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Full text of "Works of Isaac Ambrose, sometime minister of Garstang, in Lancashire : namely, the doctrine of regeneration ... with a short memoir of the author"

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/2^F. IS^^C AMBROSE, B. A. 


>•( The subject of this Memoir, a native of Lancashire, was a 
descendant of an ancient and respectable family of Ambrose 
Hail in that County. His father was a clergyman ; but of his 
personal history little is known. His situation in life, however, 
enabled him to favour his son with a liberal education, every 
way suited for the ministerial functions which he was trained up 
to discharge. 

Having obtained a competent degree of learning from local 
seminaries, Isaac was sent to the University of Oxford, and in 
1621 was admitted into Brazen Nose College, where he took a 
degree of Bachelor of Arts. 

In Mr. Rees* Cyclopedia it is asserted, ^^ that in 1641 he left 
the Established Church, joined the Presbyterian Party, took the 
covenant, and preached first at Garstang, and afterwards at Pi*es- 
ton, in his native county ; and that his zeal against the established 
Clergy, recommended him to the office of assistant to the com- 
missioners, for ejecting such as were called scandalous and ig- 
norant ministers, and schoolmasters." 

Of these particulars, which, although they compliment his 
piety and zeal, indirectly charge him with being influenced by 
the fanatical spirit of the times. Dr. Calamy, in his account of 
the Ejected Ministers, takes no notice, with the exception of his 
preaching at the two places above mentioned ; but even of these, 
the order is inverted. In the Nonconformist Memorial, we are 
informed, that he was for some time minister of Preston, that 
from thence he removed to Garstang, where the act of Uniformity 
found him in 1662. 

It appears, that soon after the Restoration of Charles II. 
when the clouds began to gather round the Church, which led 
to the tempest, from the awful effects of which she has not yet 
recovered, a meeting was held at Bolton by about twenty minis- 
ters, of which number Mr. Ambrose was one, to consult what 
course they should take in the present alarming crisis. At this 
meeting Mr. Ambrose and Mr. Cole of Preston declared, in the 
presence of their brethren, that they would read the Common 


Prayer^ and should do it, the state of their respective places 
requiring it ; and that otherwise their services among their con- 
gregation would necessarily be at an end. The ministers present, 
considering the circumstances of their case, approved of this 
decision. But Mr. Cole, afterwards Dr. Cole, declaring that he 
could not thus far comply, was turned out from Preston, He, 
however, found some stronger motive in Essex than operated in 
Preston, since he finally conformed, and became a lecturer at 
Dedham in that county. - o. : , ^ 

With respect to Mr. Ambrose, notwithstanding the preceding 
declaration, it is well known that he lived and died a Noncon- 
formist ; but of the particular circumstances which led to the 
steps in which his character became decided, we have no account. 
We are, however, in possession of facts that are of much more 
importance ; namely, that he was a man of substantial worth, 
of eminent piety, and that, for his exemplary life, he was highly 
respected both as a private Christian, and an approved minister 
of God. It is to be lamented, that his contemporaries had not 
collected and preserved a narrative of the various incidents which 
marked his life, of his unwearied assiduity in composing his va- 
rious publications, of his manner of living, of his family, and as- 
sociates, and of the superintending providence of God over him, 
when for conscience sake he abandoned his prospects of aggran- 
disement, and even surrendered his livelihood. 

In his manner of life, there is one particular circumstance that 
deserves to be recorded. It was his custom, once in every year, 
to withdraw from all human society for about a month, which 
time he spent in a small hut that w\as erected in a wood not far 
from his dwelling, giving himself up to meditation, prayer, and 
divine contemplation. Much of this spirit, which may be sup- 
posed to be cherished by a holy man in solitude, appears in his 
writings; and no doubt, by this means he became better quali- 
fied for the discharge of his ministerial duties throughout the 
rest of the year. 

The latter part of his life was spent at Preston, in warning 
and exhorting those around him, to make preparation for their 
approaching dissolution, enforcing, by his pious example, the 
precepts which he taught. As his end drew near, he appears 
to have had a strong presentiment of the solemn event. Though 
in perfect health, on paying a visit to his distant friends, he took 
his leave of them under a serious conviction that he should see 
them no more ; and on his returning to his home, he proceeded 
to set every thing m order against the termination of his mortal 

The intelligence of this awful presentiment reaching his 
absent friends, many, particularly from among his hearers at 
Garstang, came to visit him. These he received with his usual 
cheerfulness j and after giving them pious counsel, and converging 


freely on the things of God, he informed them that he was now 
ready to depart whenever his Lord should think fit to summons 
him to appear before his fLice, as he had finished all that he 
ever intended to write, and on the preceding evening had sent 
away his -Discourse concerning Angels to the press. When his 
friends were about to take their leave, he accompanied them to 
the door, and waited until they had mounted their horses j and 
having taken his leave, he came back, shutting himself in his 
parlour, the place of his soUloquy, meditation, and prayer. Being 
thought to tarry longer than usual, the door was opened, and he 
was found just expirmg. The state in which he was discovered 
rendered all assistance unavailing, his mortal course being brouo-ht 
to an end. This took place in the year 1664, in the 72d year of 
his age. 

His character may be comprised in a few expressions : — He 
was holy in life, happy in his death, honoured of God, and held 
in high estimation by all good men. 

His works, which are numerous, are still read with much 
respect and profit, and no doubt they will long continue in re- 
quest, among the pious of all denominations. Of these works 
tlie following are the titles : Prima, Media, et Ultima; or Re- 
generation, Sanctitication, and Meditations on Man's Misery and 
God's Mercy. — Looking unto Jesus. — ^War with devils. — Minis- 
tration of, and communion with, Angels, &c. — ^These works, 
though they had previously appeared, were all collected and 
printed together in folio in the year 1689. Since that time seve- 
ral of them have repeatedly been published in various forms, and 
in some few instances, from the liberty which has been taken 
with them, they have been made to speak a language which their 
author never intended. To this edition, these charges cannot 

On the amiable spirit which these writings breathe, the im- 
portant doctrines which they inculcate, and the practical godli- 
ness which they invariably enforce, but one opinion can be enter- 
tained. Like the writings of Baxter, they have a vigorous pulse 
beating in every page ; and it will be difficult to select a para- 
graph in which the author does not appear in earnest for the 
salvation of his readers. It is this sacred principle, rather than 
the learning (though even of this they are by no means destitute) 
which they display, that has brought them downward on the 
stream of time to the present hour ; while many that could boast 
of more splendid diction and outward decorations, have sunk to 
rise no more. 

In his treatise on Communion with Angels, he has collected 
together a mass of evidence in fav'^our of his positions, much 
stronger than might have been expected. His conclusions he 
has also attempted to fortify by making an appeal to recorded 
incidents. Many of these, however, being taken from the dark 


ages^ and others being of doubtful authority, it is very probable, 
that in the eyes of several judicious readers, he will appear to 
have injured the cause he intended to promote. This work dis- 
plays strong powers of mind, an acuteness of mvestigation, and 
much learning ; but notwithstanding its numerous excellencies, 
it must be acknowledged, that fancy appears predominant in 
jnany parts 5 and, in its wild exuberances, attributes to super- 
natural agency, various phenomena which might be traced to 
natural/causes. Many of the incidents which he has recorded 
are, of a very remarkable character, but by no means improbable. 
But there are others which are of such a nature, as to stagger 
eyen credulity itself. 

These blemishes are however, of little moment, when com- 
pared with the life and power that he has infused into the various 
subjects of which he treats. These are so strong and so influ- 
ential, that the most insensible can scarcely read without catching 
something of his pious spirit, and admiring that devotional feeling 
which ammates every sentence. 

Mr. Ambrose was one of those excellent divines, by which the 
turbulent age in which he lived was distinguished. These, in 
their combined effulgence, irradiated the gloom of moral darkness 
which then prevailed, and it is to their indefatigable exertions 
that we are indebted for many blessings which we now enjoy. 
He was a star of no common magnitude, in that bright constella- 
tion of worthies, who have enriched the world by their writings, 
and bequeathed their example to posterity. 


The Doct?ine of Regeneration, 

The occasion and method of this Treatise,/?, 28. — First means 
to get into the new birth, ib. — Second means, 34, — ^Tliird 
means, 35. — Means to be delivered out of the pangs of the 
new birth, 37. 

Directions to a Man iri the Act of the New Birth, 

The Soul's preparation, 40. — General circumstances of prepara-' 
tion on God's part, 41. — Substantial parts of preparation on 
God's part, 44. — Substantial parts of preparation on Man's 
part, 50.— -Call on God's part for the soul to close with, and 
to rely on, Christ, 61 . — Answer on Man's part for the soul 
to close with, and to rely on Christ, 62. — Growing of the 
soul with Christ, 73. 

The Practice of Sanctification, 

The Believer's privileges, 7^- — Gf duties in general, 7^- — ^The 
equity of duties, ih, — Insufficiency of duties, t'A. — Healing 
of duties, 80. — No resting in duties, 81. — Use and end (J 
duties, 83.- — Essential requisites in duties, 85. 

Of Self Denial, 

The nature of self-denial, 87- — Denial of sinful self, %b. — Denial 
of our external relations, 89. — ^Denial of our special gifts, 
92. — Denial of our worldly profits, 94. — Denial of our 
worldly pleasures, 97. — -Denial of our honour, praise, and 
good name among men, 49. — ^Denial of our life for Jesus 
Christ, 101. — Self-denial even with regard to the graces of 
God, 103. 

Of the Life of Faith, 

The nature of the life of faith, 107.— Manner of tliis life of faith 
in particular, as in temporal evils, 109. — Manner of this life 
of faith in temporal blessings. Ml. — Manner of this life of 
faith in spiritual evils, IH.-^Manner of this life of faith in 


spiritual blessings, as derived to us from God in Christ, and 
the spirit of Christ, 1 15. — Manner of tliis life of faith in 
spiritual graces, 118. — Manner of this life of faith in spi- 
ritual duties, 120. — Manner of this life of faith in things 
eternal, 121.*— Manner of this life of faith in regard of 
others, 122. 

Of Family D-uties, 

The nature of family duties, 124. — Preparatives to family duties, 
125. — Duties of governors in general, ih, — ^Duties of parents 
to their children, 127. — Duties of masters to servants, 129. — • 
Duties of the husband and wife, 130. — Duties of children to 
parents, 134. — Duties of servants to their masters, 135. 

Looking unto Jesus, 

Address to the Reader, ---------- 1 37 

Book I. Looking unto Jesus, the beginner and finisher ~> ,., 

of our faith ------------j 

Book II. Looking unto Jesus from the Creation until hisi , -. . 

first coming ----.------ J 

Book 111. Looking unto Jesus in his Birth, - - - 205 

Book IV. Looking unto Jesus in his Life, ----- 249 

Book V. Looking unto Jesus in his Death, ----- 299 

Book VI. Looking unto Jesus in his ResuiTCction, - - 348 

Book Vll. Looking unto Jesus in his Ascension, Session -» 001 

and Mission of his Spirit, ------- / 

Book Vlll. Looking unto Jesus in his Intercession, - - 413 

Book IX. Looking unto Jesus in his second coming, - - 441 

The Ministration of and Communion with Angels, 

The coherence and division of the text, Heb. i. 14. 473. — Scrip- 
tures for Angels' Ministration, 480. — Reasons for Angels' 
ministration, 482. — The time when Angels first begin their 
ministration, 495. — Ministration of Angels in our Infancy 
and Childhood, 500. — Ministration of Angels in our riper 
years, 509. — Ministration of Angels at @ur Death, 538. — 
Ministration of Angels at our Resurrection, 535. 



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• DOCTRINE '^^- '^"V '««' 


Except a man be horn again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 

John iii. 3. 

In the prosecution of these words, we shall follow the order 
set down by the Holy Ghost ; where is, 

1. The necessity of it. 

2. The generality of it. 

3. The manner of it. 

4. The issue of it. 

First, the necessity of it : Except a man be new born, he can 
never be saved. It is our Saviour's speech, and he avers it 
with a double asseveration. Verily, verily, I say unto thee. 

Again, God the Father thus counsels, not only Nicodemus, 
but all the Jews of the old church, saying. Make you a new 
heart and a neio spirit, for why will you die, O house of Israel ? 
Ezek. xviii. 31. Notwithstanding all their privileges, yet 
here is one thing necessary, that must crown all the rest ; 
they must have a new heart, and a new spirit, that is, they 
must be new born, or there is no way but death. 

Nor is this doctrine without reason or ground. For, man is 
first unholy, and therefore most unfit to enter into heaven ; 
Without holiness no man shall see God, Heb. xii. 14. And what is 
man before he is new born? If we look upon his soul, we may 
see it deformed with sin, defiled with hist, outraged with pas- 
sions ; and thus is that image of God transformed to the ugly 
shape of the devil. Should we take a more particular view, 
every faculty of the soul is full of iniquity; the understanding 
understands nothing of the things of God, 1 Cor. ii. 14. the will 

1. B 

10 The Doctrine of Regeyieration. 

wills nothings that is good, Rom. vi. 20. the affections affect 
nothing of the Spirit, Gal. v. 17. In a word, the understanding 
is darkened, the will enthralled, the affections disordered, 
the memory defiled, the conscience benumbed, all the inner 
man is full of sin, and here is no part that is good, no not 
one. How needful now is a new birth to a man in this case! 
Can he enter into heaven, that savours all of earth? Will 
those precious gates of gold and pearls open to a sinner? No, 
he must be new moulded, and sanctified. 

Secondly, Without this, man is God's enemy : no greater 
opposition than betwixt God and a sinner ; his name and na- 
ture is altogether opposite to sin and sinners. View we those 
attributes of God, his justice, truth, patience, holiness, anger, 
power; his justice in punishing the impenitent according to his 
deserts, his truth effecting those plagues which he hath spoken 
in his word, his patience forbearing sinners* destruction till 
they are grown full ripe, his holiness abhorring all impurities, 
his anger stirring up revenge against all offered injuries, his 
power mustering up his forces, yea, all his creatures, against 
his enemies ; and what can we say, but, if all these attributes 
are at enmity with sinful man, woe to man because of offences ! 
Better he had never been born, than not to be new born. 

Thirdly, Except by a new birth, man is without Christ; for 
if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature : and if he be 
not in Christ, what hopes of that man? It is only Christ that 
opens heaven, it is only Christ that is the way to heaven; be- 
sides him, there is no way, no truth, no life. 

Fourthly, Except a man be born again, he is a very limb of 
Satan, a child of drakness, and one of the family of hell. Con- 
sider this, ye that are out of the state of grace, in what misera- 
ble thraldom are your souls ! Should any call you servants, you 
would take it highly in disdain; but take it as you please, if 
you are not regenerate, you are in no better case. Paul appeals 
to your own knowledge. Know you not that to lohomsoever you 
give yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom you 
oheyl Rom. vi. 16, 23. If then ye obey the devil's suggestions, 
what are you but the devil's servants? And if he be your 
master, what is your wages ? The wages of sin is death : death 
of the body, and death of the soul; death here, and death 
hereafter in hell-fire. Alas, that Satan should have this power 
on man ! that he who is the enemy, and means nothing to a 
sinner but death and damnation, should be his lord, and tyran- 
nize it over him at his own will and pleasure ! Would any man 
be hired to serve lions and tigers? And is not the devil a roar- 
ing lion, walking about, and seeking whom he may devour? To 
serve him that would devour his servant, is a most miserable 
bondage; and what pay can one expect from devils, but roar- 
ing and devouring, and tearing souls? 

The Ihctnne of Regemration. 1 1 

So that whether we consider man in regard of himself, or of 
Ood, or of Christ, or of Satan, he is (except he be new-born) 
unholy, God's enemy, out of Christ, in Satan. 

And if the new birth be thus necessary, how should we 
labour to be born again? Now then, as you tender your souls, 
and desire heaven at your ends, endeavour to attain this one 
thing necessary; lift up your hearts unto God, that you may 
be washed, justified, sanctified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
and that by the Spirit of God you may walk in new ways, talk 
with new tongues, as being new creatures, created unto good 
works. Thus would you wait on God in his way, I trust the 
Lord in mercy would remember you, and his Spirit would 
blow upon you, and then you would find and feel such a 
change within you, as that you would bless God for ever, 
that you were thus born again. 

Such is the necessity of being born again. And as to the 
generality of it, all men (or all mankind) must be regenerated 
before they be saved ; not one of all the sons of Adam shall 
ever go to heaven, except he be born again: let your contem- 
plations (guided by God's word) go into the paradise above ; 
all the saints that now walk in the light of it, were first purged 
by the Lamb, and sanctified by the Spirit ; first they were 
regenerated, and so they were saved. 

Secondly, (as all men, so all man) all the members of his 
body, all the faculties of his soul. Sanctification, if saving, 
must be perfect and entire, though not in respect to degrees, 
yet in respect of part^; every part and power of body and 
soul must have its part of sanctification. 

And should we consider man in his parts, every part must 
bear a part in this birth ; his body must be regenerated, his 
soul must be renewed : he is moulded anew, and all the mem- 
bers of his body are conformed to the sovereignty and rule of 
grace; yea, his body is preserved blameless, holy, and accept- 
able unto God ; it is a member of Christ, the temple of the 
Holy Ghost : happy man that is blest with this body ! Sure a 
man thus born again, shall see the kingdom of God. 

Thirdly, as the body, so the soul of this man is to be renewed 
by grace ; Therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, 
1 Cor. vi. 20. The body and the spirit must both glorify God ; 
and as all the parts of the body, so all the powers of the soul. 

First, the understanding, that in the old man is blind and 
ignorant about heavenly things, or if it know many things, yet 
never can attain to saving knowledge; in the new man must 
be anointed with the eye-salve of the Spirit, inspired with the 
knowledge of divine truths, especially with those sacred and 
saving mysteries which concern the kingdom of God. Again, 
the will that in the old man affects nothing but vile and vain 
things, is froward and perverse in the ways of godliness; in 

12 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

the new man must prove what is the good, and acceptable, 
and perfect will of God ; yea, it must attend and be subordi- 
nate to the grace of God, since God indeed, and God only, 
works in us both the will and the deed, Phil. ii. 13. Again, the 
memory that in the old is slippery in the things of God, or if 
naturally good, yet not spiritually useful 5 in the new man must 
be sanctified to good performances, and although it cannot 
increase to a great natural perfection, (for grace doth not this,) 
yet the perfections it hath must be straight, and right, and 
guided to Godward : Remember the Lord thy God, saith Moses, 
Deut. viii. 18. Again, the conscience that in the old man 
sleeps and slumbers, or if it be awake, tears and roars, as if a 
legion of devils possessed it; in the new man must be calm 
and quiet, and yet not sleep or slumber, but rather in a friendly 
loving manner check and control wheresoever sin is, yea, never 
be quiet, till with kind and earnest expostulations it draws the 
sinner before God, to confess his fault, and to seek pardon 
for it. Again, the affections that in the old man are sensual, 
inordinate, bewitched, and set on wrong objects; in the new 
man must be turned another way. To sum up all ; all must be re- 
newed, the understanding, will, memory, conscience, affections. 
First, I say, in the new man the understanding must be re- 
renewed ; so the apostle. The new man is renewed in knowledge, 
Col.iii. 10. and this knowledge implies two 'h?Jb\i'^,iuisdomand 
prudence, Col. i. 9. First, wisdom; that is speculative: second- 
ly, prudence ; and that is practical. By the one, the child of 
God, having the eyes of his mind opened and enlightened, 
doth see the mysteries of salvation, the secrets of the kingdom, 
the whole counsel, and the wonders of the law of God ; by the 
other he is enabled, with a judicious sincerity, to determine in 
cases of conscience, in the practice of piety, and the experi- 
mental passages of a christian man. If we consider the first, 
wisdom ; how is it possible that a man unregenerate should 
know the mysteries of salvation? He may go as far as the 
power of natural discourse, and light of reason, can bear sway, 
he may be furnished with store of rare and excellent learning, 
and yet for all this want the true spiritual wisdom. The man 
regenerate hath the saving knowledge ; he only knows God 
with a stedfast apprehension, he only knows himself a mean, 
base, and contemptible thing; his new birth hath learned him 
how wicked a creature he naturally is, and therefore in that 
respect is he odious to himself, and loathsome in his own 
eyes : or if we consider the second, prudence; how is it pos- 
sible that a man unregenerate should experimentally know the 
practice of piety? Should we instance in this mystery of rege- 
neration : here is a ruler of the Jews, and a teacher "of Israel; 
yet, as learned as he was, if he confer with Christ about the 
salvation of his soul, he is strangely childish, and a mere infant j 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 13 

tell him of the new birth, and he thinks it as impossible as for 
an old man to return into his mother's womb, and be born : the 
natural man cannot discern the operations of grace, he knows 
not that dark and fearful passage, which leads from the state of 
nature, into the rich and glorious happiness of the kingdom of 
Christ; and hence it is that many a silly man or woman, whom 
the woxldly-wise pass by with scorn, are in spiritual affairs 
more wise and learned than the learnedst doctors. 

Secondly, the will must be renewed; and this will of the re- 
generate contains two things, righteousness and readiness : it 
is first rectified, conformed to the will of God; secondly, it is 
so inflamed wdth the love of goodness, that he pursues it with 
alacrity of spirit. If we consider the first, the rectitude of the 
will, we see by experience the will of the unregenerate is all out 
of course, he-wills nothing but that which is evil: how should 
he, considering his want of God's image, his blindness of 
heart, his proneness to evil, together with the vehemency of 
his affections, which draw the will after them? but in the man 
that is regenerate, the will being moved, it afterwards moves 
itself; God's grace that concurs with it, quickens it, and re- 
vives it; so that now his will is nothing but God's will: or if 
w^e consider the second, the readiness of the will to good, 
alas ! the will of the unregenerate hath no pleasure in good- 
ness, he understands not the sweetness of it, and therefore 
nothing is more irksome to him than the ways of godliness ; 
whereas the will of the regenerate is willing, and this willing- 
ness indeed is the perfection of his will. 

Thirdly, the memory must be renewed ; and this memory 

reflects occasionally on a double object, on God, and the things 

of God. First, on God, by remembrance of his presence every 

where. Secondly, on the things of God, by calling them to 

mind at useful times. If we consider the first object, God ; 

the unregenerate hath no mind on God, God is not in all his 

thoughts : like the hood-winked fool, that seeing no body, 

thinks no body sees him; so hath he said in his heart, Hoio 

doth God knoic ? Can he judge through the dark cloud ? Thick 

clouds are a covering to him that he secth not, and he ivalketh in 

the circuit of heaven. But, contrary wdse, the regenerate man 

remembers his Creator in the days of his youth. And though 

God, as being a spirit, is absent from his senses, yet by virtue 

of his sanctified memory, (that makes things absent as present,) 

his eye is on God, and he considers God as an eye-witness of 

all his thoughts, and words, and doings. Or, if we consider 

ihe second object, (the word of God,) the unregenerate never 

burdens his memory with it ; if sometimes he falls upon it, it 

is either by constraint or by accident, never with any settled 

resolution to follow it; but the soul that is regenerate, with 

Mary, keeps all these things in his heart : whatsoever lessons 

14 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

he learns, like so many jewels in a casket, he lays them up safe 
and, as need serveth, makes all the good use of them he may. 

Fourthly, tlie conscience must be renewed, and that two 
ways, either by drawing the soul to good, or from evil : first, 
to good, by restraining and bridling. If we consider its first 
office, (in that it draws and leads the soul to good,) the unre- 
generate hath not that conscience ; for the most part his con- 
science lies dead in his bosom, or, if it stir sometimes, he 
labours all he can to smother it. It is otherwise with the 
regenerate, his conscience excites him to good, and he doth 
good out of conscience ; he stands not upon terms of pleasure 
or profit, but his conscience being guided by the rule of God's 
holy truth, he submits to it merely oift of his obedience to 
God: hence it is, that come what will come, his eye is fixed 
on God; and if man oppose where God commands, he is 
quickly resolved. Or if Ave consider the second office of con- 
science, in drawing the soul from evil, the unregenerate either 
hears not, or heeds not, his reclaiming conscience : if it speak, 
he first goes about to lull it asleep again; or if it cry out, and 
will not peace, then, in spite of goodness, he runs out of one 
sin into another, and usually from presumption to despair. On 
the other side, the regenerate hath a conscience that draws 
him from, and keeps him out of, evil : it is known especially 
by these two properties, remorse and tenderness ; remorse hath 
an eye on all sins past, and tenderness hath an eye on all sins 
to come : by remorse is bred sorrow for sin, ^nd loathing of 
sin; no sooner he considers how by his manifold sins he hath 
offended God, crucified Christ, grieved the Holy Spirit, but 
his heart bleeds and breaks that he hath done so wickedly 
against so gracious a God : this sorrow for sin brings with it 
a loathing of sin; he hates the very thought of it; every look 
back is a new addition of detestation, and every meditation 
makes the wound of his remorse to bleed again : by tenderness 
of conscience is bred a care and watchfulness to avoid sin to 
come; for no sooner is sin presented to his conscience, but he 
startles at its sight, and meditates on that strict account he must 
one day make for it ; which thoughts and sin put together in 
the balance, he dares not do wickedly for a world of gain : 
and you may observe it, this tenderness, or easiness to bleed 
at the apprehension of sin, is peculiar to that conscience that 
is enlightened, and sanctified, and purged by Christ. 

Fifthly, the affections must be renewed, and that is done by 
setting them upon right objects; I shall instance in some of 
them, as love, hatred, hope, fear, joy, sorrow. Love I place 
first, which in the unregenerate man is fastened inordinately 
upon the creature ; and as one sin begets another, so on what- 
soever object it falls, it gets some sin; thus the love of riches 
breeds covetousness, love of beauty breeds sensuality : whatso- 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 15 

ever he loves, the object being earthly, it brings with it some 
sin ; and thereby, the worst of all, he wickedly prefers earth to 
heaven, a dunghill to paradise. But the regenerate man settles 
his love upon other objects : as he that is carnal, minds things 
carnal, so he that is spiritual, loves things spiritual ; no sooner 
is he turned, by a sound and universal change of the whole 
man, from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan 
unto God, but he presently begins to settle with some sweet 
contentment, upon the flowers of paradise, saving graces, and 
his infinite love runs higher and higher, till it embrace him 
that dwells in the highest, God Almighty: and how sweet is 
that love that casts itself wholly into the bosom of his Maker! 
How blessed is that man, that yearns, and melts, and cleaves, 
and sticks unto his gracious God above all ! 

The second affection is Hatred, which in the unregenerate is 
so inordinate, that he is an hater of God, Rom. i. 30. not that 
he hates God in himself, but in some particular respect, be- 
cause he restrains him from his pleasure, or punisheth him 
for his sin, or crosseth his appetites by his holy commands. 
As he hates God, so likewise his brother. Hence arise those 
envies, emulations, jars, contentions, among those that profess 
themselves Christians ; but of all brethren he hates them most, 
of whom our Saviour is the first-born. God's faithful ones ever 
were and ever will be signs and wonders, and monsters, unto 
many; a scorn, reproach, and derision, to them that are round 
about them : but he that is regenerate hates sin in whomsoever 
it rules ; in others, and in himself, when after the commission 
of any evil he begins to repent, and to abhor himself , as Job 
did, in dust and ashes, Job xlii. 6. 

The third affection is Hope. Now this hope in the unrege- 
nerate is fastened on this world, and the things of this world ; 
he hopes for preferment, riches, or the like ; as for his hope of 
heaven, it is but a waking man's dream: a dream? said I. Yes, 
as dreams in the night fill us with illusions, (you know a beggar 
may dream he is a king,) so hope, abusing the imagination of 
the unregenerate, fills their souls many a time with vain or 
empty contentments: but the hope of the regenerate both 
enjoys the right object, and right means; his eye is fixed on 
future good ; and he endeavours to pursue it, till he get the 
possession. If in the pursuit he meets with crosses, griefs, 
disgraces, sicknesses, or any other calamities, his hope is able 
to sweeten the bitterest misery that can possibly befall him; 
the afflictions of this life bid him look for a better, a cross 
here minds him of the glory above. 

The fourth affection is Fear, which in the unregenerate is 
either worldly or servile: if it fasten on the world, then he 
fears the loss of his credit or of his profit, and because he and 
the world must part at last, he fears this separation above all 

16 The Doctrine of Regemratioii. 

fears : O death, saith the wise man, how bitter is the remem- 
brance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions, 
unto the man that hath nothing to vex him, and that hath pros- 
perity in all things ! Or if his fear reflect on God, then it is a 
servile fear; for as the servant or hireling works not for love 
of his master, but only for fear of punishment; so he fears God, 
for fear of punishment due to him from God : it is otherwise 
with the man that is born again ; his fear is either initial or 
filial : in pangs of the new birth, or in the new-born babe, it is 
called initial ; because then he casts away sin both out of God's 
love, to which he hath partly attained, and out of the woeful 
effects of sin, which he hath thoroughly considered; with the 
right eye he beholds God, and with the left eye he beholds 
punishment; so that this fear is a middle, as it were, betwixt 
servile and filial fear ; and as the needle draweth in the thread, 
so this fear draweth in charity, and makes way for filial fear ; 
to which, if by growth in grace he be fully ripened, then he 
fears God out of love to God, as the prophet Isaiah proclaimeth. 
The fear of the Lord is his treasure, Is. xxxiii. 6. Never was 
treasure more dear to the wordlings, than is God's fear to him: 
his love of God, his desire to please God, and his fear of being- 
separated from God, keep him in such awe, that thoug^i no 
punishment, no death, no hell, were at all ; yet he woula not 
sin for a world of treasures. 

The fifth affection is Joy, which in the unregenerate is sensual 
and brutish; it hath no better objects than gold, greatness, 
honours, or the like : and what are all these but a shadow, a 
ship, a bird, an arrow, a post that passeth by? or rather, as 
crackling of thorns under a pot, as flashes of lightning before 
everlasting fire? But the joy of the regenerate is a spiritual joy, 
and the matter of it is the light of God's countenance, right- 
eousness, or the promises of God's word ; or, above all, God 
Almighty, blessed evermore : Thus David, Whom have I in 
heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides 
thee, Psal. Ixxiii. 25. This is that joy which no man can con- 
ceive, but he that enjoys it; this is that white stone, Rev. ii. 17. 
whose splendour shines only upon heavenly hearts ; this is that 
glimpse of heaven's glory, which springing up in a sanctified 
heart, out of the wells of salvation, and carried along with addi- 
tion of fresh comforts (from the word and sacraments) through 
a fruitful current and course of man's life, at last falls into the 
boundless and bottomless ocean of the joys of heaven. 

The sixth affection is Sorrow, which in the unregenerate is a 
worldly sorrow, and the effects of it are death ; so the apostle. 
The sorrow of the world worheth death, 2 Cor. vii. 10. In this 
kind, how endless are the sorrows of men for their losses or 
crosses that may befal them ; and howsoever some may endea- 
vour to comfort them in Christ, nothing can relish with thera 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 17 

that concerns heaven or salvation. But in the regenerate, the 
beholding of sin breeds sorrow, and this the apostle calls godly 
sorrow, working repentance to salvation not to be repented of. 

Examine then yourselves, you that desire heaven at your 
ends. Would you inlierit the kingdom? Would you live with 
angels? Would you save your souls? Examine and try whe- 
ther your bodies and souls be sanctified; and if you have no 
sense or feeling of the nev/ birth, then never look to see in 
that state, the kingdom of God ; but if you perceive the work- 
ing of saying grace effectually in you, (and you cannot but 
perceive it if you have it,) if you feel the power of godliness 
first seizing the heart, and after dispersing itself over all the 
parts and powers of body and soul ; if your hearts be softened 
by the Spirit, if your eyes wait upon God, if your ears listen to 
his word, if your tongues shew forth his praise, if your under- 
standings attain to saving knowledge, if your wills conform to 
the will of God, if your memories be stored with heavenly doc- 
trine, if your consciences be tender and sensible of the least 
sin, if you love that which is good, if you hate that which is evil, 
if you hope for the blessings above, if you fear him that can 
destroy both body and soul; in a word, if you joy in goodness, 
if you sorrow for sin, then are you born again. Happy man in 
this case that ever he was born ! and thus every man must be, 
or he cannot be happy. Except a man (every man, every part 
of man) he born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 

We come now to speak of the manner of it. 

Except a man be regenerated, or begotten, saith Valla, as 
man that is born of a woman is begotten of a man, so he that 
is born again must have a begetting too. If you ask of whom 
is the new man begotten, St. James tells you, (Jam. i. 18.) Of 
his oxen will begat he us with the word of truth : the former words 
note the impulsive cause, the latter the instrument; it was 
God that begat us, and with the seed of the word. 

It was the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but in respect of 
the last act, it is of the Holy Ghost, and not of the Father or 
the Son; and thus our Saviour concludes, John iii. 6, 8. That 
which is born of the Spirit, is spirit; and so is every one that is 
born of the Spirit. 

Secondly, as God's spirit is the principal, so God's word is 
the instrumental, cause of our regeneration. Ye are born again^ 
not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, 
which liveth and abideth for ever, 1 Pet. i. 23. And this word, 
saith the author of the Hebrews, is quick and powerful, and 
sharper than any two-edffed sword, S^c. arid is a discerner of the 
thoughts and intents oj the heart, Heb. iv. 12. They that are 
born again, cannot but remember how quick, and powerful, 
and sharp, God's word was at their regeneration: first, like 
an hammer it beat on their hearts till it broke them all to 
1 c 

1 8 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

pieces ; and then like a sword, by a terrible cutting, piercing 
power, it struck a shaking and trembling into the very centre 
of their souls; last of all, like oil it began to supple their 
wounds, and to heal their bruises, and to refresh the weak and 
tender heart with all the promises of God revealed in Christ. 
And thus a man being begotten of the Spirit with the word of 
truth, he comes at last to the birth ; to be born again, to be 
Dorn after the spirit; and this is that second birth: a man is 
first born of the flesh, and he must be again born of the Spirit. 

Hence appears the difference of the first and second birth — 
the first birth is of the earth, earthly, the second birth is of 
the Lord from heaven; the first birth is of nature, full of sin; 
the second is of grace, full of sanctity ; the first birth is ori- 
ginally of flesh and blood, the second birth is originally of 
the Spirit and water: in a word, the first birth kills, the 
second gives life ; generation lost us, it must be regeneration 
that recovers us. O blessed birth, without which no birth is 
happy; in comparison of which, though it were to be born 
heir of the whole world, all is but misery ! 

As to the new birth itself, I know it is not wrought in all 
after one manner, nor is the manner known to us, but only so 
far as it is sensible in us, and therefore we must consider man 
before baptism, in baptism, and after baptism. 

In some is the new birth wrought before baptism, as in the 
eunuch under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, Acts viii. 37. 
and in Cornelius, together with his kinsmen and near friends. 
Acts X. 47. and so our charity tells us, that every infant dying 
before baptism, is renewed by the Spirit; but the manner of 
this working we know not, for it is the secret of the Spirit of 
God. In others is the new birth wrought in baptism, which 
indeed is the sacrament of the new birth, and seal of regene- 
ration; but howsoever we see the outward seal, yet we see not 
the manner of the inward working; for this also is the secret 
of the Spirit of God. In others is the new birth wrought after 
baptism; for whensoever men receive Christ by faith, then do 
they feel the power of God regenerate them, and work all 
things in them which he offered in baptism : now the manner ol 
this feeling, or of God's Spirit working, proceeds usually thus . 

There are certain steps by which it passeth ; and howsoevei 
in those whom God hath blessed with great favour of holy edu- 
cation (the Spirit of God dropping grace into their hearts be- 
times) these steps or degrees are not so easily perceived; yet 
in those men who have lived long in sin, no sooner come they 
to a new birth, but they can feel grace work in them step after 
step, and these steps we shall reckon to the number of eight. 

The first is a sight of sin, and this our Saviour reckons the 
first work of the Spirit: When he is come, he will reprove the 
world of sin, John xvi. 8. Of sin, how? Why thus: no «ooner 

The Doctrine of Regetieratioj?, ' 19 

begins this blessed change from nature to grace, but the con- 
science, wrought upon by God's word, opens its book, and 
presents the soul a roll of those many, mighty, heinous sins, 
committed against God ai>d man : there he may read in bloody 
burning lines the abominations of his youth, the sins of all his 
life; and to bring them into method, the commandments of 
God stand as a remembrancer before his eyes : the first tells 
him of his loving somewhat above God; the second, of his 
worshipping a false god, or a true God after a false manner; 
the third, of his dishonouring the great and mighty name of 
God; the fourth, of his breaking the Lord's day, either in 
doing the works of the flesh, or leaving undone the works of 
the Spirit : nor is this all ; as against God, so against his neigh- 
bour hath he sinned ; the fifth tells him of his stubbornness 
and disobedience; the sixth, of his passions, and desires of 
revenge; the seventh, of his lewdness; the eighth, of his 
covetous thefts; the ninth, of his lies and slanders, backbit- 
ings, and rash judgments ; the tenth, of his covetous thoughts, 
and motions of the heart to all manner of evil. Good Lord! 
what a number of evils, yea, what innumerable swarms of law- 
less thoughts, and words, and actions, doth he read in his 
conscience? But above all, his beloved sin is writ in greatest 
characters ; this he finds to have bewitched him most, and to 
have domineered above all the rest in his wasted conscience ; 
where, that he may read it, together with his other sins, the 
Spirit of God now opens the eyes of his mind, and lets him 
see the very mud and filth of his soul, that lay at the bottom 
before unseen and undiscerned. This is the first working of 
the new life, to wit, a feeling of the old death of his soul in 
sins and trespasses : and here the axiom is true, no genera- 
tion without corruption ; a man must first feel this death, 
before he is born again. 

The second step is a sense of divine wrath, begetting in him 
fear. No sooner hath the man a sight and feeling of his sin, 
but then God's spirit, now called the spirit of bondage, pre- 
sents to him the armoury of God^s flaming wrath and fiery 
indignation ; this makes him to feel as if he were pricked with 
the stroke of an arrow, or point of a sword, that he is a most 
accursed and damnable creature, justly deserving ail the mise- 
ries of this life, and all the torments of hell in that life to come ; 
yea, this makes him tremble, and stand, and look, as if he were 
thoroughly frighted with the angry countenance of God Al- 
mighty. "Would you view him in this case ? his conscience 
hath now awaked him out of his dead sleep, by the trumpet 
of the law ; his heart is now scorched with the secret sense of 
God's angry face ; his soul is now full sorely crushed under the 
most grievous burden of innumerable sins : his thoughts are 
now full of fear and astonishment, as if no less than very hell 

20 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

and horror were ready to seize upon his body and soul. I say 
not what measure of this wrath is poured on all men, for I 
suppose some feel more and some less ; but I verily believe, 
some there are that, in these pangs of the new birth, have been 
scorched, as it were, with the very flames of hell. And no 
wonder, for this is the time of fear; now it is that Satan strives 
busily to stifle the new man in the womb ; and therefore he 
that before diminished his sins, and made them appear little in 
his eyes, when he once sees the man smitten down in the place 
of dragons, and covered with the shadow of death, then he puts 
into his mind his innumerable sins, and, that which immediate- 
ly follows, the curse of the law, and the wrath of God, which 
he yet makes more grisly and fierce, with a purpose to plunge 
him into the abyss of horror and despair. By this means he 
persuaded Cain to cry out. My iniquity is greater than can be 
forgiven. Thus far the unregenerate goes with the man born 
again, — both have a sight of sin, and sense of wrath, — but here 
they part; for the man unregenerate either sinks under it, or 
labours to allay it with worldly comforts. But the man born 
again, seeks the right way to cure it, and at last, by the help 
of God's spirit, he passeth quite through it; I mean, through 
this hell upon earth, into the spiritual pleasures of the king- 
dom of grace, which is to be born again. 

The third step is, sorrow for sin, and this is more peculiar to 
God's child; his heart grieves, his eye weeps; the way to 
God's kingdom is to cry like children coming into the world ; 
the way to be new-born is to feel throes, as a woman in travail ; 
and so is Christ formed in us. Can a man be born again with- 
out bitterness of soul? No, if ever he come to a sight of sin, 
and that God's sanctifying Spirit work in him sorrow for sin, 
his soul will mourn. True it is, some infants are born with more 
pain, and some with less : but more or less, it cannot be so 
little, but the man that labours in these pangs shall mourn. 

The fourth step is, seeking rightly for comfort. He runs not 
to the world, or flesh, or devil, miserable comforters all ; but 
to scripture, to prayer, or to the ministry of God's word ; if he 
finds comfort in scriptures, he meets with it in the gospel: and 
if it please God that the man, now labouring in his pangs of 
the new birth, do but rightly settle his thoughts on the gospel 
of Christ, no doubt but thence he may suck the sweetest com- 
forts that ever were revealed to man. Or if he find comfort in 
prayer, to which he ever and anon repairs in every step, then 
is it by Christ, in whose name he only approacheth to that 
throne of grace : no sooner had the king of Nineveh humbled 
himself, but his proclamation runs. Let man and beast be covered 
with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God. Who can tell if God 
will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger? And 
thus the man, now wrestling witn grievous terrors of con- 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 21 

science ; — who can tell, saith he, if God will turn away his 
fierce anger? Let me then cry mightily unto the Lord of 
heaven; let me cry, and continue crying, until the Lord of 
mercy look upon me : and if for all this God give him a repulse, 
for reasons best known to himself; if at the first, second, third, 
fourth, or at many more times, he seem to have cried in vain, 
at last he flies to the ministry of the word, and if he may have 
his will, he would hit upon the most soul-searching man 
amongst God's messengers. At last he comes to God's minis- 
ter, with a what shall I do? what must I do to be saved? Alas! 
now I feel the wounded conscience, the broken heart, the 
spiritual blindness, the captivity and poverty, of which often 
you have told me : if then there be any instruction, direction, 
or duty, which may tend to my good, now direct me in God's 
fear, and I will willingly follow it with my utmost endeavours. 

And now, and not till now, hath God's minister a strong 
and seasonal)le call to magnify the sufficiency of Christ's 
death and passion: were the blood of Christ, and promise of 
salvation, proffered to an unwounded conscience, what were 
it, but like the pouring of a most sovereign balsam upon a 
sound member of man? It is the only, right, everlasting 
method, first to wound by the law, and then to heal by the 
gospel; and therefore when the heart is broken, then hath the 
man of God his warrant to bind it up again, then may he 
magnify God's mercy, then may he set out to the height the 
beauty of Christ's passion and person, and thus by his high 
and holy art of comforting the afflicted, at last the child of 
God, prepared for his birth, is born again. 

The fifth step, is a clear, I say not a general sight, which he 
had before, but the clear sight of Christ laid open to the eye 
of faith : no sooner is the poor wounded soul informed tho- 
roughly in the mystery and mercy of the gospel, but he then 
looks on his Saviour as the Jews on the brazen serpent, and 
seeing him lifted up on the cross, he cannot but see in him 
an infinite treasury of mercy and love, a boundless and bot- 
tomless sea of tender-heartedness and pity, a whole heaven 
of sweetness, happiness, peace, and pleasures. After the 
spirit of bondage, enters the spirit of adoption ; the terrors of 
the law lead him to the comforts of the gospel; his sorrow 
for sin brings him to the clear light of his Saviour; and then 
as a man in death-pangs, that lifts up his eyes to heaven, so 
he in birth-pangs lifts up his eyes to Christ, who must either 
help him, or he sinks under his sin to the bottom of hell. 
And this sight of Christ Jesus to an humbled sinner, together 
with those glorious privileges which he brings with him, is a 
most pleasant, ravishing, heavenly sight. Not all the curious 
sights on earth, nor all those glittering spangles in heaven, 
can possibly afford such pleasure to the eye of man, as doth 

22 The Doctiine of Regeneration^ 

this one object, Christ bleeding on the cross, to the soul of 
a sinner. Imagine you saw some malefactor led to the place 
of execution; if this man should suddenly see his king run- 
ning towards him with his pardon in his hand, what a sight 
would this be! Thus it is with the man sorrowing for sin; 
whilst he is weeping his case, and confessing what a little 
step there is between him and damnation, in amaze he looks 
upon Christ, whom he sees with a spear in his side, with 
thorns on his head, with nails in his feet, with a pardon in 
his hands, offering it to all men, that will but receive it by 
faith. Oh ! here is a sight indeed, able to revive the wickedest 
man upon earth, dead in trespasses and sins. And now there 
is hopes of the birtii. We may call this the stirrings of God's 
child, or the first feelings of life, before he is born again. 

The sixth step is, an hungering desire after Christ and his 
merits. O here is a thirst above all thirsts! It breeds ardent 
desires, vehement longings, unutterable groans,* mighty gasp- 
ings, just like the dry and thirsty ground, that gasps and 
cleaves and opens for drops of rain. This is that violent 
affection that God puts into the hearts of those who seek him 
in sincerity and truth: never was Ahab more sick for a vine- 
yard, nor Sisera for milk, nor Samson for water, than is a truly 
humbled soul after Christ; ever thirsting and longing that he 
may hide himself in that blood which his Saviour shed for 
him. I have read of a gracious woman, who labouring in 
these pangs, and longing after Christ Jesus, cried out, " I 
have borne nine children with as great pains as other women, 
and yet I would with all my heart bear them all over again, 
yea, bear them all the days of my life, to be assured of my 
part in Christ Jesus." One replying, ** Doth not your heart 
desire and long after him?" — ** Oh, (said she,) I have an hus- 
band and children, and many other comforts; I would give 
them all, and all the good I shall ever see in this world, or in 
the world to come, to have my poor thirsty soul refreshed with 
that precious blood of my Saviour." So eager and earnest is 
the heart of each man, parched with the angry countenance 
of God, after this blood of his: I thirst, I faint, I languish, I 
long, saith he, for one drop of mercy; my spirit is melted in 
me into tears of blood ; my heart, because of sin, is so s?liaken 
and shivered, — my soul, because of sorrow, is so wasted and 
parched, — that my thirst is insatiable, my bowels are hot 
within me, after Christ. Stay; all these expressions are far 
short of those longings : no man knoweth them, save he that 
receives them, save he that is born again. 

The seventh step is, a relying on Christ : a man no sooner 
considers those invitations of our Lord and Saviour ; If any 
man thirsty let him come unto me: Ho! every one that thirsteth, 
come ye to the waters : Come unto me, all ye that are rveary and 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 23 


heavy laden; but, resting himself on these blessed promises, 
he throws himself into the merciful arms of his crucified 
Lord. Come life, come death, come heaven, come hell, come 
what M^ll, here will he stick for ever : Who, saith Paul, shall 
sepctrctte vsfrom the love of Christ 1 shall tribulation , or distress, 
of persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, 
I am persuaded, (not these, nor more than these,) neither 
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, ?ior powers, nor 
things present, nor things to come, ^c. shall be able to separate 
US from the love of God, ivhich is in Christ Jesus our T,ord, Rom. 
viii. 35, 38, 39. Thus it is with the man labouring in this 
birth: What! saith he, doth Christ call the heavy-laden? 
Why, Lord, I am heavy laden with a weight, a mass of sin; 
and if he may come that is called. Lord, 1 come, I come, and 
now I come ; with thee will I build my tabernacle, with thee 
will 1 rest for ever. This affiance, dependence, reliance, or 
whatsoever else we call it, upon the merits of Christ, is the 
right justifying faith, whither if a man once come, there is 
but one degree more, and he is then born again. 

The last and highest step is, universal obedience to Christ. 
No sooner hath he cast himself upon him, but he takes him, 
not only as a Saviour to redeem him from the miseries of sin, 
but as an husband, a lord, a king, to serve him, love him, 
honour him, and obey him: now will he take his yoke upon 
him; now will he bear his cross, and follow him; now will he 
walk in the holy path; now will he associate himself to 
that sect that is every where spoken against ; now will he 
oppose himself against all sin whatsoever; now will he shake 
off his old companions, brethren in iniquity; now will he 
keep peace and a good conscience towards God and man; 
now will he watch over his secret sins, occasions of evil; now 
will he direct his words to the glorifying of God, and to give 
grace to the hearers ; now will he conform all his actions to 
the sovereignty of grace; now will he delight in the word, 
the ways, the saints, the services, of God; will sell all, all 
that he hath, even all his sins, to the last filthy rag of his 
beloved bosom sin. And now old things are passed awaj/, 
behold all things are become new, 2 Cor. v. 17. His heart, his 
eye, his ear, his tongue, his understanding, his will, his me- 
mory, his conscience, his love, his hatred, his hope, his fei\r, 
his joy, his sorrow, (will you any more?) his thoughts, his 
words, his actions, his affections — are all new; this conver- 
sion is universal, this change is a thorough change; now is 
Christ formed in him, now is he transformed into a new crea- 
ture, he is made new; God the Father accepts him for his son, 
God the son stamps upon him the image of his Father, but 
more immediately God the Holy Ghost hath thus moulded 
and fashioned him, as I have let you see him, and now he is 

24 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

born again, which except a man be, — he (shall not) cannot 
see the kingdom of God. 

Lo here those steps that raise up a man to the state of 
regeneration; — a sight of sin, sense of misery, sorrow for 
sin, seeking for comfort, a sight for Christ, desire after 
Christ, relying on Christ, obedience to Christ. One 
word more before we have done. 

You see how God brings along the man whom he purposeth 
to make his ; and yet let no truly humbled sinner be dis- 
couraged if he observe not so distinctly the order of these 
steps, and especially in that degree as we have related ; for 
if in substance and effect they have been wrought, if he have 
them in truth, though perhaps not in this degree, I dare pro- 
nounce, that he is surely born again. It is one of our 
worthies has said, " In our humiliations, and other prepara- 
tive dispositions, we do not prescribe precisely just such a 
measure and quantity, we do not determine peremptorily upon 
such or such a degree and height, we leave that to the wis- 
dom of our great Master in heaven. But sure we are, a man 
must have so much, and in that measure, as thoroughly to 
humble him, and then to bring him to his Saviour; he must 
be weary of all his sins, and of Satan's bondage wholly, will- 
ing to pluck out his right eye, and cut off his right hand ; I 
mean, to part with his beloved bosom-lusts, to sell all, and 
not to leave so much as an hoof behind: he must see his 
danger, and so haste to the city of refuge ; he must be sen- 
sible of his spiritual misery, that he may heartily thirst for 
mercy; he must find himself lost, that Christ may be all in 
all unto him ; and after must follow an hatred of all false and 
evil ways for the time to come, a thorough change of former 
courses, company, conversation, and setting himself in the 
practice of sobriety, honesty, and holiness." And another 
speaks, " That the discovery of the remedy as soon as the 
misery, must needs prevent a great part of the trouble, and 
make the distinct effects on the soul to be with much more 
difficulty discerned : nay, the actings of the soul are so quick, 
and oft so confused, that the distinct orders of these work- 
ings may not be apprehended, or remembered. And per- 
haps the joyful apprehension of mercy may make the sense 
of misery sooner forgotten.'^ The sum is — of every soul 
is required thus mucli: first, a truly penitent sight, sense, 
and hatred, of all sin. Secondly, a sincere and insatiable 
thirst after Christ, and his righteousness, both imputed and 
inherent. Thirdly, an unfeigned and unreserved resolution 
of an universal new obedience for the time to come. If any 
man hath had the experience of these affections and effects in 

The Doctr'me of Regeneration, 25 

his own soul, whatsoever the order, or whatsoever the mea- 
sure be, he may go on comfortably in the holy faith* 

Now then let me advise thee, whosoever thou art that read- 
est, to enter into thine own soul, and examine thine own state, 
whether or no thou art yet born again? Search and see, whe- 
ther as yet the spirit of bondage hath wrought its effects in 
thee; whether thou hast been enlightened, convinced, and 
terrified with a sensible apprehension, and particular acknow- 
ledgment, of thf wretched estate? Search and see, whether as 
yet the Spirit of adoption hath sealed thee for his own; whe- 
ther, after thy heart being broken, thy spirit bruised, thy 
soul humbled, thy conscience wounded and awakened, thou 
hast had a sight of Christ, and hast thirsted after him, and 
hast followed his ways and commandments by an universal 
obedience : If upon search thou canst say,without self-deceit, 
that so it is with thee, then mayest thou bless God that ever 
thou wast born; certainly, I dare say it, thou art born again. 
But if not, if all I have spoken are very mysteries to thee, 
what shaU I say? If ever thou meanest to see the kingdom 
of God, strive, endeavour with all thy might, to become truly 
regenerate. Thou mayest say, perhaps, it is not in thy power; 
who can command the Spirit of the Lord, that bloweth where 
he listeth? I answer, it is indeed the Spirit, and not man, 
that regenerates or sanctifies ; but I answer withal, the doc- 
trine of the gospel is the ministration of the Spirit, and 
wheresoever that is preached, as I preach it now to thee, 
there is the Holy Ghost present, and thither he comes to re- 
generate. If then as yet thou feelest not this mighty work 
of God in thee, and yet fain wouldst feel it; I shall lend thee 
two wings to bear thee, two hands to lead thee, to the foot of 
the ladder, where if thou ascend these steps aforesaid, I dare 
certainly pronounce of thee, thou art born again. 

The first wing is prayer, which first brings thee to God's 
throne, and then to the new birth; Hos. xiv. 2. Take with you 
words, and turn to the Lord; sat/ unto him, Take away all ini- 

fuity, and receive us graciously ; — and then it follows, / will 
eal their backsliding, I will love them freely. — The soul may 
object, I may say thus, and be no better. But I answer. Say 
it, though you be no better, because God bids you say it: Say 
it, and say it again ; it may be he will come in when you say 
it. — The soul may object again. How can I pray, and have 
not faith? I answer^ Put thyself upon prayer, and who^knows 
but blessing and faith may come ? it is the Lord that con- 
verts, and heals, and saves ; and prayer is the means to pro- 
duce this effect: when we are required to pray, to repent, 
and believe, we are not to seek strength in ourselves, but to 
search into the covenant, and turn the promise into prayer. 
Therefore bow thy kn^es, and humbly, heartily, frequently, 
I. D 

26 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

fervently, implore the influence of God's blessed Spirit. 
Wouldst thou ask, and continue asking, wouldst thou cry, and 
continue crying, then could I assure thee of the promise which 
God hath made, and cannot deny; He that asketh receivethf 
and he that seeketh Jindeth, and to him that knocketh (by conti- 
nuance and perseverance) it shall be opened, Matt. vii. 8. 

The second wing that bears thee to these steps of the new 
birth, is, constant hearing of the word : thou must attend the 
gates of wisdom, and wait on her posts : thou must come to 
God's house, and hearken to the ministry of the word; and 
thou shalt see at one time or other God will remember thee 
in mercy : it is true I know not when, and therefore I wish 
thee miss no day to repair to God's house, lest the day of thy 
neglect might have been the day of thy conversion. Certain 
it is, no man should expect God's blessing without his ordi- 
nances, no eating of bread without ploughing and sowing, no 
recovering of health without eating and drinking; so no 
blessing, no grace, no regeneration, without waiting upon 
God in his ways, and in his ordinances. Now then, as thou 
desirest heaven, or the way to heaven, to be born again, I 
beseech thee make high account of this ordinance of God. In 
preaching of the gospel, light, motion, and power, go out to 
all, which men resist; and some are destroyed, not because 
they could not believe, but because they resist, and will not 
obey, and so die. Acts vii. 51. Luke xiii. 34. Ezek. xxxiii. 11 
Hos. xiii. 9. and yet I wish thee not only to hear it, but after 
thou hast heard, consider of it, ponder on it ; and lay the 
threats and reproofs, the precepts and promises, unto thine 
own soul: thus if thou hearest and meditatest, I doubt not 
but God's word will be a word of power to thee, and, toge- 
ther with prayer, bring thee towards the new birth. 

To see, is all one as to enjoy; yet a man may see that which 
he doth not enjoy : but without regeneration there is no sight, 
much less possession, of the kingdom of God. 

If by the kingdom of God, is meant the kingdom of grace, 
whereof our Saviour speaketh. The kingdom of' God is within 
you, Luke xvii. 21. see to what a privilege the new man hath 
attained; all the graces of God, all the fruits of the Spirit, 
are now poured into him. If you ask, what graces? what 
fruits? Paul tells you. Gal. v. 22. Love, joy, peace, long-snf- 
Jering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; or, 
would you have us to contract them? Paul doth it elsewhere. 
The kingdom of God is, — righteousness, peace, and joy in the 
Holy Ghost, Rom. xiv. 17. 

First, Righteousness. No sooner is a man born again, but 
he enters into the holy path, he declines all evil, and stands 
at the sword's point with his beloved sin; or if ever any sin, 
through the violence of temptation, seize on him again, he 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 27 

is presently put again into the pangs of the new birth, and so 
renewing his sorrow, and repairing repentance, he becomes 
more resolute and watchful over all his ways. And as he 
abhors evil, so he cleaves to that which is good: his faith, 
like the sun, sets all those heavenly stars on shining, — hope, 
and love, and zeal, and humility, and patience; in a word, 
universal obedience, and fraitfulness in all good works: not 
one, but all good duties, of the first and second table, begin 
to be natural and familiar to him. 

Secondly, no sooner is a man righteous, but he is at peace 
with man, at peace with God, at peace with himself. He is 
at peace with man ; The wolf shall dicell with the lamb, and 
the leopard with the kid, saith the prophet Isaiah, chap. xi. 6. 
The meaning is, that in the kingdom of Christ, when a man is 
called into the state of grace, howsoever by nature he is a 
wolf, or a leopard, or a lion, or a bear, yet he shall then lay 
aside his cruelty, and live peaceably with all men. He is at 
peace with God, he hath humbled himself, and confessed his 
fault, and cried for mercy, and cast himself upon Christ; so 
that now God, by his word, hath spoke peace to his soul ; by 
the mediation of Christ it is obtained, and by the testimony 
of the Spirit he feels it within him. This is that peace which 
passeth all understanding. He is at peace with himself, I 
mean his own conscience ; that which before stirred up the 
fire, that brought him to a sight of sin and sense of divine 
wrath, that filled him with fearful terrors, remorse and sor- 
row, is now quiet. Solomon calls it a continual feast, Prov. 
XV. 15. Who are the attendants, but the holy angels? What 
is the cheer, but joy in the Holy Ghost? Who is the feast- 
maker, but God himself, and his good Spirit dwelling in him? 
Nor is this feast without music; God's word and his actions 
make a blessed harmony, and he endeavours to continue it by 
keeping peace and a good conscience towards God and man. 

Thirdly, from this peace issueth joy in the Holy Ghost: no 
sooner is a man at peace with man, with God, with himself, 
but he is filled with joy that no man can take from him: this 
joy I take to be those blessed stirrings of the heart, when the 
seal of remission of sins is first set unto the soul by the Spirit 
of adoption. For thus it is, the soul having newly passed 
the pangs of the new birth, it is presently bathed in the blood 
of Christ, lulled in the bosom of God's mercies, secured by 
the spirit of its inheritance, and so ordinarily follows a sea of 
comfort, a sensible taste of everlasting pleasures. 

If by the kingdom of God, is meant the kingdom of glory, 
see then what a privilege waits on the new man ; no sooner 
shall his breath and body be divorced, but his soul, mounted 
on the wings of angels, shall straight be carried above the 
starry firmament, there to inherit the kingdom of God, truly 

28 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

called so, for 'tis a kingdom of God's own making, beautifying, 
and blessing; a kingdom beseeming the glorious residence of 
the King of kings. But here my discourse must give way to 
your meditations. In this fountain of pleasure, let the new- 
born Christian bathe his soul ; for his it is, and he it is only 
that shall see it, enjoy it: Except a man be horn again, no man 
shall ever see the kingdom of God. 

Thus far of the privileges of the new birth : there waits on it 
faith, and righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; 
in a word, the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. 





Some there are, who, hearing the new birth to be so neces- 
sary to salvation, but never feeling in themselves any such 
change, have desired further helps. I advised them in the 
former treatise to be frequent in prayer, and hearing of the 
word : But so we have done, say they, and yet we feel no con- 
version. It may be so, for not always the doing of them, but 
perseverance in them, through Christ, obtains the blessing. I 
shall for their further satisfaction, give them a more particu- 
lar method. 

Two things necessary for them that would have part in the 
new birth, are, 1. To get into it. 2. To be delivered of it. 

1. The means to get into it, are, 1. Examination of them- 
selves. 2. Confession of their sins. 3. Hearty prayer for the 
softening of their hearts. By which are obtained the three 
first steps; sight of sin, sense of divine wrath, sorrow ibr sin. 

2. The means to be delivered of it, is, by application of the 
promises'; and these produce their several effects; as, a sight 
of Christ, a desire after Christ, a relying on Christ; and obe- 
dience to Christ. 


The first Means to get into the Neio Birth* 

1. The means to get into the new birth, is, first, examina- 
tion ; and the way to examine, is to set before men that crys- 
tal-glass of the law for their light and rule : to this purpose I 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 29 

have here annexed a catalogue \ not that I can possibly enu- 
merate all sins, but only the kinds ; and if herein I come short, 
yet conscience may hereby bring into their thoughts those 
others not mentioned. 

Now then, whosoever thou art that beginnest this blessed 
work, examine thyself by this catalogue, but do it warily, and 
truly; and where thou findest thyself guilty, either note it in 
this book, or transcribe it into some paper, that so they may 
be ready for thine eye when thou comest to confession. 


In every commandment we must observe both the duties 
required, and sins forbidden, for both these are implied in 
every one of the commandments ; if in the first thou art guilty, 
thou must answer negatively ; if in the second, thou must 
answer affirmatively. 

Now then to proceed : 

" Thou shalt have no other Gods hut me/* 

For the Duties required. — Say, first. Hast thou ever 
took the true God in Christ to be thy God? 2ndly, Hast thou 
abounded in those graces by which thou shouldst cleave unto 
God, as in knowledge, and love, and fear, and joy, and trust- 
ing in God? 3dly, Hast thou observed God's mercies, and pro- 
mises, and works, and judgments upon thee, and, by a parti- 
cular application, took special notice thereof? 4thly, Hast 
thou communicated with the godly, and joined thyself to 
God's people, and delighted chiefly in them? 

For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first. Hast thou not 
sometimes been guilty of blasphemy, or idolatry, or witchcraft, 
or atheism? 2ndly, Hast thou not been guilty of pride, a sin 
flatly opposing God, and first committed by devils? 3dly, Hast 
thou not inward reasonings that there is no God, or that he 
seeth not, or knoweth not, or that there is no profit in his ser- 
vice? 5thly, Hast thou not trusted in man, or feared man, or 
loved the world, and thereby alienated thy heart from God? 
6thly, Hast thou not resorted to witches, or in the first place 
to physicians, and not to the living God? 7thly, Hast thou not 
tempted God, and in the matters of God been either cold, or 
lukewarm, or preposterously zealous? 8thly, Hast thou not 
been careless to perform the inward duties of God's worship 
in sincerity and truth? If in those thou hast transgressed, 
then hast thou broken this commandment. 

III. sins againt the second commandment. 

" Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven imaged 

For the Duties required. — Say, first. Hast thou ever 
worshipped the true God purely according to his will? 2ndly, 

30 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

Hast thou observed all those outward duties of his worship, 
as prayer, and vows, and fasting, and meditating, and the 
rest? 3dly, Hast thou repaired to God's house, observed family 
duties, received the preachers of the gospel? 

For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first. Hast thou not 
sometimes walked after the imaginations of thy own heart, 
serving God out of custom? 2ndly, Hast thou not committed 
idol-worship, conceiving of God in thy mind in the likeness 
of a creature? 3dly, Hast thou not made an image to liken 
God to it, or used any gesture of love and reverence to any 
such images? Hast thou not been careless to worship God, to 
call upon the Lord, to receive God's ministers, or to perform 
any other of the outward duties of God's worship? If in any 
of these thou hast transgressed, then hast thou broken this 


" Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" 

For THE Duties required. — Say, first. Hast thou been 
a constant learner, hearer, and doer, of God's word and will? 
2ndly, Hast thou prayed with perseverance, understanding, and 
power of the spirit, without doubting or wavering? 3dly, 
Hast thou come preparedly to the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper, and being come, hast thou discerned the Lord's body? 
4thly, Hast thou used all the titles, and properties, and works, 
and ordinances, of the Lord with knowledge, faith, reverence, 
joy, and sincerity. 

For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first. Hast thou not 
sometimes, in thy talk, dishonoured the titles, attributes, reli- 
gion, word, people, of God, or any thing that hath in it the 
print of his holiness? 2ndly, Hast thou not caused the name 
of religion, or people of God, to be ill thought of by thy ill 
course of life? 3rdly, Hast thou not rashly, or unpreparedly, 
or heedlessly, read the word, heard sermons, received the 
sacraments, or performed any other part of the worship of 
God? 4thly, Hast thou not thought or spoken blasphemously, 
01 contemptuously, of God, or of any thing whatsoever per- 
taining to God? If in any of these thou hast transgressed, 
then hast thou broken this commandment. 

V. sins against the fourth commandment. 

" Remember thou keep holy the Sahhath-day ." 
For the Duties required. — Say, first. Hast thou, accord- 
ing to the equity of this commandment, ever observed the 
Lord's day, and other days and times set apart for God's service ? 
2ndly, Hast thou always prepared thy heart, before thou wentest 
into the house of the Lord, by meditation of God's word and 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 31 

works, by examination and reformation of thy ways, by prayer, 
thanksgiving, and holy resolution to carry thyself as in God's 
presence, and to hear and obey whatsoever thou shouldst learn 
out of the pure word of God? Hast thou repaired to God's 
house in due time, and stayed the whole time of prayer, read- 
ing, preaching of the word, singing of psalms, receiving of the 
sacraments? Hast thou performed private religious offices upon 
the Lord's day ; in private prayer and thanksgiving, in acknow- 
ledging thy offences to God, in reconciling thyself to those 
thou hast offended, or with whom thou art at variance; in 
visiting the sick, comforting the afflicted, contributing to the 
necessity of the poor, instructing thy children and servants, 
and the rest of thy family, in the fear and nurture of the Lord ? 
For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first. Hast thou not 
sometimes spent the Lord's day in idleness, or in worldly busi- 
ness, in vanities, or in sin? 2ndly, Hast thou not omitted pub- 
lic duties, or camest in too late, or wentest out too soon? 
3dly, Hast thou not employed thy cattle, or servants, or chil- 
dren, or any other, though thou workedst not thyself? Hast 
thou not profaned the Lord's day, by needless works, words, 
or thoughts, about thy calling, or about thy recreation? Hath 
not the strict observance of the duties of that day been 
tedious unto thee, saying in thine heart. When will the day be 
gone? If in any of these thou hast transgressed, then hast 
thou broken this commandment* 


" Honour thy father and thy mother.^* 

For the Duties here required: they are either in 
the family, commonwealth, or church. 

First, for the family: Say, if thou art an husband: \. Hast 
thou loved thy wife, and dealt with her according to know- 
ledge, giving honour to her as to the weaker vessel, and as 
being heirs together of the grace of life? Hthou art a wife : 
2. Hast thou submitted to thine own husband, as unto the 
Lord, in every thing? 3. Hast thou put on the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit? If thou art a parent: 4. Hast thou 
brought up thy children in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord? 5. Hast thou corrected them, yet not provoked them 
by immoderate correction? 6. Hast thou provided for them in 
their callings, or outward estates? If thou art a child : 7. Hast 
thou obeyed thy parents, and received correction with submis- 
sion and reverence? 8. Hast thou relieved them in their wants? 
9. Hast thou observed their instructions, and covered their 
infirmities? If thou art a master: 10. Hast thou entertained 
God's servants, and given unto thy servant that which is just 
and equal? If thou art a servant: 11. Hast thou been obe- 

32 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

dient to thy master according to the flesh, with fear and trem* 
bling, in singleness of heart, as unto Christ; not answering 
again, not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity? 

Secondly, for the commonweath ; if thou art a magistrate: 
12. Hast thou executed just laws? 13. Hast thou reformed 
others' abuses, according to the power that is in thee? If thou 
art a subject: 14. Hast thou obeyed the higher powers in all 
just commands? 15. Hast thou been subject unto them, not 
only for wrath, but also for conscience sake? 

Thirdly, for the church; if thou art a minister: 16. Hast 
thou taught in season, and out of season? 17. Hath thy light 
shined before men, that they might see thy good works ? If 
thou art an hearer: 18. Hast thou communicated to them that 
teach thee in all good things? 19. Hast thou obeyed them, 
and prayed for them, and loved them, and followed them^ 
considering the end of their conversation? 

For the Sins forbidden. — And first, for the family; say, 
if thou art an husband: 1. Hast thou not sometimes abused 
thy wife, or injured her in thought, word, or deed? If thou 
art a wife : 2. Hast thou not been wasteful, or froward, or idle ? 
If thou art a parent: 3. Hast thou not been careless, especially 
of thy children's souls? If thou art a child: 4. Hast thou not 
despised thy father's or mother's instructions? 5. Hast thou 
not mocked them, or shamed them, or grieved them? If thou 
art a master : 6. Hast thou not governed thy family negli- 
gently? 7. Hast thou not withheld that which is just and 
equal in diet, wages, encouragement? If thou art a servant: 
8. Hast thou not been idle and slothful? 9. Hast thou not 
served grudgingly, and not from the heart? 

Secondly, for the commonwealth; if thou art a magistrate: 
10. Hast thou not been as a lion, or a bear, roaring and raging 
over the poor? 11. Hast thou not decreed unrighteous decrees, 
respecting the persons of the poor, or honouring the persons 
of the mighty? If thou art a subject: 12. Hast thou not reviled 
the gods, or cursed the rulers of thy people? 13. Hast thou 
not disobeyed the higher powers, or denied tribute, or cus- 
tom, or honour, or fear, to whom they are due? 

Thirdly, for the church; if thou art a minister: 14. Hast 
thou not been profane in thy life and conversation? 15. Hast 
thou not run before thou wast sent? or being sent, hast thou 
not been negligent in the gift that is in thee? 16. Hast thou 
not caused God's people to err? 17. Hast thou not committed 
simony, or sought indirectly for the fleece, not regarding the 
flock? 18. Hast thou no tstrengthened the hands of evil-doers, 
in preaching peace to wicked men? 19. Hast thou not given 
heed to fables, or to some unprofitable matter, rather than 
godly edifying? If thou art an hearer: 20. Hast thou not 
resisted the minister, and the word preached by him? What- 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 33 

soever thou art, husband, or wife, or parent, or chila, or 
master, or servant, or magistrate, or subject, or minister, or 
hearer, if in any of these thou hast transgressed, then thou 
hast broken this commandment. 


" Thou shah do no murder.'* 

The Duties required. — Say, Hast thou ever desired 
and studied, by all lawful means to preserve thine own person, 
and the person of thy neighbour? 

For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first. Hast thou not 
sometimes envied others? 2ndly, Hast thou not offended others 
in words, by censuring, or reviling, or rendering evil for evil, 
or railing for railing ? 3dly, Hast thou not offended others in 
deeds, plotting against the just, or doing evil to any man? 
4thly, Hast thou not been angry with thy brother without 
cause, or continued long in anger? 5thly, Hast thou not re- 
joiced at others' fall? or wished a curse to their souls? 6thly, 
Hast thou not done evil to thyself, by inordinate fretting, or 

frieving, or drinking, or saying in thy passions, would to God 
were dead? 7thly, Hast thou not been a sower of discord, or 
some way or other an occasion of the discomfort, or the death, 
of thy neighbour ? If in any of these thou hast transgressed, 
thou hast then broken this commandment. 

viii. sins against the seventh commandment. 
*' Thou shalt not commit adultery." 

For the Duties required. — Say, Hast thou ever kept 
thyself pure in soul and body, both towards thyself and others? 

For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first. Hast thou not some- 
times been defiled with whoredom, adultery, polygamy, or self-* 
pollution? 2ndly, Hast thou not offended in the occasions of 
uncleanness, as in idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, wanton 
company, or gay attire ? 3dly, Hast thou not sinned in thy 
senses, or gestures, or words? 4thly, Hast thou not harboured 
in thy heart impure thoughts, inordinate affections? 5thly,Hast 
thou not behaved thyself immodestly, using some manner of 
dalliance and wantonness? If in any of these thou hast trans- 
gressed, then hast thou broken this commandment. 

IX. sins against the eighth commandment. 

" Thou shalt not steal:' 

For the Duties required. — Say, Hast thou, by all good 
means, furthered the outward estate of thyself and of thy 

For the Sins forridden. — Say, first. Hast thou not 
sometimes got thy living: by an unlawful calling? 2ndly, Hast 
2. E 

34 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

thou not impoverished thyself by idleness, or unnecessary ex- 
penses? 3dly, Hast thou not withheld from thyself, or others, 
that which should have been expended? 4thly, Hast thou not 
gotten or kept thy neighbour's goods by falsehood or force, 
and made no restitution? 5thly, Hast thou not stolen by 
usury, or oppression, or fraud in buying or selling? 6thly, 
Hast thou not robbed God of his tithes and offerings? 7thly, 
Hast thou not some way or other impaired thy neighbour's 
estate? If in any of these thou hast transgressed, then hast 
thou broken this commandment. 


" Thou shalt not hear false witness.'^ 

For the Duties required. — Say, Hast thou ever by all 
means sought to maintain thy own and thy neighbour's good 
name, according to truth and a good conscience? 

For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first. Hast thou not 
sometimes loved, or made, a lie? 2ndly, Hast thou not raised 
a false report? 3dly, Hast thou not censured or judged others? 
4thly, Hast thou not flattered thyself and others, saying unto 
the wicked, thou art righteous? 5thly, Hast thou not con- 
demned some without witness, or forborne to witness for 
others when thou knewest the truth? 6thly, Hast thou not 
been uncharitably suspicious, or a despiser of thy neighbour? 
7thly, Hast thou not told a lie, whether jestingly, or officiously, 
or perniciously? If in any of these thou hast transgressed, 
then hast thou broken this commandment. 

XI. sins against the last commandment. 
" Thou shalt not covet.'* 

For the Duties required. — Say, first. Hast thou ever 
been truly contented with thy own outward condition? 
2ndly, Hast thou rejoiced at others' good, and loved thy neigh- 
bour as thyself? 

For the Sins forbidden. — Say, first, Hast thou not 
sometimes conceived evil thoughts in thy heart? 2ndly, Hast 
thou not been discontented with thy own condition? Hast 
thou not coveted after something or other that was thy neigh- 
bour's? If in any of these thou hast transgressed, then hast 
thou broken this commandment. 


The second Means to get into the New Birth. 

After examination, which may serve thee for one day's 
work or two, the next duty is, confession. Take a catalogue of 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 35 

those sins which thou hast noted, and spread thy catalogae 
before the Lord ; there read thou seriously, and particularly, 
saying, O Lord, I confess I have committed this sin, and the 
other sin, (as they are before thee in order,) of all these sins 
I am guilty, especially of those sins wherein I delighted, my 
darlings, my bosom-sins, (take notice of them, and confess 
them again,) of all these sins I am guilty; and now, O Lord, 
standing, as it were, at the bar of thy tribunal, I arraign my- 
self, and accuse myself, and judge myself worthy of the utmost 
of thy wrath and indignation : for one sin thou castedst Adam 
out of paradise, for one sin thou castedst the angels out of 
heaven, and what then shall become of me, that have com- 
mitted a world of sins? — (Here pause a while, and meditate 
on thy unworthiness.) — O that I should be so foolish, so 
brutish, so mad, to commit these sins, these manifold sins! O 
that by these sins I should break so holy a law, provoke so 
good and great a majesty? What should 1 do, but, remember- 
ing my evil ways, even loathe myself in my own sight, yea 
abhor myself in dust and ashes, for my iniquities and my 
abominations? For conclusion, thou mayest imitate the pub- 
lican, who, not daring to lift up his eyes, smote his breast: So 
do thou, and say with him, God he merciful to me a sinner. 


The third Means to ^et into the New Birth. 

After confession, which may well serve thee for another 
day's work, seek for true sorrow and mourning for thy sins : 
seek thou must, and never leave seeking, till thou feel thy 
heart melt within thee. To this purpose read some tracts of 
death, of judgment, of hell, of Christ's passion, of the joys of 
heaven; last of all, and I take it best of all, resolve to set 
every day some time apart to beg it of the Lord : and at the 
time appointed fall down on thy knees, spread thy catalogue, 
confess, accuse, judge, condemn thyself again; which done, 
beg of the Lord to give thee that soft heart he promised, Ezek. 
xxxvi. 26. A new heart will I give you, and a neiv spirit will I 
put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your 
Jlesh, and t will give you an heart of fesh. Say then to thy- 
self, is this the Lord's promise? O Lord, perform it to my 
heart; take away my stony heart, and give me a heart of flesh, 
a new heart, a new spirit, 8cc. — (Here make thine own prayer: 
be not careful of words, only let the words be the true voice 
of thy heart.) — Pray, and call, and cry, with vehemency and 
fervency not to be uttered. When thou hast done, if the Lord 
Uo not yet hear thee, pray again the next day, and the 

36 The Doctrine of Regoieration. 

next day, yea, put on this resolution, that thou wilt never 
leave praying till the Lord hear thee in mercy, till he make 
thee to feel thy heart melt within thee, yea, if it may be. Hit 
thou seest thy tears trickling down thy cheeks, because of 
thy oifences. The Lord will, perhaps, hear thee at the first time, 
or at the second time, or, if he do not, be not discouraged, God 
hath his times ; God speaketh once and twice, and man per- 
ceiveth not; happy he who relenteth at last; give i't not over, 
persist thou, thy suit is just, and importunity will prevail. 

2. The Jirst Reason for this Sorrow. — This must be done; 
first, because " without pangs no birth : the pangs of a peni- 
tent man are as the pangs of a woman. Now as there can be 
no birth without pains of travail going before, so neither true 
repentance without some terrors of the law, and straits of 
conscience. Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to 
fear, saith the apostle to the Romans ; to shew us they once 
did receive it. When? but in the very first preparation to con- 
version: then it was that the Spirit of God in the law did so 
bear witness unto them of their bondage, that it made them 
to fear. And certainly thus it is with every man in his first 
conversion ; his contrition must be vehement, bruising, break- 
ing, rending the heart, and feeling the throes, as a woman 
labouring of child, before there can be a new birth. 

3. The second Reasofifor this Sorrow. — Again, without con- 
trition, no Christ; " therefore it was that John Baptist," saith 
Chrysostom, " first thoroughly frighted the minds of his 
hearers with the terror of judgment, and expectation of tor- 
ment, and when he had thus taken down the stubbornness, 
then, at length, he makes mention of Christ.'^ Certainly, the 
first thing that draws to Christ, is to consider our miserable 
state without him; no man will come to Christ, except he be 
hungry; no man will take Christ's yoke upon him, till he 
come to know the weight of Satan's yoke: to this end, there- 
fore, must every man be broken with lashes of conscience, 
that so despairing of himself, he may fly unto Christ. 

4. 'The third Reason for this Sorrow. — Again, without hearty 
sorrow, no spiritual comfort. We must first be humbled be- 
fore the Lord, and then he will lift us up. God pours not the 
oil of his mercy, save into a broken vessel; God never com- 
forts thoroughly, save where he finds humiliation and repent- 
ance for sin. "" The word of God," saith one, " hath three 
degrees of operation in the hearts of his chosen ; first, it fall- 
eth to men's ears as the sound of many waters, a mighty, a 
great and confused sound, and which commonly bringeth nei- 
ther terror nor joy, but a wondering and acknowledgment of 
a strange force; this is that which many felt, hearing Christ, 
when they were astonished at his doctrine. The next effect is, 
the voice of thunder, ^yhirh bringeth not only wonder, but 

Tht Doctrine of Regeneration. 37 

fear also ; not only filleth the ears with sound, and the heart 
with astonishment, but moreover shaketh and terrifieth the 
conscience. The third effect is, the sound of harping, while 
the word not only ravisheth with admiration, and striketh the 
conscience with terror, but also, lastly, filleth it with sweet 
peace and joy. Now albeit the two first degrees may be 
without the last, yet none feel the last, who have not in some 
degree felt both the first." He saith true, in some degree, 
though commonly the deeper the sense of misery, the sweeteip 
is the sense of mercy. 


The Means to be delivered out of the Pangs of the New Birth. 

1. And now, if, by God's blessing, thou feelest this sorrow 
and melting of heart, the next thing thou must do, is to seek 
for the remedy, which remedy consists of these ingredients : 
first, A sight of Christ. 2ndly, A desire after Christ. 3dly, 
A relying on Christ. 4thly, An obedience to Christ. Sthly^ 
A comfort in Christ, sought for and obtained. Thou wilt say, 
these ingredients are pearls indeed, but how should I obtain 
them? I answer, by application of the promises; and since 
every ingredient hath its particular promises, I shall let thee 
see them in order, only do thou apply them thyself: some may 
object, I dare not look to the promise, I cannot believe; if I 
could believe, then I could expect good from the promise. — 
I answer, thou shalt never believe upon these terms; thou 
must not first have faith, then go to the promise, and from 
thence receive power to believe. O then go to the promise, 
and expect faith from thence ; this is the rule, " I must not 
bring faith to the promise, but to receive faith from it, and 
therefore there will I hang, and wait till the Lord please to 
work it." 

2. The Promises procuring a Sight of Christ, 

The first step that brings comfort to thy heavy soul, is the 
Bight of Christ : and to procure this sight, thou hast these 

Matt. i. 21. " Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall 
save his people from their sins." 

John i. 29. " Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away 
the sins of the world." 

John iii. 16. ** God so loved the world, that he gave his 
only begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him 
should not perish, but have life everlasting." 

lioin. iii. 25. " God hath set forth Christ Jesus, to be 
reconciliation through faith in his blood." 

38 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

1 Cor. i. 30. " Christ Jesus, of God is made unto us wisdom, 
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 

1 Tim. i. 15. " This is a true saying, and by all men worthy to 
be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sin- 

\John ii. 1, 2. " If any sin, we have an advocate with the 
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation 
for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of 
the whole world." 

All these tell thee, that as thou art a sinner, so thou hast a 
Saviour; only do thou apply them, and certainly they will help 
thee in the first step of this remedy, to wit, the sight of Christ. 

3. The Promises procuring a Desire after Christ. 

Thou mayest say, I see Christ, and I see that his person, 
and death, and blood-shed, are precious and saving; but how 
may I make him mine ? how may I know that he is my Sa- 
viour? I answer, Thou must hunger and thirst after him; this 
desire is the second step : and to provoke thee to this duty, 
consider these promises : 

Isa. Iv. 1. '•' Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the 
waters ; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, 
come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price." 

John vii. 37, 38. " In the last day, that great day of the feast, 
Jesus stood and cried, saying. If any man thirst, let him come 
unto me and drink : he that believeth on me, as the scripture 
hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." 

Rev. xxii. 17. " Let him that is athirst come; and whoso- 
ever will, let him take the water of life freely." 

These may provoke thee to thirst after Christ, that sovereign 
fountain, opened to the house of David, and to the inhabit- 
ants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. 

4. The Promises procuring a Relying on Christ. 

Yet thou mayest say, I thirst indeed, but I dare not drink ; 
I desire, but I dare not come near, to lay hold on Christ ; I am 
a most vile, unworthy wretch, and my sins are of a scarlet dye. 
True ; for thee to pretend part in Christ, wallowing yet in thy 
sins! for thee to believe that Christ is thy righteousness, pur- 
posing to go on in any one known sin, were a most cursed, 
horrible presumption indeed ! But where all is a burden, there 
a man may be bold. A man may? Yes, he must: if thou 
groanest under sin, if thou longest after Christ, apply these 
promises, and they will force thee to lay hold upon the Rock, 
to take Christ for thine own, to throw thy sinful soul upon 
his bleeding wounds, and to cast thyself with confidence into 
the bosom of his love : — 

Matt. xi. 28. " Come unto me, all ye that labour and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest.*' 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 39 

Isa. Iv. 1, " Ho, every one that thirsteth, come' ye to the 
waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat, yea 
come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price." 
And lest thou say, I am so far from bringing any thing in my 
hand, that I bring a world of wickedness in my heart, and 
my sins, I fear, will hinder my acceptation ; No, saith he : — 

Isa. Iv. 7. " Let the wicked forsake his way, and the un- 
righteous man his thoughts, [and this is thy desire, thy case] 
and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon 
him, " &c. If all this will not do without a more solemn 
invitation, see how the Lord of heaven sends forth his ambas- 
sadors to entreat thee to come in : — 

2 Cot, v. 20. " Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as 
though God did beseech you by us : we pray you in Christ's 
stead be ye reconciled unto God." Or if he cannot woo thee, 
lo, he commands thee : — 

1 Jo/m iii. 23. " And this is the commandment, that we 
should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ." Or yet to 
drive thee to Christ, he not only commands, but threatens: — 

Heh. iii. 18. " And to whom sware he that they should not 
enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?" 

How is it possible, but that all, or some of these, should bring 
in every broken heart to believe, and every one that is weary 
of his sins, to rely upon the Lord of life for everlasting welfare? 

5. The Promises procuring Obedience to Christ. 

And yet thou mayest say, I have cast myself on Christ; is 
this all I must do? No, there is yet another step ; he is not only 
to be thy Saviour, but thy husband; thou must love him, and 
serve him, and honour him, and obey him; thou must endea- 
vour not only for pardon of sin, and salvation from hell, but for 
purity, obedience, ability to do or suffer any thing for Christ. 
And to provoke thee to this duty, consider these texts : — 

Jer. xxxi. 33. " This shall be the covenant that I will make 
with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I 
will put my law into their inward parts, and write it in their 
hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." 

Matt. vii. 21. " Not every one that saith. Lord, Lord, shall 
enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will 
of my Father which is in heaven," 

Matt. xi. 29. ** Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, 
for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto 
your souls." 

Matt. xvi. 24. " If any man will follow me, let him take up 
his cross and follow me." 

2 Cor. V. 15. " He died for all, that they which live, should 
not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died 
for them." 

40 The Doctrlm of Regetieration, 

1 John i. 6, 7. " If we say we have fellowship with him, and 
walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk 
in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with 
another ; and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us 
from all sin." 

. 1 John ii. 5, 6. " He that keepeth liis word, in him verily is 
.the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in 
him. He that saith, he abideth in him, ought himself also to 
walk, even as he walked." 

1 John iii. 6, 9. " Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not. — 
Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin, for his seed re- 
maineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 

All these may invite thee to enter into the holy path, and 
to fight under Christ's banner, against the world, the flesh, 
and the devil, unto thy life's end. 



'Hitherto I have given the doctrine of the new birth; yet 
one thing is wanting, to wit, the practice of some saint in this 
one necessary thing : and what man hath writ more on this 
subject, than T. Hooker? Therefore I thought fit, not only to 
contract his books in this appendix; but also, to set before 
you those pathetic expressions of his soul-pangs in the new- 
birth, as matter for your im.itation. 

CHAP. 1. 

The SouVs Preparation. 

Before the soul can share in Christ's merits, (to speak in 
the author's language, without any alteration,) two things are 
required : 

1. A preparation to receive Christ. 

2. An implantation of the soul into Christ. 

That there must be a preparation, is the first ground we lay; 
and herein observe we, the matter, the manner, and the means, 
of this preparation. 

1 . For matter : the soul of a sinner must be prepared for 
Christ, before he can entertain him. When kings go to any 
place, they send, to make readiness, their harbingers before 
them : if Christ, the King of saints, come into a soul, there 
must be a preparation before he enter; and good reason, for he 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, %\ 

.is not a mere man, an ordinary person, but a King, a King of 

2. The manner of this preparation consists in these three 
passages; 1st, the soul breaks that league which formerly it 
had with corruptions : 2ndly, the soul is willing to give way 
to Christ Jesus, and to let him overthrow whatsoever shall 
oppose him: 3dly, the soul is content that God should rule 
all, not only the eye, or hand, or tongue, or heart, but the 
whole man; it opens all the gates, and desires Christ to come 
and take all the keys of the house upon him. 

3. The means of this preparation is the powerful ministry, 
which God hath appointed for this work ; and it is discovered 
in three particulars : 1st, in -a particular application of the truth 
to the souls of men. 2ndly, in a confirmation of the truth by 
soundness of argument, and plain evidence of scriptures. 3dly, 
in a kind of spiritual heat in the heart and affections of the mi- 
nister, answerable to that which he communicates to the people 

If any soul that hath enjoyed these means any while, is not 
yet fitted and prepared, it is a fearful sign; the state of that 
soul is extremely dangerous. Go home, t'hen, if there be any 
such, and plead, saying, ** Lord, why am I not yet humbled 
and prepared? Will exhortations never prevail with me? Will 
terrors and reproofs never break my heart into pieces? I have 
heard sermons that would have shaken the very stones; the 
tire of hell hath flashed in my face ; and if any thing can do 
me any good, why not these exhortations, admonitions, and 
"reproofs?" The Lord turn the heart of such a poor sinner, 
that he may lay hold on mercy in due time. 


I he general Circumstances of Preparation on God's part. 

\. In this preparation, two things are considerable; the ge- 
neral circumstances, and the substantial parts. 

The general circumstance^i are, some on God*s part, some 
on man's part. 

On God's part there are these. 1. The offer of Christ and 
grace. 2. The condition of this offer. 3. The easiness of this 

On man's part, two things are considerable : — 1 . That cort 
ruption doth oppose this grace. 2. That God will remove 
this corruption. 

The first general circumstance of the soul's preparation, is 
on God's part; wherein is the offer of Christ Jesus, the condi- 
tion of this offer, and the easiness of this offer. We may have 
?tll in this one comparison: As with a malefactor convicted ol 
2. V 

42 The Doctrine of Regeneration^ 

high treason, if, after the discovery of all passages, the king 
make a proclamation, that upon the surceasing of his enter- 
prises, he shall be pardoned ; nay, if the king shall send mes- 
sage after message, to tell him, that would he yet lay down 
his arms, and take a pardon, he shall be graciously accepted : 
if this traitor now should rather fling away his pardon than 
his weapons, then should the king raise an army and over- 
come him, and take him, and execute him without any mercy ; 
1 appeal to your own consciences, is he not justly rewarded? 
Why, this is the condition of every poor soul under heaven ; 
we are all rebels and traitors ; and yet, after all our pride and 
stubbornness, the Lord is pleased to proclaim mercy still to 
every one that will receive it: " All you that have disho- 
noured ray name, all you that have profaned my sabbaths, 
and contemned my ordinances, all ye cursed wretches, come; 
come who will, and take pardon;" therein is the offer: only 
let them lay aside all their weapons ; therein is the condi- 
tion: and then have Christ for the taking; therein is the 
easiness of the condition. 

Blessed God, may every soul say, if I will not do this for 
Christ, I will do nothing: had the Lord required a greater 
matter of me to have attained salvation ; had he required thou- 
sands of rams, and ten thousand rivers of oil; had he required 
the first-born of my body for the sin of my soul ; one drop of 
mercy at the last gasp would have quit all this cost: but what 
goodness is this, that the Lord should require nothing of me, 
but to lay down my weapons, and to receive Christ offered ! 

Lo, the Lord hath this day sent from heaven, and offered 
salvation unto you sons of men; the Lord Jesus is become a- 
suitor to you, and I am Christ's spokesman. Shall the Lord 
and his messengers thus woo and entreat? and will any yet 
stand out against God, and say, " I will none of Christ, 1 will 
try it out to the last." O then, if the great God of heaven and 
earth shall come with ten thousand thousand of judgments, 
and execute them upon that man! If he shall bring a whole 
legion of devils, and say, " Take him, devils, and torment 
him in hell for ever, because he would not have mercy when 
it was offered, he shall not have mercy." If God should thus 
deal with that man, the Lord should be just in so doing. 

II. The general circumstances of the preparation on man's 
part. — The second general circumstance of the soul's prepa- 
ration, is on man's part; and herein is observable, 

1. That corruption opposeth grace. 

2. That God will remove this corruption. 

The first is clear, I Cor. ii. 14. " The natural man receiveth 
not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them." 
Give us a man in the state of nature — and though all the mi- 
nisters under h^^ien should i^reach mercy unto him ; though 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 43 

all the angels in heaven should exhort and entreat him ; though 
all glory and happiness were laid before ^ m, and he were 
wished only to believe and take it, and it Sould be his for 
ever; yet in his natural condition he could have no power to 
receive so blessed an offer ; howsoever, this hinders not but 
he is to wait upon God in the means. And then, 

Secondly, God may remove this corruption, which he him- 
self cannot do: herein observe we, first, the author; and 
secondly, the time, of this grace 

First, the author is God; I tvill take away their stony heart, 
saith God, and give them an heart of flesh. The taking away 
of the indisposition of the soul to any duty, and the fitting 
and disposing it to perform any spiritual service, is the alone 
work of God. 

Quiet then thy soul: thou mayest say, " I have an hard 
heart, and it will receive no good ; the word prevails not, the 
sacraments have no power over me ; all the means, and cost, 
and charges, that God hath bestowed upon me, is lost, and my 
heart is not yet humbled, my corruptions are not yet weakened.*' 
But in this be thou comforted; though means cannot do it, 
yet the Lord can do it, there is nothing difiicult to him. 

Be then exhorted, you that have stony hearts, to have re- 
course unto this great God of heaven. You wives that have 
husbands with stony hearts, and you parents that have children 
with stony hearts, tell them you have heard this day of a phy- 
sician that will cure them, and exhort them to repair unto him. 

Secondly, the time of this grace, is either in regard of the 
means, or the men. 

1. In regard of the means; and that is, wnen the sons of 
men have the gospel shining in their faces; if ever God work 
upon their hearts, it will be then. 

This should teach us how thankful we ought to be unto the 
Lord, that enjoy these liberties in the land of the living. 
That a man was born in such a time, in such a place, wherein 
the way of life and salvation is so fully, so plainly, and so 
powerfully made known, that the sun of the gospel shines 
full in his face. O how thankful should he be! 

And for those that neglect the means of their salvation, how 
should we pity them! Methinks I see a poor creature, that 
slighted mercy and salvation when it was offered him, lying 
upon his death-bed ; light is departing from his eyes, and his 
soul is departing from his body ; methinks I hear such a man 
say at his last gasp, '* The day is gone, the gate is shut, and 
now it is too late to enter:" and thus the soul departs from 
his body, the body to the grave, and the soul to hell. Oh, what 
bitter lamentations will that soul make in hell ! " Oh, the 
golden time that I have seen, and not regarded! Oh, the gra- 
cious opportunities of salvation that my eyes have beheld. 

44 The Doctrine of Rcgejicrat'wn. 

jand yet I neglected! Oh, the mercy and e^vace, and goodness 
of God, that have been ottered unto me ! All these 1 huve con- 
temned, and trampled under my feet, and therefore now must 
J be tormented w ith the devil and his angels, from everlasting 
to everlasting." Now the Lord give us hearts to take notice of 
these things. If I were now breathing out my last breath, I 
would breathe out this legacy to all surviving Christians, 
This is the accepted time, this is the day of salvation. 

2. In reoard of the men, on whom God works ; that is to saV, 
on some in their tender age, on some in their ripe age, on 
some in their old age. But however the Lord doth at seve- 
ral times convert several of his servants, yet most, and most 
usually, before their old age. 

O let this provoke us, that while the flower is in prime, ^e 
Would use all means for our good; let us nOw, in the summer 
of our days, improve ourselves in good works, so that when 
the harvest comes, we may be gathered into God's barn. Oh ! 
would we be exhorted to take the best time and opportunity 
of salvation, then might we receive the fruits of our labours, 
the salvation of our souls. 


The Substantial Parts of Preparation on God's Part. 

.Hitherto of the general circumstances of the soul's pre- 
paring for Christ. The substantial parts of this preparation 
are generally two : the dispensation of God's work on the 
soul, and the disposition of the soul by God's work. 

The dispensation of God's work discovers itself in drawing 
the soul, from sin, to himself. 

But because these two are made up by one action and mo- 
tion, we shall therefore handle them together : and the sum is 
this, that God by an holy kind of violence (whch is called draw- 
ing, John vi. 44.) doth pluck the soul from those sins that harbour 
in it, unto himself: wherein we may consider two things ; 
1. What the nature of his drawing is. 
2- The means whereby God draws. 

First, For the nature of this drawing; it is of a double kind : 

1. There is a moral drawing, when by reasons propounded, 
and good things offered, to the understanding and will, a man 
comes to have his mind enlightened, and his will moved; thus 
was it with Paul, when he was constrained by Lydia to abide ai 
her house. Acts xvi. 15. 2. There is a phisical drawing, when 
the Lord is pleased to put a new power into the soul of a sin- 
ner, and withal to carry the will to the object propounded; 
when the Lord not only offers good things to the soul, but 
enables the soul to lay hold on the things offered : and thus 
th€ Lord draws a sinner ftom sin unto himself. 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 45 

Secondly, For the means whereby he draws; they are these 

First, the Lord lets in a light into the soul of a poor sinner, 
and discovers unto him that he is in a wrong way : this the 
soul marvels at, because usually it comes on a sudden, the 
sinner perceiving nothing less. 

Secondly, though a man would defeat the power of this light, 
yet God still follows it with forcible arguments, and draws with 
the cord of his mercy; I taught Ephraim to go, saith God, tak- 
ing him by the arms ; I drew them by the cords of love, and with 
the bands of a man. This love is made up of four cords : 

1. The Lord reveals himself to be ready to receive, and will- 
ing and easy to entertain, sinners when they come to him: Let 
the wicked J or sake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, 
and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon 
him, and unto our God, for he will abundantly pardon. The 
word in the original is, he will multiply pardons. Hast thou 
multiplied rebellions? the Lord will also multiply pardons ; the 
bowels of compassion are still open, and the arms of mercy 
are still spread abroad ; his pardons are multiplied ; there is 
yet mercy for thee also, and for a thousand thousand more. 

2. The Lord is not only ready to forgive when men come to 
him, but that they may come, he also calls and commands them. 
** O, but may I," saith a poor sinner, " shall I, dare I, go unto 
the Lord God for mercy? May I be so bold to press in for fa- 
vour at the hands of the Lord? I have been a grievous sinner^ 
and have heaped abomination upon abomination; I am afraid, 
therefore, to approach near unto the Lord's presence." Is it so? 
Hear what the Lord saith : " Come unto me, ye rebellious peo- 
ple, and I will heal your rebellions. You that never prayed, 
never came to hear, all rebels, come unto me." And then the 
people answer. Behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord 
X)ur God. This is great encouragement to a poor sinner; he be- 
gins now to wonder, and say, " Lord, shall all my sins be par- 
doned ? Shall all my abominations be forgiven ? I that slighted 
^o many mercies, and committed so many follies, shall I be 
entertained?" "Yes," saith the Lord, " Come unto me, and 
thou shalt be forgiven. Come; I command you come." 

3. The Lord doth not only command a poor sinner to come, 
but when he says, ** There is mercy with God, but not for me ;" 
the Lord followeth him still, and sends another cord after him, 
that if it be possible, he may win him, and woo him to receive 
xnercy. If command therefore prevail not, he entreats and be- 
seeches him to come and receive mercy; and this, methinks, 
(Should move the hardest heart under heaven. We, saith the 
apostle, are ambassadors from Christ, as though God did beseech 
^ou by us; we pray you in Christ's Mead, be ye reconciled u/ilo 
(jod. Rather than you should go away ixom Christ, eren 

46 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

mercy itself will come and kneel down before you, and beseech 
and entreat you, " for the Lord Jesus's sake, to pity your poor 
souls, and receive pardon for your sins ;" a sinner is not able 
to comprehend this, but he begins to be at a stand: — *' What, 
that the Lord should beseech him? Oh, that thou wouldst re- 
ceive pardon for thy sins, and be blessed forever! Good 
Lord !" saith the soul, " is this possible, that the great King 
of heaven should come and beseech such a traitor, such a rebel 
as I am, to take pardon ? That a king on earth should pro- 
claim a pardon to some notorious traitor, this were much ; but 
that the King of heaven should lay down his crown, and be- 
seech me, on his knees as it were, to take mercy; this is a 
thing beyond all expectation. What, shall heaven stoop to 
earth? Shall majesty stoop to misery? Shall the great God of 
heaven and earth, that might have condemned my soul, and if 
I had perished and been damned, might have took glory by 
my destruction : is it possible that this God should not only 
entertain me when I come, and command me to come, but en- 
treat and beseech me to come, and receive mercy from him ! 
Oh, the depth of the incomprehensible love of God !" Imagine 
you saw God the Father entreating you, and God the Son be- 
seeching you, as he doth this day, *' Come now, and forsake 
your sins, and take mercy, which is prepared for you, and shall 
be bestowed upon you ;" would not this make a soul think thus 
with itself, *' What, for a rebel? Not only to have mercy offered, 
but to be entreated to receive mercy, it were pity, if I will not 
take it, but I should go to hell, and be damned for ever." The 
Lord, he complains. Why iinll ye die? As I live, saith the Lord, 
I desire not the death of a sinner: turn ye, turn ye, why will ye 
diel *' Mercy is offered ye, the Lord reacheth out his hand to 
you;" fain would he pluck the drunkard out of the alehouse, 
and the adulterer from his whore. Oh! if you break this cord. 
I know not what to say to you : this is able to break moun- 
tains in pieces; — Shake, O mountains, saith the prophet; why? 
because God hath redeemed Jacob: the redemption of Jacob 
was enough to break a mountain ; let his mercy break our 
hearts; it is God that begs, the blessing is our own. 

4. If yet this prevail nothing at all, the Lord will then wait, 
and stay in long patience and suffering, to see if at any time a 
sinner will turn unto him. Our Saviour follows poor sinners 
from alehouse to alsehouse, and says, " I beseech you, drunk- 
ards, take mercy, and have your sins pardoned." The Lord, as 
we may say, wearieth himself with waiting, one day after an- 
other, and one week after another : " It may be," saith Christ, 
" this week, this sabbath, this sermon, a sinner will turn unto 
me : what, will it never be ?" Are you not ashamed, my friends, 
that the Lord Jesus should thus wait your leisure, and follow 
you from place to place ; nay, that Christ should every morn- 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 47 

ing appear to your understanding, and every night come to your 
bedside, saying, " Let this be the last night of sinning, and 
the next day the first day of repentance : Oh ! when will you 
be humbled ? When will you receive mercy, that it may go well 
with you, and with your's for ever?' If none of the other will 
move you, yet, for shame, let this cord draw you to the Lord : 
hear his pangs; O Jerusalem, will thou not be made clean? Oh! 
when will it once be? A woman that is in travail. Oh, how she 
expects and longs for her delivery! now a throb comes, and 
then she cries ; anon comes a second throb, and then she cries 
again; Oh! when comes deliverance? Thus God the Father 
takes on him the person of a travailing woman ; he travails and 
travails until he bring forth a son, until some soul be converted, 
and brought home unto him; O Jerusalem, wilt thou not be 
made clean? When will it once be? "I have waited; one, ten, 
twenty, thirty, forty years long, have I waited on this genera- 
tion; when will it once be?" The Lord thus travails in patience, 
looking when we will receive mercy. Will our proud hearts 
never be humbled ? Will our stubborn hearts never be sof- 
tened? Will our profane hearts never be sanctified? When 
will it once be ? Christ hath waited this day, this week, this 
month, this quarter, this year, these ten, twenty, thirty, forty 
years, on us : you old sinners, that are grey-headed in your 
wickedness, how long hath the Lord waited on you ? Oh ! for 
shame, let him wait no longer, but turn, turn ye unto him, 
that ye may receive mercy from him. 

Thirdly, if bonds of love move not, the Lord hath iron cords, 
that will pluck in pieces; to wit, the cords of conscience; 
which thus disputes, ** He that being oftened reproved, doth 
still harden his hearts, shall perish everlastingly." But thou, 
being often reproved, doth still harden thy heart; therefore, 
thou shalt perish everlastingly. 

In the first proposition, conscience gives the sinner a moni- 
tion, to come from sin upon pain of the heaviest judgment that 
can be inflicted. It is the Lord that sends the conscience on 
this errand, " Go to such a man, and tell him. You have spoken 
against God's saints, and you have broken God's sabbaths, and 
you have contemned God's ordinances :" — " Be it known unto 
thee, saith the conscience, that I have a command from heaven, 
and from God; I charge you, as you will answer at the dreadful 
day of judgment ; take heed of those evils that heretofore you 
have committed, lest you damn you souls for ever." Will you 
question his commission? See Prov. xxix. 1. He that being 
iften reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed. If 
you are often reproved, and will not be bettered, then the Lord 
says, and conscience from the Lord tells you, " Be it at your 
own peril, ye shall suddenly be destroyed." No sooner con- 
science thus speaks, but the sinner hangs the wing, and with- 

48 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

draws himself from his former lewd courses. But now when 
wicked persons see their companion is gone, they make after 
him amain, and then conscience plucks one way, and they 
pluck another way ; at last by carnal company, and cursed per- 
suasions, the soul is drawn back again to its former courses, 
and so perhaps this twist is broken, and the sinner is gone. 

2. If so, conscience, that was a monitor, now turns accuser; 
before it was only God's herald, to forewarn him, but it is be- 
come a sergeant to arrest him : it follows him to the alehouse, 
and pursues him home; then takes him in his bed, and arrests 
him in his sleep ; there, by a meditation, it hales the soul before 
the tribunal of God, saying, *' Lo, Lord, this is the man, this is 
the drunkard, the adulterer, blasphemer, this is he. Lord; an 
enemy to thy servants, an hater of thy truth, a despiser of thy 
ordinances : at such a time, in such a place, with such a com- 
pany, this man despised thy truth ; this is he. Lord, this is the 
man.'' And when conscience hath thus dragged him before 
God, and accused him, then, " Take him, jailor; take him, 
devil," saith the Lord, ** and imprison him; let vexation, and 
horror, and trouble, and anguish, lie upon his soul, until he 
confess his sins, and resolve to forsake them." 

In this case was David, when he was forced to say. My bones 
waxed old through my roaring all the day long; for day and night 
thy hand was heavy upon me, my moisture is turned into the 
drought of summer: then, said David, / acknowledged my ain 
unto thee; I confessed my transgressions unto thee, O Lord, and 
so thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. David folded up his 
gins at the first, and therefore his bones were consumed, and 
he roared continually ; and when the Lord had him on the rack, 
he made him roar again, and v.ould never leave tormenting, 
till David came to confessing ; but Vv hen he confessed his sin, 
then the Lord forgave him the iniquity of it. Thus conscience 
brings the soul of a sinner on the rack, (as traitors are used 
that will not confess otherwise,) and makes him confess his 
sins ; and then he cries, " Oh ! the abominations I have com- 
mitted, which the sun never saw; in such a place, at such a 
time." Thus conscience receives some satisfaction, and begins 
to be quiet; and now, having got some quiet, his cursed com- 
panions set upon him again, he listens again, and then he 
begins to follow his old sins, perhaps with more eageTness 
than ever, and now is another twist broken. 

3. If so, conscience, that was a monitor and accuser, turns 
executioner. The first proposition admonished, the second ac-' 
cused ; if neither of these prevail, then conscience concludes. 
Thou must to execution, thou shalt perish everlastingly. And 
now conscience cries. Monitions or accusations could not pre- 
vail with this man; come, ye damned ghosts, and take away 
this drunkard, this blasphemer, this adulterer, and throw him 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 49 

headlong into the pit of hell; he would not be amended, let 
him be condemned ; he would not be humbled, therefore let 
him be damned." The man hearing this, is amazed, and thinks 
himself past hope, past help, past cure : did you ever see or 
hear a tormented conscience in these pangs? He cries, " Lo 
there devils stand; the heavens frown ; God is incensed; hell's 
mouth is opened !" and now a minister is sent for, who dis- 
plays to this despairing soul, the mercy and grace of God in 
Christ Jesus : " Oh," replies he, '* this is my bane, my damna- 
tion. If I had never heard of mercy, if I had never lived 
under the gospel and the means of salvation, then had I been 
an happy man; alas ! it is mercy I have neglected, it is sal- 
vation I have contemned, how then should I be saved? O the 
persuasions of the Lord that I have had ! the Lord hath even 
wept over me, as he did over Jerusalem, Oh that thou hadst 
knoum the things belonging to thy peace! yet all these persua- 
sions have I contemned, and therefore certainly to hell I must 
go." The minister replies. Truth it is, you have done thus, 
but would you do so still? Is it good now to be drunk, or to 
blaspheme, or to rail on God's saints, or contemn God's ordi- 
nances? ** O, no, no," saith he, *' I now find what the end 
of these wicked courses will be ; God's word could not pre- 
vail with me, the minister could not persuade me. O the 
good sermons that I have heard, but alas ! I despised the 
word, and mocked the minister: woe, unto me for ever!" 
The minister replies again. The truth is you have done thus; 
but would you do so now? Would you still blaspheme, and 
curse, and be drunk, and riotous ; or rather vv ould you not 
now part with these, and take mercy instead of them? Then 
the poor soul cries out, " Now the Lord for his mercies' sake 
remove these sins from me : O, I had never so much delight 
in my sins heretofore, as now I have misery for them ; but 
alas! it is not in my power to help my soul; if the Lord 
would do this, let him do what he will with it." What, saith 
the minister, you are then willing to part with your sins : " O 
yes," saith the soul, " I would rather offend all the world than 
God; I had rather go to hell than commit a sin; if it would 
please God to help me, I would forsake my sins with all my 
heart." Why, now the poor soul is coming again, and God 
is drawing him again from his corruptions. 

Fourthly, when the soul is thus loosened, the Lord then 
fully plucks it by the cord of his Spirit; with an almighty 
hand he cuts the soul off from sin, and takes it into his own 
hand, that he may govern him, and dispose of him, according 
to his own good pleasure. Thus much of preparation, for the 
substance of it, on God's part. 


80 The Doctrine of Regeneratmi. 

The Substantial Parts of Preparation, on Man^s Part. 

Now are we to observe the disposition of the soul on man's 
part, which God works on the heart. It is known in two 
works: 1. Contrition, whereby the soul is cut off from sin. 2. 
Humiliation, whereby the soul is cut off from itself. 

For so it is, that either the soul seeth no need to depart from 
sin, or else it thinks it can help itself out of sin. The first is 
called security, when the soul, seeing no need to be better, 
desires it not: against this the Lord sends contrition, causing 
men thereby to know the misery of sin, and to see need of a 
change. The second is carnal confidence, when a sinner be- 
gins to seek succour, and to scramble for his own comfort 
in his self-sufficiency : against this the Lord works humiliation, 
causing the soul hereby to see the weakness and emptiness 
of its duties, and that there is enough in his best services to 
condemn him for ever. 

The first is security; when the soul is taken up with a se- 
cure course, and therefore never seeth any need of a change. 
Now, while a man lives thus, and blesses himself in his sin, it 
is impossible he should receive faith, or by faith repair unto 
Christ: the Lord, therefore, to remove this let, burdens the 
soul, and says, " You will live in drunkenness, in covetous- 
ness; you will have your sins : then take your sins, and get 
ye down to hell with them." At this voice the sinner begins 
to see where he is: " Is this true?" saith he; ** then I am the 
most miserable creature under heaven." So the soul comes 
to a restless dislike of itself; and saith, ** I must be other- 
wise, or I am a damned man for ever." 

Secondly, when the soul seeth his wound and his sin ready 
to condemn him, it thinks, by Duties, or some such like mat- 
ters, to succour itself; and it begins to say, ** My hearing and 
my prayer, will not these save me?" Thus the soul in conclu- 
sion rests on duties : I will not say but these duties are all 
good, honourable, and comfortable; yet they are not God, but 
the ordinances of God. It is the nature of a sinful heart, to 
make the means as meritorious to salvation: a man that seeth 
his drunkenness, and his base contempt of God, voweth to take 
up a new course, and cries, " No more drunkenness, no more 
scoffing at those that go to hear the word; and then he thinks, 
what can I do more? to heaven I must s:o." All this is but a 
man's self; Christ, who is the substance of all, is forgotten; 
and therefore the poor soul famisheth with hunger. Mistake 
not, I pray you ; these duties must be used, but a man must 
not, stay here : prayer saith, there is no salvation in me ; and 
the sacraments and fasting say, there is no salvation in us: 
all these are helps, no causes of salvation. A man will use his 

The Doctrine of Regcneratio)i. 51 

bucket, but he expects water from the well ; these means are 
the buckets, but all our life and grace is in Christ. If you 
say your bucket shall help you, you may starve if you let it 
not down into the well : so, though you boast of praying, and 
hearing, and fasting, and of your alms ; if none of these bring 
you to, or settle you on Christ, you shall die, though your 
works were as the works of an angel. As it is with a graft 
therefore, first it must be cut off from the old stock ; secondly, 
it must be pared, and made fit for implantation into another : 
so the soul by contrition being cut off from sin, then humi- 
liation pares it (pares away all a man's privileges) and makes 
it fit for ingrafting into Christ. Thus much of the lets ; now 
for the works of contrition and humiliation. 

1. A Sight of Si?i. 

For a further discovery of these two necessary things, we 
shall enter into particulars, and begin first with Contrition; 
which contains these steps: A sight of sin; a sense of divine 
wrath; and, a sorrow for sin. 

The first step is a sight of sin: and sin must be seen clearly 
and convictingly. 

First, clearly, it is not a confused sight of sin that will serve 
the turn; it is not enough to say. It is my infirmity, we are all 
sinners: no, this is the ground why we mistake our evils, and 
reform not our ways. A man must search narrowly, and prove 
his ways, as the goldsmith doth his gold in the fire : I consi- 
dered my ways, saith David, and turned away my feet unto 
thy testimonies; in the original, I turned my sins upside down. 
And this clear sight appears in two particulars : 

1. A man must see his sin nakedly, in its own colours: we 
must not look on sin through the mediums of profits and plea- 
s\:fres; but the soul of a true Christian, that would see sin clearly, 
must strip it of all content and quiet that ever the heart re- 
ceived in it; as the adulterer must not look upon sin in regard 
of the sweetness of it, nor the covetous man on his sin in regard 
of the profit of it : you that are such, the time will co-me, when 
you must die, and then consider what good these sinful courses 
will do you; how will you judge of sin then, when it shall 
leave a blot on your souls, and a guilt on your consciences? 

2. A man must look on sin in the venom of it : and that you 
may do partly, if you compare it with other things ; and partly, 
if you look at it in regard of itself. 1. Compare sin with those 
things that are most fearful and horrible; as suppose any soul 
here present were to behold the damned in hell, then propound 
this to your heart. What are those pains which the damned en- 
dure? And your heart shall quake at it; yet the least sin that 
ever you did commit, is a greater evil, in its own nature, than 
the greatest pains of the damned in hell. 2. Look at »in simply 

52 The Doctrine of Regency^ at lort. 

as it is in itself, what is it but a profest opposing of God him- 
self? A sinful creature joins side with the devil, and comes 
in battle array against the Lord God of hosts ! I pray you in 
cold blood consider this, and say, " Good Lord! what a sinful 
wretch am I? that a poor damned wretch of the earth, should 
stand in defiance against God : that I should submit myself to 
the devil, and oppose the Lord God of hosts!" 

Secondly, convictingly, that sin may be so to us, as it is 
in itself; and that discovers itself in these two particulars : 

L When, whatsoever sin is in general, we confess it the same 
in our own souls : it is the cursed distemper of our hearts, how- 
soever we hold the truth in gerieral, yet when w^e come to our 
own sins, to deny the particulars. The adulterer confesseth 
the danger and hlthiness of that sin in gross, but he will not 
apply it to himself: the rule therefore is, *' Arrest thy soul, 
whosoever thou art, of those sins particularly whereof thou 
standest guilty : to this purpose say, '* Are pride, and drunken- 
ness, and uncieanness, svich horrible sins? O Lord, it was my 
heart that was proud and vain; it w^as my eye that was wan- 
ton, and my heart that was unclean; Lord, here they are." 
Thus bring thy heart before God. 

2. When the soul sits down with truth, and seeks no shift 
, to oppose it. The minister saith, God hates such and such a 
sinner: *' And the Lord hates me too," saith the soul, *' for I 
am guilty of that sin." Thus many a time, when a sinner comes 
into the congregation, if the Lord please to work on him, the 
mind is enlightened, and the minister meets with his corrup- 
tions, as if he were in his bosom, and he answers all his cavils, 
and takes away all his objections: with tha,t the soul begins 
to be in amaze, and saith, " If this be so, as it is for aught I 
know, and if all be true that the minister saith, then the Lord 
be merciful unto my soul, I am the most miserable sinner 
that ever was born ?" 

You that know not your sins, that you may see them convict- 
ingly, get you home to the law, and look into the glass thereof, 
and then enumerate all your sins in order thus. " So many sins 
against God himself in the first commandment, against his wor- 
ship in the second, against his name in the third, against his 
sabbath in the fourth : nay, all our thoughts, words, and actions, 
B.11 of them have been sins, able to sink our souls into the bot- 
tom of hell." And, secondly, that you may see them clearly, 
consider their effect, both in their doom, and in the execution : 
only to instance in their doom ; methinks I see the Lord of 
heaven and earth, and the attributes of God, appearing before 
him, " the mercy of God, the goodness of God, the wisdom of 
God, the power of God, the patience and long-suffering of God ;" 
and they all come to a sinner, and say, Mercy hath relieved you, 
goodness hath secured you, wisdom hath instructed you, power 

The Doctr'uie of Regeneration, '5*3 

hath defended you, patience hath borne with you, long-suffer- 
ing hath endured you : now all these bid you adieu, " Farewell, 
damned souls ; you must go hence to hell, to have your fellow- 
ship with damned ghosts : mercy shall never more relieve you, 
goodness shall never more succour you, wisdom shall never 
more instruct you, power shall never more defend you, pa- 
tience shall never more endure you." And then shall you to 
endless, easeless, and remediless torments, where you will ever 
remember you sins, and say, " My covetousness and pride 
was the cause of this ; I may thank my sins for this." Think 
of these things, I beseech you, seriously, and see your sins 
here, to prevent this sight hereafter. 

2. A Sense of Divine Wrath. 

The sinner by this time having his eyes so far opened, that 
he beholds his sins, begins to consider that God hath him in 
chase ; and this sense of divine wrath discovers itself in these 
two particulars : 

1. It works a fear of some evil to come. 

2. It possesseth the soul with a feeling of this evil. 
First, the soul considers, that the punishment which God hath 

threatened, shall be executed on him sooner or later: he cries, 
therefore, " What if God should damn me ? God may do it : and 
what if God should execute his vengeance upon me ?" Thus 
the soul fears, that the evil discovered will fall upon him. It is 
with a soul in this fear, as it was with Belshazzar, when he com- 
manded the cups to be brought out of the house of the Lord; 
An hand-writing came against him on the ivall, and when he saw 
it, his thoughts troubled him, and his knees knocked one against 
another: so it is with this fear; he that r-ms riot in the way of 
wickedness, there comes this fear and hand-writing against 
him, and then he cries, " These are my sins, and these are the 
plagues and judgments threatened against them : therefore why 
may not I be damned? why may not I be plagued?" 

Secondly, the Lord pursues the soul, and discharges that evil 
upon him which was formerly feared ; and now his conscience is 
all on a flame, and he saith to himself, " Oh ! I have sinned, and 
offended a just God, and therefore I must be damned, and to 
hell I must go." Now the soul shakes, and is driven beyond 
itself, and would utterly faint, but that the Lord upholds it with 
one hand, as he beats it down with the other; he thinks every 
thing is against him, he thinks the fire burns to consume him, 
and that the air will poison him, and that hell's mouth gapes 
under him, and that God's wrath hangs over him, and if now the 
Lord should but take away his life, that he should tumble head- 
long into the bottomless hell : should any man, or minister, per 
suade the soul in this case to go to heaven for mercy, it replies 
in this manner; *' Shall I repair to God? Oh, that's my trouble 

54 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

is not he that great God, whose justice and mercy, and patience, 
I have abused? And is not he the great God of heaven and 
earth, that hath been incensed against me? Oh! with what a 
face can I appear before him? and with what heart can I look 
for any mercy from him? I have wronged his justice, and can 
his justice pardon me? I have abused his mercy, and can his 
mercy pity me ? What, such a wretch as I am ? If I had never 
enjoyed the means of mercy, I might have had some plea for 
myself; but Oh ! I have refused that mercy, and have trampled 
the blood of Christ under my feet; and can I look for any 
mercy? No, no, I see the wrath of the Lord incensed against 
me, and that's all I look for." 

3. Sorrow for Sin. 

The next step is, sorrow for sin; concerning which are two 
questions : 1. Whether it be a work of saving grace ? 2. Whe- 
ther God work it in all alike? 

To the first. — There is a double sorrow; one in preparation, 
the other in sanctification : — they differ thus : sorrow in prepa- 
ration, is when the word of God leaves an impression upon the 
heart of a man, so that the heart only bears the blow of the Spirit ; 
and hence come all those phrases of scripture, as wounded, 
pierced, pricked ; so that this sorrow is rather a sorrow wrought 
on me, than any work coming from any spiritual abilility in me ; 
but sorrow in sanctification, flows from a spiritual principle of 
grace, and from that power which the heart hath formerly re- 
ceived from God's Spirit ; so that in this a man is a free worker. 

To the second, I answer : Howsoever this work is the same in 
all for substance, yet in a different manner is it wrought in most : 
two men are pricked, the one with a pin, the other with a 
spear; so the Lord deals gently with one soul, and roughly 
with another. There is the melting of a thing, and the break- 
ing of it with hammers ; so there is a difference in persons. 
For instance, if the person be a scandalous liver, and an op- 
poser of God and his grace ; if a man have continued long in 
sin ; if a man have been confident in a formal, civil course ; or, 
if God purpose by some man to do some extraordinary work : 
in these four cases he lays a heavy blow on the heart; the 
Lord will bruise them, and make them seek to a faithful mi- 
nister for direction, and to a poor Christian for counsel, whom 
before they despised. But if the soul be trained up among godly 
parents, the Lord may reform this man, and cut him off from his 
corruptions kindly. But give me a Christian that God doth please 
to work upon in this extraordinary manner, and to break his 
heart soundly, and to throw him down to purpose, though it cost 
him full dear; this man walks usually with care and conscience, 
hath more comfort himself, and gives more glory unto God. 

Is it so, that the soul of a man is thus pierced to the quick, 
and run through by the wrath of the Almighty? then let this 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 55 

teach all how to carry themselves towards such as God hath 
thus dealt with. Are th^y pierced men? O pity them: O let 
the bowels of compassion be let out toward them ! Let us never 
cease to do good to them ! O pray, and pity these wounds and 
vexations of spirit, which no man finds nor feels, but he that 
hath been thus wounded. It is to be feared that soul is wholly 
devoted to destruction, that hath a disdain against poor 
wounded creatures. Is it possible there should harbour such 
a spirit in any man? If the devil himself were incarnate, I can- 
not conceive what he could do worse. 

2. If ever thou wouldest be comforted, and receive mercy 
from God ; never be quiet till thou dost bring thy heart to a 
right pitch of sorrow: thou hast a little slight sorrow; but oh! 
labour to have thy heart truly touched, that at last it may 
break in regard of thy many distempers ; remember, the longer 
seed-time, the greater harvest: Blessed are they that mourn, for 
they shall be comforted. Matt. v. 4. 

4. The Extent of this Sorrow. 

Hitherto of this Contrition ; the next work is Humiliation, 
which differs from the other, not in substance, but circum- 
stance : for humiliation is only the extent of sorrow for sin, of 
which we have spoken; and it contains these two duties: 1. 
Submission; 2. Contentedness to be at the Lord's disposal. 

The first part of humiliation, is Submission, which is wrought 
thus : the sinner now having had a sight of his si-ns^ and a sor- 
row in some measure; he seeks far and wide, improves all 
means, and takes up all duties, that, if it were possible, he might 
heal his wounded soul : thus seeking, but finding no succour in 
what he hath, or doth, he is forced at last to make trial of the 
Lord : it is true, for the present he apprehends God to be just, 
and to be incensed against him ; yet because he sees he cannoti 
be worse than he is, and that none can help him but God, 
therefore he falls at the footstool of merce, and subits himself 
to the Lord, to do with him as it seemeth good in his eyes. 

He saith, " This I know ; all the means in the world cannot 
save me : yet who can tell but the Lord may have mercy on 
me, and cure this distressed conscience, and heal all these 
wounds that sin hath made in my soul?'* 

Or, for a further light, this subjection discovers itself in; 
four particulars : 

First, he seeth and confesseth that the Lord may, and, for 
ought he knows, will proceed injustice against him, and exe- 
cute upon him those plagues that God hath threatened, and 
his sins have deserved. 

Secondly, he conceives, that what God will do, he cannot 
avoid it; if the Lord will come, and require the glory of hia 
justice against him, there is no way to avoid it, nor to bear it. 

56 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

And this crusheth the heart, and makes the soul to be beyond 
all evasions, whereby it may seem to avoid the dint of the 
Lord's supper. 

Thirdly, he casts away his weapons, and falls down before 
the Lord, and resigns himself to the sovereign power of God. 
Thus David, when the Lord cast him out of his kingdom, said 
to Zadok, " Carry back the ark of God into the city; if I shall 
find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back 
again, and shew me both it, and his habitation : but if he thus 
say to me, I have no delight in thee ; behold here I am, let 
him do with me as seemeth good in his eyes." 

Fourthly, the soul freely acknowledgeth, that it is in God's 
power to dispose of him as he will ; and therefore he lies and 
licks the dust, and cries, Mercy, mercy. Lord! he thinks not 
to purchase mercy at the Lord's hands, but only saith, *' It is 
in God's good pleasure to do with him as he will, only he looks 
for favour, and cries, Mercy, Lord, mercy to this poor dis- 
tressed soul of mine !" O, replies the Lord, dost thou need 
mercy? Cannot thy hearing, and praying, and fasting, carry 
thee to heaven? gird up now thy loins, and make thy fervent- 
est prayers, and let them meet my justice, and see if they can 
bear my wrath, or purchase mercy. *' INTo, no," saith the sinner, 
•* I know it by lamentable experience, that all my prayers and 
performances will never procure peace to my soul, nor give 
satisfaction to thy justice; I only pray for mercy, and I desire 
only to hear some news of mercy, to relieve this miserable 
soul of mine; it is only mercy that must help me. O mercy, 
if it be possible, to this poor soul of mine !" 

The second part of humiliation is Contentedness to be at 
the Lord's disposal; and this point is of an higher pitch than 
the former. This contentedness discovers itself in these three 
particulars : 

First, the soul reflects on God's mercy, which though he 
begged when he submitted, yet now he seeth so much cor- 
ruption in himself, that he acknowledgeth himself unfit for 
it: ** O mercy, mercy, Lord!" — What, saith the Lord, can- 
not your own duties purchase mercy? — " O no," saith the 
soul, ** it is only mercy that must relieve and succour me; 
but such is my vileness, that I am not fit for the least mercy; 
and such is the wickedness of this wretched heart of mine, 
that whatsoever are the greatest plagues, I am worthy of 
them all, though never so insupportable : all the judgments 
that God hath threatened, and prepared for the devil and 
his angels, they are all due to my wretched soul. Had 
the devils had such hopes, and such ofl:ers of mercy, 
they would, for aught I know, have given entertainment to 
it? And what, do I seek for mercy? The least of God's mer- 
cies are too good for me, and the heaviest of God's plagues 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 57 

are too little for me ! I only for one sin deserve eternal damna- 
tion, for the wages of all sin is death, being committed against 
divine justice, and against an infinite majesty; and then what 
do all my sins deserve, committed and continued in, ao-ainst 
all checks of conscience, and corrections, and the lio-ht of 
God's word? Hell is too good, and ten thousand helfs too 
little, to torment such a wretch as I am. What, I mercy? I 
am ashamed to expect it: with what heart can I beg this 
mercy, which I have trodden under my feet? The Lord hath 
often wooed me, and when his wounds were bleeding, his side 
gored, and his cries coming into mine ears. My God, my God, 
why hast thou forsaken me? then, even then, this Christ have I 
slighted, and made nothing of his blood ; and can this blood of 
Christ do me any service ? Indeed I crave grace, but how do I 
think to recei ve any? It is more than I can expect, I am not worthy 
.of any; oh! no, I am only worthy to be cast out for ever." 

Secondly, the soul reflects on justice, and now it acknow- 
ledgeth the equity of God's dealings, be they never so harsh ; 
he confesseth that he is as clay in the hands of the potter, 
and the Lord may deal with him as he will! Yea, the soul is 
driven to an amazement at the Lord's patience, and that he 
hath been pleased to reprieve him so long, that God hath not 
cast him out of his presence, and sent him down to hell long 
ago. Hence it is that the soul will not maintain any kind of 
murmuring, or heart-rising, against the Lord's dealings : or if 
nature will be striving sometimes, and say, " Why are not 
.my prayers answered? I see such a soul comforted, and 
why not I as well as he?" Then the soul stifles, and crushes, 
and chokes these wretched distempers, and doth also abase 
itself before the Lord, saying, ** What if God will not hear 
my prayers; what if God will not pacify my conscience; 
doth the Lord do me any wrong? vile hell-hound that I am, 
I have my sin and my shame; wrath is my portion, and hell is 
my place, thither may I go when I will ; it is mercy that God 
thus deals with me." And now the soul clears God in his 
justice, and saith, " It is just with God that all the prayers 
which come from this filthy heart of mine, should be abhorred, 
and that all my labours in holy duties should never be blessed ; 
it is I that have sinned against checks of conscience, against 
knowledge, against heaven, and therefore it is just that I 
should carry this horror of heart with me to the grave; it is 
1 that have abused mercy, and therefore it is just that I should 
go with a tormenting conscience down into hell: and Oh! 
that if I be in hell, I might have a spirit to justify thy name 
there; and say. Now I am come down to hell amongst you 
damned creatures, but the Lord is righteous in all his doings, 
and I am justly condemned." 

Thirdly, hence the soul comes to be quiet under the heavy 
2. ■ H 

5S The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

liand of God in that helpless condition : it takes the blow, and 
lies under the burden, and goes away quietly and patiently : O 
this is an heart worth gold ! " O," saith he, " it is fit that God 
fc;hould glorify himself, though I be damned for ever: what- 
soever 1 have, it is the reward of my own works, and the end 
of my ov/n ways : if I be damned, I may thank my pride, and 
lay stubbornness, and my peevishness of spirit: what shall I 
repine against the Lord, because his wrath and his displeasure 
lies heavy upon me? Oh no, let me repine against my sin, the 
cause of all; let me grudge against my base heart, that hath 
jiourished these adders in my bosom, but let me not speak one 
Av ord against him/' Thus you see what is the behaviour of 
the soul in this contentedness to be at the Lord's disposal. 

But some may object, Ought the soul to be thus content to 
be left in this damnable condition? 

I answer. This contentedness implies two things ; first, a car- 
nal security, and this is a cursed sin: secondly, a calmness of 
soul, not murmuring aginst the Lord's dispensation towards 
him : and this contentedness (opposed against quarrelling with 
the Almighty) every humbled soul doth attain to, although in 
every one it is not so plainly seen. A thief taken for robbery, 
on whom the sentence of death hath passed, should not neglect 
the means to get a pardon ; yet if he cannot procure it, he must 
not murmur against the judge for condemning him: so we 
should not be careless in using all means for our good ; but still 
seek to God for mercy : yet we ought to be contented with 
whatsoever mercy shall deny, because we are not worthy of any 
favour. The soul, in a depth of humiliation, first stoops to the 
condition that the Lord will appoint ; he dares not fly away from 
God, nor repine against the Lord, but lies down meekly. 2. As 
he is content with the hardest measure, so he is content with the 
longest time, saying, " Although the Lord hide his face, and 
turn away his loving countenance from me, yet I will look to- 
wards heaven, so long as I have an eye to see, and an hand to 
lift up ; the Lord may take his own time :" nay, the poor broken 
heart resolves thus; ** If I lie and lick the dust all my days, 
and cry for mercy all my life long; if my last words might be 
Mercy, mercy, it were well." 3. As he is content to stay the 
longest time, so he is content with the least pittance of mercy : 
" Let my condition be never so hard," saith the soul, " do. 
Lord, what thou wilt with me, let the fire of thy wrath con- 
sume me here, only recover me hereafter; if I find mercy at 
the last, I am content; and whatsoever thou givest, I bless thy 
name for it." He quarrels not, saying, *' Why are not my 
graces increased? and why am I not thus and thus comforted?" 
No, he looks for mercy, and if he have but a crumb of mercy, 
he is comforted and quieted for ever. 

Hience we collect : 1 . That they which have the greatest parts, 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 59 

and gifts, and honour, are, for the most part, hardly brought 
home to Christ; they that are most hardly humbled, are most 
hardly converted : what is humiliation, but the emptying of 
the soul from whatsoever makes it swell? The heart must^not 
joy in any thing, nor rest upon any thing, but only yield to the 
Lord, to be at his disposing. Now these parts, and abilities, 
and means, are great props for the heart of a carnal man to 
rest upon; whence the apostle. Not many -wise men after the 
Jiesk, not many mighty, not many rioble, are called; indeed, 
blessed be God, some are, but not many : few, that have so 
i^uch of themselves, are brought to renounce themselves. 

2. That an humble heart mades all a man's life quiet, and, 
marvellously sweeteneth whatsoever estate he is in: indeed 
sometimes he may be tossed and troubled, yet he is not dis- 
tracted, because he is contented ; as it is with a ship on the sea, 
when the billows begin to roar, and the waves are violent, if 
the anchor be fastened deep, it stays the ship : so this work of 
humiliation is the anchor of the soul ; and the deeper it is 
fastened, the more quiet is the heart. When Job, in his ex- 
tremity, gave way to his proud heart, he quarrelled with the 
Almighty, his friends, and all; but when the Lord had hum- 
bled him, then. Behold I am vile; once have I spoken, yea twice, 
but now no more. And this humiliation quiets a man both in 
the fiercest temptations, and in the heaviest oppositions. 

L In the fiercest temptations : when Satan begins to besiege 
the heart of a poor sinner, and lays a battery against him, see 
how the humbled heart runs him out of breath at his own wea- 
pons ! Dost thou think, says Satan, to get mercy from the 
Lord? God will not respect the prayers of such vile sinners. 
*' True,'' saith the poor soul, " I have often denied the Lord 
when he called upon me, and therefore he may justly deny me 
all the prayers I make ; yet thus he hath commanded, that 
seek to him for mercy I must, and if the Lord will cast me 
away, and reject my prayers, I am contented therewith: what 
then, Satan?" What then? saith the devil; I thought this 
would have made thee to despair ; but this is not all, for God 
will give thee over, and leave thee to thyself, to thy lusts and 
corruptions, and thy latter end shall be worse than thy be- 
ginning. To this answers the humbled soul, '* If the Lord will 
give me up to my base lusts, and if the Lord will leave me to 
my sins, because I have left his gracious commands ; and if I 
^hall fall one day, and be disgraced and dishonoured, yet let 
the Lord be honoured, and let not God lose the praise of his 
power and justice, and I am contented therewith: what then, 
Satan?" What then? saith the devil; I sure thought now thou 
wouldst have despaired : but this is not all, for when God hath 
left thee t.o thy sins, then will he break out in vengeance against 
thee, and make thee an example of his heavy vengeance to 

60 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

all ages ; and therefore it is best for thee to prevent this timely 
judgment by some mitimely death. To this replies the soul, 
*' Whatsoever God can or will do, I know not, yet so great are 
my sins, that he cannot, or, at least, will not do so much 
against me as I have justly deserved : come what will come, I 
am contented still to be at the Lord's disposal : what then, 
Satan?" And thus he runs Satan out of breath. 

So in all temptations of Satan, lie low, and be contented to 
be at God's disposing, and all these fiery temptations shall 
not be able to hurt you. 

2. In the heaviest oppositions: when Satan is gone, then 
comes troubles and oppositions of the world, in all which hu- 
miliation will quiet the soul. Cast disgrace upon the humble 
heart, and he cures it thus : he thinks worse of himself than 
any man else can do, and if they would make him vile and 
loathsome, he is more vile in his own eyes than they can make 
him : O that I could bring your hearts to be in love with this 
blessed grace of God ! 

Is there any soul here that hath been vexed with the temp- 
tations of Satan, oppositions of men, or with his own dis- 
tempers? and would he now arm himself, that nothing should 
disquiet him, but in all, to be above all, and to rejoice in all? 
Oh ! be humbled, and then be above all the devils in hell ; 
certainly they shall not so disquiet you, as to cause you to be 
misled, or uncomforted, if you would but be humbled. 

What remains then? Be exhorted, as you desire mercy and 
favour at God's hands, to this humiliation. And for motives, 
consider the good things that God hath promised, and which 
he will bestow upon all that are truly humbled: I shall 
reduce all to these three : 

First, by humiliation we are made capable of all those trea- 
sures of wisdom, grace, and mercy, that are in Christ. 

Secondly, humiliation gives a man the comfort of all that is 
good in Christ. To be truly humbled, is the next way to be 
truly comforted ; the Lord will look to him that hath an humble 
contrite heart, and trembles at his word. The Lord will give him 
such a gracious look, as shall make his heart dance in his breast. 
Thou poor humble soul, the Lord will give thee a glimpse of his 
favour, when thou art tired in thy trouble; when thoulookest 
up to heaven, the Lord will look down upon thee, and will re- 
fresh thee with mercy : Oh ! be humbled then every one of you, 
and the Lord Jesus, who comes with healing under his wings, 
will comfort you, and you shall see the salvation of our God. 

Thirdly, humiliation ushers glory : Whosoever humbles him- 
self as a little child, shall be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 
He shall be in the highest degree of grace here, and of glory 
hereafter : for as thy humiliation, so shall be thy faith and 
sanctification, and obedience, and glory. 

The Doctrhic of Rcgeitcrat'wn. 61 

Now the Lord make me, and tliee, and all of ns humble, that 
we may have this mercy. Who would not have the Lord Jesus 
to dwell with him? Who would not have the Lord Christ, by 
the glory of his grace, to honour and refresh him? Methinks 
your hearts should yearn for it, and say, O Lord, break my 
heart, and humble me, that mercy may be my portion for ever: 
then might you say with comfort on your death-beds, " Though 
I go away, and leave wife and children behind me, poor and 
mean, in the world, yet I leave Christ with them:" when you 
are gone, this will be better for them than all the gold or ho- 
nours in the world. What can I say? Since the Lord offers so 
kindly, now kiss the Son, be humble, yield to all God's com- 
mands, take home all truths, and be at God's disposing; let 
all the evil that is threatened, and all the good that is offered, 
prevail with your hearts : or if means cannot, yet the Lord 
prevail with you; the Lord empty you, that Christ may fill 
you; the Lord humble you, that you may enjoy happiness 
and peace, and be lifted up to the highest glory, there to 
reign for ever and ever. 


The Call on God's Part, for the Soul to close with, and to rely 

on Christ. 

Hitherto of our first general, the preparation of the soul 
for Christ: the next is, the implantation of the soul into 
Christ; and that hath two parts, 1. The putting of the soul 
into Christ; 2. The growing of the soul with Christ. 

As a graft is first put into the stock, and then it grows to- 
gether with the stock : these two things are answerable in 
the soul, and when it is brought to this, then a sinner comes 
to be partaker of all spiritual benefits. 

The first part is, the putting in of the soul : when the soul is 
brought out of the world of sin, to lie upon, and to close with, 
the Lord Jesus Christ: and this hath two particular passages ; 
the call on God's part, and the answer on man's part. 

The call on God's part is this: when the Lord by the call of 
his gospel, and the work of his Spirit, doth so clearly reveal 
the fulness of mercy, that the soul, humbled, returns answer. 

In which observe the means, and the cause whereby God 
doth call. 

L The means is the ministry of the Gospel; the sum thereof 
is this, That there is fulness of mercy, and grace, and salvation, 
brouo-ht unto us throuoh the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence the 
phrase of scripture calls this gospel, or this mercy, A treasury; 
All the treasures of icisdom and holiness are in Christ: not one 
treasure, but all treasures : where the gospel comes, there is joy 

G2 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

for the sorrowful, peace for the troubled, strength for the 
weak, relief seasonable and suitable to all wants, miseries, 
and necessities, both present and future. 

If then sorrow assail thee when thou art come thus far, look 
not on thy sins, to pore upon them ; neither look into thy own suf- 
ficiency, to procure any good there. It is true, thou must see 
thy sins and sorrow for them, but this is for the lower form, and 
thou must get this lesson before-hand; and when thou hast 
gotten this lesson of contrition and humiliation, look then 
only to God's mercy, and the riches of his grace in Christ. 

2. For the cause : the Lord doth not only appoint the means, 
but by the work of the Spirit, he doth bring all the riches of 
his grace into the soul truly humbled. If you ask, how ? First, 
with strength of evidence the Spirit presents to the broken- 
hearted sinner, the freeness of God's grace to the soul : and 
secondly, the Spirit by an over-piercing work, doth leave a 
supernatural and spiritual virtue on the heart. 

Now the word of the gospel, and the work of the Spirit, 
always go together; not that God is tied to any means, but that 
he tieth himself to the means : hence the gospel is called, the 
power of God to salvation, because the power of God ordi- 
narily, and in common course, appears therein : the waters of 
life and salvation run only in the channel of the gospel ; nay, 
observe this, when all arguments fail to persuade the heart to 
go to God, one text of scripture will stand a man in stead, 
above all human learning and inventions; because the Spirit 
goes forth in this, and none else. 


The Answer on Man's Part, for the Soul to close with, and to 

relij on Christ. 

HiTHEUTO of the call on God's part; now we are come to 
the answer on man's part. No sooner hath the gospel and 
God's Spirit clearly revealed the fulness of God's mercy in 
Christ, but the soul gives answer to the call of God. Mercy is 
a proper object of the mind to be enlightened, of hope to be 
sustained, of desire to be supported, of love to be cheered ; 
nay, there is a full sufficiency of all good in Christ, that so the 
will of man may take full repose and rest in him; therefore 
the Lord saith. Come unto me, all that are weary and heavy 
laden; come, mind, and hope, and desire, and love, and will, 
and heart. They all answer, We come : the mind saith, let 
me know this mercy above all, and desire to know nothing 
but Christ, and him crucified : let me expect this mercy, saith 
hope, that belongs to me, and will befall me : desire saith, let 
me long after it; oh! saith love, let me embrace and welcome 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 63 

it : o'h ! sfeith the heart, let me lay hold on the liandle of salva- 
tion • here we will live, and here we will die, at the footstool 
of God's mercy. 

2. A Sight of Christ, or of Mercy in Christ^ 

But for a further discovery of these works of the soul, we 
shall enter into particulars: and for their order; first, the 
Spirit lets in a light into his heart, and discovers unto him, 
that God will deal graciously with him. It is with a sinner, 
as with a man that sits in darkness, haply he seeth a lio-ht in 
the street out of a window, but he sits still in darkness, and 
is in the dungeon all the while, and he thinks, " How good were 
it, if a man might enjoy that light!" So, many a poor sinner 
seeth God's mercies at a distance : ** Ah !" thinks he, " I am in 
darkness still, and nevier had a drop of mercy vouchsafed untb 
me." At last the Lord lets a li^ht into his house, and puts 
the candle into his own hand, and makes him see by particu- 
lar evidence, thou shalt be pardoned. 

The manner how the Spirit works this, is discovered m 
three passages: 

First, the Spirit of the Lord meeting with an humble, broken 
sinner, (he that is a proud, stout-hearted wretch, knows nor- 
thing of this matter,) opens the eye, and now he begins to se6 
some glimmering, that he can look into the things of God. 

2. Then the Lord lays before him all the riches of the trea- 
isure of his grace ; no sooner hath he given him an eye, but he 
lays colours before him, (the unsearchable riches of Christ,) 
that he may look, and fall in love with those sweet treasures ; 
and then saith the soul, " Oh, that mercy, and grace, and par^ 
don, were mine ! Oh, that my sins were done away !" The Lord 
saith, " I will refresh them that are heavy-laden." Then saith 
the soul, *' Oh, that I had that refreshing!" You shall have 
rest, saith God. ** Oh, that I had rest too!" saith the «oul: 
and now the soul looks after mercy and compassion. 

3. The Spirit of the Lord doth witness thoroughly and effec- 
tually to the soul, that this mercy in Christ belongs to him : 
observe, none in heaven or in earth, but only God's Spirit, 
can make this certificate; when it is night, ail the candles in 
the world cannot take away the darknes-s : so, though all the 
means of grace and salvation, all the candle-light of the mi- 
nistry, are good helps, yet the darkness of the night will not 
be gone, before the Sun of righteousness arise in our hearts. 
Hence it is that it proves so difiicult a matter to comfort a 
distressed soul ; " I shall one day go down to hell," saith the 
^biil. Let all the ministers under heaven cry, " Comfort ye, 
comfort ye;" still he replies, " Will the Lord pardon me?" Let 
me speak therefore to you that are ministers : You do well to 

64 The Doctmie of Regeneration. 

labour to give comfort to a poor fainting soul; but always 
say, ** Comfort, Lord : O Lord, say unto this poor soul, that 
Thou art his salvation." 

3. Hope in Christ 

The mind being enlightened, the Lord calls on the affec- 
tions ; come desire, come love ; but the first voice is to hope. 
Now this aff'ection is set out to meet mercy afar off, it is the 
looking out of the soul: ** Oh, when will it be. Lord? Thou 
sayest mercy is prepared, thou sayest mercy is approaching; 
Oh, when will it come. Lord?" 

The manner how God's Spirit works this, is discerned in 
three particulars : the Lord doth sweetly stay the heart, and 
fully persuade the soul, that a man's sins are pardonable, and 
that all his sins may be pardoned, and that all the good things 
he wanteth may be bestowed : when a poor sinner seeth no 
rest in the creature, nor in himself, though all means, all help, 
all men, all angels, should join together; then the Lord lifteth 
up his voice, and saith from heaven. Thy sins are pardonable 
in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

2. The Lord doth sweetly persuade the soul that all his sins 
are pardonable ; the Lord persuades his heart that he intendeth 
mercy; by this means hope comes to be assured, knowing the 
promise shall be at the last accomplished : the former only sus- 
tained the heart, but this comforts the soul, that undoubtedly 
it shall have mercy: the Lord Jesus came to seek, and to save, 
that which was lost: now saith the broken and humble sin- 
ner, God saith. Come inito me, all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden: ** I am weary, and unless the Lord intend good unto 
me, why should he invite me, and bid me come? surely he 
means to shew me mercy, nay, he promiseth to relieve me 
when I come, therefore he will do good unto me." 

3. The Lord lets in some taste of the sweetness of his love, 
so that the soul is deeply affected with it ; it is the letting in 
the riches of his love, that turneth the expectation of the soul 
another way, yea, it turneth the whole stream of the soul 

I desire you, I entreat you, if you have any hope of heaven, 
if you have any treasure in Christ, labour to quicken this affec- 
tion above all; the means are these: 1. Labour to be much 
acquainted with the precious promises of God, to have them 
at hand, and upon all occasions : these are thy comforts, and 
will support thy soul. 

2. Maintain in thy heart a deep and serious acknowledgment 
of that supreme authority of the Lord, to do what he will, and 
how he will, according to his pleasure. Alas ! we think too often 
to bring God to our bow ; " We have hoped thus long, and God 
hath not answered; and shall we wait still?" Wait! ay, wait. 

The Doctrine of Regeneration, 65 

and bless God that you may wait ; if you may lie at God's feet, 
and put your mouths in the dust, and at the end of your days 
have one crumb of mercy, it is enough. Therefore, check those 
distempers. '* Shall I wait still?" It is a strange thing, that a 
poor worm, worthy of hell, should take state, and stand upon 
terms with God ; " he will not wait upon God :" Who must wait 
then? Must God wait, or man wait? It was the apostles' ques- 
tion. Wilt thou no20 restore the kitigdom to Israel? To whom 
our Saviour answered. It is not for you to know the times and 
seasons; as who should say. It is for you to wait, and to expect 
mercy, it is not for you to know. * If you begin to wrangle, 
and say, '* How long. Lord? — When, Lord? — And why not 
now. Lord? — Why not I, Lord?" now check thy own heart, 
and say, " It is not for me to know, it is for me to be humble, 
and abased, and wait for mercy." 

4. A Desire after Christ. 

When the soul is humbled, and the eye opened, then he be- 
gins thus to reason ; " Oh, happy I that see mercy ; but misera- 
ble I, if I come to see this, and never have a share in it! O 
why not I, Lord? My soul now thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty 
land; my affections now hunger after righteousness, both in- 
fused and imputed." Now this desire is begotten thus: 

When the soul is come so far, that after a thorough convic- 
tion of sin, and sound humiliation under God's mighty hand, it 
hath a seasonable revelation of the glorious mysteries of Christ, 
of his excellencies, invitations, truth, tender-heartedness, of 
the heavenly splendour of the pearl of great price ; then doth 
the soul conceive, by the help of the Holy Ghost, this desire 
and vehement longing: and lest any cozen themselves by any 
misconceits about it ; — it is then known to be saving, 

1 . When it is j oined with an hearty willingness and unfeigned 
resolution, to sell all, to part with all sin, to bid adieu for ever to 
our darling delight. If thou desirest earnestly, thou wilt work 
accordingly; for as the desire is, so will thy endeavour be. 

2. When it is earnest, vehement, extreme thirsting after 
Christ, as the parched earth for refreshing showers, or the hunted 
hart for the water-brooks. We read of a Scottish penitent, 
who, a little before his confession, freely confessed his fault, to 
the shame, as he said, of himself, and of the devil, but to the 
glory of God : he acknowledged it to be so heinous and horri- 
ble, that had he a thousand lives, and could die ten thousand 
deaths, he could not make satisfaction. " Notwithstanding," 
saith he, ** Lord, thou hast left me this comfort in thy word, 
that thou hast said, * Come unto me, all ye that are weary and 
heavy laden, and I will refresh you:' Lord, I am weary; Lord, 
I am heavy-laden with my sins, which are innumerable ; I am 
ready to sink, Lord, even into hell, unless thou in thy mercy 

3 I 

66 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

put to thine hand, and deliver me: Lord, thou hast promised, 
by thine own word out of thy mouth, that thou wilt refresh the 
weary soul/' And with that he thrust out one of his hands, and, 
reaching as high as he could towards heaven, he with a louder 
voice cried, " I challenge thee. Lord, by that word, and by that 
promise thou hast made, that thou perform and make it good 
to me, that call for ease and mercy at thy hands." Proportion- 
ably, when heavy-heartedness for sin hath so dried up the 
bones, and the angry countenance of God so parched the heart, 
that the poor soul begins now to gasp for grace, as thirsty land 
for drops of rain; then the poor sinner, though dust and ashes, 
with an holy humility thus speaks unto Christ, " O merciful 
Lord God, thou art Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the 
end ; thou sayest it is done, of things that are yet to come, so 
faithful and true are thy promises. Thou hast promised by 
thine own word out of thine own mouth, that unto him that is 
athirst, thou wilt give of the fountain of the water of life freely. 
O Lord, I thirst, I faint, I languish, I long for one drop of mer- 
cy: as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so panteth my 
soul after thee, O God, and after the yearning bowels of thy 
compassions : had I now in possession the glory, the wealth, and 
pleasures, of the whole world ; nay, had I ten thousand lives, 
joyfully would I lay them down, to have this poor trembling 
soul received into the bleeding arms of my blessed Redeemer. 
O Lord, my spirit within me is melted into tears of blood, my 
heart is shivered into pieces ; out of the very place of dragons, 
and shadow of death, do I lift up my thoughts heavy and sad 
before thee. The remembrance of my former vanities and pol- 
lutions, is a vomit to my soul, and it is sorely wounded by the 
grievous representation thereof; the very flames of hell. Lord, 
the fury of thy just wrath, the scorchings of my own conscience, 
have so wasted and parched mine heart, that my thirst is in- 
satiable, my bowels are hot within me, my desire after Jesus 
Christ, pardon, and grace, is greedy as the grave; the coals 
thereof are coals of fire, which have a most vehement flame ; 
and. Lord, in thy blessed book thou callest and criest, Ho, 
every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. In that great day 
of the feast, thou stoodest, and criedst with thine own mouth. 
If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink; and these 
^re thine own words, Those who hunger and thirst after righ- 
teousness, shall be filed. I challenge thee. Lord, in this my 
extremest thirst after thine own blessed self, and spiritual 
life in thee, by that word and by that promise which thou 
hast made, that thou make it good to me, that lies grovelling 
in the dust, and trembling , at thy feet: Oh! open now that 
promised well of life, for f must drink, or else I die." 

The means to obtain this desire, are these three : 
, 1 Be acquainted thoroughly with thine own necessities, with 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 67 

that emptiness that is in thyself. A groundless presumption 
makes a man careless; see into thine own necessities, confess 
the want of this desire after the Lord Jesus Christ. 

2. Labour to spread forth the excellency of all the beauty 
and glory that is in the promises of God : couldest thou but 
view them in their proper colours, they would even ravish 
thee, and quicken thy desires. 

3. After all this, know it is not in thy power to bring thy 
heart to desire Christ; thou canst not hammer out a desire 
upon thy own anvil, hew thy own rock as long as thou wilt ; 
nay, let all the angels in heaven, and all the ministers on 
earth, provoke thee, yet if the hand of the Lord be wanting, 
thou shalt not lift up thine heart, nor step one step towards 
heaven : then go to him who is able to work this desire in thy 
soul. Remember, desires grow not in thy garden, they spring 
not from the root of thy abilities : O seek unto God, and con- 
fess, " In truth. Lord, it is thou from whom come all our good 
desires, it is thou must work them in us ; and therefore, Lord, 
quicken thou this soul, and enlarge this heart of mine, for thou 

,only art the God of desire." Thus hale down a desire from 
the Lord, and from the promise, for there only must thou 
have it; the smoking flax God will not quench. Flax will 
not smoke, but a spark must come into it, and that will make 
it catch fire and smoke. Thus lay your hearts before the 
Lord, and say, " Good Lord, here is only flax, here is only a 
stubborn heart, but strike thou by the promise one spark from 
heaven, that I may have a smoking desire after Christ, and 
after grace. 

5. A Love of Christ. 

We have run through two affections, Hope and Desire, and 
the next is Love. A possible good stirs up hope; a necessary 
excellency in that good, settleth desire; and a relish in that 
good settled, kindles love. This is the order of God's work; 
if the good be absent, the understanding saith, it is to be de- 
sired, O that I had it! Then it sends out hope, and that waits 
for good, and stays till he can see it; and yet if that good 
cannot come, then desire hath another work ; it goes up and 
down- wandering, and seeketh and sueth for Christ Jesus. 
After this, if the Lord Jesus be pleased to come himself into 
the view of the heart which longeth thus after him, then love 
leads him into the soul, and tells the will of him, saying, Lo ! 
here is Jesus Christ the Messiah, that hath ordered these 
great things for his saints and people. 

The ground of this love is God's Spirit in the promise, let- 
ting in some intimation of God's love into the soul. We love 
him, because he loved us first: the burning glass must receive 
heat of the beams of the sun, before it burn any thing; so 
there must be a beam of God's love to fall upon the soul, be- 

68 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

fore it can love God again ; / dreio them with the cords of a 
man, even with the bands of love. God lets in the cords of love 
into the soul, and that draws love again to God. 

This love of God doth beget our love in three particulars: 
First, there is a sweetness and a relish which God's love lets 
into the soul, and warms the heart with. A fainting sinner is 
cold at heart, and therefore the Lord lets in a drop of his 
loving-kindness, and this warms the heart, and the soul is 
even filled with the happiness of the mercy of God. 

Secondly, as that sweetness warms the heart, so the free- 
ness of the love of God begins to kindle this love in the soul, 
that it sparkles again: God setteth out his love towards us, 
seeing that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. This 
commends the love of God, the Lord sends to poor and misera- 
ble sinners, and saith, Commend my mercy to such a one, and 
tell him, that though he hath been an enemy to me, yet I am 
a friend to him; and though he hath been. rebellious against 
me, yet I am a God and a Father to him. When a poor sinner 
considers this with himself, he saith, " Is the Lord so merciful 
to me? I that loved my sins, and continued in them, had it 
not been just that I should have perished in them? But will 
the Lord not only spare his enemy, but give his Son for him? 

let my soul for ever rejoice in this unconceivable goodness 
of God!" Be thy heart never so hard, if it have but the sense 
of this, it cannot but stir thee to love. 

Thirdly, the greatness of the freeness of this mercy of God, 
being settled upon the heart, inflames it; the sweetness warms 
the heart, this freeness kindles the fire ; and when the greatness 
of the sweetness comes to be valued, this sets the heart all on a 
flame. This will make the soul say. What ! I that havedone all 
that I could against this good God ! O, it breaks my heart to 
think of it ! There was no name under heaven that I did blas- 
pheme more than this ; no command under heaven I so much 
despised, as the command of God and of Christ; no spirit that 

1 grieved so much as the good Spirit of God ; and therefore 
had the Lord only given me a look, or spoken a word to me, it 
had been an infinite mercy ; but to send his Son to save me, it is 
incomparable : I could not conceive to do so much evil against 
him, as he hath done good to me : O the breadth of that mercy 
beyond all limits ! O the length of that mercy beyond all time ! 
O the depth of that mercy below a man's misery ! O the 
height of that mercy above the height of my understanding! 
If my hands were all love, that I could work nothing but love ; 
and if mine eyes were able to see nothing but love ; and my 
mmd to think of nothing but love ; and if I had a thousand 
bodies, they were all too little to love that God, that hath 
thus unmeasurably loved me, a poor sinful hell-hound. O 
Lord, my strength, O how should I but love thee I 

The Doctrine of Regeneratian. 69 

But how may I know whether my love be a true love, or a 
false love? How may I know that my love is of the right 

Let every man put his love upon the trial, and examine 
thus, whether thou dost welcome Christ and grace according 
to the worth of them? If thou dost, it will appear in these 
particulars : 

1. Observe the root from whence thy love came. Canst 
thou say, I love the Lord, because he hath loved me? Tlien 
thy love is right. God cannot but like that love which came 
from himself. Is thy soul affected and enlarged in love to the 
Lord because thou hast felt the sweetness of his grace? Canst 
thou say, the Lord hath let in a glimpse of his favour? And 
the Lord hath said in his truth, he looks to him that trembles 
at his word; the minister said it, and the Spirit saith it, that 
my mercy is registered in heaven: O how should I love 
the Lord ! My sins are many, which I have bewailed ; my sighs 
I have put up to heaven, and at the last the Lord hath given 
me a gracious answer: O how shall I love the Lord my 
strength? If it be thus with thee, thy love is sound. 

2. If thou entertain thy Saviour as it beseems him, thou 
must entertain him as a king, give up all to him, and entertain 
none with him, but such as are attendants upon him ; love 
all in Christ, and for Christ, but express thy love and joy to 
Christ above all : he is a king, and all the rest are but as re- 
tainers. He that loves any thing equal with Christ, doth not 
rightly love Christ. 

3. The soul that rightly entertains Christ is marvellously 
weary and watchful that he may not sadden that good Spirit 
of God, to grieve him, and cause him to go away. The spouse 
sought long for her beloved, and at last brought him home ; 
and v/hen she had welcomed him, she gives a charge to all the 
house not to stir, nor awake her love. When a prince comes 
into the house of a great man, what charge is there given to 
make no noise in the night! The soul, when it hath received 
the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, doth thus ; he gives a peremptory 
charge to keep watch and ward, and gives a charge to hope, 
and desire, and love, and joy, and the mind, and all, not to 
grieve or molest the good Spirit of God ; let there be no mo- 
tion but to entertain it, no advice but to receive it, and do 
nothing that may work the least kind of dislike unto it. 

And now let me prevail with your hearts to this duty ; love 
the Lord, all ye his saints. Whom will you love, if you love not 
him? Oh ! you poor ones, love ye the Lord, for you have need ; 
and all you rich ones, love ye the Lord, for you have cause ; 
and you little ones too : — he knocks at every man's heart, and 
persuades every man's soul; love ye the Lord. 

The means are these: 1. Give attendance daily to the pro- 

70 The Doctrine of Regeneration, 

mise of grace, and Christ; drive away all other suitors from 
the soul, and let nothing come between the promise and it. 

2. Labour to be thoroughly acc[uainted with the beauty and 
sweetness of Christ in the promise. 

Christ is worthy in himself: if we had a thousand hearts to 
bestow, we were not able to love him sufficiently. What would 
you love? Wouldst thou have beauty? then thy Saviour is 
beautiful; Thou art fairer than the children of men, Psal. xlv. 2. 
Wouldst thou have strength? then thy Saviour is strong; 
Gird thy sicord on thy thigh, O most mighty, Psal. xlv. 3. 
Wouldst thou have riches ? thy Saviour is more rich, if it be 
possible, than he is strong; He is heir of all things, Heb. i. 1. 
Wouldst thou have wisdom? then thy Saviour is wise, yea, 
wisdom itself; Li him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge. Col. ii. 3. Wouldst thou have life eternal? Christ 
is the author of life and happiness to all that have him. 

And Christ deserves our love, in regard of beneiits to us. 
Be man never so worthy in himself, yet if he have expressed 
the part of an enemy, a woman saith, I will not have him 
though he have all the world. This takes off the affection. 
It is not so with the Lord Jefsus : as he is worthy of all love 
in himself, so he hath dealt mercifully with you. In your 
sickness, who helped you? in wants, who supplied you? in 
anguish of heart, who relieved you? It was Jesus Christ. Oh! 
therefore love him ; deal with him as he deserves ; enlarge 
your hearts to him for ever. 

Yea, Christ seeks our love : here is the admiration of mercy, 
that our Saviour, who hath been rejected by a company of sin- 
ful creatures, should seek their love ! For shame, refuse him 
not, but let him have love ere he go. Had the Lord received 
us when we had come to him and humbled our hearts before 
him, had he heard when we had spent our days and all our 
strength in begging and craving, it had been an infinite 
mercy: but when the Lord JesusChrist shall seek to us by his 
messengers, (it is all the work we have to do, to woo you for 
the Lord Jesus Christ,) when he shall come and wait upon us, 
and seek our love; Oh, this is the wonder of mercies! He 
looks for no portion, he will take thee and all thy wants. 
Get you home then ; and every one, in secret, labour to deal 
truly with your own hearts; make up a match in this manner, 
and say, ** Is it possible that the Lord should look so low? that 
a prince should send to a poor peasant? that majesty should 
stoop to meanness? heaven to earth? God to man? Hath the 
Lord offered mercy to me? and doth he require nothing of 
me but to love him again?" Call upon your hearts, I charge 
you, and say thus, *' Lord, if all the light of mine eyes were 
love, and all the speeches of my tongue were love, it were 
all too little to love thee: Oh, let me love thee!" 

The Doctrine of Regeneration. 71 

6. A Itelying on Christ. 

We are now come to the work of the will, which is the great 
wheel of the soul. The former affections were but as hand- 
maids to usher in Christ. The mind saith, " I have seen Christ ;" 
Hope saith, *' I have waited :" Desire saith, " I have lono-ed:" 
Love saith, " I am kindled :" Then saith the will, " I will have 
Christ, it shall be so :" and this makes up the match. The 
seeds of faith went before ; now faith is come to some perfec- 
tion; now the soul reposes itself upon the Lord Jesus. 

And this reposing or resting itself, discovers a five-fold act : 

First, it implies a going out of the soul to Christ: when the 
soul seeth this, that the Lord Jesus is his aid, and must ease 
him, and pardon his sins, then, " Let us go to that Christ," 
saith he ; ** it is the Lord's call. Come to mc, all ye that are 
weary." this voice coming home to the heart, and the pre- 
vailing sweetness of the call overpowering the heart, the soul 
goes put, and flings itself upon the riches of God's grace. 

Secondly, it lays fast hold upon Christ : when the Lord saith. 
Come, my love, come my dove, O come away ! *' Behold I 
come," saith she ; and when she is come, she fasteneth upon 
Christ, saying, *' My beloved is mine, and I am his :" faith 
lays hold on the Lord, and will not let mercy go, but cleaves 
unto it, though it conflict with the Lord ; Should he slay me, 
saith Job, yet ivill I trust in him. 

Thirdly, it flings the weight of all its troubles, guilt, and 
corruptions, upon the Lord Jesus Christ. As when a man can- 
not go of himself, he lays all the weight of his body upon ano- 
ther; so the soul goes to Christ, and lays all the weight of itself 
upon Christ, and saith, " I have no comfort, O Lord ; all my 
discomforts I lay upon Christ, and I rely on the Lord for com- 
fort and consolation:" Viho is ^A^s, saith Solomon, that cometh 
up from the ivilderness, leaning on her beloved! Cant. viii. 5. The 
party coming is the church, the wilderness is the troubles 
and vexations the church meets with, and the beloved is the 
Lord Jesus Christ; now the church leans herself all upon her 
husband, she walks along with him, but he bears all the bur- 
den : Cast all your cares upon him, saith Peter, ybr he careth 
for you, 1 Pet. v. 7. 

I^ourthly, it draws virtue, and derives power, from the Lord 
Jesus Christ for succour and supplies ; and here is the espe- 
cial life of faith, it goes for mercy, and grace, and comfort in 
Christ; he knows 'tis to be had from him, and therefore he 
fetched all from him : With joy shall ye draw water out of the 
wells of salvation, Isa. xii. 3. The fountain of salvation is 
Christ, and all the waters of life, of grace and mercy, are in 
Christ Jesus : now it is not enough to let down the bucket 
into the well, but it must be drawn out also ; it is not enough 

72 The Doctrine of Regeneration. 

to come to Christ, but we must draw the water of grace from 
Christ to ourselves. 

Fifthly, faith leaves the soul with the promise ; yea, not- 
withstanding all delays, denials, discouragements from God, 
faith brings on the heart still ; it will be sure to lie at the gate, 
and keep the soul with the promise, whatever befals it. The 
faithful soul lays hold upon the Lord for mercy, pardon, power, 
and grace, and though the Lord seem to give him up to the 
torment of sin and corruption, yet the soul saith, " Though 
my soul go down to hell, I will hold here for mercy, till the 
Lord comfort and pardon, and subdue graciously these cursed 
corruptions, which I am not able to master myself." 

Hast thou gotten! faith? then labour to husband this grace 
well. It is a shame to see those that have a right and title to 
grace and Christ, yet live at such an under-rate : I would have 
you to live above the world, for the Lord doth not grudge his 
people comfort, but would have them live cheerfully, and have 
strong consolations, and mighty assurance of God's love. Is 
there not cause? surely there is. Why, faith, if it be right, will 
make the life of a Christian most easy, most comfortable. 
Unfaithful souls sink in their sorrows upon every occasion, but 
faith gives ease to a man in aH his conversation: 1. Because 
faith hath a skill to put over all cares to another. We take up 
the cross, but faith casts all the care on Christ: an easy matter 
it is to lie under the burden, when another bears all the weight 
of it. Look how it is with two ferry-men, the one hales his 
boat about the shore, and cannot get oiF, but tugs and pulls, 
and never puts her forth to the tide ; the other puts his boat 
upon the stream, and sets up his sail, and then he may sit still, 
and the wind will carry him whither he is to go : — just thus is it 
with a faithful soul and an unbeliever ; all the care of the first, 
is to put himself upon the stream of God's providence, and set 
up the sail of faith, and take the gale of God's mercy ; so he goes 
cheerfully, because it is not he that carries himself, but the Lord 
Jesus : whereas every unfaithful soul tugs and pull at the busi- 
ness, and can find neither ease nor success. 2. Because faith 
sweetens all afflictions : howsoever it apprehends all troubles 
and afflictions, yet withal it apprehends the faithfulness of God, 
ordering all for our good ; and that's the reason why all our 
troubles are digested comfortably, without any harshness at all. 

You will say. If faith brings such ease, how may a man that 
hath faith, improve it, to have such comfort by it? I answer, 
the rules are four : 

1. Labour to gain some evidence to thy own soul, that thou 
hast a title to the promise : the reason why poor Christians 
go drooping, and are overwhelmed with their sins and miseries, 
is because they see not their title to mercy, nor their evidence 
of God's love. 

71ie Doctrine of Regeneration, 73 

2. Labour to set an high price on the promises of God : 
one promise, and the sweetness of God's mercy in Christ, is 
better than all the honours or riches in the world ; prize these 
at this rate, and thou canst not choose but find ease and be 

3. Labour to keep the promises ever at hand. What is it 
to me, though I have a thing in the house, if I have it not at 
my need? Now, for the Lord's sake, let me entreat thee be 
wise for thy poor soul. There is many a fainting-fit comes 
over the heart of many a poor Christian, persecutions with- 
out, and sorrows and corruptions within ; therefore keep thy 
cordials about thee, and be sure to have them within reach ; 
take one, and bring another, and be refreshed by another, 
and go singing to the grave, and to heaven for ever. 


The groicing of the Soul icith Christ. 

Hitherto of the first part of the soul's implantation; to 
wit, of the putting the soul into Christ. We are now come to 
the second, which is, the growing of the soul with Christ. 
These two take up the nature of ingrafting a sinner into the 
stock, Christ Jesus. Now this growing is accomplished by 
two means : 

1. By an union of the soul with Christ. 

2. By a conveyance of sap or sweetness (all the treasures 
of grace and happiness) that is in Christ, to the soul. 

First: Every believer is joined unto Christ, and so joined 
and knit, that he becomes one spirit. 1. He is joined, as a 
friend to a friend, as a father to a child, as a husband to a 
wife, as a graft to a tree, as a soul to a body. So is Christ 
to a believer; ** I live, yet not I, but the Lord Jesus liveth in 
me." 2. So joined, that the believer comes to be one spirit 
with Christ: this mystery is great, and beyond the reach of 
that little light I enjoy; only I shall communicate what I 
conceive, in these three conclusions: 1. That the Spirit of 
God, the third person in the Trinity, doth really accompany 
the word, but more especially the precious promises of the 
gospel. 2. The Spirit, accompanying the promise of grace and 
salvation, doth thereby leave a supernatural power, a spiritual 
and overpowering virtue, upon the soul, and thereby brings 
it unto Christ: it is not so much any thing in the soul, as a 
spiritual assisting, and moving, and w^orking upon the soul, by 
virtue whereof it is moved and carried to the Lord Jesus Christ. 
3. The Spirit of grace in the promise, working thus upon the 
heart, causeth the heart to close with the promise, and with 
itself in the promise; and this is to be one spirit. 
3. K 

74 The Doctrine of Regeneratio?t. 

This may shew us that the sins of the faithful are grievous 
to the blessed Spirit; not only because of mercies, bonds, 
and engagements, which the believer hath received, but be- 
cause a man is come so near to Christ and the Spirit, as to be 
one spirit with Christ. What, lodge an unclean spirit with a 
clean spirit of the Lord ! The Holy Ghost cannot endure this : 
Let nojieshly communication come out of your mouth, Ephes. iv. 
29. Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, because by it you are 
sealed unto the day of redemption : the good Spirit of the 
Lord hath sealed you unto redemption, and knit you unto 
himself; and will you rend yourselves from him, and grieve 
him? O grieve not the holy Spirit. 

Secondly : As there is an union with Christ, so there is a 
conveyance of all spiritual grace from Christ, to all those that 
believe in him: 1. There is fully enough in the Lord Jesus 
Christ for every faithful soul. 2. As there is enough in Christ, 
so Christ doth supply or communicate whatsoever is most fit. 
3. As the Lord doth communicate what is fit, so he doth pre- 
serve what he doth bestow and communicate. 4. As the Lord 
doth preserve what he communicates, so he quickens the grace 
that he now doth preserve ; and in the end he crowns it all. 

Hence we see whither the saints of God should go, to fetch 
supply of whatsoever grace they want, yea, increase and per- 
fection of what they have already. Christ is made all in all 
to his servants : why then, away to the Lord Jesus ; he calls 
and invites, *' I counsel thee to buy of me eye-salve." If thou 
be an accursed man, buy of Christ justification; if thou be a 
polluted creature, buy of Christ sanctification : With thee is 
the well-spring of -life, saith David, and in thy light we shall 
only see light. It is not with us, but with thee ; it is not in 
our heads, or hearts, or performances, 'tis only in Christ to be 
found, only from Christ to be fetched. I deny not but we 
should improve all means, and use all helps ; but in the use 
of all, seek only to Christ; with him is the well of life. Away 
to Christ; wisdom, righteousness, all is in him, and there we 
must have them. 

You will say, What are the means to obtain these graces 
from Christ? I answer: First, eye the promise daily, and keep 
it within view. Secondly, yield thyself, and give way to the 
stroke of the promise, and to the power of the Spirit. For 
instance, imagine thy heart begins to be pestered with vain 
thoughts, or with a proud haughty spirit; you must not be 
discouraged; no, but eye the promise, and hold fast thereon, 
and say. Lord, thou hast promised all grace unto thy servants, 
take therefore this heart, and these affections, and let thy 
Spirit frame them aright according to thy own good will : by 
that Spirit of wisdom. Lord, inform me; by that Spirit of 
eanctihcation. Lord, cleanse me from all my corruptions ; by 

The Doctrme of Regetieratlo/h 75 

that Spirit of grace. Lord, quicken and enable me to the dis- 
charge of every holy service. Thus carry thyself by the 
power of the Spirit of the Lord, and thou shalt find thy heart 
strengthened upon all occasions. 

For conclusion, to dart this use deeper into your hearts : If 
every believer be joined with Christ, and from Christ there be 
a conveyance of all spiritual graces unto every believer; then 
above all labour for Christ in all things : never let thy heart 
be quieted, never let thy soul be contented, until thou hast 
obtained Christ. Grace indeed is good, and duties are ^ood : 
seek for all, we should do so ; perform all, we ought ^o do 
so; but oh! Christ in all, above all, more than all. Thus I 
have shewed you the way to the Lord Jesus ; I have shewed 
you also how you may come to be implanted into the Lord 
Jesus: and now I leave you in the hands of a Saviour, in 
the bowels of a Redeemer; and 1 think I cannot leave you 









You have heard the doctrine, precepts, and the pattern of 
a man in his second, or new birth : now remains what follows 
all his life ; and therein, 

1. His privileges 2. His duties. 

1. His privileges, as he is now a believer in Christ, are — 
Justification, — Sanctification, — Glorification, 

The first privilege which immediately follows our union 
with Christ, is justification. 

A man may be said to be justified either virtually, or ac- 
tually ; either in Christ, or in himself. 

1. Virtually, in Christ: and this is from the day of Christ's 
passion, and in the virtue of his satisfaction ; yet this in- 
tendeth no more but that satisfaction is made, and remission 
purchased, by the blood of Christ. 

2. Actually, in himself: when a man hath the possession of 
justification, immediately after his union with the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Now this justification, considered as it is a state of 
favour with God, which a man at his first believing is put into, 
is not reiterated ; yet the particular acts of pardon, and im- 
putations of Christ's righteousness, are continually by God 
communicated unto the believer. In this respect this actual 
justification, or particular acts of pardon, hath its degrees of 
progression : the beginning thereof is laid in our first union 
with Christ; the consummation of it is not till the Judge at 
the last day hath solemnly pronounced the sentence of final 
absolution. Between these, there is a progressive work of 
justification, by the constant actings of the Spirit applying 
the blood of Christ by faith, to the quiet and comfort of the 

The Practice of Sanctification. 77 

soul; the first we may term initial justification, the second 
progressive, the last perfective : the first is wrought and sealed 
in the first sacrament ; the second is wrought and sealed in 
the second sacrament ; and both these branches of sacramen- 
tal justification are to us the pre-assurance of that perfect 

It hath been commonly said by some of our best divines, 
that justification is transacted in our first incorporation into 
Christ; at which time, it is conceived that the pardon of all 
sin is sealed to the believer at once. But I fear the misunder- 
standing of this point hath laid the ground, upon which some 
build that unhappy structure, which turneth the grace of God 
into wantonness. Who knoweth not that justification, ac- 
cording to the scripture, is the act of a judge pronouncing a 
judicial sentence, wherein he absolveth the person of the sin- 
ner from all sin and punishment due to him for sin, and that 
for the alone righteousness of the surety, Christ, freely im- 
puted, and by faith received of him? And according to this, 
I suppose we shall not err if we say, 1. That a work of 
justification is even as yet to us future, viz. at the last day, 
when we shall receive a final discharge, and when God shall 
wipe away all tears from our eyes: and yet, 2. That in our 
first union with Christ there is a work of justification, viz. 
actual imputation of Christ's righteousness, and actual remis- 
sion of all sin, or of what sin for the present the soul stands 
guilty of, at once, or at that time v.hen it is first united to 
Christ. I dare not say, that justification is one individual 
act; or that all sins, past, present, and to come, are remitted 
to the believer at once ; but this I say, that in our first union, 
all our sins, past and present, are actually pardoned; and 
this favour received, is a pledge of assurance, that in future 
also, by applying ourselves to Christ, we may receive the for- 
giveness of our daily sins, and that at the last day we shall 
at once be absolved from all accusations laid in against us, 
and that justification, besides those particular acts of pardon, 
and imputation of Christ's righteousness, doth note a state 
of grace, and reconciliation with God, for the imputed right- 
eousness of Christ. 

And being justified by faith, we have peace with God; that is, 
Christ's righteousness being imputed, and sins pardoned, we 
have peace with God ; not, only peace from God in our con- 
sciences, but peace with God in our reconcilement to him, 
and in his favour towards us. This reconciliation consists in 
two things: 1. In our peace with God, whereby the Lord lays 
by all acts of hostility against us: 2. In the love and favour 
of God; he now loves us, not only with a love of good-will, 
but with a love of complacency and delight. Oh ! consider 
what a blessed state this is I 

78 The Practice of Sanctlfication, 

Adoption follows reconciliation; whereby the Lord ac- 
counts us sons : Behold icliat manner of love the Father hath 
bestoiced iipon us, that we should be called the sons of God. The 
Lord accounts us just in our justification, friends in our re- 
conciliation, sons in our adoption : now this adoption is 
either begun in this life, or perfected in the world to come, 
when we shall receive all the privileges of sons. 

Sanctification follows adoption: no sooner are we sons, 
but we receive the image of our heavenly Father in sanctifi- 
cation ; the manner of it is thus : 

1. The Spirit works in us a principle of spiritual life: the 
scripture sometimes calls it a seed, sometimes a spring or foun- 
tain, sometimes the life of Christ, because it is conveyed unto 
us by the Spirit of Christ, by means of our union with Christ. 
What name soever we give it, we may not conceive it to be a 
new faculty added unto those which are in men by nature, but 
an improvement of those abilities to work spiritually, as they 
did naturally before regeneration; hence it is that a regene- 
rate man in scripture is said to walk after the Spirit, — to be 
led by the Spirit, — to walk in the Spirit. 

2. From this fountain spring all those habits of spiritual 
grace, which are severally distinguished by the name of faith, 
hope, love. Although, to speak properly, they are but the 
diversifications of that spiritual principle within us, distin- 
guished by these names. 

3. From these habits of grace abiding; in us, proceed spiri- 
tual motions and operations. And as it is with natural habits, 
so it is with spiritual ; they are much increased and strength- 
ened by the use and exercise of them, and are as much weak- 
ened by disuse and neglect of such an exercise. 

The excellency of this privilege appears in these particulars : 

1. This is our glory and beauty, even glorification begun: 
what greater glory than to be like unto God? We are changed 
into the same image, from glory to glory: every degree of grace 
is glory ; and the perfection of glory in heaven consists chiefly 
in the perfection of grace. 

2. This will give us abundance of sweet peace. From whence 
come troubles, and doubts of God's favour and love? Is it not 
some guilt or decay here? is it not our secret dalliance with 
some known sin? On the other side, what was Paul's rejoicing? 
Hezekiah's peace? The one cried, that in all sincerity and sim- 
plicity he had his conversation among men; the other. Lord, 
remember I have walked before thee uprightly : not that this 
was the ground of their peace, (for that only is free grace in 
Christ) but the means of their peace : that is a cursed peace, 
that is kept by looking to Christ, and yet loving our lusts> 

3. By this we have comfortable evidence of our justification : 
nor is this a running upon the covenant of works ; — is not sane- 

The Practice of Sanctification , 79 

iification, the writing of the law in our hearts, a privilege of 
the covenant of grace, as well as justification? and can the 
evidencing of one privilege by another, be a running upon the 
covenant of works ? Oh ! consider, how many evangelical pro- 
mises are made to persons invested with such and such o-races; 
as of poverty, mourning, meekness. And to what end, but that 
every one may take, and be assured of, his portion manifested 
particularly therein? Surely none are justified, but they are 
sanctified ; or if not sanctified, they are not justified. 

Glorification is the last in execution of God's eternal pur- 
pose : and herein we are made partakers of those endless and 
unutterable joys, which neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath 
heard, nor the heart of any man conceived. 



Of the Equity of Duties. 

No sooner is the soul translated into the state of grace, and 
crowned with those glorious privileges, but immediately it 
cries out, O Lord, what shall I do for thee? how shall I live to 
thee? Good reason the soul should now give up herself to 
Christ, for she knows she is not her own, but Christ's. Can 
there be such a heart in any Christian, as to continue in sin, 
because so much grace hath abounded? Oh no! The love of 
Christ constrains us, saith the apostle, because ice thus judge, — • 
that he died for all, that they ivhich live, should not live unto them- 
selves, hut unto hijti ivhich died for them, and rose again. There 
is a principle of love in the hearts of believers, and this love 
of Christ constrains them to live to Christ : Ye are a chosen 
generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people ; 
that ye should shew forth the praises of Christ, who hath called 
you out of darkness into his mafvellous light. 


Of the Insufficiency of Duties. 

But, alas! what are these duties to my Lord? Or what are 
these duties in themselves? 

1. All the duties of man are nothing at all unto God: Cafi 
a man he prof table unto God, as he that is wise can be prof table 
unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art 
righteous? or is it a gain to him, that thou makest thy ways per- 

80 The Practice of SanctificatiofL 

feet? If thou be righteous, ichat givest thou him? or ivhat re- 
ceiveth he from thine hand? All the service of men and angels, 
thouoh they run parallel with the longest lines of eternity, are 
no sufficient recompense for my soul's deliverance ; when we 
have done all, still we must say, we are unprofitable servants. 
2. All the duties of man, are in some respect sinful : '* Chris- 
tians may distinguish between that which is the Spirit, in 
works after renovation, and the whole work after they have 
done it: now althouo:h the motions and assistance of the 
Spirit be pure, holy, and without skum, in the spring, (to wit, 
in itself,) yet by that time these motions and assistances have 
passed through the channels of their hearts, and have been 
mixed with their manifold corruptions in doing, even the 
whole work thereby becomes polluted. If this be so, that 
our best recompense to Christ for his loves be unprofitable to' 
him, eind sinful as done by man ; what shall I say ? how must 
I carry myself to my Redeemer? 


Of the Healing of Duties. 

I DARE not but obey; though all the duties in the world are 
insufficient to recompense those bowels of God's mercies in 
Christ, I must not therefore cast away duties. It is true, I can- 
not but sin in all I do, my best duties are tainted and mingled 
with sin : but will it follow, that because I cannot be more 
clean, therefore I must be more filthy than needs ? Nay, O 
my soul, if thou art married to that bridegroom, Christ, duties 
and all things else are clean to thee. There is an healing of 
duties, if we be in Christ. Certainly that fruit which cometh 
from a root of faith, must needs be good fruit. I believe, there- 
fore I speak, saith the Psalmist : O my soul, canst thou say, 
I believe, therefore I pray ; I believe, therefore I sanctify the 
Lord's day; I believe, therefore I do all duties of obedience. 
Thy obedience then is the fruit of paradise, for it grows on 
the very tree of life. Christ is the sun of righteousness, that 
ariseth with healing in his wings : Christ is that sun, that by 
his heat of love extracts all the sin out of thy duties, and 
so thy duties are healed ; the spiritual part of them being pre- 
sented by the intercession of Christ, and the defects covered 
by the righteousness of Christ. 

2. But how should I knov/ that Christ thus takes my duties 
and heals them, and mingles them with his own incense, and 
carries them in unto God the Father? 

Didst thou never find a spiritual fire come down, as it were, 
upon thy heart, in duty, or after duty? In the times of the Old 
Testament, if they offered up a sacrifice, and a material fire 

The Practice of Sanctlfication. 81 

came down from heaven, and burnt up the sacrifice, it was a 
certain testimony that the sacrifice was accepted : now, in 
the times of the gospel, we must not expect material fire to 
come down upon our duties; but hath the Lord at any time 
caused an inward and spiritual fire to fall down upon thy 
heart, warming the spirit in duty? there the Lord speaks thus 
much to thee, that thy sacrifice is turned into ashes, and it is 
accepted by Jesus Christ. 

This fire issues from the blood and intercessions of Christ, 
our great High-Priest ; it is the efticacy of his blood, and power 
of his glorious intercession, that, when thou feelest any good 
in duties, doth at that very instant prevail with God the Father 
for what thou feelest: say then. Do I now in this ordinance, 
or in this duty, feel my heart warmed, or savingly affected ? 
Oh! I see the Lord Jesus, who sits in glory at the right hand 
of God, now remembers me a poor worm on earth; now I feel 
the fruit of his Spirit, power, grace, comfort, presence, sweet- 
ness; now I taste, I drink, I enjoy, and am abundantly satis- 
fied with, his rivers of pleasures; and if this presence of 
Christ be so sweet, what is himself then? O my soul, if ever 
thou dost relish the blood and Spirit of Christ upon thy spirit 
iu duties, go thy way, and give glory to God, 

—^^.^.^ — 
SECT. IV. . ' 

No Resting i)i Duties. 

And yet be wary, O my soul ! It was Luther^s saying, '* Take 
heed, not only of thy sins, but also of thy duties." Couldst thou 
desire and pray till heaven and earth shook, till thou hadst 
worn thy tongue to the stumps; couldst thou fast till thy skin 
and bone cleave together; couldst thou purpose with resolu- 
tion to be better; couldst thou reform thy heart, head, life, 
tongue, some, nay all sins; couldst thou live like an angel, 
shine like a sun, walk up and down the world like a distressed 
pilgrim; couldst thou die ten thousand deaths; lie in hell so 
many millions of years, as there are piles of grass on the earth, 
or sands on the sea-shore. Or stars in heaven ; I tell thee, not 
one spark of God's wrath against thy sins can be quenched 
by all these duties, nor by any of these sorrows or tears. 

It was Austin's saying, though it sounds harsh, " That re- 
pentance damns more than sin;" meaning, thousands did 
perish by resting therein. 

But how shall any man know that he rests in his duties? 

By these signs following: 

1. It is a sign that a man rests in his duties, if he never found 
it a hard matter to come out of his duties : if thou canst not tell 
the time when thou didst rest in duties, and didst groan to be 
3. L 

82 The Practice of Sanctification. 

delivered from these entanglements, thou hast just cause to 
fear. \ , ^ 

2. ti is h! sign that a man rests in duties, if he exceedingly 
prize the bare performance of duties : those duties that carry 
thee out of thyself unto Christ, make thee to prize Christ. 
Now tell me, dost thou glory in thyself? Dost thou say, I 
was before ignorant, hard-hearted; but now I understand 
better, now I can sorrow for my sins, I can pray with some 
life? Alas, poor soul! these things do argue only the Spirit 
of God breathing on thee, not dwelling in thee. If thou 
restest here, if thou thus enhancest the price of duties, then 
do I pronounce from God, that thou dost rest in duties : Those 
things, saith. Paul, / accounted gain, i. e. before his conver- 
sion, ^wf 710W I account them loss. This is the reason why a 
child of God, commonly after his prayers, doubts much of 
God's love towards him; whereas another man, that falls 
short of him, never so much as questions his estate : the first 
seetn much vileness in his best duties, and so judgeth meanly 
of himself; but the other is ignorant of any such vileness^ 
and therefore esteems highly of them. : J 

3. It is a sign that a man rests in his duties, if he never 
came to be sensible of their poverty, and utter emptiness of 
any good in them. Didst thou never feel thyself in this man- 
ner? Oh! I am ignorant as any beast, as vile as any devil; 
what a nest of sin and rebellion works in my heart? I once 
thought, at least my heart and desires were good ; but now I 
feel no spiritual life. O dead heart ! I am the poorest, basest, 
and blindest creature, that ever lived ! If thou ever feelest 
thyself thus, thou never earnest out of thy duties. 

4. It is a sign that a man rests in his duties, if he gain no 
evangelical righteousness by duties, i. e. if he prize not, desire 
not, delight not in union with, the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence a 
6hild of God asks himself after sermon, after prayer, after sacra- 
iaeht, What have I gained of Christ? Have I got more know- 
ledg-e of Christ? more admiring of the Lord Jesus Christ? Have 
mv affections been raised, my graces acted, my soul refreshed 
•ivith the delights of Christ? On the contrary, a carnal heart, 
that rests in his duties, asketh only, what have I done? I thank 
God, saith the Pharisee, / am not as other men are, &c. — so, I 
pray, and hear, and reform, and sorrow for sin, therefore I shall 
be saved. No such matter: let a man have a bucket of gold, 
doth he think to get water because he hath a bucket? No, no, 
he must let it down into the well, and draw up water with it: 
so must thou let down all thy duties into the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and draw life, and light, and grace, from his fulness, 
otherwise thou shalt perish without Christ. Oh ! that the mi- 
nisters of Christ would become sons of thunder in this matter! 
Many hav^had experience of Christ's enlarging the common 

The Practice of SanctyiQation. 83 

gifts of his Spirit ; but what have they felt of Christ's renew- 
ing, sanctifying, and healing their lusts? Oh! it is far more 
comfortable, to find Christ's power melting thy heart for sii^, 
mortifying thy lusts, quickening thee to holiness, than to find 
ten thousand enlargements in holy performances. 


Of the Use and Ends of Duties, 

And canst thou not, O my soul, be saved by thy duties? To 
what end then shouldest thou pray, or hear, or sorrow, or re- 
pent, or meditate, or examine ? I answer, 

1. That hereby you may express obedience to God's will : Me- 
joice evermore, pray without ceasing, in every thing give thanks; 
for this is the luill of God in Christ Jesus concerning i/ou. 

2. That God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may be 
honoured by the performance of these duties: Herein is my 
Father glorified, that you bear much fruit. Abraham believed, 
and gave God glory. So we should pray, and meditate, and 
hear, and all should tend to the glory of God. 

3. That duties may be as evidences of God's love to them 
who are in Christ Jesus : they cannot save, but they let the 
soul in to Christ, and follow and accompany such a man as 
shall be saved. Duties bring you in to Christ, and are evi^ 
dences when you are in Christ, that the Lord and mercy is 
yours ; even as at the sacrament, the elements of bread and 
w^ine are outward signs to bring Christ and the heart together. 
Indeed, the heart must not rest in these signs ; but when the 
soul is let in to Christ, then faith must let go the outward ele- 
ments, and treat immediately with the Lord Jesus. So grace 
and duties are inward signs ; and while men make use of them 
only as signs and means to let them come in unto Christ, and 
their rejoicing is not in them, but in Christ, their confidence 
is not pitched upon them, but upon Christ, there will be no 
danger at all in making such use of signs; neither is it more 
derogatory to free grace, or to Christ's honour, for God to 
make such effects signs of our union with him, than it was to 
make outward signs of his presence : it's true, these are not 
full testimonies, without the Spirit of Christ. 

4. That they that exercise duties may obtain the promises : 
Godliness is profitable unto all things, saith the apostle, having 
the promise of the life that noio is, and of that ivhich is to come. 
There are many promises scattered up and down in the word ; 
and hereby if God be not a debtor unto thee, yet he is to him- 
self, and to his own faithfulness. — Thou, Lord, payest debts, 
and owest none : it was free for thee, before thou hadst pro- 

84 The Practice of Sanctificatlon. 

mised, whether to give me heaven, or no ; but now the word is 
out of thy mouth, I use duties as means, though I adhere only 
to thee, and to thy faithfulness, who hast promised." Duties 
are considered, first, as services, in respect of the command; 
and secondly, as means to obtain blessing's at God^s hands, 
in relation to his promise : now most in the world perform 
duties as acts of obedience only, and so rest in the present 
performance ; but if we do them in faith, we should have an 
eye to the promise, and look on duties as means to obtain 
some mercy, yea, salvation itself, at God's hands, Phil. ii. 12. 
Kom. X. 10. 2 Cor. vii. 10. 1 Pet. i. 9. 
V But is not this to be saved by duties? 

•* No : for herein we speak not of duties originally, but instru- 
mentally, and with relation to the Lord Jesus Christ; not as 
meritorious causes, but as subordinate means of our salvation 
in the name of Christ: the best of duties, in their own natures, 
are but mere empty pits, and dry channels, though never so 
curiously cut out; but Christ fills them. 

5. That these duties may turn to our comforts. Not so as to 
put confidence in them, to take comfort from them, as causes; 
that cannot be, for who can look upon any thing he doth with 
that boldness? but as the testimony of God's love to us, and 
as the means of consolation. Thus Hezekiah, not as a proud 
Pharisee, but as a thankful acknowledger of what was in him, 
prayed, / beseech thee, O Lord, remember me, how I have walked 
before thee in truth, and with a perfoct heart, and have done that 
which is good in thy sight. We may therefore take comfort 
Irom duties, not so as to rest in them, but as a means, and so 
as to praise God thereby. 

6. That others might receive good, and glorify God. These 
things are good and profitable mito men, saith the apostle ; and. 
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good 
works, and glorify your lather ivhich is in heaven. Christ doth 
not here encourage vain-glory, but he propounds the true ends 
of our visible holiness. There is an exhortation to wives, so 
to walk that their husbands may be w on to the Lord : sweet 
soul, it may be thou prayest for thy husband in a carnal con- 
dition ; thou desirest him to ^o to hear such a minister, such 
a sermon: go on in these duties, adding this to the rest — see 
that thy life also may convert him. 

7. That duties may carry us to the Lord Jesus Christ: he 
alone is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God 
by him, i. e. in the use of the means. Hear a sermon, to carry 
thee to the Lord Jesus; fast and pray, and get a full tide of 
affections in them, to carry thee to Jesus Christ, i. e. to get 
more love of him, more acquaintance with him, more union in 
him, and communion with him : use thy duties as TVoah's dove 
did her wings, carry thee to the ark of the Lord Jesus Christ 

The Practice of Sanctijication. S5 

where only there is rest: if she had never used her wings, she 
had fallen into the waters ; and if she had not returned to the 
ark, she had found no rest. So, if thou shalt use no duties, 
but cast them all off, thou art sure to perish ; and if they con- 
vey thee not to Christ, thou mayest lie down in sorrow. 

8. That the Lord Christ may be exalted, and advanced by 
duties. The main end of duties, is the glory of him who hath 
redeemed us with the price of his blood, and the power of his 
Spirit; this sets the crown on his head. How many perform 
duties, not to set the crown on Christ's head ! But this is the 
main end of ri^ht obedience, that the crown may be set on 
Christ's head, that he who is King of saints, may have the 
honour given him due to his kingly office. O my soul, in 
respect of all those ends, use and exercise duties; but be sure 
of Christ in all, above all, more than all : O let Christ have 
the crown set on his head, give him all the glory. Cast not 
away duties, but cast them down at the feet of Jesus Christ, 
as the twenty-four elders cast their crowns, saying. Thou art 
worthy f Lord, to receive glori/, and honour, and power: for 
thou hast created all things, (all duties,) and for thy pleasure 
they are and were created. 

And yet let me warn you of one dangerous snare : some 
think, if they fetch in their comfort by duties, as by prayer, 
meditation, &c. that then it would be a comfort only of their 
ow^n hammering out, and not the genuine joy of the Holy 
Ghost. A desperate mistake ! they set the workings of God's 
Spirit and their ow^n spirit in opposition; when their spirits 
must stand in subordination to God's: God's Spirit usually 
works our comforts, by setting our own spirits awork upon 
the promises, and by raising our thoughts to the objects of 
our comforts. And yet I deny not, that if any should so think 
to work out his comforts by meditation, prayer, reading the 
word, as to attempt the work in his own strength, and do not 
all in subordination to God, and the Spirit's assistance, the 
comfort will be nothing but vanity, a comfort indeed of their 
own hammerins: out. 


Of the essential Requisites in Duties. 

But what are they we call duties? or what are those essen- 
tial requisites in duties? Many by duties intend nothing but 
that which is external, as, coming to the church, and receiv- 
ing of sacraments. 

I answer, these are like clothes upon a dead man, that cannot 
warm him, because there is no life within. The soul of all du- 
ties is that which is internal; in which respect three ingre- 

86 The Practice of Sanctification. 

dients are necessary, viz. 1. that they be from God, 2. through 
God, and 3. to God. 

1. From God : it is of the very essence of a duty, that it be 
commanded by God. Look to this in thy duties; know the 
Commands, and do them because they are commanded; if" 
thou dost them, and yet knowest not that God commands 
tl^em, this is no true obedience ; or if thou knowest they are 
commanded, but yet dost them not because they are com- 
manded, neither is this obedience to God. In all duties, 
rightly performed, there must be a knowledge of, and an eye 
to, the will of God, Kom. xii. 2. Eph. v. 17. 

2. Through God, i. e. 1. Through the Spirit, who doth spi- 
ritualize them. 2. Through Christ, who presents them, and 
makes them acceptable to God. 

(1.) Through the Spirit of God: now the Spirit works on 
our spirits to the performance of our duties ; and therefore 
look, how much there is of the holy Spirit in duty, so far it is 
sanctified, so far it is accepted, and no further. God is my 
witnesSy saith Paul, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of 
his So7i. In every service we perform, our spirit, stirred up by 
God's Spirit, must needs have a hand in it, or it is but the 
carcase of a right service : the soul, will, and affections, must 
go together with our duties, (that I mean by our spirit,) or 
the vitals are wanting. If a man come to confess his sins, 
and yet slights them inwardly in his heart; if a man pray for 
reconciliation with God, and yet have no longing in his heart 
after it; if he ask grace, or the spirit of mortification, and 
yet his heart doth not inwardly seek it ; — he prays not in the 
spirit, and therefore God will not accept it. 

(2.) Through Christ: for Christ perfects, perfumes, and pre- 
sents our duties to his heavenly Father : As duties come from, 
us, they savour of flesh, but the angel of the covenant mingleth 
incense with them, and so he offers them upon the golden altar 
which is before the throne. Here is sweet comfort, O my soul ! 
what though thy duties are weak, and cold, and confused ; yet 
through Christ they are enlivened with his intercessory Spirit;, 
through Christ they are perfumed with the precious odours of 
his fresh bleeding merits and blessed mediation, and so they 
are made acceptable to God, that he may receive them. 
Observe here a double intercessor : 
One is the Spirit, that helps our infirmities : 
The other is Christ, that makes them acceptable to God. 
* 3. To God : that is, to set forth his glory; for as his name 
is blasphemed when we walk in wickedness, so it is glorified 
in doing our duties. This is the end of all our duties, indeed 
of all our doings : Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, 
do all to the glory of God. One duty sanctifying Christ in the, 
- heart, is more than a thousand. Young Christians,, it may be^ 

The Practice of^Sanctification. ^j^, 

do more works, but not in works oif grace ; the more evangeli- 
cal our works are, the more to God, the better they are: We 
are of the circumcision, loho rejoice in the Lord JesaSy worship 
God in the Spirit y and have no confidence in thejievh. 


LiiJOO \ ,r 


Of the Nature of Self-Denial. 

• Self-denial is a total, thorough, utter abnegation ojT a 
man's own ends, counsels, affections, and a whole prostration 
of himself, and of all that is his, under Christ Jesus. And thus 
\ye have the meaning of Christ, If any man icill come after me, 
let him deny himself; i. e. let him lay aside his own wisdom as 
an empty lamp, his own will as an evil commander, his own 
imaginations as a false rule, his own affections as corrupt 
counsellors, and his own ends as base and unworthy marks to 
be aimed at. Let him deny himself, whatsoever is of himself, 
within himself, or belonging to himself, as a corrupt and car- 
nal man ; let him go out of himself, that he may come to me ; 
let him empty himself, that he may be capable of me, and that 
I may reign and rule within him. As in Joseph's dream, the 
sun, moon, and the eleven stars, did obeifsance to him, and all 
the sheaves in the field to his sheaf; so, in the regenerate man, 
all the supernatural gifts and graces, all the moral endowments 
and abilities, all the natural powers and faculties, of the soul, 
with all the members of the body, and all the labours of tlie 
life, and whatsoever else, must do obeisance, and be made 
subject unto Jesus Christ. And this is true self-denial 


Of the Denial of Sinful-self. 

First, we must deny sinful-self, and this we are to deny 
simply and absolutely, whether it be the whole body of cor- 
ruption and concupiscence, or those personal corruptions 
which we in our particulars are more notably carried unto. 

1. We are absolutely to deny the whole body of corruption 
and concupiscence : we are to mortify and subdue, to crucify 
and to revenge the blood of Christ against this sin. This is 
the meaning of the apostle : Mortifi/ your 7?iembers which are 
upon earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection , evil 

88 The Practice of Sanctificatlou . 

concupiscence. Now for the denying or mortifying of this 

concupiscence, observe these directions: — 

1. Be sensible of it, cry out, O lo ret died man that I am, who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death ? 

2. Endeavour we to get a willing heart to have this sin 

3. Be we peremptory in denying the requests of concupis- 
cence, bar up the doors, give it no audience : so Christ gave 
Peter a peremptory denial, when he would have persuaded 
him from his passion, saying. Get thee behind me, Satan. 

4. Take we pains to mortify this sin. / rn?i not in vain, as one 
that beats the air: that is, I take pains, but not in vain ; I take 
no more pains than I must needs ; if I took any less, I could 
not come to that I aim at: the less pains we take in subduing 
this corruption, the more will it increase ; we must use the 
means God hath appointed, as the word, and praying, and 
fasting, and watching, and weeping, and mourning; to these 
I may add covenants and vows; provided that, 1. they be of 
things lawful; 2. that we esteem them not as duties of abso- 
lute necessity; and, 3. that we bind not ourselves perpetually, 
lest our vows become burdens to us ; and if we will vow, let 
us but vow for a time, that when the time is expired, we may 
either renew or let them cease, as necessity requires. 

5. Labour we to get the assistance of the Spirit of Christ. 
The wind bloweth ivhere it listeth; i. e. the Spirit worketh where 
it listeth ; yet this hinders not, but that the Spirit may list to 
blow in the use of the means. — Surely there are means to get 
the Spirit, and to hinder the Spirit; the Spirit may be won 
or lost, in the doing, or not doing these things : — 

1. If we would have the Spirit, then we must know the 
Spirit; we must so know him, as to give him the glory of the 
work of every grace : the want of the knowledge of Christ's 
Spirit is the very reason why men receive not the Spirit. The 
first means to have the Spirit, is to know the Spirit, that we 
may give him the glory of every grace. 

2. If we would have the Spirit, take heed that we queiich 
not the Spirit; I mean not, by quenching the Spirit, a quite 
putting of it out: but 1. a growing careless and remiss in the 
duties of religion: 2. a not cherishing every good motion of 
the Spirit in our hearts. 

3. If we would have the Spirit, take heed that we grieve not 
the Spirit; let us not drive him by our sins out of the temples 
of our souls, disturb him not in his gracious and comfortable 
operations there, but so demean ourselves that he may stay in 
our spirits, and manifest, without any eclipses or interrup- 
tions, his sweet and powerful presence within us. 

We are absolutely to deny those personal corruptions which 
we are more notably carried unto. Now for the denying and 

The Practice of Sanctijication, 89 

mortifying of this sin, whatsoever it may be, observe these di- 
rections : — 

1. Labour we to see the disease : no man will seek for cure, 
except he see the disease ; the sight of the disease is half the 
cure of it. Endeavour we to find out what is our special sin. 

2. Abstain we from all beginnings and occasions of this sin : 
quench it at first ; if we cannot put out a spark, how should 
we put out a flame ? If we get not the mastery over the first 
motion to sin, how shall we overcome it when it is brought to 
maturity ? 

3. Turn we our delights to God, and Christ, and heavenly 
things : there is no true self-denial, that is only primitive ; a man 
cannot leave his earthly mindedness, but presently he must be 
heavenly-minded : as a man cannot empty a vessel of water but 
presently air ivill come in its place ; so a man cannot deny sin- 
ful-self, but grace will immediately enter, and take possession of 
his heart. And Oh ! when it is thus, when the intentions of our 
mind, which we spent upon vanities, are now drawn into prayer 
and meditations, then lusts wither. 

4. Labour after further discoveries of Christ. Believe more 
and depend more upon Christ ; yea, let us trade immediately 
with Christ, for Christ is the only agent in the work of self- 
denial. Mistake not ; I do not say that we are mere passives 
in self-denial ; in our progress we are workers together with 
Christ : and therefore it is said, that we purge ourselves, and 
that we purify ourselves, and that we by the Spirit mortify the 
deeds of the flesh, because Christ still, in going on to purge us 
and mortify our lusts, doth it by stirring up our graces, and 
useth therein acts of our faith, and love, and many motives and 
considerations, to do it. Let us therefore use all means required, 
but above all let us bring our hearts to be more and more 
acquainted with Christ. 

SECT. in. 
Of the Denial of our external Relations, 

Secondly, we must deny natural self; and this we must deny 
only conditionally, and upon supposition of God's call. 

1. We are conditionally to deny our external relations; to 
this purpose saith Christ, If any inan cometh to me, and hateth 
not father, and mother, and children, and brethren, and wife, and 
sisters — he cannot be my disciple. Not that religion teaches or 
endures a saint to break the ties of religion or nature ; you see 
it puts in a plea against such unnaturalness. Honour thy father 
and mother. 

Relations are the blessings of God j they are God's gifts, and 
4 M 

90 The Practice of Sanctification, 

bestowed on the saints in a way of promise. They are the lov- 
ing tokens which Christ sends to our souls^ that so he might 
draw our loves to him again ; and hence it is lawful and com- 
mendable to rejoice in them in their way, and especially to lift 
up our souls in thanksgiving to God for them ; for every crea- 
ture of God is good_, (much more the children of our loins, and 
wives of our bosoms,) if received with thanksgiving. 
Yet we must deny them for God in these cases,— 

1 . If they retard us in the way to Christ, if they entice us to 
make baitings in our runnings through fire and through water to 
the Lord Jesus. If our dearest relations should beckon us out 
of the way, or retard us in the way, to Jesus Christ, we must not 
respect father or mother, we must not acknowledge our bre- 
thren, nor know our own children. And Christ gives the rea- 
son : He that loveth father or mother more than me^ is not wor- 
thy of me ; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is 
not worthy of me, A man should love father and mother, and a 
man will love son and daughter, for love descends rather than 
ascends ; but if any man love father, or mother, or son, or daugh- 
ter, more than Christ, he is not fit to be a disciple of Christ. 

2. If they draw contrary ways ; Christ drawing one way, and 
relations drawing another way. In this case, as Christ said. If 
a man hate not father, and mother, and wife, and children, and 
brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot he my 
disciple. If any man hate not, ^. e. if a man renounce not all 
carnal afi*ection, if a man be not disposed, where these loves are 
not compatible, to hate father, and mother, and all, for the 
love of Christ, he cannot belong to Christ. These two cases 
may be summed up thus : if our relations do either retard our 
way to Christ, or draw us from Christ, in this sense they ought 
to be forgotten. 

The directions of self-denial, in respect of our relations, are 
these : 

I. Let us have them, as if we had them not ; this is the ex- 
pression of the apostle : The time is short ; it remains that both 
they that have ivives be as though they had none, and they that 
weep as they that ivept not, and they that rejoice as if they that re- 
joiced not. — 1. The time is short : the apostle here alludes to sea- 
faring men, that have almost done their voyage, and begin to 
strike sail, and are even putting into the harbour ; so it is with 
us, our time is short, as soon as we begin our voyage, we are 
ready to strike sail. — 2. It remains that both they that have 
wives, be as though they had none, &c. q. d. You that are ready 
to cast anchor, trouble not yourselves about these things, but 
rather be ye stedfast, gird up the loins of your minds, let your 
care be the greatest for heaven ; and as for these outward rela- 
tions, be as if you had none, or think as soon as you are ashore 

The Practice of Sanctification, %\ 

you shall have none ; do not glut yourselves, but moderate your 
hearts in all such comforts as these. 

2. Let us resign up all to God. This we have done, and this 
we must do still. — I. This we have done, in that day when we 
made our bargain for Christ. Every soul that comes to Christ, 
parts with all to buy that pearl ; and in selling all, he sells not 
only his corruptions and lusts, but his father, mother, wife, 
children, all relations, conditionally. — ^2. This we must do still ; 
we must give up all to God ; we and they, and all, must be at the 
command of Christ, at the pleasure of God and Christ : indeed 
nothing is properly called our own, but God and Christ ; all other 
things are God's gifts, lent of God, and therefore, as occasion 
is, we must give up all to God again. 

3. Let us imitate them, as occasion is, who for Christ's sake 
have actually parted with their dearest relations. 

Thus did Galeacius Caracciolus, the noble marquis of Vico. 
Vico was one of the paradises of Naples ; and Naples was the 
paradise of Italy ; and Italy is the paradise of Europe ; andEu 
rope the paradise of all the earth. Yet this marquis being 
brought to hear a sermon of Peter Martyr's, God pleased so to 
work upon his spirit, that he began to enter into serious thoughts, 
whether his way of popery, wherein he was trained, was right or 
not. — At last, having further light let into his soul, his resolu- 
tions were strong to leave the court, and his honours, together 
with his father, wife, and children, and whatsoever was dear to 
him. Many grievous combats he had betwixt the flesh and the 
spirit when he resolved on his departure, but the greatest trou- 
bles were his relations : for — 

1 . As often as he looked on his father, which he almost did 
every hour, so often he was stricken at the heart with unspeak- 
able grief ; his thoughts ran thus ; ^ What ! and must I needs 
forsake my dear and loving father ? and cannot I else have God 
my father ? Oh ! unhappy father of my body, which may stand 
in competition with the Father of my soul ?' 

2. No less was he grieved in respect of his wife ; for, having 
no hope that she would renounce popery, and go with him, he 
resolved also for Christ's sake to leave her, and to follow Christ ; 
whereupon his thoughts ran thus : " And shall I forsake my 
wife, the only joy of my heart in this world, and that not 
for a time, but for ever ! — How many doleful days, how many 
waking nights, will she pass over ? — " 

3. There was yet a third care, and that was for his children ; 
which were six in all. It was the more grief, in that they were 
so young, as that they could not conceive what it was to want a 
father. The eldest was scarce fifteen, and the youngest scarce 
four years old ; towards them his thoughts ran thus : " Shall I 
within these few days utterly forsake these sweet babes, and 
leave them to the wide and wicked world, as though they had 

92 The Practice of Sanctification. 

never been my cliildren, nor I their father ? — Poor orphans j 
what will become of you when I am gone ? Your hap is hard, 
even to be fatherless, your father yet living ! — Yet thus must I 
leave you all, weeping and wailing one with another, and I, in 
the mean time, weeping and wailing for you. 

Thus resolved, he left his family, and went to Geneva ; who 
was no sooner gone, but his friends and family were so aston- 
ished, that nothing was heard or seen amongst them but lamen- 
tations. By his father's commands, and his wife's entreaties, he 
was persuaded to see them once, and take his journey from Ge- 
neva to Vico : having stayed a while, and now ready to return 
to Geneva, his father, at his farewell, gave him many an heavy 
and bitter curse ; his wife embraced him, and took him about 
the neck, beseeching him in a most loving and pitiful manner, 
that he would have care of himself, of his dear wife and chil- 
dren, and not so willingly cast them all away : his young children, 
all upon their knees, with arms stretched out, and hands holden 
up, and faces swoln with tears, cried out unto him to have 
pity on them, his own bowels, and not to make them fatherless 
before the time : his friends, with heavy countenances and 
watery eyes looked on him, and though for grief they could 
not speak, yet every look, and every countenance, and every 
gesture, was a loud cry and a strong entreaty that he would 
stay, and not leave so ancient and noble a house in such a deso- 
late case. But above all, there was one most lamentable sight : 
— ^Among his children he had one daughter of twelve years old, 
who crying out amain, and wallowing in tears, fell down, and 
catching fast hold about his knees, held him so hard that he 
could by no means shake her off; and the affection of a father 
wrought so with him, as he could not oifer with violence to 
hurt her : he laboured to be loose, but she held faster 5 he 
went away, but she trailed after ; crying to him, not to be so 
cruel to her his own child, who came into the world by him. This 
so wonderfully wrought with his nature, that he thought, as 
he often reported, that all his bowels rolled about within him, 
and that his heart would have burst presently, and he should 
instantly have died. But notwithstanding all this, being armed 
with a supernatural fortitude, he broke through all those temp- 
tations, and for Christ's sake denied all, and so returned to 
Geneva. — A glorious self-denial, or a glorious denier of his 
natural-self ! 


Of the Denial of our Special Gifts. 

We are conditionally to deny our special gifts and endow- 
ments ; as learning, wisdom, power, or any other abilities of 
mind and body. 

The Practice of Sttnctification. 93 

lndeed_, learning, wisdom, abilities, are in themselves excellent 
things. iEneas Silvius said, " That if the face even of human 
learning could but be seen, it is more beautiful than the morning 
star." How much more may be said in respect of divine learning, 
whose subject is God, artd Christ, and the things of God ? In 
this respect therefore we must not deny them. 

Yet we must deny them in these cases, — 

1. In respect of any high thoughts of our own excel- 
lencies : Me not wise in your own conceit, saith the apostle j 
to which agrees that of Solomon, Lean not thine own under- 

2. In respect of any use of them according to the world. Of 
this God speaketh when he saith, / will destroy the ivisdom of 
the wise, and will bring to nothi?ig the understanding of the pru- 
dent. Thus the apostle trhmiphed, saying, JVhere is the wise f 
where is the scribe ? tvhere is the disputer of this world "? 
Hath not God made foolish the tvisdom of this ivorld? Worldly 
wisdom usually scorns the great mysteries of godliness, foolish- 
ness of preaching, simplicity of the saints ; but this wisdom de- 
scendeth not from above, saith the apostle, this wisdom is but 
earthly, sensual, devilish. — I. Earthly; it minds only earthly 
things. — 2. Sensual ; it prefers the pleasures of sense, and pleasing 
the appetite, before the peace of conscience and sense of God's 
favour.— 3. Devilish ; for it imitates the devil in contriving tlie 
mischief and i-uin against the glory of God, the plantation of his 
grace in the hearts of men : or it is devilish, because the devil 
usually sets those on work that have a little more wit to do him 
service ; he knows they are more able and active to quarrel, rad, 
slander, disgrace the truth of God, or ministry of Christ. — O 
poor souls ! how do you bark and snatch at those hurtless hands, 
which would heal and bind up your bleeding souls ! O poor 
idiots ! what wisdom is it for you to endeavour their extirpation, 
who are as stars in the right-hand of Christ ! They that would 
do Christ's ministers any deadly harm, they must pluck them 

The directions of self-denial in respect of our special gifts, 
are these : — 

1 . Think we soberly of ourselves, according as God hath dealt 
to every man the measure of faith. We are not sober, in the 
apostle's phrase, if either we take that upon us which we have 
or brag of that which we have. 

2. Mind the true ends of learning, wisdom, abilities. What 
are those ends ? 1. To do God more excellent and more glo 
rious service. 2. To furnish the soid for an higher degree, and 
a greater measure, of sanctification. 

3.«Endeavour to walk before God in lowliness of mind. What ! 
are thy gifts more eminent than others ? It is the Lord that 
makes thee differ; and as God hath been favourable to thee, so 

94 The Practice of Sanctificatioii. 

should his favours be as obhgations to obedience, humility, 

4. Remember, it is not the greatness, but the well-using of the 
gift, that is the glory of the receiver. It is not the having any 
thing, whether much or little ; but the having of Christ with it, 
that makes it full and satisfactory. 

5. Observe and weigh well, that the issue of all depends not 
upon the abilities of man, but upon the all-disposing hand of 
God. The race is not to the sivift, nor the battle to the strong ; 
neither yet bread to the ivise, nor riches to ineti of understanding. 
All our abilities are under God's providence, who puts an efficacy 
into man's abilities, even as he pleaseth. 

6. Esteem we ail abilities, gifts, knowledge, as dung and 
dross, in comparison of the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus, our Lord. All knowledge, art, learning, is no- 
thing to Christ ', there is no excellency in that man's knowledge 
that knows not Christ. If we know not Christ, it is nothing, if 
we know never so much. If we know Christ, it is enough, though 
we know nothing more ; enough indeed, for in knowing him we 
have all knowledge. In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge. Among wise men, he is the choicest that knows 
most of Christ ; it is Christ that puts a fulness into our know- 
ledge, as the shining of the sun in the air puts a fulness of light 
into the eyes ; hence Paul made Christ crucified, the centre and 
circumference of his knowledge, the breadth, and length, and 
depth, and height, of his knowledge ; this was the full latitude 
of his knowledge, to know Jesus Christ : and this is excellent 
knowledge, excellent for the author, matter, subject, fruits, and 
effects of it; this is saving knowledge, this is life eternal, to know 
thee, and him whom thou hast sent. Oh ! never speak of learn- 
ing wisdom, gifts, abilities, in comparison of Christ. Bernard 
could say, " If thou Avritest, it doth not relish with me, unless I 
read Jesus there ; if thou disputest or conferrest, it doth not relish 
with me, unless Jesus sound there.'" All learning is but igno- 
rance in comparison of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Come then, and down with all knowledge in this respect ; come, 
and submit to that true, spiritual, experimental knowledge of 
Jesus Christ. 


Of the Denial of our Worldly Profits. 

We are conditionally to deny our common ends, which natu- 
rally men pursue and seek after, as profit, pleasure, and honour. 
I shall begin with the first. 

The Practice of Sanctijication. 95 

It must be granted that worldly profits^ such as liouses, lands, 
possessions, are a blessing of God, because they serve for the 
refreshing, comforting, supporting, of our frail weak bodies, 
while we live in this world. 

Yet we must deny them in these cases : — 

1. As temptations and snares ; when they are either baits unto 
sin ; or when they are the fruits and wages of sin. Thus Zac- 
cheus denies himself in all his unjust gain which he had gotten. 
Restitution, as it is a most necessary, so it is one of the hardest 
parts of self-denial. Unjust gain is like a barbed arrow, it 
kills if it stay within the body, and pulls the flesh away if it be 
drawn out. 

2. x\s oblations and sacrifices ; when Christ calls us to dedicate 
them unto him, then we must deny them. Thus when Abraham 
was called from his country into a land which he knew not ; and 
when Daniel was called from a king's court to a den of lions ; 
when Moses was called from the honours of Egypt, to the afflic- 
tions of God's people ; immediately they consulted not with flesh 
and blood, but willingly left their own comforts to obey God's 
commands. All we are, or have, we have it on this condition, to 
use it, to leave it, to lay it out, to lay it down, unto the honour 
of our Master, from whose bounty we received it. 

The directions of self-denial in respect of our worldly profits, 
are these : — 

1. Look we on worldly profits as vanity, nothing. Wilt thou 
set thine eyes upon that which is not, says Solomon ; for riches 
certainly make themselves icings ^ they jiy away as an eagle. — 
Observe first, that riches are not, they are nothing ; those things 
that make men great in the eye of the world, are nothing in the 
eyes of God. — 2. Observe, the Holy Ghost would not have us 
so much as set our eyes upon riches, they are not objects worth 
the looking on. — 3. Observe with what indignation he speaks 
against those that will set their eyes upon them : wilt thou set 
thine eyes upon that which is not ? As if he had said, what a 
vain, unreasonable, senseless thing is this? — 4. Observe, that 
he says, their parting from us is by way of flight, that is, a 
sudden, swift, and irrecoverable motion. — 5. Observe, that this 
flight is by the wings of an eagle, which of all birds hath the 
most sudden, the most swift, and the most irrecoverable motion. — 
6. Observe, that none needs to put wings upon them to fly away, 
for they make themselves wings 5 there is matter enough in them- 
selves to put them into a flight. Oh that the glory of the world 
were darkened in our eyes, as one day it shall be, that it might 
not be so dear unto us as it is ! 

2. Consider them as instabilities, uncertainties. All worldly 
things are like the sea, ebbing and flowing ; or like the moon, 
always increasing or decreasing ; or like a wheel, always turning 
up and down Such a story we have of Sesostris, king of Egypt, 

^6 The Practice of Scmctificatton. 

who would have his chariot drawn with four kings, and one of 
them had his eyes continually on the wheel ; whereupon Sesostris 
asked, what he meant by it ? He answered, It put him in mind 
of the mutability of all earthly things, " For I see," said he, 
^•^ that part of the wheel, which is now up on high, is presently 
down beneath ; and that part which is now below, is presently up 
on high :" whereupon Sesostris being moved, considering what 
might be his own estate, would never have his chariot drawn 
after that manner any more. 

3. Consider them as snares and thorns. To this purpose cried 
Solomon, Allis vanity andvexdtion of spirit. — Worldlings ! do you 
not feel this true ? Mark but how your worldly cares do rush upon 
you in the morning as soon as you awake ; mark but how they 
accompany you in the day ; mark but how they follow you to your 
beds at night ; mark but how they hinder your sleeps, and afflict 
you in your dreams : Oh ! what fears ! what suspicions ! what un- 
dermining one another ! what disappointments ! what vexations ! 
what a clutter of businesses crossing one the other ! what snares 
and temptations lie in your way at every hand 1 You walk all 
the day long upon snares ; upon dangerous snares, that bring 
much sin and guilt, and will bring much sorrow and misery. 

4. Consider them as fading in regard of use, which yet prove 
eternal in regard of punishment. Oh ! what a dreadful noise is 
that in hell ! — we have lost eternity, for setting our hearts upon 
things that were but momentary. What will be thy thoughts at 
the hour of death ? It may be these : Now are all my hopes at 
an end, now I must bid farewell to all my comforts, I shall never 
have mirth any more ; the sun is set, the season is at an end for 
all my comforts ; now I see before me a vast ocean of eternity, 
and of necessity I must launch into it : O Lord, what provision 
have I for it ? Oh, there is a thought that will rend the heart in 
pieces ! Oh, what a dreadful shriek will that soul give, that sees 
before it that infinite ocean of eternity, and sees no provision 
made for it 1 What will it think, but here is an ocean of hot 
scalding lead, and I must launch into it, and I must swim naked 
in it for ever and ever ? I know not how this word may work, 
but if it be trampled under foot, it may be within this year or 
two, it will be said of thee. Such an one was at such a sermon, 
or read such a book, and learned that worldly profits were but 
momentary ; but now he is gone : Or it may be thou wilt say on 
thy death-bed. Such a book I read, that all worldly profits were 
but momentary, and that I had not only a river to swim over, but 
an infinite ocean to launch into, and yet I would not be warned ; 
and now my season is gone, and I am launching into eternity, the 
Lord knows what will become of me. 

5. Appear for God and his cause, his truth and people, though 
the issue may seem dangerous. Thus Esther did with that brave 
resolution of her's. If I perish^ I perish. Oh ! let not a good 

J'he Practice of Sancttfication. 97 

cause be dashed and blasted, and none have a heart to appear for 
it, for fear of worldly profit. 

6. Let all go, rather than commit any sin : it is better to want 
all the profits that earth can aftbrd, than to lose the delights that a 
good conscience will bring in. Oh ! let the bird in the breast be 
always kept singing, whatsoever we suff'er for it ; it is better we 
lose all we have, than to make shipwreck of a good conscience ; 
in this case we must be willing to lose all, or else we are lost in 
the enjoyment of all. 


Of the Denial of our Worldly Pleasures. 

The next common end which men naturally pursue, and which 
we must deny, is pleasure. 

^Tis true, some pleasures are lawful, and, in a sober, moderate, 
seasonable use of them, serve for the refreshing, comforthig, and 
supporting of our frail bodies. Yet we must deny them in 
these cases. 

1. When they are baits to draw us into sin. 

2. When they are sin, or the concomitants of sin, or the fruits 
and wages of sin. 

The directions of self-denial, in respect of worldly pleasures, 
are these : — 

1 . Look on pleasures, not only as vain, but as vanishing : they 
are soon gone from us, or we are soon gone from them. 1 . They 
arc soon gone from us, the fashion of this ivorld passeth away : 
all pleasures are but like a mountain of snow, that melts away 
presently. 2. We are soon gone from them ; it is but a while, 
and then we and all our pleasures must together vanish ; if death 
draw the curtain, and look in upon us, then we must bid a fare- 
well to them all, never laugh more, never have merry-meeting 
more ; never be in jollity any more. Oh ! when we are called to 
eternity, then all our delights will leave us, and bid us adieu for 
ever ; and how doleful will this be to all the sons and daughters 
of pleasure ! your season is done, you have had your time, it is 
gone, it is past, and cannot be recalled. 

2. Consider, this is not the season that should be for pleasure. 
The apostle James lays it as a great charge upon those in his 
time, that they lived in pleasure upon earth. This is a time to 
do the great business for which we were bom. Oh ! did we think 
that eternity depended upon this little uncertain time of our lives, 
we would not say that sensual pleasures were now in season. 
Surely this time should be spent in seeking to make our peace 
with God; this is a time of suing out our pardon, of mourning, and 
sorrow and trouble of spirit, and no time for jollity, and fleshly 

4. N 

1>S The Practice of Sanctificatlon. 

delights. If a condemned man had two or three days granted him 
that he might sue out his pardon, were that a time for pleasure 
and sports ? Thus it is with us ; the sentence of death is upon 
us, only a little uncertain time is granted us, to sue out a par- 
don 5 let us know then what is our work, and let us apply our- 
selves to it. 

3. Ponder the carriage of the saints before us. You know 
the mean provision that John the Baptist, the forerunner of 
Christ, had ; his fare was locusts and wild honey, and yet there 
was not a greater born of woman before. Timothy, although he 
was sickly, yet would not take liberty to drink a little wine, but 
only water, till Paul wrote to him ; and in that liberty there was 
but little granted, and that for his stomach's sake, and his often 
infirmities. Basil, in an epistle to Julian, mentions the mean 
fare he and others with him lived on ; they had no need of cooks, 
all their provision was the leaves of plants, and a little bread : and 
Hieroni reports of Hilarion, that he never ate any thing before 
the sun went down, and that which at any time he ate was very 
mean : and Hierom himself lived so abstemiously, that he had 
uothing daily but a few dried figs with cold water. 

4. Do we for Christ, as Christ hath done for us. What ! was 
he content to part with the pleasures of heaven, the bosom of his 
Father, to redeem poor man ? and shall not we part with the 
pleasure of a little meat or drink for him ? Is not all his glory, 
revealed in his word and work, sufficient to shew him worthy of 
our loves, and to make us willing to part with such empty, poor, 
slight things, as sensual pleasures ? Surely the daughters of 
pleasure must undress, if ever they will be beautiful in Christ's 
eyes ; their ornament must not be the outward adorning of plaiting 
the hair, and of wearing of gold, and putting on of apparel, but 
the hidden man of the heart, the ornament of a meek and quiet 
spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 

5. Meditate on those pleasures above, and say, (you that have 
the experience of the pleasantness of God's ways,) If the nether 
springs be so sweet, what will the upper be ? If the lower Jeru- 
salem be paved with gold, surely that upper Jerusalem is paved 
with pearls ! It is an excellent speech of Bernard, "^ Good art 
thou, O Lord, to the soul that seeks thee ; what art thou to the 
soul that finds thee ? If grace be pleasant, how pleasant is 
glory ?" Therefore the saints die so pleasantly, because there is 
a meeting of grace and glory : grace is delightful, glory more 
delightful; but when both these meet together, what delight 
wiU there then be ! 

The Practice of Saiictification, 91) 


Of the Denial of our Honour, Praise, good Name, among Men. 

The next end which naturally men pursue, and which we must 
deny, is honour, praise, good name. 

We grant, honour, praise, good name, are the gifts and 
blessings of God. David speaketh expressly. Both riches and 
honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all. 

Yet we must deny them for God, in these cases : — 

1. When they are as snares and baits unto sin. And in all 
those, honour, praise, good name, there are dangerous snares ; 
how prone do they make a man to those sins of vain-glory, self- 
admiration, self-estimation ! Surely it is a great mercy of God 
if any man be preserved from these sins, that enjoys those 
blessings ! 

2. When we are called by God to dedicate them to God. 
The Lord never gave us these things, honour, praise, good name, 
upon any other terms, but that we should be willing to part with 
them for the honour of his name ; God never made us owners, 
but stewards of them for his service, and if ever we were brought 
to Christ, into covenant with God in him, we then resigned up 
all to him, we professed to part with all for him. And good 
reason, for whatsoever honour or excellency we have, it is he 
that gives it : — the rainbow is but a common vapour, it is the sun 
that gilds it, that enamels it with so many colours : the best of 
us are but a vapour ; and if any of us be more glorious, more 
honourable, than others, it is the Lord that hath shined upon us, 
and hath put more beauty, more lustre upon us, than upon other 

The directions of self-denial in respect of our honour, favour, 
grace, good name, among men, are these : — 

1. Look on honour, praise, favour, applause, as vanity, no- 
thing. Vanity of vanities, saiththe preacher; vanity of vani- 
ties, all is vanity. Observe his expression ; \. Vanity, not orAy 
vain, but vanity itself. 2. Excessive vanity, for it is vanity of 
vanities. 3. An heap of vanities, for it is in the plural number, 
vanity of vanities. 4. All is vanity, not only profit, and plea- 
sure, but honour too ; Solomon had experience of them all, and 
all is vanity. There is no reality in honour, praise, favour, 
applause of men, which are so much admired and magnified ; 
honour is but a shadow, a fancy, a wind, a breath ; there is no 
internal excellency in it. 

2. Beware of those attendants, or companions of honours ; 
vain-glory, self-love, self-admiration. Let us not be desirous of 
vain-glory : let us not exalt ourselves above others : let us not 
study to be magnified by others : let us not please ourselves in 
the applause of others. It is not human applause, but God's 

100 The Practice of Sancttficahvn. 

approbation, which ministers matter of true honour to a Christian. 
We should rejoice to see God honoured, but fear to hear our- 
selves applauded, lest either we be idolized, or God's honour 

3. Be convinced, that of all vices, vain-glory, self-admiration, 
hunting after men's praise, are the most invincible. The roots 
thereof are so deep and strong, and so largely spread in the 
heart of man, that there is no disease in the soul so hardly cured, 
no weed in the garden of man's heart so hardly plucked up. 

4. Let us herein conform ourselves to Christ. He came from 
the bosom of his Father, and from that infinite gloiy he had with 
him before the world was. He left the honour which he might 
have had from all the angels, and all to save poor wretched sin- 
ful creatures : he that was equal with God, so emptied himself 
that he became man ; nay, he was made a scorn of men, he made 
himself of no reputation, he came in the form of a servant, he 
was made a curse, as if he had been the vilest of men living ; 
and yet this was the honour of Christ himself, because it was all 
for God. Oh ! then, who is he that knows any thing of Jesus 
Christ, that can think it much to lay down all his honour for him ? 
What can be more unworthy, what more detestable, than that 
a man should magnify himself after he had seen God humbled. 
It is intolerable impudence, that where majesty hath emptied 
himself, a worm should be puffed up. 

5. Let us submit to the meanest service of our God, though 
it darken our honours, never so much in the eyes of the world. 
Thus Hierom writ to Panachius a young nobleman, that he would 
have him to be eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, hands to the 
weak, yea, if need were, to carry water, and cut wood, and 
make fires ; for what are all these, saith he, to bonds, buffetings, 
spittings, whippings, death ? 

6. Let us willingly join with those of lower degree in any way 
of honouring God. Mind not hig/i things, saith the apostle, 
hut condescend to men of low estate. Who knows but that the 
poorest creature may be far more honourable m the eyes of God 
and of his saints, than we ? Where greater graces sit below us, 
let us acknowledge their inward dignity. 

7. We must bear our reproaches wisely. Though we should 
not be insensible, yet we should not take too much notice oi 
every reproach. But how then should we stop their mouths ? I 
answer : 1. Let us walk innocently ; innocency will overcome all 
in time. 2. Let us labour to be eminent in that which is quite 
contrary to that we are reproached for. Perhaps you are re- 
proached for a dissembler, labour for the greatest eminency of 
plainness and sincerity : perhaps you are reproached for covet- 
ousness, labour to be eminent in liberality, in heavenly minded 
ness, in doing good, 

8. We must bear reproaches patiently. What are we ? or 

The Practice of Sanctification. 101 

what is our names, that we should think much to bear repit)ach ? 
Consider, have not other of God's servants, far holier than we 
are, been under exceeding reproach ? Nay, how is God and 
Christ reproached ? how is the name of God slighted ? how is 
the majesty, and sovereignty, and authority of God contemned 
in this world ? what reproaches endured Christ in his own per- 
son, in his preaching ? how was he contemned when he preached 
against covetousness ? The Pharisees scorned him : the word 
signifies they blew their noses at him. He was called a devil, a 
Samaritan, a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners ; wliat 
worse can be imagined than was cast upon Christ ? they spat 
on his face, that blessed face of his, that the waves of the sea 
were afraid of, and that the sun withdrew his light from, as not 
being fit to behold it ; they put thorns on his head, and bowed 
to him in reproach. This argument should, methinks, move us 
to bear reproaches patiently. 

9. Make we our moans to God, and lay our case before him, 
as Hezekiah (when Rabshakeh came and reviled God and the 
people of God) went and spread the letter before God ; if we 
can but do likewise, we shall find unsj^eakable refreshments to 
our souls, and that will be a great argument of our innocency. 
My friends scorn me, saith Job, but mine eye poureth out tears 
unto God. — The mouth of the wicked, saith David, and the 
mouth of the deceitful, ai'e opened ugainst me ; but I give my- 
self unto prayer, 

10. We must bear reproaches fruitfully. Christians should 
not think it enough to free themselves from reproach, but they 
must improve it for good ', and to that end — 

1 . Consider what ends God aims at by it, and labour to work 
them upon ourselves. 

2. Draw what good instiTictions we can from the reproaches 
of others, as thus : when I hear men reproach and revile, — Oh 
what a deal of evil is there secretly in the heart of man, that is 
not discovered till it have occasion ! Again, do I see another so 
vigilant over me, to find out any thing in me to reproach me, — > 
How vigilant should I be ovei- myself, to find out what is in ma 
to humble me ! 


Of the Denial of our Life for Jesus Christ. 

I HAVE done with the denial of natural self in regard of well 
being, I now consider the denial of natural self in regard of very 
being, and so it imports our life, together with the faculties 
and powers of nature, our understanding, will, affections, 
senses, fleshly members ; all within us must be captivated to 

102 The Practice of Sanctijication, 

Christ, and all without us must endure to suffer for the name of 

1. The understanding must be captivated, as it hinders from 
Christ. Suppose the word of Christ be contradicted or checked 
by reason. In this case I must deny my reason, and believe 
Christ ; I must captivate my understanding to the obedience of 

2. The will must be renounced in reference to Christ. Ser- 
vants must not follow their own will, but their master's directions ; 
how much more ought we, who always may justly suspect our- 
selves, and can never suspect the will of Christ. It is meet that 
Hagar should stoop to Sarah, our will to Christ's will. 

3. Our affections and senses must be denied, as they are che- 
rishers of evil, or opposers of good. This latter is that crucify- 
ing of the flesh, with the lusts and affections, which the apostle 
mentions. But all these being within the compass of natural 
life, I shall only insist on that. 

Life, as it is the gift, so it is the blessing, of God ; hence the 
promise of life, and of long life, is made to obedient children j 
and this, tm*ned into prayer by the believing parents, is usually 
called by the name of blessing. 

Yet we must deny it for God, in these cases : — 

1. As a saxirifice. If God vrill rather be honoured by death 
than life, by the sufferings than by the services, of his saints, 
in this case we should be willing to submit to God. Thus many 
of the martyrs who had opportunity of flight, yet tarried to wit- 
ness the truth, and gave their lives to the flames. 

2. As temptation. Thus, rather than sin, the primitive Chris- 
tians, when apprehended, chose willingly to die. And if it be 
on this condition that we may avoid sin, that by losing life we 
may go to Christ, in whom we shall find, with an infinite over- 
plus, whatsoever we can lose for his sake ; then we must deny 
life itself. 

The directions of self-denial in respect of our natural being, 
or life, are these : — 

1. Apprehend God's love to our souls in his Son : he thought 
nothing too good for us, God so loved the luorld that he gave his 
oyily begotten Son; and this he did for us, when we were 
enemies ; nay, God hath not only given us his Son for a Saviour, 
but he hath given us himself for an husband ; let us often by 
sad and solemn meditation renew the sense of his love to us 
in Christ, and we cannot but give up all we have, and all we 
are, to God. 

2. Maintain a godly jealousy of our own hearts ; for want of 
this, all the disciples fainted, especially Peter, and shamefully 
denied Christ. Memorable is that story of Pendleton and San- 
ders : Sanders, as fearful he should not endure the fire ; Pendle- 
ton seemed resohite, ^^ Be not fearful,* saith he to Sanders, '^ for 

The Practice of Sanchfication. 1(>3 

thou shalt see me, and this fat flesh of mine, fry in the fire be- 
fore I will yield." Yet he that was so strong in his own strength, 
fell away ; and the other, so fearful, was enabled by God to burn 
for his truth. 

3. Be acquainted with the promises of self-denial ; have 
always a word at hand to reheve ourselves in the worst of suf- 
ferings. Now these promises are of several sorts. 1. Of 

assistance,— 2. of acceptance, — 3. of reward. And agahi, the 
promises of reward are,— 1. of this life ; He that forsakes all 
for Christ, shall receive an hundred fold ; the joy, the peace he 
shall have shall be an hundred times better than the comfort of 
these outward things. ' Oh ! but,' may some say, ' what will 
become of my children ? 1 shall leave them fatherless and help- 
less.* To this, by way of answer, God often styles himself the 
Father of the fatherless, and if of any fatherless, then surely of 
those whose parents have lost their lives for Jesus Christ. Leave 
thy fatherless children, saith the Lord, I will preserve them alive, 
and let thy widows trust in me. — 2. Of eternal life ; such shall 
inherit eternal life. '' Be of good comfort," says Bradford to his 
fellow martyr, " we shall have a merry supper with the Lord 
this night." — Christians ! what would we have ? The soul indeed 
is of a large capacity, all things here below can never satisfy it ; 
but eternal life, the inheritance above, will fill the understanding 
with knowledge, and the will with joy; and that in so great a 
measure, that the expectation of the saints shall be exceeded ; 
for he shall be admired of them that believe. 

4. Mind the principle that must carry us through death, and 
make death itself honourable. We read, Heb. xi. — thdt by faith 
some quenched the violence of fire. — Others ivere tortured.--^ 
They were stoyied, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, 
they were slain by the siuord ; and all this by faith. — Faith is 
the grace that enables us to deny ourselves, yea, life itself; 
other graces may do much, but faith hath the principal work 
in this. By faith ye stand, said the apostle to his Corinthians : 
it is faith that makes a man stand in his greatest trials ; and 
therefore when Christ saw how Peter should be tempted, he tells 
him, that he had prayed that his faith should not fail ; noting, 
that while his faith held, all would be sure. 

Of Self-denial, even with regard to the Graces of God. 

Notwithstanding these are God's special gifts, yet we 
must deny them comparatively, and in some respects : — 

1. In point of justification. It is a dangerous thing to hang 
the weight of a soul upon any thing which hath any mixture of 

104 The Practice of Sanctification, 

w.eakness, imperfection, or corruption in it, as the purest and 
best of all our duties hav^e ; it is a dangerous thing to teach that 
faith, or any other evangelical grace, as it is a work done by us, 
doth justify us : there is nothing to be called our righteousness, 
but the Lord our Righteousness. Faith itself doth not justify 
habitually, as a thing fixed in us, but instrumentally, as that 
which receives the righteousness of Christ shining through it 
upon us ; as the window enlightens by the sun-beams which it 
lets in, or as the cup feeds by the wine which it conveys. So 
then, in point of justification, we are to renounce all our duties 
and graces. 

2. In point of sanctification : for we are to attribute the glory 
of all our graces and duties unto Jesus Christ, and nothing to 
ourselves. And yet understand we aright, though every be- 
liever is thus to deny himself in spiritual things, even in the point 
of sanctification, yet he is not to speak evil of the grace of God 
within himself : he may not miscall his duties and graces, saying, 
these are nothing but the fruits of hypocrisy, for then he should 
speak evil of the Spirit, whose works they are ; neither is he to 
trample on those graces of God. For a man to say, all this is 
nothing but hypocrisy, that is not self-denial ; properly, self- 
denial in spiritual things, as to the matter of justification, is, to 
renounce all ; and as to the matter of sanctification, it is to 
attribiite the strength and the glory of all unto Jesus Christ, 
and nothing to one's self. 

The directions of self-denial in this respect, are these : — 

1 . Let us be sensible of, and humbled for, our pride in spiri- 
tual things. There is nothing that a Christian is more apt to be 
proud of than spiritual things. It was Mr. Fox's speech : " As 
I get good by my sins, so 1 get hurt by my graces." It is a 
dangerous thing to be proud of man's duties and spiritual gifts ; 
we had better be proud of clothes, or friends, or honours ; for 
this pride of spiritual things is directly opposite to a man's justi- 
fication. The first step to humility is, to see one's pride ; the 
first step to self-denial is, to be convinced of one's desire after 
self-exalting, self-admiring, self advancing. — O what a proud 
heart have I ! What a self-advancing heart have I ! — There is 
no believer, till he is fully renewed, but what hath something of 
self. We had need therefore to be jealous of ourselves ; and if 
at any time self break out, if at any time the soul begins to be ad- 
vanced in regard of duty or spiritual things, let us fall down 
before God, and humble ourselves for — the pride of our hearts. 

2. Have Christ in your eye. — ^The more we see an humble 
Christ, a self-denying Christ, the more shall we learn humility 
and self-denial. Christ was the most eminent example of selr- 
denial that ever was. He thought it no robbery to he equal with 
God ; and he humbled himself, and took upon him the form of a 
servant. Was there ever such a self-denial as this ? — Christians ! 

The Practice of Sanctification . ' 105 

consider your Christ, and the more will you learn even in spi- 
ritual things. 

3. Rest not on any tiling below Jesus Christ. Neither grace, 
nor duties, nor holiness, are to be trusted in. We must hold 
them fast in point of practice and obedience ; but it is our sin 
and danger to hold them fast in reliance and confidence. — I de- 
sire to be rightly understood in this truth: Some, beca\ise 
they need not rely on duties, let go their duties ; they let prayer, 
and repentance, and sorrow for sin, go ; they say, it is no matter 
for duties, they need not to trouble themselves, Christ hath done 
all. This is to turn the grace of God into wantonness : we must 
let go both our graces and duties in point of justification, but 
hold them we must as our lives. Prayer, hearing, fasting, 
repenting, must not die whilst we live ; do them we must, but 
glory in them we must not: we must not rest in any thing 
whatsoever below Jesus Christ. — I shall instance in these par- 
ticulars : 

1. We must not rest upon our own preparations for duties. 
It is a commendable thing to prepare our hearts ; we must pray 
that we may pray; we must have secret communion with our 
God, before we come to seek communion with him in a sermon : 
but we must not rest upon our own preparation when we have 
prepared; if we advance that into the throne of Jesus Christ, 
and rest upon that when we should only rest upon him, it is the 
way to make all our preparations miscarry. 

2. We must not rest upon our enlargements in duties. — It 
may be we have a spring-tide of assistance comes in ; a minister 
preaches with great presence of the Spirit of God, and a saint 
prays (as we find it) in the Holy Ghost : i. e. he finds the holy 
Spirit of God sending him from petition to petition, melting with 
brokenness when he is confessing sin, filling him with rejoicing 
when he is remembering mercy, raising him with an high wing, 
as it were, of importunity, when he is begging of favour; and 
now as soon as the duty is done, it may be, he goes away, and 
strokes himself, — ^ O what an admirable prayer was here ! surely 
I shall do well this day!' — This is the very way to miscarry, 
thousands have found it ; so that when he comes to pray again, 
it may be, he prays most dully and flatly ; the Spirit is grie\ed 
and gone, and he can say little or nothing. 

3. We must not rest upon the comforts we have in duty, or after 
duty. It may be, when we have been at duty, and have 
had some ravishments ; Oh ! now we think oiu' nest is built \cvy 
high, and our rock is firm, and we shall go on vigorously. Chry- 
sostomhath a saying to this purpose, " Methinks," saithhe, "a 
saint, when he comes from a sacrament, should be able to fly iu 
the face of a devil ; and though he walk in the midst of snares, 
yet he should be able to encounter with them all." Comforts are 
very sweet things, and indeed strengthening things : The Joy of 

4. o 

106 The Practice of Sanctification. 

the Lord is our sh^ength, saith Nehemiah. Nothing more ani- 
mates the soul than joy; only here is the danger^ if we rest on 
these joys and comforts; the Spirit of God is a most choice and 
tender thing, it dwells in none but a clean, pure temple. 

4. We must not rest upon graces. This was Peter's fault; he 
had grace, and he rested on it. Lord, though all forsake thee, 
yet will not I; yet soon after Peter did forsake and deny his 
Master: and we do not find Peter so confident afterwards. 
When Christ said to him, Simon Peter, lovest thou me more 
than these? no comparative words now; no more than. Lord, 
thou knowest I love thee. 

5. Be often putting forth new faith in Jesus Christ. Self- 
denial in spiritual things is not to be found in the law, but in the 
gospel : the law, though it hath its use, and we dare not but use 
it, yet it will not make a man deny himself, but rather seek him- 
selt^ in spiritual things : ' Obey and live,' saith the law, ' but 
if thou failest in any one point, thou art lost for ever.' In this 
case, if there were no other ^^'ay, who would deny his own righ- 
teousness ? Nay, who would not seek to save himself by his own 
righteousness? ^ But now,' saith the gospel, ^by works thou 
canst not live ; but if thou wilt throw down all thy own righteous- 
ness at the feet of Christ, and believe on him, and rest only on 
him, thou shalt be saved.' This will make a man deny his own 
righteousness, and deny himself in spiritual things. Go we 
therefore to Christ, let us maintain believing apprehensions of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is the humble, self-denying 
person, that seeks justification, not by works, but by faith only. 

6. Let it be the joy of our souls to exalt and set up Christ 
within our souls. Though in order to justification we must deny 
our graces, eye Christ without us ; yet in order to sanctification 
we must have a care to see and feel Christ's kingdom within us, 
to set up Christ in our hearts, and to discern him ruling and com- 
manding there, as a king in his throne. And there is true self- 
denial in this, for wherever Christ reigns, there sin goes down. 
As the people would have all men put to death, which would 
not have Saul to reign over them ; so doth a true believing soul 
mortify whatsoever opposeth Christ's kingdom: he removeth 
whatsoever may hinder Christ's spiritual dominion, he makes all 
stoop for Christ's exaltation witliin him. O then let Christ 
reign over all within us : in our understandings, as a prophet 
enlightening us ; in our wills, as a king commanding us ; in our 
affections, as a priest mortifying us ; in our loves, as a husband 
marrying us; let the whole man be subject unto the whole 
Christ. This is the character of a true self-denier; Christ rules 
within him, he every way subjects himself to Christ : — in his 
understanding, to know Christ; in his will, to choose Christ; in 
his thoughts, to meditate upon Christ; in his fear, to serve and 
honour Christ; in his faith, to trust and depend upon Christ; 

The Practice of Sanctification, 1G7 

in his love, to affect Christ; in his joy, to delight in Christ; in 
his desire, to long after Christ; in his endeavours, to exalt 
Christ ; in all his duties, graces, gifts, abilities, to make them 
serviceable unto Christ : this is to attribute the glory of all our 
duties and graces to Jesus Christ, and nothing to ourselves. 
Now is Christ all in all; now we truly deny ourselves. 



Of the Nature of the Life of Faith. 

To live by faith, is, by faith in Christ, to possess the whole 
word of God as our own in all states and conditions, resting 
quietly upon his gracious and faithful promise, and yielding 
ourselves unto his good pleasure, in sincere, universal, and con- 
stant obedience : or, to live by faith, is to feed upon the several 
promises of God made in his word, and to apply them to our 
ownselves, according to our needs ; and so to uphold, comfort, 
and encourage ourselves against all temptations, and unto every 
good duty. This life of faith is a very heaven upon earth, a 
sweet sanctuary to any hunted soul; hereby our hearts will be 
cheered, our life will be sweet to us, God will be glorified, and 
the glory of his truth advanced. O blessed duty ! 

That we may live by faith, we must endeavour two things, 

1. TPo get matter for our faith to work upon. 

2. That we may provide matter for our faith to work upon, 
we must observe three things : 1 . That we store up all the good 
promises of God, and our own experiences. 

2. That we laj-^ in promises of all kinds. We had better leave 
than lack : it is the wisdom of a man, that he may not live feebly 
and poorly, but to have somewhat to spare. 

3. That we so lay them up, that we may have them at hand. 
It is a folly to say, '' I have as good provision as can be, but I 
have it not here."" Let the word of God dwelt in you plenteously 
and richly in all ivisdom. 

That we order our faith aright in the work, observe these 
directions : 

1 . Take possession of the promises, and value fhem as our 
own. There is no godly man or woman but is a great heir. 
Whensoever they look in God's book, and find there any pro- 
mise, they make it their own ; just as an heir that rides over divers 
fields and meadows, saith, * This meadow is my heritage, and 
this corn-field is my heritage.' And then he sees a fair house, 
and saith, * This fair house is my heritage.' And he looks upon 

108 The Practice of Sanctijication. 

them with another manner of eye than a stranger that rides over 
those fields. A carnal heart reads those promises, but merely as 
stories, not as having any interest in them ; but a godly man, 
every time he reads the scriptures, (remember this when you are 
reading the scriptures,) and there meets with a promise, ought 
to lay his hand upon it, and say, ^ This is a part of my heritage ; 
it is mine, and I am to live vipon it/ 

2. Expect nothing from the promise, but that which is suit- 
able to the nature of it. Some promises are absolute, which 
God hath simply determined to accomplish; as the promise of 
the Messiah, Isa. vii. 14. and of the calling of the Gentiles, Rom. 
xi. 26. Some promises are conditional, which God will accom- 
plish in his own time, and in his own manner and measure ; they 
are no fiirther promised, than God seeth to be most meet for liis 
glory and our good; as all temporal blessings, less principal 
graces, and the measure of ail sanctifying graces : now in all 
these expect nothing from them, but that which is suitable to 
the nature thereof. 

3. Eye that particular good in the promise which we stand in 
need of, and set God's power, and faithfulness, and wisdom 
awork, to bring it about : for instance, thou art in persecution, 
and either thou wouldst have deliverance out of it, or comfort 
and refreshment in it ; in this case see all this in the promise, 
(referring the order, and time, and manner, to God,) and then 
set God's power and faithfulness awork that can do it, and his 
wisdom awork to contrive it which way he knows best : this is 
the meaning of that text, Commit thy luays tmto the Lord, 
trust in him, and he shall bring it to pass. 

4. By faith wait upon God, in that way he hath appointed. It 
is true, God will work that good for us, yet we must use the 
means, and meet God in the course of his promise, otherwise 
we live not by faith, but tempt God, and throw away his pro- 
mises and all. 

5. Set it down, that God will do whatsoever he hath promised, 
and we shall receive it in the ways of his providence : this is 
the very work of faith itself; thus it draws sap and virtue from 
the promise, when it concludes, that according to the good in 
the promise, it is sure to be done. 

6. But imagine the Lord doth not suddenly accomplish, then 
must faith take up its stand, and stay till it come : he that be- 
lieveth, maketh not haste, the vision is for an appointed time, 
and therefore wait for it. So the Psalmist, ^s the eyes of a ser- 
vant look to the hand^ of his master, and the eyes of a juaiden to 
her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until he 
have mercy upon us: not until we will, or until we see fit, but 
until he will have mercy upon us. 

.,. 7- Imagine the Lord not only delays, but seems t-o frown, and 
to say. He will not hear. In this case, with an holy hunii- 

The Practice of Sanctification, 109 

lity contend with God, for the Lord loves to be overcome thus. 
When Jacob wrestled with God, Let me go, saith the Lord: / 
ivill not let thee go, saith Jacob. So do we catch the Lord Je- 
sus, and strive. with him, and leave him not, till we have those 
comforts he hath promised. Surely this is the glory, and victory, 
and triumph of faith, when the Lord is, as it were, fain to lay 
down his weapons, and to yield himself as conquered: Thy name 
shall he no more called Jacob, hut Israel; hecause thou hast 
prevailed with God. 


Of the maimer of this Life of Faith in particular, as in tern- 

poral Evils. 

In particular, that we may live by faith, observe we — 
L The promises. 

2. The exercise of faith concerning the promises. 
We begin with temporal evils; and, concerning them, first 
give you the promises ; and secondly, the exercise of faith in 
the respect of those promises. 

1 . The promises to prevent afflictions, you may read in the 
word, and they are these, and the like : Psal. xci. 10. Psal. 
cxxi. 7* Job V. 19. Zech. ii. 5. where the Lord promiseth, to be 
a wall of fire to his people; (not of stone or brass, saith Theo- 
doret,) that it may both fray afar off, and keep off at hand ; pro- 
tect them, and destroy their enemies. 

2. The promises to qualify evils, are these, and the like : 
Psal. ciii. 13, 14. Isa. xlix. 13, 14, 15. Hos. xi. 8, 9. In this 
last promise, God imitates parents, says Theodoret, when any 
misery is upon their child, their bowels yearn more; never sits 
the child so much on the mother's lap, never lies so much in her 
bosom, as when he is sick. Is there, or can there be, any richer 
or fuller expression of Tully, than there is in the apostle's Greek, 
where there is both an elegant antithesis, and double hyper])ole, 
beyond Englishing: — for affliction, glory; for light affliction, 
heavy, massy, substantial glory, a weight of glory ; for momen- 
tary affliction, eternal glory : nay, the apostle adds degrees of 
comparison, yea, goes beyond all degrees, calling it more excel- 
lent, far more excellent, exceeding, excessive, eternal weight of 
glory, 2 Cor. iv. 17. 

3. The promises to bear them, or in due time to remove them, 
are these and the like: Ps. xxxvii. 24. Jer. xxix. 11. Mic. 
vii. 8, 9. Ps. xcvii. 11. — As sure as harvest follows seeding, so 
to the righteous, comfort follows mourning. Job xvi. 20. 1 Cor. 
X. 13. 

1. For sickness : the promises to prevent it are these and the 
like, Exod. xv. 26. Dcut. vii. 15. Ps. xci. 10. 

110 The Practice of Sanctijication, 

2. Promises to qualify sickness, are these, and the like, Ps. 
xli. 3. Heb. xii, 6, 7, 8. 

3. Promises to remove sickness, are these, and the like, 
Exod. xxiii. 25. Dent. vii. 15. Isa. xi. 31. 

2. For poverty, we may store up these promises, Psal. xxiii. 
throughout. Ps. xxxiv. 9, 10. xxxvii. 25. Heb. xiii. 15. — 
The wicked indeed may have more abundance than the Christian, 
but here is the difference, the wicked hath all by a providence, 
the Christian hath all by a promise : and this distinction the poor 
Christian would not part with for a world of gold. 

3. For famine, we mav store up these promises. Job. v. 19, 20. 
Ps. xxxiii. 18, 19. ProV. x. 2, 3. Ps. xxxvii. 18, 19. Isa. 
xli. Y] ^ 18. — Some martyrs being cast into prison, and denied 
necessary food, they had faith to return this answer, ^' If men 
will give us no meat, we believe God will give us no stomach.* 

4. For war, we may gather up these promises, and the like. 
Job V. 20. Prov. iii. 24, 25, 26. Jer. xxxix. 17, 18. 

5. For captivity, gather in these promises, and the like, Deut. 
XXX. 3, 4. which very promise Nehemiah sueth out, Neh. i. 9. 
Ps. cvi. 46. Ezek. xi. 16. 

6. For oppression, we have these promises, Ps. xii. 5. Ixviii. 
5. cxlvi.7,8, 9. 

2. For the exercise of faith, concerning these promises, that 
we may live by them, use meditation and prayer. 
1 . For meditation, consider, 

1. That all affliction comes from God: — Shall there he evil 
in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? — I form the light, and 
I create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord 
do all these things. 

2. That as God sends it, so none can deliver us out of it, but 
God : — O our God, wilt thou not judge them f We have no might 
against this great company that cometh against us, neither know 
we what to do, hut our eyes are upon thee. This meditation 
draws the heart from repose in means or friends ; it expels vexa- 
tion and distracting cares, and estrangeth from the use of unlaw 
ful means of deliverance : 7%e horse is prepared against the day 
of battle, but safety is of the Lord. 

3. The cause of all miseries and sorrow is sin, and therefore 
it is time to examine our ways, to humble ourselves, and to set 
upon reformation. 

4. That now God trieth our faith, patience, and meekness. 
He hath said unto crosses. Go ye to such a man, not to weaken 
his faith, or to waste any grace of the Spirit, but to purge him, 
refine him, try him, exercise him, to breed the quiet fruits of 
righteousness. This meditation makes the heart willingly, freely, 
and constantly, to resign itself to the good pleasure of God in all 

5. That 'tis God's will we should use all lawful means of help 

The Practice of S^anttiJicatUm. \ \ \ 

which God in his providence affords ; but in point of dependence, 
that we solely rest on God's promises. Faith coupleth the means 
and the end, but looketh to the promiser, (whose truth, and wis- 
dom, and power, and mercy, never fails,) and not to the probability 
of the thing promised. 

2. For prayer, observe this method : 

1. Lay open our sorrow before the Lord, pour out our com- 
plaints into his bosom. 

2. Confess our sins with hatred and godly sorrow ; for want of 
this God threatened the Israelites : / will go and return to my 
place, till they acknoivledge their offences. 

3. Direct we our supplications to our God : Lord, how long 
wilt thou look on? — O rescue my soul from their destruction, 
my darling from the lions. 

4. Then press we the Lord with his promises : Lord, thou 
hast said. The rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the 
righteous: thou hast said. Yet a little while, and the indignation 
shall cease. These are thy promises ; Lord, make them effectual 
to my poor soul. 

5. For conclusion, tell we the Lord, whatever becomes of us 
we will trust in him : Though thou slay me, yet will I trust in 

These are the acts of faith by which it puts forth, and exer- 
ciseth itself, in time of affliction. 

SECT. in. 

Of the Manner of this Life of Faith in Temporal Blessiiigs. 

CoNCERNrNG temporal blessings, the general promises are 
these, and the like, I Tim. iv. 8. Ps. xxxiv. 8, 9. Ixxxiv. 11. 
Phil. iv. 19. 1 Cor. iii. 21. — All things are your's; we are heirs 
of all the world. 

The special promises have a relation, some to our name, some 
to our bodies, some to our estates, some to our callings. 

1 . Those promises that have a relation to our good name, are 
such as these, I Sam. ii. 30. Prov. iii. 16. iv. 8. xiv. 19. Isa. 
Ivi. 3, 4, 5. 

2. Those promises that have a relation to our bodies, are either 
for long life, concerning which, Deut. v. 16, 33. Prov. iii. 1,2. — 
or for health, concerning which, Prov. iii. 8. Ps. ciii. 3, 4, 5. — 
or for safety, concerning which, Prov. i. 33. Job xi. 8. Hos. 
ii. 18. Job V. 23. — or for peace, concerning which. Lev. xxvi. 
6. Ps. xxix. 11. xxxvii. 11. Prov. xvi. 16. — or for sleep, 
concerning which. Job xi. 19. Prov. iii. 24. — or for food, con- 
cerning which, Ps. xxxvii, 3. cxi. 5. Joel ii. 26. — or for rai- 

112 The Practice of Sanctification. 

ment, concerning which, Deut. x. 18. Matt. vi. 25, 30, 32. — • 
or for posterity, the fruit of the body, concerning which, Deut. 
viii. 12, 13, 14. 

3. Those promises that have relation to our estates, are tliese, 
ob xxii. 24, 25. Prov. viii. 18, 19. Ps. xxxvii. 5. 

4. Those promises that have a relation to our calling, are 
either for plenty, concerning which, Prov. x. 4. xii. 11. xiii. 4. 
xxxviii. 19. — or for protection, concerning which, Ps. xci. 11. 
or for promotion, concerning which, Prov. xii. 24. xxii. 29. — 
or for good success, concerning which, Prov. xii. 14. Isa. Ixv. 
21, 23. — I deny not but the wicked may enjoy all these temporal 
blessings by a general providence, but only the just have a spi- 
ritual right to them ; they only have them as encouragements of 
their righteousness, as testimonies of God's love and care over 
them, and by virtue of a promise. 

2. For the exercise of faith concerning these promises, ob- 
serve that we may live by them, either in the want, or in the 
enjoyment of these temporal mercies. In the want of them go 
we to meditation and prayer. 

1. For meditation; consider, if thou return to the Almighty 
thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put iniquity far from thy taber- 
nacles : then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of 
Ophir as the stones of the brooks. This advice faith digests, and 
labours the reformation of what is amiss, and whatsoever hinders 
the promises. 

2. That faith is painful, provident, and frugal; it shakes off 
idleness, takes the opportunity, husbands thriftility, and observes 
God's providence in all affairs ; otherwise we live not by faith, but 
tempt God, and throw aw^ay his promises. 

3. That faith preserves from the use of all unlawful means. 
The believer consults ever what is truly just ; not what is gainful, 
or what may be compassed by honest courses, not what may be 
gained by fraud, deceit, or the like carnal dealings : Better is a 
little with righteous7iess, than great revenues without right. 

4. That faith leans upon the providence of God, who will keep 
back nothing from us, but what is hurtful and pernicious. Here's 
a sweet act of faith, it submits to God's wisdom, and rests on his 
providence, after the use of all lawful means ; and this maintains 
a Christian in true contentment. 

2. For prayer, observe this method : 

1 . Confess our sins, especially those sins which upon search we 
are persuaded hinders prosperity. 

2. Importune the Lord for his temporal blessings, so far as he 
seeth them to be for our good, and for the glory of his great 

3. Then press the Lord with his promises, as with so many argu- 
ments : — Lord, thou hast said. Godliness hath the jjromise of the 
life that now is, as well as that ivhich is to come: — -thou hast said. 

Tlie Practice of Sanctijication., 113 

Fear the Lord, ye his mints, for there is 710 want to them tJiat 
fear him. These are thy promises ; make them good to us, as it 
stands best with thy wisdom. 

2. In the enjoyment of these temporal blessings, go we to 
meditation and prayer. 

1. For meditation, consider, 

1. Faith, in prosperity, keeps the heart in a lioly temper, in 
humility, meekness, tenderness and compassion towards others ; 
in thankfulness, obedience, and in the fear of the Lord. Satan 
himself could reply to the Lord, Doth Job fear God for nou^^htf 
Hast thou not made a hedge about him f In this case faith will 
remind man of his duty, and persuade him to be so much more 
serviceable, as God's mercies are plentiful upon him. 

2. That faith makes a man heavenly-minded in the possession 
of a prosperous estate ; as it receives all earthly blessings from 
God, so it pulls up the soul to God again : faith considers these 
things as pledges of God's love, as parts of our child's portion, 
and so it makes us look at the better part, those never-fading 
riches which God hath reserved in heaven for all that fear him. 

3. That faith breeds a godly jealousy, lest the heart should be 
dra\vn away with the pleasing delights of things transitory 3 for 
by grace it is that we are conscious of our own weakness, and of 
the snare that is in every creature to entangle us : prosperity is 
pleasing, but dangerous ; as man may quickly surfeit of sweet- 
meats. This makes the waking believer circumspect, watchful, 
and jealous ; and suspicious of his own heart, lest he miscarry in 
prosperity, considering there is a snare in it. 

4. That faith minds a change even when our mountains seem 


2. For prayer observe this method : 

1. Acknowledge God's mercy both in his promises and per- 
formances ; say. Lord, thou hast promised, that no good thing 
wilt thou withhold from them that walk uprightly ; and surely 
thou art true in thy sayings. I believe by virtue of thy promise 
I enjoy this land, and those goods. I have nothing. Lord, but 
merely of free grace, and by virtue of a promise » 

2. Importune the Lord for sanctification of prosperity, and for 
God's blessing upon the means : the more we prosper, the more 
earnest should the prayers of faith be; for of ourselves we have no 
power to wield a good estate well, no ability to preserve or keep 
it : in greatest wealth we lie open to many temptations, and if 
we pray not earnestly that God may sanctify all his temporal 
blessings to us, we shall cool in grace. 

3. Praise God for his mercies, and devote ourselves unto him 
from whom we have received alJ . 


114 The Practice of Sanctlficatlon. 


Of the manner of this Life of Faith in Spiritual EviU. 

Evils spiritual arise either from the devil^ or the flesh, or the 
world, or from man, or God, or from our own selves. 

1 . Those evils that arise from the devil, are temptations of 
several sorts ; and the man whose heart is upright, shall find 
strength enough against every temptation : to that purpose, 
consider these promises. Matt. xvi. 18. 1 Cor. x. 13. 1 John 
V. 18. 

2. Those evils that arise from the flesh, are lusts or tempta- 
tions of uncleanliness ; and for strength and ability against such a 
temptation, consider these promises, Prov. ii. 10, 11, 16. Eccl. 
vii. 26. 1 Thess. v. 23, 24. 

3. Those evils that arise from the world, are covetousness, 
cares, evil company; and for strength against such, consider 
these promises, 2 Cor. vi. 14, 17, 18. Gal. i. 4. 1 John v. 4. 
Heb. xiii. 5. There are five negatives together in the original, 
that strongly affirm ; as if he had said, I tell thee, I will never, 
never, never, never, never, forsake thee. 

4. Those evils that arise from men, are either oppositions 
against truth ; concerning which. Matt. x. 19. Acts xviii. 9, 
10. — or oppositions against goodness. Matt. v. 10. 1 Pet. iii. 
14. — or oppositions against both, and so they fall either on our 
good name, concerning which, Ps. xxxvii, 6. where, howsoever 
thy innocency be at some times covered with a thick and dark 
mist of slander and oppression, yet the Lord will in his good time 
scatter and dissolve the mist, and so make thy innocency appa- 
rent to the world ; yea, he will make thy righteousness as evi- 
dent as the sun when it ariseth ; yea, as noon-day, when it is at 
highest, and shines brightest, Ps. Ixviii. 13. Matt. v. 11, 12. 

1 Pet. iv. 14, &c. — or they may fall on us in respect of our liber- 
ty, concerning which, Ps. Ixix. 32, 33. cii. 19, 20. Rev. ii. 
10. — or they may deprive us of our goods, concerning which, 

2 Chron. xxv. 9. Matt. xix. 29. Hab. iii. \7, 18.-— or they 
may take away life, concerning which. Matt. x. 39. John xii. 
25. Rev. xiv. 13. 

5. Those evils which arise from God, are desertions ; and for 
comforts against them, consider these promises, Isa. xlix. 14, 
15, 16. liv. 7, 8, and 1. 10. 

6. Those evils that arise from ourselves, are sins and infirmi- 
ties ; and they are either spiritual blindness, concerning which, 
Uuke iv. 18. 1 John ii.27. Isa. xxxv. 4, 5. — or spiritual lame- 
ness, concerning which, Isa. xxxv. 6. and xl. 31 — or heaviness 
of mind, concerning which, Isa. xxxv. 1, 2. Jer. xxx. 15, 16, 
17. — or weakness of memory, concerning which, John xiv. 26.— 

The Practice of Sanctifieation. H5 

or Mrs of losing God's love, concerning which, Isa. Ixix. 15 

and liv. 10. Jer. xxxiii. 20. Psalm Ixxxix. 33, 34, 35. John 
xiii. 1. Rom. xi. 29. — or indisposition, distraction, defects in 

our best performances, concerning which. Numb, xxiii. 21. 

Cant. ii. 14.— or particular falls, daily frailties, and infirmities, 
concerning which, Isa. Iv. 7. Jer. iii. 1 . Ps. xxxvii. 24. cxlv. 
14. Hosea xiv. 4. 1 John i. 9. 

2. For the exercising of faith ; concerning these promises that 
we may live by them, go we to meditation and prayer. 

1. For meditation, consider, 

1. That of om-selves we cannot resist these spiritual evils ; all 
our comfort is, that neither the devil, nor the world, nor the flesh, 
nor sin^ can oppose any farther than God will give them leave ; not 
the devil himself can tempt who he will, nor how long he will, 
but in all these he is confined by the providence of God. 

2. That faith fortifies the soul against all oppositions ; the 
more they rage, the more faith heartens the soul to believe, and 
to keep close under the shadow of the Lord's wings : as the child 
affrighted clings faster to the mother, so the poor soul pursued 
by the devil, or the world, or flesh, or man, or God, or our own 
corruptions, runs to Christ, and in his name resists all these evils, 
and in his name gets the victory. 

2. For prayer, observe this method. 

1 . Confess our sins of former ignorance, vanity of mind, self- 
confidence, misinterpreting of the Lord's doings, &c. which set 
open the soul to all other spiritual evils. 

2. Importune the Lord for pardon of sin, and for help against 
all oppositions. 

3. Then press the Lord with his promises, as with so many 
arguments : Lord, thou hast said, that the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against us ; that whoso pleaseth God, shall escape the 
strange woman ; that whosoever is born of God overcometh the 
world ; that if we suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are we ; 
that, in a little wrath I hid 7ny face from thee for a moment, hut 
with everlasting kindness ivill 1 have mercy upon thee. These are 
precious promises ! Now, Lord, make them good to my soul ] let 
me draw the virtue from every of these promises ; let not a word 
of these promises fall to the ground ; let me have a share, and 
part, and portion, in these comfortable promises, through the 
Lord Jesus. 


Of the manner of this Life of Faith in spimtual Blessings, as 
derived to us from God and Christ, and the Spirit of Christ. 

1. From God proceeds his Love of us—Presence with us— 
Frovidehce over us. 

116 The Practice of Sanctificatton, 

1 . Concerning his love of us, we have these promises, Deut. 
vii. 7^ H^ 13. Isa. liv. 8. Jer. xxxi. 3. Hosea ii. 19. xiv. 4. 
John iii. 16. Eph. ii. 4. 1 John iv. 19. 

2. Concerning his presence with us, we have these promises. 
Gen. xxvi.24. xxviii. 15. Exod. iii. 12. Josh. i. 5. Jer. i. 8. 
1 Chron. xxviii. 20. Isa. xli. 10. Matt, xxviii. 20. Rev. ii. 1. 

3. Concerning his providence over us, we have these promises, 
Ps. xxxiv. 7. xci. 11, 12. Job. xxxvi. 7. Zech. ii. 8. 

2d. From Christ we have promises, — 1. Of the person of 
Christ. 2. Of the benefits that flow from Christ. 

1. Of the person of Christ, in Genesis iii. 15. where was the 
first promise, and the foundation of all other promises, because 
God intended to make good every promise in Christ. 

2. Of the benefits that flow from Christ : 

1. Concerning redemption, we have these promises. Tit. ii. 14. 
Eph. i. 7. Gal. iii. 13. Heb. ix. 12. 

2. Concerning vocation, we have these promises. Acts ii. 39. 
Rom. viii. 30. 

3. Concerning justification, we have these promises, Iriaiah 
liii. 11. Acts xiii. 39. Rom. viii. 33. 

4. Concerning reconciliation, we have these promises, 2 Cor. 
V. 18, 19. Eph. ii. 14, 16. Col. i. 21, 22. 

5. Concerning adoption, we have these promises. Gal. iii. 26. 
John i. 12. Rom. ix. 26. Gal. iv. 4, 5, 7. 

3d. From the Spirit of Christ we have promises, — 1 . Of the 
Spirit himself. 2. Of the operation of the Spirit. 

1. Of the Spirit himself, in Joel ii. 28, 29. Acts ii. 17, 18. 
John xiv. 16, 17- Eph. i. 13. Gal. iii. 14. 

2. Of the operation of the Spirit, and that — 1. In general, 
as sanctification. 2. In special, as spiritual graces, and spiritual 

2. Concerning sanctification, we have these promises, Micah 
vii. 19. Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. Heb. viii. 10. and x. 16. 1 Thess. v. 
23. 1 John i. 7- Rev. i. 5. 

Concerning graces and duties, we shall handle them anon. 

2. For the exercise of faith concerning the promises, that we 
may live by them, go we t^ meditation and prayer. 
1 . For meditation, consider these things : 

1 . That faith (considering the privileges of God's children,) 
admires and adores : OA, how great is thy goodness which thou 
hast laid up for them that fear thee^ which thou hast wrought for 
them that trust in thee, before the sons of men. 

2. That faith, on this account, rests upon God, and Christ, 
and the Spirit of Christ, to receive whatsoever may be good and 
profitable to the soul : The Lord is my shepherd, I shall 7iot want. 
What can they want, who have God for their Father, Christ for 
their Saviour, the Spirit for their sanctifier ? 

3. That faith hereupon sets an high price upon Christ, upon 

The Practice of Sancttfication, Hjr 

God in Christ, upon the Spirit of Christ. These promises are 
more worth than kingdoms, empires, the whole worid. Plea- 
sures, profits, honours, all are vain and empty, and nothing is 
to be rested on, but Jesus Christ ; yea, there is a full content in 
Jesus Christ. 

4. Faith in these promises doth greatly enlarge the heart to- 
wards God, and stirreth up to earnest study of holiness -, if a 
Christian be much in the meditation of God's singular goodness 
in Christ, it will even constrain him to yield up himself wholly 
to God, in all manner of godly conversation. 

5. Faith ever runs to these promises in all straits, and here it 
finds comfort. Where can it take up a surer and safer refuge 
than with God and Christ, and the Spirit of Christ ? Indeed 
God it dares not look at, but in Christ ; and the Spirit pro- 
ceeds not but from Christ : to Christ therefore it runs immedi- 
ately ; it is Christ, ivho of God is made unto us wisdom, and 
righteousness, and sanctijication, and redemption. ' Come,* 
saith faith, ^ let us go to Christ, and if he receive us not pre- 
sently, let us stay a little -, he is full of bowels and tenderness 
towards poor sinners ; he keeps open house for all comers ; he 
invites all, entertains all, old sinners, young sinners, great sin- 
ners, less sinners ; his promise is sure too : Him that cometh unto 
me, I will in no ivise cast out. 

2. For prayer, observe this method ; 

1. Confess and acknowledge God's mercies both in his pro- 
mises and performances. 

2. Pray for this increase of faith, and for a farther and far- 
ther sight of this belief; * Give me, gracious Father, to believe 
as thou hast promised ; create in me the hand of faith, and make 
it stronger and stronger, that I may eff'ectually receive what in 
mercy thou reachest forth ', and then give me the spirit of reve- 
lation, that I may discern truly what thou ?iast given me, that 
my lips may sing of thy praise all the day long.' 

3. Praise God for his mercies, and quietly rest in the pro- 
mises : ^ O Lord, thou hast freely loved, and redeemed, and 
sanctified, my soul ; O how should I praise thee ? Lord, thou 
hast given Christ for my wisdom and sanctification, as well as 
for righteousness and redemption : Lord^ thou hast appointed 
Christ to be the beginner and finisher of my holiness, and surely 
he will not leave the work imperfect, whereunto he is ordained 
of the Father. Were the progress of this building committed to 
my care and oversight, there might be cause of fear ; but since 
thou hast laid all upon Christ, my only and all-sufficient Re- 
deemer, Lord, increase my faith, that I may hold him fast and 
be safe, and so at last may sing hallelujahs to thee in heaven for 
ever and ever. 

1 18 The Practice of Sanctificettion^ 

Of the Manner of this Life of Faith in spiritual Graces, 

The operation of the Spirit appears in spiritual graces, and 
spiritual duties. 

1. The kinds of graces are these ; faith, hope, joy, love, fear, 
obedience, repentance, humility, meekness, patience, zeal, and 
perseverance : concerning which the Lord hath made gracious 
promises, to give them, and to reward them. 

The first grace is faith j and we find promises, 1. Of it, Eph. 
ii. 8. Job. vi. 37. Observe here these promises of assurance, 
the highest measure of faith, Psal, 1. 23. Ezek. xxxiv. 30. Isa. 
Ix. 16. Psal. xcvii. 11. — 2. To it, 2 Chron. xi. 20. Prov. xxix. 
25. Isa. xxvi. 3. Acts x. 43. Rom. xviii. 4. Acts xiii. 39. John 
i. 12. vii. 38. iu. 16, 36, v. 24. and vi. 4/. 

The second is hope ; and we find promises, 1. Of it, Psal. Ixv. 
4. Prov. xiv. 32. Job. xiii. 15. — 2. To it, Psal. xl. 4. Rom. iv„ 
18, 22. and viii.24. 

The third is joy ; and we find promises, 1 . Of it, Psal. xxxvi. 
8, 9. Ixiv. 10. Ixviii. 3. xcvii. 11. cxviii. 15. Isa. xii. 2, 3. xxxv. 
throughout, Ivi. 7. Ixvi. 13, 14. John xvi. 22. Rom. xiv. 17^ — 
2. To it, Psal. Ixxxix. 15, 16. 

The fourth is love ; especially of God, and we ma}?" find pro- 
mises, 1. Of it. Cant. i. 4, Deut. xxx. 6. — 2. To it, Psal. xci. 14. 
cxlv.20. Prov. viii. 21. Deut. vii. 9. 1 Cor. viii. 3. ii. 9, 10. 
James i. 12. ii. 5. 

The fifth is fear ; and we find promises, 1 . of it, Jer. xxxii. 
39,40. Hos. iii.v.— 2.To it, Psal. ciii. 11. xxxi. 19. cxlvii. 11. 
Mai. iii. 16, 17. 

The sixth is obedience; and we find promises, 1. Of it, Ezek. 
xi. 19, 20. xxxvi. 25, 27.— -2. To it, Deut. xxviii. 1,2, to 14. 

The seventh is repentance; and we find promises, 1. Of it, 
Acts V. 30, 31. Ezek, xi. 19. xx. 43. xxxvi. 31.— 2. To it, Mai. 
iii. 7. Isa. Iv. 7. 2 Chron. vii. 14. Isa. i. 16, 17, 18. Job iii. 27, 
28. Jer. iv. 14. 

The eighth is humility ; and we find some promises, 1 . Of it, 2 
Cor. x. 4, 5. Gal. v. 22. — 2. To it, Prov. xv. 33. xxii. 4. James 
Iv. 6. 1 Peter V. 5. Isa. Ivii. 15. Matt. v. 3. 

The ninth is meekness; and we find promises, 1. Of it, Isa. xi. 
6, 7, 8. Gal. v. 22, 23.-2. To it, Psal. xxxvii. 11. cxlvii. 6. 
Isa. xxix, 9. Psal. xxv. 9. Zeph. ii 3. Matt. v. 5. and xi. 29. 
Psal. cxlix. 4. 

The tenth is patience ; and we find promises, 1 . Of it, James 
i, 5. — 2. To it, Heb. x. 36. James v. 11. 

The eleventh is zeal; and we find some promises, 1. Of it, 
Jer. XX. 9. 2 Cor. vii. II.— 2. To it. Numb. xxv. 12, 13. Rev. 
iii. 19, 20. 

The Practice of Sanctification, 119 

The twelfth is perseverance ; and we find some promises, 1 . 
Of it, Psal. Ixxxix. 28. Prov. xii. 3. Isa. xlvi. 4.-2. To it. Matt! 
X. 22. Rev. ii. 26. 

The degrees of graces follow; and we find some promises, 1. 
Thereof, Isa. xliv. 3, 4. Mai. iv. 2. Psal. Ixxxiv. 7. Prov. iv. 
18.— 2. Thereto, Rom. xiii. 11. 2 Pet. 1, 8. 

2. For the exercise of faith concerning these promises, that 
we may live by them, go we to meditation and prayer. 

1. For meditation, consider. 

1 . That of ourselves we have no ability to attain any of these 
graces : every one can say, I purpose well ; but the question is, 
whether they build not on their own strength ? Many a man 
(especially in time of his sickness, danger, disgrace) will make 
fair promises of amendment ; but when the rod is removed, all is 
forgotten : what may be the reason ? He stands on his own feet, 
he presumes to go of himself, and then no marvel if he falls. If 
we will have any of these graces, then deny we ourselves : / will 
keep thy statutes, said David : but immediately he cries, O for- 
sake me not utterly ! Purposes thus grounded, bring forth holy 
performances ; but of ourselves we can expect nothing. 

2. That God's Spirit will infuse these graces, and the increase 
of these graces, into them that believe : many would fain have 
hope and joy, but they exercise not their faith to believe God 
and his promises : 1 knew a man in Christ, off and on, unstayed, 
dismayed at his manifold slips, strong corruptions, little pre- 
vailings againgst them, and, when all came to all, he could find 
no help till he went to a promise, and believed that God would 
do the. whole work for him. It is good to believe that, accord- 
ing to his promise, God will sanctify our natures, enable us to 
holiness, and bestow all his graces upon us. 

3. That for the degrees of these graces, it is necessary to im- 
prove them. God ever bestows the greatest measure, where he 
finds a care to put them forth to advantage : Whosoever hath, to 
him shall he given, and he shall have more abundance. As men 
increase their substance by labour, and learning by diligence ; 
so he that improves graces, shall more and more abound hi 

2. For prayer, observe this method : 

1 . Acknowledge your inability : ' O Lord, I have no grace by 
nature, I have no power to cleanse my own heart : O Lord, I 
have defaced thine image, but I cannot repair it ; I may say 
with the apostle, When Iwoulddoivell, evil is present with me, 
but I find no means to perfect what I desire : Oh ! when shall I 
be set at liberty, that I might do the ^vork of God, and run the 
race of his commandments 3 Oh 1 that I had faith, and hope, and 
jqy, and love I* 

2. Look we up to the power, and grace, and truth of God, 
a^d press him therewith : ' Loid, I have heard of thy power. 

120 The Practice of Sanctification , 

thou callest the things that are not, as if they were ; thou canst, 
if thou wilt, work in me these graces, as thou didst gloriously 
create them in Adam : Lord, I have heard also of thy grace and 
truth ; thou art as faithful to keep, as free to make, these pre- 
cious promises. Thy grace is unsearchable, thy word purer than 
silver seven times refined. O make good thy promises ! I press 
thee witL thy power, grace, and truth; O replenish me with 
thy graces !' 

'3. Look we on the promises, and pray by them, or turn them 
into prayer. Faith hearkeneth what the Lord speaketh, and 
speaketh back again in fervent groans and desires to whatsoever 
it heareth : hence we can make no prayer in boldness, faith, or 
comfort, but for things promised, and in that manner as they are 
promised. Thus Jacob (Gen. xxxii. 9.) and David (2 Sam. vii. 
27j 28, 29.) prayed by a promise, and thus should we pray by a 
promise, and then we may be sure we pray according to his 

Of the Manner of his Life of Faith in spiritual Duties. 

The first duty is prayer ; to which are affixed these promises, 
Psal. V. 3. X. 17. Ixv. 2. Prov. xv. 29. Psal. 1. 15. xii. 17, 18, 
19, 20. Zech. xiii. 8, 9. Rom. viii. 13. James v. 15. 

The second is praise ; to which are affixed these promises, 1 
Sam. ii. 30. Psal. 1. 23. andlxviii. 5, 6. 

The third is preaching ; to which Matt, xxviii. 20. John v. 25. 

The fourth is reading the word ; to which Psal. xix. 8. Prov. i. 4. 

The fifth is fasting ; to which James iv. 9, 10. Matt. vi. 18. 

The sixth is meditation ; to which Psal. i. 2. Prov. xiv, 22. 
Phil. iv. 8, 9. 

The seventh is examination; to which 1 Cor. xi.'31. Gal. vi. 4. 

The eighth is sanctification of the Lord's day ; to which Isa. 
Iviii. 13, 14. Ivi. 2. Jer. xvii. 26. 

The ninth is reproof; to which Prov. xxlv. 25. xxviii. 23. 

The tenth is almsgiving ; to which Psal. xii. 1, 2, 3. Luke xiv. 
13, 14. 

The eleventh is waiting on God ; to which Isa. xl. 31. Lxiv. 4. 
xlix. 23. 

2. For the exercise of faith concerning these promises, that 
we may live by them, go we to meditation and prayer. 

For meditation, consider : — 

1. That God deals graciously with his people. He might, out 
of his absolute sovereignty, command only, and we were boimd 
to obey in every of these duties ; but he is pleased, the better to 
quicken us to obedience, to annex these gracious promises. 

2. That aa he is gracious to us; so we should be cheerful i» 

The Practice of Sanctif cation. 121 

our duties to him : this cheerfulness of service is the very l^cst 
fruit of faith; by faith Ahel brought of the firstlings of hisjlock, 
and of the fat thereof , an offering to the Lord. By faith David 
went with the multitude unto the house of God, ivitli the voice of 
joy and praise. It is the voice of faith, — I will sing and give 
praise w^ith the best member I have. 

2. For prayer, observe this method : 

1 . Acknowledge the goodness and free-grace of God in tliesc 
promises : ^ O Lord, why shouldst thou allure me to that which 
I am every way bound to ? If I had none of these promises, I 
have already in hand a world of mercies, which infinitely bind 
me to duty ; and wilt thou yet add this and that promise, to this 
and that duty ? O the miracle of mercies 1 O the goodness of 

2. Bewail your own dulness and sloth to the duty : ^ And yet, 

Lord, how dull, and remiss, and slight, am I in the practice of 
this or that duty ? Thou hast said. Cursed is the 7na?i that doth 
the work of the Lord negligently : Oh ! then what is my portion ? 
No marvel if I feel no power, no sweet, in the ordinances, whilst 

1 deal partially, hear perfunctorily, pray coldly, labour not to 
feed on the promise. O Lord, thou lovest a cheerful giver; 
but my services are maimed, corrupt, dead, superficial, and very 

3. Importune the Lord to quicken your dead hearts to the 
duty; so prays David, Teach me to do thy ivill; thy Spirit is 
good, lead 7ne in the land of ujwightness : so prays the church, 
'^ Draw me, and we will run after thee ;'' and so let us pray, 
^ Give me a cheerful heart in thy service, enliven my heart by thy 
blessed Spirit, give me to do what thou requirest, inchne my 
heart to thy statutes.' 

4. Implore the assistance of God's Spirit to every good duty ; 
beg acceptance of your persons and performances in the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; press him with his promises, to set on duties, and 
to reward duties ; and whatever duty you do, press him with 
that especial promise belonging unto it. Thus if we meditate and 
pray, and pray and meditate, we may live by faith in reference 
to spiritual duties. 


Of the Manner of the Life of Faith in Things eternal. 

1. Concerning damnation, or eternal confusion, we have 
these promises against it, Isa. xlv. 17- Rom. viii. 1. 

2. Concerning salvation, we have these promises for it, Rom. 
vi. 23. 1 Thess. iv. IJ. God hath promised us a kingdom. Matt. 
XXV. 34. an heavenly kingdom, Matt. vii. 21. an eternal king- 

5 Q, 

122 ' The Practice of Sanctification, 

dom, 2 Pet. i,'!!. a croiun of life, James i. 12. a erotvn of 
righteousness, 2 Tim. iv. 8. an immarcessihle croiun of glory, 
1 Pet. V. 4. 

4. For the exercise of faith concerning these promises^ that we 
may live by them, go we to meditation and prayer. 

1. For meditation, consider, 

1 . That faith in the precions promises of eternal life, quiets 
and cheers the heart in the midst of discouragements. 

2. That fulness of glory is reserved for the life to come ; but 
the beginnings of glory, as peace, joy, sanctification, are vouch- 
safed here. Grace is the beginning of glory; and now as grace 
grows, so we enter upon the possession of our inheritance. 

3. Faith earnestly desires and longs after full glory. Our- 
selves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even ive our- 
selves groan luithin ourselves, ivaiting for the adoj^tion, to wit, 
tlie redemption of the body. 

2. For prayer, observe this method : — • 

1 . Confess we our former carelessness to enter upon this in- 
heritance : ' O Lord, I have slighted thy promises, I have neg- 
lected the motions of thy holy Spirit, I have not carefully 
improved the gifts received, I have not laboured more and 
more to be sealed with the promised Spirit : — Ah, Lord ! what a 
dwarf am I in holiness ! By reason of my sloth, the powers of 
grace are so enfeebled, that I can scarce breathe or sigh in the 
way to heaven,' 

2. Pray that the Lord would increase our faith, seal us by his 
Spirit, lead us in the way of peace, cause us to grow up in holi- 
ness, make us wise to prize and value^ to taste and relish, the 
very joys of heaven : and above all, that he would assure our 
consciences of our right and title thereto. 

3. Praise God for his promises of eternal life : ' O Lord, thou 
hast looked on my base estate, and visited me with mercy from 
on high ; of a stranger and a foreigner, thou hast made me a free 
denizen of the new Jerusalem : now I see, I read it in thy precious 
promises, that my name is registered in heaven; an eternal 
Aveight of glory is reserved for me ; heaven is my home, my 
hope, my inheritance : Oh ! where shall my heart be, but where 
my treasure is ! — Oh ! the incomprehensible love and favour of 
my dear Lord ! What a mercy is this ! what promises are these ! 
— My soul rejoicetfi in thee my God, my spirit shall bless ttiy 
name for ever and ever. 


Of the Manner of this Life of Faith in regard of Others, 

We have done with the promises that concei'u oiu'selves : now 
follow SMch special promises as we find in holy writ concerning 

The Practice of Sanctijication. 123 

others ; and they have reference^ either to our own family^ to 
godly society farther enlarged, or to the church of Christ. 

1st. The members of our family are, husband and wife, parent 
and child, master and servant. 

1 . For the husband and wife ; they have promises from the 
Lord, Ps. cxxxviii. Prov. xxxi. 28. and xi. 16. Job v. 25. 

2. For parent and child ; God hath made a gracious covenant 
with them. Gen. xvii. 7, 9. Acts ii. 39. Jer. xxxii. 39. Prov. xx. 
7. Good parents, though poor, leave their children a good patri- 
mony, for they have laid up many prayers for them in heaven, 
and they leave God's favour for their possession, and his pro- 
mises for a sure inheritance, Psal. xxxvii. 25, 26. Prov. xi. 21. 
Psal. cxii. 2. and xxv. 13. and xxxvii. 29. Prov. xiii. 22. Isa. 
xliv. 3, 4. and liv. 13. — And children obeying their parents have 
these promises, Exod. xx. 12. Eph. vi. 2. Jer. xxxv. 18, 19. 
Prov. i. 8, 9. and vi. 20. 

3. For master and servant : they have sweet promises, Prov. 
iii. 33. Job viii. 16. Prov. xiv. 1 1 . — especially the servant that 
is truly obedient. Col. iii. 23, 24. 1 Pet. ii. 19. 

Here consider magistrates, Deut. xvii. 19, 20. Ps. cxxxii. 18. 
— and ministers, Psal. cv. 15. Rev. ii. 1 . Isa. xlix. 4. 

2d. Godly society, out of our own families, hath precious pro- 
mises, as Prov. xiii. 20. Mai. iii. 16, 17- Matt, xviii. 20. 

3d. The church of Christ, whether particular, (as public assem- 
blies,) hath blessed promises, Isa. xxxiii. 20, 21. lix. 21. Matt, 
xviii. 20. 1 Cor. v. 4. Rev. ii. 1. Psal. xxvi. 8. and cxxxiii. 3. 
Mic. iv. 4^ 11, 12. — or whether general and universal, it hath 
glorious promises, as Matt. xvi. 8. Isa. xxvii. 3. Psal. cxiiv. 2. 
Zech. ix. 16. Here come in all the promises : first, of calling 
the Jews, as Isa. lix. 20. Rom. xi. 23, 26. Hos. xiii. 14. and 
xiv. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7^ 8.; secondly, of bringing in the Gentiles, 
as Isa. xlix. 22, 23. Rev. xxi. 24. John x. 16. Isa. Ix. 3, 5, 8. 
Acts X. 14. Eph. ii. 12, 19.; thirdly, of the destruction of An- 
tichrist, as 2 Thess. ii. 8. Rev. xvii. 16. and xviii. 21. where 
each word hath almost a gradation, in that an angel, a mighty 
angel, taketh a stone, a great stone, even a millstone, which he 
letteth not barely fall, but casteth into the sea, whence nothing 
ordinarily is recovered, much less a millstone, thrust from such 
a hand, and with such force. 

Now for the exercising of faith concerning these promises, 
that we may live by them, go we to meditation and prayer. 

For meditation, consider, 

1. That we have had the performance of many of these pro- 
mises f and this may persuade us that the residue (especially of 
the church's flourishing, and of Antichrist's downfall) is as sure 
as that part already accomplished; experience should strengthen 
faith, and breed an assured hope in God's people, of the Lord's 
most glorious appearing. 

124 The Practice of Sajictification, 

2. That the time is now for the church's restoring, and for 
bringing in more kingdoms from Antichrist to Christ. What 
else mean all tlie shakings in all the kingdoms of the world ? 
Therefore study we this time of God, and, in our places and call- 
ings, work with providence, now we have a season, to help up 
the church, God's holy mountain. 

For prayer, observe this method : 

r. Confess our former neglect in our several relations : ^ O 
Lord, I have not done my duty in my own family, among Chris- 
tians, in the churches of Christ ; I have not performed my vows, 
served my generation, helped onward the building of Zion. 
And now. Lord, what shall I say, but confess it to thy glory, and 
my own shame?' 

2. Pray for a blessing on others, as on our ownselves ; forget 
not our relations to others in our best prayers ; be importunate 
with God, more especially for Zion. — O look upon ZioUy the 
city of our solemnities; let thine eyes see Jerusalem a quiet habi- 
tation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; let not one of 
the stakes thereof be 7'emoved, nor any of the cords be broken, 

3. Press we the Lord with all his precious promises, either to 
our families, or Christian societies, or the churches of Christ. 
We have a promise, that the Lord ivill create upon every dwell- 
ing-j^lace of mount Zion, and upon the assemblies, a cloud anxl 
smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, for 
upon ail the glory shall be a defence: ' Now, Lord, make good 
thy word.' 

Conclude with, I believe, that whatsoever God hath said in 
any of these respects, he will fulfil it in his own time : Heaven 
and earth shall pass away, but not one jot, one tittle, of God's 
tcord shall fail. It may be for the present things seem con- 
trary, yet God hath said it, and that is enough for me : if I can 
but really acknowledge and believe that God is able to do it, he 
will then speak from heaven, as he did once on earth, — Accord- 
mg to your faith be it unto you. 


Of the Nature of Family Duties. 

Hitherto of the duties which concern every man, in his own 
particular; next to them succeed family duties, which ought to 
be jointly or respectively observed by the families and houses of 
the people of God. This is implied by that threat. Pour out thy 
fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families 

The Practice of Sanctification. \ 25 

that call not upon thy name; and by that example of Joshua, But 
as for me and my house, ive luill serve the Lord; and by that pro- 
mise of God, At the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God 
of all the families of Israel^ and they shall be my peo'ple. 

SECT. II. , 

^ Of the T reparatives to Family Duties. 

Now that we may comfortably carry on these family duties, 
observe we — 

1 . Our entrance into them. 

2. Our proceedings in them. 

For entrance, we must lay a good foundation in those that 
belong to this family : 

1st. In the governor, whose duty it is, 

1 . To endeavour in a special manner for knowledge in God's 
word, and for holiness of conversation ; this would tend much to 
the preservation of his authority, who otherwise will be slighted 
and disregarded. 

2. To marry in the Lord, and then to live chastely in wedlock, 
that there may be an holy seed. 

3. To beware whom he admits to dwell with him. See David's 
resolution herein. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, 
that they may diuell ivith me : he that ivalketh in a perfect way 
shall serve me; he that ivorketh deceit shall not dwell within my 
house; he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. 

2d. In the governed, whose duty it is both to join together in 
the performance of family duties with their governor, and to sub- 
mit to his government: — 3fy son, hear the instmction of thy fa- 
ther, and forsake not the law of thy mother ; for they shall be an 
ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. 


Of the Duties of Governors in general. 

In the proceedings of these family duties, we are to consider 
the duties, 1. Of the governors ; 2. Of the governed. 

I. The governors, if (as it is in marriage) there be more 
than one, as first, the chief governor, to wit, the husband ; se- 
condly, the helper, to wit, the wife : both these owe duties to 
their families, and duties to one another. 

The duties they owe to their families, are, — In general, to the 
whole : in particular^, according to their several relations. 

126 The Practice oj Sanctijicat'ion, 

That which in general they owe to the whole family, is both 
to their bodies and souls. 

1 . To their bodies ; concerning which, saith the apostle. He 
that provideth not for his own, and especially for those of his 
own house, hath deiiied the faith, and is ivorse than an infidel. 

2. To their souls ; concerning which, some duties they are to 
perform to the family, and some to require of the family. 

1st. The duties they must perform to them, are — 

1 . To provide that they may live under the public ministry ; 
for otherwise how should they be brought into the sheepfold of 
Christ, if they hear not the voice of the Chief Shepherd speaking 
unto them by those whom he hath sent. 

2. To oversee the ways of their families, that they serve God ; 
and as in all other duties, so especially in sanctifying the Sab- 
bath : to this the very words in the fourth commandment bind 
all masters of families; Remember thou, and thy son, and thy 
daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid: — where the Lord 
speaks by name to the governors, as if he would make them 
overseers of this work of sanctifying of his Sabbaths. 

3. To offer prayers and praises to the Lord, morning and 
evening. This was David's practice ; Evening, and morning, 
and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my 

4. To instruct their families privately in matters of religion, 
that they may not only profess, but feel the power of religion. 
This duty implies, — 

1. A familiar catechizing of them in the principles of religion. 
Thus were parents commanded of old. Thou shalt teach these 
words diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them ivhen 
thou sittest in thine house, and luhen thou ivalkest by the ivay, 
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

2. A daily reading of scriptures in their hearing, directing them 
to mark and to make use of them : so Timothy was trained up by 
his parents, and that from his childhood. 

3. A careful endeavouring that they profit by the public mi- 
nistry : to this end, they must prepare them to hear the word, by 
considering God's ordinances, promises, and their own necessi- 
ties. 2. They must remind them to look into the word for 
Christ, and for communion with Christ. 3. They must examine 
them after the ordinance, what they have learned, and what use 
they can make of it. 

2d. The duties they are to require of the family, are both care- 
fully to frequent the public ministry, and diligently to be conver- 
sant in the private worship of God, and constantly to practice all 
holy and christian duties ', and they are to require these things, 
not only by telling them, calling on them, catechizing them, 
admonishing them; but if they be negligent, by correcting 

The Practice of Sanctificatwn, 127 

Now this correction must be ministered in wisdom and 

1 . In wisdom, whose property it is to find out the right party 
that committed the fault, to consider of what sort the fault is, to 
weigh circumstances of age, discretion, and occasions ; and to 
look to the mind of the doer, whether negligence or mere sim- 
plicity brought him to it. 

2. In patience, whose property it is to make the faidt manifest 
to the offender, that his conscience may be touched therewith ; 
to hear what the offender can say in his own defence, and accord- 
ingly to allow or disallow; to avoid bitterness, which sooner 
will harden the heart, than reform the manners of the offender. 
These rules being observed, and the heart lifted up in prayer to 
God for direction and blessing, this correction is necessary, as 
is evident in Gen. xxx. 2. Prov. xiii. 24. xix. 18. 

These are the duties that governors owe to families in respect 
of their souls ; to correct them, catechize them, admonish them, 
call on them, read to them, pray for them. 


Of the Duties of Parents to their Children. 

The duties in particular which governors owe to the family, 
according to their relations, are, as parents to their children, or iis 
masters to their servants. 

1st. The duties of parents to the bodies of their children, are 
in many particulars, but may be all comprised under this one 
head, a provident care for their temporal good. 

1. The first age of a child is his infancy, and the first part of 
his infancy, is while it remaineth in the mother's womb : here 
the duty lies principally upon the mother, to have a special care 
of it, that it may be safely brought forth. 

The next degree of a child's infancy, is while it is in the swad- 
ling-band, and remains a sucking child : in this also the care 
more especially lies on the mother, whose duty it is to take all 
pahis she possibly may, for the education of her child. 

2. The second age of a child is its youth, from the time it be- 
gins to be of any discretion, till it be fit to be placed forth : now 
the duty of parents at this time is, 1. To nourish, and 2. To 
nurture their children. 

Under nourishment, are comprised food, apparel, means for 
recovery of health when they are sick 3 in which if parents pro- 
vide not for their children, they are worse than infidels: and 
under nurture are comprised good manners, a good calling, fre- 
quent admonition, reprehension, correction, the last remedy^ 

128 The Practice of Sanctification, 

which may do i^ood when nothing else can. Pro v. xix. 18. xxiii. 
13, 14. xxix. 17. 

2d. The duty of parents to the souls of their children extends 
itself also to all times ; as, 1. To their infancy, 2. To their youth, 
3. To the time of the parents' departure out of this world. 

1. The first age of a child is his infancy, and the first part of 
its infancy is while it remaineth in the mother's womb. Now 
the duty of parents at that time are these : 1 . That they pray for 
their children: thus did Rebekah, while the children were 
quick in her womb. Those parents that neglect this duty 
to their children, consider not rightly that they are conceived 
in sin. 

2. That they make sure, so much as in them lies, that their 
children be born under the promise, or under the covenant, in 
respect of the spiritual part of it : how ? By making sure that 
they be under the promise or covenant themselves. If God in 
Christ be their God, they may have a comfortable hope that God 
will be the God of their seed, according to the promise, / ivill he 
thy God, and the God of thy seed. 

The next degree of a child's infancy is, when it is born; and 
the duty of parents then is, to give up their children unto God, 
casting them into the hands of his providence, into the arms of his 
mercy, begging for them a gracious acceptation with God ; and 
to tender them to the ordinance, the sacrament of baptism, to 
get the seal of tlie covenant set upon them. 

2. The second age of a child is its youth : now the duty of pa- 
rents to their children at this time is, to train them up in true 
piety, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 
To this end, 

1 . When children begin to read, let them read the holy Scrip- 
tures : so was Timothy trained up from a child. 

2. Let children be catechized constantly from day to day : only 
with this caveat, that parents deal with their children as skilful 
nurses and mothers do in feeding their children, i. e. not to 
give them too much at once ; overmuch dulls a child's understand- 
ing, and breeds wearisomeness to it. It is most suitable to give 
\h^i\\ jJTecept upoji precept, precept upon precept, line iqmn line, 
line upon line, here a liUle, and there a little : thus shall they 
learn with ease and delight, and in time a great measure of know- 
ledge will be gained thereby. 

3. Let parents declare to their children, the admirable works 
that God in former times hath done for his church, especially such 
works as he hath done in their time. Outward sensible things 
do best work upon children, and therefore this direction was 
given under the law. Josh. iv. 6, 21. 

4. Let parents be to their children a good pattern, leading them 
to Christ by their examples : this will take place with children, 
more than all precepts. 

The Practice of Sanctification, 129 

5. Let parents reprove and correct their children for sin; and 
that the Lord may sanctify this correction unto them, consider 
this, O ye parents ! Do you observe such and such sins in your 
children ? Enter into your own hearts, examine yourselves, whe- 
ther they come not from you: consider how justly the hand of 
God may be upon you ; and when you are angry with your chil- 
dren, have an holy anger with your ownselves, and use this or the 
like meditation with your own souls : Lord, shall I thus punish 
my own sin in my child ? How then mayest thou be displeased 
with me for the too carnal conception of my child : it may be, I 
then lay in some sin, or I asked it not of thee by prayer : be 
merciful to me, O Lord, and in thy good time shew thou pity on 
me and my child ! 

6. As children grow in years, and in the knowledge of Christ, 
and of justification by Christ, let parents train them up in the 
exercise of all duties ; as prayer, meditation, self-examination, 
watchfulness, and all means, public and private : if this be done, 
the world to come may reap the benefit of their education. Such 
children as you bring up, such parents will they be (when you 
are gone) to their children. 

3d. 'The last time to which the duty of parents extends itself, 
is the time of their departure out of the world ; and then they owe 
to their children good direction, and faithful prayer. 

\. For direction: when parents observe their time to draw 
near, it is their duty then especially to connnend some wise and 
wholesome precepts unto their children, the better to direct them 
in their Christian course. The words of a dying parent are espe- 
cially regarded, and make a deeper impression. 

2. For prayer : then is the most proper time for parents to pray 
for, and bless all their children. As they commend their own souls 
unto God's hands, so let them commend their children unto God's 
grace. God's providence and promises are the best inheritance 
in the world ; and if parents, in their prayers, leave these to their 
children, they can never want any thing that is good. Oh 1 the 
faithful prayers of parents for their children (especially when they 
are leaving their children and going to God) must needs, in, for, 

d throuffh Christ, prevail mightUy with God. 



uj the Duties of Masters to Servants. 

The duty of masters to their servants, is either to their bodies 
or to their souls. 

1. The duty of masters to the bodies of their servants, consists 
in these particulars, viz. in a due provision of food for them, 
Prov. xxxi. 5L and xxvii. 27. — in a wise care for their clothing, 
5, R 

130 The Practice of Sanctification, 

Prov. xxxi. 21. — in a well-ordering of their labour, so as they 
may be able to undergo it : in their ease, rest, and intermission 
from labour at seasonable times : in paying them sufficient wages, 
Deut. xxiv. 14, 15. — in a careful preserving of their health, and 
using means for their recovery in case of sickness. Mat. viii. 6. 
and that not of the servant's wages, but of the master's own 
charge, otherwise they undo not the heavy burden, but rather lay 
burden upon burden. 

2. The duty of masters to the souls of their servants consists 
in these particulars, viz. In teaching them the principles of re- 
ligion, and all duties of piety; — in causing them to go to the 
public ministry of the word and worship of God; — in taking 
account of their profiting by the public and private means of 
edification ; — in praying for them, and, as they observe any grace 
wi'ought in them^ in praising God for it, and praying for the 
increase of it. 


Of the Duties of the Husband and Wife* 

The duties which the chief governor and his helper owe to 
one another, are either common and mutual, or peculiar to each. 

1 . The common mutual duties betwixt man and wife, are ma- 
trimonial unity, and matrimonial chastity; loving aifection of one 
another : and provident care of one for another. 

The former duties presupposed ; there ought to be-— 

1 . A loving and tender-hearted pouring out of their hearts, 
with much affectionate dearness, into each other's bosom. This 
mutual melting-heartedness, being preserved fresh and fruitful, 
will infiuilely sweeten and beautify the marriage state. — Now for 
the preservation of this love, let them consider, 

1 . The compassionate and melting compellations which Christ 
and his spouse exchange in the Canticles : My fair one, my love, 
my dove, my undefiled^my well-beloved , the chief of ten thousand. 
Such a fervent and chaste love as this, all married couples should 

2. The command of God; Husbands, love your wives, Eph. 
V. 25. and. Wives (or young women) love your husbands, Tit. 
ii. 4. Methinks this charge, oft remembered, should ever beat 
back all heart-rising and bitterness, all wicked wishes that they 
had never met together. When the knot is tied, every man 
should think his wife the fittest for him, and every wife should 
think her husband the fittest for her, of any other in the world. 

2d. A provident care of one for another ; which extends to the 
body : No man hateth his own flesh, but nourisheth aiid cherish- 
eth it : but especially to the soul ; in praying together, for, and 
with one another; in taking notice of the beguming and least 

The Practice of Sanctification. 131 

measure of grace, and approving the same ; in conferring about 
such things as concern the same, mutually propounding ques- 
tions, and giving answers, one to another; in maintaining holy 
and religious exercises in the family, and betwixt their own- 
selves, in stirring up one another to hear the word, to receive 
the sacraments, and to perform all the parts of God's public 
worship. In case the one prove unconverted, let the other wait 
and pray, and expect God's good time : or in case the one be a 
habe in Christ, let the other deal lovingly, meekly, and let our 
Lord Jesus, in his tender-heartedness to spiritual younglings, 
teach us mercy this way, who is said to gather the lambs ivith 
his arms, and to carry them in his bosom, and gently to lead 
those that are with young. 

2. The peculiar duties of each are : — 

1 . Of the husband, whose duty it is — 1 . that he dearly love 
his wife; — 2. that he wisely maintain and manage his authority 
over her. 

1 . No question the wife is to love her husband, and a brother 
to love his brother, and a friend to love his friend, but more 
especially is the husband to love his wife. To this purpose she 
is called, the wife of his bosom, to shew that she ought to be as 
his heart in his bosom. He must love her at all times, he must 
love her in all things ; love must season and sweeten his speech, 
carriage, actions, towards her; love must shew itself in his 
commands, reproofs, admonitions, instructions, authority, fami- 
liarity with her : the rise of which love must not be from her 
beauty or nobility, but especially because she is his sister in the 
Christian religion, and an inheritor with him of the kingdom of 
heaven; because of her graces and virtues, because she bears 
him children, the heirs of his name and substance, and because 
of the union and conjunction of marriage. Love, growing on 
beauty, riches, lust, or any other slight grounds, soon vanisheth ; 
but if grounded on these considerations, and especially on this 
union of marriage, it is lasting and true : the want hereof is the 
fountain of strife, quarrelling, and debate, which converts the 
paradise of marriage into an hell. 

For the manner of this love, the apostle gives it thus, Hus- 
bands, love your own wives, even as Christ also loved the church. 
Now the love of Christ to his church, is commended to us in 
these particulars : — 

1. His love was every way free : so should husbands love their 
wives, though there be nothing in wives to move them, but 
merely because they are their wives. 

2. Christ began it to the church, before the church could love 
him; so should husbands begin to love their own wives. I know 
some wives prevent their husbands therein, but the greater is 
their glory. This pattern of Christ should rather stir up their 
husbands to go before them. 

132 The Practice of Sanctification. 

3. Tlie truth of Christ's love was manifested by the fruit& 
thereof to his church ; he gave himself for it, that he might sanc- 
tify and cleanse it, and 'present it to himself a glorious church, 
not having spot or wrinkle: so must husbands love their wives 
in truths by guiding them in the way of life -, for this is the true 
character of a sincere love. 

4. Christ's love is an holy^ pure^ and chaste love; as he him- 
self is_, so is his love : such must be the love of husbands, an holy, 
pure, and chaste love. Away with all intemperate, excessive, 
or any ways exorbitant, pollutions of the marriage bed; from 
which, if the fear of God, imitation of Christ, love of purity, 
awfulness of God's all-seeing eye, cannot draw ; yet that horror, 
lest God should punish such a couple with no children, or mis- 
shapen children, or with idiots, or wicked children, or with 
some other heavy cross, one would think should be able to 
affright them. 

5. Christ having loved his own, loved them unto the end. Such 
must be the love of husbands, a firm love, an inviolable love : the 
ground of it must be God's ordinance, and the support of it 
must be an inviolable resolution, that no provocation shall ever 
change it. Husbands must pass by all infirmities, endeavouring 
in love tt) redress them, if possibly they can, or, if not, to bear 
with them. 

The second duty of a husband, is, wisely to maintain and 
manage his authority : now the management of it consists in 
two things : — 

1 . That he tenderly respect her. 

2. That he carefully provide for her. 

1st. He must tenderly respect her, as his wife, companion, 
yoke-fellow, as his delight, and the desire of his eyes, and never 
be bitter against her. This bitterness ordinarily turneth the 
edge of his authority ; if therefore any matter of unkindness arise, 
as sometimes certainly it will, then must he carefully, with all gen- 
tleness and patience, quiet all ; and never suffer himself nor his 
wife to sleep in displeasm'C. Let not the sun go down upon your . 
rvroth : or if he shall have occasion to reprove her, he must keep 
his words until a convenient time, not in presence of others, 
and then in the spirit of meekness and love. Surely, if she be 
not corrected by a word of wisdom, she will never amend by 
threats or rigorous carriage ; and if she once begin to lose her 
shamefacedness in the presence of her husband, it is likely there 
will be often quarrels betwixt them, and the house will be full 
of disquietness : it is best therefore to deal wisely with her, to 
admonish her often, to reprehend her seldom, never to lay violent 
hands on her ; if she be dutiful, to cherish her, that she may 
so continue ; if wayward, mildly to suffer her, that she wax not 

2d. He must carefully provide for her; to this purpose he is 

The Practice of Sanclification, 13S 

called her head, as Christ is head of the clmrch. The head, you 
know, is the fountain of motion, quickening, life, to the body ; 
so should the husband be as the well-spring of liveliness, light- 
someness, light-heartedness, to his wife : she hath forsook all for 
him, and therefore she should receive from him a continual in- 
fluence of cheerful walking, and comfortable enjoying herself. 
2. The duties proper to the wife, are these : — 

1. That she be in submission to her husband. 

2. That she be an helper to him all her days. 

1st. Wives must be in subjection to their oivn husbands. 
Sarah obeyed Abraham, and called him lord. But here is a case 
of conscience : 

1. What if her husband be a son of Belial, and an enemy to 
Christ, must she then yield subjection? Yes, because in his 
office her husband is as in Christ's stead. The church is com- 
pared to a lily among thorns, she remains lily-like, white, soft, 
pleasant and amiable, though she be joined with thorns, which 
are prickly and sharp : so a wife must be meek, mild, gentle, 
obedient, though she be matched with a crooked, perverse, and 
wicked husband : she must, in this case, remove her eyes from 
the disposition of her husband's person to the condition of his 
place, and by virtue thereof, seeing he beareth Christ's image, 
be subject unto him as unto Christ. 

2. What if her husband command things contrary to Christ, 
must she therein be subject? No, submit as unto the Lord: if 
she submits to things contrary to Christ, she submits not as to 
the Lord. Conscientious wives must remember they have an 
husband in heaven, as well as on earth, betwixt whom there is a 
greater difference than betwixt heaven and earthy and therefore 
in case they bid contrary things, they must prefer God before 
man, Christ before all men. 

2d. Wives must be helpers to their husbands. Now this help - 
fulness consists in these things : 

1 . That she be careful to preserve his person, in sickness or 
health, in adversity or prosperity, in youth or old age. 

2. That she learn and labour to forecast, contrive and man- 
age household affairs ; for which see a glorious pattern in Prov 

3. That she may help her husband, in erecting and establish- 
ing Christ's glorious kingdom in their house, and especially in 
their own hearts. This is that one necessary thing, \\ith(nit 
which their family is but Satan's seminary, and a nursery for 
hell. This will marvellously sweeten all reproaches cast upon 
them by envenomed tongues ; this will sweetly seal unto them 
their assurance of meeting together in heaven. 

Thus much of the duties of governors, mc now come to the 

134 The Practice of Sanct'ification. 


Of Duties of Children to Parents. 

1. The inward duties which children owe to their parents, are 
love and fear : love, like sugar, sweetens fear; and fear, like salt, 
seasons love. There must be a loving fear, and a fearing love. 
Hence the fear of a child is opposed to the fear of a slave : for a 
child's fear bemg mixed with love, hath respect to the offence 
which a parent may take; but a slave's fear, which is ordinarily- 
mixed with hatred, hath respect to nothing but the punishment 
which his master may inflict upon him. This love-like fear 
is so proper to children, that the awful respect which the 
saints bear to God, is called a filial fear. Children have re- 
ceived their substance from the very substance of their parents, 
and therefore they are to perform this duty of love and fear to 

2. The outward duties, or the manifestation of this love and 
fear in children, appears, 

1. In their reverence, in speech and carriage. They must 
give to their parents reverend and holy titles, meek and humble 
speeches, obeisance as becomes their age and sex. Thus Jo- 
seph and Solomon bowed, the one to his father, and the other to 
his mother. Contrary thereto is mocking and despising father 
and mother ; of which said Solomon, The eye that mocketh at 
his father, arid despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the 
valley shall pick it out. A phrase that sets forth the end of a 
notorious malefactor, that is hanged in the air till the ravens pick 
out his eyes. 

2. In their obedience to the commands, instructions, reproofs, 
and corrections, of their parents, Eph. vi. 1. Prov. i. 8, 9. The 
reason is, because of God, whom the father represents : chil- 
dren must remember, that whatsoever they do to their parents, 
they do it to God ; when they disobey them, they disobey God ; 
when they please them, they please God; when their parents 
are justly angry with them, God is angry with them, nor can 
they recover God's favour, though all the saints of heaven should 
entreat for them, till they have submitted themselves to their 
parents, only with this limitation, that they submit o)' obey them 
in the Lord, Eph. vi. 1. 

3. In their recompense. This is a duty whereby children en- 
deavour, as much as in them lies, to repay what they can for 
their parents' kindness, care, and cost towards them, in way of 
thankfulness. In sickness, they must visit them; in want, they 
must provide for them ; in time of danger, they must endeavour 
their protection. 

The Practice of Sanctification, 135 

SECT. vm. 

Of the Duties of Servants to their Masters. 

Duties of servants to their masters, are either inward, as fear; 
or outward, as reverence and obedience. 

1 . The inward duty is fear : Servants, he subject to your mas- 
ters with all fear, ojtid account them ivorthy of all honour. So 
proper is this fear to a servant, that where it is wanting, there is 
a plain denial of his master's place and power. If I he a master, 
where is my fear? said God. I mean not slavish fear, as when 
a servant fears nothing but the revenging power of his master ; 
but an awful fear of provoking his master, so that it makes him 
consider every way how he may please him ; and such a fear 
draws him on cheerfully to perform his duty. 

2. Outward duties which issue from this fear, are reverence 
and obedience. 

1. Reverence, which is manifested in speech and carriage. 
Thus servants must give reverend titles to their masters, as 
father, lord, and master, &c. They must yield obeisance to 
them ; as the children of the prophets, when they saw that the 
spirit of Eflijah rested on Elisha, came to meet him, and bowed 
themselves to the ground before him. 

2. Obedience, which hath respect to the commands, instruc- 
tions, reproofs, and corrections, of their masters, 1 Pet. ii. 18, 
19, 20. But here is a case or two of conscience. 

1. How far they must obey; or what is the extent of ser- 
vants' obedience to masters. The apostle answers. Servants, 
obey in all things your masters according to the flesh. It is not 
sufficient that servants perform well their duties in some things ; 
they must do it in all things ; yea, in things that may be against 
their own liking, if their masters will have it so. Like as Peter, 
when Christ bid him launch out into the deep, and let down his 
net for a draught, he answered. Master, we have toiled all the 
flight, and have taken nothing ; nevertheless, at thy word I will 
let down the net. So must servants say, when they have a 
peremptory command, though contrary to their own judgments, 
' This or that, in all humility, I suppose ; nevertheless, at your 
word I will let down the net, I will do as you please.* 

2. But what if God and a master should command contrary 
things ? In such a case, the apostle sets down an excellent Ihnita- 
tion in these four phrases, 1. As unto Christ. 2. As the servants 
of Christ. 3. Doing the will of God. 4. As to the Lord. All 
these imply, that if masters command their servants any thing 
contrary to Christ, they may not yield to it : upon this ground 
the midwives of the Hebrew women would not kill the Hebrew 
children; they feared God, saith the text, and did not as tlie 
king commanded them. In this case, Joseph is commended in 

136 The Practice of Sanctification. 

not hearkening to his mistress; and the servants of Saul are 
commended for refusing to slay the Lord's priests at their mas- 
ter's command. When masters command or forbid any thing 
against God and Christy they go beyond their commission^ and 
their authority ceaseth ; so that ser\"ants may say. We ought to 
obey God rather than man. 

I have now run through the family, and informed you of the 
duties, both of governors and governed. — Christians ! look within 
you, look about you ; that man is not a good man, that is not 
good in all his relations. The same God that requires us to 
serve him as private persons, requires us to serve him in our 
relations; and therefore though you be never so careful of your 
duty in the former respect, yet you may go to hell for neglecting 
your duties as masters, servants, husbands, wives, parents, or 
children. Though if you should be good in one relation, yet if 
you endeavour not to be good in every relation, you shall 
never go to heaven ; for the same God that commands you to 
serve him as a master, commands you to serve him as a father, 
as an husband. And he that keeps the whole laiv^ and offends 
in one pointy is guilty of alL 







A MONGST all the duties I formerly mentioned^ I omitted one, 
-^-^ that I look upon as chief and choice of all the rest : this is the 
duty I call Looking unto Jesus, and if I must discover the occa- 
sion of my falling on it, I shall do it truly and plainly. In the 
Spring, 1653, I was visited with a sore sickness, and as the Lord 
began to restore my health, it came into my thoughts what Jesus 
had done for my soul, and what he was doing, and what he would 
do for it, till he saved it to the uttermost. In my conceptions of 
these things, I could find no beginning of his actings, but in that 
eternity before the world was made ; nor could I find any end of 
his actings, but in that eternity after the world should be unmade ; 
only betwixt these two extremities I apprehended various trans- 
actions of Jesus Christ, both past, and present, and to come. 
In the multitude of these thoughts within me, my soul exceed- 
ingly delighted itself, and that delight stirring up in me other 
affections, I began to consider those texts in scripture, which 
seemed to impose the working of my affections on so blessed an 
object, as a gospel-duty. Then I resolved if the Lord Jesus 
5. s 

138 -To the Reader. 

would but restore my health, and prolong my life, I would en ^ 
deavour to discover more of this gospel-duty, than ever yet I 
knew. And that my pains herein might not hinder my other 
necessary labours, my purpose was to fall on this subject in my 
ordinary preaching, wherein I might have occasion both to search 
into Scripture, several authors, and my own heart. 

In process of time I began this work, begging of God that he 
would help me to finish, as he inclined me to begin, and that all 
might tend to his glory, and the church's good. In the progress 
of my labours I found a world of spiritual comfort, both in respect 
to the object that I handled, Jesus Christ, and in respect of the 
act, wherein consisted my duty to him, in looking unto Jesus. 

1. For the object, it was the very subject whereon more 
especially I was bound to preach : Christ in you the hope of 
glory, said Paul to his Colossians ; and he immediately adds, 
whom ive preach, Col. i. 27, 28. and. Unto me, ivho am less than 
the least of all the saints, is this grace given : what grace ? that 
I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of 
Christ, Eph. iii. 8. Ministers ought in duty more abundiintly 
to preach Jesus Christ. And I may feelingly say, it is the sweet- 
est subject that ever was preached on. Is it not as an oint- 
ment j^oured forth, whose smell is so fragrant, and whose savour 
is so sweet, that therefore all the virgins love him ? Is it not 
comprehensive of all glory, beauty, and excellency, whether of 
things in heaven, or things on earth ? Is it not a mystery sweet 
and deep? Surely volumes are written of Jesus Christ ; there is 
line upon line, sermon upon sermon, book upon book, and yet 
Buch is the mystery, that we are all but as yet at the first side of 
the catechism of Jesus Christ. Solomon was but at What is his 
name f and I fear many of us know neither name nor thing. It 
is a worthy study to make further and further discoveries of this 
blessed mystery ; and it were to be wished, that all the ministers 
of Christ would spend themselves in the spelling, and reading, 
and understanding of it. As some great point doth require 
the abilities of many scholars (and all little enough when joined 
together) to make a discovery thereof; such is this high point, 
this holy, glorious mystery, worthy of the pains of all the learned ; 
and if they v/ould all bring their notes together, and add all their 
studies together, they should find still but a little of this mystery 
known, in comparison of what remtiins unknown. 

2. For the act of looking unto Jesus, as it is comprehensive 
of knowing, hoping, believing, loving, so also of joying. How 
then should I but be filled with joy unspeakable and glorious, 
whilst I was studying, writing, and especially acting my soul in 
the exercise, of this looking ! If there be any duty on earth re- 
sembling the duty uf the saints in heaven, I dare say, it is this, 
Mr. Rutherford writeth thus, " An act of living in Christ, and 
on Christ, in the acts of seeing, enjoying, embracing, loving. 

To thef Reader, I39 

resting on him, is that noon-day divinity, and theology of beati- 
fical vision. There is a general assembly of immediately illumi- 
nated divines romid about the throne, who study, lecture, preach, 
praise, Christ night and day. — Oh ! what rays, what dartings of 
intellectual fruition, beholdhig, enjoying, and living in him, come 
from that face, that God- visage of the Lord God Almighty, and 
of the Lamb that is in the midst of them ! — And, oh, what reflec- 
tions, and reachings forth of intellectual vision, embracing, loving, 

wondering, are returning back to him in a circle of glory f" Now 

if this be the saints's duty, who are perfect in glory, do we not 
imitate them, and feel something of heaven in our imitation, in 
our looking also unto Jesus ? I write what in some measure I have 
felt, and of which I hope to feel yet more ; and therefore who- 
ever thou art that readest, I beseech thee, come, warm thy heart 
at this blessed fire ! Oh, come, and smell the precious ointments 
of Jesus Christ ! Oh, come, and sit down under his shadow with 
great delight ! Oh, that all men (especially those into whose 
hands this book shall come,) would presently fall upon the prac- 
tice of this gospel art of looking unto Jesus ! If herein they find 
nothing of heaven, my skill will fail me : only let them pray, 
that as they look to him, so virtue may go out of him, and fill 
their souls. 

Reader, one thing more I have to say to thee : If thou wouldst 
know how to carry on this duty constantly, as thou dost thy morn- 
ing and thy evening prayer ; it were not amiss if every day, either 
morning or evening, thou wouldst take some part of it at one 
time, and some part of it at another time, at least for some space 
of time together. I know some, that in a constant daily course 
carry on in secret those two necessary duties of meditation and 
prayer. What the subject matter of their meditation is, I am 
not very certain only our experience can tell us, that be it 
heaven or be it hell; be it sin, or be it grace, or be it what it will ; 
if we are in exercise of the self-same subject either constantly, 
or frequently, we are apt to grow remiss, or cold, or formal ; and 
the reason is, one thing tires quickly, unless that one be all : 
now that is Christ, for he is all, CoL iii. 11. If then but once a 
day thou wouldst make this Jesus Christ thy subject to know, 
con-sider, desire, hope, believe, joy in, call upon, and conform 
unto, in his several respects of performing any redemption into 
his birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, session, inter- 
cession, and coming again, and that one of these particidars 
might be thy one day's exercise, and so every day thou wouldst 
proceed from first to last, in thus looking unto Jesus, I suppose 
thou wouldst never tire thyself : and why so ? there is variety in 
this matter to be looked unto, and their is variety in the maimer 
of looking on it. For instance : one day thou mightest act thy 
knowing of Jesus ; the next day thou mightest consider Jesus in 
that respect; and the next day thou mightest desire after Jesus 

140 To the Reader. 

in that respect ; and the next day thou mightest hope in Jesus in 
that respect ; and so on, till thou coraest to the last day of the 
work. Now would not this variety delight ? It is the observation 
of Mr. Lockyer, on Col. i. 16. that, " An holy soul cannot tire 
itself in the contemplation of Jesus :'* how much less can it tire 
itself in loolving unto Jesus, which is far more comprehensive 
than contemplating of Jesus ! Come, try this duty, and be 
constant in it at least one year, and so every year during thy 
life; and then for thy meditations on any other subject I shall 
not take thee quite off, but leave the remainder of the year to 
thy own choice. If thou art so resolved, I shall say no more, 
but the Lord be with thee ; and if sooner or later thou findest 
any benefit by this work, give God the glory, and remember 
him, in thy prayers, who hath taken these pains for Christ's 
honour, and thy soul's good. — So rests 

Thy servant in Christ Jesus, 

I. A. 



Looking unto Jesus, the beginner and Jinis her of our faith. 

Heb. XII. 2. 


TJie Division and Opening of the TFords. 

The most excellent subject to discourse or write of^ is Jesus 
Christ. Augustin having read Cicero's works, commended them 
for their eloquence^ but he passed this sentence upon them, 
'^ They are not sweety because the name of Jesus is not in them." 
Indeed all we say is but unsavoury, if it be not seasoned with 
this salt. I determined not to know any thing among you, saith 
Paul, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. He resolved with 
Iiimself, before he preached among the Corinthians, that this 
should be the only point of knowledge that he would profess him- 
self to have skill in, and that in the course of his ministry he 
would labour to bring them to. This he made the breadth, and 
length, and depth, and height, of his knowledge. Yea, doubt- 
less, saith he, ayid I count all things but loss, for the excelle)icy 
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. In this knowledge 
of Christ there is an excellency above all other knowledge in the 
world. There is nothing more pleasing and comfortable, more 
animating and enlivening. Christ is the sun and centre of all 
divine and revealed truths : we can preach nothing else as the 
object of our faith, which doth not some way or other either meet 
in Christ, or refer to Christ. Only Christ is the whole of man's 
happiness ; the sun to enlighten him, the physician to heal him, 
the wall of fire to defend him, the friend to comfort him, the 
pearl to enrich him, the ark to support him, the rock to sustain 
him under the heaviest pressures ; As an hiding-place from the 
ivind, arid a covert from the te?npest, as rivers of waters in a 
dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 
Only Christ is that ladder between earth and heaven, the Me- 
diator betwixt God and man; a mystery which the angels of 
heaven desire to pry into. Here is a blessed sul^jcct indeed: 
who would not be glad to be acquainted with it ? This is life 
eternal, to know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. 
Come then ! let us look on this Sim of righteousness ; we cannot 

142 Looking unto Jesus » 

receive harm, but good, by such a look. Indeed, by looking long 
on the natural sun we may have our eyes dazzled, and our faces 
blackened ; but by looking unto Jesus, we shall have our eyes 
clearer, and our faces fairer. If the light of the eye rejoice the 
heart, how much more when we have such a blessed object to 
look upon ! As Christ is more excellent than all the world, so 
this sight transcends all other sights. Looking unto Jesus, is the 
epitome of a Christian's happiness, the quintessence of evangeli- 
cal duties. 

In the text we have the act and object. The act in the origi- 
nal is very emphatical, but the EngHsh doth not fully express 
it; it signifies a drawing of the eye from one object to another : 
there are two expressions ; the one signifies a turning of the eye 
from all other objects ; the other, a fast fixing of the eye upon 
such an object, and only upon such. So is it both a looking off, 
and a looking on. On what ? That is the object, a looking unto 
Jesus : a title that denotes his mercy, as Clirist denotes his office. 
My meaning is not to insist on this name, in contradiction to any 
other names of Christ. He is often called Christ, and Lord, 
and Mediator, and Son of God, and Emmanuel : but Jesus is 
all these ; Jesus is Christ, as he is the Anointed of God ; and 
Jesus is Lord, as he hath dominion over all the world ; and Jesus 
is mediator, as he is the reconciler of God and man ; and Jesus 
is the Son of God, as he was eternally begotten before all worlds ; 
and Jesus is Emmanuel, as he was incarnate, and so God with 
us. Only because Jesus signifies Saviour, and this name was 
given him upon that very account ; for he shall save his people 
from their sins : I shall make this my design to look at Jesus 
more especially, as carrying on the great work of our salvation 
from first to last. This indeed is the glad tidings, the gospel, 
the gospel privilege, and our gospel duty — looking unto Jesus. 



The Duty of looking off' all other Things, confirmed and cleared. 

But first we must look off all other things. We must take 
off our minds from every thing, which might divert us in our 
Christian race from looking unto Jesus. 

But what things are they we must look off in this respect ? I an- 
swer ; 1. Good things. 2. Evil things. 

1 . Good things. The apostle tells us of a cloud of witnesses^ 
in the former verse, which no question in their season we are to 
look unto. But when this second object comes in sight, he , 
scatters the cloud quite, and sets up Jesus himself : now the 
apostle willethus to turn our eyes from them, and to turn 
hither to Jesus Christ \ as if he had said. If you will indeed see 

Looking unto t/esus, 143 

a sight once for all, look to him. The saints, though they be 
guides to us, yet are they but followers to him ; he is the leader 
of them, and of us all ; look on him. There is a time, when 
James may say. Take, my hrethren, the 2^rophets, who have 
spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example ; but when 
Jesus comes forth, that saith, / have given you an example, 
an example above all examples, then be silent all flesh before 
the Lord. Let all saints and seraphim then cover their faces 
with their wings, that we may look on Jesus, and let all other 
sights go. 

2. Evil things. We must look off all that is in the world ; 
and that the apostle compriseth under these three heads, the 
lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life ; or, 
pleasures, profits, and honours. 

1. We must look off this world in respect of its sinful plea- 
sures. Jude tells us, such as are sensual have not the Spirit, 
We cannot fixedly look on pleasures, and look on Jesus, at once. 

2. We must look off this world in respect of its sinful profits. 
A look on this keeps off our looking unto Jesus. H^hosoever 
loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Just so 
much as the world prevails in us, so much is God's love abated 
both in us and towards us. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, saith 
St. James, know ye not that the friendship of the world is 
enmity with God f When we have enough of God and Christ, 
and yet desire to make up our happiness in the creature, this is 
plain spiritual whoredom. 

3. We must look off the world in respect of its honours. 
What is this desire to be well thought of, or well spoken of ? 
As if a man should run up and down after a feather flying in the 
air. It is a question whether ever he get it ; but if he do, it is 
but a feather : such is honour ; it is hard to obtain it, but, if ob- 
tained, it is but the breath of a few men's mouths 5 but what is 
worst of all, it hinders our sight of Christ. Not many wise men 
after the flesh, not many rnighty, not many noble, are called. 
Worldly honour keeps many back from Christ. 

But why must we look off every thing that diverts our look- 
ing unto Jesus ? 

1 . Because we cannot look fixedly on Christ, and such things, 
at once. The eye cannot look upwards and downwards at once ; 
we cannot seriously mind heaven and earth in one thought. No 
man can serve two masters; especially such as jar, and have 
contrary emplojnnents, as Christ and Mammon have. 

2. Because whilst we look on these things, we cannot see the 
beauty that is in Christ. Our wishing looks on other things, 
makes Christ but mean and contemptible in our eyes. 

3. Because all other things, in comparison of Christ, are not 
worthy a look ; they are but poor, low, mean, base things, in 
comparison of Christ : / count all things but loss, saith St. Paul, 

144 Looking unto *Iesus. 

for the excellency of the knmvledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, — 
/ count them hut dwig that I may win Christ. Some translate 
it, from the original, chaff, others dog's meat, others excre- 
ments, dung : all agree, it is such a thing as men usually cast 
away from them with indignation. 

4. Because it is according to the very law of marriage : There- 
fore shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave unto his 
ivife. The Lord Christ marries himself to the souls of his 
saints ; and for this cause the soul must forsake all, and cleave 
unto Christ. 

5. Because Christ is a jealous God. Now jealousy is a pas- 
sion i(i the soul, that will not endure any sharing in the object 
beloved. And so Christ caiinot endure that we should look on 
an}?- other things, so as to lust after them. 

6. Because all other things can never satisf}' the eye. All 
things are full of labour, saith Solomon, man cannot utter it ; 
the eye is not satisfied with seeing : it is but wearied with looking 
on divers objects, and yet still desires new ones ; but once 
admit it to that glorious sight of Christ, and then it rests fully 


Sect. I. — An Explanation of the Act and Object of Looking. 

An experimental looking on Jesus, is that my text aims at : 
it is not a swimming knowledge of Christ, but an hearty feeling 
of Christ's inward workings ; it is not notions of Christ, but 
hearty motions towards Chnst, that are implied in this inward 

2. For the object ; you must look on Jesus. It is the bless- 
edest object that the eye of the mind can possibly fix upon. 
Of all objects under heaven, Jesus hath the pre-eminence in 
perfection, and he should have the pre-eminence in our medi- 
tation. It is he that will make us most happy when we posses 
him, and we cannot but be joj^ful to look upon him, especially 
when looking is a degree of possessing. Jesus signifies Saviour, 
it is an Hebrew name ; the Greeks borrowed it from the He- 
brews, the Latins from the Greeks, and all other languages 
from the Latins. It conies from the Hebrew word Jehoshua, or 
Joshua, which in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah (written after 
the Babylonian captivity) is Jeshua ; and so is our Saviour's 
name always written in the Syriac translation of the New Testa- 
ment. This name, Jesus, was given to Christ the Son of God, 
by his Father, and brought from heaven by an angel , first to 
Mary, and then to Joseph ; and on the day Avhen he was cir- 
cumcised, as the manner was, this name was given him by his 
parents, as it was commanded from the Lord, by the angel Ga- 
briel. It includes both his office, and his natures. He is the 

Looking iinto Jesus'. I45 

alone Saviour of man ; for there is iione other name under hea- 
ven given among tnen, whereby ive nmst he $aved. And he is a 
perfect and absolute Saviour ; he is able to save them to the ut- 
termost, that come unto God by him ; seeing he ever liveth to 
make intercession for them. I will not deny, but that the work 
of salvation is common to all the three Persons in the Trinity : 
it is a known rule, " All outward actions are equally common 
to the three Persons." For as they are all one in nature and 
will, so must they be also one in operation ; the Father saveth 
the Son saveth, and the Holy Ghost saveth; yet we must dis- 
tinguish them in the manner of saving : the Father saveth by 
the Son ; the Son saveth by paying the ransom and price of our 
salvation 5 the Holy Ghost saveth by a particular applying of 
that ransom unto men. Now whereas the Son pays the price of 
our redemption, and not the Father, nor the Holy Ghost ; there- 
fore, in this special respect, he is called our Saviour, our Jesus. 
Herein is set forth the offices of Christ, the two natures of 
Christ, the qualities of Christ, the excellencies of Christ. Oh ! 
what variety of sweet matter is in Jesus ! he hath in him all the 
powders of the merchants. An holy soul cannot tire itself in 
viewing Jesus. We know one thing tires quicklj^^ unless that 
one be all : Christ is so, and none else ; he is all, and in all ; all 
belonging to being, and all belonging to well-being. In things 
below Jesus, some have this excellency, and some have that, 
but none have all. Oh ! what variety is in Jesus ! variety of 
time, he is Alj^ha and Omega ; variety of beauty, he is white 
and ruddy ; variety of quality, he is a lion and lamb, a servant 
and a son ; variety of excellency, he is man and God. Oh ! 
where shall we begin in this view of Jesus ? JVho shall declare 
his generation V All the evangelists exhibit unto us the Saviour, 
but every one of them in his particular method. Mark describes 
not all the genealogy of Jesus, but begins his history at his bap- 
tism. Matthew searcheth out his original from Abraham. Luke 
follows it backwards as far as Adam. John passeth further up- 
wards, even to the eternal generation of this TVord that teas 
made jlesh. So they lead us to Jesus, mounting up four several 
steps : in the one, we see him only among the men of his own 
time ; in the second, he is seen in the tent of Abraham ; in the 
third, he is yet higher, to ^vit, in Adam ; and finally, having 
traversed all ages, through so many generations, we come to 
contemplate him in the beginning, in the bosom of the Father, 
in that eternity in which he was with God before all worlds. 
And there let us begin, still looking unto Jesus, as he carries 
on the great work of our salvation from first to last, from ever- 
lasting to everlasting. 


146 Looking unto Jesus, ^ 

Sect. 11. — The main Doctrine and Confirmation of it. 

But for the foundation of our building, take this note — 
Inward expermiental looking unto Jesus^ such as stirs up 
affections in the heart, and the effects thereof in our life, is 
an ordinance of Christ, a choice, an high gospel ordinance. 
Or thus : inward experimental knowing, considering, desiring, 
hoping, believing, loving, joying, calling on Jesus, and 
conforming to Jesus, is the most precious ordinance of 
Jesus Christ. 
Ix)oking unto Jesus, is that great ordinance appointed by 
God for our most especial good. How many souls have blessed 
themselves in the use of other means, and though in them Christ 
hath communicated some virtue to them, yet because they did 
not trade more with them, they had little in comparison ? Such 
a one as deals immediately with Christ, will do more in a day 
than another in a year ; and therefore I call it a choice, a com- 
plete, an high gospel-ordinance. 

1. Jesus is the object ; and Jesus, as Jesus, as he is our Sa- 
viour, as he hath negociated, or shall yet negociate, the great 
business of our salyation. Looking unto, is the act ; but such 
as includes all these acts, knowing, considering, desiring, hoping, 
believing, loving, jo^dng, enjoying of Jesus, and conforming to 
Jesus. It is such a look as stirs up affections in the heart, and 
the effects thereof in our life ; it is such a look as leaves a quick- 
ening upon the spirit ; it is such a look as works us into a warm 
affection, raised resolution, an holy and upright conversation : 
briefly, it is an inward, experimental looking unto Jesus. 

This was the Lord's charge to the Gentiles of old ; Look unto 
me, and he ye saved^ all the ends of the earth. — ytind I said, be- 
hold me ! behold ine ! unto a nation that teas not called by my 
name. And according to this command was their practice ; 
Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord, saith David. They looked 
nnto him, and were lightened, and their faces ivere not ashamed. 
And according to this command is the practice of gospel be- 
lievers ; iVe all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory 
of the Lord, are changed into the sa?ne image, fro7n glory to 
glo7y, evoi as by the Spirit of the Lord. Instead of the vail of 
Mosaical figures, God hath now given to his church the clear 
glass of the gospel : and hence all believers under the gospel do, 
by contemplative faith, behoM Christ, together with the glo- 
rious light of his mercy, truth, and the rest of his divine attri- 
butes ; and by means thereof, they are made like unto him in 
the glory of holiness, and in newness of life. 

Sect. III. — Use of Reproof . 

Well then ! is inward experimental looking unto Jesus a 
choice, an high gospel- ordinance ? How may this reprove thou- 

Looking unto Jesus^ 147 

sands ? how many are there that mind not this duty ? The truth 
is, that as the whole world lies in wickedness, so the eyes of the 
whole world are misplaced. There are few that have a care of 
this choice, of this high gospel-ordinance. 1 shall therefore 
reprove both the ungodly and godly. 

i. For the ungodly; not Christ, nor God, is in all their 
thoughts. Alas ! they cannot tell what it means, to look unto 
Jesus. Nor speak I only of poor Indians, and other savages, 
who came into the world, not knowing wherefore ; and go out of 
the world, not knowing whither ; but of such as live within the 
Christian church, that have nothing to distinguish them from 
those Indian miscreants, but outward formalities, the charity 
of others, and their own slight imaginations. Why, alas ! these 
are they that the Lord complains of, that they have eyes, and see 
not. My people have forgotten me days without number. 

You will say. Is there any such here ? Can I tax any of you, 
that you do not look up to Jesus ? are not your eyes towards 
Christ in your prayers, praise, public and private duties ? nay, 
are not you now in the duty, whilst I am speaking, and you 
hearing ? I answer. However you may deem that you do this or 
that, yet God reckons it as a thing not done in these respects > — 

1. When it is not done to purpose: as, if ovir looking to 
Christ makes us not like Christ ; if there be no effectual impres- 
sion upon the heart, Christ takes it as if we had never looked 
towards him at all. 

2. When it is done unwillingly. Let no man deceive him- 
self ; though he cast his eyes towards heaven all the day long, 
if he love not his work, he doth nothing ; he looks not at Jesus. 

3. When a man makes it not his course to look unto Jesus. 
A man may come unto a carpenter's house, and take up his tools, 
and do something at his w^ork, but this makes him not a car- 
penter, because it is not his trade. So, ungodly men may look 
and think of Christ ; but because this is not their course and 
trade, they make it not their work to look to Christ ; they are 
therefore said, not to look to him. 

Consider, you that plead that you are Christians, and that you 
mind Christ at this very instant, that you are in the duty, even 
whilst I am speaking of it, and yet you neither do it to purpose, nor 
•willingly ; is it not with you as it is with them of whomChrist spake. 
Many will say to me at that day, Lord, Lord, have we not pro- 
phesied in thy name, and in thy name, have cast out devils ? and in 
in thy name have done many wonderful works ? They will plead 
at the last day, as you plead now ; but for all that, you know the 
answer, I never knew you; depart from me ye workers of iniquity. 

2. For the godly, are not they careless of this duty ? I know 
lot whether through want of skill, or through want of will ; but 
?ure I am, this duty lies neglected of most of the people of God : 
their faults I may express in these respects : 

148 Looking imto Jesus. 

1. In not i>oin ting their minds towards Jesus ; I write unto 
you, saith the apostle^ to stir up your minds, by way of reWiem- 
brance : it is in the original, to awaken your pure minds ; and it 
was but need. Awaking, is a word that imports rousing, as birds 
that provoke their young ones by flight to make use of their 
wings : now how few are there who thus call upon themselves ! 
It was the prophet's complaint, ]Vo mail stirs up himself to take 
hold of God ; — O what a shame is this ! Is it fit that our under- 
standings, which God hath entrusted us with, should be no more 
improved ? Is it fit that our minds (those golden cabinets which 
God hath given us, to be filled with heavenly treasure) should 
either be empty, or stuffed with vanity, nothing, worse than 
nothing ? Oh ! that such glorious things as our immortal spirits, 
should run after vanity, which, if rightly improved, should walk 
with angels, shouid lodge themselves in the bosom of the glo- 
rious God ! Do*we not see how Christ is sending out to us con- 
tinually ? The" thoughts of his heart are love, eternal love. And 
shall not we send out our thoughts towards him ? shall not we 
let our minds run out towards him ? 

3. In not bending of their minds to this work. It maybe 
the mind looks up, but it is so feeble, that, like an arrow shot 
from a bow weakly bent, it reacheth not the mark. It is the 
Wiseman's counsel. Whatsoever thy hand Jindeth to do, do it 
luith all thy might. Oh ! that God's people should be so lazy, 
dull, sluggish, slothful, in this spiritual work ! As Jesus said to 
the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the luil- 
derness to see f so may I ask believers, in their looking unto Jesus. 
What went ye out to see ? When you crawl, and move, as if you 
had no hearts nor spirits within you, whom go ye forth to see ? 
Him that is the Lord of glory? him that is the brightness of his 
Father s glory, and the express image of his2^erson f What ! are 
such heavy and lazy aspects fit to take in such a glory as this is ? 
You see in what large streams your thoughts fly forth to other 
things ; and are you only languishing, weak, and feeble, in 
things of so great concernment ? Oh ! that Christians should be 
cold in spirituals, and hot in the pursuit of temporal things ! 

3. In not binding of their minds to this object, in not staying 
the eye on Jesus Christ. Some may give a glance at Christ, 
but they are presently wheeled off again. But why doth not the 
eye abide there ? Is not Christ worthy, on whom our souls should 
dwell ? Certainly if we love our Jesus, that love will hold us : as 
the load-stone, having drawn the iron, keeps it fast to the object 
loved. Is Christ so tender in his love towards us that he ever 
minds us ; and shall our minds be so loose to him ? shall there be 
no more care to bind ourselves in cords of love to him who hath 
bound himself in such cords of love to us ? 

4. In not daily exercising this blessed duty. It may be now 
and then they are awakened, and they get up into heaven to see 

Looking unto Jesus. 149 

their Jesus ; but it is not daily. Oh ! consider, is this now and 
then going to heaven within the veil, to live the life of friends ? 
is this to carry ourselves as children ? What ! to be so strange at 
home ? there to be seldom, where we should always be ? Is Jesus 
Christ such a mean thing, that a visit now and then should serve 
the turn ? The queen of Sheba, hearing Solomon's wisdom, 
said. Blessed are those thy servants, that always stand before 
thee, and hear tky ivisdom : if she was so taken with Solomon, 
remember that a greater than Solomon is here. And shall we 
deprive ourselves of that blessedness, which we might enjoy by 
standing always in the presence of Christ, to hear his wisdom, 
and to behold his glory ? 

O my brethren, let us take shame to ourselves, that to this 
day we have been so careless in sending, bending, and binding 
our minds to this blessed object, Jesus Christ ; yea, let us blush 
that we have not made it our daily business. David describes 
the blessed man by his delighting in the law of the Lord, and by 
his meditating thereon day and night ; how then is he to be re- 
proved, that neither meditates on the law of the Lord, nor on 
the Lord, the law-maker, day and night ? 

Sect. IV. — Use of Exhortation, 

Is inward, experimental looking unto Jesus, a choice and 
high gospel-ordinance ? then I beseech you by the meekness and 
gentleness of Christ ; I beseech you brethren, for the Lord 
Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, to look unto 
Jesus ; or, if my beseeching will not prevail, yet look on me as 
an ambassador of Christ ; consider as though God did beseech 
you by rae. I beseech, I pray you, in Christ's stead ; it is a mes- 
sage that I have from God to your souls, to look unto Jesus ; and 
therefore set your hearts to all the words that I testify to you this 
day, for it is not a vain thing, but it is for your lives. 

Oh ! that I should need thus to persuade your hearts to look 
unto Jesus ! What, is not your Jesus worthy of this ? why then 
are your thoughts no more upon him ? why are not your hearts 
continually with him ? why are not your strongest desires, and 
daily delights, in, and after, the Lord Jesus ? What is the mat- 
ter ? will not God give you leave to approach this light ? will he 
not suffer your souls to taste and see ? why then are these words 
in the text ? why then doth he cry, and double his cry. Behold 
me ! behold me ! Ah ! vile hearts 1 how delightfully and unwea- 
riedly can we think of vanity ! how freely, and how frequently, 
can we think of our pleasures, friends, yea, of our miseries, 
wrongs, sufferings, and fears ! And what ! is not Christ in all 
our thoughts ? Christians, humble and cast down your sensual 
hearts, that have in them no more of Christ. O chide them for 
their wilful or weak strangeness to Christ ! O turn yo\ir thoughts 

150 Looking unto Jesus, 

from off all earthly vanities, and bend your souls to study 
Christ ; habituate yourselves to such contemplations, and let not 
those thoughts be seldom or cursory, but settle upon them, 
dwell there, bathe yom* souls in those delights, drench your affec- 
tions in those rivers of pleasures, or rather in the sea of conso- 
lation. Have your eyes continually set on Christ. Say not you 
are not unable to do thus ; this must be God's w^ork only, and 
therefore all our exhortations are in vain. A learned divine can 
tell you, though God be the chief disposer of your hearts, yet 
next under him you have the greatest command of them your- 
selves. Though vrithout Christ you can do nothing, yet under 
him you may do much ; or else it will be undone, and you undone 
through your neglect. Do your own parts, and you have no 
cause to distrust whether Christ will do his. It is not usual with 
Christ to forsake his own people in that very work he sets them 
on. If your souls were sound and right, they would perceive 
incomparably more delight in knowing, thinking, believing, 
loving, and rejoicmg in Jesus Christ, than the soundest stomach 
finds in his food, or the strongest senses in the enjopnent of their 
objects. Now, for shame never say, you cannot reach it : I can 
do all things, saith Paul, through Christ that strengtheiieth me. 
It is our sloth, our security, our carnal mind, which is enmity 
to God and Christ, that keeps us off. 

Sect. V. — Motives from our Wants in case of Neglect, 

To quicken us to this duty, I shall propound some moving 
considerations : ponder them with an impartial judgment ; who 
knows but through the assistance of Christ they may prove effec- 
tual ^vith your hearts, and make you resolve upon this excellent 
duty of looking unto Jesus. 

Consider, 1 . our wants in case of neglect. If Christ be not 
in view, there is nothing but wants. 

Suppose first a Christiess soul, a poor creature - without any 
ray of this Sun of righteousness, and what a sad condition is he 
in 1 I may say of such a one — 

1. He is without light : there is no oil of saving knowledge, no 
star of spiritual light arising in his soul. Ye tuere once darkness, 
saith the apostle to his Ephesians : not only dark, but darkness 
itself ; they were wholly dark, universally dark, having no mix- 
ture nor glimpse (whilst without Christ) of spiritual light in them. 

2. Such a one is without grace, without holiness. Christ is our 
sanctification, as well as righteousness and redemption. Where 
Christ is not, there is no inclination to the ways and works of 

3. Such a one is without content. The soul in this case finds 
nothing but emptiness and vanity in the greatest abundance. 
Let a man have what the world can give, yet if he have not 

Looking unto Jesus, 151 

Christ, he is nothing worth. Christ is the marrow and fatness, 
the fuhiess and sweetness, of all our endowments ; separate Christ 
from them, and they are bitter, and do not please us ; empty, 
and do not fill us. Joram asking Jehu, Is it peace ? was answered, 
fF7iat hast thou to do with peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy 
mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts, are so many ? A Christless 
man asking. Is it peace, O messenger of God ? can look for no 
other but Jehu's answer, TVhat hast thou to do ivith peace, so 
long as thy lusts are so strong within thee, and thy estrangements 
from the Prince of peace so great ? The soul that is without 
Jesus Christ, is an enemy to the God of peace, an alien to the 
way of peace. There is no peace to the wicked, saith my God. 

4. Such a one is without life. He that hath not the Son, hath 
not life, saith John ; Christ lives not in that soul, it is a dead 
soul, dead in sin and trespasses. As the dead see nothing of all 
that sweet and glorious light which the sun casts forth upon them, 
so the dead in sin have no comfortable apprehension of Christ, 
though he shine in the gospel more gloriously than the sun at noon. 
And as the dead know not any thing, so the dead in sin know 
nothing of the wisdom of Christ guiding them, or of the holiness 
of Christ sanctifying them, or of the fulness of Christ satisfying 
them, or of the death of Christ mortifying their lusts : yea, sup- 
pose those that have known Christ, but do not now look unto 
Jesus, how great is the sin and sadness of those souls ! Oh, the 
wants attending such poor creatures ! 

1. They have not that wisdom, knowledge, discerning of Christ, 
as they might have. By looking, and serious observing of Christ, 
we gain more and more knowledge of Christ ; but if we will not 
look, how should we understand those great mysteries of grace ? 
Without looking on Christ, we cannot expect that virtue should 
go out of Christ 

2. They do not so taste the goodness of Christ, as they might ; 
Christ is no other unto them, but as an eclipsed star : Christ is 
not sweet to them in his ordinances, they find not in them that 
delight and refreshment, which they usually minister. — They are 
in the case of Barzillai, luho could not taste what he did eat, or 
what he did drink ; nor could hear any more the voice of singing 
men or of singing women : so they cannot taste the things of God, 
nor hear the spiritual melody which Christ makes to the souls of 
them that look unto him. 

3. They have not that sense of Christ's love, which those that 
exercise his duty have. Whilst the soul neglects Christ, it cannot 
possibly discern the love of Christ ; it perceives not Christ apply- 
ing the doctrines of his love to the conscience : Christ appears 
not in his banqueting-house, he enables not the soul to pray with 
confidence, he makes it not jo^^ul in the house of prayer. And 
hence it is, that such souls move so slowly in God's service ; they 
are just like Pharaoh's chariotsy without wheels ; they perceive 

152 Looking unto Jesus. 

not the love of Christ, either in the clear revelation of his secrets, 
or in the free community of his graces, or in the sanctifying and 
sweetening of their trials, or in sealing the pardon of their sins. 
Oh, the want ! Oh, the misery of this want ! 

Thus far of their wants, that neglect this duty of looking unto 

Sect. VI. — Motives from our Riches, in case tve are lively in 

this Duty. 

2. For our riches, in case we are lively in this duty ! Oh, the 
blessed incomes to such souls ! we may reckon up here those very 
particulars which the other wanted : 

1. That Christ gives light unto them. As the receiving of the 
sun gives light to the body, so the receiving of the Sim of righte- 
ousness gives spiritual, heavenly, comfortable light to their souls. 

2. That Christ gives grace and holmess unto them. Of his 
fulness we receive grace for grace. As the print upon the wax 
answers to the seal, or as the characters upon the Son answers 
to the Father ; so there are certain stamps of the grace of Christ 
upon the saints, that what good they do, it springs not from ex- 
ternal motives only, but from Christ working in them. 

3. .That Christ gives content or satisfaction unto them. As 
the pearl satisfied the merchant in the parable, so Christ satis- 
fieth the soul with understanding, with the sense of his love in 
the heart, with sure and blessed peace in the conscience. They 
that rightly look unto Jesus, may say as Jacob did, I have 

4. That Christ gives life unto them. He that hath the Son, 
hath life. He that hath Christ in his heart, as a root of life 
living in him, or as a king setting up his throne within him, or 
as a bridegroom betrothing himself in loving kindness to him, he 
hath life, the hfe of grace, and the earnest of the life of glory. 

5. That Christ gives a taste of his goodness unto them. They 
cannot look unto hhn, but he makes them joyful with the feeling 
of himself and Spirit : and hence it is that many times they break 
out into psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, and make melody 
in their hearts unto the Lord. Here is a goodness of illumina- 
tion, regeneration, sanctification, and spiritual freedom, flowing 
from Christ to the souls of his saints, which to carnal men is a 
sealed well, whose waters their palates never tasted. 

6. That Christ gives the sense of his love to them. They 
cannot look on Christ, but they see him loving and embracing 
their humble souls ; they see him binding up their broken hearts ; 
they behold him gathering to himself, and bearing in the bosom 
of his love, and comforting with the promises of his word, their 
wounded spirits ; they behold him, like Jacob, serving in the heat 
and in the cold for Rachel, serving in manifold afflictions from 
his cradle to his cross, to make a spouse unto himself. 

Cooking unto Jesus, " 155 

7. That Christ gives the sense of his own worth and excellency 
unto them. They see now in Christ is wisdom sm-passing the 
brightness of the sun^ even all the treasures of wisdom 5 in Christ 
is power excelling the strength of rocks, he is not only strong, 
but strength itself; in Christ is honour transcending all the kings 
of the earth, for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords; in 
Christ is beauty excelling the rose of Sharon, and lily of the 
vallies; he is fairer than all the flowers of the field, than all the 
precious stones of the earth, than all the lights in the firmament, 
than all the saints and angels in the highest heavens. 

8. That Christ gives all things unto them. All things are 
yours, saith the apostle, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas^ 
or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to 
come, all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's, 
All things are yours : first, all the ministers of Christ from the 
highest to the lowest, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas ; 
they are your servants, they are men that watch over you for 
j'^our salvation. Secondly, the world is yours : indeed the world 
stands but for your sakes ; if your number were but once com- 
pleted, quickly would the world be set on fire. Thirdly, life is 
yours: it is a fitting you for a better life, even for eternit}^ 
Fourthly, death is yours : for you shall die just then when it is 
best for you. Death shall serve but as a servant to your advan- 
tage. Fifthly, things present, and things to come, are yours. 
Godliness hath the promise of this life, and of that tvhich is to 
come. Sixthly, the Lord himself is yours : take God, and look 
on him in his greatness, in his mighty power, even this great 
God, the Lord of heaven and earth, is yours ; he is yours, and all 
that he hath is yours, and all that he doth is yours, and all that 
he can do is yours. / ivill be thine, saith God to Abraham, / 
tvill be to thee an exceeding great reward. Here is a catalogue, 
an inventory, of a Christian's riches : have Christ, and have all. 
When an heathen was but asked, where all his treasure was, he 
answered, '^ Where Cyrus my friend is :" and if any asked you, 
where all your treasure is, you may answer. Where Christ your 
friend is : in this respect you may truly say, there is no end of 
your riches ; they are called the unsearchable riches of Christ. 
Paul could find no bottom of these riches. Oh ! who would not 
look unto Jesus ? If Christ be yours, God is yours, the Father 
is yours, the Spirit is yours, all the promises are yours ; for in 
Christ they are all made, and for him they shall be performed. 
Come, let the proud man boast in his honour, and the mighty 
man in his valour, and the rich man in his wealth ; but let the 
Christian pronounce himself happy, only happy, truly happy, 
fully happy, in beholding Christ, enjoying Christ, having Christ, 
— in looking unto Jesus. 

6. u 

154 Looking unto Jesus, 





Sect. I. — Of Christ promised by Degrees. 

In this period we shall first lay down the object; and then 
direct you how to look upon it. 

The object is Jesus, carrying on the work of man's salvation 
in that dark time before his coming in the flesh. 

No sooner is the world made, and the things therein, but man 
was created. And now it was that God's eternal purpose was to 
come into execution. Indeed, at the first there was no need of 
Christ ; for man was made in holiness, the image of God, and to 
bear rule over the rest of the visible creatures ; though this his 
state was but of a short standing, for it was not long before 
Adam by his sin deprived himself, and all his posterity, of the 
image of God. All mankind was in his loins, so by the appoint- 
ment of God all mankind partake with him in the guilt of 
his sins. 

In this sad hour of temptation, God stept in. He will not 
leave man without hope : he tells the devil, who begun this mis- 
chief, I will put enmity between thee and the luoman, and between 
thy seed and her seed : it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt 
bruise his heel. At the very instant, when God was pronouncing 
judgment upon the several delinquents, nay, before judgment 
was pronounced on the persons tempted, Jesus is hinted, the 
covenant of grace is proclaimed. Oh ! the infinite riches of the 
mercy of God in Christ. 

But you will say, how comes Jesus in ? How carried he on 
the great work of our salvation in this dark time ? 

I answer, 1. By assuming the shape of man, and so dis- 
charging some special offices. We read often of Christ's appa- 
rition before his incarnation, and then especially when he had to 
do with man's eternal happiness. After man had sinned, Christ 
appeared to Adam, then to Abraham, then to Isaac, then to 
Jacob, then to Moses. First, he appeared to Adam in the 
garden : And they heard the voice of the Lord God, walking in 
the garden in the cool of the day, God, as he is God, hath 
neither voice to speak, nor feet to walk, but assuming the 
form of a man, he exercised both ; and so he was the first that 

Looking unto *Iesus, 155 

published that first promise to the worlds It shall bruise thy 
head. — 2. He appeared to Abraham in the plain of Mamre, 
where the Lord talked with Abraham ; and Abraham calls him 
the Judge of all the earth, which can be ascribed to none but 
Christ the judge of quick and dead. — 3. He appeared to Isaac, 
Gen. xxvi. 2. — and to Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 24, 30. — and to 
Moses, Exod. xx. 1, 2, 3. — and to many others: and these 
apparitions of Christ were as preludiums of his incarnation. 

2. Christ carried on the great work of our salvation in the 
dark time, not by himself exhibited (as when he was incarnate) 
but only promised. The great King would first have his 
harbingers to lead the way, before he would come in person. 

To this purpose we read, that as Christ, so the covenant of 
grace (which applies Christ to us) was first promised, and then 
promulgated. The covenant of promise was that covenant which 
God made with Adam, Abraham, Moses, and David, and all 
Israel, in Jesus Christ; to be incarnate, crucified, and to rise 
from the dead ; and it was meet that the promise should go be- 
fore the gospel, and be fulfilled in the gospel, that so great a 
good might earnestly be desired, before it was bestowed. In a 
time of darkness, men desire liglit. As the morning watch 
watcheth and longeth for the morning, so the obscure revelation 
of Christ in a promise raised the hearts of the patriarchs to an 
earijest desire of Christ's coming in the flesh. But in this 
obscurity we may observe some degrees : before the law given by 
Moses, the promise was more obscure ; the law being given, even 
to the time of the prophets, the promise was a little more clear: 
in the time of the prophets, even to John the Baptist, it was clearer 
yet ; as the coming of the Messias did approach nearer and nearer, 
so was the promise clearer and clearer still. Just as the approach 
of the sun is nearer or further ofi^, so is the light that goes be- 
fore it greater or lesser : in like manner was the revelation that 
went before Christ more dim or clear, as the rising of the Sim of 
righteousness was more remote, or nigh at hand. My present 
business is to set forth Jesus in the covenant of grace, as pro- 
mised ; and because the promise receives distinction of degrees 
according to the several breakings out of it to the dark world, 
we will consider it as it was manifested, 

1. From Adam until Abraham. 

2. From Abraham until Moses. 

3. From Moses until David. 

4. From David until the Babylonish captivity. 

5. From the Captivity until Christ. 

In every of these periods will appear further and further dis- 
coveries of God's mercy in Christ; of our Jesus carrying on the 
great work of man's salvation in that dark time. 

15<5 JLookinff unto t/esus. 

Sect. II. — Of the Covenant of Pi'omise, as manifest in Adam, 

The covenant of grace is a compact made betwixt God and 
man, touching reconciliation, and life eternal, by Christ. This 
gracious covenant was, immediately after the fall, expressed in 
these words ; Iivillput enmity betiveen thee and the woman, and 
hetiveen thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head^ and thou 
shall bruise his heel. 

This promise contains good news of the overthrow of Satan's 
kingdom, and of man's freedom by the death of Christ. 

For the sense of the words we shall open these terms, 1 . Who 
is the serpent? 2. Who is the woman? 3. What is the seed 
of the -serpent? What is the seed of the woman ? 5. What is 
that hu (in our bible translated it?) 6. What is the serpent's 
head, and the bruising of it ? 7« What is the heel of the seed 
of the woman, and the bruising of it ? 8. Amongst whom was 
the enmity, or rather enmities? (for in the text we find many;) 
/ luill put enmity between thee and the woman, and betiveen thy 
seed and her seed. 

1. Who is tlie serpent? It xvas both Satan and the serpent; 
the serpent possessed of the devil. Satan could not provoke 
our first parents to sin by any inward temptation, nor could he 
enter into their bodies or minds; and therefore he presumed to 
take a beast of the earth, and by disposing of his tongue, he 
speaks within him. 

Such was God's love to man, that he condemns both the 
author and instrument of that evil : as one that in anger breaks 
the sword wherewith his son or his friend was wounded. The 
serpent is punished according to the letter of the text, and Satan 
in the spiritual meaning. 

2. The woman, wheresoever mentioned in this text, is Eve, 
and none but Eve ; she it was whom the tempter had seduced, 
and, in just judgment for her familiarity with the tempter, God 
meets with her, saying to the serpent, I will put enmity between 
thee and the woman. 

3. The seed of the serpent is taken collectively, for all the 
families of devils, for the devil and his angels, as Christ calls 
them; and for all the sons of the devil, i. e. for all reprobate 
men, whose father and prince is the devil ; as Christ told the 
Jews, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your 
father ye ivill do : and as John tells us. He that commit teth si)i 
is of the devil. In this the children of God are manifest, and 
the children of the devil. 

4. The seed of the woman is that posterity of the woman 
which do not degenerate into the seed of the serpent. Hence 
all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, 
saith the apostle : And I will put enmity, saith God, hettveen 

Looking unto J^esus. 157 

thee and the woman; also between thy seed and her seed. And 
who can deny but these enmities have been ever since betwixt 
Satan's brood and the saints ? 

5. What is that hu, (in our bible translated, W^) It shall 
h'uise thy head. He, or it, or that same seed, i. e. one person 
of that same seed, even Jesus, the Son of the living God. Here 
is the first hint of Jesus that ever was read or heard of in this 
world. This was the first gospel that ever was published after 
the creation. Oh, blessed news, fit for God's mouth to speak, 
and to break first to the world now fallen ! As David alone of 
all the host of Israel goes forth to fight with Goliath, and over- 
comes him ; so Christ alone, of all the seed of the woman, was 
to fight with the serpent, to overcome him, and to bruise his 

(2.) The bruising of the head doth plainly discover this it, or 
he, is Jesus Christ ; for none can bruise the serpent's head but 
only God. The God of peace, saith the apostle, shall hruise 
Satan under your feet shortly. Now there was none of the seed 
of the woman, that was ever God, but only Christ, God-man, 
blessed for ever; and therefore it must needs be Christ, and only 
Christ, that can bruise this serpent's head. 

(3.) God himself in other places of scripture doth expressly 
declare that this seed here promised is Christ. Mark but where 
this promise is repeated to the patriarchs, as when the Lord said 
to Abraham, In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth he 
blessed: and when the Lord said to David, / ivill raise up thy 
seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons, and I will establish 
his kingdom; and you may see it clear that this seed is Christ, 
and only Christ : that promise to Abraham, the apostle so inter- 
prets. Now to Abraham and his seed were the p7'o?mses made; 
he saith not, and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy 
seed, which is Christ: and that promise to David, the prophet so 
interprets. He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his 
kingdom, to order it, and to establish it. — Who is that ? In the 
former verse, his name is TV^onderful, Counsellor, the mighty 
God, the everlastiiig Father, the Pnnce of peace. 

Yet I will not deny, but by way of participation this promise 
may pertain to the whole body of Christ : Through him that 
loved us, ive are more than conquerors, saith the apostle. We 
may conquer Satan, though not in our own strength; and so in 
a secondary sense, by way of communication with Christ, under 
this seed all the faithful may be contained : 1 . Because the head 
and members are all one body. Both he that sanctifieth, and 
they who are sanctified, are all one. 2. Because the faithful are 
called the seed of Christ. When thou shall make thy soul an 
offering for sin, he shall see his seed. 3. Because Satan's over- 
throw by Christ our head is diffused to all the members. In this 
sense many extend this seed to the whole body of Christ; but 

158 Looking unto Jesus, 

primarily and properly it belongs to none but the Lord Jesus 

6. What is the serpent's head, and the bruismg of it? 1. For 
the serpent's head, it is the power, rage, reign, and kingdom of 
Satan. It is observed, that in the head of a serpent lies the 
strength, power, and life of a serpent ; so by a phrase of speech 
fitted to the condition of this serpent that was Satan's instru- 
ment, God tells the devil of the danger of his head, i. e. of his 
power and kingdom. Now this power and kingdom of Satan 
consists more especially in sin and death; for the stiiig of death 
is sin, and the power of death is in Satan. 2. For the bruising 
of this head, it is the overthrowing of Satan's power. He shall 
bruise thy head, i. e. Christ shall break thy power, Christ shall 
destroy sin and death, and him that hath the power of death, 
that is, the devil. I say Christ shall do it, though, as I have said, 
in a secondary sense the faithful shall do it. Christ overcomes 
by his own power, and the faithful overcome by the power of 
Christ. The serpent's head is bruised, i. e. the devil, and sin, 
and death, and hell, are overthrown; not only the devil in his 
person, but the works of the devil, which by the fall he had 
planted in our natures; as, pride, vam-glory, ignorance, lust; 
not only Satan's works, but the fruits and effects of his works, 
as death and hell; so that all the faithful may sing with Paul, 
O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory ? 
Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through Jesus 
Christ our Lord? 

7. What is the heel of the seed of the woman, and the bruising 
of it ? 1. The heel is the humanity of Christ. 2. The bruising 
of his heel, is the miseries, mockings, woundings, death and 
burial, of Christ, all which he endured in his heel, ^. e, in his 
humanity; or, it extends further, to all the' hurts, reproaches, 
afflictions, persecutions, of the faithful, by the devil and his 

8. Amongst whom was the enmity, or this hostile war ? We 
find in the text three hosts, and three battles : 

1. Betwixt Satan and the woman : I will put enmity bettveen 
thee and the woman : i. e. betwixt thee, the seducer, and her 
whom thou hast seduced. This enmity is opposed to the amity 
which had been between the woman and the serpent; not but 
that enmity must be betwixt the devil and man, as well as be- 
twixt the devil and the woman : but because the woman had 
more tampered with Satan, and, being deceived by Satan, was 
first in the transgression, therefore she only is named ; I will put 
enmity bettveen thee and the woman, 

2. Betwixt Satan's seed, and the seed of the woman. / will 
put enmity, not only between thee and the woman, but also 
between thy seed and her seed; as if he had said. This enmity 
shall not cease with the death of the woman, but it shall continue 

Looking unto Jesus, 159 

to her seed, and to her seed's seed, even to the end of the world. 
We see to this day how the serpent and serpent's seed are war- 
rmg agamst the church; and a wonder it is, considering the 
malice of the enemy, that there is a church upon earth, but only, 
that we have Christ's promise. The gates of hell shall not prevail 
agamst it: and, Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of 
the ivorld. 

3. Betwixt Christ and the serpent. This is a bloody conflict 
on both sides. He shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise 
his heel, 1. He shall bruise thy head; Christ shall break thy 
power. He fights not so much with the seed, as with the ser- 
pent : if Satan be overthrown, his seed cannot stand. 2. Thou 
shall bruise his heel; thou shalt afflict him and his, thou shalt 
cast out of thy mouth a flood of persecutions ; thou shalt make 
war with him, and all them which keep the commandments of 
God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 

We learn hence, 1 . That a Saviour was promised from the 
beginning of the world. 2. That this Saviour should free all his 
saints from sin, death, and hell ; the head and the power of the 
devil. 3. That to this end this Saviour should be a Mediator; 
for God would not grant an immediate pardon, but the promised 
seed must first intervene. 4. That this Mediator should be of the 
seed of the woman, that is, a man, and yet stronger than the 
devil, endued with a divine power, and so he is God. 5. That 
this Man-God should, according to his priestly office, be a sa- 
crifice for sin, the serpent should bruise his heel; he should suf- 
fer and die for the people, and yet, according to his kinglj'^ office, 
he should overcome Satan ; for he should bruise his head, over- 
throw his kingdom, and make us more than conquerors, 6. 
That this promise of Christ, and of our justification, is free ; God, 
of mere mercy and free grace, brings forth this promise. There 
could be now after the fall no merit in man ; and even now he 
promiseth remission of sins and life eternal, in, for, and through, 
the Lord Jesus Christ. No question but in belief of this pro- 
mise, the patriarchs and fathers of old obtained life, and glory, 
and immortality. By faith, the elders obtained a good report, 
By faith, Abel obtained witness that he was righteous. By faith, 
Enoch was translated, that he should not see death. By faith, 
Noah became heir of the righteousness of Christ, And how 
should it but revive us in these last times, to hear that the first 
thing that ever God did after the world was fallen, was this act 
of mercy, to make a promise of Christ, and to reconcile lost man 
to himself through the same Jesus Christ ? Surely he began to 
do that soon, which he meant to be always doing, even to the 
end of the world. Thus far of the promise, as it was manifested 
from Adam to Abraham. 

160 Looking unto %/esus. 

Sect. III. — Of the Covenant of Promise^ as manifested to 


The second breaking forth of this gracious covenant was to 
Abraham : and now it shines in a more glorious light than it did 
before. At first it was propounded in dark terms ; but in this 
second manifestation, we have it laid down in plainer terms : / 
will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed 
after thee, in their generation, for an everlasting covenant, to be 
a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee. For the right under- 
standing of this, we shall examine these particulars : — 

1 . What a covenant is ? 

2. What is the establishing of this covenant ? 

3. Betwixt whom is the covenant to be established ? 

4. For what time is the established covenant to endure ) 

5. What are the privileges of this covenant? 

6. What is the condition of this covenant ? 

7. Who is the head, both as the undertaker, purchaser, and 
treasurer, upon whom this covenant is established ? 

1 . What is a covenant ? It is a contract of mutual peace and 
good-will, obliging parties on both hands to the performance of 
mutual offices. Thus was the covenant betwixt God and Abra- 
ham : there was a mutual stipulation in it on God's part, to per- 
form his promises of temporal, spiritual, and eternal grace 5 and 
on Abraham's part, to receive this grace by faith, and to per- 
form due obedience to God. Hence a little nearer, we say the 
covenant is a mutual compact betwixt God and man, whereby 
God promised all good things, especially eternal happiness, unto 
man 5 and man doth promise to walk before God in all accept- 
able, free, and willing obedience ; expecting all good from God, 
and happiness in God, according to his promise, for the praise 
and glory of his grace. Others describe the covenant of grace 
thus : " The covenant of grace is a free and gracious compact, 
which God, of his mere mercy in Jesus Christ, hath made with 
sinful man, promising unto him pardon of sins, and eternal 
happiness, if he will but repent of sin, and embrace mercy reach- 
ing forth by faith unfeigned, and walk before God in willing, 
faithful, and sincere obedience." In this description many 
things are considered ; as 1 . That the author of this covenant is 
God ; not as our Creator, but as our merciful God and Father in 
Christ Jesus. 2. That the cause of this covenant is not any 
worth, or dignity, or merit in man, but the mere mercy, love, 
and favour of God. 3. That the foundation of this covenant is 
Jesus Christ, in and through whom we are reconciled unto God ; 
for since God and man were separated by sin, no covenant can 
pass betwixt them, no reconciliation can be expected, nor par- 
don obtained, but in and through a Mediator. 4. That the party 
covenanted with is sinful man 5 the fall of our first parents was 

Looking 2into t/esus. 161 

the occasion of this covenant ; and God was pleased to permit 
the fall, that he might manifest the riches of his mercy in man's 
recover)-. 5. That the form of this covenant stands^ on God's 
part, in gracious and free promises of forgiveness, holiness, and 
happiness ; and on man's part, in a restipulation of such duties 
as will stand with the free grace and mercy of God in Christ. 
6. That the stipulation, on man's part required, is repentance 
from sin, belief in the promises, and a yielding of fear, reve- 
rence, worship, and obedience, to God, according to his word. 

2. What is the establishing of this covenant ? The Lord had 
before made a covenant with Abraham, Gen. xv. 4, 5. And 
now he doth not abolish the former and make another, but ra- 
ther confirms and establisheth the former. It may be there was 
some doubting in Abraham, but nowGod would assure him infallibly 
of his will ; so he adds the seal of circumcision. Ye shall circumcise 
the flesh of your foreskin, saith God, (md it shall be a token of the 
covenant hetivixt meandyou. But what is circumcision to the cove- 
nant ? Much every way. Circumcision was not without shedding 
of blood, because the covenant was not yet established in the 
blood of the Messiah : sure there was much in this, however the 
right of itself was nothing ; yet as it led the faithful patriarchs to 
the blood of Christ, and as it assured the purging awav of sin by 
the blood of Christ, and as it signed the circumcision of the heart 
by the Spirit of Christ, so it found acceptance with God. 

3. Betwixt whom is the covenant to be established ? Betwixt 
me and thee, saith God, and thy seed after thee. The two heads 
of this covenant are God and Abraham 5 on God's part are, the 
whole Trinity of persons, the blessed angels, and all the host of 
heaven ; on Abraham's jD^rt are all his seed, i. e. the spiritual 
seed of Abraham. Now, under the seed, 1. all believing Jews, 
and 2. all Gentiles, are comprehended. All may be called the 
spiritual seed of Abraham, that walk in the steps of the faith of 
Abraham ; and indeed thus runs the promise : Li thee shall all 
the families of the earth he blessed, Gen. xii. 3. And in thee shall 
all nations of the earth be blessed. Gen. xviii. 18. Christians I 
here is your happiness ; the covenant was not written for Abra- 
ham's sake alone, but for us also, if we believe on him that raised 
up Jesus our Lord from the dead. You may think all this while 
we are only discovering the privileges of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacobi and of the Jews ; no, blessed be God, heaven is no freer to 
a Jew than to a Gentile. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is 
7ieitlier bond nor free, male nor female ; — Met if ye be Christ's, then 
are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the jjromise. 

4. For what time is the established covenant to endure ? It Is 
not for a few days, or months, or years, but for ever and ever : 
it is an everlasting covenant ; and indeed, the word established 
sounds this way ; / will establish my cavenant, I will have it 
stand and continue for ever, 

6 X 

162 Lookinsi' unto Jesus. 


5. What ai'e the privileges of the covenant ? I answer, As they 
are great things, and great blessings, which our great God pro- 
miseth, so they are very many and numerous. The covenant is 
full of blessings, it is a rich store -house, replenished with all 
manner of blessings ; it is not dry, nor barren, but like the fat 
olive or fruitful vine ; it is a well of salvation, a fountain of good 
things, a treasure full of goods or unsearchable riches, which 
can never be emptied. Hence it is that our narrow capacities 
can never apprehend the infinite grace that this covenant con- 
tains ; yet as we may see things darkly in a map, so let us en- 
deavour, as we are able, to view them in some map ; that by the 
little we see, we may be raised up to the consideration of things 
not seen, which shall be revealed in due time. ' • 

The privileges of the covenant are folded up in the promises 
of it : every promise contains a privilege, but the time of unfold- 
ing every promise is not yet come. Then only shall all the pro- 
mises of ail sorts be unfolded, when the heavens as a vesture 
shall be folded up. I shall, for the present, confine myself 
to those promises and privileges which were manifested to Abra- 
ham. And they were, 

1st. Of things temporal. Thus we read God promiseth Abra- 
ham, Itvill make of thee a great nation^ and I ivill bless thee, and 
make thy name great, and thou shalt he a blessing ; and I will 
bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curselh thee, and 

unto thy seed will I give this land. By myself have I sworn, 

saith the Lord, that in blessing I luill bless thee, and in multi- 
plying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as 
the sand upon the sea-shore ; and thy seed shall possess the gate 
of his enemies. 

( 1 .) / ivill make of thee a great nation. It seemed a thing in- 
credible, because Abraham was old, and Sarah was barren and 
old ; yet for all this, God is all-sufficient : Abraham shall have his 
desire, he shall be a father, not only of a few children, but of a 
numerous nation, yea, of many nations. 

(2 ) I will bless thee, saith God : and this blessing had relation 
to his wealth : Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver and in 
gold. No question those riches came from this blessing : The 
blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich. 

(3.) / will make thy name great, saith God. No monarch was 
ever so famous in conquering nations, as Abraham for his faith 
and obedience. God hath magnified his name amongst the He- 
brews, who for these three thousand years and upwards have 
acknowledged none, except Moses, greater than Abraham : and 
God hath so magnified his name amongst Christians, that all be- 
lievers look upon it as a glory to be called children of Abraham, 

(4.) Unto thy seed ivill I give this land, saith God, as an ever- 
lasting possession. Gen. xvii. 8. The answer is, that the word 
translated everlasting, doth not ever signify that which shall have 

Looking unto Jesus, 163 

no end, but an age, a term, or continuance 5 as it was said of 
Samuel, He shall appear before the Lord, and there abide for 
ever : i. e. as long as he lived. And the desolations of the cap- 
tivity were called perpetual desolations, i. e. long desolations, 
even for seventy years. 

(2d.) Of things spiritual thus we read. Fear not, Abraham, I 
am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reivard ; I am God all- 
sufficient or omnipotent, the Almighty God, and I will be a God 
unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Oh, what precious pro- 
mises are these ! — 1. I am thy shield, to keep thee from all evil, 
such a shield that no creature can pry through, such a shield as 
shall cover thee over ; nay, such a shield as shall cover thee about. 
2. / am thy exceeding great reward : I am the Almighty God : I 
will be a Godun<-o thee. This is the veiy soul of the covenant, and 
of all the promises of God. All I am is thine, myself, my goods, 
my grace, my glory, whatsoever is in me, all that I have, and 
all my attributes, are thine. My power, my wisdom, my good- 
ness, my riches, whatsoever is mine in the whole world, I will 
give it thee for thy portion ; I and all that I have are thine, for 
thy use. Christians ! was not this an exceeding great reward ? 
Who can understand the height and depth, and length and 
breadth, of this reward ? — Surely happy is the people that is in 
such a case ; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord. 

6. What is the condition of this covenant ? I answer, the 
condition of the covenant of grace is faith, and only faitli ; to 
this purpose it was said of Abraham, He believed i?i the Lord, 
and he counted it to him for righteousness. And that act of 
faith, whereby Abraham believed that he should have a son, and 
that his children shoidd possess the land of Canaan, was a sha- 
dow, a pledge, of that main act of faith, whereby he believed the 
promised seed, in whom himself and all the nations of the earth 
should be blessed. But let this be remembered, that Abraham 
did not only believe the temporal promises, but every promise ; 
as, / will be thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward : Now 
who is our shield, but Christ ? and who is our reward, but Christ ? 
Especially he believed the promise of the seed ; and who is the 
head of the seed, but Christ ? Yea, he believed in that promised 
seed, in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed ; and 
who was that, but Christ ? Your Father Abraham, saith Christ, 
rejoiced to see my day ; and he saw it, and was glad. He saw 
it ! how could he see it ? Thou art not yet fifty years old, said 
the Jews, and hast thou seen Abraham f or could Abraham see 
thee, or thy day ? Yes, even then he saw it when he beUeved 
in Christ, he could see it no other ways but by faith ; and there- 
fore no question he believed in Christ, and that ivas counted to 
him for righteousness. 

7. Who is the head, both as undertaker, and purchaser, and 
^treasurer, upon whom this covenant is established ? I answer, 

164 Looking unto Jesus. 

Christ : All the promises of God hi Iiim are yea and amen, unto 
the glory of God by us. This was darkly set forth in the first 
manifestation of the covenant to Adam, but in this second, it is 
fully expressed and often repeated ; thus, Gen. xii. 3. In thee 
shall all the families of the earth he blessed ; and. Gen. xviii. 18. 
All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham, and 
Gen. xxii. 18. In thy seed shall all the 7iations of the earth he 
blessed. In comparing these texts, we have a clear understand- 
ing thereof : in thee, in Abraham, shall all the families and nations 
of the earth be blessed ; but lest Abraham himself should be 
thought author of this universal blessing, therefore is the expli- 
cation, in thee, i. e. in thy seed; which, saith the Apostle ex- 
pressly, is Jesus Christ. 

Thus far of the covenant of promise, as it was manifested 
from Abraham to Moses. 

Sect. IV. — Of the Covoiant of Promise as maiiifested to 


The next breaking forth of this gracious covenant was to 
Moses. The revenging justice of God had now seized on man- 
kind for many generations, so that now it was high time for God 
in the midst of wrath to remember mercy, and to break out into 
a clearer expression of the promise. To this purpose the Lord 
calls up Moses to mount Sinai, and there of his infinite love and 
undeserved mercy, he makes and renews his covenant with him 
and the children of Israel. / am the Lord thy God, which 
brought thee out of the land of Lgypt, out of the house of bon- 
dage : Thou shall have no other gods before me. 

For the right understanding of this, we shall examine these 
particulars : 

1 . Whether the law was delivered in a covenant way ? 

2. In what sense is the law a covenant of grace ? 

3. How may it appear that the law in any sense is a covenant 
of grace ? 

4. Why should God in the law deal ^vith us in a covenant- way, 
rather than a mere absolute supreme way ? 

5. What are the good things promised in this expression of 
the covenant ? 

6. What is the condition of this covenant on our part ? 

7. Who was the mediator of this covenant ? 

8* What of Christ, and his death, do we find in this mani- 
festation of the covenant ? 

For the first. Whether the law was delivered in a covenant 
way ? — It is affirmed on these grounds : 

1st. In that it hath the name of a covenant. 2d. In that it hath 
the real properties of a covenant. — (1). The name of a covenant, 
afii it appears in these texts : — Jlnd the Lord said unto Moses, 

Looking U7ito Jesus. 165 

Write these tvords ; foi^ after the tenor of these tvords, t have 
made a covenant with thee, andivith Israel, And he wrote upon 
the tables the ivords of the covenant, the ten commandments. — 
A7id he declaimed unto you his covenant, which he commanded you 
to perform, even the ten commandments^ and heivrote them upon 
two tables of stone. 

(2.) The law hath the real properties of a covenant^ which arc 
the mutual consent and stipulation on both sides. You may see 
a full relation of this in Exod. xxiv. 3 — 8. And Moses came and 
told all the luords of the Lord, and all the judgments : and all 
the people answered with one voice. All the words which the Lord 
liath said luill lue do. And Moses wrote all the words of the 
Lord, and rose up early in the morning, — and he took the book 
of the covenant, and read iii the audience of the people ; and they 
said. All that the Lord hath said will we do, and he obedient. 
And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the peoyle, and 
said. Behold the blood of the covenant, tuhich the Lord hath 
made with you concerning all these words. In the words you 
may observe these properties of a covenant ; — 1. That God on 
his part expresseth his consent and willingness to be their God. 
2. That the people on their part give their full consent and 
roady willingness to be his servants. 

2. In what sense is the law a covenant of grace ? I answer, 
The law may be considered in several senses, as, 1 . Sometimes it 
signifies largely any heavenly doctrine, whether it be promise 
or precept ; and in this sense the apostle tells us of the law of 
works, and of the law of faith. 2. Sometimes it signifies any 
part of the Old Testament, in which sense Jesus answered the 
Jews, Is it not writteti in you law, I said ye are gods f 3. 
Sometimes, it signifies the whole economy, and peculiar dispen- 
sation, of God's worship unto the Jews ; in which sense it is said 
to continue until John, The law and the prophets were until 
John. 4. Sometimes it is taken for some acts of the law only. 
Against such there is no law. 5. Sometimes it is taken only for 
the ceremonial law. The law having a shadmv of good tJiijigs to 
come. 6. Sometimes it is taken for that part of the moral law 
which is merely perceptive, without any promise at all. 7- Some- 
times it is taken for the whole moral law, with the preface and 
promises added to it ; and in this last sense we take it, when we 
say it is a covenant of grace. 

3. How may it appear that the law in this sense is a covenant 
of grace ? — It appears, (1.) By that contract betwixt God and 
Israel before the promulgation of the law. If ye will obey my 
voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar 
treasure unto me above all people, for all the earth is mine ; and 
ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy 7iation. 
Whereunto the prophet Jeremiah hath refcrejice, saying, Obey 
my voice^ and do according to all which I command you, so shall 

166 Looking unto Jesus, 

you he my people, and Iivillheyour God, Both these scriptures 
speak of the moral law, or ten commandments, contaming the 
preface and promises ; and how should that law be any other but 
a covenant of grace, which runs in this tenor, — I will be your 
God, and you shall be my people ; my peculiar treasure ; a king- 
dom of priests, an holy nation, if yovi will hear and obey my 
commandments. Surely these privileges could never have been 
obtained by a covenant of works. What ! To be a kingdom of 
priests, an holy nation, a peculiar treasure to the Lord ? What ! 
To be beloved of God as a desirable treasure (for so it is in the 
original,) which a king delivers not into the hands of any of his 
officers, but keepeth it to himself ? This cannot be of works ; 
no, no, these are privileges vouchsafed of mere grace in Jesus 
Christ ; and therefore Peter applies this very promise to the 
people of God under the gospel, 1 Pet. ii. 9. 

(2.) It appears by that contract betwixt God and Israel in the 
promulgation of the law ; then it was that God proclaimed him- 
self to be the God of Israel, saying, / am the Lord thy God, 
tvhich brought thee out of the land of EgyjJt, out of the house of 
bondage. This is a preface to the whole law, prefixed as a reason 
to persuade obedience to every commandment. But all acknow- 
ledge that is a free covenant, which promiseth pardon of sin, 
and requireth faith in the Messiah. When God saith to Israel — 
I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the land of 
Egypt — doth he not propomid himself as their King, Judge, Sa- 
viour, and Redeemer ; yea, and spiritual Redeemer, from their 
bondage of sin and Satan, whereof that temporal deliverance 
from Egypt was a type ? 

4. Why should God in the law deal with us in a covenant-way 
rather than in a mere absolute supreme way ? I answer, (I .) In re- 
spect of God : it was his pleasure in giving the law not only to ma- 
nifest his wisdom, and power, and sovereignty, but his faithfulness, 
and truth, and love, and the glory of his grace. If he had given 
the precept without any promise, he might fully have discovered 
his supreme power, but his dear love and faithfulness could not 
have been known. Now therefore let the world take notice of 
his singular love and faithfulness ; as Moses said to Israel, Be- 
cause the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath 
which he hadsivorn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought 
you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the hands 
of bo7idmen, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know 
therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, 
which keepeth covenant and mercy ivith them that love him, and 
keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. 

(2.) In respect of us, God would rather deal with us in a 
covenant- way, than in a mere absolute supreme way, upon these 
grounds: — 1. That he might bind us the faster to himself. A 
covenant binds on both parts. The Lord doth not bind himself 

Looking unto Jesus. 16/ 

to us, and leave us free ; no, / will bring you, saith God, into 
the bond of the covenant. You may say a command binds as well 
as a covenant. It is true ; but a covenant doth, as it were, 
twist the cords of the law, and double the precept upon the soul. 
When it is only a precept, then God alone commands it ; but 
when I have made a promise to it, then I command it and bind 
it upon m^^self. 

(3.) That our obedience might be more willing and free. An 
absolute law might seem to extort obedience, but a covenant 
and agreement makes it clearly to appear more free and willing. 
This is the nature of the covenant of grace : First, God pro- 
misetii mercy, to be our exceeding great reward; and then we 
promise obedience, to be his free, willing people : and thus we 
become God's, not only by a property founded in his sovereign 
power and love, but by a property growing out of our own 
voluntary consents. We are not only his people, but his willing 

(4.) That our consolations might be stronger ; that in all our 
difficulties and distresses we might ever have recourse to the 
faithfulness and love of God. This indeed was the prime end 
why God delivered his law in way of a covenant, that he might 
endear himself to us, and so draw us to him with cords of love. 
Had God so pleased, he might have required all obedience from 
us, and when he had done all, he might have reduced us into 
nothing, or at least not have given us heaven for an inheritance, 
or himself for a portion ; but his love is such, that he will not 
only command but he will covenant, that he might further ex- 
press and communicate his love. How then should this encou- 
rage us to go to God in ail distresses ? — Oh ! what thankful loving 
thoughts should we have of God that would thus infinitely con- 
descend to covenant with us ! 

5. What are the good things promised in his expression of 
the covenant ? Not to reckon up the temporal promises, the 
great mercies of God are expressed in these terms : / am the 
Lord thy God, ivJiich brought thee out of t e land of Egypt, 
out of the house of bondage. This is the great promise of the 
covenant, it is as great as God himself. That we may better 
see it and know it, I shall take it in pieces : the gold is so pure, 
that it is pity the least filing should be lost. Here God describes 
himself by these notes : — 1. By his only eternal and perfect 
essence, / am the Lord. 2. By the plurality of persons in that 
one essence, / am the Lord God, Jehovah Elohim. 3. By the 
propriety his people have in Jehovah Elohim, I am the Lord thy 
God. 4. By the fruit of that propriety in reference to Israel, 
fVhich brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house 
of bo7idage. 

(I.) I am Jehovah. This name denotes both his being, and 
his performance of his promise. Thus he was not known to the 

168 Looking unto %/esiis» 

patriarchs : they only were sustained by faith in God's almighty 
power, without receiving the thing promised; but when the 
Israelites came to receive the promise, and to have full know- 
ledge and experience of his power and goodness, then they knew 
the efficacy of his name Jehovah. 

(2.) / a?n Jehovah Elohim, ' This denotes the plurality of 
persons. God, in delivering of the law, doth not only shew his 
l3eing, but the manner of his being, or the trinity of persons in 
the unity of essence. The word signifies strong, potent, mighty ; 
or if we express it plurally, it signifies the almighties, or the 
almighty powers. Hence the scriptures apply the general name, 
God, to the persons severally, the Father is God, Heb. i. 1.2. 
The Son is God, Acts xx. 28. And the Holy Ghost is God, 
Acts V. 3, 4. 

(3.) lam the Lord thy God, Herein is the propriety, and 
indeed here is the mercy, that God speaks thus to every faithful 
soul, lam thy God. By this appropriation God gives us a right 
in him, yea, a possession of him. 1 . A right in him : as the 
woman may say of him to whom she is married, this man is my 
husband, so may every faithful soul say of the Lord, he is my 
God. 2. A possession of him : God doth not only shew himself 
unto us, but he doth communicate himself unto us in his holiness, 
mercy, truth, grace, and goodness ; hence it is said. We have 
fellowship with the Father, and ivith his Son Jesus Christ, 
Herein God gives himself to be wholly ours, consider God essen- 
tially or personally. Consider Jehovah Elohim, all is ours. God, 
in his essence and glorious attributes, communicates himself to us 
for good ; and God, personally considered, as Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, they all enter into covenant with us. 

[1.] The Father enters into covenant with us. He promiseth 
to be a Father to us : hence saith the Lord, Israel is my Son, 
my first-horn. 

[2.] The Son is in covenant with us, and speaks to us in this 
language ; Thou art mine ; I have redeemed thee, I have called 
thee by thy name, and therefore thou art mine. This is Christ's 
covenant with us ; he brings us back to his Father, from whose 
presence we were banished, and sets us before his face for ever. 
He promiseth to restore us to the adoption of sons ; and not only 
to the title, but to the inheritance of sons, that we might be 
where he is. 

[3.] The Holy Ghost makes a covenant with us. By one offer- 
ing he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified ; ivhereof 
the Holy Ghost also is a zvitness. This is the cove?ia?it that I 
will make luith them ; Iivillput my law into their hearts, and in 
their minds ivill I turite them. I know the Father is implied in 
this, yet here is the proper work of the Holy Ghost. What the 
Father hath purposed, and the Son hath purchased for us, that 
the Holy Ghost effects in us. He applies the blood of Christ foi? 

Looking unto Jesus, 169 

the remission of sins ; he writes the law in our hearts ; he comforts 
us in our sadness ; he supports us in our faintings^ and guides us 
in our wanderings. Now in that he effects these things for us, 
and in our behalf, he is said to make a covenant with us. Thus 
Elohim, God personally considered. Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, are in covenant with us. i 

(4.) Let us see the fruit of this in reference to Israel : — ^which 
brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bon- 
dage. This was God's promise long before to Abraham : Know 
of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger iti a land that is 
not their s, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four 
hundred years : And also that nation whom they shall serve, will 
I judge; and afterwards they shall come out with great sub- 
stance. See here, Israel must be strangers in the land of Egypt, 
and serve the Egyptians four hundred years ; but then he will 
bring them out of the land of Egypt, and out of their servile bon- 
dage. Why, this argues that God is Jehovah. Now he has per- 
formed what he had foretold 5 and this argues that God in Christ is 
our Redeemer ; for what was this redemption from Egypt, but a 
type of our freedom from sin, death, and hell ? 

6. What is the condition of this covenant on our part ? The 
condition of this covenant is faith in Jesus, which is implied in 
the promise, I will be thy God, or I am the Lord thy God; and 
commanded in the precept built upon it ; thou shalt have me to 
be thy God, or, thou shalt have no other gods before me. But 
Avhere is faith in Jesus Christ mentioned, either in promise or 
precept? I answer. If it be not expressed, it is very plainly 
intended. God is not the God of Israel, but in and through the 
Mediator ; neither can Israel take God to be their God, but by 
faith in the Messiah. But to go further ; What is the meaning of 
this first commandment in the affirmative part, but to have one 
God in Christ to be our God by faith ? It is true there is no 
mention made of Christy or faith ; but that is nothing. There is 
no mention of love, and yet our Saviour discovers it there ; when 
the lawyer tempted Christ, — Master, ivhich is the great com- 
mandment in the law ? You know Christ's answer. Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God tvith all thy heart, with all thy soul, and 
with all thy mind; this is the Jirst ojiid great commandment, 
Matt. xxii. 36, 37, 38. Now as our Saviour discovers love 
there ; so in like manner is faith and Christ there, the necessary 

But you may object. What say we to obedience? Is not that 
rather the condition of this covenant in the law ? The law is 
considered either more strictly, as it is a rule of righteousness, 
setting forth Hfe upon no other terms but perfect obedience, or 
more largely, as that whole doctrine delivered on mount Sinai, 
with the preface and promises adjoined: in the former sense it is 
a covenant of works, but in the latter it is a covenant of grace, 
6. Y 

170 Lookms; unto Jesus, 

And yet I dare not say, that as the law is a covenant of grace, it 
doth exclude obedience. In some sort, obedience, as well as 
faith, may be said to be a condition of the covenant of grace. I 
shall give you my thoughts in this distinction : obedience to all 
God's commands, is either considered as a cause of life, or as a 
qualification. In the former sense, it cannot be a condition of 
the covenant of grace ; but in the latter, it may. If by condi- 
tion we understand whatsoever is required on our part, as pre- 
cedent, concomitant, or subsequent, to the covenant of grace, re- 
pentance, faith, and obedience are all conditions: but if by 
condition we understand whatsoever is required on our part as 
the cause of the good promised, though only instrumental, why 
then faith is the only condition. Faith and obedience are op- 
posed in the matter of justification and salvation; not that they 
cannot stand together, (for they are inseparably united,) but 
because they camiot meet together in one court, as the cause of 
justification or salvation. Now, when we speak of the condition 
of the covenant of grace, we intend such a condition as is among 
the number of true causes. Indeed, in the covenant of works 
obedience is required as the cause of life ; but in the covenant 
of grace, though obedience must accompany faith, yet only faith 
is' the cause of life contained in the covenant. 

7. Of this covenant, Moses was a typical, but Christ the spi- 
ritual. Mediator. There is a great deal of difference betwixt 
Moses and Christ, as, 1. Moses only received the law, and 
delivered it to the people ; but Christ, our true Moses, fulfilled it. 
2. Moses broke the tables, to shew how we in our nature had 
broken the law; but Christ, our true Moses, repairs it. 3. Mo- 
ses had the law only writ in tables of stone ; but Christ writes it 
in the tables of our hearts. 4. Moses was mere man ; but Christ 
is God as well as man. 5. Moses wiis only a servant in God's 
house; but Christ is a son, yea, Christ is Lord of his own house, 
the church. 6. Moses's meditation was of this use, to shew 
what WTcS the true manner of worshipping God; but he did not 
inspire power to follow it : he could not reconcile men to God, 
as of himself; and therefore it appeared that there was need of 
another reconciler, viz, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

8. What do we find of Christ, and of his death, in this mani- 
festation of the covenant? I answer, (1.) In delivering the law, 
we find something of Christ. Some of the learned are of opi- 
nion, that Christ the Son of God did? in the shape of a man, 
deliver the law. 

(2.) In the law itself, as it is a covenant of grace, we find 
something of Christ: in the preface he proclaims himself to be 
our God ; and in the first commandment we are bound to take 
this God to be our God ; and in the second, he gives us a double 
motive to obey ; For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God; I 
sheiv mercy unto thousands of them that love me^ and keep my 

Looking unto Jesus. 171 

commandments. And in the fifth commandment he gives a pro- 
mise of long life in Canaan, which is either to be looked at as a 
type of heaven, or literally, for a prosperous condition here on 
earth; -but, howsoever, it is by virtue of the covenant, and as a 
testimony of God's love. Now all these promises are made in 
Christ. God is not our God, but in and through Jesus Christ. 
God will not shew mercy unto thousands, nor unto one of all the 
thousands of his saints, but as they are in Jesus Christ. God 
will not give us long life here, or eternity hereafter, but in, for, 
and through, the Lord Jesus Christ. What if Moses writ not 
down the word Christ, yet certainly Moses writ of Christ : his 
words imply Christ, as Christ himself told the Jews, Had ye 
believed Moses, ye would have believed me ; for Moses wrote of 
me. Surely Christ was, if not the only subject, yet the only 
scope, of all the writings of Moses ; and therefore in the law 
itself, you see, we find something of Christ. 

(3.) In the exposition of the law, as Moses gives it here and 
there, we find something of Christ. Yea, if we observe it, Moses 
brought something more to the expression of Christ, and of the 
covenant of grace, than ever was before. In the first promise it 
was revealed, that Christ should be the seed of the woman; in 
the second manifestation of the promise, it was revealed that 
Christ should be of the seed of Abraham; but in Moses's 
writings, and Moses's time, we learn more expressly that Christ 
was to be incarnate, and to have his conversation amongst men. 
The promise runs thus : And I will dwell among the children of 
Israel, and ivill he their God; and they shall know that I am 
the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of 
Egypt, that I may dwell amongst them ; I am the Lord their 
God. Again, Moses, writing of Christ, The Lord thy God, 
saith he, will raise up unto thee a prophet from tlie midst oftliee, 
of thy brethren, like unto me; unto liim shall ye hearken. Was 
not this a plain expression : Peter, in his sermon to the Jews, 
preached Jesus Christ; and he tells the Jews, that this Jesus 
Christ was preached unto them before. When before ? Even in 
Moses's time; and for proof he cites this very text. For Moses 
truly said unto the fat Jeers, xi pirophet shall the Lord your God 
raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto 7ne; him shall ye 
hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. 

(4.) In the confirmation of the law, we find something of Christ. 
It was confirmed by seals and sacrifices. What were all these 
but a type of Christ ? In the former expression of the covenant 
we found the seal of circumcision, but now it pleased God to 
add unto the former another seal for confirmation of their faith, 
namely, the passover. And was not this a type of Christ, the 
immaculate Lamb of God, whicli taketti away the sins of the 
world? Again, in this manifestation Moses brought in the 
priesthood as a settled ordinance, to offer sacrifices for the peo- 

172 Looking unto *7esus. 

pie I and was not this a type of Christy our true and unchange- 
able high priest ? No question, the death and resurrection of 
Christ, the priesthood and kingdom of Christ, were prefigured 
by the sacrifices, the brazen serpent, the priesthood of Aaron, 
and the kingdom of Israel. And I cannot but think that the 
godly spiritual Jews understood this very well ; and that these 
did not rest in sacrifices or sacraments, but that by faith they did 
really enjoy Christ in them. 

(5.) In the intention of God's giving the law, we find some- 
thing of Christ. The very end of God in promulging the law, 
was, that upon the sense of our impossibility to keep it, and of 
our danger to break it, we should desire earnestly, and seek out 
diligently for Jesus Christ. To this purpose, saith the apostle, 
Tlie law is our schoolmaster, to britig us to Christ, that ive might 
he justijied by faith. A schoolmaster, you know, doth not only 
correct, but also teach : so the law doth not only curse if the 
work be not done, but it shews where pow.er and help is to be 
had, that is, from the Lord Jesus Christ. If this be so, how 
much to blame are they that, under pretence of free grace and 
Christ, cry down the law ? Rather let us cry it up ; and this is 
the way to set up free grace and Christ. Surely, he that dis- 
covers his defects by the perfect rule of the law, and whose soul 
is humbled because of those defects, must needs prize Christ, 
desire Christ, advance Christ in his thoughts, above all the men 
in the world. 

And thus far of the covenant of promise, as it was manifested 
from Moses to David. 

Sect. V. — Of the Covenant of Promise, as manifested to David. 

The next breaking forth of this gracious covenant was to 
David ; and in this manifestation, appears yet more of Christ. 
The expression of it is chiefly in these words : Although my 
house he not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlast- 
ing covenant, ordered in all things, and sure. 

For the right understanding of this, we shall examine these 
particulars : — 

1 . Who is the author of this covenant ? 

2. To whom is the covenant made ? 

3. What is this, that the covenant is said to be made ? 

4. How is the covenant ordered ? 

5. Wherein is the covenant sure? 

6. Whether is Christ more clearly manifested in this breaking 
forth of the covenant, than in any of the former ? 

1 . Who is the author of this covenant ? David says. He hath 
made it: He, i. e. God; The rock of Isimel, the everlasting 
rock ; the rock of their salvation, Psal. viii. 2. 2'he rock of 
their refuge, Psal, xciv, 22. Their rock, and their Redeemer, 

Lookifig unto f/esus, 17S 

Psal. xix. 14. The Psalmist is frequent in this style^ to shew 
that God is the mighty, stable, and immutable defence of all the 
faithful, who fly unto him, and will trust in him. He is such a 
rock as will not fail his creatures. Man is unstable; but he is 
God, and not man, who is the author of this covenant. 

2. To whom is the covenant made ? Why, saith David, He 
hath made with me an everlasting covenant; i. e. either with 
Christ the antitype, or else with David himself, the type of 
Christ. Some are wholly for a covenant betwixt God and 
Christ, and they deny any such thing as a covenant betwixt 
God and man : but are not the testimonies express ? Take heed 
to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant which the Lord hath 
made ivith you. And, I ivill make a neiu covenant luith the 
house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Oh ! take heed of 
such doctrines as tend unto licentiousness ; the covenant God 
makes with us binds us faster to God, and if there be no cove- 
nant betwixt God and us, it opens a gap to the looseness of our 
spirits ; for how should we be charged with unfaithfulness unto 
God, if we have not all entered into a covenant with God ? 

3. What is this, that the covenant is said to be made ? This 
exhibits to us the freeness of God's entering into covenant with 
us. When God makes a covenant, then he gives grace unto all 
that he takes into covenant with him. The Lord set his love 
upon you, said Moses to Israel, to take you iiito covenant with 
him ; not because ye ivere more in number than other people , but 
because he loved you, and chose your fathers, 

4. How is the covenant said to be ordered? The word 
ordered sets out to us a marshalling, and fit laying of things 
together, in ojjposition to disorder and confusion. As we see in 
an army, every one is set in rank and file ; so every thing in this 
covenant is so ranked, disposed, and ordered, that it stands at 
best advantage to receive and repel the enemy. 

(1.) It is well ordered in respect of the root out of which it 
grew. This was the infinite wisdom and mercy of God. 1. It 
was founded in wisdom. The covenant of grace was a result of 
council ; it was no rash act, but a deliberate act with infinite 
wisdom. God being the sovereign of all his creatures, and 
seeing mankind in a perishing condition, determined within him- 
self deliberately to make such a covenant of peace. 2. It was 
founded in mercy; i. e. in the goodness of God flowing out to 
one in misery. 

(2.) It is well ordered, in respect of the method. First, God 
begins ; then we come on : — First, God on his part gives grace ; 
and then we, on our parts, act faith and obedience. God hath 
ever the first work : as, first, / ivill be your God, and then yc 
shall be my people : first, / will take away the stony heart, and 
give an heart of flesh; and then ?/om shall loathe yourselves for 
your ifiiqtiities, and for your abominations : first, I ivill sprinkle 

174 Looking unto Jesus. 

water upon you, and then ye shall be clean from all your Jilthi- 
ness: first, I will put my Spirit into you, and cause you to walk 
in my statutes : and then ye shall keep my judgrnents, and do 
them: first, I will pour out my Spirit of grace and supplication 
upon you, and then you shall mourn as a iinan mourneth for his 
only son: first, / will do all, and then ye shall do something. 
A troubled spirit is apt to cry out, Alas ! I can do nothing : I 
can as well dissolve a rock, as make my heart of stone a heart of 
flesh ! Mark how the covenant stands well ordered like an 
army : / will do all, saith God, and then thou shalt do some- 
thing : / ivill strengthen and quicken you, and then ye shall 
serve me, saith the Lord. 

(3.) It is well ordered, in respect of the end and aim, to which 
all the parts of the covenant are referred. The end of the cove- 
nant is the praise of the glory of his grace : the parts of the 
covenant are the promise and the stipulation; the promise is 
either principal, and that is God and Christ; or secondary, and 
that is justification, sanctification, and glorification: and the 
stipulation on our parts are faith and obedience ; we must be- 
lieve in him that justifies the ungodly, and walk before him in all 
well-pleasing. Observe now the main design of the covenant, 
and see but how all the streams run towards that ocean . God 
gives himself to the praise of the glory of his grace. God gives 
Christ to the praise of the glory of his grace. God gives par- 
don, sanctification^ and salvation, to the praise of the glory of 
his grace ; and we believe, we obey, to the praise of the glory of 
his grace ; and good reason, for all is of grace, and therefore all 
must tend to the praise of the glory of his grace. It is of grace 
that God hath given himself, Christ, pardon, sanctification, and 
salvation, to any soul. It is of grace that we believe ; by grace 
ye are saved through faith, not of yourselves, it is the gift of 
God. Oh ! the sweet and comely order of this covenant ! All 
is of grace, and all tends to the praise of the glory of his grace ; 
and therefore it is called the covenant of grace. Many a soul is 
forced to cry, I cannot believe ; I may as well reach heaven with 
a finger, as lay hold on Christ by the hand of faith : but mark 
how the covenant stands, like a well-marshalled army, to repel 
tliis doubt ; if thou canst not believe, God will enable thee to 
believe. To you it is given to believe. God will not only pro- 
mise good things, but helps us by his Spirit to perform the con- 
ditions. He works our hearts to believe in God, and to believe 
in Christ. All is of grace, that all may tend to the praise of the 
glory of his grace. 

5. Wherein is the covenant sure ? I answer. It is sure in the 
performance and accomplishment of it. Hence the promises of 
the covenant are called the sure mercies of David ; not because 
they are sure unto David alone, but because they are sure unto all 
the seed of David, that are in covenant with God, as David 

Looking unto Jesus. 175 

was. Tlie promises of God's covenant are not yea and nay, 
various and uncertain ; but they are yea and amen, sure to be 
fulfilled. Hence the stability of God's covenant is compared to 
the firmness and immoveableness of the mighty mountains ; nay. 
Mountains may depart, and the hills he removed, by a miracle ; 
hut yny kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the 
covenant of my peace he removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy 
on thee. Sooner shall the rocks be removed^ the fire cease to 
burn, the sun be turned into darkness, and the very heavens be 
confounded with the earth, than the promise of God shall fail. 

6. Christ is more clearly manifested in this breaking forth of 
the covenant, than in any or the former. For here we see, 

(1.) That he was God and man, in one person; David's son, 
and yet David's Lord. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou 
on my right-hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 

(2.) That he suffered for us : and in his sufferings how many 
particulars are discovered ! As, first, his cry, My God! my 
God ! ivhy hast thou forsaken me f Secondly, the Jews' taunts. 
He trusted on the Lord, that he would deliver him, let kirn deli- 
ver him, if he delight in him. Thirdly, the very manner of his deajh. 
They pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my hones ; 
they look and stare upon me : they part my garments among 
them, and cast lots ii])07i my vesture. 

(3.) That he rose again for us. Thou wilt not leave my soul 
in hell; iieither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 

(4.) That he ascended up into heaven. Thou hast ascended 
up on high ; thou hast led captivity captive ; thou hast received 
gifts for men. 

(5.) That he must be King over us, and over his enemies. 
2Vie Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right-hand, until 
I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall seiid the 
rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine 

(6.) That he must be Priest, as well as King; and Sacrifice, 
as well as Priest. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent : 
Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedech. 
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest ivickedness ; therefore 
God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above 
thy felSnus: (i. e. above all Christians, who are thy fellows, con- 
S(^)rts, and partners, in the anointing :) sacrifice and burnt-offer- 
ing thou wouldst not have ; but mine ear hast thou bored: bunit- 
offering and sin-offhnng hast thou not required. Then said I, 
Lo, I come : in the volume of the book it is ivritten of me, that I 
should do thy ivill, O God. Mine ears hast thou bored, or 
digged open. The Septuagint, to make the sense plainer, say, 
But a body hast thou fitted me, or prepared for me: meaning, 
that his body was ordained and fitted to be a sacrifice for the 
sins of the world, when other legal sacrifices were received as 

176 Looking unto Jesus. 

unprofitable. See how clearly Christ is revealed. It was never 
thus before. 

And thus far of the covenant of promise^ as it was manifested 
from David till the Captivity. 

Sect. VI. — Of the Covenant of Promise, as manifested to Israel 
about the time of the Captivity, 

The great breaking forth of this gracious covenant was to 
Israel about the time of their captivity. By reason of that cap- 
tivity of Babylon^ Israel was almost clean destroyed; and^ there- 
fore, then it was high time that the Lord should appear like a 
sun after a stormy rain, and give them some clearer light of 
Christ. He doth so, especially in these words : Behold, the days 
come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the 
house of Israel, and luith the house of Judah; not according to 
the covenant ivhich I made with their fathers, in the day that I 
took them hy the hand to bring thein out of the land of Lgypt; 
which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto 
them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will 
make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, 
I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their 
hearts; and I ivill be their God, and they shall be my people ; 
and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every 
man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know 
me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the 
Lord; for I ivill forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin 
no more. In this expression of the covenant, we shall examine 
these particulars : 

1 . Why it is called a new covenant ? 

2. Wherein the expression of this covenant doth excel the 

former, which God made with their fathers ? 

3. How doth God put the law into our inward parts ? 

4. What is it to have the law written in our hearts ? 

5. How are we taught of God, so as not to need (compara- 

tively) any other kind of teaching ? 

6. What is the universality of this knowledge, in that all shall 

know me, saith the Lord f 
1 . Why is it called a new covenant ? I answer, it is called 
new, in contradiction to the covenant of promise before Christ 
came. The very same words are repeated in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews : Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will 
make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and the house of 
Judah. In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first 
old; noiv that which decay eth, a?id waxeth old, is ready to 
vanish away. The, new covenant is usually understood in the 
latter sense ; it is new, because diverse from that which God 
made with the fathers before Christ ; it hath a new worship. 

Looking unto Jfesus. 177 

new adoration, a new form of the church, new witnesses, new 
tables, new ordinances : and these never to be disannulled, never 
to wax old, as the apostle speaks. 

2. Wherein doth this covenant excel the former, which God 
made with their fathers ? I answer, — 

(1.) It excels in the benefits and graces of the Spirit. We 
find, that under tins covenant they were more plentifully be- 
stowed upon the church than formerly. 

(2.) It excels in the discovery of the Mediator, in and through 
whom this covenant was made. In the former expression we 
discovered much, yet in none of them was so plainly revealed 
the time of his coming, the place of his birth, his name, the pas- 
sages of his nativity, his humiliation and kingdom, as we find in 

[1.] Concerning the time of his coming. — ^Seventy weeks 
shall be determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to 
finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin, and to makf 
reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteous- 
ness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the 
most holy.' 

[2.] Concerning the place of his birth. — ^ But thou Bethlehem 
Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, 
yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler 
in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from 

[3.] Concerning his name. — ^ Unto us a child is born, unto us 
a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders ; 
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty 
God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. — In his days 
Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely ; and this is 
his name whereby he shall be called. The Lord our Righte- 
ousness. — Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and 
thou, O virgin, shalt call his name Immanuel.' 

[4.] Concerning the passages of his nativity. — That he should 
be born of a virgin, Isa. vii. 14. That at his birth all the infants 
round about Bethlehem should be slain, Jcr, xxxi. 15. That 
John the Baptist should be his forerunner, to prepare his way, 
Mai. iii. 1. That he should flee into Egypt, and be recalled 
thence again, Hos, xi. 1 . I might add many particulars of this , 

[5.] Concerning his humiliation. — '^ Surely, he hath borne 
our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him 
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted: but he was wounded 
for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, 
the chastisement of our p^ace was upon him, and with his 
stripes we are healed. — He was oppressed, and he was 
afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. — He was taken from 
prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his gene- 

r. z 

1/8 Looking unto J^esus. 

ration ? for he was cut off out of the land of the living : for the 
transgression of my people was he stricken. — It pleased the Lord 
to bruise him^ he hath put him to grief. — ^Therefore will I divide 
him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with 
the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death^ and 
he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of 
many, and made intercession for the transgressors.' One would 
think this were rather a history than a prophecy of Christ's 

[6.] Concerning his kingdom. — ' Rejoice greatly, O daughter 
of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold thy King 
cometh unto thee: he is just^ and having salvation^ lowly, and 
riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." Behold 
a King, behold thy King; behold thy King cometh^ and he 
cometh unto thee. — 1. He is a King, and therefore able. 2. He 
is thy King, and therefore willing. Wonderful love, that he 
would come \ but more wonderful was the manner of his coming : 
he that before made man a soul after the image of God, then 
made himself a body after the image of man. And thus we 
see how this covenant excels the former in every of these 

3. How doth God put the law in our inward parts ? I an- 
swer, God puts the law into our inward parts, by enlivening a 
man with the graces of his holy Spirit, suitable to his command- 
ment. First, There is the law of God without us, as we see it 
or read it in scriptures ; but when it is put within us, then God 
hath wrought an inward disposition in our minds, that answers to 
that law without us : For example ; This is the law without. 
Thou slialt love the Lord thy God with all thy hearty and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy strength. To answer which there 
is a promise, / ivill circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy 
seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all 
thy soul. Now, when this promise is fulfilled, when God hath put 
love in our hearts, then is the law put into our inward parts. 

4. What is it to have the law written in our hearts? This 
writing contains the former, and is something more. It is said 
to be written, that there might be something within answerable 
to the law without ; it was written without, and so it was written 
within. This writing is the very same with copying or tran- 
scribing. The writing within is every way answerable to the 
writing without. Oh ! what a mercy is this, that the same God 
who writ the law with his own finger in the tables of stone, 
should also write the same law with the finger of his Spirit in the 
tables of our hearts ! As you see in a seal, when you have put 
the seal on the wax, and you take it oft' again, you find on the 
wax the same impression that was on the seal : so it is in the 
hearts of the faithful; when the Spirit hath once softened them, 
then he writes the law, i. e. he stamps an inward aptness, and 

Looking unto Jesus. 1/9 

and inward disposition, on the heart, answering te every parti- 
cular of the law. 

5. How are we taught of God, so as not to need comparatively 
any other kind of teaching ? I answer — 

(1.) God teacheth inwardly. — In the hidden part thou hast 
made me to know wisdom, saith David : and again, / thank the 
Lord that gave me counsel, my reins also instruct me in the 
night season. The reins are the most inward part of the body, and 
the night-season the most private time : both express the intimacy 
of Divine teaching. God, who commanded light to shine out 
of darkness, hath shined into our hearts. Man's light may shine 
into the head, but God's light alone doth shine into the h'eart. 

(1.) God teacheth clearly. Elihu offering himself instead of 
God to reason with Job, he tells him. My words shall be of the 
uprightness of my heart, and my lips shall utter knowledge 
clearly. If ever the word come home to an heart, it comes 
with a convincing clearness. So the apostle, Our gospel came 
unto you, not in word only, hut in power, and in the Holy Ghost, 
and in much full assurance. The word hath a treble emphasis — 
assurance, full assurance, and much full assurance: Here is 
clear work. 

(3.) God teacheth sweetly and comfortably. — Thou hast taught 
me, saith David; and then it follows, how sweet are thy tvords 
unto my taste! yea, siveeter than honey to my mouth. Luther 
said, " He would not live in paradise, if he must live without 
the word; but with the word,'' said he, " I could live in hell.'' 
When Christ put his hand in by the hole of the door to teach the 
heart, her bowels were moved, and then her fingers dropt upon 
the handles of the lock sweet-smelling myrrh. Cant. v. 5. The 
teachings of Christ left such a blessing upon the first motions of 
the spouse's heart, that with the very touch of them she is re- 
freshed ; her fingers drop myrrh, and her bowels are moved, as 
the monuments of his gracious teachings. 

Christians, these are the teachings of God ! and in reference 
to this, we shall no more teach every man his neighbour, and 
every man his brother, saying. Know the Lord. God's teaching 
is another kind of teaching than we can have from the hands of 
men ; there is no man in the world can teach us : and there- 
fore, they whom God teacheth, need not any other kind of 
teaching, respectively or comparatively. 

6. What is the universality of this knowledge ? — They shall 
all know me from the least of them to the greatest of them, 
saith the Lord. The meaning is, that all that are in the cove- 
nant of grace shall be so taught of God, that they shall every 
one know God inwardly, clearly, experimentally, sweetly, and 

1 have now propounded the object we are to look unto; that 
is, Jesus, as held forth in a way of promise or covenant ; in that 

ISO LooJcin^' unto Jesus. 


dark timCj from the creation till his first coming in the llesh : our 
next business is to direct you in the mystery of grace^ ho\y you 
are to look to him in this respect. 


Sect. I. — Of Knoiving Jesus, as carrying on the great Work 
of our Salvation from the Creation until his F'irst Cojnlug. 

Looking comprehends knowing, considering, desiring, hop- 
ing, believing, loving, joying, calling on, conforming to^ as you. 
have heard; and accordingly, that we may practise, 1. We 
must know Jesus carrying on the great work of our salvation in 
the beginning, and from the beginning, of the world. Come, 
let us learn what he did for us in the morning of this world : he 
made it for us, and he made us more especially for his own glory; 
but presently after we were made, we sinned and marred the 
image wherein God made us. This was the saddest act that 
ever was ; it was the undoing of man, and, without the mercy 
of God, the damning of all souls to all eternity. And, O my 
soul, know this for thyself, thou wast in the loins of Adam at 
that same time, so that what he did, thou didst ; thou wast par- 
taker of his sins, and thou wast to partake with him in his 
punishment : but well mayest thou say, Blessed be God for Jesus 
Christ ! at the very instant when all should have been damned, 
Christ intervened ; a covenant of grace is made with man, and 
Christ is the foundation, in and through whom we must be re- 
conciled unto God. Come, soul, and study this covenant of 
grace in reference to thyself. Had not this been, Avhere hadst 
thou been, nay, w^here had all the world been, at this day ? 
Surely it concerns thee to take notice of this great transaction. 
After man had fallen by sin, Christ is promised ; and that 
all the saints might partake of Christ, a covenant of grace is 
entered; this, at the beginning of the world, was more dim; 
but the nearer to Christ's coming in the flesh, the more clearly 
it appeared. Howsoever, dimly or clearly, thus it pleased God 
in Christ to carry on the great work of our salvation at that 
time ; viz. by a promise of Christ, and by a covenant in Christ. 
And for thy better knowledge of it, study the promise made to 
Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, and Israel. Study these se- 
veral breakings out of the covenant of grace. It is worth thy 
pains ; it is a mystery which hath been hid from ages and from 
crenerations, but now is made manifest to the saints. Here lies 
the firm foundation of a Christian's comfort; it thou canst but 
assure thyself of thy part in this, thou art blessed for ever. Oh ! 
hov/ satisfying is it to know the faithful engagements of the 
Almighty God through that Son of his love, in a covenant of 
grace ! 

Looking unto Jesus. 181 

Sect. II. — Of Considering Jesus in that respect. 

We must consider Jesus carrying on the great work of our 
salvation in that dark time. It is not enough to study it and 
know it, but we must seriously meditate, ponder, and consider 
of it, till we bring it to some profitable issue. This is the con- 
sideration I mean, when we hold our thoughts to this or that 
spiritual subject, till we perceive success, and the work prosper 
in our hands. Now, to help us in this, — 

I. Consider Jesus in the first promise made to man. It shall 
bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. When all men 
were under the guilt of sin, and in the power of Satan, and when 
thou, my soul, wert in as bad a case as any other; then to hear 
the sound of these glad tidings, then to hear of Jesus, a Saviour 
and Redeemer, sure this was welcome news. Come, draw the 
case nearer to thyself: thou wast in Adam's loins; suppose thou 
hadstbeen in Adam's stead; suppose thou hadst heard the voice 
of the Lord walking in the garden, suppose thou hadst heard him 
call, Adam, where art thou ^ Peter, Andrew, Thomas, where art 
thou ? What 1 hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded 
thee that thou shouldest not eat ? Appear, and come to judg- 
ment; the law is irrevocable. In the day that thou eatest thereof 
thou shalt surely die. There is nothing to be looked for but 
death temporal, death spiritual, and death eternal. Oh ! what 
a fearful condition is this, no sooner to come into the world, but 
presently to be turned over into hell ! for one day to be a mo- 
narch of the world, and the very next to be a slave of Satan, and 
bound hand and foot in a darksome dungeon ! for a few hours 
to live in Eden, to enjoy every tree in the garden, pleasant 
to the sight, and good for food, and then to enter into the con- 
fines of eternity, and ever to be tormented* with the devil and 
his angels ! It is no wonder if Adam hid himself from the presence 
of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. O my soul, 
in that case thou wouldst have cried to the rocks and to the 
mountains. Fall on me, and hide me from the face of him that sitteth 
on the throne. If God be angry, who may abide it ? When the 
great day of his wrath is come, who shall be able to stand ? And 
yet despair not, O my soul ; for in the midst of wrath God is pleased 
to remember mercy. Even now, when all the world should have 
been damned, Jesus is proclaimed and promised; and he it is 
that must die, according to the commination, for he is our surety, 
and he it is that by death must overcome death and the devil. It 
shall bruise thy head, saith God to Satan ; as if he had said. Come, 
Satan, thou hast taken captive ten thousands of souls : Adam and 
Eve are now ei-isnared, and in their loins all the men and women 
that ever shall be : now is thy day of triumph, but thou shalt not 
carry it thus. Out of the seed of the woman shall spring a branch, 
and he shall bruise thy head; he shall break thy power, he shall 

182 Loohins: unto Jesus. 


tread thy dominion under foot, he shall lead thy captivity captive, 
he shall take away sin, he shall point ovit to men and angels the 
glory of heaven, and a new world of free grace. In this pro- 
mise, O my soul, is wrapped up thy hope, thy heaven, thy sal- 
vation ; and therefore consider it, look on all sides of it, view it 
over and over ; it is a field that contains in the bowels of it a 
precious treasure ; there is in it a Saviour, a Redeemer, a De- 
liverer from sin, death, and hell. 

2. Consider Jesus in that promise made to Abraham : / will 
establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after 
thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a 
God to thee, and to thy seed after thee. In respect of this 
covenant, Abraham is called the father of the faithful : and they 
which are of the faith, are called the children of Abraham. And, 
O my soul! thou dost by faith draw it through Abraham, to 
whom this promise was made ; for if ye be Christ's, then are ye 
Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Consider 
what a mercy this is, that God should enter into a covenant with 
thee in the loins of Abraham. God made a promise of Christ, and 
inclusively a covenant of grace, in his comforting Adam; but 
he makes a covenant expressly under the name of covenant, with 
Abraham and his seed. Be amazed! What! that the great 
and glorious God of heaven and earth should make himself a 
debtor to us ! O my soul, think of it seriously : He is in heaven, 
and thou art on earth ; he is the Creator, and thou art his crea- 
ture. Ah ! what art thou, or what is thy father's house, that thou 
shouldest be raised up hitherto ! The very covenant is a wonder, 
as it relates to God and us. What is it but a compact, a bind- 
ing of God and us. When Jehosaphat and Ahab were in 
covenant, see how Jehosaphat expresseth himself, I am as 
thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses ; so 
it is betwixt God and us. If once he gives us the covenant, 
then his strength is our strength, his power is our power, his 
armies are our armies, his attributes are our attributes, we have 
interest in all. There is an offensive and defensive league, as I 
may say, betwixt God and us ; and if we put him in mind of it 
in all our straits, he cannot deny us. Thus runs the tenor of 
his covenant : / will be a God to thee, and to thy seed after 
thee. This is the general promise ; I may call it the mother- 
promise, that carries all other promises in its womb. Consider, 
that it is God in Christ that is propounded to us in this phrase, 
I will be a God to thee. Here is the greatest promise that ever 
was made. Christ, God, is more than grace, pardon, holiness, 
heaven; as the husband is more excellent than the marriage- 
robe, bracelets, rings. The well and fountain of life is of more 
excellency than the streams. Christ Jesus is far above a created 
beatitude which issueth from him, O my soul, is not this worthy 
of thy inmost consideration ? 

Looking unto Jesus. 183 

3. Consider Jesus in that promise made to Moses and the 
Israelites, / am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the 
land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, Muph hath been 
said to this promise ; but to contradict it, consider in the promise 
the sufficiency and propriety. First, here is sufficiency. It is 
a promise of infinite worth, an hid treasure, a rich possession, 
an overflowing blessing, which none can rightly value ; it is no 
less than the great and mighty, and infinite God. If we had a 
promise of a hundred worlds, or of ten heavens, this is more 
than all: heaven indeed is beautiful, but God is more beautiful; 
for he is the God of heaven : and hence it is that the saints in 
heaven are not satisfied without their God. It is a sweet ex- 
pression of Bernard, " As whatsoever we give unto thee. Lord, 
unless we give ourselves, cannot satisfy thee ; so whatsoever 
thou givest ujito us. Lord, unless thou givest thyself, it cannot 
satisfy us." J\nd hence it is, that as God doth make the saints 
his portion, so God is the portion and inheritance of his saints. 
Consider the greatness, the goodness, the all- sufficiency of this 
promise, I am the Lord thy God! No question but Moses had 
many other rich promises from God, but he could not be satis- 
fied without God himself: If thy presence he not with us, bring 
us not hence. And no wonder; for without God all things are 
nothing ; but in the want of all other things, God himself is in- 
stead of all: it is God's sole prerogative to be an universal 
good. The things of this world can but help in this or that par- 
ticular thing; as bread against hunger, drink against thirst, 
clothes against cold and nakedness, house against wind and 
weather, riches against poverty, physic against sickness; but 
God is an all-sufficient good : he is all in all both to the inner 
and outward man. Are we guilty of sin ? there is mercy in God 
to pardon us. Are we full of infirmities ? there is grace in God 
to heal us. Are we strong in corruptions ? there is power in 
God to subdue them in us. Are we disquieted in conscience ? 
there is that Spirit in God, that is the Comforter, that can fill us 
with joy unspeakable and glorious. And for our outward man, 
all our welfare is laid up in God : He is the God of our life, 
Psal. xlii. 1. He is the strength of our life, Psal. xxvii. I. He 
is a quickening Spirit, 1 Cor. xv. 45. Which though it be in 
regard of the inner man, yet there it is spoken of the outward 
man, which the Lord shall quicken after death, and doth now 
keep alive by his mighty power ; for in him we live, and move, 
and have our being. 

O my soul, that thou wouldst but meditate and consider this 
promise in all thy wants. When means fail, and the streams run 
no more. Oh ! that thou wouldest then go to the fountain, where 
the waters run sweeter, and more sure ! For as Joseph said to 
Pliaraoh, — It is not in me, God shall give Pharaoh an answer 
of peace : so may silver and gold, and such things, say to thee. 

184 Looking unto Jesus. 

It is not in us ; God shall give enough out of himself. Have 
God, and have ail : want God, and there is no content in the 
enjoyment of all. It was the apostle's case ; as having nothingy 
yet possessing all things. Surely he lived to God, and enjoyed 
God, and he was an ail-sufficient good unto him. God may be 
enjoyed in any condition ; in the meanest, as well as the greatest; 
in the poorest, as well as the richest. God will go into a wilder- 
ness, into a prison, with his people, and there he will make up 
all that they are cut short of. Thy discontents therefore arise 
not from want of inward means, but from want of inward 
fellowship witli God : and if thou dost not find a sufficiency, it 
is because thou dost not enjoy him, who is thy all-sufficient good. 
Oh 1 stir up faith, and consider the covenant ; think seriously 
on this promise — / am God all-sufficient ; I am the Lord thy 

Here is the propriety of saints — the Lord thy God. What is 

this, that God is thy God ? Heaven and earth, angels and men, 

may stand astonished at it. What ! that the great and mighty 

God, God almighty, and God all-sufficient, should be called 

thy God ! It is observable what the apostle speaks, God is not 

ashamed to he called their God. Would not a prince be ashamed 

to take a beggar, a base and adulterous woman, to be his wife ? 

But we are worse than so, and God is better than so ; sin hath 

made us worse than the worst of women ; and God is better, 

holier, higher, than the best of princes; and yet God is not 

ashamed to own us, nor ashamed that we own him as our own — 

/ am thy God. It is as if the Lord should say. Use me, and all 

my power, grace, mercy, kindness, as thine own. Go through 

all my attributes; consider my almighty power, consider my 

wisdom, understanding, goodness, truth, faithfulness; consider 

my patience, long-suffering, forbearance, all these are thine : as 

thus, — my power is thine, to work all thy works for thee, and in 

thee, to make a passage for thee in all thy straits, to deliver 

thee out of six troubles, and out of seven : my wisdom is thine, 

to counsel thee in any difficult cases, to instruct thee in things 

that be obscure, to reveal to thee the mysteries of grace, and 

the wonderful things contained in my law : my justice is thine, 

to deliver thee v/hen thou art oppressed, to defend thee in thy 

innocence, and to vindicate thee from the injuries of men. What 

needs more ? O my soul, think of these, and all other God's 

attributes ; say in thyself, All these are mine : nay more ; think 

of God in Christ, (for otherwise what hast thou to do with God 

in a covenant of grace ?) and say in thy heart, Jesus Christ is 

mine, my Saviour, my Redeemer, my Head, my elder Brother. 

His doings are mine, and his sufferings are mine ; his life and 

death, his resurrection and ascension, his session and intercession, 

all are mine : nay more ; If Christ be mine, why then all good 

things are mine in Clirist ; I say, in Christ, for they come not 

Looking unto Jesus, 18a 

immediately, but through the hands of a Redeemer ; and though 
he be a man who redeemed us, yet because he is God as well as 
man, there is more of God, and heaven, and free-love, in all our 
good things, than if we received them immediately from God. 
Ravens have their food, and devils have their being, from God by 
creature-right ; but we have all we have, from God in Christ, by 
covenant-right. This, surely this very promise, is the principal 
promise of the covenant ; it is the very substance, soul, and life of 
all. Oh then ! how careful shouldst thou be to improve the strength 
of thy mind, thoughts, and affections, on this only subject ! 

4. Consider Jesus in that promise made to David, He hath made 
with me an everlasting covenant, ordvved in ail things, and sure, 

(1.) An everlasting covenant. — Christ hath built and prepared 
a kingdom, that shall never fade 5 a spiritual and a heavenly 
kingdom, which shall never cease. And as he hath prepared it, 
so if thou believest, he hath entered into a covenant with thy 
soul to bestow it on thee ; it is an everlasting covenant, and he 
will give thee everlasting life. 

(2.) It is ordered in all things. — The covenant of -grace is so 
marshalled and ordered, that it stands at best advantage to 
receive and repel all thy objections. Many an objection hast thou 
raised : how often have such thoughts been in thee ; Oh ! I 
am miserable, I shall not live, but die ; my sins will damn me ; 
I am lost for ever ! And again. If God hath made with me a 
covenant, why then I have something to do on my part ; (for 
this is the nature of the covenant, to bind on both parts ;) but, 
alas ! I have failed, I can do nothing ; I can as well dissolve a 
rock, as make my heart of stone a heart of flesh ; I can as well 
reach heaven with a finger, as lay hold on Christ by the hand of 
faith ! Have not such arguings as these been many a time in 
thy heart ? Consider how the covenant is ordered in respect of 
the author of it, of the person's interest in it, of the parts of 
which it consists, and of the end and aim to which it refers : and 
in some of these, if not in all of these, thou wilt find thy objec- 
tions answered. 

(3.) It is sure. — God is not fast and loose in his covenant. 
Heaven and earth shall pass away, before one jot or tittle of his 
word shall fail. Consider, Omy soul, he both can and will perform 
his word : his power, his love, his faithfulness, all stand engaged. 
What sweet matter is here for a soul to dwell upon ! What needs 
it go out toother objects, whilst it may find enough here? but. 
especially, what needs it to bestow itself upon vain things ? Oh ! 
that so much precious sand of our thoughts should run out after 
sin, and so little after grace, or after this covenant of grace ! 

5. Consider Jesus in that promise which God made with 
Israel and Judah : I will put my law in their iiiward jmrts, and 
ivrite it in their hearts, and I will he their God, and they shall 
he my people : and they shall teach no more every man his 7ieigh- 

7. ■ 2 a 

186 Lookins^ unto Jesus, 


hour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord ; for 
they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of 
them, saith the Lord : for I will forgive their iniquity, and I 
will remember their sins no more. Oh, what an error is it, that 
there is no inherent righteousness in the saints, hnt only in 
Christ ! Is not this the ordinary scripture-phrase — / will put 
my Sjnrit within you: and, the luater that I shall give you, shall 
he in you a luell of water springing up into everlasting life : and, 
the anointing which you have received of him, abideth in you : 
and, Christ in you the hope of glory. Observe how the spirit 
of the living creatures was in the wheels ; so that when the spirit 
went, they went ; and when the spirit was lifted up, they were 
lifted up : even so is the Spirit of Christ, acting, guiding, 
framing, and disposing them to move and walk according to his 
laws : The kingdom of heaven is witliin you, saith Christ. And I 
delight to do thy will, O God, saith David, yea, thy laiu is within 
my heart. O my soul, if thou art in covenant with God, besides 
the indwelling of the Spirit, there is a spiritual principle of grace, 
which Christ by his Spirit hath put into thy heart, enabling thee 
to move thyself towards God. Oh ! consider this inward princi- 
ple ; it is an excellent subject, worthy of thy consideration ! 

(1.) I will be their God, and they shall be my people. — Con- 
sider God essentially, and personally — God the Father, God the 
Son, and God the Holy Ghost ; God in himself, and God in his 
creatures. This very promise turns over heaven, earth, sea, 
land, bread, clothes, sleep, the world, life and death, into free 
grace. No wonder if God set this promise in the midst of the 
covenant, as the heart in the midst of the body, to communicate 
life to all the rest. This promise hath an influence into all other 
promises ; it is the great promise of the new covenant ; it is as 
great as God is : though the heavens, and heaven of heavens, be 
not able to contain him, yet this promise contains him ; God shuts 
up himself, as it were, in it : Iiuill be their God. 

(2.) They shall be my people, — i. e. they shall be to me a pe- 
culiar people. Tit. ii. 14. The word hath this emphasis in it, 
that God looks upon all other things as accidents in comparison, 
and his substance is his people ; they are his very portion : for 
tlie Lord' s portion is hisjjeople, Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 
They are his treasure, his peculiar treasure, above all people. 
If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then shall 
ye be a peculiar treasure imto me, and above all people : for all 
the earth is mine. Observe, O my soul, all the earth is mine, 
that is, all people is my people ; but I have a special interest in 
my covenanted people, they only are my portion, my peculiar trea- 
sure. The saints are those that God hath set his heart upon ; 
they are children of the high God ; they are the spouse that are 
married to the lamb ; they are nearer God in some respects than 
the very angels themselves, for the angels are not in a mystical 

Looking unto Jesus » 1:87 

anion so manied to Christ as God*s people are. Oh, the happi- 
ness of saints ! I will he their God, and they shall he my people^ 

(3.) They shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and 
every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord ; for they shall 
all knov7 me, from the least to the greatest, saith the Lord. — 
Consider this, O poor soul ! Thou complainest of thy weakness, 
thou knowest little or nothing : why, see here a glorious pro- 
mise ; if thou art but in covenant with God, thou shall be taught 
of God, and then thou shalt know God far more clearly than the 
Jews of old ; he will open to thee all his treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge ; he will bestow on thee a greater measure of his 
Spirit, so that out of thy helly shall Jioiv rivers of living water. 
We say, a good tutor may teach more in a day than another in a 
month. Now the promise runs thus, that all thy children shall 
be taught of God. Not that private instruction, or public mi- 
nistry, must be excluded, we know these are appointed mider the 
new testament, and are subordinate to the Spirit's teaching; 
but that the teachings of God far surpass the teachings of men, 
and therefore the knowledge of God under the new testament 
shall far surpass that under the old. Herein appears the excel- 
lency of Christ's prophetical office, — he is such a prophet as 
enlightens eveiy man within that comes into the world ; he is 
such a prophet as baptizes with the Holy Ghost, and with fire ; 
he is such a prophet as makes men's hearts to burn within them 
when he speaks unto them ; he is such a prophet as bids his 
ministers. Go, teach all nations, and I will he tuith you; 
and I will make you able ministers, not of the letter, but of the 
Spirit ; — he is such a prophet as teacheth inwardly, clearly, 
experunentally, and sweetly : no man in the world can say 
this, or do this, but Jesus Christ, the great prophet of the 
church, whom God hath raised up, like unto Moses, yet far 
above Moses. O my soul, consider if thou art thus taught of 

(4.) I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their 
sins no more. — Consider of this ! Blessed are they whose ini- 
quities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Consider, O 
my soul ; suppose thy condition thus : As thou livest under the 
laws of men, so for the transgression of those laws thou art 
called to account : the judge weighs, and gives just judgment, 
he dooms thee to the axe, or rack, or wheel ; and because of the 
aggravation of thy crime, he commands thee to be tortured lei- 
surely, that bones, sinews, joints, might be pained for twenty, 
thirty, forty, fifty years ; that so much of thy flesh should be 
cut off every day ; that such and such a bone should be broken, 
such and such a day ; and that by art the flesh should be re- 
stored, and the bone cured again, that for so many years thou 
mightest be kept every day dying, and yet never die ; that all 
this while thou must have no sleep, nor ease, nor food, nor 

188 Looking unto Jesus, 

clothing : that whips of iron, scourges of scorpions, that racks, 
wheels, caldrons full of melted lead, should be prepared, instru- 
ments of thy continual torments ; in this case, suppose a mighty 
prince, by an act of free and special grace, should deliver thee 
from this pain and torture, and not only so, but should give thee 
a life in perfect health, should put thee into a paradise of plea- 
sures, where all the honour, love, and service, of a world of men 
and angels, should await thee, and where thou shouldst be ele- 
vated to the top of all imaginable happiness, above Solomon in 
the highest royalty, or Adam in his first innocence; were not 
this mercy ? Wouldst thou not think it the highest act of grace 
and love that any creature could extend to his fellow-creatm-e ? 
And yet all this is nothing but a shadow of grace, in comparison 
of the love and rich grace of God in the justification of a sinner. 
If thou hast a right to this promise. I luill forgive thy iniquity^ 
and remember thy sin no more, thou art delivered from eternal 
death, and thou art entitled to an eternal kingdom. Oh ! know 
thy "blessedness aright ; consider how infinitely thou art engaged 
to God, and Christ, and mercy, and free-grace 1 This promise 
sounds forth nothing but grace and blessing ; grace from God, 
and blessing on us : it is grace, because nothing but grace and 
mercy can forgive ; it is grace, because God, if he will, hath 
power in his hand to revenge ; he doth not pass by sin as men do 
offences, when they dissemble forgiveness ; they may forgive, 
because they have not power to avenge : it is otherwise with 
God — To me belongs vengeance, saith God : he is able to de- 
stroy, and yet he chuseth to forgive. This is his name, — strong, 
and gracious. 

O my soul, thou art apt to say. Will the Lord forgive my 
sins ? what reason hath God to look on me, to pardon me, to 
pluck me as a firebrand out of the fire of hell ? why should (^od 
forgive me ? But now consider, if thy heart be humbled, the 
Lord will do it. 

(1.) Because he delighteth in mercy : it is a pleasure to God 
to forgive sins. Never did we take more pleasure, nor so much 
pleasure, in committing sin, as he doth in pardoning sin. He 
is the Father of mercies ; he delights in mercy, as a father in his 
children ; it doth him good to see the fruits of his own mercy, in 
taking away the sins of his own people. 

(2.) Because it is his nature and inclination to pardon sin. 
This appears, 

[1.] In the proclaiming of his name : The Lord, the Lord, 
merciful and gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness arid 
truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and 
transgression, and sin, 

[2.] In his gracious invitations : Come unto 7ne, saith Christ : 
if sin burden you, I will ease you. 

[3.] In his patience, and waiting for repentance. He waits 

Looking unto Jesus, 189 

to this very end, that he might be gracious, and that he may have 

[4.] Because it is his promise to pardon sin : /, even I, am he 
that blotteth out thy tra?isgresswns for my own sake, and will 
7iot remember thy sins. This promise of pardon is one of the 
great blessings of the covenant of grace. You hear the words, 
/ will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins 
no more. 

Now come, consider, O my soul, of every particular in this 
gracious covenant, and be serious in thy consideratio n ! Surely 
there is too much expense hi thy spirit upon vain, and transitory, 
and worldly things. Alas ! thou hast but a short time to live ; and 
the strength of thy mind is the most precious thing thou hast. O 
then let thy inmost thoughts and deep affections be acted and 
exercised on this subject. If God and Jesus, and all thy good, be 
included here, why should not thy whole soul be intent on this ? 
why shouldst thou spend it on the creature ? why shouldst thou 
be so subject to carnal griefs and fears ? Surely all these are fitter 
to be fixed on God in Christ, on Jesus in a covenant of grace. 

Sect. III. — Of Desiring Jesus in that resjject. 

We must desire Jesus, carrying on the great work of man's 
salvation before his coming in the flesh. It is not enough to 
know and consider, but we must desire. This is the order of 
God's work : no sooner hath his Spirit clearly revealed the good- 
ness of the promise that we come to know, but the soul considers 
of it, views it in all its excellencies, weighs it in the balance of 
its best and deepest meditation. This done, the affections begin 
to stu', and the soul begins thus to reason : * Oh ! happy I, that 
I see the goodness of this gracious promise ; but miserable I, if 
I come to see this, and never have a share in it ! O ! why not 
J, Lord ? why not my sins pardoned ? why not my corruptions 
subdued ? why not the law written in my heart, and put into my 
inward parts ? why may not I say. My Lord, my God ! Or, / 
am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine f Why not this cove- 
nant established between God and me ? Now, my soul thirsts 
after this as a thirsty land, my affections hunger after Jesus. 
Oh ! I would fain be in covenant with God ; for this is all my 
salvation, and all my desire ! 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. 

Come then, my soul, and whet thy desires in every one of 
these respects : as, 1 . desire thy interest in the covenant : 2. de- 
sire thy improvement of the covenant : 3. desire the continuance 
of thy covenant state : 4. desire Jesus, the great business, or the 
all in all, in a covenant of grace. 

1 . Desire thy interest in the covenant. Say in thyself : ^ Is 
the world willing to receive me to his grace ? Was that his voice 
in the streets, Hoiv long, ye simple ones, luill ye loi'e simplicity ? 

190 Looking unto Jesus. 

Turn ye at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my Spirit upon 
you. Was that his proclamation. Ho, every one that thirsteth, 
come ye to the waters, — incline your ear and to come unto me, — 
and i will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure 
mercies of David ? And are these the promises offered in the 
covenant, I will put my law into their imvard parts, a7id I will 
ivrite it in your hearts; and I will he your God, and ye shall be 
my people f Oh, the blessed condition of those people that are 
in covenant vrith God ! Blessed art thou, O Israel, who is like 
unto thee a people saved of the Lord! Happy is the people 
that are in such a case, yea, happy is that people whose God is 
the Lord. — But ah, what can I say ! No sin Hke unto my sin, no 
misery like Tinto my misery. Alas, I die for hunger, whilst 
those that are in my Father's house have bread enough. Oh, 
that I were in their condition 1 Never did David long more for 
the waters of the well of Bethlehem, than my soul, now touched 
with the sense of sin, doth desire to be at peace ^vith God, and 
in covenant with him. Oh ! I thirst, I pant, I gasp after him, 
I long for communion and peace with him ; with my soul do I 
desire thee in the night, yea, with my spirit within me do I seek 
thee early.' 

2. Desire the improvement of the covenant : It may be, God 
hath given thee an interest in it ; but, alas ! thy hold is so weak 
that thou scarce knowest the meaning of it ; the Lord may an- 
swer, but yet he speaks darkly, as some time he spake to the 
woman, Go thy way, and sin no more. It is a middle kind of 
expression, neither assuring her that her sin was pardoned, nor 
yet putting her out of hope that it might be pardoned. So it may 
be, God hath given thee some little ease, but he hatji not spoken 
full peace. Go on then, and desire more confirmation ; say in 
thine heart, ^ O Lord, thou hast begun to shew grace unto thy 
servant ; but oh ! manifest to me all thy goodness : thou hast 
given me a drop, and I feel it so sweet that now I thirst, and long 
to enjoy the fountain : thou hast given me a taste, but my desire 
is not thereby diminished, but enlarged ; and good reason, for 
what are these drops, and tastes, but only the first-fruits and 
earnests of the Spirit. Oh ! then, what are those harvests of 
joy ? What are those treasures of \^isdom and free grace hid 
in God ? I have indeed beheld a feast of fat things, of fat 
things full of marroiv , of wines on the lees, of wines on the lees 
well refined : but oh ! what a famine is yet in my spirit ! — OLord, 
I have longed for thy salvation. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!' 

3. Desire after continuance of the covenant- state. Many a 
soul cannot deny but that the Lord hath shewed mercy on him, 
but he fears that he shall not hold out. He feels within such a 
power of conniption, such strong temptations, that now he 
doubts, O what will become of my poor soul ? what will be the 
issue of this ? Come now, and desire perseverance. When 

Looking unto Jesus, 191 

Peter was ravished on the mount. It is good being here, says he, 
ieftis build three tabernacles: his desire was to have continued 
there for ever. O come with these pantings and breathings after 
God ; put forth thy desires in these or the Hive expressions : ^ O 
Lord, thou hast said, I will betroth thee unto me for ever : then. 
Lord, I desire the accomplishment. O fulfil what thou hast said I 
It would break my heart if ever the covenant should be broken 
betwixt me and thee. My desire is towards thee ; and the more 
I enjoy thee, the more I desire and pant after thee. My desires 
are like thyself, infinite, eternal, everlasting desires. 

4. Desire Jesus, the great business, or the all in all, in a 
covenant of grace. The most proper object of desire, especially 
to fallen man, is Jesus Christ. Hence it is that a poor sinner, 
under the sense of sin, cries out with the vehemency of desire, 
' Christ and none but Christ ; give me Christ, or I die, I am 
undone, I am lost for ever.' But what is Christ, or Jesus, to a 
covenant of grace ? I answer, he is the great business, he is 
the all in all. 

(1.) Christ is the messenger of tliis covenant : The Lord whom 
ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of 
the covenant, whom ye delight in. Christ travels with tidings 
between parties of the covenant : 

[1 .] He reports of God to us, he commends his Father unto 
us. Ministers cannot speak of Christ, and of his Father, as he 
can do himself. O my soul, to excite thy desires, come and hear 
Christ speak of Christ, and of his Father, and of heaven j for he 
saw all. 

[2.1 He reports of us to God ; he commends us to his Father. 
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee, but I have 
known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. Happy 
souls,- of whom Christ is telling good tidings in heaven ; for he 
is the Angel of the covenant. 

(2.) He is the witness of the covenant ; he saw and heard 
all. Behold I have given him for a witness to the people; and he 
is called. The faithful Witness ; the Amen ; the faithful and 
true JVitness. The covenant saith, The Son of man came to 
seek and save that which was lost : Amen ; saith Christ, / can 
zuitness that to be true. The covenant saith, Christ died, and 
rose again for sinners : Amen, saith Christ, / was dead, and 
behold I live for ever more. Amen. There is not any thing said 
in the covenant, but Christ is a witness to it ; and therefore we 
read in the very end of the Bible, this subscription, as I may 
call it, in relation to Christ, He which testifieth of these thiiigs 
saith : Surely I come quickly; Amen. 

(3.) Christ is the surety of the covenant. Inasmuch as not 
ivithout an ooih he was made a priest, by so much luas Jesus made 
a surety of a better testament. The covenant of works had a 
promise ; but because it was to be broken, and done away, it 

19^ Looking unto Jesus, 

had no oath of God, as this hath. O doubting soul, thou that 
sayest thy salvation is not sure, think on this scripture ; thou 
hast the oath of God for it 5 it is a sworn article of the covenant, 
Relieve in the Lord Jesus ^ and thou shalt he saved. And to this 
end Christ is a surety. 

[1.] Surety for God : he undertakes that God shall fulfil his part 
of the covenant ; Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father s 
good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And him that cometh 
unto me, I will in no wise cast out. 

[2.] Surety for us : and to this purpose he hath paid a ransom 
for us, and giveth a new heart to us. 

(4.) Christ is the mediator of the covenant. The apostle calls 
him, Jesus the Mediator of the 7iew covenant. He hath some- 
thing of God, as being true God, and something of man, as 
sharing with us of the nature of man : hence he is mediator by 
office, and layeth his hands on both parties, as a days-man doth ; 
and in this respect he is a friend, a reconciler, and a servant. 1 . 
A friend to both parties : he hath God's heart for man, to be 
gracious ; and he hath man's heart for God, to satisfy justice. 
2. A reconciler of both parties : he brings down God to a treaty 
of peace, and he brings up man by a ransom paid ; so that he 
may say unto both, ' Father, come down to my brethren, my 
kindred and flesh ; and, thou my sister and spouse, come up to 
my Father, and thy Father, to my God and thy God.' 3. He is 
a servant to both parties : Behold my servant, saith God, my 
righteous servant : yea, and our servant. He came not to be 
served, hut to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. 

(5.) Christ is the testator of the covenant. He died to this 
very end, that he might confiiin the covenant. Where a testa- 
ment is, there must also of necessity he the death of the testator: 
for a testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of 
no strength at all whilst the testator liveth. Christ then must 
die, and Christ's blood must be shed, to seal the covenant of 
grace. It is not every blood, but Christ's blood, that must seal 
the everlasting covenant, Heb. xiii. 20, and his blood being shed, 
he is then rightly called the testator of the covenant. 

O what fuel is here to set our desires on flame ! Come, soul, 
and bend thy desires towards Christ, as the sunflower towards 
the sun, the iron to the loadstone ; yea, the nearer thou drawest 
towards Christ, the more do thou desire Christ. " He that thirsts, 
let him thirst more," saith Bernard, "and he that desires, let 
him desire yet more abundantly." Is there not cause ? O what 
excellencies hast thou found in Christ ! Poor soul ! thou hast 
undone thyself by sin, there's but a step betwixt thee and dam- 
nation ; but, to save thy soul, Christ comes leaping on the moun- 
tains, and skipping on the hills : he enters into a covenant with 
God ; he is the messenger of the covenant, the witness of the 
covenant, the surety of the covenant, the mediator of the cove- 

Looking unto Jesus. 193 

nant, the testator of the covenant, the great business, the all 
in all. If David could say, My soul breaks for the longing that 
it hath to thy judgments at all times; how mayest thou say, 
' My soul breaks for the longings that it hath to thy mercies, (and 
my Jesus,) at all times/ Oh ! I gasp for grace, as the thirsty 
land for drops of rain. I thirst, I faint, I hmguish, I long for, an 
hearty draught of the fountain opened to the house of David, 
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Oh ! that I could see 
Jesus flying through the midst of heaven, with the covenant in 
his hand. Oh! I long for that angel of the covenant; I long 
to see such another vision as John did, when he said, And I saw 
another angel in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting 
gospel to preach unto them that dwell upoti the earth. What ! is 
that covenant in the hand of Christ ? And is my name written 
in that roll ? Say, Lord, is my name written on the heart of 
Clu*ist ? Oh ! if 1 had the glory of all the world ; if 1 had ten 
thousand worlds, and ten thousand lives ; I would lay them all 
down, to have this poor trembling soul of mine assured of this. 
Oh ! my thirst is insatiable, my bowels are hot within me ; my 
desire after Jesus is greedy as the grave, the coals thereof are as 
coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. 

Sect. IV. — Of Hoping in Jesus in that respect. 

Hope is a certain confidence that the desired good will come. 
All the question is, whether those promises contained in the 
covenant of grace belong unto me ? and what are the grounds 
on which my hope is built ? If the grounds be weak, then hope 
is doubtful, or presumptuous ; but if the grounds be right, then 
hope is right, and I may cast anchor, and build upon it. 

In the disquisition of these grounds, we shall only search into 
those qualifications which the scripture tells us they are quali- 
fied with, with whom the Lord enters into a covenant of grace : 
and these we shall reduce — I. To the condition of the covenant. 
2. To the promise of the covenant. 

I . If thou art in a covenant with God, then hath God wrought 
in thee that condition of the covenant, a true and lively faith. 
Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved. The pro- 
mise of life contained in the covenant is made only to believers. 
This is §0 sure a way of trial, that the apostle himself directs us 
thereunto : Examine yourselves whether ye he in the faith. But 
how shall I examine ? Why, thus : 

(1.) True faith mil carry thee out of thyself unto Christ : / 
live, yet not /, hut Christ liveth in me. A faithful man hath 
not his life in himself, but in Christ Jesus ; he hath his spiritual 
being in the Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ ; he is joined 
to the Lord, and is one spirit ; he seeth the Father in the Son, 
7. 2 b 

194 Looking unto Jesus, 

and the Son within himself, and also the Father within himself 
through the Son. Know ye not that Christ Jesus is in yott, 
except ye be reprohatesf Ye shall know me, saith Christ, that I 
am i?i the Father, and you in me, and I in you. 

(2.) True faith will carry thee beyond the world. A believer 
looks on Christ overcoming the world through him : — this is the 
victory that overcometh the world, even your faith. 

(3.) True faith is ever accompanied with true love. If once 
by faith thou apprehendest Christ's love to thee, thou canst not 
but love Christ, who loved thee, and gave himself for thee : — We 
love him, because he first loved us. 

(4.) True faith purifies the heart, and purgeth out sin. When 
God discovers this, that he will heal backsliding, and love freely, 
and turn away his anger, then Ephraim shall say. What have I 
any more to do with idols f If ever Christ reveal himself as 
the justification, he will be sure to present himself as the pattern 
of our sanctification. The knowledge of God's goodness will 
make us in love with holiness. 

(5.) Above all, observe the rise. True faith is ever bottomed 
upon the sense and pain of a lost condition. This is faith's 
method — be condemned, to be saved; be sick, and be healed. 
Faith is a flower of Christ's own planting, but it grows in no 
soul, but only on the margin of the lake of fire and brimstone ; 
in regard there's none so fit for Christ and heaven, as those who 
are self-sick, and self- condemned to hell. They that be whole, 
need not a physician, saith Christ, but they that are sick. I 
know Satan argues thus : Thou art not worthy of Christ, and 
therefore what hast thou to do with Christ ? But faith con- 
cludes otherwise : I am not worthy of Christ, I am out of measure 
sinful, I tremble at it, and I am sensible of it, and therefore 
ought I, and therefore must I, come to Christ ? This arguing 
is gospel-logic, and the right method of a true and saving faith ; 
for what is faith, but the act of a sinner humbled, weary, laden, 
poor, and self-condemned ? Oh ! take heed of their doctrine, who 
make faith the act of some vile person never humbled, but apply- 
ing, with an immediate touch, his hot, boiling, and smoking 
lusts, to the bleeding, blessed wounds and death of Jesus 
Christ ! 

2. If thou art in covenant v/ith Grod, then hath God fulfilled 
in some part the promises of this covenant to thy soul. 

(1.) Then hath God put the law into thy inward parts, and 
writ it in thy heart. Look, as face in the glass answers face, so 
does the conformity of thy heart to the law of God : thou obeyest 
God's will, and delightest in that obedience ; thou sayest with 
David, I delight to do thy will, O God; yea, thy law is within 
my heart. 

(2.) Thou art by covenant as one of the people of God. 
Christ hath thy soul, thy body, thy affections 5 thou art Christ's 

Looking unto Jesus. 195 

by marriage ; thou hast passed thyself over unto him to be his 
spouse, his crown, his servant, his child, for ever. 

Are these, O my soul, the grounds of thy hopes; a lively 
faith in Jesus ? an accomplishment in some measure of the pro- 
mises of the covenant? Why, these are the fuel of hope. If 
this be thy case, act thy hope strongly on Christ, and on the 
covenant of grace. Oh! hope in Jesus. Draw on thy hope 
yet more and more. Be not content only with an hope of ex- 
pectation, but bring it on to an hope of confidence, or assurance • 
thou canst not fail, if thou hangest thy hope on Jesus. 

Sect. V. — Of Believing in Jesus in that respect. 

We must believe in Jesus carrying on this great work of our 
salvation in a way of covenant. Consider, O thou soul, to this 
end, these following passages : 

1. Consider the gracious nature of God. That which undoes 
broken hearts, and trembling souls, is misconceivings of God. 
We have many times low thoughts of God's goodness, but we 
have large thoughts of his power and wrath. Now, to rectify 
these misapprehensions, consider his name, and therein his 
nature : The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long- 
siiffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy 
for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgressions, and sins. 

2. Consider the gracious nature of Jesus Christ. Our thoughts 
of God are necessarily more strange than of Jesus Christ, be- 
cause of our infinite distance from the Godhead ; but in Christ, 
God is come down into our nature, and so infinite goodness and 
mercy is incarnate. Art thou afraid, O my soul, at his name 
Jah, and Jehovah? Oh ! remember his name is Emmanuel ; the 
lion is here disrobed of his garment of terror : see thy God dis- 
robed of his terrible majesty; see thy God is a man, and thy 
Judge is a brother. Oh, that name Jesus ! that name that 
sounds healing for every wound, settlement for every distrac- 
tion, comfort for every sorrow. But here's the misery; souls 
in distress had rather be poring on hell than heaven. O my 
soul, how canst thou more contradict the nature of Christ, than 
to think him a destroyer of men ? But wherein appears the 
gracious nature of Christ ? I answer, 1 . In his being incarnate. 
How could Jesus have manifested more willingness to save, 
than that the Godhead should condescend to assume our nature ? 
2. In his tender dealing with all sorts of sinners. He professed 
that he came into the world not to condemn the world, but that 
the world through him might be saved. He wept over Jeru- 
salem, saying, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft woidd I have 
gathered thee as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings ? 
but ye would not. And when his disciples would have had fire 
come down from heaven to consume those that refused him, he 

196 I^ooking unto tfesus, 

reproved them, and told them, they knew not of what spirits 
they were. 3. In his care of his own; not caring what he suf- 
fered, so they might be saved. Alas, alas; that the Lord 
Jesus should pass through a life of misery, to a death more miser- 
able, to manifest ojfenly to the world the abundance of his love, 
and yet that my soul should suspect him of cruelty, or unwilling- 
ness to shew mercy! Ah, my soul, believe; never cry out, 
my sins, my sins! there is a gracious nature in Jesus Christ to 
pardon all. 

3. Consider of those tenders and offers of Christ, those en- 
treaties and beseechings to accept of Christ, which are made in 
the gospel. What is the gospel? or what is the sum of all the 
gospel, but this ! O take Christ, and life in Christ, that thou 
mayst be saved. What mean these free offers ? Ho every one 
that thirsteth, come to the waters; and whosoever luill, let hini 
take of the luaters of life freely ; and, God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever helieveth on 
him should not j^erish, hut have everlasting life. God is the 
first suitor and solicitor ; he first prays the soul to take Christ. 
Hark at the door ! who is it that knocks there ? who is it that 
calls now, even now ? Open unto me, my sister, my love, my 
dove, my undefiled; for my head is Jilted with dew, and my locks 
with the drops of the night. See him through the \vindows. 
This can be none but Christ ; his sweet language of sister, love, 
and dove, bespeaks him Christ ; his suffering language, that his 
head is filled with dew, and his locks with drops of the night, 
bespeaks him Christ. But hearken the motion he makes to thy 
soul : Soul ! consider what price I have given to save thee. This 
my body was crucified, my hands and feet nailed, my heart 
pierced, and through anguish I was forced to cry, my soul is 
heavy, heavy unto death ! and now what remains for thee but 
only to believe ? See all things ready on my part, justification, 
sanctification, salvation. I will be thy God, and thou shalt be 
of the number of my people. I offer now myself and merits, 
and benefits flowing therefrom, and I entreat thee to accept of 
this offer. Oh ! take Christ, and life and salvation in Christ. 
What, is this the voice of my Beloved ? are these the entreaties 
of Jesus ? and, O my soul, wilt thou not believe ? wilt thou not 
accept of this gracious offer of Christ ! Oh ! consider who it is 
that proclaimeth, inviteth, beseecheth. If a poor man should 
offer thee mountains of gold, thou mightest doubt of perform 
ance, because he is not of that power ; if a covetous rich man 
should offer thee thousands of silver, thou mightest doubt of per- 
formance, because it is contrary to his nature : but Christ is 
neither poor, nor covetous ; as he is able, so his name is gra- 
cious, and his nature is to be faithful in performance, his cove- 
nant is sealed with his blood, and confirmed by his oath, that 
all shall have pardon that vrill but come in, and believe. Oh ! 

Looking unto Jesus. 197 

then let these words of Christ, whose lips are dropping down 
myrrh, prevail with my soul. Say amen to his offer; I believe. 
Lord help my unbelief. 

4. Consider those commands of Christ, which, notwithstand- 
ing all thy excuses or pretences, he fastens on thee to believe. 
And this is his commandment, that tve should believe on the name 
of his Son Jesus Christ. Surely this command should entirely 
outweigh all countermands of flesh and blood, of Satan, nature, 
reason, sense, and all the world. Why, this command is thy 
very ground and warrant, against which the very gates of hell 
can never prevail. When Abraham had a command to kill his 
only son with his own hand, though it was matter of as great 
grief as could possibly pierce his heart, yet he would readily 
submit to it ; how much more shouldst thou obey, when God 
commands no more, but that thou shouldst believe on the name 
of his Son Jesus Christ ? There is no evil in this command ; no, 
it comprehends in it all good imaginable. Have Christ, and 
thou hast with him the excellency and variety of all blessings 
both of heaven and earth; have Christ, and thou hast with him 
a discharge of all those endless and easeless torments of hell ; 
have Christ, and thou hast with him the glorious Deity itself, to 
be enjoyed through him to all eternity. O then, believe in Jesus 1 
Suffer not the devil's cavils, and the groundless exceptions of 
thine own heart, to prevail with thee against the direct com- 
mandment of Almighty God. 

5. Consider the messages of Christ, which he daily sends by 
the hands of his gospel ministers. /^Te are ambassadors for 
Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you, in 
Christ's stead, be ye reconciled unto God. What a wonder is 
here ! would not an earthly prince disdain to send to his rebel- 
lious slaves for reconcilement? It is otherwise with Christ; he 
is content to put up at our hands all indignities and affronts ; he 
is glad to sue to us first, and to send his ambassadors day after 
day, beseeching us to be reconciled unto him. O uicompre- 
hensible depth of unspeakable mercy and encouragement to come 
to Christ ! Wilt thou take Christ to thy bridegroom, and for- 
sake all others ? This is the message which God hath bid me 
to deliver to thee : the Lord Jesus expects an answer from thee ; 
and I should be glad to return a fit answer to him that sent me. 
Say then, wilt thou have Christ for thy husband ? wilt thou enter 
into covenant with him ? wilt thou surrender up thy soul to thy 
God? wilt thou rely on Christ, and apply Christ's merits par- 
ticularly to thyself? wilt thou believe? for that is it I mean by 
taking, receiving, and marrying of Christ. O happy if I could 
but join Christ and thy soul together this day ! O happy thou, 
if thou wouldst this day be persuaded by a poor ambassador of 
Christ ! Blame me not, if I am an importmiate messenger. If 
ever I hear from thee, let me hear some good news, that I 

198 Looking unto Jesus, 

may return it to heaven, and give God the glory. Come, say 
on; art thou willing to have Christ? wouldst thou have thy 
name enrolled in the covenant of grace ? shall God be thy God, 
and Christ thy Christ ? wilt thou have the person of Christ, and 
all those privileges flowing from the blood of Christ ? sure thou 
art willing, art thou not ? Stay then ; thou must take Christ on 
these terms ; thou must believe on him ; thou must take him as 
thy Saviour and Lord ; thou must take him, and forsake all 
others for him. This is the true faith, the condition of the cove- 
nant. Oh ! believe in Jesus, and the covenant is established, 
and all doubts removed. 

Sect. VI. — Of Loving Jesus in that respect, 

6. We must love Jesus, as carrying on this great work of our 
salvation. Go on then, O my soul, put fire to the earth, blow 
thy little spark, set before thee God's love, and thou canst not 
but love. 

In God's love consider, 1. The time. 2. The properties. 
3. The effects of it. 

1. For the time. — 1. He loved thee before the world was made. 
Hast thou not heard, and wilt thou ever forget it — were not 
those ancient loves from all eternity? — 2. He loved thee in 
the very beginning of the world. Was not the promise ex- 
pressed to Adam intended for thee ? As thou sinnedst in his 
loins, so didst thou in his loins receive the promise. It shall 
bruise thy head. And not long after, when God established his 
covenant with Abraham and his seed, wast thou not one of that 
seed of Abraham ? 3. He loves thee now more especially, not 
only with a love of benevolence, as before, but with a love of 
complacency: not only hath he struck covenant with Christ, 
with Adam, with Abraham, in thy behalf, but particularly and 
personally with thyself. And Oh ! what love is this ? If a 
woman lately conceiving, love her future fruit ; how much more 
doth she love it when it is born and embraced in her arms ? So, 
if God loved thee before thou hadst a being, yea, before the 
world, or any creature in it, had a being ; how much more now ? 
Oh the height, and depth, and length, and breadth, of this im- 
measurable love ! O my soul, I cannot express the love of 
God in Christ to thee. I do but draw the picture of the sun 
with a coal, when I endeavour to express God's love m Christ. 

2. For the properties of this love. — 1. God's love to thee is a 
free love. I will love them freely, saith God. And, The Lord 
did not set his love upon you, and chuse you, because ye were 
more in number than any people, — but because the Lord loved 
you. There can be no other reason why the Lord loved thee, 
but because he loved thee. 2. God's love to thee is the love of 
all relations. Look, what a friend's love is to a friend, or 

Looking unto Jesus, 1 99 

what a father's love is towards a child, or what an husband's 
love is towards a wife, such is God's love to thee : thou 
art his friend, his son, his daughter, his spouse 5 and God is thy 
all in all. 

3. For the effects of his love. — 1. God so loves thee, as that 
he hath entered a covenant with thee. Oh, what a love is this ! 
Tell me, O my soul, is there not an infinite disparity betwixt 
God and thee ? He is God above, and thou art a worm below : 
he is the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name 
is holy, and thon art less than the least of all the mercies of 
God. O wonder at such a condescension ! that such a potter, 
and such a former of things, should come on terms of bargaining 
with such clay as is guilty before him ! Had we the tongues of 
men and angels, we could never express it. 

God so loves thee, as that in the covenant he gives thee all his 
promises. Indeed, what is the covenant but a heap t^i pro- 
mises ? As a cluster of stars makes a constellation, so a mass 
of promises concurreth in the covenant of grace. Wherever 
Christ is, clusters of divine promises grow out of him, as the 
rays and beams are from the sun. As God hath given thee his 
Son, so he hath given thee himself, and in that God hath given 
thee his Son and himself; this is a greater degree of love. 
Christians ! stand amazed. Oh, what love is this to the chil- 
dren of men ! Oh, that we should live to have our ears filled 
with this sound from heaven ! I will be a God to thee and to 
thy seed after thee; I am the Lord thy God, I will he their 
God, and they shall he my people, O my soul, where hast 
thou been ? Rouse up, and set before thee all these passages of 
God's love in Christ: are not these strong attractives to gain 
thy love ? Canst thou chuse to love the Lord thy God? Shall 
not all this love of God in Christ to thee constrain thy love ? 
God in Christ is the very element of love. Every element will 
to its proper place. Now God is love, and whither should thy 
love be carried, but to this ocean or sea of love ? Come, my he- 
loved, said the spouse to Christ, let us go up early to the vine 
yards, let us see if the vines flourish, whether the tender grapes 
appear ; there ivill I give thee my loves. The flourishing of the 
vine, and the appearing of the tender grapes, are the fruits of 
the graces of God in the assemblies of his saints. When thou 
comest to the word, prayer, meditation, be sure of this, to give 
Christ thy love. 

Sect. VII. — Of Joying in Jesus in that respect, 

1. We must joy in Jesus, as carrying on the great work of 
our salvation. I know our joy here is but in part; such is the 
excellency of spiritual joy, that it is reserved for heaven. God 
will not permit it to be pure and perfect here below ; and yet 

200 Looking unto t/esus. 

such as it is^ though mingled with cares and pains, it is a blessed 
duty ; it is the light of our souls ; and were it quite taken away, 
our lives would be nothing but horror and confusion. 

O my soul, exercise this joy. Is there not cause ? Come, see 
and own thy blessedness. Take notice of the great things the 
Lord hath done for thee. — 1. He hath made a covenant with 
thee of temporal mercies. Thou hast all thou hast by freehold- 
ing of covenant-grace. Thy bread is by covenant, thy sleep is 
by covenant, thy safety from sword is by the covenant, the very 
tilling of thy land is by a covenant of gi'ace, Ezek. xxxvi. 34. 
O how sweet is this ! Every crumb is from Christ, and by virtue 
of a covenant of grace. 

2. He hath made a covenant with thee of spiritual mercies ; 
even a covenant of peace, and grace, and blessing, and life for 
evermore. God is become thy God. He is all things to thee ; 
he hath forgiven thy sins, he hath given thee his Spirit, to lead 
thee, to sanctify thee, to uphold thee in that state wherein thou 
standest ; and at last he will bring thee to a full enjoyment of 
himself in glory. Oh ! lift up thy head, strengthen the weak 
hands and the feeble knees ; serve the Lord with gladness, con- 
sidering the day of thy salvation draweth nigh. Write it in 
letters of gold, that thy God is in covenant with thee, to love 
thee, to bless thee, and to save thee. Yet a little while, and 
he that shall come will come, and receive thee to himself, and 
then thou shalt fully know what it is to have a God to be thy 
God. If a man in covenant with God looks on him, he saith. 
This is my Father ; if on Christ, This is my elder Brother ; if 
on angels. These are my keepers; if on heaven. This is my 
house ; if on the signs of heaven, fire, meteors, thunder. These 
are but the effects of my Father's power ; if on prosperity, God 
hath yet better things for me in store ; if on adversity, Jesus 
Christ hath suffered much more for me than this ; if on the devil, 
death, and hell, O death ! where is thy sting f O grave ! where 
is thy victory f Come, poor soul, is it not thus with thee ? 
What ! art thou in covenant with God, or art thou not ? If yet 
thou doubtest, review thy grounds of hope, and leave not there, 
until thou comest up ta assurance. But if thou art persuaded 
of thy interest. Oh ! then rejoice therein. Is it not a gospel- 
duty to rejoice in the Lord, and again to rejoice ! The Lord 
is delighted in thy dehghts ; he would fain have it thy constant 
frame and daily business to live in joy, and to be always de- 
hghting thyself in him. Bless the Lord, O my soul, saith David, 
and all that is ivithin me, bless his holy name. So, rejoice in the 
Lord, O my soul; and all that is mthin me, rejoice in the name 
of God. This is true joy, when the soul unites itself to the 
good possessed in all its parts. And was there ever such an 
object of true joy as this? Hearken, as if heaven opened, and 
the voice came from God in heaven : / ivill be a God to thee^ 

Looking unto Jesus ^ 201 

ami to thy seed aftm^ thee, lam the Lord thy God; and^ / 
tvill he thy God, What ! doth not thine heart leap in thy bosom 
at this sound ? John the Baptist leaped in his mother's womb 
for joy, at the sound of Mary's voice ; and doth not thy soul 
spring within thee at this voice of God ? O wonder ! some can 
delight themselves in sin ; and is not God better than sin ? If 
there be in thee any rejoicing faculty^ now awake, and stir it up. 
It is the Lord thy God whom thou art to rejoice in ; it is he who 
is the top of heaven's jo}^, their exceeding joy : and it is he 
who is thy God, as well as their God. Enough, enough ! or if 
this be not enough, hear thy duty, as the Lord commands thee : 
Rejoice in the Lord, Phil. iii. 1 . Be g tad, ye children of Zion, 
and rejoice in the Lord your God, Joel ii. 23. Bejoice in the 
Lord, all ye righteous, for praise is comely for the tipright. 
Psalm xxxiii. 1. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give 
thanks at the remembrance of his holiness, Psal. xcvii. 12. Let 
all those that put their trust in thee rejoice ; let them shout for 
joy, because thou defendest them : let them also that love thy 
name, be joyful in thee, Psalm v. 11 . 

Sect. VIIL — Of Calling on Jesus in that respect. 

We must call on Jestis, or on God the Father in and througli 
Jesus, in reference to this gracious covenant. Now this calling 
on God contains j^rayer and praise. 

1. We must pray. We must use arguments of faitli, chal- 
lenging God, — turn thou me, and I shall be turned. Why ? 
For thou art the Lord my God, This covenant is the ground 
on which all prayers must be bottomed. The covenant, we know, 
contains all the promises ; and what is prayer but promises 
turned into petitions ? Thus prayed the prophet Jeremiah, Do 
not abhor us, for thy name's sake ; do not disgrace the throne of 
thy gloi-y. Remember, break not thy covenant with us. Why ? 
^rt not thou the Lord our God ? And thus prayed the prophet 
Isaiah ; Be not wroth very sore, neither remember iniciuity for 
ever. Behold, we beseech thee ! And vvhy so ? TFe are thy 
people. Be thy soul in trouble for sin and corruption ; yet go to 
God, and plead his promise and covenant : say, as Jehoshaphat, 
Lord, I know not what to do, only mine eyes are unto thee; 
Oh! do thou subdue mine iinquities. Be thy soul troubled for 
want of strength to do this or that duty ; yet go to God and 
Christ, and say, ' Lord, thou knowest I have no strength in 
myself ; I am a barren wilderness ; but thou hast entered into a 
covenant with me, that thou wilt put thy law into my inward 
parts, thou wilt cause me to keep thy judgments, and do them,' 
Ezek. xxxvi. 27- Here is the way ; in every want, or strait, or 
necessity, fly to God and Christ, saying, ' Thou art my Father, 
and we are thy people ; O break nOt thy covenant with us.' 
8. 2e 

^02 Looking unto Jesus. 

2. We must praise. — (1.) If we would have the blessmg, let 
us seek it with a purpose to have grace exalted : thus Moses 
sought pardon to this very end, that God's mercy might appear. 
If thou wilt pardon their sin, thy mercy shall appear, and we 
shall he thankful unto thee for it ; so the words are made out 
by expositors, which in the text are either passionately or mo- 
destly suspended. These are prevailing requests with God, when 
we plead for the glorifying of his own grace. Father, glorify thy 
name, said Christ ; and presently there comes a voice out of the 
cloud, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again. 

(3.) If we have the blessing already, then be sure to ascribe 
glory unto him that hath made good his promise -unto us. TVho 
is a God like unto thee, who passeth by the transgressions of the 
remnant of his heritage f Who shall make the praise of his grace 
to ring through the world, that heaven and earth may wonder 
at the grace that hath been shewed us. / will mention the 
loving -kindness of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, accord- 
ing to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the g^eat 
goodness towards the house of Israel, which he hath bestoiued on 
them according to his mercies, and accordiiig to the multitude of 
his loving-kindnesses. See how the prophet mentions the kind- 
nesses, the loving-kindnesses, the multitude of his loving-kind- 
nesses, the goodness, and the great goodness, of God : he could 
hardly get off it ; he would have God and grace to have all the 
glory. O, my soul ! hath God entered thee into a covenant of 
grace ? Why, then, bless the Lord, O my soul ; and all that is 
within me, bless his holy name. 

Sect. IX. — Of Conforming to Jesus in that respect. 

We must conform to Jesus in reference to this covenant of 
grace. We are changed, by beholding, into the same image. 
If we look unto Jesus in this respect, this look will have such 
an influence upon us, that we shall conform to Jesus. But 
wherein consists this conformity ? I answer, in these parti- 
culars : 

1 , God in Christ offers a covenant of grace to us : so we, 
through Christ, should embrace this gracious offer. His offers 
have appeared from first to last; as, 1. To Adam. 2. To 
Abraham. 3. To Moses. 4. To David. 5. To Israel, and to 
Judah. Take notice of it in that great promise of the cove- 
nant, I will he thy God. So God is first with us, he is the first 
mover, he begins with us before we begin with him : / will 
bring them, saith God, into the bond of the covenant. Now in 
this let us conform. Doth he offer ? let us embrace the offer. 
Doth he lead the way ? let us follow him step by step in that 
very way. Let us not prescribe unto God, let us not presume 
to appoint the conditions of the covenant. But come, take God 

Looking unto Jesus, 203 

and Christ upon his own terms ; submit to that way of the cove- 
nant, and to those conditions of peace, which the Lord pre- 
scribe th. 

2. God in Christ keeps covenant -with us ; so we, through 
Christ, should be careful to keep covenant wjth God. But we 
must keep it. The Lord never will, never hath, broken cove- 
nant on his part : but, alas ! we, on our parts, have broken the 
first covenant of works. Let us take heed we break not the 
second : for then there remains not any more place for any more 
covenants. As the Lord keeps covenant with us ; so let us keep 
covenant with him ; and therein is the blessing. The mercy of 
the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, — to such as keep his 

Sundry acts of faith are required to this keeping of co- 
venant : 

(L) Faith in keeping the covenant, hath always an eye to the 
rule and command of God. As in things to be beUeved, faith 
looks on the promise ; so in things to be practised, faith looks 
on the command. Faith will present no strange fire before the 
Lord, it knows that God will accept of nothing but what is 
according to his own will. 

(2.) As faith takes direction from the rule ; so m keeping of 
the covenant, it directs us to the right end, that is, to the glory 
of God. We are of him, and live in him ; and by faith we 
must live to him and for him. For none of us liveth to himself 
and no m,an dieth to himself : for whether we live, we live unto 
the Lord ; and whether we die, ive die unto the Lord ; whether 
we live therefore or die, ive are the Lord's, 

(3.) Faith in keeping the covenant shields the soul against all 
hinderances that it meets with. Sometimes we are tempted by 
the baits and allurements of the world. All these will I give 
thee, saith the world, if thou wilt be mine ; but then faith over- 
comes the world, by setting before us better things than these. 
Sometimes we are tempted by crosses, afflictions, persecutions, 
and sufferings for the name of Christ ; but then faith makes us 
conquerors through Christ that loved us, by setting before us 
the end of our faith and patience. 

(4.) Faith encoiu'ageth the soul, that the Lord will have a 
gi'acious respect unto its keeping covenant. In every nation 
he that fear eth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of 
him. Surely this is no small encovn-agement to well-doing. What 
would not a servant do, if he knew his lord would take it in 
good part ? Now faith assures the soul, there is not one prayer, 
one holy desire, or one good thought, or word which is spoken 
or done to the glory of God, but God takes notice of it, and 
accepts it in good part. 

Oh my soul ! art thou acquainted with these acts of faith, 
enabling thee in some good measure to keep covenant with. 

204 Looking unto J^e^us. 

God ? Then is there a sweet conformity betwixt thee and 


3. God in Christ hath highly honoured us, as we are his peo- 
ple ; so we through Christ should honour him highly, as he is 
our God. This is the main end of the covenant. Oh my soul ! 
be like to God, bear the image and resemblance of God thy 
Father, in this respect : he hath humbled himself to advance 
thee ; then humble thyself to advance him, and endeavour eveiy 
way to exalt his name. 

We are willing to be in covenant with God, that we may 
set up ourselves, that we may sit upon thrones, and possess a 
kingdom ! but we must think especially of setting up the Lord 
upon his throne. Ascribe greatness to our God, saith Moses, 
make it a name and a praise unto him, that he hath vouchsafed 
to make us his people, and to take us into covenant with himself. 
Honour him^ as he is God ; but honour him more abundantly, 
as he is our God. Who should honour him, if his people da 
not ? The world knows him not ; the world will not seek after 
God ; — God is not in all their thoughts. And shall God have no 
honour ? shall he that stretched out the heavens, and laid the 
fomidations of the earth, and formed man upon it, have no 
glory ? Oh yes ! The Lord himself answers, 21iis people have 
I formed for myself , they shall shew forth my j^^'ctise. Surely, 
God will have praise from his own people, whom he hath taken 
unto himself. He will be glorified in all that come near him. 

But, how should we honour God ? I answer, — We must lie 
under the authority of every word of God, and conform our- 
selves to the examples of God ; that is, we must labour to be- 
come followers of God, and imitate his virtues. It is a part of 
that honour which children owe to their parents, to obey their 
commands, and to imitate their example. We cannot honour 
God more, than when we are humbled at his feet to receive his 
v/ord, than when we renounce the manners of the world, to 
become his followers as dear children. Oh ! think of this ; for 
w^hen we conform indeed, then we are holy as he is holy, pure 
as he is pure ; and then, how should this but tend to the honour 
and glory of our good God ? 

Thus far we have looked on Jesus as our Jesus in that dark 
time before his coming in the flesh. Our next work is to look 
on Jesus as carrying on the great work of man's salvation in his 
first coming or incarnation. 

» % ■> i#m» v»* ^*»»t 

Looking unto Jesus, 205 




GHAP. 1. 

Sect. I.— 0/ the 2'idings of Christ. 

JN this period, as in the former, we shall first lay down the 
object ', and, secondly, direct you how to look unto it. 
The object is Jesus, carrying on the work of man's salvation, 
in his first coming in the flesh, until his coming again. But be- 
cause in this long period we have many transactions, which we 
cannot with conveniency dispatch together ; we shall therefore 
break it into smaller pieces, and present this object, Jesus 
Christ — 1. In his birth. 2. In his life. 3. In his death. 4. In 
his resurrection. 5. In his ascension, cessk)n at God's right 
hand, and mission of his Holy Spirit. 6. In his intercession for 
his saints ; in which business he will be employed till his second 
coming to judgment. 

1. First, For the transactions of Jesus in his birth. Some 
things w^e must propound before, and some things after his Ijirth ; 
so that we shall continue this period till the time of John's bap- 
tism, or the exercise of his ministry upon earth. Now in all the 
transactions of this time, we shall especially handle these: 1. The 
tidings of Christ. 2. The conception of Christ. 3. The dupli- 
city of natures in Christ. 4. The wonderful union, notwithstand- 
ing that distinction. 5. The birth of Christ. 6. Some conse- 
quents after his birth, whilst yet a child of twelve years old. 

The first passage in relation to his birth, is, the tidings of 
Christ : this appears, Luke i. 26, 27, 28, &c. And in the sixth 
month the angel Gabriel ivas sent from God, &c. I shall a little 
insist on some of these words. 

1. The messenger is an angel. Man was too mean to carry 
the news of the conception of God. Never any business was 
conceived in heaven, that did so much concern the earth, as the 
conception of the God of heaven in a womb of earth ; no less, 
therefore, than an angel was worthy to bear these tidings; 
and never angel received a greater honour, than of this 

206 Looking unto tiesus, 

2. Tliis angel salutes the Virgin ; Hail, thou that art highly 
favoured, the Lord is with thee ; blessed art thou among women. 
Many men and women have been^ and are, the spiritual temples 
of God; but never vras any the material temple of God, but 
only Mary ; and therefore, blessed art thou amongst women : 
and yet we cannot say that she was so blessed in bearing Christ, 
as she was in believing in Christ 3 her bearing was more mira- 
culous, but her believing was more beneficial to her soul. 

3. This virgin is troubled at this salute. She might well be 
troubled ; for 1. If it had been but a man that had come in so 
suddenly, when she expected none ; or so secretly, when she 
had no other company ; or so stronglj^, the doors being probably 
shut ; she had cause to be troubled : how much more, when the 
glory of the angel heightened the astonishment ? 2. Her sex 
was more subject to fear : if Zachary was amazed with the sight 
of this angel, how much more the Virgin ! But the angel com- 
forts her; Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. 

4. Here is the foundation of her comfort, and our happiness ; 
Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, 
a7id shalt call his name Jesus. Never was mortal creature thus 
honoured, that her womb should yield that flesh, which was per- 
sonally united to the godhead ; that she should bear him that 
upholds the world. There is one wonder in the conception, 
another in the fruit ; both are marvellous, but the latter is more 
mysterious, and fuller of admiration : the fruit of the womb is 
Jesus, a Saviour, the Son of the Highest, a King ; God shall 
give him a throne, and he shall reign for ever ; for of his king- 
dom there shall be no end. Here was a Son, and such a Son as 
the world never had before ; and here was the ground of Mary's 
joy: how could she but rejoice, to hear what her Son should be 
before he was ? Surely, never was any mother so glad of her 
son born, as this virgin was of her son before he was con- 

The ground of this joy lay more especially in that name of 
Jesus. Here, Christians, is the object that you are to look 
unto. The first title that the angel gives our Saviour, is, 
Jesus Saviour. Oh come ! let us dwell a little here. Without 
Jesus we had never known God our friend ! and without Jesus, 
God had never known us for any other than his enemies. This 
name Jesus is better to us than all the titles of God. Indeed, 
there is goodness and greatness in the name Jehovah ; but 
we merited so little good, and demerited so much evil, that 
in it alone there had been small comfort for us ; but in the name 
of Jesus there is comfort, and with the name of Jesus there is 
comfort in the name of God. In old times, God was known 
by his names of power, and of majesty ; but his name of mercy 
was reserved till now, when God did purpose to pour out the 
whole treasure of his mercy, by the mediation of his vSon. And 

Looking unto Jesus. 207 

as this name is exalted above all names ; so are we to exalt his 
mercy above all his works. Oh, it is an useful name ! In all 
depths, distresses, miseries, perplexities, we beseech God by 
the name of Jesus, to make good his own name, — not to bear it 
for nought ; but as he is a Saviour, to save us : and this is our 
comfort, that God will never so remember our sins, as to forget 
his own blessed name ; and especially this name Jesus. It is the 
highest, the dearest, the sweetest name to us of all the names 
of God. 

The reason of this name was given by the angel to Joseph : 
Thou shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from 
their sins. But why from their sins ? We seem rather willing 
to be saved from poverty, ignominy, prison, death, hell. Sin 
is a thing that troubles but few : alas ! sin, if we understand it, is 
the very worst of evils ; there is no poverty but sin, there is no 
shame but sin ; there is no prison, but that prison is a paradise 
without sin ; there is no death that has any sting in it, but for sin ; 
the sting of death is sin ; take out the sting, and you may put 
the serpent in your bosom ; nay, I'll say more, there would be 
no hell, were it not for sin : sin first kindled the fire of hell, sin 
fuels it ; take away sin, and that tormenting flame goes out. 
Had it not been for sin, the devil had no business in the world ; 
were it not for sin, he could never hurt a soul. 

What abundance of benefits are here in one word. He shall 
save his people from their sins ! There is no evil incident to 
man, but it ceaseth to be evil when sin is gone. If Jesus takes 
away sin, he doth bless our very blessings, and sanctify our 
afflictions : he fetcheth peace out of trouble, riches out of po- 
verty, honour out of contempt, liberty out of bondage : he pulls 
out the sting of death, puts out the fire of hell : as all evils are 
wrapt up in sin ; so he that saves us fi-om sin, saves us from all 
evils whatsoever. 

This is that Jesus, the Son of God's love, the author of 
our salvation, in whom alone God is well pleased ; and whom the 
angel published before he was conceived : Thoit shall conceive, 
and bring forth a Son, and shall call his iiame Jesus. 

Sect. II. — Of the Conception of Christ, 

The conception of Christ, was the conclusion of the angel's 
message. No sooner had the Virgin said, Be it to me according 
to thy word ; but according to that word it was : immediately 
the Holy Ghost overshadowed her, and forms our Saviour in her 
womb. Now ! brethren, now was the time of life. Well may 
we say, Now was it that the day brake up, that the sun arose, 
that darkness vanished, that wrath gave place to favour and 
salvation : now was it, that free grace came down from heaven, 
thousands of angels waiting on her 5 the very clouds part, as it 

208 Looking unto Jesus, 


were, to give her way; the earth springs to welcome her; the 
floods clap their hands for joy ; the heavenly hosts sing as she 
goes along. Glory to God in the highest, peace upon earth, good 
will towards yuan : truth and righteousness go before her, peace 
and prosperity follow after her, pity and mercy wait on either 
hand ; and when she first sets her foot on the earth, she cries, 
^ A Jesus ! a Saviour ! — Hear, ye sons of men ! — The Lord hath 
sent me down to bring you news of Jesus ! — Grace and peace be 
unto you : I will live with you in this world, and you shall live 
with me in the world to come." Here was blessed news : this 
is gospel, pure gospel ; this is glad tidings : free grace proclaims 
Jesus ; and Jesus is made up as it were all of free grace. What 
eternal thanks do we owe to the eternal God ! How may we say 
with the angels. Glory to God for Jesus Christ ! 

But in this conception of Christ are so many wonders, that 
ere we begin to speak them, we may stand amazed : TVithout 
controversy, great is the mystery of godliness : God manifest in 
the flesh. Say, is it not a wonder, a mystery, a great mystery, 
that the Son of God should be made of a woman, even made of 
that woman which was made by himself ? Is it not a wonder, 
that her womb then, and that the heavens now, should contain 
him, ivhom the heaven of heavens cannot contain ! — Concerning 
this conception of Christ, I shall speak but a little : what man 
can conceive much of this ? Our greatest light we borrow from 
the angel, who describes it thus : The Holy Ghost shall come 
tipo7i thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee. 

Out of these words, observe, 1 . The agent. 2. The effect. 

1. The agent or efficient cause of Christ's conception, is the 
Holy Ghost. This agrees with that speech of the angel to 
Joseph: That luhlchis concebwd in her, is of the Holy Ghost, 
This conception of Christ was by the operation, or virtue of the 
Holy Ghost ; or by the energetical command and ordination of the 
Holy Ghost, whereby that part of the Virgin's blood, or seed 
whereof the body of Christ was to be framed, was so cleansed 
and sanctified, that in it there should be neither spot nor stain 
of original pollution. 

2. llie effect was the framing of Christ's manhood, in which 
we may observe the matter and manner. 1 . For the matter : 
observe we the matter of the body, and of the soul, of Christ. 
(1.) The matter of the body of Christ was the very flesh and 
blood of the Virgin : he ivas made of a woman, saith the apostle, 
i, e. of the flesh and blood, and substance of the woman ; and, 
he was made of the seed of David, saith the apostle, according to 

flesh; otherwise he could not have been the Son of David 
according to the flesh. (2.) The soul of Christ was not derived 
from the soul of the Virgin, but it was made as the souls of other 
men be, i. e. of nothing, by the power of God ; and so infused 
into the body by the hand of God. 

Looking unto J^esus. 209 

2. For the manner of forming Christ's hmnan nature, it was 
miraculous. The angel ascribes two actions to the Holy Ghost 
in this great work : the one, to come upon the Virgin ; the other, 
to overshadow her: by the first is signified the extraordinary 
work _ of the Holy Ghost in fashioning the human nature of 

The second action ascribed to the Holy Ghost, is, oversha- 
dowing of the Virgin : this teacheth us that we should not search 
overmuch into this great mystery. Alas ! it is too high for us ; 
if the course of ordinary generation be a secret, how past all 
comprehension is tlris extraordinary operation ! ^^ I know the 
Word was made flesh," saith Chrysostom; "but how he was 
made, I know not." 

Sect. III. — Of the jyuplieity of Natures in Christ, 

The duplicity of natures in Christ appears, in that he was 
truly God and truly man. To tis a child is born^ saith the pro- 
phet ; there is a nature human : mid he sftall he called the mighty 
God ; there is a nature divine. God sent his Son, saith the 
apostle, therefore truly God ; and that Son made of a woman, 
therefore truly man. 

That Christ is true God, both apparent scriptures, and unan- 
swerable reasons drawn from scriptures, evince. 

1. The scriptures call him God. In the beginning was the 
ivord, and the word was with God, and the word was God. — 
Jtnd unto the Son he saith. Thy throne, O God, is for ever. — 
^nd Thomas ansivered and said unto him, My Lord, and my 
God! — Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, to feed 
the church of God, ivhich he hath ^mrchased with his own blood, 
— And hereby i^erceive we the love of God, because he laid down 
his life for us. — Jlnd we know that the Son of God is come. 
This is the true God, and eternal life. — And without contro- 
versy, great is the mystery of godliness, God luas manifested in 
the flesh. 

2. Unanswerable reasons drawn from scriptures, prove him 
God : tlms it appears — 

(1.) From those incommunicable properties of the Deity whicli 
are ascribed unto him: He is eternal as God, Rev. i. IJ. He 
is infinite as God, Matt, xxviii. 20. He is omniscient as God, 
Matt. ix. 4. He is omnipotent as God; He that cometh from 
above is above all — He is able to subdue all things unto himself 
— H<i hath the keys of hell and death. 

(2.) From thdse acts ascribed to him, which are only agreeable 

to the dinne nature ; as, to hear the prayers of the people, Jobn 

xiv. 14. To judge the quick and the dead, John v. 22. And 

thus he creates as God, John i. 4. He commands as God, Matt* 

8. 2d 

210 Looking unto Jesus. 

viii. 26. He forgives as God, Matt. ix. 6. He sanctifies as 
Godj John i. 12. He glorifies as God, Jolm x. 21. 

(3.) From all those acknowledgments given to him by the 
saints, which are only proper unto God; and thus he is be- 
lieved on as God, John iii. 18. He is loved as God, 1 Cor. 
xvi. 22. He is obeyed as God, Matt, xvii, 5. He is prayed to 
as God, Acts vii. 59. He is praised as God, Rev. v. 13. He 
is adored as God, Heb. i. 6. Phil. ii. 10. Surely all these are 
strong demonstrations, that Christ Jesus is God. But why was 
it requisite that our Saviour should be God ? I answer, 

1 . Because none can save souls, nor satisfy for sin, but God 
alone. There is 7ione, saith the Psalmist, that can hy any means 
redeem his brother, or give a ransom for him, — But God will re- 
deem my soul from the jiower of hell. 2. Because the satisfaction 
which is made for sin, must be infinitely meritorious : and infinite 
wrath cannot be appeased, but by an infinite merit ; and hence 
our Saviour must needs be God, to the end that his obedience 
and sufferings might be of infinite worth. 3. Because the burden 
of God's wrath cannot be endured by a finite creature : Christ 
therefore must be God, that he might abide the burden by 
his divine power. 4. Because the enemies of our salvation 
were too strong for us : how could any creature overcome Satan, 
death, hell, damnation ? Ah ! this required the power of God ; 
there's none but God that could destroy him that had the power 
of death, that is, the devil. 

2. As Christ is God, so he is true man. He was born as man, 
and bred as man, and fed as man, and slept as man, and wept 
as man, and sorrowed as man^ and suffered as man, and died as 

But more particularly. (1 ,) Christ had a human body : Where- 
fore when he came into the world he said, Sacrifice and offering 
thou wouldst not, hut a body hast thou prepared. 

(2.) Christ had an human reasonable soul : My soul is heavy 
unto death, saith Christ ; and again. Father, into thy hands I 
commit my spirit. " Surely,' ' saith Nazianzen, '' either he had 
a soul, or he will never save a soul.'' 

(3.) Christ had all the properties that belong either to the soul 
or body of a man : nay, more than so, Christ had all the infirmi- 
ties of our nature, sin only excepted : I say the infirmities of 
our nature, as cold, and heat, and hunger, and thirst, and weari- 
ness, and weakness, and pain. 

But why was it requisite that our Saviour should be man ? I 
jtnswer, 1 . Because our Saviour must suffer and die for our sins, 
which the godhead could not do. 2. Because our Saviour must 
perform obedience to the law. 3. Because our Saviour must 
satisfy the justice of God in the same nature wherein it was 
offended. 4. Because hy this means we might have free access 
to the throne of grace, and might find help in our necessities^ 

Looking unto Jesus. 211 

having such an High-priest as luas in all things tempted like 
unto us, Heb. iv. 15. 

A real distinction of these two natures is evident : 1 . In re- 
gard of essence ; the godhead cannot be the manhood, nor can the 
manhood be the godhead. 2. In regard of properties, the god- 
head is most wise, just, omnipotent, yea, wisdom, justice, omni- 
potence itself; and so is not the manhood, neither can it be. 
3. Tliey have distinct wills : Not my willy hut thy will be done, 
O Father f plainly differencing the will of a creature from the 
will of a Creator. 4. The very actions in the work of redemp- 
tion are inseparable, and yet distinguishable: / lay down my 
life, and take it up again. To lay it down was the action of 
man, not of God ; and to take it up, was the action of God, not 
of man : in these respects we say each nature remains in itself 
entire, without any conversion, commixtion, or confusion : there 
is no conversion of one into the other, as when he changed the 
water into wine ; no composition of both, no abolition of either, 
no confusion at all. — It is easy to observe this real distinction 
of his two natures from first to last : as, 1 . he was conceived as 
others, and so he was man ; but he was conceived by the Holy 
Ghost, as never man was, and so he is God. 

2. He was born as others, and so he was man ; but he was 
born of a virgin, as never man was, and this speaks him as God. 
3. He was crucified, died, and was buried, and so he was man; 
but he rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and 
from thence shall come at last to judge the quick and the dead, 
and so he is God. 

Sect. IV. — Of the Union of the tivo Natures of Christ in one 

and the same Person. 

The union of two natures of Christ, in one and the self-same 
person, is that great wonder, which now we must speak of as we 
are able. But, alas ! how should we speak of this union, and 
not be confounded in ourselves ? It is a great mystery, a secret, 
a wonder. Many wonders have been since the beginning of the 
world; but all the wonders that ever were must give place to 
this. Neither the creation of all things out of nothing, nor the 
restoration of all things into their perfect being; I mean, neither 
the first work, nor the last work, of God in this world (though 
most admirable) may be compared with this. This union of the 
two natures of Christ in one person, is the highest pitch of God's 
wisdom, goodness, power, and glory. 

In the explication of this union, that which I shall insist on, 
as the most necessary for our understanding, is, I. The union 
itself. II. The effects or benefits of it. 

I. For the union itself we shall discuss, 1 . Wherein this union 
consists. 2. The scriptural texts that confirm this union. 3. The 

212 Looking unto Jesus. 

person assuming; and the nature assumed: and of these as 
briefly as I may. 

This union consists in that dependence of the human nature 
on the Word, and in that communicating of the person or sub- 
stance of the Word, with the human nature that is assumed ; so 
that it is such an union that both natures make one person of 

2. For the scriptural texts that confirm this union: among 
many I shall only cite these : 

When Christ asked his apostles, Who do men say that I the Son 
of man am ? — Si?non Peter ansiuered, Thou art the Christ, the 
Son of the living God. Now if but one Christ, then surely but 
one person : and if the Son of man be the Son of the living God, 
then surely there are two natures in that one person. Observe 
how the Son of man and the Son of God, very man and very 
God, concentre in Christ; as the soul and the body make but 
one man, so the Son of man and the Son of God made but one 
Christ : thou art Christ, saith Peter, the Son of the living God. 

So Paul, speaking of Jesus the Son of God, tells us, that he 
was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh; and 
declared to bt the Son of God, according to the spirit. First, 
made of the seed of David; of the substance of the Virgin, who 
was David's posterity. Secondly, declared to be the Son of God: 
the word in the original signifies a declaration by a solemn sen- 
tence or definitive judgment. / will declare the decree : the 
Lord hath said unto me, thou art my Son. That which I point 
at : he is the son of David, in respect of his manhood ; and he is 
the Son of God, in respect of his godhead ; here be the two 
natures ; but in the words before, these two natures make but 
one Son, Jesus Christ our Lord : and in the very words them- 
selves he is declared to be the Son of God ; he doth not say 
Sons, as of two ; but his Son Jesus Christ, first before, and then 
after ; to shew unto us, that as before his making, so after his 
making, he is still but one Son, or one person of the two distinct 
natures subsisting. 

To the same purpose is that text ; In him dwelleth all the 
fulness of the godhead bodily ; by the union of the divine nature 
with the human in the unity of his person, the godhead dwelleth 
in Christ as the soul in the body : it dwelleth in him bodily ; not 
seemingly, but really ; not figuratively, and in a shadow, as he 
dwelleth in the temple ; not by power and efficacy, as he dwells 
in all the creatures ; not by grace, as in his people ; nor by glory, 
?.s in the saints above ; but essentially, substantially, personally, 
the human nature being assumed into union with the person of 
the Word. Observe the passages : he in whom that fulness 
dwells is the person ; that fulness, which doth so dwell in him, 
is the nature : now there dwells in him not only the fulness of 
the godhead, but the fulness of the manhood also 3 for we believe 

Looking ujito Jesus, 213 

him to be botli perfect God, begotten of the substance of his 
Father before all worlds ; and perfect man, made of the substance 
of his mother in this world: only he, in whom the fulness of the 
godhead dwelleth, is one ; and he in whom the fulness of the 
manhood dwelleth, is another ; but he in whom the fulness of both 
these natures dwelleth, is one and the same Immanuel, and con- 
sequently one and the same person; in him, i. e. in his person, 
dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead, and all the fulness of 
the manhood : In him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead 

3. For the person assuming, and the nature assumed: (1.) 
The person assuming, was a divine person : it was not the divine 
nature that assumed an human person, but the divine person 
that assumed an human nature ; and of the three divine persons, 
it was neither the first nor the third, neither the Father nor the 
Holy Ghost, that did assume this nature ; but it was the Son, the 
middle person. 

(2.) The nature assumed was the seed of Abraham ; For verily 
he took not 07i him the nature of angels, hut he took on him the 
seed of Abraham. Elsewhere the apostle calls it the seed of 
David; he is made the seed of David according to the flesh : 
and, elsewhere, he is called the seed of the woman : / ivill put 
enmity between thy seed and her seed; and when the fulness of 
the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a ruoman : 
No question she was the material principle of which that pre- 
cious flesh was made, and the Holy Ghost, the agent and effi- 
cient; that blessed womb of her's was the bridechamber, wherein 
the Holy Ghost did knit that indissohible knot betwixt our 
human nature and his deity : the Son of God assuming into the 
unity of his person, that which before he was not, even our 
human nature. Oh ! with what astonishment may we behold 
our dust and ashes assumed into the unity of God's own 
person ! 

These are the deep things of God, and indeed so exceed- 
ingly mystical, that they can never be perfectly declared by any 
man. Bernard compares this ineffEible mystery of the union of 
the two natures, with that incomprehensible mystery of the 
trinity in unity. In the Trinity are three persons and one nature ; 
in Christ are two natures and one person ; that of the Trinity is 
indeed the greatest, and this of the incarnation is like unto it; 
they both far exceed man's capacity; for his ways is in the sea, 
and his path in the great waters, arid his footsteps are not 

II. For the eff'ects and benefits of this union ; they are either 
in respect of Christ, or in respect of Christians. 

1st. Those in respect of Christ, are, 1. An exemption of all 
sin, 2. A collation of all graces. 3. A comnmnication of all 
the properties. 

214 Looking unto Jfesus. 

1. We find that although Christ appeared as a sinner, and 
that he was numbered among the wicked, or with the trans- 
gressors, Isa. liii. 12. yet in truth he did no sin, neither was 
any guile found in his mouth, 1 Pet. ii. 22. The apostle tells us, 
he was holy, harmless, undeliled, and separate from sinners : he 
assumed the nature of man, yet by reason of this pure concep- 
tion, and of this union, he was conceived, and born, and lived 
without sin ; he took upon him the seed of man, but not the sin 
of man, save only by imputation. 

2. The graces collated unto the humanity of Christ by reason 
of his union, are very many : I shall instance in some : 

(1.) That the manhood is a peculiar temple for the deity of 
Christ to dwell in : it is the place wherein the godhead shews 
itself more manifestly and more gloriously than in any other 
creature : it is true, that by his providence he shews himself in 
all his creatures, and by his grace in his saints ; but he is most 
gloriously, eternally, according to the fulness of his deity, in the 
humanity of Jesus Christ : in him dwelleth all the fulness of the 
godhead bodily. Some are of opinion, that as now in this life, 
no man cometh unto God but by Christ : so hereafter, in the next 
life, no man shall see God, but in the face of Jesus Christ. 

(2.) That the manhood of Christ, according ..to its measure, is 
a partner with the godhead in the work of redemption and 
mediation : as he is Immanuel in respect of his person, so he is 
Immanuel in respect of his office. He must needs be man as 
well as God, that he might be able to send this comfortable 
message to the sons of men ; Go to my brethren, and say unto 
them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my 
God and your God. 

(3.) That the manhood of Christ, together with the godhead, 
is adored and worshipped with divine honour : not that we wor- 
ship the manhood alone, as merely a creature ; but that we adore 
the person of Christ, which consisteth of the manhood and of 
the godhead. 

(4.) That the manhood hath an extraordinary measure of ha- 
bitual graces poured into it. In this he excels the very angels, 
for to them was given grace only by measure ; but to the huma- 
nity of Christ was given grace without measure ; even so much 
as a creature is any ways capable of. Never was there any but 
Christ, whose graces were no way stinted, and was absolutely 
full of grace. Divines tell us of a double grace in Christ; the 
one of union, and that is infinite ; the other of unction, (which is 
all one with grace habitual,) and that is in a sort infinite ; for 
howsoever it be but a finite and created thing, yet in the nature 
of grace, it hath no limitation, no bounds, but includeth in itself 
whatsoever any way pertains to grace. The reason of this 
illimited grace bestowed on the nature of man in Christ, was, 
for that grace was given to it as to the universal cause, whence 

Looking unto Jfesus. 215 

it was derived unto all others. He is the fountain of grace, and 
of his fulness we receive grace for grace. 

3. For the communication of the properties. It is a kind of 
speech peculiar to the scriptures, when the properties of either 
nature of Christ considered singly are attributed to the person 
of Christ, Thus we may say, that God was born of a virgin, 
and that God suffered, and God was crucified; not simply in 
respect of his godhead, but in respect of his person, or in respect 
of the human nature which God united to himself. And thus we 
may say, that the man Christ is almighty, omniscient, omnipre- 
sent, yet not in respect of his manhood, but in respect of the 
person which is God and man ; or in respect of the divine nature ' 
of the man Christ Jesus : for here, man signifies the whole per- 
son of Christ, and not the human nature : but on the contrary, 
we may not say, that the godhead of Christ was born of a virgin, 
or sufl:ered, or was crucified ; nor may we say, that the manhood 
of Christ is almighty, omniscient, omnipresent; because the 
godher.d and manhood are such words, as note to us the two 
natures of Christ, the one divine, and the other human, and not 
the person of Christ. 

2d. The eflfects or benefits of this hypostatical union, in re- 
spect of Christians, are their spiritual union and communion with 
God and Christ. 

1 . There is a spiritual union of Christians vA\h God in Christ. 
Oh, the wonder of these two blessed unions ! first, of the per- 
sonal union ; secondly, of the spiritual or mystical union. In 
the personal union, it pleased God to assume and unite our hu- 
man nature to the deity; in this spiritual union, it pleased God 
to unite the person of every believer to the person of the Son of 
God. This union is mystical, and yet our very persons, natures, 
bodies, souls, are in a spiritual way conjoined to the body and 
soul of Christ ; so that we are members of the body of Christ, 
and of the flesh of Christ, and of the bones of Christ; and as this 
conjunction is immediately made with his human nature, so there- 
by we are also united to the divine nature ; yea, the person of the 
believer is united to the glorious person of the Son of God. 

Now, concerning this union, for our better understanding, 
observe these three things. 

(1.) It is a most real union : it is not a mere notional union, 
that consists oxAy in the understanding; it is not an imaginary 
thing, that hath no other being but only in the brain; no, it is a 
true, real union. In natural unions, I confess, there may be 
more evidence, but there cannot be more truth. 

(2.) It is a very near union. You will say, how near ? If an 
angel were to speak to you, he cannot satisfy you in this ; only 
as far as our understanding can reach it, and the creatures can 
serve to illustrate these things, take it thus: whatsoever by 
way of comparison can be alleged concerning the combination 

216 Looking unto Jesus. 

of am^ one thing with another, that, and much more, may be 
said of our union with Jesus Christ. See how near the father 
and the child are, how near the husband and the wife are ; see 
what union is between the branches and the vine, the members 
and the head ; nay, one thing more, see what the soul is to the 
body : such is Christ and so near is Christ, and nearer, to the 
person of every true believer. / live^ yet not I, saith Paul, but 
Christ liveth in me. As if he had said, As the soul is to the body 
of a natural man, so is Jesus Christ to my sovd and body. 

(3.) It is a total union ; that is, v/hole Christ is united to the 
whole believer, soul and body. If thou art united to Christ, 
thou hast all Christ ; thou art one with him in his nature, in his 
name ; thou hast the same image, grace, and spirit in thee, as 
he hath ; the same j^recious promises, the same access to God 
by prayer as he ; thou hast the same love of the Father ; all that 
he did or suffered, thou hast a share in it ; thou hast his life and 
death ; all is thine. So, on thy part, he hath thee wholly, thy 
nature, thy sins, the punishment of thy sins, thy wrath, thy 
curse, thy shame ; yea, thy wit, and wealth, and strength, all 
that thou art, or hast, or canst do possibly for him. It is a total 
union : My beloved is mine, and I am his : whole Christ is mine, 
and all that I am, have, or can do, is his. 

2. There is a spiritual communion with God in Christ. Both 
these are the effects of Christ's personal union : first, union to 
his person, and then communion with his benefits. Union, in 
proper speaking, is not unto any of the benefits flowing to us 
from Christ; we are not united to forgiveness of sin, holiness, 
peace of conscience, but unto the person of the Son of God 
himself: and then, secondly, comes this communication of all the 
benefits arising from this union to the Lord Jesus — ^that as Christ 
was priest, prophet, and king; so we also by him are, after a 
sort, priests, prophets, and kings ; for being made one with him, 
we are thereby possessed of all things that are his. 

Sect. V .—Of the Birth of Christ. 

The birth of Christ now follows. A thing so wonderful, that 
it was given for a sign unto believers seven hundred and forty 
years before it was accomplished : Therefore the Lord himself 
shall give a sign ; behold a virgin shall conceive and hear a son. 
But come a little nearer ; let us go to Bethlehem, as the shep- 
herds said, and see this thing which is come to pass ! If we step 
but one step into his lodging, heaven's wonder is before our 
eyes : now look upon Jesus ! look on him as in fulness of time 
he carried on the great work of our salvation. Here you may 
read the meaning of Adam's covenant, Abraham's promise, 
Moses's revelation, David's succession; these were but veils, 
but now shall we draw aside the curtains. Come, take a view 

Looking unto Jesus. 217 

of the truth itself. What a strange birth is this ! Look on the 
babe, there is no cradle to rock him, no nurse to lull him, no 
linens to swaddle him, scarce a little food to nourish him. Look 
on the mother; there's no midwives' help, no downy pillows, no 
Jinen hangings, scarce a little straw where she is brought a-bed. 
Look on Joseph, his supposed father; he rather begs than gives 
a blessing ; poor carpenter ! that makes them a chamber of an 
ox-stall. Mary must bear a Son; an angel tells her, the Holy 
Ghost overshadows her; the days are accomplished, and she is 

No sooner was Christ born, but righteousness looked down 
from heaven; she cast her eye upon earth, and seeing truth 
freshly sprimg there, she looked and looked again : certainly it 
was a sight to draw all the eyes of heaven to it. It is said of 
the angels, that they desired to look into these things. They 
looked wishfully at them, as if they would look through them. 
No question but righteousness looked as narrowly and piercingly 
as the angels. Some observe, that the Hebrev/ word, she looked 
down, signifies, that she beat out a window, so desirous was 
righteousness to behold the sight of Christ born, that she beats 
out a window in heaven. Before this time, she would not so 
much as look down towards the earth: righteousness had no 
prospect, no window open, this way. But now the case is alter- 
ed : no sooner doth our vine bud upon the earth, but she is will- 
ing to condescend, and so willing, that she breaks a window 
through the walls of heaven to look down : and no marvel ; for 
what could righteousness desire to see and satisfy herself in, that 
was not to be seen in Jesus Christ ? He was all-righteous, 
there was not the least spot of sin in him : his birth was clean, 
his life was holy, and his death was innocent. Both his soul and 
body were without all sin ; both his spirit and his mouth were 
without all guile : whatsoever satisfaction righteousness would 
have, she might have it in him. Lay judgment to the line, and 
righteons7iess to the balance, and there is nothing in Jesus but 
straightness for the line, and full weight for the balance. 

For the meeting and agreement of all God's attributes as the 
effect of this, the verse before tells us, that mercy and truth are 
Tuet together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. — 
Many means were made before Christ's time for this blessed 
meeting ; but it would not be : Sacrifice and burnt-offering thou 
tvouldest not; these means were not prevalent enough to cause 
it. Where stuck it ? you will say : surely it was not long of 
mercy, she was easy to be entreated : she looked up to heaven, 
but righteousness would not look down; and indeed here was 
the business: righteousness must and will have satisfaction; 
either some satisfaction for sin must be given to God, or she 
will never meet more ; better that all the men in the world were 
damned, than that the righteousness of God should be un- 
Q 2e 

218 Loolihig unto Jesus, 

righteous. But our Saviour is born; and this birth occasions a 
gracious meeting of the attributes: such an attractive is this 
birth, that all meet there ; indeed they cannot but meet in him, 
Christ is mercy, and Christ is truth, and Christ is righteousness, 
and Christ is peace. 

1. Christ is mercy. Thus Zacharias prophesied ; that through 
the tender mercy of our God the day-spring (or branch) from on 
high hath visited us : and God, the Father of Christ, is called the 
Father of mercies ; as if mercy were his Son, who had no other 
Son but his dearly beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. 

2. Christ is truth. / am the ivay^ and the truth, and the life; 
that truth, in whom is accomplished whatsoever was prefigured 
of the Messiah. And this is his name. The Lord, The Lord 
God, abundant m goodness and truth. — He is a God of truth, 
said Moses ; — plenteous in mercy and truth, said David ; — full 
of grace and truth, said John. He is truth by name, and truth 
by nature, and truth by office. 

3. Christ is righteousness. This is his name luherehy he shall 
he called. The Lord our righteousness, 

4. Christ is peace. This is his name tvhereby he is called; 
Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of Peace, And according to his type, Melchisedech, 
as he was King of righteousness, so also he was King of Salem, 
which is King of peace. Thus Christ is mercy, and Christ is 
truth, and Christ is righteousness, and Christ is peace. Now 
where should all these meet, but in him who is them all ? Surely 
there they meet, and at the meeting they all ran first and kissed 
the Son ; and that done, truth ran to mercy, and embraced her ; 
and righteousness to peace, and kissed her : they that had so 
long been parted, now they meet, and are made friends again. 
O the blessed effects of this birth of Christ ! It is Christ that 
reconciled them, and reconciled us to them. He reconciled all 
things, saith the apostle, whether they be things in earth, or 
things in heaven. Now is heaven at peace with itself, and heaven 
and earth at peace one with another ; and that which glues all, 
and makes the peace, is this birth of Christ. 

Sect. VI. — Of some Consequents of Christ's Birth, 

Some consequents of the birth of Christ may be touched, till 
he was a child of twelve years old. 

I . When he was but eight days old, he was circumcised, and 
named Jesus. In this early humiliation he plainly discovered 
the riches of Jbis grace : now he sheds his blood in drops, and 
thereby gives an earnest of those rivers which he afterwards 
poured out for the cleansing of our nature, and extinguishing 
the wrath of God ; and for a further discovery of his grace, at 
this time his name is given him, which was Jesus. This is the 

Looking unto t/esus. 219 

nanie which we should engrave on our hearts^ rest our faith on, 
and place our help in, and love with the overflowings of charity, 
joy, and adoration ; above all things, we had need of Jesus, a 
Saviour for our souls, both from our sins, and from tlie ever- 
lasting destruction which sin will otherwise bring upon our souls. 
Hence this name Jesus, and this sign circumcision, are joined 
together ; for by the effusion of his blood he was to be our Jesus, 
our Saviour : fVithoiit shedding of blood is no remission^ no sal- 
vation. Circumcision was the seal, and now was it that c^ 
Jesus was under God's great seal to take his office : Him hath 
God the Father sealed, John vi. 27. It is his office and his very 
profession to save, that all may repair unto him to that end : 
Come unto me, all ye that are weary ; and him that cometh unto 
me, I will ill no zvise cast out, 

2. When he was forty days old, he was brought to Jeru- 
salem, and presented to the Lord; as it is written in the 
law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the tvomb shall 
be called holy to the Lord, O wonder! there was no im- 
purity in the Son of God, and yet he is first circumcised 3 and 
then he is brought, and offered to the Lord. He that came to 
be sin for us, would in our persons be legally unclean, that by 
satisfying the law, he might take away our uncleanness. He 
that was above the law, would come under the law, that he 
might free us from the law. We are all born sinners ; but O the 
unspeakable mercies of our Jesus, that provides a remedy as 
early as our sin : first, he is conceived ; and then he is born, to 
sanctify our conceptions and our births : and after his birth, he 
is first circumcised, and then he is presented to the Lord ; that 
by two holy acts, that which was naturally unholy might be hal- 
lowed unto God. Christ hath not left our very infancy without 
redress, but by himself thus offered he cleanseth us presently 
from our filthiness. Now is Christ brought in his mother's arms 
to his own house, the temple ; and as man, he is presented to 
himself as God. You will say. What is this to me, or to my 
soul ? O yes ! Jerusalem is now every where ; there is no church- 
assembly, no christian heart, which is not a temple of the living 
God ; and there is no temple of God, wherein Christ is not pre- 
sented to his Father. Thus we have the benefit of Christ's ful- 
filling the law of righteousness : God sent his Son, made of a 
ivoman, made under the law, that he might redeem them that 
were under the law, that ive might receive the adoption of sons. 

3. When he was yet under one year old, as some, or about 
two, as others, he fled into Egypt. As there was no room for 
him in Bethlehem, so now there is no room for him in all Judea. 
No sooner he came to his o^\^l, but he must fly from them : what 
a wonder is this! Could not Christ have quit himself fr^m 
Herod a thousand ways ? What could an arm of flesh have done 
against the God of spirits ? but hereby he taught us to bear the 

220 Looking U7ito *Jesus, 

yoke even In our youth : thus would he suffer^ that he might 
sanctify to us our earthly afflictions. What a change is here ! 
Israel^ the first-born of God, flies out of Egypt into Judea \ and 
Christ, the first-born of all creatures, flies out of Judea into 
Egypt. Now is Egypt become the sanctuary, and Judea the 
inquisition-house, of the Son of God. Surely he that is every 
where the same, knows how to make all places alike to his. 
He knows how to preserve Daniel in the lion's den, the three 
children in the fiery furnace, Jonah in the whale's belly, and 
Christ in the midst of Egypt. 

4. When he was now five years old, say some, an angel ap- 
pears again in a dream to Joseph, saying, Arise, and take the 
young child and his mother, and return again into the land of 
Israel, for they are dead ivhich sought the young child's life, 
Herod, that took away the lives of all the infants in or about 
Bethlehem, is now himself dead, and gone to his own place. O 
the wonderful dispensation of Christ in concealing himself from 
men ! All this while he carries himself as an infant ; take the 
young child and his mother. He suppressed the manifestation 
and exercise of that godhead whereto the infant nature was con- 
joined: as the birth of Christ, so the infancy of Christ was 
exceedingly humble. O how should we magnify him, or deject 
ourselves for him, who himself became thus humble for our sakes ! 

5. When he was twelve years old, he, with his parents, goes 
up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the feast. This pious act 
of his younger years intends to lead our first years into timely 
devotion: but I shall not insist on that; I would rather observe 
him sitting in the midst of the temple, both hearing them and 
asking them questions. He who, as God, gave them all the wis- 
dom they had, doth now, as the Son of man, hearken to the wis- 
dom he had given them ; and when he had heard, then he asks ; 
and after that, no doubt he answers : his very questions were 
instructions ; for I cannot think that he meant so much to learn, 
as to teacli those doctors of Israel. Surely these rabbins had 
never heard the voice of such a tutor ; they could not but see 
the very wisdom of God in this child ; and therefore saith the 
text, they all 2vo?ider, or they were all astonished at his under- 
standing and answers : their eyes saw nothing but a child, but 
their ears heard the wonderful things of God's law. But why 
did ye not, O ye Jewish teachers, remember now the star and 
the sages, the angels and the shepherds ? why did ye not now 
bethink yourselves of Herod, and of his inquiry, and of your 
answer, that in Bethlehem of Judea Christ should be born? You 
cited the prophets, and why did you not mind that prophecy 
now, that unto us a child is horn, and unto us a Son is given , 
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty 
God, the €verlasti)ig Father, the Prince of Peace? Fruit- 
less iy the wonder that endelh not in faith. No light is 

Looking unto Jesus, 221 

sufficient, where the eyes are held through unbelief and pre- 

6. After this, from the twelfth to the thirtieth year of his age, 
we read nothing of the acts of Christ, but that he went down 
with his parents unto Nazareth, and was subject to them. As 
he went up to Jerusalem to worship God, so he goes down to 
Nazareth to attend his particular calling. This is the meaning 
of those words, mid he was subject to them. Christ's subjection 
to his parents extends to the profession and exercise of his life. 
Certainly Christ was not all that time, from twelve to thirty 
years, idle : as he was educated by his parents, so of his reputed 
father he learnt to be a carpenter 3 this, I take it, is plain in 
these words. Is not this tlie carpenter , the Son of Mary f 

Oh, the poverty, humility, severity, of Jesus ! It appears at 
this time especially, in his labouring, working, hewing of wood, 
or the like. Here's a sharp rej^roof to all those who spend their 
time in idleness, or without a particidar calling. What ! are 
they wiser than Christ ? Our Jesus would not by any means 
thus spend his time. 

But concerning this time of his youth, because in scripture 
there is so deep a silence, I shall therefore pass it by. 

Thus far have I propounded the object we are to look unto; it 
is Jesus, in his first coming, or incarnation, whilst yet a child of 
twelve years old. Our next work is to direct you in the art or 
mystery, how we are to look unto him in this respect. 


Sect. I. — Of Knoiving Jesus as carrying on the great Work of 
our Salvation in /lis Birth, 

What looking comprehends, you have heard before : and that 
we may have an inward experimental look on him whom our 
souls pant after, let us practise all these particulars. 

1 . Let us know Jesus carrying on the great work of our sal- 
vation in his incarnation. Let us learn what he did for us when 
he came amongst us. There is not one passage in his first ap- 
pearing, but it is of mighty concernment unto us. Is it pos- 
sible that the great God of heaven and earth shoidd so infinitely 
condescend, but on some great design ? And what design could 
there be but only his glory and the creatures' good ? O my soul ! 
if thou hast any interest in Christ, all this concerns thee : the 
Lord Jesus, in these very transactions, had an eye to thee; he 
was incarnate for thee, he was conceived and born for thee. 
Ivook not on the bare history of things, for that is unprofitable ; 
the main duty is <^'ycing the end, the meaning of Christ, and 

222 Looking unto Jtsus, 

especially as it relates to thyself. Alas ! what comfort were it 
to a poor prisoner, if he should hear that the king, of his mere 
grace, visited all the prisoners in this or that dungeon, and that 
he made a gaol-delivery, and set all free, but never came near 
the place where he lies bound in irons ? or suppose he gives a 
visit to that very man, and offers him grace and pardon, if he 
will but accept of it 3 and, because of his waywardness, per- 
suades, entreats, commands him to come out and take his liber- 
ty ; and yet if he will not regard or apply it to himself, what com- 
fort can he have ? what benefit can he receive ? Dear soul, this 
is thy case, if thou art not in Christ ; if thou hast not heard the 
offer, and embraced and closed with it, then what is Christ's 
incarnation, conception, nativity, unto thee ? Come, learn, not 
merely as a scholar, to gain some notional knowledge ; but as a 
Christian, as one that feels virtue coming out of Christ in every 
of these respects. Study closely this great transaction in refer- 
ence to thyself. I know not how it happens ; this subject either 
savours not with some Christians, or it is seldom thought of by 
the most. O God forbid we should throw out of doors such a 
blessed necessary truth ! If rightly applied, it is a Christian's 
joy : Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, that shall he 
to all people; for unto you is born in the city of David, a 
Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, Sure the birth of Christ is 
of mighty concernment unto thee 3 unto us a child is bori^r, unto 
us a Son is given. There is not any piece of this transaction 
but it is of special use. How many break their brains, and 
waste their spirits, in studying arts and sciences, things in com- 
parison of no value ? Whereas Paul determined not to know any 
thing but Jesus Christ. To know Jesus Christ in every point, 
whether in birth, or life, or death, is saving knowledge. O 
stand not upon cost, whether pains or study, tears or prayers, 
peace or wealth, goods or name, life or liberty; sell all for this 
pearl. Christ is of that worth that thou canst never over-buy 
him, though thou gavest thyself and all the world for him. The 
study of Christ is the study of studies ; the knowledge of Christ 
is the knowledge of every thing that is necessary, either for this 
world, or for the world to come. O study Christ iii every of the 
aforesaid respects. 

Sect. II. — Considering Jesus in that respect. 

Let us consider Jesus carrying on this great work of our 
salvation, at his first coming or incarnation. It is not enough to 
study and know these great mysteries ; but, according to the 
measure of knowledge we have, we must muse, meditate, pon- 
der, and consider them. This consideration brings Christ closer 
to the soul. Consideration fastens Christ more strongly to the 
soul, and, as it were, rivets the soul to Jesus Christ. A soul 

Looking unto Jesus. 223 

that truly considers and meditates of Christ, thinks and talks of 
nothing else but Christ : it takes hold, and will not let him go. 
I will keep to thee (saith the soul in meditation) for thou art my 
life. Thus, O my soul, consider thou of Christ, and of what he 
did for thee when he was incarnate ! and that thou mayest 
not confound thyself in thy meditations, consider apart these 

1 . Consider Jesus in his forerunner, and the blessed tidings 
of his coming in the flesh. Now the long-looked for time drew 
near, a glorious angel is sent from heaven, and he comes with 
an olive-branch of peace ; first he presents himself to Zachary, 
and then to Mary; to her he imparts the message on which 
God sent him into this world : Behold^ thou shalt conceive in tfiy 
womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 
Till now, human nature was less than that of angels ; but by the 
incarnation of the Word, it was to be exalted above the cheru- 
bim. What blessed tidings was this message ! The decree of 
old must now be accomplished, and an angel proclaims it upon 
earth. ^ Hear, O ye sons of Adam, this concerns you as much 
as the Virgin : were ye not all undone in the loins of your first 
father ? was not my soul and thy soul in danger of hell-fire ? was 
not this our condition, that after a little life upon earth, we should 
have been thrown into eternal torments, where had been nothing 
but weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth ? And now that God 
and Christ should bid an angel tell the news — Ye shall not die: 
Lo, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and he shall be your 
Jesus : he shall save you fi'om this hell, and death, and sin ; he 
shall deliver your souls, he shall save to the utmost : his name is 
Jesus, and he shall not bear his name for nought : believe in 
him, and ye shall live with him in gloiy.' O blessed news ! 
Men may talk what they will of this and that news, but none is 
so welcome to one ready to perish, as to hear of a Saviour. Tell 
a man in his sickness of one that will make him well again ; tell 
a man in captivity, of one that will set him free ; tell a man in 
prison, condemned to die, of one with a pardon that will save his 
life ; and every one of these will say, this is the best news that 
ever was heard. Oh ! then, if it be good tidings to hear of a 
saviour, where it is only a matter of loss of life, or of this earth ; 
how much more when it comes to the loss of heaven, to the 
danger of hell ; when our souls are at stake, and likely to be 
damned for ever ! what glad tidings would that be, to hear of 
one that could save our souls from that destroyer ! Is not such 
a Saviour worth the hearkening after ? were not the birth of such 
a one good news ? O my soul, ponder on these words, as if an 
angel, seeing thee stand on the brim of hell, should speak to 
thee, even to thy soul. 

2. Consider Jesus in his conception. No sooner is the news 
heard, but Christ is conceived by the Holy Ghost in the Virgin's 

224 Looking unto Jesus. 

womb: this conception i« worthy our consideration. Wlmt! 
that the great God of heaven should condescend so far as to 
take our nature upon him, and to take it in the same way, and 
after the same manner, as we do ? We must not be too curious, 
to inquire after the manner of the Holy Ghost's operation. This 
is work for our hearts, and not merely for our heads. Humble 
faith, and not curious inquisition, shall find the sweetness of 
this mystery. It was David's complaint. Behold Itvas shcqyen 
171 iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. O my soul, 
this was thy case in thy very first being, and hadst thou died in 
that condition, the word is express, that nothing undejiled nor 
unclean should enter i?ito the kingdo7n of glory. But here's the 
remedy, thy sinful conception is sanctified by Christ's holy con- 
ception : the holiness of thy Jesus serves to hide thy original 
pollutions from the eye of God. Oh ! consider this conception 
thus, till thou bringest it near and close to thy soul, till thou 
feelest some sweetness and power coming and flowing from Jesus 
in the womb. 

3. Consider the duplicity of natures in Jesus Christ : the 
Word made flesh. No sooner was he conceived, than he was 
God-man ; he was perfectly framed, and instantly united to the 
eternal Word : God sent his Son, there is the nature divine ; 
made of a luoman, there is the nature human. Certainly great 
is this mystery, that the Word is made flesh ; that the Son of 
God is made of a woman ; that a star gives light to the sun ; 
that a branch doth bear the vine ; that a creature gives being to 
the Creator ! 

Admire, O my soul, at this ! but withal consider, that all this 
was for us and our salvation : he was man, that he might die for 
us ; and he was God, that his death might be sufficient to save 
us. Had he been man alone, not God, he might have suftered, 
but he could never have satisfied for sin ; he could not have been 
Jesus, a Saviour of souls : had he been God alone, not man, he 
had not been akin to our nature offending ; and so he could not 
have satisfied the justice of God in the same nature wherein it 
was offended; neither could he, as God alone, have died for 
sin ; and the decree was, that our Redeemer must die for sin ; 
for without shedding of blood, thtre is no remission ; and no 
shedding of blood could possibly befall the godhead of Christ. 
O my soul, consider this in relation to thyself: he is God-man, 
that he might suffer and satisfy for thy sins ; he is God-man, that 
he might be able and fit to finish the work of thy salvation. As 
God he is able, aixl as man he is fit, to discharge the office of 
Mediator : as God, he is able to bear the punishment of sin ; 
and as man, he is fit to suffer for sin. Oh the wisdom of God in 
this 1 man's nature can suffer death, but not overcome it ; the 
divine nature can overcome death and all things, but he can- 
not sufter it : and hence there is a duplicity of natures in 

♦ Lookmg unto Jesus, 225 

Jesus Christ. O muse on this \ it is worthy thy serious conside- 

4. Consider the real distinction of these two natures in Christ. 
As the unapproachable light of the godhead was put into human 
flesh, so these two natures remained entire, without any con- 
version or confusion. They were not as wine and water, that 
become one by mixing ; there is no such blending the divine and 
human nature : they were not as snow and water, that become 
one by dissolving of the snow into water; there is no such 
changing of the human nature into the divine, or of the divine 
into the human. Look, as at the first moment of his conception 
he was God and man, so these two natures continued distinct in 
substance, properties, and actions. Consider this, O my soul, 
in reference to thyself: by this means thou hast free access unto 
the throne of grace ; and as thou hast free access, so thou mayest 
boldly draw near. His deity indeed confounds, but his huma- 
nity comforts feeble souls : his divine nature amazeth, but his 
human nature encourage th us to come unto him. Even after his 
resurrection, he was pleased to send this comfortable message 
to the sons of men ; Go to my brethren, and sat/ unto them, I 
ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your 
God. Now, as long as he is not ashamed to call us brethren, 
God is not ashamed to be called our God. Oh, the sweet fruit 
that we may gather off this tree, the real distinctions of two na- 
tures in Christ ! As long as Christ is man as well as God, we 
have a motive strong enough to appease his Father, and to turn 
his favourable countenance towards us. Here is our happiness, 
that there is one Mediator between God and man, the man 
Christ Jesus. 

5. Consider the union of the two natures of Christ in one and 
the same person. As he was the branch of the Lord, and the 
fruit of the earth, so these two natures were tied with such a 
knot as sin, hell, and the grave were never able to disunite : 
5^ea, though in the death of Christ there was a separation of the 
soul from the body, yet in that separation the hypostatical union 
remained unshaken. Li this meditation thou hast great cause, 
O my soul, to admire and adore ! Wonderful things are spoken 
of thee, O Christ ! He is God, so as neither the Father nor the 
Holy Ghost were made flesh ; and he is man, in the nature of 
man. This is a mystery that no angel is able to comprehend. 
We have not another example of such an union. If thou wilt con- 
sider this great mystery of godliness any further, review what 
hath been said in the object propounded, where this union is set 
forth more largely and particularly : but especially consider the 
blessed effects of this union in reference to thyself. As our 
nature in the person of Christ is vmited to the godhead, so our 
persons in and by this union of Christ are brought nigh to God. 
Hence it is that God doth set his sanctuary and tabernacle 

8. 2f 

226 Looking unto Jesus, 

among us^ and that he dwells with us ; and, which is more, that 
he makes us houses and habitations, wherein he himself is 
pleased to dwell by his holy Spirit. By reason of this hypo- 
statical union of Christ, the Spirit of Christ is given to us in the 
very moment of our regeneration. And because ye are sons^ 
God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, 
crying, Abba, Father : and hereby we know that ive dwell in him, 
and lie in us, because he hath given us of his Sp rit. As the 
members of the body, howsoever distinct amongst themselves, 
and all differing from the head, yet by reason of one soul in- 
forming both the head and members, all make one man ; so all 
believers in Christ, howsoever distinct persons amongst them- 
selves, and all distinct from the person of Christ, and especially 
from the godhead, which is incommunicable, yet by one and the 
same Spirit abiding in Christ and in all his members, they be- 
come one. There is one body, and one Spirit : — he that is joined 
to the Lord is one spirit. O my soul, consider this ; and in 
considering, believe thy part in this; and the rather because the 
means of this union on thy part is a true and lively faith. Faith 
is the first effect and instrument of the Spirit of Christ, dis- 
posing and enabling thy soul to cleave unto Christ; and for this 
cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ — 
that Christ may divell in your hearts by faith, 

6. Consider the birth of Christ, who in his divine generation was 
the Son of God ; in his human generation was born in a stable, for 
the saving of the children of men. Suppose the Holy Ghost came 
upon thee, to form and fashion thee in Jesus Christ, (thus Paul 
bespeaks the Galatians; 3fy little children, of whom I travel in 
birth again until Christ be formed in you,) would not this affect ? 
would not the whole soul be taken up mth this ? Come, receive 
Christ into thy soul ; or if that work be done, if Christ be formed 
in thee, O cherish him ! (I speak of the spiritual birth,) O keep 
him in thy heart ! Let him there bud, and blossom, and bear 
fruit ; let him fill thy soul with his divine graces : O that thou 
couldst say it feelingly, / live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, 
O that this were the issue of thy meditation on Christ's birth ! 
even whilst thou art going with the shepherds to Bethlehem, and 
there findest thy Saviour lying in a cratch, that thou wouldst 
bring him thence, and make thy heart to be his cradle ! I would 
not give a farthing for a meditation merely on the history of 
Christ's birth : either draw virtue from him within, or thy medi- 
tation will be fruitless. 

7. Consider those few consequents after Christ's birth ; every 
action of Christ is our instruction. Here are many particulars, 
but none in vain. Christ is considered under much variety of 
notions, but he is still sweet under all. Is it possible, O my 
soul, that thou shouldst tire thyself in the contemplation of 
Jesus Christ ? If one flower yield thee not pleasure or delight. 

Looking unto Jesus, 227 

go to a second, a third. For a while observe the circumcision 
of Jesus Christ, and gather some honey out of that flower. 
Christ had never been circumcised, but that the same might be 
done to our souls that was done to his body. O that the same 
Christ would do that in us that was done to him for us ! 

Again, observe Christ's presentation in the temple. This 
was the law of those that first opened the womb. Now Christ 
was the first-born of Mary, and indeed the first-born of all 
creatures; and he was consecrated unto God, that by him we 
might be consecrated and made holy, and that by him we might 
be accepted when we are oft'ered unto the Lord. 

Again, observe Christ's flight into Egypt : though the infancy 
is usually most quiet, yet here life and toil began together ; and 
see how speedily this comes after Christ's dedication vmto God. 
Alas ! we are no sooner born again, than we are persecuted. If 
the church travel, and bring forth a male, she is in danger of the 
dragon's streams. 

Again, observe Christ's return into Judea; he was not serit 
but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; with them alone 
he was personally to converse in his ministry, in which respect 
he was called a minister of the circumcision. And where should 
he be trained, and shew himself, but amongst them to whom 
God had sent him ? The gospel first began there, and, as a 
preparation to it, Christ now ia his childhood returns thither. 

Again, observe Christ disputing with the doctors in the tem- 
ple. See how early his divine graces put forth themselves; In 
him were hid, saith the apostle, all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge: all the treasures were hid in him, and yet some of 
those treasures appeared very early; his wisdom in his very in- 
fancy is admired at, nor is it without our profit, for of God he is 
made wisdom unto us. 

Again, observe how he spent the remainder of his youth. In 
all his examples he meant our instruction; he went down luitk 
his parents, and luas subject to them : he was not idle bred, but 
serves his generation in the poor way of a carpenter. It i^ 
every way good for a man to bear God's yoke, even from his in- 
fancy. Christ is inured betimes to the hardships of life, and the 
strict observation of the law, both of God and nature. 

See, O my soul, what a world of matter is before thee : here 
is the annunciation of Jesus, the conception of Jesus, the dupli- 
city of natures in Jesus, the real distinction, the w^onderful 
union, the nativity of Jesus, together with some consequents 
after it. Go over these with frequent thoughts ; give not over 
till thou feelest thy heart warm. True meditation is as the 
bellows of the soul, that doth kindle and inflame holy aflfections ; 
and by renewed thoughts, as by renewed and stronger blasts, it 
doth renew and increase the flame. 

228 Looking unto Jesus. 

Sect. III. — Of Desiring Jesus in that respect. 

Let us desire Jesus^ carrying on the gi-eat work of our salva- 
tion at his first coming or incarnation. It is not enough to 
know and consider, but we must desire. Now, what is desire, 
but a certain motion of the appetite, by which the soul darts 
itself towards the absent good, purposely to draw near, and to 
unite itself thereunto? The incarnation of Christ, according 
to the letter, was the desire of all nations. O how they that 
lived before Christ, desired this coming of Christ ! Abraham 
desired to see that day, two thousand years and more before it 
came. It was the expectation of all the patriarchs : O when 
will that day come 1 And surely the incarnation of Christ in the 
fruit or application, is, or should be, the desire of all Christians. 
There is virtue in Jesus Christ, in every passage of Christ, in 
his conception, incarnation, in his birth, and in those conse- 
quents after his birth. Now, to make these our's, that we may 
have our share and interest in them, we must here begin. O 
my soul, do thou desire, do thou seek to possess thyself of Christ ! 
Set thy desire (as the needle point) aright, and all the rest will 
follow : never will union be with the absent good, but the soul, 
by desire, must first dart itself towards it. True it is, millions 
of souls stand at a distance from Christ ; and why ? they have no 
desire towards him : but, O that my soul, and thy soul, who- 
soever thou art that readest, would desire ! O that we could 
desire and long after him until we languish, and be com- 
pelled to cry out with the spouse. Comfort me, for I tun sick of 

Is there not good reason for it ? what is there in Christ that is 
not desirable? View over all those excellencies of his con- 
ception ; of his two natures really distinguished, and yet won- 
derfully united 5 of his birth; of those few consequents after his 
birth : but above all, see the fruit of all ; he was conceived, that 
our conceptions might be sanctified ; he was the Son of man, 
that he might suff'er for us ; and the Son of God, that he might 
satisfy divine justice; he was God and man in one person, that 
we might be one with him, members of his body, of his fleshy 
and of his bones. He was born of the Virgin, that there might 
be a spiritual birth of Christ in our virgin -hearts. Are not these 
desirable things ? Never tell me of thy present enjoyments ; for 
never was Christ so enjoyed in this life, but thou hast cause to 
desire more of Christ. It is worth thy observation^ that spiri- 
tual desires after Christ do neither load nor cloy the heart, but 
rather open and enlarge it for more and more. Who was better 
acquainted with God than Moses ? and yet who was more 
importunate to know him better ? / beseech tJiee, shew me thy 
glory. And who was more acquainted mth Christ than Paul ? 

Looking unto Jesus, 229 

and yet who was more importunate to be with him nearer? / 
desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. Further and fur- 
tlier, union with Christy and communion with Christy are most 
desirable things, and are not these the fruits of his incarnation, 
the effects of his personal union ? More and more peace, and 
love, and reconciliation, betwixt God and us, are desirable 
things : and are not these the fruits of Christ's birth ? was it 
not then that 7^ighteousness looked down from heaven ? that mercy 
and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each 
other? An higher degree of holiness, likeness to God and 
Christ, are desirable things : and are not these the fruits of cir- 
cumcision, and presentation to the Lord, the effects of all those 
consequents that follow after his birth ? Come, stir up thy de- 
sires: true desires are not wavering, but resolute and full of 
quickness. Observe how the nature of true desire in scripture, 
is set forth by the most strong similitudes of hunger and thirst ; 
and those not common neither, but by the panting of a tired 
hart after the rivers of water, and by the gaping of dry ground 
after seasonable showers. O then ! how is it that the passages 
of thy desires are so narrow, and almost shut up ? Nay, how is 
it that thy vessels are so full of contrary qualities, that there is 
scarce any room in thy soul for Christ ? Will not the desires of 
the patriarchs witness against thee ? how cried they after Christ's 
coming in the flesh ? Bow the heavens, O Lord, and come down, 
Psal. cxliv. 5. Oh, that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that 
thou wouldest come down, Isa. xliv. 1. Droj) down, ye heavens, 
from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness ; let the 
earth open, and bring forth salvation, Isa. xlv. 8. Is it possible 
that their desires should be more vehement after Christ than 
our's ? They lived on the dark side of the cloud, but we on the 
bright side ; the veil was upon their hearts, which veil is done 
away in Christ. They saw Christ afar off, and their sight was 
very dim ; but we all with open face, as in a glass, behold the 
gloiy of tJie Lord. One would think, the less any thing is 
known, the less it should be desired. O my soul, either thou 
art more ignorant of Christ than the patriarchs of old, or thy 
heart is more out of frame than theirs : suspect the latter, and 
blame thy heart, it may be thy sluggish nature hath laid thy de- 
sires asleep. If an hungry man will sleep, his hunger will sleep 
with him : but, oh ! stir up and awake thy desires. Present be- 
fore them that glorious object, the incarnation of Jesus Christ : it 
is an object which the very angels desire to look into ; and art not 
thou more concerned in it than the angels ? Is not the fruit of the 
incarnation thine, more especially thine ? Come then, stir up those 
motions of thy appetite, by which the soul darts itself towards 
the absent good. Draw nearer and nearer, till thou comest to 
union and enjoyment ; cry after Christ, TFhy is his chariot so 
long in coming f why tarry the wheels of his chariots ? 

230 Looking unto Jesus, 

Sect. IV. — Of Hoping in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us hope in Jesus^ carrying on the great work of our 
salvation at his first coming. Only here remember, I speak not 
of every hope, but only of such an hope as is grounded on some 
certainty and knowledge. This is the main question, whether 
Christ's incarnation belongs unto me ? The prophet tells us, 
that unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. But how 
may I hope that this child is born to me ? and that this Son is 
given to me ? what ground for that ? Out of these words of 
the prophet I shall draw a double evidence, which may be in- 
stead of all : our first evidence from the former ^^'ords, unto us 
a child is born; our second evidence from the latter words, u7ito 
us a Son is given, 

1 . From the former words, I lay down this position, imto us a 
child is born, if we are new-born. The surest way to know 
our interest in the birth of Christ, is to know Christ born in us, 
or formed in us, as the apostle speaks. The new-birth is the 
eflect of Christ's birth, and a sure sign that Christ is born in us. 
Say then, O my soul, art thou born anew ? is there in thee a 
new nature, a new principle ? is the image of God and of Christ 
in thy soul ? so the apostle styles it, the bearing of the image of 
the heavenly ; then was Christ incarnate for thee. Come then, 
look to it, my soul ; what is thy principle within ? Consider 
not so much the outward actions, the outward duties, of religion, 
as that root from whence they grow, that principle from whence 
they come : are they fixed ones, settled ones, by way of life, in 
thee ? Clocks have their motions, but they are not motions of 
life, because they have no principles of life within. Is there life 
within ? Then art thou born again, yea, even unto thee a child is 
bom. This is one evidence. 

2. From the latter words I lay down this position, unto us a 
Son is given, if we are God's sons. The best way to know our 
interest in the Son of God, is to know ourselves to be God's 
sons by grace, as Christ was God's Son by nature. — Christians, 
to whom Christ is given, are co-heirs with Christ ; only Christ is 
the first-born, and hath the pre-eminence in all things. Our 
sonship is an eifect of Christ's Sonship, and a sure sign that unto 
us a son is given. Say then, O my soul, art thou a son of God ? 
dost thou resemble God according to ' thy capacity, being holy, 
even as he is holy f Why then, Christ was incarnate for thee, he 
was given to thee. If thy sonship be not clear enough, thou by 
these following rules mayest try it further : — 

(1.) The sons of God fear God: If I be a Father, where is 
mine honour f saith God ; if I be a master, where is my fear ? 
If 1 be a son of God, there will be an holy fear and trembling 
upon me in all my approaches unto God. I know there is a 

Looking unto Jesus, 231 

servile fear, and that is unworthy and unbeseeming a son of 
God ; but there is a filial fear, and that is an excellent check 
and bridle to all our wantonness. What son will not fear the 
frowns of his loving father? I dare not do this, (he will say^) my 
father will be offended. Agreeable to this is the apostle's 
advice, If ye call on the Father, pass your sojourning here in 

(2.) The sons of God love God, and obey God out of a prin- 
ciple of love. Suppose there were no heaven to bestow upon a 
regenerate person, yet would he obey God out of a principle 
of love ? Not that it is unlawful for the child of God to have an 
eye unto the recompense of reward : Moses's reason of esteem- 
ing the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of 
Egypt, was^ for that he had respect unto the recompense of 
reward. He had respect; in the original, he had a fixed intent 
eye : there was in him a love of the reward, and yet withal a 
love of God ; and therefore his love of the reward was not mer- 
cenary : but this, I say, though there were no reward at all, a 
child of God hath such a principle of love within him, that for 
love's sake he would obey his God. He is led by the Spirit, 
and therefore he obeys : now the Spirit that leads him is a spirit 
of love, and as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons 
of God. 

(3.) The sons of God imitate God in his love and goodness to 
all men. Our Saviour amplifies this excellent property of God : 
he causeth his sun to shine on the good and the had. And thence 
he concludeth, be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. 
Goodness to bad men, is as it were the perfection of all. Oh ! 
my soul, canst thou imitate God in this ? Consider how thy Fa- 
ther bears it, though the wicked provoke him day by day, yet for 
all that he doth not quickly revenge. God seeth all ; and for all 
that, he doth not make the earth presently to gape and devour 
us : he puts not out the glorious light of the sun, he doth not 
dissolve the work of creation, he doth not for man's sin pre- 
sently blast every thing into dust : what an excellent pattern is 
this for thee to write after 1 Canst thou forgive thy enemies ? do 
well to them that do evil to thee ? This is a sure sign of grace 
and sonship. It is storied of some heathens, who beating a 
Christian almost to death, asked him, ' What great matter did 
Christ ever do for him ?' '' Even this/' said the Christian, "^ that 
I can forgive you, though you use me thus." Here was a child of 
God indeed ! It is a sweet resemblance of our Father, and of 
our Saviour Jesus Christ, to love our enemies, to bless them that 
curse us, to do good unto them that hate us, to pray for them 
that despitefuUy use us, and persecute us. Oh ! my soul, look 
to this, consult this ground of hope ; if this law be written in 
thy heart, write it down amongst the evidences that thou art 
God's son, yea, that even unto thee a Son is given. 

232 Looking unto Jesus, 

To review the grounds : — What ! is a child born to me ? and a 
Son given to me ? What ! am I new born ? am I indeed God's 
son or daughter ? Do I upon search find in my soul new desires, 
new comforts, new contentments ? Are my words, my works, and 
affections, and conversation, new ? Is there in me a new nature, 
a new principle ? Hath the Spirit given me a new power, a seed 
of spiritual life, which I had not before ? Do I upon search find 
that I fear God, and love God, and imitate God in his love and 
goodness towards all men ? Can I really forgive an enemy, 
and according to my ability do good unto them that do evil unto 
me ? Why should I not then confidently and comfortably hope, 
that 1 have my interest in the birth of Christ, in the blessed in- 
carnation and conception of Jesus Christ? Away, all despair 
and dejection. If these be my grounds of hope, it is mine to 
hold up my head, and heart, and hands, and all with cheerfulness 
and confidence, and to say with the spouse, / am my beloved's, 
and my beloved is mine. 

Sect. V. — Of Believing in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us believe in Jesus, carrying on the great work of our 
great salvation at his first coming or incarnation. I know many 
staggerings are oft in Christians, ^ What ! is it likely that Christ 
should be incarnate for me ? that God should do such a thing, 
for such a sinful abominable wretch as I am ?' Ah ! poor soul, 
put thy property in Christ's incarnation out of dispute, that thou 
mayest be able to say, ' As God was manifest in the flesh, and 
I may not doubt it ; so God is manifest in me, and I dare not 
deny it.' 

To help the soul in this, I shall, 1 . propose the hinderances of 
faith. 2. The helps of faith in this respect. 3. The manner 
how to act our faith. 4. The encouragements to bring on the 
soul to believe its part in the blessed incarnation of Jesus 

For the first, there are but three things that can hinder faith ; 

(1 .) The exceeding unworthiness of the soul ; and to this pur- 
pose are those complaints, ^ What ! Christ incarnate for me ? 
for such a dead dog as I am ? I am less than the least of all 
God's mercies ; I am fitter for hell and devils, than for union 
and communion with God and Christ; I dare not, I cannot 

2. The infinite exactness of divine justice, which must be 
satisfied. A soul deeply considering of this, startles, and cries. 
Oh ! what will become of my soul ? One of the least sins that I 
stand guilty of, deserves death, and eternal wrath : the wages of 
sin is death; and I cannot satisfy. Though I have trespassed 
many millions of talents, I have not one mite to pay. Oh ! then 
how should I believe ? What thoughts can I entertain of God's 

Lookins^ %mto Jesus. 233 


mercy and love to me \ God's law condemns me, my own con- 
science accuseth me, and justice will have its due. 

(3.) The want of a mediator, or some suitable person which 
may stand between the sinner and God. If on my part there 
be unworthiness, and on God's part severe justice ; and withal I 
see no mediator, which I may go unto, before I deal with the 
infinite glory of God himself; how should I but despair, and cry 
out. Oh wretched man that I am ! Oh that I never had been ! 
I cannot believe ; there is no room for faith in this case. 

2. The helps of faith, in this sad condition, are these : 

(L) A consideration that God is pleased to overlook the un- 
worthiness of his poor creatures. This we see plain in the very 
act of his incarnation ; himself disdains not to be as his poor 
creatures, to wear their flesh, to take upon him human nature ; 
and in all things to become like unto man, sin only excepted. 

(2.) A consideration that God satisfies justice, by setting up 
Christ, who is justice itself. Now was it that mercy and truth 
met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other ; 
now was it that free grace and merit, that fulness and notliing- 
ness, were made one ; now was it that truth ran to mercy, and 
embraced her ; and righteousness to peace, and kissed her ; in 
Christ they met, yea, in him was the infinite exactness of God's 
justice satisfied. 

(3.) A consideration that God hath set up Christ as a Media- 
tor ; that he was incarnate in order to reconciliation, and sal- 
vation of souls ; and but for the accomplishment of this design, 
Christ had never been incarnate. The very end of his uniting 
fleeh unto him, was in order to the reconciliation of us poor souls. 
Alas ! we had sinned, and by sin deserved everlasting damna- 
tion ; but to save us, and to satisfy himself, God takes our nature 
and joins it to his Son, and calls that Christ a Saviour. This is 
the gospel notion of Christ ; for what is Christ but God himself 
in our nature, transacting our peace ? In this Christ is fulness, 
and righteousness, and love, and bowels to receive the first acts 
of our faith ; and to have immediate union and communion with 
us. Indeed we pitch our faith immediately on God himself; yet 
at last we come to him, and our faith lives in God, as one faith, 
before it is aware, through the intervention of that person, which 
is God himself, only called by another name — the Lord Jesus 
Christ : and these are the helps of faith, in reference to our un- 
worthiness, God's justice, and the want of a Mediator betwixt 
God and us. 

3. The manner how to act our faith on Christ incarnate, 
is this : 

(1.) Faith must directly go to Christ. We find indeed some 

particular promises of this and that grace ; but the promises are 

not given without Christ : no, first Christ, and then all other 

things. Incline your ears, and come unto me : Come unto 

9. 2g • 

234 Loohins: unto Jesus, 

Christ, and then / will make an everlasting covenant, (which 
contains all the promises) even the sure mercies of David. As 
in marriage, the woman first consents to have the man, and then 
all the benefits that follow ; so the soul by faith first pitcheth 
upon Christ, and then on the privileges that flow from Christ. 
Say, dost thou want any temporal blessing ; suppose it be the 
payment of debts, thy daily bread, health ; look through the 
scripture for promises of these things, and let thy faith act thus, 
' If God hath given me Christ, the greatest blessing, then cer- 
tainly he will give me all these things, so far as they may be for 
mv good. In the twenty-third psalm we find a bundle of pro- 
mises ; but he begins. The Lord is my shepherd, therefore I 
shall not ii*!xnt. The believing patriarchs through faith subdued 
kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped 
the mouths of lions, did wonders in the world ; but what did they 
chiefly look to in this their faith ? Surely to the promise to come, 
and to that better thing, Christ himself : and therefore the apos- 
tle concludes, having such a cloud of witnesses, that thus lived 
and died by faith, let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher 
of our faith. 

(2.) Faith must directly go to Christ as God in our flesh. 
Some think it a carnal apprehension of Jesus Christ, to know 
him as in flesh : I confess, to know him only so ; to consider 
Jesus no other way but as having flesh, is no better than a carnal 
apprehension ; but to consider Christ as God in flesh, and to 
.consider that flesh as acted by God, and filled with God, is a 
true and spiritual apprehension of Jesus Christ ; and hither is 
faith to be directed immediately. Suppose a case of danger by 
some enemies, and I find a promise of protection from my ene- 
mies ; I look on that : but in the first place thus I argue. If the 
Lord hath given me Christ, (God in the flesh) to save me from, 
hell, then much more will he save me from these fleshly enemies. 

(3.) Faith must go and lie at the feet of Christ ; faith must 
fasten itself on this God in our flesh. Some go to Christ, and 
look on Jesus with loose and transient glances, they have but 
coarse and common apprehensions of Jesus Christ. Oh ! but 
we should come to Christ with solemn and serious spirits ; we 
should look on Jesus piercingly, till we see him as God is in him, 
and as such a person thus and thus qualified from heaven ; we 
should labour to apprehend what is the riches of this glorious 
mystery of Christ's incarnation ; we should dive into the depths 
of his glorious actings ; we should study this mystery above all 
other studies. Nothing is more pleasant, and nothing is more 
deep. That one person should be God and man ; that blessed- 
ness should be made a curse ; that heaven should be let down 
into hell ; that the God of the world should shut himself up, as 
it were, in a body 5 that the invisible God should be made visible 
to sense 5 that God should make our nature, which had sinned 

Looking unto Jesus, 235 

against him, to be the great ordinance of reconciling us unto 
himself ; that God should take our flesh, and dwell in it with all 
his fulness, and make that flesh more glorious than the angels, 
and advance that flesh into oneness with himself, and through 
that flesh open all his rich discoveries of love and free grace 
untt) the sons of men ; that this God-man should be our Saviour, 
Redeemer, Reconciler, Father, Friend ; Oh what mysteries are 
these ! No wonder if when Christ was born, the apostles cry. 
We saw his glory , as of the only begotten Son of God ; noting, 
that at the first sight of him, so much glory sparkled from him 
as could appear from none, but a God walking up and down the 
world. Oh ! my soul, let not such a treasury be unlooked into. 
Set faith on work with a redoubled strength. Surely we live 
not like men under this great design, if our eye of faith be not 
firmly and stedfastly set on this. Oh, that we were but ac- 
quainted with these lively discoveries ! how blessedly might we 
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and gave him- 
self for us. 

(4.) Faith must look principally to the end of Christ, as God 
coming in the flesh. Now what was the design of Christ in this ? 
The apostle answers, Rom. viii. 3. God sent his Son in tlie 
likeness of sinful jieshy to condemn sin in t/iejlesh, i. e. God the 
Father sent into the world his only begotten Son, to abolish in 
the first place original sin. Mark these two words : he co?i- 
demned sin in the flesh. The first word condemned^ is, by a me- 
tonymy, put for that which follows condemnation, namely, for the 
abolishing of sin ; as condemned persons use to be cut off and 
to be taken out of the world, that they may be no more ; so 
Christ hath condemned or abolished this sin. By the second 
word, in the flesh, is meant the human nature which Christ 
assumed. He abolished sin altogether in his own nature : and 
that flesh of his being perfectly holy, and the holiness of it being 
imputed unto us, it takes away our guilt in respect of the im- 
pureness of our nature also. Christ had not the least spot of 
original sin ; and if we are Christ's, then is the sin in some mea- 
sure taken out of their hearts. But howsoever the filth of this 
sin may remain in part, yet the guilt is removed : in this respect 
the purity of Christ's human nature is no less reckoned to us for 
the curing of our defiled nature, than the sufTerings of Christ 
are to us, for the remission of our actual sins. O my soul, look 
to this end of Christ as God in the flesh. If thou consider him 
as made of flesh and blood, think withal, that his meaning was 
to condemn sin in our flesh. There flows from the holiness of 
Christ's nature such a power as countermands the power of our 
original sin, and acquits and discharges from the condemna- 
tion of the same shi. Not only the death and life, but also 
the conception and birth, of Christ, hath its influence in our 

236 Looking unto Jesus. 

4. The encouragements to bring our souls to believe on Christ 
incarnate, we may draw — 

(1.) From the excellency of this object. This incarnation of 
Christ is the foundation of all other actings of God for us ; it is 
the very hinge on which all turn ; it is the cabinet wherein all the 
designs of God do lie, redemption, justification, glorification^ 
all are wrapt up in it ; it is the highest pitch of the declaration of 
God's wisdom, goodness, power, and glory. Oh, what a sweet 
object of faith is this ! I know there are some other things in 
Christ, which are most proper for some acts of faith ; as, Christ 
dying is most proper for the pardon of actual sin ; and Christ 
rising from the dead, is most proper for the evidencing of our 
justification ; but the strongest and purest acts of faith are 
those which take in Christ as such a person, laid out in all this 
glory. Christ's incarnation is more general than Christ's passion 
or Christ's resurrection, and, as some would have it, includes all. 
Christ's incarnation holds forth Christ in his fidness, and so is 
the complete subject of our faith. 

Come, poor soul, thy eyes are running to and fro the world, 
to find comfort and happiness on earth : O cast thy eyes back, 
and see heaven and earth in one object ! Look fixedly on 
Christ incarnate ! There is more in this than in all the variety 
of this world, or of that world to come. Here is an object 
of faith, and love, and joy, and delight ; here is a compendium 
of all glories. 

(2.) From the suitableness of this object. Christ incarnate is 
most suitable for our faith to act upon. We are indeed to be- 
lieve on God, but we cannot come to God but in and through 
Christ. Alas ! God is offended, and therefore we cannot find 
ground immediately to go to God. Hence you heard, that faith 
must directly go to Christ as God in our flesh. O the infinite 
condescension of God in Christ ! God takes up our nature, and 
joins it to himself as one person, and lays that before our faith ; 
so that here is God, and God suited to the particular state of 
the sinner. Now with what boldness may our souls draw nigh 
to God ! Why art thou strange, poor soul ? Why standest thou 
afar off, as if it were death to draw nigh ? Of whom art thou 
afraid ? Is God come down amongst men, and canst thou not see 
him, lest thou die and perish ? Oh, look once more, and be not 
discouraged 1 See, God is not come down in fire. God is not 
descended in the armour of justice and everlasting burnings; no, 
he is clothed with the garments of flesh, he desires to converse 
with thee after thy own form, he is come down to beseech thee 
to see with thine own eyes thy eternal happiness. Oh, the won- 
der of heaven ! It is the cry of some poor souls, O that I might 
see God ! Lo here God is come down in ihe likeness of man, 
he walks in our own shape amongst us. It is the cry of others, O 
that I might have my heart united to God ! Why, he is come. 

f Looking unto Jesus, 237 

down on this very purpose, and hath united our nature unto 
himself. Surely God hath left all the world without excuse : O 
that ever there should be an heart of unbelief, after these sen- 
sible demonstrations of divine glory and love ! Why wilt thou 
now stand off ? Tell me, what wouldst thou have God do more ? 
Can he manifest himself in a more suitable way to thy condi- 
tion ? Is there any thing below flesh, wherein the great God can 
humble himself for thy good ? Come, think of another and a 
better way, or else for ever believe. Methinks it is sad to see 
believers shy in their approaches to God, or doubtful of their 
acceptance with God, when God himself stoops first, and is so 
in love with our acquaintance, that he will be of the same nature 
that we are. Oh ! let not such a rock of strength be slighted, 
but every day entertain precious thoughts of Christ being incar- 
nate : inure thy heart to believing on this Jesus, as he carries on 
the great work of thy salvation at his first coming. 

(3.) From the offers of this blessed object to our souls. As 
Christ is come in our nature to satisfy, so he comes in the gos- 
pel freely and fully to offer the terms of love ; therein are set out 
the most alluring expressions that possibly can be ; therein is set 
out, that this incarnation of Christ was God's own acting, out of 
his own love, and grace, and glory ; therein is set out the birth, 
and life, and death of Christ ; and this he could not do but he 
must be incarnate : God takes our flesh, and he useth that as an 
instrument whereby to act ; he was flesh to suffer, as he was 
spirit to satisfy, for our sins. Methinks I might challenge un- 
belief, and bid it come forth ; let it appear, if it dare, before 
this consideration : what, is not God incarnate, enough to satisfy 
thy conscience ? Come nigh, hear the voice of Christ inviting : 
Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden with sin. 
And, Oh ! let these rich and glorious openings of the heart of Christ 
overcome thy heart. What if God should have done no more 
than this ! Had he only looked down from heaven, and hearing 
sinners cry out, O wo, wo unto us for ever ! we have broken God's 
law, incurred the penalty, damned our own souls ; O who should 
deliver us ? Who will save us from the wrath to come ? In this 
case, if God hearing sinners thus crying out ; had he, I say, 
only looked down and told them, I will pardon your sins ; I made 
the law, and will dispense with it ; fear not, I have the keys of 
life and death : what soul would not have been raised up, even 
from the bottom of hell at this very voice ? I know a poor soul 
would have scrupled at this, and have said. What then should 
become of infinite justice ? But, to remove all controversies, 
God hath not only spoken from heaven, but he himself is come 
down from heaven to speak unto us. O see this miracle of 
mercy ! God is come down in flesh, he is come down as a 
price j he himself will pay himself according to all the demands 

238 Looking unto Jesus. 

of his justice ; and all this done, now he offers and tenders 
himself to thy soul. 

O my soul, why shouldst thou fear to cast thyself upoii thy 
God ? I know thy objection of vileness : notwithstanding all 
thy vileness, God himself offers himself to lead thee by the hand, 
and to remove all doubts ; God himself hath put a price sufficient 
in the hands of justice ; or if yet thou fearest to come to God, 
why come then to thy own flesh ; go to Christ, as having thy 
own nature ; it is he that calls thee. What can be said more to 
draw on thy trembling heart ! If God himself, and God so fit- 
ted and qualified, as I may say, will not allure, must not men 
die and perish in unbelief ? What ! O my soul, is God come 
down so low to thee ? and dost thou now stand qxiestioning whe- 
ther thou shouldst go or come to him ? What i^ this but to say. 
All that God is, or does, or says, is too little to persuade me to 
faith ? I cannot tell ; but one would think that unbelief should 
be strangled, quite slain, upon this consideration. All this, O 
my soul, thou hearest in the gospel : there is Christ incarnate 
set forth to the life ; there is Christ suing thy love, and oflfering 
himself as thy beloved in thy own nature ; there it is written, 
that God is come down in flesh, with an olive branch of eternal 
peace in his hand, and bids you all be witness he is not come to 
destroy, but to save. Oh that this encouragement might be of 
force to improve Christ's glorious design to the supplying of all 
thy wants, and to the making up of all thy losses ! Believe, Oh, 
believe thy part in Christ incarnate. 

Sect. VI. — Of Loving Jesus in that respect. 

Let us love Jesus, as carrying on the great work of our 
salvation at his first coming or incarnation. O my soul, canst 
thou possibly light on any object more attractive than the incar- 
nation of Jesus Christ ? If love be the loadstone of love, what 
an attractive is this before thee ! Methinks the very sight of 
Christ incarnate is enough to ravish thee with the apprehension 
of his infinite goodness. See how he calls out, or, as it were, 
draws out the soul to union, vision, and participation of his 
glory ! O come and yield thyself up unto him : give him 
thyself, and conform all thy affections and actions to his will. 
O love him, not with a divided, but with all thy heart. 

But to excite this love, I shall only propound the object, 
which will be argument enough. Love causeth love : now as 
God's first love to man was in making man like himself, so his 
second great love was in making himself like to man. Stay then 
a while upon this love ; for I take it, this is the greater love of 
the two. The evangelist expresseth it thus, God so loved the 
world, that he gave his only begotten Son ; he gave him to be 

Looking unto Jesus, 239 

incarnate, to be made flesh, and to suffer death 5 but the ex- 
tension of his love Hes in that expression, he so loved. So ! 
how ? why, so fully, so freely, as no tongue can tell, no heart 
can think. 

It is usually said, that it is a greater love of God to save a 
soul, than to make a world ; and I think it was a greater love of 
God to take our nature, than simply to save our souls : for a 
king to dispense with the law, and by his own prerogative to 
save a murderer from the gallows, is not such an act of love and 
mercy as to take the murderer's clothes, and to wear them as 
his richest livery ? Why, God in taking our nature, hath done 
thus, and more than thus : he would not save us by his mere 
prerogative, but he takes our clothes, our flesh, and in that flesh 
he personates us, and in that flesh he will die for us, that we 
might not die, but live through him for evermore. Surely this 
was love, that God will be no more God, as it were, simply, but 
he will take up another nature, rather than the brightness of his 
glory shall undo our souls. 

It will not be amiss (whilst I am endeavouring to draw a line 
of God's love in Christ from first to last in saving souls) that 
here we look back a little, and summarily contract the passages 
of love from that eternity before all worlds unto this present. 

1 . God had an eternal design to discover his infinite love to 
some besides himself. Oh, the wonder of this ! Was there any 
necessity of such a discovery ? Though God was one, and in 
that respect alone, yet God was not solitary ; in that eternity 
within his own essence there were three divine Persons, and 
betwixt them there was a blessed communication of love. Though 
in that eternity their was no creature to whom these three per- 
sons could communicate their love ; yet was there a glorious 
communication and breaking out of love from one to another. 
Before there was a world, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost did 
infinitely glorify themselves, t/oh7i xvii. 5. What need then was 
there of the discovery of God's love to any one besides himself ? 
only thus was the pleasure of God ; JEven so, Father, for so it 
seemed good in thy sight. Such was the love of God, that it 
would not contain itself within that infinite ocean of himself, but 
it would needs have rivers and channels, into which it might run 
and overflow. 

2. God, in prosecution of his design, creates a world of crea- 
tures ; some rational, and only capable of love ; others irrational, 
and serviceable to that one creature, which he makes the top of 
the whole creation ; then it was that he set one man, Adam, as 
a common person, to represent the rest ; to him he gives a])un- 
dance of glorious qualifications, and him he sets over all the 
work of his hands. If we should view the excellency of this 
creature, either in the outward or inner man, who would not 
wonder ? His body had its excellency, which made the psalmist 

240 Looking unto Jesus. 

say, / will praise thee, for I am fearfully aiid ivonderfully 
7nade, and curioiisly wrought in the lowest parts of the earth, 
Psalm cxxxix. 14. It is a speech borrowed from those who 
work arras-work : the body of man is a piece of curious tapestry, 
consisting of skin, bones, muscles, sinews, and the like. What 
a goodly thing the body of man was before the fall, may be 
guessed from the excellent gifts found in the bodies of some men 
since the fall. If all these were but joined in one, as certainly 
they were in Adam, what a rare body would such a one be ? But 
what was this body in comparison of that soul ? The soul was it 
that was especially made after the image of God : the soul was it 
that was tempered in the same mortar with the heavenly spirits : 
the soul was God's sparkle, a beam of his divine glory, a ray or 
emanation of God himself : as man was the principal part of the 
creation, so the soul was the principal part of man. Here Avas it 
that God's love and glory were centred. Here was it that 
God's love fixed itself in a special manner, whence flowed that 
communion of God with Adam, and that familiarity of Adam 
with God. 

3. Within a while, this man, the object of God's love, fell 
away from God, and as he fell, so all that were in him, even the 
whole world, fell together with him ; and hereupon God's face 
was hid. Not a sight of him but in flaming fire, ready to seize 
on the sons of men. And yet God's love would not thus leave 
the object : he had yet a further reach of love, and out of this 
dark cloud he lets fall some glimpses of another discovery : these 
glimpses were sweet ; but, alas ! they were so dark that very few 
could make any comfortable application of them ; but by degrees 
God hints it out more, he points it out by types and shadows, 
he makes some model of it by outward ceremonies, and yet so 
dark, that in four thousand years men were but guessing and 
hoping through promises for a manifestation of God's love. This 
is the meaning of the apostle, who tells us of the mystery that 
was hid from ages and from getierations, hut now is inade mani- 
fest to his saints. This love of God was hid in the breast of 
God from the sons of men for an age, so that they knew 'not 
what to make of this great design : I speak of the generality of 
men ; for in respect of some particulars, the Lord made his love 
clear to them ; and still the nearer to Christ, the clearer and 
clearer was the covenant of grace. 

4. At last, God fully opens himself ; in the fulness of time, 
God takes the flesh of those poor sinners which he had so loved, 
and joins it to himself, "and calls it Christ, a Saviour. Now was 
it that God descended, and lay in the womb of a virgin ; now 
was it that he is born as we are born ; now was it that he joined 
our flesh so nigh to himself, as that there is a communication of 
properties betwixt them both; that being attributed to God 
which is proper to flesh, as to be born, to suft'er ) and that being 

Looking unto Jesus. 241 

attributed to flesh which is proper to God^ as to create^ to re- 
deem. Who can choose but wonder^ that God should be made 
flesh, and dwell amongst us ? that flesh should infinitely pro- 
voke God, and yet God, in the same flesh, should be infinitely 
pleased ? that God should veil himself, and darken his glory 
with our flesh, and yet unveil at the same time the deepest and 
darkest of his designs in a comfortable way to our souls ? O my 
soul! how shouldsl thou contain thyself within thyself? how 
shouldst thou but leap out of thyself, if I may so speak, as one 
that is lost in the admiration of this love ? Surely God never 
manifested himself in such a strain of love as tiiis before. 

Well, hitherto we have followed the passages of his love, and 
now we see it at full-sea. If any thing will beget our love to 
God, surely Christ incarnate will do it. Come then, O my soul, 
I cannot but call on thee to love thy Jesus ; and to provoke thy 
love, fix thy eye on this lovely object. Draw yet a little nearer ; 
consider what an heart of love is in this design i God is in thy 
own nature, to take upon him all the miseries of thy nature. 

Oh ! my heart, art thou yet cold in thy love to Jesus Christ ? 
Canst thou love him but a little, who hath loved thee so much ? 
How should I then but complain of thee to Christ ! and for 
thy sake beg hard of God : O thou sweet Jesus, that clothest 
thyself with the clouds as with a garment, and now clothest 
thyself with the nature of a man ; Oh ! that nothing but thy- 
self might be dear unto me, because it so pleased thee to vilify 
thyself for my sake. 

Sect. VII. — Of Joying in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us joy in Jesus, as carrying on the great work of our 
salvation for us at his incarnation. If it be so, that by our de- 
sire, and hope, and faith, and love, we have reached the object 
which our souls pant after, how should we but joy and delight 
therein ? The end of our motion is to attain quiet and rest ; now 
what is joy, but a sweet and delightful tranquillity of mind, 
resting in the fruition of good ? What ! hast thou in some mea- 
sure attained the fi-uition of Christ, as God incarnate, in thy 
soul ? It is then time to joy in Jesus ; it is then time to keep a 
sabbath of tliy thoughts, and to be quiet and calm in thy spirit. 
But you will say, how should this be before we come to heaven ? 
I answer, there is not indeed perfection of joy whilst we are 
here, because there is no perfection of union on this side heaven ; 
but so far as union is, our joy must be. Examine the grounds 
of thy hope, and the actings of thy faith, and if thou art but 
satisfied in them, then lead up thy joy 3 here is matter for it to 
work upon : if thou canst rejoice in any thing, rejoice in the 
Lord ; and again I say, rejoice. 
9. 2 H 

242 Looking unto Jesus, 

Is there not cause ? What is the meaning of the gospel of 
Christ ? What is gospel, hut good spell, or good tidings ? And 
wherein lies the good tidings, according to its eminency ? Is it 
not in the glorious incarnation of the Son of God ? ' Behold, I 
bring you a gospel,' so it is in the original ; or, behold^ I bring 
you good tidings of great joy , which shall be to all people ; for 
unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which 
is Christ the Lord. The birth of Christ is the comfort of com- 
forts, and the sweetest balm that ever was. O my soul, what 
ails thee ? Why art thou cast down and disquieted within me ? 
Is it because thou art a sinner ? Why, unto thee is born a 
Saviour; his name is Saviour, and therefore Saviour, because 
he will save his people from their sins. Come then, and bring 
out thy sins, and weigh them to the utmost aggravation, and take 
in every circumstance both of law and gospel, and set but 
this in the other scale, that unto thee is born a Saviour ; surely 
all thy iniquities will seem lighter than vanity, yea, they will be 
as nothing in comparison thereof : 3Iy soul doth magnify the 
Lord, said Mary, and my sj)irit rejoiceth in God my Saviour. 
Her soul and her spirit within her rejoiced at this birth of Christ. 
There is cause that every soul and every spirit should rejoice, 
that hath any interest in this birth of Christ. O my soul, how 
shouldst thou but rejoice, if thou wilt consider these parti- 
culars : 

1. God himself is come down into the world. Because it was 
impossible for thee to come to liini, he is come to thee. This 
consideration made the prophet cry out. Rejoice greatly, O thou 
daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy 
King comet h unto thee: he is called a King, and therefore he is 
able; and he is thy King, and therefore he is willing: but in 
that thy King cometh unto thee, here is the marvellous love of 
God in Christ. Kings do not usually come to wait upon their 
subjects; it is well if poor subjects may come to them. Oh! 
but see the great King of heaven and earth, the King of kings, 
and Lord of lords, stooping, and bowing the heavens, come down 
to thee ! Surely this is good tidings of great joy, and therefore ^ 
rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ! 

2. God is come down in flesh. He hath laid aside, as it were, 
his own glory, whilst he converseth vvdth thee. When God ma- 
nifested himself on mount Sinai, he came down in thunder and 
lightning ; and if now he had appeared in thunder and lightning, 
if now he had been guarded with an innumerable company of 
angels, all having their swords of justice drawn, well might poor 
souls have trembled, and have run into corners ; for who could 
ever be able to endure his coming in this way? But God is 
come down in flesh, he hath made his appearance as a man, as 
one of us, and there is not in this regard the least distance be- 
twixt him and us; surely this is fuel for joy to feed upon. O 

Looking unto Jesus, 243 

why should God come down so suitably^, so lowly^ as in our 
nature, if he would have thy poor soul to be afraid of him? 
Doth not tliis very design intend consolation to thy soul ? O 
gather up thy spirit, anoint thy heart with the oil of gladness. 
See, God himself is come down in flesh to live amongst us ! he 
j^rofesseth he will have no other life but amongst the sons of 
men. See what a sweet way of famiharity and intercourse is 
made betwixt God and us. 

3. God hath taken on him our nature, that his godhead may 
flow out in all manner of sweetness upon our hearts. If God 
had come down in flesh, only to have been seen of us, it had 
been a wonderfid condescension : If I have found favour in thy 
eyes, said Moses, shew me the way that I may knoiv thee : but 
to come down in flesh, not only to be seen, but to dispatch the 
great business of our soul's salvation, here is comfort indeed: 
with what joy should we draw water out of this well of sal- 

O my soul, thou art daily busy in eyeing this and that ; but 
above all know, that the fulness of God lies in Christ incarnate, 
to be emptied upon thee. This was the meaning of Christ's 
taking upon him flesh, that through his flesh he might convey to 
thee whatsoever is in himself as God. As for instance, God in 
himself is good, and gracious, and powerful, and all-sufficient, 
and merciful, and what not ? Now by his being in flesh, he con- 
veys all this to thee. Observe this for thy eternal comfort; God 
in and through the flesh makes all his attributes and glory ser- 
viceable to thy soul. 

4. This discovering Christ incarnate is the first opening of all 
God's heart and glory unto the sons of men: and from this we 
may raise a world of comfort ; for if God begins so gloriously, 
how will he end ? If God be so full of love, as to come down 
in flesh now in this world, Oh what matter of hope is laid up 
before us, of what God will be to us in that world to come ? If 
the glory of God be let out to our souls so fully at first, what 
glorious openings of all the glory of God will be let out to our 
souls at last ? Christians 1 what do you think will God do with 
us, or bring us unto, when we shall be with him in heaven ! You 
see now he is manifested in flesh, and he hath laid out a world 
of glory in that : but the apostle tells us of another manifesta- 
tion, for we shall see him as he is; he shall at last be manifest 
in himself: Naw we see through a glass darkly, but then face 
to face; noiu we know in part, but then we shall know eveii as 
we are known. 

O my soul, weigh all these passages, and make an applica- 
tron of them to thyself; and then tell me if yet tliou hist not 
matter enough to raise up thy heart, and fill it with joy urfspeak- 
able and full of glory. When the wise men saw but the star of 
Christ, they rejoiced with an exceeding great joy; how much 

244 Lookins: tinto Jesus. 


more when they saw Christ himself ? Your father Abraham, 
said Christ to the Jews^ rejoiced to see my day, and he saiv it, 
and ivas glad. He saw it indeed but afar off^ with the eyes of 
faith 5 they before Christ had the promise^ but we see the per- 
formance : how then should we rejoice ! How glad shouldst thou 
be^ O my soul^ at the sight of Christ's incarnation ? If the angels 
of God^ 3 ea, if the multitudes of angels, could sing for joy at his 
birth. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good 
luill toivards men ; how much more shouldst thou, whom it con- 
cerns more than the angels, join with them in concert, and sing 
for joy this joyful song, of good will towards men? Awake, 
awake, O my soul, awake, awake, utter a song ! tell over these 
passages, that God is come down into the world; that God is 
come down in flesh; in order to thy reconciliation; that 
God is come down in the likeness of man, that he may bring 
thee up into the likeness of God; and that all these are but 
the first openings of the grace, and goodness, and glory, 
of God in Christ unto thy soul: and Oh, what work will 
these make in thy soul, if the Spirit come in, who is the 
Comforter ! 

Sect. VIII. — Of Calling on Jesus as carrying on the great 
TFork of our Salvation in his Birth. 

Let us call on Jesus, or on God the Father in and through 
Jesus. Now this calling on Jesus contains prayer and praise. 
I . We must pray that all these transactions of Jesus at his first 
coming may be our's; and is not here encouragement for our 
prayers? This very point of Christ's incarnation opens a door 
of rich entrance into the presence of God: we may call it a 
blessed portal into heaven. This is that new and living way 
which he hath consecrated for lis through the veil, that is to say, 
his flesh. With what boldness may we now enter into the holiest, 
and draw near unto the throne of grace ! Why, Christ is incar- 
nate, God is come down in the flesh ; though his deity may con- 
found us, if we should immediately and solely apply ovirselves 
unto it, yet his humanity comforts our faint and feeble souls. 
God in his humility animates our souls to come unto him, and to 
seek of him whatsoever is needful for us. Go then to Christ; 
away, away, O my soul, to Jesus, or to God the Father in and 
through Jesus, and .desire that the fruit, the benefit, of his con- 
ception, birth, and of the wonderful union of the two natures of 
Christ, may be all thine. What ! dost thou hope in Jesus, and 
believe thy part in this incarnation of Christ ? Why then, pray 
in hop'e, and pray in faith. What is prayer but the stream and 
river of faith, an issue of the desire of that which I joyfully 
beheve? Thou, O Lord God of hosts, God of Israel, hast 

Looking unto Jesus. 245 

revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house, 
therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer 
unto thee. 

2. We must praise. This was the special duty practised by 
all saints and angels at Christ's birth ; Blessed he the Lord God 
of Israel, said Zachary, for he hath visited and redeemed his 
jieojjle. — And, Glory to God in the highest, said the heavenly 
host : only one angel had before brought the news. Unto you is 
born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ 
the Lord; but immediately after there were many to sing praises; 
not only six cherubims, as Isaiah saw ; not only four and twenty 
elders, as John saw ; but a multitude of angels, like armies, 
that by their hallelujahs gave glory to God. O my soul, do 
thou keep concert with those angels : O sing praises ! sing 
praises. Never was the like case since the first creation ; never 
was the wisdom, truth, justice, mercy, and goodness of God so 
manifest before. I shall never forget that last speech of a dying 
saint, " Blessed be God for Jesus Christ!" O my soul, living 
and dying, let this be thought on ; What ! Christ incarnate for 
me ? Why bless the Lord, O my soul j and ail that is within 
me, bless his holy name 

Sect. IX. — Of Conforming to Jesus in that respect. 

Let us conform to Jesus, in reference to this great transaction 
of his incarnation. Looking to Jesus is the cause of this ; the 
sight of God will make us like to God, and the sight of Chrtet 
will make us like to Christ ; for as a looking-glass cannot be ex- 
pqsed to the sun, but it will shine like the same, so God receives 
none to contemplate his face, but he transforms them into his own 
likeness ; and Christ hath none that dive into these depths of his 
glorious incarnation, but they carry along with them sweet im- 
pressions of an abiding and transforming nature. Come then, 
let us once more look on Jesus in his incarnation, that we may 
conform to Jesus in that respect. 

But wherein lies this conformity to Jesus ? I answer, in these 
and the like particidars : 

1 . Christ was conceived in Mary by the Holy Ghost -, so must 
Christ be conceived in us by the same Holy Ghost. To this 
purpose is the seed of the word cast in, and principles of grace 
are by the Holy Ghost infused; he hath begotten us by the 
word, saith the apostle, James i. 18. God hath appointed 
no other means to convey supernatural life, but after this 
manner. Where no preaching is, there is a worse judgment 
than that of Egypt, where there was one dead in every family. 
By the word and spirit the seeds of all grace are sown in 
the heart, and the heart closing with it, Christ is conceived in 
the heart. 

246 Looking unto Jesus. 

2. Christ was sanctified in the Virgin's womb ; so must we be 
sanctified in om'selves: Be ye holy as I am holy. Souls rege- 
nerate must be sanctified: Everyman, saith the apostle, that 
hath this hope in kirn, purifieth himself, even as he is pure, I 
know our hearts are, as it were, seas of corruptions, yet we 
must daily cleanse them. Christ coidd not have been a Saviour 
for us, unless first he had been sanctified ; neither can we be fit 
members unto him, unless we be purged from our sins, and 
sanctified by his Spirit. To this purpose is that of the apostle ; 
I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present 
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. In the 
Old Testament they did kill beasts, presenting them unto the Lord ; 
now we are to mortify the flesh with the affections and lusts; all 
our inordinate passions, all our evil affections of anger, love, joy, 
hatred, are to be crucified, and all that is our's must be given 
up to God : there must be no love in us but of God, and in re- 
ference to God; no joy in us, but in God, and in reference to 
God ; no fear in us, but of God, and in reference to God ; and 
thus of all other the like passions. O that we would look to 
Jesus, and be like unto Jesus in this thing ! if there be any ho- 
nour, any happiness, it is in this : we are not fit for any holy duty, 
or any rehgious approach unto God, without sanctification ; This 
is the will of God, saith the apostle, even your sanctification. 
All the commands of God tend to this ; and for the comfort of us 
Christians, we have, under the gospel, promises of sanctification 
to be in a larger measure made out unto us : In that day there 
shall be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord; — 
yea, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness unto the 
Lord. Every vessel under Christ and the gospel must have 
written upon it Holiness to the Lord: thus our spiritual ser- 
vices, figured by the ancient ceremonial services of the Jewish 
dispensation, are set out by a larger measure of holiness than 
Avas in former times. 

3. Christ the Son of man, is by nature the son of God ; so 
we, poor sons of men, must, by grace, become the sons of God, 
even of the same God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ : 
For this end God sent his own Son, made of a woman, that we 
might receive the adoption of sons. — Wherefore thoua rt no more 
a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through 
Christ. This intimates, that what relation Christ hath unto 
the Father by nature, we should have the same by grace : by 
nature, he is the only begotten Son of the Father ; — and' as 
many as received him, saith the apostle John, to them gave he 
pmver to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on 
his name. 

4. Christ the Son of God was yet the son of man : there was 
in him a duplicity of natures really distinguished ; and in this 
respect the greatest majesty, and the gi-eatest humility, that ever 

Looking unto Jesus, 247 

was, are found in Christ: so we, though sons of God, must 
remember ourselves to be but sons of men : and our privileges 
are not so high, but our poor conditions, frailties, infirmities, 
sins, may make us low. Who was higher than the son of God ? 
and who was lower than the son of man ? As he is God, he is 
in the bosom of his Father ; as he is man, he is in the womb of 
his mother : as he is God, his throne is in heaven, and he fills 
all things by his immensity; as he is man, he is circumcised in a 
manger. Well, let this mind he in you, ivhich luas also in Christ 
Jesus ; ivho heing in the form of God, thought it 7io robbery to 
he equal with God ; but made himself of no reputatio7i, took 
upon him the form of a servant, and ivas made in the likeness of 
men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself: 
he that thought it no robbery to be equal with God, humbled him- 
self to become man. We should have found it no robbery to be 
equal with devils, and are we too proud to learn of God ? What 
an intolerable disproportion is this, to behold an humbled God, 
and a proud man ! Shall the son of God be thus humbled for 
us, and shall not we be humbled for ourselves ? I say, for our- 
selves, that deserve to be cast down among the lowest worms. 
What are we in our best condition on earth ? Had we the best 
natures, purest conversations, happiest endowments, pride over- 
throws all ; it thrust Nebuchadnezzar out of Babel, proud Saul 
out of his kingdom, proud Lucifer out of heaven. Poor man ! 
how ill it becomes thee to be proud, when God himself is 
become thus humble ! Learn of me, saith Christ, for I am 
7neek and lowly in spirit, and you shall find rest unto your 

5. The two natures of Christ, though really distinguished, yet 
were inseparably joined ; so must our natures, tbough at great 
distance from God, be inseparably joined to Christ, and thereby 
to God. I pray, saith Christ, that they all may be one, as thou, 
leather, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one hi 
us. That union of Christ's two natures, we call an hypostatical 
union -, and this union of Christ with us, we call a mystical and 
spiritual union ; yet though it be mystical and spiritual, this hin- 
ders not but that it is a true, real union, whereby the believer is 
united to the Son of God. O what a privilege is this ; a poor 
believer, be he never so mean a man or miserable in the eye of 
the world, yet is one with Christ, as Christ is one with the Fa- 
ther. Our felloiv ship is luith the Father, and ivith his Son Jesus 
Christ. Every saint is Christ's fellow ; there is a kind of pro- 
portion between Christ and his saints in every thing ; if we take 
a view of all Christ, what he is in his person, in his glory, in 
his spirit, in his graces, in his Father's love, and in the access 
he hath to the Father, in all these we are, in a sort, fellows with 
Christ ; only with this difference, that Christ hath the pre-emi- 
nence in all things : all comes from the Father, first to Christ j 

248 Looking unto Jesus. 

Christ by his union hath all good things without measure, but 
we by our union have them only in measure, as it pleaseth him 
to distribute. But herein if we resemble Christ, whether in his 
union with the Father, or in his union of the two natures in one 
person of a Mediator, if by looking on Christ, we come to this 
likeness, to be one with Christ, O what a privilege is this ! 
Had we not good warrant for so high a challenge, it could be no 
less than a blasphemous arrogance to lay claim to the royal blood 
of heaven ; but the Lord is pleased to dignify a poor worm, that 
every believer may truly say, I am one with Jesus Christ, and 
Jesus Christ is one with me. 

Nay, yet more, my sufferings are Christ's, Col. i. 24. and 
Christ's sufferings are mine, Rom. viii. V] . I am in Christ an 
heir of glory, Rom. viii. V] . O my Christ, my Ufe, what am I, 
or what is my father's house, that thou shoiddst come down into 
me ? that thou shouldst be conceived in my poor sinful heart, 
that thou shouldst give my soul a new, a spiritual life, a life be- 
gun in grace, and ending in eternal glory ! I shall not reckon 
up any more privileges of this union. Methinks I should not 
need. If I tell you of grace and glory, what can I more ? 
Glory is the highest pitch, and Christ tells you concerning it. 
The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they 
may he one, even as we are one. Ah, my brethren, to be so like 
Christ, as to be one with Christ, it is near indeed ! O let us 
conform to Christ in this : he is one with our nature in an hypo- 
statical, personal union ; let us be one with him in a spiritual, 
holy, and mystical union. If God be not in our persons as truly, 
though not as fully as in our nature, we have no particular com- 
fort from this design of his personal, hypostatical, and wonder- 
ful union. 

6. When Christ was born, all Jerusalem was troubled ; so 
when this new birth is, we must look that much commotion and 
much division of heart will be. The devil could not be cast out 
of the possessed person, but he would tear and torment him. 
We cannot expect that Christ should expel Satan from the do- 
minion he hath over us, but he will be sure to put us to great 
fear and terror. Besides, not only the evil spirit, but God's 
Spirit is for a while a spirit of bondage. There are many pre- 
tenders to the grace of God in Christ, but they cannot abide to 
hear of any pains in this new birth. Oh, this is legal ! But I 
pray thee tell me, dost thou know any woman bring forth in her 
sleep, or in a dream, without feeling any pain ? And how then 
should the heart of man be thus changed and moulded without 
several pangs and troubles ; ^?^ sorrow shall thou bring forth 
children : so it is, and must be, in our spiritual birth ; there is 
usually (I will not gay always, to such or such a degree) many 
pangs and troubles, there is many a throb, and many a heart- 
ache, ere Christ can be formed in us. 

Looking unto Jesus. 249 

7. Christ after his birth did and suffered many things in his 
childhood; so should we learn to bear God's yoke in our youth. 
O ye parents, do your duties, and in that respect imitate Joseph 
and Mary in their care of the holy child Jesus: and O ye 
children, do your duties, and imitate Jesus, the blessedest pat- 
tern that ever was, that as you grow in stature, you also might 
i^row in favour with God and man. 

Thus far we have looked on Jesus, as our Jesus in his incar- 
nation. Our next work is to look on Jesus carrying on the great 
work of man's salvation duringiiis life, from John's baptism until 
his dying on the cross. 




1 John i. 2. 

For the life was manifested, and we have seen it. 


Sect. I. — Of the Beginnmg of the Gosjjel. 

In this piece, as in the former, we must first lay down the 
object, and then direct you how to look to it. 

The object is Jesus carrying on the work of man's salvation 
during the time of his life. — Now in all the transactions of this 
time, we shall observe them as they were carried on successively 
in those three years and a half of his ministerial office. 

For the first year, the evangelist Mark begins thus : The 
beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God; q. d. 
the beginning of that age of the world, which the prophets 
pointed out for the time of good things to come ; or the begin- 
ning of the completion of that gospel, which, in respect of the 
promise, was from the beginning of the world. 

That now was the beginning of the gospel, appears, in that 
baptism (which was only used among the Jews, for the admission 
of heathens to their church,) is now proposed to the Jews them- 
selves ; shewing, that now they were to be transplanted into a 
9. 2 I 

250 Looking unto Jesus. 

new profession ; tliat the Gentiles and they were now to be knit 
into one church and body. Indeed the doctrine of John was of 
a different strain from the literal doctrine of the law, in the 
sense of the Jews ; for that called all for works, do this and live : 
but John called for repentance, and for the renewing of the 
mind, and for belief in him that was coming after, disclaiming 
all righteousness by the works of the law. 

Hence one observes that the evangelist Luke points out this 
year in a special manner; it was the "fifteenth year of Tiberius 
Caesar; at which time," said he^ " Pilate was governor of Judea, 
Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, Philip was tetrarch of Iturea, 
Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, and Annas and Caiaphas were 
high-priests. And then, even then, the word of God came unto 
John the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness." See how exact 
the evangelist is, that so remarkable a year of the beginning of 
the gospel might be made known to all the world. I shall 
begin the first year of Christ's life with the beginning of 
John's preaching, which was six months current before the 
ministry of Christ. 

Sect. II. — Of the Preaching of John Baptist. 

Now was it that the gospel began to dawn ; and John, like 
the morning star springing from the windows of the east, fore- 
tells the approach of the Sun of righteousness : now was it that 
he laid the first rough stone of the building in mortification, self- 
denial, and doing violence to our natural affections. I read not 
that ever John wrought a miracle, but good works convince 
more than miracles themselves. To this purpose, I suppose, 
John the Baptist spent his time in prayer, meditation, and collo- 
quies with God, eating flies arjd wild honey in the wilderness, 
that he might be made a fit instrument of preparation of the 
gospel of Christ. 

John's sermons were to those of Jesus as a preface to a 
discourse : — 

His usual note was repentance, the axe to the root, the fan 
to the floor, the chaff to the fire. As his raiment was rough, so 
was his tongue ; and thus must the way be made for Christ, in 
obstinate hearts. Plausibility, or pleasing of the flesh, is no fit 
preface to regeneration. If the heart of man had continued 
upright, Christ might have been entertained without contra- 
diction ; but now violence must be offered to our corruptions, 
ej-e we can make room for gi'ace. If the great way-maker do 
not cast down hills and raise up valleys in the bosoms of men, 
there is po passage for Christ ; never mil Christ come into that 
soul, where the herald of repentance, either in one motive or 
other, hath not been before him. 

Shall we hear that sermon that John preached, in his own 

Looking u7ito t/esus. 251 

words ? Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. These 
are the words when he first begun to preach the gospel of Christ ; 
and mdeed we find Christ himself doth preach the same doctrine, 
in the same words : Jesus began to preacli, and to say, Repent ; 
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, 

O how seasonable is this sermon to Christians ! Hath not the 
kingdom of heaven approached unto us ? Take the kingdom of 
heaven for the kingdom of glory, are we not near to the door of 
glory, to the confines of eternity ? What is our life, but a vapour 
that appeareth for a little time, and after it vanisheth away? 
We know not but ere the sun have run one round, our souls may 
be in that world of souls, and so either in heaven or hell. — Or 
take the kingdom of heaven for the church of Christ, and what 
expectation have we now of the flourishing state of Christ's 
church here upon earth ? Then shall the children of Israel and 
of Judah he gathered together, for great shall he the day of 
Jezreel, Hos. i. 11. A time is at hand, that Israel and Judah 
shall be called together, that the fulness of the Gentiles shall 
come in; and what is this but the great day of Jezreel? Then 
what manner of persons ought we to be ; how spiritual, how 
heavenly-minded ! Arise, arise, shake off thy dust, for thy light 
is coming, and the glory of the liOrd is rising upon thee. — But 
I will not dwell on this; my design is to consider of Jesus, and 
of the transactions of Jesus in reference to our souls' health : 
now, John's sermons were only a preparative to the manifesta- 
tion of Jesus. 

Sect. III. — Of the Baptism of Jesus, 

He that formerly was circumcised, would now be baptized; 
he was circumcised to sanctify his church that was, and he was 
baptized to sanctify his church that should be ; we find him in 
both testaments opening a way into heaven. This was the first 
appearing of Christ in reference to his ministerial office ; he that 
lay hid in the counsel of God from all eternity, and he that lay 
hid in the womb of his mother for the space of forty weeks, and 
he that lay hid in Nazareth for the space of thirty years, now 
at last begins to shew himself to the world: he comes from 
Galilee to Jordan, to John, to be baptized of him. Now was 
the full time come that Jesus took leave of his mother and his 
trade, to begin his Father's work, in order to the redemption of 
the world. — For the clearer understanding of Christ's baptism, 
we shall examine these particulars : 

1 .. What reason had Christ to be baptized ? 

2. How was it that John knew him to be Christ ? 

3. Why was it that the Holy Ghost descended on Jesus? 

I . What reason had Christ to be baptized ? We find John 
himself wondering at this ; / have need to he baptized of thee, 

252 Looking unto tiesus. 

and earnest thou to nief Many reasons are given for Christ's 
baptism: (1.) That he might bear witness to the preaching and 
baptism of John^ and might reciprocally receive a testimony 
from John. (2.) That by his own baptism, he might sanctify the 
Avater of baptism to his own chiirch. (3.) That he might fulfil all 
righteousness \ not only the moral, but the figurative, ceremonial, 
and typical. Some think, that the ceremony which our Saviour 
looked at in these words, was their washing of the priests in 
water, when they entered into their function : And Aaron and 
his sons thou shalt bring to the door of the tabernacle of the 
congregation^ and shalt ivash them ivith luater. And surely this 
was the main reason of Christ's being baptized, that by this bap- 
tism he might be installed into his ministerial office. 

2. How did John know him to be Christ ? the Baptist speaks 
expressly, I knew him not, but he that sent me to baptize with 
water, the same said unto me, On whomsoever thou shalt see the 
Spirit descending, and abiding on him, the same is he that bap- 
tizeth luifh the^ Holy Ghost. Now, this descent of the Holy 
Ghost was not till after baptism ; how then did he know him to 
be Christ? 

It is not unlikely but John knew Christ at his first arrival by 
revelation. Thus Samuel knew Saul; and thus John might 
know Christ. That knowledge he had after baptism, was a fur- 
ther confirmation of that knowledge that he had before baptism, 
and that not so much for his own sake, as for the people's ; / 
saw, a7id bare record, that this is tlie Son of God. 

3. Why was it that the Holy Ghost descended on Jesus ? I 
answer, For these reasons, 1. That John the Baptist might be 
satisfied ; for this token was given John, when he first began to 
preach, That upon whom he should see the Spirit descending 
and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the 
Holy Ghost. (2.) That Christ himself might be anointed or in- 
stalled to his function : The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, 
because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidi?igs unto 
the meek* As Aaron and his sons were anointed with material 
oil, when they entered into their offices ; so Christ was by the 
Spirit (as it were) anointed, that so he might receive this con- 
secration and institution for the office that he was to enter on, 
viz. the preaching and ministry of the gospel. 

4. Why in the form of a dove, rather than some other form ? 
— Perhaps, 

(1.) To shew Christ's innocency, purity, and love. (2.) To 
answer the figure in Noah's flood; for as a dove at that time 
brought tidings of the abating of the waters, so now it brings 
tidings of the abating of God's wrath,- upon the preaching of the 

Observe, the baptisra we use, and the baptism of John, arc in 
nature and substance one and the same. 1. John preached the 

Looking unto */esus. 253 

baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins. They have 
therefore the same doctrine, and the same promise. 2. The bap- 
tism ministered by John pertained to the fulfiUing of all righte- 
ousness. And Luke testifies, that the publicans and people 
being baptized of John, they justified God. But the Pharisees 
despised the counsel of God against themselves, and were not 
baptized. Only herein lies the difference, that John baptized in 
Christ that should die and rise again; but we baptize in the 
name of Christ that is dead, and risen again. It is a difference 
in respect of circumstance, but not of the substance : Oh, take 
heed of throwing away the baptism of water, upon the pretence 
of baptism only with fire ! Christ, we see, hath joined them 
together, and let no man separate them asunder: Christ him- 
self was baptized with fire ; and ^et Christ himself was bap- 
tized with water. 

Sect. IV. — Of the Fasting and Temptatio7i of Christ. 

No sooner is Christ come out of the water of baptism, but he 
enters into the fire of temptation. No sooner is the Holy Spirit 
descended upon his head, but he is led by the same Holy Spirit 
to be tempted in the wilderness. No sooner doth (lod say, 
2Vds is my Son; but Satan puts it to the question, If thou be 
the Son of God? All these are but Christ's preparatives to his 
prophetical office. In the former, Christ was prepared by a 
solemn consecration; now he is further prepared by Satan's 
temptation. In the same method as the evangelist lays it down. 
Matt. iv. 1 — 12. I shall proceed. Then was Jesus ledupofthe 
Sjririt into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. In the 
whole, we may observe these several branches : First, the place 
where the temptation was, the wilderness ; Secondly, the cause 
of Christ's going into the wilderness, the Spirit's leading; Thirdly, 
the end of the Spirit's leading Christ into the vrilderness, to be 
tempted of the devil; Fourthly, the time and occasion of the 
devil's onset, at the end of forty days^ fast, and when he was an 
hungered ; Fifthly, the temptations themselves, which are in 
number, three ; to which are added as many victories, which 
Christ had over the tempter; who therefore left him, and so the 
angels came and ministered unto him. — I shall begin first with 
the place where the temptation was ; to wit, in the wilderness. 

This wilderness was not that same wilderness, or not that 
same place of the wilderness, wherein John Baptist lived. Matt. 
iii. 1. for that wherein John Baptist lived, was a place inhabited. 
There was in that place cities and towns, and a number of 
people to whom John preached ; but this wilderness was devoid 
of men, full of wild beasts. So saith Mark — He was tempted of 
Satan, and was with the wild beasts. As Adam, in his inno- 
cency, lived with wild beasts, and they hurt hbn not ; so Christ, 

254 Looking unto Jesus, 

the second Adam^ lives here in a wilderness with wild bea^jts, 
and has no hurt at all. He is Adam-like in his safety and secu- 
rity; above Adam in the resisting of temptation. Probably, 
during his forty days' abode, Christ was continually exercised in 
prayer and fasting : but he knew he had the great work of re- 
demption to promote; and therefore his conversation for this 
interval must be preparatory to it; in this respect, I know not 
but the wilderness might be an advantage to Christ's design : in 
this solitary place he could not but breathe out more pure inspi- 
ration. Heaven usually is more open, and God usually is more 
familiar in his visits, to such places. 

2. The cause of Christ's going into the wilderness, was, the 
Spirit's leading: Then iv as Jesus led of the Spirit into theivil- 
derness. Christ was led by the good Spirit, to be tempted by 
the evil spirit : O wonder ! that same Spirit which was one with 
the Father and the Son, that same Spirit w^hereby Christ was 
conceived, now drives him or leads him into the wilderness, to 
be tempted of the devil. Christ himself would not go into tlie 
combat uncalled, unwarranted ; how then should we poor weak- 
lings presume upon any abilities of our own ! Who dares 
grapple with the devil in his ovv'n strength ? Oh, take heed ! 
If we are to pray not to be led into temptation, much more are 
we to pray not to run into temptation before we are led: and 
yet for the comfort of God's people, if it be so that we are led — 
if by divine permission, or by an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, 
we are engaged in an action, or in a course of life, that is full of 
temptations — let us look upon it as an issue of divine providence, 
in which we must glorify God. 

3. The end of the Spirit's leading Christ into the wilderness, 
was either immediate, or remote. 1. The immediate end was, 
to be tempted of the devil : to this purpose was Christ brought 
thither, that Satan might tempt him. One would think it a very 
strange design, that the Son of God should be brought into a 
wilderness to be set on by all the devils in hell ; but in this also, 
God had another remote end, i. e. his own glory and our good. 
1. His own glory appeared in this; had not Satan tempted 
Christ, how should Christ have overcome Satan? Herein was 
the power of Christ exceedingly manifested : the devil having the 
chain let loose, lets fly at Christ with all his might; and Christ 
both overcomes him, and triumphs over him. And herein were 
the graces of Christ exceedingly manifested : how was the faith, 
patience, humility, zeal, and valour of Christ set forth; which 
they could not have been, if he had always lain quietly in garri- 
son, and never had come into the skirmish? (2.) As it was for 
his glory, so also for our good. Now we see what manner of 
adversary we have, how he fights, and how he is resisted, and 
how overcome ; now we see, the dearer we are to God, the more 
obnoxious we are to temptation; now we see that the best of 

Looking unto Jesus. 255 

saints may be tempted or allured to the worst of evils^ since 
Christ himself is solicited to infidelity, covetousness, and idolatry : 
now we see that we have not an High-priest that cannot be 
touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but such a one as was 
in all things tempted in like sort, yet without sin ; and therefore 
we may go boldly to the throne of grace, that we may receive 
mercy, and find grace in time of need. 

4. The time and occasion of the devil's onset; it was at the 
end of forty days' fast, and ivhen he luas an hungered. Moses 
fasted forty days at the delivery of the law; and Elias fasted 
forty days at the restitution of the law ; and to fulfil the time of 
both these types, Christ thinks it fit to fast forty days at the 
accomplishment of the law, and the promulgation of the gospel. 
In fasting so long, Christ manifests his almighty power ; and in 
fasting no longer^ Christ manifests the truth of his manhood, and 
of his weakness : to shew that he was man as well as Ood, and 
so a lit Mediator betwixt God and man, he would both feed and 
fast; make use of the creature, and withal fulfil hunger. — And 
now our Saviour is an hungered. This gives occasion to Satan 
to set upon him with his fierce temptations. He knows well 
what baits to fish withal, and when and how to lay them. He 
considers the temper and constitution of the person he is to 
tempt. And he observes all exterior accidents, occasions, and 

5. The temptations themselves are in number three; whereof 
the first w^as this : If thou he the Son of God, command that 
these stones be made bread. What an horrible entrance is this : 
If thou be the Son of God! No question, Satan had heard the 
glad tidings of the angel; he saw the star, and the journey and 
the offerings of the sages ; he could not but take notice of 
the gratulations of Zachary, Simeon, and Anna. And of late, he 
saw the heavens open, and heard the voice that came down from 
heaven: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 
And yet, now that he saw Christ fainting with hunger, as not 
comprehending how infirmities could consist with a godhead, he 
puts it to the question. If thou be the Son of God. Here is a 
point in which lies all our happiness : how miserable were we, if 
Christ were not indeed the Son of God? Satan strikes at the 
root, in this supposition : surely, all the work of our redemp- 
tion, and all the work of our salvation, depends upon this, that 
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. If Christ had not been the Son 
of God, how should he have ransomed the world ? How should 
he have done, or how should he have suffered, that which was 
satisfactory to his Father's wrath ? If Christ be not the Son 
of God, we are all gone; we are lost, we are undone, we are 
damned for ever. Farewell glory, farewell happiness, farewell 
heaven. If Christ be not the Son of God, we must never come 
there. Well, Satan, thou beginnest thy assault like a devil 

256 Looking unto Jesus. 

indeed : If thou he the Sojt of God; but what then ? Command 
tliat these stoties be made bread. He knew Jesus was hungry ; 
and therefore^ he invites him to eat bread only of his own 
providing, that so he might refresh his humanity, and prove his 
divinity. There is nothing more ordinary with our spiritual 
enemy, than, by occasion of want, to move us to unwaiTantable 
courses : if thou art poor, then steal ; if thou canst not rise by 
honest means, then use indirect means. I know Christ might 
as lawfully have turned stones into bread, as he turned water 
into wine; but to do this in a distrust of his Father's providence, 
to work a miracle of Satan's choice, and at Satan's bidding, it 
could not be agreeable with the Son of God. And hence Jesus 
refuseth to be relieved ; he would rather deny to manifest the 
divinity of his person, than he would do any act which had in it 
the intimation of a different spirit. O Christians! it is a sinful 
care to take evil courses to provide for our necessities. Come, 
it may be thou hast found a way to thrive, which thou couldst not 
do before. O take heed; was it not of the devil's prompting, 
to change stones into bread? sadness, into sensual comforts? 
If so, then Satan hath prevailed: alas, he cannot endure thou 
shouldst live a life of austerity, or self-denial, or mortification ; if 
he can but get thee to satisfy thy senses, and to please thy na- 
tural desires, he then hath a fair field for the battle. It were a 
thousand times better for us to make stones our meat, and tears 
our drink, than to swim in our ill-gotten goods, and in the ful- 
ness of voluptuousness. 

But what was Christ's answer ? It is written, Man shall not 
live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the 
mouth of God. 

1 . It is written. He easily could have confounded Satan by 
the power of his godhead ; but he rather chuses to vanquish him 
by the sword of the Spirit. Surely this was for our instruction. 
By this means he teacheth us how to resist, and to overcome. 
Nothing in heaven or earth can beat the forces of hell, if the 
word of God cannot do it : O then, how should we pray with 
David, Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes — and take 
not from me the words of truth; let them be my songs in the 
house of my pilgrimage — so shall I make answer to my blas- 

2. Man shall not live by bread. Wliilst we are in God's work, 
God hath made us a promise of the supply of all provisions 
necessary for us. Jesus was now in his Father's work, there- 
fore he was sure to be provided for, ^ according to God's word. 
Christians ! are we in God's service ? God will certainly give us 
bread; and till he does, we can live by the breath of his mouth, 
by the light of his countenance, by the refreshment of his pro- 
mises, by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 
Every word of God's mouth can create a grace, and every grace 

hooking unto Jestis. 2^7 

can supply two necessities, both of the body, and of the spirit. 
I remember one kept straitly in prison, and sorely threatened 
with famine : he replied, " That if he must have no bread, God 
would so provide that he should have no stomach/' If our 
stock be spent, God can lessen our necessities : if a tyrant w ill 
take away our meat, God our Father knows how to alter our feint, 
and feeble, and hungry appetites. 

The-second temptation is not so sensual; the devil sees that 
was too low for Christ, and therefore he comes again with a 
temptation something more spiritual : He sets him on a jnnnacle 
of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou he the Son of God, 
cast thyself down; for it is loritten, he shall give his angels charge 
concerning thee. He that was content to be led from Jordan 
into the wilderness, yields to be led from the wilderness to Jeru- 
salem. The wilderness was fit for a temptation arising from want, 
and Jerusalem for a temptation arising from vain-glory. 

Methinks it is a sweet contemplation of an holy divine; he 
supposed as if he had seen Christ on the highest battlements of 
the temple, and Satan standing by him with this speech in his 
mouth: ' Well then, since in the matter of nourishment thou 
wilt needs depend upon thy Father's providence ; take now a 
further trial of that providence, in thy miraculous preservation : 
cast thyself from this height; and if thou be God, now the eyes 
of all men are fixed upon thee, there cannot be devised a mure 
ready way to spread thy gloiy, and to proclaim thy deity : and 
for danger, if thou art the Son of God, there can be none; 
what can hurt him that is the Son of God?' Come, cast thy- 
self down, saith Satan : but why did not Satan cast him down ? 
He carried him up thither; and was it not more easy to throvv^ 
him down thence? O no, the devil may persuade us to a fail, 
but he cannot precipitate us without our own act; his malice i.s 
infinite, but his power is limited : he cannot do us any harm, 
but by persuading us to do it ourselves ; and therefore saith lie 
to Christ, Cast thyself doivn. 

To this Christ answers, Thou, shall not tempt the Lord thy 
God. Though it is true, that God must be trusted in, yet he 
must not be tempted; if means be allowed, we must not throw 
them away upon a pretence of God's protection. Christ kne\v 
well enough that there were ordinary descents by stairs from the 
top of the temple, and therefore he would not so tempt God a* 
to throw himself headlong. All the devils in hell could not so 
tempt Christ, as to make him tempt his Cxod. 

The third temptation is yet more horrid; the temple \<^as not 
high enough, so that Satan takes him up to the top of an ex- 
ceeding high mountain, and shews him all ihe kingdoms of the 
world, and the glory of them, saying, All these will I gif)e thee, 
if thou wilt fall doivn and worship me. In this temptation the 
devil united all his power; by an angelical power he drew into 
10. 2 K 

2»38 Looking' unto Jesus. 


one centre ail the kingdoms and glories of the worlds and made 
an admirable map of beauties, '^.\\(X represented them to the eyes 
of Jesus : he thought ambition more likely to ruin him, because 
he knew it was that which prevailed upon himself; therefore. Come, 
saith Satan, all these ivill I give thee, if thou ivilt fall doivn and 
worship nie. How ! God worship the devil ? Was ever the like 
blasphemy since the creation ? The Lamb of God, that heard 
all the former with patience, could by no means endure this : he 
commands him aAvay, and tells him. It is lur'itteii, Thou shall 
worship the Lord thy God, andhim only shall thou serve. Now 
was the devil put to flight, and, in his stead, the angels came 
and ministered unto Jesus ; i. e. after his fast they minister such 
things as his necessities required. 

O Christians ! what shall we say to this ? If Christ was thus 
tempted by Satan, what may we look for ? Sometimes it cheers 
my heart to think that Christ was tempted, because thereby he 
knows how to succour those that are tempted; and sometimes it 
affrights my soul to think that Satan durst be so bold with Jesus 
Christ. Oh what may he do with me ! how easily may he pre- 
vail against my soul ! When he came to tempt Christ, he found 
nothing in him to join with him in the temptation; but in my 
heart is a world of corruptions, and, unless the Lord prevent, I 
am quickly gone. 

Sect. V. — Of the First Manifestation of Christ, 

To manifest Christ were many witnesses. As, L From heaven 
the Father is witness : For see, saith Christ, the Father that sent 
me, hearetli ivitness of me : and the Son is witness ; for so saith 
Christ, / am one that hear witness of myself ; and though I bear 
record of myself, yet my record is true, for I know whence I 
came, and whither I go: and the Holy Ghost is witness; so 
saith Paul, 2%e Holy Ghost also is a ivitness to us; and 
to that purpose he descended like a dove, and lighted upon 
him. 2. On earth, John the Baptist is witness; for so saith 
Christ: Ye setit unto John, and he hare ivitness unto the truth; 
he came for a ivitness, to hear witness of the light, that all men 
through Christ might believe. No sooner was John confirmed 
by a sign from heaven that Jesus was the Christ, but he imme- 
diately manifests it to the Jews, and first to the priests and Le- 
vites sent from the Sanhedrim; and secondly:, to all the people 
he professeth, wheresoever he saw Jesus Christ, This is he; yea, 
he pohits him out with his finger. Behold the Lamb of God, that 
take^. away the sins of the ivorld. Then he shev/s him to Andrew, 
Simon Peter's brother, and then to another disciple with him, 
ivho both followed Jesus, and abode with him all tiiglit. Andrew 
brings his brother Simon with him. Then Jesus himself finds 
out Philip of Bethsaida, and bade him follow him ; and Philip 

hooking nnto tlesus. 259 

finds out Nathanael, and bids him come and see, for the Messiah 
was found. Thus we see no less than five disciples found out at 
first, which must be so many witnesses of Jesus Christ. 

And yet we find more witnesses : The works, saith Christ, that 
I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. These 
works or miracles of Christ were many; but because we are 
speaking of his first manifestation, I shall instance only in his 
first work, which was at a marriage in Cana of Galilee. The 
power of miracles had now ceased since their return out of cap- 
tivity; the last miracle that was done by man until this very 
time, was Daniel tying up the mouths of the lions; and now 
Christ begins. He that made the first marriage in paradise, 
bestows his first miracle upon a marriage-feast. O happy feast 
where Christ is a guest ! I believe this was no rich or sumptuous 
bridal : who ever found Christ at the magnificent feasts or tri- 
umphs of the great ? The poor bridegroom wants drink for his 
guests; and as soon as the holy virgin hath notice of it, she 
complains to her son : — whether we want bread or wine, necessa- 
ries or comforts, whither should we go but to Christ? But 
Jesus answered her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? 3Iine 
hour is not yet come. This shews, that the work he was to do 
must not be done to satisfy her importunity, but to prosecute the 
great work. In works spiritual and religious, all outward re- 
lation ceaseth : matters of miracle concerned the godhead only ; 
and in this case, O woman, what have I to do with thee f We 
must not deny love and duty to relations ; but in the things of 
God, natural endearments must pass into spiritual; and like 
stars in the presence of the sun, must not appear. Paul could 
say, Henceforth knouj ice no man after the Jlcsh ; yea, though 
we have known Christ after the flesh, yet noiv henceforth know 
we him no more. 

At the command of Jesus, the water-pots were filled with 
water, and the water by his divine power is turned into wine; 
where the different dispensation of God and the world is highly 
observable: Every man sets forth good wine at Jirst, and then 
the worse: but Christ not only turns water into wine, but into 
such wine that at the last draught is most pleasant. These were 
the first manifestations of Jesus; you see he had several wit- 
nesses to set him forth ; some from heaven, and some on earth : 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost witness from heaven; the 
Baptist, disciples, and his works, witness on earth ; and there's 
no disagreement hi their witness, but all bring in this testimony 
of Jesus, that he is the Messiah ; that is, being interpreted, 
the Christ. 

But what are those manifestations to us ? or to that great de- 
sign of Christ in carrying on our souls' salvation ? Much every 
way. For either nmst Christ be manifested to us even by these 
witnesses, in the preaching of the gospel, and manifested in us 

260 Lookiitg unto Jesus. 

by that one witness, his Holy Spirit, or we are undone for 

1. Christ must be manifested to us in the preaching of the 
gospel. This mercy we have this day; nay, you see every sab- 
bath-day all the witnesses speak in us. What do w^e, but in 
God's stead, in the Baptist's steady in the disciples' stead, mani- 
fest Christ to you in every sermon ! It is the commission w^hi(-h 
Christ hath given us of the ministry; Ga^. preach the gospel to 
everi/ erenture. 

2. Christ must be manifested in us by his IJoly Spirit. 
Christians ! look to your hearts ; what manifestations of Christ 
are there? When Paul speaks of the gospel in general, he 
adds in particular, that it pleased God to reveal Christ in me. 
And when Peter speaks of the word of God, he adds. That we 
take heed thereunto — until the day dawn, and the day-star (that 
is, Christ, Rev. xxii. 16.) arise in your hearts: until then, 
thougii we be circled with gospel-discoveries, our hearts will be 
full of darkness ; but when Christ, (whom the prophet calls, IVie 
Sun of Righteousness, and Peter, The Day -star,) shall arise 
vvithin us, we shall be full of light. 

'Sect. Y I. --^0/ Christ's JVhipping the Buyers and Sellers out 

of the Temple. 

Concerning Christ's whipping the buyers and sellers out of 
the temple, we read in the gospel, that the Jews' passover being 
at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem: thither, if we follow him, 
the first place that we find him in, is the temple; where, by the 
occasion of the national assembly, was an opportune scene for 
Christ's transactions, in that temple Christ first espies a mart ; 
there w^ere divers merchants and exchangers of money, that 
brought beasts thither to be sold for sacrifice against that great 
solemnity; at the sight of which Jesus being moved with indig- 
nation, makes a whip of cords, and drives them all out of the 
temple, overthrows the accounting tables, and commands them 
that sold the doves, to take them from thence. 

Sometimes I wonder at the irreverent carriage of some hear- 
ers; laughing, talking, prating, sleeping, in our congregations: 
what ! is this a demeanour beseeming the presence of Christ ? 
Wouldst thou carry thyself thus in the presence of a prince, or of 
some earthly majesty ; " If thou goest but into a king's palace," 
as Chrysostom speaks, '*^ thou composest thyself to a comeliness 
in tiiy habit, look, gait, and all thy guise ; and dost thou laugh ?" 
I may add, dost thou any way carry thyself undecently in 
God's presence? Some there are, that in the very midst or 
oruiuaiices the devil usually rocks them asleep : but O ! dost 
thou not fear that thy damnation sleeps not ? How justly migit 
Christ come against thee in his wrath, and whip thee out of the 

Looking unto tlesus. 261 

temple into hell ? Surely we should do well to behave ourselv^es 
in such a presence with the thoughts of heaven about us ; our 
business here is an errand of religion, and God himself is the 
object of our worship: how then should our actions bear at least 
some degrees of proportion to God and Christ ? 

And now was the first passover after Christ's baptism.- — This 
was Jthe first year of Christ's ministry : whereof the one half was 
carried on by his forerunner, John the Baptist ; and the other 
half (betwixt his baptism and this first passover) was carried on 
by himself. And now hath Christ three years to his death. I 
shall come on to the second year, and to his actings therein in 
reference to our salvation. 


Sect. I. — Of the Second Year of Christ's 3Iitiistri/. 

Now was it that the office of the Baptist was expired ; and 
Christ beginning his prophetical office, he appears like the sun 
in succession of the morning-star ; he preacheth the sum of the 
gospel, faith and repentance : Repent ye, and believe the gospeL 
Mark i. 15. Now, what this gospel was, the sum and series of 
all his following sermons expressed. 

By this^ time Jesus saw it convenient to chuse more dis- 
ciples : with this family he goes up and down Galilee, 
preaching the gospel of the kiiigdom, healing ail manner of 

It is not my purpose to enlarge on all the sermons, miracles, 
or colloquies of Christ with men : in this year, therefore, I shall 
limjit myself to the consiideration of Christ in these two parti- 
culars : — 1. His preaching. 2. His miracles: both these relate 
to the exercise of his prophetical office. 

^ Sect. II. — Of Christ's Sermons this Year • 

1. His preaching this year was frequent; and, amongst others, ' 
now it was that he delivered his first sermon. Repent, for the 
kingdom of heaven is at ha?id. 

2. Now was it that he delivered that spiritual and mystical 
sermon of regeneration, at which Nicodemus wonders; How 
can a man he born when he is old? Can he enter a second time 
i?ito his mother's womb, and be bom f But Jesus takes off the 
wonder, in telling him, this was not a work of flesh and blood, 
but of the Spirit of God ; for the Spirit bloweth where it listeth, 
aud is as the wind, certain and notorious in the effects, but secret 
in the prijiciple and manner of production . 

262 Looking unto Jesus, 

3. Now was it that the throng of auditors forced Christ to 
leave the shore. Whilst he was upon land, he healed the sick 
bodies by his touch ; and now he w^as upon sea^ he cured the 
sick souls by his doctrine: he that made both sea and land, 
causeth both to conspire to the doing good to the souls and 
bodies of men. 

4. Now it was that he preached that blessed sermon on that 
text. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed 
vie to preach the gospel to the poor. No question but he preached 
both to poor and rich, Christ preached to all ; but for the power 
and fruit of his preaching, it was only received by the poor in 
spirit. In the following particulars, his office is set out still 
in an higher tenor : To heal the broken-hearted, to preach deli- 
verance to the captives, and recove^nng of sight to the blind; or, 
as it is in Isaiah, Ixi. 1. the openijig of the prison to them that 
are bound. A sad thing to be in captivity, but sadder to be 
bound in chains, or locked up in a prison there; but 'tis most 
sad of all to be imprisoned, having one's eyes put out, as 
was the case of Samson and Zedekiah. Now the evangelist, 
iviUing to render the prophet to the highest sense that might be, 
useth an expression that meets with the highest mystery; that 
is, when a man is not only shut up in a prison, but himself 
also hath his eyes put out: to such Christ should preach, not 
only deliverance to the captives, but also recovering of sight to 
blinded persons. 

5. Now it w^as that he delivered the admirable sermon, called. 
The serm.on on the mount. It is a breviary of all those precepts 
which are truly called christian ; it contains in it all the moral 
precepts given by Moses, and a more severe exposition than the 
Scribes and Pharisees had given ; it holds forth the doctrines of 
meekness, poverty of spirit, christian mourning, desire of holy 
things, mercy and purity, peace and patience, and suffering of 
injuries; he teacheth us how to pray, how to fast, how to give 
alms, how to contemn the world, and how to seek the kingdom 
of God and its appendant righteousness. 

And thus Christ being entered upon his prophetical office ; in 
these and the rest of his sermons he gives a clear testimony, tliat 
he was not only an interpreter of the law, but a law-giver ; and 
that this law of Christ might retain some proportion at least with 
the law of Moses, Christ, in his last sermon, went up into 
a mountain, and from thence gave the oracle. I cannot stand 
to paraphrase on this, or any otner of his sermons ; but seeing 
now we find Christ in the exercise of his prophetical office, let us 
observe, first, his titles in this respect., 2. The reasons of his 
being a prophet. 3. The excellency of Christ above all other 

Lookinsi' unto Jesus. 263 


Sect. III. — Of Christ's Prophetical Office. 

1. The titles of Christ in respect of his prophetical office, 
were these ; 1. Sometimes he is called Doctor^ or Master : Be 
ye not called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ. The 
word in the original signifies a doctor, moderator, teaching- 
master, a guide of the way. 2. Sometimes he is called a Law- 
giver : There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy. 
The apostle speaks of the internal government of the conscience, 
in which case the Lord is our judge. 3. Sometimes he is called 
a Counsellor; and his name shall be called JFo)iderful, Coun- 
sellor: — Counsel is mine, and sound wisdoui, saith Christ; Iain 
understanding, and I have strength. 4. Sometimes he is called 
the Apostle of our profession : Wherefore, holy brethren, par- 
takers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High- 
priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. God sent him as an am- 
bassador, to make known his will; he came not unsent : the very 
word imports a mission, a sending; How shall they preach, 
except they be sentf 5. Sometimes he is called the Angel of 
the covenant : even the Angel of the covenant, ivhom ye delight 
in. Christ was the publisher of the gospel covenant; and in 
this respect he is called a Prophet, Acts iii. 22. whose office it 
was to impart God's will unto the sons of men, according unto 
the name, angel. 6. Sometimes he is called the Mediator of the 
new covenant: For this cause he is the Mediator of the 
new testament, saith the apostle. Now, a mediator is such a 
one as goes betwixt two parties at variance, imparting the 
mind of the one to the othery so as to breed a right understand- 
ing, and thereby to work a compliance betwixt both : and thus 
Christ is a Mediator betwixt God and us, an Interpreter, an 
inter-messenger betwixt God and his people. 

2. The reasons of Christ's being a Prophet, were these: — L 
That he might reveal to his people the will of his Father. 2. That 
he might open and expound the same, being once delivered. 
3. That he might make saints understand and believe the 

(L) As a Prophet, he delivers to the people his Father's will, 
both in his own person, and by his servants the ministers : in his 
own person, when he was upon earth, as a minister of the cir- 
cumcision ; and by his servants the ministers, from the beginning 
of their mission until the end of the world. 

(2.) As a Prophet, he opens and expounds the gospel. Thus, 
being in th© synagogue on the sabbath-day, he opened the book, 
and found the place wiiere it was written. The Spirit of the 
Jjord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gos- 
pel to the poor, &^c. and then he closed the book, and said. This 
day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. The gracious purpose 

*264 Looking unto J^esiis/ 

of God towards lost mankind^ was a secret locked up in the 
breast of the Father ; and so it had been even to this day, had 
not Christ, who was in the bosom of the Father, revealed it unto 
us: hence Christ is called the interpreter of God: no man 
knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son 
will reveal him, by his interpretation. 

(3.) As a Prophet, he gives us to understand and to believe the 
gospel. Then opened he their understanding, that they might 
understand the scriptures; and thus was the case of Lydia, 
whose heart the Lord opened. He that first opens scriptures, 
at last opens hearts; he is that true light which enUghteneth 
every man that cometh into the world. He enlightens every 
man that cometh into the world. He enlightens every believer, 
not only with a common natural light, but with a special super- 
natural hght, of saving, spiritual, and effectual knowledge. 
Now there is no prophet can do this, save only Jesus Christ ; 
he only is able to cause our hearts to believe and to understand 
the matter Vv'hich he doth teach and reveal : other prophets may 
plant and water; Paul may plant ^ and Apollos may water y but 
he, and he only, can give the increase. 

3. The excellencies of Christ, above all other prophets, are in 
these respects : 

(1.) Other prophets were but types and shadows of this great 
Prophet; even Moses himself was but a figure of him: A 
Prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto yon of your brethren^ 
like unto me, saith Moses. These words, like unto me, plainly 
shew that Moses was but an image and shadow of Christ. Now 
as substances far excel shadows, so doth Christ far excel all 
the prophets. 

(2.) Other prophets revealed but some part? of God's will, and 
only at some times. God, saith the apostle, at sundry times, 
and in divers maniiers, spake hi time past unto t tie fathers by the 
prophets; i. e. he let out his light by little and little, till the 
Day-star and Sun of righteousness arose ; but in these last days 
he tiath spoken by his Son, i. e. he hath spoken more fully and 
plainly ; in this respect, saith the apostle, the heirs of life and 
salvation were but children before Christ's incarnation. — As 
now we see but through a glass darkly, towards what we shall 
do in the life to come ; so did they of old in comparison of us ; 
their light, in comparison of ours, was but an obscure and glim- 
mering light. 

(3.) Other prophets speak only to the ears of men, but Christ 
spake, and still speaks, to the heart : He hath the keys of David, 
tliat openeth and no man shuttetli, tliat shutteth,-mnAl no man 
openeth; it is a similitude taken from them that keep the keys 
of a city or castle, without whom none can open or shut; 
no more can any man open the heart, or break in upon the 
spirit, but Christ; he only is able to open the eyes of the 

Ltooking ujito %/esus. 265 

mind by the secret, kindly, and powerful working of his own 

(4.) Other prophets had their commission and authority from 
him : The ivords of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened 
by the masters of the assemblies, ivhich are given from one shep" 
herd; i. e. The words of the wise are divine and heavenly in- 
structions ; the masters of assemblies are gospel-ministers j and 
Christ is that one shepherd, from whom these words are given, 
and from whom these masters have their authority. 

Sect. IV. — Of Christ's Miracles. 

1. The miracles of Christ this year were many: now what 
were these miracles but a pursuance of the doctrines delivered 
in Christ's sermons ? One calls them, ^^ a verification of Christ's 
doctrine, a signal of Christ's sermons.^' If we observe, we shall 
find him to work most of his miracles in actions of mercy : indeed 
once he turned water into wine, and sometimes he walked upon 
the waters; but all the rest were actions of relief, according to 
the design of God, who would have him manifest his power in 
shewing mercy to men. 

(1.) Amongst all his miracles done this year, now was that 
at Cana, where he wrought the first miracle. He does a second*. 
A certain nohlonan, or courtier, came to Jesus, and besought 
him to come down to his house, and to heal his son, ivho luas at 
the point of death. We do not find Christ often attended with 
nobility; but here he is. This noble ruler listens after Chrisi; in 
his necessity : happy was it for him that his son was sick, for else 
he had not been so well acquainted with his Saviour. The first 
answer Christ gives, is a word of reproof; Except ye see signs 
and wonders, ye will not believe. Incredulity was the common 
disease of the Jews, which no receipt could cure but wonders : 
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign. The 
doctrine of Christ, and ail the words that he spake, must be made 
up with miracles, or they will not believe. O what a sin is this ! 
Christ's next answer is a word of comfort : go thy ivay, thy so9i 
liveth. O the meekness and mercy of Jesus Christ ! When we 
would have looked that he should have punished this suitor for 
not believing, he condescends to him ihat he may believe : go thy 
way, thy son liveth. With one word doth Christ hettl two 
patients, the son and the father; the son's fever, and the father's 
unbelief. We cannot but observe here the steps of faith, he 
that believed somewhat ere he came, and more when he went, 
grew to more faith in the way, and when he came home he en- 
larged his faith to all the skirts of his family. And the man be- 
lieved the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his 
way; and in the way one meets him and tells him, thy son 
liveth; which recovery he understands to be at the same time 
10. 2l 

266 Looking unto Jesus. 


that Christ had spoken those healing words, mid himself believed, 
and his ivhole house. 

(2.) Now was it that a centurion came unto Christ, beseeching 
him, and saying. My servant lieth at home, sick of the palsy, 
grievously tormented. Many suitors come to Christ, one for a 
son, another for a daughter, a third for himself, but I see none 
come for his servant but this one centurion ; and if we observe 
Christ's answers to his suit, we see how well pleased Christ is 
with his request : ^nd Jesus saith unto him, Iivill come atul heal 
him. He is no respecter of persons, but he that feareth him 
and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him. It may be this 
servant had more grace, or he had more need, and therefore 
Christ will go down to visit this poor sick servant. Nay, 
says the centurion, / am not 2vorthy, Lord, that thou shouldest 
come under my roof: q. d. Alas, Lord, I am a Gentile, an alien, 
a man of blood, but thou art holy, thou art omnipotent ; and 
therefore only say the ivord, and my servant shall be whole. The 
centurion knew this by the command he had ov^r his own ser- 
vants : I say to this man, go, and he goes; and to another, come, 
and he comes; and to a third, do this, and he doth it. Oh that 
I were such a servant to my heavenly Master ! Alas ! every of 
his commands says, do this, and I do it not : every of his hihi- 
bitions say, do it not, and I do it. He says. Go from the world, 
and I run to it. He saj^s, Come to me, and I run from him. 
Wo is me ! this is not service, but enmity : Oh that I could come 
up to the faith and obedience of this exemplar, that I could serve 
my Christ as these soldiers did their master ! Jesus marvels at 
the centurion's faith. We never find Christ wondering at gold, 
or silver, or costly and curious works ; but when he sees the 
acts of faith, he so approves of them that he is ravished with 
wonder. And he that both wrought this faith, and wondered at 
it, doth now reward it : Go thy ivay, and as thou hast believed, 
so be it unto thee ; and his servant was healed in the self -same 

(3.) Now it was, even the day after, that Jesus goes into the 
city of Nain. The fruitful clouds are not ordained to fall all in 
one field ; Nain must partake of the bounty of Christ, as well as 
Cana or Capernaum. He no sooner enters the gate, but he meets 
a funeral ; a poor widow, with her weejiing friends, is following 
her only son to the grave; Jesus observing her sad condition, he 
pities her, comforts her, and at last relieves her: here was no 
solicitor but his own compassion. In his former miracles he 
was sued to : but now Christ offers a cure, to give us a lesson, 
that " whilst we have to do with the Father of mercies, our mi- 
series and afflictions are the most powerful suitors." Christ sees 
and observes the widow's sadness, and presently speaks com- 
fortably to her. TVeep not: and he said. Young man, I say 
unto thee, arise. .See Iiow the Lord of life speaks with com- 

LooJxing unto Jefnis. 267 

mand ; the same voice speaks to him, that shall one day speak to 
us, and raise us out of the dust of the earth. So at the sound 
of the last trumpet, by the power of the same voice, we shall arise 
out of the dust, and stand up gloriously : This mortal shall put 
on immortaliti/ , and this corruptible shall put on incorrup- 
tion. Antl lest our weak faith should stagger at so great a 
difficulty, by this he hath done, Christ gives us a taste of what 
he will do; the same power that can raise one man, can raise 
a world. 

(4.) Now it was that in the synagogue he finds a man tliat had 
a spirit of an unclean devil. This, I take it, is the first man 
that we read of as possessed with a devil : Artd he cried, Let us 
alone; luhat lutve ive to do ivith theef Sfc. In these words the 
devil dictates, the man speaks ; and whereas the words are 
plural, let us alone, it is probable he speaks of himself, and the 
rest of the men in the synagogue with him. So high and dread- 
ful things are spoken concerning the coming of Christ, (Mai. 
iii. 2. IFho may abide the day of his coming f and who shall 
stand IV hen he appeareth?) tliat the devil by this takes oppor- 
tunity to affright the men of the synagogue with the presence 
of Christ; he would dissuade them from receiving Christ by the 
terrors of Christ, as if Christ had come only to destroy them : 
Thou^ Jesus of Nazareth, art thou come to destroy us? I know 
thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked 
him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. The word, 
hold thy peace, is, in the original, he muzzled; it was not a bare 
command of silence, but there was such power in it, that it cast 
a muzzle upon the mouth of Satan, that he could speak no more : 
and ivhen the unclean spirit had torn him, not with any gashes 
in his flesh, or dismembering of his body, for he hurt liim not, 
but with some convulsion-fits, as it is supposed, then he threw 
hi)n in the midst, and made an horrid cr}-, and so came out. 

They all take notice of the doctrine attested by so great a 
miracle. What a word is this ! Surely this was the great design 
of all the miracles of Christ, to prove his mission from God, to 
demonstrate his power unto men, to confirm his gospel, to en- 
dear his precepts, to work in us faith to lielp us heavenward : 
These signs are written that we migiit believe, — and that be- 
lieving, we might have life through his name. 

I have given you several instances of the miracles of Christ 
in this second year of his ministry; only a few words on thi:» 
doctrine of miracles for our information : as — 

1 . What they are ? 

2. Why they are? 

3. Whether they are continued in this great transaction of our 
salvation ? 

For the first. What they are r Miracles are unusual events, 
wrought above the course or possibility of nature : uuch were 

268 Looking unto Jesus, 

the miracles of Christ, and such were the miracles of the pro- 
phets and of the apostles of Christ; for what they did was above 
nature; and all the difference betwixt their miracles and the 
miracles of Christ, was only in this, viz. they wrought them not 
in their own name and power, as Jesus Christ did. 

For the second, Why they are ? many reasons are given, but 
this is the main : " miracles are wrought for the grounding or 
confirming of some divine truth or doctrine at its first settling." 
To this purpose, miracles were as the trumpets or heralds by 
which the gospel was first commended mito us ; as the law of 
Moses was first authorized by manifold miracles wrought in 
Sinai, and in the desert, which afterwards ceased when they were 
settled in the promised lands ; so the gospel of Christ was first 
authorized by manifold miracles, but the sound thereof having 
now gone through all the world, these miracles cease. 

For the third. Whether they are continued in this great trans- 
action of our salvation? I answer, yea; in this respect miracles 
cease not; 'tis without controversy that Jesus Christ, in carry- 
ing on our salvation, is adding miracle to miracle : there is a 
chain of miracles in the matter of our salvation from first to 
last: as — 

1 . It was a miracle, that God, before we had a being, should 
have once tiiought of us ; especially that the blessed Trinity should 
contrive that astonishing plot of the salvation of our souls : Oh 
what a miracle was this ! 

2. it was a miracle that God for our sakes should create the 
world, and, after our fall in Adam, should preserve the world, 
especially considering that our sin had unpinned the whole frame 
of tiiC creation ; and that God, even then sitting on his throne of 
judgment, ready to pass the doom of death for our first trans^ 
gression, should give a promise of a Saviour, when justly he 
might have given us to the devil, and to hell, according to his 
own law : In the day that thou eat est thereof, thou shalt die. 

3. It was a miracle that God's Son should take upon him our 
nature, and that in our nature he should transact our peace; 
tliat he should preach salvation to us all, if we would believe; 
and to the end that we might believe, that he would work so 
many signs and miracles in the presence of his disciples, and of 
a world of men. 

4. It was a miracle that God should look upon us in our blood : 
O mu'acle of mercies ! If creation cannot be without a miracle, 
surely the new creature is a miracle indeed. So contrary are our 

Eerverse natures to all possibilities of salvation, that if salvation 
ad not marched to us all the way in a miracle, we should have 
perished in the ruins of a sad eternity. Indeed every man living 
in the state of grace, is a perpetual miracle ; in such a one his 
reason is turned into faith, his soul into spirit, his body into a 
temple, his earth into heaven, his water into wine, his aversations 

Looking unto t/esus. 269 

from Christ into intimate union with Christ. O what a chain of 
miracles is this ! Why, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me 
clean. Say thus, you that are yet in your blood ; Lord, I believe, 
kelp thou my unbelief. 

CHAP. in. 

Sect. L — Of the third Year of Christ's Minis Iri/. 

Hitherto all was quiet: neither the Jews nor the Sama- 
ritans, nor Galileans, did as yet malign the doctrine or person 
of Jesus Christ ; but he preached with much peace on ail hands, 
till the beginning of this year. I shall not yet speak of his 
sufferings, neither shall I speak much of his doings ; only such 
things as refer more principally to the main business of our sal- 
vation, I shall touch in these particulars : — as, 1 . The ordina- 
tion of the apostles. 2. His reception of sinners. 3. The 
easiness of his yoke^ and the lightness of his burden. 

Sect. IL — Of Christ's Ordination of his Apostles, 

In the ordination of his apostles, are many considerable 
things. The evangelist Luke lays it down thus : And it came 
to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, 
and continued all flight in prayer to God. And when it ivas 
day, he called unto fiim his discijjles. and of them lie chose twelve, 
whom also he named apostles. Till novv^ Christ taught alone ; 
but because after his ascension he must needs have a ministry, 
until the end of the world — in the hrst place, he chooseth out 
some, whom he would have on purpose to wait upon him all the 
time of his ministr)^, till he was taken up into heaven. In this 
election, or ordination, here is the first person by whom they 
are chosen, Jesufe Christ. 2. The place where they are chosen, 
in a mountain. 3. The time when they were chosen, after his 
watching and praying all night. 4. The company out of whom 
they were chosen, they were his disciples. 5. The number of 
them that were chosen, they were twelve. 6. The end to which 
they were chosen, it was an apostleship ; he chose twelve, whom 
he also named apostles. 

1 . The person by whom they are chosen is Jesus Christ. They 
chose not themselves, but were chosen of Christy this call wa& 
immediate, and therefore most excellent. 

2. The place where they were chosen, it was on a mountain. 
Mountains are open and in view, which shews their ministry must 
be public; again, mountains are subject to winds and tempests, 
which 'shews their callings must me^t with many oppositions. 

270 Looking unto %Tesus. 

3. The time when they are chosen ; after he had continued all 
night in prayer to God : he goes not to election^ but first he 
watches and prays all the night before. This shews the singular 
care that Christ had in this great employment : what ! to set 
men apart to witness his name, and to publish to the world 
the gospel of Christ? This he would not do without much 

4. The company out of whom they are chosen, He called unto 
him his disciples, and out of them he chose twelve. A disciple 
of Christ is one thing, and an apostle of Christ is another thing. 
Those were Christ's disciples, that embraced Christ's doctrine 
of faith and repentance. It was not material to the constituting 
of a disciple of Christ, whether they followed Christ, as many 
did, or returned to their own homes, as others did. The man 
out of whom the legion of devils were cast, besought Christ thiit 
he might be with him ; but Jesus sent him away, saying. Return 
to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done to 
thee. I make no question but Christ at the election of his apos- 
tles had many disciples both waiting on him, and absent from 
him; and out of them that waited on him, his apostles were 
chosen : Christ's ministers should be first disciples. O how unfit 
are any to take upon them the ministry of Christ, that were 
never yet the disciples of Christ ! First, the grace of God must 
be within us, and then must that grace of God be discovered 
by us. 

-5. The number of them that were chosen, they were twelve. 
Very probably the number was figured out to us in twelve 
tribes of Israel. 

6. The end to which they were chosen, it was to an apostle- 
ship; i. e. that they might be Christ's legates to the sons of 
men, that they might be sent up and down the world to per- 
suade men to salvation. 

Sect. III. — Of Christ's Reception of Shiners. 

I CANNOT limit this only to one year of Christ's ministry, but 
I shall only mention it this year. Now this will appear^ — 1. In 
the doctrine of Christ; 2. In the practice of Christ. 

1. In his doctrine; Christ lays it down expressly: Come unto 
me^ all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest. It is no more but, come, and welcome. The gospel shuts 
none out of heaven, but those that by unbelief lock the door 
against their own souls. Christ is so willing to receive sinners, 
as that he sets all his doors open, and he casts out none that will 
but come in. And why so? For I came down from heaven, 
not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 1. 
I came down from heaven. It was a great journey from heaven 
lo earth ; and this great journey I undertook for no other pur- 

Lookins; unto %/esus. 2/1 

pose but to save sinners. " Great actions/' as one says well, 
" must needs have great ends." Now this was the greatest thing 
that ever was done, that the Son of God should come down from 
heaven. And, what was the end, but the reception and salva- 
tion of sinners ? For the Son of man is come to seek and to 
save that which was lost. Had not Christ come down, sinners 
could not have gone up into heaven ; and therefore that they 
might ascend, he descends. 2. I came down from heaven, not 
to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. His 
Father had sent him on purpose to receive and to save sinners j 
and, to this purpose he is called the apostle of our profession, — 
who w^as faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was 
faithful in all his house. His Father could not send him on any 
errand, but he was sure to do it. His Father's mission was a 
strong demonstration that Christ was willing to receive those 
sinners that would come to him. 

Again, Jesus stood and cried, saying. If any man thirst, let 
him come unto me, and drink. The very pith, heart, and marrow 
of the gospel is contained in these words : the occasion of them 
was thus ; on that last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews 
were wont, Avith great solemnity, to draw water out of the 
fountain of Siloam, at the foot of mount Sion, and to bring it 
to the altar, singing out of Isaiah, TFithjoy shall ye draw water 
out of the ivells of salvation. Now Christ takes them at this 
custom, and recals them from earthly to heavenly waters ; allud- 
ing to that of Isaiah, " Ho ! every one that thirsteth, come ye 
to the waters. — Incline your ears, and com.e unto me, and your 
souls shall live. The Father saith. Come; the Son saith. Come; 
the Spirit saith. Come ; yea, the Spirit and the bride say. Come; 
let him that heareth say. Come; and let him that is at hirst come; 
and whosoever tvill, let him chink of the water of life freely. 
All the time of Christ's ministry, we see him tiring himself, in 
going about from place to place, upon no other errand than this, 
to cry at the markets, ' Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye 
to the w^aters ! If any sinners love life, if any will go to heaven, 
let them come to me, and I will shew them the way to my Fa- 
ther's bosom, and endear them to my Father's heart.' 

2. Christ's reception of sinners appears yet more in his 
practice. How welcome were all sorts of sinners unto him! 
He cast out none that acknowledged him for the Messiah; he 
turned none away that gave up their souls to be saved by 
him in his own way. This he manifests — 1. Parabolically ; 2. 

(1.) Parabolically, especially in those three parables, of the 
lost goat, and of the lost sheep, and of the lost son ; I shall 
instance in this last, whicJi may serve for all the rest. — When 
the prodigal was yet afar off, his father saw him, and had com- 
passiofi on him, jukI r;m, and fell on his neck, and kisiscd hitn. 

272 Looking unto J^es^us, 

In these words, observe^, 1. His father sees him, before he sees 
his father; no sooner a sinner thinks of heaven, but the Lord 
spies him, and takes notice of him. 2^ The Lord sees him while 
he was yet a great way off; he was but in the beginning of his 
way : his father might have let him alone until he hail come quite 
home to his house, and it had been a singular mercy to have bid 
him welcome then ; but he takes notice of him yet a great way 
off. Sinners may be far off from God in their own apprehensions, 
and yet the Lord even then draws near; whilst thus they appre- 
hend. 3. His father had pity or compassion on him; the Lord's 
bowels yearn within him, at the sight of his returning prodigals.' 
4. His father ran; there is much in this : as, (1.) It had been 
mercy though his father had stood still until his son had come. 
(2.) What a mercy is this, that his father will go, and give his 
son the meeting ! (3.) But, above all, O what abundant mercy 
call we this, that the father will not go, but run 1 If he would 
needs meet his son, might he not have walked towards him in 
a soft slow pace ? O no, if a sinner will but come, or <;reep to- 
wards Christ, mercy will not go a foot-pace, but run to meet 
him : bowels full of mercy, out-pace bowels pinched with hunger ; ' 
God's mercy is over all his works, and so it is over all our needs, 
and over all our sins. 5. He ran, and fell on his neck; i. e. 
he hugged and embraced him ; O wonder ! who would not have 
been loth to have touched him ? was he not in his loathsome, • 
stinking rags ? we see mercy is not nice : When I passed by, 
said God, I saw thee polluted in thy oivn hlood, and I said unto 
thee when thou ivast in thy bloody Live; yea, I said unto thee 
luhen thou wast in thy blood, Live: that very time of her blood, 
was the time of love. 6. He ran, and fell on his neck, and 
kissed him : there is a passage somewhat like this, ^4nd Msau 
ran to meet Jacob, and he embraced him, and fell on his neck^ 
and kissed him ; before, he had thought to have killed him, but 
now he kissed him : it is not to tell how dear the father was to 
his prodigal son, when he ran, and fell on his neck, and em- 
braced, and kissed him. The scope of the parable is this, 
that Christ is willing and glad to receive sinners. Turn ye, ^ 
turn ye, from your evil vv^ays ; for ivhy will ye die, O house of 
Israel f 

Christ manifests this willingness in his practice really; amongst 
many instances I shall insist only on one, a notable instance of 
this year : one of the Pharisees, named Simon, invited Christ to 
eat with him, into whose house when he had entered, a certam 
woman, that was a sinner, abiding there in the city, heard of it : 
she came to Jesus in the Pharisee's house, and no sooner come, 
but she lays her burden at Jesus' feet, and presents him with a 
broken heart and weeping eye, and an alabaster box of oint- 
ment : She stood at his feet behind him, tveeping, and began 
to tvask his feet tvith her tears, and to ivipe them with the hairs 

Looking unto Jesus. 273 

of her head; arid she kissed his feet, and anointed them with 
ointment. 1. She stands at his feet^ a sign of her humility. O 
what a change ! She that was before a noble personage, a native 
of the town and castle of Magdal, from whence she had her 
name of Magdalen — and therefore took her liberty of pride and 
lust — ^comes in remorse and regret for her sins ; and throwing 
away her former pride, stoops, and waits, and humbly stands at 
Jesus's feet. 2. She stood at his feet behind him; it compre- 
hends a tacit confession of her sins, she knew herself unworthy 
of Christ's presence: she durst not look him in the face; but, 
she waits behind him ; her shame speaks her repentance. 3. She 
stood at his feet behind him weeping, her grief burst out in 
tears; she heeds not the feast, or feaster, but, falling down, 
weeps bitterly for her sins. 4. ^\iQ began to wash his feet with 
tears ; she wept a shower of tears, great enough to wash the 
feet of her blessed Jesus. This was the manner of the Jews, 
to eat their meat lying down, and leaning on their elbows ; and 
in this posture, Jesus sitting or lying at meat, Mary had the con- 
venience to weep on his feet. 6. She wipes his feet with the 
hairs of her head ; her hair being added to her beauty, she made 
it a snare for men ; but now she consecrates it to her Lord ; 
worthy fruit of serious repentance. 6. She kissed his feet, in 
token of her new choice, and new affection ; her kisses had for- 
merly been to wantons, but now she bestows them on the feet of 
Christ. 7- She anointed them with ointment; which expression 
was so great an ecstacy of love and sorrow, that to anoint the 
feet of the greatest monarch was long unknown, and in all the 
pomps of Roman prodigality, it was never used until Otho 
taught it Nero. When Simon observed this sinner so busy, he 
thought within himself, that Christ was no prophet, that he did 
not know her to be a sinner ; for although the Jews' religion did 
permit harlots to live, yet the Pharisees would not admit them 
to the benefits of ordinary society: and hence Simon made an 
objection within himself, which Jesus knowing, (for he under- 
stood his thoughts as well as words,) first makes her apology, 
and then his own ; the scope gives us to understand, that Christ 
was not of the same superciliousness with the Pharisees ; but 
that repenting sinners should be welcome unto him ; and this 
welcome he publisheth first to Simon, Her sins which are many, 
are forgiven ; and then to the woman. Thy sins are forgiven 
thee, thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace. 

What ! is Christ most willing to receive sinners ? O then ! 
who would not come to Jesus Christ ? Methinks now all sin- 
ners, of all sorts, should say, though I have been a drunkard, a 
swearer, an unclean person, yet now I hear Christ is willing to 
receive sinners, and therefore I will go to Jesus Christ. This 
is my exhortation, O come unto Christ, come unto Christ ; be- 
hold here in the name of the Lord I stand, and make invitation 
10. 2 M 

274 Looking unto Jesus. 

to poor sinners ; O will you not come ? How will ye answer it 
at the great day, when it shall be said. The Lord Jesus made a 
tender of mercy to you, and you would not accept of it ? O come 
to Christ, and believe on Christ; as Christ is willing to receive 
you, so be you willing to give up your souls to him. 

Sect. IV. — Of Christ's easy Yoke and light Burden. 

For the easiness of Christ's yoke, and the lightness of Christ's 
burden, Christ delivers it in these words : Take my yoke upon 
you, and learn of me, — for my yoke is easy, and my hurdeii is 

My yoke, i. e. my commandments, so the apostle John gives 
the interpretation, Flis commandments are not grievous. My 
yoke is easy, i. e. My commandments are without any incon- 
venience : the trouble of a yoke, is not the weight, but the un- 
easiness of it, and Christ speaks suitably. My yoke is easy, and 
my burden, i.e. my institutions : the v/ord primarily signifies 
the freight or ballast of a ship, which cuts through the waves, 
as if it had no burden ; and without which burden there were no 
safety in the ship. 

The christian religion, and the practice of it, is full of sweet- 
ness, easiness, and pleasantness. 

The reasons of the sweetness, easiness, and pleasantness of the 
christian religion, and the practice of it, I shall reduce to these 
heads : 

1. The christian religion is most rational. If we should look 
into the best laws that the wisest men in the world ever agreed 
upon, we shall find that Christ adopted the quintessence of them 
all into his ov/n law. The highest pitch of reason is but as a 
spark, a taper, which is involved and swallowed up in the body 
of this great light, that is made up by the Sun of righteousness. 
Some observe, that Christ's discipline is the breviary of all the 
wisdom of the best men, and a fair copy and transcript of his 
Father's v/isdom ; there is nothing in the laws of the christian 
religion, but what is perfective of our spirits. Indeed the 
Greeks, whom the world admired for their wisdom, accounted 
the preachmg of the gospel foolishness, and therefore God 
blasted their wisdom, as it is written, I luill destroy the luisdom 
of the ivise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the pru- 
dent, 1 Cor. i. 19. The gospel may be as foolishness unto some, 
hut unto them which are called, — Clirist the power of God, and 
the wisdom of God. 

The christian rehgion is all composed of peace ; her luays are 
the ivays of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace, Prov. 
xvii. 3. Christ framed all his laws in compliance of his design 
of peace; peace within, and peace at home, and peace abroad. 
1. It holds forth a certain heavenly peace and tranquillity 

Looking unto Jesus. ■ 275 

within : Gi^eat peace have they which love thy law, and nothing 
shall offeyid them. But on the contrary : the wicked are like the 
troubled sea, ivhen it cannot rest; luhose waters cast up mire 
and dirt : — there is no peace, saith my God to the ivicked. Their 
passions were never yet mortified; and such passions usually 
rage in wicked men as are most contrary, and demand contrary 
things : the desire of honour cries, spend here ; but the passion 
of avarice cries, hold thy hands : lust cries, venture here ; but 
pride saith, no such thing, it may turn to thy dishonour : anger 
cries, revenge thyself here ; but ambition says, it is better to dis- 
semb)e: and here is fulfilled that of the psalmist, I have seen 
violence and strife in the city. The vulgar renders it, ' I have 
seen iniquity and contradiction in the self-same city.' First, Ini- 
quity, for all the demands of these passions are unjust. And, 
2. Contradiction, for one passion cries out against another. But. 
now, great peace have they that love thy lav/; for by the aid of 
Christ and his grace, their passions are subdued, and they pass 
on their life sweetly and calmly, without any perturbations much 
troubling their spirits; they h^ive ihsit peace tchich jjasseth all 
understanding, which the world can neither give nor taste of. 

2. It holds forth peace at home : the laws of Jesus teach us 
how to bear with the infirmities of our relatives ; and, indeed, 
whosoever obeys the laws of Jesus Christ, he seeks with sweet- 
ness to remedy all differences, he throws water upon a spark, he 
lives sweetly with his wife, afi'ectionately with his childreH, 
discreetly with his servants ; and they all look upon him as their 
guardian, friend, and patron: but, look upon an angry man, 
not subject to these christian laws, and when he enters upon his 
threshold, it gives an alarm to his house, every little accident is 
the matter of a quarrel, and every quarrel discomposes the 
peace of the house, and sets it on fire, and no man can tell how 
far it may burn. O the sweetness, easiness, and pleasantness of 
the christian religion ! Where that is embraced and followed, 
the man is peaceable, and charitable, and just, and loving, and 
forbearing, and forgiving; and how should there be but content 
in this blessed family ? 

3. It holds out peace abroad ; it commands all offices of kind- 
ness, gentleness, love, meekness, humility; it prescribes an aus- 
tere, and yet a sweet deportment ; it commands all those labours 
of love, to relieve the stranger, to visit the sick, to wash the 
feet of the poor ; it sends upon charitable embassies, to unclean 
prisons, nasty dungeons, and, in the cause of Christ, to lay 
down our lives one for another : it teacheth us how to return 
good for evil, kindness for injuries, a soft answer for the rough 
words of an enemy. Ol when I think of this, I cannot but 
think of him who said, " That either this was not the christian 
religion, or we v/ere nc/t Christians." For my part, I am easily 
persuaded, that if we would but live according to the christian 

276 Looking unto Jesus. 

religion, one of those great plagues that vex the world (I mean 
the plague of war) would be no more. Certainly this was one of 
the designs of Christianity, that there should be no wars, no jars, 
no discontents amongst men. And if all men that are called 
Christians, were indeed charitable, peaceable, just, loving, for- 
bearing one another, and forgiving one another, what sweet 
peace should we have ? How would this world be an image 
of heaven, and of the society of saints and angels in glory ? 

Thus far I have held forth Jesus in his life, or during the time 
of his ministry : and now was it that Jesus knew his hour was 
come, and that he should depart out of this world unto the 
leather : but of that hereafter. Our next business is to direct 
you in the art or mystery, how we are to look unto Jesus in 
respect of this life. 


Sect. I. — Of Knowing Jesus as carrying on the great Work of 
our Salvation in his Life, 

From the object considered, that we may pass to the act, — 
1 . Let us know Jesus carrying on the great work of our sal- 
vation during his life. We have many books of the lives of men ; 
of the lives of heathens, of the lives of Christians ; and by this 
we come to know the generations of old : but above all, read 
over the life of Jesus, for that is worth thy knowing. To this 
purpose we have four Evangelists, who in blessed harmony set 
forth his life : these should be read over and over ; then shall we 
know, saith the prophet, if we follow on to know the Lord. 
Ah ! my soul, that which thou knowest of Christ already is but 
the least part of what thou art ignorant of. JVe know but in 
part, saith Paul of himself and others. The highest knowledge 
which the most illuminate saints have of Jesus Christ is but im- 
perfect. Come then, and follow on to know the Lord : still in- 
quire after him ; imitate the angels, who ever desire to stoop down 
and to pry into the actings of Christ for our salvation. And for thy 
better knowledge, (1.) Study over those passages in the first 
year of Christ's ministry: as, the preaching of John, the baptism 
of Christ, his fasting and temptation in the wilderness, his first 
manifestation by his several witnesses, his whipping of the buyers 
and sellers out of the temple. (2.) Study over those passages 
in the second year of Christ's ministry ; as, those several sermons 
that he preached ; and because his miracles were as signals of 
his sermons, study the several miracles that he wrought : thou 
hast but a few instances in comparison of all his miracles, and 
yet how fruitful are they of spiritual instructions ! (3.) Study 

Looking unto Jesus. 277 

over those passages in the third year of Christ*s ministry; as^ his 
commissioning his apostles to call sinners, his readiness to re- 
ceive them that would come in, and his sweetening the ways of 
Christianity to them that are come ; for his yoke is easy, and his 
burden is light. 

O what rare matter is here for christian study ! Some have 
took such pains in the study of these things, that they have writ 
large volumes. Men have been writing and preaching a thou- 
sand six hundred years of the life of Christ, and they are writing 
and preaching still. O, my soul, if thou dost not write, yet 
study what is written. Come with fixed thoughts to that blessed 
subject, that will make thee wise unto salvation. Paul account- 
ed all things but dung for the excellency of the knowledge 
of Christ Jesus our Lord. If thou didst truly understand the 
excellency of this knowledge, thou couldst not but account all 
things loss in comparison of it. 

Sect. II. — Of Considering Jesus in that respect. 

Let us consider Jesus carrying on the great work of our sal- 
vation during his life. It is not enough to study and know, but 
we must muse and meditate, and consider it, till we bring it to 
some profitable issue. By meditating on Christ, we may feel a 
kind of insensible change; as those that stand in the sun for 
other purposes, they find themselves lightened and heated; 
therefore, look further, O my soul, have strong apprehensions of 
those several passages of the life of Christ. 

1. Consider the preaching of John Baptist. We talk of 
strictness, but shew me among all the ministers or saints of this 
age, such a pattern of sanctity and singular austerity. He had 
an excellent zeal, and a vehement spirit in preaching, and the 
commentary upon all his sermons was his life ; he was clothed in 
camels' hair, his meat was locusts and wild honey. He contemn- 
ed the world, resisted temptations, despised honours, and in all 
passages was a rare example of self-denial and mortification: 
and by this means made an excellent preparation for the Lord's 
coming. O my soul, sit a while under this preacher. See, what 
efiect doth it work on thy heart and life ? Dost thou feel in thee 
a spirit of mortification ? Dost thou with the Baptist die to the 
world? Dost thou deny thy will? Dost thou abstain from 
pleasures, and sensual complacencies, that the flesh being sub- 
dued to the spirit, both may join in the service of God? O, n.y 
soul, so consider the preaching of this forerunner of Christ, 
till thou feelest this consideration to have some warmth in thy 
heart, and influence on thy life, in order to holiness, self-denial, 
and mortification. 

2. Consider the baptism of Christ. He was baptized, that in 
the symbol he might purify our nature, whose stains and guilt 

278 Looking unto Jesus, 

he had undertaken. S«rely every soul that lives the life of grace, 
is born of water and the Spirit ; and to this purpose, Christ, who 
is our life, went down into the waters of baptism, that we, who 
descend after him, might find the effects of it, pardon of sin, and 
holiness of life. Had not Christ been baptized, what virtue had 
there been in our baptism ? As it became him to fuiiil all righte- 
ousness, and therefore he must needs be baptized, so he fulfilled 
it not for himself, but for us. Christ's obedience in fulfilling the 
law is imputed to all that believe unto righteousness, as if them- 
selves had fulfilled ; so that he was baptized for us, and the virtue 
of his baptism is derived unto us ; therefore, if thou art in Christ, 
thou art baptized into his death, and baptized unto his baptism ; 
thou partake st of the fruit and efficacy both of his death, and life, 
and baptism, and all. 

3. Consider the fasting and temptation of Christ in the wil- 
derness. Now we see what manner of adversary we have, how 
he fights, how he is resiiited, how overcome. In one assault, 
Satan moves Christ to doubt of his Father's providence ; in an- 
other, to presume on his Father's protection ; and v/hen neither 
diffidence nor presumption can fasten upon Christ, he shall be 
tried with honour : and thus he deals with us ; if he cannot 
drive us to despair, he labours to lift us up to presumption ; and 
if neither of these prevail, then he brings out pleasures, profits, 
honours, which are indeed most dangerous. O, my soul, whilst 
thou art in this warfare, here is thy condition; temptiil ions, 
like waves, break one in the neck of another : if the devil was so 
busy with Christ, how shouldst thou hope to be free? How 
mayst thou account that the repulse of one temptation will ])ut 
invite to another ? But here is thy comfort, thou hast such a 
Saviour as was in all things tempted in like sort, yet without sin. 
How boldly therefore mayst thou go to the throne of grace to 
receive mercy, and to find grace to help in time of need ! Christ 
was tempted, that he might succour them that are tempted. 
Never art thou tempted, O my soul, but Christ is with thee 
in the temptation. He hath sent his Spirit into thy heart, to 
make intercession for thee there ; and he himself is in heaven, 
making intercession, and praying for thee there ; yea, his own 
experience of temptations hath so wrought it in his heart, that 
his love and mercy is most of all at work when thou art tempted 
most. As dear parents are ever tender of their children, but 
then especially when they are sick and weak : so, though Christ 
be always tender of his people, yet then especially when their 
souls are sick, and under temptation ; then his bowels yearn over 
them indeed. 

4. Consider Christ's first manifestations by his several wit- 
nesses. We have heard of his witnesses from heaven, the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost ; and of his witnesses on earth, the Bap- 
tist, his disciples, and the v/orks that he did in his Father's name ; 

LooMns^ unto Jesus. 279 


and all these witnesses being lively held forth in the preaching 
of the gospel^ they are witnesses to us; even to this day is 
Christ manifested to us ; yea, and if we are Christ's^ even unto 
this day is Christ manifested within us. O my soul, consider 
this above all ! It is this manifestation within that concerns 
thee most; — because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit 
of his Son into your hearts. If Christ be not manifested in thy 
heart by his blessed Spirit, thou art no son of God ; and there- 
fore the apostle puts thee seriously on this trial : Examine your- 
selves, whether ye he in the faith, prove yourselves ; know ye 
not your oivn selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye 
be reprobates f Is Christ manifested in thee ? Surely this is 
more than Christ manifested to thee. The bare history is a 
manifestation of Christ unto thee, but there is a mystery in the 
inward manifestation. The apostle speaking of the saints, adds. 
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory 
of this mystery among the Gentiles, ivhich is Christ in you, the 
hope of glory. O the riches of the glory of this mysteiy ! God 
might have shut thee up in blindness with the world; but hath 
he revealed Christ in thee ? Hath he let thee see into the won - 
ders of his glory ? Hath he given thee the light of his glory 
within ? This only the experimental Christian feels. 

5. Consider the preaching of Christ. O the admirable ser • 
mon& of this great prophet ! Read and peruse those he hath 
left on record. How spiritual was that sermon of Christ ! Ex- 
cept a man he bom again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, 
It may be thou art a doctor, a master of Israel, thou art a learned 
scholar, thou art a man of parts and abilities in other things ; it 
may be thou hast read so long in the Bible, thou hast heard 
so many and so many sermons ; but, ah ! miserable sovd, it may 
be ail the work is to do still within. Come, say this sermon of 
Christ to thine own soul : ' Unless I be born again, I cannot 
enter into heaven. Born again ! O Lord, what is that ? Was 
ever such a thing done upon me ? Was I ever cast into the 
pangs of a new birth ? and continued I in those pangs until 
Christ Jesus was formed in jne ? Are all things done away, and 
all things now become new ? Is the old man, the old lusts, the 
old conversation, quite abandoned and left ? Are my principles 
new? my aims and ends new ? my life and conversation new?' 
Thus might I paraphrase on all the sermons; but I intend bre- 
vity. Only consider, O my soul, as if this sermon, and all the 
rest, had been preached to thee ; realize Christ standing by thee, 
and opening his mouth, and teaching thee thus and thus. Surely 
there is a speaking of Christ from heaven : See that ye refuse 7iot 
him (saith the apostle) that speaketh from heaven. And besides, 
he hath his ministers here on earth, and they are daily preaching 
over these sermons of Christ ; they preach such things as were 
first spoken by the Lord himself: they beseech and pray 

280 Looking U7ito *Jesus. 

thee in Christ's stead. O then, meditate on these things, and 
give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear 
to all. 

6. Consider the miracles of Christ in pursuance of the doc- 
trine delivered in his blessed sermons. Here is a world of mat- 
ter to run over; such miracles as never man did before. O my 
soul, consider of these miracles, and believe that doctrine which 
was ratified with arguments from above. How shouldst thou 
but assent to all those mysterious truths which are so strongly 
confirmed by an almighty hand. 

7. Consider Christ's ordination of his apostles: He chose 
twelve, whom he named apostles. And what was the office of 
these apostles, but to go and teach all nations ? The gospel 
was first preached in Jewry, but afterwards the sound of it 
came unto us. O the goodness of God in Christ! What! 
that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in 
his name, beginning at Jerusalem, and afterwards among all 
nations ! Of what near concernment, O my soul, is this to thee ! 
What art thou but a sinner of the Gentiles ? Understand that 
term: when the apostles would express the greatest sinners 
that the world had, he calls them sinners of the Gentiles. Why ? 
The Gentiles knew not God, the Gentiles were unacquainted 
with Christ, the Gentiles walked in nothing but sin. O then 
what a love is this, that God should ever have thought of good- 
will towards thee ? How shouldst thou be ravished in this one 
meditation 1 What ! that the sun of his gospel, now in these 
latter times, when the sun is set in Zion where it first arose, should 
make a noon with us, and shine more brightly here, for ought I 
know, or can yet learn, than in any other nation, country, king- 
dom, throughout all the world ! O the depth of the riches, both 
of the wisdom and counsel of God ! How unsearchable are his 
judgments, and his ways past finding out! 

8. Consider Christ's reception of sinners. He sent forth his 
apostles to call them in ; and if they would but come, how ready 
was he to receive them ! This was Christ's errand from heaven : 
Ah, poor soul 1 why shouldst thou despair because of sin ? Look 
on Christ as spreading out his arms to receive thee. Look on 
the gracious nature that is in Christ: look on the office of 
Christ ; 'tis an office of saving, and shewing mercy, that Christ 
hath undertaken ; 'tis an office to receive sinners \ yea, to seek 
and to save that which was lost ; to bring home straying souls to 
God; to be the great Peace-maker between God and man. 

Certainly the devil strangely wrongeth many a poor troubled 
soul, that he can bring them to have hard thoughts of Jesus 
Christ : how can they more contradict the office of Christ ? How 
can they more contradict the gospel-description of Christ, than 
to think him a destroyer of his creatures, and one that hath more 
mind to hurt than help them ? Resolve, O my sOul, to throw 

Looldng unto Jesus » 281 

thyself on him for hfe and for salvation : why, if thou wilt but 
come, he hath promised freely to make thee welcome : all the 
day long he stretcheth out his arms, and would fain gather thee 
and all others into his embraces., 

9. Consider the easiness of his yoke, and the lightness of his 
burden. Many a one is willing to take Jesus as their Saviour, 
but they are un\villing to take him on his own terms ; they ima- 
gine it an hard task, and a heavy burden : it is otherwise with 
Christians ; for his commandments are not grievous. O mj^ soul, 
if thou canst but taste, thou wilt find a world of sweetness in 
Christ's ways : there is sweetness in the word, Hoio sweet are 
thy words to my taste, yea, sweeter than honey to my 7nouth! 
There is sweetness in prayer; hast thou not known the time that 
thou hast tasted the joys of heaven in prayer? There is sweet- 
ness in meditation : now, O, my soul, thou art in the exercise of 
this duty, now thou art in the meditation of the easiness of 
Christ's burden, tell me, is there nothing of heaven in this 
meditation ? O if men did but know what ravishiny; sweetness^ 


were in the ways of God, they could not but embrace them, and 
esteem one day's society with Jesus Christ better than all tlie 
gold in the world ! 

10. Consider the holiness of Christ's nature, and the holiness 
of his life. 

(1.) For the holiness of his nature; if thou couldst but clearly 
see it, what work would it make in thy breast 1 Christ's inward 
beauty would ravish love out of the devils, if they had but grace 
to see his beauty. This loveliness of Christ ravishes tlie souls 
of the glorified. How is it, O my soul, that thou art not taken 
with this meditation ? But, — 

(2.) Go from the holiness of his nature to the holiness of his 
life, it may be that will make deep impressions on thy spirit. 
Consider his charity, his self-denial, his contempt of the world, 
his mercy, his bounty, his meekness, his pity, his humility, his 
obedience to his Father. A fruitful meditation on these par- 
ticulars cannot but make thee like Ciu'ist. O the vv'dnder that 
any should disclaim the active obedience of Christ, as to his own 
justification ! Away, away with these cavils, and consider the 
obedience of Christ in relation to thyself. " God sent forth his 
Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them 
that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption 
of sons." That is, under the whole law : the one half of the law, 
which is the directive part, he was made under that, and satisfied 
it by the innocency of his life, without breaking one jot or tittle 
of the law, and so he answers that part, as it might be the prin- 
cipal; the other half of the law, which is the penalty, he was 
under that also, and satisfied it by suffering a wrongful death, 
no way deserved or due by him, and so he answered that part, as 
it might be the forfeiture. But if we come now to ask. For 
10. • 2 N 

282 Looking unto Jesus. 

whom is all this ? It is only for us, that we might be redeemed 
and adopted ; redeemed from all evil, and adopted or interested 
into all good. If this be so, O who would, for a world of gold, 
lose the influence and the benefit of Christ's active obedience ! 
Consider of this, O my soul, until thou feelest some virtue to 
come out of Christ's life into thyself. 

Sect. III. — Of Desiring Jesus in that respect. 

Let us desire Jesus, carrying on the work of salvation in his 
life: it is not enough to know and consider, but we must desire; 
our meditation of Christ should draw forth our affections to 
Christ ; and amongst all aftections I place this first of all, a de- 
sire after Christ. 

But what is it in Christ's life that is so desirable ? I answer, 
eveiy passage, every thing of Christ, is desirable. Ail that 
concerns Christ in any kind whatsoever is very precious, and 
excellent, and necessary, and profitable, and comfortable, and 
therefore desirable : but to put them in order, — 

1. The meanest things of Christ are desirable things. The 
very filings of the gold, the dust of precious stones, are of real 
value. Hence we read,^ that one poor woman sought no more 
but to wash Christ's feet, and to kiss them : another breathes out 
these desires ; If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I 
shall be whole. John the Baptist thinks it an honour to unloose 
the latchets of his shoes ; David, to be a doorkeeper of the house 
of God. Yea, he puts a happiness on the sparrow and the 
swallow, that may build their nests beside the Lord's altar. 

2. The more considerable actions of Christ are especially 
desirable. O my soul, run through his life, and consider some 
of his more eminent actions. (1.) To his friends, he was sweet 
and indulgent : where there was any beginning of grace, he did 
encourage it; so was the prophecy, A bruised reed shall he not 
break, atid smoaking flax shall he not quench. And so the 
people that fainted, that were scattered abroad as sheep having 
no shepherd; he was moved with compassion on them; he 
was bowelled in heart, his very bowels were moved within him. 
(2.) To his enemies he was kind and merciful : many a time he 
discovers himself most of all unto sinners ; he was never more 
familiar with any at first acquaintance, than with the woman of 
Samaria, that was an adulteress: and Mary, that had been a 
sinner, how sweetly did he appear to her at the very first view 1 
How ready was he to receive sinners ! How ready to pardon 
sinners! How gracious to sinners after pardon 1 See it in 
Peter : he never upbraided hiui ; only he looks upon him, and 
afterwards, Love^st thou me? Often he was wronged by men; 
but what then ? Did he call for fire down from heaven ? indeed, 
bis disciples would fain have had it so -, but he sweetly replies. 

Looking unto Jesus. 283 

You know not what spirits you are of; the Son of man is not 
come to destroy men's live^, but to save them. Sometimes we 
find him shedding tears for those very persons that shed his 
blood : O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, — if thou hadst known, even 
thou, at least in this thy day, the things belonging to thy peace. 
Well might they sing in that day in the land of Judah^ — In the 
way of thy judgments, O Lord, have lue waited for thee; the 
desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of 

3. The ever-blessed and holy person of Christ is desirable 
above all. My beloved is the chief est of ten thousand; yea, 
he is altogether lovely, or desirable^ so Vatablus renders it, 
" Christus est totus desideria," Christ is all desires. If the 
actions of Christ be desirable, what must himself be ? he is the 
express image of the person of his Father; as the print of the 
seal on the wax is the express image of the seal itself, so is 
Christ the highest representation of God. And hence it is that 
Christ is called the Standard-bearer of ten thousands : all ex- 
cellencies are gathered in Christ, as beams in the sun. Come, 
poor soul ! thy eyes run to and fro in the world to find comfort 
and happiness ; cast thy eyes back, and see heaven and earth in 
one ; look if thou wilt, at what thy vast thoughts can fancy, not 
only in this world, but in the world to come ; see that, and infi- 
nitely more, shining forth from the pefson of Jesus Christ : no 
wonder if the saints adore him, no wonder if the angels stand 
amazed at him, no wonder if all creatures vail all their glory 
to him. 

O, what are things in the world to Jesus Christ ! Paul com- 
pares them together, with this one thing : And I account all 
things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. 
And I account all things : surely all things is the greatest ac- 
count that can be cast up; for it includeth all prices, all sums; 
it takes in earth and heaven, and all therein; what are they in 
comparison of Christ, but as feathers, dung, shadows, nothing ? 
If there be any thing worthy a v, ish, it is eminently, transcend- 
ently in the Lord Jesus Christ: there is no honour, no felicity, 
like that which Christ hath ; some are sons, Christ is an only 
Son ; some are kings, but Christ is King of kings ; some are 
honourable, none above angels ; Christ is above angels and arch- 
angels : To which of the anqels said he at any time, 2Viou art my 
son, this day have I begotten thee ? Some are wealthy, Christ 
hath all the sheep on a thousand hills ; the very uttermost parts 
of the earth are his : some are beautiful, Christ is the fairest of 
all the children of men ! he is spiritually fair, he is all glorious 
within. If the beauty of the angels (which I beheve are the 
beautifullest creatures the world has) should be compared with 
the beauty of Christ, they would be but as lumps of darkness : the 
brightest cherub is forced to screen his face from the dazzling 

284 Looking unto Jesus. 

bri'^htness of Christ. Alas! the cherubim and seraphim are 
but as stars in the canopy of heaven; but Christ is the 
Sun of righteousness, that at once illuminates and drowns 
them all. 

Come then, breathe, G my soul, after the enjoyment of this 
Christ ; ^ O that this Christ was mine ! O that the actions of 
Christ and the person of Christ, were mine ! O that all he said, 
and all he did, and all he were, were mine ! O that 1 had the 
silver v/ings of a dove, that in all my wants I might fly into the 
bosom of Christ; If I must not sit at table, O that I might but 
gather up the crumbs ! Surely there is bread enough in my 
Father's house ; Christ is the bread of life ; Christ is enough for 
all the saints in heaven and earth to feed on ; and what, must I 
pine away, and perish with hunger ? Thousands of histructions 
dropped from him while he was on earth ; O that some of that 
food might be my nourishment ! O that my ways were directed 
according to his statutes ! Many a stream, and wave, and line, 
and precept, flowed from this fountain, Christ; O that I might 
drink freely of this water of life ! He hath proclaimed it in my 
ears: If ciiu/ man thirsty let him come unto me and drink. O 
that I might come and find welcome ! Sure I thirst, I feel in 
me such a burning drought, that either I must drink or die; 
either the righteousness of Christ, the holiness of Christ, the 
holiness of his nature, and the holiness of his life, must be im- 
puted unto me, or farewell happiness in another world. Coniv", 
Lord Jesus, come quickly ; I long to see the beauty of thy face 1 
Such is thy beauty, that it steals away my heart after thee, and 
I cannot be satisfied until, with Absalom, I see the King's face. 
Come, Christ ! or if thou wilt not come, / charge yon^ O 
daughters of Jerusalem, if ye Jiyid my beloved, that ye tell him 
I am sick of love.' 

Sect. IV. — Of Hojmig in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us hope in Jesus, carrying on the great work of our salva- 
tion in his life. By this hope, I mean an hope well grounded. 
The main question is, whether Christ's life be mine ? whether 
all those passages of his life laid open, belong unto me ? whe- 
ther the habitual righteousness, and actual holiness, of Christ be 
imputed to my justification ? and what are the grounds and 
foundations on which my hope is built ? The apostle tells us, 
that God gives good hopes through grace ; if hope be right and 
good, it will manifest itself by operation of saving grace; O 
look into thy soul ! what gracious effects of the life of Christ 
are there? Certainly his life is not without some influence 
on our spirits, if we be his members, and he be our head. O 
the glorious effects flowing out of Christ's life, into a believer's 
soul ! 

Lookmiy unto Jesus. 285 


1. If Christ's life be mine, then am I freed from the law of 
sin; this was the apostle's evidence : — for the law of the spirit of 
life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and 
death. Christ's life is called the spirit of life, because of its 
perfection ; and this spirit of life hath such a power in it, here 
termed a law, that it works out, in believers, a freedom from the 
law or power of sin. Look to this ! Doth the power of Christ's 
life throw out of thy heart and life the power of sin ? Here is 
one ground of hope. 

2. If Christ's life be mine, then I live, yet not I, but Christ 
liveth in me. Paul speaks out this evidence; I am crucified 
with Christ, ?ievertheless I live, Sfc. He conjoins the death of 
Christ, and the life of Christ, in one and the same soul : as if he 
had said, No man krft)ws the benefit of Christ's death, but he 
that feels the virtue of Christ's life; there is no assurance of 
Christ's dying for us, but as we feel Christ living in us ; if the 
power of Christ's death mortify my lusts, then the virtue of 
Christ's life will quicken my soul : / live, yet not I, hut Christ 
liveth in me: I live to God, and not unto myself; I live to 
Christ, and ix>t unto the world ; I live according to the will of 
God, and not after my own lust and fancy. O my soul ! question 
thyself in these few particulars ; dost thou live to God, and not 
thyself ? Dost thou live to Christ, and not to the world ? Dost 
thou derive thy life from Christ ? And hath that life of Christ 
a special influence in thy soul? Dost thou feel Christ living 
in thy understanding and will, in thy imagination and affections, 
in thy duties and services ? 1 . In thy understanding, by prizing 
the knowledge of Christ, by determining to know nothing in 
comparison of Christ. 2. In thy will, by making thy will free 
to choose and embrace Christ; and by making his will to rule in 
thy will. 3. In thy imagination, by thinking upon him with more 
frequency and delight ; by having more high, and honourable, 
and sweet apprehensions of Christ than of all the creatures. 
4. In thy affections, by fearing Christ above all earthly powers, 
and by loving Christ above all earthly persons. 5. In thy duty 
and services, by doing all thou doest in his name, by his assist- 
ance, and for his glory. Why then, here is another ground of 
thy hope ; surely thou hast thy part in Christ's life. 

Away, away with all doubts and perplexing fears ! If thou 
findest the power of sin dying in thee ; if thou livest, and livest 
not, but in truth it is Christ that lives in thee ; then thou may- 
est assure thyself that Christ's habitual righteousness, and actual 
holiness, is imputed to thy justification ; thou mayest confidently 
resolve that every passage of Christ's Hfe belongs to thee. Would 
Christ have ever lived in thee, have been the soul of thy soul, 
the all of thy understanding and will, imaginations and affections, 
duties and services, if he had not purposed to have saved thee 
by his life ? Surely it is good that I both hope, and quietly wait 

286 Looking unto Jesus, 

fpr the salvation of God. I cannot hope in vain^ if these be the 
grounds of my hope. 

Sect. V. — Of Believing in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us believe in Jesus cariying on the great work of our 
salvation in his life. Many souls stand aloof, not daring to make 
a particular application of Christ and his life to themselves ; but, 
herein is the property of faith, it brings all home, and makes use 
of whatsoever Christ is, or does, for himself. 

1. In order to this, faith must directly go to Christ. Many 
poor souls, humbled for sin, run immediately to the promise of 
pardon, and rest on it, not seeking for, or closing with Christ in 
the promise ; this is a common error, but we should observe, that 
the first promise that was given, was not a bare word, simply 
promising pardon, peace, or any other benefit; but, it was a pro- 
mise of Christ's person, as overcoming Satan, and purchasing 
those benefits : JVie seed of the womun shall bruise the serpeiifs 
head. So, when the promise was renewed to Abraham, it was 
not a bare promise of blessedness and forgiveness, but of that 
seed, that is, Christ, (Gal. iii. 6.) in whom that blessedness was 
conveyed : Iri thee shall all the nations of the earth he blessed. 
So that Abraham's faith first closed with Christ in the promise, 
and therefore he is said to see Christ's day, and rejoice. Christ, 
in the first place, is every where made the thing which faith em- 
braced to salvation, and whom it looks unto and respects, as it 
makes us righteous in the sight of God. God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever helieveth in 
him, should not pe7'ish, but have everlasting life. And hence it 
is called the faith of Christ, Gal. ii. 16. Phil. iii. 9. Because 
Christ is it whom faith apprehends immediately; and, as for the 
other promises, they depend all on this, — Whosoever helieveth on 
him, shall receive remission of sins; and, he that helieveth on the 
Son of God shall have life everlasting. O remember this, in the 
first place, faith must go unto Christ; and yet I mean not to 
Christ, as nakedly considered, but to Christ as compassed with 
all his promises, privileges, benefits. 

2. Faith must go to Christ, as God in the flesh. But now 
under the New Testament, our faith more usually and immedi- 
ately addresseth itself unto Christ, as God dwelUng in our 
nature, than to the Father, who is merely God. God in the 
flesh is more distinctly set forth in the New Testament, and so he 
is more distinctly to be apprehended by the faith of all believers. 
Remember this; let our faith, m the more direct and imme- 
diate exercise of it, be pitched upon Christ, as God in the 

3. Faith must go to Christ, as God in the flesh, made under 
the law. And hence it is, that the apostle joins these together ; 

Looking unto Jesus. 287 

God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law : if 
Christ had been out of the compass of the law, his being incar- 
nate, and made of a woman, had done us no good. Suppose 
one in debt, and danger of the law, to have a brother of the 
same ilesh and blood, of the same father and mother; what will 
this avail, if that same brother will not come under the law, that 
is, become his surety, and undertake for him ? This is our case, 
— we are debtors to God, and there is an hand-writing agamst 
us. Here is a bond of the law, which we have forfeited; now, 
what will Christ avail, if he had not come under the law, if he 
had not been our surety, and undertook for us? Our faith, 
therefore, must go to Christ, as made under the law, not only 
taking our nature upon him, but our debt also ; our nature as 
men, and our debt as sinful men : " he hath made himself sin for 
us, who knew no sin ;'' that is, he made him to be handled as a 
sinner for us under the law, though he knew no sin on his part, 
but continued in all things \mtten in the book of the law, to do 
them. He both satisfied the curse, and fulfilled the command- 
ments ! O remember this : as Christy, and as Christ in the flesh, 
so Christ in the flesh made under the law, is principally to be in 
the eye of our faith. If we put all together, our first view of 
faith is to look on Christ, God in the flesh, made under the 

4. Faith going to Christ as God in the flesh, and as^ made 
under the law, is principally to look to the end of Christ, as 
being God in the flesh, and as fulfilling the law. 

The apostle tells us of a remote, and of a more immediate end. 

(1 .) Of a remote end. " God sent forth his Son, made of a wo- 
man, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the 
law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.'' This was the 
remote end of Christ. Alas ! we were strangers from the adop- 
tion, and lay under the law, as men whom sentence had passed 
on. Now, from this latter we are redeemed ; he was under the 
law, that we might be redeemed from vmder the law; nor is that 
all, but as we are redeemed, so are we adopted the children of 
God : and, this end I rather attribute to the life of Christ, that 
we might receive the adoption; that is, from the estate of 
prisoners Condemned, that we might be translated into the estate 
of children adopted. O the mercy of God ! who ever heard of 
a condemned man to be afterwards adopted ? Would not a con- 
demned prisoner think himself happy to escape with life ? But 
the zeal of the Lord of hosts hath performed this; we are in 
Christ both pardoned and adopted; and, by this means, God's 
heavenly inheritance is estated upon us. O let our faith look 
mainly to this design of Christ ! He was made under the law, 
yea, and under the directive part of the law, by his life ; he ful- 
filled every tittle of the law by his obedience, that we might be 
entitled to glory. 

288 Looking unto Jesus. 

(2.) For the more immediate end of Christ : the apostle tells 
us Christ was made mider the law, or fulfilled all righteousness, 
that the law might be fulfilled in us. O my soul, look to this I 
Herein lies the pith and the marrow of thy justification. Of 
thyself thou canst do nothing good ; but Christ fulfilleth the law 
in thy stead; and if now thou wilt but exercise thy faith, thou 
mayest feel the virtue and efficacy of Christ's righteousness 
flowing into thy own soul. But here is the question, How should 
I manage my faith^ to feel Christ's righteousness my rigliteous- 
ness? I answer, i. Thy way is to discern this righteousness of 
Christ, this holy and perfect life of the Lord Jesus, in the whole, 
and in all the parts of it, as it is laid down in the written word. 
2. Thy way is to believe and to receive this as sacred and un- 
questionable in reference to thy own soul. 3. Thy vvay is to 
apply and improve this discovery according to those ends, to 
which thou beUevest they were designed. Yea, but there lies 
the question, how may that be done ? I answer, — 

[1.] Setting before thee that discovery, (that perfect life of 
Christ,) first endeavour to be deeply humbled for thy great incon- 
formity thereto in whole and in part. 

[2.] Still keeping thy spirit intent on the pattern, quicken, 
provoke, and increase thy sluggish soul, with renewed, redoubled 
vigilancy and industry, to come up higher towards it, and (if it 
were possible) completely to it. 

[3.] Yet having the same copy before thee, exercise faith 
thereupon, as that which was performed, and is accepted on thy 
behalf. And so go to God, and offer Christ's holy life and active 
obedience unto him. And that, first to fill up the defects of 
thy utmost endeavour. Secondly, to put a value and worth 
upon what thou doest, and attainest to. Thirdly, to make 
Christ's righteousness thy own, that thou mayest say with the 
psalmist, in way of assurance : O God my righteousness. 

Sect. VI. — Of Loving Jesus in that respect. 

Let us love Jesus, as carrying on the great work of our sal- 
vation, during his life. O what a lovely object is the life of 
Christ ? Who can read over his life, who can think over his 
worthiness^ both in his person, relations, actions, and several 
administrations, and not love him with a singular love ? 

O my soul, much has been said to persuade thee to faith; 
and if now thou believest thy part in those several actings of 
Christ, let thy faith take thee by the hand, and lead thee from 
one step to another ; from his b^iptism to his temptations ; from 
his temptations to his manifestations; and so on. Is not here 
fuel enough for love ? Canst thou read the history of love, (for 
such is the history of Christ's life), and not be all on a flame ? 

Looking unto ^Tesus. 289 

Come, read again ! There is nothing in Christ but what is lovely, 
winning, and drawing. 

1. When he saw thee full of filth, he goes down into the 
waters of baptism, that he might prepare a way for the cleansing 
of thy polluted soul. 

2. When he saw the devil ready to swallow thee up, he him- 
self enters in the list, and overcomes him, that thou mightest 
overcome, and triumph with Christ in his glory. 

3. When he saw thee in danger of death through thy unbelief, 
he condescends so far to succour thy weakness, as to manifest 
himself by several witnesses. Tliree in heaven, and three on 
earth; yea, he multiplies his three on earth to thousands of 
thousands : so many were the signs witnessing Christ, that the 
disciples which testified of them, could say. If they should be 
written every one) the world could not contain the books that 
should be written. 

4. When he saw thee like the horse and mule, not having 
understanding, he came with his instructions, adding line unto 
line, and precept on precept, teaching and preaching the gos- 
pel of the kingdom; and sealing his truths with many miracles, 
that thou mayest believe, and in believing mightest have life 
through his name. 

5. When he saw thee a sinner of the Gentiles, stranger from 
the commonwealth of Israel, and without God in the v/orld, he 
sent his apostles and messengers abroad, and bade them preach 
the gospel to thee : ' Go to such a one in the dark corner of the 
world, an isle at such a distance, and set up my throne amongst 
that people, open the most precious cabinet of my love there ; 
and amongst that people, tell such a soul that Jesus Christ came 
into the world to save sinners, of whom he is one. 

6. When he saw thee cast down, and refusing thy own mercy, 
crying and saying, ^ What ! is it possible that Jesus Christ should 
send a message to such a dead dog as I am ?' He then appeared, 
and even then spread his arms vride to receive thy soul: he 
cried, ' Come unto me, thou that art wxary and heavy laden 
with sin, and 1 will give thee rest.' 

7. When he saw thee in suspense, and heard thy complaint, 
^ Oh it is a hard passage, and a high ascent up to heaven ! — 
Oh, what shall become of my poor soul T He told thee that 
all his ways were ways of pleasantness, and all his paths peace ; 
— that thou shouldst find by experience his yoke was easy, and 
his burden light. 

8. When he savr the wretchedness of thy nature, and original 
pollution, he took upon him thy nature, and by this means took 
away thy original sin. Here is the lovely object! What is it 
but the absolute holiness of the nature of Christ ? This is the 
fairest beauty that ever eye beheld : this is that compendium of 
all £(lories. Now if love be a motion and union of the appetite 

^ 11. 2o 

290 Looking unto Jeaus, 

to what is lovely, how shouldst thou flame forth in love upon the 
Lord Jesus Christ ! — See, O my soul, here is the sum of all the 
particulars thou hast heard, — Christ loves thee, and Christ is 
lovely ; his heart is set upon thee, who is a thousand times fairer 
than ail the children of men. Doth not this double consideration, 
like a mighty loadstone, snatch thy heart unto it ! ^ It pleased 
thee, my Lord, to say to thy poor church. Turn away thine eyes 
from me, for they have overcome me : — But O let me say to thee, 
Turn thine eyes to me, that they may overcome me : my Lord, 
I would be thus ravished, I would be overcome; I would be thus 
out of myself, that I might be all in thee. — How chill and cold 
art thou in thy converses with Jesus Christ ! Surely, had Christ's 
love been like this faint and feeble love of mine, I had been a 
damned wretch without all hope. O Christ, I am ashamed that 
1 love thee so little; I perceive that loves are great, by all those 
actings in thy life : come, blow upon my garden, persuade me 
by the Spirit, that I may love thee ; many sins are forgiven me, 
O that I may love thee much !' 

Sect. VIL — Of Joying in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us joy in Jesus, as carrying on the great work of our 
salvation during his life, 

1 . In order to this, let us contemplate this life of Christ, let 
us spend our frequent thoughts upon this blessed object; the 
reason we miss of our joys, is, because we are so little in con- 
templations of our Christ. It is said, ' that he pities us in our 
sorrows; but he delights in us, when we delight in him.' Cer- 
tainly he would have us to delight in him; and to that purpose he 
way-lays our thoughts, that wheresoever w^e look, we shall still 
think on him : O my soul, cast thine eyes which way thou wilt, 
and thou shalt hardly look on any thing, but Christ Jesus hath 
taken the name of that very thing upon himself. What ! is it 
day, and dost thou behold the sun ? — he is called the Sun of 
righteousness. Or is it night, and dost thou behold the stars ? 
— he is called a star; there shall come a Star out of Jacob. Or 
is it morning, and dost thou behold the morning star? — he is 
called, the bright morning Star. Or is it noon, and dost thou 
behold clear light all the world over? — he is that light that 
lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Come a little 
nearer : If thou lookest on the earth, and takest a view of the 
creatures about thee ; seest thou the sheep ? — as a sheep before 
her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Or, seest 
thou a lamb ? — behold the Lamb of God, ivhich taketh away the 
sins of the world. Seest thou a shepherd watching over his 
flock : — / am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am 
known of mine. Or seest thou a fountain, rivers, waters ? — he is 
called a fountain : Jn that day there shall be a Fountain opened 

Looking unto Jesus, 291 

t<M the house of David. Or seest thou a tree, good for food, or 
pleasant to the eye? — he is called the Tree of life: and, as the 
apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved aynong 
the S071S. Seest thou a rose, a lily, any fair flower in a garden ? 
— he is called a Rose, a Lily: lam the Rose of Sharon, and the 
Lily of the valleys. To come a little nearer yet; art thou 
adorning thyself, and takest a view of thy garments ? — he is a 
garment : put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. Art thou eating 
meat, and takest a view of what is on thy table ? — he is the Bread 
of God, true Bread from heaven, the Bread of life. Thus Christ 
way-lays our thoughts, that wheresoever we look, we should 
ever think of Christ. Now, I cannot think of Christ, or the life 
of Christ, of Christ preaching, or of Christ preached, but I must 
rejoice in Christ; as sometimes the apostle said, Christ is 
preached, I therein rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. 

2. Let us upon good grounds hope our share in the life of 
Christ. Hope and joy go together: if 1 have but assured hope 
that Christ's life is mine, I cannot but rejoice therein. Look to 
this, O my soul : peruse again and again thy grounds of hope : 
do not slightly run them over; thou canst not be too sure of 
Christ. When Zaccheus in the sycamore tree heard but Christ's 
voice, Zaccheus, make haste, and come down, for to-day I must 
abide in thy house; O what haste made Zaccheus to receive 
Christ ! He came down hastily, and received him joyfully. 
This offer of Christ to Zaccheus is thine as well as his, if thy 
hope be right : — Come down, poor soul, saith Christ, This day 
7nust I abide in thy house. Then what joy should there be in 
thy heart when Christ comes in, or when thou feelest Christ come 
in! The friend of the bridegroom rejoiceth greatly because of 
the bridegroom's voice. How much more may the bride herself 
rejoice ! 

3. Let us come up to more and more fruition of Christ : all 
other things work our delight but as they look towards this. 
Now in this fruition of Christ are contained these things: (1.) 
A propriety unto Christ ; for, as a sick man doth not feel the 
joy of a sound man's health, so neither doth a stranger to Christ 
feel the joy of a believer in Christ. How should he joy in Christ 
that can make no claim to him ? (2.) A possession of Christ. 
This exceedingly enlargeth our joy. O how sweet was Christ 
to the spouse, when she could say, / am my beloved's, and my 
Beloved is mine. Many are taken up with the joy and comfort 
of outward possessions, but Christ is better than all : in one 
Christ, is comprised every scattered comfort here below. Christ 
mine, (saith the soul) and all mine. O the usefulness of Christ 
to all believing souls ? The scriptures are fidl of this, as appears 
by all his titles in scripture : he is our life, our light, our bread, our 
water, our milk, our wine ; His flesh is meat indeed, and his blood 
is drink indeed. He is our father, our brother, our friend, our hus- 

292 Lookins; unto Jesus. 

band, our king, our priest, our prophet: he is our justification, 
our sanctification, our wisdom, our redemption : he is our peace, 
our mediation, our atonement, our reconciliation, our all in all. 
Alas ! I look on myself, and I see I am nothing ; I have nothing 
without Jesus Christ. Here is a temptation, I cannot resist it ; 
here is a corruption I cannot overcome ; here is a persecution, I 
cannot down with it : well, but Christ is mine, 1 have interest 
in Christ, and I have possession of Christ, and I find enough in 
Christ to supply all my wants. 

Those that lived with him, all rejoiced for the glorious things 
that were do7ie by him. And doth not thy heart leap within 
thee, O my soul ? I cannot but check thee for thy deadness : it is 
said, that when Christ was at the descent of the mount of olives, 
the whole multitude of the disciples hegan to rejoke, and praise 
God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works that they had 
seen. What ! a multitude of disciples rejoicing in Christ's acts ? 
And art thou not one amongst the multitude ? If thou art a dis- 
ciple, rejoice thou: surely it concerns thee as much as them; 
and therefore rejoice, lift up thy voice in harmony with the rest, 
rejoice, and again rejoice. . 

Sect. VIII. — Of Calling 07i Jesus in that respect. 

Let us call on Jesus, or on God the Father in and through 
Jesus. Thus we read, that looking up to Jesus, or lifting up 
the eyes to Jesus, goes for prayer in God's book: My prayer 
will I direct to thee, saith David, and will look up. Faith in 
prayer, will often come out at the eye. Thus Stephen looked up 
to heaven ; let us look up to Jesus by calling on him : now this 
calling on him contains prayer and praise. 

1 . We must pray that all these transactions of Jesus during 
his life, or during his ministry upon earth, may be ours : we hope 
it so, and we believe it to be so ; but for all that, we must pray 
that it may be so. There is no contradiction betwixt hope, and 
faith, and* prayer; Lord, I believe, yet help my unbelief; be it 
to me according to my faith, how weak soever. 

2. We must praise God for all those passages in Christ's life. 
Thus did the multitude : They praised God with a loud voice, 
saying, Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord, 
peace in heaven, and glory in the highest! What, my soul, hath 
Christ done this for thee ? Was he made under the law to re- 
deem thy soul, and adopt thee for his son, to the inheritance of 
heaven ? Came he down from heaven, and travelled so many 
miles on earth, to woo and win thy heart ? Spent he so many 
sermons, and so many miracles to work thee into faith ? O how 
shouldst thou bless, and praise, and magnify his name ! How 
shouldst th^ou break out into that blessed hymn ; To him that 
loved us, and hath made us kings a7id priests imfo God, and 

Looking unto Jesus. 293 

his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. 

Sect. IX. — Of Conforming to Jesus in that respect. 

Let lis conform to Jesus, as he acted for us in his life. 
Looking to Jesus, intends this especially: we must look as one 
looks to his pattern ; as mariners at sea, that they may run a right ' 
course, keep an eye on that ship that bears the light : so in the 
race that is set before us, we must have our eye on Jesus, our 
blessed pattern. This must be our constant query, ' Is this the 
course that Jesus steered?' 

In this particular I shall examine these three queries: 1. 
Wherein we must conform? 2. Why we must conform? 3. 
How we must conform to this life of Jesus ? 

For the first, I answer, — 

We must not, cannot, conform to Christ in those works proper 
to his godhead; as in working miracles. — Nor need we to con- 
form to Christ in some other particulars : as, in his voluntary 
poverty, and ceremonial performances. 

But we must conform to Christ's life. 

1. In respect of his judgment, will, affections; look we at his 
Spirit, observe what mind was in Jesus Christ, Let the same 
7nind he in you which was in Christ, Phil. ii. 5. 1 Cor. ii. 16. 

2. In respect of his virtues, graces, holiness. Learn of me, 
saith Christ, for lam meek and lowly in heart. I might instance 
in all other graces ; for he had them all in fulness : And of his 
fulness have we all received, grace for grace. 

3. In respect of his words. The very officers of the priest 
could say, Never man spake like this man : and sometimes they 
all wondered at the gracious ivoi'ds which proceeded out of his 
mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again. 

4. In respect of his carriage, conversation, close walking with 
God. The apostle sets forth Christ as an high priest, who was 
holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners: and in 
like manner saith Peter; Ye are a chosen generation, a royal 
priesthood, cm holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should 
sheiv forth the virtues of him who hath called you out of dark- 
ness into his marvellous light; — that ye should in your lives and 
conversations express those graces and virtues which were so 
eminent in Jesus Christ; that you should, not only have them, 
but that you should hold them forth. The word signifies 
properly, to preach : so clearly should we express the virtues of 
Christ. As if our lives were so many sermons of the life of 

As for all other saints, though they are imitable, yet with 
limitation, only so far as they express his life in their conversa- 
tion ; Be ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ. 

294 Looking unto >Je^us. 

For the second ; — Why must we conform ? upon what motives ? 
I answer; 1. Because Christ hath done and suffered much to 
that end. If it had not been for thy imitation, I cannot think 
that Christ would have Hved on earth so many years, to have 
done so many glorious and meritorious works. 

2. Because Christ is the best and highest exemplar of holi- 
ness that ever the world had : hence we must needs conform to 
Christ. Christ is the head of the body, the heginnin^, thefir&t- 
bomfrom the dead, in all things lie hath the pre-eminence : and 
the rule is general, that, that \A'hich is first and best in any 
kind, is the rule and measure of all the rest. Why, such is 
Christ; O then let him be the guide of our life, and of our 

3. Because Christ doth not only give us an example, but he 
doth succour and assist us by its easiness. Some sweetly ob- 
serve, that Christ's piety (which we must imitate) was even, 
constant, unblameable, complying with civil society, without any 
prodigious instances of actions greater than the imitation of 
men. We are not commanded to imitate a life, whose story tells 
us of ecstasies in prayer, of abstractions of senses, — no; but a 
life of justice, piety, and devotion: and it is very remarkable, 
that besides the easiness of this imitation, there is a virtue and 
efficacy hi the life of Christ : it may be, we think our way to 
heaven is troublesome, obscure, and full of objection: ^ Weil,' 
saith Christ, ' but mark my footsteps ; come on, and tread where 
1 have stood, and you shall find the virtue of my example will 
make all smooth and easy; you shall find the comforts of my 
company, you shall feel the virtue and influence of a perpetual 

4. Because Christ in his word hath commanded us to follow 
his steps : Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. — 
And ye call me blaster and Lord, and ye say well, for so I am ; 
if I then, your Lord and 3Iaster, have washed your feet, ye 
also ought to wash one another's feet, for I have given you an 
example, that ye should do as I have done to you. — And as he 
which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all ina^iner of con- 
versation; because it is written. Be ye holy, for lam holy. We 
must be holy as Christ is holy, yet still we must look at the holi- 
ness of Christ, as the sun, and root, and fountain; and that our 
holiness is but as a beam of that sun, but as a branch of that 
root, but as a stream of that fountain. 

For the third, How must we conform to this life ? I an- 
swer : — 

1 . Let us be humbled for our great unconformity to this copy. 
What an excellent pattern is here before us ; and how far, how 
infinitely, do we come short ! Alas ! if Christ will not own me, 
unless he see his image written upon me, what will become of 
ray poor soul ? Why, Christ was meek, and humble, and lowly 

Looking unto Jesua, 295 

in spirit ; Christ even went about doing good : and now, when I 
come to examine my own heart according to this original, I am 
as opposite to Christ as hell to heaven. O wo is me ! what a 
vast disproportion there is betwixt Christ's Mfe and mine ! 
Thus, O my soul, shouldst thou humble thyself; each morning, 
each prayer, each meditation, each self-examination, shouldst 
thou fetch new, fresh, clear, particular occasions of humiliation : 
as thus, lo there the evenness, gravity, holiness, heavenliness, of 
Jesus Christ; lo there the dear love, tender pity, constant in- 
dustry, unwearied pains, self-denial, contempt of the world, in 
Jesus Christ ; lo there those continual devout breathings of soul 
after God his Father's glory, after the immortal good of precious 
souls. O the sweet expressions, gracious conversation? O 
the blessed lustre of his divine soul! O the sweet counte- 
nance, sacred discourse, ravishing demeanour, winning deport- 
ment, of Jesus Christ ! and now reflect I upon myself; O the 
wide disproportion of mine therefrom ! I should punctually an- 
swer, perfectly resemble, accurately imitate, exactly conform to, 
this life of Christ : but, ah ! my unevenness, lightness, vanity ! 
ah, my deformity, slightness, execrableness ! ah my sensuality, 
brutishness, devilishness ! how clearly are these, and all my other 
enormities, discovered by the blessed life of Jesus ! 

2. Let us quicken our sluggish souls to conform to Christ. If 
this was one of the ends of Christ's coming, to destroy the works 
of the devil, to deface all Satan's works, especially his work in 
me, and to set his own stamp on my soul; how then should 
I but endeavour to conform ! I read but of two ends of Christ's 
coming into the world in relation to us ; whereof the first was 
to redeem his people, and the other was to purify his people : 
He gave himself for us, that he might redeem its from all ini- 
quity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good 
works. The one is the work of his merit, which goeth up- 
wards to the sanctification of his Father ; the other is the work 
of his gi*ace, which goeth downwards to the sanctification of his 
church : in the one he bestoweth his righteousness on us by im- 
putation, in the other he fashioneth his image in us by renova- 
tion ; and what, O my soul, w^ouldst thou destroy the end of 
Christ's coming in the flesh ? Thus let us provoke our souls to 
this conformity ; let us excite our faint, drooping, languishing 
affections, desires, endeavours. Let us with enlarged industry en- 
gage and encourage our backward spirits to fall upon this duty ; 
let us come up higher towards it, or if possibly we may, completely 
to it ; that the same mind, and mouth, and life, may be in us that 
was in Jesus Christ, that we may be found to walk after Christ, 
that we may tread in the very prints of the feet of Christ, that 
we may climb up after him into the same heavenly kingdom ; that 
we may aspire continually towards him, and grow up to him, 
even to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 

296 Looking unto Jesus, 

3. Let us regulate ourselves by the life of Christ ; whatsoever 
action we go about, jet us do it by this rule, — would Christ have 
done this ? It is true, some things are expedient and lawful with 
us, which are not suitable to the person of Christ : Marriage is 
honourable with all men, and the bed undejiled, but it did not 
benefit his person. Writing of books is commendable with men, 
because, like Abel, being dead, they may still speak; but it 
would have been derogatory to the person and office of Christ : 
for it is his prerogative to be in the midst of the seven golden 
candlesticks, to be present to all his members; to teach by 
power, and not by ministry ; to write his law in the hearts of his 
people, and to make them his epistle. In these things we must 
only respect the allowance of Christ, but in other things we must 
reflect upon the example of Christ, as, 1 . In sinful acts eschewed 
by Christ. 2. In moral duties that were done by him. 

(1.) In sinful acts eschewed by Christ, as when I am tempted 
to sin, then am I to reason thus with myself: would my blessed 
Saviour, if he were upon earth, do thus and thus ? If he were 
to live again, would he live after this manner ? Would this be 
his language? would such speech as this drop from his lips? 

(2.) In case of moral obedience, concerning which we have 
both his pattern and precept. I look upon Christ as my rule ; 
and I question thus. Did Christ frequently pray with his disciples, 
and ^ alone? And shall I never in my family, or in my closet, 
think upon God ? Did Christ shew mercy to his very enemies ? 
And shall I be cruel to Christ's members ? O my soul, look in 
all thy sins, and in all thy duties, to thy original, and measure 
them by the holiness of Christ ! Whether in avoiding sin, or in 
doing duty, think — what would my blessed Saviour do in this 
case, or what did he in the like case, when he was upon earth ? 
If we had these thoughts every day, if Christ were continually 
before our eyes, if in all we do or speak we should still muse on 
this — what would Jesus Christ say, if he were here ? it would be 
a blessed means of living in comfort, and spiritual conformity to 
the commands of God. 

Let us look fixedly on Jesus Christ; let us keep our spiritual 
eyes still on the pattern, until we feel ourselves conforming 
to it ; let us set the copy of Christ's life in our view, and let 
us look upon it with the eye of reason, and with the eye of 

But how should we keep the eye of our faith on this blessed 
object, until we feel this conformity in us ? I answer, — 

1 . Let us set apart some times on purpose : the day begins to 
close ; if together with our closet prayer we would fall on this 
duty of looking unto Jesus by lively faith, how blessed a season 
might this be ? 

2. Let us remove hinderances : Satan labours to hinder the 
soul from beholding Christ with the dust of the world. The 

Loohing unto Jesus, 297 

god of this world blinds the eyes of men : O take heed of fix- 
ing our eyes on this world ! Our own corruptions are also great 
hinderances to this view of Christ : away with all carnal passions, 
sinful desires ; unless the soul be spiritual, it can never behold 
spiritual things. 

3. Let us fix our eyes only on this blessed object; amoving 
eye sees nothing clearly : when the angels are said to look into 
these things, the word signifies, that they look into them nar- 
rowly ; as they who bowing or stooping down look into a thing, 
so should we look narrowly into the life of Christ ; our eye of 
faith should be set upon it in a steady manner, as if we for- 
got all the things behind, and had no other business in the 

4. Let us look on Christ with a craving eye, with an humble ex- 
pectation to receive a supply of grace. Lord, thou art not only 
anointed with the oil of gladness above thy fellows, but for thy fel- 
lows ; I am earthly-minded, but thou art heavenly ; I am full of lusts, 
but the image of God is perfect in thee ; thou art the fountain of 
all grace, an head of all influence, as well as of eminence ; thou 
art not only above me, but thou hast all grace for me : O give me 
some portion of thy meekness, lowliness, heavenly-mindedness, 
and of all the other graces of thy Spirit. Surely thou art an 
heaven of grace, full of bright shining stars : O that of that ful- 
ness thou wouldst give me to receive grace for grace. 

5. Be ye assured that our prayer (if it be in faith) is even now 
heard ; never any came to Christ with strong expectations to 
receive grace, or any benefit prayed for, that was turned empty 
away ; besides, Christ hath engaged himself by promise, to make 
us like himself : as he which hath called us is hoh/, so should (yea, 
and so shall) ive he holy in all inanner of conversation. O let us 
build on his gracious promise : heaven and earth shall pass away 
before one tittle of his word shall fail ; only understand we that 
our conformity must be gradual : Tfe all ivith open face, he- 
holding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into 
the same image from glory to glory, i. e. from grace to grace ; 
or from glory inchoate in obedience, to glory consummate in 

6. If, notwithstanding all this, we feel not for the present this 
conformity in us, at least in such a degree ; let us act over the 
same particulars again : the gifts of grace arc therefore com- 
municated by degrees, that we might be taken off from living 
upon a received stock of grace, and that we might still be run- 
ning to the spring ; we have continual need of Christ's letting 
out grace into our hearts, and therefore we must wait at the 
well-head, Christ ; we must look on Christ as app6inted on pur- 
pose by his Father to be the beginner and finisher of our holi- 
ness ; and we must believe that he will never leave that work 
imperfect, whereunto he is ordained of the Father. O then 

11. 2 p 

298 Looking unto Jesus, 

be not weary of this work^ until he accomplish the desires of 
thy soul. 

I have now done with this subject; only^ before 1 finish^ one 
word more. I deny not other helps ; but amongst them all^ if I 
would make choice which to call upon, that I may become more 
and more holy, I would set before me this glass ; i, e. Christ's 
holy life, the great exemplar of holine&s ; and this image we lost 
through our sin, and to this image we should endeavour to be 
restored by imitation ; and how should this be done but by look- 
ing on Christ as our pattern ? In this respect I charge thee, O 
my soul (for to what purpose should I charge others, if I begin 
not at home?) that thou make conscience of this evangelical 
duty : O be much in the exercise of it ; not only in the day, but 
when night comes, and thou liest down on thy bed, let thy 
pillow be as Christ's bosom, in which John the beloved disciple 
was said to lean ; there lean thou with John ; thus mayest thou 
lie down in peace, and the Lord only will make thee to dwell in 
safety; and when day returns again, have this in mind, yea, in 
all thy thoughts, words, and deeds, even look unto Jesus as thy 
holy exemplar : say to thyself. If Christ my Saviour were now 
upon earth, would these be his thoughts, words, and deeds? 
would he be thus disposed as I now feel myself? would he 
speak these words that I am now uttering? would he do this 
that I am now putting my hand unto ? O let me not yield my- 
self to any thought, word, or action, which Jesus would be 
ashamed to own : yea, if it were possible, going and standing, 
sitting and l>nng, eating and drinking, speaking and holding thy 
peace, by thyself or in company, cast an eye upon Jesus, for by 
this means thou canst not chuse but love him more, and joy in 
him more, and trust in him more, and be more and more familiar 
with him, and draw more and more grace, and virtue, and sweet- 
ness, from him : O let this be thy wisdom, to think much of 
Christ, so as to provoke thee to imitation ; then shalt thou learn 
to contemn the world, to do good to all, to injure no man, to suf- 
fer wrong patiently, yea, to pray for those that despitefully use 
thee, and persecute thee; then shalt thou learn to '^ bear about 
in thy body the dying of our Lord Jesus Christ, that the life of 
Jesus may be made manifest in thy body." This is to follow 
Christ's steps: he descended from heaven to earth for thy sake; 
do thou trample on earthly things, seek after the kingdom of God 
and his righteousness, for thy own sake : though the world be 
sweet, yet Christ is sweeter ; though the world prove bitter, yet 
Christ sustained the bitterness of it for thee : and now he speaks 
to thee, as he did to Peter, Andrew, James, and John, Come, 
follow me ; O do not faint in the way, lest thou lose thy place in 
thy comitry, that kingdom of glory. • 

Lookifig unlo Jesus. 299 





Sect. I. — Of the Day of Christ's Sufferings, divided into Parts 

and Hours. 

1 H E Sun of righteousness, that arose with healing, we shall 
now see go down in a ruddy cloud. And in this piece, as in the 
former, we must first lay down the object, and then direct you 
to look upon it. * 

The object is Jesus, carrying on the work of man's salvation 
during the time of his sufferings ; we shall observe them, as they 
were carried on successively in those few hours of his passion 
and death. 

The whole time of these last sufferings of Christ, I shall re- 
duce to somewhat less than one natural day; day before us, 
consisting of twenty-four hours ; and begin with the evening, 
according to the beginning of natural days from the creation, (as 
it is said, The evening and the morniiig made the first day.) In 
this revolution of time, I shall observe these several passages. — 

1. About six in the evening, Christ celebrated and eat the 
Passover with his disciples, at which time he instituted the sa- 
crament of the Lord's supper, and this continued till the eighth 

2. About eight in the evening, he washed the disciples' feet, 
and then leaning on the table, pointed out Judas that should be- 
tray him ; and this continued until the ninth hour. 

3. About nine in the evening, (the second watch in the night,) 
Judas went from the disciples ; and in the mean time, Christ 
made that spiritual sermon, and afterwards that spiritual prayer, 
recited by John, chap. xiv. xv. xvi. xvii. and this (together 
with a psalm they sung) continued at least until the tenth 
hour. That which concerns his passion, follows immediately 
upon this ; and that only I shall take notice in my follomng 

This passion of Christ I shall divide between the night and 
day. 1, For the night, and his sufferings therein, we may ob- 
serve these periods : 

300 Looking unto Jesus, 

1. From ten to twelve, he goes over the brook Cedron, to ti. 
garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed earnestly, and sweat 

2. From twelve to three, he is betrayed, bound, brought to 
Jerusalem, and carried into the house of Annas, the chief 

3. From three till six, they led him from Annas to Caiaphas, 
when he and all the priests of Jerusalem set upon Jesus Christ; 
and there it was that Peter denied Christ, and at last the whole 
Sanhedrim gave their consent to Christ's condemnation. 

4. At six in the morning, about sun-rising, our Saviour was 
brought unto Pilate, and Judas Iscariot hanged himself. — About 
seven, Christ is carried to Herod, who the year before had put 
John the Baptist to death. — At eight, our Saviour is returned to 
Pilate, who propounded to the Jews, whether they would have 
Jesus or Barnabas loosed. — About the ninth, (vvhich the Jews 
call the third hour of the day,) Christ was whipped and crov/ned 
with thorns. — About ten, Pontius Pilate brought forth Jesus out 
of the common-hall, saying. Behold the man f and then, in the 
place called Gabbatha, publi(;ly condemned him to be crucified. 
— About eleven, our Saviour carried his cross, and was brought 
to the place called Golgotha, where he was fastened on the 
cross, and lifted up, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder- 
7iess. — About twelve, (which the Jews call the sixth hour,) that 
supernatural eclipse of the sun happened. — And about three in 
the afternoon, which the Jews call the ninth hour,) the sun now 
beginning to receive his light, Christ cried. It isjimshed! and 
commending his Spirit into his Father's hands, gave up the 
Ghost. — I shall add to these; that about four in the afternoon, 
our blessed Saviour was jjierced with a spear, — iVnd about five, 
(which the Jews call the eleventh, and the last hour of the day,) 
he was buried by Joseph of Arimathea andNicodemus. — So that 
in this round of our natural day, you see the wonderful trans- 
action of Christ's sufferings. 

Sect. II. — Of the Brook over which Christ passed. 

The first passage of that night, was Christ's going over the 
brook Cedron, to the t>arden of Getbscmane. TFhoi Jesus had 
spoken these ivords, he luent forth ivith his disciples over the 
hrook Cedron, ivhere ivas a garden, into which he entered, and 
his disciples. 

In this passage observe we these particulars. 1 . The river 
over which they passed. 2. The garden into which they entered. 
3. The prayer he made. 4. The agonies he suffered. 

1 . He and his disciples went over the brook Cedron. So it 
was called, say some, from the cedars that grew along the banks ; 
or, say others, from the darkness of the valley, so kader signifies 

Looking unto Jesus, 301 

darkness ; find this was done to fulfil a prophecy : He shall drink 
of the brook in the ivay. By the hrook, we may understand 
mystically the wrath of God, and rage of men, the afflictions 
which befell Jesus Christ; and by his drinking of the brook, 
Christ's enduring afflictions. 

2. In the way, he hath a serious conference with his disciples : 
so the evangelist; And when they lutd simg an hymn, they went 
out towards the mount of Olives, and then saith Jesus unto 
them,. All ye shall he offended, because of me this ?ifght; for it is 
written, Iivill smite the Shepherd, and the sheep ofthejiock shall 
be scattered abroad. Christ now begins the story of his passion, 
the Shepherd shall be smitten; and he proves it from the pro- 
phecy of the prophet Zechariah, xiii. 7« Aiuake, O sword, 
against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow. — 
Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered abroad. 
God the Father is here brought in, as drawing and whetting his 
sword, and calling upon it to do execution against Jesus Christ. 
Christ's sufferings were long since resolved on in the councils of 
heaven ; and now in the way, the only-begotten Son, which lay 
in the bosom of his Father, reveals this story ; he tells his dis- 
ciples. It is ivritten, I will smite the Shepherd, and ilie sheep of 
the jiock shall be scattered. 

3. The disciples hearing this, are amazed ; Peter, vv ho seems 
boldest, speaks tirst : Though all men should be offended because 
of thee, yet ivill I never be offended. O rash presumption ! it 
appears in these particulars: — 1. Peter prefers himself before 
the rest, as if ail other disciples had been v/eak, and he only 
strong : Thovgh all should lie offended, yet will not I. 2. Peter 
contradicts Christ, with a few bragging words; as if he had said, 
'What, though Zechary hata said it, yet I will never do it; 
Though I should die ivith thee, I will not deny thee.' 3. Peter 
never mentions God's assistance; whereas the apostle's rule is. 
Ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this and 
tliat: so Peter should have said, ' By God's assistance I will not 
be offended, by the Lord's help I will not deny thee.' 

4. Ah, my brethren ! let us remember we are pilgrims and 
strangers upon earth, and our way lies over the brook Cedron ; 
we cannot expect to enter with Christ into glory, but we must 
fiv^t drink of t lie brook in the way; that is, we must endure 
many afflictions, variety of afflictions. You will say. Tins is an 
hard saying, who can liear itf ^.Vhen Jesus told his disciples 
of his sufferings to be accomplished at Jerusalem, Peter takes 
the boldness to dehort his Master, Be it far from thee. Lord, 
this sliall 7iot be unto thee: Jesus thereupon calls him Satan, 
meaning that no greater contradictions can be offered to the 
designs of God, than to dissuade us from sufferings. There is 
too much of Peter's humour amongst us ; O, this doctrine of 
afflictions will not down with Antinomians ; and hence we believe 

302 Looking unto Jesiis. 

we have our congregations so thin^ in comparison of some of 
tiieirs; they that can break off the yoke of obedience, and present 
heaven in the midst of flowers, and offer great liberty of living 
nnder sin, shall have their schools filled with disciples; but they 
that preach the cross, and sufferings, and afflictions, and strict- 
ness of an holy life, shall have the lot of their blessed Lord; that 
is, they shall be ill thought of, and deserted, and railed against. 
Well, but if this be the way that Christ hath led us, let us 
follow him over the brook. 

Sect. III. — Of the Garden into which Christ entered, 

Matthew relates it thus : IVien cometh Jesus with them unto 
a place called Gethsemane ; that is, a valley of fatness ; certainly, 
it was a most fruitful and pleasant place, seated at the foot of 
the mount of Olives ; accordingly John relates it thus : Jesus 
went forth tvith his disciples over the brook Cedron^ where was a 
gai'den. I believe it is not without reason, that our Saviour goes 
into a garden. 1 . Because gardens are solitary places, fit for me- 
ditation and prayer; to this end, we find Christ sometimes on a 
mountain, and sometimes in a garden. 2. Because gardens 
are places fit for repose and rest, when Christ was weary with 
preaching, working of miracles, and doing acts of grace in Jeru- 
salem, then he retires into this garden. 3. Because a garden 
was the place wherein we fell, and therefore Christ made choice 
of a garden, to begin the work of our redemption. 4. Christ 
goes into this garden, that his enemies might the more easily 
find him out; the evangelist tells us, Judas, which betrayed him, 
knew the place, for Jesus oftentimes resorted thither ivith his 
disciples: sure then he went not thither to hide himself; but 
rather to expose himself, to appear first in the field, and to ex- 
pect his enemies. Thus it appears to all the world, that Christ's 
death was voluntary. He poureth forth his soul unto death, 
saith the prophet ; He gave himself for our sins, saith the apos- 
tle ; nay, himself tells us, Therefore doth my Father love rne, 
because I lay down my life : no man taketh it from me, but I lay 
it down of myself; I have power to lay it doivn, and I have 
power to take it up again. 

Sect. IV. — Of the Prayer that Christ there made, 

Jesus entering the garden, left his disciples at the entrance 
of it, calling with him Peter, James, and John ; they only saw 
his transfiguration, the earnest of his future glory, and there- 
fore his pleasure was, that they only should see of how great 
glory he would disrobe himself, for our sakes. — 

He betakes himself to his great antidote, which himself pre- 
scribed to all the world: he prays his heavenly Father; he 


Looking unto Je^us, 303 

kneels down; and not only so, but falls flat upon the ground; 
he prays with an intension great as his sorrow, and yet with a 
submission so ready, as if the cup had been the most indifferent 
thing in the world. The form of his prayer ran thus, O yny 
Father, if it he possible, let this cup jyassfroni me ; nevertheless, 
not as I will, but as thou wilt. In his prayer observe we 
these particulars : 1 . The person to whom he prays, O my Fa- 
ther. 2. The matter for which he prays ; let this cup jmssfrom 
me. 3. Tlie limitation of this prayer; if it be possible, and if it 
be thy ivill. 

1 . For the person to whom he prays ; it is his Father. As 
Christ prayed not in his godhead, but according to his manhood ; 
so neither prayed he to himself as God, but to the Father, the 
first person of the godhead. 

2. For the matter of his prayer. Let this cup pass from me, 
some interpret thus : " Let this cup pass from me ; though I must 
taste it, yet O that I may not be too long!" That which leads 
unto this last interpretation, is that of the apostle: Christ, in the 
days of his jiesh, offered up prayers and supplications ivith 
strong cries and tears, unto him that was able to save him from 
death; and he was heard in that which he feared, Heb. v. 7' 
How was he heard ? not in the removal of the cup, for he drank 
it all up ; but in respect of the tedious annoyance ; for though 
it made him sweat drops of blood, though it laid him dead in 
his grave, yet presently, within the space of forty hours, he 
revived, and awaked, as a giant refreshed with wine : and so it 
passed from him, as he prayed, in a very short time ; and by that 
short death, he purchased to his people everlasting life. 

3. For the limitation of his prayer ; If it be possible, if it be 
thy ivill. He knows what is his Father's will, and he prays 
accordingly, and is willing to submit unto it ; if the passing of the 
cup be according to the last interpretation, we shall need none of 
those many distinctions to reconcile the will of God and Christ. 
If it be possible, signifies the earnestness of the prayer; and. 
If it be thy will, the submission of Christ unto his Father : the 
prayer is short, but sweet. How many things needful to a 
prayer do we find concentred in this ! Here is humiUty of spirit, 
lowliness of deportment, importunity of desire, a fervent heart, a 
lawful matter, and a resignation to the will of God. Some 
think this the most fervent prayer that ever Christ made on 
earth: If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. And, I 
think it was the greatest submission to the will of God, that ever 
was found upon the earth ; for whether the cup might pass or 
not pass, he leaves it to his Father; nevertheless not as I will, 
but as thou wilt: as if he had said, 'Though in this cup are 
many ingredients, it is full red, and hath in it many dregs, and I 
know I must drink, and suck out the very utmost dreg; yet, 
w hether it shall pass from me hi that short time, or continue with 

304 Looking unto Jesus. 

me a long time, I leave to thy will ; I see, in respect of my huma- 
nity, there is in me flesh and blood ; I cannot but fear the wrath 
of God; and therefore I pray thus earnestly unto my God : O 
my Father, if it he possible, let this cup pass from me; never- 
tJieless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 

But what was there in the cup, that made Christ pray thus 
earnestly that it might pass from him ? I answer — 

1. The great pain that he must endure; the buffetings, 
whippings, bleedings, crucifyings ; all the torments from first to 
last, throughout all his body ; all these now came into his mind, 
and all these were put into the cup of which he must drink. 

2. The great shame that he must undergo. Now came into 
his thoughts, his apprehending, binding, judging, scorning, re- 
viling, condemning; and, O, what a bloody blush comes into the 
face of Christ, whilst in the cup he sees these ingredients ! 

3. The neglect of men, notwithstanding both his pain and 
shame. I look upon this as a greater cut to the heart of Christ, 
than both the former; when he considered, that after all his 
sufferings and reproaches, few would regard. This was a bitter 
ingredient ! Naturally men desire, if they cannot be delivered, 
yet to be pitied ; but when it comes to this, that a poor wretch is 
under many sufferings, and finds none to regard, it is an heavy 
case; hence was Christ's complaint: Have ye no regard, O all 
ye that pass by the way ? Consider^ and behold if ever there 
were sorrow like unto my sorrow! Christ complains not of the 
sharp pains he endured, but of this. Have ye 7io regard? He 
cries not out, '^ O deliver me, and save me;' but, ' O consider 
and regard me :' as if he had said, ' All that I suffer, I am con- 
tented with, I regard it not; only this troubles me, that you will 
not regard : it is for you that I endure all this ; and do you so 
look upon it, as if it nothing at all concerned you ? Christ is 
willing to redeem us with his own precious blood ; but he saw 
many to pass by mthout any regard, yea, ready to trample his 
precious blood under their feet, and to account the blood of the 
covenant cm unholy thing: this was another spear in the heart 
of Christ, a bitter ingredient in this cup. 

4. The guilt of sin which he was nov/ to undergo; upon him 
was laid the iniquity of us all. All the sins of all the world, 
from the first creation to the last judgment, were laid on him: 
O what a weight was this ! Surely one sin is like a talent of 
lead : O, then, what were so many thousands of millions ! The 
very earth itself groans under the weight of sin until this day. 
David cried out, that his iniquities were ^ a burden too heavy 
for him to bear.* Nay, God himself complains, Behold, I am 
pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves. 
Then no wonder if Christ, bearing all the sins of Jews and gen- 
tiles, bond and free, cry out. My soul is heavy ; for sin was heavy 
on his soul : — Christ, his own self, bare our sins in his oion body 

Looking unto tfesus. 305 

on the tree. How bare our sins on the tree, but by his sufferings ? 
— And he hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. How laid on 
him, but by imputation ? — A?id he hath made him to be sin for us, 
who knew no sin. How made sin for us ? Surely there was in 
Christ no fundamental guilt ; no, but he was made sin by impu- 
tation : he was our surety, and so our sins were laid on him, in 
order to punishment : as if now in the garden, he had said to 
his Father, ' Thou hast given me a body ; as I have taken the 
debts and sins of all the world upon me, come now, and arrest 
me as the only paymaster. Lo here I am, to do and suffer for 
their sins whatsoever thou pleasest,' Psal. xl. 6, 7? 8. Heb. x. 
4 — ^9. Now this was no small matter ; little do we know or con- 
sider, what is the weight and guilt of sin. And this was another 
ingredient in Christ's cup. 

5. The power and malice of Satan : the devil had full leave ; not 
as it was witli Job, Do ivhat thou ivilt, but save his life. No, he 
had a commission without any such limitation ; the whole power 
of darkness was let loose to afflict him, as far as possibly he could; 
and this our Saviour intimates, when he saith, that the prince of 
this world comet h. Now was it that the word must be accomplish- 
ed. Thou shall bruise his heel. If we look on the devil in respect 
of his evil nature, he is compared to a roaring lio7i : not only is 
he a lion, but a roaring lion ; his disposition to do mischief, is 
ahvays wound up to the height ; and if we look on the devil in 
respect of his power, there is no part of our souls or bodies that 
he cannot reach; the apostle describing his power, gives him 
names above the highest comparisons ; as principalities, poivers, 
7'ulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness above. 
Devils are not only called princes, but principalities; not only 
mighty, but poivers; not only rulers of a part, but of all the 
darkness of all this ivorld; not only wicked spirits, but spiritual 
wickedness; not only about us, but aAoi;e ?«5; they hang over our 
heads continually : you know what a disadvantage it is to have 
your enemy get the upper ground ; and this they have naturally, 
and always. O then, what a combat must this be, when ali the 
power, and all the malice, of all the devils in hell, should, by the 
permission of God, arm themselves against the Son of God. 
Surely this was a bitter ingredient in Christ's cup. 

6. The wrath of God himself: this, above all, was the most 
bitter dreg; it lay in the bottom, and Christ must drink it also. 
The Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce angei". God 
afflicts some in his mercy and some in anger; this was in his 
anger : and yet in his anger God is not alike to all ; some he 
afflicts in his more gentle and mild, others in his fierce anger; 
this was in the very fierceness of his anger. Christ saw himself 
bearing the sins of all, and standing before the judgment-seat of 
God ; to this end, are those words, Nmv is the Judgment of this 
world, and the prince of this world shall be cast out. Now is 

11. 2q 

306 Looking unto J^esus, 

the judgment of this world; as if he had said, ^ Now I see God 
sitting in judgment upon the world ; and as a right representa- 
tive of all the world, here I stand before his tribunal, ready to 
undergo all the punishment due to them for their sins : there is 
no other way to save their souls, and to satisfy justice, but that 
the fire of thy indignation should kindle against me ; as if he had 
said, ' I know it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the 
living God : I know God is a consuming Jire ; ivho can stand he- 
fcyre his indignation ? and who can abide in the fierceness of his 
anger ? his fury is poured out like Jire, and the rocks are thrown 
doivn by him. But for this end came I into the world. O my 
Father, I will drink this cup. Lo here an open breast ; come, 
prepare the armoury of thy wrath, and herein shoot all the arrows 
of revenge. — And yet, O my Father, let me not be swallowed up 
by thy wrath ; there is in me flesh and blood, in respect of my 
humanity, and my flesh trembleth for fear of thee ; I am afraid 
of thy judgments ; O ! if it be possible, if it be possible^ let this 
cup pass from me,* 

Sect. V. — Of the Agonies that Christ suffered, 

Christ's passion in the garden, was either before, or at, his 
apprehension ; his passion before is declared, 1 . By his sorrow. 
2. By his sweat. 

1. For his sorrow. The evangelists diversly relate it: He 
began to be sorrowful and very heavy, said Matthew : He began 
to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy, saith Mark : And being 
in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, saith Luke : Now is my 
soul troubled, and luhat shall I say f Father, save me from this 
hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour, saith John. All 
avow this sorrow to be great, and so it is confessed by Christ 
himself: Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrow- 
ful, even unto death. Ah, Christians ! who can speak out this 
sorrow ? The SpiiHt of a 7nan will sustain his inflrmity, but a 
wounded spirit who can bear? Christ's soul is sorrowful; or, if 
that be too flat, his soul is exceeding sorrowful; or, if that lan- 
guage be too low, his soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto 
death; such, and so great, as that which is used to be at the 
very point of death ; and such as were able to bring death itself, 
had not Christ been reserved to an heavier punishment. Many 
a sorrowful soul have been in the world ; but the like sorrow to 
this, was never since the creation. Surely the bodily torments 
df the cross, were inferior to this agony of his soul : it was a 
sorrow unspeakable. 

2. And his sweat was us it were great drops of blood falling 
down to the ground. 1. His sweat was as it were blood. Here 
is the first step ; his sweat was a wonderful sweat, not a sweat of 
water, but of red gore-blood. 

Looking unto Jesits. 307 

3. Great drops of blood, Opofi^oi aifiaro^. This bloody sweat of 
Christ, came not from him in small dews, but in great drops; 
they were drops, and great drops of bloody thick drops ; and 
hence it is concluded as preternatural : for though in faint bodies, 
a subtile thin blood, like sweat, may pass through the pores of 
the skin; tliat through the same pores, thick and great drops of 
blood should issue out, could not be without a miracle. 

4. They were great drops of blood falling doivn to the ground: 
great drops, and those so many, that they went through his 
apparel, streaming down to the ground. Now was it, that his 
garments were dyed with crimson. That of the prophet, though 
spoken in another sense, yet in some respect may be applied to 
this : Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments 
like him that treadeth the ivine-fat? O what a sight was here ! 
His head and members are all on a bloody sweat, his sweat 
trickles down to the ground. O happy garden, watered with 
such tears of blood! how much better are these rivers than 
Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus; yea, than all the 
waters of Israel ; yea, than all those rivers that water the garden 
of Eden !— 

Thus far of Christ's passion before his apprehension. And 
now we may suppose it about midnight, the very time which 
Christ called the hour and power of darkness. What followed 
from twelve till three at night, we shall discover in the next 

Sect. VI. — Of Judas' s Treason, Christ's Apprehension, Bind- 
ing, and Leading unto Annas, 

By this time, the traitor Judas was arrived at Gethsemane, 
and being near the garden door, Jesus goes to his disciples, and 
calls them from their sleep : by an irony (as some think) he bids 
them 'Sleep on now, and take their rest;' meaning, if they 
could ; but withal adds. Behold the hour is at hand, and the Son 
of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners; arise, let us be 
going, behold he is at hand that doth betray me. That it might 
appear he undertook his sufferings with choice, he not only re 
fused to fly, but calls his apostles to rise, that they might meet 
his murderers. And now they come luith swords and staves ; or, 
as John adds, tvith lanterns and torches, and (Judas going be- 
fore them, and drawiiig near unto Jesus to kiss him) they 
took him, and bound him, ayid led him away to Annas Jirst, 

In this period, I shall observe; 1. Judas's treason. 2. 
Christ's apprehension. 3. Christ's binding. 4. Christ's leading 
to Annas. 

1. Judas's treason: And while he yet spake, behold a multi 
tude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went be- 
fore them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. This traitor is 
not a disciple only, but an apostle ; not one of the seventy, but one 

308 JLookin^ unto ties us. 


of the twelve. Augustine speaks of many offices of love, that 
Christ had done to Judas in an especial manner ; he had called 
him to be an apostle, made him his friend, his familiar, caused 
him to eat of his bread, and sit at his table. And that now 
Judas should betray Christ ; how doth this add to the sufferings 
of Christ ! Behold a multitude, and Judas in the front. The 
evangelist gives the reason of this, that he might have the better 
opportunity to kiss him ; this was the sign he gave the rout : 
JVhomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, lay hold on him. He begins 
war with a kiss, and breaks the peace of his Lord by a symbol 
of kindness. Jesus takes this ill ; What, Judas, hetrayest thon 
the Son of man with a kiss ? as if he had said, ^ What ! dost 
thou make the seal of love, the sign of treachery ? What a 
friendly reproof is here ! 

2. For Christ's apprehension: Then came they aiid laid 
hands on Jesus, and took him. Before they took him, he 
himself begins the inquiry, and leads them into theu- errand ; 
he tells them, that he was Jesus of Nazareth, whom they 
sought : this was but a breath, a meek and gentle word ; yet 
had it greater strength in it than the voice of thunder ; for God 
was in that still voice, and it struck them to the ground. And 
yet he suffers them to rise again, and they still persist in their 
inquiry after him : he tells them once more^ / am he ; he offers 
himself to be sacrificed ; only he sets them their bounds, and 
therefore he secures his apostles to be witnesses of his sufferings. 
In this work of redemption, no man must have an active share 
besides himself; he alone was to tread the wine-press : If there- 

fore ye seek me, saith Christ, let these go their tvay. Thus he 
permits himself to be taken, but not his disciples. 

3. For Christ's binding. The evangelist tells us, that the 
band, and the captain, and the queers of the Jews, took Jesus, 
and hound him, ebr^rrav, they bound his hands with cords; cer- 
tainly they wanted no malice, and now they wanted no power, 
for the Lord had given himself into their hands. Binding ar- 
gues baseness : fools and slaves were accustomed to be bound, 
and so were thieves ; but is our Saviour numbered amongst any 
of these ? O yes ! In that same hour said Jesus to the multi- 
tude. Are ye come out as against a thief, with sivords and staves? 
O wonderful condescension of Christ ! He that was eminently 
just, is reputed a thief; he that was equal with God, is become 
a servant; he that was stronger than Samson, is bound with 
cords, and, as a lamb, continues bound for the slaughter; and 
thus began our liberty from sin and death. Christ was faster 
bound with his cords of love, than with iron fetters ; his love 
was strong as death ; it overcame him who is invincible, and 
bound him who is omnipotent: the Jews' cords were but the 
symbols and figures ; but the dear love, the tender bowels of 
Jesus Christ, were the things signified. 

Looking unto ^esus. 309 

■ 4. For his leading to Annas. John records, that they led him 
to Annas first, for he ivas father-in-law to Caiaphas, who tvas 
the high-priest that same year. 1 . They led him away ; ainj^ar^ov, 
they snatched, haled him from the garden back again to Jeru- 
salem, over the brook Cedron. — 2. They led him first to Annas; 
he was chief of the Sanhedrim, father-in-law to Caiaphas, and 
high-priest the next year following. 

Come, Christians, let us lay our hands upon our hearts, and 
cry, ' O my pride ! O my covetousness ! (3 my malice and re- 
venge ! O my unbelief ! O my unthankfulness ! O my uncharit- 
ableness to the needy members of Christ ! These were the rout, 
these were they that led, and dragged, and drew Jesus (as it 
were) by the hair of his head ; these were they that pulled him 
forwards, and shewed him in triumph to that bloody Annas -, nay, 
these were the Judas, Jews, Annas, and all. O that ever I 
should lodge within me such sins^ such betrayers, such murderers 
of Jesus Christ!' 

We may now suppose it about the third hour, or the last 
watch. In the gospel it is called the fourth watch of the night, 
the morning watch, which continueth until the morning. 

Sect. VII. — Of Christ's Examination and Condemnatioii, 

Now it was that they led him from Annas to Caiaphas ; and 
presently a council is called of the high priests, scribes, and 
elders ; these were the greatest, gravest, learnedst, wisest men 
amongst them, and they all conspire to judge him, who is the 
great Judge both of quick and dead. In their proceedings we 
may observe, I. The examination of the high-priest. 2. The 
smiting of one of the servants. 3. The accusations of the wit- 
nesses. 4. The sentence of the judges. 5. The denial of Peter. 
6. The abuses of the attendants. 

1 . For the examination of the high-priest : TJie high-priest 
then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. (1.) Of 
his disciples. What the questions were, is not expressed; and 
to them he ansivered nothing. 

(2.) He asked him of his doctrine. — And to this question our 
Saviour answers; (O how wisely!) I spoke openly to the world; 
I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the 
Jeivs ahvays resort ; and in secret have I said nothing : why ask- 
est thou me? ask them ivhich heard me, what I have said unto 
them; behold, they knoiv what I said. As if he had said, I appeal 
to the testimony of the enemies themselves. I tell the truth; I 
spake nothing in secret ; that is, nothing in the least manner tend- 
ing to sedition. Ask these mine enemies, these wlio have appre- 
hended, and bound, and brought me hither : they know what I 
have said; let tb^m speak, if they can, wherein I have trans- 
gressed the law 

310 Looking unto J^esus* 

2. For the stroke given Christ. One of the officers which stood 
hy, struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest 
thou the high-priest so f That holy face, which was designed to 
be the object of heaven, was now smitten in the presence of a 
judge; and howsoever the assembly was full, yet not one amongst 
them all reproved the fact, or spake a word for Christ. 

If a subject should but hft up his hand against the son of an 
earthly sovereign, would he not be accounted worthy of punish- 
ment ? How much more in this case, when the hand is lifted up 
against the King of kings, and Lord of lords ! 

Come, look upon this lively and lovely picture of patience ; he 
was struck on the face, but he was never moved in his heart. 
Notwithstanding the abuse, he shewed all mildness and gentle- 
ness towards his enemies. O what art thou that canst not 
bear a distasteful speech, that canst not put up with the smallest 
offence ! Come, learn of Christ, If ever we mean to have a 
share in his sufferings, let us conform to him in meekness and 

3. For the accusation of the witnesses. He is falsely charged 
with the things that he never knew. In his accusation I observe 
these things : 1 . That they sought false witnesses ; for true wit- 
nesses they could have none : Now the chief priests and elders, 
and all the council, sought false witnesses against Jesus to put 
him to death. They were resolved in a former council that he 
should not live ; and now palliating their design, they seek out 
for witnesses. 2. Though many false witnesses came in to tes- 
tify against him, yet they found no7ie, because their witnesses 
did not agree together. The judges seek out for witnesses, the 
witnesses for proof, those proofs for unity and consent, and no- 
thing was ready for their purpose. 3. At last, after many 
attempts, came two false witnesses, and said. This fellow said, I 
am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three 
days. They accuse him for a figurative speech, which they 
could not understand. 

Observe their false report of the words he had spoken : he said 
not, I am able to destroy this temple of God, and to build it in 
three days; but, destroy ye this temple, and in three days I will 
raise it up. The allegation differs from the truth in these 
particulars: (1.) I am able to destroy, say they; destroy ye, 
saith Christ. (2.) / am able to destroy this temple of God, say 
they; but, destroy ye this temple, saith Christ; ^m\^\y this tem- 
ple, without addition, (3.) / am able to destroy this temj^le of 
God, a7id to build it in three days, say they ; destroy ye this 
temple, and in three days I will raise it up, saith Christ. He 
spoke not of building an external temple, but of raising up his 
own body. These were the accusations of the false witnesses, 
to all which Jesus answered nothing. But, (4.) Another accu- 
sation is brought in. Caiaphas had a reserve, which he knew 

Looking unto Jesus. 311 

i^houUl do the business in that assembly. I adjure thee, says he, 
by the living God, that thou tell us luhether thou be the Christ, 
the Son of God. The holy Jesus being adjured by so sacred a 
name, would not now refuse an answer, but confessed himself to 
be the Christ, the Son of the living God, And this the high- 
priest was pleased (as the design was laid) to call hlasphemij ; 
and in token thereof he rends his clothes, prophetically signify- 
ing, that the priesthood should be rent from himself. 

4. For the sentence of these judges: Caiaphas, prejudging all 
the Sanhedrim, in declaring Jesus to have spoken blasphemy, and 
the fact to be notorious, he then asked their votes. What think 
yef And they answered and said, He is guilty of death. They 
durst not deny what Caiaphas had said ; they knew his faction 
was very potent, and his malice great, and his heart was set upon 
the business, and therefore they all say, as he would have them. 
He is guilty of death. But they had no power at that time to 
inflict death, they only declared him worthy of death. 

5. For Peter's denial. While these things were thus acting, a 
damsel comes to him, and tells him. Thou wast luith Jesus of 
Galilee', and then another maid tells the bystanders. This fellow 
teas also with Jesus of Nazareth. And after a while, they that 
stood by spake themselves. Surely thou art one of them, for thy 
speech hetrayeth thee • as if he had said. Thy very idiom de- 
clares thee to be a Galilean. Peter thus surprised, shamefully 
denies his Lord ; and, 1 . He doth it with a kind of subterfuge, 
1 know not what thou sayest. He seems to elude the accusation 
with this evasion — I know not thy meaning. 2. At the next 
turn, he goes on denying Christ with an oath: I know not the 
man. And, lastly, he aggravates his sin so far, that he denies 
his Lord with cursing a7id swearing, I know not the man. Here's 
a lie, an oath, and a curse. O Peter, is the man so vile, that 
thou wilt not own him? Hadst thou not before confessed him to 
be the Christ, the Son of the living God? and dost thou not 
know him to be man, as well as God ? Is not this the God- 
man, that called thee and thy brother Andrew at the sea ot 
Galilee, saying, Follotu me, and I will make you fishers of men f 
Is not this he whom thou sawest on mount Tabor, shining more 
gloriously than the sun ? Is not this he whom thou sawest walk- 
ing on the water, and to whom thou saidst. Lord, if it he thou, 
bid me come unto thee on the water? How is it then that thou 
sayst, / know not the man? Surely here's a sad example of 
human infirmity; and vdthal, a blessed example of repentance. 
No sooner the cock crew, and Christ gave a look on Peter, but 
he goes out, and weeps bitterly. 

Let us learn hence to think modestly and soberly of ourselves : 
Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall. If Peter could 
first dissemble, and then lie, and then forswear, and then blas- 
pheme and curse; O let us not be high-minded, but fear.— 

312 Looking unto J^esus, 

And in case we fall indeed^ as Peter did^ yet let us not despair, 
as Judas didj but still, upon our repentance, let us trust in 

6. For the abuses the base attendants offered to Christ; the 
evangelist tells us. Then did they spit in his face, and huffeted 
him, and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying. 
Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee? And, 
as Luke adds. Many other things blasphemously spake they 
against him. 

(1.) They spit in his face. This was accounted among the 
Jews a matter of great infamy and reproach. 

(2.) They buffet him. We heard before, that one of the 
officers struck Jesus with the palm of his hand ; but now they 
buffet him. 

(3.) They covered his face, Mark xiv. 65. Several reasons 
are rendered for it; that they might smite him more boldly, and 
without shame. 

(4.) They smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, 
Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee? Some 
reckon these taunts among the bitterest passages of his passion. 
Nothing is more miserable, even to the greatest misery, than to 
see itself scorned of enemies. 

Consider, Christians, whether we had not a hand in these 
abuses. (1 .) They spit in the face of Christ, who defile his image 
in their souls. (2.) They buffet him, who persecute Christ in his 
members : Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ? (3.) They mock 
and scoff at Christ, who scorn his messengers. He that despiseth 
you, desjnseth me, saith Christ. O that we would lay these things 
to our hearts, and observe wherein we stand guilty of these sins, 
that we may repent. You that take your name from Christ, 
how should you admire the immensity of this love of Christ ! 
Was it a small thing that the wisdom cjf God should become the 
foolishness of men, and scorn of men, and contempt of the 
world, for your sin's sake ? O think of this ! 

And now the dismal night is done, what remains but that we 
follow Christ, and observe him in his sufferings the next day. 
The psalmist tells us, Sorrow may endure for a flight, but joy 
cometh in them^orning: only Christ can find none of this joy nei- 
ther morning nor evening ; for after a dismal night, he meets 
yAth. as dark a day. 


Sect. I. — Of Christ's Indictment, and Judas' s fearful £!nd. 

About six in the morning, Jesus was brought unto Pilate's 
house. The7i led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the judgment^ 

Looking unto Jesus, 313 

hall, mid it ivas early. — When the morning was come, all the 
chief priests and elders of the j)eople took counsel against Jesus 
to put him to death : and when they had hound him, and led him 
away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor; then 
Judas which had betrayed him, hanged himself. O the readiness 
of our nature to evil ! When the Israelites would sacrifice to 
the golden calf, they rose up early in the morning. If God 
leave us to ourselves, we are as ready to practise mischief as the 
fire is to burn. The tj-ansactions of this hour I shall consider 
in these two passages, — Christ's indictment, and Judas's fear- 
ful end. 

In Christ's indictment, we may observe, 1. His accusation. 
2. His examination. 

In his accusation we may observe, 1. Who are his accusers. 
2. Where he was accused. 3. What was the matter of which 
they accuse him. 

(1.) His accusers were the chief priests ayid elders of the 
people. The very same that before had judged him guilty of 
death, are now his accusers before the temporal judge : but why 
must our Saviour be twice judged ? Was not the Sanhedrim, 
or ecclesiastical court, sufficient to condemn him ? I answer, 
he is twice judged, I. That his innocency might more appear. 

2. Because, said the Jews, It is not lawful for us to put any man 
to death. The Romans had come and restrained the Jews from 
the execution of their laws. 

(2.) Tiie place of the accusation was at the door of the house. 
They ivould not go into the judgment -hall, lest they should be de- 
filed, but that they might eat the passover. They are curious of 
a ceremony, but make no strain to shed innocent blood : they are 
precise about matters of the law; but mercy, judgment, fide- 
lity, and the love of God, they let them pass. 

(3.) The matter of which they accuse him. 1. That he sedu- 
ced the people. 2. That he forbad to pay tribute to Caesar. 

3. That he said he was a king. How great, but withal how 
fiilse, were these accusaticfns ! 

2. For his examination. Pilate was nothing moved with any 
of the accu^?^.tions, saving the third ; and therefore letting all 
the rest pass, he asked him onl}^. Art thou the king of the Jews? 
To whom Jesus answered. My kingdom is not of this world. By 
which Pilate knew well that Christ was no enemy to Caesar. 
Christ's kingdom is spiritual, his government is in the hearts of 
men, and what is this to Caesar ? 

How many lessons may we learn from hence? 1 . Christ was 
accused ; who can be free ? The chief priests and elders of the 
Jews accused Christ. No wonder if those that are chief and 
great among us accuse poor Christians : there's a perpetual enmi- 
ty between the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent j 
an everlastmg, irreconcileable, implacable enmity. 

314 Looking unto Jesus. 

(2.) Christ is examined only of his usurpation : Art thou the 
king of the Jews? The men of this world mind only worldly 
things. Pilate regards not Christ's doctrine; but he is afraid 
lest he should aspire to the kingdom : and concerning this our 
Saviour puts him out of doubt^ My kingdom is not of this world. 
O eternity! to be for ever in heaven with God and Christ, how 
shall this swallow up all other thoughts and aims ! 

2d. Then Judas ivhich betrayed him, when he saiu that he was 
condemned, repented Jiimself. There is a repentance that comes 
too late. In hell men shall repent to all eternity, and such a 
repentance was this of Judas. About midnight he had received 
his money in the house of Annas, and now betimes in the morn- 
ing he repents his bargain, and throws his money back again. 
The end of this tragedy was, that J udas died a miserable death ; 
he perished by his own hands. He went and lianged himself. 
And he fell lieadlong, and burst asunder in the midst, and all 
his bowels gus/ied out. 

Who would die such a death for the pleasure of a little sin ! 
The Lord keep our so^ls from betraying Christ, and from de- 
spairing in God's mercy through Christ. Amen, Amen. 

Sect. II. — Of Christ's mission to Herod. 

About seven in the morning, Jesus was sent to Herod, who 
himself was also at Jerusalem at that time. The reason of this was, 
because Pilate had heard that Christ was a Galilean ; and Herod 
being tetrarch of Galilee, he concludes that Christ must be under 
his jurisdiction : Herod was glad; for lie teas desirous to see 
Clirist of a long seaso?i, because tie had lieard many tilings of 
him, and tie Jioped to have seen some miracle done by liim. That 
which I shall observe in this passage is, 

1. Herod's questioning of Jesus Christ. 2. Christ's silence to 
all his questions. 3. Herod's derisioa; and Christ's dismission 
back again to Pilate. 

1. Herod questioned with him in many words. Herod could 
not abide to hear his word, but he was well content to see the 
miracles of Christ. 

2. Whatever his questions were, he ansivered liim nothing. 
Herod had been sottishly careless of Jesus Christ; he lived in 
in the place where Jesus more especially had conversed, yet 
never had seen his person, or heard his sermons. It gives us to 
learn thus much, that if we refuse to hear the voice of Christ in 
the time of mercy, Christ may refuse to speak to us in our time 
of need. 

3. This silence they interpret for simplicity; and so, He- 
rod with tiis men of luar set him at nought, and mocked hiniy 
and arrayed him in a gorgeous rohe^ and sent him again to 

Looking unto Jesus. 315 

Pilate, They arrayed him with a white, glittering, gorgeous 
raiment : the meaning of Herod was not so much to declare his 
innocence as his folly. In this posture they sent him away again 
to Pilate 5 to all their former derisions they added this, that now 
he was exposed in scorn to the boys of the streets. 

Was the uncreated Wisdom of the Father reputed a fool ? No 
wonder if we suffer thousands of reproaches. We are made a 
spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men; we are 
fools for Christ's sake. W^e are made as the filth of the world, 
and are the off- scouring of all things unto this day. Christians 
must wear the badge and livery of Jesus Christ : we cannot ex- 
pect to fare better than _Dur Master. I never knew Christians 
in better temper than when they are styled by the name of Puri- 
tans, hypocrites, formalists, or the like. 

Let Us not judge of men by their outside garments. Wisdom 
is often clad in the coat of a fool. 

Let us admire at the condescension of Christ, who came down 
from heaven to teach us wisdom. Wisdom itself was content to 
be counted a fool, that those who are accounted the foolish 
things of the ivorld, might be wise unto salvation. 

Do not we set Christ at nought? Do not we mock him, and 
array him in a gorgeous robe ? Whatsoever we do to one of the 
least of his saints, he tells us that we do it to himself. Matt, 
XXV. 40, 45. and have we not dealt thus with his saints? Have 
we not dealt thus with his ministers? When Elisha was going 
up to Bethel, there came little children out of the city and mocked 
/dm, and said tinto him, Go up, thou bald head, Go up, thou 
hald head. A reproach of bald head, round head, given to a 
faithful Elisha, or a minister of Christ, proclaims you as bad as 
those little children, yea, as bad as Herod, and his men of war. 
Such Herods were a little before the destruction of Jerusalem. 
Some there were then that mocked the messengers of God, and 
despised his luords, aiul misused his prophets, until the wrath of 
the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 

Sect. IIL — Of Christ and Barahhas compared; and of the 
Question debated betiuixt Pilate and the Jews. 

About eight in the morning Christ is returned to Pilate, who 
propounded to the Jews, whether they would have Jesus or 
Barabbas loosed unto them. Ye have a custom, said he, that I 
should release unto you one at the passover; will ye therefore 
that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they 
all again, saying. Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas 
tuas a robber. It is supposed, that in this passage Pilate endea- 
voured Christ's liberty; he knew that for envy they had delivered 
liim, and he saw that Herod had sent him back uncondemned ; 
and therefore now he propounds this medium to rescue him: 

-316 Looking unto Jesus, 

WTiom willi/e that Ii^elease unto you^ Barahhas, or Jesus Wu 
is called Christ? In prosecution of this passage, I shall observe, 
1. Who this Barabbas was. 2. What is the difference betwixt 
him and Christ. 3. How they vote. 4. Pilate's query upon the 
vote. 5. Their answer to his query. 6. His reply unto their 
answer. 7« Their reduplication upon his reply. 

For the first. What was this Barabbas ? One that had made 
insurrection, and committed murder in the insurrection, Mark 
XV. 7- Oi^e that was the greatest malefactor of his time; and 
must he be taken, and Jesus cast ! 

2. What is the difference betwixt him and Christ. Let 
us weigh them in the balance, and we may find, 1 . Barabbas 
was a thief, and by violence took away the bread of the needy ; 
but Christ was a feeder and supplier of their needs. 2. Barabbas 
was a murderer, and had slain the living ; but Christ was the 
Saviour, restoring life unto the dead. 3. Barabbas was a man 
of blood; but Christ was a meek and quiet spirit. Here's a com- 
petition indeed ! the author of sedition with the Prince of peace ; 
a murderous mutineer, w^th a merciful Mediator; a son of Belial, 
with the Son of God. 

3. For their votes, they give them in thus : Not this man, 
but Barahhas. A strange vote, to desire the wolf before 
the lamb, the noxious and violent before the righteous and 

4. For Pilate's query upon the vote. What shall I do then with 
Jesus luhich is called Christ? There is more pity in Pilate than 
in all the Jews. In some things Pilate did justly: as, first^ he 
would not condemn him before his accusations were brought in ; 
nor then neither, before he was convicted of some capital crime : 
and because he perceives that it was envy that drove on their 
design, he endeavours to save his life by balancing him with Ba- 
rabbas ; and now he sees that they prefer Barabbas before Jesus, 
he puts forth the question. What shall I do then with Jesus, 
which is called Christ? As if he had said, I know not what to 
do with him ; it is against my light to condemn him to death, who 
is of innocent life. 

5. And they all said unto him. Let him he ^rucijied. This 
was the first time that they speak openly their design. It had 
long lurked within them, that he must die a cursed death, and 
now their envy breaks out. The cross was a gradual and slow 
death, it spun out pain into a long thread, and therefore they 
make choice of it, as they made choice of Jesus; let him die ra- 
ther than Barabbas, and let him die the death of the cross rather 
than any speedy death. 

6. For Pilate's reply unto this answer. Why, what evil hath 
he done? Sometimes the Jews themselves could say, ' He hath 
done all things well ; he maketh both the deaf to hear, jind the 
dumb to speak.' Surely he hath done all things well : he stilled 

Looking unto Jesus, 317 

the winds^ and calmed the seas ; he raised the dead ; he gave 
grace^ and he forgave sins ; and by his death he merited for his 
saints everlasting life : why then should he die, that hath done 
all things well? No wonder if l^ilate object against these ma- 
licious ones. What evil hath he done? 

7. But they cried out the more, saying, let him be crucified. 
Instead of proving some evil against him, they cried out the 
more ; they were instant with loud voices ; they made such a 
clamour, that the earth rang with it. And now is Pilate threat- 
ened into another opinion, they require his judgment; and the 
voices of them, and of the chief-priest, prevailed : so it follows, 
And ivhen he saiu lie could prevail nothing, hut that rather a 
tumult ivas made^ then Barabhas is released unto them, and Jesus 
is delivered to be scourged. 

(1.) Give me leave to look amongst ourselves : Is there not some 
or other amongst us that prefer Barabbas before Jesus ? O, yes ! 
those that listen to that old mutiuous murderer in his seditious 
temptations; those that reject the blessed motions of God's own 
spirit in his tenders and offers of graces those that embrace the 
world, wdth its pleasures and profits, and make them their por- 
tion; all these chuse Barabbas, and reject Jesus Christ. 

(2.) Give me leave to look on the love and mercy of God in 
Christ. Our Jesus was not only content to take our nature upon 
him, but to be compared with the greatest malefactor of those 
times ; and by public sentence to be pronounced more worthy of 
death than Barabbas. O the love of Christ! He died, that we 
might live : it was the voice of God, as well as men. Release 
Barabbas, every believing Barabbas, and crucify Jesus. 

Sect. IV. — Christ tvhipped, clothed luith Purple, and crowned 

with Thorns, 

About nine (which the Jews call the third hour of the day) 
was Christ whipped, clothed with purple, and crowned with 

1. When Pilate saw the Jews ^\'ere set upon his death, he 
consented. Then the soldiers of the governor look Jesus into the 
common hall, ajul gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers ; 
ami they stripjied him. They pulled off his clothes, and made 
him stand naked before them all. He that adorns the heaven 
with stars, and the earth with tiowers, is now himself stripped 

2. Pilate gave him to be scourged. This some tliink he did 
upon no other account, but that the Jews might rest satisfied, 
and so desist from taking away his life. That Pilate might give 
him to be scourged on that account, is very probable; because, 
after the scourging^ he brings him out to the Jews, proclaiming, 
I find no fault in him. '' And before his scourging, he speaks it 

318 Looking unto J^esus, 

more expressly; He hath done nothing tvorthy of death, I will 
therefore chastise him, and release him. 

We may read here a lecture of the immense love of God in 
Christ to us poor Gentiles. Was there ever love like unto this 
love ? Had he not been God as well as man^ he could never 
have had in his heart such a love as this. It was a divine love ; 
a love far surpassing either the love of men^ or women, or 

3, They put upon him a purple robe, or a scarlet robe. John 
calls it purple, and Matthew scarlet. Howsoever some differ- 
ence may be, yet because of their likeness they are put some- 
times one for another. It is in the original, a scarlet cloak. It 
was a loose short garment, at first used only by kings or empe- 
rors, and the colour of it was suitable to Christ's condition, for 
he was now purple all over : his body and his garment were both 
of a deep-dyed sanguine colour. What is his scarlet garment, 
but the emblem of his wounded body ? that, as he spake of the 
woman, she anointed him before-hand unto his burial; so Pilate, 
in the mystery, clothes l^m aforehand unto his bloody death. 

4. They platted a crown of thorns, and put it upon his head. 
A goodly crown for the King of kings ! We read of many sorts 
of crowns, as of the triumphal, laurel, naval, mural, but never 
till this did we read of a crown of thorns. A crown it was to 
deride him, and a crown of thorns to torment him. In this we 
may read both his pain and shame. After they had put it upon 
his head, they took a reed, and smote him on the head: that is, 
they smote him on the head to fasten the crown of thorns upon 
him surer, and to imprhit it deeper. 

How many lessons might we draw from hence ! They put 
upon his head a crown of shame, of death, of torture; who 
came to give us a crown of victory, of life, of glory. O what a 
shame is it for any of us to crown our heads with rosebuds, to 
spend our time in vanity, folly, sin, when Christ our Lord had 
such a grove of thorns growing on his sacred head ! The disciple 
is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord ; It is 
enough for the disciple that he he as his master, and the servant 
as his lord. If our Lord and Master was. crowned with thorns, 
surely the members of Christ should not be soft, delicate, effe- 
minate, sensual, or given up to pleasures. 

Sect. V. — Of Christ brought forth, and sentenced. 

About ten, Christ was brought forth, and sentenced. 1. For 
his bringing forth, I shall therein observe these particulars ; as, 
(1.) We find Pilate bringing forth Jesus out of the common-hall, 
and shewing this sad spectacle to the people. 2'hen came Jesus 
forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe; and 
Pilate saith unto them. Behold, the man ! He thought the very 

Lookins: unto Jesus^^ 319 


sight of Christ would have moved them with compassion : they 
had lashed him almost unto death, they had clothed him with 
purple, crowned him with thorns; and now they bring him out, 
and expose him to public view; Pilate crying, Behold the maul 
As if he had said, ' Behold a poor, miserable, distressed man. 
Behold how he stands disfigured with wounds, behold him 
weltering in his own blood ; and let this sufficient, yea, more than 
sufficient punishment, suffice to satisfy your rage.' 

2. We find the Jews more enraged against Jesus ; When the 
chief priests and officers saiv him, they cried out, saying. Crucify 
him! crucify him! O ye Jews, children of Israel, seed of Abra- 
ham, is not this he, concerning whom your fathers cried, O that 
thou wouldest rend the heavens, ttiat thou luouldest co)ne down, 
that the mountains might Jiow doivn at thy presence! How is it 
that you should despise him present, whom they desired absent ? 
How is it that your cry and theirs should be so contrary ? 

3. We find Pilate and the Jews yet debating the business; 
Pilate is loth to pronounce the sentence, and the chief of the 
Jews provoke him to it with a threefold argument : as — 

(1.) ' They had a law, and by their law he ought to die, be- 
cause he made himself the Son of God :' the text tells us, that 
Pilate hearing the argument, was the more afraid. " Pilate," 
saith Cyril, " was a heathen idolater, and so, worshipping many 
gods, he could not tell but that Christ might be one of them." 
This was the meaning of Pilate's question, Whence art thou ^ of 
what progenitors art thou sprung ? And from thenceforth Pilate 
sought to release him. 

(2.) The Jews came with another argument; they threatened 
Pilate, If thou let this man go, thou art not Ccesars friend: 
a forcible reason, as the case then stood. It was no small matter 
to be accused of high treason against Caesar, and therefore under 
this obligation, Pilate seems to bend : whom the fear of Christ's 
divinity had restrained, him the fear of Caesar's frown provoked 
to go on. And yet before he gives sentence, he takes water, and 
washeth his hands before the multitude, saying, lam innocent of 
the hlood of this just person, see ye to it. 

(3.) In reference to this, they engaged themselves for him, 
which was their last argument. His blood be upon us, and upon 
our children. Thus far of the first general. 

(4.) For the sentence itself: When Pilate heard that, — he sat 
doivn in the judgment-seat, in a place that is called the Pave- 
ment, (because erected of stones;) but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 
This word signifies an high-place, and raised above; it was so, 
on purpose that the judges might be seen when they pro- 
nounced sentence. And here Pilate sitting down, gave sentence 
that it should be as they required; and then, he delivered Jesus 
to their will. 

From this sight of Christ, as he was presented by Pilate to 

320 Lookbis^ unto Jesus, 


the people, we may learn remorse ; not any of us who have cru- 
cified Christ by our sins, but we are called on at this time to 
behold the man. Suppose we saw him with our bodily eyes; 
suppose we had the same view of Christ as the Jews had, when 
he was thus presented ; suppose we saw him in the midst of us, 
wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe, and the reed 
held in his right hand : suppose we heard the voice of Pilate 
speaking to us, as he did to the Jews, Behold the man; suppose 
we saw the purple robe lifted up, that we might see all under, 
how his body was torn; and that same voice from heaven should 
come to us, saying, ^ This same is he v»'hom ye have butfeted, 
scourged, crowned, crucified with your sins.' Were not this 
enough to prick us in our hearts, and to make us cry. Men and 
brethren^ what shall ive do? We look on Pilate, on the soldiers, 
on the Jews ; but we look not on our sins, saying, Could we but 
realize our sins as the principal of these sufferings of Christ, 
methinks our hearts should break. Consider, yesterday so many 
lies were told, and so many oaths were sworn ; little did we 
think, that all this while we had been stripping Christ naked, 
whipping Christ with rods, clothing Christ with a purple -scarlet 
rol)e, platting a crown of thorns, and putting it on his head, 
sceptering him with a reed, and saluting him with scorn. Hail, 
Kiugof the Jews! Men, brethren, and fathers, be not deceived, 
Christ is mocked, scorned, and thus abused by you when you 
sin ; your sins thus dealt with Christ, and in God's acceptation 
your sins thus deal with Christ even unto this day. Never say, 
it was long since Christ was crucified, and he is now in heaven, 
for by your sins you crucify again the Lord of glory, you put him 
again to open shame. O look on him whom you have pierced ! 
Pilate thought that if the Jews would but behold the man, their 
hearts would have mollified ; and shall not I think as well of you ? 
It is a blessed means to make sin bitter, and to breed in our hearts 
remorse for sin, if we will but hearken to this voice of Pilate^ 
Behold the man. 

Sect. VI. — Of Christ Crucifying, 

About eleven, they prepare with all speed for the execution. 
In this hour we may observe these several passages. 1. Their 
taking off the robe, and clothing him again with his own raiment. 
2. Their leading him away from Gabbatha to Golgotha; bearing 
the cross, with Simon's help. 3. His comforting the women 
who followed weeping. 4. Their giving him vinegar to drink, 
mingled with gall. 5. Their crucifying, or fastening him on the 

1. The evangelist tells us. They took the robe off from him, 
and they 'put his own raiment 07i him. Origen observes, " They 
took oft' his robes, but they took not off his crown of thorns." It 

Loohing unto Jesus. 321 

is supposed this small business could not be done without great 
pain ; after his sore whipping, his blood congealed, and by that 
means stuck to his scarlet mantle ; so that in pulling off the robe, 
and putting on his raiment, there could not be but a renewing of 
his wounds. 

2. They led him aivay^ hearing his cross. Tliey had scarce 
left him so much blood or strength, as to carry himself, and must 
he now bear his heavy cross ! Yes, till he faint and sink, so 
long he must bear it, and longer too, did they not fear that he 
should die with less shame and smart than they intended him; 
which to prevent, they constrained one Simon, a Cyrenian, to 
hear his cross after fiim. The cross was a Roman death, and so 
one of their abominations; hence they themselves would not 
touch the tree of infamy, lest they should have been deliled; but 
to touch the Lord's anointed, to crucify the Lord of glory, they 
make no scruple at all. 

3. He comforted the women who followed weeping. Jlnd 
there followed him a great company of people, and of women, 
zvhich also beivailed and lamented him ; but Jesus turning to tfiem, 
said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, hut weep for 
yourselves, and for your children. In the midst of his misery, 
he forgets not mercy ; in the midst of all their tortures and scorn, 
he can hear his following friends weeping behind him, and neg- 
lect all his own sufferings to comfort them. He hath more 
compassion on the women that follow him weeping, than of his 
own mangled self, fainting and bleedhig unto death : he feels 
more the tears that drop from their eyes, than all the blood that 
flows from his own veins. We heard before, that he would not 
vouchsafe a word to Pilate that threatened him, nor to Herod 
that entreated him; and yet, unasked, how graciously doth he 
turn about his bleeding face to these weeping women, affording 
them looks and words too, both of compassion and of consolation. 
Daughters of Jerusalem xueep not for me, but fn- yourselves. — 
And yet observe, he did not turn his face to them, until he heard 
them weep ; nor may we think to see his face in glory, unless we 
first bathe our eyes in sorrow. It is a wonder to me that any 
in our age should ever decry tears, remorse, contrition, com- 
punction. How many saints do we find, both in the Old and 
New Testament, confuting by tlieir practices those gross opi- 
nions. The promise tells us, They that sow in tears shall reap 
in Joy ; he that follows Christ, or goeth forth weeping, bearing 
precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing 
his sheaves luith hi??!. 

But what's the meaning of this, ff^eep not for me? May we 
not weep for the death of Christ? Do we not find in scri[)ture 
that all the people wept at the death of Moses ? tliat all the 
church wept at the death of Stephen ? that the women lament- 
ed the death of Dorcas ? And, did not Clirist himself weep for 
12. 2 s 

322 Looking unto Jesus, 

Lazarus, and Jerusalem ? Nay, is he not here weeping showers 
of blood, all along the way ? O, what's the meaning of this, 
JVeep not for me, hut weep for yourselves? 

I answer, the words are not absolute, but comparative. Christ 
doth not simply forbid us to weep for our friends, but rather to 
turn our worldly grief into godly sorrow for sin. 

Christ pointed the women to the true cause of all their sorrow, 
which was their sins ; and thus we have cause to weep indeed. 
Our sins were the cause of the sufferings of Christ; and in that 
respect, O that our heads were fountains, and our eyes rivers of 
tears ! O that the Lord would strike these rocky hearts of 
ours with the rod of true remorse, that water might gush out ! 
O that we could thus mourn over Jesus, whom we have pierced 
and be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his 

4. No sooner was he come to the place of execution, but 
they gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall : this was a 
custom amongst Jews and Romans, that to the condemned 
they ever gave wine to drink. But in that they gave him vine- 
gar mingled with gall, it was an argument of their cruelty and 

5. They crucified him, that is, they fastened him to the cross; 
and then lift him up. That I mean to observe of this crucifying 
of Christ, I shall reduce to these two heads, viz, the shame and 

(L) For the shame, it was a cursed death; Cursed is every 
one that hangeth on a tree. When it was in use, it was chiefly 
inflicted upon slaves, that either falsely accused, or treacherously 
conspired their master's death ; but on whomsoever it was inflict- 
ed, this death, in all ages among the Jews, hath been branded 
with a special kind of ignominy; and so the apostle signifies 
when he saith, He abased himself to the death, even to the death 
of the cross. 

(2.) For the pain, it was a painful death ; as appears several 
ways. L His legs and hands were violently racked, and pulled 
out to the places fitted for his fastening, and then pierced 
through with nails. 2. By this means he wanted the use both of 
his hands and feet, and so was forced to hang immoveably upon 
the cross, as being unable to turn any way for his ease. 3. The 
longer he lived, the more he endured ; for by the weight of his 
body, his wounds were opened and enlarged, his nerves and veins 
were rent and torn asunder, and his blood gushed out more and 
more. 4. He died by inch-meal, as I may say, and not at 
once : the cross kept him a great while upon the rack. It was 
full three hours betwixt Christ's affixion and expiration; and 
it would have been longer, if he had not freely and willingly given 
up the ghost: it is reported that Andrew the apostle was two 
whole days upon the cross before he died ; and so long might 

Looking unto Jesus, 323 

Christ have been, if God had not heightened it to greater de- 
grees of torment. 

I may add to this, as above all this, the pains of his soul while 
he hanged on the cross ; for there also Christ had his agonies and 
conflicts, these were those wSii^e^ Oavc'nH, those pains, or pains of 
death, from which Peter tells us Christ was loosed. The word 
wtiii^e?, properly signifies the pain of a woman in travail ; such were 
the pains of Jesus Christ in death : the prophet calls it t/ie travail 
of his soul; and the psalmist calls it the pains of liell: The sor- 
roivs of death coinpassed me, and thepaiiis of tie 1 1 gat hold upon 
me. The sorrows or cords of death compassed his body, and the 
pains of hell gat hold upon his soul : and these were they that 
extorted from him that passionate expostulation, Mi/ God, my 
God, IV hy ha^.t thou forsaken me ? He complains of that which 
was more grievous to him than ten thousand deaths. ' My God, 
my God, why hast thou withdrawn thy wonted presence, and left 
my soul (as it were) in hell ? ' 

And now we reflect on the shame and pain : O the curse and 
bitterness that our sins have brought on Jesus Christ ! When I 
but think on these bleeding veins, scourged sides, furrowed back, 
harrowed temples, digged hands and feet, and then consider that 
my sins were the cause of all; methinks I should need no more 
arguments for self-abhorring. Christians, would not your hearts 
rise against him that should kill your father, mother, brother, 
wife, husband ? O then, how should your hearts and souls rise 
against sin 1 Surely your sin it was that murdered Christ, that 
killed him who is instead of all relations, who is a thousand times 
dearer to you than father; mother, husband, child. One thought 
of this should, methinks, be enough to make you say, as Job did, 
/ abhor myself in dust and ashes. O, what's that cross on the 
back of Christ ? My sins. O, what's that crown on the head 
of Christ ? My sins. O, what's that nail in the right-hand, and 
that other in the left-hand, of Christ ? My sins. O, what's that 
spear in the side of Christ? My sins. O, what are those nails 
and wounds in the feet of Christ? My sins. With a spiritual 
eye I see no other engine tormenting Christ; no other Pilate, 
Herod, Annas, Caiaphas, condemning Christ; no other soldiers, 
officers, Jews, or Gentiles, doing execution on Christ, — but only 
sin. O my sins, my sins ! 

Comfort we ourselves in the end of this death of Christ: 
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the 
Son of man be lifted up; that ivhosoever believe/ h in him should 
not perish, but have eternal life. Without this consideration, 
the contemplation of Christ's death would be altogether unpro- 
fitable. Now what was the end? Surely this, Christ lifted up, 
that he might draw all men unto him : Christ hanged on a tree, 
that he might bear our sins on the tree. This was the plot which 
God aimed at in the crucifying of Christ ; and thus our faith must 

324 Looking unto Jesus. 

take it up : indeed our faith hangs on this. The design of Christ 
in his sutferings is that welcome news, (O remember this,) Christ 
is crucified ! And why so ? That ivhosoever helievetJi in him 
should not perish^ but have everlasting life. 

Sect. VII. — Of the Consequents after Chrisfs Crucifying, 

1. About twelve, when the sun is usually brightest, it began 
now to darken. This darkness was so great, that it spread over 
all the land of Jewry: some think, over all the world; so we 
translate it in Luke, And there ivas darkness over all the earth: 
and many Gentiles, besides Jews, observed the same as a gi'eat 

The cause of this darkness is diversely rendered by several 
authors. Some think that the sun, by divine power, withdrew, 
and held back its beams. Whatsoever was the cause, it con- 
tinued for the space of three hours as dark as the darkest winter's 

2. About three, which the Jews call the ninth hour, the sun 
now beginning to receive his light, Jesus cried with a loud voice, 
Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani? My God, my God, ivhy hast thou 
forsaken me? — And then, that the scripture might he fulfilled, 
he said, I thirst. — A7id wheii he had received the vinegar, he said. 
It is finished. — And, at last, crying tuith a loud voice, he said, 
Father, iiito thy hands I commend my spirit: and havi?ig said 
thus, he gave up the ghost. I cannot stay on these seven words 
of Christ which he uttered on the cross : his words were ever 
gracious, but never more gracious than at this time. We can- 
not find, in all the books of men, in all the records of time, either 
such sutferings or such sayings, as were these last sayings and 
sufl:erings of Jesus Christ. 

3. About four in the afternoon he was pierced with a spear, 
and there issued out of his side both blood and water. A7id one 
of the soldiers with a sjjear j)i6rced his side, and forthwith came 
thereout blood and water. This was a fountain of both sacra- 
ments, the fountain of all our happiness, the fountain opened to 
the house of David, a7id to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin 
and for uncleanness. There are three that bear witness on earth, 
saith John, the Spirit, the water, and the blood. Out of the side 
of Christ, being now dead, there issues water and blood; signi- 
fying that he is both our justification and sanctification. 

4. About five (which the Jews call the eleventh, and the last 
hour of the day) Christ was taken down, and buried by Joseph 
and Nicodemus. 

Thus far we have propounded the blessed object of Christ's 
suffering and dying for us. Our next work is to direct you how 
to look unto him in this respect. 

Lookws: unto t/estis. 325 


Sect. I. — Of Knowhig Jesus as carrying on the great ivork of 
our Salvation in his death. 

1 . Let us know Jesus carrying on the great work of our 
salvation during his sufferings and death. This is the high point 
•which Paul was ever studying : preaching, / determined not to 
knotv any tiling among you^ saveJes^is Clirist, and Inm crucified. 
Christ crucified, is the rarest piece of knowledge in the world. 
The person of Christ is a matter of high speculation ; but Christ 
farther considered, as clothed with his garments of blood, is that 
knowledge which especially Paul pursues : he esteems not, de- 
termines not, to make any profession of any other science or 
doctrine. O my soul, how many days, and months, and years, 
hast thou spent to attain some little measure of knowledge in 
the arts, and tongues, and sciences ? And yet what a poor skill 
hast thou attained in respect of the many thousands of them that 
knew nothing at all of Jesus Christ ! And what if thou hadst 
reached a greater proficiency ? Couldst thou have dived into the 
secrets of nature ? Couldst thou have excelled " the wisdom of 
all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egjpt, 
and the wisdom of Solomon, who spake of beasts, of fowls, of 
iishes, of all trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even 
to the hyssop that springeth out of the wall," yet without the 
saving knowledge of Christ crucified, (Christ suffering, bleeding, 
and dying,) all this had been nething, see Eccl. i. 18. and above 
all, that is the rarest which shews him suffering for us, and so 
freeing us from hell-sufferings. Come then, and spend thy time 
for the future more fruitfully in reading, learning, knowing, this 
one necessary thing. Study it therefore, but be sure thy study 
and knowledge be rather practical than speculative. Do not 
merely learn the history of Christ's death, but the efficacy, virtue, 
and merit of it. Know what thou knowest in reference to thy- 
self, as if Jesus had been all the while carrying on the business 
of thy soul's salvation; as if thou hadst stood by, and Christ had 
spoke to thee, as to the woman, ' Weep not for me, but for 
thyself; thy sins caused my sufferings, and my sufferings were 
for the abolition of thy sins.' 

Sect. II. — Of Considering Jesus in that respect. 

Let us consider Jesus carrying on this great work of our 
salvation during his sufferings and death. They shall look iquni 
me whom they liave pierced, saith the prophet ; that is, tiiey sliall 
consider me : and accordingly the apostle was looking unto Jesus, 
or considering Jesus, the author and Jinishcr of our faith, ivlio 

326 Looking unto Jesus. 

for the joy set before him, endured the cross, and despised the 
shame. It is good in all respects^ and under all considerations, 
to look unto Jesus from first to last; but, above all, this text 
relates to the time of his sufferings : and hence it is that Luke 
calls Christ's passion Oewplav, a theory or sight : And all the peo^ 
pie that came together to that sight, smote their breasts and re- 
turned. Not but that every passage of Christ is a sight, wor- 
thy our looking on, or considering; Christ in his Father's pur- 
pose, Christ in the promise, Christ in performance, Christ in 
his birth, and Christ in his life. O vrhat blessed objects are 
these to look upon ! But, above all. Consider him, saith the 
apostle, that endured such coiitradiction of sinners against him- 
self. — Cotisider him, who, for the joy that was set before him, 
e7idured the cross, and despised the shame. Of all other parts, 
acts, or passages of Christ, the Holy Ghost hath only honoured 
Christ's passion (his sufferings and death) with this name, theory, 
and sight. O then let us look on this, consider this. 

1. Consider him passing over the brook Cedron. It signifies 
the wrath of God, and rage of men. Through many tribulations 
must they go, that will follow after him to the kingdom of glory. 
Consider him entering into the garden of Gethsemane: in a 
garden Adam sinned, and in this garden Christ must suffer. 
Into this garden no sooner was he entered, but he began to be 
agonized : all his powers within him were in conflict. Consider, 
O my soul, how suddenly he is struck into a strange fear. Ne- 
ver was man so afraid of the torments of hell, as Christ, stand- 
ing in our room, is of his Father's wrath ; nor was he only afraid, 
but very heavy. My soul is exceeding sorroivful, even unto 
death. His sorrow was deadly, it melted his soul as wax is 
melted with heat ; it continued with him till his last gasp ; his 
heart was like wax burning all the time of his passion : nor was 
he only afraid and heavy, but he began to be sore amazed. This 
signifies an universal cessation of all the faculties of the soul 
from their several functions. We usually call it a consternation. 
It is like a clock stopped for the while from going, by some hand 
or other laid upon it; such a motion of the mind as whereby for 
the present he was disabled to mind any thing else, but the 
dreadful sense of the wrath of God. O what an agony was this ! 
what a struggling passion of mixed grief ! ^ O, my Father ' 
Sinner, thou hast bent thy bow, lo here an open breast! fix 
herein all thy shafts ; better I suffer for a while, than that all 
men should be damned for ever : thy will is mine : lo, I will bear 
the burden of sin: shoot here thy arrows of revenge !' And 
thus, as he prayed, he sweat, ayid his sweat was as it were great 
drops of blood falling down to the ground. O what man or 
angel can conceive the agony, the fear, the sorrow, the amaze- 
ment of heart, that, without all outward violence, bled through 
the flesh and skin ; not some faint dew, but solid drops of blood ! 

Looking unto Jesus, 327 

O my soul, consider this; and if thou wilt bring this considera- 
tion home, say, thy sins were the cause of this bloody sweat. 

2. Consider his apprehension. Judas is now at hand, with a 
troop following him. See how, without all shame he set himself 
in the van, and, coming to his Lord and Master, gives him a most 
traitorous kiss: TFhat, Judas, betray est thou the son of man 
with a kiss? Hast thou sold the Lord of life to such cruel mer- 
chants as covet greedily his blood ? At what price hast thou 
set the Lord of all the creatures ? At thirty pence ? What a 
slender price for the Lord of glory. At that time said Christ, 
Ye be come as against a thief, with swords and staves; I sat daily 
among you teachi?ig iyi the temple, and ye never laid hands on 
me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. 

Now the prince of darkness exercised his power; now the 
ravenous wolves assaulted the most innocent lamb in the world : 
now they furiously haled him this way and that way. What 
cries, and shouts, and clamours made they over him ! Now they 
lay hold on his holy hands, and bind them hard with rough and 
knotty cords. Now they bring him back again over Cedron. 
Now they lead him openly through the streets of Jerusalem, and 
carry him to the house of Annas in triumph. O, my soul, con- 
sider these several passages leisurely, and with good attention, 
till thou feelest some motions in thy affection. He that is fairer 
than all the children of men, is besmeared with weeping, and 
troubled with sorrow of heart. Surely there is something, O 
my soul, in thee that caused all this : hadst not thou sinned, the 
Sun of righteousness had never been eclipsed. 

3. Consider the hurrying of Jesus from Annas to Caiaphas. 
There a council is called, and Caiaphas the high-priest adjures 
our Lord to tell him, if he was Christ the Son of God ? No 
sooner he affirms it, but he is doomed guilty of blasphemy. 
Now again they disgorge all their malice and revenge ; each one 
gives him buffets and strokes : they spit upon that divine face, 
they hoodwink his eyes, and strike him on the cheek, scofhng, 
and jesting, and saying, fVho is it that smote thee? O my 
soul, why dost thou not humble thyself at this so wonderful 
example? How is it that there should remain in the world 
any token of pride after this so marvellous example of humility ! 
I am astonished this so great patience overcomes not my anger, 
this so great abasing assuageth not my pride, these so violent 
buffets beat not down my presumption: Jesus Christ by these 
means should overthrow the kingdom of pride, and yet that there 
should remain in me the relics of pride ! Consider all those 
night- sufferings of Christ ; now was the season that all creatures 
should take their rest. AH the night long Christ is tormented 
by thy sins. Not one jot of rest hath Christ, whom thou by the 
alarm of thy sins disquieted, both at evening, at midnight, and 
at the cock-crow, and at the dawning. 

328 Lookins" unto Jesus, 


4. Consider the hurryings of Christ from Caiaphas to Pilate* 
Now he stands before Pilate, where he was accused of sedition 
and usurpation. Not only Jews, but Gentiles, have their hands 
imbrued in the blood of Christ : Pilate was delegated from Caesar^ 
yet not without a prophecy : Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and 
all things that are written hy the prophets concerning the Son of 
man shall he accomplished; for he shall be delivered unto the 
Gentiles, At the Gentile tribunal, being questioned of his kingdom, 
he answers both the Jews and Gentiles, that they need not fear 
his usurpation : My kingdom is not of this ivorld. He gives king- 
doms that are eternal ; but he will take away none that are tem- 
poral. Christ came not into the world to be Caesar's, or Pilate's, 
or Herod's successor; but, if they had believed, to have been 
their Saviour. O that I could but contemn the world as Christ 
did ! O that I could seek the kingdom of God, and his righte- 
ousness. O my soul, I feel it, unless I can be free from the 
affection of all creatures, I cannot with freedom of mind aspire 
unto divine things ; unless I be willing with Christ to be despised 
and forsaken of all, I can have no inward peace, nor be spiritually 
enlightened, nor be wholly united unto the Lord Jesus Christ. 

5. Consider the hurryings of Jesus from Pilate to Herod. 
There is he questioned of many things, but justly is the Lamb of 
God dumb, and opened not his mouth ; upon this he is mocked, 
and arrayed in a gorgeous robe. Wisdom is taken for folly, 
and the justifier of sinners for a sinner. See how he emptied 
himself, and made himself of no reputation, that he might fill 
thee with goodness, and make thee wise unto salvation. 

6. Consider the hurryings of Jesus from Herod back again to 
Pilate. O my Saviour, how art thou now abused ! New accu- 
sations are forged ; and when Pilate sees that nothing will do, 
but Christ must die, he delivers him to be stripped, whipped, 
clothed in purple, crowned with thorns, and sceptered with a 
reed. Who can number the stripes wherewith . they tore his 
body, one wound eating into another ! O my heart, how can I 
think of this without tears of blood ! O joy of angels, and glory 
of saints, who hath thus defiled thee with so many bloody blows ? 
Certainly they were not thy sins, but mine. Love was the cause 
why thou didst bestow upon me all thy benefits, and mercy moved 
thee to take upon thee all my miseries. 

7. Consider that sad spectacle of Jesus, when he came forth 
wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe, and Pilate 
saying unto them. Behold the man ! O my soul, fix thy eyes on 
the sad object! Suppose thyself in the case of Jesus; what if 
in so sensible and tender a part as thy head is, men should fasten 
a number of thorns ! Alas ! thou canst hardly abide the prick 
of a pin, much less the piercing of so many thorns : O, but thy 
Jesus was crowned with thorns, and sceptered with a reed, and 
that reed was taken out of his hands to beat the ci'own of thorns 

}Lookm£>' unto Jesus. 329 


into his head ; thy Jesus was whipped with cords and rods ; and 
being in this plight^ thou art called to behold the man ! Canst 
thou consider him at present, as if thou hadst a view of this very 
man ? Methinks it should make thee break out, and say, ' O the 
brightness of thy Father's glory^ who hath thus cruelly dealt with 
thee? O unspotted glass of the majesty of God, who hath thus 
wholly disfigured thee ? O river that flows out of the paradise 
of delights, who hath thus troubled thee? It is my sins, O 
Lord, that have so troubled thee : my sins were the thorns that 
pricked thee^ the lashes that whipped thee, the purple that 
clothed thee : it is I, Lord^ that am thy tormentor, and the very 
cause of these thy pains.' 

8. Consider Pilate's sentence, that Jesus should be crucified 
as the Jews required. Now they had him in their will, and they 
did to him what seemed them good 4 Follow him from Gabbatha 
to Golgotha. See how they lay the heavy cross upon his tender 
shoulders, that were so rent and torn with whips. Accompany 
him all the way to the execution^ and help to carry his cross to 
mount Calvary; and there see him lifted up on that engine of 
torture, the bloody cross : he hangs on nails, and as he hangs, 
his own weight becomes his affliction. O see how his arms and 
legs were racked with violent pulls, his hands and feet bored with 
nails, his whole body torn with stripes, and gored with blood. 
And now, O my soul, run with all thy might into his arms, held 
out at their full length to receive thee* O weigh the matter 1 
Because sin entered by the senses, therefore the head, in which 
the senses flourished, is crowned with searching thorns ; because 
the hands and feet are more especially the instruments of sin, 
therefore his hands and feet are nailed to the cross for satisfac- 
tion. Be enlarged, O my thoughts, and consider it, and con- 
sider it again* 

9. Consider the darkness that spread over all the earth. Now 
was the sun ashamed to shew his brightness, considering that the 
Father of lights was darkened with such disgrace : the heavens 
discoloured their beauty, and are in mourning robes : the lamp 
of heaven is immantled with a miraculous eclipse. The sun in 
the firmament will sympathize with the Sun of righteousness. It 
will not appear in glory, though it be mid-day, because the Lord 
of glory is thus disgraced. And now hear the voice that comes 
from the Son of God, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken 
me? Christ, in the garden, tasted the bitter cup of God's fierce 
wrath, but now he drunk the dregs of it. O but what's the mean- 
ing of this; My God, My God, luhy hast thou forsaken me? 
Surely, 1 . This was not a perpetual, but a temporary forsaking. 
The godhead was not took away from the manhood, but the union 
remained still, even now when the manhood was forsaken. 2. 
This was not a forsaking on Christ's part, but only on the Fa- 
ther's part; the Father forsook Christ, but Christ went after liini. 

12. 2 I 

330 Looking unto Jesus, 

God took away the sense of his love ; but the Son of God laid hold 
upon hmi, crying, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken 
mef 3. This forsaking was not in respect of his being, but in re- 
spect of the feeling of God's favour, love, and mercy. Certainly 
God loved him still ; but his sense of comfort was now quite gone, 
so as it never was before. In his agony there was now and then 
some little flash of lightning to cheer him ; but now all the sense 
and feeling of God*s love was gone. Christ now took the place of 
sinners, and God the Father shut him out, as it were, amongst 
the sinners ; he drew his mercy out of sight, and therefore he 
cried out in a kind of wonder. My God, My God, why hast thou 
forsaken me? After this he speaks but a few words more, and 
gives up the ghost. He die^, that we might live -, he is dissolved 
himself, that we might be united to his Father. O my soul, see 
him now, if thou canst for weeping ; his eyes are dun, his cheeks 
are wan, his face is pale, his head is bowing, his heart is pant- 
ing, himself is dying. Come, and die with him by mortifica- 
tion. Look pale, like him, with grief and sorrow, and trouble for 
thy sins. 

10. Consider the piercing of his side with a spear, whence 
came out a stream of blood and water. O fountain of everlasting 
waters ! Methinks I see the blood running out of his side more 
freshly than those streams which ran out of the garden of Eden, 
and watered the whole world. Consider the taking of his body 
down by Joseph, the burying of it by Joseph and Nicodemus. 
O my spirit, go with me a little ! Christ being dead, it is pity 
but he should have a funeral. According to the letter, let 
Joseph and Nicodemus bear his corpse ; let the blessed Virgin 
go after it sighing and weeping, and at every other place look- 
ing up to heaven ; let Mary Magdalen follow after with precious 
ointment, and with her hair hanging, ready, if need were, to 
wipe his feet again. Now, let every sinner, according to the 
nature of his sin, draw something from the passion of Christ to 
the mortifying of his sin ; yea, let all turn mourners ; let all bow 
their heads, and be ready to give up the ghost for the name of 
Christ. O my soul, that thou wouldst thus meditate, and thus 
imitate, that so thy meditation might be fruitful, and thy imita- 
tion real ; I mean, that thy life and death might be conformable 
to the life and death of Jesus Christ. 

Sect. III. — Of Desiring Jesus in that respect. 

Let us desire Jesus, carrying on the great work of our sal- 
vation in his death. Indeed nothing doth so cool and refresh a 
parched and thirsty soul, as the blood of Jesus ; which made the 
'poor woman cry out so earnestly, " I have an husband, and 
children, and many other comforts, but I would give them all, 
and all the good that ever I shall see in this world, or in the 

Looking unto Jesus, 331 

world to come, to have my poor thirsty soul refreshed with that 
precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

But what is there in Christ*s blood or death that is so desirable ? 
1 answer, 

1. There is in it the person of Christ, he that is God-man, 
the brightness of his Father s glory, and the express image of 
his person. It is he that died; every drop of his blood was 
not only the blood of an innocent man, but of one that was God 
as well as man. God with his own blood purchased the church. 
Now surely every thing of God is desirable. 

2. There is in it a worth. Christ considered under the notion 
of a sacrifice, is of infinite worth. No wealth in heaven or 
earth besides this, could redeem one soul; and therefore the 
apostle sets this against all corruptible things, as silver and gold, 
the things so much set by amongst the men of this world : Ye 
were not redeemed ivith corrupfit)le things, such as silver and 
gold, — but tvith the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb with- 
out blernish, and without spot. 

3. There is in it a merit and satisfaction. The scripture doth 
not expressly use these words, but it hath the sense and meaning 
of them; as in that text. He hath made ns accepted itt the Be- 
loved, in whom we have redemption through his blood. The very 
words, redeeming and buying, plainly demonstrate, that a satis- 
faction was given to God by the death of Jesus ; He gave himself 
for us, that he might redeem, us. — Ye are bought ivith a price. 
And what price was that? Why, his ovvn blood; Thou ivast 
slain, and hast r^edeemed us to God by thy blood; that is, by thy 
death and passion. This was the \vrpov, that ransom which Christ 
gave : The So7i of man came to give his life a ransom for many ; 
or, as the apostle, He gave hbnself a ransom for all: the word is 
here nvrlXvTpoi^, which signifies an adequate price, or a counter- 
price ; as when one doth or undergoeth some thing in the room 
of another ; as when one yields himself a captive for the redeem- 
ing of another out of captivity, or gives up his own life for the 
saving of another man's Hfe; so Christ gave himself nvTiXmpov, a 
ransom, or counter-price, submitting himself to the like punish- 
ment, that his redeemed ones should have undergone. 

4. There is in it not only a true, but a copious and full satis- 
faction. Christ's death and blood is superabundant to our 
sins: The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant, 1 Tim. 
i. 14. vTrcpe-n-Xeovaae, it was over full, redundant, more than enough. 
Many an humble soul is apt to complain, H) if I had not been 
so great a sinner, there might have been hope.' This is to mi- 
dervalue Christ's redemption, this is to think there is more in sin 
to damn, than in Christ's sufferhigs to save : whereas all thy sins 
to Chiist, are but as a little cloud to the glorious svni ; yea, all 
the sins of all the men in the world, arc but, to Christ's merits, as 
a drop to the ocean. 

332 Looking unto %/e^us. 

5. There is in it remission of sins, so saith Christ : This is 
my Mood of the new Testament, which is shed for many for the 
remission of sins. Remission of sins is attributed to Christ's 
death as a cause; it is not thy tears or prayers, or rending of 
heart, that could pay the least farthing : Without shedding of 
Mood, saith the apostle, there is no remission. God will have 
tears, and blood also, though not for the same purpose; for all 
thy tears, thou must fly to Christ only as the cause : it is true thou 
must mourn, and pray, and humble thyself, but it is Christ's blood 
only that can wash us clean. O remember this ! God will not 
pardon without satisfaction by the blood of Christ. And surely 
this makes Christ's death so desirable : ^ O, my sins afflict me,' 
cries many a one ; ' O I am loathsome in my own eyes, much 
more in God's; surely God is offended with my dulness, sloth- 
fulness, and my thousand im^^erfections ; I am all the day long 
entangled with sin.' But let this contrite spirit look on Christ's 
death, and therein he may find all sin is pardoned. See here 
what an argument is put into thy mouth, from these sufferings of 
Christ ; well mayest thou say, ' O Lord, I am unworthy, but it is 
just and right that Christ obtain what he died for; O pardon my 
sins for his death's sake, and for his precious blood's sake. 

6. There is in it reconciliation and peace with God. In 
Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by 
the Mood of Christ, for he is our peace, ivho hath 7nade both one, 
and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, — 
JVhen we were enemies, ive were reconciled to God by the death 
of his Son. — This certainly should support the drooping soul; it 
may be thou criest, ^ My sins have made a breach betwixt God 
and my soul; I have warred against heaven, and now God wars 
against me ; and O what odds ! if the Lord be angry, yea, but a 
little, what will become of my poor soul ? Is stubble able to con- 
tend with the consuming fire ? How then shall I contend with 
God?' But come and look on Christ's death, as the means and 
meritorious cause of reconciliation ; and thou canst not but say, 
* O, this death is desirable !' When God the Father looks at a 
sinner in the bloody glass of Christ, then saith God, ' Fury is 
not in me, I have no more controversy with this soul : seeing 
Christ hath suffered, it is enough, I have as much as my justice 
can demand, my frowns are now turned into smiles.' Why, this 
is it that makes Christ's death and blood so desirable to the soul ; 
what shall Jacob so rejoice in seeing Esau's face altered to him ? 
shall he say to Esau, I have seen thy face, as the face of God? 
How much rather may the humble and believing sinner be filled 
with gladness, when God, through Christ's blood, shall be thus 
appeased and reconciled with him 1 

There is in it a blessed virtue to open heaven, and to make 
passage thither for our souls, liberty to enter into the holiest by 
the blood of Jesus. It is the blood of Christ that rends the veil. 

Looking unto Jesus. 333 

and makes a way into the holy of holies, that is, into the king- 
dom of heaven. Without this blood, there is no access to God. 
It is only by the blood of Christ, that heaven is open to our 
prayers, and that heaven is open to our persons : this blood is 
that key that unlocks heaven, and lets in the soids of his re- 
deemed ones. And Hooked^ saith John, and behold a door luas 
open in heaven, and the first voice I heard ivas as itiuere of a 
trumpet talking with me, which said, Come up hither; and no 
sooner was he in the spirit, and entered in, but he heard the 
new song : Thou art wortJiy to take the book, and to open tlie 
seals thereof, for tliou ivast stain, and hast redeemed us to God 
by thy blood. 

Come now, and gather in all these particulars ; there is in 
Christ's blood, the person of Christ, the price of souls, a merit 
and satisfaction, a copious and full satisfaction, remission of sins, 
reconciliation with God, a passage into glory; 1 might add all 
other privileges, benefits, dignities of the soul, for they all flow 
from the blood of Jesus, and they are all contained, either ex- 
pressly or virtually, in the blood of Jesus ; and is not all this 
worth the looking after? O my soul, where is thy languor and 
fainting towards this blessed object? When David desired 
strongly God's law, he expressed his longings, by the breaking 
and fainting of his soul : My soul breaketh for tlie longing that 
it hath to thy judgments at all times; — and my soul faint eth for 
thy salvation. O where be these breakings and faintings? 
Strength of desire, is expressed by the apostle, by groaning, 
which is the language of sickness. O where be these groan ings 
after Christ's death ? When I call to mind that Christ's death 
is my ransom, that Christ's stripes are my cures, that Christ's 
blood is my fountain to wash in, and to be clean ; how should I 
but pray in this sense. His blood be upon us, and on our children ! 
O, I am undone, except I have a share in tliis blood ! It is only 
this fountain, that can quench my thirst; and now I have seen 
the fountain opened, how should I but thirst, and cry out with 
the woman of Samaria, O give me this luater, that I may thirst 
no more! But alas, I say it, I only say it. O that I could feel 
it ! O my Jesus, that thou wouldst breed in me ardent desires, 
vehement longings, unutterable groans, mighty gaspings. When 
my spirit is in right frame, I feel some desires after Christ's blood ; 
but how short are these desires, how unworthy of the things 
desired ! Come, Lord, kindle in me hot, burning desires, and 
then give me the desirable object. 

Sect. IV. — Of Hoping in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us hope in Jesus, carrying on the great work of our 
salvation, in his sufferings and death. By this hope, I intend 
only that which the apostle calls full assurance of hope. It is 

334 Looking unto Jesus. 

not every hope that is a well-grounded hope ; that we may dis- 
cern that the grounds of our hope in Christ's death are not false, 
I shall lay down these signs : — 

1 . If Christ's death be mine, then is that great end of his death 
accomplished in me ; viz. 3y the sacrifice of himself he hath 
put away sin, even my sin; — and, in him I have redemption 
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. As on this 
account he suffered, to finish the transgression, to make an end 
of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity ; so if his 
death be mine, I may assuredly say. My sins are pardoned, and 
mine iniquities are done away. Come then, and try by this sign, 
canst thou assure thyself that thy sins are forgiven thee? hast 
thou heard the whisper of God's spirit, ' Son, or daughter, be 
of good comfort, thy sins are remitted?' there is no question 
then, but thou art redeemed by his blood, thou hast part in his 

2. If Christ's death be mine, then am I made conformable to 
Christ in his death. The same that was done to Christ in a 
natural way,* is done in the believer in a spiritual way; that is, 
as Christ died, so the believer dies ; as Christ died for sin, so 
the believer dies to sin : In that he died, he died unto sin, — Like- 
luise reckon ye yourselves dead unto sin. Observe here the ana- 
logy and resemblance betwixt Christ and us ; both die unto sin ; 
Christ by way of expiation, for the sins of others ; we by the 
way of mortification, and crucifying our sins. I look upon this 
sign as the very touchstone of a Christian. 

Two questions I suppose needful, to resolve the grounds of our 
hope concerning our interest in the death of Christ. 

1 . Whether in truth our sins are mortified ? 

2. Whether we grow in mortification ? 

For the first : whether in truth our sins are mortified, it is a 
skill worth our learning, because of the many deceits that are 
within us ; sin may seem to be mortified when the occasion is 
removed ; or, when it is not violent, but quiet ; when it is but 
removed from one sin unto another; or, when the sap and 
strength of sin is dead : as the lamp goes out, when either the 
oil is not supplied, or taken away. Now that in this scrutiny we 
may search to the bottom, and know the truth of our mortifica- 
tion, it will appear by these rules : 

1. True mortification springs from a root of faith. If we 
can make out, that we believe in Christ for life and salvation, 
and that now we feel in us the decay of sin, we may conclude 
from the cause, that this decay of sin is true mortification : it is a 
blessed effect arising from a right cause. 

2. True mortification is general ; not only one sin, but all sins 
are mortified in a true believer. As death is unto the members of 
the body, so is mortification unto the members of sin; now 
death seizeth upon every member, it leaves not life in any one 

Looking unto Jesus, 335 

member of the body ; so neither doth mortification leave life in any- 
one member of sin. It is good to observe the degrees of morti- 
fication : The first is, to forbear the practice of gross sins, in- word 
and deed. The second is, to deny consent and will to all frail- 
ties and infirmities. The third is, to be free from any liking of 
any evil motion ; not only to deny consent, but also to deny the 
very thought or imagination. If when these motions first arise, 
we presently quench, reject, detest, and cast them away from 
us; therein is true mortification. 

2d. Whether we grow in our mortification? True mortifica- 
tion is that which grows. Now the growth of our mortification 
will appear by these following signs : — 

1. Growing mortification hath its chief conflicts in spiritual 
lusts. At first we mortify grosser evils; but when we grow in 
this blessed duty, we then set ourselves against spiritual wicked- 
ness ; as pride, presumption, self-confidence. This method the 
apostle sets down; Let us cleanse ourselves from all Jilt hiness of 

jiesh and spirit. First, from all filthiness of the flesh or body, 
and then from all filthiness of the spirit. 

2. Growing mortification is constant, lasting, durable. Wheil 
there is in the heart a sudden flowing and reflowing, it comes 
from those vast seas of corruption that are within us : in this 
case, mortification is very weak. But on the contrary, if we find 
our standing more firm and sure, if for the main we walk evenly, 
and keep closely to the Lord; it carries with it an evidence that 
our mortification grows. 

3. Growing mortification feels lust more weak, and the spirit 
more strong in its ordinary actings. Suppose it be a lust or 
fancy, it cannot boil up to gross fancies as it was wont; or, 
suppose it be pride, it boils not up to such a spirit of pride 
as formerly; instead of bringing forth fruit, it now brings forth 
blossoms ; or, instead of bringing forth blossoms, it now brings 
forth nothing but leaves : this is a sign that this lust is withering 
more and more; when the waters abate, and overflow less 
ground, we may conclude, that mortification grows. 

4. GroT\dng mortification hath more ability to abstain from 
the very occasions and beginnings of lust. When a man can- 
not endure to come where such a one is that he loves not, when 
he cannot endure the sight of him, or any thing that puts 
him in mind of him, not so much as to parley or speak with 
him; this is a sign of strong hatred: and so when a man 
hates the very garment spotted with the flesh, here's a good 

O my soul, try now the growth of thy mortification by these 
signs : hast thou overcome grosser sins, and is now thy chief 
conflict with spiritual wickednesses ? Is thy standing and walk- 
ing with God more close, and even, and constant, than sometimes 
it hath been ? Is thy lust more weak, and thy grace more strong, 

336 Looking unto Jesus. 

in ordinary actings ? Hast thou now more ability to quench the 
flame of sin in the very spark, to abstain from sin in its first 
motion ? Why, then is the promise accomplished. He will sub- 
due our iniquities : surely thou art a growing Christian ; thou 
hast fellowship with Christ in his sufferings ; thy ground is solid, 
firm, and stable 5 thy hope hath foundation, and thou mayest build 
upon it, that Christ's death and sufferings are thine, even 

Sect. V. — Of Believing in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us believe in Jesus, carrying on the great work of our 
salvation during his sufferings and death. Every one looks 
upon this as an easy duty; only the humble soul cries out, ^ O 
what a hard thing is it, considering my enmity against Christ, 
to believe that Christ died for me, that he gave himself to the 
death, even to the death of the cross, for my soul !' 

Trembling soul ! throw not away thyself by unbelief. It may 
be thou wouldst not die for an enemy, an irreconcileable enemy ; 
but are not the mercies of God above all the mercies of men ? 
Look on Jesus as lifted up, and then look at the end and mean- 
ing; why was Jesus thus lifted up? 

L One design of Christ's death, was to redeem us from the 
slavery of death and hell. We were carnal, sold under sin; 
whereupon the law seized on us, locked us up, as it were, in a 
dungeon; yea, the sentence passed, and we but waited for 
execution. Now, to get us rid from this dismal, damnable estate, 
Christ himself is made under the law, that he might redeem us : 
not by way of entreaty; that would not serve the turn. Sold we 
were, and bought we must be, it was a matter of redemption : 
but with what must we be redeemed ? Ye were not redeemed 
with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but tvith the precious 
blood of Christ. His precious blood was the price we stood him 
in ; which he paid when he gave his life a ransom for many. 
The case stood thus betwixt Christ and us in this point of re- 
demption ; we all, like a company of malefactors, were ready to 
be executed. Now, what said Christ to this ? ^ I will suffer 
that which they should suffer ; I will take upon me their execu- 
tion, upon condition I may redeem them.' Now this he did at 
his death, and this was the end why he died, that by his death 
we might be redeemed from death and hell. 

2. Another design of Christ's death, was to mortify our mem- 
bers which are upon the earth. Not only would he remit sin, 
but he would destroy it, kill it, crucify it; he would not have it 
reign in our mortal bodies, that we should obey it in the lusts 
thereof. "^This design the apostle sets out in these words. He 
bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead unto 
sin, should live unto righteousness, Christ, by his death, had 

Looking unto Jesus. 337 

not only a design to deliver us from the guilt of sin, but also 
from the power of sin. God forhid that I should glory, save 
in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, In/ whom the world is ctu- 
cified unto me, and I unto the luorld. Paul was a mortified man, 
dead to the world, and dead to sin. But how came he so to be ? 
Why, this he attributes to the cross, the death of Christ. The 
death of Jesus was the cause of this death in Paul: How muck 
more shall the blood of Christ — purge our consciences froin dead 
luorks, to serve the living God? There is in the death of Christ, 
first, a value, and, secondly, a virtue ; the former is available to 
our justification, the latter to our sanctification. Now sanctifi- 
cation hath two parts, mortification aiid vivification: Christ^s 
death, or passive obedience, is more properly conducible to the 
one ; his life, or active obedience, to the other. 

my soul, look to this : herein lies the pith and marrow of 
the death of Christ ; and now if thou wilt but exercise thy faith 
in this respect, how mii^htest thou draw the virtue of his death 
into thy soul ? But here's a question, How should I manage my 
faith, to draw down the virtue of Christ's death, and so to feel 
the virtue of Christ's death in my soul, mortifying, crucifying, and 
killing sin ? 

1 answer, 1. In prayer, n\editation, self-examination, and re- 
ceiving of the Lord's supper. I must propound to myself the 
Lord Jesus Christ, as having undertaken and performed that 
painful w^ork of suffering even unto death, yea, that of the 
cross. 2. I must look upon those grievous, painful, shameful 
sufferings of Christ as very strange and wonderful; but espe- 
cially the spiritual part of his sufferings, viz. the sense and 
apprehension of God's forsaking and afflicting him in the day of 
his fierce anger. How should I but stand aghast at these so 
wonderful sufferings of Jesus Christ! 3. 1 must weigh and 
consider what it was that caused all this, viz. sin, yea, my sin ; 
yea, this and that sin particularly. This comes nearer home, 
and from this I must now gather these several conclusions. 

1. It was the design of Christ, by his sufferings, to give satis- 
faction to the infinite justice of God for shi. 2. it was intended 
to give the world a most eminent demonstration of the odiousness 
and execrableness of sin. 3. It holds forth, as sin is horrid in itself, 
so it cannot but be exceeding grievous and offensive to Christ ; it 
put him to all this pain. How then should it but offend him above 
any thing in the world! 4. If therefore there be in me any 
spark of love towards Christ, or any likeness to Christ, or if I 
would have Christ bear any love unto me, it will absolutely be- 
hove me by all means to loath sin, and cast it away from me ; to 
root it up, to quit my hands, and to rid my heart of it. The 
truth is, I cannot possibly give forth a more pregnant proof of 
ray sincere love to Christ, than by offering all violence, all holy 
severity, against sin for his sake. 
12. 2 u 

338 Lookmg unto Jesus, 

Now when the heart is thus exercised, God, by his Spirit, 
will not fail to meet us ; our desire and endeavour to weaken and 
kill sin in the soul is not without its reward ; but especially when 
sin hath in this way, and by this means, lost the affection of the 
soul, and is brought into hatred and disesteem, it decays and 
dies of itself: so matters going thus and thus in the heart, the 
influence that should nourish sin is cut off, and it withers by 
degrees till it be finally destroyed. 

Sect. VI. — Of Loving Jesus in that respect- 

Let us love Jesus as carrying on the great work of our sal- 
vation during his sufferings and death. What ! did he suffer 
and die ? Greater love than this hath no man, that a man should 
give his life for his friends. — But God commendeth his love to- 
tvards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. 
Here's an argument of love indeed ; how should we but love him 
who thus loved us ? In prosecution of this, I have no more to 
do, but first to shew Christ's love to us, and to exercise our love 
to him again. 

1 . For his love to us : it is worth our while to consider it in 
an holy meditation. — Indeed, with what less than ravishment of 
spirit can I behold the Lord Jesus, who from everlasting was 
clothed with glory and majesty, now exposed to hunger, thirst, 
weariness, danger, contempt, poverty, revilings, scourgings, 
persecution ! But let them pass : into what ecstacies may I be 
cast, to see the Judge of all the world accused, judged, con- 
demned ! to see the Lord of life dying upon the tree of shame 
and curse ! to see the eternal Son of God struggling with his 
Father's wrath ! to see him who had said, / and my Father 
are one, sweating drops of blood in his agony, and crying. My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mef O whither hath 
his love to mankind carried him ? Had he only sent his creatures 
to serve us, had he only sent his prophets to advise us in the way 
to heaven ; had he only sent his angels from his chamber of pre- 
sence to attend us, and to minister to us, it had been a great 
deal of mercy : or if it must be so, had Christ come down from 
heaven himself, only to visit us, or had he come only and wept 
over us, saying, ' O that you had known, even in this your day, 
the things belonging to your peace ! O that you had more con- 
sidered my goodness ! O that you had never sinned !' this would 
have been such a mercy as that all the world would have won- 
dered at it : but that Christ himself should come, and lay down his 
life for his people ; and yet I am not at the lowest, that he should 
not only part with life, but part with the sense and sweetness of 
God's love, which is a thousand times better than life ; that he 
should be content to be accursed, that we might be blessed; 
that he should be content to be forsaken, that we might not be 

Looking unto Jesus. 339 

forsaken ; that he should be content to be condemned, that we 
might be acquitted : O what raptures of spirit can be sufficient 
for the admiration of this infinite mercy ! Be thou swallow- 
ed up, O my soul, in this depth of divine love; and hate to 
spend thy thoughts any more upon the base objects of this 

Look upon him ! He hangs on the cross all naked, torn, and 
bloody ; betwixt heaven and earth ; he hath a crown indeed, but 
such a one as few men will touch, none will take from him : his 
hair is all clotted with blood, his face all clouded with black and 
blue ; he is all over pitifully rent, outwards, inwards, body and 
soul. I will think the rest : alas ! had I the tongues of men and 
angels, I could not express it. O love more deep than hell ! O 
love more high than heaven ! The brightest seraphims that burn 
in love, are but as sparkles to that mighty flame of love in the 
heart of Jesus. 

2. If this be Christ's love to us, what is that love we owe to 
Christ ! O now for a heart that might be some ways answerable 
to these mercies! O for a soul sick of love, yea, sick unto 
death ! This only sickness is our health, this death our life ; and 
not to be thus sick, is to be dead in sins and trespasses : why, 
surely I have heard enough, for which to love Christ for ever. 
The depths of God's grace are bottomless, they pass our under- 
standing, yet they recreate our hearts ; they give matter of ad- 
miration, yet they are not devoid of consolation. O God, raise 
up our souls to thee ; and if our spirits be too weak to know 
thee, make our affections ardent and sincere to love thee. 

The whole gospel is no other thing than a motive to draw man 
to God by the force of God's love to man. In this sense the 
holy scriptures may be called the Book of true Love, seeing 
therein God both unfolds his love to us, and also binds our love 
to him ; but of all the motives we may draw from Christ, and of 
all the arguments we may find in the gospel of Christ, there is 
none to this, the death of Christ, the blood of Jesus. Is not this 
such a love-letter as never was the like ? Read the words. For 
his great love tvherewith he loved us, Eph. ii. 4. O consider it, 
is not this a great love ? Are not all mercies wrapt up in the 
blood of Christ? It may be thou hast riches, honours, friends, 
means; O but thank the blood of Christ for all thou hast. It 
may be thou hast grace, and that is better than corn, or wine, or 
oil ! For this thank the blood of Jesus ; surely it was the blood 
of Christ that did this for thee ; thou wast a rebellious soul, 
thou hast a hard and filthy heart, but Christ's blood was the 
fountain opened, and it took away all sin and all uncleanness. 
Christ is in all, and Christ above all, and wilt thou not love him ? 
O that all our words were words of love ; and all our labour, 
labour of love ; and all our thoughts, thoughts of love, — that 
we might speak of love, and muse of love, and love this 

340 Looking unto J^esus, 

Christ, who hath first loved us_, with all our heart_, and soul, and 
might ! 

Sect. VII. — Of Joying in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us joy in Jesus, as carrying on the great work of our 
salvation in his sufferings and death. What ! hath Christ suf- 
fered for us ? hath he drunk off all the cup of God's wrath, and 
left none for us ? how should we but be cheered ! Precious souls, 
why are you afraid ? There is no death, no hell, no condemna- 
tion to them that are in Christ Jesus. There is no divine 
justice for them to undergo, that have their share in this death 
of Christ. O the grace and mercy that is purchased by this 
means of Christ ! O the waters of comfort that flow from the 
sufferings and obedience of Christ ! Christ was amazed, that 
we might be cheered ; Christ was imprisoned, that we might be 
delivered 3 Christ was accused, that we might be acquitted; 
Christ was condemned, that we might be redeemed ; Christ suf- 
fered his Father's wrath, that the victory might be ours, and that 
in the end we might see him face to face in glory. Is not here 
matter of joy ? It may be, sin, and justice, and conscience, and 
death, and hell, may appear as enemies; but is there not enough 
in the blood of Christ to chase them away ? Give me leave but 
to frame the objections of some doubting souls, and see whether 
Christ's death will not sufficiently answer them all. 

1 . One cries thus, ^ O ! I know not what will become of me, 
my sins are ever before me: Against thee, thee only, have 1 sin- 
ned, and done this evil in thy sight, I have sinned against a 
most dear, and gracious, and merciful God and Father, in our 
Lord Jesus. O the aggravations of my sins ! Are they not sins 
above measure sinful?' 

It may be so, but the blood of Christ is a fountain opened for 
sin a7id iincleanness. — And now once i7i the end of the world hath 
he appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. — As 
the scape-goat under the law had upon his head all the iniquities 
of the children of Israel, and so was sent away hy the hand of 
a Jit man into the wilderness ; so the Lord Jesus (of whom that 
goat was a type) had all our iniquities laid upon him by God his 
Father, and bearing them, he took them away; Behold the 
Lamb of God, tvho taketh away the sins of the world! He went 
away with them into the wilderness, or into the land of forget- 
fulness. See what comfort is here. 

2. Another cries thus, ' O ! I know not what will become of 
me, I have transgressed the law, and it speaks terribly : Cursed 
is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in 
the book of the law to do them. 

Say not so ; for by the death of Christ, though the law be 
broken, yet the cursQ is removed. Thp apostle is clear; Christ 

Looking ujito Jesus, 341 

hath redeemed us from the curse of the laiv, bei7ig made a curse 
for us. He was made a curse for us ; that is^ the fruits and 
effects of God's curse, the punishment due to sinners, the penal 
curse which justice required, was laid upon Christ, and by this 
means we are freed from the curse of the law. There is no con- 
demnation to them that are in Christ Jesus : the law is satisfied, 
and the bond is cancelled. O what comfort is this ! 

3. Another cries thus, ^ O ! I know not what will become of 
me, I have offended justice; and what, shall I appeal from the 
seat of justice to the throne of grace ! My sins are gone before, 
and they are knocking at heaven-gates, and crying. Justice, 

' Lord, on this sinner.' 

By this death of Christ, free grace and justice are both thy 
friends. Thou needest not appeal from the court of justice to 
the mercy-seat. In this mystery of godliness there may be as 
much comfort in standing before the bar of justice, as at the 
mercy-seat. And yet I speak not against relying on God's 
mercy for pardon; but what need we appeal from justice to 
mercy, when by faith we may tender the death of Christ, and so 
find acceptance with the justice of God itself? Come, and let 
me tell thee, if thou hast any share in the death of Christ, thou 
hast two tenures to hold thy pardon by, mercy and justice, free 
grace and righteousness; mercy in respect of thee, and justice 
in respect of Christ. Not only is free grace ready to acquit 
thee, but a full price is laid down to discharge thee of all th)'^ sins : 
so that now when the prince of this world comes against thee, 
thou mayest say, ^ How can he accuse me, seeing Christ is my 
surety; seeing the bond hath been sued, and Christ Jesus would 
not leave one farthing unpaid ?' 

4. Another cries thus, ^ O ! I know not what will become of 
me ; I see death standing before me : O, this is he that is the 
king of fears, the inlet to all those plagues in another world, 
and die I must, there is no remedy : O ! I startle, and am afraid 
of it.' 

And why so ? It is Christ that died, and by his death took 
away the sting of death. Come, meditate upon the death of 
Christ, and thou shalt find matter enough in his death, for the 
subduing of thy fears of death, both in the mrrit of it, in the 
effect of it, and in the end of it. 1. In the merit of it; Christ's 
death is meritorious, and, in that respect, the writ of mortaHty ia 
but to the saints a writ of ease, a passage into glory. 2. In the 
effect of it, Christ's death is the conquest of death; Christ went 
down into the grave, that the grave, which was before a prison, 
might now be a thoroughfare, so that all his saints may witli ease 
pass through, and sing, O death, where is thij sting f 3. In the 
end of it, Christ's deatli, amongst other ends, aims at the ruin 
of him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and to 
deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their life- 

342 Looking unto Jesus. 

time in bondage. Christ pursued this end in dying, to deliver 
thee from the fear of death ; and if now thou fearest, thy fear- 
ing is a kind of making Christ's death of none effect. O come, 
and with joy draw water out of this well of salvation ! 

Come then, and comfort yourselves, all believers, in this death 
of Christ ; do you believe ? Why then do you sit drooping ? 
What manner of communications are these that you have, as ye 
walk and are sad? Away, disquietness of spirit; Christ is dead, 
that you might live ; in this respect every thing speaks comfort ; 
God and men, heaven and earth, angels and devils ; the very jus- 
tice of God is now your friend, and bids you go away comforted, 
for it is satisfied to the full ; heaven itself waits on you, and keeps 
the doors open, that your souls may enter. O my soul, I see 
thou art poring on sin, on thy crimson sins, but I would have 
thee dwell on that crimson blood of Christ; it is the blood of 
sprinkling, it speaks better things than the blood of Abel; it 
cries for mercy, and pardon, and refreshing, and salvation : thy 
sins crj^. Lord, do me justice against such a soul: but the blood 
of Christ hath another cry; I am abased, I have answered all. 
Methinks this should make thy heart leap for joy; it is the spi- 
ritual wine that makes merry the heart of man ; and it is the 
voice of Christ to all his guests, ^ Eat, O friends ; drink, yea 
drink abundantly, O beloved.* 

Sect. VIII. — Of Calling on Jesus in that respect. 

Let us call on Jesus, or on God the Father, in and through 

1 . We must pray that all these transactions of Christ in his 
sufferings and death may be ours; if we direct our prayers im- 
mediately to Jesus Christ, let us tell him what pains he hath 
suffered for our sakes ; and let us complain against ourselves, 
' O what shall we do, who by our sins have so tormented our 
dearest Lord ? What contrition can be great enough, what tears 
sufficient, what hatred and detestation equal to those sad and 
heavy sufferings of our Jesus?' And then let us pray, that he 
would pity us, and forgive us those sins wherewith we crucified 
him; that he would bestow on us the virtue of his death, that 
his wounds might heal us, his death might quicken us, and his 
blood might cleanse us from all our filth of sin; and lastly, that 
he would assure us that his death is ours ; that he would per- 
suade us, that neither death, nor life, nor aiigels, nor princi- 
palities, nor poivers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor 
height, nor depth, fior any creature, should be able to separate 
us from the love of God, ivhich is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

2. We must praise the Lord for all these sufferings of Christ. 
Hath he indeed suffered all these punishments for us ? Then, 
what shall wc render unto the Lord for all his benefits ? What 

Looking unto t/esus. 343 


shall we do for him, who hath done and suffered all these things ? 
But especially, if we believe our part in the death of Christ ; in 
all the virtues, benefits, victories, purchases, and privileges of 
his precious death ; then what manifold cause of thankfulness and 
praise is here ? Be enlarged, O my soul ; sound forth the praises 
of thy Christ, tell all the world of that love of Christ, which 
flowed with his blood out of all his wounds into thy spirit; tune 
thy heart-strings aright, and keep concert with all the angels of 
heaven, and all his saints on earth ; sing that psalm of John the 
divine : Unto him that loved us, and iv ashed us from our sins in 
his oiun blood, and hath made us kings andjmests unto God; to 
him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

Sect. IX. — Of Conforming to Jesus in that respect. 

Let us conform to Jesus in respect of his sufferings and death : 
looking unto Jesus is effective of this. Come then, and let us 
look on Christ, and conform to Christ in this respect. 

In this particular, I shall examine these queries ; 1 . Wherein 
we must conform ? 2. What is the cause of this conformity ? 
3. What are the means of this conformity ? 

For the first. Wherein we must conform ? I answer. In his 
graces, sufferings, and death. 

1. In the graces that most eminently shined in his bitter 
passion; his life indeed was a gracious life, but his graces 
shined most clearly at his death : I shall instance in some of 

(1.) His humility; that the most high God of God, should 
vouchsafe to be contemned, and less esteemed than Barabbas a 
murderer ; that Christ should be crucified betwixt two thieves, 
as if he had been the ringleader of all malefactors; O what 
humility was this ! 

(2.) His patience; Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an 
example, that we should follow his steps; — who when he teas 
reviled, reviled not again ; when he suffered, he threatened not, 
but committed himself to him that Judge th righteously. O the 
patience of Christ ! 

(3.) His love ; Herein is love, not that ive loved God, but that 
he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our si?is. 
This love is an exemplar of all love, it is the fire that should 
kindle all our sparks : Be ye followers of God, saith the apostle, 
as dear children ; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, 
and hath giveyi hhnself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God, 
for a siveet-smelling savour. Some observe, that in the temple 
there were two altars, the brazen and the golden ; the brazen altar 
was for bloody sacrifices, the golden altar was for the offering of 
incense : now the former was a type of Christ's bloody offering 
upon the cross, the latter of Christ's intercession for us in his 

344 Lookijig unto Jesus. 

glory ; in regai*d of both, the apostle tells that Christ gave him- 
self both for an offering and sacrifice of sweet-smelling savour 
unto God. O what love was this ! 

(4.) His meekness ; in all his passion, he shewed not the least 
anger; he suffered himself to be carried like a sheep to the 
butchery, and as a lamb before the shearer is dumb, so he opened 
not his mouth: he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter: a 
lamb goes as quietly to the shambles, as if it were going to the 
fold : and so went Christ to his cross. O the meekness of 
Christ ! 

(5.) His obedience : He became obedient unto death, even the 
death of the cross, — He sought not his own ivill, but the will of 
him that sent him. There was a command that the Father laid 
on Christ from all eternity : ^ O my Son, my only begotten Son, 
thou must go down, and leave heaven, and empty thyself, and die 
the death, even the death of the cross, and go and bring up the 
fallen sons of Adam out of hell.* All which the Lord Jesus did 
in time; he was obedient to death, even to the death of the 

Now in all these graces we must conform to Christ. Learn 
of me, for I arn meek and lowly, — And, walk in love, as Christ 
also hath loved us. It is as if Christ had said, Mark the steps 
where I have trod, and follow me in humility, in patience, in 
love, in meekness, in obedience unto death. 

We must conform to Christ in his sufferings, if he calls us to 
them; this was the apostle^s prayer. That I may know him and 
the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sifferings: 
it was his desire that he might experimentally know what exceed- 
ing joy and comfort it was to suffer for Christ, and with Christ. 
Concerning this, the other apostle speaks also, Christ suffered 
for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps. 
But the text that seems so pertinent, and yet so difficult, is that 
of Paul ; / now rejoice in my sifferings for you, and Jill up that 
which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my Jlesh, for his 
body's sake, which is the church. One would wonder how Paul 
should fill up that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ : 
were Christ's sufferings imperfect, and must Paul add to them ? 
no surely ? for by one offering, Christ hath perfected for ever 
them that are sanctified. I suppose this is the genuine meaning 
of the passage. Now rejoice I in my sufferings for you, tv hereby 
I fulfil the ineasure of these tribulations, luhich remain yet to be 
endured of Christ in his mystical body, which I do for the body's 
sake, not to satisfy for it, but to confirm it, to strengthen it, by 
my example in the gospel of Christ. The sufferings of Christ 
are either personal or general ; his personal sufferings were those 
he endured in his own body, as Mediator; which once for ever 
he finished. His general sufferings are those which he endures 
in his mystical body, the church ; as he is a member with the 

Looking unto */t'sus. 345 

rest ; and these are the sufferings Paul speaks of, and wliicli 
Paul lills up. 

But wherem is the conformity betwixt our sufferings, and the 
sufferings of Christ ? I answer : 

1. Our sufferings have no conformity with Christ in these 
two things. 1. Not in the office of Christ's sufferings; for 
his were meritorious and satisfactory, our's o!dy*for edification. 

2. Not in tlie weight and measure of Christ's sufferings ; for 
his were such as would have pressed any other creature as low 
as hell. 

2. Our sufferings must have conformity with Christ. 1 . In 
the cause of them : Christ's sufferings were instrumentally from 
Satan and ^vicked men ; we must look to suffer by the enemies of 
Christ, if we have any share in Christ. 2. In the manner of 
imdergoing them; we nmst suffer with a proportion of that 
humility, and patience, and love, and meekness, and obedience, 
w^liich Christ shewed in his sufferings. 3. In respect of the 
issue of them ; we must look upon Christ's issue, and expect it 
to be our's. Ought 7iot Christ to have suffered these things, and 
so enter into glory f — And, If so he that ive suffer with Christ, 
we shall be glorified together with Christ, — If tve suffer with 
him, ive shall also reign luith him. 

By reason of this conformity, we have communion with 
Christ in all these particulars ; as, 1 . We have Christ's strength 
to bear sufferings. 2. His victories to overcome sufferings. 

3. His intercession to preserve us from falling away in suffer- 
ings. 4. His compassion to proportion our sufferings to the 
measure of strength which he hath given us. 5. His Spirit to 
draw in the same yoke with us, and to hold us under all suffer- 
ings, that ^yQ sink not. 6. His graces, to be more glorious by 
our sufferings ; as a torch, when it is shaken, shines the brighter. 
7. His crown to reward our sufferings, when we shall have 
tasted our measure of them. 

O my soLii ! study this conformity, and be content with thy 
portion : yea, comfort thyself in, this condition of sufferings ; 
must we not drink of our Saviour's cup ? Never wonder that 
thou art hated or persecuted of men : why, I tell thee, if Christ 
himself were now amongst us in the form of a servant, in tliat 
very condition that sometimes he was, and should convince 
men of their wickedness, as search ingly as sometimes he did, 
I verily think he would be the most hated man in all the 

3. We must conform to Christ in his deatli, carrying in us a 
rejemblance and representation of his death. But w hat death 
is this ? I answer in a word, A death unto sin : so the apc^stle, 
/;/ tliat he died, he died unto ^in; — likewise rechm yeyaursdves 
to he dead indeed unto sin. There is a likeness betwLxt Christ's 
death, and our death, in this respect j we are planted together 

13. 2x 

346 Loohins: unto Jesus. 


ill the likeness of his death. True mortificatioii carries a re- 
semblance of the death of Christ. As for instance, 

1. Christ's death was a voluntary death. / lai/ dow7i my 
life that I may take it again ; no man taketh it from me, bict I 
lay it dotvn of myself ; I have power to lay it down, and I have 
power to take it again. Not all men on earth, nor all devils 
h\ hell, could have enforced Christ's death, if he had not pleased: 
his death was a spontaneous act; so is our mortification. T'hy 
2)eople shall be ivilling in the day of thy poiver : many may 
leave their sins against their wills ; but this is not true mortifi- 
cation ; it bears not in it the likeness of Christ's death, for he 
died, willingly. 

2. Christ's death was a violent death ; he died not naturally, 
but violently ; He was put to death in the flesh; hewashrought 
as a lamb to the slaughter. So is our mortification, it is volun- 
tary in respect of us, but violent in« respect of sin : when a man 
lays violent hands on his sins ; when he cuts them off, being 
yet in their strength ; when he pulls up those weeds before they 
wither in themselves, this is true mortification. 

3. What is the cause of this conformity ? I answer. The death 
of Christ. 

1. It is a meritorious cause ; Christ's death was of so great a 
price, that it deserved at God's hands our conformity to Christ : 
Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that by his 
death he might sanctify it, and cleanse it ; — and present it to 
liimself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any 
such thing ; but that it should be holy and ivithout blemish. 

2. It is an examplary cause ; He suffered for us, leaving us 
an example, that lue should follow his steps. He died for us, 
leaving us an example that we should die to sin, as he died for 

3. It is an efficient cause, it works this conformity by a secret 
virtue issuing from it. Thus Christians are said to be engrafted 
with Christ in the likeness of his death, 

4. It is an impelling, or a moving cause, as all objects are ; for 
objects have an attractive power. Christ crucified doth heal sin, 
beget grace, encourage to sufferings by being looked upon with 
the eyes of faith ; look unto Jesus, and the very sight of him 
will draw you after him. Christ crucified hath an attractive 
power. And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me. 

5. What are the means of this conformity ? I answer : 

1. Go to the cross of Jesus Christ. It is not all our resolu- 
tions, promises, vows, endeavours, without this, that will effect 
our conformity to Christ in his death ; no, this conformity is a 
fruit of the death of Christ, and therefore whosoever would have 

• this work \yrought in him^ let him first have recourse to Christ's 

2. Look up tq him that hangs upon it^ contemplate the death 

Looking unto J'esus, 347' 

of /esus Christ ; consider seriously his bitter, shameful, painful 
sufferings. Much hath been said, only here draw it into son>^ 
epitome: as, 1. Consider who he was. 2. What he suffered. 
3. Why he suffered. 4. For whom he suffered. 5. For wliat 
end he suffered. 6. With what mind he suffered. Every one 
of these will make some discov^eries eitlier of his graces, or of 
his gracious actings in our behidf ; and who can tell how ibxthis 
very look may work on us to change us, and transform us inty 
the image of Jesus Christ ? 

3. Let us humbly bewail our defect and inconformity, either 
to the graces, sufferings, or death of Christ. As thus : " Lo here 
the profound humility, wonderful patience, fervent love, admi- 
rable meekness, constant obedience, of Jesus Christ ! These 
are the particulars to which 1 shall conform. But, O alas ! what 
a wide distance is there betwixt me and them ! Christ in his 
sufl'ierings shined with graces, his graces appeared in his buffer- 
ings, like so many stars in a bright winter's night ; but how dim 
are the graces in my soul 1 His sorrows and sufferings were so 
great, that some think it dangerous to define them : but how poor, 
liow little, are my sufferings for Jesus Christ ! 1 have not yet re- 
sisted unto blood, and if I had, what were this in comparison of 
his sufferings ! Christ in his sufferings died ; his passive obedience 
was unto death, even to the death of the cross : he hung on the 
cross till he bowed his head and gave up the ghost ; he died 
unto sin once; but, alas ! how do I live in that for which he died? 
To this day my sin hath not given up the ghost ; to this day the 
death of Christ is not the death of my sin ; my sin is not yet 
crucified : O how unanswerable am I to Christ in all these 
respects !'^ 

4. Let us quicken, provoke, and rouse up our souls to this 
conformity ; let us set before them exciting arguments : ex. gr. 
The greatest glory that a Christian can attain to in this world, 
is to have a resemblance to Jesus Christ. Again, the more like 
we are to Christ, the better he is pleased with us. Again, A 
likeness to Christ in his death, will cause a likeness to Christ in 
his glory : ifwc have been phnited together i/i the lilieness of his 
death, ice sfiall he also in tlie likeness of /lis resurrection. Thus 
let us quicken and provoke our souls to this conformity. 

5. Let us pray to God that he will make us conformable to 
Jesus Christ. Is it grace we want ? Let us beg of him, that of 
that fulness that is in Christ, we may in our me:isure receive 
grace for grace. Is it patience, or joy in sutYerings, that we 
Avant ? Let us beg of him, that as he hath promised, he will send 
us the Comforter, that we may follow Christ cheerfully, from 
his cross to his crown, from earth to heaven. Is it mortification 
(mr souls pant after ? This indeed makes us most like to Christ 
in his sufferings and death 3 why then, pray we for this morti- 

348 Looking imto Jesus, 

6. Let us frequently return to our looking unto Jesus Christ, to 
our believing in Christ, as he was lifted up. There is something 
flowing into the soul, while it is acting faith on the death ol 
Christ, which, for the rise, or the manner of its working, is 
beyond what tongue can speak, or pen can Avrite, or pencil can 
delineate. Come then, if we would have grace, endure afflic- 
tions, die to sin, grow in mortification : let us again and again 
return to our duty of looking unto Jesus, or believing in Jesus, 
as he was lifted up. 





Sect. I. — Of the Time mid Reasons of Christ's Resurrection, 

The sun, that went down in a ruddy cloud, is risen again with 
glorious beams. In this piece, as in the former, we shall first 
lay down the object, and then give directions how to look 
upon it. 

The object is Jesus, carrying on the great work of man's sal- 
vation in his resurrection, and during the time of his abode on 
earth after his resun-ection. Now in all the transactions of this 
time, I shall only take notice of these two things : 1 . Of his 
resurrection. 2. Of his apparitions. First, he arose ; and se- 
condly, he shews himself that he was risen. 

The scripture tells us, that he rose again the third day. In 
this point 1 shall observe these particidars. ] . When he arose. 
2. Why he arose. 3. How he arose. 

1 . When he arose ; it was the third day after his crucifying. 
Had he rose sooner, a doubt might have been of his dying. 

2. Why he arose. We have these reasons : 

(1.) That he might powerfully convince or confound his adver- 
saries, notmthstanding their care, their watch, their seal, their 
making all as sure as possibly they could ; at the very same time 
he told them before, he broke open the gates of death, and made 
the gates of brass to fly asvmder. 

Looking unto Jesus. 349 

(2.) That he might confirm the faith of all his followers. IJ 
Christ he not risen your faith is vain, saith the apostle. Christ's 
resurrection both confirms our faith, as to his person, and to his 
office : for his person ; this speaks him to be the eternal Son of 
God, by the resurrection from the dead : and as for his office, 
this speaks him to be the promised Messiah, tlie King and Savi- 
our of his churcli. 

(3.) That it might appear he had full}- satisfied the justice of 
God for sin : so it was, that God laid tlie forfeiture of the bond 
on Christ ; he arrested him, brought him to the goal, the grave, 
and there he was until the debt M'as paid to the uttermost far- 
thing ; and then, that it might clearly appear the bond was can- 
celled, he arose again from the dead. 

(4.) That he might conquer sin, death, and the devil : and 
hence the apostle cries victory upon the occasion of Clirist's re- 
surrection : O death, ivhere is thy sting f O grave, where is thy 
victory? Now was the day that he spoiled principalities and 
powers, that he trode on the serpent's head, that he came upon 
him, took from him his armour wherein he trusted, and divided 
his spoils. 

(5.) That he might become the first-fruits of them that slept. 
Christ is called the first-fruits in a double respect. 1. In respect 
of the day whereon he rose : Paul was an excellent critic, the 
very feast carried him to the word, as the day of his passion was 
the day of the passover ; and the apostle thence could say, 
Christ is our passover, 1 Cor. xv. 7- ^o the day of Christ's 
rising was the day of the first-fruits ; and the apostle thence 
could say, Christ is our first-fruits. Concerning this feast of 
the first-fruits, we read. Lev. xxii. 10, 11. It was their first 
harvest of their basest grain, barley; the full harvest of their 
best grain of wheat, was not until pentecost. Now, upon this 
day, the morrow after the sabbath, the beginning of their first 
harvest, when the sheaf of their first-fruits was brought unto 
the priest, and waved before the Lord, Christ arose from the 
dead, and in this respect Paul calls him the first-fruits of them 
that sleep, of all the saints. He arose first on this day ; for the 
full harvest is not till the general resurrection-day. 2. He is 
called the first-fruits in respect of them whom he there sanctified : 
for as an handful of the first-fruits sanctified the whole fiehl of 
corn that was growing ; so Jesus Christ, the first-fruits of the 
dead, sanctifies all those who are lying in the grave to rise again 
by his power, even when they are in the dust of death. Jf 
Christ be not riseii, saith the apostle, ye are yet in your sins. — 
J3ut notv is Christ rise?i from the dead, and become the first- 
fruits of them that sleep. 

(6.) That being formerly abased as a servant, aiul crucified as 
a siimer, he might thus be declared to be the Son of God, and 
exalted to be a Prince and Saviour; and so his name might be 

350 Looking luito Jesus, 

glorified of all the world. He ivas made of the seed of David 
according to the flesh, and declared to he the Son of God with 
power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection 
from the dead. It was of necessary consequence^ that he that 
was so humhled, must be thus exalted : therefore luill I divide 
him a portion tuifh the great, and he shall divide the spoil with 
the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death. Of 
all the reasons of Christ's resun-ection^ we must look upon this 
as the main ; for as he hath made all things for his own glory, so 
Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; 
by the gfcry, or to the glory, or for the glory, of himself, and of 
his Father. 

Sect. II. — Of the Manner of Christ's Resurrection, 

How he rose ; the manner of his resurrection we may consi- 
der in these particulars : 

1. That Christ rose again as a common person, he stood in 
our stead ; Adam, we know, was reckoned before the fall as a 
common person, not standing singly for himself, but as repre- 
senting all mankind to come of him ; so Jesus Christ is reckoned 
to us, both before his death, and in his death, and after his 
death, as a common person ; not living, dying, or rising again, 
singly, for himself, but as representing all the believers in the 
world. As amon^ all the sheaves in the field, there was some 
one sheaf, that in the name of all the rest was lift up and waved 
before the Lord ; so when all Avere dead, Christ as the first-fruits 
rose again from the dead. . Let this ever be remembered, that 
Christ rose again as the first-fruits, as an head, as a commoa 

2. That Christ rose again by his own power : this he meant 
when he said. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise 
it up. He saith not. Destroy you, and some other shall raise it 
up ; no : but I, even I myself, will do it ; yea, and by my own 
power : here is a plain argument of the divine nature of Christ, 
tor none ever did, ever could do that, but God himself. 

It is true that tlie Father raised him, and yet this contradicts 
not but that he raised up himself : Whatsoever the Father dothy 
J do, saith Christ. Christ's resurrection is the invisible work of 
the blessed Trinity; it is a work common to all the three persons : 
there is but one power of the Father, and of the Son ; so that 
of both it is true, the Father raised him, and the Son raised 

3. That Christ rose again with an earthquake : And behold 
there ivas a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended 
from heaven. The earth shook at his death, and now it trembles 
at his resurrection ; plainly speaking that it could neither endure 
his suffcrmg, nor hinder his rising. 

Looking unto Jcs//s. 351 

4. That Christ rose again, afigels ministering to him. An 
ungel came and rolled hack the stone from the door, and safe upon 
it. Christ's power was n-ot hichided in the grave, but extended 
to heaven, and to the hosts therein : however, tlie chief priests 
and Pharises conspired together to close him in the earth ; they 
sealed the stone, and set a watch; yet, the angels of heaven are 
ready to w^ait on him as their sovereign Lord. An an<':el de- 
scended to roll away the stone : not th.'it Christ was unable to 
do it hmiself; he shook the earth, and could not he lift a stone? 

yes ! but thus he would manifest his power, by declaring his 
power over the mighty angels -, lie need but to say unto his angel. 
Do this, and he doth it. 

5. That Christ rose again accompanied with others : And the 
graves were o^jened, and many bodies of saints which slept, arose, 
and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and icent 
into the holy city, and appeared unto many. It may be the 
graves were opened when Christ was laid down in his grave, 
yet the spirits came not into the dead bodies till Christ's resur- 
rection ; the text is plain, that they came not out of their graves 
until Christ was raised. Christ is the beginning, saiih the apos- 
tle, the first-born from the tlead, both in time and efficacy. 
1. In time; he rose to eternal life the first of all men. 2. In 
respect of efficacy ; Christ rose first, that by his power all the 
rest might rise. It is a question what became of those bodies 
which riow rose : some think they died again ; but it is more 
probable, that seeing they rose to manifest the quickening \ir- 
tue of Christ's resurrection, they were also glorified with Christ : 
and as they rose with Christ arising, so they ascended up hito 
heaven with Christ ascending. 

6. That Christ rose again with a true, perfect, incorruptible, 
powerful, spiritual, agile, and glorious body. 

1. He had a true body, consisting of flesh, and blood, and 
bone ; so he told his disciples when they supposed him a spirit: 
Handle me, and see, said he, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, 
as ye see me have. I know, this body, after his resurrection, 
was comparatively a spiritual bod)' ; yet for all that, he never 
laid aside the essential properties of a true bodj'. 

2. He had a perfect body : however he was cut and mangled 
before his death, yet after his resurrection all was perfect. 

3. He had an incorruptible, immortal body. The apostle is 
express : Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more ; 
death hath no inorc dominion over him. Consonant hereunto is 
that of Christ; lam he thatlivcth, and tvas dead ! and, behold, 

1 am alive for evermore. Amen, 

4. He had a powerful body. Luther could say of the glorified 
saints, that they h'ad a power so great as to toss the greatest 
mountains in the world like a ball . and Anselm hath an ex- 
pression not much unlike, " They have such a power, as they 

352 Looking unto Jesus. 

are able to shake the whole earth at their pleasure.'^ How much 
more could Christ cause that great earthquake at the rising of his 


5. He had a spiritual body : it needed not meat, drink, or re- 
freshings, as it did before ; it is true, that the disciples gave him 
a piece of broiled Jish, and of an honey comb, and he took it, 
and did eat before them; but this he did only to confirm their 
faith ; he ate out of power, and not out of necessity. 

6. He had an agile body : it was in his pleasure to move as 
'well upwards as downwards, as it may appear by the ascension 
of his body into heaven ; which was not caused by constraint, or 
by any violent motion, but a property agreeing to all bodies glo- 
rified. Augustine hath an expression concerning the glorified 
saints, ^'That they shall move to any place they will, and as soon 
as they will;" they shall move up and down like a thought ; how 
much more may it be said of the body of Christ ! 

7. He had a glorious body : this appeared in his transfigura- 
tion, when his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment ivas 
zuhite as light ; but especially after his resurrection and ascen- 
sion, ivhen I As head and his hairwert ivhite as snow , and his eyes 
were as ajlame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they 
burned in a furnace. It is true, that from his resurrection, until 
his ascension, his body appeared not thus glorious unto them 
that saw it : but whether his glory was delayed during his forty 
days' abode upon earth, or whether he so far condescended for 
his disciples' sake, as to keep in his glory, that it might not dazzle 
them, is hard to determine. I am apt to think, that in some sort 
he might draw" in the beams of his glory, and jet that he was not 
entered into that fulness of glory, as after his ascension ; and so 
some expound those words of Christ to Mary, Touch me not, for 
I am not yet ascended to my Father; q. d. Fix not your thoughts 
so nuich upon my present condition, for I have not yet attained 
the highest pitch of my exaltation, nor shall I until I ascend unto 
my Father. 

From this resurrection of Christ, how are we informed that 
Christ is the Son of God ? Thus Paul speaks, He icas declared 
to be the Soti of God luith power, according to the Spirit of holi- 
7iess, by the resurrection from the dead. — And how are we in- 
formed that Christ is Lord over all things ? For to this end Christ 
both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of 
the dead and living. — And how are we informed*that Christ rose 
again for us ? But now is Christ risen from the dead, and be- 
come the first-fruits of them that sleep. — And how are we in- 
formed that by his resurrection we are justified ? Who was 
delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justifi- 
cation : and that by his resurrection at the last day we shall be 
raised ; for the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead 
shall also quicken our mortal bodies : and that by his resurrection 

Looking unto Jesus. ZhZ 

finally we shall be saved; for after we are raised, we shall never 
die any more, hut be equal unto the angels, and he the children 
of God, being the children of the resurrection. 

Sect. III. — Of the Arguments of Christ's Resurrection. 

Christ after his passion shewed himself alive by many infalli- 
ble proofs. And so he had need, to persuade men into the faith 
of so strange a truth ; if we consult with primitive times, or latter 
times, never was matter carried on witli more scruple, and slowness 
of belief, with more doubts and difhculties, than was this truth of 
Christ's resurrection. Mary Magdalen saw it first, and reported 
it 3 hut they believed her not, Mark xvi. 10. The two disciples 
that went to Emmaus, they saw it also, and reported it, but 
they believed them not, Luke xxiii. 37- Divers women together 
saw him, and came and told the disciples; but their words 
seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed, them not, Luke 
xxiv. 11. Ihey all saw him, and even seeing him, yet they be- 
lieved not for joy, but wondered, l^uke xxiv. 41. When the 
Avonder was over, and the rest told it but to one that liappened 
to be absent, you know how peremptory he was : not he ; except 
he saw in his 'hands the print of the 7iails, and put his fingers 
into the print of the nails, and thrust his hands into his side, he 
would not believe, John xx. 25. — In after-times the whole world 
stopt their ears at this report of the resurrection of Christ, it was 
witii tiie Grecians at Athens a very scorn; ivhen they heard of 
the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. Acts xvii. 22. It was 
with Festus, the great Roman, a plain frenzy; Festus said with 
a loud voice. Paid, thou art besides thyself, much le<irni)ig doth 
make thee mad. Acts xxvi. 24. — But 'come we to our own times, 
the resurrection of Christ is to this day as much opposed by 
Jews and Atheists, as any one article of our creed. And surely 
we had need to look to it; for if Christ he not risen, (as the 
apostle argues,) then is our preaching vain, and your faith is 
also vain, 1 Cor. xv. 14. If Christ be 7iot risen, ye are yet in 
your sins; and they which are fallen asleep in Chrst arc pe- 
rished, 1 Cor. XV. 17, 18. Of all the precious truths in the 
book of God, we had need to be, well skilled in the defending 
this of the resurrection of Jesus Chri>t. 

I mean not to enter into controversies; only 1 shall declare 
those clear demonstrations, that substantially prove Christ to 
have risen again; namely, the several apparitions that Christ 
made to others after his resurrection. 

1. He appeared to Mary Magdalen apart. As a woman was 
t]>e in-at instrument of death, so was a woman the fn-st messen- 
ger of life. 

2. He appeared to all the Marys together, as they returned 
13. 2 V 

354 Looking unto Jesus 

homewards from the sepulchre : never any truly sought for 

Christy but^ v/ith these women, they were sure to find Christ.^ 

3. He appeared to Smion Peter alone; he first went mto 
the sepulchre, and he first saw him that was raised thence. 

4. He appeared to the two disciples journeying towards 
Emmaus : the name of the one was Cleopas ; and probable it 
is the other was Luke, '^ who out of modesty concealed his 
own name," saith Theophilact. 

5. He appeared unto the ten apostles, when the doors 
were shut. 

6. He appeared to all his disciples, and Thomas \vas with 
them; and then he shewed them his wounds, to strengthen 
the weak faith of his wavering servants. 

7. He appeared to Peter, and John, and James, and Na- 
thaniel, and Didymus, and two other disciples, when they were 
a-fishing at the sea of Tiberias : there he proved the verity of 
his deity, by that miracle of the fishes; and the verity of his 
humanity, by eating meat with them. 

8. He appeared unto more than five hundred brethren at once ; 
of this we read not in the evangelists, but the apostle Paul re- 
cords it. 

9. He appeared unto James the brother of the Lord : i. e. the 
cousin-german of Christ according to the flesh ; called James the 
Just, in regard of his upright life. 

10. He appeared to the eleven disciples, on mount Tabor in 
Galilee. And this Matthew intimates, when Jesus bade the, 
woman tell his brethren thiit he was risen, and that they should 
go into Galilee, and there they should see him ; and accordingly 
in that mountain where Jesus had appointed them, they saw him, 
and worshipped him. 

11. He appeared to all his apostles and disciples upon mount 
Olivet by Jerusalem, when in the presence of them all he as- 
cended up into heaven. 

12. He appeared unto Paul travelling unto Damascus. 

My meaning is not to speak of all these apparitions in order, 
but of the most considerable. 

Sect. IV. — Of Christ's Apparition to Mary Magdalen, 

On the first day were many apparitions : but I shall speak 
only to one or two, as related by the evangelist John. 

1 . Christ appeared to Mary Magdalen apart : The first day of 
•the week conieth Mary Magdalen^ early ^ ivhen it was yet darky 
unto the sejmlchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the 
sepulchre: she came whilst it was yet dark; she departed from 
home before day, and by that time she came to the sepulchre, 
the sun was about to rise ; thither come, she finds the stone rolled 
away, and the body of Jesus gone : upon tjjis she runs to Peter 

Looking unto *Tesus, 355 

and John, and tells them, They have taken away the Lord out of 
the scpnlchrc^ and we know not wliere tliey iiave laid Inm. Then 
Peter and John ran to see ; they looked into the sepulchre, and 
not finding tiie body there, they presently returned. By this 
time Mary Magdalen was come back, and howsoever tiie dis- 
ciples would not stay, yet she was resolved to abide by it, and to 
see the issue. ' . 

We find this apparition, for our farther assurance, compassed 
and set about with each ueedi'ul circumstance : here is the time 
when, the place wliere, the persons to whom, the manner how, 
he appeared; together with the consequents after his appa- 

1. For the time when he appeared : No7v upon t lie first day of 
the week, very early in tlie morning. It was the first day of the 
week, the next day to their sabbath ; and it was very early in the 
morning : the apparition was early, but Mary's seeking Christ 
was so early, that it was yet dark : she sought him early whom 
she loved entirely ; they tlK:t will not seek Christ until they have 
given over seeking other things, may justly fear to miss Cln-ist. 

2. For the place where he appeared : it was in the garden, 
where Christ was buried. 

3. For the person to whom he appeared : it was Maiy Mag- 
dalen ; she that sometimes lived a sinful life, that was no better 
than a common courtezan, now is first up to seek our Saviour. 
Let never any despair of mercy. Her love to Christ appears at 
this time: But Mary stood ivithout at tJie sepulchre, 7ceepinsr; 
and as sJie wept site stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. 

(1.) Mary stood at the sepulchre; she stood by the grave of 
Christ; it signifies her great love : Mary chuseth Christ's tomb 
for her best home, and his dead corpse for her chief comfort ; 
Iiaving lost that light of the Sun of righteousness, she desired to 
d\^ ell in darkness, in the shadow of death. 

(2.) But jMary stood at tlie sepulchre, tveeping. This was 
love indeed ; see how every word is a degree of love. She cannot 
think of Jesus as lost, but she weeps; she weeps for having lost 
him whom she loved ; at first she mourned for the departure of 
his soul out of his body, and now she laments the taking his body 
out of the grave. 

(3.) And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the 
sepulchre. She did so weep as she did seek Mdthal ; her weep- 
ing hindered not her seeking: she sought, to what jKirpose? 
that Christ is not in the tomb, her own eyes have seen, the dis- 
ciples' hands have felt ; and yet for all this she will be stooping 
down, and looking in; she would rather condemn her own eyes 
of error, she would rather suspect all testimonies for untrue, than 
not to look after him whom she had lost. 

4. For the manner how he appeared; it was first by his 
angels, and secondly by himself. 

356 Looking unto Jesus. 

(1.) There wat) an apparition of angels : she seeth /z<;o an^e/.s* 
in white, sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, 
where the body of Jesus had lain. The apparition of angels 
was only a preparation to Christ's apparition. 

In this apparition we see further^ a question and answer : the 
angels question Mar}^, JFoman, why weepest thouf She saith 
unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know 
not where they have laid him. Here was the cause of Mary's 
tears ; she knew not whither to go to find any comfort ; her Lord 
is gone, his life is gone, his soul is gone, his body is gone ; yea, 
gone, and carried she knows not whither. 

(2.) After this, Christ himself appears, but first as unknown, 
and then as known. 1. As unknown. She turned herself back, 
and saw Jestis standing, and knew not that it ivas Jesus. Jesus 
saith unto her, TFoman, why iveepest thou? whom seekest thou? 
she supposing him to be the gardener, &c. In this apparition of 
Christ unknown, I shall only take notice of Christ's question, 
and Mary's inquisition ; his question is in these words : PFoman, 
why weepest thou ? ivhom seekest thou ? I . TVhy weepest thou f 
As if he had said, There is no cause of weeping now ; lo, I am 
risen from the dead, and become the first-born of them that 
sleep ! 

(3.) Whom seekest thou f She seeks Christ, and Christ asks 
her, TVoman, whom seekest thouf A shower of tears comes be- 
twixt her and him, and she cannot see him, or it may be, 
her eyes were holden that she should not know him ; or it may be 
he appeared in some other shape, such as resembled the gardener, 
whom she took him for. 

(4.) For Mary's inquiry : she, supposing him to he the gardoicr, 
Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, 
and I will take him away. 

Her words to Christ are not much unlike the answer she gave 
the angels ; only she seems to speak more harsh to Christ, than 
she did to the angels : to them she complains of others ; They 
have taken away my Lord; but to Christ she speaks as if she 
would charge him with the fact. But pardon love ; as it fears 
where it needs not, so it suspects very often where it hath no 
cause : when love is at a loss, he, or any that comes but in our 
way, hath done it, hath taken him away. 

Something she spoke now to Christ, which she had not men- 
tioned to the angels. She said unto them. Tell me where he is, 
and I will take him away : there is no essay too hard for love ; 
she speaks without fear, she promises without condition, she 
makes no exception, as if nothing were impossible that love 

5. Christ appears as known : Jesus saith unto her, Mary ; 
she turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, ivhich is to say. 
Master, — Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy comes in the 

Looking unto Jesus. 35/ 

morning. She that hitherto had sought without finding, and 
wept without comfort, and called ^vithout answer, even to her 
Christ now appears; and at his apparition these passages are 
betwixt them : first, he speaks unto her, Jlari/; and then she 
replies unto him, Rabboni, ivkich is to sai/, Master. 

1. He speaks unto her, 3I(ny! it was but a word, but O what 
life ! what spirit ! what quickening and reviving was in the word ! 
the voice of Christ is powerful; "If the Spirit of Christ come 
aJone with the word, it will rouse hearts, raise spirits, work won- 
ders." And at this word her tears are dried up; no more tears 
now, unless they be tears for joy. Observe the way how you 
may know the voice of Jesus Christ : if it be cll'ectuaf, it usually 
singles a man out ; yea, though it be generally spoken by a mi'- 
nister; yet the voice of Christ will speak particular!}' to the very 
heart of a man, with a marvellous kind of majesty and glory 
stampt upon it, and shining in it. Take a broken, drooping 
spirit, he hears the free offer of grace, the precious promises of 
God in Christ; but he casts by all promises; but when the 
Lord comes in, he speaks particularly to his hecut, he meets 
with all his objections, that he thinks, — this*isthe Lord, and this 
is to me. 

2. She said unto him, Rahboni, ivhich is to sai/, blaster. As 
she was ravished with his voice, so, impatient of delay, she takes 
his talk out of his mouth ; and to his lirst and only ^^•ord, she an- 
swered but one other, Rahbo7ii, ivhich. is to say, Cluster. A 
wonder that in this verse but two \i^ords should pass betwixt 
them two ; but some give this reason, that a sudden joy rousing 
all her passions, she could neither proceed in her own, nor give 
him leave to go forv\^ard in his speech. 

3. For the consequents after this apparition, Jesus saith unto 
her, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father ; 
but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my 
Fattier and to your Father, and to my God and your God. 

Touch me not. Mary is not satisfied to see her Lord, nor is 
she satisfied to hear her Lord, but she must touch him, embrace 
his feet ; but on a sudden he checks her ibrv/ardness ; as if he 
had said, O Mary, fix not thy thoughts so nmch upon my pre- 
sent condition, inasmuch as this is not the highest pitch of my 
exaltation ; 1 am not as yet attained to that, nor shall I attain to 
it until I ascend ; the degrees of my exaltation {u*e, 1 . M}' re- 
surrection. 2. My ascension. 3. My session at God's right 
hand ; but that is not yet. 

4. But go to mi/ h^^ethren, and say unto them, I asroul unto 
my Father and your Fattier, and to my God and your God : 
this was the command of Christ ; instead of touciiing Inin, she 
must go with a message to his apostles, and thii was more ix-n;'- 
ficial both to her and them. 

But what means he to speiik of the ascension, whvn us yet wo 

358 Looking 2mto Jesus, 

are but upon the resurrection ? I suppose this was to pre-vcnt 
tJieir mistake^ who might have thought^ if Christ be risen^ then 
we shall have his company again, as heretofore : No, saith Christ, 
I am not risen to make any abode with you ; my rising is in 
reference to my ascending. 

But whither will he ascend ? 7b his Father and our Father ; 
to his God and our God. O blessed message ! This is the 
voice of a fcither to his son ; all that I have is thine, Novv^ if 
this Father be also God, and if all that is God's be also ours, what 
can we desire more ? But here's the question, whether his Fa- 
ther and God, be also ours ? That he is Christ's Father, and 
Christ's God, is without all question : but that his Father should 
be our Father, and that his God should be our God ; this were 
a gospel indeed. O then what a gospel is this ! ^ Go unto my 
bretliren, and say unto them, that our relations and interests are 
ail one ; the same Father that is mine, is their's ; and the same 
Giod that is mine, is their's.' 

Sect. VI. — Of Christ's Apparition to his ten Disciples. 

On this day some reckon five apparitions ; but I shall now 
only take notice of the last. Then the same day at evening, 
being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where 
the disciples ivere assembled, for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, 
and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you ;^ 
and ivhen he had so said, he shelved unto them his hands and his 
feet. In these words we have the apparition of Christ, with all 
its circumstances. 

As, 1 . When he appeared. 

2. Where he appeared. 

3. To whom he appeared. 

4. How he appeared. 

So necessary was it to confirm this point, that not a needful 
circumstance must be wanting. , And first is laid down the time ; 
Then the scone day at evening, being thejirst day of the week. 

1. It was the same day, that is, the very day of rising; the 
same day that he appeared to Peter, to the two disciples going 
to Emmaus, to the woman coming to the sepulchre, and to Mary 
Magdalen; the very same day he appears to the ten. 

2. It was the same day at evening : both at morn, noon, and 
evening, Christ shewed himself alive by many infallible proofs. 
Early in the morning he appeared to Mary, and presently after 
to the three Marys, who touched his feet, and worshipped him. 
About noon he appeared to Simon Peter : in the afternoon he 
travelled with two of his disciples almost eight miles, to the 
castle of Emmaus ; and in the evening of the same day, he re- 
turned invisible from Emmaus to Jerusalem. At all times of the 
day, Christ is prepared, and preparing grace for his people. 

Looklns:; unto Jesus. 359 

3. It was the same clay at evening, heing the first of the week. 
When Joseph shewed himself unto his bretln-en, he would not do 

. it at first, and yet he dealt very kindly with them : hut Christ's 
kindness is far above Joseph's ; for on the hrst day of the week, the 
very same day that he rose from the dead, he appears unto them. 

4. The place is laid down in this passage, wliere the disciples 
were assembled. The evangelist Luke speaks expressly, it was 
in Jerusalem ; but in what house in Jerusalem, it is unknown ; 
only some conjecture, that it was in the house of some disciple, 
therein was an upper room ; this upper room, according to the 
manner of their buildings at that time, was the most large and 
ca^^acious of any other, and the most retired and free from dis- 
turbance. Christ came in when the doors were shut, either 
causing the doors to give place, the disciples not knowing how 5 
or else altering the very substance of the doors, that his body 
might pass through them without destruction. I know not but 
he that thickens the waters to carry his body, might also attc- 
luiate the doors, to make way for his body. 

5. The persons to whom he appeared, were his disciples; 
they that were shut up, not daring to step out of doors, for fear 
of the Jews. It is Christ's usual course to appear to tliem who 
are fall of fears and griefs, and most in dangers : Wlien tliou 
2yassest. through the ivaters, I will he with tliee; and through tlie 
rivers, they shall not overjlow thee. 

6. For the manner how he appeared : 1 . He stood in the 
midst. 2. He said, Peace be unto you. 3. He sfiewed ttiem 
his hands and his side. 

(1.) He stood in the midst. O what comfort is here, to see 
Jesus Christ stand in the midst; now may the disciples behold 
him as their blessed peace-maker, their mediator, as one that 
hath slain the enmity ; not only that enmity betwixt men and 
men, Jews and Gentiles, but also betwixt God and men. This 
he did by his death, and now he declares it at his resurrection ; 
having slain the enmity by his cross, lie came a)id preac/ied peace : 
Jesus came and stood in tfie midst, and said unto them, Peace be 
unto you. 

(2.) He said, Peace J)c unto you. A seasonable salutation; 
for now were the disciples in fear and trouble: they had no 
peace with God, or man, or with their own consciences; and 
therefore a more welcome news couhl not have come. 

[1 .] It speaks their peace with God. . Sin was it that brought 
a difference betwixt God and man : now this ditVerence Jesus 
Christ had taken away by his death : Behold the Lamb 0/ God^ 
tvhich taheth cnray the 'sins of the world. This was tlic great 
design of Christ's coming, to makepeace betwixt (iod and man; 
his Father imposed this ofhce upon him, and Jesus Christ under- 
took it, and discharged it, and he proclaims it, in the tirst place, 
to his disciples. Peace be unto you. 

360 Looking unto Jesus, 

[2.] It speaks their peace with man. I know no reason why 
we should exclude civil peace out of Christ's wish; many a pro- 
mise and precept we have in the word, scattered here and there^ 
to this pm-pose: And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall 
lie down, and none shall make you afraid. — Folloiv peace, and 
holiness, without luhich no man shall see God. ' Orbem paca 
tern,' was ever a clause in the piayers of the primitive church, 
that the world might be quiet; I am sure it is Christ's command. 
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with 
all men. 

[3.] It speaka their peace among themselves, peace one with 
another; such is, or should be, the condition of the church. Je- 
rusalem is builded as a city that is at unity within itself: the 
apostle dwells on this unity : There is one body, and one spirit^ 
and one liope, and one Lord, and one faith, and one baptismy 
and one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through 
all, and in you all. The church is a court, whose very pillars are 
peace. The building, or Christianity, knows no other material 
to work upon. If we look upon the church itself, there is one body : 
if upon the very soul of it, there is one spirit: if upon the endow- 
ment of it, there is one hope : if upon the head of it, there is one 
Lord: if upon the life of it, there is one faith : if upon the door 
of it, there is one baptism : if upon the father of it, there is one 
God and Father of all, zvho is above all, and through all, and 
in you a' I. It was sometimes Christ's command unto his apos- 
tles. Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. 
And as a blessed elfect of this salutation, (for 1 look upon them 
as words full of virtue,) the apostles and churches of Christ kept 
a most sweet harmony : the multitude of them that believed ivere 
of one heart and of one soul. 

[4.] It speaks peace within, peace of conscience. The apos- 
tles had exceedingly fallen from Christ ; one betrayed him, and 
another denied him, all left him alone in the midst of his ene- 
mies ; and yet to them he speaks, Peaxe he wito you. I know 
not a better ground for comfort of poor humbled sinners than 
this is : it may be you have dealt very unkindly with Jesus Christ, 
you have forsaken him, denied him, forsworn him ; O but con- 
sider, all this hindered not Christ's apparition to his apostles ; he 
comes unexpected, and quiets their spirits : he stays nut till they 
had sued to him for mercy, but of his, mere lo^e he stills the waves, 
and calms their troubled spirits, working in them according to 
his word. Peace be unto you. 

(3.) He shewed unto them his hands and his side. I look 
upon this as a true and real manifestation of his resurrection ; 
Christ's body yet remaining on earth was not entered into that 
fulness of glory ; and therefore he might then retain some scars 
or blemishes, to manifest the truth of his resuiTCction to his dis- 
ciples. O the wonderful condescensions of Christ ! what helps 

Looking unto Jesus. 361 

doth he contmually afford to beget in us faith ! If we are igno- 
rant^ he instructs us ; if we err, he rethiceth us ; if we sin, he 
corrects us ; if we stand he holtls us up ; if we fall, he lifts us 
up again; if we go, he leads us; if we come to him, he is ready 
to receive us ; there is not a passage of Christ between him and 
his, but is an argument of love, and a means either of begetting 
or increasing faith. 


Sect. I. — Of knowing Jesus as carrying oii the great Work of 
our Salvation in Ms Itesurrcction. 

That in all respects we may look on Jesus, — 1. Let us knov/ 
Jesus carrying on the great work of our salvation in his resurrec- 
tion, and during the time of his abode upon the eartli after his 
resurrection. This is worth the knowing: on it depends oui* 
justification, salvation; for if Christ he not risen, we are yet in 
our sins, and our faith is in vain, and our hope is in vain. O 
my soul, study this point ; many take it up in gross, they can 
run over this article of their creed, " The third day he rose again 
from the dead;" but for a particular understanding of it, in re- 
spect of the time, or the end, or the manner, or the certainty, 
how many are to seek; I shall appeal to thyself; are not many 
discoveries already made, which before thou never tookest notice 
of? and if thou wouldst but study this point, how much more 
might yet appear ! especially to thine own good ; it is not enough 
to know Christ's resurrection, unless thou know it for thyself. 
Be sure thou hast this mind, that Christ rose again; but 
what is that to me ? Saving knowledge is ever joined \\ith a 
particular application;' if Christ be my head, then he could not 
rise, but I rose with him, and in him : and thus, O my soid, look 
on Christ ; and thus search into every particular of Christ's re- 
surrection : come study when he rose ; study the argiuuents that 
make out Christ's resurrection sure and certain ; study all the 
apparitions of Jesus Clu-ist; O what delightful studies are these ! 
Hadst thou been with them to whom Christ appeared, Mouhl not 
thy heart have leaped with joy ! Come, study it closely, for the 
benefits of these apparitions extend to thee. Know this for 

Sect. II. — Of considering Jesus in that respect. 

Let us consider Jesus carrying on this work of our salvation 
in his resurrection. 

1. Consider the time when Christ rose again. As Christ had 
his three days, and no more; so nuist thou have the same three 
13. 2 z 

362 Looking unto Jesus, 

days like unto his : the first day was called the day of prepara- 
tion; the second was the sabbath-day; and the third day was 
the resurrection day : so thy first day is a day of preparation, a 
day of passion, wherein thou must strive against sin and Satan, 
wherein thou must suffer all their darts until thou diest; and thy 
second day is a day of rest, wherein thy body must lie in the 
grave, and thy flesh rest in hope ; wherein thou shalt enter into 
peace, and rest in thy bed, until the trumpet sound, and bid thee 
arise, and come to judgment; and thy third day is a day of 

2. Consider the reasons why Christ arose ; was it not to con- 
found the Jews ? They could not endure to hear of Christ's 
resurrection, and therefore when Peter and the other apostles 
spoke on that point, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel 
to slay them. Again, was it not to confirm the faith of Christ's 
followers ? Until he was risen, their faith was weak ; but after 
he had shewed himself alive by many infallible proofs, they could 
then cry out. My Lord and my God ! Again, was it not to evid- 
ence that he had fully satisfied all our debts ? The apostle tells 
us, that Christ was our surety ; at his death he was arrested, and 
cast into prison, whence he could not come till all was paid; 
and therefore to hear that Christ is risen, is a clear evidence that 
God is satisfied. Again, was it not to conquer sin, death, and 
the devil ? Now he took from death his sting, and from hell its 
standard ; now he seized upon the hand- writing that was against 
us, and nailed it to his cross ; now he spoiled principalities and 
powers, and carried away the keys of death and hell ; now he 
came out of the grave as a mighty conqueror, saying, as Deborah 
did in her song, O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength^ 
thou hast marched valiantly. Again, was it not to become the 
first-fruits of them that slept? Christ was the first that rose 
again to die no more ; and by virtue of his resurrection (as being 
the first-fruits) we must rise again : As in Adam all die, even so 
in Christ shall all be made alive ; — every man in his own order, 
Christ the first-fruits, and afterwards they that are Christ's at 
his coming. Again, was it not that he might be declared to be 
the Son of God? Was it not that he might be exalted and glo- 
rified ? This is the main reason of all ; see thou to this ! O give 
him the glory of his resurrection ; so meditate, and consider on 
this transaction, as to ascribe to his name all honour and glory. 
What, is he risen from the dead? Hath God highly exalted 
him, and given him a name above every name ? O then let every 
tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the 

3. Consider the manner of Christ's resurrection. 1 . He arose 
as a common person ; in which respect his resurrection concerns 
us no less than himself. We must not think that when Christ 
was raised, it was uo more than when Lazarus was raised; his 

Looking unto Jesus. 363 

resurrection was the resurrection of us all ; it was in the name of 
us all, and had in it a seed-like virtue, to work the resurrection 
of us all. — 2. He rose by his own power; and so did none but 
Jesus Christ from the beginning of the world. O my soul, he 
was able to raise himself, much more is he able to raise thee up, 
3. He rose with an earthquake : O the power of Christ! What 
ailed thee, O earth, to skip like a ram ! The Lord reigneth, 
and therefore the earth is moved. O what a rocky heart is mine ! 
How much harder than that rock that moves not, melts not, at 
the presence of God, the presence of the God of Jacob. 

4. An angel ministered to him at his resurrection : An angel 
came, and rolled back the stone from the door, a)id sat npon if. 
Angels were the first ministers of the gospel, the first preachers 
of Christ's resurrection ; they preached more of Christ than all the 
prophets did : they first told the women that Christ was risen ; 
and they did the first service to Christ at his resurrection, in roll- 
ing the stone from the door's mouth. O my soul, that thou weit 
but like these blessed angels ! How is it that they are so forward 
in God's service, and thou art so backward ? One day thou ex- 
pectest to be equal with the angels, and art thou now so far be- 
hind them? — Many of the bodies of the saints arose out of their 
graves at his resurrection ; as the angels ministered, so the saints 
waited on him; look upon them as the fruit of Christ's resurrec- 
tion, and as an earnest of thy own. — Christ rose again with a 
true and perfect body, with an incorruptible and powerful body, 
with a spiritual and agile body, with a glorious body, brighter 
than the sun in his utmost glory; and he shall change our vile 
bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. O 
consider of it, until thou feelest the influence, and comest to the 
assurance, of this blessed change. 

1. Consider the several apparitions of Jesus Christ. 

2. Muse on his apparition to Mary Magdalen : O the grief 
before he appeared ! and, O the joys when he appeared ! — 
1. Before, slie apprehended nothing, but that some or other had 
taken away her Lord : these were all the words she uttered ; 
They hare taken away my Lord, atid I knoiu not where they 
have laid him. — 2. After lie appeared, she was filled with joy: 
when nothing else would satisfy, Jesus himself appears. At 
first he is unknown, she takes him for the gardener; but within 
a while he utters a voice that opens both her ears and eyes : And 
Jesus saith unto her, Mai^j. It was the sweetest sound that 
ever she heard; hereby the cloud is scattered, and the Sun of 
righteousness appears; this one word lightens her eyes, and 
cheers her heart. 

I know not in all the book of God a soul more depressed m ith 
sorrow, and lifted up with joy : O meditate on this ! if Christ be 
absent, all is night; but if Christ appear, he turns all again into 
lightsome day. 

364 Looking unto Jesus, 

8. Muse on his apparition to the ten disciples. When the 
doors were shut for fear of the Jews^ then came Jesus^ and stood 
in the midst, saying to them, Peace be unto you. Before his 
apparitions^ sorrow and fear had possessed all their spirits ; some- 
times they walked abroad, and were sad ; and sometimes they 
kept within, and shut the doors upon them, as being exceedingly 
afraid : in this condition Jesus Christ (that knows best the times 
and seasons of grace and comfort) comes and stands in the midst 
of their assembly; he comes in, they know not how; and no 
sooner is he in, but he salutes them, Peace he unto you. 

Tliis was the prime of all his wishes ; no sooner is he risen, 
but he wisheth peace to all his apostles ; no sooner meets he with 
them, but the very opening of his lips was with these words : 
they are tiie first words, at the first meeting, on the very first 
day. A sure sign that peace was in the heart of Jesus Christ ; 
howsoever it is with us, peace or war, there is the commonweal 
Avhere Christ is King, and there is nothing but peace. Come, 
examine : art thou, O my soul, a member of this body ? a subject 
of this commonweal? Hath the influence of Christ's peace 
(wrought and declared at his resurrection) any force on thee ? 
hast thou peace with God — and peace within — and peace with- 
• /lit ? Dost thou feel that ointment poured upon Aaron's head, 
.'\nd running down the skirts of his garments ? Doth the spirit 
iissure thee, that Christ the Prince of peace hath made peace 
and reconciliation betwixt God and thee ? O hoiu heaictiful upon 
the ynountains ivould the feet of him he, that should publish peace, 
that should bring these good tidings, that thou art a citizen of 
that Jerusalemiuhere God is King, and Christ the Prince of j^eace 1 
where all the buildings are compact together^ as a city that is at 
unity within itself. 

Sect. III.— 0/ desiring Jesus in that respect. 

Let us desire Jesus carrying on the great work of our salvation 
in his resurrection. 

But what is there in Christ's resurrection, that should move 
our souls to desire it ? 

I answer, 1. Something in itself. 2. Something in reference 
to us. 

1. There is something in itself. Had we but a view of the 
glory, dignity, and excellency of Christ, as raised from the dead, 
it would put us on this heavenly motion ; we should Jly as the 
eagle that hasteth to eat. The more excellent and glorious any 
good is, the more eager should our desires be : now Christ raised 
from the dead is an excellent object; the resurrection of Christ 
is the glorifying of Christ ; yea, his glorifying took its beginning 
at his blessed resurrection ; now it was that God highly exalted 
him, and gave him a name above every name. 

Looking tmto Jesus. 365 

2. There is something in reference unto us ; as^ 1 . He rose 
again for our justification. I must needs grant, that Christ's 
death, and not his resurrection, is the meritorious cause of our 
justification ; but on the other side, Christ's resurrection, and 
not his death, is for the applying of our justification: as the 
stamp adds no virtue, nor matter of real vahic, to a piece of gold, 
but only it makes that value, which before it liad, act ually appli- 
cable and current unto us ; so the resurrection of Christ was no 
part of the price or satisfaction which Christ made to God, yet 
is it that which applies all his merits, and makes them of force 
unto his members. If Christ he not risen again, ye are yet in 
your si}is, and your faith is in vain. Remission of sin (which 
is a part of our justification) though purchased by Christ's death, 
yet could not be applied to us, or be made ours, without Christ's 
resurrection ; and in this respect, O how desirable it is ! 

3. He rose again for our sanctification. So the apostle, He 
hath quickened ns together ivith Christ, and hath raised us 
np together ivith Christ. If you would know how you that were 
blind in heart, uncircumcised in spirit, utterly unacquainted with 
the life of God, are now light in the Lord, afiecting heavenly 
things, walking in righteousness ; it comes from this l^lessed resur- 
rection of Jesus Christ : we are quickened with Christ, it is Clu'ist's 
resurrection that raised our souls. Whence reckon yourselves 
to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our 
Lord. Tliis is the end of Christ's resurrection, that we should 
be new creatures, of new lives, new principles, new conversa- 
tions ; he rose again for our sanctification. 

4. He rose again for our resurrection to eternal life : Christ is 
the pattern, and pledge, and cause of the resurrection of our 
bodies ; for since by nutn came death, by man came also the 
resurrection of the dead. There is a virtue flowing from Christ 
to his saints, by which they shall be raised up at the latter day : 
not but that all the wicked shall be raised again l)y the power of 
Christ, as he is a Judge; for alt that arc in their graves shall 
hear his voice, and they shall come forth ; yet with this difiVrence, 
they that have done good unto the resurrection of life ; and they 
that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. 

5. He rose again for the assurance of our justification, sancti- 
fication, and salvation. This is the reason why the apostle useth 
these words to prove the resurrection of Christ, / tvill give you 
the sure mercies of David: none of God's mercies had been sure 
to us, if Christ had not risen again from the dead. But now all 
is made sure ; his work of redemption being fully finished, the 
mercy w^hich thereupon depended, was now made certain, (and 
as the apostle speaks) sure unto all the seed. 

Methinks a thougiit of this object, in respect of itself, and in re- 
spect of us, should put our souls into a longing frame. Is it not a 
desirable thing to see the King in his beauty ? If Christ incarnate 

366 Looking unto Jesus, 

was the desire of nations^ how much more is Christ in gloi'j'^ ! If 
it was Augustin's great wish to have seen Christ in the flesh, how 
should we wish to see Christ risen from the dead ? In this con- 
sideration we cannot fathom the thousand thousandth part of the 
worth and excellency of Jesus Christ. Or if Christ's resurrection 
in itself will not stir up our desires, is it not desirable in reference 
unto us ? What, that he should rise again for our justification ! 
That by virtue of his resurrection, thy soul should appear righte- 
ous before the judgment-seat of God ! O my soul, that thy por- 
tion may be with theirs who have right and title to this blessed 
resurrection of Jesus Christ ! O that thou wert on the wing in 
thy desires after Christ ! O that feelingly thou knewest him, 
and the power of his resurrection ! that thou wert resolved to give 
no sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eye-lids, until thou 
couldst sav, Christ's resurrection is mine ! 

Sect. IV. — Of hoping in Jesus in that respect. 

Let us hope in Jesus, as carrying on the great work of our 
salvation in his resurrection. We may examine the firmness of 
our hope in Christ's resurrection by these signs : 

1. If Christ's resurrection be mine, then is Christ's death 
mine ; the fruits or effects of Christ's death and resurrection can- 
not be severed; Ifivehave been planted together iii the likeness 
of his death, ive shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. 

2. If Christ's resurrection be mine, then is Christ's spirit mine, 
yea, then I am quickened by the Spirit of Christ. If any man 
have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his : — But if the 
Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, 
then he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken 
your mortal bodies, (and I may add, ^^our immortal souls,) by his 
Spirit that dwelleth in you. Christ's Spirit (if Christ's resurrec- 
tion be ours) will have the same effect in our souls, that it had in 
his body ; as it raised up the one, so it will raise up the other ; as 
it quickened the one, so it will quicken the other : but how shall 
we know whether we have received this quickening Spirit? 
Many pretend to the Spirit, but how may we be assured that the 
Spirit is ours ? I answer, 

(1.) The Spirit is a Spirit of illumination ; here is the begin- 
ning of his work, he begins in light ; as in the first creation, the 
first-born of God's works was light. And God said. Let there be 
light, and there was light; so in this new creation, the first work 
is light ; God, luho commanded the light to shiiie out of darkness, 
hath shined into our hearts; to give the light of the knowledge 
of the glory of God ill the face of Jesus Christ. There is a light 
in the mind, and a light in the heart, of those who have the Spirit 
of Christ ; not only to know the truth, but to love it, believe it, 
embrace it. Consider whether any of this new light of Jesus 

Looking unto Jesus, 30/ 

Christ hath shined into thy heart ; take heed, deceive not thy- 
self, thou mayest have a great deal of wit and knowledge, and 
yet go to hell; this light is a light shining into thy heart; this 
light is a Christ-discovering light; this light is a sin-discovering 
light; this light will cause thee to find thy hypocrisy, deadness, 
dulness in spiritual duties ; if thou hast not this light, thou art 
near to eternal burnings : darkness is one of the properties of 
hell, and without this light, inward darkness will lead to utter 
darkness, where is iueepi)ig, andwaUing, (uid gnasliing of teeth. 

(2.) Thy quickening spirit is a spirit of sanctification ; such 
was the Spirit whereby Christ was raised. He was declared 
mightiJi/ to he the Son of God, according to the Spirit of sancti- 
fication, hy the resurrection from the dead. Tluit Spirit mJucIi 
raised up Jesus Christ, was the same Spirit which sanctilied his 
human nature : and such is that quickening Spirit to all in wliom 
it dwelleth ; it is a Spirit of holiness, and it works holiness, 
changing the heart, and turning the bent of it from sin to holi- 
ness. If any man he in Christ, he is a new creature; old thi/tgs 
are passed away, behold all things are hecome new. O my soul, 
try thyself by this sign; dost thou find such an inward change 
'wrought in thy soul ? Dost thou find the law of God a law of holi- 
ness written on thy heart ? Dost thou find a law within thee con- 
trary to the law of sin, commanding with authority that which is 
holy and good ? If so, surely tiiis is no other hut the law of 
the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; or the law of this quickening 
Spirit, communicated from Christ unto the soul. 

(3.) If Christ's resurrection be mhie, then am I planted to- 
gether in the likeness of Christ's resurrection ; then I am made 
conformable to Christ in his resurrection : now if wq would 
know wherein that resemblance is, the apostle tells us, That like 
as Christ was raised upfront the dead hy the glory of the Father, 
even so ive also should urn Ik in /leunicss of life. ()ur mortifica- 
tion is a resemblance of Christ's death, aiul our viAilication is a 
resemblance of Christ's resurrection. In this ground of our hope 
concerning our interest in the resurrection of Christ, 1 shall 
propound these questions : 

1. Whether our souls are vivified? 

2. Whether we grow in our vivification ' 

For the first, the truth of our vivification will appear by these 
rules : 

(1.) True viv-ification is general, both in respect of us, and in 
respect of grace. 

In respect of us, it is diffused throughout the whole man : 2'//^ 
I'ery God of peace sanctify you ivholly, saith the apostle. And, 
in respect of grace, it is in every grace. Indeed, some Chris- 
tians are eminent in some graces ; and some in others ; some have 
more love, and some knowledge, and some more patience, and 
some more self-denial : but all that are true Christians have each 

368 LookiJig unto Jesus. 

of these graces in some measure : if vivification be true^ there is 
a whole work of grace both in heart and life ; as the light in the 
air runs through the whole hemisphere^ so does grace run through 
the whole man. 

(2.) True vivification is a new life acting upon a new principle 
of faith. The lift which I now live in the flesh , I live hy the 
faith of the Son of God. Paul's life is a spiritual life, and the 
spring of his life is the Son of God. Jesus Christ is essentially, 
fundamentally life itself; and by his incarnation, passion, resur- 
rection, he is life for his saints 5 they live by him, and in him, and 
for him, and through him; he is the heart of their spiritual life. 
O my soul, dost thou live this life of faith on the Son of God ? 
canst thou make use of Christ in every condition ? dost thou look 
up to Jesus, and desirest no more good name, repute, or honour^ 
than Christ will afford thee ? or, in case of death, dost thou, 
like Stephen, resign thy soul to Christ ? dost thou see death con- 
quered in the resurrection of Christ? dost thou look beyond 
death ? dost thou over-eye all things betwixt thee and glory ? 
O the sweet of this life of faith on the Son of God ! If thou 
knowest what this means, then mayest thou assure thyself of thy 

(3.) True vivification is a new life acting upon a new principle 
of hope of glory. Blessed he the God and Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath he- 
gotten us agaifi to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and unde-^ 
fded, that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. By 
Christ's resurrection we have a lively hope of our resurrection 
unto glory : is not Christ our head ? and if he be risen to glory, 
shall not his members follow after him ? Certainly there is but 
one life, one Spirit, one glory of Christ and his members : The 
glrny which thou gavest yne, I have given unto them, said Christ, 
The soul that is vivified, hath a lively hope of glory on several 
grounds. As, 1. Because of the promises of glory set down in 
the word ; now on these promises hope fastens her anchor ; if 
Christ hath promised, how should I but maintain a lively hope ? 
2. Because of the first-fruits of the Spirit; there are sometimes 
foretastes of the glory, drops of heaven poured into a soul ; whence 
it comfortably concludes, — if I have the earnest and first-fi'uits, 
surely in his time Jesus Christ will give the harvest. 3. Because 
of Christ's resurrection unto glory: now he arose as a common 
person, and he went up into heaven as a common person ; whence 
hope is hvely, saying. Why should I doubt, seeing I am quick- 
ened together with Christ, and raised up together with Christ, 
and am made to sit together with Christ in heavenly places ? 
Try, Q my soul, by this sign : art thou lively in the hope of 
glory ? doth thy heart leap within at the thought of thy inhe- 
ritance in heaven? In a lively fountain the waters will leap 

Looking unto Jesus. 369 

and sparkle ; so if thy hope be lively, thou wilt have living 
joys, living speeches, living delights : amidst all thy afflictions 
thou wilt say, These will not endure for ever ; I myself shall 
away ere long, glory will come at last. O the sweet of this life 
of hope ! If thou feelest these stirrings, it is an argument of thy 

(4.) True vivification acts all its duties upon a x\^\\ principle of 
}ore to Christ ; men not enlivened by Jesus Christ may do much, 
iind go far in outward service, yea, they may come to* sutfering ; 
and yet without love to Christ, all is lost, ail comes to nothing. 
Though I speak with the tongues of men and angeh^ — though 
I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and 
all knowledge, — though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, 
and though I give my body to be burnt, and have not love, — it 
^irofiteth me nothing. But how may we know that all our act- 
ings are out of love to Jesus Christ? I answer, 

1. If we act by the rule of Christ, if ye love me, keep my 
commandmeyits. — He that hath my commandments, and hcepeth 
them, he it is that love.th me. — If any man love me, he will keep 
my commandments. He that loves Christ, will look upon every 
act, every service, every performance, whether it be according to 
the rule of Christ, and then on he goes with it. 

2. If we act to the honour of Christ. We may pray, and hear, 
and preach, and act for ourselves, more than ior the honour of 
Jesus Christ : while Christ shewed miracles, and fed his follow- 
ers to the full, they cried up Jesus, and none like Jesus ; but 
when he pressed sincerity upon them,, and preparation for suffer- 
higSj/ro??! that time many of his disciples ivent back, and walked, 
no more with him. It is no news for men to fall off when their 
ends fail ; only they that love Christ, look not at these outward 
things : and hence it is that in all their actings, they will carry on 
the design of the Father, in advancing the honour of the Son, 
wliatever it cost them. O my soul, apply this to thyself; if thou 
livest the life of love, if in all thy actings, duties, services, thou 
art carried on with a principle of love to Jesus Christ, it is a sure 
sign of thy vivification. 

For the second question, Whether we grow in our vivification ? 
We may discover it thus : 

1. We grow, when we are led on to the exercise of new 
graces; this the apostle calls adding one grace unto anotlier: 
Add to your faith, virtue; and Yo rnrtue, knowledge ; and to 
kncnvledge, temperance ; and to temperaiire, patience ; and fn 
patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and 
to brotherly kindness, charity. At first a Christian doth not 
exercise all graces ; though all gi-aces be planted in him, yet the 
exercise of them is not all at once : but, as wicked men are led 
on from one sin unto another, and so grow worse and worse ; so 
good men are led from cue grace to another ; and so increase, 
14. 3 a 

370 Looking unto Jesus, 

tribulation working patience, and patience experience, and expe- 
rience hope. 

2. We grow when we find new degrees of the same grace \ 
as, when love grows more fervent, when knowledge abounds, 
and hath a larger apprehension of spiritual things, when faith