, and be Sermon-sick; but to have an heart rent for sin, and from sin, this is true hu­miliation, and this is hard.

2. The strait gate of faith, Eph. 1, 19. [Page 117] It is an easie matter to presume, but hard to believe in Christ. It is easie for a man that was never humbled, to believe and say, It is but believing: but it is an hard matter for a man humbled, when he seeth all his sins in order before him, the devil and conscience roaring upon him, and crying out against him, and God frowning upon him, now to call God Fa­there, is an hard work, Judas had rather be hanged then believe. It is hard to see a Christ, as a rock to stand upon, when we are over-whe [...]med with sorrow of heart for sin. It is hard to prize Christ above ten thousand worlds of pea [...]. It is hard to d [...]sire Christ, and nothing but Christ: hard to follow Christ all the day long, and never be quyet till he is got in thine arms, and then with Simeon to say, Lord▪ now lettest thou thy servant depart it peace.

3. The strait gate of repentance. It is an easie matter for a man to confess a mans self to be a sinner, and to cry God forgiveness until next time: but to have a bitter sorrow, and so to turn from all sin, and to return to God, and all the wayes of God, which is true repentance indeed, this is hard.

4. The strait gate of oppositions of devils, the world, and a mans own self, who knock a man down when he begins [Page 118] to look towards Christ and heaven.

Hence learn, that every easie way to heaven i [...] a false way, although Ministers should preach it out of their pulpits, and angels should publish it out of heaven.

The false ways to heaven discove­red.Now there are nine easie wayes to hea­ven (as men think) all which lead to hell.

1. The common broad way, wherein a whole Parish may all go a breadth in it. 1 Tell these people they shal be damned, their answer is, then wo to many more besides me.

2 2. The way of civil education, where­by many wild natures are by little and lit­tle tamed, and like wo [...]ves are chained up easi [...]y while they are young.

3 Balaams way of good wishes, whereby 3 many people will confess their ignorance, forgetfulness, and that they cannot make such shows as others do; but they thank God their hearts are as good, and God for his part accepteth (they say) the will for the deed: And, My son, give me thine heart. The heart is all in all, and so long they hope to do well enough. Poor delu­ded creatures thus think to break through armies of sins, devils, temptations, and to break open the very gates of heaven with a few good wishes: They think to come to thei [...] journeys and without legs, be­cause their hearts are good to God.

4 4. The way of formality, whereby men [Page 119] rest in the performance of most, or of all external duties without inward life, Mark i.14. Every man must have some Religion, some fig-leaves to hide their nakedness. Now this Religion must be either true Re­ligion, or the false one; if the true, he must either take up the power of it, but that he wil [...] not, because it is burd [...]n [...]om: or the form of it, and this being easie, men em­brace it as their God, and will rather lose their lives, then their R [...]ligion thus taken up. This form of Religion is the easiest Religion in the world, partly bec [...]use it ea­seth men of trouble of conscience, quieting that. Thou hast sinned, saith conscience, and God is off [...]d [...]d, take a book and pray, keep thy con [...]cience b [...]tter, and bring thy Bible with thee. N [...]w conscience is si­lent, being charmed down with [...]he form of R [...]lig [...]on, as the devi [...] is driven away (as they say) w [...]th holy water: partly a [...]so becau [...]e the form o [...] Religion credite [...]h [...] ma [...], par [...]ly bec [...]u [...]e it is easie in it [...]elf, it is of a light c [...]rriage, being but [...]he shadow and picture of the substance of Religion▪ as now, what an easie matter is it, to come to Church? They hear (at least out­wardly) verie attentively, an hour and more; and then to turn to proof, and to turn down a leaf, here is the form. But now [...]o spend Saturday at night, and all the whole Sabbath day morning in [Page 120] trimming the Lamb, and in getting oyle in their heart, to meet the bridegroome the next day, and so meet him in the word, and therefore to tremble at the voice of God, and suck the breast while it is open; and when the word is done, to go aside privatly, and there to chew upon the Word, there to lament with tears all the vain thoughts in duties, deadnesse in hea­ring, this is hard, because this is the power of godlinesse: and this men will not take up: so for private prayer, what an easie matter it is for men to say over a few pray­ers out of some devout book, or to repeat some old prayer got by heart since a childe, or to have two or three short-win­ded wishes for Gods mercy in the mor­ning and at night; this form is easie: but now to prepare the heart by serious medi­tation of God and mans self before he prayes, then to come to God with a blee­ding hunger-starved heart, not only with a desire, but with a warrant. I must have such or such a mercy, and there to wrestle with God, although it be an hour or two together for a blessing, this is too hard; men think none do this, and therefore they will not.

Fifthly, the way of Presumption, 5 whereby men having seen their sins, catch hold easily upon Gods mercy, and snatch comforts, before they are reached [Page 121] out unto them. There is no word of com­fort in the book of God intended for such as regard iniquitie in their hearts, though they do not act it in their lives. Their only comfort is, that the sentence of dam­nation is not yet executed upon them.

Sixthly, the way of sl [...]th, whereby men lye still, and say, God must do all; If the Lord would set up a Pulpit at the Ale­house door, it may be they would hear oftner. If God will alwayes thunder, they will alwayes pray▪ if strike them now and then with sicknesse, God shall be payed with good words and promises [...]now, that they wil be better if they live, but as long as peace lasts, they will r [...]n to hell as fast as they can; & if God will not catch them, they care not, they will not return.

Seventhly, The way of carelesnesse, when men fee [...]ng many di [...]ficu [...]ties, passe through some of them, but not all, and what they cannot ge [...] now, they feed themselves wi [...]h a false hope they shall hereafter: they are content to be called precisians, and fools and crazie braines, but they want b [...]kennesse of heart, and they will pray (it may be) for it, & passe by that difficul [...]ie, but to keep the wound alwayes open, this they will not do, to be alwayes sighing for help, and never to give themselves rest, till their hearts are hum­bled; that they will not, those have a [...] [Page 122] to live, and yet are dead.

8 Eightly, the way of moderation, or hon [...]st discretion, Rev. 3.16. which in­deed is nothing but luke-warmness of the soul, and that is, when a man contri­veth and cutteth out such a way to hea­ven, as he may be hated of none, but please all, and so do anie thing for a quiet life, and so sleep in a whole skin. The L [...]rd saith, He tha [...] will live godlie, must suffer persecution. No, not so, Lord. Surely (think they) i [...] men were discreet and wise, it would prevent a great deal of trou­ble and opposition in good courses. This man will commend those that are most zealous, if they were but wise: if he meet with a black mouth'd swearer, he will not reprove him, lest he be displeased with him. If he meet with an honest man, he will yeeld to all he saith, that so he may commend him: And when he meeteth them both together, they shal be both alike welcome (what ever he thinketh) to his house and table, because he would fain be at peace with all men.

9 Ninthly, and lastly, the way of self-love, whereby a man fearing terribly he shal be damned,The way of self- [...]ve. useth diligently all means whereby he shal be saved. Here is the strongest difficulty of all, to row against the stream, and to hate a mans self, and then to follow Christ fully.

[Page 123]I now come to the sixth general head purp [...]sed in order to be considered.


THat the grand cause of mens eternal ruine; or why so many are damned, and so few saved by Christ, it is from them­selves, Ez [...]k 3 [...] 11. Why will ye die?

The great cause why so many people die and perish everlastingly, is, because they will. Every man that perisheth, is his own bu [...]cher, or murtherer, Matth. [...]3.27. Hos. 13.9. This is the point we pur­pose to prosecute at the present.

The question here will be,Quest. how men plot and perfect their own ruine?Answ.

By these four princ [...]pal means,How men plot their own ruine. which are the four great rocks that most men are split upon; and great necessity lyeth upon every man to know them▪ for when a powder-plot is discovered, the danger is almost past. I say there, are these four causes of mans eternal overthrow, which I shall handle largely, and make use of every particular reason when it is opened and finished.

First, by reason of that bloody black ignorance of men, whereby thousands re­main wofully ignorant of their spiritual estate, not knowing how the case stan­deth between God and their souls; but [Page 124] thinking themselves to be well enough already, they never seek to come out of their misery, till they perish in it.

Secondly, by reason of mans carnal se­curity, 2 putting the evil day far from them, whereby they feel not their fearful thral­dom, and so never groan to come out of the slavish bondage of sin and Satan.

3 Thirdly, by reason of mans carnal con­fidence, whereby they shift to s [...]ve them­selves by their own duties and performan­ces when they feel it.

Fourthly, by reason of mans bold pre­sumption, 4 whereby men scramble to save themselves by their own seeming faith, when they see an insufficiency in duties, and an unworthiness in themselves for God to save them.

I will begin with the first reason, and discover the first train whereby men blow up themselves,Igno­rance the first ge­neral reason of mans ruine. which is this: They know not their misery, not that fearful acccursed forlorn estate wherein they ly; but think and say, they shal do as well as others; and therefore when any friend perswadeth them to come out of it, and showeth them the danger of remaining in such a condition: What is their an­swer? I pray you, save your breath to cool your broth [...] verie fat shal stand on his own bottom: Let me alone, I hope I have a soul to save as well as you, and shal be [Page 125] as careful of it as you shal, cr [...]n [...]e: you shal not answer for my soul: I hope I shal do as well as the precisest of you all. Hence likewise, if the Minister c [...]me home to them, they go home with hearts full of out-cryes against the man, and their tongue dipt in gall against the Sermon. God be merciful unto us: if all this be true, here is harsh doctrine enough, to make a man run out of his wits, and to drive men to despair. Thus they know not their misery; and not knowing, they are lost and condemned crea [...]ures under the everlasting wrath o [...] God. They ne­ver seek, pray, strive ▪ or follow the means whereby they may come out of it, and so perish in it, and never know it, till they awake with the flames of hel [...] about their ears. T [...]ey will acknowledge indeed, ma­ny of them, that all men are born in a most miserable estate, but they never ap­ply particularly that general truth to them­selves, saying, I am the man. I am now under Gods wrath, and may be snatcht a­way by death eve [...]ie hour, and then I am undone and lost for ever.

Now, there are two sorts of people that are ignorant of this their misery.

First, the common sort of prophane, blockish, ignorant people.

Secondly, the finer sort of unsound hol­low professors, that have a peacoks pride, [Page 126] that think themselves fair, and in a very good estate, though they have but one feather on their brest to boast of.

I will begin with the first sort, and show you the reasons why they are igno­rant of their misery, that is for these four reasons.

First, sometimes because they want the saving means of knowledge. There is no faithful Minister, no compassionate Lot, to tell them of fire and brimstone from heaven, for their crying sins. There is no Noah to forwarn them of a flood: There is no messenger to bring them tydings of those armies of Gods devouring plagues and wrath, that are appro [...]ching near un­to them, They have no pilots, poor for­saken creatures, to show them their rocks. They have either no Minister at all to reach them, either because the Parish is too poor, or the Church-living too great to maintain a faithfull man (the strongest asses car [...]ying the greatest burthens com­monly (O [...]ful Physitians! Sometimes they be prophane, and cannot heal them­selves, and sometimes they be ignorant. And know not what to preach, unless they should follow the steps of Master Latimers Fryer, or at the best, they shoot off a few pot guns against gross sins: or if they do show men their misery, they lick them whole again, with some com­table [Page 127] ill applyed sentences: (but I hope better things of you, my brethren) the mans Patron may haply storm else. Or else they say commonly, thou hast sinned, but comfort thy self, despair not, Christ hath suffered: And thus skin over the wound, and let it fester within, for want of cutting it deeper. I say therefore be­cause they want a faithful watch man to cry, Fire, fire, in that sleepy estate of sin and darkness wherein they ly; therefore whole Towns, Parishes, generations of men, are burnt up, and perish miserably, Lament. 2.14.

S [...]condly, because they have no leasure to consider of their misery, when they have th [...] means of revealing it unto them, as Felix, Acts 24.25. Many a man hath many a bitter pill given him at a S [...]rmon, but he hath not leasure to chow upon it. One man is taken up with suits in Law, and another almost eaten up with sureti­ship, and ca [...]king cares how to pay his debts, and provide f [...]r his own: another hath a great charge, and few friends, and he saith, the world is hard▪ and hence, like a mole, too [...]eth in the earth, week dayes and Sabb [...]th dayes: the world thus cal­ling them on one side, and lusts on ano­ther, and the devil on the other side, they have no leasure to consider of death, devil, God, nor themselves, hell, nor heaven, [Page 128] The Minister cryeth and knocketh with­out, but there is such a noise and number of tumultuous lusts and vain thoughts in their hearts and heads, that all good thoughts are sad unwelcome guests, and are knockt down presently.

Thirdly, because if they have leasure, they are afraid to know it. Hence people cry out of Ministers, that they dam [...] all, and will hear them no more, and they will not be such fools as to believe all that such say; the reason is, they are afraid to know the worst of themselves; they are afraid to be cut, and therefore cannot en­dure the Chirurgien; They think to be troubled in mind, as othe [...]s are, is the ve­rie high rode to despair; and therefore if they do hear a rale, how one after hearing of a Sermon grew distracted, or drowned, or hanged himself, it shall be an item, and a warning to them, as long as they live, for troubling their heads about such mat­ters. Men of guilty consciences (hence) flie from the face of God, as prisoners from the Judge, as debtors from the cre­ditor. But if the Lord of Hosts can catch you, you must and shall feel with horro [...] of heart that which you fear a little now.

Fourthly, because if they be free from this foolish fear, they cannot see their mi­sery, by reason that they look upon their [Page 129] estates through false glasses, and by vertue of manie false principles in their minds, they cheat themselves.

Which false principles, are these prin­cipally: I will but name them.

First, they conce [...]ve, God that made 1 them, will not be so cruel as to damn them.

Secondly, because they feel no misery,2 but are very well, therefore they fear none.

Thirdly, because God blesseth them 3 in their outward estates, in their corn, children, calling, friends, &c. would God bless them so if he did not love them.

Fourthly, because they think sin to be no great evil, for all are sinners, for this cannot mischieve them.

Fifthlie, because they think Gods mer­cy 5: is above all his works, though sin be vile, yet conceiving God to be all mercie, all honey, and no justice, they think they are well.

Sixthly, because they think Christ died for all sinners, and they confess themselves 6 to be great ones.

Seventhly, because they hope well, and 7 so think to have well.

Eightly, because they do as most do,8 who never crying out of their sins while they lived, and dying like lambs, at last [Page 130] they doubt not for their parts, but doing as such do, they shall die happily, as others have done.

Ninthly, because their desires and hearts are good, as they think.

Tenthly, because they do as well as God will give them grace, and so God is in the fault only, if they perish.

These are the reasons and grounds up­on which prophane people are deceived.

Now it followeth to show the ground on which the finer sort mi [...]c [...]rry.

Secondly, hollow professors cheat and cozen their own souls. It is in our Church as it is in an old wood, where there are many tall trees, yet cut them and search them deeply, they prove pithless, sapless, hollow, unsound creatures. These men twist their own ru [...]ne with a finer threed, and can guggle better then the common sort, and cast mists before their own eyes, and so cheat their own souls. It is Ministe [...]s fi [...]st work to turn men from darkness into this light, Acts 26 18▪ and the Spirits first wo [...]k to convince men of sin, John 16 9 And therefore it is peo­ples main work to know the wo [...]st at first of themselves,How men [...]ome to be decei­v [...]d a­bout their spiritual estates.

Now the cause of these mens mista­king, is three-fold.

First, the spiritual madness and drun­kenness of their understanding.

[Page 131]Secondly, the false bastard peace begot [...] nourished in the conscience.

Thirdly, [...] and secret distempers of the will.

First, there are these seven drunken di­stempers in the understanding or mind of man, whereby he cometh to be most mise­rably deceived.

First, the understandings arrogancie. You shal never see a man mean and vile in his own eyes deceived, Psal. 25.9. but a proud man or woman is often cheated. Hence proud Haman thought surelie he was the man whom th [...] King would ho­nor, when in truth it was intended for poor Mordecay. For pride having once over-spread the mind, it ever hath this propertie, it maketh a pennie stand f [...]r a pound: a spark is blown up to a flame: it maketh a great matter of a little seeming grace: and therefore the proud Pharisee, when he came to reckon with himself, he taketh his poor counter, that [...]s, I am not as other men, nor as this Publican and setteth it down for a thousand pound; that is, he esteemeth of himself, as a verie rich man for it. So many a man, because he hath some good thing in himself, as, he is pitiful to the poor, he is a true man, though a poor man, he was never given to wine of women. He magnifieth him­self for this tittle, and so deceiveth and [Page 132] over-reckoneth himself. There are your Bristow-stones like diamonds, and man [...] cheaters cozen Countrey folks with the [...] that desire to be fine, and know not what diamonds are. So many men are desi­rous to be honest, and to be reputed so not knowing what true grace means: therefore Bristow-stones are pearles in their eyes. A litle seeming grace shineth so bright in their eyes, that they are half bewitched by it, to think highly of them­selves, although they be but glittering seeming jewels in a swines snout. A cab of doves dung was sold in Samaria in its time of famine, at a great rate: A man li­ving in such a place, where all about him are either ignorant, or prophane, or civil, a little moral honesty (dung, in respect of true grace) goeth a great way, and is esteemed highly off, and he is as honest a man as ever lived. A man that looketh through a red glass, all things appear red: A man looking upon himself through some fair spectacles, through some one good thing that he hath in himself, ap­peareth fair to him. It is said▪ Luke, 20. ult. the Pharisees devoured widows hou­ses. Might not this racking of rents make them question their estates? No. Why? They for pretence made long prayers: so many men are drunk now and then, but they are sory: they cannot but sin, [Page 133] but their desires are good: they talk idle­ [...]y, but they live honestly: they do ill [...]ometimes, but they mean well. Thus when some good things are seen in them­selves, pride pu [...]teth them with an over­weening conceit of it, and so they cozen their own souls.

Secondly, the understandings obstina­cie, whereby the mind having been long 2 [...]oted in this opinion, that I am in a good estate, will not suffer this conceit to be pluckt out of it. Now your old rooted, yet roo [...]en professors, having grown long in a good conceit of themselves, will not believe that they have been fools all their lifetime, and therefore now must pull down, and lay the foundation again: And hence you shall hear men say of a faithfull Minister that doth convince and condemn them, and their estate, to be most woful: What? shall such an upstart teach me? Doth he think to make me dance after his pipe, and to think that all my good prayers, my faith, my charity, have been so long abominabe and vile be­fore God? No silver can bribe a man to cast away his old traditional opinions and conceits, whereby he cheateth him­self, till Christs blood do it, 1. Pet. 18. And hence the woman of Samaria, ob­jected this against Jesus Christ, that their old Fathers worshipped in that mountain, [Page 134] and therefore it was as good a place as Jerusalem, the place of Gods true wor­ship, John 4.20. Men grow crooked and aged wi [...]h good opinions of themselves, and can seldom, or never, he set str [...]ight again. Hence such kind of people, [...]ough they would fain be taken for honest reli­gious Christians, yet will never suspec [...] their estates ro be bad themselves, neither can they endure that any other should search or suspect them to be yet rotten at the heart. And are not those wares and commodities much to be suspected, nay concluded to be stark naught, which the seller will needs put upon the chap-mam, without seeing or looking on them first? It is a strong argument we produce against the Papists Religi [...]n to be suspected to be bad, because they obtrude their opini­ons on their followers, to be believed without any hesitation or dispute about them, either before or after they have em­braced them: certainly thy old faith, thy old prayers, thy old honesty, or form of pie­ty, are counterfeit wares, that cannot en­dure searching, because thou wilt not be driven from this conceit: I am in a good estate. I have been so long of this good mind, and therefore will not begin to doubt now. It is to be feared, that such kind of people (as I have much obser­ved) are either notoriously ignorant, or [Page 135] have sometime or other fallen into some horrible secret grievous sins, as whore­ [...]ome, oppression, or the like, the guilt of which lying yet secretly on th [...]m, maketh them fly from the light of Gods truth, which would find them out, quarelling both against it, and the Ministers that preach it, Rom. 2. [...]. And therefore as it is with thieves, when they have any stol­len goods brought within doors, they will not be searched or suspected, but say, they are as honest m [...]n as themselves that come to search; for they fear if they be found out; that they shal be troubled before the Judge, and may hardly escape with their lives: so many old professors▪ when the Minister cometh t [...] search them, they clap to the doors upon the man, and truth too▪ and say, they hope to be sa [...]ed, as well as the best of them all. The rea­ [...]on is, they are guilty, they are loath to be troubled, and cast down, by seeing [...]he worst of themselves; and think it is [...]ard for them to go to heaven, and be sa­ved, if they h [...]ve been in a wrong way, all [...]ver lifetime. An honest heart wi [...]l cry [...]fter the best means, Lord, search me, John 3.20. and open all the doors to the [...]ter [...]ainment of the straightest, strictest truths.

Thirdly, the understandings obscurity, or ignorance of the infinite▪ exactnes [...], [Page 136] glorious purity, and absolute perfection of the Law of God: whence it cometh to pass, that this burning lamp, or bright Sun of Gods Law, being set in their minds, rotten grounds of their own righ­teousness, doing some things according to the Law of God, shineth and gliste­reth gloriou [...]y in their eyes, in the dark night-time of dismal darkness; by doing of which, they think they please God, and their estates are very good. I was alive, saith Paul, Rom 7.9. without the Law: & he giveth the reason of it, because sin did but sleep in him, like a cut-throat in an house, where all is quiet. Before the Law came, he saw not that deadly sec [...]et coat of corruption, and that letter of re­bellion that was lurking in his heart, and therefore thought highly of himself for his own righteousness. The Gospel is a glass to show men the face of God in Christ, 2. Cor. 2. ult. The Law is that glass that showeth a man his own face, and what he himself is: Now if this glass be taken away▪ and not set before a de­formed heart, how can a man but think himself fair? And this is the reason why civil men, formaists, almost every one, think better of themselves then indeed they are, because they reckon without their [...]; that is, they judg [...] of the number, nature, and greatness of their [Page 137] sins by their own books, by their own reason: They look not Gods debt-book, Gods exact laws over, and compare them­selves therewith: If they did, it would amaze the stoutest heart, and pluck dow [...] mens plumes, and make them say: Is there any mercy so great as to pass by such sins, and to put up such wrongs, and to forgive such sins and debts, one of which a [...]one may undo me, much more so many?

Fourthly, the understandings security, 4 or sleepiness, whereby men never reflect upon their own actions, nor compare them with the rule: Although they have knowledge of the Law of God, yet it is with them, as it is with men that have a fair glass before them, but never behol­ding themselves in the glass, they never see their spots. This is the wo of most unregenerate men: they want a re [...]ecting power and light, to judge of themselves by, Jer. 8.6. You sha [...] have them think on a Sermon, Here is for such an one, and such an one is touched here: when it may be the s [...]me Sermon principally speaketh of them. But they never say, this concer­neth me. I was found out through the goodness of the Lord to day: and surely the man spake unto none but unto me, as if some body had told him what I have done. And hence you shal find out many [Page 138] lamb Christians, that will yeeld to all the truthes delivered in a Sermon, and com­mend it too; but go away, and shake off all the truths that serve to convince them. And hence many men, when they exa­mine themselves in general, whether they have grace or no, whether they love Christ or no; they think yes, that they do with al [...] their hearts; yet they never have this grace, or any other, what ever they think; because they want reflecting light to judge of generals, b [...] their own p [...]rticu­la [...] courses. For te [...]l these men, that he that loveth another truely, will often think of him, speak of him, rejoice in his company, will not w [...]ong him willingly in the least thing. Now ask them if they love Christ th [...] ▪ If t [...]ey have any reflecting of light, they will s [...]e where they have one thought of Christ, they have thousands on o [...]her things. R [...]joice ▪ nay, they are weary of his company, in word▪ in prayer▪ And that they do not only wrong him, but make a light matter of it; when it is done, all are sinners and no man can live without sin. Like a sleepie man (fire burning in his bed-straw) he c [...]yeth not out, when others haply lament his estate, that see a far off, but cannot help him, Isai. 42.25. A man that is to be hanged the next day, may dream over night he shal be a King: why? because he is asleep, he reflecteth not on [Page 139] himself. Thou mayest go to the devil, and be damned, and yet ever think and dream that all is well with thee. Thou hast no reflecting light to judge of they self. Pray, pray [...]herefore that the Lord would turn your eyes inward; and do not let the devil and delusion shut you out of your [...]wn house, from seeing what Court is kept there every day.

Fifthly, the understandings impeity, whereby it lessens and vilifies the glorious grace of God in another; whence it comes to pass, that this deluded soul seeing none much better then himself, concludeth, If any be saved I shal no doubt be one, Isa. 26.10 11. Men will not behold the ma­jesty of God in the lives of his people: many a man being too light, but desirous to go and pass for current, weighs himself with the best people, and thinketh, what have they that I have not? what do they that I do not? And if he see they go be­yond him, he then turns his own ballan [...]e with his finger, and makes them too light, that so he himself may pass for weightie.

And his vilifying of them and their grace, judging them to be of no other met­tel then other men, appeareth in three particulars.

First, they raise up false [...] of Gods people, and nourish [...] of evil 1 suspitio [...]s of them. If they know any sin [Page 140] committed by them, they will conclude▪ they be all such. If they see no offensive sin in any of them, they are then repu­ted a pack of hypocrites. If they are not so uncharitable (having no grounds) they prophesie, they will hereafter be as bad as others, though they carry a fair flowrish now.

2 Secondly, if they judge well of them, then they compare themselves to them, by taking a scantling only by their out­side, and by what they see in them; and so, like children, seeing stars a great way off, think them no bigger nor brighter then winking candles▪ They stand a far off from seeing the inside of a child of God: they see not the glory of God fil [...]ing that Temple: they see not the sweet in­fluence they receive from heaven, and that fellowship they have with their God▪ and hence they judge but meanlie of them, because the outside of a Christian is the worst part of him, and his glory shineth chiefly within.

3 Thirdly, if they see Gods people do excel them, that they have better lives and better hearts, and better knowledge, yet they will not conclude, that they have no grace; because it hath not that stamp that honest mens money hath. But this prank they play, they think such and such good men have a greater measure, and a higher [Page 141] degree of grace then themselves, yet they dare be bold to think and say, their hearts are as up [...]ight, though they be not so per­fect as others are. And so vilifie the grace that shineth to the best men, by making this gold to d [...]ffer from their own copper, not [...], but gradu [...]ly: and hence they deceive themselves miserably; not bu [...] that one ( [...]) or sincere Christian differeth from another in glory: I speak of those m [...]n only that never were fixt in so high a Sphere, as true honesty dwelleth, yet falsly fa [...]her this bad conclusion, that they are upright for their measure, that they have not the like measure of grace received, as others have.

Sixth [...]y, the understandings idolatry, 6 whereby the mind setteth up, and boweth down to a false image of grace; that is, the mind being ignorant of the height and excellencie of true grace, taketh a false scantling of it, and so imagineth and fan­cieth within it self, such a measure of com­mon grace to be true grace which the soul easily having atta [...]ined unto, conceiveth it is in the state of grace, and so deceiveth it self miserablie, Rom. 10.3.

And the mind cometh to set up her image thus.

First, the mind is haunted and pursued with troublesome fears of hell: conscience 1 telleth him he hath sinned, and the Law [Page 142] telleth him, he that die; and death appea­reth and telleth him, he must shortly meet with him: And if he be taken away in his sins, then cometh a black day of reckoning for all his privie pranks: a day of blood horror, judgement, and fire, where no creature can comfort him. Hence saith he, Lord, keep my soul from these miseries: he hopeth it shal not prove so evil with him, but feareth it will.

Secondly, hereupon he desireth peace 2 and ease, and some assurance of freedom from these evils. For it is an hell above ground, ever to be on the wrack of tor­ [...]nting fears.

Thirdly, that he may have ease, he 3 will not swagger his trouble away, nor drown it in the bottom of the cup, nor throw it away with his dice, nor play it [...] carts, but desi [...]eth some grace, [...] commonlie it is the least measure of [...] Hereupon he desireth to hear such Sermons, and read such books as may best satisfie him concerning the least mea­sure of grace; for sin only troubling him, grace only can comfort him soundly: And so, Grace, which is meat and drink to an holy heart, is but Physick to this kind of men, to ease them of their fears and troubles.

Hereupon being ignorant of the height of [...]i [...]e grace, he fancieth to himself such [Page 143] a measure of common grace, to be true grace: As, if he forseth himself ignorant of that which troubleth him, so much know­ledge will I then get, saith he. If some foul sins in his practise trouble him, these he will cast away, and so reformeth: If om [...]ssion of good duties molesteth him, he will hear better; and buy some good pra­yer-book, and pray oftner: And if he be perswaded such a man is a very honest man, then he will strive to do as he doth, and now he is quieted.

When he hath attained unto this pitch of his own, now he thinketh himself a young beginner, and a good one too, so that if he dieth, he thinke [...]h he shal do well; if he liveth, he thinketh and hopeth he shal grow better: and when he is come to his own pitch, here he setteth down his state fully sati [...]fied. And now if he be prest to get into the estate of grace, his answer is, That is not to be done now, he th [...]nke [...]h God, that care is past. The truth is, beloved, it is too high for him, his own leggs could never carry him chi­ [...]h [...]r, all his grace coming by his own working, not by God Almighties power. Let a man have false weights, he is chea­te [...] grievously wi [...]h light gold: why? be­cause his weights are too light: So these men have too light w [...]ights, to judge of the weight of true grace; therefore light, [Page 144] clipt crackt pieces cheat them. Hence you shal have those men commend pithless, sapless men, for verie honest men, as ever brake bread: why? they are just answe­rable to their weights. Hence I have not much wondered at them, who maintain that a man may fall away from true grace. The reason lyeth here. They set up to themselves such a common work of grace to be true grace; from which, no wonder that a man may fall. Hence Bel­larmine saith: That which is true grace, veritate essentia, only may be lost, not that grace which is true, veritate firmae soliditatis; which letter being rightly un­derstood, may be called special, as the other common grace. Hence also you shal have many professors hearing an hundred Sermons, never moved to grow better. Hence likewise you shal see our common Preachers comfort every one a most that they see troubled in mind, because they think presently they have true grace: Now they begin to be sorrowful for their sins. It is just according to their own light weights.

For the Lords sake, take heed of this deceit. True grace, I tell you, it is a rare pearl, a glorious Sun clouded from the eyes of all but them that have it, Rev. 2.18. A strange, admirable, almighty work of God upon the soul, which no created [Page 145] power can produce, as far different in the least measure of it, from the highest de­gree of common grace, as a devil is from an angel; for it is Christ living, breathing, reigning, fighting, conquering in the soul? Down therefore with your idol grace, your idol honesty: True Grace never aimeth at a pitch, it aspireth only to perfection, Phil. 3.12.3. And therefore Chrysostome calleth [...] Paul, insatiabili [...] De [...]cultor: A greeedy, insatiable, devouring worship­per of the Lord Almightie.

Seventhlie, the understandings error, [...] another cause of mans ruine.

And that is seen principally in thes [...] five things, these five errors or false con­ceits.

First, in judging some trouble of mind, some light sorrow for sin, to be true re­pentance; and so thinking they do re­pent, hope they shall be saved: for sin is like sweet poison while a man is drin­king it down▪ by commi [...]ting of it, there is much pleasure in it, bu [...] after the com­mitting of it, there is a sting in it, Prov. 23.31.32. Then the time cometh when this poison worketh, making the heart fewe [...] with grief, sorie they are at the heart, they say for it: and the eyes drop, and the man that committed sin with de­light, now cryeth out with grief in the bit­terness of his soul: O that I, [...]east what I [Page 146] [...] had never committed i [...], Lord, mercy mercy, Prov. 5.3▪ 4.11, 12. Nay, it may [...] they will fast, and humble, and afflict their souls voluntarily for sin, and now they think they have repented, Isa. 58.3. And hereupon, when they hear that all that sin shal die, they grant this is true indeed, except a man repent, and so they think they have done already. This is true, At what time [...] a sinner repenteth, the Lord will bl [...]t out his iniquities. But this repentance is not when a man is troubled somewhat in mind for sin, but when he cometh to mourn for sin, as his greatest evil, as if he should see all his goods and estate on a light fire before him; and that not for some sins, but all sins little and great; and that not for a time, for a fit and away (a land-flood of sorrow) but always like a spring never dry, but ever running all a mans lifetime.

Secondly, in judging the striving of conscience against sin, to be the striving of the flesh against the spirit; and hence come these speeches from carnal black mouthes: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. And hence men think, they being thus compounded of flesh and spi­rit, are regenerate, and in no worse estate then the children of God themselves▪ as sometime I once spake with a man that did verily think, that Pilate was an honest [Page 147] man, because he was so unwilling to cru­cifie Christ, which unwillingness did arise only from the restraint of conscience against the [...]ct. So many men judge ho­nestly yet simply, upon such a ground of themselves; they say, they strive against their sins: but Lord be mercifull unto them, they say the flesh is fra [...]l: and hence Armin [...]us giveth a di [...]erse interpretation of the 7. cap. of the Romans, from ordi­nary Divines; concerning which, Paul speaketh in the person of an unregenerate man because he observed divers gr [...]celess persons as (he saith himself) having fal­len, and falling commonly into sins against conscience, to bring that chapter in their own defence and comfort, because they did that which they allowed not, verse 15 and so it was not they, but sin that dwelled in them.

And so many amongst u [...]know they should be better, and strive that they may grow better, but through the power of sin, cannot; conscience telleth them they must not sin, their hearts and lusts say they must sin; and here forsooth is flesh and spirit. Oh, no, here is conscience and lust only by the ears together. Which striving, Herod Balaam, Pilate, or the vilest reprobate in the world may have. Such a war argueth not anie grace in the heart, but rather more strength of [Page 148] corruption, and more power of sin in the heart; [...]s▪ It is no wonder if a horse run away when he is loose, but when his bit and bridle is in his mouth; now to be wild, argueth he is altogether untamed and unsubdued. Take heed therefore of judging your estate to be good▪ because of some backwardness of your hearts to commit some sins, though little sins: for thy sins may be, and it is most cer­tain, are more powerfull in thee, then in others that have not the like struglings, because they have not such cheks as thou hast to restrain thee. Know therefore that the striving of the Spirit against the flesh, is against sin, because it is sin: as a man hateth a toad, thought he be never poisoned by it: But the striving of thy conscience against sin is only against sin, because it is a [...] troubling, or a damning sin. The striving of the Spirit against the flesh is from a deadly hatred of sin. Rom. 7.15. But thy striving of con­science against sin, is only from a fear of the danger of sin: for Balaam had a mind to curse the Israelites for his money sake; but if he might have had a [...] house full of silver and gold (which is a goodly thing in a covetous eye) it is said he durst not curse them.

Thirdly, in judging of the sincerity of the heart by some good affection in the [Page 149] heart. Hence many a deluded soul reaso­neth the case out thus with himself. Ei­ther I must be a prophane man, or an hy­pocrite or an upright man. Not prophane, I thank God, for I am not given to who­ring▪ drinking, oppression, swearing: nor hypocrisie, for I hate these shows: I can­not endure to appear better without, then I am within, therefore I am upright. Why? Oh! because mine heart is good, mine affections and desires within, are be [...]ter then my life without: and what ever others judge of me, I know mine own heart, and the heart is all that God desi­r [...]h. And thus they fool themselves Prov. 28. [...]6. This is one of the greatest causes and grounds of mistake amongst men that think best of themselves: they are not able to put a difference between the good desires, and strong affections that arise from the love of Jesus Christ.

Self-love will make a man seek his own good and safety▪ hence it will pull a man out of his bed betimes in the morning, and call him up to pray: it will take him and carry him into his chamber towards evening, and there privately make him seek, and pray, and [...]ug hard for pardon, for Christ, for mercy, Lord evermore give us of this bread. But the love of Christ maketh a man desire Christ and his ho­nor for himself, and all other things for [Page 150] Christ. It is true the desires of sons in Christ by faith, are accepted ever; but the desire of servants, men that work only for their wages out of Christ, are not.

Fo [...]hly, in judging of Gods love to them, [...] aiming sometimes at the glory of God. Is this possible, that a man should aim at Gods glory, and yet perish? Ye [...], and ordinary too. A man may be li­beral to the poor,2. Kings. 10.11. maintain the Mi [...]istry, be forward. and stand for good things: whence he may not doubt but that God loveth him. But here is the difference, though a wicked man may make Gods glory in some particular things, his end, yet he never maketh it in his general course his utmost and last end, A subtil apprentice may do all his Masters work, but he may take the gain to himself, or divide it betwixt his Master and himself, and so may be but a knave, as observant as he seemeth to be: So a sub [...]i [...] heart (yet a vile vi [...]nous heart) may forsake all the world, as Judas did; may bind himself apprintice to all the duties God r [...]quireth outwardly at his hands, and so do good works: but what is his last and [...] is that he might gain respect or place, or that Christ may have some part of the glory: and he another Simon Mag [...], would give any mo [...]y sometimes that he could pray so well, know so much, and do as others [Page 151] do, and yet his last end is for himself▪ but how can you believe. if you seek not that glory that cometh from God? saith Christ. There is many seek the honor of Christ; but do you seek his honor only: Is it your last end where you rest, and seek no more but that? If thou wouldest know whether thou makest Christs glory thy last end, observe this rule.

If the [...] art more grieved for the eclip [...] of thine own honor, and for thine own losses, then for the loss of Gods honor: it is an evident sign thou lovest it not, de­sirest it not as thy chiefest good, as the last end, for thy summum [...]onum; and therefore dost not seek Gods honor, in the pri [...] and chiefest place. Sin trou­bled [...]aul more then all the plagues and miseries of the world. Indeed, if thy name he do shed with disgrace, and thy will be [...]r [...]ssed, thine heart is [...]rieved and dis­quieted; but the Lord may loose his ho­nor dayly by thine own sins, and those that be round about thee; but no [...] a [...]ear, not a sigh, not a groan, to behold such a spectacle. As sure as the Lord liveth, thou seekest not the Lords Name, or honor, as thy greatest good.

Fifthlie, in judging the power of sin t [...]o be but infirmi [...]y for if any thing trouble an unregenerate man, and, maketh him call his estate into question, it is sin [Page 152] either in the being or power of it. Now sin in the being, ought not, must not, make a man question his estate, because the best have that left in them that will humble them, and make them live by faith; therefore the power of sin only can trouble a man. Now if a man do judge of this to be only but infirmitie, which the best are compassed about wi [...]h­all, he cannot but ly down securely, and think himself well. And if this error be settled in one that liveth in one known sin, it is very difficult to remove▪ for let the Minister cast [...]he sparks of hell in their faces, and de [...]ounce the terror of God against them, they are never stirred. Why? because they think, Here is for you that live in sin: But as for themselves, although they have sins, yet they strive against them, and so cannot leave them: for we must have sin as long as we live here, they say. Now mark it, there is no surer sign of a man under the bloody reign, and dominion of his lusts and sins then this; that is to give way to sin, (though never so little and common) not to be greatly troubled for sin (for they may be a little troubled) because they cannot overcome sin, I deny not, but the best do sin dayly, but this is the disposition of Paul, and every child of God he mourneth not the less, but the [...] [Page 157] they think the Lo [...]d looketh not for it at their hands. Now satan giveth men li­berty in their sinful courses, and this li­berty begetteth peace, and this peace [...] them think well of themselves, 2. [...] 2.19. There is many rotten [...] in these dayes, that indeed will not open their mouthes against the sincere hearted people of God, yet they walk loosely, and take too much liberty in their speeches, l [...]berty in their thoughts, liberty in their desires and de [...]ights, liberty in their company, in their [...], and that sometimes under a pretence of Chri­stian liberty and never trouble themselves with these needless controversies, to what end, or in what manner do I use these things? Whereas the righteous man fea­reth alway, considering there is a snare for him in every lawful liberty. May not I sin in my mirth, in my speaking, in my [...] ▪ Oh! this libe [...]ty that the devil giveth, and the world taketh, before most men with a foolish opinion, that all is well with them.

Thirdly, by giving the soul good dyet, meat and drink enough, what dish he li­keth best. Let a Master give liberty; yet his servant is not pleased, unless he hath meat and drink and food; so there is no wicked man under heaven, but as [...] ta­keth too much liberty in the use of lawful [Page 158] things, so he feedeth his heart with some unlawful secret [...]ust, though all the time they live in it, it may be, it is unknown to them, Luke 16. D [...] had his d [...]sh▪ his good [...], and so [...]ng himself [...] and bade his sou [...] take his [...]ase, and [...] ye [...], observe this dyet is poisoned [...] self, but ever commended to the soul [...] wholesome, good and lawful. They chri­sten sin with a new name, as Popes are at their election: if he be bad, they call him sometimes Pius, if a coward, [...], &c. So covetousness is good husbandrie: com­pany keeping, good neighbor-hood: lying to save their credit from cracking, but an handsome excuse: And hence the soul goeth peaceablie on, and believeth he is in a good estate.

Fourthly, by giving the soul rest and sleep, that is cessation sometimes from the act of sin: Hence they are hardly perswaded, that they live in sin, because they cease sometimes from the act of sin; as no man doth alwayes swear, nor is he alwayes drunk, nor alwayes angrie. They think, only their falls in these, or the like sins, are slips and falls which the best man may have sometimes, and yet be a dear child of God. Oh! [...]a [...]an wil [...] no [...] alwayes set men at his wo [...]k: for if men should alwayes have their cups in their hands, and their queans in their armes: [Page 159] if a covetous man should alwayes root in the earth, and never pray, never have good thoughts, never keep any Sabbath; if a man should alwayes speak idl [...]ly, and [...] a good word drop from him, a mans [...]science would never be quiet, but [...] him up from what he doth, but by gi­ [...]ng him respite from sinning for a time, satan getteth stronger possession after­ward, as Matth. 1 [...].43. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, it returneth worse. Samsons strength alwayes remai­ned, and so doth sins strength in a natural man, but it never appeareth until tempta­tion come.

Fifthly, by giving the soul fair promi­ses of heaven and eternal life, [...] fastning them upon the heart. Most men are confi­dent, their estate is good, and though God killeth them, yet will they trust in him, & cannoth be beaten from this. Why? Oh! satan bewitcheth them. For as he told Evah by the serpent, she should not die; so doth he insinuate his perswasions to the soul, though it live in sin, he shal not di [...] ­ [...]ut to do well enough, as the precisest. Sa­tan giveth thus good words, but woful wages, the eternal flashes of hell.

II. By false Teachers▪ Who partly by their loose examples, partly by their flat­tering doctrines in publick, and their large charity in private, dawbing up every one [Page 160] (especially that is a good friend unto them) for honest and religious people, and if they be but a little troubled, ap­plying comfort presently, and so healing them that should be wounded, and [...] telling them roundly of their Hero [...]das, [...] John Baptist did Herod. Hereupon th [...] judge themselves honest, because the Mi­ [...]nister will give them the beggerly pasport, and so they go out of the world, and die like lambs, being wofully cheated, Matth. 24.11. Look abroad in the world, and see what is the reason so many feed their hearts with confidence they shal be sa­ved, yet their lives condemn them, and their hearts acquite them: the reason is, such and such a Minister will go to the Ale-house, and he never prayeth in his family, and he is none of these precise hot people, and yet as honest a man as ever liveth, and a good Divine too. Aha [...] was miserably cheated by four hun­dred false Prophets. Whilst the Minister is of a loose life himself: he will wink at others, and their faults, lest in reproving them, he should condemn himself, and others should say unto him; Physitian, heal thy self. Thieves of the same com­pany will not steal from one another, lest they trouble thereby themselves: and hence they give others false carts to sail by, [...] fall rules to live by, their uncon­scionable [Page 161] large charity, is like a gulf that [...] alloweth ships (souls I mean) tossed [...] tempests, and not comforted, Isa [...]. [...]4.7.8. And hence all being fish that [...]ometh to their net, all men think so of [...]emselves.

III. A false spirit. This is a third III [...]ause that begetteth a false peace. As there [...] a true Spirit that witnesseth to our spi­ [...]t, that we are sons of God, Rom. 8.16. [...] there is a false spirit, just like the true [...], witnessing that they are the sons of God; 1. John. 4 1. we are bid, try the spi­ [...]its: now if these spirits were not like Gods true Spirit, what needeth tryal? As, what need one [...]ry whether dirt be gold, which are so unlike to each other? And this Spirit I take to be set down, Matth. [...]4.23. Now look as the true Spirit wit­nesseth, so the false spirit, being like it, witnesseth also.

First, the Spirit of God humbleth the soul. So before men have the witness of 1 the false spirit, they are mightily cast down [...] dejected in spirit; and hereupon they [...] for ease, and purpose to lead new [...], and cast away the weapons, and sub­ [...]it, Psal. 66.3.

Secondly, the Spirit of God in the [...]ospel revealeth Jesus Chri [...] and his 2 [...]illingness to save; so the false spirit [...]scovereth Christs excellency and wil­lingness [Page 162] to receive him, if he will but come in. It fareth with this soul, as with Surveyors of lands, that take an exact compass of other mens grounds, of which they shal never enjoy a foot. So did Balaam, Num. 24.5.6. This false spirit showeth them the glory of heaven, and Gods people.

3 Thirdly, hereupon the soul cometh to be affected, and to taste the goodness and sweetness of Jesus Christ, as those did, Heb. 6. and the soul breaketh out into a passionate admiration: Oh! that ever there should be any hope for such a vile wretch as [...] am, and have been! And so joyeth exceedingly, like a man half way wrapt up into heaven.

4 Fourthly, hereupon the soul being comforted after it was wounded, now cal­leth God, my God, and Christ, my sweet Savior, and now it doubteth not but it shal be saved▪ Why? because I have re­ceived much comfort after much sorrow and doubting, Hos. 8.2.3. and yet remai­neth a deluded miserable creature still, But here mark the difference between the witness of each spirit. The false spirit ma­keth a man believe he is in the state of grace, and shal be saved, because he hath tasted of Christ, and so hath been comforted, and that abundantly: But the true spirit perswadeth a man, his estate is [Page 163] good and safe, because he hath not only tasted, but bought this Christ, as the wise merchant in the Gospel, that rejoyced he had found the pearl, but yet stayeth not here, but selleth away all, and buyeth the pearl. Like two Chapmen that come to buy wine, the one tasteth it, and goeth away in a drunken fit, and so concludeth it is his: So a man doth that hath the false spirit: but the true spirited man doth not only taste, but buyeth the wine, although he doth not drink it all down, when he cometh to taste it: yet he having been in­cited by tasting to buy it▪ now he calleth it his [...]: so a child of God tasting a little of God, and a little of Christ, and a little of the promises at his first conversion, al­though he tasteth not all the sweetness that is in God, yet he forsaketh all for God, for Christ, and so taketh them lawfully as his own.

Again, the false spirit having given a man comfort and peace, suffereth a man to rest in that estate; but the true Spirit ha­ving made the soul t [...]ste the love of the Lord, stirreth up the soul to do a work mightily for the Lord. Now the soul cryeth out. What shal I do for Christ that hath done wonders for me? If every hair of my head were a tongue to speak of his goodness, it were too little, Nehem. 8.10. The joy of the Lord is our strength, [Page 164] Psal. 51.12. Uphold me with thy free spi­rit [...] or as the Chaldean paraphrase hath it, thy kingly spirit. The spirit of adoption in Gods child is no underling, suffering men to ly down, and cry, My desires are good, but flesh is frail. No, it is a kingly spirit that reigneth where it liveth.

IV IV, False applying of true promises, is the last cause of false peace. And when a man hath Gods Spirit within, and Gods hand and promise (as he thinketh) for his estate, now he thinketh all safe. This did the Jews, they said, We have Abra­ham to our father: and so reputed them­selves safe▪ God having made them pro­mise: I will be a God of thee, and of thy seed. But here is a difference between a child of Gods application of them and a wicked mans: the first applyeth them so to him, as that he liveth upon them, and nothing but them: and to whom doth the dug belong,Psal. 38▪ 19. but to the child that liveth upon it? The other liveth upon his lusts and creatures, and yet catcheth hold on the promise.

By these four means is begot a bastard false peace.

Thus much of the second cause of mans deceiving himself; false peace in the con­science.

Now followeth the third.

III III. The corruptions and distempers [Page 165] of the will, which is the third cause why men deceive themselves, which are many, I will only name three.

First, when the will is resolved to go on in a sinful course, and then setteth the understanding a work to defend it: whence it fareth with the soul, as with a man that cometh to search for stollen goods, who having received a bribe afore-hand, sear­cheth every where but where it is, and so the man is never found out to be what he is: So a man having tasted the sweet­ness of a sinful course (which pleasure bribes him) he is contented to search into every corner of his heart, and to try him­self, as many do▪ except ther [...] where his darling lust lyeth, he sitteth upon that, and covereth it willingly from his own eyes, as Rachel did upon [...]ollen goods, and so ne­ver findeth out himself, [...]ohn 3.20. A man that hath a mind to sleep quietly, will cause the curtains to be drawn, and will let some light come in, but shutteth out all that, or so much as may hinder him from sleeping: So a man having a mind to sleep in some particular sinful course at his ease, will search himself, and let some light come into his mind.

And hence many prophane persons, that know much, their opinions are or­thodox, their discourse savory, yet do they know little of themselves, and of those [Page 166] sins and lusts that haunt them, which they must part with, because this light troubleth them, it hindereth them from sleeping in their secure estate, and there­fore they draw the curtain here. Hence many men that live in those sins of the grossest usury, finding the gain, and ta­sting the sweet of that sin, will read all books, go to all those Ministers they suppose that hold it lawful, and so pick up and gather reasons to defend the law­fulness of the sin, and so because they would not have it to be a sin, find out reasons whereby they think it no sin: but the bottom is this, their will hath got the bribe, and now the understanding playeth the Lawyer; and hence men live in the most crying sins, and are sure to pe­rish, because they will not know they are in an error.

Secondly, when the will setteth the understanding a work to extenuate and lessen sin; for many when they see their sin, yet maketh it smal, by looking at the false end of their optick glass, they think such smal matters never make any breach between the Lord and their souls. Hence they say, The best man sinneth seven times a day: and who can say my, heart is clean? What is the reason that a child of God hath little peace many times after com­mission of smal sins? Oh! it is because [Page 167] they see the horrible nature of the least sin, smal wrongs against so dear,The se­cōd rea­son why men ru­ine thē ­selves. so great a friend as the Lord is, it cutteth their hearts; yet a carnal heart is never trou­bled for great sins, because they make a light matter of them.

Thirdly, wilful ignorance of the hor­rible wrath of God. Hence men rush on in sin, as the horse in the battle. Hence men never fear their estates, because they know not Gods wrath hanging over them. Coldest snakes when they are fro­zen with cold, never sting nor hurt, one may carry a nest of them in his bosom; but bring them to the fire, then they hiss and sting: so sin, when it is brought near Gods wrath (that devouring fire) it ma­keth men cry out of themselves, Then I am undone: Oh! I am a lost creature! But being not thus heated, sin never ma­keth a man cry out of himself.

These are the causes why men are ig­norant of their woful miserable e [...]tate, which ignorance is the first rock, or the first powder-plot that spoileth thousands.

Yet there are three more dangerous, because more secret.

Now followeth the second reason of mens ruine. By reason of mans carnal security, whereby men cannot be affe­cted with, not so much as have hearts to desire to come out of their misery, when [Page 168] they know it; for if a mans mind under­stand his misery, yet if the heart be hard or sleepy, and not affect [...]d, lo [...]den, woun­ded, humbled, and made to groan under it, he will never greatly ca [...]e to come out of it, Isai. 29.9.10. Now this is the estate of many a soul, he doth know his misery but by reason of the sleepy, secure, sensless spirit of slumber, he never feeleth it, nor mourneth under it, and so cometh out of it.

reason 1 Now the reasons of this securitie are these.

Because God poureth not out the full measure of his grace upon men, because he kindleth not the pile of wrath that lyeth upon men: it is reserved and concealed, not revealed from heaven, and so long, let God frown, Ministers threaten, and smal­ler judgements drop, yet they will never seek shelter in Jesus Christ, but sleep in their sins, until God rain down floods of horror, blood, fire; untill Gods arrows stick in mens hearts, [...]hu [...]. 1.2. they will never seek out of themselves unto Jesus Christ, Ec­cles. 8.11. So long as Gods plagues were upon Pharao, he giveth fair words, and Moses must be sent to pray for him: but when Gods hand is taken away, now Ph [...] ­ra [...]h [...] hearts is hardened. So long as Gods sword is in his scabberd, men have such stout hearts, that they will never yeeld: [Page 169] God must wound and cut deep, and stab, and thrust to the very heart, else men will never yeeld, never awaken, till Gods fists be about mens ears, and he is dragging them to the stake. Men will never awake and cry for a pardon and deliverance of their woful estate.reason 2

Secondly, because if they do in part feel, and so fear Gods wrath, they put away the evil day far from them, they hope they shal do better hereafter, and re­pent some other time; and therefore they say, Soul eat, drink, follow thy sports, cups, queans: thou hast a treasure of time, which shal not be spent in many years, Isai. 22.12.13. That looketh as it is with the waxe, let it be of never so pliable a disposition, and the fire never so hot, yet if it be not brought near the fire, and be held in the fire, it never melteth, but still remaineth hard; so it is here. Let a man or woman have never so gentle or pliable a n [...]ture, and let Gods wrath be never so hot and dreadful in their judgements, yet if they make not the day of what pre­fer to them, if they see it not ready every m [...]ment to light upon their hearts, they are never melted, but they remain hard hear [...]ed, secure, sleepie wretches, and never groan to come out of their woful e­state▪ and this is the reason why many men that have guilty consciences, though [Page 170] they have many secret wishes, and purpo­seth to be better, yet never cry out of them­selves, nor never seek earnestly for mercy, till they ly upon their death-bed; & then, oh, the promises that they ply God with! Try me, Lord, and restore me once more to my health, and life again, and thou shalt see how thankful I will be, because that now they apprehend wrath and miserie reason near unto them, Heb. 3.13.

Thirdly, because they think they can bear Gods wrath, though they do con­ceive it near at hand, even at the very doors: men think not that hell is so hot, nor the devil so black, nor God so terrible as indeed he is. And hence we shall ob­serve the Prophets present Gods wrath as a thing intollerable before the eyes of the people, that thereby they might quench all those cursed conceits of being able to bear Gods wrath, Nehem. 1.6. And hence we shall have many men desperately con­clude, they will have their swinge in sin, and if they perish, they hope they shall be able to best it: It is but a damning, they think, and hence they go on securely. O poor wretches! the devil scares and fears all the world, and at Gods wrath the devils quake▪ and yet secure men fear it not, they think hell is not so horrible a place:

reason 4 Fourthly, because they know no better an estate Hence though they feel their [Page 171] woful and miserable condition, yet they desire not to come out of it. Although men find hard lodging in the world, hard times, hard friends, hard hearts, yet they make a shift with what they find in this miserable Inne, untill they come to hell, for such a man pursued by outward mise­ries, or inward troubles there stayeth. O miserable man! that maketh shift till he come to hell. They may hear of the happie estate of Gods people, but not kno­wing of it experimentally, they stay where they are, John 4.14.

Take a Princes child, and bring it up in a base house or place, it never aspireth after a Kingdom or Crown: So men hatcht in this world, knowing no better an estate, never cast about them to get a better inheritance, then that they scram­ble for here▪ Wives mourn for the long absence of their beloved husbands, be­cause they know them, and their worth. God may absent himself from men, weeks, moneths, years, but man shed not one tear for it, because they never tasted the sweetness of his presence▪ It is strange to see men take more content in their cups and carts, pots and pipes, dogs and hawks, then in the fellowship of God and Christ in the word, in prayer, in medita­tion, which Ordinances are burden, and prisons unto them▪ What is the reason of [Page 172] it [...]. Is there no more sweetness in the pre­sence of Gods smiling in Christ, then in a filthie whore? Yes: but they know not the worth, sweetness, satisfying goodness of a God; yet into fresh waters they will never return, because now th [...]y taste a large difference betwixt each estate. So it is here, if men did but once taste of the happiness of Gods people, they would not for a thousand worlds be one half hour in their wilde loose sea again.

reason 5 Fifthly, because if they do know a bet­ter estate, yet their present pleasures, their sloath, doth so bewitch them, and Gods denyals when they seek un [...]o him, do so far discourage them, that they sleep still securely in that estate. A sloathfull heart bewitched with present ease, and plea­sures and delights considering many a tear, many a prayer must it make, many a night must it break its sleep, many a weary step must it take towards heaven and Christ, if ever he come there, groweth discouraged and deaded, and hard-hearted in a sleepy estate, and had rather have a bird in the hand, then two in the bush, Prov. 11.32. Jer. 48.11. The Israelites wished that they were at their onyons and garlick again in Egypt. Was there no Canaan? Yes but they wished thus, because there were walls built up to hea­ven, and gyants sons of Anack in the [Page 173] land, difficulties to overcome. O sloth­fu [...]l hearts! Secondly because God som­times put them to straits, and denyed them what they sought for, t [...]ey were of such a waspish, teastie sullen spirit, that because the Lord had them not alwayes on his knees, they would run away: So many a man meeteth with sorrow enough in his sinfull dropsi [...], drunken estate; he heareth of heaven and a better estate, yet why goeth he to his lusts and flesh-pots again? Oh! because there are so many dif­ficulties and blocks and hindrances in his way, and because they pray and find not ease, therefore they ea [...], drink, laugh, sport and sleep in their miserable estate sti [...]l, Ma [...]h. 7.14. Therefore men walk in the broad way, because the other way to life is strait and narrow: it is a plague, bur­den, a prison, to be so strict: men had ra­ther [...]it a [...]most an hour in the stocks, then be an hour at prayer: me [...] had rather be damned at last, then swea [...] it out, and run through the race to receive a Crown, and hence men remain secure.

Sixthly, because of the strange strong reason 6 power of sin, which beareth that sway over mens souls, that they must serve it, as prisoners stoop to their Jailor, as soul­diers that have taken their pay, their plea­sure of sin, must follow it as their Cap­tain, though they go marching on to [Page 174] eternal ruine: nay, though Doms-day should be to morrow, yet they must, and will serve their lusts. As the Sodomites when they were smitten with blindness▪ Rom. 1. [...] ult. which tormented their eyes, as though they had been pricked with thorns▪ for so the Hebrew word signifieth, even when destruction was near, they groped for the door. Men cannot but sin though they perish for sin; hence they remain se­cure.

reason 7 Seventhly, despair of Gods me [...]cy: Hence; like Cain, men are runagates from the face of God. Men think they shall never find mercy when all is done▪ hence they grow desperately sinfull, like those Italian Senators, that despairing of their lives (when upon submission they had been promised their lives) yet being conscious of their villanie, made a cu­rious banquet, and at the end of it, every man drank up his glass of poison, and killed himself: So men feeling such hor­rible hard hearts, and being privy to such notorious sins, they cast away lives, and heaven and souls for lust, and so perish wofully, because they lived desperately, and so securely.

Eightly, b [...]cause men nourish a blind▪ false, flattering hope of Gods mercy: hence many knowing and suspecting that all is nought with them, yet having some [Page 175] hope they may be in a good estate, and God may love them: hence they ly down securely, and rest in their flattering hope. Hence observe, those people that seldom come to a conclusion, to a point, that ei­ther they are in the state of grace or out of it, that never come to be affected, but remain secure in their condition, they commonly grow to this desperate conclu­sion, that they hope God w [...]ll be merciful unto them; if not, they cannot help it: Like the man that had on his target the picture of God and the devil: under that first he writ, Si tu non vis, If thou [...] not. Under the other he writ, Ipse rogitat. Here is one will.

Ninthly, because men bring not their hearts under the hammer of Gods word to be broken: they never bring their con­sciences to be cut. Hence they go on still securely with festered consciences. Men put themselves above the word, and their hearts above the hammer: they come not to have the Minister to humble them, but to judge of him, or to pick some pretty fine thing out of the word, and so remain secure sots all their dayes: for if ever thy heart be broken, and thy con­science be awaked▪ the word must do it: but people are so Sermon trodden, that their hearts, like foot-paths, grow hard by the word.

[Page 176]Tenthly, because men consider not of Gods wrath dailie; nor the horrible na­tu [...]e of sins, men chew no [...] these pills: hence they n [...]ver come to be affected nor awakned.

Awaken therefore all you secure crea­tures;Use. feel your misery, that so you may get out of it. Dost thou know thine e­state is nought, and that thy condemna­tion will be fearful, if ever thou dost perish; and is thine heart secretly secure, so damnably dead, so desperatlie hard, that thou hast no heart to come out of it▪ what? no sigh, no tears, canst thou car­rie all thy sins upon thy back, like Samp­son the gates of the City, and make a light matter of them? Doest thou see hell fire before thee, and yet wilt ven­ture? Art thou worse then a beast which we cannot beat nor drive into the fire, if there be any way to escape? oh, get thine heart to lament and mourn under thy miseries, who knowes then but the Lord may pitty thee? But, oh, hard heart! thou c [...]nst mourn for losses and crosses, bur­ning of goods and houses, yet though God be lost, and his image burnt down, and all is gone, thou canst not mourn. If thine heart were truelie affected, the pillow would be washed with thy tears, and the wife in thy bosom would be wit­ness to thine heart breakings in mid­night [Page 177] for those sins which have grieved the spirit of God many a time, thou coul­dest not sleep quietly, nor comfortably without assurance. If you were sick to death. Physitians should hear how you do; and if you were humbled, we should hear you in the bitterness of your spirits cry out. What shall we do? but know it, thou most mourn here or in hell. If God broke Davids bones for his adulte­rie, and the angels backs for their pride; the Lord if ever he saves thee will break thine heart too.

Quest. But thou wilt say,Quest. How shal I do to get mine heart affected with my miserie?

Answ. Take a full view of thy miserie,Answ. [...].How to get a broken heart. Take special notice of the Lords rea­diness and willingness to receive thee yet unto mercie: for two things harden the heart. 1. False hope whereby a man hopes he is not so bad, as indeed he is. 2 No hope whereby a man when he seeth himself so notoriously bad, thinks there is no willingness in the Lord to pardon or receive such a monster of man to mer­cie, and if neither the hammer can break thy stony heart, nor the Sun-shine of mercie melt it, thou hast an heart worse then the devil, and a [...]t a spectacle of the greatest mercy. 1 In regard of sin. 2. In regard of Gods wrath.

[Page 178]First, in regard of sin. Thou hast sin­ned and that grievously against a great God, thou makest no great matter of this: No, but though it be no load to thee, it is a load on the Lords heart, Isaiah, 1.24. and time will come he will make the whole sinful world by rivers of fire and blood to know what an evil it is.

For 1 In everie sin thou dost strike God, and sting a dagger at the heart of God. 2. In every sin thou dost spight against God: for if there were but one only thing wherein a man could do his friend a displeasure, was not here spight seen i [...] he had that thing? Now tell me, hath not the Lord been a good friend un­to thee, Tell me, wherein hath he grieved thee? And tell me, in what one thing canst thou please the devil, and do God a displeasure, but by sin? Yet, O hard heart, thou makest nothing of it; but consider thirdly, in every sin thou doest dis-throne God, and setteth thy self above God▪ for in every sin, this question is put▪ whose will shal be done, Gods will or mans? Now man by sin sets up his own wi [...]l above the Lords and so kicks God, (blessed for ever, adored of millions of Saints and Angels) as filth un­der his feet. What, will this break your hearts?

[Page 179]Consider then of Gods wrath, the cer­taintie of it, the unsupportableness of it, how that dying in thy sins, and secure estate, it shall fall, for when men cry, Peace, Peace, 1 Thes. 5.3.4. 1 Cor. 5.19. then cometh sudden de­struction at unawares; pray therefore to God to reveal this to thee, that thine heart may break under it. Secondly, con­sider of the Lords mercy and readiness to save thee, who hath prepared mercy, and intreats the [...] to take it; and waiteth e­very day for thee to that end.

The third Reason of mans ruine is, that carnal confidence, whereby men seek to save themselves,3. Gene­ral rea­sons of mans ruine. and to scramble out of their miserable estate by their own duties and performances, when they do feel themselves miserable: the soul doth as those. Hos. 5.13. when men they be wounded and troubled, they never look after Jesus Christ, but go to [...]heir own waters to heal themselves, like hunted Harts when the arrow is in them, Rom. 9.31▪ 32.

For the opening of this point, I shall shew you these two things.

1. Wherein this resting in duties ap­pears.

2. Why do men rest in them­selves.

First, this resting in Duties appears in these eleven degrees.

[Page 180]1. The soul of a poor sinner, if igno­rantly bred and brought up,Where­in mens resting in duties appea­reth. resteth confi­dently in superstitious vanities. Ask a de­vout Papist, how he hopeth to be saved? He will answer, By his good works. But enquire further, What are these good works? why? for the most part supersti­tious ones of their own inventions (for the crow thinketh her own bird fairest (a [...] whipping themselves, pilgrimage, fasting▪ mumbling over their Pater nosters, bow­ing down to images and crosses,

2 2. Now these being banished from the Church and Kingdom, then men stan [...] upon their titular profession of the tru [...] Religion, although they be devils incar­nate in their lives. Look up and dow [...] the Kingdom, you shal see some roaring▪ drinking, dicing, carting, whoring in ta­verns and blind ale-houses; others bel­ching out their oathes, their mouthes eve [...] casting out, like raging seas, filthy frothy speeches: others, like Ismaels, scoffing [...] the best men, yet these are confident they shal be saved. Why? (they say) they are no Papists; hang them, they will die for their Religion, and rather burn then turn again, by the grace of God. Thus th [...] Jews boasted, they were Abrahams s [...]d so our carnal people boast:Zeph. 4.11. Am not I [...] good Protestant? Am I not baptized Do not I live in the Church, & therefor [...] [Page 181] resting here, hope to be saved? I remember a Judge, when one pleaded once with him for his life, that he might not be hanged, beause he was a Gentle-man▪ he told him, that therefore he should have the gallows made higher for him: So when thou pleadest, I am a Christian, and a good Protestant, yet thou wilt drink and swear, and whore, neglect prayer, and break Gods Sabbath, and therefore thou hopest to be saved: I tell thee, thy con­demnation shal be greater, and thy plagues in hell the heavier.

3. If men have no peace here, then they [...] to, and rest in the goodness of their insides: you shal have many a man, whom if you follow to his chamber, you shall find very devote, and they pray hear­tily for the mercy of God, and forgiveness of sins: but follow them out of their chambers, watch their discourses, you shal find [...] frothie and vain, and now and then powdered with faith, and truth, and obscene speeches. Watch them when they are cros [...], you shal see them as angrie as wasps, and swell like turkies, and so spit out their venom like dragons. VVatch them in their journeyes, and you shal see them shoot into an ale-house, and there [...]wi [...]l and swagger, and be familiar with the scum of the Countrey for prophane­ness, and half drunk too some-times. [Page 182] Watch them on the Lords day, take them out of the Church once, and set aside their best cloathes, they are the same then as at another time: and because they must not work nor sport that day, they think they may with a good conscience, [...]eep the longer on the morning. Ask now such men how they hope to be saved, seing their lives are so bad? They say, though they make no such showes, they know what good prayers they make in private: their hearrs, they say, are good. I tell you, brethren, he that trusteth to his own heart, and his good desires, and so resteth in them, is a fool. I have heard of a man that would haunt the taverns, and [...]hea­ters, and whore-houses at London all day, but he durst not go forth without private prayer in the morning, and then would say at his departure; Now devil do thy worst: and so used his prayers (as many do) only as charms, and spels against the poor weak cowardlie devil, that they think dareth not hurt them, so long as they have good hearts within them, and good pray­ers in the chamber: and hence they will go near to rai [...]e against the Preacher, as an harsh Master, if he do not comfort them with this, that God accepteth of their good desires.

4. If their good hearts cannot quiet them▪ but conscience telleth them, they are [Page 183] unsound without, and rotten at core with­in, then men fall upon reformation; they will leave their whoring, drinking, coze­ning, gaming, companie-keeping, swea­ring▪ and such like roaring sins, and now all the Countrey saith, he is become a new man, and he himself thinketh he shal be saved, [...]. Pet. 2.20. They escape the pol­lutions of the world, as swine that are escaped and washed from outward filth, yet the swinish nature remaineth still, like mariners that are going to some dange­rous place ignorantly, if they meet with storms, they go not backward, but cast out their goods that endanger their ship, and so go forward still: so manie a man, going toward hell, is forced to cast out his lusts and sins, but he goeth on in the same way still for all that. The wildest beasts as (staggs) if they be kept wa­king from sleep long, will grow tame; so conscience giving a man no rest for some sins he liveth in, he groweth tame. He that was a wild Gentle-man before, remaineth the same man still, on­lie he is made tame now; that is, civil and smooth in his whole course: and hence they rest in reformation, which reforma­tion is commonlie but of some trouble­some sin, and it is because they think it is better following their trade of sin at ano­ther market: and hence some men will [Page 184] leave their drinking, and whoring, and turn covetous, bec [...]use th [...]re is more gain at that market, sometimes it is because sin hath left them, as an old man.

5. If they can have no rest here, they get unto ano [...]her starting hose, they go to their humiliations, repentings, tears, sorrows, and confessions. They hear a man cannot be saved by reforming his life, unless he come to afflict his soul too▪ H [...] must sorrow and weep here, or else cry out in hell hereafter. Hereupon they betake themselves to their sorrows, tears, confession of sins, and now the wind is down, and the tempest is over and they make themselves safe, Math. 11 2 [...]. They would have repented: that is the Hea [...]hen, as Beza speaketh, when any wrath was kindled from heaven, they would go to their sack c [...]oath and sor­rows, and so th [...]ught to pacifie Go [...] an­ger again, and here they rested so it is with manie a man. Many people have sick fits and qualms of conscience, and then they do as crowes, that give them­selves a vomi [...], by swallowing down som [...] stone when they are sick, and then they are well again: so when men are troubled for their sins, they will give themselves a vomit of pra [...]er, a vomit of confession, and humiliation, Isai. 58.5. Hence [...] [...]

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