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Full text of "The practical works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, with a life of the author, and a critical examination of his writings"

















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Ei'iSTLE Dedicatory iii 

Preface vii 


What Faith is « 9 

The text opened 12 

The grounds of the certainty of Faith briefly intimated. . . . ibid. 
Why God will have us live by Faith, and not by sight .... 16 
Use 1 . To inform us what a Christian or believer is j des- 
cribed 18 

Use 2. The reason why believers are more serious in matters 

of religion, than unbelievers are 25 

Use 3. Of examination 27 

The misery of unbelievers 28 

. Marks of a true Faith 29 

Use 4. Exhortation to the serious exercise of Faith 33 

Some assisting suppositions ibid. 

How those will live who thus believe j opened in certain 

questions 40 

Motives to live by a foreseeing Faith on things not seen • • 51 
The conclusion. 1. Exhorting to live by Faith. 2. And to 

promote this life in others • . 52 

CHAP. 1. The conviction and reproof of hypocrites, who 

live contrary to the Faith which they profess .... 54 



CHAP. II. A general exhortation to live as believers • • • • 61 

III. An exhortation to the particular duties of be- 

lievers 68 


CHAP. I. The Believer's Directory must shew^, 1. How to 
strengthen Faith. 2. How to use it. 
And 1 . For the first, the order of the presupposed 
natural verities is briefly mentioned 85 

- II. The true method of inquiry into the supernatu- 

ral evidences of Faith, and the rules therein to be 
observed 91 

HI. The proper evidence of Faith. The Spirit and 

the image of God himself 100 

- IV. The image of God's wisdom on the Christian 

religion. Its wonderful method opened, in thirty 

instances. Six more instances 103 

. V. The image of God's goodness and holiness on 

the Christian religion, in thirty instances ...... 112 

VI. The image of God's power upon the Christian re- 

ligion, in twenty instances 119 

I VII. The means of making known all this to us in- 
fallibly. How the first witnesses knew it. How 
the next age and churches knew it. How we know 
it. Twenty especial historical traditions of Chris- 
tianity, and matters of fact. What the Spirit's 
witness to Christianity is 128 

VIII. Twelve further Directions to confirm our faith 138 

IX. Twenty general Directions how to use Faith, or 

to live by it, when it is confirmed. What Chris- 
tian Faith is. Errors about it 160 


CHAP. I. How to live by Faith on God 169 

. II. How to live by Faith on Jesus Christ .,..,... 188 

Abuses of the doctrine of redemption. The extent 
of it. Of Christ's office. His merits and sacrifice. 
Example, &c. 

III. How to live by Faith on the Holy Ghost. Of 

the Trinity. Several doubts resolved about believ- 
ing in the Holy Ghost. Of giving the Spirit. His 
operations. Whether love to God, or faith in 



Christ go first ; exactly answered. (And conse- 
quently whether faith or repentance be first.) Of 
the Spirit in Christ and the apostles. Of sufficient 
grace. How Faith procureth the Spirit. Whether 

desires of grace be grace 201 

CHAP. IV. How to live by Faith as to God's commands. 
The admirable goodness of God's laws. Whether 
the promise and reward be the end of obedience, or 
obedience the end of the promise and reward. Of 

Scripture examples 224 

— V. How to live by Faith on God's promises. What 
will of God it is, according to which they must ask 
who will receive. Of a particular Faith in prayer. 
Is the same degree of grace conditionally promised 
to all? Directions for understanding the promises. 
The true nature of Faith or Trust in God's pro- 
mises, opened at large. Affiance is in the under- 
standing, will and vital power. Whether Faith be 
obedience, or how related to it. Ten acts of the 
understanding essential to the Christian Faith in 
the promises. Several acts of the will essential to 
Faith. And in the vital power, whether all true 
Faith hath a subjective certainty of the truth of the 
word. Choice and venturing or forsaking aU, is 
the sign of real trust. Promises collected for the 
help of Faith, 1. Of pardon. 2. Of salvation. 
3. Of reconciliation and adoption. 4. Of pardon 
of new sins after conversion. 5. Of sanctification. 
6. Promises to them that desire and seek. 7. To 
prayer. 8. To groans that want expression. 9. 
Promises of all that we want and that is good for 
us. 10. To the use of God's word and sacraments. 
11. To the humble, meek and lowly. 12. To the 
peaceable. 13. To the diligent. 14. To the pa- 
tient. 15. To obedience. 16. To the love of God. 
17. To them that love the godly, and are merciful 
in good works. 18. To the poor. 19. To the op- 
pressed. 20. To the persecuted. 21. In dangers. 
22. Against temptations. 23. To them that over- 
come and persevere. 24. In sickness, and at death. 

25. Of resurrection, final justification and glory. 

26. For children of the godly. 27. To the church 233 





CHAP. VI. How to exercise Faith on God's threatenings 
and judgments. How far belief of the threaten- 
ings is good, necessary and a saving Faith. How 
saving Faith is a personal application. How to 
perceive true Faith 287 

VH. How to live by Faith for pardon and justifica- 

tion. In how many respects and ways Christ jus- 
tifieth us. Of the imputation of Christ's righteous- 
ness. Twelve reasons to help our belief of pardon. 
How far sin should make us doubt of our justifica- 
tion 297 

VIII. Fifty-eight dangerous errors detected^ which 

hinder the work of Faith about our justification ; 

and the contrary truths asserted 311 

- IX. How to live by Faith of other graces and du- 

ties. And 1. Of the doctrinal Directions. What 
sanctification is. How Godloveththe unsanctified. 
How he loveth us in Christ. Of preaching mere 
morality 351 

X. The practical Directions, to promote love to 

God and holiness 357 

- XI. Of the order and hormony of graces and duties, 

which must be taken altogether. Of the parts 
that make up the new creature. 1. The intellec- 
tual order j or a method, or scheme of the heads 
of Divinity. 2. The order of intention and affec- 
tion. 3. The order of practice. Of the various 
degrees of means to man's ultimate end. Of the 
grace necessary to concur with these various means. 
The circular motion by Divine communication to 
our receiving graces, and so by our returning 
graces, unto God again. The frame of the present 
means of grace, and of our returning duties. Rules 
about the order of Christian practice (which shew 
that, and how the best is to be preferred, and 
which is best), in fifty-three propositions. How 
man's laws bind conscience (and many other cases) 
resolved. A lamentation for the great want of or- 
der, and method, and harmony in the understand- 
ings, wills and lives of Christians. Many instances 
of men's partiality as to truths, graces, duties^ sins, 
&c. Twenty reasons why few Christians are com- 
plete and entire, but lame and partial in their reli- 



gion. Ten consectaries. Whether all graces be 
equal in habit. Religion not so perfect in us as in the 
Scriptures j which therefore are the rule to us, &c. 363 
CHAP. XII. How to use Faith against particular sins* • • • 405 

— XIII. What sins the best are most in danger of, and 

should most carefully avoid. And wherein the in- 
firmities of the upright differ from mortal sins • • 409 

— XIV. How to live by Faith in prosperity. The way 

by which Faith doth save us from the world. Ge- 
neral Directions against the danger of prosperity. 
Twenty marks of worldliness. The pretences of 
worldly minds. The greatness of the sin. The ill 
effects • • • • • • 415 

— XV. How to be poor in spirit. And I. How to es- 

cape the pride of prosperous men. The cloaks of 
pride. The signs of pride and of lowliness. The 
sinfulness of it. Particular remedies 433 

— XVI. How to escape the sin of fulness, gulosity or 

gluttony, by Faith. The mischiefs of serving the 
appetite. Particular remedies 452 

— XVII. How Faith must conquer sloth and idleness. 

Who are guilty of this sin. Cases resolved. The 

evil of idleness. The remedies 461 

-^— XVIII. Unmercifulness to the poor, to be conquered 

by Faith. The remedies 478 

— XIX. How to live by Faith in adversity 480 

XX. How to live by Faith in trouble of conscience, 

and doubts of our salvation. The difference be- 
tween true and false repentance. How to apply 
the universal grace to our comfort. The danger of 
casting our part on Christ 3 and of ascribing all 
melancholy disturbances and thoughts to the Spirit. 
Of the trying the spirits ; and of the witness of 

the Spirit - a 490 

 XXI. How to live by Faith in the public worshipping 
of God. Overvalue not your own manner of wor- 
ship, and overvilify not other men's. Of commu- 
nion with others 505 

XXII. How to pray in Faith 513 

— — XXIII. How to live by Faith towards children and 

other relations 516 

XXIV. How by Faith to order our affections to pub- 

lic societies, and to the unconverted world 521 



CHAP. XXV. How to live by Faith in the love of one an- 
other, and to mortify self-love. It is our own in- 
terest and gain, to love our neighbours as ourselves. 
Objections wherein it consisteth. What is the sin- 
cerity of it. Consectaries. Loving others as your- 
selves is a duty even as to the degree • • • • 525 

XXVI. How by Faith to be followers of the saints, 

and to look with profit to their examples and their 
end, and to hold communion with the heavenly 
society. Reasons of the duty. The nature of it. 
Negatively, what it is not ; and affirmatively, what 
it is. Wherein they must be imitated 541 

XXVII. How to receive the sentence of death, and 

how to die by Faith ••••... 574 

• XXVIII. How by Faith to look aright to the coming 

of Jesus Christ in glory 579 







For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Cbr. v. 7. 

For which cause we faint not : but though our outward man perish, yet the inward 
man is renewed day by day : For our light affliction which is but for a mo- 
ment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory : While 
we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: 
For the things which are seen are tenijioral; but the things which are not seen are 
eternal." 2 Cor. iv. 16—18. 

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wralh of the King : for hie iendured, as 
sieeing him that is invisible." Heb. xii, 27. 



TO TilR 





Your name stands here in the front of this Treatise, on a 
double account. First, that (the custom of writers having 
given me such an advantage) I may tell the present and fu- 
ture ages, how much I love and honour your piety, sobriety, 
integrity and moderation, in an age when such virtues grow 
into contempt, or into lifeless images and names t and how 
much I am myself your debtor, for the manifold expressions 
of your love ; and that in an age when love directed by the 
superior faculties is out of fashion ; and towards such as I, 
is grown a crime. Sincerity and love are things that shall 
be honourable, when hypocrisy and malice have done their 
worst ; but they are most conspicuous and refulgent in times 
of rarity, and when the shame of their contraries set them off. 
Secondly, to signify my love and gratitude by the best 
return which I can make ; which is, by tendering to you and 
to your family, the surest directions, for the most noble, 
manly life on earth, in order to a blessed life in heaven. 
Though you have proceeded well, you are not yet past need 
of help : so great a work doth call for skilful counsel, and 
studious learning, and industrious and unwearied practice. 
And your hopeful children may be the readier to learn this 
excellent life from these directions, for the love of your pre- 
fixed names. And how happy will they be, if they converse 
with God, when others are wallowing in the tilth of sen- 


suality! When the dead-hearted sinner thinketh not of 
another world, with the wisdom of a foreseeing man, till he 
is going out of this, ' securus quo pes ferat, atque ex tem- 
pore vivit,' ut Per. et * quibus in solo vivendi causa palate 
est,' ut Juv. When such sensual souls must be dragged 
out of their pampered, corruptible flesh, to Divine revenge, 
and go with the beginnings of endless horror to the world 
where they might have found everlasting rest ; what joy will 
then be the portion of mortified and patient believers, whose 
treasures, and hearts, and conversations in heaven, are now 
the foretaste of their possession, as the Spirit of Christ 
which causeth this, is the seal of God, and the pledge and 
earnest of their inheritance. If a flesh-pleasing life in a 
dark, distracted, brutish world, were better than a life with 
God and angels, methinks yet they that know they cannot 
have what they would, should make sure of what they may 
have : and they that cannot keep what they love, should 
learn to love what they may keep. Wonderful stupidity ! 
that they who see that carrying dead bodies to the grave, is 
as common a work as the midwifes' taking children into the 
world, and that this life is but the road to another, and that 
all men are posting on to their journey's end, should think 
no more considerately whither so many souls do go, that 
daily shoot the gulf of death ! And return no more to the 
world which once they called their home ! That men will 
have no house or home, but the ship which carrieth them so 
swiftly to eternity ! And spend their time in furnishing a 
dwelling on such a tempestuous sea, where winds and tide 
are hastening them to the shore ! And even to the end are 
contriving to live where they are daily dying ; and care for 
no habitation but on horseback ! That almost all men die 
much wiser than they lived ; and yet the certain foreknow- 
ledge of death will not serve to make them more seasonably 
and more safely wise ! Wonderful ! that it should be pos- 
sible for a man awake, to believe that he must shortly be 
gone from earth, and enter into an unchangeable, endless 
life, and yet not bend the thoughts of his soul, and the la- 
bours of his life, to secure his true and durable felicity ! 
But Adam hath given sin the antecedency to grace, and 
madness the priority to wisdom ; and our wisdom, health 
and safety, must now come after, by the way of recovery 
and cure. The firstborn of lapsed man was a malignant. 


persecuting Cain. The firstborn of believing Abraham, 
was a persecutor of him that was " born after the Spirit ;" 
1 John iii. 12. Gal. iv. 29. And the firstborn of this Isaac 
himself, was a " profane Esau, that for one morsel sold his 
birthright ;" Heb. xii. 16. And naturally we are all the off- 
spring of this profaneness, and have not acquaintance 
enough with God, and with healthful holiness, arid with the 
everlasting, heavenly glory, to make us cordially prefer it 
before a forbidden cup, or morsel, or a game at foolery, or a 
filthy lust ; or before the wind of a gilded fool's acclamation 
and applause ; or the cap and counterfeit subjection of the 
multitude. But the * Fortunae, non tua turba' (ut Ov.), et 
' quos sportula fecit amici,* (ut Juv.,) who will serve men's 
lusts, and be their servants, and humble attendants to dam- 
nation, are regarded more than the God, the Saviour, the 
Sanctifier, to whom these perfidious rebels were once de- 
voted. That you and yours may live that more wise and 
delightful life, which consisteth in the daily sight of hea- 
ven, by a living faith, which worketh by love, in constant 
obedience, is the principal end of this public appellation ; 
that what is here written for the use of all, may be first and 
specially useful to you and yours, whom I am so much 
bound to love and honour ; even to your safe and comforta- 
ble life and death, and to your future joy and glory, is the 
great desire of 

Your obliged Servant, 


Feb. 4, 1669. 


1. If it offend thee, that the parts of this Treatise are so un- 
like, understand, 1. That they are for various uses. The 
first part to make men willing, by awakening persuasions ; 
and the rest, to direct them in the exercises of Faith, who 
are first made willing. 2. That I write not to win thy praise 
of an artificial, comely structure ; but to help souls to holi- 
ness and heaven ; and to these ends I labour to suit the 
means. 3. That the first sermon was published long ago ; and 
the bookseller desiring me to give him some additions to it, 
I thought meet first to make up the exciting part in the 
same style, and then to add a directory for the practice of 
judicious believers. 

2. And if it offend thee that the second part containeth 
but such matter as I have already published, in my " Rea- 
sons of the Christian Religion," understand. 1. That I per- 
ceived that that Treatise was neglected by the more un- 
learned sort of Christians, as not descending enough to their 
capacities ; and that it would be useful to the confirmation 
of their faith, to draw forth some of the most obvious argu- 
ments, in as plain a manner, and as briefly as I could, that 
length or obscurity might not deprive them of the benefit, 
who are too slothful, or too dull to make use of more co- 
pious and accurate discourses. 2. And I knew not how to 
write a Treatise of the Uses of Faith, which should wholly 
leave out the Confirmations of Faith, without much reluc- 
tancy of my reason, 3. And again, I say, I can bear the 
dispraise of repetition, if I may but further men's faith and 

3. And if it offend thee that I am so dull in all the di- 
rective part, I cannot well do both works at once, awaken 


the affections, and accurately direct the mind for practice. 
Or at least if I had spoken all those directions in a copious, 
applicatory, sermon style, it would have swelled the book to 
a very tedious, costly volume : and affection must not too 
much interpose, when the judgment is about its proper 
work. And being done in the beginning, it may be the 
better spared afterwards. 

4. If it offend you that I open the " Life of Faith" in 
somewhat an unusual manner, I answer for myself, that if 
it be methodical, true and apt for use, I do that which I in- 
tend. And on a subject so frequently and fully handled, it 
were but an injury to the church, to say but the same which 
is said already. Mr. John Ball, Mr. Ezekiel Culverwell, and 
Mr. Samuel Ward, in a narrower room have done exceeding 
well upon this subject. If you would have nothing more 
than they have said, read their books only and let this 

5. If it offend you that the directions are many of them 
difficult, and the style requireth a slow, considerate reader, 
I answer, the nature of the subject requireth it ; and with- 
out voluminous tediousness, it cannot be avoided. Blame 
therefore your unprepared, ignorant minds ; and while you 
are yet dull of hearing, and so make things hard to be ut- 
tered to your understanding, because you have still need of 
milk, and cannot digest strong meat ; but must again be 
taught the principles of the oraches of God ; (Heb. v. 1 1 — 14.) 
Think not to get knowledge without hard study, and patient 
learning, by hearing nothing but what you know already, or 
can understand by one hasty reading over; lest you disco- 
ver a conjunction of slothfulness with an ignorant and un- 
humbled mind. Or at least, if you must learn at so cheap 
a rate, or else stick still in your milk and your beginnings, 
be not offended if others outgo you, and think knowledge 
worthy of much greater diligence ; and if leaving the prin- 
ciples we go on towards perfection, as long as we take them 
along with us, and make them the life of all that followeth, 
while we seem to leave them : and this we will do, if God 
permit ; Heb. vi. 1. 3. 

R. B. 

Feb. 3, 1669. 




Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of 
things not seen. 

Though the wicked are distinguished into hypocrites and 
unbelievers, yet hypocrites themselves are unbelievers too. 
They have no faith which they can justify, by its prevail- 
ing efficacy and works ; and therefore have no faith by 
which -they can be justified. Because their discovery is 
needful to their recovery, and all our salvation depends on 
the sincerity of our faith, I have chosen this text, which is 
a description of Faith, that the opening of it may help us 
for the opening of our hearts, and resolving the great ques- 
tion, on which our endless life depends. 

To be a Christian, and to be a believer iri Christ, are 
words in Scripture of the same signification. If you have 
not faith, you are not Christians. This faith hath various 
offices and objects. By it we are justified, sanctified and 
saved, We are justified, not by believing that we are justi- 
fied, but by believing that we may be justified, Not by re- 
ceiving justification immediately, but by receiving Christ 
for our justification : nor by mere accepting the pardon in 
itself, but by first receiving him that procureth and be- 
stoweth it, on his terms : not by mere accepting health, but 
by receiving the Physician and his remedies, for health. 

Faith is the practical believing m God as promising, and 
Christ as procuring justification and salvation. Or, the 
practical belief and acceptance of life, as procured by Christ, 
and promised by God in the Gospel. 

The everlasting fruition of God in heaven, is the ulti- 
mate object. No man believeth in Christ as Christ, that 
believeth not in him for eternal life. As Faith looks at 
Christ as the necessary means, and at the divine benignity 


as the fountain, and at his veracity as the foundation or for- 
mal object, and at the promise, as the true signification of 
his will ; so doth it ultimately look at our salvation, (begun 
on earth, and perfected in heaven) as the end, for which it 
looketh at the rest. 

No wonder therefore if the Holy Ghost here speaking of , 
the dignity and power of faith, do principally insist on that 
part of its description, which is taken from this final object. 

As Christ himself in his humiliation was rejected by the 
Gentiles, and a stumbling-stone to the Jews, despised and 
not esteemed ; (Isa. liii. 2, 3.) Having " made himself of no 
reputation ;'' (Phil. ii. 7.) So faith in Christ as incarnate and 
crucified, is despised and counted foolishness by the world. 
But as Christ in his glory, and the glory of believers, shall 
force them to an awful admiration ; so faith itself as exer- 
cised on that glory, is more glorious in the eyes of all. Be- 
lievers are never so reverenced by the world, as when they 
converse in heaven, and " the Spirit of Glory resteth on 
them;" 1 Pet. iv. 14. 

How faith by beholding this glorious end, doth move 
all the faculties of the soul, and subdue the inclinations and 
interests of the flesh, and make the greatest sufferings tole- 
rable, is the work of the Holy Ghost in this chapter to de- 
monstrate, which beginning with the description, proceeds 
to the proof by a cloud of witnesses. There are two sorts 
of persons (and employments) in the world, for whom there 
are two contrary ends hereafter. One sort subjects their 
reason to their sensual or carnal interest. The other subjects 
their senses to their reason, cleared, conducted and ele- 
vated by faith. Things present or possessed, are the riches 
of the sensual, and the bias of their hearts and lives : things . 
absent but hoped for, are the riches of believers, which ac- 
tuate their chief endeavours. 

This is. the sense of the text which t have read to you ; 
which setting things hoped for, in opposition to things pre- 
sent, and things unseen, to those that sense doth appre- 
hend, assureth us that faith (which fixeth on the first) doth 
give to its object a subsistence, presence and evidence, that 
is, it seeth that which supplieth the want of presence and 
visibility. The Wotraffiff, is that which * quoad effectum' is 
equal to a present subsistence. And the eXtyYoa, the evi- 
dence is somewhat which * quoad efFectum' is equal to visi- 


bility. As if he had said. Though the glory promised to 
believers, and expected by them, be yet to come, and only 
hoped for, and be yet unseen and only believed, yet is the 
sound believer as truly affected with it, and acted by its at- 
tractive force, as if it were present and before his eyes, as a 
man is by an inheritance, or estate in reversion, or out of 
sight if well secured, and not only by that which is present 
to his view. The Syriac interpreter, instead of a transla- 
tion, gives us a true exposition of the words, viz. * Faith is 
a certainty of those things that are in hope, as if they did 
already actually exist, and the revelation of those things 
that are not seen.' 

Or you may take the sense in this proposition, which I 
am next to open further, and apply, viz. That the nature and 
use of faith is to be as it were instead of presence, posses- 
sion and sight : or to make the things that will be, as if 
they were already in existence ; and the things unseen 
which God revealeth, as if our bodily eyes beheld them. 

1. Not that faith doth really change its object. 

2. Nor doth it give the same degree of apprehensions 
and affections, as the sight of present things would do. 
But, 1. Things invisible are the objects of our faith. 2. And 
faith is effectual instead of sight to all these uses : 1. The 
apprehension is as infallible, because of the objective cer- 
tainty, (though not so satisfactory to our imperfect souls) 
as if the things themselves were seen. 2. The will is deter- 
mined by it in its necessary consent and choice. 3. The 
affections are moved in the necessary degree. 4. It ruleth 
in our lives, and bringeth us through duty, and suffering, 
for the sake of the happiness which we believe. 

3. This faith is a grounded wise and justifiable act: an 
infallible knowledge ; and often called so in Scripture ; 
John vi. 69. Cor. xv. 58. Rom. viii. 28, &c. And the con- 
stitutive and efficient causes will justify the name. 

We know and are infallibly sure, of the truth of God, 
which we believe : as it is said, " We believe and are sure 
that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God;" John 
vi. 69* " We know that if our earthly house of this taber- 
nacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house 
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ;" 2 Cor. v. 1, 
** We know that all things work together for good to them 
that love God;" Rom. viii. 28. "You know that your 


labour is not in vain in the Lord ;" 1 Cor. xv. 58. " We 
know God spake to Moses ;" &c. John ix. 29. " We know 
God heareth not sinners ;" John ix. 31. " We know thou 
art a teacher come from God ;" John iii. 2. So 1 John iii. 
5, 15, and 1 Pet. iii. 17; and many other Scriptures tell 
you, that believing God, is a certain infallible sort of know- 

I shall in justification of the work of faith, acquaint 
you briefly with, 1. That in the nature of it: 2. And that in 
the causing of it, which advanceth it, to be an infallible 

1. The believer knows (as sure as he knows there is a 
God) that God is true, and his word is true, it being " im- 
possible for God to lie ;" Heb. vi. 18. " God that cannot 
lie hath promised ;*' Tjt. i. 2. 

2. He knows that the Holy Scripture is the word of 
God ; by his image which it beareth, and the many evidences 
of Divinity which it containeth, and the many miracles (cer- 
tainly proved) which Christ, and his Spirit in his servants, 
wrought to confirm the truth. 3. And therefore he knoweth 
assuredly the conclusion, that all this word of God is true. 

And for the surer effecting of this knowledge, God doth 
not only set before us the ascertaining evidence of his own 
veracity, and the Scripture's divinity; but moreover, 1, He 
giveth us to believe ; Phil. i. 29. 2 Pet. i. 3. For it is 
" not of ourselves, but is the gift of God ;" Ephes. ii. 8. 
Faith is one of the " fruits of the Spirit ;" Gal. v. 22. By 
the drawing of the Father, we come to the Son. And he 
that hath knowledge given from heaven, will certainly 
know : and he that hath faith given him from heaven, will 
certainly believe. The heavenly light will dissipate our 
darkness, and infallibly illuminate. Whilst God sets before 
us the glass of the Gospel in which the things invisible are 
revealed, and also gives us eyesight to behold them, be- 
lievers must needs be a heavenly people, as walking in that 
light which proceedeth from, and leadeth to the celestial, 
everlasting light. 

2. And that faith may be so powerful as to serve in- 
stead of sight and presence, believers have the Spirit of 
Christ within them, to excite and actuate it, and help them 
against all temptations to unbelief, and to work in them all 
other graces that concur to promote the works of faith ; 


and to mortify those sins that hinder our believing, and are 
contrary to a heavenly life. So that as the exercise of our 
sight, and taste, and hearing, and feeling, is caused by our 
natural life ; so the exercise of Faith and hope, and love> 
upon things unseen, is caused by the Holy Spirit, which is 
the principle of our new life : ** We have received the Spirit, 
that we might know the things that are given us of God ;* 
1 Cor. ii. 12. This Spirit of God acquainteth us with God, 
with his veracity and his word : " We know him that hath 
said, I will never fail thee, nor forsake thee ;" Heb. x. 30' 
This Spirit of Christ acquainteth us with Christ, and with 
his grace and will ; 1 Cor* ii. 10 — 12. This heavenly Spirit 
acquainteth us with heaven, so that " We know that 
when Christ appeareth, we shall be like him, for we shall 
see him as he is;" 1 John iii. 2* And "we know that he 
was manifested to take away sin ;" 1 John iii. 5. And will 
perfect his work, and present us spotless to his Father ; 
Eph. V. 26, 27. This heavenly Spirit possesseth the saints 
with such heavenly dispositions and desires, as much facili- 
tate the work of faith. It bringeth us to a heavenly con- 
versation ; and maketh us live as '* fellow-citizens of the 
saints," and "in the household of God ;" Eph. ii. 19. Phil, 
iii. 20. It is within us a Spirit of supplication, breathing 
heavenward, with sighs and groans which cannot be ex- 
pressed ; and as God knoweth the meaning of the Spirit, so 
the Spirit knows the mind of God; Rom. viii.37. ICor.ii. 11. 
3. And the work of faith is much promoted by the 
spiritual experiences of believers. When tliey find a con- 
siderable part of the Holy Scriptures verified on themselves, 
it much confirmeth their faith as to the whole. They are 
really possessed of that heavenly disposition, called. The 
Divine Nature, and have felt the power of the word upon 
their hearts, renewing them to the image of God, mortifying 
their most dear and strong corruptions, shewing them a 
greater beauty and desirableness in the objects of Faith, 
than is to be found in sensible things : they have found 
many of the promises made good upon themselves, in the 
answers of prayers, and in great deliverances, which strongly 
persuadeth them to believe the rest that are yet to be ac- 
complished. And experience is a very powerful and satis- 
fying way of conviction. He that feeleth, as it were, the 
first fruits, the earnest, and the beginnings of heaven al- 


ready in his soul, will more easily and assuredly believe 
that there is a heaven hereafter. " We know that the Son 
of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that 
we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is 
true, even in the Son Jesus Christ : this is the true God 
and eternal life ;" 1 John v. 20. *' He that believeth on the 
Son hath the witness in himself;" ver. 10. There is so 
great a likeness of the holy and heavenly nature in the 
saints, to the heavenly life that God hath promised, that 
makes it the more easily believed. 

4. And it exceedingly helpeth our belief of the life that 
is yet unseen, to find that nature afFordeth us undeniable 
arguments to prove a future happiness and misery, reward 
and punishment, in the general ; yea, and in special, that 
the love and fruition of God is this reward ; and that the 
effects of his displeasure are this punishment: nothing 
more clear and certain than that there is a God, (he must 
be a fool indeed that dare deny it;) Psal. xiv. 1. As also 
that this God is the Creator of the rational nature, and hath 
the absolute right of sovereign government ; and therefore 
a rational creature oweth him the most full and absolute obe- 
dience, and deserveth punishment if he disobey. And it is 
most clear that Infinite Goodness should be loved above all 
finite and imperfect created good: and it is clear that the 
rational nature is so formed, that without the hopes and 
fears of another life, the world neither is, nor ever was, nor 
(by ordinary visible means) can be well governed ; (suppos- 
ing God to work on man according to his nature.) And it 
is most certain that it consisteth not with Infinite wisdom, 
power and goodness, to be put to rule the world in all ages, 
by fraud and falsehood. And it is certain that heathens do 
for the most part through the world, by the light of nature, 
acknowledge a life of joy, or misery to come : and the most 
hardened atheists, or infidels must confess, that * for ought 
they know there may be such a life ;' it being impossible 
they should know or prove the contrary. And it is most 
certain that the mere probability or possibility of a heaven 
and hell, (being matters of such unspeakable concernment) 
should in reason command our utmost diligence to the 
hazard or loss of the transitory vanities below ; and conse- 
quently that a holy, diligent preparation for another life, is 
naturally the duty of the reasonable creature. And it is as 


sure that God hath not made our nature in vain ; nor set us 
on a life of vain employments, nor made it our business in 
the world to seek after that which can never be attained. 

These things, and much more, do shew that nature af- 
ford eth us so full a testimony of the life to come that is yet 
invisible, that it exceedingly helpeth us in believing the 
supernatural revelation of it, which is more full. 

5. And though we have not seen the objects of our faith, 
yet those that have given us their infallible testimony by in- 
fallible means, have seen what they testified. Though *' no 
man hath seen God at any time, yet the only begotten Son 
which is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared him ;" 
John i. 18. " Verily, verily, (saith our Lord) we speak that 
we know, and testify that we have seen;" John iii. 11. "He 
that cometh from heaven is above all, and what he hath 
seen and heard that he testifieth ;" ver. 31, 32. Christ that 
hath told us, saw the things that we have not seen : and you 
will believe honest men that speak to you of what they were 
eye-witnesses of. And the disciples saw the person, the 
transfiguration, and the miracles of Christ. Insomuch that 
John thus beginneth his epistle : " That which was from the 
beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with 
our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have 
handled of the word of life, (for life was manifested, and we 
have seen it, and bear witness, and shew it to you, that 
eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested 
unto us :) That which we have seen and heard declare we 
unto you;" 1 John i. 1 — 3. So Paul, 1 Cor. ix. 1. *' Am I 
not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?" 
" He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve : after that he 
was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom 
the greater part remain unto this present ;" 1 Cor. xv. 5 — 7. 
" This great salvation at first began to be spoken by the 
Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him ; God 
also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and 
with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according 
to his own will ;" Heb. ii» 3, 4. " For we have not followed 
cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you 
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were 
eye-witnesses of his majesty ; for he received from God the 
Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to 
him, from the excellent glory ; This is my beloved Son, in 

16 LIFE OF faith! 

whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from! 
heaven, we heard when we were with him in the holy 
mount ;" 2 Pet. i. 16, 17. And therefore when the apostles 
were commanded by their persecutors, not ** to speak at all, 
or teach in the name of Jesiis," they answered, '* We can- 
not but speak the things which we have seen and heard ;" 
Acts iv. 18. 20. So that much of the objects of our faith to us 
invisible, have yet been seen by those that have instrumen- 
tally revealed them ; and the glory of heaven itself is seen 
by many millions of souls that are now possessing it. And 
the tradition of the testimony of the apostles unto us, is 
more full and satisfactory, than the tradition of any laws of 
the land, or history of the most unquestionable affairs that 
have been done among the people of the earth (as I have 
manifested elsewhere). So that faith hath the infallible 
testimony of God, and of them that have seen, and therefore 
is to us instead of sight. 

6. Lastly, even the enemy of faith himself doth against 
his will confirm our faith, by the violence and rage of ma- 
lice that he stirreth up in the ungodly against the life of 
faith and holiness ; and by the importunity of his opposi- 
tions and temptations, discovering that it is not for nothing 
that he is so maliciously solicitous, industrious and violent. 
And thus you see how much faith hath, that should fully 
satisfy a rational man, instead of presence, possession and 

If any shall here say, ' But why would not God let us 
have a sight of heaven or hell, when he could not but know 
that it would more generally and certainly have prevailed 
for the conversion and salvation of the world. Doth he envy 
us the most effectual means V 

I answer, 1. "Who art thou, O man, that disputest 
against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that 
formed it. Why hast thou made me thus ?" Must God come 
down to the bar of man, to render an account of the reason 
of his works ? Why do ye not also ask him a reason of the 
nature, situation, magnitude, order, influences, &c. of all 
the stars, and superior orbs, and call him to an account for 
all his works ? When yet there are so many things in your 
own bodies, of which you little understand the reason. Is 
it not intolerable impudency, for such worms as we, so low, 
so dark, to question the eternal God, concerning the reason 


of his laws and dispensations? Do we not shamefully for- 
get our ignorance and our distance ? 

2. But if you must have a reason, let this suffice you. It 
is tit that the government of God be suited to the nature of 
the reasonable subject. And reason is made to apprehend 
more than we see, and by reaching beyond sense, to carry 
us to seek things higher and better than sense can reach. 
If you would have a man understand no more than he sees, 
you would almost equalize a wise man and a fool, and make 
a man too like a beast. Even in worldly matters, you will 
venture upon the greatest cost and pains for the things that 
you see not, nor ever saw. He that hath a journey to go to 
a place that he never saw, will not think that a sufficient 
reason to stay at home. The merchant will sail a thousand 
miles to a land, and for a commodity, that he never saw. 
Must the husbandman see the harvest before he plough his 
land, and sow his seed ? Must the sick man feel that he 
hath health before he use the means to get it ? Must th^ 
soldier see that he hath the victory before he fight ? You 
would take such conceits in worldly matters to be the symp- 
toms of distraction. And will you cherish them where they 
are most pernicious ? Hath God made man for any end, or 
for none ? If none, he is made in vain : if for any, no rea- 
son can expect that he should see his end, before he use the 
means, and see his home before he begin to travel towards 
it. When children first go to School, they do not see or en- 
joy the learning and wisdom which by time and labour they 
must attain. You will provide for the children which you 
are like to have before you see them. To look that sight, 
which is our fruition itself, should go before a holy life, is 
to expect the end before we will use the necessary means. 
You see here in the government of the world, that it is things 
unseen that are the instruments of rule, and motives of 
obedience. Shall no man be restrained from felony or mur- 
ders, but he that seeth the assizes or the gallows ? It is 
enough that he foreseeth them, as being made known by 
the laws. 

It would be no discrimination of the good and bad, the 
wise and foolish, if the reward and punishment must be 
seen. What thief so mad as to steal at the gallows, or be- 
fore the judge ? The basest habits would be restrained from 

VOL. XII. c c 


acting, if the reward and punishment were in sight. The 
most beastly drunkard would not be drunk ; the filthy for- 
nicator would forbear his lust ; the malicious enemy of god- 
liness would forbear their calumnies and persecutions, if 
heaven and hell were open to their sight. No man will play 
the adulterer in the face of the assembly : the chaste and 
unchaste seem there alike : and so they would do if they 
saw the face of the most dreadful God. No thanks to any 
of you all to be godly if heaven were to be presently seen ! 
Or to forbear your sin, if you saw hell-fire ; God will have a 
meeter way of trial. You shall believe his promises, if ever 
you will have the benefit ; and believe his threatenings, if 
ever you will escape the threatened evil. 


Some Uses. 

Use 1. This being the nature and use of Faith, to apprehend 
things absent as if they were present, and things unseen, as 
if they were visible before our eyes ; you may hence under- 
stand the nature of Christianity, and what it is to be a true 
believer. Verily it is another matter than the dreaming, 
self-deceiving world imagineth. Hypocrites think that they 
are Christians indeed, because they have entertained a su- 
perficial opinion that there is a Christ, an immortality of 
souls, a resurrection, a heaven and a hell ; though their lives 
bear witness, that this is not a living and effectual faith ^ 
but it is their sensitive faculties and interest that are predo- 
minant, and are the bias of their hearts. Alas ! a little ob- 
servation may tell them, that notwithstanding their most 
confident pretensions to Christianity, they are utterly un- 
acquainted with the Christian life. Would they live as they 
do, in worldly cares, and pampering of the flesh, and neg- 
lect of God and the life to come, if they saw the things 
which they say they do believe? Could they be sensual, 
ungodly and secure, if they had a faith that served instead 
of sight. 

Would you know who it is that is the Christian indeed ? 
1. He is one that liveth (in some measure) as if he saw the 
Lord ; believing in that God that dwelleth in the inaccessi- 


ble light, that cannot be seen by mortal eyes, he liveth as 
before his face. He speaks, he prays, he thinks, he deals 
with men, as if he saw the Lord stand by. No wonder there- 
fore if he do it with reverence and holy fear. No wonder if 
he make lighter of the smiles or frowns of mortal man, than 
others do that see none higher ; and if he observe not the 
lustre of worldly dignity, or fleshly beauty, wisdom or vain- 
glory, before the transcendent, incomprehensible Light, to 
which the sun itself is darkness. When *' he awaketh he 
is still with God ; Psal. cxxxix. 18. '*He sets the Lord al- 
ways before him, because he is at his right hand, he is not 
moved ; Psal. xvi. 8. And therefore the life of believers is 
oft called a walking with God, and a walking before God, 
as Gen. v. 22. 24. vi. 9. xvii. 1. in the case of Enoch, 
Noah and Abraham. " All the day doth he wait on God ;" 
Psal. XXV. 5. Imagine yourselves what manner of person he 
must be that sees the Lord ; and conclude that such (in his 
measure) is the true believer. For by ** faith he seeth him 
that is invisible" (to the eye of sense), and therefore can 
forsake the glory and pleasures of the world, and feareth 
not the wrath of princes, as it is said of Moses ; Heb. xi. 27* 

2. The believer is one that liveth on a Christ whom he 
never saw, and trusteth in him, adhereth to him, acknow- 
ledgeth his benefits, loveth him, and rejoiceth in him, as if 
he had seen him with his eyes. This is the faith which 
Peter calls *' more precious than perishing gold ;" that 
maketh us ** love him whom we have not seen, and in whom 
though now we see him not, yet believing we rejoice, with 
unspeakable and glorious joy ;" 1 Pet. i. 8. " Christ dwell- 
eth in his heart by faith ;" not only by his Spirit, but ob- 
jectively, as our dearest absent friend doth dwell in our es- 
timation and affection ; Ephes. iii. 17. O that the misera- 
ble infidels of the world, had the eyes, the hearts, the ex- 
periences of the true believer! Then they that with Thomas 
tell those that have seen him, ** Except I may see and feel, 
I will not believe,'* will be forced to cry out, ** My Lord and 
my God ;" John xx. 25, &c. 

3. A believer is one that judgeth of the man by his in- 
visible inside, and not by outward appearances with a 
fleshly, worldly judgment. He seeth by faith a greater 
ugliness in sin, than in any the most deformed monster. 
When the unbeliever saith, what harm is it to please my 


flesh in ease, or pride, or meat and drink, or lustful wanton- 
ness ? the believer takes it as the question of a fool, that 
should ask, * What harm is it to take a dram of mercury or 
arsenic?' He seeth the vicious evil, and foreseeth the 
consequent penal evil by the eye of faith. And therefore 
it is that he pitieth the ungodly, when they pity not them- 
selves, and speaks to them oft with a tender heart in com- 
passion of their misery, and perhaps weeps over them (as 
Paul, Phil. iii. 18, 19.) when he cannot prevail ; when they 
weep not for themselves, but hate his love, and scorn his 
pity, and bid him keep his lamentations for himself; be- 
cause they see not what he sees. 

He seeth also the inward beauty of the saints, (as it 
shineth forth in the holiness of their lives) and through all 
their sordid poverty and contempt beholdeth the image of 
God upon them. For he judgeth not of sin or holiness as 
they now appear to the distracted world ; but as they will 
be judged of at the day which he foreseeth, when sin will be 
the shame, and holiness the honoured and desired state. 

He can see Christ in his poor, despised members, and 
love God in those that are made as the scorn and ofFscour- 
ing of all things by the malignant, unbelieving world. He 
admireth the excellency and happiness of those that are 
made the laughingstock of the ungodly ; and accounteth the 
saints the most excellent on earth ; (Psal. xvi. 2.) and had ra- 
ther be one of their communion in rags, than sit with princes 
that are naked within, and void of the true and durable 
glory. He judgeth of men as he perceiveth them to have 
more or less of Christ. The worth of a man is not obvious 
to the sense. You see his stature, complexion, and his 
clothes ; but as you see not his learning or skill in any art 
whatsoever, so you see not his grace and heavenly mind. 
As the soul itself, so the sinful deformity, and the holy 
beauty of it, are to us invisible, and perceived only by their 
fruits, and by the eye of faith, which seeth things as God 
reveals them : and therefore in the eyes of a true believer, 
" a vile person is contemned ; but he honoureth those that 
fear the Lord;" Psal.. x v. 4. 

4. A true believer doth seek a happiness which he never 
saw, and that with greater estimation and resolution, than 
he seeks the most excellent things that he hath seen. In 
all his prayers, his labours >nd his sufferings, it is an un- 


seen glory that he seeks. He seeth not the glory of God, 
nor the glorified Redeemer, nor the world of angels and per- 
fected spirits of the just ; but he knoweth by faith, that such 
a God, such a glory, such a world as this there is, as certain 
as if his eyes had seen it ; and therefore he provides, he 
lives, he hopes, he waits for this unseen state of spiritual 
bliss, contemning all the wealth and glory that sight can 
reach in comparison thereof. He believes what he shall 
see ; and therefore strives that he may see it. It is some- 
thing above the sun, and all that mortal eyes can see, which 
is the end, the hope, the portion of a believer, without which 
all is nothing to him, and for which he trades and travels 
here, as worldlings do for worldly things ; Matt. vi. 20, 21. 
Col. iii. 1. Phil. iii. 20. 

5. A true believer doth all his life prepare for a day that 
is yet to come, and for an account of all the passages of his 
life, though he hath nothing but the word of God to assure 
him of it ; and therefore he lives as one that is hastening to 
the presence of his Judge ; and he contriveth his affairs, and 
disposeth of his worldly riches, as one that looks to hear of 
it again, and as one that remembereth the ** Judge is at the' 
door ;" James v. 9. He rather asketh * What life, what 
words, what actions, what way of using my estate and inte- 
rest, will be sweetest to me in the review, and will be best 
at last, when I must accordingly receive my doom?' than 
• What is most pleasant to my flesh, and what will ingratiate 
me most with men ? and what will accommodate me best at 
present, and set me highest in the world?' And therefore 
it is that he pitieth the ungodly even iii the height of their 
prosperity ; and is so earnest (though it offend them) to pro- 
cure their recovery, as knowing that how secure soever they 
are now, they ** must give an account to him that is ready 
to judge the quick and the dead;'' 1 Pet. iv. 5. and that 
then the case will be altered with the presumptuous world, 

6. Lastly, a true believer is careful to prevent a threat- 
ened misery which he never felt ; and is awakened by holy 
fear to fly from the wrath to come, and is industrious to es- 
cape that place of torment which he never saw, as if he had 
seen it with his eyes. When he heareth but the " sound of 
the trumpet, he takes warning that he may save his soul ;" 
Ezek. xxxiii. 4. The evils that are here felt and seen, are 
not so dreadful to him, as those he never saw or felt. He is 


not so careful and resolute, to avoid the ruin of his estate or 
name, or to avoid the plague, or sword, or famine, or the 
scorching flames, or death, or torments, as he is to avoid the 
endless torments which are threatened by the righteous God. 
It is a greater misery in his esteem, to be really undone for 
ever, than seemingly only for a time, and to be cast off by 
God, than by all the world ; and to lie in hell, than to suffer 
any temporal calamity. And therefore he fears it more, and 
doth more to avoid it ; and is more cast down by the fears 
of God's displeasure, than by the feelings of these present 
sufferings. As Noah did for his preservation from the 
threatened deluge, so doth the true believer for his preser- 
vation from everlasting |w^rath. " By faith Noah being 
warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, 
prepared an ark, to the saving of his house, by the which he 
condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness, 
which is by faith j" Heb. xi. 7. God first giveth warning 
of the flood; Noah believeth it: not with a lifeless, but a 
working faith, that first moved in him a self-preserving 
fear. This fear moved Noah to obey the Lord in the use of 
means, and to prepare the ark ; and all this was to save him- 
self and his house from a flood, that was as yet unseen, and 
of which in nature there was no appearance. Thus doth 
God warn the sinful world of the day of judgment and the 
fire that is unquenchable ; and true believers take his warn- 
ing, and believing that which they cannot see, by fear they 
are moved to fly to Christ, and use his means to escape the 
threatened calamity. By this they became the " heirs of 
that righteousness which is by faith," and condemn the un- 
believing, careless world, that take not the warning and use 
not the remedy. 

By this time you may see that the life of faith is quite 
another thing, than the lifeless opinion of multitudes that 
call themselves believers. To say, * I believe there is a 
God, a Christ, a heaven, a hell,' is as easy as it is common ; 
but the faith of the ungodly is but an ineffectual dream. 
To dream that you are fighting, wins no victories. To dream 
that you are eating, gets no strength. To dream that you 
are running, rids no ground. To dream that you are plough- 
ing, or sowing, or reaping, procureth but a fruitless harvest. 
And to dream that you are princes, may consist with beg- 
gary. If you do any more than dream of heaven and hell, 


how is it that you stir not, and make it not appear by the di- 
ligence of your lives, and the fervour of your duties, and the 
seriousness of your endeavours, that such wonderful, inex- 
pressible, overpowering things, are indeed the matters of 
your belief ? As you love your souls, take heed lest you 
take an image of faith to be the thing itself. Faith sets on 
work the powers of the soul, for the obtaining of that joy, 
and the escaping of that misery which you believe. But 
the image of faith in self-deceivers, neither warms nor works; 
it conquereth not difficulties ; it stirs not up to faithful duty. 
It is blind, and therefore seeth not God ; and how then 
should he be feared and loved ? It seeth not hell, and there- 
fore the senseless soul goes on as fearlessly and merrily to 
the unquenchable fire, as if he were in the safest way. This 
image of faith annihilateth the most potent objects, as to 
any due impression on the soul. God is as no God, and 
heaven as no heaven to these imaginary Christians. If a 
prince be in the room, an image reverenceth him not. If 
music and feasting be there, an image finds no pleasure in 
tliem. If fire and sword be there, an image fears them not. 
You may perceive by the senseless, neglectful carriage of 
ungodly men, that they see not by faith the God that they 
should love and fear ; the heaven that they should seek and 
wait for, or the hell that they should with all possible care 
avoid. He is indeed the true believer that (allowing the 
difference of degrees) doth pray as if he saw the Lord ; and 
speak and live as always in his presence ; and redeem his 
time as if he were to die to-morrow, or as one that seeth death 
approach, and ready to lay hands upon him ; that begs and 
cries to God in prayer, as one that foreseeth the day of 
judgment, and the endless joy or misery that folio weth ; 
that bestirreth him for everlasting life, as one that seeth 
heaven and hell by the eye of faith. Faith is a serious ap- 
prehension, and causeth a serious conversation ; for it is in- 
stead of sight and presence. 

From all this you may easily and certainly infer, 1. That 
true faith is a jewel, rare and precious ; and not so common 
as nominal, careless Christians think. What say they, * Are 
we not all believers ? Will you make infidels of all that are 
not saints? Are none Christians, but those that live so 
strictly V Answ. I know they are not infidels by profession ; 
but what they are indeed, and what God will take them for, 


you may soon perceive, by comparing the description of 
faith, with the inscription legible on their lives. It is com- 
mon to say, * 1 do believe ;' but is it common to find men 
pray and live as those that do believe indeed? It is both in 
works of charity and of piety, that a living faith will shew 
itself. I will not therefore contend about the name. If you 
are ungodly, unjust, or uncharitable, and yet will call your- 
selves believers, you may keep the name and see whether it 
will save you. Have you forgotten how this case is deter- 
mined by the Holy Ghost himself; " What doth it profit my 
brethren, if a man say,' he hath faith, and hath not works ? 
Can faith save him? Faith if it hath not works is dead, 
being alone. Thou believest that there is one God : thou 
dost well : the devils also believe and tremble ;" James ii. 
14. &c. If such a belief be it that thou gloriest in, it is not 
denied thee ; " But wilt thou know, O vain man ! that faith 
Avithout works is dead ?'' &c. Is there life where there is 
no motion ? Had you that faith that is instead of sight, it 
would make you more solicitous for the things unseen, than 
you are for the visible trifles of this world. 

2. And hence you may observe that most true believers 
are weak in faith. Alas ! how far do we all fall short of 
the love, and zeal, and care, and diligence, which we should 
have if we had but once beheld the things which we do be- 
lieve ! Alas ! how dead are our affections ! how flat are our 
duties! how cold, and how slow are our endeavours! how 
unprofitable are our lives, in comparison of what one hours' 
sight of heaven and hell would make them be ! O what a 
comfortable converse would it be, if I might but join in 
prayer, praise and holy conference one day or hour, with a 
person that had seen the Lord, and been in heaven, and 
borne a part in the angelic praises ! Were our congrega- 
tions composed of such persons, what manner of worship 
would they perform to God ! How unlike would their hea- 
venly, ravishing expressions be, to these our sleepy, heart- 
less duties ! Were heaven open to the view of all this con- 
gregation while I am speaking to you, or when we are 
speaking in player and praise to God, imagine yourselves 
what a change it would make upon the best of us in our ser- 
vices ! What apprehensions, what affections, what resolu- 
tions it would raise ; and what a posture it would cast us 
all into ! And do we not all profess to believe these things, 


as revealed from heaven by the infallible God ? Do we not 
say, that such a Divine revelation is as sure as if the things 
were in themselves laid open to our sight ? Why then are 
we no more affected with them ? Why are we no more 
transported by them? Why do they no more command 
our souls, and stir up our faculties to the most vigorous 
and lively exercise ? and call them off from things that 
are not to us considerable, nor fit to have one glance of 
the eye of our observation, nor a regardful thought, nor 
the least affection, unless as they subserve these greater 
things ? When you observe how much in yourselves and 
others, the frame of your souls in holy duty, and the 
tenor of your lives towards God and man do differ from 
what they would be, if you had seen the things that you 
believe, let^it mind you of the great imperfection of faith, 
and humble us all in the sense of our imbecility. For 
though I know that the most perfect faith is not apt to raise 
such high affections in degree as shall be raised by the bea- 
tifical vision in the glorified, and as present intuition now 
would raise if we could attain it ; yet seeing faith hath as 
sure an object and revelation as sight itself, though the 
manner of apprehension be less affecting, it should do much 
more with us than it doth, and bring us nearer to such af- 
fections and resolutions as sight would cause. 

Use 2. If faith be given us to make things to come as if 
they were at hand, and things unseen as if we saw them, 
you may see from hence, 1. The reasonof that holy serious- 
ness of believers, which the ungodly want. 2. And the 
reason why the ungodly want it. 3. And why they wonder 
at, and distaste and deride this serious diligence of the 

1. Would you make it any matter of wonder, for men to 
be more careful of their souls, more fervent in their requests 
to God, more fearful of offending him, and more laborious 
in all holy preparation for eternal life, than the holiest and 
most precise person that you know in all the world, if so be 
that heaven and hell were seen to them ? Would you not 
rather wonder at the dulness, and coldness, and negligence 
of the best, and that they are not far more holy and diligent 
than they are, if you and they did see these things ? Why 
then do you not cease your wondering at their diligence? 
Do you not know that they are men, that have seen the 


Lord whom they daily serve ; and seen the glory which they 
daily seek ; and seen the place of torments which they fly 
from ? By faith in the glass of Divine revelation they have 
seen them. 

2. And the reason why the careless world are not as di- 
ligent and holy as believers, is, because they have not this 
eye of faith, and never saw those powerful objects, that be- 
lievers see. Had you their eyes, you would have their 
hearts and lives. O that the Lord would but illuminate you, 
and give you such a sight of the things unseen, as every true 
believer hath ! What a happy change would it make upon 
you! Then instead of your deriding or opposing it, we 
should have your company in the holy path. You would 
then be such yourselves, as you now deride. If you saw 
what they see, you would do as they do. When the hea- 
venly light had appeared unto Saul, he ceaseth persecut- 
ing, and inquires what Christ would have him to do, that he 
might be such an one as he had persecuted. And when 
the scales fell from his eyes, he falls to prayer, and gets 
among the believers whom he had persecuted, and laboureth 
and sufFereth more than they. 

But till this light appear to your darkened souls, you can- 
not see the reasons of a holy , heavenly life. And therefore you 
will think it hypocrisy, or pride, or fancy, and imagination, 
or the foolishness of crack-brained, self-conceited men. If 
you see a man do reverence to a prince, and the prince him- 
self were invisible to you, would you not take him for a 
madman ; and say that he cringed to the stools or chairs, 
or bowed to a post, or complimented with his shadow ? If 
you saw a man's action in eating and drinking, and see not 
the meat and drink itself, would you not think him mad ? 
If you heard men laugh, and hear not so much as the voice 
of him that gives the jest, would you not imagine them to 
be brain-sick ? If you see men dance and hear not the mu- 
sic; if you see a labourer threshing, or reaping, or mowing, 
and see no corn or grass before him ; if you see a soldier 
fighting for his life, and see no enemy that he spends his 
strokes upon ; will you not take all these for men distracted ? 
Why this is the case between you and the true believers. 
You see them reverently worship God, but you see not the 
majesty which they worship, as they do. You see them as 
busy for the saving of their souls, as if a hundred lives lay 


on it ; but you see not the hell from which they fly, nor the 
heaven they seek ; and therefore you marvel why they make 
so much ado about the matters of their salvation ; and why 
they cannot do as others, and make as light of Christ and 
heaven, as they that desire to be excused, and think they 
have more needful things to mind. But did you see with 
the eyes of a true believer, and were the amazing things that 
God hath revealed to us but open to your sight, how quickly 
would you be satisfied, and sooner mock at the diligence of 
a drowning man, that is striving for his life, or at the labour 
of the city, when they are busily quenching the flames in 
their habitations, than mock at them that are striving for the 
everlasting life, and praying and labouring against the ever 
burning flames. 

How soon would you turn your admiration against the 
stupidity of the careless world, and wonder more that ever 
men that hear the Scriptures, and see with their eyes the 
works of God, can make so light of matters of such un- 
speakable, eternal consequence ! Did you but see heaven 
and hell, it would amaze you to think that ever many, yea, 
so many, and so seeming wise, should wilfully run into ever- 
lasting fire, and sell their souls at so low a rate, as if it were 
as easy to be in hell as in an alehouse, and heaven were no 
better than a beastly lust? O then with what astonishment 
would you think, ' Is this the fire that sinners do so little 
fear? Is this the glory that is so neglected?' You would 
then see that the madness of the ungodly is the wonder. 

Use 3. By this time I should think that some of your 
own consciences have prevented me, in the use of examina- 
tion, which I am next to call you to. I hope while I have 
been holding you the glass, you have not turned away your 
faces, nor shut your eyes ; but that you have been judging 
yourselves by the light which hath been set up before you. 
Have not some of your consciences said by this time, ' If 
this be the nature and use of faith, to make things unseen^ 
as if we saw them, what a desolate case then is my soul in ! 
How void of faith ! How full of infidelity ! How far from 
the truth and power of Christianity ! How dangerously 
have I long deceived myself in calling myself a true Chris- 
tian, and pretending to be a true believer ; when I never 
knew the Life of Faith, but took a dead opinion, bred only 
by education, and the custom of the country instead of it ; 


little did I think tliat 1 had been an infidel at the heart, 
while I so confidently laid claim to the name of a be- 
liever ! Alas ! how far have I been from living, as one that 
seeth the things that he professeth to believe !' If some of 
your consciences be not thus convinced, and perceive not 
yet your want of faith, I fear it is because they are seared or 

But if yet conscience have not begun to plead this cause 
against you, let me begin to plead it with your consciences. 
Are you believers ? Do you live the Life of Faith, or not ? 
Do you live upon things that are unseen, or upon the pre- 
sent visible baits of sensuality ? That you may not turn 
away your ears, or hear me with a sluggish, senseless mind, 
let me tell you first, how nearly it concerneth you to get 
this question soundly answered ; and then, that you may 
not be deceived, let me help you towards the true resolution. 

1. And for the first, you may perceive by what is said, 
that saving faith is not so common, as those that know not 
the nature of it do imagine. ** All men have not faith -" 
2 Thess. iii. 2. O what abundance do deceive themselves 
with names, and shows, and a dead opinion, and customary 
religion, and take these for the Life of Faith ! 

2. Till you have this faith, you have no special interest 
in Christ. It is only believers that are united to him, and 
are his living members. And it is by faith that he dwelleth 
in our hearts, and that we live in him ; Ephes. iii. 17. Gal. 
ii. 20. In vain do you boast of Christ, if you are not true 
believers. You have no part or portion in him. None of 
his special benefits are yours, till you have this living, work- 
ing faith. 

3. You are still in the state of enmity to God, and un- 
reconciled to him, while you are unbelievers. For you can 
have no peace with God, nor access unto his favour, but by 
Christ ; Rom. v. 1 — 4. Ephes. ii. 14, 15. 17* And there- 
fore you must come by faith to Christ, before you can come 
by Christ unto the Father, as those that have a special in- 
terest in his love. 

4. Till you have this faith, you are under the guilt and 
load of all your sins, and under the curse and condemnation 
of the law; for there is no justification or forgiveness but 
by faith ; Acts xxvi 18. Rom. iv. v. &c. 

5. Till you have this sound belief of things unseen, you 


will be carnal-minded, and have a carnal end to all your ac- 
tions, which will make those to be evil, that materially are 
good, and those to be fleshly that materially are holy. 
" Without faith it is impossible to please God ;" Rom. viii. 
5. 8, 9. Prov. xxviii. 9. Heb. xi. 6. 

6. Lastly, till you have this living faith, you have no 
right to heaven, nor could be saved if you die this hour. 
" Whoever believeth shall not perish, but have everlasting 
life. He that believeth on him, is not condemned ; but he 
that believeth not, is condemned already. He that believeth 
on the Son, hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not 
the Son, shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on 
him;" John iii. 16. 18.36. 

You see if you love yourselves, it concerneth you to try 
whether you are true believers : unless you take it for an in- 
different thing, whether you live for ever in heaven or hell, 
it is best for you to put the question close to your conscien- 
ces betimes. Have you that faith that serves instead of 
sight ? Do you carry within you " the evidence of things 
unseen, and the substance of the things" which you say you 
** hope for?" Did you know in what manner this question 
must be put and determined at judgment, and how all your 
comfort will then depend upon the answer> and how near 
that day is, when you must all be sentenced to heaven or 
hell, as you are found to be believers or unbelievers, it would 
make you hearken to my counsel, and presently try whether 
you have a saving faith. 

2. But lest you be deceived in your trial, and lest you 
mistake me, as if I tried the weak by the measure of the 
strong, and laid all your comfort upon such strong affections 
and high degrees, as sight itself would work within you, I 
shall briefly tell you how you may know whether you have 
any faith that is true and saving, though in the least degree. 
Though none of us are affected to that height as we should 
be if we had the sight of all that we do believe, yet all that 
have any saving belief of invisible things, will have these 
four signs of faith within them. 

1 . A sound belief of things unseen, will cause a practical 
estimation of them, and that above all earthly things. A 
glimpse of the heavenly glory as in a glass, will cause the 
soul deliberately to say, ' This is the chief desirable felicity ; 
this is the crown, the pearl, the treasure ; nothing but this can 


serve my turn.' It will debase the greatest pleasures, or 
riches, or honours of the world in your esteem. How con- 
temptible will they seem, while you see God stand by, and 
heaven as it were set open to your view ; you will see there 
is little cause to envy the prosperous servants of the world ; 
you will pity them, as miserable in their mirth, and bound 
in the fetters of their folly and concupiscence, and as stran- 
gers to all solid joy and honour. You will be moved with 
some compassion to them in their misery, when they are 
braving it among men, and domineering for a little while ; 
and you will thiak, Alas ! poor man ! Is this all thy glory ? 
JHast thou no better wealth, no higher honour, no sweeter 
pleasures than these husks? With such a practics^l judg- 
ment as you value gold above dirt, and jewels above com- 
naon stones ; you will value heaven above all the richer and 
pleasures of this world, if you have indeed a living, saving 
faith ; Phil. iii. 7--9. 

2, A sound belief of the things unseen, will habitually 
incline your wills to embrace them, with consent and com- 
placence, and resolution, above and against those worldly 
things, that would be set above them, and preferred before 
them. If you are true believers you have made your choice, 
you have fixed your hopes, you have taken up your resolu- 
tions, that God naust be your portion, or you can have none 
that is worth the having ; that Christ must be your Saviour, 
or you cannot be saved ; and therefore you are at a point 
with all things else. They may be your helps, but not your 
happiness. You are resolved on what rock to build, and 
where to cast anchor, and at what port and prize your life 
shall aim. You are resolved what to seek, and trust to ; 
God or none; heaven or nothing; Christ o*r none, is the 
voice of your rooted, stable resolutions. Though you are 
full of feart* sometimes whether you shall be accepted, and 
have a part in Christ, or no ; and whether ever you shall at- 
tain the glory which you aim at ; yet you are off all other 
hopes ; having seen an end of all perfections, and read va- 
nity and vexation written upon all creatures, even on the 
most flattering state on earth, and are unchangeably resolved 
not to change your Master, and your hopes, and your holy 
course, for any other life or hopes. Whatever come of it you 
are resolved that here you will venture all ; knowing that 
you have no other game to play, at which you are not sure 


to lose, and that you can lay out your love, and care, and 
labour on nothing else that will answer your expectations ; 
nor make any other bargain whatsoever, but what you are 
sure to be utterly undone by ; Psal. Ixxiii. 25. iv. 6, 7. 
Matt. vi. 20, 21. xiii. 45, 46. Luke xviii. 33. 

3. A sound belief of things invisible, will be so far an 
effectual spring of a holy life, as that you will " seek first 
the kingdom of God, and his righteousness ;" Matt. vi. 33. 
and not in your resolutions only, but in your practices, the 
bent of your lives will be for God, and your invisible feli- 
city. It is not possible that you should see by faith the 
wonders of the world to come, and yet prefer this world be- 
fore it. A dead, opinionative belief, may stand with a 
worldly, fleshly life; but a working faith will make you stir, 
and make the things of God your business. And the labour 
and industry of your lives will shew whether you soundly 
believe the things unseen. 

4. If you savingly believe the invisible things, you will 
purchase them at any rate, and hold them faster than your 
worldly accommodations ; and will suffer the loss of all 
things visible, rather than you will cast away your hopes of 
the glory which you never saw. A human faith and bare 
opinion will not hold fast when trial comes. For such men 
take heaven but for a reserve, because they must leave earth 
against their wills, and are loath to go to hell. But they are 
resolved to hold the world as long as they can, because their 
faith apprehendeth no such satisfying certainty of the things 
unseen, as will encourage them to let go all that they see, 
and have in sensible possession. But the weakest faith that 
is true and saving, doth habitually dispose the soul to let go 
all the hopes and happiness of this world, when they are 
inconsistent with our spiritual hopes and happiness ; 
Luke xiv. 33. 

And now I have gone before you with the light, and 
shewed you what a believer is, will you presently consider 
how far your hearts and lives agree to this description? To 
know whether you live by faith or not, is consequently to 
know, whether God or the world be your portion and felicity, 
and so whether you are the heirs of heaven or hell. And is 
not this a question that you are most nearly concerned in ? 
O therefore for your souls' sakes, and as ever you love your 
everlasting peace, " Examine yourselves, whether you are in 


the faith or not ; Know you not that Christ is in you (by 
faith) except you be reprobates?" 2 Cor. xiii. 5. Will you 
hearken now as long to your consciences, as you have done 
to me ? As you have heard me telling you, what is the na- 
ture of a living, saving faith, will you hearken to your con- 
sciences, while they impartially tell you, whether you have 
this Life of Faith, or not ? It may be known if you are 
willing, and diligent, and impartial : if you search on pur- 
pose, as men that would know whether they are alive or 
dead, and whether they shall live or die for ever; and not as 
men that would be flattered and deceived, and are resolved 
to think well of their state, be it true or false. 

Let conscience tell you : what eyes do you see by, for 
the conduct of the chief employment of your lives ? Is it by 
the eye of sense or faith ? I take it for granted that it is by 
the eye of reason. But is it by reason corrupted and biassed 
by sense, or is it by reason elevated by faith ? What coun- 
try is it that your hearts converse in? Is it in heaven or 
earth ? What company is it that you solace yourselves 
with ? Is it with angels and saints ? Do you walk with them 
in the Spirit, and join your echoes to their triumphant praises, 
and say, Amen, when by faith you hear them ascribing ho- 
nour, and praise, and glory to the Ancient of Days, the Om- 
nipotent Jehovah, that is, and that was, and is to come ? 
Do you fetch your joys from heaven or earth? From things 
unseen or seen ? Things future or present ? Things hoped 
for> or things possessed? What garden yieldelh you your 
sweetest flowers? Whence is the food, that your hopes and 
comforts live upon ? Whence are the spirits and cordials 
that revive you ; when a frowning world doth cast you into 
a fainting fit or swoon ? Where is it that you repose your 
souls for rest, when sin or sufferings have made you weary? 
Deal truly, is it in heaven or earth ? Which world do you 
take for your pilgrimage, and which for your home? I do 
not ask you where you are, but where you dwell? Not 
where are your persons, but where are your hearts? In a 
word, are you in good earnest, when you say, you believe a 
heaven and hell ? And do you think, and speak, and pray, 
and live, as those that do indeed believe it ? Do you spend 
your time and choose your condition of life^ and dispose of 
your affairs, and answer temptations to worldly things, as 
those that are serious in their belief? Speak out, do you 


live the life of faith upon things unseen? Or the life of 
sense on the things that you behold ? Deal truly ; for your 
endless joy or sorrow doth much depend on it. The life of 
faith is the certain passage to the life of glory. The fleshly 
life on things here seen, is the certain way to endless misery. 
" If ye live after the fleshy ye shall die ; but if ye by the 
Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live;" Rom. 
viii. 13. " Be not deceived ; God is not mocked ; for what- 
soever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that 
soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but 
he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap ever-^ 
lasting life ;" Gal. vi. 7, 8. If you would know where you 
must live for ever, knovir how, and for what, and upon what 
it is that you live here. 

Use 4. Having inquired whether you are believers, T am 
next to ask you, what you will be for the time to come ? 
Will you live upon things seen or unseen ? Will you arro- 
gate the name and honour of being Christians, will you be- 
think you what Christianity is ? And will you be indeed 
what you say you are, and would be thought to be ? Oh ! 
that you would give credit to the word of God ! that the God 
of heaven might be but heartily believed by you ! and that 
you would but take his word to be as sure as sense ! and 
what he hath told you is or will be, to be as certain as if you 
saw it with your eyes J Oh ! what manner of persons would 
you then be ! How carefully and fruitfully would you 
speak and live ! How impossible were it then that you 
should be careless and profane ! And here, that I may by 
seriousness bring you to be serious, in so serious a business, 
I shall first put a few suppositions to you, about the invisi- 
ble objects of faith, and then I shall put some applicatory 
questions to you, concerning your own resolutions and prac- 
tice thereupon. 

l. Suppose you saw the Lord in glory continually be- 
fore you, when you are hearing, praying, talking, jesting, 
eating, drinking, and when you are tempted to any wilful 
sin. Suppose you saw the Lord stand over you, as verily 
as you see a man ; (as you might do if your eyes could see 
him ; for it is most certain that he is still present with you ;) 
suppose you saw but such a glimpse of his back parts as 
Moses did, (Exod. xxxiv.) when God put him into a cleft of 



the rock, and covered him while he passed by, (Exod. xxxiii. 
23.) when the face of Moses did shine with the sight, that 
he was fain to veil it from the people ; Exod. xxxiv. 33 — 35. 
Or if you had seen but what the prophet saw, when he '* be- 
held the Lord upon a throne, high and lifted up," 8cc. and 
" heard the seraphim cry. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of 
Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." When he said, 
" Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of un- 
clean lips, and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean 
lips ; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts j" 
Isa. vi. 1 — 6. Or if you had seen but what Job saw, when 
he said, " I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear ; 
but now mine eye seeth thee ; wherefore I abhor myself, and 
repent in dust and ashes ;" Job xlii. 5, 6. What course 
would you take, what manner of persons would you be after 
such a sight as this ? If you had seen but Christ appearing 
in his glory, as the disciples on the holy mount ; Matt. xvii. 
Or as Paul saw him at his conversion, when he was smitten 
to the earth ; Acts ix. Or as John saw him. Rev. i. 13. where 
he saith, " He was clothed with a garment down to the foot, 
and girt with a golden girdle ; his head and his hairs were 
white like wool or snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire, 
and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a fur- 
nace, and his voice as the sound of many waters ; and he 
had in his right hand seven stars, and put of his mouth went 
a sharp, two-edged sword, and his countenance was as the 
sun shining in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at 
his feet as dead ; and he laid his right hand upon me, say- 
ing unto me. Fear not ; I am the first and the last ; I am he 
that liveth and was dead ; and behold I am alive for ever- 
more. Amen ; and have the keys of hell and of death :" What 
do you think you should be and do, if you had seen but such 
a sight as this ? Would you be godly or ungodly after it ? 
As sure as you live, and see one another, God always seeth 
you. He seeth your secret filthiness, and deceit, and ma- 
lice, which you think is hid : he seeth you in the dark ; 
the locking of your doors, the drawing of your curtains, the 
setting of the sun, or the putting out of the candle doth hide 
nothing from him that is omniscient ; " Understand O ye 
brutish among the people ! and ye fools when will ye be 
wise ? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear ? He that 
formed the eye, shall he not see ?" Psal. xciv. 8, 9. The lust. 

Life of faIth. 56 

and filthineSs, and covetousness, and envy, and vanity of 
your very thoughts are as open to his view as the sun at 
noon. And therefore you may well suppose him present 
that cannot be absent ; arid you may suppose you saw him 
that still seeth you, and whom you must see. Oh, what a 
change a glimpse of the glory of his majesty would make in 
this assembly ! Oh, what amazements, what passionate 
workings of soul would it excite ! Were it but an angel 
that did thus appear to you, what manner of hearers would 
you be ! how serious ! how affectionate ! how sensible ! And 
yet are you believers, and have none of this ; when faith 
makes unseen things to be as seen? If thou have faith in- 
deed, thou seest him that is invisible ; thou speakest to 
him ; thou hearest him in his word ; thou seest him in his 
works j thou walkest with him ; he is the life of thy com- 
forts, thy converse and thy life. 

2. Suppose you had seen the matters revealed in the 
Gospel to your faith, as to what is past and done already. 
If you had seen the deluge and the ark, and preservation of 
one righteous family ; the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah 
with fire from heaven ; and the saving of Lot, whose righ- 
teous soul was grieved at their sins, and hunted after as a 
prey to their ungodly rage, because he would have hindered 
them from transgressing. Suppose you had seen the open- 
ing of the Red sea, the passage of the Israelites, the drown- 
ing of Pharaoh and his Egyptians ; the manna and the quails 
that fell from heaven, the flaming mount, with the terrible 
thunder, when God delivered the law to Moses ; what man- 
ner of people would you have been ! What lives would you 
have led after such sights as all or any of these! Suppose 
you had seen Christ in his state of incarnation, in his exam- 
ples of lowliness, meekness, contempt of all the glory and 
vanities of this worlds and had heard him speak his heavenly 
doctrine with power and authority, as never man spake ! 
Suppose you had seen him heal the blind, the lame, the sick, 
and raise the dead ; and seen him after all this made the 
scorn of sinners, buffeted, spit upon, when they had crowned 
him with thorns, and arrayed him gorgeously in scorn ; and 
then nailed between malefactors on a cross, and pierced, and 
die a shameful death, and this for such as you and I ! Sup- 
pose you had seen the sun darkened without any eclipse, 
the vail of the temple rent, the earth tremble ; the angels 


terrifying the keepers, and Christ rise again ! Suppose you 
had been among the disciples when he appeared in the midst 
of them, and with Thomas had put your fingers into his 
wounded side^ and had seen him walking on the waters, 
and at last seen him ascending up to heaven. Suppose you 
had seen when the Holy Ghost came down on the disciples 
in the similitude of cloven tongues, and had heard them 
speak in the various languages of the nations, and seen the 
variety of miracles, by which they convinced the unbeliev- 
ing world, what persons would you have been ! What lives 
would you have led, if you had been eye-witnesses of all 
these things ! And do you not profess to believe all this ? 
And that these things are as certain truths, as if you had 
seen them? Why then doth not your belief affect you, or 
command you more ? Why doth it not do what sight would 
do, in some good measure, if it were but a lively, saving 
faith indeed, that serveth instead of sense ? Yea, I must tell 
you, faith must do more with you in this case, than the sight 
of Christ alone could do, or the sight of his miracles did on 
most. For many that saw him, and saw his works, and 
heard his word, yet perished in their unbelief. 

3, Suppose you saw the everlasting glory which Christ 
hath purchased and prepared for his saints. That you had 
been once with Paul, rapt up into the third heavens, and 
seen the things that are unutterable ; would you not after 
that have rather lived like Paul, and undergone his suffer- 
ings and contempt, than to have lived like the brain-sick, 
brutish world ? If you had seen what Stephen saw before 
his death ; ** The glory of God, and Christ standing at his 
right hand ;" Acts vii. 55, 56. If you had seen the thou- 
sands and millions of holy, glorious spirits, that are con- 
tinually attending the Majesty of the Lord. If you had 
seen the glorified spirits of the just, that were once in flesh, 
despised by the blind, ungodly world, while they waited on 
God in faith, and holiness, and hope, for that blessed crown 
which now they wear : if you had felt one moment of their 
joys: if you had seen them shine as the sun in glory, and 
made like unto the angels of God: if you had heard them 
sing the song of the Lamb, and the joyful hallelujahs, and 
praise to their eternal king ; what would you be, and what 
would you resolve on after such a sight as this ? If the rich 
man (Luke xvi.) had seen Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, in 


the midst of his bravery, and honour, and feasting, and other 
sensual delights, as afterwards he saw it when he was tor- 
mented in the flames of hell, do you think such a sight would 
not have cooled his mirth and jollity, and helped him to un- 
derstand the nature and value of his earthly felicity ; and 
have proved a more effectual argument than a despised 
preacher's words ? At least to have brought him to a freer 
exercise of his reason, in a sober consideration of his state 
and ways ? Had you seen one hour what Abraham, David, 
Paul, and all the saints now see, while sin and flesh doth 
keep us here in the dark, what work do you think yourselves 
it would make upon your hearts and lives ? 

4. Suppose you saw the face of death, and that you were 
now lying under the power of some mortal sickness, physi- 
cians having forsaken you, and said, * There is no hope :' 
your friends weeping over you, and preparing your winding- 
sheet and coffin, digging your graves, and casting up the 
skulls, and bones, and earth, that must again be cast in to 
be your covering and company. Suppose you saw a mes- 
senger from God to tell you that you must die to-morrow ; 
or heard but what one of your predecessors heard ; " Thou 
fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee : then 
whose shall these things be that thou hast provided ?" Luke 
xii. 20. How would such a message work with you ? Would 
it leave you as you are ? If you heard a voice from God this 
night in your chamber in the dark, telling you that this is 
the last night that you shall live on earth, and before to- 
morrow your souls must be in another world, and come be- 
fore the dreadful God ; what would be the effect of such a 
message ? And do you not verily believe that all this will 
very shortly be ? Nay, do you not know without believing, 
that you must die, and leave your worldly glory ? And that 
all your pleasures and contents on earth, will be as if they 
had never been (and much worse) ? O wonderful ! that a 
change so sure, so great, so near, should no more affect you, 
and no more be fore-thought on, and no more prepared for ! 
and that you be not awakened by so full and certain a fore- 
knowledge, to be in good sadness for eternal life, as you 
seem to be when death is at hand I 

5. Suppose you saw the great and dreadful day of judg- 
ment, as it is described by Christ himself in Matt. xxv. 
** When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the 

38 ^^IF£ OF FAITH. 

holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of 
his glory : and before him shall be gathered all nations : and 
he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd di- 
yideth his sheep from the goats : and he shall set the sheep 
Qn his right hand, but the goats on the left ;" ver. 31 — 33. 
and shall sentence the righteous to eternal life, and the rest 
into everlasting punishment. If you did now behold the 
glory and terror of that great appearance, how the saints will 
be magnified, and rejoice, and be justified against all the ac- 
cusations of Satan, and calumnies of wicked men; and how 
the ungodly then would fain deny the words and deeds that 
now they glory in ; and what horror and confusion will then 
Qverwhelm those wretched souls, that now outface the mes- 
sengers of the Lord ! Had you seen them trembling before 
the Lord, that now are braving it out in the pride and arro- 
gancy of their hearts. Had you heard how then they will 
change their tune, and wish they had never known their sins; 
and wish they had lived in greater holiness than those whom 
they derided for it. What would you say, and do, and be, 
after such an amazing sight as this? Would you sport it 
q^t in sin as you have done ? Would you take no better 
care for your salvation ? If you had seen those sayings of 
the Holy Ghost fulfilled ; " When the Lord Jesus shall be 
revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, 
taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey 
not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be pu- 
nished with everlastiug destruction from the presence of the 
Lord, and from the glpry of his power ;" (Jude 14, 15. 2 Thess. 
i. 7 — 9.) what mind do you think you should be of? What 
course would you take, if you had but seen this dreadful 
day ? Could you go on to think, and speak, and live as 
sensually, stupidly and negligently as now you do? *' The 
day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the 
which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and 
the elements shall melt with fervent heat ; the earth also, 
and the works that are therein shall be burnt up ;" 2 Pet. iii. 
10 — 12. Is it possible soundly to believe such a day, so 
sure, so near, and no more regard it, nor make ready for it, 
than the careless and ungodly do ? 

6. Suppose at that day you had heard the devil accusing 
you of all the sins that you have committed ; and set them 
out in the most odious aggravations, and call for justice 


against you to your Judge. If you heard him pleading all 
those sins against you that now he daily tempts you to com- 
mit, and now maketh you believe are harmless, or small, in- 
considerable things. If you heard him saying, * At such a 
time this sinner refused grace, neglected Christ, despised 
heaven and preferred earth ; at such a time he derided god- 
liness, and made a mock of the holy word and counsels of 
the Lord ; at such a time he profaned the name of God, he 
coveted his neighbour's wealth ; he cherished thoughts of 
envy or of lust ; he was drunk, or gluttonous, or committed 
fornication, and he was never thoroughly converted by re- 
newing grace, and therefore he is an heir of hell, and belongs 
to me : I ruled him, and I must have him.' What would you 
think of a life of sin, if once you had heard such accusations 
as these ? How would you deal by the next temptation, if 
you had heard what use the tempter will hereafter make of 
all your sins ? 

7. What if you had seen the damned in their misery, and 
heard them cry out of the folly of their impenitent, careless 
lives ; and wishing as Dives, (Luke xvi.) that their friends on 
earth might have " one sent from the dead, to warn them that 
they come not to that place of torment," (1 speak to men that 
say they are believers,) what would you do upon such a sight ? 
If you had heard them there torment themselves in the re- 
membrance of the time they lost, the mercy they neglected, 
the grace resisted, and wish it were all to do again, and that 
they might once more be tried with another life ! If you 
saw how the world is altered with those that once were as 
proud and confident as others, what do you think such a 
sight would do with you ? And why then doth the believ- 
ing of it do no more, when the thing is certain ? 

8. Once more ; suppose that in your temptations you saw 
the tempter appearing to you, and pleading with you, as he 
doth by his inward suggestions, or by the mouths of his in- 
struments. If you saw him, and heard him hissing you on 
to sin, persuading you to gluttony, drunkenness or unclean- 
ness. If the devil appeared to you, and led you to the place 
of lust, and offered you the harlot, or the cup of excess, and 
urged you to swear, or curse, or rail, or scorn at a holy life ; 
would not the sight of the angel mar his game, and cool your 
courage, and spoil your sport, and turn your stomachs? 
Would you be drunk or filthy, if you saw him stand by you? 


Think on it the next time you are tempted. Stout men have 
been appalled by such a sight. And do you not believe that 
it is he indeed that tempteth you ? As sure as if your eyes 
beheld him, it is he that prompteth men to jeer at godliness ; 
and puts your vv^anton, ribald speeches, and oaths, and 
curses into your mouths : he is the tutor of the enemies of 
grace, that teacheth them * doct^ delirare, ingeniose in- 
sanire,* ingeniously to quarrel with the way of life, and 
learnedly to confute the arguments that would have saved 
them ; and subtlely to dispute themselves out of the hands 
of mercy, and gallantly to scorn to stoop to Christ till there 
be no remedy ; and with plausible eloquence to commend 
the plague and sickness of their souls ; and irrefragably 
maintain it, that the way to hell will lead to heaven ; and to 
justify the sins that will condemn them; and honourably 
and triumphantly to overcome their friends, and serve the 
devil in mood and figure, and valiantly to cast themselves 
into hell, in despite of all the laws and reproofs of God or 
man that would have hindered them. It being most certain 
that this is the devil's work, and you durst not do it if he 
moved you to it with open face, how dare you do it when 
faith would assure you, that it is as verily he, as if you saw 

More distinctly, answer these following questions, upon 
the foregoing suppositions. 

Quest. 1. If you saw but what you say you do believe, 
would you not be convinced that the most pleasant, gainful 
sin is worse than madness ? And would you not spit at the 
very name of it, and openly cry out of your open folly, and 
beg for prayers, and love reprovers, and resolve to turn with- 
out delay ? 

Quest. 2. What would you think of the most serious, 
holy life, if you had seen the things you say you do believe ? 
Would you ever again reproach it as preciseness, or count 
it more ado than needs, and think your time were better 
spent in playing than in praying ; in drinking, and sports, 
and filthy lusts, than in the holy services of the Lord ? Would 
you think then that one day in seven, were too much for the 
work for which you live ; and that an hour on this holy day 
were enough to be spent in instructing you for eternity ? 
Or would you not believe that he is the blessed man, whose 
delight is in the law of God, and n^editateth in it day and 


night? Could you plead for sensuality, or ungodly negli- 
gence, or open your mouths against the most serious holiness 
of life, if heaven and hell stood open to your view ? 

Quest, 3, If you saw but what you say you do believe, 
would yoAi ever again be offended with the ministers of 
Christ for the plainest reproofs, and closest exhortations, 
and strictest precepts and discipline, that now are disrelished 
so much? Or rather, would you not desire them to help 
you presently to try your state, and to search you to the 
quick, and to be more solicitous to save you than to please 
you ? The patient that will take no bitter medicine in time, 
when he sees he must die, would then take any thing. 
When you see the things that now you hear of, then you 
would do any thing. O then, might you have these days 
again, sermons would not be too plain or long : in season 
and out of season would then be allowed of. Then you 
would understand what moved ministers to be so importu- 
nate with you for conversion ; and whether trifling or se- 
rious preaching was the best. 

Quest, 4. Had you seen the things that you say you do 
believe,what effect would sermons have upon you, after such 
a sight as this ? O what a change it would make upon our 
preaching, and your hearing, if we saw the things that we 
speak and hear of! How fervently should we importune 
you in the name of Christ ! How attentively would you 
hear, and carefully consider and obey ! We should then 
have no such sleepy preaching and hearing, as now we have. 
Could I but shew to all this congregation, while I am 
preaching, the invisible world of which we preach, and did 
you hear with heaven and hell in your eyesight, how confi- 
dent should I be (though not of the saving change of all) 
that I should this hour teach you to plead for sin, and 
against a holy life no more ; and send you home another 
people than you came hither. I durst then ask the worst 
that heareth me, * Dare you now be drunk, or gluttonous, 
or worldly ? Dare you be voluptuous, proud or fornicators 
any more? Dare you go home, and make a jest at piety, 
and neglect your souls as you have done V And why then 
should not the believed truth prevail, if indeed you did be- 
lieve it, when the thing is as sure as if you saw it ? 

Quest. 5. If you had seen what you say you do believe, 
would you hunt as eagerly for wealth, or honour, and re- 


gard the thoughts or words of men, as you did before? 
Though it is only the believer that truly honourethhis rulers, 
(for none else honour them for God, but use them for them- 
selves) yet wonder not if he fear not much the face of man, 
and be no admirer of worldly greatness, when he seeth what 
they will be, as well as what they are. Would not usurpers 
have been less feared, if all could have foreseen their fall? 
Even common reason can foresee, that shortly you will all 
be dust. Methinks I foresee your ghastly paleness, your 
loathsome blackness, and your habitation in the dark. And 
who can much envy, or desire the advancements that have 
such an end ? One sight of God would blast all the glory 
of the world, that is now the bait for man's perdition. 

Quest. 6. Would temptations be as powerful as now they 
are, if you did but see the things you hear of? Could all 
the beauty or pleasures in the world entice you to filthiness 
or sensuality, if you saw God over you, and judgment before 
you, and saw what damned souls now suffer, and what be- 
lievers now enjoy? Could you be persuaded by any com- 
pany or recreation, to waste your precious time in vain, with 
such things in your eye ? 1 am confident you would abhor 
the motion ; and entertain temptations to the most honoured, 
gainful, pleasant sin, as now you would do a motion to cut 
your own throats, or leap into a coal-pit, or thrust your head 
into a burning oven. Why then doth not faith thus shame 
temptations, if indeed you do believe these things ? Will you 
say, it is your weakness, you cannot choose, or that it is 
your nature to be lustful, revengeful, sensual, and you can- 
not overcome it ; but if you had a sight of heaven and hell, 
you could then resist ; you cannot now because you will 
not ; but did you see that which would make you willing, 
your power would appear. The sight of a judge or gallows 
can restrain men. The sight of a person whom you reve- 
rence, can restrain the exercise of your disgraceful sins ; 
much more would the sight of heaven and hell. If you were 
but dying, you would shake the head at him that would then 
tempt you to the committing of your former sins. And is 
not a lively, foreseeing faith as effectual ? 

Quest. 7. Had you seen what you say you do believe, you 
would not so much stick at sufferings, nor make so great a 
matter of it, to be reproached, slandered, imprisoned, or con- 
demned by man, when God and your salvation command 


your patience. A sight of hell would make you think it 
worse than madness, to run thither to escape the wrath of 
man, or any sufferings on earth j Rom. viii. 18. 

Quest. 8. And O how such a sight would advance the 
Redeemer, and his grace, and promises, and word, and or- 
dinances in your esteem ! It would quicken your desires, 
and make you fly to Christ for life, as a drowning man to 
that which may support him. How sweetly then would you 
relish the name, the word, the ways of Christ, which now 
seem dry and common things ! 

Quest, 9. Could you live as merrily, and sleep as quietly 
in a negligent uncertainty of your salvation, if you had seen 
these things, as now you do ? Could you live at heart's ease, 
while you know not where you shall be to-morrow, or must 
live for ever ? Oh no ! were heaven and hell but seen before 
you, your consciences would be more busy in putting such 
questions, * Am I regenerate, sanctified, reconciled, justified, 
or not V than any the most zealous minister is now. 

Quest. 10. I will put to you but one question more. If 
we saw God, and heaven, and hell before us, do you think it 
would not effectually reconcile our differences, and heal our 
unbrotherly exasperations and divisions ? Would it not 
hold the hands that itch to be using violence, against those 
that are not in all things of their minds ? What abundance 
of vain controversies would it reconcile ! As the coming in 
of the master doth part the fray among the schoolboys ; so 
the sight of God would frighten us from contentious or un- 
charitable violence. This would teach us how to preach and 
pray better than a storm at sea can do, which yet doth it 
better than some in prosperity will learn. Did we see what 
we preach of, it would drive us out of our man-pleasing, 
self-seeking, sleepy strain, as the cudgel drives the beggar 
from his canting, ^nd the breaking loose of the bear did 
teach the affected cripple to find his legs and cast away his 
crutches. I would desire no better outward help to end our 
controversies about indifferent modes of worship, than a 
sight of the things of which we. speak. This would excite 
such a serious frame of soul, as would not suffer religion to 
evaporate into formality, nor dwindle into affectation, com- 
pliment and ceremony. Nor should we dare to beat our 
fellow servants, and thrust them out of the vineyard, and 
say, you shall ilot preach, or pray, or live, but upon these or 


those unnecessary terms. But the sense of our own frailty, 
and fear of a severe disquisition of our failings, would make 
us compassionate to others, and content that necessaries be 
the matter of our unity, necessaries of our liberty, and both 
of charity. 

If sight in all these ten particulars would do so much, 
should not faith do much, if you verily believe the things 
you see not? 

Alas ! corrupted reason is asleep (with men that seem 
wise in other things,) till it be awakened by faith or sight. 
And sleeping reason is unserviceable as folly. It doth no 
work : it avoids no danger. A doctor that is asleep, can de- 
fend the truth no better than a waking child. But reason 
will be reason, and conscience will be conscience, when the 
dust is blown out of men's eyes, and sight and feeling have 
awakened, and so recovered their understandings ; or faith 
more seasonable and happily awakened them. 

And O that now we might all consent to addict ourselves 
to the life of faith : and, 

1. That we live not too much on visibles. 2. That we 
live on things invisible. 

(1.) One would think that worldliness is a disease that 
carrieth with it a cure for itself; and that the rational nature 
should be loath to love at so dear a rate, and to labour for 
so poor a recompence. It is pity that Gehazi's leprosy and 
Judah's death should no more prevent a succession of Ge- 
hazis and Judahs in all generations. Our Lord went before 
us most eminently in a contempt of earth : " his kingdom 
was not of this world." No men are more unlike him than 
the worldlings. I know necessity is the pretence ; but it is 
the dropsy of covetousness that causeth the thirst which they 
call necessity : and therefore the cure is * non addere opibus, 
sed imminuere cupiditatem.' The disease must not be fed 
but healed. ' Satis est divitiarum non amplius velle.' It 
hath lately been a controversy, whether this be not the gol- 
den age ? That it is ' aetas ferrea* we have felt ; our demon- 
strations are undeniable : that it is * setas aurata,' we have 
sufficient proof: and while gold is the god that rules the 
most, we will not deny it to be ' aetas aurea,' in the poet's 

*' Aurea nunc vere sunt secula : plurimus auro 
Venit honos : auro couciliatur amor." 


This prevalency of things seen, against things unseen, is 
the idolatry of the world ; the subversion of nature ; the 
perversion of our faculties and actions ; making the soul a 
drudge to flesh, and God to be used as a servant to the world. 
It destroyeth piety, justice and charity. It turneth *jus ' by 
pj^version into ' vis ;* or by reversion into * sui.' No wonder 
then if it be the ruin of societies, when 

" Gens sine justitia, sine remige navis in unda." 

It can possess even Demosthenes with a squinancy, if there 
be but an Harpalus to bring him the infection. It can make 
a judicature to be as Plutarch called that of Rome, ' dafjScJv 
Ytoaav/ * impiorum regionem ;' contrary to Cicero's descrip- 
tion of Sulpitius, who was, 'magis justitise quam juris con- 
sultus, et ad facilitatem sequitatemque omnia contulit ; nee 
maluit litium actiones constituere, quam controversias tol- 
lere.' In a word, if you live by sense and not by faith, on 
things present, and not on things unseen, you go backward ; 
you stand on your heads and turn your heels against hea- 
ven ; you cause the beast to ride the man ; and by turning 
all things upside down, will turn yourselves into confusion. 
(2.) Consider that it is the unseen things that are only 
great and necessary, that are worthy of a man, and answer 
the excellency of our nature, and the ends of our lives, and 
all our mercies. All other things are inconsiderable toys, 
except as they are dignified by their relation to these. 
Whether a man step into eternity from a palace or a prison, 
a lordship or a Lazarus state, is little to be regarded. All 
men in the world, whose designs and business take up with 
any thing short of heaven, are in the main of one condition, 
and are but in several degrees and forms in the school of 
folly. If the intendment of your lives fall short of God, it 
matters not much what it is you seek, as to any great diffe- 
rence. If lesser children play for pins, and bigger boys for 
points and pence, and aged children for lands and money, 
for titles of honour and command, what difference is there 
between these in point of wisdom and felicity? But that 
the little ones have more innocent delights, and at a cheaper 
rate than the aged have, without the vexatious cares and 
dangers that attend more grave and serious dotage. As 
holiness to the Lord is written upon all that is faithfully 
referred to his will and glory ; so vanity and sin is written 
upon all that is but made provision for the flesh, and hath 


no higher end than self. To go to hell with greater stir, and 
attendance, and repute, with greater pomp and pleasure than 
the poor, is a poor consolation, a pitiful felicity. 

(3.) Faith is the wisdom of the soul ; and unbelief and 
sensuality are its blindness, folly and brutishness. How 
short is the knowledge of the wisest unbelievers ! Tlrr.y 
know not much of what is past ; (and less they would know 
if histories were not of more credit with them than the word 
of God ;) but, alas! how little do they know of what is to 
comel Sense tells them where they are, and what they are 
now doing ; but it tells them not where they shall be to- 
morrow. But faith can tell a true believer, what will be 
when this world is ended, and where he shall live to all eter- 
nity, and what he shall be doing, what thoughts he shall be 
thinking, what affections shall be the temper and employ- 
ment of his soul; what he shall see, and feel, and enjoy; 
and with what company he shall converse for ever. If the 
pretenders to astrological prediction, could but foretel the 
changes of men's lives, and the time and manner of their 
deaths, what resort would be to them ! And how wise would 
they be esteemed ! But what is all this to the infallible pre- 
dictions of the All-knowing God, that hath given us a pros- 
pect into another world, and shewed us what will be for 
ever, more certainly than you know what a day may bring 

So necessary is foreknowledge in the common affairs of 
men, that without it the actions of the world would be but 
mad, tumultuary confusion. What would you think of that 
man's understanding, or how would you value the employ- 
ments of his life, that looked no further in all his actions, 
than the present hour, and saw no more than the things in 
hand ? What would you call him that so spends the day, 
as one that knoweth not there will be any night : and so 
passed the night, as one that looked not for the day ? That 
knew not in the spring there would be an harvest, or in the 
summer that there would be any winter, or in youth that 
there would be age or death ? The silly brutes that have no 
foreknowledge, are furnished with an instinct that supplieth 
the want of it, and also have the help of man's foreknow- 
ledge, or else their kind would be soon extinct. The bees 
labour in summer, as if they foresaw the winter's need. And 
can that man be wise, that foreseeth not his everlasting state? 


Indeed, he that knoweth not what is to come, hath no true 
knowledge of what is present : for the worth and use of pre- 
sent things is only in their respect to things eternal : and 
there is no means where there is no end. What wisdom then 
remains in unbelievers, when all their lives are misemployed, . 
because they know not the end of life ? and when all their 
actions are utterly debased, by the baseness of those brutish 
ends, to which they serve and are referred. Nothing is 
truly wise or honourable that is done for small and worthless 
things. To draw a curious picture of a shadow, or elegantly 
write the history of a dream, may be an ingenious kind of 
foolery ; but the end will not allow it the name of wisdom : 
and such are all the actions of the world, (though called 
heroic, valiant and honourable) that aim at transitory trifles, 
and tend not to the everlasting end. A bird can neatly build 
her nest, but is not therefore counted wise. How contrary 
is the judgment of the world to Christ's! When the same 
description that he giveth of a fool, is it that worldlings give 
of a wise and happy man ; " One that layeth up riches for 
himself, and is not rich towards God;" Luke xii. 20, 21. 
Will you persuade us that the man is wise, that can climb a 
little higher than his neighbours, that he may have the 
greater fall? That is attended in his way to hell with 
greater pomp and state than others ? That can sin more 
syllogistically and rhetorically than the vulgar ; and more 
prudently and gravely run into damnation ; and can learn- 
edly defend his madness, and prove that he is safe at the 
brink of hell ? Would you persuade us that he is wise, that 
contradicts the God and rule of wisdom, and that parts with 
heaven for a few merry hours, and hath not wit to save his 
soul ? When they see the end, and are arrived at eternity^ 
let them boast of their wisdom, as they find cause : we will 
take them then for more competent judges. Let the eternal 
God be the portion of my soul ; let heaven be my inheritance 
and hope ; let Christ be my Head, and the promise my se- 
curity, let faith be my wisdom, and love be my very heart 
and will, and patient, persevering obedience be my life ; and 
then I can spare the wisdom of the world, because I can 
spare the trifles that it seeks, and all that they are like to 
get by it. 

What abundance of complaints and calamity would fore- 
sight prevent ! Had the events of this one year been (con- 


ditionally) foreseen, the actions of thousands would have 
been otherwise ordered, and much sin and shame have been 
prevented k What a change would it make on the judgments 
of the world ? How many words would be otherwise spoken ; 
and how many deeds would be otherwise done ; and how 
many hours would be otherwise spent, if the change that will 
be made by judgment and execution were well foreseen ! 
And why is it not foreseen, when it is foreshewn? When 
the omniscient God, that will certainly perform his word, 
hath so plainly revealed it, and so frequently and loudly 
warns you of it ? Is he wise, that after all these warnings 
will lie down in everlasting woe, and say, ' I little thought of 
such a day : I did not believe I should ever have seen so 
great a change?' 

Would the servants of Christ be used as they are, if the 
malicious world foresaw the day when " Christ shall come 
with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment on all 
that are ungodly?" Jude 14, 15. When he shall " come to 
be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that do 
believe ;" 2 Thess. i. 10. When " the saints shall judge the 
world ;" 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3. and when the ungodly seeing them 
on Christ's right hand, must hear their sentence on this ac- 
count, " Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you did it (or, 
did it not) to one of the least of these, (my brethren,) you did 
it unto me ;" Matt. xxv. Yet a few days, and all this will 
be done before your eyes ; but the unbelieving world will 
not foresee it. 

Would malignant Cain have slain his brother, * " he had 
foreseen the punishment, which he calleth afterwards into- 
lerable ; Gen. iv. 13. Would the world have despised the 
preaching of Noah, if they had believed the deluge ? Would 
Sodom have been Sodom, if they had foreseen that a hell 
from heaven would have consumed them? Would Achan 
have meddled with his prey, if he had foreseen the stones 
that were his executioners and his tomb? Would Gehazi 
have obeyed his covetous desire, if he had foreseen the le- 
prosy ? Or Judas have betrayed Christ, if he had foreseen 
the hanging himself in his despair ? It is foreseeing faith 
that saves those that are saved ; and blind unbelief that 
causeth men's perdition. 

Yea, present things as well as future are unknown to 
foolish unbelievers. Do they know who seeth them in their 


sin? And what many thousands are suffering for the like, 
while they see no danger? Whatever their tongues say, the 
hearts and lives of fools deny that there is a God that seeth 
thena,, and will be their judgfe j Psal. xiv. 1. You see then 
that you must live by faith, or perish by folly. 

(4.) Consider that things visible are so transitory, and of 
so short continuance, that they do not deserve the name of 
things ; being nothings, and less than nothing, and lighter 
than vanity itself, compared to the necessary Eternal Being, 
whose name is I AM. There is but a few days difference 
between a prince and no prince ; a lord and no lord ; a man 
and no man, a world and no world. And if this be all, let 
the time that is past inform you how small a difference this 
is. Rational foresight may teach a Xerxes to weep over his 
numerous army, as knowing how soon they were all to be 
dead men. Can you forget that death is ready to undress 
you ; and tell you, that your sport and mirth is done; and 
that now you have had all that the world can do for those that 
serve it, and take it for their part ? How quickly can a fe- 
ver, or the choice of a hundred messengers of death, bereave 
you of all that earth afforded you, and turn your sweetest 
pleasures into gall, and turn a lord into a lump of clay ! It 
is but as a wink, an inch of time, till you must quit the stage, 
and speak, and breathe, and see the face of man no more. If 
you foresee this, O live as men that do foresee it ! I never 
heard of any that stole his winding-sheet, or fought for a 
coffin, or went to law for his grave. And if you did but see 
(as wise men should) how near your honours, and wealth, 
and pleasures do stand unto eternity, as well as your wind- 
ing-sheets, your coffins, and your graves, you would then 
value, and desire, and seek them regularly and moderately 
as you do these. Oh ! what a fading flower is your strength ! 
How soon will all your gallantry shrink into the shell ! ' Si 
vestra sunt toUite ea vobiscum.' Bern. But yet this is not 
the great part of the change : the * terminus ad quem* doth 
make it greater. It is awful, for persons of renown and ho- 
nour to change their palaces for graves, and turn to noisome 
rottenness and dirt : to change their power and command for 
silent impotency, unable to rebuke the poorest worm, that 
saucily feedeth on their hearts or faces. But if you are be- 
lievers, you can look further, and foresee much more. The 



largest and most capacious heart alive, is unable fully to 
conceive what a change the stroke of death will make. 

For the holy soul so suddenly to pass from prayer to an- 
gelical praise, from sorrow unto boundless joys; from the 
slanders and contempt, and violence of men, to the bosom 
of Eternal Love ; from the clamours of a tumultuous world, 
to the universal harmony, and perfect uninterrupted love and 
peace ! O what a blessed change is this ; which believing 
now we shall shortly feel. 

For an unholy, unrenewed soul, that yesterday was 
drowned in flesh, and laughed at threatenings, and scorned 
reproofs, to be suddenly snatched into another world ; and 
see the heaven that he hath lost, and feel the hell which he 
would not believe : to fall into the gulf of bottomless eter- 
nity, and at once to find that joy and hope are both de- 
parted ; that horror and grief must be his company, and des- 
peration hath locked up the door ! O what an amazing 
change is this ! If you think me troublesome for mention- 
ing such ungrateful things, what a trouble will it be to feel 
them ! May it teach you to prevent that greater trouble, 
you may well bear this. Find but a medicine against death, 
or any security for your continuance here, or any preven- 
tion of the change, and I have done: but that which un- 
avoidably must be seen, should be foreseen. 

But the unseen world is not thus mutable ; eternal life is 
begun in the believer. The church is built on Christ the 
rock; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Fix 
here, and you shall never be removed. 

(5.) Hence followeth another difference : the mutable 
creature doth impart a disgraceful mutability to the soul that 
chooseth it. It disappointeth and deceiveth ; and therefore 
the ungodly are of one mind to-day, and another to-morrow. 
In health they are all for pleasure, and commodity, and ho- 
nour ; and at death they cry out on it as deceitful vanity. 
In health they cannot abide this strictness, this meditating, 
and seeking, and preparing for the life to come ; but at death 
or judgment they will be of another mind. Then O that 
they had been so wise as to know their time ! And O that 
they had lived as holy as the best ! They are now the bold 
opposers and reproachers of a holy life ; but then they would 
be glad it had been their own : they would eat their words, 
and will be down in the mouth, and stand to never a word 


they say, when sight, and sense, and judgment shall con- 
vince them. 

But things unchangable do tix the soul. Piety is no 
matter for repentance. Doth the believer speak against sin 
and sinners; and for a holy, sober, righteous life^ He will 
do so to the last: death and judgment shall not change his 
mind in this, but much confirm it. Rom. viii. 35 — 37. 
And therefore he perseveres through sufferings to death : 
'* For this cause we faint not^ but though our outward 
man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh 
for iis a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory. While 
we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things 
which are not seen : for the things which are seen are tem- 
poral; but the things which are not seen are eternal ;" 
SCor.iv. 16—18. 

(6.) Lastly, let this move you to live by a foreseeing faith, 
that it is of necessity to your salvation. Believing heaven 
must prepare you for it before you can enjoy it. Believing 
hell is necessary to prevent it; Mark xvi. 16. John iii. 18. 
36. "The just shall live by faith, but if any man draw 
back (or be lifted up) the Lord will have no pleasure in 
him;" Heb. x. 38. Hab. ii.4. "Take heed that there be 
not in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, to depart from 
the living God ;" Heb. iii. 12. " And be not of them that 
draw back to perdition, but of them that believe to the sav- 
ing of the soul ;" Heb. x. 39. It is God that saith, **They 
shall all be damned that believed not the truth, but had plea- 
sure in unrighteousness ;" 2 Thess. ii. 10 — 12. 

May I now, in the conclusion, more particularly exhort 
you, 1. That you will live upon things foreseen. 2. That 
you will promote this life of faith in others, according to 
your several capacities. 

Princes and nobles live not always : you are not the 
rulers of the unmovable kingdom ; but of a boat that is in a 
hasty stream, or a ship under sail that will speed both pilot 
and passengers to the shore. * Dixi, estis Dii : ut morie- 
mini ut homines.' It was not the least or worst of kings 
that said, " I am a stranger upon earth ;" Psal. cxix. 19. 
* Vermis sum, non homo :' " I am a worm and no man ;" 
Psal. xxii. 6. You are the greater worms, and we the little 
ones : but we must all say with Job, " The grave is our house. 


and we must make our beds in darkness : corruption is our 
father, and the worm our mother and our sister ;" Job xvii. 
13, 14. The inexorable leveller is ready at your backs to 
V convince you by irresistible argument, that dust you are, 
and to dust you shall return. Heaven should be as desira- 
ble, and hell as terrible to you as to others. No man will 
fear you after death ; much less will Christ be afraid to judge 
you ; Luke xix. 27. As the kingdoms and glory of the 
world were contemned by him in the hour of his tempta- 
tion ; so are they inconsiderable to procure his approbation. 
Trust not therefore to uncertain riches : value them but as 
they will prove at last. As you stand on higher ground than 
others, it is meet that you should see further. The greater 
are your advantages, the wiser and better you should be ; 
and therefore should better perceive the difference between 
things temporal and eternal. It is always dark where these 
glowworms shine, and where a rotten post doth seem a fire. 

Your difficulties also should excite you ; you must go as 
through a needle's eye to heaven. To live as in heaven in a 
crowd of business and stream of temptations from the con- 
fluence of all worldly things, is so hard, that few such come 
to heaven. Withdraw yourselves therefore to the frequent, 
serious forethoughts of eternity, and live by faith. 

Had time allowed it, I should have come down to some 
particular instances : as, 1. Let the things unseen be stilL 
at hand to answer every temptation, and shame and repel 
each motion to sin. 

2. Let them be still at hand to quicken us to duty, when 
backwardness and coldness doth surprise us. What ! shall 
we do any thing coldly for eternity? 

3. Let it resolve you what company to delight in, and 
what society to be of, even those with whom you must dwell 
for ever. What side soever is uppermost on earth, you may 
foresee which side shall reign for ever. 

4. Let the things invisible be your daily solace, and the 
satisfaction of your souls. Are you slandered by men? 
Faith tells you, it is enough that Christ will justify you. 
O happy day ! when he will bring forth our righteousness 
as the light, and set all straight, which all the false histories 
or slanderous tongues or pens in all the world made crooked. 
Are you frowned on or contemned by men? Is it not 
enough that you shall everlastingly be honoured by the 


Lord? Are you wronged, oppressed, or trodden on by 
pride or malice ? Is not heaven enough to make you repa- 
ration? And eternity long enough for your joys? O pray 
for your malicious enemies, lest they suffer more than you 
can wish them ! 

2. Lastly, I should have become on the behalf of Christ, 
a petitioner to you for protection and encouragement to the 
heirs of the invisible world. For them that preach, and 
them that live in this Life of Faith. Not for the honours 
and riches of the world ; but for leave and countenance to 
work in the vineyard, and peaceably travel through the 
world as strangers, and live in the communion of saints as 
they believe. But, though it be for the beloved of the Lord, 
the apple of his eye, the people that are sure to prevail and 
reign with Christ for ever ; whose prayers can do more for 
the greatest princes than you can do for them, whose joy is 
hastened by that which is intended for their sorrow ; I shall 
now lay by any further suit on their behalf. 

But for yourselves, O use your seeing and foreseeing fa- 
culties ! Be often looking through the prospective of the 
promise : and live not by sense on present things ; but live 
as if you saw the glorious things which you say you do be- 
lieve. That when worldly titles are insignificant words, and 
fleshly pleasures have an end, and faith and holiness will be 
the marks of honour ; and unbelief and ungodliness the 
badges of perpetual shame, and when you must give account 
of your stewardship, and shall be no longer stewards, you 
may then be brought by faith unto fruition, and see with joy 
the glorious things that you now believe. Write upon your 
palaces and goods that sentence; " Seeing all these things 
shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in 
all holy conversation and godliness, looking for, and hasting 
to the coming of the day of God ?" 2 Pet. iii. II. 


HEBREWS xi. 1. 

Noto Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of 

things not seen. 


For Conviction, 

In the opening of this text, I have already shewed, that ' it 
is the nature and use of faith to be instead of presence and 
sight; or to make things absent, future, and unseen, to be 
to us as to our estimation, resolution and conversation, as if 
they were present, and before our eyes : though not as to 
the degree, yet as to the sincerity of our acts.* 

In the handling of this doctrine, I have already shewed, 
that this faith is a grounded, j ustifiable knowledge, and not a 
fancy, or ineffectual opinion ; having for its object the infalli- 
ble revelation and certain truth of God ; and not a falsehood, 
nor a mere probability, or * verisimile/ I have shewed how 
such a faith will work ; how far it should carry us if its evi- 
dence were fully entertained and improved ; and how far it 
doth carry all that have it sincerely in the least degree ; and 
I have shewed some of the moving considerations, that 
should prevail with us to live upon the things unseen, as if 
they were open to our sight. 

I think I may suddenly proceed here to the remaining 
part of the application, without any recital of the ex- 
plication or confirmation, the truth lying so naked in the 
text itself. 

The life of faith and the life of sense, are the two ways 
that all the world do walk in to the two extremely different 
ends which appear when death withdraws the veil. It is 
the ordination of God, that men's own estimation, choice and 
endeavours, shall be the necessary preparative to their frui- 
tion. ' Nemo nolens bonus aut beatus est.' Men shall have 
no better than they value, and choose, and seek. Where 
earthly things are highest in the esteem, and dearest to the 
mind of man, such persons have no higher nor more durable 
portion. Where the heavenly things are highest and dearest 
to the soul, and are practically preferred, they are the por- 


tion of that soul. Where the treasure is, the heart will be ; 
Matt. vi. 21. The sanctifying Spirit doth lead the spiritual 
man, by a spiritual rule in a spiritual way, to a spiritual, glo- 
rious, durable felicity. The sensual part, with the sensual 
inclination communicated to the corrupted mind and will, 
doth by carnal reasonings, and by carnal means, pursue and 
embrace a present, fading, carnal interest ; and therefore it 
findeth and attaineth no more. " The flesh lusteth against 
the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; and these are 
contrary the one to the other ;" Gal. v. 17. " They that are 
after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh ; but they that 
are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. To be carnally 
minded is death ; but to be spiritually minded is life and 
peace : because the carnal mind is enmity against God ; for 
it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God. If 
any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of 
his. If we live after the flesh, we shall die; but if by the 
Spirit we mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live ;" 
Rom. viii. 5 — 14. '* Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall 
he also reap. He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh 
reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of 
the Spirit reap everlasting life." As a man is, so he loveth 
and desireth ; as he desireth, he seeketh, and as he seeketh, 
he findeth and possesseth. If you know which world, what 
riches a man prefers, intends and liveth for, you may know 
which world is his inheritance, and whither he is going as to 
his perpetual abode. 

Reason enableth a man to know and seek more than he 
seeth : and faith informeth and advanceth reason, to know 
that by the means of supernatural revelation, that by no 
other means is fully known. To seek and hope for no bet- 
ter than we know, and to know no more than is objectively 
revealed, (while we hinder not the revelation) is the blame- 
less imperfection of a creature that hath limited faculties 
and capacities. To know what is best, and yet to choose 
and seek an inferior, inconsistent good ; and to refuse and 
neglect the best, when it is discerned, is the course of such 
as have but a superficial opinion of the good refused, or a 
knowledge not awakened to speak so loudly as may be effec- 
tual for choice ; and whose sensuality mastereth their wills 
and reason, and leads them backward : and those that know 


not, because they would not know ; or hear not, because they 
would not hear, are under that same dominion of the flesh, 
which is an enemy to all knowledge, that is an enemy to its 
delights and interest. To profess to know good, and yet re- 
fuse it ; and to profess to know evil, and yet to choose it, 
and this predominantly and in the main, is the description 
of a self-condemning hypocrite. And if malignity and op- 
position of the truth professed be added to the hypocrisy, it 
comes up to that pharisaical blindness and obdurateness, 
which prepareth men for the remediless sin. 

Consider then but of the profession of many of the peo- 
ple of this land, and compare their practice with it, and 
judge what compassion the condition of many doth bespeak. 
If you will believe them, they profess that they verily be- 
lieve in the invisible God ; in a Christ unseen to them ; in 
the Holy Spirit, gathering a holy church to Christ, and em- 
ploying them in a communion of saints. That they believe 
a judgment to come, upon the glorious coming of the Lord ; 
and an everlasting life of joy or torment thereupon. All this 
is in their creed : they would take him for a damnable he- 
retic that denieth it ; and perhaps would consent that he be 
burned at a stake. So that you would think these men 
should live as if heaven and hell were open to their sight. 
But O what a hypocritical generation are the ungodly ! How 
their lives do give their tongues the lie ! (Remember that I 
apply this to no better men.) It is a wonder that such men 
can believe themselves, when they say they do indeed be- 
lieve the Gospel : and shews what a monster the blind, de- 
ceitful heart of an impenitent sinner is. In good sadness 
can they think that they truly believe that God is God, and 
yet so wilfully disobey him? That heaven is hearen, and 
yet prefer the world before it? That hell is hell, and yet 
will venture upon it for a lust, or a thing of nought ? What ! 
believe that there is at hand a life of endless joy, and no 
more mind it ! but hate them that set their hearts upon it ! 
Do they believe, that except a man be converted and new 
born, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven ? as 
Christ hath told them. Matt, xviii. 3. John iii. 3. 5. and yet 
never trouble their minds about it, to try whether they are 
converted and new born or not? Do they beheve God, that 
no man shall see him without holiness ? (Heb. xii. 14) and 
yet dare they be unholy? and perhaps deride it? Do they 


believe that Christ will " come in flaming fire, taking ven- 
geance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gos- 
pel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be punished with 
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and 
from the glory of his power ;" 2 Thess. ii. 8, 9. And yet 
dare they disobey the Gospel ! Do they take God for their 
absolute Lord and Governor, while they will not so much as 
meditate on his laws, but care more what a mortal man saith, 
or what their flesh and carnal reason saith, than what he 
saith to them in his holy word ? Do they take Christ for 
their Saviour, and yet would not be saved by him from their 
sins, but had rather keep them ? Do they take the Holy 
Ghost for their Sanctifier, while they will not have a sanc- 
tified heart or life, and love it not in those that have it ? Do 
they take heaven for their endless home and happiness, 
while they neither mind nor seek it, in comparison of the 
world ? And do they take the world for vanity and vexa- 
tion, while they mind and seek it more than heaven ? Do 
they believe the communion of saints, while they fly from it, 
and perhaps detest and persecute it? Is light and darkness 
more contrary than their words and deeds? And is not hy- 
pocrisy as visible in their practice, as Christianity in their 
profession ? It is the complexion of their religion. Hypo- 
crite is legibly written in the forehead of it. They proclaim 
their shame to all that they converse with. When they have 
said, they believe the life to come, they tell men by their 
ungodly, worldly lives, that they are dissemblers. When 
their tongue hath loudly said, that they are Christians, their 
tongue and hand more loudly say, that they are hypocrites. 
And when they profess their faith but now and then, in a 
lifeless, outside piece of worship, they profess their hypo- 
crisy all the day long : in their impious neglect of God and 
their salvation in their carnal speeches, in their worldly 
lives, and in their enmity to the practice of the same religion 
which they profess. Their hypocrisy is a web so thin, and 
so transparent, that it leaves their nakedness open to their 
shame. They have not profession enough to make a consi- 
derable cover for their unbelief: they hide but their tongues ; 
the rest, even heart and all, is bare. 

O the stupendous power of self-love ! The wonderful 
blindness and stupidity of the ungodly ! The dreadfulness 
of the judgment of God in thus deserting the wilful resisters 


of his grace ! That ever men (in other things of seeming 
wisdom) should be such strangers to themselves, and so de- 
ceived by themselves, as to think they love the thing they 
hate I And to think that their hearts are set upon heaven, 
when they neither love it, nor the way that leadeth to it ; 
but are principally bent another way : that when they are 
strangers or enemies to a holy life, they can make themselves 
believe that they are holy 5 and that they seek that first, 
which they never seek ; and make that the drift and busi- 
ness of their lives, which was never the serious business of 
an hour ! O hypocrites ! ask any impartial man of reason, 
that sees your lives, and hears your prayers, whether you 
pray and live like men that believe that heaven or hell must 
be their reward ? Ask your families, whether they perceive 
by your constant prayer, and diligent endeavours, and holy 
conversations, that your hearts are set on a life to come? 
It was a cutting answer of a late apostate, to one that told 
him of the unreasonableness of infidels that denied the life 
to come ; saith he, * There are none in the world so unrea- 
sonable as you Christians, that believe that there is an end- 
less life of joy or misery to come, and do no more to obtain 
the one and escape the other. Did I believe such a life as 
this, I would think all too little that I could do or suffer, to 
make it sure/ Who sees the certainty, greatness and eter- 
nity of the crown of life, in the resolvedness, fervency and 
constancy of your holy labour? You take up with the pic- 
ture of sermons and prayers, and with the name of Chris- 
tianity and holy obedience. A little more religion you will 
admit than a parrot may learn, or a puppet may exercise. 
Compare your care, and labour, and cost for heaven, and for 
this world. That you believe the flattering, deceitful world, 
we see by your daily solicitousness about it : you seek it, 
you strive for it ; you fall out with all that stand in your way, 
you are at it daily, and have never done ; but who can see 
that you seriously believe another world ? You talk idly, 
and wantonly, and proudly by the hours, but you talk of 
heaven and holiness but by the minutes. You do not turn 
the glass when you go to your unnecessary recreations, or 
your vain discourse, or at least, you can stay when the glass 
is run ; but in hearing the most necessary truths of God, or 
in praying for everlasting life, the hour seems long to you ; 
and the tedious preacher is your weariness and molestation. 


You do not feast and play by the glass ; but if we do not 
preach and pray by it exactly, but exceed our hour, though 
in speaking of, and for eternity, we are your burden, and put 
your languid patience to it, as if we were doing you some 
intolerable wrong. 

In worldly matters, you are weary of giving, but^ldom 
of receiving : you grudge at the asker, but seldom at the 
giver. But if the gift be spiritual and heavenly, you are 
weary to hear talk of it, and expostulate the case with him 
that ofFereth it : and he must shew by what authority he 
would do you good. If by serious, holy conference he would 
further your preparations for the life to come, or help you to 
make sure of life eternal, he is examined what power he hath 
to meddle with you, and promote your salvation. And per- 
haps he is snappishly told, he is a busy, saucy fellow, and 
you bid him meddle with his own matters, and let you speed 
as you can, and keep his compassion and charity for himself: 
you give him no thanks for his undesired help. The most 
laborious, faithful servant you like best, that will do you the 
most work, with greatest skill, and care, and diligence. 
But the most laborious, faithful instructer and watchman for 
your souls, you most ungratefully vilify, as if he were more 
busy and precise than needs, and were upon some unprofit- 
able work ; and you love a superficial, hypocritical minis- 
try, that teacheth you but to compliment with heaven, and 
leads you such a dance of comical, outside, hypocritical 
worship, as is agreeable to your own hypocrisy. And thus 
when you are mocking God, you think you worship him, and 
merit heaven by the abuse. Should a minister or other 
friend be but half as earnest with you, for the life of your im- 
mortal souls, as you are yourselves for your estates, or 
friends, or lives in any danger, you would take them for fa- 
natics, and perhaps do by them as his carnal friends did 
once by Christ, (Mark iii. 21.) that went out to lay hold on 
him, and said, " He is beside himself." For trifles you ac- 
count it wisdom to be serious ; but for everlasting things, 
you account it folly, or to be more busy and solicitous than 
needs. You can desire an act of pardon and indemnity from 
man ; when as you are little solicitous about a pardon from 
God, to whose justice you have forfeited your souls. And 
if a man be but earnest in begging his pardon, and praying 
to be saved from everlasting misery, you scorn him, because 


he does it without book, and say he whines, or speaks 
through the nose ; forgetting that we shall have you one of 
these days, as earnest in vain, as they are that shall prevail 
for their salvation j and that the terrible approach of death 
and judgment shall teach you also to pray without book, and 
cry, '*,Xord, Lord, open to us," when the door is shut, and 
it is all too late ; Matt. xxv. 11. 

O sirs, had you but a lively, serious, foreseeing faith, that 
openeth heaven and hell as to your sight, what a cure would 
it work of this hypocrisy ! 

1. Such a sight would quicken you from your sloth, and 
put more life into your thoughts and words, and all that you 
attempt for God. * 

2. Such a sight would soon abate your pride, and humble 
you before the Lord, and make you see how short you are of 
what you should be. 

3. Such a sight would dull the edge of your covetous de- 
sires, and shew you that you have greater things to mind, 
and another kind of world than this to seek. 

4. Such a sight would make you esteem the temptations 
of men's reports but as the shaking of a leaf, and their al- 
lurements and threats, as impertinent speeches, that would 
cast a feather or a fly into the balance against a mountain, 
or against the world* 

5. Such a sight would allay the itch of lust, and 
quench the drunkard's insatiable thirst, and turn your 
gulosity into moderation and abstinence, and acquaint you 
with a higher sort of pleasures, that are durable, and worthy 
of a man. 

6. Such a sight would cure your desire of pastime, and 
shew you that you have no time to spare, when all is done 
that necessity and everlasting things require. 

7. Such a sight would change your relish of God's or- 
dinances, and esteem of ministers, and teach you to love 
and savour that which is spiritual and serious, rather than 
hypocritical strains and shows. It would teach you better 
how to judge of sermons and of prayers, than unexperienced 
minds will ever do. 

8. Such a sight would cure your malignity against the 
ways and diligent servants of the Lord ; and instead of op- 
posing them, it would make you glad to be among them, 
and fast, and pray, and watch, and rejoice with them, and 


better to understand what it is to believe the communion of 

In a word, did you but see what God reveals, and saints 
believe, and must be seen, I would scarce thank you to be 
all as serious and solicitous for your souls, as the holiest 
man alive ; and presently to repent and lament the folly of 
your negligence and delays, and to live as men that know 
no other work to mind, in comparison of that which extend- 
eth to eternity. I would scarce thank the proudest of you 
all to lie down in the dust, and in sackcloth and ashes, with 
tears and cries, to beg the pardon of those sins, which before 
you felt no weight in. Nor the most sensual wretch, that 
now sticks so close to his ambition, covetousness and liist, 
that he saith he cannot leave them, to spit them out as 
loathsome bitterness, and be ashamed of them as fruitless 
things. You would then say to the most godly, that now 
seem too precise, * O why do you not make more haste, and 
lay hold on heaven with greater violence ? Why do you 
pray with no more fervency, and bear witness against the 
sins of the world with no more undaunted courage and reso- 
lution ? And why do you not more freely lay out your time, 
and strength, and wealth, and all that you have on the work 
of God ? Is heaven worth no more ado than this ? Can 
you do no more for an endless life, and the escaping of the 
wrath to come ? Shall worldlings overdo you V These would 
be your thoughts on such a sight. 


Use of Exhortation* 

What now remains but that you come into the light, and 
beg of God, as the prophet for his servant, (2 Kings vi. 17.) 
to open your eyes, that you may see the things that would 
do so much, " That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
Father of glory, may give you the spirit of revelation, in the 
knowledge of him ; the eyes of your understanding being 
enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his call- 
ing, and what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in 
the saints ;" Ephes. i. 17, 18. O set those things conti- 
nually before your eyes, that must for ever be before them ! 


Look seriously into the infallible word ; and whatsoever 
that foretells, believe it as if it were come to pass. The un- 
belief of God's threatenings and penal laws, is the perdition 
of souls, as well as the unbelief of promises. God giveth 
not false fire, when he dischargeth the cannons of his terrible 
comminations. If you fall not down, you shall find that the 
lightning is attended with the thunder, and execution will 
be done before your are aware. If there were any doubt of 
the things unseen, yet you know it is past all doubt that there 
is nothing else that is durable and worthy of your estimation 
and regard. You must be knights and gentlemen but a lit- 
tle while ; speak but a few words more, and you will have 
spoke your last. When you have slept a few nights more, 
you must sleep till the resurrection awake you (as to the 
flesh). Then where are your pleasant habitations and con- 
tents? Your honours and attendance? Is a day that is 
spent, or a life that is extinct, any thing or nothing? Is' 
there any sweetness in a feast that was eaten, or drink that 
was drank, or time that was spent in sports and mirth a year 
ago ? Certainly a known vanity should not be preferred be- 
fore a probable endless joy. But when we have certainty 
as well as excellency and eternity, to set against certain, 
transitory vanity, what room is left for further deliberation? 
Whether we should prefer the sun before a squib, or a flash 
of lightning that suddenly leaves us in the dark, one would 
think should be an easy question to resolve. 

Up then ! and work while it is day : and let us run and 
strive with all our might ! Heaven is at hand as sure as if 
you saw it. You are certain you can be no losers by the 
choice. You part with nothing for all things. You escape 
the tearing of your heart, by submitting to the scratching of 
a briar. You that will bear the opening of a vein for the 
cure of a fever, and will not forbear a necessary journey for 
the barking of a dog, or the blowing of the wind; O leap 
not into hell to escape the stinking breath of a scorner ! 
Part not with God, with conscience, and with heaven, to 
save your purses or your flesh. Choose not a merry way to 
misery, before a prudent, sober preparation for a perfect, 
everlasting joy. You would not prefer a merry cup before 
a kingdom. You would let go a lesser delight or commo- 
dity for a greater here. Thus a greater sin can forbid the 


exercises of a less : and shall not endless joy weigh down a 
brutish lust or pleasure ? 

If you love pleasure, take that which is true, and full, and 
durable. For all that he calleth you to repentance and mor- 
tification, and necessary strictness, there is none that is more 
for your pleasure and delight than God ; or else he would 
not offer you the rivers of pleasure that are at his right hand ; 
nor himself to be your perpetual delight. If you come into 
a room where are variety of pictures, and one is gravely 
reading or meditating ; and another with a cup or harlot in 
his hand is profusely laughing, with a gaping, grinning 
mouth ; would you take the latter or the former to be the 
picture of a wise and happy man? Do you approve of the 
state of those in heaven ? And do you like the way that 
brought them thither? If not, why speak you of them so 
honourably ? and why would you keep holy days in remem- 
brance of them ? If you do ; examine the sacred records, 
and see whether the apostles and others that are now ho- 
noured as glorified saints, did live as you do, or rather as 
those that you think are too precise ? Did they spend the 
day in feasting, and sports, and idle talk? Did they swag- 
ger it out in pride and wealth, and hate their brethren that 
were not in all things of their conceits ? Did they come to 
heaven by a worldly, formal, hypocritical, ceremonious re- 
ligion ; or by faith, and love, and self-denial, and unwearied 
labouring for their own and other men's salvation, while they 
became the wonder and the scorn of the ungodly, and as the 
offscouring and refuse of the world ? Do you like holiness 
when it is far from you ; in a dead man, that never troubled 
you with his presence or reproofs, or in a saint in heaven, 
that comes not near you? Why then do you not like it for 
yourselves ? If it be good, the nearer the better. Your own 
health, and your own wealth do comfort you more than 
another man's : and so would your own holiness if you had 
it. If you would speed as they that are now beholding the 
face of God, believe, and live, and wait as they did. And 
as the righteous God did not forget their work and labour 
of love for his name, so he will remember you with the same 
reward, if you shew the same diligence to the full assurance 
of hope unto the end ; and '* be not slothful, but followers 
of them, who through faith and patience inherit the pro- 
raise ;" Heb. vi. 10—12. 


O did you but see what they now enjoy, and what they 
see, and what they are, and what they do ; you would never 
sure scorn or persecute a saint more! If you believe, you 
see, though not as they, with open face. If you believe not, 
yet it is not your unbelief, that shall make God's word of 
none effect; Rom. iii. 3. God will be God if you be atheists. 
Christ will be Christ if you be infidels. Heaven will be 
heaven if you by despising it go to hell. Judgment sleep- 
eth not when you sleep : it is coming as fast when you laugh 
at it, or question it, as if your eyes were open to foresee it. 
If you would not believe that you must die, do you think 
that this would delay your death one year or hour? If ten 
or twenty years time more be allotted you, it passeth as 
swiftly, and death and judgment come as surely, if you spend 
it in voluptuousness and unbelief, as if you watched and 
waited for your change. 

We preach not to you ifs and ands : it is not, perhaps 
there is a heaven and hell ; but as sure as you are here, and 
must anon go hence, you must as shortly quit this world, 
and take up your abode in the world that is now to us invi- 
sible. And no tongue can express how sensible you will then 
be of the things that you will not now be made sensible of. 
O then with what a dreadful view will you look before you 
and behind you ! Behind you, upon time, and say, ' It is 
gone, and never will return :' and hear conscience ask you. 
How you spent it, and what you did with it ? Before you, 
upon eternity, and say, ' It is come ;' and to the ungodly 
will be an eternity of woe. What a peal will conscience then 
ring in the unbelievers' ears ! ' Now the day is come that I 
was forewarned of. The day and change which I would not 
believe ! Whither must I now go ? what must I now do ? 
what shall I say before the Lord for all the sin that I have 
wilfully committed ? for all the time of nrercy which I lost ? 
How shall I answer my contempt of Christ ? my neglect of 
means, and enmity to a holy, serious life ? What a distracted 
wretch was I, to condemn and dislike them that spent their 
lives in preparation for this day ; when now I would give a 
thousand worlds, to be but one of the meanest of them ! O 
that the church doors, and the door of grace, were open to 
me now, as once they were, when I refused to enter. Many 
a time did I hear of this day, and would not believe, or so- 
berly consider of it. Many a time was I entreated to pre- 


pare, and I thought a hypocritical, trifling show would have 
been taken for a sufficient preparation. Now who must be 
my companions ? How long must I dwell with woe and hor- 
ror ? God by his ministers was wont to call to me : * How 
long, O scorner, wilt thou delight in scorning ? How long 
wilt thou go on impenitently in thy folly V And now I must 
cry out, * How long, how long must I feel the wrath of the 
Almighty? the unquenchable fire! the immortal worm! 
Alas, for ever!' When shall I receive one moment's ease? 
When shall I see one glimpse of hope ? O never ! never! ne- 
ver ! Now I perceive what Satan meant in his temptations ; 
what sin intended ; what God meant in the threatenings of 
his law ; what grace was good for ; what Christ was sent for ; 
and what was the design and meaning of the Gospel ; and 
how I should have valued the offers and promises of life! 
Now I understand what ministers meant, to be so importu- 
nate with me for my conversion ; and what was the cause 
that they would even have kneeled to me, to have procured 
my return to God in time. Now I understand that holiness 
was not a needless thing; that Christ and grace deserved 
better entertainment than contempt; that precious time was 
worth more than to be wasted idly ; that an immortal soul, 
and life eternal should have been more regarded, and not 
cast away for so short, so base a fleshly pleasure. Now all 
these things are plain and open to my understanding ; but, 
alas ! it is now too late ! I know that now to my woe and 
torment, which I might have known in time to my recovery 

For the Lord's sake, and for your soul's sake, open your 
eyes, and foresee the things that are even at hand, and pre- 
vent these fruitless lamentations. Judge but as you will all 
shortly judge, and live but as you will wish that you had 
lived, and I desire no more. Be serious, as if you saw the 
things that you say you do believe. 

I know this serious discourse of another life, is usually 
ungrateful to men that are conscious of their strangeness to 
it, and taking up their portion here, are loath to be tormented 
before the time. This is not the smoothing, pleasing way. 
But remember that we have flesh as well as you, which longs 
not to be accounted troublesome or precise ; which loves 
not to displease or be displeased : and had we no higher 



light and life, we should talk as men that saw and felt no 
more than sight and flesh can reach ; but when we are 
preaching and dying, and you are hearing and dying, and we 
believe and know that you are now going to see the things 
we speak of, and death will straightway draw aside the veil, 
and shew you the great, amazing sight, it is time for us to 
speak, and you to hear, with all our hearts. It is time for 
us to be serious, when we are so near the place where all are 
serious. There are none that are in jest in heaven or hell. 
Pardon us therefore if we jest not at the door, and in the 
way to such a serious state. All that see and feel are se- 
rious ; and therefore all that truly believe must be so too. 
Were your eyes all opened this hour to see what we believe, 
we appeal to your own consciences, whether it would not 
make you more serious than we. 

Marvel not if you see believers make another matter of 
their salvation, than those that have hired their understand- 
ings in service to their sense ; and think the world is no big- 
ger or better than their globe or map ; and reacheth no fur- 
ther than they can ken. As long as we see you serious 
about lands and lordships, and titles and honours, the rat- 
tles and tarrying irons of the cheating world, you must give 
us leave (whether you will or no) to be serious about the life 
eternal. They that scramble so eagerly for the bonds of 
worldly riches, and devour so greedily the dregs of sensual 
delights, methinks should blush (if such animals had the 
blushing property) to blame or deride us for being a little 
(alas, too little) earnest in the matters of God and our salva- 
tion. Can you not pardon us if we love God a little more 
than you love your lusts \ and if we run as fast for the crown 
of life, as you run after a feather or a fly? Or if we breathe 
as hard after Christ in holy desires, as you do in blowing the 
bubble of vain-glory ? If a thousand pounds a year in pas- 
sage to a grave, and the chains of darkness, be worth your 
labour ; give us leave to believe that mercy in order to ever- 
lasting mercy, grace in order to glory, and glory as the end 
of grace, is worth our labour, and infinitely more. 

Your end is narrow, though your way be broad, and our 
end is broad, though our way be narrow. You build as 
miners in coalpits do, by digging downwards into the dark ; 
and yet you are laborious. Though we begin on earth, we 
build towards heaven, where an attractive loadstone draws 


up the workmen and the work ; and shall we loiter under so 
great encourageiiients? Have you considered that faith is 
the beholding grace ? the evidence of things not seen ? and 
yet have you the hearts to blame believers, for doing all that 
they can do, in a case of such unspeakable, everlasting con- 
sequence? If we are believers, heaven and hell are as it 
were open to our sight ! And would you wish us to trifle 
in the sight of heaven ? or to leap into hell when we see it 
as before us ? What name can express the inhuman cruelty 
of such a wish or motion ? or the unchristian folly of those 
that will obey you ? 

O give us leave to be serious for a kingdom which by 
faith we see ! Blame us for this, and blame us that we are 
not besides ourselves. Pardon us that we are awake, when 
the thunder of Jehovah's voice doth call to us, denouncing 
everlasting wrath to all that are sensual and ungodly. Were 
we asleep as you are, we would lie still, and take no heed 
what God or man said to us. 

Pardon us that we are Christians, aijd believe these 
things, seeing you profess the same yourselves. Disclaim 
not the practice till you" dare dist^laim the profession. If 
we were infidels, we would do as the ungodly world ; we 
would pursue our present pleasures and commodity, and 
say, that things above us are nothing to us ; and would take 
religion to be the troubler of the world ; but till we are in- 
fidels or atheists at the heart, we cannot do so. 

Forgive us that we are men ; if you take it to be pardon- 
able. Were we brutes, we would eat, and drink, and play, 
and never trouble ourselves or others with the care of our 
salvation, or the fears of any death but one ; or with resist- 
ing sensual inclinations, and meditating on the life to come ; 
but would take our ease and pleasure while we may* 

At least forgive us that we are not blocks or stones ; that 
we have life and feeling. Were we insensate clods, we 
would not see the light of heaven, nor hear the roaring of 
the lion, nor fear the threats of God himself. We would 
not complain, or sigh, or groan, because we feel not. 

If therefore we may have leave to be awake, and to be in 
our wits, to be Christians, to be men, to be creatures that 
have life and sense, forgive us that we believe the living 
God ; that we cannot laugh at heaven and hell, nor jest at 
the threatened wrath of the Ahnighty. If these things must 


make us the object of the world's reproach and malice, let 
me rather be a reproached man, than an honoured beast, and 
a hated Christian, than a beloved infidel ; and rather let me 
live in the midst of malice and contempt, than pass through 
honour unto shame, through mirth to misery, and through a 
senseless to a feeling death. Hate us when we are in hea- 
ven, and see who will be the sufferer by it. If ever we should 
begin to nod and relapse towards your hypocritical forma- 
lity and senseless indifFerency, our lively sight of the world 
invisible, by a serious faith, would presently awake us, and 
force us confidently to conclude, * Aut sanctus, aut bru- 
tus :' there is practically and predominantly no mean. He 
will prove a brute that is not a saint. 


Having done with this general conviction and exhortation 
to unbelieving hypocrites, I proceed to acquaint believers 
with their duty, in several particulars. 

1. Worship God as believers ; *' serve him with reverence 
and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire;" Heb. xii. 
28, 29. A seeing faith, if well excited, would kindle love, 
desire, fear, and all praying graces. No man prays well, 
that doth not well know what he prays for. When it comes 
to seeing, all men can cry loud, and pray when praying will 
do no good. They will not then speak sleepily, or by rote, 
' Fides intuendo, amorem recipit, amorem suscitat. Cor 
flagrans amore desideria, gemitus, orationes spirat.* Faith 
is the burning-glass which, beholding God, receiveth the 
beams of his communicated love, and inflameth the heart 
with love to him again ; which mounteth up by groans and 
prayers, till it reach its original, and love for ever rest in 

2. Desire and use the creature as believers. Interpret all 
things as they receive their meaning from the things unseen : 
understand them in no other sense. It is only God and the 
life to come that can tell you what is good or bad for you in 
the world. And therefore the ungodly that cannot go to 
heaven for counsel, are carried about by mere deceits. Take 
heed what you love : and take heed of that you love. God 
is very jealous of our love : he sheds abroad his own love 


in our hearts, that our hearts may be fruitful in love to him, 
which is his chief delight. By love he commandeth love ; 
that we may suitably move towards him, and centre in him. 
He communicateth so much for the procuring of a little, that 
we should endeavour to give him all that little, and shed 
none of it inordinately upon the creature by the way. No- 
thing is great, or greatly to be admired, while the great God 
is in sight. And it is unsuitable for little things to have 
- great affections ; and for low matters to have a high esteem. 
It is the corruption and folly of the mind, and the delusion 
of the affections to exalt a shrub above a cedar, and magnify 
a molehill above a mountain ; to embrace a shadow or spec- 
trum of felicity, which vanisheth into nothing when you 
bring in the light. The creature is * nihil et nullipotens :' 
nothing should have no interest in us, and be able to do no- 
thing with us (as to the motions that are under the domi- 
nion of the will). God is All and Almighty: and he that 
is All, should have all, and command all. And the Omni- 
potent should do all things with us by his interest in mor- 
tals, as he will do by his force in naturals. I deny not but 
we may love a friend. One soul in two bodies will have one 
mind, and will, and love. But as it is not the body of my 
friend that I love or converse with principally, but the soul 
(and therefore should have no mind of the case, the corpse, 
the empty nest, if the bird were flown); so is it not the per- 
son, but Christ in him, or that of God which appeareth on 
him, that must be the principal object of our love. The man 
is mutable, and must be loved, as Plato did commend his 
friend to Dionysius ; * Hsec tibi scribo de homine, viz. ani- 
mante natura mutabili.' And therefore must be loved with 
a reserve. But God is unchangeable, and must be abso- 
lutely and unchangeably loved. That life is best that is 
likest heaven : there God will be all ; and yet even there it 
will be no dishonour or displeasure to the Deity, that the 
glorified humanity of Christ, and the New Jerusalem, and 
our holy society, are loved more dearly than we can love any 
creature here on earth. So here, God taketh not that affec- 
tion as stolen from him, that is given to his servants for his 
sake, but accepts it as sent to him by them. Let the crea- 
ture have it, so God have it finally in and by the creature ; 
and then it is not so properly the creature that hath it, as 
God. If you choose, and love your friends for God, you 


will use them for God ; not flattering them, or desiring to 
be flattered by them ; but to kindle in each other the holy 
flame which will aspire and mount, and know no bounds, 
till it reach the boundless element of love. You will not 
value them as friends, * qui omnia dicta et facta vestra lau- 
dant, sed qui errata et delicta amice reprehendunt :' not them 
that call you good ; but them that would make you better. 
And you will let them know, as Phocian did Antipater, that 
they can never use you, * ut amicis et adulatoribus ;' as 
friends and flatterers, that differ as a wife and a harlot. 

It is hard to love the imperfect creature, without mistakes 
and inordinancy in our love : and therefore usually where 
we love most, we sin most ; and our sin finds lis out ; and 
then we suffer most : and too much affection is the forerun- 
ner of much aflliction, which will be much prevented, if 
faith might be the guide of love, and human love might be 
made divine ; and all to be referred to the things unseen, 
and animated by them. Love where you can never love too 
much ; where you are sure to have no disappointments ; 
where there is no unkindness to eclipse or interrupt it j 
where the only error is, that God hath not all ; and the only 
grief, that we love no more. 

Especially in the midst of your enticing pleasures, or en-- 
ticing employments and profits in the world, foresee the end, 
do all in faith, which telleth you, "The time is short; itre- 
maineth therefore, that both they that have wives, be as 
though they had none ; and they that weep, as though they 
• wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced 
not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and 
they that use this world, as though they used it not (or not 
abusing it) : for the fashion of this world passeth away ;" 
1 Cor. vii. 29,30. 

3. Employ your time as becomes believers. Faith only 
can acquaint you, what an inconceivable weight doth lie 
upon this inch of hasty time. As you behave yourselves for 
a few days, it must go with you in joy or misery for ever. 
You have your appointed time for your appointed work. 
God hath turned the glass upon you ; much of it is run out 
already. No price can call back one hour that you have 
lost. No power or policy can retard its course ; * Sic fugiunt 
frseno non remorante dies.' When it comes to the last sand, 
and time is gone, you will know the worth of it. You will 


then confess it should have seemed more precious in your 
eyes, than to have been cast away upon things of nought. 
O precious time! more worth than all the riches of the world! 
how highly is it valued by all at last ! and how basely is 
it esteemed now by the most ! Now it is no more worth with 
them than to be sold for unnecessary sports and ease, and 
wasted in idleness and vain delights ; but then when it is 
gone, and all is too late, how loud would they cry, if cries 
could call back, time again ! O then, what a mercy would it 
seem, if God would try them once again ! and trust them 
but with another life, or with Hezekiah's fifteen years ! or 
but with fifteen days, or hours, upon such terms of grace, as 
they held that life which they abused ! It amaze th me to 
observe the lamentable stupidity of the world, how hard they 
beg for time when they think it is near an end ! and how 
carelessly they let it slide away, when they have strength 
and faculties to improve it ! They are grievously afraid lest 
death deprive them of it ; and yet they are not afraid to de- 
prive themselves of the use and fruit of it, and to cast it 
away as contemptuously, as if it were an useless thing. 1 
seldom come near a dying man, but I hear him complain of 
the loss of time, and wish it were to spend again, that it 
might be better valued and used. And yet the living will 
not be warned ! O value time, as wise men, while you have 
it ; and not as miserable fools, when it is gone ! If our Lord 
said, ** I must do the work of him that sent me while it is 
day; for the night coraeth when no man can work;" (John 
ix 4.) what need then have such as we to be doing, and make 
much of time ! O let not company, mirth, or business make 
you forget the work of time ! Can you play, or loiter away 
your hours, with eternity in your eye ? Get the sun to stand 
still, and time to make a truce with you, and to waste no 
more of the oil of life, before you lose another hour. 

O what heads, what hearts have all those men that stand- 
ing at the verge of an endless world, can think they have any 
time to spare ! Hath God given you too much? If not, 
why do you lose it ? If he hath, why are you loath that he 
should shorten it? You would not throw away your gold, 
as contemptuously as you do your time, when an hour's time 
is more valuable than gold. Frown on that company that 
would rob you of half an hour's time. Tell them you have 
something else to do than to feast, or play, or talk away 


your time unnecessarily. O tell them you were not made 
for nothing ! You are in a race, and must not stand still : 
you are in a fight, and must not cease. Your work is great ; 
much of it is undone. Your enemies are not idle : death 
will not stop: the judge is coming, and still beholds you: 
and heaven and hell are ready to receive our ending life, and' 
tell us liow we spent our time : and can you find time to 
spare? You are not made as weather-cocks, to stand up on 
high for men to look at, and by turning about with every 
wind, to shew them which way it standeth. Turn not your 
lives into that curse, '* You shall spend your strength in 
vain ;" Levit. xxvi. 20. Believe it, time must be reviewed. 
The day is near, when every man of you had rather find it 
in your accounts, * So many hours spent in self-examination 
and holy meditation ; so many in reading the word of God ; 
so many spent in fervent prayer ; and so many in doing good 
to others,' than, * So many spent in needless sports and plea- 
sures ; so many in idlenesses and vain discourses ; and so 
many of the less necessary matters of the world.' Ask those 
that tempt you to misspend your time, whether at death and 
judgment they had rather themselves have a life of holy 
diligence to review, or a life consumed in vanity, and tran- 
sitory delights. 

You will not suffer impertinences to interrupt your 
counsels and serious business in the world. You will tell 
intruders, that you are busy, and cannot have while to at- 
tend them. And are you going into heaven or hell, and 
have but a few days time of preparation (God knows how 
few), and yet can you have while to pass this precious time 
in vain? O what would you not give ere long for one of 
the hours that you now misspend ! When the oath is per- 
formed, ** That time shall be no longer !" Rev. x. 6. Won- 
derful ! that men c'an find time for any thing, save that for 
which they had their time! * Non quam bene vivant, sed 
quamdiu, considerant (inquit Seneca,) cum omnibus possit 
contingere ut bene vivant ; ut diu, nulli.' To live well is 
both possible and necessary, and yet is disregarded. To 
live long, is neither possible nor necessary ; and yet is sought 
by almost all. * Incipiunt vivere cum desinendum est: im- 
mo quidam ante desierunt vivere, quam inciperent.' Sen. 
It is unseasonable we should begin to live, when we should 
make an end ; but it is most unhappy to have made an end 


before they do begin. ** Pulchrum est (inquit idem,) con- 
summare vitam ante mortem ; et expectare secure reliquam 
temporis partem/ Do the great work, and then you may 
comfortably spend the rest in waiting for the conclusion. 
Yet you have time, and leave, and helps : you may read and 
meditate, and pray if you will ; but shortly time will, be no 
more. O let not Satan insult over your carcases and tor- 
mented souls, and say, * Now it is too late ! Now mourn and 
repent as long as you will ! Now pray, and cry, and spare 
not!' O use that faith which beholdeth the invisible world, 
and maketh future things as present, and then delay and 
loiter if you can : then waste your hours in idleness or va- 
nity if you dare ! either light or fire shall awake you ! 

4. Suffer as believers. Fear not the wrath of man ; but 
endure as seeing him that is invisible ; Heb. xi. 27. Shew 
plainly, that you seek a better country ; ver. 14. 16. Read 
often, Heb. xi. xii. Behold the kingdom prepared and se- 
cured for you by Christ, and then you will be indifferent 
which way the wind of human favour or applause shall sit ; 
or what weather lunatic influences and aspects shall pro- 
duce. Such a faith will make you, with Abraham, to turn 
your back on all, and engage in pilgrimage for an inheritance 
after to be received ; though he knew not whither he went, 
(with a distinct, particular knowledge) ; Heb. xi. 8. As 
strangers and travellers, you will not be troubled to leave 
towns and fields, buildings and wealth, and walks behind 
you, as knowing that you were but to pass by them, desiring 
and seeking a better country, that is, a heavenly : and you 
shall lose nothing by this passing by all in the world ; for 
God will not be ashamed to be called your God ; and he 
hath prepared for you a city; Heb. xi. 13, 16. Seriously 
respect the recompence of reward, and it will make you 
** choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, 
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming 
the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of 
the world ;" ver. 25, 26. Stephen's sight would cause Ste- 
phen's patience. Hold on as Christians: the end is near: 
•* Let us run with patience the race that is set before us ; 
looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith ; who 
for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, des- 
pising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the 
throne of God. Consider him that endured such contradic- 


tion of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied, and faint 
in your mind ;" Heb. xii.2, 3. 

You may well endure the buffeting and scorn, if you 
foresee the honour. You may well endure the crown of 
thorns, if you foresee the crown of glory: you may endure 
to be forsaken of all, if you see him that will never fail you 
nor forsake you. This foretaste of the rivers of pleasure 
with the Lord, will drown the taste of vinegar and galU 
Whine not like worldlings that have lost their portion, when 
you are stript as bare as Job. If you are true believers, you 
have all still, for God is All: you have lost nothing; for 
faith hath made the world as nothing to you : and will you 
whine and vex yourselves for nothing? Can you call it no- 
thing so frequently and easily in your prayers, and ordinary 
speech, and do you now recal this, or tell us by your serious 
grief, that you speak but in hypocrisy and jest. * Frangitur 
nemo raolestia adversorum, qui non capitur delectatione 
prosperorum.' August. Had there been less idolatrous love, 
there would have been less tormenting grief and care. Our 
life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that we 
possess. He is not happy that hath them, but he that nei- 
ther needeth nor desireth them, * Cum in his quag homines 
eripiunt, optant, custodiunt, nihil inveneris, non dico quod 
malis, sed quod velis.' Sen. Superfluity doth but burden 
and break down : the corn that is too rank lodgeth ; and the 
branches break that are overladen with fruit. ' Omnia quae 
superfluunt nocent : segetem nimia sternit ubertas : rami 
onere fraguntur, ad maturitatem non pervenit fcecunditas : 
Idem quoque animis evenit, quos immoderata prosperitas 
rumpit ; quia non tantura in aliorum injuriam, sed etiam in 
suam utuntur.' Sen. It is pleasure, and not pain, that is the 
world's most deadly sting. It hath never so much hurt us, 
as when it hath flattered us into delights or hopes. * Et fera 
et piscis spe aliqua oblectante decipitur.' Sen. Hope is the 
bait ; prosperity and pleasure the net, that souls are ordina- 
rily ensnared by. Men lose not their souls for poverty, but 
for riches ; nor for dishonour, but for honour ; nor for sor- 
row, but for delight. 

" Luxuriant aninii rebus plerumque secundis." 

The luxuriances of prosperity, bring us so frequently un- 
der the pruning hook. The surfeits and summer fruits of 


fulness and carnal contentments and delights, do put us to 
the trouble of our sicknesses and our physic. " How hardly 
shall rich men enter into heaven!" saith he that well knew 
who should enter. Saith Augustine, * Difficile, immo im- 
possibile est, ut prsesentibus et futuris quis fruatur bonis : 
ut hie ventrem, et ibi mentem impleat : ut a deliciis ad de- 
licias transeat ; et in utroque seculo primus sit ; ut in terr^ 
et in ccelo appareat gloriosus?' The hope is, that with God 
such human impossibilities are possible. But it is more 
terrible than desirable, to be put upon so great a difficulty. 
Sweet dishes will have wasps and flies ; but most of them 
are drowned in their delights. Saith Boetius of Prosperity 
and Adversity ; * Ilia fallit, hfec instruit: ilia mendacium 
specie bonorum mentes fruentium ligat : hsec cogitatione 
fragilis faelicitatis absolvit. Itaque illam videas ventosam 
fluentem, suique semper ignaram : banc sobriam, succinc- 
tamque ac ipsius adversitatis exercitatione prudentem.' A 
full meal seems best in the eating ; but a light meal is better 
the next day. More thank God in heaven for adversity, than 
for prosperity : and more in hell cry out of the fruit of pros- 
perity, than of adversity. Many did never look towards 
heaven, till affliction cast them on their backs, so that they 
could look ho other way. ** It is good for me that I have 
been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes," saith David, 
Psal cxix. 71. '* Before I was afflicted, I went astray;" 
ver. 76. ** In very faithfulness thou hast afflicted me;" 
ver. 75. One sight of heaven by faith will force you to 
reckon ** that the sufferings of this present time are unwor- 
thy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed 
in us ;" Rom. viii. 18. To suffer for Christ and righteous- 
ness sake, is but to turn an unavoidable, fruitless pain, into 
that which being involuntary, is the more easy, and hath a 
great reward in heaven ; Matt. v. 11, 12. And to part with 
that for a crown of life, which else we must part with for no- 
thing. Worldly friends, and wealth, and honour, are sum- 
mer fruit that will quickly fall. Hungry fowl know where 
it is harvest, ' At simul intonuit fugiunt.' Those that must 
dwell with you in heaven, are your sure and stedfast friends, 
' Caitera fortunae, 8cc.' Those that are now highest, and 
least acquainted with the tongue of malice, the unfaithful- 
ness of friends, or rage of enemies, shall shortly say. 


" Atque hsc exemplis quondam cullecta priorura : 
Nunc mihi sunt propriis^ cognita vera malis." 

There is but the difference of an * est ' and an * erit/ be- 
tween their mirth and endless sorrows ; their honour, and 
their endless shame ; nor between our sorrow and our end- 
less joy. Their final honour is to be embalmed, and their 
lust to be covered with a sumptuous monument, and their 
names extolled by the mouths of men, that little know how 
poor a comfort all this is to the .miserable soul. In the 
height of their honour you may foresee the surgeon open- 
ing their bowels, and shewing the receptacles of the treasure 
of the epicure, and what remains of the price that he re- 
ceived for his betrayed soul. He cuts out the heart with a 
* Hee sedes livoris erant : jam pascua vermis ;' you next tread 
on his interred corpse, that is honoured but with a * Hie ja- 
cet,' Here lieth the body of such an one. And if he have 
honour to be magnified by fame or history, it is a fool- trap 
to ensnare the living, but easeth not the soul in hell. And 
shall we envy men such a happiness as this ? What if they 
be able to command men's lives, and to hurt those that they 
hate for a little while ? Is this a matter of honour or of de- 
light? A pestilence is more honourable, if destroying be 
an honour. The devil is more powerful (if God permit him) 
to do men hurt, than the greatest tyrant in the world. And 
yet I hope you envy not his happiness, nor are ambitious to 
partake of it. If witches were not akin to devils, they would 
never sell their souls for a power to do hurt. And how little 
do tyrannical worldlings consider, that under a mask of go- 
vernment and honour, they do the same ! 

Let the world then rejoice while w^e lament and weep. 
** Our sorrow shall be speedily turned into joy ; and our joy 
shall no man then take from us ;" John xvi. 20. 22. Envy 
not a dying man the happiness of a feather-bed, or a merry 
dream. You think it hard in them to deny you the liberties 
and comforts of this life, though you look for heaven ; and 
will yon be more cruel than the ungodly? Will you envy 
the trifling commodities and delights of earth, to those that 
are like to have no more, but to lie in hell when the sport is 
ended ? It is unreasonable impatience that cannot endure 
to see them in silks and gallantry a few days, that must be 
so extremely miserable for ever. Your crumbs, and leavings, 
and overplus is their all. And will you grudge them this ' 


much ? In this you are unlike your heavenly Father, that 
doth good to the just and unjust. Would you changeJtases 
with them ? Would you change the fruit of your adversity, 
for the fruit of their prosperity. 

Affliction maketh you somewhat more calm, and wise, 
and sober, and cautelous, and considerate, and preventeth as 
well as cureth sin. Prosperity makes them (through their 
abuse) inconsiderate, rash, insensible, foolish, proud, un- 
persuadable. " And the turning away of the simple slayeth 
them, and the prosperity of fools destroyeth them ;" Prov. 
i. 32. It is long since Lazarus' sores were healed, and his 
wants relieved ; and long since Dives' feast was ended. O 
let me rather be afflicted than rejected ; and be a door- 
keeper in the house of God, than dwell in the tents of wicked- 
ness ; and rather be under the rod, than turned out of doors. 
Look with a serious faith upon eternity, and then make a 
great matter of enjoyments or sufferings here if you can. 
Great joys and sorrows forbid men to complain of the biting 
of a flea. Thunder-cla]>s drown a whispering voice. 

O what unbelief our impatience and disquietness in suf- 
ferings do discover! Is this living by faith; and convers- 
ing in another world, and taking God for all, and the world 
for nothing ? What ! make such ado of poverty, imprison- 
ment, - injuries, disgrace, with heaven and hell before our 
eyes ! The Lord vouchsafe me that condition, in which I 
shall be nearest to himself, and have most communion with 
heaven ; be it what it will be for the things of earth. These 
are the desires to which I will stand. 

To thank God for the fruit of past afflictions, as the most 
necessary mercies of our lives (as some of us have daily cause) 
and at the same time to be impatient under presentafflictions, 
or inordinately afraid of those to come, is an irrational as 
well as unbelieving incongruity. 

Are we derided, slandered, abused by the ungodly ? If 
we repine that we have enemies and must fight, we repine 
that we are Christ's soldiers, and that is, that we are Chris- 
tians. * Quomodo potest imperator militura suorum virtu- 
tem probare nisi habuerit hostem,' saith Lactantius. Ene- 
mies of God do not use to fight professedly against himself, 
but against his soldiers; 'Non qui contra ipsum Deum 
pugnent, sed contra milites ejus,' inquit idem. If the rem- 
nants of goodness had not been a derision among the hea- 


thens themselves^ in the more sober sort, a heathen would 
not h ifve said', ' Nondum felix es, si non te turba deriserit: 
si beatus vis esse, cogita hoc prinium contemnere, et ab aliis 
contemni.' Sen. Thou art not yet happy, if the rabble de- 
ride thee not : if thou wilt be blessed, learn first to contemn 
this, and to be contemned of others. No body will deride 
or persecute us in heaven. 

5. Improve your talents and opportunities in your call- 
ings as believers ; especially you that are governors. God 
is the original and end of government. The highest are but 
his ministers ; Rom. xiii. 6. This world is but the way unto 
another. Things seen are for things unseen : and govern- 
ment is to order them to that end : especially by terrifying 
evil doers, and by promoting holiness in the earth. The 
moral as well as the natural motion of inferior agents, must 
proceed from the influence of the superior. The spring and 
the end of every action truly good, are out of sight. Where 
these are not discerned, or are ignorantly and maliciously 
opposed, the action is vitiated, and tendeth to confusion and 
ruin. God is the end of all holy actions; and carnal self is 
the end of sin. If God and self are infinitely distinct, you 
may easily see that the actions materially the same, that are 
intended to such distant ends, must needs be very distant. 
Nothing but saving faith and holiness can conquer selfish- 
ness in the lowest of the people. But where the flesh hath 
more plentiful provision, and self is accommodated with the 
fullest contents of honour and pleasure that the world af- 
fords, how diflacult a work then is self-denial ! And the 
reign of the flesh is contrary to the reign of Christ. Where 
the flesh and visible things bear sway,^ the enemy of Christ 
bears sway. ** The carnal mind is enmity against God ; for 
it is not subject to his law, nor can be ;" Rom. viii. 7. And 
how Christ's enemies will receive his laws, and use his mes- 
sengers, and regard his ways and servants, the most of the 
world have experience to their cost. The interest of the 
flesh being contrary to Christ's interest, the competition 
maintaineth a continual conflict. The word of God doth 
seem to be against them : the faithful ministers that would 
save them from their sins do seem to wrong them, and deal 
too boldly with them. Were it an Elijah, he would be called 
** The troubler of Israel;" and meet with an ** Hast thou 
found me, O mine enemy." No measure of prudence, know- 


ledge, piety, innocency, meekness or self-denial, will serve 
to appease the wrath and displeasure of this carnal enmity. 
If it would, the apostles had escaped it ; or at least it would 
not have fallen so furiously upon Christ himself. Nay, these 
are the oil that increase the flame. And Satan hath still the 
bellows in his hand : he knoweth that if he can corrupt or 
win the commander, he can rout the army, and ruin them 
with the greatest ease. It hath been Satan's grand design, 
since the Christian's name was known on earth, to advance 
the selfish interest of men against the interest of Christ ; and 
to entangle the rulers of the world in some cause, that Christ, 
and his word and servants cannot favour, and so to make 
them believe that there is a necessity on them to watch 
against and subdue the interest of Christ. As if it were ne- 
cessary that the shore be brought to the boat, and not the 
boat to the shore : and that the physician be brought to the 
patient's mind, or else destroyed or used as his enemy. I 
am afraid to speak out the terrible words of God in Scrip- 
ture that are against such persons, lest you should misun- 
derstand me, and think I misapply them. But Christ feareth 
no man, and hath not spoken his word in vain ; and his mes- 
sengers must be faithful, for he will bear them out ; and 
preventive cautions are easier and safer than reprehensive 
corrosives. T will but refer you to the texts, that you may 
peruse them ; Matt. xxi. 44. xviii. 3. 6. xxv. 45,46. Luke 
xviii. 7. Psal. ii. Luke xix. 27. Acts ix. 4, 5. 1 Thess. 
ii. 15, 16. Read them with fear as the words of God. 
Blessed are those rulers and nations of the earth, that per- 
ceive and escape this pernicious snare of the grand deceiver, 
that with all his subtlety and industry, endeavoureth to 
breed quarrels, and sow dissensions between them and the 
universal King. 

The more God giveth to the carnal and unwise, the more 
they think themselves engaged against him ; because by his 
commands he seems to take it from them again, by crossing 
the flesh, which would use it only to fulfil its lusts. Like a 
dog that fawneth on you till he have his bone ; and then 
snarleth at you, lest you take it from him ; and will fly in 
your face if you offer to meddle with it. Men readily con- 
fess that they have their wealth from God ; because it can- 
not be denied, and because they would use the name of God, 
as a cover to hide their covetousness, and unlawful ways of 


getting. But if you judge by their usage of it, and their 
returns to God; you would think that they believed, that 
they had nothing at all from God but some injuries ; and 
that all their benefits and good were from themselves. The 
Turkish and Tartarian emperor will say, that all his gran- 
deur and power is from God ; that by making it most di- 
vine, he may procure the more reverence and obedience to 
himself: but when he hath said so for his own interest, he 
iiseth the same power against God and his interest, to the 
banishing of his word and holy worship, and the forbidding 
the preaching of the Gospel of salvation ; and to the che- 
rishing of tyranny, pride and lust. As if God had armed 
them against himself, and made his officers to be his ene- 
mies ; and gave them power that they might powerfully hin- 
der men's salvation, and made them great, to be great op- 

As a believing pastor is a priest that standeth between 
God and the people, to mediate under the great Mediator ; 
to receive from God his word and ordinances, and deliver 
them to the flock ; and to offer up supplications in their 
names to God : So believing governors of civil societies or 
families, receive from God a power to rule the subjects for 
their good, and they use it to make the subjects good, that 
God may be pleased and honoured by all : and the obedi- 
ence which they require, is such as may be given to God in. 
them. They take power from God to use it for God, and 
are so much more excellent than the greatest of ambitious, 
carnal princes, as the pleasing and honouring of God is a 
more excellent design and work, than the gratifying of flesh- 
ly lust, and the advancement of a lump of clay. The king- 
doms of the world would all be used as the kingdoms of the 
Lord, if the everlasting kingdom were well believed. The 
families of men would be sanctified as churches unto God, 
if the eternal house not made with hands, were truly taken 
for their home, and their trade were to lay up a treasure in 
heaven. In cities and countries, brethren would dwell in 
holy peace, and all concur in honouring God, if once they 
were made fellow citizens with the saints, and their burge- 
ship and conversation were in heaven ; Ephes. ii. 19. 

6. Resist temptations as believers. If you live by faith, 
then fight against the world and flesh by faith. Faith must 


be your helmet, and the word of faith must be your shield ; 
(Ephes. vi. 16.) and your victory itself must be by faith ; 
1 John V. 4. If satan tell the flesh of the preferment, riches 
or the pleasures of lust, answer him with a believing fore- 
sight of God's judgment, and the life to come. Never look 
on the baits of sin alone, but still look at once on God and 
on eternity* As a just judge will hear both parties speak, 
or see their evidences before he will determine : so tell the 
tempter, that as you have heard what fleshly allurements 
can say, you will see also what the word of God saith, and 
take a view of heaven and hell, and then you will answer 

7. Rejoice as believers. Can faith set open the windows 
of the soul, and no light of heavenly pleasures enter? Can 
it peruse the map of the land of promise, or see and taste 
the bunch of grapes, without any sweetness to the soul? 
This is the truest belief of heaven, which maketh men most 
like those that are in heaven ! And what is their character, 
work and portion, but the joys of heavenly light and love ? 
Can we believe that we shall live in heaven for ever? Can 
we believe that very shortly we shall be there, and not re- 
joice in such believing ? I know we commonly say, that the 
uncertainty of our proper title is the cause of all our want of 
joy : but if that were all, if that were the first and greatest 
cause, and our belief of the promise itself were lively, we 
should at least set our hearts on heaven as the most delight- 
ful and desirable state : and love would work by more eager 
desires and diligent seekings, till it had reached assurance, 
and cast out the hindrances of our joy. How much would 
a mere philosopher rejoice, if he could find out natural evi- 
dence of so much as we know by faith ! You may perceive 
what their content in finding it would be, by their exceeding- 
pains in seeking. The unwearied studies by day and night, 
which many of them used, with the contempt of the riches 
and greatness of the world, do tell us how glad they would 
have been to have seen but half so far as we may. If they 
could but discover more clearly and certainly, the princi- 
ples, and elements, and forms of beings ; the nature of spi^ 
rits ; the causes of motion; the nature and cause of light 
and heat ; the order, course and harmony of the universal 
system of the world ; what joyful acclamations would this 

VOL. XII. o 


produce in the literate, studious «ort of men? What joy 
then should it be to us, to know by faith the God that made 
us ; the creation of the world ; the laws and promises of our 
Creator ; the mysteries of redemption and regeneration ; 
the frame of the new creature ; the entertainment of the spi- 
rits of the just with Christ; the judgment which all the world 
must undergo ; the work and company which we shall have 
hereafter ; and the endless joys which all the sanctified shall 
possess in the sight and love of God for ever ! How blessed 
an invention would it be, if all the world could be brought 
again to the use of one universal language ! Or if all the 
churches could be perfectly reconciled, how joyful would 
the author of so great a work be I Should we not then re- 
joice, who foresee by faith a far more perfect union and con- 
sent than ever must be expected here on earth ? 

Alas ! the ordinary lowness of our comforts doth tell us 
that our faith is very small ! I say not so much * the sor- 
rows of a doubting heart/ as the little joy which we have in 
the forethoughts of heaven, when our title seemeth not much 
doubtful to us : for those sorrows shew that such esteem it 
a joyful place, and would rejoice if their title were but 
cleared. But when we have neither the sorrow nor solici- 
tousness of the afflicted soul, nor yet the joy which is any 
whit suitable to the belief of such everlasting joys, we may 
know what to judge of such an ineffectual belief; at best, 
it is very low and feeble. It is a "joy unspeakdble, and full 
of glory," which unseen things should cause in a believer ; 
(1 Pet. i. 6 — 8.) because it is "an exceeding eternal weight 
of glory" which he believeth ; 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18. 

8. Finally, learn to die also as believers. The life of faith 
must bring you to the very entrance into glory : where one 
doth end the other begins. As our dark life in the womb by 
nutriment from the mother, continueth till our passage into 
the open world. You would die in the womb, if faith should 
cease before it bring you to full intuition and fruition. " By 
faith Joseph when he died made mention of the departing 
of the children of Israel;'' Heb. xi. 22. Joseph's faith did 
not die before him. " These all died in faith, confessing 
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and de- 
claring that they sought a better country ;" Heb. xi. 3. 
They that live by faith, must die in faith ; yea, and die by 
faith too. Faith must fetch in their dying comforts. And 


O how full, and how near a treasure hath it to go to ! To 
die to this world, is to be born into another. Beggars are 
best when they are abroad. The travail of the ungodly is 
better to them than their home : but the believer's home is 
so much better than his travail, that he hath little cause to 
be afraid of coming to his journey's end ; but should rather 
every step cry out, * O when shall I be at home with Christ!' 
Is it earth or heaven that you have prayed for, and laboured 
for, and waited, and suffered for till now ? And doth he in- 
deed pray, and labour, and suffer for heaven, who would not 
come thither ? 

It is faith which overcometh the world and the flesh, 
which must also overcome the fears of death, and can look 
with boldness into the loathsome grave, and can triumph 
over both as victorious through Christ. It is faith which 
can say, * Go forth, O my soul ; depart in peace : thy course 
is finished : thy warfare is accomplished : the day of triumph 
is now at hand : thy patience hath no longer work : go forth 
with joy : the morning of thy endless joys is near ; and the 
night of fears and darkness at an end. Thy terrible dreams 
are ending in eternal pleasures ; the glorious light will ba- 
nish all thy dreadful spectres, and resolve all those doubts 
which are bred and cherished in the dark. They whose em- 
ployment is their weariness and toil, do take the night of 
darkness and cessation for their rest ; but this is their wea- 
riness : defect of action is thy toil ; and thy most grievous 
labour is to do too little work ; and thy incessant vision, 
love and praise, will be thy incessant ease and pleasure ; and 
thy endless work will be thy endless rest! Depart, O my 
soul, with peace and gladness ! Thou leavest not a world, 
where wisdom and piety, justice and sobriety, love, and 
peace, and order do prevail ; but a world of ignorance and 
folly, of brutish sensuality and rage, of impiety and malig- 
nant enmity to good ; a world of injustice and oppression, 
and of confusion and distracting strifes ! Thou goestnot to 
a world of darkness and of wrath, but of light and love ; 
from hellish malice, to perfect amity ; from Bedlam rage, 
to perfect wisdom ; from mad confusion, to perfect order ; 
to sweetest unity and peace ; even to the spirits of the just 
made perfect, and to the celestial, glorious city of God ! 
Thou goest not from heaven to earth, from holiness to sin, 
from the sight of God, into an infernal dungeon ;"but from 


earth to heaven, from sin and imperfection into perfect ho- 
liness ; and from palpable darkness, into the vital splendour 
of the face of God ! Thou goest not among enemies, but to 
dearest friends ; not amongst mere strangers, but to many 
whom thou hast known by sight, and to more whom thou 
hast known by faith, and must know by the sweetest com- 
munion for ever. Thou goest not to unsatisfied justice, nor 
to a condemning, unreconciled God ; but to love itself, to 
infinite goodness, the fountain of all created and communi- * 
cated good ; to the Maker, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of 
souls ; to him who prepared heaven for thee, and now hath 
prepared thee for heaven. Go forth then in triumph, and 
not with terror, O my soul ! The prize is won : possess the 
things which thou hast so long prayed for, and sought ! 
Make haste and enter into thy master's joy! Go view the 
glory which thou hast so long heard of; and take thy place 
in the heavenly choir ; and bear thy part in their celestial 
melody ! Sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the 
kingdom of God ; and receive that which Christ in his co- 
venant did promise to give thee at the last. Go boldly to 
that blessed God, with whom thou hast so powerful a Me- 
diator, and to the throne of whose grace, thou hast had so 
oft and sweet access. If heaven be thy fear or sorrow, what 
can be thy joy? And where wilt thou have refuge, if thou 
fly from God'.' If perfect, endless pleasures be thy terror, 
where then dost thou expect content ? If grace have taught 
thee long ago to prefer the heavenly and durable felicity, 
refuse it not now when thou art so near the port. If it have 
taught thee long ago to be as a stranger in this Sodom, and 
to renounce this sinful world and flesh, linger not now as 
unwilling to depart ; repent not of thy choice when all that 
the world can do for thee is past, repent not of thy warfare, 
when thou hast got the victory ; nor of thy voyage, when 
thou art past the storms and waves, and ready to land at 
the haven of felicity. 

Thus faith may sing our ' nunc dimittis,' when the flesh 
is loathest to be dissolved. 

But we must live by faith if we would thus die by faith. 
Such a death doth not use to be the period of a fleshly, 
worldly life ; nor of a careless, dull and negligent life. Na- 
ture, which brought us into the world, without our forecast 
or care, will turn us out of the world without it. But it will 


not give us a joyful passage, nor bring us to a better world 
without it. It costeth worldlings no small care to die in an 
honourable and plentiful estate, (if that they may fall from 
a higher place than others, and may have something to make 
death more grievous and unwelcome to them, and may have 
a greater account to make at judgment; and that their pas- 
sage to heaven may be as a camel's through a needle). And 
may a believing, joyful death be expected, without the pre- 
parations of exercise and experience in a believing life? 
Nature is so much afraid of dying, and an incorporated soul 
is so incarcerated in sense, and so hardly riseth to serious and 
satisfying apprehensions of the unseen world, that even true 
believers do find it a work of no small difficulty, to desire to 
depart, and be with Christ, and to die in the joyful hopes of 
faith. A little abatement of the terrors of death, a little 
supporting hope and peace, is all that the greater part of 
them attain, instead of the fervent desires, and triumphant 
joys, which the lively belief of endless glory should produce. 
O therefore make it the work of your lives! of all your 
lives! your greatest work, your constant work, to live 
by faith ; that the faith which hath first conquered all 
the rest of your enemies, may be able also to overcome 
the last ; and may do your last work well, when it hath 
done the rest. 



Directions how to Live by Faith. A7id,Jirsl, hoio to Strengthen 
Faith, Andy secondly, the Natural Truths presupposed to be 

The Directions which I shall give, as helps to live by faith, 
are of two ranks. 1. Such as tend to the strengthening of 
your faith. 2. Such as tell you how to use it. 

Direct. 1. The first is the greatest part of our task: for 
no man can use that faith which he hath not ; nor can use 
more of it than he hath. And the most common reason why 
we use but little, is because we have but little to use. 


But on this subject (supposing it most weighty) I have 
written many treatises already ; (the Second Part of " The 
Saints' Rest ;" '* The Unreasonableness of Infidelity ;" and 
last of all, " The Reasons of the Christian Religion ;" be- 
sides others which handle it on the bye). And somewhat 
is said in the beginning of this discourse But yet because 
in so great a matter I am more afraid of doing too little than 
too much, I will here give you an index of some of the chief 
helps, to be close together before you for your memories, to 
be the constant fuel of your faith. 

In the work of faith it is first needful that you get all the 
perquisite helps of natural light, and be well acquainted with 
their order and evidence, and their usefulness to befriend 
the supernatural revelations ; for it is supposed that we are 
men before we are Christians ; we were created before we 
were redeemed ; and we must know that there is a God, be- 
fore we can know that we have offended him, or that we 
need a Saviour to reconcile us to him. And we must know 
that we have reasonable souls, before we can know that sin 
hath corrupted them, or that grace must sanctify them. 
And we must know, that whatsoever God saith is true, be- 
fore we can believe that the Scripture is true, as being his 
revelation. Faith is an act of reason, and believing is a 
kind of knowing, even a knowing by the testimony of him 
whom we believe, because we have sufficient reason to be- 
lieve him. 

2. And next we must be well acquainted with the evi- 
dence of supernatural truth, which presupposeth the afore- 
said natural verities. I shall set both before you briefly in 
their order. 

1. Think w^ell of the nature of your souls, of their facul- 
ties or powers, their excellency and their proper use : and 
then you will find that you are not mere brutes, who know 
not their Creator, and live not by a law, and think not of 
anothel* world, nor fear any sufferings after death ; but that 
you have reason, freewill, and executive power to know 
your Maker, and to live by rule, and to hope for a reward 
in another life, and to fear a punishment hereafter. And 
that, as no wise artificer maketh any thing in vain, so God 
is much less to be thought to have given you such souls and 
faculties in vain. 

2. Consider next how all the world declareth to you. 


that there is a God, who is infinitely powerful, wise and good. 
And that it is not possible that all things which we see should 
have no cause ; or that the derived power, and wisdom, and 
goodness of the creature, should not proceed from that which 
is more excellent in the first and total cause ; or that God 
should give more than he had to give. 

3. Consider next in what relation such a creature must 
needs stand to such a Creator. If he made us of nothing, 
it is not possible but that he must be our Owner, and we 
and all things absolutely his own. And if he be our Maker 
and Owner, and be infinitely powerful, wise and good ; and 
we be reasonable, free agents, made to be guided by laws 
or moral means unto our end, it is not possible but that we 
should stand related to him, as subjects to their rightful 
governor. And if he be our Creator, Owner and Ruler, and 
also infinitely good, and the grand benefactor of the world ; 
and if the nature of our souls be, to love God as good; it 
cannot be possible that he should not be our End, who is 
our Creator ; and that we should not be related to him as 
to the Chiefest Good, both originally as our Benefactor, and 
finally as our End. 

4. And then it is easy for you next to see, what duty 
you owe to that God to whom you are thus related. That 
if you are absolutely his own, you should willingly be at his 
absolute dispose. And if he be your Sovereign Ruler, you 
should labour most diligently to know his laws, and abso- 
lutely to obey them. And if he be infinitely good, and your 
Benefactor and your End, you are absolutely bound to love 
him most devotedly, and to place your own felicity in his 
love. All this is so evidently the duty of man to God by 
nature, that nothing but madness can deny it. And this 
is it which we call sanctification, or holiness to the Lord. 
And our cohabitation and relation to men will tell us, that 
justice and charity are our duty as to them. And when a 
man is fully satisfied that holiness, j ustice and charity are 
our duty, he hath a great advantage for his progress towards 
the Christian faith. 

To which let me add, that as to ourselves also, it is un 
deniably our duty to take more care for our souls, than for 
our bodies, and to rule our senses and passions by our 
reason, and to subject our lower faculties to the higher, and 
so to use all sensible and present things, as conduceth to 


the public good, and to the advancement of our nobler 
part, and to our greater benefit, though it cross our sensual 

All this being unquestionably our natural duty, we see 
that man was made to live in holiness, justice, charity, tem- 
perance, and rational regularity in the world. 

5. When you have gone thus far, consider next how far 
men are generally from the performance of this duty ; and 
how backward human nature is to it, even while they can- 
not deny it to be their duty : and you will soon perceive 
that God who made it their duty, did never put in them this 
enmity thereto ; nor ever made them without some aptitude 
to perform it. And if any would infer that their indisposed- 
ness proveth it to be none of their duty, the nature of man 
will fully confute him ; and the conscience and confession 
of all the sober part of the world. What wretch so blind 
(if he believe a Deity) who will not confess that he should 
love God with all his heart, and that justice, charity and so- 
briety are his duty; and that his sense should be ruled by 
his reason, &c. ? The evidence before given is not to be 
denied : and therefore something is marred in nature. Some 
enemy hath seduced man : and some deplorable change hath 
befallen him. 

6. Yea, if you had no great backwardness to this duty 
.yourself, consider what it must cost you faithfully to perform 
it, in such a malignant world as we now live in ! What envy 
,and wrath, what malice and persecution, what opposition 
and discouragements on every side we must expect! Uni- 
versal experience is too full a proof of this: (besides what 
it costeth our restrained flesh). 

7. Proceed then to think further, that certainly God 
hath never appointed us so much duty, without convenient 
motives to perform it. It cannot be that he should make 
us more noble than the brutes, to be more miserable : or 
that he should'make holiness our duty, that it might be our 
loss, or our calamity. If there were no other life but this, 
and men had no hopes of future happiness, nor any fears of 
punishment, what a hell would this world be! Heart-wicked- 
ness would be but little feared ; nor heart-duty regarded : 
secret sin against princes, states, and all degrees, would be 
boldly committed, and go unpunished (for the most part). 
The sins of princes, and of all that have power to defeat the 


law, would have little or no restraint. Every man s inieiest 
would oblige him, rather to offend God, who so seldom pu- 
nisheth here, than to offend a prince, or any man in power, 
who seldom lets offences against himself go unrevenged : 
and so man, more than God, v^^ould be the ruler of the world, 
that is, our God. 

Nay, actually the hopes and fears of another life, among 
most heathens, infidels and heretics, is the principle of Di- 
vine government, by which God keepeth up most of the or- 
der and virtue which is in the world. 

Yea, think what you should be and do yourself, as to 
enemies, and as to secret faults, and as to sensual vices, if 
you thought there was no life but this. And is it possible 
that the infinitely powerful, wise and good Creator can be 
put to govern all mankind by mere deceit, and a course of 
lies ? As if he wanted better means. 

By how much the better any man is, by so much the 
more regardful is he of the life to come, and the hopes and 
fears of another life are so much the more prevalent with 
him. And is it possible that God should make men good, 
to make them the most deceived and most miserable? Hath 
he commanded all these cares to be our needless torments, 
which brutes, and fools, and sottish sinners do all escape ? 
Is the greatest obedience to God become a sign of the 
greatest folly, or the way to the greatest loss or disap- 
pointment ? 

We are all sure that this life is short and vain. No in- 
fidel can say that he is sure that there is no other life for us. 
And if this be so, reason commandeth us to prefer the pos- 
sibilities of such a life to come, before the certain vanities 
of this life. So that even the infidel's uncertainty will un- 
avoidably infer, that the preferring of the world to come is 
our duty: and if it be our duty, then the thing in itself is 
true : for God will not make it all men's duties in the 
frame of their nature, to seek an Utopia, and pursue a sha- 
dow; and to spend their days and chiefest cares for that 
which is not ; godliness is not such a dreaming night- 

Conscience will not suffer dying men to believe that 
they have more cause to repent of their godliness, than of 
their sin ; and of their seeking heaven, than of wallowing 
in their lusts. 


Nay then, these heavenly desires would be themselves 
our sins, as being the following of a lie, the aspiring after a 
state which is above us, and the abuse and loss of our fa- 
culties and time. And sensuality would be more like to be 
our virtue, as being natural to us, and a seeking of our most 
real felicity. 

The common conscience of mankind doth justify the 
wisdom and virtue of a temperate, holy, heavenly person ; 
and acknowledgeth that our heavenly desires are of God : and 
doth God give men both natural faculties, which shall never 
come to the perfection which is their end ? And also gra- 
cious desires, which shall but deceive us, and never be sa- 
tisfied? If God had made us for the enjoyments of brutes, 
he would have given us but the knowledge and desires 
of brutes. 

Every king and mortal judge can punish faults against 
man with death : and hath God no greater or further punish- 
ment for sins as committed against himself? And are his 
rewards no greater than a man's ? 

These, and many more such evidences may assure you 
that there is another life of rewards and punishments ; and 
that this life is not our final state, but only a time of pre- 
paration thereunto. Settle this deeply and fixedly in your 

8. And look up to the heavenly regions, and think, ' Is 
this world so replenished with inhabitants, both sea and 
land, and air itself? And can I dream that the vast and 
glorious orbs and regions are all uninhabited ? Or that they 
have not more numerous and glorious possessors than this 
small, opacous spot of earth ? 

And then think, that those higher creatures are intellec- 
tual spirits ; (this is many ways apparent ;) and also of the 
communion which they have with man. And when we find 
also an intellectual nature in ourselves, why should we not 
believe that our likeness of nature doth infer our likeness in 
our future duration and abode. 

9. And mark well but the inward and outward tempta- 
tions, which solicit all the world to sin ; and what notable 
evidences there be in many of them, of an invisible power ; 
and you will easily believe that man hath a soul to save or 
lose, which is of longer duration than the body. 

10. Lastly, if yet there be any doubt, consider but of the 


sensible evidences of apparitions, witchcraft and posses- 
sions, and it cannot choose but much confirm you. Though 
much be feigned in histories of such things, yet the world 
hath abundant evidence of that which was certainly un- 
feigned. See the devil of Mascon ; Mr. Mompesson's story 
lately acted and published ; Remigius, Bodinus, Danseus, 
&c. of witches, Lavater de Spectris ; and what I have written 


The true method of Inquiry into the Supernatural Evidences of 
Faith, and Rules therein to be observed. 

When you have thus seen what evidence there is of God, 
and his government, and of a life of reward and punishment 
hereafter, and of the natural obligations which lie on man 
to a holy, just and sober life j and of the depraved state of 
the world, which goeth so contrary to such undoubted duty ; 
and how certain all this is, even by natural revelation; pro- 
ceed next to consider what supernatural revelation God 
hath added, both to confirm you in the same truths, and to 
make known such other as were necessary for mankind to 
know. Where I must first direct you in the true method of 
inquiry, and then set before you the things themselves, 
which you are to know. 

1. Think not that every unprepared mind is immediately 
capable of the truth (either this, or any other, except the 
first principles which are * nota per se,' or are next to sense). 
All truth requireth a capacity, and due preparation of the 
recipient. The plainest principles of any art or science, are 
not understood by novices at the first sight or hearing : and 
therefore it were vain to imagine that things of the greatest 
distance in history, or profundity in doctrine, can be com- 
prehended at the first attempt, by a disused and unfurnished 
understanding. There must be at least, as much time and 
study, and help supposed and used, to the full discerning of 
the evidences of faith, as are allowed to the attainment of 
common sciences. Though grace, in less time, may give 
men so much light as is necessary to salvation ; yet he that 
will be able to defend the truth, and answer objections, and 


attain establishing satisfaction in his own mind, must (or- 
dinarily) have proportionable helps, and time, and studies ; 
unless he look to be taught by miracles. 

2. Remember that it is a practical and heavenly doctrine 
which you are to learn : it is the art of loving God, and be- 
ing happy in his love : and therefore a worldly, sensual, vi- 
cious soul, must needs be under very great disadvantage for 
the receiving of such a kind of truths. Do not therefore im- 
pute that to the doubtfulness of the doctrine, which is but 
the effect of the enmity and incapacity of your minds. How 
can he presently relish the spiritual and heavenly doctrine 
of the Gospel, who is drowned in the love and care of con- 
trary things? Such men receive not the things of the Spi- 
rit : they seem to them both foolishness and undesirable. 

3. Think not that the history of things done so long ago, 
and so far off, should have no more obscurities, nor be liable 
to any more objections, than of that which was done in the 
time and country where you live. Nor yet that things done 
in the presence of others, and words spoken in their hearing 
only, should be known to you otherwise than by historical 
evidence, (unless every revelation to others, must have a new 
revelation to bring it to each individual person in the 
world). And think not that he who is a stranger to all 
other helps of church-history, should be as well able to un- 
derstand the Scripture history, as those that have those other 

4. Think not that the narrative of things done in a 
country and age so remote, and to us unknown, should not 
have many difficulties, arising from our ignorance of the 
persons, places, manners, customs, and many circumstan- 
ces, which if we had known would easily have resolved all 
such doubts. 

5. Think not that a book which was written so long ago, 
in so remote a country, in a language which few do fully un- 
derstand, and which may since then have several changes, 
as to phrases, and proverbial and occasional speeches, should 
have no more difficulties in it, than a book that were written 
at home, in the present age in our country language, and the 
most usual dialect. To say nothing of our own language, 
what changes are made in all other tongues, since the times 
that the Gospel was recorded ! Many proverbial speeches 
and phrases may be now disused and unknown, which were 


tjien most easy to be understood. And the transcribing and 
preserving of the copies, require us to allow for some defects 
of human skill and industry therein. 

6. Understand the different sorts of evidence which are 
requisite to the different matters in the holy Scriptures. 
The matters of fact require historical evidence (which yet 
is made infallible by additional miracles). The miracles 
which were wrought to confirm our history, are brought to 
our knowledge only by other history. The doctrines which 
are evident in nature, have further evidence of supernatural 
revelation, only to help us whose natural sight is much ob- 
scured. But it is the supernatural doctrines, precepts and 
promises, which of themselves require supernatural revela- 
tion, to make them credible to man. 

7. Mistake not the true use and end of the holy Scrip- 

1. Think not that the Gospel as written was the first con- 
stitutive or governing law of Christ, for the Christian 
churches. The churches were constituted, and the orders, 
and offices, and government of it settled and exercised very 
many years together, before any part of the New Testament 
was written to them ; much more before the writing of th& 
whole. The apostles had long before taught them what was 
commanded them by Christ ; and had settled them in the 
order appointed by the Holy Ghost : and therefore you are 
not to look for the first determination of such doctrines or 
orders in the Scripture as made thereby ; but only for the 
records of what was done and established before : for the 
apostles being to leave the world, did know the slipperiness 
of the memory of man, and the danger of changing and cor- 
rupting the Christian doctrine and orders, if there were not 
left a sure record of it : and tlierefore they did that for the 
sake of posterity* 

2. You must not think -hat all is essential to the Chris- 
tian religion, which is contained in the holy Scriptures : nor 
that they are only the adequate form or record of that which 
is strictly and primarily called our religion, or Christianity, 
For there are divers particular books of the New Testam-ent, 
which contain much more than is essential to Christianity. 
And many appurtenances, and histories, and genealogies, 
and circumstances are there recorded, which are indeed sub- 


servient helps to our religion ; but are not strictly our reli- 
gion itself. 

8. As the use of the Scripture must thus be judged of, 
according to the purpose of the Holy Spirit ; so the per- 
fection of the Scripture must be judged of, in relation to its 
intended use. It was not written to be a system of physics, 
nor oratory ; nor to decide grammatical controversies about 
words ; but to record in apt expressions the things which 
God would have men to know, in order to their faith, their 
duty, and their happiness. And in this respect it is a per- 
fect word. But you must not imagine that it is so far the 
word of God himself, as if God had shewed in it his fullest 
skill, and made it as perfect in every respect, both phrase 
and order, as God could do. And if you meet in it with 
several words, which you think are less grammatical, logi- 
cal, or rhetorical, than many other men could speak, and 
which really savour of some human imperfection, remember 
that this is not at all derogatory to Christianity ; but rather 
tendeth to the strengthening of our faith ; for the Scrip- 
tures are perfect to their intended use ; and God did pur^ 
posely chuse men of imperfect oratory, to be his apostles, 
that his kingdom might not be in word, but in power ; and 
that our faith might not be built upon the wisdom and ora- 
tory of man, but on the supernatural operations of the Al- 
mighty God : as David's sling and stone must kill Goliah : 
so unlearned men, that cannot outwit the world to deceive 
them, shall by the Spirit and miracles convince them. 
Looking for that in the Scripture, which God never intend- 
ed it for, doth tempt the unskilful into unbelief. 

9. Therefore you must be sure to distinguish the Chris- 
tian religion, which is the vital part or kernel of the Scrip- 
tures, from all the rest ; and to get well planted in your 
mind, the sum of that religion itself. And that is briefly 
contained in the two sacramen^*, and more largely in the 
creed, the Lord's prayer, and the decalogue, the summaries 
of our belief, desire and practice. And then wonder no 
more that the other parts of Scripture, have some things of 
leas moment, than that a man hath fingers, Tiails and hair, 
as well as a stomach, heart and head, 

10. Distinguish therefore between the method of the 
Christian religion, and the method of the particular books 


of Scriptures. The books were written on several occa- 
sions, and in several methods ; and though that method of 
them all, be perfect, in order to their proper end ; yet it is 
not necessary that there be in the method no human im- 
perfection, or that one or all of them, be written in that 
method which is usually most logical, and best. But the 
frame of religion contained in these books, is composed in 
the most perfect method in the world. And those systems 
of theology which endeavour to open this method to you, 
do not feign it, or make it of themselves ; but only attempt 
the explication of what they find in the Holy Scriptures, 
synthetically or analytically : (though indeed all attempts 
have yet fallen short of any full explication of this divine 
and perfect harmony. ) 

11. Therefore the true order of settling your faith, is not 
first to require a proof that all the Scriptures is the word of 
God ; but first to prove the marrow of them, which is pro- 
perly called the Christian religion, and then to proceed to 
strengthen your particular belief of the rest. The contrary 
opinion, which hath obtained with many in this age, hath 
greatly hindered the faith of the unskilful ; and it came 
from a preposterous care of the honour of the Scriptures, 
through an excessive opposition to the Papists who under- 
value them. For hence it comes to pass, that every seem- 
ing contradiction, or inconsistency in any book of Scrip- 
ture, in chronology or any other respect, is thought to be a 
sufficient cause, to make the whole cause of Christianity as 
difficult as that particular text is : and so all those readers, 
who meet with great or insuperable difficulties, in their 
daily reading of the Scriptures, are thereby exposed to equal 
temptations, to damning infidelity in itself: so that if the 
tempter draw any man to doubt of the standing still of the 
sun in the time of Joshua ; of the life of Jonas in the belly 
of the whale ; or any other such passage in any one book 
of the Scriptures, he must equally doubt of all his religion. 
But this was not the ancient method of faith : it was 
many years after Christ's resurrection, before any one book 
of the New Testament was written ; and almost an age be- 
fore it was finished : and all that time the Christian churches 
had the same faith and religion as we have now ; and the 
same foundation of it : that is, the Gospel preached to them 
by the apostles : but what they delivered to them by word 


of mouth, is now delivered to us in their writings, with all 
the appurtenances and circumstances, which every Chris- 
tian did not then hear of. And there were many articles of 
the Christian faith, which the Old Testament did not at all 
make known: (as that this Jesus is the Christ, that he was 
born of the Virgin Mary, and is actually crucified, risen, 
and ascended^ &c.) And the method of the apostles was, 
to teach the people ^the sum of Christianity (as Paul doth, 
1 Cor. XV. 3, 4, &c. and Peter, Acts ii.) and to bring them 
to the belief of that, and then baptise them, before they 
wrote any thing to them, or taught them the rest which is 
now the Holy Scriptures ; they were first to disciple the nations 
and baptise them, and then to teach them to observe all 
things whatever Christ commanded : and the main bulk of 
the Scriptures is made up of this last, and of the main sub- 
servient histories and helps. 

And accordingly it was the custom of all the primitive 
churches, and ancient doctors^ to teach the people first the 
creed and sum of Christianity, and to make them Christians 
before they taught them so much as to know what books 
the canonical Scriptures did contain ; for they had the sum 
of Christianity itself delivered down collaterally by the two 
hands of tradition. 1. By the continuation of baptism, and 
public church-professions, was delivered the creed or cove- 
nant by itself. And 2. By the Holy Scriptures, where it 
was delivered with all the rest ; and from whence every 
novice was not put to gather it of himself, but had it col- 
lected to his hand by the churches. 

And you may see in the writings of all the ancient de- 
fenders of Christianity (Justin, Athenagoras, Tatianus, 
Clemens Alex^ndrinus, Arnobius, Theophil. Antioch, Lac- 
tantius, Tertullian, Eusebius, Augustine, &c.) that they 
used the method which I now direct you to. 

And if you consider it well, you will find that the mira- 
cles of Christ himself, and all those of his apostles after 
him, were wrought for the confirmation of Christianity it- 
self immediately, and mostly before the particular epistles 
or books were written ; and therefore were only remotely 
and coHsequentially for the confirmation of those books as 
such : as they proved that the writers of them were guided 
by the infallible Spirit, in all the proper work of their office ; 
of which the writing of the Scriptures was a part. 

LIFE OF FAITli. .97 

1. Therefore settle your belief of Christianity itself; 
that is, of so much as baptism containeth, or importeth : 
this is more easily proved, than the truth of every word in 
the Scriptures ; because there are controversies about the 
canon, and the various readings, and such like : and this is 
the natural method, which Christ and his Spirit have di- 
rected us to, and the apostles and the ancient churches 
used. And when this is first soundly proved to you, then 
you cannot justly take any textual difficulties, to be suffi- 
cient cause of raising difficulties to your faith in the essen- 
tials ; but you may quietly go on in the strength of faith, 
to clear up all those difficulties by degrees. 

I know you will meet with some who think very highly 
of their own mistakes, and whose unskilfulness in these 
things is joined with an equal measure of self-conceited- 
ness, who will tell you that this method smells of an under- 
valuing of the Scripture ; but I would advise you not to 
depart from the way of Christ, and his apostles and churches, 
nor to cast yourselves upon causeless hindrances, in so high 
a matter as saving faith is, upon the reverence of the words 
of any perverted factious wrangler, nor to escape the fangs 
of censorious ignorance. We can better justify the Holy 
Scriptures in the true method, than they can in their false 
one: and can better build up, when we have laid the right 
foundation, than they can who begin in the middle, and omit 
the foundation, and call the superstructure by that name. 

2. Suspect not all church-history or tradition, in an ex- 
treme opposition of the Papists, who cry up a private un- 
proved tradition of their own. They tell us of apostolical 
traditions, which their own faction only are the keepers of; 
and of which no true historical evidence is produced ; and 
this they call the tradition of the church : but we have ano- 
ther sort of tradition, which must not be neglected or re- 
jected, unless we will deny humanity and reject Christianity. 
Our * traditio tradens,' or active tradition, is primarily no- 
thing but the certain history or usage of the universal Chris- 
tian church ; as baptism, the Lord's day, the ministry, the 
church assemblies, and the daily church exercises ; which 
are certain proofs what religion was then received by them. 
And 2. The Scriptures themselves. Our ' traditio tradita,' is 
nothing else but these two conjunctly : 1. The Christian re- 



ligion, even the faith then professed, and the worship and 
obedience then exercised. 2. The books themselves, of the 
Holy Scriptures, which contain all this, with much more. 
But we are so far from thinking that apostolical oral tradi- 
tion, is a supplement to the Scriptures, as being larger than 
them, that we believe the Scriptures to be much larger than 
such tradition ; and that we have no certainty by any other 
Scriptural tradition, of any more than the common matters 
of Christianity, which all the churches are agref^d in. But 
he that will not believe the most universal practice and his- 
tory of the church or world in a matter of fact must in rea- 
son much less believe his eyesight, 

12. When you have soundly proved your foundation, 
take not every difficult objection which you cannot answer, 
to be a sufficient cause of doubting : for if the fundamentals 
be proved truths, you may trust to that proof, and be sure 
that there are ways of solving the seeming inconsistent 
points, though you are not yet acquainted with them. 
There are few truths so clear, which a sophister may not 
clog with difficulties ; and there is scarce any man that bath 
so comprehensive a knowledge of the most certain truths, 
as to be able to answer all that can be said against it. 

13. Come not to this study in a melancholy or distracted 
frame of mind ; for in such a case you are (ordinarily) in- 
capable of so great a work, as the trial of the grounds of 
faith : and therefore must live upon the ground-work be- 
fore laid, and wait for a fitter time to clear it. 

14. When new doubts arise, mark whether they proceed 
not from the advantage which the tempter findeth in your 
minds, rather than from the difficulty of the thing itself; 
and whether you have not formerly had good satisfaction 
against the same doubts which now perplex you : if «o, 
suffer not every discomposure of your minds, to become a 
means of unbelief : and suffer not Satan to command you to 
dispute your faith at his pleasure ; for if he may choose the 
time, he may choose the success. Many a man hath cast up 
a large account well, or written a learned treatise or position 
well, who cannot clear up all objected difficulties on a sud- 
den, nor without books tell ypu all that he before wrote ; 
especially if he be half drunk or sleepy, or in the midst of 
other thoughts or business. 


15. When you are once persuaded of the truth of Chris- 
tianity, and the Holy Scriptures, think not that you need 
not study it any more, because you do not already confi- 
dently believe it ; for if your faith be not built on such co- 
gent evidence as will warrant the conclusion, (whether it be 
at the present sound or not) you know not what change as- 
saults may make upon you (as we have known them do on 
some ancient eminent professors of the strictest godliness, 
who have turned from Christ, and the belief of immortality.) 

Take heed how you understand the common saying of 
the schools, that faith differeth from knowledge, in that it 
hath not evidence : it hath not evidence of sense indeed ; 
nor of the immediate evidence of things invisible, as in 
themselves ; but as they are the conclusions which follow 
the principles which are in themselves more evident. It is 
evident that God is true ; and we can piiove by good evi- 
dence, that the Christian verity is his revelation : and 
therefore it is evident (though not immediately in itself) 
that the matter of that word or revelation is true. And as 
Mr. Richard Hooker truly saith, ' No man indeed believeth 
beyond the degree of evidence of truth which appeareth to 
him, how confidently soever they may talk.' I remember 
that our excellent Usher answered me to this case, as out of 
Ariminensis, that * Faith hath evidence of credibility, and 
science hath evidence of certainty.' But undoubtedly an 
evidence of divine revelation, is evidence of certainty. And 
all evidence of divine credibility, is evidence of certainty ; 
though of human faith and credibility, the case is otherwise. 

16. Yea, think not that you have done the settling of 
your faith, when once you have found out the soundest evi- 
dences, and are able to answer all objections ; for you must 
grow still in the fuller discerning and digesting the same 
evidences which you have discerned ; for you may hold 
them so loosely, that they may easily be wrested from you : 
and you may see them with so clear and full a knowledge, 
as shall establish your mind against all ordinary causes of 
mutation. It is one kind (or degree rather) of knowledge 
of the same things, which the pupil, and another which the 
doctor hath. I am sure the knowledge which I have now of 
the evidences of the Christian verity, is much different from 
what I had fifty years ago, when perhaps I could say near 
as much as now ; and used the same arguments. 


17. Consider well the great contentions of philosophers ; 
and the great uncertainty of most of those notions, to which 
the infidels would reduce our faith, or which they would 
make the test by which to try it. They judge Christianity 
uncertain, because it agreeth not with their uncertainties, 
or certain errors. 

18. Enslave not your reason to the objects of sense : 
while we are in the body, our souls are so imprisoned in 
flesh, and have so much to do with worldly things, that 
most men by averseness and disuse, can hardly at all em- 
ploy their minds about any higher things than sensitive ; 
nor go any further than sense conducteth them. He that 
will not use his soul to contemplate things invisible, will be 
as unfit for believing, as a lady is to travel a thousand miles 
on foot, who never went out of her doors, but in a sedan or 

19. Where your want of learning, or exercise, or light, 
doth cause any difficulties which you cannot overcome, go 
to the more wise and experienced believers, and pastors of 
the church, to be your helpers ; for it is their office to be 
both the preservers and expounders of the sacred doctrine, 
and to be the helpers of the people's faith. ** The priest's 
lips shall preserve knowledge, and they should seek the law 
at his mouth : for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts ;" 
Mai. ii. 7. 

20. Lastly, Faithfully practice with love and alacrity 
what you do believe, lest God in justice leave you to disbe- 
lieve that which you would not love and practice. 

So much to direct you in the method of your endeavours, 
for the getting and strengthening of faith. 


The Evidences of Faith. 

These things in the order of your inquiry being presup- 
posed, proceed to the consideration of the evidences them- 
selves, which fully prove the Christian verity. And here, 
omitting the preparatory considerations, recited at large in 
my " Reasons of the Christian Religion," I shall only set be- 
fore you the grand evidence itself, with a brief recital of 


some of those means, which bring it down to our notice in 
these times. 

The great infallible witness of Christ, is the Spirit of 
God, or the Holy Ghost ; or that divine operation of the 
Holy Spirit, which infallibly proveth the attestation of God 
himself, as interesting him in it, as the principal cause. 

As we know the coin of a prince by his image and su- 
perscription, and know his acts by his public proper seal : 
and as we know that God is the Creator of the world, by the 
seal of his likeness which is upon it; or as we know the 
father of a child, when he is so like him, as no other could 
beget: so know we Christ and Christianity to be of God, 
by his inimitable image or impression. 

The power, wisdom and goodness of God, are the essen- 
tialities which we call the nature of God : these in their 
proper form, and transcendent perfection, are incommuni- 
cable : but when they produce an effect on the creature, 
which for the resemblance may analogically be called by the 
same names ; the names are logically communicable, though 
the thing itself (which is the divine essence or perfections) 
be still incommunicable : but when they only produce ef- 
fects more heterogeneal or equivocal, then we call those 
effects only the footsteps or demonstrations of their cause. 
So God, whose power, wisdom and goodness in itself is in- 
communicable, hath produced intellectual natures, which 
are so like him, that their likeness is called his image ; and 
analogically (yet equivocally) the created faculties of their 
power, intellect and will, are called by such names, as we 
are fain (for want of other words) to apply to God (the 
things signified being transcendently and inexpressibly in 
God, but the words first used of, and applied to the crea- 
ture). But the same God hath so demonstrated his power, 
and wisdom, and goodness in the creation of the material or 
corporeal parts of the world, that they are the ' vestigia' and 
infallible proofs of his causation and perfections, (being 
such as no other cause without him can produce) but, yet 
not so properly called his image, as to his wisdom and 
goodness, but only of his power. But no wise man who 
seeth this world, can doubt whether a God of perfect pow- 
er, wisdom and goodness, was the Maker of it. Even so 
the person and doctrine of Christ, or the Christian religion 
objectively considered, hath so much of the image, and so 


much of the demonstrative impressions of the nature of 
God, as may fully assure us that he himself is the approving 

And as the sun hath a double light, * lux et lumen/ its 
essential light in itself, and its emitted beams, or communi- 
cated light; so the Spirit and image of God, by which 
Christ and Christianity are demonstrated, are partly that 
which is essential, constitutive, and inherent, and partly 
that which is sent and communicated from him to others. 

In the person of Christ there is the most excellent image 
of God. 1. Wonderful power, by which he wrought mira- 
cles, and commanded sea and land, men and devils, and 
raised the dead, and raised himself; and is now the glori- 
ous Lord of all things. 2. Wonderful wisdom, by which 
he formed his laws, and kingdom, and by which he knew 
the hearts of men, and prophesied of things to come. 
3. Most wonderful love and goodness, by which he healed 
all diseases, and by which he saved miserable souls, and 
procured our happiness at so dear a rate. 

But as the essential light of the sun is too glorious to 
be well observed by us ; but the emitted light is it which 
doth affect our eyes, and is the immediate object of our 
sight ; at least that we can best endure and use ; so the 
essential perfections of Jesus Christ, are not so immediately 
and ordinarily fit for our observation and use ; as the lesser 
communicated beams, which he sent forth. And these are 
either such as were the immediate effects of the Spirit in 
Christ himself, or his personal operations, or else the effects 
of his Spirit in others : and that is either such as went be- 
fore him, or such as were present with him, or such as fol- 
lowed after him: even as the emitted light of the sun, is 
either that which is next to its essence; or that which 
streameth further to other creatures : and this last is either 
that which it sendeth to us before its own appearing or 
rising, or that which accompanieth its appearing, or that 
which it leaveth behind it as it setteth or passeth away ; 
so must we distinguish in the present case. 
But all this is but one light, and one Spirit. 
So then I shall in order speak. 1. Of that Spirit in the 
words and works of Christ himself, which constituteth the 
Christian religion. 2. That Spirit in the prophets and 
fathers before Christ, which was the antecedent light. 


3. That Spirit in Christ*s followers, which was the con- 
comitant and subsequent light or witness: Both, 1. In 
those next his abode on earth : And 2. Of those that are 
more remote. 


The Image of God's Wisdom. 

L And first, observe the three parts of God's image, or im- 
press upon the Christian religion in itself as containing the 
whole work of man's redemption, as it is found in the works 
and doctrine of Christ. 

1. The wisdom of it appeareth in these particular ob- 
servations (which yet shew it to us but very defectively, for 
want of the clearness, and the integrality, and the order of 
our knowledge : for to see but here and there a parcel of 
one entire frame or work, and to see those few parcels as 
dislocated, and not in their proper places and order ; and 
all this but with a dark imperfect sight, is far from that full 
and open view of the manifold wisdom of God in Christ, 
which angels and superior intellects have). 

1. Mark how wisely God hath ordered it, that the three 
essentialities in the divine nature, power, intellect and will, 
omnipotency, wisdom and goodness, and the Three Persons 
in the Trinity, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit ; and 
the three causalities of God, as the efficient, directive, and 
final cause, (of whom, and through whom, and to whom are 
all things) should have three most eminent specimens or 
impressions in the world, or three most conspicuous works 
to declare and glorify them ; viz. nature, grace and glory. 
And that God should accordingly stand related to man in 
three answerable relations, viz. as our Creator, our Re- 
deemer, and our Perfecter (by holiness initially, and glory 

2. How wisely it is ordered, that seeing man's love to 
God is both his greatest duty, and his perfection and feli- 
city, there should be some standing eminent means for the 
attraction and excitation of our love : and this should be 
the most eminent manifestation of the love of God to us ; 
and withal, of his own most perfect holiness and goodness ; 


and that as we have as much need of the sense of his goodness 
as of his power, (loving him being our chief work) that 
there should be as observable a demonstration of his good- 
ness extant, as the world is of his power. 

3. Especially when man had fallen by sin from the love 
of God, to the love of his carnal self, and of the creature ; 
and when he was fallen under vindictive justice, and was 
conscious of the displeasure of his Maker, and had made 
himself an heir of hell ; and when man's nature can so 
hardly love one that injustice standeth engaged or resolved 
to damn him, forsake him, and hate him : how wisely is it 
ordered, that he that w^ould recover him to his love, should 
first declare his love to the offender in the fullest sort, and 
should reconcile himself unto him, and shew his readiness 
to forgive him, and to save him, yea, to be his felicity and 
his chiefest good ; that so the remedy may be answerable to 
the disease, and to the duty. 

4. How wisely is it thus contrived, that the frame and 
course of man's obedience, should be appointed to consist 
in love and gratitude, and to run out in such praise and 
cheerful duty as is animated throughout by love, that so 
sweet a spring may bring forth answerable streams : that so 
the goodness of our Master may appear in the sweetness of 
our work ; and we may not serve the God of love and glory, 
like slaves, with a grudging weary mind ; but like children 
with delight and quietness : and our work and way mav be 
to us a foretaste of our reward and end. 

5. And yet how meet was it, that while we live in such 
a dark material world, in a body of corruptible flesh, among 
enemies and snares, our duty should have somewhat of 
caution and vigilancy, and therefore of fear and godly sor- 
row, to teach us to relish grace the more : and that our con- 
dition should have in it much of necessity and trouble, to 
drive us homeward to God, who is our rest. And how aptly 
doth the very permission of sin itself subserve this end. 

6. How wisely is it thus contrived, that glory at last 
should be better relished, and that man who hath the joy 
should give God the glory ; and be bound to this by a dou- 
ble obligation. 

7. How aptly is this remedying design, and all the work 
of man's redemption, and all the precepts of the Gospel, 
built upon, or planted into the law of natural perfection : 


faith being but the means to recover love ; and grace being 
to nature, but as medicine is to the body ; and being to 
glory, as medicine is to health : so that as a man that was 
never taught to speak, or to go, or to do any work, or to 
know any science, or trade, or business, which must be 
known acquisitively, is a miserable man, as wanting all that 
which should help him to use his natural powers to their 
proper ends ; so it is much more with him that hath nature 
without grace, which must heal it, and use it to its proper 

8. So that it appeareth, that as the law of perfection is 
fitly called the law of nature, because it is agreeable to man 
in his natural state of innocency ; so the law of grace 
may be now called, the law of depraved nature, because it is 
as suitable to lapsed man. And when our pravity is unde- 
niable, how credible should it be, that we have such a law? 

9. And there is nothing in the Gospel, either unsuitable 
to the first law of nature, or contradictory to it, or yet of 
any alien nature; but only that which hath the most excel- 
lent aptitude to subserve it : " Giving the glory to God in 
the highest," by restoring " peace unto the earth, and good^ 
will towards men." 

10. And when the Divine Monarchy is apt in the order 
of government, to communicate some image of itself to the 
creature, as well as the divine perfections have communi- 
cated their image to the creatures in their natures or beings, 
how wisely it is ordered, that mankind should have one 
universal vicarious head or monarch ! There is great reason 
to believe that there is monarchy among angels : and in the 
world it most apparently excelleth all other forms of go- 
vernment, in order to unity, and strength, and glory : and if it 
be more apt than some others to degenerate into oppressing 
tyranny, that is only caused by the great corruption of hu- 
man nature ; and therefore if we have a head who hath no 
such corruption, there is no place for that objection. And 
as it is not credible that God would make no communica- 
tion of this image of his dominions in the world ; so it is 
certain, that besides the Lord Jesus, the world hath no 
other universal head (however the Pope may pretend, to be 
an universal vicarious monarch, lander the Universal Vica- 
lious Monarch). Kingdoms have their monarchs subordi- 
nate to Christ ; but the world hath none but Christ alone. 


11. And how meet was it that he who was the monarch 
or deputy of God, should be also the Mediator ! And that 
a polluted sinner dwelling in clay, should not come imme- 
diately to God, but by a Reconciler, who is worthy to pre- 

12. And when we had lost the knowledge of God, and 
of the world to come, and of the way thereto ; yea, and of 
ourselves too, and our own immortality of soul ; how meet 
was it that a sure Revelation should settle us, that we might 
know what to seek, and whither to return, and by what 
way ! seeing light must be the guide of our love and power. 
And who could so infallibly and satisfactorily do this, as a 
Teacher sent from God, of most perfect knowledge and 

13. And when God intended the free forgiveness of our 
sins, how meet was it that he who would be the Mediator of 
our pardon, should yield to those terms, which are consis- 
tent with the ends of government, and expose not the wis- 
dom, and veracity, and justice, and the laws of God to the 
world's contempt : if no mark of odiousness should be put 
upon sin, nor any demonstration of justice been made, the 
devil would have triumphed, and said, * Did not I say truer 
than God ? when he told you of dying, and I told you that 
you should not die V And if the grand penalty had been re- 
mitted to the world, for four thousand years together suc- 
cessively, without any sufficient demonstration of God's 
justice undertaken, why should any sinner have feared hell 
to the world's end? If you say, that repentance alone 
might be sufficient, I answer, 1. That is no vindication of 
the justice and truth of the Law-maker. 2. Who should 
bring a sinner to repentance, whose heart is corrupted with 
the love of sin ? 3. It would hinder repentance, if men 
knew that God can forgive all the world upon bare repen- 
tance, without any reparation of the breaches made by sin, 
in the order of the world. For if he that threateneth future 
misery or death for sin, can absolutely dispense with that 
commination, they may think that he may do so as easily 
by his threatening of death to the impenitent. 

If you say, that threatenings in a law, are not false when 
they are not fulfilled, because they speak not ' de eventu,' 
but ' de debito psense ;' I answer, they speak directly only 
* de debito ;' but withal he that maketh a law, doth thereby 


say, This shall be the rule of your lives, and of my ordinary 
judgment. And therefore consequently they speak of an 
ordinary event also : and they are the rule of just judgment, 
and therefore justice must not be contemned by their con- 

Or if any shall think, that all this proveth not a de- 
monstration of justice on the Redeemer to be absolutely 
necessary, but that God could have pardoned the penitent 
without it ; it is nevertheless manifest that this was a very 
wise and congruous way : as he that cannot prove that God 
could not have illuminated, and moved, and quickened the 
inferior sensitives without the sun, may yet prove that the 
sun is a noble creature, in whose operations God's wisdom, 
and power, and goodness do appear. 

14. And how agreeable is this doctrine of the sacrifice 
of Christ, to the common doctrine of sacrificing, which 
hath been received throughout almost all the world ! And 
who can imagine any other original of that practice, so 
early and so universally obtaining, than either Divine Reve- 
lation, or somewhat even in nature, which beareth witness 
to the necessity of a demonstration of God's justice and dis- 
pleasure against sin ? 

15. How wisely is it determined of God, that he who 
undertakes all this, should be man, and yet more than man, 
even God ? That the Monarch of mankind, and the Media- 
tor, and the Teacher of man, and the sacrifice for sin, 
should not be only of another kind ; but that he be one that 
is fit to be familiar with man, and to be interested naturally 
in his concerns ; and one that is by nature and nearness 
capable of these undertakings and relations? And yet that 
he be so high and near the Father, as may put a suflicient 
value on his works, and make him most meet to meditate 
for us ? 

16. How wisely is it ordered, that with a perfect doc- 
trine, we should have the pattern of a perfect life, as know- 
ing how agreeable the way of imitation is to our natures 
and necessities? 

17. And as a pattern of all other virtue is still before 
us ; so how fit was it, especially that we should have a 
lively example, to teach us to contemn this deceitful world, 
and to set little comparatively, by reputation, wealth, pre- 


eminence, grandeur, pleasures, yea and life itself, which are 
the things which all that perish prefer before God and im- 
mortality ? 

18. And how needful is it that they that must be over- 
taken with renewed faults, should have a daily remedy and 
refuge, and a plaister for their wounds ; and a more accept- 
able name than their own to plead with God for pardon ? 

19. How meet was it that our Saviour should rise from 
the dead (and consequently that he should die) to shew us, 
that his sacrifice was accepted, and that there is indeed 
another life for man ; and that death and the grave shall 
still not detain us ? 

20. And how meet was it that our Saviour should as- 
cend into heaven, and therein our natures be glorified with 
God ; that he might have all power to finish the work of 
man's salvation, a.nd his possession might be a pledge of 
our future possession ? 

21. Most wisely also is it ordered of God, that man 
might not be left under the covenant of works, or of entire 
nature, which after it was broken, could never justify him, 
and which was now unsuitable to his lapsed state, and that 
God should make a new covenant with him as his Redeem- 
er, as he made the first as his Creator : and that an act of 
general pardon and oblivion, might secure us of forgiveness 
and everlasting life ; and that as we had a rule to live by, 
for preventing sin and misery, we might have a rule for our 
duty in order to our recovery. 

22. And what more convenient conditions could this 
covenant have had, " than a believing and thankful accept- 
ance of the mercy, and a penitent and obedient following 
of our Redeemer into everlasting life ?" 

23. And how convenient is it, that when our King is to 
depart from earth, and keep his residence in the court of 
heaven, he should appoint his officers to manage the human 
part of his remaining work on earth ? And that some should 
do the extraordinary work in laying the foundation, and 
leaving a certain rule and order to the rest, and that the 
rest should proceed, to build hereupon ; and that the wisest 
and the best of men, should be the teachers and guides of 
the rest unto the end. 

24. And how necessary was it that our Sun in glory 


should continually send down his beams and influence on 
the earth? Even the Spirit of the Father to be his con- 
stant Agent here below ; and to plead his cause, and do his 
work on the hearts of men ? And that the apostles, who 
were to found the church, should have that Spirit, in so 
conspicuous a degree, and for such various works of won- 
der and power, as might suffice to confirm their testimony 
to the world : and that all others as well as they to the end, 
should have the Spirit for those works of love and renova- 
tion, which are necessary to their own obedience and sal- 

25. How wisely it is ordered, that he who is our King, 
is Lord of all, and able to defend his church, and xto repress 
his proudest enemies. 

26. And also that he should be our Final Judge, who 
was our Saviour and Lawgiver, and made and sealed that 
covenant of grace by which we must be judged ; that judg- 
ment may not be over dreadful, but rather desirable to his 
faithful servants, who shall openly be justified by him be- 
fore all. 

27. How wisely hath God ordered it, that when death is 
naturally so terrible to man, we should have a Saviour that 
went that way before us, and was once dead, but now liveth, 
and is where we must be, and hath the keys of death and 
heaven ; that we may boldly go forth as to his presence, 
and to the innumerable perfected spirits of the just, and 
may commend our souls to the hands of our Redeemer, 
and our Head. 

28. As also that this should be plainly revealed ; and 
that the Scriptures are written in a method and manner 
fit for all, even for the meanest, and that the ministers be 
commanded to open it, and apply it, by translation, exposi- 
tion, and earnest exhortation ; that the remedy may be 
suited to the nature and extent of the disease ; and yet that 
there be some depths, to keep presumptuous daring wits at 
a distance, and to humble them, and to exercise our dili- 

29. As also that the life of faith and holiness should 
have much opposition in the world, that its glory and excel- 
lency might the more appear, partly by the presence of its 
contraries, and partly by its exercise and victories in its 


trials ; and that the godly may have use for patience and 
fortitude, and every grace; and may be kept the easier from 
loving the world, and taught the more to desire the pre- 
sence of their Lord. 

30. Lastly, And how wisely is it ordered, that God in 
heaven, from whom all cometh, should be the end of all his 
graces and our duties? And that himself alone should be 
our home and happiness ; and that as we are made by him, 
and for him, so we should live with him, to his praise, and 
in his love for ever ; and that there, as we shall have both 
glorified souls and bodies, so both might have a suitable 
glory ; and that our glorified Redeemer might there be in 
part the Mediator of our fruition, as here he was the Media- 
tor of acquisition. 

I have recited hastily a few of the parts of this wondrous 
frame, to shew you, that if you saw them all, and that in 
the true order and method, you might not think it strange 
that ** Now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly 
places, is made known by the church the manifold wisdom 
of God ;" Ephes. ii. 11. which was the first part of God's 
image upon the Christian religion, which I was to shew you. 

But besides all this, the wisdom of God is expressed in 
the Holy Scriptures these several ways : 1. In the revelation 
of things past, which could not be known by any mortal 
man : as the creation of the world, and what was therein 
done, before man himself was made ; which experience it- 
self doth help us to believe, because we see exceeding great 
probabilities that the world was not eternal, nor of any 
longer duration than the Scriptures mention; in that no 
place on earth hath any true monument of more ancient 
original ; and in that human sciences and arts are yet so im- 
perfect, and such important additions are made but of late. 

2. In the revelation of things distant, out of the reach 
of man's discovery. So Scripture-history, and prophecy do 
frequently speak of preparations and actions of princes and 
people afar off. 

3. In the revelati<!^n of the secrets of men's hearts : as 
Elisha told Gehazi wh^t he did at a distance : Christ told 
Nathaniel what he said, and where : so frequently Christ 
told the Jews and his disciples what they thought, and 
shewed that he knew the heart of man : to which we may 


add, the searching power of the word of God, which doth 
so notably rip up the secrets of men's corruptions, and may 
shew all men's hearts unto themselves. 

4. In the revelation of contingent things to come, which 
is most frequent in the prophecies and promises of the Scrip- 
ture ; not only in the Old Testament, as Daniel, &c. but 
also in the Gospel. When Christ foretelleth his death and 
resurrection, and the usage and successes of his apostles, 
and promiseth them the miraculous gifts of the Spirit ; and 
foretold Peter's thrice denying him ; and foretold the griev- 
ous destruction of Jerusalem, with other such like clear 

5. But nothing of all these predictions doth shine so 
clearly to ourselves, as those great promises of Christ, 
which are fulfilled to ourselves, in all generations. Even 
the promises and prophetical descriptions of the great work 
of conversion, regeneration, or sanctification upon men's 
souls, which is wrought in all ages, just according to the 
delineations of it in the word : all the humblings, the re- 
pentings, the desires, the faith, the joys, the prayers, and 
the answers of them, which were foretold, and was found in 
the first believers, are performed and given to all true 
Christians to this day. 

To which may be added, all the prophecies of the extent 
of the church ; of the conversions of the kingdoms of the 
world to Christ ; and of the oppositions of the ungodly sort 
thereto ; and of the persecutions of the followers of Christ, 
which are all fulfilled. 

6. The wisdom of God also is clearly manifested in the 
concatenation or harmony of all these revelations : not only 
that there is no real contradiction between them, but that 
they all conjunctly compose one entire frame: as the age of 
man goeth on from infancy to maturity, and nature fitteth 
her endowments and provisions according to each degree ; 
so hath the church proceeded from its infancy, and so have 
the revelations of God been suited to its several times : 
Christ who was promised to Adam, and the fathers before 
Moses, for the first two thousand years, and signified by 
their sacrifices ; was more fully revealed for the next two 
thousand years, by Moses first in a typical Gospel (the 
adumbration of the grace to come) and then by the pro- 
phets, (especially Isaiah, Micah, Daniel, and Malachi) in 


plainer predictions. And then came John the Baptist, the 
forerunner, and Christ, the Messiah, and the Spirit upon 
the apostles, and finished the revelation : so that it may ap- 
pear to be all one frame, contrived and indicted by one 
Spirit. And the effects of it have been according to these 
degrees of the revelation. 

And the end of the world (whether at the end of the last 
two thousand years, or when else God pleaseth) will shortly 
shew th€ unbelieving themselves, that the period shall ful- 
fil what is yet unfulfilled to the least jot and tittle. 


The Image of God's Goodness. 

II. The second part of God's image on our religion, is that 
of his matchless goodness. The whole system of it is, the 
harmonious expression of God's holiness and love. The 
particulars I must but name, lest I be too long. 

1. The author of it, Jesus Christ, was perfectly good 
himself; being God and man; sinless in nature, and in 
life ; living, and dying, and rising to do good ; and making 
it his office and his work, even in heaven, to do mankind 
the greatest good. 

2. The matter o-f the Christian religion, is God himself 
the infinite good. The use of it is, to teach men to know 
God, and to bring us to him. To which end it maketh a 
fuller discovery of his blessed nature, attributes and works, 
than is any where to be found in this world. 

3. The utmost end of it is the highest imaginable ; the 
pleasing and glorifying of God : for he that is the beginning 
of all, must needs be the end of all. 

4. It leadeth man to the highest state of felicity for him- 
self (which is an end conjunct in subordination to the 
highest.) There can be no greater happiness imaginable, 
than the Christian religion directeth us to attain. 

5. It placeth our happiness so certainly and clearly in 
that which is happiness indeed, that it directeth man's in- 
tentions, and desires, and leaving them no longer to the old 
variety of opinions about the chiefest good : nature per- 
fected, and working by its most perfect acts upon the most 


perfect object, and receiving the most full coramnnications 
from him, and this for ever, must needs be the most perfect 
felicity of man. To have all our faculties fully perfect, and 
to live for ever in the perfect light and love of God, and to 
be accordingly beloved of him; this is the end of Chris- 

6. To this end, the whole design of the Christian reli- 
gion is to make man good, and to cure him of all evil, and 
to prepare him justly for that blessed state. 

7. To that end the great vv^ork of Jesus Christ is, to send 
down the sanctifying Spirit of God, to make men new crea- 
tures, and to regenerate them to the nature of God himself, 
and to a heavenly mind and life : that they may not only 
have precepts which are good, but the power of God to 
make them good, and a heavenly principle to fit them for 

8. To that end, the principal means is, the fullest revela- 
tion of the love of God to man, that ever was made, and 
more than is any where else revealed. All the design of 
Christianity is but to shew God to man, in the fullest pros- 
pect of his goodness and unmeasurable love, that so he may 
appear more amiable to us ; and may be more beloved by 
us ; that loving goodness may make us good, and make us 

9. To encourage us to love and goodness, God doth in 
the Gospel give us the pardon of all our sins, as soon as 
ever we turn to him by faith and repentance : though we 
have deserved hell, he declareth that he will forgive us that 
desert. If we had come to hell before we had been redeem- 
ed, I think we should have taken that religion to be good 
indeed, which would have brought us the tidings of forgive- 
ness, and shewed us so ready a way to escape. 

10. And this mercy is given by an universal covenant, 
offered to all, without exception : and the conditions are so 
reasonable, that no one can have any just pretence against 
them. It is but to accept the mercy offered with a believ- 
ing thankful mind, as a condemned man would do a pardon. 
And what can be more suitable to our miserable state ? 

11. And to bring us to all this, and make us holy, 
Christ hath given us a most holy word and doctrine : per- 
fectly holy in its precepts, and in its prohibitions, and all 



the subservient histories and narratives : and he hath added 
the perfect pattern of his holy life, that our rule and example 
might agree. 

12. So good is this word, that it calleth us to the highest 
degree of goodness, and maketh perfection itself our duty ; 
that our duty and happiness may agree ; and we may not 
have liberty to be bad and miserable ; but may be every 
way bound to our own felicity: and yet so good is this co- 
venant of grace, that it taketh not advantage of our infirmi- 
ties to ruin us, but noteth them to humble us, in order to 
our cure : and it accepteth sincerity, though it command 
perfection. And Christ looketh not at our failings, as a 
severe judge, but as a physician, and a tender father. 

13. So good is our religion, that the great thing which 
it requireth of us, is to prefer the greatest good, before the 
lesser, and not be like children who take it for their riches 
to fill their pin-box ; or like foolish merchants, who had 
rather trade for trash, than for gold. The great business of 
Christian precepts is, to make us know that we are capable 
of better things than meat, and drink, and lust, and sports, 
and wealth, and worldly honours ; that the love of God, and 
thef felicity of the soul, in grace and glory, may be preferred 
before the pleasure of a swine. And is not that good, 
which calleth us up to the greatest good, and will not allow 
us to be such enemies to ourselves, as to take up with the 
less-er ? 

14. Yea, when we have most, it still engageth us to 
seek more : and will not allow us to take up with a low de- 
gree of grace, or with a little measure of the greatest good : 
but to shew us that God would have us to be still better, 
and to have more, it is made our duty still to ask more, and 
still to press higher, and labour to be better. Asking in 
prayer is made our daily work ; and God's giving, and our 
receiving may be our daily blessedness. 

15. The mercies here provided for us, extend both to 
soul and body; for though we may not prefer the less be- 
fore the greater ; yet we shall have it in its place : if we 
seek first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness, and 
^abour first for the food which never perisheth, all other 
things shall be added to us; we shall have them to do us 
good, but not to do us hurt. '* For godliness is profitable to 


all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of 
that which is to come ;'* 1 Tim. iv. 7, 8. vi. 6. 

16. And that future perfect goodness may invite us to 
present imperfect goodness, the promises of the Gospel do 
second the precepts, with the strongest motives in the 
world : so that everlasting blessedness and joy is made the 
reward of temporal sincerity, in faith, love, and obedience- 
And if heaven itself be not a reward sufficient to invite men 
to be good, there is none sufficient. 

Yea, the penalties and severities of the Christian reli- 
gion, do shew the goodness of it. When God doth there- 
fore threaten hell to save men from it, and to draw them up 
to the obedience of the Gospel. Threatened evil of punish- 
ment is but to keep them from the evil of sin, and to make 
men better; and he that will testify his hatred of sinful evil 
to the highest, doth shew himself the greatest enemy of it, 
and the greatest lover of good: and he that setteth the 
sharpest hedge before us, and most terrible warnings to 
keep us from damnation, doth shew himself most willing to 
serve us. 

18. So good is Christianity, that it turneth all our af- 
flictions unto good : it assureth us that they are sent as 
needful medicine, however merited by our sin ; and it di- 
recteth us how to bear them easily, and to make them 
sweet, and safe, and profitable, and to turn them to our in- 
crease of holiness, and to the furtherance of our greatest 
good ; Heb, xii. 10, 11. Rom. viii. 18. 2 Cor. iv. 16—18. 

19. It also establisheth a perpetual office, even the sacred 
ministry, for the fuller and surer communication of all this 
good beforementioned. In which observe these particulars, 
which shew the greatness of this benefit. 1. The person 
called to it, must (by Christ's appointment) be the wisest 
and best of men that can be had. 2. The number of them is 
to be suited to the number of the people, so that none may 
be without the benefit. 3. Their work is, to declare all this 
beforementioned goodness and love of God to man, and to 
offer them all this grace and mercy ; and to teach them to 
be holy and happy, and to set before them the everlasting 
joys. 4. The manner of their doing it must be with hu- 
mility, as the servants of all ; with tender love, as fathers of 
theflock ; with wisdom and skill, lest their works be frus- 
trated; with the greatest importunity, even compelling 


them to come in, as men that are loath to take any denial ; 
and with patient enduring all oppositions, as those that had 
rather suffer any thing, than the people's souls should be 
unhealed, and be damned ; and they must continue to the 
end, as those that will never give up a soul as desperate and 
lost, while there is any hope ; and all this must be seconded 
with their own example of holiness, temperance, and love ; 
Acts XX. 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25. Matt. xxii. 8, 9. 

20. So good is our religion, that nothing but doing good 
is the work in which it doth employ us. Besides all the 
good of piety and self-preservation, it requireth us to live in 
love to others, and to do all the good in the world that we 
are able; Ephes. ii. 10. Matt. v. 16. and vi. 1, 2, &c, 
Titus ii. 14. Gal. vi. 7 — 9. Good works must be our study 
and our life ; our work and our delight ; even our enemies 
we must love and do good to ; Matt. v. 44. Rom. xii. 19, 
20, 21. And sure that doctrine is good, which is purposely 
to employ men in doing good to all. 

21. So good is Christianity, that it favoureth not any 
one sin, but it is the greatest condemner of them all. It is 
all for knowledge against hurtful ignorance : it is all for 
humility against pride; and self-denial against all injurious 
selfishness ; for spirituality, and the dominion of true rea- 
son, against sensuality and the dominion of the flesh ; for 
heavenliness against a worldly mind ; for sincerity and sim- 
plicity against all hypocrisy and deceit; for love against 
malice ; for unity and peace against divisions and conten- 
tions ; for justice and lenity in superiors, and obedience and 
patience in inferiors ; for faithfulness in all relations : its 
precepts extend to secret as well as open practices ; to the 
desires and thoughts, as well as to the words and deeds : it 
alloweth not a thought, or word, or action, which is ungod- 
ly, intemperate, rebellious, injurious, unchaste, or covetous 
or uncharitable ; Matt. v. 

22. All the troublesome part of our religion is but our 
warfare against evil ; against sin, and the temptations which 
would make us sinful : and it must needs be good, if all the 
conflicting part of it be only against evil ; Gal. v. 17. 21. 23. 
Rom. vi. vii. viii. 1. 7—10. 13. 

23. It teacheth us the only way to live in the greatest 
and most constant joy. If we attain not this, it is because 
we follow not its precepts. If endless joy foreseen, and 


all the aforesaid mercies in the way, are not matter for 
continual delight, there is no greater to be thought on. Re- 
joicing always in the Lord, even in our sharpest persecu- 
tions, is a great part of religious duty ; Phil. iii. 1. iv. 4. 
Psal. xxxiii. 1. Zech. x. 7. Matt. v. 11, 12. Deut. xii. 
12. 18. 

24. It overcometh both the danger and the fear of 
death ; and that must be good, which conquereth so great 
an evil ; and maketh the day of the ungodly's fears, and 
utter misery, to be the day of our desire and felicity ; Rom. 
vi. 23. ICor. XV. 55. Col. iii. 1. 4. Phil. iii. 21. 

25. It obligeth all the rulers of the world to use all their 
power to do good ; against all sin within their reach ; and 
to make their subjects happy both in body and soul; Rom. 
xiii. 3—6. 

26. It appointeth churches to be societies of saints, that 
holiness and goodness combined may be strong and honour- 
able ; 1 Cor. i. 1. 2 Cor. i. 1. Heb. iii. 13. 1 Thes. v. 12, 
13. That holy assemblies employed in the holy love and 
praises of God might be a representation of the heavenly 
Jerusalem ; Col. ii. 5. 

27. It doth make the love and union of all the saints to 
be so strict, that the mercies and joys of every member 
might extend to all ; all the corporal and spiritual blessings 
of all the Christians, (yea, and persons) in the world are 
mine as to my comfort, as long as I can love them as my- 
self: if it would please me to be rich, or honourable, or 
learned myself, it must please me also to have them so, 
whom I love as myself. And when millions have so much 
matter for my joy, how joyfully should 1 then live ! And 
though I am obliged also to sorrow with them, it is with 
such a sorrow only, as shall not hinder any seasonable joy. 

28. In these societies every member is bound to contri- 
bute his help to the benefit of each other ; so that I have as 
many obliged to do me good, as there be Christians in the 
world ; at least, according to their several opportunities 
and capacities ; by prayer and such distant means, if they 
can do no more. And the religion which giveth every man 
so great an interest, in the good of all others, and engageth 
all men to do good to one another is evidently good itself; 
1 Cor. xii. Ephes. iv. 15, 16. 

29. And all this good is not destroyed, but advantaged 


and aggravated accidentally by our sin : so that where sin 
abounded, there grace did superabound ; Rom. v. 15 — 19. 
Grace hath taken occasion by sin to be grace indeed, 
and to be the greater manifestation of the goodness of 
God and the greater obligation for gratitude to the 

30. Lastly, all this goodness is beautified by harmony ; 
it is all placed in a perfect order. One mercy doth not keep 
us from another ; nor one grace oppose another ; nor one 
duty exclude another. As it is the great declaration of 
mercy and justice wonderfully conspiring in God (mercy so 
used as to magnify justice ; justice so used as to magnify 
mercy, and not only so as to consist) ; so also it worketh 
answerably on us. It setteth not love against filial fear, nor 
joy against necessary sorrow, nor faith against repentance, 
nor praise and thanksgiving against penitent confession of 
sin, nor true repentance against the profitable use of the 
creatures, nor the care of our souls against the peace and 
quiet of our minds, nor care for our families against con- 
tentedness and trusting God, nor our labour against our 
necessary rest, nor self-denial against the due care of our 
own welfare, nor patience against due sensibility and law- 
ful passion, nor niercy to men against true justice, nor pub- 
lic and private good against each other, nor doth it set the 
duty of the sovereign and the subject, the master and the ser- 
vant, the pastor and the flock, nor yet their interest, in any 
contrariety ; but all parts of religion know their place ; and 
every duty (even those which seem most opposite) are help- 
ful to each other ; and all interests are co-ordinate, and all 
doth contribute to the good of the whole, and of every part ; 
Ephes. iv. 2, 3. 15, 16. 

And now peruse all this together (but let it have more of 
your thoughts by far, than it hath had of my words), and 
then determine indifferently, whether the Christian religion 
bear not the lively image and superscription of God, the 
Prime Essential Good. 

But all this will be more manifest, when we have con- 
sidered how Power hath in the execution, brought all this 
into effect. 



The Image of God's Power. 

111. The third part of God's image and superscription on 
the Christian religion, is his power. And as man's own 
corruption lieth more in the want of wisdom and goodness, 
than of power ; therefore he is less capable of discerning 
God, in the impressions of his wisdom and goodness, than 
of his power. Seeing therefore he is here most capable of 
conviction, and acknowledging the hand of God, I shall 
open this also in the several parts, in some degree. 

1. In the history of the creation, the omnipotency of God 
is abundantly set forth ; which is proved true, both by the 
agreeableness of the history to the effects, and by much sub- 
sequent evidence of the writer's veracity. 

2. The same may be said of God's drowning the old 
world, and the preserving of Noah and his family in the 

3. And of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with 
fire from heaven. 

4. The many miracles done by Moses upon Pharaoh and 
the Egyptians, and in the opening of the Red Sea, and in the 
feeding of the Israelites in the wilderness, and keeping their 
clothes from wearing for forty years ; and the pillar which 
went before them as a fire by night, and a cloud by day, for 
so long a time ; and the darkness, and thunder, and trem- 
bling of the mount at the giving of the law ; with the rest 
of the miracles then done, not in a corner, or before a few, 
but before all the people ; who were persuaded to receive 
and obey the law, by reason of these motives which their 
eyes had seen. And if all this had been false ; if no plagues 
had been shewn on Egypt ; if no Red Sea had opened ; if 
no pillar had gone before them ; if no such terrible sights 
and sounds at Mount Sinai had prepared them for the law ; 
such reasons would have been so unfit to have persuaded 
them to obedience, that they would rather with any reason- 
able creatures, have procured contempt. 

And to shew posterity that the history of all this was 
not forged, or to be suspected ; 1. They had the law itself 
then delivered ^in two tables of stone, to be still seen. 2. 


They had a pot of manna still preserved. 3. They had the 
miracle-working rod of Moses and Aaron kept likewise as a 
monument. 4. They had an ark on purpose to keep these 
in, and that in the most inviolable place of worship. 5. 
They had the brazen serpent (till Hezekiah broke it) still to 
be seen. 6. They had the song of their deliverance at the 
Red Sea for their continued use. 7. They had set feasts to 
keep the chief of all these things in remembrance. They had 
the feast of unleavened bread, which all Israel was to ob- 
serve for seven days, to keep the remembrance of their pass- 
ing out of Egypt in so great haste, that they could not stay 
to knead up, and make their bread, but took it as in meal or 
unready dough. They had the feast of the passover, when 
every family was to eat of the Paschal Lamb, and the door- 
posts to be sprinkled with blood, to keep in remembrance 
the night when the Egyptians' first-born were destroyed, 
and the Israelites all preserved. And if these had been in- 
stituted at that time, upon a pretended occasion which they 
knew to be untrue, they would rather have derided than ob- 
served them. If they had been afterwards instituted in 
another generation which knew not the story, the beginning 
would have been known, and the fiction of the name and 
institution of Moses would have been apparent to all ; and 
the institution would not have been found in the same law 
which was given by Moses. And it could not have been so 
expressly said, that the Israelites did all observe these feasts 
and solemnities from the very time of their deliverance but 
in those times when the forgery began, all would have 
known it to be false. 8. And they had many other words and 
ceremonies among them, and even in God's public worship, 
which were all used to keep up the memory of these things. 
9. And they had an office of priesthood constantly among 
them, which saw to the execution and preservation of all 
these. 10. And they had a form of civil policy then es- 
tablished, and the rulers were to preserve the memory of 
these things, and the practice of this law, and to learn it 
themselves, and govern by it. So that the very form of the 
commonwealth, and the order of it was a c(mimemoration 
hereof. And the parents were to teach and tell their chil- 
dren all these things, and to expound all these solemnities, 
laws and ceremonies to them : so that the frame of church, 
and state, and families, was a preservative hereof. 


5. But, to pass by all the rest in the Old Testament, the 
incarnation of Christ was such a work of omnipotent love, 
as cannot by us be comprehended. That God should be 
united to humanity in person ! That humanity should be 
thus advanced into union with the Deity ! and man be set 
above the angels ! That a virgin should conceive ! That 
men from the east should be led thither to worship an in- 
fant by the conduct of a star (which Caesarius thinks was 
one of those angels or spirits which are called a flame of 
fire ; Psal. civ. 4.) ! That angels from heaven should de- 
clare his nativity to the shepherds, and celebrate it with 
their praises ! That John the Baptist should be so called 
to be his forerunner, and Elizabeth, Zachary, Simeon and 
Anna, should so prophesy of him ! That the Spirit should 
be seen descending on him at his baptism, and the voice be 
heard from heaven, which owned him ! That he should fast 
forty days and nights ! and that he should be transfigured 
before his three disciples on the mount, and Moses and 
Elias be seen with him in that glory ; and the voice from 
heaven again bear witness to him ! These, and many such 
like were the attestations of Divine omnipotency to the 
truth of Christ. 

6. To these may be next joined, the whole course of mi- 
racles performed by Christ, in healing the sick, and raising 
the dead ; and in many other miraculous acts, which are 
most of the substance of the Gospel history, and which I 
have recited together in my " Reasons of the Christian Re- 
ligion;" see Heb. ii 2 — 4. 

7. And to these may be added, the power which was 
given over all the creatures, to Christ our Mediator. All 
power in heaven and earth was given him ; Job xvii. 2. 
xiii. 3. Matt, xxviii. 19. Rom. xiv. 9. Ephes. i. 22, 23. 
He was made Head over all things to the church, and all 
principalities and powers were put under him. And this 
was not barely asserted by him but demonstrated. He 
shewed his power over the devils in casting them out ; 
and his power over angels by their attendance ; and his 
power of life and death, by raising the dead ; and his power 
over all diseases, by healing them ; and his power over the 
winds and waters, by appeasing them ; and his power over 
our food and natures, by turning water into wine, and by 
feeding many thousands miraculously. Yea, and his power 


over them into whose hands he was resolved to yield him- 
self, by restraining them till his hour was come, and by 
making them all fall to the ground at his name. And his 
power over sun, and heaven, and earth by the darkening of 
the sun, and the trembling of the earth, and the rending of 
the rocks, and of the veil of the temple ; Matt, xxvii. 45. 51. 
And his power over the dead, by the rising of the bodies of 
many ; Matt, xxvii. 52. And his power over the saints in 
heaven, by the attendance of Moses and Elias ; and his 
power to forgive sins, by taking away the penal maladies ; 
and his power to change hearts, and save souls, by causing 
his disciples to leave all and follow him at a word ; and 
Zaccheus to receive him, and believe ; and the thief on 
the cross to be converted, and to enter that day into 

8. And his own resurrection is an undoubted attestation 
of Divine omnipotency. If God gave him such a victory 
over death, and raised him to life when men had killed him, 
and rolled a stone upon his sepulchre, and sealed and 
guarded it, there needeth no further evidence of the power 
of God impressing and attesting the Christian religion, than 
that which ascertaineth to us the truth of Christ's resurrec- 
tion. For he was declared to be the Son of God with 
power, by his resurrection from the dead ; Rom. i. 4. 

9. And his bodily appearance to his congregated disci- 
ples when the doors were shut ; his miracle at their fishing, 
his walking on the sea, his vanishing out of their sight 
(Luke xxiv.) when he had discoursed with the two disciples, 
his opening their hearts to understand his word, &c. do all 
shew this part of God's image on our religion, even his 

10. And so doth his bodily ascending into heaven before 
the face of his disciples ; Acts i. 

11. But especially the sending down the Holy Ghost up- 
on his disciples according as he promised : to cause them 
that were before so low in knowledge, to be suddenly in- 
spired with languages, and with the full understanding of 
his own will, and with unanimity and concord herein ; this 
made his disciples the living monuments and effects of his 
own omnipotency ; Acts ii. 

12. And accordingly all the miracles which they did by 
this power, recorded partly in the Acts of the Apostles (or 


rather, the Acts of Paul, by Luke who was his companion ;) 
which you may there read (and no doubt but other apostles 
in their measures did the like as Paul, though they are not 
recorded ; for they had all the same promise and spirit). 
This is another impression of power. 

13. Whereto must be added the great and wonderful 
gifts of communicating the same spirit (or doing that upon 
which God would give it) to those converted believers on 
whom they laid their hands (which Simon Magus would fain 
have bought with money ; Acts viii.). To enable them to 
speak with tongues, to heal diseases, to prophesy, &c. as 
they themselves had done, which is a great attestation of 

14. And the lamentable destruction of Jerusalem by the 
Romans, foretold by Christ, was an attestation of God's 
power in the revenge or punishment of their unbelief, and 
putting Christ to death. 

15. And so was the great fortitude and constancy of be- 
lievers, who underwent all persecutions so joyfully as they 
did for the sake of Christ ; which was the effect of the cor- 
roborating power of the Almighty. 

16. And so was the power which the apostles had to exe- 
cute present judgments upon the enemies of the Gospel, 
(as Elimas and Simon Magus), and on the abusers of religion 
(as Ananias and Saphira), and on many whom they excom- 
municated and delivered up to satan. 

17. The same evidence is found in Christ's legislation, 
as an universal sovereign making laws for heart and life, for 
all the world : taking down the laws of the Jewish polity 
and ceremonies, which God by Moses had for a time setup j 
commanding his ministers to proclaim his laws to all the 
world, and princes and people to obey them ; and by these 
laws, conferring on believers no less than forgiveness and 
salvation, and binding over the impenitent to everlasting 

18. But the great and continued impress of God's power, 
is that which together with his wisdom and love, is made and 
shewed in the conversion of men's souls to God by Christ. 
You may here first consider the numbers which were sud- 
denly converted by the preaching of the apostles at the first. 
And in how little time there were churches planted abroad 
the world : and then, how the Roman empire was brought 


in, and subdued to Christ, and crowns and sceptres resigned 
to him ; and all this according to his own prediction, that 
when he was lifted up, he would draw all men to him ; and 
according to the predictions of his prophets. But that 
which I would especially open is, the power which is mani- 
fested in the work of the Spirit on the souls of men, both 
then and to this day. 

Hitherto what I have mentioned belonging to the Scrip- 
ture itself, is to be taken as part of our religion objectively 
considered. But that which foUoweth is the effect of that, 
even our religion subjectively considered. To observe how 
God maketh men believers, and by believing sanctifieth 
their hearts and lives, is a great motive to further our own 
believing. Consider the work, 1. As it is in itself. 2. As 
it is opposed by all its enemies, and you may see that it is 
the work of God. 

1. As the goodness, so also the greatness of it, is God's 
own image. It is the raising up of our stupid faculties to 
be lively and active to those holy uses, to which they were 
become as dead by sin. To cause in an unlearned person, 
a firmer and more distinct belief of the unseen world, than 
the most learned philosophers can attain to by all their na- 
tural contemplations : to bring up a soul to place its happi- 
ness on things so high and far from sense ! To cause him 
who naturally is imprisoned in selfishness, to deny himself, 
and devote himself entirely to God ; to love him, to trust 
him, and to live to him ! To raise an earthly mind to hea- 
ven, that our business and hope may be daily there ! To 
overcome our pride and sensuality, and bring our senses in 
subjection unto reason, and to keep a holy government in 
our thoughts, and over our passions, words and deeds : and 
to live in continual preparation for death, as the only time 
of our true felicity ; and to suflPer any loss or pain for the 
safe accomplishment of this ! All this is the work of the 
power of God. 

2. Which will the more appear when we consider, what 
is done against it within us and without us ; what privative 
and positive averseness we have to it, till God do send down 
that life, and light, and love into our souls, which is indeed 
his image ! How violently our fleshly sense and appetite 
strive against the restraints of God, and would hurry us con- 
trary to the motions of grace ! How importunately Satan 


joineth with his suggestions ! What baits the world doth still 
set before us, to divert us and pervert us ! And how many 
instruments of its flattery, or its cruelty are still at work, to 
stop us, or to turn us back ; to invite our affections down to 
earth, and ensnare them to some deluding vanity, or to dis- 
tract us in our heavenly design, and to affright or discourage 
us from the holy way. 

And if we think this an easy work, because it is likewise 
reasonable, do but observe how hardly it goeth on, till the 
power of God by grace accomplish it ! What a deal of pains 
may the best and wisest parents take with a graceless child, 
and all in vain ! What labours the worthiest ministers lose 
on graceless people ; and how blind, and dead, and senseless 
a thing the graceless heart is to anything that is holy, even 
when reason itself cannot gainsay it ! And God is pleased 
oftimes to weary out parents, and masters, and ministers, 
with such unteachable and stony hearts, to make them know 
what naturally they are themselves, to bring them to the 
more lively acknowledgment of the power which is neces- 
sary to renew and save a soul. But having spoken at large 
of this in the forementioned Treatise, I shall take up with 
these brief intimations. 

19. And the preservation of that grace in the soul which 
is once given us, is also an effect of the power of God. Our 
strength is in the Lord, and in the power of his might ; 
Ephes. vi. 10. It is our Lord himself who is the Lord of 
Life, and whose priesthood was made after the power of an 
endless life (Heb. vii. 16.) ; who giveth us the Spirit of 
power, and of love, and of a sound mind ; 2 Tim. i. 7. (or of 
received wisdom, for * o-w^joovt^ftoc ' is sound understanding 
received by instruction). And this text expresseth the three 
parts of God's image in the new creature, * wvevfxa Stuva/i£wc» 
Kai dydirr^g Kai a(o(f>^ovi(Tfi8»' And as power is given us with 
love and wisdom ; so power with love and wisdom do give 
it us ; and power also must preserve it. " We are kept by 
the power of God through faith unto salvation ;" 1 Pet. i. 5. 
" Acccording to the power of God ; who hath saved us ;" 
2 Tim. i. 8. The Gospel is the power of God (that is, the 
instrument of his power) to our salvation; Rom. i. 16. So 
1 Cor. i. 18. "To us that are saved it is the power of God;" 
because Christ whom it revealeth, is the " power and wis- 
dom of God ;'" ver. 24. And thus our faith standeth in the 


power of God ; 1 Cor. ii. 5. 2 Cor. vi. 7. And the king- 
dom of God in us doth consist in power ; 1 Cor. iv 20. The 
mind of man is very mutable ; and he that is possessed once 
with the desires of the things spiritual and eternal, would 
quickly lose those desires, and turn to present things again, 
(which are still before him, while higher things are beyond 
our sense) if the power and activity of the divine life did not 
preserve the spark which is kindled in us. Though the 
doctrine of perseverance be controverted in the Christian 
church, yet experience assureth us of that which all parties 
are agreed in. Some hold that all true Christians persevere ; 
and some hold that all confirmed Christians persevere (that 
is, those who come to a strong degree of grace) ; but those 
that think otherwise do yet all grant, that if any fall away, 
it is comparatively but a very few of those that are sincere. 
When none would persevere if Omnipotency did not pre- 
serve them. 

20. Lastly, the power of God also doth consequently 
own the Christian religion, by the preservation of the 
church, in this malicious and opposing world (as Vv^ell as 
by the preservation of grace in the soul), which will be 
the more apparent if you observe, 1. That the number of 
true Christians is still very small in comparison of the 
wicked. 2. That all wicked men are naturally (by the cor- 
ruption of nature) their enemies ; because the precepts and 
practice of Christianity are utterly against their carnal minds 
and interests. 3. That the doctrine and practice of Chris- 
tianity is still galling them, and exciting and sublimating 
this enmity into rage : and God doth by persecutions ordi- 
narily tell us to our smart, that all this is true. 4. That all 
carnal men are exceeding hardly moved from their own way. 
5. That the government of the earth is commonly in their 
hand, because of their numbers, and their wealth. For it is 
commonly the rich that rule ; and the rich are usually bad ; 
so that the godly Christians are in their power. 6. That all 
the hypocrites that are among ourselves, have the same sin- 
ful nature and enmity against holiness, and are usually as 
bitter against the power and practice of their own profes- 
sion, as open infidels are. 7. That Christianity is not a fruit 
of nature ; ' Non nati sed facti sumus Christiani ;' said Ter- 
tuUian. And therefore if God's power preserved not reli- 
gion, the degenerating of the Christian's children from their 


parent's mind and way, would hasten its extinction in the 
world. 8. And as it is a religion which must be taught us ; 
so it requireth or consistethin so much wisdom, and willing- 
ness, and fortitude of mind, that few are naturally apt to re- 
ceive it ;; because folly, and badness, and feebleness of mind 
are so common in the world. And as we see that learning 
will never be common but in the possession of a very few, 
because a natural ingenuity is necessary thereto, which few 
are born with ; so it would be with Christianity, if Divine 
power maintained it not. 9. And it is a religion which re- 
quireth much time and contemplation, in the learning and 
in the practising of it ; whereas the world are taken up with 
so much business for the body, and are so slothful to those 
exercises of the mind, which bring them no present, sensi- 
ble commodity, that this also would quickly wear it out. 
10. And then the terms of it being so contrary to all men's 
fleshly interest and sense, in self-denial, and forsaking all 
for Christ ; and in mortifying the most beloved sins, and the 
world putting us to it so ordinarily by persecution ; this 
also would deter the most, and weary out the rest, if the 
power of God did not uphold them. That which is done by 
exceeding industry, against the inclinations and interest of 
nature, will have no considerable number of practisers. As 
we see in horses and dogs which are capable, with great la- 
bour, of being taught extraordinary things which resemble 
reason : and yet because it must cost so much labour, there 
is but one in a century that is brought to it. But (though 
the truly religious are but few in comparison of the wicked, 
yet) godly persons are not so few as they would be, if it 
were the work of industry alone. God maketh it as a new 
nature to them ; and (which is very much to be observed) 
the main change is oftimes wrought in an hour, and that 
after all exhortations, and the labours of parents and teach- 
ers have failed, and left the sinner as seemingly hopeless. 

And thus I have shewed you, 1. That our religion ob- 
jectively taken, is the image of God's Wisdom, Goodness 
and Power, and thereby fully proved it to be from God. 2. 
And that our religion subjectively taken, is answerably the 
spirit or impress of Power, and of Love, and of Sound Un- 
derstanding, and is in us a constant seal and witness to the 
truth of Christ. 



The Means of making known all this Infallibly to us. 

I SUPPOSE the evidence of Divine attestation is so clear in 
this image of God on the Christian religion, which I have 
been opening, that few can doubt of it who are satisfied of 
the historical truth of the facts ; and therefore this is next 
to be considered, 'How the certain knowledge of all those 
things cometh down to us V 

The first question is, whether this doctrine and religion 
indeed be the impress of God's Wisdom, and his Goodness 
and Power, supposing the truth of the historical part ? This 
is what I think few reasonable persons will deny : for the 
doctrine is legible, and sheweth itself. 

But the next question, which I am now to resolve, is, 
* How we shall know that this doctrine was indeed delivered 
by Christ and his apostles, and these things done by them, 
which the Scriptures mention?' 

And here the first question shall be, * How the apostles, 
and all other the first witnesses, knew it themselves V For 
it is by every reasonable man to be supposed, that they who 
were present, and we who are at seventeen hundred years 
distance, could not receive the knowledge of the matters of 
fact, in the very same manner. It is certain that their know- 
ledge was by their present sense and reason : they saw 
Christ and his miracles : they heard his words : they saw 
him risen from the dead : they discoursed with him, and eat 
and drank with him : they saw him ascending up bodily to 
heaven. They needed no other revelation to tell them what 
they saw, and heard, and felt. 

If you had asked them then, * How know you that all 
these things were said and done?' They would have an- 
swered you, * Because we saw and heard them.' But we 
were not then present : we did not see and hear what they 
did: nor did we see or hear them, who were the eye- 
witnesses. And therefore as their senses told it them ; so 
the natural way for our knowledge, must be by derivation 
from their senses to ours : for when they themselves received 
it in a way so natural, (though not without the help of God's 
Spirit, in the remembering, recording and attesting it,) we 


that can less pretend to inspiration, or immediate revelation, 
have small reason to think that we must knov^ the same 
facts by either of those supernatural ways. Nor can our 
knowledge of a history, carried down through so many ages, 
be so clearly satisfactory to ourselves, as sight and hearing 
was to them. And yet we have a certainty, not only infal- 
lible, but so far satisfactory, as is sufficient to warrant all 
ourfaith, and duty, and sufferings for the reward which Christ 
hath set before us. 

Let us next then inquire, * How did the first churches 
know that the apostles and other preachers of the Gospel 
did not deceive them in the matter of fact V I answer. 
They had their degrees of assurance or knowledge in this 
part of their belief. 1. They had the most credible human 
testimony of men that were not like to deceive them. But 
this was not infallible. 

2. They had in their testimony the evidence of a natural 
certainty. It being naturally impossible, that so many per- 
sons should agree together to deceive the world, in such 
matters of fact, at so dear a rate, in the very place and age 
when the things were pretended to be done and said, when 
any one might have presently evinced the falsehood, if they 
had been liars ; about the twice feeding of many thousands 
miraculously, and the raising of the dead, and many other 
public miracles, and the darkness at his death, and the rend- 
ing of the rocks and veil of the temple, and the earthquake, 
and the coming down of the Holy Ghost upon themselves, 
with many the like ; they would have been detected and con- 
futed to their confusion. And we should have read what 
apologies they made against such detections and confuta- 
tions ! And some of them (at least at their death) would 
have been forced by conscience to confess the plot. 

3. But to leave no room for doubting, God gave those 
first churches the addition ofvhis own supernatural attesta- 
tion, by the same threefold impress of his image before des- 
cribed. 1. In the holy wisdom and light which was in their 
doctrine. 2. In the holy love, and piety, and purity, which 
was conspicuous in their doctrine, and in their lives. 3. 
And in the evidences of Divine power, in the many gifts, 
and wonders, and miracles which they wrought and mani- 
fested. And these things seem a fuller testimony than the 



miracles of Christ himself. For Christ^s miracles were the 
deeds of one alone ; and his resurrection was witnessed but 
by twelve chosen witnesses, and about five hundred other 
persons ; and he conversed with them but forty days, and 
that but seldom ; but the miracles of the disciples were 
wrought by many, and before many thousands, at several 
times, and in many countries, and for many, many years to- 
gether, and in the sight and hearing of many of the churches : 
so that these first churches had sight and hearing to assure 
them of the divine, miraculous attestation of the truth of 
their testimony, who told them of the doctrines, miracles 
and resurrection of Christ : and all this from Christ's solemn 
promise and gift ; " Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that 
believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also ; and 
greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the 
Father;" John xiv. 12. 

But if it be demanded, * How did the next Christians of 
the second receive all this from the first churches, who re- 
ceived it from the apostles V I answer, by the same evi- 
dence, and with some advantages. For, 1. They had the 
credible human testimony of all their pastors, neighbours, 
parents, who told them but what they saw and heard. 2. 
They had a greater evidence of natural infallible certainty. 
For, (1.) The doctrine was now delivered to them in the re- 
cords of the sacred Scriptures, and so less liable to the mis- 
reports of the ignorant, forgetful or erroneous. (2.) The 
reporters were now more numerous, and the miracles re- 
ported more numerous also. (3.) They were persons now 
dispersed over much of the world, and could not possibly 
agree together to deceive. (4.) The deceit would now have 
been yet more easily detected and abhorred. 

3. But besides this, they had also the supernatural tes- 
timony of God : for the apostles' converts received the same 
Spirit as they had themselves : and though the miracles of 
other persons were not so numerous as those of the apos- 
tles, yet the persons were many thousands more that wrought 
them. All this is asserted in the Scripture itself; as Gal. 
iii. 3, 4. 1 Cor. xiv. xii. and many places. And he that 
should have told them falsely that they themselves had the 
spirit of extraordinary gifts and miracles, would hardly have 
been believed by them. And all this also the following ages 
have themselves asserted unto us. 


The question then which remaineth is, ' How we receive 
all this infallibly from the subsequent ages or churches to 
this day T The answer to which is, still by the same way, 
with yet greater advantages in some respects, though less 
in others. As, 1. We have the human testimony of all our 
ancestors, and of many of our enemies. 2. We have greater 
evidence of natural certainty, that they could not possi- 
bly meet or plot together to deceive us. 3. We have still 
the supernatural, divine attestation (though rarely of mira- 
cles, yet) of those more necessary and noble operations of 
the Spirit, in the sanctification of all true believers ; which 
Spirit accompanieth and worketh by the doctrine which from 
our ancestors we have received. 

More distinctly observe all these conjunct means of our 
full reception of our religion. 

1. The very being of the Christians and churches, is a 
testimony to us that they believed and received this religion. 
For what maketh them Christians and churches but the re- 
ceiving of it? 

2. The ordinance of baptism is a notable tradition of it. 
For all that ever were made Christians have beefn baptized : 
and baptism is nothing but the solemn initiation of persons 
into this religion, by a vowed consent to it, as summarily 
were expressed in the Christian covenant. And this was 
used to be openly done. 

3. The use of the creed, which at baptism and other sa- 
cred seasons, was always wont to be professed (together with 
the Lord's prayer and the decalogue ; the summaries of our 
faith, desire and practice) is another notable tradition ; by 
which this religion hath been sent down to the following 
ages. For though perhaps all the terms of the creed were 
not so early as some think, thus constantly used ; yet all the 
sense and substance of it was. 

4. The holy Scriptures or records of this religion, con- 
taining integrally all the doctrine, and all the necessary 
matter of fact, is the most complete way of tradition. And 
it will appear to you in what further shall be said, that we 
have infallible proof, that these Scriptures are the same 
which the first churches did receive ; whatever inconsidera- 
ble errors may be crept into any copies by the unavoidable 
oversight of the scribes. 


5. The constant use of the sacred assemblies, hath been 
another means of sure tradition : for we have infallible proof 
of the successive continuation of such assemblies ; and that 
their use was still, the solemn profession of the Christian 
faith, and worshipping God according to it. 

6. And the constant use of reading the Scriptures in 
those assemblies, is another full historical tradition : for that 
which is constantly and publicly read, as the doctrine of 
their religion, cannot be changed, without the notice of all 
the church, and without an impossible combination of all 
the churches in the world. 

7. And it secureth the tradition that one set day hath 
been kept for this public exercise of religion, from the very 
first ; even the Lord's day (besides all occasional times)* 
The day itself being appointed to celebrate the memorial of 
Christ's resurrection, is a most current history of it; as the 
feast of unleavened bread, and the passover was of the 
Israelites' deliverance from Egypt. And the exercises 
still performed on that day, do make the tradition more 

And because some few Sabbatarians among ourselves da 
keep the old sabbath only, and call still for Scripture proof 
for the institution of the Lord's day ; let me briefly tell them, 
that which is enough to evince their error. 

L That the apostles were officers immediately commis- 
sioned by Christ, to disciple the nations, and to teach them 
all that Christ commanded, and so to settle orders in the 
church ; Matt, xxviii. 19 — 21. Acts. xv. &c. 

2. That Christ promised and gave them his Spirit infal- 
libly to guide them in the performance of this commission 
( though not to make them perfectly free from sin ) ; 
John xvi. 13^. 

3. That ' de facto ' the apostles appointed the use of the 
Lord's day for the church assemblies. This being all that 
is left to be proved, and this being matter of fact, which re- 
quireth no other kind of proof but history, part of the his- 
tory of it is in the Scripture, and the rest in the history of 
all the following ages. In the Scripture itself it is evident 
that the churches and the apostles used this day accordingly. 
And it hath most infallible history (impossible to be false) 
that the churches have used it ever to this day, as that which 
they found practised in their times by their appointment : 


and this is not a bare narrative, but an uninterrupted matter 
of public fact and practice ; so universal, that I remember 
not in all my reading, that ever one enemy questioned it, or 
ever one Christian or heretic denied, or once scrupled it. So 
that they who tell us that all this is yet but human testi- 
mony, do shew their egregious inconsiderateness, that know 
not that such human testimony or history in a matter of pub- 
lic, constant fact, may be most certain, and all that the na- 
ture of the case will allow a sober person to require. And 
they might as well reject the canon of the Scriptures, be- 
cause human testimony is it which in point of fact doth cer- 
tify us that these are the very unaltered canonical books, 
which were delivered at first to the churches. Yea, they 
may reject all the store of historical tradition of Christianity 
itself, which I am here reciting to the shame of their under- 

And consider also, that the Lord's day was settled, and 
constantly used in solemn worship by the churches, many 
and many years before any part of the New Testament was 
written, and above threescore years before it was finished. 
And when the churches had so many years been in public 
possessionofit,who would require that the Scriptures should 
after all, make a law to institute that which was instituted 
so long ago ? 

If you say, that it might have declared the institution, I 
answer, so it hath, as I have shewed ; there needing no 
other declaration, but 1. Christ's commission to the apos- 
tles to order the church, and declare his commands. 2. And 
his promise of infallible guidance therein. 3. And the his- 
tory of the churches' order and practice, to shew * de facto' 
what they did : and that history need not be written in 
scripture for the churches that then were ; any more than 
we need a revelation from heaven to tell us that the Lord's 
day is kept in England. And sure the next age needed no 
supernatural testimony of it ; and therefore neither do we : 
but yet it is occasionally oft intimated or expressed in the 
Scripture, though on the bye, as that which was no further 

So that I may well conclude, that we have better histori- 
cal evidence that the Lord's day was actually observed by 
the churches, for their public worship and profession of the 
Christian faith, than we have that ever there was such a man 


as William the Conqueror in England, yea, or King James ; 
much more than that there was a Caesar or Cicero. 

8. Moreover, the very office of the pastors of the church, 
and their continuance from the beginning to this day, is a 
great part of the certain tradition of this religion. For it is 
most certain that the churches vi^ere constituted, and the as- 
semblies held, and the worship performed with them, and 
by their conduct, and not without. And it is certain by in- 
fallible history, that their office hath been still the same, 
even to teach men this Christian religion, and to guide them 
in the practice of it, and to read the same Scriptures as the 
word of truth, and to explain it to the people. And there- 
fore as the judicatures and offices of the judges is a certain 
proof that there have been those laws by which they judge, 
(especially if they had been also the weekly public readers 
and expounders of them), so much more is it in our case. 

9. And the constant use of the sacrament of the body 
9,nd blood of Christ, hath according to his appointment, 
been an infallible tradition of his covenant, and a means to 
keep him in remembrance in the churches. For when all 
the churches in the world have made this sacramental com- 
memoration, and renewed covenanting with Christ as dead 
and risen, to be their constant public practice here, this is a 
tradition of that faith and covenant which cannot be coun- 
terfeit or false. 

10. To this we may add, the constant use of discipline 
in these churches : it having been their constant law and 
practice, to inquire into the faith and lives of the members, 
and to censure or cast out those that impenitently violated 
their religion : which sheweth, that * de facto' that faith and 
religion was then received ; and is a means of delivering it 
down to us. Under which we may mention, 1. Their sy- 
nods and officers. 2. And their canons by which this dis- 
cipline was exercised. 

11. Another tradition hath been the published confes- 
sions of their faith and religion in those apologies, which 
persecutions and calumnies have caused them to write. 

12. And another is, all those published confutations of 
the many heresies, which in every age have risen up ; and all 
the controversies which the churches have had with them, 
and among themselves. 


13. And another is, all the treatises, sermons and other 
instructing writings of the pastors of those times, 

14. And another way of tradition hath been by the tes- 
timony and sufferings of confessors and martyrs, who have 
endured either torments or death, in the defence and owning 
of this religion, in all which ways of tradition, the doctrine 
and the matter were jointly attested by them. For the re- 
surrection of Christ (which is part of the matter of fact) was 
one of the articles of their creed, which they suffered for. 
And all of them received the holy Scriptures, which declare 
the apostles' miracles ; and they received their faith, as de- 
livered by those apostles, with the confirmation of those mi- 
racles. So that when they professed to believe the doctrine, 
they especially professed to believe the history of the life 
and death of Christ, and of his apostles : and the religion 
which they suffered for, and daily professed, contained both : 
and the historical books called the Gospels, were the chief 
part of the Scripture which they called * The Word of God/ 
and the records of the Christian Religion. 

15. To this I may add, that all the ordinary prayers and 
praises of the churches, did continue the recital of much of 
this history, and of the apostles' names and acts, and were 
composed much in Scripture phrase, which preserved the 
memory, and professed the belief of all those things. 

16. And the festivals or other days, which were kept in 
honourable commemoration of those apostles and martyrs, 
was another way of keeping these things in memory. Whe- 
ther it were well done or not, is not my present inquiry (only 
I may say, I cannot accuse it of any sin, till it come 
to overdoing, and ascribing too much to them). But 
certainly it was a way of transmitting the memory of those 
things to posterity. 

17. Another hath been by the constant commemoration 
of the great works of Christ, by the days or seasons of the 
year, which were annually observed. How far here also the 
church did well or ill, I now meddle not; but doubtless the 
observing of anniversary solemnities for their commemora- 
tion, was a way of preserving the memory of the acts them- 
selves to posterity. How long the day of Christ's nativity 
hath been celebrated, I know not. Reading what Selden 
hath said on one side ; and on the other finding no current 
author mention it (that I have read) before Nazianzen ; and 


finding by Chrysostom, that the churches of the east, till his 
time had differed from the western churches, as far as the 
sixth of January is from the twenty-fifth of December. But 
that is of less moment, because Christ's birth is a thing un- 
questioned in itself. But we find that the time of his fast- 
ing forty days, the time of his passion, and of his resurrec- 
tion, and the giving of the Holy Ghost, were long before 
kept in memory by some kind of observation by fasts or 
festivals. And though there was a controversy about the 
due season of the successive observation of Easter, yet that 
signified no uncertainty of the first day, or the season of the 
year. And though at first it was but few days that were 
kept in fasting at that season, yet they were enough 
to commemorate both the forty days fasting, and the death 
of Christ. 

18. And the histories of the heathens and enemies of the 
church, do also declare how long Christianity continued, and 
what they were, and what they suffered who were called 
Christians ; such as Pliny, Celsus, Porphyry, Plotinus, Lu- 
cian, Suetonius, and others. 

19. And the constant instruction of children by their 
parents, which is family tradition, hath been a very great 
means also of this commemoration. For it cannot be (though 
some be negligent) but that multitudes in all times would 
teach their children what the Christian religion was, as to 
its doctrine and its history. And the practice of catechising, 
and teaching children the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the 
decalogue, and the Scriptures, the more secured this tradi- 
tion in families. 

20. Lastly, a succession of the same Spirit which was 
in the apostles, and of much of the same works which were 
done by them, was such a way of assuring us of the truth of 
their doctrine and history, as a succession of posterity telleth 
us, that our progenitors were men. The same spirit of wis- 
dom and goodness in a great degree continued after them to 
this day. And all wrought by their doctrine : and very cre- 
dible history assureth us, that many miracles also were done, 
in many ages after them, though not so many as by them. 
Eusebius, Cyprian, Augustine, Victor Uticensis, Sulpitius 
Severus, and many others, shew us so much as may make 
the belief of the apostles the more easy. 

And indeed, the image of God's Wisdom, Goodness and 


Power on the souls of all true Christians in the world, sue-' 
cessively to this day, considered in itself, and in its agree- 
ment with the same image in the holy Scriptures, which do 
imprint it, and in its agreement or sameness as found in all 
ages, nations and persons, is such a standing perpetual evi- 
dence that the Christian religion is divine, that (being still 
at hand) it should be exceeding satisfactory to a considerate 
believer, against all doubts and temptations to unbelief. 
And were it not, lest I should instead of an index, give you 
too large a recital of what I have more fully written in my 
aforesaid Treatise, I would here stay yet to shew you how 
impossible it is that this spirit of holiness, which we feel 
in us, and see by the effects in others, even in every true be- 
liever, should be caused by a word of falsehood, which he 
abhbrreth, and, as the just ruler of the world, would be 
obliged to disown. 

I shall only here desire you by the way to note that 
when I have all this while shewed you that the Spirit is the 
great witness of the truth of Christianity, that it is this Spi- 
rit of wisdom, goodness and power, in the prophets, in 
Christ, in the apostles, and in all Christians, expressed in 
the doctrine, and the practices aforesaid, which I mean; as 
being principally the evidences, or objective witness of Je- 
sus Christ; and secondarily, being in all true believers, 
their teacher, or illuminator and sanctifier, efficiently to 
cause them to perceive the aforesaid objective evidences in 
its cogent, undeniable power. And thus the Holy Ghost is 
the promised agent or advocate of Christ ; to do his work 
in his bodily absence in the world : and that in this sense 
it is, that we believe in the Holy Ghost, and are bap- 
tized into his name ; and not only as he is the third person 
in the eternal Trinity. 

And therefore it is to be lamented exceedingly, 1, That 
any orthodox teachers should recite over many of these 
parts of the witness of the Spirit, and when they have done, 
tell us, that yet all these are not sufficient to convince us 
without the testimony of the Spirit : as if all this were none 
of the testimony of the Spirit ; and as if they would per- 
suade us and our enemies, that the testimony which must 
satisfy us, is only some inward impress of this proposition 
on the mind, by way of inspiration, * The Scriptures are the 
Word of God, and true.' Overlooking the great witness of 


the Spirit, which is his especial work, and which our bap 
tism relateth to, and feigning some extraordinary new thing 
as the only testimony. 

And it is to be lamented, that Papists, and quarrelling 
sectaries should take this occasion to reproach us as infidels, 
that have no true grounded faith in Christ 5 as telling us 
that we resolve it all into a private, inward, pretended wit- 
ness of the Spirit : and then they ask us, * Who can know 
that witness but ourselves ? And how can we preach the 
Gospel to others, if the only cogent argument of faith be 
incommunicable, or such as we cannot prove?' Though 
both the believing soul and the church be the kingdom of 
the Prince of Light, yet O what wrong hath the prince of 
darkness done, by the mixtures of darkness in them both ! 

So much for the first Direction for the strengthening of 
faith ; which is, by discerning the evidences of truth in our 


The rest of the Directions for strengthening our Faith, 

I SHALL be more brief in the rest of the Directions, for the 
increase of faith : and they are these. 

Direct, 2. ' Compare the Christian religion with all 
other in the world. And seeing it is certain that some way 
or other God hath revealed, to guide man in his duty, unto 
his end, and it is no other; you will see that it must needs 
be this.' 

1. The way of the heathenish idolaters cannot be it. 
The principles and the effects of their religion may easily 
satisfy you of this. The only true God would not command 
idolatry, nor befriend such ignorance, error and wickedness 
as do constitute their religion, and are produced by it as its 
genuine fruits. 

2. The way of Judaism cannot be it : for it doth but 
lead us up to Christianity, and bear witness to Christ, and 
of itself is evidently insufficient ; its multitude of ceremo- 
nies being but the pictures and alphabet of that truth 
which Jesus Christ hath brought to light, and which hath 


evidence, which to us is more convincing than that of the 
Jewish law. 

3. The Mahometan delusion is so gross, that it seemeth 
vain to say any more against, than it saith itself ; unless it 
be to those who are bred up in such darkness, as to hear of 
nothing else, and never to see the sun which shineth on the 
Christian world ; and withal are under terror of the sword, 
which is the strongest reason of that barbarous sect. 

4. And to think that the atheism of infidels is the way, 
(who hold only the five articles of the unity of God, the du- 
ty of obedience, the immortality of the soul, the life of retri- 
bution, and the necessity of repentance) is but to go against 
the light. For, 1. It is a denial of that abundant evidence 
of the truth of the Christian faith, which cannot by any 
sound reason be confuted. 2. It is evidently too narrow for 
man's necessities, and leaveth our misery without a suffi- 
cient remedy. 3. Its inclusions and exclusions are contra- 
dictory : it asserteth the necessity of obedience and repen- 
tance, and yet excludeth the necessary means (the revealed 
light, and love, and power,) by which both obedience and 
repentance must be had. It excludeth Christ and his Spi- 
rit, and yet requireth that which none but Christ and his 
Spirit can effect. 4. It proposeth a way as the only reli- 
gion, which few ever went from the beginning (as to the ex- 
clusions). As if that were God's only way to heaven, which 
scarce any visible societies of men, can be proved to have 
practised to this day. 

Which of all these religions have the most wise, and holy, 
and heavenly, and mortified, and righteous, and sober per- 
sons to profess it ; and the greatest numbers of such ? If 
you will j udge of the medicine by the effects, and take him 
for the best physician, who doth the greatest cures upon the 
souls, you will soon conclude that Christ is the " way, the 
truth, and the life, and no man cometh to the Father but by 
him ;" John xiv. 6. 

Direct. 3. ' Think how impossible it is that any but God 
should be the author of the Christian religion.' 

1. No good man could be guilty of so horrid a crime as 
to forge a volume of delusions, and put God's name to it ; to 
cheat the world so blasphemously and hypocritically, and 
to draw them into a life of trouble to promote it. Much 
less could so great a number of good men do this, as the 


success of such a cheat (were it possible) would require. 
There is no man that can believe it to be a deceit, but must 
needs believe, as we do of Mahomet, that the author was one 
of the worst men that ever lived in the world. 

2. No bad man could lay so excellent a design, and frame 
a doctrine and law so holy, so self-denying, so merciful, so 
just, so spiritual, so heavenly, and so concordant in itself; 
nor carry on so high and divine an undertaking for so divine 
and excellent an end. No bad man could so universally 
condemn all badness, and prescribe such powerful remedies 
against it, and so effeclually cure and conquer it in so con- 
siderable a part of the world. 

3. If it be below any good man, to be guilty of such a 
forgery as aforesaid, we can much less suspect that any good 
angel could be guilty of it. 

4. And if no bad man could do so much good, we can 
much less imagine that any devil or bad spirit could be the 
author of it. The devil, who is the worst in evil, could ne- 
ver so much contradict his nature, and overthrow his own 
kingdom, and say so much evil of himself, and do so much 
against himself, and do so much for the sanctifying and 
saving of the world : he that doth so much to draw men to 
sin and misery, would never do so much to destroy their 
sin. And we plainly feel within ourselves, that the spirit or 
party which draweth us to sin, doth resist the Spirit which 
draweth us to believe and obey the Gospel ; and that these 
two maintain a war within us. 

5. And if you should say, that the good which is in Chris- 
tianity, is caused by God, and the evil of it by the father of 
sin ; I answer, either it is true or false : if it be true, it is so 
good, that the devil can never possibly be a contributor to 
it : nay, it cannot then be suspected justly of any evil. But 
if it be false it is then so bad, that God cannot be any other- 
wise the author of it, than as he is the author of any com- 
mon natural verity which it may take in and abuse ; or as 
his general concourse extendeth to the whole creation. But 
it is somewhat in Christianity, which it hath more than other 
religions have, which must make it more pure, and more 
powerful and successful than any other religions have been. 
Therefore it must be more than common natural truths : even 
the contexture of those natural truths, with the supernatu- 
ral revelations of it, and the addition of a spirit of power. 


and light, and love, to procure the success. And God can- 
not be the author of any such contexture, or additions; if it 
be false. 

6. If it be said, that men that had some good, and some 
bad in them, did contrive it (such as those fanatics or en- 
thusiasts, who have pious notions and words, with pride and 
self-exalting minds) ; I answer. The good is so great which 
is found in Christianity, that it is not possible that a bad 
man, much less an extremely bad man, could be the author 
of it. And the wickedness of the plot would be so great if 
it were false, that it is not possible that any but an extremely 
bad man could be guilty of it : much less that a multitude 
should be found at once so extremely good as to promote 
it, even with their greatest labour and suffering, and also so 
extremely bad as to join together in the plot to cheat the 
world, in a matter of such high importance. Such exceed- 
ing good and evil, cannot consist in any one person, much 
less in so many as must do such a thing. And if such a 
heated, brain-sick person as Hacket, Nailer, David George 
or John of Leyden, should cry up themselves upon prophe- 
tical and pious pretences, their madness hath still appeared, 
in the mixture of their impious doctrines and practices : and 
if any would and could be so wicked, God never would or 
did assist them, by an age of numerous open miracles, nor 
lend them his omnipotency to deceive the world ; but left 
them to the shame of their proud attempts, and made their 
folly known to all. 

Direct. 4. 'Study all the evidences of the Christian veri- 
ty, till their sense, and weight, and order be thoroughly di- 
gested, understood and remembered by you ; and be as plain 
and familiar to you, as the lesson which you have most 
thoroughly learned.' 

It is not once or twice reading, or hearing, or thinking 
on such a great and difficult matter, that will make it your 
own, for the establishing of your faith. He that will under- 
stand the art of a seaman, a soldier, a musician, a physi- 
cian, &c. so as to practise it ; must study it hard, and un- 
derstand it clearly and comprehensively, and have all the 
whole frame of it printed on his mind ; and not only here 
and there a scrap. Faith is a practical knowledge : we must 
have the heart and life directed and commanded by it : we 
must live by it, both in the intention of our end, and in the 


choice and use of all the means. Whilst the Gospel and the 
reasons of our religion are strange to people, like a lesson 
but half learned, who can expect that they should be settled 
against all temptations which assault their faith, and be able 
to confute the tempter ? We lay together the proofs of our 
religion, and you read them twice or thrice, and then think 
that if after that you have any doubting, the fault is in the 
want of evidence, and not in your want of understanding : 
but the life of faith must cost you more labour than so ; 
study it till you clearly understand it, and remember the 
whole method of the evidence together, and have it all at 
your finger's ends, and then you may have a confirmed faith 
to live by. 

Direct, 5. ' When you know what are the sorest tempta- 
tions to unbelief, get all those special arguments and provi- 
sions into your minds, which are necessary against those 
particular temptations. And do not strengthen your own 
temptations by your imprudent entertaining them.' 

Here are three things which I would especially advise 
you to against temptations to unbelief. 1. Enter not into 
the debate of so great a business when you are incapable of 
it. Especially, 1. When your minds are taken up with 
worldly business, or other thoughts have carried them away, 
let not Satan then surprise you, and say, * Come now and 
question thy religion.' You could not resolve a question in 
philosophy, nor cast up any long account, on such a sud- 
den, with an unprepared mind. When the evidences of your 
faith are out of mind, stay till you can have leisure to set 
yourselves to the business with that studiousness, and those 
helps which so great a matter doth require. 2. When sick- 
ness or melancholy doth weaken your understandings, you 
are then unfit for such a work. You would not in such a 
case dispute for your lives with a cunning sophister upon 
any difficult question whatsoever : and will you in such a 
case dispute with the devil, when your salvation may lie 
upon it? 

2. When your faith is once settled suffer not the devil to 
call you to dispute it over again at his command. Do it 
not when his suggestions urge you at his pleasure ; but 
when God maketh it your duty, and at his pleasure : else 
your very disputing with Satan, will be some degree of yield- 
ing to him, and gratifying him. And he will one time or. 


other take you at the advantage, and assault you when you 
are without your arms. 

3, Mark what it is that atheists and infidels most object 
against Christianity ; but especially mark what it is which 
Satan maketh most use of against yourselves, to shake your 
faith : and there let your studies be principally bent, that 
you may have particular armour to defend you against par- 
ticular assaults : and get such light by communication with 
wiser and more experienced men, as may furnish you for that 
use ; that no objection may be made against your faith, 
which you are not always ready to answer. This is the true 
sense of 1 Pet. iii. 15. " Sanctify the Lord God in your 
hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man 
that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with 
meekness and fear." 

Direct, 6. ' Mark well those works of God in the world, 
which are the plain fulfilling of his word.' 

God doth not make such notable diiference by his judg- 
ments, as shall prevent the great discoveries at the last, and 
make his assize and final judgment to be unnecessary, by 
doing the same work before the time. But yet his provi- 
dences do own and bear witness to his word ; and he leav- 
eth not the world without some present sensible testimo- 
nies of his sovereign government, to convince them, and res- 
train them. 

1. Mark how the state of the sinful world agreeth to 
God's description of it, and how maliciously godliness is 
every where opposed by them, and how notably God still 
casteth shame upon sinners ; so that even in their prosperity 
and rage they are pitied and contemned in the eyes of all 
that are wise and sober, and in the next generation their 
names do rot ; Psal. xv. 3, 4. Prov. x. 7. And it is won- 
derful to observe, that sin in the general and abstract is still 
spoken of by all as an odious thing, even by them that will 
be damned rather than they will leave it : and that virtue 
and godliness, charity and justice, are still praised in the 
world, even by them that abhor and persecute it. 

2. And it is very observable, how most of the great 
changes of the world are made ; by how small, contempti- 
ble and unthought of means ! Especially where the interest 
of the Gospel is most concerned ! The instance of the re- 
formation in Luther's tim^, and many others nearer to our 


days, would shew us much of the conjunction of God's 
works with his word, if they were particularly and wisely 

3. The many prodigies or extraordinary events which 
have fallen out at several times, would be found to be of use 
this way, if wisely considered. A great number have fallen 
out among us of late years, of real certainty, and of a con- 
siderable usefulness ; but the crafty enemy (who useth most 
to wrong Christ and his cause, by his most passionate, in- 
judicious followers) prevailed with some over-forward mi- 
nister of this strain, to publish them in many volumes, with 
the mixture of so many falsehoods and mistaken circum- 
stances, as turned them to the advantage of the devil and 
ungodliness, and made the very mention of prodigies to be- 
come a scorn. 

4. The strange deliverances of many of God's servants 
in the greatest dangers, by the most unlikely means, is a 
great encouragement to faith : and there are a great number 
of Christians that have experience of such. The very man- 
ner of our preservations is often such as forceth us to say, 
' It is the hand of God.' 

o. The notable answer, and grant of prayers, (of which 
many Christians have convincing experience,) is also a 
great confirmation to our faith, (of which I have before 

6. The three sensible evidences formerly mentioned, 
compared with the Scriptures, may much persuade us of its 
truth. I mean, 1. Apparitions. 2. Witches. 3. Satani- 
cal possessions or diseases, which plainly declare the opera- 
tion of Satan in them ; of all which I could give you mani- 
fold and proved instances. These, and many other instances 
of God's providence, are great means to help us to believe 
his word (though we must not, with fanatical persons, put 
first our interpretation upon God's works, and then expound 
his word by them ; but use his works as the fulfilling of his 
word, and expound his providences by his precepts, and his 
promises and threats). 

Direct. 7. * Mark well God's inward work of government 
upon the soul ; and you shall find it very agreeable to the 

There is a very great evidence of a certain kingdom of 
God within us. And as he is himself a Spirit, so it is with 


the Spirit that he doth most apparently converse, in the work 
of his moral government in the vi^orld. 

1. There you shall find a law of duty, or an inward con- 
viction of much of that obedience which you owe to God. 

2. There you shall find an inward mover, striving with 
you to draw you to perform this duty. 

3. There you shall find the inward suggestions of an 
enemy, labouring to draw you away from this duty, and to 
make a godly life seem grievous to you ; and also to draw 
you to all the sins which Christ forbiddeth. 

4. There you shall find an inward conviction, that God 
is your Judge, and that he will call you to account for your 
wilful violations of the laws of Christ. 

5. There you shall find an inward sentence passed upon 
you, according as you do good or evil. 

6. And there you may find the sorest judgments of God 
inflicted, which any short of hell endure. You may there 
find how God for sin doth first afflict the soul that is not 
quite forsaken, with troubles and afFrightments, and some 
feeling of his displeasure. And where that is long despised, 
and men sin on still, he useth to withhold his gracious mo- 
tions, and leave the sinner dull and senseless, so that he can 
sin with sinful remorse, having no heart or life to any thing 
that is spiritually good. And if yet the sinner think not of 
his condition, to repent, he is usually so far forsaken as to 
be given up to the power of his most brutish lust ; and to 
glory impudently in his shame, and to hate and persecute 
the servants of Christ who would recover him ; till he hath 
filled up the measure of his sin, and wrath be come upon 
him to the uttermost; (Ephes. iv. 18, 19. 1 Thess.ii. 15, 16.) 
being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work 
reprobate ; Titus i. 15, 16. Besides the lesser penal with- 
drawings of the Spirit, which God's own servants find in 
themselves, after some sins or neglects of grace. 

7. And there also you may find the rewards of love and 
faithful duty; by many tastes of God's acceptance, and 
many comforts of his Spirit, and by his owning the soul, and 
giving out larger assistances of his Spirit, and peace of con- 
science, and entertainment in prayer, and in all approaches 
of the soul to God, and sweeter foretastes of life eternal. In 
a word, if we did but note God's dreadful judgments on the 

VOL. xn. h 

146 Life of faith. 

souls -of the ungodly in this age, as well as we have noted 
our plagues and flames ; and if God's servants kept as exact 
observations of their inward rewards and punishments, and 
that in particulars, as suited to their particular sins and du- 
ties ; you would see that Christ is King indeed, and that 
there is a real government according to his Gospel, kept up 
in the consciences or souls of men (though not so observable 
as the rewards and punishments at the last day). 

Direct. 8. * Dwell not too much on sensual objects, and 
let them not come too near your hearts.' 

'fhree things I here persuade you carefully to avoid : 1. 
That you keep your hearts at a meet distance from all things 
in this world ; that they grow not too sweet to you, nor too 
great in your esteem. 2. That you gratify not sense itself 
too much ; and live not in the pleasing of your taste or lust. 
3. That you suifer not your imaginations to run out gree- 
dily after things sensible, nor make them the too frequent 
objects of your thoughts. 

You may ask perhaps, what is all this to our faith? 
Why, the life of faith is exercised upon things that are not 
seen ; and if you live upon the things that are seen, and im- 
prison your soul in the fetters of your concupiscence, and 
fill your fancies with things of another nature, how can you 
be acquainted with the life of faith ? Can a bird fly that 
hath a stone tied to her foot ? Can you have a mind full of 
lust, and of God at once ? Or can that mind that is used 
to these inordinate sensualities, be fit to relish the things 
that are spiritual? And can it be a lover of earth and fleshly 
pleasures, and also a believer and lover of heaven? 

Direct. 9. * Use yourselves much to think and speak of 
heaven, and the invisible things of faith.' 

Speaking of heaven is needful both to express your 
thoughts, and to actuate and preserve them. And the often 
thoughts of heaven, will make the mind familiar there : and 
familiarity will assist and encourage faith : for it will much 
acquaint us with those reasons and inducements of faith, 
which a few strange and distant thoughts will never reach 
to. As he that converseth much with a learned, wise or 
godly man, will more easily believe that he is learned, wise 
or godly, than he that is a stranger to him, and only now 
and then seeth him afar off". So he that thinketh so fre- 
quently of God and heaven, till his mind hath contracted a 


humble acquaintance and familiarity, must needs believe 
the truth of all that excellency which before he doubted of. 
For doubting is the effect of ignorance : and he that knoweth 
most here, believeth best. Falsehood and evil cannot bear 
the light : but the more you think of them, and know them, 
the more they are detected and ashamed: but truth and 
goodness love the light ; and the better you are acquainted 
with them, the more will your belief and love be increased. 

Direct. 10. • Live not in the guilt of wilful sin ; for that 
will many ways hinder your belief/ 

1. It will breed fear and horror in your minds, and make 
you wish that it were not true, that there is a day of judg- 
ment, and a hell for the ungodly, and such a God, such a 
Christ, and such a life to come, as the Gospel doth de- 
scribe : and when you take it for your interest to be an un- 
believer, you will hearken with desire to all that the devil 
and infidels can say : and you will the more easily make 
yourselves believe that the Gospel is not true, by how much 
the rtiore you desire that it should not be true. 2. And you 
will forfeit the grace which should help you to believe ; 
both by your wilful sin, and by your unwillingness to be- 
lieve : for who can expect that Christ should give his grace 
to them, who wilfully despise him and abuse it : or that he 
should make men believe, who had rather not believe ? 
Indeed he may possibly do both these, but these are not 
the way, nor is it a thing which we can expect. 3. And 
this guilt, and fear, and unwillingness together, will all 
keep down your thoughts from heaven ; so that seldom 
thinking of it, will increase your unbelief: and they will 
make you unfit to see the evidences of truth in the Gospel, 
when you do think of them, or hear them : for he that 
would not know, cannot learn. Obey therefore according 
to the knowledge which you have, if ever you would have 
more, and would not be given up to the blindness of infi- 

Direct. 11. ' Trust not only to your understandings, and 
think not that study is all which is necessary to faith : but 
remember that faith is the gift of God, and therefore pray 
as well as study.' 

"Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not to 
thy own understanding;" Prov. iii. 5. It is a precept as 
necessary in this point as in any. In all things God ab- 


horreth the proud, and looketh at them afar off, as with dis- 
owning and disdain : but in no case more, than when a blind 
ungodly sinner shall so overvalue his own understanding, as 
to think that if there be evidence of truth in the mystery of 
faith, he is able presently to discern it, before or without 
any heavenly illumination, to cure his dark distempered 
mind. Remember that as the sun is seen only by his own 
light ; so is God, our Creator and Redeemer. Faith is the 
gift of God, as well as repentance ; Ephes. ii. 8. 2 Tim. ii. 
25, 26. Apply yourselves therefore to God by earnest 
prayer for it. As he, Mark ix. 24. " Lord, I believe, help 
thou my unbelief." And as the disciples, Luke xvii. 5, ** In- 
crease our faith." A humble soul that waiteth on God in 
fervent prayer, and yet neglecteth not to study and search 
for truth, is much liker to become a confirmed believer, than 
ungodly students, who trust and seek no further than to 
their books, and their perverted minds. For as God will be 
sought to for his grace ; so those that draw near him, do 
draw near unto the light ; and therefore are like as children 
of light to be delivered from the power of darkness j for in 
his light we shall see the light that must acquaint us with 

Direct, 12. Lastly, ' What measure of light soever God 
vouchsafeth you, labour to turn it all into love ; and make 
it your serious care and business to know God, that you 
may love him, and to love God so far as you know him,' 

For he that desireth satisfaction in his doubts, to no 
better end, than to please his mind by knowing, and to free 
it from the disquietude of uncertainty, hath an end so low 
in all his studies, that he cannot expect that God and his 
grace should be called down, to serve such a low and base 
design. That faith which is not employed in beholding the 
love of God in the face of Christ, on purpose to increase 
and exercise our love, is not indeed the true Christian faith, 
but a dead opinion. And he that hath never so weak a faith, 
and useth it to this end, to know God's amiableness, and to 
love him, doth take the most certain way for the confirma- 
tion of his faith. For love is the closest adherence of the 
soul to God, and therefore will set it in the clearest light, 
and will teach it by the sweet convincing way of experience 
and spiritual taste. Believing alone is like the knowledge 
of our meat by seeing it : and love is the knowledge of our 


meat by eating and digesting it. And he that hath tasted 
that it is sweet, hath a stronger kind of persuasion that it is 
sweet, than he that only seeth it ; and will much more tena- 
ciously hold his apprehension : it is much more possible to 
dispute him out of his belief, who only seeth, than him that 
also tasteth and concocteth. A parent and child will not 
so easily believe any false reports of one another, as stran- 
gers or enemies will ; because love is a powerful resister of 
such hard conceits. And though this be delusory and 
blinding partiality, where love is guided by mistake ; yet 
when a sound understanding leadeth it, and love hath 
chosen the truest object, it is the naturally perfective mo- 
tion of the soul. 

And love keepeth us under the fullest influences of 
God*s love : and therefore in the reception of that grace 
which will increase our faith : for love is that act which the 
ancient doctors were wont to call, the principle of merit, or 
first meritorious act of the soul ; and which we call the 
principle of rewardable acts. God beginneth and loveth us 
first, partly with a love of complacency, only as his crea- 
tures, and also as * in esse cognito,' he foreseeth how amia- 
ble his grace will make us ; and partly with a love of 
benevolence, intending to give us that grace which shall 
make us really the objects of his further love ; and having 
received this grace, it pauseth us to love God : and when 
we love God, we are really the objects of his complacential 
love; and when we perceive this, it still increaseth our 
love : and thus the mutual love of God and man, is the true 
perpetual motion, which hath an everlasting cause, and 
therefore must have an everlasting duration. And so the 
faith which hath once kindled love, even sincere love to 
God in Christ, hath taken rooting in the heart, and lieth 
deeper than the head, and will hold fast, and increase as 
love increaseth. 

And this is the true reason of the steadfastness and hap- 
piness of many weak unlearned Christians, who have not 
the distinct conceptions and reasonings of learned men; 
and yet because their faith is turned into love, and their 
love doth help to confirm their faith : and as they love more 
heartily ; so they believe more steadfastly, and perseveringly, 
than many who can say more for their faith. And so much 
for the strengthening of your faith. 



General Directions for exercising the Life of your Faith, 

Having told you how faith must be confirmed, I am next 
to tell you how it must be used. And in this I shall begin 
with some general directions, and then proceed to such 
particular cases, in which we have the greatest use for faith. 
Direct. 1. * Remember the necessity of faith in all the 
business of your hearts and lives, that nothing can be done 
well without it.' There is no sin to be conquered, no grace 
to be exercised, no worship to be performed, nor any acts of 
mercy, or justice, or worldly business, to be done well with- 
out it, in any manner acceptable to God. " Without faith 
it is impossible to please God ;" Heb. xi. 6. You may as 
well go about your bodily work without your eyesight, as 
about your spiritual work without faith. 

Direct, 2. * Make it therefore your care and work to get 
faith, and to use it ; and think not that God must reveal his 
mind to you, as in visions, while you idly neglect your pro- 
per work.' Believing is the first part of your trade of life; 
and the practice of it must be your constant business. It 
is not living ordinarily by sense, and looking when God 
will cast in the light of faith extraordinarily, which is in- 
deed the life of faith ; nor is it seeming to stir up faith in a 
prayer or sermon, and looking no more after it all the day ; 
this is but to give God a salutation, and not to dwell and 
walk with him ; and to give heaven a complimental visit 
sometimes, but not to have our conversation there ; 2 Cor. v. 
7, 8. 

Direct, 3. * Be not too seldom in solitary meditation.' 
Though it be a duty which melancholy persons are disabled 
to perform, in any set, and long, and orderly manner ; yet 
it is so needful to those that are able, that the greatest works 
of faith are managed by it. How should things unseen be 
apprehended so as to affect our hearts, without any serious 
exercise of our thoughts ? How should we search into mys- 
teries of the Gospel, or converse with God, or walk in hea- 
ven, or fetch either joys or motives thence, without any 
retired studious contemplation ? If you cannot meditate or 
think, you cannot believe. Meditation abstracteth the 


mind from vanity, and lifteth it up above the world, and 
setteth it about the v^^ork of faith ; which by a mindless, 
thoughtless, or worldly soul, can never be performed ; 
2 Cor. iv. 16—18. Phil. iii. 20. Matt. vi. 21. Col. iii. 1.3. 
Direct. 4. ' Let the image of the life of Christ, and his 
martyrs, and holiest servants, be deeply imprinted on your 
minds.' That you may know what the way is which you 
have to go, and what patterns they be which you have to 
imitate ; think how much they were above things sensitive, 
and how light they set by all the pleasures, wealth, and 
glory of this world. Therefore the Holy Ghost doth set be- 
fore us that cloud of witnesses, and catalogue of martyrs, 
in Heb. xi. that example may help us, and we may see with 
how good company we go, in the life of faith. Paul had well 
studied the example of Christ, when he took pleasure in in- 
firmities, and gloried only in the cross, to be base and af- 
flicted in this world, for the hopes of endless glory ; 2 Cor. 
xi. 30. xii. 5. 9, 10. And when he could say, " I count all 
things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ 
Jesus, my Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss of ail 
things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ 
that I may know him, and the power of his resurrec- 
tion, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made con- 
formable to his death ;" Phil. iii. 8 — 10. No man will mili- 
tate in the life of faith, but he that followeth the " Captain of 
his salvation'' (Heb. ii. 10.); who for the bringing of many 
sons to glory (even those whom he is not ashamed to call 
his brethren) was made perfect, (as to the perfection of 
action or performance) by suffering; thereby to shew us, 
how little the best of these visible and sensible corporeal 
things, are to be valued in comparison of the things invisi- 
ble ; and therefore as the general and the soldiers make up 
one army, and militate in one militia ; so *' he that sancti- 
fieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one ;" Heb. ii. 
10 — 12. Though that which is called the life of faith in us, 
deserved a higher title in Christ, and his faith in his Fa- 
ther, and ours, do much differ, and he had not many of the 
objects, acts, and uses of faith, as we have who are sinners ; 
yet in this we must follow him as our great example, in 
valuing things invisible, and vilifying things visible in com- 
parison of them. And therefore Paul saith, " I am crucified 
with Christ : nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth 


ill me ; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by 
the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself 
forme;" Gal. ii. 20. 

Direct, 5. * Remember therefore that God and heaven, 
the unseen things, are the final object of true faith ; and 
that the final object is the noblest ; and that the principal 
use of faith is to carry up the whole heart and life from 
things visible and temporal, to things invisible and eternal ; 
and not only to comfort us in the assurance of our own for- 
giveness and salvation/ 

It is an exceeding common and dangerous deceit, to 
overlook both this principal object and principal use of the 
Christian faith. 1. Many think of no other object of it, 
but the death and righteousness of Christ, and the pardon 
of sin, and the promise of that pardon : and God and hea- 
ven they look at as the objects of some other common kind 
of faith. 2. And they think of little other use of it, than to 
comfort them against the guilt of sin, with the assurance of 
their justification. But the great and principal work of 
faith is, that which is about its final object ; to carry up the 
soul to God and heaven, where the world, and the things 
sensible, are the * terminus a, quo,' and God, and things in- 
visible, the ' terminus ad quem :' and thus it is put in con- 
tradistinction to living by sight, in 2 Cor. v. 6, 7. And thus 
mortification is made one part of this great effect, in Rom. vi. 
throughout, and many other places : and thus it is that 
Heb. xi. doth set before us those numerous examples of a 
life of faith, as it was expressed in valuing things unseen, 
upon the belief of the word of God, and the vilifying of 
things seen which stand against them. And thus Christ 
tried the rich man, (Luke xviii. 22.) whether be would be his 
disciple, by calling him to sell all, and give to the poor, for 
the hopes of a treasure in heaven. And thus Christ maketh 
bearing the cross, and denying ourselves, and forsaking all 
for him, to be necessary in all that are his disciples. And 
thus Paul describeth the life of faith, (2 Cor. iv. 17, 18.) by 
the contempt of the world, and suffering afiiictions for the 
hopes of heaven : " For our light affliction, which is but for 
a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory ; while we look not at the things which are 
seen, but at the things which are not seen : for the things 
which are seen, are temporal, but the things which are not 


seen, are eternal." Our faith is our victory over the world, 
even in the very nature of it, and not only in the remote ef- 
fect ; for its aspect and believing approaches to God and 
the things unseen, and a proportionable recess from the 
things which are seen, is one and the same motion of the 
soul, denominated variously from its various respects to the 
* terminus ad quem,* and * a quo/ 

Direct. 6. * Remember, that as God to be believed in, is 
the principal and final object of faith; so the kindling of 
love to God in the soul, is the principal use and effect of 
faith : and to live by faith, is but to love (obey and suffer) 
by faith/ Faith working by love, is the description of our 
Christianity ; Gal. v. 6. As Christ is the way to the Father, 
(John xiv. 6.) and came into the world to recover apostate 
man to God, to love him, and be beloved by him ; so the 
true use of faith in Jesus Christ is to be as it were the bel- 
lows to kindle love ; or the burning-glass as it were of the 
soul, to receive the beams of the love of God, as they shine 
upon us in Jesus Christ, and thereby to inflame our hearts 
in love to God again. Therefore if you would live by faith 
indeed, begin here, and first receive the deepest apprehen- 
sions of that love of the Father, *' who so loved the world, 
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be- 
lieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life :"' 
and by these apprehensions, stir up your hearts to the love 
of God ; and make this very endeavour the work and busi- 
ness of your lives. 

Oh that mistaken Christians would be rectified in this 
point ! How much would it tend to their holiness and their 
peace ? You think of almost nothing of the life of faith ; 
but how to believe that you have a special interest in Christ, 
and shall be saved by him : but you have first another work 
to do : you must first believe that common love and grace 
before-mentioned ; Job iii. 16. 2 Cor. v. 19, 20. 14, 15. 
1 Tim. ii. G. Heb. ii. 9. And you must believe your own 
interest in this ; that is, that God hath by Christ, made to 
all, and therefore unto you, an act of oblivion, and free deed 
of gift, that you shall have Christ, and pardon, and eternal 
life, if you will believingly accept the gift, and will not 
finally reject it. And the belief of this, even of this com- 
mon love and grace, must first persuade your hearts accord- 
ingly to accept the offer, (and then you have a special in- 

154 life' OF FAITH. 

terest) and withal, at the same time must kindle in your 
souls a thankful love to the Lord and fountain of this grace : 
and if you were so ingenuous as to begin here, and first use 
your faith upon the aforesaid common gift of Christ, for the 
kindling of love to God within you, and would account this 
the work which faith hath every day to do ; you would then 
find that in the very exciting and exercise of this holy love, 
your assurance of your own special interest in Christ, 
would be sooner and more comfortably brought about, than 
by searching to find either evidence of pardon before you 
find your love to God ; or to find your love to God, before 
you have laboured to get and exercise it. 

I tell you, they are dangerous deceivers of your souls, 
that shall contradict this obvious truth ; that the true me- 
thod and motive of man's first special love to God, must 
not be by believing first God's special love to us ; but by 
believing his more common love and mercy in the general 
act and offer of grace before-mentioned. For he that be- 
lieveth God's special love to him, and his special interest in 
Christ, before he hath any special love to God, doth sin- 
fully presume, and not believe. For if by God's special 
love, you mean his love of complacency to you, as a living 
member of Christ; to believe this before you love God 
truly, is to believe a dangerous lie : and if you mean only, 
God's love of benevolence, by which he decreeth to make 
you the objects of his aforesaid complacency, and to sanc- 
tify and save you ; to believe this before you truly love 
God, is to believe that which is utterly unknown to you, 
and may be false for ought you know, but it is not at all re^ 
vealed by God, and therefore is not the object of faith. 

Therefore if you cannot have true assurance or per- 
suasion of your special interest in Christ, and of your justi- 
fication, before you have a special love to God, then this 
special love must be kindled (I say not by a common faith, 
but) by a true faith in the general love and promise men- 
tioned before. 

Nay, you must not only have first this special love, but 
also must have so much knowledge, that indeed you have 
it, as you will have knowledge of your special interest in 
Christ, and the love of God : for no act of faith will truly 
evidence special grace, which is not immediately and inti- 
mately accompanied with true love to God, our Father and 


Redeemer, and the ultimate object of our faith: nor can 
you any further perceive or prove, the sincerity of your 
faith itself, than you discern in or v^^ith it, the love here 
mentioned. For faith is not only an act of the intellect, 
but of the vi'ill also : and there is no volition or consent to 
this or any offered good, which hath not in it the true na- 
ture of love : and the intention of the end, being in order of 
nature, before our choice or use of means ; the intending of 
God as our end, cannot come behind that act of faith, 
which is about Christ as the chosen means or way to God. 
Therefore make this your great and principal use of 
your faith, to receive all the expressions of God's love in 
Christ, and thereby to kindle in you a love to God ; that 
first the special true belief of God's more common love and 
grace, may kindle in you a special love, and then the sense 
of this may assure you of your special interest in Christ; 
and then the assurance of that special interest, may increase 
your love to a much higher degree : and thus live by faith 
in the work of love. 

Direct, 7. ' That you may understand what the faith is 
which you must live by, take in all the parts (at least that 
are essential to it) in your description ; and take not some 
parcels of it for the Christian faith ; nor think not that it 
must needs be several sorts of faith, if it have several ob- 
jects ; and hearken not to that dull philosophical subtlety, 
which would persuade you that faith is but some single 
physical act of the soul/ 

1. If you know not what faith is, it must needs be a 
great hinderance to you, in the seeking of it, the trying it, 
and the using it. For though one may use his natural fa- 
culties, which work by natural inclination and necessity, 
without knowing what they are ; yet it is not so where the 
choice of the rational appetite is necessary ; for it must be 
guided by the reasoning faculty. And though unlearned 
persons may have and use repentance, faith, and other 
graces, who cannot define them, yet they do truly (though 
not perfectly) know the thing itself, though they know not 
the terms of a just definition : and all defect of knowing 
the true nature of faith, will be some hinderance to us in 
using it. 

2. It is a moral subject which we are speaking of; and 
terms are to be understood according to the nature of the 


subject : therefore faith is to be taken for a moral act, which 
comprehendeth many physical acts : such as the act of be- 
lieving it, or taking such a man for my physician, or my 
master, or my tutor, or my king. Even our philosophers 
themselves know not what doth individuate a physical act 
of the soul : (nay, they are not agreed whether its acts 
should be called physical properly, or not.) Nay, they 
cannot tell what doth individuate an act of sense; whether 
when my eye doth at once see many words and letters of 
my book, every word or letter doth make as many indivi- 
dual acts, by being so many objects? And if so, whether 
the parts of every letter also do not constitute an individual 
act ; and where shall we here stop ? And must all these 
trifles be considered in our faith ? Assenting to the truths 
is not one faith (unless when separated from the rest) and 
consenting to the good, another act : nor is it one faith to 
believe the promise, and another to believe the pardon of 
sin, and another to believe salvation, and another to believe 
in God, and another to believe in Jesus Christ ; nor one to 
believe in Christ as our ransom, and another as our Inter- 
cessor, and another as our Teacher, and another as our 
King, and another to believe in the Holy Ghost, &c. I deny 
not but some one of these may be separated from the rest, 
and being so separated may be called faith ; but not the 
Christian faith, but only a material parcel of it, which is like 
the limb of a man, or of a tree, which, cut off from the rest, 
is dead, and ceaseth when separated to be a part, any other 
than logical (a part of the description.) 

The faith which hath the promise of salvation, and which 
you must live by, hath, 1. God for the principal Revealer, 
and his veracity for its formal object. 2. It hath Christ, 
and angels, and prophets, and apostles, for the sub-reveal- 
ers. 3. It hath the Holy Ghost by the divine attesting 
operations before described, to be the seal and the con- 
firmer. 4. It hath the same Holy Ghost for the internal 
exciter of it. 5. It hath all truths of known divine revela- 
tion, and all good of known divine donation by his cove- 
nant, to be the material general object. 6. It hath the 
covenant of grace, and the Holy Scriptures, (and formerly 
the voice of Christ and his apostles) or any such sign of the 
mind of God, for the instrumental efficient cause of the ob- 
ject ' in esse cognito :' and also the instrumental efficient of 


the act. 7. It hath the true Deity, God himself, as he is 
to be known and loved, inceptively here, and perfectly in 
heaven, for the final and most necessary material object. 8. It 
hath the Lord Jesus Christ, entirely in all essential to him, 
as God and man, and as our Redeemer or Saviour, as our 
ransom. Intercessor, Teacher and Ruler, for the most neces- 
sary, mediate, material object. 9. It hath the gifts of par- 
don, justification, the Spirit of sanctification or love, and 
all the necessary gifts of the covenant, for the material, 
never-final objects. And all this is essential to the Chris- 
tian faith, even to that faith which hath the promise of par- 
don and salvation : and no one of these must be totally left 
out in the definition of it, if you would not be deceived. It 
is heresy, and not the Christian faith, if it exclude any one 
essential part ; and if it include it not, it is infidelity : and 
indeed there is such a connexion of the objects, that there 
is no part (in truth) where therq is not the whole. And it 
is impiety if any one part of the offered good that is neces- 
sary be refused. It is no true faith, if it be not a true com- 
position of all these. 

Direct, 8. * There is no nearer way to know what true 
faith is, than truly to understand what your baptismal co- 
venanting did contain.' 

In the Scripture phrase, to be a disciple, a believer, and 
a Christian, is all one ; Acts xi. 26. Acts v. 14. 1 Tim. iv. 
12. Matt. X. 42. xxvii. 57. Luke xiv. 26, 27. 33. Acts 
xxi. 16. John ix. 28. And to be a believer, and to have 
belief or faith, is all one : and therefore to be a Christian, 
and to have faith is all one. Christianity signifieth either 
our first entrance into the Christian state, or our progress 
in it. (As marriage signifieth either matrimony, or the con- 
jugal state continued in.) In the latter sense Christianity 
signifieth more than faith ; for more than faith is necessary 
to a Christian. But in the former sense, as Christianity 
signifieth but our becoming Christians, by our covenanting 
with God, so to have faith, or to be a believer, and internally 
to become a Christian in Scripture sense, is all one; and 
the outward covenanting is but the profession of faith or 
Christianity: not that the word faith is never taken in a 
narrower sense, or that Christianity, as it is our heart-cove- 
nant or consent, containeth nothing but faith, as faith is so 
taken in the narrowest sense : but when faith is taken (as 


ordinarily in Scripture) for that which is made the condition 
of justification and salvation, and opposed to heathenism, 
infidehty, Judaism, or the works of the law, it is commonly 
taken in this larger sense. 

Faith is well enough described to them, that understand 
what is implied, by the usual shorter description ; as, that 
it is a believing acceptance of Christ, and relying on him as 
our Saviour, or for salvation : or, a belief of pardon, and the 
heavenly glory as procured by the redemption wrought by 
Christ, and given by God in the covenant of grace : but 
the reason is, because all the rest is con-noted, and so to be 
understood by us, as if it were expressed in words : but the 
true and full definition of it is this: 

The Christian faith which is required at baptism, and 
then professed, and hath the promise of justification and 
glorification, is a true belief 'of the Gospel, and an accep- 
tance of, and consent unto the covenant of grace : particu- 
larly, a believing that God is our Creator, our Owner, our 
Ruler, and our chief good ; and that Jesus Christ is God 
and man, our Saviour, our ransom, or Teacher, and our 
King ; and that the Holy Ghost is the sanctifier of the 
church of Christ : and it is an understanding, serious con- 
sent, that this God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be 
my God and reconciled Father in Christ, my Saviour, and 
my Sanctifier ; to justify me, sanctify me, and glorify me, 
in the perfect knowledge of God, and mutual complacence 
in heaven ; which belief and consent wrought in me by the 
word and Spirit of Christ, is grounded upon the veracity of 
God and his chief Revealer, and upon his love and mercy 
as the donor ; and upon Christ and his apostles as the mes- 
sengers of God ; and upon the Gospel ; and especially the 
covenant of his grace, as the instrumental revelation and 
donation itself: and upon the many signal operations of the 
IJoly Ghost, as the divine infallible attestation of their truth. 
^. Learn this definition, and understand it thoroughly, and 
it may prove a more solid useful knowledge (to have the 
true nature of faith or Christianity thus methodically printed 
on your minds) than to read over a thousand volumes in a 
rambling and confused way of knowledge. 

If any quarrel at this definition, because the foundation 
is not first set down, I only tell him that no logicians do 
judge of the logical order of words by the mere propriety 


and posteriority of place. And if any think that here is 
more than every true Christian doth understand and remem- 
ber, I answer, that here is no more than every true Christian 
hath a true knowledge of; though perhaps every one have 
not a knowledge so methodical, explicit and distinct, as to 
define faith thus, or to think so distinctly and clearly of it, 
as others do, or to be able by words to express to another, 
what he hath a real conception of in himself. There is first 
in the mind of man a conception of the object or matter 
(by those words or means which introduce it) and next that 
' verbum mentis,' or inward word, which is a distincter con- 
ception of the matter in the mould of such notions as may 
be expressed ; and next the * verbum oris,' the word of 
mouth expresseth it. Now many have the conception of 
the matter, long before they have the ' verbum mentis,' or 
logical notions of it : and many have the ' verbum mentis,' 
who by a hesitating tongue are hindered from oral expres- 
sions ; and in both there are divers degrees of distinctness 
and clearness. 

Direct. 9. ' Turn not plain Gospel doctrine into the phi- 
losophical fooleries of wrangling and ill-moulded wits ; nor 
feign to yourselves any new notions, or offices of faith, or 
any new terms as necessary, which are not in the Holy 

I do not say, use no terms which are not in the Scrip- 
tures ; for the Scriptures were not written in English : nor 
do I persuade you to use no other notions than the Scrip- 
tures use ; but only that you use them not as necessary, 
and lay not too great a stress upon them. I confess new 
heresies may give occasion for new words (as the bishops 
in the first council of Nice thought) : and yet as Hilary ve- 
hemently inveigheth against making new creeds on such 
pretences, and wisheth no such practice had been known 
(not excepting those at Nice) because it taught the heretics 
and contenders to imitate them ; and they that made the 
third creed, might have the like arguments for it as those 
that made the second ; and he knew not when there would 
be an end ; so I could wish that there had been no new no- 
tions in the doctrine of faith, so much as used ; for the same 
reasons: and especially because that while the first in- 
ventors do but use them, the next age which followeth them 


will hold them necessary, and lay the churches' communion 
and peace upon them. 

For instance, I think the word * satisfaction,' as used by 
the orthodox, is of a very sound sense in our controversies 
against the Socinians ; and yet I will never account it 
necessary, as long as it is not in the Scriptures, and as long 
as the words * sacrifice, ransom, price, propitiation, atone- 
ment, &c.' which the Scripture useth, are full as good. 

So I think that * imputing Christ's righteousness to us,* 
is a phrase which the orthodox use in a very sound sense ; 
and yet as long as it is not used by the Spirit of God in the 
Scriptures ; and there are other phrases enough, which as 
well, or better, express the true sense, I will never hold it 

So also the notions and phrases of 'faith being the in- 
strument of our justification,' and * faith justifieth only ob- 
jectively,' and * that faith justifieth only as it receiveth 
Christ's blood, or Christ's righteousness, or Christ as a 
priest ;' ' that faith is only one physical act ;' that it is 

* only in the understanding ;' or * only in the will ;' that ' its 
only justifying act is recumbency, or resting on Christ for 
justification ;' that * it is not an action, but a passion ;' that 

* all acts of faith save one, and that one as an act, are the 
works which Paul excludeth from our justification ;' and 
that ' to expect justification by believing in Christ for sanc- 
tification, or glorification, or by believing in him as our 
Teacher, or King, or justifying Judge, or by repenting, or 
loving God, or Christ, as our Redeemer, or by confessing 
our sins, and praying for pardon and justification, &c. is to 
expect justification by works, and so to fall from grace or 
true justification;' that * he that will escape his pernicious 
expectance of justification by works, must know what that 
one act of faith is by which only we are justified, and must 
expect justification by it only relatively, (that is, not by it 
at all, but by Christ, say some) or as an instrument (say 
others) &c.' 

Many of these assertions are pernicious errors ; most of 
them false ; and the best of them are the unnecessary in- 
ventions of men's dark, yet busy wits, who condemn their 
own doctrine by their practice, and their practice by their 
doctrine; whilst they cry up the sufficiency of the Scrip- 


tures» and cry down other men's additions > and yet so 
largely add themselves. 

Direct. 10. * Take heed lest parties and contendings 
tempt you to lay so much upon the right notion or doctrine 
of faith, as to take up with these alone as true Christianity; 
and to take a dead opinion, instead of the life of faith.' 

This dogmatical Christianity cheateth many thousands 
into hell, who would scarce be led so quietly thither, if they 
knew that they are indeed no Christians. It is ordinary, by 
the advantages of education, and converse, and teachers, 
and books, and studies, and the custom of the times, and 
the countenance of Christian rulers, and for reputation, and 
worldly advantage, &c. to fall into right opinions about 
Christ, and faith, and godliness, and heaven ; and tenaci- 
ously to defend these in disputings ; and perhaps to make a 
trade of preaching of it : and what is all this to the saving 
of the soul, if there be no more ? And yet the case of many 
learned orthodox men, is greatly to be pitied, who make 
that a means to cheat and undo themselves, which should 
be the only wisdom and way to life ; and know but little 
more of Christianity, than to hold, and defend, and teach 
sound doctrine, and to practise it so far as the interest of 
the flesh will give them leave ; I had almost said, so far as 
the flesh itself will command them to do well, and sin itself 
forbiddeth sin ; that it may not disgrace them in the world, 
nor bring some hurt or punishment upon them. 

Direct. 11. ' Set not any other graces against faith ; as 
raising a jealousy, lest the honouring of one, be a diminution 
of the honour of the other : but labour to see the necessary 
and harmonious consent of all, and how all contribute to 
the common end.' 

Though other graces are not faith, and have not the 
office proper fb faith ; yet every one is conjunct in the work 
of our salvation, and in our pleasing and glorifying God : 
some of them being the concomitants of faith, and some of 
them its end, to which it is a means : yea, oftimes the 
words * faith and repentance' are used as signifying much of 
the same works, the latter named from the respect to the 
term from which, and the former from the respect to part of 
the term to which the soul is moving: and faith is often 
taken as containing somewhat of love and desire in it ; and 



he that will without any prejudice and partiality study 
Paul where he opposeth faith and works, as to our justifica- 
tion, shall find by his almost constant naming ** the works 
of the law," or by the context and analysis, that indeed his 
chief meaning is to prove, that we are justified by the 
Christian religion, and must be saved by it, and not by the 
Jewish which the adversaries of Christianity then pleaded 
for, and trusted to. 

Direct. 12. * Set not the helps of faith as if they were 
against faith ; but understand their several places and of- 
fices, and use them accordingly.' 

Do not like those ignorant self-conceited heretics, who 
cry out, * It is by believing, and not by repenting, or read- 
ing, or hearing sermons, or by praying, or by forbearing sin, 
or by doing good, that we are justified ; and therefore it is 
by faith only that we are saved ; the same which is sufii- 
cient for our justification, being sufficient for our salvation ; 
seeing the justified cannot be condemned ; and justification 
and salvation are both equally ascribed to faith without the 
works of the law, by the apostle.' For we are justified only 
by such a faith, as is caused by God's word, and maintained 
and actuated by hearing, reading, meditation, prayer and 
sacraments ; and as is accompanied by repentance, and 
worketh by love, and is indeed the beholding of those in- 
visible and glorious motives, which may incite our love, 
and set us on good works, and obedience to our Redeemer. 
And he that by negligence omitteth, or by error excludeth 
any one of these in the life of faith, will find that he hath 
erred against his own interest, peace and comfort, if not 
against his own salvation. And that he might as wisely 
have disputed that it is his eyes only that must see the way, 
and therefore he may travel without his legs. 

Direct, 13. ' Take heed lest a misconceit of the certainty 
of some common philosophical opinions, should make you 
stagger in those articles of faith which seem to contradict 

Not indeed that any truths can be contrary one to ano- 
ther : for that which is true in philosophy, is contrary to no 
one truth in theology : but philosophers have deceived them- 
selves and the world, with a multitude of uncertainties and 
falsities ; and by straining them to subtle niceties, and lock- 


ing them up iii uncouth terms, have kept the common peo- 
ple from trying them, and understanding them ; and thereby 
have made it their own prerogative explicitly to err, and 
the people's duty not to contradict them ; but to admire that 
error as profound parts of learning, which they cannot un- 
derstand. And then their conclusions often go for princi- 
pies which must not be gainsaid, when they are perhaps 
either false, or nonsense. And when they meet with any 
thing in Scripture, which crosseth their opinions, the repu- 
tation of human folly maketh them despise the wisdom of 
God. I have given you elsewhere some instances about the 
immortality of the soul : they know not what generation is ; 
they do not know it : nor what are the true principles and 
elements of mixed bodies ; nor what is the true difference 
between immaterial and material substances-; with an hun- 
dred such like : and yet some expect, that we should sacri- 
fice the most certain useful truths, to their false or uncer- 
tain useless suppositions, which is the true reason why 
Paul saith, " Beware lest any man spoil you through philo- 
sophy, and vain deceit (not true philosophy, which is the 
true knowledge of the works of God, but the vain models 
which every sect of them cried up) after the tradition of 
men, (that is, the opinions of the masters of their sects) af- 
ter the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ : for in 
him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily ; and ye 
are complete in him ;" Col. ii. 8 — 10. See Acts xvii. 18. 
It is Christ who is the kernel and summary of the Christian 
philosophy ; who is therefore called "The wdsdom of God," 
(1 Cor. i. 24, 30.) both because he is the heavenly Teacher 
of true wisdom, and because that true wisdom consisteth in 
knowing him. And indeed even in those times, the several 
sects of philosophers accounted much of each other's prin- 
ciples to be erroneous ; and the philosophers of these times, 
begin to vilify them all ; and withal to confess that they 
have yet little of certainty to substitute in the room of the 
demolished idols ; but they are about their experiments, to 
try if any thing in time may be found out. 

Direct, 14. ' Especially take heed lest you be cheated 
into infidelity, by the Dominicans' metaphysical doctrine, 
of the necessity of God's physical predetermining promo- 
tion as the first total cause, to the being of every action 
natural and free, not only • in genere actionis,' but also as 


respectively and comparatively exercised on this object 
rather than on that.' 

I add this only for the learned, who are as much in dan- 
ger of infidelity as others ; and will use it to the greater in- 
jury of the truth. I will meddle now with no other reasons 
of my advice, but what the subject in hand requireth. If 
Ood can, and do thus premove and predetermine the mind, 
will and tongue of every liar in the world, to every lie (or 
material falsehood) which ever they did conceive or speak, 
there would be no certainty of the Gospel, nor of any 
divine revelation at all : seeing all such certainty is resolved 
into God's veracity : that God cannot lie. And God 
speaketh not to us, by any but a created voice : and if he 
can thus predetermine others to those words which are a 
lie, rather than to the contrary which are true, there would 
be no certainty, but he may do so by prophets and apostles: 
and let them tell you what they will of the greater certainty 
of inspirations and miracles, than of predeterminations, it 
will be found upon trial, that no man can prove, or make it 
so much as probable, that any inspiration hath more of a 
divine causation, than such a premoving predetermination 
as aforesaid doth amount to ; much less so much more, as 
will prove that one is more certain than the other. 

This doctrine therefore which undeniably (whatever 
may be wrangled) taketh down Christianity, and all belief of 
God, or man, is not to be believed merely upon such a phi- 
losophical conceit, that every action is a being, and there- 
fore must in all its circumstances be caused by God. As if 
God were not able to make a faculty, which can determine 
its own comparative act to this rather than to that, by his 
sustentation, and universal precausation and concourse, 
without the said predetermining premotion: when as an 
action as such is but a ' modus entis ;' and the comparative 
exercise of it, on this rather than on that, is but a * modus 
vel circumstantia modi.' And they leave no work, for gra- 
cious determination, because that natural determination 
doth all the same thing (equally to duty and sin) without it. 
Direct. 15. ^ Consider well how much all human converse 
is maintained by the necessary belief of one another, and 
what the world would be without it ; and how much you ex- 
pect yourselves to be believed : and then think how much 
more belief is due to God.' 


Though sin hath made the world so bad, that we may 
say, that all men are liars, that is, deceitful vanity, and lit- 
tle to be trusted ; yet the honesty of those that are more 
virtuous, doth help so far to keep up the honour of veracity, 
and the shamefulness of lying, that throughout the world, a 
lie is in disgrace, and truth in speech and dealing is well 
spoken of. And the remnants of natural honesty in the 
worst, do so far second the true honesty of the best, that no 
man is so well spoken of commonly in the world, as a man 
of truth and trustiness, whose word is his law and master, 
and never speaketh deceitfully to any : nor is any man so 
commonly ill spoken of as a knave, as he that will lie, and 
is not to be trusted : insomuch, that even those debauch- 
ed ruffians, who live as if they said in their hearts, ' There is 
no God,* will yet venture their lives in revenge against him 
that shall give them the lie. Perhaps you will say, that this 
is not from any virtue, or natural law, or honesty, but from 
common interest, there being nothing more the interest of 
mankind, than that men be trusty to each other. To which 
I answer, that you oppose things which are conjunct: it is 
both : for all God's natural laws are for the interest of man- 
kind, and that which is truly most for our good, is made 
most our duty ; and that which is most our duty, is most 
for our good. And that which is so much for the interest 
of mankind, must needs be good : if it were not for credi- 
bility and trustiness in men, there were no living in families ; 
but masters and servants, parents and children, husbands 
and wives, would live together as enemies : and neighbours 
would be as so many thieves to one another : there could be 
no society or commonwealth, when prince and people could 
put no trust in one another : nay, thieves themselves, that 
are not to be trusted by any others, do yet strengthen them- 
selves by confederacies, and oaths of secrecy, and gather 
into troops and armies, and there put trust in one another. 
And can we think that God is not much more to be trusted, 
and is not a greater hater of a lie ? And is not the foun- 
tain of all fidelity ? And hath not a greater care of the in- 
terest of his creatures ? Surely he that thinketh that God 
is a liar, and not to be trusted, will think no better of 
any mortal man or angel, (and therefore trusteth no one, 
and is very censorious) and would be thought no better of 

166 LIFE OF 1 AITH. 

himself, and therefore would have none believe or trust 
him : for who would be better than his God ? 

Direct, 16. * Consider also that veracity in God is his 
nature or essence ; and cannot be denied without denying 
him to be God/ 

For it is nothing but his three essentialities, or princi- 
ples, power, wisdom and goodness, as they are expressed in 
his word or revelations, as congruous to his mind, and to the 
matter expressed. He that neither wanteth knowledge (to 
know what to say and do) nor goodness (to love truth, and 
hate all evil) nor power to do what he please, and to make 
good his word, cannot possibly lie ; because every lie is for 
want of one, or more of these ; Heb. vi. 18. Titus i. 2. And 
there as it is said, that he cannot lie, and that it is impossible ; 
so it is called, a denying of himself, if he could be unfaith- 
ful. " If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful, and cannot 
deny himself;" 2 Tim. ii. 13. 

Direct. 17. * Exercise faith much in those proper works, 
in which self and sense are most denied and overcome.' 

Bodily motions and labours which we are not used to, 

are done both unskilfully, and with pain. If faith be not 

much exercised in its warfare, and victorious acts, you will 

neither know its strength, nor find it to be strong, when 

you come to use it. It is not the easy and common acts of 

faith, which will serve turn, to try and strengthen it. As 

the life of sense is the adversary which faith must conquer ; 

so use it much in such conflicts and conquests, if you 

would find it strong and useful : use it in such acts of 

mortification and self-denial, as will plainly shew, that it 

over-ruleth sense : use it in patience and rejoicing in such 

sufferings, and in contentment in so low and cross a state, 

where you are sure that sight and sense do not contribute 

to your peace and joy : use it not only in giving some little 

of your superfluities, but in giving your whole two mites, 

even all your substance, and selling all and giving to the 

poor, when indeed God maketh it your duty : at least in 

forsaking all for his sake in a day of trial. Faith never 

doth work so like itself, so clearly, so powerfully, and so 

comfortably, as in these self-denying and overcoming acts, 

when it doth not work alone, without the help of sense to 

comfort us ; but also against sense, which would discourage 

us ; Luke xviii. 22, 23. xiv. 26. 33. 2 Cor. v. 7. 


Direct. 18. * Keep a constant observation of God's con- 
verse with your hearts, and workings on them.' 

For, as I said before, there are within us such demon- 
strations of a kingdom of God, in precepts, mercies, re*- 
wards and punishments, that he which well marketh them, 
will have much help in the maintaining and exercising his 
belief of the everlasting kingdom : especially the godly, 
who have that Spirit there working, which is indeed the 
very seal, and pledge, and earnest of life eternal ; 2 Cor. i. 
22. V. 5. Ephes. i. 13, 14. Gal. iv. 5, 6. Rom. viii. 16, 17. 
There is so much of God and heaven in a true believer's 
heart, that (as we see the moon and stars when we look 
down into the water, so) we may see much of God and hea- 
ven within us, if the heart itself be throughly studied. 

And I must add, that experience here must be carefully 
recorded : and when God fulfilleth promises to us, it must 
not be forgotten. 

Direct. 19. * Converse much with them that live by faith, 
und fetch their motives and comforts from the things unseen.' 

Converse hath £u transforming power. To converse with 
them that live all by sense, and shew no other desires, or 
joys, or sorrows, but what are fetched from fleshly sensible 
things, is a great means to draw us downwards with them. 
And to converse with them who converse in heaven j and 
speak of nothing else so comfortably or so seriously ; who 
shew us that heaven is the place they travel to^ and the 
state that all their life doth aim at; and who make little of 
all the wants or plenty, pains or pleasures of the flesh ; this 
much conduce th to make us heavenly As men are apt to 
learn and use the language, the motives, and the employ- 
ments of the country and people where they live ; so he 
that is most familiar with such as live by faith, upon things 
unseen, and taketh God's promise for full security, hath a 
■very great help to learn and live that life himself; Heb. x. 
24, 25. 1 Thes. iv. 17, 18. Phil. iii. 20, 21. 

Direct. 20. * Forget not the nearness of the things un- 
seen, and think not of a long continuance in this world ; 
but live in continual expectations of your change.' 

Distant things, be they never so great, do hardly move 
us : as in bodily motion, the mover must be contiguous : 
and as our senses are not fit to apprehend beyond a certani 
distance ; so our minds also are finite, and have their 


bounds and measure : and sin hath made them much nar- 
rower, foolish and short-sighted than they would have been. 
A certainty of dying at last, should do much with us : but 
yet he that looketh to live long on earth, will the more 
hardly live by faith in heaven ; when he that daily waiteth 
for his change, will have easily the more serious and ef- 
fectual thoughts of the world in which he must live next, 
and of all the preparations necessary thereunto ; and will 
the more easily despise the things on earth, which are the 
employment and felicity of the sensual ; Col. iii. 1 — 3. 
Phil. i. 20—23. 1 Cor. xv. 31. As we see it in constant 
experience in men, when they see that they must pre- 
sently die indeed, how light then set they by the world ? 
How little are they moved with the talk of honour, with the 
voice of mirth, with the sight of meat, or drink, or beauty, 
or any thing which before they had not power to deny t 
And how seriously they will then talk of sin and grace, of 
God and heaven, which before they could not be awakened 
to regard ? If therefore you would live by faith indeed, set 
yourselves as at the entrance of that world which faith fore- 
seeth, and live as men that know they may die to-morrow, 
and certainly must be gone ere long. Dream not of I know 
not how many years more on earth, which God never pro- 
mised you ; unless you make it your business to vanquish 
faith by setting its objects at a greater distance than God 
hath set them. Learn Christ's warning to one and all. To 
watch, and to be always ready; Mark xiii. 33. 35. 37. 
1 Pet. iv. 7. Matt. xxiv. 44. Luke xii. 40. He that thinketh 
he hath yet time enough, and daylight before him, will be 
the apter to loiter in his work or journey : when every man 
will make haste when the sun is setting, if he have much to 
do, or far to go. Delays, which are the great preventers 
of repentance, and undoers of the world, do take their 
greatest advantage from this ungrounded expectation of 
long life. When they hear the physician say, * He is a dead 
man, and there is no hope,* then they would fain begin to 
live, and then how religious and reformed would they be? 
Whereas if this foolish error did not hinder them, they 
might be of the same mind all their lives, and might have 
then done their work, and waited with desire for the crown ; 
and said with Paul, '* For I am now ready to be offered, and 
thfe time of my departure is at hand : I have fought a good 


fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith ; 
henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, 
which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that 
day ; and not me only, but to them also that love his ap- 
pearing ;" 2 Tim. iv. 4. 6—8. 

And so much for the general Directions to be observed 
by them that will live by faith : I only add, that as the well- 
doing of all our particular duties, dependeth mo&t on the 
common health and soundness of the soul, in its state of 
grace ; so our living by faith in all the particular cases after 
instanced, doth depend more upon these general Direc- 
tions, than on the particular ones which are next to be ad- 



An Enumeration of the Particular Cases i?i which especially 
Faith must he used. 1. How to live by Faith on God. 

The general Directions before given must be practised in 
all the particular cases following, or in order to them ; but 
besides them, it is needful to have some special Directions 
for each case. And the particular cases which I shall in- 
stance in are these: 1. How to exercise faith on God him- 
self. 2. Upon Jesus Christ. 3. Upon the Holy Ghost. 
4. About the Scripture precepts and examples. 5. About 
the Scripture promises. 6. About the threatenings. 7. 
About pardon of sin, and justification. 8. About sanctifi- 
cation, and the exercises of other graces. 9. Against in- 
ward vices and temptations to actual sin. 10. In case of 
prosperity. 11. In adversity and particular afflictions. 12. 
In God's worship, 'public and private. 13. For spiritual 
peace and joy. 14. For the world, and the church of God. 
15. For our relations. 16. In loving others as ourselves. 
17. About heaven, and following the saints. 18. How to 
die in faith. 19. About the coming of Christ to judgment. 
God is both the object of our knowledge, as he is re- 
vealed in nature, and of our faith, as he is revealed in the 


Holy Scriptures. He is the first and last object of our faith. 
" It is life eternal to know him the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom he hath sent." *' Ye believe in God, believe 
also in me," was Christ's order in commanding and causing 
faith; John xiv. 1. Seeing therefore this is the principal 
part of faith (to know God, and live upon him, and to him), 
I shall give you many (though brief) Directions in it. 

Direct. 1 . * Behold the glorious and full demonstrations 
of the being of the Deity, in the whole frame of nature, and 
especially in yourselves.' 

The great argument from the effect to the cause is un- 
answerable. All the caused and derived beings in the 
world, must needs have a first being for their cause. All 
action, intellection and volition ; all power, wisdom and 
goodness which is caused by another, doth prove that the 
cause can have no less than the total effect hath. To see 
the world, and to know what a man is, and yet to deny that 
there is a God, is to be mad. He that will not know that 
which all the world doth more plainly preach than words 
can possibly express, and will not know the sense of his own 
being and faculties, doth declare himself incapable of teach- 
ing; Psal. xiv. 1. xlix. 12. 20. Isa. i. 2, 3. It is the great- 
est shame that man's understanding is capable of, to be ig- 
norant of God, (1 Cor. XV. 34.) and the greatest shame to 
any nation (Hos.iv. 1. vi.6.), as it is the highest advance- 
ment of the mind to know him, and therefore the sum of all 
our duty ; Prov. ii. 5. Hos. vi. 6. 2 Chron. xxx. 21, 22. 
Isa. xi. 9. 2 Pet. ii. 20. Rom. i. 20. 28. John xvii. 3. 

Direct, 2. * Therefore take not the being and perfections 
of God, for superstructures and conclusions, which may be 
tried, and made bow to the interest of other points ; but as 
the greatest, clearest, surest truths, next to the knowledge 
of our own being and intellection : and that which all other 
(at least, not the proper objects of sense) must be tried and 
reduced to.' 

When there is no right method or order of knowledge, 
there is no true and solid knowledge. It is distraction, and 
not knowing, to begin at the top, and to lay the foundation 
last, and reduce things certain to things uncertain. And 
it is no more wisely done of atheists, who argue from their 
apprehensions of other things, against the beings or perfec- 
tions of God. As when they say, * There is much evil in 


the world permitted by God, and there is death and many 
tormenting pains befal even the innocent brutes ; and there 
are wars and confusions, and ignorance and wickedness have 
dominion in the earth : therefore God is not perfectly good, 
nor perfectly wise, and just, and powerful in his government 
of the world.' The error in the method of arguing here, 
helpeth to continue their blindness. That God is perfectly 
good, is * prius cogaltum.' Nothing is more certain than 
that he who is the cause of all the derived goodness in the 
whole universe, must have as much or more than all him- 
self. Seeing therefore that heaven and earth, and all things, 
bear so evident a witness to this truth, this is the founda- 
tion and first to be laid, and never more questioned, nor any 
argument brought against it. For all that possibly can be 
said against it, must be ' a minus notis,' from that which is 
more obscure. Seeing then that it is most certain by sense, 
that calamities and evils are in the world ; and no less cer- 
tain that there is a God, who is most perfectly good ; it 
must needs follow that these two are perfectly consistent, 
and that some other cause of evil must be found out, than 
any imperfection in the chief good. But as to the being of 
things, and order in the world, it foUoweth not that they 
must be as good and perfect as their Maker and Governor 
is himself; nor one part as good and perfect in itself as any 
other. Because it was not the Creator's purpose when he 
made the world, to make another God, that should be equal 
with himself (for two infinite beings and perfections is a 
contradiction). But it was his will to imprint such measures 
of his own likeness and excellencies upon the creatures, and 
with such variety as his wisdom saw most fit ; the reasons 
of which are beyond our search. The Divine agency, as it 
is in him the agent, is perfect ; but the effect hath those mea- 
sures of goodness which he was freely pleased to com- 

And as 1 have given you this instance, to shew the folly 
of trying the certain foundation by the less certain notions 
or accidents in the world ; so you must abhor the same 
error in all other instances. Some wit may consist with the 
questioning of many plain conclusions ; but he is a fool in- 
deed, who saith, " There is no God,'* or doubteth of his es- 
sential properties; Psal. xiv. 1, 2. Rom. i. 19 — 21. 

Direct. 3. * Remember that all our knowledge of God, 


while we are in the body here, is but enigmatical, and as in 
a glass ; and that all words which man can speak of God 
(at least except being and substance) are but terms below 
him, borrowed from his image on the creatures, and not sig- 
nifying the same thing formally in God, which they signify 
in us.' 

If you think otherwise, you will make an idol in your 
conception, instead of God : and you will debase him, and 
bring him down to the condition of the creature. And yet 
it doth not follow that we know nothing of him, or that all 
such expressions of God are vain, or false, or must be dis- 
used ; for then we must not think or talk of God at all. But 
we must speak of him according to the highest notions 
which we can borrow from the noblest parts of his image ; 
confessing still, that they are but borrowed : and these 
must be used till we come nearer, and see as face to face ; 
and " when that which is perfect is come, then that which 
is imperfect shall be done away;" 1 Cor. xiii. 10 — 12. And 
yet it is (in comparison of darker revelations) as with open 
face that we behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord ; and 
it is a sight that can change us into the same image, as from 
glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord ; 2 Cor. iii. 18. 

Direct. 4. * Abhor the furious ignorance which brandeth 
every one with the names of heresy or blasphemy, who 
differ from them in the use of some unnecessary metaphor 
of God, when their different phrases tend not indeed to his 
dishonour, and perhaps may have the same signification 
with their own.' 

When we are all forced to confess, that all our terms of 
God are improper or metaphorical, and yet men will run 
those metaphors into numerous branches, and carry them 
unto greater impropriety, and then rail at all as blasphe- 
mers that question them ; this practice is (though too com- 
mon) a heinous sin in them, as it hath direful effects upon 
the church. Should I recite the sad histories of this iniquity, 
and shew what it hath done between the Greek and Latin 
churches, and between those called orthodox and catholic, 
and many through the world that have been numbered with 
heretics ; it would be too large a subject for our sorrow and 

Direct. 5. * Abhor presumptuous curiosities in inquiring 
into the secret things of God ; much more in pretending to 


know them ; and most of all in reviling and contending 
against others upon those pretences/ 

It is sad to observe abundance of seemingly learned men, 
who are posed in the smallest creature which they study, 
yet talking as confidently of the unsearchable things of God, 
yea, and raving as furiously and voluminously against all 
that contradict them, as if they had dwelt in the inaccessi- 
ble light, and knew all the order of the acts of God, much 
better than they know themselves, and the motions of their 
own minds ; or better than they can anatomize a worm or a 
beast. They that will not presume to say, that they know 
the secrets of their prince, or the heart of any of their neigh- 
bours; yea, they that perceive the difficulty of knowing the 
state of a man's own soul, because our hearts are a maze and 
labyrinth, and our thoughts so various and confused, can 
yet give you so exact a scheme of all God's conceptions, 
that it shall be no less than heresy to question the order of 
any part of it. They can tell you what ideas are in the mind 
of God, and in what order they lie ; and how those ideas are 
the same unchanged about things that are changed ; about 
things past, and present, and to come ; and what futurition 
was from eternity, as in the idea of God's mind ; they can 
tell me in what order he knoweth things, and by what means ; 
and whether future contingents are known to him in their 
causes, or in his decree, or in their co-existence in eternity. 
They can tell what decrees he hath about negatives ; as that 
such a man shall not have faith given him ; that millions of 
things possible shall not be ; that you shall not be a plant, 
or a beast, nor any other man, nor called by any other name, 
&c. : and how^ all God's decrees are indeed but one, and yet 
not only inconceivably numerous, but the order of them as 
to priority and posteriority is to be exactly defined and de- 
fended, though to the detriment of charity and peace. As 
to sin, they can tell you whether he have a real positive de- 
cree, * de re evenieate,' or only ' de eventu rei,' or oply ' de 
propria permissione eventus, 'i.e.* de non impediendo,' 
i. e. ' de non agendo;' whether *non agere' need and have 
a positive act of volition or nolition antecedent : though 
they know not when they hear the sound of the wind, either 
whence it cometh, or whither it goeth ; yet know they all 
the methods of the Spirit. They know how God as the first 
mover, predetermineth the motions of all agents, natural and 


free, and whether his influence be upon the essence, or fa- 
culty, or act immediately, and what that influx is. In a word, 
how voluminously do they darken counsel by words without 
knowledge ! As if they had never read God's large expos- 
tulation with Job, (Job xlii. &c.) ** The secret things belong 
unto the Lord our God ; but those things which are revealed 
belong unto us, and to our children for ever, that we may do 
all the words of this law ;" Deut. xxix. 29. Even an angel 
could say to Manoah, " Why askest thou thus after my 
name, seeing it is secret?" Judges xiii. 18. ** No man hath 
seen God at any time, (saving) the only begotten Son, who 
is in the bosom of the Father ; he hath declared him ;" John 
i. 18. And what he hath declared we may know ; but how 
much more do these men pretend to know, than ever Christ 
declared ! But " who hath known the mind of the Lord, or 
who hath been his counseller?" Rom. xi. 34. 

* Etiam vera de Deo loqui periculosum.' Even things 
that are true should be spoken of God, not only with reve- 
rence, but with great caution. And a wise man will rather 
admire and adore, than boldly speak what he is not certain 
is true and congrous. 

Direct, 6. * Let all your knowledge of God be practical ; 
yea, more practical than any other knowledge ; and let not 
your thoughts once use God's name in vain.' 

If it be a sin to use idle or unprofitable words, and es- 
pecially to take God's name in vain ; it cannot be faultless 
to have idle, unprofitable thoughts of God : for the thoughts 
are the operations of the mind itself. There is no thought 
or knowledge which ever cometh into our minds, which, 1. 
Hath so great work to do ; and 2. Is so fit and powerful to 
do it, as the knowledge and thoughts which we have of God. 
The very renovation of the soul to his image, and transform- 
ing it into the Divine nature, must be wrought hereby. The 
thoughts of his wisdom, must silence all our contradicting 
folly, and bring our souls to an absolute submission and sub- 
jection to his laws. The knowledge of his goodness, must 
cause all true saving goodness in us, by possessing us with 
the highest love to God. The knowledge of his power, 
must cause both our confidence, and our fear : and the im- 
press of God's attributes must be his image on our souls. 
It is a common (and true) observation of divines, that in 
Scripture, words of God which express his knowledge, do 


imply his will and affections : (as his knowing the way of 
the righteous (Psal. ii. 6,) is his approving and loviRg it, 
&c.) : and it is as true, that words of our knowledge of 
God, should all imply affection towards him. It is a grie- 
vous aggravation of ungodliness, to be a learned, ungodly 
man : " To profess to know God, and deny him in works, 
being abominable and disobedient, and reprobate to every 
good work ;'' Titus i. 16. (though as orthodox and ready in 
good words as others). 

A thought of God should be able to do any thing upon 
the soul. It should partake of the omnipotency and perfec- 
tion of the blessed object. No creature should be able to 
stand before him, when our minds entertain any serious 
thoughts of him, and converse with him. A thought of God 
should annihilate all the grandeur and honours of the world 
to us ; and all the pleasures and treasures of the flesh ; and 
all the power of temptations. What fervency in prayer! 
What earnestness of desire! What confidence of faith! 
What hatred of sin ! What ardent love ! What transport- 
ing joy • What constant patience should one serious 
thought of God possess the believing, holy soul with ! 

If the thing kno*vn become as much one with the un- 
derstanding, as Plotinus and other Platonists thought, or if 
man were so far a partaker of a kind of deification, as Gibieuf 
and other Oratorians, and Benedictus de Benedictis, Bar- 
banson, and other fanatic friars think, surely the knowledge 
of God should raise us more above our sensitive desires and 
passions, and make us a more excellent sort of persons, and 
it should make us more like those blessed spirits who know 
him more than we on earth ; audit should be the beginning 
of our eternal life ; John xvii. 3. 

Direct, 7. ' By faith deliver up yourselves to God as your 
Creator and your Owner, and live to him as those that per- 
ceive they are absolutely his own.' 

The word * God ' doth signify both God's essence, and 
his three great relations unto man, and we take him not for 
our God, if we take him not as in these divine relations. 
Therefore God would have faith to be expressed at our en- 
trance into his church, by baptism ; because a believing 
soul doth deliver up itself to God. The first and greatest 
work of faith, is to enter us sincerely into the holy cove- 
nant : in which this is the first part, that we take God for 


our Owner, and resign up ourselves to him, without either 
expfess or implicit reserve, as those that are absolutely his 
own. And though these words are by any hypocrite quickly 
spoken, yet when the thing is really done, the very heart of 
sin is broken : for as the apostle saith, " He that is dead is 
freed from sin ;" Rom. vi. 7. Because a dead man hath no 
faculties to do evil. So we may say. He that is resigned to 
God as his absolute Owner, is freed from sin ; because he 
that is not his own, hath nothing which is his own, and 
therefore hath nothing to alienate from his Owner. " We 
are not our own, we are bought with a price" (which is the 
second title of God's propriety in us), and therefore " must 
glorify God in body and spirit, as being his ;" 1 Cor. vi. 20. 
And from this relation faith will fetch abundant conso- 
lation, seeing they that by consent, and not only by con- 
straint, are absolutely his, shall undoubtedly be loved and 
cared for as his own, and used and provided for as his own. 
He will not neglect his own, and those of his family, who 
will take us to be worse than infidels, if we do so; lTim.i.5. 
Direct. 8. ' By faith deliver up yourselves to God, as 
your sovereign Ruler, with an absolute resolution to learn, 
and love, and obey his laws.* 

Though I have often and more largely spoken of these 
duties in other treatises, I must not here totally omit them, 
where I speak of that faith in God, which essentially con- 
sisteth in them. It is a narrow, and foolish, and pernicious 
conceit of faith, which thinketh it hath no object but pro- 
mises and pardon ; and that it hath nothing to do with God 
as our sovereign Governor. And it is too large a descrip- 
tion of faith, which maketh actual and formal obedience to 
be a part of it. As marriage is not conjugal fidelity and 
duty, but it is a covenant which obligeth to it ; and as the 
oath of allegiance is not a formal obedience to the laws, but 
it is a covenanting to obey them ; and as the hiring or co- 
venant of a servant, is not doing service, but it is an enter- 
ing into an obligation and state of service : so faith and our 
first Christianity, is not strictly formal obedience to him 
that we believe in, as such ; but it is an entering of ourselves 
by covenant into an obligation and state of future obedience. 
Faith hath God's precepts for its objects as truly as his pro- 
mises ; but his own relation as our King or Ruler is its pri- 


mary object, before his precepts ; Hos. xiii. 10. Psal. ii. 6. 
V. 2. X. 16. xxiv. 7,8. 10. xlvii.6, 7. Ixxxix. 18. cxlix. 
2. Rev. XV. 3. 1 Tiai. i. 17. Luke xix. 27. 

Direct. 9. ' By faith acknowledge God as your total be- 
nefactor, from him you have, and must have all that is 
worth the having ; and accordingly live in a dependance 
on him.' 

Faith taketh every good thing as a stream from this in- 
exhausted spring, and as a token of love, from this unmea- 
surable love. It knoweth a difference in the means and way 
of conveyance, but no difference as to the fountain ; for all 
that we receive is equally from the same original ; though 
not sent to us by the same hand. Faith should not take or 
look at any good abstractedly, as separated from God ; but 
ever see the streams as continued up to the fountain ; and 
the fruit as proceeding from the tree and roots. Remember 
still that he doth illuminate you by the sun ; and he doth 
nourish you by your food (for you live not by bread only, 
but by his word and blessing) ; and it is he that doth teach 
you by his ministers, and protect you by his magistrates, 
and comfort you by your friends. You have that from one, 
which another cannot give you ; but you have nothing from 
any creature whatsoever, which is not totally from God : 
for though he honour creatures to be his messengers or in- 
struments, the benefit is equally from him, when he useth 
an instrument, and when he useth none. From him we have 
our being and our comforts, and all the means and hopes of 
our well-being ; and therefore our dependance must be ab- 
solutely on him. The blessings of this life, and of that to 
come, all things which appertain to life and godliness, are 
the gifts of his incomprel^ensible benignity. For it is natu- 
ral to him, who is infinitely good, to do good, when he doth 
work * ad extra ;' though when to communicate, and in what 
various degrees is free to him ; 1 Tim. iv. 8. Matt. vi. 33. 
2 Pet. i. 3. Psal. cxlv. 14, 15. cxlvi. 7. xviii. 50. 1 Tim. 
vi. 17. James i. 5. iv. 6. Jer. v. 24, 25. 

Direct. 10. * By faith set your eye and your heart most 
fixedly and devotedly on God, as your ultimate end (which 
is your felicity, and much more).* 

He taketh not God for God indeed, who taketh him not 
as his ultimate end. Nay, he debaseth God, who placing 



his felicity in any thing else, doth cleave to God but as the 
means to such a felicity. But to make God our felicity is 
lawful and necessary ; but not to dream that this is the 
highest respect that we must have to God, to be our felicity. 
To love him, and to be beloved by him ; to please him, and 
to be pleased in him, is our ultimate end ; which though it 
be complex, and contain our own felicity, yet doth it, as in- 
finitely supereminent, contain the complacency of God, and 
God as the object of our love, considered in his own infinite 
perfections : for he is the Alpha and Omega, the first and 
the last ; " and of him, and through him, and to him are all 
things ;" Rom. xi. 36. It is the highest and noblest work 
of faith, to make our own original to be our end, and to set 
our love entirely upon God ; and to see that we ourselves 
are but worms and vanity ; capable of no higher honour, 
than to be means to please and glorify God ; and must not 
take down God so, as to love him only for ourselves. And 
he only who thus denieth himself for God, doth rightly im- 
prove self-love, and seek the only exaltation and felicity, by 
carrying up himself to God, and adhering to the eternal 
good; 1 Cor. x. 31. Luke xiv. 33. Matt. xvi. 25. Mark 
viii. 35. 

Direct. 11. ' Distinguish these relations of God, but di- 
vide them not ; much less set them in any opposition to each 
other ; and remember that the effects of them are all mar- 
vellously and harmoniously mixed, but undivided.' 

The effects of God's power, are always the effects also of 
his wisdom and goodness : and the effects of his wisdom, 
are always the effects of his goodness and his power : and 
the effects of his goodness, are always the effects of his 
power and his wisdom. The effects of his dominion on his 
rational subjects, are always the effects also of his govern- 
ment and love : and the effects of his government, are al- 
ways the effects also of his dominion and love : and the ef- 
fects of his love as Benefactor, are always the effects of his 
dominion and government. Though some one principal, 
and some one relation, may more eminently appear in one 
work Ss others do in the other works. Disposal is the effect 
of propriety ; but it is always a regular and loving disposal 
of the subjects of his government. Legislation and judg- 
ment are the effects of his kingdom ; but dominion and love 


have a hand in both, till rebellion turn men from subjection. 
Glorification is the highest effect of love ; but it is given 
also by our Owner, as by one that may do as he list with 
his own; and by our Governor by the way of a reward ; 
Matt. XX. 15. 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. Matt. xxv. throughout. 

Direct. 12. * Especially let faith unveil to you the face 
of the goodness of God ; and see that your thoughts of it 
be neither false nor low ; but equal to your thoughts of his 
power and understanding.' 

1. As our loss by sin is more in the point of goodness 
than of power or knowledge (the devils having much of the 
two last, who have but little or nothing of the first) ; so it 
is the goodness of God which must be more studied by a 
believer, than his power or his wisdom, because the impress 
of it is more necessary to us in our lapsed state. 

2. They have false thoughts of God's goodness, who 
make it to consist only or chiefly, in a communicative incli- 
nation * ad extra,' which we call benignity : for he was as 
good from eternity, before he made any creature, as he is 
since : and his goodness considered as essential in himself, 
and as his own perfection, is infinitely higher than the con- 
sideration of it, as terminated on any creature. Man is de- 
nominated good from his adaptation to the will of God, and 
not God chiefly from his adaptation to the commodity or 
will of man. And they do therefore debase God, and deify 
his creature, who make the creature the ultimate end of 
God and itself; and not God the ultimate end of the crea^ 
ture. And they might as well make the creature the be- 
ginning also of itself and God. (And yet this sottish no- 
tion taketh much with many half-witted novelists in this age, 
who account themselves the men of ingenuity.) 

And they have also false thoughts of the goodness of 
God, who think that there is nothing of communicative be- 
nignity in it at all. For all the good which God doth, he 
doth it from the goodness of his nature. " Thou art good, 
and doest good ;" Psal. cxix. 68. And his doing good is 
usually expressed by the phrase of being good to them. 
"The Lord is good to all;" Psal. cxlv.9. xxv. 8. Ixxxvi. 5. 

Object. ' But if communicative benignity be natural to 
God as his essential goodness is, then he must do good 
* per modum naturae, et ad ultimum potentiae ;' and then 


the world was from eternity, and as good as God could 
make it.' 

Answ. 1. Those Christian divines who do hold that the 
universe was from eternity, and that it is as good as God 
can make it ; do not yet hold that it was its own original, 
but an eternal emanation from God, and therefore that God 
who is the beginning of it, is the ultimate end, and eternally 
and voluntarily, though naturally and necessarily produced 
it for himself, even for the pleasure of his will : and therefore 
that God's essential goodness, as it is in itself, is much 
higher than the same as terminated in, or productive of the 
universe. And that no mixed bodies which do ' oriri et in- 
terire,' are generated and corrupted, were from eternity ; 
and consequently, that this present system called the 
World, which is within our sight, was not from eternity ; 
but that as spring and fall doth revive the plants, and end 
their transitory life ; so it hath been with these particular 
systems ; the more simple and noble parts of the universe 
continuing the same. And they hold that the world is next 
to infinitely good ; and as good as it is possible to be with- 
out being God ; and that for God to produce another God, 
or an infinite good, is a contradiction : and that all the baser 
and pained, and miserable parts of the world, are best res- 
pectively to the perfection of the whole, though not best in 
and to themselves. (As every nuck and pin in a watch is 
necessary as well as the chief parts.) And that all things 
set together, it is best that all things be as they are, and 
will be. But of this, the Infinite Wisdom, who seeth not 
only some little parts, but the whole universe at one perfect 
view, is the fittest judge. 

2. But the generality of divines do hold the contrary, 
and say, that it is natural to God to be the all-sufficient, 
pregnant good; not only able to communicate goodness, 
but inclined to it, as far as his perfection doth require ; 
but not inclined to communicate in a way of natural, con- 
stant necessity, as the sun shineth, but in a way of liberty, 
when, and in what degrees he pleaseth ; which pleasure is 
guided by his infinite understanding, which no mortal man 
can comprehend ; and therefore must not ask any further 
reason of the first reason and will, but stop here, and be sa- 
tisfied to find that it is indeed God's will and reason, which 


causeth all things when and what they are, and not other- 
wise. And that God hath not made the universe as good in 
itself, as by his absolute power he could have made it ; but 
that it is best to be as it is and will be, because it is most 
suitable to his perfect will and wisdom. And this answer 
seemeth most agreeable to God's word. 

And as you must see that your thoughts of God's good- 
ness be not false ; so also that they be not diminutive and 
low. As no knowledge is more useful and necessary to us, 
so nothing is more wonderfully revealed by God, than is his 
amiable goodness : for this end he sent his Son into flesh, 
to declare his love to the forlorn world, and to call them to 
behold it, and admire it; John i. 8 — 10. iii. 16. 1 John 
iii. 1. Rev. xxi. 3. And as Christ is the chief glass of the 
Father's love on this side heaven ; so it is the chief part of 
the office of faith, to see God's love and goodness in the 
face of Christ. Let him not reveal his love in vain, at so 
dear a rate, and in a way of such wonderful condescension. 
Think of his goodness, as equal to his greatness : and as you 
see his greatness in the frame of the world ; so his goodness 
in the wonderful work of man's redemption and salvation. 
Let faith beholding God in Christ, and daily thus gazing on 
his goodness, or rather tasting it, and feasting on it, be the 
very sum of all your religion and your lives. This is indeed 
to live by faith, when it worketh by that love, which is our 
holiness and life. 

Direct. 13. * Let not faith overlook the books of the 
creation, and the wonderful demonstrations of God's attri- 
butes therein.' 

Even such revelations of God's goodness and fidelity as 
are made in nature, or the works of creation, are sometimes 
in Scriptures made the objects of faith. At least we who 
by the belief of the Scriptures do know how the worlds were 
made, (Heb. xi. 2,3.) must believingly study this glorious 
work of our great Creator. All those admirations and 
praises of God as appearing in his works, which David 
useth, were not without the use of faith. Thus faith can 
use the world as a sanctified thing, and as a glass to see the 
glory of God in, while sensual sinners use it against God to 
their own perdition, and make it an enemy to God and them ; 
so contrary is the life of faith and of sense. He hath not 
the heart of a man within him, who is not stricken with ad- 


miration of the power, and wisdom and goodness of the in- 
comprehensible Creator, when he seriously looketh to the 
sun and stars, to sea and land, to the course of all things, 
and to the wonderful variety and natures of the particular 
creatures. And he hath not the heart of a believer in him, 
who doth not think, * O what a God is it whom I am bound 
to serve, and who hath taken me into his covenant as his 
child ! How happy are they who have such a God, en- 
gaged to be their God and happiness ! And how miserable 
are they who make such a God their revenging judge and 
enemy ! Shall I ever again wilfully or carelessly sin against 
a God of so great majesty? If the sun were an intellectual 
deity, and still looked on me, should I presumptuously of- 
fend him ? Shall I ever distrust the power of him that made 
such a world ? Shall I fear a worm, a mortal man, above 
this great and terrible Creator ? Shall I ever again resist or 
disobey the word and wisdom of him, who made and ruleth 
such a world ? Doth he govern the whole world, and should 
not I be governed by him? Hath he goodness enough to 
communicate as he hath done to sun and stars, to heaven 
and earth, to angels and men, and every wight? And hath 
he not goodness enough to draw, and engage, and conti- 
nually delight this dull and narrow heart of mine ? Doth the 
return of his sun turn the darksome night into the lightsome 
day, and bring forth the creatures to their food and labour ; 
doth its approach revive the torpid earth, and turn the con- 
gealed winter into the pleasant spring, and cover the earth 
with her fragrant, many-coloured robes, and renew the life 
and joy of the terrestrial inhabitants ; and shall I find no- 
thing in the God who made and still continueth the world, 
to be the life, and strength, and pleasure of my soul ? ** Make 
a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands : sing forth the ho- 
nour of his name ; make his praise glorious : say unto God, 

How terrible art thou in thy works ! Come and see the 

works of God : he is terrible in his doing towards the chil- 
dren of men. He ruleth by his power for ever : his eyes 

behold the nations : let not the rebellious exalt themselves. 
O bless our God ye people, and make the voice of his praise 
to be heard ! who holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not 
our feet to be moved!" Psal. Ixvi. 1, &c. "Among the 
gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord, neither are there 
any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou 


hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and 
shall glorify thy name ; for thou art great and dost won- 
drous things : tho\i art God alone f Psal. Ixxxvi. 8—10. 
** O Lord, how great are thy works ! Thy thoughts are very 
deep, a brutish man knoweth not, neither doth a fool under- 
stand this ;" Psal. xcii. 5, 6. 

Faith doth not separate itself from natural knowledge, 
nor neglect God's works while it studieth his word ; but 
saith, " I meditate on all thy works ; I muse on the work of 
thy hands ;" Psal. cxliii. 5. " O Lord, how manifold are 
thy works ! in wisdom hast thou made them all : the earth 
is full of thy riches ; so is the great and wide sea," &c. j 
Psal. civ. 24. 

Nay, it is greatly to be noted, that as redemption is to 
repair the creation, and the Redeemer came to recover the 
soul of man to his Creator, and Christ is the way to the Fa- 
ther ; so on the Lord's day our commemoration of redemp- 
tion includeth and is subservient to our commemoration of 
the creation, and the work of the ancient sabbath is not shut 
out, but taken in with the proper work of the Lord's day : 
and as faith in Christ is a mediate grace to cause in us the 
love of God, so the word of the Redeemer doth not call off* 
our thoughts from the works of the great Creator, but call 
them back to that employment, and fit us for it by reconcil- 
ing us to God. 

Therefore it is as suitable to the Gospel church at least, 
as it was to the Jewish, to make God's works the matter of 
our sabbath praises, and to say, as Psal. cxlv. 4, 5. 10. '* One 
generation shall praise thy works to another ; and shall de- 
clare thy mighty acts : I will speak of the glorious honour 
of thy Majesty, and of thy wondrous works : and men shall 
speak of the might of thy terrible acts, and I will declare 

thy greatness. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord, 

and thy saints shall bless thee." '* I will wash my hands 
in innocency, and so I will compass thine altar, O Lord, 
that I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell 
of all thy wondrous works ;" Psal. xxvi. 6, 7. ** I will praise 
thee O Lord, with my whole heart, I will shew forth all thy 
marvellous works ;" Psal. ix. 12. 

Direct. 14. ' Let faith also observe God in his daily pro- 
vidences ; and equally honour him for the ordinary and the 
extraordinary passages thereof.' 


The upholding of the world is a continual causing of it ; 
and differeth from creation, as the continued shining of a 
candle doth from the first lighting of it. If therefore the 
creation do wonderfully declare the power, and wisdom, and 
goodness of God; so also doth the conservation. And note 
that God's ordinary works are as great demonstrations of 
him in all his perfections, as his extraordinary. Is it not as 
great a declaration of the power of God, that he cause the 
sun to shine, and to keep its wondrous course from age to 
age, as if he did such a thing but for a day or hour ? and as 
if he caused it to stand still a day ? And is it not as great 
a demonstration of his knowledge also, and of his goodness ? 
Surely we should take it for as great an act of love, to have 
plenty, and health, and joy continued to us as long as we 
desired it, as for an hour. Let not then that duration and 
ordinariness of God's manifestations to us, which is their 
aggravation, be looked upon as if it were their extenuation ; 
but let us admire God in the sun and stars, in sea and land, 
as if this were the first time that ever we had seen them. 

And yet let the extraordinariness of his works have its 
effects also. Their use is to stir up the drowsy mind of man 
to see God in that which is unusual, who is grown custo- 
mary and lifeless in observing him in things usual. Pharoah 
and his magicians will acknowledge God, in those unusual 
works, which they are no way able to imitate themselves, 
and say, " This is the finger of God ;*' Exod. viii. 19. And 
therefore miracles are never to be made light of, but the fin- 
ger of God to be acknowledged in them, whoever be the in- 
strument or occasion ; Luke xi, 20. 

There are frequently also some notable, though not mi- 
raculous providences in the changes of the world, and in the 
disposal of all events, and particularly of ourselves, in which 
a believer should still see God ; yea, see him as the total 
cause, and take the instruments to be next to nothing ; and 
not gaze all at men as unbelievers do ; but say, " This is the 
Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes ;" Psal. cxviii. 
23. *' Sing unto the Lord a new song ; for he hath done 
marvellous things; Psal. xcviii. 1. "Marvellous are thy 
works, and that my soul knoweth right well ;" Psal. 
cxxxix. 14. 

Direct. 15. ' But let the chief study of faith for the know- 


ledge of God, be of the face of Jesus Christ ; and the most 
wonderful mystery of his incarnation, and our redemption.' 
For God is nowhere else so fully manifested to man, in 
that goodness, love and mercy, which it most concerneth us 
to know ; and the knowledge of which will be most healing 
and sanctifying to the soul : but of this I must speak more 
in the Chapter next following. 

Direct. 16. * Let faith make use of every mercy, not only 
to acknowledge God therein, but to have a pleasant taste 
and relish of his love.' 

For thus it is that they are all sanctified to believfers, 
and this is the holy use of mercies. Remember that as in 
order to understanding, your eyes and ears are but the pas- 
sages or inlets to your minds j and if sights and sounds 
went no further than the senses, you would be no better, if 
not worse than beasts. So also in order to affection, the 
taste and sense of sweetness or any other pleasure, is to 
pass by the sense unto the heart ; and what should it do 
there, but affect the heart with the love and goodness of the 
giver. A beast tasteth as much of the sensitive sweetness 
of his food and ease as you do : but it is the believer who 
heartily saith, ' How good is the Author and End of all this 
mercy ! Whence is it that this cometh? And whither doth 
it tend?' ** I love the Lord because he hath heard the voice 
of my supplication;" Psal. cxvi. 1. "O that men would 
praise the Lord for his goodness;" Psal. cxlv. 15, 16. 
" The eyes of all things wait on thee ; thou givest them 
their meat in due season. Thou openest thy hand, and sa- 
tisfiest the desires of every living thing. He leaveth not 
himself without witness in that he doth good, and giveth us 
rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with 
food and gladness ;" Acts xiv. 17. The near conjunction 
of soul and body, and the near relation of God and his mer- 
cies, do tell us plainly, that every pleasure which toucheth 
the sense, should touch the heart, and reach unto the soul 
itself; and that the creature is fitted to the sense, and God 
is suitable to the soul ; so the creature should be but God's 
servant to knock and cause us to open the door to himself, 
and the way of his communication and accession to the 
heart. Therefore so great a judgment is threatened against 
the Israelites in their prosperity, if they did not serve God 
with joyfulness and gladness of heart, for the abundance of 

186 LIFli Oy FAITH. 

all things ; Deut. xxviii. 47. And therefore the days in- 
which men were to rejoice in God with the greatest love and 
thankfulness, were appointed to be days of feasting, that 
the pleasure of the bodily senses might promote the spiritual 
pleasure and gratitude of the mind ; 2 Chron. xix. 21. 
xxix. 30. Neh. viii. 17. xii. 27. Esther ix. 17—19. 
Num. X. 10. 

Direct. 17. ' Let faith feel God's displeasure in every 
chastisement and judgment.' 

For we must be equally careful that we despise them 
not, and that we faint not under them ; Heb. xii. 5. They 
that pretend that it is the work of faith to see nothing in 
any affliction but the love and benefit, do but set one act of 
faith against another : for the same word which telleth us, 
that it shall turn to a true believer's good doth tell us that 
it is of itself a natural evil, and that as the good is from 
God's love, so the evil is from our sins, and his displeasure ; 
and that he would give us the good without the evil, if man 
were without sin. He therefore that belie veth not that it is 
a castigatory punishment for sin, is an unbeliever, as well 
as he that believeth not the promise of the benefit ; Rom. 
v. 12. 14. 16—18. 1 Cor. xi. 30. 32. Jer. v. 25. Micah 
i. 5. Amos iii. 2. 

Yea, this opinion directly frustrateth the first end and 
use of all chastisements which is to further men's repentance 
for the evil of sin, by the sense of the evil of punishment, 
and the notice of God's displeasure manifested thereby : 
and next to make us warnings to others, that they incur not 
the same correction and displeasure as we have done. For 
he that saith, there is no penalty or evil in the suffering, nor 
no displeasure of God expressed thereby, doth contradict 
all this. But as it is a great benefit which we are to reap 
by our corrections, even the furtherance of our repentance 
and amendment ; so it is a great work of faith, to perceive 
the bitterness of sin, and the displeasure of God in these 
corrections ; of which more anon. 

Direct. 18. ' Faith must hear the voice of God in all his 
word, and in all the counsel which by any one he shall 
send us.' 

When sense taketh notice of nothing but a book, or of 
none but a man, faith must perceive the mind and message 
of God : not only in preachers, (2 Cor. v. 19, 20. 1 Thess. 


ii. 13. Titus ii. 5. Heb. xiii. 7.) but also in the mouth of 
wicked enemies, when it is indeed the will of God which 
they reveal. And so David heard the curse of Shimei, 
speaking to him the rebukes of God, for his sin in the mat- 
ter of Uriah; 2 Sam. xvi. 10, 11. And Paul rejoiced that 
Christ was preached by men of envy and strife, who did it 
to add affliction to his bonds; Phil. i. 18. Moses perceived 
the will of God in the counsel of Jethro, even in as great a 
matter as the governing and judging of the people ; Exod. 
xviii. 19. The counsel of the ancients which Rehoboam 
forsook, was the counsel of God which he rejected ; 1 Kings 
xii. 8. David blessed God for the counsel of a woman, 
Abigail. Whoever be the messenger, a believer should be 
acquainted with the voice of God, and know the true signi- 
fications of his will. The true sheep of Christ do know his 
voice, and follow him, because they are acquainted with his 
word ; and though the preacher be himself of a sinful life, 
he can distinguish between God and the preacher ; and will 
not say, it is not the word of God, because it cometh from 
a wicked mouth. For he hath read Psal. 1. 16. where God 
saith to the wicked, ** What hast thou to do to take my co- 
venant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and 
hast cast my words behind thee :" but he never read ' to the 
godly, saith God, Why didst thou hear a wicked preacher?' 
He hath read, " The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' 
chair, hear them, but do not as they do :" but he never read, 
* Hear none that live not according to their doctrine/ An 
unbeliever will not know Christ's word, if a Judas be the 
preacher of it ; but a believer can read the commission of 
Judas, or at least can understand whose counsel he deliver- 
eth : and though he would be loath to choose a Judas, or to 
prefer him before a holy man ; yet if workers of iniquity do 
preach in Christ's name, he leaveth it to Christ to say 
at judgment, " I know you not ; " Matt. vii. 21, 22. Acts 
i. 17.24. 

Direct. 19. * Faith must not look at God now and then, 
and leave the soul in ordinary forgetfulness of him ; but re- 
member that he is always present, and must make us rather 
forget them that are talking to us, or conversing with us, 
than to forget the Lord.' 

: Nothing is more the work of faith, than to see him who 
is invisible ; Heb. xi. 27. And to live as one that still re- 


membereth that God standeth by: to think as one that 
knoweth that our thoughts are always in his sight, and to 
speak and do as one that forgetteth not, that he is the con- 
stant and most reverend witness of all. To hear, and pray, 
and live, and labour as if we saw the God who employeth 
us, and will reward us ; Matt. vi. 4. 6. Isa. lix. 18. Rev. xx. 
12. Matt. xvi. 27. Rom. ii. 6. 

Direct, 20. * Faith must lay the heart of man, to rest in 
the will of God, and to make it our chief delight to please 
him, and quietly to trust him whatever cometh to pass : and 
to make nothing of all that would rise up against him, or 
entice us from him, or would be to us as in his stead.' 

Faith seeth that it is the pleasing of the will of God, 
which is all our work, and all our reward : and that we 
should be fully pleased in the pleasing of him : and that 
there is no other rest for the soul to be thought on, but the 
will of God : and it must content the soul in him alone ; 
2 Thess. i. 11. Col. iii. 20. 1 Cor. vii. 32. 1 Thess. iv. 1. 
2 Tim. ii. 4. Heb. xi. 6. Matt. iii. 17. xvii. 5. Heb. xiii. 
16. Psal. xvi. 5. Ixxiii. 26. cxix. 57. cxlii. 5. 

As God is often called jealous, especially over the heart 
of man ; so faith must make us jealous of ourselves, and 
very watchful against every creature, which would become 
any part of the felicity or ultimate object of our souls. God 
is so great to a believing soul, that ease, and honour, and 
wealth, and pleasure, and all men high and low must be as 
dead and nothing to us, when they speak against him, or 
would be loved, or feared, or trusted, or obeyed before him', 
or above him. It is as natural to a true life of faith on God, 
to make nothing of the incroaching creature, as for our be- 
holding the sun, to make nothing of a candle. And thus is 
faith our victory over the world ; 1 John v. 4. Jer. xvii. 5. 
Isa. ii. 22. 1 Cor. xv. 28. Ephes. iv. 6. Col. iii. 11. 


Directions how to Live by Faith on Jesus Christ, 

So much is said already towards this in opening the grounds 
of faith, as will excuse me from being prolix in the rest 


and the following parts of the life of faith, are still supposed 
as subordinate to these two which go before. 

Direct. 1. * Keep still the true reasons of Christ's incar- 
nation and mediation upon your mind (as they are before ex- 
pressed) else Christ will not be known by you as Christ.' 
Therefore the Scriptures are much in declaring the reasons 
of Christ's coming into the world, as to be a sacrifice for 
sin, to declare God's love and mercy to sinners ; to seek and 
to save that which was lost ; to destroy the works of the 
devil, &c. ; 1 Tim. i. 15. 1 John iii. 8. Heb. ii. 14. Luke 
xix. 10. Rom. V. 10. 1 John iii. 1. Gal. iv. 4. 6. &c. 
Let this name or description of Christ be engraven as in ca- 
pital letters upon your minds, ' THE ETERNAL WISDOM 

Direct, 2. * See therefore that you join no conceit of 
Christ, which dishonoureth God, and is contrary to this cha- 
racter, and to God's design.' 

Many by mistaking the doctrine of Christ's intercession, 
do think of God the Father, as one that is all wrath and 
justice, and unwilling of himself to be reconciled unto man : 
and of the second Person in the Trinity, as more gracious 
and merciful, whose mediation abateth the wrath of the Fa- 
ther, and with much ado maketh him willing to have mercy 
on us. Whereas it is the love of God which is the original 
of our redemption, and it was God's loving the world, which 
provoked him to give his Son to be their Redeemer ; John 
iii. 16. Rom. viii. 32. " And God was in Christ reconcil- 
ing the world unto himself, not imputing to them their tres- 
passes;" 2 Cor. V. 19. And therefore we still read of 
Christ's reconciling man to God, and not the phrase of his 
reconciling God to man : not but that both are truly 
wrought by Christ's mediation (for the Scripture frequently 
speaketh of God's hating the workers of iniquity, and of his 
vindictive justice, and of that propitiating and atonement 
which signifieth the same thing) ; but the reason is, because 
the enmity began on man's part, and not on God's, by man's 
forsaking God, and turning his love from him to the crea- 
ture, and not by God's forsaking man ; and the change of 
man's state and heart towards God, by true reconciliation, 
will make him again capable of peace with God ; and as 


soon as man is made an object fit for the complacency of 
God, it cannot be but that God will again take complacency 
in him ; so that the real change must be only on man ; and 
then that relative or denominative change which must be 
on God, will thence immediately result. 

Some also there be who gather from Christ's death, that 
God desired the sufferings of Christ as pleasing to him in 
itself; as if he made a bargain with Christ to sell so much 
mercy to man, for so much blood and pains of Christ; and 
as if he so delighted in the blood of the innocent, that he 
would the more willingly do good to us, if he might first 
forsake and crucify Christ. But this is to contradict 
Christ's business in the world, as if he who came from hea- 
ven to declare God's love, had come to declare him to delight 
in doing hurt; and as if he who came to demonstrate God's 
justice, had come to shew, that he had rather punish the in- 
nocent, than the guilty : but the case is quite otherwise : 
God doth not delight in man's sufferings as such ; no, not 
of the guilty, much less of the innocent : he desired not 
Christ's suffering for itself; but as it was a convenient 
means, to demonstrate his justice, and his holiness, and to 
vindicate the honour of his government and law, and to be 
a warning to sinners, not to sin presumptuously ; and yet to 
declare to them the greatness of his love. 

And some are ready to gather from Christ's propitiation, 
that God is now more reconcilable to sin, and so they blas- 
pheme him as if he were unholy : and as if he made a smaller 
matter of our misdoings, since he is satisfied for them by a 
Mediator. And they are ready to gather, that God can now 
take complacency in man, though he have no inherent holi- 
ness at all, because of the righteousness of Christ imputed 
to him. And some take God's imputation of Christ's righ- 
teousness to us, to be a reputing us to be the persons, who 
ourselves fulfilled the law in or by Christ; so that his very 
attributes of wisdom, and love, and holiness, and justice, 
and mercy, &c. which Christ came purposely to declare, 
are by some denied, blasphemed or abused, on pretence of 
extolling Christ and our redemption; as if we might sin 
that grace may abound ; Rom. vi. 1, 2. *' But if while we 
seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found 
sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God for- 
bid ;" Gal. ii. 17. 


Direct, 3. ' Distinguish between the common and the 
special benefits of man's redemption by Christ ; and see 
how the latter do suppose the former ; and set not these 
parts against each other, which God in wisdom hath joined 

To pass by all other the great and notable common bene- 
fit, is the conditional covenant of grace ; or the conditional 
pardon of sin, and gift of eternal life to all without excep- 
tion; John iii. 16. Mark xvi. 15, 16. Rom. x. 9. Matt. vi. 
14, 15. xxii. 7 — 9. And this general conditional promise 
must be first preached ; and the preaching of this is the 
universal or common call and offer of grace : and it must 
be first believed, as is before said. But the actual belief of 
it, according to its true intent and meaning, doth prove our 
actual personal title to all the benefits which were before 
given but conditionally ; John iii. 16. 1 John v. 10 — 12. 
2 Cor. V. 19—21. 

Direct. 4. * Accordingly judge how far redemption is com- 
mon or special, by the common and special benefits procured.' 

For no man can deny but it is so far common, as the 
benefits are common : that is, so far as to procure and give 
to sinners a common conditional pardon as aforesaid (as 
Dr. Twisse very often taketh notice). And no man can af- 
firm, that it is common to all, so far as absolutely or even- 
tually to give them actual pardon and salvation, unless they 
dream that all are saved. But that some eventually and infal- 
libly are saved all confess : and we had rather think that Christ 
and the good pleasure of God, is the chief differencing cause, 
than we ourselves. 

Direct, 5. * Set not the several parts of the office of 
Christ against each other ; nor either depress or forget any 
one part, while you magnify and meditate only on the other.' 
It is most ordinary to reduce all the office of Christ, to 
the prophetical, priestly, and kingly part. (For it is more 
proper to call them three parts of one office, than three of- 
fices :) but it is hard to reduce his incarnation, or his infant- 
humiliation, and his whole course of obedience, and fulfill- 
ing the law to any one, or all of these, totally. Though in 
some respect, as it is his example, it is teaching, and as it 
is part of his humiliation, it may be called a part of his 
sacrifice ; yet as it is meritorious, obedience and perfection, 
it belongeth indeed to our high-priest, but not formally to 


his priesthood : no nor yet as he himself is the sacrifice for 
sin ; for it is not an act of priesthood to be himself a sacri- 
fice. But yet I think the common distribution intimateth 
to us that sense which containeth the truth which we in- 
quire after : for the word priesthood is applied to Christ in 
a peculiar notion, so as it is never applied to any other ; 
and therefore is taken more comprehensively, as including 
all that good which he doth for us (as good) by the way of 
mediation with the Father, and all his acts of mediation 
with God ; as the prophetical and kingly parts, contain his 
other acts towards men. But yet a more plain and accurate 
distribution should be made ; in which it should be mani- 
fested also to what heads his many other assumed titles of 
relation are to be reduced ; but this is not a work for this 

But that which now I advise you to avoid, is the error 
of them who look so much at Christ's mediation with God, 
that they scarce observe his work with man : and the error 
of them who look so much at his work on man, that they 
overlook his mediation with God : and their's that so ob- 
serve his sacrifice, as to make light of his continual inter- 
cession : or that observing both, make light of his doctrine 
and example : or that observe these so much as to make 
light of his sacrifice and intercession : or that extol his 
doctrine and example, and overlook his giving of the Spirit 
to all his living members ; or that cannot magnify any one 
of these, without depressing or extenuating some other. 
If Christ's kingdom be not divided (Matt. xii. 25.), sure 
Christ himself is not divided, nor his works; 1 Cor. i. 13. 

Direct* 6. * Still distinguish between Christ's work of 
redemption, which he hath already wrought on earth, to 
constitute him our Mediatory Head, and that which he was 
further to do for us in that relation ; that you may ground 
your faith on the first as a foundation laid by him, and may 
seek after the second as that which requireth somewhat 
from yourselves to your own participation.' 

The first part is commonly called the impetration, the 
second the application (or rather the communication.) As 
God did first do himself the work of creation, and thence 
result his relations of our Owner, our Ruler, and our chief 
good (or our love, or end, or benefactor) ; so Christ first 
doth the works which make him our Redeemer towards 


God ; and then he is also our Owner, our Ruler, and our 
communicative Benefactor, hereupon. And this seemeth 
intimated by those phrases, (Heb. v. 8. ii. 9, 10.) where he 
is said to " learn obedience by the things which he suffered,'' 
that IS, as a subject exercised obedience, and so learnt to 
know by experience what obeying is. And that ''the Cap- 
tain of our salvation was made perfect by sufferings, and for 
suffering death was crowned with glory," because his suffer- 
ings did constitute him a perfect Captain or Redeemer in 
performance ; though before he was perfect in ability. As 
he that undertaketh to redeem some Turkish galley-slaves by 
conquering their navy, is made a perfect redeemer, or con- 
queror, when he hath taken the fleet, though yet the prison- 
ers are in his power, to release them on such terms as seem 
best to him. And as a man is a perfect chirurgeon, when 
(besides his skill) he is furnished with all his instruments 
or salves (how costly soever) though yet the cure is not 
done : or as he that hath ransomed prisoners is a perfect 
ransomer, when he hath paid the price, though yet they are 
not delivered, nor have any actual right themselves to claim 
deliverance by. I here mention this, because the building 
upon that foundation, which is supposed to be already laid 
and finished, and the seeking of the further salvation which 
yet we have no possession of, nor perhaps any title to, are 
works so very different, that he that doth not discern the 
difference, cannot exercise the Christian faith ; because it is 
to be necessarily exercised by two such different acts, or 
different ways of acting and applying ourselves to our Re- 

Direct. 7. * Still think of Christ's nearness both to the 
Father and to us ; and so of our nearness to God in and by 

Our distance is the lamentable fruit of our apostacy ; 
which inferreth our fears, and estrangedness, and back- 
wardness to draw near to God ; it causeth our ignorance of 
him, and our false conceits of his will and works ; it greatly 
hindereth both love and confidence : whereas the appre- 
hension of our nearness to God will do much to cure all 
these evils. As it is the misery of the proud, that God 
looketh on them as afar off, that is, with strangeness, and 
abhorrence, and disdain ; Psal. cxxxviii. 6. And accord^ 

VOL. XII. o 


ingly they shall be far off from the blessed ones hereafter ; 
Luke xvi. 23. So it is the happiness of believers to be nigh 
to God, in Jesus Christ, who condescended to be nigh to 
us ; which is our preparation to be yet nearer to him for 
ever; Psal. cxlviii. 14. xXxiv. 18. cxlv. 18. Ephes. ii. 13. 
It giveth the soul more familiar thoughts of God, who 
seemed before to be at an inaccessible distance ; which is 
part of the boldness of access and confidence mentioned ; 
Ephes. iii. 12. ii. 18. Rom. v. 2. Heb. x. 19. We may 
come boldly to the throne of grace ; Heb. iv. 16. And it 
greatly helpeth us in the work of love, to think how near 
God is come to us in Christ, and how near he hath taken 
the human nature unto him. When a sinner looketh at 
God only as in himself, and as he is estranged from the 
guilty, he is amazed and confounded, as if God were quite 
out of the reach of our love ; but when he thinketh how he 
hath voluntarily come down into our flesh, that he might be 
man, and be familiar with man, and what a wonderful mar- 
riage the divine nature hath made with the human, this 
wonderfully reconcileth the heart to God, and maketh the 
thoughts of him more sweet and acceptable. If the life of 
faith be a dwelling in God, and God in us, and a walking 
with God; 1 John iii. 24. iv. 12. 15, 16. Ephes. iii. 17. 
Gen. xvii. 1. xxiv. 40. v. 22. vi. 9. Heb. xi. 5. Then 
must we perceive our nearness to God : the just apprehen- 
sion of this nearness in Christ's incarnation and relation to 
us, is the chief means to bring us to the nearness of love 
and heavenly conversation ; Col. iii. 1. 3, 4. 

Direct, 8. * Make Christ therefore the mediation of all 
your practical thoughts of God.' 

The thoughts of God will be strange to us through our 
distance, and terrible through our guilt, if we look not up- 
on him through the prospective of Christ's humanity and 
cross. God out of Christ is a consuming fire to guilty 
souls. As our acceptance must be through the beloved, in 
whom he is well pleased ; so our thoughts must be encou- 
raged with the sense of that acceptance ; and every thought 
must be led up to God, and emboldened by the Mediator; 
Matt. iii. 17. xvii. 5. vii. 18. Ephes. i. 6. Heb. ii. 9, 10. 
12, 13. 17. 

Direct, 9. * Never come to God in prayer, or any other 


act of worship, but by the mediation of the Son ; and put 
all your prayers as into his hand, that he may present them 
to the Father.' 

There is no hoping for any thing from God to sinners, 
but by Christ : and therefore there is no speaking to God 
but by him : not only in his name, but also by his media- 
tion : and this is the exercise of his priesthood for us, by 
his heavenly intercession, so much spoken of by the Holy 
Ghost in the Epistle to the Hebrews : *' Seeing then that we 
have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, 
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession : Let 
us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may 
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need ;'' 
Heb. iv. 14. 16. 

Direct. 10. 'Hear every word of Scripture precept; and 
ministerial exhortation (consonant to the Scripture) as sent 
to us by Christ, and from the Father by him, as the ap- 
pointed Teacher of the church.' 

Hear Christ in his Gospel and his ministers, and hear 
God the Father in the Son. Take heed of giving only a 
slight and verbal acknowledgment of the voice of Christ, 
whilst you really are more taken with the preacher's voice, 
as if he had a greater share in the sermon, than Christ hath. 
The voice in the holy Mount, which Peter witnesseth that 
he heard, was, " This is my beloved Son in whom I am 
well pleased, hear ye him ;" 2 Pet. i. 17. ** And it shall 
come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that pro- 
phet, shall be destroyed from among the people ;" Acts iii. 
23. Matt. xvii. 5. ** When ye received the word of God 
which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, 
but as it is in truth the word of God, which worketh effec- 
tually in you that believe;" 1 Thes. ii. 13. "The sheep 
will follow him, for they know his voice : a stranger they 
will not follow ;" John x. 4, 5. 

Direct, 11. * Take every mercy from God as from the 
hand of Christ ; both as procured by his cross, and as de- 
livered by his Mediatory administration.' 

It is still supposed that the giving of the Son himself 
by the Father to this office, is excepted as presupposed. 
But all subsequent particular mercies, are both procured 
for us, and given to us, by the Mediator. Yet is it never- 
theless from God the Father, nor doth it ever the less, but 


the more fully signify his love. But the state of sinners 
alloweth them no other way of communication from God, 
for their benefit and happiness, but by one who is more 
near and capable to God, who from him may convey all 
bkssings unto them. *' Blessed be the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual 
blessings in things heavenly in Christ ;" Ephes. i. 3. " He 
that spareth not his own Son, but gave him up for us all, 
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ? 
Rom. viii. 32. Through the knowledge of him, the Divine 
power giveth us ** all things that pertain to life and godli- 
ness ;" 2 Pet. i. 3. God hath given us eternaJ life, and this 
life is in his Son; 1 John v. 10, 11. All things are deli- 
vered into his hand ; John xiii. 3. xvii. 2. Therefore re- 
ceive every partijcular mercy for soul and body, as from the 
blood, and from the present Mediation of Christ, that you 
may rightly understand it, and have it as sanctified and 
sweetened by Christ. 

Direct, 12. ' Let faith take occasion by every sin, to re- 
new your sense of the want of Christ, and to bring you to 
him, to mediate and grant you a renewed pardon.' 

Therefore entertain not their mistake, who tell men that 
all sin, past, present, and to come, is fully pardoned at once 
(whether it be before you were born in God's decree, or 
Christ's satisfaction, or at the time of your conversion) nor 
their's who teach that Christ pardoneth only sins before 
conversion, but as for all that are committed afterward, he 
doth prevent the need of pardon, by preventing all guilt and 
obligation to punishment (except mere temporal chastise- 
ment.) The preparation which Christ hath made for our 
pardon, is in itself sufficient, yea, and effectual as to that 
end which he would have it attain before our believing : 
but our actual pardon is no such end : nor can sin be for- 
given before it be committed ; because it is no sin. Christ 
never intended to justify or sanctify us perfectly at the first 
(whatsoever many say to the contrary, because they under- 
stand not what they say) but to carry on both proportiona- 
bly and by degrees, that we may have daily use for his daily 
mediation, and may daily pray, ** Forgive us our trespasses." 
There is no guilt on them that are in Christ, so far as they 
"walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ;" nor no pro- 
per condemnation by sentence or execution at all ; because 


their pardon is renewed by Christ, as they renew their sins 
of infirmity : but not because he preventeth. their need of 
any further pardon. 

Therefore as God made advantage of the sins of the 
world, for the honouring of his grace in Christ, that grace 
might abound where sin abounded; Rom. v. 12. 16, 17. 
So do you make advantage of your renewed sins, for a re- 
newed use of faith in Christ ; and let it drive you to him 
with renewed desires and expectations of pardon by his in- 
tercession : that Satan may be a loser, and Christ may have 
more honour by every sin that we commit. Not that we 
should sin that grace may abound ; but that we may make 
use of abounding grace when we have sinned. It is the 
true nature and use of faith and repentance to draw good 
out of sin itself, or to make the remembrance of it to be a 
means of our hatred and mortification of it, and of our love 
and gratitude to our Redeemer : not that sin itself doth 
(formallj'^ or efficiently) ever do any good : but sin ob- 
jectively is turned into good:. for so sin is no sin; because 
to remember sin is not sin. When David saith, (Psal. li. 3.) 
that ** his sin was ever before him," he meaneth not only in- 
voluntarily to his grief, but voluntarily as a meditation use- 
ful to his future duty, and to stir him up to all that which 
afterwards he promiseth. 

Direct. 13. 'In all the weaknesses and languishings of 
the new creature, let faith look up to Christ for strength.' 

For God hath put our life into his hand, and he is our 
root, and hath promised that we shall live because he liveth ; 
John xiv. 19. Do not think only of using Christ, as you 
do a friend when you have need of him ; or as I do my pen, 
to write, and lay it down when I have done : but as the 
branches use the vine, and as the members use the head, 
which they live by ; and from which when they are separated, 
they die and wither ; John xv- 1, 2, 3, &c. Ephes. i. 22. 
V. 27. 30. iv. 4, 5. 12. 15, 16. Christ must even *' dwell in 
our hearts by faith," (Ephes. iii. 17.) that is, 1. Faith must 
be the means of Christ's dwelling in us by his Spirit ; and 
2. Faith must so habituate theheart to a dependance upon 
Christ, and to an improvement of him, that objectively he 
must dwell in our hearts, as our friend doth whom we most<« 
dearly love; as that which we cannot choose but always 
think on. 


Remember therefore that we live in Christ, and that the 
life which we now live is by the faith of the Son of God, 
who hath loved us, and given himself for us ; Gal. ii. 20. 
And his grace is sufficient for us, and his strength most 
manifested in our weakness ; 2 Cor. xii. 9. And that when 
Satan desireth to sift us, he prayeth for us that our faith 
may not fail ; Luke xxii. 32. And that our life is " hid with 
Christ in God," even with " Christ, who is our life ;" Col. 
iii. 3, 4. That he is the Head, in whom all the members 
live, by the communication of his appointed ligaments and 
joints ; Ephes. iv. 14 — 16. Therefore when any grace is 
weak, go to your Head for life and strength. If faith be 
weak, pray, *' Lord increase our faith;" Luke xvii. 5. If 
you are ignorant, pray to him to open your understandings ; 
Luke xxiv. 45. If your hearts grow cold, go to him by 
faith, till he shed abroad the love of God upon your hearts ; 
Rom. V. 3, 4. For of his fullness it is that we must receive 
grace for grace; John i. 16. 

Direct. 14. ' Let the chief and most diligent work of 
your faith in Christ be, to inflame your hearts wath love to 
God, as his goodness and love is revealed to us in Christ.' 

Faith kindling love, and working by it, is the whole sum 
of Christianity ; of which before. 

Direct. 15. * Let faith keep the example of Christ con- 
tinually before your eyes ; especially in those parts of it, 
which he intended for the contradicting and healing of our 
greatest sins.' 

Above all others, these things seem purposely and 
specially chosen in the life of Christ, for the condemning 
and curing of our sins ; and therefore are principally to be 
. observed by faith. 

1. His wonderful love to God, to his elect, and to his 
enemies : expressed in so strange an undertaking, and in 
his sufferings, and in his abundant grace, which must teach 
us, what fervours of love to God and man, to friends and 
enemies must dwell and have dominion in us ; 1 John iv. 
10. Rev. i. 5. Rom. v. 8. 10. John xiii. 34, 35. xv. 13. 
J John iii. 14. 23. 17. iv. 7, 8. 20, 21. 

2. His full obedience to his Father's will, upon the 
^ dearest' rates or terms : to teach us that no labour or cost 

should seem too great to us in our obeying the will of God ; 
nor any thing seem to us of so much value, as to be a price 


great enough to hire us to commit any wilful sin ; Rom. v. 
19. Heb. V. 8. Phil. ii. 8. I Sam. xv. 22. 2 Cor. x. 5, 6. 
Heb. V. 9. John xiv. 15. xv. 10. 1 John ii. 3. iii. 22. 
V. 2, 3. Rev. xxii. 14. 

3. His wonderful contempt of all the riches, and great- 
ness of the world, and all the pleasures of the flesh, and all 
the honour which is of man ; which he shewed in his taking 
the form of a servant, and making himself of no reputation, 
and living a mean inferior life : He came not to be served 
(or ministered to) but to serve : not to live in state with 
abundance of attendants ; with provisions for every turn and 
use, which pride, curiosity, or carnal imagination, taketh 
for a conveniency, or a decency, no nor a necessity : but he 
came to be as a servant unto others ; not as despising his 
liberty, but as exercising his voluntary humility and love : 
he that was Lord of all, for our sakes became poor, to make 
us rich : he lived in lowliness and meekness : he submitted 
to the greatest scorn of sinners ; and even to the false ac- 
cusations and imputations of most odious sin in itself, 
(Phil. ii. 6—9. Heb. xii. 1—3. Matt. xxvi. 55. 60, 61. 63. 
66, xxvii. 28—31. Matt. xi. 29, 30. xx. 28. 2 Cor. viii. 
9.) which was to teach us to see the vanity of the wealth 
and honours of the world, and to despise the idol of the un- 
godly, and to lay that under our feet, which is nearest to 
their hearts; and to be able without impatiency to be 
scorned, spit upon, buffeted and abused ; to be poor and of 
no reputation among men ; and though not to enslave our- 
selves to any (but if we can be free to use it rather ; 1 Cor. 
vii. 21.) yet to be the loving and voluntary servants of as 
many as we can to do them good; and not to desire to 
have a great retinue, and to be such voluntary burdens to 
the world, as to be served by many, while we serve none ; 
as if we (who are taught by Christ and nature, that it is 
more honourable to give than to receive, and to be helpful 
unto many,, than to need the help of many) would declare 
our impotency to be so great, that when every poor man 
can serve himself and others, we are (and had rather be) so 
indigent, as not to live and help ourselves, without the 
help of many servants ; yea, scarce to undress and dress 
ourselves, or to do any thing which another can do for us. 
Only such persons are willing to eat, and drink, and sleep 
for themselves, and to play, and laugh, and to sin for them- 


selves ; but as to any thing that is good and useful, without 
their present sensitive delight, they are not only unservice- 
able to the world, but would live like the lame or dead, that 
must be moved and carried about by others. Among 
Christ's servants, he that is the chief, must be the chief in 
service, even as a servant unto all ; Luke xxii. 26. Matt, 
xxiii. 11. And all "by love must serve one another;" 
Gal. V. 13. 

4. His submission unto death, and conquest of the na- 
tural love of life, for a greater good, even the pleasing of 
God, and the crown of glory, and the good of many in their 
salvation : to teach us that not only the pleasures of life, 
but life itself must be willingly laid down, when any of 
these three ends require it ; Matt. xx. 28. John x. 11. xv. 
13. IJohniii. 16. John x. 17. Acts xx. 24. Matt. x. 39. 
xvi. 25. Mark xiv. 26. Phi), ii. 30. 1 John iii. 16. Rev. 
xii. 11. 

Direct. 16. * Let faith behold Christ in his relation to 
his universal church, and not unto yourselves alone.' 

1. Because else you overlook his most honourable rela- 
tion : it is more his glory to be the church's Head and Sa- 
viour, than yours ; Ephes. v. 23. i. 21, 22. And 2. You 
else overlook his chief design and work ; which is for the 
perfecting and saving of his body ; Ephes. i. 23. Col. i. 
24. 18. And 3. Else you overlook the chief part of your 
own duty, and of your conformity to Christ, which is in 
loving and edifying the body ; Ephes. iv. 12. 16. Whereas 
if you see Christ as the undivided and impartial Head of all 
saints, you will see also all saints as dear to him, and as 
united in him : and you will have communion by faith with 
them in him ; and you will love them all, and pray for all, 
and desire a part in the prayers of all (instead of carping at 
tlieir different indifferent manner, and forms, and words of 
prayer, and running away from them, to shew that you dis- 
own them.) And you will have a tender care of the unity, 
and honour, and prosperity of the church, and regard the 
welfare of particular brethren as your own, (1 Cor. 12. 
throughout, John xiii. 14. 34. xv. 12. 17. Rom. xiii. 8.) 
stooping to the lowest service to one another, if it were the 
washing of the feet ; and in honour preferring one another ; 
Rom. xii. 10. Not judging nor despising, nor persecuting, 
but receiving and forbearing one another; Rom* xiv. 


throughout, xv. 1—4. 7, 8. Gal. v. 13. vi. 1—3. Ephes. 
iv. 2. 32. Col. iii. 13. Edifying, exhorting, and seeking 
the saving of one another; 1 Thes. v. 11. iv. 9. 18. Heb. 
iii. 13. X. 24. Not speaking evil one of another ; James 
iv. 11. Much less biting and devouring one another ; Gal. 
v. 15. But " having compassion one of another," as those 
that are " members one of another ;" 1 Pet. iii. 8. Rom. 
xii. 5. 

Direct, 17. * Make all your opposition to the temptations 
of Satan, the world and the flesh, by the exercise of faith 
in Christ.' 

From him you must liave your weapons, skill and 
strength. It is the great work of faith, to militate under 
him, as the Captain of our salvation ; and by virtue of his 
precepts, example and Spirit to overcome as he hath over- 
come. Of which more anon. 

Direct. 18. 'Death also must be entertained and con- 
quered by faith in Christ.' 

We must see it as already conquered by him, and entertain 
it as the passage to him : this also will be after spoken to. 

Direct, 19. * Faith must believe in Christ as our judge, 
to give us our final justification, and sentence us to endless 
life ;' Rom. xiv. 9, 10. John v. 22. 24, 25. 

Direct. 20. Lastly, ' Faith must see Christ as preparing 
us a place in heaven, and possessing it for us, and ready to 
receive us to himself.' But all this I only name, because it 
will fall in the last chapters. 


Directions to live hy Faith on the Holy Ghost. 

This is not the least part of the life of faith. If the Spirit 
give us faith itself, then faith hath certainly its proper work 
to do towards that Spirit which giveth it : and if the Spirit 
be the worker of all other grace, and faith be the means on 
our part, then faith hath somewhat to do with the Holy 
Ghost herein. The best way that I can take in helping you 
to believe aright in the Holy Ghost, will be by opening the 
true sense of this great article of our faith to you, that by 


understanding the matter aright, you may know what you 
are here both to do, and to expect. 

Direct. 1. * The name of the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of 
God, is used in Scripture for the third person in the Trinity 
as constitutive, and as the third perfective principle of ope- 
ration ; and most usually as operating ' ad extra,' by com- 
munication.* And therefore many fathers, and ancient di- 
vines and schoolmen say, * That the Holy Ghost the third 
person and principle is the love of God ; which, as it is 
God's love of himself, is a constitutive person or principle in 
the Trinity ; but as it is pregnant and productive, it is the 
third principle of operation ' ad extra ;' and so that it is 
taken usually for the pregnant, operative love of God.' 

And thus they suppose that the Divine power, intellect 
and will (or wisdom and love) are the three constitutive 
persons in themselves, and the three principles of operation 
* ad extra.' To this purpose writeth Origeu, Ambrose, and 
Richardus the schoolman ; but more plain and full Dama- 
scene and Bernard, and Edmundus Cantuariensis, and 
Potho Prumensis cited by me in my '* Reasons of the 
Christian Religion." Augustine only putteth memory 
for power, by which Campanella think eth he meant power, 
(Metaphys. par. 2. 1. 6. c. 12. art. 4. pag. 88.) what Csesa- 
rius and many others say, * de triplici lumine,' I pass 
by : the * Lux Radii et Lumen,' are thought a fit similitude 
by many : but the motion, light and heat, is a plain impres- 
sion of the Trinity on that noble element of fire. The holy 
man, Ephrsem Syrus, in his Testament, useth the phrase (in 
his adjuration of his Disciples, and the protestation of his 
own steadfastness in the doctrine of the Trinity against all 
heresies) * by that three named fire of the most Holy Trini- 
ty, (or 'Divine Majesty,' as another copy hath it) and by 
that infinite and sole, one power of God; and by those 
three subsistences of the intelligible (or intellectual) fire.' 
And as it is a most great and certain truth, that this Sacred 
Trinity of Divine principles, have made their impress com- 
municatively upon the frame of nature, and most evidently 
on the noblest parts, which are in excellency nearest 
their Creator ; so it is evident that in the creatures, love is 
the pregnant communicative principle : so is natural love in 
generation and friendly love in benefiting others ; and spi- 


ritual love, in propagating knowledge and grace, for the 
winning of souls. 

What I said of the Scripture use of the word is found in 
1 John V. 5—8. Heb. ix. 14. 1 Cor. xii. 2—4. Rom. i. 4. 
John i. 32, 33. iii. 5. 34. vi.63. Gen. i.2. Jobxxxiii.4. 
2Cor. iii. 17, 18. Luke iv. 18. Micah iii. 8. Isa. xi. 2. 
Ixi. 1. 

Direct. 2. * The most excellent measure of the Spirit 
given by Christ after his ascension to the Gospel church, is 
to be distinguished from that which was before communi- 
cated ; and this Spirit of Christ is it which our Christian 
faith hath special respect to.' 

Without the Spirit of God, as the perfective principle, 
nature would not have been nature ; Gen. i. 2. All things 
would not have been good, and very good, but by the com- 
munication of goodness : and without somewhat of that 
Spirit, there would be no moral goodness in any of man- 
kind : and without some special operations of that Spirit, 
the godly before Christ's coming in the flesh, would not 
have been godly, nor in any present capacity of glory : 
therefore there was some gift of the Spirit before. 

But yet there was an eminent gift of the Spirit proper 
to the Gospel times, which the former ages did not know ; 
which is so much above the former gift, that it is sufficient 
to prove the verity of Christ. 

For 1. There was use for the special attestation of the 
Father by way of power, by miracles, and his resurrection 
to own his Son. 2. The wisdom and word of God incarnate, 
must needs bring a special measure of wisdom to his disci- 
ples ; and therefore give a greater measure of the Spirit for 
illumination. 3. The design of redemption being the reve- 
lation of the love of God, and the recovery of our love to 
him, there must needs be a special measure of the Spirit of 
love shed abroad upon our hearts. And in all these three 
respects, the Spirit was accordingly communicated. 

Quest, * Was it not the Spirit of Christ which was in the 
prophets, and in all the godly before Christ's coming V 

Afisw. The Spirit of Christ is either that measure of the 
Spirit which was given after the first covenant of grace, as 
it differeth from the state of man in innocency, and from the 
state of man in his apostacy and condemnation : and thus 
it was the Spirit of Christ which was then given, so far as 


it was the covenant and grace of Christ. By which men 
were then saved. But there was a fuller covenant to be 
made after his coming, and a fuller measure of grace to be 
given, and a full attestation of God for the establishment 
and promulgation of this covenant : and accordingly a 
fuller and special gift of the Spirit. And this is called The 
Spirit of Christ, in the peculiar Gospel sense. 

Quest, * How is it said, John vii. 37., that the Holy 
Ghost was not yet given, because Christ was not yet glori- 
fied ?' 

Answ» It is meant of the special measure of the Spirit, 
which was to be Christ's special Witness and Agent in the 
world. They had before that measure of true grace which 
was necessary to the salvation of believers, before the in- 
carnation and resurrection of Christ, (which was the Spirit 
of Christ, as the light before sun-rising is the light of the 
sun ;) and if they died in that case, they would have been 
saved : but they had not the signal Spirit of the Gospel, 
settled and resident with them, but only some little taste 
of it for casting out devils, and for cures at that time when 
Christ sent them by a special mission to preach, and gave 
them a sudden special gift; Luke ix. 1. x. 17. 

Quest. ' How is it said of those baptized believers, (Acts 

xix.) that they had not Jieardthat there was a Holy Ghost?' 

Answ, It is meant of this eminent Gospel gift of the 

Holy Ghost, as he is the great Witness and Agent of Christ ; 

and not of all the graces of the Holy Ghost. 

Quest, * Was it before necessary to have an explicit be- 
lief in the Holy Ghost as the third person in the blessed 
Trinity, and as the third principle of the Divine operations, 
and were the faithful then in covenant with him V 

Answ. Distinguish between the person and the name : 
no name is necessary to salvation ; else none could be saved 
but men of one language : to believe in the Holy Ghost un- 
der that name, was not necessary to salvation (nor yet is) ; 
for he that speaketh and heareth of him in Greek, or Latin, 
or Sclavonian, &c. may be saved, though he never learnt 
the English tongue : but to believe in the energetical, or 
operative, or communicative love of God, was always neces- 
sary to salvation, considered in the thing, and not only in 
the name : as it was to believe in his power and his wis- 
dom : and to believe which is the first, and which the 


second, and which the third, is not yet of absolute neces- 
sity to salvation ; while they are co-equal and co-essential ; 
and it was necessary to the Jews to believe, that this love of 
God did operate, and was communicated to the faithful ; 
not upon the terms of innocency, according to the first co- 
venant ; but to sinners that deserved death, and upon terms 
of mercy, through the covenant of grace, which was made 
with lapsed man in order to his recovery, through a Re- 

Direct, 3. ' All that is efficiently necessary to our salva- 
tion, in or of God, is not objectively necessary to be known. 
And such a measure of the knowledge of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost is necessary to save us, as is necessary ob- 
jectively to sanctify us under the efficiency of the said Spi- 
rit : And all the rest is not of such necessity. And there- 
fore as under the Gospel, the Spirit is Christ's great Wit- 
ness, as well as Agent in the world, it is more necessary 
now to believe distinctly in the Holy Ghost in that relation, 
than it was before Christ's coming in the flesh.' 

There is a great deal of the Divine perfection, which 
causeth our salvation, unknown to us: as the sun will shine 
upon us, and the wind will blow, and the rain will fall, and 
the earth will bear fruits, whether we know it or not ; so 
our knowledge of it is not at all necessary to any Divine 
efficiency as such : the Spirit by which we are regenerate, 
is like the wind that bloweth, whose sound we hear, but 
know not whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth (no nor 
what it is) ; John iii. 6 — 9. But all those things which are 
necessary to work objectively and morally on the soul, do 
work * in esse cognito ;' and the knowledge of them is as 
necessary as the operation is. It was of absolute necessity 
to the salvation of all, before Christ's coming, and among 
the Gentiles as well as the Jews, that the Spirit should 
sanctify them to God, by possessing them with a predomi- 
nant love of him in his goodness ; and that this Spirit pro- 
ceed from the Son or wisdom of God : but it was not so 
necessary to them as it is now to us, to have a distinct 
knowledge of the personality and operations of the Spirit 
and of the Son. And though now it is certain that Christ 
is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man cometh to the 
Father, but by the Son (John xiv. 6.) ; yet Ahat knowledge 
of him which is necessary to them that hear the Gospel, is 


not at all necessary to them that never hear it ; though the 
same efficiency on his part be necessary : and so it is about 
the knowledge of the Holy Ghost, without which Christ 
cannot be sufficiently now known and rightly believed in. 

Direct. 4. ' The presence or operation of the Spirit of 
God is causally the spiritual life of man, in his holiness : 
as there is no natural being but by influence from his being ; 
so no life but by the communication from his life, and no 
light but from his light, and no love or goodness, but from 
this Spirit of love.' 

It is therefore a vain conceit of them, that think man in 
innocency had not the Spirit of God : they that say, his 
natural rectitude was instead of the Spirit, do but say, and 
unsay : for his natural rectitude was the effect of the influx 
or communication of God's Spirit : and he could have no 
moral rectitude without it ; as there can be no effect with- 
out the chief cause : the nature of love and holiness cannot 
subsist, but in dependance on the love and holiness of 
God : and those Papists who talk of man's state first in 
pure naturals, and an after donation of the Spirit, must 
mean by pure naturals, man in his mere essentials, not 
really, but notionally by abstraction distinguished, from the 
same man at the same instant as a saint ; or else they 
speak unsoundly : for God made man in moral dispositive 
goodness at the first; and the same love or Spirit, which 
did first make him so, was necessary after to continue him 
so. It was never his nature to be a prime good, or to be 
good independently without the influence of the prime 
good ; Isa. xliv. 3. Ezek. xxxvi. 27. Job xxvi. 13. Psal.li. 
10. 12. cxliii. 10. Prov. xx. 27. Mai. ii. 15. John iii. 
5, 6. vi. 63. vii. 39. Rom. viii. 1. 5, 6. 9. 13. 16. 1 Cor. 
vi. 11. ii.ll, 12. vi. 17. xii. 11. 13. xv. 45. 2 Cor. iii. 
3.17. Ephes. ii. 18. 22. iii. 16. v. 9. Col. i. 8. Jude 19. 

Direct. 5. 'The Spirit of God, and the holiness of the 
soul may be lost, without the destruction of our essence, or 
species of human nature ; and may be restored without 
making us specificilly other things.' 

That influence of the Spirit which giveth us the faculty^ 
of a rational appetite or will, inclined to good as good, can- 
not cease, but our humanity or being would cease : but 
that influence of the Spirit, which causeth our adherence to 
God by love may cease, without the cessation of our be- 


ings ; as our health may be lost, while our life continueth ; 
Psal. li. 10. 1 Thess. v. 19. 

Direct, 6. * The greatest mercy in this world, is the gift 
of the Spirit, and the greatest misery is to be deprived of 
the Spirit; and both these are done to man by God, as a 
Governor, by way of reward and punishment oftimes : 
therefore the greatest reward to be observed in this world, is 
the increase of the Spirit upon us, and the greatest punish- 
ment in this world is the denying or withholding of the 

It is therefore a great part of a Christian's wisdom and 
work, to observe the accesses and assistances of the Spirit, 
and its withdrawings ; and to take more notice to God in 
his thankfulness of the gift of the Spirit, than of all other 
benefits in this world : and to lament more the retiring or 
withholding of God's Spirit, than all the calamities in the 
world ; and to fear this more as a punishment of his sin ; 
lest God should say as Psal. Ixxxi. 11, 12. " But my people 
would not hearken to my voice, Israel would none of me: so I 
gave them up to their own hearts' lust, to walk in their own 
counsels." And we must obey God through the motive of this 
promise and reward, " Turn you at my reproof; behold, I will 
pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words 
unto you ;" Prov. i. 23. " But this spake he of the Spirit, 
which they that believe on him should receive ;" John vii. 
39. Luke xi. 13. God will give his Holy Spirit to them 
that ask it. And we have great cause when we have sinned, 
to pray with David, ** Cast me not away from thy presence ; 
and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Create in me a 
clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation ; and uphold me 
with thy free Spirit;" Psal. li. 10—12. And as the sin to 
be feared is the grieving of the Holy Spirit, (Ephes. iv. 30.) 
so the judgment to be feared, is accordingly the withdraw- 
ing of it. '* But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit ; 
therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought 
against them. Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, 
and his people, saying. Where is he that brought them up — 
Where is he that put his holy Spirit within them?" Isa. Ixiii. 
10, 11. The great thing to be dreaded, is, lest '* those who 
were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, 
and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost — should fall 


away, and be no more renewed by repentance, " Heb. 

vi. 4. 6. 

Direct. 7. * Therefore executive pardon or justification 
cannot possibly be any more perfect than sanctification is : be- 
cause no sin is further forgiven, or the person justified exe- 
cutively, than the punishment is taken off; and the privation 
of the Spirit, being the great punishment, the giving of it, 
is the great executive remission in this life.' 

But of this more in the chapter of justification following. 

Direct. 8. * The three great operations in man, which 

each of the three persons in the Trinity eminently perform, 

are * Natura, medicina, salus ;' the first by the Creator, the 

second by the Redeemer, the third by the Sanctitier.' 

Commonly it is called Nature, Grace and Glory : b^it 
either the terms * Grace and Glory' must be plainer ex- 
pounded, or that distribution is not sound : If by * Grace* 
be meant all the extrinsic medicinal preparations made by 
Christ ; and if by * Glory' be meant only the holiness of the 
soul, the sense is good : but in common use those words 
are otherwise understood. Sanctification is usually ascribed 
to the Holy Ghost : but glorification in heaven, is the per- 
fective effect of all the three persons in our state of perfect 
union with God ; Rom. xv. 16. Titus iii. 5, 6. But yet in 
the work of sanctification itself, the Trinity undividedly 
concur : and so in the sanctifying and raising the church, 
the apostle distinctly calleth the act of the Father, by the 
name of operation ; and the work of the Son by the name 
of administration, and the part of the Holy Ghost by the 
name of gifts ; 1 Cor. xii. 4 — 6. And in respect to these 
sanctifying operations of God, ' ad extra,' the same apostle 
distributeth them thus : ** The grace of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the 
Holy Ghost, be with you all ;" 2 Cor. xiii. 14. Where by 
God, seemeth to be meant all the persons in the Trinity in 
their perfection ; but especially the Father, as the fountain 
of love, and as expressing love by the Son and the Spirit; 
and by the grace of Christ, is meant all that gracious provi- 
sion he hath made for man's salvation, and the relative ap- 
plication of it, by his intercession, together with his mission 
of the Holy Spirit. And by the communion of the Spirit 
is meant that actual communication of life, light and love 
to the soul itself, which is eminently ascribed to the Spirit 


Direct. 9. * The Spirit itself is given to true believers, 
and not only grace from the Spirit.' 

Not that the essence of God, or the person of the Holy 
Ghost, is capable of being contained in any place, or re- 
moving to or from a place, by local motion: But 1. The 
Holy Ghost is given to us relatively, as our covenanting 
Sanctifier in the baptismal covenant : we have a covenant- 
right to him, that is, to his operation. 2. And the Spirit 
itself is present as the immediate Operator : not so imme- 
diate as to be without means, but so immediately as to be 
no distant agent, but by proximate attingency, not only 
' ratione virtutis,' but also * ratione suppositi,' performeth 
his operations : if you say, so he is present every where ; I 
answer, but he is not a present operator every where alike. 
We are called the Temples of the Holy Ghost, both because 
he buildeth us up, for so holy a use, and because he also 
dwelleth in us ; 1 Cor. vi. 19. 

Direct. 10. * By the sanctification commonly ascribed to 
the Holy Ghost, is meant that re(iovery of the soul to God, 
from whom it is fallen, which consisteth in our primitive 
holiness, or devotedness to God, but summarily in the love 
of God, as God.' 

Direct. 11. * And faith in Christ is often placed as before 
it, not as if the Spirit were no cause of faith, nor as if faith 
were no part of our saving special grace ; nor as if any had 
saving faith before they had love to God ; but because as 
Christ is^the Mediator and way to the Father; so faith in 
him is but a mediate grace to bring us up to the love of 
God, which is the final perfective grace : and because, 
though they are inseparably complicate, yet some acts of 
faith go before our special love to God in order of nature, 
though some others follow after it, or go with it.' 

It is a question that seemeth very difficult to many, 
whether love to God, or faith in Christ must go first (whe- 
ther in time or order of nature.) For if we say that faith 
in Christ must go first, then it seemeth that we take not 
faith or Christ as a means to bring us to God as our end ; 
for our end is ! Deus amatus,' God as beloved; and to 
make God our end, and to love him, are inseparable. We 
first love the good which appeareth to us, and then we 
choose and use the means to attain it ; and in so doing we 
VOL. xii. p 


make that our end, which we did love ; so that it is the first 
loved for itself, and then made our end. Now if Christ be 
not used as a means to God, as our ultimate end, then he is 
not believed in, or used as Christ, and therefore it is no true 
faith : and that which hath not the true end, is not the true 
act or grace in question, nor can that be any special grace 
at all, which hath not God for his ultimate end : on both 
which accounts, it can be no true faith : the * intentio finis,' 
being before the choice or use of means, though the assecu- 
tion be after. 

And yet on the other side, if God be loved as our end, 
before we believe in Christ as the means, then we are sancti- 
fied before we believe. And then faith in Christ is not the 
means of our first special love to God. And the conse- 
quents on both parts are intolerable ; and how are they to 
be avoided ? 

Consider here, 1. You must distinguish betwixt the as- 
senting or knowing act of faith, and the consenting or 
choosing act of it in the will. 2. And between Christ as he 
is a means of God's choosing and using, and as he is a 
means of our choosing and using. And so I answer the 
case in these propositions. 

1. The knowledge of a Deity is supposed before the 
knowledge of Christ as a Mediator; for no man can believe 
that he is a teacher sent from God, nor a Mediator between 
us and God, nor a sacrifice to appease God's wrath, who 
doth not believe first that there is a God. 

2. In this belief or knowledge of God, is contained the 
knowledge of his essential power, wisdom and goodness, 
and that he is our Creator and Governor, and that we have 
broken his laws, and that we are obnoxious to his justice, 
and deserve punishment for our sins. All this is to be 
known before we believe in Christ as the Mediator. 

3. Yet where Christianity is the religion of the country, 
, it is Christ himself by his word and ministers, who teacheth 

us these things concerning God ; but it is not Christ as a 
means chosen or used by us, to bring us to the love of God ; 
(for no man can choose or use a means for an end not yet 
known or intended :) but it is Christ as a means chosen and 
used by God, to bring home sinners to himself: (even as 
his dying for us on the cross was.) 


4. The soul that knoweth all this concerning God, can- 
not yet love him savingly, both because he wanteth the 
Spirit to effect it, and because a holy sin-hating God, en- 
gaged in justice to damn the sinner, is not such an object, 
as a guilty soul can love: but it must be a loving and re- 
conciled God that is willing to forgive. 

5. When Christ by his word and ministers hath taught 
a sinner both what God is in himself, and what he is to us, 
and what we have des,erved, and what our case is ; and then 
hath taught him, what he himself is as to his person and 
his office, and what he hath done to reconcile us to God, 
and how far God is reconciled hereupon, and what a com- 
mon conditional pardoning covenant, he hath made and of- 
fereth to all, and what he will be and do to those that do 
come in, the belief of all this seriously (by the assenting 
act of the understanding) is the first part of saving faith, 
going in nature before both the love of God, and the con- 
senting act of the will to the Redeemer. (And yet perhaps 
the same acts of faith in an ineffectual superficial measure, 
may go along before this in many.) 

6. In this assent our belief in God, and in the Mediator, 
are conjunct in time and nature ; they being relatives here 
as the objects of our faith. It is not possible to believe in 
Christ as the Mediator, who hath propitiated God to us, be- 
fore we believe that God is propitiated by the Mediator ; 
nor * vice versa :' indeed there is a difference in order of 
dignity and desirableness ; God as propitiated being repre- 
sented to us as the end, and the Propitiator, but as the 
means : but as to the order of our apprehension or believ- 
ing, there can be no difference at all, no more than in the 
order of knowing the father, and the son, the husband 
and wife, the king and subjects : these relatives are ' simul 
natura et tempore.' 

7. This assenting act of faith, by which at once we be- 
lieve Christ to be the Propitiator, and God to be propitiated 
by him, is not the belief that my sins are actually pardoned, 
and my soul actually reconciled and justified; but it in- 
cludeth the belief of the history of Christ's satisfaction, and 
of the common conditional covenant of promise and offer 
from God, viz. that God is so far reconciled by the Media- 
tor, as that he will forgive, and justify, and glorify all that 
repent and believe, that is, that return to God by faith in 


Christ ; and offerelh his mercy to all, and entreateth them 
to accept it, and will condemn none of them but those that 
finally reject it. '* All things are of God, who hath recon- 
ciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the 
ministry of reconciliation ; to wit, that God was in Christ 
reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their tres- 
passes to them ; and hath committed to us the word of re- 
conciliation. 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 ;" 2 Cor. v. 18 — 20. So 
that it is at once the belief of the Father as reconciled, and 
the Son as the Reconciler, and that according to the tenor 
of the common conditional covenant, whichis the first as- 
senting part of saving faith. 

8. This same covenant which revealeth God as thus far 
reconciled by Christ, doth offer him to be further actually 
and fully reconciled, and to justify and glorify us, that is, 
to forgive, accept, and love us perfectly for ever. And it 
offereth us Christ to be our actual Head and Mediator, to 
procure and give us all this mercy, by communicating the 
benefits which he hath purchased according to covenant- 
terms : so that as before the Father and the Son were re- 
vealed to our assent together ; so here they are offered to 
the will together. 

9. In this offer, God is offered as the end, and Christ as 
Mediator is offered as the means ; therefore the act of the 
will to God, which is here required, is simple love of com- 
placency (with subjection, which is a consent to obey), but 
the act of the will to Christ, is called choice or consent, 
though there be in it ' amor medii,' the love of that means 
for its aptitude as to the end. 

10. This love of God as the end and consent to Christ 
as the means, being not acts of the intellect, but of the will, 
cannot be the first acts of faith, but do presuppose the first 
assenting acts. 

11. But the assenting act of faith, doth cause these acts 
of the will to God and the Mediator. Because we believe 
the truth and goodness, we consent and love. 

12. Both these acts of the will are caused by assent at 
one time, without the least distance. 

• 13. But here is a difference in order of nature, because 
we will God as the end, and for himself, and therefore first 


in the natural order of intention ; and we will Christ as the 
means for that end, and therefore but secondarily. Though 
in the intellects, apprehension and assent, there be no such 
difference ; because in the truth, which is the understand- 
ing's object, there is no difference, but only in the goodness 
which is the wilFs object : and as goodness itself is appre- 
hended by the understanding, * ut vere bonum,' there is 
only an objective difference of dignity. 

14. Therefore as the Gospel revelation cometh to us in 
a way of offer, promise and covenant, so our faith must act 
in a way of acceptance and covenanting with God and the 
Redeemer and Sanctifier. And the sacrament of baptism 
is the solemnizing of this covenant on both parts. And till 
our hearts do consent to the baptismal covenant of grace, 
we are not believers in a saving sense. 

15. There is no distance of time between the assent of 
faith, and the first true degree of love and consent ; (though 
an unsound assent may go long before ; yet sound assent 
doth immediately produce love and consent;) and though a 
clear and full resolved degree of consent may be some time 
afterward : and therefore the soul may not at the first de- 
gree so well understand itself, as to be ready for an open 

16. This being the true order of the work of faith and 
love, the case now lieth plain before those that can observe 
things distinctly, and take not up with confused know- 
ledge (and no other are fit to meddle with such cases); 
viz. that the knowing or assenting acts of faith in God as 
reconciled (so far) and in Christ as the Reconciler, so far as 
to give out the offer or covenant of grace, are both at once, 
and both go before the acts of the will, as the cause before 
the immediate effect ; and that this assent first in order of 
nature (but at once in time) causeth the will to love God as 
our end, and to consent to, and choose Christ in heart 
covenant as the means, and so in our covenant we give up 
ourselves to both : and that this repentance and love to 
God, which are both one work called conversion, or turning 
from the creature to God, the one as denominated from the 

• terminus a quo,' (viz. repentance) the other from the * ter- 
minus ad quem,' (viz. love) are twisted at once with true 
saving faith. And that Christ as the means used by God is 
our first Teacher, and bringeth us to assent : and then that 


assent bringeth us to take God for our end, and Christ for 
the means of our actual justification and glory; so that 
Christ is not by faith chosen and used by us under the no- 
tion of a Mediator or means to our first act of love and con- 
sent ; but is a means to that of the Father's choosing only ; 
but is in that first consent chosen by us for the standing 
means of our justification and glory, and of all our following 
exercise and increase of love to God, and our sanctification ; 
so that it is only the assenting act of faith, and not the elect- 
ing act, which is the efficient cause of our very first act of 
love to God, and of our first degree of sanctification ; and 
thus it is that faith is called the seed and mother grace : but 
it is not that saving faith which is our Christianity, and the 
condition of justification and of glory, till it come up to a 
covenant-consent of heart, and take in the aforesaid acts of 
repentance and love to God as our God and ultimate end. 

The observations of many written mistakes about the 
order of the work of grace, and the ill and contentious con- 
sequents that have followed them, hath made me think that 
this true and accurate decision of this case is not unuseful 
or unnecessary. 

Direct. 12. * The Holy Ghost so far concurred with the 
eternal word, in our redemption, that he was the perfecting 
Operator, in the conception, the holiness, the miracles, the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ/ 

Of his conception it is said, ** For that which is con- 
ceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost;" Matt. i. 20. And 
ver. 18. " She was found with child of the Holy Ghost. '^ 
And of his holy perfection, as it is said, that ** he increased 
in wisdom and stature, and favour with God and men ;'' 
Luke ii. 52. (meaning those positive perfections of his hu- 
man nature which were to grow up with nature itself, and 
not the supply of any culpable or privative defects) so when 
he was baptized, the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily 
shape like a dove upon him ; Luke iii. 22. And Luke iv. 1. 
it is said, ** Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost," &c. " And 
the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him ; the Spirit of 
wisdom and understanding ; the Spirit of counsel and might; 
the Spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord, and shall 
make him quick of understanding in the fear of the Lord/' 
&c. ; Isa. xi. 2. " For God giveth not the Spirit by mea- 
sure unto him ;" John iii. 34. *• After that he through the 


Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles 
whom he had chosen ;" Acts i. 2. " And was declared to 
be the Son of God, with power, according to the Spirit of 
Holiness, (that is, the Holy Spirit) by the resurrection from 
the dead ;" Rom. i. 4. *' If I cast out devils by the Spirit 
of God," &c. ; Matt. xii. 28. " The Spirit of the Lord is 
upon me ; because he hath anointed me to preach the Gos- 
pel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal," &c. ; Luke iv. 18. 
Isa. Ixi. 1. 

In all this you see how great the work of the Holy Spirit 
was upon Christ himself, to fit his human nature for the 
yvork of our redemption, and actuate him in it ; though it 
was the word only which was made flesh, and dwelt among 
us ; John i. 3. 

Direct. 13. * Christ was thus filled with the Spirit, to be 
the Head or quickening Spirit to his body : and accordingly 
to fit each member for its peculiar office : and therefore the 
Spirit now given is called the Spirit of Christ, as communi- 
cated by him.' 

** If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is 
none of his ;" Rom. viii. 9. " This spake he of the Spirit, 
which they that believe on him should receive ;" (John vii. 
39.) viz. it is the water of life, which Christ will give them. 
" The last Adam was made a quickening Spirit ;" 1 Cor. xv. 45. 
" God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, 
crying, Abba, Father ;" Gal. iv. 6. " Through your prayer, 
and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ ;" Phil. i. 19. 
See also Ephes. i. 22, 23. iii. 17—19. ii. 18. 22. iv. 3. 
12. 16. 1 Cor. xii. &c. 

Direct. 14. * The greatest extraordinary measure of the 
Spirit, was given by him to his apostles, and the primitive 
Christians, to be the seal of his own truth and power, and 
to fit them to found the first churches, and to convince un- 
believers, and to deliver his will on record in the Scriptures, 
infallibly to the church for future times.' 

It would be tedious to cite the proofs of this, they are 
so numerous ; take but a few : " Teaching them to observe 
all things whatsoever I have commanded you ;" Matt, xxviii. 
20. (that is the commission.) " And these signs shall fol- 
low them that believe," &c. ; Mark xvi. 17. " Receive ye 
the Holy Ghost," &c. ; John xx. 22. '* But the Comforter, 


the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he 
will teach you all things, and bring all things to your re- 
membrance, whatsoever I have said unto you j "John xiv.26. 
** When the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into 
all truth," &c. ; John xvi. 13. " God also bearing them 
witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers mira- 
cles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own 
will ;" Heb. ii. 4. , 

Direct. 15. * And as such gifts of the Spirit were given 
to the apostles as their office required ; so those sanctifying 
graces, or that spiritual life, light and love, are given by it 
to all true Christians, which their calling and salvation doth 

'* Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. That which is 
born of the flesh, is flesh ; and that which is born of the 
Spirit, is Spirit;" John iii. 5, 6. "Without holiness none 
shall see God ;" Heb. xii. 14. " They that are in the flesh 
cannot please God : but ye are not in the flesh, but in the 
Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if 
any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his ;" 
Rom.viii.8 — 10.14. See also ver. 1. 3 — 7, &c. *' He saved 
us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the 
Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly, through 
Jesus Christ our Saviour ; that being justified by his grace, 
we should be made heirs, according to the hope of eternal 
life ;" Titus iii. 5 — 7. But the testimonies of this truth are 
more numerous than 1 may recite. 

Direct. 16. ' By all this it appeareth that the Holy Ghost 
is both Christ's great witness objectively in the world, by 
which it is that he is owned of God, and proved to be true ; 
and also his Advocate or great Agent in the church, both to 
indite the Scriptures, and to sanctify souls.' 

So that no man can be a Christian indeed, without these 
three: 1. The objective witness of the Spirit to the truth of 
Christ. 2. The Gospel taught by the Spirit in the apostles. 
3. And the quickening, illuminating and sanctifying work 
of the Spirit upon their souls. 

Direct. 17. * It is therefore in these respects that^we are 
baptized into the name of the Holy Ghost, as well as^'of the 
Father and the Son, it being his work to make us thus both 


believers and saints ; and his perfective work of our real 
sanctification, being as necessary to us as our redemption or 
creation ;' Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. Heb. vi. 1, 2. 4—6. 

Direct. 18. * Therefore as every Christian must look 
upon himself, as being in special covenant with the Holy 
Ghost, so he must understand distinctly what are the be- 
nefits, and what are the conditions, and what are the duties 
of that part of his covenant.' 

The special benefits are the life, light and love before 
mentioned, by the quickening illumination and sanctifica- 
tion of the Spirit ; not as in the first act or seed ; for so they 
are presupposed in that faith and repentance which is the 
condition : but as in the following acts and habits, and in- 
crease of both unto perfection : " Repent and be baptized 
every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the re- 
mission of sins ; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy 
Ghost; for the promise is to you and to your children, and 
to all that are afar off, and to as many as the Lord our God 
shall call." See Acts xxvi. 18. Ephes. i. 18, 19. Titus 
iii. 5—7. 

The special condition on our parts, is our consent to the 
whole covenant of grace, viz. To give up ourselves to God 
as our reconciled God and Father in Christ, and to Jesus 
Christ as our Saviour, and to the Holy Ghost as to his agent 
and our Sanctifier. There needeth no other proof of this, 
than actual baptism as celebrated in the church from 
Christ's days till now. And the institution of it ; Matt, 
xxviii. 19. with 1 John v. 7—9. 1 Pet. iii. 21. with 
John iii. 5. 

The special duties afterwards to be performed, have their 
rewards as aforesaid, and the neglect of them their penalties ; 
and therefore have the nature of a condition as of those par- 
ticular rewards or benefits. 

Direct. 19. * The duties which our covenant with the 
Holy Ghost doth bind us to, are, 1. Faithfully to endeavour 
by the power and help which he giveth us, to continue our 
consent to all the aforesaid covenant. And, 2. To obey 
his further motions, for the work of obedience and love. 3. 
And to use Christ's appointed means with which his Spirit 
worketh. And, 4. To forbear those wilful sins which grieve 
the Spirit. 

" Abide in me, and I in you ;" John xv. 4. ** If ye 


abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what 
ye will, and it shall be done unto you ;" ver. 7. ** Continue 
ye in my love ;" ver. 9. " If ye continue in the faith,'' &c. 
Col. i. 23. " Keep yourselves in the love of God ;" Jude 21 . 
" Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, &c. 
For if we sin wilfully, &c. Of how much sorer punishment 
shall he be thought worthy, who hath done despite to the 
Spirit of grace ;" Heb. x. 25, 26. 29. vi. 4—6. " Grieve 
not the holy Spirit of God ;" Ephes. iv. 30. ** Quench not 
the Spirit;" 1 Thess.v. 19. 

Direct. 20, * By this it is plain that the Spirit worketh 
not on man as a dead thing, which hath no principle of ac- 
tivity in itself; nor as on a naturally necessitated agent, 
which hath no self-determining faculty of will ; but as on a 
living, free, self-determining agent, which hath duty of its 
own to perform for the attaining of the end desired." 

Those therefore that upon the pretence of the Spirit's 
doing all, and our doing nothing without him, will lie idle 
and not do their parts with him, and say that they wait for 
the motions of the Spirit, and that our endeavours will not 
further the end, do abuse the Spirit, and contradict them- 
selves ; seeing the Spirit's work is to stir us up to endeavour, 
which when we refuse to do, we disobey and strive against 
the Spirit. 

Direct. 21. * Though sometimes the Spirit work so effi- 
caciously, as certainly to cause the volition, or other effect 
which it moveth to ; yet sometimes it so moveth, as procur- 
eth not the effect, when yet it gave man all the power and 
help which was necessary to the effect ; because that man 
failed of that endeavour of his own, which should have con- 
curred to the effect, and which he was able without more 
help to have performed.' 

That there is such effectual grace. Acts ix., and many 
Scriptures, with our great experience tells us. That there 
is such mere necessary ineffectual grace possible, and some- 
times in being (which some call sufficient grace), is unde- 
niable in the case of Adam ; who sinned not for want of ne- 
cessary grace, without which he could not do otherwise. 
And to deny this, blotteth out all Christianity and religion 
at one dash. 

By all which it appeareth, that the work of the Spirit is 
such on man's will, as that sometimes the effect is suspended 


on our concurrence ; so that though the Sphit be the total 
cause of its own proper effect, and of the act of man, in its 
own place and kind of action ; yet not simply a total cause 
of man's act or volition ; but man's concurrence may be fur- 
ther required to it, and may fail. 

Direct. 22. * Satan transformeth himself oit into an angel 
of light, to deceive men by pretending to be the Spirit of 
God : therefore the spirits must be tried, and not every spi- 
rit trusted;' 2 Cor. xi. 14, 15. Matt. xxiv. 4, 5. 11. 24. 
1 John iii. 7.' Ephes. iv. 14. Rev. xx. 3. 8. 2 Thess. ii. 2. 
1 Johniv. 1.3. 6. 

Direct. 23. * The way of trying the spirits is to try all 
their uncertain suggestions, by the rule of the certain truths 
already revealed in nature, and in the holy Scriptures : and 
to try them by the Scriptures, is but to try the spirits by 
the Spirit; the doubtful spirit, by the undoubted Spirit, 
which indited and sealed the Scriptures more fully, than 
can be expected in any after revelation;' 1 Thess. i. 21. 
Isa. viii. 16. 20. 2 Pet.* i. 19. John v. 39. Acts xvii. 11. 
The Spirit of God is never contrary to itself. Therefore no- 
thing can be from that Spirit, which is contrary to the Scrip- 
tures which the Spirit indited. 

Direct. 24. * When you would have an increase of the 
Spirit, go to Christ for it, by renewed acts of that same 
faith, by which at first you obtained the Spirit ;' Gal. iii. 3, 
4. iv. 6. 

Faith in Christ doth two ways help us to the Spirit. 1. 
As it is that condition upon which he hath promised it, to 
whom it belongeth to give us the Spirit. 2. As it is that 
act of the soul which is fitted in the nature of it to the work 
of the Spirit : that is, as it is the serious contemplation of the 
infinite goodness and love of God, most brightly shining to 
us in the face of the Redeemer: and as it is a serious con- 
templation of that heavenly glory procured by Christ, which 
is the fullest expression of the love of God ; and so is most 
fit to kindle that love to God in the soul, which is the work 
of the Spirit. These are joined, Rom. v. 1, 2. 5, 6. " Being 
justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our 
Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith 
into this grace, wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the 

glory of God. The love of God is shed abroad in our 

hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given to us. For when 


we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the 

ungodly. God commended his love to us, that while 

we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'* So Ephes. iii, 

17 — 19. Let Christ dwell in your hearts by faith, and it 
would help you to be rooted and grounded in love, and to 
comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, 
and depth, and height ; and to know the love of Christ which 
passeth knowledge, and so to be filled with the fulness of 
God. If faith be the way to see God's love, and faith be 
the way thereby to raise our love to God, then faith in Christ 
must needs be the continual instrument of the Spirit, or 
that means which we must still use for the increase of the 

Direct. 25. * The works of the Spirit, next to the excita- 
tion of life, light and love, do consist in the subduing oi the 
lusts of the flesh, and of the power of all the objects of sense 
which serve it. Therefore be sure that you faithfully serve 
the Spirit in this mortifying work, and that you take not 
part with the flesh against it.' 

A great part of our duty towards the Holy Ghost, doth 
consist in this joining with him, and obeying him in his 
strivings against the flesh : and therefore it is that so many 
and earnest exhortations are used with us, to live after the 
Spirit, and not after the flesh ; and to mortify the lusts of 
the flesh, and the deeds of it by the Spirit; especially in 
Rom. viii. 1 — 16. and in Gal. v. throughout. Rom. vi. vii. 
Col. iii. Ephes. v. 

Direct. 26. * Take not every striving for a victory, nor 
every desire of grace, to be true grace itself; unless grace 
be desired as it is the lovely image of God, and pleasing to 
him, and be desired before all earthly things ; and unless 
you not only strive against, but conquer the predominant 
love of every sin.' 

There are many ineffectual desires and strivings which 
consist with the dominion of sin. Many a fornicator, and 
glutton, and drunkard, hath earnest wishes that he could 
leave his sin, when he thinketh of the shame and punish- 
ment ; and hath a great deal of striving against it before he 
yieldeth ; but yet he liveth in it still, because his lovejto it 
is the predominant part in him. " How shall we that are 
dead to sin, live any longer therein ?" Rom. vi. 2. " Know 
ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Christ, 


were baptized into his death. We were buried with 

him by baptism. Knowing this, that our old man is 

crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, 
that henceforth we should not serve sin : for he that is dead 
is freed from sin ;" ver. 12. " Let not sin reign there- 
fore in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it in the lusts 

thereof;" ver. 13. Neither yield your members servants 

of unrighteousness unto sin. For sin shall not have do- 
minion over you. Know ye not that to whom you yield 

yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye 
obey ? whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto 
righteousness?" "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die ; 
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the 
body ye shall live ;" Rom. viii. 13. See Gal. v. 16. 18—23. 
** They that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with the 
affections and lusts :" ver. 24. " The foundation of God 
standeth sure, having this seal. The Lord knoweth who are 
his. And let every one that nameth the name of Christ de- 
partTrom iniquity ;" 2 Tim. ii. 19. 

Object, * But it is said, " The flesh lusteth against the 

Spirit so that ye cannot do the things that ye would ;"' 

Gal. V. 17. 

Answ, That is, every true Christian would fain be perfect 
in holiness and obedience, but cannot, because of the lust- 
ings of the flesh. But it doth not say or mean, that any 
true Christian would live without wilful, gross, or reigning 
sin, and cannot ; that he would live without murder, adul- 
tery, theft or any sin which is more loved than hated, but 
cannot. We cannot do all thatVe would ; but it doth not 
follow that we can do nothinaj which weVould, or cannot 
sincerely obey the Gospel. 

Object. * Paul saith, "To will is present with me ; but 
how to perform that which is good I find not : and what I 
would, that I do not." ' Rom. vii. 15. 18. 

Answ. The same answer will serve. To will perfect 
obedience to all God's laws was present with Paul ; but not 
to do it. He would be free from every infirmity, but could 
not (and therefore could not be justified by the law of 
works). But he never saith, that he would obey sincerely, 
and could not ; or that he would live without heinous sin, 
and could not. Indeed in his flesh he saith, " there dwelleth 
no good thing;" but that denieth not his spiritual power 


(who so often proposeth himself as an example to be imitated 
by those that he wrote to). Thousands are deceived about 
their state, by taking every ineffectual desire and wish, and 
every striving before they sin, to be a mark of saving grace. 
Misunderstanding Mr. Perkins, and some others with him, 
who make a desire of grace to be the grace itself, and a 
combat against the flesh, to be a sign of the renovation by 
the Spirit ; whereas they mean only, such a desire of grace, 
as grace for the love of God, as is more powerful than any 
contrary desires ; and such a combating as conquereth gross 
(or mortal) sin, and striveth against infirmities. And of 
this, this saying is very true. 

Direct, 27. ' Strive with your hearts when the Spirit 
is striving with you. And take the season of its special 
help ; and make one gale of grace advantageous to another.' 

This is a great point of Christian wisdom. The help of 
the Spirit is not at our command : take it while you have it. 
Use wind and tide before they cease. God will not be a 
servant to our slothfulness and negligence. As he that will 
not come to the church at the hour when the minister of 
Christ is there, but say, I will come another time, will have 
none of his teaching there ; so he that will not take the 
Spirit's time, but say, I am not now at leisure, may be left 
without its help, and taught by sad experience to know, 
that it is more fit for man to wait on God, than for God 
to wait on man. More may be done and got at one hour, 
than at another, when we have no such help and motions. 

Direct. 28. * Be much in the contemplation of the hea- 
venly glory; for there are the highest objects, and the 
greatest demonstrations of God's love and goodness ; and 
therefore in such thoughts we are most likely to meet 
with the Spirit with whose nature and design they are so 

We fall in with the heavenly Spirit in his own way, when 
we set ourselves to be most heavenly. Heavenly thoughts 
are the work which he would set you on ; and the love of 
God is the thing which he works you to thereby : and nothing 
will so powerfully inflame the soul with the love of God, as 
to think that we shall live in his love and glory for evermore. 
Set yourselves therefore to this work, and it will be a sign 
that the Spirit sets you on it ; and you may be sure that he 
will not be behind with you, in a work which both he and 


you must do. To this sense the apostle bids us, " pray in 
the Holy Ghost ;" Jude 20. Because though prayer must 
be from the Spirit, which is not in our power ; yet when we 
set ourselves to pray, it is both a sign that the Spirit exciteth, 
and a certain proof that he will not be behind with us, but 
will afford us his assistance. 

Direct, 29. * Converse with those who have most of the 
Spirit, as far as you can attain it.' 

And that is not those that are most for revelations or 
visions, or that pretend to extraordinary illuminations, or 
that set the Spirit against the word ; or that boast most of 
the Spirit in contempt of others ; but those who are most 
humble, most holy, and most heavenly, who love God most, 
and hate sin most. Converse with such as have most of the 
Spirit (of love and heavenliness) is the way to make you 
more spiritual ; as converse with learned men is the way to 
learning : for the Spirit giveth his graces in the use of suita- 
ble means, as well as he doth his common gifts; Jude 20, 21. 
Heb. X. 24, 25. iii. 13. Ephes. iv. 12. 15, 16. 

Direct. 30. * Lastly, * The right ordering of the body it- 
self, is a help to our spirituality.' A clean and a cheerful 
body is a more fit instrument for the Spirit to make use of 
than one that is opprest with crudities, or dejected with 
melancholy. Therefore especially avoid two extremes : 1. 
The satisfying the lusts of the flesh, and clogging the body 
with excess of meat or drink, or corrupting the fancy with 
foolish pleasures. 2. And the addicting yourselves to dis- 
tracting melancholy, or to any disconsolate or discontented 

And from hence you may both take notice of the sense 
of all that fasting and abstinence which God comraandeth 
us, and of the true measure of it, viz. as it either fitteth or 
unfitteth the body for our duty, and for our ready obedience 
to the Spirit of God ; '* I keep under my body, and bring it 
into subjection, lest by any means when I have preached to 
others, I myself should be a castaway ;" 1 Cor.ix. 27. *' Let 
us walk honestly as in the day ; not in rioting and drunken- 
ness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and 
envying ; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no 
provision for the flesh, for lust ;" Rom. xiii. 12 — 14. Pam- 
pering the body, and addicting ourselves to the pleasing of 
it, turneth a man from spirituality into brutishness ; and 


savouring or minding the things of the flesh, destroyeth 
both the relish and minding of the things of the Spirit ; 
Rom. viii. 5 — 8. And a sour, discontented, melancholy 
temper, is contrary to that alacrity requisite in God's 
service ; and to those which the comforter is to work 
in us. 

So much for living by faith on the Holy Ghost. 


Directions how to exercise Faith upon God's Commandments, 
for Duty, 

It being presupposed that your faith is settled about the 
truth of the Scriptures in general (by the means here before 
and elsewhere more at large described), yoa are next to learn 
how to exercise the life of faith about the precepts of God 
in particular; and herein take these helps. 

Direct. 1. * Observe well how suitable God's commands 
are to reason and humanity, and natural revelation itself; 
and so how nature and Scripture do fully agree, in all the 
precepts for primitive holiness.' 

This is the cause why divines hath thought it so useful 
to read heathen moralists themselves, that in a Cicero, a 
Plutarch, a Seneca, an Antoninus, an Epictetus, &c., they 
might see what testimony nature itself yieldeth, against 
all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. See Rom. xix. 
20, &c. But of this I have been larger in my ** Reasons of 
the Christian Religion." 

Direct. 2. * Observe well how suitable all God's com- 
mandments are to your own good, and how necessary to 
your own felicity.' 

All that God commandeth you, is, 1. To be active, and 
use the faculties of your souls, in opposition* to idleness. 
2. To use them rightly, and on the highest objects, and not 
to debase them by preferring vanity and sordid things, nor 
to pervert them by ill-doing. And are not both these 
suitable to your natural perfection, and necessary to your 
good ? 

1. If there were one law made, that men should lie or 
stand still all the day, with their eyes shut, and their ears 

LltE OF FAITH. 225 

sjtopped, and their mouths closed, and that they should not 
stir, nor see, nor hear, nor taste ; and another law that men 
should use their eyes, and ears, and limbs, &c., which of 
these were more suitable to humanity, and more easy for a 
sound man to obey (though the first might best suit with 
the lame, and blind, and sick) ? and why should not the 
goodness of God's law be discerned, which requireth men 
to use the higher faculties, the reason, and elective, and ex- 
ecutive powers, which God hath given them. If men should 
make a law that no one should use his reason to get learning, 
or for his trade or business in the world, you would think 
that it were an institution of a kingdom of bedlams, or a 
herd of beasts : and should not you then be required to use 
your reason faithfully and diligently in greater things ? 

2. And if one law were made, that every man that travel- 
leth shall stumble and wallow in the dirt, and wander up and 
down out of his way ; and that every man that eateth and 
drinketh, should feed on dirt, and ditch-water, or poison, 
&c. And another law, that all men should keep their right 
way, and live soberly, and feed healthfully ; which of these 
would fit a wise man best, and be easiest to obey ? Or if 
one law were made, that all scholars shall learn nothing but 
lies and errors ; and another, that they shall learn nothing 
but truth and wisdom, which of them would be more easy 
and suitable to humanity? (Though the first might be more 
pleasing to some fools. ") Why then should not the goodness 
of God's laws be confessed, who doth but forbid men learn- 
ing the most pernicious errors, and wandering in the maze 
of folly, and wallowing in the dirt of sensuality, and feeding 
on the dung and poison of sin ? Is the love of a harlot, or 
of gluttony, drunkenness, rioting or gaming, more suitable 
to humanity, than the love of God, and heaven, and holiness, 
of wisdom, temperance, and doing good ? To a swine or a 
bedlam it may be more suitable ; but not to one that liveth 
like a man. What did God ever forbid you, that was not 
hurtful to you? And what did he ever command you, which 
was not for your benefit? either for your present delight, or 
for your future happiness ; for the healing of your diseases, 
or the preventing them ? 

And if reason can discern the goodness of God's laws to 
us, faith can acknowledge it with more advantage. For we 



can see by faith, the goodness of their author, and the good- 
ness of the reward and end, more fully than by reason only. 
And a believer hath found by sad experience, how bad and 
bitter the ways of sin are, and by sweet experience, how 
good and pleasant the ways of God are. He hath found 
that it is the way to peace, and hope, and joy, to deny his 
lusts, and obey his Maker and Redeemer. And it is the 
way to terror and a troubled soul, and a broken heart, to sin 
and to gratify his sensuality ; " All her ways are pleasant- 
ness, and all her paths are peace ;" Prov. iii. 17. *' Great 
peace have they which love thy law, and nothing can offend 
them;" Psal. cxix. 165. *• Mark the upright man, and be- 
hold the just, for the end of that man is peace ;" Psal. xxxvii. 
37. " Righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, 
are the kingdom of God ;" Rom. xiv. 17. Grace, mercy 
and peace are God's entertainment of the faithful sonl ; 
Titus i. 4. 1 Tim. i. 2. 2 Tim. i. 2. 1 Cor. i. 3, &c. " But 
there is no peace to the wicked, saith my God ;" Isa. Ivii. 
21. xlviii. 22. " For the way of peace they have not known. 
They have made them crooked paths ; whosoever goeth 
therein, shall not know peace ;" Isa. liv. 8. 

Direct. 3. ' Mark well how those commands of God, which 
seem not necessary for yourselves, are plainly necessary for 
the good of others, and for the public welfare, which God 
must provide for as well as yours.' 

He is not your God only, but the God of all the world. 
And the welfare of many, especially of kingdoms and socie- 
ties, is more to be regarded than the welfare (much more 
than the humouring or pleasing) of any one. You may 
think that if you had leave to be fornicators, and adulterers, 
to be riotous, and examples of evil, to be covetous, and to 
deceive, and steal, and lie, that it would do you no harm : 
but suppose it were so, yet a little wit may serve to shew 
you how pernicious it would be to others, and to societies. 
And faith can tell a true believer, what is like to be the 
end : and that " sin is a reproach to any people ;*' Prov. xiv. 34. 

You may think perhaps that if you were excused from 
many duties of charity and justice, in ministry, magistracy, 
or a more private state, it would be no harm to yourselves. 
But suppose it were so, must not others be regarded ? If 
God should regard but one, why should it fall to your lot 


rather than to another's ? And why should any others be 
bound to use justice or charity to you any more than you 
to them ? There is no member of the body politic or eccle- 
siastic, which will not receive more good to itself, by the 
laws of communion, if truly practised, than it can do to 
others. For you are but one who^ are bound to be charita- 
ble and do good to others, and that but according to your 
own ability ; but it may be hundreds or thousands who may 
be all bound to do good to you. You have the vital in- 
fluences and assistances of all the parts : you have the 
prayers of all the Christians in the world. 

Suppose that the laws were made to secure yourselves of 
your estate and lives ; but to leave the estates and lives of 
your children to the will of any one that hath a will to wrong 
them, would you be content with such kind of laws as these ? 
And why should not others' good be secured, as well as your 
posterities ? 1 Cor, xii. 12. 14. 20, &c. Rom. xii. 4, 5. 
xvi. 2. 1 Cor. X. 17. 33. Ephes. iv. 3. II, 12. 14—16. 

Direct. 4. * The chief work of faith is to make the obe- 
dience of God's commands to be sweet and pleasant to us, 
by seeing still that intrinsical goodness, and the extrinsical 
motives, and the eternal rewards, which may cause the soul 
to embrace them with the dearest love.' 

They are much mistaken who know no use for faith but 
to comfort them, and save them from hell : the great work 
of faith is to bring up the soul to obedience, thankfulness 
and love. Therefore it hath to do with the precepts, as well 
as with the promises, and with the promises to sweeten the 
precepts to us. Believers are not called to the obedience of 
slaves ; nor to be actuated only by the fear of pain ; but to 
the obedience of redeemed ones and sons ; that faith may 
cause them to obey in love ; and the essential act of love is 
complacency. Therefore it is the work of faith, to cause us 
to obey God with pleasure and delight. Forced motives 
endure not long ; they are accompanied with unwillingness 
and weariness, which at last will sit down, when the fears 
do by distance delay or dulness abate. Love is our nature ; 
but fear is only a servant to watch for us while we do the 
work of love. '* As many as are led by the Spirit of God, 
are the sons of God (and therefore will obey as sons). For 
w e have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but 
we have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, 


Abba, Father;" Rom. viii. 14, 15. Christ suffered death to 
overcome the devil that had the power of death, and to de- 
liver us from the fears of it, which was the bondage of our 
lives ; Heb. ii. 14, 15. That we might servfe God without 
fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives ; 
Luke i. 74. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love 
casteth out fear, because fear hath torment;" 1 John iv. 18. 
The meaning is, not only that the love of God casteth out 
the fear of men, and persecution ; but also it maketh the 
fear of tormenting punishment, to become unnecessary to 
drive us to obedience, so far as the love of God and of obe- 
dience doth prevail. He that loveth more to feast than to 
fare hardly, to be rich, than to be poor, (and so to be obe- 
dient and holy, than to be unholy) need not (so far) any fear 
of punishment to drive him to it. Even as the love of the 
world, as adverse to the love of God, is overcome by faith, 
(1 John ii. 15.) and yet the love of the world as God's crea- 
ture, and as representing him, and sanctified to his service, 
is but subordinate to the love of the Father, so also fear as 
adverse to love, or as disjunct from it, is cast out by it: 
but as it subserveth it in watching against the enemies of 
love, and is truly tilial, it is a fruit of faith, and the begin- 
ning of wisdom. 

Employ faith therefore day by day, in looking into the 
love of God in Christ, and the kingdom of glory, the reward 
of obedience, and the beauties of holiness, and the merciful 
conditions of filial obedience (when we have a pardon of our 
infirmities and are accepted in Christ), that so we may feel 
that Christ's ** yoke is easy, and his burden light, and his 
commandments are not grievous ;" Matt. xi. 28, 29. 1 John 
y. 3. And when faith hath taught you to hunger and thirst 
after righteousness, and to delight to do the will of God, 
love, which is the end of faith, will satisfy you ; Matt. v. 6. 
Psal. xl. 8. 

Diiect. 5. ' Take especial notice how suitable a holy law 
is to the nature of a most holy God ; and how much he is 
honoured in that demonstration of his holiness ; and how 
odious a thing it would be to wish, that the most holy one 
would have made for us an unholy law.' 

Would you draw the picture of your friend like an ape 
or a monkey, or a monster? Or would you have the king 
pictured like a fool ? Or would you have his laws written 


like the words of a Bedlam, or the laws of barbarians or can- 
nibals ? How much more intolerable were it to wish, that 
an unholy or unrighteous law should be the product and 
impress of the most great, most wise and holy God ! This 
thought should make every believer exceedingly in love with 
the holiness of God's commands, because they are the ap- 
pearance or image of his holiness, and necessary to his ho- 
nour, as he is the governor of the world ; Rom. vii. 6, 7. 12. 
When Paul confesseth that he could no more perfectly keep 
the law without sin, than a fettered prisoner could walk at 
liberty (for that is the sense of the text), yet doth he give 
the law this honour, that it is holy, just and good, and there- 
fore he loveth it, and fain would perfectly obey it, if he 
could. See Psal. xix. 7. 12, &c. cxix. 72. xxxvii. 31. i. 2. 
Isa. v. 24, &c. 

Direct, 6. * Remember that both promises, and threat- 
enings, and God's mercies, and his judgments, are appointed 
means to bring us to obey the precepts ; and therefore obe- 
dience, which is their end, is highly to be esteemed.' 

It seemeth a great difficulty whether the precept before 
the promise, or the promise before the precept ; which is the 
end, and which is the means ; whether obedience be a means 
to attain the reward, or the reward be a means to procure 
obedience. And the answer is as pleasant to our conside- 
ration, viz. that as the works of the Trinity of Persons, and 
of God's power, and wisdom, and goodness * ad extra,' are 
undivided ; so are the effects of the one. in God's laws, the 
effects also of the other ; and they are harmoniously and in- 
separably conjunct. So that we must obey the command, 
that we may attain the blessing of the promise, and be as- 
sured of it. And we must believe the promise, and the re- 
ward, that we may be moved to obey the precept : and when 
all is done, we find that all comes to one j and in the end, 
the duty and the reward will be the same, when duty cometh 
to perfection : and that the reward which is promised is our 
perfection in that holiness, and love, and conformity to the 
will of God, in which God doth take that complacency which 
is our ultimate end. 

But if you look at the matter of obedience rather than 
the form, it sometimes consisteth in troublesome things, as 
suffering persecution, &c., which is less desirable than the 
promised reward, which is but pleasing God, and obeying 


him, in a more desirable and grateful matter, even in perfect 
love for ever: and therefore the more desirable must be 
considered to draw us to the less desirable ; and that con- 
sideration of the reward, (and not the possessing of it,) is 
the means to our obedience, not for the sake of the ungrate- 
ful matter, but of the form and end ; Matt. v. 10—12. vi. 
1. 4. X. 41, 42. 1 Cor. ix. 17, 18. 1 Tim. v. 18. Heb. xi. 
6. X. 35. xi. 26. Col. iii. 24. 

Direct. 7. * Remember how much Christ himself hath 
condescended, to be made a means or Mediator to procure 
our obedience to God.' 

And surely that must be an excellent end, which Christ 
himself became a means to ! He came to save his people 
from their sins ; Matt. i. 21. And " to call ^sinners to re- 
pentance ;" Luke v. 32. Matt. ix. 13. " Is Christ the mi- 
nister of sin ? God forbid ;" Gal. ii. 17. " For this end was 
he revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil j" 
1 John iii. 8. And he died to redeem and " purify to him- 
self a peculiar people, zealous of good works;" Titus ii. 14. 
Christ came as much to kill sin, as to pardon it. Judge 
therefore of the worth of obedience by the nobleness and 
dignity of the means. 

Direct. 8. ' Remember still that the same law which go- 
verneth us, must judge us. Let faith see the sure and close 
connexion between obedience and judgment.' 

If faith do but speak aloud to a sluggish soul, * Thou 
must be judged by the same word which commandeth thee 
to watch and pray, and to walk in holiness with God,' it will 
much awaken the soul to duty ; and if faith do but say aloud 
to a tempted sinner, 'The Judge is at the door, and thou 
must hear of this again, and review sin when it will have 
another countenance,' it will do much to kill the force of 
the temptation; Rom.xiv. 12. Phil. iv. 17. Heb. xiii. 17. 
Matt. xii. 36. 2 Pet. iii. 11, 12. 

Direct. 9. ' Be sure that your heart-subjection to God 
be fixed, that you may live under the sense of his authority.' 

For as God's veracity is the formal object of all faith ; so 
God's authority is the formal object of all obedience. And 
therefore the deep, renewed apprehensions of his majesty, 
his wisdom and absolute authority, will make us perceive 
that all things and persons must give place to him, and he 
to none ; and will be a constant spring within us, to move 


the will to a ready obedience in particular cases ; Mai. i. 6. 
Matt, xxiii. 8. 10. Jer. v. 22. 

Direct. 10. ' Keep in memory some plain texts of Scrip- 
ture for every particular duty, and against every particular 
sin ;' which I would willingly here write down, but that the 
book swelleth too big, and it is so plentifully done already 
in most catechisms, where they confirm all such commands 
with the texts of Scripture cited to that use. As you may 
see in the Assembly's Catechism, with the proofs, and more 
briefly in Mr. Tobias Ellis's " English School," where a text 
or more for every article of faith, and every duty, is recited 
for the use of children. God's word, which is the object and 
rule of faith, should be before the eye of faith in this great 
work of causing our obedience. 

Direct, 11. * Understand well the different nature and 
use of Scripture examples ; how some of them have the na- 
ture of a divine revelation and a law ; and others are only 
motives to obedience, and others of them are evils to be 
avoided by us.' 

1. To Moses and the apostles of Christ, a special com- 
mission was granted, to one to settle the tabernacle and its 
worship, and to the other, to settle the orders of the Gospel 
church. Christ sent them to '* teach all things, whatsoever 
he commanded ;" Matt, xxviii. 20. And he promised to be 
with them, and to send them the ** Spirit to lead them into 
all truth, and to bring all things to their remembrance.'* 
Accordingly they did obey this commission, and settle the 
Gospel churches according to the will of Christ ; and this 
many years before any of the New Testament was written. 
Therefore these acts of theirs have the nature and use of a 
divine revelation and a law. For if they were fallible in this, 
Christ must break the aforesaid promise. 

2. But all the acts of the apostles which were either 
about indifferent things, or which were about fore-com- 
manded duties, and not in the execution of the aforesaid 
commission, for which they had the promise of infallibility, 
have no such force or interpretation. For, (I.) Their holy 
actions of obedience to former laws, are not properly laws 
to us, but motives to obey God's laws. And this is the com- 
mon use of all other good examples of the saints in Scrip- 
ture : their examples are to be tried by the law, and followed 
as secondary copies or motives, and not as the law itself: 


*• Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ ;" 1 Cof. 
xi. 1. '* Be ye followers of them, who through faith and 
patience do inherit the promise ;" Heb. vi. 12. 1 Cor. iv. 16. 
Phil. iii. 17. 1 Thess. i. 6. ii. 16. iii. 7 9. Heb. xiii. 7. 

(2.) And the evil examples even of apostles, are to be 
avoided,, as all other evil examples recorded in the Scrip- 
tures are, such as Peter's denial of his Lord, and the disci- 
ples all forsaking him, and Peter's sinful separation and dis- 
simulation, and Barnabas's with him (Gal. ii.), and the falling 
out of Paul and Barnabas, &c. 

(3.) And the history of indifferent actions, or those which 
were the performance of but a temporary duty, are instruct- 
ing to us, but not examples which we must imitate. It is 
not divine faith which forgeth an object or rule to itself. 
Whatsoever example we will prove to be obligatory to us to 
imitate, we must either prove, 1. That it was an execution 
of God's own commission, which had a promise of infallible 
guidance. Or, 2. That it was done according to some for- 
mer law of God, which is common to ihem and us. (As the 
first must be the revealing of some duty extended to this age, 
as well as that.) 

Direct. 12. * Faith must make great use of Scripture ex- 
amples, both for motive and comfort, when we find their 
case to be the same with ours/ 

We cannot conclude that we must imitate them in ex- 
traordinary circumstances ; nor can we conclude that God 
will give every extraordinary mercy to us, which he gave to 
them, (as that he will make all kings as he did David, ov all 
apostles, or raise all as he did Lazarus now, 8cc.) nor that 
every believer shall hare the same outward things, or will 
have just the same degrees of grace, &c. But we may con- 
clude that we shall have all God's promises fulfilled to us, 
as they had to them ; and shall have all that is suitable to 
our condition. As David was pardoned upon repentance, 
so many others : ** I confessed, and thouforgavest : for this 

shall every one that is godly pray to thee." Psal. xxxii. 

5, 6. Hath God pardoned a Manasseh, a Peter, a Paul, &c. 
upon repentance ? So is he ready to do to us. Hath he 
helped the distressed ? Hath he heard and pitied, even the 
weak in faith ? So we may hope he will do by us ; Isa. 
xxxviii. 10, 11. Psal. cxvi. 3. Acts xxvii. 20. Jonah ii. 4. 
We have the same God, the same Christ, the same promise. 


if tve have the same faith, and pray with the same Spirit ; 
Rom. viii. 26. Heb. iv. 15. Though we may not have jusfe 
the same case, or the same manner of deliverance. Therefore 
it is a mercy that the Scripture is written historically : and 
therefore we should remember such particular examples- as 
suit our own case. 


Directions how to Live hy Faith upon God's Promises. 

This part of the work of faith is more noble, because the 
eminent part of the Gospel is the promises, or covenant of 
grace ; and it is the more necessary, because our lapsed, mi- 
serable state hath made the promises so necessary to our 
use. The helps to be used herein are these : 

Direct. 1. ' Consider that every promise of God, is the 
expression of his immutable will and counsel.' 

It is a great dispute among the schoolmen, whether God 
be properly obliged to us by his promises : when the word 
* obligation ' itself is but a metaphor, which must be cast 
away or explained, before the question can be answered. 
God cannot be bound as man is, who transferreth a propriety 
to another from himself; or maketh himself a proper debtor 
in point of communicative justice; or may be sued at law, 
and made to perform against his will. But it is a higher 
obligation than all this which lieth upon God. His power, 
wisdom and goodness, which are himself, do constitute his 
veracity: and his very nature is immutable and just; and 
therefore his nature and being is the infallible cause of the 
fulfilling of his promises. He freely made them ; but he ne- 
cessarily performeth them ; and therefore the apostle saith, 
that •* God that cannot lie hath promised eternal life, before 
the world began ;" which is either * promised according to 
his counsel which he had before the world began,' or * from 
the beginning of the world ;' Titus i. 2. Or as the word 
also signifieth, 'many ages ago.' And Heb. vi. 17, 18. 
" Wherefore God willing more abundantly to shew to the 
heirs of promise, the immutability of his counsel, confirmed 
it by an oath ; that by two immutable things, in which it 
was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong con- 


solation, whp have fled for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope 
set before us ; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, 

both sure and steadfast." And therefore when the 

apostle meaneth, that Christ will not be unfaithful to us, his 
phrase is, " He cannot deny himself;" 2Tim.ii. 13. As if his 
very nature and being consisted more in his truth and fide- 
lity, than any mortal man's can do. 

Direct. 2. ' Understand the nature and reasons of fidelity 
among men, viz. 1. To make them conformable to God : 
and, 2. To maintain all justice, order and virtue in the world.' 
And when you have pondered these two, you will see that 
it is impossible for God to be unfaithful : For, 1. If it be a 
vice in the copy, what would it be in the original ! Nay, 
would not falsehood and perfidiousness become our perfec- 
tion, to make us like God ? 2. And if all the world would 
be like a company of enemies, bedlams, brutes, or worse, if 
it were not for the remnants of fidelity, it is impossible that 
the nature or will of God, should be the pattern or original 
of so great evil. 

Direct. 3. * Consider what a foundation of his promises 
God hath laid in Jesus Christ, and what a seal his blood 
and resurrection is unto them.' 

When it hath cost Christ so dear to procure them, cer- 
tainly God will not break them. A promise ratified in the 
blood of the Son of God, called the " blood of the everlast- 
ing covenant," (Heb. xiii. 20.) and by his rising from the 
dead, can never be broken. If the law given by Moses was 
firm, and a jot or tittle should not pass away till all were 
fulfilled, much more the word and testament of the Media- 
tor of a better covenant; " All the promises in him are yea 
and amen ;" (2 Cor. i. 20.) that is, they are asserted or made 
in him, and they are ratified, and shall be fulfilled in him. 
" He hath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much 
also he is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was es- 
tablished on better promises ;" Heb. viii. 6. And those that 
are better cannot be less sure. It is the sure mercies of 
David that are given us, by a promise which is sure to all 
tbe seed ; Acts xiii. 34. Isa. Iv. 3. Rom. iv. 16. 

Direct. 4. * Consider well that it is God's own interest 
to fulfil his promises ; for he attaineth not that glory of his 
love and grace in the perfection of his people till it be done, 
which he designed in the making of them.' 


And certainly God will not fail himself and his own in- 
tei^st. The happiness will be ours, but it will be his ever- 
lasting pleasure to see his creatures in their perfection. If 
he was so pleased after the creation, to see them all good, 
that he appointed a sabbath of rest, to celebrate the com- 
memoration of it ; how much more will it please him to see 
all restored by Jesus Christ, and brought up to that perfec- 
tion which Adam was but in the way to when he sinned and 
fell short of the glory of God. He will not miss of his 
own design, nor lose the everlasting complacency of his 

Direct. 5. ' Consider how great stress God hath laid upon 
the belief of his promises, and of how great use he hath made 
them in the world.' 

If the intimation of another world and reward which we 
find in nature, and the promise of It in Scripture, were out 
of the world, or were not believed, and so men had nothing 
but temporal motives to rule their hearts and lives by, O 
what an odious thing would man be ! And what a hell 
would the world be ! I have elsewhere shewed that the 
government of the world is mainly steered by the hopes 
and fears of another life, and could not be otherwise, 
unless man be turned into far worse than a beast. And 
certainly those promises cannot be false, which God hath 
laid ^io great a stress on, and the belief of which is of so 
great moment. For the wise, and holy, and powerful God, 
neither needeth a lie, nor can use it to so great a work. 

Direct. 6. ' Take notice how agreeable God's promises 
are to the nature both of God and man.' 

It is not only God's precepts that hav« a congruence to 
natural reason, but his promises also. It is agreeable to the 
nature of Infinite Goodness to do good : and yet we see that 
he doth not do to all alike. He maketh not every creature 
an angel, nor a man : how then shall we discern what he in- 
tendeth to do by his creatures, but by their several natures ? 
The nature of every thing is fitted to its use. Seeing there- 
fore God hath given man a nature capable of knowing, lov- 
ing and enjoying him, we have reason to think he gave it 
not in vain. And we have reason to think that nature may 
be brought up to its own perfection ; and that he never in- 
tended to employ man all his days on earth, in seeking an 
end which cannot be attained. And yet we see that some 


do unfit themselves for this end, by turning from it, and fol- 
lowing vanity : and that God requireth every man as a free 
agent, to use his guidance and help aright, for his own pre- 
paration to felicity. Therefore reason may tell us, that those 
who are so prepared by the nearest capacity, and have a love 
to God, and a heavenly mind, shall enjoy the glory which 
they are fitted for. And it helpeth much our belief of God's 
promise, to find that reason thus discerneth the equity of 
it : yea, to find that a Cicero, a Seneca, a Socrates, a Plato, 
&c. expected much the like felicity to the just, which the 
Scripture promiseth. 

Direct. 7. * Be sure to understand God's promises aright, 
that you expect not that which he never promised, and take 
not presumption to be faith/ 

Many do make promises to themselves by misunderstand- 
ing, and look that God should fulfil them. And if any of 
them be not fulfilled, they are ready to suspect the truth of 
God. And thus men become false prophets to themselves 
and others, and speak words in the name of the Lord, which 
he hath never spoken, and incur much of the guilt, which 
God oft chargeth on false prophets, and such as add to the 
word of God. It is no small fault to father an untruth on 
God, and to call that his promise which he never made. 

Direct. 8. * Think not that God promiseth you all that 
you desire or think you want, in bodily things.' ■( 

It is not our own desires which he hath made the mea- 
sure of his outward gifts ; no nor our own opinion of our 
necessity neither : else most men would have nothing but 
riches, and health, and love, and respect from men ; and few 
would have any want, or pain, or suffering. But it is so 
much as is good, 1. To the common ends of government, and 
the societies with which we live. 2. And to our souls, which 
God doth promise to his own. And his wisdom, and not 
their partial conceits, shall be the judge. Our Father know- 
eth what we need, and therefore we must cast our care on him, 
and take not too particular nor anxious thoughts for your- 
selves ; Matt. vi. 24, to the end, 1 Pet. v. 7. 

Direct. 9. * Think not that God promiseth you all that 
you will ask ; no not that which he commandeth you to ask ; 
unless it agree with his promising will, as well as with his 
commanding will.' 

That promise of Christ, ** Ask and ye shall receive," &c. 


** And whatsoever you ask the Father in my name, accord- 
ing to his will, he will give it you," are often misunderstood. 
And there is some difficulty in understanding what will of 
God is here meant. If it be his decreeing will, that is se- 
cret, and the promise giveth us no sure consolation : if it be 
meant of his promising will, what use is this general promise 
for, if we must have a particular promise also for all that we 
can expect? If it be meant of his commanding will, the 
event notoriously gainsayeth it : for it is most certain, that 
since the church hath long prayed for the conversion of the 
infidel world, and the reforming of the corrupted churches, 
&c. it is not yet done : and it is all Christian's duty, to pray 
for kings, and all in authority ; and to ask that wisdom and 
grace for them which God doth seldom give them. And all 
parents who are bound to pray for grace for their children,^ 
do not speed according to their prayers. 

Object. ' That is because that prayers for other men, sup- 
pose others to concur in the qualifying conditions as well as 
ourselves. But the promise is meant only of whatsoever we 
ask for ourselves as he commandeth, or for others who are 
prepared as he requireth.' Answ. i. If so, then the promise 
is not only made to our praying as commanded. 2. It can- 
not be thought that our prayers for infidels, who must have 
preparing grace before they can be prepared, should be thus 
suspended in their preparation of themselves. 3. It may be 
a duty to pray for many things for ourselves too, which yet 
we shall not particularly receive : as a minister may pray for 
greater abilities for his work, &c. 

Object, * We pray not as commanded for any such things, 
if we pray not conditionally for them.' Answ. But still the 
difficulty is. What is the condition to be inserted? Whe- 
ther it be. If God will ? Or, If it be for our good ? Or, 
If it be for the universal good of the world ? If it were the 
last, then we might be sure of the salvation of all men, when 
we ask it ; and the second cannot be the condition when we 
pray for others : and if it be the first, then it telleth us that 
the commanding will of God is not it which is principally 
meant in the promise. 

In this difficulty we must conclude, that the text res- 
pecteth God's will comprehensively in all these three fore- 
mentioned respects ; but primarily his promising will in 
matters which fall under promise, and his decreeing will in 


things which he liath thought meet to make no promise of; 
and then secondarily, his commanding will to us ; but this 
extendeth not only to prayer itself, but also to the manner 
of prayer, and to our conjunct and subsequent endeavours. 
And so this meeteth and closeth with the former will of God ; 
because we do not pray according to his commanding will, 
unless we do it with due respect to his promising and de- 
creeing will. And so it is, as if it were said, * Of all these 
things which God hath promised or decreed, whatsoever you 
ask in my name, in a manner agreeable to his command, and 
do second your prayers with faithful endeavours, you shall 
obtain it ; because neither his decrees or promises are na- 
kedly, or merely to give such a thing ; but complicately to 
give it in this way of asking.' 

And as to the objections in the beginning, I answer, 1. 
Where only God's decreeing will is the measure of the mat' 
ter to be granted, the text intendeth not to us a particular 
assurance of the thing ; but the comfort that we and our 
prayers are accepted, and they shall be granted if it be not 
such a thing as God in his wisdom and eternal counsel hath 
secretly determined not to do. As if you pray for the con- 
version of the kingdom of China, of Japan, of Hindostan, 
of Tartary, &c. 

And, 2. Where God's promise hath given us security of 
the thing in particular ; yet this general promise, and our 
prayer, are neither of them in vain. For, 1. The general 
promise doth both confirm our faith in general, which is a 
help to us in each particular case ; and also it directeth us 
to Christ as the means, in whose name we are to ask all 
things of the Father ; and assureth us, that it is for his sake 
that God doth fulfil those particular promises to us. 2. 
And prayer in his name, is the condition, way, or means of 
the fulfilling them. 

It is a very common error among many praying persons, 
to think that if they can but prove it their duty to ask such 
a thing, this promise telleth them, that they shall have it : 
but you see there is more necessary to the understanding of 
it than so. 

Direct. 10. ' Think not that God promiseth you all that 
you do believe that you shall receive, when you ask it ; 
though it be with never so confident an expectation/ 

This is a more common error than the former. - Many 


think that if the thing be but lawful which they pray for, 
much more if it be their duty to pray for it, then a particu- 
lar belief that they shall receive it, is the condition of the 
promise, and therefore that they shall certainly receive it. 
As if they pray for the recovery of one that is sick, or for 
the conversion of one that is unconverted, and can but be- 
lieve that it shall be done, they think God is then obliged 
by promise to do it. " If thou canst believe, all things are 
possible ;" Mark ix. 23. And Mark xi. 23, 24. " Whoso- 
ever shall say to this mountain. Be thou removed, &c. and 
shall not doubt in his heart, but believe, &c. Therefore I 
say unto you, what things soever ye desire when ye pray, 
believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." 

Answ, The reason of this was, because they had a spe- 
cial promise of the gift of miracles, as is expressed, Mark 
xvi. 17, 18. And even this text is such a particular pro- 
mise : for the spirit of miracles was then given to confirm 
the Gospel, and gather the first churches, and faith was the 
condition of them : or the Spirit, whenever he would work 
a miracle, would first work an extraordinary faith to prepare 
for it. And yet if you examine well the particular texts 
which speak of this subject, you shall find that as it was the 
doubt of the Divine authority of Christ's testimony, and of 
his own real power, which was the unbelief of those times ; 
so it was the belief of his authority and power, which was 
the faith required : and this is the oftener expressed than the 
belief of the event is extolled, it is because the belief of 
Christ's power is contained in it. '* If thou canst believe, 
all things are possible ;" Mark ix. 23. Not * all things shall 
come to pass.' " The blind men came to him, and Jesus 
said. Believe ye that I am able to do this ? They said unto 
him, yea. Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, accord- 
ing to your faith be it unto you ;" Matt. ix. 28. So the cen- 
turion's faith is described as a belief of Christ's power ; 
Matt. viii. 7 — 10. So is it in many other instances. 

So that this text is no exception from the general rule ; 
but the meaning of it is. Whatsoever promised thing you 
ask, not doubting, ye shall receive it : or doubt not of my 
enabling power, and you shall receive whatever you ask, 
which I have promised you ; and miracles themselves shall 
be done by you. 


Object. * But what if they had only doubted of Christ*s 
will?' Answ. If they had doubted of his will in cases where 
he never expressed his will, they could not indeed have been 
certain of the event (for that is contrary to the doubt). But 
they could not have charged Christ with any breach of pro- 
mise ; and therefore could not themselves have been charged 
with any unbelief. (For it is no unbelief to doubt of that 
will which never was revealed.) But if they had doubted of 
his revealed will concerning the event, they had then charged 
him with falsehood, and had sinned against him, as ill as 
those who deny his power. 

- And the large experience of this our age, confuteth 
this aforesaid error of a particular belief: for we have 
abundance of instances of good people who were thus mis- 
taken, and have ventured thereupon to conclude with confi- 
dence, that such a sick person shall be healed, and such a 
thing shall come to pass ; when over and over the event 
hath proved contrary, and brought such confidence into con- 
tempt, upon the failing of it. 

Direct. 11. * Think not that because some strong imagi- 
nation bringeth some promise to your minds, that therefore 
it belongeth unto you, unless upon trial, the true meaning 
of it do extend to you.' 

Many and many an honest, ignorant, melancholy woman 
hath told me what abundance of sudden comfort they have 
had, because such a text was brought to their minds, and 
such a promise was suddenly set upon their hearts ; when as 
they mistook the very sense of the promise, and upon true 
inquiry, it was nothing to their purpose. Yet it is best not 
always to contradict those mistaken and ungrounded com- 
forts of such persons : because when they are godly, and 
have true right to sounder comforts, but cannot see it, it is 
better that they support themselves a while with such mis- 
takes, than that they sink into despair. For though we may 
not offer them such mistakes, nor comfort them by a lie; 
yet we may permit that which we may not do (as God him- 
self doth). It is not at all times that we are bound to rec- 
tify other men's mistakes, viz. not when it will do them more 
harm than good. 

Many an occasion may bring a text to our remembrance 
which concerneth us not, without the Spirit of God. Our 


own imaginations may do much that way of themselves. Try 
therefore what is the true sense of the text, before you build 
your conclusion on it. 

But yet if indeed God bring to your minds any perti- 
nent promise, I would not have you to neglect the comfort 
of it. 

Direct. 12. * Think not that God hath promised to all 
Christians the same degrees of grace ; and therefore that you 
may expect as much as any others have.' 

Object, * But shall not all at last be perfect? And what 
can there be added to perfection V 

Answ. The perfection of a creature is to be advanced to 
the highest degree, which his own specifical and individual 
nature are capable of. A beast may be perfect, and yet not 
be a man. And a man may be perfect, and yet not be an 
angel. And Lazarus may be perfect, and yet not reach the 
degree of Abraham. For there is, no doubt, a gradual diffe- 
rence between the capacities of several individual souls, of 
the same species ; as these is of several vessels of the same 
metal, though not by such difference of corporal extension. 
And there is no great probability that all the difference in 
the degrees of wit from the idiot to Achitophel, is founded 
only in the bodily organs, and not at all in the souls. And 
it is certain, that there are various degrees of glory in heaven, 
and yet that every one there is perfect. 

But if this were not so, yet it is in this life only that we 
are now telling you, that all Christians have not a promise 
of the same degrees. 

Object, ' But is not additional grace given by way of re- 
ward? And then have not all a promise of the same degree 
which the best attain, conditionally if they do as much as 
they for it V 

Answ. Of objective grace, yes, objective ; but not sub- 
jective ; because all have not the same natural capacity, nor 
are bound to the same degree of duty as to the condition it- 
self. As perfection in heaven is given by way of reward, 
and yet all shall not have the same degree of perfection ; so 
is it as to the degree of grace on earth. 2. All have not the 
same degrees of the first preventing grace given them ; and 
therefore it is most certain that all will not use the same de- 
gree of industry for more. Some have but one talent, and 

VOL. XII. k 



some two, when some have five, and therefore gain ten ta- 
lents in the improvement ; Matt. xxv. 

All must strive for the highest measure : and all the sin- 
cere may at last expect their own perfection : But God 
breaketh no promise, if he giveth them not all as much as 
some have. 

Direct, 13. ' Much less hath God promised the same de- 
gree of common gifts to all.' 

If you never attain to the same measure of acuteness, 
learning, memory, utterance, do not think that God breaketh 
promise with you : nor do not call your presumption by the 
name of faith, if you have such expectations. See 1 Cor. xii. 

Direct. 14. *God often promiseth not the thing itself, 
when he promiseth the time of giving it : therefore do not 
take it to be an act of faith, to believe a set time, where 
God hath set no time at all." 

Many are the troubles of the righteous, but God will 
deliver them out of all; Psal. xxxvii. But he hath not set 
them just the time. Christ hath promised to come again 
and take us to himself; John xiv. 1 — 3. But of that day 
and hour knoweth no man. God will give necessary com- 
fort to his servants ; but he best knoweth when it is neces- 
sary : and therefore they must not set him a time, and say, 
* Let it be now, or thou breakest thy word.' Patient wait- 
ing God's own time, is as needful as believing : yea, he that 
believeth, will not make haste ; Isa. xxviii. 16. Rom. ii. 7. 
2 Thess. iii. 5. James v. 7, 8. Heb. vi. 12. x. 36. xii. 1. 
James v. 7. Rev. xiii. 10. xiv. 12. 1 Thess. i. 3. 11. 

Direct. 15. ' God often promiseth the thing, when he 
promiseth not either in what manner, or by what instrument 
he will do it.' 

He may deliver his church, and may deliver particular 
persons out of trouble ; and yet do it in a way, and by such 
means as they never dreamed of. Sometimes he foretelleth 
his means, when it is we that in duty are to use them. And 
sometimes he keepeth them unknown to us, when they are 
only to be used by himself. In the mount will the Lord be 
seen ; but yet Abraham thought not of the ram in the 
thicket. The Israelites knew not that God would deliver 
them by the hand of Moses ; Acts vii. 25. 

Direct. 16. * Take not the promises proper to oiie time or 


age of the church, as if they were common to all, or unto us.' 

There were many promises to the Israelites, which be- 
long not to us, as well as many precepts : the increase of 
their seed, and the notable prosperity in the world which 
was promised them, was partly because that the motive 
should be suited to the ceremonial duties, and partly be- 
cause the eternal things being not then so fully brought to 
light as now, they were the more to be moved with the pre- 
sent outward tokens of God's love. And so the gift of the 
spirit of miracles, and infallibility, for writing and confirm- 
ing Scriptures, was promised to the first age, which is not 
promised to us. 

Direct. 17. ' Take not any good man's observation in 
those times for an universal promise of God.' 

For instance, David saith, " I have been young, and 
now am old ; yet did I never see the righteous forsaken, nor 
his seed begging their bread ;" Psal. Ixxiii. But if he had 
lived in the Gospel times, where God giveth greater hea- 
venly blessings and comforts, and calleth men to higher de- 
grees of patience and mortification, and contempt of the 
world, he might have seen many both of the righteous, and 
their seed begging their bread, though not forsaken ; yea, 
Christ himself asking for water of a woman ; John iv. 

Direct. 18. ' Take heed of making promises to seem in- 
stead of precepts ; as if you were to do that yourselves, 
which God had promised that he will do.' 

If God promise to deliver his church, or to free any of 
his servants from trouble or persecution, you must have a 
precept to tell you what is your own duty, and what means 
you must use, before you must attempt your own deliverance. 
What God will do, is one thing ; and what you must do, is 
another. This hath been the strange delusion of the people 
that call themselves the Fifth-monarchy-men in our times ; 
who believing that Christ will set up righteousness, and 
pull down tyrants in the earth, have thought that therefore 
they must do it by arms ; and so have been drawn into 
many rebellions, to the scandal of others, and their own 

Direct, 19. * Take heed of mistaking prophecies for pro- 
mises ; especially dark prophecies not understood.' 

Many things are foretold by God in prophecies, which 
are men's sins : Herod and Pontius Pilate, and the people 



of the Jews, fulfilled prophecies in the crucifying of Christ : 
and all the persecutors and murderers of the saints, fulfil 
Christ's prophecies ; and so do ail that hate us, " and 
say all manner of evil falsely against us for his sake ;" 
Matt. V. 11, 12. But the sin is never the less for that. It 
is "prophesied that the ten kings shall give up their king- 
doms to the beast ; that in the last days shall come scoffers 
walking after their own lusts ; and in the last days shall 
be perilous times," &c. These are not promises nor precepts. 

It hath lamentably disturbed the church of Christ, when 
ignorant self-conceited Christians, who see not the diffi- 
culty, grow confident that they understand many prophecies 
in Daniel, the Revelations, &c. and thereupon found their 
presumption (miscalled faith) upon their own mistakes, and 
then form their prayers, their communion, their practice 
into such schism and sedition, and uncharitable ways, as 
the interest of their opinions do require (as the Millenaries 
before mentioned have done in this generation). 

Direct, 20. * Think not that all God's promises are made 
to mere sincerity ; and that every true Christian must be 
freed from all penal hurt, however they behave themselves.' 

For there are further helps of the Spirit, which are pro- 
mised only to our diligence in attending the Spirit, and to 
the degrees of industry, and fervour, and fidelity in watch- 
ing, praying, striving, and other use of means. And there 
are heavy chastisements which God threateneth to the god- 
ly, when they misbehave themselves ; especially the hiding 
of his fece, and withholding any measure of his Spirit. 
The Scripture is full of such threatenings and instances. 

Direct. 21. * Much less may you imagine that God hath 
made any promise, that all the sins of true believers shall 
work together for their good.' 

They misexpound, Rom. viii. 28. who so expound it, 
(as I have elsewhere shewed.) For 1. The context confineth 
it to sufferings. 2. The qualification added " to them that 
love God" doth shew that the abatement of love to God, is 
none of the things meant that shall work our good. 3. And 
it sheweth that it is love as love, and therefore not the least 
that is consistent with neglect and sin, which is our full 
condition. 4. Experience telleth us, that too many true 
Christians may fall from some degrees of grace, and the 
love of God, and die in a less degree than they once had : 


and that loss of holiness doth not work for their good. 
,6. And it is not a thing suitable to all the rest of God's 
method in the Scriptures, that he should assure all before- 
hand, that all their sins shall work for their good. That he 
should command obedience so strictly, and promise re- 
wards so liberally, and threaten punishment so terribly, and 
give such frightful examples as Solomon's, David's, and 
others are ; and at the same time say. Whatever sin thou 
committest inwardly or outwardly by neglecting my love, 
and grace, and Spirit, by loving the world, by pleasing the 
flesh, as David did, &c. it shall all be turned to do thee 
more good than hurt. This is not a suitable means to men 
in our case, to keep them from sin, nor to cause their per- 

Direct. 22. * Understand well what promises are univer- 
sal to all believers, and what are but particular and proper 
to some few.' 

There are many particular promises in Scripture, made 
by name, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Aaron, to 
David, to Solomon, to Hezekiah, to Christ, to Peter, to 
Paul, &c. which we cannot say are made to us. Therefore 
the covenant of grace, which is the universal promise, must 
especially be made the ground of our faith, and all other, as 
they are branches and appurtenances of that, and have in 
the Scripture some true signification, that they indeed ex- 
tend to us. For if we should believe that every promise 
made to any saint of God (as Hannah, Sarah, Rebecca, Eli- 
zabeth, Mary, &c.) do belong to us, we should abuse our- 
selves and God. And yet to us they have their use. 

Direct. 23. * It is of very great importance, to under- 
stand what promises are absolute, and which are suspended 
upon any condition to be performed by us ; and what each 
of those conditions is.' 

As the promise to the fathers that the Messiah should 
come, was absolute. God gave not a Saviour to the world, 
so as to suspend his coming on any thing to be done by 
man. The not drowning of the world, was an absolute pro- 
mise made to Noah : so was the calling of the Gentiles pro- 
mised. But the covenant of promises sealed in baptism, is 
conditional : and therefore both parties, God and man, 
are the covenanters therein. 

And in the Gospel the promises of our first justification 


and adoption, and of our after pardon, and of our justifica- 
tion at judgment, and of our additional degrees of grace, 
and of our freedom from chastisements, have some dif- 
ference in the conditions, though true Christianity be the 
main substance of them all. Mere Christianity, or true 
consent to the covenant, is the condition of our first justifi- 
cation. And the continuance of this, with actual sincere 
obedience, is the condition of nonamission, or of con- 
tinuance of this state of justification : and the use of prayer 
and other means, is a condition of our further reception of 
more grace. And perseverance in true holiness with faith, 
is the condition of our final justification and glorification; 
(of which more anon). 

Direct. 24. ' You can no further believe the fulfilling of 
any of these conditional promises, than you know that you 
perform the condition.' 

It is presumption, and not faith, for an impenitent per- 
son to expect the benefit of those promises, which belong 
to the penitent only : and so it is for him that forgiveth not 
others, to expect to be forgiven his particular sins ; and so 
in all the rest of the promises. 

Direct, 25. * But be sure that you ascribe no more to 
yourselves, for performing any condition of a promise, than 
God doth.' 

A condition as such is no cause at all of the performance 
of the promise ; either natural or moral : only the non-per- 
formance of the condition is a cause of the non-performance 
of the promise : for the true nature of a condition as such, 
is only to suspend the benefit. Though naturally a condi- 
tion may be meritorious among men; and for their own 
commodity (which God is not capable of) they ordinarily 
make only meritorious acts to be conditions : as God also 
doth only such acts as are pleasing to him, and suited to 
their proper ends. But this is nothing to a condition for- 
mally, which is but to suspend the benefit till it be done. 

Direct, 26. * When you find a promise to be common or 
universal, apply it as boldly as if your name were written in 
it : and also when you find that any particular promise to a 
saint is but a branch of that universal promise to all saints ; 
or to all that are in the same case, and find that the case 
and reason of the promise proveth the sense of it to belong 
to you as well as them.' 


If it be said, that " whosoever believeth shall not perish, 
but have everlasting life ;" (John iii. 16.) you may apply it 
as boldly as if it were said, ' If thou John, or Thomas be a 
believer, thou shalt not perish, but have everlasting life.' 
As I may apply the absolute promise of the resurrection to 
myself as boldly, as if my name were in it, because it is all 
that shall be raised (John v. 22. 24, 25. 1 Cor. xv.) : so 
may I all the conditional promises of pardon and glory con- 
ditionally, if I repent and believe. And you may abso- 
lutely thence conclude your certain interest in the benefit, 
so far as you are certain that you repent and believe. 

And when you read that Christ promiseth his twelve 
apostles, to be with them, and to reward their labours, and 
to see that they shall be no losers by him, if they lose their 
lives, &c. You may believe that he will do so by you also. 
For though your work be not altogether the same with 
theirs ; yet this is but a branch of the common promise to 
all the faithful, who must all follow him on the same terms 
of self-denial ; Luke xiv. 26, 27. 33. Matt. x. Rom. viii. 
17, 18. And on this ground the promise to Joshua is ap- 
plied : "I will never fail thee nor forsake thee," (Heb. xiii. 
5.) because it is but a branch of the covenant common to all 
the faithful. 

Direct, 27. ' Be sure that you lay the stress of all your 
hopes on the promises of God, and venture all your happi- 
ness on them, and when God calleth to it, express this by 
forsaking all else for these hopes, that it may appear you 
really trust God's word, without any secret hypocritical re- 

This is the true life, and work, and trial of faith : whe- 
ther we build so much on the promise of God, that we can 
take the thing promised for all our treasure, and the word of 
God for our whole security. 

As faith is called a trusting in God ; so it is a practical 
kind of trust ; and the principal trial of it, lieth in forsaking 
all other happiness and hopes, in confidence of God's pro- 
mise through Jesus Christ. 

To open the matter by a similitude : Suppose that Christ 
came again on earth as he did at his incarnation, and should 
confirm his truth by the same miracles, and other means ; 
and suppose he should then tell all the country, 1 have a 
kingdom at the Antipodes, where men never die, but live in 


perpetual prosperity ; and those of you shall freely possess 
it, who shall part with your own estates and country, and go in 
a ship of my providing, and trust me for your pilot to bring 
you thither, and trust me to give it you when you come 
there. My power to do all this, I have proved by my mira- 
cles, and my love and will, my offer proveth. How now 
will you know whether a man believe Christ, and trust this 
promise or not? Why, if he believe and trust him, he will 
go with him, and will leave all, and venture over the seas 
whithersoever he conducteth him, and in that ship which he 
prepareth for him: but if he dare not venture, or will not 
leave his present country and possessions, it is a sign that 
he doth not trust him. 

If you were going to sea, and had several ships and 
pilots offered you, and you were afraid lest one were unsafe, 
and the pilot unskilful, and it were doubtful which were to 
be trusted ; when after all deliberation you choose one, and 
refuse the rest, and resolve to venture your life and goods 
in it, this is properly called trusting it. So trusting in God, 
and in Jesus Christ, is not a bare opinion of his fidelity, 
but a practical trust ; and that you may be sure to under- 
stand it clearly, I will once open the parts of it distinctly. 

Divines commonly tell us that faith is an affiance or trust 
in God : and some of them say, that this is an act of the 
understanding, and some, that it is an act of the will, and 
others say, that faith consisteth in assent alone, and that 
trust or afl&ance is as hope, a fruit of faith, and not faith it- 
self: and what affiance itself is, is no small controversy, 
(and so it is what faith and Christianity is, even among the 
teachers of Christians). 

The plain truth is this : As to the name of faith, it some- 
times signifieth a mere intellectual assent, when the object 
requireth no more : and sometimes it signifieth a practical 
trust or affiance, in the truth or trustiness of the undertaker 
or promiser, that is, in his power, wisdom and goodness, or 
honesty, conjunct as expressed in his word; and that is, 
when the matter is practical, requiring such a trust. The 
former is often called, the Christian faith ; because it is the 
belief of the truth of the Christian principles : and is the 
leading part of faith in the full sense. But it is the latter 
which is the Christian faith, as it is taken, not * secundum 
quid,* but simply ; not for a part, but the whole ; not for 


the opinion of men about Christ, but for Christianity itself, 
or that faith which must be professed in baptism, and which 
hath the promise of justification and salvation. 

And this trust or affiance is placed respectively on all 
the objects mentioned in the beginning ; on God as the first 
efficient foundation ; and on God as the ultimate end ; as 
the certain full felicity, and final object of the soul: on 
Christ as the Mediator, and as the secondary foundation, 
and the guide, and the finisher of our faith and salvation ; 
the chief sub-revealer and performer: on the Holy Ghost, 
as the third foundation ; both revealing and attesting the 
doctrine by his gifts : and on the apostles and prophets as 
his instruments and Christ's chief entrusted messengers : 
and on the promise or covenant of Christ as his instrumen- 
tal revelation itself: and on the Scriptures as the authentic 
record of this revelation and promise. And the benefit 
for which all these are trusted, is, recovery to God, or re- 
demption and salvation, viz. pardon of sin, and justification, 
adoption, sanctification and glorification ; and all things 
necessary hereunto. 

This trust is an act of all the three faculties : (for three 
there are) even of the whole man : of the vital power, the 
understanding and the will : and is most properly called a 
practical trust ; such as trusting a physician with your life 
and health ; or a tutor to teach you ; or a master to govern 
and reward you ; or a ship and pilot (as aforesaid) to carry 
you safe through the dangers of the sea : as in this simili- 
tude ; affiance as in the understanding, is its assent to the 
sufficiency and fidelity of the pilot and ship (or physician) 
that I trust : affiance in the will is the choosing of this ship, 
pilot, physician, to venture my life with, and refusing all 
others ; which is called consent, when it followeth the mo- 
tion and offer of him whom we trust. Affiance in the vital 
power of the soul, is the fortitude and venturing all upon 
this chosen Trustee : which is the quieting (in some mea- 
sure) disturbing fears, and the * exitus' or * conatus,' or first 
egress of the soul towards execution. 

And whereas the quarrelling peevish ignorance of this 
age, hath caused a great deal of bitter, reproachful, un- 
charitable contention on both sides, about the question, 
* How far obedience belongeth to faith?' Whether as a 
part, or end, or fruit, or consequent? In all this it is easily 


discerned, that as allegiance or subjection differ from obe- 
dience, and hiring myself to a master, differeth from obey- 
ing him; and taking a man for my tutor, differeth from 
learning of him ; and marriage differeth from conjugal duty, 
and giving up myself to a physician, differeth from taking 
his counsel and medicines ; and taking a man for my pilot, 
differeth from being conducted by him ; so doth our first 
faith or Christianity differ from actual obedience to the 
healing precepts of our Saviour. It is the covenant of obe- 
dience and consent to it, immediately entering us into the 
practice : it is the seed of obedience, or the soul, or life of 
it, which will immediately bring it forth, and act it. It is 
virtual, but not actual obedience to Christ ; because it is 
but the first consent to his kingly relation to us ; unless 
you will call it that inception from whence all obedience 
followeth. But it may be actual (common obedience to 
God, where he is believed in and acknowledged before 
Christ : and all following acts of faith after the first, are 
both the root of all other obedience, and a part of it : as 
our continued allegiance to the king is : and as the heart, 
when it is the first formed organ in nature, is no part of the 
man, but the organ to make all the parts, because it is soli- 
tary ; and there is yet no man, of whom it can be called a 
part; but when the man is formed, the heart is both his 
chief part, and the organ to actuate and maintain the rest. 
Object, ' But faith, as faith, is not obedience.' 
Answ, Nor learning, as learning, is not obedience to 
your tutor : nor ploughing, as ploughing, is not obedience 
to your master : or to speak more aptly, the continuance of 
your consent, that this man may be your tutor as such, is 
not obedience to him ; but it is materially part of your obe- 
dience to your Father who commandeth it ; and your con- 
tinued allegiance or subjection as such, is not obedience to 
your King ; but as primarily it was the foundation or heart 
of future obedience; so afterward it is also materially a 
part of your obedience, being commanded by him to whom 
you are now subject. And so it is in the case of faith : and 
therefore true faith and obedience are as nearly conjoined as 
life and motion ; and the one is ever connoted in the other ! 
Faith is for obedience to Christ's healing means, as trusting 
and taking a physician, is for the using of his counsel : and 
faith is for love and holy obedience to God, which is called 


our sanctification, as trusting a physician, is for health. 
Faith is implicit virtual obedience to a Saviour : and obe- 
dience to a Saviour, is explicit operating faith or trust. 

I. In the understanding, faith in God's promises hath 
all these acts contained in it. 

1. A belief that God is, and that he is perfectly powerful, 
wise and good. 

2. A belief that he is our Maker, and so our Owner, our 
Ruler, and our chief good, (initially and finally) delighting 
to do good, and the perfect felicitating end and object of 
the soul. 

3. A belief that God hath expressed the benignity of his 
nature, by a covenant or promise of life to man. 

4. To believe that Jesus Christ, God and man, is the 
Mediator of this covenant, (Heb. viii. 6. ix. 15. xii. 24.) 
procuring it, and entrusted to administer or communicate 
the blessings of it ; Heb. v. 9. 

5. To believe that the Holy Ghost is the seal and wit- 
ness of this covenant. 

6. To believe that this covenant giveth pardon of sin, 
and justification and adoption, and further grace, to peni- 
tent believers ; and glorification to those that persevere in 
true faith, love and obedience to the end. 

7. To believe that the Holy Scriptures, or word deli- 
vered by the apostles, is -the sure record of this covenant, 
and of the history and doctrine on which it is grounded. 

8. To believe that God is most perfectly regardful and 
faithful to fulfil this covenant, and that he cannot lie or 
break it ; Titus i. 2. Heb. vi. 17, 18. 

9. To believe that you in particular are included in this 
covenant, as well as others, it being universal as conditional 
to all if they will repent and believe, and no exception put 
in against you to exclude you; John iii. 16. Mark xvi. 15, 16. 

10. To believe or know that there is nothing else to be 
trusted to, as our felicity and end instead of God ; nor as 
our way instead of the Mediator, and the aforesaid means 
appointed by him. 

11. In the will, faith or trust hath, 1. A simple compla- 
cency in God as believed to be most perfectly good as 

2. It hath an actual intending and desiring of him as 
our end and whole felicity to be enjoyed in heaven; Gal. v. 


6, 7. Ephes. iii. 17—19. Col. iii. 1. 3, 4. 1 Cor. xiii. 
Heb. xi. Matt. vi. 20, 21. 

3. It is the turning away from, and refusing all other 
Beeming felicity or ends, and casting all our happiness and 
hopes upon God alone. 

4. It is the choosing Jesus Christ as the only way and 
Mediator to this end ; with the refusing of all other, (John 
xiv. 6.) and trusting all that we are or hope for upon his 

III. In the vital power, it is the casting away all in- 
consistent fears, and the inward resolved delivering up the 
soul to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in this covenant, 
entering ourselves into a resolved war with the devil, the 
world, and the flesh, which in the performance will resist 
us. And thus faith or trust is constituted and completed 
in the true baptismal covenant. 

Direct, 28. ' In all this be sure that you observe the dif- 
ference between the truth of faith, and the high degrees.' 

The truth of it is most certainly discerned by (as consist- 
ingin)THE absolute casting or venturing notpart,but 
ALL YOUR happiness and hopes upon Goi> and the Me- 
saving faith and trust. 

Pardon me that I sometimes use the word venturing 
ALL, as if there were any uncertainty in the matter. I in- 
tend not by it to express the least uncertainty or fallibility 
in God's promise : for heaven and earth shall pass away, 
but one jot or tittle of his word shall not pass, till all be 
fulfilled : but I shall here add, 

1. True faith or trust may consist with uncertainty in 
the person who believeth ; if he believe and trust Christ but 
so far, that he can cast away all his worldly treasures and 
hopes, even life itself upon that trust. Every one is. not an 
infidel; nor a hypocrite, who must say, if he speak his 
heart, * I am not certain past all doubts, that the soul is 
immortal, or the Gospel true : but I am certain, that im- 
mortal happiness is most desirable, and endless misery most 
terrible ; and that this world is vanity, and nothing in it 
worthy to be compared, with the hopes which Christ hath 
ij-iven us of a better life : and therefore upon just delibera- 
tion 1 am resolved to let go all, my sinful pleasures, profits. 


and worldly reputation, and life itself, when it is inconsist- 
ent with those hopes : and to take God's love for my felicity 
and end, and to trust and venture absolutely all my happiness 
and hopes on the favour of God, the mediation of Christ, and 
the promises which he hath given us in the Gospel.' 

I know I shall meet with abundance of teachers and 
people, that will shake the head at this doctrine as dan- 
gerous, and cry out of it as savouring unbelief, that any one 
should have true saving faith, who doubteth, or is uncer- 
tain of the immortality of the soul, or the truth of the Gos- 
pel ! But I see so much in hot-brained proud persons, to be 
pitied, and so much of their work in the church to be with 
tears lamented, that I will not by speech or silence favour 
their brain-sick, bold assertions, nor will I fear their phrentic 
furious censures. If it be not a mark of a wise and good 
minister of Christ, to be utterly ignorant of the state of 
souls, both his own, and all the people's, then 1 will not 
concur to the advancement of the reputation of such igno- 
rance. It is enough to pardon the great injury which such 
do to the church of God, without countenancing it. Though 
this one instance only now reminds me of it, abundance 
more do second it, and tell us, that there are in the churches 
through the world, abundance of divines, who are first 
taught by a party which they most esteem, what is to be 
held and said as orthodox, and then make it their work, to 
contend for that orthodoxness which they were taught so to 
honour, even with the most unmanly and unchristian scorns 
and censures; when, as if they had not been dolefully igno- 
rant both of the Scriptures, and themselves, and the souls 
of men, they would have known, that it is the fool that 
rageth and is confident, and that it was not their knowing 
more than others, but their knowing less, which made them 
so presumptuous ; and that they are themselves as far from 
certainty as others, when they condemn themselves to de- 
fend their opinions ; even like our late perfectionists, who 
all lived more imperfectly than others, but wrote and railed 
for sinless perfection, as soon as they did but take up the 
opinion. As if turning to that opinion had made them per- 
fect. So men may pass the censure of hypocrisy and dam- 
nation upon themselves when they please, by damning all 
as hypocrites, whose faith is thus far imperfect; but they 


shall never make any wise man believe by it, that their own 
faith is ever the more certain or perfect. 

As far as I can judge by acquaintance with persons 
most religious, though there be many who are afraid to 
speak it out, yet the far greater number of the most faithful 
Christians, have but such a faith which I described, and 
their hearts say, ' I am not certain, or past all doubt, of the 
truth of our immortality, or of the Gospel ; but I will ven- 
ture all my hopes and happiness, though to the parting with 
life itself upon it.* 

And I will venture to say it, as the truth of Christ, that 
he that truly can do this, hath a sincere and saving faith ; 
whatsoever opinionists may say against it. For Christ hath 
promised, that he that loseth his life for his sake and the 
Gospel's, shall have life everlasting ; Matt. x. 37—39. 42. 
xvi. 25. xix. 29. Luke xviii. 30. And he hath appointed 
no higher expressions of faith, as necessary to salvation, 
than denying ourselves, and taking up the cross, and for- 
saking all that we have ; or in one word, than martyrdom ; 
and this as proceeding from the love of God ; Luke xiv. 26, 
27. 29. 33. Rom. viii. 17, 18. 28—30. 35—39. 

And it is most evident that the sincere have been weak 
in faith : " And the apostles said unto the Lord, increase 
our faith ;," Luke xvii. 5. " Lord I believe, help thou my 
unbelief;'* Mark ix. 24. " I have not found so great faith, 
no, not in Israel ;" Luke vii. 9. The weak faith was the 
more common. 

2. And as true faith or trust may consist with doubts 
and uncertainty in the subject ; so may it with much 
anxiety, care, disquietment and sinful fear ; which sheweth 
the imperfection of our faith. " Shall he not much more 
clothe you, O ye of little faith?" Matt. xvi. 8. "O ye of lit- 
tle faith, why'reason you among yourselves?" &c. ; Matt. viii. 
26. " Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith ?" Matt. xiv. 
31. Peter had a faith that could venture his life on the 
waters to come to Christ, as confident of a miracle upon his 
command ; but yet it was not without fear, (ver. 30.) " when 
he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ;'* which caused 
Christ to say, " O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou 

And you cannot say that this is only a hindrance in the 


applying act, and not in the direct and principal act of 
faith : for we find some disciples at this pass \ " But we 
trusted that it had been he, who should have redeemed 
Israel ;" Luke xxiv. 21. Christ saith unto them, ** O fools, 
and slow of heart to believe all that the [prophets have 
spoken ; ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and 
to enter into his glory?" Luke xxiv. 25, 26. The words of them 
who told the apostles, that Christ was risen, " seemed but 
as tales to them, and they believed them not ;" Luke xxiv. 1 1 . 
"While they believed notfor joy, and wondered," &c. ; ver.41 . 
3. Nay, a weak faith may have such a swooning fit, as 
to fail extraordinarily in an hour of temptation, so far as to 
deny Christ, or shrink from him in this fear : so did Peter, 
and not only he, but " all the disciples forsook him, and 
fled ;" Matt. xxvi. 56. 

But yet he that according to the habituated state of his 
soul, hath so much faith, and love, as will cause him to 
venture life and all, upon the trust which he hath to the 
promises of the Gospel, hath a true and saving faith. 

And here I desire all doubting Christians, to lay by the 
common mistake in the trying of their faith or trust in 
Christ, and to go hereafter upon surer grounds. Many say, 
' I cannot believe or trust Christ for salvation, for I am full 
of doubts, and fears, and troubles ; and surely this is not 
trusting God.' Answ. 1. The question is not, whether you 
trust him perfectly, so as to have no fears, no troubles, no 
doubts ; but whether you trust him sincerely, so far as to 
venture all upon him in his way. If you can venture all on 
him, and let go all to follow him, your faith is true and 

This would abundantly comfort many fearful, troubled 
Christians, if they did but understand it well : for many of 
them that thu? fear, would as soon as any, forsake all for 
Christ, and let go all carnal pleasures, and worldly things, 
or any wilful sin whatsoever, rather than forsake him ; and 
would not take to any other portion and felicity than God, 
nor any other way than Christ, and the Spirit of Holiness, 
for all the temptations in the world : and yet they fear be- 
cause they fear; and doubt more because they doubt. 
Doubting soul, let this resolve thee ; suppose Christ and his 
way were like a pilot with his ship at sea : many more pro- 
mise to convey thee safely, and many persuade thee not to 


venture, but stay at land : but if tbou bast so mucb trust as 
that thou wilt go, and put thyself, and all that thou hast in- 
to this ship, and forsake all other, though thou go trembling 
all the way, and be afraid of every storm, and tempest, and 
gulf; yet thou hast true faith, though it be weak. If thy 
faith will but keep thee in the ship with Christ, that thou 
neither turn back again to the flesh, and the world ; nor yet 
take another ship and pilot, (as Mahometans, and those 
without the church), undoubtedly Christ will bring thee 
safe to land, though thy fear and mistrust be still thy sin. 

For the hypocrite's case is always some of these : 1. 
Some of them will only trust God in some smaller matter, 
wherein their happiness consisteth not ; as a man will trust 
one with some trifle which he doth not much regard, whom 
yet he thinks so ill of, that he cannot trust him in a matter 
of weight. 

2. Some of them will trust God for the saving of their 
souls, and the life to come, (or rather presume on him, 
while they call it trusting him), but they will not trust him 
with their bodies, their wealth, and honours, and fleshly 
pleasures, or their lives. These they are resolved to shift 
for, and secure themselves, as well as they can. For they 
know that for the world to come, they must be at God's dis- 
posal, and they have no way of their own to shift out of his 
hands : whether there be such a life or no, they know not ; 
but if there be, they will cast their ^ouls upon God's mercy, 
when they have kept the world as long as they can, and 
have had all that it can do for them. But they will not 
lose their present part, for such uncertain hopes as they ac- 
count them. 

3. Some of them will trust him only in pretence and 
name, while it is the creature which they trust indeed. 
Because they have learned to say, that God is the disposer 
of all, and only to be trusted, and all creatures are but 
used by his will ; therefore they think that when they trust 
the creature, it is but in subordination to God ; though in- 
deed they trust not God at all. 

4. Some of them will trust God and the creature jointly ; 
and as they serve God and Mammon, and think to make 
sure of the prosperity of the body, and the salvation of the 
soul, without losing either of them ; so they trust in both 
conjunctly, to make up their felicity. Some think when 


they read Christ's words, *' How hard is it for them that 
trust in riches, to enter into the kingdom of God !" (Mark x. 
24.) that they are safe enough if that be all the danger ; 
for they do not trust in their riches, though they love them: 
he is a madman, they say, that will put his trust in them. 
And yet Christ intimateth it as the true reason why few 
that have riches, can be saved, because there are few that 
have riches, who do not trust in them. You know that 
riches will not save your souls ; you know that they will not 
save you from the grave ; you know that they will not cure 
your diseases, nor ease your pains : and therefore you do 
not trust to riches, either to keep you from sickness, or 
from dying, or from hell : but yet you think that riches may 
help you to live in pleasure, and in reputation with the 
world, and in plenty of all things, and to have your will, as 
long as health and life will last; and this you take to be 
the chiefest happiness which a man can make sure of: and 
for this you trust them. The fool in Luke xii. 19. who 
said, " Soul, take thy ease, eat, drink, and be merry, thou 
hast enough laid up for many years," did not trust his 
riches to make him immortal, nor to save his soul : but he 
trusted in them, as a provision which might suffice for 
many years, that he might '* eat drink, and be merry, and 
take his ease ;" and this he loved better, and preferred be- 
fore any pleasures or happiness which he hoped for in ano- 
ther world. And thus it is that all worldly hypocrites do 
trust in riches : yea the poorest do trust in their little poor 
provisions in this world, as seeming to them surer, and 
therefore better than any which they can expect hereafter. 
This is the way of trusting in uncertain riches, (viz, to be 
their surest happiness) instead of trusting in the living God ; 
1 Tim. vi. 17. iv. 10. Psal. xlix. 6. Hi. 7. 

But yet because the hypocrite knoweth, that he cannot 
live here always, but must die, and his riches must be parted 
with at last, and heareth of a life of glory afterwards, he 
would fain have his part in that too, when he can keep the 
world no longer : and so he taketh both together for his 
part and hope, viz. as much bodily happiness as he can get 
in this world, and heaven at last, when he must die : not 
knowing that God will be all our portion and felicity, or 

VOL. XII. s 


none; and that the world must be valued and used but for 
his sake, and in subordination to him and a better world. 

5, Yet some hypocrites seem to go further (though they 
do not), for they will seem, even to themselves, to resign 
goods, and life, and all things absolutely to the will of God. 
But the reason is, because they are secretly persuaded in 
their hearts, that their resignation shall no whit deprive them 
of them ; and that God will never the more take it from them ; 
but that they may possess as much present corporal felicity 
in a life of religion, as if they lived in the dangerous case of 
the ungodly : or at least that they may keep so much, as 
not to be undone or left to any great sufferings in the world : 
or at least, their lives may not be called for. For they live 
in a time when few suffer for Christ j and therefore they see 
little cause to fear that they should be of the smaller num- 
ber : and it is but being a little the more wise and cautelous, 
and they hope they may escape well enough. And if they 
had not this hope, they would never give up all to Christ. 
But like persons that will be liberal to their physician, they 
will offer a great deal, when they think he will not take it ; 
but if they thought he would take all that is offered, they 
would offer less. Or as if a sick person should hear that 
such a physician will give him no very strong or loathsome 
physic ; and therefore when the physician telleth him, * I 
will be none of your physician unless you will absolutely 
promise to take every thing which I shall give you.' He 
promiseth that he will do it ; but it is only because he sup- 
poseth that he will give him nothing which is troublesome. 
And if he find his expectation crossed, he breaketh his pro- 
mise, and saith, * If I had known he would have used me thus, 
I would never have promised it him.' So hypocrites by pro- 
mise give up themselves absolutely to God, and to be wholly 
at his will, without excepting life itself: but their hearts do 
secretly except it : for all this is because they doubt not 
but they may save their earthly prosperity and lives, and be 
Christians too : and if once Christ call them to suffer death 
for him, they shew then what was the meaning of their hearts. 
To reassume the former similitude : If Christ on earth 
should offer to convey you to a kingdom at the antipodes, 
where men live for ever in glorious holiness, if you will but 
trust him, and go in his ship, and take him for your pilot. 


Here one saith, I do not believe him that there is such a 
place, and therefore I will not go (that is the infidel). An- 
other saith, I like my merry life at home, better than his 
glorious holiness (that is the open worldly and profane). 
Another saith, I will live in my own country, and on my own 
estate as long as I can, and when I find that I am dying, 
and can stay here no longer, that I may be sure to lose no- 
thing by him, I will take his offer. Another saith, I will go 
with him, but I will turn back again, if I find any dangerous 
storms and gulfs in the passage. Another saith I will take 
another ship and pilot along with me, lest he should fail me, 
that I may not be deceived. Another saith, I am told that 
the seas are calm, and there is no danger in the passage, and 
therefore I will absolutely trust him, and venture all ; but 
when he meets with storms and hideous waves, he saith. 
This is not as I expected ; and so he turneth back again. 
But another (the true Christian) saith, ' I will venture all, 
and wholly trust him :' and so, though he is oft afraid in 
danger, when he seeth the devouring gulfs, yet not so fear- 
ful as to turn back, but on he goeth, come on it what will ; 
because he knoweth that the place which he goeth to is 
most desirable, and mortality will soon end his old prospe- 
rity ; and he hath great reason to believe his pilot to be 

By all this you may see how it cometh to pass that 
Christ who promiseth life'to believers, doth yet make self- 
denial, and forsaking all that we have, even life itself, to be 
also necessary ; and what relation self-denial hath to faith : 
Luke xiv. 26. 33. nearer by far than most consider. You 
may see here the reason why Christ tried the rich man, 
(Luke xviii. 22.) with selling all, and following him in hope 
of a reward in heaven. And why he bid his disciples, 
(Luke xii. 33.) " Sell that ye have and give alms ; provide 
yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the hea- 
vens which faileth not." And why the first Christians 

were made a pattern of entire Christianity, by selling all, 
and laying down at the apostle's feet ; and Ananias and Sap- 
phira were the instances of hypocrisy, who secretly and ly- 
ingly kept back part. You see here how it comes to pass, 
that all true Christians must be heart-martyrs, or prepared 
to die for Christ and heaven, rather that forsake him. You 
may plainly perceive that faith itself is an affiance or trust- 


ing in God by Christ, even a trusting in God in heaven as 
our felicity, and in Christ as the Mediator and the way ; and 
that this trust is a venturing all upon him, and a forsaking 
all for God, and his promises in Christ. And that it is one 
and the same motion, which from the 'terminus a quo' is 
called repentance and forsaking all ; and from the * termi- 
nus ad quem' is called trust and love. They that are willing 
to see, may profit much by this observation ; and they that 
are not may quarrel at it, and talk against that which their 
prejudice will not allow them to understand. 

And by all this you may see also wherein the strength 
of faith consisteth : and that is, 1. In so clear a sight of the 
evidences of truth as shall leave no considerable doubtings ; 
Matt. xxi. 21. So Abraham " staggered not at the promise 
of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving 
glory to God ;" Rom. iv. 

2. In so confirmed a resolution to cleave to God and 
Christ alone, as leaveth no wavering, or looking back ; that 
we may say groundedly with Peter, ** Though I die, I will 
not deny thee ;" which doubtless signified then some strength 
of faith : and as Paul, ** I am ready not only to be bound, 
but to die for the name of the Lord Jesus ;" Acts xxi. 13. 

3. In so strong a fortitude of soul, as to venture and give 
up ourselves, our lives, and all our comforts and hopes into 
the hand of Christ, without any trouble or sinful fears, and 
to pass through all difficulties and trials in the way, without 
any distrust or anxiety of mind. These be the characters of 
a strong and a great degree of faith. 

And you may note how Heb. xi. describeth faith com- 
monly by this venturing and forsaking all upon the belief of 
God. As in Noah's case, ver. 7. and in Abraham's leaving 
his country, ver. 8. and in his sacrificing Isaac, ver. 17. and 
in Moses forsaking Pharaoh's court, and choosing the re- 
proach of Christ, rather than the pleasures of sin for a sea- 
son, ver. 24 — 26. and in the Israelites venturing into the Red 
Sea, ver. 29. and in Rahab's hiding the spies, which must 
needs be her danger in her own country. And in all those, 
who "by faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, 
obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched 
the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword ; out of 

weakness were made strong. Others were tortured, not 

accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resur- 


rection ; and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourg- 
ings ; yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonments ; they 
were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were 
slain with the sword ; they wandered about in sheep-skins, 
and goat-skins, beingdestitute,afflicted, tormented, of whom 
the world was not worthy : they wandered in deserts and 
mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth." And in 
Heb. X. 32, 33, &c. " They endured a great fight of afflic- 
tion ; partly whilst they were made a gazing-stock, both by 
reproaches and afflictions ; and partly whilst they became 
companions of them that were so used. And took joy- 
fully the spoilingof their goods, knowing in themselves that 
they had in heaven a better a and an enduring substance. 
And thus the just do live by faith ; but if any man draw 
back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him, saith the Lord." 
See also Rom. viii. 33. 36, 37, &c. 

These are the Spirit's descriptions of faith ; but if you 
will rather take a whimsical, ignorant man's description, 
who can only toss in his mouth the name of free grace, and 
knoweth not of what he speaketh, or what he affirmeth, or 
what that name signiiieth, which he clieateth his own soul 
with, instead of true free grace itself, you must suffer the 
bitter fruits of your own delusion. For my part I shall say 
thus much more, to tell you why I say so much, to help 
you to a right understanding of the nature of true Christian 

1. If you understand not truly what faith is, you under- 
stand not what religion it is that you profess. And so you 
call yourselves Christians, and know not what it is. It seems 
those that said, ** Lord, we have eaten and drunken in thy 
presence, and prophesied in thy name," did think they had 
been true believers ; Matt. vii. 21, 22. 

2. To err about the nature of true faith, will engage 
you in abundance of other errors, which will necessarily 
arise from that; as it did them, against whom James disput- 
eth (James ii. 14, 15, &c.) about justification by faith and 
by works. 

3. It will damnably delude your souls, about your own 
state, and draw you to think that you have saving faith, be- 
cause you have that fancy which you thought was it. One 
comes boldly to Christ. ** Master I will follow thee whither- 
soever thou goest ;" Matt. viii. 19. But when he heard. 


" The foxes have holes, and the birds have nests, but the Son 
of Man hath not where to lay his head," we hear no more of 
him. And another came with a ** Good Master, what shall 
I do to inherit eternal life ?" (Luke xviii. 13.) as if he would 
have been one of Christ's disciples, and have done any thing 
for heaven. (And it is like that he would have been a Chris- 
tian, if free grace had been as large, and as little grace, as 
some now imagine.) But when he heard, " Yet lackest 
thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the 
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. Come, fol- 
low me : he was then very sorrowful, for he was very rich ;" 
Luke xviii. 21 — 23. Thousands cheat their souls with a 
conceit that they are believers, because they believe that 
they shall be saved by free grace, without the faith and grace 
which Christ hath made necessary to salvation. 

4. And this will take off all those needful thoughts and 
means, which should help you to the faith, which yet you 
have not. 

5. And it will engage you in perverse disputes against 
that true faith which you understand not. And you will 
think, that you are contending for free grace, and for the 
faith, when you are ** proud, knowing nothing, but sick or 
doting about questions," which engender no better birth 
than ** strifes, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings," 
&c. 1 Tim. vi. 4, 5. 

6. Lastly, You can scarce more dishonour the Christian 
religion, nor injure God and our Mediator, or harden men in 
infidelity, than by fathering your ill shapen fictions on Christ, 
and calling them the Christian or justifying faith. 

Direct. 29. * Take not all doubts and fears of your sal- 
vation, to be the proper effects and signs of unbelief; seeing 
that in many they arise from the misunderstanding of the 
meaning of God's promise, and in more from the doubtful- 
ness of their own qualifications, rather than from any unbe- 
lief of the promise, or distrust of Christ.' 

It is ordinary with ignorant Christians to say, that they 
cannot believe, because they doubt of their own sincerity 
and salvation : as thinking that it is the nature of true faith, 
to believe that they themselves are justified, and shall be 
saved ; and that to doubt of this, is to doubt of the promises, 
because they doubtingly apply it. Such distresses have 
false principles brought many to. But there are two other 


things besides the weakness of faith, which are usually th^ 
causes of all this. 1. Many mistake the meaning of Christ's 
covenant, and think that it hath no universality in it ; and 
that he died only for the elect, and promiseth pardon to 
none but the elect (no not on the condition of believing). 
And therefore thinking that they can have no assurance that 
they are elect, they doubt of the conclusion. 

And many of them think that the promise extendeth not 
to such as they, because of some sin or great unworthiness 
which they are guilty of. 

And others think that they have not that faith and repen- 
tance which are the condition of the promise of pardon and 
salvation : and in some of these the thing itself may be so ob- 
scure, as to be indeed the matter of rational doubtfulness. 
And in others of them, the cause may be either a mistake 
about the true nature and signs of faith and repentance ; or 
else a timorous, melancholy, causeless suspicion of them- 
selves ; but which of all these soever be the cause, it is some- 
thing different from proper unbelief or distrust of God. For 
he that mistaketh the extent of the promise, and thinketh 
that it belongeth not to such as he, would believe and trust 
it, if he understood it, that it extends to him as well as others. 
And he that doubteth of his own repentance and faith, may 
yet be confident of the truth of God's promise to all true, pe- 
nitent believers. 

I mention this for the cure of two mischiefs : the first is 
that of the presumptuous opinionist, who goeth to hell pre- 
suming that he hath true saving faith, because he confi- 
dently believeth, that he himself is pardoned, and shall be 
saved. The second is that of the perplexed, fearful Chris- 
tian, who thinks that all his uncertainty of his own sincerity, 
and so of his salvation, is properly unbelief, and so conclud- 
eth that he cannot believe, and shall not be saved: because 
he knoweth not that faith is such a belief and trust in Christ, 
as will bring us absolutely and undeservedly to venture our 
all upon him alone. 

And yet I must tell all these persons, that all this while 
it is ten to one, but there is really a great deal of unbelief in 
them which they know not. And that their belief of the 
truth of the immortality of the soul, and the life to come, 
and of the Gospel itself, is not so strong and firm, as their 
never doubting of it would intimate, or as some of their de- 


finitions of faith, and their book-opinions and disputes im- 
port. And it had been well for some of them, that they had 
doubted more, that they might have believed, and have set- 
tled better. 

Direct. 30. * Think often of the excellencies of the life of 
faith, that the motives may be still inducing you thereto.' 

As, 1. It is but reasonable that God should be trusted ; 
or else indeed we deny him to be God ; Psal. xx. 7. 

2. What else shall we trust to? Shall we deify crea- 
tures, and say to a stock, " Thou art my Father ?" Jer. ii. 27, 
Lam. i. 19. Shall we distrust God, and trust a liar and a 
worm ? 

3. Trying times will shortly come ; and then woe to the 
soul that cannot trust in God ! Then nothing else will serve 
our turns. Then ** cursed be the man that trusteth in man, 
and maketh flesh his arm, and withdraweth his heart from 
the Lord ; he shall be like the barren wilderness, &c. Then 
none that trusted in him shall be ashamed ;" Jer. xvii. 5, 6. 
Psal. XXV. 3, 4. Ixxiii. 26—28. 

4. God's all-sufficiency leaveth no reason for the least 
distrust. There is the most absolute certainty that God 
cannot fail us, because his veracity is grounded on his es- 
sential perfections. 

5. No witness could ever stand up against the life of 
faith, and say that he lost by trusting God, or that ever God 
deceived any. 

6. The life of faith is a conquest of all that would dis- 
tress the soul, and it is a life of constant peace and quietness : 
yea, it feasteth the soul upon the everlasting joys. Though 
the mountains be removed ; though this world be turned 
upside down, and be dissolved ; whether poverty or wealth, 
sickness or health, evil report or good, persecution or pros- 
perity befal us ; how little are we concerned in all this ! 
And how little should they do to disturb the peace and com- 
fort of that soul, who believeth that he shall live with God 
for ever. Many such considerations should make us more 
willing to live by faith upon God's promises, than to live by 
sense on transitory things. 

Direct, 3L ' Renew your covenant with Christ in his 
holy sacrament, frequently, understandingly and seriously.' 

For, 1. When we renew our covenant with Christ, then 
Christ reneweth his covenant with us ; and that with great 


advantage to our faith. 1. In an appointed ordinance which 
he will bless. 2. By a special minister appointed to seal 
and deliver it to us as in his name. 3. By a solemn, sacra- 
mental investiture. 

2. And our own renewing our covenant with him, is the 
renewed exercise of faith, which will tend to strengthen it, 
and to shew us that we are indeed believers. And there is 
much in that sacrament to help the strengthening of faith : 
therefore the frequent and right using of it, is one of God*s 
appointed means, to feed and maintain our spiritual life ; 
which if we neglect, we wilfully starve our faith ; 1 Cor. xi. 
26. 28, &c. 

Direct. 32. * Keep all your own promises to God and man.' 
For, 1. Liars always suspect others. 2. Guilt breedeth 
suspiciousness. 3. God in justice may leave you to your 
distrust of him, when you will be perfidious yourselves. 
You can never be confident in God, while you deal falsely 
with him or with others. "The end of the commandment 
is charity out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith 
unfeigned ;" 1 Tim. i. 5. 

Direct. 33. * Labour to improve your belief of every pro- 
mise, for the increase of holiness and obedience : and to get 
more upon your souls that true image of God in his power, 
wisdom and goodness, which will make it easy to you to be- 
lieve him.' 

1. The more the hypocrite seemeth to believe the pro- 
mise, the more he boldly ventureth upon sin, and disobey- 
eth the precept; because it was but fear that restrained him; 
and his belief is but presumption abating fear. But the more 
a true Christian belie veth, the more he flyethfrom sin, and 
useth God's means, and studieth more exact obedience ; and 
'* having these promises, laboureth to cleanse himself from 
all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the 
fear of God;" 2 Cor. vii. \. "And receiving a kingdom 
which cannot be moved, we must serve God acceptably with 
reverence and godly fear ;" Heb. xii. 28, 29. 

2. The more like the soul is to God, the easier it will be- 
lieve ?and trust him. As faith causeth holiness, so every 
part of holiness befriendeth faith. Now the three great im- 
pressions of the Trinity upon us are expressed distinctly by 
the apostle ; " For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, 


but of power, of love, and of a sound mind;*' 2 Tim. i. 7. 
* TTvevfia ^uva/i£Ct>c, Km dyaTrr^g, Kai a(i)(^poviafiH,' Power, love, 
and a sound mind or understanding, do answer God's nature 
as the face in the glass doth answer our face, and therefore 
cannot choose but trust him. 

Direct. 34. ' Lay up in your memory, particular, pertinent 
and clear promises, for every particular use of faith.' 

The number is not so much ; but be sure that they be 
plain and well understood, that you may have no cause to 
doubt whether they mean any such thing indeed or not. Here 
some will expect that I should do this for them, and gather 
them such promises. Two things dissuade me from doing 
it at large. 1. So many books have done it already. 2. It 
will swell this book too big : but take these few. 

1. For forgiveness of all sins, and justification to peni- 
tent believers. 

"Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a 
Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and for- 
giveness of sins ;" Acts v. 31. 

" Be it known unto you, that through this man is 
preached unto you the forgiveness of sins ; and by him all 
that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could 
not be justified by the law of Moses ;" Acts xiii. 38, 39. 

" To open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to 
light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may 
receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them 
that are sanctified, by faith, that is in me ;" Acts xxvi. 18. 

" If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to for- 
give us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteous- 
ness ;" 1 John i. 9. 

" I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and 
their sins and iniquities I will remember no more ;" Heb. 
viii. 12. 

" To him give all the prophets witness, that through his 
name, whoever believeth in him shall receive remission of 
sins;" Actsx. 43. 

** That repentance and remission of sins should be 
preached in his name to all nations ;" Luke xxiv. 47. 

2. Promises of salvation from hell, and possession of 

" God so loved the world, that he gave his only begot- 


ten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, 
but have everlasting life. He that believeth on him is not 
condemned. He that believeth on the Son, hath ever- 
lasting life ;" John iii. 16. 18. 36. ** And this is the record 
that God hath given us, eternal life ; and this is in his Son. 
He that hath the Son, hath life ;" 1 John v. 11, 12. 

Acts xxvi. 18. Before cited. " Christ Jesus came into 
the world to save sinners ;" 1 Tim. i. 15. 

" He is able to save to the uttermost all that come to 
God by him;" Heb. vii. 25. 

" And being made perfect, he became the Author of eter- 
nal salvation to all them that obey him ;" Heb. v. 9. 

" He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved ;" 
Mark xvi. 16. 

" By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved ;" John 
X. 9. 

*' My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they 
follow me, and I will give unto them eternal life, and they 
shall never perish ;" John x. 27, 28. 

" Being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from 

wrath through him. Much more being reconciled, we 

shall be saved by his life ;" Rom. v. 9, 10. See Luke xviii. 
30. John iv. 14. vi. 27. 40.47. xii. 50. Rom.vi.22. Gal.vi. 
8. 1 Tim. i. 16. 

3. Promises of reconciliation, adoption, and acceptance 
with God through Christ. 

" God hath reconciled-us to himself by Jesus Christ, and 
hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation ; to wit, that 
God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not 
imputing their trespasses to them, and hath committed to us 
the word of reconciliation. 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 : for he 
hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we 
might be made the righteousness of God in him ;" 2 Cor. v. 

" Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ ; by whom also we have ac- 
cess by faith, into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice 

in hope of the glory of God. When we were enemies 

we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son ; Rom. 
\. 1, 2. 10. 


" I will dwell in them, and walk in them ; and I will be 
their God, and they shall be my people. I will receive you, 
and be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and 
daughters, saith the Lord Almighty ;" 2 Cor. vi. 16 — 18. 

" There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ 
Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ;" 
Rom. viii. 1. 

" As many as received him, to them gave he power to 
become the sons of God ; even to them that believe on his 
name : which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the 
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God ;" John i. 12. 

" In every nation he that feareth God and worketh righ- 
teousness, is accepted of him ;" Acts x. 35. 

" He hath made us accepted in the beloved ;" Ephes. i. 6. 
ii. 14. 16. Col. i. 20. 

" The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved 
me, and believed that I came out from God ;" John xvi. 27. 

4. Promises of renewed pardon of sins after conversion. 
** If any man 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 for the sins of the whole 
world;" 1 John ii. 1,2. 

" Forgive us our trespasses. For if we forgive men 

their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you ;" 

Matt. vi. 14. 

" If he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him ;" 
James v. 15. 

" I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall 
be forgiven unto men ; but the blasphemy against the Spi- 
rit;" Matt. xii. 31. 

*' Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ;" Psal. ciii. 3. 

" If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive 
us our sins ;" 1 John i. 9. 

5. Promises of the Spirit of sanctification to believers ; 
and of Divine assistances of grace. 

" How much more shall your heavenly Father give the 
Holy Spirit to them that ask him ;" Luke xi. 13. 

" If any man thirst let him come to me and drink. He 
that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his 
belly shall flow rivers of living water. This he spake of the 

Spirit, which they that believe on him shall receive ;" 

John vii. 37—39. 


" If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is, thou 

wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee 
living waters ;" John iv. 10. 14. 

** A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will 
I put within you : and I will take away the stony heart out 
of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh : and I will 
put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my sta- 
tutes ;" Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. 

** And 1 will give them one heart, and I will put a new 
Spirit within you ;" Ezek. xi. 19. 

" Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name 
of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive 
the gift of the Holy Ghost : for the promise is to you, and 
to your children, and to all that are afar off", even as many as 
the Lord our God shall call ;" Acts ii. 38, 39. 

" And because you are sons, God hath sent forth the 
Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father ;" 
Gal. iv. 6. 

" Turn you, at my reproof; behold I will pour out my 
Spirit unto you ; I will make known my words unto you ;'* 
Prov. i. 23. 

" Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities ; for we 
know not what we should pray for as we ought ; but the 
Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which 
cannot be uttered ;" Rom. viii. 26. 

6. Promises of God's giving his grace lo all that truly 
desire and seek it. 

*' Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righ- 
teousness, for they shall be filled ;" Matt. v. 6. 

" 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. 
Hearken diligently to me, and eat ye that which is good, 
and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, 
and come unto me ; hear and your soul shall live, and I will 

make an everlasting covenant with you. Seek ye the 

Lord while he may be found ; call upon him while he is near;" 
Isa. Iv. 1. 6. 

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

7. Promises of God's giving us all that we pray for ac- 
cording to his promises and will. 


" Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek and ye shall find ; 
knock, and it shall be opened to you : for every one that 
asketh, receiveth ; and he that seeketh, findeth ; and to him 

that knocketh, it shall be opened. If ye being evil know 

how to give good gifts unto your children ; how much more 
shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to 
them that ask him?" Matt. vii. 7, 8. 11. 

" Pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father 
which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly;" Matt.vi.6. 

*' If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall 
ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you;" Johnxiv. 
13, 14. XV. 16. xvi. 23. xv. 7. 

" And this is the confidence which we have in him, that 
if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. 
And if we know that he heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we 
know that we have the petitions which we desired of him ;" 
1 Johnv. 14, 15. 

" And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we 
keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleas- 
ing in his sight ;" 1 John iii. 22. 

" The prayer of the upright is his delight. He heareth 

the prayer of the righteous ;" Prov. xv. 8. 29. 

'* The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his 
ears are open to their prayers ;" 1 Pet. iii. 12. 

8. That God will accept weak prayers and groans, which 
want expressions, if they be sincere. 

" The Spirit helpeth our infirmities. The Spirit itself 

maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be 
uttered ; and he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is 
the mind of the Spirit;" Rom. viii. 26, 27. 

" Crying, Abba, Father ;" Gal. iv. 6. 

" I remembered God, and was troubled, and my spirit 
was overwhelmed ;" Psal. Ixxvii. 3. 

" Lord, all my desire is before thee, and my groaning is 
not hid from thee ;" Psal. xxxviii. 9. 

"God be merciful unto me a sinner;" Luke xviii. 14. 

9. Promises of all things in general which we want, and 
which are truly for our good. 

" For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will 
give grace and glory : no good thing will he withhold from 
them that walk uprightly ;" Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. 

" O fear the Lord, ye his saints ; for there is no want to 


them that fear him They that seek the Lord shall not 

want any good thing;" Psal. xxxiv. 9, 10. 

" All things work together for good to them that love 

God He that spared not his own Son, but gave him up 

for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all 
things ?" Rom. viii. 28. 32. 

" Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added to you ;" Matt, vk 33. 

** According as his Divine Power hath given us ail 
things that pertain to life and godliness ;" 2 Pet. i. 3. 

" But godliness is profitable to all things, having the 
promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to 
come ;" 1 Tim. iv. 8. 

10. Promises of a blessing on them that sincerely hear 
and read God's word, and use his sacraments and other 

" Incline your ear and come unto me ; hear and your 
souls shall live ;" Isa. Iv. 3. 

Read the eunuch's conversion, in Acts viii., who was 
reading the Scripture in his chariot. 

" Laying aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisy, 
and envies, and evil speakings, as newborn babes desire 
the milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby ;" 1 Pet. ii. 1. 
" Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the 
words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are 
written therein ;" Rev. i. 3. 

" Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of 

the ungodly But his delight is in the law of the Lord, 

and in his law doth he meditate day and night ;" Psal. i. 1, 2. 
" Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth 
them, I will liken him to a wise man, that built his house 
upon a rock," &c. ; Matt. vii. 24, 25. 

" Rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and 
do it;" Luke viii. 21. 

" Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be 
taken from her;" Luke x. 42. 

" If any man have ears to hear, let him hear And 

unto you that hear shall more be given ;" Mark iv. 

23, 24. 

" Who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy 
household shall be saved ;" Acts xi. 14. 

" Take heed to thyself and unto the doctrine, and con- 


tinue therein; for in doing this thou shall both save thy- 
self, and them that hear thee ;" 1 Tim. iv. 16. 

"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound! 
they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance ; 

in thy name shall they rejoice all the day ;" Psal. 

Ixxxix. 15. 

** The word of God is quick and powerful," &c. ; Heb. 
iv. 12. 

" The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the com- 
munion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, 
is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" 1 Cor. x. 16. 
" For where two or three are gathered together in my 
name, there am I in the midst of them;" Matt, xviii. 20. 

** And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of 
Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke 
by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night ; for up- 
on all the glory shall be a defence ;" Isa. iv. 5. 
11. Promises to the humble, meek and lowly. 
" Blessed are the poor in spirit ; for their's is the king- 
dom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn; for they 
shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek; for they shall 
inherit the earth ;" Matt. v. 3—5. 

" Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest. 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 : for my yoke is easy, and 
my burden is light;" Matt. xi. 28, 29. 

" The Lord is nigh to them that are of a broken heart, 

and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit ;" Psal. xxxiv. 18. 

" The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : a broken 

and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise ;" Psal . 

li. 17. 

" For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth 
eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in height and holiness 
(or in the high and holy place), with him also that is of a 
contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to 
revive the heart of the contrite ones;" Isa. Ivii. 15. 

" To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, 
and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word ;" Isa. 
Ixvi. 2. 

" The Spirit of the Lord is upon me : he hath anointed 
me to preach the Gospel to the poor : he hath sent me to 


heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the cap- 
tives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at 
liberty them that are bruised — ;" Luke iv. 18. 

" He giveth grace to the humble ;" James iv. 6. 

" Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, 
the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven ;" Matt, 
xviii. 4. 

" He that shall humble himself shall be exalted ;" Matt, 
xxiii. 12. 

" Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he 
shall lift you up;" James iv. 10. 

" He giveth grace to the lowly;" Prov. iii. 34. 

12. Promises to the peaceable and peace-makers. 

" Blessed are the peace-makers ; for they shall be called 
the children of God ;" Matt. v. 9. 

** The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, 

gentle, easy to be entreated And the fruit of righteousness 

is sown in peace, of them that make peace;" James iii. 
17, 18. 

"Be perfect; be of good comfort; be of one mind; 
live in peace ; and the God of love and peace shall be with 
you;" 2 Cor. xiii. 11. 

"To the counsellors of peace is joy;" Prov. xii. 20. 

" The God of peace shall be with you, &c. shall bruise 
Satan under your feet shortly— — Grace and peace are the 
blessing of saints ;" Rom. xv. 33. xvi. 20. Phil. iv. 9. 

13. Promises to the diligent and laborious Christian. 

" He that cometh to God, must believe that God is, and 
that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him ;" 
Heb. xi. 6. 

"The soul of the diligent shall be made fat;" Prov. 
xiii. 4. 

" Be stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work 
of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not 
in vain in the Lord ;" 1 Cor. xv. 58. 

" Give diligence to make your calling and election sure ; 
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail ;" 2 Pet. i. 10. 

" Give all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to vir- 
tue knowledge, &c. For if these things be in you, and 
abQund, they make you that you shall neither be barren 



nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ ;'' 
2 Pet. i. 5, 8. 

'* Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, 
we may be accepted of him;" 2 Cor. v. 9. 

" Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added to you ;" Matt. vi. 33. 

" Every man shall receive his own reward, according to 
his own labour;" 1 Cor. iii. 8. 

" The kingdom of heaven sufFereth violence, and the 
violent take it by force;" Matt. xi. 12. See Prov. iii. 13, 
&c. iv. to xiv. vi. 20, &c. vii. 1, &c. viii. and ix. throughout. 

14. Promises to the patient waiting Christian* 

'* And we desire that every one of you do shew the same 
diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end, that 
ye be not slothful, but followers of them, who through faith 
and patience inherit the promises;" Heb. vi. 11, 12. 

" Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh pa- 
tience ; but let patience have its perfect work, that ye may 
be perfect and entire, wanting nothing ;" James i. 3, 4. 

" Wait on the Lord ; be of good courage, and he shall 
strengthen thine heart ; wait, I say, on the Lord ;" Psal, 
xxvii. 14. 

" Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him Those 

that wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth. Wait on the 
Lord, and keep his way ; he shall exalt thee to inherit the 
land ;" Psal. xxxvii. 7. 9. 34. 

" Wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee ;" Prov. xx. 22. 

" Blessed are all they that wait for him;" Isa. xxx. 18. 

" They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength ; 
they shall mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run, 
and not be weary ; they shall walk, and not be faint ;" Isa. 
xL 31. 

" They shall not be ashamed that wait for me ;" Isa. 
xlix. 23. 

'* The Lord is good to them that wait for him ; to the 
soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should hope, 
and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord ;" Lam. iii. 25, 26. 

" But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with 
patience wait for it ;" Rom. viii. 25. 

" For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righte- 
ousness by faith ;" Gal. v. 5. 


" The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and 
into the patient waiting for Christ ;" 2 Thess. iii. 5. 

** To them who by patient continuance in well doing, 
seek for glory, honour and immortality, eternal life ;'* Rom. 
ii. 7. 

'* Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the 
will of God, ye may inherit the promise ;" Heb. x. 36. 

15. Promises to sincere obedience. 

** Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they 
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through 
the gates into the city ;" Rev. xxii. 14. 

" Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we 
keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleas- 
ing in his sight ;" 1 John iii. 22. ** He that keepeth his 
commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him ;" ver. 24. 

" He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, 
he it is that loveth me : and he that loveth me, shall be 
loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest 
myself to him;" John xiv. 21. 

" If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my 
love ; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and 
abide in his love ;" John xv. 10. 

"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is no- 
thing, but the keeping of the commandments of God ;" 
1 Cor. vii. 19. See Psal. cxii. 1. cxix. 6. P^o^r. i. 20—22, 
&c. Isa. xlviii. 18. Psal. xix. 8, 9, &c. 

" He became the author of eternal salvation to all 
them that obey him ;" Heb. v. 9. 

" Here are they that keep the commandments of God, 
and the faith of Jesus ;" Rev. xiv. 12. 

" For this is the love of God, that we keep his com- 
mandments ;" 1 John V. 3. 

" Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter : fear 
God, and keep his commandments ; for this is the whole 
duty of man; for God shall bring every work into judg- 
ment," &c. ; Eccles. xii. 13, 14. 

** Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall aee God ;" 
Matt. V. 8. 

" You see then how that by works a man is justified, 
j^nd not by faith only ;" James ii. 24. 

*' Who will render to every man according to his deeds : 


to them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for 
glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life — glory, 

honour and peace to every man that worketh good Rom. 

ii. 6, 7. 10. 

" In every nation he that feareth God, and worketh 
righteousness, is accepted with him;" Acts x. 35. 
" Of obedience unto righteousness;" Rom. vi. 16. 
'* He that^oth righteousness is righteous, even as he is 
righteous ;" 1 John iii. 7. 

" The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace ;*' James 
iii. 18. 

** He that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap 
life everlasting ;" Gal. vi. 8. 

** If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the 
body, ye shall live ;" Rom. viii. 13. 

16. Promises to them that love God. 
** All things work together for good to them that love 
•God ;" Rom. viii. 28. 

" Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered 
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared 
for them that love him ;" 1 Cor. ii. 9. 

" He shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath 
promised to them that love him ;" James i. 12. 

" Rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath 
promised to them that love him ;" James ii. 5. 

" He that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I 

will love him, and will manifest myself to him ;" John xiv. 21. 

" I love them that love me ;" Pro v. viii. 17. 

*' If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will 

pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, 

that he may abide with you for ever ;" John xiv. 15. 

" The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved 

me, and believed ;" John xvi. 27. 

17. Promises to them that love the godly, and that are 
merciful, and do the works of love. 

" By this shall all men know, that ye are my disciples, 
if ye have love one to another ;" John xiii. 35. 

" In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any 
thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. 
— — By love serve one another ; for the law is fulfilled in 
one word, even in this ; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 


thyself. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long- 
suffering, gentleness, goodness Against such there is no 

law ;" Gal. v. 6. 13, 14. 22. 

" God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour 
of love;" Heb. vi. 10. 

" We know that we have passed from death to life, be- 
cause we love the brethren. My little children, let us not 
love in word, neither in tongue ; but in deed and in truth : 
and hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall as- 
sure our hearts before him ;" I John iii. 14. 18, 19. 

" Beloved, let us love one another ; for love is of God, 
and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God 

God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in 

God, and God in him. If we love one another, God dwelleth 
in us, and his love is perfected in us ;" 1 John iv. 7. 16. 12. 
" God loveth a cheerful giver. He that soweth bounti- 
fully, shall reap bountifully ;" 2 Cor. ix. 7. 6. 

'* Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy ;" 
Matt. V. 7. 

** He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, 
shall receive a prophet's reward ; and he that receiveth a 
righteous man, in the name of a righteous man, shall re- 
ceive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give 
to drink unto one of these little ones, a cup of cold water only 
in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in 
no wise lose his reward ;" Matt. x. 41, 42. 

** Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom — 
Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto 
one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto 

me The righteous shall go into life eternal ;" Matt. xxv. 

34. 40. 46. 

" But to do good, and to communicate, forget not ; for 
with such sacrifices God is well pleased ;" Heb. xiii. 16. 

" I desire fruit that may abound to your account ;" Phil, 
iv. 17. 

" As it is written. He hath dispersed abroad ; he hath 
given to the poor : his righteousness remaineth for ever j" 
2 Cor. ix. 9. 

18. Promises to the poor and needy Christian. 
" If God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, 
and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much 
more clothe you, O ye of little faith ? Your heavenly Fa- 


ther kuoweth that ye have need of all these things. But 
seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added to you ;" Matt. vi. 30* 
32, 33. 

" Let your conversations be without covetousness, and 
be content with such things as ye have : for he hath said, I 
will never fail thee nor forsake thee ;" Heb. xiii. 5. 

** Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in 
faith, and heirs of the kingdom ?" James ii. 5. 

*• They that seek the Lord shall not want any good 
thing '" Psal. xxxiv. 10. 

" The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want ;" Psal. 
xxiii. 1. 

" My God shall supply all your need ;" Psal. iv. 19. 
'* I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to 
be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know 
how to abound ; every where, and in all things I am in- 
structed, both to be full, and to be hungry ; both to abound, 
and to suffer need ;" Phil. iv. 11 — 13. 

" The needy shall not always be forgotten : the expecta- 
tion of the poor shall not perish for ever ;" Psal. ix. 18. 
19. Promises to the oppressed and wronged Christian. 
** For the oppression of the poor, and for the sighing of 
the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord : I will set him 

in safety from him that puffeth at him Thou shalt keep 

them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation 
for ever ;" Psal. xii. 5 — 7. 

'* All my bones shall say. Lord, who is like unto thee, 
which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for 
him ; yea the poor and needy from him that spoileth him ;'' 
Psal. xxxv. 10. 

** But I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh on 
me ; thou art my helper and deliverer ;" Psal. xl. 17. 

"He shall judge thy people with righteousness; and 

thy poor with judgment. He shall judge the poor of the 

people ; he shall save the children of the needy ; and shall 
break in pieces the oppressor. For he shall deliver the 
needy when he crieth ; the poor also, and him that hath no 
helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save 
the souls of the needy : he shall redeem their souls from 
deceit and violence ; and precious shall their blood be in 
his sight;" Psal. Ixxii. 2. 4. 12~-14. 


" He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the 
needy out of the dunghill ;*' Psal. cxiii. 7. See Isa. xxv. 
3—5. xiv. 30. Zech. ix. 8. Isa. li. 13. 

** If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent 
perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel 
not at the matter : for he that is higher than the highest, 
regardeth ; and there be higher than they ;" Eccles. v. 8. 

20. Promises to the persecuted who suffer for righte- 

*' Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteous- 
ness' sake ; for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed 
are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and 
say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Re- 
joice, and be exceeding glad ; for great is your reward in 
heaven : for so persecuted they the prophets which were 
before you ;" Matt. v. 10—12. 

" Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to 

kill the soul Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? 

and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your 
Father : but the very hairs of your head are all numbered : 
fear you not therefore ; ye are of more value than many 
sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before 
men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in 
heaven. He that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it;" 
Matt. X. 28—32. 39. 

" And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, 
or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, 
for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall 
inherit everlasting life ;" Matt. xix. 29. 

" Your patience and faith in all your persecutions and 
tribulations that ye endure : which is a manifest token of 
the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted 
worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer : 
seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribu- 
lation to them that trouble |you ; and to you who are trou- 
bled, rest with us — when Christ shall come to be glorified 

in his saints, and admired in all them that believe ;" 

2 Thess. i. 4—6. 

" Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Acts ix. 4. 

Read Rom. viii. 28. to the end. Rev. ii. iii. Heb.xi. xii, 

** There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is 
common to man : but God is faithful, who will not suft'er 


you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the 
temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able 
to bear it ;" 1 Cor. x. 13. 

** I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds ; but 
the word of God is not bound : I endure all things for tht 

elect's sake It is a faithful saying : For if we be dead with 

him, we shall also live with him : if we suffer, we shall also 
reign with him ;" 2 Tim. ii. 9 — 12. 

*' If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also 
glorified together. For I reckon that the suff'erings of this 
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory 
which shall be revealed in us ;" Rom. viii. 17, 18. 

'* For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, 
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory ;" 2 Cor. iv. 17. 

" But if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye : 
and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; " 1 Pet. 
iii. 14, 15. Read 1 Pet. iv. 12—16. 18, 19. Rom. v. 1—4. 

" The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eter- 
nal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, 
make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you — ;" 1 Pet. 
V. 10." 

21. Promises to the faithful in dangers, daily and ordi^ 
nary, or extraordinary. 

" The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them 
that fear him; and delivereth them. The righteous cry, 
and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their 
troubles. Many are the afflictions of the righteous ; but 
the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all 
his bones, not one of them is broken. The Lord redeemeth 
the soul of his servants ; and none of them that trust in 
him shall be desolate ;" Psal. xxxiv. 7. 17. 19, 20. 22. 

*' He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say 
of the Lord, He is my refuge, and my fortress ; my God, in 
him will I trust — Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare 
of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. Thou 
shalt not be afraid for the terror by night — For he shall give 
his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy 
foot against a stone ;" Psal. xci. 1 — 3. 5. 11, 12. Read the 


" My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven 
and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved ; he 
that keepeth thee will not slumber — The Lord is thy keeper ; 
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand : the Lord shall 
preserve thee from all evil ; he shall preserve thy soul. The 
Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, 
from this' time forth, and even for evermore ;" Psal. cxxi. 

** The Lord preserveth all them that love him — ;" Psal. 
cxlv. 20. 

" When thou passest through the waters, I will be with 
thee—;" Isa. xliii. 2. PsaL xxxi. 23. xcvii. 10. cxvi. 6. 
Prov. ii. 8. 

*' Casting all your care upon him ; for he careth for 
you ;" 1 Pet. v. 7. 

22. Promises for help against temptations, to believers. 

" The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of 
temptations ;" 2 Pet. ii. 9. 1 Cor. x. 13. before cited. 

Compare Matt. iv. Where Christ was tempted even to 
worship the devil, &c. with Heb. iv. 15. ii. 18. " For we 
have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the 
feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as 
we are, yet without sin — Wherefore in all things it behoved 
him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a 
merciful high priest, in things God-ward for us — For in 
that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to 
succour them that are tempted. 

'* My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers 
temptations (that is, by sufferings for Christ). Blessed is 
the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he 
shall receive the crown of life ;" James i. 2. 12. 

*' My grace is sufficient for thee : my strength is made 
perfect in weakness ;" 2 Cor. xii. 9. 

** I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth 
me ;" Phil. iv. 13. 

" Whom resist, stedfast in the faith ;" 1 Pet. v. 9, 10. 

** Resist the devil, and he will flee from you ;" James iv. 
7. Eph. vi. 10, 11, &c. 

" For sin shall not have dominion over you ; for ye are 
not under the law, but under grace ;" Rom. vi. 14. 

** Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world ;*' John 
xvi. 33. 


" This is the victory that overcometh the world, even 
our faith ;" 1 John v. 4. 

23. Promises to them that overcome and persevere. 
'* To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree 
of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God ;" 
Rev. ii. 7. 

" He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second 
death;" ver. 11. 

" To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hid- 
den manna, and will give him a white stone, &c. Be 
faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life ;" 
ver. 17. 10. 

" He that overcometh and keepeth my words unto the 
end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall 

rule them with a rod of iron Even as I received of my 

Father : and I will give him the morning-star;" ver. 26. 28. 
" He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in 
white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the 
book of life ; but I will confess his name before my Father, 
and before his angels. Him that overcometh will I make a 
pillar in the temple of God, and he shall go no more out : 
and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the 
name of the city of my God, New Jerusalem, which cometh 
down out of heaven from my God, and my new name ;'» 
Rev.iii.5. 12. 

'* To him that overcometh will I grant to sit down with 
me on my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down 
with my Father on his throne ;" ver. 21. 

" If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples 
indeed ; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall 
make you free;" John viii. 31. 

" To present you holy and unblamable, and unreprov- 
able in his sight ; if ye continue in the faith; grounded and 
settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gos- 
pel—" Col. i. 22, 23. 

'* If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall 
ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you ;" John xv. 7. 
" He that endureth to the end shall be saved;" Matt. 
X. 22. 

24. Promises to believers in sickness and at death. 

" But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, 


that we should not be condemned with the wo,rld ;" 1 Cor. 
xi. 32. 

" For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth,and scourgeth 
every son whom he receiveth : if ye endure chastening, 
God dealeth with you as with sons— — Shall we not be in 

subjection to the Father of Spirits, and live But he for 

our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness : No 
chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but griev- 
ous ; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceful fruit of 
righteousness to them that are exercised thereby ;" Heb. xii. 

*' Is any sick, let them send for the elders of the church 

« ^The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord 

shall raise him up, and if he have committed sins, they shall 
be forgiven him ;" James v. 14. 

" He whom thou lovest is sick ;" John xi. 3. 

" Blessed is the man that considereth the poor: the 
Lord shall deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord shall 

preserve him and keep him alive The Lord will strengthen 

him upon the bed of languishing : thou wilt make all his 
bed in his sickness ;" Psal. xli. 1 — 3. 

" For we know that if our earthly house of this taber- 
nacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house 
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this 
we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon, with our 

house which is from heaven For we that are in this 

tabernacle do groan, being burdened ; not for that we would 
be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality may be swal- 
lowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the 
self same thing is God ; who also hath given to us the ear- 
nest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, 
knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are ab- 
sent from the Lord. (For we walk by faith, not by sight :) 
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent 
from the body, and to be present with the Lord ;" 2 Cor. v. 
1, &c. 

" Now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whe- 
ther it be by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, 

and to die is gain 1 am in a strait betwixt two, having a 

desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better;" 
Phil. i. 20, 21.23. 


" To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise ;" Luke 
xxiii. 43. 

** I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me, write. 
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from hence- 
forth ; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their 
labours, and their works do follow them ;" Rev. xiv. 13. 

" Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and 
blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that 
through death, he might destroy him that had the power 
of death, that is, the devil ; and deliver them who through 
fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage;" 
Heb. ii. 14. 

'* He that is our God, is the God of salvation, and to 
God the Lord belong the issues from death ;" Psal. Ixviii. 20. 
" Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and 
immortality to light by the Gospel;" 2 Tim. i. 10. 

*• O death ! where is thy sting? O grave ! where is thy 
victory ? The sting of death is sin ; and the strength of sin 
is the law : but thanks be to God, which giveth us the vic- 
tory through our Lord Jesus Christ ;" 1 Cor. xv. 54. 

25. Promises to persevering believers, of the resurrec- 
tion unto life, and of justification in judgment, and of glori- 

" He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that 
sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into con- 
demnation, but is passed from death to life The hour is 

coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his 
voice, and shall come forth ; they that have done good, to 
the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, to the 
resurrection of damnation ;" 1 Cor. xv. throughout. John 
V. 22. 24. 28, 29. 

" Because I live, ye shall live also ;" John xiv. 19. 
** If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are 
above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set 
your affections on things above, not on things on the earth : 
for ye are dead ; and your life is hid with Christ in God. 
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye 
also appear with him in glory ;" Col. iii. 1. 3, 4. 

" He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired 
in all them that believe ;" 2 Thess. i. 10. 

*• Come ye blessed, &c. The righteous into life eternal ;" 
Matt. XXV. 34. 46. 


" If any man serve me, let him follow me ; and where T 
am, there shall also my servant be. If any man serve me, 
him will my Father honour ;" John xii. 26. 

*' Let not your heart be troubled In my Father's 

house are many mansions 1 go to prepare a place for 

you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will 
come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am, 
there ye may be also ;" John xiv. 1 — 3. 

" Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given 
me, be with me where I am, that they may behold the glory 
which thou hast given me;" John xvii. 24. 

" Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my 
Father, and to your Father, to my God, and to your God ;" 
John ii. 17. 

'* Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? 
Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3. 

" Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted 
out, when the time of refreshing shall come from the pre- 
sence of the Lord ; and he shall send Jesus Christ ;" 

Actsiii. 19. H 

** Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the 
just;" Luke xiv. 14. 

Let the reader here take notice of that most important 
observation of Dr. Hammond, that avao-ram'c, the resurrection, 
doth often signify, in general * our living in the next world, 
or our next state of life' in the Scriptures ; and not the last 
resurrection only, unless it be called. The Resurrection of 
the Flesh, or of the Body, for distinction ; or the context 
have before explained it otherwise. By which 1 Cor. xv. 
and Christ's answer to the Sadducees,may be better under- 

" 26. Promises to the godly for their children, supposing 
them to be faithful in dedicating them to God, and educat- 
ing them in his holy ways. 

"Shewing mercy to thousands in them that love me, 
and keep my commandments ;" Exod. xx. commandment 2d. 
" For the promise is made to you, and to your children, 
and to all that are afar off," 8cc. ; Acts ii. 39. 
" His seed is blessed ;" Psal. xxxvii. 26. 
'* Else were your children unclean, but now are they 
holy ;" I Cor. vii. 14. 

" O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft would I have gathered 


thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens 
under her wings, and ye would not;" Matt, xxiii. 37. 

" Through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, '' 
Rom. xi. 11. Ver. 16 — 18, &c. shew that they were broken 
off by unbelief, and we are grafted in, and are holy as they 

" Go and disciple all nations, baptizing them," &c. ; 
Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 

That the promise might be sure to all the seed. The 
children of promise are counted for the seed ;" Rom. iv. 16. 

" Jesus said. Suffer little children, and forbid them not 
to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven;'' 
Matt. xix. 13, 14. 

27. Promises to the church, of its increase, and preser- 
vation, and perfection. 

" The kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms 
of the Lord, and of his Christ;" Rev. xi. 15. 

" He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of 
his kingdom there shall be no end ;" Luke i. 33. 

" The kingdom of heaven is like unto a grain of mustard- 
seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field : which is 
indeed the least of all seeds ; but when it is growri, it is the 
greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree ; so that the 

birds of the air lodge in the branches of it The kingdom 

of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid 
in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened;" 
Matt. xiii. 31. 33. 

" And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me ;" 
John xii. 32. 

" In the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven 
set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ; and the 
kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break 
in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall 
stand for ever ;'* Dan. ii. 44. 

" Upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates 
of hell shall not prevail against it;" Matt. xvi. 18. 

" For the perfecting of the saints ; for the work of the 
ministry; for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all 
come in the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the 
Son of God, unto a perfect man ; unto the measure of the 
stature of the fulness of Christ : that henceforth we may be 


no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with 
every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning 
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive ; but speak- 
ing the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, 
who is the Head, Christ : from whom the whole body fitly 
joined together and compacted, by that which every joint 
supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure 
of every part, maketh increase of the body to the edifying 
of itself in love;" Ephes. iv. 12. 16. 

" Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that 
he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water 
by the word ; that he might present it to himself a glorious 
church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing ; 
but that it should be holy, and without blemish ;" Ephes. v. 
26 — 27. Read Rev. xxi. xxii. 

" Lo, I am with you to the end of the world ;'' Matt, 
xxviii. 20. 

" And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in 
all the world for a witness to all nations ; and then shall 
the end come ;" Matt. xxiv. 14. 

" Whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken ; 
but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to pow- 
der ;" Matt. xxi. 44. 

The obscure prophetic passages I pass by. 
So much for living by faith on the promises of God. 


How Faith must be exercised on GocTs Threatenings and 


The exercise of faith upon God*s threatenings and judg- 
ments, m'ust be guided by such rules and helps at these : 

Direct, 1. * Think not either that Christ hath no threat- 
ening penal laws, or that there are none which are made for 
the use of believers.' 

If there were no penalties, or penal laws, there were no 
distinguishing government of the world. This Antinomian 
fancy destroyeth religion. And if there be threats, or penal 
laws, none can be expected to make so much use of them 
as true believers. 1. Because he that most believeth them, 


must needs be most affected with them. 2. Because all 
things are for them, and for their benefit; and it is they 
that must be moved by them to the fear of God, and an 
escaping of the punishment. 

And therefore they that object, that believers are passed 
already from death to life ; and that there is no condemna- 
tion to them; and they are already justified, and therefore 
have no use of threats or fears; do contradict themselves : 
for it will rather follow, ' Therefore they, and they only, do 
and will faithfully use the threatenings in godly fears.' For, 
1. Though they are justified, and passed from death to life, 
they have ever faith, in order of nature before their justifi- 
cation ; and he that believeth not God's threatenings with 
fear, hath no true faith. And, 2. They have ever inherent 
righteousness or sanctification, with their justification : and 
this faith is part of that holiness, and of the life of grace, 
which they are passed into. " For this is life eternal, to 
know the only true God, and Jesus Christ;" John xvii. 3. 
And he knoweth not God, who knoweth him not to be true. 
And this is part of our knowledge of Christ also, to know 
him as the infallible author of our faith, that is, of the Gos- 
pel, which saith not only, " He that believeth and is 
baptized, shall be saved;'' but also, "He that believeth 
not shall be damned ;" Mark xvi. 16. And this is the re- 
cord which God gave of his Son, which he that believeth 
not maketh him a liar ; " that God hath given us eternal life, 
and this life is in his Son : he that hath the Son, hath life ; 
and he that hath not the Son, hath not life;" 1 John v. 11, 
12. Yea as '* he that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting 
life; so he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but 
the wrath of God abideth on him ;" John iii. 36. And 
therefore, 3. The reason why there is no condemnation to 
us, is because believing, not part only, but all this word of 
Christ, we fly from sin and wrath, and are in Christ Jesus, 
as giving up ourselves to him, and " walk not after the flesh, 
but after the Spirit ;" being moved so to do both by the 
promises and threats of God. This is plain English, and 
plain and necessary truth, the greater is the pity, that many 
honest, well meaning Antinomians should fight against it, 
on an ignorant conceit of vindicating free grace : if the 
plain word of God were not through partiality overlooked 
by them, they might see enough to end the controversy in 


many and full expressions of Scripture, I will cite but 
three more. Matt. x. 28. Luke xii. 5. " But fear him who is 
able to destroy both soul and body in hell ; or when he hath 
killed, hath power to cast into hell ; yea, I say unto you, 
fear him." Doth Christ thus iterate that it is he that saith 
it, and saith it to his disciples ; and yet shall a Christian 
say, it must not be preached to disciples as the word of 
Christ to them? 

** Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of 
entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come 
short of it;" Heb. iv. 1. 

" By faith Noah being warned of God, of things not 
seen as yet (that is, of the deluge), moved with fear, pre- 
pared an ark, to the saving of his house ; by the which he 
condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness 
which is by faith ;" Heb. xi. 7. 

Note here, how much the belief of God's threatenings 
doth to the constitution of that faith which is justifying 
and saving. 

Direct, 2. * Judge not of God's threatenings by the evil 
which is threatened, but by the obedience to which the 
threatenings should drive us, and the evil from which they 
would preserve us, and the order of the world which they 
preserve, and the wisdom, and holiness, and justice of God, 
which they demonstrate.' 

When men think how dreadful a misery hell is, they are 
ready to think hardly of God, both for his threatening and 
execution ; as if it were long of him, and not of themselves, 
that they are miserable. And as it is a very hard thing to 
think of the punishment itself with approbation ; so is it 
also to think of the threatening, or law which binds men 
over to it ; or of the judgment which will pass the sentence 
on them. But think of the true nature, use and benefits of 
these threats or penal laws, and true reason, and faith will 
not only be reconciled to them ; but see that they are to be 
loved and honoured, as well as feared. 1. They are of 
great use to drive us to obedience. And it is easier to see 
the amiableness of God's commands, than of his threats : 
and obedience to these commands, is the holy rectitude, 
health and beauty of the soul. And therefore that which 
is a suitable and needful means, to promote obedience, is 



amiable and beneficial to us. Though love must be the 
principle or chief spring of our obedience ; yet he that 
knoweth not that fear must drive, as love must draw, and is 
necessary in its place to join with love, or to do that which 
the weaknesses of love leave undone, doth neither know 
what a man is, nor what God's word is, nor what his go- 
vernment is, nor what either magistracy, or any civil, or do- 
mestical government is ; and therefore should spend many 
years at school before he turneth a disputer. 

2. They are of use to keep up order in the world ; which 
could not be expected if it were not for God*s threatenings. 
If the world be so full of wickedness, rapine and oppres- 
sions, notwithstanding all the threatenings of hell, what 
could we expect it should be, if there were none such, but 
even as the suburbs of hell itself. When princes, and lords, 
and rich men, and all those thieves and rebels that can bnt 
get strength enough to defend themselves, and all that can 
but hide their faults, would be under no restraints consider- 
able, but would do all the evil that they have a mind to do : 
men would be worse to one another, than bears and tigers. 

3. God's threatenings, in their primary intention or use, 
are made to keep us from the punishment threatened. Pu- 
nishment is naturally due to evil doers : and God declareth 
it, to give us warning, that we may take heed, avoid it and 

4. That which doth so clearly demonstrate the holiness 
of God, in his righteous government, his wisdom and his 
justice is certainly good and amiable in itself. But we must 
not expect that the same thing should be good and amiable 
to the wicked, who run themselves into it ; which is good 
to the world, or to the just about them, or to the honour of 
God. Assizes, prisons and gallows are good to the country, 
and to all the innocent, to preserve their peace, and to the 
honour of the king and his government; but not to mur- 
derers, thieves or rebels; Isa. xxvi. 7 — 9. Psal.xlviii.il. 
ix. 16. Ixxxix. 14. xcvii. 2. cxlix. 9. cxlvi. 7. xxxvii. 
6. 28. Jude 6. 15. Rev. iv. 7. xv. 4. xvi. 7. xix. 2. 
Eccles. xii. 14. 

Direct, 3. * Judge of the severity of God's threatenings, 
partly by the greatness of himself whom we offend, and 
partly by the necessity of them for the government of the 


•I. Remember that sinning wilfully against the Infinite 
Majesty of Heaven, and refusing his healing mercy to the 
last, deserveth worse than any thing against a man can do ; 
i Sam. ii. 25. 

2. And remember that even the threatening of hell doth 
not serve turn with most of the world, to keep them from 
sinning and despising God : and therefore you cannot say 
that they are too great. For that plaster draweth not too 
strongly, which will not draw out the thorn. If hell be not 
terrible enough to persuade you from sin, it is not too terri- 
ble to be threatened and executed : He that shall say, ' Why 
will God make so terrible a law V and withal should say, 
' As terrible as it is I will venture at it, rather than leave my 
pleasures, and rather than live a holy life ;' doth contradict 
himself, and telleth us, that the law is not terrible enough 
to attain its chief and primary end, with such as he, that 
will not be moved by it, from the most sordid, base, or 
brutish pleasure. 

Direct. 4. ' Remember how Christ himself, even when he 
came to deliver us from God's law, did yet come to verify 
his threatening in the matter of it, and to be a sacrifice for 
sin, and public demonstration of God's justice.' 

For this end was Christ manifested, to destroy the works 
of'the devil ; I John iii. 5. 8. And the first and great work 
of the devil was, to represent God as a liar, and to persuade 
Eve not to believe his threatenings, and to tell her, that 
though she sinned, she should not die. And though God 
so far dispensed with it, as to forgive man the greatest 
part of the penalty, it was by laying it on his Redeemer ; 
and making him a sacrifice to his justice : that his cross 
might openly confute the tempter, and assure the world, 
that God is just, and that " the wages of sin is dearth;" 
(Rom. vi. 23.) though eternal life be the gift of God through 
Jesus Christ. 

And he that well considereth this, that the Son of God 
would rather stoop to sufferings and death, than the devil's 
reproach of God's threatenings should be made true, and 
that the justice of God against sin should not be manifested, 
will sure never think, that this justice is any dishonour to 
the Almighty. 
) Direct, 5. ' Let this be your use of the threatenings of 


God, to drive you from sin to more careful obedience, and 
to help you against the defects of love, and to set them 
against every temptation when you are assaulted by it/ 

When a tempting bait is set before you, set hell against 
it, as well as heaven ; and say, Can I take this cup, this 
whore, this preferment, this gain of Judas, with hell, for my 
part instead of heaven? If men threaten death, imprison- 
ment, or any other penalty ; or if losses or reproaches be 
like by men to be made your reward, remember that God 
threateneth hell, and ask if this be not the most intolerable 

And if any Antinomian revile you for thus doing, and 
say, * You should set only free grace before you, to keep 
you from sinning, and not hell and damnation.' Tell him 
that it is Christ the Mediator of free grace, which hath set 
hell before you in the Scripture, and not you : and that you 
do but consider of that which Christ hath set there be- 
fore you to be considered of. Ask them whether it be not 
God that prepared hell for the devil and his angels, and 
Christ himself that will adjudge all impenitent sinners to it ; 
Matt. XXV. And ask them why Christ doth so often talk of 
it in the Gospel, (Matt, xiii.) of the '•' worm that never dieth, 
and the fire that never shall be quenched ;" Luke xix. 27. 
Mark xvi. 16. John iii. 36. 2 Thess. i. 8, 9, &c. And 
whether they know why fear was given to man ; and whe- 
ther Christ mistook in all such commands, Luke xii. 4. 
Heb. xi. 7. iv. 1. And whether God hath made any part 
of his laws in vain. 

If they say, that the " Law was not made for a righteous 
man ;" 1 Tim. i. 9. Tell them that the words are expounded. 
Gal. V. 23. " Against such there is no law." The law was 
not made to condemn and punish a righteous man ; because 
he feared the threatening of it, and so fell not under the 
condemnation. If you speak of the law of Christ, or any 
law which supposeth the subject righteous : there is no law 
can be pleaded against such to their damnation. That there is 
no law against them is but as, Rom. viii. 1. "There is no 
condemnation to them." And we grant also, that in that 
measure as men's souls are habituated with love to God, 
and duty, and hatred of sin, they need no law to urge and 
threaten them, no more than a loving wife need to have, a 


law to forbid her murdering her husband, or abusing him. 
But withal we know, that no man on earth is perfect in the 
degrees of love ; and therefore all need laws and fear. 

Use all God's penal laws to the ends that he appointed 
them, to quicken you in your obedience, and restrain you 
from yielding to temptations, and from sinning, and then 
your own benefit will reconcile you to the wisdom, holiness, 
and justice of the laws. 

Direct. 6. * Remember that all Christians have solemnly 
professed their own consent, to the threats and punishments 
of the Gospel.' 

Though God will punish sinners whether they consent 
or not; and though none consent to the execution upon 
themselves, when it comes to it ; yet all that profess Chris- 
tianity do profess their consent to the condemning, as well 
as to the justifying part of God's word. For every Chris- 
tian professeth his consent to be governed by Christ, and 
therefore he professeth his consent to be governed by Christ's 
laws : for if Christ be a King, he must have laws : and if he 
govern us at all, he governeth us by laws. And this is Christ's 
law ; " He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved ; 
and he that believeth not, shall be damned ;" Mark xvi. 16. 
He that professeth to be governed by Christ, professeth his 
consent to be governed by this very law ; and therefore he 
professeth his consent to be damned if he believe not. 
Christ told you that you must consent to both parts, or to 
neither : and will you grudge at the severity of that law 
which you have professed your consent to ? The curses of 
the covenant (Deut. xxix. 21.) were to be repeated to the 
people of Israel, and they were expressly to say Amen to 
each of them. For life and death were set before them ; 
blessings and cursings, (Deut. xxx. 1. 19.) and not life and 
blessings alone. And so the Gospel which we are to believe, 
containeth though principally and eminently the promises ; 
yet secondarily also the threatenings of hell to impenitent 
unbelievers. And our consent doth speak our approbation. 
Direct. 7. * Observe that the belief of Christ's threaten- 
ings of damnation to impenitent unbelievers, is a real part 
of the Christian saving faith, and that whenever it is joined 
with a true love and desire after holiness, it certainly proveth 
that the promises also are believed, though the party think 
that he doth not believe them.' 


Note here, 1. That I do not say, that all belief or fear 
of Grod's threatenings is saving faith. But, 2. That all 
saving faith containeth such a belief of the threatenings. 
3. And that many times poor Christians, who believe and 
tremble at the threatenings, do truly believe the promises, 
and yet mistake, and verily think that they do not believe 
them, 4. But their mistake may certainly be manifested, if 
their faith do but work by a love and desire after holiness, 
and the fruition of God. 

For, 1. It is evident that the same Gospel which saith, 
" He that believeth shall be saved ;" doth say, ** He that 
belie veth not shall be damned." Therefore the same faith 
believeth both. 2. It is plain that the same formal object 
of faith, which is God's veracity, will bring a man to be- 
lieve one as well as the other, if he equally know it to be 
a divine revelation : he that believeth that * All that God 
saith is true :' and then believeth that God saith that * All 
true believers shall be saved ;' must needs believe that this 
promise is true. And he that understandeth that Christ 
saith, * Unbelievers shall be damned ;' cannot but find also 
that he saith, * True believers shall be saved.' And if he 
believe the one, because it is the word of Christ ; he doth 
sure believe the other, because it is the word of Christ. 
3. Yea it is in many respects harder to believe God*s 
threatenings, than his promises ; partly because sinners are 
more unwilling that they should be true ; and they have 
more enmity to the threatenings, than to the promises ; and 
partly because they commonly feign God to be such as 
they would have him be : " Thou though test that I was alto- 
gether such an one as thyself," &c. ; Psal. 1, And partly 
because God's goodness being known to be his very essence, 
and all men being apt to judge of goodness, by the measure 
of their own interest, it is far more obvious and facile to 
man's understanding, to conclude that some are saved, than 
that some are damned ; and that the penitent believers are 
saved, than that the impenitent unbelievers are damned : 
We hear daily how easily almost all men are brought to be- 
lieve that God is merciful ; and how hard it is to persuade 
them of his damning justice and severity. Therefore he 
that can do the harder, is not unlike to do the easier. 

And indeed it is mere ignorance of the true nature of 
faith, which maketh those whom I am now describing, to 


think that they do not believe God's promises, when they 
believe his threatenings. They think that because they be- 
lieve not that they themselves are pardoned, justified, and 
shall be saved, that therefore they believe not the promise 
of God ; but this is not the reason ; but it is because you 
find not the condition of the promise yet in yourselves, and 
therefore think that you have no part in the benefits : but it 
is one thing to doubt of your own sincerity, and another 
thing to doubt whether the promise of God be true. Sup- 
pose that the law do pardon a felon if he can read as a clerk ; 
and one that is a felon be in doubt whether his reading will 
serve or not ; this is not to deny belief to the pardoning act 
of the law. Suppose one promise a yearly stipend to all 
that are full one and twenty years of age, in the town or 
country : to doubt of my age, is not to doubt of the truth of 
the promise. 

Object. * But do not Protestant divines conclude against 
the Papists, that saving faith must be a particular applica- 
tion of Christ and the promise to ourselves, and not only a 
general assent?' 

Answ. It is very true ; and the closer that application is 
the better. But the application which all sound divines (in 
this point) require as necessary in saving faith, is neither an 
assurance, nor persuasion that your own sins are already 
pardoned, or that they ever will be : but it is, 1. A belief 
that the promise of pardon to all believers, is so universal, 
as that it includeth you as well as others, and promiseth and 
ofFereth you pardon, and life, if you will believe in Christ. 

2. And it is a consent or willingness of heart that Christ be 
yours, and you be his, to the ends proposed in the Gospel. 

3. And it is a practical trust in his sufficiency, as choosing 
him for the only Mediator, resolving to venture your souls, 
and all your hopes upon him: though yet through your 
ignorance of yourselves, you may think that you do not this 
thing in sincerity, which indeed you do; yea, and much 
fear (through melancholy or temptation) that you never 
shall do it, and consequently never shall be saved. 

He that doubteth of his own salvation, not because he 
doubteth of the truth of the Gospel ; but because he 
doubteth of the sincerity of his own heart, may be mistaken 
in himself, but is not therefore an unbeliever (as is said 


If you would know whether you believe the promises 
truly, answer me these particular questions : 1. Do you be- 
lieve that God hath promised that all true believers shall 
be saved? 2. Do you believe that if you are or shall be a 
true believer, you shall be saved? 3. Do you choose or 
desire God as your only happiness and end, to be enjoyed 
in heaven, and Christ as the only Mediator to procure it; 
and his Holy Spirit as his Agent in your souls, to sanctify 
you fully to the image of God ? Are you truly willing that 
thus it should be ? And if God be willing, will not you re- 
fuse it ? 4. Do you turn away from all other ways of feli- 
city, and choose this alone, to venture all your hopes upon, 
and resolve to seek for none but this ; and to venture all on 
God and Christ, though yet you are uncertain of your sin- 
cerity and salvation ? Why this makes up true saving faith. 
5. And I would further ask you ; Do you fear damna- 
tion, and God's wrath, or not? If not, what troubleth you? 
And why complain you ? If you do, tell me then whether 
you do believe God's threatenings, that he that believeth 
not shall be damned, or not? If you do not, what maketh 
you fear damnation? Do you fear it, and not believe that 
there is any such thing? If you do believe it, how can you 
choose but believe also, that every true believer shall be 
saved ? Is God true in his threatenings, and not in his 
promises? This must force you plainly to confess, that 
you do believe God's promises, but only doubt of your own 
sincerity, and consequently of your salvation; which is 
more a weakness in your hope, than in your faith, or rather 
chiefly in your acquaintance with yourself. 

Direct, 8. * Yet still dwell most upon God's promises in. 
the exercise of love, desire and thankfulness ; and use all 
your fear about the threatenings, but in a second place, to 
further and not to hinder the work of love.' 

Direct. 9. * Let faith interpret all God's judgments, 
merely by the light of the threatenings of his word ; and do 
not gather any conclusions from them, which the word af- 
fordeth not, or alloweth not; God's judgments may be dan- 
gerously misunderstood.' 



How to exercise Faith about Pardon of Sin and Justification. 

The practice of faith about our justification, is hindered by 
so many unhappy controversies and heresies, that what to 
do with them here in our way,' is not very easy to deter- 
mine. Should I omit the mention of them, I leave most that 
I write for, either under that disease itself, or the danger of 
it, which may frustrate all the rest which I must say : for 
the errors hereabout are swarming in most quarters of the 
land, and are like to come to the ears of most that are stu- 
dious of these matters : so that an antidote to most, and a 
vomit to the rest, is become a matter of necessity, to the 
success of all our practical directions. 

And yet many cannot endure to be troubled with diffi- 
culties, who are slothful, and must have nothing set before 
them that will cost them much study ; and many peaceable 
Christians love not any thing that soundeth like contro- 
versy or strife (as others that are sons of contention relish 
nothing else). But averseness must give place to necessity. 
If the leprosy arise, the priest must search it, and the physi- 
cian must do his best to cure it, notwithstanding their 
natural averseness to it. Though I may be as averse to 
write against errors, as the reader is to read what I v/rite, 
we must both blame that which causeth the necessity, but 
not therefore deny our necessary duty : but yet I will so 
far gratify them that need no more, as to put the more prac- 
tical directions first, that they may pass by the heap of 
errors after, if their own judgments prevail not against their 

Direct. 1. * Understand well what need you have of par- 
don of sin, and justification, by reason of your guilt, and of 
God's law and justice, and the everlasting punishment which 
is legally your due.' 

1. It must be a sensible, awakening, practical know- 
ledge of our own great necessity, which must teach us to 
value Christ as a Saviour, and to come to him in that 
empty, sick and weary plight, as is necessary in those who 
will make use of him for their supply and cure ; Matt. ix« 
12. xi. 28, 29. A superficial, speculative knowledge of our 


sin and misery, will prepare us but for a superficial opinion- 
ative faith in Christ, as the remedy ; but a true sense of 
both, will teach us to think of him as a Saviour indeed. 

2. Original sin, and actual, the wickedness both of the 
heart and life, even all our particular sins of omission and 
commission, and all their circumstances and aggravations, 
are the first reason of our great necessity of pardon : and 
therefore it cannot but be a duty to lay them to heart as 
particularly as we can, to make that necessity, and Christ's 
redemption the better understood ; Acts ii. 37. xxii. 8, 9, &c. 

3. The wrath of God, and the miseries of this life, and 
the everlasting miseries of the damned in hell, being the 
due effects or punishment of sin, are the second cause of 
our necessity of pardon : and therefore these also must be 
thought on seriously, by him that will seriously believe in 

4. The law of God which we have broken, maketh this 
punishment our due ; Rom. iii. v. vii. And the justice of 
God is engaged to secure his own honour, in the honour of 
his law and government. 

Direct. 2. * Understand well what Christ is and doth, 
for the justification of a sinner, and how (not one only) but 
all the parts of his office are exercised hereunto.' 

In the dignity of his person, and perfect original holi- 
ness of his natures, divine and human, he is fitly qualified 
for his work of our justification and salvation. 

His undertaking (which is but the Divine decree) did 
from eternity lay the foundation of all, but did not actually 
justify any. 

His promise, (Gen. iii. 15.) and his new relation to man 
thereupon, did that to the fathers in some degree, which his 
after-incarnation and performance, and his relation there- 
upon, doth now to us. 

His perfect obedience to the law ; yea, to that law of 
mediation also peculiar to himself (which he performed nei- 
ther as priest, or prophet, or king, but as a subject) was 
the meritorious cause of that covenant and grace which 
justifieth us, and so of our justification. And that which is 
the meritorious cause here, is also usually called the mate- 
rial, as it is that matter or thing which meriteth our justifi- 
cation ; and so is called our righteousness itself. 

As he was a sacrifice for sin, he answered the ends of 


the law which we violated, and which condemned us, as 
well as if we had been all punished according to the sense 
of the law : and therefore did thereby satisfy the Law-giver: 
and thereby also merited our pardon and justification ; so 
that his obedience as such, and his sacrifice (or whole 
humiliation) as satisfactory by answering the ends of the 
law, are conjunctly the meritorious cause of our justifi- 

His new covenant (which in baptism, is made mutual by 
our expressed consent) is a general gift or act of oblivion, 
or pardon, given freely to all mankind, on condition they 
will believe and consent to it, or accept it ; so that it is 
God's pardoning and adopting instrument : and all are par- 
doned by it conditionally ; and every penitent believer ac- 
tually and really. And this covenant or gift is the effect of 
the aforesaid merit of Christ, both founded and sealed by 
his blood. 

As he merited this as a mediating subject and sacrifice, 
so as our High Priest he offered this sacrifice of himself to 

And as our King, he being the Law-giver to the church, 
did make this covenant as his law of grace, describing the 
terms of life and death : gftid being the Judge of the world, 
doth by his sentence justify and condemn men, as believers 
or unbelievers, according to this covenant : and also ex- 
ecuteth his sentence accordingly (partly in this life, but 
fully in the life to come). 

As our Teacher, and the Prophet, or Angel of the Cove- 
nant, he doth declare it as the Father's will, and promulgate 
and proclaim this covenant and conditional pardon and jus- 
tification to the world ; and send out his ambassadors with 
it to beseech men in his name to be reconciled to God, and 
to declare, yea, and by sacramental investiture, to seal and 
deliver a pardon and actual justification to believers when 
they consent. 

And as our Mediating High Priest now in the heavens, 
he presenteth our necessity, and his own righteousness 
and sacrifice as his merits, for the continual communication 
of all this grace, by himself, as the Head of the church, and 
administrator of the covenant. 

So that Christ doth justify us both as a subject meriting, 
as a sacrifice meriting, as a Priest ofiering that sacrifice ; as 


a King actually making the justifying law, or enacting a 
general pardon; as a King sententially and executively jus- 
tifying; as a Prophet or Angel of the Covenant promulgating 
it ; as King, and Prophet, and Priest, delivering a sealed 
pardon by his messengers ; and as the Priest, Head and Ad- 
ministrator communicating this with the rest of his bene- 
fits. By which you may see in what respects Christ must 
be believed in to justification, if justifying faith were (as it 
is not) only the receiving him as our justifier: it would not 
be the receiving him as in one part of his office only. 

Direct. 3. * Understand rightly how far it is that the 
righteousness of Christ himself is made ours, or imputed to 
us, and how far not.' 

There are most vehement controversies to this day, 
about the imputation of Christ's righteousness ; in which I 
know not well which of the extremes are in the greater 
error, those that plead for it in the mistaken sense, or those 
that plead against it in the sober and right sense : but I 
make no doubt but they are both of them damnable, as 
plainly subverting the foundation of our faith. And yet I 
do not think that they will prove actually damning to the 
authors, because I believe that they misunderstand their 
adversaries, and do^not well understand themselves ; and 
that they digest not, and practise not what they plead for, 
but digest and practise that truth which they doctrinally 
subvert, not knowing the contrariety ; which if they knew 
they would renounce the error, and not the truth. And I 
think that many a one that thus contradicteth fundamentals, 
may be saved. 

Some there be (besides the Antinomians) that hold that 
Christ did perfectly obey and satisfy, (not in the natural, 
but) in the civil or legal person of each sinner that is elect 
(representing and bearing as many distinct persons as are 
elect), so fully as that God doth repute every elect person 
(or say others, every believer) to be one that in law sense, 
did perfectly obey and satisfy justice himself; and so im- 
puteth Christ's righteousness and satisfaction to us, as that 
which was reputatively or legally of our own performance, 
and so is ours, not only in its effects, but in itself. 

Others seeing the pernicious conseq^uences of this opi- 
nion, deny all imputed righteousness of Christ to us, and 
write many reproachful volumes against it (as you may see 


inThorndike's last Works, and Dr. Gell, and Parker, against 
the Assembly, and abundance more). 

The truth is, Christ merited and satisfied for us in the 
person of a Mediator: but this Mediator was the Head and 
root of all believers, and the second Adam, the Fountain of 
spiritual life ; and the Surety of the new covenant, (Heb. vii. 
22. 1 Cor. XV. 24, 25.) and did all this in the nature of 
man, and for the sake and benefit of man ; suffering, that 
we might not suffer damnation, but not obeying that we 
might not obey ; but suffering and obeying that our sinful 
imperfection of obedience might not be our ruin, and our 
perfect obedience might not be necessary to our own justi- 
fication or salvation, but that God might for the sake and 
merit of this his perfect obedience and satisfaction, forgive 
all our sins, and adopt us for his sons, and give us his Holy 
Spirit, and glorify us for ever ; so that Christ's righteous- 
ness,both obediential and satisfactory, is ours in the effects 
of it in themselves, and ours relatively for these effects, so • 
far as to be purposely given for us to that end ; but not 
ours in itself simply, or as if we were reputed the legal per- 
formers ourselves, or might be said in law sense, or by Di- 
vine estimation or imputation, to have ourselves in and by 
Christ fulfilled the law, and suffered for our not fulfilling it 
(which is a contradiction). 

As he that both by a price, and by some meritorious act, 
doth redeem a captive, or purchase pardon for a traitor, 
doth give the money and merit in itself to the prince, and 
not to the captive or traitor himself. (He never saw it, nor 
ever had propriety in the thing itself;) But the deliverance 
is the prisoner's, and not the prince's ; and therefore it is 
given to the prisoner, as to the effects, though not in itself; 
in that it was given for him. 

And because Christ suffered what we should have suf- 
fered (as to the value), to save us from suffering, and our 
sins were not the cause of our guilt or punishment, and so 
the remote cause of the sufferings of Christ (his own spon- 
sion being the nearer cause), therefore it may be said truly, 
that Christ did not only suffer for our benefit, but in our 
stead or place ; and in a larger and less strict and proper 
sense, that he suffered in the person of a sinner, and as one 
to whom our sins were imputed ; meaning no more but that 


he suffered as one that by his own consent undertook to 
suffer for the persons of sinners, and tliat as such an under- 
taker only he suffered; and that thus our sins were imputed 
to him (not in themselves, as if he were in law sense the 
committer of them, or polluted by them, or by God esteemed 
so to have been, but) as to the effects, that is, his suffering ; 
in that they were the occasion, and the remote or assumed 
cause of his sufferings ; as his righteousness is imputed to 
us, as the meritorious cause of our pardon and justification. 

But he could not be said, no not in so large a sense as 
this, to have obeyed in our stead (considering it as obedi- 
ence or holiness, but only as merit), because he did it not 
that we might not obey, but that we might not suffer for 

More of this will follow in the next chapter. 

Direct. 4. * Understand well what guilt it is that Christ 
doth remit in our justification; not the guilt of the fact, 
nor of the fault in itself, but the guilt of punishment; 
and of the fault only so far as it is the cause of wrath and 

1. The guilt of fact, is in the reality or truth of this 
charge, that such a fact we did or omitted : so far it is but 
physically considered, and would not come into legal con- 
sideration, were it not for the following relation of it. 

2. The guilt of fault, * reatus culpae,' is the reality of 
this charge (or the foundation of it in us) that we are the 
committers or emitters of such an action contrary to the 
law : or that our act or omission was really a crime or fault. 

3. The guilt of punishment, * reatus poense, vel ad poenam, 
is the foundation of this charge, that we are by that law 
which must judge us, conderanable, or obliged to punish- 
ment (or it is our right) for the sins so committed. 

Now Christ doth not by justifying us, or pardoning us, 
make us either to be such as really did not do the fact ; 
or such as did not a culpable fact ; no, nor such as did not 
deserve damnation, or to whom it was not due by the first 
law alone ; but to be such who are not now at all con- 
demnable for it, because the new law which we must be 
judged by, doth absolve us, by forgiving us; not making 
the fault no fault, nor causing God to think that Christ 
committeii it, and not we ; or to esteem us to be such as 


never did commit it ; but remitting the punishment, and 
that dueness of punishment and obligation to it, which did 
before result from the fault and law together ; and so the 
fault itself is remitted as it is the foundation from whence 
that obligation to punishment resulteth, respectively, but 
not simply, nor as a fault in itself at all. 

When I say the punishment and the dueness of it to us, 
is forgiven, 1 mean not only the punishment of sense, but 
of loss also : nor only the outward part which is executed 
by creatures, but especially the first and great penalty, of 
God's own displeasure with the person, and the withdraw- 
ing of his Spirit and complacential love, and that which we 
may improperly call, his obligation in justice to condemn 
the sinner. There was upon God, before Christ's satisfac- 
tion and our title to him, that which we may so call a legal 
or relative obligation on God to punish us, because else he 
should have done contrary to the due ends of government, 
and so contrary to the wisdom and j ustice of a Governor, 
which is not consistent with his perfection. But now the 
ends of government are so answered and provided for, that 
there is no such obligation on God to punish us, but he 
may remit it without any dishonour at all ; nay with the 
honour of his wisdom and justice. We are now, *non con- 
demnandi,' not condemnable, though we are sinners. In 
judgment we must confess the latter, aVi(J deny the former 

Direct. 5. * Understand well what sins Christ justifieth 
men from, or forgiveth to them, and what not : All sins 
which consist with true faith and repentance, (^or true con- 
version to God in love, by faith in Christ) and all that went 
before : but he forgiveth no man in a state of impenitency 
and unbelief, nor any man's final impenitency and unbelief 
at all ; nor any other sins, where those are final ; except it 
be with the common conditional forgiveness before men- 
tioned ; or that absolute particular forgiveness of some pre- 
sent penalties, which saveth no man from damnation ;' 
Matt. xii.31. Acts xxvi. 18. Rom. viii. I. 30. Actsv.31. 
ii. 38, 39. Mark xvi. 16. John iii. 16. 18. 36. 1 John v. 
11, 12. Mark iv. 12. Matt, xviii. 27. 32. 

Direct. 6. * Understand well the true nature of that faith 
and repentance, which God hath made the condition of our 
justification.' This is sufficiently opened before ; and the 


confutation of all the cavils against it, would be tedious 
and unsavoury here. 

Direct. 7. ' Understand well the covenant and promise 
of justification; and measure your belief and expectations 
by that promise.' 

Expect no other pardon, nor on any other conditions or 
terms than the promise doth contain : for it is God's par- 
doning act or instrument; and by it we must be justi- 
fied or condemned : and we know not but by it, whom God 
will justify. 

Direct. 8. ' Keep always the assuring grounds of faith 
before your eyes, when you look after pardon, that your 
faith may be firm, and powerful, and quieting; especially 
consider the following grounds.' 

1. God's gracious nature proclaimed even to Moses, as 
abundant in mercy, and forgiving iniquity, transgressions 
and sins (to those, and upon those terms that he pro- 
miseth forgiveness), though he will by no means clear the 
guilty (that is, will neither take the unrighteous to be righ- 
teous; nor forgive them, or acquit them in judgment, whom 
his covenant did not first forgive). 

2. The merciful nature also of our Redeemer ; Heb. ii. 17. 

3. How deeply Christ hath engaged himself to shew 
mercy, when he assumed our nature, and done so much 
towards our salvation, as he hath done ; Heb. viii. ix. 

4. That it is his very ofiice and undertaking, which 
therefore he cannot possibly neglect; Luke xix. 10. ii. 11. 
John iv. 42. Acts v. 31. xiii. 23. 

5. That God the Father himself did give him to us, and 
appoint him to this saving oflSce ; John iii. 16. 18. Acts v» 
31. xiii. 23. Yea " God was in Christ reconciling the 
world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto 
them;". 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. And God made "him sin (that is, 
a sacrifice for sin) for us who knew no sin, that we might 
be made the righteousness of God in him," (that is, might 
be the public instances of God's merciful justice, as Christ 
was of his penal justice) ; and this by a righteousness given 
us by God himself, and purchased or merited for us by 
Christ, (2 Cor v. 21.) yea, and be renewed in holiness and 
righteousness according to his image. 

6. That now it is become the very intjcrest of God, and 
of Jesus Christ himself to justify us; as ever he would 


not lose either the glory of his grace, or the obedience and 
suffering which he hath performed ; Isa. liii. 19. Rom. v. 
12, 13. 18, 19, &c. iv. throughout. 

7. Consider the nearness of the person of Christ, both 
to the Father and to us; Heb. i. ii. iii. 

8. Think of the perfection of his sacrifice and merit, set 
out throughout the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

9. Think of the word of promise or covenant, which he 
hath made, and sealed and sworn ; Heb. vi. 17, 18. Titus 
i. 2. 

10. Think of the great seal of the Spirit, which is more 
than a promise, even an earnest, which is a certain degree 
of possession, and is an executive pardon (as after shall be 
declared); Rom. viii. 15, 16. Gal. iv. 6. 

11. Remember that God's own justice is now engaged 
for our justification, in these two respects conjunct : 1. Be- 
cause of the fulness of the merits and satisfaction of Christ : 
2. And because of his veracity which must fulfil his pro- 
mise, and his governing or distributive justice, which must 
judge men according to his own law of grace, and must 
give men that which he himself hath made their right; 
2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. 1 John v. 9—12. 

12. Lastly, Think of the many millions now in heaven, 
of whom many were greater sinners than you ; and no one 
of them (save Christ) came thither by the way of innocency 
and legal justification : There are no saints in heaven that 
were not redeemed from the captivity of the devil, and jus- 
tified by the way of pardoning grace, and were not once the 
heirs of death ; John iii. 3. 5. Rom. iii. iv. 

Upon these considerations trust yourselves confidently 
on the grace of Christ, and take all your sins but as the ad- 
vantages of his grace. 

jDzrec^. 9. * Remember that there is somewhat on your own 
parts to be done, for the continuing, as well as for the begin- 
ning of your justification ; yea somewhat more than for the 
beginning ; even the faithful keeping of your baptismal cove- 
nant, in the essentials of it ; and also that you have con- 
tinual need of Christ, to continue your justification.' 

Many take justification to be one instantaneous act of 
God, which is never afterwards to be done : and so it is, if 
we mean only the first making of him righteous who was 


306 lilFE OF FAITH. 

unrighteous : (as the first making of the world, and not the 
continuance of it, is called Creation :) but this is but about 
the name : for the thing itself, no doubt but that covenant 
which first justified us, doth continue to justify us ; and if 
the cause should cease, the effect would cease. And he 
that requireth no actual obedience, as the condition of our 
begun justification, doth require both the continuance of 
faith, and actual sincere obedience, as the condition of con- 
tinuing, or not losing our justification, (as Davenant, Ber- 
gius. Blank, Sec. have well opened, and 1 have elsewhere 
proved at large.) As matrimony giveth title to conjugal 
privileges to the wife; but conjugal fidelity and per- 
formance of the essentials of the contract is necessary to 
continue them. Therefore labour to keep up your faith, 
and to abide in Christ, and he in you, and to bring forth 
fruit, lest ye be branches withered, and for the fire ; John 
XV. 2, 3. 7—9, &c. 

And upon the former misapprehension, the same persons 
do look upon all the faith which they exercise through their 
lives ; after the first instantaneous act, as no justifying faith 
at all (but only a faith of the same kind), but to what use 
they hardly know. Yea they look upon Christ himself, as 
if they had no more use for him, either as to continue their 
justification, or to forgive their after sins ; when as our 
continued faith must be exercised all our lives on the same 
Christ, and trust on the same covenant, for the continuation 
and perfection of that which was begun at the time of our 
regeneration ; Col. i. 23. 1 John ii. 24. Heb. iii. 6. 12, 13. 
vi. 11, 12. X. 22, 23. 

Direct. 10. * Understand that every sin which you com- 
mit, hath need of a renewed pardon in Christ : and that he 
doth not prevent your necessity of such pardon. And 
therefore you will have constant need of Christ, and must 
daily come to God for pardon by him ; not only for the 
pardon of temporal chastisements, but of everlasting punish- 

Of the sense of this, I shall say more anon : The proof 
of it is in the forecited promises ; and in all those texts of 
Scripture which tell us that death is the wages of sin, and 
call us to ask pardon, and tell us on what terms it may be 

Direct, 11. 'Yet do not think that every sin doth put 


you into a state of condemnation again ; or nullify your 
former justification : for though the law of nature is so far 
still in force, as to make punishment by it your natural due ; 
yet the covenant of grace is a continually pardoning act ; 
and according to its proper terms, doth dissolve the afore- 
said obligation, and presently remit the punishment: and as 
its moral action is not interrupted ; no more is our justified 

" There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ 
Jesus," &c. ; Rom, viii. 1. John iii. 16. 18. 1 John v. 11, 12. 
*' If any may sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, 
Jesus Christ the righteous ; and he is the propitiation for 
our sins ;" 1 John ii. 1, 2. ** If we confess our sins, he is 
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us 
from all unrighteousness." If all need of pardon had been 
prevented by Christ, what use were there of his advocation 
for our future forgiveness ? 

Direct. 12. * Remember, that though unknown infirmi- 
ties, and unavoidable ones, have an immediate pardon, be- 
cause the believer hath an habitual faith and repentance ; 
yet great and known sins must have actual repentance, be- 
fore the pardon will be plenary or perfect ; though the per- 
son is not in the meantime an unregenerate nor justified 

1. That great and known sins must have a particular re- 
pentance, appeareth, 1. In that it is utterly inconsistent 
with the sincerity of habitual repentance, not to be actual, 
when sins are known, and come into our deliberate remem- 
brance. 2. By all those texts which require such repen- 
tance, confession and forsaking ; 1 John ii. 1,2. i, 9. Prov. 
xxviii. 13. Psal. xxxii. Ii. 2 Cor. vii. 11. Rev. ii. 5. 16. 
Luke xiii. 3. 5. James v. 14, 15. Luke vi. 37. xi. 4. Re- 
pentance consisteth chiefly in forsaking sin ; and if men 
forsake not such known wilful sins, they are wicked men, 
and therefore are not pardoned. 

2. That unavoidable frailties, are mere infirmities, and 
unknown faults, are pardoned immediately to them that are 
truly godly, and have a general and implicit repentance, is 
plain, because else no man in the world could be saved ; 
because every man hath such infirmities and unknown sins ; 
1 John i. lO: 


3. Yet David himself is not put by his sin into a mere 
graceless state, and as a person that hath no former justifi- 
cation ; for he prayeth God not to take his Spirit from him, 
and he was not deprived of the true love to God, which is 
the character of God's children : but he had incurred heinous 
guilt, and put himself in the way towards utter damnation, 
and caused a necessity of a more particular deep repen- 
tance before he could be fully pardoned, than else he needed. 

Before the world had a Saviour, we were all so far un- 
pardoned, that a satisfying sacrifice was necessary to our 
justification : but afterward, all men are so far pardoned, 
that only the acceptance of what is purchased and freely 
(though conditionally) given, is necessary to it. Before 
men are converted, they are yet so far unpardoned, that 
(though no more sacrifice be necessary, yet) a total conver- 
sion and renovation, by turning from a life of sin to God by 
faith in Christ, is necessary to their actual justification and 
forgiveness. When a man is turned from a life of sin to 
God, and liveth in the state of grace, all his following sins, 
which consist with the loving of God and holiness above 
the world and sinful pleasures, are so far forgiven immedi- 
ately upon the committing, that they need neither another 
sacrifice, nor another regeneration, or justification, (' quoad 
statum') but only an acting of that faith and repentance, 
which habitually he had already. But the unknown errors 
and faults of such godly persons are pardoned even without 
that actual repentance : and infirmities, without forsaking 
of the sin overcomingly in practice. And so every one 
liveth and dieth, in some degree of sinful defectiveness and 
omission, of his love to God, and trust, and hope, and zeal, 
and desire, and love to men, and care of his duty, and 
watchfulness, and fervency in prayer, meditation. Sec. And 
in some degree of sinful disorder.in our ill-governed thoughts, 
and words, and affections, or passions, and actions : we are 
never sinless till we die. 

Direct. 13. 'Remember that you must neither think that 
every sin which is a cause of repentance, is a sufficient rea- 
son for you to doubt of your present state of justification; 
nor yet that no sin car be so great as to be a necessary 
cause of doubting.' 

If every sin should make us doubt of our justification. 


then all men must always doubt : and then it must be be- 
cause no sin is consistent with sincerity, and the knowledge 
of sincerity ; which is apparently false. 

If no sin should cause our doubting, then there is no 
sin which is not consistent both with sincerity, and with 
the knowledge of it ; which is as false, and much more dan- 
gerous to hold. 1. There are many sins that are utterly in- 
consistent with true godliness ; otherwise the godly were 
ungodly, and as bad as others : and if you say that no godly 
man committeth these, it is true ; and therefore it is true 
that he that committeth them, is not a godly man, or justi- 
fied. And how shall a man know his godliness, but by his 
life as the product of his inward graces ? It is arguing 
from an uncertainty against a certainty, to say, I am justi- 
fied and godly, and therefore my wilful sins of drunken- 
ness, fornication, oppression, lying, malice, &c. are consis- 
tent with justification: and it is arguing from a certain 
truth, against a doubted falsehood, to say, I live in ordinary, 
wilful, heinous sin; therefore I am not justified or sincere. 
** For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean per- 
son, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheri- 
tance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. Let no man 
deceive you with vain words ; for because of these things 
Cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobe- 
dience ;" Ephes. v. 5, 6. ** Know ye not that the unrighte- 
ous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ? Be not deceived ; 
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effemi- 
nate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, 
nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, 
shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of 
you ; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are 
justified," &c. ; 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. 

" There is therefore now no condemnation to them which 
are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after 
the Spirit. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die," 8cc. ; 
Rom. viii. 1. 13. Gal. v. 20—24. 

2. And there are many sins which consist with true 
grace, which will not consist with the assurance of its sin- 
cerity. And that, 1,. From the nature of the things ; be- 
cause the least degree of grace conjunct with, and clouded 
by the greatest degree of sin, which may consist with it, is 
not discernible to him that hath it; he that is so very near 


a state of death, ancj so very like to an unjustified persoo, 
can never be sure, in tbat case, that he is justified. 2. And 
also God in wisdom and justice will have it so ; that sin 
may not be encouraged, nor presumption cherished, nor the 
comforts which are the reward of an obedient child, be ca&t 
away on an incapable child in his stubborn disobedience ; 
Psal. li. xxxii. Ixxvii. 

Therefore for a man that liveth in gross sin, to say that 
he is sure that he is justified, and therefore no sin shall 
make him question it ; is but to believe the Antinomian 
devil transforming himself into an angel of light, and his 
ministers, when they call themselves the ministers of righte- 
ousness ; and to deny belief to the Spirit of holiness and 
truth. And if a true believer should come very near such a 
state of death, common reason, and the due care of his own 
soul, obligeth him to be suspicious of himself, and to fear 
the worst, till he have made sure of better ; Heb. vi. iii. 10. 
iv. 1. 12—14. 1 Cor. X. John xv. 2. 7, 8, 8cc. 

Direct. 14. * Let not the persuasion that you are justified, 
make you more secure and bold in sinning, but more to 
hate it, as contrary to the ends of justification, and to the 
love which freely justified you.' 

It is a great mark of difference between true assurance, 
and blind presumption, that the one maketh men hate sin 
more, and more carefully to avoid it ; and the other causeth 
men to sin with less reluctancy, and remorse ; because with 
less fear. 

Direct, 15. ' When the abuse of the doctrine of justifica- 
tion by faith alone, and not by works, doth pervert your 
minds and lives, remember that all confess, that we shall be 
judged according to our works (as the covenant of grace is 
the law by which we shall be judged): and to be judged, is 
to be justified or condemned.' 

I need not recite all those Scriptures to you, that say, 
that we shall be judged, and shall receive according to 
what we have done in the body, whether it be good or evil : 
and this is all that we desire you to believe, and live ac- 

Direct. 16. * Remember still that faith in Christ is but a 
means to raise us to the love of God, and that perfect holi- 
ness is higher and mpre excellent than the pardon of sin : 
and therefpre desire faith, and use it, for the kindling of 

LIFE OF FAlTil. 311 

love, and pardon of sin, to endear you to God, and that you 
may do so no more : and do not sin, that you may have the 
more to be pardoned.' 

** The end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure 
heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned. Shall 
we continue in sin, that grace may abound ? God forbid : 
How shall they that are dead to sin, live any longer there- 
in ?" Rom. vt. 1, 2. See Titus iii, 5—7. Rom. v. 1. 4—6. 
viii. 1.4. 9. Gal. iv. 6. v. 24. 26. So much for those prac- 
tical directions, which are needful for them that love not 


The pernicious and dangerous Errors detected, which hinder the 
Work of Faith about our Justification; and the contrary 
Truths asserted. 

There is so much dust and controversy raised here to 
blind the eyes of the weak, and to hinder the life of faith, 
and so much poison served up under the name of justifica- 
tion and free grace, that I should be unfaithful if I should 
not discover it, either through fear of offending the guilty, 
or of wearying them that had rather venture upon deceit, 
than upon controversy. And we are now so fortified against 
the Popish and Socinian extremes, and those whom I am 
now directing to live by faith, are so settled against them, 
that 1 think it more necessary (having not leisure for both, 
and having done it heretofore in my " Confession") to open 
at this time the method of false doctrine on the other ex- 
treme, which for the most part is it which constituteth 
Antinomianism, though some of them are maintained by 

And 1 will first name each error ; and then with it, the 
contrary truth. 

Error 1. * Christ's suffering was caused by the sins of 
none, as the assumed meritorious cause, or as they usually 
say, as imputed to him, or lying on him, save only of the 
elect that shall be saved.' 

Contr. The sins of fallen mankind in general, except 
those rejections of grace, whose pardon is not offered in the 


conditional covenant, did lie on Christ as the assumed 
cause of his sufferings. 

See John i. 29. 2 Cor. v. 18— 20. John iii. 16--19. Heb. 
ii. 9. ITim. ii.4-6. lJohnii.2. 1 Tim. iv. 10. 2Pet.ii. 
2. See Parseus in his ' Irenicon ;' and * Twisse vind. et alibi 
passim/ saying as much ; and Amyrald, Davenant, Dalleus, 
Testardut Usher, &c. proving it. 

Mrror 2. * Christ did both perfectly obey, and also make 
satisfaction for sin by suffering, in the person of all the elect 
in the sense of the law, or God's account ; so that his righ- 
teousness of obedience and perfect holiness, and his satis- 
faction, is so imputed to us, as the proprietaries, as if we 
ourselves had done it, and suffered it : not by an after do- 
nation in the effects, but by this strict imputation in itself.' 

Contr. The contrary truth is at large opened before, and 
in my "Confession." 

Christ's satisfaction, and the merit of his whole obe- 
dience, is as effectual for our pardon, justification and sal- 
vation, as if believers themselves had performed it ; and it 
is imputed to them, in that it was done for their sakes, and 
suffered in their stead, and the fruits of it by a free cove- 
nant or donation given them. But, 1. God is not mistaken, 
to judge that we obeyed or suffered when we did not. 
2. God is no liar, to say, we did it, when he knoweth that 
we did it not. 3. If we were not the actors and sufferers, 
it is not possible that we should be made the natural sub- 
jects of the accidents of another's body, by any putation, 
estimation or misjudging whatsoever; no, nor by any dona- 
tion either. It is a contradiction, and therefore an impos- 
sibility that the same individual actions and passions, of 
which Christ's human nature was the agent and subject so 
many hundred years ago, and have themselves now no ex- 
istence, should in themselves, I say, in themselves, be made 
yours now, and you be the subject of the same accidents. 
4. Therefore they can no otherwise be given to us, but, 
1. By a true estimation of the reasons why Christ under- 
went them, viz. for our sakes as aforesaid. 2. And by a 
donation of the effects or fruits of them, viz. pardoning, and 
justifying, and saving us by them (on the terms chosen by 
the Donor himself, and put into his testament or covenant) 
as certainly (but not in the same manner) as if we had done 
and suffered them ourselves. 5. If Christ had suffered in 


our person reputatively in all respects, his sufferings would 
not have redeemed us : because we are finite worms, and 
our suffering for so short a time, would not have been ac- 
cepted instead of hell sufferings. But the person of the 
Mediator made them valuable. 6. God never made any 
such covenant with us * that he will justify us, and use us 
just as he would have done, if we had ourselves perfectly 
obeyed and satisfied.' They that take on them to shew 
such a promise, must see that no wise man examine it. 

7. God hath both by his covenant, and his works, ever 
since confuted that opinion ; and hath not dealt with us as 
he would have done, if we had been the reputed doers and 
sufferers of it all ourselves. For he hath made conveyance 
of the benefits, by a pardoning and justifying law, or pro- 
mise ; and he giveth us additional pardon of renewed sins 
as we act them, and he addeth threatenings in his law or 
covenant ; and he inflicteth penalties ; yea some that are 
very grievous, even the withholding of much of his Spirit's 
help and grace ; all which are inconsistent with that con- 
ceit ; nor would he so have used us, if we had been per- 
fectly innocent, and had fully satisfied for our sins ourselves. 

8. All men would have had present possession of glory, if 
God had so reputed us the perfect meriters of it. For his 
justice would no more have delayed our reward, than denied 
it. 9. All that are saved would have equal degrees of holi- 
ness and happiness, as well as of righteousness, because all 
would equally be reputed the perfect fulfillers of the law. 
And as no penalty could ever be justly inflicted on them 
here ; so no degree of glory could be denied them hereafter 
for their sin, or for want of perfect righteousness. 10. The 
opinion of this kind of imputation, is a most evident con- 
tradiction in itself. For he that is imputatively a satisfier for 
all his own sin, is therein supposed to be a sinner : and he 
that is imputatively a perfect innocent fulfiller of the law, is 
thereby supposed to need no satisfaction to justice for his 
sin, as being imputatively no sinner. 11. By this all 
Christ's sacrifice and satisfaction is made a work of need- 
less supererogation ; yea unjust, or rather impossible. For 
if we perfectly obeyed in him, he could not suffer for our 
disobedience. 12. Hereby pardon of sin is utterly denied : 
for he that is reputatively no sinner hath no sin to pardon. 

If they say that God did first impute the satisfaction for 


sin, then there was no room after for the imputation of per- 
fect obedience. We cannot feign God to receive all the 
debt, or inflict all the penalty, and then to say, now I 
will esteem thee one that never didst deserve it. 

If they say that he doth neither impute the obedience or 
the suffering to us simply, and to all effects, but * in tantum 
ad hoc,' or * secundum quid' only : so that we shall be par* 
doned for his suffering, and then judged worthy of heaven 
for his obedience : this is but to come up towards the truth 
before you are aware, and to confess that neither of them is 
given us in itself, but in the effects, as being itself paid to 
God to procure those effects. 

But withal, the matter must be vindicated from their un- 
sound inventions, and it must be said, that Christ died not 
only for our sins of commission, but of omission also ; and 
that he that is pardoned both his sins of commission and 
omission, is free from the punishment both of sense and 
loss ; yea, and is reputed as one that never culpably omitted 
any duty ; and consequently fell short of no reward by 
such omission : so that there remaineth no more necessity 
of righteousness in order to a reward where the pardon is 
perfect, save only (N. B.) to procure us that degree of re- 
ward which must be superadded to what we forfeited by 
our sin ; and which we never by any culpable omission de- 
served to be denied. And thus much we do not deny that 
somewhat (even adoption) which is more than mere pardon 
and justification must confer on us. But withal, as we hold 
not that the sun must bring light, and somewhat else must 
first banish darkness ; that one thing must cure death, and 
another cause life ; that satisfaction must procure the par- 
don of sins of omission and commission, as to the ' poena 
damni et sens us,' and make us esteemed and used as no 
sinners, and then imputed obedience must give us right to 
that reward, which the * poena damni,' deprived us of; so 
(N. B.) we maintain that Christ's sufferings have merited 
our eternal salvation, and our justification and adoption f 
and that his obedience hath merited our forgiveness of sin : 
and that both go together, the merit of the one and of the 
other, to procure all that we receive, and that the effects 
are not parcelled out as they have devised : though yet we 
believe that Christ's sufferings were paid to God, as for our 
sins, to satisfy justice, and that in the passive obedience, it 


is first satisfactory, and then and therefore meritorious, and 
in the active it is merely meritorious. 

13. And the maintainers of the contrary opinion ; be- 
sides all the beforementioned evils, could never agree how 
much of Christ's righteousness must be in their sense im- 
puted : some holding only the passive; a second sort the 
active and passive ; a third sort, the habitual, active and 
passive ; a fourth sort, the divine, the habitual, the active 
and the passive. 

But of all these things there is so much written against 
them, by Cargius, Ursinus, Olevian, Piscator, Paraeus, Soul- 
teus, Alstedius, Windeline, Camero, Bradshaw, Gataker, 
and many more, that I need not to add any more for con- 

Error 3. * That no one shall suffer whose sins lay on 
Christ, and were suffered for by him.' 

Contr, Many such shall suffer the sorer punishment, for 
sinning against the Lord that bought them, and treading 
under foot the blood of the covenant, wherewith they were 
so far sanctified, as to be a people by their own covenant 
separated to God ; Heb. x. 25, 26. vi. 4—6. 2 Pet. ii. 2. 
Heb. iv. 1. ii. 3. xii. 29. 

Error 4. ' That no godly man (say some), or elect per- 
son, though ungodly (say others), is ever punished by God, 
because Christ suffered all their punishment himself.' 

Contr. Every godly man is chastened of God, and all 
chastisement is a fatherly correcting punishment : and many 
justified persons are punished to their final loss, by the 
denial of forfeited degrees of grace, and consequently of 
glory; Heb. xii. 7—10. 1 Cor. xi. 32. 1 Thess. v. 19. 
Ephes. iv. 30. But sad experience is too full a proof. See 
my " Confession." 

Error 5. * That God were unjust if he laid any degree of 
punishment on those that Christ died for ; or (say others) 
on the justified ; because he shall punish one sin twice.' 

Contr. It is certain, that God punisheth the justified in 
some degree (much more the elect before conversion), and it 
is certain that God is not unjust. Therefore it is certain 
that the ground of this accusation is false ; for it was not 
our deserved punishment itself, or the same which was due 
in the true sense of the law which Christ endured : but it 
was the punishment of a voluntary sponsor, which was the 


' equivalens/ and not the ' idem' that was due ; and did 
answer the ends of the law, but not fulfil the meaning of 
the threatening ; which threatened the sinner himself, and 
not another for him : seeing then it was a satisfaction, or 
sacrifice for sin, which God received for an atonement and 
propitiation, and not a solution or suffering of the sinner 
himself in the sense of the law, the charge of injustice on 
God is groundless. 

And no man can have more right to Christ's sufferings 
or benefits, than he himself is willing to give : and it is not 
his own will (into whose hands all power and judgment is 
committed) that we should be subject to no punishment be- 
cause he suffered for us. 

Error 6. * That the elect are justified from eternity (say 
some), or from Christ's death before they were born (say 
others), or before they believed' (say others). 

Against this I have said enough in many volumes here- 

Error 7. ' That faith justifieth only in the court of our 
own consciences, by making us to know that we were justi- 
fied befor^.' 

Against this also I have said enough elsewhere. 
Error 8. * That sins to come, not yet committed, are par- 
doned in our first justification.' 

Contr. Sins to come are no sins : and no sins have no 
actual pardon: but only the certain remedy is provided, 
which will pardon their sins as soon as they are capable. 

Error 9. ' Justification is not a making us just, but a 
sentence pronouncing us just.' 

Contr, Justification is a word of so many significations, 
that he that doth not first tell what he meaneth by it, will 
not be capable of giving or receiving satisfaction. 

And here once for all, I must entreat the reader that 
loveth not confusion and error, to distinguish of these 
several sorts of justification, as the chief which we are to 

Justification is either public by a governor, or private 
by an equal or mere discerner ; justification is by God, or by 
man. Justification by God is either as he is Law-giver, and 
above laws, or as he is Judge according to his laws : In the 
first way God maketh us just, by his act of oblivion, or 
pardoning law, or covenant of grace. In the second respect 


God doth two ways justify and forgive : 1. As a determin- 
ing Judge : 2. As the Executioner of his judgment. In the 
former respect God doth two ways justify us : 1. By esteem- 
ing us just. 2. By public sentencing us just. As Execu- 
tioner, he useth us as just, and as so is judged. 

I pass by here purposely all Christ's justification of us 
by way of apology or plea; and all justification by wit- 
nesses and evidences, &c. and all the constitutive causes of 
our righteousness, lest I hinder them whom I would help, 
by using more distinctions than they are willing to learn. 
But these few are necessary. 

1. It is one thing for God to make us righteous, by for- 
giving all our sins of commission and omission, for the sake 
of Christ's satisfaction and obedience. 

2. It is another thing for God to esteem us to be so 
righteous when he hath first made us so. 

3. It is another for God to sentence us righteous as the 
public Judge, by Jesus Christ. 

4. And it is another thing for God to take off all penal- 
ties and evils, and to give us all the good which belong to 
the righteous ; and so to execute his own laws and sen- 
tence. And he that will not distinguish of these senses or 
sorts of justification, shall not dispute with me. 

And while I am upon this, I will give the reader these 
two remarks and counsels. 1. That he will not in disputing 
about justification, with any sect, begin the dispute of the 
thing, till he hath first determined and agreed of their sense 
of the word. And that he will not confound the contro- 
versies ' de nomine' about the word, with those ' de re,' 
about the matter. And that he will remember in citing 
texts of Scripture, that Beza, and many of our best exposi- 
tors, do grant to the Papists (as 1 heard Bishop Usher also 
do) that some texts of Scripture do take the word ' Justify' 
as they do, for pardon and sanctification conjunctly : As 
Titus iii. 7. 1 Cor. vi. 11. Rom. viii. 30. three famous 
texts ; of which see Le Blanc at large in his ' Thes. de nom. 
Justific' If the controversy be only of the sense of a text, 
handle it accordingly : If of the matter, turn it not to 

2. Note this observation, that sanctification itself, or 
the giving us the Spirit, is a great act (though I say not the 
only) of executive justification. The withholding of th^ 


Spirit, is greatest punishment inflicted in this life : and 
therefore the giving* of the Spirit is the removal or execu- 
tive remitting of the greatest penalty : so that if pardon 
vv^ere only as Dr. Twisse thought, a * non-punire,' a not 
punishing, then this were the most proper, as well as 
plenary pardon in this life. But the truth is, that our par- 
don and justification in right goeth first, which God efFecteth 
by his covenant-gift: and then God esteemeth us just or 
pardoned, when by pardon he hath made us just : and if 
there be any sentence, or any thing equivalent before the 
day of judgment or death, he next sentenceth us just ; and 
lastly, he useth us as just, that is, as pardoned (all sins of 
omission and commission) which is by taking off all punish- 
ment both of pain (or sense) and loss ; of which part the 
giving of the Spirit is the chief act on this side our glorifi- 

Note therefore, that thus far no Protestant can deny to 
the Papists, nor will do, that sanctification and justification 
are all one, that is, that God having pardoned us * de jure,' 
doth pardon us executively, by giving us his forfeited Spirit 
and Grace ; and by all the communion which we have after 
with him, and the comfort which we have from him. 

And further let it be well noted, that the nature of this 
executive pardon or justification (of which read Mr. Hotch- 
kis at large) is far better known to us, than the nature of 
God's sentential pardon and justification: and therefore 
there is less controversy about it. For what it is to forbear 
or take off a punishment, is easily understood : But though 
most Protestants say, that justification is a sentence of God, 
they are not agreed what that sentence is. Some think 
(truly) that our first justification by faith is but a virtual 
sentence of the law of grace, by which we must be judged. 
Others say, that by a sentence is meant God's secret mental 
estimation : others say, that as angels are his executioners ; 
so it is before them, where joy is said to be for a sinner's 
conversion, (Luke xv.) that doth declare and sentence us 
pardoned and just. Others think that there is no sentence 
but God's notification of pardon to our consciences, or 
giving us the sense or knowledge of it. Others think that 
there is no sentence till death, or public judgment. Others 
say, that God doth sentence us just> though we know not 
where or how. And Mr. Lawson noteth, that (as all con*- 


fess that God hath no voice, but a created voice ; and there- 
fore iiseth not words as we ; unless what Christ as man 
may do in that we know not; so) his sentence is nothing 
but his declaration that he esteemeth us pardoned and just 
in title, which is principally, if not only, by his execution, 
and taking off all penalties of sense and loss, and using fcs 
as pardoned in title : and so that the giving of his Spirit, is 
his very sentence of justification in this life, as it is his de- 
claration as aforesaid. 

And doubtless executive pardon is the most perfect and 
complete, as being the end and perfection of all the rest. 
Therefore God maketh us just in title by covenant pardon; 
and therefore he sentenceth us as just, that he may take off 
all penalty, and give us the felicity due to the righteous ; 
and may use us as those that are made just. 

There is much truth in most of the aforesaid opinions in- 
clusively, and much falsehood in their several exclusions of 
all the rest (unless their quarrel be only * de nomine,' which 
of all these is most fitly called justification). For, 1. There 
is no doubt but our pardon, or constituted justification in 
covenant- title, is a virtual sentential justification. 2. And 
there is no doubt but God doth esteem them just, that are 
first made just, and no other (because he erreth not): And 
that this estimation is ' sententia concepta,' as distinct from 
' sententia prolata.' 3. And it is certain that those angels 
that must execute his sentence, must first know it : and it 
is probable that the joy tvwTrtov rwv a-yyfXwv rs Ots, in the 
presence of the angels of God, doth intimate that God 
useth ordinarily to notify the conversion of a sinner to 
angels (whether the joy here be meant as Dr. Hammond 
and others think, ' God's joy signified to angels,' or rather 
the * angels' joy,' by their presence being, * in Choro An- 
gelorum,' or among them, that is, in them ; or both). 
4. And it is granted that God doth usually give some no- 
tice of his pardon, at one time or other, more or less to a 
sinner's conscience (though that is too late, too uncertain, 
too low, and too unequal, and too unconstant to be the 
great and famous justification by faith). 5. And it is clear, 
that till death or judgment, there is no such solemn plenary 
judicial sentence or declaration as there will be then. 
6. And it is certain, that at death and judgment, Christ rs 
man, a creature, can speak or express himself, as. the blessed 


creatures do to one another. 7. And it is certain that God 
hath a way of expressing himself to creatures, which is be- 
yond our present understandings : but we may conceive of 
it by the similitude of light, which in the same instant 
revealeth millions of things to millions of persons re- 
spectively. (Though that is nothing to his present justifi- 
cation of us by faith, unless as he revealeth it to angels). 
8. And it is certain, that at the day of death and judgment, 
God will thus by an irresistible light, lay open every man to 
himself, and to the world, which may be called his sentence, 
differing from the execution ; and that Christ in our nature 
will be our Judge, and may express that sentence as afore- 
said. 9. And it is certain, that God's actual taking off 
punishment, and giving the blessing which sin had deprived 
us of, is a declaration of his mind, which may be called, an 
executive sentence, and might serve the turn if there were 
no more : and that in Scripture, the terms of " God's judg- 
ing the world" doth usually signify God's executive govern- 
ment, rewarding and punishing : and that God doth begin 
such execution in this life : and that his giving the Spirit is 
thus his principal pardoning and justifying act; and yet 
that this is but part, and not the whole of our present ex- 
ecutive pardon : and that glorification in this sense is the 
highest and noblest justification or pardon : when God 
giveth us all that sin had forfeited. (But yet we deny not that 
glorification is somewhat more than an executive pardon, 
so far as any more is then given us, than we did forfeit by 
our sins.) 

I must desire the reader not to forget all this explica- 
tion of the nature of justification, because it will be sup- 
posed to the understanding of all before and after. 

Error 10. * That the justified or regenerate never incur 
any guilt or obligation to any punishment, but only tem- 
poral corrections ; and therefore need no pardon at all of 
any sin, at least, since regeneration, as to the everlasting 
punishment ; because Christ died to prevent that guilt, and 
consequently the necessity of any such pardon.' 

Contr, This is before explained. Christ died to procure 
us that pardoning covenant, which (on its own terms) will 
pardon every sin of the justified when they are committed ; 
but not to prevent the need of pardon. Otherwise Christ 
should not satisfy for any sins after regeneration, nor bear 


them in his sufferings at all : for his satisfaction is a bear- 
ing of a punishment, which in its dignity and usefulness is 
equivalent to our deserved, or (to be deserved) punishment. 
Now if we never do deserve it, Christ cannot bear that in 
our stead, which we never deserve : as the preventing of the 
sin or * reatus culpae' proveth that Christ never suffered for 
that sin prevented, because it is * terminus diminuens,' and 
is no sin ; so is it in preventing the desert of punishment. 
And as for correction Christ doth inflict so much as is good 
for us; and therefore did not die to prevent it. But of this 
controversy I have said more at large elsewhere. 

Error 11. ' That justification by faith is perfect at the 
first instant ; though sanctification be imperfect.* 

Contr. Against this error read Mr. George Hopkins's 
book of * Salvation from Sin ;' shewing how justification and 
sanctification are equally carried on. 

It is granted that at our first true faith, we are pardoned 
all the sins that ever we committed before, as to the eternal 
punishment : and so we are converted from them all : but 
(as our sanctification is imperfect, so) our pardon is yet 
imperfect in many respects: For 1. We are still liable to 
death, which is the wages of sin, though it be so far con- 
quered as not to hinder our salvation: Enoch and Elias 
went to heaven without it ; Rom. v. 12. 14. 17. 21. Gen. 
iii. 16, 17. 19. 1 Cor. xv. 21. 26. 2. We are still liable to 
many penal chastisements in this life ; which though they 
do us good by accident, are yet the fruits of sin, no father 
chastising a faultless child, but doing him good in another 
way. 3. There are many sins yet left uncured, which 
though as sins, they are our own only, yet as an evil not 
cured, are also penal : T am sure that the not giving of more 
of his Spirit and Grace is penal. Therefore till our grace 
be perfect, we are not perfectly delivered from the penal 
fruits of sin, and therefore not perfectly justified and par- 
doned. 4. That pardon and justification is not perfect, 
which hath so many conditions, and of such a nature for its 
continuation, as our's now hath : as to say, you shall lose 
your justified state, unless you fight and overcome, in mor- 
tification, sufferings, perseverance, &c. He hath a title to 
an estate, which is held by such a tenure, and would be lost 
if he should fail in such conditions, hath not so perfect a 



title, as he that is past all such conditions. 6. That pardon 
which is only of sins past, while there are thousands more 
hereafter to be pardoned (or else we should yet perish), is 
not so perfect as that pardon and justification in the conclu- 
sion of our lives, when all sin that ever will be committed is 
forgiven absolutely. 6. The kind of our present justifica- 
tion is imperfect ; it being but in covenant-title, and some 
part of execution ; the full and perfect sentence and execu- 
tion, being at the day of judgment. 

I leave them therefore to say, ' Christ's righteousness 
imputed to us is imperfect ; therefore we are as perfectly 
just and justified as Christ,' who know not what imputation 
here is ; nor that Christ's personal righteousness is not given 
to us as proprietors, in itself, but in the effects ; and who 
know not the difference between believing and blaspheming, 
and making ourselves as so many Christs to ourselves ; and 
that know not what need they have of Christ, or of faith, or 
prayer, or of any holy endeavour for any more pardon, and 
righteousness or justification, than they have already: or 
who think that David in his adultery and murder was as per- 
fectly pardoned and justified as he will be in heaven at last: 
and in a word, who know not the difference between earth 
and heaven. 

Error 12. ' That Christ justifieth us only as a Priest: or 
(say others) only as obeying and satisfying.' 

Contr, Christ merited our justification in his state of 
humiliation, as a Mediator subjected to the law, and perfectly 
obeying it, and as a sacrifice for sin. But this is not justi- 
fying us. Christ offered that sacrifice as the High Priest 
of the church or world : but this was not justifying us. 
Christ made us the new covenant as our King, and as the great 
Prophet of the Father or Angel of the Covenant ; Mai. iii. 
1. And this covenant giveth us our pardon and title to im- 
punity, and to life eternal ; and Christ as our King and 
Judge doth justify us by a judiciary sentence, and also by 
the execution of that sentence : so that the relations which 
most eminently appear in our justification, are all excluded 
by the aforesaid error. 

Error 13. * That we are justified only by the first act of 
faith ; and all our believing afterwards to the end of our 
lives, are no justifying acts at all.' 


Contr. Indeed if the question be only about the name of 
justifying, if you will take it only for your first change into 
a state of righteousness by pardon, it is true. But the fol- 
lowing acts of faith are of the same use and need to the 
continuing of our justification, or state of righteousness, as 
the first act was for the beginning of it. 

Error 14, 'That the continuance of our justification 
needeth no other conditions to be by us performed, than 
the continuance of that faith on which it was begun.* 

Contr, Where that first faith continueth, there our justi- 
fication doth continue : but that faith never continueth 
without sincere obedience to Christ ; and that obedience is 
part of the condition of the continuance, or not losing our 
justification (as is proved before, and at large elsewhere). 
The faith which in baptism we profess, and by which we 
have our first justification or covenant-right, is an accept- 
ing of Christ as our Saviour and Lord to be obeyed by us in 
the use of his saving remedies ; and we there vow and cove- 
nant future obedience. And as our marriage to Christ, or 
covenant-making, is all the condition of our first right 
to him and his benefits, without any other good works or 
obedience ; so our marriage-fidelity, or covenant-keeping, 
is part of the condition of our continuance herein, or not 
losing it by a divorce ; John xv. Col. i. 23, &c. 

Error 15. ' That faith is no condition of our part in 
Christ, and our justification, but only one of God's gifts of 
the covenant, given with Christ and justification.' 

Error 16. * That the covenant of grace hath no condi- 
tions on our part, but only donatives on God's part.' 

Error 17. ' That if the covenant had any conditions, it 
were not free. And that every condition is a meritorious 
cause, or at least some cause.' 

Contr, All these I have confuted at large elsewhere, and 
proved, 1. That faith is a proper condition of those benefits 
which God giveth us by the conditional covenant of grace ; 
but not of all the benefits which he any other way giveth 
us. It was not the condition of his giving Christ to live 
and die for us ; or of his giving us the Gospel, or this cove- 
nant itself, nor of his giving us preachers, or qf the first 
motions of his Spirit; nor was faith the condition of the 
gift of faith itself ; because all these are not given us ii> 


that way, by that covenant, but absolutely, as God shall 

2. That some promises of God of the last mentioned 
gifts, have no condition : The promises of giving a Saviour 
to the world ; and the promise of giving and continuing the 
Gospel in the world ; and of converting many by it in the 
world, and of making them believers, and giving them new 
hearts, and bringing them to salvation, &c. have no condi- 
tions. But these are promises made, some of them to 
Christ only, and some of them to fallen mankind, or the 
world in general, or predictions, what God will do by cer- 
tain men unborn, unnamed, and not described, called the 
Elect. But all this giveth no title to pardon, or justifica- 
tion, or salvation to any one person at all. 

Remember therefore once for all, that the covenant 
which I still mean, by the covenant of grace, is that which 
God offereth men in baptism, by the acceptance whereof we 
become Christians. 

3. That God's gift of a Saviour, and a new covenant to 
the world, are so free as to be without any condition : but 
God's gift of Christ with all his benefits of justification, 
adoption, &c. to individual persons, is so free as to be with- 
out and contrary to our desert ; but not so free as to be 
without any condition : and that he that will say to God, ' Thy 
grace of pardon is not free if thou wilt not give it me, but 
on condition that I accept it, yea, or desire it, or ask it,' 
shall prove a contemner of grace, and a reproacher of his 
Saviour, and not an exalter of free grace. There is no in- 
consistency for God to be the giver of grace to cause us to 
believe and accept of Christ, and yet to make a deed of 
gift of him to all on condition of that faith and acceptance ; 
no more than it is inconsistent to give faith and repentance, 
and to command them : of both which the objectors them- 
selves do not seem to doubt. For he maketh both his com- 
mand, and his conditional form of promise to be his chosen 
means (and most wisely chosen) of working in us the thing 

4. That a condition as a condition is no cause at all, 
much less a meritorious cause : but only the non-per- 
formance of it suspendeth the donation of the covenant, by 
the will of the Donor : or rather it is the Donor's will that 


suspendeth it till the condition be done. And some condi- 
tions signify no more than a term of time : and some (in 
the matter of them, and not in the form) are a not-demerit- 
ing, or not-abusing the Giver, or not-despising the gift : 
and some among men are meritorious. And with God 
every act that is chosen by him to be a condition of his 
gift, is pleasing to him, for some special aptitude which it 
hath to that office. This is the full truth, and the plain 
truth about conditions. 

Error 18. 'There is no degree of pardon given to any 
that are not perfectly justified, and that shall not be saved : 
but the giving of the Spirit, so far as to cause us to believe 
and repent, is some degree of executive pardon ; therefore 
we are justified before we believe.' 

Contr. There is a great degree of pardon given to the 
world before conversion, which shall yet justify and save 
none but believers : God's giving a Saviour to the world, 
and a new covenant, and in that an universal conditional 
pardon ; yea, his giving them teaching, exhortations and 
offers of free grace ; and his giving them life and time, and 
many mercies which the full execution of the law would 
have deprived them of, is a very great degree of pardon. 
God pardoned to mankind much of the penalty which sin 
deserved, even presently after the first transgression, in the 
promise made to Adam; Gen. iii. 15. Many texts of Scrip- 
ture (which partial men for their opinions* sake do pervert) 
do speak magnificently of a common pardon, which must 
be sued out, and made particular upon our believing. The 
world was before under so much impossibility of being 
saved by any thing that they could do, that they must have 
procured all to be done first which Christ hath done and 
suffered for them; which was utterly above their power. 
They that were actually obliged to bear the pains of death, 
both temporal, spiritual and eternal, are now so far re- 
deemed, pardoned and delivered, that all the merit and 
satisfaction necessary to actual forgiveness, is made for 
them by another, and no one of them all shall perish for 
want of a sacrifice made and accepted for them ; and an 
universal conditional pardon is enacted, sealed, and record- 
ed, and offered and urged on all to whom the Gospel 
Cometh; and nothing but their obstinate, wilful refusal or 
neglect, can deprive them of it : and this is so great a de- 


gree of" pardon, that it is called often by such alsolute 
names, as if all were done ; because all is done which con- 
cerneth God as Legislator or Covenant-maker, to do, be- 
fore our own acceptance of it. 

Suppose a prince redeem all his captive subjects from 
the Turkish slavery, and one half of them so love their state 
of bondage, or some harlot or ill company there (yea, if all 
of them do so, till half of them are persuaded from it) that 
they will not come away. It is no improper nor unusual 
language to say that he hath redeemed them, and given 
them a release, though they would not have it. That may 
be given to a man, which he never hath, because he refuseth 
to accept it ; when the donor hath done all that belongeth 
to him in that relation of a donor ; though perhaps as a per- 
suader he might do more. 

This is the sense of Heb. i. 3. " When he had by himself 
purged our sins, (or made purgation of our sins) he sat down 
on the right hand of the Majesty on high j" that is, when 
he had become a sacrifice for sin, and sealed the covenant 
by his blood. For actual personal pardon was not given by 
him before our acceptance. 

This is the plain sense of 2 Cor. v. 18- — 20. " God was in 
Christ, reconciling the world to himself; not imputing to 
them their trespasses (that is, purchasing and giving them 
a pardoning covenant) ; and hath committed to us the 
word and ministry of reconciliation : Now then we are am- 
bassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, 
we pray you in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God." 

John i. 29. 36. " Behold the Lamb of God which taketh 
away the sin of the world ;" (that is, as a sacrifice for sin.) 
As Heb. ix. 26. " Once in the end of the world he hath ap- 
peared to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself:" 
(Though the sacrifice as offered only, doth not actually and 
fully pardon it.) The same as Heb. x. 12. ** After he had 
offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right 
hand of God." 

So Matt, xviii. 27. 32. " He forgave him the debt 

I forgave thee all that debt " viz. conditionally, and as 

David forgave Shimei. 

Psal. Ixxviii. 38. " He forgave their iniquity, and de- 
stroyed them not;'' that is, he forgave them the temporal 
punishment, and suspended the execution of eternal punish- 


ment, giving them yet more time and offers of repentance 
and of further mercy. And so he forgave Ahab and Nineveh 
upon their humiliation. Numb. xiv. 19. " Pardon, I beseech 
thee, the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness 
of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people from 
Egypt until now." 

So Psal. Ixxxv. 2, 3. " Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of 
thy people; thou hast covered all their sins: Thou hast 
taken avt^ay all thy wrath Turn us, O God of our sal- 
vation, and cause thine anger to cease : Wilt thou be angry 
with us for ever?" So that they are two palpable errors 
here asserted by the objectors, viz. that * there is no degree 
of pardon to such as are not saved ;' and that ' we are justi- 
fied whenever we have any degree of pardon.' We may be 
so far pardoned as to have grace given us effectually to be- 
lieve, and yet our justification, or the covenant-forgiveness 
of eternal punishment, is in order of nature after our be- 
lieving, and not before it. 

Error 19. * That our natures are as far from being able 
to believe in Christ, as from being able to fulfil the law of 
works, and to be justified by it; they being equally impos- 
sible to us ; and as much help is necessary to one as to the 

Contr. To be justified by the law of works, when we 
have once broken it, is a contradiction, and a natural im- 
possibility; as it is to be at once a sinner, and no sinner. 
But so it is not for a sinner to believe in Christ : The im- 
possibility is but moral at most ; which consisteth not in a 
want of natural faculties or power, but in the want of a 
right disposition, or willingness of mind. 

And to fulfil the law of God, and to be perfect for the 
future, is surely a far higher degree of spiritual grace and 
excellency, than to be a poor, weak, sinful believer, desiring 
to fulfil it. Therefore our sinful natures are much farther 
off from perfection than from faith. 

3. And though the same Omnipotency do all God's 
works, (for all God's power is Omnipotency) yet it is not 
equally put forth, and manifested in all his works : the 
moving of a feather, and the making of the world, are both 
works of Omnipotency ; but not equal works or exertions of it. 

4. And it is certain that * in rerum natura,' there is such 


a thing as a proper power given by God, to do many things 
that never are done ; and that necessary grace (which some 
call sufficient) which is not eventually effectual : for such 
Adam had (such power, and such necessary grace or help) 
to have forborn his first sin, which he did not forbear. And 
no man can prove that no final unbelievers have had such 
power and help to have believed, as Adam had to have 
stood. But it is certain that we have not such power and 
necessary grace, to have perfectly fulfilled all the law. 

Error 20. * That faith justifieth as an instrument, and 
only so.' 

Of this I have written at large heretofore. An instru- 
ment properly so called, is an efficient cause : faith is no 
efficient cause of our justification; neither God's instru- 
ment, nor ours : for we justify not ourselves instrumentally : 
the known undoubted instrument of our justification, is 
God's covenant or deed of gift ; which is his pardoning act : 
they that say it is not a physical, but a moral instrument, 
either mean that it is morally called an instrument, that is, 
reputatively, and not really ; or that it is indeed a moral in- 
strument, that is, effecteth our justification morally. But 
the latter is false ; for it effecteth it not at all : and the for- 
mer is false; for as there is no reason ; so there is no Scrip- 
ture to prove that God reputeth it to be what it is not. 

All that remaineth to be said is that indeed faith in 
Christ is an act whose nature partly (that is, one act of it) 
consisteth in the acceptance of Christ himself who is given 
to us for our justification and salvation, by a covenant 
which maketh this believing acceptance its condition. And 
so this accepting act in the very essence of it, is such as 
some call a receiving instrument (or a passive) which is in- 
deed no instrument, but an act metaphorically called an in 
strument ; (and in disputes, metaphors must not be used 
without necessity ; and to understand them properly is to 
err.) So that such an improper instrument of justification 
faith is, as my trusting my physician (and taking him for 
my physician) is the instrument of my cure : and as my 
trusting myself to the conduct of such a pilot, is the instru- 
ment of my safe voyage ; or as my trusting my tutor is the 
instrument of my learning ; or rather as a woman's marriage- 
consent is the instrument of all the wealth and honour 


which she hath by her husband. Indeed marriage may be 
better called the instrument of it ; that is, not her own con- 
sent, (which is properly the receiving condition) but the 
consent and actual marriage by her husband : for he is the 
giver. And so the covenant is God's justifying instrument, 
as signifying his donative consent ; and baptism is the in- 
instrument of it, by solemn investiture or tradition ; as the 
delivering of a key, is the instrumental delivery of the 

The case then is very plain to him that is but willing ta 
understand, viz. that faith in its essence, is besides the as- 
senting acts, an accepting of an offered Saviour for our jus- 
tification, sanctification and salvation, and a trusting in 
him : that this act of faith being its essence, is the most apt 
for the use that God in his covenant hath appointed it unto : 
because he will give us a Saviour freely, but yet not to be 
refused and neglected, but to be thankfully and honourably 
received and used : that this special aptitude of faith, or its 
very essence, is the reason why it is chosen to be the con- 
dition of the Testament or gift : that this same essence and 
aptitude, is that which some call its receptive or passive in- 
strumentality : that this essence and aptitude is not the 
nearest reason why we are justified by it ; for then faith as 
faith, and as such an act or work of ours should justify, 
and that ' ex opere operato ;' and that without or against 
God's will. For if God's will have interposed, the signifier 
of that will must needs be the chief and nearest reason : 
therefore this act so apt being by God made the condition 
of the gift or covenant, its nearest and chief interest (I will 
not call it causality) in our justification, is this office of a 
condition. Therefore in a word, we are justified by faith 
directly as, or because it is the ' conditio prsestita,' the per- 
formance of the condition of the justifying act; and it was 
by God made the condition, because it was in its nature 
most apt thereto ; which aptitude may be metaphorically 
called its receptive instrumentality : and that thus as it ac- 
cepteth Christ for justification, adoption, sanctification and 
glorification; so it is first the metaphorical instrument of 
our part in Christ; and but consequently the metaphorical 
instrument of our title to pardon, the Spirit and heaven ; 
and in no tolerable sense at all (how figurative soever) is it 
any instrument of God's sentence of justification (which yet 


is all the justification acknowledged by the usual defenders 
of instrumentality) saving as it may be said to give us a 
right to it, by giving us constitutive justification in the 
pardon of our sins. 

And the Scripture never saith that faith justifieth us, 
nor calleth it justifying faith; but that we are justified by 
faith, and most commonly [of faith], for the most usual phrase 
is sK Tr/tTTfwc, ' ex fide,' as it is ' ex operibus,' when justifica- 
tion by works is denied ; which is not the mere instrumen- 
tality of works. 

So that here is a double error; 1. That faith justifieth 
as a true and proper instrument : 2. And no other way. 

Error 21. ' That faith causeth justification, as it causeth 
sanctification ; as much and as properly.' 

Contr. Faith causeth not justification at all, but only is 
the condition of it : but faith causeth the acts of other 
graces by a proper efficiency ; believing is a proper efficient 
cause of the will's volition, complacency, consent, (though 
but a moral efficient, because the liberty of the will for- 
biddeth the intellect to move it ' per modum naturae.') And 
the will's consent produceth other acts, and physically ex- 
citeth other graces : because to love, and desire, and fear, 
and seek, and obey, are acts of our own souls, where one 
may properly cause another : but to justify or pardon is an 
act of God : and therefore faith equally procureth our right 
or title to justification, and to sanctification, and glorifica- 
tion ; but it doth not equally effect them. " Let us cleanse 
ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting 
holiness," &c. ; 2 Cor. vii. 1. Not let us pardon and justify 
ourselves. Cleanse your hearts, you sinners, &c. ; James 
iv. 8. *' Wash you, make you clean ; put away the evil of 
your doings ;" Isa. i. 16. (not your guilt and punishment.) 
So only Christ cleanseth us from all sin and unrighteous- 
ness ; 1 John i. 7. 9. *' Keep yourselves in the love of God ;" 
Jude 21. " Abide in me," &c.; John xv. 4. " He that is 
begotten of God, keepeth himself," &c. ; 1 John v. 18. 

Error 22. * That the faith by which we are justified, is 
not many physical acts of the soul only, but one.' 

Error 23. ' That it is not only an act of one faculty of 
the soul.' 

Contr, The contrary is fully opened before ; and proved 
at large elsewhere, and through the Scripture. Faith is (as 


Davenant well noteth) the act of the whole man : I was 
wont to say of both faculties, I now say of the three facul- 
ties, which constitute the soul of man, the potestative, the 
intellective and the volitive. And the assent itself is many 
acts, (as acts are physically specified by their objects) as is 
shewed. It is one moral act or work of the soul : like 
trusting a man as my physician, which is a fiducial consent 
that he be my physician, in order to the use of his remedies ; 
or as taking a man to be your prince, husband, tutor, mas- 
ter, &c. where he that will tell people that taking signifieth 
but one physical act, would be ridiculous. And he that 
will tell people that only one physical act of one faculty is 
it that they must look to be justified by, will be much 
worse than ridiculous. 

Error 24. * That we are justified by faith, not as it re- 
ceiveth Christ's person, but his benefits or righteousness.' 

Contr. The contrary is before and after proved (and in- 
sisted on by Dr. Preston at large). Indeed we receive not 
Christ's person itself physically ; but his person in the of- 
fice and relation of our Saviour ; as we must choose what 
person shall be our physician, before we take his medicines, 
or receive our health ; but it is only a consent that he and 
no other, be our physician, which we call the taking of his 
person. And so it is here. 

Error 25. * That it is one act of faith which giveth us 
right to Christ, and another to his righteousness, and ano- 
ther to his teaching, and another to his Spirit, and another 
to adoption, and to heaven,' &c. and not the same. 

Contr. This is, 1. Adding to the word of God, and that 
in a matter near our chiefest comfort and safety. Prove 
it, or affirm it not. 2. It is corrupting, and perverting, and 
contradicting the word and covenant of God, which unitedly 
maketh the same faith (without any such distinction) the 
condition of all the covenant-gifts ; Mark xvi. 16. John iii. 
16. &c. 

Error 26. ' That though the same faith which justifieth 
doth believe in him as a Teacher, as a King and a Judge, 
&c. yet it justifieth us only ' quatenus receptio justitiae,' as 
it is the receiving of Christ's righteousness.' 

Contr, See my Dispute of Justification, my confutation 
of this assertion in Mr. Warner. Properly faith justifieth 
not at all ; but we are justified of or by it as a condition by 


the tenor of God*s deed of gift. And so far a8 it is the 
condition in that gift, so far we are justified by it. But it 
is one entire faith in Christ, which is the condition, without 
such distinction ; therefore we are so justified by it. 2. Ac- 
cording to that rule, there must be as many acts of faith, as 
there are benefits to be received, and the title to be ascribed 
to each one accordingly. 3. The natural relation of the 
act to the object, sheweth no more but what the nature or 
essence of that faith is, and not how we come to be justified 
by it. 4. The sense containeth this false proposition, * Haec 
fides qua talis,* or ' qua fides justificat:' faith as faith, or 
as this faith is specie, justifieth (which some call the 'To 
credere'). For it is the essence of faith which they call its 
reception of Christ's righteousness. 5. The true passive 
reception of righteousness and pardon, is that of the per- 
son, as he is the ' terminus' of the donative or justifying act 
of the covenant : to receive pardon properly, is to be par- 
doned : but our active receiving or consent, is but the con- 
dition of it ; and there is no proof or reason that the con- 
dition should be so parcelled 6. Yet if by your ' quatenus' 
you intend no more than the description of the act of faith 
as essentially related to its subsequent benefit, and not at 
all to speak of its conditional nearest interest in our justifi- 
cation, the matter were less. 7. But the truth is, that if 
we might distinguish where God doth not distinguish, it 
were much more rational to say, that taking Christ for a 
true Messenger of God, and a Teacher, and Sanctifier, and 
King, hath a greater hand in our justification, than taking 
him to justify us (supposing that all be present). Because 
the common way and reason of conditions in covenants is, 
that somewhat which the party is willing of, is promised 
upon condition of something which he is unwilling of, that 
for the one he may be drawn to consent unto the other : as 
if the physician should say, * If you will take me for your 
physician, and refuse none of my medicines, I will under- 
take to cure you.' Here it is supposed that the patient is 
willing of health, and not willing of the medicines, but for 
health's sake ; and therefore consenting to the medicines 
(or receiving this man to be a physician as a prescriber of 
the medicines) is more the condition of his cure, than his 
consenting to the cure itself, or receiving the physician as 
the cause of his health ; so here it is supposed that con- 


demned sinners are already willing to be justified, pardoned, 
and saved from punishment, but not willing to repent and 
follow the teaching and counsel of a Saviour ; and there- 
fore that pardon and justification is given and offered them, 
on condition that they accept of, and submit to the teach- 
ing and government of Christ, and of salvation from their 
sins : but the truth is, we must not presume beyond his re- 
velation, to give the reasons of God's institutions We are 
sure that the entire belief in Christ, and accepting of him- 
self as our perfect Saviour in order to all the ends of his 
relation, is made by God in his covenant, the condition 
of our title to the benefits of his covenant conjunctly : and 
it is not only the believing in Christ for pardon that as such 
is the condition of pardon ; nor is any one act the condi- 
tion of any benefit, but as it is a part of that whole faith 
which is indeed the condition. 

The occasion of their error is, that they consider only 
what it is in Christ the object of faith which justifieth, 
sanctifieth, &c. and they think that the act only which is 
exercised on that object must do it; which is a gross mis- 
take : because faith is not like taking of money, jewels, 
books, &c. into one's hand, which is a physical act which 
taketh possession of them; but it is a * jus' or ' debitum,' a 
right and relation which we are morally and passively to 
receive, as constituting our first justification and pardon; 
and as the condition of this we are to take Christ for our 
Saviour, which is but a physical, active, metaphorical re- 
ceiving, in order to the attainment of the said passive pro- 
per receiving (for * recipere proprie est pati*). 

If an act be passed, that all traitors and rebels, who will 
give up themselves to the king's son, as one that hath ran- 
somed them, to be taught and ruled by him, and reduced 
to their obedience, and to be their general in the wars 
against his enemies ; shall have pardon, and lands, and 
honours, and further rewards after this service; here the 
prince himself doth deliver them by his ransom, and enrich 
them by his lands, and honour them by his honour or 
power, &c. But their act of giving up themselves to him 
under the notion of a ransomer, doth no more to their de- 
liverance, than their giving up themselves to him under the 
notion of a general or ruler, &c. ; because it doth not free 


them as it is such an act, but as it is an act made the con- 
dition of his gift. 

And note that I have before proved, that even as to the 
object Christ justifieth us in all the parts of his office. 

Error 27. ' That believing in God as God and our Father 
in Christ, is not an act of justifying faith, but only a conse- 
quent or concomitant of it/ 

Contr. 1. No doubt but God must some way be believed 
in, in order of nature, before Christ can be believed in (as 
is proved) who can believe that Christ is the Son and Mes- 
senger of God ? Who believeth not that there is a God ? 
Or that Christ reconcileth us to God, before he believe that 
he is our offended God and Governor. 2. But to believe 
in God as the end of our redemption ; to whose love and 
favour we must be restored by faith in Christ, and who par- 
doneth by the Son, is as essential an act of justifying faith, 
as our belief in Christ. 

Object, ' But not ' quatenus justificantis,' not of faith as 

Answ, If by * as justifying,' you mean 'not as effecting 
justification,' it is a false supposition : there is no such 
faith. If you mean ' not as the condition of justification,' 
it is false : it is as essential a part of it as the condition. 
If you mean ' not as faith is denominated justifying from the 
consequent benefit,' it is true, but impertinent ; for the same 
may be said of faith in Christ ; it is not called ' faith in 
Christ,' as it is called (by you) justifying. And yet I may 
add, that in the very physical nature of it, belief in God as 
our God and end, is essential to it : as consenting to be 
healed, is essential to consenting to the physician ; and 
consenting to be reconciled is essential to our consenting 
to a mediation for that end ; because the respect to the end 
is essential to the relation consented to. 

All the faith described Heb. xi. in all those instances, 
hath special essential respect to God. 

So hath Abraham's faith, Rom. iv. 3. "Abraham be- 
lieved God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness." 
" To him that worketh not, but believeth on him (on God) 
that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righte- 
ousness ;" ver. 5^ " Blessed is the man to whom the Lord 
will not impute sin ;" ver. 8. " Before him whom he be- 


lieved, even God who quickeneth the dead ;" ver. 17. "He 
staggered not at the promise of God Being fully per- 
suaded, that what he had promised, he was also able to per- 
form;'* ver. 20, 21. " And therefore it was imputed to him 
for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake 
alone, that it was imputed to him ; but for us also to whom 
it shall be imputed, if we believe on him who raised Jesus 
our Lord from the dead ;" ver. 22 — 24. 

Abundance such testimonies are obvious in Scripture ; 
but this being as plain as can be spoken, he maketh his own 
faith, who refuseth to believe it. Our faith in God as God 
hath as much hand in our justification, as our faith in 
Christ as Mediator. 

But the form of the baptismal covenant which the 
church ever used, fully proveth it as aforesaid, though to 
answer all ignorant cavils against it, as an unnecessary 
tediousness 1 pass by. 

Error 28. ' The belief of heaven, or the life to come, is 
no essential part of justifying faith as such.' 

Contr, The last answer to this error is sufficient : Hea- 
ven is the everlasting vision and love of God ; and there- 
fore we are justified by believing it, though not it alone : it 
is essential to our Saviour, to save and bring us to the frui- 
tion of God. 

Error 29. 'That justifying faith is a believing that I am 
justified, or elect, and shall be saved by Christ.* 

Error 30. * That this faith is a full assurance, or persua- 
sion at least, excluding doubting.' 

Contr, 1. We are justified by believing and accepting 
God for our God, and Christ for our Saviour, that we may 
be justified; and not by believing that we are justified. 
2. It is false, and ever will be, that any of the ' prsesciti' (as 
Austin and Prosper call them) or the non-elect, are elect, or 
justified, or will be saved ; but the non-elect are commanded 
and bound to believe with that same kind of faith by which 
we are justified; therefore to believe that they themselves 
are elect, justified, and shall be saved, is not that kind of 
faith by which we are justified. No men are bound by God 
on pain of damnation to believe a lie, nor damned for not 
believing it. 3. Assurance of personal pardon, is the hap- 
piness but of few true Christians in this life ; and where it 


iSj it is only an effect or consequent participating of faith. 
See Mr. Hickman on this subject. 

Error 31. * The meaning of that article of our creed ' I 
believe the remission of sins' is, I believe that my own sins 
are forgiven to me personally.' 

Contr. Though worthy Mr. Perkins, and other ancient 
divines have too much countenanced this exposition, it is 
false. The meaning of that article is but this, ' I believe 
that a sufficient provision for pardon is made by Christ, 
both for sins before regeneration, and after-faults which 
shall be repented of; and that a pardoning covenant is 
made to all, if they will repent and believe ; and to me as 
well as others, and I accept of that gracious offer, and trust 
in that covenant in Christ.* 

It is dangerous mssexpounding articles of the creed. 
Error 32. ' At least it is an act of divine belief to be- 
lieve that I am elect, and justified, and shall be saved.' 

Contr. Many have been a great scandal or snare to 
harden the Papists by asserting this. But the truth is, it is 
but a rational conclusion from two premises; the one of 
which is of divine revelation, and the other of inward ex- 
perience ; and all that is capable of being a controversy to 
the judicious, is only ' de nomine/ whether logically the 
conclusion be to be denominated from the more debile of 
the premises, or from both, by participation, as being both 
an act of faith, and of reason, ' secundum quid,' and of nei- 
ther simpliciter. But it is commonly concluded, that the 
more debile of the premises must denominate the conclu- 
sion : and it is certain ' de re/ that the conclusion can be no 
more certain than it. 

Object, * But when the Scripture saith, " He that be- 
lieveth shall be saved ;" it is equivalent to this, * I John 
believe, and therefore I shall be saved.' 

Answ. A gross deceit. That I believe, is no where in 
the Scripture : if it be, doth the Scripture say, that all men 
believe, or only some ? If some, doth it name them, or 
notify them by any thing but the marks by which they must 
find it in themselves ? 

Object. ' But he that believeth may be as sure that he 
believeth, as that the Scripture is true.' 

Amw. But not that he is sincere, and exceeding all 


hypocrites and common believers ; at least there are but 
few that get so full an assurance hereof. 

Object. * The Spirit witnesseth that we are God's chil- 
dren ; and to believe the Spirit, is to believe God.' 

Answ. The Spirit is oft called in Scripture, the Witness, 
and Pledge, and Earnest, in the same sense ; that is, it is 
the evidence of our right to Christ and life. " If any man 
have not his Spirit, he is none of his ;" Rom. viii. 9. And 
hereby we know that he dwelleth in us, by the Spirit which 
he hath given us. As the Spirit's miracles were the witness 
of Christ, (Heb. ii. 3, &c.) objectively, as evidence is called 
witness. 2. And withal the Spirit by illumination and ex- 
citation helpeth us to see itself as our evidence. 3. And to 
rejoice in this discovery. And thus the Spirit witnesseth 
our adoption. But none of these are the proper objects of 
a divine belief. 1. The objective evidence of holiness in 
us, is the object of our rational self-acquaintance, or con- 
science only. 2. The illuminating grace by which we see 
this, is not a new divine testimony, or proper revelation, or 
word of God ; but the same help of grace by which all other 
divine things are known. And all the Spirit's grace for our 
understanding of divine revelations are not new objective 
revelations themselves; requiring a new act of faith for 
them. A word or proper revelation from God is the object 
of divine belief; otherwise every illuminating act of the 
Spirit for our understanding God's word, would be itself a 
new word, to be believed, and so * in infinitum.' 

Error 33. * Doubting of the life to come, or of the truth 
of the Gospel, will not stand with saving faith.' 

Contr. It will not stand with a confirmed faith ; but it 
will with a sincere faith. He that doubteth of the truth of 
the promise, so far as that he will not venture life and soul, 
and all his hopes and happiness, temporal and eternal upon 
it, hath no true faith; but he that doubteth, but yet so far 
belie veth the Gospel, as to take God for his only God and 
portion, and Christ for his only Saviour, and the Spirit for 
his Sanctifier, and will cast away life, or all that stand in 
competition, hath a true and saving faith ; as is before 

Error 34. * That repentance is no condition of pardon 
or justification ; for then it would be equal therein with faith.' 

VOL. XII. z 


Cantr, I have elsewhere at large proved the contrary 
from Scripture. Repentance hath many acts as faith hath. 
To repent (as it is the change of the mind) of our atheism, 
idolatry, and not loving God, and obeying him, is the same 
motion of the soul denominated from the * terminus a quo,' 
as faith in God, and love to God is denominated from the 
' terminus ad quem :' this is repentance towards God. Re- 
penting of our infidelity against Christ, is the same motion of 
the soul as believing in Christ, only one is denominated 
from the object turned from, and the other from the object 
turned to. By which you may see that some repentance is 
the same with faith in Christ ; and some is the same with 
faith in God ; and some is the same with love to God ; and 
some is but the same with the leaving of some particular 
sin, or turning to some particular fore-neglected duty. And 
so you may esily resolve the case how far it is the condition 
of pardon, repentance, as it is a return to the love of God, 
as he is our God, and end, and all, is made the final condi- 
tion or further blessings as necessary in and of itself as the 
end of faith in Christ ; and repentance of infidelity, and 
faith in Christ is made the mediate or medicinal condition. 
As consenting to be friends with your father or king after a 
rebellion ; and consenting to the mediation of a friend to 
reconcile you, are both conditions, one (the more noble) 
' de fine,' and the other ' de mediis :' or as consenting to be 
cured, and consenting to take physic. They that will or 
must live in the darkness of confusion, were best at least 
hold their tongues there, till they come into distinguishing 

Error 35. * That all other acts of faith in Christ (as our 
Lord, or Teacher, or Judge), or of faith in God, or the Holy 
Ghost ; all confessing sin, and praying for pardon, and re- 
penting and forgiving others, and receiving baptism, &c. 
are the works which Paul excludeth from justification ; and 
one act of faith only being the justifying instrument, he that 
looketh to be justified by any of all these, besides that one 
act, doth look for justification by works, and consequently 
is fallen from grace.' 

Contr. This is not only an addition to God's word and 
covenant (not to be used by them that judge it unlawful to 
add a form or ceremony in his worship) but it is a most 


dangerous invention to wrack men's consciences, and keep 
all men under certain desperation. For whilst the world 
standeth, the subtlest of these inventers of new doctrines 
will never be able to tell the world, which is that one sole 
act of faith, by which they are justified, that they may 
escape looking for a legal justification by the rest : whether 
it be believing in Christ's divinity, or humanity, or both ; or 
in his divine, or human, or habitual righteousness, or his 
obedience as a subject, or his sacrifice, or his priesthood 
offering that sacrifice, or his covenant and promise of par- 
don and justification, or in God that giveth him and them ; 
or in his resurrection, or in God's present sentential or exe- 
cutive justification; or in his final sentential justification, 
&c. No man to the end of the world shall know which of 
these, or any other is the sole justifying act; and so no 
man can escape being a legal adversary to grace. Unhappy 
Papists, who by the contrary extreme, have frightened or 
disputed us into such wild and scandalous inventions. Of 
this see fully my Dispute of Justification, against the wor- 
thy and excellent Mr. Anthony Burgess. 

Error 36. * That our own faith is not at all imputed to 
us for righteousness, but only Christ's righteousness re- 
ceived by it.' 

Contr. The Scripture no where saith, that Christ or his 
righteousness, or his obedience, or his satisfaction is im- 
puted to us; and yet we justly defend it, as is before ex- 
plained, and as Mr. Bradshaw and ' Grotius de satisfact.' 
have explained it. And on the other side, the Scripture 
often saith, that faith is imputed for righteousness, and shall 
be so to all that believe in God that raised Christ ; Rom. iv. 
And this these objectors peremptorily deny. But expound- 
ing Scripture amiss, is a much more clean pretence for error 
than a flat denial of its truth. And a true exposition is 
better than either. 

The same God who hath given us a Saviour to satisfy 
legal justice, and to merit our justification against the 
charge that we are condemnable by the law of works ; hath 
thought meet to convey our title to this Christ and justifica- 
tion, by the instrumentality of a new covenant, testament, 
or pardoning act; in which (though he absolutely gave 
many antecedent mercies, yet) he giveth these and other 


rights, by a conditional gift, that as the reward of glory 
should have invited man to keep the law of nature and his 
innocency ; so the reward should be a moving means to 
draw men to believe. So that there is a condition to be 
performed by ourselves (through grace) before we can have 
the covenant-right to justification. Now when that is per- 
formed, Christ then is our only righteousness (as aforesaid) 
by which we must answer the charge of breaking the first 
law, and being condemnable by it. But we can lay no 
claim to this righteousness of Christ, till we first prove that 
we are ourselves inherently righteous, against the charge of 
being impenitent unbelievers. This false accusation we 
must be justified against by our own faith and repentance ; 
that we may be justified by Christ, against the true accusa- 
tion of sinning against the law, and thereby being con- 
demnable by it. Now as to our legal righteousness, or pro- 
legal rather, by which this last must be avoided, it is * only 
the merits of Christ, given to us in its fruits, in the new 
covenant, even the merits of his obedience and sacrifice.' 
But our faith itself is the other righteousness, which must 
be found in our persons to entitle us to this first : and this 
being it, and being all (in the sense aforesaid) that is made 
the condition of our pardon by the new covenant; therefore 
God is said to impute it itself to us for a righteousness, be- 
cause that condition maketh it so ; and to impute it to us 
for our righteousness, that is, as all that now by this cove- 
nant he requireth to be personally done by us, who had 
formerly been under a harder condition, even the fulfilling 
of the law by innocency, or suffering for sin ; because he 
that doth not fulfil nor satisfy, as is said, yet if he believe, 
hath a right to the justification merited by Christ, who did 
fulfil and satisfy. This is easy to be understood as un- 
doubted truth by the willing ; and the rest will be mo&t 
contentious where they are most erroneous. 

Error 37. ' That sincere obedience, and all acts of love, 
repentance, and faith save one, do justify us only before 
men ; and of that speaketh St. Jimes, Ch. ii.' 

Coiitr, I must refer the reader to other books, in which 
1 have fully confuted this. How can men judge of the acts 
of repentance, faith, love, &c. which are in the heart ? And 
James plainly speaketh of God's imputing righteousness to 


Abraham; James ii. 21. 23. And how shall men justify 
Abraham for killing his only son ? And how small a matter 
is justification by man, when we may be saved without it? 

2. Sincere obedience to God in Christ, is the condition 
of the continuance, or not losing our justification here, and 
the secondary part of the condition of our final sentential 
and executive justification. 

Error 38. ' That our inherent righteousness before de- 
scribed, hath no place of a condition in our justification in 
the day of judgment.' 

Contr. The Scriptures folly confuting this, I have else- 
where cited. All those that say, we shall be judged ac- 
cording to our works, &c. speak against it ; for to be judged, 
is only to be justified or condemned : So Rev. xxii. 14. 
Matt. XXV. &-C. 

Error 39. * That there is no justification at judgment to 
be expected, but only a declaration of it.' 

Contr, The decisive sentence and declaration of the 
Judge, is the most proper sense or sort of justification, and 
the perfection of all that went before. I^. we shall not be 
then justified, then there is no such thing as justification 
by sentence : nay, there is no such thing as a day of judg- 
ment; or else all men must be condemned. For it is most 
certain that we must be justified, or condemned, or not 

Error 40. * That no man ought to believe that the con- 
ditional covenant, act or gift of justification, belongeth to 
him as a member of the lost world ; or as a sinner in Adam; 
because God hath made no such gift or promise to any but 
to the elect.* 

Contr, This is confuted on the by before. 
Error 41. * That though it be false that the non- elect 
are elect, and that Christ died for them, yet they are bound 
to believe it ; every man of himself, to prove that they are 

Contr, This is confuted on the by before. God bindeth, 
or biddeth no man to believe a lie. 

Error 42. * That we must believe God's election, and 
our justification, and the special love of God to us, before 
we can love him with a special love ; because it will not 
cause in us a special love, to believe only a common love of 
God, and such as he hath to the wicked and his enemies.' 


Contr. No man can groundedly believe the special love 
of God to hira, nor his own election or justification, before 
he hath (yea before he find in himself) a special love to 
God. Because he that hath no special love to God, must 
believe a lie if he believe that he is justified, or that ever 
God revealed to him that he is elect, or specially beloved of 
God ; and no man hath any evidence or proof at all of his 
election, and God's special love, till he have this evidence 
of his special love to God. Till he know this, he cannot 
know that any other is sincere. 

2. They that deny or blaspheme God's common love to 
fallen man, and his universal pardoning covenant, do their 
worst to keep men from being moved to the special love of 
God by his common love ; but when they have done their 
worst, it shall stand as a sure obligation. Is there not rea- 
son enough to bind men to love God above all, even as one 
that yet may be their happiness in his own infinite good- 
ness, and all the revelations of it by Christ, and in his so 
'* loving the world, as to give his only Son that whosoever 
believeth in hin» should not perish, but have everlasting 
life." And in his giving a free pardon of all sin to man- 
kind, and offering life eternal to them, so that none but the 
final refusers shall lose it, and entreating them to accept it. 
Sec. Is not all this sufficient in reason to move men to the 
love of God, if the Spirit help them to make use of rea- 
son (as he must do what reasons soever are presented to 
them), unless men think that God doth not oblige them by 
any kindness they can possibly reject? Or by any thing 
which many others do partake of? 

Yet here note, that by God's common love to man, I do 
not mean, any which he hath to reprobates, under the con- 
sideration of final despisers of his antecedent love ; but of 
that antecedent love itself, which he hath shewed to lost 
mankind in Christ. 

And note also, that I do not deny but that love of God 
in some men may be true, where their own presumption 
that God hath elected them, and loved them above others, 
before they had any proof of it, was an additional motive ; 
but this is man's way, and not God's. 

Error 43. ' That trusting to any thing, save God and 
Jesus Christ, for our salvation, is sin and damnable.' 

Contr, Confusion cheateth and choketh men's under- 


standing. In a word, to trust to any thing but God, and 
Christ, and the Holy Spirit, for any of that which is the 
proper part of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, is sin and dam- 
nable. But to trust to any thing or person, for that which 
is but his own part, is but our duty. And he that prayeth, 
and readeth, and heareth, and endeavoureth, and looketh to 
be never the better by them, nor trusteth them for their 
proper part, will be both heartless and formal in his work. 

And I have shewed before, that the Scriptures, the pro- 
mise, the apostle, the minister, and every Christian and 
honest man, hath a certain trust due to them for that which 
is their part, even in order to our salvation. I may trust 
only to the skill of the physician, and yet trust his apo- 
thecary, and the boy that carrieth the medicine for their 

Error 44. ' That it is sinful, and contrary to free grace, 
to look at any thing in ourselves, or our own inherent righ- 
teousness, as the evidence of our justification.' 

Coritr. Then no man can know his justification at all. 
Hie Spirit of holiness and adoption in ourselves, is our 
earnest of salvation, and the witness that we are God's chil- 
dren, and the pledge of God's love; as is proved before. 
This is God's seal, as God knoweth who are his ; so he that 
will know it himself, must depart from iniquity, when he 
nameth Christ. If God sanctify none but those whom he 
justifieth, then may the sanctified know that they are justi- 
fied. Hath God delivered in Scripture so many signs or 
characters of the justified in vain ? 

Object, * The witness of the Spirit only can assure us.' 

Answ. You know not what the witness of the Spirit is ; 
or else you would know that it is the Spirit making us 
holy, and possessing us with a filial love of God, and with a 
desire to please him, and a dependance on him, &c. which 
is the witness, even by way of an inherent evidence (and 
helping us to perceive that evidence, and take comfort in 
it). As a childlike love, and a pleasing obedience, and 
dependance, with a likeness to the father, is a witness, that 
is, an evidence which is your child. 

Error 45. * That it is sinful to persuade wicked men to 
pray for justification, or any grace, or to do any- thing for it ; 
seeing their prayers and doings are abominable to God, and 
cannot please him.' 


Contr. Then it is sinful to persuade a wicked man from 
his wickedness : praying and obeying, is departing from 
wickedness. He that prayeth to be sanctified indeed, is re- 
penting and turning from his sin to God. We never exhort 
wicked men to pray with the tongue, without the desire of 
the heart. Desire is the soul of prayer, and words are but 
the body. We persuade them not to dissemble ; but as 
Peter did Simon, repent and pray for forgiveness ; Acts viii. 
And if we may not exhort them to good desires (and to ex- 
cite and express the best desires they have) we may not ex- 
hort them to conversion. " Seek the Lord while he may be 
found, and call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked 
forsake his way," &c. ; Isa. Iv. 6. 10. You see there that 
praying is a repenting act ; and when we exhort them to 
pray, we exhort them to repent and seek God. 

Object. * But they have no ability to do it.' 

Answ. Thus the devil would excuse sinners and accuse 
God. Thus you may put by all God*s commands, and say, 
God should not have commanded them to repent, believe, 
love him, obey him, nor love one another, nor forbear their 
sins ; for they have no ability to do it. But they have their 
natural faculties, or powers, and they have common grace ; 
and God's way of giving them special grace, is by meeting 
them in the use of his appointed means ; and not by meet- 
ing them in an alehouse, or in sinful courses. (However a 
soul may be met with in his persecuting, and God may be 
found of them that sought him not ; yet that is not his usual, 
nor his appointed way.) Can any man of reason dream that 
it is not the duty of a wicked man to use any means for the 
obtaining of grace, or to be better ; nor to do any thing 
towards his own recovery and salvation ? Nature and Scrip- 
ture teach men as soon as they see their sin and misery, 
to say, " What must I do to be saved ?" As the repenting 
Jews, and Paul, and the Gaoler did ; Acts ii. 37. viii. xvi. 

The prayers of a wicked man as wicked, are abominable ; 
that is, both his wicked prayers, and his praying to quiet 
and strengthen himself in his wickedness, or praying with 
the tongue without the heart. The prayers which come 
from a common faith, and common good desires are better 
than none, but have no promise of justification. But the 
wicked must be exhorted both to this, and more, even to 
repent, desire and pray sincerely. 


Error 46. ' It is sinful, and against free grace, to think 
that any works or actions of our own, are rewardable ; or to 
say, that they are meritorious, though it be nothing but re- 
wardableness that is meant by it.* 

Contr. The Papists have so much abused the word merit, 
by many dangerous opinions about it, that it is now become 
more unmeet to be used by us, than it was in ancient times, 
when the doctors and churches (even Austin himself) did 
commonly use it. But if nothing be meant by it, but re- 
wardableness, or the relation of a duty to the reward as 
freely promised by God (as many Papists themselves un- 
derstand it, and the ancient fathers generally did), he that 
will charge a man with error in doctrine for the use of an 
inconvenient word, is uncharitable and perverse ; especially 
when it is other men*s abuse, which hath done most to 
make it inconvenient. The merit of the cause is a common 
phrase among all lawyers, when there is commutative merit- 
ing intended. I have fully shewed in my Confession, that 
the Scripture frequently useth the word worthy^ which is 
the same or full as much : and a subject may be said to 
merit protection of his prince ; and a scholar to merit praise 
of his master, and a child to deserve love and respect from 
his parents, and all this in no respect to commutative jus- 
tice, wherein the rewarder is supposed to be a gainer at all ; 
but only in governing distributive justice, which giveth 
every one that which (by gift or any way) is his due. And 
that every good man, and every good action, deserveth 
praise, that is, to be esteemed such as it is. And that there 
is also a comparative merit, and a not-meriting evil : as a 
believer may be said not to deserve damnation by the cove- 
nant of grace, but only by (or according to) the law of na- 
ture or works. 

But to pass from the word merit (which I had rather 
were quite disused, because the danger is greater than the 
benefit) the thing signified thus by it, is past all dispute, 
viz. that whatever duty God hath promised a reward to, 
that duty or work is rewardable according to the tenor of 
that promise : and they that deny this, deny God's laws, 
and government, and judgment, and his covenant of grace, 
and leave not themselves one promise for faith to rest upon : 
so certainly would all these persons be damned, if God in 


mercy did not keep them from digesting their own errors, 
and bringing them into practice. 

Error 47. ' God is pleased with us only for the righte- 
ousness of Christ, and not for any thing in ourselves.' 

Contr, This is sufficiently answered before. He blas- 
phemeth God, who thinketh that he is no better pleased 
with holiness than with wickedness ; with well doing, than 
with ill doing. They that are in the flesh cannot please 
God (Rom. viii. 6, 7.) ; but the spiritual and obedient may. 
Without faith it is impossible to please him, because unbe- 
lievers think not that he is a Rewarder, and therefore will 
not seek his reward aright : but they that will please him, 
must believe that " he is, and that he is a rewarder of them 
that diligently seek him ;" Heb. xi. 6. They forget not to 
do good and distribute, because with such sacrifices God 
is well pleased ; Heb. xiii. And in a word, it is the work of 
all their lives to labour, that whether living or dying they 
may be accepted of him, (2 Cor. v. 8, 9.) and to be such, and 
to do those things as are pleasing in his sight. Nay, 1 will 
add, that as the glory of God, that is, the glorious demon- 
stration or appearance of himself in his works, is materially 
the ultimate end of man ; so the pleasing of himself in this 
his glory shining in his image and works, is the very ' apex,' 
or highest formal notion of this ultimate end of God and of 
man, as far as is within our reach. 

No man's works please God out of Christ, both because 
they are unsound and bad in the spring and end, and be- 
cause their faultiness is not pardoned. But in Christ, the 
persons and duties of the godly are pleasing to God, be- 
cause they have his image, and are sincerely good, and 
because their former sins, and present imperfections are for- 
given for the sake of Christ (who never reconciled God to 

Error 48. * It is mercenary to work for a reward, and 
legal to set men on doing for salvation.' 

Contr. It is legal or foolish to think of working for any 
reward, by such meritorious works, as make the reward to 
be not of grace, but of debt; Rom. iv. 4. But he that 
raaketh God himself, and his everlasting love to be his re- 
ward, and trusteth in Christ the only reconciler, as know- 
ing his guilt and enmity by sin ; and laboureth for the food 


which perisheth not, but endureth to everlasting life ; and 
layeth up a treasure in heaven, and maketh himself friends 
of the mammon of unrighteousness, and layeth up a good 
foundation for the time to come, laying hold upon eternal 
life, and striveth to enter in at the strait gate, and fighteth a 
good fight, and finisheth his course for the crown of righte- 
ousness, and sufFereth persecution for a reward in heaven, 
and prayeth in secret that God may reward him, and always 
aboundeth in the work of the Lord, because his labour is 
not in vain in the Lord, and endureth to the end, that he 
may be saved, and is faithful to the death, and overcometh, 
that he may receive the crown of life ; this man taketh 
God's way, and the only way to heaven; and they that 
thas seek not the reward (being at the use of reason) are 
never like to have it. 

Error 49. * It is not lawful for the justified to pray for 
the pardon of any penalties, but temporal/ 

Contr. The ground of this is before overthrown. 
Error 50. ' It is not lawful to pray twice for the pardon 
of the same sin ; because it implieth unbelief, as if it were 
not pardoned already.' 

Contr, It is a duty to pray oft and continuedly for the 
pardon of former sins: 1. Because pardon once granted 
must be continued ; and therefore the continuance must be 
prayed : If you say, ' It is certain to be continued,' I an- 
swer, then it is certain that you will continue to pray for it 
(and to live a holy life. 2. Because the evils deserved, are 
such as we are not perfectly delivered from, and are in dan- 
ger of more daily. And therefore we must pray for daily 
executive pardon, that is, impunity ; and that God will 
give us more of his Spirit, and save us from the fruit of 
former sin ; because our right to future impunity is given 
before all the impunity itself. 3. And the complete justifi- 
cation from all past sins, is yet to come at the day of judg- 
ment. And all this, (besides that some that have pardon, 
know it not) may and must be daily prayed for. 

Error 51. 'The justified must not pray again for the 
pardon of the sins before conversion.' 

Contr, What was last said confuteth this. 
Error 52. ' No man at all may pray for pardon, but only 
for assurance : for the sins of the elect are all pardoned be- 
fore they were born ; and the non-elect have no satisfaction 


made for their sins, and therefore their pardon is impos- 

Contr. Matt. vi. " Forgive us our trespasses," &c. 
These consequences do but shew the falsehood of the 

Error 53. * No man can know that he is under the guilt 
of any sin ; because no man can know but that he is elect, 
and consequently justified already.' 

Contr, No infidel, or impenitent person is justified. 
Error 54. * Christ only is covenanted with by the Father, 
and he is the only Proraiser as for us, and not we for our- 

Contr, Christ only hath undertaken to do the work of 
Christ ; but man must undertake, and promise, and cove- 
nant, even to Christ himself, (that by the help of his grace) 
he will do his own part. Or else no man should be bap- 
tized. What a baptism and sacramental communion do 
these men make ? He that doth not covenant with the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, hath no right to the benefits 
of God's part of the covenant. And no man (at age) can be 
saved that doth not both promise and perform. 

Error 55. * We are not only freed from the condemning 
sentence of the law, but freed also from its commands.' 

Contr, We are not under Moses's judaical law, which 
was proper to their nation, and their proselytes ; nor are we 
under a necessity or duty, of labouring after perfect obe- 
dience in ourselves, as the condition of our justification or 
salvation ; but to renounce all such expectations. Nor 
will the law of works itself ever justify us (as some affirm) 
as having perfectly fulfilled it by another : but we are jus- 
tified against its charge, and not by it, by the covenant of 
grace, and not of works. But perfect obedience to all the 
law of nature and all the commands of Christ, is still our 
duty, and sincere obedience is necessary to our salvation. 
All our duty is not supererogation. 

Error 56. * When a man doubteth whether he be a be- 
liever or penitent, he must believe that Christ repented and 
believed for him.' 

Contr, Christ never had sin to repent of, and it is not 
proper to say one repenteth of another's sin ; Christ be- 
lieved his Father ; but had no use for that faith in a Me- 
diator which we must have. He that repenteth not and 


believetli not himself, shall be damned ; therefore you may 
see how Christ repented and believed for us. 

Error- 57. * A man that trusteth to be justified at the day 
of judgment, against the charge of unbelief, impenitency 
and hypocrisy, by his own faith, repentance and sincerity, 
as his particular subordinate righteousness, and not by 
Christ's righteousness imputed only, sinneth against free 

Contr. Christ's righteousness is imputed or given to 
none, nor shall justify any that are true unbelievers, impeni- 
tent or hypocrites ; therefore if any such person trust to be 
justified by Christ, he deceiveth him. If the charge be, 
'- Thou art an infidel or impenitent;' it is frivolous to say, 
* But Christ obeyed, suffered, or believed, or repented for 
me.' But he that will then be justified against that charge, 
must say, and say truly, I truly believed, repented and 

Er)or, 58. 'There is no use for a justification against 
any such false accusation before God, vy^ho knoweth all 
men's hearts.' 

Contr. 1. You might as well say, there is no use of judg- 
ing men according to what they have done, when God 
knoweth what they have done already. 2. We are to be 
justified by God before men and angels, that Christ may be 
glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe, 
because the Gospel was believed by them ; 2 Thess, i. 10, 11. 
And not only the mouth of iniquity may be stopped, and 
open false accusations confuted ; but that the prejudices and 
heart-slanders of the wicked may be refelled, and our righ- 
teousness be brought forth as the light, and our judgment as 
the noon-day: that all the false judgments and reproaches 
of the wicked against the just may be confounded ; and they 
may answer for all their ungodly sayings, and hard speeches 
(as Enoch prophesied) against the godly ; and that they 
that speak evil of us, because we run not with them to all 
excess of riot, may ** give an account to him who is ready to 
judge the quick and the dead;" 1 Pet. iv. 4, 5. And that 
all may be set straight which men made crooked, and hidden 
things be all brought to light. 

3. And we must be better acquainted with the ingenuity 
of the great Accuser of the brethren, before we can be sure 


that he who belieth God to man, will not belie man to God ; 
seeing he is the father of lies, and did so by Job, &c. 

4. But we must not think of the day of judgment, as a 
day of talk between God, and Satan, and man ; but as a 
day of DECISIVE light or manifestation. And so the case 
is out of doubt. The faith, repentance, and sincerity of the 
just will be there manifest, against all former or latter, real 
or virtual calumnies of men or devils to the contrary. 

5. But above all let it be marked, that nothing else can 
be matter of controversy to be decided. That Christ hath 
obeyed, and suffered, and satisfied for believers' sins, and 
made a testament or covenant to pardon all true believers, 
will be known to the Accuser, and past all doubt. The 
day of judgment is not to try Christ's obedience and suffer- 
ings, nor to decide the case whether he fulfilled the law, 
and satisfied for sin, or made a pardoning covenant to be- 
lievers : but whether we have part in him or not, and so are 
to be justified by the Gospel-covenant, through his merits 
against the legal covenant ; and whether we have fulfilled 
the conditions of the pardoning covenant or not. This is 
all that can then be made a controversy ; this is the secrets 
of men's heart, and case that must be opened before the 
world by God. However we doubt not, but the glory of all 
will redound to Christ, whose merits are unquestioned. 

6. Note also, that Christ will be the Judge on supposi- 
tion of his merits, and not the party to be tried and judged. 

7. Note also, that we are to be judged by the new cove- 
nant or law of liberty, and therefore it is the condition of 
that covenant (as made with us) which is to be inquired 

8. Note also, that Christ himself in Matt. xxv. (and 
every where) when he describeth the day of judgment, doth 
not at all speak of any decision of such a controversy, as 
whether he was the Lamb of God, who took away the sin 
of the world ? Or whether he did his part or not ; but only 
whether men did their parts or not, and shewed the since- 
rity of their love to God and him, by venturing all for him, 
and owning him in his servants, to their cost and hazard. 
And the fruit of Christ's part is only mentioned as a pre- 
supposed thing, " Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared for you For I was hungry," &c. 


The preparation (in God's decree and Christ's merits) is un- 
questioned, and so is the donation to all true believers ; 
therefore it is the case of their title to this gift, and of the 
condition or evidence of their title, which is here tried and 

Lastly, Note that upon the decision, in respect of both 
together (Christ's merits and covenant as supposed, and 
their own true faith and love, as manifested decisively,) they 
are called righteous. Matt. xxv. 46. " The righteous into 
life eternal." 

So much to take the stumbling-blocks out of the way 
of faith, about free grace and justification, which the weak- 
ness of many well-meaning erroneous men hath laid there 
of late times, to the great danger or impediment of weak 

" Take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my 
people ;" Isa. Ivii. 14. 

" Thou shalt not put a stumbling-block before the blind, 
but shalt fear God ;" Levit. xix. 14. 


How to live by Faith, in order to the exercise of other Graces 
and Duties of Sanctification, and Obedience to God, 

And first of the Doctrinal Directions, 

We cannot by faith promote sanctification, unless we under- 
stand the nature and reasons of sanctification. This there- 
fore must be our first endeavour. 

The word sanctified doth signify that which is sepa- 
rated to God from common uses. And this separation is 
either by God himself (as, he hath sanctified the Lord's 
day, &c.) or by man's dedication ; either of persons to a 
holy office ; and so the ministers of Christ are sanctified in 
their ordination (which is a consecration) and their self- 
dedication to God. And it is high sacrilege in themselves, 
or any other, that shall alienate them unjustly from their 
sacred calling and work. Or of things to holy uses (as 
places and utensils may be sanctified.) Or it may be a 
dedication of persons to a holy state, relation and use ; as 



is that of every Christian in his baptism. And this is either 
an external dedication ; and so all the baptized are sanctified 
and holy ; or an internal dedication, which if it be sincere, 
it is both actual and habitual, when we both give up our- 
selves to God in covenant, and are also disposed and in- 
clined to him ; and our hearts are set upon him ; yea and 
the life also consisteth of the exercise of this disposition, 
and performance of this covenant. This is the sanctifica- 
tion which here I speak of. And so much for the name. 

The doctrinal propositions necessary to be understood 
about it are these, (more largely and plainly laid down in 
my * Confession,' chap. 3.) 

Prop, 1. So much of the appearance or image of God as 
there is upon any creature, so much it is good and amiable 
to God and man. 

Object, ' God loveth us from eternity, and when we were 
his enemies ; not because we were good, but to make us 
better than we were. 

Answ, God's love (and all love) consisteth foraially in 
complacency. God hath no complacency in any thing but 
in good ; or according to the measure of its goodness. 
From eternity God foreseeing the good which would be in 
us, loved us as good in ' esse cognito*; and not as actually 
good, when we were not. When we were his enemies, he had 
a double love to us (or complacency), the one was for that 
natural good which remained in us as we were men, and re- 
pairable, and capable of being made saints. The other 
was for that foreseen good as in * esse cognito', which he 
purposed in time to come, to put upon us. This compla- 
cency exceeded not at all the good which was the object of 
it: but with it was joined a will and purpose to give us 
grace and glory hereafter ; and thence it is called, a love of 
benevolence : not but that complacency is the true notion 
of love ; and benevolence, or a purpose to give benefits, is 
but the fruit of it. But if any will needs call the benevo- 
lence alone by the name of love, we deny not in that sense 
that God loveth Saul, a persecutor, as well as Paul, an 
apostle ; in that his purpose to do him good is the same. 

Object. ' God loveth us in Christ, and for his righteous- 
ness, and not only for our own inherent holiness. 

Answ. 1. The benevolence of God is exercised towards 
us in and by Christ ; and the fruits of his love are Christ 


himself, and the mercies given us with Christ, and by Christ. 
And our pardon, and justification, and adoption, and ac- 
ceptance is by his meritorious righteousness : and it is by 
him that we are possessed of God's Spirit, and renewed ac- 
cording to his image, in wisdom, and righteousness, and 
holiness. And all this relative and inherent mercy we have 
as in Christ, related to him, without whom we have nothing. 
And thus it is that we are accepted and beloved in him, and 
for his righteousness. But Christ did not die or merit to 
change God's nature, and make him more indifferent in his 
love to the holy and the unholy, or equally to the more holy, 
and to the less holy. But his complacency is still in no 
man further than he is made truly amiable in his real holi- 
ness, and his relation to Christ, and to the Father. (The 
doctrine of imputation is opened before.) ** The Father 
himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have 
believed,'* &c. ; John xvi. 27. " He that loveth me, shall be 

loved of my Father ;" John xiv. 21. As God loved us 

with the love of benevolence, and so much complacence as 
is before described, before we loved him (1 John iv. 10. 
Ephes. ii. 4.), so he now loveth us complacentially for his 
image upon us, and so much of his grace as is found in us ; 
and also for our relation to his Son, and to himself, which 
we stand in by this grace : but as he loveth not Saul, a 
persecutor, under the notion of a fulfiUer of his law in 
Christ ; so neither doth he love David in his sin, under the 
notion of one that is without sin and perfect, as having ful- 
filled the law in Christ : but so loveth him in Christ, as to 
pardon his sin, and make him more lovely in himself, 
by creating a clean heart, and renewing a right spirit 
within him, for the sake of the satisfaction and merits of 

Prop, 2. Holiness is God's image upon us, and that 
which was our primitive amiableness ; Col. iii. 10. 

Prop, 3. The loss of holiness, was the loss of our ami- 
ableness, and our state of enmity to God. 

Prop, 4. Holiness consisteth in, 1. Our resignation of 
ourselves to God as our owner, and submission to his pro- 
vidence : 2. And our subjection to God as our ruler; and 
obedience to his teaching and his laws : 3. And in thank- 



fulness and love to God as our chief good, efficiently and 

Prop, 5. Love is that final perfective act, which implieth 
and comprehendeth all the rest ; and so is the fulfilling of 
the law, and the true state of sanctification ; Rom. xiii. 10. 
Matt. xxii. 37. Mark xii. 33. 1 John vii. 16. 

Prop. 6. Heaven itself, as it is our ultimate end and 
perfection, is but our perfect love to God maintained by 
perfect vision of him, with the perfect reception of his love 
to us. 

Prop, 7. Therefore it was Christ's great business in the 
world, to destroy the works of the devil, and to bring us to 
this perfect love of God. 

Prop, 8. Accordingly the greatest use of faith in Christ 
is to subserve and kindle our love to God. 

Prop. 9. This it doth two special ways : 1. By procuring 
the pardon of sin, which forfeited the grace of the Spirit ; 
that so the Spirit may kindle the love of God in us : 2. By 
actual beholding the I'ove of God, which shineth to us most 
gloriously in Christ, by which our love must be excited, as 
the most suitable and effectual means; John iii. 1. iv, 10. 

Prop. 10. Our whole religion, therefore, consisteth of 
two parts: 1. Primitive holiness, restored and perfected: 
2. The restoring and perfecting means : or, 1. Love to God, 
the final "and more excellent part : 2. Faith in Christ, the 
mediate part. Faith causing love, and love caused by faith ; 
1 Cor. xii. 31. xiii. Rom. viii. 35, Ephes. vi.23. 1 Tim. 
i. 5. 2 Thess. iii. 5. 1 Cor. ii. 9. viii. 3. Rom. viii. 28. 
James 1. xii. ii. 5. 1 Pet. i. 8. 

Prop. 11. Repentance towards God, is the soul's return 
to God in love ; and regeneration by the Spirit, is the Spirit's 
begetting us to the image and nature of God our heavenly 
Father, in a heavenly love to him ; so that the Holy Ghost 
is given us to work in us a love to Gpd, which is our sanc- 
tification; Rom. V. 5. Titus iii. 4 — 7. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 
1 John iv. 16. 

Prop. 12. When sanctification is mentioned as a gift 
consequent to faith, it is the love of God as our Father in 
Christ, and the Spirit of love, that is principally meant by 
that sanctification. 

Prop. 13. The pardon of sin consisteth more in the 


' poenam damni ', the forfeiture and loss of love, and the 
spirit of love, than in remitting any corporal pain of sense. 
And the restoring of love, and the spirit of love, and the 
perfecting hereof in heaven, is the most eminent part of our 
executive pardon, justification and adoption. Thus far 
sanctification is pardon itself; Rom. viii. 15 — 17. Gal. iv. 
6. 1 Cor. vi. 10, 11. Titus iii. 6, 7. Titus ii. 13, 14. 
Rom. vi. viii. 4. 10. 13. 

Prop, 14. The pardon of the pain of sense, is given us as 
a means, to the executive pardon of the pain of loss, that is, 
to put us in a capacity, with doubled obligations and advan- 
tages to love God; Luke vii. 47. 

Prop. 15. Sanctification therefore being better than all 
other pardon of sin, as being its end; we must value it 
more, and must make it our first desire to be as holy as may 
be, that we may need as little forgiveness as may be, and in 
the second place only desire the pardon of that we had 
rather not have committed ; and not make pardon our chief 
desire; Rom. vi. vii. viii. throughout. Gal. v. 17, to the 

Prop. 16. Holiness is the true morality ; and they that 
prefer the preaching, and practice of faith in Christ, before 
the preaching and practice of holiness, and slight this as 
mere morality, do prefer the means before the end, and their 
physic before their health : and they that preach or think 
to practise holiness, without faith in Christ, do dream of a 
cure without the only Physician of souls. And they that 
preach up morality as consisting in mere justice, charity to 
men, and temperance, without the love of God in Christ, do 
take a branch, cut off and withered, for the tree. 

Some ignorant sectaries cry down all preaching, as mere 
morality, which doth not frequently toss the name of Christ, 
and free grace. 

And some ungodly preachers, who never felt the work 
of faith or love to God in their own souls, for want of holy 
experience, savour not, and understand not holy preaching ; 
and therefore spend almost all their time, in declaiming 
against some particular vices, and speaking what they have 
learned of some virtues of sobriety, justice or mercy. And 
when they have done, cover over their ungodly unbelieving 
course, by reproaching the weaknesses of the former sort. 


who cry down preaching mere morality. But let such 
know, that those ministers and Christians, who justly la- 
ment their lifeless kind of preaching, do mean by morality, 
that which you commonly call ethics in the schools, which 
leaveth out not only faith in Christ, but the love of God, 
and the sanctitication of the Spirit, and the heavenly glory. 
And they do not cry down true morality, but these dead 
branches of it, which are all your morality. It is not mo- 
rality itself inclusively that they blame, but mere morality, 
that is, so much only as Aristotle's ethics teach, as exclusive 
to the Christian faith and love; and do you think with any 
wise men (or with your own consciences) long to find a 
cloak to your infidel or unholy hearts and doctrine, to mis- 
take them that blame you, or to take advantage of the ig- 
norance of others ? " The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the 
Holy Ghost," do shut up your liturgy by way of benedic- 
tion ; but it is almost all shut out of your sermons, unless 
a few heartless customary passages; and when there is 
nothing less in your preaching, than that which is the sub- 
stance of your baptismal covenant and Christianity, and 
your customary benediction; you do but tell the people 
what kind of Christianity you have, and what benediction ; 
that is, that you are neither truly Christians, nor blessed. 

True morality, or the Christian ethics, is the love of God 
and man, stirred up by the Spirit of Christ, through faith ; 
and exercised in works of piety, justice, charity and tem- 
perance, in order to the attainment of everlasting happiness, 
in the perfect vision and fruition of God. And none but 
ignorant or brain-sick sectaries will be offended for the 
preaching of any of this morality. " Woe unto you, Pha- 
risees ! for ye tithe mint and rue and pass over judg- 
ment and the love of God : these ought ye to have done, 
and not to leave the other undone ;" Luke xi. 42. 



The practical Directions to live by Faith, a Life of Holiness 

or Love. 

Direct. 1. * Take Jesus Christ as a Teacher sent from 
heaven ; the best and surest revealer of God and his will 
unto mankind.' 

All the books of philosophers are sapless and empty, in 
comparison of the teaching of Jesus Christ; they are but 
inquiries into the nature of the creatures, and the lowest 
things, most impertinent to our happiness or duty ; or if 
they rise up to God, it is but with dark and unpractical 
conjectures, for the most part of them ; and the rest do but 
grope and fumble in obscurity. And their learning is mostly 
but useless speculations, and striving about words and sci- 
ences, falsely so called, which little tend to godly edifying. 
It is Christ who is made wisdom to us, as being himself the 
Wisdom of God. If you knew but where to hear an angel, 
you would all prefer him before Aristotle, or Plato, or Car- 
tesius, or Gassendus ; how much more the Son himself ? 
He is the true light, to lighten every man that will not serve 
the prince of darkness. Christians were first called Christ's 
disciples ; and therefore to learn of him the true knowledge 
of God, is the work of every true believer ; John xvii. 3. 
Acts iii. 23. John viii. 43, 47. x. 3, 27. xii. 47. xiv. 24. 
Matt. xvii. 5. 

Direct, 2. * Remember that Christ's way of teaching is, 
— 1. By his word ; 2. His ministers ; 3. And his Spirit con- 
junct; and the place for his disciples is in his church.' 

1. His Gospel written is his book which must be taught 
us. 2. His ministers' office is to teach it us. 3. His Spirit 
is inwardly to illuminate us that we may understand it. 
And he that will despise or neglect either the Scripture 
ministry or Spirit, is never like to learn of Christ. 

Direct, 3. ' Look on the Lord Jesus, and the work of 
man's redemption by him, as the great designed revelation 
of the Father's love and goodness ; even as the fabric of 
the world is set up to be ths glass or revelation (eminently) 
of his greatness.' 

Therefore as you choose your book for the sake of the 


science or subject which you would learn ; so let this be 
the designed, studied, constant use which you make of 
Christ, to see and admire in him the Father's love. When 
you read your grammar, if one ask you why? you will say 
it is to learn the language which it teacheth ; and he that 
readeth law-books, or philosophy, or medicine, it is to iearn 
law, philosophy, or physic ; so whenever you read the 
Gospel, meditate on Christ, or hear his word ; if you are 
asked, why you do it? be able to say, I do it to learn the 
love of God, which is no where else in the world to be learn- 
ed so well. No wonder if hypocrites have learned to mor- 
tify Scripture, sermons, prayeps, and all other means of 
grace ; yea all the world which should teach them God ; 
and to learn the letters and not the sense : but it is most 
pitiful that they should thus mortify Christ himself to them; 
and should gaze on the glass, and never take much notice 
of the face even of the love of God which he is set up to 

Direct. 4. * Therefore congest all the great discoveries 
of this love, and set them all together in order ; and make 
them your daily study, and abhor all doctrines or sugges- 
tions from men or devils, which tend to disgrace, diminish 
or hide this revealed love of God in Christ.' 

Think of the grand design itself; the reconciling and 
saving of lost mankind : think of the gracious nature of 
Christ ; of his wonderful condescension in his incarnation ; 
in his life and doctrine ; in his sufferings and death ; in his 
miracl&s and gifts : think of his merciful covenant and 
promises ; of all his benefits given to his church ; and 
all the privileges of his saints ; of pardon and peace ; of 
his Spirit of holiness; of preservation and provision; of 
resurrection and justification, and of the life of glory which 
we shall live for ever. And if the faith which looketh on 
all these cannot yet warm your hearts with love, nor engage 
them in thankful obedience to your Redeemer, certainly it 
is no true and lively faith. 

But you must not think narrowly and seldom of these 
mercies ; nor hearken to the devil or the doctrine of any 
mistaken teachers, that would represent God's love as veiled 
or eclipsed ; or show you nothing but wrath and flames. 
That which Christ principally came to reveal, the devil 
principally striveth to conceal, even the love of God to sin- 


ner« ; that so that which Christ principally came to work in 
us, the devil might principally labour to destroy ; and that 
is, our loveto him that hath so loved us. 

Direct. 5. * Take heed of all the Antinomian doctrines 
before recited, which, to extol the empty name and image of 
free grace, do destroy the true principles and motives of 
holiness and obedience. 

Direct. 6. ' Exercise your faith upon all the holy Scrip- 
tures, precepts, promises and threatenings, and not on one of 
them alone. For when God hath appointed all conjunctly 
for this work, you are unlike to have his blessing, or the 
effect, if you will lay by most of his remedies.* 

Direct, 7. ' Take not that for holiness and good works, 
which is no such thing ; but either man's inventions, or 
some common gifts of God.' 

It greatly deludeth the world, to take up a wrong des- 
scription or character of holiness in their minds. As, 
1. The papists take it for holiness, to be very observant in 
their adoration of the supposed transubstantiated hosts ; to 
use their relics, pilgrimages, crossings, prayers to saints 
and angels, anointings, candles, images, observation of 
meats and days, penance, auricular confession, praying by 
numbers and hours on their beds, &c. ; they think their idle 
ceremonies are holiness, and that their hurtful austerities, 
and self-afflictings (by rising in the night, when they might 
pray as long before they go to bed, and by whipping them- 
selves) to be very meritorious parts of religion. And their 
vows of renouncing marriage and propriety, and of absolute 
obedience, to be a state of perfection. 

2. Others think that holiness consisteth much in being 
rebaptized, and in censuring the parish-churches and minis- 
ters as null, and in withdrawing from their communion ; 
and in avoiding forms of prayers, &c. 

3. And others (or the same) think that more of it con- 
sisteth in the gifts of utterance, in praying, and preaching, 
than indeed it doth ; and that those only are godly, that can 
pray without book (in their families, or at other times), and 
that are most in private meetings ; and none but they. 

4. And some think that the greatest parts of godliness, 
are the spirit of bondage to fear; and the shedding of tears 
for sin; or finding that they were under terror, before 
they had any spiritual peace and comfort ; or being able to 


tell at what sermon, or time, or in what order, and by what 
means they were converted. 

It is of exceeding great consequence, to have a right 
apprehension of the nature of holiness, and to escape all 
false conceits thereof. But I shall not now stand further to 
describe it, because I have done it in many books, especially 
in my ** Reasons of the Christian Keligion," and in my '* A 
Saint or a Brute," and in a treatise only of the subject, 
called ** The Character of a Sound Christian." 

Direct. 8. * Let all God's attributes be orderly and deeply 
printed in your minds ; (as I have directed in my book 
called " The Divine Life ;") for it is that which must most 
immediately form his image on you. To know God in 
Christ is life eternal;' Johnxvii.3. 

Direct. 9. * Never separate reward from duty, but in 
every religious or obedient action, still see it as connext with 
heaven. The means is no means but for the end ; and must 
never be used but with special respect unto the end. Re- 
member in reading, hearing, praying, meditating, in the 
duties of your callings and relations, and in all acts of 
charity and obedience, that, all this is for heaven. It will 
make you mend your pace, if you think believingly whither 
you are going ;' Heb. xi. 

Direct, 10. * Yet watch most carefully against all proud 
self-esteeming thoughts of proper merit as obliging God ; 
or as if you were better than indeed you are. For pride is 
the most pernicious vermin that can breed in gifts or in 
good works. And the better you are indeed, the more hum- 
ble you will be, and apt to think others better than yourself. 

Direct, 11. * So also in every temptation to sin, let faith 
see heaven open, and take the temptation in its proper sense, 
q. d. [Take this pleasure instead of God : sell thy part in 
heaven for this preferment or commodity : cast away thy 
soul for this sensual delight.] This is the true meaning of 
every temptation to sin, and only faith can understand it. 
The devil easily prevaileth, when heaven is forgotten and out 
of sight ; and pleasure, commodity, credit and preferment, 
seem a great matter, and can do much, till heaven be set in 
the balance against them ; and then they are nothing, and 
can do nothing; Phil. iii. 7 — 9. Heb. xii. 1 — 3. 2 Cor. iv. 
16, 17. 

Direct. 12. * Let faith also see God always present- 


Met! dare do any thing when they think they are behind his 
back ; even truants and eye-servants will do well under the 
master's eye. Faith seeing him that is invisible (Heb. xi.) 
is it that sanctifieth heart and life. As the attributes of 
God are the seal which must make his image on us ; so the 
apprehension of his presence setteth them on, and keepeth 
our faculties awake/ 

Direct. 13. * Be sure that faith makes God's acceptance 
your full reward, and set you above the opinion of man.' 

Not in self-conceitedness, and pride of your self-suffi- 
ciency, to set light by the judgment of other men : (that is 
a heinous sin of itself, and doubled when it is done upon 
pretence of living upon God alone.) But that really you 
live so much to God alone, as that all men seem as nothing 
to you ; and their opinion of you, as a blast of wind, in re- 
gard of any felicity of your own, which might be placed in 
their love or praise ; though as a means to God's service, 
and their own good, you must please all men to their edifi- 
cation, and become all things to all men, to win them to 
God ; Gal. i. 10, 11. Rom. xv. 1, 2. Prov. xi. 30. 1 Cor. 
ix. 22. x. 33. Yea, and study to please your governors as 
your duty ; Titus ii. 9. But as manpleasing is the hypo- 
crite's work and wages; so must the pleasing of God be 
ours, though all the world should be displeased ; Matt. vi. 
1— 3, 5, 6, &c. 2Tim. ii. 4. 1 Cor. vii. 32. 1 Thess. iv. 1. 
2 Cor. V. 8, 9. 1 Thess. ii. 4. 1 John iii. 22. 

Direct. 14. ' Let the constant work of faith be, to take 
you off from the life of sense, by mortifying all the concu- 
piscence of the flesh, and overpowering all the objects of 

The nearness of things sensible, and the violence and 
unreasonableness of the senses and appetite, do necessitate 
faith to be a conflicting grace. Its use is to illuminate, 
elevate and corroborate reason, and help it to maintain its 
authority and government. The life of a believer is but a 
conquering warfare between faith and sense, and between 
things unseen, and the things that are seen. Therefore it is 
said, that they that are in the flesh cannot please God ; 
because the flesh being the predon|j;iant principle in them, 
they most savour and mind the things of the flesh ; and 
therefore they can do more with them, than the things of the 
Spirit can do, when both are set before them; Rom. viii. 5 — 8. 


Direct. 15. ' Let faith set the example, first of Christ, 
and next of his holiest servants, still before you.' 

He that purposely lived among men in flesh, a life of 
holiness and patience, and contempt of the world, to be a 
pattern or example to us, doth expect that it be the daily 
work of faith to imitate him; and therefore that we have 
this copy still before our eyes. It will help us when we are 
sluggish, and sit down in low and common things, to see 
more noble things before us. It will help us when we are 
in doubt of the way of our duty ; and when we are apt to 
favour our corruptions : it will guide our minds, and quicken 
our desires, with a holy ambition and covetousness to be 
more holy : it will serve us to answer all that the world or 
flesh can say, from the contrary examples of sinning men : 
If any tell us what great men, or learned men think, or say, 
or do, against religion, and for a sinful life ; it is enough, if 
faith do but tell us presently, what Christ, and his apostles, 
and saints, and martyrs, have thought, and said, and done 
to the contrary; Matt. xi. 28, 29. 1 Pet. ii. 21. John xiii. 
15. Phil, iii, 17. 2 Thess. iii. 9. 1 Tim. iv. 12. Ephes. 
V. 1. Heb. vi. 12. 1 Thess. i. 6. ii. 14. 

Drect, 16. ' Let your faith set all graces on work in their 
proper order and proportion ; and carry on the work of ho- 
liness and obedience in harmony ; and not set one part 
against another, nor look at one while you forget or neglect 

Every grace and duty is to be a help to all the rest : 
and the want or neglect of any one, is a hindrance to all : 
as the want of one wheel or smaller particle in a clock or 
watch, will make all stand still, or go out of order. The 
new creature consisteth of all due parts, as the body doth of 
all its members. The soul is as a musical instrument, which 
niust neither want one string, nor have one out of tune, nor 
neglected, without spoiling all the melody. A fragment of 
the inost excellent work, or one member of the comeliest 
body cut off*, is not beautiful : the beauty of a holy soul 
and life, is hot only in the quality of each grace and duty, 
but much in the proportion, feature, and harmony of all. 
Therefore every part hp-th its proper armour; Ephes. vi. 
iv — 14. And the whole armour of God must be put on : 
becatise all fulness dwelleth in Christ ; we are complete in 


him, as being sufficient to communicate every grace, Epa- 
phras laboured always fervently in prayers for the Colos- 
sians, that they might stand perfect and complete in all the 
will of God; Col. iv. 12. "Let patience have her perfect 
work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing ;" 
James i. 4. We oft comfort ourselves, that though wewant 
the perfection of degrees, yet we have the perfection of 
parts, or of integrity. But many are fain to prove this only 
by inferring, that he that hath one grace, hath all ; but as to 
the discerning and orderly use of all, they are yet to seek. 


Of the Order of Graces and Duties, 

Because I find not this insisted on in any writers for the 
people's instruction, as it ought, I will not pass over so 
needful a point without some further advertisement about 
it. I will therefore shew you. 1. What is the completeness 
and the harmony to be desired : 2. What are our contrary 
defects and distempers : 3. What are the causes of them, 
and what must be the cure : 4. Some useful inferences 
hence arising. 

I. He that will be complete and entire, must have all 
these graces and duties following. 

1. A solid and clear understanding of all the great, the 
needful and practical matters of the sacred Scriptures ; 
2 Tim. iii. 16. (And if he have the understanding of the 
Scripture languages, and the customs of those times, and 
other such helps, his understanding of the Scripture will be 
the more complete ; Acts xxvi. 3. If he have not, he must 
make use of other men's.) 

2. A settled well-grounded belief of all God's super- 
natural revelations (as well as the knowledge of natural 

3. Experience to make this knowledge and belief to be 
satisfactory, powerful and firm. Especially the experience 
of the Spirit's effectual operations in ourselves, by the 
means of this Word ; Rom. v. 4. viii. 9. Gal. iv. 6. 

4. The historical knowledge of the Scripture matters of 
fact, and how God in all ages (since Scripture times) hath 


fulfilled his word, both promises and threatenings, and 
what Christ, and Satan, grace and sin, have been doing in 
the world. Therefore the Scripture is written so much by 
way of history ; and therefore the Jews were so often 
charged to tell the history of God's works to their children ; 
1 Cor. X. 1, 2. 6, 7. 11. Exod. xii. 29. Deut. xxvi. 22. 
Josh. iv. 6. 21, 22. xxii. 24. 27. Therefore the writing of 
church-history is the duty of all ages, because God's works 
are to be known, as well as his word : and as it is your 
forefather's duty to write it, it is the children's duty to learn 
it (or else the writing it would be vain). He that knoweth 
not what state the church and world is in, and hath been 
in, in former ages, and what God hath been doing in the 
world, and how error and sin have been resisting him, and 
with what success, doth want much to the completing of 
his knowledge. 

5. And he must have prudence to discern particular 
cases ; and to consider of all circumstances, and to com- 
pare things with things, that he may discern his duty, and 
the seasons and manner of it ; and may know among in- 
consistent seeming duties, which is to be preferred; and 
when and what circumstances or accidents do make any 
thing a duty, which else would be no duty or a sin ; and 
what accidents make that a sin which without them would 
be a duty. This it the knowledge which must make a 
Christian entire or complete. 

2. And in his will there must be. 1. A full resignation 
and submission to the will of God his owner ; and a full 
subjection and obedience to the will of God his governor; 
yielding readily and constantly, and resolutely to the com- 
mands of God, as the scholar obeyeth his master, and as 
the second wheel in the clock is moved by the first : and a 
close adhering to God as his chief good, by a thankful re- 
ception of his benefits ; and a desirous seeking to enjoy, 
and glorify him, and please his will : In a word, loving him 
as God, and taking our chiefest complacency in pleasing 
him ; in loving him, and being loved of him. 

2. And in the same will there must be a well regulated 
love, to all God's works, according as he is manifested or 
glorified in them : to the humanity of our Redeemer ; to the 
glory of heaven, as it is a created thing ; to the blessed 


angels, and perfected spirits of the just, to the Scripture, to 
the church on earth, to the saints, the pastors, the rulers, 
the holy ordinances, to all mankind, even to our enemies ; 
to ourselves, our souls, our bodies, our relations, our estates, 
and mercies of every rank. 

3. And herewithal must by a hatred of every sin in our- 
selves and others : of former sin, and present corruption, 
with a penitential displacence and grief; and of possible 
sin, with a vigilancy and resistance to avoid it. 

4. And in the affections there must be a vivacity and 
sober fervency, answering to all these motions of the will ; 
in love, delight, desire, hope, hatred, sorrow, aversation 
and anger ; the complexion of all which is godly zeal. 

6. In the vital and executive power of the soul, there 
must be a holy activity, promptitude and fortitude, to be 
up and doing, and to set the sluggish faculties on work ; 
and to bring all knowledge and volitions into practice, and 
to assault and conquer enemies and difficulties. There must 
be the Spirit of power (though I know that word did chiefly 
then denote the Spirit of Miracles, yet not only) and of 
love, and of a sound mind. 

6. In the outward members there must be by use a habit 
of ready obedient execution of the soul's commands. As 
in the tongue a readiness to pray, and praise God, and de- 
clare his word, and edify others, and so in the rest. 

7. In the senses and appetitie, there must by use be a 
habit of yielding obedience to reason ; that the senses do 
not rebel and rage, and bear down the commands of the 
mind and will. 

8. Lastly, In the imagination there must be a clearness 
or purity from filthiness, malice, covetousness, pride and 
vanity ; and there must be the impressions of things that 
are good and useful ; and a ready obedience to the superior 
faculties, that it may be the instrument of holiness, and not 
the shop of temptations and sin, nor a wild, unruly, dis- 
ordered thing. 

And the harmony of all there must be as well observed 
as the matter : As 

1. There must be a just order among them: every duty 
must keep its proper place and season. 

2. There must be a just proportion and degree : some 
graces must not wither, whilst others alone are cherished : 


nor some duties take up all our heart and time, whilst 
others are almost laid by. 

3. There must be a just activity and exercise of every 

4. And a just conjunction and respect to one another, 
that every one be used so as to be a help to all the rest. 

1. The order. — 1. Of intellectual graces, and duties, 
must be this. 1. In order of time, the things which are 
sensible are known before the things which are beyond our 
sight, and other senses. 

2. Beyond these the first thing known both for certainty 
and for excellency, is, that there is a God. 

3. This God is to be known as one being in three essen- 
tial principles, vital power, intellect and will. 

4. And these in their essential perfections, omnipotency, 
wisdom and goodness (or love). 

5. And also in his perfections called modal and negative, 
&c. (as immensity, eternity, independency, immutability, 

6. God must be next known in his three personalities ; 
as the Father, the Word, or Son, and the Spirit. 

7. And these in their three causalities ; efficient, diri- 
gent and final. 

8. And in their three great works, creation, redemption, 
sanctification, (or perfection) producing nature, grace and 
glory, or our persons, medicine, and health. 

9. And God who created the world, is thereupon to be 
known in his relations to it ; as our Creator in unity, and 
as our Owner, Ruler, and Chief Good (efficient, dirigent and 
final) in a trinity of relations. You must know how the In- 
finite vital power of the Father, created all things by the 
Infinite wisdom of the Word, or Son, and by the Infinite 
goodness and love of the Holy Spirit. (As the Son re- 
deemed us as the Eternal Wisdom, and Word incarnate, sent 
by the Eternal vital power of the Father, to reveal and com- 
municate the Eternal love in the Holy Ghost : and as the 
Holy Ghost doth sanctify and perfect us as proceeding and 
sent from the power of the Father, and the wisdom; of the 
Son, to shed abroad the Jove of God upon our hearts, &c.) 

10. Next to the knowledge of God as Creator, is to be 
considered the world which he created, and especially the 
ifvt^ll^ctual creatures j angels, prs heavenly, spirits^ and men. 


Man is to be known in his person or constitution first, and 
afterward in his appointed course, and in his end and per- 

11. In his constitution is to be considered, 1. His being 
or essential parts : 2. His rectitude or qualities : 3. His re- 
lations, l.To his Creator ; And, 2. To his fellow creatures. 

12. His essential parts are his soul and body : his soul 
is to be known in the unity of its essence, and trinity of 
essential faculties (which is its natural image of God). Its 
essence is a living Spirit : its essential faculties are, 1. A 
vital activity, or power ; 2. An understanding : 3. A will. 

13. His rectitude, which is God's moral image on him, 
consisteth, 1. In the promptitude and fortitude of his active 
power : 2. In the wisdom of his understanding ; 3. In the 
moral goodness of his will, which is its inclination to its 
end, and readiness for its duty. 

14. Being created such a creature, by a mere resultancy 
from his nature, and his Creator, he is related to him as his 
creature ; and in that unity is the subsequent trinity of re- 
lations : 1. As we are God's propriety, or his own : 2. His 
subjects : 3. His beneficiaries and lovers : All comprised in 
the one title of his children. And at once with these rela- 
tions of man to God, it is that God is as before related to 
man, as his Creator, and as his Owner, Ruler, and Chief 

15. Man is also related to his fellow creatures, below 
him, 1. As their owner, 2. Their ruler, 3. Their end, under 
God ; which is God's dominative or honourary image upon 
man, and is called commonly our dominion over the crea- 
tures : so that by mere creation, and the nature of the crea- 
tures there is constituted a state of communion between 
God and man, which is, 1. A dominion, 2. A kingdom, 
3. A family or paternity. And the whole is sometimes called 
by one of these names, and sometimes by the other, still im- 
plying the rest. 

16. God's kingdom being thus constituted, his attributes 
appropriate to these his relations follow : 1. His absolute- 
ness as our Owner: 2. His holiness, truth and justice as our 
Ruler : 3. And his kindness, benignity and mercy as our 
Father or Benefactor. 

17. And then the works of God as in these three rela- 
tions follow ; which are, 1. To dispose of us at his pleasure 


as our Owner : 2. To govern us as our King : 3. To love us, 
and do us good, and make us perfectly happy as our Bene- 
factor and our End. 

18. And here more particularly is to be considered. 1. 
Hovy God had disposed of Adam when he had new made 
him: 2. How he began his government of him: And, 3. 
What benefits he gave him, and what he further offered or 
promised him. 

19. And as to the second, we mu§t 1. Consider the an- 
tecedent part of God's government, which is legislation, 
and then (hereafter the consequent part; which is, 1. Judg- 
ment, 2. Execution. And God's legislation is, 1. By 
making our natures such as compared with objects, duty 
shall result from this nature so related : 2. Or else by pre- 
cept or revelation from himself, besides our natures. 1. The 
law of nature is fundamental and radical in our foresaid re- 
lations to God themselves, in which it is made our natural 
duty: 1. To submit ourselves wholly to God, and his dis- 
posal, as his own : 2. To obey his commands : 3. And to re- 
receive his mercies, and thankfully to return them, and to 
love him. But though (as God's essential principles, and 
his aforesaid relations, are admirably conjunct in their ope- 
rations * ad extra ;' so) our relative obligations are conjunct, 
yet are they so far distinguishable, that we may say, that 
these which conjunctly make our moral duty, yet are not 
all the results of our relation to a Governor, as such ; but 
the second only ; and therefore that only is to be called the 
radical law in the strict sense, the other two being the moral 
results of our rectitude. The duty of subjection and obe- 
dience in general, arising from our natures related to our 
Creator, is the radical governing law of God in us. But 
yet the same submission, and gratitude, and love, which 
are primarily our duty from their proper foundations, are 
secondarily made also the matter of our subjective duty, 
because they are also commanded of God. 2. The particu- 
lar laws of nature are, 1. Of our particular duties to God ; 
or of piety : 2. Or of our duties to ourselves and others : 
1. Acts of justice, 2. And of <iharity. These laws of nature 
are, 1. Unalterable; and that is, where the nature of our 
persons, and of the objects, which are the foundations of 
them are unalterable, or still the same : 2. Or mutable, when 
the nature of the things which are its foundation, is mutable. 


As it is the immutable law of immutable nature, that we 
love God as God, and that we do all the good we can, &c. 
because the foundation of it is immutable : but e. g. the law 
against incest was mutable in nature : for nature bound 
Adam's children to marry one another ; and nature bindeth 
us since (ordinarily) to the contrary : 2. The revealed law 
to Adam was superinduced. The parts of God's law must 
also here be considered. 1. The introductive teaching part 
(for God's teaching us, is part of his ruling us) and that is, 
doctrines, history and prophecy. 2. The imperative part, 
commands to do, and not to do. 3. And the sanctions or 
motive parts in law and execution, which are, 1. Promises 
of beneficial rewards : 2. Threatenings of hurtful penalties. 

20. God's laws being thus described in general, and 
those made to Adam thus in particular, the next thing to 
be considered, is man's behaviour in breaking those laws ; 
which must be considered in the causes, and the nature of 
it, and the immediate effects and consequents. 

21. And next must be considered God's consequent 
part of government as to Adam, viz. his judging him ac 
cording to his law. 

22. And here cometh in the promise, or the first edition 
of the new covenant, or law of grace ; which must be opened 
in its parts, original and end. 

23. And then must be considered God's execution of 
his sentence on Adam, so far as he was unpardoned ; and so 
upon the world, till the end. 

24. And next must be considered God's enlargements 
and explications of his covenant of grace, till Christ's in- 

25. And next, men's behaviour under that explained 

26. And God's sentence and execution upon them there- 

27. Then we come to the fulness of time, and to ex- 
plain the work of redemption distinctly. And, 1. Its ori- 
ginal, the God of nature giveth the world a Physician or a 
Saviour : 2. The ends : 3. The constitutive causes : Where, 
1. Of the person of the Redeemer, in his essence, as God 
and man, and in his perfections, both essential, and modal, 
and accidental. 



28. And, 2. Of the fundamental works of our redemp- 
tion (such as creation was to the first administration), viz. 
(his first undertaking, interposition, and incarnation, being 
all presupposed.) 1. His perfect resignation of himself to 
his Father, and submission to his disposing will : 2. His 
perfect subjection and obedience to his governing will: 
3. His perfect love to him : 4. And the suffering by which 
he expressed all these. The three first meriting of them- 
selves ; and the last meriting as a satisfactory sacrifice, not 
for itself, but for its usefulness to its proper ends. 

29. From this offering once made to God, Christ ac- 
quired the more perfect title of a Saviour, or Redeemer, or Me- 
diator, which one contained this trinity also of relations 
towards man : 1. Their Owner : 2. Their Ruler : 3. Their 
Benefactor : The Father also as the first principle of re- 
demption, acquiring a second title (besides the first by 
creation) to all these : and towards God, Christ continueth 
the relation of a Heavenly Priest. 

30. In order to the works of these relations for the fu- 
ture, we must consider of Christ's exaltations; 1. Of his 
justification and resurrection : 2. Of his ascension and glo- 
rification : And, 3. Of the delivering of all power, and all 
things into his hands. 

31. The work of redemption thus fundamentally wrought, 
doth not of itself renew man's nature ; and therefore putteth 
no law of nature into us of itself, as the creation did : and 
therefore we must next proceed to Christ's administration 
of this ofiice, according to these relations ; which is, 1. By 
legislation or donation ; enacting the new covenant where 
this last and perfect edition of it is to be explained ; the 
perceptive, the promissory and the penal parts, with its 
effects, and its differences from the former edition, and 
from the law of nature and of works. 

32. And, 2. By the promulgation or publication of this 
covenant or Gospel to the world, by calling special officers 
for that work, and giving them their commission, and pro- 
mising them his Spirit, his protection, and their reward. 

33. And here we come to the special work of the Holy 
Ghost; who is, 1. To be known in Lis essence and person, 
as the thir^ in Trinity, and the eternal love of God : 2. And 
as he is the grand Advocate or Agent of Christ in the 


world, where his works are to be considered, 1. Prepara- 
tory, on and by Christ himself: 2. Administralory : 1. Ex- 
traordinary, on the apostles and their helpers : 1. Being in 
them a Spirit of extraordinary power, by gifts and mira- 
cles : 2. Of extraordinary wisdom and infallibility, as far as 
their commission-work required : 3. And of extraordinary 
love and holiness. 2. By the apostles, 1. Extraordinarily 
convincing and bringing in the world : 2. Settling all church 
doctrines, officers and orders which Christ had left un- 
settled (bringing all things to their remembrance which 
Christ had taught and commanded them ; and guiding them 
in the rest.) 3. Recording all this for posterity in the Holy 
Scriptures. 2. His ordinary Agency, 1. On ministers, 2. 
By sanctification on all true believers is after to be opened. 

34. And here is to be considered the nature of Chris- 
tianity ' in fieri :' faith and repentance in our three great re- 
lations to our Redeemer, as we are his own, his (disciples 
and) subjects, and his beneficiaries ; with all the special 
benefits of these relations as antecedent to our duty ; and 
then all our duty in them as commanded : and then the 
benefits after to be expected (as in promise only). 

35. Next must distinctly be considered, the preaching, 
and converting, and baptizing part of the ministerial office ; 
1. As in the apostles: 2. And in their successors to the 
end ; with the nature of baptism, and the part of Christ, 
and of the minister, and of the baptized in that covenant. 

36. And then the description of the universal church, 
which is the baptized constitute. 

37. Next is to be considered the state of Christians after 
baptism: 1. Relative, 1. In pardon, reconciliation, justifica- 
tion, 2. Adoption. 2. Physical, in the Spirit of sanctifica- 

38. Where is to be opened, 1. The first sanctifying 
work of the Spirit : 2. Its after-helps and their conditions : 
3. All the duties of holiness, primitive and medicinal to- 
wards God, ourselves and others. 

39. Our special duties in secret : reading, meditation, 
prayer, &c. 

40. Our duties in family relations and callings. 

41. Our duties in church relations; where is to be de- 
scribed the nature of particular churches, their work and 


worship, their ministry, and their members, with the duties 
of each. 

42. Our duties in our civil relations. 

43. Whart temptations are against us, as be to be over- 

44. Next is to be considered the state of Christians and 
societies in the world : how far all these duties are per- 
formed ; and what are their weaknesses and sins. 

45. And what are the punishments which God useth in 
this life. 

46. And what Christians must do for pardon and repa- 
ration after falls, and to be delivered from those punish- 

47. Of death, and the change which it maketh, and of 
our special preparation for it. 

48. Of the coming of Christ, and the judgment of the 
great day. 

49. Of the punishment of the wicked impenitent in hell. 

50. And of the blessedness of the saints in heaven, and 
the everlasting kingdom. 

These are the heads, and this is the method of true 
divinity, and the order in which it should lie in the under- 
Btanding of him that will be complete in knowledge. 

II. And as this is the intellectual order of knowledge ; 
so the order which all things must lie in at our hearts and 
wills, is much more necessary to be observed : 1. That no- 
thing but God be loved as the infinite simple good, totally 
with all their heart, and finally for himself: and that no- 
thing at all be loved with any love, which is not purely 
subordinate to the love of God, or which causeth us to love 
him ever the less. 

2. That the blessed person of our Mediator, as in th? 
human nature glorified, be loved above all creatures next to 
God : because there is most of the Divine perfections, ap- 
pearing in him. 

3. That the heavenly church or society of angels and 
saints be loved next to Jesus Christ, as being next in ex- 

4. That the universal church on earth be loved next to 
the perfect church in heaven. 

5. That particular churches and kingdoms be next loved ; 


and wherever there is more of God's interest and image, 
than in ourselves, that our love be more there, than on our- 

6. That we next love ourselves, with that peculiar kind 
of love which God hath made necessary to our duty, and 
our happiness and end; with a self-preserving, watchful, 
diligent love; preferring our souls before our bodies, and 
spiritual mercies before temporal, and greater before less. 

7. That we love our Christian relations with that double 
love which is due to them as Christians and relations ; and 
love all relations according to their places, with that kind 
of love which is proper for them, as fitting us to all the 
duties which we must perform to them. 

8. That we love all good Christians as the sanctified 
members of Christ, with a special love according to the 
measure of God's image appearing on them* 

9. That we love every visible Christian (that we cannot 
prove hath unchristened himself by apostacy or ungodli- 
ness) with the special love also belonging to true Chris- 
tians, because he appeareth such to us : but yet according 
to the measure of that appearance, as being more confident 
of some, and more doubtful of others. 

10. That we love our intimate suitable friends that are 
godly with a double love, as godly, and as friends. 

11. That we love neighbours and civil relations, with a 
love which is suitable to our duty towards them (to do to 
them, as we would have them do to us; which is partly 
meant by loving them as ourselves). 

12. That we love all mankind, even God's enemies, 
much more our own, as they are men ; for the dignity of 
human nature, and their capacity to become holy and truly 

13. That all means be chosen according to the end 
(which is to be preferred before other ends), and their suita- 
bleness and fitness for that end (as they are to be preferred 
before other means). 

III. And the order of practice is, 1. That we be sure to 
begin with God alone, and proceed to God in the creature, 
and end in God alone. 

It is the principal thing to be known for finding out the 
true method of divinity and religion, that (as in the great 


frame of nature; so) in the frame of morality, the true mo- 
tion is circular : from God, the efficient by God, the diri- 
gent to God, the final cause of all ; therefore as God is the 
first spring or cause of motion ; so the creature is the re- 
cipient first, and the agent after, in returning all to God 

Therefore mark, that our receiving graces, are our first 
graces in exercise ; and our receiving duties are our first 
duties; and then our returning graces and duties come 
next ; in which we proceed from the lesser to the greater, 
till we come up to God himself. 

Therefore in point of practice, the first thing that we 
have to do, is to learn to know God himself as God and our 
God, and to live as from him, and upon him as our Benefac- 
tor, from our hearts confessing that we have nothing but 
from him, and shall never be at rest but with him, and in 
him, as our ultimate end ; and therefore to set ourselves to 
seek him as our end accordingly ; which is but to seek to 
love him, and be beloved by him, in the perfection of know- 
ledge and delight. 

2. The whole frame of means appointed by God for the 
attainment of this end, must be taken together, and not 
broken asunder; as they have all relation each to other. 
And, 1. The whole frame of nature must be looked on as 
the first great means appointed to man in innocency, for 
the preservation and exercise of his holiness and righteous- 
ness : 2. And the covenant or law-positive, as conjoined 
unto this : 3. And the Spirit of God, communicated only 
for such a mere sufficiency of necessary help, as God saw 
meet to one in that condition. And though these means 
(the creatures, and the Spirit of the Creator in that degree) 
be not now sufficient for lapsed man ; yet they are still to 
be looked on as delivered into the hand of Christ the Me- 
diator, to be used by him on his terms, and in order to his 
blessed ends. 

3. But it is the frame, of the recovering and perfecting 
means, which we are now to use. And in this frame, 1 . 
Christ the Mediator is the first and principal ; and the 
author of our faith, or religion ; and therefore from his 
name it is called Christianity. He is now the first means, 
used on God's part for communicating mercy unto man ; 


and the first in dignity to be received and used by man 
himself; but not the first in time, because the means of re- 
vealing him must go first. 

2. The second means in dignity (under Christ) is the 
operation of the Holy Spirit as sent or given by the Re- 
deemer ; w^hich Spirit being as the soul of outward means 
(which are as the body) is given variously in a suitableness 
to the several sorts of means (of which more anon). 

3. The outward means for this Spirit to work by and 
with, have been in three degrees: 1. The lowest degree, is 
the world or creatures (called The Book of Nature) alone : 
2. The second degree was the law and promises to the Jews 
and their forefathers (together with the law of nature). 3/ 
The third and highest degree of outward means, is the 
whole frame of Christian institutions, adjoined to the Book 
of Nature, and succeeding the foresaid promises and law. 

Every one of these hath a sufficiency in its own kind, 
and its proper use. 1. The law of nature is suflficient in its 
own kind, to reveal a God in his essential principles and re- 
lations ; and to teach man the necessity now of some super- 
natural revelations and institutions ; and so to direct him 
to inquire after them (what and where they be). 

2. The promises and Jewish law (of types, &c.) was 
sufficient in its own kind, to acquaint men that a Saviour 
must be sent into the world, to reveal the will of God more 
fully, and to be a sacrifice for sin, and to make reconcilia- 
tion between God and man, and to give a greater measure of 
the Spirit, and to renew men's souls, and bring them to full 
perfection, and to the blessed fruition of God. The Jewish 
Scriptures teach them all this, though it tell them not 
many of the articles of our Christian belief. 

3. The Christian Gospel is sufficient in its own kind, to 
teach men first to believe aright, in the Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit ; and then to love and live aright. 

When I say that each of these is sufficient in its own 
kind, the meaning is, not that these outward means are of 
themselves sufficient without the Holy Spirit ; for that were 
to be sufficient not only ' in suo genere,' but ' in alieno vel 
in omni genere ;' not only for its own part and work ; but 
for the Spirit's part also : but other causes being supposed 
to concur, it is sufficient for its own part : as my pen is a 


sufficient pen, though it be not sufficient to write without 
my hand. 

Now the measure of the Spirit's concourse with all these 
three degrees of means is to be judged of by the nature of 
the means, and by God's ends in appointing them, and by 
the visible effects. And whereas the world is full of volu- 
minous contentions about the doctrine of sufficient and 
effectual grace, I shall here add thus much in order to their 
agreement. 1. That certainly such a thing there is, or hath 
been, as is called sufficient not-effectual grace : by suffi- 
cient they mean so much as giveth man all that power 
which is necessary to the commanded act (or forbearance), 
so that man could do it without any other grace or help 
from God (which supposeth that man's will in the nature of 
it, hath such a vital, free, self-determining power, that 
(sometimes at least) it can act, or not act, when such bare 
power is given to it, and sometimes doth, and sometimes 
doth not. But the word necessaiy is more proper than sujji' 
dent: the latter being applicable to several degrees; but 
necessary signifieth that degree, without which the act can- 
not be performed. 

That there is such a thing, is evident in Adam's case, 
who had that grace which was necessary to his forbearing 
the first sin (or ehe farewell all religion). And there are 
few men will deny but that all men have still such a degree 
of help for many duties which they do not perform ; and 
against many sins which they do not forbear ; (as to for- 
bear an oath, or a lie, or a cup of drink, to go to church 
when they go to an alehouse, &c.) Such a thing therefore 
there is, and such a power man's will hath to do or not do, 
when such a degree only of help is given. 

Therefore we have reason enough to suppose, 1. That 
such a degree of the Spirit's help is given under the bare 
teachings of the creature, or to them that have no outward 
light but natural revelation, as is necessary to the foresaid 
ends and uses of that light or means, that is, to convince 
man that there is a God, and what he is, as aforesaid, and 
that we are his subjects and beneficiaries, and owe him our 
chiefest love and service ; and to convince them of the need 
of some further supernatural revelation. Not that every one 
hath this measure of spiritual help ; for some by abusing 


the help which they have, to learn the alphabet of nature, or 
to practise it, do forfeit that help which should bring them 
into nature's higher forms. But so much as I have men- 
tioned of the help of the Spirit is given to those that do not 
grossly forfeit it by abuse, among the pagans of the world : 
and so much multitudes have attained. 

2. And so much of the Spirit was given ordinarily to the 
Jews, as was sufficient to have enabled them to believe in the 
Messiah to come, as aforesaid ; if they did not wilfully re- 
ject this help. 

3. And so much seemeth to be given to many that hear 
the Gospel, and never believe it ; or that believe it not with 
a justifying faith, is as sufficient to have made them true be- 
lievers, as Adam's was to have kept him from his fall. For 
seeing it is certain that such a sufficient ineffectual grace 
there is, we have no reason to conceit that God doth any 
more desert his own means now, than he did then ; or that 
he maketh believing a more impossible condition of justifi- 
cation under the Gospel, to them that are in the nearest ca- 
pacity of it (before effectual grace) than he made perfect 
obedience to be to Adam. The objections against this are 
to be answered in due place, and are already answered by 
the Dominicans at large. 

4. The outward means of grace under Christ are all one 
frame, and must be used in harmony as followeth. 

1. The witness and preaching of Christ and his apostles, 
was the first and chief part ; together with their settling the 
churches, and recording so much as is to be our standing 
rule in the holy Scriptures, which are now to us the chief 
part of this means. 

2. Next to the Scriptures, the pastoral office and gifts, 
to preserve them, and teach them to us, is the next princi- 
pal part of this frame of means. In which I comprehend 
all their office. * Preaching for conversion, baptizing, preach- 
ing for confirmation and edification of the faithful, praying 
and praising God before the church ; administering the body 
and blood of Christ in the sacrament of communion ; and 
watching over all the flock, by personal instruction, admo- 
nition, reproofs, censures and absolutions.' 

3. The next part (conjunct with this) is the communion 
of the faithful in the churches. 


4. The next is our holy society in Christian families, and 
family instructions, worship and just discipline. 

5. The next is our secret duties between God and us 
alone. As 1. Reading. 2. Meditation, and self-examina- 
tion. 3. Prayer and thanksgiving, and praise to God. 

6. The next part is our improvement of godly men's in- 
timate friendship, who may instruct, and warn, and reprove, 
and comfort us. 

7. The next is the daily course of prospering providen- 
ces and mercies, which express God's love, and call up ours ; 
(as provisions, protections, preservations, deliverances, &c.) 

8. The next is God's castigations (by what hand or 
means soever) which are to make us partakers of his holi- 
ness 5 Heb. xii. 9, 10. 

9. The next is the examples of others. 1. Their graces 
and duties. 2. Their faults and falls. 3. Their mercies. 
And 4. Their sufferings and corrections ; 1 Cor. x. 1. 10, 11. 

10. And lastly, our own constant watchfulness against 
temptations, and stirring up God's graces in ourselves. 
These are the frame of the means of grace, and of our re- 
ceiving duties. 

2. The next in order to be considered, is the whole 
frame of our returning duties, in which we lay out the 
talents which we receive, which lie in the order following. 

1. That we do what good we can to our own souls. That 
we first pluck the beam out of our own eyes, and set that 
motion on work at home, which must go further : therefore 
all the foregoing means were primarily for this effect ; (though 
not chiefly and ultimately for this end). 

2. Next we must do good according to our power to our 
near relations. 

3. And next to our whole families, and more remote re- 

4. And next them, to our neighbours. 

5. And next, to strangers. 

6. And lastly, to enemies of ourselves and Christ. 

7. But our greatest duties must be for public societies, 
viz. 1. For the commonwealth (both governors and people). 
2. And for the church. 

8. And the next part (in intention and dignity) must be 
for the whole world (whose good by prayer and all just 
means we must endeavour). 


9. And the next for the honour of Jesus Christ our Me- 

10. And the highest ultimate termination of our return- 
ing duties, is the pure Deity alone. 

For the further opening to you the order of Christian 
practice, take these following notes or rules. 

1. Though receiving duties (such as hearing, reading, 
praying, faith, &c.) go first in order of nature and time, be- 
fore expending, or returning duties ; so that the motion is 
truly circular ; yet we must not stay till we have received 
more, before we make returns to God of that which we have 
already. But every degree of received grace, must presently 
work towards God our end ; and as there is no intermission 
between my moving of my hand and pen, and its writing 
upon this paper ; so must there be no more intermission 
between God's beams of love and mercy to us, and our re- 
flections of love and duty unto him. Even as the veins and 
arteries in the body lie much together, and one doth often 
empty itself into the other, for circulation, and not stay till 
the whole mass hath run through all the vessels of one sort 
(veins or arteries) before any pass into the other. 

2. The internal returns of love are much quicker than 
the return of outward fruits. The love of God shed or 
streamed forth upon the soul, doth presently warm it to a 
return of love ; but it may be some time before that love ap- 
pear in any notable, useful benefits to the world, or in any 
thing that much glorifieth God and our profession. Even 
as the heat of the sun upon the earth or trees, is suddenly 
reflected ; but doth not so suddenly bring forth herbs, and 
buds, and blossoms, and ripe fruits. 

3. All truly good works must have one constant order of 
intention (which is before opened ; God must be first in- 
tended, then Christ, then the universal church in heaven and 
earth, &c.). But in the order of operation and execution, 
there may be a great difference among our duties : as God 
appointeth us to lay out some one way, and some another. 
Yet ordinarily, as the emitted beams begin from God, and 
dart themselves on the soul of man ; so the reflected beams 
begin upon, or from our hearts, and pass towards God 
(though first beloved and intended) by several receptacles, 
before they bring us to the perfect fruition of him. 

4. Therefore the order of loving (or complacency), and 


the order of doing good (or benevolence) is not the same. 
We must love the universal church better than ourselves ; 
but we cannot do them sincere service, before we do good 
to ourselves. And our nearest relations must be preferred 
in act of beneficence before many vi^hom we must love more. 
5. When two goods come together (either to be received, 
or to be done), the greater is ever to be preferred ; and the 
choosing or using of the lesser at that time, is to be taken 
for a sin. I lately read a denial of this, in a superficial sa- 
tire ; but the thing itself, if rightly understood, is past all 
doubt with a rational man. For, 1. Else good is not to be 
chosen and done as good, if the best be not to be preferred. 
2. Else almost all wicked omissions might be excused. 1 
may be excused for not giving a poor man a shilling (what- 
ever his necessity be) because I give him a farthing. No 
doubt but Dives, (Luke xvi.) did good at such a rate as this 
at least. And else a man might be excused from saving a 
drowned man, if he save his horse that while, &c. ' A qua- 
tenus ad summum valet consequentia,' in the case of desiring 
and doing good. But then mark the following explications. 

6. That is not always to be accounted the greatest good, 
which is so only in regard of the matter simply considered ; 
but that is the greatest good, which is so * consideratis, con- 
siderandis,' all things considered and set together. 

7. When God doth peremptorily tie men to certain duty, 
without any dispensation or liberty of choice, that duty at 
that time is a greater good and duty than many others which 
may be greater in their time and place. A duty materially 
less, is formally (and by accident materially) greater in its 
proper season. Reaping, and baking, and eating, are better 
than ploughing and weeding the corn, as they are nearer to 
the end ; but ploughing and weeding are better in their sea- 
son. To make pins or points, is not materially so good a 
work as to pray ; but in its season (as then done) it is better : 
and he that is of this trade, may not be praying when he 
should be about his trade : not that he is to prefer the mat- 
ter of it before praying ; but praying is to keep its time, and 
may be a sin when it is out of time. He that would come 
at midnight to disturb his rest, to present his service to his 
lord or king, would have little thanks for such unseasona- 
ble service. 

8. He that is restrained Ijy a lower calling, or any true 


restraining reasons, from doing a good which is materially 
greater, yet doth that which is greatest unto him. Ruling 
and preaching are materially a greater good, than threshing 
or digging ; and yet to a man whose gifts and calhng res- 
train him from the former to the latter, the latter is the 
greatest good. 

9. Good is not to be measured principally by the will or 
benefit of ourselves, or any creature; but by 1. The will of 
God in his laws. And, 2. By the interest of his pleased- 
ness^and glory : But secondarily, human interest is the mea- 
sure of it. 

10. It followeth not that because the greatest good is 
ever to be preferred, that therefore we must perplex and dis- 
tract ourselves, in cases of difficulty, when the balance seem- 
eth equal : for either there is a difference, or there is none : 
and if any, it is discernible, or not. If there be no difference, 
there is room for taking one, but not for choosing one. If 
there be no discernible difference, it is all one to us as if 
there were none at all. If it be discernible by a due pro- 
portion of inquiry, we must labour to know it, and choose 
accordingly. If it be not discernible in such time, and by 
such measure of inquiry as is our duty, we must still take it 
as undiscernible to us. If after just search, the weakness 
of our own understandings leave us doubting, we must go 
according to the best understanding which we have, and 
cheerfully go on in our duty, as well as we can know it, re- 
membering that we have a gracious God and covenant, which 
taketh not advantage of involuntary weaknesses, but ac- 
cepteth their endeavours, who sincerely do their best. 

11. Mere spiritual or mental duties require most labour 
of the mind ; but corporal duties (such as the labours of our 
cabling) must have more labour of the body. 

12. All corporal duties must be also spiritual (by doing 
t>.em from a spiritual principle, to a spiritual end, in a spi- 
ritual manner) ; but it is not necessary that every spiritual 
duty be also corporal. 

13. The duties immediately about God our End, are 
greater than those about any of the means ' cseteris paribus.' 
And yet those that are about lower objects, may be greater 
by accidents, and in their season : as to be saving a man's 
life is then greater than to be exciting the mind to the act- 
ing of divine love or fear : but yet it is God the greatest ob- 


ject then, which putteth the greatness upon the latter duty ; 
both by commanding it, and so making it an act more pleas- 
ing to him ; and because that the love of God is supposed to 
be the concurring spring of that love to man, which we shew 
in seeking their preservation. 

14. Our great duty about God our ultimate End, can 
never be done too much, considered in itself, and in res- 
pect to the soul only; we cannot so love God too much. 
And this love so considered, hath no extreme; Matt.xxii.37. 

15. But yet even this may by accident, and in the cir- 
cumstances be too much : as, 1. In respect to the body's 
weaknesses ; if a man should so fear God, or so love him, 
as that the intenseness of the act did stir the passions so 
much as to bring him to distraction, or to disorder his mind, 
and make it unfit for that or any other duty. 2. Or if he 
should be exciting the love of God, when he should be 
quenching a fire in the town, or relieving the poor that are 
ready to perish. But neither of these is properly called, a 
loving God too much. 

16. The duties of the heart are in themselves greater and 
nobler than the actions of the outward man, of themselves 
abstractedly considered ; because the soul is more noble 
than the body. 

17. Yet outward duties are frequently i yea most fre- 
quently greater than heart-duties only; because in the out- 
ward duty it is to be supposed that both parts concur (both 
soul and body). And the operations of both, is more than 
of one alone : and also because the nobler ends are attained 
by both together more than by one only : for God is loved, 
and man is benefitted by them. As when the sun shineth 
upon a tree, or on the earth, it is a more noble effect, to have 
a return of its influences, in ripe and pleasant fruits, than in 
a mere sudden reflection of the heat alone. 

18. All outward duties must begin at the heart, and it 
must animate them all ; and they are valued in the sight 
of God, no further than they come from a rectified will, 
even from the love of God and goodness. However without 
this, they are good works materially, in respect to the re- 
ceiver. He may do good to the church, or commonwealth, 
or poor, who doth none to himself thereby. 

19. As the motion is circular from God to man, and 
from man to God again (mercies received, and duties and 


love returned) so is the motion circular between the heart 
and the outward man. The heart moving the tongue and 
hand, &c. and these moving the heart again ; (partly of their 
own nature, and partly by Divine reward). The love of 
God and goodness produceth holy thoughts, and w^ords, 
and actions ; and these again increase the love which did 
produce them ; Gal. v. 6. 13. Heb. x. 24. 2 John vi. 

20. The judgment must be well informed before the will 

21. Yet when God hath given us plain instructions, it is 
a sin to cherish causeless doubts and scruples. 

22. And when we see our duty before us, it is not every 
scruple that will excuse us from doing it : but when we have 
more conviction that it is a duty, than that it is none, or 
that it is a sin, we must do it, notwithstanding those mis- 
taking doubts. As if in prayer or alms-deeds you should 
scruple the lawfulness of them, you ought not to forbear till 
your scruples be resolved, because you so long neglect a 
duty : else folly might justify men in ungodliness and dis- 

23. But in things merely indifferent, it is a sin to do them 
doubtingly ; because you may be sure it is no sin to forbear 
them; Rom. xiv. 23. 1 Cor. viii. 13, 14. 

24. An erring judgment entangleth a man in a necessity 
of sinning (till it be reformed), whether he act or not accord- 
ing to it. Therefore if an erring person ask, * What am I 
bound to V the true answer is, to lay by your error, or reform 
your judgment first, and then do accordingly ; and if he ask 
a hundred times over, ' But what must I do in case I can- 
not change my judgment?' the same answer must be given 
him, * God still bindeth you to change your judgment, and 
hath given you the necessary means of information ; and 
therefore he will not take up with your supposition, that you 
cannot: his law is a fixed rule, which telleth you what you 
must believe, and choose, and do : and this rule will not 
change, though you be blind, and say, I cannot change my 
mind. Your mind must come to the rule, for the rule will 
not come to your perverted mind. Say what you will, the 
law of God will be still the same, and will still bind you to 
believe according to its meaning.' 

25. Yet supposing that a man's error so entangleth him 


in a necessity of sinning, it is a double sin to prefer a greater 
sin before a lesser: for though no sin is an object of our 
choice, yet the greater sin is the object of our greater hatred 
and refusal ; and must be with the greater fear and care 

26. An erring conscience then, is never the voice or mes- 
senger of God, nor are we ever bound to follow it ; because 
it is neither our God, nor his law, but only our own judg- 
ment which should discern his law. And mis-reading or 
mis-understanding the law, will not make a bad cause good, 
though it may excuse it from a greater degree of evil. 

27. The j udicious fixing of the wills, resolutions, and es- 
pecially the increasing of its love, or complacency and de- 
light in good, is the chief thing to be done in all our duties, 
as being the heart and life of all; Prov. xxiii. 26. 12. iv. 
23. vii. 3. xxii. 17. iii. 1—3. iv. 4. 21. Deut. xxx. 6. 
Psal. xxxvii. 4. xl. 8. cxix. 16. 35. 70. 47. i. 2. Isa. 
Iviii. 14. 

28. Th€ grand motives to duty, must ever be before our 
eyes, and set upon our hearts, as the poise of all our mo- 
tions and endeavours. (As the traveller's home and business, 
is deepest in his mind, as the cause of every step which he 

29. No price imaginable must seem great enough to hire 
us to commit the least known sin ; Luke xii. 4. xiv. 26.28. 
33. Matt. X. 39. xvi. 26. 

30. The second great means (next to the right forming 
of the heart) for the avoiding of sin, is to get away from 
the temptations, baits and occasions of it. And he that 
hath most grace, must take himself to be in great danger, 
while he is under strong temptations and allurements, and 
when sin is brought to his hands, and alluring objects are 
close to the appetite and senses. 

31. The keeping clean our imaginations, and command- 
ing our thoughts, is the next great means for the avoiding 
sin. And a polluted fantasy, and ungoverned thoughts are 
the nest where all iniquity is hatched, and the instruments 
that bring it forth into act. 

32. The governing of the senses is the first means to keep 
clean the imagination. When Achan seeth the wedge of 
gold, he desireth it, and then he taketh it. When men wil- 
fully fill their eyes with the objects which entice them to 


lusts, to covetousness, to wrath, the impression is presently 
made upon the fantasy ; and then the devil hath abundance 
more power to renew such imaginations a thousand times, 
than if such impressions had been never made. And it 
is a very hard thing to cleanse the fantasy which is once 

33. And the next notable means of keeping out all evil 
imaginations, and curing lust and vanity of mind, is constant, 
laborious diligence in a lawful calling, which shall allow the 
mind no leisure for vain and sinful thoughts ; as the great 
nourisher of all foul and wicked thoughts, is idleness and 
vacancy, which inviteth the tempter, and giveth him time 
and opportunity. 

34. Watchfulness over ourselves, and thankful accept- 
ing the watchfulness, fault-findings, and reproofs of others, 
is a great part of the safety of our souls ; Matt. xxvi. 41. 
XXV. 13. Mark xiii. 37. Luke xxi. 36. I Cor. xvi. 13. 
1 Thess. V. 6. 2 Tim. iv. 5. Heb. xii. 17. 1 Pet. iv. 7. 

35. Affirmative precepts, bind not to all times ; that is, 
no positive duty is a duty at all times. As to preach, to 
pray, to speak of God, to think of holy things, &c. it is not 
always a sin to intermit them. 

36. All that God commandeth us to do, is both a duty 
and a means ; it is called a duty in relation to God the effi- 
cient Lawgiver, first : and it is a means next in relation to 
God the End, whose work is done, and whose will is pleased 
by it. And we must always respect it in both these notions 
inseparably. No duty is not a means ; and no true means 
is not a duty ; but many seem to man to have the aptitude 
of a means, which are no duty but a sin ; because we see not 
all things, and therefore are apt to think that fit, which is 

37. Therefore nothing must be thought a true means to 
any good end, which God forbiddeth : for God knoweth 
better than we. 

38. But we must see that the negative or prohibition be 
universal, or indeed extendeth to our particular case. And 
then (and not else) you may say that the negatives bind to 
all times. 

39. Nothing which is certainly destructive to the end, 
and contrary to the nature of a means, is to be taken for 

VOL. XII. c c 


a duty. For it is certain that Qod*s commands are for 
edification, and not for destruction, for good, and not for 

40. Yet that may tend to present, inferior hurt, which ul- 
timately tendeth to the greatest good. Therefore it is not 
some present or inferior incommodity that must cause us to 
reject such a means of greater future good. 

41. Whatsoever we are certain God cbmmandeth, we 
may be certain is a proper means, though we see not the ap- 
titude, or may think it to be destructive ; because God know- 
eth better than we : but then we must indeed be sure that 
it is commanded ' hie et nunc,' in this case, and place, and 
time, and circumstances. 

42. It is one of the most needful things to our innocency, 
to have Christian wisdom to compare the various accidents 
of those duties and sins which are such by accident, and to 
judge which accidents do preponderate. For indeed the 
actions are very few which are absolutely and simply duties 
or sins in themselves considered, without those accidents 
which qualify them to be such. Accidental duties and sins 
are the most numerous by far : and in many cases the diflS- 
culty of comparing the various accidents, and contrary mo- 
tives, is not small. 

43. Therefore it is, that (as in physic and law cases, &c. 
the common people have greatest need of the advice of skil- 
ful artists, to help them to judge of particular cases, taking 
in all the circumstances, which their narrow understandings 
cannot comprehend ; which is more of the use of physicians 
and lawyers, than to read a public lecture of physic, or of 
law, so) the office of the church guides, or bishops, is of so 
great necessity to the people, in every particular church. 
And that not only for public preaching, but also to be at 
hand, to help the people, who have recourse unto them in 
all such cases, to know in particular what is duty and what 
is sin. 

44. And therefore it is (besides other reasons) that the 
office of the bishops or pastors of the churches, must in all 
the proper parts of it be done only by themselves, or men in 
that office, and not 'per alios,' by men of another office: 
and therefore it is, that bare titles or authority will not serve 
the turn, without proportionable or necessary abilities or 


gifts f because the work is done by personal fitness ; and 
cases and difficulties can no more be resolved, nor safe coun- 
sel given for the soul in matters of morality, by men unable, 
than for the body or estate, in points of physic, or of law. 
(As the lord Verulam in his considerations of ecclesiastical 
government hath well observed.) 

45. In such cases where duty or sin must be judged of 
by compared accidents ; the nature of a means, or the in- 
terest of the end, is the principal thing to be considered ; 
and that which will evidently do more harm than good, is 
not to be judged a duty (in those circumstances) but a sin. 
as if the question were whether preaching be at this time, 
in this place, to this number, to these individuals, a duty. 
If it appear to true Christian prudence, that it would be like 
to do more hurt than good, it is a sin at that time, and not 
a duty : and yet preaching in due season is a great duty still. 
So if the question were. Whether secret prayer be at this 
hour or day a duty. If true reason tell you, that it is like 
to hinder, either family prayer, or any other greater good, it 
is not at that time a duty. Or if the question be. Whether 
reproof or personal exhortation of a sinner be now a duty : 
if true reason tell me, that it is like to do more harm than 
good, it is not a duty then, but accidentally a sin : for we 
must not cast pearls before swine, nor give that which is 
holy unto dogs, lest they tread it underfoot, or turn again 
and all to rend us. And there is a time when preachers that 
are persecuted in one city, must fly to another ; and when 
they must shake off the dust of their feet for a witness against 
the disobedient, and turn away from them. (The imprudent 
people can easily discern this when it is their own case, but 
not when it is the preacher's case ; so powerful is self-love 
and partiality) ; Matt. vii. 6, 7. x. 14. xxiii. 34. x, 23. 
The reason of all this is, 1. Because God appointeth all 
means for the end. 2. And because the law by which in 
such cases we must be ruled, is only general ; as, " Let all 
things be done to edification ;" as if he should say, ' Fit all 
your actions, which I have not given you a particular, pe- 
remptory law for, to that good which is their proper end ;» 
1 Cor. xiv. 5. 12. 3. 26. 17. 2 Cor. x. 8. xii. 19. xiii. 10. 
1 Cor. X. 23. Ephes. iv. 12. 16. 29. 1 Tim. i. 4. Rom. xv. 
2. 1 Cor. xii. 7. 

46. Public duties, ordinarily, must be preferred before 


private : and that which is for the good of many, before that 
which is for the good of one only. 

47. Yet when the private necessity is more pressing, and 
the public may be omitted at that time with less detriment, 
the case doth alter. As also when that one that we do good 
to is more worth than the many, in order to the honour of 
God, or the more public good of the whole society : or when 
it is one that by special precept, we are obliged to prefer in 
our beneficence. 

48. Civil power is to be obeyed before ecclesiastical, in 
things belonging to the office of the magistrate ; and eccle- 
siastical before the civil, in things proper to the ecclesiasti- 
cal governors only. And family power before both, in things 
proper to their cognizance only. But what it is that is pro- 
per to each power, I shall tell them when I think they are 
willing to know, and it will do more good than harm to tell 
it them. 

49. The supreme magistrate is ever to be obeyed before 
his inferiors ; because they have no power but from him ; 
and therefore have none against him (unless he so give it 

50. No human authority is above God's, nor can bind us 
against him ; but it is all received from him, and subordi- 
nate to him. 

51. No human power can bind us to the destruction of 
the society which it governeth ; because the public or com- 
mon good is the end of government. 

52. The laws of kings, and the commands of parents, 
masters and pastors (in cases where they have true authori- 
ty) do bind the soul primarily, as well as the body seconda- 
rily ; but not as the primary, but the secondary bond. It is 
a wonderful and pitiful thing, to read Divines upon this 
point, 'Whether the laws of men do bind the conscience?' 
what work they have made as in the dark, when the case is 
so very plain and easy ! Some are peremptory that they do 
not bind conscience; and some that they do ; and some call- 
ing their adversaries the idolizers of men ; and others again 
insinuating that they are guilty of treason against kings, 
who do gainsay them ; when surely they cannot differ if 
they would. 

1. The very phrase of their question is nonsense, or very 
unfit. Conscience is but a man's knowledge or judgment 


of himself as he is obliged lo his duty and the effects ; and 
consequently of the obligations which lie upon him. 

It is a strange question, whether I am bound in know 
ledge of myself: but it were a reasonable question, whether 
I be bound to know ; or whether I know that I am bound. 
It is the whole man, and most eminently the will, which 
is bound by laws, or any moral obligations. The man is 

But if by conscience, they mean the soul, it is a ridicu- 
lous question : for no bonds can lie upon the body imme- 
diately, but cords or iron, or such like materials. The soul 
is the first obliged, or else the man is not morally obliged 
at all. 

If the sense of the question be, whether it be a divine or 
a religious obligation, which men's commands do lay upon 
us ? the answer is easy. 1. That man is not God ; and there- 
fore as human it is not divine. 2. That man's government 
is God's institution, and men are God's officers ; and there- 
fore the obligation is religious, and instrumentally or me- 
diately divine. Either men's laws and commands do bind us 
or not : if not, they are no laws nor authoritative acts : if 
they do bind, either it is primarily by an authority originally 
in themselves that made them (and then they are all gods ; 
and then there is no God) ; or else it is by derived authority. 
If so, God must be the original (or still the original must be 
God). And then is the highway any plainer than the true 
answer of this question, viz. That princes, parents, &c. have 
a governing or law-giving power from God, in subordination 
to him ; and that they are his officers in governing : and 
that all those laws which he hath authorised them to make 
do bind the soul, that is, the man, immediately as human 
and instrumentally or mediately as divine, or as the bonds 
of God. As my covenant binds myself to conscience, (if 
you will so speak, rather than that they bind my conscience) 
so do men's laws also bind me. You may as well ask 
whether the writing of my pen be its action or mine ; and 
be an animate, or inanimate act ; which is soon resolved. 

53. To conclude these rules, as the just impress of the 
Spirit, and image of God upon the soul, is divine life, light 
and love, communicated from God by Jesus Christ, by the 
Holy Spirit, to work in us and by us for God (in the soul and 
in the world) and by Christ to bring us up at last, to the 


sight and fruition of God himself; so this trinity of Divine 
principles, must be inseparably used, in all our internal and 
external duties towards God or men ; and all that we do 
must be the work of Power, and of Love, and of Wisdom or 
a sound mind ; 2 Tim. i. 7. 

II. Having been so large in opening the order of our du- 
ties, 1 must be more brief than our case requireth, in telling 
you our disorders, or contrary disease. Oh ! what a humbling 
sight it would be, if good Christians did but see the pitiful 
confusions of their minds and lives. They find little melody 
in their religion, because there is little harmony in their ap- 
prehensions, affections or conversations. If the displacing 
one wheel or pin in a clock, will so much frustrate the ef- 
fect, it is a wonder that our tongues or lives do ever go true, 
which are moved by such disordered parts within ; that were 
it not that the Spirit of grace doth keep an order where it is 
essential to our religion (between the end and the means, &c.) 
we should be but like the parts of a watch pulled in pieces, 
and put up together in a bag. But such is God's mercy, 
that the body may live when many smaller veins are ob- 
structed ; so that the master vessels be kept clear. 

I. There are so few Christians that have a true method 
of faith or divinity in their understandings, even in the 
great points which they know disorderly, that it is no won- 
der if there be lamentable defectiveness and deformity, in 
those inward and outward duties, which should be harmo- 
niously performed, by the light of this harmonious truth. 
And no divine in the world can give you a perfect scheme 
of divinity in all the parts ; but he is the wisest that cometh 
nearest to it. Abundance of schemes and tables you may 
see, and all pretending to exactness : but every one pal- 
pably defective and confused ; even those of the highest 
pretenders that ever I have seen. And one error or disor- 
der usually introduceth, in such a scheme, a confusion in 
all that foUoweth as dependent on it. 

Some confound God's attributes themselves (nay who 
doth not) : they confound the three great essential princi- 
ples, with all the attributes, by similitude called modal and 
negative : and they use to name over God's attributes, like 
as they put their money or chess-men into a bag, without 
any method at all. 

Some confound God's primary attributes of being, with 


his relations, which are subsequent to his works, and with 
his relation-attributes. 

Some confound his several relations to man, among 
themselves ; and more do confound his works, as they flow 
from these various relations. 

The great works of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sancti- 
fier, and their several designs, significations, and effects, 
are opened obscurely and in much confusion. 

The legislative will of God ' de debito' institutive, (which 
is it that Damascene, Chrysostom, and the schoolmen 
mean by his antecedent will, if they speak properly) which 
ever goeth before man's actions duties or sins, or as the 
fathers 'call them, merits or demerits) is confounded by 
many with the acts of his judgment and execution (called 
his consequent will, because it ever presupposeth men's 
precedent actions) : or, his works, as Law-giver, Judge and 
Executioner, are oft confounded. 

And so are the orders of his precepts promises, and 
penal threats, and the conditions of his promises : and the 
order of his precepts among themselves ; and of his promises 
as one respecteth another. 

And our relations to God, and the several respective 
duties of those relations, are ordinarily much confounded. 

The work of the Holy Ghost (as we are baptized into 
the belief of him) is poorly, lamely and disorderly opened, 
to the encourging of the carnal on one hand, or the en- 
thusiasts on the other. 

Law and Gospel, and covenant and covenant; words 
and works ; the precepts of Christ, and the operations of 
the Spirit, are seldom thought on in their proper place and 
order, and differences. 

In a word, consectaries are confounded with principles : 
nature, medicine and health ; th^ precepts and parts of 
primitive sanctity, with the pi'ecepts and means of medici- 
nal grace 5 the end and the means ; yea, nothing more 
usually than words and things are confounded and disor- 
dered by the most (that I say not by us all). 

The circular motion of grace, from God, and by God, 
and to God, and in man the receiving duties as distinct 
from the improving duties ; and these, as communicative 
and dispersing unto man, from those ascendant unto God, 
partly in the fruits, and partly in the exaltation of the mind 


itself, these are not to be found, nor abundance more which 
I pass by, in any just harmonious scheme. 

II. And Oh! what confusion is in our hearts or wills, and 
lameness, and defect as well as confusion; which must 
needs be the consequent of a lame and confused under- 
standing. It is so great that I am not willing to be so 
tedious as to open it at large. 

III. And the confusion in our practices, taking it in, 
and expressing it, will shew you your heart-confusion of it- 
self. But to open this also would be long ; and the regular 
order before laid down, will shew you our disorders without 
any further enumerations or instances. 

Only some of our lameness and partialities, contrary to 
entire and complete religiousness, I shall briefly mention, 
because I think it to be of no small need, to the most, even 
of the more zealous part of Christians. 

1. In our studies and meditations, we are partial and 
defective : we search hard perhaps for some few truths, with 
the neglect of many hundred more. 

2. In our zeal for truth, we are oft as partial, greatly 
taken with some one or few, which we think we have sud- 
denly and happily found out, and see more into than others 
do ; or in which we think we have some singular or special 
interest; and in the meantime little affected with abun- 
dance of truths, of greater clearness and importance, and of 
more daily usefulness ; because they are things that all 
men know, and common unto you with the most of Chris- 

3. In your love to the godly, and your charity, in ex- 
pressions, and in your daily prayers, what lameness and 
partiality is there ? Those that are near you, and conver- 
sant with you, you remember; and perhaps those in the 
kingdom, or country where you dwell ; or at least those of 
your own society, opinions and party. But when it cometh 
to praying for the world, and all the church abroad ; and 
when it cometh to the loving of those that differ from you, 
what partiality do you shew ? 

4. In the course of duties to God and man, how rare is 
that person that doth not quite omit, or slubber over some 
duty, as if it were nothing, while he doth with much earnest- 
ness prosecute another? One that is much in receiving 
duties for themselves (as hearing, reading, meditating, pray- 


ing) can live all the week with quietness of conscience, 
without almost any improving duties, or doing any good to 
others : as if they were made for themselves alone. And 
some ministers lay out themselves in preaching, as if they 
were all for the good of others ; but pray as little, and do 
as little about their own heart, as if they cared not for 
themselves at all ; or else were good enough already. 

Some are constant in church-duties, perhaps with some 
superstitious strictness ; but in family-duties how neglective 
are they ? They are for very strict discipline in the church, 
and cannot communicate with any that wear not the same 
badge of sanctity which they affect : but in their families, 
what profaneness, carelessness and confusion is there ? They 
can have family-communion with the most ungodly ser- 
vants, that will but be profitable to them, dumb ministers 
are their scorn ; but to be dumb parents and masters to 
their children and servants, they can easily bear. Formal 
preaching and praying in the church they exclaim against ; 
but how formally do they pray at home, and catechise and 
instruct their family ? If a magistrate should forbid them 
to pray, or catechise, or instruct their families, they would 
account him an impious, odious persecutor ; but they can 
neglect it ordinarily when none forbiddeth them, and never 
lay any such accusation on themselves. 

Some are much for the duties of worship in private ; but 
negligent of public worship ; and some are diligent in both, 
that make little scruple of living idly without a calling, or 
doing the works of their callings deceitfully and unprofit- 
ably. They are censorious of one that is negligent in God's 
worship ; but censure not themselves (nor love to be cen- 
sured by others) for being idle and negligent servants to 
their masters; and omitting many an hour's work, which 
was as truly their duty as the other. Yea, when they are 
told of such duties as they love not (as obedience, labour, 
charity, patience, mortifying the flesh, &c.) their consci- 
ences are just as senseless, or as prejudiced, or quarrelsome, 
as the consciences of other men are against religious ex- 

5. And in our reformation and resisting sins of commis- 
sion, such lameness and partiality is common with the most. 
He that is most tender of a sin which is in common dis- 
grace among the godly, is little troubled at as great a one 


which hath got any reputation among them by the advan- 
tage of some errors. In England, through God's mercy, 
the profanation of the Lord's Day, is noted as a heinous 
sin. But beyond sea, where it is not so reputed, how ordi- 
narily is it committed ? Many would condemn Joseph, if 
they had heard him swear by the life of Pharaoh, because 
through God's mercy, swearing is a disgraced sin. But how 
ordinarily do the dividing sort of Christians, rashly or 
falsely, censure men behind their backs that differ from 
them ; upon unproved hearsay, and gladly take up false re- 
ports, and never shed a tear for many such slanders, back- 
bitings and wrongs ? Many a one that would take an oath 
or curse for a certain sign of an ungodly person, yet make 
little of a less disgraceful way of evil-speaking, and of a 
peevish, unpleasable disposition ; and when they are impa-* 
tient of a censure, gr a foul word, are patient enough with 
their impatiency. 

And it deserveth tears of blood to think how little the 
sins of selfishness and pride are mortified in most of the 
forwardest Christians (even in them that go in mean attire). 
How much they love and look to be esteemed, to be taken 
notice of, to be well thought of, and well spoken of! How 
ill they bear the least contempt, neglect or disrespect! 
How abundantly they overvalue their own understandings ! 
And how wise they are in their own conceits ! And how 
hardly they will think ill of their most false or foolish ap- 
prehensions ! And how proudly they disdain the judgments 
of wiser men, from whom, if they had humility, they might 
learn perhaps twenty years together, and yet not reach the 
measure of their knowledge ! And what a strange difference 
there is in their judging of any case, when it is another's, 
and when it is their own ! 

And among how few is the sin of flesh-pleasing sen- 
suality mortified ! Abundance take no notice of it, because 
it is hid, and can be daily exercised in a less disgraceful 
way. If they be rich, they can enjoy that which is their 
own ; and they can cleanlily do as Dives did, (Luke xvi.) and 
take their good things here. Having enough laid up for 
many years, they think they may take their ease, and eat, 
drink, and be merry, without rebuke; Luke xii. 19.20. 
They that are the most zealous in strict opinions, and modes 
of worship, can live as Sodom did, in pride, fulness of bread. 


and abundance of idleness, and use meat for their lusts, 
and make provision for the flesh, to satisfy those lusts, and 
yet never seem to themselves, nor those about them to offend ; 
much less to do any thing that is grossly evil ; Ezek. xvi. 
49. Psal. Ixxviii. 18. 30. Rom. xiii. 13, 14. They drink 
not till they are drunk ; they eat not more in quantity than 
others ; they labour as far as need compels them ; and this 
they think is very tolerable. And because the papists have 
turned the just subduing of the flesh into hurtful austerities, 
or formal mockeries, therefore they are more hardened in 
their flesh-pleasing ways. They take but that which they 
love, and that which is their own, and then they think that 
the fault is not great ; and what Christ meant by Dives's 
being " clothed in purple and silk, and faring sumptuously 
every day," they never truly understood : nor yet what he 
meaneth by the poor in spirit, Matt. v. 3. which is not (at 
least only or chiefly) a sense of the want of grace, but a 
spirit suited to a life of poverty, contrary to the love of 
money, and of fulness, and luxury, and pride : when we are 
content with necessaries, and eat and drink for health more 
than for pleasure, or for that pleasure only which doth con- 
duce to health ; and when we will be at no needless super- 
fluous cost upon the flesh, but choose the cheapest food and 
raiment which is sufficient to our lawful ends ; and use not 
our appetites, and sense, and fantasy to such delight and 
satisfaction as either increaseth lust, or corrupteth the mind, 
and hindereth it from spiritual duties and delights, by hurt- 
ful delectation or diversion: nor bestow that upon ourselves 
which the poor about us need to supply their great necessi- 
ties. This is to be poor in spirit; and this is the life of ab- 
stinence and mortification which these sensual professors 
will not learn. Nay, rather than their throats shall not be 
pleased, if they be children in their parents* families, or ser- 
vants, they will steal for it, and take that which their parents 
and masters (they know) do not consent to, nor allow them: 
and they are worse thieves than they that steal for hunger 
and mere necessity ; because they steal to satisfy their ap- 
petites and carnal lusts ; that they may fare better than 
their superiors would have them. And yet perhaps be really 
conscientious and religious in many other points, and never 
humbled for their fleshly minds, their gluttony and thievery; 
especially if they see others fare better than they : and they 


quiet their consciences, as the most ungodly do, with put- 
ting a handsome name upon their sin, and calling it taking, 
and not stealing ; and eating and drinking, and not fulness 
of bread or carnal gulosity. Abundance of such instances 
of men's partiality in avoiding sin, I must omit, because it 
is so long a work. 

6. Yea, in the inward exercise of graces, there are few 
that use them completely, entirely, and in order ; but they 
neglect one, while they set themselves wholly about the ex- 
ercise of another; or perhaps use one against another. 
Commonly they set themselves a great while upon nothing 
so much as labouring to affect their hearts with sorrow for 
sin, and meltingly to weep in their confessions (with some 
endeavours of a new life). But the love of God, and the 
thankful sense of the mercy of redemption, and the rejoicing 
hopes of endless glory, are things which they take but little 
care about : and when they are convinced of the error of 
this partiality, they next turn to some Antinomian whimsy, 
under the pretence of valuing free grace ; and begin to give 
over penitent confessions, and the care and watchfulness 
against sin, and diligence in a holy and fruitful life, and say 
that they were long enough legalists, and knew not free 
grace, but looked after doing, and something in themselves ; 
and then they could have no peace ; but now they see their 
error, they will know nothing but Christ ; and thus that 
narrow foolish soul cannot use repentance without neg- 
lecting faith in Christ ; and cannot use faith, but they 
must neglect repentance ; yea, set faith and repentance, 
love and obedience in good works, like enemies or hin- 
drances against each other: they cannot know them- 
selves and their sinfulness, without forgetting Christ and 
his righteousness : and they cannot know Christ, and his 
love and grace, without laying by the knowledge or resis- 
tance of their sin. They cannot magnify free grace, unless 
they may have none of it, but lay by the use of it as to all 
the works of holiness, because they must look at nothing 
in themselves. They cannot magnify pardon and justifica- 
tion, unless they may make light of the sin and punishment 
which they deserve, and which is pardoned, and the charge 
and condemnation from which they are justified : they can- 
not give God thanks for remitting their sin, unless they may 
forbear confessing it, and sorrowing for it. They cannot 


take the promise to be free, which giveth Christ and pardon 
of sin, if it have but this condition, that they shall not 
reject him : nor can they call it the Gospel, unless it leave 
them masterless and lawless; whereas there is indeed no 
such thing as faith without repentance, nor repentance 
without faith : no love to Christ without the keeping of his 
commandments; nor no true keeping of the commandments 
without love ; no free grace without a gracious sanctified 
heart and life ; nor no gift of Christ and justification, but on 
the condition of a believing acceptance of the gift ; and yet 
no such believing but by free grace : no Gospel without the 
law of Christ and nature ; and no mercy and peace but in a 
way of duty. And yet such Bedlam Christians are among 
us, that you may hear them in pangs of high conceited zeal, 
insulting over the folly of one another, and in no wiser lan- 
guage, than if you heard one lunatic person say, ' I am for 
health, and not for medicine ;' and another, ' I am for medi- 
cine, and not for the taking of it ;' and another, ' I am for 
the physic, and not for the physician ;' and another, ' 1 am 
for the physician, and not the physic;* and another, * I am 
for the physic, and not for health.' Or as if they contended 
at their meats, ' I am for meat, but not for eating it ;' and 
' I am for putting it into my mouth, but not for chewing it;' 
or ' I am for chewing it, but not for swallowing it ;' or * I am 
for swallowing it, but not for digesting it;' or ' I am for di- 
gesting it, but not for eating it,' &c. 

Thus is Christ divided among a sort of ignorant, proud 
professors: and some are for his sacrifice, and some for his 
intercession ; some for his teaching, and some for his com- 
mands, and some for his promises ; some for his blood, and 
some for hi§ spirit ; some for his word, and some for his 
ministers and his church ; and when they have made this 
strange proficiency in wisdom, every party claims to be this 
church themselves ; or if they cannot deny others to be 
parts with them of the mystical church, yet the true ordered 
political disciplined church is among them, the matter of 
their claim and competition ; and one saith, ' it is we,' and 
the other, ' no, but it is we ;' and the kitchen, and the coal- 
house, and the cellar, go to law, to try which of them is the 
house. Thus when they have divided Christ's garments 
among them, and pierced if not divided himself, they quarrel 
rather than cast lots for his coat. 


7. I perceive this treatise swelleth too big, or else I 
might next shew you, how partial men are in the sense of 
their dangers. 

8. And in the resisting of temptations ; he that escapeth 
sensuality, feareth not worldliness ; or he that feareth both, 
yet falleth into heresy or schism ; and he that escapeth 
errors, falleth into fleshly sins. 

9. And what partial regard we have of God's mercies. 

10. And how partial we are as to our teachers, and good 

11. .And also about all the ordinances of God, and all 
the helps and means of grace. 

12. And how partial we are about good works, extolling 
one, and senseless of another ; and about the opportunities 
of good. In a word, what lame apprehensions we have of 
religion, when men are so far from setting all the parts to- 
gether in a well-ordered frame, that they can scarce forbear 
the dividing of every part into particles : and must take the 
food of their souls as physic, even like pills which they can- 
not get down, unless they are exceeding small. 

III. The causes of this calamity I must for brevity but 

1. The natural weakness of man's mind, doth make him 
like a narrow-mouthed bottle that can take in but a little 
at once, and so must be long in learning and receiving. 

2. The natural laziness and impatience of men, will not 
give them leave to be at such long and painful studies as 
completeness of knowledge doth require. 

3. The natural pride of men's hearts will not give them 
leave to continue so long in a humble sense of their empti- 
ness and ignorance, nor to spend so many years in learning 
as disciples : but it presently persuadeth them that their 
first apprehensions are clear and right, and their knowledge 
very considerable already ; and they are as ready to dispute 
and censure the ignorance of their teachers, if not to teach - 
others themselves, as to learn. 

4. The poverty and labours of many, allow them not 
leisure to search and study so long and seriously, as may 
bring them to any comprehensive knowledge. 

5. The most are not so happy as to have judicious, me- 
thodical and laborious teachers, who may possess them 
with right principles and methods, but deliver them some 


truths, with great defectiveness and disorder themselves ; 
and perhaps by ther weakness tempt the people into pride, 
when they see that they are almost as wise as they. 

6. Most men are corrupted by company and converse 
with ignorant, erroneous, and self-conceited men ; and 
hearing others (perhaps that are very zealous) make some- 
thing of nothing, and make a great matter of a little one, 
and extolling their own poor and lame conceits, they learn 
also to think that they are something when they are no- 
thing, deceiving themselves ; Gal. vi. 3, 4. 

7. Most Christians have lost the sense of the need and 
use of the true ministerial office, as it consisteth in personal 
counsel and assistance, besides the public teaching; and 
most ministers by neglecting it, teach them to overlook it. 

8. Every man hath some seeming interest in some one 
opinion, or duty, or way, above the rest ; and selfishness 
causeth him to reel that way that interest leadeth him. 

9. Education usually possesseth men with a greater re- 
gard of some one opinion, duty, way or party, than of the 

10. The reputation of some good men doth fix others 
upon some particular ways or notions of their's above others. 

11. Present occasions and necessities sometimes do urge 
us harder to some means and studies, than to others : espe- 
cially for the avoiding of some present evil, or easing of 
some present trouble ; and then the rest are almost laid by. 

12. Some doctrines more deeply affect us in the hearing, 
than others ; and then the thoughts run more on that, to 
the neglect of many things as great. 

13. Perhaps we have had special experience of some 
truths and duties, or sins, more than others ; and then we 
set all our thoughts about those only. 

14. Usually we live with such as talk most of some one 
duty, or against some one sin, more than all the rest, and 
this doth occasion our thoughts to run most in one stream, 
and confine them by hearing and custom to a narrow 
is. Some things in their own quality, are more easy and 

near to us, and more within the reach of sense. And there- 
fore as corporal things, because of their sensibility and 
nearness, do possess the minds of carnal men, instead of 
things spiritual and unseen ; even so Paul and Apollos, and 


Ceplias ; this good preacher, and that good book, and this 
opinion, and that church-society, and this or that ordi- 
nance, do possess the minds of the more carnal, narrow sort 
of Christians, instead of the harmony of Christian truth, 
and holy duty. 

16. Nature itself as corrupted, is much more against 
some truths, and against some duties, internal and external, 
than against others. And then when those that it is less 
averse to^ are received, men dwell on them, and make a re- 
ligion of them, wholly or too much, without the rest. As 
when some veins are stopped, all the blood is turned into 
the rest ; or when one part of the mould is stopped up, the 
metal all runneth into the rest, and maketh a defective ves- 
sel : or when one part of the seal is filled up before, it 
maketh a defective impression on the wax. Therefore the 
duties of inward self-denial, humility, mortification, and 
heavenliness, are almost left out in the I'eligion of the most. 

17. Temptations are ever more strong and violent against 
some duties, than against others, and to some sins, than to 

18. Most men have a memory, which more easily re- 
taineth some things than others : especially those that are 
best understood, and which must affect them. And grace 
cannot live upon forgotten truths. 

19. There is no man but in his calling, hath more fre- 
quent occasion for some graces and duties, and useth them 
more, and hath more occasions to interrupt and divert his 
mind from others. 

20. The very temperature of the body inclineth some all 
to fears and grief, and others to love and contentedness of 
mind : and it vehemently inclineth some to passion, some to 
their appetite, some to pride, and some to idleness, and 
some to lust ; when others are far less inclined to any of 
them : and many other providential accidents, do give men 
more helps to one duty than to another, and putteth many 
upon the trials, which others are never put upon : and all 
this set together is the reason that few Christians are entire 
or complete, or escape the sin and misery of deformity ; or 
ever use God's graces and their duties, in the order and 
harmony as they ought. 

IV. I shall be brief also in telling you what inferences 
to raise from hence for your instruction. 


1. You may learn hence how to answer the question, 
Whether all God's graces live and grow in an equal propor- 
tion in all true believers? I need to give you no further 
proof of the negative, than I have laid down before: I once 
thought otherwise ; and was wont to say, as it is commonly 
said, that in the habit they are proportionable, but not in 
the act. But this was because I understood not the dif- 
ference between the particular habits, and the first radical 
power, inclination or habit (which I name that the reader 
may choose his title, that we may not quarrel about mere 
words). The first principle of holiness in us, is called in 
Scripture, The Spirit of Christ or of God : in the unity of 
this are three essential principles, life, light, and love ; which 
are the immediate effects of the heavenly or divine influx 
upon the three natural faculties of the soul, to rectify them, 
viz. on the vital power, the intellect, and the will : and are 
called the Spirit, as the sunshine in the room is called the 
sun. Now as the sunshine on the earth and plants, is all one 
in itself as emitted from the sun, light, heat and moving 
force concurring, and yet is not equally effective, because 
of the difference of recipients; and yet every vegetative re- 
ceiveth a real effect of the heat and motion at least ; and 
sensitives also of the light ; but so that one may (by inca- 
pacity) have less of the heat, and another less of the motion, 
and another less of the light ; so I conceive that wisdom, 
love and life (or power) are given by the Spirit to every 
Christian : but so that in the very first principle or effect of 
the Spirit, one may have more light, another more love, 
and another more life: but this is accidental from some 
obstruction in the receiver ; otherwise the Spirit would be 
equally a Spirit of power (or life), and of love, and of a 
sound mind (or light). 

But besides this new moral power, or inclination, or 
universal radical habit, there are abundance of particular 
habits of grace and duty, much more properly called habits, 
and less properly called the vital or potential principles of 
the new creature : there is a particular habit of humility, 
and another of peaceableness, of gentleness, of patience, of 
love to one another, of love to the word of God ; and many 
habits of love to several truths and duties : a habit of de- 
sire, yea many, as there are many different objects desired ; 



there is a habit of praying, of meditating, of thanksgiving, 
of mercy, of chastity, of temperance, of diligence, &c. The 
acts would not vary as they do, if there were not a variety 
and disposition in these habits ; which appear to us only in 
their acts. We must go against Scripture, reason, and the 
manifold hourly experience of ourselves, and all the Chris- 
tians in the world, if we will say that all these graces and 
duties are equal in the habit in every Christian. How im- 
potent are some in bridling a passion, or bridling the 
tongue, or in controling pride and self-esteem, or in deny- 
ing the particular desires of their sense, who yet are ready 
at many other duties, and eminent in them. Great know- 
ledge is too oft with too little charity or zeal ; and great 
zeal and diligence often with as little knowledge. And so 
in many other instances. 

So that if the potentiality of the radical graces of life, 
light and love, be or were equal, yet certainly proper and 
particular habits are not. 

But here note further, 1. That no grace is strong where 
the radical graces, faith and love are weak : as no part of 
the body is strong, where- the brain and heart are weak ; 
yea, or the naturals, the stomach and liver. 

2. The strength of faith and love is the principal means 
of strengthening all other graces ; and of right performing 
all other duties. 

3. Yet are they not alone a sufficient means, but other 
inferior graces and duties may be weak and neglected, 
where faith and love are strong; through particular ob- 
structing causes. As some branches of the tree may perish 
when the root is sound ; or some members may have an 
atrophy, though the brain and heart be not diseased. 

4. That the three principles, life, light, and love, do 
most rarely keep any disproportion; and would never be 
disproportionate at all, if some things did not hinder the 
actings of one more than the other, or turn away the soul 
from the influences and impressions of the Spirit more as 
to one than to the rest. 

2. Hence you may learn. That the image of God is much 
more clearly and perfectly imprinted in the holy Scriptures, 
than in any of our hearts. And that our religion, objec- 
tively considered, is much more perfect, than subjectively 


in us. In Scripture, and in the true doctrinal method our 
religion is entire, perfect and complete ; but in us, it is 
confused, lame, and lamentably imperfect. The sectaries 
that here say, * None of the Spirit's works are imperfect,' 
are not to be regarded : for so they may as well say, that 
there are no infants, diseased, lame, distracted, poor, or 
monsters in the world ; because none of God's works are 
imperfect. All that is in God is God, and therefore perfect ; 
and all that is done by God is perfect as to his ends, and as 
it is a part in the frame of his own means to that end which 
man understandeth not : but many things are imperfect in 
the receiving subject. If not, why should any man ever 
seek to be wiser or better than he was in his infancy, or at 
the worst. 

3. Therefore we here see that the Spirit in the Scripture 
is the rule by which we must try the Spirit in ourselves, or 
any other. The fanatics or enthusiasts, who rail against 
us, for trying the Spirit by the Scriptures, when as the Spi- 
rit was the author of the Scriptures, do but rave in the dark, 
and know not what they say. For the essence of the Spirit 
is every where ; and it is the effects of the Spirit in both 
which we must compare : The Spirit is never contrary to it- 
self : and seeing it is the sunshine which we here call the 
sun, the question is but, where it shineth most? whether 
in the Scripture, or in our hearts ? The Spirit in the apos- 
tles indited the Scriptures, to be the rule of our faith and 
life unto the end ; the Spirit in us doth teach and help us 
to understand and to obey those Scriptures. Was not the 
Spirit in a greater measure in the apostles than in us ? Did 
it not work more completely, and unto more infallibility in 
their writing the Scriptures, than it doth in our understand- 
ing, and obeying them ? Is not the seal perfect, when the 
impression is oft imperfect ? Doth not the master write his 
copy more perfectly, than his scholar's imitation is, though 
he teach him, yea, and hold his hand ? He that knoweth 
not the religious distractions of this age, will blame me for 
troubling the reader with the confutation of such dreams : 
but so will not they that have seen and tasted their effects. 

4. Hence we may learn that he that would know what 
the Christian religion is indeed (to the honour of God, or 
their own just information), must rather look into the Scrip- 
ture to know it, than into believers. For though in be- 


iievers it be more discernible in the kind (as men's lives 
are more conspicuous than laws and precepts, and the im- 
press than the seal, &c.), yet it is in the laws or Scriptures 
more complete and perfect, when in the best of Christians 
(much more in the most) it is broken, maimed, and con- 

5. This telleth us the reason why it is unsafe to make 
any men (popes, or councils, or the holiest pastors, or 
strictest people) the rule either of our faith or lives. Be- 
cause they are all imperfect and discordant, when the Scrip- 
ture is concordant and complete. He that is led by them, 
may err, when as the Scripture hath no error. And yet it 
is certain, that even the imperfect knowledge and grace of 
faithful pastors and companions, is of great use to those 
that are more imperfect than they, to teach them the Scrip- 
tures, which are more perfect than they all. 

6. Hence we see why it is, that religion bringeth so 
much trouble, and so little comfort to the most, or too many 
that are in part religious ; because it is lame and confused 
in them. Is it any wonder that a displaced bone is pain- 
ful ? Or that a disordered body is sick, and hath no great 
pleasure in life ? Or that a disordered or maimed watch or 
clock, doth not go right? O what a life of pleasure should 
we live, if we were but such as the Scripture doth require ! 
and the religion in our hearts and lives were fully agreeable 
with the religion described in the word of God. 

7. And hence we see why most true Christians are so 
querulous, and have always somewhat to complain of and 
lament; which the senseless, or self-justifying hypocrites 
overlook in themselves. No wonder if such diseased souls 

8. And hence we see why there is such diversity and 
divisions among believers, and such abundance of sects 
and parties, and contentions, and so little unity, peace, and 
concord. And why all attempts for unity take so little in 
the church : because they have all such weakness, and dis- 
tempers, and lameness, and confusedness, and great dispro- 
portions in their religion. Do you wonder why he liveth 
not in peace, and concord, and quietness with others, who 
hath no better agreement in himself? And no more com- 
posedness and true peace at home? Men's grace and parts 
are much unequal. 


9. And hence we see why there are so many scandals 
among Christians, to the great dishonour of true Chris- 
tianity, and the great hindrance of the conversion of the in- 
fidel, heathen and ungodly world. What wonder if some 
disorder, falsehood, and confusion appear without, in words 
and deeds, when there is so much ever dwelling in the 

10. Lastly, Hence we may learn what to expect from 
particular persons, and what to look for also publicly, in 
the church, and in the world. He that knoweth not what 
man is, and what godly men are, but as well as I do, will 
hardly expect a concordant uniform building to be made of 
such discordant and uneven materials ; or that a set of 
strings, which are all, or almost all out of tune, should 
make any harmonious melody ; or that a number of infants 
should constitute an army of valiant men ; or that a com- 
pany that can scarce spell, or read, should constitute a 
learned academy. God must make a change upon indivi- 
dual persons, if ever he will make a great change in the 
church. They must be more wise, and charitable, and 
peaceable Christians, who must make up that happy church- 
state, and settle thai amiable peace, and serve God in that 
concordant harmony as all of us desire, and some expect. 


How to use Faith against particular Sins, 

The most that I have to say of this, is to be gathered from 
what went before, about sanctification in the general. And 
because I have been so much longer than I intended, you 
must bear with my necessary brevity in the rest. 

Direct. 1. ' When temptation setteth actual sin before 
you, or inward sin keeps up within, look well on God and 
sin together.' Let faith see God's holiness and justice, 
and all that wisdom, goodness and power, which sin des- 
piseth. And one such believing sight of God, is enough 
to make you look at sin, as at the devil himself; as the most 
ugly thing. 

Direct. 2. ' Set sin and the law of God together ;' and 
then it will appear to be exceeding sinful; and to be the 


crooked fruit of the tempting serpent. You cannot know 
sin, but by the law ; Rom. vii. 14, &c. 

Direct. 3. * Set sin before the cross of Christ :' Let faith 
sprinkle his blood upon it, and it will die and wither. See 
it still as that which killed your Lord ; and that which 
pierced his side, and hanged him up in such contempt ^ 
and put the gall and vinegar into his mouth. 

Direct. 4. * Forget not the sorrows and fears of your 
conversion (if you are indeed converted) : or (if not) at least 
the sorrows and fears which you must feel if ever you be 
converted.' God doth purposely cast us into grief and 
terrors, for our former sins, that it may make us the more 
careful to sin no more, lest worse befal us : If the pangs of 
the new birth were sharp and grievous to you, why will you 
again renew the cause, and drink of those bitter waters ? 
Remember what a mad and sad condition you were in while 
you lived according to the flesh, and how plainly you saw 
it when your eyes were opened ? And would you be in the 
same condition again ? Would you be unsanctified, and un- 
justified, and unpardoned, and unsaved ? Every wilful sin 
is a turning backward, toward the state of your former 
captivity and misery. 

Direct. 5. * When Satan sets the bait before you, let 
faith always set heaven and hell before you, and take alto- 
gether, the end with the beginning.' And think when you 
are tempted to lie, to steal, to deceive, to lust, to pride, to 
gulosity or drunkenness, &c. what men are now sufi'ering 
for these same sins ! And what all that are in hell and in 
heaven do think of them ! Suppose a man offered you a 
cup of wine, and a friend telleth you, * I saw him put poi- 
son into it, and therefore take heed what you do.' If the 
offerer were an enemy, you would hardly take it. The 
world, and the flesh, and the devil, are enemies : when they 
offer you the delights of sin, hear faith, and it will tell you, 
there is poison in it ; there is sin, and hell, and God's dis- 
pleasure in it. 

Direct. 6. * Let faith keep you under the continual ap- 
prehensions of the Divine authority and rule; that as a 
child, a servant, a scholar, a subject, doth still know that 
he is not masterless, but one that must be ruled by the will 
or law of his superior; so may you always live with the 
yoke of Christ upon your necks, and his bridle in your 


mouths : remembering also that you are still in your Mas- 
ter's eye. 

Direct. 7. ' Remember still that it is the work of faith to 
overcome the world and the flesh, and to overrule your 
sense and appetite ; and to make nothing of all that would 
stand up against your heavenly interest ; and to crucify it 
by the cross of Christ/ Gal. vi. 14. v. 24. Rom. viii. 1. 
9, 10. 13. Set faith therefore upon its proper work ; and 
when you live by faith, and walk after the Spirit, you will 
not live by sight, nor walk after the flesh ; 2 Cor. v. 7. 

Direct, 8. ' It is also the work of faith to take off" all the 
masks of sin and open its nakedness and shame, and cast 
by all shifts, pretences, and excuses.' When Satan saith. 
It is a little one, and the danger is not great, and it will 
serve thy pleasure, profit, or preferment ; faith should say. 
Doth not God forbid it? There is no dallying with the fire 
of God : " Be not deceived, man ; God will not be mocked ! 
Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap : If you 
sow to the flesh, of the flesh you shall reap corruption ;" 
Gal. vi. When Satan saith, " Ye shall not die :" And when 
the sinner with Adam hideth himself, faith will call him out 
to judgment, and say, " What hast thou done? Hast thou 
eaten the fruit which God forbade ?" 

Direct. 9. ' Let faith still keep you busied in your mas- 
ter's work.* Nothing breedeth and feedeth sin so much as 
idleness of mind and life : sins of omission have this dou- 
ble mischief, that they are the first part of Satan's game 
themselves, and they also bring in sins of commission. 
When men are not taken up with good, they are at leisure 
for temptations to entice them ; and they set open their 
doors to the tempter, and tell him he may speak with them 
when he will. Wanton thoughts, and covetous thoughts, 
may dwell there when better thoughts are absent. But 
when you are so wholly taken up with your duty (spiritual 
or corporal), and so constantly and industriously busy in 
your proper work, sin cannot enter, nor Satan find you at 
leisure for his service. 

Direct. 10. ' Let faith make God's service pleasant to 
you, and lose riot your delight in God and godliness, and 
then you will not relish sinful pleasures.' You will find no 
need of such base delights, when you live on the foretaste 
of angelical pleasures. You will not be easily drawn to 


steal a morsel of dung or poison from the devil's table, 
while you daily feast your souls on Christ : or to steal the 
onions of Egypt, when you dwell in a land that floweth 
with milk and honey. But while you keep yourselves in 
the wilderness, you will be tempted to look back again to 
Egypt. The great cause of men's sinning, and yielding to 
the temptations of forbidden pleasures, is because they are 
negligent to live upon the pleasures of believers. 

Direct, 11.* Take heed of the beginnings, if ever you 
would escape the sin.' No man becometh stark naught at 
the first step. He that beginneth to take one pleasing un- 
profitable cup or bit, intendeth not drunkenness and glut- 
tony in the grossest sense : but he hath set fire in the 
thatch, though he did not intend to burn his house ; and it 
will be harder to quench it, than to have forborne at first. 
He that beginneth but with lascivious dalliance, speeches 
or embraces, thinketh not to proceed to filthy fornication : 
but he might better have secured his conscience, if he had 
never meddled so far with sin. Few ruinating, damning 
sins, began any otherwise than with such small approaches, 
as seemed to have little harm or danger. 

Direct. 12. ' If ever you will escape sin, keep oflp from 
strong temptations and opportunities.' He that will be still 
near the fire or water, may be burnt or drowned at last. 
No man is long safe in the midst of danger, and at the next 
step to ruin. He that liveth in a tavern or alehouse, had 
need to be very averse to tippling. And he that sitteth at 
Dives' table, had need to be very averse to gulosity : and 
he that is in the least danger of the fire of lust, must keep 
at a sufficient distance, not only from the bed, and from im- 
modest actions, but from secret company and opportunities 
of sin, and from a licentious, ungoverned eye and imagina- 
tion. This caused Christ to say. How hard it is for the 
rich to be saved ! because they have a stronger fleshly in- 
terest to keep them from Christ, and godliness, which must 
be denied ; and because their sin hath plentiful provision, 
and the fire of concupiscence wanteth no fuel, and it is a 
very easy thing to them still to sin, and always a hard thing 
to avoid it : and man's sluggish nature will hardly long 
either hold on in that which is hardly done, or forbear that 
which is still hard to forbear. Good must be made sweet 
and easy to us, or else we shall never be constant in it. 


Direct, 13. * If you find any difficulty in forsaking any 
disgraceful sin, cherish it not by secrecy ; but, 1. Plainly 
confess it to your bosom friend : And, 2. If that will not 
serve, to others also, that you may have the greater engage- 
ments to forbear.* 

I know wisdom must be used in such confessions, and 
they must be avoided when the hurt will prove greater than 
the good. But fleshly wisdom must be no counsellor, and 
fleshly interest must not prevail. Secrecy is the nest of 
sin, where it is kept warm, and hidden from disgrace : turn 
it out of this nest, and it will the sooner perish. God's eye 
and knowledge should serve turn ; but when it will not, let 
man know it also, and turn one sin against another, and let 
the love of reputation help to subdue the love of lust. 
Opening a sin (yea, or a strong temptation to a sin) doth 
lay an engagement in point of common credit in the world, 
upon them that were before under the Divine engagements 
only. It will be a double shame to sin when once it is 
known. And as Christ speaketh of a right hand, or eye, so 
may I of your honour in this case ; it is better go to heaven 
with the shame of a penitent confession, than to keep your 
honour till you are in hell. The loss of men's good opinion 
is an easy price, to prevent the loss of your salvation ; Prov. 
xxviii. 13. " He that covereth his sins shall not prosper ; but 
whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.'* 
So 1 John i. 9, 10. James v. 15, 16. 

Direct. 14. * Especially take heed of heinous sins, called 
mortal,' because inconsistent with sincerity. 

Direct, 15. * And take heed of those sins which your- 
selves or others that fear God are in greatest danger of:' 
of which I will speak a little more distinctly. 


What Sins the best should most watchfully avoid. And wherein 
the Infirmities of the upright differ from the Mortal Sins. 

Quest. ' What sins are religious people who fear sin, 
most in danger of? And where must they set the strongest 
watch V 

Answ, 1. They are much in danger of those sins, the 


temptations to which are near, and importunate, and con- 
stant, and for which they have the greatest opportunities : 
they have senses and appetites as well as others : and if the 
bait be great, and always as at their very mouths, even a 
David, a Solomon, a Noah, is not safe. 

2. They are in danger of those sins which they little 
think of; for it is a sign that they are not forewarned and 
fortified ; nor have they overcome that sin ; for victory here 
is never got at so cheap a rate : especially as to inward 
sins. If it have not cost you many a groan, and many a 
day's diligence, to conquer selfishness, pride and appetite ; 
it is twenty to one they are not conquered. 

3. They are much in danger of those sins which they 
extenuate, and count to be smaller than they are. For in- 
deed their hearts are infected already, by those false and 
favourable thoughts. And they are prepared to entertain a 
nearer familiarity with them. Men are easily tempted up- 
on a danger which seemeth small. 

4. They are much in danger of those sins, which their 
constitutions and temperature of body doth incline them to; 
and therefore must here keep a double watch. No small 
part of the punishment of our original sin (both as from 
Adam, and from our nearest parents) is found in the ill 
complexion of our bodies : the temperature of some in- 
clineth them vehemently to passion ; and of others unto 
lust ; and of others to sloth and dullness ; and of others to 
gulosity, &c. And grace doth not immediately change this 
distemper of the complexion ; but only watch over it, and 
keep it under, and abate it consequently, by contrary ac- 
tions, and mental dispositions : therefore we shall have here 
incessant work, while we are in the body. Though yet the 
power of grace by long and faithful use, will bring the very 
sense, and imagination, and passions into so much calm- 
ness, as to be far less raging, and easily ruled : as a well 
ridden horse will obey the rider ; and even dogs and other 
brutes will strive but little against our government : and 
then our work will grow more easy : For as Seneca saith, 
* Maxima pars libertatis est bene moratus venter :' A good 
conditioned belly is a great part of a man's liberty : mean- 
ing, an ill conditioned belly is a great part of men's slavery. 
And the same may be said of all the senses, fantasy and 
passions in their respective places. 


6. We are much in danger of the sins which our call- 
ings, trades and worldly interest, do most and constantly 
tempt us to. Every man hath a carnal interest, which is his 
great temptation; and every wise man will know it, and 
there set a double watch. The carnal interest of a preacher, 
is applause or preferment. The carnal interest of rulers and 
great men, I shall pass by ; but they must not pass it by 
themselves. The carnal interest of lawyers and tradesmen, 
is their gain, &c. Here we must keep a constant watch. 

6. We are much in danger of those sins, the matter of 
which is somewhat good and lawful, and the danger lieth 
only in the manner, circumstances or degree. For there 
the lawfulness of the matter, occasioneth men to forget the 
accidental evil. The whole kingdom feeleth the mischief 
of this, in instances which I will now pass by. If eating 
such or such a meat were not lawful itself, men would not 
be so easily drawn to gluttony. If drinking wine were not 
a lawful thing, the passage to drunkenness were not so 
open. The apprehension that a lusory lot is a lawful thing 
(as cards, dice, &c.) doth occasion the heinous sin of time- 
wasting, and estate-wasting gamesters. If apparel were not 
lawful, excess would not be so easily endured. Yea, the 
goodness of God's own worship, quieteth many in its great 

7. We are much in danger of those sins, which are not 
in any great disgrace among those persons whom we most 
honour and esteem. It is a great mercy to have sin lie un- 
der a common odium and disgrace : as swearing and drun- 
kenness, and cursing, and fornication, and Popish errors, 
and superstition, is now amongst the forwardest professors 
in England: for here conscience is most awakened, and 
helped by the opinion of men ; or if there be some carnal 
respect to our reputation in it sometimes, yet it tendeth to 
suppress the sin : and it is a great plague to live where any 
great sin is in little disgrace (as profanation of tlie Lord's 
day in most of the reformed churches beyond sea ; and 
they say, tippling, if not drunkenness in Germany 5 and as 
backbiting and evil-speaking against those that differ from 
them, is among the professors in England, for too great a 
part J and also many superstitions of their own ; and divid- 
ing principles and practices), 

8. But especially if the greater number of godly people 


live in such a sin, then is the temptation great indeed ; and 
it is but few of the weaker sort, that are not carried down 
that stream. The Munster case, and the rebellion in which 
Munster perished in Germany, and many others ; but espe- 
cially abundance of schisms from the apostles' days till now, 
are too great evidences of men's sociableness in sinning. 
" We all like sheep have gone astray, and turned every one 
to his own way ;" Isa. liii. 6. And like sheep in this, that if 
one that is leading, get over the hedge, all the rest will fol- 
low after ; but especially if the greater part be gone. And 
do not think that our churches are infallible, and that the 
greater part of the godly cannot err, or be in the wrong : 
for that would be but to do as the Papists, when we have 
sinned by fallibility, to keep off repentance by the conceit 
of infallibility. 

9. We are in great danger of sinning, in cases where we 
are ignorant : for who can avoid the danger which he 
seeth not ? And who can walk safely in the dark ? There- 
fore we see that it is the more ignorant sort of Christians, 
and such as Paul calleth novices, that most err ; especially 
when pride accompanieth ignorance, for then they fall into 
the special condemnation of the devil ; 1 Tim. iii. 6. Study 
therefore painfully and patiently till you understand the 

10. But above all,|we are in danger of those sins which 
are masked with a pretence of the greatest truths and duties, 
and use to be fathered on God and Scripture ; and go under 
the specious titles of holiness and of free grace. For here 
it is the understanding chiefly that resisteth, while the very 
names and pretences secretly steal in, and bring them into 
love and reverence with the will. And the poor honest 
Christian is afraid of resisting them, lest it should prove a 
resisting God. What can be so false that a man will not 
plead for, if he take it to be a necessary truth of God ? And 
what can be so bad that a man will not do, if he take it 
once to be of God's commanding? The aforesaid instances 
of the Munster and German actions, with those of the fol- 
lowers of David George in Holland, (who took himself to be 
the Holy Ghost, or the immediate prophet of his kingdom,^ 
and Racket and his Grundletonians 5 and the Familists, the 
Ranters, the Seekers, the Quakers, the Church-dividers, and 
the Kingdom and State-overturners in England, have given 


SO great a demonstration of this, that it is not lawful to 
overlook it or forget it. " The time cometh, that they that 
kill you, shall think that they do God service ;" John xvi. 2. 
And then who can expect that their consciences should 
avoid it? Why did Paul persecute the Christians, and com- 
pel them to blaspheme? Because he verily thought that he 
ought to do many things against the name of Jesus ; Acts 
xxvi. 9. O ! it is religious sins which we are in danger of! 
such as come to us as in the name of God, and Christ, and 
the Spirit : such as pretend that we cannot be saved with- 
out them : and such as plead the Holy Scriptures : such as 
James iii. is written against, when a wisdom from beneath, 
which is earthly, sensual and devilish, working by envy 
and strife, unto confusion and every evil work, pretendeth 
to be the wisdom from above: when zeal consumeth love 
and unity, under pretence of consuming sin ; which made 
Paul and John require us not to " believe every Spirit, but 
to try the Spirits whether they be of God ;" 1 John vi. 1 — 3. 
2Thess. ii. 2. 1 Thess. v. 20, 21. And made Paul say, " If 
an angel from heaven bring you another Gospel, let him be 
accursed ;" Gal. i. 7, 8. And more plainly, 2 Cor. xi. 13, 14. 
" Such are false apostles ; deceitful workers ; transforming 
themselves into the apostles of Christ : and no marvel, for 
Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light ; there- 
fore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed 
as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be ac- 
cording to their works. And, Acts xx. 30. *' Also of your 
ownselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to 
draw away disciples after them." And what need any dis- 
ciple of Christ greater warning, than to remember that their 
Saviour himself was thus assaulted by the devil in his 
temptation with *' It is written." 

Yet let no Papist hence take occasion to vilify the 
Scripture, because it is made a plea for sin : for so he might 
as well vilify human reason, which is pleaded for all the 
errors in the world; and vilify the law, because lawyers 
plead it for ill causes ; yea, and vilify God himself, because 
the same and other sinners plead his will and authority for 
their sins : when contrarily, it is a great proof of the Scrip- 
ture authority and honour, that Satan himself, and his sub- 
tilest instruments, do place their greatest hope of prevailing, 


by perverting and misapplying it ; which could be of no 
use to them, if its authority were not acknowledged. 

11. We are in constant danger of those sins which we 
think we can conceal from men : therefore suppose still that 
all that you do will be made known ; and do all as in the 
open streets. It is written (by two) in the life of holy 
Ephrem Syrus, that when a harlot tempted him to unclean- 
ness, he desired but that he might choose the place ; which 
she consenting to, he chose the open market-place, among 
all the people ; and when she told him, that there they 
should be shamed, for all would see ; he told her such a les- 
son of sinning in the sight of God, who is every where, as 
was the means of her conversion. Conceit of secrecy era- 
boldeneth to sin. 

12. We are in constant danger of sins of sudden passion 
and irruption, which allow us not season to deliberate, and 
surprise us before our reason c^n consider. 

13. We are in danger of sins that come on by insensible 
degrees, and from small beginnings creep upon us, and 
come not by any sudden wakening assaults : thus pride, 
and covetousness, and ambition, do infect men : and thus 
our zeal and diligence for God, doth usually decay. 

14. Lastly, We are in much danger of all sins which re- 
quire a constant, vigorous diligence to resist them ; and of 
omitting those duties, or that part or mode of duty, which 
must have a constant vigorous diligence to perform it ; be- 
cause feeble souls are hardly kept (as is aforesaid) to con- 
stant vigorous diligence. 

Quest, 2. * Wherein difFereth the sins of a sanctified per- 
son from other men's that are unsanctified V 

Answ. 1. In a sanctified man the habitual bent of his will, 
is ever more against sin, than for it ; however he be tempted 
into that particular act. 

2. And as to the act also, it is ever contrary to the scope 
and tenor of his life ; which is for God and sincere obe- 

3. He hath no sin which is inconsistent with the true 
love of God, in the predominant habit : it never turneth his 
heart to another end, or happiness, or master. 

4. Therefore it is more a sin of passion, than of settled 
interest and choice. He is more liable to a hasty passion, 


or word, or unruly thoughts, than to any prevalent covetous- 
ness or ambition, or any sin which is a possessing of the 
heart instead of God; 1 John ii. 15. James iii. 2. Though 
some remainders of these are in him, they prevail not so far 
as sudden passions. 

5. There are some sins which are more easily in the 
power of the will, so that a man that is but truly willing, 
may forbear them ; as a drunkard may pass by the tavern 
or alehouse, or forbear to touch the cup ; and the fornica- 
tor to come near, or commit the sin, if they be truly will- 
ing : but there be other sins which a man can hardly forbear 
though he be willing ; because they are the sins of those 
faculties over which the will hath not a despotical power : 
as a man may be truly willing to have no sluggishness, 
heaviness, sleepiness at prayer, no forgetfulness, no wander- 
ing thoughts, no inordinate appetite or lust at all stirring in 
him, no sudden passions of anger, grief or fear; he may be 
willing to love God perfectly ; to fear him and obey him 
perfectly, but cannot. These latter are the ordinary in- 
firmities of the godly : the former sort are, if at all, his ex- 
traordinary falls ; Rom. vii. 14, to the end. 

6. Lastly, The true Christian riseth by unfeigned repen- 
tance, which his conscience hath but leisure and helps to 
deliberate, and to bethink him what he hath done. And his 
repentance much better resolveth and strengtheneth him 
against his sin for the time to come. 

To sum up all ; 1. Sin more loved than hated. 2. Sin 
wilfully lived in, which might be avoided by the sincerely 
willing. 3. Sin made, light of, and not truly repented of 
when it is committed. 4. And any sin inconsistent with 
habitual love to God, in predominancy, is mortal, or a sign 
of spiritual death, and none of the sins of sanctified be- 


How to live by Faith in Prosperity. 

The work of faith in respect of prosperity, is twofold: 
1. To save us from the danger of it. 2. To help us to a 
sanctified improvement of it. 


1, And for the first, that which faith doth, is especially, 
1. To see deeper and further into the nature of all things in 
the world, than sense can do : 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18. 1 Cor. vii. 
29 — 31. To see that they were never intended for our rest 
or portion, but to be our wilderness-provision in our way. 
To foresee just how the world will use us, and leave us at 
the last, and to have the very same thoughts of it now, as 
we foresee we shall have when the end is come, and when 
we have had all that ever the world will do for us. It is 
the work of faith, to cause a man to judge of the world, 
and all its glory, as we shall do when death and judgment 
come, and to have taken off the mask of splendid names, 
and shows, and flatteries : that we may use the world as if 
we used it not, and possess it as if we possessed it not, be- 
cause its fashion doth pass away. It is the work of faith to 
crucify the world to us, and us to the world by the cross of 
Christ, (Gal. vi. 14.) that we may look on it as disdainfully 
as the world looked upon Christ, when he hanged as for- 
saken on the cross. That when it is dead, it may have no 
power on us, and when we are dead to it, we may have no 
inordinate love, or care, or thoughts, or fears, or grief, or 
labour to lay out upon it. It is the work of faith to make 
all worldly pomp and glory, to be to us but loss, and dross, 
and dung, in comparison of Christ, and the righteousness 
of faith ; Phil. iii. 7 — 9. And then no man will part with 
heaven for dung, nor set his God below his dung, nor fur- 
ther from his heart; nor will he feel any great power in 
temptations to honour, wealth, or pleasure, if really he 
count them at all but dung ; nor will he wound his consci- 
ence, or betray his peace, or cast away his innocency for 

2. Faith sheweth the soul those sure, and great, and 
glorious things, which are infinitely more worthy our love 
and labour. And this is the highest and most proper work ; 
Heb. xi. It conquereth earth by opening heaven; and 
shewing it us as sure, and clear, and near. And no man 
will dote on this deceitful world, till he have turned away 
his eyes from God ; and till heaven be out of his sight and 
heart. Faith saith, I must shortly be with Christ; and 
what then are these dying things to me? I have better 
things, which God that cannot lie hath promised me with 
Christ ; Titus i. 2. Heb. vi. 18. I look every day when I 


am called in. " The Judge standeth before the door ;" 
James v. 9. " The Lord is at hand ;" Phil. iv. 5. And 
•' the end of all these things is at hand ;" 1 Pet. iv. 7. And 
shall I set my heart on that which is not? 

Therefore when the world doth smile and flatter, faith 
setteth heaven against all that it can say or offer. And 
what is the world when heaven stands by ? Faith seeth 
what the blessed souls above possess, at the same time 
while the world is alluring us to forsake it; Luke xvi. Heb. 
xi. xii. 1,2, &c. Faith setteth the heart upon the things 
above, as our concernment, our only hope and happiness : it 
kindleth that love of God in the soul, and that delight in 
higher things, which powerfully quench worldly love, and 
mortifieth all our carnal pleasures ; Matt. vi. 20, 21. Col. 
iii. 1—4, Rom. viii. 5—7. Phil. xxx. 20, 21. 

3. Faith sheweth the soul those wants and miseries in 
itself, which nothing in the world is able to supply and cure. 
Nay, such as the world is apter to increase. It is not gold 
that will quench his thirst, who longs for pardon, grace and 
glory. A guilty conscience, a sinful and condemned soul 
will never be cured by riches, or high places, by pride, or 
fleshly sports and pleasures ; James v. 1 — 3. This humbling 
work is not in vain. 

4. Faith looketh to Christ, who hath overcome the 
world, and carefully treadeth in his steps ; John xvi. 33. 
Heb. xii. 2 — 5. It looketh to his person, his birth, his 
life, his cross, his grave, and his resurrection : to all that 
strange example of contempt of worldly things which he gave 
us from his manger, to his shameful kind of death. And 
he that studieth the * Life of Christ,' will either despise the 
world, or him. He will either vilify the world in imitation 
of his Lord, or vilify Christ for the pleasures of the world. 
Faith hath in this warfare the surest and most honourable 
Guide, the ablest Captain, and the most powerful Example 
in all the world. And it hath with Christ an unerring rule, 
which furnisheth him with armour for every use. Yea, it 
hath through him a promise of victory before it be attained ; 
so that in the beginning of the fight, it knows the end ; 
Rom. xvi. 20. John xvi. 33. It goeth to Christ for that 
Spirit which is our strength ; Ephes. vi. 10. Col. ii. 7. 
And by that it mortifieth the desires of the flesh ; and 



when the flesh is mortified, the world is conquered ; for it is 
loved only as it is the provision of the flesh. 

5. Moreover, faith doth observe God's particular provi- 
dence, who distributeth his talents to every man as he pleaseth, 
and disposeth of their estates and comforts : so that the "race 
is not to the swift, nor the victory to the strong, nor riches to 
men of understanding ;" Eccles. ix. 11. 

Therefore it convinceth us, that our lives and all being 
in his hand, it is our wisdom to make it our chiefest care to 
use all so as is most pleasing unto him ; 2 Cor. v. 8. It 
foreseeth also the day of judgment, and teacheth us to use 
our prosperity and wealth, as we desire to hear of it in the 
day of our accounts. Faith is a provident and a vigilant 
grace, and useth to ask when we have any thing in posses- 
sion. Which way may I make the best advantage of it for 
my soul ? Which way will be most comfortable to me in 
my last review ? How shall I wish that I had used my time, 
my wealth, my power, when time is at an end, and all these 
transitory things are vanished ? 

6. And faith doth so absolutely devote and subject the 
soul to God, that it will suffer us to do nothing (so far as it 
prevaileth) but what is for him, and by his consent. It telleth 
us that we are not our own, but his ; and that we have no- 
thing but what we have received ; and that we must be just 
in giving God his own : and therefore it first asketh. Which 
way may I best serve and honour God with all that he hath 
given me ? Not only with my substance, and the first-fruits 
of mine increase, but with all; 1 Cor. x. 31. When love 
and devotion hath delivered up ourselves entirely to God, it 
keeps nothing back, but delivereth him all things with our- 
selves : even as Christ with himself doth give us all things ; 
Rom. viii.32. And faith doth so much subject the soul to 
God, that it maketh us like servants and children, that use 
not their master's or parent's goods at their own pleasure ; 
but ask him first, how he would have us use them, " Lord, 
what wouldst thou have me to do ?" is one of the first words of 
a converted soul ; Acts ix. 6. In a word, faith writeth out 
that charge upon the heart, " Love not the world, nor the 
things that are in the world (the lust of the flesh, the lust of 
the eyes, and the pride of life). For if any man love the 
world, the love of the Father is not in him. Ye cannot serve 
God and mammon ;" 1 John ii. 15. 


But on this subject Mr. Alleine hath said so much in his 
excellent book of the "Victory of Faith over the World," 
that I shall at this time say no more. 

The Directions which 1 would give you in general, for 
preservation from the danger of prosperity by faith, are these 
that follow. 

Direct. 1. * Remember still that the common cause of 
men's damnation is their love of this world more than God 
and heaven ; and that the world cannot undo you any other 
way, but by tempting you to over-love it, and to undervalue 
higher things :' and therefore that is the most dangerous 
condition, which maketh the world seem most pleasing, and 
most lovely to us. And can you believe this, and yet be so 
eager to be humoured, and to have all things fitted to your 
pleasure and desires? Mark here what a task faith hath ! 
And mark what the work of self-denial is ! The worldling 
must be pleased ; the believer must be saved. The world- 
ling must have his flesh and fancy gratified : the believer 
must have heaven secured, and God obeyed. Men sell not 
their souls for sorrow, but for mirth : they forsake not hea- 
ven for poverty, but for riches: they turn not away from God 
for the love of sufferings and dishonour, but for the love of 
pleasure, preferments, dignities and estimation in the world. 
And is that state better and more desirable, for which all 
that perish turn from God, and sell their souls, and are be- 
fooled and undone for ever ? Or that which no man ever 
sinned for, nor forsook God for, or was undone for ? Read 
over this question once and again, and mark what answer 
your hearts give to it, if you would know whether you live 
by sense or faith. And mark what contrary answers the 
flesh and faith will give to it, when it comes to practice ! I 
say, though many sin in poverty, and in sufferings and in 
disgrace, yea, and by occasion of them, and by their temp- 
tations, yet no man ever sinned for them. They are none of 
the bait that stole away the heart from God. Set deep 
upon your heart the sense of the danger of a prosperous state, 
and fear and vigilancy will help to save you. 

Direct. 2. * Imprint upon your memory the characters of 
this deadly sin of worldliness, that so you may not perish by 
it, whilst you dream that you are free from it ; but may 
always see how far it doth prevail.' Here, therefore, to help 
you, I will set before you the characters of this sin; and I 


will but briefly name them, lest I be tedious because they 
are many. 

1. The great mark of damning worldliness is, when God 
and heaven are not loved and preferred before the pleasures, 
and profits, and honours of the world. 

2. Another is, when the world is esteemed and used more 
for the service and pleasure of the flesh, than to honour God, 
and to do good with, and to further our salvation. When 
men desire great places and riches, more to please their ap- 
petites and carnal minds with, than to benefit others, or to 
serve the Lord with : when they are not rich to God, but to 
themselves ; Luke xii. 20, 21. 

3. It is a mark of some degree of worldliness, to desire 
a greater measure of riches and honour, than our spiritual 
work, and ends, and benefit do require ; for when we are 
convinced that less is as good or better to our highest ends, 
and yet we would have more ; it is a sign that the rest is de- 
sired for the flesh ; Rom. xiii. 14. viii. 8 — 10. 13. 

4. When our desires after worldly things are too eager 
and violent : when w^e must needs have them, and cannot be 
without them; 1 Tim. vi. 9. 

5. When our contrivances for the world are too solicitous, 
and our cares for it take up an undue proportion of our time ; 
Matt. vi. 24, 25. to the end. 

6. When we are impatient under want, dishonour or dis- 
appointments, and live in trouble and discontent, if we want 
much, or have not our wills. 

7. When the thoughts of the world are proportionably 
so many more than our thoughts of heaven, and our salva- 
tion, that they keep us in the neglect of the duty of me- 
ditation, and keep empty our minds of holy things ; 
Matt. vi. 21. 

8. When it turneth our talk all towards the wrorld, or 
taketh up our most free, and our sweetest and most serious 
words, and leaveth us to the use of seldom, dull, or formal, 
or affected words, about the things which should profit the 
soul, and glorify our great Creator. 

9. When the world encroacheth upon God's part in our 
families, and thrusts out prayer, or the reading of the Scrip- 
tures, or the due instruction of children or servants : when 
it cometh in upon the Lord's day : when it is intruding in 
God's worship, and at sermon, or prayer, our thoughts are 


more pleasingly running out after some worldly thing, than 
kept in^ attendance upon God ; Ezek. xxxiii. 31. 

10. When worldly prosperity is so sweet to you, that it 
can keep you quiet under the guilt of wilful sin, and in the 
midst of all the dangers of your souls. Because you have 
your heart's desire awhile, you can forget eternity, or bear 
those thoughts of it with security, which otherwise would 
amaze your souls ; Luke xii. 19, 20. 

11. When the peace and pleasure which you daily live 
upon, is fetched more from the world, than from God and 
heaven ; so that if at any time you ask yourselves the true 
reason of your peace, and whence it is that you rise and lie 
down in quietness of mind, your consciences must tell you, 
it is not so much from your belief of the love of God in 
Christ, nor from your hope to live in heaven for ever, as be- 
cause you feel yourself well in body, and live at ease and 
prosperity in the world : and when any mirth or joy pos- 
sesseth you, you may easily feel, that it is more from some- 
thing which is grateful to your flesh, than from the belief of 
everlasting glory. 

12. When you think too highly and pleasingly of the 
condition of the rich, and too meanly of the state of poor 
believers : when you make too great a difference between 
the rich and the poor, and say to the man with the gold ring 
and the gay apparel, " Come up hither ; and to the poor. Sit 
there at my footstool ;" James iv. v. When you had rather 
be made like the rich and honourable in the world, than like 
the poor that are more holy ; and think with more delight of 
being like lords or great men in the world, than of being more 
like to humble, heavenly believers, 

13. When you are at the heart more thankful to one that 
giveth you lands or money, than to God for giving you Christ 
and the Scriptures, and the means of grace : and would be 
better pleased if you were advanced or enriched by the king, 
than to think of being sanctified by the Spirit of Christ. And 
when you give God himself more hearty thanks for worldly 
than for spiritual things. 

14. When you make too much ado for the things of the 
world ; and labour for them with inordinate industry ; or 
plunge yourselves into unnecessary business as one that can 
never have or do enough. 

15. When you are too much in expecting liberality, kind- 


nesses and gifts from others ; and are too muqh pleased in 
it; and grudge at all that goeth beside you ; and think that 
it is men's duty to mind all your concernments, and further 
your commodity more than other men's. 

16. When you are selfish and partial about worldly in- 
terest, and have little sense of your neighbours' concern- 
ments in comparison of your own. If one give never so li- 
berally to many others, and give nothing to you, it doth 
never the more content you, nor reconcile your mind to the 
charity of the giver. If one give to you, and pass by many 
that have more need, you love and honour the bounty which 
satisfieth your own desires. If you sell dear, you rejoice; 
and if you buy cheap, you are glad of your good bargain, 
though perhaps the seller be poorer than you. He that 
wrongeth you, or any way hindereth your commodity, is £^1- 
ways a bad man in your esteem : no virtue will save him 
from your censures and reproach : but he that dealeth as 
hardly by your neighbour, and well with you, is a very ho- 
nest man, and worthy of your praise. 

17. When you are quarrelsome for worldly things, and 
the love of them can at any time break your charity and 
peace, and make an enemy of your nearest friend ; or engage 
you in causeless lawsuits and contentions. What abundance 
doth the world set together by the ears ! 

18. When you can see your poor brother or neighbour in 
want, and shut up the bowels of your compassion from him ; 
and do little good with what God hath given you, but the 
flesh and self devoureth all. 

19. When you will venture upon unlawful ways of get- 
ting ; or will sin for honour or commodity ; or at least will 
let go your innocency and conscience, rather than lose your 
prosperity in the world ; and will distinguish yourselves out 
of every danger, or costly duty, or suffering for righteousness 
sake ; and will prove every thing lawful, which seemeth ne- 
cessary to the prosperity and safety of the flesh. 

20. When you are more careful to provide riches and ho- 
nours for your children after you, than to save them from 
vvorldliness, voluptuousness and pride, and to bring them up 
to be the heirs of heaven : and had rather venture their souls 
in the most dangerous temptations, than abate any of their 
plenty or grandeur in the world. 


These be the plain marks of worldly minds, whatever a 
blinded heart may devise to hide them. 

Direct. 3. ' Take heed of those blinding pretences which 
worldly minds do commonly use, to flatter, deceive and undo 
themselves. For instance. 

1. The most common pretence is ' That God's creatures 
are good, and prosperity is his blessing, and that our bodies 
must be cherished, and that cynical and eremitical extremes 
and austerities, are far from the genius of true Christianity.* 

There is truth in all this, or else it would not be so fit to 
be made a cloak for sin by misapplication. The world and 
all God's works are good ; and to the pure they are pure ; 
to the sanctified they are sanctified ; that is, they are de- 
voted to the service of God, and used for him from whom 
they come : God hath given us nothing which may not be 
used for his service, and our salvation. No doubt but you 
may make you friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, 
to further your reception into the everlasting habitations : 
you may lay up a good foundation for the time to come ; 
and you may sow to the Spirit, and reap in the end everlast- 
ing life ; Gal. vi. You may provide you bags that wax not 
old. You may please God by the sacrifices of distributing 
and communicating; Heb.xiii. But yet I must tell you, 
the world and all God's creatures in it, are too good to be 
sacrificed to the flesh, and to the devil ; and not good enough 
to be loved and preferred before God, and your innocency 
and salvation. 

The body must be cherished, but yet the flesh must be 
subdued ; and if you live after it you shall die. Health and 
alacrity must be preserved, because they make you fit for 
duty ', but wanton appetites must be restrained, and no pro- 
vision must be made for the flesh, to satisfy its lusts (or 
wills) ; Kom. xiii. 14. It must be cherished as your horse 
or servant for his work ; but it must not be pampered, and 
made unruly, or your master. You may seek food for your 
necessity and use ; and ask of God your daily bread (Matt. 
vi. Psal. cxlv.) ; but you may not with the Israelites, ask 
meat for your lust, as being weary of eating manna so long ; 
Psal. Ixxviii. Hurting your health by useless austerities, is 
not pleasing unto God ; but sensuality, and flesh-pleasing, 
and love of the world, is nevertheless abominable in his 



Object. 2. ' Necessity makes me mind the world. I have 
children to maintain, and am in debt, and cannot pay every 
one his own/ 

Answ. Whether you have necessity or not, you ought to 
labour faithfully in your callings : but no necessity will ex- 
cuse your worldly love and cares. What will the love of the 
world do towards the supply of your necessities 'I Or what 
will your eager desires, and your cares do, more than the la- 
bours and quiet forecast of one that hath a contented mind? 
Surely in reason, the less you have in the world, and the 
harder your condition is, the less you should love it, and the 
more you should abound in care and diligence, to make sure 
of a better world hereafter. 

Object. 3. * I covet no man's but my own.' 

Answ. 1. Why then are you so glad of good bargains, or 
of gifts ? 2. But what if you do not ? You covet to have 
more to be your own, than God allotteth you. Perhaps you 
have already as much as your flesh knoweth what to do with ; 
and therefore need not covet niore. But will this excuse 
you for loving your riches more than God ? The question 
s not now, what you covet, but what you love. If the world 
hath your hearts, the devil hath your lives ; for it is by the 
world that he deceiveth souls : and do you think then that 
you are fit to dwell with God ? " Know ye not that the 
love of the world is enmity to God?" And that if "ye 
will be friends of the world, you are God's enemies ?" 
James iv. 4. 

Object, 4. * It is not by any unlawful means that I desire 
to grow rich. I wait on God in my lawful labour, and crave 
his blessing.' 

Answ, It is not now your getting, but your loving the 
world that I am speaking of. If your hearts be more set on 
your riches or prosperity, than on God, and the world by 
loving it be made your idol, you do but turn prayer and la- 
bour into sin, (though they be good in themselves) while you 
abuse them to your ungodly, worldly ends. 

What wretched muckworm would not pray, if he believed 
that praying would make him rich ? I warrant you then their 
tune would be turned. They would not cry out, What need- 
eth all this praying? If God would give them money for the 
asking, they would quickly learn to pray without book, and 
long prayers would come into request, upon the Pharisees' 


old account. . Can any thing in the world be more unlawful 
and abominable, than to love the flesh and the world, above 
God and heaven ? And yet do you say that you get not your 
wealth by any thing that is unlawful ? 

Object, 5. ' But I am contented with my condition, and 
desire no more.' 

Answ, So is a swine when his belly is full. But the ques- 
tion is. Whether heaven and holiness, or the worldly condi- 
tion which you are in seem more lovely to you.? 
Object, 6. * I give God thanks for all I have.' 
Answ. So would every beggar in the country give God 
thanks if he would make him rich. Some drunkards and 
gluttons, and some malicious people, do give God thanks for 
satisfying their sinful lusts. This is but adding hypocrisy 
to your sin, and to aggravate it by profaning the name of 
God, by thanking him as a cherisher of your lusts. But 
the question is, Whether you love God for himself, and 
as your Sanctifier, better than you do the gratifying of your 

Object. 7. ' But I give something to the poor, and I mean 
to leave them something at my death.' 

Answ. So it is like the miserable gentleman did, in Luke 
xvi. Or else why would Lazarus lie at his gates, if he used 
not to give something to the poor ? What worldling or hy- 
pocrite is there that will not drop now and then an alms, 
while he pampereth his flesh, and satisfieth its desires ? Do 
you look to be saved for doing as a swine will do, in leav- 
ing that which he can neither eat nor carry away with him? 
The question is. Whether God or the world have your hearts ? 
And what it is that you most delight in as your treasure ? 

Object, 8. *^ I am fully satisfied that heaven is better than 
earth, and God than the creature, and holiness than the pros- 
perity or pleasure of the flesh.' 

Answ. Thousands of miserable worldlings, are satisfied 
in opinion that this is true. They can say the same words 
that a true believer doth : and in dispute they can defend 
them, and call the contrary opinion blasphemy. But all 
this is but a dreaming speculation : their hearts never prac- 
tically preferred God, and holiness, and heaven, as most 
suitable and best for them. Mark what you love best, and 
most long after, and most delight in, and what it is that you 
are most loath to leave, and what it is that you most eagerly 


labour for, and there you may see what it is that hath your 

Object, 9. ' Worldliness is indeed a heihous sin, and of 
all people, I most hate the covetous ; and I use to preach or 
talk against it, more than against any sin.' 

Answ. So do many thousands that are slaves to it them- 
selves, and shall be damned for it. It is easier to talk 
against it, than to forsake it. And it is easy to hate covet- 
ousness in another, because it will cost you nothing for an- 
other to forsake his sin ; and perhaps the more covetous he 
is, the more he standeth in your way, and hindereth you from 
that which you would have yourselves. Of all the multi- 
tude of covetous preachers that be in the world, is there any 
one that will not preach against covetousness? Read but 
the lives of cardinals, and popes, and popish prelates, and 
you will see the most odious worldliness set forth without 
any kind of cloak or shame : how such a one laid his design 
at court, and among the great ones for preferment : how stu- 
diously he prosecuted it, and conformed himself to the hu- 
mours and interest of those, from whom he did seek it : how 
they first got this living, and then got that prebendary, and 
then got that deanery, and then got such a bishopric, and 
then got a better (that is a richer), and then got to be arch- 
bishops, and then to be cardinals, &c. O happy progress if 
they might never die ! They blush not openly before angels 
and men to own this worldly, ambitious course, as their de- 
sign and trade of life. And the devil is grown so impudent, 
as if he were now the confessed master of the world, as to 
set divines themselves at work, to write the history of such 
cursed, ambitious, worldly lives, with open applause, and 
great commendations ; yea to make saints of them, that have 
a character far worse than Christ gave of him in Luke xvi. 
that wanted a drop of water to cool his tongue. He openly 
now saith, " All this will I give thee ;" and they as impu- 
dently boast, * All this have I gotten ;' but they forget or 
know not how much they have lost. A Judas's kiss is 
thought sufficient to prove him a true Christian and pastor 
of the church, though it be but the fruit of " what will you 
give me?" Instead of a scourge to whip out these buyers 
and sellers from Christ's temple, their merchandise is ex- 
posed without shame, and their signs set forth, and the trade 
of getting preferments openly professed, and it is enough to 


wipe off all shame, to put some venerable titles upon this 
den of thieves. " But the Lord whom we wait for, will once 
more come and cleanse his temple. But who may abide 
the day of his coming? For he is like a refiner's fire, and 
like fuller's soap, and will throughly purge the sons of Levi ;" 
Mai. iii. 1—4. 

If talking again.st worldliness, would prove that the world 
is overcome, and that God is dearest to the soul, then 
preachers will be the happiest men on earth. But it is easier 
to commend God, than to love him above all ; and easier to 
cry out against the world, than to save a heart that is truly 
weaned from it, and set upon a better world. 

Object, 10. ' But all this belongeth only to them that are 
in prosperity ; but I am poor, and therefore it is nothing to 

A71SW. Many a one loveth prosperity, that hath it not : 
and such are doubly sinful, that will love a world which 
loveth not them ; even a world of poverty, misery and dis- 
tress. Something you would have done, if you had a full 
estate, and honour, and fleshly delights to love. Nay, many 
poor men think better of riches and honour, than those that 
have them ; because they never tried how vain and vexatious 
they are ; and if they had tried them, perhaps would love 
them less. The world is but a painted strumpet, admired 
afar off; but the nearer you come to it, and the more it is 
known, the worse you will like it. Is it by your own desire 
that you are poor ? Or is it against your wills ? Had you 
not rather be as great and rich as others ? Had you not ra- 
ther live at ease and fulness ? And do you think God will 
love you ever the better, for that whidh is against your wills ? 
Will he count that man to be no worldling, that would fain 
have more of the world, and cannot ? And that loveth God 
and heaven no better than the rich ? Nay, that will sin for 
a shilling, when great ones do it for greater sums ? Who 
can be more unfit for heaven, than he that loveth a life of 
labour, and want, and misery better ? Alas ! it is but little 
that the greatest worldlings have for their salvation; but 
poor worldlings sell it for less than they, and therefore do 
despise it more. 

Direct. 4. * Let the true nature and aggravations of the 
sin of worldliness, be still in your eye to make it odious to 
you.' As for instance : 


1. It is true and odious idolatry ; Ephes. v. 5. Col. iii. 
5. To have God for our God indeed, is to love him as our 
God, and to delight in him, and be ruled by him. Who then 
is an idolater, if he be not one who loveth the world, and de- 
lighteth in it more than in God, or esteemeth it fitter to be 
the matter of his delight? And is ruled by it, and seeketh 
it more ? Isa. Iv. 1 — 3. 

2. It is a blasphemous contempt of God and heaven, to 
prefer a dunghill world before him: to set more by the pro- 
visions and pleasures of the flesh, than by all the blessed- 
ness of heaven. It is called profaneness in Esau, to sell his 
birthright for one morsel ; Heb. xii. 16. What profaneness 
is it then to say, as worldlings' hearts and lives do, * The sa- 
tisfying of my flesh and fancy for a time, is better than God 
and the joys of heaven to all eternity.' 

3. It is a sin of interest and not only of passion ; and 
therefore it possesseth the very heart and love, which is the 
principal faculty of the soul, and that which God most re- 
serveth for himself. No actual sin, which is but little loved, 
is so heinous and mortal, as that which is most loved. Be- 
cause these do most exclude the love of God. Some other 
sins may do more hurt to others, but this is worst to the sin- 
ner himself. We justly pity poor heathenish idolaters, and 
pray for their conversion (and I would we did it more) : but 
do not you think that our hypocrite worldlings, do love their 
riches, and their honours and pleasures, better than the poor 
heathens love their idols ? They bow the knee to a creature, 
and you entertain it in your heart. 

4. It is a sin of deliberation and contrivance, which is 
much worse than a surprise by a sudden temptation. You 
plot how you may compass your voluptuous, covetous and 
ambitious ends : therefore it is a sin that standeth at the 
furthest distance from repentance, and is both voluntary and 
a settled habit. 

5. It is a continued sin. Men be not always lying, though 
they be never so great liars ; nor always stealing, if they be 
the most notorious thieves ; nor always swearing, if they be 
the profanest swearers. But a worldly mind is always 
worldly : he is always committing his idolatry with the world, 
and always denying his love to God. 

6. It is not only a sin about the means to a right end (as 
mischosen ways of religion may be), but it is a sin against 


the end itself, and a mischoosing of a false, pernicious end. 
And so it is the perverting, not only of one particular action, 
but even of the bent and course of men's lives : and conse- 
quently a misspending all their time. 

7. It is a perverting of God's creatures, to a use clean con- 
trary to that which they are given us for ; and an unthank- 
ful turning of all his gifts against himself. He gave us his 
creatures to lead us to him, and by their loveliness to shew 
his greater loveliness ; and to taste in their sweetness, the 
greater sweetness of his love. And will you use them to turn 
your affections from him? 

8. It is a great debasing of the soul itself, to fill that no- 
ble spirit with nothing but dirt and smoke, which was made 
to know and love its God. 

9. It is an irrational vice, and signifieth not only much 
unbelief of the unseen things which should take up the soul ; 
but also a sottish inconsiderateness, of the vanity and bre- 
vity of the things below. It is an unmanning ourselves, 
and hiring out our reason to be a servant to our fleshly 

10. Lastly, it is a pregnant, multiplying sin ; which bring- 
eth forth abundance more : " The love of money is the root 
of all evil;" 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10. Therefore, 

Direct. 5. ' Let the mischievous effects of this sin, be 
still before your eyes.' As for instance : 

1. It keepeth the heart strange to God and heaven. The 
love of God and of the world are contrary ; 1 John ii. 15. 
iii. 17. James iv. 4. So is an earthly and a heavenly con- 
versation ; Phil. iii. 18 — 20. And the laying up a treasure 
in heaven and upon earth; Matt. vi. 19 — 21. And the liv- 
ing after the flesh, and after the Spirit; Rom. viii. 1.5,6. 13. 
Ye cannot possibly serve God and mammon ; nor travel two 
contrary ways at once ; nor have two contrary felicities, till 
you have two hearts. 

2. It setteth you at enmity with God and holiness ; be- 
cause God controlleth and condemneth your beloved lusts : 
and because it is contrary to the carnal things which have 
your hearts. 

3. By this means it maketh men malignant enemies of 
the godly, and persecutors of them ; because they are of 
contrary minds and ways. " As then, he that was born after 
the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even 


SO it is now ;" Gal. iv. 29. *' The world cannot love us be- 
cause we are not of the world ;" John xv. 19, 20. Pride, 
covetousness and sensuality, are the matter which the burn- 
ing fever lodgeth in, which hath consumed so much of the 
church of Christ. 

4. It is the sin that hath corrupted the sacred office of 
the ministry throughout most of the Christian churches in 
the world : and thereby caused both the schisms and cruel- 
ties, and the decay of serious godliness among them, which 
is their present deplorable case. Ignorant persons are like 
sick men in a fever : they lay the blame on this and that, 
and commonly on that which went next before the paroxysm ; 
and know not the true cause of the disease. We are all 
troubled (or should be) to see the many minds, the many 
ways, the confused state of the Christian churches, and to 
hear them cry out against each other. And one layeth the 
blame on this party or opinion, and another on that : but 
v\hen we come to ourselves, we shall find that it is, the 
worldly mind that causeth our calamity. Many well mean- 
ing friends of the church do think how dishonourable it is 
to the ministry, to be poor and low, and consequently des- 
picable ; and what an advantage it is to their work, to be 
able to relieve the poor, and rather to oblige the people, than 
to depend upon them, and to be above them rather than be- 
low them. And supposing the pastors to be mortified, holy, 
heavenly men, all this is true ; and the zeal of these thoughts 
is worthy of commendation. But that which good men in- 
tend for good, hath become the church's bane. So certain 
is the common saying, that Constantine's zeal did poison the 
church, by lifting up the pastors of it too high, and occa- 
sioning those contentions for grandeur and precedency, 
which to this day separate the east and west. When well- 
meaning piety hath adorned the office with wealth and ho- 
nour, it is as true as that the sun shineth, that the most 
proud, ambitious, worldly men, will be the most studious 
seekers of that office ; and will make it their plot, and trade, 
and business, how by friends, and observances, and wills, to 
attain their ends : and usually he that seeks shall find. When 
in the meantime the godly, mortified, humble man, will not 
do so ; but will serve God in the state to which he is clearly 
called. And consequently, except it be under the govern- 
ment of an admirably wise and holy ruler, a worthy pastor. 


in such a wealthy station, will be a singular thing, and a ra- 
rity of the age ; whilst worldly men, whose hearts are ha- 
bited with that which is utterly contrary to holiness, and 
contrary to the very ends and work of their own office, will 
be the men that must sit in Moses' chair ; that must have 
the doing and ruling of the work which their hearts are set 
against. And how it will go with the church of Christ, when 
the Gospel is to be preached, and preachers chosen, and 
godliness promoted by the secret enemies of it ; and when 
ambitious, fleshly, worldly men, are they that must cure the 
people's souls (under Christ) of the love of the flesh and the 
world, it were easy to prognosticate from the causes, if the 
Christian world could not tell by the effects. So that, ex- 
cept by the wonderful piety of princes there is no visi- 
ble way in the eye of reason, to recover the miserable 
churches, but to retrieve the pastoral office into such a state, 
as that it may be no bait to a worldly mind, but may be de- 
sired and chosen purely upon heavenly accounts. And then 
the richer the pastors are the better ; when they are the sons 
of nobles, whose piety bringeth with them their honour, and 
their wealth to serve God and his church with, and they do 
not find it there to be their end or inducement to the work ; 
but instead of invitations or encouragements to pride and 
carnal minds, there may be only so much as may not deter 
or drive away candidates from the sacred function. 

5. Worldliness is a sin, which maketh the word of God 
unprofitable; (Matt.xiii.22. Johnxii.43. Ezek. xxxiii.31.) 
prepossessing the heart, and resisting that Gospel which 
would extirpate it. 

6. It hindereth prayer, by corrupting men's desires, and 
by intruding worldly thoughts. 

7. It hindereth all holy meditation, by turning both the 
heart and thoughts another way. 

8. It drieth up all heavenly, profitable conference, whilst 
the world doth fill both mind and mouth. 

9. It is a great profaner of the Lord's day, distracting 
men's minds, and alienating them from God. 

10. It is a murderous enemy of love to one another : all 
worldly men being so much for themselves, that they are sel- 
dom hearty friends to any other. 

11. Yea, it maketh men false and unrighteous in their 


dealings : their being no trust to be put in a worldly man 
any farther than you are sure you suit his interest. 

12. It is the great cause of discord and divisions in the 
world. It setteth families, neighbours, and kingdoms to- 
gether by the ears ; and setteth the nations of the earth 
in bloody wars, to the calamity and destruction of each 

13. It causeth cheating, stealing, robbing, oppressions, 
cruelties, lying, false witnessing, perjury, murders, and many 
such other sins. 

14. It maketh men unfit to suffer for Christ, because they 
love the world above him : and consequently it maketh them 
as apostates to forsake him in a time of trial. 

15. It is a great devourer of precious time. That short life 
which should be spent in preparing for eternity, is almost all 
spent in drudging for the world. 

16. Lastly, it greatly unfitteth men to die; and maketh 
them loath to leave the world : and no wonder when there 
is no entertainment for worldlings in any better place here- 

Direct. 6. * If you would be saved from the world, and 
the snares of prosperity, foresee death, and judge of the 
world as it will appear and use you at the last.' Dream not 
of long life : he that looks to stay but a little while in the 
world, will be the less careful of his provisions in it. A little 
will serve for a little time. The grave is a sufficient disgrace 
to all the vanities on earth, though there be more to raise 
the heart to heaven. 

Direct, 7. ' Mortify the flesh, and you overcome the 
world.' Cure the thirsty disease, and you will need none of 
the worldling's ways to satisfy it. When the flesh is mas- 
tered, there is no use for plenty, or pleasures, or honours, to 
satisfy its lusts : your daily bread to fit you for your work, 
will then suffice. 

Direct. 8. ' But it is the lively belief of endless glory, and 
the love of God prevailing in the soul, that must work the 
cure.' Nothing below a life of faith and a heavenly mind 
and conversation, and the love of God, will ever well cure a 
sensual life, and an earthly mind and conversation, and the 
the love of the world. 

Direct. 9. ' Turn away from the bait ; desire not to have 


your estate, your dwelling, &c. too pleasing to your flesh and 
fancy.' Remember that it killeth by pleasing, rather than 
by seeming unlovely and displeasing. 

Direct. 10. * Turn Satan's temptations to worldliness 
against himself.' When he tempteth you to covetousness 
give more to the poor than else you would have done. 
When he tempteth you to pride and ambition, let your 
conversation shew more aversation to pride than you did 
before. If he tempt you to waste your time in fleshly 
vanities, or sports, work harder in your calling, and spend 
more time in better things; and thus try to weary out the 

Direct. 11.' Take heed of the hypocrite's designs, which 
is to unite religion and worldliness, and to reconcile God 
and mammon ;' and to secure the flesh and its prosperity 
here, and yet to save the soul hereafter. For all such hopes 
are mere deceits. 

Direct. 12. ' Improve your prosperity to its proper ends.* 
Devote all entirely and absolutely to God ; and so it 
will be saved from loss, and you from deceit and con- 


How to he poor in Spirit. And how to escape the Pride of 

Though no man is saved or condemned for being either 
rich or poor ; yet it is not for nothing that Christ hath so 
often set before us the danger of the rich, and the extraor- 
dinary difficulty of their salvation : and that he began his 
sermon. Matt. v. 3. with, " Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for their's is the kingdom of heaven." The sense of which 
words, is not as is commonly imagined, ' Blessed are they 
that find their want of grace.' For, 1. So may a despairing 
person. 2. The text compared with Luke xvi. where simply 
the poor and rich are opposed, doth plainly shew another 
sense; agreeing with the usual doctrine of Christ. And 
whereas expositors doubt whether Christ spake that sermon 
to his disciples, or to the multitude, the text maketh plain, 



that he spake it to both, viz. that he called his disciples to 
him, and as it were pointed the finger at them, and made 
his text on which he preached to the multitude ; and the 
sense is contained in these propositions ; as if he had said, 
' See you these followers of me : you take them to be con- 
temptible or unhappy, because they are poor in the world ; 
but I tell you, 1. That poverty maketh not believers miserf 
able : 2. Yea, they are the truly blessed men, because thej 
shall have the heavenly riches : 3. And the evidence of theii 
right to that, is that they are poor in spirit, that is, their 
hearts are suited to a low estate, and are saved from the 
destructive vices of riches and prosperity. 4. And their 
outward poverty is better suited and conducible to this de- 
liverance, and this poverty of spirit, than a state of wealth 
and prosperity is.' All these four propositions are the true 
meaning of the text. 

That we may see here what is the special work of faith, 
we must know which are the special sins of prosperity, 
which riches and honours occasion in the world. And 
though the apostle tells us, (1 Tim. vi. 10.) that "the love 
of money is the root of all evil," I will confine my discourse 
to that narrower compass, in the enumeration of the sins of 
Sodom, in Ezek. xvi. 49. Pride, fulness of bread, idle- 
ness: and of these but briefly, because I have spoken more 
largely of them elsewhere (in my Christian Directory). 

And first of the pride of the rich and prosperous. 

Pride is a sin of so deep radication, and so powerful in 
the hearts of carnal men, that it will take advantage of any 
condition ; but riches and prosperity are its most notable 
advantage. As the boat riseth with the watery so do such 
hearts rise with their estates. Therefore saith the apostle, 
1 Tim. vi. 17. "Charge the rich that they be not high- 
minded." Highmindedness is the sin that you are first 
here to avoid. In order whereunto I shall give you now 
but these three general directions. 

Direct. 1. * Observe the masks or covers of highminded- 
ness or pride, lest it reign in you unknown.* For it hath 
many covers, by which it is concealed from the souls that 
are infected, if not undone and miserable by it. 

For instance : 1. Some think that they are not proud, 
because that their parts and worth will bear out all the 


estimation which they have of themselves. And he that 
thinketh of himself but as he really is, being in the right, is 
not to be accounted proud. 

But remember that the first act of pride is the over- 
valuing of ourselves : and he that is once guilty of this first 
act, will justify himself both in it, and all that follow. So 
that pride is a sin which blindeth the understanding, and 
defendeth itself by itself, and powerfully keepeth off repen- 
tance. When once a man hath entertained a conceit, that 
he is wiser or better than indeed he is, he then thinketh 
that all his thoughts, and words, and actions, which are of 
that signification, are just, and sober, because the thing is 
so indeed. And for a man to deny God's graces, or gifts, 
and make himself seem worse than he is, is not true humi- 
lity, but dissimulation or ingratitude. 

But herein you have great cause to be very careful, lest 
you should prove mistaken: Therefore, 1. Judge not of 
yourselves by the bye as of self-love ; but, if it be possible, 
lay by partiality, and judge of yourselves as you do by 
others, upon the like evidences. 2. Hearken what other 
men judge of you, who are impartial and wise, and are near 
you, and thoroughly acquainted with your lives. It is pos- 
sible they may think better or worse of you than you are : 
but if they judge worse of you, than you do of yourselves, 
it should stop your confidence, and make you the more sus- 
picious, and careful to try lest you should be mistaken. 

2. And remember also that you are obliged to a greater 
modesty in judging of your own virtues, and to a greater 
severity in judging of your own faults, than of other men's ; 
though you must not wilfully err about yourselves, or any 
others, yet you are not bound to search out the truth about 
the faults of another, as you are about your own. We are 
commanded to " prefer one another in honour;" Rom. x. 21. 
And ver. 3. " For 1 say, through the grace given to me, to 
every man that is among you, not to think of himself more 
highly, than he ought to think ; but to think soberly, ac- 
cording as God hath dealt to every man the measure of 

2. Another cloak for pride is, the reputation of our reli- 
gion, profession or party, which will seem to be disgraced 
by us, if we seem not to be somewhat better than we are. 
If we should not hide or extenuate our faults, and set out 


our graces and parts to the full, we should be a dishonour 
to Christ, and to his servants, and his cause. 

But remember, 1. That the way by which God hath ap- 
pointed you to honour him, is, by being good, and living 
well, and not by seeming to be good, when you are not, or 
seeming better than you are : The God of truth, who hateth 
hypocrisy, hath not chosen lying and hypocrisy to be the 
means by which we must seek his honour. It is damnable 
to seek to glorify him by a lie; Rom. iii. 7, 8. We must 
indeed cause our light so to shine before men that they 
may see our good works, and glorify our heavenly Father ; 
Matt. v. 16. But it is the light of sincerity and good works, 
and not of a dissembling profession that must so shine. 

2. And the goodness of the pretended end doth greatly 
aggravate the crime : as if the honour of God and our reli- 
gion must be upheld, by so devilish a means as proud hy- 

3. And, though it be true, that a man is not impru- 
dently without just cause, to open his sins before the world, 
when it is like to tend to the injury of religion, and any 
way to do more hurt than good ; yet it is a