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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"




































The reasons and use of this book ., , 3 

Chat. I. Introduction 10 

II. How to know ourselves by nature 13 

III. Of the natural knowledge of God and heaven . . 15 

IV. Of God's kingdom, and the government of man, 

and Providence ' 17 

V. Of God's law of nature, and natural officers 21 

VI. Of supernatural revelation of God's will to man, 

and of the Holy Scriptures, or Bible 26 

VII. Of the Christian Religion, what it is, and of the 
Creed 54 

VIII. Of believing, what it signilieth in the Creed . . 5$ 

IX. Of the first Article — I believe in God, the Father 
Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth 61 

X. Of God's almightiness and creation 65 

XI. Of the person of Jesus Christ, the only son of God 68 

XII. How Christ was conceived by the Holy Ghost, 

and born of the Virgin Mary 70 

XIII. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, 
dead, and buried ; he descended into hell 73 

XIV. The third day he rose again from the dead .... 78 

XV. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right 
hand of God, the Father Almighty 81 

XVI. From thence he shall come again to judge the 
quick and the dead 83 

XVII. I believe iu the Holy Ghost 88 

XVIII. The holv catholic church 92 



Chap. XIX. The communion of saints 96 

XX. The forgiveness of sins 1 02 

XXI. The resurrection of the body 108 

XXI f. Of the life everlasting 116 

XXIII. What is the true use of the Lord's Prayer . . 121 

XXIV. Our Father which art in heaven, expounded. . 124 

XXV. Hallowed be thy name 128 

XXVI. Thy kingdom come 134 

XXVII. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven 145 

XXVIII. Give us this day our daily bread 147 

XXIX. And forgive us our trespasses as- we forgive 
them that trespass against us. (Or, as we forgive 

our debtors.) 151 

XXX. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us 

from evil 1 54 

XXXI. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the 
glory, for ever. — Amen 1 57 

XXXI I. Of the ten commandments in general 158 

XXXIII. Of the preface to the Decalogue 160 

XXXIV. Of the first commandment 164 

XXXV. Of the second commandment 171 

XXXVI. Of the third commandment 179 

XXXVII. Of the fourth commandment 185 

XXXVIII. Of the fifth commandment 196 

XXXIX. Of the sixth commandment 212 

XL. Of the seventh commandment 217 

XLT. Of the eighth commandment 226 

XLU. Of the ninth commandment 236 

XL1II. Of the tenth commandment , 244 

XL1V. Of the sacred ministry, church, and worship. . 253 

XLV. Of baptism 261 

XLVI. Of the sacrament of Christ's sacrificed body 

and blood 274 

XLVII. Of preparation for death and judgment .... 287 


The First Day's Conference. — The conviction of a sinner: of 
knowing certainly what state his soul is in, and the 
necessity of looking after it; what are the true eviden- 
ces, true faith, true repentance, helps, to a true judgment 

of ourselves 298 

The Second Day's Conference. — Of conversion : what it is, in 



belief, and will, and practice ; of love to God, ourselves, 
and others; of baptism, and infants' right to it; of 
covenanting with God 332 

The Third Day's Conference. — The confutation of malignant 
contradicters and cavillers: proving, fully, the necessity 
of a holy and heavenly heart and life against the foolish 
wranglings of the ungodly, and their scorns and re- 
proaches of serious Christians 355 

The Fourth Day's Conference. — The resolving and actual con- 
version of a sinner; against delay ; what to trust to for 
pardon of sin ; what sins are pardonable ; how after- 
sins are pardoned ; what to do for grace to keep the 
covenant ; how to obey the Spirit, and how to know its 
motions; what rule to live by ; what church to be of; 
what means to use ; about our callings ; whether an 
uncertain or unsound person may covenant with God ; 
(hr- goodness of a holy life ; of public confession of sin 394 

The Fifth Day's Conference. — Directions to the converted, 
against temptations. 1 . Against puzzling difficulties in 
religion. 2. Against, melancholy and perplexing fears. 
3. Doubting your own sincerity. 4. Against carnal se- 
curity. 5. Against sensuality, pride, and covetousness. 
6. From sects, divisions, and controversies. 7. Why 
God will damn so many in hell : what to do in cases 
of church divisions, and disputes, and heresies. 8. 
Against mistaking the nature of religion, and maiming 
it. 9. Against customariness, and coldness, and decay 
of zeal. 10. Against temptations to doubtings of the 
truth of Christ, the Scripture, or the life to come. ... 414 

The Sixth Day's Conference. — Instructions for a holy life. 1. 
The necessity, reason, and means of holiness. 2. The 
parts and practice of a holy life, for instructing others 457 

The Seventh Day's Conference. — Of a holy family, how ne- 
cessary, especially the education of children : how to 
do it. The duties of husbands, wives, masters, servants, 
children, to each other; of subjects. How to spend 
every day ; how oft, when, and how to pray, &c. . . . 482 

The Eighth Day's Conference. — How to spend the Lord's day 
in christian families, and in the church, and in secret 
duties. The order of the duties of the day. What 
books to read ; what ministers to hear. How to under- 
stand ; how to remember ; how to help affliction ; how to 



practise; how to read the Scripture. Of public prayer 
and praise : how to receive the Lord's Supper ; as to 
preparation. What you must understand, what you 
must be, and what you must do : 1. Understand what 
are the ends of the sacrament, and what are the parts : 
1. The parties; 2. The signs, for matter and manner; 
3. The things signified, means and ends. In action: 
1, What is the consecration ; 2. What is the comme- 
moration ; 3. What is the communication and partici- 
pation. How the bread is Christ's body. 2. What to 
be. What Christians must come; whether doubters 
or the hypocrites. Who to join with. 3. What to do 
in particular preparation ; what to do at the time of 
communion ; what is there to move us to it. The or- 
der and rite of sacramental duties. What to be done 
after communion. Of meditation : matter, time, and 
manner. Of secret prayer ; of conference ; of humili- 
ation, or fasts and thanksgiving 505 

The Ninth Day's Conference. — Directions for a safe and com- 
fortable death. Awakening thoughts of death : the 
needs of tliem ; the great benefits of them. Prepara- 
tions in health : how to keep up faith ; repentance. 
Committing our souls to Christ : whether to trust to 
any thing in ourselves. Of obeying the Spirit : of love 
to God. More directions to prepare for death, in 
health and in sickness. The last prayer of a dying 
believer , 528 

Short instructions that are to be read to, or by, the sick that 

are unprepared to die, or in a doubtful state 568 

Forms of prayer, praise, and catechism, for the use of ignorant 
families that need them : — 

1. The shortest catechism, in three questions 572 

2. The explained profession of the Christian religion, instead 

of a catechism 574 

3. A short catechism for those that have learned the first, be- 

ing ten questions, with a large exposition 575 

4. Morning prayer for a family. 602 

5. A shorter prayer for the morning, in the method of the Lord's 

Prayer, being but an exposition of it 605 

6. A prayer for morning or evening, in families, , , , , . ...,,, 608 



7. Another for the same use , 613 

S. A prayer before meat, and thanksgiving after meat .... 617 
9. A prayer for converting grace, to be used by such as are 

convinced of their miserable state 618 

10. A confession and prayer for a penitent sinner 623 

1 1. Prayer and praise for the Lord's day 626 

12. A shorter form of prayer and praise for the Lord's day. . 635 

13. A form of prayer for the sick who are unready to die. . . . 639 

14. A short prayer for children and servants 641 

15. A plain and short prayer for families, for morning and 
evening , 643 



16. A psalm for a penitent sinner 640 

1 7. A psalm of praise to our Redeemer, especially for the Lord's 

day 647 

18. A hymn, or psalm of praise , . , 652 













Man is born without knowledge, but not without a capacity 
and faculty of knowing ; this is his excellency and essence : 
nature, experience, and God's word, tell us the great necessity 
of knowledge. As the soul's essential form is the virtue of vital 
action, understanding, and will, conjunct; so holiness is holy life, 
light, and love, conjunct. The wisest men are the best, and the 
best the wisest; but a counterfeit of knowledge is the great de- 
ceiver of the world. Millions take the knowledge of bare words, 
with the grammatical and logical sense, instead of the know- 
ledge of the things themselves, which by these are signified ; as 
if the glass would nourish without the wine, or the dish without 
the meat, or the clothing or skin were all the man ; God, and 
holiness, and heaven, are better known by many serious un- 
learned Christians that cannot accurately dispute about them, 
than by many learned men, who can excellently speak of that 
which their souls are unacquainted with. The hypocrite's reli- 
gion is but an art; the true Christian's is a habit, which is a 
divine nature. 

But yet the words are signs, by which we are helped to know 
the things, and must diligently be learned to that end ; and 
though men cannot reach the heart, God hath appointed pa- 
rents, and masters, and teachers, to instruct their inferiors by 
words, and hath written the Scripture to that use, that by them 
his Spirit may teach or illuminate the mind, and renew the 
heart : God worketh on man as man ; and we must know by 
signs, till we know by intuition. 

It is a thing well known, that the church aboundeth with 
catechisms, and systems of divinity; and doth there yet need 
more ? Their scope and substance is the same ; they differ 



most, 1. In choice of matter, that there be nothing left out that 
is needful, nor needless uncertainties and disputes put in. 2. 
That the method or order of them be true, agreeable to the 
matter and sacred Scripture. 3. And that they be not blotted 
with any drops of disgraceful error. These are the requisites 
to desirable catechisms. 

No doubt but they should be sorted into three degrees, 
suited to the childhood, youth, and maturer age of Christians. 
I. The essentials of Christianity are all contained generally in 
baptism ; this must be understood, and therefore expounded ; 
the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Decalogue, the summaries of 
things to be believed, desired (in hope) and practised, were 
from the beginning taken for a good exposition to those that 
were to be baptised : these three, as expounding baptism, are 
themselves a good catechism, the understanding of the Lord's 
Supper being added for communicants. II. But here also 
children will be childish, and learn the words while they are 
mindless of the sense ; therefore an explication of these in other 
words hath ever been thought a great part of the work of a 
teaching ministry ; whence the ancients have left us their ex- 
positions of the creed, &c. 

But here the difficulty is made insuperable by the learner's 
indisposition ; if such a catechism be short, and much put in 
few words, the vulgar cannot understand it; if it be long, and 
in many words, they cannot learn and remember it. III. For 
remedv of this, a larger catechism yet is needful ; not to be 
learnt without book, but to be a full exposition of the shorter 
which they learn ; that they may have recourse to this for a 
more full and particular understanding of a shorter, whose ge- 
neral words they can remember. 

Accordingly, having in my Poor Man's Family Book written 
two catechisms of the former rank, I here, add the third, for 
those that have learned the two first : far am I from thinking 
that I have done any one of these to perfection ; I never yet saw 
a catechism without some notable imperfection : and no doubt 
mine are not free from such. But while I avoid what I see 
amiss in others, I hope Cod will illuminate some to do yet bet- 
ter, and to avoid what is amiss in mine. The degree which vet 
pretendeth to greater accurateness in method, I have given in a 
Latin Methodus Theologies. 

The uses for which I have written this are these. I. For 
masters of families, who should endeavour to raise their chil- 


dren and servants to a good degree of knowledge : I have di- 
vided it into short chapters, that on the Lord's days, or at 
nights, when they have leisure, the master may read to them 
one chapter at a time, that is, the exposition of one article of 
the creed, one petition of the Lord's Prayer, and one command- 
ment exnounded. 

II. For schoolmasters to cause their riper rank of scholars 
to learn : I am past doubt, that it is a heinous crime in the 
schoolmasters of England, that they devote but one hour or 
two in a week to the learning of the catechism, while all the 
rest of the week is devoted to the learning of Lilly, Ovid, Vir- 
gil, Horace, Cicero, Livy, Terence, and such like ; besides the 
loss and sinful omission, it seduceth youth to think that com- 
mon knowledge (which is only subsidiary and ornamental) is 
more excellent or necessary than to know God, Christ, the 
gospel, duty, and salvation ; besides which, all knowledge (fur- 
ther than it helpeth or serveth this) is but fooling and doting, 
and as dangerous diversion and perversion of the mind, as gros- 
ser sensual delights. He is not worthy the name of a christian 
schoolmaster, who maketh it not his chief work to teach his 
scholars the knowledge of Christ, and life everlasting. 

III. But if they go from the country schools before they are 
capable of the larger catechisms, (as to their great loss most 
make too much haste away,) why may not their next tutors 
make it their chief work to train up their pupils as the disciples 
of Jesus ; and yet not neglect either Aristotle, or any natural 
light ? To our present universities, I am not so vain as to offer 
such instructions ; (though to some small part of them I directed 
my Methodus Theologm ;) I learned not of them, and I pre- 
sume not to make myself their teacher : their late guides, their 
worldly interest, and their genius, have made my writings odious 
to many, even that which they like they will not read. But I 
have oft, with lamentation, wondered why godly ministers do 
no more of the work now appropriated to universities for their 
own sons ? Those men whose church zeal woidd ruin noncon- 
formists, if they teach many, either boys or men, have no law 
against parents teaching their own children. 

1. Are you fit for the ministry yourselves ? If so, cannot you 
teach others what you know ? If you are defective in some 
useful knowledge, let them elsewhere learn that afterwards. 

2. Is there any so greatly obliged to take care of them as 
yourselves? Will you be like those parents who set godfathers 


at the font, to vow and promise to do the parents' part ? And 
how do such undertakers use to perform it? Or will you he like 
the women of this unnatural age, who get children, and (not 
through disability, but wealth, pride, and coyness) disdain to 
nurse them, but cast that on hired women, as obliged more by 
money, than themselves by nature, to all that care. 

3. Cannot you do more at least to ground them well in reli- 
gion, before you send them from you for other learning ? Or 
are you of the mind, that to cant over the catechism is divinity 
enough, before they have read Aristotle, or studied the sciences ? 
And that they must be proficients in logic and philosophy, be- 
fore they make sure of their salvation ; and must read Smigle- 
cius, Ariago, Zabarel, Suarez, or be fooled by Cartesius, Gas- 
sendus, or Hobs, before they will study the gospel and cross of 
Jesus Christ ? 

1 am no undervalue! - of any academical advantages : when 
the stream of academies runs pure and holy, they are blessed 
helps to men's salvation : when their stream is sensual, worldly, 
corrupt, and malignant, they are seminaries for hell, and the 
devil's schools, to train up his most powerful soldiers to fight 
against serious godliness in Christ's own livery and name ; and 
to send youth thither, is worse than to send them to a brothel- 
house, or a pest-house. 

4. Are there not fewer temptations in your own houses, than 
they are like to find abroad in the world ? You can keep them 
from the company of sensual, voluptuous lads, and of learned, 
reverend enemies of serious Christianity, and of worldly men, 
whose godliness is gain, and would draw them ambitiously to 
study preferment, and espouse them to the world, which, in bap- 
tism, they renounced ; if you cannot keep them from such 
snares, how shall they be kept where such abound ? 

5. And one of the greatest motives of all, for your keeping 
them long enough at home, is, that you will thereby have time 
to judge whether they are like to become fit for the ministry, 
or not : oh, how many good men send plagues into the church, 
by devoting unproved lads to the ministry, hoping that God will 
hereafter give them grace, and make them fit, who never pro- 
mised it ! When you send them at fifteen or sixteen years of 
age to the university, from under your own eye, you are unlikely 
to know what they will prove, unless it be some few that are 
verv early sanctified by grace ; and when they have been a few 
years at the university, be they never so unmeet, they will thrust 


themselves into the ministry, and, (miserable men,) for a bene- 
fice, take the charge of souls ; whereas, if you will keep them 
with you till twenty years of age, you may see what they are 
like to prove, and dispose of them accordingly. 

If you say, they will lose the advantage of their degrees, it 
is an objection unfit for a Christian's mouth ; will you prefer 
names, and airy titles, before wisdom, piety, and men's salva- 
tion, and the church's good ? Must they go out of their way 
for a peacock's feather, when they are in a race as for life or 
death ? 

If you say, they will lose their time at home, the shame then 
is yours, or they are like to lose it more abroad : teach them to 
read the Scriptures (at least the gospel) in the original tongues, 
and to understand and practise things necessary to salvation, 
which all arts and sciences must subserve, and they do not lose 
their time; and at ripeness of age they will get more other 
learning in a year, than before they will do in many ; and what 
thev learn will be their own, when boys learn words without the 

If you say, they will want the advantage of academical dis- 
putes ; I answer, if reading fill them with matter, nature and 
common use will teach them how to utter it : the world hath 
too manv disputers ; books may soon teach them the true order 
of disputing, and a few days' experience may show the rest. 

If you say, you have not time to teach them, I answer, 
you have no greater work to do, and a little time will serve 
with willing, teachable youth, and no other are to be in- 
tended for the ministry; what boys get by hearing their 
tutors thev oft bestow small labour to digest, but take up 
with bare words, and second notions : but when they are set 
to get it from their books themselves, harder study better 
digesteth it ; it is they that must bestow much time, the 
teacher need not bestow very much : country schools may 
teach them Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, let them stay there 
till they attain it; you may then teach them the common rudi- 
ments of logic, and see them well settled in divinity and serious 
religion ; and then, if academies prove safe and needful, they 
will e;o out better fortified against all the temptations which 
they must expect. 

It is certain, that inconveniences are not so bad as mischiefs; 
and it is certain that all our natures, as corrupt, are dark, car- 
nal, and malignant, and need the sanctifying grace of Christ ; 


and it is certain, that as grace usetli all things to its increase, 
so this serpentine nature will turn studies, learning, and all such 
things, to serve itself ; and that carnal, sensual, malignant na- 
ture, cultivated by human learning, is too usually ripened and 
sublimated into diabolism, and maketh the most potent servants 
of the devil against Christ : and if this be but gilded with sa- 
cred ornaments and titles, and pretences of the church's peace 
and order, it is garrisoned and fortified, and a stronger hold for 
sin and Satan than open vice : and it is certain, that as the rage 
of drunkards is raised in their riotous meetings, and as conjunc- 
tion, example, and noise put more valour into armies than se- 
parated persons have, so combined societies of learned, reve- 
renced malignity do confirm the individuals, and raise them to 
the height of wickedness : so that universities are either, if 
holy, a copy of paradise, or, if malignant, the chief militia of 
the malicious enemy of man, except a malignant hierarchy or 
clergy, who are malignant academies grown up to maturity. 

If any say that there is no great and solid learning to be got 
elsewhere, let them think where great Augustin, and most of 
the great lights of the church for four hundred years, attained 
their knowledge ; and whether the Scaligers, Salmasius, Gro- 
tius, Selden, and such others, got not more by laborious, secret 
reading, than by academical tutors and disputes : and whether 
such famous men as John Reignolds, Blondel, &c, even in the 
universities, got not their great learning by searching the same 
books which may be read in another place. If any say, that I 
speak against that which I want myself, I only desire that it may 
not be those who cast by my Catholic Theology, Methodus 
Theologia, &c, with no other accusation, but because they are 
too scholastical, accurate, and hard for them. 

I here bewail it as my great sin against God, that in the youth 
of my ministry, pride made me often blush with shame for Want 
of academical degrees; but usually God will not have us bring 
our own human honour to his service, but fetch honour from 
him, in faithful serving him : fringes and laces must be last set 
on when the garment is made, and not be the ground, or sta- 
men, of it. There have been men that have desired their sons 
to learn all the oriental tongues, and the rare antiquities, and 
critical, applauded sort of learning, not for its own worth, but 
that they might preach the gospel with the advantage of a 
greater name and honour : and this] course hath so taken up 
and formed such students into the qualityof their studies, when 


their souls should have been taken up with faith and love, and 
heavenly desires and hopes, that it hath overthrown the end to 
which it was intended, and rendered such students unfit for the 
sacred ministry, and caused them to turn to other things : when 
others, who (as Usher, Bochart, Blondel, &c.) have first taken 
in a digested body of saving truth, have after added these criti- 
cal studies at full maturity, and have become rare blessings to 
the church. 

Let those that think all this digressive, or unmeet for the 
preface to a catechism, pardon that which the world's miscar- 
riages and necessities bespeak. * 

If at least masters of families, bv such helps, diligently used, 
will keep up knowledge and religion in their houses, it is not 
public failings in ministers, nor the want of what is desirable in 
the assemblies, that will root out religion from the land : but if 
the faithful prove few, they must be content with their personal 
comforts and rewards ; there is nothing amiss in the heavenly 
society, and the world which we are entering into. Come, Lord 
Jesus, come quickly. Amen. 

London, Oct. 3, 1682. 



[The Questions are the Learner's, and the Answers the Teacher's] 


The Introduction. 

Q. 1. What is it which must he taught and learned ? 

A. All must be taught, and must learn, 1. What to know and 
believe. 2. What to love, and choose, and hope for. 3. What 
they must do, or practised 

Q. 2. What is it that we must learn to know and believe ? 

A. We must learn to know ourselves, and our concerns.' 

Q. 3. What must we know of ourselves ? 

A. We must know what we are, and what condition we 
are in. c 

Q. 4. What mean you by our concerns, which we must know? 

A. We must know, 1. Whence we are, or who made us. 

2. And whither we are going, or for what end he hath made us. 

3. And which is the way, or what means must be used, to attain 
that end. d 

Q. 5. What must we learn to love, and choose, and hope for? 

A. We must learn to love best that which is best in itself, 
and best to us and others, and to choose the means by which 
it must be attained ; which implieth hating and refusing the 
contraries. e 

Q. 6. What must we learn to practise ? 

A. We must practise the means to obtain the end of our 
lives, and that is our obedience to him that made us. f 

n Psalm xxv. 4, 5, and xxvii. 11, cix. 12, 33, 66. b Job xxxiv. 32. 

e Heb. vi. 1—3. d Tit. ii. 3. e Psalm xxxiv. 11, and xxxii. 8. 

f 1 Kings viii. 36 ; Micah iv. 2. 


Q. 7. Cannot we learn this of ourselves, without teachers ? 

A. There is some part of this which nature itself will teach 
you, as soon as you come to the free use of reason, and look 
about you in the world. And there is some part of it that 
nature alone will not teach you, without a higher teaching from 
above. And even that which nature teacheth you, you have 
also need of a teacher's help to learn it speedily and truly. For 
nature doth not teach all things alike easily, speedily, and 
surely : it quickly teacheth a child to suck ; it quickly teacheth 
us to eat and drink, and to go and talk ; and yet here there is 
need of help ; children learn not to speak without teaching. It 
teacheth men how to do their worldly business ; and yet they 
have need of masters to teach it them, and will serve an appren- 
ticeship to learn some. Some things nature will teach to none 
but good wits, upon diligent search and study, and honest wil- 
lingness to know; which dullards, and slothful, and bad men, 
reach not. g 

Q. 8. Who be they that must teach, and who must learn ? 

A. None is able to teach more than they know themselves ; 
and all that are ignorant, have need to learn. But nature hath 
put all children under a necessity of learning; for, though they 
are born with a capacity to know, yet not with actual know- 
ledge. And nature hath made it the duty of parents to be the 
teachers of their children first, and then to get the help of 
others. 11 

Q. 9. May we give over learning when we are past child- 
hood ? ! 

A. No ; we must go on to learn as long as we live ; for we 
know but in part, and therefore still have need of more. But 
those that have neglected to learn in their childhood, have most 
need of all; it being sinful and unnatural to be ignorant at full 
age, and signifieth great neglect. k 

Q. 10. Who must teach us at age? 

A. Parents and masters must teach their households, and pub- 
lic teachers are officers to teach all publicly; and all that have 
wisdom should take all fit opportunities, in charity, to teach and 
edify one another ; knowledge and goodness have a communi- 
cative nature. 1 

e Isaiah xxviii. 2G; 1 Cor. xi. 14 ; Job xii. 7, 8 ; Heb. v. 12. 

11 2 Tim. ii. 2 ; Job xxxii. 17 ; Tit. ii. 21 ; Deut. vi. 7, 8, and xi. 19, 20. 

i Prov. i. 5; ix. 9; vi. 21, 22. 

k Psalm cxix. 99; Heb. v. 11, 12 ; Prov. v. 13. 

1 Gal. vi. 6; Deut. vi. 7 ; 1 Tim. ii. 7; 2 Tim. i. 11 ; Epli. iv. 11 ; Tit. ii. 3. 


Q. 1 1. How must parents teach their households ? 
A. Very familiarly and plainly, according to their capacities, 
beginning with the plain and necessary things ; and this is it 
which we call catechising, which is nothing but the choosing out 
of the few plain, necessary matters from all the rest, and in due 
method, or order, teaching them to the ignorant. 111 

Q. 12. What need we catechisms, while we have the 
Bible ? 

A. Because the Bible containeth all the whole body of reli- 
gious truths, which the ripest Christians should know, but are 
not all of equal necessity to salvation with the greatest points. 
And it cannot be expected that ignorant persons can cull out 
these most necessary points from the rest without help. A man 
is not a man without a head and heart ; but he may be a man 
if he lose a finger, or a hand, but not an entire man ; nor a 
comely man without hair, nails, and nature's ornaments. So a 
man cannot be a Christian, or a good or happy man, without 
the great and most necessary points in the Bible ; nor an entire 
Christian without the rest. Life and death lieth not on all 
alike. And the skilful must gather the most necessary for the 
ignorant, which is a catechism. 11 

Q. 13. But is not knowledge the gift of God ? 

A. Yes ; but he giveth it by means. Three things must 
concur. 1. A right presenting to the learner, which is the 
teacher's work. 2. A fitness in the learner, by capacity, wil- 
lingness, and diligence. 3. The blessing of God, without which 
no man can be wise. 

And therefore three sorts will be ignorant and erroneous. 
1. Those that have not the happiness of true teachers, nor 
truth presented to them. 2. Those that by sottishness, pride, 
sensuality, malignity, or sloth, are incapable, or unwilling, 
to learn. 3. Those that, by wilful sinning against God, are 
deprived of the necessary blessing of his help and illumina- 
tion, v 

'" Heb. iii. 13 ; Ezra vii. 25 ; Col. iii. 1G ; Heb. v. 11, 12, and vi. 1, 2; 
2 Tim. i. 13. 

" Matt. xii. 30, 31, 33 ; xix. 19 ; xxii. 37, 39 ; Rom. xiii. 9 ; Matt, xxviii. 
19; Matt, xxiii. 23 ; James i. 27. 

° Isa. xxx. 29 ; Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 ; 1 Tim. i. 3 ; iii. 2 ; vi. 2, 3. 

p 2 Tim. ii. 2, 2-1; Acts xx. 20; 2 Tim. iii. 17 ; Hob. v. 12, 13; 1 John 
ii. 27 ; 1 Thes. iv. 9. 



How to know Ourselves by Nature. 

Q. 1. What is the first thing that a man must know ? 

A. The first in being and excellency is God. But the first 
in time known by man, or the lowest step where our knowledge 
beginneth, are the sensible things near us, which we see, hear, 
feel, &c, and especially ourselves. q 

Q. 2. What know we of the things which we see, and 
feel, &c. ? 

A. A man of sound senses and understanding knoweth them 
to be such as sense apprehendeth, while they are rightly set 
before him ; the eye seeth light and colours, the ear heareth 
sounds and words, and so of the rest ; and the sound under- 
standing judgeth them to be such as the sense perceiveth, 
unless distance, or false mediums, deceive us. r 

Q. 3. But how know you that sense is not deceived ? You 
say that is bread and wine in the sacrament, which the Papists 
say is not. 

A. God hath given us no other faculties but sense, by which 
to judge of sensible things, as light and darkness, heat and 
cold, sweet and bitter, soft and hard, &c. Therefore if we be 
here deceived, God is our deceiver, and we are remediless ; even 
faith and reason suppose our senses, and their true perception ', 
and if that first perception be false, faith and reason could be 
no truer. God expecteth not that we should judge by other 
faculties than such as he hath given us for the perception of 
those objects. 

Q. 4. What doth a man first perceive of himself? 

A. We first feel that we are real beings ; and we perceive 
that we use and have our senses, that we see, hear, feel, smell, 
taste ; and then we perceive that we understand and think of 
the things so seen, felt, &c. And that we gather one thing 
from another, and that we love good, and hate evil, and choose, 
refuse, and do accordingly. 

Q. 5. What do you next know of yourselves ? 

A. When we perceive that we see, feel, &c, and think, love, 

i 1 John i. 2, 3 ; Acts i. 3 ; iv. 20 ; xxvi. 10. r John xx. 20, 2."), 27. 


hate, &c, we know that we have a power of soul to do all this, 
for no one doth that which he is not made able to do. 

Q. 6. And what do you next know of yourself? 

A. When I know what I do, and that I can do it, I know 
next that I am a substance, endued with this power; for 
nothing hath no power, nor act, it can do nothing. 

Q. 7. What know you next of yourself? 

A. I know that this substance, which thinketh, understand- 
eth, and willeth, is an unseen substance ; for neither I, nor any 
mortal man, seeth it ; and that is it which is called a spirit. 

Q. 8. What next perceive you of yourself? 

A. I perceive that in this one substance there is a threefold 
power, marvellously but one, and yet three, as named from the 
objects and effects; that is, 1. A power of mere growing 
motion, common to plants. 2. A power of sense common to 
beasts. 3. And a power of understanding and reason, about 
things above sense, proper to a man ; three powers in one spi- 
ritual substance. 

Q. 9. What else do you find in yourself? 

A. I find that my spiritual substance, as intellectual, hath 
also a threefold power in one ; that is, 1 . Intellectual life, by 
which I move and act my faculties, and execute my purposes. 
2. Understanding. 3. And will, and that these are marvel- 
lously diverse, and yet one. 

Q. 10. What else find you by yourself? 

A. I find that this unseen spirit is here united to a human 
body, and is in love with it, and careth for it, and is much 
limited by it, in its perceivings, willings, and workings ; and so 
that a man is an incorporate, understanding spirit, or a human 
soul and bodv. 

Q. 1 1 . W T hat else perceive you by yourself ? 

A. I perceive that my higher powers are given me to rule 
the lower, my reason to rule my senses and appetite, my soul 
to rule and use my body, as man is made to rule the beasts. 

Q. 12. What know you of yourself, as related to others? 

A. I see that I am a member of the world of mankind, and 
that others are better than I, and multitudes better than one ; 
and that the welfare of mankind depends much on their duty 
to one another ; and therefore that I should love all according 
to their worth, and faithfully endeavour the good of all. 

Q. 13. What else know you of yourself? 


A. I know that I made not myself, and maintain not myself 
in life and safety, and therefore that another made me and 
maintaineth me ; and I know that I must die by the separation 
of my soul and body. 

Q. 14. And can we tell what then becomes of the soul ? 

A. I am now to tell you but how much of it our nature tells 
us, the rest I shall tell you afterward; we may know, 1. That 
the soul, being a substance in the body, will be a substance out 
of it, unless God should destroy it, which we have no cause to 
think he will. 2. That life, understanding, and will, being its 
very nature, it will be the same after death, and not a thing of 
some other kind. 3. That the soul, being naturally active, and 
the world full of objects, it will not be a sleepy or inactive 
thing. 4. That its nature here being to mind its interest in 
another life, by hopes or fears of what will follow, God made 
not its nature such in vain, and therefore that good or evil in 
the life that is next will be the lot of all. 


Of the Natural Knowledge of God and Heaven. 

Q. I. You have told me how we know the things which 
we see and feel, without us and within us ; but how can we 
know any things which we neither see nor feel, but are quite 
above us ? 

A. By certain effects and signs which notify them : how 
little else did man differ from a beast, if he knew no more than 
he seeth and feeleth ? Besides what we know from others that 
have seen ; you see not now that the sun will rise to-morrow, or 
that man must die ; you see not Italy, Spain, France ; you see 
no man's soul : and yet we certainly know that such things are 
and will be. 

Q. 2. How know you that there is any thing above us, but 
what we see ? 

A. 1. We see such things done here on earth, which nothing 
doth, or can do, which is seen. What thing, that is seen, can 
give all men and beasts their life, and sense, and safety ? And 
so marvellously form the bodies of all, and govern all the 
matters of the world ? 2. We see that the spaces above us, 


where sun, moon, and stars are, are so vast, that all this earth 
is not so much to them, as one inch is to all this land. . 
we &ee that the regions above ns excel in the glory of purity 
and splendour : and when this dark spot of earth hath so many 
millions of men, can we doubt whether those va^t and glorious 
parts are better inhabited r 3. And we find that the grossest 
things are the basest, and the most invisible the most powerful 
and noble ; as our souls are above our bodies : and therefore the 
most vast and glorious worlds above us must have the most 
invisible, powerful, noble inhabitant 

Q. 3. But how know you what those spirits above us are ? 

A. 1. We partly know what they are, by what they do with 
us on earth. 2. "VVe know much what they are, by the know- 
ledge of ourselves. If our souls are invisible spirits, essentiated 
by the power of life, understanding, and will, the spirits above 
us can be no less, but either such or more excellent. And he 
that made us must needs be more excellent than his work. 

Q. 4. How know vou who made n 

A. He that made all things must needs be our Maker, that 
is God. 

Q. 5. What mean you by God ? and what is he ? 

A. I mean the eternal, infinite, glorious Spirit, and Lite, 
most perfect in active power, understanding and will, of whom, 
and by whom, and to whom, are all things ; being the Creator, 
Governor, and End of all. This is that God whom all tbii 
do declare. 

Q. 6. How know you that there is such a God r 

A. By his works (and I shall afterwards tell you more fully 
by his word). Man did not make himself; beasts, birds, fishes, 
trees, and plants, make not themselves : the earth, and water, 
and air, made not themselves : and if the souls of men have a 
maker, the spirits next above them must have a maker : am; 
on, till you come to a first cause, that was made by none. There 
must be a first cause, and there can be but one. 

Q. ~. Why may not there be manv gods, or spirit-, 
were made by none, but are eternallv of themselves 

A. Because it is a contradiction: the same would be both 
perfect and imperfect : perfect, because he is of himself 
eternally, without a cause, and so dependent upon none : and 
yet imperfect, because ith but a part of that bein^ that :'- 

said to be perfect: for many are more than one, and all make 

• Rom. i. 19, 20, 21. 


up the a i Being, nd one of the:, .of 

all: and to he a part. be imperfect. However man] 

ordinate created spirits may unfitly he c . there 

he hut one uncreated God, in the first and pr« 

Q. 8. How know you that God is eternal, without beginnir 
A. Because ' tlte there was a time when there _ ; if 

there were a time when there was no God. And then there 
never would have heen any thing : :or nothing can mall 

Q. 9, But how can man conceive of an eternal, uncaused 
Bek. _ 

A. That such a God there is, is the most certain, easy truth, 
and that he hath all the perfection hefore described : hut neither 
man nor angel can know hirn comprehensively. 
Q. I 0. What mean you hy his infinitene 
A. That bis being •;on have no limits or measure, 

hut incomprehensibly comprehend all places and bek. » . 
Q. 1 1 . What is this Goo to us ? 

A. He is our Maker, and therefore our absolute Owner, our 
Supreme Ruler, and our chief Benefa' d ultimate En , 

Q. i2. And how stand we related to him 3 What duty 
we owe Kirn ? And what may i ef fi un hirn ? 

A. We are his creatures, and all that we are, and have, is of 

him : we are his subject?, made with life, reason, and free-will 

be ruled by him : he is the infinite good, and . .-elf. 

Therefore we owe him pen t i ignation, perfect rice, 

and perfect complacency and love : all that we are, and all that 

^.ave ; and all that we can do, is due to him in the way of our 

obedience : to pay which, is our own re e and felicity, as it 

u our dutv : hut all this you may much hetter learn from his 

word, than nature alone can teach it you. Though man's 

nature, and the frame of nature about fully proverb what 

I have said, as leaveth all the ungodly without ezeui .-. 


Of God's Kixffdom, and the Government of Man, and Pro- 


(-1 1. I PERCEIVE that nothing more concerneth us, than 
to know God, and our relation and duty to him, and what h 

VOL, XIX. f > 


we have from him : therefore, I pray you, open it to me more 
fully, and first tell me where God is ? 

A. God being infinite, is not confined in any place, but all 
place and things are in God ; and he is absent from none, but as 
near to every thing as it is to itself. 

Q. 2. Why then do you say that he is in heaven, if he be 
as much on earth, and every where ? 

A. God is not more or less in one place, than another, in his 
being, but he is apparent, and known to us by his working, and 
so we say, he is in heaven, as he there worketh and shineth 
forth to the most blessed creatures in heavenly glory. As we 
say the sun is where it shineth : or, to use a more apt com- 
parison, the soul of man is indivisibly in the whole body, but it 
doth not work in all parts alike ; it understandeth not in the 
foot, but in the head ; it seeth not, heareth not, tasteth not, and 
smelleth not, in the fingers or lower parts, but in the eye, the 
ear, and other senses in the head ; and therefore when we talk 
to a man, it is his soul that we talk to, and not his flesh, and 
yet we look him in the face; not as if the soul were no where 
but in the face or head, but because it only worketh and appear - 
eth there by those senses, and that understanding which we 
converse with : even so, we look up to heaven, when we speak 
to God ; not as if he were no where else, but because heaven is 
the place of his glorious appearing and operation, and as the 
head and face of the world, where all true glory and felicity is, 
and from whence it descendeth to this earth, as the beams of 
the sun do from his glorious centre. 

Q. 3. You begin to make me think that God is the soul of 
the world, and that we must conceive of him in the world, as we 
do of the soul of man in his body. 

A. You cannot better conceive of God, so you will but take 
in the points of difference, which are very great; for no creature 
known to us doth resemble God without vast difference. 

The differences are such as these. First, the soul is part of 
the man, but God is not a part of the world, or of being : for 
to be a part is to be less than the whole, and so to be imperfect. 
Secondly, we cannot say that the soul is any where out of the 
bodv, but the world is finite, and God is infinite, and therefore 
God is not confined to the. world. 3. The soul ruleth not a 
body, that hath a distinct understanding and free-will of its 
own to receive its laws, and therefore ruleth it not by proper 
law, but by despotical motion : but God ruleth men that have 


understanding and free-will of their own, to know and receive 
his laws, and therefore he ruleth them partly by a law. 4. The 
soul doth not use another soul under it to rule the body, but 
God maketh use of superior spirits to move and rule things, and 
persons below them, so that there is a great difference 
between God's ruling the world, and the soul's ruling the 

But yet there is great likeness also. 1. God is as near every 
part of the world, as the soul is near the body. 2. God is as 
truly and fully the cause of all the actions and changes of 
the world (except sin, which free-will, left to itself, committeth) 
as the soul is the cause of the actions and changes of the 
body. 3. The body is no more lifeless without the soul than 
the world would be without God. Yea, God giveth all its 
being to the world, and without him it would be nothing 5 and 
in this he further differeth from the soul, which giveth not 
material being to the body. 

So that you may well conceive of God as the soul of the 
world, so you will but put in that he is far more. 

Q. 4. Is not it below God to concern himself with these 
lower things ? Doth he not leave them to those that are 
under him ? 

A. It is below God to be unconcerned about any part, even 
the least of his own works. Men are narrow creatures, and can 
be but in one place at once, and therefore must do that by 
others which they cannot do themselves, at least without 
trouble : but God is infinite, and present with all creatures 5 and 
as nothing is in being without him, so nothing can move with- 
out him. 

Q. 5. By this you make God to do all things immediately, 
whereas we see he works by means and second causes : he 
giveth us light and heat by the sun ; he upholdeth us by the 
earth, &c. 

A. The word immediate sometimes signifieth a cause that 
hath no other cause under it ; so the sun is the immediate cause 
of the emanation of its beams of light : and so God is not always 
an immediate cause ; that is, he hath other causes under him ; 
but sometimes immediate signifieth that which is next a thing, 
having nothing between them. And so God doth all things 
immediately : for he is, and he acteth, as near us as we to our- 
selves, and nothing is between him and us : he is as near the 



person and the effect, when he useth second causes, as when he 
useth none. 

Q. 6. But is it not a debasing God, to make his providence 
the cause of every motion of a worm, a bird, a fly, and to mind 
and move such contemptible things ; and so to mind the 
thoughts of man ? 

A. It is a debasing God to think that he is like a finite crea- 
ture, absent, or insufficient for any of his creatures. That there 
is not the least thing or motion so small as to be done without 
him, is most certain to him that will consider, 1 . That God's 
very essence is every where : and wherever he is, he is himself? 
that is, most powerful, wise, and good : and if such a God be as 
near to every action, as the most immediate actor is, so that in 
him they all live, and move, and be, how can he be thought to 
have no hand in it, as to providence or causality ? 

2. And it is certain that God upholds continually the very 
being of every thing that moveth, and all the power by which 
they move : for that which had no being but from him can 
have none continued but by him : that which could not make 
itself cannot continue itself : should not God by his causality 
continue their being, every creature would turn to nothing. 
For there can be nothing without a cause, but the first cause, 
which is God. 

2. And it is all one to infmiteness, to mind every creature and 
motion in the world, and to cause and rule the least, as it is to 
cause and rule but one. 

God is as sufficient for all the world, even every fly and worm, 
as if he had but one to mind. Seeing, then, that he is as present 
with every creature as it is with itself, and it hath not the least 
power but what he continually giveth it, and cannot move at all 
but by him, and he is as sufficient for all as for one, it is unrea- 
sonable to think that the least thing is done without him. Is it 
a dishonour to the sun, that every eye, even of flies, and ants, 
and toads, and snakes, as well as men, do see by the light of it; 
or that it shineth at once upon every pile of grass, and atom ? 
This is but the certain effect of God's infmiteness and perfection. 

Q. 7- How doth God govern all things ? 

A. He governeth several things, according to their several 
natures which he hath made: lifeless things by their natural 
inclinations, and by moving force ; things that have sense by 
their sensitive inclinations, and by their objects, and by con- 


straint ; and reasonable creatures by their principles, and by 
laws and moral rules : and all things by his infinite power, wis- 
dom, and will, as being every one part of one world, which is 
his kingdom : especially man. 

Q. 8. What is God's kingdom ? And why do you call him 
our Kinff ? 

A. I call him our King, because, 1. He only hath absolute 
right, power, and fitness, to be our Supreme Ruler : 2. And he 
doth actually rule us as our Sovereign. And in this kingdom, 
1. God is the only Supreme King and Head. 2. Angels, or 
glorified spirits, and men, are the subjects : 3. All the brutes 
and lifeless creatures are the furniture, and goods, and utensils. 
4. Devils and rebellious, wicked men, are the enemies, to be 
opposed and overcome. 

Q. 9. How doth God govern man on earth ? 

A. The power of God our Lord, Owner, and Mover, moveth 
us, and disposeth of us, as he doth of all things, to the fulfilling 
of his will. 2. The wisdom of God our King doth give us sound 
doctrine, and holy and just laws, with rewards and penalties, 
and he will judge men, and execute accordingly. 3. And the 
love of our heavenly Father doth furnish us with all necessary 
blessings, help us, accept us, and prepare us for the heavenly 

Q. 10. Why is man ruled by laws, rather than beasts and 
other things ? 

A. Because man hath reason, and free-will, which maketh 
them subjects capable of laws, which beasts are not. 

Q. 11. What is that free-will which fits us to be subjects? 

A. It is a will made by God, able to determine itself, by 
God's necessary help, to choose good, and refuse evil ; under- 
stood to be such, without any necessitating predetermination by 
any other. 

Of God's Law of Nature, and Natural Officers, 

Q. 1. By what laws doth God govern the world ? 
A. How he governeth the spirits above us, whether by any 
laws besides the. immediate revelation of his will, seen in the 


face of his glory, or how else, is not much known to us, because 
it doth not concern us. But this lower world of man he 
governeth by the law of nature, and by a law of supernatural 
revelation, given by his Spirit or by messengers from heaven. 

Q. 2. What is it that you call the law of nature ? 

A. In a large and improper sense, some call the inclinations, 
and forcing, or naturally moving, causes of any creatures, by the 
name of a law : and so they say that beasts and birds are moved 
by the law of their nature ; and that stones sink downward, and 
the fire goeth upward, by the law of nature. But this is no law 
in the proper sense which we are speaking of, whatever you 
call it. 

Q. 8. What is it then that you call a law ? 

A. Any signification of the will of the ruler, purposely given 
to the subject, that thereby he may know and be bound to his 
duty, and know his reward or punishment due. Or any signifi- 
cation of the ruler's will for the government of subjects, con- 
stituting what shall be due from them, and to them. A rule to 
live by, and the rule by which we must be judged. 

Q. 4. What, then, is God's law of nature, made for man ? 

A. It is the signification of God's governing will, by the 
nature of man himself, and of all other creatures known to man, 
in which God declareth to man his duty, and his reward or 

Q. 5. How can a man know God's will, and our duty by his 
nature, and by all other works of God about us ? 

A. In some things, as surely as by words or writings ; but 
in other things more darkly. I am sure that my nature is made 
to know and love truth and goodness, and to desire and seek 
my own felicity : my nature tells me that I was not made by 
myself, and do not live by myself, and therefore that I am not 
my own, but his that made me. All things show me that there 
is a God who must needs be greater, wiser, and better, than all 
his creatures, and therefore ought to be most honoured, feared, 
loved, and obeyed : I see multitudes of persons of the same 
nature with me, and therefore obliged to the same duty to God ; 
I see much of God's work in them which is good, and therefore 
to be loved ; and I see that we are all parts of one world, and 
made to be useful to one another: these, and many such things, 
the reason of man may discern in himself and other works of 

Q. 6, But I thought the law of nature had been every man's 


natural temper and disposition, which inclineth him to action, 
and you make it to be only a notifying sign of duty. 

A. Figuratively, some call every inclination a law, but it is no 
such thing that we are speaking of, only a man's natural inclin- 
ation, among other signs, may notify his duty. But I hope 
you cannot think that a man's vicious inclination is God's law : 
then you would make original sin, and the work of the devil, to 
be God's law. One man's sinful distemper of soul, and another 
man's bodily distemper (the fruit of sin) inclineth him to wrath, 
to lust, to idleness, to sinful sports, or drinking, or gluttony, and 
these are so far from being God's law of nature, that they are 
the contraries, and the law of Satan in our members, rebelling 
against the law of God. And though the good inclinations of 
our common nature (to justice, peace, temperance) be by some 
called the law of nature, it is not as they are inclinations, but as 
from them we may know our duty. 

Q. 7. Hath God any natural officers under him in governing 
man ? I pray you tell me how far man's power is of God ? 

A. God hath set up divers sorts of human governing powers 
under him in the world, which all have their place and order 
assigned them ; some by nature, as entire ; some by the law of 
nature, since the fall, and some by supernatural revelation, 
which is not to be here spoken to, but afterward. 

Q. S. Because I have heard some say that God made no go- 
vernment, but men do it by consent for their necessity, I pray 
you show me what government God made by nature, and in 
what order ? 

A. Next to God's own governing right, which is the first, 
God hath made every man a governor of himself. For God 
made him with some faculties which must be ruled, (as the ap- 
petite, senses, and tongue, and other bodily members, yea, and 
passions too,) and with some which must rule the rest, as the 
understanding by guidance, and the will by command. And 
this self-governing power is so necessary and natural, that no 
man can take it from us, or forbid us the due exercise of it, any 
more than they can bind us to sin or to self-destruction. 

Q. 9. Which is the next human power in order ? 

A. 2. The governing power of the husband over the wife, 
whose very nature, as well as original, shows that she was made 
to be subject, though under the law of love. 

Q. 10. But is not this by consent, rather than by nature ? 

A. It is by consent that a woman is married : but when she 


hath made herself a wife, nature maketh her a subject, unless 
madness, or disability, make the man unmeet for his place. 

Q. 11. Which is the next sort of natural government ? 

A. 3. The parents' government of their children : nature 
maketh it the duty of parents to rule, and of children to obey. 
And though some have been so unnatural as to deny this, and 
say that children owe nothing but reverence and gratitude, yet 
there is no danger of the common prevalency of such a heresy, 
which the nature of all mankind confuteth, save that licentious 
youth will take advantage of it, to disobey their parents, to please 
their lusts. 

Q. 12. What is the human government which God's law of 
nature hath instituted to man, since his fall and corruption ? 

A. 4. That is to be afterwards explained : but magistracy, or 
civil government, is certainly of natural institution, though it is 
uncertain how God would have governed man in such societies 
by man, if they had not sinned. The law of nature teacheth 
man the necessity of civil society, and of government therein, 
and therefore obligeth man thereto. 

Q. 13.. This seemeth to be but the effect of men's own per- 
ceived necessity, and so to be but their arbitrary choice. 

A. Their necessity is natural, and the notice of it is natural, 
and the desire of remedy is natural, and the fitness of magis- 
tracy to its use is natural : therefore it is the law of God in 
nature that bindeth them to choose and use it; and if any country 
should choose to live without magistracy, they would sin against 
the law of nature, and their own good. 

Q. 14. But I have heard that God hath made no law, what 
form of civil government shall be used, but left it to every 
country's choice. 

A. God hath, by nature, made it necessary that there be ma- 
gistracy ; that is, some men in power over societies, to enforce 
the obedience of God's own common laws, and to make their 
subordinate laws about undeterminate, mutable matters to that 
end, for the honour of God, and the good of the society. 

But, 1 . Whether this government shall be exercised by one or 
many; 2. And who shall be the persons, God's law hath left un- 
determined to human liberty : the form and persons are chosen, 
neither by the said persons, nor by the people only, but by 
the mutual consent and contract of both. 3. And also by this 
contract, the degree of power, and order of the exercise, may be 
stated and limited ; but for all that, when human consent hath 


chosen the persons, the essential power of governing in subor- 
dination to God's laws, floweth, not from man, but immediately 
from God's law of nature. 

Q. 15. But what if these sorts of government prove cross to 
one another, and reason commandeth one thing, a husband an- 
other, a parent another, and the magistrate another, which must 
be obeyed ? 

A. Each have their proper work and end, which none of the 
other can forbid. Self-government is the reasonable manage- 
ment of our own faculties and actions in obedience to God, for 
our own salvation, and no king, or other, can take this from us : 
and if they forbid us any necessary duty to God, or necessary 
means of our salvation, they do it without authority, and are 
not to be therein obeyed. 

A husband's power to govern his wife is for the necessary 
ends of their relation, which the king hath no power to forbid. 
A parent's power to rule his children is for the necessary educa- 
tion of them, for the welfare of soul and body, and the king 
hath no power to forbid it. Should he forbid parents to feed 
their children, or teach them God's laws,, or to choose for them 
orthodox, fit tutors, pastors, and church communion where God 
is lawfully worshipped, and should lie command the children to 
use the contrary, it is all null and powerless. 

But it belongeth to the magistrates only (though not to destroy 
any of the three former governments, which are all before his in 
nature and time, yet) to govern them all, by directing the ex- 
ercise of them in lawful things to the common good. 

Q. 1G. How far doth the law of nature assure us of God's 
rewards and punishments ? 

A. As it assureth us that perfect man owed God perfect obe- 
dience, trust, and love, so it certifieth us, 1. That this per- 
formed, must needs be acceptable to God, and tend to the feli- 
city of the subject, seeing God's love is our felicity. 2. And 
that sinning against God's law deserveth punishment. 3. And 
that governing justice must make such a difference between the 
obedient and the sinner as the ends of government require. 
4. And seeing that before man's obedience, or sin, God made 
man's soul of a nature not tending to its own mortality, we have 
cause to expect that man's rewards and punishments should be 
suitable to such immortal souls. For though he can make 
brutes immortal, and can annihilate man's soul, or any creature, 
yet we see that he keeps so close to his natural establishments 


that we have no reason to think that he will cross them here, 
and annihilate souls to shorten their rewards or punishments. 

Q. 17- But doth nature tell us what kind of rewards and pu- 
nishments men have ? 

A. The faculties of the soul heing made in their nature to 
know God in our degree, to love him, to please him, and to rest 
and rejoice herein, and this in the society of wise, and good, 
and blessed joyful fellow-creatures, whom also our nature is 
made to love, it followeth that the perfections of this nature, in 
these inclinations and actions, is that which God did make our 
nature for, to be obtained by the obeying of his laws. 

And sin being the injurious contempt and forsaking of God, 
and the most hurtful malady of the soul, and of societies, and 
to others, it followeth that those that have finally forsaken God, 
be without the happiness of his love and glory, and under the 
sense of their sin and his displeasure; and that their own sin 
will be their misery, as diseases are to the body ; and that the 
societies and persons that by sin they injured or infected, will 
somewhat contribute to their punishment. Happiness to the 
good, and misery to the bad, the light and law of nature 
teacheth man to expect, but all that I have taught you is much 
more surely and fully known by supernatural revelation. 


Of Supernatural Revelation of God's Will to Man, and of 
the Holy Scriptures, or Bible. 

Q. 1. What do you call supernatural revelation? 

A. All that revelation of God's mind to man, which is made 
by him extraordinarily, above what the common works of nature 
do make known : though, perhaps, God may use it in some 
natural second causes, in a way unknown to us. 1 

Q. 2. How many ways hath God thus revealed his will to 
man ? 

A. Many ways. 1 . By some voice and signs of his presence, 
which we do not well know what creature he used to it, whether 
angels, or only at present caused that voice and glory. So he 

1 Matt. xi. 25, 27; Luke x. 22; Deut. xxix. 29; Matt. xvi. 17; 1 Cor. 
ii. 10. 


spake to Adam and Eve, and the serpent, and to Moses in the 
mount, and tabernacle, and in the cleft of the rock. (Exod. 
xxxiv.) And to Abraham, Jacob, &c. u 

2. By angels certainly appearing, as sent from God; and so he 
spake to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Lot, Moses, and to very many.* 

3. By visions and dreams in their sleep, extraordinary. y 

4. By the vision of some signs from heaven in their waking: 
as Saul (Acts ix.) saw the light that cast him down. 2 

5. By visions and voices in an extasy : as Paul saw Paradise, 
and heard unutterable things ; whether in the body, or out of 
the body, he knew not. And it is like in such a rapture Daniel 
and John had their revelations. 

6. By Christ's own voice, as he spake to men on earth, and 
Paul from heaven. 

7. By the sight of Christ and glory, as Stephen saw him. 

8. By immediate inspiration to the minds of prophets. 

9. By these prophets sent as messengers to others. 

10. Bv certain uncontrolled miracles. 

1 1 . By a convincing course of extraordinary works of God's 
providence, as when an angel killed the armies of enemies, or 
when they killed one another in one night or day, &c. 

12. By extraordinary works of God on the souls of men, as 
when he suddenly overcometh the strongest vicious habits and 
customs, and maketh multitudes new and holy persons, by such 
improbable but assigned means, by which he promised to do it. 

Q. 3. These are all excellent things, if we were sure that 
they were not deceived, nor did deceive. But how shall we be 
sure of that ? 

A. It is one thing to ask how they themselves were sure 
that they were not deceived, and another thing to ask how we 
are, or others may be sure of it. As to the first, they were sure, 
as men are of other things which they see, hear, feel, and 
think. I am sure, by sense and intellectual perception, that I 
see the light, that I hear, feel, think, &c. The revelation cometh 
to the person in its own convincing evidence, as light doth to 
the eye. a 

Q. 4. They know what they see, hear, feel ; but how were 

u Eph. iii. 5; 1 Pet. i. 12; Dan. ii. 47, 22, 28, 29; Am. iii. 7; Gal. i. 12, 
and ii. 2. 

* Eph. iii. 3. H Cor. xiv. 6, 26. * 2 Cor. xii. 1, 7. 

a 1 John i. 1—3. 


they sure that it was of God, and not by some deceiving; 
cause ? 

A. 1. God himself gave them the evidence of this also in the 
revelation, that it was from him, and no deceit. But it is no 
more possible for any of us, that never had such a revelation 
ourselves, to know sensibly and formally what it is, and how 
they knew it, than it is for a man born blind to know how 
other men see, or what seeing is. 2. But, moreover, they also 
were sure that it was of God, by the proofs by which they 
make us sure of it. And this leads us up to the other ques- 

Q. 5. And a question of unspeakable moment it is, how we 
can be sure of such prophetical revelations delivered to us by 
others ; viz. That they were not deceived, nor deceive us. 

A. It is of exceeding consequence, indeed, and therefore de- 
serveth to be understandingly considered and handled. 

And here you must first consider the difference of revelation. 
Some were but made or sent by prophets to some particular 
persons, about a personal, particular business, as to Abraham, 
that he should have a son, that Sodom should be burnt ; to 
David, that his son should be his punishment, his child die ; to 
Hezekiah, that he should recover, &c. These none were bound 
to know and believe, but the persons concerned, to whom they 
were revealed and sent, till they were made public afterwards. 
But some revelations were made for whole countries, and some 
for all the world, and that as God's laws, or covenants, which 
life and death dependeth on j and these must, accordingly, be 
made known to all. 

Q. 6. I perceive, then, that before we further inquire of the 
certainty, I should first ask you of the matter ; what things 
they be that God hath supernaturally revealed to man, especially 
for us all ? 

A. The particular revelations to and about particular men's 
matter, are many of them recorded to us for our notice ; but 
there may be thousands more in the world that we know not, 
nor are concerned to know. What revelation God ever made 
to any persons throughout the world, as what should befal 
them when they should die, what wars, or plagues, or famine, 
should come, &c, little do we know ; but what is recorded by 
God we know. 

h Heb. ii. 3, 4. 


2. But as for his laws and promises, which we are all con- 
cerned to know, I shall now hut name, and afterward open what 
God hath revealed. 

I. He revealed to Adam, besides the law of nature, which 
was perfecter and clearer to him than it is now to us, a trying 
prohibition to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, adding 
the penalty of death to restrain him. c 

II. He judged him after his fall to some degree of punish- 
ment, but declared his pardoning mercy, and promised victory 
to, and by the woman's seed, in the war which they now en- 
gaged in with Satan, the serpent, and his seed : and he insti- 
tuted sacrificing to typify the means. d 

III. He renewed this covenant with Noah, after the flood. 

IV. He made a special promise to Abraham, to be the God 
of his seed, as a peculiar people chosen to him out of all the 
world, and that all nations should be blessed in his seed: and 
he instituted the sacrament of circumcision to be the seal and 
symbol. 6 

V. When his seed were multiplied in Egypt, he brought 
them out, and in performance of this promise, made them a holy 
commonwealth, as their Sovereign, and gave them at large a law 
and sub-governors, which, as political, was proper to that 

VI. In the fulness of time God sent his Son to reconcile 
man to God, to reveal his love and will most fully, and to make 
and seal the covenant of grace in its last and best edition, and, 
as King, to rule and judge the redeemed, and sanctify, justify, 
and glorify, the faithful. These are the public laws and cove 
nants supernaturally revealed. g 

Q. 7. Is it equally necessary to us to believe every word in 
the Bible ? Or is every word equally certain to us ? 

A. All truths are truths, which is, to be equally true in them- 
selves: and so, if by certainty you mean nothing but infallible 
truth, every truth is so certain ; and all God's words are true. 
But if by certain you mean that which is so evident to us, 
that we may ourselves be fully certain of the truth, so the parts 
of God's word have different degrees of certainty. We sup- 
pose false translations and false printings are none of God's 
word; nor the words of Satan, or fallible men, recited in the 

c Gen. ii. 16, 17, and iii. 15. ll Gen. iv. 4, and ix. 1, 2—8. 

e Gen. xii. 2, 3, and xvii. 1, 2, 4, G— 11. f Exod. ii. &c, xx. &c. 

s John i. and iii, 1G; Gal. iv. 4—6, and i. 4 ; Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 


Bible, save only the historical assertion that such words were 
spoken by them. But that which is God's word, indeed, is 
none of it so far void of proof but that we may come to a cer- 
tainty that it is true : and if we had equal evidence that every 
word is God's word, we should have equal evidence that all is 
true : for that God cannot lie is the foundation truth of all our 
certainty. But God did not reveal every truth in the Bible with 
equal, evidencing attestation from heaven. Some of them much 
more concern us than others, and therefore were more fully 
sealed and attested. 11 

Q. S. How are we sure of the law that was given to Adam, 
and that he sinned, as is written, and had after a pardoning 

A. 1. The law of nature given him is yet God's common law 
to the world, saving the strictness of it as a condition to life. 
2. The fall of man hath too full proof in all the pravity of man- 
kind from the birth. 3. The pardoning act is evident in the 
execution : God giveth all men mercy, contrary to their deserts, 
and useth none in the utmost rigour. 4. The notorious enmity 
between Christ and Satan, and their seeds, through all ages and 
places of the world, doth prove the sentence, and the law of 
grace. 5. The universal curse, or punishment, on mankind, 
showeth somewhat of the cause. 6. The tradition of sacrificing 
was so universally received over all the world, as confirmeth to 
us that God delivered it to Adam, as a symbol and a type of the 
grace then promised. 7. But our fullest proof of all that his- 
tory, is that which after proved the word that revealed it to us. 1 

Q. 9. How are we certain that the law of Moses was God's 

A. By a course of wonderful miracles wrought to prepare them 
to receive it, and to attest it. The ten marvellous plagues of 
Egvpt ; the passage through the Red Sea ; the opening of the 
rock to give them water ; feeding them with manna ; raining 
twice quails upon them ; the sight of the flaming mount, with 
the terrible concomitants ; the sight of the pillar of fire by 
night, and cloud by day, which conducted them ; the sight of 
the cloud and symbol of God's presence at the door of the ta- 
bernacle ; the miraculous destruction of the rebellious, even by 
t he opening of the earth ; and the performance of God's pro- 

h Heb. vii. 22, and ix. 15—18; ix. 13; viii. 10; x. 10 ; and x. 16; Matt, iv 

1 Psalm xiv.; Rom. iii.; Psalm cxlv. 9 ; Acts xiv. 17 ; 1 John ili. 8 ; Rom. 

iii. 21, 23, and iv. 12, 15—^7 ; 2 Kings x. 19 ; Acts xiv. 13, 18 ; 1 Cor. x, 20. 


mises to them : all these were full proofs that it was of God. 
2. But we have yet fuller proof in Christ's latter testimony, 
which confirmeth all this to us. 

Q. 10. These were full proofs to those that saw them. 
But are we certain that the records of them in the Scripture 
are true ? 

A. 1. Consider that they were written, by Moses, to that very 
people who are said to see them. k And if one should now write 
to us Englishmen, that God brought us out of another land by 
ten such public miracles, as the frogs, the flies, the lice, the 
darkness, the waters turned blood, the death of their cattle, and 
of all their first-born ; that he opened the sea, and brought us 
through it on foot; that he opened rocks; fed us with manna; 
rained quails for a month's food ; spake from a flaming mount, 
and opened the mount to swallow up rebels, &c. When we 
know all this to be false, would not all men deride and abhor 
the reporter ? Would any of us receive a law, and that of such 
operous, numerous, costly services, by the motive of such a 
report as this ? 

2. Consider that this law so delivered was on this ground 
entertained, and unchangeably kept, by them from generation to 
generation, it being taken for an heinous crime to alter it in one 
word. 1 

3. Consider that practised, sacramental symbols, from the first 
day, were so uninterruptedly kept, as was a fuller proof of the 
fact than the bare writings. 1. All their males, from the pro- 
mise to Abraham, were constantly circumcised (save in the wil- 
derness travels) and are to this day. 2. From the very night 
that the first-born were killed in Egypt, and they driven hastily 
out, thev yearly continued the eating of the passover with un- 
leavened bread, as in a hasting posture. 3. Since the law given 
in the wilderness, they constantly used the sacrifices, the obla- 
tions, the tabernacle, the priesthood and ceremonies, as that 
law prescribed them. And the national, constant use of these 
was, an ascertaining tradition of the matters of fact which were 
their cause. 4. Yea, so tenacious were they of this law, that 
(as they taught the very syllables of it to their children, and 
kept in the ark the very tables of stone that had the ten com- 
mandments, so) they were enemies to Christianity, because the 

k Dent. i. 31 ; Hi. 21, 22 ; iv. 3, 9 ; v. 24 ; x. 21 ; xi. 7 ; and xxix. 3 j 
Jos. xxiv. 7. ' Deut. xii. 22. 


Christians were against the Gentiles' observation of their law, 
and for its abrogation. 

4. Consider again, that the matter of fact, and the divine in- 
stitution, is since made certain to us by Christ's testimony. 

Q. 11. But seeing this law doth not bind us now, nor the 
particular messages of the prophets were sent to us, is it any of 
our concern now to know or believe them ? It bclongeth to 
those that they were made for, and sent to ; but what are they 
to us ? 

A. There is not the same necessity to know them, and so to 
be such that they were all of God, as there is to know and be- 
lieve the gospel : but it is greatly our duty and concern to 
believe them ; 1 . Because they were preparatory to the gospel, 
and bore an antecedent testimony to it. 2. Because the gospel 
itself beareth witness of their truth, which therefore, if we be- 
lieve it, we must believe. 3. Because by the Holy Ghost's di- 
rection all now make up our books of sacred records, which is 
the certain word of God, though not all of the same necessity 
and evidence. 

And here I must tell you a great and needful truth, which 
ignorant Christians, fearing to confess, by over-doing, tempt men 
to infidelity. The Scripture is like a man's body, where some 
parts are but for the preservation of the rest, and may be 
maimed, without death : the sense is the soul of the Scripture, 
and the letters but the body, or vehicle. The doctrine of the 
Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Decalogue, and Baptism, and Lord's 
Supper, is the vital part, and Christianity itself. The Old Tes- 
tament letter (written as we have it about Ezra's time) is that 
vehicle which is as imperfect as the revelation of those times 
was : but as after Christ's incarnation and ascension the Spirit 
was more abundantly given, and the revelation more perfect and 
sealed, so the doctrine is more full, and the vehicle or body, 
that is the words, are less imperfect, and more sure to us ; so 
that he that doubts of the truth of some words in the Old Tes- 
tament, or of some small circumstantials in the New, hath no 
reason, therefore, to doubt of the Christian religion, of which 
these writings are but the vehicle, or body, sufficient to ascer- 
tain us of the truth of the history and doctrine. Be sure, first, 
that Christ is the very Son of God, and it inferreth the certainty 
of all his words, and enforceth our own religion. 

Q. 12.1 perceive, then, that our main question is, both as to 


necessity and evidence, how we are sure that the gospel is true, 
and the records of it the very word of God ? 

A. It is so: and as it is that must rule and judge the church, 
so we have to us fuller proof of this than of the Old Testa- 
ment; because, that the narrowness of the Jews' country, in 
comparison of the christian world, and the many thousand 
years' distance, and a language whose phrase and proverbial 
speeches, and the very sense of the common words of it, must 
needs make it more unknown to us, than the language that the 
gospel is recorded in. And it is not the least proof of the 
truth of the Old Testament, that it is attested and confirmed by 
the New. 

Q. 13. Will you first tell me, how the apostles, and that first 
age, were sure that the gospel of Christ was the very word of God? 

A. Here I must first tell you, that the great mystery of the 
blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, being one God, is 
made necessary to us to be believed, not only as to the eternal un- 
searchable, Inexistence,but especially for the knowledge of God's 
three great sorts of works on man : that is, as our Creator, and 
the God of nature ; as our Redeemer, and the God of governing 
and reconciling grace, and as our Sanctifier, and the Applier 
and Perfecter of all to fit us to glory. And so the Son, as Re- 
deemer, is the way to the Father, (to know him and his love, 
and be reconciled to him,) and the Holy Ghost is the witness 
of the Son. The proof, therefore, of the gospel of Christ, in one 
word, is the Holy Ghost; that is, the certain testimony of God's 
Spirit. And this testimony consisteth of these several parts. 
1. The foregoing testimony of the Spirit by all the prophecies 
of the Old Testament, and the typical prefigurations, which be- 
came a fuller proof than before, when they were seen all to be 
fulfilled in Christ; yet many were fulfilled before. When Abra- 
ham had no child, he was promised the multiplication of his 
seed, and that all nations should be blessed therein. (Gen. xii. 
2; and xiii. 16; and xv. 5 ; and xvii. 2; and xviii. 11, 12.) 
The four hundred years of their abode in Egypt and Canaan 
before were foretold, and punctually fulfilled. (Gen. xv. 13, 14 ; 
Exod. xii. 31, 32.) So was Jacob's prophecy of Judah's scep- 
tre, (Gen. xlii. 8 — 10,) and Joseph's dreams: and verily Balaam's 
last prophecy was marvellous ; who, when he had blessed Israel, 
and foretold their victories, foretold also the sceptre of David 
and Christ, and the success of the Assyrians ; and after that of 
Chittim against the Hebrews themselves. (Numb, xxiv.) And 
who seeing not the Fulfilling of the terrible prophecy of Moses 

VOX. XIX. ]) 


against the Jews. (Deut. xxxi.) Josiah by name, and his deeds, 
were foretold three hundred years before he was born. (1 Kings 
xiii. 2; 2 Kings xxiii. 15.) Oft was the captivity of the Jews 
foretold, and the destruction of Babylon, and the Jews' return, 
by Cyrus, named long before he was born, and the very time 
foretold. From the beginning Christ was promised, and the 
circumstances of his coming foretold : (Gen. iii. xv. ; xxvi. 4 ; 
andxlix. 10; Deut.xviii. 15; Psalm ii.; xxvii. ; lxxxix. ; and ex.; 
Isa. liii., and xi. 1 ; Jer. xxxiii. 15 ; Mic. v. 2 :) that he should 
be born of a virgin, (Isa. vii. 14,) in Bethlehem, (Mic. v. 2,) 
and then the infants killed; (Jer. xxxi. 15;) that he should 
come into the temple, as the angel of the covenant whom they 
desired, but they should not endure therein when he came, be- 
cause he came as a refiner; (Mai. iii. 1, 3 ;) that he should go 
into Egypt, and return thence ; (Isa. xix. 1 ; Hos. xi. 1 ;) that 
one should go before him to prepare the way; (Mai. iii. 1;) that 
he should do wonders for the people; (Isa. xxxv. 5 ;) that a 
familiar should betray him, and that for thirty pieces of silver, 
(Psalm xli. 9; and lv. 13, 14; Zech. xi. 12, 13,) and a potter's 
iield be bought with them. All his persecution, and abuse, and 
sufferings, are foretold, (Isa. 1. 6 ; and liii.; Psalm lxix. 21 ; 
xxii. IS; and cxviii. 22; Isa. vi. 9,) even to the circumstances 
of giving him vinegar, casting lots for his garments, suffering 
as a malefactor ; yea, the very time is foretold; (Dan. ix. 25, 26;) 
and that then the second temple should be destroyed. 

II. The second part of the Spirit's testimony, or the certain 
proof of christian truth is, the inherent constitutive proof of tes- 
timony in the inimitable excellency of the person and gospel of 
Christ, which is the image and superscription of God. The 
person of Christ was of such excellency of wisdom, goodness, 
and power, apparent in his doctrine, works, and patience, all 
sinless, and full of holy love to God and man, as is not consistent 
with being the deceiver of the world. His gospel, in the very 
constitution of it, hath the impress of God. He that hath the 
Spirit of God, will find that in the gospel, which is so suitable 
to the divine nature, as will make it the easier to him to believe 
it. Angels preached the sum of it. (Luke ii. 14.) It is all but 
the fore-promised and prefigured redemption of man historically 
delivered, and the doctrine, 111 laws, and promises of saving grace 

»• Col. i. 15—19 ; Prov. xxx. 5 ; Heb. iv. 12 ; 1 Peter i. 23 ; 1 John ii. 14 ; 
John viii. 48 ; xii.48; xiv.25; xv. 3; Acts xiv. 3 : and xx. 32 ; Rom. x. 8 • 
Eph. v. 20; Phil. ii. Hi; 1 Thess. i. 5; James i.2; Matt, xii.26^ Maikiv. 
15 ; Luke x. 18 ; Acts xxvi. 18 ; Rom xvi. 20 ; Rev. xx. 2, '6. 


most fully promulgated ; it is the wonderful revelation of the 
power, wisdom, and goodness, the truth, justice, and holiness of 
God, especially his love to man ; and of his marvellous design 
for the recovery, sanctifying, and saving of sinners, and remov- 
ing all the impediments of their repentance and salvation ; it is 
so wholly fitted to the glorifying of God, and the reparation of 
depraved nature, and the purifying and perfecting of man's soul 
to the guidance of men's lives in the ways of true wisdom, god- 
liness, righteousness, soberness, mutual love and peace, that 
men may live profitably to others, and live and die in the sense 
of God's love, and in a safe and comfortable state; that we may 
be sure so good a thing had a good cause ; for had it been the 
device of men, they must have been very bad men that would 
put God's name to it, and tell so many lies from generation to 
generation, to deceive the world ; and it is not to be imagined, 
that from Moses's time to the writing of John's Revelations, there 
should arise a succession of men of such a strange self-contra- 
dicting constitution as should be so good as to devise the most 
holy, and righteous, and self-denying doctrines, for the great 
good of mankind, and yet all of them so odiously wicked as to 
belie God, and deceive men, and do all this good in so bad a 
manner, with so bad a heart. 

And if any blasphemer would father it upon evil spirits, what 
a contradiction would he speak ! As if Satan would promote the 
greatest good, for the honour of God and benefit of man, while 
he is the greatest hater of God and man ; and as if he would de- 
vise a doctrine to reproach himself, and destroy his own kingdom, 
and bless mankind ; and so were at once the best and the worst. 

Indeed the holy Scriptures do bear the very image and super- 
scription of God in their ends, matter and manner, and prove 
themselves to be his word : for God hath not given us external 
proofs that such a book of doctrine is his, which is itself no bet- 
ter than human works, and hath no intrinsic proof of its divine 
original;" but the intrinsic and extrinsic evidences concur. What 
book, like the sacred Scriptures, hath taught the world the 
knowledge of God ; the creation of the world ; the end, 
and hope, and felicity of man ; what the heavenly glory is, 
and how procured, and how to be obtained, and by whom ; 
how man became sinful and miserable ; and how he is recover- 
ed ; and what wonders of love God hath shown to sinners, to 
win their hearts in love to him ? What book hath so taught 

" 2 Pet. i. 20; 2 Tim. iii. 15, 16; Matt. v. 10, 41, 4,'). 

D 2 


men to live by faith, and the hopes of glory, above all the lusts 
of sense and flesh, and to refer all things in this world to spiritual, 
holy and heavenly ends ; to love others as ourselves, and to do 
good r to all, even to our enemies ; to live in such union, and 
communion, and peace, as is caused by this vital grace of love, 
and not like a heap of sand, that every spurn or blast of cross 
interest will separate ? What book so teacheth man to love God 
above all, and to pray to him, and absolutely obey him with con- 
stant pleasure, and to trust him absolutely with soul, body, and 
estate, and cast all our care upon him ; and, in a word, to con- 
verse in heaven while we are on earth ; and to live as saints, 
that we may live as angels ?° 

Q. 14. But how few be there that do all this ? 

A. 1. I shall further answer that anon : none do it in perfec- 
tion, but all sound Christians do it in sincerity. 2. But at 
present, it is the perfection of the doctrine of Christ, and of the 
sacred Scriptures that I am proving; and it is not men's break- 
ing the law that will prove that God made it not. 

Q. 15. You have told me of the foregoing testimony of the 
Spirit of Christ and the gospel, and of the inherent constitu- 
tive testimony, or proof; is there any other ? 

A. Yes, III. There is the concomitant testimony, bv the 
works of Christ. Nicodemus could sav, " We know that thou 
art a teacher come from God, for no man can do the works 
that thou doest, except God were with him." (John iii. 2.) He 
cleansed the lepers with his word ; he cast out devils ; he healed 
the lame, the deaf, the blind, yea, those that were born blind ; 
he healed palsies, fevers, and all manner of sicknesses, with a 
touch, or a word; he turned water into wine ; he fed twice many 
thousands by miracle; he walked on the sea, and made Peter do 
the same ; the winds and sea obeyed his command : he raised 
the dead. This course of miracles was the most evident testi- 
mony of God. 

And he was brought into the world bv miracle : born of a 
virgin ; foretold and named Jesus, by an angel ; preached to 
shepherds by angels from heaven ; a star conducting the eastern 
wise men to the place ; John, his foregoer, named by an angel, 
and Zacharias struck dumb for not believing it; prophesied of 
by Anna and Simeon ; owned at his baptism by the visible de- 
scent of the Spirit, in the shape of a dove, and by a voice of God 

"John iii.: 1 ), 5; Tit. ii. 14; 1 Peter ii. 9; Horn. viii. 9; Matt. v. 20; 
Heb. xii. 14 ; Matt, xviii. 3 ; 2 Cor. v. 17; Rom. viii. 11. 


from heaven, and the like again at his transfiguration, when 
Moses and Elias appeared with him, and he did shine in glory ; 
and at his death the earth trembled, the sun was obscured, and 
the air darkened, and the vail of the temple rent ; but the fullest 
evidence was Christ's own resurrection from the dead, his oft 
appearing to his disciples after, and conversing with them at times 
for forty days, and giving them their commission, and promis- 
ing them the Spirit, and ascending into heaven in their sight. 
And all this was the fuller testimony, in that he had oft over and 
over foretold them of it, that he must be put to death, and rise 
again the third day, before he entered into his glory ; and the 
Jews knew it, and were not able to prevent it, angels terrifying 
the soldiers on the watch ; yea, the disciples understood it not, 
and, therefore, believed it not, and Petev dissuaded him from 
such talk of his sufferings, till Christ called him Satan, (doing 
like Satan that had tempted him, when he fasted forty days,) to 
show that the disciples were no contrivers of a deceit herein. 

Q. 16. Is there yet any further witness of the Holy Ghost? 

A. Yes, IV. There was the consequent testimony of the 
Spirit by the apostles, and other first publishers of the gospel ; 
Christ bid them wait at Jerusalem for this gift, and promised 
them that when he was ascended he would send that Paraclete, 
Advocate, or Comforter, that should be better than his visible 
presence, and should lead them into all truth, and bring all 
things to their remembrance, and teach them what to say j that 
is, to enable them to perform the work to which he had com- 
missioned them, which was to go into all the world, and preach 
the gospel, and disciple the nations, baptising them, and teach- 
ing them to observe all things that he had commanded them ; 
which they performed partly by word, and partly by writing, and 
partlv by practice, baptising, gathering churches, establishing 
offices and officers ; and he promised to be with them to the end 
of the world; that is, with their persons for their time, and 
with their doctrine, ordinary successors, and the whole church 
ever after. p 

On the day of Pentecost, even the Lord's day, when they were 
assembled, this promise was so far performed to them, that the 
Holy Ghost suddenly fell on all the assembly, in the likeness of 
fiery, cloven tongues, after the noise as of a rushing wind, and 

r John xvi. ; Acts ii. ; Matt, xxviii. 20. The whole Book of the Acts of the 
Apostles is the history of these miracles. Gal. iii. 1—4 ; John vii. 3, 9 ; 
Rom.i.4. ; 1 Cor. xii.4, 7—9, 11, 13. 


they were filled with the Spirit, and spake in the tongues of all 
the countries near them, the praises and wondrous works of God. 
After which they were endued with the various miraculous gifts 
of the Spirit ; that is, the use of the tongues which they had 
never learned ; the interpretation of them, prophesying, miracles, 
healing all diseases, insomuch that those that came under the 
shadow of Peter, and those that had hut clothes from the body 
of Paul, were all healed ; the lame and blind cured, devils cast 
out, the dead raised, some enemies struck blind, some sinners 
struck dead ; and, which was yet greater, by their preaching or 
praying, or laying on of hands, God gave the same miraculous 
gift of the Spirit to others ; and that not to a few, but or- 
dinarily to the faithful, some having one such gift, and some 

And as Christ had promised that when he was lifted up he 
would draw all men to him, so he blessed the labours of the 
apostles, prophets, and evangelists, accordingly; many thousands 
being converted at a sermon, and multitudes still added to the 
church. And when the preachers were forbidden and imprisoned, 
Christ strengthened them, and angels miraculously delivered 
them. When Peter was in prison, designed for death, the angel 
of God loosed his bolts, and opened the doors, and led him forth. 
When Paul and Silas had been scourged, and were in the stocks 
in the prison, an earthquake sets them free, and prepareth for 
the conversion of the jailer and his house. And Christ himself 
had before appeared to Paul in glory, when he was going on in 
persecution, and struck him down in blindness, and preached 
to him with a voice from heaven, and converted him, and sent 
him as his apostle into the world. By these miracles was the 
world converted. 

And as Christ had promised them that they should do greater 
works than those which he himself did, so indeed their miracles 
did more to convert the world than the works of Christ in person 
had done. For, 1. Those which were wrought by one man 
would leave suspicious men more doubtful of the truth than that 
which is done by many, at a distance from each other, and 
in several places. 2. And that which was done but in one 
small country would be more doubted of than that which is 
done in much of the world. Sometimes, indeed, thousands, 
but usually twelve men, were the witnesses of what Christ said 
and did ; but what these witnesses said and did to prove their 
testimonv, thousands in manv lands did see and hear. 


Q. 17. But why was it that Christ forbade some to declare 
that he was the Christ ? 

A. Because the time was not come, till the evidences were 
given by which it must be proved ; it was not a matter to be 
rashly believed, and taken upon the bare word of himself or any 
other. That a man living in a mean condition was the Son of 
God, and Saviour, and Lord, and Teacher, of the world, and 
the Judge of all men, was not to believed without good proof : 
and the chief proof was to be from all Christ's own miracles, 
and his resurrection, and ascension, and the great gift of the 
Holy Ghost, and the tongues and miracles of the apostles and 
other disciples; and these were not all done or given then 3 yet 
because the Jews received Moses and the prophets, he some- 
times showed how they prophesied of him; yea, his very doctrine, 
whose frame had a self-evidencing light, was not fully revealed 
till it was done by the Spirit in the apostles.*' 

Q. 18. But though all these miracles were wrought, how could 
it he certain that they were the attestation of God, when it is 
said that magicians, false prophets, and anti-christ may do such 
things ? 

A. 1. I shall first mind you, that though we were never so 
uncertain of the nature of a miracle, whether it be wrought by 
any created cause, yet we are agreed that, by miracles, we 
mean such works which were wrought quite out of and against 
the common course of second courses, called nature ; and we 
are sure that as no work can be done without God's promotion, or 
permission, at least, so especiallv the course of nature cannot be 
altered and overruled but by God's knowledge, consent, and ex- 
ecution ; whatever second cause unknown to us may be in it, 
certainly God is the first cause. 

2. And it is most certain that the most perfect Governor of 
the world is not the great deceiver of the world, and is not so 
wanting in power, wisdom and goodness, as to rule them by a 
lie; yea, and an unresistable and remediless deceit; this is 
rather the description of Satan. 

3. And man must know the will of God by some signs or 
other, or else he cannot do it; and what signs can the wit of 
man devise, by which they that would fain know the will of God 
may come to be certain of it, if such a course of miracles may 

1 Luke iv. 22, and xxiv. 27, 32, 45 ; John v. 39 ; Acts xvii. 2,11, and xviii. 
28 ; Romans i. 2, and xvi. 2G ; 1 Cor. xv. 3,4; 2 Pet. i. 19, 20 ; HcIj. ii« 
3, 4 ; Rom. iii. 4 ; John iii. 2 ; 1 John v. 10; Tit. ii, 2. 


deceive us ? Would you believe if some came from the dead as 
witnesses ? or, if an angel, or many angels, came from heaven ? 
All these could give you no more certainty than such miracles 
may do. 1 ' 

4. And you must note, that the proof of miracles lieth not on 
this, that angels, or other spirits, or second causes, can do no 
such things, but that they cannot do it without God, and that 
God will not do it to confirm a lie, or any thing which he would 
not have man believe ; for then either man must believe no- 
thing sent from God, though it were by an host of angels, or else 
he must say, ' I am unavoidably deceived by God himself; for I 
have no possible means left to know the fallacy.' 

5. 'Therefore you must note, that whenever God permitteth a 
magician, or false prophet, to do any wonder, or unusual thing, 
he never leaveth man without a remedy against the deceit, but 
doth control and confute the words of the deceiver ; and usually 
he doth it but first to try the faith and steadfastness of men, and 
then to bring truth into the clearer light. And he controlleth 
false miracles these ways. 

1 . He sealeth up the truth which the deceiver denieth, with 
a stream of most uncpiestionable miracles, and so showeth us 
that it cannot be a truth, and of God, which is said against such 
sealed verity, while all his miracles confute theirs. 2. Or, if it 
be a truth known to man by the common light of nature, that 
light confuteth the pretender's miracle. 3. If he do it to confirm 
a false prediction, it is confuted by the thing not coming to pass. 
4. In the case of Egyptian s magicians' wonders, God permit- 
ted them, that his power might triumph over them, and confute 
them ; as he may permit a sophist to talk against the truth, 
that he may be silenced and shamed. In none of all this doth 
God become the world's deceiver. But the miracles of Christ, 
and his apostles and disciples, were never controlled by the light 
of nature, by more prevalent miracles, or any such means ; but 
were the fullest signification of God's attestation that man can 
have to save him from' deceit. 

Q. 19. I confess if I had seen all these things myself, I should 
have made no doubt, but God and reason bound me to believe ; 
but how can we at this distance be sure that all these words of 
Christ were spoken, and these works done ? 

A. Let us first consider how they were sure of it that lived in 

r 2 Cor. xi. 4 ; Mark xvi. 17 ; Exod, iv. 5, 8, and xix. 9. 
'Acts viii.; Simon Magus's Case. 


that age with the apostles, and then how we may be also sure. 
And I. That age, 1. Had the common evidences of the best 
credibility of men. 2. They had most infallible perception of it 
by their senses. And 3. They had an immediate testimony from 
God themselves. Of these let us consider in order. 

Q. 20. I. What credible human testimony do you mean they 

A. It is supposed that some persons are to believed much 
above others, * else all human trust and conversation would cease. 
He that will believe nobody, cannot expect to be himself 

And 1. The witnesses of Christ's words and works were not 
strangers to him, that took it by report, but those that had ac- 
companied him, and heard and seen them. 

2. They spake to men of the same generation, time, and 
country, and mentioned things done before multitudes of spec- 
tators ; so that had it been a false report, it had been most easy 
to confute it, and turn it all, as a lie, unto their scorn. 

3. They sharply reproved the rulers and teachers for reject- 
ing Christ, and provoked all their rage against them ; so that 
no doubt they would do their best to have searched out all de- 
ceit in the reprovers. 

4. They were men of no carnal interest, to tempt them into 
a deceiving plot ; but were foretold that they must be hated, 
persecuted, and killed for their testimony. 

5. They were purposely chosen from among the meaner un- 
learned sort, that there might be no suspicion that it was a work 
of carnal craft or power. 

6. Though they heard and saw, so far were they from plot- 
ting it, that they understood it not themselves, nor believed that 
Christ must die for sin, rise the third day, and ascend into 
heaven, and gather a Catholic church, and reign spiritually, till 
the time that Christ was risen, and the Holy Ghost came down 
upon them. And yet Christ over and over foretold it them. 

They taught not one another, nor came to it by study and 
degrees ; but, in the main, by sudden, common inspiration, and 
such as Christ had before promised them. u 

8. Paul was called by a glory and a voice of Christ from 
heaven, in the sight of other persecuting company. 

9. Their testimony all agreed, and all spake the same truth. 

' John xix. 35 ; and xx. 31 ; 1 John v, 13 ; 1 Cor. xv. G. 
u Gal. i. and ii. 


10. Their enemies never wrote a confutation of them, nor 
decried most of the matters of fact, but imputed it to Beelze- 

11. None of them ever repented of his testimony; whereas 
had they confederated to deceive the world, some one's con- 
science, living or dying, would sure have forced him to con- 
fess it. 

12. Yea, they sealed it with their great labour, sufferings, 
and blood. 

IS. When false teachers turned some of their followers to 
heresies, and to forsake them, they still appealed for the matters 
of fact, even to those dissenters or opposers. x 

14. Their doctrine, bv its fore-described light and goodness, 
testified of itself that it was of God ; and that those men that 
at so dear a rate divulged it, in design to sanctify and save 
mankind, were no such wicked knaves as to plot the world's 
delusion. These were evidences of more than human credi- 

II. And the disciples in Judea heard and saw Christ and his 
miracles, and so had as much certainty of the matter of fact as 
sense could give them. 

III. And they had God's immediate testimony in themselves ; 
even his Spirit's internal revelation, illumination, and sanctifving 
work ; and the wonderful gifts of healing, tongues, miracles, by 
which they convinced others. 

Q. 21. Proceed to show me how their followers were certain? 

A. 1 . They were persons present, and, therefore, their senses 
assured them what was said and done; they were the men that 
heard the use of languages given by inspiration ; that heard the 
triumphant praises of God ; that saw them that were miracu- 
lously healed, and some raised from the dead ; could those 
doubt of the miracles that saw the lame man that begged at 
the temple cured by Peter and John ; and that saw multitudes 
cured by the very shadow and clothes of the apostles ; when 
they that saw the lame man healed, (Acts xiv.,) would have 
sacrificed to Paul and Barnabas as gods ? y 

2. They kept constant church meetings; and the use of lan- 
guages, and other extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, were the ordi- 
nary exercises of those assemblies ; so that they could not be 
unknown. z 

x Gal. iii. 3, 5. * Acts ii. ; iii., and iv. 

» 1 Cor. xiv. and xii; Rev. i. 9, 10. 


3. It was not a few apostles only that had this extraordinary 
spirit, but in one sort or other the generality of the persons con- 
verted by them ; sometimes as the apostles were preaching, the 
Spirit came upon the hearers, as it did on Cornelius and his 
assembly. (Acts x.) Usually by the laying on of the apostles' 
hands the Holy Ghost was given ; and this not only to the sin- 
cere Christians, but to some unsound ones that fell away ; all 
that did miracles in Christ's name were not saved. 

4. Yea, those that accused Christ, as casting out devils 
by devils, might have seen their own children cast them out. 
(Matt, xii.) And those that were seduced, and quarrelled with 
the apostles, could not deny but they themselves had received 
the Spirit, by their preaching. Paul appealeth to themselves 
when the Galatians were perverted : " O foolish Galatians 1 who 
hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before 
whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth crucified 
among you. This only would I learn of you : received ye the 
Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith ? 
Are ye so foolish, having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made 
perfect by the flesh ? He that ministereth to you the Spirit, 
and worketh miracles among you, doth he it by the works of 
the law, or by the hearing of faith ?'" (Gal. iii. 1 — 3.) 

If these Galatians had not the Spirit, and such as worked 
miracles among them, would not this argument have turned to 
Paul's reproach, rather than to their conviction ? Even Simon 
Magus was so convinced by the Spirit falling on the Sama- 
ritans, that he was baptised, and would have bought the power 
of giving the Holy Ghost with money. (Acts viii.) Their sense 
convinced them, and they that had the Spirit themselves must 
needs be sure of it. 

Q. 22. Now tell me, how we may be certain that all this 
history is true, and that these things are not misreported by the 

A. I will speak first of the Gospel as such, and then of the 

1. You must first know, that the Gospel, in the strict sense, 
is the history and doctrine of Christ, necessarv to be believed 
to our salvation ; which is summarily contained in the baptismal 
covenant. For men were Christians when they were baptised : 
and they were not adult Christians till they believed the Gospel. 

2. You must know, that this Gospel was long preached and 
believed before it was written. St. Matthew began and wrote 


eight years after Christ's resurrection ; and the Revelation of 
St. John was written about ninety-four years after Christ's 
birth ; Luke's Gospel, about fifty; and Mark's, about fifty-nine; 
and St. John's, about ninety-nine from the birth of Christ. a 

3. You must know, that all the aforesaid miracles were 
wrought to confirm this gospel preached before it was written. 

A. And that while the apostles lived their preaching had as 
much authority as their writing. But they being to die, were 
moved by the Spirit to write what they had preached, that it 
might be, certainly without change, delivered to posterity to the 
end of the world; for had it been left only to the memory of 
man, it would soon have been variously reported and cor- 

5. And you must know, that this Scripture is so far from 
being insufficient, as to the matter of our faith, as that it con- 
taineth not only the essentials, but the integrals, and useful 
accidents of the Gospel ; as a complete body hath every part, 
and the very ornament of hair and colour. So that a man may 
be a Christian, that knoweth not many hundred words in the 
Scripture, but not unless he know and believe the essentials of 
the Gospel. 

6. And you must note, therefore, that the aforesaid miracles 
were wrought primarily, to confirm the Gospel ; and that they 
do confirm all the accidental passages in the Bible but by con- 
sequence, because the same persons, by the same Spirit, wrote 

Q. 23. Proceed now to show me the proof, which you pro- 

A. 1, That there have been, from that time, Christians in 
the world, is, past all doubt, acknowledged by the history of 
their enemies that persecuted them. And all these Christians 
were baptised, for baptism was their solemn christening. And 
every one that was baptised at age did openly profess to receive 
this same Gospel : even to believe in God the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost, renouncing the devil, the lusts of the 
flesh, and the vanities of the world. b 

2. Yea, all that were baptised, were before taught this Gospel 
by teachers or catechizers, who had all but one gospel, one 
faith, and baptism. 

3. And they were all tried how they understood the afore- 

* Mark xvi. 20 ; Acts iv. 16, 22 ; vi. 8 ; viii. 6, 13 ; xv. 12 ; xix. 1 1. 
h The Acts of the historical tradition of the Gospel. 


said general words ; and therefore they were opened in more 
words, which we call the creed : which, in substance and sense, 
was still the same, though two or three words be added since 
the first forming of it. So that every Christian, being instructed 
by the Gospel, and professing the essence of it in the creed 
and baptism, we have as many witnesses that this Gospel was 
then delivered, as there have been Christians. 

4. And no man doubteth but there have been ministers as 
long. And what was a minister but a preacher of this same 
Gospel, and a baptiser and guide of them that believe it ? 

5. And none can doubt but there have been christian assem- 
blies from that time ; and what were those assemblies, but for 
the preaching, professing, and practising this Gospel ? 

6. And none doubteth but they celebrated the Lord's supper 
in those assemblies: and the celebration of that sacrament 
containeth practically the profession of all the Gospel of 

7. And none can doubt but that the Lord's day hath ever 
since been constantly kept by Christians, in commemoration of 
Christ's resurrection, and in the performance of the aforesaid 
exercises. And therefore the very use of that day assureth us, 
that the Gospel hath been certainly delivered us. 

S. And all grant that these churches had still the use of dis- 
cipline, which was, the censuring of such as corrupted this 
sacred doctrine by heresy, or sinned against it by wicked lives. 
And this could not have been, if the Gospel had not been then 
received by them. 

9. Yea, the numbers and opinions of heretics then are left 
on record ; and they tell us what the Gospel then was, by tell- 
ing us wherein they departed from it. 

10. Yea, the history of the persecutors and enemies tell us, 
that this Gospel was then extant which they persecuted. 

11. The Old Testament was long before in the common pos- 
session and use of the Jews. They read it every Sabbath-day. 
And in that we see Christ foretold, and abundance of prophe- 
cies, which in him are since fulfilled. 

12. Lastly, the sacred Scriptures, which contain all that 
God thought needful to be transmitted to posterity for history 
and doctrine, have been most certainly kept and delivered to 
us ; so sure and full is our tradition. 

Q. 24. That Christianity hath been propagated, none can 
doubt 3 but how are we sure that those Christians of the first 


age did indeed see, or believe, that they saw and heard those 
miracles ? 

A. I. To be a Christian, was to be one that believed them. 
It was half their belief in Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, and 
so the very essence of Christianity, to believe that Christ 
wrought his miracles and rose again, and that the apostles, by 
the holy Spirit, did work theirs, and that believers received the 
Spirit by their ministry. 

2. They had not been made Christians but by these miracles. 
They all professed that it was the gifts of the Spirit that con- 
vinced and converted them. 

3. AH the forementioned professions of their Christianity 
contained a profession that they believed these miracles. As 
the use of the Lord's dav, Baptism, the Eucharist, showed their 
belief of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. 

4. They suffered persecution and martyrdom, in the profes- 
sion of that belief. 

5. They pleaded these miracles in all their defences against 
their adversaries. 

6. The writings of their adversaries commonly acknowledge 
this plea; yea, and deny not the most of the miracles themselves. 

7. But most fully their receiving the sacred Scriptures as the 
word of God, as indited by the Holy Ghost in the apostles, 
showeth that they believed the miracles recorded in that book. 

Q. 25. You are come up to the last part of the doubt in the 
history : how are we sure that these Christians then commonly 
believed the book as now we have it, and that it is the very same? 

A. We have for this full, infallible, historical proof, premis- 
ing that some parcels of the book (the Revelations, the Epistle 
of Jude, the Second of Peter, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and 
that of James) were longer unknown to some particular 
churches than the rest. 

1. The constancy of christian assemblies and public worship 
is a full proof, seeing that the reading, expounding, and apply- 
ing of these books was a great part of their public work, as all 
history of friends and enemies agree. 

2. The very office of the ministry is full proof, which lay 
most in reading, expounding, and applying these same books. 
And therefore they were as much by office concerned to keep 
them, as judges and lawyers are to keep the statute-book. 

3. These ministers and churches, which so used this book, 
were dispersed over a great part of the world. If therefore 


they had changed it by adding or diminishing, they must have 
done it by confederacy, or by single men's error or abuse. It 
was impossible that all countries should agree in such a confe- 
deracy, but the meeting, motives, and treaties, would have been 
known. But no historv of friend or foe hath any such thing, 
but the clean contrary. And that it should be done by all 
single persons in the christian world, agreeing by chance in 
the same changes, is a mad supposition. 

4. And it is the belief of all Christians, that it is a damnable 
sin to add or alter in this book ; and the book itself so con- 
cludeth. Therefore if some had agreed so to do, the rest would 
have detected and decried it. 

5. They took this book to be the charter for their salvation, 
and therefore would never agree to alter it; when men keep 
the deeds, evidences, leases, and charters of their estates, and 
worldly privileges unaltered. 

6. When a few heretics rose up, that forged some new books 
as apostolical, and rejected some that were such indeed, the 
christian churches condemned and rejected them, and appealed 
to the churches that had received the apostles' own epistles, 
and kept them. 

7. The many heresies that rose up did so divide men, and 
set them in cross interests and jealousies against each other, 
that it was impossible for any one sect to have altered the Scrip- 
ture, but the rest would have fallen upon them with the loudest 
accusations. But all sorts of adversaries are agreed, that these 
are the same books. 

And though the weakness and negligence of scribes have 
made many little words uncertain, (for God promised not infal- 
libility to every scribe or printer,) yet these are not such as alter 
any article of faith or practice, but show that no corruption 
hath been designedly made, but that the book is the same. 

For instance, let it be questioned, whether our statute-book 
contained really the same statutes that are there pretended ? 
and you will see that the historical certainty amounteth even 
to a natural certainty, the contrary being a mere impossibility. 
For, 1. they are the king's laws, and the king would not bear 
a fraudulent alteration. 2. Parliaments would not bear it. 
3. Judges that successively judge by these laws would soon 
discover it. 4. So would all justices and magistrates. 5. Men's 
lives and estates are held by them, and therefore multitudes 
would decry the fraud. 6. Enemies have daily suits, which are 


tried by these laws, and each party pleads them for himself; 
and their advocates and lawyers plead them against each other, 
and would soon detect the forgery. So that to suppose such a 
change is, 1, To suppose an effect that hath no cause in nature. 
2. And that is against a stream of causes moral and natural, 
and so impossible. 

And to feign such forgeries in the book that all Christians 
have taken for God's laws, is just such another case, and some- 
what beyond it. That is but moral evidence, which dependeth 
only on men's honesty, or any free unnecessary acts of man's 
will. But man's will hath also of natural necessity, such as 
the love of ourselves, and our felicity, &c. And it is a natural 
impossibility that all men, or many, should agree in a lie, which 
is against these acts of natural necessity. But so they must do, 
if all men of cross interests, principles, and dispositions, should 
knowingly agree ; e. g. that all our statutes are counterfeit, 
that there is no such place as Rome, Paris, or other such lies. 
And so the Gospel history hath such testimony of necessary 

Q. 26. You have made the case plainer to me than I thought 
it had been. But you yet seem to intimate that some words, 
yea some books of Scripture, have not the same evidence as the 
rest : can a man be saved that believeth not all the Scripture ? 

A. All truth is equally true, and so is all God's word ; but all 
is not equally evident. He that taketh any word to be God's 
word, and yet to be false, believeth nothing as God's word ; for 
he hath not the formal, essentiating act and object of faith. If 
God could lie, "we had no certainty of faith. But he that 
erroneously thinketh that this or that word, yea epistle, or text, 
or book in the Bible, is not God's, but came in by mistake, 
may be saved, if he believe that which containeth the essentials 
of Christianity. A lame faith may be a saving faith ; and he 
may see how miracles sealed the Gospel, that cannot see how 
they sealed every book, text, or word, in the Bible. c 

Q. 27. Though we have been long on this, it is of so great 
importance to us living or dying, to be sure of the foundations 
of our faith, that I will yet ask you, have you any more proof? 

A. I have told you of four proofs filready : I. The antecedent 
testimony of the Spirit in the Old Testament. II. The inhe- 
rent constitutive testimony in Christ and the Gospel. III. The 
concomitant testimony of miracles. IV. The consequent tes- 

c Romans xiv. and xv. 


timony of the Spirit to, and by, the apostles' miracles and gifts. 
But there is yet that behind which to us is of the greatest 
moment ; and that is, 

V. The sanctifying testimony of the Holy Spirit in all true 
Christians, in all ages and places on the earth. d 

Here you must remember, 1. That the common experience 
of the world assureth us, that man's nature is greatly vitiated, 
inclined to known evil for some inferior good, and averse to the 
greatest good by the prevalency of the lesser; hardly brought to 
necessary knowledge, and more hardly to the love, delight, and 
practice of that which is certainly the best. And that hence 
the world is kept in confusion and misery by sin. e 

2. Experience assureth us that there is no hope of any great 
cure of this, by the common helps of nature and human reason; 
for it is that reason that is diseased, and blinded, and therefore 
unapt to cure itself, as an infant or fool is to teach himself. 
And as philosophers are a small part of the world, (for few will 
be at the cost of getting such knowledge,) so they are wofully 
dark themselves in the greatest things, and of a multitude of 
sects, contradicting one another, and few of them have hearts 
and lives that are answerable to that which they teach others ; 
and the wisest confess that they must expect few approvers, 
much less followers. And every man's own experience tells 
him, how hard it is to inform the judgment about holy things, 
and to conform the will to them, and to reform the life to a holy 
and heavenly state.' 

3 The multitude of temptations makes this the more diffi- 
cult, and so doth the nature of a vicious habit, and the priva- 
tion of a good one ; the self-defending and propagating nature 
of sin, and the experience of the world, tell us how wicked the 
world is, and how little the labours of the wisest philosophers, 
divines, or princes, do to reform it, and to make men better: and 
especially how hard it is to get a heavenly mind, and joy, and con- 
versation : and all this being sure, it is as sure that the renovation 
of souls is a great work, well beseeming God. 4. And it must 
be added, that this is the. most necessary work for us, and the 
most excellent : Paul tells us but what reason tells us in that, 
(1 Cor. xiii.,) how much holy love (which is the divine nature 
and real sanctity) excelleth all knowledge, gifts, and miracles : 

a Romans iii. 10 — 12. 

<-' Romans viii. 5—9; John xii. 39, 40 ; Acts xxviii.2G, 27. 

1 Luke xviii. 34 ; 1 Cor. ii. 14 ; xiii. 11 ; Isaiah xvii. 1 1 ; Jcr. xiii 23. 



this is the soul's health and well-being : no man can be mise- 
rable so far as he is good and holy ; and no man can choose 
but be miserable that is not so : many shall lie in hell that cast 
out devils, and wrought miracles in Christ's name ; but none that 
loved God, and are holy. Christ wrought miracles but in order to 
work holiness; (as St. Paul, 1 Cor. i. 14.) tells them, that strange 
languages are below edifying plainness ;) his work, as a Saviour, 
is to destroy the works of the devil. Holiness is incomparably 
better than the gift of working miracles. s 

This being considered, further think, 1. That all true Christ- 
ians are saints : hypocrites have but the name and image : no 
one soundly and practically believeth in Christ, and consented! 
to his covenant, but he is renewed by the Holy Ghost. 

2. Consider how great and excellent a work this is ; to set a 
man's hope and heart on heaven ; to live by faith on an 
unseen world ; to place our chiefest love and pleasure on God, 
holiness, and heaven ; to mortify fleshly lusts, and be above the 
power of the love of the world, and natural life; to love others 
as ourselves in the measure that appeareth in them; to love our 
enemies, and to make it the work of our lives to do the most 
good we can in the world ; to bring every true believer to this 
in all ages and countries, which neither princes nor persuasions 
alone can do, this is above all miracles. And this is a standing 
witness which every true Christian hath in himself. 11 

3. And note, also, that it is by the foresaid gospel or sealed 
word of Christ, that all this is wrought on all true Christians; 
and the divine effect proveth a divine cause. God would never 
bless a lie, to be the greatest means of the holiness, reformation, 
and happiness of the world. And were not the cau^e fitted to 
it, it woold never produce such effects. 

Q. 28. Is this it that is called, the witness of the Spirit in us? 

A. Besides all the foresaid witnessings of the Spirit with- 
out us, the Spirit within us, I. Causeth us to understand and 
believe the Scripture. 2. Maketh it powerful to sanctify us. 
3. And therein giveth us a connaturality and special iove to it, 
and sense of its inherent, divine excellency; which is writing it 
in our hearts. 4. And causeth us to live by it. 5. And con- 

s t John iii. 21, and iv. 12, 15, 10; Matt vii. 21,22,25, 20; Ileb. xii. 1-1. 

>' Ezek. xxsvi. 28 ; 1 John v. 10 ; 2 Tim. i. 7 ; Rom. viii. 3, 4, 13, l,i, 20, 
33; 1. Cor. ii. 10— 12; vi. 10, 11, 17 ; and xii. 11, 13 j 2 Cor. iii. 3, 17 ; 
Gal. iv. G, and v. 5, 1G— 18, 25 ; Eph. ii. 18, 22 ; iv. 3, 4, 23, and v. <J ; 
2 Thess. ii. 13 ; 1 Pet. i. 2, 3 ; 1 John iii. 24, and iv. 13. 


futeth the objections made against it. 6. And causeth us to 
fetch our comfort from it ; in a word, imprinteth the image of 
it on us ; and this is the inward witness. 

Q. 29. But when we see so much ignorance, wickedness, con- 
fusion and cruelty, pride, lust, and worldliness among Christians, 
and how they live in malicious tearing one another, how can we 
know that their goodness is any proof of the truth of Christ- 
ianity ? 

A. I told you, hypocrites have but the name, and picture, and 
art of Christianity. If custom, prosperity, laws, or carnal in- 
terest, bring the world into the visible Church, and make men 
say, ' they believe, when they do not, is Christianity to be judged 
of by dissemblers and enemies ? Mark any that are serious 
believers, and you will find them all seriously sober, just, and 
godly ; and though weak believers have but weak grace, and 
many failings, they are sincerely, though imperfectly, such as I 
have described. And though the blind, malignant enemies can 
see no excellency in a saint, he that hath either known faith 
and holiness in himself, or hath but impartially observed man- 
kind, will see that Christians indeed are quite another sort of 
men than the unbelievers, and that Christ maketh men such as 
he teacheth them to be, and the sanctifying Spirit is the sure 
witness of Christ, dwelling in all true Christians, (Rom. viii. 9,) 
as Christ's agent and advocate, witnessing that he is true, and 
that we are his, interceding from Christ to us, by communicating 
his grace, and in us toward Christ, by holy love and desires ; 
and is God's name and mark on us, and our pledge, earnest, 
and first- fruits of life eternal : and though we were in doubt 
of old historical proofs, yet, I. The Old Testament fulfilled in 
the New. II. The divine impress discernible on the gospel. III. 
And the most excellent effect of sanctification on all true 
believers, are evidences of the truth of Christianity and the 
Scriptures, which all true Christians have still at hand. k 

Q. 30. But there are things in the Scripture of exceeding 
difficulty to believe; especially that Cod should become man. 

A. 1. It is folly to be stalled at the believing of any thing, 
which we once are sure that God revealeth, considering how 
unmeet our shallow wit is to judge of the things of infinite 
wisdom, to us unseen. ' 

' 1 Cor. i. 1, 2 ; Acts xx. 32 ; and xxvi. IS. 

k Join) xvii. 17, 19; Epli. v. 2G ; lThess. v. 23 ; Heb. ii. 11 ; and x. 10, 14. 

1 Prov. viii. 9, and xiv. 6. 

E 2 


2. To holy, illuminated, prepared souls, belief is not so hard : 
it is blindness and vice that make it difficult. 

3. God did not become man by any change of his Godhead, 
nor by confining his essence to the manhood of Christ: but, 1. 
by taking the human nature into a special aptitude for his ope- 
rations. 2. And so relating it nearly to himself ; and operating 
peculiarly in and on it, as he doth not on any other creature. 
And when all are agreed that God is essentially every where, 
and is as near us as we are ourselves, and more the cause of all 
good which we do than we ourselves are; it will be harder to show, 
that he is not hypostatically united to every man, than that he is so 
to Christ (though the aforesaid aptitude of Christ's human 
nature, and the relation and operation of the divine, indeed, 
make that vast difference). If God can so peculiarly operate 
in and by our human nature, where lieth the incredibility? 

Q* 31. But is it so transcendently above all the works of 
nature, that such condescension of God is hard to be believed ? 

A. Great works best beseem the infinite God : is not the make 
of the whole world as wonderful, and yet certain? God's love 
and goodness must have wonderful products, as well as his 

But is it not very congruous to nature and reason, that God 
should have mercy on lapsed man? And that he should restore 
depraved human nature ? And that he should do this great 
work like his greatness and goodness, and above man's shallow 
reach ? And that polluted souls should not have immediate 
access to the most Holy, but by a Holy Mediator ? And that 
mankind should have one universal head and monarch in our 
own nature ? And that when even heathens are conscious of 
the great need of some divine revelations, besides the light of 
nature, and therefore consult their oracles and augurs, that God 
should give us a certain messenger from heaven to teach us ne- 
cessary truth ? Many such congruities I have opened in the 
'Reasons of the Christian Religion,' Part II. Chap. 5. 

The sum of all that is said, is this : I. If any history in the 
world be sure, the history of the gospel is sure. II. And if the 
history be sure, the doctrine must needs be sure. III. The con- 
tinued evidences : 1. In the holiness of the doctrine ; and, 2. 
In the holiness of all true, serious behevers, are a standing proof 
of both, as the miracles were to all the beholders, who did not 
blaspheme the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 32, But how comes it to be so hard then to the most to 


become serious believers and godly, when the evidence is so 
clear ? 

A. A blind, dead, worldly, fleshly heart doth undispose them, 
and they will not consider such things, nor use the means. 

Yea, they so wilfully sin against knowledge and conscience, 
and will not obey that which they know, that they forfeit fur- 
ther grace. I will name you briefly many things, which every 
man's natural reason might know, and ask you whether you ever 
knew any unbeliever that was not false to this light of nature. 

1 . Doth not sense and reason tell men, how vile a thing that 
flesh is which they prefer before their souls ? 2. Doth it not 
certify them that they must die, and so that fleshly pleasure is 
short ? 3. Doth it not tell them of the vanity and vexation of 
this world ? 4. And that greatest prosperity is usually parted 
with with greatest sorrow ? 5. Doth it not tell them, that man's 
nature can hardly choose but fear what will follow after death? 
6. Doth it not tell them, that there is a God that made them, 
and ruleth all ? 7. And that he is infinitely great, and wise, 
and good, and therefore should be obeyed, loved, and trusted 
above all ? 8. And that their lives, and souls, and all, are his, 
and at his will ? 9. And that man hath faculties which can 
mind a God and life to come, which brutes have not; and that 
God doth not make such natures in vain ? 10. Doth not ex- 
perience tell them, that human nature seeth a vast difference 
between moral good and evil, and that all government, laws, and 
converse show it; and no man would be counted false and bad ? 
1 1. And that good men are the blessing of the world, and bad 
men the plagues ? 12. And that there is a conscience in man, 
that condemneth sin, and approveth goodness ? 13. And that 
most men when they die, cry out against that which worldly, 
fleshly men prefer; and wish that they had lived the life of 
saints, and might die their death ? Are not these easily knowable 
to all ? And yet all the ungodly live as if they believed none 
of this : and can you wonder, if all such men understand not, 
or believe not, the heavenly things : have no experience of the m 
sanctifying work and witness of the Holy Spirit, and have no 
delight in God and goodness, no strength against sin and temp- 
tations, no trust in God in their necessity, no suitableness to the 
gospel, nor the heavenly glory ; but as they lived in sin, do die 
in a stupid or despairing state of soul ? 

™ John iii. 7, S ; Itoui. i. 10, '20 ; Acts xiv. 17. 



Of the Christian Religion, what it is, and of the Creed. 

Q. 1. Now you have laid so good a foundation, by showing 
the certain truth of the gospel, I would better know what 
Christianity is ? And what it is to be a true Christian. 

A. First I must tell you what religion is in general, and then 
what the christian religion is. Religion is a word that signi- 
fieth either that which is without us, the rule of our religion, or 
that which is within us, our conformity to that rule. 

The doctrinal, regulating religion, is the signification of God's 
will, concerning man's duty to God, and his hopes from God. 
The inward religion of our souls is our conformity to this re- 
vealed, regulating will of God, even our absolute resignation to 
God, as being his own; our absolute subjection to him, as our 
absolute sovereign Ruler; and our prevailing love to him, as our 
chief Benefactor, and as love and goodness itself. Thus religion 
is our duty to God, and hope from God. 

Q. 2. Now what is the christian religion ? 

Obj. A. The christian religion, as doctrinal, is, the revelation 
of God's will concerning his kingdom, as our Redeemer; or the 
redeeming and saving sinful, miserable man by Jesus Christ. 

Subj. And the christian religion as it is in us, is the true 
conformity of our understanding, will, and practice, to this doc- 
trine, or the true belief of the mind, the thankful love and con- 
sent of the will, and the sincere obedience of our lives to God, 
as our reconciled Father in Christ, and to Jesus Christ, as our 
Saviour, and to the Holy Ghost, as our Sanctifier, to deliver us 
from the guilt and power of sin, from the flesh, the world, and 
the devil, from the revenging justice of God, and from everlast- 
ing damnation, giving us here a union with Christ, the pardon 
of our sins, and sanctifying grace, and hereafter everlasting, hea- 
venly glory." 

Q. 3. Is there any other religion besides the christian religion? 

A. There be many errors of men, which they call their 

Q. 4. Is there any true religion, besides Christianity ? 

A. There be divers that have some part of the truth, mixed 

11 John i. 11, 12, and iii. 16, 21 ; Acts xxvi. 18 ; Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 ; John 
xiv. 5, and xv. 10; 1 John ii. 3, and v. 2, 3 ; Rev. xiv. 12. 


with error. 1. The heathens acknowledge God,, and most of 
his attributes and perfections, as we do ; but they have no 
knowledge of his will, but what mere nature teacheth them ; and 
they worship many idols, if not devils, as an under sort of Gods. 

2. The Jews own only the law of nature and the Old Tes- 
tament, but believe not in Jesus Christ our Redeemer. 

3. The Sadducees, and all Brutists, worship God as the Gover- 
nor of man in this world, but they believe not a life to come 
for man. 

4. The Pythagorean heathens look for no reward or punish- 
ment after death, but by the passing of the soul into some other 
body on earth, in which it shall be rewarded or punished. 

5. The Mahomedans acknowledge one God, as we do : but 
they believe not in Jesus Christ, as man's Redeemer, but only 
take him for an excellent, holy prophet; and they believe in 
Mahomet, a deceiver, as a prophet greater than he. 

G. The mere deists believe in God, but not in Jesus Christ, 
and have only the natural knowledge of his will, as other hea- 
thens, but worship not idols, as they do. 

Q. 5. Is there but one christian religion ? 

A. No : true Christianity is one certain thing. 

Q. 6. How then are Christians said to be of divers religions? 

A. Sound Christians hold to christian religion alone, as 
Christ did institute it: but many others corrupt it; some by 
denying some parts of it, while they own the rest; and some by 
adding many corrupting inventions of man, and making those a 
part of their religion, as the papists do. 

Q. 7. Where is the true christian religion, doctrinal, to be 
found, that we may certainly know which is it indeed ? 

A. The christian religion containeth, I. The light and law 
of nature, and that is common to them with others, and is to be 
found in the nature of all things, as the significations of God's 
will. II. Supernatural revelation, clearing the law of nature, 
and giving us the knowledge of the Redeemer, and his grace. ° 

And this is contained, 1. Most fully in the holy Bible. 
II. Briefly and summarily in the creed, Lord's prayer, and 
commandments. III. Most briefly of all in the sacraments of 
baptism and the Lord's supper, and the covenant made and 
sealed by them. 

Q. 8. But are not the articles of our church, and the confes- 
sions of churches, their religion ? 

Matt. v. 17, and xxiii. 23 ; Rom. ii. 14 ; viii. 4,7, and xtii. 8, 10. 


A. Only God's word is our religion as the divine rule : but our 
confessions, and books, and words, and lives, show how we 
understand it. 

Q. 9. What is the protestant religion? 

A. The religion of protestants is mere Christianity : they are 
called protestants but accidentally, because they protest for mere 
Scripture Christianity, against the corruptions of popery. 

Q. 10. What sorts of false religions are there among Christ- 
ians ? 

A. There are more corruptions of religion than can easily be 
named. The chief of them are of these following sorts: 

I. Some of them deny some essential article of faith or prac- 
tice, as the immortality of the soul, the Godhead, or manhood, 
or offices, of Christ, or the Holy Ghost, or the Scripture, &c. 

II. Some of them pretend new revelations falsely, and set 
their pretences of the Spirit's inspirations against the sealed 
word of God. 

III. Some of them set up an usurped power of their own, 
against the office, authority, or sufficiency of the said sealed 
Scriptures, pretending that they are successors to the apostles, 
in the power and office of making laws for the universal church, 
and being the judges of the sense of Scripture j yea, and what 
is to be taken for God's word, and what not, and judges of all 
controversies about it. Of these, the papists pretend that the 
pope and a general council are supreme, visible governors under 
Christ of all the christian world, and that none may appeal from 
them to God, to Christ, to the Scripture, or to the day of judg- 
ment. Others pretend to such a power in every patriarchal, 
national, or provincial church. And all of them, instead of a 
humble, helping, guiding ministry, set up a church leviathan, 
a silencing Abaddon, and Apollyon, a destroying office, setting 
up their usurped power above, or equal in effect with, God's word. 

Q. 1 1 . How come the Scriptures to be God^s word, when the 
bishops' canons are not; and to be so far above their laws? 

A. You must know, that God hath two different sort of works 
to do for the government of his church: the first is legislation, 
or giving new doctrines and laws: the other is the teaching and 
guiding the church by the explication and application of these 
same laws. God is not still making new laws for man, but he is 
still teaching and ruling them by his laws.P 

v Isa. via. 20; Isa. xxxiii. 22; Jam. iv. 12; Mai. ii. 7, 8; Matt. 
xxviii. 20. 


Accordingly, God hath had two sorts of ministers : one sort 
for legislation, to reveal new doctrines and laws ; and such was 
Moses under the old administration, and Christ and his com- 
missioned apostles under the new. These were eminent prophets 
inspired by God infallibly to record his laws, and God attested 
their office and work by multitudes of evident, uncontrolled mi- 
racles. But the laws being sealed, the second sort of ministers 
are only to teach and apply these same laws and doctrines, and 
not to reveal new ones. And such were the priests and Levites 
under Moses, and all the succeeding ministers and bishops of 
the churches under Christ and the apostles, who are the foun- 
dation on which the church is built. And though all church 
guides may determine of the undetermined circumstances of 
holy things, by the general laws which God hath given therein, 
yet to arrogate a power of making a new word of God, or a law 
that shall suspend our obedience to his laws, or any law for the 
universal church, whether it be by pope or council, is treasonable 
usurpation of a government which none but Christ is capable of: 
and as if one king or council should claim the civil sovereignty 
of all the earth, which is most unknown to them. 

Q. 12. But I pray you tell me how the creed comes to be of 
so great authority, seeing I find it not in the Bible? 

A. It is the very sum and kernel of the doctrine of the New 
Testament, and there you may find it all, with much more : but 
it is older than the writing of the New Testament, save that 
two or three words were added since. 

I told you before, 1. That Christ himself did make the nature 
and terms of Christianity, commissioning his apostles to make all 
nations his disciples, baptising them into the name of the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost : this is the sum of the creed first 
made by Christ himself. 

2. The apostles were inspired and commissioned to teach men 
all that Christ commanded. (Matt, xxviii. 19, 20.) 

3. To say these three words, * I believe in the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost/ without understanding them, was easy, but would 
make no true Christians; therefore, if we had never read more of 
the apostles' practice, we might justly conclude that those in- 
spired teachers, before they baptised men at age, taught them 
the meaning of those three articles, and brought them, accord- 
ingly, to confess their faith, and this is the creed. And though 
a man might speak his profession in more or various words, the 
matter was still the same, and the words made necessary must 


not be too manv, nor left too much at men's liberty to alter, 
lest corruption should creep into the common faith. For the 
baptismal confession was the very symbol, badge, or test by 
which all Christians were visibly to pass for Christians, and 
as Christianity must be a known, certain thing, so must its 
symbol be. 

4. And infallible historical tradition assureth us, that accord- 
ingly, ever since the apostles' days, before any adults were bap- 
tised, they were catechised, and brought to understand and 
profess these same articles of the faith. And if the Greeks and 
the Latins used not the same words, they used words of the 
same signification (two or three words being added since). 

Q. 13. Do you not by this set the creed above the Bible ? 

A. No otherwise than I set the head, heart, liver, and stomach 
of a man above the whole body, which containeth them and all 
the rest; or than 1 set the ten commandments above the whole 
law of Moses, which includeth them: or than Christ did set, 
loving God above all, and our neighbour as ourselves, above all 
that law of which they were the sum. We must not take those 
for no Christians, nor deny them baptism, who understand and 
believe not particularly every word in the Bible; as we must 
those that understand not and believe not the creed. 


Of Believing, what it signifieth in the Creed. 

Q. I . I understand by what you have said, that as man's soul 
hath three powers, the understanding, the will, and the executive, 
so religion, being but the true qualifying and guidance of these 
three powers, must needs consist of three parts. I. Things to 
be known and believed. II. Things to be willed, loved, and 
chosen. And III. Things to be done in the practice of our 
lives; and that the creed is the symbol or sum of so much as is 
necessary to our Christianity, of the first sort; and the Lord's 
prayer the rule and summary of the second ; and the ten com- 
mandments of the third. q 

I entreat you., therefore, first to expound the creed to me, 

i He!), xi. G. 


and first the first word of it " I believe," as it belongs to all that 

A. You must first know what the word signifieth in common 
use. To believe another, signifieth to trust him as true or 
trusty; and to believe a thing, signifieth to believe that it is 
true, because a trusty person speaketh it. The things that you 
must believe to be true, are called the matter, or material object 
of your faith. The person's trustiness that you believe or trust 
to, is called the formal object of your faith, for which you trust 
the person, and believe the thing. The matter is as the body 
of faith, and the form as its soul. The matter which the church 
hath believed, hath by God had alterations, and to this day 
more is revealed to some than to others. But the formal reason 
of your faith is still and in all the same, even God's fidelity, who, 
because of his perfection, cannot lie. r 

Q. 2. How may I be sure that God cannot lie, who is under 
no law? 

A. His perfection is more than a law. 1. We see that God, 
who made man in his own image, and reneweth them to it, 
making lying a hateful vice to human nature and conversation : 
no man would be counted a liar, and the better any man is, the 
more he hateth it. s 

2. No man lieth but either for want of wisdom to know the 
truth, or for want of perfect goodness, or for want of power to 
attain his ends by better means. But the infinite, most perfect 
God hath none of these defects. 

Q. 3. But God speaketh to the world by angels and men, and 
who knows but they may be permitted to lie ? 

A. When they speak to man as sent by God, and God at- 
tested their credibility by uncontrolled miracles or other evi- 
dence, if then they should lie, it would be imputable to God, 
that attesteth their word : of which I said enough to you before. 

Q. 4. Proceed to open the formal act of faith, which you 
call trust? 

A. As you have noted, that man's soul hath three powers, 
understanding, will, and executive, so our affiance, or trust in 
God, extendeth to them all : and so it is in one an assenting 
trust, a consenting trust, and a practical trust. By the first, we 
believe the word to be true, because we trust the fidelity of God. 

r Tit. i. 2; Rom, iii.4; Num. xxiii. 29. 

s Prov. xii. 22 ; vl. 17 ; xix. 5, 9, and xiii. 5 ; John viii. 44, 55 ; 1 John 
v. 10 j Rev. xxi. 8; Prov. xiv. 5; Col. iii. 9; Heb. vi. 18. 


By the second, we consent to God's covenant, and accept his 
gifts, hy trusting to the truth and goodness of the promiser. 
By the third, we trustingly venture on the costliest duty. * 

Q. 5. I pray you open it tome by some familiar similitude ? 

A. Suppose you are a poor man, in danger of a prison, and a 
king from India sends his son hither, proclaiming to all the poor 
in England, that if they will come over with his son, he will make 
them all princes. Some say, he is a deceiver, and not to be 
believed: others say, a little in hand with our old acquaintance 
is better than uncertainty in an unknown land: another saith, I 
know not but a leaky vessel, storms, or pirates, may prevent my 
hopes. Here are now three questions: 1. Do you helieve that 
he saith true ? 2. Do you so far trust him as to consent to go 
with him ? 3. When it comes to it, do you so far trust him as 
to venture on all the difficulties, and go? 

Again, suppose you have a deadly sickness. There are 
many unable and deceitful physicians in the world ; there is one 
only that can cure you, and offereth to do it for nothing, but 
with a medicine made of his own blood. Many tell you he is 
a deceiver ; some say others can do it as well ; and some say the 
medicine is intolerable, or improbable. Here are three ques- 
tions: 1. Do you trust his word by believing him ? 2. Do you 
trust him so as to consent and take him for your physician? 
3. Do you trust him so as to come to him, and take his medi- 
cine, forsaking all others? I need not apply it; you can easily 
do it. 

Trust, then, or affiance, is the vital, or formal, act of faith ; and 
assenting, consenting, and practice, are the inseparable effects^ 
in which, as it is a saving grace, it is always found. 

Q. b". But is all this meant in the Creed ? 

A. Yes : 1 . The Creed containeth the necessary matter re- 
vealed by God, which we must believe. 2. And it mentioneth 
him to whom we must trust, in our assent, consent, and 
practice, even God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 7. But is this the faith by which we are justified? Are 
we justified by believing in God the Father and the Holy Ghost, 
and the rest of the articles ? Some say it is only by believing 
in Christ's righteousness as imputed to us. 

A. Justification is to be spoken of hereafter. But this one 

» Psalm cxii. 7 ; Matt, xxvii. 43 ; Heb. xi. ; Eph. i. 12, 13 ; 2 Tim. i. 12; 
lTim.Ui.16; Tit. iii. 8; 1 Pet. i.2I; Heb. xi. 39; Acts xxvii. 25. 


entire christian faith, is it which God hath made the necessary 
qualification, or condition, of such as he will justify by and for 
the merits of Christ's righteousness. 

Q. 8. Doth not " I believe," signify that I believe that this 
God is my God, my Saviour, and my Sanctifier, in particular ? 

A. It is an applying faith. It signifieth, 1. That you believe 
his right to be your God. 2. And his offer to be your God. 
3. And that you consent to this right and offer, that he may, by 
special relation, be yours. 4. But it doth not signify that 
every believer is sure of the sincerity of his own act of believing, 
and so of his special interest in God, though this is very de- 
sirable and attainable. 


Of the First Article — " I believe in God the Father Almighty, 
Maker of Heaven and Earth." 

Q. 1. Seeing that you before proved that there is a God, 
from the light of nature, and heathens know it, why is it made 
an article of faith ? 

A. The understanding of man is so darkened and corrupted 
now by sin, that it doth but grope after God, and knoweth him 
not as revealed in his works alone, so clearly and surely as is 
needful to bring home the soul to God, in holy love, obedience, 
and delight : but he is more fully revealed to us in the sacred 
Scripture by Christ and his Spirit, which, therefore, must be 
herein believed." 

Q. 2. What of God doth the Scripture make known better 
than nature ? 

A. That there is a God, and what God is, and what are his 
relations to us, and what are his works, and what are our duties 
to him, and our hopes from him. x 

Q. 3. That there is a God, none but a madman, sure, can 
doubt : but what of God is so clearly revealed in Scripture ? 

A. 1. His essential attributes 5 and, 2. The Trinity in one 

Q. 4. Which call you his essential attributes? 

A. God is, essentially, life, understanding, and will, or vital 

" John xvii. 3. * Heb. xi. 6 5 I Tim. ii. r,. 


power, wisdom, and goodness, or love, in one substance, and 
this in absolute perfection. y 

Q. 5. But are not all the rest of his attributes essential? 

A. Yes ; but they are but these same named variously, from 
their various respects to the creatures ; such are his truth, his 
justice, and his mercy, as he is our Governor; his bounty, as our 
Benefactor; and his self-sufficiency, eternity, immensity, or infi- 
niteness, his immutability, immortality, invisibility, and very 
many such respective names, are comprehended in his Perfec- 
tion. 2 

Q. 6. I have oft heard of three persons and one God, and 
I could never understand what it meant, how three can be but 
one ? 

A. It is like that is, because you take the word "person" 
amiss, as if it signified a distinct substance, as it doth of men. 

Q. 7- If it doth not so, doth it not tend to deceive us that 
never heard of any other kind of person ? 

A. The Scripture tells us that there are three, and yet but 
one God; a but it giveth us not a name which may notify clearly 
so great a mystery, for it is unsearchable and incomprehensible. 
We are to be baptised into the name of the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost. (Matt, xxviii. 29.) And there are three that bear 
record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, 
and these three are one. (1 John v. 7.) But the custom of the 
Church having used the word " person," having none that clearly 
expresseth the mystery, it is our part rather to labour to under- 
stand it, how a divine person differs from a human, than to 
quarrel with an improper word. God is one infinite, undivided 
Spirit ; and yet that he is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, must 
be believed. 

And God hath made so marvellous an impression on all the 
natures of active beings, of three in one, as to me doth make 
this mystery of our religion the more easy to be believed; so far 
is it from seeming a contradiction. 

Q. 8. I pray show me some such instances? 

A. 1. The sun and all true fire is one substance, having 
three essential powers, the moving power, the enlightening 
power, and the heating power. Motion is not light, light is not 

y Jolin xiv. 24 ; Psalm xc. 2. 

'Mai. iii. 6; Psalm lxxxvi. 5, and cxlv. 17 ; Prov. xv. 3 ; Psalm cxxxix. 
4, 5, 12, 23 ; Jer. xxiii. 24 ; Dent, xxxii. 4. 
» Matt, xxviii. IS); 1 John v. 7. 


heat, and heat is not motion, or light, yet all are one substance, 
and, radically, one virtue or power, and yet three as operative. 

II. Every plant hath one vegetative principle, which hath 
essentially a power discretive, as discerning its own nutriment, 
appetitive, desiring or drawing it in, and motive, and so diges- 
tive and assimilative. 

III. Every brute hath one sensitive soul, which essentially 
hath a power of vital, sensitive motion, perception, and appetite. 

IV. Every man hath one soul in substance, which hath the 
powers of vegetation, sense, and intellection, or reasoning. 

V. The soul of man, as intellective, hath essentially a three- 
fold power, or virtue, mental life for motion and execution, un- 
derstanding, and will. All active beings are three virtues in one 

Q. 9. But these do none of them make three persons ? 

A. 1. But if all these be undeniable in nature, and prove in 
God active life, understanding, and will, it shows you that three 
essentials in one substantial essence is no contradiction. And 
why may not the same be as true of the divine persons. 

2. And in God, who is an infinite, undivided Spirit, little can 
we conceive what personality signifieth, and how far those 
school-men are right or wrong, who say that God's essential 
self-living, self-knowing, and self-loving, are the Trinity of the 
persons as in eternal existence; and that the operations and 
appearances in power, wisdom, and love in creation, incarnation 
for redemption, and renovation in nature, grace and initial 
glory, or communion, are the three persons in the second notion 
as outwardly operative. And how much more than this soever 
there is, it is no wonder that we comprehend it not ; yea, I be- 
lieve there is yet more in the mystery of the Trinity, because 
this much is so intelligible. 

Q. 10. But is it not strange that God will lay our salvation 
on the belief of that which we cannot understand ; yea, is it 
not on the bare saying of a word, whose meaning none can 

A. The doctrine of the Trinity in unity is the very sum of all 
the christian religion, as the baptismal covenant assureth us ; 
and can we think that Christianity saveth men as a charm, by 
words not understood? No; the belief of the Trinity is 
a practical belief. Far be it from us to think that every plain 
Christian shall be damned, who knoweth not what a person in 
the Trinity is, as eternally inexistent, when all the divines and 


school wits as good as confess, after tedious disputes with unin- 
telligible words, that they know not: it is the Trinity, as related to 
us, and operative, and therein notified, that we must necessarily 
understand and believe, even as our Creator, Redeemer, and 
Sanctifier, that the love of God the Father, and the grace of the 
Son, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, may be believed, 
received, and enjoyed : as there are diversities of gifts, but 
the same Spirit; and differences of administrations, but the 
same Lord; and diversities of operations, but the same God 
which worketh all in all. (1 Cor. xii. 4 — 6; 2 Cor. xiii. 14.) 
Even as it is not our understanding the essence of the sun, but 
our reception of its communicated motion, light, and heat, that 
our nature liveth by. b 

Q. 11. But how can any man love him above all, of whom 
we can have no true conception ? I cannot conceive what 
God is ? 

A. It may be you think that you know nothing but what you 
see or feel by sense ; for so men's long use of bodies and sense 
is apt to abuse them : or you think you know nothing, which 
you know not fully ; and so no angel knoweth God by an ade- 
quate, comprehensive knowledge. How far are we from know- 
ing fully what sun, and moon, and stars are, and what is in 
them, and how they are ordered, and move ! And yet nothing 
is more easily and surely known, than that there is a sun and 
stars, and that they are substances that have the power of mo- 
tion, light, and heat. Yea, philosophers cannot yet agree what 
light and heat are ; and yet we know enough of them for our 
necessary use. And can it be expected, then, that man give a 
proper definition of the infinite God ? And yet nothing is more 
certain than that there is a God, and that he is such as I have 
before described : and we may know as much of him as our 
duty and happiness requireth. c 

Q. 12. But what is the best conception I can have of God ? 

A. I partly told you in the third chapter, and the second. I 
now tell you further, that we see God here but as in a glass : his 
image on man's soul is the nearest glass : how do you conceive 
of your own soul? You cannot doubt but you have a soul, 

b Psalm xvi. 8, and cxxv. 2 ; Matt, xxviii. 19; 1 John v. 7, 10 ; 1 Cor. 
xii. 4— G ; 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The doctrine of the Trinity is ever proposed re- 
latively, and practically to our faith. 

 John xvii. 3 ; 2 Tim. i. 12 ; 1 John iv. 6, 7 ; John viii. 19, and xiv. 7, 9, 
and x. 14 ; 1 Cor. viii. 3 ; Gal. iv. 9: 1 John ii. 13, 14. 


while you perceive its constant acts ; yet you see it not : you 
find clearly that it is a spiritual substance, that hath essen- 
tially the power of vital activity, understanding, and will. By 
this you perceive what a spirit is : and by this you have some 
perception what God is. All the world is far less to God than 
a body to its soul ; and God is infinitely more than a soul to 
all the world ; but by the similitude of a soul you may most 
easily conceive of him. 


Of God's Almightiness and Creation. 

Q. 1. Why is God here called " the Father," in whom we 
believe ? 

A. 1. As he is the first person in the eternal Trinity, and so 
called, the Father of the eternal word, or wisdom, as his Son. 

2. As he is the Father of Jesus Christ, as incarnate. d 

3. As he is the Maker of the whole creation, and, as a com- 
mon Father, giveth being to all that is. 

4. As he is our reconciled father by Christ ; and hath adopt- 
ed us as his sons, and bound us to love, and trust, and obey him, 
as our Father. But the two first are the chief sense. 

Q. 2. What is God's "Almightiness?" 

A. His infinite power by which he can do all things which 
are works of power : he cannot lie, nor die, nor be the cause of 
sin, for these are no effects of power, but of impotency. 

Q. 3. Why is his Almightiness to be believed by us ? 

A. We do not else believe him to be God : and we cannot 
else reverence, admire, trust him, and obey him as we ought. e 

Q. 4. Why is his Almightiness only named, and no other 
properties ? 

A. All the rest are supposed when we call him God ; but 
this is named, because he is first to be believed in as the Crea- 
tor ; and his creation doth eminently manifest his power. And 
though the Son and the Holy Ghost are Almighty, the Scrip- 

d 2 Cor. i. 3, and xi. 31 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6, and xv. 24 ; Gal. i. 1, 3, 4 ; Eph. i. 
3, 17; iv. G, and vi. 23 ; Phil. ii. 11 ; Col. ii. 2, and hi. 17 ; 2 Tim. i. 2 ; Jam. 
Hi. 9. 

e Gen. xvii. 1 ; Rev. i. 8; 2 Cor. vi. 18 ; Psalm xci. 1, 2 ; Matt. viii. 2. 



ture eminently attributeth power to the Father, wisdom to the 
Son, and love and perfective operations to the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 5. Is the creation named to notify to us God's Alrnightiness? 

A. Yes ; and it is a great part of our duty when we look up 
to the heavens, and daily see so far as our short sight can reach, 
of this wonderful world, to think, with most reverend admira- 
tion, ' O what a God have we to serve and trust !' f 

Q. 6. How did God make all things ? 

A. He gave them all their being, order, and well-being, by 
the power of his will and word. g 

Q. 7. When did he make all things ? 

A. It is not yet six thousand years since he made this world, 
even as much as belongs to us to know. 

Q. 8. How long was God making this world ? 

A. It pleased him to make it the work of six days; and he 
consecrated the seventh dav, a Sabbath, for the commemoration 
of it, and for the solemn worshipping him as our Creator. 

Q. 9. For whom, and for what use did God make the world ? 

A. God made all things for himself; not as having need of 
them, but to please his own will, which is the beginning and 
the end of all his works ; and to shine in the glory of the great- 
ness, order, and goodness of the world, as in a glass to under- 
standing creatures, and to communicate goodness variously to 
his works . h 

Q. 10. What did God with the world when he had made it ? 

A. By the same power, wisdom, and will, he still continueth 
it ; or else it would presently return into nothing.' 

Q. 11. What further must we learn from God's creating us ? 

A. We certainly learn that he is our Owner, our Ruler, and 
our Benefactor, or Father, and that we are his own, and his sub- 
jects, and his benefitted children. 

Q. 12. What mean you by the first, that he is our Owner ? 

A. He that maketh us of nothing, must needs be our abso- 
lute Lord or Owner ; and therefore may do with all things what 
he will, and cannot possibly do any wrong, however he useth 
us. And Ave must needs be wholly his own, and therefore 
should wholly resign ourselves to his disposing will. k 

f Gen. xvii. 31; Rev. i v. 11, and x. 6 ; Isa. xl. 28; xlii.5, and xlv. 12,18; 
Psalm viii. 1, 3 ; xix. 1 ; lxxxix. 5, 11 ; civ. 1 , 2, aud cxv. 16. 

s Gen. i. 2, 3. h Prov. xvi. 4 ; Rev. iv. 11. 

1 Heb. i. 3; Ezek. xviii. 4 ; 1 Cor. vi. 20; Psalm x. 16. 

k Psalm cxix. 94; Acts xxvii. 23; 1 Cor. vi. 19; John xvii. 6, 9, 10; Isa. 
Ixiii. 19; 1 Chvon. xxix.ll. 


Q. 13. What mean you by the second, that God is our Ruler ? 

A. He that by creation is our absolute Owner, and hath made 
us reasonable, and with free-will, must needs have the only right 
and fitness to be our Ruler by his laws and doctrine : and we 
are bound, as his subjects, to obey him absolutely in all things. 1 

Q. 14. How gather you that he is our Father, or Benefactor ? 

A. If we have our very being from him, and all the good that 
the whole creation enjoyeth is his free gift, then as he is love 
itself, so he is the great Benefactor of the world, but specially 
to his chosen, faithful people : and no man or angel hath any 
thing that is good hy way of merited exchange from God, but 
all is of free gift : and we owe him our superlative love, and 
thanks, and praise. 

Q. 15. Why are heaven and earth named as the parts of his 
creation ? 

A. They are all that we are concerned to know : we partly 
see the difference between them, and God's word tells us of 
more than we see : earth is the place of our present abode in 
our life of trials in corruptible flesh ; heaven is the place where 
God doth manifest his glory, and from whence he sendeth down 
those influences which maintain nature, and which communicate 
his grace, and prepare us for the glory which we shall enjoy in 
heaven. By heaven and earth is meant all creatures, both spi- 
rits and corporeal. 111 

Q. 16. Were there no more worlds made and dissolved be- 
fore this ? It seems unlikely that God, from all eternity, should 
make nothing till less than six thousand years ago ; when he 
is a communicative good, and delighteth to do good in his 
works ? 

A. It is dangerous presumption so much as to put such a 
question with our thought or tongue, and to pry into God's se- 
crets, of which we are utterly incapable (unless it be to shame 
it, or suppress it). God hath, by Christ and the Holy Ghost, in 
Scripture, set up a ladder, by which you may ascend to the hea- 
ven that you are made for ; but if you will climb above the top 
of the ladder, you may fall down to hell. n 

1 Psalm lix. 13; lxvi. 7, and ciii. 19; Dan. iv. 17, 25, 32; 1 Tim. vi. U, ami 
i. 17 ; Rev. xvii, 14, and xix. 6. 
m Gen. i. 1. n Deut. xxix. 29. 

F 2 



Of the Person of Jems Christ, the only Son of God. 

Q. 1. Who is Jesus Christ? 

A. He is God and man, and the Mediator between God and 

Q. 2. When did he begin to be God ? 

A. He is the eternal God that had no temporal beginning ? 

Q- 3. When did he begin to be a man ? 

A. About one thousand six hundred and eighty-one years ago. p 

Q. 4. If he be God, why is he called the Son of God ? Are 
there more Gods than one ? And how doth God beget a son ? 

A. There is but one God : I before opened to you the mys- 
tery of the Trinity in unity, to which you must look back. Be- 
getting is a word that we must not take carnally; and a son in 
the Deity signifieth not another substance. If the sun be said to 
beget its own light, that maketh it not another substance. 

But Christ is also, as man, begotten of God, in a virgin's 
womb. - 

Q. 5. Was Christ God in his low condition on earth? 

A. Yes, but the Godhead appeared not as in heavenly glory. 

Q. 6. Is Christ a man now he is in heaven ? 

A. Yes, he is still God and man : but his glorified manhood 
is not like our corruptible flesh, and narrow souls/ 

Q. 7. Hath Christ a soul besides his Godhead ? 

A. Yes, for he is a perfect man, which he could not be with- 
out a soul. 

Q. S. Then Christ hath two parts : one part is God, and the 
other man ? 

A. The name of part, or whole, is not fit for God : God is no 
part of any thing, no, not of the universe of being ; for to be a 
part is to be less than the whole, and so to be imperfect : and 
every whole consisteth of parts ; but so doth not God. s 

Q. 9. Is Jesus Christ one person or two, viz. a divine and 
human ? 

A. It is dangerous laying too great a stress on words, that are 

° 1 Tim. ii. 5 ; Heb. xii. 24 ; viii. G, and ix. 15. 

p John i. 1—3, &c. ; 1 Tim. iii. 1G ; Rom. ix. 5 ; Tit. ii. 13. 

i Phil. ii. 7—10. r Acts iii. 21 ; John ii. IT, and vi. 62 ; Epli. iv. 8—10 

s Gal. iii. 20. 


cither not in Scripture, or are applied to God as borrowed from 
similitude in man ; as the word person signifieth the eternal 
word, the second in the Trinity, Christ is but one person. And 
though his human soul and body assumed be substances, they 
are not another person, but another nature united to his eternal 
person ; yet not as a part of it, but by an union which we have 
no proper words to express. Christ hath two natures, and but 
one person. But if you take the word person only for a relation, 
(as of a king, a judge, &c.,) so Christ, as Mediator, is a person 
distinct from the same Christ, as the eternal, second person in 
the Trinity.* 

Q. 10. It seems then Christ had three natures, a divine, a 
soul, and a body ? 

A. This is a question about mere names, he hath only the 
nature of God and of man. But if you go to anatomise man, 
you may find in him on earth, perhaps, more natures than two, 
spirit, fire, air, water, and earth : but this is a frivolous dis- 

Q. 11. In what nature did Christ appear of old before his 
incarnation ? 

A. If it were not by an angel, as his agent, it must be by 
some body, light, or voice, made or assumed for that present 

Q. 12. I hear some say, that Christ is not one God with the 
Father, but a kind of under God, his first creature above 

A. The Scriptures fully prove Christ to be God, and one God 
with the Father : the form of baptism proveth it. There be 
some learned men that to reconcile this controversy say, that 
Christ hath three natures, 1. The divine : 2. A super-angelical : 
.3. A human. And that God, the Eternal Word, did first of all 
produce the most perfect of all his creatures, above angels, like 
an universal soul, and the Godhead uniting itself to this, did, by 
this, produce all other creatures ; and, at last, did in and by 
this unite itself hypostatically to the human nature of Christ. 
They think divers texts do favour this threefold nature ; and 
that the Arians erred only by noting the super-angelical na- 
ture, and not noting the divine united to it. But I dare not 
own so great a point, which I find not that the universal church 

1 1 John v. 7 ; 1 Tim. ii. 5 ; Eph. iv. 5, 0; Rem. v. 17, 18. 


ever owned ; nor do I see any cogent proof of it in the Scrip- 
ture. 11 

Q. 13. But God doth all his works in order : and he made 
angels far nobler than man : and is it like then that he 
setteth a man so far above all angels as personal union doth 
import ? 

A. It is not like, if we might judge by the conjectures of 
our reason : but God's lower works are none of them perfectly 
known here to us; much less the most mysterious, even the glo- 
rious person of the Son of God. If God will thus glorify his 
mercy to man, by setting him above all the angels, who shall 
say to him, ' What doest thou ?' And if there be in Jesus Christ 
a first created superangelical nature, besides the divine and hu- 
man, we shall know it when we see as face to face. In the mean 
time, he will save those that truly believe in him as God and 
man. x 

Q. 14. Why is Christ called " our Lord ?" 

A. Because he is God ; and also, as Mediator, all power in 
heaven and earth is given him, and he is made Head over all 
things to his church. (Matt, xxviii. 28 ; Eph. i. 22, 23.) 

Q. 15. What do his names " Jesus Christ" signify. 

A. Jesus signifieth a Saviour, and Christ, anointed of God. 
He being anointed by God to the office of a Mediator, as the 
great Prophet, Priest, and King of the church. 


How Christ ivas conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the 

Virgin Mary. 

Q. 1. Doth it not seem impossible, that Christ should be 
begotten on a virgin without a man ? 

A. There is no contradiction in it : and what is impossible 
to him that made all the world of nothing ?* 

Q. 2. But it seems incredible that God should be made man ? 

A. God was not at all changed by Christ's incarnation. The 

« John i. 1, 2 ; Matt, xxviii. 19 ; Col. i. 15—18 ; Heb. i. 2—4 ; Rev. i. 5, 8. 
x Heb. i. aud ii. y Matt. viii. 20; Luke i. 35. 


Godhead was not turned into flesh or soul, hut united itself 
thereto. 2 

Q. 3. But it seemeth an incredible condescension in God to 
unite the nature of man to himself, in personal union. 

A. When you understand what it is, it will not seem incredi- 
ble to you, though wonderful. Consider, 1. That it doth not 
turn the human nature into divine. 2. Nor doth it give it any 
of that part or work which was proper to the divine nature, and 
second person in the Trinity, from eternity. 3. The divine na- 
ture is united to the human, only to advance this to the excellent 
office of mediation, and that Christ in it may be Head over all 
things to the church. 4. And it will abate your wonder if you 
consider, that God is as near to every creature as the soul is to 
the body : in him we live, move, and have our being. And he 
is more to us than our souls are to our bodies. 

4. You now make me think that God is one with every man 
and creature, as well as with Christ. I pray you wherein is the 
difference ? 

A. God's essence is every where alike ; but he doth not ap- 
pear or work every where alike : as he is more in heaven than 
on earth, because he there operateth and appeareth in glory, and 
as he is more in saints than in the ungodly, because in them he 
operateth his grace ; so he is in Jesus Christ, otherwise than he 
is in any other creature: 1. In that he by the divine power 
qualified him as he never did any other creature. 2. And de- 
signeth him to that work which he never did any other creature. 

3. And fixeth him in the honourable relation to that work. 

4. And communicateth to him, by an uniting act, the glory 
which he doth not to any other creature : and though it is like 
there is yet more unknown and incomprehensible to us, yet these 
singular operations express a singular, operative union. The 
sun, bv shining on a wall, becomes not one with it: but by its 
influence on plants, it becometh one with them, and is their 
generical life. 

Q. 5. But how is the second person in the Trinity more 
united to the human nature, than the Father and the Holy 
Ghost ? Are they divided ? 

A. You may as well ask, why God is said to make a the world 
by his word, and by his Son : though the persons are undivided 
in their works on the creature, yet creation is eminently ascribed 
to the Father, incarnation and redemption to the Son, and sanc- 

* Rom. i. 3 ; John i. 14 ; 1 Tim. iii. 16 ; Gal. iv. 4. a John i. 3, 10. 


tification to the Holy Ghost. The sun's power of motion, light, 
and heat are inseparable : and yet it is the light, as such, that 
with our eye doth cause the same act of light, as united to it. 
But the perfect answer to this doubt is reserved for heaven. 

Q. 6. But how was he conceived by the Holy Ghost, the se- 
cond person by the third, when it is only the second that was 
incarnate ? 

A. The Holy Ghost is not said to operate on the second per- 
son in the Trinity, or the Godhead, for Christ's conception, but 
on the virgin's body, and by miraculously causing a human soul 
and body, and their union with the eternal Word. God's per- 
fecting operations are usually ascribed to the Holy Ghost: but 
the Father and Son are still supposed operating by the Holy 

Q. 7- Was Christ's flesh made of the substance of his mother ? 
A. Yes : else how had be been the Son of Man ? b 
Q. 8. Was Christ's soul begotten by his mother ? 
A. It is certain that man begetteth man : but how souls are 
generated is not fully known by man : some say they are not 
generated, but created : some say, that they are not created, 
but generated: and I think that there is such a concurrence of 
God's act and man's, as may be called a conjunction of creation 
and generation ; that is, that as the sunbeams by a burning- 
glass may light a candle, and that candle light another, and ano- 
ther ; yet so that the light and heat that doth it, is only from 
the sun's continual communication ; but will not light another, 
but as contracted and made forcible by the burning-glass, or the 
candle. So all the substance of new souls is from the divine 
efflux, or communication of it, which yet will not ordinarily 
beget a soul, but as it is first received in the generative, natural 
faculty, and so operateth by it, as its appointed natural means. 
Thus it seems all human souls are caused (pardon the defects 
of the similitude). But the soul of Christ miraculously, not 
without all operation of the mother's, (for then he had not been 
the Son of Man,) but without a human father; the Holy Ghost 
more than supplying that defect. 

Q. 9. If Christ was Mary's son, how escaped he original 
guilt ? 

A. By being conceived by the Holy Ghost, and so in his hu- 
man nature made the Son of God, and not generated, as other 
men are. 

•> Gal. iv. 4. 


Q. 10. Had Mary any children after Jesus Christ ? 

A. It goes for a tradition with most, that she had none : but it 
is uncertain, and concerneth not our faith or salvation. 

Q. 11. Why was Christ born of a Jew ? 

A. God had made a special promise to Abraham first, that 
d Christ should be his seed, in whom all nations should be bles- 
sed : and to David after, that he should be his offspring, and 
everlasting King. 

Q. 12. Why was not Christ born till about four thousand 
years after the fall ? 

A. It is dangerous asking reasons of God's councils, which he 
hath not revealed. But this much we may know, that Christ 
was man's Redeemer, by undertaking what he after did, before 
his incarnation. And that he revealed the grace of redemption, 
by promises, types, and prophecies, and so saved the faithful : 
and that God's works are usually progressive to perfection, and 
ripest at last : and therefore when he had first sent his prophets, 
he lastly sent his Son to perform his undertaking, and bring 
life and immortality more fully to light, and bring in a better 
covenant, and gather a more excellent, universal church. 

Q. 13. Were any saved by Christ before he was made man ? 

A. Yes : they had the love of the Father, the grace of Christ, 
and the necessary communion of the Holy Ghost, and the pro- 
mise. And in every age and nation, he that feared God, and 
worked righteousness, was accepted of him. e 


"Suffered under Pontius Pilate, ivas Crucified, Dead and 
Buried; He Descended into Hell." 

Q. 1. Why is there nothing said in the Creed, 1. Of Christ's 
overcoming the temptations of the devil and the world ? ' Or, 
2. Of his fulfilling the law, his perfect holiness, obedience and 
righteousness ? 3. Nor of his miracles ? 

A. 1 . You must know that the Creed at first when Christ 

e Heb. vii.26; Matt. xii. 46; Mark Hi. 31; John ii. 12, and vii. 3, 5, 10; 
Gal.i. 19. 

11 Gen. xxii. 18, and xxvi.4; Psalm Ixxxix. 29,30 ; Rom.i. 3, and iv. 10; 
2 Tim. ii. 8. 

c See Heb. xi. f Matt. iv. 


made it the symbol of Christianity, had but the three baptismal 
articles : g to be baptised into the name of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost. 2. And that the rest were added, for the ex- 
position of these three. 3. And that the errors that rose up 
occasioned the additions. Some denied Christ's real humanity, 
and some his death, and said, that it was another in his shape 
that died : and this occasioned these expository articles. 4. But 
the Apostles, and other preachers, expounded more to those 
whom they catechised than is put into the Creed : and more is 
implied in that which is expressed : and had any heretics then 
denied Christ's perfect righteousness, and victory in temptation, 
it is like it would have occasioned an article for these. 5. But 
Christ would not have his Apostles put more into the Creed 
than was needful to be a part of the test of Christianity. And 
he that understanding^, consentingly, and practically believeth 
in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, shall be saved, (i. 
And as to Christ's miracles; yea, and his holiness, they are 
contained in the true meaning of believing in the Holy Ghost, 
as I shall after show. 

Q. 2. But why is none of Christ's sufferings mentioned before 
that of his being crucified ? 

A. This, which is the consummation, implieth the humilia- 
tion of his life : his mean h birth and education, his mean estate 
in the world, his temptations, accusations, reproaches, buffeting, 
scourging, his agony, his betraying, his condemnation as a ma- 
lefactor, by false witness, and the people's clamour, and the ru- 
lers' malice and injustice : his whole life was a state of humilia- 
tion, finished in his crucifixion, death, and burial. 

Q. 3. What made the Jews so to hate and crucify him ? ' 

A. Partly a base fear of Caesar, lest he should destroy them, 
in jealousy of Jesus, as a king : and having long revolted from 
sincerity in religion, and become ceremonious hypocrites, God 
left them to the blindness and hardness of their hearts, resolv- 
ing to use them for the sacrificing of Christ, the redemption of 
the world, and the great enlargement of his church. 

Q. 4. Why is Pontius Pilate named in the Creed ? 

A. Historically, to keep the remembrance of the time when 
Christ suffered : and to leave a just shame on the name of an 
unjust judge. k 

e Matt, xxviii. 19. h Phil. ii. 7—9 ; Heb. xii. 2—4. « Job. xi. 48, 50. 

k 1 Tim. vi. 13 ; Col. i. 20, and ii. 14 ; Eph. ii. 16 ; Gal. iii. 13. 


Q. 5. Why was crucifying the manner of Christ's death? 

A. 1. It was the Roman manner of putting vile malefactors 
to death. 2. And it was a death especially cursed hy God ; and 
Christ foretold it of himself. 

Q. 6. Was it onlv Christ's hody that suffered, or also his 
soul and Godhead ? 

A. The Godhead could not suffer ; but he that was God suf- 
fered in body and soul. 1 

Q. 7- What did Christ's soul suffer ? 

A. It suffered not by any sinful passion, but by natural, lawful 
fear of what he was to undergo, and feeling of pain, and espe- 
cially of God's just displeasure with man's sin, for which he suf- 
fered ; which God did express by such withholdings of joy, and 
by such inward, deep sense of his punishing justice as belonged 
to one that consented to stand in the place of so many sinners, 
and to suffer so much in their stead." 1 

Q. 8. Did Christ suffer the pains of hell, which the damned 
suffer ? 

A. The pains of hell are God's just punishment of man for 
sin, and so were Christ's sufferings, upon his consent. But, 

1. The damned in hell are hated of God, and so was not Christ. 

2. They are forsaken of God's Holy Spirit and grace, and so 
was not Christ. 3. They are under the power of sin, and so 
was not Christ. 4. They hate God and holiness, and so did 
not Christ. 5. They are tormented by the conscience of their 
personal guilt, and so was not Christ. Christ's sufferings and 
the damned's vastly differ. 

Q. 9. Why must Christ suffer what he did ? 

A. I. To be an expiatory sacrifice for sin. God thought it 
not meet, as he was the just and holy Ruler of the world, to 
forgive sin, without such a demonstration of his holiness and 
justice as might serve as well to the ends of his government as 
if the sinners had suffered themselves. 2. And he suffered to 
teach man what sin deserveth, and what a God we serve, and 
that we owe him the most costly obedience, even to the death, 
and that this body, life, and world, are to be denied, contemned, 
and forsaken, for the sake of souls, and of life everlasting, and 
of God, when he requireth it. The cross of Christ is much of 
the Christian's book." 

1 Matt. xxvi. 38 ; John xii. 27. ra Lnke xxii. 44. 

" Heb. ix. 26, and x. 12 ; 1 Cor. v. 7 ; Luke xiv. 33 ; 1 Cor. ii. 2 ; Gal. ii. 2 ; 
iii. 1 ; v. 24, and vi. 14 ; Phil. ii. 8; and iii. 7 — 9. 


Q. 10. What sorts of sin did Christ die for? 

A. For all sorts, except men's not performing those condi- 
tions which he reqnireth of all that he will pardon and save. 

Q. 1 1 . For whose sins did Christ suffer ? 

A. All men's sins were instead of a meritorious cause of 
Christ's sufferings ; he suffered for mankind as the Saviour of 
the world : and as to the effect, his suffering purchased a condi- 
tional gift of free pardon and life to all that will believingly accept 
it, according to the nature of the things given. But it was the 
will of the Father and the Son not to leave his death to uncertain 
success, but infallibly to cause the elect to believe and be saved. 

Q. 12. Was it just with God to punish the innocent? 

A. Yes, when it was Christ's own undertaking, by consent, 
to stand as a sufferer in the room of the guilty. 

Q. 13. How far were our sins imputed to Christ ? 

A. So far as that his consent made it just that he suffered for 
them. He is said to be made sin for us, who knew no sin, which is, 
to be made a curse or sacrifice for our sin. But God never took 
him to be really, or in his esteem, a sinner : be took not our 
fault to become his fault, but only the punishment for our faults 
to be due to him. Else sin itself had been made his own, and 
he had been relatively and properly a sinner, and God must have 
hated him as such, and he must have died for his own sin when 
ours was made his own : but none of this is to be imagined. 11 

Q. 14. How far are Christ's sufferings imputed to us? 

A. So far as that we are reputed to be justly forgiven and 
saved by his grace, because he made an expiation by his sacri- 
fice for our sins : but not so as if God mistook us to have 
suffered in Christ, or that he or his law did judge that we our- 
selves have made satisfaction or expiation, by Christ. 11 

Q. 15. Was not that penal law " In the day that thou eatest 
thereof, thou shalt die," and " The soul that sinneth shall die," 
fulfilled by execution for us all in Christ, and now justifieth us 
as so fulfilled ? 

A. No: that law condemned none but the sinner himself, 
and is not fulfilled unless the person suffer that sinned. That 
law never said, "Either the sinner, or another for him, shall die." 
Christ was given us by God as above his law, and that he might 
justly and mercifully forgive sin, though he executed not that 

° Rom. v. 6, 8, and xiv. 9, 15 ; 2 Cor. v. 14, 15 ; Heb. ii. 9 ; 1 Tim. ii. G ; 
lJolinii.2; John i. 29; iii. 1G, 18, 19; iv. 42, and vi. 51. 
P 1 Pet. ii. 22, i I Pet. ui. 18 ; Acts >;xvi. 18. 


law: that law did but make punishment our due, and not 
Christ's, but not bind God to inflict it on us, when his wisdom 
knew a better way. It is not that law as fulfilled that justifieth 
us, but another, even the law of grace. Satisfaction is not the 
fulfilling of the penal law/ 

Q. 16. Did not Christ fulfil the commands of the law for us 
by his holiness and perfect righteousness? What need was 
there that he surfer for us? 

A. The law, or covenant, laid on him by his Father was, that 
he should do both; and therefore both is the performance of 
that condition on which God gave us to him to be pardoned and 
saved by him. If he had fulfilled the commands of the law by 
perfect holiness and righteousness, in our legal persons, so as 
that God and his law would have reputed us to have done it by 
him, then, indeed, being reputed perfect obeyers, we could not 
have been reputed sinners, that needed suffering or pardon. But 
Christ's habitual, active, and passive righteousness, were (all the 
parts of his one condition) performed by him, to be the merito- 
rious cause of our justification. 8 

Q. 17. Why is Christ's death and burial named besides his 
crucifixion ? 

A. Those words have been since added, to obviate their error 
who thought Christ died not on the cross. 

Q. IS. What is meant by his descending into hell? 

A. Those words were not of some hundred vears in the Creed, 
and since they were put in, have been diversely understood. 
There is no more certain nor necessary to be believed, but that 

I. Christ's soul was, and so ours are, immortal, and remained 
when separated from the body. 2. And that as death (being' 
the separation of soul and body) was threatened by God, as a 
punishment to both, so the soul of Christ submitted to this penal 
separation, and went to the place of separated souls, as his 
body did to the grave. 1 

Q. 19. Of what use is this article to us ? 

A. Of great and unspeakable use. 1 . We learn hence what 
sin deserveth. Shall we play with that which must have such a 
sacrifice ? u 

Rom. iii. 19, 20, 21, 28; iv. 13, 15, and x. 4 ; Gal. ii. 16, 21, and iii. 

II, 13, 18,19, 24. 

s Matt. iii. 15, and v. 17 ; Isa. liii. 11 ; 1 Cor. i. 30 ; 2 Cor. v. 21. 

4 1 Cor. xv. 4, 5; Psalm xvi. 9, 10 ; 1 Pet. iii. 18— 21. 

11 Heb. ix. 21 ; 1 Col. i. 20; Eph. i. 7; 1 Pet. i.2, 19; Rom. iii. 25; Heb. ii. 
14; 1 John ii. 1—3, and iv. 10; Heb. ix. 14; Eph. ii. 13; Rev. i. 5 ; v. 9; 
vii. 14, and xiv. 20. 


2. We learn hence that a sufficient expiatory sacrifice is made 
foi sin, and therefore that God is reconciled, and we need not 
despair, nor are put to make expiation ourselves, or by any other. 

3. We learn that death and the grave, and the state of se- 
parate souls, are sanctified, and Satan conquered, as he had the 
power of death, as God's executioner ; and therefore that we 
may boldly die in faith, and commit soul and body into the 
hand of him that died for them. 

Q. 20. But did not Christ go to Paradise, and can that be 
penal ? 

A. Yes, and so do faithful souls. But the soul and body are 
a perfect man, and nature is against a separation : and as the 
union of Christ's soul and glorified body now in heaven is a more 
perfect state than that was of his separated soul, so the depri- 
vation of that union and perfection was a degree of penalty, 
and therefore it was the extraordinary privilege of Enoch and 
Elias not to die. 


" The third Day he rose again from the Dead." 

Q. 1 . How was Christ said to be three days in the grave ? 
A. He was there part of the sixth day, all the seventh, and 
part of the first. x 

Q. 2. Is it certain that Christ rose from the dead the third 

day ? 

A. As certain as any article of our faith: angels witnessed it. 
Mary first saw him, and spake with him. Two disciples, going 
to Emmaus, saw him, to whom he opened the Scriptures con- 
cerning him. Peter, and others fishing, saw him, and spake, and 
eat with him. The eleven assembled saw him. Thomas, that 
would not else believe, was called to see the print of the nails, 
and put his finger into his pierced side. He was seen of above 
five hundred brethren at once. He gave the apostles their com- 
mission, and instructions, and his blessing, and ascended bodily 
to heaven in their sight ; and afterwards appeared in glory to 
Stephen and Paul. But I have before given you the proof of 
the gospel, and must not repeat it. y 

* Matt. xii. 39, 40 ; xvi.4; John xx. ; Malt.xxviii. 
y 1 Cor. xv. 5 3 0. 


Q. 3. Was it foreknown that Christ would rise ? 

A. Yes ; it was foretold by the prophets, and expressly and 
often by himself, to his apostles and the Jews, and therefore they 
set a sealed stone, with a guard of soldiers, on the sepulchre, to 
watch it. z 

Q. 4. It is a wonder that the Jews then believed not in him, 

A. The rulers were now more afraid than before that Christ 
would by the people be proclaimed their King, and then the 
Romans destroy their city and nation, for they feared men more 
than God: and withal they had put him to death on that 
account, as if his making himself a King had been rebellion 
against Ceesar, and King of the Jews was written, as his crime, 
by Pilate on his cross, and so they were engaged against him as 
a rebel, though he told them his kingdom was not a worldly one : 
and they seemed to believe that he did all his miracles by the 
devil, as a conjurer, and therefore that he was raised by that 
devil : a which was the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. And 
as for the common people, they deceived them by hiring the 
soldiers to say, that his disciples stole his body while they slept. b 

Q. 5. But why would Christ appear to none but his disciples? 

A. We are not fit to give God a law: his works are done in 
infinite wisdom. But we may see, 1. That they who had har- 
dened their hearts against all his doctrine, and the miracles of 
his life, and maliciously put him to death as a blasphemer, a 
conjurer, and a traitor to Caesar, were unworthy and unmeet to 
be the witnesses of his resurrection : and it is like it would but 
have excited their rage to have tried a new persecution. His 
resurrection being the first act of his triumphant exaltation, 
none were so fit to see him as those that had followed him to 
his sufferings : even as wicked men are not meet (as Paul was) 
to be rapt up into Paradise and the third heavens, and hear the 
unutterable things. 

2. The witnesses whom he chose were enow, and fit persons 
for that office, being to be sent abroad to proclaim it to the 

And God confirmed their testimony by such abundant mira- 
cles, of which you heard before. d 

* Acts xxvi. 23; Matt. xx. 19; Mark viii. 31 ; ix. 31, and x. 34; Luke 
xxiv. 7,46; John xx. 9; Rom. xiv. 9; 1 Thess. iv. 11. 

a Matt. xii. b Matt, xxviii. 3. 

<• Acts x. 41 ; i. 2—5, 22 ; iv. 2, 33, and xvii. IS ; Heb. vi. 2. 
ll 1 Cor. xv. 4,0; Heb. ii,3— 5. 


3. And yet he left not the infidels without convincing means: 
as he hefore told them that he would raise in three days the 
temple of his bodv, when they destroyed it, so they saw the 
earth quake, the sun darkened, the veil of the temple rent at 
his death, and their soldiers saw the angels that terrified them, 
and told the rulers what they saw : and, after all, it was to 
Paul, a persecutor, (and partly to his company,) that Christ 

Q. 6. Why must Christ rise from the dead ? 

A. You may as well ask why he must be our Saviour? 

1. If he had not risen, death had conquered him, and how 
could he have saved us that was overcome and lost himself ? f 

2. He could not have received his own promised reward, even 
his kingdom and glory : it was for the joy that was set before 
him, that he endured the cross and despised the shame; there- 
fore God gave him a name above every name, to which every 
created knee must bow.s 

3. His resurrection was to be the chief of all those miracles 
by which God witnessed that he was his Son, and the chief 
evidence by which the world was to be convinced of his truth,' 1 
and so was used in their preaching by the apostles. That Christ 
rose from the dead, is the chief argument that makes us 

4. The great executive parts of Christ's saving office were to 
be performed in heaven, which a dead man could not do. How 
else should he have interceded for us, as our heavenly High 
Priest? How should he have sent down the Holy Ghost to 
renew us ? How should he, as King, have governed and pro- 
tected his church on earth unto the end ? How should he have 
come again in glory to judge the world ? And how should we 
have seen his glory (as the Mediator of fruition) in the heavenly 
kingdom ? ' 

Q. 7. I perceive, then, that Christ's resurrection is to us an 
article of the greatest use. What use must we make of it ? 

A. You may gather it by what is said. 1. By this you may 

be sure that he is the Son of God, and his gospel true. 2. By 

this you may be sure that his sacrifice on the cross was accepted 

as sufficient. 3. By this you may be sure that death is con- 

c Matt, xxvi., and xxvii ; Luke xxiii.; Acts ix. 

f 1 Cor. xv. 13, 14, 20. « Heb. xii. 3, 4; Phil. ii. 7, 8. 

11 Rom. i. 4; 1 Pet. i. 3, 4, and iii. 21 ; Jolin xi.24, 25. 
1 lPet. i. 3, 4, and iii. 21; Phil. iii. 10,11,19,20,21; Rom. vi. 5 ; Heb. 
iv. 14, 15 ; vi. 20 ; vii.10— 18 ; viii. 1— 3,and x. 21, 22. 


queried, and we may boldly trust our Saviour, who tasted and 
overcame death, with our departing souls. 4. By this we may 
be sure that we have a powerful High Priest and Intercessor in 
heaven, by whom we may come with reverend boldness unto 
God. 5. By this we may know that we have a powerful King, 
both to obey and to trust with the church's interest and our 
own. 6. By this we may know that we have a Head still 
living, who will send down his Spirit to gather his chosen, to 
help his ministers, to sanctify and comfort his people, and pre- 
pare them for glory. 7 '. By this we are assured of our own 
resurrection, and taught to hope for our final justification and 
glory. 8. And by this we are taught that we must rise to ho- 
liness of life. k 


" He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of 
God, the Father Almighty." 

Q. 1 . How long was it between Christ's resurrection and his 
ascension ? 

A. Forty days: he rose on the day which we call Easter day, 
and he ascended on that which we call Ascension day, or Holy 
Thursday. 3 

Q. 2. Did Christ stay all this while among his disciples 
visibly ? 

A. No ; but appeared to them at such seasons as he saw 
meet. b 

Q. 3. Where was he all the rest of the forty days ? 

A. God hath not told us, and therefore it concerneth us not 
to know. 

Q. 4. He showed them that he had flesh and blood, how then 
was he to them invisible the most part of the forty days? 

A. The divine power that raised Christ, could make those 
alterations on his body which we are unacquainted with. 

Q. 5. How was Christ, taken up to heaven ? 

A. While he was speaking to his apostles of the things con- 
cerning the kingdom of God, and answering them that hoped it 

k Rom. viii. 34 ; Col. ii. 12, 15 ; Col. iii. 1—5. 

a Acts i. 3, 4 ; Matt, xxviii. h John xx., and xxi. 



would presently be, and had given their commission, and the 
promise of the Holy Ghost, and commanded them to wait for it 
at Jerusalem, he was taken up as they gazed after him, till a 
cloud took him out of their sight : and two angels, like two men 
in white, stood by t'hem, and asked them why they stood gazing 
up to heaven, telling them that Jesus, who was taken up, should 
so come again. c 

Q. 6. Had it not been better for us that he had staid on 
earth ? 

A. No : He is many ways more useful to us in heaven. d 
1. He is now no more confined, in presence, to that small 
country of Judea, above the rest of the world, as a candle to 
one room, but, as the sun in his glory, shineth to all his church 
on earth. 2. He is possessed of his full power and glory (by 
which he is fit to protect and glorify us.) 3, He intercedeth 
for us where our highest concerns and interest are. 4. He 
sendeth his Spirit on earth to do his work on all believers' souls. 
Q. 7. What is meant by his sitting on the right hand of 

A. Not that God hath hands, or is confined to a place as 
man is. But it signifieth that the glorified man, Jesus, is next 
to God in dignity, power and glory ; and, as the lieutenant under 
a king, is now the universal Administrator, or Governor, of all 
the world, under God, the Father Almighty. e 

Q. 8. J thought he had been only the Lord of his church ? 
A. He is Head over all things to his church. All power and 
things in heaven and earth are given him : even the frame of 
nature dependeth on him ; he is Lord of all ; but it is his church 
that he sanctifieth by his Spirit, and will glorify. 

Q. 9. If Christ have all power, why doth he let Satan and 
sin still reign over the far greatest part of the earth ? 

A. Satan reigneth but over volunteers that wilfully and 
obstinately choose that condition ; and he reigneth but as the 
jailer in the prison, as God's executioner on the wilful refusers 
of his grace. f And his reign is far from absolute ; he crosseth 
none of the decrees of God, nor overcometh his power, but doth 
what God seeth meet to permit him to do. He shall destroy 
none of God's elect, nor any that are truly willing of saving 

c Acts i. 4,5. 

d Acts i. 10, 11 ; John xvi. 17 ; xv. 26, and xiv. 16, 26 ; Gal. iv. 4, 6. 
c Matt. xxvi.64; Acts vii. 55,56; Rom. viii.31; Eph. i.20— 23; Col. iii. 1; 
Heb. i. 3, 13; viii. 1, and x. 12; ICph. i. 23; Matt.xxviii. 18. 
' Rev. xii. 9, and xiii. 14. 


grace. And as for the fewness of the elect, I shall speak of it 
after, about the catholic church. 

Q. 10. But is not Christ's body present on earth, and in the 
sacrament ? 

A. We are sure he is in heaven, and we are sure that their 
doctrine is a fiction contrary to sense, reason, and Scripture, 
that say the consecrated bread and wine are substantially 
turned into the very body and blood of Christ, and are no longer 
bread and wine. But how far the presence of Christ's soul and 
body extendeth, is a question unfit for man's determination, 
unless we better knew what glorified souls and bodies are : we 
see that the sun is eminently in the heaven : and yet, whether 
its lucid beams be a real part of its substance, which are here 
on earth, or how far they extend, we know not ; nor know we 
how the sun differeth, in greatness or glory, from the soul and body 
of Christ : nor know when an angel is in the room with us, and 
when not : these things are unfit for our inquiry and decision. s 


" From thence he shall again come to Judge the Quick and the 


Q. 1. What is meant by the quick and the dead ? 

A. Those that are found alive at Christ's coming, and those 
that were dead before. h 

Q. 2. Are not the souls of men judged when men die ? 

A. In part they are : but as it is soul and body that make a 
mail, so it is the judgment upon soul and body which is the full 
judgment of the man. God's execution is the principal part of 
his judgment ; and as souls have not the fulness of glory or 
misery, till the resurrection, so they are not fully judged till then ; 
and societies must be then judged, and persons in their sociable 
relations, together. ' 

Q. 3. Whither is it that Christ will come, and where will 
he judge the world ? 

A. Not in heaven, for the wicked shall not come thither : 

but Paul tells us, (1 Thes. iv. 16,) "That the Lord himself shall 

descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the arch- 

s Acts iii. 21 ; 1 Cor. xv. 44, 45. h 1 Thes. iv. 15—17. 

1 Matt. xxv. ; 2 Thess. i. 6, 7, 10, 11 ; John v. 22, 25. 



angel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall 
rise first, and then they that are alive and remain shall be caught 
up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the 
air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." By which it 
appeareth that the place of judgment will be in the air, between 
heaven and earth. 

Q. 4. In what manner will Christ come to judgment ? 

A. Christ tells us, (Matt. xxv. 31,) "That the Son of Man 
(that is, Christ as man) shall come in his glory, and all the 
holy angels with him, and shall sit on the throne of his glory, 
and before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall sepa- 
rate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep 
from the goats." And St. Paul saith, 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. " 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 punished with everlasting destruction from the 
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when 
he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in 
all them that believe." 

Q. 5. Where are the souls of the dead before the day of 

A. The souls of the faithful are with Christ in heaven, and 
the souls of the wicked are with devils in misery. 

Q. 6. Where is it that the devils and wicked are in misery ? 

A. They are shut out from the glory of God ; and wherever 
it be that they are, it is as God's prison, till the judgment of the 
great day. But the Scripture calleth the devil, " the Prince of 
the power of the air." (Eph. ii. 2.) Yet is he on earth, 
" for he worketh in the children of disobedience," and is ready 
with his temptations with all men : and he is said to " go to and 
fro in the earth." (Job. i. 7, and ii. 2.) And he is said to 
"walk in dry places, seeking rest, and dwelling' in the wicked." 
(Matt. xii. 43, 44.) 

Q. 7. But are the souls of the wicked in no other hell than 
the devils are ? 

A. The Scripture tells us of no other ; but it tells us not of 
their tempting and possessing men as devils do, but of their 

Q. 8. Are devils and wicked souls in the same hell that they 
shall be in after the day of judgment, and have they the same 
punishment ? 


A. Whether there shall be any change of the place, it is not 
needful for us to know; but the punishment is of the same kind, 
but it will be greater after judgment; were it but because the 
body joined to the soul, and the multitude of the damned 
joined in the suffering, will make every one more receptive of it. 

Q. 9. Is there no middle place between heaven and hell ? or 
a middle state of souls that are in hope of deliverance from 
their pain ? 

A. Hell itself is not ail one place, k seeing devils are both in 
the air and in the earth, and where else we know not. And in 
Job i. 1 1, 1 2, " Satan was among the sons of God." But as 
for any hope of deliverance to them that die unpardoned, the 
Scripture tells us of none, but saith, that " the night comcth 
when none can work," and that " This is the accepted time, 
this is the day of salvation." And that " every man shall be 
judged according to what he had done in the body, whether it 
be good or evil." It is therefore mad presumption for any one 
to neglect this day of salvation, upon a hope of his own making, 
that they that die the slaves of the devil may repent and be 
delivered in their airy life, and be made the children of God ; 
or that any purgatory fire shall refine them, or any prayers of 
the saints in heaven or earth deliver them. 1 

Q. 10. But it seems by their pleading, described by Christ, 
" that they will not be past hope till the sentence be passed on 
them." (Matt, xxv.) 

A. But the same text tells you what sentence certainly shall 
pass ; and, therefore, that if they keep any hope, it is not of 
God's making, but their own, and will be all in vain ; but 
indeed those words seem rather to express their fervent desire 
to escape damnation than their hope. The wicked may cry 
for mercy when it is too late, but shall not obtain it. "Dives" 
(Luke xvi.) may beg for a drop of water, but not get it. 

Q. 11. But will it not be a long work to judge all that ever 
lived, from the beginning of the world unto the end ? 

A. God's judgment is not like man's, by long talk and 
wordy trial, though Christ open the reasons of it after the 
manner of men : God's judgment consisteth of full conviction 
and execution. And he can convince all men in a moment by 
his light, shining at once into every one's conscience ; as the sun 
can enlighten at once the millions of eyes all over the earth, 

k Luke xvi. 9, 22. ' Matt. v. 25, 20 ; Mark ix. 43—40. 


And God's execution (casting all the wicked into utter dark- 
ness and misery) needs no long time, though its continuance 
will be for ever. m 

Q. 12. May we know in this life what judgment Christ will 
then pass on us ? 

A. All men, or most men. do not know it. Nor will it be 
known by a slight and sudden thought ; nor by blinded or self- 
flattering sinners ; nor by the worser sort of true believers, that 
sin as much as will stand with sincerity ; nor yet bv such 
ignorant Christians who understand not well the terms of the 
covenant of grace, or have true grace, and know it not to be 
true ; nor yet by such timorous Christians, whose fear doth 
hinder faith and reason. But there is no dojibt but we may 
know, and ought to use all diligence to know, what sentence 
Christ will pass upon us. " 

For, 1. The difference between heaven and hell is so great 
that there must needs be a great difference between them that 
shall go to each ; and therefore it may be known. Christ's 
Spirit is not an undiscernible mark and pledge to them that 
have it. 2. And we are commanded to search and try ourselves ; 
and many marks of difference are told us, and the persons plainly 
described that shall be justified and condemned ; and they are 
already here justified and condemned by that law by which they 
shall be judged. 3. And what comfort could we have in all 
the redemption and grace of Christ, and all the promises of 
salvation, if we could not come to know our title by them ? ° 

Q. 13. Who be they that Christ will then justify, or con- 
demn ? 

A. I must not here answer that question, because its proper 
place is afterward, under some of the following articles. 

Q. 14. But I find some Scriptures saying, "That we are not 
justified by works, but by faith in Christ;" and yet, in Matt. 
xxv., Christ passeth the sentence upon men's works as the 
cause ; and it is said, " We shall be judged according to our 

A. By works, Paul meaneth p all works that are conceived 

m 2 Tim. iv. 1. 

11 John xii. 47, 48 ; Rom. ii. 12, 13 ; Acts xvii. 31 ; Mark xvi. 16. 

Mai. iii. 17, 18; Matt, xiii., and xxv.; Rom. viii. 30 ; John xvii. 2, 3; 
Heb. vi. 2 ; ix. 27 ; 2 Cor. v. 10. 

v Acts xxiv. 25; James ii. 13; Acts xvii. 31 ; Rom. iii. 27 ; Gal. ii. 16, 17, 
and iii. 2, 5, 10 ; Eph. ii. 7 ; Titus iii. 5, 6 ; Rom. iv. 4, and ii. 2, 3, 5 ; Eccl. 
xii. 24. 


to make the reward to be, not of grace, but of debt ; all works 
which are set in competition, or opposition, to justification by 
faith in Christ. The question between him and the Jews was, 
whether the divine excellency of Moses's law was such as that 
it was given to justify the doers of it as such ; or whether it 
was but an index to point them to Christ, the end of the law, 
by whom they must be justified. But it is not believing in 
Christ, nor begging his grace, nor thankfully accepting it, that 
Paul meaneth by works in his exclusion : it is this that he sets 
against these works. And as we are here made justified per- 
sons by mere grace, giving us repentance and faith in Christ, 
(that is, making us Christians,) so this obligeth us to live and 
die as Christians, if we will be saved. And therefore, the final, 
justifying sentence at judgment, doth pass on us according to 
such works only as are the performance of our covenant with 
Christ, without which we shall not be saved, and therefore not 
then justified : our justification then being the justifying of our 
title to salvation, and therefore hath the same conditions. 

Q. 15. What may we further learn by this article of Christ's 
coming ? <i 

A. 1. We must learn to fear and obey him, that must 
judge us, and to live as we would then hear of it, and to make 
it all the work of our lives to prepare for that day and final 
doom ; and diligently to try our hearts and lives, that we may 
be sure to be then justified. 

2. We must not be discouraged that we see not Christ, but 
remember that we shall shortly see him in his glory : in the 
sacrament, and all his worship, let us do it, as expectants of his 


3. We have no cause to be dismayed at the prosperity of the 
wicked, nor at our persecutions, or any sufferings, while we 
forsee, by faith, that glorious day. 

4. We should live in the joyful hopes of that day when he 
that died for us, and sanctified us, shall be our Judge, and 
justify us, and finally judge us to endless life : and we must love, 
and long, and pray for this glorious coming of Christ. Come 
Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen. 

i Rom. xiv. 10; Rev. xx. 12, 13, and xxii. 14; James ii. 14, &c. ; Matt. xii. 
36, 37; 2 Pet. Hi. 11, 12. 



III. " I believe in the Holy Ghost" 

Q. 1. What is meant by believing in the Holy Ghost ? r 

A. It meaneth our believing what he is, and what he doth j 
and our trusting to himself, and to his works. 

Q. 2. What must we believe of himself ? 

A. That he is God, the Third Person in the Trinity, One in 
essence with the Father and the Son. 

Q. 3. What must we believe of his works ? 

A. -We must believe, 1 . That the Holy Ghost is the great 
Agent and Advocate of Jesus Christ on earth, by his works to be 
his witness, and to plead his cause, and communicate his grace. 

2. That the Holy Ghost was the Author of those many uncon- 
trolled miracles by which the gospel of Christ was sealed to the 
world ; and therefore that those miracles were the certain attes- 
tation of God. s 

3. That the Holy Ghost was given by Christ to his apostles 
and evangelists, to enable them to perform the extraordinary 
office to which they were commissioned, to teach the nations to 
observe all things that Christ had commanded, and to lead them 
into all truth, and bring all things to their remembrance. 

4. That therefore the doctrine of the said apostles and evan- 
gelists, first preached by them, and after recorded in the sacred 
Scriptures, for the use of the church to the end of the world, as 
the full doctrine and law of Christ, is to be received as the word 
of God, indited by the Spirit. 

5. That is the work of the Holy Ghost to sanctify all God's 
elect ; that is, to illuminate their understandings, to convert 
their wills to God, and to strengthen and quicken them to do 
their duty, and conquer sin, and save them from the devil, the 
world, and the flesh ; and to he in them a Spirit of power and 
love, and a sound mind ; and so that the Holy Ghost is an 
Intercessor within us, to communicate life, light, and love, from 
the Father and the Son, and excite in us those holy desires, 

* Matt. xii. 31, 32, and xxviii. 1, 19; Jolin v. 7; Acts v. 3. 

8 John xiv. 15— IT, 26 ;xv. 16, and xvi.7— 11, lii— 15 ;Mark i. S ; Acts i. 5, 
8 ; ii. 4, 33, 38 ; iv. 31 ; vi. 3, 5 ; viii. 17 ; x. 44, 45 ; xi. 15, 1G, and xix. 2, G ; 
Rom. xv. 13, 1G ; 1 Cor. xii., and vi. 11, 19 ; 2 Cor. xiii. 14 ; Tit. iii. 5, G ; Hel). 
ii. 3, 4 ;"2 Pet. i. 21 ; Rom. viii. 9, 15, 16 ; Jude 20. ; Luke xi. 13 ; Eph. i. 13, 
and iv. 30 ; 1 Thess. ir. 8. 


thanks, and praise, which are meet for God's acceptance. All 
this is contained in our believing in the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 4. If all this be iti it, it seemeth a most necessary part of 
faith ? 

A. The perfective works of God are used to be ascribed to 
the Holy Ghost. This is so weighty and necessary a part of 
faith, that all the rest are insufficient without it. Millions 
perish that God created, and that Christ, in a general sort, as 
aforesaid, died for; but those that are sanctified by the Holy 
Ghost are saved. It is the work of the Holy Ghost to commu- 
nicate to us the grace of Christ, that the work of creation and 
redemption may attain their ends. 

Q. 5. How is it proved that the Holy Ghost is God ? 

A. In that we are baptised into the belief of him, as of the 
Father and the Son ; and in that he doth the works proper to 
God, and hath the attributes of God in Scripture, which also 
expressly saith, "There are three which bear record in heaven, 
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit ; and these three are 
one." (1 John v. 7.) 

Q. 6. I have oft marvelled that the Creed left out, 1. The 
authority of the apostles. 2. And their miracles and Christ's. 
3. And the authority of the Scriptures. And, now, I perceive 
that all these are contained in our believing in the Holy Ghost. 

A. No doubt but it is a practical article of faith,* in which 
we profess to believe in the Holy Ghost, in his relation and 
works on man ; and therefore, as Christ's agent in gathering 
his church, by the apostolical power, preaching, writings, and 
miracles ; and in the sanctifying and helping all true believers. 

Q. 7. By this it seems there are many ways of denying the 
Holy Ghost ? 

A. Yes: 1. Thev deny him, who deny his Godhead as the 
Third Person in the blessed Trinity. 

2. They deny him, who deny that the miracles of Christ and 
his apostles were God's testimony to Christ, being convinced of 
the truth of the facts. 

3. They deny him, who deny the extraordinary qualifications 
of the apostles, and suppose them to have had but the prudence 
of ordinary, honest men. 

4. They deny the Holy Ghost, who deny the sacred Scrip- 
tures to be indited by him, and to be true. 

1 John xvi. 13. 


5. They deny him, who deny him to be the Sanctifier of God's 
elect, and feign holiness to be but conceit, deceit, or common 

Q. S. But are all these the unpardonable sin against the 
Holy Ghost ? 

A. The unpardonable sin is called " the blasphemy against 
the Holy Ghost." (Matt, xii.) And it is when men are con- 
vinced that those miracles were done, and those gifts given, 
which are God's attestation to Christ and his gospel ; but they 
fixedly believe, and say, that they were all done by the power of 
the devil, by conjuration, and not by God; and therefore, not- 
withstanding them, Christ was but a deceiver. And this sin is 
unpardonable, because it rejecteth the only remedy, the Spirit's 
witness to the truth of Christ. He that will not believe this 
witness shall have no other. 

Q. 9. But how may we know that we are sanctified by the 
Spirit ? 

A. By that holiness which he causeth. 1. When our under- 
standings so know and believe the truth and goodness of the 
gospel and its grace, as that we practically esteem and prefer 
the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the communion 
of the Holy Ghost, and the heavenly glory, before all the plea- 
sures, profits, and honours of this world, that stand against 
them, and before life itself. 

2. When our wills do, with habitual inclination and resolu- 
tion, love and choose the same, before all the said things that 
stand in competition. 

3. When in the course of our lives, we seek them first, and 
hold them fastest in a time of trial, forsaking the flesh, the 
world, and the devil, so far as they are against them, and living 
in sincere, though not perfect, obedience to God. u 

Q. 10. Is the Spirit, or the Scripture, higher than the rule of 
faith and life ? 

A. The Spirit, as the Author of the Scripture, is greater than 
the Scripture ; and the Scripture, as the word of the Spirit, is 
the rule of our faith and lives, and greater than our spiritual gifts. 
The Spirit in the apostles was given them to write (when they 
had preached) that doctrine which is our rule : but the Spirit is 
not given to us to make a new law, or rule, but to believe, love, 

u Acts xxvi. 18; Epb. i. 18; Col. i. 9, 10; 2 Cor. v. 17; Matt, xviii. 3; 
John iii. 3, 5, C ; Hel». xii. 14 ; Matt. vi. 33 ; 2 Thess. ii. 13 ; 1 Pet. i. 1, 2; 
2 Tliess. ii. 2 ; 1 John iv. 1—3. 


and obey that already made. As under the law of Moses, God, 
that made the law, was greater than the law. But when God 
had made that law their rule, he did not, after that, teach good 
men to make another law, but to understand and obey that. 

Q. 11. There are many that boast of the Spirit and revela- 
tions. How shall we try such, whether their spirits be of God ? 

A. 1. If they pretend to do that which is fully done by the 
Spirit already, that is, to preach or write another gospel, or 
make a new law for the universal church, seeing this was the 
prophetical extraordinary office of Christ, and the Spirit in the 
apostles, such imply an accusation of insufficiency on Christ's 
and the Spirit's law, or rule, and arrogate a power never given 
them, and so are false prophets. 

2. If they contradict the written word of God,- which is cer- 
tainly sealed by God's Spirit already, it must needs be by an 
evil spirit; for God's Spirit doth not contradict itself. x 

Q. 12. But had not the priests, under the law, the Spirit of 
God, as well as Moses, that gave them the law ? 

A. Moses only, and Aaron under him, had God's revelation to 
make the law; and the priests only to keep it, teach it, and 
rule by it. And so it is as to the apostles of Christ, and the 
succeeding ministry. 

Q. 13. But might not kings, then, make religious laws ? 

A. Yes; to determine such circumstances as God had only 
given them a general law for, and left to be determined by 
them, but not to make new laws of the same kind with God's, 
nor to add to, or alter them. 

Q. 14. But were there not prophets, after Moses, that had 
the Spirit ? 

A. Yes ; but they were not legislators, but sent with parti- 
cular mandates, reproofs, or consolations, save only David and 
Solomon, who had directions from God himself, not to make a 
new law of God, but to order things about the temple and its 

So if any man now pretend to a prophetical revelation, it 
must not be legislative to the catholic church, nor against 
Scripture, but about particular persons, acts, and events ; and it 
must be proved by miracle, or by success, before another is 
bound to believe him. 

Q. 15. Must I take every motion in me to be by the Holy 

x Gal. ii. 7, 8. 


Ghost, which is agreeable to the word of God, or for doing 
what is there commanded ? 

A. Yes ; if it be according to that word, for the matter, end, 
manner, time, and other circumstances. But Satan can trans- 
form himself into an angel of light/ and mind us of some 
text or truth to misapply it, and put us on meditation, prayer, 
or other duty, at. an unseasonable time, when it would do more 
hurt than good ; or in an ill manner, or to ill ends. He can 
move men to be fervent reprovers, or preachers, or rulers, that 
were never called to it, but are urged by him, and the passion 
and pride of their own hearts : and good men, in some mistakes, 
know not what manner of spirit they are of. 

" The Holy Catholic Church." 

Q. How is this article joined to the former? 

A. This article hath not always been in the Creed, in the 
same order and words as now. But the belief of a holy church 
was long before it was called "catholic;" and it is joined as 
part of our belief of the work of the Holy Ghost, and the re- 
demption wrought by Christ. Christ, by his death, purchaseth, 
and the Holy Ghost gathereth, the " holy catholic church." It 
were defective to believe Christ's purchase, and the Holy 
Ghost's sanctification, and not know for whom, and on whom, 
it is done. To sanctify, is to sanctify some persons ; and so to 
make them the holy society, or christian church. 

Q. 2. What is a church ? 

A. The name is applied to many sorts of assemblies which 
we need not name to you ; but here it signifieth the christian 

Q. 3. Why is it called catholic ? 

A. Catholic is a Greek word, and signifieth universal. It is 
called catholic, because, 1 . It is not, as the Jews' church, con- 
fined to one nation, but comprehendeth all true Christians in 
the world : and, 2. Because it consisteth of persons that have 
everywhere in the world the same essentiating qualifications 

y 2 Cor. xi. 14. 


summed up, (Eph. iv. 3 — 6,) one body, one spirit, one hope of 
our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and 
Father of all, though in various measures of grace. And so 
the concordant churches of Christ throughout the world, were 
called the catholic church, as distinct from the sects and here- 
sies that broke from it. 

Q. 4. How comes the Pope of Rome to call only his subjects 
catholics ? 

A. The greatest part of the church on earth, by far, was 
long in the Roman empire, and when emperors turned Christ- 
ians, they gave the churches power for the honour of Christ- 
ianity, to form the churches much like the civil state : and so 
a general council of all the churches in that empire was their 
supreme church power. And three patriarchs first, and five 
after, were in their several provinces, over all the rest of the 
archbishops and bishops : and so the orthodox party at first 
were called the catholics, because they were the greater con- 
cordant part ; but quickly the Arians became far greater, and 
carried it in councils, and then they called themselves the catho- 
lics. After that, the orthodox, under wiser emperors, got up 
again, and then they were the greater part called catholics. 
Then the Nestorians a little while, and the Eutychians after, 
and the Monothelites after them, got the major vote in councils, 
and called themselves the catholic church : and so, since then, 
they that had the greatest countenance from princes, and the 
greatest number of bishops in councils, claimed the name of 
the catholic church : and the Pope, that was the first patriarch 
in the empire, first called himself the head of the catholic 
church in that empire; and when the empire was broke, ex- 
tended his claim to the whole christian world, partly bv the 
abuse of the word "catholic church," and partlv by the abuse 
of the name "general councils;" falsely pretending to men 
that what was called catholic and general, as to the empire, 
had been so called as to all the world. And thus his church 
was called catholic. 

Q. 5. Why is the catholic church called holy? 

A. 1. To notify the work of our Saviour, who came to save 
us from our sins, and gather a peculiar people, a holy society, 
who are separated from the unbelieving, ungodly world. 

2. To notify the work of the Holy Ghost, who is given to 
make such a holy people. 

3. Yea, to notify the holiness of God the Father, who will be 


sanctified in all that draw near him, and hateth the impure and 
unholy, and will have all his children holy as he is holy. 

4. And to tell us the fitness of all God's children for his 
favour and salvation. 

Q. G. Wherein consisteth the holiness of the church ? 

A. 1. Christ their Head is perfectly holy. 2. The gospel and 
law of Christ, which is our objective faith and rule, are holy. 3. 
The founders of the church were eminently holy. 4. All sin- 
cere Christians are truly holy, and marked out as such for sal- 
vation. 5. The common ministers have a holy office. 6. 
The church worship, as God's ordinances, are holy works. 
7. All that are baptised, and profess Christianity^ are holy as to 
profession, and so far separated from the infidel world, though 
not sincerely to salvation. 

Q. 7. What is it now that you call The Holy Catholic Church? 

A. It is the universality of Christians, headed by Jesus Christ. 

Or, it is a holy kingdom, consisting of Jesus Christ, 2 the 
Head, and all sincere Christians, the sincere members, and all 
professed Christians, the professing members ; first founded 
and gathered by the Holy Ghost, eminently working in the 
apostles and evangelists, recording the doctrine and laws of 
Christ for their government to the end, and guided by his minis- 
ters, and sanctifying Spirit, according to those laws and doctrine 
in various degrees of grace and gifts. 

Q. 8. What is it that makes all churches to be one ? 

A. 1. Materially their concord in their same qualifications, 
which is called, (Eph. iv. 3,) " the unity of the Spirit." They 
are all that are sincere, sanctified by the same Spirit, and have 
the same essentials of faith, hope, baptismal covenant, and 
love: a and the hypocrites profess the same. 

2. Formally their common union with, and relation to, God 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that is, to Jesus Christ their 
Head, bringing them home to God the Father by the Spirit. 

Q. 9. Is there no one ministerial head of all the church on 
earth ? 

A. No : neither one man, nor one council, or collection of 
men. For, 1. None are naturally capable of being one supreme 
pastor, teacher, priest, and ruler over all the nations of the earth, 
nor can so much as know them, or have human converse with 

* Eph. i. 22, 23, and v. 23, 24 ; Col. i. 18, 19, 24 ; Matt. xvi. 18 ; 1 Cor. xii. 
28—30; Actsii. 47. 
a Johnxvu.21,23; 1 Cor. xii. 5, 27— 29; Eph. iv. 5— 7 ; Matt, xxviii. 19. 


them. And a council gathered equally out of all the world, as 
one such supreme, is a more gross fiction of impossibles than 
that of a Pope. 

2. And Christ, that never so qualified any, never gave any 
such power. But all pastors are like the judges, justices, and 
mayors that rule subordinated' under one king, in their several 
precincts, and not like an universal viceroy, lieutenant, or aris- 
tocracy, or parliament. 

Q. 10. But is not monarchy the best form of government, 
and should not the church have the best ? 

A. 1, Yes : and therefore Christ is its monarch, who is capa- 
ble of it. 

2. But a human, universal monarchy of all the world is not 
best. Nor was ever an Alexander, a Caesar, or auy man, so mad, 
as soberly to pretend to it. Who is the man that you would 
have to be king at the antipodes, and over all the kings on earth ? 

3. Yea, the case of the church is liker that of schools and 
colleges, that rule volunteers in order to teaching them. And 
did ever papist think that all the schools on earth of gram- 
marians, philosophers, physicians, &c, should have one human, 
supreme schoolmaster, or a council or college of such to rule 
them ? 

Q. 1 1 . But Christ is not a visible Head, and the church is 
visible ? 

A. We deny not the visibility of the church, but we must 
not feign it to be more visible than it is. b 1. It consisteth of 
visible subjects. 2. Their profession is visible, and their worship. 
3. They have visible pastors in all the particular churches, as 
every school hath its schoolmaster. 4. Christ was visible in the 
flesh on earth. 5. He was after seen of Stephen and Paul. 
6. He is now visible in heaven, as the king in his court. 7. 
And he will come in glorious visibility shortly, to judge the 
world. 8. And his laws are visible by which he ruleth us and 
will judge us. If all this visibility will not satisfy men, Christ 
will not approve of usurpation for more visibility. 

Q. 12. Of what use is this article to us? 

A. 1. To tell us that Christ died not in vain, but will cer- 
tainly have a holy church which he will save. c 

>> lCor. xi.3; Epli. v. 23 ; Col. ii. 10, 18, and ii. 19; Acts xiv.23 ; Tit. i. 5; 
Eph. ii. 20; Acts viii. 36; ix., and xxii. 14; Rev. i. 7 ; Matt.xxv. 40.' 

' Eph. v. 27; Acts ii. 47, and xx. 28 ; 1 Cor. x. 32; Eph. iii. 10; Col. i. 18,24* 
Eph. iii, 21 ; Hcb. ii. 12 ; 1 Thess. v. 12, 13 ; Eph. iv. 16 ; 1 Tim. iii. 15. 


2. To show us, in the blessed effect, that the sanctification of 
the Spirit is not a fancy, but a holy church is renewed and 
saved by it. 

3. To tell us that God forsaketh not the earth, though he 
permit ignorance, infidelity, and wickedness to abound, and 
malice to persecute the truth : still God hath a holy church 
which he will preserve and save. And though this or that 
church may apostatise, and cease, there shall be still a catholic 
church on earth. 

4. To mind us of the wonderful providence of God, which so 
continueth and preserveth a holy people, hated by open ene- 
mies, and wicked hypocrites, by Satan and all his instruments 
on earth. 

5. To teach us to love the unity of Christians, and carefully 
maintain it, and not to tear the church bv the engines of proud 
men's needless snares, nor to be rashly censorious of any, or ex- 
communicate them unjustly, nor to separate from any, further 
than they separate from Christ, but to rejoice in our common 
union in christian faith and love, and not let wrongs, or infirmi- 
ties of Christians, or carnal interests, or pride or passion, nor 
different opinions about things not necessary to our unity, destroy 
our love or peace, or break this holy bond. 


"The Communion of Saints.' 

Q. 1. How is this article joined to the former ? 

A. As it belongs to our belief in the Holy Ghost, it tells us 
the effect of his sanctification : and as it belongs to our belief 
of the holy catholic church, it tells us the end of church re- 
lation, that saints may live in holy communion. 

Q. 2. What is it to be a saint ? 

A. To be separated from a common and unclean conversation 
unto God, and to be absolutely devoted to him, to love, serve 
and trust him, and hope for his salvation. 

Q. .3. Are all saints that are members of the catholic church? 

A. Yes, by profession, if not in sincerity: all that are sincere 
and living members of the church, are really devoted to God by 
heart-consent 3 and the rest are devoted by baptism, and out- 


ward profession, and are hypocrites, pretending falsely to be real 
saints. d 

Q. 4. Why then doth the Church of Rome canonize some 
few, and call them saints, if all Christians be saints ? 

A. Bv saints they mean extraordinary saints : but their ap- 
propriating the name to such, much tendeth to delude the peo- 
ple, as if they might be saved though they be not saints. e 

Q. 5. What is meant bv the Communion of Saints? 

A. Such a frame and practice of heart and life towards one 
another as supposeth union, such as is between the members of 
the body. 

Q. 6. Wherein doth this communion consist? 

A. 1. In their common love to God, faith in Christ, and 
sanctification by the Spirit. 2. In their love to one another as 
themselves. 1 3. In their care for one another's welfare, and 
endeavour to promote it as their own : g and when love makes 
all their goods so far common to all Christians within their con- 
verse, as that they do to their power supply their wants in the 
order and measure that God's providence, and their relations 
and acquaintance direct them 5 preferring the relief of others' 
necessities, before their own superfluity or fulness. 4. In their 
joining, as with one mind and soul and mouth, in God's public 
worship, and that in the holy order under their respective 
pastors, which Christ, by his Spirit in the apostles, hath insti- 
tuted. 11 

Q. 7. Why is our joining in the Lord's supper called our 
communion ? 

A. Because it is a special symbol, badge, and expression of it 
instituted by Christ, to signify our communion with him and 
one another. 

Q. S. Is that to be only a communion of saints ? 

A. Yes, that in a special manner is appropriated to saints : 
other parts of communion, (as eating together, relieving each 
other, duties of religion, Sec.,) are so far to be used toward un- 
believers, that they are not so meet to be the distinguishing 
symbols of Christians : but the two sacraments, baptism for 

d 1 Cor. i. 1, 2; Rom. i. 7; xii. 15, and xv. 23, 26, 31 ; 1 Cor. xiv. 33, 
and xvi. 1, 15. 

e 2 Cor. i. 1 ; Eph. i. 1 ; v. 3, and vi. 18 ; Phil. i. 1 ; Col. i. 2 ; Heb. xiii. 24 ; 
Acts iv. 

1 Col. i. 4 ; 1 Peter i. 22. « Heb. xiii. 2, 3 ; 1 Tim. vi. 18. 

>' 1 Cor. x. 16 ; 2 Cor. vi. 14 ; Heb. x. 22, 21 ; John xiii. 31, 35 ; 1 The*, v. 



entrance, and the Lord's supper, for continuance of communion, 
Christ hath purposely appointed for such badges or signs of his 
people as separate from the world.' 

Q. 9. By what order are others to be kept from church com- 
munion ? 

A. Christ hath instituted the office of the sacred ministry 
for this end, that when they have made disciples to him, they 
may be entrusted with the keys of his church, that is, especially 
the administration of these sacraments, first judging who is fit 
to be entered by baptism, and theu who is fit for continued com- 

Q. 10. May not the pastors, by this means, become church 
tyrants ? 

A. We must not put down all government for fear of tyranny; 
else kingdoms, armies, colleges, schools, must be all dissolved, 
as well as churches : somebody must be trusted with this power; 
and who is fitter than they who are called to it as their office, 
and therefore supposed best qualified for it. 

Q. 11. What if none were trusted with it, and sacraments 
left free to all ? 

A. Then sacraments would be no sacraments, and the church 
would be no church : if any man or woman that would, might 
baptise whom, and when, they would, they might baptise Turks 
and heathens, and that over and over, who come in scorn; and 
they might baptise without a profession of true faith ; or upon 
a false profession. And if every man might give the Lord's 
supper to another, it might be brought into ale-houses and 
taverns, in merriment, or as a charm, or every infidel or enemy 
might in scorn profane it : do you think that if baptism and 
the Lord's supper were thus administered, that they would be 
any symbols or badges of Christianity, or of a church, or any 
means of salvation ? No Christians ever dreamt of such pro- 

Q. 12. But why may not the pastors themselves give them 
to all that will ? 

A. Either you would have 1 them forced to do so, or to do it 

1 Matt. xxvi. 26 ; 1 Cor. xi. 21, 22, 24, &c. ; Acts xx. 7 ; 1 Cor. x. 16 ; 
Actsii. 42, 46. 

k Matt. xvi. 19, and xxiv. 45,46 ; 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2 ; Acts xx. 20, 28; ] Thes. 
v. 12, 13 ; Heb. xiii. 7, 17, 21. 

1 1 Cor. v. ; 2 Thes. iii. ; Tit. iit. 10; 2 Cor. vi. 16, 17 ; 1 Cor. i. 1,2, and 
2 Cor. i. 1 ; Eph. i. 1,2. 


freely. If forced, they are no judges who is fit; and who then 
shall be judge? Jf the magistrate, you make him a pastor; 
and oblige him to teach, examine, hear, and try all the people's 
knowledge, faith, and lives, which will find them work enough; 
and this is not to depose the ministers' power, but to put it on 
another that hath more already than he can do : and a pastor 
then that delivereth the sacrament to every one that the magis- 
trate bids him shall be a slave and not a free performer of the 
acts of his own office, unless that magistrate try and judge, and 
the minister be but a deacon, that must give account for 
no more than the bare delivering it. But if it be the 
receivers of baptism, or the Lord's supper, that shall be 
judges, and may force the pastor to give it them; I have 
showed you already the profanation will make it no sacrament 
nor church. 

And if pastors, that are judges, shall freely give them to all, 
they will be the profaners, and such ministration will confound 
the church and the world. 

Q. 13. I do not mean that they should give them to hea- 
thens, but to all that profess the christian faith. 

A. Therefore they must judge whether they profess the chris- 
tian faith or not ; and whether they speak as parrots, or under- 
stand what they say : and withal, christian love, and a christian 
life must be professed, as well as christian faith. 

Q. 14. What are the terms on which they must receive men 
to communion ? 

A. They must baptise them and their infants, who, with com- 
petent understanding, and seeming seriousness, profess a prac- 
tical belief in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and con- 
sent to that covenant, as expounded in the Creed, Lord's Prayer, 
and Ten Commandments. And they must admit all to com- 
munion in the Lord's supper, who continue in that profes- 
sion, and nullify it not by proved apostasy, or inconsistent pro- 
fession or practice. 1 " 

Q. 15. May not hypocrites make such professions, that are 
no saints ? 

A. Yes; and God only is the judge of hearts, not detected 
by proved contrary words or deeds : and these are saints by pro- 

Q. 16. But it is on pretence of being the judge of church 

m Matt, xxviii. 19 ; Rev. xxii. 17. 



communion, that the pope hath got his power over the christian 

A. And if tyrants, by false pretences, claim the dominions of 
other princes, or of mens' families, we must not therefore de- 
pose our kings or fathers. 

Q. 17- But how shall we know what pastors they be that 
have this power of the keys, and judging men's fitness for com- 
munion ? 

A. All pastors, as such, have power, as all physicians have in 
judging of their patients, and all schoolmasters of their scholars. 
But great difference there is, who shall correct men's injurious 
administrations : whether the magistrate do it himself, or whe • 
ther a bishop over many pastors do it ; or many pastors in a 
synod do it, is no such great matter as will warrant the sad con- 
tentions that have been about it, so it be done. Or if none of 
these do it, a people intolerably injured may right themselves, 
by deserting such an injurious pastor. But the pastors must 
not be disabled, and the work undone, on pretence of restrain- 
ing them from misdoing it." 

Q. 18. What is the need and benefit of this pastoral disci- 

A. 1. The honour of Christ (who, by so wonderful an incar- 
nation, &c, came to save his people from their sins) must be 
preserved : which is profaned, if his church be not a commu- 
nion of saints. 

2. The difference between heaven and hell is so great, that 
God will have a visible difference between the way to each, and 
between the probable heirs of each. The church is the nursery 
for heaven, and the womb of eternal happiness. And dogs 
and swine are no heirs for heaven. 

3. It is necessary to the comfort of believers. 

4. And for the conviction and humbling of the unbelievers, 
and ungodly. 

Q. 19. What further use should we make of this article ? 

A. 1. All Christians must carefully see that they be not hy- 
pocrites, but saints indeed, that they be meet for the commu- 
nion of saints. 

2. All that administer holy things, and govern churches, should 
carefully see that they be a communion of saints, and not a 

"Phil. i. 15 — 18. 

"Tit. ii. 11; Eph. i. 22, 23, and v. 25—29; Col. i. 18, 21; Epli. iv. 
14, 1«. 


swine-sty : not as the common world, but as the garden of 
Christ : that they promote and encourage holiness, and take 
heed of cherishing impiety. 

3. We must all be much against both that usurpation, and 
that neglect of necessary discipline, and differencing saints from 
wicked men, which hath corrupted most of the churches in the 

Q. 20. But when experience assureth us that few Christians 
can bear church discipline, should it be used when it will do 

A. It is so tender, and yet so necessary, a discipline which 
Christ hath appointed, that he is unfit for the communion of 
saints who will not endure it. It is not to touch his purse or 
body : it is not to cast any man out of the church for small in- 
firmities : no, nor for gross sin, that repenteth of it, and forsakes 
it : it is not to call him, magisterially, to submit to the pastor's 
unproved accusation or assertions : but it is, with the spirit of 
meekness and fatherly love, to convince a sinner, and draw him 
to repentance, proving from God's word,i that the thing is a sin. 
and proving him guilty of it, and telling him the evil and dan- 
ger of it, and the necessity of repentance, and confession, and 
amendment. And if he be stubborn, not making unnecessary 
haste, but praying for his repentance, and waiting a competent 
time, and joyfully absolving him upon his repentance : and if he 
continue impenitent, only declaring him unfit for church com- 
munion, and requiring the church accordingly to avoid him, and 
binding him to answer it at the bar of God, if he repent not. 1 " 

Q. 21. But if men will not submit to public confession, may 
not auricular, private confession to the priest serve turn ? 

A. In case the sin be private, a private confession may serve : 
but when it is known, the repentance must be known, or else it 
attaineth not the ends of its amendment : and the papists' au- 
ricular confession, in such cases, is but a trick to delude the 
church, and to keep up a party in it of wicked men, that will 
not submit to the discipline of Christ : it pretendeth strictness, 
but it is to avoid the displeasure of those that are too proud to 
stoop to open confession. Let such be never so many, they are 
not to be kept in the church on such terms : he that hath 

i 1 Matt, xx'ii. 21,22; xiii. 39, 41, and vii. 21, 22; Luke xiii. 27. 
i Matt.xviii. 21, 22; Luke xvii. 3 ; 2 Cor. ii. 7, 10, and vii. S ; John xx. 23. 
r Mark iii. G ; Luke xiii. 3, 5, and xvii. 3; Acts ii. 37,38, and iii. 19 ; Luke 
xxiv. 47; James v. 16; 1 John i. 9; Prov. xxviii. 13 ; Acts xix. 


openly sinned against Christ, and scandalized the church, and 
dishonoured his profession, and will by no conviction and en- 
treaty be brought to open confession, (in an evident case,) doth 
cast himself out of the communion of saints, and must be de- 
clared such by the pastors. 


" The Forgiveness of Sins." 

Q. 1. What is the dependence of this article on the former? 

A. It is part of the description of the effects of Christ's re- 
demption, and the Holy Ghost's application of it : his regener- 
ation maketh us members of the Holy Catholic Church, where 
we must live in the communion of saints, and therewith we re- 
ceive the forgiveness of sins : the same sacrament of baptism 
signifying and exhibiting both, as washing us from the filth or 
power of sin, and from the guilt of punishment. 8 

Q. 2. What is the forgiveness of sin ? 

A. It is God's acquitting us from the deserved punishment. 1 

Q. 3. How doth God do this ? 

A. By three several acts, which are three degrees of pardon : 
the first is, by his covenant, gift promise, or law of grace, by 
which, as his instrument or act of oblivion, he dissolveth the ob- 
ligation to punishment which we were under, and giveth us law- 
ful right to impunity, so that neither punishment by sense or by 
loss shall be our due. u 

The second act is by his sentence as a Judge, pronouncing us 
forgiven, and justifying this our right against all that is or can 
be said against it. 

The third act is by his execution, actually delivering us from 
deserved punishment of loss and sense. x 

Q. 4. Doth not God forgive us the guilt of the fault as well 
as the dueness of punishment ? 

A. Yes, for these are all one in several words : to forgive the 

» 1 John i, 9. * Mat. ix. 2, 5—7 ; Mark ii. 7, 10, 

" Psalm xxxii. 1 , 2, and Ixxxv. 2 ; Luke v. 20, and vii. 48, 50 ; Jam. v. 15 ; 
Eph. iv. 32 ; Heb. i. 3 ; 2 Cor. v. 18, 19 ; Psalm exxx. 4. 
x Acts v. 31 ; xiii. 38, and xxvi. 18. 


sin, and to acquit from dueness of punishment for that sin, are 
the same thing. God doth not repute or judge us to be such as 
never sinned, for that were to judge falsely ; nor doth he judge 
that our sin is not related to us as the actors, for that is impos- 
sible ; nor doth he judge that our sin did not deserve punish- 
ment ; but only that the deserved punishment is forgiven, for 
the merits of Christ's righteousness and sacrifice. 

Q. 5. Is not justification and forgiveness of sin all one ? 

A. To be justified : 1. Sometimes signified! to be made just 
and justifiable in judgment ; and then it sometimes includeth 
both the gift of saving faith and repentance, and the gift of 
pardon, and of right to life everlasting 3 and sometimes it pre- 
supposeth faith and repentance given, and signifieth the annex- 
ed gift of pardon and life. 

2. Sometimes it signifieth God's justifying us by his sentence 
in judgment, which containeth both the justifying of our right to 
impunity and salvation, and the justifying our faith and holiness 
as sincere, which are the conditions of our right. y 

3. And sometimes to justify us, is to use us as just men. 
And as long as we understand the matter thus signified by par- 
doning and justifying, we must not strive about words so vari- 
ously used. 2 

Q. 6. But if Christ's perfect righteousness, habitual and 
actual, be our own righteousness by God's imputation, how can we 
need a pardon of sin, when we were perfectly obedient in Christ? 

A. We could not possibly be pardoned as sinners, if God re- 
puted us to have fulfilled all righteousness in Christ, and so to 
be no sinners ; therefore it is no such imputation that must be 
affirmed. But God justly reputeth Christ's holiness and righte- 
ousness, active and passive, dignified by his divinity, to be fully 
meritorious of our pardon, justification, and salvation. And so 
it is ours, and imputed as the true meritorious cause of our 
righteousness, which consisteth in our right to pardon and salva- 
tion. 11 

Q. 7- Is pardon perfect in this life, and all punishment re- 
mitted at once ? 

A. No : 1. The punishment denounced in God's sentence of 
Eve and Adam is not wholly forgiven 3 the curse on the ground, 

y Isa. liii. 11, and xlv. 25 ; 1 Cor. vi. 11 ; Tit. iii. 5, 7 ; Rev. xxii. 12 ; Rom. 
iv. 2, 5 ; ii. 13, and iii. 20 ; Gal. ii. 16, 17 ; Rom. viii. 33 ; Jam. ii. 21, 24. 

z Isa. 1. 8 ; 1 Kings viii. 32 ; Dent. xxv. 1 ; Isa. v. 23. 

a Rom. iii. 22, 25, 26 ; Gal. iii. 6 ; Rom. iv. 5,9, 22 ; v. 17—19 ; vi. 13, 16, 
18, and viii, 4, 10. 


the woman's sorrows, the pain and stroke of death. 2. Tem- 
poral, correcting punishments are not all forgiven. 3. Some 
measure of sin is penally permitted in us. 4. The want of more 
holiness and help of God's Spirit, and communion with God, is 
to all of us a sore punishment. 5. The permission of many 
temptations from devils and men are punishments, specially 
when they prevail to heinous sinning. (3. To be so long kept 
out of heaven, and to lie after in the grave, are punishments. 
Sure few men believe that pardon is here perfect, that feel any 
of these. 7. And it is not perfect, till we are justified before 
the world, and put in possession of salvation : that is the per- 
fect pardon. b 

Q. 8. But some say, that chastisements are no punishments. 

A. They are not damning, destructive punishments, but they 
are chastising punishments ; for they are evil to nature, inflicted 
by fatherly, correcting justice, for sin. 

Q. 9. Is that an evil which alwavs bringeth greater good ? 

A. It is no such evil as sinners should repine at. But ask 
any of that opinion, under the stone, or other tormenting dis- 
ease, or if he must die as a malefactor, whether it be not a natu- 
ral evil ? If there be no evil in it, why doth he groan under it, 
why doth he pray against it, or u^e physic, or other remedies ? 
Why is he offended at those that hurt him ? Had he not rather 
have his holiness and salvation without torment, prisons, &c, 
than with them. 

2. But it is not true, that all the punishments of such as 
are saved make them better ; some are permitted to fall into 
heinous sin, and to decline in their faith, love, and obedience, 
and to die worse than once they were ; and so to have a less 
degree of glory, when they have been hurtful scandals in the 
world. And is there no harm in all this ? Nothing is perfect 
in this imperfect world. 

Q. 10. How are Christ's merits and satisfaction perfect then? 

A. That is perfect which is perfectly fitted to its use; it was 
not a use that Christ ever intended, to pardon all temporal, cor- 
recting punishment, nor to make each believer perfect the first 

b I think no man that felt what I feel, at the writing of this, in my flesh, 
and for my friends, can possibly think that pardon is perfect in this life. Jam. 
v.15; Luke vi. 37; Matt. xii. 31; Jos. xxiv. 19; Matt. vi. 12, 14 ; 2 Kings xxiii. 
20,27; Matt, xviii. 32. 

c 2Sam. vii. 14; Psalm lxxiii. 14, and cxviii.18; 1 Cor. xi. 32 ; Jer. xxxi. 
IS; Heb. xii. S— 10 ; 2 Cor. ii. G; Lam. iii. 39; Job xxxt. 11 ; Amos iii. 2; 
Matt. xvi. 23. 


hour. That our greatest sins should go unpunished is against 
Christ's will and kingly government, and the nature of his sal- 
vation; and his righteousness and satisfaction are not intended 
against himself/ 1 

Q. 1 1 . What sins are pardoned ? Is it all, or but some ? 
A. All sin is pardoned, though the pardon be not perfect at 
first, to all true penitent believers. But final impenitence, un- 
belief, and unholiness, never had a pardon purchased or offered j 
but that which is not final is forgiven ; yea, no sin is actually 
forgiven, as to the everlasting punishment, to final impenitents 
and unbelievers. e 

Q. 12. Are sins pardoned before they are committed ? 

A. If you call the mere purpose or purchase a pardon unfitly, 
or you speak but of the general act of oblivion, which pardon- 
eth all men on condition that they penitently and believingly 
accept it, so sins to come are pardoned: but (not to strive about 
words) no one hath any actual, proper pardon for any sin before 
it is committed ; for it is no sin, and so no pardoned sin. f 

Q. 13. When is it that sin is pardoned ? 

A. God's purpose is eternal ; the conditional pardon was 
made when the covenant of grace was made ; some degrees of 
punishment God remitteth by common and preparatory grace. 
But saving pardon none receive (at age) till they believe, nor 
are they justified. 8 

Q, 14. Why do we pray for pardon daily, when sin is already 
pardoned ? 

A. 1 . 1 told you, sin is not pardoned when it is no sin ; we 
sin daily, and, therefore, must have daily pardon. And this 
also proveth, that pardon and justification are not perfect be- 
fore death, because there are more sins still to be pardoned. 
2. And we pray for the continuance of the pardon we have, and 
for removal of punishments. 

Q. 15. Is this the meaning of this article, that "I believe my 
own sins are actually forgiven," as a divine revelation ? 

A. The meaning is : 1 . That by Christ a certain degree of 
punishment is taken off from all mankind, and they are not dealt 
with according to the rigour of the law of innocent nature. 2. 
And that a conditional pardon is given to all in the new cove- 

'i Phil. iii. 12, 13 ; 1 Pet. v. 10 ; 1 Cor. xiii. 10 ; 2 Cor. vii. 1 ; P r0 v. viii. 
3C ; 1 John i. S, ami v. 17. 

l ' Matt.xii. 32; Exod.xxxiv. 6,7; Luke xiii. 3, 5; John iii. lGj Maikxvi. 10. 

< Matt, xviii. 32; 2 Cor. v. 19; Matt. vi. 12. 

e Heb. i. 3; John iii. 10, 18,25 ; Rom. iv. 2, and v. 1. 


nant so far as it is revealed. 3. And that this pardon becom- 
eth actual to every one when he penitently and believingly con- 
senteth to the (baptismal) covenant with Christ. 11 4. And that 
this pardon is offered to me as well as others, and shall be mine 
if I be a sincere believer; this is all that the article containeth. 

5. But while I profess to believe, it is supposed that I hope I do 
it sincerely, and, therefore, have some hope that I am pardoned. 

6. But because a man may sincerely believe, and yet doubt of 
the sincerity, and God hath no where said in Scripture, that I or 
you are sincere believers, or are pardoned ; therefore to believe 
this is no divine faith, save by participation ; nor is it professed 
by all that profess the creed. But it is an effect of two acts : 
1. Of our faith. 2. And of the conscience of our sincerity 
in believing ; it is a conclusion that all should labour to make 
sure, though it be not the proper sense of the article. 

Q. 16. Seeing all true believers are at first justified and par- 
doned as to the everlasting punishment, doth it not follow, that 
all God's children have afterward none but temporal chastise- 
ment to be forgiven ? 

A. 1. 1 told you that sin is not forgiven, even to stated be- 
lievers, before it is committed \ and when it is committed, the 
qualifying condition must be found in us ; and though our first 
true faith and repentance qualify us for the pardon of all sin 
past, yet when more is committed, more is required in us to our 
pardon, that is, that we renew repentance and faith as far as sin 
is known, and that we beg pardon and forgive others. 2. Yet 
the future punishment is not so much un forgiven to the faithful 
as to others, before renewed repentance-, for they have the main 
qualification, and want but an act for which they are habituated, 
and have God's Spirit to assist them. o. And though sins un- 
known, which are ordinary infirmities, are forgiven without ex- 
press, particular repentance, yet, in order of nature, the desert of 
punishment goeth before the forgiveness ; the very law of nature 
maketh durable punishment due to durable souls, till the due- 
ness be remitted bv forgiveness. 1 

Q. 17. Is my sin forgiven, as long as I believe it not forgiven? 

A. If you believe not that God is a merciful, pardoning God, 
and Christ a pardoning Saviour, whose sacrifice and merits are 
sufficient, and God's promise of pardon to the penitent believer 

h 2 Sam. xii. 12, 13 ; Psalm 1., and xxxii. 

! Psalm xxxii; xxv., and li.; Matt, xviii. 32, and vi. 14,15; 1 John i. 9; 
Acts viii. 22. 


is true, and to be trusted, you are not pardoned; but if you be- 
lieve this, and consent to Christ's pardoning covenant, you are 
pardoned, though you doubt of your own forgiveness. 

Q. 18. How may I be sure that I am forgiven ? 

A. The everlasting punishment is forgiven, when you are one 
that God by his covenant pardoneth, and that is, when by true 
faith and repentance you consent to the covenant terms, and 
give up yourself to God, as your God, and Saviour, and Sancti- 
fier. And when temporal punishments are remitted in soul or 
body, experience of their removal may tell you. k 

Q. 19. What keepeth up doubts of forgiveness of sin ? 

A. 1. Ignorance of the terms of the pardoning covenant. 2. 
And ignorance of ourselves and our own sincerity. 3. Especially 
renewing our guilt by sin, and being so defective in our repen- 
tance, and other grace, as that we cannot be sure of our sinceritv; 
above all, when frequent sinning after God's promises makes us 
not creditable to ourselves. 

Q. 20. But is not the cure of a doubting soul to believe, 
though he find no evidence in himself; and that because he is 
commanded to believe, and so believing will be his evidence ? 

A. Believing is a word that signifieth divers acts. As I told 
you, it is every man's duty to believe God's mercy, and Christ's 
redemption and sufficiency, and the truth of the conditional 
promise, 1 and to accept pardon, as offered on the terms of that 
promise, and then not to cherish doubts of his sincerity. But 
it is not every man's duty to believe that he is sincere, or that 
his sin is pardoned; else most should be bound to believe an 
untruth that it may after become true. Presumption destroyeth 
far more than despair ; for an ungodly, impenitent person to 
believe that he is godly, and justified by Christ, is to believe 
himself, who is a liar, and not to believe Christ ; yea, it is to 
believe himself against Christ, who saith the contrary. 

Q. 21. What is the use of this article of the forgiveness of sin ? 

A. The use is exceeding great; not to embolden us in sin, 
because it is pardonable, nor to delay repentance and forsaking 
sin, for that were to cast away pardon by contempt. But, 1. to 
show us what a merciful God we serve. 2. And what a mercy 
it is to have a Redeemer, 111 and a pardoning Saviour. 3. And 
what a comfort to be under a pardoning covenant of grace. 

k John Hi- 16 ; Rom. x. 14. ' Mark iii. 28 ; Acts v. 31. 

m Jer. xxxt. 34, and xxxvi. 3 ; Luke vii. 12, 13; Actsxxvi. 18 ; Eph. i.7; 
Col. i. 14. 


4. And it tells us that the review of the sins of our uriregerie- 
rate state, though they must keep us humble, should yet be 
still used to raise our hearts to joyful thankfulness to God, for 
the grace of a Redeemer. 5. And it should keep us from des- 
pair and discouragement in all our weaknesses, while we have 
the evidence of daily pardon. 6. Yea, it should make us hate 
sin the more, which is against so good a God. 7. We may 
come with reverent boldness to God, in meditation, prayer, and 
sacraments, when we know that sin is pardoned. 8. And we 
may taste the sweetness of all our mercies, when the doubt of 
our forgiveness doth not embitter them. 9. And we may much 
the easier bear all afflictions when the everlasting punishment is 
forgiven. 10. And we may die when God calls us, without 
horror, when we believe that we are pardoned through Christ. 
Nothing but sin can hurt or endanger us at Christ's tribunal ; 
when that is forgiven, and there is no condemnation to us, 
being in Christ, how joyfully may we think of his appearing ! 
11. What peace of conscience may we have continually, while 
we can say that all our sins are forgiven us ! For, as Psalm 
xxxii. 1 ; " And blessed are they whose transgression is for- 
given, whose sin is covered, to whom the Lord imputeth not 
iniquity, and in whose Spirit there is no guile." 


" The Resurrection of the Body." 

Q. 1. I have oft wondered why there is nothing in the Creed 
of the immortality of the soul, and its state before the resur- 

A. 1. The article of Christ's descent tells us, that his soul 
was among the separated souls, while his body was in the 
grave ; as he told the thief, that he should be that day with him 
in Paradise. 

2. The resurrection of the body is a thing not known at all 
by nature, but only by supernatural revelation, and therefore is 
an article of mere belief. But the immortality, or future life of 
souls, is a point which the light of nature revealeth, and there- 
fore was taken, both by Jews and sober heathens, as a truth of 
common notice. Even as the love of ourselves is not expressed 


in the Ten Commandments, but only the love of God and 
others, because it was a thing presupposed. 

3. The immortality of the soul is included in the article of 
the resurrection of the body ; for if the soul continue not, the 
next at the resurrection would be another soul, and a new 
created one, and not the same. And then the body would not 
be the same soul's body, nor the man the same man, but ano- 
ther. Who was so unwise to think that God had so much 
more care of the body than of the soul, as that he would let 
the soul perish, and raise the body from the dust alone, and 
join it with another soul ? 

4. Very learned and wise expositors think, that the Greek 
word, anastasis, used for resurrection, indeed signifieth the 
whole life after this, both of the soul first, and body also after, 
oft in the New Testament. It is a living again, or after this life, 
called a standing up again. And there is great probability of 
it in Christ's argument with the Sadducees, and some passages 
of Paul's, 1 Cor. xv. 

Q. 2. What texts of Scripture do fully prove that the soul 
liveth when it is separated from the body? 

A. Very many : i. God breathing into man the breath of life, 
and making him a living soul, is said thereby to make him in 
the image of God, who is the living God ; and so the soul is 
essentially life. 

2. God's calling himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, is by Christ expounded, as proving that he is the God 
of living Abraham. 

3. None ever dreamed that Enoch and Elijah had no company 
of human souls in heaven. For (Matt, xvii.) Moses also ap- 
peared with them on the Mount, and showed that his soul 
did live. 

4. When Saul himself would have Samuel raised to speak 
with him, it plainly implieth that it was then the common 
belief of the Jews, that separated souls survive. 

5. When (1 Kings xvii. 22) Elijah raised the dead child of 
the widow of Zarephath ; and (2 Kings iv.) Elisha raised the 
Shunamite's child; and (2 Kings xiii. 21) a dead man was 
raised ; all these proved that the soul was the same that came 
again, else the persons had not been the same. 

6. When Christ raised Lazarus, and Jairus's daughter. 
(Mark v. 41, 42 ; Luke viii. 55,) and another, (Luke vii. 12 r 
14, 15,) the same souls came into them. 



7. Many of the dead rose and appeared at Christ's death. 
And Peter raised one from death, which was by a re-union of 
the same living soul to the same body. 

8. Christ tells us (Luke xii. 4) that men cannot kill the soul. 

9. He tells us (Luke xvi. 9) that as the wise steward, when 
he was put out, was received bv the persons whom he had 
obliged ; so if we make us friends of the mammon of unright- 
eousness, when these things fail us, which is at death, we shall 
be received into the everlasting habitations. 

10. The parable of the sensual Rich Man and Lazarus: one 
going presently to hell, and the other to the bosom of Abraham 
in Paradise, fully prove that Christ would have this believed, 
and would have all men warned accordingly to prepare ; and 
that Moses and the prophets were so sufficient for such notice, 
as that one from the dead would have been less credible herein. 
Though it be a parable, it is an instructing, and not a deceiving 
parable, and very plain in this particular. The name of Abra- 
ham's bosom was according to the common sense of the Jews, 
who so called that state of the blessed, not doubting but that 
Abraham was then in happiness, and the blessed with him. 

11. Herod's thought, that John had been risen from the 
dead, and the Jews' conceit that Christ had been one of the 
old prophets risen, and the Pharisees' approbation of Christ's 
argument with the Sadducees do put it past doubt, that it was 
then taken for certain truth, that the souls of the faithful do 
survive by all, except such as the heretical Sadducees. 

12. Christ saith, " This is life eternal, to know thee the only 
true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." (John xvii. 3.) 
How is it eternal, if it have as long an interruption as from 
death till the day of judgment ? 

13. It is the sum of God's Gospel, that " Whosoever be- 
lieved! in Christ shall not perish, but have everlasting life." 
(John iii. 16.) Therefore they perish not till the day of 

14. Christ hath promised, that whoever drinketh of the 
water which he will give him, (the Spirit,) " it shall be in him 
a well of water springing up to everlasting life." (John iv. 14.) 
But if the soul perish, that water perisheth to that soul. 

15. To be born again of the Spirit fitteth a man to enter into 
the kingdom of God. But if the soul perish, all that new birth 
is lost to that soul, and profiteth the dust only. 

16. " He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life." 


(John iii. 36.) "He is passed from death to life." (John v. 24.) 
" He giveth meat, which endureth to everlasting life." (John 
vi. 27-) " He shall never hunger or thirst (that is, he empty) 
that cometh to Christ." (Ver. 35.) " Of all that cometh to 
him he will lose nothing;" therefore will not lose all their souls. 
(Ver. 39.) " They have everlasting life." (Ver. 40, 47.) " He 
dwelleth in Christ, and Christ in him," and therefore is not 
extinct. (Ver. 54, 56, 58.) " Verily, verily, I say unto you, 
if a man keep my sayings, he shall never see death." (John 
viii. 51.) " I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never 
perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." (John 
x. 28.) 

17. " Whosoever liveth and helieveth in me shall never die." 
(John xi. 26.) 

IS. " The Comforter shall ahide with you for ever." (John 
xiv. 26.) " For he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." 
(Ver. 17.) 

19. "I will that they whom thou hast given me, be with me 
where I am, that they may behold my glory." (John xvii. 24.) 
If the soul perish, it is not they that shall be with him, but 

20. " To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." (Luke 
xxiii. 43.) 

21. " Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit." (Luke 
xxiii. 46.) 

22. " Where I am, there shall my servant be." (John xii. 26.) 
But Christ is not perished. 

23. " Stephen called on God, saying, Lord Jesus receive my 
spirit." (Acts vii. 79.) Therefore it perished not. 

24. " If children, then heirs." (Rom. viii. 17.) " We 
groan, waiting for the adoption." (Ver. 23.) " Whom he 
justified, them he glorified." (Ver. 30.) In shoit, all the whole 
Gospel, that promiseth life to the sanctified, doth prove the 
immortality of the soul : for if the soul perish, no man that 
lived upon earth is saved : for if the soul be not the man, it is 
most certainly the prime, essential part of the man. The dust 
of the carcass is not the man; and if another soul, and not the 
same, come into it, it will be another man, and so all the pro- 
mises fail. 

25. So all the texts that speak of resurrection, judgment, 
that we shall all be judged according to our works, and what 
we did in the body. If it be another soul that must be judged, 


which never was in that body before, nor ever did any thing 
in that body, how shall it be judged for that which it never 
did? All the texts that threaten bell, or future punishment, 
and promise heaven, prove it. " I was hungry and ye fed me, 
naked and ye clothed me," &c. (Matt, xxv.) Ye did it, or 
did it not to me, might they not say, ' We never did it, nor 
ever lived till now t ' " The angels shall gather out of his 
kingdom all things that offend, and them that work iniquity, 
and cast them into the lake of fire." (Matt, xiii.) And all 
the Scripture which threateneth damnation to them that obey 
not the truth, and promiseth salvation to the faithful ; which is 
never performed, if all be clone on another soul. (2 Thes. i. 
G— 10, and ii. 12.) 

26. And all the texts that speak of God's justice and mercy 
hereafter. Is it justice to damn a new-made soul that never 

27. Paul knew not whether he were in or out of the body, 
when he was in Paradise. (2 Cor. xii. 2 — 4.) The separated 
soul then may be in Paradise. 

28. How can the hope of unseen things make affliction and 
death easy to that soul that shall never be saved ? And how 
can we be comforted or saved by such hope ? (2 Cor. iv. 

29. " We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle 
were dissolved, we have a building of God." (2 Cor. v. 1.) 
" For in this we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon 
with our house which is from heaven." (Ver. 2.) " He that 
hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath 
given us the earnest of the Spirit." (Ver. 5.) " Therefore we 
are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in 
the body we are absent from the Lord ; we are confident and 
willing rather to be absent from the body and present with the 
Lord. Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent 
we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before 
the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the 
things done in his body, whether it be good or bad." (Ver. 6.) 

30. " To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. What I 
shall choose I know not : for I am in a strait between two, 
having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far 
better." (Phil. i. 21-23.) 

31. " Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord," &c. (Rev. 
xiv. 13.) 


32. " We are come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, 
&c., the spirits of the just made perfect." (Heh. xii. 22, 23.) , 

Abundance more might be added. And I have been so large 
on this, because it is of most unspeakable importance, as that 
which all our comfort and our religion lieth on ; and though 
the light of nature have taught it philosophers, and almost all 
the world in all ages, yet the devil is most busy to make men 
doubt of it, or deny it. 

Religion lieth on three grand articles. 1. To believe in 
God ; and this is so evident in the whole frame of nature, that 
there is a God, that he is worse than mad that will deny it. 
2. To believe the immortality of the soul, and the life here- 
after. And, 3. To believe in Christ. And though it be this 
third that is known only by supernatural Revelation, yet to him 
that believeth the immortality of the soul, and the life here- 
after, Christianity will appear so exceeding congruous, that it 
will much the more easily be believed. And experience tells 
us, that the devil's main game, for the debauching and damning 
of fleshly, worldly, ungodly men, and for troubling and discom- 
forting believers, lieth in raising doubts of the soul's immortality, 
and the future life of reward and punishment. 

Q. 3. But what good will a resurrection of the body do us, 
if the soul be in happiness before ? 

A. 1. It will be for God's glory to make and bless a perfect 
man. 2. It will be our perfection : a whole man is more per- 
fect than a soul alone. 3. It will be the soul's delight. 11 As 
God, that is perfectly blessed in himself, yet made and main- 
taineth a world, of which he is more than the soul, because he 
is a communicative good, and pregnant, and delighteth to do 
good ; so the soul is made like God in his image, and is com- 
municative, and would have a body to act on. As the sun, if 
there were nothing in the world but itself, would be the same 
that it now is; but nothing would receive its motion, light, or 
heat, or be the better for it. And if you did imagine it to 
have understanding, you must think that it would be much 
more pleased to enlighten and enliven so many millions of crea- 
tures, and cause the flourishing of all the earth, than to shine to 
nothing. So may you think of the soul of man ; it is by God 
inclined to actuate a body. 

Q. 4. If that be so, it is till then imperfect, and deprived of 
its desire, and so in pain and punishment. 

" Rev. xxi. and xxii. 


A. It is not in its full perfection ; and it is a degree of 
punishment to be in a state of separation. But you cannot 
call it a pain as to sense, because it bath an unspeakable glory, 
though not the most perfect. Nor bath the will of the blessed 
any trouble and striving against the will of God, but takes that 
for best which God wiileth. And so the separated state is best, 
while God wiileth it, though the united state will be best (as 
more perfect) in its time. 

Q. 5. But the dust in a grave is so vile a thing, that one 
would think the raising it should not be very desirable to the soul. 

A. It shall not be raised in the shape of ugly dust, or filth, 
nor of corruptible flesh and blood; but a glorious and spiritual 
body, and a meet companion for a glorified soul. And even 
now, as vile as the body is, you feel that the soul is loth to 
part with it.° 

Q. G. But there are so many difficulties and improbabilities 
about the resurrection, as make the belief of it very hard. 

A. What is hard to God, that made heaven and earth of 
nothing, and maintains all things in their state and course? 
What was that body awhile ago? Was it not as unlikely as 
dust to be what it now is? 

It is folly to object difficulties to omnipotency. 

Q. 7- But the body is in continual flux, or change; we have 
not the same flesh this year that we had the last ; and a man 
in a consumption loseth before death the mass of flesh in which 
he did good or evil ; shall all that vise again, which every day 
vanisheth ? And shall the new flesh be punished for that which 
it never did ? 

A. It is a foolish thing, from our ignorance and uncertainties, 
to dispute against God, and certain truth : will you know nothing, 
unless you know all things ? Will you doubt of the plain mat- 
ter, because, in your darkness, vou understand not the manner or 
circumstances of it ? The soul hath a body consisting of various 
parts ; the fierv part in the spirits is its most immediate vehicle 
or body ; the seminal, tenacious humour, and air, is the imme- 
diate vehicle of the fiery part ; whether the spirits do any of them 
depart, as its vehicle or bodv, with the soul; or, if not, whether 
they be the identifving part, that the soul shall be re-united to 
first; or what, or how much, of the rest, even the aqueous and 
earthy matter, which we had from our birth, shall be re-assumed, 
are things past our understanding. You know not how you 

" 1 Cor. xv. 


were generated in the womb, and yet you know that you were 
there made : and must God teach vou how you shall be raised 
before you will believe it ? Must he answer all your doubts of 
the flesh that is vanished, or the bodies eaten by other bodies, 
and teach you all his unsearchable skill, before you will take his 
word for true ? 

He that maketh the rising sun to end the darkness of the 
night, and the flourishing spring to renew the face of millions of 
plants, which seemed in the winter to be dead, and the buried 
little seed to spring up to a beautiful plant and flower, or a strong 
and goodly tree, hath power and skill enough to raise our bodies, 
by ways unknown to foolish man. 

Q. 8. What should a man do that he may live in a comforta- 
ble hope of the resurrection, and the soul's immortality, and 
the life to come ? 

A. We have three great things to do for this end. 1. To get 
as full a certainty as is possible, that there is such a life to come. 
And this is done by strengthening a sound belief. 2. To get a 
suitableness of soul to that blessed life ; and this is by the in- 
crease of love and holiness, and by a spiritual, heavenly conver- 
sation. And, 3. To get and exercise a joyful hope and assur- 
ance that it shall be ours ; and this is done by a life of careful 
obedience to God, and the conscious notice of our sincerity and 
title, and by the increase and exercise of the foresaid faith and 
love; daily dwelling on the thoughts of God's infinite goodness, 
and fatherly love ; of Christ's office and grace, and the seals of 
the Spirit, and the blessed state of triumphant souls, in the 
heavenly Jerusalem, and living as in familiarity with them. 

Q. 9. But when doubting thoughts return, would it not be a 
great help to faith if you could prove the soul's immortality by 
reason ? 

A. I have done that largely in other books ; I will now say 
but this : if there be no life of retribution after this, it would 
follow that not only Scripture, but religion, piety, and conscience, 
were all the most odious abuses of mankind ; to set man's heart 
and care upon seeking, all his days, a life which he can never 
obtain, and to live honestly, and avoid sin, for fear of an impossi- 
ble punishment, and to denv fleshly pleasure and lust, upon 
mere deceit, what an injury would religion, conscience, and 
honesty be ? Men that are not restrained by any fear or hopes 
of another life, from tyranny, treason, murder, perjury, lying, 
deceit, or any wickedness, but only by present interest, would 

i 2" 


be the wisest men. When yet God hath taught nature to abhor 
these evils, and bound man to be religious and conscionable by 
common reason, were it but for the probability of another life. 
And can you believe that wickedness is wisdom, and all con- 
scionable goodness is folly and deceit ? 

Of the " Life Everlasting." 

Q. 1. Where is it that we shall live when we go hence ? 

A. With Christ in heaven, called Paradise, and the Jerusalem 

Q. 2. How is it, then, that the souls of men are said some- 
times to appear on earth ? Is it such souls, or is it devils ? 

A. Either is possible : for souls are in no other hell than 
devils are, who are said to be in the air, and to go to and fro, 
and tempt men, and afflict them here on earth : but when it is 
a soul that appeareth, and when a devil, we have not acquaint- 
ance enough to know. But though God can for just causes let 
a blessed soul appear, as Moses and Elias did on the Mount, and 
perhaps Samuel to Saul, yet we have reason to suspect, that it 
is the miserable souls of the wicked that oftenest appear. 

Q. 3. But how come devils or souls to be visible, being spirits? 

A. Spirits are powerful, and dwell in airy and other element- 
ary matter, in which they can appear to us as easily as we can 
put on our clothes. Fire is invisible in its simple unclothed 
substance, and yet when it hath kindled the air, it is visible 

Q. 4. Why then do they appear so seldom ? 

A. God restrained! evil spirits, and keepeth them within 
their bounds, that they may not either deceive or trouble man- 
kind : and the spirits of the just are more inclined to their 
higher, nobler region and work : and God will have us here live 
by faith, and not by seeing either the heavenly glory, or its in- 

Q. 5. But it seems that we shall live again on earth; for it 
is said that the new Jerusalem cometh down from above, and 
we look for a new heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth 

righteousness ? 


A. It greatly concerneth us to difference certainties from 
uncertainties. It is certain that the faithful have a promise of 
a great reward in heaven, and of being with Christ, and being 
conveyed into Paradise by angels, and are commanded to lay up 
a treasure in heaven, and there to set their hearts and affections, 
and to seek the things that are above, where Christ is at God's 
right hand ; and they desire to depart and be with Christ, as 
far better than to be here ; and to be absent from the body, and 
be present with the Lord ; so that the inheritance of the saints 
in heavenly light and glory is certain. But as to the rest, whe- 
ther the new earth shall be for new inhabitants, or for us ; and 
whether the descending Hierusalem shall be only for a thousand 
years, before the final judgment, or after for perpetuity ; or 
whether it shall come no lower than the air, where it is said, 
that we shall be taken up to meet the Lord, and so shall ever be 
with him ; or whether earth shall be made as glorious to us as 
heaven, and heaven and earth be laid together in common, 
when separating sin is gone : these matters being to us less cer- 
tain, must not be set against that which is certain. And the 
new Jerusalem coming down from heaven, doth imply that it 
was first in heaven ; and it is said that it is now above, and we 
are come to it in relation and foretaste, where are the perfected 
spirits of the just, as it is described, Heb. xii. 22 — 24. 

Q. G. But some think that souls sleep till the resurrection, or 
are in an unactive potentiality, for want of bodies ? 

A. Reason and Scripture confute this dream. The soul is es- 
sential life, naturally inclined to action, intellection, and love 
or volition, and it will be in the midst of objects enow on which 
to operate : and is it not absurd to think that God will continue 
so noble a nature in a state of idleness, and continue all its es- 
sential faculties in vain, and never to be exercised ? As if he 
would continue the sun without light, heat, or motion. What 
then is it a sun for ? and why is it not annihilated ? The 
soul cannot lose its faculties of vitality, intellection, and volition, 
without losing its essence, and being turned into some other 
thing. And why it cannot act out of a body, what reason can 
be given ? If it could not, vet that it taketh not hence with it 
a body of those corporeal spirits which it acted in, or that it 
cannot as well have a body of light for its own action, as it can 
take a body (as Moses on the Mount) to appear to man, is that 
which we have no reason to suspect. 

2. But Scripture puts all out of doubt, by telling us, that to 


die is gain, and that it is better to be with Christ, and that La- 
zarus was comforted in Abraham's bosom, and the converted 
thief was with Christ in Paradise, and that the souls under the 
altar and in heaven pray and praise God, and that the spirits of 
the just are there made perfect ; and this is not a state of sleep. 
It is a world of life, and light, and love, that we are going to, 
more active than this earthy, heavy world, than fire is more ac- 
tive than a clod. And shall we suspect any sleepy unactivity 
there ? This is the dead and sleepy world : and heaven is the 
place of life itself. 

Q. 7. What is the nature of that heavenly, everlasting life ? 

A. It is the perfect activity and perfect fruition of divine com- 
municated glory, by perfected spirits, and spiritual men, in a 
perfect glorious society, in a perfect place, or region, and this 

Q. 8. Here are many things set together, I pray you tell 
them me distinctly ? 

A. 1. Heaven is a perfect, glorious place, and earth to it is a 
dungeon. The sun which we see is a glorious place in com- 
parison of this. 

2. The whole society of angels and saints will be perfect and 
glorious. And our joy and glory will be as much in participa- 
tion by union and communion with theirs, as the life and health 
of the eye or hand is, in and by union and communion with the 
body : we must not dream of any glory to ourselves, but in a 
state of that union and communion with the glorious body of 
Christ. And Christ himself, the glorified Head, is the chief part 
of this society, whose glory we shall behold. 

3. Angels and men are themselves there perfect. If our 
being and nature were not perfect, our action and fruition could 
not be perfect. 

4. The objects of all our action are most perfect : it is the 
blessed God, and a glorious Saviour and society, that we shall 
see, and love, and praise. 

5. All our action will be perfect: our sight and knowledge, 
our love, our joy, our praise, will he all perfect there. 

6. Our reception and fruition will all be perfect. We shall 
be perfectly loved by God, and one another, and perfectlv 
pleasing to him, and each other; and he will communicate to 
us and all the society as much glorious life, light, and joyful 
love, as we are capable of receiving. 

7. And all this will be perfect in duration, being everlasting. 


Q. 9. O what manner of persons should we be, if all this 
were well believed ! Is it possible that they should truly believe 
all this, who do not earnestly desire and seek it, and live in 
joyful, longing hope to be put into possession of it? 

A. Whoever truly believeth it, will prefer it before all earthly 
treasure and pleasure, and make it the chief end, and motive, 
and comfort of his soul and life, and forsake all that stands 
against it, rather than forsake his hopes of this. But while our 
faith, hope, and love, are all imperfect, and we dwell in flesh, 
where present and sensible things are still diverting and affecting 
us, and we are so used to sight and sense that we look strangely 
towards that which is above them, and out of their reach, it is 
no wonder if we have imperfect desires and joy, abated by di- 
versions, and by griefs and fears, and if in this darkness unseen 
things seem strange to us ; and if a soul united to a body be 
loth to leave it, and be unclothed, and have somewhat dark 
thoughts of that state without it, which it never tried. 

Q. 10. But when we cannot conceive how souls act out of the 
body, how can the thought of it be pleasant and satisfying to us? 

A. 1. We that can conceive what it is to live, and understand, 
and will, to love and rejoice in the body, may understand what 
these acts are in themselves, whether out of a body, or in a more 
glorious body: and we can know that nothing cloth nothing, 
and therefore that the soul that doth these acts is a noble 
substance, and we find that it is invisible. But of this I spake 
in the beginning. 

2. When we know in general all before mentioned, that we 
shall be in that described blessedness with Christ and the hea- 
venly society, we must implicitly trust Christ with all the rest, 
who knoweth for us what we know not, and stay till possession 
give us that clear, distinct conception of the manner, and all the 
circumstances, which they that possess it not can no more have 
than we can conceive of the sweetness of a meat or drink which 
we never tasted of, and we should long the more for that pos- 
session which will give us that sweet experience. 

Q. 1 1 . Is not God the only glory and joy of the blessed ? Why 
then do you tell us so much of angels and saints, and the city 
of God ? 

A. God is all in all things ; of him, and through him, and to 
him are all things, and the glory of all is to him for ever. But 
God made not any single creature to be happy in him alone, 
as separate from the rest, but an universe, which hath its union 


and communion, I told you, as the eye and hand have no se- 
parated life or pleasure, but only in communion with the whole 
body, so neither shall we in heaven. God is infinitely above us, 
and if you think of him alone, without mediate objects for the 
ascent and access of your thoughts, you may as well think to 
climb up without a ladder. We are not the noblest creatures 
next to God, nor yet the most innocent : we have no access to 
him but by a Mediator, and that Mediator worketh and con- 
veyeth his grace to us by other subordinate means. He is the 
Saviour of his body, which is the fulness of him that filleth all. 
If we think not of the heavenly Jerusalem, the glorious city of 
God, the heavenly society and joyful choir that praise Jehovah 
and the bamb, and live together in perfect knowledge, love, and 
concord, in whose communion only we have all our joy; to 
whom in this unity God communicateth his glory ; and if we 
think not of the glorious Head of the church, who will then 
be our Mediator of fruition, as he was of acquisition ; nay, if we 
think not of those loving, blessed angels that rejoiced at our 
conversion, and were here the servants, and will be for ever the 
companions of our joy ; and if we think not of all our old, dear 
friends and companions in the flesh, and of all the faithful 
who, since Adam's days, are gone before us ; and if we think not 
of the attractive love, union, and joy of that society and state, 
we shall not have sufficient familiarity above, but make God as 
inaccessible to us. Delight and desire suppose attractive suita- 
bleness: inaccessible excellency draws not up the heart. 1 
thank God for the pleasure that I have in thinking of the blessed 
society, which will shortly entertain me with joyful love. 

Q. 12. But may not " everlasting" signify only a long time, 
as it oft doth in the Scripture, and so all may be in mutable re- 
volutions, as the Stoics and some others thought ? 

A. 1. What reason have we to extort a forced sense against 
our own interest and comfort, without any warrant from God ? 
2. The nature of the soul being so far immortal as to have no 
inclination to its own death, why should we think it strange that 
its felicity should be also everlasting. 3. It can hardly be con- 
ceived how that soul can possibly revolt from God and perish, 
who is once confirmed with that sight of his glory, and the full 
fruition of his love. Whether nature be so bad as to allow such a 
revolt. If the devils had been as near God, and as much confirm- 
ed in the sight and sense of his love and glory, as the blessed shall 
be, 1 can hardly conceive how they could possibly have fallen. 


Q. 13. How may I be sure that I shall enjoy this everlasting 

A. 1 told you before, 1. If you so far believe the promise of 
it as made by God, and purchased by Christ's righteousness and 
intercession, as to take this glory for your chief felicity and hope, 
and to prefer it before all worldly vanity, pleasure, profit, honour, 
or life, to the flesh, and to make it your chief care and business 
to seek it, and rather let go all than lose it, and thus patiently 
wait and trust God's grace in Christ, and his Spirit, in the use 
of his appointed means unto the end, it shall undoubtedly be 
yours for ever. 


What is the true use of the Lord's Prayer. 

Q. 1. What is Prayer ? 

A. It is holy desires expressed, or actuated, to God, (with 
heart alone, or also with the tongue,) including our penitent con- 
fession of sin, and its deserts, and our thankful acknowledg- 
ment of his mercies, and our praising God's works and his per- 

Q. 2. What is the use of prayer? Seeing God cannot be 
changed and moved by us, what good can it do to us, and how 
can it attain our ends? 

A. You may as wisely ask, what good any thing will do 
towards our benefit or salvation, which we can do, seeing 
nothing changeth God. As God, who is one, maketh multitudes 
of creatures ; so God, who is unchangeable, maketh changeable 
creatures ; and the effect is wrought by changing us, and not 
by changing God. You must understand these great philoso- 
phical truths, that, 1 . All things effect according to the capacity 
of the receiver. 2. Therefore, the various effects in the world 
proceed from the great variety of receptive capacities. The 
same sunbeams do cause a nettle, a thorn, a rose, a cedar, ac- 
cording to the seminal capacity of the various receivers. The 
same sun enlighteneth the eye, that cloth not so by the hand or 
foot, or by a tree, or stone : and it shineth into the house whose 
windows are open, which doth not so when the windows are 
shut; and this without any change in itself. The boatman 


layeth hold on the bank, and pulls as if he would draw it to the 
boat, when he doth but draw the boat to it. Two ways prayer 
procureth the blessing without making any change in God. 
First, by our performing the condition on which God promiseth 
his mercy. Secondly, by disposing our souls to receive it. He 
that doth not penitently confess his sin, is unmeet for pardon ; 
and he that desireth not Christ and mercy, is unmeet to be 
partaker of them : and he that is utterly unthankful for what 
he hath received, is unmeet for more. 
Q. 3. Who made the Lord's Prayer ? 

A. The Lord Jesus Christ himself, as he made the gospel ; 
some of the matter being necessary yet before his incarnation. 
Q. 4. To whom and on what occasion did he make it ? 
A. To his disciples, (to whom also he first delivered his com- 
mands) upon their request that he would teach them to pray. 
Q. 5. To what use did Christ make it them ? 
A. First, to be a directory for the matter and method of their 
love, desires, hope, and voluntary choice and endeavours ; and, 
secondly, to be used in the same words when their case re- 
quired it. 

As man hath three essential faculties, the intellect, will, and 
vital, executive power ; so religion hath three essential parts, 
viz., to direct our understandings to believe, our will to desire, 
and our lives in practice. 

Q. 6. What is the matter of the Lord's Prayer in general ? 
A. It containeth, first, what we must desire as our end : 
And, secondly, what we must desire as the means ; premising 
the necessary preface, and concluding with a suitable con- 

Q. 7. What is the method of the Lord's Prayer? 
A. I. The preface speaks, I. To God, as God. 2. As our 
reconciled Father in Christ, described in his attributes, by the 
words " which art in Heaven," which signify the perfection of 
his power, knowledge, and goodness j and the word " Father" 
signifieth that he is supreme Owner, Ruler, and Benefactor. 

2. The word "our" implieth our common relation to him, 
as his creatures, his redeemed and sanctified ones, his own, his 
subjects, and his beneficiaries, or children. 

II. The petitions are of two sorts (as the commandments 
have two tables) : the first proceed according to the order of 
intention, beginning at the highest notion of the ultimate end, 
and descending to the lowest. The second part is according to 


the order of execution and asseeution, beginning at the lowest 
means, and ascending to the highest. 

III. The conclusion enumerateth the parts of the ultimate 
end by way of praise, beginning at the lowest, and ascending to 
the highest. The method throughout is more perfect than any 
of the philosophers' writings. 

Q. 8. Why do we not read that the apostles after used this 
prayer ? 

A. It is enough to read that Christ prescribed it them, and 
that they were obedient to him. We read not of all that the 
apostles did. 

2. This is a comprehensive summary of all prayer, and there- 
fore must needs be brief in the several parts : but the apostles had 
occasion sometimes for one branch, and sometimes for another, 
on which they particularly enlarged, and seldom put up the 
whole matter of prayer all at once. 

3. They formed their desires according to the method of this 
prayer, though they expressed those desires as various occasions 
did require. 

Q. 9. Is every Christian bound to say the words of the 
Lord's prayer ? 

A. The same answer may serve as to the last. Every Christ- 
ian is bound to make it the rule of his desires and hopes, both 
for matter and order; but not to express them all in every 
prayer. But the words themselves are apt, and must have 
their due reverence, and are very fit to sum up our scattered, 
less ordered recjuests. 

Q. 10. But few persons can understand what such generals 
comprehend ? 

A. 1. Generals are useful to those that cannot distinctly 
comprehend all the particulars in them. As the general know- 
ledge, that we shall be happy in holy and heavenly joy with 
Christ, may comfort them that know not all in heaven that 
makes up that happiness, so a general desire may be effectual 
to our receiving many particulars. 2. And it is not so general 
as "God be merciful to me a sinner," an accepted prayer of the 
publican, by Christ's own testimony. There are six particular 
heads there plainly expressed. 



" Our Father which art in Heaven" expounded. 

Q. 1. Who is it that we pray to, whom we call "our 
Father ? " 

A. God himself. 

Q. 2. May we not pray to creatures ? 

A. Yes, for that which it belongeth to those creatures to give 
us upon our request, supposing they hear us : but not for that 
which is God's, and not their own to give ; nor yet in a manner 
unsuitable to the creature's capacity or place. A child may 
petition his father, and a subject his prince, and all men one 

Q. 3. May we not pray to the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as 
well as to the Father ? 

A. As the word " Father " signified! God as God, it compre- 
hendeth the Son, and the Holy Ghost : and as it signifieth the 
first Person in the Trinity, it excludeth not, but implieth, the 
second and the third. 

Q. 4. What doth the word " Father " signify ? 

A. That as a Father, by generation, is the owner, the ruler, 
and the loving benefactor to his child, so is God, eminently and 
transcendentlv, to us. 

Q. 5. To whom is God a Father, and on what fundamental 
account ? 

A. He is a Father to all men by creation ; to all lapsed 
mankind, by the price of a sufficient redemption : but only 
to the regenerate by regeneration and adoption, and that effec- 
tive redemption which actually delivereth men from guilt, 
wrath, sin, and hell, and justified! and sanctifieth them, and 
makes them heirs of glory. 

Q. 0. What is included, then, in our child-like relation to this 
Father ? 

A. That we are his own, to be absolutely at his disposal, his 
subjects, to be absolutely ruled by him, and his beloved to depend 
on his bounty, and to love him above all, and be happy in his 

Q. 7. What is meant bv the words " which art in heaven ?■" 


A. They signify, I. God's real substantiality: he is existent. 

II. God's incomprehensible perfection in power, knowledge, 
and goodness, and so his absolute sufficiency and fitness to hear 
and help us. 1. The vastness, sublimity, and glory of the 
heavens tell us, that he who reigneth there over all the world, 
must needs be omnipotent, and want no pow r er to do his will, 
and help us in our need. 

2. The glory and sublimity tell us, that he that is there above 
the sun, which shineth upon all the earth, doth behold all crea- 
tures, and see all the ways of the sons of men, and therefore 
knoweth all our sins, wants, and dangers, and heareth all our 

3. Heaven is that most perfect region whence all good 
floweth down to earth ; our life is thence, our light is thence ; 
all our good and foretaste of felicity and joy is thence : and 
therefore the Lord of heaven must needs be the best ; the 
fountain of all good, and the most amiable end of all just desire 
and love. Yet heaven is above our sight and comprehension ; 
and so much more is God. 

III. And the word " art" signifieth God's eternity in hea- 
venly glory : it is not " who wast," or " who wilt be." Eternity 

Q. 8. Is not God every where. ? Is he more in heaven than 
any where else ? 

A. All places and all things are in God ; he is absent from 
none ; nor is his essence divisible or commensurate by place, or 
limited, or more here than there ; but to us God is known by 
his works and appearances, and therefore said to be most where 
he worketh most : and so we say, that God dwelleth in him who 
dwelleth in love : that he walketh in his church ; that we are 
his habitation by the Spirit ; that Christ and the Holy Spirit 
dwell in believers, because they operate extraordinarily in them; 
and so God is said to be in heaven, because he there manifesteth 
his glory to the felicity of all the blessed, and hath made heaven 
that throne of his Majesty, from whence all light, and life, and 
goodness, all mercy, and all justice, are communicated to, and 
exercised on, men. And so we that cannot see God himself, 
must look up to the throne of the Heavenly Glory in our 
pravers, hopes, and joys : even as a man's soul is undivided in 
all his body, and yet it worketh not alike in all its parts, but is 
in the head, that it useth reason, sight, &c, and doth most 
notably appear to others in the face, and is almost visible in the 


eye : and therefore when you talk to a man, you look him in 
the face ; and as you talk not to his flesh, hut to his sensitive 
and intellectual soul, so you look to that part where it most 
apparently showeth its sense and intellection. 

Q. 9. Is there no other reason for the naming of heaven 
here ? 

A. Yes : it teacheth us whither to direct our own desires, 
and whence to expect all good, and where our own hope and 
felicity is. It is in heaven that God is to he seen and enjoyed 
in glory, and in perfect love and joy : though God he on earth, 
he will not be our felicity here on earth : every prayer, therefore, 
should be the soul's aspiring and ascending towards heaven, and 
the believing exercise of a heavenly mind and desire. For a 
man of true prayer to be unwilling to come to heaven, and to 
love earth better, is a contradiction. 

Q. 10. But do we not pray that on earth he may use us as 
a Father ? 

A. Yes : that he will give us all mercies on earth, conducing 
to heavenly felicity. 

Q. 11. What else is implied in the words, " our Father ?" 

A. Our redemption and reconciliation by Christ, and, to the 
regenerate, our regeneration by the Holy Ghost, and so our 
adoption; by all which, of the enemies and the heirs of hell, we 
are made the sons of God, and heirs of heaven. It is by Christ 
and his Spirit that we are the children of God. 

Q. 12. Why say we "our Father," and not "my Father?" 

A. 1. To signify that all Christians must pray as members 
of one body, and look for all their good, comfort, and blessedness, 
in union with the whole, and not as in a separate state. Nor 
must we come to God with selfish, narrow minds, as thinking 
only of our own case and good, nor put up any prayer or praise 
to God but as members of the universal church in one choir, all 
seen and heard at once by God, though they see not, and hear 
not one another : and therefore that we must abhor the preg- 
nant, comprehensive sin of selfishness ; by which wicked men 
care onlv for themselves, and are affected with little but their 
personal concerns, as if thev were all the world to themselves, 
insensible of the world's or the church's state, and how it goeth 
with all others. 2. And therefore that all Christians must love 
their brethren and neighbours, as themselves, and must abhor 
the sin of schism, much more of malignant enmity, envy, and 
persecution, and must be so far from disowning the prayers of 


other Christians, on pretence of their various circumstances and 
imperfections, and from separating in heart from them on any 
account, for which God will not reject them, as that they must 
never put up a prayer or praise, but as in concord with all the 
Christians on earth, desiring a part in the prayers of all, and 
offering up hearty prayers for all : the imperfections of all men's 
pravers we must disown, and most of our own ; but not for that 
disown their prayers, nor our own. They that hate, or perse- 
cute, or separate from God's children, for not praying in their 
mode, or by their book, or in the words that they write down 
for them, or for not worshipping God with their forms, ceremo- 
nies, or rites, or that silence Christ's ministers, and scatter the 
flocks, and confound kingdoms, that they may be lords of God's 
heritage, and have all men sing in their commanded tune, or 
worship God in their unnecessary, commanded mode, do con- 
demn themselves when they say " our Father." And to repeat 
the Lord's prayer many times in their liturgy, while they are 
tormenting his children in their prisons and inquisitions, is to 
worship God by repeating their own condemnation. 

Q. 13. It seems this particle " our," and "us," is of great 

A. The Lord's prayer is the summary and rule of man's love 
and just desires ; it directeth him what to will, ask, and seek. 
And therefore must needs contain that duty of love which is 
the heart of the new creature, and the fulfilling of the law : the 
will is the man ; the love is the will. What man wills and loves, 
that he is in God's account, or that he shall attain. And 
therefore the love of God, as God, and of the church, as the 
chinch, and of saints, as saints, of friends, as friends, and of 
neighbours, as neighbours, and of men, (though enemies and 
sinners,) as men, must needs be the very spring of acceptable 
prayer, as well as the love of ourselves, as ourselves. And to 
pray without this love, is to offer God a carrion for sacrifice, or 
a lifeless sort of service. And love to all makes all men's 
mercies and comforts to be ours, to our great joy, and that we 
may be thankful for all. 



" Hallowed he thy Name." 

Q. 1 . Why is this made the first petition in our prayers ? 

A. Because it containeth the highest notion of our ultimate 
end j and so must he the very top or chief of our desires. 

Q. 2. What is meant hy God's Name here ? 

A. The proper notices or appearances of God to man ; and 
God himself as so notified and appearing to us. So that here 
we must see that we separate not any of these three : 1 . The 
ohjective signs, whether words or works, by which God is 
known to us. 

2. The inward conceptions of God received by these signs. 

3. God himself so notified and conceived of. 

Q. 3. And what is the hallowing of God's Name ? 

A. To use it holily : that is, in that manner as is proper to 
God as he is God, infinitely above all the creatures, that is sanc- 
tified which is appropriated to God by separation from all 
common use. 

Q. 4. What doth this hallowing particularly include ? 

A. First that we know God, what he is. 2. That our souls 
be accordingly affected towards him. 3. That our lives and 
actions be accordingly managed. 4. And that the signs which 
notify God to us be accordingly reverenced, and used to these 
holy ends. 

Q. 5. Tell us now, particularly, what these signs or names of 
God are, and how each of them is to be hallowed ? 

A. God's name is either, 1. His sensible or intelligible 
works objectively considered. 2. Or those words which signify 
God, or any thing proper to God. 3. And the inward light or 
conception, or notice of God, in the mind. And all these must 
be sanctified. 

Q. 6. What are God's works which must be so sanctified, as 
notifying God ? 

A. All that are within the reach of our knowledge. But 
especially those which he hath designed most notably for this 
use, and most legibly, as it were written his name or perfections 
upon. P 

i' Exod. ix. 16 ; Psalm viii. 1. 


Q. 7. Which are those ? 

A. First, the glorious, wonderful frame of heaven and earth. 

2. The wonderful work of man's redemption hy Jesus Christ. 

3. The planting of his nature, image, and kingdom in man, 
by his Spirit. 

4. The marvellous providence exercised for the world, the 
church, and each of ourselves, notifying the disposal and 
government of God. 

5. The glory of the heavenly society, known by faith, and 
hoped for. 

Q. 8. How must the first, God's creation, be sanctified. 

A. When we look on, or think of the incomprehensible 
glory of the sun, it's wonderful greatness, motion, light, and 
quickening heat ; i of the multitude and magnitude of the 
glorious stars, of the vast heavenly regions, the incomprehen- 
sible invisible spirits or powers that actuate and rule them 
all; when we come downward and think of the air and its 
inhabitants, and of this earth, a vast body to us, but as one 
inch or point in the whole creation ; of the many nations, 
animals, plants of wonderful variety, the terrible depths of the 
ocean, and its numerous inhabitants, &c. All these must be to 
us but as the glass which showeth somewhat of the face of 
God, or as the letters of this great book, of which God is the 
sense ; or as the actions of a living body by which the invisible 
soul is known. And as we study arts for our corporeal use, we 
must study the whole world, even the works of God, to this 
purposed use, that we may see, love, reverence, and admire God 
in all : and this is the only true philosophy, astronomy, cosmo- 
graphy, &c. 

Q. 9. What is the sin which is contrary to this ? 

A. Profaneness ; that is, using God's name as a common 
thing: 1 * and, in this instance, to study philosophy, astronomy, 
or any science, or any creature whatsoever, only to know the 
thing itself, to delight our mind with the creature knowledge, 
and to be able to talk as knowing men, or the better to serve 
our worldly ends, and not to know and glorify God, is to pro- 
fane the works of God. And, alas, then, how common is pro- 
faneness in the world ! 

Q. 10. What is it to sanctify God's Name as in our redemption ? 

A. Redemption h such a wonderful work of God, to make 

'i Psalm xix. 1, &c. ; Rom. i. 19, 20. 
' Psalm xiv. 1,2; I. 21, and Ixxviii. 1!) j Tit. i. 10\ 


him known to sinners for their sanctification and salvation, as no 
tongue of man can fully utter. To think of God, the Eternal 
Word, first undertaking man's redemption, and then taking the 
nature of nvnn, dwelling in so mean a tahernacle, fulfilling all 
righteousness for us, teaching man the knowledge of God, and 
bringing life and immortality to light, dying for us as a male- 
factor, to save us from the curse, rising the third day, commis- 
sioning his apostles, undertaking to build his church on a rock, 
which the gates of hell should not prevail against} ascending 
up to heaven, sending down the wonderful and sanctifying 
Spirit, interceding for us, and reigning over all ; who receiveth 
faithful souls to himself, and will raise our bodies, ami judge 
the world. Can all this be believed and thought of, without ad- 
miring the manifold wisdom, the inconceivable love and mercy, 
the holiness and justice of God ? This must be the daily study 
of believers. 

Q. 11. How is this Name of God profaned? 

A. When this wonderful work of man's redemption is not be- 
lieved, but taken by infidels to be but a deceit : or, when it is 
heard but as a common history, and affecteth not the hearer 
with admiration, thankfulness, desire, and submission to Christ; 
when men live as if they had no great obligation to Christ, or 
no great need of him. 

Q. 12. How is God's Name, as our Sanctifier, to be hallowed? 

A. Therein he cometh near us, even into us, with illuminating, 
quickening, comforting grace, renewing us to his nature, will, 
and image, marking us for his own, and maintaining the cause 
of Christ against his enemies ; and therefore must, in this, be 
specially notified, honoured, obediently observed, and thankfully 
and joyfully admired. 

Q. 13. But how can they honour God's Spirit and grace, who 
have it not ; or they that have so little as not well to discern it ? 

A. The least prevailing sincere holiness hath a special excel- 
lency, turning the soul from the world to God, and may be per- 
ceived in holy desires after him, and sincere endeavours to obev 
him ; and the beauty of holiness in others may be perceived by 
them that have little or none themselves, if they be not grown 
to malignant enmity. You may see, by the common desire of 
mankind to be esteemed wise and good, and their impatience of 
being thought and called foolish, ungodly, or bad men, that 
even corrupted nature hath a radicated testimony in itself for 
goodness and against evil. 


Q. 14. Who be they that profane this Name of God? 

A. Those that see no great need of the Spirit of holiness, or 
have no desire after it, but think that nature and art may serve 
the turn without it. Those that think that there is no great dif- 
ference between man and man, but what their bodily tempera- 
ture and their education maketh, and that it is but fanatic de- 
lusion, or hypocrisy, to pretend to the Spirit. Those that hate 
or deride the name of spirituality and holiness, and those that 
resist the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 15. How is God known and honoured in his providence? 

A. By his providence he so governeth all the world, and par- 
ticularly all the affairs of men, as shows us his omnipotence, his 
omniscience, and his goodness and love, ordering them all to his 
holy end, even the pleasing of his good-will in their perfection. 3 

Q. 16. How can we see this while the world lieth in madness, 
unbelief, and wickedness, and the worst are greatest, and con- 
tention, and confusion, and bloody wars, do make the earth a 
kind of hell, and the wise, holy, and just, are despised, hated, 
and destroyed ? 

A. 1. Wisdom, and holiness, and justice, are conspicuous 
and honourable by the odiousness of their contraries, which, 
though they fight against them, and seem to prevail, do but ex- 
ercise them to their increase and greater glory : and all the 
faithful are secured and purified, and prepared for felicity, by 
the love and providence of God. 

2. And as the heavens are not all stars, but spangled with 
stars, nor the stars all suns, nor beasts and vermin men, nor the 
earth and stones are gold and diamonds, nor is the darkness 
light, the winter summer, or sickness health, or death life ; and 
yet the wonderful variety and vicissitude contributeth to the 
perfection of the universe, as the variety of parts to the perfec- 
tion of the body; so God maketh use even of men's sin and 
folly, and of all the mad confusions and cruelties of the world, 
to that perfect order and harmony, which he that accomplished! 
them doth well know, though we perceive it not, because we 
neither see the whole, nor the end, but only the little particles 
and the beginnings of God's unsearchable works. 

3. And this dark and wicked world is but a little spot of God's 
vast creation, and seemeth to be the lowest next to hell, while 
the lucid, glorious, heavenly regions are incomprehensibly great, 
and no doubt possessed by inhabitants suitable to so glorious a 

s Mal. ii. 2 



place : and as it is not either the gallows or the prison that is a 
dishonour to the kingly government, so neither is hell, or the 
sins on earth, a dishonour to the government of God. 

4. And as every man is nearest to himself, it is the duty of 
us all carefully to record all the mercies and special providences 
of God to ourselves, that we may know his government and 
him, and use the remembrance of them to his glory. 

Q. 17. How is the heavenly glory as a Name of God to us 
that see it not ? 

A. We see vast lucid bodies and regions above us ; and, by 
the help of things seen, we may conceive of things unseen, 
and by divine revelation we may certainly know them. We have 
in the gospel, as it were, a map of heaven, in its description, 
and a title to it in the promises, and a notifying earnest and 
foretaste in our souls, so far as we are sanctified believers. 
Q. 18. How must we hallow this Name of God ? 
A. 1. Firmly believing the heaven. y glory, not only as it shall 
be our own inheritance, but as it is now the most glorious and 
perfect part of God's creation, where myriads of angels and 
glorious spirits, in perfect happiness, love, and joy, are glorifying 
their most glorious Creator; and as the saints with Christ, their 
most glorious Head, shall for ever make up that glorious society, 
and the universe itself be seen by us in that glorious perfection, 
in which the perfection of the Creator will appear. 

2. And in the constant delightful contemplation of this 
supernal glorious world, by heavenly affections and conversa- 
tion, keeping our minds above while our bodies are here below, 
and looking beyond this prison of flesh, with desire and hope. 
As heaven is the state and place where God shineth to the un- 
derstanding creature in the greatest glory, and where he is best 
known, so it is this heavenly glory, seen to us by faith, which is 
the most glorious of all the names or notices of God to be hal- 
lowed by us. 

Q. 19. What is the profaning of this Name of God? 
A. The minding only of earthly and fleshly things, and not 
believing, considering, or admiring the heavenly glory: not 
loving and praising God for it, nor desiring and seeking to en- 
joy it. 

Q. 20. So much of God's works which make him known. 
Next, tell us what you mean by the words which you call his 
Name ? 

A. 1. All the sacred Scripture^ as it maketh known God to 


us, by history, precepts, promises, or penal threats; with all 
God's instituted means of worship. 2. More especially the 
descriptions of God by his attributes. 3. And, more especially, 
his proper name, God, Jehovah, &c l 

Q. 21. I will not ask you what his attributes are, because 
you have told us that before ; but how is this Name of God to 
be hallowed ? 

A. When the soul is affected with that admiration, reverence, 
love, trust, and submission to God, which the meaning of these 
names bespeaks : and when the manner of our using them ex- 
presseth such affections, especially in public praises with the 
churches. u 

Q. 22. How is this Name of God profaned ? 
A. When it is used lightly, falsely, irreverently, without the 
aforesaid holy regard and affections. 

Q. 23. III. What is that which you call ' God's Name im- 
printed on man's mind?' 

A. God made man very good at first, and that was in his own 
image ; and so much of this is either left by the interposition 
of grace in lapsed nature, or by common grace restored to it, 
as that all men, till utterly debauched, would fain be accounted 
good, pious, virtuous, and just, and hate the imputation of wick- 
edness, dishonesty, and badness ; and on the regenerate the 
divine nature is so renewed, as that their inclination is towards 
God, and "holiness to the Lord" is written on all their facul- 
ties ; and the Spirit of God moveth on the soul, to actuate 
all his graces, and to plead for God and our Redeemer, and 
bring him to our remembrance, to our affections, and to subject 
us wholly to his will and love. And thus, as the law was written 
in stone, as to the letter, which is written only on tender, fleshy 
hearts, as to the spirit and holy effect and disposition ; so the 
Name of God, which is in the Bible in the letter, is, by the 
same Spirit, imprinted on believers' hearts, that is, they have 
the knowledge, faith, fear, and love of God. x 
Q. 24. How must we hallow this inward Name of God ? 
A. 1. By reverencing and loving God, that is, God's image 
and operations in us ; not only God as glorified in heaven, but 
God, as dwelling by grace in holy souls, must be remembered 

' Exod. Hi. 15, and vi. 3 ; Psalm lxxxiii. 18 ; Acts ix. 15. 

 Exod. xxxiv. 5—7, and xxxiii. 19; Acls xxi. 13; 1 Tim. vi. 1 ; Tit. ii. 5; 
Rom.ii.21; Psalm xxii. 22 ; Htlj. ii. 12; Neb.ix.5; I'salni I. 23, and Ixvi. 
2 ; Mich. iv. 5 ; Rev. xi. 15. 

1 Psalm xxix, 2, and xlviii. 10. 


and reverenced by us. 2. By living as in habitual communion 
and conversation with that God who dwelleth in us, and who 
hath made us his habitation by the Spirit. 3. And by readily 
obeying the moving operations of the Spirit of God. 

And to contemn or resist these inward ideas, inclinations, 
and motions, is to profane the Name of God. 

Q. 25. But what is all this to the sanctifying of God himself? 

A. The signs are but for him that is signified. It is God him- 
self that is to be admired, loved, and honoured, as notified to 
us by these signs or Name, otherwise we make idols of them. In 
a word, God must be esteemed, reverenced, loved, trusted, and 
delighted in, transcendently as God, with affections proper to 
himself; and this is to sanctify him, by advancing him in our 
heart, in his prerogative above all creatures; and all creatures 
must be used respectively to this holy end, and especially those 
ordinances and names which are especially separated to this use : 
and nothing must be used as common and unclean, especially 
in his worship and religious acts. v 


" Thy Kingdom come.' 

Q. 1 . Why is this made the second petition ? 

A. To tell us, that it must be the second thing in our desires. 
We are to begin at that which is highest, most excellent, and 
ultimate in our intentions, and that is, God's glory shining in 
all his works, and seen, admired, honoured, and praised by man, 
which is the hallowing of his Name, and the holy exalting him 
in our thoughts, affections, words, and actions, above all crea- 
tures. And we are next to desire that in which God's glory 
most eminently shineth, and that is his kingdom of grace and 

Q. 2. What is here meant by the kingdom of God ? 

A. It is not that kingdom which he hath over angels, and 
the innumerable glorious spirits of the heavenly regions, for 
these are much unknown to us, and we know not that there is 
any rebellion among them which needeth a restoration. But 

v Acts i. 15, and iv. 12 ; Rev. iii. 4, and xi. 13; Joe] ii.23; Deut. xxviii. 58 ; 
Exod. xxxiii. 19, and xxxiv. 5—7 ; 1 Kings v. 3, 5 ; Lev. x. 3 ; Num.xx. 12, 13. 


man, by sin, is fallen into rebellion, and under the condemna- 
tion due to rebels : z and by Christ, the reconciling Mediator, 
they are to be restored to their subjection to God, and so to his 
protection, blessing, and reward. And because they are sinners, 
corrupt and guilty, they cannot be subjects as under the primi- 
tive law of innocency : and therefore God hath delivered them 
to the Mediator, or his Vicegerent, to be governed under a law 
of healing grace, and so brought on to perfect glory. So that 
the kingdom of God now is his reign over fallen man by Christ 
the Mediator, begun on earth by recovering grace, and perfected 
in heavenly glory. a 

Q. 3, But the Scriptures sometimes speak of the kingdom 
of God as come already when Christ came, or when he rose and 
ascended to his glorv, and sometimes as if it were yet to come 
at the great resurrection day. 

A. In the first case, the meaning is, that the King of the 
church is come, and hath established his law of grace, and com- 
missioned his officers, and sent forth his Spirit, and so the 
kingdom of healing grace is come : but in the second case, the 
meaning is, that all that glorious perfection which this grace 
doth tend to, which will be the glory of the church, the glory 
of Christ therein, and the glorification of God's love, is yet to 

Q. 4. What is it, then, which we here desire ? 

A. That God will enlarge and carry on the kingdom of grace 
in the world, and bear down all that rebels, and hindereth it, 
and particularly in ourselves, and that he would hasten the 
kingdom of glory. 

Q. 5. Who is it, then, that is the King of this kingdom ? 

A. God, as the absolute supreme, and Jesus Christ, the Sou 
of God and man, as the supreme Vicegerent and Administrator. 

Q. 6. Who are the subjects of this kingdom? 

A. There are three sorts of subjects. 1. Subjects only as 
to obligation, and so those without the church are rebellious, 
obliged subjects. 2. Subjects by mere profession, and so all 
baptised, professing Christians, though hypocrites, are the 

'■ Col. i. 13 ; Matt. xii. 28, and xxi. 31, 43 ; Mark i. 45 ; iv. 2G, 30 ; xii. 34 ; 
x. 14, 15,23, and xv.43. 

"Lukevii. 28; viii. 1,10; x. 9; xi. 20; xiii. 18,20,28,29; xvi. 1G ; 
xvii. 21, and xviii. 3, 17, 29. 

'• Rev. i. 9; Luke ix. 27 ; xiv. 15 ; xxii. 16, 18, and xxiii. 51. 

^ Acts xiv.22 ; Gal. v. 21 ; Epli. v. 5 ; 2Thes. v.; Rev. xii. 10; Matt. xvi. 
28; 2 Tim. iv. 1 ; 1 Tins. ii. 12. 


church visible, and his professed subjects. 3. Subjects by 
sincere heart consent, and so all such are his subjects as make 
up the church mystical, and shall be saved. So that the king- 
dom of God is a word which is sometimes of a larger signification 
than the church, and sometimes, in a narrower sense, is the same. 
Christ is Head over all things to the church. (Eph. i. 23.) 

Q. 7« What are the acts of Christ's kingly government ? 

A. Law-making, judging according to that law, and executing 
that judgment.* 

Q. S. What laws hath Christ made, and what doth he rule 

A. First, He taketh the law of nature now as his own, as far 
as it belongeth to sinful mankind. And, 2. He expoundeth the 
darker passages of that law. And, 3. He maketh new laws, 
proper to the church since his incarnation. 

Q. 9. Are there any new laws of nature since the fall ? 

A. There are new obligations and duties arising from our 
changed state: it was no duty to the innocent to repent of sin, 
and seek out for recovery, and beg forgiveness, but nature bindeth 
sinners not vet under the final sentence to all this. 

Q. 10. What new laws hath Christ made? 

A. Some proper to church officers, and some common to all. 

Q. 11. Wbat are his laws about church officers ? 

A. First, He chose himself the first chief officers, and he gave 
them their commission, 8 describing their work and office, and 
he authorised them to gather and form particular churches, and 
their fixed officers or pastors, and necessary orders, and gave 
them the extraordinary conduct and seal of his Spirit, that their 
determinations might be the infallible significations of his will, 
and his recorded law to his universal church to the end of the 
world, his Spirit being the Perfecter of his laws and government. 

Q. 12. How shall we be sure that his apostles, by the Spirit, 
were authorised to give laws to all future generations? 

A. Because he gave them such commission, to teach men all 
that he commanded.'" 2. And promised them his Spirit to 
lead them into all truth, and bring all things to their remem- 

d Heb. vii. 12; Isa. ii. 3; viii. 1G, 20; xiii. 4, 21, and li. 4 ; Mic. iv. 2; 
Rom. iii. 27, and viii. 2, 4; Gal. vi. 2 ; Isa. li. 7; Jer. xxxi. 33 ; Heb. viii. 
10, Ifi. 

c Matt, xxviii. 19 ; Eph. iv. C— 9, 16 ; Acts xiv. 23, and xv. 

f Acts x. 42, and xiii. 47 ; Matt, xxviii. 19, 21 ; John xiv. 16, 17, 26 ; xv. 
26, 27, and xvi. 7, 13-15 ; Rev. ii. 7, 11, 16, 17, 29, and iii. 6, 13, 22 ; 
lPet. i. 11. 


brance, and to tell them what to say and do. And, 3. Because 
he performed this promise, in sending them that extraordinary 
measure of the Spirit. And, 4. They spake as from Christ, and 
in his name, and as by his Spirit. And, 5. They sealed all by 
the manifestation of that Spirit, in its holy and miraculous, ma- 
nifold operations 

Q. 13. Have not bishops and councils the same power 

A. No : to be the instruments of divine legislation, and make 
laws which God will call his laws, is a special, prophetical power 
and office, such as Moses had in making the Jewish laws, which 
none had that came after him. But when prophetical revela- 
tion hath made the law, the following officers have nothing to 
do, but 1. To preserve that law. 2. And to expound it and 
apply it, and guide the people by it, and themselves obey it. 
3. And to determine undetermined, mutable circumstances. As 
the Jewish priests and Levites were not to make another law, 
but to preserve, expound, and rule by Moses's law, so the ordi- 
nary ministers, bishops, or councils are to do as to the laws of 
God, sufficiently made by Christ, and the Spirit in his apostles. h 
Q. 14. What are the new laws which he hath made for all? 
A. The covenant of grace in the last edition is his law, 1 by 
which he obligeth men to repent and believe in him as incar- 
nate, crucified, and ascended, and interceding and reigning in 
heaven, and as one that will judge the world at the resurrection : 
as one that pardoneth sin by his sacrifice and merit, and sanc- 
tifieth believers by his Spirit, and to believe in God as thus re- 
conciled by him, and in the Holy Ghost as thus given by him. 
And he promiseth pardon, grace, and glory, to all true believers, 
and threateneth damnation to impenitent unbelievers. And he 
commandeth all believers to devote themselves thus to God the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, by a solemn vow in bap- 
tism, and live in the communion of saints, in his church and 
holy worship, and the frequent celebration of the memorial of 
his death in the sacrament of his body and blood, especially on 
the first day of the week, which he hath separated to that holy 
commemoration and communion by his resurrection, and the 
sending of his Spirit, and by his apostles. And he hath com- 

R Acts ii. 4 ; Gal. i., and ii. ; Mark xiii. 11 ; Luke xii. 12 ; Isa.xxxiii. 22. 

>' Jam.iv. 12; Acts i.5, 8; ii. 4, 33, and xv. 28; 1 Cor. ii. 13; 2 Pet. i. 21 ; 
1 Cor. vii. 25 ; Acts i. 2 ; 1 Cor. xiv. 37 ; Col. ii. 22 ; Matt. xv. 9. 

1 John i. 9—11, and iii. 16 ; Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 ; 1 Cor. xv. 3 — .'5, and xi. 
28 ; Acts xiii. 47, and x. 42 ; John xiv. 21. 


inanded all his disciples to live in unity, love, and beneficence, 
taking up the cross, and following him in holiness and patience, 
in hope of everlasting life. k 

Q. 15. But some say that Christ was only a teacher, and not 
a awgiver. 

A. His name is King of kings, and Lord of lords, and all power 
in heaven and earth is given him, and all things put into his 
hands ; the government is laid on his shoulders, and the Father 
(without him) judgeth no man, but hath committed all judg- 
ment to the Son, For this end he died, rose, and revived, that 
he might be Lord of the dead and of the living ; he is at God's 
right hand, above all principalities and powers, and every name, 
being head over all things to the church. ' 

Q. 16. May not this signify only his kingdom as he is God, 
or that which he shall have hereafter only at the resurrection ? 

A. 1. It expressly speaketh of his power as God, and man the 
Redeemer. 2. And he made his law in this life, though the 
chief and glorious part of his judgment and execution be here- 
after. How else should men here keep his law, and hereafter 
be judged according to it? 

He that denieth Christ to be the Lawgiver, denieth him to be 
King ; and he that denieth him to be King, denieth him to be 
Christ, and is no Christian. 

Q. 17. Hath Christ any vicegerent, or universal governor, un- 
der him on earth ? 

A. No : it is his prerogative to be the universal Governor : for 
no mortal man is capable of it : as no one monarch is capable 
of the civil government of all the earth, nor was ever so mad as 
to pretend to it ; much less is any one capable of being an uni- 
versal church teacher, priest, and governor over all the earth ; 
when he cannot so much as know it, or send to all, or have ac- 
cess into the contending kingdoms of the world : to pretend to 
this is mad usurpation. m 

Q. 18. But had not Peter monarchical government of all the 
church on earth in his time ? 

A. No : he was governor of none of the eleven apostles, nor 

k John xiii. 34 ; Rev. i. ; Matt, xxvjii. 18; John xiii. 2 ; xvii. 3, and v. 22; 
Isa. ix. 6 ; Rom. xiv. 9; Col. i. ; Heb. i., and vii. 

1 Eph. i. 23 ; Luke xvii. 9, 10, and xix. 15, &c. ; Rev . xxii. 14 ; 1 John 
ii. 4 ; iii. 24, and v. 3. 

™ 1 Cor. xii. 5, 18,20, 27—29, and iii. 4—6, 11, 22, 23 ; Matt, xxiii. 7, 8, 
10,11; Eph. iv. 5, 7, 8, 11— 16, and v. 23, 24 ; Mutt xviii. 1, 4 ; Mark ix.34; 
Luke ix. 46, and xxii. 24—26 ; 1 Pet. v. 2-4. 


of Paul ; nor ever exercised any such government : no, nor it 
seems, so much as presided at their meeting. (Acts xv.) 

Q. 19. But is not a general council the universal governor ? 

A. No: 1. Else the church would be no church, when there 
is no general council, for want of its unifying government. And 

2. There, indeed, never was a general council of all the christian 
world : but they were called by the Roman emperors, and were 
called general as to that empire (as the subscriptions yet show). 

3. And there never can be an universal council : it were mad- 
ness and wickedness to attempt it : to send for the aged bishops 
from all nations of the christian world, (when none is empow- 
ered to determine whither or when,) even from the countries of 
Turks, and other infidels, or princes in war with one another, that 
will not permit them : and what room shall hold them, and what 
one language can they all speak ? And how few will live to re- 
turn home with the decrees ? And will not the country where 
they meet, by nearness, have more voices than all the rest ? And 
what is all this to do ? To condemn Christ, as not having made 
laws sufficient for the universal part of government, but leave 
such a burden on incapable men : and to tell the church that 
christian religion is a mutable, growing thing, and can never be 
known to attain its ripeness, but, by new laws, must be made still 
bigger, and another thing. 

Q. 20. But the bishops of the world may meet by their de- 
legates ? 

A. Those delegates must come from the same countries and 
distance : and how shall the whole world know that thev are 
truly chosen ? And that all the choosers have trusted them with 
their judgments, consciences, and salvation, and will stand to 
what they do ? 

Q. 2 1 . But if the universal church be divided into patriarch- 
ates, and chief seats, those can govern the whole church when 
there is no general council : even by their communicatory let- 
ters ? 

A. 1. And who shall divide the world into those chief seats, 
and determine which shall be chief in all the kingdoms of infi- 
dels, and christian kings, in the world ? and which shall be 
chief when they differ among themselves ? How many patri- 
archs shall there be, and where ? There were never twelve pre- 
tenders to succeed the twelve apostles : the Roman empire had 
three first, and five after, within itself : but that was by human 
institution, and over one empire, and that is now down ; and 


those five seats have many hundred years been separated, and 
condemning one another : so far are they from being one uni- 
fying aristocracy to govern all the world : and if they were so, 
then Europe is schismatical, that now differs from the major 
vote of those patriarchs. 

Q. 22. But did not the apostles, as one college, govern the 
whole church ? 

A. 1. I proved to you before, that the Holy Ghost was given 
the apostles to perfect universal legislation, as Christ's agent and 
advocate, and that in this they have no successors. 2. And it 
was easy for them to exercise acts of judicial determination over 
such as were among them, and near them when the church was 
small. 3. And yet we read not that ever they did this in a ge- 
neral council, or by the authority of a major vote. For that 
meeting in Acts xv. was no general council, and the elders 
and brethren joined with them that belonged to Jerusalem : and 
they were all by the same Spirit of the same mind, and none 
dissenters. Every single apostle had the spirit of infallibility for 
his proper work : and they had an indefinite charge of the 
whole church, and in their several circuits exercised it. Paul 
could by the Spirit deliver a law of Christ to the world, without 
taking it from the other apostles. (Gal. ii.) The apostles were 
foundation-stones, but Christ only was the head corner-stone. 
They never set up a judicial government of all the churches un- 
der themselves as a constitutive, unifying aristocracy, by whose 
major vote all must be governed. When they had finished the 
work of universal legislation, and settled doctrine and order, 
for which they stayed together at Jerusalem, they dispersed 
themselves over the world ; and we never find that they judi- 
cially governed the churches, either in synods or by letters, by a 
major vote, but settled guides in every church as God by Moses 
did priests and Levites, that had no legislative power. " 

Q. 23. But hath not Christ his subordinate, official governors ? 

A. Yes : magistrates bv the sword, and pastors by the word 
and keys. These are rulers in their several circuits, as all 
the judges and justices, and schoolmasters of England are under 
the king : but he that should say that all these judges and jus- 
tices are one sovereign aristocracy, to make laws and judge by 
them by vote, (as one person political, though many natural,) 
would give them part of the supreme power, and not only the 

 Eph. ii. 20 ; 1 Cor. iii. 11 ; i. 11, 12, and iii. 81, 22 ; Gal .ii. 9; 2 Cor. xi. 
5, and xii. 11. 


official : all the pastors in the world guide all the churches in 
the world hy parts, and in their several provinces, and not as 
one politic person. 

Q. 24. But how is the universal church visible, if it have no 
visible, unifying head and government under Christ ? 

A. It is visible, 1. In that the members and their profession 
are visible. 2. And Christ's laws are visible, by which he ruleth 
them. 3. And their particular pastors are visible in their places. 
4. And Christ was visible on earth, and is now visible in his 
court in heaven, and will visibly judge the world ere long : and 
God hath made the church no further visible, nor can man do it. 

Q. 25. But should not the whole church be one ? 

A. It is one : it is one body of Christ, having one God, and 
one Head, or Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Spirit, one hope 
of glory. 

Q. 26. But should they not do all that they do in unity and 
concord ? 

A. Yes, as far as they are capable. Not by feigning a new, 
universal, legislative power in man, or making an universal head 
under Christ, but by agreeing all in the faith and laws that 
Christ hath left us : and synods may well be used to maintain 
such union as far as capacity reacheth, and the case requireth. 
But an universal synod, and a partial or national, a governing 
synod, and a synod for concord of governors, differ as much as 
doth a monarch, or governing senate, over all the world, and a 
diet, or an assembly of Christian princes, met for mutual help 
and concord, in the conjunction of their strength and councils. 

Q. 27. VVhat is the pastoral power of the church keys? 

A. It is the power of making Christians by the p preaching of 
the gospel, and receiving them so made into communion of 
Christ and his church, by baptism, and feeding and guiding 
them by the same word, and communicating the sacrament of 
Christ's body and blood in his name, declaring pardon and life 
to the penitent, and the contrary to the impenitent, and applying 
this to the particular persons of their own charge on just occa- 
sion, and so being the stated judges who shall by them be 
received to church communion, or be rejected, and this as a 
presage of Christ's future judgment. 

Eph. iv. 1, 3, 6, 7, 14—10 ; 1 Cor. xii. 

i' Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 ; 1 Thes. v. 12, 13 ; Heb. xiii.17,24; Tit. iii. 10, 11, 
and i. 13 ; 1 1'et. v. 1 — 5 ; 1 Tim. iii. 5 ; Isa. xxii. 22; Luke xi. 52 ; Rev. iii. 
7, and i. 18; Matt. xvi. 19. 


Q. 28. But have not pastors or bishops, a power of constraint 
by the sword, that is, by corporeal punishments, or mulcts ? 

No : that is proper to magistrates, parents, and masters, in 
their several places. Christ hath forbidden it to pastors, (Luke 
xxii.,) and appointed them another kind of work. 01 

Q. 29. But if bishops judge that civil magistrates are bound 
to destroy or punish heretics, schismatics, or sinners, are not 
such magistrates thereby bound to do it ? 

A. They are bound to do their duty whoever is their mo- 
nitor : but if prelates bid them sin, they sin by obeying them. 
Nor may a magistrate punish a man merely because bishops 
judge him punishable, without trying the cause themselves. 

Q. SO. But if it be not of divine institution that all the 
church on earth should have one governing, unifying head, 
(monarchical or aristocratical,) is it not meet as suited to human 
prudence ? 

A. Christ is the builder of his own church or house, and hath 
not left it to the wit or will of man r to make him a vicegerent, 
or an unifying head or ruler of his whole church, that is, to 
set up an usurper against him under his own name, which is na- 
turally incapable of the office. 

Q. 31. But sure unity is so excellent that we may conceive 
God delighteth in all that promoteth it ? 

A. Yes : and therefore he would not leave the terms of unity 
to the device of men, in which they will never be of a mind ; nor 
would he have usurpers divide his church, by imposing impos- 
sible terms of unity. Must God needs make one civil monarch, 
or senate, to be the unifying governor of all the earth, as one 
kingdom, because he is a lover of unity ? The world is politi- 
cally unified by one God and Sovereign Redeemer, as this king- 
dom is by one king, and not by one civil, human, supreme ruler, 
personal or collective : men so mad as to dream of one unifying, 
church-governing monarch, or aristocracy, are the unfittest of 
all men to pretend to such government. 8 

Q. 32. At least, should we not extend this unifying govern- 
ment as far as we can, even to Europe, if not to all the world ? 

A. Try first one unifying, civil government (monarchical or 
aristocratical) for Europe, and call princes schismatics (as these 
men do us) for refusing to obey it, and try the success. 2. And 
who shall make this European church sovereign ? and by 

<t Lnkexxii. 24—20 ; 1 Pet. v. 3, 4; 2 Tim. ii. 24 ; Tit. i. 7. 

r lleb. Hi. 2, 5, <>. s John xvii. 22—24 ; Eph. iv. 3—5, 7, 8, 10. 


what authority ; and limit his kingdom ? 3. And what is all 
this to do ? To make hetter laws than Christ's ? When were 
any so mad as to say, that all Europe must have one sovereign 
person, or college of physicans, schoolmasters, philosophers, or 
lawyers, to avoid schism among them ? 4. Is not agreement 
by voluntary consent a better way to keep civil and ecclesias- 
tical unity in Europe, than to have one ruling king, senate, or 
synod, over all ? Councils are for voluntary concord, and not the 
sovereign rectors of their brethren. 

Q. 33. But are not national churches necessary ? 

A. No doubt but Christ would have nations discipled, bap- 
tised, and obey him : and kings to govern them as Christian 
nations, and all men should endeavour that whole nations may be 
Christians, and the kingdoms of the world be voluntarily the king- 
doms of Christ. But no man can be a Christian against his 
will : nor hath Christ ordained that each kingdom shall have 
one sacerdotal head, monarchical or aristocvatical. But princes, 
pastors, and people, must promote love, unity, and concord in 
their several places. 

Q. 34. So much for God's public kingdom on earth : but is 
there not also a kingdom of God in every Christian's soul ? 

A. One man's soul is not fitly called a kingdom ; but Christ, 
as King, doth govern every faithful soul. 

Q. 3.5. What is the government of each believer ? 

A. It is Christ's ruling us by the laws which he hath made 
for all his church, proclaimed, and explained, and applied by his 
ministers, and imprinted on the heart by his Holv Spirit, and 
judging accordingly. 

Q. 36. What is the kingdom of glory ? 

A. It hath two degrees : the first is the glorious reign of our 
glorified Redeemer over this world, and over the heavenly city 
of God before its perfection ; which began at the time of Christ's 
ascension, (his resurrection being the proem,) and endeth at the 
resurrection. 2. The perfect kingdom of glory, when all the 
elect shall be perfected with Christ, and his work of redemption 
finished, which begins at the resurrection, and shall never end. 

Q- 37. What will be the state of that glorious kingdom ? 

A. It containeth the full collection of all God's elect, who 
shall be perfected in soul and body, and employed in the perfect 
obedience, love, and praise of God, in perfect love and commu- 
nion with each other, and all the blessed angels, and their glo- 
rified Redeemer \ and this is in the sight of his glory, and the 


glory of God, and in the continual, joyful sense of his love and 
essential, infinite perfection. All imperfection, sin, temptation, 
and suffering, being for ever ceased. 

Q. '38. But some think this kingdom will be begun on earth 
a thousand years before the general resurrection ; and some 
think that after the resurrection it will be on earth. 1 

A. This very prayer puts us in hope that there are yet better 
things on earth to be expected than the Church hath yet en- 
joyed. For when Christ bids us pray that " his Name may be 
hal lowed, his kingdom come, and his will done on earth, as it 
is done in heaven," we may well hope that some such thing will 
be granted ; for he hath promised to give us whatever we ask, 
according to his will, in the name of Christ : and he hath not 
bid us pray in vain. 

But whether there shall be a resurrection of the martyrs a 
thousand years before the general resurrection, or whether 
there shall be only a reformation by a holy magistracy and mi- 
nistry, and how far Christ will manifest himself on earth, I con- 
fess are questions too hard for me to determine : he that is 
truly devoted to Christ, shall have his part in his kingdom, 
though much be now unknown to him, of the time, place, and 

And as to the glory after the general resurrection, certainly it 
will be heavenly, for we shall be with Christ, and like to the an- 
gels. And the new Jerusalem, being the universality of the 
blessed now with Christ, may well be said to come down from 
heaven, in that he will bring all the blessed with him, and, in the 
air with them, will judge the world : but whether only a new 
generation shall inhabit the new earth, and the glorified rule 
them as angels now do ; or whether heaven and earth shall be 
laid common together, or earth made as glorious as heaven, I 
know not. 

But the perfect knowledge of God's kingdom is proper to 
them that enjoy it: therefore even we who know it but imper- 
fectly, must daily pray that it may come, that we may perfectly 
know it when we are perfected therein. 

1 Rev. xx, 2 ; Pet. xii. 13. 

u MaU. vi. 20, 21 ; v. 12, and xix. 21 ; Eph. i. 3 ; 2 Tim. iv. 18 ; Heb. xi. 
10, and xii. 22, 23; 1 Cor. xv. 49; Phil. iii. 20; Col. i. 5; 1 Pet. i. 4; 
Heb. x. 34. 


CHAP, xxvir. 

" Thy ivill be done on earth, as it is in heaven." 

Q. 1. Why is this made the third petition ? 

A. Because it must be the third in our desires. I told you 
this prayer in perfect method beginneth at that which must be 
the first in our intention ; and that is, God's interest as above 
our own, which is consistent, and expressed in these three gra- 
dations. 1. The highest notion of it is, the hallowing and glo- 
rifying of his name, and resplendent perfections. 2. The second 
is, that in which this is chiefliest notified to man, which is his 
kingdom. 3. The third is the effect of this kingdom in the 
fulfilling his will. 

Q. 2. What will of God is it that is here meant ? 

A. His governing and beneficent will, expressed in his laws 
and promises, concerning man's duty, and God's rewards and 
gifts. x 

Q. 3. Is not the will of his absolute dominion expressed in 
the course of natural motion, here included ? 

A. It may be included as the supposed matter of our appro- 
bation and praise : and as God's will is taken for the effects and 
signs of his will, we may and must desire that he will continue 
the course of nature, sun, and moon, and stars, earth, winds, 
and water, &c, till the time of their dissolution, and mankind 
on earth : for these are supposed as the subject, or accidents, of 
go vernment. But the thing specially meant is God's govern- 
ing will, that is, that his laws may be obeyed, and his promises 
all performed/ 

Q. 4. But will not God's will be always done, whether we 
pray or not ? 

A. 1. All shall be done which God hath undertaken or de- 
creed to do himself, and not laid the event on the will of man : 
his absolute will of events is still fulfilled. But man doth not 
always do God's will ; that is, he doth not keep God's laws, or 
do the duty which God commandeth him, and therefore doth 
not obtain the rewards or gifts which were but conditionally pio- 
miscd. 2. And even some things, decreed absolutely by God, 

x Jolm iv. :U, ant! vi. 39, 40. 

y Acts x\i. 14 ; Matt. vii. '21 ; xii. f>0 ; xviii. 14, and xxi. 31. 




must be prayed for by man : for be decreetb tbe means as well 
as tbe end : and prayer is a means which bis commands and 
promises oblige us to. 

Q. 5. Why is it added, " as it is done in heaven?" 

A. To mind us, 1. Of the perfect, holy obedience of the glo- 
rified. 2. And that we must make that our pattern, and the end 
of our desires. 3. And to keep up our hopes and desires of that 
glorious perfection ; and strive to do God's will understand- 
ing!}', sincerely, fully, readily, delightfullv, without unwilling- 
ness, unweariedly, concordantly, without division, in perfect love 
to God, his work, and one another ; for so his will is done in 
heaven. And these holy heavenly desires are the earnest of our 
heavenly possession. 

Q. 6*. What is it that we pray against in this petition ? 

A. Against all sin, as a transgression of his law, and against 
all distrust of his promises, and discontentedness with his dis- 
posals ; and so against every will that is contrary to the will of 

Q. 7. What will is it that is contrary to the will of God ? 

A. 1. The will of Satan, who hateth God and holiness, and 
man, and willeth sin, confusion, calamity, and who is obeyed by 
all the ungodly world. 

2. The will of all blind, unbelieving, wicked men, especially 
tyrants, who fill the world with sin, and blood, and misery, that 
they may have their wills without control or bounds. 

3. Especially our own sinful self-willedness, and rebellious 
and disobedient dispositions. z 

Q. 8. What mean you by our self-willedness ? 

A. Man was made bv the creatine; will of God, to obev the 
governing will of God, and rest and rejoice in the disposing, re- 
warding, and beneficent will of God, and his essential love and 
goodness : by sin he is fallen from God's will to himself and his 
own will, and would fain have all events in the power and dis- 
posal of his own will, and fain be ruled bv his own will, and have 
no restraints, and would rest in himself, and the fulfilling of his 
will : yea, he would have all persons and things in the world to 
depend on his will, fulfil and please it, and ascribe unto it ; and 
so would be the idol of himself, and of the world ; and all the 
wickedness, and stir, and cruelty of the world is but that every 
selfish man may have his will. 

Q. 9. What then is the full meaning of this petition ? 

1 John i. 13; v. 30, and vi. 38 ; Luke x\ii. 42; Acts xiii. 22; Heb. xiii. 21. 


A. That earth, which is grown so like to hell by doing the 
will of Satan, of tyrants, and of self-willed, fleshly, wicked men, 
may be made liker unto heaven, by a full compliance of the will 
of man with the will of God, depending submissively on his dis- 
posing will, obeying his commanding will, fearing his punishing 
will, trusting, rejoicing, and resting in his rewarding and bene- 
ficent will, and renouncing all that is against it. a 

Q. 10. But if it be God's will to punish, pain, and kill us, 
how can we will this when it is evil to us ; and we cannot will 
evil ? 

A. As God himself doth antecedently or primarily will that 
which is good without any evil to his subjects, and but conse- 
quently will their punishment on supposition of their wilful sin, 
and this but as the work of his holiness and justice for good ; 
so he would have us to will first and absolutely, next his own 
glory and kingdom, our own holiness and happiness, and 
not our misery ; but to submit to his just punishments, with a 
will that loveth (not the hurt, but) the final good effect, and the 
wisdom, holiness, and justice of our chastiser. Which well 
consisteth with begging mercy, pardon, and deliverance. 1 ' 

Q. 11. But is not heaven too high a pattern for our desires ? 

A. No : though we have much duty on earth which belongs 
not to them in heaven ; and they have much which belongeth 
not to us, yet we must desire to obey God fully in our duty, as 
they do in theirs ; and desiring and seeking heavenly perfection 
is our sincerity on earth. c 

Q. 12. What sin doth this clause specially condemn ? 

A. 1. Unbelief of the heavenly perfection. 2. Fleshly lusts 
and wills, and a worldly mind. 3. The ungodliness of them 
that would not have God have all our heart, and love, and ser- 
vice, but think it is too much preciseness, or more ado than 
needs, and give him but the leavings of the flesh. 


" Give us this day our daily bread" 

Q. 1. Why is this the fourth petition ? 

A. I told you that the Lord's prayer hath two parts : the first 

» Luke xii. 17 ; John vii. 17 ; Acts xxii. 14 ; Rom. ii. 18 ; Col. i. 9. 
h Matt. xxvi. 1^. ' Psalm iv. lxxx. 

L 2 


is for our end, according to the order of intention, beginning at 
the top, and descending : the second part is about the means, 
according to the order of execution, beginning at the bottom, 
and ascending to the top. Now this is the first petition of the 
second part, because our substance and being is supposed to all 
accidents; and if God continue not our humanity, we cannot be 
capable of his blessings. d 

Q. 2. What is meant by bread ? 

A. All things necessary to sustain our natures, in a fitness 
for our duty and our comforts. e 

Q. .3. It seems, then, that we pray that we may not want, or 
be sick, or die, when God hath foretold us the contrary events ? 

A. We justly show that our nature is against death, and sick- 
ness, and wants, as being natural evils : and God giveth us a dis=. 
cerning judgment to know natural good from evil, and an appetite 
to desire it accordingly : but because natural good and evil are 
to be estimated, as they tend to spiritual and everlasting good or 
evil, God giveth us reason and faith to order our desires accord- 
ingly : and because our knowledge of this is imperfect, (when 
and how far natural good or evil conduceth to spiritual and 
eternal) it is still supposed that we make not ourselves but God 
the Judge ; and so desire life, health, and food, and natural sup- 
plies, with submission to his will, for time and measure, they 
being but means to higher things. 

Q. 4. Why ask we for no more than bread ? 

A. To show that corporeal things are not our treasure, nor to 
be desired for any thing but their proper use ; and to renounce 
all covetous desires of superfluity, or provision, for our inor- 
dinate, fleshly lusts. i 

Q. 5. Some say that by bread is meant Jesus Christ, because 
there is no petition that mentioneth him ? 

A. Every part of the Lord's prayer includeth Christ : it is 
by him that God is our Father ; by him that the holy name of 
God is hallowed : it is his kingdom that we pray may come ; it 
is his law or will which we pray may be done : it is he that pur- 
chaseth our right to the creature, and redeemed nature : it is by 
him that we must have the forgiveness of sin, and by his grace 
that we are delivered from temptations, and all evil, &c. 

Q. 6. Why ask we bread of God, as the Giver ? 

A. To signify that we are and have nothing but by his gijfcj.and 

a Luke xii. 23. e Jer. xlv. 5 ; 1 Tim. iv. 8 ; 2 PeL i... a. 

f 2 Cor. i.\. 10; 1 Tim, vi. S. 


must live in continual dependence on his will, and begging, 
receiving, and thanksgiving are our work. g 

Q. 7. But do we not get it by our labour, and the gift of 
men ? 

A. Our labours are vain without God's blessing, and men are 
but God's messengers to carry us his gifts. h 

Q. 8. What need we labour, if God give us all ? 

A. God giveth his blessings to meet receivers, and in the use 
of his appointed means : he that will not both beg and labour 
as God requireth him, is unmeet to receive his gifts. l 

Q. 9. Why do we ask bread from day to day ? 

A. To show that we are not the keepers of ourselves, or our 
stock of provisions, but, as children, live upon our Father's daily 
allowance, and continually look to him for all, and daily renew 
our thanks for all, and study the daily improvement of his 
maintenance in our duties. k 

Q. 10. But when a man hath riches for many years, what 
need he ask daily for what he hath ? 

A. He hath no assurance of his life or wealth an hour, nor of 
the blessing of it, but by God's gift. ' 

Q. 11. Why say we "give us " rather than "give me ?" 

A. To exercise our common love to one another, and re- 
nounce that narrow selfishness which confineth men's regard 
and desires to themselves ; and to show that we come not to 
God merely in a single capacity, but as members of the world, 
as men, and members of Christ's body or church, as Christians ; 
and that in the communion of saints, as we show our charity to 
one another, so we have a part in the prayers of all. 

Q. 12. May we then pray against poverty, and sickness, and 
hurt ? 

A. Yes, as aforesaid, so far as they are hurtful to our natures, 
and thereby to our souls, and the ends of life. m 

Q. 13. Doth not naming bread before forgiveness and grace, 
show that we must first and most desire it ? 

A. We before expressed our highest desire of God's glorv, 
kingdom, and will ; and as to our own interests, all the three 
last petitions go together, and are inseparable ; but the first is 
the lowest, though it be first in place. Nature sustained is the 

k Malt. vi. 25 — 27, &c. ; Psalm exxxvi. 25. 

»> Psalm exxvii. 1 ; Matt. iv. 3, 4. 

1 2 Cor. ix. 10 ; Prov. xii. 11, and xxviii. 19; Psalm viii.]3 ; Prov. xxxi.27. 

k Matt. vi. 24, &c ; Luke xii. 19 — 21. 

1 1 Cor. xii. m Prov. xxx.8. 


first, but it will be but the subject of sin and misery without 
pardon and holiness : 1 told you that the three last petitions go 
according to the order of execution, from the lowest to the 
highest step. God's kingdom and righteousness must be first 
sought in order of estimation and intention, by all that will 
attain them. 

Q. 14. But if God give us more than bread, even plenty for 
our delight, as well as necessaries, may we not use it accord- 
ingly ? 

A. Things are necessary to our well-being, that are not necessary 
to our being. We may ask and thankfully use all that, by 
strengthening and comforting nature, tendeth to fit the spirit 
for the joyful service of God, and to be helpful to others. But 
we must neither ask nor use any thing for the service of our 
lusts, or tempting, unprofitable pleasure. 

Q. 15. What if God deny us necessaries, and a Christian 
should be put to beg, or be famished, how then doth God make 
good his word, that he will give us whatever we ask through 
Christ, and that other things shall be added, if we seek first his 
kingdom and righteousness, and that godliness hath the promise 
of this life and that to comei " 

A. Remember, as aforesaid, 1. That the things of this life 
are promised and given, not as our happiness, but as means to 
better. 2. And that we are promised no more than we are fit to 
receive and use. 3. And that God is the highest Judge, both 
how far outward things would help or hinder us ; and how far 
we are fit to receive them. Therefore, if he deny them, he 
certainly knoweth that either we are unmeet for them, or they 
for us. ° 

Q. 16. When should a man say, he hath enough ? 

A. When having God's grace and favour, he hath so much 
of corporeal things, as will best further bis holiness and salva- 
tion, and as it pleaseth the will of Gocl that he should have. 

Q. 17- May not a man desire God to bless his labours, and 
to be rich ? 

A. A man is bound to labour in a lawful calling that is able, 
and to desire and beg God's blessing on it : but he must not 
desire riches, or plenty for itself, or for fleshly lusts ; nor be over 
importunate with God to make him his steward for others, p 

" Matt. vi. 19, 20, 33 ; John v. 40. 

1 Sam. ii. 29—31 ; Jam. iv. 3 { Phil. iv. 10, 11 ; Heb. xiii. 5. 

? Prov. x. 22 ; Psalm cxxix. S ; Dent, xxviii. S, 9, &c, and xxxiii. 11. 


Q. 18. What if God give us riches, or more than we need 
ourselves ? 

A. We must helieve that he maketh us his stewards, to do 
all the good with it that we can to all, but specially to the 
household of faith. But to spend no more in sinful lust and 
pleasure than if we were poor. ! 

Q. 19, What doth daily bread oblige us to ? 

A. Daily service, and daily love, and thankfulness to God, 
and to mind the end for which it is given, to be always ready, 
at the end of a day, to give up our account, and end our 

Q. 20. What is the sin and danger of the love of riches ? 

A. The love of money, or riches, is but the fruit of the love 
of the flesh, whose lust would never want provision, but it is 
the root of a thousand farther evils. As it shows a wretched 
soul, that doth not truly believe and trust God for this life, 
much less for a better, but is worldly, and sensual, and idola- 
trous, so it leadeth a man from God, holiness, heaven, yea 
and from common honesty, to all iniquity : a worldling, and 
lover of riches, is false to his own soul, to God, and never to be 
much trusted. 1 ' 


" And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass 
against us." (Or, us we forgive our debtors.) 

Q. 1 . Why is this made the fifth petition, or the second of 
the first part ? 

A. Because it is for the second thing we personally need. 
Our lives and natural being supposed, we next need deliverance 
from the guilt and punishment which we have contracted. Else 
to be men, will be worse to us than to be toads or serpents. s 

Q. 2. What doth this petition imply ? 

A. 1. That we are all sinners, and have deserved punishment, 
and are already fallen under some degree of it- 1 

2. That God hath given us a Saviour who died for our sins 
and is our Ransom and Advocate with the Father. 

i 1 Pet. iv. 10 ; Lake xii. 21, 24. 

r Luke xviii.23, 21 ; Mfirk x. 24 ; 1 Tim. vi. 10 ; 1 John ii. 15. 

' Psalm xxxii. 1—3. * Rom. iii., throughout. 


And, 3. That God is a gracious, pardoning God, and dealeth 
not with us on the terms of rigorous justice according to the 
law of innocency, but hath brought us under the Redeemer's 
covenant of grace, which giveth pardon to all penitent be- 
lievers : so that sin is both pardonable, and conditionally par- 
doned to us all. u 

Q. 3. What, then, are the presupposed things which we pray 
not for ? 

A. 1. We pray not that God may be good and love itself, 
or a merciful God, for this is presupposed. 2. We pray not 
that he would send a Saviour into the world, to fulfil all right- 
eousness, and die for sin, and that his merit and sacrifice may 
procure a conditional, universal pardon and gift of life, viz., to 
all that will repent and believe, for all this is done already.* 

Q. 4. Is it to the Father only, or also to the Son, that we 
pray for pardon ? 

A. To the Father primarily, and to the Son as glorified, for 
now the Father without him judgeth no man, but hath com- 
mitted all judgment to the Son. (John v. 22.) But when Christ 
made this prayer, he was not yet glorified, nor in full possession 
of his power. 

Q. 5. What sin is it whose forgiveness we pray for ? 

A. All sin, upon the conditions of pardon made by Christ ; 
that is, for the pardon of all sin to true penitent believers. 
Therefore we pray not for any pardon of the final non-perform- 
ance of the condition, that is, to finally impenitent unbelievers.? 

Q. 6. Sin cannot hurt God ; what need, then, is there of 

A. It can wrong him by breaking his laws, and rejecting his 
moral government, though it hurt him not : and he will right 

Q. 7. What is forgiving sin ? 

A. It is by tender mercy, on the account of Christ's merits, 
satisfaction, and intercession, to forgive the guilt of sin, as it 
maketh us the due suhjects of punishment, and to forgive the 
punishment of sin, as due by that guilt and the law of God, so 
as not to inflict it on us. z 

Q. 8. What punishment doth God forgive ? 

u 1 John ii. 1 ; 2 John iii. 1G ; Psalm cxxx.4 ; Acts v. 31 ; xiii. 38, and 
xxvi. 18. 

x Luke xxiii. 34 ; Matt. ix. 6, and xii. 31, 32. 7 Luke xv. 3, 5. 

z Col. ii. 13; Jam. v. 15; Matt, xviii. 27,32; Luke vii. 42,43; Kom. i. 
21, 23 ; 1 Cor. xv. 22. 


A. Not all : for the first sentence of corporeal punishment and 
death is inflicted. But he forgiveth the everlasting punishment 
to all true believers, and so much of the temporal, both corporeal 
and spiritual, as his grace doth fit us to receive the pardon of: 
and so he turneth temporal, correcting punishments to our good. a 

Q. 9. Doth he not pardon all sin at once, at our conversion ? 

A. Yes, all that is past, for no other is sin. But not by a 
perfect pardon. 

Q. 10. Why must we pray for pardon, then, every day ? 

A. 1. Because the pardon of old sins is but begun, and not 
fully perfect till all the punishment be ceased : and that is not 
till all sin and unholiness, and all the evil effects of sin, be ceased. 
No, nor till the day of resurrection and judgment have overcome 
the last enemy, death, and finally justified us. b 

2. Because we daily renew our sins by omission and com- 
mission, and though the foundation of our pardon be laid in 
our regeneration, that it may be actual and full for following 
sins, we must have renewed repentance, faith, and prayer. 

Q. 11. God is not changeable, to forgive to-day what he 
forgave not yesterday, what, then, is his forgiving sin ? 

A. The unchangeable God changeth the case of man. And, 
1 . By his law of grace, forgiveth penitent believers who were 
unpardoned in their impenitence and unbelief. And, 2. By 
his executive providence he taketh off and preventeth punish- 
ments both of sense and loss, and so forgiveth. 

Q. 1 2. How can we pray for pardon to others, when we know 
not whether they be penitent believers, capable of pardon ? 

A. 1. We pray as members of Christ's body for ourselves, 
and all that are his members, that is, penitent believers. 

2. For others, we pray that God would give them faith, re- 
pentance, and forgiveness. As Christ prayed, " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do;" that is, qualify them 
for pardon, and then pardon them ; or give them repentance 
and forgiveness. 

Q. 13. Why say we, " As we forgive them that trespass 
against us ?" 

A. To signify that we have this necessary qualification for 
forgiveness ; God will not forgive us fully till we can forgive 
others ; and to signify our obligation to forgive ; and as an ar- 

B Psalm ciii. 3 ; 1 John i. 9. 

>' 1 Cor. xi. 30—32 ; Matt, xviii. 27 ; Psalm lxxxv. 2—4, &c. ; Luke vi. 37 ; 
Jam. v. 15. 


gument to God to forgive us, when he hath given us hearts to 
forgive others. But not as the measure of God's forgiving us, for 
he forgiveth us more freely and fully than we can forgive others. 

Q. 13. Are we bound absolutely to forgive all men? 

A. No ; but as they are capable of it. 1. We have no power 
to forgive wrongs against God. 2. Nor against our superiors, 
or other men, or the commonwealth, or church, further than 
God authoriseth any man by office. 3. A magistrate must 
forgive sins, as to corporeal punishment, no further than God al- 
lovveth him, and as will stand with the true design of govern- 
ment, and the common good. And a pastor no further than 
will stand with the good of the church; and a father no further 
than will stand with the good of the family : and so of others. 
4. An enemy that remaineth such, and is wicked, must be for- 
given by private men, so far as that we must desire and endea- 
vour their good, and seek no revenge ; but not so far as to be 
trusted as a familiar, or bosom friend. 5. A friend that 
offended, and returneth to his fidelity, must be forgiven and 
trusted as a friend, according to the evidence of his repentance 
and sincerity, and no further. 

The rest about forgiveness is opened in the exposition of that 
article in the creed, " The forgiveness of sins." Still remem- 
bering that all forgiveness is by God's mercy, through Christ's 
merits, sacrifice, and intercession. 


"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver' us from evil." 

Q. 1. Why is this made the sixth petition ? 

A. Because it is the next in order to the attainment of our 
ultimate end. Our natures being maintained, and our sin and 
punishment forgiven, we next need deliverance from all evils 
that we are in danger of for the time to come, and then we are 

Q. 2. What is meant by temptation ? 

A. Any such trial as may overcome us or hurt us, whether by 
Satan, or by the strong allurements of the world and flesh, or 

'- Matt. vi. 14, 15, ami xviii. 35; Mark \i. 23, 2C. 


by persecutions or other heavy sufferings, which may draw us to 
sin, or make us miserable.** 

Q. 3. Doth God lead any into temptation ? 

A. 1. God placeth us in this world in the midst of trials, 
making it our duty to resist and overcome. 2. God per- 
mitteth the devil, by his suggestions, and by the world and 
flesh, to tempt us. 3. God trieth us himself by manifold af- 
flictions, and by permitting the temptations of persecutors and 
oppressors . e 

Q. 4. Why will God do and permit all this? 

A. It is a question unmeet for man to put. It is but to ask 
him why he would make a rank of reasonable creatures below 
confirmed angels ? And why he would make man with free- 
will ? And why he would not give us the prize without the 
race, and the crown without the warfare and victory ? And 
you may next ask why he did not make every star a sun, and 
every man an angel, and every beast and vermin a man, and 
every stone a diamond/ 

Q. 5. Doth God tempt a man to sin ? 

A. No: sin is none of God's end or desire. Satan tempts 
men to sin, and God tempteth men to try them whether they will 
sin, or be faithful to him, to exercise their grace and victory. 5 

Q. 6. Is it not all that we need that God lead us not into 
temptation ? 

A. The meaning is, that God, who overruleth all things, will 
neither himself try us beyond the strength which he will give 
us, nor permit Satan, men, or flesh, toovertempt us unto sin. 

Q. 7. But are we not sure that this life will be a life of trial 
and temptation, and that we must pass through many tribula- 
tions ? 

A. Yes : but we pray that they may not be too strong and 
prevalent to overcome us, when we should overcome. 51 

Q. S. What be the temptations of Satan which we pray 
against ? 

A. They are of so many sorts that I must not here be so 
large as to number them. You may see a great number with 
the remedies, named in my Christian Directory; but, in general, 
they are such by which he deceives the understanding, perverteth 
the will, and corrupteth our practice ', and this is about our state 

d 2 Pet. ii. 9 ; Rev. iii. 10 : Matt. xxvi. 41 ; Luke viii. 13. 

c 1 Pet. i. 6 ; Matt. iv. ; Gen. xxii. 1. f Jam. i. 2, 12 ; 1 Cor. x. 13. 

« Jam. i. 13—15. h 1 Cor. x. 13 ; Hel>. ii. 18. 


of soul, or about our particular actions, to draw us to sins of 
commission, or of omission, against God, ourselves, or others. 
The particulars are innumerable. 1 

Q. 9. What is the evil that we pray to be delivered from? 

A. The evil of sin and misery, and from Satan, ourselves, and 
men, and all hurtful creatures, as the causes. 

Q. 10. What is the reason of the connexion of the two 
parts of this petition, " Lead us not into temptation, but de- 
liver us from evil ?" 

A. Temptation is the means of sin, and sin the cause of 
misery. And they that would be delivered from sin, must pray 
and labour to be delivered from temptation ; and they that 
would be delivered from misery, must be delivered from sin. k 

Q. 1 1. May not a tempted man be delivered from sin ? 

A. Yes, when the temptation is not chosen by him, and can- 
not be avoided, and when it is not too strong for him, grace as- 
sisting him. 

Q. 12. What duty doth this petition oblige us to, and what 
sin doth it reprehend ? 

A. 1. It binds us to a continual, humble sense of our own cor- 
rupt dispositions, apt to yield to temptations, and of our danger, 
and of the evil of sin; and it condemneth the unhumbled that 
know not, or fear not, their pravity, or danger. 

2. It binds us all to fly from temptations, as far as lawfully 
we can ; and condemneth them that rush fearlessly on them, 
yea, that tempt themselves and others. The best man is not 
safe that will not avoid such temptations as are suited to his 
corrupt nature, when he may. While the bait is still near unto 
his senses, he is in continual danger. 1 

3. It binds us to feel the need of grace and God's deliver- 
ance, and not to trust our corrupted nature, and insufficient 

Q. 13. How doth God deliver us from evil? 

A. 1. By keeping us from over-strong temptation. 2. By his 
assisting grace. 3. By restraining Satan and wicked men, and 
all things that would hurt us, and, by his merciful providence, 
directing, preserving, and delivering us from sin and misery. 

! 1 Thes.iii. 5 ; Eph.vi. 11. 

k Prov.iv. 14, 15; 1 Tlies. v. 22; Prov.vii. 23; 2 Tim. iii. 7, and vi. 9; 
1 Cor. vii. 35 ; Matt. v. 29—31. 

1 Matt, xviii. G— 9, and xvi.22— 24 ; 1 Cor. viii. 9 ; Rom. xiv. 13 ; Rev. ii. 14. 



" For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the (/lory, for ever. — 


Q. 1. What is the meaning of this conclusion, and its scope? 

A. ft is a form of praise to God, and helps to our helief of 
the hearing of our prayers. 

Q. 2. Why is it put last ? 

A. Because the praise of God is the highest step next heaven." 1 

Q. 3. What is the meaning of kingdom, power, and glory 
here ? 

A. By kingdom is meant that it belongeth only to God to 
rule all the creatures, dispose of all things ; and by power is 
meant that, by his infinite perfection and sufficiency, he can do 
it ; and therefore can give us all that we want, and deliver us 
from all that we fear. And by glory is meant that all things 
shall be ordered so as the glory of all his own perfections shall 
finally and everlastingly shine forth in all, and his glory be the 
end of all for ever." 

Q. 4. What is the reason of the order of these three here ? 

A. I told you that the last part ascendeth from the lowest 
to the highest step. God's actual government is the cause of 
our deliverances and welfare. God's power and perfection is it 
that manageth that government. God's glory shining in the 
perfected form of the universe, and especially in heaven, is the 
ultimate end of all. 

Q. 5. But it seems there is no confession of sin, or thanks- 
giving, in this form of prayer ? 

A. It is the symbol or directory to the will's desire : and when 
we know what we should desire, it is implied that we know what 
we want, and what we should bewail, and what we should be 
thankful for : and praise includeth our thanksgiving. 

Q. 6. Why say we, "forever?" 

A. For our comfort and God's honour, expressing the ever- 
lastingness of his kingdom, power, and glory. 

m Psalm cxix. ; clxiv. ; Ixxi. 6, 8, and Ixxviii. 13. 

11 Psalm ciii. xix., and cxiv. 12; Dan. iv. 3,34; Matt. xvi. 28 ; Psalm cxlv. 
11, 13 ; Hch. i. S ; Luke ii. II ; Matt. xvi. 27, and xxiv. 30; Acts xii. 23. 

Psalm cxlv. 4, 10 ; cxlviii. ; lxvi. 2, 8 ; cxlvii. i, 7, and cvi. 2, 17 ; ; Phil, iv 
20 ; Jude 25 : Rev. v. 13, and vii. 12 ; Rom. xi. 3G, and xvi. 27. 


Q. 7- Why say we " Amen ?" 

A. To express both our desire, and our faith and hope, that 
God will hear the desires which his Spirit giveth us through the 
mediation of Jesus Christ. 


Of the Ten Commandments in general. 

Q. 1. Are the ten commandments a law to Christians, or are 
they abrogated with the rest of Moses's law ? 

A. The ten commandments are considerable in three states : 
1. As part of the primitive law of nature. 2. As the law given 
by Moses, for the peculiar government of the Jews' common- 
wealth. 3. As the law of Jesus Christ. p 

1 . The law of nature is not abrogate, though the terms of 
life and death are not the same as under the law of innocency. q 

2. The law of Moses to the Jews as such, never bound all 
other nations, nor now bindeth us, but is dead and done away. 
(2 Cor. iii. 7, 9, 10, 11; Rom. ii. 12, and xiv. 15; iii. 19, and 
vii. 1 — 3: Heb. vii. 12; 1 Cor. ix. 21.) But seeing it was 
God that was the Author of that law, and by it expressly told 
the Jews what the law of nature is, we are all bound still to 
take those two tables to be God's own transcript of his law of 
nature, and so are, by consequence, bound bv them still. If God 
give a law to some one man, as that which belongs to the na- 
ture of all men, though it bind us not as a law to that man, it 
binds as God's exposition of the law of nature when notified 
to us. 

3. As the law of Christ, it binds all Christians. 

Q. 2. How are the ten commandments the law of Christ ? 

A. 1. Nature itself, and lapsed mankind, is delivered up to 
Christ as Redeemer, to be used in the government of his king- 
dom. And so the law of nature is become his law. 1 ' 

2. It was Christ, as God Redeemer, that gave the law of 
Moses, and as it is a transcript of the common law of nature, 
he doth not revoke it, but suppose it. 

p Exod. xx., and xxxiv. 28 ; Dent. v. n Luke i. C. 

r Matt. v. 18, 19, and xxiv. 40; Mark x. 19, and xii. 29, 30 ; John xiv. 21. 
1 Cor. vii. 19, and xiv. 37 ; 1 John ii. 1 ; iii. 24, and v. :$ ; John xv. 12. 


3. Christ hath repeated and owned the matter of it in the 
gospel, and made it his eommatid to his disciples. 

Q. 3. Is there nothing in the ten commandments proper to 
the Israelites ? 

A. Yes : l.The preface, " hear, O Israel ;" and " that brought 
thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." 
2. The stating the seventh day for the Sabbath, and the strict 
ceremonial rest commanded as part of the sanctifying of it. 

Q. 4. How doth Christ and his Apostles contract all the law 
into that of love ? 

A. God, who as absolute Lord, owneth, moveth, and disposeth 
of all, s doth, as sovereign Ruler, give us laws, and execute them, 
and, as Lord and Benefactor, giveth us all, and is the most 
amiable object and end of all : so that as to love and give 
is more than to command, so to be loved is more than as 
a commander to be obeyed : but ever includeth it, though it 
be eminently, in its nature, above it. So that, 1. Objectively, 
love to God, ourselves, and others, in that measure that it is ex- 
ercised wisely, is obedience eminently, and somewhat higher. 
2. And love, as the principle in man, is the most powerful cause 
of obedience, supposing the reverence of authority and the fear 
of punishment, but is somewhat more excellent than they. A 
parent's love to a child makes him more constant and full in all 
that he can do for him, l than the commands of a king alone 
will do. In that measure that you love God, you will heartily 
and delightfully do all your duty to him ; and so far as you love 
parents or neighbours, you will gladly promote their honour, 
safety, chastity, estates, rights, and all that is theirs, and hate 
all that is against their good. And as parents will feed their 
children, though no fear of punishment should move them ; so 
we shall be above the great necessity of the fear of punishment, 
so far as God and goodness is our delight." 

Q. 5. How should one know the meaning and extent of the 
commandments ? 

A. The words do plainly signify the sense : and according to 
the reasonable use of words, God's laws being perfect, must be 
thus cxpounded. x 

1. The commanding of duty includeth the forbidding of the 

s Mark xii. SO, 33 ; Rom. xiii. [), 10 ; 1 Cor. xiii. ; Tit. iii.4 ; Rom. v. 5, and 
viii. 3'.) ; 1 John iv. 1G ; John xiv. 23. 

1 2 Tim. i. 7 ; 1 John iv. 17, IS ; Gal. v. 14. u Psalm i. 2, 3, and cxix. 

x Matt. vii. 12 ; Phil. ii. U, and iii. 8 ; 1 Cor. xiv. 20. 


2. Under general commands and prohibitions, the kinds and 
particulars are included which the general word extendeth to. 

S. When one particular sin is forbidden, or duty commanded, 
all the branches of it, and all of the same kind and reason are 
forbidden or commanded. 

4. Where the end is commanded or forbidden, it is implied 
that so are the true means as such. 

5. Every commandment extendeth to the whole man, to our 
bodies and all the members, and to the soul and all its faculties 

6. Commands bind us not to be always doing the thing- com- 
manded. Duties be not at all times duty : but prohibitions 
bind us at all times from every sin, when it is indeed a sin. 

7. Every command implieth some reward or benefit to the 
obedient, and every sin of omission or commission is supposed 
to deserve punishment, though it be not named. y 

8. Every command supposeth the thing commanded to be no 
natural impossibility, (as to see spirits, or to dive into the heart 
of the earth, to know that which is not intelligible, &c.) But 
it doth not suppose us to be morally or holily disposed to keep 
it, or to be able to change our corrupt natures without God's 

9. So every command supposeth us to have that natural free- 
dom of will which is a self-determining power, not necessitated 
or forced to sin by any : but not to have a will that is free from 
vicious inclinations : nor from under God's disposing power. z 

10. Tbe breach of the same laws may have several sorts of 
punishment : by parents, by masters, by magistrates, by the 
church ; on body, on name, on soul, in this life, by God ; and, 
finally, beavier punishment in the life to come. 

1 1 . The sins here forbidden, are not unpardonable, but by 
Christ's merits, sacrifice and intercession, are forgiven to all 
true penitent, converted believers. 


Of the Preface to the Decalogue. 

Q. 1. What are the parts of the Decalogue ? 

A. 1. The constitution of the kingdom of God over men de- 

> Mai. iii. 14. ' Rom. v'.ii. G— 8 ; Jer. >,iii. 23. 


scribed. And, 2. The administration, or governing laws of 
his kingdom. 

Q. 2. What words express the constitution of God's king- 
dom ? 

A. " I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the 
land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." 

Q. 3. What is the constitution here expressed ? 

A. 1. God, the Sovereign. 2. Man, the subject. 3. The 
work of God, which was the next foundation or reason of the 
mutual relation between God and man, as here intended. 0, 

Q. 4. What is included in the first part, of God's sove* 
reignty ? 

A. 1. That there is a God, and but one God in this special 
sense. 2. That the God of Israel is this one true God, who 
maketh these laws. 3. That we must all obey him. 

Q. 5. What is God, and what doth that word here mean ? 

A. This was largely opened in the beginning. Briefly to be 
God is to be a Spirit, infinite in being, in vital power, know- 
ledge, and goodness, of whom, as the efficient cause, and through 
whom as the Governor, and to whom as the end, are all things 
else ; related to us as our Creator, and as our absolute Owner, 
our supreme Ruler, and our greatest Benefactor, Friend, and 

Q. 6. What words mention man as the subject of the 
kingdom ? 

A. " Hear, O Israel," and " Thy God that brought thee," &c. 

Q. 7- What relations are here included ? 

A. That we, being God's creatures and redeemed ones, are, 
1. His own. 2. His subjects, to be ruled by him. 3. His poor 
beneficiaries, that have all from him, and owe him all our love. 

Q. 8. What do the words signify " that brought thee out of 
the land of Egypt?" 

A. That besides the right of creation, God hath a second 
right to us as our Redeemer. The deliverance from Egypt was 
that typical one that founded the relation between him and the 
commonwealth of Israel. But as the Decalogue is the law of 
Christ, the meaning is, ' I am the Lord thy God, who redeemed 
thee from sin and misery by Jesus Christ.' 1 ' So that this sig- 
nifieth the nearest right and reason of this relation between God 
and man. He giveth us his law now, not only as our Creator, 

« Mai. ii. 10; Matt. xix. IT; Mark xii. 32 ; Jer.vii.23; Jo'.tn xx. 17. 
'» Matt, xxviii. 19 J Rom. xiv. <» ; John v. 22, unci xvii, 2, 3. 



but us our Redeemer, and as such we must be his willing subjects, 
and obey him. 

Q. 9. Are all men subjects of God's kingdom ? 

A. 1. All are subjects as to right and obligation. 

2. All that profess subjection as professed consenters. 

3. And all true hearty consenters are his sincere subjects, that 
shall be saved. 

God the Creator and Redeemer hath the right of sovereignty 
over all the world, whether they consent or not. But they shall 
not have the blessing of faithful subjects without their own 
true consent, nor of visible church members without professed 
consent. But antecedent mercies he giveth to all. 

Q. 10. Why is this description of God's sovereignty, and 
man's subjection, and the ground of it, set before the com- 
mandments ? 

A. Because, 1. Faith must go before obedience. He that 
will come to God and obey him, must believe that God is God, 
and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 
(Heb. xi. 6.) And he that will obey him as our Redeemer, 
must believe that we are redeemed by Jesus Christ, and that he 
is our Lord and King. 2. And relations go before the duties 
of relation : and our consent foundeth the mutual relation. The 
nature and form of obedience is, to obey another's commanding 
will, because he is our rightful Governor. No man can obey 
him formally whom he taketh not for his Ruler. And subjec- 
tion, or consent to be governed, is virtually all obedience. 

Q. 11. But what, if men never hear of the Redeemer, may 
they not obey God's law of nature ? 

A. They may know that they are sinners, and that the sin of 
an immortal soul deserveth endless punishment : and they may 
find, by experience, that God useth them not as they deserve, 
but giveth many mercies to those that deserve nothing but 
misery ; and that he obligeth them to use some means in hope 
for their recovery, and so that he governeth them by a law (or 
on terms) of mercy : and being under the first edition of the 
law of grace, though they know not the second, they ought to 
keep that law which they are under, and they shall be judged 
by it. 

Q. 12. How, then, doth the christian church, as Christ's 
kingdom, differ from the world without, if they be any of his 
kingdom too ? 

■• Jolm xvii .3, and xiv. 1, 2 ; Giil. hi. IC ; Jos. xxiv. 18 ; John xx. 28. 


A. As all the world was under that common law of grace' 
which was made for them to Adam and Noah, and yet Abra- 
ham and his seed were only chosen out of all the world as a 
peculiar, holy nation to God, and were under a law and covenant 
of peculiarity, which helonged only unto them ; so, though 
Christ hath not revoked those common mercies given to all by 
the first edition of the law of grace, nor left the world ungo- 
verned and lawless, yet he hath given to Christians a more ex- 
cellent covenant of peculiarity than he gave the natural seed of 
Abraham, and hath elected them out of the world to himself, 
as a " chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a 
peculiar people, to show forth the praises of him that hath 
called them out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Pet. 
ii. 9.) 

Q. 13. It seems, then, we must take great heed that we make 
not Christ's kingdom either less or greater than it is ? 

A. To make it greater than it is, by equalling those without 
the church, or church hypocrites with the sincere, doth disho- 
nour God's holiness, and the wonderful design of Christ in man's 
redemption, and the grace of the Spirit, and the church of God, 
and obscureth the doctrine of election, and God's peculiar love, 
and tendeth to the discomfort of the faithful, and even to in- 

And to make Christ's kingdom less than it is, by denying the 
first edition of the law of grace made to all, and the common 
mercies given to all, antecedently to their rejection of them, 
doth obscure and wrong the glory of God's love to man, and 
deny his common grace and law, and feigneth the world either 
to be under no law of God, or else to be all bound to be per- 
fectly innocent at the time when they are guilty,' 1 and either 
not bound at all to hope and seek for salvation, or else to seek 
it on the condition of being innocent, when they know that it is 
impossible, they being already guilty : and iv maketh the world, 
like the devils, almost shut up in despair ; and it leaveth them 
as guiltless of all sin against grace, and the law of grace, as if 
they had none such : and it contradicteth the judgment of 
Abraham, the father of the faithful, who saw Christ's day ; for 
he thought that even the wicked city of Sodom had fifty per- 
sons so righteous as that God should have spared the rest for 
their sakes, to say nothing of Job, Nineveh, &c. In a word, 
the ungrounded extenuating the grace of Christ, and the love 

'' Psalm cxlv. 9. 


of God, hardeneth infidels, and tempteth Christians to perplex- 
ing thoughts of the gospel, and of the infinite goodness of 
God, and maketh it more difficult than indeed it is, to see his 
amiableness, and consequently to glorify and love him, as the 
essential love, whose goodness is equal to his greatness. It is 
Satan, as angel of light and righteousness, who, pretending the 
defence of God's special love to his elect, denieth his common 
mercies to mankind, to dishonour God's love, and strengthen 
our own temptations against the joyful love of God. 

Q. 14. Is government and subjection all that is here included? 

A. No : God's kingdom is a paternal kingdom, ruling chil- 
dren by love, that he may make them happy. *' I am the Lord 
thy God," signifieth ' I am thy greatest Benefactor, thy Father,' 
who gave thee all the good thou hast, and will give to my obe- 
dient children grace and glory, and all that thev can reasonably 
desire, and will protect them from all their enemies, and sup- 
ply their wants, and deliver them from evil, and will be for ever 
their sun and shield, their reward and joy, and better to them, 
than man in flesh can now conceive, even love itself. e 


Of the First Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the first commandment? 

A. " Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exod. 
xx. 3/ 

Q. 2. What is the meaning of this commandment ? 

A. It implieth a command that we do all that is due to God ; 
which is due to God from reasonable creatures, made by him, 
and freely redeemed by him from sin and misery. And it for- 
biddeth us to think there is any other God, or to give to any 
other that which properly belongs tohim. g 

Q. 3. Doth not the Scripture call idols and magistrates 
gods ? 

A. Yes ; but only in an equivocal, improper sense : idols are 

« 2 Cov. vi. 10, 18 ; John xx. 28. f Dent. v. 7, and x. 21. 

i Deut. xxvi. 27 ; Dan. vi. 1G ; Isa. xvi. 19. 


called gods, as so reputed falsely by idolaters ; and magistrates 
only as men's governors under God. h 

Q. 4. What are the duties which we owe to God alone ? 

A. 1. That our understandings know, believe, and esteem him 
as God. 2. That our wills love him, and cleave to him as 
God. 3. That we practicallv obey and serve him as God. 

Q. 5. When doth the understanding know, believe, and 
esteem him as God ? 

A. No creature can know God with an adequate, comprehen- 
sive knowledge : but we must in our measure know, believe and 
esteem him to be the only infinite, eternal, self-sufficient Spirit, 
vital Power, Understanding, and Will, or most perfect Life, 
Light, and Love ; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of whom, and 
through whom, and to whom, are all things; our absolute Owner, 
Ruler, and Father, reconciled by Christ ; our Maker, our Re- 
deemer, and Sanctifier. 

Q. 6. When doth man's will love and cleave to him as God? 

A. When the understanding believing him to be best, even 
infinitely good in himself, and best to all the world, and best 
to us, we love him as such ; though not yet in due perfection, 
yet sincerely above all other things. 1 

Q. 7« How can we love God above all, when we never saw 
him, and can have no idea or formal conception of him in our 
minds ? 

A. Though he be invisible, and we have no corporeal idea of 
him, nor no adequate or just formal conception of him, yet he 
is the most noble object of our understanding and love, as the 
sun is of our sight, though we comprehend it not. We are not 
without such an idea or conception of God, as is better than all 
other knowledge, and is the beginning of eternal life, and is 
true in its kind, though very imperfecta 

Q. How can you know him that is no object of sense ? 

A. He is the object of our understanding; we know in our- 
selves what it is to know and to will, though these acts are not 
the objects of sense, (unless you will call the very acts of know- 
ing and willing, an eminent, internal sensation of themselves.) 
And by this we know what it is to have the power of under- 
standing and willing : and so what it is to be an invisible 
substance with such power. And as we have this true idea or 

11 Gal.iv. S; 1 Cor. viii. 5 ; John x. 34, 35 ; xvii. 3, and xiv. 1, 2; DiMit. x. 
12, and xxx. 16, 20; Mich. vi. 8. 

1 Psalm lxxiii, 25 ; cxix. 08, and cxlv. 9 ; Matt. xxli. 37. 
k Matt. xix. 17 ; Jolm xvii. 3. 


conception of a soul, so have we more easily of him, who is 
more than a soul to the whole world. 1 

Q. 9. How doth the true love of God work here in the flesh? 

A. As we here know God, so we love him : as we know him 
not in the manner as we do things sensible, so we love him not 
in that sort of sensible appetite, as we do things sensible imme- 
diately. But as we know him as revealed in the glass of his 
works, natural and gracious, and in his word, so we love him as 
known by such revelation.™ 

Q. 10. Do not all men love God, who believe that there is 
a God, when nature teacheth men to love goodness as such, and 
all that believe that there is a God, believe that he is the best 
of beings ? 

A. Wicked men know not truly the goodness of God, and so 
what God is indeed. To know this proposition, ( God is most 
good,' is but to know words and a logical, general notion : as if 
a man should know and say that light is good, who never had 
sight ; or sweetness is good, who never tasted it. Every wicked 
man is predominantly a lover of fleshly pleasure, and therefore 
no lover, but a hater, of all the parts and acts of divine govern- 
ment and holiness, which are contrary to it, and would deprive 
him of it. So that there is somewhat of God that a wicked 
man doth love, that is, his being, his work of creation, and 
bounty to the world, and to him in those natural good things 
which he can value : but he loveth not, but hateth God as the 
holy governor of the world and him, and the enemy of his for- 
bidden pleasure and desires." 

Q. 11. What be the certain signs, then, of true love to God ? 

A. 1. A true love to his government, and laws, and holy 
word; and that as it is his, and holy; and this so effectual, as 
that we unfeignedly desire to obey that word as the rule of our 
faith, and life, and hope ; and desire to fulfil his commanding 

2. A true love to the actions which God commandeth (though 
flesh will have some degree of backwardness). 

3. A true love to those that are likest God in wisdom, holi- 
ness, and doing good ; and such a love to them as is above the 
love of worldly riches, honour, and pleasure ; so that it will 
enable us to do them good, though by our suffering or loss in a 

1 l Cor.xiii. 12, and ii. 3,8, 18; John i. 18. 
m Exod. xx. G ; Piov. viii. 17, 21 ; John xiv. 15, 23. 

 1 Cor. viii. 3 ; Rom. viii. 28 ; Jam. i. 12, and ii. 5 ; I John iii. 16, 17 ; iv. 
20, and v. 3, and xiv. 23 ; Jude 21. 


lower matter, when God calls us to it. For if we see our 
brother have need, and shut up the bowels of compassion, so 
that we cannot find in our hearts to relieve his necessities by 
the loss of our unnecessary superfluities, how dwelleth the love 
of God in us ? 

4. True love to God doth love itself. It is a great sign of 
it, when we so much love to love God as that we are gladder 
when we feel it in us, than for any worldly vanity ; and when 
we take the mutual love of God and the soul to be so good and 
joyful a state as that we truly desire it as our felicitv, and best 
in heaven to be perfectly loved of God, and perfectly to love 
him, jovfully express it in his everlasting praises. To long to 
love God as the best condition for us, is a sign that we truly 
love him. 

' Q. 12. But must not all the affections be set on God as well 
as love ? 

A. All the rest are but several ways of loving or willing good, 
and of nilling, or hating and avoiding, evil. 

1. It is love that desireth after God, and his grace and glow. 
2. It is love that hopeth for him. 3. It is love that rejoiceth 
in him, and is pleased when we and others please him, and when 
his love is poured out on the sons of men, and truth, peace, and 
holiness prosper in the world. 4. It is love that maketh us 
sorrowful, that we can please him no more, nor more enjoy him ; 
and that maketh us grieved that we can no more know him, love 
him, and delight in him, and that we have so much sin within 
us to displease him, and hinder our communion of love with 
him. 5. And love will make us fearful of displeasing him, and 
losing the said communion of love. 6. And it will make us 
more angry with ourselves, when we have most by sin displeased 
God, and angry with others that offend him. 1> 

Q. 13. What is the practical duty properly due from us to God? 

A. To obey him in doing all that he commandeth us, eithei 
in his holy worship, or for ourselves, or for our neighbour ; and 
this by an absolute, universal obedience, in sincere desire and 
endeavour, as to a Sovereign of greatest authority, and a Father 
of greatest love, whose laws and works are all most wise, and 
just, and good/' 

° Luke xi. 42; John v. 42, and xv. 10; 1 John ii. 5, and iii. 17; Psalm 
xlii. 1—4, &c. 

p Dent. v. 29; xi. 13 ; xiii. 3 ; xxvi. 16, and xxx. 2, 6, 10 ; Jos. xxii. 5 ; 
1 Sam. xii. 24; Matt. vi. 21, and xxii. 37. ? John xiv. 15, 23 ; 1 John v. 3. 


Q. 14. What if our governors command or forbid us any 
thing, must we not take our obeying them to be obeying God, 
seeing they are his officers whom we see, but see not him ? 

A. Yes : when thev command us by the authority given them 
of God: but God's universal laws are before and above their 
laws 5 and their power is all limited by God; they have no 
authority but what he giveth them ; and he giveth them none 
against his laws : and therefore if they command any thing 
which God forbiddeth, or forbid what God commandeth, you 
must obey God in not obeying them. But this must never be 
made a pretence for disobedience to their true authority . r 

Q. 15. What is the thing forbidden in the first command- 

A. 1. To think that to be God which is not God, as the 
heathens do by the sun. 2. To ascribe any part of that to 
creatures which is essential and proper to God; and so to make 
them half gods. 

Q. 16. How are men guilty of that ? 

A. 1. When they think that any creature hath that infinite- 
ness, eternity, or self-sufficiency, that power, knowledge, or good- 
ness, which is proper to God alone. Or that any creature hath 
that causality which is proper to God, in making and maintain- 
ing, or governing the world, or being the ultimate end. Or 
that any creature is to be more honoured, loved or obeyed, than 
God, or with an) of that which is proper to God. s 

2. When the will doth actually love and honour the creature, 
with any of that love and honour which is due to God as God, 
and therefore to God alone. 

3. When in their practice men labour to please, serve, or 
obey any creature against God, before God, or equal with God, 
or with any service proper to God alone. All this is idolatry. 

Q. 17. Which is the greatest and commonest idol of the 
world ? 

A. Carnal self: by sin man is fallen from God to his carnal 
self, to which he giveth that which is God's proper due. 

Q. IS. How doth this selfishness appear and work as ido- 
latry ? l 

A. 1. In that such men love their carnal self, and pleasure, 
and prosperity, and the riches that are the provision for the flesh, 

r Rom. xiii. 2, 3 ; Acts iv. 19, 24, and v. 29, 32 ; Dan. iii. and vi. 

» Isa. ii. 22, and xlii. 8 ; Acts xii. 22, 23 ; Mic. ii.9. 

« Rev. xvi. 9 ; 1 Chr. xvi. 28, 29; 1 Cor. x. 31 ; Gal. i. 10. 


better than God : I mean not only more sensibly, but with a pre- 
ferring, choosing love ; and that which as best is most loved, is 
made a man's god. The images of heathens were not so much 
their idols as themselves ; for none of them loved their images 
better than themselves ; nor than a worldling loveth his wealth, 
power and honour. 11 

2. Jn that such are their own chief ultimate end, and prefer 
the prosperity of carnal self before the glorifying of God in per- 
fect love and praise in the heavenly society for ever. And so 
did idolaters, by their images, or other idols. 

3. In that such had rather their own will were done than 
God's 5 and had rather God's will were brought to theirs than 
theirs to God's. Their wills are their rule and end ; yea, they 
would have God and man, and all the world, fulfil their wills; 
even when they are against the will of God : self-will is the 
great idol of the world : all the stir and striving, and war, and 
work of such, is but to serve it. x 

4. Selfish men do measure good and evil chiefly by carnal 
self-interest : they take those for the best men that are most for 
them herein ; and those for the worst that are against their in- 
terest in the world : and their love and hatred is placed accord- 
ingly. Let a man be never so wise and good, they hate him if 
he be against their interests 

5. And as holy men live to God in the care and endeavour of 
their lives, so do selfish men to their carnal selves : their study, 
labour, and time is thus employed, even to ruin the best that 
are but against their carnal interest: and if they be princes or 
great men in the world, the lives and estates of thousands of 
the innocent, seem not to them too dear a sacrifice by bloodv 
and unlawful wars or persecutions, to offer to this grand idol self. 

6. And when it cometh to a parting choice, as the faithful 
will rather let go liberty, honour, estate, and life, than forsake 
God and the heavenly glory : so selfish men will let go their 
inuocency, their Saviour, their God and all, rather than part 
with the interest of carnal self. 2 

7. And in point of honour, they are more ambitious to be 
well thought and spoken of, and praised themselves, both living 
and dead, than to have God, and truth, and goodness honoured: 

u Rom. xii. 3, and xiv. 7 ; Matt. xvi. 24 ; xviii. 4, and xxiii. 12 ; Mark xii. 
33; Phil. ii. 4, 21. 
* Tit. i. 7 ; 2 Pet. ii. 10. r l Kings xxii. 8 ; 2 Clnon. xviii. 7. 

z Luke xiv. 26, 33. 


and they can more easily bear one that dishonoureth God, and 
truth, and holiness, yea, and common righteousness and ho- 
nesty, than one that (though justly) dishonoureth them. 

So that all the world may easily see that carnal self, and spe- 
cially self-will, is the greatest idol in the world. 3, 

Q. 19. But is not that a man's idol which he trusteth most? 
and all men are so conscious of their own insufficiency, that 
they cannot trust themselves for their own preservation ? 

A. 1 say not that any selfish man b is a perfect idolater, and 
giveth all God's properties to himself. He must know whether 
he will or not, that he is not infinite, eternal, almighty, omni- 
scient, self-sufficient; he knoweth he must suffer, and die. But 
self hath more given it that is due only to God, than any other 
idol hath. And though such men know their own insufficiency, 
yet they have so little trust in God, that they trust their own 
wits and the choice of their own wills, before the wisdom and 
choice of God ; and had far rather be at their own wills and 
choice if they could : and indeed had rather that all things in 
the world were at their will and choice, than at the will and 
choice of God. And therefore they like not his laws and go- 
vernment, but make their wit, will, and lust, the governors of 
themselves, and as many others as they can. 

Q. 20. Js there not much selfishness in all ? By this you 
will make all men, even the best, to be idolaters. But a man 
cannot be saved that liveth in idolatry. 

A. It is not every subdued degree of any fault that denomi- 
nateth the man, but that which is predominant in him : every 
man hath some unbelief, some backwardness to God and good- 
ness, some hypocrisy, pride, &c, and yet every man is not to be 
called an infidel, an enemy to God and goodness, an hypocrite, &c. 
So every man hath some idolatry and some atiieism remaining, 
and yet is not an idolater or atheist. If a man could not be 
saved till he were perfectly healed of every degree of these 
heinous sins, no man could be saved. But God's interest is 
predominant in holy souls. 

Q. 21. Doth not Paul say of all, save Timothy, that all seek 
their own, and not the things that are Jesus Christ's ? 

A. He meaneth not that they predominantly do so, except 
those among them who were hypocrites : but that all did too 

a 2 Tim. iii. 2, 3 ; Prov. xxi. 4; Psalm x. 2, 4. 

b Mark x. 24; 1 Tim. vi. 17 ; Psalm xx. 7, and cxviii. 8 ; Prov. iii. S. 

r Jer. xlv. 4, 5 ; Mich. vi. 8. 


much seek their own, and too little the things that are Jesus 
Christ's, and were not so self-denying as Timothy, who, as it 
were, naturally cared for the good of the church : as Demas 
forsook Paul in his suffering, and went after his own worldly 
business ; but yet did not forsake Christ and prefer the world 
before him (for ought we find of him). 

Q. 22. You make this first commandment to be the sum 
of all. 

A. It is the summary of all, and our obedience to it is virtu- 
ally (but not actually) our obedience to all the rest. This is it 
which Christ calleth the first and greatest command, " Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and soul, and 
might." This is the foundation of all the rest of the command- 
ments, and the root of all : the rest are but branches from it. 
When we are obliged to love God and obey him, we have a ge- 
neral obligation to keep all his commandments. But as this 
general command doth not put the special, particular commands 
in existence, so neither doth it oblige us to ohey them till they 
exist : and then as the genus and species constitute every de- 
fined being ; so the general and special obligation concur to 
make up every duty. He that sincerely obeyeth this first com- 
mand, is a true subject of God, and in a state of salvation, and 
will sincerely obey all particular commands in the main course 
of his life, when they are revealed to him. d 


Of the Second Commandment. 

Q. 1 . What are the words of the second commandment ? 

A. " Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, or 
any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in 
the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth : thou 
shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them. For I, 
the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the 
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation 
of them that hate me, and showing mercy to thousands of them 
that love me, and keep my commandments." 

Q. 2. How prove you against the papists, that this is not 
part of the first commandment? 

d Hos t ix. 1, 2 j Lv. G, and xii. 2. 


A. 1. By the matter, which is different from it. 
2. And by the Scripture, which saith there were ten, and 
without this there are but nine. 3. And by historical tradition, 
which we can prove that the papists falsify. 

Q. 3. What is the true meaning of the second command- 
ment, and wherein doth it differ from the first ? 

A. The first commandment bindeth us to give God his own, 
or his due as God, both in heart and life, and to give it to no 
other. The second commandeth men to keep so wide a 
difference between God and heathen idols, as not to worship 
him as the heathens do their idols, nor yet to seem by their 
bodily action to worship an idol, though they despise it in their 
thoughts, and pretend to keep their hearts to God. Corporeal, 
and outward, and seeming idolatry is here forbidden. For though 
a man renounce in heart all other gods, yet if he be seen to bow 
down before an image, I . He seemeth to the beholder to mean 
as idolaters do, while he symboliseth with them. And as lying 
and perjury with the tongue is sin, though a man's inward 
thoughts do own the truth, so bowing as worshippers do before 
an image, is idolatry, though the mind renounce all idols. And 
God is the God of the body as well as of the soul : and God 
would not have others encouraged to idolatry by so scandalous 
an example. 2. And if it be the true God that such profess to 
worship, it is interpretative blasphemy ; as if they told men that 
God is like to that creature whose image they make, So that 
scandal, and bodily idolatry, and blasphemy, are the things di- 
rectly forbidden in this commandment, as the real choosing and 
worshipping a false god is in the first. 6 

Q. 4. By this, it seems that scandal is a heinous sin? 

A. Scandal is enticing, tempting, or encouraging others to 
sin, by doing or saying that which is like to be abused by them 
to such an effect : or laying a stumbling-block in the way of 
blind or careless souls. If they will make our necessary duty 
the occasion of sin, we may not therefore omit our duty, if 
indeed it be an indispensable duty at that time : but if it be no 
dutv, vea, or if it be only a duty in other senses and circum- 
stances, it is a heinous sin to give such scandal to another, much 
more to multitudes or public societies. 

Q. 5. Wherein lieth the evil of it? 

A. 1. It is a countenancing and furthering sin. 

e Deut. iv. 16, 17; vii. 5, and xvi.22; Lev. xxvi. 1, 2; Dan. iii.; Isa. xl. 
18, 25, and xlvi. 5. 


2. It is uncharitableness and cruelty to men's souls. 

3. And therefore it is the devil's work/ 

Q. 6. But if our rulers command us^to do a thing indifferent, 
which others will turn to an occasion of sin and damnation, 
must we disobey our lawful governors, to prevent men's sin and 

A. If the thing in its own nature tended to so great and 
necessary good as would weigh down the contrary evil to 
the scandalized, we must do our duty to help them some 
other way. But supposing it either indifferent or of so small 
benefit as will not preponderate against the sin and danger 
of the scandalized, we are soul-murderers if we do not forbear 
it. For, 1. God hath given no rulers power to destruc- 
tion of souls, but to edification ; no power to command us that 
which is so contrary to the indispensable duty of love or charity. 
If an apothecary, or physician, or king, command his servant 
to sell arsenic to all that will buy it, without exception, the 
servant may not lawfully sell it to such as he knoweth mean to 
poison themselves or others by it. If the commander be a sober 
man, the servant ought to suppose that he intended such ex- 
ceptions, though he expressed them not. But if he expressed 
the contrary, he commanded contrary to God's command, 
without authority, and is not to be obeyed. 2. But God himself 
dispenseth with his own commands about rituals, or smaller 
matters, when greater good or hurt stands on the other side. 
The disciples did justly pluck and rub the ears of corn, and the 
priests in the temple break the rest of the Sabbath, and an ox 
or an ass was to be watered or pulled out of a pit on that day. 
If the king or priest had made a law to the contrary, it had been 
null: if God's laws bind not in such cases, man's cannot. God 
bids us preach and pray, &c, and yet to quench a fire, or save 
men's lives, we may or must at that time forbear preaching, or 
sacraments, or other public worship. 5 

Q. 7. But what if as many will be scandalized, or tempted 
to sin, on the other side, if I do it not ? 

A. No duty being a duty at all times, much less a thing 
indifferent, though commanded, every Christian must pru- 
dently use the scales, and by all the helps of wise men that 
he can get, must discern which way is like to do most good or 

f Matt, xviii. G— 9, &c. and xiii. 41 ; 1 Cor. viii. 13; Lev. xix. 14 ; Ezek. 
xiv. 3, 4, 7 ; Rom. xiv. 13 ; Rev. ii. 14. 
s Rom. xiv. 15, 17, 20 ; 2 Cor. x. 8, and xiii. 10. 


hurt, considering the persons, for number, for quality, and pro- 
bability of the effect. God binds us to charity and mercy, and 
no man can disoblige us from that. And he that sincerely de- 
sireth to do the greatest good, and avoid the greatest hurt, and 
useth the best means he can to know it, shall be accepted of 
God, though men condemn him. h 

Q. S. But is nothing here forbidden but symbolizing with 
idolaters, in seeming to mean as they by doing as they? 

A. That is it that is directly forbidden. But by consequence 
it is implied that all doctrines are forbidden that falsely repre- 
sent God, and all worship or acts pretended to be religious, 
which are unsuitable to God's holy nature, attributes, will, or 
word, as being profanation, and an offering to God that which 
is unclean.\ 

Q. 9. What is the command which is here implied ? 

A. That we keep our souls chaste from all outward and seem- 
ing idolatry ; and that we worship him who is the infinite, al- 
mighty, holy Spirit, with reverence, holiness, in spirit and 
truth, according to his blessed, perfect nature, and his holy will 
and word. k 

Q. 10. Hath God given us a law for all things in his worship ? 

A. The law of nature is God's law, and obligeth man to that 
devotion to God and worship of him which is called natural : 
and the sacred Scripture prescribeth both that and also all those 
positive means or ordinances of God's worship, which are made 
necessary to the universal church on earth : and as for the 
mere accidents of worship, which are not proper parts, as time, 
place, words, methods, gesture, vesture, &c, God's laws give 
us general precepts, only telling us how to order them, leaving 
it to human prudence, and church guides, to order them accord- 
ing to those general rules. 

Q. 11. Is all use of images unlawful? 

A. God did so much hate idolatry, and the neighbourhood of 
idolaters made it so dangerous to the Israelites, that he did not 
only forbid the worshipping of images, but all such making or 
using of them as might become a snare or temptation to any. 
So that though it be lawful to make images for civil uses, and, 
when they are made, to fetch holy thoughts or meditations from 

i> 1 Cor. x. 33 ; vi. 12, 13 ; ix. 22, and xiv. 26. 
VPsalni 1.21—23. 

fc 1 John v. 21; 2 Cor. vi. 16 ; 1 Cor. viii. 10, 11, and x. 19, 20,27, 28; 
Rev. ii. 14,20; Isa. ii. 18. 


them, as from all other creatures or things in the world ; yet, in 
any case when they become a snare or danger, being not neees- 
sary things, they become a sin to those that so use them as a 
snare to others or themselves. 1 

Q. 1 2. Is it lawful to make any picture of God ? 

A. No 5 for pictures are the signs of corporeal things, and it 
is blasphemy to think God like a bodily substance : but it is 
lawful to make such pictures, (as of a glorious light,) from which 
occasion may be taken of good thoughts concerning God. m 

Q. 13. Is it lawful to make the picture of Christ as man, or 
as crucified ? 

A. The doing it as such is not forbidden, nor the right use of 
it when done : but the abuse, that is, the worshipping of it, or 
of Christ by it, is forbidden, and the making or using such, 
when it tendeth to such abuse, and hath more of snare than 

Q. 14. Why is God's jealousy here mentioned? 

A. To make us know that God doth so strictly require the 
great, duty of worshipping him as the true God, and hate the 
sin of idolatry, or giving his glory to another, or blaspheming 
him, as if he were like to painted things, that he would have us 
accordingly affected. 

Q. 15. Why doth God threaten to visit the iniquities of the 
fathers on the children, in this command, rather than in the rest? 

A. God hath blessings and curses for societies, as well as for 
individual persons ; and societies are constituted and known bv 
the symbols of public profession. And as God's public worship 
is the symbol of his church which he will bless, so idolatrous 
worship is the symbol of the societies which he will curse and 
punish : and it was especially needful that the Israelites should 
know this, who could never else have been excused from the 
guilt of murdering man, woman, and child, of all the nations 
which they conquered, had not God taken it on himself as 
judging them to death for their idolatry and other crimes, and 
making the Israelites his executioners." 

Q. 16. But doth not God disclaim punishing the children for 
the father's sins, and say the soul that sinneth shall die ? 

A. Yes ; when the children are either wholly innocent of that 

1 Exod. xxxiv. 13—15 ; Num. xxxiii. 02 ; Dent. vii. 5 ; 2 Kings xi. 18, and 
x\iii. 14, 21. 

m Exod. xxv. 18—20; 1 Sam. iv. 4 ; Psalm xviii. 1 ; Ezek. x. 2. 

"Jer. x. 25; Deut. ii.34; iii. G; iv. 2G ; vii. 2, 23,24; xii.2, 3, and xx. 
17, 20 ; Niim.xxxiii.50— 52. 


sin, or else are pardoned through Christ upon their true repent- 
ance, and hating and renouncing their father's sins ; but not else. 
Q. 17. Are any children guilty of their parents' sins? 
A. Yes ; all children are guilty of the sins which their parents 
committed before their birth, while they were in their loins. 
Not with the same degree and sort of guilt as the parents are, 
but yet with so much as exposeth them to just penalties. 
Q. 18. How prove you that ? 

A. First by the nature of the case ; for though we were not 
personally existent in them when they sinned, we were seminally 
existent in them, which is more than causally or virtually j and 
it was that semen which was guilty in them, that was after 
made a person, and so that person must have the same guilt. 
2. From the whole history of the Scripture, which tells of the 
children of Cain, the old world, Sodom, Shem, the Canaanites, 
Saul, David (as an adulterer), Achan, Gehazi, and others pu- 
nished for their parents' sins, and the Jews cast off and cursed 
on that account to this day. 3. And our common, original sin 
from Adam proveth it. 

Q. 19. But our original sin from Adam had another cause; 
God decreeing that Adam should stand or fall for all his pos- 
terity ? 

A. We must not add to God's word, much less blaspheme 
him, as if it were God himself that, by a decree or covenant, 
made all the world sinners, save Adam and Eve. If Adam had 
not sinned, it would not have saved all or any of his posterity 
unless they also had continued innocent themselves. Nor did 
God make any promise to continue and keep innocent all 
Adam's posterity, in case he sinned not. We sinned in Adam, 
because we were seminally in him, and so are our children in us ; 
and who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, if it were 
essentially in it? 

Q. 20. If we are guilty of all nearer parents' sin, will not our 
guilt increase to the end of the world, and the last man have 
the greatest guilt ? ° 

A. 1. No ; because all guilt from Adam, and from our nearer 
parents too, is pardoned by Christ, when we were baptised as 
sincere believers, or their seed. But it is true that we are so far 
more guilty as to have the more need of a Saviour's grace. 
2. And guilt is considerable, either as more obligations to the 
same punishment, or as obligation to more or greater punish- 

*> On this I have written a peculiar Treatise of Oiiginai Sin. 


rnent. It is true that impenitent persons, who are the seed of a 
line of wieked ancestors, have more obligations to the same 
punishment, but not obligation to greater punishment; because 
as great as they were capable of was due before. 

Q. 21. But many say that for nearer parents' sins no punish- 
ments but temporal are due? 

A. 1. If any at all are due, it proveth an answerable guilt. 
2. To say that Adam's sin deserveth our spiritual and eternal 
punishment, and all other parents' sin only temporal, is to speak 
without and against Scripture, and the nature of the case. The. 
case of the seed of the old world, the Sodomites, the Canaan- 
ites, and the present heathens, speaks much more. 3. It is 
clear that nearer parents' sin is a cause that many of their pos- 
terity are more sinful, in lust, pride, fornication, heresy, and 
ignorance, than others : and sin, as well as grace, hath a ten- 
dency to perpetuity, if not cured and remitted. 

Q. 22. Why doth God name only the third and fourth gene- 
ration ? 

A. To show us, that though he will punish the sins of his 
enemies on their posterity who imitate their parents, yet he sets 
such bounds to the execution of his justice, as that sinners shall 
not want encouragement to repent and hope for mercy. 

Q. 23. Who be they that be called here haters of God ? 

A. All that have a predominant hatred to his servants, his 
service, and his holy laws. But the next specially meaneth 
those societies of infidels, heathens, and malignants, who are 
the professed enemies of his church and worship. As I said 
before, the outward symbols of idolatry were the professing 
signs by which his church's enemies were openly noted in the 
world; as baptism and the Lord's supper were the badges of 
his church and servants. 1 ' 

Q. 24. What is the meaning and extent of the promise of 
mercy to thousands of them that love him and keep his com- 
mandments ? 

A. 1. As to the subject, it must be noted, that such a belief 
in God as causeth men to love him and keep his command- 
ments, is the qualification of them that have the promise of 
God's saving mercy: faith working by love and obedience. 

2. The words signify (rod's wonderful mercy, and Irs delight 
to do good to those that are qualified to receive it. 

3. And they signify, that God will not onlv love and bless a 
v Rent, xxxii. 11 ; Psalm Uxxi. 15 ; Rom. i. 30 ; Luke xix. 27. 



godly offspring for their own sake, but also for the sake of their 
godly ancestors; and while they succeed them in true piety, 
God will increase his blessings on them. 

4. And though those forfeit all, that prove ungodly when 
they come to age, yet the infant seed of the faithful, while 
such, are in covenant with God, on the account of their rela- 
tion to those godly parents who dedicate themselves and theirs 
to him. 

Q. 25. How doth God perform this promise, when many 
godly parents have wicked and miserable children ? 

A. This promise doth not say that God will keep all the 
children of the faithful from sinning against him, and casting 
away his mercy and salvation. But if men be sincerely godly, 
and dedicate themselves and their children to God, and enter 
them into his covenant, and perform their own part promised 
by them, God will accept them into his family, and pardon 
their original sin, and give them the necessary helps for their 
personal faith and obedience when they come to the use of 
reason.' 1 And if the children keep their covenant according to 
their capacity, and do not violate it, and reject his grace, God 
will accept and save them, as actual, obedient believers. 

Q. 26. Will he not do so also by the children of unbelievers? 

A. If such at age see their parents' sin, and forsake it, and 
devote themselves to God, he will accept them. But as infidels 
and wicked hypocrites have no promise of God's acceptance of 
them and theirs, so such do not dedicate themselves and their 
children to God; he that will devote his child to God, must do 
it, as it were a part of himself; and cannot do it sincerely if 
he first devote not himself to God. 

Q. 27. But may not others do it for his children ? 

A. In infancy they are considered in the covenant of grace 
but as infants, that is, appurtenances to anotber. As the infidels' 
infants they have neither capacity nor promise; but if any 
other adopt them, and take them truly as their own, 1 am in 
hope that God accepteth such so devoted to him. 

i Pi-ov. xx. 7 ; Psalm xxxvii. 28, 29 ; Malt. xix. 13, 14 ; Acts ii. 39 ; 1 Cor. 
vii. 14 ; Isa. xiv. 25, and lxv. 23 ; Mai. ii. 15 ; Rom. iv. 10, and ix. 8. 



Of the Third Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the third commandment? 

A. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in 
vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his 
name in vain. 

Q. 2. What is it that is specially here forbidden ? 

A. Profaneness; that is, the unholy using of God's holy 
name, and holy things; especially by perjury, or any other enti- 
tling him to falsehood, or to any of the sins of men, as if he 
were the author or approver of them. 

Q. 3. What is meant by the name of God ? 

A. Those words, or other signs, by which he is described, 
denominated, or otherwise notified to man; which I opened so 
fully on the first petition of the Lord's Prayer, that to avoid 
repetition I must refer you thereto. 

Q. 4. What is meant by taking the name of God in vain ? 

A. Using it profanely, and specially falsely. It is contrary 
to the hallowing of God's name, which is mentioned in the 
Lord's Prayer. 

In the Scripture, 1. The creature is called vanity, as being 
but a shadow, and untrusty thing; and to use God's name and 
holy things in a common manner, as we use the creature's, is to 
profane his name, and take it vainly. 

2. And falsehood and lies are usually called vanity; for 
vanity is that shadowyness which seemeth something and is no- 
thing, and so deceiveth men. A lie is that which deceiveth 
him that trusteth it: so idols are called vanity and lies, for 
their falsehood and deceit; and all men are said to be liars, 
that is, untrusty and deceitful. 

Q. 5. What is an oath? 

A. I have said heretofore as others, that it is but an appeal 
to God as the Witness of the truth, and the Avenger of a lie; 
but, on further thoughts, I find that the common nature of an 
oath is to pawn some greater thing in attesting of the truth of 
our words; or to take some grievous thing on ourselves as a 
penalty if we lie ; or to make some certain truth a pledge of the 
truth of what we say. And to swear bv our faith, or truth, or 

n 2 


honesty, by the temple, the altar, the fire, the sun, is as much 
as to say, ' If this he not true, then I have no faith, truth, 
honesty; there is no temple, altar, fire, sun:' or ' Let me be 
taken for one that denieth that I have any faith, that there is 
any sun, fire,' &c. : or, ' It as true as that this is fire, sun,' 
&c. So to swear by God is to say, ' It is as true as that there 
is a God,' or ' as God liveth,' &c. ; or, ' If I lie, take me for 
one that denieth God to be God;' and consequently it is an 
appeal to him as the Avenger; so, 'By the life of Pharaoh' was 
'As true as Pharaoh liveth,' or 'Else take me for one that 
denieth the life of Pharoah/ So that there is somewhat of an 
imprecation, or self-reproach, as the penalty of a lie, in every 
oath, but more dreadfully of divine revenge when we swear by 
God, and of idolatry when men swear by an idol, as if it were 
a God. 

Q. .6. Which be the chief ways of taking God's name in 

A. 1. Fathering on him false doctrine, revelations, or laws; 
saying as false prophets, 'God sent me,' and 'Thus saith the 
Lord,' when it is false; saying, 'This doctrine, or this pro- 
phecy, God's Spirit revealed to me,' when it is not so. There- 
fore all Christians must be very fearful of false revelations and 
prophecies, and see that they believe not every spirit, nor pre- 
tend to revelations; and to take heed of taking the suggestions 
of Satan, or their crazed, melancholy fancies, for the revelations 
of God. 

2. So also gathering false doctrines out of Scripture by false 
expositions, and fathering these on God. And therefore all 
men should, in dark and doubtful cases, rather suspend their 
judgments till they have overcome their doubts by solid evi- 
dence, than rashly to conclude, and confidently and fiercely 
dispute for error. It is a great profanation to father lies on 
God, who is the hater of them, when lying is the devil's work 
and character. 

3. The same I may say of a rash and false interpretation of 
God's providences. 

4. And also of fathering false laws on God, and saying that 
he either commandeth or forbiddeth what he doth not; to make 
sins and duties which God never made, and say he made them, 
is to father falsehood on him, and corrupt his government. 

5. Another way is by false worship. 1 . If men say that God 
commanded such worship, which he commanded not, it is the 


sin last mentioned. 2. If* they worship him with their own 
inventions Avithout his command, (particular or general,) they 
profane his name, by offering him that which is unholy, com- 
mon, and unclean. 

6. Another way is by false pretending that God gave them 
that authority which he never gave them; like counterfeiting a 
commission from the king. If princes should pretend that God 
gave them authority to oppose his truth, to persecute godliness, 
unjustly to silence faithful ministers of Christ, to raise unneces- 
sary wars, to oppress the innocent; this were a heinous taking 
of God's name in vain. If priests shall pretend that God gave 
them authority to make themselves pastors of the flocks that 
are unwilling of them, without a just call, or to make laws for 
any that are not rightfully their subjects, and to impose their 
dictates, words, and forms, and unnecessary inventions, as con- 
ditions of ministration or communion, without true right, and 
to make themselves the rule of other men's words and actions 
by usurpation; this is all taking God's name in vain. And so 
it is, if they preach false doctrine in his name, and if they pro- 
nounce false excommunications and absolutions, and justify the 
wicked, and condemn, reproach, and slander the just, and brand 
unjustly the servants of Christ as hypocrites, schismatics, or 
heretics, and this as by ministerial power from Christ: especially 
if they silence Christ's ministers, impose wolves or incompetent 
men, scatter the flocks, and suppress serious godliness, and all 
this in the name of Christ. Much more if any pretend, as the 
pope or his pretended general councils, to be Christ's vicar gen- 
eral, or head, or supreme, unifying governor over all the church 
on earth, and to make laws for the whole church : or if they 
corrupt God's worship with imposed superstitions, falsehood, or 
profanations, and say God hath authorised them to do this ; 
it is heinous profaning God's name by a lie; such doing brought 
up the proverb, In nomine Domini incipit omne malum: when 
all their abuses began with, "In the name of God, Amen." 

And they that make new church forms which God made not, 
either papal, universal aristocracy, patriarchial, and such like, 
and either pretend that God made them, or gave them, or such 
other power to make them, must prove what they say, lest thev 
profane God's name by falsehood. 

But the highest profanation is, when thev pretend that God 
hath made them absolute governors, and set them so far above 
his own laws, and judgment, and himself, as that whatever they 


say is the word of God, or the sense of the Scripture, though 
never so falsely, must be taken for such by all ; and whatever 
they command or forbid, they must be obeyed, though God's 
word command or forbid the contrary : and that God hath 
given power (to popes or councils) to forbid men the worship 
which God commandeth ; yea, to interdict whole kingdoms, and 
excommunicate and depose kings ; and that from these, as a 
supreme power, no man must appeal to the Scripture, or to 
God and his final judgment. This is, by profane lying, to use 
God's name to the destroying of souls, the church, and the laws 
and government of God himself. 1 ' 

7. Another way of taking God's name in vain is, by heresies; 
that is, embodying in separated parties or churches, against the 
church and truth of God, for the propagating of some danger- 
ous false doctrine which they father on God, and so militate in 
his name against his church. If men, as aforesaid, do but 
promote false doctrine in the church without separation, it is 
bad ; but to gather an army against the truth and church, and 
feign Christ to be the leader of it, is worse. s 

8. Another way is by perjury, appealing to God, or abusing 
his name, as the witness and owner of a lie. 

9. Another way is by false vows made to God himself. When 
men either vow to God to do that which he abhorreth, or hath 
forbidden; or when they vow that which is good, with a false, de- 
ceitful heart, and, as Ananias and Sapphira, with false reserves ; 
or when they vow and pay not, but wilfully break the vows 
which they have made. The breach of covenants between 
princes, or between them and subjects, or between husband and 
wife, confirmed by appeal to God, is a dreadful sin ; but the vi- 
olation of the great baptismal vow in which we are all solemnly 
devoted and obliged to God, is one of the most heinous sins in 
the world. When it is not about a lesser duty, but even our oath 
of allegiance to God, by solemn vow taking him for our God, 
our Saviour, and Sanctiher, and giving up ourselves to him ac- 
cordingly, renouncing the contrary, and laying on this covenant 
all our hopes of grace and glory, pardon and salvation, what can 
be more heinous than to be false to such a vow and covenant?' 

10. And hypocrisy itself is a heinous taking God's name in 

i- Jer. xiv. 14 ; xxiii. 32, and xxxvii. 14 ; Mark xiii. 22 ; 2 Cor. xi. 13 ; 
2 Pet. ii. 1 ; Jer. xxvii. 15, and xxix. 9, 10, 31 ; 1 John iv. 1, 2. 

» Acts xx. 30 ; Rom. xvi. 16, 17 ; Eph. iv. 14. 

'Jer. iv. 2 ; v. 2 ; vii. 9, and xxiii. 10 ; Mai. iii. 5 ; Psalm xv. 4 ; Zecli. v. 
3, 4 ; Hos. iv. 2, and x. 4. 


vain. When we offer God the dead carcass of religious aets 
without the life and soul, and present him with ceremony, self- 
exalting pomp, mere heartless words, an artificial image of re- 
ligion, that hath not the spiritual nature, life, or serious desire 
of the heart; that is, seeking to mock God, or making him like 
an idol that seeth not the heart, and knows not what is offered 
him. Alas ! how much of the preaching, hearing, praying, and 
sacraments of many is a taking God's name in vain, as if he did 
accept a lie. 

11. Another way of this profanation is making God's name 
and acts of religion an engagement to wickedness : as when 
men hind themselves to treason, murder, or any sin, hy taking 
the sacrament. As many, alas ! (which 1 unwillingly name) 
have done in a blind zeal for the Roman usurpation, being told, 
that it pleaseth God and Saint Peter, and meriteth salvation to 
destroy the enemies of the church, that is, of the pope and his 
clergy. And those that bound themselves with an oath to kill 
Paul, thought God accepted the oath and deed. And the ge- 
neral council at Lateran, under Innocent III., which bound tem- 
poral lords to take an oath to exterminate such as they called 
hereties, fathered the work on God by that oath. And the pope 
and council of Trent, which hath brought in on all the clergy 
a new oath to many new and sinful things, by that oath make 
God the approver of ali. And the Mahometans that give li- 
berty of religion, yet think it pleaseth God and meriteth heaven, 
to kill the enemies of Mahomet. And Christ saith, "They 
that kill you, shall think they do God good service." And is it 
not profaning the name of God, to make him the author of the 
murder of his servants? 

12. Another way of taking God's name profanely, and plead- 
ing it for vanity and lies, is by making God the determining 
first cause of all the acts of men in the world, as specified by 
their objects and circumstances; that is, of all the lies, and all 
the other sins that are done in the world : as if God had given no 
such free-will to men or devils, by which they can lie, murder, 
hate God, or commit any sin, till God move their wills, tongues, 
and hands to do it, by an unavoidable, predetermining efficacy. 
This is so much to profane and take in vain God's name, as 
that it maketh him the chief cause of all the devil's works. 

13. Another way of vain abuse, and profanation of God's 
name, is by blasphemy, and contempt, and scorn of God, or of 
the word or ways of God: and, alas! who would think that this 



should be so common among men, when even the devils believe 
and tremble ! I hope posterity will account it so odious as 
hardly to believe that ever there were men, and so many men, 
even in England, who used to deride the name, word, provi- 
dence, and worship of God, and make serious regard of God and 
religion the common scorn; and familiarly to wish, by way of 
imprecation, as a by- word, 'God damn me,' and to swear by the 
name, the wounds, and blood of God. 

14. Lastly, another way of taking God's name in vain, is by 
an unholy, irreverent tossing of it in common talk, in jest, and 
on every ludicrous occasion. Plays and play books use it; it 
is made an ordinary accident to all common and profane dis- 
course; beggars profanely beg by it; children cry by it; 'O 
God,' and ' O Lord,' is become an interjection. 

Q. 7. Why do we take ordinary, light swearing, specially by 
God, or by sacred things, to be a sure sign of a wicked man ? 

A. Because it showeth a predominant habit of profaneness ; 
that the man liveth without the reverence of God's holiness, 
majesty, knowledge, and presence, and is hardened into a sense- 
lessness or contempt of God, and of his dreadful judgment, as if 
he derided God, or dared him; or as if he did believe that there 
is no God that heareth him. To live in the fear of God, and 
subjection to his government, is the property of every godly 

Q. 8. What is meant by the words, "The Lord will not hold 
him guiltless?" 

A. God will not leave him unpunished, nor account this as a 
small offence : he himself will be revenged for this sin. 

Q. 9. Why is this threatening annexed more to this com- 
mandment than to others? 

A. Because this sin is, 1. An immediate injury to God, 
while it expressly fathereth lies and other sin on him ; it doth, 
as we may say, engage him to vindicate himself. When rulers 
or usurpers pretend that God authoriseth them to do mischief, 
and fight against himself; when persecutors and corrupters of 
religion pretend God's interest and will for all, that it is for 
order, unity, government, and obedience for the church, that 
they corrupt, destroy, silence, and tyrannise ; thev invite God 
to cast the lie and cruelty back on them, which they would 
father upon him, and to turn their canons, prisons, and inqui- 
sitions, and other devilish plagues of the world, upon the author, 
in disowning them himself. 


2. And they that hy perjury, hypocrisy, false doctrine, and 
the rest of the forementioned sins, do appeal to God, and make 
him openly the author of all, do therehy, as it were, summon 
God to revenge. As they said to Paul, " Hast thou appealed to 
Caesar ? To Caesar shalt thou go :" so it may he said to the 
perjured, the hypocrite, the usurper, the false judge, &c, ' Hast 
thou appealed to God, and do you father on him your lies, cru- 
elties, tyrannies, and usurpations, and false doctrines ? To God 
shall you go, who will undertake the cause which you cast upon 
him, and will judge the secrets of men's hearts, as he did Ana- 
nias and Sapphira's.' If men sin under the laws of men, God 
requireth magistrates to judge them : hut if they appeal to God, 
or, hy falsehood, escape the judgment of man, they more imme- 
diately cast themselves on the justice of God ; and it is a fearful 
thing to fall into his hands who is a consuming fire : God is the 
avenger especially on such. 11 

Q. 10. Is it meant of God's vengeance in this life, or in the 

A. In hoth : usually profanation of God's name and holy 
things, especially by perjury, and hy fathering cruelty and wick- 
edness on God, is more notably punished by him in this life. 
Though such may seem to prosper for awhile, God usually over- 
taketh them here, and their sins do find them out : but if they 
escape such bodily punishment here, they are usually more 
dreadfully forsaken of grace than other men, and heap up wrath 
against the day of wrath. 

I will only add, in the conclusion, that even true Christians 
should take great care lest their very thoughts of God, and their 
prayers and speaking of him, should be customary and dead, 
and like their thoughts and talk of common things, and in some 
degree of taking of God's name in vain. 


Of the Fourth Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the fourth commandment? 

A. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy : six days 

"Dent. xxii. 43; 1 Thess. iv. G; Rom. xii. 19; Heb. x. 30, and xii. 29; 
Isa. xxxv. 4 ; xlvii. 3 ; lxl. 2 ; lxiii. 4, and i. 24 ; Luke xviii. 7, 8. 


shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: hut the seventh day is 
the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any 
work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor 
thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within 
thv gates : for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the 
sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: where- 
fore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. x 

Q. 2. Why doth Deut. v. repeat it in so different words? 

A. Because the words are but for the sense, and they being- 
kept in the ark as written in stone, and safe from alteration, 
Moses, in Deut. v., gave them the sense, and added some of his 
own explication; and nothing is altered to obscure the sense. y 

Q. 3. Which day is it which was called the Sabbath in this 
commandment ? 

A. The seventh, commonly called, from the heathen custom, 

Q. 4. Why was that day made the Sabbath? 

A. God having made the world in six days' space, seeing all 
good, and very good, rested in his own complacency; and ap- 
pointed the seventh day every week to be separated as holy, to 
worship and praise him the Great Creator, as his glorious per- 
fections shine forth in his works. 

Q. 5. What is meant by God's resting from his work ? 

A. Not that he had been at any labour or weariness therein ; 
but, 1. That he finished the creation. 2. That he was pleased 
in it as good. 3. And that he would have it be a day of holy, 
pleasant rest to man. 

Q. 6. What is meant by keeping holy the Sabbath day? 

A. Separating it to the holy worship and praise of the Cre- 
ator, and resting to that end from unnecessary, bodily labour. 

Q. 7. What doth the word "remember" signify? 

A. 1. First, it is an awakening caveat, to bid us take special 
care that we break not this commandment. 2. And then that 
we must prepare, before it comes, to avoid the things that would 
hinder us in the duty, and to be fit for its performance. 

Q. 8. Why is "remember" put before this more than before 
the rest of the commandments? 

A. Because, 1. Being but of positive institution, and not 
naturally known to man, as other duties are, they had need of a 
positive excitation and remembrance. And 2. It is of great im- 

x Exod. xx. 10, 11, and xxxi. 17 ; Heb. iv. 4. * Gen. ii. 2, 3. 


portance to the constant and acceptable worship, and the avoid- 
ing of impediments, to keep close to the due time which God 
hath appointed for it : and to violate it, tendcth to atheistical 

Q. 9. Why is it called " The Sabbath of the Lord thy God ?" 

A. Because, 1. God did institute and separate it. 2. Audit 
is separated to the honour and worship of God. 

Q. 10. When and how did God institute and separate it ? 

A. Fundamentally by his own resting from the work of 
creation : but immediately by his declaring to Adam his 

will for the sanctifying of that day, which is expressed Geu. 

•: q 
11. o. 

Q. 11. Some think that the Sabbath was not instituted till 
man had sinned, and Christ was promised, and so God rested in 
Christ ? 

A. When the text adjoineth it close to the creation, and giv- 
eth that only as the reason of it (that God ended his works which 
he had made, and rested from them), this is human, corrupt- 
ing presumption. 

Q. 12. But some think the Sabbath was first instituted in the 
Wilderness, when they were forbid to gather manna ? 

A. It is not there mentioned as newlv instituted, and it is 
mentioned Gen. ii. 2, 3, and then instituted with the reason 
of it : " And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, 
because in it he rested from all his works which God created 
and made." And the same reason is repeated in the fourth 

Q. 13. Is this commandment of the law of nature as are the 
rest ? 

A. It was more of the law of nature to Adam than to us ; 
his nature knowing otherwise than ours, both when God ended 
his works, and how beautiful they were before the curse. It is 
now of the law of nature (that is, known by natural light with- 
out other revelation). 1. That God should be worshipped. 
2. That societies should assemble to do it together. 3. That 
some set time should be separated, statedly to that use. 4. That 
it should be done with the whole heart, without worldly diver- 
sions or distractions. 

But I know nothing in nature alone from whence a man can 
prove that, 1. It must be either just one day in seven. 2. Or, 
just what day of the seven it must be. 3. Nor just what de- 


gree of rest is necessary. Though reason may discern that one 
day in seven is a very convenient proportion. 

Q. 14. Are the words "Six days shalt thou labour," &c, a 
command, or only a license ? 

A. They are not only a license, but a command to man/ to 
live in an ordinary calling, or lawful course of labour, according 
to each one's ability and place, and diligently to exercise it, and 
not spend time in idleness: and the ordinary time is here 
assigned thereto. 

Q. 15. Then how can it be lawful to spend any of the week 
days in religious exercises, any more than to spend any part of 
the Sabbath day in labour ? 

A. All labours are to be done as the service of God, and as a 
means to holy and everlasting ends; and therefore it is implied 
still that God be sought, and remembered, and honoured in all ; 
as our eating and drinking is our duty, but to be done to the 
glory of God, and therefore with the seeking of his blessing, 
and returning him our thanks.* 

Q. 16. But is it lawful, then, to separate whole days either 
weekly, or monthly, or yearly, to religious exercises, when God 
hath commanded us to labour on them ? 

A. As God's command of resting on the Sabbath is but the 
stating of the ordinary times; supposing an exception of ex- 
traordinary cases; (as in time of war, of fire, of dispersing 
plagues, of hot persecution, &c. ; as circumcision was omitted 
in the wilderness forty years;) so this command to labour six 
days doth state our ordinary time, but with suppposed exception 
of extraordinary occasions for days of humiliation and thanks- 
giving. And all God's commands, sxippose that when two du- 
ties meet together, and cannot both be then done, the greater 
must ever be preferred : and therefore saving the life of a man, 
or a beast, yea, feeding and watering beasts, labouring in tem- 
ple service, &c, were to be preferred before the rest of the Sab- 
bath: and so when our necessity or profit make religious exer- 
cises more to our good, and so a greater duty, (as lectures, 
fasts, &c.,) we must prefer them to our ordinary labour. For as 
the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath, 
so were the other days. b 

* 1 Thess. iv. 11 ; 2 Thess. iii. 10—12 ; Prov. xviii. 9 ; Matt. xxv. 26 ; Rom. 
xii. 11. 

• Prov. xxxi. 27 ; Ezek. xvi. 41 ; 1 Tim. v. 13 ; Matt. xx. 6. 
b Esth. ix. 26,28,31. 


Q. 17- May not rich men, that have no need, forbear the six 
days' labour? 

A. No; if they are able. It is part of God's service, and 
riches are his gift: and to whom he giveth much, from them he 
expecteth not less, but more. Shall servants work less because 
they have more wages? It is not only for their own supplies 
that God commandeth men to labour, but also for the public 
good, and the benefit or relief of others, and the health of their 
bodies, and the suitable employment of their minds, and that 
none of their short, precious time be lost in sinful idleness. 

Q. 18. But it will seem sordid for lords, and knights, and 
ladies to labour? 

A. It is swinish and sinful not to labour; but they must do it 
in works that are suitable to their places. As physicians, 
schoolmasters, and church ministers labour not in the same 
kind of employment as ploughmen and tradesmen do ; so ma- 
gistrates have their proper labour in government, and rich per- 
sons have families, children, and servants to oversee, their poor 
neighbours and tenants to visit, encourage, and relieve, and 
their equals so to converse with as tendeth to the greatest good ; 
but none must live idly/ 1 

Q. 19. Was rest on the Sabbath absolutely commanded? 

A. It was always a duty to break it, when a greater duty 
came in which required it, as Christ hath told the pharisees, in 
the case of feeding man or beast, healing the sick, and doing 
such necessary good ; for God prefer re th morals before rituals ; 
and his rule is, " I will have mercy, and not sacrifice." 6 

Q. 20. Why, then, was bodily rest commanded? 

A. That body and mind might be free from diversion, weari- 
ness, and distraction, and fit with pleasure wholly to serve God 
in the religious duties of his worship. 

Q. 21. Why doth God mention not only servants but beasts? 

A. As he would not have servants enslaved and abused by 
such labour as should unfit them for Sabbath work and comfort, 
so he would have man exercise the clemency of his nature, 
even towards the brutes; and beasts cannot labour, but man 
will be put to some labour or diversion by it: and God would 
have the whole place where we dwell, and all that we have to 
do with, to bear an open signification of our obedience to 

o See Prov. xxxi. 27, &c. •' Ezek. xvi. 49. 

* Matt. xii. 5 ; Mark ii. 27, 28 ; Luke xiii. 15. 


his command, and our reverence to his sanctified day and 

Q. 22. Is this commandment now in force to Christians? 

A. So much of it materially is in force as is of the law of 
nature, or of Christ by supernatural revelation, and no more. 
Therefore the seventh day (Sabbath) of corporal rest, is changed 
bv Christ into the Lord's day, appointed for christian worship. 

Q. 23. Was not all that was written in stone of perpetual 
obligation ? 

A. No; nor any as such; for as it was written on those 
stones it was the law of Moses for the Jews, and bound no 
other nations, and is done away by the dissolving of their re- 
public, and by Christ. 

Q. 24. How prove you all this ? 

A. 1. As Moses was ruler, or mediator, to none but the 
Jews, the words of the Decalogue are appropriate to them as re- 
deemed from Egyptian bondage ; so the tables were delivered to 
no other, and a law cannot bind without anv promulgation. All 
the world was not bound to send to the Jews for revelation, nor 
to be their proselytes. 

2. The Scripture expressly affirmeth the change, (2 Cor. iii. 
3, 7, H,) "If the ministration of death written and engraven 
in stones was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not 
steadfastlv behold the face of Moses for the glory of his coun- 
tenance, which was to be (or is) done away," &c. "For if 
that which is done away was glorious, (or, by glory,) how much 
more that which remaineth is glorious (or, in glory)." Here it 
is evident that it is the law written on stone that is mentioned, 
and that it is not, as some say, the glory only of Moses' face, or 
the flaming mount, which is done away, for that was done away 
in a few days ; but it is the law, which is called " glorious," 
that is said to be done away. The words can bear no other 
sense. It is too tedious to cite all. The texts following fully 
prove it ; — Heb. vii. 11, 12, IS, and ix. 18, 10; Eph. ii. 15; 
John i. 17; Luke xvi. 16; Rom. ii. 12, 14 — 16, and iii. 19 — 
21, 27, 2S, 31, and iv. 13—16, and v. 13, 20, and vii. 4—8, 
16, and ix. 4, 31, 32, and x. 5 ; Gal. ii. 15, 16, 19, 21, and iii. 
2, 10—13, 19, 21, 24, and iv. 21, and v. 3, 4, 14, 23, and vi. 
13; Phil. iii. 6, 9; 1 Cor. ix. 21. 

3. And the Sabbath itself is expressly said to be ceased with 
the rest; "Let no man judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect 


of an holy day (or feast), or of the new moon, or of the Sab- 
haths, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of 
Christ." (Col. ii. 16.) It was the weekly Sabbath that was the 
chief of Sabbaths, and therefore included in the plural name, 
there being no exception of it. 

4. And to put all out of doubt, Christ (who commanded! not 
two weekly Sabbaths) hath appointed and sanctified the first day 
of the week, instead of the seventh day, Sabbath; not calling it 
the Sabbath, but the Lord's day. 

Q. 25. How prove you that? 

A. If you will search the Scripture, you shall see it proved 
by these degrees. 1. Christ commissioned his apostles to teach 
the churches all his doctrines, commands, and orders, and so to 
settle and guide them. (Luke vi. 13, and x. 16; Matt. x. 40; 
xvi. 19; and xxviii. IS — 20; John xiii. 16, 20; xvii. IS; xx. 
21, and xxi. 15 — 1/; Acts i. 2, 24, 25; ii. 42; x. 5, and 
xxvi. 17; 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2; xi. 23; xii. 28, 29, and xv. 3 ; Gal. i. 
1, 11, 12; Eph. ii. 20, and iv. 11—16; 2 Pet. Hi. 2.) 

II. Christ promised his Spirit to them, to enable them to 
perform their commission, and lead them into all truth, and to 
bring them all to their remembrance, and to guide them as his 
church's guides, and so as the promulgators of his commands. 
For this see Jer. iii. 15 ; Isa. xliv. 3 ; Joel ii. 28, 29, &c, and 
Luke xxiv. 49 ; John xv. 26, 27 ; xvi. 7, 12—15, and xvii. IS; 
Matt, xxviii. 20 ; Acts i. 4, S. 

III. Christ performed this, and gave them the infallible 
Spirit accordingly to perform their commissioned work. See 
Ileb. x. 23 ; Tit. i. 2 ; John v. 10, and x. 22 ; Acts ii., and xv. 
28 ; Heb. ii. 4 ; 1 Pet. i. 1 2 ; Rom. xv. 19, 20, &c. 

IV. Christ himself laid the foundation, by rising that dav 
(as God did of the Sabbath by ceasing from his work). He 
appeared to his disciples congregate on that day ; he sent down 
the Holy Ghost (his Agent, and the Perfecter of his work) on 
that day : the apostles settled that day as the stated time for 
constant church assemblies and communion; and all the churches 
in the world have constantly called it the Lord's day, and kept 
it as thus appointed, and used by the apostles, from their days 
till now with one consent. And because I must not here write 
a volume on this point, instead of a catechism; he that doubteth 
may see all this fully proved in my book, called "The Divine 
Appointment of the Lord's Day," and in Dr. Young's book, 
called "The Lord's Day Vindicated." 


Q. 26. Is rest as necessary now as under Moses' law ? 

A. It was then commanded, both as a means to the holy work 
of the dav, and also as a ceremony which was made a duty in 
itself, as a shadow of the christian rest. In the first respect, we 
are as much (or more) obliged to forbear labour, even so far as it 
hindereth holy work, as they were then ; but not in the second 

Q. 27. When doth the Lord's day begin and end ? 

A. It is safest to judge of that according to the common esti- 
mation of your country, of the measure of all other days : re- 
membering that it is not now as the Jewish Sabbath, to be kept 
as a ceremony, but as the season of holy works. As therefore 
you allow on other days a stated proportion of twenty-four hours 
for labour, and the rest for sleep or rest, do so by the Lord's 
daj^, and you need not be further scrupulous as to the time. 

But remember, 1. That you avoid scandal. 2. That even 



the Sabbath (and so the Lord's day) was made for man, and 
Christ is the Lord of it, who will have the greatest works 

Q. 28. Doth not Paul tell us that all days are alike, and 
we must not judge one another for days ? Why then should 
Christians make a difference, and not serve God equally every 

A. Paul tells you that Christ hath taken away the Jewish 
ceremonial diiference of days ; for neglect of which none is to 
be judged : but it followeth not that Christ hath made no differ- 
ence himself, and hath not stated a day for christian work in 
communion above the rest. One hour of the day doth not in 
itself now differ from another. And yet every wise master of a 
family will keep the order of stated hours, for dinner and for 
prayer. And so will a congregation for lectures, and other 
ordinary occasions. I told you in the beginning, that the light 
and law of nature tells us, that God's public worship should 
have a stated day; in which, as free from diversions and distrac- 
tions, we should wholly apply ourselves thereto. And that all 
the Christians in the world assemble for the same work on the 
same day, hath much of laudable concord, harmony, and mutual 
help. And therefore it concerned him who only is the King and 
Lawgiver to the universal church, to make them a law for the 
determination of the day, which he hath done. 

1 Exod. xxxi. 15, and xxxv. 3; Num. xv. 32; Nell. xiii. 1C, 17; Jer. xvii. 
21, 22, 24, 27. 


Q. 29. But is it not more spiritual to make every day a 
Sabbath ? 

A. It is most Christian-like to obey Christ our King. Thus 
the same men pretend to make every meal a sacrament, that 
they may break the law of Christ, who instituted the sacrament. 
Satan's way of drawing men from Christ's laws, is sometimes 
by pretending to do more and better. But to keep every day a 
Sabbath, is to keep none. It is not lawful to cast off our out- 
ward labour all the six days : nor can mind or body bear it to 
do nothing but religious worship. These men mean no more 
but to follow their earthly business with a spiritual mind, and 
at some seasons of the day to worship God solemnly : and this 
is but what every good Christian should do every day. But 
who knoweth not that the mind may, with far more advantage, 
attend God's instructions, and be raised to him in holy worship, 
when all worldly diverting businesses are laid by, and the whole 
man employed towards God alone ? 

If men will regard, 1. The experience of their own souls. 
2. And of all others in the world, they might soon be resolved 
how mischievous a thing the neglect of the Lord's day is, and 
how necessary its holy observation. 1. That man never knew 
what it is to attend God's worship seriously, and therein to 
receive his special blessing, who hath not found the great advan- 
tage of our separation from all common business, to attend holy 
work only on the Lord's day. He that feeleth no miss, or loss 
of it, sure never knew what communion with God is. 2. And 
servants would be left remediless under such masters, as would 
both oppress them with labour, and restrain them from God's 
service. It is therefore the great mercy of the universal King 
to secure the liberties of the servants, and to bind all men to 
the means of their own felicity. 

3. And common reason will tell us, that a law, obliging all 
men to spend one day of seven in learning God's word, and 
offering him holy worship, must needs tend abundantly more 
to the increase of knowledge and holiness, than if all men were 
left to their own or to their rulers' wills herein. 

4. And common experience puts the matter of fact out of 
doubt, that where the Lord's day is most conscionably spent in 
holy exercises, there knowledge, piety, charity, and all virtue, 
do most notably prosper : and where the sanctifying of the Lord's 
day is neglected, ignorance, sensuality, and worldliuess abound. 
O how many millions of souls hath grace converted, and com- 



forted, and edified on the Lord's days ! When men are obliged 
to hear, read, pray, and praise God, and to catechise their chil- 
dren and servants, as that which God requireth, is it not liker to 
be done, than if they be left to their own erroneous, backward, 
sluggish minds, or to the will of rulers perhaps worse than they ? 

Q. 30. How is it that the Lord's day must be spent and 
sanctified ? 

A. Not in diverting worldly thoughts, words, or deeds ; much 
less in idleness, or vain pastimes; and, least of all, in such sinful 
pleasures as corrupt the mind, and unfit a man for holy work, 
such as gluttony, drunkenness, lasciviousnesss, stage plays, 
romances, gaming, &c. But the Lord's day is specially sepa- 
rated to God's public worship in church communion ; and the 
rest to private and secret holy exercises. The primitive Chris- 
tians spent most of the day together : and the public worship 
should not be only preferred, but also take up as much of the 
day as we can well spend therein.* 

Q. 31. What are the parts of church service to be used on 
the Lord's day? 

A. ] . The reading of the sacred Scriptures, by the teachers, 
and expounding them to the people : their preaching the doc- 
trine of the gospel, and their applying it to the case and con- 
sciences of the hearers. Their guiding them in the solemn 
exercise of God's praise, special worship, celebrating the sacra- 
ments, especially that of communion of the body and blood of 
Christ, and that with such conjunction of praises to God, as 
that it may be fitly called the eucharist, speaking and singing 
joyfully of God's perfections, and his mercies to man ; but 
specially of the wonderful work of our redemption, and therein 
chiefly of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the day is to 
be spent as a day of thanksgiving, in joyful and praising com- 
memoration of Christ's resurrection. 

Q. 32. On days of thanksgiving men use to feast: may we 
labour on the Lord's day in providing feasts ? 

A. Needless cost and labour, and sensual excess, must be 
avoided, as unsuitable to spiritual work and rejoicing. But 
such provision as is suitable to a festival, for sober, holy persons, 
is no more to be scrupled, than the labour of going to the church, 
or the minister's preaching. And it is a laudable use for men 
to wear their best apparel on that day. 

« Isa. lviii. 13—15 ; Luke iv. 16, 18 ; vi. 1, 6, and xiii. 10 ; Acts xiii. 27, 42, 
44 ; xv. 21 ; xvi. 13, anil xx. 7 ; 1 Cor. xiv., and xvi. 1 ; Psalm c. 1—3, &c. 


Q. 33. What are the private duties on the Lord's day ? 

A. Principally speaking and singing God's praises for our 
redemption in our families, and calling to mind what we were 
publicly taught, and catechising children and servants, and 
praying to God, and meditating on God's word, and works of 
nature, grace, and glory . h 

Q. 34. Seeing the Lord's Day is for the commemoration of 
Christ's resurrection, must we cease the commemoration of the 
works of creation, for which the seventh day Sabbath was 
appointed ? 

A. No : the appointing of the Lord's day is accumulative, 
and not diminutive, as to what we were to do on the Sabbath. 
God did not cease to be our Creator and the God of nature, by 
becoming our Redeemer and the God of grace \ we owe more 
praise to our Creator, and not less. The greater and the subse- 
quent and more perfect work comprehendeth the lesser, ante- 
cedent, and imperfect. The Lord's Day is to be spent in prais- 
ing God, both as our Creator and Redeemer ; the creation itself 
being now delivered into the hands of Christ.' 

Q. 35. But is it not then safest to keep two days ; the seventh 
to honour the Creator, and the first to commemorate our re- 
demption ? 

A. No ; for when the world was made all very good, God 
delighted in man, and man in God, as his only rest. But upon 
the sin of man God is become a condemning judge, and dis- 
pleased with man, and the earth is cursed ; so that God is so 
far now from being man's rest, that he is his greatest terror, 
till he be reconciled by Christ. No man cometh to the Father 
but by the Son. So that now the work of Creation must be 
commemorated with the work of redemption, which restoreth 
it to its proper use. k 

Q. 36. But what if a man cannot be satisfied that the seventh 
day is repealed, is it not safest for him to keep both ? 

A. God hath laid no such task on man, as to dedicate to 
religious duties two days in seven ; and he that thinketh other- 
wise, it is his culpable error. But if he do it conscionably, 
without contentious opposing the truth, and dividing the church 
for it, good Christians will not despise him, but own him as a 
brother. Paul hath decided that case, Romans xiv. and xv. 

Q. 37. Why is mention here made of all within our gates ? 

h Psalm xcii. ; xcv. ; xcvi., and cxviii. 21—24; Col. iii. 16. 
1 James v. 14 5 Rev. iv. 11, and x. 6 ; Col. i. 16. k Col. ii. 16. 



A. To show that this commandment is not only directed to 
private persons, but to magistrates, and masters of families as 
such, who, though they cannot compel men to believe, they 
may restrain them from violating the rest of the Sabbath, and 
compel them to such external worship of God as all men are 
immediately obliged to ; even all within the gates of their cities 
or houses. 

Q. 38. What if one live where are no church meetings, or 
none that he can lawfully join with ? 

A. He must take it as his great loss and suffering, and with 
the more diligence improve his time in private. 1 

Q. 39. What preparation is necessary for the keeping holy 
that day ? 

A. 1 . The chief part of our preparation is the habitual holi- 
ness of the soul, a love to God, and his word, and grace, and a 
sense of our necessities, and heart full of thankfulness to Christ, 
which relisheth sweetness in his Gospel, and in God's praise, 
and the communion of saints. 2. And the other part is our 
endeavour to prevent all distracting hinderances, and the greatest 
helps that we can in the most sensible means ; and to meditate 
before of the great mercy of our redemption, of Christ's resur- 
rection, the giving of the Holy Ghost, and the everlasting, hea- 
venly rest which this prepareth for; and to pray for God's 
assistance and blessing. 


Of the Fifth Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the fifth commandment ? 

A. " Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may 
be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." 

Q. 2. Doth this commandment belong to the first table, or 
the second ? 

A. No man knoweth which of the two tables of stone it was 
written in by God : but if we may judge by the subject, it 
seemeth to be the hinge of both, or belong partly to each. As 
rulers are God's officers, and we obey God in them, it belongs 

1 Rev. i. 10. 


to our duty to God ; but as they are men, it belongs to the 
second." 1 

Q. 3. Why is father and mother named, rather than kings ? 

A. 1. Parents are our first governors, before kings. 2. Their 
government is deeplier founded, even in nature, and not only in 
contract. 3. Parents give us our very being, and we are more 
obliged to them than to any. 4. They have a natural love to 
us, and we to them ; so that they are justly named first. 

Q. 4. Is it only parents that are here meant? 

A. No ; all true governors are included. But so far as the 
Commandment is part of the law of nature, it bindeth us but to 
natural rulers antecedently to human contract and consent, and 
to those that rule us by contract, but consequently." 

Q. 5. What is the power of parents and rulers, which we 
must obey? 

A. They are of various ranks and offices ; and every one's 
power is special, in that which belongeth to his own place and 
office. But in general they have power first to command infe- 
riors to obey God's laws : And, 2. to command them such 
undetermined things in subordination to God's laws, which God 
hath left to their office to determine of; as corporations make 
by-laws, by virtue of the king's law. 

Q. 6. What if parents or princes command what God 
forbids ? 

A. We must obey God, rather than men. 

Q. 7. Are we not then guilty of disobedience ? 

A. No, for God never gave them power to contradict his 

Q. 8. But who shall be judge when men's commands are 
contrary to God's ? Must subjects and children judge ? 

A. While children are infants naturally uncapable of judg- 
ing, we are ruled as brutes by our parents. But when we grow 
up to the use of reason, our obligation to govern ourselves is 
greater than to be governed by others. p God's government is 

m Prov. i. 8; vi. 20; xiii, 1 ; xv. 5 ; xx. 20 ; xxiii. 22,25, and xxx. 17; 
Heb. xii.9; Eph. vi. 1,2; Maik vii. 10, 11; Deut. xxi. 18, 19, and xxvii. 1C; 
Lev. xix. 3, and xx. 9 ; Exod. xxi. 15, 17 ; Gen. ix. 23 ; Col. iii. 20, 22 ; Jer. 
xxxv. 8, 10. 

" Rom. xiii. 1—3; Prov. v. 13; Tit. iii. 1, 2 ; 1 Pet. ii. 13 ; iii. 1, 5, and 
v. 5; 1 Tim. ii. 11 ; Hib. xiii. 7,17 ; 1 Cor. xvi. 16. 

° Acts v. 29. 

p 1 Pet. i. 14 ; 1 John v. 21 ; Jnde xx. 21 ; Mark xiii. 9; Prov. xxv. 28 ; 
xvi. 37, and ix. 12; 2 Tim. ii. 15; 1 Tim. iii. 15 ; iv. 7, 15, 10; v. 22, and vi. 5J 


the first in order of nature ; and self-government is the next, 
though we are not capable of it till we come to some ripeness. 
A man is nearer to himself than his parents are, and his happi- 
ness or misery depends more on himself than on them. And 
indeed children's or men's obedience to others is but an act of 
self-government. It is a man's self-governing reason and will 
which causeth him to obey another ; nor can a child perform 
any act of proper obedience differing from a brute, unless by a 
self-governing act. But parents' government is the next to 
self-government, and the government of husbands, princes, and 
masters, which are by contract, is next to that. Every subject, 
therefore, being first a subject of God, and next a self-governor, 
is to obey as a reasonable creature, and to understand what is 
his duty and what not. And because all is our duty which God 
commandeth, but not all that man commandeth, God's power 
being absolute, and all men's limited; therefore we have no- 
thing to do with the laws of God but to know them, and love 
them, and obey them. But as to man's commands, we must 
know also, that they are not contrary to God's laws, and that 
they belong to the office of the commander." 1 If a parent or 
prince command you to blaspheme God, or worship idols, or 
deny Christ, or renounce heaven, or not to pray, &c. you must 
obey God by disobeying him. And if a king command you not 
to obey your parents, or will choose for you your wife, your 
diet, your physic, the words you shall say to God in your secret 
prayers, &c, these are things which belong not to his office, no 
more than to a captain's, to become judge of the Common Pleas. 
Subjects, therefore, must judge what they must, or must not 
obey, as rulers must judge what they must, or must not com- 
mand ; or else they act not as men. 

Q. 9. But what confusion will this cause, if every subject 
and child become judge whether their prince's or parents' com- 
mands be lawful ? Will they not take all for unlawful which 
their folly or corrupt wills dislike, and so cast off all obedience ? 

A. It is not finding inconveniences in the miserable state of 
lapsed mankind that will cure them. Were there any avoiding 
error, sin, and confusion, by government, some would have 
found out the way before now. But while man is bad, he will 
do accordingly. In avoiding these evils, we must not run into 
far greater. Are they not greater, if men must not discern 
who is their lawful governor, but must fight for an usurper in 

i Dan. Hi., and vi. 


power against his prince or parents, if commanded by him ? 
And if every child and subject must renounce God, Christ, and 
heaven, that is commanded ; and men become gods and anti- 
gods. 1- 

Q. 10. But is there no remedy against both these confusions? 

A. Yes, the remedies are these: 1. Rulers, that should have 
most reason, must give us the first remedy, by knowing God's 
laws, and taking care that they command and forbid nothing 
contrary to them, and not put on subjects a necessity of dis- 
obeying them. 

2. Children and subjects must be instructed also to know the 
laws of God, that they may not take that for his law which is 
not. ft is not keeping them ignorant of God's laws, lest they 
pretend them against the laws of man, that is the way; no 
more than keeping them ignorant that there is a God, lest they 
obey him against man. 

3. They must be taught betime the difference between the 
capacity of children and of men at age, and of young unfur- 
nished wits, and those that study and experience have ripened. 
And they must be taught the duty of self-suspicion, humility, 
and submission : and that as learning is necessary to knowing, 
so believing our teachers, with a human belief, is necessary to 
learning of them. s Who can learn, that will believe nothing 
which his teacher saith ? But this is not taking him for infal- 
lible, nor resolving only to be ruled still by his knowledge, but 
in order to learn the same evidence of truth which our teachers 
themselves discern it by. 1 

4. They must be taught to know, that if they mistake God's 
laws, and erroneously pretend them against their rulers, their 
error and abuse of the name of God is their sin, and will not 
excuse their disobedience ; and therefore they must try well 
before they disobey. 

5. All the churches near them should agree publicly of all 
the necessary articles of divine faith and obedience, that the 
authority of their concord may be some awe to the minds of 
commanders and obeyers. 

6. Rulers are not to suspend the executive part of their 
government upon every conscientious error of the child or sub- 
ject. If they will pretend God's law for intolerable sin or 
injury, they must nevertheless be restrained by punishment. 

T Isa. ix. C, 7 ; Job xxxiv. 17 ; Neh. v. 14, 18. s Eph. vi. 1—3. 

1 Eph. v. 21 ; 1 Thes . v. 12, 13; 1 Pet. v. 6 ; 2 Pet.ii. 10. 


7. But, lastly, the conscience of subjects' duty to God must 
be tenderly used and encouraged, and their mistakes through 
infirmity must be tolerated in all tolerable cases. Some diffe- 
rences and disorders in judgment and practice must be borne 
with by thein that would not bring in greater. 11 Gentle reason- 
ing, and loving usage, must cure as much of the rest as will be 
cured ; and our concord must be placed in the few plain and 
necessary things. The king hath more wit and clemency, than 
to hang all ignorant, erroneous, faulty subjects, or else he 
would have none left to govern. And if pastors have not more 
wit and clemency than to excommunicate all such, they would 
be no pastors, as having no flocks. But heinous is their sin 
that can tolerate multitudes of the ignorant and ungodly in 
their communion, who will but be for their power and wealth, 
and can tolerate none of the wise and conscionable if they do 
but differ from them in tolerable cases, or dislike them. Yet 
there goeth more to make a tolerable Christian and church 
member than a tolerable subject. And consent to the relation 
is necessary to both. 

Q. 11. What duty doth the word honour contain and 
command ? 

A. 1. The first and chief of honouring them is to acknow- 
ledge their relation to God as his appointed officers, and the 
authority which God hath given them, that they may be obeyed 
reverently, and God in them. 

2. The next, is to take all their laws and commands, which 
God hath authorised them to make, to be the rule of our duty 
in subordination to God's laws, and so far to obey them for con- 
science' sake, believing it a sin to resist or disobey them. 

3. Another is to maintain them honourably, so far as we are 
able, and they need : though parents provide for children in 
youth, children must maintain parents if they need it, when 
they come to age : and so must people their princes and pas- 
tors, and pay tribute to whom it is due. x 

4. Also they ought to speak reverently to them, and honour- 
ably of them, and not use any unjust, dishonouring thoughts, 
words, or deeds, against them, specially which would disable 
them for government. 

u Roin. xiv. 1, 2,&c. 

* Mai. i. G, 7 ; Matt. xv. 5, 6, and xxi. 30, 31 ; Epb. v. 33, and vi. 2 ; 1 Pet. 
ii. 17; lTim. v. 17; Rom. xiii. 6> 7; Heb. xii. 9; 2 Sam. ix. 6; 1 Kings 
i. 31. 


5. Lastly, they ought to do their best to defend them against 

Q. 1 2. But seeing parents are named, and not princes, must 
we defend our parents against our king, if lie be their enemy ? 

A. If their cause be just, we must defend them by all lawful 
means ; that is, by prayer to God, by argument, by petition to 
the king, and by helping their flight, or hiding them : and if a 
king would ravish or murder your mother or wife, you may hold 
his hands while they escape ; as you may do if he would kill 
himself in drunkenness or passion. But you may not, on such 
private accounts, raise a war against him, because war is a pub- 
lic action, and under the judgment of the public governor of the 
commonwealth, and not under the judgment of your parents, 
or any private person. y 

Q. 13. But if the king command me one thing, and my pa- 
rents another, which of them must I prefer in my obedience ? 

A. Each of them have their proper office, in which they must 
be preferred and obeved : your mother must be obeyed before 
the king, in telling you when to suck or eat. Your parents 
must be obeyed before the king in matters proper to family 
government; as what daily food you shall eat, and what daily 
work for them you shall do, and what wife to choose, &c. But 
the king is to be obeyed before your parents in all matters be- 
longing to national government. 

Q. 14. But what if it be about religious acts, as what pastor 
I shall choose ; what church I shall join with ; how I shall 
spend the Lord's day, &c. Must I prefer the king, or my pa- 
rents in my obedience ? 

A. While you are in your minority, and understand not the 
king's laws, you must obey your parents, and if they command 
you any thing contrary to the king's commands, they must be 
answerable for'it as the case shall prove : some commands about 
your religion belong to your parents, and some to the king, and 
they are accordingly to be obeyed. It is not the king's, but 
your parents', to catechise you, to teach you to read and pray ; 
to choose your schoolmaster or tutor : in these, therefore, vour 
parents are first to be obeyed : and it is your parents' office to 
choose where you shall dwell, and, consequently, to what pastor 
vou shall commit the conduct of your soul : and also how in the 
family, and in private, you shall spend the Lord's day. But the 
determination of all those public circumstances, which are need- 

y 1 Sara. xix. 1, 4, 7, 11—13, 17 ; xx. 16, 30, 42, and xiv. 44, 45. 


ful to be imposed on all Christians in the land, belongs not to 
your parents, but to the supreme power. z 

Q. 15. But what if the king and the bishops, or pastors, differ 
about matters of religion to be believed or done, which of them 
must I obey ? 

A. If it be in things belonging to the king's determination, 
(as what translation shall be used in all the churches; when 
synods shall meet ; who shall have the tithes, glebe, and temples ; 
what national fasts or thanksgivings shall be kept, and such 
like,) you must obey the king. But if it be in things proper to 
the pastoral office, as who shall be judged capable of baptism, 
or of the Lord's supper and church communion ; who shall be 
admonished, excommunicated, or absolved by the pastors ; what 
text the minister shall preach on, and on what subject, in what 
method, and in what words ; what he shall say to troubled con- 
sciences, or to the sick, or to others ; what words he shall use 
in exhortation, prayer, or thanksgiving; all these being part of 
the pastor's work, you are to obey him in them all. But neither 
prince nor pastor have power against God. a 

Q. 16. But what if the bishops or pastors be divided, which 
of them must we obey ? 

A. 1. Those that obey God's laws. 2. Those that impose 
the safest course, where the matter on one side is no sin, when 
on the other we fear it is. 3. All other things being equal, 
those that are most unanimous and concordant with the univer- 
sality of Christians, and the primitive church : and our own 
pastors rather than others. And the Godly and eminently wise, 
before the ignorant und ungodly. b 

Q. 17. But what if the bishop or pastor who is over us, differ 
from most in the nation ? And if the national bishops and 
ministry differ from most other foreign churches, as England 
from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Muscovy, the Greeks, Ar- 
menians, Abyssinians ? 

A. The things in which the difference is supposed, must not 
be thus confounded : either they are necessary points of faith or 
practice to all Christians in order to salvation. 2. Or else they 
are controverted opinions not so necessary. 3. Or else they are 
matters of local, occasional, mutable practice. 

z Deut. vi. 11, ami xi. 19. 

B 2 Chron. xxix. 27. See all the examples of David, Solomon, Jehosaphat, 
Hezekiah, Josiah, and Nehcmiah. 
b Rom. xvi. 16, 17 ; 1 Thes. v. 12, 13 ; Heb. xiii. 7, 17. 


1. As to the first, all true Christians are agreed in all things 
necessary to our common salvation : if any oppose these, and 
draw men from the church on that account, he is a heretic. In 
this case, God's law must be known to us, to which we must 
stick, whoever gainsay it. c 

2. In the second case, (of disputable, less necessary opinions,) 
we must suspend our judgments till evidence determine them : 
but judge them most probably to be in the right, who are in 
those matters discerned commonly to have greatest skill and 
sincerity. But the ignorant cannot subscribe to any of them in 
the dark. 

3. In the third case, (as what time and place we shall meet 
at; what subject we shall hear; what catechism questions we 
shall answer when we shall communicate, and with what indi- 
vidual persons, in what words the assembly shall pray and praise 
God, &c.,) we are to obey our own pastors, and not strangers : 
as every wife is to be governed by her own husband, and every 
child by his own parents, and every servant by his own master. 
I scarce think our papists (monarchical or aristocratical) would 
have an universal husband, parent, or master, or a council of 
husbands, parents, or masters of all the world, or all the king- 
dom, set up for such acts as these. 

Q. 18. But is there no command to parents, princes, and 
pastors for their duty, as well as to children and subjects for 
theirs ? 

A. The commandments written on stone were necessarily 
brief, and the duty of rulers is here implied and included. 

Q. 19. What is the duty of parents for their children ? 

A. 1. To take due care of their lives, health, and necessary 
maintenance. d 2. To teach them when they are capable to 
know God and his word, his doctrine, laws, promises, and pe- 
nalties ; to know themselves, their souls, their relation to God, 
their duty to him, their original pravity, and guilt, and danger. 
To know Jesus Christ, his person, life, doctrine, death, resur- 
rection, ascension, glory, kingdom, intercession, and judgment. 
To know the Holy Ghost as sent by Christ, to indite and seal 
the Scripture, qualify the apostles and evangelists to deliver 
infallibly Christ's commands, and record them to all after ages, 
and accordingly settle the churches ; to confirm their ministry 

c Gal. i. 8, and ii. See the case of Paul and Peter. 

d Deut. vi. 11; xi. 19, and xxxiii. 46; Jos. iv. 6,7,22; Eph. vi. 3, 4j 
1 Tim. iii. 12; Prov. xxii. 6; xxiii. 13, and xxix. 15. 


by miracles, and to sanctify all true Christians to the end of the 
world. To know the use of the ordinary ministry, and of the 
communion of saints. To know the covenant of grace, and the 
grace of pardon, adoption, and sanctification, which we must 
here receive, and the glory which we shall receive hereafter, at 
death, and at the general resurrection ; and the great duties of 
faith and repentance, of obedience and love to God and man, 
and renouncing the lusts of the flesh, the world, and the devil, 
which must be done by all that will be glorified by and with 
Jesus Christ. e 

This is the catechism which parents must teach their children. 

Q. 20. Alas ! it will be a hard and long work to teach 
children all this ; or servants either, that are at age. 

A. All this is but the plain meaning of the creed and ten 
commandments, which the church requireth all to learn ; and 
no more than in their baptism the parents should, and the God- 
fathers do, solemnly promise to see them taught. It is these 
things for which God hath given them life, and time, and reason, 
and on which their present safety and comfort, and their ever- 
lasting life dependeth. And will you set them seven years ap- 
prentice to a trade, and set them seven and seven to schools and 
universities, and inns of court, where study must be their daily 
business : and will you think it too much to teach them the 
sense of the creeds, Lord's prayer, and ten commandments, 
needful to far greater and better ends ? f 

Q. 21. In what manner must parents teach their children? 

A. 1. Very plainly, by familiar talk. 2. Gently and lovingly 
to win them, and not discourage them. 3. Beginning with the 
history and doctrine which they are most capable to receive. 
4. Very frequently, that it be not neglected or forgotten. (Deut. 
vi. and xi.) 5. Yet a little at a time, that they be not over- 
whelmed. (>. Praising them when they do well. 7- Doing all 
with such holy reverence that they may perceive it is the work 
of God, and not a common matter. 8. Teaching them by an 
answerable life. 

Q. 22. What else, besides teaching, is the parents' duty ? 

A. 3. To use all just means to make religion pleasant to 
them, and win their hearts to love it; and therefore to tell 
them the Author, the excellency, the certainty, and profit of it 
here and hereafter. 4. To possess them with necessary fear of 

e I Tim. iii. 1G; lCor. xv. 3— G; Heb. v. 11, 12, and vi. 1—3. 
f 2 Tim. iii. 15. 


God, of death, of hell, and of sin. 5. To make a great differ- 
ence between the good and the bad ; rewarding good children, 
and correcting the bad, disobedient, and stubborn. 6. To 
choose safe and godly schoolmasters for them, if they teach 
them not all themselves. 7- To keep them out of ill company, 
and from temptations, especially to know their vices, and watch 
against all occasions of their sin. 8. To choose meet trades 
or callings for them, and faithful masters, ever preferring the 
welfare of their souls before their bodies. 9. To choose meet 
husbands or wives for them, if thev are to be married. s 10. To 
settle them under a faithful pastor in the real communion of 
saints. And all this with constant, serious diligence, praying to 
God for his grace and blessing. 

Oh ! how happy were the church and world, if parents would 
faithfully do all this needful, certain duty, and not perfidiously 
and cruelly break the promise they made in baptism, and by 
negligence, worldliness, and ungodliness, betray the souls of 
their own children to sin and Satan. The happiness or misery 
of families, churches, cities, kingdoms, and of the world, lieth 
most eminently on parents' hands. 

Q. 23. What is the duty of children to their parents in 
especial ? 

A. To honour their judgment and authority ; to be thankful 
to them for their being, love, and education ; to love them 
dearly ; to learn of them willingly and diligently ; to obey them 
faithfully ; and to requite them as they are able ; and what is 
included in the general duty of subjects opened before. 11 

Q. 24. What if the father be a papist and the mother a pro- 
testant, and one commandeth the child to read one book, and 
go to one church, and the other another, which must be obeyed? 

A. Either the child is of age and understanding to try and 
judge which of them is contrary to God's law, or not. If he 
be, he must obey God first, and therefore not obey any thing 
that is contrary to his law ; but if not, then he is one that will 
not put such questions, nor do what he doth out of conscience 
to God, but perform mere human obedience to man ; and if his 
ignorance of God's law be through his own negligence, it will 
not excuse his sin if he mistake : but if it be from natural in- 
capacity, he is ruled like a brute, and no doubt the father is the 
chief governor of the house, and will and must be obeyed be- 
er Dent. vi. 11, and xi. 19, 20; Eph.vi.3, 4 ; 2 Tim. iii. 15; 1 Tlies. ii. 7. 

»' Epli. vi. 1,2 ; Col. iii. 20, 21. 


fore the mother, when obedience to God doth not forbid it, 
which this child understandeth not. 

Q. 25. What, if children be rebellious in wickedness, as 
drunkenness, stealing, &c, must the parents cause them to be 
put to death, as Moses' law commanded, or what must they 
do with them? 

A. Moses' law had some special severities, and was peculiar to 
that nation, and is abrogate. Whether the common good and 
safety require the death of such a son, or any, the Supreme 
Power is judge, and not the parents : nor is it meet, though 
some think otherwise, that parents have the power of putting to 
death their children ; for the commonwealth, which is better 
than the family, is concerned in all the subjects' lives : and ex- 
perience proveth it, that were this granted, whores, beggars, and 
raging, passionate persons would be common murderers of their 

But if the magistrate would appoint one house of correction 
in every county for children that will not be ruled by parents, 
where they may be kept in labour till they are humbled and 
subdued, it would be an excellent work. 

Q. 2b'. But what shall such sorrowful parents do ? 
A. First, use all means by wisdom, love, and patience, while 
there is hope ; and, next, if they are past their correction, send 
them to the house of correction ; and, lastly, disinherit them, 
or deny them all maintenance for their lust. 

Q. 27. Is it a duty to disinherit an incorrigible, wicked son, 
or to deny such filial maintenance and portions? 

A. Supposing it to be in the father's power, it is a duty to 
leave them no more than will maintain their lives in tem- 
perance ; for all men are God's stewards, and must be account- 
able for all that he doth trust them with; and they ought not to 
give it to be the fuel of lust and sin, when they have reason to 
believe that it will be so used : that were to give God's mercies 
to the devil, to be turned against him. Nor are parents bound 
to give those children the necessary maintenance for their lives 
and health, or any thing at all, who, by obstinate rebellion, ut- 
terly forfeit it. Nature is not so strong a bond but that some 
sin may dissolve it, and forfeit life itself, and therefore forfeit 
fatherly maintenance. The rebellion and ingratitude of an incor- 
rigible child is far more heinous than a neighbour's injuries. 
And though Moses' law, and its rigours, be ceased, the reason 
of it still remaineth, as directive to us. When thousands of 


good people want food, and we cannot give all, it is a sin to pre- 
fer an incorrigible, wicked son before them. ' 

Q. 28. But God may change them when the parents are dead ? 

A. It is supposed that the parents have tried to the utmost of 
their power ; and parents cannot judge of what unlikelihoods 
God may bring to pass when they are dead. If God change 
them, God will provide for them. If parents have any hope, 
they may leave somewhat in trusty hands to give them when 
they see them changed. If not, such may work for themselves. 

Q. 29. But what if a son be not deboist, but civil ; but be of 
a corrupt understanding, inclined to ill opinions, and averse to 
serious piety, and like to use his estate to the hurt of the church 
or commonwealth, what shall parents do by such ? 

A. The public interest is to be preferred before a son's. If 
parents have good hopes that such a son may do more good 
than harm with his estate, they may trust him as far as reason 
requireth, rather than to trust a stranger. But if they have rea- 
son to believe that he will do more harm than good with it, they 
should settle it in trust to do all that good which he should do, 
and not leave it to do hurt, if it be in their power, allowing 
him necessary maintenance. 

Q. 30. Should not parents leave all their estates to their 
children : or what proportion must they give them ? 

A. Nature makes children so near their parents, that no 
doubt they must be specially careful of their corporeal and spi- 
ritual welfare above others ; and the Israelites, being tied to 
keep their possessions in their families and line, were under an 
extraordinary obligation in this matter. But, to all Christians, 
the interest of God and the common good is the chief, and to 
be preferred. k All they that sold their possessions, and laid 
down the money at the apostles' feet, did not scruple alienating 
them from their heirs. In this case, children are to be consi- 
dered, 1. As mere receivers of their own due. 2. Or, as their 
parents' trustees for doing good. If they be like to prove faith- 
ful, their parents should rather trust them than others with their 
estates to do them good when they are gone. But if not, they 
should secure a due proportion for good works. 

And however all men should in their life do all the good that 
regularly they can do ; for who can expect that his son should 

1 Luke xv. 16; Deut. xxi. 18— 21, and xvii. 11, 12 ; 2 Thes. iii. 
k Acts iv. ami v. 1—3 ; 1 Cor. iv. 2 ; 1 Pet. iv. 10 ; Psalm xvii. 14 ; Job 
xxi. 11 ; Luke xix. 8. 



do that good with his estate which he had not a heart to do 
himself? And who would not rather secure a reward to him- 
self than to his son ? 

Q. 31. Do you disallow of the common course, which is to 
give all that men can get to their children, save some small 
droppings now and then to the poor ? 

A. I take it to he the effect of that selfishness which is the 
grand enemy to the love of God and man. A carnal, selfish 
man doth live to his flesh and carnal self, for which he gathers 
all that he can get : and when he must needs die, and can no 
longer enjoy it, he takes his children to he as parts of himself, and 
what they have he thinks he almost hath himself; and so out 
of mere self-love, doth love them and enrich them. But a holy 
person thinks all is God's, and that it is hest used which is hest 
improved to his will and kingdom. 

But, alas ! what have selfish, carnal worldings to account for 
when the hest they can say of the use of God's talents is, that 
they pampered the flesh with as much as it craved, and the rest 
they gave their children to make them rich, that their flesh also 
might he pampered, and their lust might want no fuel or pro- 
vision, nor their souls want temptation ? Hundreds or thousands 
given to daughters, and lands purchased for their sons, and now 
and then a farthing or a penny given to the poor. And though 
the hypocrites take on them to helieve Christ, that it is harder 
for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God than for a 
camel to go through a needle's eye, yet they live as if nothing 
were the desire and business of their lives, but to make their 
own and their children's salvation by riches thus next to impos- 
sible. 1 

Q. 32. Is it well, as is usual, to give the eldest son all the 
inheritance? m 

A. Nature and Scripture tell us of some pre-eminence of the 
eldest : this birth-right Jacob thought worth the buying of 
Esau : Christ is called the first-born of every creature, because 
the first-born have the pre-eminence of rule, wealth, and ho- 
nour : and the heavenly society are called " The general assem- 
bly of the first-born whose names are enrolled in heaven." 
(Heb. xii.) Because they are in honour and power above 
others. But yet, 1. The younger also are sons, and must have 
their part : and it pleased God to leave on record how oft he 
hath preferred the younger : even an Abel before Cain 3 a Seth 

1 Psalm xlix. 9—15. ™ Gen. xxv. 31. 


before his seniors ; a Shem before Japhet and Ham ; Isaac be- 
fore Ishmael ; Jacob before Esau ; David and Solomon before 
their elder brethren. 

2. But to the faithful, though nature be not disregarded, yet 
grace teacheth us what to prefer. And Christ and his mem- 
bers are dearer to us than our sons or natural members. n In 
cases where we must deny ourselves for Christ and the public 
good, we may also deny our natural kindred : for they are not 
nearer to us than ourselves. And if an eldest son be wicked or 
unprofitable, a believing parent should give him the less, and 
more to a younger (yea, to a stranger) that will do more service 
to God and his country ; and not prefer a fleshly difference and 
privilege before a spiritual, and his Master's service. 

Q. 33. What is the duty of husbands to their wives ? 

A. To love them as themselves, and live with them in con- 
jugal chastity, as guides and helpers, and provide for them and 
the family ; to endeavour to cure their infirmities and passions, 
and patiently bear what is not cured ; to preserve their honour 
and authority over inferiors, and help them in the education of 
their children, and comfort them in all their sufferings. 

Q. 34. What is the duty of wives to their husbands ? 

A. To live with them in true love and conjugal chastity and 
fidelity ; to help them in the education of children, and govern- 
ing servants, and in worldly affairs ; to learn of them and obey 
them : to provoke them to duties of piety and charity, and to 
bear with their infirmities, and comfort and help them in their 
sufferings : and both must live as the heirs of heaven, in prepa- 
ration for the life to come. p 

Q. 35. What is the duty of masters to their servants? 

A. To employ them suitably, not unmercifully, in profitable 
labour, and not in sin or vanity : to allow them their due wages, 
and maintenance, keeping them neither in hurtful want, nor in 
idleness, or sinful fulness : to teach them their duty to God and 
man, and see that they join in public and family worship, and 
live not in any wilful sin : and as fellow Christians (if they are 
such) to further their comfortable passage to heaven. q 

Q. 36. But what if we have slaves that are no Christians ? 

A. You must use them as men that are capable of Christian- 

" Matt. xix. 21 ; Mark x. 21 ; Luke xii. 33, and xviii. 22. 
Eph. v. 25 ; Col. iii. 19 ; 1 Pet. iii. 7. 
p Eph. v. 22, 24 ; Col. iii. 18 ; Tit. ii. 4, 5 ; I Pet. iii. 1—3. 
'i Eph. vi. 9; Col. iv. 1. 



ity, and do your best, with pity, to cure their ignorance, and un- 
belief, and sin, and to make them Christians, preferring their 
souls before your worldly commodity. 

Q. 37. Is it lawful to buy and use men as slaves ? 
A. It is a great mercy accidentally for those of Guinea, Brazil, 
and other lands, to be brought among Christians, though it be 
as slaves : but it is a sin in those that sell and buy them as 
beasts, merely for commodity, and use them accordingly : but 
to buy them in compassion to their souls, as well as for their ser- 
vice, and then to sell them only to such as will use them chari- 
tably like men, and to employ them as aforesaid, preferring 
their salvation, is a lawful thing, especially such as sell them- 
selves, or are sold as malefactors. 

Q. 38. What is the duty of servants to their masters ? 
A. To honour and obey them, and faithfully serve them, as 
part of their service of Christ, expecting their chief reward from 
him : to be trusty to them in word and deed, not lying, nor 
stealing, or taking any thing of theirs without their consent, nor 
wronging them by idleness, negligence, or fraud. Learning of 
them thankfully, and sincerely, and obediently, joining with 
them in public and family worship of God. r 

Q. 39. Doth God require family teaching, and daily wor- 
ship ? 

A. Yes, both by the law of nature and Scripture. All christ- 
ian societies must be sanctified to God : christian families are 
christian societies : they have, as families, constant dependence 
on God, constant need of his protection, help, and blessing, and 
constant work to do for him, and therefore constant use of 
prayer to him : and as nature and necessity will teach us to eat 
and drink every day, though Scripture tell us not how oft, nor 
at what hour, so will they tell us that we must daily ask it of 
God. And stated times are a hedge to duty, to avoid omissions 
and interruptions : and Scripture commandeth parents to teach 
and persuade their children constantly, lying down and rising 
up, &c. s (Deut. vi. and 11.) And to bring them up in the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord : Cornelius, Crispus, and 
others converted, brought in their households with them to 
Christ. Daniel prayed openly daily in his house. The fourth 
commandment requireth of masters that all in their house do 

» 1 Pet. ii. 18 ; Tit. ii. 9 ; 1 Tim w. 1, 2 ; Eph. vi. 5—7 ; Col. iii. 22. 
s Acts x.2, 3 j 1 Cor. i. 1C; Gen. xviii. 10 ; 2 Sam. vi. 11, 20; Exod. xii. 


sanctify the Sabbath. Reason and experience tell us, that it 
is the keeping up religion and virtue in families, by the constant 
instruction, care, and worship of God, by the governors, that is 
the chief means of the hopes and welfare of the world, and the 
omission of it the great cause of all public corruption and con- 
fusion. * 

Q. 40. What must children, wives, servants, and subjects 
do that have bad parents, husbands, masters, and magistrates ? 

A. Nature bindeth children in minority so to their parents, 
and wives to their husbands (except in case of lawful divorce) 
that they must live in patient bearing with what they cannot 
amend : and so must such servants and subjects as by law or 
contract may not remove, nor have legal remedy. But those 
that are free may remove under better masters and princes when 
they can. 

Q. 41. But whole nations cannot remove from enemies and 
destroyers ? 

A. It is God, and not I, that must answer such cases. Only 
I say : 1. That there is no power but of God. 

2. That governing power is nothing but right and obligation 
to rule the people in order to the common good. 11 

3. That destroying the common good is not ruling, nor any 
act of power given by God. 

4. That all man's power is limited by God, and subordinate to 
his universal government and laws, and he hath given none au- 
thority against himself or his laws. 

5. That so far as God's laws have not determined of the spe- 
cies and degrees of power, they must be known by the human 
contracts or consent which found them. 

6. Nations have by nature a right to self-preservation against 
destroying enemies and murderers. 

7. And when they only seek to save themselves against such, 
they resist not governing authority. 

S. But particular persons must patiently bear even wrongful 
destruction by governors : and whole nations tolerable injuries, 
rather than by rebellions and wars to seek their own preserva- 
tion or right, to the hurt of the commonwealth. x 

9. They are the great enemies of government who are for 
perjury, by which mutual trust is overthrown. 

1 Acts ii. 46 ; v. 42, and xii. 12 ; Prov. iii. 33. 

"Rom. xiii. 2— 7; 2 Cor. x. 8, anil xiii. 10 ; 1 Pet. iii. 11— 14. 

* Matt. xvii. 25, 26, and xxii. 19, 20. 

p 2 



Of the Sixth Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the sixth commandment ? 

A. Thou shalt do no murder. 

Q. 2. What is murder ? 

A. Killing unjustly a reasonable creature. And all that cul- 
pably tends to it bringeth an answerable degree of guilt. 

Q. 3. Why is this command the first that forbiddeth private 
wrongs ? 

A. Because a man's life is more precious than the accidents 
of his life; death deprived him of all further time of repentance 
and earthly mercies, and depriveth all others of the benefit 
which they might receive by him. They rob God and the king 
of a subject. Therefore God, who is the Giver of life, is a 
dreadful Avenger of the sin of murder ; Cain was cast out with 
terror for this sin; for it was the devil's first service, who was a 
murderer from the beginning. Therefore God made of old the 
law against eating blood, lest men should be hardened to 
cruelty, and to teach them his hatred of blood-guiltiness. y And 
it was the murder of the prophets, and of Christ himself, and 
his apostles, that brought that dreadful destruction on the Jews, 
when wrath came upon them to the uttermost. 2 

Q. 4. If God hate murder, why did he command the Israelites 
to kill all the Canaanites, men, women, and children ? 

A. Justice done by God, or his authority, on capital malefac- 
tors, is not murder. You may as well ask why God will damn 
so many in hell, which is worse than death. The curse was 
fallen on Ham's posterity. They were nations of idolaters, 
and murderers of their own children, offering them to idols, 
and so drowned in all wickedness that God justly made the 
Israelites his executioners, to take away their forfeited lands 
and lives. a 

Q. 5. When is killing murder, or unlawful? 

y Deut. xix. 10, 13 ; 1 Kings ii. 31 ; 2 Kings xxi. 16, and xxii. 4 ; Prov. vi. 
17, and xxviii. 17; Gen. iv. 10, 11 ; ix. 4—6 ; xxxvii. 26, and xlii. 22; Hos. 
iv. 2. 

z Matt, xxiii. 31, and xxvii. 4. 25 ; Luke xi. 50 ; Rev. xvi. 6 ; Acts xxii. 20. 

a Deut. xxvii. 15; xviii. 9, 12, and xxix. 17; 2 Kings xvi. 3; Lev. xviii. 


A. When it is done without authority from God, who is the 
Lord of life. 

Q. 6\ To whom doth God give such authority to kill men? 

A. To the supreme rulers of commonwealths, and their 
magistrates, to whom they communicate it. b 

Q. 7- May they kill whom they will ? 

A. No, none but those whose crimes are so great as to 
deserve death by the law of God in nature, and the just laws of 
the land ; even such whose crimes make their death the due 
interest of the republic, and needful to its good and safety. 

Q. 8. What if a prince think that the death of an innocent 
man is accidentally necessary to the safety of himself or the 
commonwealth, through other men's fault, may he not kill 
him ? c 

A. No; he is a murderer if he kill the innocent, or any whose 
fault deserveth not death ; should God permit killing on such 
pretences, no men's lives would be safe. In factions there be 
other ways of remedy ; and such wicked means do but hasten 
and increase the evil which men would so prevent.' 1 

Q. 9. May not parents have power to kill bad children ? 

A. No; I have given you the reason under the fifth com- 

Q. 10. May not a man kill another in the necessary defence 
of his own .life ? 

A. In some cases he may, and in some not ; he may, in case 
it be his equal or inferior, as to public usefulness, and he have 
no other means, being assaulted by him to save his life from 
him. But he may not, 1 . If by flight, or other just means, he 
can save his own life. 2. Nor if it be his king, or father, or 
any public person, whose death would be a greater loss to the 
commonwealth than his own. e 

Q. 11. How prove you that? 

A. Because the light of nature tells us, that seeing good and 
evil are the objects of our willing and nilling ; therefore the 
greatest good should still be preferred, and the greatest evil be 
most avoided ; and that the good or hurt of the commonwealth 
is far greater than of a single, private person. 

Q. 12. But doth not nature teach every creature to preserve 
its life, and rather than die to kill another ? 

b Gen. xxvi.ll; Exod.xix. 12, andxxi. 12, 15 — 17; Dent. xvii. G, 7; xxi. 
22, and xxiv. 16; Jos. i. 18. 

e John xviii. 14. d I Sam. xiv. 43—45. P So David to Saul. 


A. The nature of man is to be rational, and above brutish 
nature, and to choose by reason, though against sensitive inclin- 
ation/ Why else must martyrs choose to die rather than to 
sin ? and soldiers choose their own death before their captain's, 
or their king's, in which God and reason justify them ? 

Q. 13. But by this rule an army should kill their general, 
rather than to be killed or betrayed to death by him; because 
all their lives are better than one man's. 

A. If they be but some part of an army, and the general's 
life be more useful to the rest, and to their king and country, 
and the public good, than all theirs, they should rather die, as 
the Theban legion did. But if the general be a traitor to his 
king and country, and would destroy all, or part, of the army 
to the public loss and danger, it is no murder if they kill him 
when they have no other way to save their lives. 

Q. 14. How many sorts of murder are there, and which are 
the worst ? 

A. I. One of the worst is persecution : killing men because 
they are good, or because they will not break God's laws. 
And lower degrees of persecution by banishment, imprisonment, 
mulcts, participate of guilt against this command. 8 

II. A second sort of heinous murder is by massacres, and 
unlawful wars, in which multitudes are murdered, and that stu- 
diously, and with greatest industry, and countries ruined and 
undone. The multitude of heinous crimes that are contained 
in an unlawful war are hardly known, but by sad experience. 

III. Another sort of heinous murder is, when parents kill 
their own children, or children their parents. 

IV. Another is, when princes destroy their own subjects, 
whom by office they are bound to protect : or subjects their 
princes, whom they are bound to obey, and defend, and honour. 

V. Another sort of heinous murder is, when it is committed 
on pretence of justice, by perjured witnesses, false accusers, or 
false judges, or magistrates: 51 as Naboth was murdered by 
Jezebel and Ahab, and Christ by the Jews, upon false accusa- 
tions of blasphemy and treason. For in this case the murder 
is fathered on God, and on justice, which must abhor it, and 
the best things which should preserve the peace of the innocent 
are used to the worst ends, even to destroy them. And a man 

f 1 Chron. xi. 19; 1 John iii. 16 ; Rev. xii. 11. 

s Frov. xxix. 10 ; Rev. vi. 10, 12 ; xviii. 24, and xix. 2 ; Matt, xxiii. 35. 

h 1 Kings xxi. 19. 


hath no defence for himself, as he may have against murderers, 
or open enemies ; and he is destroyed by those that are bound 
to defend him. And the most devilish, wicked, perjured men, 
are made the masters of men's lives, and may conquer subjects 
by perverting law. 

VI. One of the most heinous crimes is, soul-murder, which 
is done by all that draw or drive men into sin, or from their 
duty to God and the care of their salvation, either by seducing, 
false opinions, opposing necessary truth and duty, or by scorns, 
or threats. But none here sin so grievously as wicked rulers, 
and wicked teachers and pastors of the churches. Others kill 
souls by one and one, but these by hundreds and thousands. 
And therefore it is the devil's main endeavour, through the 
world, to get rulers and teachers on his side, and turn the 
word and sword against him that did ordain them. All the 
idolatrous world that know not Christ are kept under the power 
of the devil, principally by wicked rulers and teachers. And so 
is the infidel and Mahometan world. When the Turks had 
once conquered the eastern empire, how quickly did those 
famous churches and large nations forsake Christ, and turn to 
the grossest of deceivers ! Oh, how many millions of souls have 
been since hereby destroyed ! And what wicked, deceitful, and 
contentious teachers have done to the murdering of souls, alas ! 
the whole christian world is witness. Some by heresy, and 
some by proud tyranny, and some by malignant opposition to 
the serious practice of that holy law of God which they preach; 
and some by ignorance, and some by slothful, treacherous negli- 
gence, and some by church divisions, by their snares, or con- 
tentiousness. Such as Paul speaks of Phil. i. 15, 16, and ii.3. 
And some, in envy, malign and hinder the preaching of the 
Gospel, by such as they distaste. (1 Thes. ii. 16.) 

VII. But of all soul-murder, it is one of the greatest which 
is done by wicked parents on their own children, who breed 
them up in ignorance, wickedness, and profane neglect, if not 
hatred and scorn, of serious holiness, 1 and teach them malignant 
principles, or hinder them from the necessary means of their 
salvation : that by example teach them to swear and lie, and 
be drunken or profane. For parents to be the cruel damners 
of their own children, and this when in false hypocrisy they 
vowed them in baptism to God, and promised their godly edu- 
cation, is odious cruelty and perfidiousness. 

1 Dent. xii. 31 ; Psalm cvi. 37, 38. 



VIII. And it is yet a more heinous sin to be a murderer of 
one's own soul, as every ungodly and impenitent sinner is : for 
nature teacheth all men to love themselves, and to be un- 
willing of their own destruction. And no wonder that such are 
unmerciful to the souls of wives, children, and servants, who 
will damn themselves, and that for nothing ; and that, after all 
the importunities of God and man to hinder them. k 

Q. 15. When may a man be accounted a soul-self-murderer, 
seeing every man hath some sin ? 

A. Every sin, (as every sickness to the body,) is an enemy to 
life, though it destroy it not : and as wounding a man, yea, or 
injurious hurting him, or desiring his hurt, is some breach of 
this command, as Christ tells us, (Matt, v.,) so every sin is as 
hurtful to the soul. But those are the mortal, murdering sins, 
which are inconsistent with the predominant habitual love of 
God and holiness, and are not only from the imperfection of this 
divine nature and image, but from the absence of it : such as 
are the sins of the unbelievers and impenitent. 

Q. 16. But he shall not be hanged for killing another that 
doth it against his will : and no man is willing to damn him- 

A. But a man will himself be a dead man if he kill himself 
unwillingly : and all wicked men do willingly murder their own 
souls. They be not willing to burn in hell, but they are wil- 
lingly ungodly, worldly, sensual : andunholiness is the death or 
misery of the soul, and the departing of the heart or love from 
God, and choosing the world and fleshly pleasure before his 
grace and glory, is the true soul-murdering. 1 When God maketh 
poison destructive to man's nature, and forbids us taking it, 
and tells a man that it will kill him ; if this man will yet take 
the poison because it is sweet, or will not believe that it is deadly, 
it is not his being unwilling to die that will save him. When 
God hath told men that unholiness and a fleshly mind is death, 
he destroyeth his soul that yet will choose it. m 

And it is a heinous aggravation that poor sinners have so little 
for the salvation which they sell. The devil can give them 
nothing that is to be put into the balance against the least hope 
or possibility of the life to come ; and for a man to sell his own 
soul and all his hopes of heaven, for a base lust, or a transitory 

k Prov. xiii. 13 ; xxix. 1 ; vi. 32, and xxi. 15. 
1 Rom. ii. 5,6, 8; 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10; Eph. v. 5— 7. 
» Heb. xii. 14, 16 ; Mark viii. 36. 


shadow, as profane Esau sold his birthright for a morsel, is 
self-murder of a most odious kind. 

Q. 17. But you make also our friends that love us to be mur- 
derers of us, if they draw us to sin, or neglect their duty ? 

As the love of his own flesh doth not hinder, but further the 
drunkard's, fornicator's, and idle person's murder of his own 
soul : so vour friend's carnal love to vou mav be so far from 

7 J 0, • m 

hindering, that it may further your destruction. They that draw 
each other to fornication, to gaming, to time-wasting plays, to 
gluttony and drunkenness, may do it in love. If they give you 
poison in love, it will kill you.' 1 

And if parents that are bound to feed their children do 
famish them, do you think they do not murder them by omis- 
sion ? So may they ; and so may ministers murder the souls 
that they are by nature or office entrusted to instruct and dili- 
gently govern. 

Q. 18. Are there any other ways of murder ? 

A. So many that it is hard to number them. As by rash 
anger, hatred, malice, by drunkenness disposing to it. By ma- 
gistrates not punishing murderers : by not defending the lives 
of others when we ought, and abundance more, which you may 
read in Bishop Downain's tables on the commandments. 

Q. 19. Must I defend my parents or children against the 
magistrate, or any one that would kill them by his commission ? 

A. Not against justice, no doubt ; what you must do against 
subjects who pretend an illegal commission to rob or kill your- 
self, parents, or children, or destroy cities and countries, is 
partly touched on under the fifth commandment, and partly 
matter unmeet for a catechism, or private, unlearned men's un- 
necessary discourse. 

Q. 20. Are there more ways of self-murder ? 

A. Among others, excess of meat and idleness, destroy men's 
health, and murder millions. 


Of the Seventh Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the seventh commandment ? 
A. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

n Gal.iv. 17, 18. 


Q. 2. What is the sin here forbidden ? 

A. All unlawful, carnal copulation, and every evil inclination, 
or action, or omission which tendeth thereto, or partaketh of 
any degree of unchastity or pollution. 

Q. 3. Is all lust or inclination to generation a sin? 

A. No : for 1. Some is natural to man, and that not as cor- 
rupt ; but as God said, " increase and multiply," before the fall, 
so no doubt he inclined nature thereto. 2. And the regular 
propagation of mankind is one of the noblest, natural works 
that man is instrumental in ; a man being a more excellent 
thing than a house or any work of art. 3. And God hath put 
some such inclination into nature, in great wisdom and mercy 
to the world : for if nature had not some considerable appetite 
to generation, and also strong desire of posterity, men would 
hardly be drawn to be at so much care, cost, and labour, to 
propagate mankind ; but especially women would not so com- 
monly submit to all their sickness, pain, danger, and after-trouble 
which now they undergo. But if a few self-denying persons 
did propagate mankind only as an act of obedience to God, 
the multitude of the ungodly would not do it. 

Q. 4. If it be so, why is any carnal act of generation for- 
bidden ? especially when it is an act of love, and doth nobody 
any harm ? 

A. God hath in great wisdom and mercy to man made his 
laws for restraining men from inordinate lust and copulation. 

1. The noblest things are basest when corrupted. Devils 
are worse than men, because they were higher and better 
before. A wicked man is incomparably worse and more miser- 
able than a beast or a toad, because he is a nobler nature 
depraved. And so human generation is worse than that of 
swine or dogs, when it is vicious. 

2. Promiscuous, unregulated generation, tends to the utter 
ruin and vitiating of mankind, by the overthrow of the just edu- 
cation of children, on which the welfare of mankind doth emi- 
nently depend. Alas, all care and order is little enough, and 
too little to keep corrupted nature from utter bestiality and 
malignity, much more to make youth wise and virtuous, with- 
out which it had been better never to have been born ! When 
fathers know their own children, and when mothers have the 
love, and encouragement, and household advantage of order, 
which is necessary, some good may be done. But lawless 

Heb. xiii. 4 ; Gen. i. 22, 28 ; ix. 7 ; xxii. 17, and xxvi. 4, 24. 


exercise of lust will frustrate all. 1. Women themselves will 
be slaves, or their advantage mutable and uncertain ; for such 
lust will serve its turn of them but for novelty, and will be still 
for change ; and when a younger or a fairer comes, the mother 
is cast off and hated.? And then the next will hate her chil- 
dren, or at least not love them as a necessary education doth 
require. And when the father hath forsaken the mother, it is 
like he will forsake the children with her. And when women's 
lusts are lawless as well as men's, men heing uncertain what 
children are their own, will be regardless both of their souls 
and bodies : so that confusion would destroy religion and 
civility, and make the world worse than most of the American 
savages are, who are taught by nature to set bounds to lust. 

And besides all this, the very lust itself thus increased by 
lawless liberty would so corrupt' men's minds, and fantasies, 
and affections, into a sordid, beastly sensuality, that it would 
utterly indispose them to all spiritual and heavenly, yea, and 
manly, employments of heart and life ; men would grow sottish 
and stupid, unfit to consider of heavenly things, and incapable 
of holy pleasures. 

Q. 5. But if these evil consequents be all, then a man that 
can moderately use fornication, so as shall avoid these evils, 
sinneth not ? 

A. Sin is the breach of God's law ; these mischiefs that would 
follow lawless lust show you that God made this law for the 
welfare of mankind. But God's own wisdom and will is the 
original reason of his law, and must satisfy all the world. But 
were there none but this fore-mentioned, to avoid the world's 
confusion and ruin, it was needful that God set a law to lust ; 
and when this is done for the common good, it is not left to 
man to break God's law, whenever he thinks he can avoid the 
consequents, and secure the end of the law. For if men be left 
to such liberty, as to judge when they may keep God's law, and 
when they may break it, lust will always find a reason to excuse 
it, and the law will be in vain. The world needed a regulating 
law, and God's law must not be broken. 

Q. 6. Which are the most heinous sorts of filthiness. ? 

A. Some of them are scarce to be named among Christians. 
1. Sodomy. 2. Copulation with brutes. 3. Incest; sinning 

p Acts xv. 20, 29 ; Rom. i. 29, 30 ; 1 Cor. v. 11 ; vi. 13, 18 ; vii. 2, and x. 8 ; 
Gal. v. 19 ; Eph. v. 3, 4 ; Col. Hi. 5 ; 1 Thes. iv. 3 ; Rev. ii. 14, 20 ; Matt. xv. 
19; Heb. xii. 16. 


thus with near kindred. 4. Rapes, or forcing women. But 
the commonest sorts, are adultery, fornication, self-pollution, 
and the filthiness of the thoughts and affections, and the words 
and actions which partake of the pollution. 11 

Q. 7. Why is adultery so great a sin ? 

A. Besides the aforesaid evils that are common to it and for- 
nication, it is a perfidious violation of the marriage covenant, 
and destroys the conjugal love of husband and wife, and con- 
foundeth progeny, and, as is aforesaid, corrupteth family order 
and human education/ 

Q. 8. Why may not a man have many wives now, as the 
Jews had ? 

A. As Christ saith of putting away, from the beginning it was 
not so, but it was permitted for the hardness of their hearts ; 
that their seed might be multiplied, in which they placed their 
chief prosperity. And (that we may not think worse of them 
than they were) as God hath taught the very brutes to use co- 
pulation no oftener than is necessary to generation, so it is pro- 
bable, by many passages of Scripture, that it Mas so ordinarily 
then with men ; and, consequently, that they that had many 
wives, used them not so often as now too many do one ; and 
did not multiply wives so much for lust as for progeny. 8 

Q. 9. But is no oftener use of husband and wife lawful than 
for generation ? 

A. Yes, incase of necessitating lust ; but such a measure of 
lust is to be accounted inordinate, either as sin, or a disease ; 
and not to be causelessly indulged, though this remedy be 
allowed it. 1 

Q. 10. But why may not many wives be permitted now, as 
well as then ? 

A. 1. No man can either dispense with God's laws, or for- 
give sin against them, but God himself. If he forbear men in 
sin, that doth not justify it. 2. If a few men and many women 
were cast upon a wilderness, or sent to plant it by procreation, 
the case were liker the Israelites, where the men were ofter 
killed by wars and God's judgments than the women : but with 
us there is no pretence for the like polygamy, but it would con- 
found and disquiet families. 

i Gen. xviii. ; 1 Cor. v. ; Lev. xviii. 

r Matt. v. 32, and xix. 6 ; Ma!, ii. 13. 

» Gen. xxix. 30, 34, and xxx. 15, 18, 20 ; Deut. xxv. 6, 7. 

1 1 Cor. vii. 9. 


If one should make a difficult case of it, whether a prince 
that hath a barren wife may not take another for the safety of 
a kingdom, when it is in notorious danger of falling into the 
hands of a destroyer (as Adam's own sons and daughters law- 
fully married each other, because there were no others in the 
world) this would be no excuse, where no such public notorious 
necessity can be pleaded. 

Q. 11. Why must marriage be a public act? 
A. Because else adultery and unlawful separations cannot be 
known nor punished, but confusion will come in. 

Q. 12. But is it not adultery that is committed against secret 
marriage, which was never published or legally solemnized ? 

A. Yes : secret consent makes a marriage before God, though 
not before the world : and the violation of it is adultery before 

Q. 13. May not a man put away his wife, or depart from her 
if she seek his death, or if she prove utterly intolerable? 

A. While he is governor, he hath divers other remedies first 
to be tried : a Bedlam must be used as a Bedlam : and, no 
doubt, but if he have a just cause to fear poisoning or other 
sort of murder, he may secure his life against a wife as well as 
against an enemy. Christ excepted not that case, because na- 
ture supposeth such exceptions. 

Q. 14. But if utter unsuitableness make their cohabitation! 
an insuperable temptation, or intolerable misery, may they not 
part by consent for their own good ; seeing it is their mutual 
good, which is the end of marriage ? 

A. 1. The public good is a higher end of all men's worldly 
interests and actions than their own : and when the example 
would encourage unlawful separaters, they must not seek their 
own ease to the public detriment. 2. And if it be their own 
sinful distempers which maketh them unsuitable, God bindeth, 
them to amend, and not to part : and if they neglect not his; 
grace, he will help them to do what he commandeth : and it is 
in his wav, and not their own, by the cure of their sin, and not 
by indulging it, that they must be healed : but as the apostle 
saith, in another case, if the faulty person depart, and the other 
cannot help it, a brother or sister is not left in bondage, but may 
stay till the allay of the distemper incline them to return. u 
Q. 15. What is inward heart-fornication, or uncleanness ? 
A. 1. Inordinate filthy thoughts are some degree. 2. Inordi- 

» Matt. v. 32, and xix. G. 


nate desires are a higher degree. H. Inordinate contrivance and 
consent are yet a higher. And when such thoughts and desires 
become the ordinary inhabitants of the soul, and pollute it when 
they lie down and when they rise, and shut out holy and sober 
thoughts, and become a filthy habit in the mind, then the de- 
gree is so great as that an unclean devil hath got great advan- 
tage, if not a kind of possession of the imagination and the soul. x 

Q. 16. Which way are the other senses guilty of this sin ? 

A. 1. When an ungoverned eye is suffered to fetch in lustful 
thoughts and desires into the mind. 2. Much more when to 
such immodest or unchaste looks there is added immodest 
actions and dalliance, unfit to be named. 3. And when fleshly 
appetite and ease do bring in fuel to unchaste inclinations. 
4. And when the ear is set open to ribald and defiling words. 

Q. 17. How is the tongue guilty of uncleanness ? 

A. By the aforesaid filthy or wanton talk, reading alluring 
books, using alluring words to others ; but, worst of all, by de- 
fending, extenuating, or excusing any filthy lusts. 

Q. 1 8. What are the chief causes of this sin ? 

A. It is supposed that God put into nature an ordinate go^ 
vernable appetite to generation in mankind : but that which 
rendereth it inordinate, and unruly, and destructive, is, 1. Over- 
much pampering the flesh by pleasing meats and drinks. 2. Idle- 
ness ; not keeping under the body by due labour, nor keeping 
the mind in honest employment about our callings, and the 
great matters of our duty to God, and of our salvation, which 
leave no room for filth and vanity. 3. Want of a sanctified 
heart and tender conscience to resist the first degrees of the sin. 
4. Specially wilful running into temptation. y 

Q. 19. By what degrees do persons come to fornication ? 

A. 1. By the aforesaid cherishing the causes, appetite and 

2. By this means the lustful inclinations of the flesh grow as 
strong and troublesome in some as a violent itch, or as a thirst 
in a fever. z 

3. Then an ungoverned eye must gaze upon some tempting 
piece of flesh. 

4. And if they get opportunity for frequent privacy and 

x Matt, v. 28,29; Epli. v. 4, 5; Jam. i. 21; 2 Pet. ii. 18; 1 John ii. 16; 
Job xxxi. 1. 

y Deut. vi. 21 ; Ezek. xvi. 49. 

2 Eph. ii. 3 ; Jud. xii. 7, 8 ; 2 Pet. ii. 14, 16, 18 ; 1 John ii. 16 ; Gal. v. 19, 20. 


familiarity, and use it in immodest sights and actions, they are 
half overcome. 

5. For then the devil, as an unclean spirit, gets possession 
of the imagination, and there is a strong inclination in them to 
think of almost nothing else but fleshly filth, and the pleasure 
that their sense had in such immodest brutishness. When God 
should have their hearts morning and night, and perhaps at church 
and in holy actions, this unclean spirit ruleth their thoughts. 

6. Then conscience growing senseless, they fear not to feed 
these pernicious flames with ribald talk, and romances, and amo- 
rous foolish plays, and conversing with such as are of their own 

7. After this, where their fancy is infected, they study and 
contrive themselves into further temptation, to get that near- 
ness, opportunity, and secrecy which may encourage them. 

8. And from thence Satan hurrieth them, usually against 
conscience, into actual fornication. 

9. And when they are once in, the devil and the flesh say, 
' Twice may be pardoned as well as once/ 

10. And some, at last, with seared consciences, grow to ex- 
cuse it as a small sin ; and sometimes are forsaken to fall into 
utter infidelity or atheism, that no fear of judgment may molest 
them. But others sin on in horror and despair ; of whom, of 
the two, there is more hope, as having less quietness in their 
sins to hinder their repentance. 

20. What are the best remedies against all unchastity and un- 
cleanness of mind and body ? 

A. 1. The principal is the great work of renewing grace, 
which taketh up the heart of man to God, and maketh him 
perceive that his everlasting concerns are those that must take 
up his mind and life ; and this work still mortifieth the flesh, 
with the affections and lusts thereof. 

2. Another is to make it seriously a great part of our religion 
to subdue and destroy all fleshly, sinful lusts : and not to think 
a bare conviction or wish will do it : but that it requireth more 
labour than to kill weeds in your ground, or to tame unruly 
colts or cattle. 3 

3. Another means is, to resolve upon a constant diligence in 
a lawful calling. Poor labouring men arc seldom so vicious in 
lust as idle gentlemen are. b 

a Rom. via. 1, 5,7,12, 13; 2 Pet. ii. 10; Gal. v. 13, 17,24. 

b Jutle 23 ; 1 Cor. ix. 17; Rom. xiii. 13, 14 ; Prov. v. 8 ; Gen. xxxiv. 


4. Temperance and fasting, when there is need, and avoiding 
fulness, and flesh-pleasing meats and drinks. Gluttons and 
drunkards are fitted to be boars and stallions. 

5. To keep a conscionable government of the eye, and 
thoughts, and call them off as soon as Satan tempteth them. 

6. Above all, to be sure to keep far enough from tempting 
persons. Touch them not ; be not private with them. There 
is no safety when fire and gunpowder are long near, and in an 
infectious house. Distance is the greatest means of safety. 

7. Another means is to foresee the end, and think what will 
follow : specially think of death and judgment. Consider what 
the alluring flesh will be when the small-pox shall cover it with 
scabs, or when it shall have lain a few weeks stinking in a grave. 
This must be. But O the thoughts of the judgment of God, 
and the torment of a guilty conscience, should be more morti- 
fying helps. To go to the house of mourning, and see the end 
of all men, and see what the dust and bones of men are when 
they are cast up out of the grave, and to think where the souls 
are and must be for ever, methinks should cure the folly of 

Q. 21. Is it unlawful for men and women, especially the un- 
married, to set out themselves in such ornaments of apparel as 
may make them seem most comely and desirable ? 

A. 1. The common rule is to be clothed with decent, but 
modest apparel, such as shows the body without deceit to be 
what it is, which is neither loathsome nor alluring. 2. And 
persons must be invited to conjugal desires by truth, and not 
by deceit, and by the matters of real worth, such as wisdom, 
godliness, patience, and meekness, and not by fleshlv snares ; 
for marriages so contracted are like to turn to continued misery 
to both, when the body is known without the ornaments, and 
deceit and diseases of the soul become vexatious. 

3. But there is much difference to be made of the time, and 
ends. c A young woman that hath a suitor, and intendeth mar- 
riage, may go further in adorning herself to please him that 
chooseth her, and a wife to please her husband's eye, than they 
may do to strangers, where there is no such purpose or relation. 
To use a procatious garb to be thought amiable to others, where 
it may become a snare, but can do no good, is the act of one 
that hath the folly of pride, and some of the disposition of a 
harlot ; even a pleasure and desire to have those think them 

' Jcr. ii. 32 ; 1 Pet. iii. 3, 4 ; Gen. xxxwii. 15 ; Prov, vii 10. 


amiable, desirable persons, in whom it may kindle concupis- 
cence likelier than good. 

Q. 22. But may not a crooked or deformed person hide their 
deformity by apparel, or other means ? 

A. Yes, so far as it only tends to avoid men's disdain in a, 
common conversation ; but not so as to deceive men in marriage 
desires, or purposes, or practice. 

Q. 23. What if one's condition be such that marriage is 
like to impoverish them in the world, and cast them into great 
straits and temptations, and yet they feel a bodily necessity 
of it? 

A. God casteth none into a necessity of sinning. Fornication 
must not be committed to avoid poverty. If such can. by lawful 
means overcome their lust, they must do it ; if not, they must 
marry, though they suffer poverty. 

Q. 24. What if parents forbid their children necessary mar- 
riage ? 

A. Such children must use all lawful means to make marriage 
unnecessary to them. But if that cannot be done, they must 
marry whether their parents will or not. For man hath no 
power to forbid what God commandeth. 

Q. 25. Is that marriage void which is without the consent of 
parents, and must such be separate as adulterers ? 

A. Some marriage, as aforesaid, is lawful without their con- 
sent; some is sinful, but yet not null, nor to be dissolved, which is 
the most usual case. Because all at age do choose for themselves, 
even in the matters of salvation : and though they ought to be 
ruled by parents, yet when they are not, their own act bindeth 
them. But if the incapacity of the persons make it null, that is 
another case. 

Q. 26. How shall men be sure what degrees are prohibited, 
and what is incest, when Moses's law is abrogated, and the 
law of nature is dark and doubtful in it, and Christ saith little 
of it? 

A. 1. Those passages in Moses's laws, which are but God's 
explication of a dark law of nature, do still tell us how God once 
expounded it, and consequently how far it doth extend, though 
Moses's law as such be abrogated. 

2. The laws about such restraint of marriage are laws of 
order ; and therefore bind when order is necessary for the thing 
ordered, but not when it destroyeth the good of the thing or- 
dered, which is its end. Therefore incest is unlawful out of 
VOL. X!X. u 


such cases of necessity ; but to Adam's sons and daughters it 
was a duty : and all the children of Noah's three sons must 
needs marry either their own brothers and sisters, or the children 
of their father's brethren, which moved Lot's daughters to do 
what they did. 

3. In these matters of order some laws of the land must be 
obeyed, though they restrain men more than the laws of God. 

Q. 27. Is marriage in every forbidden degree to be dissolved ? 

A. Not if it be a degree only forbidden by man's laws : or if 
it were in such foresaid cases of absolute necessity, but that 
which God doth absolutely forbid, must not be continued but 
dissolved j as the case of Herod, and him, 1 Cor. v., tells us. 

Of the Eighth Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the eighth commandment ? 

A. Thou shalt not steal. 

Q. 2. What is the stealing here forbidden ? 

A. All injurious getting or keeping that which is another's. 

Q. 3. When is it injurious ? 

A. When it is done without right : and that is, when it is 
done without the owner's consent, or by a fraudulent and for- 
cible getting his consent, and without just authority from a 
superior power, who may warrant it. 

Q 4. What power may allow one to take that which is 
another's ? 

A. 1. God, who is the only absolute owner of all, did allow 
the Israelites to take the Egyptians' and Canaanites' goods ; and 
so may do by whom he will. 2. And a magistrate may take 
away the goods of a delinquent who forfeiteth them ; and may 
take from an unwilling subject such tribute as is his due, and as 
much of his estate as the law alloweth him to take for the ne- 
cessary defence of the commonwealth, and may force him to pay 
his debts : and a father may take from his child, who is but a 
conditional sub-proprietor, what he seeth meet. 

Q. 5. But what if it be so small a matter, as will be no loss 
to him ? Is it sinful theft to take it? 


A. Yes ; if there be none of his consent, nor any law to war- 
rant you, it is theft, how small soever the thing be. But if the 
common sense of mankind suppose that men would consent if 
they knew it ; or if the law of God, or the just law of man, 
enable you to take it, it is no theft. And so God allowed the 
Israelites to pluck the ears of corn, or eat fruit as they passed 
through a vineyard in hunger, so be it that they carried none 
away. And a man may gather a leaf of an herb for a medicine 
in another man's ground, because humanity supposeth that the 
owner will not be against it. d 

Q. 6. But what if he can spare it, and I am in great neces- 
sity, and it be his duty to relieve me, and he refuseth ? 

A. You are not allowed to be your own carver; the common 
good must be preferred before your own. And if every one 
shall be judge when their necessity alloweth them to take from 
another, the property and right of all men will be vain, and the 
common order and peace be overthrown. And while you may 
either beg, or seek to the parish or magistrate for relief, there 
is no place for a just plea of your necessity. 

Q. 7- But should a man rather die by famine, than take from 
another that is bound to give, and will not ? 

A. If his taking will, by encouraging thieves, do the common- 
wealth more hurt than his life will do good, he is bound rather 
to die than steal. But I dare not say that it is so, where all 
these following conditions concur. 1. If it be so small a thing 
as is merely to save life (as God allowed the aforesaid taking 
of fruit and corn). 2. If you have first tried all other means, 
as begging, or seeking to the magistrate. 3. If by the secrecy, 
or by the effect, it be no hurt to the commonwealth, but good. 
As for instance, if to save life, one take an apple from a tree of 
him that is unwilling ; or eat pease or corn in the field : if chil- 
dren have parents that would famish them ; if a company in a 
ship should lose all their provision save one man's, and he have 
enough for them all, and would give them none, I think the 
law of nature alloweth them to take as much as will save their 
lives, against his will. If David, the Lord's anointed, and his 
six hundred men, want bread, they think they may take it from 
a churlish Nabal. e If an army, which is necessary to save a 
kingdom from a foreign enemy, should want money and food, 
and none would give it them, it seemeth unnatural to say, that 

d Deut. xxiii. 25 ; Matt. xii. 1 ; Luke vi. 1. 
e Even King Ahab mi<>;ht not take Naboth's vineyard. 



they should all famish, and lose the kingdom, rather than take 
free quarter, or things absolutely necessary, from the unwilling. 
The commonwealth's right in every subject's estate is greater 
than his own, as the common good is better than his. But these 
rare cases are no excuse for the unjust taking of the least that 
is another's without his consent. 

Q. 8. But may not a child, or servant, take that meat or 
drink which is but meet, if the parents and masters be un- 
willing ? 

A. No, unless, as aforesaid, merely to save life. If children 
have hard parents, they must patiently bear it. If servants have 
hard masters, they may leave them, or seek remedy of the 
magistrate for that which they are unable to bear. But the 
world must not be taught to invade other men's property, and 
be judges of it themselves. 

Q. 9. But what if he owe me a debt and will not pay me, or 
keep unjust possession of my goods, may I not take my own by 
stealth or force, if I be able ? 

A. Not without the magistrate, who is the preserver of com- 
mon order and peace, when your taking it would break that 
order ; and such liberty would encourage robbery. If you take 
it, you sin not against his right, but you sin against the greater 
right and peace of the commonwealth. 

Q. 10. But what if I owe him as much as he oweth me, may 
I not stop it, and refuse to pay him ? 

A. Yes, if the law and common good allow it, but not else ; 
for you must rather lose your right, than hurt the commonwealth, 
by breaking the law which keeps its peace. 

Q. 11. What if I win it by gaming, or a wager, when he con- 
sented to run the hazard ? 

A. Such gaming as is used in a covetous desire of getting 
from another, without giving him any thing valuable for it, is 
sinful in the winner and the loser ; and another's covetous, sinful 
consent to stand to the hazard, maketh it not lawful for you 
to take it. You forfeit it on both sides, and the magistrate 
may do well to take it from you both. But if a moderate wager 
be laid, only to be a penalty to the loser for being confident in 
some untruth, it is just to take his wager as a penalty, and 
give it to the poor. But the just law of exchanging rights by 
contract is, to take nothing that is another's, without giving 
him for it that which is worth it. 

Q. 12. Is it lawful to try masteries for a prize or wager; as 


running of men, or horses, cockfights, fencing, wrestling, con- 
tending in arts, &c. ? 

A. It is not lawful to do it. 1. Out of covetousness desiring 
to get another man's money, though to his loss and grief. 
2. Nor by cruelty, as hazarding men's lives hy over-striving, in 
running, wrestling, fencing, &c. But if it he used as a manly 
recreation, and no more laid on the wager than is meet to be 
spent on a recreation, and may he justly spared without covet- 
ousness, or hurting another, I know not but it may be lawfully 

Q. 13. What are the rules to avoid sinful injury, in buying 
and selling ? 

A. 1. That you give the true worth, that is, the market price 
for what you buy, and desire not to have it cheaper, unless it 
be of a rich man that abateth you the price in kindness or 
charity, or one that, having bought it cheaper, can afford to sell 
accordingly/ And that you neither ask nor desire more than the 
said true worth for what you sell, unless it be somewhat that 
you would not otherwise part with, which is worth more to 
some one man than to others, or one that in liberality will give 
yon more. 

2. That you do as you would be done by, if you were in the 
same circumstances with the other, supposing your own desires 

3. That you work not on the ignorance or necessities of ano- 
ther, to get more or take less than the worth. 

4. And, therefore, that you deceive him not by hiding the 
fault of what you sell, nor by any false words or wiles. 

5. That if a man be overseen, you hold him not to his bar- 
gain to his loss, if you can release it without a greater loss. 
Yet that you stand to your own word to him if he will not dis • 
charge you. More I omit. g 

Q. 14. Is it lawful to take usury, or gain, for money lent ? 

A. The great difference of men's judgments about usury, 
should make all the more cautelous to venture on none that is 
truly doubtful. I shall give my judgment in some conclu- 

1 . It is evident that usury of other things, as well as of money, 
was forbidden the Jews. (Deut. xxiii. 19, 20; Lev. xxv. 36, 
3/ ; Exod. xxii. 25.) And by usury is meant any thing more 
than was lent taken for the use of it. 

f Lev. xxv. 11 ; Prov. xx. 14. s Amos viii. G. 


2. It is manifest, the word " nesheck," signifying biting 
usury, that it is unmerciful hurting another that is here meant. 

3. It is manifest that it was to the poor that this manner of 
lending was not to be used : and that only to a brother or Israel- 
ite, who also might not be bought as a forced servant : but to 
a stranger it was lawful. 

4. The Israelites then used no merchandise, or buying and 
selling for gain. They lived on flocks, herds and vineyards, 
and fig-trees. So that it is only taking usury of any thing that 
was lent to the needy, when charity bound them to relieve 
them by lending, that is here meant. 

5. To exact the principal, or thing lent, was as truly forbid- 
den, when the poor could not pay it. And so it was to deny to 
give him freely in his need. 

6. All this plainly showeth that this supposeth a case in which 
one is bound to use mercy to another in want, and that it is 
mere unmercifulness that is here forbidden. 

7. The law described the sin, and the prophets, when they 
speak against usury, do but name it ; making no new law, but 
supposing it described in the law before. 

8. The law of Moses, as such, bound not the rest of the 
world, nor bindeth Christians now. (2 Cor. iii.) 

9. Therefore there is no usury forbidden but what is against 
the law of nature, or the supernatural revelation of Christ. 

10. The law of nature and of Christ forbid all injustice and 
uncharitableness, and therefore all usury which is against jus- 
tice or charity. Every man must in trading, lending, and giving, 
keep the two grand precepts ; " Do as you would (justly) be 
done by, " and " Love your neighbours as yourselves." 

1 1 . To take more for the use than the use of the money, 
horse, goods, or any thing, was really worth to the user, is injus- 
tice. And to take either use or principal when it will do more 
hurt to him that payeth it, than it is like to do good to our- 
selves, or any other to whom we are more obliged, is contrary 
to charity : and so it is not to give where we are obliged to 

12. Merchandise, or trading by buying and selling for gain, 
is real usury. They that lay out money on goods, and sell them 
for more than they gave for them, do take use or increase for 
their money of the buyer : which was forbidden the Israelites 
to poor brethren. And it is all one to make a poor man pay 
one shilling in the pound for the use of the money to buy cloth 


with, as to make him pay one shilling more than was paid for the 
cloth. And if a draper be bound to lend a poor man money to 
buy cloth, without use, he is as much bound to sell him cloth 
without gain. 

13. Merchandise, or trading for gain, is not unlawful, being 
used without injustice and uncharitableness. 

14. Every one that hath money is not bound to lend it at all : 
and not to lend it at all is as much against the good of some 
borrowers as to lend it and take but what the use of it was 
worth to them. 

15. No more must be taken for use than the user had real 
profit by it ; unless it be when the rich are willing to pay more, 
or run the hazard, or what a man loseth by one bargain he gets 
by another.' 1 

10. Some usury is an act of great charity : viz., a landlord 
offereth to sell his tenant his land for much less than the worth : 
the tenant hath not money to buy it : a rich neighbour told him, 
' The land is also offered to me ; but if you will, I will lend 
you money on use to buy it, and pay me when you can.' It 
was wood land : the tenant borrows the money ; and in two 
years sells the wood, which paid it all, and had the land for al- 
most nothing. Was not this charitable usury ? ' 

I knew a worthy person that, trading in iron-works, did, partly 
for himself and partly in charity, take to use the monies of 
many honest, mean people, that knew not else how to live or to 
use it; and from a small estate he grew to purchase at least 
seven thousand pounds per annum to himself and his sons. Was 
there any uncharitableness in this usury ? k 

17. It is great uncharitableness in some not to give use for 
money, and cruelty to set it out without use : as when poor or- 
phans are left with nothing but a little money to maintain them, 
and abundance of poor widows that have a little money, and 
no trade to use it in, and must beg if they presently spend the 
stock ; if they lend it the rich, or those that gain by it in trad- 
ing, the gainers are unmerciful if they pay not use for it, as well 
as unjust. 

18. They that say, 'We must not lend to make men rich, but 
only to the needy,' do put down all common trading ; and for- 
bid most young men to marry : for that which will maintain a 
single man plentifully will not maintain a wife and children, 
and provide them necessary portions : and if he must not en- 

II Deut. xxiii. 20. '> Matt. xxv. 27 ; Luke xix 23. k Prov. xxii. 16. 


deavour to grow richer than he is, how shall he maintain them, 
who had hut enough for himself before ? And how shall he he 
able to relieve the poor, or do any such good works, if he may 
not endeavour to grow richer ? 

Q. 15. If a merchant find that it is usual to deceive the 
Custom-house, or poor men think chimney money, or other 
legal taxes, to be an oppression, may they not, by concealment, 
save what they can ? 

A. No; the law hath given it the king ; if you like not to be 
his subjects on the terms of the law, remove into another land ; 
if you cannot, you must patiently suffer here. It is no more 
lawful to rob the king than to rob anpther man. 

Q. 16. Is it necessary to restore all that one hath wrongfully 

A. Yes, if he be able. 1 

Q. 1 7. What if he be not able ? 

A. If he can get it by his friends, he must ; if not, he must 
humble himself to him that he wronged, and confess the debt, 
and bind himself to pay him if ever he be able. 

Q. 18. But what if it be a malicious man, that will disgrace 
or ruin him if he know it, is he bound to confess it ? 

A. Humanity itself will tell a man, that repentance is the 
greatest honour, next to innocence; and that a repenting per- 
son, that will do it at so dear a rate, is unlike to wrong him any 
more : and, therefore, we may suppose that there are few so in- 
human as to undo such a penitent. But if he that knoweth 
him have good cause to judge that the injured person will make 
use of his confession, 1 . To the wrong of the king or the com- 
monwealth, or the honour of Christianity, 2. Or to a greater hurt 
of the confessor than the confession is like to prove a good to 
any, he may then forbear such a confession to the person in- 
jured, and send him secretly his money by an unknown hand : 
or, if he cannot pay him, confess it to God and his spiritual 

Q. 19. What if a man can restore it, but not without the 
wrong or ruin of his wife and children, who knew not of his 
sin ? 

A. His wife took him with his debts, as he did her ; and this 
is a real debt : she can have no right by him in that which he 
hath no right himself to; and he cannot give his children that 
which is none of his own. 

1 Exoil. sxii. 5, G, 12 ; Lev. vi. 1 ; Luke xix. 8. 


Q. 20. What if I wronged a master but in some small mat- 
ter in marketing, which is long since gone ? 

A. The debt remaineth : and if you have the value, you must 
offer satisfaction ; though it is like, that for small things few 
will take it : but you must confess the fault and debt ; and for- 
giveness is equal to restitution. 

Q. 21. What if those that I wronged be dead ? 

A. You owe the value to those that they gave their estate 
to : or, if they be dead, to the next heirs : and if all be dead, 
to God, in some use of charity. 

Q. 22. What if any father got it ill, and left it me ? 

A. He can give you no right to that which he had none to 
himself; sinful keeping is theft, as well as sinful getting. 

Q. 23. What if the thing be so usual as well as small, as 
that none expect confession or restitution : as for boys to rob 
orchards ? 

A. Where you know it would not be well taken, restitution 
is no duty : but if you have opportunity, it is safest to con- 

Q. 24. Is it thievery to borrow and not pay ? 

A. Deceitful borrowers are of the worst sort of thieves, 
against whom one cannot so well save his purse as against 
others : and they would destroy all charitable lending, by des- 
troying mutual belief and trust. Many tradesmen that after 
break, do steal more, and wrong more, than many highway rob- 
bers that are hanged. But it is not all breakers that are so 
guilty. 1 " 

Q. 25. What borrowing is it that is theft? 

A. 1. When you have no intent to pay. 2. When you know 
that you are not able to pay, nor like to be able. 3. When 
there is a great hazard and danger of your not paying, with 
which you do not acquaint the lender, and so he consenteth not 
to run the hazard. 11 

Q. 26. What if it would crack my credit, and ruin my 
trade, if I should reveal the hazard and weakness of my 
estate ? 

A. You must not rob others for fear of ruin to yourself. If 
you take his money without his consent, you rob him. And no 
man that is ignorant is said to consent : if you hide that which 
would hinder him from consenting if he knew it, you have not 
really his consent, but rob him. 

»' Rom xiii. 8, 9, » Tsalm xxxvii. 21, 


Q. 27. What is the duty required in this eighth command- 

A. To further the prosperity or estate of your neighbour as 
you would do your own, that is, with the same sincerity. 

Q. 28. Must a man work at his trade for his neighbour as 
much as for himself; or as much use his estate for others ? 

A. I said ' with the same sincerity' not in the same man- 
ner and degree. For there are some duties of beneficence pro- 
per to ourselves as the objects, and some common to others. 
And as nature causeth the eye to wink for itself, and the gust 
to taste for itself immediately, and yet also consequently for 
every member's good, and principally for the whole man ; so 
every man must get, possess, and use, what he can immediately 
for himself. But as a member of the body which hath a due 
regard to the good of every member, and is more for the whole 
than for himself. 

Q. 29. Who be the greatest breakers of this command- 
ment ? 

A. 1. They that care for nobody but themselves, and think 
they may do with their own as they list, as if they were absolute 
proprietors, whereas they are but the stewards of God : and it 
is the pleasure of the flesh which is the use they think they may 
put all their estates to. 

2. Those that see their brother have need, and shut up the 
bowels of their compassion from him ; p that is, relieve him 
not when it is not for want of ability, but of compassion and 
will ; or that drop out some inconsiderable pittance to the poor, 
like the crumbs or bones to the dogs ; the leavings of the flesh, 
while they please their appetites and fancies with the rest, and 
live as he (Luke xvi.) who was clothed in purple and silk, and 
fared sumptuously or deliciously daily, while the poor at the 
door had but the scraps. That make so great a difference be- 
tween themselves and others as to prefer their own superfluities 
and pleasures before the necessities of others, even when mul- 
titudes live in distressing poverty. 

3. Those that live idly, because they are <i rich or slothful, 
and think they are bound to labour for none but themselves; 
whereas God bindeth all that are able to live in some profit- 

1 Cor. xii. 21 ; Eph. iv. 28. 

PDcut.xv. 8, 11; Eph. iv. 28; Jam. ii. 10 ; 1 John iii. 17; Matt, xxv.; 
Prov. xxxi. 20; Psalm Ixxii. 13 ; Ezek. xvi. 49. 
q Prov. xxxi. j 2 Thes. iii. 


able labour for others, and to give to them that need. So also 
they that by prodigality, drunkenness, gaming, luxury, or other 
excess, disable themselves to relieve the poor. 

4. Those that out of a covetous, worldly mind heap up riches 
for themselves and their children, 1 to leave a name and great 
estate behind them; (that their children may as hardly be saved 
as themselves ;) as if all that they can gather were their chil- 
dren's due, while others better than they are utterly ne- 

5. Those that give with grudging, or make too great a mat- 
ter of their gifts, and set too high a price upon them, and must 
have it even extorted from them. 

6. Those that neglect to pay due wages to them that labour 
for them, and would bring down the price below its worth, so 
that poor labourers cannot live upon it : and that strive in all 
their bargainings to have every thing as cheap as they can 
get it, without respect to the true worth or the necessities of 
others. s 

7. Those that help not to maintain their own families and 
kindred as far as they are able. 

Q. 30. Who are the greatest robbers, or breakers of both 
parts of this command, negative and preceptive ? 

A. 1 . Emperors, kings, and other chief rulers, who oppress 
the people, and impoverish them, while they are bound by office 
to be God's ministers for their good. 1 

2. Soldiers who, by unjust wars, destroy the countries, or, in 
just war, unjustly rob the people. O, the woeful ruins that 
such have made ! So that famine hath followed the poverty 
and desolation, to the death of thousands. 

3. Unrighteous judges, who for bribes or partiality, or cul- 
pable ignorance, do fine righteous men, or give away the estates 
of the just, and do wrong men by the pretence of law, right, 
and justice, and deprive the just of their remedy. 

4. Perfidious patrons, who simoniacally sell, or sacrilegiously 
alienate, the devoted maintenance of the church. 

5. Much more those rulers and prelates who factiouslv, mali- 
ciously, or otherwise culpably, silence and cast out faithful 
ministers, sacrilegiously alienating them from the work of 
Christ, and the church's service, to which they were consecrated 

r Nabal. s 1 Tim. v. 8 ; Jam. 4,5. 

1 Exod. iii. 9, 10 ; Psalm xii. 5, 6, and Ixxiii. 8 ; Prov. xxviii. 1G; Eccl.iv. 
1,2; 1 Sam. xii. 3, 4. 


and devoted, and casting them out of their public, ministerial 

0. All persecutors who unjustly fine men, and deprive them 
of their estates, for not sinning against God by omission or com- 
mission, especially when they ruin multitudes. 

7. Cruel, oppressing landlords, who set their poor tenants 
such hard bargains as they cannot live on. y 

8. Cruel lawyers, and other officers, who take such fees as 
undo the clients ; so that men that have not money to answer 
their covetous expectations, must lose their right. 

.9. Unmerciful physicians, who consider not the scarcity of 
money with the poor, but by chargeable fees, and apothecaries' 
bills, put men to die for want of money. 2 

10. Unmerciful usurers and creditors, that will not forgive a 
debt to the poor, who have it not to pay. 

11. People that rob the ministers of their tithes. 

12. Cheaters, who by gaming, false plays, and tricks of craft, 
or false writings, concealments, or by quirks in law that are 
contrary to equity, do beguile men of their right. a And espe- 
cially the poor, who cannot contend with them ; vea, and some 
their own kindred. 


Of the Ninth Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the ninth commandment? 

A. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neigh- 

Q. 2. What is it which is herein forbidden ? 

A. All falsehood injurious to the innocency, right, or reputa- 
tion of another; especially in witness-bearing, accusations, or 
judgments, contrary to public justice. The act forbidden is 
falsehood; the object against which it is done is our neigh- 
bour's good or right of any sort ; whether his good name, or 
estate, or life, especially as it perverteth the hearer's judgment 
and love, or public justice. 1 ' 

* 2 Cor. vii. 2. > I s ,i. v. 7 ; Jcr. vi. G. 

2 Isa. iii. 12; xvi. 4, and x'x. 20. 

a Lev. xix. 13 ; 1 Cor. vi 7, 8; 1 Thos. iv. G. 

b Lev. xix. 11 ; Piov. xv. 4. 


Q. 3. Is all lying here forbidden, or only injurious lying? 

A. All lying is injurious, and forbidden. 

Q. 4. What injury doth a jesting lie do to any one ? or a 
lie which only saveth the speaker from some hurt, without 
hurting any other ? Yea, some lies seem to be profitable and 
necessary. As if a parent, or physician, tell a lie to a child or 
patient, to get them to take a medicine to save their lives ; or a 
subject tell a lie to a traitor, or enemy, to save the life of the 
king; tell me, 1 pray you, why God forbiddeth all such lies? 

A. 1. You must consider, that God is the Author of order; 
and order is to the world its useful disposition to its operations 
and ends. Just as it is to a clock, or watch, or a coach, or 
ship, or any such engine ; disorder the parts, and it is good for 
nothing. A kingdom, army, church, or any society, is essen- 
tiated by order, without which it is destroyed. And the world 
of mankind being made up of individual persons, the ordering 
of particular men is the chief thing to the order of the human 
world. As we die, when disorder of parts or humours maketh 
the body incapable of the soul's operations, so a man's soul is 
vitiated and dead to its chief ends, when its order is overthrown. 
All godliness and morality is nothing but the right order of the 
dispositions and acts of man, in our subordination to the 
governing will of God, which is our law. It is not another 
substance that grace maketh in us, but another order. And 
all sin is nothing but the contrary disorder ; and that man's 
words be the true and just expression of his mind is a great 
part of the order of his words, without which it were better 
man were speechless. 

And, 2. You must consider, that God hath made man a 
sociable creature, and each one a part of the world, which is 
one kingdom of God, the universal King. And that each part 
is more for the whole than for itself, because the common wel- 
fare of the whole is better than of any part, as being a higher 
end of government, and more illustriously showing the glory of 

And, 3. You must consider, that because God only knoweth 
the heart, there can be no society and conversation but by words, 
and other signs. And that without mutual trust there can be 
no society of love, concord, or mutual help. But utter distrust 
is a virtual war. There can be no prince and subjects, no 
husband and wife, no pastor and flocks, without some trust. 

c Col. iii. 9] Hev. xxi. 17, and xxii 15. 


And trustiness is truth-telling. So far as a man is taken for a 
liar, he is not believed or trusted. 4 

4. You must consider, that if God should leave it to man's 
discretion in what cases to lie, and in what not, and did not 
absolutely forbid it, selfishness, interest, and folly, would scarce 
leave any credibility or trustiness in mankind; for how can I 
know whether your judgment now bid you not lie, for some 
reason that I know not ? 

5. So that you see that leave to lie when we think it harm- 
less would be but to pluck up a flood-gate of all deceit, untrusti- 
ness, and utter confusion, which would shame, and confound, 
and ruin societies and the world. And then it is easy to know 
that it is better that any man's commodity or life miscarry 
(which yet was scarce ever done merely for want of a lie), than 
that the world should be thus disordered and confounded. As 
men sick of the plague must be shut up rather than go about 
to infect the city ; and some houses must be blown up rather 
than the fire not be stopped. And as soldiers burn suburbs to 
save a city, &c, so no man's private good must be pretended for 
the corruption and misery of the world. e 

6. And remember that lying is the devil's character and 
work, and so the work and character of his servants. And 
truth is the effect of God's perfection, and his veracity so neces- 
sary to mankind, that without it we could have no full assur- 
ance of the future blessedness which he hath promised. If 
God could lie, our hopes were all shaken ; for we should be 
still uncertain whether his word be true. And God's laws and 
his image must signify his perfection/ 

Q. 5. Wherein doth the truth of words consist? 

A. In a threefold respect: 1. In a suitable significancy of 
the matter. 2. In an agreeable significancy of the mind of 
the speaker. 3. And both these, as suited to the information 
of the hearer. 

Q. 6. What is false speaking ? 

A. 1. That which is so disagreeable to the matter as to 
represent it falsely. 2. That which is so disagreeable to the 
speaker's mind as to represent it falsely to another. 3. That 
which speaketh the matter and mind aptly as to themselves 
and other hearers, but so as the present hearer, who we know 

d Prov. vi. 17 ; xii. 19, 22 ; xiii. 5, and xvii. 7 ; 1 Tim. i. 10. 

e Rom. iii. 7. 

f 1 Kings xxii. 22 ; John viii. 44 ; Tit. i. 2 ; Heb. vi. 18. 


takes the words in another sense, will by our design be deceived 
by them. B 

Q. 1 . Is all false speaking lying, or what is a lie ? 

A. Lying properly, signifieth a culpable speaking of false- 
hood ; and it hath divers degrees of culpability. When false- 
hood is spoken without the speaker's fault, it is not morally to 
be called a lie. Though improperly the Hebrews called any 
thing a lie which would deceive those that trust in it; and so 
all men and creatures, though blameless, are liars to such as 
overtrust them. h 

Q. 8. Which are the divers degrees of lying, or culpable 
false speaking ? 

A. 1. One is privative; when men falsely represent things 
by diminutive expressions. Things may be falsely represented 
by defective as well as by excessive speeches. He that speaks 
of God, and heaven, and holiness, faintly as good, saith a gram- 
matical truth ; but if he speak not of them as best, or excellent, 
it is, morally, a false expression through defect. He that saith 
coldly, e To murder, to be perjured, to silence Christ's minis- 
ters unjustly is not well,' as Eli said of his sons' wickedness ; or 
only saith, ( I cannot justify it,' or ' It is hard to justify it,' 
saith a grammatical truth ; but a moral falsehood, by the exten- 
uating words, as if he would persuade the hearer to think it 
some small or doubtful matter, and so to be impenitent. 

2. He that speaketh falsely through rashness, heedlessness, 
neglect of just information, or any ignorance which is culpable, 
is guilty of some degree of lying ; but he that knowingly speak- 
eth falsely, is a liar in a higher degree. 

3. He that by culpable forgetfulness speaks falsely, is to be 
blamed ; but he that remembereth and studieth it, much more. 

4. He that lieth in a small matter, which seemeth not to 
hurt, but perhaps to profit, the hearer, is to be blamed ; but he 
that lieth in great matters, and to the great hurt of others, 
much more. 

5. He that speaketh either contrary to his mind, or contrary 
to the matter culpably, lieth ; but he that speaketh both con- 
trary to his mind and the matter, lieth worse. 

6. He that by equivocation useth unapt and unsuitable ex- 
pressions, to deceive him that will misunderstand them, is to 
be blamed ; but he that will stand openly, bold-faced, in a lie, 
much more. 

b Rom. Hi. 4. 

h Prov. xii. 17 ; Psalm lii. 4 ; c.wi. 11, anil cxx. 7 ; E(»li.v. G. 


7. It is sin to speak untruths of our own, which we might 
avoid; but it is much worse to father them on God, or the holy 
Scripture. 1 

8. It is sin, by falsehood, to deceive one ; but much more to 
deceive multitudes, even whole assemblies, or countries. 

9. It is sin in a private man to lie to another about small 
things ; but much more heinous for a ruler, or a preacher, to 
deceive multitudes, even in matters of salvation. 

10. It is a sin rashly to drop a falsehood ; but much greater 
to write books, or dispute for it, and justify it. 

11. It is a sin to lie from a good intent ; but much more out 
of envy, malice, or malignity. 

12. It is a sin to lie in private talk; but much more to lie 
to a magistrate or judge who hath power to examine us. 

13. It is a sin to assert an untruth as aforesaid; but much 
greater to swear it, or offer it to God in our profession or vows. 

Q. 9. Is all deceiving of another a sin ? 

A. No; there is great difference, 1. Between deceiving one 
that I am bound to inform, and one that I am not bound to 
inform. 2. And between deceiving one to his benefit or harm- 
lessly, and to his hurt and injury. 3. And between deceiving 
him by just means, and by unjust, forbidden means. 

1. I am under no obligation to inform a robber, or an usurp- 
ing persecutor, as such ; but to others I may be obliged to open 
the truth. 

II. I may deceive a patient, or child, to profit him, when I 
may not do it to hurt him. 

III. I may deceive such as I am not bound to inform, by my 
silence, or my looks, or gestures, which I suppose he will mis- 
understand, when I may not deceive him by a lie. 

Q. 10. Is it not all one to deceive one way or another? 

A. No; 1. I am not bound to open my mind to all men. 
What right hath a thief to know my goods or my heart; or a 
persecutor to know where I hide myself? 

2. But I have before largely showed you that lying is so great 
an evil against common trust and society in the world, as is not 
to be used for personal commodity or safety. 

3. And other signs, looks, and gestures being not appointed 
for the natural and common indications of the mind, are more 
left to human liberty and prudence, to use for lawful ends. As 
Christ (Luke xxiv.) made by his motion, as if he would have 

'' 1 Cor, xv. 15 ; 1 John v. 10. 


gone further ; and even by words about Caesar's tribute, and 
other cases, concealed his mind, and oft denied the pharisees a 
resolution of questions which they put to him. Stratagems in a 
lawful war are lawful, when, by actual shows and seemings, an 
enemy is deceived. 

Q. 11. But the Scriptures mention many instances of equi- 
vocation and flat lying, in the Egyptian midvvives, in Rahab, in 
David, and many others, without blame, and some of them with 
great commendation and reward. (Heb. xi.) 

A. 1. It is God's law that tells us what is sin and duty, when 
the history oft tells us but what was done, and not how far it was 
well or ill done. 

2. It is not the lie that is commended in the midwives and 
Rahab, but their faith aiid charity. 

3. That which God pardoneth, as he did polygamy and rash 
divorce, to godly men that are upright in the main, and especially 
such as knew it not to be sin, is not thereby justified ; nor will it 
be so easily pardoned to us, who live in the clearer gospel light. 

Q. 1 2. But when the Scripture saith that all men are liars, and 
sad experience seemeth to confirm it, what credit do we owe 
to men, and what certainty is there of any history ? 

A. History, by writing or verbal tradition, is of so great use 
to the world, that Satan maketh it a chief part of his work, as 
he is the deceiver and enemy of mankind; to corrupt it : and 
false history is a most heinous sin, and dangerous snare, by 
which the great deceiver keeps up his kingdom in the world. 
Heathenism, Mahometanism, popery, heresy, and malignity, 
and persecution, are all maintained by false tradition and his- 
tory. Therefore we must not be too hasty or confident in be- 
lieving man; and yet denying just belief will be our sin and 
great loss. 

Q. 13. How then shall we know what and whom to believe ? 

A. 1. We must believe no men that speak against God or his 
word: for we are sine that God cannot lie; and the Scripture is 
his infallibly sealed word. 

2. We must believe none that speak against the light of na- 
ture and common notices of all mankind ; for that were to re- 
nounce humanity : and the law of nature is God's first law. 
But it is not the sentiments of nature, as depraved, which is this 

3. We must believe no men against the common senses of 
makind, exercised on their duly qualified objects. Faith con- 

VOL. xix. H 


tradicteth not common sense, though it go above it. We are 
men before we are Christians, and sense and reason are presup- 
posed to faith. The doctrine which saith there is no bread nor 
wine, after consecration, in the sacrament, doth give the lie to 
the eyes, taste, and feeling, and intellectual perception of all 
sound men, and therefore is not to be believed ; for if sense be 
not to be trusted, we know not that there is a church, or a man, 
or a Bible, or any thing in the world, and so nothing can be be- 
lieved. Whether all sound senses may be deceived or not, God 
hath given us no surer way of certainty. 

4. Nothing is to be believed against the certain interest of 
all mankind, and tending to their destruction. That which 
would damn souls, or deny their immortality and future hope, 
or ruin the christian world or nations, is not to be believed to 
be duty or lawful ; for truth is for good, and faith is for felicity, 
and no man is bound to such destructive things. 1 

5. Nothing is to be believed as absolutely certain, which 
depends on the mere honesty of the speakers ; for all men are 
liable to mistake, or lie. 

6. The more ignorant, malicious, unconscionable, factious, and 
siding any man is, the less credible he is ; and the wiser and 
nearer to the action any man is, and the more conscionable, 
peaceable, and impartial he is, the more credible he is. An 
enemy speaking well of a man, is far more credible than a friend: 
multitudes, as capable and honest, are more credible than one. 

7. As that certainty which is called moral, as depending on 
men's freewill, is never absolute, but hath many degrees, as the 
witness is more or less credible; so there is a certainty by men's 
report, tradition, or history, which is physical, and wholly infal- 
lible, as that there is such a place as Rome, Paris, &c, and that 
the statutes of the land were made by such kings and parlia- 
ments to whom they are ascribed ; and that there have been 
such kings, &c. For proof of which know, 1. That besides the 
free acts, the will hath some acts as necessarv as it is to the fire 
to burn, viz., to love ourselves and felicity, and more such. 
2. That when all men of contrary interest, friends and foes, 
agree in a matter that hath sensible evidence, it is the effect of 
such a necessitating cause. 3. And there is no cause in nature 
that can make them so agree in a lie. Therefore it is a natural 
certainty. Look back to the sixth chapter. 

Q. 13. Why is false witness in judgment so great a sin. 

1 1 John iv. 1 , 2. 


A. Because it containeth in all these odious crimes con- 
junct : 1. A deliberate lie. 2. The wrongful hurting of another 
contrary to the two great principles of converse, justice and 
love. 3. It depriveth the world of the benefit of government and 
judicatures. 4. It turneth them into the plague and ruin of the 
innocent. 5. It blasphemeth or dishonoured God, by whose 
authority rulers judge, as if he set up officers to destroy us by 
false witness, or knew it not, or would not revenge injustice. 
6. It overthroweth human converse and safety, when witnesses 
may destroy whom they please, if they can but craftily agree. k 

Q. 14. Is there noway to prevent this danger to mankind? 

A. God can do it. If he give wise and righteous rulers to 
the world they may do much towards it ; but wicked rulers use 
false witness as the devil doth, for to destroy the just, as Jeze- 
bel did. 

Q. 15. How should rulers avoid it? 

A. 1. By causing teachers to open the danger of it to the 
people. 2. Some old canons made invalid the witness of all 
notorious wicked men : how can he be trusted in an oath, that 
maketh no conscience of drunkenness, fornication, lying, or 
other sin ? 

Q. 16. How, then, are so few destroyed by false witnesses ? 

A. It is the wonderful providence of God, declaring himself 
the Governor of the world ; that when there are so many thou- 
sand wicked men who all have a mortal hatred to the godly, and 
will daily swear and lie for nothing; and any two of these 
might take away our lives at pleasure, there are yet so few this 
way cut off. But God hath not left himself without witness 
in the world, and hath revenged false witness on many, and 
made conscience a terrible accuser for this crime. 

Q. 17. What is the positive duty of the ninth commandment? 

A. 1. To do justice to all men in our places. 

2. To defend the innocent to the utmost of our just power. 
If a lawyer will not do it for the love of justice and man, with- 
out a fee when he cannot have it, he breaketh this command- 

3. To reprove backbiters, and tell them of their sin. 

4. To give no scandal, but to live so blamelessly that slan- 
derers may not be believed. 

k Matt. xxvi. 62, and xxvii. 13; Mark xiv. 55, 56 ; Num. xxxv. 30; Acts 
vi. 13; Deut. xix. 16—18; Prov. vi. 19; xii. 17 ; xxi. 28, andxxv. 18 ; Psalm 
xxxv. 11. ' Prov. xix. 5, 9. 

R 2 



5. On all just occasions especially to defend the reputation 
of the gospel, godliness, and good men, the cause and laws of 
God, and not silently for self-saving, to let Satan and his agents 
make them odious by lies, to the seduction of the people's 
souls. n 

Of the Tenth Commandment. 

Q. 1. What are the words of the tenth commandment? 

A. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt 
not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his 
maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy 

Q. 2. What is forbidden here, and what commanded? 

A. 1. In some, the thing forbidden is selfishness, and the thing 
commanded is to love our neighbour as ourselves. 

Q. 3. Is not this implied in the five foregoing command- 
ments ? 

A. Yes ; and so is our love to God in all the nine last. But 
because there are many more particular instances of sin and 
duty that can be distinctly named and remembered, God thought 
it meet to make two general, fundamental commandments, which 
should contain them all, which Christ called the first and second 
commandment; " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart," &c. And "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The 
first is the summary and root of all the duties of the other nine, 
and especially of the second, third, and fourth. The other is the 
summary of the second table duties ; and it is placed last, as 
being instead of all unnamed instances. As the captain leads 
the soldiers, and the lieutenant brings up the rear. 

Q. 4. What mean you by the sin of selfishness ? 

A. I mean that inordinate self-esteem, self-love, and self-seek- 
ing, with the want of a due, proportionate love to others, which 
engageth men against the good of others, and inclineth them to 
draw from others to themselves : it is not an inordinate love of 
ourselves, but a diseased self-love. 1 ' 

« Prov. xxv. 23 ; Psalm xv. 3, 5. 

° Matt. xix. 19 ; Luke x. 27 ; Rom. xiii. 9; Lev. xvi. 24 ; Mark viii. 34. 

p Jer. xlv. 5 ; Matt. xvi. 22, 23 ; Luke xiv. 20, 29, 32, 33. 


Q. 5. When is self-love ordinate, and when is it sinful? 

A. That which is ordinate, 1. Valueth not a man's self 
blindly above his worth. 2. It employeth a man in a due care 
of his own holiness, duty, and salvation. 3. It regardeth our- 
selves but as little members of the common great body, and 
therefore inclineth us to love others as ourselves, without much 
partial disproportion, according to the divers degrees of their 
amiahleness, and to love public good, the church and world, 
and, much more, God above ourselves. 4. Itmakethus studious 
to do good to others, and rejoice in it as our own, rather than 
to draw from them to ourselves.* 1 

II. Sinful selfishness, 1. Doth esteem, and love, and see self- 
interest above its proper worth : it is over- deeply affected with 
all our concerns. 2. It hath a low, disproportionate love and 
regard of all others' good. 3. And when it groweth to full ma- 
lignity, it maketh men envy the prosperity of others, and covet 
that which is theirs, and desire and rejoice in their disgrace and 
hurt, when they stand against men's selfish wills, and to endea- 
vour to draw from others to ourselves : selfishness is to the soul 
like an inflammation or imposthume to the body; which draweth 
the blood and spirits to itself from their due and common course, 
till they corrupt the inflamed part. 

Q. 6. What mean you by loving others as ourselves ? 

A. Loving them as members of the same body or society 
(the world or the church as they are) impartially with a love 
proportionable to their worth, and such a careful, practical, for- 
giving, patient love, as we love ourselves/ 

Q. 7. But God hath made us individual persons, with so 
peculiar a self love, that no man can possibly love another as 

A. 1. You must distinguish between sensitive natural love, 
and rational love. 2. And between corrupt and sanctified nature. 

1. Natural sensitive love is stronger to one's self (that is, 
more sensible of self-interest) than to all the world. I feel 
not another's pain or pleasure, in itself: I hunger and thirst for 
myself: a mother hath that natural sensitive love to her own 
natural child (like that of brutes) which she hath not for any 
other. 8 

2. Rational love valueth, and loveth, and preferreth every 

i Phil. ii. 4, 21 ; 1 Cor. xii., and x. 24. 

" Col. iii. 12, 13 ; 1 Cor. xiii. ; Eph. iv. 1,2. 

9 Trov. xiv. 10. 


thing according to the degree of its amiableness, that is, its 

8. Rational love destroyeth not sensitive ; but it moderateth 
and ruleth it, and commandeth the will and practice to prefer, 
and desire, and seek, and delight in higher things (as reason 
ruleth appetite, and the rider the horse) ; and so deny and for- 
sake all carnal or private interests, that stand against a greater 

4. Common reason tells a man, that it is an unreasonable 
thing in him that would not die to save a kingdom; much more 
that when he is to love both himself and the kingdom insepa- 
rably, yet cannot love a kingdom, yea, or more excellent persons, 
above himself. But yet it is sanctification that must effectually 
overcome inordinate self-love, and clearly illuminate this reason, 
and make a man obev it. 4 

5. To conquer this selfishness is the sum of all mortification, 
and the greatest victory in this world: and therefore it is here 
perfectly done by none : but it is done most where there is the 
greatest love to God, and to the church and public good, and to 
our neighbours. 

Q. 8. What is the sinfulness and the hurt of selfishness? 

A. 1. It is a fundamental error and blindness in the judg- 
ment: we are so many poor worms and little things; and if an 
ant or worm had reason, should it think its life, or ease, or other 
interest, more valuable than a man's, or than all the country's ? 

2. It is a fundamental pravity and disorder of man's will : it is 
made to love good as good, and therefore to love most the 
greatest good. 

3. Yea, it blindly casteth down, and trampleth on, all good in 
the world which is above self-interest. For this prevailing self- 
ishness taketh a man's self for his ultimate end, and all things 
else but as means to his own interest : God and heaven, and all 
societies and all virtue, seem no further good to him than they 
are for his own good and welfare. And selfishness so over- 
eometh reason in some, as to make them dispute for this funda- 
mental error as a truth, that there is nothing to be accounted 
good by me, but that which is good to me as my interest or 
welfare : and so that which is good to others is not, therefore, 
good to me. u 

1 1 Cor. x. 33 ; Tit. i. 8 ; Jam. iii. 15, 17 ; Col. i. 24. 

u Prov. iii. 5; xx.. 0; xxiii. 4; xxv. 27; xxvi. 5, 12,16; xxvii. 2, and 
xxviii. 11. 


4. And thus it blasphemously deposeth God in the mind of 
the sinner; making him no further good to us than as he is 
a means to our good ; and so he is set quite below ourselves : 
as if he had not made us for himself, and to love him as God, 
for his own goodness. 

5. I told you before (of the first commandment) how this 
maketh every man his own idol, to be loved above God. 

6. Yea, that the selfish would be the idols of the world, and 
have all men conformed to their judgment, wills, and words. 

7. A selfish man is an enemy to the public peace of all soci- 
eties, and of all true unity and concord : for whereas holy per- 
sons as such have all one centre, law, and end, even God and his 
will, the selfish have as many ends, and centres, and laws as they 
are persons. So that while every one would have his own in- 
terest, will, and lust, to be the common rule and centre, it is by 
the wonderful, overruling power of God that any order is kept 
up in the world ; and because when they cannot be all kings, 
they agree to make that use of kings which they think will serve 
their interest best. 

8. A selfish man so far can be no true friend ; for he lov- 
eth his friend but as a dog doth his master, for his own 

9. A selfish person is so far untrusty, and so false in converse 
and all relations ; for he chooseth, and changeth, and useth all, 
as he thinks his own interest requireth. If he be a tradesman, 
believe him no further than his interest binds him ; if he be a 
minister, he will be for that doctrine and practice which is for 
his carnal interest; if he be a ruler, wo to his inferiors ! And 
therefore it is the highest point in policy, next conscience and 
common obedience to God, to contrive, if possible, so to twist 
the interest of princes and people, that both may feel that thevare 
inseparable, and that they must live, and thrive, or die, together . x 

10. In a word, inordinate selfishness is the grand pravity of 
nature, and the disease and confusion of all the world : what- 
ever villanies, tyrannies, rebellions, heresies, persecutions, or 
wickedness yo,u read of in all history, or hear of now on earth, 
all is but the effects of this adhering by inordinate self-love to 
self-interest. And if Paul say of one branch of its effects, "The 
love of money is the root of all evil," we may well sav it of 
this radical, comprehensive sin. 

Q. 9. Alas ! who is it that is not selfish ? How common is 

x Phil. ii. 4,21. 


this sin ! Are there then any saints on earth ; or any hope of a 

A. It is so common and so strong, as that, 1. All Christ- 
ians should most fear it, and watch, and pray, and strive against 
it. 2. And all preachers should more open the evil of it than 
they do, and live themselves as against it and ahove it. 

1. How much do most over-value their own dark judgments 
and weak reasonings, in comparison of others ! y 

2. How commonly do men measure the wisdom or folly, 
goodness or badness, of other men, as they are for or against 
their selfish interest, opinions, side, or way ! 

3. How impatient are men if self-will, reputation, or interest, 
be crossed ! 

4. How will thev stretch conscience in words, deeds, or bar- 
gaining for gain ! 

5. How soon will they fall out with friends or kindred, if 
money or reputation come to a controversy between them ! 

6. How little feeling pity have they for another in sickness, 
poverty, prison, or grief, if they be but well themselves ! 

7. How ordinarily doth interest of body, reputation, wealth, 
corrupt and change men's judgment in religion : so that selfish- 
ness and fleshly interest chooseth not only other conditions and 
actions of life, but also the religion of most men, yea, of too 
many teachers of self-denial. 1 

S. And if godly people find this and lament it, how weakly 
do they resist it, and how little do they overcome it. 

9. And though every truly godly man prefer the interest of 
his soul above that of his body, how few get above a religion of 
caring and fearing for themselves ; to study more the church's 
good, and, more than that, to live in the delightful love of God, 
as the infinite good. 

10. And of those that love the church of God; how many 
narrow it to their sect or party, and how few have an universal 
impartial love to all true Christians, as such. a 

Q. 10. Where then are the saints, if this be so ? 

A. All this sin is predominant in ungodly men ; (saving that 
common grace so far overcometh it in some few, that they can 
venture and lose their estates and lives for their special friends, 
and for their country;) but in all true Christians it is but in a 
subdued degree. b They hate it more than they love it : they 

r 1 Kings xxii. 8 ; 2 Chron. xviii. 7. l 1 John ii. 15. 

11 Col. i. 4, 8. b 2Tim. iii. 2. 


all love God and his church with a far higher estimation than 
themselves, though with less passion. They would forsake 
estate and life, rather than forsake Christ and a holy life. c They 
were not true Christians if they had not learned to bear the 
cross, and suffer. They seek and hope for that life of perfect 
love and unity, where selfishness shall never more divide us. 

Q. 11. What is it that maketh the love of others so great a 

A. 1. It is but to love God, his interest and image in others. 
No man hath seen God ; but rational souls, and especially holy 
ones, are his image, in which we must see and love him. And 
there is no higher duty than to love God. 

2. Love maketh us meet and useful members in all societies, 
especially in the church of God. It maketh all to love the 
common good above their own. 

3. It maketh all men use their utmost power for the good of 
all that need them. 

4. It overcometh temptations to hurtfulness and division ; it 
teacheth men patiently to bear and forbear; it is the greatest 
keeper of peace and concord. As one soul uniteth all parts of 
the body, one spirit of love uniteth all true believers. It is the 
cement of individuals ; the vital, healing balsam which doth more 
than art to cure our wounds. d 

If all magistrates loved the people as themselves, how would 
they use them ? If bishops and teachers loved others as them- 
selves, and were as loth to hurt them as to be hurt, and to 
reproach them as be reproached, and to deliver them from 
poverty, prison, or danger, as to be safe themselves, what do 
you think would be the consequent ? 

How few would study to make others odious, or to ruin them ? 
How few would backbite them, or censoriously condemn them, 
if they loved them as themselves ? If all this city and kingdom 
loved each other as themselves, what a foretaste would it be of 
heaven on earth ! how delightfully should we all live together ! 
every man would have the good of all others to rejoice in as his 
own, and be as ready to relieve another as the right hand will 
the left. We can too easily forgive ourselves our faults and 
errors, and so should bear with others. e 

Love is our safety : who is afraid of any one who he thinks 

c Luke xiv. 20, 27, 33 ; 1 Cor. xiii. 

d 1 Cor. xii. ; Eph.'iv. 1—3, 16; Rom. xii, 9, 10. 

e 2 Cor. ii. 4, 8, and viii. 7, 8, 24. 


loveth him as himself? Who is afraid that he should persecute, 
imprison, or destroy himself, unless by ignorance or distraction? 
Love is the delight of life, when it is mutual, and is not disap- 
pointed : what abundance of fears, and cares, and passions, and 
lawsuits, would it end ? It is the fulfilling of the preceptive part 
of the law ; and as to the penal part, there is no use for it 
where love prevaileth. To such, saith Paul, there is no law ; 
they are not without it, but above it, so far as it worketh by 

5. Love is the preparation and foretaste of glory. Fear, 
care, and sorrow, are distantly preparing works ; but it is joyful 
love, which is the immediate preparation and foretaste. There 
is no war, no persecution, no hatred, wrath, or strife in heaven ; 
but perfect love, which is the uniting grace, will there more 
nearly unite all saints, than we that are in a dividing world and 
body can now conceive of, or perfectly believe. 

Q. 1 2. Is there any hope that love should reign on earth ? ? 

A. There is hope that all the sound believers should increase 
in love, and get more victory over selfishness. For they have 
all that spirit of love, and obey Christ's last and great command, 
and are taught of God to love one another ; yea, they dwell in 
love, and so in God, and God in them ; and it will grow up to 

But I know of no hope that the malignant seed of Cain should 
cease the hating of them that are the holy seed, save as grace 
converteth any of them to God. Of any common or universal 
reign of love, I see no prognostics of it in rulers, in teachers, 
or any others in the world ; prophecies are dark ; but my great- 
est hope is fetched from the three first petitions of the Lord's 
prayer, which are not to be put up in vain. 

Q. 13. What should we do toward the increase of love? 

A. 1. Live so blamelessly, that none may find just matter 
of hatred in you. h 

2. Love others, whether they love you or not. Love is the 
most powerful cause of love. 

3. Do hurt to none, but by necessary justice or defence ; and 
do as much good as you can to all. 

4. Praise all that is good in men, and mention not the evil 
without necessity. 

f Rom. xiii. 10 ; Gal. v. C, 13, 22 ; Phil. i. 15, 17, and ii. 1—3 ; 1 Thess. iv. 4 ; 
1 Tim. vi. 11 ; Hcb. xiii. 1, 2; 1 John iv. 7, 18 ; Eph. iv. 10. 
b Jam. ii. 8. h 1 Pet. ii. 17, and iii. 8. 


5. Do all that you can to make men holy, and win them to 
the love of God ; and then they will love each other by his 
Spirit, and for his sake. 

6. Do all that you can to draw men from sinful, worldly love ; 
for that love of the world which is enmity to God, is also 
enmity to the love of one another. Further than you can draw 
men to centre in Christ, and in holy love, there is no hope of 
true love to others. 

7. Patiently suffer wrongs, rather than provoke men to hate 
you, by unnecessarily seeking your right or revenge. 

Q. 14. Is all desire of another man's unlawful ? 

A. All that is to his hurt, loss, and wrong. You may desire 
another man's daughter to wife, by his consent ; or his house, 
horse, or goods, when he is willing to sell them ; but not else. 1 

Q. 15. But what if in gaming, betting, or trading, I desire to 
get from him, though to his loss ? 

A. It is a covetous, selfish, sinful desire : you must desire to 
get nothing from him to his loss and hurt. 

Q. 16. But what if he consent to run the hazard, as in a horse 
race, a game, a wager, &c. ? It is no wrong to a consenter. 

A. The very desire of hurtful drawing from him to yourself 
is selfish sin : if he consent to the hazard, it is also his covetous 
desire to gain from you, and his sin is no excuse for yours ; and 
you may be sure it was not the loss that he consented to ; but 
if he do it as a gift, it is another case. k 

Q. 17« What be the worst sorts of covetousness ? 

A. 1. When the son wisheth his father's death for his estate. 

2. When men that are old, and near the grave, still covet 
what they are never like to need or use. 

3. When men that have abundance, are never satisfied, but 
desire more. 

4. When they will get it by lying, extortion, or other wicked 
means, even by perjury and blood, as Jezebel and Ahab got 
Naboth's vineyard. 

5. When princes, not content with their just dominions, 
invade other men's, and plague the world with unjust wars, 
blood, and miseries, to enlarge them. 1 

Q. 18. How differ charity and justice ? 

A. Charity loveth all, because there is somewhat in them 

'' Psalm x. 3 ; 1 Cor. v. 10, 11, and vi. 10; Eph. v. 5 ; Luke xii. 15. 
* Acts xx. 33; 1 Tim. vi. 10. 

1 Josh. vii. 21 ; Mich, ii.2; Prov. xxi. 26, and xxviii. 16; Hab. ii.9; Exod. 
xviii. 21, 


lovely; and doth them good without respect to their right, 
because we love them. Justice respecteth men as in the same 
governed society (under God or man) and so giveth every man 
his due. 

Q. 19. Is it love or justice that saith, " Whatever you would 
that men should do to you, do ye also to them ? " 

A. It is both. Justice saith, ' Do right to all, and wrong to 
none, as you would have them do to you.' Charity saith, 'Love, 
and pity, and relieve all in your power, as you would have them 
love, pity, and relieve you.' 

Q. 20. Hath this law no exceptions ? 

A. It supposeth that your own will, for yourselves, be just and 
good ; if you would have another make you drunk, or draw you 
to any sinful or unclean pleasure, you may not therefore do so 
bv them. But do others such right and good as you may 
lawfully desire they should do to you. 

Q. 21. What are those foundations on which this law is 
built ? 

A. I. That as God hath made us individual persons, so he is 
the free distributor of his allowance to every person, and there- 
fore we must be content with his allowance, and not covet more. 

2. That God hath made us for holiness, and endless happiness 
in heaven : and therefore we must not so love this world 
as to covet fulness, and desire more of it than God allow- 
eth us. m 

3. That God hath made every man a member of the human 
world, and every Christian a member of the church, and no one 
to be self-sufficient, or independent, as a world to himself. 
And therefore, all men must love themselves but as members of 
the body, and love the body, or public good, above themselves, 
and love other members, as their place and the common inter- 
est doth require." 

4. That we are not our own, but his that did create us and 
redeem us : and therefore must love ourselves and others, as 
his, and according to his will and interest ; and not as the 
selfish, narrow interest tempteth us. 

5. That the faithful are made spiritual by the sanctifying 
Spirit, and therefore savour the things of the Spirit, and refer all 
outward things thereto ; and therefore must not so over-value 

m Heb. xiii. 5 ; 1 Tim. vi. 8 ; Phil. iv. 11 ; 1 John ii. 15 j Psalm cxix. 36 j 
F.zek. xxxiii. 31. 
1 Cor. xii. ; vi. 20, and vii. 23. 


provision for the flesh, as to covet and draw from others for his 

So that, 1. As the first greatest command engageth us wholly 
to God, as our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, against that 
selfishness, which is the idol enemy to God, including the 
privation of our love to him, and against the trinity of his 
enemies ; the flesh, which would he first pleased ; the world, 
which it would he pleased hy ; and the devil, who deceiveth and 
tempteth men hy such haits of pleasure ; even so this tenth 
(which is the second summary command) engageth us to love 
God in our brethren, and to love them according to his interest 
in them, as members of the same society, with an impartial 
love, against that selfishness, which is the enemy of impartial 
love, and common good ; and against the lust of the flesh, 
which would be first pleased ; and the world, which is the pro- 
vision which it coveteth ; and the devil, who would, by such 
worldly baits, and fleshly pleasure, deceive mankind into ungod= 
liness, sensuality, malignity, mutual enmity, contention, oppres- 
sion, persecution, perfuliousness, and all iniquity ; and finally 
into endless misery, in separation from the God of love, and the 
heavenly, perfected, united society of love.P 

And this is the true meaning of the tenth commandment. 


Of the Sacred Ministry, and Church, and Worship. 

Q. 1. Though you have opened the doctrine of the catholic 
church and the communion of saints before, in expounding the 
Creed, because the sacraments cannot be understood without the 
ministry and church, will you first tell us what the ministerial 
office is ? 

A. The sacred ministry is an office instituted by Christ, in 
subordination to his prophetical office to teach ; and to his 
priestly office, to intercede in worship ; and to his kingly office, 
to be key-bearers of his church, to try and judge of men's title 
to its communion : and this for the converting of the infidel 

° Rom. viii. 6—8, and xiii. 13 ; Luke xii. 21 ; Matt. vii. 22. 
p Eph. v. 3 ; Col. iii. 5. 


world, the gathering them into the christian communion, and 
the helping, guiding, and edifying them therein.* 

Q. 2. Are they ministers in office to any hut the church ? 

A. Yes : their first work is upon the world, to make them 
Christians, and gather them into the church by teaching and 
baptising them. 8 

Q. 3. Is not that the common work of laymen, that are no 
officers ? 

A. Laymen must do their best in their capacity and station ; 
but 1. Officers do it as separated to this work, as their calling. 
2. And accordingly do it by a special commission and authority 
from Christ. 3. And are tried, chosen, and dedicated thereto, 
as specially qualified. 

Q. 4. What must Christ's ministers say and do for the 
world's conversion ? 

A. Luke xiv., and Matt, xxii., tell you : they must tell men of 
the marriage- feast, the blessed provision of grace and glory by 
Christ, and, by evidence and urgency, compel them to come in. 
More particularly: 

1 . They must speak to sinners as from God, and in his name, 
with a " Thus saith the Lord." They must manifest their commis- 
sion, or at least that the message which they bring, is his ; that 
men may know with whom they have to do ; and that he that 
despiseth, despiseth not men, but God.* 

2. They must make known to sinners their sinful, danger- 
ous, and miserable state, to convince them of the necessity of 
a Saviour. As if they should say, ' He that hath no sin, that 
is no child of Adam, that shall not die and come to judgment, 
that needs no Saviour, pardon, and deliverance, let him neglect 
our invitation : but sin and misery are all men's necessity/ 

3. They are to tell men what God hath done for them by 
Christ; what a Saviour he hath given us ; what Christ hath 
done and suffered for us. u 

4. They are to tell men what grace and glory is purchased 
for them, and offered to them, and what they may have in 
Christ, and by him. 

5. They are to tell men how willing God is of men's recovery, 
so that he beseecheth them to be reconciled to him, and minis- 

r Matt. xvi. 19 ; xxii. 3, 4 ; xxiv. 45, and xxviii. 19, 20 ; Acts ii. 42 ; Rom. 
i. 1, 2; 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2. 

s Acts xiv. 23, and xx. 28 ; Tit. i. 5 ; 1 Tim. iii. 

• Acts xxvi. 17,18; Luke x. 16, and xxiv. 47 ; lThess. iv. 8; Matt. ix. 13. 

u John iii. 10 ; Heb. x. 14 ; Rom, iii. 1, 10 ; Tit. ii. 14. 


ters are sent to entreat them to accept his grace, who refuseth 
none that refuse not him. 

6. They are to acquaint men with God's conditions, terms, 
and expectations : not that they give him any satisfying or pur- 
chasing price of their own, but that they accept his free gift 
according to its proper nature and use, and come to Christ that 
they may have life ; but that they come in time, and come sin- 
cerely and resolvedly, and believe, and penitently return to God, 
for which he is ready to assist them by his grace. x 

7. They must acquaint men with the methods of the tempter, 
and the hinderances of their faith and repentance, and what 
opposition they must expect from the flesh, the world, and the 
devil, and how they must overcome them. 

8. They must acquaint men what great assistances and encou- 
ragements they shall have from Christ: how good a master, 
how perfect a Saviour and Comforter, how sure a word, how 
sweet a work, how good and honourable company, and how 
many mercies here, and how sure and glorious a reward for ever ; 
and that all this is put in the balance for their choice, against 
a deceitful, transitory shadow.? 

9. They must answer the carnal objections of deceived 
sinners, and show them clearly that all is folly that is said 
against Christ and their conversion. 

10. They must make men know how God will take it, if 
they unthankfully neglect or refuse his grace, and that this will 
leave them without remedy, and greatly add to their sin and 
misery, and that there is no more sacrifice for sin, but a fearful 
looking for of judgment, from that God who to such is a con- 
suming fire ; and that it will be easier for Sodom in the day of 
judgment than for such. 2 

Q. 5. In what manner must Christ's ministers preach all 

A. 1. With the greatest gravity and holy reverence ; because 
it is the message of God. 

2. With the greatest plainness ; because men are dull of 

3. With the greatest proof and convincing evidence, to 
conquer prejudice, darkness, and unbelief. 

4. With powerful winning motives, and urgent importunity, 

x 2 Cor. v. 19, 20 ; Luke xiv. 17. 

y 1 Thess. iii. 5 ; Eph. vi. 11 ; 2 Cor. ii. 11, and iv. 16, 18 ; Heb. xi., and 
xii. 28, 29. 
1 2 Tim. ii. 25 ; Tit. ii. 8 ; Heb. ii. 3, and k 22, 23. 


because of men's disaffection and averseness. And O what 
powerful motives have we at hand, from self-love, from God, 
from Christ, from necessity, from heaven and hell ! a 

5. With life and fervency, because of the unspeakable im- 
portance of the matter, and the deadness and hardness of men's 

(j. With fervency, in season and out of season, because of 
men's aptness to lose what they have heard and received, and 
their need still to be carried on. 

7. With constancy to the end, that grace may be preserved 
and increased by degrees. 

8. With seemly and decent expressions, because of captious, 
cavilling hearers, and the holiness of the work. 

9. With concord with all the church of Christ, as preaching 
the same faith and hope. 

10. By the example of holy practice, doing what we persuade 
them to do, and excelling them in love, and holiness, and pa- 
tience, and victory over the flesh and world, and winning them, 
not by force, but by light and love. b 

Q. 6. What is it that all this is to bring men to ? 

A. 1. To make men understand and believe what God is to 
them ; what Christ is ; what grace and glory are ; as is afore- 
said in the christian faith. 

2. To win men's hearts to the love of these, from the love 
of sinful, fleshly pleasure, and to fix their wills in a resolved 

3. To engage them in the obedient practice of what they 
love and choose, and help them to overcome all temptations to 
the contrary. 

Q. 7. Why will God have all this and the rest which is for 
the church, to be an office, work of chosen, separated, conse- 
crated persons ? 

A. 1. It is certain that all men are not fit for it; alas ! too 
few. The mysteries of godliness are deep and great. The 
chains of sinners are strong, and God useth to work according 
to the suitableness of means. Great abilities are requisite to 
all this : and God would not have his cause and work disho- 
noured by his ministers' unfitness. Alas ! unfit men have been 
the church's great calamity and reproach ! tl 

» Tit. ii. G— 8 ; Heb. v. 10, 11 ; 1 Cor. i. 17, 18 ; Matt. vii. 29 ; Acts ii. 37. 

i' I Cor. xiv. ; 2 Tim. ii. 15 ; 1 Pet. iii. 16 ; Acts xx. 25, 29, 31, 32. 

c Acts xx. 21. d l Tim. iii. 16, and iv. 15 j 2 Tim. ii. 2, 15 ; Tit. i. 6, 9. 


2. God would have his work effectually clone ; awl, therefore, 
hy men that are wholly devoted to it. Were they never so 
able, if they have avocations, and do it by the halves, dividing 
their labours between it and the world, this will not answer the 
necessity and the end : even a Paul must do it publicly, and 
from house to house, night and day, with tears. (Acts xx. 20, 
28.) Jt must be done in season and out of season. (2 Tim. iv. 
1, 2.) Timothy must meditate on these things, and give him- 
self wholly to them. (1 Tim. iv. 15.) Paul was separated to 
the gospel of God. (Rom. i.) And ministers are stewards of his 
mysteries, to give the children their meat in season. 

3. It is much for the comfort of the faithful to know that it 
is by God's own ordained officer that his message of invitation, 
and his sealed covenant, pardon, and gift of Christ and grace, 
are delivered to them. e 

4. The very being of an ordered church requireth a guiding 
official part. It is no ruled society without a ruler : no school 
without a teacher. Men must know to whom to go for in- 
struction : the law was to be sought from the mouth of the 
priest, as the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. (Mai. ii. 7.) Read 
Acts xiv. 73; Tit. i. 5: Eph. iv. 14—16; 1 Thes. v. 12, 13 ; 
Luke xii. 42, 43. 

5. The safety and preservation of the truth requireth the mi- 
nisterial office. As the laws of England would never be pre- 
served without lawyers and judges, by the common people; so 
the Scriptures, and the faith, sacraments, and worship, would 
never have been brought down to us as they are, without a stated 
ministry, whose interest, office, and work it is continually to use 
them. (See 1 Tim. v. 20; Eph. iv. 14; Rom. xvi. 16, 17; 
1 Tim. iii. 15 : Heb. xiii. 7, 9, 17.) None have leisure to do 
this great work as it must be done, but those that by office are 
wholly separated thereto. Will you leave it to magistrates, or 
to the people, who, if they were able, have other work to do ? 
Deny the office, and you destroy the church and work. 

Q. 8. How are men called and separated to the sacred 
ministry ? 

A. There are many things concur thereto. The first minis- 
ters were called immediately by Christ himself, and extra- 
ordinarily qualified : but ever since all these things must 

1. A common obligation on all men to do their best in their 

' 2 Cor. v. ID. 
• VOL, XIX. S 


places to propagate the gospel and church, and to save men's 
souls, is presupposed, as a preparatory antecedent. 

2. There must be necessary qualifying abilities : 1. Natural 
wit and capacity. 2. Acquired improvement, and so much 
knowledge as must be exercised in the office. 3. If apt to 
teach and able signified no more than to read what is prescribed 
by others, a child, fool, or an infidel, were apt and able. Abi- 
lity for competent utterance and exercise. 4. And to his ac- 
ceptance with God and his own salvation, saving faith and 
holiness is necessary. If you would know the necessary degrees 
of ability, it is so much without which the necessary acts of the 
office cannot be done. " The things that thou hast heard of 
me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful 
men, who shall be able to teach others also.' ' (2 Tim. ii. 2.) 

3. The approving judgment of other Senior ministers is ordi- 
narily necessary j for men are not to be the only judges them- 
selves where the public interest is concerned. And the invest- 
ing ordination of such is the orderly solemnizing of their en- 
trance, and delivery of Christ's commission ; and is that to the 
general office of the ministry which baptism is to Christianity, 
and solemn matrimony to marriage, or coronation to a king. 
This is not done by the election of the people ; it is not their 
work to choose ministers to the general office, or men to call 
the world/ 

4. To make a man the pastor of a particular church or flock, 
the consent both of the man and of the flock is necessary ; and 
to the well-being also, the consent of the neighbour pastors ; 
and to peace and liberty, the prince's. This is an ordination or 
relation, which may be often renewed and changed ; but the 
ordination to the general office is to be but once : to license a 
physician, and to choose him for my physician, are divers 
things : and so it is here. 

Q. 9. What laws or canons have pastors power to make for 
the church ? 

A. 1. None to the universal church, for that hath no ruler, 
or law-maker, or judge, but Christ ; man being utterly incapable 
of it. 

2. None which shall cross the laws of Christ, in nature or 

3. None which are of the same kind and use with Christ's 
own universal laws, and no more needful to one place or age 

f 2 Tim. ii. ; 2 Tit. i. 5 ; Acts xiv. 23 ; ix., and xiii. 2. 


than to all : for this will accuse Christ, as if he had been de- 
fective in his own legislation, when more must be added of the 
same kind. g 

4. Taking the word " laws" strictly, pastors, as such, have no 
legislative power. But, taking it laxly for mandates, or direc- 
tions given by just power, such as a parent or tutor hath, they 
may make such laws as these : 1. Such as only enjoin the obey- 
ing of Christ's own laws. 2. And such as only determine of 
such mere accidents of doctrine, worship, and discipline, as 
Christ hath commanded in general, and virtually, and left the 
particular sort to human determination of governors (as time, 
place, utensils, &c). 3. Such as are not extended beyond the 
churches of which they are pastors, to others of whom they are 
no rulers. 4. Such as, being indifferent, are not made more ne- 
cessary than their nature and use requireth ; nor used to the 
church's destruction or hurt, but to its edification. 5. Such as, 
being mutable in the reason or cause of them, are not fixed. 
And continued when the reason of them ceaseth. h 

Christ maketh us ministers that we may not think we are 
lords of his heritage : our work is to expound and apply his 
laws, and persuade men to obey them, and not to make laws of 
our own of the same kind, as if we were his equals, and lords 
of his church. It is true he hath bid us determine of circum- 
stances to the church's edification, and the pastor is judge for 
the present time and place, what chapter he shall read, what 
text he shall preach on, and in what method ; what psalm shall 
be sung, and in what tune, and such like : but who made him 
lord of other churches, to impose the like on them ? or, how 
can he prove that the very same circumstances are necessary to 
all, when a day may alter the case with himself, which depends 
on mutable causes ? If all the world or land be commanded on 
such a day to read the same psalm and chapter, and occurrents 
make any subject far more suitable, who hath power to deprive 
the present pastor of his choice, and to suppose ministers unable 
to know what subject to read or preach on, unless it be they 
that make such men ministers, that they may so rule them ? 

Q. 10. Why must there be stated worshipping congregations ? 

A. 1. For the honour of God and our Redeemer, who is best 
honoured in united, solemn assemblies, magnifying him with one 
mind, and heart, and mouth. 1 

« Isa. xxxiii. 22 ; Jam. iv. 12 ; 1 Tim. iv. C; 1 Cor. iii. 5, and iv. I. 
11 Matt. xx. 27, 28; 2 Cor. i. 24, and iii. 6 ; 1 Pet. v. 1—3, and iv. 9— 11. 
1 1 Cor. xiv. ; Heb. x. 21, 22 j Acts xiv. 23. 



2. For the preservation of religion, which is so hest exercised, 
honoured, and kept up. 

3. For the benefit and joy of Christians, who, in such con- 
cordant societies, receive encouragement, strength, and com- 

4. For the due order and honour of the particular chinches 
and the whole. 

Q. 11. Is every worshipping congregation a church ? 

A. The name is not much worthy of a debate : there are 
divers sorts of christian assemblies, which may be called 
churches. 1. There are occasional, accidental assemblies 
that are not stated. 2. There are stated assemblies, like cha* 
pels, which have only curates, and are but parts of the lowest 
political, governing churches. 3. Christians statedly associated 
under such pastors as have the power of the church keys for 
personal communion in holy doctrine, worship, and conver- 
sation, are the lowest sort of political governed churches. 4. Sy- 
nods, consisting of the pastors and delegates ; these may be 
called churches in a lax sense. 5. And so may a christian na- 
tion under one king. 6. And all the christian world is one ca- 
tholic church as headed by Jesus Christ. 7. And the Roman 
sect is a spurious church, as it is headed by a human, incapable 
sovereign, claiming the power of legislation and judgment over 
all the churches on earth. 

Q. 12. But how shall I know which is the true church, 
when so many claim the title ; and the papists say it is only 
theirs ? 

A. I have fully answered such doubts on the article of the 
" Holy Catholic Church, and Communion of Saints," in the 
Creed. Either you speak of the whole church, or of a parti- 
cular church, which is but a part. If of the whole church, it is 
a foolish question, How shall I know which is the true church ? 
when there is but one. If of a particular church, every true 
christian society (pastors and flocks) is a true church, that is, a 
true society, as a part of the whole. 

Q. 13. But when there are divers contending churches, how 
shall I know which of them I should join with ? 

A. 1. If they are all true churches, having the same God, 
and Christ, and faith, and hope, and love, you must separate 
from none of them, as churches, though you may separate from 
their sins ; but must communicate with them in all lawful exer- 
cises, as occasion requireth. 2. But your fixed relation to a 
particular pastor and church peculiarly, must be chosen, as your 


own case and benefit, all things considered, doth require. When 
you can have free choice, the nearest and ablest, and holiest 
pastor and society should be chosen : when violence interpos- 
eth, a ruler's will may do much to turn the scales for a tolera- 
ble pastor and society, if it make it most for the common good, 
and your edification. 

Q. 14. May men add any thing to the prescribed worship of 

A. Worship is a doubtful word ; if you will call mere mutable 
accidents and circumstances by the name of worship, man may 
add to them, such as is putting off the hat, the metre and tune 
of psalms, and such like. But men may do nothing which im- 
plieth a defect in the law of Christ, and therefore may make no 
new articles of faith, or religion, or any thing necessary to sal- 
vation, or any sacraments or ordinances of worship of the same 
kind with Christ's, much less contrary thereto. 

Q. 15. May we hold communion with a faulty church and 
worship ? 

A. Or else we must have communion with none on earth : 
all our personal worship is faulty ; we join with them for christ- 
ian faith and worship. If the minister say or do any thing con- 
trary, it is his sin, and our presence maketh it not ours. Else 
we must separate from all the world. But we may not by false 
professions, subscribing, swearing, or practice, commit any sin 
ourselves for the communion of any church on earth. k 

Of Baptism. 

Q. 1 . What is baptism ? 

A. It is a sacred action, or sacrament, instituted by Christ, 
for the solemnizing of the covenant of Christianity between God 
and man, and the solemn investing us in the state of Christi- 
anity, obliging us to Christ, and for his delivering to us our re- 
lation and right to him as our Head, and to the gifts of 
his covenant. 1 

k Luke iv. 1G, and vi. G ; Matt. viii. 4. 

1 Matt, xxviii. 13 ; Acts ii. 38, 41 ; viii. 12, 13, 1G, 3T, 38; xix. 5, and xxii. 
16 ; Rom. vi. 3, 4 j 1 Cor. xii. 13 ; Gal. iii. 27 ; Epu. iv. 5 ; Col. i : . 12 ; 1 Pet, 
iii. 21. 


Q. 2. Why did Christ institute such a ceremony as washing 
in so great and weighty a work as our christening ? 

A. 1. A soul in flesh is apt to use sense, and needs some help 
of it. 2. Idolaters had filled the world with images and out- 
ward ceremonies, and the Jews had been long used to abundance 
of typical rites; and Christ being to deliver the world from these, 
and teach them to worship in spirit and truth, would not run 
into the extreme of avoiding all sensible signs and helps, but 
hath made his sacraments few and fitted to their use, to be in- 
stead of images, and men's vain inventions, and the Jewish 
burdens, as meet and sufficient helps of that kind to his church, 
that men might not presume to set up any such things of their 
own, on pretence of need, or usefulness. 

Q. 3. What doth this great sacrament contain? 
A. 1. The parties covenanting and acting. 2. The covenant 
as on both parts, with the benefits given of God, and the duty 
professed and promised by man. 3. The outward signs of all. 
Q. 4. Who are the parties covenanting and acting ? 
A. God and man ; that is, 1. Principally God the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost; and, ministerially under him, the baptising mi- 
nisters; 2. The party baptised; and if he be an infant, the 
parent or owner on his behalf. 

Q. 5. In what relation is God a covenanter with man? 
A. 1. As our Creator and Governor, offended by sin, and 
reconciled by Christ, whom his love gave to be our Saviour. 2. 
As Christ is our Redeemer and Saviour. 3. As the Holy Ghost is 
our Regenerator and Comforter ; sent by the Father and the Son. 
Q. 6. In what Nation stands the person to be baptised ? 
A. As a sinner, miserable by guilt and pravity, and loss of his 
blessed relation to God, but redeemed by Christ, and called by 
him, and coming to receive him and his saving grace. 

Q. 7- What is it that God doth as a covenanter with the 
baptised ? 

A. You must well understand that two covenanting acts of 
God are presupposed to baptism, as done before. I. The first 
is God's covenant with Jesus Christ, as our Redeemer, by consent, 
in which God requireth of him the work of man's redemption 
as on his part, by perfect holiness, righteousness, satisfactory 
suffering, and the rest : and promiseth him, as a reward, to be 
Lord of all, and the saving and glorifying of the church, with 
his own perpetual glory.™ 

m Johnxvii. 1—3; iii. 35 ; v. 22,27, and vi. 39. 


II. A promise and conditional covenant, or law of grace, 
made to lost mankind by the Father and the Son, that whoever 
truly believeth, that is, becometh a true Christian, shall be 

Now baptism is the bringing of this conditional promise, upon 
man's consent to be an actual mutual covenant. 

Q. 8. And what is it that God there doth as an actual cove- 
nanter ? 

A. First he doth by his minister stipulate, that is, demand of 
the party baptised whether he truly consent to his part. And 
next on that supposition, he delivereth him the covenant gifts, 
which at present are to be bestowed. 

Q. 9. What be those? 

A. The relation of a pardoned, reconciled sinner and adopted 
child of God, or that God will be his God in love through 

2. A right and relation to Christ as his actual Saviour, Head, 
Teacher, Intercessor, and King. 

3. A right and relation to the Holy Ghost, to be to him the 
illuminating, sanctifying, quickening Spirit of light and love, 
and holy life ; and deliverance from the devil, the world, and 
flesh, and from the wrath of God/ 1 

Q. 10. What is it that God requireth of man, and he pro- 
fesseth ? 

A. That he truly believe in this God the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, and presently and resolvedly consenteth to be his in 
these relations, taking him as his God and Father, his Saviour, 
and his Sanctifier, repenting of his sins, and renouncing the con- 
trary government of the devil, world, and flesh.** 

Q. 11. What are the outward signs of all this? 

A. 1. The water. 2. And the actions of both parties. I. The 
action of the minister on God's part is to wash the body 
of the baptised with the water, which, in hot countries, was by 
dipping them overhead, and taking them up: to signify, 1. That 
they are washed from the guilt of sin by the blood of Christ. 
2. And are as dead and buried to sin and the world and flesh, 
and risen to a new and holy life and heavenly hope. 3. And 
that by this act we are solemnly bound by God to be Christians. 

II. The action of the baptised is, to be a willing receiver of 
this washing, to signify his believing and thankful receiving 

» John iii. 16 ; 2 Cor. v. 19, 20 ; 1 John v. 11, 12. ° 1 Pet. iii. 21, 22. 

p Gal. iii. 27 j 1 Cor. 12, 13. <i Matt, xx viii. 19, 20 ; 1 John v. 7, 1 1, 1 2. 


these free gifts of Christ, and his solemn self-engagement to be 
henceforth a Christian. 

Q. 12. Are infants capable of doing all this? 

A. No : they are personally capable of receiving both the 
sign and the grace, even right to Christ and life, but not them- 
selves, of actual believing and covenanting with Christ. 

Q. 13. Why then are they baptised who cannot covenant? 

A. That you may understand this rightly, you must know, I, 
That as children are made sinners and miserable by their parents 
without any act of their own; so they are delivered out of it by 
the free grace of Christ, upon a condition performed by their 
parents; else they that are visibly born in sin and misery should 
have no visible or certain way of remedy : nature maketh them 
as it were parts of the parents, or so near as causeth their sin 
and misery : and this nearness supposed, God, by his free grace, 
hath put it in the power of the parents to accept for them the 
blessings of the covenant ; and to enter them into the covenant 
of Cod, the parents' will being instead of their own, who yet 
have none to choose for themselves. 1 " 

2. That baptism is the only way which God hath appointed 
for the entering of any one into the christian covenant and 

3. That the same sacrament hath not all the same ends and 
uses to all, but varieth in some things, as their capacities differ. 
Christ was baptised, and yet not for the remission of sin : and 
the use of circumcision partly differed to the old and to the 

4. It is the will of God that infants be members of the christ- 
ian church, of which baptism is the entrance. For, 1. There 
is no proof that ever God had a church on earth in any age, of 
which infants were not members. 

2. The covenant with Abraham, the father of the faithful, 
was made also with his infant seed, and sealed to them by cir- 
cumcision. And the females who were not circumcised, were 
yet in the church and covenant : and when the males were un- 
circumcised forty years in the wilderness, they were yet mem- 
bers of the Jewish church: and (Deut. xix.) the parents entered 
their little ones into the renewed covenant: and Christ came 
not to cast all infants out of the church who were in before. 

3. Christ himself saith, that he would have gathered Jeru- 
salem as a hen gathereth her chickens, and they would not : so 

1 1 C'or, vii. 1-1 ; Isa. Ixv. 23 ; Psalm xxxvii.26; Acts ii. 39. 


that he would have taken in the whole nation, infants, and all 
that were in before.* 1 

4. And in Rom. xi. it is said, that they were broken off by 
unbelief: therefore, if their parents had not been unbelievers, 
the children had not been broken off. 

5. And Christ himself was Head of the church in his infancy, 
and entered by the sacrament then in force, though, as man, he 
was not capable of the work which he did at age : therefore 
infants may be members. 1 " 

6. And he rebuked his disciples that kept such from him, 
because of such is the kingdom of God : he would have them 
come as into his kingdom. 

7. And plainly the apostle saith to a believing parent, that the 
unbeliever is sanctified to the believing, (for the begetting of a 
holy seed,) else were your children unclean, but now they are 
holy ; mere legitimation is never called holiness, nor are hea- 
thens' children bastards. s 

8. And most plainly, Christ, when he instituteth baptism, 
saith, ' Go, disciple me all nations, baptising them.' Which 
fully showeth that he would have ministers endeavour to disciple 
and baptise nations, of all which infants are a part. 1 

9. And accordingly many prophecies foretell, that nations 
shall come in to Christ ; and Christians are called " A holy 
nation." And it is said, " The kingdoms of the world are 
become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ." 

Q. 14. But though infants be church members, is it not 
better that their baptism be delayed till they know what thev 

A. Christ knows what is best : and he hath told us of no other 
door of entrance into the visible church regularly, but by bap- 
tism. And if he had intended so great a change to the believing 
Jews as to unchurch all their infants, he would have told it. 
And the apostles would have had more ado to quiet them in 
this, than they had for casting off circumcision : but we read of 
no such thing, but the constant baptising of whole house- 

Q. 15. But infant baptism seems to let in all the corruption 
of the churches, while infants receive they know not what, and 
are all taken after for Christians, how bad soever, or without 
knowing what Christianity is : whereas, if they stayed till they 

* Matt, xxiii. 37. ' Matt. xix. 13, 14, and xviii. 3. 

"lCor.vii. 14. * Matt, xxyiii. 19, 20 ; Rev. xi. 15. 


understood it, it would engage them to be resolved Christians 
indeed ? 

A. This is not along of infant baptism, but of unfaithful 
parents and ministers. For, 1. If the parents were told their 
duty, and also what a blessing it is to have their children in 
Christ's church and covenant, it would awaken them better to 
do their part, and comfort them in their children's state of 

2. And if infants were not betime engaged, the usage would 
tempt multitudes to do as some did of old, even sin on as long 
as they durst, that baptism might wash it away at last. 

3. And doubtless, with unfaithful ministers, baptism at age 
also would be made but a ceremony, and slubbered over as 
confirmation is now, and as customary going to the church and 
sacrament is. 

4. But that which should be done is, that at age every bap- 
tised person, before he is admitted among adult communicants, 
should be as diligently catechised, and as solemnly own and 
renew his baptismal vow and covenant, as if it were now to be 
first done. The full nature of baptism is best to be understood 
by the case of the adult, who were capable of more than infants 
are. And no adult person must be baptised without serious, 
deliberate understanding, profession of faith, repentance, and 
holy obedience to Christ. Infants cannot do this, though they 
must not do that again which they did and could do, viz., 
receive baptism ; yet they must do that which they did not nor 
could do. 

I confess to you, of the two evils, I think the church is more 
corrupted for want of such a solemn, serious renewing of the 
baptismal covenant at age, and by turning confirmation into a 
ceremony, than by those anabaptists, who call people to be se- 
riously re-baptised, as the Afric council did those that had been 
baptised bv heretics. 

Q. 16. Do you think that anabaptists should be tolerated, 
or that all should not be forced to bring their children to 
baptism ? 

A. 1. Infant baptism is no such easy controversy or article 
of faith, as that no one should be tolerated that receiveth it not. 

2. The ancient church, which we most reverence, left all men 
to their liberty to be baptised only when they pleased, and 
compelled none for themselves or their children. Tertullian was 
for the delay till they understood. Gregory Nazianzen was for 


staying some years. Augustine, and others of the Fathers, were 
baptised at age. 

3. Baptism giveth so great a gift, even Christ, and pardon, 
and adoption, and right to life eternal, on condition of thankful 
acceptance and believing consent, that undoubtedly the unwilling 
have no right at all to it. The ancient church baptised none 
till they desired and sought it for themselves or children. Yea, 
they must be willing of it on self-denial terms, forsaking the 
flesh, the world, and the devil, and taking God instead of all. 
So that to force any to be baptised by mulcts and penalties, and 
baptise those so forced, is to deceive souls, defile Christ's 
church, and profane the sacred ordinance of God. 

Q. 17. I have oft wondered what harm twice baptising doth, 
that it should be accounted a heresy and intolerable ? 

A. It is a fault, because it is contrary to Christ's appointed 
order : baptism is the sacrament of our new birth, and we are 
born but once. To be baptised again implieth an untruth, that 
we were not baptised before : but I suppose none do it but 
through ignorance. And Cyprian, and the bishops of many 
countries in many councils, were so ignorant as to be guilty of 
re-baptising all that heretics baptised. The great fault of the 
anabaptists is their schism, that they cannot be contented when 
they are re-baptised to live in love and communion with others, 
but grow so fond of their own opinion as to gather into sepa- 
rated churches, and avoid communion with all that are not of 
their mind, and spend their time in contentious endeavours to 
draw men to them. 

Q. 18. What the better are infants for being baptised? 

A. The children of the faithful are stated by it in a right to 
the foresaid benefits of the covenant, the pardon of their ori- 
ginal sin, the love of God, the intercession of Christ, and the 
help of the Holy Ghost, when they come to age, and title to the 
kingdom of heaven, if they die before they forfeit it. 

Q. 19. But how can we judge all such in a state of salvation, 
when we see many at age prove wicked, and enemies ? 

A. This is a point of so great difficulty, that I may but humbly 
propose my opinion to trial. 1. There is a degree of grace 
or goodness, which doth only give a man a power to believe or 
obey God, but not give a rooted, habitual determination to his 
will. Such the fallen angels had, and Adam before his fall, 
who was thereby in a state of life, till he fell from it by wilful 
sin : and so it may be with the baptised infants of believers. 


But when the special sanctifying gift of the Holy Ghost is given 
them, and they are habitually rooted in the love of God, as the 
seed sown in good ground, they fall not totally away. 2. As 
parents and children are covenanters for their several duties, if 
parents will perfidiously neglect their promised duty for the holy 
education of their children, or children rebelliously sin against 
that power and measure of grace which they received, they may 
perish by apostasy, as the angels did, or need, as Adam, a re- 
newing by repentance. All Christ's grace is not confirming : 
as the best may lose much, and fall into foul sin, and grow 
worse than they once were, so common grace, and I think this 
middle infant grace which children have, as related to their 
parents, may be lost. 

Q. 20. But is it not safer to hold that baptism puts none but 
the elect, who never lose it, into a title to salvation ? 

A. 1. Then it would be little comfort to parents, when their 
children die, who know not whether one of ten thousand be 
elect. 2. And it would be little satisfaction to the minister to 
baptise them, who knoweth not the elect from others. 3. It is 
plain that it is not another, but the same covenant of grace 
which is made with infants and adult; and that the covenant 
giveth pardon of sin, and right to life, to all that have the re- 
quisite qualification : and as that qualification in the adult is 
faith and repentance, so in infants it is nothing but to be the 
children of the faithful dedicated to God. God never instituted 
any baptism which is not for remission of sin. If I thought in- 
fants had no visible right to remission in which baptism should 
invest them, I durst not baptise them. I think their holiness 
containeth a certain title to salvation. 

Q. 21. But is it not enough to know that they are of the 
church visible? 

A. All at age that are of the visible church are in a state of 
salvation, except hypocrites. Therefore all infants that are of 
the visible church, are also of the mystical church, except such 
as had not the requisite qualification, and that is such as were 
not the children of the faithful. 

All the world are in the kingdom of the devil, who are not in 
the kingdom of God ; and if there be no visible way of salva- 
tion for them, what reason have we to hope that thev are saved? 

Q. 22. Some say we must leave their case to God as unknown 
to us, and that he will save such of them as lie electeth ? 

A. True faith and hope is grounded on God's promise. What 


reason have we to believe and hope that any are saved whom 
God never promised to save ? This would teach wicked men 
to presume that God will save them too, though he do not pro- 
mise it : and this giveth no more comfort to a Christian than to 
an infidel. How know we, but by his promise, whether God 
elect one of ten thousand, or any at all : but God hath promised 
a special blessing to the seed of the faithful, above all others. 

Q. 23. You make the mercy so very great, as maketh the 
denial of it seem a heinous sin in the anabaptists ? 

A. There are three sorts of them greatly differing. 1 . Some 
say that no infants have original sin, and so need no baptism nor 
pardon : or, if it be sin, it is done away by Christ's mere death, 
and all infants in the world are saved. 

2. Others say that infants have original sin, but have no visi- 
ble remedy; nor are any in covenant with Christ, nor members 
of his church, because no pardon is promised but to believers. 

3. Others hold that infants have original sin, and that the 
promise is to the faithful and their seed, and that parents ought 
thankfully to acknowledge this mercy, and devote them to 
Christ as infant members of his church ; but that baptism is not 
for infant members, but only as the Lord's supper for the adult. 
This last sort are they whom I speak of as such whom I would 
not separate from, if they separate not from us; but the other 
two sorts are dangerously erroneous. When God hath made so 
many plain promises to the seed of his servants, and, in all ages 
before Christ, hath taken infants for church members, and 
never made a covenant but to the faithful and their seed, to 
sav that Christ, the Saviour of the world, came to cast all in- 
fants out of the visible church, into the visible kingdom of Satan, 
and give them no greater mercy instead of it, seemeth to me 
very great ingratitude, and making Christ too like to Satan, as 
coming to do much of his destroying work. 

Q. 24. But every where salvation is promised only to be- 

A. The promise is to them and their seed, keeping covenant. 
The same text that saith, " He that believeth shall be saved, " 
saith, " He that believeth not shall be damned." Which 
showeth that it is only the adult that it speaketh of; or else all 
infants must be damned for unbelief. It shuts them no more 
out of baptism than out of heaven. 

Q. 25. But the Scripture speaks of no infants baptised. 

A. I. No infants are to be baptised but the infants of the 


faithful ; therefore the parents were to be made believers first. 

2. The Scripture speaks of baptising divers households. 

3. No Scripture mentioneth that ever any child of a believer 
was baptised at age. 4. The Scripture commandeth it, and 
that is enough : " Disciple nations, baptizing them." (Matt, 
xxviii. 19.) y 

Q. 26. How can infants be disciples that learn not ? 
A. 1. Did Christ mistake when he sent them to disciple 
nations, of which infants are a part ? 2. Cannot infants be 
disciples of Christ, if Christ, an infant, can be the Master and 
King of his church ? Christ was our Teacher, Priest, and King, 
in his infancy, by right, relation, and destination, and under- 
taking, and obligation to what he was after to do ; and so may 
infants be his subjects and disciples. May not an infant be a 
king that cannot rule ? And are not infants the king's subjects, 
though they cannot obey ? May not they be knights and lords, 
and have right to inheritances ? 3. Yea, are not infants called 
God's servants ? (Levit. xxv. 42 ;) yea, and Christ's disciples ? 
(Acts xv. 10.) Peter saith, those that would have imposed 
circumcision would put a yoke on the neck of the disciples : 
but it was infants on whom they would have put it. 

Q. 27. We are all by nature children of wrath, and none can 
enter into heaven that is not regenerate, and born of the Spirit ? 
A. But we are all the children of God, we and our seed, by 
the grace of Christ ; and infants are capable of being regenerate 
by the Spirit. Or else they would not be called holy. (1 Cor. 
vii. 14.) 

Q. 28. The apostle only giveth a reason why a believing 
husband may lawfully live with an unbelieving wife. 

A. True ; but what is the reason which he giveth ? The 
doubt was not whether it be fornication : that was past doubt; 
but the faithful must, in all their relations, be a peculiar, holy 
people, and the doubt was, whether their conjugal society 
became not such as infidels, common and unholy; and Paul 
saith, no. To the pure all things are sanctified. The unbe- 
liever is not holy in herself, but sanctified to the husband for 
conjugal society; else, saith he, " Your children were unclean," 
not bastards, but unholy, as those without are ; " but now are 
they holy," as the Israelites' adult and infants were a holy people, 
separated from the world to God, in the covenant of peculiarity, 
and not common and unclean. 

y Acts xvi. If), 33, and xviii. 8. 


Q. 29. Is it the infants of all professed Christians and hypo- 
crites, or only the infants of sincere Christians, who have 
the promise of pardon and salvation delivered and sealed by 
baptism ? 

A. As the church is to receive all the adult who make a 
credible profession, so are they to receive all their infants, for 
God only knoweth the heart. But it is with the heart that 
man believeth to righteousness. (Rom. x.) And as adult hypo- 
crites are not pardoned by God, who knoweth the heart, so 
neither is there any promise of pardon to their seed. No text 
of Scripture giveth any pardon but to sincere believers and 
their seed. And the child is in the covenant as the child of a 
believer devoted to God. And that faith which qualifieth not 
the parent for pardon, cannot qualify the child for it. I know 
no more promise of pardon and life to an hypocrite's than to 
a heathen's child. 

Q. 30. But what if the godfather, or grandfather, be a true 
Christian, or the ancestors and the parents both infidels, may 
not the child be baptised and pardoned ? 

A. The further you go from the parent the darker is the 
case. We are all the offspring of righteous Noah, and yet that 
maketh not the infants of heathens baptisable or pardoned. 
But the case of Abraham's covenant maketh it probable, that 
whoever is the true owner of the child by nature, purchase, or 
adoption, may devote it acceptably to God in baptism : because 
the infant having no choosing power, the will of his owner goeth 
for his own, in accepting the mercies of the covenant, and 
obliging him to such conditions as are for his good ; which, if 
he like them not, he may renounce when he comes to age. But 
if the grandfather or godfather be no owner of the child, I know 
no proof that their causing him to be baptised helps him to 
pardon and salvation. If we dream that baptism giveth pardon 
to all infidels, and heathens' children, whose owners were not 
in the covenant themselves, we make a gospel, which, as far as 
I can find, Christ never made. 

Q. 31. May not any man take an infant out of the street, 
and give him food and raiment, much more offer him to bap- 
tism, which is an act of greater charity ? 

A. The first God alloweth : but pardon and salvation is none 
of ours to give, but God's j and we can ministerially deliver the 
investing signs to none that have no title to which God hath 
promised the gift. If, as some think, bare redemption hath 


given a right to all the world, then all infidels and heathens 
shall he saved, if baptised. If they say it is to all infants in 
the world, then, whether they have godfathers or no, they may 
be baptised. And if all that are baptised are saved, it is irra- 
tional to think that want of baptism without their fault shall 
hinder their salvation. But though God offer to all men par- 
don and life for themselves and their infants, yet no Scripture 
giveth it to either without acceptance and consent of the adult. 
We must not make a gospel of our own. 

Q. 32. Some say, that so much faith will serve for a title to 
baptism, as taketh Christ for a teacher, and maketh us disciples, 
that we may after attain to saving holiness ; but that it is not 
special, saving faith that must needs be then professed. 

A. This is to make a new baptism and Christianity to vie 
with that which alone Christ made. No adult person is a 
Christian, in Scripture sense, who believeth not in Christ as 
Christ. Which is as Saviour, as Prophet, Priest, and King. 
The essentials of Christ's office and gifts, as offered, are essen- 
tial to that accepting faith which makes us Christians. A dis- 
ciple and a Christian were words of the same importance. 
(Acts xi.) z Christ made no baptism but for the remission of 
sin, and giving men a 1 elation right to Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost : baptism saveth by the answer of a good conscience to 
God. " Arise and wash away thy sins," was the word to 
Saul. We are sacramentally buried and risen with Christ, as 
dead to sin, and made new creatures, when we are baptised. 
(Rom. vi.) Therefore it is called " Thelaver of regeneration." 
(Tit. iii. 5.) All the church of Christ, from the apostles, 
taught that baptism put away the guilt of sin, to all that were 
truly qualified for that sacrament. And they required the pro- 
fession of a saving faith and repentance ; and all the form of 
baptism used in England, and the whole christian world, so 
happily agreeth in expressing this, that whoever will bring in 
the opinion, That the profession of a faith short of that which 
hath the promise of pardon and life, entitleth to baptism, must 
make a new baptismal form. 

Q. 33. But many divines say, that baptism is not adminis- 
tered to infants on the title of a present faith, nor to give pre- 
sent pardon ; but on a promise that they shall believe at age, 
and so have the benefits of baptism at age. 

A. None dare say so of the adult. U they say, i We repent 

1 Mark xvi. 10; Rom. x, 10, 14. 


not, nor believe now, but we promise to do it hereafter/ no 
wise man will baptise them. It is present believing, and not a 
mere promise to believe, that is their title. An infant's title is 
the parent's faith and dedication. By this doctrine infants of 
Christians are not in the same covenant or baptism as their 
parents, nor are they any more pardoned than heathens.* 

Q. 34. What use are we to make of our baptism ever after ? 

A. It is of great and manifold use. 1. We must live under 
the humble sense of that miserable state of sin, from which 
Christianity doth deliver us. b 

2. We must live in the thankful sense of that grace of God 
in Christ which did deliver us, and in the exercise of our belief 
of that truth and love which was then sealed to us. 

3. We must live in the faithful remembrance of that cove- 
nant which we sealed, and that obedience which we promised, 
and in that war against the devil, the world, and the flesh, in 
which we then engaged ourselves. 

4. It is the knowledge of the baptismal covenant which tells 
us what Christianity is, and who we must take and love as 
Christians, while sects and dividers, by narrow, false measure, 
do limit their christian love and communion, and hate or cast 
off the disciples of Christ. 

5. Accordingly it is the baptismal covenant that must tell us 
what true faith is ; viz., such a belief as causeth us truly to con- 
sent to that covenant ; and what true conversion is : viz., such 
a change as containeth a true consent to that covenant. And 
so it tells us how to judge of our sincerity of grace ; viz., when 
we unfeignedly consent to that covenant ; and tells us what sin 
is mortal, that is, inconsistent with true grace and title to sal- 
vation ; viz., all sin which is not consistent with an unfeigned 
consent to the covenant of grace. c " 

6. It tells what the catholic church is ; viz., visiblv all that 
profess consent to the baptismal covenant, and forsake it not j 
and mystically all that sincerely do consent to it. 

And, 7- So it tells us how to exercise church discipline, that 
we cast not out those as none of Christ's members, for their 
infirmities, who are not proved by sufficient witness to have 
done that which cannot stand with the sincere keeping of that 

a Acts ii. 39. 

Rom. iii.,and vi. 1—3; Rev. i. 5, and vii. 14 ; 1 Cor. vi. 10 — 12 ; Heb. x. 22. 
''John xiii. 8; Eph. v. 20 ; Tit. iii. 5 ; Acts xxii. It*. 


And thus baptism, not as a mere outward washing, but as 
including the grace which it signifieth, and the covenant and 
vow which it sealeth, is the very kernel of the christian reli- 
gion, and the symbol, or livery, of the church and members of 

Q. 35. Are all damned that die unbaptised? 

A. Baptism is the solemn devoting men in covenant to 
Christ. All that hear the Gospel are condemned that consent 
not to this covenant. But the heart consent for ourselves and 
children is our title condition before God, who damns not men 
for want of an outward ceremony, which, by ignorance or neces- 
sity, is omitted. Believers' children are holy, because they and 
theirs are devoted to God before baptism. Baptism is to 
Christianity what public matrimony is to marriage, ordination 
to the ministry, enlisting to a soldier, and crowning to a king. 

Of the Sacrament of Christ's sacrificed Body and Blood. 

Q. 1. What is the sacrament called the Lord's supper, or 
eucharist ? 

A. It is a sacred action in which, by bread and wine conse- 
crated, broken, and poured out, given and taken, and eaten and 
drunk, the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood for our redemp- 
tion is commemorated, and the covenant of Christianity mutually 
and solemnly renewed and sealed, in which Christ, with the 
benefits of his covenant, is given to the faithful, and they give 
up themselves to Christ, as members of his church, with which 
they profess communion. b 

Q. 2. Here are so many things contained, that we must 
desire you to open them severally : and first, what actions are 
here performed ? 

A. 1. Consecration. 2. Commemoration. 3. Covenanting and 

Q. 3. What is the consecration ? 

A. It is the separating and sanctifying the bread and wine, 
to this holy use ; by which it ceaseth to be mere common bread 

b Matt. xxvi. 2G— 28 ; Luke xxii. 19 ; 1 Cor. x. 10, 17, and xi. 23-26, 28 


and wine, and is made sacramentally, that is, by signification 
and representation, the sacrificed body and blood of Christ. 
Q. 4. How is this done, and what action consecrateth them ? 
A. As other holy things are consecrated, as ministers, 
utensils, church maintenance, oblations, the water in baptism, 
&c, which is by an authorised devoting it to its proper holy 

Q. 5. But some say it is done only by saying these words, 
" This is my body ;" or by blessing it. 

A. It is done by all that goeth to a dedication or separation 
from its holy use ; and this is, I. By declaring that God com- 
mandeth and accepteth it, (which is best done by reading his in- 
stitution,) and that we then accordingly devote it. 2. By pray- 
ing for his acceptance and blessing. 3. By pronouncing minis- 
terially that it is now, sacramentally, Christ's body and blood. 

Q. 6. Is the bread and wine the true body and blood of 
Christ ? 

A. Yes, relatively, significantly, representatively, and sacra- 
mentally : that is, it is consecrated bread and wine, on these 
accounts so called. 

Q. 7. But why do you call it that which it is not really, when 
Christ saith, "This is my body," and not, 'This signifieth it?' 
A. The name is fitly taken from the form; and a sacramental 
form is a relative form. If you see a shilling of the king's 
coin, and the question be, whether this be a shilling, or the 
king's coin, or silver ? You will answer, it is all three ; the 
matter of it is silver ; the general relation is money or coin ; 
the special relative form is, it is a shilling. And this is the 
fittest name, when the value is demanded. So the question is, 
whether this be bread and wine, or a sacrament, or Christ's 
sacrificed body and blood. It is all these, and the answer must 
be according to the meaning of the question. 

It is usual to say of pictures, this is the king, and this is such 
an one, and this is my father, &c. Certainly the two parts of 
the sacrament must be understood alike. And of one, Christ 
saith, " This cup is the New Testament in my blood which is 
shed for you." (Luke xxii. 20; 1 Cor. xi. 25.) Where none 
can deny, that by " cup," is meant the wine, and by " is the 
New Testament," is meant, is the exhibition and sealing of 
the New Testament, and not the very Testament itself. 

And it is known that Christ's common teaching was by para- 
bles and similitudes, where he saith, (Matt. xxi. 28,) "A 



certain man had two sons," &c, (v. 33,) " A certain house- 
holder planted a vineyard," &c. And so frequently, (Matt. 
xiii. 21—23, 37—39.) " He that soweth is the Son of Man ; 
the field is the world ; the good seed are the children of the 
kingdom ; the tares are the children of the wicked one ; the 
enemy is the devil 5 the reapers are the angels;" that is, they 
are signified. This is ordinary in the gospel, (John xv. 1,) "I 
am the Vine, and my Father is the Husbandman." (John x. 7, 
9, 14.) " I am the Door; I am the good Shepherd." As David, 
(Psalm xxii. 6,) " I am a worm, and no man." (Matt. xv. 13, 14.) 
" Ye are the salt of the earth, the lights of the world ;" that is, 
ye are like these things. 

Yea, the Old Testament useth "is," for "signifieth," most 
frequently, and hath no other word so fit to express it by. 

Q. 8. Why then do the papists lay so much stress on the 
word "is ;" yea, why do they say, that there is no bread and 
wine after the consecration, but only Christ's body and blood, 
under the show of them ? 

A. The sacrament is exceedingly venerable, being the very 
eating and drinking Christ's own sacrificed body and blood, 
in similitude or representation. And it was meet that all 
Christians should discern the Lord's bodv and blood in simili- 
tude, from common bread and wine. And in time, the use of 
the name, when the church was drowned in ignorance, was taken 
(about one thousand years after Christ) for the thing signified 
without the sign ; as if they had said, ' This is the king;' there- 
fore it is not a picture, nor is it cloth, or colours. And it being 
proper to the priests to consecrate it, they found how it exalted 
them to be judged able to make their Maker, and to give or 
deny Christ to men by their authority; and so they set up tran- 
substantiation, and by a general council made it heresy to hold 
that there is any bread or wine left after consecration. 

Q. 9. Wherein lieth the evil of that opinion ? 

A. The evils are more and greater than I must here stay to 
recite. In short, 1 . They feign that to be Christ's body and 
blood, which was in his hand, or on the table when he spake the 
words, as if he had then two bodies. 

2. They feign his body to be broken, and his blood shed 
before he was crucified. 

3. They feign him to have flesh and blood in heaven, which 
two general councils have condemned; his body being a spi- 
ritual body now. 


4. They feign either himself to have eaten his own flesh and 
drunk his own blood, or at least his disciples to have done it 
while he was alive. 

5 . They feign him to have been the breaker of his own flesh, 
and shedder of his own blood, and make him to do that which 
was done only by the Jews. 

6. They contradict the express words of the Scripture, which 
three times together call it bread, after the consecration in 
1 Cor. xi. c When yet they say, it is not bread. 

7. They condemn the belief of the soundest senses of all men 
in the world, as if it were heresy. All our eyes, touch, taste, 
&c, tell us that there is bread and wine, and they say there is 

8. Hereby they deny all certainty of faith, and all other cer- 
tainty ; for if a man may not be certain of what he seeth, feeleth, 
and tasteth, he can be certain of no sensible thing : for we have 
no faculties but sense to perceive things sensible as such : nor 
any way to transmit them to the intellect but by sense. And 
we can no otherwise know that there is a bible, a church, a 
council, a pope, a man, or any thing in the world, and there- 
fore much less can believe any of them. So that all human 
and divine faith are thus destroyed ; yea, man is set below a 
beast that hath the benefit of sense. 

9. Hereby they feign God to be the grand deceiver of the 
world ; for things sensible are his works, and so is sense ; and 
he makes us know no supernatural revelation but by the intro- 
mission of some sense, and if God may deceive all men by the 
way of sense, we can never be sure but he may do it otherwise. 

10. They set up men, who confess their own senses are not 
to be credited, to be more credible than all our senses, and to 
be the lords of the understandings of all princes and people in 
despite of sense, and he that is to be believed before our senses 
is an absolute lord. 

1 1. They deny it to be a sacrament, for if there be no sign, 
there is no sacrament. 

12. They feign every ignorant, drunken priest, every time 
he consecrateth, to work greater miracles than ever Christ 
wrought, and so to make miracles common, and at the wills of 
thousands of wicked men. I must not here stay to handle all this, 
but in a small book called 'Full and Easy Satisfaction, which is 
the True Religion,' I have showed thirty-one miracles with 

c So 1 Cor. x. 15, and xi. 25—28 ; Acts xx. 7, 11, and ii. 42, 46. 


twenty aggravations, which all priests are feigned to work at 
every sacrament. 

Q. 10. What is it that is called the mass, which the papists 
say that all the fathers and churches used in every age, and we 
renounce ? 

A. In the first ages, the churches were gathered among hea- 
thens, and men were long instructed and catechised hearers 
before they were baptised Christians ; and the first part of the 
day was spent in public, in such common teaching and prayer 
as belonged to all, and then the deacon cried, Missa est ; that 
is, dismissed the unbaptised hearers, and the rest that were 
Christians spent the rest of the time in such duties as are pro- 
per to themselves, especially the Lord's Supper and the praises 
of God. Hereupon all the worship following the dismission of 
the unchristened and suspended, came to be called barbarously 
the mass or dismission. And this worship hath been quite 
changed from what it was in the beginning, and the papists, by 
keeping the name ' mass' or dismission, make the ignorant 
believe, that the worship itself is the same as of old. 

Q. 11. What be the changes that have been made ? 

A. More than I may now stay to number. Justin Martyr 
and Tertullian describe it in their time to be just such as the 
Scripture mentioneth, and we now commonly perform, that is, 
in reading the Scripture, opening and applying it, praying as 
the minister was able, praising God, baptising and administer- 
ing the Lord's Supper. After this, ministers grew less able 
and trusty, and they decreed that they should pray and officiate 
in set forms ; yet so that every bishop might choose his own, 
and every presbyter must show it to the bishops and have their 
approbation ; the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Commandments, 
and the words of baptism, and delivery of the Lord's Supper, 
were always used in forms before. After this, they grew to 
use the same forms called a liturgy in whole provinces ; some 
ceremonies were so ancient, that we cannot find their original, 
that is, the anointing of the baptised, the giving them milk and 
honey to taste ; dipping them thrice ; clothing them in a white 
garment after ; to worship with their faces toward the east, 
and not to kneel in prayer or adoration any Lord's day in the 
year, nor any week-day between Easter and Whitsuntide, and 
especially to observe those two yearly festivals, and Good 
Friday's fast. 

And quickly after the encouraging of persecuted Christians to 


suffer, drew them to keep a yearly day at the place where a 
martyr was killed or huried, to honour their memories, and give 
God thanks for them. After this, they built altars over them, 
and they built their churches where their graves or some of their 
hones were laid, and in honour of their memory, called the 
churches by their names. Next, they brought their names 
daily into the church liturgies, and next they added to the 
names of such bishops of those particular churches as had left 
an honourable memorial behind them. And the Lord's supper 
was celebrated much like as it is in our English liturgy (save 
these names). And thus far the changes were then accounted 
laudable, and were not indeed such as should discourage any 
Christians from communion, nor do we read of any that were 
against them. Besides which they overvalued the use of crossing. 
But quickly (though by degrees) a flood of ceremonies came 
in, and popes and prelates added at their pleasure, till God's 
public worship was made quite another thing. 

I. God who is a Spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit and 
truth, is by mass priests and papists worshipped by such a 
mass of ceremonies, as makes it like a stage play, and repre- 
senteth God so like the heathen idols, delighted in mummeries 
and toyish actions, as is greatly to the dishonour of religion 
and God. d 

II. They have brought in the worshipping of God, in a 
language which the people understand not, and praying for they 
know not what. 

III. They have locked up the very Scriptures from the people, 
and forbid all to use it in their known tongue translated, but 
those that get a special license for it. 

IV. They abolish all substantial signs in the Sacrament, as 
is aforesaid, a:u! say, there is no bread or wine, and so make it 
no Sacrament. 

V. They give the laity the bread only, without the cup. 

VI. They call the consecrated bread by the name of their 
Lord God, and taking it to be no bread, but Christ's body, 
worship it with divine worship, which seemeth to me flat idol- 

VII. They reserve it as their God, long after the Sacrament, 
to adore and to work pretended miracles by. 

VIII. They solemnly celebrate a Sacrament before the con- 

,l John iv. 20, 22—24, and v. 39 ; Acts xvii. 1 1, 23, 25 ; Phil. iii. 3 ; 1 Cor. 
xiv. 2—27 ; Luke xi. 52 ; 2 Tim. iii. 15. 


gregation, where none communicate but the priests, and the 
people look on. 

IX. They say these masses by number, to deliver souls out of 
the flames of purgatory. 

X. They have many prayers for the dead as in purgatory, 
for their ease and deliverance. 

XI. They pray to the dead saints to intercede for them, and 
help them, and to the virgin Mary, for that which is proper to 

XII. They worship God by images, and adore the images as 
the representations of saints and angels ; yea, and of God : and 
some profess that the cross, and the images of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost, are to be worshipped with honour participa- 
tively divine. e 

These, with abundance more, and many false doctrines on 
which they depend, are brought into God's public worship, and 
called the mass, and are added by degrees to that sounder 
worship, which was called the mass at first. 

Q. 12. You have spoken much about the consecration in the 
Sacrament; what is it which you call the commemoration ? 

A. It containeth the signal representation of the sacrificing 
of Christ, as the Lamb of God, to take away the sins of the 
world. Where the signs are, 1. The materials, the bread and 
wine. 2. The minister's breaking the bread and pouring out 
the wine. 3. The presenting them to God, as the commemo- 
ration of that sacrifice in which we trust ; and declaring to the 
people, that this is done to this commemoration ? 

The things signified, are, 1. Christ's flesh and blood, when 
he was on earth. 2. The crucifying of Christ, the piercing of 
his flesh, and shedding his blood. 3. Christ's offering this to 
God as a sacrifice for man's sin. And this commemoration is 
a great part of the Sacrament. 

Q. 13. What think you of the name sacrifice, altar, and 
priest, here ? 

A. The ancient churches used them all, without exception 
from any Christian that ever I read of. I. As the bread is 
justly called Christ's body, as signifying it, so the action described 
was of old called a sacrifice, as representing and commemora- 
ting it. And it is no more improper than calling our bodies, 
and our alms, and our prayers sacrifices. (Rom. xii. 1 ; Eph. v. 
2 ; Phil. ii. 17, and iv. IS ; Heb. xiii. 15, 16 ; 1 Pet. ii. 5.') 

• Col. ii. 18. f Luke xxii. 19 ; 1 Cor. xi. 24, 20, 27. 


II. And the naming of the table an altar as related to this 
representative sacrifiee is no more improper than that other. 
" We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat," (Heb. xiii. 
10,) seems plainly to mean the sacramental communion. And the 
Scripture (Rev. vi. 9; viii. 3, 5, and xvi. 7) oft useth that word. 

III. And the word 'priest,' being used of all Christians that 
offer praise to God, (1 Pet. ii. 5,9; Rev. i. 6; v. 10, and xx. 6,) 
it may sure as well be used of those whose office is to be sub- 
intercessors between the people and God, and their mouth to 
God, in subordination to Christ's priesthood: causeless scruples 
harden the papists. We are not offended that the Lord's day 
is called the Sabbath, though the Scripture doth never so call it; 
and a Sabbath in Scripture sense was a day of ceremonial rest: 
and the ancient church called it the christian Sabbath, but by 
such allusion as it (more commonly) used the word sacrifice and 

Q, 14. But we shall too much countenance the papists' sacri- 
fice by using the same names. 

A. We can sufficiently disclaim their turning a commemora- 
tion of Christ's sacrifice into the feigned real sacrificing of his 
flesh and blood, without renouncing the names. Else we must, 
for men's abuse, renounce the name of a Sabbath too, and a 
temple, &c, if not also of a church and bishop. 

Q. 15. You have spoken of the sacramental consecration, 
and commemoration ; what is it which you call the covenanting 
part and communication ? 

A. It containeth the signs, and the things signified, as com- 
municated. The signs are, 1. The actual delivering of the con- 
secrated bread and wine (first broken and poured out) to the 
communicants, with the naming what it is that is given them. 

2. Bidding them take, eat, and drink. 3. Telling them the 
benefits and blessing's given thereby : and all this by a minister 
of Christ, authorized thus to act in his name, as covenanting, 
promising, and giving what is offered. 2 

And on the receiver's part the signs are, 1. Freely taking 
what is offered (the bread and wine). 2. Eating and drinking. 

3. Vocal praise and thanksgiving to God, and professed consent 
to the covenant. 

Q. 1G. What are the things signified and given ? 
A. I. 1. On God's part, the renewed giving of a sacrificed 
Saviour to the penitent believer. 

i Matt. xxvi. 2G ; John vi. 53, 54, 57, 58. 


2. The will and command of Christ, that as sacrificers feasted 
on the sacrifice, so the soul by faith should thankfully and joy- 
fully feast on Christ by hearty acceptance of the free gift. h 

3. The actual applicatory gift of the benefits of Christ's 
sacrifice; which are, 1. Our confirmed relation to Christ as our 
Head and Saviour, and to God as our Father reconciled by him, 
and to the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier, and to the church as 
his kingdom or body. 2. The pardon of our sins by his blood. 
3. Our right confirmed to everlasting life. 4. The strengthen- 
ing of our faith, hope, love, joy, patience, and all grace. 1 

4. Christ's promise and covenant for all this sealed to us. 
II. On the receiver's part is signified, 1. That in the sense of 

his own sin, misery, and need, he humbly and thankfully re- 
ceiveth his part in Christ as sacrificed. 2. That he endea- 
voureth by faith to feast on him. 3. And that he thankfullv 
receiveth the blessings purchased, to wit, his relation to Christ 
as his Head, to God, as his Father, and to the Holy Ghost, 
as his Sanctifier, and Comforter, with the pardon of sin, 
the sealed promise, and right to heaven, and all the helps 
of his faith and other graces. 4. That he resolvedly renew- 
eth the dedication of himself to God the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, as thus related to these ends; covenanting fidelity 
in these relations, and renouncing the contraries. 5. Doing all this 
as in communion with all the church of Christ, as being united to 
them in the same Head, the same faith, and hope, and love. 
6. Thankfully praising God and our Redeemer for this grace. 

Q. 17. Should not one prepare for the Lord's supper by fast- 
ing and humiliation before ? Or how should we prepare ? 

A. We must always live in habitual preparation, and special 
fasts are not ordinarily necessary thereto : the primitive church 
did communicate not only every Lord's day, but on other days 
when they met to worship God ; and therefore used not every 
week to spend a day in fasting for preparation. But as Christ- 
ians must use fasting on just occasions, so must they do before 
this Sacrament in case that any heinous sin, or heavy judgment 
or danger call for it ; and preparing considerations and prayers 
are necessary. 

Q. 18. May one communicate who is uncertain of the sin- 
cerity of his faith ? 

A. By faith you mean either objective or active faith. 

h Zee. ix. 11 ; Heb. x. 29, and xiii. 20. 

s 1 Cor. x. 16 ; 2 Cor. xiii. 11 ; Luke xxii 20 ; Heb. ix. 15—18. 


I. One that is so far uncertain that the gospel is true, and 
that there is a life to come, as that he dare not say, I have no 
wavering or doubt of it, may yet be a true believer and may 
communicate, if his persuasion be but so prevalent, as to resolve 
him to consent to the covenant of grace, and take God for his 
God, and Christ for his Saviour, and the Holy Ghost for his 
Sanctifier, God's law for his rule, his promise for his security, 
and heaven for his happiness, and here to place his hope and 
trust, forsaking all that stands against it. A weak and doubting 
faith may bring a man to martyrdom and to heaven, if it bring 
him to trust Christ with soul and body in the way of obedience 
to him. k 

2. If by faith you mean the act of believing and consenting, 
God hath made the sincerity of our faith necessary to our sal- 
vation, but not the certainty that it is sincere. Everyman must 
do his best to discern the trust, consent, and choice of his own 
heart: and he that truly believeth, and yet is not sure of it, if 
he can say, ' As far as I am able to know my own heart by trial, 
I seriously think that I resolvedly consent to the covenant of 
grace, and prefer Christ, holiness, and heaven, before all this 
world, and trust to Christ and his promises for my felicity;' ought 
to come to the table of the Lord, notwithstanding his uncer- 
tainty. 1 

Q. 19. Whence is it that so many Christians are more ter- 
rified than comforted by the Lord's supper? 

A. 1. Some of them, by an excess of reverence to this above 
all other ordinances of God, which, by degrees, brought in the 
papist's transubstantiation and adoration : and by a dread lest, 
by unworthy receiving, they should eat and drink their own 
damnation ; and so coming thither with a deeper sense of the 
danger than of the benefit, and mistaking their imperfections 
for this unworthy receiving. 2. And some come with too high 
expectations that God must suddenly give them joy, or all the 
grace that is signified by the sacrament, while they have not the 
holy skill to fetch m comfort by the exercise of their faith : and 
when they miss of what they expected, they are cast down. 
3. And too many, by wilful sin or negligence, deal falsely with 
God, and break their covenant, and renew their wounds of con- 
science, and deprive themselves of the comforts of the love of 

k Acts viii. 37; Mark ix. 24; Matt. vi. 30; viii. 2G; xir. 31, and xvi.8; 
Luke xvii. 5. 
1 John xx. 25 ; Matt, xxviii. 17 ; Acts xiii. 39. 


God, and the grace of Christ, and the communion of the Holy 
Spirit. 1 " 

Q. 20. Is not the Lord's supper a converting ordinance, which 
therefore should be used by the unbelievers, or ungodly ? 

A. Many things may accidentally, by God's grace, convert a 
man, which are not to be chosen and used to that end. Plagues, 
sickness, death approaching, may convert men ; falling into a 
heinous sin hath affrighted some to leave their sin. But these 
are not means to be chosen for such ends, and the fear and 
care of preparing for a sacrament hath converted some, when it 
was not the receiving that did it. It is so evident as not to 
need long proof that God never appointed the Lord's supper to 
be chosen and used by infidels, or impenitent, ungodly persons, 
as a means to convert them. 1. Because it is presupposed that 
they be baptised who communicate : and I have proved that 
baptism to the adult presupposed the profession of faith and re- 
pentance, and that it delivereth pardon and title to salvation. 

2. Because faith, and repentance, and covenant-consent re- 
newed, are also to be professed by all before they communicate. 

3. Because it was ever an ordinance proper to the church, 
which consisteth of professors of faith and holiness. 

4. And the communicants are said to be one bread and one 
body, and to eat Christ's flesh, and drink his blood, and Christ 
to dwell in them by faith, and to have eternal life hereby. 

And as for them that say it is not saving faith, but some com- 
moner, preparatory sort, which is necessarily to be professed in 
baptism and the Lord's supper, I have at large confuted them in 
a treatise of Right to Sacraments, and the reasons before and 
now named confute it. 1 add, that their opinion is destruc- 
tive to true christian love ; for by them no one should be taken 
for a child of God, and in a state of salvation, for being bap- 
tised, and communicants, and so not loved as such. And how 
poor a charity is it to love all visible church members, but as 
the children of the devil must be loved ! 

Q. 21. Must we love all as true Christians who are baptised, 
and communicate, and profess Christianity ? 

A. Yes, with these three exceptions; 1. That it is not as a 
certain truth, that we must judge them as sincere, but as pro- 
bable. 2. That there be divers degrees of probability as there 
be of profession. Some, we are almost sure, are sincere; and 
some we have more fear than hope of : and we must measure 

111 1 Cor. xi, 20, 30, 31. 


our love and trust accordingly. 3. If men by word or life 
apostatise, or plainly contradict and destroy their profession of 
Christianity, thereby they nullify our obligation to take them 
for Christians : but till men render their profession incredible 
by contrary profession or practice, we are, by the rules of christ- 
ian and human charity, to take all professed, baptised, commu- 
nicating Christians to be sincere, but only in various degrees of 
probability. 11 

Q. 22. How must the Lord's supper be improved after the 
receiving ? 

A. By a serious remembering with joy and thankfulness, how 
great mercies we have received of God ; and, with cheerful obe- 
dience, what a covenant we have made, and what duty we have 
most solemnly promised ; and in how near a relation and bond 
we are tied to the whole church of Christ, and to all our fellow 
Christians: and frequently to plead these great receivings and 
great obligations, to quicken our faith, and hope, and joy, and 
to overcome all temptations to the world and flesh, to unbelief, 
disobedience, and despair. 

Q. 23. Some say that no man should be kept from the sacra- 
ment, or excommunicated, because it is the food of their 
souls, &c. 

A. 1. If none be kept from baptism, heathens and infidels, 
and professed deriders of Christianity might be baptised to 
make a mock of baptism. We must make men Cbrist's disci- 
ples before we baptise them. (Matt, xxviii. 19.) And then bap- 
tism would be no baptism, nor the ministry no ministry, the spe- 
cifying end and use being changed. 2. Then the church would 
be no church, but lie common with the world. 3. And then 
Christ would be no King, and Head, and Husband of his church, 
that is, no Christ. p 4. If all may not be baptised, all may not 
communicate : for baptism entereth them into a state of com- 
munion, else the unbaptised, and all infidels, might communicate. 
5. Some baptised persons turn atheists, sadducees, or infidels, 
after; and these are worse than common infidels that never 
were baptised. The church is no church if it be common to 
these. 6. Some that continue a nominal Christianitv, openly 
hate and persecute the practice of it, and live in common adul- 

n Actsxi. 2G;ii. 38, 41, 42,44—46, and iv. 32, 34; Mark xvi. 16; 1 Cor. x. 
1C, 17, and xii. 8, 11, 13 ; 2 Cor. xi. 2 ; Gal. iii. 28; Epli. iv. 3, 5 ; John iv. 
1, andxiii. 35; Rom. vi. 3,5; Matt. x. 42; Luke xiv. 26,33. 

° 1 Cor. xii. 16, 20—22. 

i' Matt, xxviii. 19; Mark xvi. 16; 1 Cor. xi. 27—30 j.Eph. i. 22, 23. 


tery, perjury, murder; and the church is holy, and a peculiar 
people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood : q and repentance and 
ohedience are necessary to the church as well as faith. If, therefore, 
these notorious, flagitious, impenitent persons, must be mem- 
bers in communion with the church, it will be a swine sty, and 
not a church; a shame to Christ, and not an honour. If his 
church be like the rest of the world, Christ will not be honoured 
as the Saviour of it, nor the Spirit as its Sanctifier. It is the 
unity of the spirit that all Christians must keep in the bond of 
peace/ But these have none of his Spirit, and therefore are 
none of Christ's. 

The sacraments are symbols of the church as differenced 
from the world ; and Christ will have them be a visibly distinct 
society. 7. Communicants come to receive the greatest gift in 
the world, pardon, justification, adoption, right to heaven. The 
gospel giveth these to none but penitent believers. To say that 
Christ giveth them to flagitious, impenitent rebels, whose lives 
say, " We will not have him reign over us," is to make a new 
gospel, contrary to Christ's gospel, which Paul curseth, were it 
done by an angel. (Gal. i. 7, 8.) They are not yet capable of 
these precious gifts. 

8. The objectors take no notice of 1 Cor. v. 2; 2 Thess. iii.; 
Rom. xvi. 16, 17; Tit. iii. 10; Rev. ii. and iii.; where the 
churches are reproved for suffering defilers ; nor Heb. xiii. 7> 
17, 24; Luke xii. 42, 43; 1 Thess. v. 12, 13, which describe the 
office of church guides; nor 1 Tim. iii. and iv., &c, where the 
governing of the church, and avoiding communion of the im- 
penitent, are described. 

9. In a word, Christ's office, works, and law, the nature of the 
church and sacrament, the office of the ministry, the frequent 
precepts of the apostles, and the constant practice of the church 
in its greatest purity, down from the apostles' days, do all speak 
so plainly for keeping and casting out infidels and impenitent, 
wicked men, and for keeping the church as a society of visible 
saints, separated from the world, that I can take him for no bet- 
ter than a swine or an infidel, who would have the church keys 
cast away, and the church turned common to swine and infidels. 

Q. 24. But it will make ministers lords and tyrants to have 
such power? 

A. 1. Somebody must be trusted with the power, if the work 
must be done. The church must be differenced from the world. 

4 Tit. ii. 14 ; 1 Pet. ii. 9. r Eph. iv. 3, 16 ; Rom. viii. 9. 


Therefore some must try and judge who are fit to be baptised, 
and to have its communion ; and who are fitter than those 
whom Christ, by office, hath thereto appointed. Would you 
have magistrates, or the people, do it ? Then they must be pre- 
pared for it by long study and skill, and wholly attend it, for it 
will take up all their time. s 

Q. 25. Must ministers examine people before they communi- 
cate ? 

A. They must catechise and examine the adult before they 
baptise them, and, consequently, those who were baptised in 
infancy, before they number them with adult communicants j or 
else atheists and infidels will make up much of the church, who 
will come in for worldly interest. This examination should go 
before confirmation, or the public owning of their baptism; 
but there is no necessity of any more examination before every 
sacrament, except in case of scandal, or when persons need and 
crave such help. 

Q. 26. Who be they that must be excommunicated, or re- 
fused ? 

A. Those who are proved to be impenitent in gross, scanda- 
lous sins, after sufficient admonition and patience. And to 
reject such, is so far from tyranny, that it is necessary church 
justice, without which a pastor is but a slave, or executioner 
of the sinful will of others ; like a tutor, philosopher, or school- 
master, who is not the master of his own school, but must 
leave it common to all that will come in, though they scorn 
him, and refuse his conduct. But no man must play the pastor 
over other men's flocks, nor take the guidance of a greater flock 
that he can know and manage, much less be the only key- 
bearer over many score or hundred churches; and, least of all, 
take upon him to govern and judge of kings and kingdoms, 
and all the world, as the Roman deceiving tyrant doth. 

Of Preparation for Death and Judgment. 

Q. 1. How must we prepare for a safe and comfortable 
death ? 

A. I have said so much of this in my family book, that to 

9 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2 i Matt. xxiv. 45, 4G, 47 ; 1 Thess. v. 12. 


avoid repetition I must refer you thither, only in brief : 1 . Pre- 
paration for death is the whole work of life, for which many 
hundred years are not too long, if God should so long spare 
and try us. And all that I have hitherto said to you, for faith, 
love, and obedience, upon the Creed, Lord's prayer, and com- 
mandments, is to teach you how to prepare for death. And 
though sound conversion at last may tend to pardon and salva- 
tion, to them that have lived a careless, wicked life, yet the 
best, the surest, the wisest preparation, is that which is made 
by the whole course of a holy, obedient, heavenly life.' 

Q. 2. What life is it that is the best preparation ? 

A. J. When we have so well considered of the certain vanity 
of this world, and all its pleasures, and of the truth of God's 
promises of the heavenly glory, as that by faith we have there 
placed our chiefest hopes, and there expect our chief felicity, 
and make it our chief business in this world to seek it, pre- 
ferring no worldly thing before it, but resolved, for the hopes of 
it to forsake them all when God requireth it : this is the first 
part of our preparation for death." 

II. When we believe that this mercy is given by Christ, the 
Mediator between God and man, and trust in his merits and 
intercession with the Father, and take him for our teacher also, 
and our ruler, resolving to obey his word and Spirit. This is 
the second part of our preparation for death. x 

III. When the Holy Spirit hath shed abroad God's love upon 
our hearts, and turned their nature into a habit of love to God 
and holiness, and given us a victory over that love of the world, 
and fleshly prosperity, and pleasure, which ruleth in the hearts 
of carnal men, though yet our love show itself but in such mor- 
tification, and endeavour, and grief for what we want, we are 
prepared for a safe death. y 

But if the foretastes of heavenly glory, and sense of the love 
of God, do make our thoughts of heaven sweeter to us than our 
thoughts of our earthly hopes, and cause us, out of love to God 
and our glorified Redeemer and his church, and out of love to 
a life of perfect knowledge, love, and joy, to long to depart 
and be with Christ, then we are prepared not only for a safe 
but a joyful death. 2 

' Phil. ii. 12 ; Hcb. v. 9, and xii. 28 ; Tit. ii. 11, 12; Luke xix, 9, and xiv. 
26, 33 ; Rom. x. 10, 11 ; 2 Pet. iii. 11, 12 ; 1 Pet. i. 9. 

° Matt. vi. 33. * 2 Cor. iv. 1G, 18 ; John iii. 16. 

y 2 Cor. v. 17 ; Heb. xii. 14 ; Rom. viii. 9, 13. 
z 2Cor. v. 1, 3, 8; Phil. i. 21,23. 


Q. 3. ! But this is a great and difficult work. 

A. Jt is not too hard for the Spirit of Christ, and a soul re- 
newed by it. It is our great folly and naughtiness that maketh 
it hard : why else should it be hard for a man that loveth him- 
self, and knoweth how quickly a grave, and rotting in the dark, 
must end all his pleasures in this world, to be earnestly desirous 
of a better after it ? And why should it be hard for one that 
believeth that man's soul is immortal, and that God hath sent 
one from heaven, who is greater than angels, to purchase it for 
us, and promise it to us, and give us the first-fruits by his Holy 
Spirit ; to rejoice that he dieth not as an unpardoned sinner, 
nor as a beast, but shall live in perfect life, and light, and love, 
and joy, and praise, forever ? What should rejoice a believing, 
considerate man like this ? a 

Q. 4. O ! But we are still apt to doubt of things unseen ? 

A. 1. You can believe men for things unseen, and be certain 
by it ; for instance, that there is such a place as Rome, Paris, 
Venice, that there have been such kings of England as Henry 
VIII., King James, &c. You know not, but by believing others, 
whether ever you were baptised, nor who was your father or 
mother. 2. You see not your own soul, nor any one's that you 
talk with ', and yet you feel and see such things as may assure 
any sober man that he hath a soul. God is not seen by us, yet 
nothing is more certain than that there is a God. 

3. We see plants, flowers, fruits, and all vital acts, produced 
by an unseen power ; we see vast, lucid, glorious regions above 
us, and we see and feel the effects of invisible powers : there- 
fore, to doubt of things because they are unseen, is to doubt of 
all the vital, noblest part of the world, and to believe nothing 
but gross and lowest things, and to lay by reason, and become 
brutes. But of this I have said more near the beginning. 

Q. 5. What should we do to get the soul so familiar above 
as to desire to be with Christ ? 

A. 1. We must not live in a foolish forgetfulness of death, 
nor flatter our souls into delays and dulness, by the expectations 
of long life on earth ; the grave must be studied till we. have 
groundedly got above the fears of it. 

II. We must not rest quiet in such a human belief of the 
gospel and the life to come, as hath no better grounds than the 
common opinion of the. country where we live, as the Turks 
believe Mahomet, and his Alcoran; for this leaveth the soul in 

a 1 Pet. i. 0, 8; iThess.v. 16; Phil. ii. 10— 18, and iv. 4; Hel>. iii.G. 


such doubts and uncertainty as cannot reach to solid joy, nor 
victory over the world and flesh. But the true evidences of 
the gospel, and our hopes, must be well digested, which I have 
opened to you in the beginning, of which I give you a breviate 
in two sentences. 

1. The history of the gospel of Christ's life, miracles, death, 
resurrection, ascension, sending down the Spirit, the apostles' 
miracles, and preaching, and writing, and sufferings, is a true 
history : else there is none sure in the world, for none of such 
antiquity hath greater evidence. 

2. And if the history aforesaid be true, the doctrine must 
needs be true ; for it is part of the history, and owned and 
sealed certainly by God. b 

III. We must not be content to be once satisfied of the truth 
of the life to come, but we must mentally live upon it and for it, 
and know how great business our souls have every day with our 
glorified Lord, and the glorified society of angels, and the 
perfected spirits of the just, and with the blessed God of love 
and glory : we must daily fetch thence the motives of our 
desires, hopes, and duties, the incentives of our love and joy. 
The confutation of all temptations from the flesh and the world, 
and our supporting patience in all our sufferings and fears. 
Read oft John xvii. 22—24, and xx. 17. Heb. xii. 22—24 ; 
Matt. vi. 19—21, 33 ; Col. iii. 4, 5 ; 2 Thess. i. 10, 1 1 ; Heb. 
xi. ; 2 Cor. iv. 16, 17, and v. 1—3, 5, 7, 8 ; Phil. i. 21, 23, and 
iii. 18, 19, 20. They , that thus live by faith on God and glory 
will be prepared for a joyful death. 

IV. We must take heed that no worldly hope or pleasure 
vitiate our affections, and turn them down from their true 
delight. c 

V. We must live wholly upon Christ, his merit, sufficiency, 
love, and mediation ; his cross and his kingdom must be the 
sum of our learning, study, and content/ 1 

VI. We must take heed of grieving the Spirit of consolation, 
and wounding our consciences by wilful sin of omission or 

VII. We must faithfully improve all our time and talents to 
do God all the service, and others all the good, that we can in 
the world, that we may be ready to give an account of our 

'> Phil. iii. 18— 20 ; Col. iii. 1—3 j Heb. xii. 22—24. 
"Eph.iii. 17,18. * Eph. iv. 5.0. 


VIII. We must be armed against temptations to unbelief and 

IX. We must, while we are in the body, in our daily thoughts 
fetch as much help from sensible similitudes as we can, to have 
a suitable imagination of the heavenly glory. And one of the 
most familiar is, that which Christ calleth the coming of the 
kingdom of God, which was his transfiguration with Moses and 
Elias in glorious appearance in the holy mount, (Matt. xvii. 1,) 
which made Peter say, " It is good to be here." e Christ pur- 
posely so appeared to them to give them a sensible apprehension 
of the glory which he hath promised. And Moses, that was 
buried, appeared there in a glorified body. 

And we must not think only of God, but of the heavenly so- 
ciety, and even our old acquaintance, that our minds may find 
the more suitableness and familiarity in their objects and con- 

X. We must do our best to keep up that natural vivacity and 
cheerfulness, which may be sanctified for spiritual employment; 
for when the body is diseased with melancholy, heaviness, or 
pains, and the mind diseased with griefs, cares, and fears, it 
will be hard to think joyfully of God, or heaven, or any thing. 

XI. We must exercise ourselves in those duties which are 
nearest akin to the work in heaven. Specially labouring to 
excite hope, love, and joy, by faith, and praising God, especially 
in psalms in our families and the sacred assemblies, and using 
the most heavenlv books and company. 

XII. We must not look when all is done to have very clear 
conceptions of the quality and acts of separated souls, or the 
world of spirits, but must be satisfied with an implicit trust in 
our Father and our glorified Lord, in the things which are yet 
above our reach : and, giving up soul and body to him, we 
should joyfully trust them with him as his own, and believe that 
while we know as much as may bring us well to heaven, it is 
best for us that the rest is known by Christ, in whose hand and 
will we are surer and better than in our own. 

As for the special preparations in sickness, I refer you to the 
family book. 

Q. 6. What shall one do that is tempted to doubt, or to 
think hardly of God, because he hath made heaven for so 
few ? 

A. 1. Those few may be assured that he will never forsake 

e Matt. xvii. 1. 


them whom he hath so chosen out of all the world, and made 
his jewels and his treasure. 

2. It is improbable rashness to say, heaven is but for few : 
all this earth is no more to the glorious world above us (even so 
far as we see) than one inch is to all the earth, and what if 
God forsake one inch or molehill. (Heb. xii. 23, 24.) 

Again I say, I take hell to be as the gallows, and this earth 
to be as Newgate gaol, where some prisoners are that shall die, 
and some shall live ; and the superior world to be like the city 
and kingdom. Who will say that the king is unmerciful, because 
malefactors have a prison and a gallows, if all else in the king- 
dom live in peace ? 

And though this world seems almost forsaken as the prison- 
way to hell, yet, while the elect are saved, and the superior, 
lucid, glorious world is many thousand, and thousand, and 
thousand times greater than all this earth, I doubt not but ex- 
perience will quickly tell us, that the glory of God's love is so 
unmeasurably manifested in heaven, as that the blindness, wick- 
ednesss, confusions, and miseries of this earth and hell shall 
be no eclipse or dishonour to it for ever. 

FinitWf Jan. 10, 1G8£. 










This book was intended for the use of poor families, which 
have neither money to buy many, nor time to read them : I 
much desired therefore to have made it shorter ; but I could not 
do it, without leaving out that which I think they cannot well 
spare. That which is spoken accurately, and in few words, the 
ignorant understand not : and that which is large, they have 
neither money, leisure, nor memory to make their own. Being 
unavoidably in this strait, the first remedy lieth in your 
hands ; I humbly propose it to you for the souls of men, and the 
comfort of your own, and the common good, on the behalf of 
Christ, the Saviour of your souls and theirs, that you will bestow 
one book (either this or some fitter) upon as many poor families 
as you well can. If every landlord would give one to every poor 
tenant that he hath, once in his life, out of one year's rent, it 
would be no great charge in comparison of the benefit which 
may be hoped for, and in comparison of what prodigality con- 
sumeth. The price of one ordinary dish of meat will buy a 
book : and to abate, for every tenant, but one dish in your lives, 
is no great self-denial. If you, indeed, lay out all that you have 
better, I have done. If not, grudge not this little to the poor, 
and to yourselves : it will be more comfortable to your review, 
when the reckoning cometh, than that which is spent on pomp 
and ceremony, and superfluities, and fleshly pleasures. And if 
landlords (whose power with their tenants is usually great) 
would also require them seriously to read it (at least on the 
Lord's days) it may further the success. And I hope rich citi- 
zens, and ladies, and rich women, who cannot themselves go 
talk to poor families, will send them such a messenger as this, or 
some fitter book to instruct them, seeing no preacher can be 
got at so cheap a rate. The Father of Spirits, and the Redeem- 
er of souls, persuade and assist us all to work while it is day, 
and serve his love and grace for our own and other men's salva- 
tion. Amen. 

Your humble Monitor, 


Aug. 26, 1672. 


Mr.Akthur Dent's book, called " The Plain Man's Pathway 
to Heaven," was so well accepted, because it was a plain, fami- 
liar dialogue, that about forty years ago, I had one, said to be of 
the thirtieth impression. While I was thinking to endeavour 
the re-printing of it, those reasons that hindered me, did per- 
suade me to do somewhat like it to the same ends. Accord- 
ingly I began in the three or four first days' conference, to speak 
as much as I could in the language of the vulgar, though I 
thought it not best so to hold on to the end ; 1 . Because it 
would have made the book too big, or else have necessitated 
me to leave out much that cannot (in order to practice) be well 
spared. 2. Because I may suppose, that riper Christians need 
not so loose a style, or method, as the ignorant or vulgar do : 
and the latter part of the book supposeth the reader to be got 
above the lowest form, though not to be a learned, accurate 
man. The title of the book is rough, according to the design. 
In the conference with the malignant, I have brought in only 
such objections as are now most commonly used, and therefore 
which the ignorant most need our help against. 

I have two things which some readers will think need an ex- 
cuse. I. That I have put in the sixth day's conference two 
sheets of instructions published heretofore ; which I did because 
such small things alone are cast away, and lost ; and because I 
would neither write oftener than is needful the same things, 
nor yet omit so necessary a part. 

II. That I have published forms of prayer and catechising : 
but I have not now so little to do as to confute their conceits, 
who think such forms to be unlawful or unuseful. But that thev 
are not better done, I confess doth need more excuse than I can 
give you. I expect that the catechism should satisfy but few ; 
for neither it, nor any that I ever saw, doth fully satisfy mvself. 
It is harder than most think, to suit the words both to the mat- 
ter and to the learners. Had I used fewer words, I must have 
left out some of the necessary matter. Had I used more, I had 


overmatched the memories of the weaker sort. The more ig- 
norant any one is, the more words his understanding needeth, 
and the fewer words his memory needeth : and who ean give 
the same man few and many ? I have therefore put but few 
into the catechism to be remembered, and put the rest in the 
exposition to be read. Those that think that so short a sum- 
mary as the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Decalogue, with the 
baptismal covenant, which make up the first catechism, is un- 
useful, are not of my judgment, nor of the ancient churches, who 
made these the test of men's Christianity, and fitness for christ- 
ian communion. I know that the exposition of the longer ca- 
techism is too hard for the ignorant that have no instructer to 
open it further to them, and that the first part (about God) is 
harder than the rest : but that is from the incomprehensible- 
hess of God, with whom yet order requireth us to begin ; and it 
is so in most systems of theology : and the reader that under- 
standeth it not at first, must come back, and study it again; for 
he that is the first and the last, must be first and last of all these 
studies. I had thought to have done as others, and have added 
another catechism, with numerous and shorter answers ; but I 
was afraid of overdoing. The hard passages which the younger 
do not reach, are not unusefu! to the riper, who must have their 
parts. The Lord be your teachers, and bless (when we are 
dead and gone) the instructions which we leave you, according 
to his word and will ! 







The Conviction of an Unconverted Sinner. 

Speakers. — Paul, a pastor ; and Saul, an ignorant sinner. 

Paul. When I saw you last, neighbour, I told you, that both 
my love to you, and my office, do bind me, besides my public 
preaching, to watch over every person of my flock, and to in- 
struct and help them, man by man, as far as I am able, and they 
consent : thus a Christ himself instructed sinners, and thus must 
we : you know we cannot speak so familiarly, and come so 
close to every one's case, in a common sermon, as we may do 
by conference : and in conference it is not a little rambling dis- 
course upon the by that is fit for so great a business ; and 
therefore I entreated you to allow me now and then an hour's 
set and sober talk with you, when all other matters might for 
that time be laid by : and I am now come to claim it, as you 

Saul. You are welcome, Sir. I confess to you that, being ig- 

a Jolin iv., and iii. 1, 2, &c. 


norant and unlearned, I am loth to talk with such a man as 
you about high matters and things of religion, which I do not 
well understand. But because you desired it, I could not say 
you nay. 

P. You shall see that I come not to dispute with you, or to 
cavil, or to do you any harm, nor to pose you with any needless 
questions, nor to try your learning : but only to help you, before 
you die, to make sure of everlasting life. 

S. I have so much reason myself as to know, that Christ's 
ministers are like nurses, that must cut every child his meat as 
it is fit for him; and that if I were sick, it is not a long 
speech of my physician that will serve to cure me ; but he must 
come and see me, and feel my pulse, and find out my disease, 
and then tell me what will do me good, and how to take it. But 
to tell you the truth, sir, there are so many busy fellows that 
love to meddle with other folk's matters, and censure others, 
and do but trouble men, either to draw them to their own opi- 
nions, or else to make themselves teachers, and to seem better 
than they are themselves, that I was at first unwilling you 
should trouble me with such matters ; till I thougbt with my- 
self that I am one of your charge ; and till I heard how dis- 
creetly, and tenderly, and well you speak to those that have been 
with you. And now I am ready to receive your instruc- 

P. But I have this one request to you before we begin, that 
we may do all with reverence, as in the presence of God, and beg 
his blessing ; and that you will not be offended with me if I 
speak freely, and come close to you, as long as you know that I 
have no ends of my own, but only, in love, to seek the salvation 
of your soul : and it is not flattery that will cure diseases, or 
save souls. 

S. I confess man's nature loveth not to be shamed, or galled, 
or troubled ; but yet God forbid that I should he offended with 
You for seeking my own good : for I know you are wiser than 
I, and know by your life and labour that it is nothing but all our 
salvation that you seek. 

P. I pray you b tell me what case do you take your soul to be 
in for another world ; and what do you think would become of 
you if you should die this day? 

S. God knows what he will do with us all, J know not. But 
we must hope the best, and put our trust in the mercy of God. 
P. No doubt but God knows ; but do you think that we may 

" 1 Pet. Hi. 15. 

300 thk poor man's family book. 

not 1 know ourselves? May not a man know certainly whether 
he shall be saved or not ? 

S. I think not. We can but hope well, but not be sure, for 
who can tell the secrets of God ? 

P. Cannot a man know it, if God should tell him ? 
S. Yes, but God tells nobody his mind. 

P. Do you not think the d holy Scripture is God's word ; 
and that whatever it tells us, God tells us ? 
S. Yes, I cannot deny that. 

P. Do you believe that there is e another life after this, and 
that man dieth not like a dog, but that his soul goeth either to 
heaven or hell ? 

S. Yes, that must not be denied. 

P. Seeing heaven is an inconceivable glory, and hell the 
most inexpressible misery, do you not think but there must 
needs be a f very great difference between those that go to 
heaven, and those that go to hell ? 

S. Yes, no doubt; God is not unjust : he would not take one 
to heaven, and send another to hell, if they were both alike. 

P. And do you think that there is so great difference, and 
yet that it cannot be known ? Is a godly man and a wicked man 
so like that they cannot be known asunder by themselves, if 
they will ? 

S. Nobody knoweth the heart but God. 

P. Another cannot infallibly know it, further than the life 
declareth it. But cannot you g know your own ? Cannot you 
know what you love and what you hate ? 

S. No doubt but a man may know his own mind. 
P. Very good. And you hear the Scriptures read at church, 
where there are abundance of promises made to the godlv, 
both for this life and that to come, and terrible threatenings to 
the ungodly ? To what use and purpose were all these, if no 
one could know whether he were godly or ungodly? Who could 
take any comfort in the promises, if he could not know that 
they belong to him ? 

S. Not unless he have some guess, or hope. 
P. And do you not hear, that " We must give all diligence 
to make our calling and election sure ? " (2 Pet. i. 10.) And 
" Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith or no 

e 2 Cor. xiii. 5. 

A John v. 39 ; Matt. xiv. 49, and xii. 24 ; 2 Tim. iii. 10. 

"'Matt. xxv. ; Heb. ix. 27. 

f Matt, xxv.; Psalm i. ; Mai. iii. 17, 18 ; Rom. viii. 5—7,9. 

* 2 Cor. i. 5 ; 1 John iii. 14, 24 ; iv. 13, and v. 19, 20. 


Prove yourselves. Know you not your own selves that Jesus 
Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Cor. xiii. 5.) 
Do you think God would bid men try and examine, and make 
sure, if it were impossible ? 

S. No, sure, we must do our best. But who can tell who 
are elected and who are reprobates, which are God's secrets ? 

P. You cannot know, before they are converted, whom God 
will convert and whom not. But when he converteth a sinner, 
he sets his name and mark upon him ; not outwardly only, as 
you do on your sheep, or goods ; but inwardly, 11 as the parents 
convey their own nature and likeness to their children. That 
is, he regenerateth and sanctifieth them : he putteth into them 
a holy nature, a new mind, and a new will, and turneth them 
to a new life. And may not all this be known ? Cannot God's 
elect be known to themselves, when he hath given them the 
Spirit of Christ, and made them new creatures, and set his 
certain mark upon them ? Did you never hear, " The founda- 
tion (or obligation) of God standeth sure, having this seal ; the 
Lord knoweth them that are his ; and let every one that nameth 
the name of Christ depart from iniquity?" (2 Tim. ii. 19.) 
God knoweth whom be will convert and save from eternity. 
But when men believe in Christ, and depart from iniquity, then 
they have his seal of election on them, and by it they may 
know themselves that they are his. 

S. I cannot deny what you say, for it is plain. 

P. I pray you tell me further, have you not read, or heard, 
that one sort are called in Scripture the children of God, and 
said to ' have his nature and his image ? and therefore are said 
to be regenerated and born again, and born of God, and begot- 
ten by incorruptible seed to a lively hope, and a never-fading- 
crown in heaven, and are made holy as he is holy ? And the 
other sort aie called k the children of the devil, and said to be 
of him, and to be ruled as captives by him, and to do his works 
and will ? And dare you think that God and the devil are so 
like, as that their image, and nature, and works, and children, 
cannot be known one from another ? 

S. I dare not think so. God forbid ! 

P. And have you not heard in Scripture abundance of par- 
ticular marks laid down, by which we may know whether we 

11 John iii. 3, 5; ltoin.viii. 0; Matt. xiii. 3; Tit. ii. 13, 14 ; 2 Cor. v. 17. 

1 2 Pet. i. 4 ; 1 Pet. i 3, 4, 15—17. 

k John viii. 18 ; 2 Tim. ii. 25, 26 ; 1 John iii. 8-40 ; Acts xiii. 10. 

302 THE took man's family book. 

are the children of God ? And can you think they are all laid 
down in vain ? 

S. No ; none of the word of God is in vain. 
P. And do you not hear expressly, that by these marks we 
may know that we l are the children of God ? And that, know- 
ing it, we may rejoice, even with unspeakable, glorious joy ; and 
that believers are commanded to rejoice in the Lord, yea, 
always to rejoice ? And God's word cannot be false, nor doth 
it command the™ ungodly thus to rejoice. Therefore, cer- 
tainly a man may know whether he is the child of God, or not. 

S. I never thought of so much before as you have told me : 
I cannot deny it. But I must confess that I have no such know- 
ledge of myself. 

P. Be not offended with me, if I freely proceed upon your 
own confession. Have you no assurance of your salvation ? 
Nor certain knowledge what case your soul is in? Tell me truly, 
what care, what" diligent labour have you used to have made 
all sure ? Is it because you could not get assurance ? or because 
you would not do your part ? Can you truly say that you have 
set your heart upon the matter, and made it the greatest, of 
your care and labour in this world, and left nothing undone 
which you were able to do, to make sure of everlasting life ? 

S. I would I could say so, but I confess I cannot. God for- 
give me ! I have had some shallow thoughts of these matters 
upon the by, but I never laid out such serious thoughts, such 
earnest labours, upon them as you speak of. 

P. Have you not ? I am sorry to know it. But I pray you 
tell me what is it that hath hindered you ? 

S. Alas, sir, many things have hindered me. One is the 
cares, and business, and crosses of this world, which have taken 
up my mind and time : and another is the vain pleasures of the 
flesh, the delights of sense, and a daily contentedness in the 
particulars of my prosperity. Something or other so took me 
up, that my mind had no leisure, nor room, for God. 

P. And do you think you have done well and wisely? Will 
this course serve your turn for ever ? What have you now to 
show of all the pleasures that sin afforded you ever since you 

'2 Cor. i. 12; Gal. vi. 4 ; Heb. iii.G; Phil. iii. 1, and iv. 4 ; Palm xxxiii. 1; 
Rom. v. 2 ; 1 Thess. v. 10; 1 Pet. i. G, 8. 

>» Hos.ix. 1.  2 Pet. i. 10 ; Isa. Iv. 1,6, 10; Matt. vi. 33 ; John \i.27. 

" Matt. xiii. 22 ; Luke viii. 14, and xxi. 34 : Rom. viii. 6—8 ; Phil. iii. 19 ; 
Psalm x. 3, 4. 


were born ? What now are you the P better for every merry 
hour that is past ; for every sweet, delicious dish ; for every 
pleasant, merry cup ; for every playful day, or company ; for 
every wanton lust and dalliance ? Tell me now, what good, 
what sweetness, what inward comfort, is left behind ? What 
the better are you now for all ? 

S. You need not ask me such a question. The pleasure is 
gone of all that is past, but I am still in hope of more. 

P. And how long will that endure which you hope for ? Are 
you sure to live another week, or day, or hour ? And are you 
not sure that an end will come, and q shortly come, and irre- 
sistibly come ? And where then are all your delights and mer- 
riments ? Do you think that death is made more safe and 
comfortable, or more dangerous and terrible, by the remem- 
brance of all the sinful pleasures of a fleshly life ? Go, try if 
you can comfort a dying man, that is not mad, by telling him 
that he hath had a life of sport and pleasure ; or that he had 
his cups, and feasts, and whores, and honours, for so long a 
time ; and that he r hath had his good things here ; and that 
this world hath done for him all that it can do, and now he 
must part with it for ever. Go, try whether death be more 
comfortable to Dives, who is clothed in purple and silk, and 
fareth sumptuously or deliciously every day, than to a Lazarus 
that waiteth in patient poverty for a better life. 

And as for all your possessions and wealth, what will they 
do for you, more than to be the fuel of these transitory delights, 
that your fleshly lusts may not lack provision ? Will you carry 
any of it with you ? Will it make your death more safe or easy ? 
Or, do you not know that unsanctified wealth and pleasures do 
all leave nothing but their sting behind, and prepare for ever- 
lasting wo ? 

S. I know all this. And yet this world hath a marvellous 
power to blind men's minds, and take up their hearts, and turn 
their thoughts from better things. 

P. It is true with those that are blind already, and never had 
spiritual wisdom, or holy inclination, to mind God, or any thing 
truly good. But if men were well in their wits, could the 
beastly pleasures of the flesh for a moment be preferred before 
holv, everlasting pleasures ? Could they be quieted in all their 
misery with the pride and pelf of a few days, and which they 

i' Eccl.i. 2, :>, Sec. " All is vanity and vexation." 
i Luke xii. 10, 20. r Luke xvi. 25. 

304 the poor man's family book. 

know they must shortly leave for ever ? Could a life, that is 
posting so speedily to its end, make men forget an endless life ? 

But tell me, neighbour, did you not know all this while that 
you must die ; you must certainly die ; you must shortly die ? 
And did you not know, that when death cometh, time is gone, 
for ever gone, and all the world cannot recall it ? Did you not 
know that your s business in this world was to prepare for 
heaven, and to do all that ever must be done for your everlast- 
ing hope and happiness ? And that it must go with all men in 
heaven and hell as they have prepared here ? 

S. I have heard all this, but it was with a dull and sleepy 
mind ; it did not stir me up to sober consideration, because I 
hoped still for longer life. 

P. But you know that the longest life must have an end : 
where now are all that lived before us? And, alas! what are an 
hundred years when they are gone ? What now is all your time 
that is past ? But tell me further ; what shift make you all this 
while with your conscience ? Did you never think of the l end 
of all your prosperity, and of your soul's appearing in another 
world ? Do you not pass through the churchyard, and see the 
graves, and tread upon the dust of those that have lived in the 
pleasures of the world before you ? Have you not seen the graves 
opened, and the carcasses of your neighbours left there in the 
silent darkness, to rot into ugly loathsomeness and dust ? Have 
you not seen the bones, the skulls of your forefathers, and the 
holes where meat and drink went in ? And did you not know 
that all this must be your own condition ? And is such a life 
better than heaven ? And such a corruptible body fit to be 
pampered with all the care and labour of our lives, whilst our 
souls are almost forgotten and neglected? 

S. God forgive us ! we forget all this, though we have daily and 
hourly remembrancers, till death is just upon us, and then we 
do" perceive our folly. I was once sick, and like to die, and 
then I was troubled for fear what would become of me ; and I 
was fully resolved to mend my life : but when I was recovered, 
all wore off, and the world and the flesh took place again. 

P. But you are a man, and have the use of reason. When 
you confess that you are unready to die, and have done no more 
to make sure work for your soul, tell me, what shift make you 

"Matt. vi. 19,20,33. 

1 1 Pet. iv. 7 ; Lake x'ti. 10, 20 ; 2 Pet. iii. 11; Psalm xxxvii. 37, 38, &c. ; 
Rom. vi. 21, 22; 2 Cor. xi. 15 ; Phil. iii. 19. 
u Psalm Ixxviii. 33-35, Sec. 


to lie down quietly to sleep, lest you should die, and be past 
hope, before the morning ? Are you not afraid in the morning 
lest you should die before night, and never have time of repent- 
ance more ? What shift make you to forget that, if you die 
unready and unconverted, you are a lost and miserable man 
for ever ? Are you sure at x night to live till morning ? Are 
you sure in the morning to live till night ? Are you not sure 
that it will not be long ? Do you not know by what a wonder 
of providence we live ? How many hundred veins, and arteries, 
and sinews, and other parts, our bodies have, which must every 
one be kept in order ? So that if one break, or be stopped, or if 
our blood do but corrupt or sour, or our other nourishing 
moisture be distempered, or our spirits be quenched, how quickly 
are we gone ! And dare you wilfully or negligently live one 
day unprepared for death in so slippery and uncertain a life as 
this ? 

S. You say well : but, for all this uncertainty, I thank God I 
have lived until now. 

P. And will you turn God's patience and mercy into presump- 
tion, to the hardening of your heart, and the delaying of your 
repentance ? Will he always wait your leisure ? As long as 
you have lived, will not death come, and shortly come ? And 
where are you then ? And what will you do next ? Have you 
ever soberly bethought you what it is for a soul to take its fare- 
well of this world, and presently to appear in another world, a 
world of spirits, good or bad, and to be y judged according to 
our preparation in this life, and to take up a place in heaven or 
hell, without any hope of ever changing? 

S. You trouble me and make me afraid by this talk : but 
death will not be prevented; and why then should we begin our 
fears too soon? They will come time enough of themselves. 
The fear of death is a greater pain than death itself. 

P. Alas! is dying all that you look at? Though death can- 
not be prevented, damnation may be prevented. Dying is a 
small matter, were it not for what Cometh next. But can hell 
be escaped without fear, and care, and serious diligence ? Or 
had you rather be condemned for ever, than be frightened to 
your duty, and from your sin and danger ? Is hell easier than 
a little necessary fear and care? If you were either a beast or a 
devil, there were some sense in what vou say. For if vou were 

* ; Piov.xxvii.l; Matt. xxiv. 44 ; Luke xii. 19, 20, 40. 
y Matt. xxv. 


a beast, you had nothing after death to fear ; and therefore the 
fear of death beforehand would do no good, but increase your 
sorrow: and if you were a devil, there were no hope ; and there- 
fore you might desire not to be tormented before the time, for 
it will come time enough at last. But, God be thanked, neither 
of these is your case : you must live for ever ; and you may live 
in heavenly joys for ever if you will. And are not these things, 
then, to be forethought of? 

S. Really, sir, I am afraid if I should but set myself to think 
of another world, and the state of my soul as seriously as you 
talk of it, it would frighten me out of my wits ; it would make 
me melancholy or mad. I have seen some people moped and 
melancholy with being so serious about such things ; and there- 
fore do not blame me to be afraid of it. 

P. God be thanked that you have yet your reason; and 
seeing you have it, will you study these few questions fol- 
lowing ? 

1. What did God give you your reason for, and difference you 
from a beast, but to use it in preparation for an endless life ? 
And is it madness to use our reason for that which it was given 
us for, and which we are made and live for ? 

2. Is not that man actually mad already, who hath a God to 
serve, and a soul to save, and a heaven to get, and a hell to es- 
cape, and a death to prepare for, and spends his life in worldlv 2 
fooleries that all perish in the using, and leaveth all this work 
undone ? Is he not mad, and worse than mad, that setteth 
more by these trifles than by his God ? And setteth more by 
a little meat and drink, and beastly pleasure, for a few days, 
than by an endless, heavenly glory ? That careth more for a 
body, that must rot in the earth, than for a never-dying soul ? 
That spareth no pains to avoid shame, and poverty, and sickness; 
and will do little or nothing to avoid everlasting shame, and 
pain, and horror, in hell ? Tell me, if your wife and child 
should behave themselves but half as madly about the things of 
this world, would vou not send them to Bedlam, or to a 
physician, presently, or bind them, and use them as the mad are 
used ? And is it not a pitiful hearing, to hear one that is thus 
mad for his poor soul, neglect it still, and cast it away, and 
say he doth it for fear of being mad ? More pitiful a thousand 
times, than to hear one in Bedlam say, ' I dare not take physic, 

z Luke xii. 20 ; Psalm xiv. 1, and xcii. C ; Jer. xvii. 11 ; Prov. xiv. 9 ; Eccl. 
v. 1) 4 ; Luke xxiv. 25. 


lest it make me mad.' Were such madness a disease, it were 
but like a fever, or another sickness, for which God would not 
punish us, but pity us: if you should fall into diseased madness, 
or melancholy, though it is a sad disease, it would not damn 
you ; for it is no sin. But when men have reason for trifles and 
none for their salvation, and are wise in nothing but unprofita- 
ble vanities, and cunning to cheat themselves out of all their 
hopes of heaven, and to go to hell with ease and honour; God 
bless us from such wit as this ! 

3. But I ask you further, What is there in God, in Christ, in 
heaven, or in a holy life, that should make a man mad to think 
of it ? I beseech you, neighbour, consider what we are talking 
of. Js not a God better than your house, and land, and sports ? 
Is he not a better friend to you than any you have in the world ? 
And will it make you mad to think of your house, or land, or 
pleasures ? Do not all men confess that we should love God 
above all ? And if it make you not mad to love your friend, or 
your riches, or yourself, why should it make you mad to live in 
the love of God ? Is not love, and the noblest love, the sweetest 
delight ? And will delight, and the highest delight, distract 
you ? Tell me, do you think that heaven is a desirable place, 
and better than this miserable world, or not ? If you say ' No,' 
you bear witness against yourself ; that you are unfit for heaven, 
who do not love it, or desire it ; and God will deny you but that 
which you had no mind of. But if you say 'Yea,' then tell me 
why the hopes of everlasting, heavenly joys, and the forethoughts 
thereof, should make one mad ? Alas ! man, we have no other 
cordial against all our calamities in this world, but the hopes 
and forethoughts of the joys of heaven. What have I to keep me 
from being melancholy, or mad, but the promise and belief of 
endless glory ? If God and heaven be not our best, what are 
we but beasts, or worse ? And what do we live for in the world ? 
And what have we, for one day, to keep up our hearts under all 
our crosses, but the comfortable forethought that we shall for 
ever be with the Lord, and all his holy ones ? Take away this, 
and you will kill our comforts. Our hearts would sink and die 
within us. And do men use to go mad for fear of their felicity, 
and with delightful thoughts of the only good ? 

S. All this is true, if a man were sure of heaven : but when 
he must think of hell too, and his fears are greater than his 
hopes, the case is otherwise. 

a Psalm iv. ; xliii. 3 ; and lxxiii. 23, 2C>, 28 ; Phil. iii. 7, 8. 


308 THE poor man's family book. 

P. Now you say something. But I pray you consider, that it 
is one thing to think of hell despairingly, as those that have 
little or no hopes to escape it : this might make a man mad in- 
deed ; but this is not your case. But it is another thing to fear 
hell as that which you b may most certainly avoid, and withal 
attain eternal life, if you will but consent to the offers of that 
Saviour who will freely save you. No man shall be damned that 
is truly willing to be saved ; to be saved, I say, from sin and 

S. I pray you tell me, then, what maketh the thoughts of the 
world to come so terrible to us? And what maketh so many 
that are troubled in conscience to be melancholy, or to live so 
sad a life ? 

P. I will tell you what. I have had to do with as many me- 
lancholy, conscientious persons as any one that I know of in 
England ; and I have found that, 1. There is not one of many 
of them, but it is some c worldly cross which makes them melan- 
choly ; and then it titrneth to matters of conscience afterwards, 
when they have awhile had the disease. 2. And for the most 
part it befalleth very few, but either weak-spirited, tender 
women, whose brains are so weak, and their fancies and passions 
so strong and violent that thev can bear no trouble, nor serious 
thoughts, but their reason is presently disturbed and borne 
down ; or else some men, that by natural distempers of body, 
either from their parents, or contracted by some disease, are 
specially inclined to it. 

2. And when I have known it befall some few in their first 
repentance, it hath usually been some very heinous sinners, who 
have lived so debauchedly in drunkenness or whoredom, or com- 
mitted perjury, or murder, that conscience did more terrify them 
than they were able to bear. But this was not from any harm 
that they apprehended in a godly life, but because they had 
been so ungodly. This was but the fruit of their former wick- 
edness, and partly God's justice, that will not pardon heinous 
sinners till he hath made them perceive sin is evil, and that they 
must indeed be beholden to his mercy, and to Christ. But, 
usually, when God hath broken the hearts of such men by his 
terrors, he tenderly binds them up with comforts, and maketh 
those terrors very profitable to them as long as they live. O 

b Isa. lv. 1—3, G, 7 ; Matt. xi. 2S ; Rev. xxii, 17 ; Mark xvi. 10 j John iil, 
10, 18,10. 
c 2 Cor. vii. 10, 11. 


how precious is Christ to such ! How sweet are the promises of 
pardon and salvation ! How odious is sin to them all their lives 
after ! But if it should fall out, that such a wicked man, repent- • 
ing, should never recover from his melancholy sadness, it is a 
thousand times hetter, and a more hopeful state, than he was in 
before, when he went on in sin with presumption and delight. 

3. And there is another case too common ; like the case of 
some women that, in travail, are hurt by an unskilful midwife. 
Every poor, repenting sinner is not so happy as to fall into the 
hands of a wise, experienced counsellor to direct him : but some 
do distract men's minds about different opinions in religion, and 
talk to a poor sinner for this side, and against that side, or about 
matters that are past their understandings. And some do not 
clearly and fully open the nature of the covenant of grace, which 
giveth Christ and life to all true consenters ; nor seek suffi- 
ciently, by opening the riches of grace and glory, to win men's 
hearts or love to God ; but bend themselves much more to raise 
men's fears, and tell them more of what they deserve, and what 
they are in danger of, if they repent not, than of what they shall 
enjoy with God, through Christ, when they come home. The 
first must, in its time and place, be done; but the d latter is the 
great work that must save the soul. For a man is not converted 
and sanctified indeed, by any change that is made by fear alone, 
till love come in, and win his heart, and repair his nature. 

S. You have said so much as doth convince me that I must 
not, for fear of the trouble, cast away the thoughts of my soul 
and eternity ; but, truly, sir, I have thought of these things so 
little, that 1 am but puzzled and lost, and know not what to do. 
And, therefore, you must help to guide my thoughts, or I can do 
nothing with them. 

P. You have now hinted yourself another cause that so many 
are puzzled about religion, and turn it to a melancholy life. 
When a sinner hath lived ignorantly, carelessly, and sinfully, all 
his days, and cometh at last, by the mercy of God, to see his 
misery, it cannot be expected that he should presently be ac- 
quainted with all those great mysterious things which he never 
did seriously mind before. And so is like a man that hath a 
way to go that he never went, and a book to learn that he never 
learned before. And all young scholars do find the easiest lessons 
hard, till they have time to be acquainted with them. They are 

'' Tit. iii. 3—5 ; Rom. v. 5, and viii. 28 ; 1 Pet. i. 8, <) ; read Luke xv. ; John 
v. 12 ; 1 Cor. xvi. 22, and ii, 9 ; Ei>h. vi. 24 ; Jam. i. 12, and ii, 5. 

310 THK l'ooil MAN'S FAMIi.Y BOOK. 

like a man that was born and bred in a dungeon, where he had 
only candle-light ; who, when he first cometh into the open 
world, and seeth the sun, is astonished at the change, but must 
have a time before (by all that light) he can be acquainted with 
all the things and persons which he never before saw. Long 
ignorance e will not be cured in a day : and darkness naturally 
feedeth fears ; but time and patience in the light will overcome 

But to answer your desire, I will direct your thoughts : and I 
think that now the next thing you have to think on is to look 
into your heart, and look back upon your life, and come to a 
clear resolution of this question, whether you are yet a truly 
converted sinner, and are forgiven and reconciled to God, or 
not ? And whether you are yet in the way to heaven or no ? 
I pray you tell me now what you think of vourself. If you 
die this night in the case you are now in, do you think you shall 
be saved, or not ? 

S. God knows ; I told you that I do not know, but I hope 
well, for no man must despair. 

P. To despair of ever being converted and saved, is one thing 
that you must not do. And to know that a man is not yet con- 
verted, and to despair of being saved without conversion, is 
another thing ; that is your duty, if you are yet unrenewed. 
But as for your hoping well, I must tell you that there is a 
hope of God's giving, and there is a hope of our own, and of 
the devil's making. And you f must not think that God will 
make good the devil's word, nor our word, but only his own 
word. To a repenting believer, God promiseth forgiveness and 
salvation ; and such a one must hope for it ; and God will never 
disappoint his hopes. But to unbelievers, ungodly, impenitent 
persons, the devil and their own deceitful hearts only do pro- 
mise forgiveness and salvation. And they that do promise it 
must perform it, if they can; for God will not. Do you think 
that God hath promised that all men should be saved, any 
where in his word ? 

S. No ; I dare not say so. 

P. Do you think, then, that if all men shall hope to be saved, 
that this would save them ever the more ? 

S. No; but yet there is some comfort in hoping well. 

P. But how little a while will deceitful comfort last. Do 

« Jolin iii. 4, 6—8 ; Heb. v. 11—14 ; Acts viii. 30, 31. 

f 1 Cor. vi. 9, and iii. 18; Gal. vi. 7; Eph. v. 6; 1 John i. 8; Jam. i. 22, 26. 


you not know that there are some men that God hath told us 
that he will not save? As Lukexiii. 3, 5, "Except ye repent 
ye shall all perish?" " Except ye he converted, and become as 
little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven ?" 
(Matt. viii. 13.) "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die?" 
(Rom, viii. 13.) The text is plain, you cannot deny it. Tell 
me, then, if any one of these shall hope to be saved, in such a 
condition in which God saith, that no man shall be saved, 
should such a man do well to hope for the contrary ? Is not 
this to hope that God's word is false ? And should a man 
hope that God will lie ? Or will God go contrary to his word ? 

S. But may we not hope that God will be better than his 
word ? There is no harm in that. 

P. That which you call better is not better, but worse. 
The king hath made laws for the hanging of murderers : if he 
shomd pardon them all, they would call it better to them ; but 
the commonwealth would call it worse. For no man could have 
any security for his life ; but every one that had a mind of his 
money, or that hated him, would kill him if he could. And 
where, then, were justice ? What is the law made for, but to be 
the rule of the subject's life, and of the judge's sentence, and 
to tell men what thev must expect ? And if it be not fulfilled, 
it is vain and deceitful, and showeth tbat the law-maker either 
had not wit enough to make it well, or had not power enough 
to execute it. A benefactor or friend, indeed, may give more 
than he hath promised, if he see cause ; but a 8 righteous 
governor must rule according to his laws, or else he deceiveth 
men by them, which is not to be imputed to God. At least, he 
will not h lie, and falsify his word. 

S. But for all that, the king may pardon an offender. 

P. That is, because that weak man can make no law so 
perfect, but on some occasions there will be need of a dispen- 
sation. But it is not so with God. And a righteous king will 
never pardon crimes, but in some rare, extraordinary case, which 
shall be no disparagement to his law, nor hurt to his subjects ; 
which is no comfort to all the rest of the malefactors. 

But I doubt you do not understand that God did at first 
make a perfect 1 law, which forbade all sin on pain of death: 
and man did break this law, and we all still break it from day 

8 Job viii. 3 ; Psalm lxxxix. 14 ; Heh. xii. 28, 29. 
''Tit. i. 2; Heb. vi. 18; Rom.iii. 4; 1 Jolm v. 10. 
' Rom. iii. 21, &c, and v., throughout. 


to day, by every sin ; and God, being merciful, hath given us a 
Saviour, and by him the forgiveness of all our sins. But how ? 
not absolutely ; but he pardoneth us all by an act of oblivion, a 
pardoning law : and this law maketh our faith and true repen- 
tance (or conversion) to be the condition of pardon. And in it 
God affinneth and protesteth, that he will pardon and save 1 ' 
all that believe and are converted ; and that he will never pardon 
or save them that continue unconverted in their sin and unbelief. 
God hath already given out a pardon to all the world, if they 
will but take it thankfully on his terms, and cease their rebellion, 
and turn to him : and hath resolved, that they that continue to 
refuse this pardon and mercy shall be doubly punished, first for 
their common sins, and then for their base unthankfulness and 
contempt of mercy. And now bethink you whether it be not 
foolishness for any to say, ' I hope God will forgive me, and be 
better than his word ?' He hath already forgiven you, if you 
repent and turn to him ; but if you will not, it is impudence for 
a man, at the same time, to refuse forgiveness and yet to hope 
for it ; to despise mercy, and say e I hope for mercy. ' 

What if the king make an act of pardon to the Irish rebels, 
forgiving them all, on condition they will thankfully take his 
pardon, and lay down their rebellious arms, were it not impu- 
dency in them to continue in arms, and refuse these conditions, 
and yet say, ' We hope the king will pardon us ?' 

There are two things that may fully resolve you that God 
will pardon and save no unconverted sinner: the first is, because 
that, in his pardoning law itself, (that is, the gospel,) he hath 
said and protested that he will not; and it is impossible for 
God to lie. The second is, that the thing itself is incongruous 
and unfit for the wise, holy, and righteous God to do. For a 
pardoned person is reconciled to God, and hath communion 
with him. And what communion hath light with darkness, or 
God with the devil and his works ? It is blasphemy to say, 
that God can be actually reconciled to ungodly souls, and take 
them into his complacency and kingdom. Yea, what if I said, 
that it is a thing impossible, and a contradiction for a man to 
be forgiven and saved, that is unholy and unconverted ? If you 
knew what sin is, you would know that it is a self-punishment, 
and the sorest evil ; the sickness and misery of the soul : and to 
forgive a man is to deliver him from this misery ; and to save 

,; Mark xvi. 16 ; John hi. 1, 10, 18, 19 ; 1 Thess. ii. 7—10 ; Heb. ii. 3, 4 ; 
iv. 1, and xii. 27— 2l>. 


him, is to 1 save him from his sin. For it is, as it were, a spark 
of hell fire kindled in the soul, which is not saved till it he 
quenched. And what is heaven itself but the perfect light and 
love of God ? And to say that a man is saved, that loveth not 
God above his sin, and is not holy, is to say that he is saved and 
not saved. 

S. I understand these things better than I did ; but I can 
hardly digest it, that you thus seem to drive men to despair. 

P. You greatly mistake ; I am driving you from despair. 
There is no hope of the salvation of a sinner that continueth 
unconverted ; flatter not yourselves with foolish hopes of the 
devil's making 5 as sure as God's word is true, there is no hopes 
of it. Everlasting despair in hell is the portion of all that die 
unconverted and unsanctiried. They will then cry out for ever, 
1 All our" 1 hope is past and gone; we had once hope of mercy, 
but we refused it, and now there is no hope.' This thought, 
that there is no more hope, will tear the sinner's heart for ever. 
This is the state that I would keep you from, and do I not then 
seek to keep you from despair ? 

Suppose you met a man riding post towards York, and 
thinketh verily he is in the way to London, and tells you, 
( I ride for life, and must be at London at night;' you tell 
him that he must turn back again, then, for he is going the 
quite contrary way, and the further he goeth, the further he 
hath to go back again ; He answereth you, ' Alas ! I hope I have 
not lost all this time and travel ; I hope I may come this way 
to London.' Will not you tell him that his hopes will deceive 
him ? there is no hope of coming to London that way, but he 
must needs turn back ; and if he answer you, 'You would drive 
me to despair; I will hope well, and go on ;' what would you say 
to this man ? Would you not take him for a fool ? and tell 
him, ' If you will not believe me. ask somebody else, and know 
better, before you go on any further.' 

So say I to you, if you are out of the way to heaven, you 
must despair of ever coming thither," till you turn ; but this is 
not to despair of conversion and salvation, but despair of being 
saved in the devil's way, that you may be saved in God's way, 
and not despair for evermore. Changing false hopes, for sound 

1 Matt. i. 21 ; Tit. iii. 3, 5. 

m Job v iii. 13, 14; xi. 20, and xxvii. 8; Prov. xi. 7, and xiv. 32; Isa. lvii. 
10; 1 Pet.i. 3,21, and iii. 15 ; 1 John iii. 3. 
" Luke xiii. 3, 5. 


hopes is not to cast away all hope. There is nothing more 
hindereth men from repenting and being saved, than hoping to 
be saved without true repentance. For who will ever turn to 
God, that still hopeth to be saved in the worldly, ungodly way 
that he is in ? who will turn back again that hopeth he is right 
and safe already ? 

Tell me, I pray you, must not every wise man have some 
ground and reason for his hope ? And should a man's soul and 
everlasting state be ventured upon unsound and uncertain hopes ? 
S. No, if we can have better. 

P. Tell me freely, then, what are the grounds and reasons of 
your hopes ? Heaven is not for all men. What have you to 
show that will truly prove your title to it ? 

S. I ground my hope on the great mercy of God. 
P. But God's mercy saveth none but by conversion ; devils 
noi-P unconverted men are not saved by it. It is the refusing 
and abusing of mercy that condemneth men : the question is, 
whether this mercy will save you ? 

S. I place my hope in Jesus Christ, who is my Saviour. 
P. I say as before, Christ saveth not all men ; what hope 
have you that he will save you more than others ? 

S. Js it not said, that he is the Saviour of all men, and that 
he is the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world ? 
P. That is, because ** saving is his office, for which he is all- 
sufficient, and by his sacrifice he hath pardoned all the world, 
on condition that they believe and turn to God, but till they 
believe and repent they are not actually pardoned. He may be 
the physician of all the city or hospital, who undertaketh to 
cure all in the city or hospital that will trust him, and take his 
remedies ; and yet all may die that will not trust him, and be 
ruled by him. 

S. But I do believe in Christ, and believers are forgiven. 
P. If you truly believe, you have good reason for your hopes : 
but I am loth you should be mistaken in so great a business. 
I must first tell you, therefore, what true believing is : every 
true believer doth at once believe in God the Father, the Son, 
and the Holv Ghost. And he believeth all God's word to be 
true, and he heartily consenteth that God be his only God, and 
that Christ be his onlv Saviour, and the Holy Ghost his Sancti- 

° Jam. iii. 40 ; E«dc. xxxiii. 9, 11, 49 ; xviii. 21, 30, 32, and xlv. G. 

p Isa. xxvii. 11 ; 2 Thess. i.7,8, Arc, and ii. 10,12 ; Rom. i. 20, to the end. 

'i John iii. 10; 2 Cor. v. 19,20. 


fier, and he trusteth himself wholly to God alone, for happiness, 
and for justification, and sanctification, and salvation. Do yon 
do this ? 

S. I hope I do ; I helieve in God, and trust him. 

P. Let us a little consider all the parts of faith, and try whe- 
ther you thus believe or not. I. Do you truly believe that 
without regeneration, repentance, conversion, and holiness, 
none can be saved and see God ? (John iii. 3, 6 ; Luke xiii. 3, 5; 
Matt, xviii. 3 ; Heb. xii. 14.) And that if any man have not 
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom. viii. 9.) If you 
do not, you believe not the word of God. 

2. Do you take the r love of God and the heavenly glory to 
be your only happiness, and trust to nothing in this world, 
neither health, life, wealth, or pleasure, for your daily comfort, 
and greatest content. 

3. Do you desire and trust that Christ will save you from all 
your sins, and will teach you all the will of God : and that he 
will sanctify you by the Holy Ghost, that you may live a s holy 
and heavenly life in the love of God ; and may forsake, not only 
lust, and wantonness, and gluttony, and drunkenness, and pride 
and ambition, and deceit and covetousness, but also mortify all 
fleshly desires, and destroy all your own will, which is against 
the will of God, and bring you up to the greatest holiness ? 

S. You put me hard to it now. I know not what to say to 

P. You may know whether you believe and trust in God and 
Christ, or not, if you will but consider these three things. 1. 
What you must believe and trust him for. 2. What word of 
his it is that you believe. 3. What are the effects which are 
always brought forth by a serious faith. 

And, I. You must trust in God for that which he hath pro- 
mised to give, and you must take all together, or else it is not 
trusting God : as you trust a physician to cure you, and trust 
a schoolmaster to teach you, and trust a lawyer to counsel you 
in his way, and so you trust every man in his own undertaken 
work : so must you trust in God to be your only everlasting 
joy, and better to you than all the world, and to be the Law- 
giver and Ruler of your life: and you must trust* Christ to 
justify you, and save you from your sins, and you must trust 

r Psalm lxxiii. 25 ; lxiii. 3, and iv. 6, 7. 

s Rom. viii. 1,6-8, 13; Heb. xi.6; 2 Tim. ii. 4 ; lThess.iv. 1 ; Isa. Ivi.4; 
Col. i. 10. 

1 Acts xxvi. IS ; Tit. ii. 14. 


the Holy Ghost to kill your sins, and to illuminate, sanctify, 
and quicken you, and, by degrees, to make you perfectly holy : 
for these are the things that God is to be trusted for. But, if 
any should trust God to save them from hell and not from sin, 
or from the guilt of sin, and not from the power of it ; or to 
let them keep their fleshly lusts while they live, and then to 
give them heaven at death, this is not to trust God, but to'abuse 
him, not to trust his mercy, but to refuse it. How doth he 
trust in Christ to save him, that is not willing to be saved by 
him ? And he that will not be saved from his sin, will not be 
saved by Christ. And how can he trust the Holy Ghost to 
sanctify him, who is not willing to be sanctified, but thinketh 
a holy life to be an intolerable toil and misery ? 

II. To believe God is to believe his word. And what word 
of God have you to believe, but that he will save converted 
believers, and condemn all ungodly unbelievers ? If now you 
will believe] that God will save any unconverted, ungodly sin- 
ners, this is, to believe the devil and yourselves, and not God ; 
for God never said any such word in all the Bible, but protesteth 
the contrary. And what a self-deceit is it to hope to be saved 
for believing a lie, and fathering it upon God ! And what 
blasphemy is it to call it a believing God, when you believe 
the devil that contradicteth him ! 

III. Believing and trusting will be seen in their effects. Is 
it possible for a man truly to believe that he shall have a life 
of joys in heaven for ever, if he will turn from the flesh and 
the world to God, and value and seek heaven more than earth, 
and yet not do it, but be a carnal worldling still ? Is it pos- 
sible truly to believe that the wicked shall be turned into hell, 
(Psalm ix. 17,) and yet to go on still in wickedness ? 

If you were a beggar or a slave in England, and the king 
should promise you a kingdom in the Indies, if you will but 
trust vourself in the ship with his own son, who undertaketh 
to bring you thither, I pray you tell me now, what is the mean- 
ing of this trusting his son, and how may it appear whether 
you trust the king's promise and his son's conduct, or not ? If 
you trust him, you will pack up and be gone ; you will leave 
vour own countrv, and all that is in it, and on shin-board vou 
will go, and venture" all that you have in the voyage, in hope 
of the kingdom which is promised vou. But if you fear that 
the king deceiveth you, or that his son wanteth either skill, or 

u Luke xi. 22, 23, and xiv. 2G, 33 ; Matt. xiii. 15, 4G. 


will, or power, to bring you to the promised place, and that 
the ship is unsafe, or the waves and tempests like to drown you, 
then you will stay at home, and will not venture. 

So when God offereth you a heavenly kingdom, if so be you 
will, in heart, forsake the world, and all its pomp and pleasures, 
and all the sinful desires of the flesh. If now you trust this 
promise of God, you will forsake all and follow a crucified 
Saviour as a cross-bearer ; you will take shipping with Christ 
and his servants, and let go all in hope of heaven. But if you 
do not forsake all (in heart) and follow him, resolving to take 
heaven instead of all, you do not trust him, whatever you may 

S. I cannot deny but what you say is the plain truth. 
P. Suppose that you were sick, and only one physician could 
cure you, and he offereth to do it freely if you trust him, that 
is, will trust your life to his skill and care : and some give out 
that he is but a deceiver, and not to be trusted, and others tell 
you that he never failed any that he undertook. If you trust 
him now, you will commit yourself wholly to his care, and fol- 
low his counsel, and take his medicines, and forsake all others. 
But if vou distrust him you will neglect him. And if any should 
say, ( I trust this physician with my life,' and yet stay at home, 
and never come near him, nor take any of his counsel, or, at 
least, none of his medicines, would you not count him mad that 
looked to be cured by such a trust ? 

S. I confess this helpeth me better to understand what trust- 
ing in God, and believing in Christ, is. I doubt but many* say 
they trust him, that keep their sins, and hold fast the world, 
and never dreamt of forsaking all for the hopes of heaven. 

But I thought, sir, that this command of forsaking all, and 
taking up our cross, had been spoken only to such as lived in 
times of persecution, when they must deny Christ or die, and 
not to us that live where Christianity is professed. God forbid 
that none should be saved but martyrs. 

P. But do you not find, 1. That it is the very covenant and 
common law of Christ, imposed on all that will be saved, that 
they deny themselves, and forsake all, and take up the cross, 
and follow him, or else they cannot be his disciples ? (Matt. x. 
37, &c. ; Luke xiv. 24, to the end, and xviii. 21, 22, &c.) 
2. And doth not every one that is baptised covenant and vow 
to forsake the world, the flesh, and the devil 5 and to take God 

x Tit. i.lG. 

318 the poor man's family book. 

for their only God, which is their all ? For if he be not enough 
for them, and taken as their portion, and loved above the world, 
he is not taken for their God. But it is well that you confess 
that vou y must forsake life and all for Christ rather than deny 
him : for if a man must do this actually in persecution, then he 
must do it before, in affection and resolution. Can you die for 
Christ, then, unless your heart be prepared for it now ? Can 
you, then, leave all this world for God and heaven, unless you 
beforehand love God and heaven better than all the world, and 
resolve to forsake it when you are called to do it ? 

S. No man is like to do that which his heart is not disposed 
to before, and which he is not purposed to do. 

P. Why then you see the case is plain, that every one that will 
be Christ's disciple must forsake the world in heart and resolu- 
tion, and be a martyr in true preparation and disposition, though 
no one must cast away his estate or life, nor be a martyr, by 
suffering, till God call him to it. " He that loveth the world, 
the love of the Father is not in him." (I John ii. 15.) 

By this time you may perceive, if you are willing, whether 
your faith in Christ, and trust in God, have been true or false : 
and now tell me what else you have to prove that you are a jus- 
tified Christian, and that your hope of salvation is built on 

S. My next proof is, that I repent of my sins; and God hath 
promised to forgive them that repent. 

P. Repentance is a good evidence, as well as faith. But 
here, also, you must take heed of that which is counterfeit ; and 
therefore you must be sure to understand well what true repent- 
ance is. 

S. Repentance is to be sorry for my sins when I have com- 
mitted them, and to wish I had never done them. 

P. If you know repentance no better than so, you may be 
undone by the mistake. True repentance is the same with true 
conversion ; z and it is such a settled change of the mind, will, 
and life, from fleshly, worldly, and ungodly, to spiritual, hea- 
venly, and holy, as maketh us hate all the sin which we loved, 
and heartily love a holy life, and all those duties to God and 
man which before our hearts were set against. And this change 
is so firmly rooted in us, as that it is become as a new nature to 
us ; so that all the same temptations which before prevailed 

y Rom. viii. 16—18 ; 2 Tim. ii. 12 ; Matt. x. 33, and xvi. 24—26 ; Luke ii. 'J. 
2 Matt, xviii.3 ; 1 Cor. vi. 11; 2 Cor. vii. 10, 11 ; Tit. iii. 3, 5. 


with us, would not draw us to the same sins again, nor turn us 
from a holy life, if we were exposed to them as we were. 

S. There is a great deal in this. 1 pray you open it to me 
more fully in the particulars. 

P. By this you may see what goeth to make up true repent- 
ance, and how many sorts of repentance are counterfeit. 

1. True repentance is a change of the whole soul, a the judg- 
ment, the will, and the life, and not of any one of these alone. 
It is a counterfeit repentance which changeth only a man's opi- 
nion, and not his heart and his conversation : and it is coun- 
terfeit repentance when men pretend that their wills are changed, 
and they are willing to live a godly life, when they do it not, and 
their lives are not changed. 

2. True repentance doth not only turn a man's heart and life 
from this or that particular sin, hut from a fleshly, worldly, un- 
godly state ; b so that he that hefore did seek, ahove all, to fulfil 
the desires of his flesh, and to prosper in the world, cloth now 
strive as hard to kill those desires as he did to satisfy them, and 
now taketh the world for vanity and vexation, and turneth it 
out of his heart. It is counterfeit repentance which reformeth 
only some open, shameful sin, as drunkenness, prodigality, for- 
nication, deceiving, or the like, and still keepeth up a worldly 
mind, and the pleasing of the flesh in a cleanlier way. No one 
sin is rightly killed, till the love of every sin he killed. 

3. True repentance is a turning to God, and setting of our 
hearts and hopes on heaven; so that we now love holiness, 
and seek God's kingdom ahove this world. It is counterfeit re- 
pentance, or mere melancholy, when men, hy affliction, or con- 
viction, cry out of the vanity of this world, and set not their 
hearts upon a hetter, and seek not after the heavenly felicity. 

4. True repentance is a settled and an effectual change. It 
maketh a man' 1 love that which is good, as if it were now na- 
tural to him, and not only to do some good for fear, which he 
had rather leave undone ; nor only to forbear some sins for 
fear, which he had rather he might keep : and therefore the very 
heart and love being changed, temptations, even the same that 
before prevailed, would not now prevail again, if he were under 
them. It is but a counterfeit repentance, when men are sorry for 
sinning, but amend not, or are sorry to-day and sin again to- 

a 2 Cur. v. 17 ; Acts xxvi. 18 ; Rom. viii. 30. 

11 John iii. G ; ] John ii. \~> ; liom. viii. 1, 8, 13, and xiii. 12 — 11. 

<■ Phil. iii. 18— 20 ; Col. iii. 1, 8—5 ; Matt. vi. 21, 33. 

d Psalm i. 2, 3 ; xix. 7—9, cxix., &e. 

320 the poor man's family book. 

morrow ; and that by such gross and wilful sin, which they 
might forsake, if they were truly willing.* 2 By this time, then, 
you may try whether you have repented indeed, as you supposed. 

S. But (Luke xvii. 4) Christ bids us forgive those that seven 
times in a day trespass, and seven times in a day return and say 
they repent : and will not God then do so ? 

P. 1. Christ speaketh of true repentance, as far as we can 
judge, and not of saying, ' I repent,' when it is an apparent lie, 
or mockery. 2. And he speaketh of such trespasses, the oft 
committing of which is consistent with true repentance : for 
instance, it is possible that a man may seven times a-day think 
a vain thought, speak a vain word, or, if he pray seven times 
a-day, he may have, every time, some coldness or imperfections 
in his prayers; and such like infirmities oft returning, may stand 
with true repentance, because the sinner would fain overcome 
them if he could. And so, if a man often wrong you through 
infirmity, and oft repent, you must forgive him. But, tell me 
truly, if one of your own servants or children should, seven 
times a day, or but once a week, or once a month, spit in your 
face, and beat and buffet you, or wound you, and set your house 
on fire, and as oft come and say, ' I repent of it,' would you 
take this for true repentance, or think that this is it that Christ 
here meant? Or, if your servant should every night come to you 
and say, ' Master, I have done no work to-day, but I repent ; I 
wish I had done it ;' and so hold on from day to day, will you 
take this for repentance? Do you think it possible for an un- 
godly, worldly, fleshly man, to repent truly of such a life to- 
day, and turn to it again to-morrow, and so on ? It cannot be. 
A man may repent of an angry look, or a vain word, to-day, 
and, through infirmity, commit the same to-morrow ; but a man 
cannot repent of an ungodly, sensual life, and turn to it again 

I do not think that there is one wicked man of many, but 
when he hath been guilty of fornication, drunkenness, or any 
such sin of sensual pleasure, doth repent of it when the pleasure 
is gone, and wisheth that he had not done it, when yet he goeth 
on, and is a lover of such beastly pleasure more than of God ; 
for there needeth no saving grace to such a kind of repentance; 
sense and experience may serve the turn. For when the plea- 
sure of the sin is gone, it is nothing : and therefore is no mat- 
ter for the sinner's love, (unless it be the fanciful remembrance 

«MaU. vii. 20—23 ; 2 Tim. ii. 19, 


of it, which is another thing.) But it is the future pleasure 
which is still desired. When the drunkard is sick, and findeth 
the next day the sweetness all gone, and nothing left hut shame, 
or poverty, or a wounded conscience, no thanks to him to say, ' I 
am sorry, and wish I had heen soher :' hut still he loveth the sin, 
and will not leave it, and therefore hath no true change of heart 
and life, which is the true repentance. And now consider well 
what I have said, and judge yourself whether you have ever 
truly repented of a worldly, a fleshly, and an unholy heart 
and life. 

S. You put me so hard to it that I know not what to say. I 
know not well what to think of myself: and therefore, sir, as 
you have examined my case, I shall entreat you to help me to 
pass a right judgment of it, for you are wiser in these things 
than I. And though the patient feel the pains, yet the phy- 
sician can hetter judge of the cause, and nature, and danger of 
the disease. 

P. You say well : but then the patient must tell what he 
feeleth, and you must answer me these few questions. 

1. Hath your soul and everlasting state had your more deep 
and f serious thoughts and regard than your body and your 
worldly welfare? 

S. I cannot say so, though 1 have often thought of it. 

P. 2. Do you verily believe that your sins are so odious, as 
that if God should condemn you to hell, 8 he should do worse by 
you than you deserve ? 

S. I know you would not have me lie. I have been taught, 
indeed, that so it is ; but my heart never perceived my sins to 
be so great as to deserve hell. I should think it unjust to be so 
used as I would not use my greatest enemy. 

P. 3. Have you not only heard, but believed, and perceived 
that you have as much need of Christ to be your Saviour, as a 
condemned malefactor hath of a pardon ; and is Christ more 
precious 11 to you than all the riches of the world, his ransom 
and mediation being your hope, and his grace your earnest 
desire ? 

S. I know that we cannot be saved without Christ : but I 
cannot say that I have so much desired him. 

P. 4. Have you perceived at the heart, that the love and 

f Matt. vi. 23—25. 

e Rom. vi.23 ; iii. 23 ; vii. 24, and viii. 1 ; Epli. ii. 3 ; 1 Thess. i. 10. 
h Phil. iii. 7-9; 1 Pet. ii. 4, 6,7. 


favour of God is far ' better than all the treasures and pleasures 
of this world ? And do you verily believe that all the blessed 
shall see his glory in heaven, and perfectly love, and praise, and 
serve him, and be filled with perfect joy for ever, in this blessed 
sight and love of God ? And do you set more by the hope of 
this heavenly elorv than by vour life and all this world ? And 
do you prefer heaven before earth, in your esteem, your desire, 
and heartiest labour and diligence to make it sure ? 

S. I would I could say so : I doubt there be but few that 
reach so high as that. 

P. 5. Have you truly believed, that all k that will come to 
heaven must be a regenerate, sanctified people, in mind, and 
will, and life ; and that this must be done by the Holy Ghost ? 
And have you earnestly desired that he would sanctify you tho- 
roughly, and kill all your sins, and make you fervently in love 
with God, and all that is good, and fully obedient to his will ? 
And have you given up yourself to Jesus Christ, in a well- 
considered, resolved covenant; consenting to be taught and 
governed by him, and willing to imitate him, and to receive his 
Spirit ? 

S. I cannot say so ; though I desire to amend. 

P. 6. Do you feel the 1 evil and odiousness of a worldlv, 
carnal, unrenewed heart, and of an unholy life ? Yea, of your 
own want of faith and love to God, as well as of outward, 
shameful sins ? And are these sins of heart and practice the 
greatest trouble and burden to you in the world ? 

S. I would it were so ; but I do not find it so. 

P. 7. Can you truly say that you m live not wilfully in any 
known gross sin, and that you have no sin, no, not the least 
known infirmity, which you had not rather leave than keep ? 
And that you had rather be perfectly holy (in perfect know- 
ledge, love, and obedience) than to have all the riches, and 
pleasures, and honours of this world ? 

S. I should dissemble if I should say so. 

P. 8. Can you truly say, that when a temptation cometh to 
your most beloved sin, God's authority, which forbiddeth it, is 

1 Matt. vi. 20,21, and vi. 33 ; Col. iii. 1, 3, 4, &c.; Psalm lxxvii. 25, and 
lxiii. 3; Phil. iii. 20, 21; John vi. 27; 2 Pet. i. 10, and iii. 11. 

k 2 Cor. v. 19, 20; Matt, xxviii. 19, 20, and xi. 28,29; Rom. viii. 9; Gal. v. 
17, 21 ; Acts iii. 22, and vii. 37 ; Luke xix. 27 ; Heb. xii. 14. 

1 Rom. vii. 14, 24 ; Ezek. vi. 9 ; xx. 43, and xxxvi. 31. 

m 1 John iii. 4, 8, 9; Mai. vii. 21 ; Psalm v. 5 ; Rom. vii. 17, 24; Luke 
xiv. 26. 


more n powerful to keep you from it than the temptation and 
your lust to draw you to it ? 

S. I would it were : I should then sin less. 

P. 9. Are you truly willing to ° wait on God to ohtain his 
grace, in the constant use of hearing, prayer, meditation, and 
the company and counsel of the godly ; even in the strictest 
means which God appointeth you to use for your salvation ? 

S. I think they are happy that can do so; but I cannot. 

P. 10. Can you truly say that you are at a p point with all 
this world, resolving to let go estate, honour, liberty, and life, 
rather than let go your faith and obedience ; or, by wilful sin, to 
turn from God ? 

S. I know I should do so ; but I am not come to that. 

P. In a word : if you were now to be i baptised first, and 
understood what you did, would you take God for your only 
God and Father, and Christ for your only Saviour, and the Holy 
Ghost for your Sanctifier ; to save you from lust, and sin, and 
hell, and to bring you to perfect holiness and glory ; forsaking 
the world, the flesh, and the devil, and totally giving up yourself 
to God : and this by a solemn, sacred vow ; which, if you keep 
not, you are lost for ever ? Would you, thus considerately, be 
baptised, if it were to do again ? 

S. I should promise, and be baptised : but whether I should 
consent to all this heartilv, I doubt. 

P. By all these answers set together, you have enabled me 
how to judge of your condition. If all this be so as you have 
answered, I must needs tell you, that I think you are yet uncon- 
verted and unjustified, and under the guilt and power of your 
sins, even in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity, and that 
if you should die as you are, without conversion, you are lost 
for ever : you must be made a new creature, or you are undone. 
I know this judgment may possibly seem harsh, and be displeas- 
ing to you, but it is foolish to flatter our friends or ourselves, 
when we stand so near the world of light. 

But withal I tell you, 1 . That your case is not remediless, 
and that you may be saved from it whenever you are truly 
willing. 2. And that you are not so far from grace and reco- 
very, as many hardened sinners are, for I perceive that you deal 

n Gen. xxxix. 9 ; Rom. xii. 21 ; 2 Pet. ii. 19, 20 ; 1 John v. 4, 5j Rev. ii. 
7, 11, &c. 

° Psalm i. 1, 2 ; Matt. vii. 13 ; Prov. ii. 1—4 ; Luke x. 42. 
p Luke xiv.26, 33, and xviii. 22, 23 ; Matt. x. 38, 39. 
i Matt, xxviii. 18— 20; Mark xvi. 16 ; Luke xiv. 29, 30. 



openly, and are not so desperately set against conviction and 
conversion as too many are. 

S. I thank you for dealing plainly with me : but what makes 
you judge so hardly of my case ? 

P. Out of your own mouth I pass my judgment ; for you 
confess that it is not yet with you as it is with all that have the 
Spirit of Christ. And if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, 
he is none of his. (Rom. viii. 9.) 

And I will here take the boldness to add some observations 
of my own, which have long made me fear that yet you have 
not the Spirit of Christ, nor true repentance unto life. For, 
1. I have never perceived that you did seriously mind the case 
of your soul. One might be often in your company, and hear 
nothing but of common, worldly things, (which may be talked of 
in due time and measure,) not a word of heaven, nor that sa- 
voured of any care of your salvation. And sure one cannot truly 
believe, and mind, and regard so great a matter as life ever- 
lasting, and never show it, by any serious inquiries, or r discourse. 

2. And I have observed that you were very indifferent for 
your company,* and were more with ignorant, worldly men, or 
merry sensualists, than with those that set their hearts on heaven, 
and might have helped you thitherward, by their counsel and 

3. And I never heard that you 1 set up the worship of God in 
your family. You seldom prayed with them at all, unless now 
and then that you said over hastily a few cold words, without 
any fervency. You never" instructed or catechised them, nor 
took care of the souls of children or servants, but only used them 
like your beasts, to eat and drink, and do your work. And vou 
are often from the church assemblies, and seem not much moved 
with what you hear : and neither neighbours or vour family 
hear a word of it from you, when you are once out of the 

4. And you can now and then drop a petty oath, and curse 
when you are angry. And you spend the Lord's day almost all 
in common talk and business, except just while you are at 
church. And though I never took you for a drunkard, nor whore- 
monger, nor heard you scorn or rail at godliness, you can sit by 
them that do it, and easily bear it, as if it were but a small 
matter. And I heard of one that you once overreached by an 

1 Psalm xxxvii. 30—32. s Psalm i. 1 , 2, and xv. 4. 

% John xxiv. 15. * u Deut. vi. 7, 8, and xi. 


unconscionable bargain, but you never made him any restitu- 
tion. And I perceive that you are all for yourself, though you 
are a quiet and good neighbour. You speak best of those that 
do you any good, be they what they will in other respects : and 
you have always an ill word for those that you are fallen out 
with, and that you think have wronged you, or that think ill 
or meanly of you, let them be never so honest in all other 
respects. In a word, the love of God, and a heavenly mind, is 
a thing that will, in some measure, show itself, by preferring 
God and heaven still before all : and I could never perceive any 
such thing by you, which made me fear your case was as bad 
as you now confess it. 

I do not name these things as if each one of them by itself 
were a certain sign of an ungodly person. How far an honest- 
minded man may be carried in a passion to a curse, or railing 
speech, or an oath, or, through disability, may omit any family 
duty, or, through a wrong opinion of it, may neglect the Lord's 
day, I am not now determining. But sure I am, that God 
saveth none but those that love, honour, and obey him above 
all others, and make him their trust, and hope, and happiness ; 
and that Christ saveth none but those that value him as their 
Saviour, and give up themselves to be taught and ruled by him, 
and sanctified by his Spirit; and that heaven is a place for no 
carnal worldling, that loveth the world above it, and seeketh 
this world before it, and that mindeth most the things of the 
flesh, and had rather x satisfy than mortify his sinful lusts and 
will. And as far as 1 could perceive by your conversation, this 
is your case, though you are not so grossly wicked and uncon- 
scionable as the debauched sort. 

S. I confess I never made the saving of my soul so much of 
my care, and so serious a business as you talk of; nor hath my 
heart been so sensible of the need that I have of Christ, or of the 
greatness of God's love and mercy to sinners in our redemption ; 
nor have I had such believing and serious thoughts of the life 
to come, as to make it seem more desirable to me than this 
world ; nor can I say, and not lie, that I loved God better than 
my money, and estate, and fleshly pleasure : nor that I ever 
made so great a matter of sinning as to avoid it at the rate of 
any great suffering or loss ; or that ever I was very desirous to 
lead a holy and a heavenly life ; nor that I had any great delight 
in the thoughts or practice of such things, much less that ever 

* John viii. 31. 

326 THE poor man's family book. 

I made the pleasing of God, and the obtaining of perfect and 
everlasting holiness and happiness with him in heaven, to be 
the chief care, and end, and labour of my life. But yet I 
thought that all being sinners, and God being merciful, I might 
be saved if I believed in Christ, and put my trust in him alone. 
But now you have made me better to understand what it is to 
believe and trust in Christ, I perceive that I did not indeed 
believe and trust in him when I thought I had. 

P. I pray you tell me : do you not think there are such sins 
as presumption, carnal security, false believing, and false hope, 
whereby the devil undoeth souls ? 

S. Yes ; I have heard preachers often say so. 

P. What do you think presumption is ? 

S. Presuming or thinking that God doth accept us, y and we 
are in a state of grace, when it is not so. 

P. What do you think carnal security is ? 

S. To be 1 careless about the state of our souls, when our 
danger calleth for our greatest care. 

P. WTiat is false believing ? 

S. To believe ourselves, or a bad men, or the devil, against 
God, or instead of God ; or to believe that God hath promised 
that which he hath not promised ; or to trust that Christ will 
give heaven to such as he hath told us shall not have it. 

P. And what is false hope ? 

S. To hope for heaven or mercy b without any such ground, 
upon terms that God never promised to give it on, or hath 
plainly said, he will not give it. 

P. You have answered very well and truly. And do you not 
think that all these have been your sins ? 

S. I am now afraid so : but I am loth to think that it is so 
bad with me, and therefore I would fain hope still that it is 
better. But if it should be so, I pray you tell me, what would 
you yet advise me to do ? 

P. God knoweth, I have no desire to trouble you, nor to put 
you into any needless fears, much less to drive you into despair ; 
nor would I have you conclude that your state is bad, upon my 
word alone : but 1 will here cite you some texts of Scripture, by 
which you may certainly judge yourself, and I will entreat you, 
when you come home, to bestow a few hours in secret, as in 
God's presence, in a true and impartial examination of yourself 

r Jolui viii. 39,41, 44, and ix. 40. 7 Matt. xxiv. 39; 1 Thess. v. 3, 

11 Matt. xxiv. 23, 2(5 ; 1 John iv. 1. b Prov. xi.7. 


by them, and tell me when I next see you how you find the case 

S. Hut if I do find it bad, I pray you tell me now what I must 
do to be pardoned and saved ? 

P. I will now only tell you these generals. 1. That you 
must well consider how bad and sad an unconverted man's con- 
dition is, that you may not delay to seek for mercy, and to come 
out of such a miserable state. 2. That yet you need not despair 
or be discouraged, for Christ is a sufficient Saviour and remedy. 

And for the first, believe it, till you repent and are converted, 
vou are void of the holy image of God, and have the image of 
the devil in ignorance, unbelief, and averseness or enmity 
to God and holiness, in pride, sensuality, worldliness, disobe- 
dience, and carnal selfishness. Your heart is against the holy 
laws and wavs of God : you have a fleshly will and concupis- 
cence of your own, which is your idol, and the great rebel 
against God, which will still be striving against his will, and will 
draw you to be still pleasing it, though it displease God. You 
will be a slave to the devil, by your slavery to this fleshly mind 
and appetite; and you will spend your little time in the world, 
in pleasing that c flesh, if God convert you not. You will never 
truly love God and heaven, nor make him your end, nor take 
him for your God, and so you will live in enmity and rebellion 
against him : you are yet unreconciled, unpardoned, unjustified, 
unsanctified : all your sins that ever you committed are yet upon 
you in their guilt. And, in a word, (pardon my plain dealing,) if 
you die as you are, you will be certainly damned ; and as you have 
departed from God's grace, he will judge you to depart for ever 
from his glory also. And it will go much the worse with you 
in hell, because that you might have had the grace of a Re- 
deemer, and you refused Christ, and resisted his Spirit, and 
neglected his great salvation. So that to deal freely with you, 
I would not be in your case one day for all the riches in the 
world, for you have no assurance of your life a minute, and you 
are certain it cannot be long, and you are still in the power of 
that God whom you offend : and if you thus die before a true 
and sound conversion, you are lost for ever, and all your time, 
your mercies, your comforts, and your hopes, are gone for ever, 
past all remedy. This is as sure the state of every unregenerate, 
unholy, impenitent sinner, as the d word of God is true. And, 

<■ Gal. v. 21, 22 ; Rom. viii. 5, 6, 8, 9 ; Eph. ii. 1—3, &c. j Mark iv. 12. 
(1 John iii. 3,5 ; Heb. xii. 14. 

328 the poor man's family book. 

therefore, as you love yourself, and as ever you care what 
becomes of your soul, when it must shortly leave your body, go 
presently try, and truly try, whether you are a regenerate, holy 
person or not ? 

S. Alas ! sir, [ know not how to do it, for I have left my soul 
hitherto carelessly to a venture, thinking that this had been 
trusting Christ with it, and now I am unskilful in such matters, 
and know not how to examine myself. Therefore, I pray you 
give me your directions. 

P. With all my heart, if you will but promise me to do your 
best. Will you set yourself some time apart for the business, 
and do it as a man would cast up an account with your most 
serious thoughts ? And will you examine yourself as you would 
do another man, with an unfeigned willingness to know the 
truth, be it better or be it worse ? 

S. Alas ! what good will it do me to flatter and deceive 
myself, when God knoweth all, and will not be deceived ? I 
desire to know what case I am in, and that I may know what 
course to take hereafter ? 

P. Indeed, till you know that, you know not well whether 
comfort or sorrow best become you, nor whether the promises 
or threatenings should be first applied by you, nor how well to 
use any text you read, or sermon you hear. And methinks that 
a mere uncertainty, what shall become of you when you die, and 
whether you shall be in heaven or hell for ever, should mar 
your mirth, and make you sleep with little quietness, till at least 
you had done your best to make your calling and election sure, 
and get some good, well-grounded hopes. 

I will put you to no longer work than is necessary. 1. Take 
the Scriptures, especially these texts here transcribed, and set 
them before you, and well consider them as the word of God. 
2. Fall down on your knees, and earnestly beg God's help and 
mercy to convince you, and show you the truth of your con- 
dition. 3. Look back upon all your life, and look into the 
inwards of your soul, and let conscience compare your heart and 
life with the word of God, and urge it to speak plainly, and to 
judge you truly as you are. 4. Do not only try and judge your- 
self by some few actions which have been extraordinary with 
you ; but by the main design, and scope, and tenor of your heart 
and life ; for there is some good in the worst of men, and some 
evil in the best: and if you will judge of a good man by his 
worst actions, or of a bad man by his best, you will be unright- 


eous and misjudge them. Simon Magus, when he was profess- 
ing his faith at his baptism, seemed better than Simon Peter 
when he was denying Christ. And judge not your heart by 
some good thoughts, or some bad thoughts, which have been 
rare; but judge it by that which hath had your chief esteem, your 
chief love, or choice, and been the main design which you have 
driven on, and had your chiefest care and diligence in seeking 
it. Be sure find out what it is, whether God or the flesh, that 
hath been uppermost, that hath had your heart and life, and 
been that to which the other hath stooped, and subserved. 

These are all the directions that I will trouble you with, sav- 
ing that I would have you, 5. To follow on the search till you 
know the truth ; and what you cannot do at once, come to it 
again, till you are resolved. And come and tell me how you 
have found the case to stand with you, and the Lord assist you. 

The texts which I set before you are these. 

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of 
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which 
is born of the Spirit, is spirit." (John iii. 3, 5, 6.) 

" God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life. — He that believeth on him is not condemned ; 
but he that believeth not is condemned already. — And this is the 
condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved 
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 
For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh 
to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that 
doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made 
manifest, that they are wrought in God." (John iii. 1 6, IS — 2 1 .) 

" Go and teach (or disciple) all nations, baptising them in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; 
teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have com- 
manded you." (Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. So Mark xvi. 16.) 

" Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become 
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of hea- 
ven." (Matt, xviii. 3.) 

" To open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, 
and from the power of Satan unto God j that they may receive 
forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among the sanctified, by 
faith that is in me." (Acts xxvi. IS.) 

" Except ye repent, ve shall all likewise perish." (Luke xiii. 


" There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, 
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. — For 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. For 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. But ye are not in 
the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell in you. 
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 
(13, &c.) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if by 
the Spirit, ye mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live : for as 
many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God. — Ye 
have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba 
Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness to (or with) our spirit, 
that we are the children of God." (Rom. viii. 1, 2, &c.) 

" Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are, adul- 
teriy, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witch- 
craft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, here- 
sies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. — 
They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of 
God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suf- 
fering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance : 
against such there is no law ; and they that are Christ's have 
crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof." (Gal. 
v. 19, &c.) " God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, 
and I unto the world." (Gal. vi. 14.) 

" Now if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature ; old 
things are passed away, behold all things are become new." 
(2 Cor. v. 17-) " Know ye not the unrighteous shall not in- 
herit the kingdom of God ? Be not deceived, neither forni- 
cators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers 
of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor 
drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the king- 
dom of God. And such were some of you, but ye are washed, 
but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the 
Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. vi. 9 — 1 1 ; 
so Ephes. v. 3 — 1 1.) 

" Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no 
man shall see the Lord." (Heb. xii. 14.) 

" For the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath 
appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and 


worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, in this pre- 
sent world ; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious 
appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ : who 
gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, 
and purify to himself a peculiar people zealous of good works." 
(Tit. ii. 1 "l— 14.) 

" Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world ; 
for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in 
him." (John ii. 15.) 

" Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke xvi. 13.) 
" Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world — And 
this is the victorv that overcometh the world, even your faith." 
(1 John v. 4, 5.)" 

" The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The 
Lord knoweth who are his. And, Let him that nameth the 
name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Tim. ii. 19.) 

" By this the children of God are manifest, and the children 
of the devil. Whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God, 
neither he that loveth not his brother. We know that we 
have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. 
He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death." (1 John iii. 
10, 14.) 

" Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the 
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the 
seat of the scornful : but his delight is in the law of the Lord, 
and in his law doth he meditate day and night." (Psalm i. 1, 2.) 
" Let us walk honestly, as in the day ; not in rioting and 
drunkenness, 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, to fulfil the lusts or wills thereof." 
(Rom.xiii. 13, 14.) 

" He shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his people from 
their sin." (Matt. i. 21.) 

" If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mo- 
ther, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and 
his own life also, (that is, love them not so much less than me, 
that he can cast them by, as we do things hated, when they 
stand against me,) he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever 
doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my 
disciple. — Whosoever he be of you that biddeth not farewell to, 
or forsaketh, all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." 
(Luke xiv. 26, 33.) 

332 the poor man's family book. 

" Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of 
my God, and he shall go no more out." (Rev. iii. 12.) 

" He that overcometh shall inherit all things ; and I will be 
his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbe- 
lieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, 
and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part 
in the lake that burnetii with fire and brimstone ; which is the 
second death." (Rev. xxi. 7, 8.) 

" There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which 
God the Righteous Judge will give me, and to all them that 
love his appealing." (2 Tim. iv. 8; read Matt, xxv.) 


Of the Conversion of a Sinner, what it is. 

Speakers. — Paul, a teacher ; and Saul, a learner. 

Paul. Well, neighbour, have you examined yourself by the 
word of God, since I saw you, as I directed you ? 

Saul. I have done what I can in it. 

P. And what do you think now of your case, upon trial ? 

S. I think it is much worse than I had hoped it was, and as 
bad as you feared. When I first read the promises to all that 
believe in Christ, I was ready again to hope that I was safe ; 
but when I read further, I found that it was as you had told 
me ; and that I had none of Christ's Spirit, and therefore am 
none of his ; and that I am not a penitent convert, and am not 
in a state of life. But 1 now beseech you, sir, upon my knees, 
as you pity a poor sinner, tell me e what I must do to be saved. 

P. Are you willing and resolved to do it if I tell it you, and 
prove it to you fully by the word of God ? 

S. By the grace of God I am resolved to do it, be it what it 
will, for I know it cannot be so bad as sin and hell. 

P. You say well. I will first tell you this again in the 
general, 1. That your case is f not remediless, but a full and 
sufficient salvation is purchased, and tendered in the gospel to 
you as well as to any others. 

2. That Christ and his grace is this remedy ; and s that God 

<• Acts ii. 37, and xvi. 30. f Matt. xi. 28. 

si John v. 11,12. 


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, but remaineth in his guilt and sin. 

3. That Christ having already made himself a sufficient sacri- 
fice for sins, and merited our reconciliation, pardon, and sal- 
vation, to be given in his way, h hath made a covenant of grace 
(conditional) with sinful man, by the promise of which he for- 
giveth us all our sins, and giveth right to everlasting life. 

4. That Christ's way of saving men from sin is by sending 
his ' ministry and word to call them, and giving his k Spirit 
within to sanctify them. And this Spirit is Christ's advocate to 
plead his cause, and do his work, and prepare us by holiness 
for the heavenly glory. 

5. That all the condition required of you, that you may have 
all these blessings of the covenant of grace, is but sincerely to l 
believe and consent, and give up yourself in covenant to God 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and continue true to the 
covenant which you make. 

Read over these five points well, and consider of them ; and 
then tell me whether this be not glad tidings to an undone 
miserable sinner ? Have you read them over ? 

S. I have read them, and I perceive that they are glad tidings 
of hope indeed. But truly, sir, I have heard the Gospel so 
carelessly, that I do not thoroughly understand these things ; 
and therefore entreat you to open them to me more fully and 

P. I know you were baptised in your infancy; which was 
your privilege, being entered by your parents into the covenant 
of God. But their consent and dedication will serve your turn 
no longer than till you come to age and natural capacity to 
consent and covenant for yourself. Tell me, then, have you 
ever soberly considered what your baptism was, and what cove- 
nant was then made between God and you ? And have you 
seriously renewed that covenant yourself, and so given up your- 
self to God ? 

S. Alas ! I never either seriously considered or renewed it ; 
but I thought I was made a Christian by it, and was sufficiently 
regenerated, and my sins done away, and that I was a child of 
God, and an heir of heaven. 

>' Matt, xxviii. 19, 20; John iii. 10. 

1 Acts xxvi.lG— 18; Rom. x. 8— 10, 14, 15. k Rom. viii. 9. 

1 Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 ; Mark xvi. 1G ; Rev. xxii. 17. 

334 THE poor man's family hook. 

P. And how did you think all your sins, since your baptism, 
were forgiven you ? 

S. 1 confessed them to God, and some of them to the mi- 
nister, and I received the Lord's Supper ; and I thought that 
then I was forgiven, though I never had the true sense and 
power thereof on my heart and life. 

P. What if you had never been baptised, and were now first 
to be baptised, what would you do ? 

S. I would understand and consider better of it, that I might 
not do I know not what. 

P. Why truly, baptising is well called christening; for bap- 
tism is such a covenant between God and man, as maketh the 
receiver of it a visible Christian ; and if you had sincerely 
renewed and kept this same covenant, you had needed no new 
conversion or regeneration, but only particular repentance for 
your particular following sins. Baptism is to our Christianity 
what matrimony is to a state of marriage ; or like the enlisting 
and oath of a soldier to his captain, or of a subject to his prince. 
And therefore I will put you upon no other conversion than to 
review your baptism, and understand it well, and after the most 
serious deliberation to make the same covenant with God over 
again, as if you had never yourself made it before, or rather as 
one that hath not kept the covenant which once you made. 

Now, if you were to be baptised presently, there are these 
three things which you must do : 1. Your understanding must 
know the meaning of the covenant, and m believe the truth of 
the word of God, which is his part. 2. Your will must heartily 
desire and accept of the benefits of God's covenant offered you, 
and resolvedly consent to the conditions n required of you. 
3. And you must presently oblige yourself to the faithful prac- 
tice of them, and to continue true to your covenant, from the 
time of your baptism till death. 

S. Truly, if conversion be no more than to do what I vowed 
to do, and to be a Christian seriously which before I was but 
by name and hypocritical profession, I have no more reason to 
stick at it than to be against baptism and Christianity itself. 
First, then, will you help my understanding about it ? 

P. 1. You must understand and believe the articles of the 
christian faith, expressed in the common Creed, which you 
hear every day at church, and profess assent to it. 

m John xviii. 12 ; Acts i. 37, and xvi. 31 ; 2 Cor. viii. 5. 
» Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 


S. Alas ! I hear it, and say it by rote, but I never well under- 
stood it, or considered it. 

P. The christian belief hath three principal parts : that is, 
our believing in ° God the Father, and in God the Son, and in 
God the Holy Ghost. And each of these hath divers articles. 
I. In the first part all these things must be understood and 
believed. 1. That there is P one only God, in three persons, 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; who is an infinite, eternal, 
perfect Spirit ; a perfect life, understanding, and will ; perfectly 
powerful, wise, and good ; the first efficient, chief-governing, 
and final Cause, or End, of all j of whom, and through whom, 
and to whom, are all things ; the Creator, and therefore the 
Owner, the Ruler, and the Benefactor, and End, especially of 

2. That this God made Adam and Eve in his own** image, 
under a perfect law of innocency, requiring perfect obedience of 
them on pain of death. 

3. That they r broke this perfect law by wilful sin, and there- 
by fell under the sentence of death, the displeasure of God, the 
forfeiture of his grace, and of all their happiness. 

4. That all of us having our very beings and natures from 
them, (and their successors,) s derive corruption or pravity of 
nature also from them, and a participation of guilt : and these 
corrupted natures are disposed to all actual sin, by which we 
should grow much worse, and more miserable. 

5. That God, of his mercy and wisdom, took advantage of 
man's sin and misery to glorify his grace, and 1 promised man 
a Redeemer, and made a new law or covenant for his govern- 
ment and salvation, forgiving him all his sins, and promising 
him salvation, if he believe and trust in God his Saviour, and 
repent of sin, and live in thankful, sincere obedience, though 

G. In the 11 fulness of time, God sent his Son, his eternal 

Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 

p 1 Cor. viii. 4, 6 ; 1 John v. 7 ; t Tim. i. 17; Psalm cxxxiv. 7—9 ; cxlvii. 
5 ; xlvii. 7, and cxlv. 9 ; Isa. xl. 17 ; Neh. ix. 6 ; Rev. iv. 8, and xv. 3 ; F.zek. 
xviii. 4. 1 Gen. i. 27, and ii. 16, 17 ; Eccl. vii. 29. 

r Gen. iii. ; Rom. iii. 23, and vi. 23. 

s Rom. v. 12, 18, and iii. 9, 19 ; Gen. ii. 16, 17 ; E t »h. ii. 2, 3 ; Heb. ii. 14 ; 
John viii. 44. * Gen. iii. 15 ; John iii. 1G. 

u Gal. iv. 4 ; John i. 1—3 ; xiv. 2, 3, and iii. 16 ; 1 John ii. ; John x. 30 ; 
1 Tim. ii. 5 ; Matt. i. 20, 21 ; Heb. iv. 15 ; vii. 26 ; ix. 26 ; viii. 2, and x. 21 ; 
1 Cor. xv. 3, 4 ; Luke xxiii. 43, and i. 27, 28 ; 2 Tim. i. 10 ; Acts ii. 9 ; iii. 21 j 
ii. 36, and x. 36. 

336 THE poor man's family book. 

Word, made man, to be our Redeemer ; who was conceived in 
a virgin by the Holy Ghost, and, by perfect obedience, fulfilled 
God's law, and became our example, and conquered all temp- 
tations, and gave himself a sacrifice for our sins, in suffering, 
after a life of humiliation, a cursed, shameful death upon the 
cross ; and being buried, he arose again the third day, and 
having conquered death, assured us of a resurrection ; and after 
forty days' continuance upon earth, he ascended bodily, in the 
sight of his disciples, into heaven, where he is the Teacher, the 
King, and the Intercessor for the church with God ; by whom 
alone we must come unto the Father, and who prepareth for us 
the heavenly glory, and us for it. 

7. Before he ascended, he made a more full and plain edi- 
tion of the aforesaid law or covenant of grace ; and he x gave 
authority to his chosen ministers, to go and preach it to all the 
world, and promised them the extraordinary gift and assistance 
of his Holy Spirit : and he ordained baptism to be used as the 
solemn initiation of all that will come into his church, and enter 
into the covenant of God : in which covenant God the Father 
v consenteth to be our reconciled God and Father, to pardon 
our sins for the sake of Christ, and give us his Holy Spirit, and 
plorifv us in heaven for ever : and God the Son consenteth to 
be our Saviour, our King and Head, our Teacher and Mediator, 
to bring us reconciled to his Father, and to justify us, and give us 
his Spirit, and eternal life : and God the Holy Ghost consenteth 
to z dwell in us as the Agent and Advocate of Christ, to be our 
Quickener, our Illuminator and Sanctifier, the Witness of Christ, 
and the earnest of our salvation. And we, on our part, must pro- 
fess unfeigned belief of this gospel of Christ, and repentance for 
our former sins, and consent to a receive the^e gifts of God, giv- 
ing up ourselves, soul and body, to him, as our only God, our 
Saviour and our Sanctifier, as our chiefest Owner, Ruler, and 
Benefactor ; resolving to live as his own, as his subjects and his 
children, in true resignation of ourselves to him, in true obedi- 
ence and thankful love : b renouncing the world, the flesh, and 
the devil, that would tempt us to the contrary ; and this is the 
end ; but not in our own strength, but by the gracious help of 
the Spirit of God. 

x Matt, xxviii. 19, 20; Mark xvi. ]6; Rom. x. 10. 

y 2 Cor. v. 18—20; 1 John v. 9—12 ; Jolin vi. 

* Gal. iv. G ; Tit. iii. 3, 5. a John i. 10—12 ; Horn. xii. 1, 2. 

b Rom. viii. 13; Luke xiv. 20 ; Acts xxvi. IS.*" 


This is the baptismal covenant, the manner of whose outward 
administration you have often seen. 

By this covenant, as it is God's law and act on his part, all 
that truly consent and give up themselves thus absolutely to 
God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are presently pardoned 
all the sins that ever they were guilty of, as by God's instru- 
mental act of oblivion : and in it they have the gift of their 
right to the Spirit, and to everlasting life, and of all the mercies 
necessary thereunto. 

8. The c Holy Ghost, in a peculiar manner, is given to all 
that thus truly believe and consent to the holy covenant : to 
dwell and work in them, and regenerate them more fully to the 
nature and image of God, working in them, 1. A holv liveliness 
and activity for God. 2. A holy light and knowledge of God. 
3. A holy love and desire after God, and all that by which God 
is manifested unto man. And they that have not this renewing 
Spirit of Christ, are none of his : and by this the temptations 
of the flesh, the world, and the devil, must be overcome. 

9. At death men's souls are judged particularly and d enter 
into joy or misery; and, at the end of this world, Christ will 
come in glory, and raise the dead, and judge all the world ac- 
cording to their works. And they that have sincerely kept this 
covenant (according to the several editions of it, which they were 
under) shall be openly justified and glorified with Christ : where 
they shall be made perfect themselves in soul and body, and 
perfectly know, love, praise, and please the most blessed God 
for evermore, among the blessed saints and angels : and those 
that have not performed this covenant shall be for ever deprived 
of this glory, and suffer in hell everlasting misery, with devils 
and ungodly men. 

These nine points must all be competently understood by you ; 
or else you cannot understand what baptism, repentance, con- 
version, Christianity, is : and you consent to you know not what. 

S. Alas ! Sir, when shall 1 ever be able to understand and re- 
member all this ? 

P. It is all but your common catechism ; yea, it is all but the 
creed which you daily repeat, a little opened. But if you do 

' Cor. xii. 12, 13 ; Rom. viii. 9, 16, 2G, 30; Gal. iv. G, and v. 17, 24 ; John 
iii. 6—8 ; Epli. ii. 1, 2 ; Tit. Hi. 3, 5 ; Acts xxvi. 18 ; 2 Tim. v. 7 ; 1 John 
ii. 15. 

d Luke xxiii. 43, and xvi. 22, 26 ; 2 Cor. v. 18 ; Phil. i. 23 ; Acts i. 11 ; 

1 Cor. xv.; John v. 22, 29, and xvii. 24; Matt, xxv., and xiii. 41—43; 

2 Tim. iv. 8, 18; 2 Tbess. i. 8— 10, and ii. 12. 


338 THE poor man's family hook. 

not remember all these words ; if yet you remember the sense 
and matter of them, it will suffice. 

S. But you told me, that besides understanding and belief, the 
e will's true consent is also necessary. 

P. II. That is the second part of religion and holiness, and, 
indeed, the very heart of all : for what the will is, that the man 
is. But I need not here many words to tell you, that when you 
have considered the terms of the baptismal covenant, your 
hearty, resolved, full consent to it, is the condition of your pre- 
sent right, upon which Christ taketh you as his own. 

S. But hath my will no more to do but to consent to that 
covenant ? 

P. That implieth that your consent must still continue, and 
that it reach to the particular means and duties which Christ 
shall appoint you. And the Lord's Prayer is given as the more 
particular rule of all the desires of vour will. Wherefore you 
must well study the meaning of that prayer. 

S. You told me also that practice is the third part of religion : 
how shall I know what that must be ? 

P. III. You must here know, 1. The rule of your practice. 
2. That your practice must be according to that rule. The 
foundation and end of all your practice is laid down already in 
what is said. 

I. The foundation and root of all is your relation to God, ac- 
cording to this covenant. 1. You are devoted to him as being 
totally his own ; f and therefore you must live to him, and seek 
his glory, and rest in his disposals. 2. You are related to him 
as his subject, 5 and therefore must endeavour absolutely to 
obey him above all the world. 3. You are related to him, when 
you are a true believer, as his child and friend ; h and therefore 
must live in faithfulness and love. And this is the foundation 
and sum of all your holy life. 

If. And the ends of all your practice must be, 1. That you 
may be fully delivered from all sin and misery, be made more 
holy and more serviceable to God and profitable to men, 1 and 

e Exod. xx. 3 ; Jos. xxiv. 16, 25 ; 2 Cor. viii. 5 ; Mark xvi. 16 ; 1 Pet. iii. 
21; Rev. xxii.17; Matt. xi. 29, and xxviii. 24 ; Johnxiv.8; Luke v. 14, and 
xiv. 26, 33 ; Acts ix. 6, 7 ; Euh. ii. 18, 22, and iii. 5, 16. 

f 1 Cor. vi. 19 ; Psalm c. 2—5. 

k Psalm v. 2 ; x. 16, and xlvii. 6, 7. 

11 Gal. iii. 26, and iv. 6 ; John xi. 52 ; Rom. viii. 16, 17, 26. 

1 Tit. ii. 14, and iii. 3,5,6; 1 Cor. vi. 20, and vii. 32 ; John xv. 8 ; 1 Pet. 
iv. 11 ; 1 Thess. iv. 1 ; 2 Tim. ii. 3, 4, 12 ; 2 Thess. i. 9, 10 ; Col. iii. 1, 4, 5 ; 
Lnke xii. 32 ; Jam. ii. 5 ; 2 Pet. i. 11. 


may glorify your Father, Redeemer, and Sanctificr, by the glory 
of his image on you, and so may he more pleasing to him ; and, 
2. That you may be perfectly holy and glorious, and happy in 
heaven, and may with saints and angels dwell with Christ, and 
know, and love, and praise, and serve the Lord in glory, in per- 
fect joy for evermore. These ends being all most excellent and 
sure, must be still in your eye, as the great and constant poise 
and motive of all your practice. 

II L As you are a subject, your obedience hath its rule ; and 
the rule is the law of your Redeemer and Creator. k This law 
is the law of nature, and the commands of Christ superadded 
in the gospel, set together. The law of nature 1 is the whole 
nature and order of all things in the world, and especially of 
man himself, as it signifieth the will of God about man's duty, 
and his reward or punishment. 

The special superadded commands of Christ are, that we m 
believe in him as our Saviour, and believe all the added articles 
of faith, and hope for life by his purchase and promise, and love 
Ciod as his goodness appeareth in his Son and Gospel, and love 
Christ's members for his sake, that we pray for the Spirit of 
Christ, and obey him ; and that we observe that church order, as 
to ministrv, church assemblies, the Lord's day, the two sacra- 
ments, public worship, and discipline, which Christ, by himself, 
or his Spirit in his apostles, hath commanded us. 

And vet vou must understand, 1. That the law of nature itself 
is much" more plainly described and opened in the holy Scripture 
than vou are able to read it in itself. 2. That even these gospel 
superadded laws have somewhat of natural obligation in them, 
supposing but foregoing matters of fact, that Christ did all that 
indeed he did. So much for your rule. 

IV. The degree of obedience, which is your duty, is indeed ° 
perfection without further sin : but your daily infirmities have a 
pardon ; and therefore the degree of obedience necessary to 
your salvation is but that it be sincere, that is, that as to the 
predominant bent of your heart and life, you truly obey your 

k Psalm i. 2; Matt. xi. 29, xxviii. 20. 

1 Psalm xix. 1, 2, &c. ; Rom. i. 19, 20, and ii. 

111 John xiv. 1 ; i. 12; vi. 29; xvi. 27, and xvii. 1— 3 ; Uolin iii. 1G, 17, 
and iv. 9 ; Tit. iii. 4; Luke xi. 13, and x. 10; Heb. xiii. 7, 17 ; 1 Tliess. v. 12; 
1 Cor. xvi. 16. 

" Psalm xix. 7—10; John i. 8—10, and iii. 19—21. 

Matt. v. 48 ; Psalm xix. 7, and xxxii. 1, 2; 2 Cor. vii. 1 ; Eph. iv. 12 ; 
Matt. vi. 33. 


340 the poor man's family book. 

Creator and Redeemer, and make this the chief trade or busi- 
ness which you live for and manage in the world. 

V. I must also add that, in all this, you must still remember 
that, 1. The devil; and, 2. The world; 3. But, above all, 
your own? fleshly mind and appetite, will be the great enemies 
of all this holiness and obedience ; and therefore you must un- 
derstand their enmity, and the danger of it, and resolve, by 
God's grace, to renounce them and resist them, as your enemies, 
to the last. 

And though only sincerity is necessary to salvation, yet, 1. 
You have not sincerity, unless you have a desire and endeavour 
after perfection.^ 2. And a greater degree of holiness is neces- 
sary to a great degree of glory. 

S. Alas ! sir, I shall never remember all this. 

P. You may see, then, how foolishly you have done, to lose 
your time in childhood and youth, which you should have spent 
in learning the will of God, and the way to your salvation. If 
you had, morning and night, desirously meditated on these 
things, and read God's word, and asked counsel of your teachers, 
and learned catechisms, and read good books, and if you had 
marked well what you heard at church, and had spent all the 
Lord's days in such work as this, which you spent in play and 
idleness, and vain talk, you might have been acquainted fami- 
liarly with all this, and more. But that which is past cannot be 
recalled. If you cannot remember all this, 1. Labour to un- 
derstand it well. 2. And remember that which is the sum of all. 

S. What is that ? 

P. 1. The shortest sum is the baptismal covenant itself, to 
helieve in, r and give up yourself to God the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost, as your Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, 
your Owner, Ruler, and chief Good and End; renouncing the 
flesh, the world, and the devil. 

2. The next summary, explaining this more largely, is, 1. The 
Creed, s as the sum of what you must believe. 2. The Lord's 
Prayer,* as the sum of what you must desire. 3. And the sum 
of the law of nature is in the ten commandments;" and the 
church laws of Christ, about ministry, communion, sacraments, 
and other worship, you will be taught in the church by sense 

p Rom. viii. 5—8, 13 ; Gal, v. 17. 

<i Psalm cxix. 1—5 ; Matt. xxv. 20, 21, 23. 

> Matt, xxviii. 19 ; Mark xvi. 1G. s 1 Cor.xv. 2—5. 

1 Matt. vi. 6. » Matt. ix. IT, 18; Rom. xiii. 8, 9. 


and use, and daily teaching. Cannot you say the Creed, Lord's 
Prayer, and Ten Commandments ? 

S. Yes, I learned the words, but I never laid the sense and 
substance of them to heart. 

P. All that I have said to you is but the sense of those three. 
Understand the exposition, and remember the forms or words 
themselves. But even your duty is shortlier summed up in Love, x 
which is the fulfilling of the law; for justice is comprehended 
in love, which will teach you to do as you would be done by. 

S. What love is it that you mean ? 

P. The love of God, the love of yourself, and the love of 
your neighbour, is the sum of all your duty. 

S. This is but reasonable duty, which no man can deny or 
speak against : and one part of it I shall easily keep, which is 
to love myself. 

P. Alas, poor man! Have you kept it hitherto? What 
enemy have you had in all the world comparable to yourself? y 
All that your enemies could do against you is but as a flea- 
biting. What if they slander you, oppress you, imprison you, 
or otherwise abuse you ? Wrong not yourself, and all this can- 
not hinder your salvation, nor make God love you ever the less, 
nor make death ever the more terrible ; nor will it ever be your 
sorrow in heaven to think of it. All your enemies in the 
world cannot force you to commit one sin, or make you a jot 
displeasing unto God. But you yourself have committed 
thousands of sins, and made yourself an enemy to God. O 
the folly of ungodly men ! They can hardly forgive another if 
he do but beat them, or slander them, or impoverish them : and 
yet they can go on to abuse, undo, and destroy their souls, and 
run towards hell, and easily forgive themselves all this ; yea, 
take it for their benefit, 7 ' and will not be restrained, 11 nor per- 
suaded to forbear, nor show any mercy to their own miserable 
souls. I tell you, though the devil hate you, yet all the devils 
in the world have not done so much against you as you have 
done against yourself. The devils did but tempt you to 
sin, but never did nor could compel you; but it is you that 
have wilfully sinned yourself, and sold your soul, as Esau his 
birthright, for a morsel, for a pleasant cup or game, or for a 
lust or filthy pleasure, and for a thing that is worse than nothing. 

* Rom. xiii. 8, 9 ; Mark xii. 30, 33 ; Matt. xxii. 37, 39. 

y Hos. xiii. 9 ; Prov. xxix. 24, and viii. 3G. z Tit. iii. 2—6. 

a 2 Cor. v. 19, 20. 

342 the rooR man's family book. 

Was it not you, even you yourself, that forgot your God, ne- 
glected your Saviour, resisted the Holy Spirit, refused sancti- 
fying grace, despised heaven, and set more hy this dirty world ? 
Was it not you yourself that loved not holiness, nor a holy God, 
nor the holy Scriptures, nor holy persons, nor holy thoughts, 
or words, or ways that lost your precious time, and omitted 
almost all your duty, and ran into a multitude of sins ? And if 
the devil studied his worst to hurt you, what could he do more 
than to tempt you unto sin ? l( you had been a sworn enemy 
to yourself, and plotted how to do yourself the greatest mischief, 
what could you do worse than to sin and run on God's displea- 
sure ? Which is the way to the gallows, but by breaking the 
law, by murder, by felony, or the like ; and which is the way to 
hell, but loving sin, and refusing grace ? And yet are you a 
lover of yourself ? 

S. All this is too true, and yet I am sure that I love myself: 
how then comes all this to pass ? 

P. You love yourself with a sensitive love, that goeth all by 
sense, and little by reason, much less by faith. As a swine 
loveth himself when he is bursting his belly with whey, or a rat 
when he is eating ratsbane. You love your appetite, but you 
have little care of your soul. You love yourself, but you love 
not that which is good for yourself: as a sick man loveth his 
life, but abhorreth his meat and medicine. 

Indeed, God hath planted a love to ourselves so deep in 
nature, that no man can choose but love himself : and, therefore, 
in the commandments, the love of God and our neighbour only 
are expressed, and the love of ourselves is presupposed. But 
Christ, knowing what destroyers men are of themselves, and 
forsakers of their own salvation, doth call upon sinners to love, 
care, and labour, for their own souls. 

These things conjunctly make up man's enmity against his 
own salvation. 1. The soul hath lost much of the knowledge 
of its own excellency in its higher faculties. 2. Its love to 
itself, as rational, is dulled, and wanteth stirring up. 3. It is 
inordinately fallen in love with itself as sensitive, and its lower 
faculties. 4. It doateth on all sensual objects that are delight- 
ful. 5. It is as dead and averse to those noble, spiritual, higher 
objects in which it must be happy. And in this sense man is 
his own greatest enemy. 

I the rather speak all this to you on this point, because your 
very repentance consisteth in being angry with yourself, and 


falling out with, and even loathing, yourself, for your sins, and 
your self -undoing. And till you come to see what you have 
done against yourself, you will never come to that true humilia- 
tion and self-distrust as is needful to your salvation. And also 
hecause that it is here, and here only, that your safety and hap- 
piness is like to stick for the time to come. Do hut as a man 
that loveth himself, and you are safe. God entreateth you to 
have mercy on yourself. He hath resolved on what terms he 
will have mercv upon sinners : they are unchangeably set down 
in his gospel. And sinners will not yield unto his terms. Though 
they be no harder than to receive his gifts according to their 
nature, men will not he entreated to receive them. They would 
have fleshly and worldly prosperity, hut deliverance from sin, 
and holy communion with God, they will not have. Here is the 
only stop of their salvation. All men b might he holy and happy 
if they would, hut most men will not. This is the woful state 
of sinners. Thev will cry to God for mercy, mercy, when judg- 
ment cometh, and it is too late, and yet now no counsel, no 
reason, no entreaty, will persuade them to accept it. It is a 
pitiful thing to hear Christ's ministers, in his name, beseech men 
to accept of sanctifying, saving mercy, from day to day, and all 
in vain, and to think how these same men will cry for mercy 
when mercy hath done with them, and the door is shut. Yea, 
how they still sav, ' We hope to be saved because God is mer- 
ciful,' while they will not have his saving mercy. As if mercy 
stuck in the hand of God as an unwilling giver, while it is they 
that refuse it as unwilling to receive it. Like a thief that is 
entreated by the judge to give over in time, and to have mercy 
on himself, and not to cast away his life, and will not hear nor 
be persuaded ; and yet at the bar or gallows will crv out for 
mercy. What would you say to a famished beggar that should 
stand begging for an alms, and will not take it ? Would it not 
be a strange sight at once to hear the beggar say, ' I pray you 
give me money or bread,' and the giver offering it, and say, e I 
entreat thee to take it, and have pity on thyself, and do not 
famish,' and cannot prevail ? 

S. It is a sad and mad condition that you describe, and it is 
too true : but methinks it were a fitter comparison if you likened 
them to a sick man that begs for health of the physician, but 
will take no physic; while the physician begs of him in vain, to 
take physic that he may have health. For it is not the health 

b Jos. xxiv. 15 ; Isa. lv. 1—4. 

344 THE poor, man's family book. 

that men are unwilling of, but the physic. It is not salvation, 
but the strait gate and narrow way. 

P. There is some truth in what you say, (that they are against 
the means,) but you are mistaken in the rest. For holiness, 
which they refuse, is not only a means, but it is much of c salva- 
tion itself. Holiness is the soul's health, and not only its me- 
dicine : and perfect holiness, which is the perfect knowledge 
and love of God, will be heaven itself. And to refuse holiness 
is to refuse health and heaven. 

8. The Lord knoweth that this hath been my case. I have 
been my own most hurtful enemy, and done more against myself 
than all the world hath done, and while I loved myself car- 
nally, I undid myself foolishly : and I understand now that it is 
not so easy a matter to love one's own soul aright as I had 
thought. But he that will not love God, it is pity he should 
live, for God is all goodness. 

P. Alas ! man, it is far harder to d love God truly than your- 
self: I tell you, that your want of love to God is the greatest 
.sin that ever you were guilty of, and the very sum of all your 
sins. And were the true love of God more common, salvation 
would be more common, for no true lover of God shall be con- 
demned. 1 know that there is something of God that all men love. 
They love him as he is the Maker and Maintainer of the world, 
and of their own lives and bodily prosperity ; and as he giveth 
them food and raiment, and all the mercies which they abuse, 
to gratify their lusts. But they love him not as he is a holy and a 
righteous Governor, forbidding sin, requiring holiness, hating and 
punishing the ungodly, restraining fleshly lusts, and not forgiving 
nor saving the impenitent. 

If you had loved God all this while indeed, would you not 
have loved his word, and loved to praise him, and call upon his 
name, and loved what he loveth, and delighted to do his will 
and please him ? Did you love God when you broke his laws, 
and hated holiness, and could not abide an obedient, holy, hea- 
venly life, and loved not to think or talk much of him, nor to 
call upon him ? You may as well say that he loveth the king 
who spits in his face, and rebelleth against him. 

As long as you think you have been a lover of God in your e 
sinful state of life, and think it so easy still to love him, you 

* Matt. i. 21 ; Tit. ii. 14 ; Eph. v. 27 ; Col. i. 22 ; 1 Pet. i. 16. 
a Luke xviii. 22—24, and xiv. 26, 33 ; Rom. viii. 8. 
c Eph. ii. 1—3 ; Rom. v. 9, 10, and viii. 6, 7. 


know not God, you know not yourself, you know not the need 
or the nature of true conversion, nor can you repent of this 
greatest sin while you know not that you are guilty of it. Do 
you not know that you have all this while been an enemy to 
God, and a hater of him ? 

S. I have been an enemy to myself, but sure nobody can hate 

P. Where there is enmity, loathing, aversation of mind, and 
unwillingness, there is hatred. The carnal mind is enmity 
against God ; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed 
can be. (Rom. viii. 5 — 7.) If there were no enmity between 
God and man, what need was there of a Mediator, or Recon- 
ciler? And will you think so ill of the most gracious God, and 
so well of yourself, a naughty sinner, as to think that the enmity 
is f only in God, and not in you ? Is he an enemy to any man 
that is not first an enemy to him ? " He hateth all the workers 
of iniquity," (Psalm v. 5,) because thev are all enemies to him, 
and contrary to his holiness as darkness is to light. It is the 
very case of all ungodly persons, that their hearts are turned 
away from God to this g world, and the pleasures of the flesh, 
and being in love with these, they h love not that God, nor that 
holy word, which calls them off, and condemncth them for their 
sinful minds and pleasures. Let your conscience speak plainly; 
had not the world more of your heart than heaven ? Were you 
not a lover of pleasure more than of God ? Were not your 
thoughts, lying clown, and rising up, and all the day, more for- 
ward and ready to think of your worldly and fleshly concern- 
ments, than of God ? And were not those thoughts more sweet 
and welcome to you ? Was not your heart so loth and back- 
ward to think of God with pleasure, that you never did seriously 
set yourself one hour together, in your life, to meditate of him 
and of the heavenly glory ? Nay, in sermons and prayer you 
could not keep your thoughts upon him. You know what it is 
to love your friend, to love your money, lands, and pleasure ; do 
you know, by as good experience, what it is to love God ? And 
if you love him not above all, you love him not indeed as God. 
Were you not more weary of holy thoughts, or holy conference, 
or prayer, than of your worldly business and discourse ? Was 
not your heart against the holiness and strictness of God's 
word and of his servants ? In a word, if you had no ' enmity 

f Zech. xi. 8 ; Epli. iii. 18, 19. s Phil. iii. 18, 19 ; Col. i. 21. 

h Heb. x. IB ; Luke xiv. 27 ; Isa. i. 21 ; Psalm xxxvii. 20. 
'Gen. iii. 15 ; Jam. iv. 1 ; Rom. viii. 7. 

346 THE poor man's family book. 

to a holy and heavenly mind and life, why did you not choose 
it ? And why could not all God's mercies invite you to it ? Nor 
all teaching and entreaties ever persuade you to it ? Why are 
you yet so backward to it ? Is this no enmity ? And if you 
were an enemy to holiness, and to the holy word and govern- 
ment of God, was not this to be an enemy to God ? I tell you, 
we are all enemies to God till Christ have reconciled us, and 
the Holy Ghost renewed us, and turned the enmity into 

S. I never laid this state of enmity to heart till now. I 
knew that I was a sinner; but I knew not that I was an enemy 
to God, even when I began to fear that he was for my sin an 
enemy to me. But I find now that it hath heen with me just 
as you say ; and I perceive that all sin hath some enmity to 
God in it. 

P. Where God is not loved as God, he is in some sort k 
hated; and between love and enmity there is in man no middle 
state. For none in this are perfect neuters, or indifferent. 
Have you not heard that enmity between the seed of the woman 
and of the serpent was put from the beginning of the covenant 
of grace ? And how this was presently manifested in Cain and 
Abel, the two first men and brothers that were born into the 
world : " Cain was of that wicked one (the devil) and slew his 
brother. And wherefore slew he him ? Because his own works 
were evil and his brother's righteous." (1 John iii. 12.) If you 
have read the Scripture, and other history, and have but heeded 
what is done about you in the world, you might easily perceive 
that the world hath ever consisted of two contrary sorts of men, 
who, as two armies, are still to this day in constant opposition 
to each other. The wicked are the 1 devil's seed and army ; 
and the godly are the army of Christ, and the regenerate seed 
of God. Whence is all the hatred of godliness on the earth, 
all the scorns, and slanders, and cruel persecutions and but- 
cheries of holy persons, and the number of martyrs and suf- 
ferers, but from this inbred enmity ? This is Christ's meaning 
when he saith, that he came not to send peace, but a sword : 
because he came to cause that holiness which the wicked will 
still hate and persecute. Look about you, and see whether we 
may not yet truly say with St. Paul, " But as then he that was 
born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the 

k Rom. i. 30 ; Psalm lxxxi. L5 ; Ixviii. 1, and xxi. 8 ; Command, ii. ; Deut. 
vii. 10; 2 Cliron. xix. 2. 
1 John viii. 44. 


Spirit, even so it is now." (Gal. iv. 29.) And we are all 
of this malignant disposition in some degree till grace recover 
us ; " When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by 
the death of his Son." (Rom. v. 10.) So " He that will be a 
friend of the world is an enemy to God. The friendship of the 
world is enmity to God." (Col. i. 21; James iv. 4.) I will 
mind you of no other proof, more than Christ's own sentence, 
which is not unjust. " Those mine enemies that would not 
I should reign over them, bring them hither, and slav them 
before me." (Luke xix. 27.) Those that would not have 
Christ reign over them, and subdue their worldly minds, and 
fleshly lusts, and make them holy, are his enemies. And hath 
not this been your case ? 

S. I cannot deny it; the Lord forgive me, and have mercy 
on me. 1 see now that it is not so easy a matter, nor so com- 
mon to love God truly, as 1 thought it was. 

P. To m love God as God, with all our mind, and heart, and 
might, is the sum of holiness, the proper fruit of the Spirit, the 
certain mark of God on the soul, and the surest evidence of his 
love to us, and the very beginning and foretaste of heaven. It 
is that which Christ came into the world to effect, by the most 
wonderful demonstration of God's love to sinners, as the fittest 
means to win their love. Faith in Christ is but the bellows to 
kindle in us the love of God ; and faith working by love is all 
our religion in a few words. Therefore, if love to God were 
easy and common, all goodness would be so, and salvation 
would be so. 

But having said thus much of the love of your soul, and the 
love of God, what think you next of the love of others? Is that 
also easy to you ? 

S. I am sometimes angry when I am wronged, or provoked, 
but J. know no one in the world that 1 wish ill to. 

P. So far it is well. But 1. Do you love men more for God 
and his image on them than for yourself? 2. Do you " love 
your neighbour as yourself? I pray you understand the matter 
aright. 1. God must be first and principally loved, as the 
chief and infinite Good : he must be loved for himself, as beinsr 
goodness itself, and most amiable in himself, and that unlimit- 

m 2 Thess. iii. 5 ; Luke xi. 42; Rom. v. 5 ; Gai. v. 0; Jade 21 . 
n Gal. v. 0,13, 14, 22; Jam. ii. 8; 1 Pet. ii. 17, and iii. 8; Rom. xii. 9, 10, 
and xiii. 9,10; 2 Cor. xiii. 11; Col. i. 4; 1 Thess. iv. 9; 1 Pet. i. 22; 

1 John iv. 7, 8, 11, 12, 20, 21, and v. 2; John xiii. 34, and xv. 12, 17; 

2 John iv. ; Col. ii. 2 ; Epli. iv. 2, 15, 10, and v. 2. 

348 the poor man's family book. 

edly with all the soul. The creature must be loved only for 
God, as bearing his image, or the marks of his perfection, and 
as a means to know, and please, and glorify him. Those must 
be most loved who have most of the image of God, in wisdom, 
righteousness, and holiness. The godly must be loved as godly, 
with a special love. Professed Christians must be beloved as 
such. All men, even our enemies, must be loved as men, 
with a common love ; and all this for God's work upon them, 
and his interest in them. 

But a selfish, carnal man, loving his carnal self more than 
God, doth make himself the standard and reason of his love to 
others. He loveth not those best who are best, and most holy, 
or serviceable to God and the public good, but those that love 
and honour him most, and those that are most of his opinion, 
and those that will be ruled by his will, and never cross it ; and 
those that do most for him, and are most profitable to him. A 
true Christian loveth his neighbour, as you love the children of 
your dearest friend, for the parents' sake. But a carnal man 
loveth his neighbour partly as a dog loveth his master for feed- 
ing him, and partly as all creatures, birds, and beasts, do love 
their companions, for likeness of kind, and from sociableness 
and acquaintance. Have you not loved an ignorant worldling, 
a profane swearer, a derider of holiness, who loved you and 
spoke well of you, and took your part, and did you many 
friendly offices, better than a wise and godly person, that never 
did any thing for you, or that had low thoughts of your wit and 
honesty, though no worse than indeed you did deserve ? 

S. I cannot deny but you describe me rightly. 

P. And did you never dishonour your governors, prince, or 
parents ? Did you never seek to hurt another, nor desire re- 
venge ? Did you never deceive your neighbour, nor wrong him 
any way in his estate ? Did you never belie nor slander him, or 
backbite him, nor falsely accuse him, nor seek to make him odi- 
ous or contemptible to others ? Did you never envy him, nor 
covet his estate, or honours, nor seek to draw any thing from 
him to yourself? If you did, what love was in all this but self- 
love ? 

Nay, what labour and cost have you been at to save the souls 
of miserable sinners, or to relieve their bodies ? "And he u that 
seeth his brother hath need, and shutteth up the bowels of his 
compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?" 

Lev. xix. 18, 34 ; Matt. v. 44, 46. r i John iii. 17, and iv. 12. 


At what rates, and with what condescension, self-denial, and 
diligence have you showed your neighbours that you love them ? 

2. At least hath it heen with any such love as you love your- 
self ? How easily can you hear your neighbour's wrongs, re- 
proaches, slanders, poverty, sickness, in comparison of your 
own ? You can aggravate his faults, and extenuate your own ; 
and judge him very culpable, and censurable, and punishable, for 
that which you make nothing of in yourself. 

S. I must confess I have sinned against the love of God, of 
myself, and of my neighbour. And I see that I must have a bet- 
ter heart, before I can truly love God, myself, and my neighbour, 
for the time to come. 

P. I have plainly opened to you the nature of true conver- 
sion, even q faith and repentance; that is, the nature of the co- 
venant which your parents in your baptism made in your name, 
or entered you into, and which at age you must sincerely make 
yourself, if you will be saved. What say you now to it upon 
consideration of the whole ? Can vou heartilv consent to it, 
and thus give up yourself to God and to Jesus Christ, or 

S. O Sir, it is a great business : I must have many a thought 
of it yet before I shall understand it well ; and many a thought 
more to overcome all the backwardness of my heart : such a 
work is not to be rashly done. 

P. I like your answer, so be it that it come not from unwil- 
lingness, nor imply not a purpose to delay : that which must 
needs be done, or you are for ever r undone, cannot be done too 
soon, so it be done well. But tell me, were you never confirmed 
by a bishop, by the laying on of his hands ? 

S. Yes, to tell you the truth, I was ; though none of all the 
parish went to him but I myself. 

P. And what was it that he did to you ? And what did you ? 

S. He said a short prayer, and laid his hand on my head, 
which I took to be his blessing ; but what he said I know not. 
But I said not a word to him. 

P. Did he not examine you of your knowledge, and faith, 
and repentance : and whether you have kept your baptismal co- 
venant, and now consent to it ? 

S. Not a word : we were all children that kneeled down to 
him, and had his blessing, and we knew no more. Only now 
you remember me, I heard him tell one at age that went before 
us, that we must stand to the covenant that we made in bap- 

i Actsxx.2I,xxvi, is. r L „ke xiii. 3,5; Matt, xviii. 3. 


tism : but little did 1 know or consider what that covenant was: 
nor could I have given any other account if 1 had been ex- 
amined, but only that 1 could say the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, 
and the Ten Commandments ; though I understood them not. 

P. If you will read the Church Liturgy about confirmation, 
you will see that, 1. You should have been able to say all the 
church catechism. 2. And that you should have had the cu- 
rate's certificate thereof. 3. And that being come to years of 
discretion, and having learned what was promised for you in 
baptism, you should yourself, with your own mouth and consent, 
ratify and confirm the same; and also promise that, by the grace 
of God you will evermore endeavour yourself faithfully to ob- 
serve it. And the Bishop, I suppose, though you understood 
him not, did put this question to you ; ' Do you here in the pre- 
sence of God and this congregation renew the solemn promise 
and vow that was made in your name at your baptism, ratifying 
and confirming the same in your own persons, and acknowledg- 
ing yourselves bound to believe and to do all those things which 
your godfathers and godmothers then undertook for you ?' And 
you were to say, ' I do.' And it is ordered, that ' none shall 
be admitted to the holv communion, till such time as he be con- 
firmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.' I confess 
these covenanting words are only in the New Common Prayer 
Book, 1662, and therefore it is like you heard no such thing; 
but there was yet more in the old rubric of the reasons of it. 

So that you see, that if the bishops and pastors would faith- 
fully manage this great work, none should communicate at the 
Lord's table till he professed all this covenant consent, in 
which your true conversion doth consist. 

S. 1 would it were so ; it would make a great reformation 
in the church. I had learned the church catechism at about 
seven years of age, but I knew little more than a parrot what I 
said, and soon forgot it, and never dreamt of such a solemn co- 
venant with God as vou describe, on which mv whole salvation 
doth depend, which needeth the best understanding and deliber- 

P. I am so much the more of your mind, because it was the 
wisdom of all Christ's churches for many hundred years, to 
keep those that desired baptism at age a sufficient time in the 
order of catechised persons, long teaching them the meaning of 
Christianity and baptism before they baptised them. And be- 
cause the Bereans (Acts xvi.) are commended forsearching the 
Scripture, to see whether that which was taught them was so 


or not : but especially because Christ himself (Luke xiv. 2S — 30) 
would have all that come to him sit clown first and count what 
it is like to cost them to be his true disciples, and to consider 
well of the work, and how they shall go through with it before 
they engage themselves to him. 

S. But why then did Peter s baptise thousands in the day that 
he had converted them ? 

P. 1. They were Jews, that had been instructed in the law, 
and known the true God, and had been solemnly entered into 
his covenant before, and so wanted no necessary knowledge, 
except only about the true Messiah, whom they themselves 
expected. So that their case much* differed from that of the 
Gentiles, or any that are found in utter ignorance. 2. And 
though the time was short, yet they gave sufficient evidence of 
their conversion in their humiliation, confession, and penitent 
desires of being acquainted with the way of salvation in Christ ; 
and no doubt but they openly professed the christian faith with 
their repentance at their baptism. If you are just now truly 
acquainted with the meaning of the baptismal covenant, and 
fully resolved to consent to it, and perform it, 1 would have you 
renew it without delay : but else take time to be instructed and 

S. Seeing I must make just the same preparation, and pro- 
fession, and covenant, as if I were newly to be baptised, had it 
not been better to have forborne my baptism till now, than to be 
baptised in infancy, when I knew not what was done ? What 
warrant is there for being baptised before we believe ? 

P. You are not now capable of disputes : when you are, read 
my book for infants' baptism. In the mean time I shall only 
tell you, 1. That all that are to be entered into Christ's church, 
as its members and his disciples, must enter by baptism ; which 
is proved, 1. Matt, xxviii. 19,20. " Disciple me all nations, 
baptising them :" baptism is made the door of entrance into the 
gospel church, and there is neither a word of command, nor ex- 
ample of entering any other way. 

2. But the infants of believers are to be entered into Christ's 
church, as its infant members and disciples ; which is proved, 
1. Because infants were members of the church before Christ's 
incarnation : and Christ came not to destoy the church's privi- 
leges, but to enlarge them. Circumcision entered the Jews' 
children : and the Ishmaelites and Edomites, and the posterity 
' Acts ii. 38, 39, &c. t Rom< ;; iS— 14, & c . 


of Keturah, used circumcision, as well as the Jews : and though 
circumcision cease, infants' church membership ceaseth not; 
for these two were separable before. In the wilderness, for 
forty vears, all the Jews' children were uncircumcised, and 
yet they ceased not to be church members ; yea, (Deut. xxix.,) 
they were expressly entered into the covenant of God. 

2. It appeareth, therefore, that the institution of circum- 
cision proveth not that infants' church membership was then in- 
stituted ; yea, it is plain that it continued from Adam's time. 
1. Because there is not one word of intimation in the Scrip- 
ture else when it began. 2. The word " seed," (Gen. iii. 15,) 
in the new covenant, is extensive to all ages ; for though it be 
meant of Christ, as the Head and Captain, it is meant of all the 
holy seed as his members. 3. God did still join the children 
with the parents, in promises and threats, blessings and cursings, 
in all ages, before circumcision. 4. There is no proof that 
ever God had any church on earth of which infants were not 

3. God hath, by nature and institution, (Deut. xxix. 10 — 12; 
Gen. xvii. 13,) made it the duty of parents to enter their chil- 
dren into the covenant of God, which is no where reversed ; but 
under the gospel there is no appointed way of entering them 
into the covenant but by baptism. If God command us to de- 
dicate them to him, he will surely receive them. 

4. Scripture telleth us that Christ would not have cast off the 
Jewish nation, and consequently their children, from their 
church state, if their own unbelief and rejecting him had not 
done it. (Matt, xxiii. 37.) O Jerusalem ! how oft would L have 
gathered thy children, as a hen gathereth her chickens under 
her wings, and ye would not. (Rom. xi.) They were broken off 
for unbelief. Therefore, but for unbelief, they had not been 
broken off; and the Gentiles are grafted into the same olive, or 
church state. And, mark it, it is plain here, that the believing 
part of the Jews were not broken off from a church state, 
though they ceased to be a kingdom and national church ; and 
therefore their children lost their church and covenant right : 
and if the children of believing Jews had it, all had it, when 
the church was one. 

5. He tells us that nations are capable of being discipled ; 
(Matt, xxviii. 19;) and the kingdoms of the world are to be 
the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ ; but there is no 
nation or kingdom which infants are not a part of. 


6. And Christ himself was angry with his disciples that 
would have kept little children from him, and said, " Forbid 
them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of hea- 
ven;" and therefore he is still ready to receive them, when de- 
dicated to him, though he then baptised them not, because the 
common use of christian baptism was to begin after his death. 

7. And the apostle, (1 Cor. vii. 14,) tells us, that our chil- 
dren are holy, which must needs signify more than legitimate, 
for so are heathen's children. 

8. And the apostles still baptised whole households. 

9. And the universal church, in all ages, hath observed it. 

10. And infants have a visible way of sin and misery by 
generation; and if there were no visible way of their recovery 
by forgiveness, that is, if there were no promise or covenant of 
pardon which they had a certain part in, Christ's remedy would 
be so narrow as to exclude the age that is first miserable ; and 
what hope could we have of the salvation of any of our infants 
without a promise ? 

S. But they believe not. 

P. Nor they sin not, and yet they are guilty of original sin, 
and need a Saviour. Though thev believe not actually, they are 
the infants of believers ; and their parents' faith is as far im- 
puted to them for their reception as the unbelief of the wicked 
is imputed to their children for their rejection and greater 
punishment, which is plain in Scripture. Indeed, while they 
have no reason and will of their own, their parents' reason and 
will hath the disposal of them, they being as their members. 

S. But what good doth it to those that understand not ? 

P. Is it no good to have a solemn delivery of a sealed pardon 
of original sin, and a covenant relation to God the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost ; and a visible title to the blessings of the 
covenant; and to be no more strangers, but fellow-citizens of 
the saints, and of the church or household of God; and if they 
die, to have right to life eternal ; when it is the dogs that are 
without the doors ? The benefit is the child's, and the comfort 
is the parents'. Is it not a privilege that you may take a lease 
of lands for your child's life as well as your own, and make him 
a party in the covenant, and bind him to pay the rent, though 
he understand it not ? And if at age he thinks he is wronged, 
he may quit his part in Christ and heaven whenever he pleases. 

S. But I perceive by my own case, we should do it more sen- 
siblv, if we stay till we understand what we do. 




P. 1. Your parents should be as sensible when they dedicate 
you to God, though you could not. 2. And your former bap- 
tism hindereth not your personal covenanting now as under- 
standingly and sensibly as if you never had been baptised before. 
All men are prone to outsideness and formality, even about 
God's own institutions. Too great stress is laid by many sorts 
upon the outward washing, 11 who weigh not enough the nature 
of the covenant. Though you may not be baptised again, you 
may as seriously and solemnly again covenant with God, even 
the same covenant which you made in baptism ; and it is the 
same which is still renewed in the Lord's supper : so that it did 
you no harm to be baptised in infancy, though you have been so 
sinful as to neglect the due consideration of it, you may, never- 
theless, upon your repentance, renew the same covenant; and 
the same covenant will give you the same benefits, though you 
be not re-baptised. Therefore now set to it, not only as if you 
had never done it before, but with double humiliation and seri- 
ousness, as beseemeth one that made and broke it. 

S. Have you any more to say to me about it ? 

P. Yes. I must before let you know in what maimer it is 
that this covenant must be made, if you will be a Christian in- 
deed, and have the benefits. 1. You must consent to the 
whole covenant of God, and not only to some part of it. You 
must be devoted x to your Creator, your Redeemer, and your 
Sanctifier : you must take him for your Owner, your Ruler, and 
your Saviour : you must be willing to be sanctified as well as 
pardoned, and to be saved from sin, and not only from punish- 

2. You must understand all the terms well, and count your 
costs, and reckon upon taking up the cross, and denying your- 
self, and forsaking all this world, in heart and resolution, for 
Christ, and take God and heaven for your whole portion, and 
resolve to stick to God if you have nothing else ; and if you 
meet with never so much tribulation in the world, you must be- 
lieve that heaven is as sure as if you saw it, and take that and 
the necessary means thereto for all your part, and not reckon 
upon ease, pleasure, profit, or safety to the flesh. 

3. You must covenant absolutely, without any secret excep- 
tions or reserves. y If you secretly keep a reserve in your heart 

u 1 Pet. Hi. 21 ; Mark xvi. 16 ; John iii. 16 ; Jam. v. 20; 1 John ii. 1. 
x Matt, xxviii. 19, 20, and xi. 28 ; Luke xix. 27 ; Rom. xiv. 9 ; Eph. i. 22 ; 
Luke xiv. 26, to the end ; Rom. viii. 17 ; Matt. xiii. 46, and vi. 19, 20. 
y Luke xiv. 26, 33. 


that you will come to Christ hut upon trial, and that you will he 
religious as far as will stand with your prosperity and safety in 
the world, and so you mav not be undone. If you except 
seceretly either honour, estate, or life, which you resolve not to 
lay down if Christ require it, you then play the hypocrite and 
lose all. 

4. You must consent to a present change, and at present 
thus wholly give up yourself to God, and not only that you 
will do it some time hereafter. As he that will not take up 
Christianity and a holy life till hereafter should not he baptised 
till hereafter, when he will do it ; so, if you do but consent to 
repent and be converted till some time hence, this is at present 
no repentance, conversion, nor true covenanting with God. All 
this vou must understand and do. 

And now 1 will give vou time to learn and resolve of all this 
that I have said to you. Read over and over the exposition of 
the covenant which 1 have written ; and what vou understand not, 
ask the meaning of it. And when you have done all, come to 
me, and tell me vour resolution. 


The Confutation of Ungodly Contradicters. 

Speakers. — Paul, a Teacher ; Saul, a Learner ; Sir Elymas Dives, a malignant 


Paul. Welcome, neighbour. You are come sooner than J 
expected you. Are you well resolved of what we talked of? 

Saul. Since I saw you, I opened my case to my landlord, Sir 
Elymas Dives ; and he is accounted a man of wit and learning ; 
and he saith so much against all that you persuade me to, that 
I am perplexed between both, and know not what to say or do ; 
but, at last, I got him to come to you, and say that to you 
which he said to me, that I may hear which seemeth in the 

P. You did very wisely ; and I have the more hope of your 
conversion and salvation, because you are diligent, and deal 
faithfully with yourself, and do not let deceivers carry you away 

AA 2 

356 the poor man's family book. 

quietly, without hearing what can he said against them. Desire 
him to come in. 

Sir Elymas Dives. Good-morrow, Mr. Paul. I perceive 
you have trouhled the mind of my poor tenant, here ; so that 
he can scarce sleep. You, precise preachers, make such a stir 
with your religion in the world, that you will not let men live in 
quiet by you. 

P. Sir, he that is called and consecrated to this office, to de- 
clare, from the word of God himself, things, z great, and 
necessary, and true, concerning the everlasting state of their 
souls, must needs call men to sober and serious thoughts. And 
if there be some trouble in these thoughts, to those that have 
foolishly neglected their own happiness, it is no wonder. 

El. The man hath been all his time an honest, painful, 
labouring man. I never heard that he said, or did any man 
harm ; but hath followed his business, and gone to church, and 
received the sacrament, and lived in love and peace with his 
neighbour. I never saw him drunk, nor any harm by him ; and 
now you will make him douht of his salvation. 

P. Sir, I would have no man doubt of his salvation without 
cause; nor no man presume of salvation without cause. The 
saving or losing of the soul, for ever, is a great business, and not 
to be cast upon presumptuous and blind hopes. I would but 
have him a make sure of heaven ; and can any man, think you, 
make too sure ? It is not you, nor J, that are the Judge of souls, 
but God ; and his laws are the rule of his judgment. His word 
tells us who it is that he will save. If I tell any man that Christ 
will not save him, to whom the Gospel promiseth salvation, con- 
demn me, and spare not. But if you tell any man that God 
will save him, to whom God hath spoken no such thing, hut the 
contrary, what wrong can he greater to God and him ? And as 
to his good life, which you talk of; faith and repentance, and 
the love of God, and a holy life, are matters of another nature 
than all that you have said. Pardon me for telling you, that you 
speak out of your element, like an unlearned man about law, or 
physic, and not like one that had made divinity the study of his 
life, as we have done. I have but inquired of the man himself 
how the case standeth with his soul, and set the Word of God 
before him, and directed him how to judge himself. Ask him, 
whether he hath lived by faith, or sense ; after the Spirit, or after 

z Psalm iv. 5 — 7 ; li., and cxix. 59; Acts ii. 37. 
a 2 Cor. xiii. 5 3 2 Pet. i. 10 ; Isa. iv. 5, G. 


the flesh 5 whether he hath b loved God or pleasure better; 
whether he hath sought heaven, or earthly prosperity, with the 
greater care and diligence. If he have, I will assure him that 
he is in a state of grace. It is he that must answer you. 

El. Are you a preacher, and think that to frighten men, and 
cast them into terrors, is the way to mend them ? It is believing 
well, and hoping well, that is the way to salvation. 

P. Believing and hoping falsely, is not the believing and 
hoping well. He that knoweth not and feareth not a danger, 
will not sufficiently labour to escape it. Did you never read, 
that " The c fear of God is the beginning of wisdom : a good 
understanding have all they that do hereafter ?" Doth not Christ 
say, " Fear him that is able to destroy both soul and body in 
hell ?" Yea, I say unto you (whosoever saith the contrary), 
" Fear him !" (Matt. x. 28 ; and Luke xii. 5.) " Seeing we 
receive a kingdom that cannot he moved, let us have grace 
whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly 
fear; for our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. xii. 28,20.) 
" Having a promise left us of entering into his rest, let us fear, 
lest any of you come short of it." (Heb. iv. 1.) The Scripture 
is full of such like passages. 

Suppose I am a physician, and have a medicine that infallibly 
ctireth all dropsies and consumptions in time ; and I see the signs 
of a dropsy or consumption on one of your servants, and I tell 
him my opinion of his case and danger, that he will die, unless 
he presently take this certain remedy ; and you come, and chide 
me for frightening and discomforting him ; and tell him that 
there is no danger. Which of us is the most comfortable friend 
to the man ? I assure him of recovery, if he will use the means : 
you flatter him with false hopes, to keep him from using them : 
and I am a physician, and you are none. Which of us may he 
wiselier believe ? 

El. When you should draw men to believe, you drive them 
to unbelief and doubting. 

P. Faith is not merely to believe that we are already forgiven, 
and shall be saved. If it would prove a man good, to believe 
that he is good ; or prove that a man shall be saved, to believe 
that he shall be saved ; and that he hath true grace when he hath 
none ; then all the heathens and wicked men in the world, may 
be saved, by believing it shall be so. Then let your tenant be- 

b 2 Tim. iii. 4 ; Matt. vi. 20, 21, 23. 
c Psalm cxi. 10 ; Prov. i. 10 ; xv. 33. 

358 the poor man's family book. 

lieve that he hath money when he hath none ; and believe that 
he hath paid your rent when he hath not. Believing God, sup- 
poseth some word of his to be believed. And what word of his 
promiseth salvation to the ungodly ? We must believe the 
Gospel, that Christ pardoneth and saveth all that truly d believe 
in him : that is, take him practically for their Teacher, their 
Saviour, and Lord ; to sanctify them by his Spirit, and mortify 
their worldly, fleshly lusts, and make them a holy and heavenly 
people. To take Christ for such a Physician and Saviour of your 
soul, is truly to believe ; and to doubt of the truth of his Word, 
is the doubting of unbelief: but so is not every doubting of our 
own sincerity. A drunkard may doubt he is not sober, and yet 
not thereby doubt of the Gospel of Christ. 

El. If poor men have no more wit than to hearken to all 
that you would put into their heads, you will drive them all into 
despair at last. 

P. We do but teach them how to prevent everlasting despair. 
There is no hope of being saved in despite of God, or against his 
will. And to cherish such e hopes (of being saved without holi- 
ness) till time be past, is the way to hellish desperation. What, 
if the king tell his subjects, ' If vou murder, there is no hope of 
your lives ; I will not pardon you.' Will you say to them, ' Go 
on, and kill men ; do not despair ; the king doth ill to put you 
upon desperation ?' What, if you had been with Paul in the 
shipwreck, when he said, " There shall not a hair of your head 
perish ; but if these stay not in the ship, ye cannot be saved ;" 
would you have said, ' He preacheth despair ; go forth, and fear 
not?' What, if you had heard Christ himself say, " Verily I 
say unto thee, except a man be born again, of water and the 
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God ;" (John iii. 
3, 5 5) and " Except ye be converted, and become as little chil- 
dren, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven ;" (Matt, xviii. 
3;) or "Except ye repent, ye shall all perish." (Luke xiii. 
3, 5.) Would you have said, ' Believe him not ; he preacheth 
desperation ?' What, if you say to your servant, ' If thou do not 
work, thou shalt have no wages.' Shall he say, i I will not 
despair; but I will hope well, though I work not?' What do 
vou bv this talk, but the same that the devil did to Eve ? God 
said, " In the day that thou eatest, thou shalt die :" the devil 

d John i. 6—12, and iii. 16, 19; Luke xix. 27 ; Matt. vii. 21—23. 
L Isa. xlviii. 18, 22 ; lvii. 21, and lix. 8; Jcr. iv. 10; vi. 14; viii. 11, and 
xxviii. 9; Ezek. xiii. 10, 10 ; 1 Thess. v. 3. 


said, " Ye shall not surely die." Did God preach despair, and 
the devil preach better ? Till men despair of being saved with- 
out holiness, they will never seek holiness, and so never be saved. 
I do despair that ever the devil should make good his word, and 
save anv souls that God hath said shall not be saved. 


El. Christ came to abolish the law, and set up the Gospel j 
and you preach nothing but the law, when mercy better be- 
seemeth the mouth of a gospel-preacher. 

P. Do I preach either the law of innocency, which giveth no 
pardon, or the Jewish law ? It was these that Christ abolished, 
(in a sort,) and not his own law of grace. Doth not he preach 
mercy, who proclaimed pardon to all that will truly repent, and 
turn to God by faith in Christ ? Repentance and conversion are 
gospel mercies. The law knoweth no place for repentance : 
but, sin and die, is all that it saith. Is it all our work, from 
vear to year, to magnify the mercy of God in Christ, and f to 
entreat men to accept of mercy, and not to refuse it, or abuse 
it ? And yet must it be said, that we preach not mercy ? I pray 
vou, tell me, sir, what is the doctrine of mercy that you would 
preach, if vou were in our stead ? 

El. I would tell them of the mercy of God, and that it is 
greater than our sins; and that Christ died for sinners; and 
that they that believe in him, and trust God, shall be saved. 

P. What it is to believe in Christ, and trust God, I have 
opened to Saul already, and must not oft repeat the same 
things. We doubt not but God's mercy is greater than our sins; 
but no unholy soul shall be saved by it. For this merciful God 
hath said, that " without holiness none shall see God." (Heb. 
xii. 14.) The sun is brighter than our eyes, and yet the blind 
cannot see by it. We tell them of the exceeding mercy of God, 
and of the sufficiency of the sacrifice and merits of Christ ; but 
we tell them withal, that the rejecting of this Christ and mercy 
will increase their misery, and be the food of the never-dying 
worm, the torment of their conscience to remember it for ever. 
Read Heb. in., and vi., and x., and xii., and see whether we say 
true or not. W T ould you tell the people that all men shall be 
saved ; or that any other faith and repentance would save them, 
than such as I described ? 

El. I would tell them that a quiet and sober religion will 
be accepted better than all the stir you make ; and that all this 
ado, and noise about religion, to trouble men's minds, instead 

f Matt, xxviii. 19 ; 2 Cor. v. 19. 

360 the poor man's family book. 

of making them better, is but the work of a few hot-brained 
coxcombs, that can neither let themselves nor other men live 

P. O, sir, that you had but tried what g quietness there is in 
the conscience of a renewed, justified person, in comparison of 
what is in the galled, ulcerous conscience of the ungodly. O ! 
it is a proud, a worldly, a fleshly heart and life, which is the 
sting that will give the sinner no rest ; and the defiled, guilty 
conscience which will never let the soul be quiet ; which hath 
a life of unpardoned sin to look back upon ; a life of sensuality 
and ungodliness, of pride, fulness, and idleness ; abundance of 
oaths, curses, lies, contempt of God ! These are they that 
will not let the world be quiet, nor suffer the consciences of the 
wicked long to give them any rest. Twice God protesteth by 
the prophet, " There is no peace to the wicked." (Isa. xlviii. 
22, and lvii. 21.) " The way of peace they know not. There 
is no judgment in their goings : they have made them crooked 
paths : whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace." (isa. 
lix. 8.) " God hateth all the workers of iniquity." (Psalm Iv.) 
And what peace is there, then, to such ? " Because they have 
seduced my people ; saying, Peace, and there was no peace : and 
one built up a wall, and others daubed it with untempered 
mortar: say unto them, that it shall fall. Lo ! when the wall 
is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing 
wherewith ye have daubed it?" (Ezek. xiii. 11, 12.) " When 
they shall say, Peace and safety ; sudden destruction cometh 
upon them, as travail on a woman with child, and they shall not 
escape." (1 Thess. v. 3.) 

I pray you tell me truly, do you think that he that hath truly 
repented of his careless, ignorant, worldly, proud, fleshly life, 
and hath forsaken it ; or he that hath yet all this sin unrepented 
of to answer for, is like to live the quieter life ? If sin be the 
way of peace, how did it drown the world ? How did it kill 
Christ ? How cloth it cause hell ? Then you may say also, that 
poison and wounds, and breaking our bones, and sickness, are 
the way to the body's ease. 

I pray you, sir, yet answer me these two questions. 1. Do 
you not believe, in your conscience, that a truly penitent, godly 
man, that hath spent his days chiefly in laying up a treasure in 
heaven, is liker to die in hope and peace than a careless, fleshlv, 
worldly man ? 2. And may not he live in the greatest peace, 

e Hab. iii. 18 ; Psalm iv. 7, 8 ; Rom. xiv. 17 ; Ileb. x. 34. 


who will die in the greatest peace ? Is not that course the fittest 
to give us peace in health which is the fittest to give us peace in 
sickness ? 

And will you tell me what is the quiet and sober religion which 
you are for yourself ? 

El. It is to love God and my neighbour, and do as I would 
be done by, and go to church, and say my prayers, and, when I 
have sinned, repent, and cry God mercy, and trust in Christ, and 
so be quiet, and trouble myself no further. 

P. You have said a great deal in a few words. But I hope 
you do not think that saying this will save them that do it not. 
Give me leave, then, to go over all particularly. 1. If you love 
God, you will love his h laws, and his government, and his ser- 
vice, and his servants, and you will love to please him, and you 
will long to be with him, and you will love him better than 
fleshly pleasure, or all this world. Will you think he loveth 
you, that loveth the dirt in the streets better than you ? or that 
careth not how far he is from you, nor how little he hath to do 
with you ? That loveth not much to hear, or think, or speak of 
you ? If you love God, you will make him your delight, and 
not think his word and service the trouble of the world : and 
you will keep his commandments, and not think sin your greatest 
pleasure, and obedience to God your greatest pain. 

2. And if vou love your neighbour as yourself, you will not 
let Lazarus lie in hunger at your doors, nor your poor tenants 
and neighbours feel cold and want, while you are clothed in 
purple and silk, and fare sumptuously and deliciously every day. 
You will not lay out hundreds by the year, on hounds, and sports, 
and idle gentlemen servants, and on feasting and gallantry, and 
excess of bravery ' and furniture, while your poor tenants live in 
toil and misery. You will not rack your rents so as poor men, 
with all their care and labour, cannot live. You will not see 
your brother have need, and shut up the bowels of your com- 
passion from him, and then say that you love God and your 
neighbour. You will not hate, and scorn, and persecute God's 
servants that are most careful to please him, and still say you 
love both God and them. You will not think that to love your 
riotous companions and playfellows, is to love your neighbour 
as yourself. 

3. And for your repenting when you have sinned, and crying 

11 John xiv. 15, 23 ; 1 Jchn v. 3. 

1 I John Hi, 10, 17 ; Jam. ii. 14 -in, and v., throughout. 

362 THE poor man's family uook. 

God mercy, I hope you do not mean a mocking of God, with 
saying that you repent when you do not. T hope it is not only 
to he sorry and wish you had not sinned, when you have got all 
that sin can give you, and still to go on and do the same : to 
cry God merey for a worldly, fleshly, voluptuous life of pride, 
fulness, and idleness, (the sins of Sodom, (Ezek. xvi. 49,) and 
of too many gentlemen,) and k to continue it still, and hate those 
that are against it : nor to repent of oppressing the poor, and 
racking your tenants, and to do so still. Repentance is a true 
change of mind, will, and conversation : true repentance is all 
that I persuade this man to, when you say that I trouble him, 
and break his peace. 

El. You are an arrogant, saucy fellow. What have you to 
do to meddle with my bravery, or sports, or tenants' rents ? You 
think your priestly calling may warrant all vour incivilities and 
insolence. Were it not for the reverence of your coat, I would 
kick you out of doors, or lay you by the heels. It was never 
a good world since such fellows as you were suffered to prate your 
pleasure against your betters, under pretence of reproving sin. 

P. I knew, sir, on what disadvantage I should discourse with 
such a one as you, but I do it for this poor man's sake, who 
desired it. If I were discoursing with vou about common things, 
I would keep such a distance as should no way offend you. If 
any submissiveness would excuse me, I would not seem insolent 
or uncivil. I would not stand covered before you. I would not 
press into your presence, nor expect honour from you, but 
would be content to stand with your poorest servants. But 
when it is a business that God's truth and holiness, and men's 
salvation, and my ministerial fidelitv, lieth on, it is cowardice 
and base treachery, and not civility, to desert the truth for want 
of plain dealing. 1 hope you know that not only the prophets 
and apostles, but Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, and such others, 
have dealt much plainer with emperors than I have done with 
you : and Gildas spake homelier of the British princes and 
nobility. As long as you may use us at your pleasure, you may 
give us leave to speak according to our Master's pleasure. For 
we do not fear but at last he will bear us out. 

El. It is the trick of you all to claw the vulgar by accusing 
the gentry and nobility of oppression, yea, and you would say as 
much by the king himself, if you durst. 

'< 1 Cor. vi. 9, 11 ; Tit. iii. 3, 5 ; Acts xviii. 26. 

1 Isa. lviii. 1 ; vii. 4, and li. 7,8; Matt. xvi. 2G, 28, 31; Heb. xiii. 6. 

the poor man's FAMILY BOOK. 363 

P. The worst I wish you, sir, is but that you would go now 
and then into the houses of the poor, and see how they live ; 
and that you would read over Luke xii., and Luke xvi., and James 
iv. and v., and Matt, xxv., and try to write yourself a commen- 
tary on them. And that you would remember how you must 
leave this world, and what comes next. 

El. It is such as yon that set up levellers ; you would have 
rich and poor live all alike, and we must fare and go no better 
than they, nor live at more ease. 

P. No, Sir : but death will shortly play the leveller with you, 
and call away your soul, and turn your flesh to corruption and 
common earth: and then 111 whose are those things that you 
possessed ? I would have all honour done to magistrates, though 
I reverence not riches so much as I do magistracy. And I 
would not have you put vourself into any of the afflicting or 
hindering cases of the poor, in your food, raiment, or employ- 
ment : but I must needs tell you, that in your place and way, 
you must labour as diligently, and live a mortified, self-denying 
life, as well as the poor. And" riches will excuse no man for 
idleness, or voluptuous living, nor allow you to waste one groat 
in vain. 

El. The poor live in their way as well as we in ours : their 
diet and their labour is as suitable to them as our plenty and 
ease is to us. 

P. It is but from use, then, for their flesh is of the same kind 
with yours : and if so, I hope if you be put to it, you can use 
yourself to live so too. And if so, methinks a due abatement of 
excesses and voluptuousness should be much more easy to vou. 

But, Sir, it is not the mere labour of the poor that I pity 
them for, nor the unpleasantness of their diet. I am persuaded 
the. minds of many of them are quieter, and that their meat and 
sleep is sweeter than yours, but, pardon me for telling vou that I 
am much among them, and I find, 1. That some of them drink 
nothing but water, or beer that is little better, and use a diet 
so unwholesome, that it breedeth dropsies, consumptions, and 
deadly sicknesses, having not fire and clothes to keep them 
warm. 2. That many are so full of cares how to pay their rents 
and debts, that they have no heart to think of the greater bu- 
siness of their souls ; and many are so tired with their excessive 
labour, that when they should pray, or read a chapter, or instruct 
their families, either they have no time, or they are presently, 

m Luke xii. 18—21. " Jam. v. 

364 the poor man's family book. 

with 'weariness, asleep : yea, tired on the Lord's days with the 
week days' labour. 3. And worst of all, they cannot spare their 
children from work while they learn to read, though I offer 
them to pay the schoolmaster mvself, much less have they time 
to catechise and teach them. So that poverty causeth a gene- 
ration of barbarians in a christian, happy land. You would 
forgive my boldness, if you understood the sadness and sinful- 
ness of all this, and that some rich men, that have caused such 
things as these, do now want themselves a drop of water to cool 
their tongues. 

But all this is by a digression. I pray you tell me next what 
that is which you accuse me of as over-troublesome to my 
neighbour, or to the world, in mv doctrine ? 

El. I have told you : it is disquieting men's consciences. 

P. But what is it that I say amiss to disquiet them ? 

El. You would make them believe that God made us to damn 
us, and make his mercy as narrow as your conceits. 

P. Do you not think that some shall be damned for their 
sins ; and that God best knoweth who ? and that he best 
knoweth how to use his own mercy? and that we must believe 
his word ? If you think that all shall be saved, speak out, and 
let us hear your proof, if not, tell me to whom I deny salva- 
tion that God hath promised it to ? 

El. You make strict laws and opinions of your own brains, 
and then damn all who do not keep them. 

P. What be those laws and opinions of ours ? 

El. What ! more than a good many. If a man go finer than 
yourselves; if he be not of your fashion; if a woman wear 
black spots, or go with bare breasts ; if we play at cards or 
dice, or go to a play-house; if the people set up a may-pole, 
or dance on Sundays; if one drink a cup, and be but merry; 
O, these are profane people ; they are not precise enough to 
be saved. 

P. There is nothing so small in which a true servant of God 
would not be obedient : and srveat sin is oft committed ini' small 
things. And their signification, and the omissions which they 
import, are oft sadder than the things themselves. If your 
harvest were out, or your house were on fire, and your servant 
should let all alone, and go to cards, or a plav-house, the while, 
and say, ' How precise is mv master to think that there is any 
harm in this,' you know how to answer him. Truly, sir, our 

2 Thess. i. 7—10, and ii. 11, 12. i' Heb. xii. 1G ; Matt. v. 19. 


lives are short ; our souls are precious ; our work is great, and 
much undone ; time makes haste ; we have lost much already ; 
hell is terrible ; heaven is glorious ; God is just, and all that 
ever must be done for our souls must be now done. And in 
this case, he that hath time to cast away on stage plays, and 
cards, and idleness, let him do it ; for my part, I have not. As 
strict as you think me, God knoweth that my work is yet so 
much to do, that I have no time to spare for such things as 
these. He that liveth by faith, foreseeth heaven open all the 
way, and such a sight doth cool my appetite to sports. Oh, 
precious time ! how fearful am I lest thou wilt be gone, before 
my faith be strengthened, my hope confirmed, my love to God 
increased, and my preparation made for death and judgment ! 
O what hearts are in those men that can see time passing, death 
coming, God present, judgment and eternity at hand, and yet sit 
needlessly at dice or cards, or idle recreations ! Have we no 
more to do with time ? I speak not against needful recreations, 
which fit us for an ordinary, laborious calling, as whetting doth 
the mower's scythe. But wo to them that cast away so short 
and precious time in fooleries and idleness, which is all that 
ever they shall have to prepare for their everlasting state. 

And 1 must tell you too, sir, that I need not such pleasures : 
the word of God, and the foresight of eternal glory, afford me 
better; so much better, that these stink in comparison of them. 

But yet, sir, it is not my custom to talk first or much of such 
things as these. Here stands your tenant, ask him whether I 
once named any such matters to him ? I remember old Mr. 
Dod's saying to one that would have him preach against long- 
hair, 'Win their hearts to Christ, and they will cut their hair 
themselves.' I remember a person of great estate yet living, 
that in youth was ignorant, vain, and gaudv, and being often 
persuaded to leave some gaudy fashions, long despised all that 
was said ; but at last, by a sermon, being convinced of greater 
matters, and humbled, and suddenly changed to a godly life, 
all the beloved vanities and fashions were in two days cast 
away, and never taken up again, without any talk about such 
things, to the marvel of spectators. 

Oh, sir, could I but persuade you to that due sense of things 
eternal, as their truth and greatness do bespeak even of reason 
itself; could I prevail with you to engage your heart and life to 
such care and ll diligence for God and your salvation, and the 

i Johu vi. 27. 

366 the poor man's family book. 

common good, as God will require of you, I would leave you to 
pass away as much time as this work can reasonably spare. r 
One thing is necessary ; do that, and then go to play. 

El. But you are the most censorious generation of men in 
the world. You make a sect and party for religion, of precise 
and self-conceited people, and then none must be saved but 
your precise party ; and how empty will heaven be, if none be 
there but puritans ! 

P. 1.1 suppose you will grant, that if we should never so 
much flatter ungodly persons, with the hopes of salvation, their 
case might be the worse, but it could be never the better. 
God's will, or word, will not change with ours ; he will never 
save an unholy soul. If all the prelates and preachers in the 
world should agree to tell them that they shall be saved, they 
would stand before God never the more justified for all this; it 
would but keep them from repentance, and consequently from 
being saved indeed. 2. And you cannot but know that all 
mankind is proner to security, presumption, self-flattery, and 
impenitence, than to overmuch fear, unless it be some persons 
that are melancholy. 3. And you cannot but know that false 
hopes are far more dangerous, though unjust fears be the more 
troublesome ; for presumption keepeth them more from repent- 
ance. 4. And if I may judge of others by myself, we ministers 
are more prone to be too tender of troubling people, than too 
terrible ; for naturally we all love our own ease and quiet, and 
the love of our neighbours ; s and we know that it is flattery 
that gets love, and plain dealing hatred ; and we long not to be 
hated. And most ministers have need of their neighbour's 
bounty ; and hatred is not the way to procure that, especially 
with the rich. Therefore you should rather charge us to deal 
plainly, and to take heed lest poverty, or cowardliness, or luke- 
warmness, tempts us to daubing flattery, or silence. 

2. But, sir, what is the sect or party of puritans that you say 
we confine salvation to ? I pray you let us not spend time in 
mere words ! If you mean that we confine salvation to any that 
agree with us in by -matters, circumstances, doubtful opinions, 
or any thing not essential to Christianity and godliness, it is a 
sin which we detest. Prove it by me, if you can ; ask Saul, 
whether I spake a word to him of any doubtful controversy in 

'Lukex. 42. 

8 1 Kings xxii.; Amos. ii. 12; Mic. ii. 11; Job xxxii. 21, 22 ; 1 Thess. v.; 
Prov. xxviii. 23 ; xx. 19, 28, and xxvh 28 ; Ezek. xii. 24. 


But, if the party you talk of be that which Christ calleth 
believers, penitent, regenerate, sanctified, godly persons, do you 
not believe yourself that God in. Scripture hath confined salva- 
tion to such only? All the world is of 1 two parties: the seed 
of the woman and of the serpent ; the godly and the ungodly. 
Do you believe Christ himself, or not ? If you do, doth he not 
most expressly and vehemently confine salvation to them that 
are born again of the Spirit; (John iii. 3, 5 ;) to them that 
are converted ; (Matt, xviii. 3 ;) to them that are new creatures ; 
(2 Cor. v. 17;) to them that have the Spirit of Christ, and 
mind the things of the Spirit, and live after the Spirit, and 
mortify the lusts of the flesh; (Rom. i. 5 — 9, 13, 14;) to them 
that have a heart in heaven ; (Matt. vi. 21 ;) and a heavenly con- 
versation ; (Phil. iii. 20,21;) to them that seek first God's 
kingdom and righteousness. (Matt. vi. 33.) Are these the 
words of man, or of God ? Are they ours, or Christ's ? Are we 
censorious for believing our Saviour, and for preaching his 
word, and persuading others to believe it ? 

0, how much better were it for men to judge themselves by 
the word of God, and not by their self-flattering, fleshly mind, 
before God judge them ; rather than to call God, or his holy 
word, or his ministers that speak it, censorious. 

El. Do you allege God's word against his goodness, and 
merciful nature ? It is contrary to God's goodness to save none 
but a few puritans and precisians, and to condemn all the rest 
of the world to hell. Would you have us to believe things 
utterly incredible, as well as undesirable ? 

P. Your scornful names of puritans and precisians are but 
words of your own, thrust in to vent your spleen, and to darken 
the question. If you mean any other than repenting, sanctified 
believers, it is nothing to our case, I talk for no other. But, 
sir, we will not be mocked out of our duty and salvation : 
heaven were little worth, if it were not worth the bearing of 
derision, from poor souls that are hastening themselves to hell. 
But to the matter. 

1. As to the number of those that God will save, I never 
presumed to determine of it. I only tell you, that none are 
saved but those that are sanctified by the Spirit of Christ : 
remember, I pray you, that this is all that I say. How many 
are sanctified I know not, but I would advise you, instead of 
such inquiries, as you love yourself, to make sure that you are 

* Gen. iii. 15; Mai. iii. 17, 18 ; Matt, xxv.j 2 Thess. i. 9, 10; John iii. 3, 5. 


one of them. But experience may help to make some conjec- 
tures : if all the world, or most of the world, he truly holy; that 
is, do love God and heaven hetter than fleshly pleasure and 
worldly prosperity, then all, or most of the world, shall he 
saved. But if there be few such, there are few that will be 
saved. This is the truth, if God's word be true ; and instead 
of being offended at it, you had best to lay your hand upon your 
heart, and see whether or not it be so with you ; for God will 
not save you for your riches, nor high looks, nor for contending 
against his word. 

2. Do you think that God doth not know his own nature 
and goodness, and what is consistent witli it better than you ? 
Will you tell him, that he hath made a law, or given us a word, 
which is u contrary to his own nature and goodness ? Jf you 
will teach God to know himself better, or to amend his Word, 
he will convince you, ere he hath clone with you, that you should 
rather have known yourself and God better. 

3. Is it contrary to the goodness of God to shut men out of 
heaven who will have none of it, or who hate it, or who prefer 
a swinish lust before it ? Attend a little, sir, and I shall show 
vou your unrighteous censure of God. If you can but forgive 
God for making you a man, you may perceive that it is you that 
damn yourself, and then quarrel with God for it. Is it not man 
himself that loveth the world and fleshly pleasure more than 
God; that committeth all the sin that is committed; that x 
turneth away his heart, his love, his delight, his thoughts from 
God, and from all that is heavenly and holy ? Are not your lusts 
your own, and your passions your own ? Is it not yourself that 
maketh yourself ungodly, and contrary to the holy nature of God 
and heaven ? And yourself you resist and refuse the Spirit and 
grace of God ? Do you know how much of hell is in sin itself, 
and of your own making, as well as of your own deserving ? To 
be saved, is to know God and love him, and delightfully serve 
him : this in perfection is heaven. And doth God deny you this 
when you truly desire it; or do you not 5 ' deny it to yourself? 
Is it not you that delight not in God and his service; and that 
rather choose your fleshly pleasure? And is it not vou, then, that 
put yourself out of heaven ? Heaven is a state of perfect holi- 
ness ; and you will not have holiness, and yet you say you would 

u Rom. iii.3,4, &c. 

x Job xxviii. 28 ; Prov. xiii. 14 ; xiv. 27. and xv. 24. 

y Job xxi. 14, and xxii. 17. 


have heaven. God setteth before you a feast of holy joys; and 
your appetite is against it : you loathe it, you refuse it ; no en- 
treaty will persuade you to taste it; you deride it as preciseness; 
and when you have done, you blame God because you have it 
not. If you would have a Mahometan heaven of lechery, and 
wine, and sports ; a heaven of cards, and dice, and plays, and 
jesting ; a heaven of proud domination over your brethren, or 
of money, and great estates, and pomp, you are mistaken ; 
there is none such in another world. All this heaven was z here 
on earth; and here you chose it; and here you had it. Here- 
after there is no heaven but the sight and delightful love of God, 
and perfection of holiness. Would you have this, or would you 
not? If you will, then refuse it not, deride it not, neglect it 
not ; presently begin, and spit out your filthy, fleshly pleasures, 
and a seek the Lord, and he will assist you and accept you ; but 
if you will not, remember who put you out of heaven. 

And when death hath opened your eyes, and showed you what 
it is that you refused, and have b lost, and what it was that you 
preferred before it, your own conscience will tear you with per- 
petual torments, to think what a glory you might have had and 
would not ; what a God you departed from ; and what all the 
fleshly pleasures were which you preferred ; and what is now 
become of all. I tell you, if God should no further meddle 
with you, your c conscience in the remembrance of this would 
torment you. 

You see, then, that besides what they deserve from the hand 
of divine justice, what it is that sinners execute upon themselves. 
You cannot both refuse heaven and make yourself incapable of 
it, and yet have it; and you cannot lose it, and not for ever feel 
the loss. 

4. And is not God just ? and injustice contrary to his nature ? 
Is it contrary to the goodness of the king or judge to hang a 
thief or murderer ? And what if they be many ? Must they, 
therefore, be d unpunished ? If many should beat you or abuse 
you, doth not that rather aggravate the wrong than extenuate 
it ? You scruple not killing a nest of wasps or hornets, though 
they be many. Millions of men are not so much to God as a 
swarm of flies are unto man. 

5. And I would know whether you think it contrary to God's 

2 Lnke xvi. 25. a John v. 40; Rev. xxii. 17 ; Jos. xxiv. 15. 

b Matt. xxv. <»— 8. c Rom. xxi. 15. 

d Psalm i. 5. (i, and 1. ; Matt. xxv. 


370 the poor man's family book. 

goodness to condemn any at all, or not ? If not, what numbers 
proportionally will you impose upon him to save ? What if he 
saved a thousand or ten thousand for one that he condemneth ; 
would that seem to you consistent with his goodness ? And 
are you sure it is not so ? We are sure that this earth is to the 
rest of the universe, hut as one inch is to the whole earth ; 
and how small a part is that ! And you know not but e angels 
and pure inhabitants may possess all the rest, except what is 
allotted to the devils and the damned. And if so, if ten thou- 
sand to one in this wicked world (which is next to hell) were 
damned, it would not all be one to many millions of the pure 
and blessed ones in the rest of the creation. I oidy say that 
men that are ignorant of such matters, as we all are, are unfit 
to quarrel with God about them. 

El. You have said much, I confess ; but it is all no justifi- 
cation of your own arrogance, that lay claim to heaven before 
your neighbours. All we are profane and ungodly people; 
and you only are the holy brethren and the f children of God. 
You say, 'Stand bv, I am holier than thou ?' and as the Pharisee, 
' I thank thee, Lord, that I am not as other men, nor as this 

P. 1. Who do you mean by 'us' and by 'you?' Speak 
plainly, that you may he understood. If any arrogate the name 
of holy or godly that is not so, he is an hypocrite. Do you 
hear me sav that such shall be saved ? And either you and the 
rest of our neighbours are really godly, sanctified persons, or 
you are not. If you are, we say you are the children of God, 
and the heirs of heaven as well as we or any others. Did you 
ever hear me say that any godly man is ungodly ? or is not the 
child of God ? Name the man that I have said so by. If your 
own conscience tell you that you love God better than the world, 
and g seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and if your con- 
versation prove it, you have then the witness in yourself that you 
are sanctified, and need not care what others say of you ; but 
if your conscience tell you that it is not so, but that you are a 
lover of the world and pleasure more than of God, silence not 
your conscience, and desire not that we should flatter you with 
lies, when your own conscience knoweth that the case is other- 

2. But, sir, do you think that there is no difference among 

e Heb. xii. 22, 23 ; an innumerable company of angels, or myriads. 
f 1 John v. ]», 20. » Matt. vi. 33. 


men ? Are the good and bad, the godly and wicked, all alike ? 
Then, indeed, there would be no difference hereafter. But if 
there be a difference, may it not be known ? And must he that 
hath God's grace be unthankful, and falsely say that he hath 
none ? Those are like the unhumbled Pharisees, who thank 
God for that grace which they have not ; and not they that 
humbly thank him for what they have. Would you have a tem- 
perate, chaste, and just person think himself to be a drunkard, 
a fornicator, a thief, when it is not so, and all for fear of being 
proud ? Then why are you angry with those that count you 
ungodly, if humility bind all men to think themselves ungodly ? 
God neither desireth that we should think with the Pharisee, 
that we are sanctified when we are not, nor that we deny the 
grace which we have. Unthankfulness for the greatest mercy 
is no virtue. 

El. You are the true offspring of the pharisees ; a pack of 
godly hypocrites ; a generation that are pure in your own eyes, 
but are not cleansed from your filthiness. In secret you are as 
bad as any others. 

P. Who do you mean, sir ? 

El. I mean all, or the most of you, that take on you to be 
so godly and religious above other men. 

P. 1. Would you have men profess ungodliness? Would 
you have us be drunkards, swearers, fornicators, covetous, for 
fear of being hypocrites ? or would you have us say that we are 
such when we are not ? Is this your confession of Christ ? 
Would you have no man profess himself a Christian or a servant 
of God ? What, then, must we profess the service of the flesh 
and the devil ? 

2. Do not you take on you to be a Christian, and to be 
godly ? Why else are you angry with them that count you un- 
godly ? Else you are an infidel and an atheist. But if you 
profess Christianity and godliness yourself, are you therefore an 
hypocrite ? If not, profession makes not others to be hypo- 
crites. I pray you tell me, what do you profess less than I do ? 
You profess Christianity and godliness, and I profess no more. 
But which of us is the hypocrite our consciences and lives must 
tell. I hope you will not renounce God and Christ, for fear of 
being an hypocrite. 

3. But alas ! sir, too many people fearing God are so far from 
being pure in their own eyes, that the greatness of their sins 
overwhelmed them : and we v can hardly keep them from con- 

bb 2 


eluding that they have no grace at all, and are as ready to call 
themselves hypocrites in their fears, as you are in your spleen 
against them. And why do you at once accuse us for over-ter- 
rifying them, and driving them to despair, and yet of puffing 
them up with a conceit of godliness ? 

4. But how is it that you come to know our hypocrisy, and 
what we are in secret ? If you know it, it is no secret : if it be 
a secret, you know it not. If our lives be vicious, prove it, and 
reprove us : if they be not, how know you that our hearts are 
so ? Is not God only the searcher of hearts ? 

5. I am glad if, indeed, you hate hypocrisy. The hypocrite is 
he that professeth to be that which indeed he is not. You and 
I do both profess the same Christianity : now the question is, 
which of us is the hypocrite ? If one man live according to his 
profession, and be serious in his religion, and hate all known 
sin, great and small, and seek God diligently, and use all the 
means that God commandeth him; and if another, making I he 
same profession of Christianity, do live in open worldliness and 
sensuality, in gluttony, drunkenness, gaming, idleness, fornica- 
tion, and deride holy living, and all that are serious in the reli- 
gion which he himself professeth, and counteth the practice of 
Christ's own commands to be needless preciseness ; do I need 
to ask you, which of these is like to be the hypocrite ? I have 
admired to hear debauched persons call serious Christians hypo- 
crites, when the want of seriousness in professed Christianity is 
the very nature of hypocrisy. Do not all these railers call them- 
selves Christians ? Is not h holiness essential to Christianity? 
Js not a drunken Christian, a worldly Christian, a fornicating 
Christian, a sensual, voluptuous Christian, a very self-contra- 
dicting stigmatized hypocrite ? Every gross sin which such 
wilfully live in, is the brand of an hypocrite. 

El. Are not all men sinners ? And he that saith he hath no 
sin, deceiveth himself. Why then make you such differences 
between yourselves and others ? 

P. You may try whether by that trick you can deceive the 
king and the judges first : go to the bar and to the gallows, and 
say, * Why should these poor men be hanged rather than all you ? 
Are not all sinners ? If one of your servants beat you, excuse 
him, because all are sinners.' But, sir, do you not know that 
there are ' sinners that shall be saved in heaven, and sinners 

h 2 Cor. v. 17 ; Rom. viii. 8, 9, 13, 30 ; Actsxxvi. 18 ; Luke xiv. 26, 27, 33. 
1 1 John i. 7, 8 ; iii. S, 9, and v. 16, 17 ; John v. 14 ; 1 Cor. vi. 10, 11. 


that shall go to hell ; "Sinners that are pardoned, and sinners 
that are not pardoned ? And why so ? But that there are 
sinners that are penitent, contrite, and truly converted, and sin- 
ners that are not so. There are k sinners that are ungodly, and 
sin wilfully, and love their sin : and there are sinners that are 
godly, and sin only of infirmity, and hate their sins, and make 
it the care of their lives to avoid them. Some make provision 
for the flesh to satisfy its desires or lusts : and some make it 
their work to mortify such lusts, and not to please them. If 
you will not difference between these two sorts of sinners, God 
will : and you shall shortly see it. They that stand on Christ's 
right hand and on his left in judgment, and hear, " Come ye 
blessed," and " go ye cursed," were all sinners : but read Matt. 
xxv. whether Christ maketh no difference ? 

El. The difference is, that you are the pharisees, and we are 
the publicans : you justify yourselves, and we smite on our 
oreasts, and cry, " God be merciful to me a sinner !" And which 
of these was justified of God ? 

P. I pray you speak truly, sir ; do you think that Christ 
meant a dissembling publican, that took on him to repent and 
did not ? Doth God justify wicked hypocrites ? Or was it not 
a truly penitent publican, that confessed his sins with true re- 
pentance, and went home with a changed mind and life ? And 
is not this all that I persuade your tenant to ? And are not 
these the persons that we say shall be saved ? If you be this 
publican, go, and do likewise : repent, confess, and be converted 
to a holy life. 

And I will make bold this once to paint out the pharisee to 
you in Christ's own words, and then you shall be judge yourself, 
who is the pharisee. The pharisees were a sect that set up the 
traditions of the elders against God's word. (Matt. xv. 3.) They 
were all for ceremony in religion, washing before meat, and 
washing cups, and formal, set fasting often. (Matt. ix. 14 ; Luke 
xi. 39.) They worshipped God in vain, teaching for doctrines 
the commandments of men. (Matt. xv. 9.) They drew near to 
God with their lips, saying over certain prayers, when their 
hearts were far from him. (Matt. xv. 8.) They were the rulers of 
the Jewish church. (Matt, xxiii. 2 j John vii. 45, 47, 48.) They 
were called by high titles, and were set in the highest seats, and 
went in pomp and state, with the formalities of broad phylacte- 
ries, and such like. (Matt, xxiii. 5 — 7.) They were strict for tithing 
mint, annise, and cummin : they were tyrants and extortion- 

k Rom. vi. 10, and xiii, 13 ; Gen. xxxix. ?. 


eis, and oppressors of the poor ; they strained at a gnat, and 
saw the mote in another's eye, condemning Christ and his apos- 
tles for not observing their ceremonies, while they saw not the 
beam of malignity and persecution in their own eye, but could 
swallow a camel, even these heinous sins : for their way was to 
honour the memorials of the martvrs, and to make more : to 
erect monuments for the dead saints whom their forefathers 
persecuted, and to go on to do the like by the living. (Matt, xxiii. 
24. to the end.) They were the deadliest enemies of Christ, the 
silencers of his apostles, as far as they could, and the persecu- 
tors of Christians. And now I pray you tell me, who are the 

El. But you leave out that which is against you : they de- 
voured widows' houses, and, for a pretence, made long prayers ; 
and so do you. 

P. I pray, Sir, tell me what widow's house I have devoured, 
and I promise you to restore it quickly. Do I oppress my te- 
nants, as I before described to you ? Have I any house but a 
mean one that I dwell in ? Am I not fain to take up with the 
common jail, when your worship sends me thither for preaching ? 

And as for long prayers I have two questions to put to you. 
1. Was it the length of prayer, or the false pretence, which 
Christ reproved ? If the length, why did he continue all night 
in prayer himself who had less need than I ? (Luke vi. 12.) Why 
are we bid pray continually, and continue instant in prayer. 
(1 Thess. v. 17 ; Rom. xii. 12 ; Col. iv. 2.) 

El. No : it was the false pretence that was blamed. 

P. Was it not a proof that long prayer is a thing very good 
and laudable, when sincerely used ? Else it would not have 
made a cloak for sin ; for one evil is not a fit covering for ano- 
ther. My second question is, whether the pharisees' long pray- 
ers were free prayers, uttered from the habits of the mind, or 
forms of liturgy ? 

El. I think they were such as your extemporate prayers. 

P. Then you will wound the cause of liturgies, which 1 would 
not have you do ; for if the pharisees, that were so ceremonious, 
used none, it will scarce be probable that any were used in the 
Jewish church. 

El. Well, then, suppose them to be set liturgies. 

P. It is they, then, that are likest to the pharisees, who by long 
liturgies cloak their oppressions and covetousness. 

El. You are noted to be as covetous a sort of people as any : 


you will cheat a man in bargaining, and you will not swear ; 
but you will lie like devils. 

P. I assure you, sir, if we do so, it is contrary to our doc- 
trine : for we profess that such persons are no children of God, 
nor can be saved in such a state. Therefore you must prove 
it against the particular persons whom you accuse. For if 
we know of such, we number them with wicked men, and 
bring them to repentance and restitution, or excommunicate 

And for those ministers that are called puritans by you, whe- 
ther they are in the right or wrong, I meddle not. But. 1. If 
they be so covetous, how come they these many years to live in 
pinching poverty, (except a few that have something of their own, 
or live in other men's houses,) and all to avoid that which they 
think is sin ? 2. And if they are such liars, why do they not 
escape all their suffering ? i( they durst but once lie under 
their hands, and say that they assent and consent to what they 
do not, they might be as free as others. 

El. There are as many villanies committed secretly among 
you as among others. Our faults are open, and known to all ; 
but you are as bad in corners, as demurely as you carry it. Did 
you not hear lately of a great professor near you that was drunk, 
and another that got his servant-maid with child ? This is your 
profession. If the truth might be known, on my conscience 
you are all alike. 

P. Your ' own tongue still confuteth you, and honoureth those 
whom you would fain reproach. If you sin openly, it seemcth 
you are not ashamed of it ; you tell us that it is no wonder 
among you, as if it_were your profession : if we sin secretly, how 
do you know it ? Your naming one or two defamations, im- 
plieth that with such as you mean, it is a rarity and strange 
thing. And slanders are so common against such persons, that 
when it is examined, it is two to one but it proves false. But if 
it be true, either the acts you mention are marvels, committed 
by one of a hundred, once perhaps in all their lifetime since 
their change ; or else thev are such as you describe that live se- 
cretly in such sin. If it be the latter, they are hypocrites, and 
such as we call to repentance and conversion, as being in the 
gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity; and all that 1 desire of 
you and your tenant here is, that you will not be such. If you 
like such, why do you blame them ? If you dislike them, 
why will you be such yourselves ? If you say that you make 

>Isa. iii. 'J. Jer. vi. 15, and viii. 12. 


no profession of religion, I answer again ; unless you renounce 
Christ, you profess as much as the hypocrites named hy you. 
for you profess Christianity, and they profess no more. 

But if they were the falls of serious Christians, I ask you, 
which is the likelier sort of men to be true Christians, they that 
live impenitently and commonly in gross sin, and hate those 
that reprove them and live better; or they that live blamelessly 
in the fear of God, save that" 1 one among many of them doth 
once in his life commit some heinous sin, which layeth him in 
such shame and brokenness of heart, that ofttimes such never 
well recover their comforts again while they live ? If Noah was 
once drunk in his life ; if there were one Ham in his family ; if 
Lot was twice tempted to drunkenness and incest ; if David 
once was guilty of odious sin ; if Peter once, or thrice at once, 
denied his Master ; if there were one Judas in the family of 
Christ himself; will any but the malicious thence conclude that 
they are all alike, or that one sin repented of is as bad as a life 
of sin never truly repented of? 

And do you know what your slanderous inference doth import ? 
No less than that Christ is no Christ, and that all the world 
shall be damned ; for mark, I pray you, that we are certain that 
open unconverted sinners" are not saved from their sins by 
Christ ; and that so dying they are lost for ever. Now you 
come in and say that the rest that profess repentance and obe- 
dience are in secret, and at the heart, as bad as they. And if 
so, they are all certainly lost men, for without holiness 
none shall see God ; and the ungodly shall not stand in judg- 
ment; (Heb. xii. 14; Psalm i. 6;) and God hateth all the 
workers of iniquity. Now, to say that all are such, either 
openly or secretly, is to say that either God is a liar, or that no 
one shall be saved ; and yet you are the man that cannot be- 
lieve that many are damned : and if Christ sanctify and save 
none from their sins p he is no Saviour, and so no Christ. 

But, sir, if you will search after such scandals, and bring such 
sins to open shame and punishment wheresoever they be found 
and proved, you shall have all our help and thanks, and you 
shall not cry down hypocrisy and scandal more heartily than 
we will do. 

El. Fain would you seem pure and perfect, without sin, as 
the old Catharists pretended themselves to be. 

?n Psalm li. » Luke xiii. 3, 5, and xv. 

° Psalm v. 5. v Matt. i. 21 ; Tit. ii. 14. 


P. Did you never hear any of us pray ? If you had, you 
would have heard that we are more large and earnest in con- 
fessing and lamenting our sins, even in public, before God and 
the congregation, than any others ordinarily are. In truth, 
every godly man is so humbled in the sense of his sins,'! that he is 
a greater burden and trouble to himself than all the world is be- 
sides, and he loatheth himself for all his sins. We confess our- 
selves sinners,, with daily grief and shame ; and if, indeed, the 
Catharists did otherwise, they were no kin to us, nor any of our 
acquaintance. Why do we exhort others so much to contrition 
and repentance, if we are not for the same ourselves ? Would 
not all men make others of their own mind ? 

El. Come, come, when you have prated never so long, you 
must confess that you are a pack of rebels, and seditious rogues, 
the firebrands of your country, that would destroy the king and 
all of us, if we were in your power. The world hath had ex- 
perience enough of you. You have learned to cant and talk 
smoothly in your way, and have God, and Christ, and heaven, 
and Scripture in your mouths ; but, on my conscience, the devil 
and treason is in vour hearts. 

P. Whom do you mean, sir ? 

El. I mean all of you that pretend so much to godliness and 
preciseness, and make such ado with Scripture and religion. 
You will not swear, nor drink, nor whore, nor go to a play, but 
ye are traitors all. 

P. Doth not every man profess godliness, who professeth to 
be a Christian ? Do not the king himself, and his council, 
and nobles, and judges, and all the magistrates of the land 
almost, and all the bishops and clergy, profess Christianity, and 
godliness, and to believe the Scripture, and to hope for heaven ? 
Do not they all pray in the Common Prayer, ' that the rest of 
our life hereafter may be pure and holy, that at the last we may 
come to eternal joy;' and ' that we may live a godly, righteous, 
and sober life ;' and ' that we may fall into no sin ;' and that i we 
may serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before 
him all the days of our lives :' with many more such passages ? 
Are you good friends to your king and country, that would 
make men believe that it is a sign of a bad subject to be religi- 
ous, and that to " fear God and honour the king" may not 
stand together ? What ! will you charge the king and all his 
magistrates with treason ? Are they all traitors who obey him 
and defend him ? 

'i Rom. vii. 16, 17, 24 ; Psalm li. ; Acts xxvi ; Tit. iii. 2, 3. 


El. You know who I mean well enough. 1 mean you puri- 
tans, all the pack of you. 

P. A puritan is a word of so arbitrary interpretation, that 
sure it is too large to found a charge of treason upon. Mr. Robert 
Bolton, and Bishop Downame, and Bishop Robert Abbot, and 
many such, will tell you that it is commonly used in the mouths 
of the profane for any man that feareth God, and liveth holily, 
and avoideth wilful sin, and will not be debauched as sensualists 
are : and sometimes it is taken for one that is against the pre- 
lacy and ceremonies. In the first sense, as a puritan signifieth 
a serious Christian, and a godly man, dare you say that the 
king, nobles, judges, and bishops are not such ? 1 am not ac- 
quainted with them : but our religion teacheth us to judge all 
men to be what they profess themselves to be, till the contrary 
be certain and notorious. Dare you say that all the magistrates, 
prelates, citizens, and subjects of the land are either ungodly 
men, or traitors ? Sure this cannot be your meaning. 

El. You are loath to know my meaning. I mean all the 
pack of the precisians that are for so much strictness, and preach- 
ing and praying, and talking of Scripture. 

P. Dare you say that neither the king, nor his nobles, nor judges, 
nor bishops, nor clergy, are for Scripture, and for much preaching 
and praying, and for strict, precise obedience to God, and for 
strictness of justice, temperance, and sobriety ? What, will you 
say that all are traitors to the king, that will not be rebels against 
God, and perfidious traitors against Christ and Christianity ? 

El. I mean your second sort of puritans, the non-conform- 
ists, if you are willing to understand. 

P. Now, I understand you, sir, but it is but in part. But what 
is conformity or non-conformity to our case ? What, if all non- 
conformists were as bad as you make them, will you, therefore, 
plead for non-conformity and rebellion against God ? What 
an argument is this ! Non -conformists are rebels. Therefore 
an ungodly man needeth no repentance and conversion, or we 
may be saved without a holy heart and life. Do you think this 
is wise reasoning? Do not conformists plead for holiness? 
Be you but a godly conformist, and i shall rejoice in your feli- 
city. But, because I must love my neighbour as myself, 1 have 
three or four questions further to ask you. 1. Is it they that 
conform in nothing, or thev that conform not in every thing? 
Such a one was Chillingworth ; and I thought you had not taken 
the papists to be all traitors, who are non-conformists too. 

2. Is it their doctrine that is traitorous? Or is it their hearts 


and practice contrary to their doctrine ? For the former, they 
defy their slanderers, and challenge them to cite one confession 
of any reformed church that hath in it any disloyal doctrine. 
Bishop Andrews, in Tortura Torti, will tell you that in this pu- 
ritans are belied, and that they take the same oaths of allegiance 
and supremacy, and profess the same loyalty with others. But if it 
be their hearts and practices, as contrary to their own doctrine, 
are you not a slanderer if you charge such dissembling on any 
one that you cannot prove it by ? Such charges must fall on par- 
ticular persons, and be proved, and not on parties ; for what shall 
notify any man's mind but his own profession, or his practice ? 
When they readily swear allegiance and loyalty, are they not to 
be believed till some proof confute them ? And if, in civil wars, 
you gentlemen, lawyers, and statesmen, say this is law, and that 
is law, and entangle poor men's consciences, will you afterwards 
conclude that no man's conscience will be true to his oath of 
allegiance, which scrupleth ecclesiastical oaths or subscriptions ? 
Another man would think it a more probable arguing to say, 
1 He that scrupleth one oath or subscription is like to make con- 
science of another ; for if he dare break an oath when he hath 
taken it, why should he not venture as far to take it?' 

3. But, sir, all this is Satan's ordinary course, to endeavour 
to engage the interest of princes seemingly on his side, to make 
religion odious. Christ must be accused as forbidding to pay 
tribute to Caesar, and as an usurper of the kingdom. Pilate 
must condemn him, lest he seem not Caesar's friend. Paul goes 
for a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among the peo- 
ple, that taught things contrary to Caesar and the law. 

But, again, sir, what is all this to the case here that you come 
to treat about ? Did I persuade your tenant to be a non-con- 
formist ? Did I speak one syllable to him of any such matter ? 
Did I put any scruple into his mind against any orders of the 
church ? Ask him whether I did ? When I had nothing to say 
to him but to exhort him to repentance and the love of God, and 
a holy and heavenly life and conversation, and quickly to forsake 
his sins, how cometh non-conformity to have any thing to do 
here ? What is that to the question in hand ? Pray you, Saul, 
mark your landlord's argument ; 'Non-conformists are all traitors 
and rebels,' if you will believe him : i therefore, forsake not your 
sins, and turn not to God and a holy life by true repentance : or, 
other men are,' saith he,  rebels against the king, therefore con- 
tinue you a rebel against God.' Have not you natural logic 
enough to perceive the deceit of such an argument? 


For my part, I here give you my plain profession, that all 
that fear God must honour the king, and not resist the higher 
powers, and that for conscience' sake, lest they receive damna- 
tion ; and that rebellions and treasons against king or kingdom 
are the works of the devil and the flesh, which all true Christ- 
ians must abhor. 

£1. However, you cannot deny but you are a pack of schis- 
matics, that, for a ceremony, will tear the church, and set up 
conventicles of your own ; and schism is kin to rebellion. 

P. You shall not thus draw us away from the business in 
hand. 1 will not now dispute with you what schism is, who seem 
not to understand it, because it is impertinent, and tendeth but 
to divert us from our business. I ask you, 1. Do I persuade 
your tenant here to schism, or only to repentance and a holy 
life ? 2. Are not conformists and non-conformists agreed in 
that? You know not what I am in those matters myself; but 
send for some able minister that is a conformist, and another 
that is a non-conformist, and try whether both agree not in the 
truth of all that I am persuading him to believe or prac- 

El. The truth is, you are of so many sects and so many 
opinions, that he may sooner grow a Bedlam among you, than 
a good Christian. You are of as many minds as men. One 
tub-preacher saith, c This is the word of God,' and another 
saith, c That is the word of God ;' scarce a whole house is of 
one religion ; and if he must turn to any of you, how shall he 
know which party it must be ? Must he be a presbyterian, or 
an independent, or a Brownist, or an anabaptist, or what ? How 
shall he be sure which of all these is in the right, that he may 
rest ? 

P. Saul, you hear this terrible objection of your landlord. 
Will you but mark my answer in these three parts, and if it be 
not reason, spit in my face, and take your course. 

1. Everv different opinion r is not a different religion. Our 
religion is but one thing, which is simple Christianity ; and 
every by-opinion is not essential to Christianity. No two men 
in the world, I think, are, in every thing, of one opinion. He 
that will not take a journey which is for his estate or life, till all 
the clocks in London strike together, is as wise a man as he 
that will not turn from his sin to God till all Christians are of 
one opinion in all the difficult points of religion. 

2. My earnest advice to you, Saul, is, that you become not 

f Read Rom. xiv., ami xv. 


sectary 3 of any party whatsoever. Become a true Christian, 
and love the unity, peace, and concord of believers ; and, for 
opinions, follow the right, as far as you can know it, but not to 
engage for doubtful things in any divisions, sects, or parties : 
but if men will needs quarrel, stand by, and pray for the church's 

3. Try whether Christians of all opinions do not agree in 
all that I exhort you to. If I have taught you, or persuaded 
you to, any one thing, but what the conformists and noncon- 
formists, episcopal, presbyterian, independent, yea, and the 
papists are all of a mind in, and will all bear witness to, the 
certain truth, then let your conscience judge whether you be 
not a most inexcusable man, that will not be persuaded to that 
which even all differing Christians are agreed in ; and whether 
this objection of sects and different religions condemn not you 
the more, that will not agree with them where they all agree ? 
and I leave it also to Sir Elymas's conscience. 

El. You would make me seem a fool, or an atheist ; as if I 

persuaded him from religion. By you are a set of the in- 

solentest rogues in the world. I will stand talking with you no 
more. But for you, Saul, I tell you ; if you hearken to such 
fellows, and turn a puritan, I will turn thee, and thy wife and 
children, out of doors the next week after it. And you, sir 
preacher, I will take another course with you, if you cease not 
thus to trouble my neighbours. I doubt not but I shall cause 
the bishop to trounce you ; but if he do not, I will once more 
send you to the common jail, for all your sick night-cap, and 
there you shall lie among rogues like yourself. 

P. I beseech you, let not loose your passion, sir : remember 
that you said you love your neighbour as yourself. Poverty, 
and a l prison, are as near and sure a way to heaven as riches, 
and earthly prosperity, and pleasure. I must shortly die; and 
whether at home, or in a jail, or with Lazarus at your doors, 
among your dogs, it is not my interest or care : God is the Lord 
of your life and mine. Boast not of to-morrow ; for who 
knoweth " what a day may bring forth ?" (Prov. xxvii. 1.) 

But, sir, seeing you are not against all religion, I beseech 
you, in the conclusion, yet, make us to understand what it is 
that you are against ? 

El. I am against being righteous overmuch ; and making 

s Rom. xvi. 17, 18 ; 1 Tliess. v. 12, 13 j 1 Cor. i. 10, 1 1 ; ii., and iii. ; Tit. 
iii. 10. 
x Matt. v. 10—12. 


men believe that they cannot be saved without being so holy 
and so strict; and so frightening poor people out of their wits. 
A puritan is nothing but such a frightened protestant. Cannot 
you go to church, and sometimes say your prayers ; and so be 
quiet, and be moderate in your religion ? It is these bigots, and 
zealots, that trouble all the world ; and will neither let men 
live nor die in peace. Cannot you live as your neighbours do, 
and your forefathers have done ? What, are they all damned ; 
and will you be wiser than all the world ? Moderation is good 
in all things. 

P. Your speech hath many parts which must be distinctly 
considered. I. To be righteous overmuch, in Solomon's sense, 
is to be stricter than God would have us ; by a preciseness, or 
a devised righteousness of our own : where righteousness is not 
taken formally, but materially, for a rigid preciseness and pre- 
tended exactness, which is not commanded ; and, indeed, is 
no duty, but a great hinderauce of duty, and that which I use to 
call over-doing. As some men will be so accurate in their ex- 
pressions in preaching and praying; as that over-curiousness in 
words destroyeth the life and use. And some will pretend that 
every thing must be done better, and mended still, till nothing 
be done, or all be marred. As in household affairs, over-curio- 
sity about every little thing is accompanied with the neglect of 
greater things ; because we are not sufficient for all. So in 
religion, some, upon pretence of strictness, lay out so much of 
their zeal, and talk, and time, about many lesser or doubtful 
points of church order, discipline, and modes, and circumstances 
of worship, and about controverted opinions, that thereby they 
neglect the great substantials. This u tithing of mint, anise, and 
cummin, and omitting the weighty matters of the law, faith, 
judgment, and mercy, and preferring sacrifice before mercy, is 
at once to be unrighteous, and to be righteous overmuch, even 
with an unrighteous righteousness ; that is, a strictness of our 
own devising. Do I persuade any one to this ? 

If. We would make, men believe nothing but God's own 
word. If that word say not, that " If any man have not the 
Spirit of Christ, he is none of his," (Rom. viii. 9,) let it not be 
believed. ]5ut if it do, what are we to preach for, but to per- 
suade men to believe God's word, and obey it ? And will it 
save men's souls to be unbelievers ? Believing God is the way 

u Matt, xxiii. 23, and per totum ; ix. 13 ; xii. 7, and xvi. 3— C ; Col. ii. 19, 
20, &c. 

the poor man's FAMILY BOOK. 383 

which he hath appointed for salvation : and will you say, that 
not to helieve hi in is the way ? 

III. We would affright stupid sinners into their wits, and not 
out of them. When the prodigal came to himself, he returned 
to his Father. (Luke xv. 17.) We take that man to he much 
worse than mad, that will sell his soul for so hase a price as a 
little worldly pelf, or fleshly pleasure ; and having hut one short, 
uncertain life, in which he must win or lose salvation, will cast 
it away upon the fooleries of sin. And if you would have such 
a man to go quietly to hell for fear of heing made mad, I wish 
that none may fall into the hands of such a physician for mad- 
men. " Wisdom is justified of her children." (Matt. xi. 19.) 
He that sets less by heaven and his soul, than by lust and vanity, 
can scarce (in that) be madder than he is. And if that he your 
wit, we envy you not the honour of it. We are no friends to 
melancholy, because it is no friend to the holy, jovful life of a 
believer. We wish men so much x fear of God, and of sin, and 
hell, as is necessary to keep them out of these ; and we would 
encourage no more. The kingdom of God consisteth in "righte- 
ousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom.xiv. 1/.) 
We would have no tormenting fear, which is contrary to love, 
but only that which doth prepare for it, and promote it, or sub- 
serve it. To call men from a life of brutes, to seek and hope 
for a life with angels in heavenly glory, is not the way to frighten 
them out of their wits. The derisions of self-destroyers are 
easy trials to us, and cut not so deep as an offended God, or a 
guilty conscience. 

IV. Moderation is a good effect of prudence ; and we are 
greatly against imprudence and irregular zeal. But because I 
perceive that this is the very point of all our difference, and that 
you think that a godly, righteous, and sober life is more ado than 
needs, and an excess in religion; and would take us down to 
some dead formality, under pretence of being moderate; I en- 
treat your patient consideration of these questions following : 

Quest. 1. Is it possible to Move God too much; and is not 
love an active, operative principle? 

2. Is it possible to please God too well, and obey him too 
exactly ? 

3. Is it not blasphemy against God to say so? For God 
made all his laws : and he chargeth God's laws with folly and 

x Luke xii. 4, 5. 

y Matt. xxii. 37 ; 2 Tim, ii. 4 ; 1 Thess. iv. 1, and ii. 4 ; Col. i. 10. 

384 THE poor man's family book. 

iniquity, who saith that any of them are such as should not be 

4. Do you think that you can z give God more than his 
own, and more true service than he deserveth ? 

5. Are you afraid of paying a too dear for heaven ? Do you 
think it is not worth more than it will cost the most serious, la- 
borious believers ? 

6. Are such men as you and I fit to be pulled back and 
dissuaded from loving and serving God too much ? Do you 
not say that we are all sinners ? And what is a sinner, but one 
that obeyeth not God enough ? And is sin a thing to be justi- 
fied ? Are not we all such as we are sure shall do b too little, 
and come far short of our duty, when we have done our best ? 
Do you need to entreat lame men to run towards heaven too 
fast ? If the best are imperfect, and do too little, why will you 
persuade even an ignorant sinner to do less ? If you had servants 
that would do but a day's work in a week, or scholars that would 
learn but a lesson in a month, you would think that he abused 
you, that should exclaim against their working or learning too 

7. Can that man be sincere, who desireth not to be per- 
fect ? Doth he love holiness, that would not have more ? 

8. Doth not all God's word call us up still to higher degrees 
of obedience, and to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh 
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God ? (2 Cor. vii. 1.) 
And did not God know what he said ? Are you wiser than he ? 
And doth not the devil everv where call men off from holiness, 
and make them believe that it is needless, or too troublesome ? 
And whose work is it, then, that you are doing ? 

9. Doth too much holiness trouble any man when he is c 
dying, or too little, rather ? Had you rather yourself have 
too little, yea, none, or have much, when you come to die ? 

10. Did you ever know any man so holy, and obedient, and 
good, that did not d earnestly desire to be better? Nothing 
in the world doth half so much grieve the holiest persons that 
ever I knew, as that they can know, and love, and serve God no 
more. And if there were no excellency in it, or if they had 
enough already, why should they desire more ? 

11. Is not sin the only plague of the world, the troubler of 

1 l Cor. iv. 7. " Luke xii. 32, 33 ; Matt. xvi. 2C. 

b Luke xvii. 10, 49. c Num. xxiii. 10 ; Hos. v. 15. 

A Rom. vii. 24. 

THE poor man's family book. 383 

souls, and churches, and kingdoms, that will not suffer the 
world to have peace ? And were it not better if there were 
none ? Would not the world be then like a heaven, a blessed 
place ? And should men be then blamed for sinning too little ? 
which is your sense who blame them for being religious too 

12. What have you in this world to mind, which is worthier 
of your greatest care and labour than the pleasing of God and 
the saving of your soul ? If doing nothing be the best condi- 
tion, sleeping out your life is better than waking, and death 
is better than life. But if any thing at all should be e minded 
and sought, should it not be that first and most which is most 
worth ? And have you found out any thing that is more worthy 
of your love and labour than heaven, or the everlasting fruition 
of God in glory ? I pray you, sir, what do you set your heart 
upon, yourself? What do you seek with your greatest dili- 
gence ? Dare you say it is any thing better than God ? If one 
come to you at deatb, will you say then that it is better ? I 
beseech you think whether I may not much wiselier say to you, 
and to all that are of your minds, ' Why make vou such a f stir 
for nothing ? Is a few nights' lodging in a wicked world, in 
the way to the grave, and hell, worth all this ado ?' than you 
can say to others, ' What need all this ado for your salvation ?' 
Do you know ever a one of us whom you account too religious, 
that in his love and service of God doth seem much to exceed 
the 5 ungodly in their love and service of the flesh ? How early 
rise your poor labouring tenants ? How much toil and patience 
have your servants to please you ? and the husbandman, for a 
poor living ? and almost all men for provision for the bod)', 
till it be cast into a grave ? Is not all this too much ado ? 
And is our poor, dull labour too much for heaven ? They think 
of the world as soon as they are awake. They speak of it the 
first words they say. They hold on thinking, and talking, and 
labouring, till they go to bed again. In company and alone, 
they forget it not : and thus they do from year to year. And 
yet men sav, that this is good husbandry, and who blameth them 
for it, and asketh them whether their maintenance be worth all 
this ado? Yea, God saith, " Six days shalt thou labour." 
What if we should as early and late, as constantly and unwea- 
riediv, in company, and alone, still think and talk of our God 
and Saviour, and labour as hard in all appointed means for 

e Matt. vi. ID, 20. * Isa. v. 1 1 ; Zech. iii. 7. s Luke wi. 8. 


386 THii poor man's family book. 

salvation ? Had we not a thousand times greater motives for 
it ? And vet who is it that doth so much ? And are we pu- 
ritans, and precisians, and such as trouble ourselves and others 
with doing too much, when we let every worldling overdo us ? 
Yea, when a drunkard, or ambitious seeker of preferment, will 
run faster and more unweariedly towards hell, than most of us 
dullards do towards heaven. O Lord, pardon our slothfulness 
for doing so little ! and we will bear these gentlemen's scorns 
and hatred for doing so much. O may we but escape thy de- 
served wrath for loving thee so little, and let us bear from per- 
secutors what thy wisdom shall permit, for loving thee so much ! 
My God, thou kuowest, who knowest my heart, if thou wilt 
but make me believe more strongly, and hope for heaven more 
confidentlv and confirmedly, and love thee more fervently, and 
serve thee more faithfully, and successfully, and bear the cross 
more patiently, I ask for no other reward nor happiness in this 
world, for all that I shall do or suffer ! 1 will not call thee too 
hard a Master ; nor say that thy service is a toil ; nor such a 
life a tedious trouble. O let me have this feast, these sweet 
delights, these restful labours, and let worldlings take their dirt 
and shadows, and Bedlams call me mad or foolish ! Thou art 
my portion, my first and last, my trust and hope, my desire, my 
all ! O do not forsake me, and leave me to a dead and un- 
believing heart, to a cold, unholy, disaffected heart, to a fleshly, 
worldly, selfish mind, to live or die a stranger to my God, and 
the heavenly society, Christ, and his triumphant church, and 
then I will never join with the accusers of thy pleasant service, 
nor crave one taste of the benstly, deceitful pleasures of sin ! 

El. Oh, holy soul ! No doubt you were in a rapture now ! 
Were you not in the third heaven ? Those tears were sancti- 
fied ! Would not that holy water work miracles ! Sure this 
was the breathing of the Spirit ! Were you not fanatics, how 
could you think that God is pleased with your weeping and 
whining, and speaking tbrough the nose, and cutting faces, and 
such like hypocritical shows ? 

P. Sir, I have no weapons to use but reason and God's word, 
and scorning is like sense and appetite, a thing that reason hath 
nothing to do with but rebuke, nor do I purpose to answer you 
in that dialect. I doubt you cannot undertake that you will 
not weep or whine on your death-bed : but if not, it may be 

El. Come, sir, when you have all done, who made the way 


to heaven so long- ? Why lead you the people so far about ? 
What need so many sermons, and so long prayers, as if God were 
moved or pleased with our talk ? I can say all that is in your 
sermons and volumes in three words. All is but ' think well,' 
and ' say well,' and { do well.' 

P. That is quickly said, sir ; but if I desire you to spend all or 
half your life in thinking well, and saying well, and doing well, 
will you not say that I am a puritan, and ask what need all this 
ado ? Is it any thing else that I have persuaded your tenant 
to, and that you are opposing all this while ? See still how 
unhappily you confute vourself. Let us but agree of this, that 
we must labour faithfully to think well, and say well, and do 
well, and repent unfeignedly that ever we did otherwise, and 
trust in Christ for pardon and for help, and we will so conclude, 
and differ no more. 

But you must know that well and ill do differ. And what 
thoughts, words, and deeds are well indeed. And that is well 
which God commandeth, whether you like it or not. 

But if you mean that our sermons need to be no h longer, will 
you try first this art of short writing in a scrivener ? Let him tell 
his boys, ' You have nothing to do but to make your letters well, 
and set them together well.' Let a schoolmaster say no more 
to his scholar but, ' You must know your letters and syllables, 
words and sentences, matter and method, and there needs no 
more.' Let a carpenter tell his apprentice, - There is nothing 
to do but frame the house and rear it 3 and in rearing, nothing- 
hut lay the foundation and erect the superstructure, and cover, 
and ceil it.' Whv do men set boys so many years to schools, 
and to apprenticeships, when two or three words may serve the 
turn ? 

But as for long prayers, sir, we know that God is not moved 
by words ; but we are ourselves. And, 1. The exercise of holy 
desires exciteth them : as all habits are increased by act, and 
all acts further us by excitation of the faculties. And our fervent 
desires are our receptive disposition : and if you have any phi- 
losophy, you know that rectpiiar ad modum recipientis, and 
what a wonderful variegation of effects there is in the world, 
from the same beams or influxes of the sun, by the great varietv 
of receptive dispositions. Two ways prayer maketh us receptive 
of the blessing : by physical disposition, (as appetite maketh 
our food sweet and effectual,) and by 1 moral disposition, as we 

''Acts xx. 9—11, &c. ' Luke xviii, 1-8. 

cc 2 

388 the poor man's family book. 

are in the way where mercy cometh, and in the use of the means 
which God will bless. What if you offer your children money, 
or what else you see best, and bid them ask it first, and thank 
you after, and one of them doth so, and the other saith, e My 
father is not so childish, mutable, or unloving, as to be moved 
with my asking or thanking.' What good doth this do to him ? 
Will you not say, ' No ; but it is good for you to do your duty, 
without which you are unworthy of my gift ; and it is not 
wisdom in me to encourage your disobedience, nor to give you 
what you think not worth the asking.' We cannot have God's 
mercies against his will, and prayer is one of his conditions. 
And what can be more reasonable than ask and have ? He that 
valueth not mercy, will neither relish it well, nor use it well. 

There is a sweet and admirable co-operation between the 
bountiful communications of God, and the holy and constant 
desires of the soul. The heavenly influx cometh down on the 
soul and exciteth those desires; and desires arise, and by 
receptive disposition cause us more plenteously to receive that 
influx ; even as the influx of the sun, and the fiery spirits in the 
eye, concur to our sight. We are receiving grace all the while 
we are desiring it. Therefore the constant excitation of holy 
desires, by fervent prayer, is the constant way of our reception 
and heavenly benediction. 

2. And also it is part of the due k homage that we owe to 
the great Benefactor of the world. The eyes of all things look 
up to him, and all things praise him in their kind; but man 
must do it as man, understandingly and freely. What else 
have we reason for, but to know the original and end of all the 
good that we receive ? What have we tongues for, but to glorify 
our Creator and Redeemer, and to speak his praise ? This is 
the use of our faculties ; this is our duty, and our honour, and 
our joy- God made all his creatures for himself; even for the 
pleasure of his holy will ; therefore he made our reason and 
tongues for himself. And can we have a nobler, sweeter theme 
for our thoughts, our affections, or our words? Oh! what is there 
in our blessed Saviour, our glorious God, and the heavenly joys, 
that we should ever be backward to think or speak of them ; 
or ever count such work a toil; or ever be weary of it? Would 
vou have us think that heaven is a place of weariness ? Or have 
us afraid, lest it he a house of correction ? As no papist can 
rationally ever be willing to die, who believeth he shall go to 

k Psalm lxv. 


the pains of purgatory, which is sharper, they say, than their 
sufferings here ; so you would have none at all willing to die, 
if you would make them believe that long praising God is a 
wearisome employment to a well-disposed soul. If you do not 
think that an hour is too long for dinner and supper at your 
plenteous tables ; if you can feast long, and talk long, and play 
long, and game long, and read romances, and see plays long, 
I pray you pardon us for praying long. And I would whisper 
this word to your conscience : ask Sir Elymas, on his death- 
bed, when time is ' ending, whether he could then wish it had 
been spent in longer feasting, and dressing, and playing, or in 
longer praying ? 

Sir, the worst I wish you is, that you had felt but one hour 
what some of God's servants have felt in prayer, and in the 
joyful praise of their glorious Lord, and then our dispute about 
the troublesomeness of religion would be at an end ; as feasting 
would end the controversy, whether it would be a toil for a 
hungry man to eat? 

El. This hath ever been the custom of hypocrites, to place 
all their religion in words and strictness ; but where are your 
good works ? You will call good works a piece of popery ; you 
are as covetous and griping as any men in the world ; you will 
cut a man's throat for a groat, rather than give a poor man a 
groat. This is the precisian's holiness and religion. 

P. You say as you are taught; you are not their first accuser. 
But, sir, men's religion must be known by their doctrine and 
principles : if a Christian be an m adulterer, or murderer, or 
malignant, will vou say that the christian religion is for adul- 
tery, murder, or malignity. I will tell you our doctrine : it is, 
that we must love our neighbours as ourselves, and must " 
honour God with our substance, and with the first-fruits of our 
increase ; and that we must devote all that ever we have to 
God ; and that we are ° created in Christ Jesus to good works, 
and p redeemed and purified, to he zealous of good works; and 
that vve must do q good to all men, but especially to the house- 
hold of faith ; and that what we 1 ' do, or deny, to his members, 
is as done or denied to Christ himself; and that s to do good 
and communicate we must not forget, for with such sacrifice 
God is well pleased. In a word, that we must even pinch our 
own flesh, and l labour hard, that we may have wherewith to 

1 Luke xvi. -20—27. '" 1 Cor. 9, 10. " Prov. iii. 0. 

E))h. ii. 10. p Tit. ii. 1-1. 'i (ial.vi. 

r Matt x\v. s Hil>. xiii. l Jipli. iv. 28. 


relieve the needy ; and that, as God's stewards, wc must not 
waste one farthing in sensuality, or superfluous pomp, or plea- 
sure, because, if we do, we rob the poor of it; and that we 
must give God an u account of every farthing, whether we used 
it according to his will ; and that we must lay out all, as we 
would hear of it at last ; and that he that x seeth his brother 
have need, and shutteth up the bowels of his compassion from 
him, the love of God dwelleth not in him ; and that we must be 
judged according to our works ; without which pretended faith 
is dead. Is this the doctrine which you or the papists do 
reproach ? 

El. These are good words, if your deeds were answer- 

P. 1. If men live not as they profess, blame not their pro- 
fession, but their lives. 2. But then you, that are a justice, 
must be so just as to hear men speak for themselves, and con- 
demn no man till it is proved by him : and condemn no more 
than it is proved by, and not precisians in the general. 3. He 
that liveth contrary to his profession doth, by his profession, 
but make a rack for his conscience, and a proclamation of his 
own shame to the world. If you like our doctrine, why do you 
blame us for persuading others to it ? If you like it not, why do 
you blame us for not practising it ? 

But come, sir, you and I live near together; I pray you name 
me the men that are such covetous villains as you describe, and 
compare the rest of your neighbours with them. 

El. You would put me upon odious work, I will not defile 
my mouth with naming any of you. 

P. Am I one of them whom you mean ? 

El. I confess you have got you a good report, for a cha- 
ritable man, but on my conscience it is but to be seen of men. 

P. Nay, then, there is no ward against your calumnies. Be- 
fore, you denied our good works ; and now it is but our hearts 
and hypocrisy that you accuse, which God only knoweth. If 
you ^ave half your revenue to the poor, should I do well to 
think that you did it in hypocrisy ? 

But come, sir, I will do that for vou which vou avoid : you 
know in our country there are few gentlemen of estate called 
precisians, but Mr. T. F., and you know he hath built an hos- 
pital, and endowed it with many hundred pounds per annum. 

You know Mr. N. N. in another county, who is called a pre- 
cisian, and I have credibly heard, that he giveth five hundred 
u Matt. xxv. s 1 John iii. 17 ; Rom. xiv, 10 ; Jam. ii. 


pounds a year to charitable uses these sixteen years at least; 
and both of them go plain, and forbear pomp and gallantry, 
that they may have to do it with. 

I use to lodge but in two houses in London, and therefore 
am not acquainted with many men's'secrets of this kind. One 
of them is a godly man of no great estate, and is readier to 
offer me money to any good use than I am (for shame) to 
receive it. The other is a tradesman also, not reputed now 
worth very many hundreds by the year ; and he giveth in one 
county an hundred pounds a year to charitable uses ; and I do 
not think that it is another hundred that excuseth him at home. 
I will offend them all by telling you this, because of the text, 
Matt. v. 16. 

But why do I mention particulars : I here seriously profess to 
you and the world my ordinary experience, that if I have at any 
time a collection or contribution to motion for any poor widow, 
or orphans, or any real work of charity, those that you call pre- 
cisians do usually give their ? pounds more freelv than most 
others give their crowns, and freelier give a crown, than most 
others a shilling, proportionable to their estates. Yea, thev do 
now in London give many pounds, where men of far greater 
estates will give next nothing. Not but there are great men 
of great estates, that in gallantry, it is like, will sometimes be 
liberal. And I doubt not but there are some men that have 
liberal minds, who have little religion. But I tell you only mv 
own experience. But still remember, that I speak not of men 
of any sect as such, but of such serious holy men as vou call 
precisians, of what side soever. 

And these things more I desire you to remember : 1. That 
you know not other men's estates, and therefore know not what 
they are able to give. 2. That such rflen as you and others 
will keep many of them poor enough whom vou call precisians, 
that they shall have more cause to receive than to give. 

3. That Christ hath z charged them to give their alms in secret, 
and not to let the right hand know what the left hand doth ; 
and therefore you are no competent judge of their charity. 

4. That the great covetousness of abundance that we have to 
do with maketh them think that they have never enough ; and 
they accuse all of covetousness that satisfv not their covetous 
desires. 5. That no man hath enough to satisfy all men : and 
if we give to nine only, the tenth man that hath none will call 

r Lnk<> xix. 8 ; Acts iv. ' Matt. vi. 1—5. 


us cruel, as if we had never given to any. 6. That the malig- 
nant enmity of the world to godliness doth dispose men to a 
slander all godly persons, without proof or reason, and to carry 
on any lie which they hear from others. 7. That there are 
more and greater good works than giving alms. A poor 
minister, that saith with Peter and John, b " Silver and gold 
have I none, but such as I have I give thee," shall be accepted 
for what he c would have given if he had had it. And if he d 
convert souls, and turn many to righteousness, and help men to 
heaven, and all the year long doth waste himself in study and 
labour to do it, and liveth a poor despised life, and suffereth 
poverty, scorn, and wrath, from the ungodly, which, if he 
would change his calling, he might escape ; doth not this man 
do more and greater good works, at a dearer rate than he that 
should glut his flesh, and gratify his pride, and lust, and ease, 
with a thousand or six hundred pounds a-year, and give as 
much more to charitable uses ? Though I never knew such a 
one that did so. 

And because you have said so much for good works, I take 
the boldness to entreat you to do more. We that are your 
neighbours see nothing that you do, but only give Lazarus a 
few scraps at your door ; but we see that you are clothed in 
purple and silk, and that not only you, but your children and 
servants, fare sumptuously and deliciously every day. How 
much you spend in taverns, and pomp, and state, and feasting, 
and gaming, and visits, and on your pride and pleasure, the 
country talks of; but we hear little of any impropriations that 
you buy in for the church, or of any free- schools, or hospitals, 
that you settle, or of any poor children that you set to school, 
or apprenticeships, or the like. The sins of Sodom are your 
daily business ; pride, fulness of bread, and idleness, and want 
of compassion to the poor, make them up. (Ezek. xvi. 49.) 
O what a dreadful account will you have, when all this comes 
to be reckoned for, as is foretold ; (Matt, xxv.;) when it is 
found, on your accounts, so many pounds on visits and needless 
entertainments, and pomp ; so many on sports, and on super- 
fluities of horses, dogs, and furniture ; so many to tempt all in 
your house to gluttony, to say nothing of other wasteful lusts ; 
and to pious and charitable uses, alas, how little ! The Lord 
convert you, lest you hear, " Take the slothful and unprofitable 

• Matt. v. 10—12. b Acts iii. 6. 

c 2 Cor. viii. 12. a jam. v. 20, 


servant, and cast him into outer darkness ; " and lest you want 
a drop of water for your tongue. At least, O do less hurt, if 
you will do no good. 

El. I will talk no longer with you, lest you think to make me 
tremble, with Felix, or to say, 'Almost you persuade me to be a 
precisian/ you put such a face of reason upon your religion. 

P. Sir, I beseech you let me end all our controversy with one 
question more. You profess yourself a Christian. Had you 
denied the Scripture, or the life to come, or the immortality of 
the soul, I had proved them, and talked to you at another rate. 
I ask you, then, if Saul had never been baptised till now, would 
you advise him to be baptised or not ? 

El. Yes ; do you think 1 would not have him a Christian ? 

P. And would you have him do it understandingly ? or ig- 
norantly to do he knoweth not what ? 

£1. Understandingly; or else why is he a man ? 

P. And would you have him do it seriously, or hypocritically ; 
dissemblingly, or in jest ? 

El. Do you think I am for hypocrisy and jesting about our 
Christianity ? 

P. I have done, sir. Saul, mark what your master saith. 
He would advise you to be baptised, if you had not been bap- 
tised before ; and, therefore, now to stand to your baptism (for 
I will never ask him whether he would have you renounce it as 
an apostate). He would have you do it understandingly and 
seriouslv : I desire no more of you. Remember that we are 
agreed of your duty. I call you to no other conversion nor 
holiness, than understandingly and seriously to renew your bap- 
tismal vow and covenant with God the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost. Whatever you hear scorners talk of puritans and pre- 
ciseness, and troublesome religion, and of our many sects and 
many religions, of conformity and nonconformity, of a hundred 
controversies, remember that the serious renewing and faithful 
keeping your baptismal covenant is all that I preach to you 
and persuade you to. I will therefore write you out this cove- 
nant, desiring you to take it home with the exposition of it 
which I gave you, and consider of it with your most serious 
thoughts ; and when you are resolved, come and tell me. 


I Do e believe in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy 

c Matt, xxviii. 18—20 ; Mark xvi. 15, 10 ; Luke xiii. 3, 5, and xiv. 2G, 33 ; 
Rom. viii. 8, 9, 17, 18. 

394 the poor man's family BOOK. 

Ghost, according to the particular articles of the christian faith ; 
and heartily repenting of my sinful life, I do personally, abso- 
lutely, and resolvedly give up myself to him, my Creator and 
reconciled God and Father in Christ, my Saviour and my Sancti- 
fier ; renouncing the devil, the world, and the sinful desires of 
the flesh : that, taking up my cross, and denying myself, I may 
follow Christ, the Captain of my salvation, to the death, and live 
with him in endless glory. 

Read but our church liturgy, yea the papists' liturgies, and you 
will see that here is not a word but what is in the sense of bap- 
tism, and what papists, and protestants, and all Christians, are 
agreed on. 

I pray you, Sir Elymas, read it, and tell him here whether 
there be any word that you except against. 

El. I cannot deny it without denying Christianity. God 
make us all better Christians ; for I perceive we are not what 
we promised to be. It was you that I talked against, I thought, 
all this while ; but I begin to perceive that it is Christianity 
itself (in the f practice, though not in the name) which my heart 
is against. I cannot like this godliness, and self-denying, and 
mortification, and cross-bearing; and yet I perceive that I vowed 
it, when I was baptised : and if I renounce it, I must renounce 
my Christianity itself. I would I had not talked with you, for 
you have disquieted my mind; and I find that it is serious reli- 
gion itself that is against my mind and course of life, and my 
mind against it, and that I must be either a saint or an atheist; 
and which I shall prove I cannot tell. But if I must repent, 
there is no haste. 


The Resolving and Actual Conversion of a Sinner. 

Speakers. — Paul, a Teacher ; and Saul, a Learner. 

Paul. Welcome, neighbour; you have been longer away than 
I expected ; what was the matter with you ? 

Saul. O, sir, I have seen and felt the heavy hand of God 
since I saw you. We had a violent fever common among us, 
and my landlord, Sir Elymas, is dead, and so is his servant that 

f Prov. iii. 18, 19. 


was with him when vou talked with him ; and I narrowly 
escaped with my life myself. 

P. Alas ! is he dead ? I pray you tell me how he took our 
conference, and how he died ? 

S. He told me that you were too bold and saucy with him ; 
but he thought you were an honest man, and that you had 
more reason for your religion than he thought any of you had : 
and that the truth is, you had the Scripture on your side ; and 
while he disputed with you on Scripture principles, you were too 
hard for him. But though he was loth to tell you so, he liked 
the papists better, who set not so much by Scripture ; and when 
a man hath sinned, if he confess to the priest, they absolve him. 
Yea, rather than believe that none but such godly people could 
be saved, and rather than live so strict a life, he would not be- 
lieve that the Scripture was the word of God. 

P. Alas, how the rebellious heart of man stands out against 
the law and grace of God ! As for the papists, I assure you 
they confess all the Scriptures to be the word of God, and of 
certain truth, as well as we ; and they will deny never a word 
of that which I persuaded you to consent to. They differ from 
us in this, and they take in more books into the canonical 
Scripture than we do ; and they say, that all that is in their 
Scripture and ours, is not religion enough for us ; but we must 
have a great deal more, which they call tradition. See, then, 
the ignorance of these men : that because they think we make 
them too much work, they will run to them that make them 
much more. Though I confess their additions consist so much 
in words, and ceremonies, and bodily exercise, that flesh and 
blood can the more easily bear it. When the papists dispute 
with us, they would make men believe that our religion is too 
loose and favoureth the flesh, and that theirs is far more strict 
and holv ; and yet our sensualists turn papists to escape the 
strictness of our religion. 

And as for their pardons and absolutions, I assure you, their 
own doctrine is, that they profit and save none but the truly pe- 
nitent. And even their Gregory VII., called Hildebrand (and 
the firebrand of the church and empire), and that, in a council 
at Rome, professeth, that neither false penitence, nor false bap- 
tism, is effectual : though some of them make attrition, without 
contrition, or bare fear without love, to serve the turn. And if 
their priests do flatter the presumption and false hopes of forni- 
cators, drunkards, and such grosser sinners, by absolving them 

396 the poor man's family book. 

as oft as they confess their sin, without telling them that it is all 
ineffectual, unless, by true conversion, they forsake it, they do 
this but as a mere cheat for worldly ends ; to increase their 
church, and win the great and wealthy of the world to themselves; 
quite contrary to their own knowledge and professed religion. 

But as for his not believing the Scriptures : the truth is, there 
lieth the core of all their errors. There are abundance amongst 
us, that call themselves Christians, because it is the religion of 
the king and country, who are no Christians at the heart, which 
made me say so much of the hypocrisy of ungodly men. And I 
cannot see how a man, that truly believeth the Scripture, can 
quiet himself in a fleshly and ungodly life, but his belief would 
either convert him or torment him. 

S. But I am persuaded he had some convictions upon his 
conscience, which troubled him. When he was taken first with 
the fever, they all put him in hopes that there was no danger of 
death ; and so he was kept from talking at all of his soul, or of 
another world, till the fever took away his understanding ; but 
twice or thrice he came to himself for half an hour, and Mr. 
Zedekiah, his chaplain, advised him to lift up his heart to God, 
and believe in Christ ; for he was going to a place of joys, and 
angels were ready to receive his soul. And he looked at him 
with a direful countenance, and said, ( Away, flatterer ! You 
have betrayed my soul ! Too late ! too late !' And he trem- 
bled so that the bed shook under him. 

P. And how died his servant, Malchus ? 

S. O, quite in another manner ! He heard, in the next room, 
all the talk between his master and you, and, doubtless, it con- 
vinced him ; but he went on in his former course of life, till 
g sickness took him, and then he was greatly terrified in con- 
science, especially when he heard that his master was dead. 
And he would often talk of you, and wish that he could have 
spoken with you ; but none would endure to hear of sending 
for you. O ! if you had but heard how he cried out toward 
the last : ' O, my madness ! O, my sinful, wicked life ! O, what 
will become of my miserable soul ? O that I had the time again 
which 1 have lost ! Would God but try me once again, I would 
lead another life than I have done ; I would make nothing of 
all the scorns of fools, and all the temptations of the world !' 
His groans did strike me as a dagger at the heart : methinks I 
still hear them which way ever I go. 

eEccl. vii. 2-6. 


P. And what hath been your own condition since I saw you ? 
And what thought you of your master's conference ? 

S. O, sir, I would not, for a great deal, but I had heard it. I 
thought, till I heard you answer him, that there had been some 
sense in the talk of these revilers at a godly life ; but then I 
soon saw that it is all but a foolish scorn and railing ; any scold- 
ing woman could talk as wisely. His superiority, and confi- 
dence, and contempt, was all his wisdom. 

P. It is no wonder if he talk foolishly, who talketh against 
the God of wisdom, and his holy word, and against the interest, 
health, and happiness of his own soul. He that can live so far 
below reason as to sell his salvation for the short and swinish 
pleasures of sin, may talk with as little reason as he liveth. 

S. But how could I be any longer in doubt, when you con- 
strained him, in the conclusion, to yield you all the cause ? 

P. And what course did you resolve upon, and take ? 

S. Alas ! sir, my own naughty heart did hinder me much 
more than his objections did. I went home, convinced that your 
words were true, and that I must become a h new creature, or be 
undone. And I perused the Baptismal Covenant which you 
wrote down, and the Articles of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, 
and the Commandments. I studied the meaning of them, with 
that exposition which you gave me. My ignorance so darkened 
my mind, that all seemed strange and new to me, though I 
used to role them over in the church from day to day. And 
being very unskilful in such matters myself, I went oft to my 
neighbour, Eusebius, as you advised me ; and, J thank him, he 
gladly helped me to understand the words and things which 
were too hard for me. But when I had done all this, my worldly 
business took up my thoughts so, and the cares of my family 
were so much at my heart, and my old companions so often 
tempted me, and my flesh was so loth to let go all my sinful 
pleasures, and the matters of religion were so strange to me, 
that I delayed my resolution, and continued still purposing that 
I would shortly turn ; but while I was purposing, and delaying, 
the fever took me. And having seen the death of Sir Elymas, 
and of Malchus, and then received the sentence of death in my- 
self, God, by his terrors, did awaken me out of my delays. 

P. O what an unreasonable thing is it to delay, when you 
are once convinced ! What ! delay to come out of the bondage 
of the devil ; the guilt of sin ; the flames of Sodom ; the wrath 

h 2 Cor. v. 17. 

398 the poor man's family book. 

of God ! If death take you in an unconverted state, you are lost 
for ever ! What, if you had died formerly in your sin ? What, 
if you die this night ? What assurance have you to live an 
hour ? Alas ! how brittle and corruptible a thing is the body of 
a man ! And by what a wonder of providence do we live ! Is 
sin so good ? Is the state of a sinner so safe, or comfortable, 
that any should be loth to leave it ? Is God, and Christ, and 
heaven, so bad, that any should delay, and be loth to be godly ? 
Can you be happy too soon ; or too soon be a child of God ; or 
too soon get out of the danger of damnation ? Is God hateful ? 
Is sin and misery lovely, that you are so loth to change ? If 
sin be best, keep it still. If God and heaven be worst, never 
think of turning to him. But if best, do you not presently de- 
sire the best ? Must Christ, and his Holy Spirit, wait on you, 
while you take the other cup ; and stay your leisure, while you 
are destroying yourself? How know you, but the Spirit of God 
may ' forsake you, and leave you to your own will, and lust, and 
counsel j and say, ( Be hardened, and be filthy still.' What a 
forlorn, miserable creature would you be ! Do you not know 
that every sin, and every k delay, and every resistance of the 
Spirit, doth tend to the greater hardening of your heart, and 
making your conversion less hopeful, and more hard ? Do you 
hope for pardon and mercy from God, or do you not ? If not, 
desperation would begin your hell : if vou do, is it ingenuous to 
desire to commit more of that sin, which you mean to repent 
that ever vou committed, and to beg for pardon of from God ? 
Dare you say, in your heart, ' Lord, I have abused thee, and thy 
Son, and Spirit, and mercy, long; I will abuse thee yet a little 
longer, and then I will iepent, and ask forgiveness?' Do you 
love to spit a little longer in the face of that Saviour, and that 
mercy, which you must fly to, and trust too, at the last ? Do 
you not purpose to love him, and honour him, afterward, and for 
ever ; and yet would you a little longer despise and injure 
him; would you gratify and please the devil a little longer; 
and root, and strengthen sin a little more, before you pull it up ; 
and kindle a greater flame in vour house, before you quench it ? 
Must you needs give yourself a few more stabs before you go 
to the physician ? Is your life too long ; and hath God given 
you too much time, that you are desirous to lose a little more ? 
Are you afraid of too easy an assurance of forgiveness, that you 
would make it harder, and would invite despair, by sinning wil- 
1 Psalm lxxxi. 11, 12. t Psalm cxix. CO. 


fully against knowledge and conviction ? What will you delay 
for ? Do you think ever to find the market fall, and Christ come 
down to lower terms ; and change his law and Gospel, to excuse 
you for not changing your heart and life ? Do you ever look to 
find conversion an easier work than now ? Do you know how 
much more you have to do, when you are converted; what 
knowledge, faith, hope, assurance, and patience, and comfort, 
more to get ; how many temptations to overcome, and how 
many duties to perform ; and what a work it is to prepare for 
immortality ? And are you afraid of having too much time, and 
beginning so great a work too soon ? Believe it, Satan dotli 
not loiter ; time stands not still ; sun, and moon, and all the 
creatures, delay not to afford you all their service. Delay is a 
denial : God needs not you, but you need him. You would not 
have him delay to help you, in the time of your pain and great 
extremity. Patience will not be abused for ever. Behold, this 
is the ' accepted time ! Behold, this is the In day of salvation ! 
We, that are Christ's servants, are apt to be weary of calling and 
warning you in vain ourselves ; and, usually, when the preacher 
hath done, God hath done his invitation ; because he worketh 
by his appointed means. O that you knew what others are en- 
joying, and what you are losing, all the time that you delay, and 
on how slippery ground you stand; and what after sorrows you 
are preparing for yourself ! 

S. Sir, I thank you for your awakening, convincing reasons. 
But I was telling you, how God hath already, I hope, resolved me 
against any longer delay. When I thought I must presently die, 
all my sins, and all your counsels, came into my mind; and the 
fear of God's displeasure did overwhelm me. I thought I had 
but a few days to be out of hell ; and, O what would I not 
have given for assurance of pardon by Jesus Christ; and for a 
little more time of preparation in the world, before my soul did 
enter upon eternity ! Oh, I never saw the face of sin, the truth 
of God's threatenings, the need of a Saviour, the preciousness of 
time, the madness of delaying, thoroughly, until then ! And 
now, Sir, the great mercy of God having restored me, 1 come 
presently to you, to profess my resolution, and to take your fur- 
ther good advice. 

P. You see that God is merciful to us, when we think that he 
is destroying us." Afflictions are not the least of God's mercies 

I 2 Cor. vi.2. '" Heb. iii. 7, 13, 15, and iv. 7. 

II Psalm cxix. 01 , 71, 75 ; 1 Thess. i. 6. 


which our dull and hardened hearts make necessary : such fools 
we are, that we will not understand without the rod. My advice 
is, that you read over here, again, the doctrine of Christianity, 
which I gave you in our second day's conference ; and the cove- 
nant of Baptism, which I wrote you the third day; and let me 
see whether you understand and helieve it, and consent thereto. 
(Here Saul readeth it over.) 

S. You would have me understand what T do. I desire you, 
here, to answer me these few doubts, that I may clearlier pro- 
ceed, and make my covenant with God in ° judgment. 

Question I. What must I trust to for the pardon of my sin ; 
and which way, and on what terms, may I be sure of it ? 

P. The prime cause is God's mercy : this mercy hath given 
Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer. Christ hath, by perfect holi- 
ness and obedience, and by becoming a sacrifice to God for our 
sins, deserved and purchased our pardon and salvation. So that 
you must trust to the sacrifice and meritorious righteousness of 
Christ alone, as the purchasing, meritorious cause of your for- 
giveness, and of your reconciliation, justification, sanctification, 
and salvation. But the way that God, our Father and Redeemer, 
doth take to give us a right unto these blessings, is by making 
with man a law and p covenant of erace. Bv this law he com- 
mandeth us to become Christians; that is, to believe in God the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and to give up ourselves 
to him in the covenant of baptism, repenting of sin ; and thus 
turning to God by Jesus Christ. To all that do this, he giveth 
right to i Christ himself, first as their Head and Saviour, and 
with him right to pardon, to the Spirit, and salvation : so that 
God is the Giver of Christ to redeem us. Christ is our Re- 
deemer, and the Meriter of our life : the new law, or covenant, 
is the instrumental donation of life ; like an act of oblivion. 
Your own covenanting, or giving up yourself to God in Christ, 
which is by a repenting, practical r faith, or (which is all one) 
your accepting the gift of the covenant as it is offered, ac- 
cording to its nature, is that condition, or duty, on your part, 
upon which the covenant giveth you right. So that God's 
covenant, gift, or grant, is your title, or the foundation of your 
right, (as Christ is the Meriter and Maker of the covenant,) and 

° Jer. iv. 2 ; Hos. ii. 19. 

p Heb. ix. 15— 17, and vii. 22 ; Matt, xxviii. 19 ; and xxvi. 28 ; 2 Cor. iij.G; 
Mark xvi. 10; John ill. W. 

<i I John v. 9—12. r John i. 10—12. 


your practical faith is the condition on your part. And to every 
one of these, to s God's mercies, to Christ's sacrifice, merits, 
and intercessions, to the covenant, or gift of God, and to your 
own sincere faith, consent, and acceptance, you must trust for 
its own proper part. And you must understand what the part 
of each one is, and not trust to any one of these for the other's 
part. The mercy of God as the fountain ; the blood and righte- 
ousness of Christ as the merit and purchase ; the covenant of 
Christ, or donation, as the instrument and title ; and your faith 
and consent as the condition of your title : as thankful ac- 
ceptance usually is, of all free gifts. 

And then the gift itself, or benefit given, is Christ and life. 
(1 John v. 11, 12.) By life I mean, l\ Pardon. 2. The Spirit. 
3. Right to glory, or justification, sanctification, adoption, and 
future glory. J have repeated things that I might make them 
as plain to you as I can. 

S. Quest. II. Are all my sins pardonable whatsoever ? I have 
been a greater sinner that you know of. I must here confess 
to you in secret what I did not before confess, I minded not 
my soul : I prayed not once in a week : I have been in the 
alehouse when I should have been at church : I have heen 
drunken more than once or twice. When I was a servant, I rob- 
bed my master ; I sold for more than I gave him, and I bought 
for less than I told him I paid. I was oft guilty of immodest 
carriage with women, and, to confess my shame, I was guilty 
of actual fornication. I made little conscience of a lie : alas ! 
my sins have been so many and so great, that I can hardly think 
that God will pardon them ! 

P. The covenant of grace l forgiveth all sins without excep- 
tion, which consist with the performance of the condition of 
pardon after them; that is, all sins are pardoned to the penitent 
believer ; but to the impenitent unbeliever, no sin is pardoned 
(except conditionally) ; and final impenitence and unbelief are 
pardoned to none. So that a true Christian is not to doubt of 
the pardon of any of his former sins, any further than he doubt- 
eth of his faith and Christianity. 

S. Quest. III. But I shall sin again, in some degree : how 
then must I have pardon of my sins hereafter? I have heard 
that baptism washeth away all sin : but it is long since I was 
baptised ; and I am yet imperfect. 

Rom. iv. l(i, 22, 21, 25. 
1 Acts v. 31 ; xiii. 38, 30, and xxvi. 18 ; Jam. v. 15 ; Eph< i. 7 ; Col. i. 14 ; 
Matt xii. 31, 32; Luke \ii. 17. 


402 THE poor man's family book. 

P. Baptism is said to wash away sin, because that God's co- 
venant, celebrated in baptism, giveth pardon of all sin through 
the blood of Christ, to all that truly receive it, and consent, on 
their part, to the covenant. Now this covenant on God's part 
is a standing law and pardoning act ; and it pardoneth all sin to 
our death to them that still repent and believe. But it is said 
to pardon all at baptism, because then there it is supposed that 
we have no more to be pardoned. But if any be ungodly after 
baptism, God's law or covenant pardoneth all that it findeth us 
guilty of, whenever we truly turn to God, by faith and repent- 
ance. But afterward it pardoneth daily our daily sins of infir- 
mity only; and to the lapsed their extraordinary falls upon their 
extraordinary repentance : because the faithful u have no other 
afterward to be forgiven. For being sanctified, they no more 
live an ungodly, sensual, worldly life. So that you must here- 
after, for your particular sins, have a particular repentance, and 
recourse to Christ. 

S. Quest. IV. How must I do for grace and strength to keep 
my covenant when I have made it ? 

P. x Of yourself you can do nothing* that is good. Your heart 
is so corrupted with sin, till it be sanctified, that you will not 
be willing ; and your mind so blind that you will not well un- 
derstand your duty nor your interest ; and vour soul so dead and 
impotent, that you will have no life or strength to practise what 
you know. But if the ? Spirit of Christ do once give you faith, 
and repentance, and consent, by this you have right to him as 
an indwelling principle ; and you are then entered into cove- 
nant relation to the Holy Ghost : and that which he will do in 
you is to sanctify your three faculties. 1. Your vital power, 
with spiritual z life, strength, and activity. 2. Your under- 
standing, with spiritual light, that is, knowledge and faith. 3. 
Your will, with holy love and willingness. And when he hath 
planted these in you, he will be ready still to preserve, excite, 
actuate, and increase them. So that it is the Holy Ghost that 
must be your life, light, and love. But you must know how to 
obey his motions, and not resist him. 

S. Quest. V. What must 1 do to get, keep, and obey the 
Spirit, that 1 lose it not, and miss not of these benefits ? 

P. You must know that God hath first possessed Christ's hu- 

« 1 John i. 6—9 ; Rom. vi. 1- 3, 16, &c. ; 1 John iii. 9. 
x John xv. 5. y Rom. viii. 4,9. 

7 E|)h. ii. 1—3, 5, 11, and i. IS, 19 ; Acts xxvi. 18; Rom. v. 3—6, 10 ; 
2 Tim. i. 7. 

the poor Man's family book. 403 

man glorified nature with the Spirit, that he may have it as the 
Head, and from him it is to come to us as his members. There- 
fore I said that the whole gift of the covenant is ? Christ and 
life. Now Christ giveth us his Spirit, both as a Saviour, freely, 
and as a Ruler, according to his law of grace, as to the order 
of conveyance. Therefore, as the first gift of the indwelling- 
Spirit is on condition of your faith, so the continuance of it is 
on condition of your continuing in the faith. (For all that you 
neither had faith at first, nor in continuance without the ante- 
cedent work of the Spirit.) And the increase and actual helps 
and comfort of the Spirit are given you on condition of your 
dependence on Christ your Head for the daily communication 
of it. 

Therefore you must remember, 1. That the giving or denying 
the helps of the Spirit to our souls, are the greatest rewards and 
punishments which Christ, as our King, doth exercise and admi- 
nister on us in this world. And therefore look much at this in 
yourself, whether God's Spirit help you or forsake you. 

2. That your means is to wait on Christ in the daily exercise 
of faith, and use of all his instituted ordinances, and to attend 
his Spirit, and not resist it. 

S. But I am afraid 1 have sinned against the Holy Ghost, the 
unpardonable sin ; for I have joined with profane persons in 
deriding the Spirit. Especially when I heard many young stu- 
dents, and ministers themselves, do the same, it emboldened me 
to imitate them. J have mocked at them that did but talk of 
the Spirit, or speak of the necessity of the Spirit : I have said, 
' These be the spiritual men, the holy brethren, that pray by the 
Spirit, and preach by the Spirit, and whine by the Spirit, and 
cheat and lie, and dissemble by the Spirit. These are the gifted 
brethren !' with many such foolish scorns. And is not this the 
sin against the Holy Ghost ? 

P. The sin was very great, and the case of those that encou- 
raged you, fearful ; and no doubt but it was a sin against the 
Holy Ghost. But it is not every sin against the Holy Spirit 
which is unpardonable; but only the blasphemy of infidels des- 
cribed Matt, xii; which is, that when they cannot deny the 
miracles of Christ, they will rather Isold and maintain that he* 
wrought them by the power of the devil, than they will believe 

 John vi. 51,52, &o. ; Ivii. 58, and xiv. 19 ; Gal. ii, 20; iii. 3, 14 ; iv. G, anil 
v. IT, 21— 23; I Thess. v. 19 ; Heb. x. 29 ; Noh. ix. 20; Frov. i. 23 ; Luke 
xi. 13 ; Ej)!i. iv. 30 ; Psalm li. 11 ; Col i. 23. 

b Malt. xii. 

1) D 2 


in him. So that it is none but infidels, and but few of them, 
that have this blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. 

S. Quest. VI. How shall I do to know the operations and 
motions of the Spirit from delusions, and how shall I know whe- 
ther I have the Spirit or not ? 

P. 1. The Spirit is from God and our Saviour, and leadeth to 
them. I told you its operations are l. c Holy life, or vivacity 
toward God. 2. Holy light, to know and believe God. 3. Holy 
love, to love God, and his government, and children. If you have 
these, you have God's Spirit ; for it is nothing else. These are 
God's restored image on the soul, and the new divine nature of 
his regenerate, adopted children. 

II. The motions of the Spirit are, 1 . Always fitted to God 
and holiness, as the end. 2. And always actuate the three afore- 
said habits, of holy life, light, and love. 3. And they are always 
agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, and by them must be tried. 

S. What is the reason of that ? 

1 . Because God giveth the same Spirit indeed/ 1 but not in the 
same measure to all. Now, to the apostles and evangelists he 
gave it in the greatest extraordinary degree, purposely to plant 
his churches, and to indite an infallible Scripture, the records of 
that gospel, and to confirm it by miracles, and leave it to the 
world, as the rule of our faith and life ; so that as a man first 
engraveth a seal, and then sets it on the wax, so the Holy 
Ghost first inspired the apostles to write us the infallible word 
and rule ; and then he is given to all others, in a smaller degree, 
only e to help us to understand, believe, and obey that word. 
Therefore the lower operations of the Spirit in us are to be tried 
by the higher operations in the apostles recorded. 

S. Quest. VII. What then is the law and the rule that I 
must live by, according to the covenant that I make ? 

P. 1 . God is the universal King, and Christ, our Redeemer, as 
man, his Administrator. God's law is written, as I told you, 
1. In nature. 2. In Scripture, where also the law of nature is 
contained, in the main. This is God's law which vou must 
live by. 

2. But God hath officers under him in the world/ I, Pa- 
rents and masters in families. 2. Pastors in the churches. 

••John iii. 5,0; Col. iii. 10; 2 Tim. i. 7; 2 Cor. v. 17 ; Tit. iii. 3, 5; Gai. 
iv. C. 

J 1 Cor. xii.ll— 13, &c. ; Eph. iii. 3, 4,7,9,11,13,15,16; Matt, xxviii.20. 

e 2 Tim. iii. 10 ; Jolin xvi. 13. 

f Cent. m. 19 ; Rom. xiii. 3—5 ; 1 Thess. v. 2, 13 ; Eph. vi. 1, &e. 


3, Kings in kingdoms. These are to promote the execution of 
God's laws ; and, to that end, to make subordinate laws or 
commands of their own, about things subordinate, undeter- 
mined in God's universal law, and left to their determination. 
Like as are the by-laws of corporations under the laws of the 
king : and all these, under God, must, in their places, be 

S. Quest. VIII. What church must I join myself unto ? 

P. You were baptised only into Christ's universal church; and 
to be a Christian and to be a member of that church is all 
one. g That church is nothing but, spiritually, all heart cove- 
nanters, or believers, and, visibly, all baptised, visible covenanters, 
or professors, united to, or with, Christ the Head : and no pope 
or general council is the head of it, supreme or official. 

But you must join with that part of this church where you 
live, and God giveth vou opportunity to worship him and learn 
his will, with the best advantage to your own soul, not violating 
the common good, and peace. But you must join actually with 
none that will not receive you unless you sin. 

S. Quest. IX. What are the institutions or means which I 
must use, in attendance on Christ and his Spirit ? 

P. 1. The reading and 1 ' hearing of God's word, and its expli- 
cation and application by your teachers. 

2. Prayer, thanksgiving, praises to God, and the Lord's sup- 
per, in communion with his church. 

3. Holy discipline, in submission to your guides, in obedience, 
penitent confessing sins when necessary, and the like ; if you 
live where such discipline is exercised. 

S. Quest. X. What must I do with my calling, and labour, 
and estate in the world : must 1 forsake it or not ? 

P. Adam was to labour in innocency. Six days must you 
labour and do all that you have to do. (Exod. xx.) He that 
will not labour,' if able, is unworthy to eat. Idleness was one of 
Sodom's sins ; religion must be no pretence lor slothfulness. 
You must not love the world as your felicity, k or for itself, or for 
your fleshly lust : but you must make use of the world in the 
service of your Creator, yea, and love it as a sanctified means 
of your salvation, and as a wilderness way to your promised iu- 

B Eph. i. 22, anil iv. 3, 4, 15 ; 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13, 27— 29 ; we never find in 
Scripture two churches in one city ; Acts ii. 42; xi v. 23, and x\.7,s. 

h 2 Tim. iv. 1,2; I Tim. iv. 13, 1-1 ; I Tliess. v. 12, 13 : Acts ii. throughout ; 
1 Cor. xi. and xiv ; Hel>. xiii 7, 17 ; James v. Hi. 

1 2Tlicss. iii. 10. k 1 John ii. 15, 10. 


heritance, as the mariner lovetli not the sea for a dwelling, but 
as a passage to his desired port. Good husbandry is not unbe- 
seeming a good Christian. You must labour for your daily 
bread, as well as pray for it: yea, for the maintenance of your 
family, and that you may have things decent, and give to him 
that needeth. (Rom. xii. 17; 2 Cor. viii, 21; Eph. iv. 2S ; 
1 Tim. v. S.) 

But this is the thing that you must principally remember, 
That God and the heavenly glory is your end, 1 which must still 
be desired for itself and before all ; and the world, and all things 
in it, are but means to help you to that end ; and only as they 
are such must be valued, loved, desired, and sought; and when- 
ever they oppose God and your heavenly interest, must be for- 
saken, and used as we do hated things. m 

And when common, worldly things thus further your obedi- 
ence, and are devoted to God, and referred to his will and ser- 
vice, then they are sanctified to you, which else will be but 
common, unclean, and your mortal enemy. 

S. Quest. XI. What, if 1 am now uncertain whether my 
heart be sincere in this covenant which 1 make with God when 
I renounce all, and profess to prefer him before all ? May I 
venture to covenant and profess that consent whose sincerity I 
am uncertain of? Will not this be a kind of lying unto God? 

P. If your heart be false, it will be lying : but if it be not, it 
it will be no lying, though you are uncertain. The truth of 
your consent is one thing, and your certainty of it is another. 
That it be true is necessary to your salvation ; but not that you 
be sure that it is true. But there is much difference between, 

1. One that flattereth himself with conceits that he consenteth, 
when he doth not. Such an one sinneth in professing a lie. 

2. And one that is but yet deliberating, and is unresolved what 
to choose and do. This person must not covenant till he feel 
the scales turn by a true resolution. 3. And one that truly 
consenteth and resolveth, but is afraid lest his deceitful heart is 
not sincere in it : this person must covenant in this uncertainty, 
because all that can be expected from us is, that we speak out- 
own minds, according to the best acquaintance with them that 
we can get ; otherwise we must forhear all thanksgiving for spe- 
cial mercies, and a great part of our worship of God, till we 

1 Matt. vi. 19, 20, 33 ; John vi. 27 ; Col. iii. 3—5. 
m Luke xiv.26, 33 ; Tit. i. 15. 

" Acts ii. 38, and xxii. 10 ; John iii. 5,6; Maikxvi. 10; Eph. iv. 5; Col.fi. 
12; 1 Pet. iii. 21 ; Rom.vi.3,4; Gal. iii. 27. 


are certain of the sincerity of our own hearts, which too many 
are not. 

S. But some think that baptism is not to enter us into this 
special covenant which presently pardoneth ; but only to enter 
us into Christ's school, as our teacher, that by him we may learn 
how to be regenerate and sincere, that we may then be pardoned. 
If this would serve, f could more easily consent. 

P. I may not stand at large to show you the falseness of that 
opinion. The best is, baptism hath these sixteen hundred 
years been kept unchanged by the church in one form ; and the 
church never knew any baptism but, 1. Such as was joined with 
a present profession of present faith and repentance, and renun- 
ciation of the devil, the world, and the flesh, and a total devoted- 
ness to God in Christ. 2. Such as had the promise of present 
pardon of sin to all sincere receivers of baptism. .'J. Such as 
stated the receiver in a visible membership to Christ, and right 
to glory ; so that in charity we are bound to take, and love, and 
use such as sincere, till they show the contrary. 4. The church 
never baptised any whom they took not thereby to be made 
visible Christians ; and they took no man for a Christian that 
took not Christ presently for his Saviour, Priest, and King, as 
well as for his Teacher, yea, and God for his God, and the Holy 
Spirit for his Sanctifier. 5. And so much as you talk of 
maketh a man but one of the catechised, prepared for Christ- 
ianity, whom the church never took for Christians till they 
were baptised. 6. And the few that are of the opinion which 
you mention yet confess that you cannot be saved till you con- 
sent sincerely to the covenant of grace itself. 

S. Quest. XII. What if it prove that my heart is not sincere? 
or what if I should fall away again hereafter ? 

P. If your heart be not sincere in your consent to the cove- 
nant, you will remain unpardoned in your sin and misery, till 
it be sincere. 

II. If you fall into a particular sin, I have told you how vou 
must be restored, by renewed repentance for it, through faith in 
Christ. But as you love God and your soul, take heed of wilful 
sinning. But if (which God forbid) you should fall quite away 
from Christ, renouncing him, as if you believed him not to be 
the Messiah ; I say, if you thus totally and settledly renounce 
Christ by unbelief, I cannot see but you must either be guilty of 
the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, or come so near it as that, 

Psalm xxxii. 1—3. 


according to Heb. vi. G — 8, your recovery will be utterly im- 

S. I am much afraid lest, when temptation cometh, I should 
turn again to my former folly (though God forbid I should re- 
nounce my Saviour). I am so entangled in ill company, and 
in a custom of sinning, and have so bad a nature, and so many 
temptations and worldly snares, that though I am now resolved, 
J am afraid lest I should yield, and lose my resolutions. 

P. It becometh you to v fear it, that so you may prevent it. 
But this fear should not hinder you from resolving and consent- 
ing. For, 1. You know that sin is odious, and its pleasures are 
poison and deceit ; and, therefore, that this world affordeth no- 
thing to stand in competition with God and your salvation. Jf 
you will take this world for your part, you are undone ; if you 
will not,i resolve accordingly. But dream not of joining sin and 
holiness, or the worldly and the heavenly felicity into one, and 
dividing your heart and service between r God and Mammon ; 
for that is the damning self-deceit of hypocrites. 

2. You shall not only have that which is an hundred-fold 
better than all you forsake ; but you shall have the world itself, 
refined and sanctified to your greater good. You would have 
it as your fleshly felicity : God would have you renounce it in 
that sense ; but he will give it you as your daily provision for his 
service, and as a blessed means to further your salvation, that 
you may see God in every creature, and thank him for it, and 
serve him by it. And one mercy thus sanctified is worth a 
thousand abused : ten pounds, or ten shillings, a-year used for 
God to further your salvation, is better than lordships and king- 
doms, used to serve the flesh and the devil, and to prepare men 
for damnation. Read Jam. v. 

3. When you are once entered well into the service of God, 
you will find the light which will shame all temptations, and 
that sweet experience of greater pleasures, which will make you 
loath what formerly you loved. The comforts of faith, and hope, 
and love, will make you spit out the filthy pleasures of the flesh. 

4. And you will have the direction, encouragement, and 
example of those that fear God ; and the help of all his holy 

5. And, which is more, you will be planted into Christ, and 
receive the communications of his Spirit, and his strength will 
be magnified in your weakness. You are not to trust in your 

p Heb. iv. 1. i Matt. vi. 24. ' Matt. xiii. 46. 


own strength, but in the love of God, the grace of Christ, and 
the communion and operation of the Holy Ghost. 

6. And your resolution is a matter of absolute necessity : you 
must resolve, or perish for ever ; you must consent, or be con- 
demned as a rejecter of salvation. God sets before you Christ, 
and holiness, and heaven; the devil sets before you the* plea- 
sures of sin for a moment, and everlasting damnation in the end. 
Take which you will; for one you must have. There is no 
middle way ; nor no reconciling both together. 

The truth is, it is that shameful folly which you must lament, 
that in so great, so necessary, so plain a case, you should be un- 
resolved to this day ! That a man in his wits should live twenty 
years so, as if he had been resolved to be damned ; and after 
that, stay so long delaying before he can resolve, whether he 
were best be saved or no ? What ! is it yet a hard question to 
you whether God or the devil be your owner, and the better friend 
and master ; and whether heaven or hell be the better dwelling ; 
and whether sin or holiness be the better life ; and whether you 
should consent that Christ and his Spirit save you from your sins 
or not ? Have you so long taken on you to be a Christian ; 
and are you yet unresolved, whether it is best to be a Christian 
indeed, or not ? Certainly you have had leisure enough, and 
reasons enough set before you, to have 1 resolved you long ago. 
Till you firmly resolve, you are not a Christian and convert in- 
deed. If you did well know what a case you stand in till you 
are resolved, and what a scorn and indignity you put upon your 
God and Saviour, and heaven, to make a question of it, whether 
the filth of sin, and the dreaming profits and pleasures of this 
world be not better than they ; and whether your Redeemer, 
after all his love, should be preferred before a fleshly lust, 
you would fear and blush to make such a question any 

S. But I have been used so long to a looser life, that I am 
afraid I shall be weary of a strict, religious, godly course, and 
shall never be able to hold out. 

P. I tell you again, that if you think of the life that you must 
turn to, as a tedious, melancholy, grievous state, you know it 
not ; and are not well informed what it is you have to do. It 
is the only honourable, the only profitable, the only safe, and 
the only pleasant life in the world, as to manly pleasure. 

I will give you but a taste of it in some particulars. 

s Heb. xi. 25, 26, &c. « Josh. xxiv. 15 ; 1 Cor. xv. 58. 


1. You must, indeed," repent of sin with shame and godly 
sorrow, and loathing of yourself; but it is no further than fitteth 
you for the comfort of pardoning and healing grace. 

2. You must believe all the comfortable promises of the Gos- 
pel 5 all the love that Christ hath manifested; all the wonderful 
history of his life, and death, and resurrection, and ascension and 
heavenly glory ; the certainty of his word and gracious cove- 

3. You must believe the wonderful x love of the Father, in 
giving us his Son, and reconciling us to himself, and adopting 
us as his sons, and undertaking to secure us as his peculiar 
treasure, and giving us his Holy Spirit. 

4. You must live under the helps and consolations of the 
Holy Ghost, still drawing you to God, and making you more 
holv, and helping your infirmities against your sins. 

5. You must live in the hopes and desires of everlasting glory, 
verily to see Christ glorified, with all the saints and blessed 
angels, and to see the glory of God, and with a perfected soul 
and body, perfectly to feel his love, and perfectly to love and 
praise him to eternity. 

6. In all your sickness, wants, persecutions, and y death itself, 
you have all these comforts, and this hope of glory, to be a con- 
stant cordial at your heart; and when others fear death for fear 
of hell, you must welcome it as the door to endless life. 

7. You must live in the church, in the communion of saints, 
where all God's ordinances must be your helps for the daily 
exercise of all these graces and delights. And your chiefest 
exercises of piety must be the hearing these glad tidings in the 
gospel opened to you ; begging for more grace; joyful thanksgiv- 
ing for all these mercies ; singing forth, and speaking the praises 
of Jehovah ; and, with joy and thankfulness, feasting upon Christ's 
flesh, and blood, and Spirit in the sacrament thereof, and there, 
in the renewing of this your covenant, receiving a renewed, 
sealed pardon, and new degrees of life and strength. 

Tell me now, what trouble is in all this, that a man should be 
afraid or weary of it? Unless you take it for a trouble to be 
safe and happy ; to have the greatest mercies, the greatest 
hopes, and to live in the love of your dearest friend, and in the 

u Luke xiii. 3,5, and xv., throughout; 2 Cor. xi. 
* John iii. 10 ; 1 John iii. 1. 

MCor. xv. 55, &c; 1 Thess. iv. 13, 15 — 18 ; 1 Tim. iv. 8; Phil. i. 21, 23 ; 
2 Cor. V. 1, 3, 5—9, andiv. 10-18. 


foretastes of everlasting joys. In a word, "Godliness is profit- 
able to all things, having the promise of life that now is, and of 
that which is to come." (I Tim. iv. 7.) 

S. You tell me of another kind of godliness than I thought 
of. And I was the more afraid it had been a melancholy, tedious 
life, because I saw many that professed it live so. 

P. I told you the reasons of that before, which I must not 
repeat. And, moreover, to young beginners, that come new out 
of another kind of life, and whose souls are not by grace yet 
suited to the work, it may seem strange and troublesome. And 
the truth is, many converts, in the beginning, are moved at a 
sermon, and stifle their own convictions, and open not their 
case to their teachers, or else fall not into the hand of a judi- 
cious guide, who will clearly open to them the true nature of 
conversion; and so they set on they know not well what; which 
maketh me lay all these matters so plainly and distinctly before 
you ; because it will be a wonderful prevention of your troubles 
and dangers after, if you do but set out well instructed in the 

But the worst and common cause of all is, that people are 
so exceeding ignorant and dull, (together with their undisposed- 
ness,) that one must be whole months, if not years, before we 
can make them understand these few, plain things which here I 
have opened to you. But yet we must take up with a dark and 
general understanding, rather than delay too long, or be too 
strict with them. 

S. I thank God for your counsel, and his grace ; I am re- 
solved, and ready to subscribe my resolution to be the Lord's, 
entirely upon his covenant terms. 

P. I will go home with you to your house, and I will try 
whether you and I can instruct all your family that need it, and 
bring them to the same resolution. For as it is your duty to 
endeavour it, so God useth to bless his believing servants, with 
the conversion of their household with them ; as the case of the 
jailer, and Lydia, (Acts xv.,) Zaccheus, Stephanus, and others, 
show us. You shall therefore delay your open profession of 
vour resolved conversion till you do it in the presence of 
them all. And it will be a great mercy to you, if God give you 
but a family willing to go along with you in the way to hea- 
ven ; and daily to worship the same God and obev him. Then 
your house will be part of the family of God, and under his 
continual blessing, and protection. [Here Paul goeth home 
with Saul, and openeth such things to his family as he did to 


him, and convinceth them : and they promise him to take time, 
as Saul did, to learn the true knowledge of the covenant of 
grace, that so they may consent to it themselves : and Saul 
before them all lamenteth his sinful life, and openly professeth 
his consent to the covenant, and they pray together for his con- 

S. I bless the Lord for this day of grace. What would you 
yet advise me do ? 

P. One thing more, to God's glory and your comfort ; that 
you will the next Lord's day communicate with the church in 
the sacrament of the Lord's supper, which is appointed to be 
the renewal of the baptismal covenant before the church ; where 
God will set his seal to your pardon, and to his covenant part. 

But withal, seeing you have been a known offender, that you 
will freely, before the congregation, confess your sinful life, and 
profess your repentance and resolution, for a new and holy 
course; and crave their prayers to God for your pardon and 
strength, and their loving reception of you, and give God the 
glory, and warn others to take heed of sinning against God and 
their baptismal vows. 

S. This is sweet and bitter; I shall be glad to be admitted 
to the sacrament of communion; but I shall be ashamed to 
make so public a confession. 

P. It is a shame to sin, but it is an honour to confess it and 
repent. I persuade you not to confess your secret sins before 
the church ; but only those which are commonly known, and 
therefore are your shame already : and how will that shame be 
removed, till men have notice of your repentance? And you 
must not be ashamed of your duty, if you would not have 
Christ be ashamed of you. 

S. But where doth God require such confession ? 
P. 1. Those that were baptised by John, confessed their sins. 
(Matt. iii. (J ; Mark i. 5 ; Acts ii. 37.) The Jews confessed their 
killing of Christ, by being pricked at the heart, and crying out 
for help when it was charged on them. (Acts xix. 18.) The 
converts confessed their sinful deeds, and publicly testified it 
to their cost. (Jam. v. l(i.) "Confess your faults one to another." 
(Prov. xxviii. 13.) "Whoso conf'esseth, and forsaketh them, 
shall have mercy." (See further Lev. xv. 5 ; vi. 21, and xxvi. 40 ; 
Numb. v. 7 ; Neh. i. 6 ; 1 John i. 9; Ezra x. 1 1 ; Neh. ix. 2, 3 ; 
Josh. vii. 19 ; 2 Chron. xxx. 22.) 

2. You were publicly baptised, and you have openly sinned 
against that covenant ; therefore, if you will be openly taken 


for a penitent into church communion, you must openly profess 
repentance. Unless you would have us take all impenitent per- 
sons to communion. 

3. You are obliged to be more tender of a God's honour than 
of your own ; and therefore to honour him publicly, as vou have 
publicly dishonoured him, and stick at nothing that tendeth to 
his glory, as this will do. 

4. You are bound to cast the greatest shame that you can 
on sin; it is the shameful thing that hath deceived and defiled 
you : if you have set it up above God, and now refuse to cast 
it down, by open shame, how do you repent of it ? 

5. You owe all possible help to others, to save them from 
the sin which hath deceived you. You have encouraged men 
to sin, and, for aught you know, some of them may be in hell 
for ever, for that which you have drawn them to; and should 
you not do your best now to save the rest, and to undo the hurt 
that you have done ? See, therefore, that you tell them, with 
deep repentance, how sin deceived you, and warn them, and 
beseech them to take warning by you, and to repent with you, 
as they sinned with you. Your companions that are not there, 
may hear of this and be convinced. 

6. You owe this to the church and a godly Christians, that 
they may rejoice in your conversion, and may see that you are 
indeed a due object of their special love. 

7. You owe this to yourself, 1. That you may remove your 
public shame, and have the comfort of Christians' special love : 
as God cannot delight in an impenitent sinner, no more should 
his servants. 2. That vour conscience mav have the comfort 
that your repentance is sincere ; which it will justly be still doubt- 
ing of, if you cannot repent at as dear a rate as open confession. 
How will you forsake all, and die for Christ, if you cannot so 
far deny your pride as to confess your sin ? 

8. Lastly, you owe this to me, that the church may not take 
me for a polluter of its communion by admitting the impeni- 
tent thereto. 

S. You have said more than ever I heard of this, and it fully 
satisfies me. But would you have all that are converted and 
repent do thus ? 

P. Some have lived with some kind of religiousness from 

* Paul frequently confosseth his sinful life; Acts xxii., anil xxvi ; Tit. iii. 
3—5 ; 1 Tim. i. 13—15 ; Luke xxii. 32. 
R Jain. v. 15, &c. 

414 THE POOH man's family book. 

their childhood, though with many ordinary sins, and have, hy 
undiscerned degrees, grown up unto true godliness. These are 
uncertain when they first had special grace, and were not open 
scandalous violators of their haptismal vow ; and, therefore, I 
can lay no such injunction on them. 

But I would have all do thus, that have thus hroken that 
vow, and are converted afterward to true repentance, for all the 
reasons which I now mentioned : and the universal church hath 
ever heen for such public repentance in such a case ; yea, and 
for particular gross lapses afterward. And the papists to this 
day call it the sacrament of penance, though they corrupt it by 
auricular confession, when it should be open ; and by many un- 
warrantable adjuncts and formalities. 

S. What would you have me do after that ? 

P. I will record your name in the church book among the 
church communicants, and we will all pray for your confirma- 
tion and perseverance ; and you must live as a member of the 
holy catholic church of Christ, in the communion of saints, and 
return no more to your ungodly, sinful life : and come to me 
again, and I shall give you further counsel. In the mean time, 
you may do as the converted eunuch did, (the lord treasurer 
of the queen of Ethiopia, Acts viii. 39,) even go on your way 
rejoicing in this, that you are united to Christ, and are justified 
from all vour former sins, and are sincerely entered into the 
covenant and family of God, and are made a b fellow-citizen 
with the saints, and an heir of certain, endless glory. 


Directions to the converted against temptations. 

Speakers. — Paul, a Teacher ; and Saul, a Learner. 

Paul. "Welcome, neighbour. How go matters with your 
soul ? 

Saul. I thank God and my Pvedeemer, and you, his minister, 
since I publicly repented, renounced my sin, and gave up myself 
to my God, and Saviour, and Sanctifier. I find myself as in a 
new world. My c hopes revive, and I have had already more 

b Eph. ii. 12; Rom. viii. 1G- 18, 30, 32. c Rom. v. 1— G,10. 


comfort in believing, and in seeking God, than ever I had in my 
life of sin. I am grieved and ashamed that I stood off so long, 
and have spent so much of my life in wickedness, and in wrong- 
ing God, who gave me life. I am ashamed that ever such trifles 
and fooleries possessed my heart, and kept me so long from 
a holy life, and that I delayed after I was convinced. I could 
wish, from my very heart, that I had spent all that time of my 
life in beggary, slavery, or a gaol, which I have spent in a fleshly, 
sinful course. O had I not now a merciful God, a sufficient 
Saviour, a pardoning covenant of grace, and a comforting Sanc- 
tifier, which way should I look, or what should I do ? It 
amazeth me to think what a dangerous state I so long lived in. 

what if God had cut off my life, and taken away my unsanc- 
tified soul, what would have become of me for ever ! O that 

1 had sooner turned to my God, and sooner cast away my sins, 
and sooner tried a holy life ! But my soul doth magnify the 
Lord, and my Spirit doth rejoice in God my Saviour, that he 
hath pitied a self-destroying sinner, and at last his mercy hath d 
abounded where my sin did abound. 

P. It is but little of his goodness which as yet you have 
tasted of, in comparison of what you must find at last. But 
that you may yet make sure work, I shall spend this day's con 
ference in acquainting you what temptations you have yet to 
overcome, and what dangers to escape, for yet you have but 
begun your race and warfare. 

S. Your counsel hath hitherto been so good, that I shall 
gladly hear the rest. 

P. 1. The first temptation that you are like to meet with, is 
a seeming e difficulty and puzzling darkness in all, or many of 
the doctrines and practices of godliness. You will think strange 
of many things that are taught you, and you will be stalled at 
the difficulties of understanding and believing, of meditating 
and praying, of watching against sin, and of doing your duty. 
And by reason of this difficulty, Satan would make God's service 
seem wearisome, uncomfortable, and grievous to you, and so 
turn back your love from God. 

And all this will be, because you are yet but as a stranger to 
it ; like a scholar that entereth upon books and sciences, which 
he never meddled with before ; or like an apprentice that newly 
learneth his trade ; or like a traveller in a strange way and 
country. To an ignorant and inexperienced person, that never 

d Rom. v. 12, 13, to theend. e John vi.GO; Heb. v. 11,12; 2 Pet. iii. 1G. 


meddled with such things before, but hath been used to a con- 
trary course of life, all things will seem strange and difficult at 

S. What course must I take to escape this temptation ? 

1. When you meet with any difficulty, you must still remem- 
ber that it is your own dark mind, or backward heart, that is 
the cause, and never suspect God's word or ways, no more than 
a sick man will blame the meat, instead of his stomach, if he 
loath a feast. But take occasion to renew your repentance, and 
think, 'All this is along of myself, who spent my youth in sin and 
folly, which I should have spent in hearing the word of God, and 
practising a godly life. What need have I now to double my 
labour to overcome all this !' 

2. Resolve to wait patiently on God in the use of all his 
means, and teaching, time, and use, and grace will make all 
more plain, and easy, and delightful to you. Do not expect 
that it should come all on a sudden, without time, and dili- 
gence, and patience. 

3. Keep still as an humble disciple of Christ, in a learning 
mind and way, and turn not, in self-conceitedness, to cavil 
against what you do not understand. This is the chief thing 
in which conversion maketh us like little children. (Matt, xviii. 
3.) Children are conscious of their ignorance, and are teach- 
able, and set not their wits against their teachers, till they 
grow towards twenty years of age, and then they grow wise in 
their own conceits, and begin to think that their tutors are mis- 
taken, and to set their wits against the truth which they should 
receive. But of this more anon. 

II. The second temptation will be, upon these difficulties and 
your mistakes in religion, to grow so perplexed as to be over- 
whelmed with doubts and fears, and so to turn melancholv, 
and ready to despair. 

The devil will strive to lose you, and bewilder you in some 
mistakes, or to make you think that your conversion was not 
true, because you had no more brokenness of heart for sin, or 
because you know not just the time when vou were converted. 
Or he will make you think that all religion lieth in striving to 
weep and break your heart more; or that vou have no grace 
because you have not such a lively sense of things invisible, as 
you have of the tilings that are seen. Or he will tell you that 
now you must not think nor talk of the world, but all vour 
thoughts and talk must be of God, and his word and holy things. 


and that all other is idle thoughts and talk ; and that you must 
tie yourself to longer tasks of meditation and prayer than you 
have time and strength to carry on. 

S. Sir, you make me admire to hear you. Can such motions 
of holiness come from the devil. If I did not know you, I should 
suspect some carnal malignity against holiness in your speeches. 

P. Did not the devil plead Scripture with Christ in his temp- 
tations ? (Matt, iv.) And doth he not f transform himself into 
an angel of light to deceive ? When he cannot keep you in se- 
curity and profaneness, he will put on a visor of godliness : 
and whenever the devil will seem religious and righteous, he 
will be religious and righteous overmuch. 

S. What getteth he by this ? Would he make us more 
religious ? 

P. You little know what he hopeth to get by it. Overdoing 
is undoing all ; he would destroy all your religion by it. If you 
run vour horse till you tire him or break his wind, is not that 
the way to lose your journey ? Nothing over violent is durable. 
If a scholar study so hard as to crack his brains, he will never be 
a good scholar, or wise man, till he is cured. Our souls here 
are united to our bodies, and must go on that pace that the 
body can endure. If Satan can tempt you into longer and 
deeper musing (especially on the sadder objects in religion) than 
your body and brain can bear, you will grow melancholy before 
you are aware, and then you little know how ill a guest you 
have entertained. 

For when once you are melancholy, you will be disabled then 
from secret prayer and from meditating at all : it will but con- 
found you ; you cannot bear it : and so by overdoing, you will 
come to do nothing of that sort of duty. And you will then 
have none but either fanatic whimsies, and visions, and prophe- 
syings, or else (more usually) sad despairing thoughts in your 
mind : all thatyouhear, and read, and see, you will think maketh 
against you ; you will believe nothing that soundeth comfortably 
to you ; you can think none but black and hideous thoughts. 
The devil will tell you a hundred times over, that you are an 
hypocrite and unsanctincd, and all that ever you did was in 
hypocrisy, and that none of your sins are yet forgiven ; and that 
you shall as sure be in hell as if you were there already j that 
God is your enemy ; that Christ is no Saviour for you ; that you 
have sinned against the Holy (Jhost, or that the day of grace is 

1 2 Cor. xi. 14, 15. 



past ; that the Spirit is departed, and God hath forsaken you : 
that it is now too late, too late to repent and find mercy ; and 
that you are undone for ever. These hlack thoughts will he 
like a beginning of hell to you. 

And it is not yourself only that will be the sufferer by this ; 
hut many of the ignorant and wicked will, by seeing you, be. 
hardened into a love of security and sensuality, and will fly 
from religion as a frightful thing which doth not illuminate 
men, but make them mad, or cast them into desperation. And 
so Satan will use you as some Papists have drawn the picture 
of a Protestant like a devil, or an ass, to affright men from 
religion; or as we set up maukins to frighten birds from the 
corn ; as if he had written on your back for all to read, ' See 
what you must come to, if you will be religious.' 

S. You describe to me so sad a case, as almost makes me 
melancholy to hear it, and it tempts me to be afraid of religion 
itself, if it tend to this : but what would you have me do to 
escape it ? 

P. Religion itself, as God commandeth it, tendeth not to this. 
It is a life of holy faith, and hope, and joy : but it is errors about 
religion that tend to it. And especially when any great cross 
or disappointment in the world becometh an advantage to the 
tempter to cast you into worldly discontents and cares, and 
trouble and perplexity of mind : this is the most usual beginner 
of melancholy ; and then it turneth to religious trouble 

And I the rather tell you of it now, because you are capable, 

through God's mercy, of preventing it : but it is a disease which, 

' when it seizeth on you, will disable you to think, or believe, or 

do any thing that much tendeth to your cure ; words are usually 

in vain ; it overcometh the freedom of the will. 

The prevention is this : 1. Set not too much by anv thing in 
the world, that so the losing of it may not be able to reach your 
heart. Take the world as nothing, and it can do nothing with 
you. Take it for dung, and the loss of it will not trouble you, 

2. Keep true apprehensions of the nature of religion, that it 
lieth in faith, hope, and love ; g in righteousness, peace, and joy 
in the Holy Ghost, in the forethoughts of everlasting glory ; 
and in comforting yourself and one another, with remembering 
that you shall for ever be with the Lord, in thanksgiving to your 
bountiful God, and in his joyful praises : let these be your 

e Rom. xiv, 17 ; 1 Cor. xii. 31, and xiii; 1 Thess. iv. 17, 18. 


thoughts, your speeches, your exercise, publicly and secretly. 
Set yourself more to the daily exercise of divine praises and 
thanksgiving, to actuate love and joy, than to any other part of 
duty. Not that you have done repenting; hut that these are the 
chief, the life, the top, the end of all the rest. 

3. When you feel any scruples or troubles begin to seize 
upon you, open them presently to a judicious minister or friend, 
before they fasten and take rooting in you. Remember and 
observe these things. 

III. A third temptation that will assault you will be, to be in 
continual doubt of your own sincerity ; so that though you be 
not melancholy before, Satan would bring you to it, by a life 
of continual doubts and fears. 

And here he hath very great advantage, because man's heart 
is so dark and deceitful, and because our grace is usually very 
little and weak ; and a little is hardly discerned from none ; and 
because that the greatest assurance of sincerity is a work that 
requireth much skill, great diligence, and clear helps. 

S. I easily believe that this will be my case : I feel some be- 
ginnings of it already : but what would you advise me to do to 
prevent it ? 

P. I have written a small book on this point alone, called 'The 
Right Method for Peace of Conscience,' &c. to which I must 
refer you : but briefly now I say, 

1. You must still keep by you in writing the baptismal cove- 
nant of grace, with the explication of it, which I gave you, and 
never mistake the nature of that covenant and of true religion : 
and on all occasions of doubting, renew your part, that is, your 
consent ; and go no further for marks of godliness and true 
conversion, if you can truly say, that you still consent to that 
same covenant : for this is your faith and repentance, and your 
certain evidence of your right to the benefits of God's part. 
Find still your true consent, and never doubt of your sincerity. 

2. But because he that consenteth to learn will learn, and he 
that h consenteth to obey will obey: your life must also testify 
the truth of your consent. Therefore, instead of over tedious 
trying and fearing whether you truly consent and obey or not, 
set yourself heartily to your duty ; study to please God, and to 
live fruitfully in good works ; resolve more against those sins 
which make you question your sincerity ; and the practice of a 
godly life, and the increase of your grace, will be a constant 

h Tit. i. 1G; Jam. ii. I4,&c. ; Matt. 21, 30-33. 
EE 2 


discernible evidence ; and you will have the witness in yourself, 
that you are a son of God. 

S. I thank you for this short and full direction. I pray go 
on to the next temptation. 

P. IV. If you escape these sadder thoughts, Satan will tempt 
you to security, and tell you, that now you are converted, all is 
sure, and you never need to fear any more. Those that have true 
grace can never lose it ; and sins once pardoned, are never 
unpardoned again ; and therefore now all your danger is past. 
And if he can thus take off all your fear and care, he will 
quickly take off your zeal and diligence. 

S. Why ; Is not all my fear and danger past ? 

P. No ; not as long as you are on earth : tormenting fear you 
must resist ; but preventing ' fear, and repenting fear, will be 
still your duty : you are but entered into the holy war. You 
have many a temptation yet to resist and conquer; temptations 
from Satan and from men, and from your flesh ; temptations 
of prosperity and adversity. You have constant and various 
duties to perform, which require strength, and skill, and wil- 
lingness. You have remaining corruptions yet to mortify, 
which will be striving to break out against, and to undo, you. 
You know not how many burdens you have to bear, where 
flesh, and heart, and friends may fail you. I tell you all the 
rest of your life must be the practice of what you have pro- 
mised in your covenant; a labour, a race, a warfare : and you 
must defend yourself with one hand, as it were, while you build 
with the other : and all the way to heaven must, step by step, 
be carried on by labour and victory conjunct. Will you reward 
a man merely for promising to serve you ? Will you excuse a 
soldier from fighting and watching, because he is enlisted, and 
engaged to do it ? The two first articles of religion are, that 
God is, and that he is k the rewarder of them that diligently 
seek him. If you receive the immoveable kingdom, you must 1 
serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, as knowing 
that our God is a consuming fire. And though it be God that 
giveth you to will and to do, you must m work out your salva- 
tion with fear and trembling. You must be " "steadfast, immove- 
able, always abounding in the work of the Lord, as knowing 
that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." You must fight a 

! Heb.iv. 1, and xii. 1, 2. k Heb. xi. 0. 

'Heb.xii.28,29. "'Phil. ii. 12, 13. 

11 1 Cor. xv. 58; 1 Tim. iv.S. 


good fight, and finish your course, and love the appearing of 
Jesus Christ, if you will expect the crown of righteousness. 
You must overcome, if you will inherit, and be faithful to the 
death, if you will receive the crown of life. Do you think that 
you come into Christ's army, vineyard, and family to be careless? 

S. But if I cannot fall from grace, nor be unjustified, though 
there be duty, there is no danger, nor cause for fear. 

P. Controversies of that kind are not yet fit for your head, 
much less to build security upon ; it is certain that God's grace 
will not forsake you, if you p forsake it not first : and it is cer- 
tain that none of his elect shall fall away and perish. But it is 
certain that Adam lost true grace, and that such apostasy may 
be not only possible, but too easy in itself, which yet shall 
never come to pass. The church of Christ lived in joy and 
peace, without meddling much with that controversy, till Pelagius 
and Augustin's disputations : and Augustin's opinion was, that 
all the elect persevere, but not all that are truly sanctified and 
love God. But this is enough to the present case ; that as you 
have no cause to distrust God, so it is certain that God doth not 
decree to save men without danger, but to save them from dan- 
ger ; and that your fear and care to escape that danger (of sin 
and miserv) is the means decreed and commanded for vour es- 
cape ; and that God hath no surelier decreed that you shall 
escape, than he hath decreed that you shall fear it, and so es- 
cape by rational care, excepting some unknown dangers which 
he puts by. (Heb. iv. 1 .) " Let us therefore fear, lest a pro- 
mise being left of entering into his rest, any of you should seem 
to come short of it." The sum of all this is instanced in Heb. 
xi. 7- " 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 which he condemned the world, and became heir of 
the righteousness which is by faith." 

Go on, therefore, with faith, and hope, and joy; but think not 
that all the danger is past till you are in heaven. 

V. The most dangerous temptation of all. will be the stirring 
up the remnants of your own corruption, of sensuality, and pride, 
and covetousness, to draw you back to your former pleasant 
sins, especially by appetite and fleshly lust. 

1. If you be addicted to your appetite, though you be poor, 

Rev. ii., and iii. 
i' Jos. x\iv. 2(i, 40 ; 1 Cliron. xxviii. 9, and xv. 2; Isa. i.28; Jer. xvii. 13; 
Matt. xxiv. 24 ; Rom. viii. 21, 29, 30. 

422 the poor man's FAMILY BOOK. 

you will not want a bait, especially to excess of drinking. And 
the tempter will tell you, that because you fare hardly, and have 
small drink at home, you may lawfully comfort your heart with 
a cup of extraordinary abroad. And so from one cup to two, 
and so to three, you shall be tempted on, till your appetite be- 
come your master, and your love to the drink doth become so 
strong, that you cannot easily restrain it. 

S. God forbid that ever I should again become a swine ! 

P. If you should but once be overtaken with this sin, you are 
in great danger of committing it again and again : for the re- 
membrance of the pleasure in your fancy will be a continual 
temptation to you ; and when Satan hath deceived any man 
into sin, usually God leaveth that man proportionally to his 
power, and he gets that advantage of which he is very hardly 
dispossessed : as he ruleth by deceiving, so where he hath de- 
ceived once, he hath double advantage to deceive again. 

And then I will foretell you, besides the danger of damnation, 
and the odious ingratitude to your Saviour, &c, you will live in 
a kind of hell on earth : the devil and the flesh will draw you 
one way, and God's Spirit and your conscience will draw vou 
another way. The terrors of God will be upon you ; and no 
sooner will the pleasure of your sin be over, but conscience will 
be God's executioner upon you, and some sparks of hell will fall 
upon it ; so that you will think that the devil is ready to fetch 
you ; unless you sin yourself into stupidity, and then you are 
undone for ever. 

S. I pray you tell me how to prevent such a misery. 

P. Be not confident of your own strength : keep away from 
the tavern and alehouse : come not within the doors, except in 
cases of true necessity : keep out of the company of tipplers and 
drunkards. Let not the q tempting cup be in your sight : or if 
you be unwillingly cast upon temptation, let holy fear renew 
your resolution. 

And so as to the case of fleshly lusts ; if your bodilv temper 
be addicted to it, as you love your soul, keep at a sufficient dis- 
tance from the bait. If you feel your fancy begin to be infected 
towards any person, whose comeliness entieeth you, be sure that 
you never be with them alone without necessity, and that you 
never be guilty of any immodest looks, or touch, or words ; but 
keep at such a distance that it may be almost impossible for you 
to sin. You little know what you have done, when you have 

i Matt. vi. 13, and xx.vi. 41 ; Luke viii. 13. 


first broken the hounds of" modesty : you have set open the door 
of your fancy to the devil ; so that he can, almost at his plea- 
sure, ever after, represent the same sinful pleasure to you anew : 
he hath now access to your fancy to stir up r lustful thoughts 
and desires ; so that when you should think of your calling, or 
of your God, or of your soul, your thoughts will be worse than 
swinish, upon the filth that is not fit to be named. If the devil 
here get in a foot, he will not easily be got out. And if you 
should be once guilty of fornication, it will first strongly tempt 
you to it again, and the devil will say, if once may be pardoned, 
why not twice ? And if twice, why not thrice ? And next, the 
flames of hell will be hotter in your conscience than the flames 
of lust were in your flesh : and if God do not give you up to 
hardness of heart, and utterly s forsake you, you will have no 
rest till you return from sin to God : which, if you be so happy 
as to do, you little think how dear it may cost you ; what ter- 
rors, what l heart-breaking, and, perhaps, a sad and disconso- 
late life, even to your death. 

And you will not suffer alone : O what a grief will it be to all 
the godly, that know or hear of you ! What a reproach to re- 
ligion ! What a hardening to the wicked, to make them hate 
religion, to their damnation ! The malignant will triumph, and 
say, ( No doubt, they aie all alike : these are your puritans, your 
precisians, your holy brethren !' and if you thus wound religion, 
God will wound your conscience and reputation at the last. 

S. You make me tremble to hear of such a horrid state. And 
the rather because, to confess the truth to vou, my nature is not 
without some lustful inclinations : I entreat you, therefore, to 
tell me how to subdue and mortify them, and prevent such sin ? 

P. You are married already ; and, therefore, I need not ad- 
vise you to that lawful remedy ; but 1 charge you to take heed 
of all quarrels and fancies which would make your own wife dis- 
tasteful to you. 2. And, above all, be sure that you be not idle 
in mind or body. You that are a poor labourer, are in ten-fold 
less danger than rich men and gentlemen are. When a man is" 
idle, the devil findeth him at leisure for filthy thoughts, and im- 
modest dalliance ; but if you will labour hard in your calling 
from morning to night, so that your business may necessarily 
take up your thoughts, and also weary and employ your body, 
you will neither have a mind to filthiness, nor time of dalliance. 
3. And be sure that you fare hard for quantity and quality: the 

r Jam. i. 13, 14. s 1 Thess. iii. 7. Psalm li. 

424 the poor man's family book. 

fire of lust will go out, if it be not fed with idleness, fullness, 
and pride. Gluttons and drunkards are still laying in fuel for 
filthy lusts. And great lustful inclinations must have great fast- 
ing. And physic and diet will do much (as eating much cold 
herbs, and drinking cold water). But to have a body still em- 
ploved in business and labour, and a mind never idle, but still 
taken up with your calling, or with God, together with a spare 
diet, is the sum of the cure, with keeping far enough from the 
baits, and casting out filthy thoughts before they fasten in the 

The story is commonly reported of a Lord Keeper in our time, 
who near Islington, as he passed by, saw a man that had newly 
hanged himself; and, causing him to be cut down, recovered 
him to health. And, upon examination, found that he hanged 
himself for love, as lust is called. He sent him to Bridewell, 
and gave orders that his labour should be hard, and his usage 
severe : till at last, the man being cured of love, came and 
thanked him for the healing of his soul, as well as for the saving 
of his life. 

You will be tempted also to pride and ambition, to seek pre- 
ferment and domination over others ; and to a worldly mind, 
to thirst after u riches and great matters for yourself and your 
children after you in the world. And this pride and worldliness 
are the most mortal sins of all the rest, as possessing the very 
heart of love, which is the seat that God reserveth for himself. 
But, against these you must have daily instructions in the pub- 
lic ministry. I will now say no more to you but this : that he 
that thinketh on the grave, and what man's flesh must shortly 
turn to, and of the brevity of this life, which every hour expect- 
eth its end ; and thinketh how dreadful a thing it will be for a 
soul to appear in the guilt of pride or worldliness before the 
holy God, one would think should easily detest these sins, and* 
use the world as if he used it not. 

S. Proceed, I pray you, to the other temptations. 

P. VI. The controversies and differences which you will hear 
about religion, and the many sects, and parties, and divisions 
wbich you will meet with, together with their speeches and 
usage of one another, will be a great temptation to you. 

I. In doctrinals, you will bear some on one side, and some on 
the other, hotly contending about predestination and providence, 
and universal redemption, and free-will, and man's merits, and 

u 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10 ; Luke xxii. x j Cor, vii. 29—31. 


in what sense Christ's righteousness is imputed to us, and about 
justification, and the law, and the covenants of works and of 
grace ; and of the nature of faith, and repentance, of assurance 
of salvation, and whether any fall away from grace, with many 
such like. 

II. In matters of church government and God's worship, you 
will meet with some that are for prelacy, and some against it ; 
some for government by the pastors in equality, some for the 
people's power of the keys, and some for an universal govern- 
ment of all the world by the pope of Rome. And you will find 
some against all praying by the book, or a set form of words; 
and some against all other praying save that, at least, in public ; 
some for images, and many symbolical ceremonies of men's 
making, in God's public worship, and some against them ; some 
for keeping all from the sacrament, of whose conversion or ho- 
liness the people are not satisfied ; and some for admitting the 
scandalous and ignorant, and some for a middle way; with 
many other differences about words, and gestures, and manner 
of serving God. 

III. And it will increase your temptation to hear all these 
called by several names, some Greeks, some papists, some pro- 
testants ; and of them, some Lutherans, and Arminians, some 
Calvinists, some antinomians, some libertines, some prelatical, 
some Erastians, some presbyterians, some independents, some 
anabaptists, besides seekers, quakers, familists, and many 
more that are truly heretic ; and some (especially the papists) 
would make you believe that all these are so many several reli- 
gions, of which none but one (that is, their own) is true and 

IV. But the greatest part of your temptation will be to see 
how all these do use one another, and to hear what language 
they give to one another. You shall find that the papists make 
it a part of their religion or church laws, that those whom they 
account heretics must be burnt to death and ashes ; and that 
inquisitions, by torments, must force them to confess and detect 
themselves and others ; and that y temporal lords that will not 
exterminate all such from their dominions, are to be excommu- 
nicated first, and next deprived by the pope of their possessions, 
and their dominions given to others that will do it : and that 
preachers are to be silenced and cast out, that swear not, sub- 
scribe not, and conform not, as their church canons do require 

y Concil. Later, sub Innoc. 3. Can. i. 3. 

426 the l'oor man's family hook. 

them. Others, in all countries almost, you will find, inclining 
to the way of force in various degrees, and saying, that without 
it the church cannot stand, and discipline would be of no effect, 
and no union or concord would be maintained: these will call 
those that do not obey them schismatics, factious, seditious, 
and such like. Others you will find pleading for liberty of con- 
science, some for all, and some for many, and some for them- 
selves only ; some crying out against the prelates as antichrist- 
ian persecutors, and formalists, and enemies to all serious, godlv 
men ; some will separate from them, as churches not fit for 
Christians to hold communion with. One party will charge 
you, as you would escape schism and damnation, not to join 
with the protestants, or nonconformists or separatists : another 
will charge you, as you would not be guilty of false worship, 
idolatry, popery, persecution, &c, not to hold communion with 
the conforming churches. And the anabaptists will tell you, 
that your infant baptism was nothing but a sin and a mockery, 
and that you must be baptised again if you will be saved, say 
some, or if you will be capable of church communion, say others. 
The antinomians will tell you, that if you turn not to their opi- 
nions, you are a legalist, and a stranger to free grace, and set up 
a righteousness of your own, against the righteousness of Christ, 
and are fallen from grace by adhering to the law. The armin- 
ians, and Jesuits, and Lutherans will tell you, that if you are 
against them, you blasphemously make God a tyrant, an hypo- 
crite, and the author of sin. The dominicans and anti-armi- 
nians will tell you, that if you be of the opinion which they op- 
pose, you make man an idol, and ascribe to him that which is 
proper to God, and are enemies to God's grace and providence, 
and near to Socinianism. These, and such other temptations, 
you must meet with from disputers, who account themselves, or 
are accounted by their party, the best, the wisest, and most 
learned of men. 

S. You greatly perplex me to hear such unexpected things 
as these : what then shall I do if I come to see them, and 
should be thus assaulted ?• Is religion no plainer or surer a way ; 
or are Christians no wiser or better people than to live in such 
uncertainties, contentions, and confusions ? I thought that their 
warfare had been only against the world, the flesh, and the 
devil. Do they live in such a war against each other ? I am 
almost utterly discouraged to hear of such a war as you describe. 
P. I had rather you knew it beforehand, that you may be 


prepared for it, than to be overthrown hereafter by an unex- 
pected surprise. I. Religion, you must know, is a thing which 
consisteth of several parts; as a man's body hath, 1. A head, 
and a heart, and a liver, and a stomach. These we call essen- 
tial parts ; without which it is not a human body. 2. It hath 
arms, and hands, and legs, and feet, which we call integral parts; 
without these it may be a body, bat not a whole body. These 
are, some of them, great and few, and some of them are ex- 
ceeding small and almost innumerable ; there are hundreds, or 
thousands, of capillary veins, arteries, nerves, and fibres, so small 
as that the most curious anatomists in the world, that open men's 
bodies, cannot see them while they are before their eyes ; much 
less the true nature and causes o