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

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1 HE Book is so big that I must make no longer Preface, 
than to give you this necessary, short account, 1. Of the 
Quality ; 2. and the Reasons of this work. 

1. The Matter you will see in the Contents : As Amesius's 
" Cases of Conscience" are to his " Medulla," the second and 
practical part of Theology, so is this to a " Methodus Theolo- 
gise" vi^hich I have not yet published. And 1. As to the 
method of this, it is partly natural, but principally moral, 
' secundum ordinem intentionis,' where our reasons of each 
location are fetched from the end. Therefore unless I might 
be tedious in opening my reasons * a fine' for the order of 
every particular, I know not how to give you fulij satisfaction. 
But in this practical part I am the less soUfiitous about the 
accurateness of method, because it more betongeth to the for- 
mer part (the theory), where I do it as well as; I am able. 

2. This book was written in 1664 and 1665 (except the 
ecclesiastic cases of conscience, and a few sheets since add- 
ed). And since the writing of it, some invitations drew me 
to publish my '* Reasons of the Christian Religion," my "Life 
of Faith," and " Directions for Weak Christians;" by which 
the work of the two first chapters here is more fully done ; 
and therefore I was inclined here to leave them out; but for 
the use of such families as may have this without the other, I 
forbore to dismember it. 

3. But there is a great disproportion between the several 
parts of the book. 1. The first part is largest, because I 


thought that the heart must be kept with greatest diligence, 
and that if the tree be good the fruit will be good ; and I re- 
member Paul's counsel, " Take heed unto thyself, and unto 
the doctrine ; continue in them : for in doing this thou shalt 
both save thyself, and them that hear thee *." Nothing is 
well done by him that beginneth not at home : as the man is, 
so is his strength, and work. 2. The two first chapters are 
too coarse and tedious for those of the higher form, who may 
pass them over. But the rest must be spoken to ; to whom 
that is unprofitable which is most suitable and pleasant to 
more exercised and accurate wits. The Grand Directions are 
but the explications of the essentials of Christianity, or of 
the baptismal covenant, even of our relation-duties to God 
the Father, Son (in several parts of his relation), and of the 
Holy Ghost, The doctrine of Temptations is handled with 
brevity, because they are so numerous ; lest a due amplifica- 
tion should have swelled the book too much ; when a small 
part of their number maketh up so much of Mr, John Dow- 
name's great and excellent treatise, called '* The Christian 
W&rfare." The great radical sins are handled more largely 
than geemeth proportionable to the rest, because all die when 
they are dead. And I am large about Redeeming Time, be^ 
cause therein the sum of a holy, obedient life is included. 

4. If any say, * Why call you that a Sum of Practical Theo- 
logy which is but the directing part, and leaveth out the ex- 
plication, reasons, various uses, marks, motives, &c. V I an- 
swer, 1. Had I intended sermonwise to say all that might 
well be said on each subject, it would have made many vor 
lumes as big as this. 2. Where I thought them needful, the 
explication of each duty and sin is added, with marks, con- 
traries, counterfeits, motives, &c. And uses are easily added 
by an ordinary reader, without my jiaming them. 

6. I do especially desire you to observe, that the resolving 
of practical cases of conscience, and the reducing of theore- 
tical knowledge into serious Christian practice, and promot- 
ing a skilful facility in the faithful exercise of universal 
obedience, and holiness of heart and life, is the great work of 
this treatise ; and that where I thought it needful, the cases 

-HKi Bl » iTim. ir. 16. 


are reduced to express Questions and Answers. But had I 
done so by all, many such volumes would have been too 
little ; and therefore I thought the directing way most brief 
and fit for Christian practice ; for if you mark them, you will 
find few directions in the book, which may not pass for the 
answer of an implied question or case of conscience ; and 
when I have given you the answer in a direction, an ingenious 
reader can tell what question it is that is answered. And so, 
many hundred cases are here resolved, especially in the two 
first parts, which are not interrogatively named. to 

6. And I must do myself the right as to notify to the Te£^ 
der, that this treatise was written when I was (for not-sub- 
scribing, declaring, &c.) forbidden by the law to preach, and 
when I had been long separated far from my library and from 
all books, saving an inconsiderable parcel which wandered 
with me, where I went 5 by which means this book hath t^o 
defects : 1 . It hath no cases of conscience, but what my bare 
memory brought to hand : and cases are so innumerable, 
that it is far harder, methinks, to remember them, than to an- 
swer them ; whereby it came to pass that some of the eccle- 
siastical cases, are put out of their proper place, because I 
could not seasonably remember them. For I had no one ca- 
auistbut Amesius with me. But (after about twelve years 
separation), having received my library, I find that the very 
sight of Sayrus, Fragoso, Roderiquez, Tolet, &c. might have 
ftelped my memory to a greater number. But perhaps th^ise 
will be enough for those that I intend them for. 2. And by 
the same cause the margin is unfurnished of such citations 
as are accounted an ornament, and in some cases are very use- 
ful. The scraps inserted out of my few trivial books at hand 
being so mean, as that I am well content (except about Mo^ 
narchy. Part IV.) that the reader pass them by as not worthy 
of his notice. 

And it is likely that the absence of books, will appear to 
the reader's loss in the materials of the treatise ; but I shall 
have this advantage by it, that he will not accuse me as a 
plagiary. And it may be some little advantage to him, that 
he hath no transcript of any man's books, which he had be- 


fore ; but the product of some experience, with a naked, un- 
biassed perception of the matter or things themselves. 

7. Note also, that the Third and Fourth Parts are very 
defective of what they should contain, about the power and 
government of God's officers in church and state ; of which 
no readers will expect a reason but strangers, whose expecta- 
tions I may not satisfy. But as I must profess, that I hope 
nothing here hath proceeded from disloyalty, or disrespect 
to Authority, Government, Unity, Concord, Peace or Order ; 
or from any opposition to Faith, Piety, Love, or Justice ; so 
if unknown to me, there be any thing found here that is con- 
trary or injurious to any one of these, I do hereby renounce 
it, and desire it may be taken as * non-scriptum.' 

II. The Ends and Uses for which I wrote this book are 
these: 1. That when I could not preach the Gospel as I 
would, I might do it as I could. 2. That three sorts might 
have the benefit, as foUoweth. 

1. That the younger and more unfurnished, and unexpe- 
rienced sort of ministers, might have a promptuary at hand, 
for practical resolutions and directions on the subjects that 
they have need to deal in. And though Sayrus and Fragoso 
have done well, I would not have us under a necessity, of 
going to the Romanists for our ordinary supplies. Long 
have our divines been wishing for some fuller casuistical 
tractate : Perkins began well ; Bishop Sanderson hath done 
excellently *de juramento;' Amesius hath exceeded all, 
though briefly : Mr. David Dickson hath put more of our 
English cases about the state of sanctification, into Latin, 
than ever was done before him. Bishop Jeremy Taylor hath 
in two folios but begun the copious performance of the 
work. And still men are calling for more, which I have at- 
tempted : hoping that others will come after, and do better 
than we all. 

If any call it my pride, to think that any ministers or stu- 
dents are so raw as to need any thing that I can add to them, 
let him but pardon me for saying that such demure pleadings 
for a feigned humility, shall not draw me to a confederacy 
with blindness, hypocrisy, and sloth, and I will pardon him 
for his charge of pride. 


It is long ago since many foreign divines subscribed a re- 
quest, that the English would give them in Latin a Sum of 
our Practical Theology, which Mr. Dury sent over, and 
twelve great divines of ours wrote to Bishop Usher (as Dr. 
Bernard tells you in his Life), to draw them up a form or me- 
thod. But it was never done among them all. And it is 
said, that Bishop Downame at last undertaking it, died in the 
attempt. Had this been done, it is like my labour might 
have been spared. But being undone, I have thus made 
this essay. But I have been necessitated to leave out much 
(about Conversion, Mortification, Self-denial, Self-acquain- 
tance, Faith, Justification, Judgment, Glory, &c.), because 
I had written of them all before. 

2. And I thought it not unuseful to the more judicious 
masters of families, who may choose and read such parcels to 
their families, as at any time the case requireth. And indeed 
I began it rudely, with an intention of that plainness and 
brevity which families require ; but finding that it swelled to 
a bigger bulk than I intended, I was fain to write my '* Life of 
Faith," as a breviate and substitute, for the families and per- 
sons that cannot have and use so large a volume : presuppos- 
ing, my " Directions for sound Conversion," for *' Weak Chris- 
tians," and for *' Peace of Conscience," printed long ago. 

3. And to private Christians I thought it not in vain, to 
have at hand so universal a directory and resolution of doubts ; 
not expecting that they remember all, but may on every oc- 
casion, turn to such particulars as they most need. 

But I must expect to be assaulted with these objections : 
and it is not only profane deriders and malignant enemies, 
that are used by satan to vilify and oppose our service of 

Object. L * You have written too many books already. 
Who do you think hath so little to do as to read them all ? Is 
it not pride and self-conceitedness to think that your scrib- 
blings are worthy to be read ? and that the world hath need 
of so much of your instructions, as if there were no wise men 
but you ? You have given offence already by your writings ; 
you should write less, and preach more.' 

Answ. 1. I have seldom, if ever, in all my ministry, omit- 


ted one sermon for all my writings. I was not able to live in 
London, nor ride abroad ; but through God's mercy I seldom 
omitted any opportunities at home. 

2. And if I preach the same doctrine that I write, why 
should not men be as angry with me for preaching it, as for 
writing it? But if it be good and true, why is it not as good 
to preach by the press, to many thousands, and for many 
years after I am dead, as to preach to a parlour full for a feW 
hours ? Or why is not both as good as one ? 

3. I will not take the reverend objector to be ignorant, that 
writing, and publishing the word of God by it, is preaching 
it, and the most public preaching ; and hath the example of 
the Apostles and Evangelists, as well as speaking. And one 
is no more appropriate to them than the other : though the 
extraordinaries of both be proper to them. And do you not 
perceive what self-condemning contradiction it is, at the same 
time to cry out against those that dissuade you from preach- 
ing, or hinder you, and tell you it is needless, and you are 
proud to think the world needeth your preaching, and yet 
yourselves to say the very same against your brethren's 
preaching by the press ? I know an ignorant, illiterate secta- 
ry might say, * Writing is no preaching ; and you are called to 
preach, and not to write.' But I must reverence you more 
than to suppose you so absurd. Other men forbid you but 
less public preaching, and you reproach me for more public 
preaching : that is the difference. How hard is it to know 
what spirit we are of? Did you think that you had been pa- 
trons of idleness, and silencers of ministers, while you declaim 
so much against it ? Your pretence that you would have me 
preach more, is feigned. And are you sure that you preach 
oftener than I do ? When I persuaded ministers heretofore to 
catechise and instruct all their parishes personally, family by 
family, you said it was more toil than was our duty. And 
now you are against much writing too ; and yet would be 
thought laborious ministers. 

And as to the number and length of my writings, it is my 
own labour that maketh them so, and my own great trouble, 
that the world cannot be sufficiently instructed and edified in 
fewer words. But 1. Would not all your sermons set toge- 


ther be as long ? And why is not much and long preaching 
blamable, if long writings be ? 2. Are not the works of Au- 
gustine, and Chrysostom, much longer ? Who yet hath re- 
proached Aquinas or Suarez, Calvin or Zanchy, &c. for the 
number and greatness of the volumes they have written? 
Why do you contradict yourselves by affecting great libra- 
ries ? 3. When did I ever persuade any one of you, to buy or 
read any book of mine ? What harm will they do to those 
that let them alone ? Or what harm can it do you for other 
men to read them ? Let them be to you as if they had never 
been written; and it will be nothing to you how many they 
are. And if all others take not you for their tutors, to choose 
for them what books they must read, that is not my doing, 
but their own. If they err in taking themselves to be fitter 
judges than you, what tendeth most to their own edification, 
why do you not teach them better? 4. Either it is God's 
truth, or error, which I write. If error, why doth no one of 
you shew so much charity, as by word or writing to instruct 
me better, nor evince it to my face, but do all to others by 
backbiting ? If truth, what harm will it do ? If men had not 
leisure to read our writings, the booksellers would silence us, 
and save you the labour ; for none would print them. 5. But 
who can please all men ? Whilst a few of you cry out of too 
much, what if twenty or a hundred for one be yet for more ? 
How shall I know whether you ox th^y be the wiser and the 
better men? ' - '^^' ^r'u.n c^^l^ {d If.io vissiBt ^sr:t i-,ff|v? 
Readers, you see on what terms we must do the work of 
God. Our slothful flesh is backward, and weary of so much 
labour: malignant enemies of piety are against it all. Some 
slothful brethren think it necessary to cloke their fleshly ease 
by vilifying the diligence of others. Many sects whom we 
oppose, think it the interest of their cause (which they call 
God's cause), to make all that is said against them seem vain, 
contemptible, and odious ; which because they cannot do by 
confutation, they will do by backbiting and confident chat. 
And one or two reverend brethren, have, by the wisdom des- 
cribed exactly, James iii. 15, 16, arrived at the liberty of 
backbiting and magisterial sentencing the works of others 
(which they confess they never read), that their reputation of 


being most learned, orthodox, worthy divines, may keep the 
chair at easier rates, than the wasting of their flesh in un- 
wearied labours to know the truth, and communicate it to the 
world. And some are angry, who are forward to write, that 
the booksellers and readers silence not others as well as them. 

Object. II. * Your writings differing from the common 
judgment, have already caused offence to the godly.' 

Answ. 1. To the godly that were of a contrary opinion 
only. Sores that will not be healed, use to be exasperated 
by the medicine. 2. It was none but healing, pacificatory 
writings, that have caused that offence. 3. Have not 
those dissenters' writings more offended the godly that were 
against them ? They have but one trick, to honour their de- 
nial, which more dishonoureth it, even by unsanctifying 
those that are not of their minds. 4. If God bless me with 
opportunity and help, I will offend such men much more, by 
endeavouring further than ever I have done, the quenching 
of that fire which they are still blowing up ; and detecting 
the folly and mischief of those logomachies by which they 
militate against love and concord, and inflame and tear the 
church of God. And let them know that I am about it. 
But some pastors as well as people, have the weakness to 
think that all our preachings and writings must be brought 
under their dominion, and to their bar, by the bare saying 
that * We offend the godly,' that is, those of their opinion, 
which they falsely call by the name of scandal. 5. But I 
think they will find little controversy to offend them in this 

Object. III. ' You should take more leisure, and take 
other men's judgment of your writings before you thrust 
them out so hastily.' v ? 

Answ. 1 . I have but a little while to live, and therefore 
must work while it is day. Time will not stay. 2. I do 
shew them to those that I take to be most judicious, and 
never refused any man's censure ; but it is not many that 
have leisure to do me so great a kindness. But that I cona- 
mitthem not to the perusal of every objector, is a fault un- 
curable, by one that never had an amanuensis, and hath but 
one copy, usually. 3. And if I could do it, how should I 


be sure that they would not differ as much among them- 
selves, as they do from me? And my writings would.be 
like the picture which the great painter exposed to the cen- 
sure of every passenger, and made it ridiculous to all, when 
he altered all that every one advised him to alter. And, to 
tell you the truth, I was never yet blamed by one side as not 
sufficiently pleasing them ; but I was blamed also by the 
contrary side, for coming so near them : and I had not wit 
enough to know which party of the accusers was the wiser ? 
And therefore am resolved to study to please God and con- 
science, and to take man-pleasing, when inconsistent, for an 
impossible and unprofitable work ; and to cease from man 
whose breath is in his nostrils, whose thoughts all perish as 
he passeth off the judicature of his stage, to the judicature 

of God. q f'Tft&l 

Object. IV. * Your ecclesiastical cases are dangerously 
reconciling, tending to abate men's zeal against error.' 

Answ. The world hath long enough escaped the danger 
of peace and reconciliation. It had been well if they had 
as long escaped the danger of your conceited, orthodox strife, 
which hath brought in confusion and all evil works. I take 
it to be a zeal effectively against love, and against unity, 
and against Christ, which, with the preachers of extremes, 
goeth under the name of a zeal against error, and for truth. 

Object. V. 'Are all these numerous Directions to be found 
in Scripture ? Shew us them in Scripture, or you trouble 
the church with your own inventions.* 

Answ. 1. Are all your sermons in the Scripture? And all 
the good books of your library in the Scripture? 2. Will 
you have none but readers in the church, and put down 
preachers ? Sure it is the reader that delivereth all and only 
the Scripture. 3. Are we not men before we are Christians ? 
And is not the light and law of nature, divine ? And was 
the Scripture written to be instead of reason, or of logic, 
or other subservient sciences ? Or must they not all be sanc- 
tified and used for divinity ? 4. But I think that as all good 
commentaries, and sermons, and systems of theology, are in 
Scripture, so is the Directory here given, and is proved by 


the evidence of the very thing discoursed of, or by the plain- 
est textis. 

Object. VI. * You confound your reader by curiosity of 
distinctions.^ - -•' --'^ ^ ^--- - j'^^- . -■^ii'^i-^^.^^;^^' ^^ r.- ^a^^^. 
> Attsw. 1 . If they are rain bt false, thame iheto by d€?tect- 
ing it, or you shame yourselves by blaming them, when you 
cannot shev^r the error. Expose not yourselves to laughter 
by avoiding just distinction to escape confusion ; that is, 
avoiding knowledge ta escape ignorance, or light to escape 
darkness. 2. It is ambiguity and confusion that breedeth 
and feedeth almost all our pernicious controversies; and 
even those that bring in error by vain distinction, must be 
confuted by better distinguishers, and not by ignorant con- 
founders. I will believe the Holy Ghost, 2 Tim. ii. 14, 15, 
16. that logomachy is the plague by which the hearers are 
subverted, and ungodliness increased ; and that orthotomy, 
or right dividing the Word of Truth is the cure. And Heb. 
V. 15. Discernting both good and evil, is the work of long and 
well exercised senses. 

Object. VII. ' Is this your reducing our faith to the primi- 
tive simplicity, and to the creed ? What a toilsome task 
do you make religion by overdoing ? Is any man able to 
remember all these numberless Directions ?' ■^^■ 

Answ. 1. I pray mistake not all these for articles of faitb. 
I atft more zealous than ever I was for the reduction of the 
Christian faith to the primitive simplicity ; and more con- 
fident that the church will never have peace and concord, 
tin it be so done, as to the test of men's faith and commu- 
nion. But he that will have no books but his creed and 
Bible, may follow that sectary, who when he had burnt all 
his other books as human inven1;ion«, at last burnt the Bible, 
when he grew learned enough to understand, that the trans- 
lation of that was human too. 

.2. If men think not all the tools in their shops, and all the 
fufniture of their houses, or the number of their sheep, or cat- 
tle, or lands, nor the number of truths received by a learning 
intelliect, 8tc. to be a trouble and toil, why should they think 
so of the number of helps to facilitate the practice of their du- 


ty *? If all the books in yowt libraries make yom* studies or reli- 
gion toilsome, why do you keep them ? and do not come to 
the vulgar religion, that would hear no more but * Think well, 
S:peak well, and do well,' or * Love God and your neighbour, 
and do as you would be done by/ He that doth this truly, 
shall be saved. But there goeth more to the building of a 
house, than to say. Lay the foundation, and raise the super- 
structure : universals exist not but in individuals ; and the 
whole consisteth of all the parts. 

3. It is not expected that any man remember all these 
Directions. Therefore I wrote them, because men cannot 
remember them, that they may upon every necessary occa- 
sion, go to that which they have present use for, and cannot 
otherwise remember. 

In sum, to my quarrelsome brethren I have two requests, 
1. That instead of their unconscionable, and yet unreformed 
custom of backbiting, they would tell me to my face of my 
offences by convincing evidence, and not tempt the hearers 
to think them envious. And 2. That what I do amiss they 
would do better : and not be such as will neither laboriously 
serve the church themselves, nor suffer others; and that 
they will not be guilty of idleness themselves, nor tempt me 
to be a slothful servant, who have so little time to spend ; 
for I dare not stand before God under that guilt. And that 
they will not join with the enemies and resisters of the pub- 
lication of the Word of God. 

And to the Readers my request is, 1. That whatever for 
quantity or quality in this book is an impediment to their 
regular, universal obedience, and to a truly holy life, they 
would neglect and cast away. 2. But that which is truly 
instructing and helpful, they would diligently digest and 
practise ; and I encourage them by my testimony, that by 
long experience I am assured, that this PRACTICAL 
RELIGION will afford both to church, state, and conscience, 
more certain and more solid peace, than contending dispu- 
ters, with all their pretences of orthodoxness and zeal against 
errors for the truth, will ever bring, or did ever attain to. 

I crave your pardon for this long apology : it is an age 


where the objections are not feigned, and where our greatest 
and most costly services of God, are charged on us as oiir 
greatest sins ; and where at once I am accused of conscience 
for doing no more, and of men for doing so much. Being 

A most unworthy servant of so good a Master, 






The Introduction 1 




What is presupposed in the reader of these Directions 6 

Twenty Directions. 13 


Thirty Temptations whereby the Devil hindereth Men's Con- 
version, with the proper Remedies against them 62 

Ten Temptations by which he would persuade men, that their 
heinous, mortal Sins, which prove them unconverted, are 

but the pardoned infirmities of the Penitent SI 

VOL. II. b 

xviii CONTENTS. 




Direct, i. Against receiving Religion merely for the novelty 

or reputation of it ^9 

Direct, ii. Let Judgment, Zeal/ and Practice go equally to- 
gether 95 

Direct, in. Keep a short Method of Divinity, or a Catechism 

Still in your memory 97 

Direct, iv. Certain Cautions about Controversies in Religion. 

Heb. vi. 1. opened 99 

Direct, v. Think not too highly of your first degrees of Grace 
or Gifts. Time and diligence are necessary to growth. 
How the Spirit doth illuminate. The danger of this sin . . 102 
Direct, vi. Let neither Difficulties nor Oppositions, in the be- 
ginning, discourage you. Reasons 108 

Direct, vii. Value, and use a powerful, faithful Ministry. 

Reasons. Objections answered 113 

Direct, viii. For Charity, Unity, and Catholicism, against 

Schism. Pretences for Schism confuted 118 

Direct, ix. Let not Sufferings make you sin by passion, or 

dishonouring authority 123 

Direct, x. Take heed of running from one extreme into another 126 
Direct, xi. Be not too confident in your first apprehensions or 

opinions, but modestly suspicious of them 127 

Direct, xii. What to do when Controversies divide the Church. 

Of silencing Truth 130 

O^ireci. XI 11. What Godliness is. The best life on earth. How 
Satan would make it seem troublesome and ungrateful. 1 . 
By difficulties. 2. By various sects. 3. By scrupulosity, 
4. By your overdoing in your own inventions. 5. By per- 
plexing fears and sorrows. 6. By unmortified lusts. ?• By 
^ actual sins. 8. By ignorance of the Covenant of Grace. . . . 134 
^irect. XIV. Mortify the Flesh, and rule the Senses, and the 
Appetite 143 




Direct, xv. Be wary in choosing not only your Teachers, but 

your Company also. Their characters X45 

L/Direct. xvi. What Books to prefer and read, and what to reject 150 

^Direct, xvii. Take not a doctrine of Libertinism for Free Grace 153 
Direct, xviii. Take heed lest Grace d^enerate into Counter- 
feits, Formality, &c 157 

'^irect. XIX. Reckon not on Prosperity or long life ; but live 

as dying i 161 

J)irect. XX. See that your Religi(m be purely Divine. That 

God be your First, and Last, and All : Man nothing 164 



Grand Direct, i. Understand well the Nature, Grounds, Reason> 
and Order of Faith and Godliness. Propositions opening 
somewhat of them. The reader must note, that here I 
blotted out the Method and Helps of Faith, having more 
fully opened them in a Treatise called '' The Reasons of the 
Christian Religion :" and another of the *' Unreasonableness 
of Infidelity." 170 

Grand Direct, ii. How to live by Faith on Christ, How to 
make use of Christ, in Twenty Necessities 175 

Grand Direct, in. How to believe in the Holy Ghost, and live 
by his Grace. His Witness, Seal, Earnest, &c. Q. When 
good Effects are from Means, from our Endeavour, and 

when from the Spirit ? 188 

y' Grand Direct, iv. For a true, orderly, and practical Knowledge 

of God. A Scheme of his Attributes 199 

Grand Direct, v. Of Self-Resignation to God as our Owner. 
Motives, Marks, Means ^03 

Grand Direct, vi. Of Subjection to God as our Sovereign King. 
What it is ? How to bring the soul into subjection to God. 
How to keep up a ready and constant obedience to him . . 207 




Grand Direct, vii. To learn of Christ as our Teacher. How? 
The Imitation of Christ 221 

Grand Direct, viii. To obey Christ our Physician or Saviour, 
in his repairing, healing work 234 

How each Faculty is diseeised or depraved ? The Intellect : 
its acts and maladies. The Will. Q. Whether the Loco- 
motive and Sense can move us to sin, without the consent of 
the Will, (or Reason) upon its bare omission ? The sin of 
the Memory, Imagination, Affections, Sensitive Appetite, 
Exterior Parts, which needs a cure. Forty intrinsical evils 
in sin, which make up its Malignity. The common Aggra- 
vations of sin. Special Aggravations of the sins of the Re- 
generate. Directions to get a hatred of sin. How to cure it ibid. 

Grand Direct, ix. Of the Christian Warfare under Christ. Who 
are our Enemies. Of the Devil. The State of the Armies, 
and of the War between Christ and Satan. The Ends, 
Grounds, Advantages, Auxiliaries, Instruments, and Me- 
thods of the Tempter 258 

How Satan keepeth off the Forces of Christ, and frustrateth all 
Means 271 

Christ's contrary methods 274 

Temptations to particular Sins, with Directions for preserva- 
tion and remedy. 1. How Satan prepareth his Baits of 
Temptation. 2. How he applieth them 276 

Temptations to draw us off from Duty 309 

Temptations to frustrate holy Duties 314 

Grand Direct, x. How to work as servants to Christ our 
Lord. The true doctrine of Good Works 320 

Directions for our serving Christ in well-doing. Where are 
many Rules to know what are Good Works, and how to do 
them acceptably and successfully 324 

Quest. Is doing good, or avoiding sin to be most looked at, in 
the choice of a Calling or Employment of life ? 332 

Quest. May one change his Calling, for advantages to do good ? 333 

Quest. Who are excused from living in a Calling, or from Work ? ibid. 

Quest. Must I do a thing as a Good Work, while I doubt 
whether it be good, indifferent, or sin ? 337 

Quest. Is it not every man's Duty to obey his Conscience ?. . . . ibid. 

Quest. Is it not a sin to go against Conscience ? 338 



Quest. Whether the formal cause alone do constitute obedience 339 

Quest. How Sin must be avoided by one that hath an Erro- 
neous Conscience } 339 

Quest. How can a man lawfully resist or strive against an Erring 
Conscience, when he striveth against a supposed Truth ? . . ibid. 

Quest. Is not going against Conscience, sinning against Know- 
ledge? ibid. 

Quest. When the information of Conscience requireth a long 
time, is it not a Duty to obey it at the present ? 340 

Quest. May one do a Great Good when.it cannot be done but 
by a Little Sin (as a lie) ? 341 

Quest. Must I not forbear all Good Works, which I cannot do 
without sin? ibid. 

Quest. Must I forbear a certain, great Duty (as preaching the 
Gospel) for fear of a small, uncertain Sin ? 342 

Quest. What shall a man do that is in Doubt, after all the 
Means that he can use ? 343 

Sixteen Rules to guide a Doubting Conscience, and to know, 
among many seeming Duties, which is the greatest, and to 
be preferred 344 

Grand Direct, xi. To Love God as our Father, and Felicity, 
and End 352 

The Nature of Holy Love. God must be loved as the Univer- 
sal, Infinite Good. Whether passionately? What of God 
must be loved ? 353 

What must be the Motive of our first Love ? Whether God's 
Special Love to us ? The sorts of Holy Love. Why Love 
is the highest Grace 357 

The Contraries of Holy Love. How God is Hated? The 

Counterfeits of Love 369 

Directions how to excite and exercise Divine Love 361 

How to see God. Signs of True Love 378 

Grand Direct, xii. Absolutely to trust God with soul, body, 
and all, with full acquiescence. The Nature of Trust (of 
which see more in my "'Life of Faith," and '' Display of 

Saving Faith.") 395 

The Contraries. The Counterfeits. Q. Of a Particular 

Faith. The Uses of Trust 397 

Fifteen Directions for a quieting and comforting Trust in God 400 



Grand Direct, xnl. That the Temperament of our Religion 
may be a Delight in God and Holiness. Twenty Directions 
to procure it: with the Reasons of it . . . . . . . . .... . 408 

Grand Direct, xiv. Of Thankfulness to God;, our Grand Bene- 
factor. The Signs of it. Eighteen Directions how to ob- 
tain and exercise it 421 

Grand Direct, xv. For Glorifying God. Ten Directions how 
the Mind must Glorify God. Ten Directions for Praising 
God, or Glorifying him with our Tongues. Where are the 
Reasons for Praising God. Twelve Directions for Glorify- 
ing God by our Lives 434 

Grand Direct, xvi. For Heavenlymindedness 457 

Grand Direct, xvii. For Self-denial. Only named, as being 
formerly written of at large ibid. 

An Appendix of the Reasons and Measure of Divine and 
Self-Love 458 




Directions against Unbelief. Q. Whether it be Unbelief, not 
to believe that our sins are pardoned, and we elected ? Can 
a man be surer that he believeth, than he is that the thing 
believed is True } The article of Remission of Sin is to be 

believed applyingly 495 

Thirty-six Directions or Helps against Unbelief 498 

Quest. Why the Prophets were to be believed ? 510 


Directions against Hardness of Heart. What it is. The Evil 
and Danger of it 513 

CONTENTS. xxiii 



Directions against Hypocrisy. What it is ; and who are Hy- 
pocrites. The Helps 5^7 


Directions against inordinate Man-pleasing, or Idolizing Man ; 
or that overvaluing man's Favour, which is the Fruit of 
Pride and Cause of Hypocrisy. What the Sin is and is not. 
The Difficulty of Man-pleasing. Pleasing God is our Busi- 
ness and End. The Motives to it. The Signs of it 548 






1 HE eternal God having made man an intellectual and 
free agent, able to understand and choose the good, and re- 
fuse the evil ; to know, and love, and serve his Maker, and 
by adhering to him in this life of trial, to attain to the bles- 
sed sight and enjoyment of his glory in the life to come, 
hath not been wanting to furnish him with such necessaries, 
without which these ends could not successfully be sought. 
When we had lost our moral capacity of pleasing him, that 
we might enjoy him, he restoreth us to it by the wonderful 
work of our redemption. In Christ he hath reconciled the 
world unto himself; and hath given them a general act of 
oblivion, contained in the covenant of grace, which nothing but 
men's obstinate and final unwillingness can deprive them of. 
To procure their consent to this gracious covenant, he hath 
** committed" to his ministers the " word of reconciliation ;" 
commanding us " to beseech men, as in the stead of Christ, 
and as though God himself did beseech them by us, to be 



reconciled unto God^ ;" and to shew them first their sin and 
misery, and proclaim and offer the true remedy, and to let 
them know, that all things are now ready, and by pleading 
their duty, their necessity, and their commodity, to compel 
them to come in **. 

But so great is the blindness and obstinacy of men, that 
the greatest part refuse consent : being deceived by the plea- 
sures, and profits, and honours of this present world ; and 
make their pretended necessities or business the matter of 
their excuses, and the unreasonable reasons of their refusal, 
negligence and delays, till death surprise them, and the door 
is shut ; and they knock, and cry for mercy and admittance, 
when it is too late ^ 

Against this wilful negligence and presumption, which 
is the principal cause of the damnation of the ungodly world, 
I have written many books already. But because there are 
many that profess themselves unfeignedly willing, not only 
to be saved, but also to be Christ's disciples*, to learn of him, 
to imitate him, and be conformed to him, and to do the will 
of God, if they could but know it ; I have determined, by 
God's assistance, to write this book for the use of such, and 
to give them from God's Word those plain Directions, which 
are suited to the several duties of their lives, and may guide 
them safely in their walk with God, to life eternal. Expect 
not here copious and earnest exhortations, for that work I 
have done already ; and have now to do with such, as^say they 
are made willing, and desire help against their ignorance, that 
skill and will may concur to their salvation. I shall labour 
to speak as plainly as I can, because I specially intend it for 
the ignorant ; and yet to be competently exact in the Direc- 
tions, lest such readers lose the benefit by mistakes ; and I 
must speak to many cases* because I speak to families, wherQt 
all are not in the same condition, and the same persons are not 
still the same. And therefore if I should not be brief in the 
particulars, I should be too long in the whole ; and tedious- 
ness might deprive some readers of the benefit. 

In families sonie are (too ordinarily) ungodly : in a carnal^ 
unrenewed state ; and some are godly, in a state of grace**. 

a 2 Cor. V. 18—20. •> Matt. xxii. 4. Luke xi. 17. 23. ^ Matt. xxV, 10—12. 

^ Ita enira censebat, itaque disseruit : dnas essevias, duplicesque cursusaniraorum 

a corpore excedentium, nam qui se humanis vitiis contaminavissent, et se totos liWdi- 


These are considerable as Christians simply, tv^ith respect tb 
God, or in their relations to others : these relations are either 
ecclesiastical, civil, or domestical. 

Accordingly, my intended method is, 1. To direct ungod- 
ly, carnal minds, how to attain to a state of grace. 2. To di- 
rect those that have saving grace, how to use it ; both in 
the contemplative and active parts of their lives ; in their 
duties of religion,, both private and public ; in their duties to 
men, both in their ecclesiastical, civil, and family relations. 
And, by the way, to direct those that have grace, how to 

nibusdedidissent,. .. .lis devium quoddam iter esse, seclusuna a concilio deorura. Qui 
autem seintegros, castosque servavissent, quibusquefuisset minima cumcorporibus con- 
tagio, seseque ab his semper sevoc^ssent, essentque in corporibus humanis vitam imi- 
tati deorum : liis ad illos, a quibus essent profecti, reditum facilem patere. Soc. 
in Cic. Tusc. I. 72*. Improbo nemini bene esse potest. Cic. Parad. 1. vol. 7. 
p. 849. Quod si inest in hominum genere mens, fides, virtus, Concordia : unde 
haec in terras, nisi a superis, defluere potuerunt ? cumque sint in nobis consilium, 
ratio, prudentia, necesse est, deos hsec ipsa habere majora, nee habere solum, 
sed etiam his uti in maximis, et optimis rebus. Cic. Nat. D. ii. 79> Quod si poens, 
si metus supplicii, non ipsa lurpitudo, deterret ab injuriosa facinorosaque vita : nemO 
est injustus ; aut incauti potius habendi sunt iroprobi. Turn autem qui non ipso 
honesto movemur; ut boni viri simus, sed utilitate aliqua atquefructu, calidi suraus, 
non boni. Nam quid faciet is homo intenebris, qui nihil timet nisi testem, et judicem ? 
Cic. Leg. i. 40, 41. Nam ut nihil interest, utrum nemo valeat, an nemo possit valere : 
sic non intelligo, quid intersit, utrum nemo sit sapiens, an nemo esse possit. Cic. Leg. 
iii. 79. Cicero was afraid to speak what he knew of the Unity of the Eternal God the 
Maker of all t : Ilium qiiidem quasi parentem huj us universitatis invenire, difficile : et 
cum jam inveniris indicate in vulgus, nefas. Cic. Univ. Op. vol. vii. p. 923. 

* The edition of Cicero's Works, by which the quotations are verified and corrected, 
isCollingwood's, Oxford, 1810, in eight volumes 8vo. (T.C.) 

t Very diiFerent estimates have been formed of the nature and extent of Cicero's 
knowledge of God and the truths of natural religion. See Leland's Christian Revela- 
tion, vol. i. pp. 274, 297, 298, 330, et seq. 4to. Ed. 1764. Middleton's Life of 
Cicero, vol. iii. pp. 340, 341, 5th Edit. 1755- Enfield's Hist. Philosophy, vol ii. p. 
20, 4to. Edit. Campbell on the Necessity of Divine Revelation ; with remarks on that 
work by Dr. Erskine, in his fourth dissertation, entitled " The Law of Nature suffi- 
ciently propagated to Heathens." I beg the reader's attention to the matured senti- 
-ments of this learned and excellent man, whom Bp. Warburton, in his correspondence 
with Bp. Hurd, calls a deep divine. "The concluding paragraph of the preface to 
this volume," observes Sir H. Moncreiff Wellwood, in his life of Dr. Erskine, "in ans- 
wer to Dr. Campbell, deserves to be inserted here, as it contains Dr. Erskines's later 
thoughts of the subject of that dissertation." ** The general argument," he says, 
" of the fourth dissertation, appears to me in the same light as it did three and twenty 
years ago, when I first published it. But since that time I have been fully convinced 
that many of the most celebrated philosophers entertained sentiments absolutely in- 
consistent with the belief of the soul's immortality, and of future rewards and punish- 
ments ; and have seen considerable cause to suspect, that, under the devout expres- 
sions of the Stoic philosophers, a system was disguised, nearly allied to that of Spi- 
nosa." Ersk. Diss, preface, p. 10.— Life of Dr. Erskine, p. 242. (T. C.) 


^discern it/ and take the comfort of it; and to direct them 
how to grow in grace, and persevere unto the end. 

And if any reader should be discouraged at the number 

. of duties and directions set before him, I entreat him to con- 

,sider, 1. That it is God, and not I, that imposeth all these du- 
ties on you : and who will question his wisdom, goodness, or 
power to make laws for us and all the world ? 2. That every 
duty and direction is a mercy to you; and therefore should 
not be matter of grief, but of thanks. They are but like the 
commands of parents to their children, when they bid them 
' eat their meat, and wear their clothes, and go to bed, and eat 
not poison, and tumble not in the dirt ; and cut not your fin- 
gers, and take heed of fire and water, &c.' To leave out any 
such law or duty, were but to deprive you of an excellent 
mercy ; you will not cut off or cast away any member of your 
body ; any vein, or sinew, or artery, upon pretence that the 
number maketh them troublesome, when the diminishing of 
that number would kill or maim you. A student is not of- 
fended that he hath many books in his library ; nor a trades- 
man that he hath store of tools ; nor the rich at the number of 
his farms or flocks. Believe it, reader, if thou bring not a 
malignant quarrelsome mind, thou wilt find that God hath not 
burdened, but blessed thee with his holy precepts, and that 
he hath not appointed thee one unnecessary or unprofitable 
duty ; but only such as tend to thy content, and joy, and hap- 
piness ®. 

O let it be the daily, earnest prayer of me and thee, that 
our hearts prove not false and unwilling to follow the Di- 
rections which are given us, lest we condemn ourselves in 
the things which we allow. Your practice now will shew, 
whether it be through want of will or skill, if henceforth you 

, unfaithfully neglect your duty. If you are willing, obey 
now what is plainly taught you, and shew by your diligence 
that you are willing. 

e Vult Deus qaodammodo pati vim ; et hoc summae est beneficentia;, ut ad 
benefaciendum se pulsari solligitarique velit, Jos. Acosta, 1.4. c. 12. p, 396. 




Directions to unconverted, graceless Sinners, for the attaining 
of true saving Grace. 

If ungodly, miserable sinners were as few, as the devil 
and their self-love would make themselves believe, I might 
forbear this part of my work as needless. For the whole 
need not the physician, but the sick. If you go into twenty 
families, and ask them all. Whether any of them are in an 
unsanctified state, unrenewed and unpardoned, and under the 
wrath and curse of God ? you will meet with few that will 
not tell you, they hope it is better with them than so ; and 
though they are sinners, as all are, yet that they are repent- 
ing, pardoned sinners. Nay, there is scarce one of many of 
the most wicked and notoriously ungodly, but hope they are 
in a penitent, pardoned state. Even the haters of God will 
say they love him ; and the scorners at godliness will say. 
that they are not ungodly ; and that it is but hypocrisy and 
singularity that they deride : and it were well for them, if 
saying so would go for proof, and he that will be their judge 
would take their words. But God will not be deceived, 
though foolish men are wise enough to deceive themselves. 
Wickedness will be wickedness when it hath clothed itself 
with the fairest names : God will condemn it when it hath 
found out the most plausible pretences and excuses. Though 
the ungodly think to bear it out in pride and scorn, and 
think to be saved by their hypocritical lip-service, as soon 
as the most holy worshippers of the Lord, yet " shall they 
be like chaff which the wind driveth away : they shall not 
be able to stand in judgment, nor sinners in the congrega- 
tion of the righteous ^." And if God know better than fool- 
ish men, then certainly the flock is little to whom the " Fa-. 
ther will give the kingdom^." And " wide is the gate, and 
broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many, 
there be that go in thereat '^ : because strait is the gate, 
and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there 

» Paal. i. 4, 5, 6. ^ Luke xii. 32. « Matt. vii. 13, 14. 


be that find it." When Christ was asked, " Lord, are there 
few that be saved ?" he answered, " Strive to enter in at the 
strait gate ; for many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, 
and shall not be able." But, alas ! we need no other infor- 
mation than common experience, to tell us whether the 
greatest part of men be holy and heavenly, and self-denying ; 
that seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and love God above all, and will forsake all they have for 
the sake of Christ : and undoubtedly none but such are 
saved; as you may see Heb. xii. 14. Matt. vi.20, 21. 33. 

Seeing then the godly are so few, and the ungodly so 
many ; and that God will take nothing for holiness that is 
not such indeed ; and seeing it is so terrible a thing to any 
man that hath his wits about him, to live one day in an un- 
converted state, because he that dieth so, is lost for ever; 
methinks it should be our wisdom to be suspicious of our- 
selves, and careful lest we be deceived in so great a business, 
and diligent in searching and examining our hearts, whether 
they are truly sanctified or not ; because it can be no harm 
to make sure work for our salvation ; whereas presumption, 
carelessness, and negligence, may betray us to remediless 
misery and despair. 

I do not here suppose the reader to have any such ac- 
quaintance with his heart, or care of his salvation, or obe- 
dient willingness to be taught and ruled by Jesus Christ, as 
is proper to those that are truly sanctified ; for it is ungodly 
persons to whom I am now speaking. And, yet, if I should 
not suppose them to have some capacity and disposition to 
make use of the Directions which I give them, I might as 
well pass them by, and spare my labour. I tell thee there- 
fore, reader, what it is that I presuppose in thee, and expect 
from thee, and I think thou wilt not judge me unreasonable 
in my suppositions and expectations. 

1. I suppose thee to be a man, and therefore that thou 
hast reason and natural free-will (that is, the natural faculty 
of choosing and refusing), which should keep thy sensitive 
appetite in obedience; and that thou art capable of loving 
and serving thy Creator, and enjoying him in everlasting life. 

2. I suppose that thou knowest thyself to be a man ; 
and therefore that thy sensitive part, or flesh, should no more 
rule thee, or be ungoverned by thee, than the horse should 


nile the rider, or be unruled by him : and that thou under- 
standest that thou art made on purpose to love and serve 
thy Maker, and to be happy in his love and glory for ever. 
If thou know not this much, thou knowest not that thou art 
a man, or else knowest not what a man is. 

3. I suppose thee to have a natural self-love, and a 
desire of thy own preservation and happiness ; and that thou 
hast no desire to be miserable, or to be hated of God, or to 
be cast out of his favour and presence into hell, and there 
to be tormented with devils everlastingly : yea, I will sup- 
pose that thou art not indifferent whether thou dwell in hea- 
ven or hell, in joy or torment ; but would fain be saved and 
be happy ; whether thou be godly or ungodly, wise or fool- 
ish, I will be bold to take all this for granted : and I hope in 
all this I do not wrong thee. 

4. I suppose thee to be one that knowest that thou 
didst not make thyself; nor give thyself that power or wis- 
dom which thou hast ; and that he that made thee and all 
the world, must needs be before all the world ; and that he 
is eternal, having no beginning (for if ever there had been 
a time when there was nothing, there never would have been 
any thing ; because nothing can make nothing) ; and I sup- 
pose thou dost confess that all the power, and wisdom, and 
goodness of the whole creation set together, is less than the 
power, and wisdom, and goodness of the Creator ; because 
nothing can give more than it hath to give. I suppose, there- 
fore, that thou dost confess that there is a God ; for to be 
the eternal, infinite Being, and the most powerful, wise, and 
good, and tlie first cause of all created being, and power, 
and wisdom, and goodness, this (with the subsequent rela- 
tions to the creature) is to be GOD. If thou wilt deny that 
there is a God, thou must deny that thou art a man, and 
that there is any man, or any beings. 

« See the proof of the Godhead, and that God is the Governor of the world, and 
that there is another life for man, in the beginning of ray ' Holy Commonwealth,' chap. 
1, 2, 3. Comraoda quibus utiraur, lucemque qua fruimur, spirituraque quera duci- 
mus, ab eo nobis dari alque impertiri videraus. Cic. Pro, S.Hos. 131. vol. ii. p. 65. 
Read Galen's Hymns to the Creator, 1. i. de usu partium, praecipue, 1. iii. cap. 10. 
Nulla gens est tam immansueta, neqne tarn fera, qu2B non, etiarosi ignoret, qualera 
habere Deum deceat, tamen habendum sciat. Cic. Leg. i. 24. Omnibus enim inna- 
tum est, et in animo quasi insculptura, esse deos. Cic. Nat. D. il 12. Deum agnos- 
cis ex operibus ejus. Cic. Tusc. i. 70. Nullum est animal praeter hominem, quod ha- 


5. I suppose thou knowest that God, who gave a 
being unto all things, is by this title of creation, the abso- 
lute Owner or Lord of all : and that he that made the reason- 
able creatures, with natures to be governed, in order to a 
further end, is by that title, their supreme Governor ; and 
therefore hath his laws commanding duty, and promising 
reward, and threatening punishment; and therefore will 
judge men according to these laws, and will be just in judg- 
ment, and in his rewards and punishments. And that he 
that freely gave the creature its being, and all the good it 
hath, and must give it all that ever it shall have, is the Father 
or most bountiful Benefactor to his creatures. Surely I 
screw thee not too high in supposing thee to know all this ; 
for all this is no more than that there is a God. For he is 
not God, if he be not the creator, and therefore our owner, 
our ruler, and benefactor, our absolute Lord, our most righ- 
teous governor, and our most loving father, or benefactor. 

6. I suppose therefore that thou art convinced, that 
God must be absolutely submitted to, and obeyed before all 
others in the world, and loved above all friends, or pleasures, 
or creatures whatsoever. For to say, ' He is my Owner,' 
is to say, ' I must yield myself to him as his own :' to say, 
* I take him for my supreme Governor,' is to say, that * I will 
absolutely be ruled by him :' and to say, * I take him as my 
dearest Father or chief Benefactor/ is to say, that ' I am ob- 
liged to give him my dearest love, and highest thanks :' 
otherwise you do but jest, or say you know not what, or 
contradict yourselves, while you say, * He is your God.' 

7. I suppose that thou art easily convinced, that in 
all the world there is no creature that can shew so full a title 
to thee as God ; or that hath so great authority to govern 
tfiee, or that can be so good to thee, or do so much for thee, 
as God can do, or hath done, and will do, if thou do thy 
part ; and therefore that there is nothing to be preferred be- 
fore him, or compared with him in our obedience or love : 

beat nothiam aliqaam dei. Cic Xeg. i, 25. Nulla gens tam fera, nemo omnium tarn 
sit imnianis, cujus meutem non imbueril: deorum opinio. Cic. Tusc. i. 20. " I liad 
rather believe all the fables iu the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than 
that this universal frame is without a mind." Lord Bacon, Essay 16. " A little 
philosophy inclincth a man's mind to atheism : but depth in philosophy bringeth 
men's mhids about to religion." Lord Bacon, Essay 16. . ,• i^' 


nor is there any that can save us from his justice, if we stand 
out against him. . U 

8. I suppose that as thou knowest God is just, in hi» 
laws and judgments, so that he is so faithful that he will 
not, and so all-sufficient, that he need not deceive mankind, 
and govern them by mere deceit : this better beseems the 
devil, than God : and therefore that as he governeth man 
on earth by the hopes and fears of another life, he doth not 
delude them into such hopes or fears : and as he doth not 
procure obedience by any rewards or punishments in this 
life, as the principal means (the wicked prospering, and the 
best being persecuted and afflicted here), therefore his re- 
wards or punishments, must needs be principally hereafter 
in the life to come. For if he have no rewards and punish- 
ments, he hath no judgment; and if he have no judgment, 
he hath no laws (or else no justice) ; and if he have no laws 
(or no justice), he is no governor of man (or not a righteous, 
governor) ; and if he be not our governor (and just), he is not 
our God ; and if he were not our God, we had never been 
his creatures, nor had a being, or been men ^ 

9. I suppose thou knowest that if God had not dis- 
covered what he would do with us, in the life to come, 
yet man is highliest bound to obey and love his Maker, be- 
cause he is our absolute Lord, our highest ruler, and our 
chief benefactor ; and all that we are or have is from him. 
And that if man be bound to spend his life in the service of 
his God, it is certain that he shall be no loser by him, no 
not by the costliest obedience that we can perform ; for God 
cannot appoint us any thing that is vain ; nor can he be 
worse to us than an honest man, that will see that we lose 
not by his service. Therefore that God for whom we must 
spend and forsake this life, and all those pleasures which 
sensualists enjoy, hath certainly some greater thing to give 
us, in another life. 

f Mundum autem censent regi numine deorurn, eumque esse quasi comraunem ur- 
bem, et civitatem honiinum, et deorum. Cic. Fin. iii. 64. Impiis apud inferos pcenas 
esse praeparatas. Cic. Inv. i. 46. Vero et Jovem, et dorainatorem rerum, et omnia 
nutu regentera, et, ut idem Ennius, 

— patrem divumque, kominumque, 

et praesentcra ac praepotentem deum. Quod qui dubitet, haud sane intelligo, cur 
non idem, sol sit, an ullus sit, dubitare possit. Cic. Nat. D. ii. 4. 


10. I may take it for granted at the worst, that neither 
thyself, nor any infidel in the world, can say that you are 
sure that there is not another life for man, in which his pre- 
sent obedience shall be rewarded, and disobedience punish- 
ed. The worst that ever infidel could say was, that * He 
thinketh that there is no other life.' None of you dare deny 
the possibility of it, nor can with any reason deny the pro- 
bability. Well, then, let this be remembered while we pro- 
ceed a little further with you. 

11. I suppose or expect that you have so much use of 
sense and reason, as to know the brevity and vanity of 
all the glory and pleasures of the flesh; and that they are 
all so quickly gone, that were they greater than they are, 
they can be of no considerable value. Alas, what is time ! 
How quickly gone, and then it is nothing ! and all things 
then are nothing which are passed with it 1 So that the 
joys or sorrows of so short a life, are no great matter of gain 
or loss. 

I may therefore suppose that thou canst easily conclude, 
that the bare probability or possibility of an endless happi- 
ness, should be infinitely preferred before such transitory 
vanity, even the greatest matters that can be expected here ; 
and that the probability or possibility of endless misery in 
hell, should engage us with far greater care and diligence to 
avoid it, than is due for the avoiding any thing that you can 
think to escape by sinning; or any of the sufferings of this 
momentary life. If you see not this, you have lost your 
reason ; that the mere probability or possibility of a heaven 
and hell, should much more command our care and dili- 
gence, than the fading vanities of this dreaming, transitory 

12. Well, then ; we have got thus far in the clearest 
light. You see that a religious, holy life, is every man's du- 
ty, not only as they owe it to God as their creator, their 
owner, governor, and benefactor ; but also, because as lovers 
of ourselves, our reason commandeth us to have ten thou- 
sandfold more regard of a probable or possible joy and tor- 
ment which are endless, than of any that is small and of 
short continuance. And if this be so, that a holy life is 
every man's duty, with respect to the life that is to come, 
then it is most evident, that there is such a life to come in- 


deed, and that it is more than probable or possible, even cer- 
tain. For if it be but man's duty to manage this life, by 
the hopes and fears of another life, then it must follow, that 
either there is such a life to come, or else that God hath 
made it man's duty to hope, and fear, and care, and labour, 
and live in vain ; and that he himself doth tantalize and 
cheat his creatures, and rule the w^orld by motives of deceit, 
and make religion and obedience to our Maker to be a life 
of folly, delusion, and our loss. And he that believeth this 
of God, doth scarcely believe him to be God. Though I 
have mentioned this argument in another treatise, I think it 
not unmeet here to repeat it for thy benefit. 

13. And seeing I suppose thee to be convinced of 
the life to come, and that man's happiness and misery is 
there, I must needs suppose that thou dost confess, that all 
things in this life, v^hether prosperity or adversity, honour 
or dishonour, are to be esteemed and used as they refer to 
the life to come. For nothing is more plain, than that the 
means are to have all their esteem and use in order to their 
end. That only is good in this life, which tendeth to the 
happiness of our endless life ; and that is evil indeed in this 
life, that tendeth to our endless hurt, and to deprive us of 
the everlasting good. And therefore no price or motive 
should hire us to sin against God, and to forfeit or hinder 
our endless happiness. 

14. I may suppose, if thou have reason, that thou wilt 
confess that God cannot be too much loved, nor obeyed 
too exactly, nor served too diligently (especially by such 
backward sinners, that have scarce any mind to love or wor- 
ship him at all) ; and that no man can make too sure of 
heaven, or pay too dear for it, or do too much for his sal- 
vation, if it be but that which God hath appointed him to do. 
And that you have nothing else that is so much worth your 
time, and love, and care, and labour. And therefore though 
you have need to be stopped in your love, and care, and la- 
bour for the world, because for it you may easily pay too 
dear, and do too much ; yet there is no need of stopping 
men in their love, and care, and labour for God and their 
salvation ; which is worth more than ever we can do, and 
where the best are apt to do too little s. 

« Non enitn temere, hec fortuito sati, et creati sumus, sed profectO fuit quaedam 


15. I also suppose thee to be one that knowest, that 
this present life is given us on trial, to prepare for the 
life that shall come after; and that as men live here, they 
shall speed for ever ; and that time cannot be recalled, when 
it is gone ; and therefore that we should make the best of it • 
while we have it. 

16. I suppose thee also to be easily convinced, that 
seeing man hath his reason and life for matters of everlast- 
ing consequence, his thoughts of them should be frequent 
and very serious, and his reason should be used about these 
things, by retired, sober deliberation. 

17. And I suppose thee to be a man, and therefore so 
far acquainted with thyself, as that thou mayst know, if 
thou wilt, whether thy heart and life do answer thy convic- 
tions, and whether they are more for heaven or earth ; and 
therefore that thou art capable of self-judging in this case. 

Perhaps you will say, that while I am directing you to be 
holy, I suppose you to be holy first ; for all this seemeth to 
go far towards it. But I must profess that I see not any 
thing in all these suppositions, but what I may suppose to 
be in a heathen; and that I think all this is but supposing 
thee to have the use of thy reason, in the points in hand. 
Speak freely : Is there any one of all these points that thou 
canst or darest deny ? I think there is not. And therefore if 
heathens and wicked men deny them in their practice, that 
doth but shew that sin doth brutify them, and that, as men 
asleep, or in a crowd of business, they have not the use of the 
reason which they possess, in the matters which their minds 
are turned from. 

18. Yea, one thing more I think I may suppose in all . 
or most that will read this book ; that you take on you 
also to believe in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost the 
Sanctifier, and that the Scriptures are the Word of God. 
And if you do so indeed, I may then hope that my work is in 
a manner done, before I begin it: but if you do it but 
opinionatively and unefFectually, yet God and man may 
plead with you the truths which you profess. 

Having told you what I presuppose in you, I proceed 
now to the Directions. But I again entreat and charge thee, 

vis, quae generi consuleret humano : nee id gigneret, aut aleret, quod, cum exant'- 
lavissct omnes labores, tuni incideret in mortis malum serapiternum. Cic.Tusc.i. 118. 


reader, as thou lovest thy soul/and wouldst not be condemn- 
ed for hypocrisy and sloth, that thou dost not refuse to put 
in practice what is taught thee, and shew thereby, that what- 
ever thou pretendest, thou art not willing to do thy part for 
thy own salvation, no not in the most reasonable, necessary 

Direction i. * If thou be truly willing to be sanctified and 
a child of God, remain not in a state of ignorance ; but do thy 
best to come into the light, and understand the Word of God, 
in the matters of salvation.' 

If knowledge be unnecessary, why have we understand- 
ing^? and wherein doth a man excel a beast? If any know- 
ledge at all be necessary, certainly it must be the knowledge 
of the greatest and most necessary things : and nothing is so 
great and necessary as to obey thy Maker, and to save thy 
soul. Knowledge is to be valued according to its useful- 
ness. If it be a matter of as great concernment to know how 
to do your worldly business, and to trade and gather worldly 
wealth, and to understand the laws, and to maintain your 
honour, as it is to know how to be reconciled unto God, to 
be pardoned and justified, to please your Creator, to prepare 
in time for death and judgment, and an endless life, then let 
worldly wisdom have the pre-eminence. But if all earthly 
things be dreams and shadows, and valuable only as they 
serve us in the way to heaven, then surely the heavenly wis- 
dom is the best. Alas, how far is that man from being wise, 
that is acquainted with all the punctilios of the law, that is 

i» Abeunt enim illuc omnia unde orta sunt. Cic. Sen. 80. vol. 7, p. 816. Bed 
credo, deosimmortales sparsisse animos in corpora humana, ut essent, qui terras tueren- 
tur, quique ccelestium ordinera couteraplantes, imitarentur eum vilae modo atque con- 
stantly. Cic. Sen. 77. vol. 7. p. 815. Sunt enim e terra homines non ut incobo atque 
habitatores, sed quasi spectatores superarum rerum atque ccelestium, quarura spec- 
taculum ad nullum aliud genus animantium pertinet. Cic. Nat. Deo. ii. 140. Nam 
cum caeteras animantes abjecisset ad pastum, solum hominem erexit, ad coelique, quasi 
cognationis domiciliique pristini, conspectum excitavit : tum speciem ita formavit oris, 
Tjtin ea penitus recondilos mores effingeret. Cic. Leg. 1. 26. Nisi Deus. . . .istis te cor- 
poris custodiis liberaverit, hue tibi aditus pat^re non potest. Cic. Som. Scip. 3, vol. 7. 
p. 915. Virorum sapientissimorum ac fortissimorura civium mentes, quaj mihi viden- 
tur ex hominura vita ad deorum religionem et sanctimoniam demigrasse. Cic. Pro. Rab. 
30. Aniraum lamen esse ingeneratum a Deo : ex quo vere vel agnatio nobis cum 
coelestibus, vel genus, vel stirps appellari potest. Cic. Leg. 1. 24. 

' Qui seipsum cognoverit, cognoscet in se omnia : Deum, ad cujus imaginem factus 
est: mundum, cujus similachrum gerit; creaturasomnescum quibus symbolumhabet. 
Paul. Scaliger. Thes. p. 722. 


excellent in the knowledge of all the languages, sciences, and 
arts, and yet knoweth not how to live to God, to mortify the 
flesh, to conquer sin, to deny himself, nor to answer in judg* 
ment for his fleshly life, nor to escape damnation ! As far is 
such a learned man from being wise, as he is from being 

Two sorts among us do quietly live in damning igno- 
rance. First, abundance of poor people, who think they 
may continue in it, because they were bred in it; and that 
because they are not book-learned, therefore they need not 
learn how to be saved; and because their parents neglected to 
teach them when they were young, therefore they may neglect 
themselves ever after, and need not learn the things they were 
made for. Alas, sirs, what have you your lives, your time, 
and reason for? Do you think it is only to know how to do 
your worldly business ? Or is it to prepare for a better world ? 
It is better that you knew not how to eat, or drink, or speak, 
or go, or dress yourselves, than that you know not the will 
of God, and the way to your salvation* Hear what the Holy 
Ghost saith, " But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that 
are lost : in whom the god of this world hath blinded the 
minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious 
gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto 
them ^" Darkness is unsafe and full of fears ; the light is 
safe and comfortable. A man in ignorance is never like to 
hit his way: nor can he know whether he be in or out; nor 
what enemy or danger he is near. It is the devil that is the 
prince of darkness, and his kingdom is a kingdom of dark- 
ness, and his works are works of darkness*. Grace turneth 
men from darkness to light™, and causeth them to cast off* the 
works of darkness''. Because we are the children of light 
and of the day, and not of darkness or of night ®. They that 
were sometime darkness, are light in the Lord, when they are 
converted, and must walk as the children of the light?. In 
the dark the devil and wicked men may cheat you, and do al- 
most what they list with you. You will not buy your wares 
in the dark, nor travel, or do your work in the dark : and will 
you judge of the state of your souls in the dark? and do the 
work of your salvation in the dark ? I tell you the devil could 

^ 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. » Ephes^ vi. 12. Col. i. 13- 1 John ii. xi. Luke xi. 34, 35. 

» Acts xxvi. 18. n Rom. jclii, 12. <> i Thcs. v. 5. p Ephes. v. 8. ' 


never entice so many souls to hell, if he did not first put out 
the light, or put out their eyes. They would never so follow 
him by crowds, to everlasting torments, by daylight, and with 
open eyes. If men did but know well what they do when 
they are sinning, and whither they go in a carnal life, they 
would quickly stop, and go no further. All the devils in hell 
could never draw so many thither, if men's ignorance were 
not the advantage of temptations. 

Another sort among us that are ignorant of the things 
of God, are sensual gentlemen, and scholars, that have so 
much breeding as to understand the words, and speak some- 
what better than the ruder sort, but indeed never knew the 
nature, truth, and goodness of the things they speak of: they 
are many of them as ignorant of the nature of faith, and 
sanctification, and the working of the Holy Ghost in planting 
the image of God upon the soul, and of the saint's commu- 
nion with God, and the nature of a holy life, as if they had 
never heard or believed, that there is such a thing as any of 
these in being. Nicodemus is a lively instance in this case : 
a ruler in Israel, and a Pharisee, and yet he knew not what it 
was to be born again. And the pride of these gallants mak-r 
eth their ignorance mUch harder to be cured, than other 
men's ; because it hindereth them from knowing and confess- 
ing ifJ. If any one would convince them of it, they say with 

1 Cum quera poenitet pecc^sse pene innocens est : maxima pargationum pars est 
voluntaria poenitentia delictonim. Seal. Thes. p. 742. Facilius iis ignoscitur qui non 
perseverare sed ab errato se revocare moliuntur ; est enim huraanum peccare, sed 
belluinum in crrore perseverare. Cic. in Vat. Nullus enim suavior animo cibusest, 
quam cognitio veritatis. Lactant. Instit. lib. 1. c. 1. Bunemann, p. 11. It is a mar- 
vellous and doleful case to think how ignorant some people live, even to old age, under 
constant and excellent teaching. Some learn neither words nor sense, but hear as if 
they heard not : some learn words, and know the sense no more than if they had 
learned but a tongue unknown ; and will repeat their creed and catechism, when they 
know not what it is that they say. A w6rthy minister of Helvetia told me, that their 
people are very constant at their sermons, and yet most of them grossly ignorant of the 
things which they most frequently hear. It is almost incredible what ignorance some 
ministers report that they have found in some of the eldest of their auditors. Nay, 
when I have examined some that have professed strictness in religion, above the com- 
mon sort of people, I have found some ignorant of some of the fundamentals of the 
Christian faith. And I remember what an ancient bishop about twelve hundred 
years ago saith, Maximus Taurinensis in his homilies, thai whenhehad long preached 
to his people, even on an evening after one of his sermons, be heard a cry or noise 
among the people, and hearkening what it was, they were by their outcry helping to 
deliver the moon, that was in labour and wanted help. This is cited also by Papirius 
Massonus, in vita Hilarii Papae. p. 6T. , 


scorn, as the Pharisees to Christ, " Are we blind also "" V Yea, 
they are ready to insult over the children of the light, that 
are wise to salvation, because they differ from the loose or 
hypocritical opinions of these gentlemen, in some matters of 
God's worship ; of which their worships are as competent 
judges, as the Pharisees, of the doctrine of Christ, or as Ni- 
codemus of regeneration, or as Simon Magus, or Julian, or 
Porphyry, of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. These honourable, 
miserable men, will bear no contradiction or reproof: who 
dare be so unmannerly, disobedient, or bold, as to tell them 
that they are out of the way to heaven, and strangers to it 
(that I say not, enemies) ; and to presume to stop them in 
the way to hell, or to hinder them from damning themselves, 
and as many others as they can ? They think this talk of 
Christ, and grace, and life eternal, if it be but serious (and 
not like their own, in form, or levity, or scorn), is but the 
troublesome preciseness of hypocritical, humorous, crack- 
brained fellows : and say of the godly, as the Pharisees, 
'.* Are ye also deceived ? Have any of the rulers, or of the 
Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth 
not the law are cursed ^" 

Well, gentlemen or poor men, whoever you be that sa- 
vour not the things of the Spirit*, but live in ignorance of 
the mysteries of salvation, be it known to you, that heavenly 
truth and holiness are works of light, and never prosper in 
the dark ; and that your best understanding should be used 
for God and your salvation, if for any thing at all. It is the 
devil and his deceits that fear the light. Do but understand 
well what you do, and then be wicked if you can ; and then 
set light by Christ and holiness if you dare ! O come but out 
of darkness into the light, and you will see that which will 
make you tremble to live ungodly and unconverted another 
day : and you will see that which will make you with peni- 
tent remorse lament your so long neglect of heaven, and 
wonder that you could live so far, and so long besides your 
wits, as to choose a course of vanity and bestiality in the 
chains of satan, before the joyful liberty of the saints : and, 
though we must not be so uncivil as to tell you where you 
are, and what you are doing, you will then more uncivilly 
call yourselves, " exceedingly mad, and foolish, disobedient, 

^ John ix. 40. » John vii. 47—49. * Rom. viii. 5—7. 13. 


deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures "," as one did that 
thought himself before as wise and good as any of you. 
Live not in a sleepy state of ignorance, if ever you would 
have saving grace. 

Direct, ii. * Especially labour first to understand the true 
nature of a state of sin, and a state of grace.' 

It is like you will say, that all are sinners; and that 
Christ died for sinners ; and that you were regenerate in your 
baptism ; and that for the sins that since then you have com- 
mitted, you have repented of them, and therefore you hope 
they are forgiven. 

But, stay a little, man, and understand the matter well 
as you go ; for it is your salvation that lieth at the stake. It 
is very true that all are sinners : but it is as true, that some 
are in a state of sin, and some in a state of grace : some are 
converted sinners, and some unconverted sinners : some live 
in sins inconsistent with holiness (which therefore may be 
called mortal), others have none but infirmities which con- 
sist with spiritual life (which in this sense may be called ve- 
nial) : some hate their sin, and long to be perfectly delivered 
from it : and others so love it, as they are loath to leave it. 
And is there no difference, think you, between these ? 

It is as true also, that Christ died for sinners : (or else 
where were our hope ?) But it is true also, that he died to 
" save his people from their sins %" and " to turn them from 
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto GodV' 
and " to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself 
a peculiar people zealous of good works'," and that " except 
a man be born again, and converted, and becomie as a little 
child (in humility and beginning the world anew), he cannot 
enter into the kingdom of heaven %" and that even he that 
died for sinners, will at last condemn the workers of iniquity, 
and say, " Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire^" 
" I never knew you*^ " 

It is very true, that you were sacramentally regenerate 
in baptism, and that he that believeth and is baptised, shall 
be saved, and all that are the children of promise, and have 
that promise sealed to them by bapti^sm, are regenerate. The 
ancients taught that baptism puts men into a state of grace ; 

. « Acts xxvi.ll. Tit. iii. 3. "<■ Matt. i. 21. y Acts xxvi. 18. ' Tit. li. 14. 
a John iii. 3. 5. Matt, xviii- 3- »> Matt. xxv. 41. •= Matt. vii. 23. 


that is, that all that sincerely renounce the world, the devil, 
and the flesh, and are sincerely given up to God the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost, according to the covenant of grace, 
and profess and seal this by their baptism, shall be pardoned, 
and made the heirs of life. But as it is true, that baptism 
thus saveth, so is it as true, that it is not the ** outward 
washing only the filth of the flesh" that will suffice, but the 
"answer of a good conscience towards God^." And that 
" no man can enter into the kingdom of God, that is not bom 
of the Spirit, as well as of water*=." And that Simon Magus 
and many another have had the water of baptism, that never 
had the Spirit, but still remain in the " gall of bitterness, and 
bond of iniquity, and had no part nor lot in that business, 
their hearts being not right in the sight of God*^." And no- 
thing is more sure, than that " if any man have not the Spirit 
of Christ (notwithstanding his baptism) he is none of his* !" 
And that if you have his Spirit, you " walk not after the 
flesh, but after the Spirit :" and are " not carnally but spi- 
ritually minded," and are " alive to God," and as " dead to the 
world ^" Whether all that were baptised are such as the^e^ 
when they come to age, judge you. 

It is true also, that if you truly repent, you ar^ for- 
given ; but it is as true, that true repentance is the very con- 
version of the soul from sin to God, and leave^th not any man 
in the power of sin. It is not for a man when he hath had 
all the pleasure that sin will yield him, to wish then that he 
had not committed it, (which he may do then at an easy rate) 
and yet to keep the rest that are still pleasant and profitable 
to his flesh. Like a man that casts away the bottle which he 
hath drunk empty, but keeps that which is full j or as men 
sell off" their barren kine, and buy milch ones in their stead : 
this kind of repentance is a mockery, and not a cure for th§ 
soul. If thou have true repentance, it hath so far turned thy 
heart from sin, that thou wouldst not commit it, if it were to 
do again, though thou hadst all the same temptations j and 
it hath so far turned thy heart to God and holiness, that 
thou wouldst live a holy life, if it were all to do again, though 
thou hadst the same temptations as afore against it. This 
is the nature of true repentance : such a repentance indeed 

•> 1 Petii. 21. * John iii. 5. ^ Acts viii- 13. 21. 23. « Rom. viii. 9. 
' Rom. viii. 1. 5— Q. 10. 13. 14. 


is never too late to save : but I am sure it never comes to6 
soon. ' 

Mart, nov^^, I beseech you, w^hat a state of sin, and 
what a state of holiness is. 

He that is in a state of sin, hath habitually and predomi- 
nantly a greater love to some pleasures, or profits, or honours 
of this world, than he hath to God and to the glory which he 
hath promised ; he preferreth, and seeketh, and holdeth (if 
he can) his fleshly prosperity in this world, before the favour 
of God and the happiness of the world to come. His heart 
is turned from God unto the creature, and is principally set 
on things on earth. Thus his sin is the blindness, and mad- 
ness, and perfidiousness, and idolatry of his soul, and his for- 
saking of God, and his salvation, for a thing of naught. It 
is that to his soul, which poison, and death, and sickness, 
and lameness, and blindness are to his body: it is such 
dealing with God, as that man is guilty of to his dearest 
friend or father, who should hate him and his company, and 
love the company of a dog or toad much better than his ; and 
obey his enemy against him : and it is like a madman's 
dealing with his physician, who seeks to kill him as his ene- 
my, because he crosseth his appetite or will, to cure him. 
Think of this well, and then tell me, whether this be a state 
to be continued in. This state of sin, is something worse 
than a mere inconsiderate act of sin, in one that otherwise 
liveth an obedient, holy life. 

On the other side, a state of holiness, is nothing els6 
but the habitual and predominant devotion and dedication 
of sOul, and body, and life, and all that we have to God : an 
esteeming, and loving, and serving, and seeking him, before 
all the pleasures and prosperity of the flesh : making his fa- 
vour, and everlasting happiness in heaven our end, and Jesus 
Christ our way, and referring all things in the world unto 
that end, and making this the scope, design, and business of 
our lives. It is a turning from a deceitful world to God ; 
and preferring the Creator before the creature, and heaven 
before earth, and eternity before an inch of time, and our 
souls before our corruptible bodies, and the authority and 
laws of God, the universal Governor of the world, before the 
word or will of any man, how great soever ; and a subjecting 
our sensitive faculties to our reason, and advancing this rea- 


son by Divine revelation ; and living by faith, and not by 
sight : in a word, it is a laying up our treasure in heaven, and 
setting' our hearts there, and living in a heavenly conversa- 
tion, setting our affections on the things above, and not on 
.the things that are on earth : and a rejoicing in hope of the 
rglory to come, when sensualists have nothing but transitory, 
brutish pleasures to rejoice in. 

This is a state and life of holiness: when we persuade you 
.to be holy^ we persuade you to no worse than this : when we 
commend a life of godliness to your choice, this is the life 
we mean, and that we commend to you. And can you un- 
derstand this well, and yet be unwilling of it ? It cannot be. 
Do but know well what godliness and ungodliness, what 
grac.e and sin are, and the work is almost done. 

Direct, in. * To know what a life of holiness is, believe the 
Word of God, and those that have tried it ; and believe not 
the slanders of the devil and of ungodly men, that never 
tried or knew the things which they reproach.' 

Reason cannot question the reasonableness of this ad- 
vice. Who is wiser than God? or who is to be believed 
before him ? And what men are more likely to know what 
they talk of, than such as speak from their own experience ? 
I"fothiiig more familiar with wicked men, than to slander 
and reproach the holy ways and servants of the Lord. 
Jf o wisdom, no measure of holiness or righteousness will 
exempt the godly from their ma,lice ; otherwise, Christ him- 
self at least would have been exempted, if not his apostles 
and other saints, whom they have slandered and put to 
death. Christ hath foretold us what to expect from them, 
f* If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it 
hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love 
his own : but because ye are not of the world, but I have 
chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 
Remember the word that I said unto you. The servant is 
not greater than the Lord. If they havejpersecuted me, they 
will also persecute you ; if they have kept my sayings, they 
will keep yours also^." 

The truth is, wicked men are the seed and children 
of the devil, and have his image, and obey him, and think, 
and speak, and do as he would have them. And the godly 

« John XV. 18—20. 


are the seed and members of Christ, and bear his imap;e, 
and obey him : and do you think that the devil will bid his 
children speak well of the ways or followers of Christ ? I 
must confess, till I had found the truth of it by experience, 
I was not sensible how impudent in belying, and cruel in 
abusing the servants of Christ, his worldly, malicious ene- 
mies are. I had read oft how early an enmity was put between 
the woman's and the serpent's seed, and I had rea($iand/Won- 
dered, that the first man that was born into the world did 
murder his brother for worshipping God more acceptably 
than himself; " because his own works were evil, and his 
brother's righteous ^." I had read the inference, ** Marvel 
not, my brethren, if the world hate you' ;" but yet I did not 
so fully understand, that wicked men and devils are so very 
like, and so near of kin ; till the words of Christ, expounded 
by visible demonstrations, had taught it me. Indeed the 
apostle saith*", that Cain was of that wicked one, that is, 
the d€vil : but Christ saith more plainly, " Ye are of your 
father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do : he 
was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the 
truth, because there is no truth in him : when he speaketh 
a lie, he speaketh of his own ; for he is a liar, and the father 
of it^" Here note, that cruel murdering and lying, are the 
principal actions of a devil; and that as the father of these, 
he is the father of the wicked, who are most notoriously ad- 
dicted to these two courses against the most innocent ser- 
vants of the Lamb. How just it is that they dwell together 
hereafter, that are here so like in disposition and action : 
even as the righteous shall dwell with Christ, who^bore his 
image, and imitated his holy, suifering life. 

I conclude, then, that if thou wilt never turn to God 
and a holy life, till wicked men give over belying, and re- 
proaching them, thou mayst as well say, that thou wilt never 
be reconciled to God, till the devil be first reconciled to him; 
and never love Christ, till the devil love him, or bid thee 
love him ; or never be a saint, till the devil be a saint, or will 
give thee leave ; and that thou wilt not be saved, till the de- 
vil be willing that thou be saved. 

••1 Johniii. 12. ' 1 John iii. 13. ''1 Jphn iii- 12. 

' John viii, 44. 


Direct. IV. ' That thy understanding may be enlightened, 
and thy heart renewed, be much and serious in reading the 
Word of God, and those books that are fitted to men in an 
unconverted state, and especially in hearing the plain and 
searching preaching of the word.' 

There is a heavenly light, and power, and majesty in 
the Word of God, which in the serious reading or hearing of 
it, may pierce the heart ; and prick it, and open it, that cor- 
ruption may go out, and grace come in. " The law of the 
Lord is perfect, converting the soul : the testimony of the 
Lord is sure, making wise tlie simple : the statutes of the 
Lord are right, rejoicing the heart"." Moreover, " by them 
it is that we are warned : and in keeping of them there is gi-eat 
reward °." The eunuch was reading the Scripture, when 
Philip was sent to expound it to him for his conversion p. 
The preaching of Peter did prick many thousands to the 
heart to their conversion*'. The heart of Lydia was opened 
to attend to the preaching of Paul ^. ** The word of God is 
quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, 
piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit ^" These 
*' weapons are mighty through God, to the pulling down of 
strong holds ; casting down imaginations, and every high 
thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and 
'bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of 
Christ*." Hast thou often read and heard already, and yet 
findest no change upon thy heart ? Yet read and hear again 
and again : ministers must not give over preaching, when 
they have laboured without success : why then should you 
give over hearing or reading ? As the husbandman laboureth, 
and looketh to God for rain, and for this blessing, so must we, 
and so must you. Look up to God: remember it is his 
word, in which he calleth you to repentance, and offereth 
you mercy, and treateth with you concerning your everlast- 
,ing happiness : lament your former negligence and disobe- 
dience, and beg his blessing on his word, and you shall find 
.it will not be in vain. 

- ^ And the serious reading of books which expound and 
apply the Scriptures, suitable to your case, may, by the bles- 
sing of God, be effectual to your conversion. I have written 

 Psal. xix. r, 8. * Psal- xix. 11. P Actsviii. q Acts ii. 37. 

«■ Acts xv'u 14. • Heb. iv. 12. » « Cor. x. 4, 3. 


SO many to this use myself, that I shall be the shorter on this 
subject now, and desire you to read them, or some of them, 
if you have not fitter at hand ; viz. A Call to the Unconvert- 
ed; — A Treatise of Conversion; — -Now or Never; — Direc- 
tions for a sound Conversion; — A Saint or a Brute; — -A 
Treatise of Judgment ; — A Sermon against making light of 
Christ ; — A Sermon of Christ's Dominion ; — Another of his 
Sovereignty, &c. 

jD/rec^ V. 'Ifthouwouldst not be destitute of saving grace, 
let thy reason be exercised about the matters of thy salvation, 
in some proportion of frequent, sober, serious thoughts, as 
thou art convinced the weight of the matter doth require/ 

To have reason is common to all men, even the sleepy 
and distracted : to use reason is common to all that have 
their senses awake, and fit to serve their minds : to use rea- 
son in the greatest matters, is proper to wise men, that know 
for what end God made them reasonable ". Inconsiderate 
men are all ungodly men ; for reason not used is as bad as 
no reason, and will prove much worse in the day of reckon- 
ing. The truth is, though sinners are exceeding bliiid and 
erroneous about the things of God, yet all God's precepts 
are so reasonable, and tend so clearly to our joy and happi- 
ness, that if the devil did not win most souls by silencing 
reason, and laying it asleep, or drowning its voice, with the 

" The word itself exciteth reason, and preachers are by reason to shame all sin as 
a thing unreasonable. And the want of such excitation, by powerful preaching, and 
plain instructing, and the persons considering, is a great cause of the world's undoing. 
For those preachers that lay all the blame on the people's stupidity or malignity, I 
desire them to read a satisfactory answer in Acosta the Jesuit*, lib. iv. c. 2, 3 & 4. 
Few souls perish, comparatively, where all the means are used which should be used 
by their superiors for their salvation: if every parish had holy, skilful, laborious pas- 
tors, that would publicly and privately do their part, gi-eat things might be expected 
in the world. But, saith Acosta, Itaque praecipua causa ad miuistros parum idoneos 
redit. Quae namque est praedicatio nostra? quae fiducia? signa certe non edimus: 
vitaB sanctitate noneminemus ; beneficentia non invitamus ; verbi ac spiritus efficacia 
non persuaderaus ; lachrymis ac precibus a Deo non impetramus ; inimo ne magno- 
pere quidem cnramus. Quae ergo nostra querela est? quae tanta Indorum accusatio? 
lib. iv. p. 365. An ingenuous confession of the Roman priesthood. And such priests 
can expect no better success. But having seen another sort of ministefs, through God'ft 
mercy, I have seen an answerable fruit of their endeavours. 

* Joseph Acosta was a celebrated Spanish author, born at Medina del Carapo, 
about the year 1 540. He was a missionary and provincial of the Jesuits in Peru, and 
died in Salamanca, 1600. Among other works, he wrote a treatise "De procuranda 
Indorum Salute." 8vo. Salam. 1 588. Also, " De Christo Revelato," 4to. Rom. 1590. 
•See Rees's Cyclo. art. Acosta.— (T. G.) 


noise and crowd of worldly business, hell would not have so 
many sad inhabitants. I scarce believe that God will con- 
demn any sinner that ever lived in the world, that had the 
use of reason ; no, not the heathens that had but one talent, 
but he will be able to say to them as Luke xix. 22. " Out 
of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant : 
Thou knewest," 8cc. To serve God and labour diligently 
for salvation, and prefer it before all worldly things, is so 
reasonable a thing, that every one that repenteth of the con- 
trary course, doth call it from his heart an impious madness. 
Reason must needs be for ,God that made it. Reason must 
needs be for that which is its proper end and use. Sin, as it 
is in the" understanding, is nothing but unreasonableness ; 
a blindness and error ; a loss and corruption of reason in 
the matters of God and our salvation. And grace, as in the 
understanding, doth but cure this folly and distraction, and 
make us reasonable again ; it is but the opening of our eyes, 
and making us wise in the greatest matters. It is, not a 
more unmanly thing to love and plead for blindness, mad- 
ness, and diseases, and to hate both sight, and health, .and 
wit, than it is to love and plead for sin, and to hate and vi- 
lify a holy life. 

Grant me but this one thing, that thou wilt but so^ 
berly exercise thy reason, about these great, important ques- 
tions ; Where must I abide for ever ? What must I do to be 
saved ? What was I created and redeemed for ? and I shall 
hope that thy own understanding, as erroneous as it is, will 
work out something that will promote thy good. Do but 
withdraw thyself one hour in a day from company and other 
business, and consider but as soberly and seriously of thy 
end and life, as thou knowest the nature and weight of the 
matter doth require, and I am persuaded thy own reason 
and conscience will call thee to repentance, and set thee, at 
least, in a far better way than thou wast in before. When 
thou walkest alone, or when thou wakest in the night, re- 
member soberly that God is present, that time is hasting to 
an end, that judgment is at hand, where thou must give ac- 
count of all thy hours, of thy lusts, and passions, and de- 
sires ; of all thy thoughts, and words, and deeds ; and that 
thy endless joy or misery dependeth wholly and certainly on 
this little time. Think but soberly on such things as these. 


but one hour in a day or two, and try whether it will not 
once recover thee to wit and godliness ; and folly and sin 
will vanish before the force of considering reason, as the 
darkness vanisheth before the light. I entreat thee now as 
in the presence of God, and as thou wilt answer the denial 
of so reasonable a request at the day of judgment, that thou 
wilt but resolve to try this course of a sober, serious consi- 
deration,' about thy sin, thy duty, thy danger, thy hope, thy 
account, and thy everlasting state : try it sometimes ; espe- 
cially on the Lord's days; and do but mark the result of 
all ; and whither it is that such sober consideration doth 
point or lead thee? whether it be not towards a diligent, ho- 
ly, heavenly life ? If thou deny me thus much, God and 
thy conscience shall bear witness, that thou thoughtest thy 
salvation of little worth, and therefore mayst justly be de- 
nied it. 

Would it not be strange that a man should be peni- 
tent and godly, that never once thought of the matter with 
any seriousness in his life ? Can so many and great diseases 
of soul be cured, before you have once soberly considered 
that you have them, and how great and dangerous they are, 
and by what remedies they must be cured ? Can grace be 
obtained and exercised, while you never so much as think 
of it? Can the main business of our lives be done without 
any seiious thoughts ; when we think it fit to bestow so ma- 
ny upon the trivial matters of this world ? Doth the world 
and the flesh deserve to be remembered all the day, and 
week, and year? and doth not God and thy salvation de- 
serve to be thought on one hour in a day, or one day in a 
week? Judge of these things, but as a man of reason. If 
thou look that God, who hath given thee reason to guide 
thy will, and a will to command thy actions, should yet 
carry thee to heaven like a stone, or save thee against or 
without thy will, before thou didst ever once soberly think 
of it, thou mayst have leisure in hell to lament the folly of 
such expectations. -stfns 

Direct, vi. * Suffer not the devil by company, pleasure, or 
worldly business, to divert or hinder thee from these serious 

The devil hath but two ways to procure thy damna- 
tion. The one is, by keeping 'thee from any sober remem- 


brance of spiritual and eternal things ; and the other is, if 
thou wilt needs think of them, to deceive thee into false, 
erroneous thoughts. To bring to pass the first of these 
(which is the most common, powerful means), his ordinary 
way ife by diversion * : finding thee still something else to do : 
putting some other thoughts into thy mind, and some other 
work into thy hand ; so that thou canst never have leisure 
for any sober thoughts of God : whenever the Spirit of God 
knocks at thy door, thou art so taken up with other com- 
pany, or other business, that thou canst not hear, or wilt 
not open to him. Many a time he hath been ready to teach 
thee, but thou wast not at leisure to hear and learn. Many 
a time he secretly jogged thy conscience, and checked thee 
in thy sin, and called thee aside to consider soberly about 
thy spiritual ahd everlasting state, when the noise of foolish 
mirth and pleasures, or the bustles of encumbering cares 
and business have caused thee to stop thy ears, and put him 
off, and refuse the motion. And if the abused Spirit of God 
depart, and leave thee to thy beloved mirth and business, 
and to thyself, it is but just; and then thou wilt never have 
a serious, effectual thought of heaven, perhaps, till thou hkve 
lost it ; nor a sober thought of hell, till thou art in it ; un- 
less it be some despairing, or some dull ineffectual thought. 
O therefore, as thou lovest thy soul, do not love thy 
pleasure or business so well as to refuse to treat with the 
Spirit of God, who comes to offer thee greater pleasures, 
and to engage thee in a more important business. O lay by 
all, to hear awhile what God and conscience have to say to 
thee. They have greater business with thee, than any others 
that thou conversest with. They have better offers and 
motions to make to thee, than thou shalt hear from any of 
thy old companions. If the devil can but take thee up a 
while, with one pleasure one day, and another business an- 
other day, and keep thee from the work that thou camest 
into the world for, till time be gone, and thou art slipt un- 
awares into damnation, then he hath his desire, and hath the 

* Even learning and honest studies may be used as a diversion from more necessary 
things. Saith Petrarch in vita sua, Ingenio sui ad crane bonum et salubre studium 
aplo ; sed ad moralera praecipue philosophiam, et ad poeticam prono. Quam ipsam 
processu temporis neglexi, sacris Uteris delectatus, in quibus sensi dulcedinem ab- 
ditara, quam aliquando contempseram ; poeticis Uteris non nisi ad omamentura reser- 
vatisi . 


end he aimed at, and hath won the day, and thou art lost for 

It is like thou settest some limits to thy folly, and 
purposest to do thus but a little while : but when one plea- 
sure withereth, the devil will provide a fresh one for thee ; 
and when one business is over, which causeth thee to pre- 
tend necessity, another, and another, and another will suc- 
ceed, and thou wilt think thou hast such necessity still, till 
time is gone, and thou see, too late, how grossly thou wast 
deceived. Resolve, therefore, that whatever company, or 
pleasure, or business would divert thee, that thou wilt 
not be befooled out of thy salvation, nor taken off from 
minding the one thing necessary. If company plead an in- 
terest in thee, know of them whether they are better com- 
pany than the Spirit of God and thy conscience ; — if pleasure 
would detain thee, inquire whether it be more pure and du- 
rable pleasures, than thou mayst have in heaven, by hear- 
kening unto gi-ace ; — if business still pretend necessity, in- 
quire whether it be a greater business than to prepare thy 
soul and thy accounts for judgment, and of greater neces- 
sity than thy salvation. If not, let it not have the preceden- 
cy : if thou be wise, do that first that must needs be done ; 
and let that stand by, that may best be spared. What will 
it profit thee to win all the world, and lose thy soul ? At 
least, if thou durst say that thy pleasure and business are bet- 
ter than heaven, yet might they sometime be forborn, while 
thou seriously thinkest of thy salvation. 

Direct, vn. 'If thou wouldst be converted and saved, be 
not a malicious or peevish enemy to those that would 
convert and save thee : be not angry with them that tell 
thee of thy sin or duty, as if they did thee wrong or hurt.* 

God worketh by instruments : when he will convert a 
Cornelius, a Peter must be sent for, and willingly heard. 
When he will recall and save a sinner, he hath usually some 
public minister or private friend, that shall be a messenger 
of that searching and convincing truth, which is fit to awa- 
ken them, enlighten them, and recover them. If God fur- 
nish these instruments with compassion to your souls, and 
willingness to instruct you, and you will take them for your 
enemies, and peevishly quarrel with them, and contradict 
them, and perhaps rfeproach them, and do them a mischief 


for their good will, what an inhuman, barbarous course of in- 
gratitude is this ? Will you be angry with men for endeavour- 
ing to save you from the fire of hell ? Do they endeavour to 
make any gain or advantage by you? or only to help your 
souls to heaven ? Indeed, if their endeavours did serve any 
ambitious design of their own, to bring the world (as the 
pope and his clergy would do) under their own jurisdiction, 
you had reason then to suspect their fraud. But the truth 
is, Christ hath purposely appointed his greatest church-offi- 
cers to be but ministers, even the servants of all, to rule and 
save men as volunteers, without any coercive power, by the 
management of his powerful word upon their consciences ; 
and to beseech and entreat the poorest of the flock, as those 
that are not lords over God's heritage, nor masters of their 
faith, but their servants in Christ, and helpers of their joy ; 
that so whenever we deliver our message to them, they may 
see that we exercise not dominion over them, and aim at no 
worldly honours, or gain, or advantage to ourselves, but at 
the mere conversion and saving of their souls. Whereas, if 
he had allowed us to exercise authority as the kings of the 
Gentiles, and to be called gracious lords, and to encumber 
ourselves with the affairs of this life, our doctrine would 
have been rejected by the generality of the world, and we 
should always have come to them on this great disadvantage, 
that they would have thought we sought not them, but 
theirs ; and that we preached not for them, but for ourselves, 
to make a prize of them" : as the Jesuits, when they attempt 
the conversion of the Indians, do still find this their great 
impediment, the princes and people suppose them to pre- 
tend the Gospel, but as a means to subjugate them and their 
dominions to the pope ; because they tell them that they must 
be all subject to the pope, if they will be saved. Now when 
Christ hath appointed a poor, self-denying, entreating minis- 
try, against whom you can have none of these pretences, to 
stoop to your feet, with the most submissive entreaties, that 
you would but turn to God and live, you have no excuse for 
your own barbarous ingratitude, if you will fly in their faces, 
and use them as your enemies, and be offended with . them 

" 1 Peter v. 2, 3, 4. 2 Cor. x. 4. 2 Cor. v. 19, 20. 2 Cor. i. 24. 1 Cor. iv. 1. 
2 Cor. iii. 6. xi. 23. Joel i. 9, 13. 2 <*Jor. iv. .«>. Mark x,44. Matt. xx. 27. Luke 
xxii, 24, 26, 26. .  • 


for endeavouring to save you. You know they can hold 
their tithes and livings by smoothing, and cold, and gene- 
ral preaching, as well as by more faithful dealing (if not bet- 
ter) : you know they can get no worldly advantage by deal- 
ing so plainly with you : you know that they hazard by it, 
their reputation with such as you ; and they cannot be ig- 
norant that it is like to expose them to your ill will and in- 

And they are men as well as you, and therefore, un- 
doubtedly, desire the good will and the good word of others, 
and take no pleasure to be scorned or hated : undoubtedly 
they break through much temptation and reluctancy of the 
flesh, before they can so far deny themselves as to endea- 
vour your salvation on such terma : and seeing it is all for 
you, methinks you should be their chief encouragers : if 
others should oppose them, you should be for them, because 
they are for you. If I go with a convoy to relieve a besieg- 
ed garrison, I shall expect opposition from the enemy that 
besiegeth them ; but if the besieged themselves shall shoot 
at us, and use us as enemies for venturing our lives to relieve 
them, it is time to be gone, and let them take what they get 
by it. 

Perhaps you think that, the preacher, or private ad- 
monisher, is too plain with you ; but you should consider 
that self-love is like to make you partial in your own cause, 
and therefore a more incapable judge than they''. And you 
should consider that God hath commanded them to deal 
plainly, and told them that else the people's blood shall be 
required at their hands y. And that God best knoweth what 
medicine and diet is fittest for your disease ; and that the 
case is of such grand importance (whether you shall live in 
heaven or hell for ever?) that it is scarce possible for a mi- 
nister to be too plain and serious with you : and that your 
disease is so obstinate, that gentler means have been too 
long frustrate, and therefore sharper must be tried: else 
why were you not converted by gentler dealing until now? 
If you fall down in a swoon, or be ready to be drowned, you 

. ^ Seneca scribit, Tarn necessarium fuisse Roniano populo nasci Catouem, quam 
Scipionera : alter enira cum hostibus nostris bellum, alter cum moribus gessit. Sen. 
Phi.Epist. 88. jp. 288. Elz. 1649. 

I y Isa. Iviii. 1. Estekriviii. :J :• * 


will give leave to the standers-by to handle you a little more 
roughly than at another time, and will not bring your action 
against them for laying hands on you, or ruffling your silks 
or bravery ; if your house be on fire, you will give men leave 
to speak in another manner, than when they modulate their 
voices into a civil and complimenting tone. 

It may be you think that they are censorious in judging 
you to be unconverted, when you are not ; and to be worse 
and in more danger than you are, and speaking harder of you 
than you deserve. But it is you that should be most sus- 
picious of yourselves, and afraid in so great a matter of being 
deceived. A stander-by may see more than a player : I am 
sure he that is awake may see more of you, than you of your- 
selves when you are asleep. 

But suppose it were as you imagine; it is his love 
that mistakingly attempteth your good : he intendeth you 
no harm : it is your salvation that he desireth : it is your 
damnation that he would prevent. You have cause to love 
him, and be thankful for his good-will, and not to be angry 
with him, and reproach him for his mistakes. He is none of 
those that brings you into the inquisition, and would fine, or 
imprison, or banish, or burn, or hang, or torment you, in or- 
der to convert and save you ; the worst he doth, is but to 
speak those words, which, if true, you are deeply concerned 
to regard ; and if mistaken, can do you no hurt, unless you 
are the cause yourself. If it be in public preaching, he 
speaketh generally by descriptions, and not by nomination ; 
no more of you, than of others in your case: nor of you at 
all, if you are not in that case. If he speak privately to you, 
there is no witness but yourself ; and therefore it ia no mat- 
ter of disgrace. Never, for shame, pretend that thou art 
willing to be converted and saved, when thou hatest those 
that would promote it ; and art angry with every one that 
tells thee of thy case, and couldst find in thy heart to stop 
their mouths, or do them a mischief. 

Direct, viii. * If thou art willing indeed to be converted, do 
thy best to discover that yet thou art unconverted, and in a 
lost and miserable state.* 

Who will endeavq|ir to cure a disease which he thinks 
he hath not? or to vomit up the poison which he thinks he 
never took, or taketh to be no poison? or to come out of 


the ditch, that thinks he is not in it? or who will turn back 
again, that will not believe but he is in the right way ? Who 
will labour to be converted, that thinks he is converted al- 
ready ? Or who will come to Christ as the physician of his 
soul, that thinks he is not sick, or is cured already ? The 
common cause that men live and die without the grace of re- 
pentance, sanctification, and justification, which should save 
them, is because they will not believe but that they have it, 
when they have it not ; and that they are penitent, and jus- 
tified, and sanctified already. It is not my desire to make 
any of you think worse of your condition than it is ; but if 
you will not know what it is, you will not be fit for recovering 
grace, nor use the means for your own recovery : you think 
it is so sad a conclusion, to find yourselves in a state of con- 
demnation, that you are exceeding unwilling to know it or 
confess it. 

But I beseech you consider but these two things ; first, 
either it is true that you are in so miserable a state, or it is 
not true : if it be not true, the closest trial will but comfort 
you, by discovering that you are sanctified already : but if 
it be true, then do you think it will save you to be ignorant 
of your danger ? Will it cure your disease, to believe that you 
have it not? Will thinking well of yourselves falsely, prove 
that you are well indeed ^1 Is it the way to grace, to think 
you have it, when you have it not? Will it bring you to 
heaven, to think that you are going thither, when you are in 
the way to hell ? Nay, do you not know, that it is the prin- 
cipal temptation of the devil, to keep men from a state of re- 
pentance and salvation, to deceive them thus, and persuade 
them that they are in such a state already ? Judge soberly 
of the case. Do you think if all the impenitent, unconverted 
sinners in the world were certain that they are indeed in a 
graceless state, in which if they died, they were past all 
hope, that they would not quickly look about them, and 
better understand the offers of a Saviour, and live in conti- 
nual solicitude and fear, till they found themselves in a safer 
state ? If you were sure yourselves, that you must yet be 

* Bernard, de grad. humil. grad. 8. describeth men's excusing their sins thus " If 
it may be, they will say, I did not do it; or else. It was no sin, but lawful ; or else, 
I did it not oft or much ; or else, I meant no harm : or ehe- I was Dersuaded by 
another, and drawn to it by temptation." 


made new creatures, or be damned, would it not set you on 
work to seek more diligently after grace than ever you have 
done ? The devil knoweth this well enough ; that he could 
scarce keep you quiet this night in his snares, but you would 
be ready to repent and beg for mercy, and resolve on a new 
life, before to-morrow, if you were but sure that you are yet 
in a state of condemnation. And therefore he doth all that 
he can to hide your sin and danger from your eyes, and to 
quiet you with the conceit, that though you are sinners, yet 
you are penitent, pardoned, and safe. 

Well, sirs, there can be no harm in knowing the truth. 
And therefore will you but try yourselves, whether you are 
unsanctified or not ? You were baptised into the name of 
the Holy Ghost as your Sanctifier ; and if now you neglect 
or mock at sanctification, what do you but deride your bap- 
tism, or neglect that which is its sense and end ? It doth 
not so much concern you to know that you live the life of 
nature, as to know whether sanctification have made you 
spiritually alive to God. , . 

And let me tell you this for your encouragement, that we do 
not call you to know that you are unconverted, and unpardon- 
ed, and miserable, as men that have no remedy, but must sit 
down in despair, and be tormented with the fore-knowledge 
of your endless pains before the time. No; it is but that you 
may speedily and thankfully accept of Christ, the full remedy, 
and turn to God, and quickly get out of your sin and terror, 
and enter into a life of safety and of peace. We desire not 
your continuance in that life which tendeth to despair and 
horror : we would have you out of it, if it were in our power 
before to-morrow ; and therefore it is that we would have 
you understand what danger you are in, that you may go no 
further, but speedily turn back, and seek for help. And I 
hope tjiere is no hurt, though there be some present trouble, 
in such a discovery of your danger as this is. ^^ * 1 

Well, if you are but willing to know, I shall help you a 
little to know what you are. 

1. If you are persecutors, or haters,"or deriders of men, 
for being diligent and serious in the 'service of God, and 
fearful of sinning, and because they go not with the multi- 
tude to do evil, it is a certain sign that you are in a state of 
death : yea, if you love not such men, and desire not rather 


to be such yourselves, than to be the greatest of the un- 
godly ^ 

2. If you love the world best, and set your affections 
most on things below, and mind most earthly things ; nay, 
if you seek not first God's kingdom, and the righteousness 
thereof; and if your hearts be not in heaven, and your affec- 
tions set on the things that are above ; and you prefer not 
your hopes of life eternal before all the pleasures and pros- 
perity of this world, it is a certain sign that you are but 
worldly and ungodly men''. 

3. If your estimation, belief and hopes, of everlast- 
ing life through Christ, be not such, as will prevail with you 
to deny yourselves, and forsake father, and mother, and the 
nearest friends ; and house, and land, and life, and all that 
you have, for Christ, and for these hopes of a happiness 
hereafter, you are no true Christians, nor in a state of saving 
grace *^. 

4. If you have not been converted, regenerated, and 
sanctified by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, making you spiritual, 
and causing you to mind the things of the Spirit above the 
things of the flesh. If this Spirit be not in you, and you 
walk not after it, but after the flesh ; making provision for 
the flesh, to satisfy its desires, and preferring the pleasing 
of the flesh, before the pleasing of God, it is certain that you 
are in a state of death ^. 

5. If you have any known sin which you do not hate, 
and had not rather leave it than keep it, and do not pray, 
and strive, and watch against it, as far as you know and ob- 
serve it ; but rather excuse it, plead for it, desire it, and are 
loath to part with it, so that your will is habitually more for it 

J than against it, it is a sign of an impenitent, unrenewed 

a See Gal. iv. 29. Actsxxvi. 11. 1 Tim. i. 13. 1 Pet. iv. 2 — 5. Psal. xv. 4. 
1 Johniii. 8 — 15. John xiii. 35. Psal. Ixxxiv. 10. 

, •» See this in Matt. vl. 19—21. 33. Phil, iii- 18—20. Col. iii. 1—4. Psal. 
Ixxiii. 25. 1 John ii. 15 — 17. James i. 27. Luke xii. 20, 21. xvi. 25. 
" c See Luke xiv. 26. 33- Matt. x. 37—39. xiii. 21, 22. 

d See Matt, xviii. 3. John iii. 3. 5, 6. Ileb. xii. 14. Rom. viil.i. 5 — 13. xiii. 13, 
14. Luke xvi. 19. 25. xii. .20, 21. Heb. xi. 25, 26. 2 Cor. iv. 16— 18. v. 7. 
Rom. viii. 17, 18. 

e 1 Johniii. 3, 4.6—10. 24. Gal. v. 16. 19—25. Rom. vii. 22. 24. viii., 13. 
Luke xiii. 3. 5. Matt, v. 19, 20. 2 Tim. ii. 19. Psal. v. 5. Luke xiii. 27. 


6. If you love not the Word, as it is a light dis- 
covering your sin and duty, but only as it is a general truth, 
or as it reproveth others : if you love not the most searching 
preaching, and would not know how bad you are, and come 
not to the light, that your deeds maybe manifest, it is a 
sign that yon are not children of the light, but of the dark- 

l: If the laws of your Creator and Redeemer be not 
of greatest power and authority with you, and the will and 
word of God cannot do more with you, than the word or will 
of any man ; and the threatenings and promises of God be 
not more prevalent with you, than the threats or promises of 
any men, it is a sign that you take not God for your God, 
but in heart are atheists and ungodly men^. "^ if an 

8. If you have not, in a deliberate covenant or reso- 
lution, devoted and given up yourselves to God as your Father 
and felicity, to Jesus Christ as your only Saviour, and your 
Lord and King, and to the Holy Ghost as your Sanctifier, to 
be made holy by him, desiring that your heart and life should 
be perfectly conformed to the will of God, and that you 
might know him, and love him, and enjoy him more; you 
are void of godliness and true Christianity : for this is the 
very covenant which you make in baptism, which you call 
your christening ''. 

I have now plainly shewed you, and fully proved, from 
the Word of God, by what infallible signs an ungodly man 
may know that he is ungodly, if he will. May you not know 
whether it be thus with you, if you are willing to know 1 
May you not know, if you will, whether your desire and de- 
sign of life, be more for this world, or that to come? and 
whether heaven or earth be preferred and sought first? and 
whether your fleshly prosperity and pleasure, or your souls 
be principally cared for and regarded ? May you not know, 
if you will, whether you love or loathe the serious worship- 
pers of God ' ? and whether you had rather be delivered from 

' Johniu.19— 21- 

« Luke xix. 27. Matt. vii. 21—23. 26. Dan- iii. 16—18. vi. 5. 10. Jer. xvii- 
5, 6. Luke xii. 4. Acts v, 29. Psal. xiv. 1, &c. 

•> Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 2 Cor. viii. 5. 1 Cor. vi. 17. John i. 10—12. Gal. iv. 6. 
Rom. viii. 14, 15. 

' Atque hand scio, an pietate adversus Deos sublata, fides etiam, et societas humani 
generis, et una excellentissima virtus, justttia, tollatur. Cic. Nat, D, i. 4. 


your sins or keep them? and whether your wills be more 
against them, or for them ? and whether you love a holy life 
or not ? and whether you had rather be perfect in holiness 
and obedience to God, or be excused from it, and please the 
flesh ? and whether you had rather be such a one as Paul, or 
as Caesar? a persecuted saint in poverty and contempt, or 
a persecuting conqueror or king ? May you not know, if you 
will, whether you love a searching ministry, that telleth you 
of the worst, and would not deceive you ? May you not 
know, whether you are resolvedly devoted and given up to 
God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as your Father and 
felicity, your Saviour and your Sanctifier ; and whether the 
scope, design and business of your lives is more for God, of 
for the flesh, for heaven or earth ; and which it is that bears 
the sway, and which it is that comes behind, and hath but 
the leavings of the other, or only so much as it can spare? 
Certainly these are things so neaf you, and so remarkable 
in your hearts, that you may come to the knowledge of them 
if you will. But if you will not, who can help it? 

What a sottish cavil is it then of those ignorant men, 
that ask us, when we tell them of these things. Whether ever 
we were in heaven ? — or ever saw the book of life ? — and how 
we can tell who shall be saved, and who shall be damned ? If 
it were about a May-game this jesting were more seasonable ; 
but to talk thus distractedly about the matters of salvation 
and damnation, and to make such a jest of the damning of 
souls, is a kind of foolery that hath no excuse. What though 
we never were in heaven? and never saw the book of life? 
dost thou think I never saw the Scriptures? Why, wretched 
sinner, dost thou not know, that Christ came down from 
heaven, to tell us who they be that shall come thither, and 
who they be that shall be shut out'? And did he not know 
what he said ? Is God the Governor of the world, and hath 
he not a law by which he governeth them ? and can I not tell 
by the law, who they be that the Judge will condemn or saye ? 
What else is the law made for, but to be the rule of life, and 
the rule of judgment ? Read Psal. i. and xv. Matt. v. vii. and 
XXV., and all the texts which I even now cited, and see in 
them whether God hath not told you who they be that shall 
be saved, and who they be that shall be condemned ? Nay, see 
whether this be not the very business of the Word of God ? 


And do you think that he hath written in vain ? But some 
men have loved ignorance and ungodliness so long, till the 
Spirit of grace hath cast them off, and left them to the sot- 
tishness of their carnal minds, so that " they have eyes and see 
not, and ears and hear not, and hearts and understand not." 
But those that are willing and diligent to know their sin and 
duty, in order to their recovery, God will not let them search 
in vain, nor hide the remedy from their eyes. 

Direct, ix. * When you have found yourselves in a state of 
sin and death, understand and consider what a state that is.' 

It may be you will think it a tolerable condition, and 
linger in it, as if you were safe ; or delay your repentance, as 
if it were a matter of no great haste ; unless you open your 
eyes, and look round about you, and see in how slippery a 
place you stand. Let me name some instances of the misery 
of anunregenerate, graceless state, and then judge of it as the 
Word of God directs you. 

1. As long as you are unconverted, you must needs be 
loathsome and abominable to God ^. His holy nature is un- 
reconcileable to sin, and would be unreconcileable to sinners, 
if it were not that he can cleanse and purify them. Did you 
know what sin is, and know God's holiness, you would un- 
derstand this much better. Your own averseness to God, 
and your dislike of the holiness of his laws and servants, 
might tell you what thoughts he hath of you. " He hateth all 
the workers of iniquity ^" Indeed he taketh you for his 
enemies, and as such he will handle you, if you be not con- 
verted. I know many persons that are most deeply guilty, 
especially men of Tionour and esteem in the world, would 
scorn to have this title given to themselves ; but verily God 
is not fearful of offending them, nor so tender of their defiled 

•' Mita Ciceronis fictio in Lib. 1. de Univers. Atque ille, qui recte et honeste cur- 
riculum Vivendi a natura datum confecerit, ad illud astrura, quo cum aptus fuerit, re- 
vertetur. Qui autem immoderate et intemperate vixerit, eum secundusortus in figurara 
muliebrem transfcret. Et si ne turn quidem finem vitiorum faciet : gravius etiam 
jactabitur, et in suis^ moribus siraillimas figuras pecudum, et ferarura transferetur : 
neque malorum terminum prius adspiciet, quam illam sequi coeperit conversionem 
quamhabebat in se ipse, ejusdem et unius, simul innatam. Quod turn eveniet cum 
lla, quae exigne,aere, atque terra, turbulenta, et rationis expertia insederiant, denique 
iratione depulerit, et ad primam, ut optimara affectioiiem animi pervenerit. Op, 
vol. vii. p.- 941. 

1 Psal. V. 5. - ~ 


honour, as they are of their own, or as they expect the 
preacher should be. If those be the king's enemies that re- 
fuse his government and set up another, then those are the 
enemies of God, and of the Redeemer, and of the Holy 
Ghost, that set up the base concupiscence of their flesh, and 
th,e honour and prosperity of this world, and the will of man, 
and refuse the government of God their Creator and Re- 
deemer, and refuse the sanctifying teachings and operations 
of the Holy Ghost. Read Luke xix. 27. 

Some think it strange that any men should be called 
*' haters of God ;" and I believe you will find it hard to meet 
with that man that will confess it by himself, till converting 
grace or hell constrain him. And indeed if God himself had 
not charged men with that sin, and called them by that name, 
we should scarce have found belief or patience when we had 
endeavoured to convince the world of it. Entreat but the 
worst of men to repent of hating God, and try how they will 
take it. Yet they may read that name in Scripture ™. Did 
not the Jews hate Christ, think you, when they murdered him? 
and when they hated all his followers for his sake " ? And 
doth not Christ say," that they shall be hated for his sake," not 
only of the Jews, but also of* all nations, and all men°." Even 
by the " world p." And this was abating *' both Christ and his 
Father "1." But you will say. It is not possible that any man 
can hate God. I answer, how then came the devils to hate 
him? Yea, every ungodly man hateth God : indeed no man 
hateth him as good, or as merciful to them ; but they hate 
him as holy and just, as one that will not let him have the 
pleasure of sin, without damning them : as one engaged in 
justice to cast them into hell, if they die without conversion : 
and as one that hath made so pure and precise a law to go- 
,vern them, and convinceth them of sin, and calls them to 
that repentance and holiness which they hate. Why did 
the world hate Christ himself? He tells you, " The world 
cannat hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify against 
it, that the works thereof are evil^" " This is the condemn- 
ation, that light is come into the world, and men loved dark- 
ness rather than light, because their deeds were evil^" 

"» Rom. i. 30i Psal. Ixxxi. 15- Luke xix. 14. « Matt. x. 22. Mark xiii. 13. 

Matt. xxiv. 9. x." 22. , p John xvii. 14. xv. 17 — 19, &c. 

1 John XV. 23, 24. "" John vii. 7. . * John iii. 19. f 


Nay, it is a wonder of blindness, that this God-hating world 
and age, should not perceive that they are God-haters, while 
they hate his servants to the death, and implacably rage 
against them, and hate his holy ways and kingdom, and 
bend all their power and interest in most of the kingdoms 
of the world, against his interest and his people upon earth : 
while the devil fighteth his battles against Christ through 
the world, by their hands, they will yet confess the devil's 
malice against God, but deny their own ; as if he used their 
hands without their hearts. Well ! poor, wretched worms ! 
instead of denying your enmity to him, lament it, and know 
that he also taketh you for his enemies, and will prove too 
hard for you when you have done your worst. Read Psal. ii., 
and tremble, and submit. This is especially the case of per- 
secutors and open enemies ; but in their measure also of all 
that would not have him to reign over them. And therefore 
Christ came to reconcile us unto God, and God to us ; and 
it is only the sanctified that are reconciled to him *. " The 
carnal mind is enmity against God ; for it is not subject to 
the law of God ; nor indeed can be"." Mark that text well. 

2. As long as you are unsanctified, you are unjustified 
and unpardoned : you are under the guilt of all the sins that 
ever you committed : every sinful thought, word and deed, 
of which the least deserveth hell, is on your score, to be 
answered for by yourself: and what this signifieth, the 
threatenings of the law will tell you'^. There is no sin for- 
given to an impenitent, unconverted sinner. 

3. And no wonder, when the unconverted have no special 
interest in Christ. The pardon and life that is given by God, 
is given in and with the Son^ : " God hath given to us eter- 
nal 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^" Till 
we are members of Christ, we have no part in the pardon and 
salvation purchased by him : and ungodly sinners are not his 
members. So that Jesus Christ, who is the hope and life of 
all his own, doth leave thee as he found thee : and that is not 
the worst: for, %i h ^a 

4. It will be far worse with the impenitent rejecters of 

* See Col. i. 21. Phil. iii. 18. 1 Cor. xv. 25. Rora. v.'.lO. « Rom. viii. 7. 
^ See Acts xxvi. 18. Mark iv, 12. Col. i. 14. > Rom. viiL 9. 

^ 1 John V. 10—12. 


the grace of Christ, than if they had never heard of a Re- 
deemer. For it cannot be, that God having provided so 
precious a remedy for sinful, miserable souls, should suffer 
it to be despised and rejected, without increased punish- 
ment. Was it not enough that you had disobeyed your 
great Creator, but you must also set light by a most gracious 
Redeemer, that offered you pardon, purchased by his blood, 
if you would but have come to God by him? Yea, the 
Saviour that you despised shall be himself your Judge, and 
the grace and mercy which you set so light by, shall be the 
heaviest aggravation of your sin and misery. For **how 
shall you escape, if you neglect so great salvation * V " And 
of how much sorer punishment (than the despisers of Moses' 
law) shall they be thought worthy, who have trodden under 
foot the Son of God, &c.^" 

5. The very prayers and sacrifice of the wicked are 
abominable to God (except such as contain their returning 
from their wickedness). So that terror ariseth to you from 
that which you expect should be your help ''. 

6. Your common mercies do but increase your sin and 
misery (till you return to God) : your carnal hearts turn all 
to sin ; '* Unto the pure all things are pure : but unto them 
that are defiled, and unbelieving, is nothing pure : but even 
their mind and conscience is defiled "^.^ 

7. While you are unsanctified, you are impotent, and 
dead to any holy, acceptable work : when you should redeem 
your time, and prepare for eternity, and try your states, or 
pray, or meditate, or do good to others, you have no heart to 
any such spiritual works : your minds are biassed against 
them®. And it is not the excusable impotency of such, as 
would do good, but cannot : but it is the malicious impotency 
of the wicked (the same with that of devils), that cannot do 
good, because they will not ; and will not, because they have 
blind, malicious, and ungodly hearts, which makes their sin 
so much the greater ^ 

8. While you have unsanctified hearts, you have at all 
times the seed and disposition unto every sin ; and if you 
commit not the worst, it is because some providence res- 
training the tempter hindereth you. No thanks to you that 

* Heb. ii- 3. ^ Heb. x. 29. •= Prov. xv. 8. xxi- 27. Isa. i- 13. 

d Tit. i. 15. « Rom. viii. 7. ^ Tit. i. 16. 


you do not daily commit idolatry, blasphemy, theft, murder, 
adultery, &c. It is in your hearts to do it, when you have 
but temptation and opportunity ; and will be, till you are 
renewed by sanctifying grace. 

9. Till you are sanctified you are heirs of death and hell ^, 
even under the curse, and condemned already in point of law, 
though judgment have not passed the final sentence ^. And 
nothing is more certain, than that you had been damned and 
undone for ever, if you had died before you had been renewed 
by the Holy Ghost ; and that yet this will be your miserable 
portion, if you should die unsanctified. Think, then, what a 
life you have lived until now? and think what it is to live 
any longer in such a case, in which if you die, you are cer- 
tain to be damned. Conversion may save you, but unbelief 
and self-flattery will not save you from this endless misery*. 

10. As long as you are unsanctified, you are hasting to 
this misery : sin is like to get more rooting ; and your hearts 
to be more hardened, and at enmity with grace ; and God 
more provoked 4 and the Spirit more grieved; and you are 
every day nearer to your final doom, when all these things 
will be more sensibly considered, and better understood''. 

Thus I have given you a brief account of the case of un- 
renewed souls, and but a brief one, because I have done it 
before more largely ^ 

Direct, x. * When you have found out how sad a condition 
you are in, consider what there is in sin to make you amends 
or repair your loss, that should be any hindrance to your 

Certainly yoii will not continue for nothing (if you know 
it to be nothing), in so dangerous and doleful a case as this. 
And yet you do it for that which is much worse than nothing, 
not considering what you do. Sit down sometimes and well 
bethink you, what recompence the world or sin will make 
you, for your God, your souls, your hopes, and all, when they 

« Unus gehennae ignis est in inferno, sed non uno modoomnes excruciat peccatores. 
Uniuscujusque enim quantum exigit culpa, tantum illic sentitur et paena : nam sicut 
hie unus sol non omnia corpora aequalitur calefacit, ita iilic unus ignis animas pro 
qualitate criminum dissimiliter exurit. Hugo Etherianus de Anim. regres. cap. 12. 
" Similis enim undique in infernum descensus est," saith Anaxagoras(inLaert.)to one 
that only lamented that he must die in a strange country. Diog. Laert. lib. ii. Segra. 
ll.Amst. 1692. p. 86. 

h See John iii. 18, 19. 36. * Heb. xii. 14. Heb. ii. 3. Matt. xxv. ult. 

*' 2 Tim. iii. 1. 3. 2Pet. ii.3. > Treatise of Conversion. 


are lost and past recovery ? Think what it will then avail 
or comfort you, that once you were honoured, and had a 
great estate ; that once you fared of the best, and had your 
delicious cups, and merry hours, and sumptuous attire, and 
all such pleasures. Think whether this will abate the horrors 
of death, or put by the wrath of God, or the sentence of your 
condemnation ; or whether it will ease a tormented soul in 
hell ? If not, think how small, and short, and silly a com- 
modity and pleasure it is, that you buy so dear ; and what a 
wise man can see in it, that should make it seem worth the 
joys of heaven, and worth your enduring everlasting torments. 
What is it that is supposed worth all this? Is it the snare of 
preferment? Is it vexing riches ? Is it befooling honours ? Is 
it distracting cares ? Is it swinish luxury or lust ? Is it beastly 
pleasures? Or what is it else that you will buy at so wonder- 
ful dear a rate ? O lamentable folly of ungodly men ! O 
foolish sinners ! unworthy to see God ! and worthy to be 
miserable ! O strangely corrupted heart of man, that can sell 
his Maker, his Redeemer, and his salvation, at so base a 
price! t 

Direct, xi. ' And when you are casting up your account, 
as you put all that sin and the world will do for you in the 
one end of the scales, so put into the other the comforts both 
of this life, and of that to come, which you must part with 
for your sins.' 

Search the Scriptures, and consider how happy the saints 
of God are there described. Think what it is, to have a 
purified, cleansed soul ; to be free from the slavery of the 
flesh and its concupiscence ; to have the sensitive appetite in 
subjection unto reason, and reason illuminated and rectified 
by faith ; to be alive to God, and disposed and enabled to love 
and serve him ; to have access to him in prayer, with bold- 
ness and assurance to be heard ; ,to have a sealed pardon of 
all our sins, and an interest in Christ, who will answer for 
them all and justify us ; to be the children of God, and the 
heirs of heaven ; to have peace of conscience, and the joyful 
hopes of endless joys; to have communion with the Father, 
through the Son, by the Spirit, and to have that Spirit 
dwelling in us, and working to our further holiness and joy ; 
to have communion with the saints ; and the help and com- 
fort of all God's ordinances, and to be under his many pre- 


cious promises, and under his protection and provision in 
his family, and to cast all our care upon him ; to delight our- 
selves daily in the remembrance and renewed experiences of 
his love, and in our too little knowledge of him, and love 
to him, and in the knowledge of his Son, and of the mys- 
teries of the Gospel ; to have all things work together for 
our good, and to be able with joy to welcome death, and to 
live as in heaven in the foresight of pur everlasting happiness. 
I would have orderly here given you a particular account of 
the privileges of renewed souls, but that I have done so 
much in that already in my " Treatise of Conversion," and 
** Saints' Rest." This taste may help you to see what you 
lose, while you abide in an unconverted state. 

Direct, xii. * When you have thus considered of the con- 
dition you are in, consider also whether it be a condition to 
be rested in one day.' .::, . 

If you die unconverted, you are past all hope; for 
out of hell there is no redemption : and certain you are to 
die ere long ; and uncertain whether it will be this night"". 
You never lay down with assurance that you should rise 
again ; you never went out of doors with assurance to re- 
turn ; you never heard a sermon with assurance that you 
should hear another ; you never drew one breath with as- 
surance that you should draw another: a thousand acci- 
dents and diseases are ready to stop your breath, and end 
your time, when God will have it so. And if you die this 
night in an unregenerate state, there is no more time, or help, 
or hope. And is this a case then for a wise man to conti- 
nue in a day, that can do any thing towards his own reco- 
very ? Should you delay another day or hour, before you 
fall down at the feet of Christ, and cry for mercy, and return 
to God, and resolve upon a better course ? May I not well 
say to thee, as the angels unto Lot, " Arise, lest thou be 
consumed : escape for thy life ; look not behind thee "i^i^  ' • 

Direct. XIII. * When thou art resolved, past thy waverings 
and delays, give up thyself entirely and unreservedly to 
God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as thy happiness, 

"> Luke xH. 20. Alienus est a fide qui ad agendam poenitentiain lempus expectat 
senectutis. Jo. Benedictus Paris, in Annot. iu Lijc. xii» Multos vilam differentes 
mors inccrta praevenit. Id. ib. ex Seuec. 

n Gen. xix. 15. 17. 22. " - 


thy Saviour, and thy Saiictifler, in a hearty consent to the 
covenant of grace.' 

This is thy Christianity ; thy espousals with Christ. It 
is sacramentally done in baptism ; but till it be personally 
owned, and heartily renewed by men at age, they have no 
reason to be numbered with adult believers, nor to dream of 
a part in the blessings of the covenant. It is a pity it is not 
made a more serious, solemn work, for men thus to renew 
their covenant with God. (For which I have written in a 
" Treatise of Confirmation," but hitherto in vain.) However, 
do it seriously thyself: it is the greatest and weightiest ac- 
tion of thy life. 

To this end, peruse well the covenant of grace which 
is offered thee in the gospel : understand it well. In it God 
offereth, notwithstanding thy sins, to be thy reconciled God 
and Father in Christ, and to accept thee as a son, and an 
heir of heaven. 

The Son offereth to be thy Saviour, to justify thee by his 
blood and grace, and teach thee, and govern thee as thy 
Head, in order to thy everlasting happiness. The Holy 
Spirit offereth to be thy Sanctifier, Comforter, and Guide, to 
overcome all the enmity of the devil, the world, and the 
flesh, in order to the full accomplishment of thy salvation ; 
nothing is expected of thee, in order to thy title to the be- 
nefits of this covenant, but deliberately, unfeignedly, entire- 
ly to consent to it, and to continue that consent, and per- 
form what thou consentest to perform, and that by the help 
of the grace which will be given thee. See, therefore, that 
thou well deliberate of the matter, but without delay ; and 
count what thou shouldst gain or lose by it. And if thou 
find that thou art like to be a loser in the end, and knowest 
of any better way, even take it, and boast of it, when thou 
hast tried the end ; but if thou art past doubt, that there is 
no way but this, dispatch it resolutely and seriously. 

And take heed of one thing, lest thou say, " Why, this 
is no more than every body knoweth, and than I have done 
a. hundred times, to give up myself in covenant to God the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." Dost thou know it, and yet 
hast thou not done it ? Or hast thou done it with thy lips, 
and not unfeignedly with thy heart ? Lament it as one of 
thy greatest sins, that thou hast thus provokingly dallied 


with God ; and admire his mercy, that he will yet vouchsafe 
to enter into covenant with one, that hath hypocritically 
profaned his covenant. If thou hadst ever seriously thus co- 
venanted and given up thyself to God, thou wouldst not 
have neglected him by an ungodly life, nor lived after to the 
devil, the world, and the flesh, which were renounced. I 
tell you, the making of this Christian vow and covenant with 
God in Christ, is the act of greatest consequence of any in 
all thy life, and to be done with the greatest judgment, and 
reverence, and sincerity, and foresight, and firm resolution, 
of any thing that ever thou dost. And if it were done sin- 
cerely, by all that do it ignorantly, for fashion, only with 
the lips, then all professed Christians would be saved; 
whereas now, the abusers of that holy name and covenant 
will have the deepest place in hell. Write it out on thy 
heart, and put thy heart and hand to it resolvedly, and stand 
to thy consent, and all is thine own : conversion is wrought 
when this is done. 

Direct, xiv. * In present performance of thy covenant with 
God, away with thy former sinful life ; and see that thou 
sin wilfully no more ; but as far as thou art able, avoid the 
temptations which have deceived thee.' 

God will never be reconciled to thy sins : if he be recon- 
ciled to thy person, it is as thou art justified by Christ, and 
sanctified by the Spirit : he entertaineth thee as one that 
turneth with repentance from sin to him. If thou wilfully 
or negligently go on in thy former course of sin, thou shew- 
est that thou wast not sincerely resolved in thy covenant 
with God. 

I know infirmities and imperfections will not be so easily 
cast off, but will cleave to thee in thy best obedience, till 
the day of thy perfection come. But I speak of gross and 
wilful sin ; such as thou canst forbear, if thou be but sin- 
cerely, though imperfectly, willing**. 

Hast thou been a profane swearer or curser, or used to 
take God's name in vain, or used to backbiting, slandering, 
lying, or to ribald, filthy talk ? It is in thy power to forbear 
these sins, if thou be but willing. Say not, I fall into them 
through custom before I am aware ; for that is a sign that 

° Nae illi falsi sunt, qui diversissimas res pariter expectant, ignavize voluptateni. et 
praaraia virtutis. Sallust. Delph. Lond. 1776. p. 131. 


thou art not sincerely willing to forsake them. If thou 
wert truly penitent, and thy will sincerely opposite to these 
sins, thou wouldst be more tender and fearful to offend, and 
resolved against them, and make a greater matter of them, 
and abhor them, and not commit them, and say, I did it be- 
fore I was aware ; no more than thou wouldst spit in the 
face of thy father, or curse thy mother, or slander thy dear- 
est friend, or speak treason against the king, and say, I did 
it through custom before I was aware. Sin will not be so 
played with by those that have been soundly humbled for it; 
and resolved against it. 

Hast thou been a drunkard, or tipler, spending thy pre- 
cious hours in an ale-house, prating over a pot, in the com- 
pany of foolish, tempting sinners ? It is in thy power, if 
thou be truly willing, to do so no more. If thou love and 
choose such company, and places, and actions, and dis- 
course, how canst thou say thou art willing to forsake them, 
or that thy heart is changed? If thou do not love and 
choose them, how canst thou commit them, when none com- 
pels thee ? No one carrieth thee to the place ; no one for- 
ceth thee to sin ; if thou do it, it is because thou wilt do it, and 
iovest it. If thou be in good earnest with God, and wilt 
be saved indeed, and art not content to part with heaven for 
thy Cups and company, away with them presently, without 

Hast thou lived in wantonness, fornication, uncleanness, 
gluttony, gaming, pastimes, sensuality, to the pleasing of 
thy flesh, while thou hast displeased God ? O bless the pa- 
tience and mercy of the Lord, that thou wast not cut off all 
this while, and damned for thy sin before thou didst repent ! 
And, as thou Iovest thy soul, delay no longer ; but make a 
stand, and go no further, not one step further in the way 
which thou knowest leads to hell. If thou knowest that 
this is the way to thy damnation, and yet wilt go on, what 
pity dost thou deserve from God or man ? 

If thou have been a covetous worldling, or an ambitious 
seeker of honour or preferment in the world, so that thy 
gain, or rising, or reputation, hath been the game which thou 
hast followed, and hath taken thee up instead of God and 
life eternal ; away now with these known deceits, and hunt 
not after vanity and vexation. Thou knowest beforehand 


what it will prove when thou hast overtaken it, and hast en- 
joyed all that it can yield thee ; and how useless it will be 
as to thy comfort or happiness at last. 

Surely, if men were willing, they are able to forbear such 
sins, and to make a stand, and look before, to prevent their 
misery : therefore God thus pleads with them, " Wash you, 
make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from be- 
fore mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well^," &c. 
** Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not 
bread ? and your labour for that which satisfieth not ? Hear- 
ken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and 
let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and 
come unto me : hear, and your soul shall live, andl will make 
an everlasting covenant with you. Seek ye the Lord while 
he may be found ; call ye upon him while he is near. Let 
the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his 
thoughts ; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have 
mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly 
pardon*!." Christ supposeth that the foresight of judgment 
may restrain men from sin, when he saith, " Sin no more, 
lest a worse thing come upon thee"^." Can the presence of 
men restrain a fornicator ; and the presence of the judge 
restrain a thief, yea, or the foresight of the assizes ? And 
shall not the presence of God, with the foresight of judg- 
ment and damnation restrain thee ? Remember, that impe- 
nitent sin and damnation are conjoined. If you will cause 
one, God will cause the other. Choose one, and you shall 
not choose whether you will have the other. If you will 
have the serpent, you shall have the sting. 

Direct, xv. * If thou have sincerely given up thyself to God, 
and consented to his covenant, shew it, by turning the face 
of thy endeavours and conversation quite another way, and 
by seeking heaven more fervently and diligently than ever 
thou soughtest the world, or fleshly pleasures.' 

Holiness consisteth not in a mere forbearance of a sen- 
sual life, but principally in living unto God. The principle, 
or heart of holiness is within, and consisteth in the love of 
God, and of his word, and ways, and servants, and honour, 
and interest in the world, and in the soul's delight in God, 
and the word and ways of' God, and in its inclination 

P Isa. i. 16,-18. 9 Isa. Iv. ^, 3. 6, 7, ' John v. 14. viii. 11. 


towards him, and desire after him, and care to please him, 
and loathness to oiFend him. The expression of it in 
our lives, consisteth in the constant, diligent exercise of 
this internal life, according to the directions of the Word 
of God. If thou be a believer, and hast subjected thy- 
self to God, as thy absolute sovereign, king, and judge, it 
will then be thy work to obey and please him, as a 6hild his 
father, or a servant his master ^ Do you think that God 
will have servants, and have nothing for them to do? Will 
one of you commend or reward your servant for doing no- 
thing, and take it at the year's end for a satisfactory answer 
or account, if he say, I have done no harm ? God calleth 
you not only to do no harm, but to love and serve him with 
all your heart, and soul, and might. If you have a better 
master than you had before, you should do more work than 
you did before. Will you not serve God more zealously 
than you served the devil ? Will you not labour harder to 
save your souls than you did to damn them ? Will you not 
be more zealous in good, than you were in evil ? " What 
fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now 
ashamed ? for the end of those things is death. But now 
being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye 
have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life*." 
If you are true believers, you have now laid up your hopes 
in heaven, and will therefore set yourselves to seek it, as 
worldlings set themselves to seek the world. And a slug- 
gish wish, with heartless, lazy, dull endeavours, is no fit 
Seeking of eternal joys. A creeping pace beseemeth not a 
man that is in the way to heaven ; especially who went fas- 
ter in the way to hell. This is not running as for our lives. 
You may well be diligent and make haste, where you have 
so great encouragement and help, and where you may ex- 
pect so good an end, and where you are sure you shall ne- 
ver, in life or death, have cause to repent of any just endea- 
vours, and where every step of your way is pure, and clean, 
and delectable, and paved with mercies, and fortified and 
secured by Divine protection; and where Christ is your 
Conductor, and so many have sped so well before you, and 
the wisest and best in the world are your companions. Live 
thqn as men that have changed their master, their end, their 

* Mai. i. 6. ' Rom. vi. 21, 22. 


hopes, their way and work. Religion layeth not men to 
sleep, though it be the only way to rest. It awakeneth the 
sleepy soul to higher thoughts, and hopes, and labours, 
than ever it was well acquainted with before. " He that is 
in Christ, is a new creature ; old things are past away, be- 
hold, all things are become new"." You never sought which 
would pay for all your cost and diligence till now ; you ne- 
ver were in a way that you might make haste in, without 
repenting of your haste, till now. How glad should you be 
that mercy hath brought you into the right way, after the 
wanderings of such a sinful life ? And your gladness and 
thankfulness should now be shewed, by your cheerful dili- 
gence and zeal. As Christ did not raise up Lazarus from 
the dead, to do nothing, or live to little purpose (though the 
Scripture giveth us not the history of his life) ; so did he 
not raise you from the death of sin, to live idly, or to be un- 
profitable in the world. He that giveth you his Spirit, to 
be a principle of heavenly life within you, expecteth that 
you stir up the gift that he hath given you, and live accord- 
ing to that heavenly principle. 

Direct, xvi. ' Engage thyself in the cheerful, constant use 
of the means and helps appointed by God, for thy confir- 
mation and salvation.' 

He can never expect to attain the end, that will not be 
persuaded to use the means. Of yourselves you can do no- 
thing. God giveth his help, by the means which he hath 
appointed and fitted to your help. Of the use of these, I 
shall treat more fully afterwards; I am now only to name 
them to thee, that thou mayst know what it is thou hast 
to do. 

1. That you must hear or read the Word of God, and 
other good books which expound it and apply it, I shewed 
you before. The new-born Christian doth incline to this, 
as the new-born child doth to the breast, " Laying aside all 
malice, and guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil 
speakings, as new-born babes that desire the sincere milk of 
the word, that ye may grow thereby*." The blessed man's 
" delight is in the law of the Lord, and therein doth he 
meditate day and night y." 

2. Another means is the public worshipping of God in 

" 2 Cor. V. 17. * 1 Pet. ii. 1, 2. y Psal. i. 2, 3. . 


communion with his church and people. Besides the bene- 
fit of the word there preached, the prayers of the church are 
effectual for the members; and it raiseth the soul to holy 
joys, to join with well ordered assemblies of the saints, in 
the praises of the Almighty. The assemblies of holy wor- 
shippers of God, are the places of his delight, and must be 
the places of our delight. They are most like to the celes- 
tial society, that sound forth the praises of the glorious Je- 
hovah, with purest minds and cheerful voice. " In his tem- 
ple doth every one speak of his glory''." In such a choir, 
what soul will not be rapt up with delight, and desire to join 
in the concert and harmony ? In such a flame of united de- 
sires and praises, what soul so cold and dull that will not be 
inflamed, and with more than ordinary facility and alacrity 
fly up to God? 

3. Another means is private prayer unto God. When 
God would tell Ananias that Paul was converted, he saith 
of him, " Behold, he prayeth''." Prayer is the breath of the 
new creature. The spirit of adoption given to every child 
of God is a spirit of prayer, and teacheth them to cry " Abba, 
Father," and helpeth their infirmities, when they know not 
what to pray for as they ought, and when words are wanting, 
it (as it were) intercedeth for them with groans, which they 
cannot express in words. And God knoweth the meaning 
of the Spirit in those groans ''. The first workings of grace 
are in desires after grace, provoking the soul to fervent 
prayer, by'which more grace is speedily obtained. "Ask," 
then, " and ye shall have ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, 
and it shall be opened to you^." 

4. Another means to be used is confession of sin ; not 
only to God (for so every wicked man may do, because he 
knoweth that God is already acquainted with it all, and this 
is no addition to his shame : he so little regardeth the eye of 
God, that he is more ashamed when it is known to men) : 
but in three cases, confession must be made also to man. 
1. In case you have wronged man, and are thus bound to 
make him satisfaction : as if you have robbed him, defraud- 
ed him, slandered him, or borne false witness against him. 

^ Psalm xxix. 9. "^ Acts ix. 11. «> Gal ir. 6. Rpm. viii. 15. 26, 27. 

<= Luke xi. 9. 



2. In case you are <ihil<lren, or servants, that are under the 
government of parents and masters, and are called by them 
to give an account of your actions : you are bound then to 
give a true account. 3. In case you have need of the coun- 
sel or prayers of others, for the settling of your consciences 
in peace : in this case, you must so far open your case to 
them, as is necessary to their effectual help for your reco- 
very. For if they know not the disease, they will be unfit 
"to apply the remedy. In these cases, it is true, that " he 
that covereth his sins shall not prosper : but he that con- 
fesseth and forsaketh them, shall have mercy *^." 

5. Another means to be used, is the familiar company, 
and holy converse with humble, sincere, experienced Chris- 
tians. The Spirit that is in them, and breatheth, and acteth 
by them, will kindle the like holy flames in you. Away with 
the company of idle, prating, sensual men, that can talk of 
nothing but their worldly wealth, or business, or their repu- 
tations, or their appetites and lusts ; associate yourselves 
with them that go the way to heaven, if you resolve your- 
selves to go in it. O what a deal of difference will you find 
between these two sorts of companions ! The one sort, if 
you have any thoughts of repentance, would stifle them, and 
laugh you out of the use of your reason, into their own dis- 
tracted mirth and dotage : and if you have any serious 
thoughts of your salvation, or any inclinations to repent 
and be wise, they will do much to divert them, and hold you 
in the power and snares of satan, till it be too late : if you 
'have any zeal, or heavenly-mind^dness, they will do too 
much to quench it, and fetch down your minds to earth 
again. The other sort will speak of things of so great 
weight and moment, and that with seriousness and reve- 
rence, as will tend to raise and quicken your souls ; and 
possess you with a taste of the heavenly things which they 
discourse of; they will encourage you by their own expe- 
riences, and direct you by that truth which hath directed 
them, and zealously communicate what they have received : 
they will pray for you, and teach you how to pray : they 
will give the example of holy, humble, obedient lives ; and 
lovingly admonish you of your duties, and reprove your 
sins. In a word, as the carnal mind doth savour the things 

^ Prov. xxviii. 13. 


of the flesh, and is enmity against God, the company of such 
will be a powerful means to infect you with their plague, 
and make you such, if you were escaped from them ; much 
more to keep you such, if you are not escaped : and as they 
that are spiritual, do mind the things of the Spirit^ so their 
converse tendeth to make you spiritually-minded, as they 
are®. Though there are some useful qualities and gifts in 
some that are ungodly, and some lamentable faults in many 
that are spiritual ; yet experience will shew you so great a 
difference between them in the main, in heart and life, as 
will make you the more easily believe the difference that 
will be between them in the life to come. 

6. Another means is serious meditation on the life to 
come, and the way thereto : which though all cannot ma- 
nage so methodically as some, yet all should in some mea- 
sure and season be acquainted with it. 

7. The last means is, to choose some prudent, faithful 
guide and counsellor for your soul, to open those cases, 
which are not fit for all to know ; and to resolve and advise 
you in cases that are too hard for you : not to lead you 
blindfold after the interest of any seduced or ambitious men, 
nor to engage you to his singular conceits, against the Scrip- 
ture or the church of God ; but to be to your soul, as a phy- 
sician to your body, or a lawyer to your estates, to help you 
where they are wiser than you, and where you need their 

Resolve now, that instead of your idle company and pas- 
time, your excessive cares and sinful pleasures, you will 
wait on God in the seasonable use of these his own appoint- 
ed means ; and you will find, that he appointed them not in 
vain, and that you shall not lose your labour. 

Direct, xvii, *That in all this you may be sincere, and 
not deceived by an hypocritical change, be sure that God 
be all your confidence, and all your hopes be placed in hea- 
ven ; and that there be no secret reserve in your hearts, for 
the world and flesh ; and that you divide not your hearts 
between God and the things below, nor take not up with the 
religion of an hypocrite, which giveth God what the flesh 
can spare.' 

When the devil cannot keep you from a change and re- 

« Rom, TJii. 7, 8. 


formation, he will seek to deceive you with a superficial 
change and half reformation, which goeth not to the root, 
nor doth recover the heart to God, nor deliver it entirely 
to him. If he can by a partial, deceitful change, persuade 
you that you are truly renewed and sanctified, and fix you 
there that you go no further, you are as surely his, as if you 
had continued in your grosser sins. And, of all other, this is 
the most common and dangerous cheat of souls, when they 
think to halve it between God and the world, and to secure 
their fleshly interest of pleasure and prosperity, and their 
salvation too ; and so they will needs serve God and mam- 

This is the true character of a self-deceiving hypocrite. 
He is neither so fully persuaded of the certain truth of the 
Scripture and the life to come, nor yet so mortified to the 
flesh and world, as to take the joys of heaven for his whole 
"portion, and to subject all his worldly prosperity and hopes 
thereunto, and to part with all things in this world, when it 
is necessary to the securing of his salvation: and therefore 
he will not lose his hold of present things, nor forsake his 
worldly interest for Christ, as long as he can keep it. Nor 
will he be any further religious, than may stand with his 
bodily welfare ; resolving never to be undone by his godli- 
ness ; but in the first place to save himself, and his prospe- 
rity in the world, as long as he can : and therefore he is tru- 
ly a carnal, worldly-minded man ; being denominated from 
what is predominant in him. And yet, because he knoweth 
that he must die, and for aught he knows, he may then find, 
against his will, that there is another life which he must en- 
ter upon ; lest the Gospel should prove true, he must have 
some religion : and therefore he will take up as much as 
will stand with his temporal welfare, hoping that he may 
have both that and heaven hereafter ; and he will be as reli- 
gious as the predominant interest of the flesh will give him 
leave. He is resolved rather to venture his soul, than to be 
here undone : and that is his first principle. But he is re- 
solved to be as godly as will stand with a worldljt fleshly 
life : that is his second principle. And he will hope for 
heaven as the end of such a way as this : that is his third. 
Therefore he will place most of his religion in those things 
which are most consistent with worldliness and carnality. 


and will not cost his flesh too dear ; as being of this or that 
opinion, church, or party (whether Papist, Protestant, or 
some smaller party), in adhering to that party, in being 
zealous for them, in acquiring and using such parts and 
gifts, as may make him highly esteemed by others ; and 
in doing such good works as cost him not too dear ; and 
in forbearing such sins as would procure his disgrace 
and shame, and cost his flesh dearer to commit them, 
than forbear them ; and such other as his flesh can 
spare: this is his fourth principle. And he is resolved, 
when trial calleth him to part with God and his conscience, 
or with the world, that he will rather let go God and con- 
science, and venture upon the pains hereafter, which he thinks 
to be uncertain, than to run upon a certain calamity or un- 
doing here : at least, he hath no resolution to the contrary, 
which will carry him out in a day of trial : this is his fifth 
principle. And his sixth principle is. That yet he will not 
torment himself, or blot his name, with confessing himself 
a temporizing worldling, resolved to turn any way to save 
himself. And therefore he will be sure to believe nothing 
to be truth and duty that is dangerous ; but will furnish him- 
self with arguments, to prove that it is not the will of God ; 
and that sin is no sin: yea, perhaps, conscience. and duty 
shall be pleaded for his sin : it shall be out of tenderness, 
and piety, and charity to others, that he will sin ; and will 
charge them to be the sinners, that comply not, and do not 
wickedly as well as he. He will be one that shall first make 
a controversy of every sin which his flesh calls necessary, 
and of every duty which his flesh counts intolerably dear : 
and then, when it is a controversy, and many reputed wise, 
5ind some reputed good, are on his side, he thinks he is on 
equal terms with the most honest and sincere : he hath got 
a burrow for his conscience and his credit : he will not be- 
lieve himself to be an hypocrite, and no one else must think 
him one, lest they be uncharitable ; for then the censure 
must fall on the whole party ; and then it is sufficient to de- 
fend his reputation of piety to say. Though we differ in opi- 
nion, we must not differ in affection, and must not condemn 
each other for such differences (a very great truth where 
rightly applied). But what is it, O hypocrite, that makes 
thee differ in cases where thy flesh is interested, rather than 


in any other ? and why wast thou never of that mind till 
now that thy worldly interest requireth it ? and how cometh 
it to pass, that thou art always on the self-saving opinion ? 
and whence is it that thou consultest with those only that 
are of the opinion that thou desirest should be true, and ei- 
ther not at all, or partially and slightly, with those that are 
against it ? Wast thou ever conscious to thyself, that thou 
hast accounted what it might cost thee to be saved, and 
reckoned on the worst, and resolved in the strength of grace 
to go through all? Didst thou ever meddle with much of 
the self-denying part of religion, or any duties that would 
cost thee dear? May not thy conscience tell thee, that 
thou never didst believe that thou shouldst suffer much for 
thy religion ; that is, thouhadst a secret purpose to avoid it? 
O sirs ! take warning from the mouth of Christ, who hath 
so oft and plainly warned you of this sin and danger ! and 
told you how necessary self-denial, and a suffering disposi- 
tion is, to all that are his disciples ; and that the worldly, 
fleshly principle, predominant in the hypocrite, is manifest 
by his self-saving course : he must take up his cross, and 
follow him in a conformity to his sufferings, that will indeed 
be his disciple. We must suffer with him, if we will reign 
with him^ ** He that received the seed into stony places, the 
same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiv- 
eth it, yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a 
while ; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because 
of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that receiv- 
ed seed among the thorns, is he that heareth the word, and 
the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke 
the word, and he becometh unfruitful s." If thou have not 
taken heaven for thy part, and art not resolved to let go all 
that would keep thee from it, I must say to thy conscience, 
as Christ to one of thy predecessors, " Yet lackest thou one 
thing''," and such a one, as thou wilt find of flat necessity 
to thy salvation. And it is likely some trying time, even in 
this life, will detect thine hypocrisy, and make thee " go 
away sorrowful," for thy riches' sake, as he did'. If godliness 
with contentment seem not sufficient gain to thee, thou wilt 
make thy gain go instead of godliness ; that is, thy gain shall 
be next thy heart, and have the precedency which godliness 

f Rom. viii. 17, 18. « Matt. xiii. 20—22. ^ Luke xviii. 22. 

* Ver. 33. 


should have, and thy gain shall chooae thee thy religion, and 
overrule thy conscience, and sway thy life. 

O sirs ! take warning by the apostates, and temporizing 
hypocrites, that have looked behind them; and with Detnas^ 
for the world forsaken their duty, and are set up by justice 
as pillars of salt, for your warning and remembrance. And 
as ever you would make sure work in turning to God, and 
escape the too late repentance of the hypocrite, see that you 
go to the root, and resign the world to the will of God, — and 
reckon what it may cost you to be followers of Christ, — and 
look not after any portion, but the favour of God, and life 
eternal, — and see that there be no secret reserve in your hearts 
for your worldly interest or prosperity, — and think not of halv- 
ing it between God and the world, nor making your religion 
compliant with the desires and interest of the flesh. Take 
God as enough for you ; yea, as all, or else you take him not 
as your God. 

Direct, xviii. * If you would prove true converts, come 
over to God as your Father and felicity, with desire and de- 
light, and close with Christ, as your only Saviour, with 
thankfulness and joy ; and set upon the way of godliness 
with pleasure and alacrity, as your exceeding privilege, and 
the only way of profit, honour, and content : and do it not 
as against your wills, as those that had rather do otherwise 
if they durst, and account the service of God an unsuitable 
and unpleasant thing. 

You are never truly changed, till your hearts be changed : 
and the heart is not changed, till the will or love be changed. 
Fear is not the man : but usually is mixed with unwilling- 
ness and dislike, and so is contrary to that which is indeed 
the man. Though fear may do much for you, it will not do 
enough : it is oft more sensible than love, even in the best* 
as being more passionate and violent : but yet there is no 
more acceptableness in all, than there is will or love''. God 
sent not soldiers, or inquisitors, or persecutors, to convert 
the world by working upon their fear, and driving them 

J' Passibilis timor est irratioaabilis, et ad irrationabilia constitutis, sed eura praedpit 
qui cum disciplina et recta ratione consistit, cujus proprium est reverentia. Qui 
enim propter Christum et doctrinara ejus Deum timet, cum reverentia ei subjectiis 
est ; cum ille qui per verbera aliaque tormenta timet Deum, passibilem timorem Im- 
berevidetur. Didymus Alex, in Pet. 1, . f .t r '<■ ..< ' 


Upon that which they take to be a mischief to them : but 
he sent poor preachers, that had no matter of worldly fears 
or hopes to move their auditors with ; but had authority 
from Christ to offer them eternal life ; and who were to con- 
vert th(5 world, by proposing to them the best and most de- 
sirable condition, and shewing them where is the true feli- 
city ; and proving the certainty and excellency of it to them, 
and working upon their love, desire, and hope. God will 
not be your God against your wills, while you esteem him as 
the devil, that is, only terrible and hurtful to you ; and take 
his service for a slavery, and had rather be from him, and 
serve the world and the flesh, if it were not for fear of being 
damned. He will be feared as great, and holy, and just : 
but he will also be loved as good, and holy, and merciful, 
and every way suited to the felicity and rest of souls. If 
you take not God to be better than the creature, (and bettef 
to you,) and heaven to be better for you than earth, and ho- 
liness than sin, you are not converted : but, if you do, then 
shew it by your willingness, alacrity, and delight. Serve 
him with gladness and cheerfulness of heart, as one that 
hath found the way of life, and never had cause of gladness 
until now. If you see your servant do all his work with 
groans, and tears, and lamentations, you will not think he is 
well pleased with his master and his work. Come to God 
willingly, with your hearts, or you come not to him indeed 
at all. You must either make him and his service your de- 
light, or at least your desire, as apprehending him most fit 
to be your delight, so far as you enjoy him. 

Direct, xix. * Remember still that conversion is the 
turning from your carnal selves to God ; and therefore that 
it engageth you in a perpetual opposition to your own cor- 
rupt conceits and wills, to mortify and annihilate them, and 
captivate them wholly to the holy word and will of God.' 

Think not that your conversion dispatcheth all that is to 
be done in order to your salvation. No : it is but the be- 
ginning of your work (that is, of your delight and happi- 
ness) ; you are but engaged by it, to that which must be per- 
' formed throughout all your lives ; it entereth you into the 
right way, not to sit down there, but to go on till you come 
to the desired end. It entereth you into Christ's army, that 
afterwards you may there win the crown of life ; and the 


great enemy that you engage against, is yourselves. There 
will still be a law in your members, rebelling against the 
law that the Holy Ghost hath put into your minds : your 
own conceits and your own wills are the great rebels against 
Christ, and enemies of your sanctification. Therefore it 
must be your resolved, daily work to mortify them, and 
bring them clean over to the mind and will of God, which is 
their rule and end. If you feel any conceits arising in you 
that are contrary to the Scripture, and quarrel with 'the word 
of God, suppress them as rebellious, and give them not li- 
berty to cavil with your Maker, and malapertly dispute with 
your Governor and Judge, but silence them, and force them re- 
verently to submit. If you feel any will in you contrary to your 
Creator's will, and that there is something which you would 
have or do, which God is against, and hath forbid you, re- 
member now how great a part of your work it is, to fly for 
help to the Spirit of grace, and to destroy all such rebellious 
desires. Think it not enough, that you can bear the denial 
of those desires ; but presently destroy the desires them- 
selves. For if you let alone the desires, they may at last 
lay hold upon their prey, before you are aware : or if you 
should be guilty of nothing but the desires themselves, it is 
no small iniquity ; being the corruption of the heart, and 
the rebellion and adultery of the principal faculty, which 
should be kept loyal and chaste to God. The crossness of 
thy will to the will of God, is the sum of all the impiety and 
evil of the soul; and the subjection and conformity of thy 
will to his, is the heart of the new creature, and of thy rec- 
titude and sanctification. Favour not, therefore, any self-con- 
ceitedness or self-willedness, nor any rebelliousness against 
the mind and will of God, any more than you would bear 
with the disjointing of your bones, which will be little for 
your ease or use, till they are reduced to their proper place. 

Direct, xx. Lastly, 'Be sure that you renounce all con- 
ceit of self-sufficiency or merit, in any thing you do, and 
wholly rely on the Lord Jesus Christ, as your Head, and 
Life, and Saviour, and Intercessor with the Father.' 

Remember that " without him ye can do nothing ^" 
Nor can any thing you do be acceptable to God, any other 
way than in him, the beloved Son, in whom he is well pleas- 

^ • John XV. 5. 


ed. As your persons had never been accepted but in him, 
no more can any of your services. All your repentings, if 
you had wept out your eyes for sin, would not have satis- 
fied the justice of God, nor procured you pardon and justi- 
fication, without the satisfaction and merit of Christ. If he 
had not first taken away the sins of the world, and recon- 
ciled them so far to God, as to procure and tender them the 
pardon and salvation contained in his covenant, there had 
been no place for your repentance, nor faith, nor prayers> 
nor endeavours, as to any hope of your salvation. Your be- 
lieving would not have saved you, nor indeed had any justi- 
fying object, if he had not purchased you the promise and 
gift of pardon and salvation to all believers. 

Objection. But, perhaps, you will say, * That if we had 
loved God, without a Saviour, we should have been saved ; 
for God cannot hate and damn those that love him/ To 
which I answer, You could not have loved God as God, 
without a Saviour : to have loved him as the giver of your 
worldly prosperity, with a love subordinate to the love of 
sin and your carnal selves, and to love him as one that you 
imagine so unholy and unjust, as to give you leave to sin 
against him, and prefer every vanity before him, this is not 
to love God, but to love an image of your own fantasy *, nor 
will it at all procure your salvation. But to love him as 
your God and happiness, with a superlative love, you could 
never have done without a Saviour. For, 1. Objectively j 
God being not your reconciled father, but your enemy, en- 
gaged injustice to damn you for ever, you could not love 
him as thus related to you, because he could not seem 
amiable to you ; and therefore the damned hate him as 
their destroyer, as the thief or murderer hates the judge. 
2. And as to the efficiency ; your blinded minds, and de- 
praved wills could never have been restored so far to their 
rectitude, as to have loved God as God, without the teach- 
ing of Christ, and the reneiwing, sanctifying work of his 
Spirit. And without a Saviour, you could never have ex- 
pected this gift of the Holy Ghost. So that your supposi- 
tion itself is groundless. 

3. Indeed conversion is your implanting into Christ, and 
your uniting to him, and marriage with him, that he may be 
your life, and help, and hope. " He is the way, the truth. 


and the life : and no man cometh to the Father, but by him"." 
** God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son : 
he that hath the Son, hath life ; and he that hath not the 
Son, hath not life "." *' He is the Vine, and ye are the 
branches : as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it 
abide in the Vine, so neither can ye, except ye abide in him : 
he that abideth not in Christ, is cast forth as a branch, and 
withered, to be burned °." All your life and help is in him, 
and from him : without Christ, you cannot believe in the 
Father, as in one that will shew you any saving mercy, but 
only as the devils, that believe him just, and tremble at his 
justice. Without Christ, you cannotlove God, nor have any 
lively apprehensions of his love. Without Christ, you can 
have no hope of heaven, and therefore no endeavours for it. 
Without him, you cannot come near to God in prayer, as 
having no confidence, because no admittance, acceptance, 
or hope. Without him, how terrible are the thoughts of 
death, which in him we see as a conquered thing : and when 
we remember that he was dead, and is now alive, and the Lord 
of life, and hath the keys of death and hell, with what bold- 
ness may we lay down this flesh, and suffer death to undress 
our souls ! It is only in Christ that we can comfortably think 
of the world to come ; when we remember that he must be 
our Judge, and that in our nature, glorified, he is now in the 
highest. Lord of all ; and that he is " preparing a place for 
us, and will come again to take us to himself, that where he 
is, there we may be also p." Alas ! without Christ, we know 
not how to live an hour ; nor can have hope or peace in any 
thing we have or do ; nor look with comfort either upward 
or downward, to God, or the creature ; nor think, without 
terrors of our sins, of God, or of the life to come. Resolve, 
therefore, that as true converts, you are wholly to live upon 
Jesus Christ, and to do all that you do by his Spirit and 
strength; and to expect all your acceptance with God, upon 
his account. When other men are reputed philosophers, or 
wise, for some unsatisfactory knowledge of these transitory 
things, do you desirs to know nothing but a crucified, and 
glorified Christ : study him, and take him (objectively) for 
your wisdom. When other men have confidence in the flesh, 
and in their shew of wisdom, in will-worship, and humility, 

"> John xiv. 6. "1 John v. 11, 12. *> John xv. 4—6. p John xiv. 3. 


after the commandments and doctrines of men ^, and would 
establish their own righteousness, do you rejoice in Christ 
your righteousness ; and set continually before your eyes, 
his doctrine and example, as your rule: look still to Jesus, 
the author and finisher of your faith, who contemned all the 
glory of the world, and trampled upon its vanity, and sub- 
jected himself to a life of suffering, and made himself of no 
reputation, but " for the joy that was set before him, endured 
the cross, despising the shame," and underwent the contra- 
diction of sinners against himself. Live so, that you may 
truly say as Paul, " I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless 
I live : yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life which 
I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, 
who loved me, and gave himself for me ^." 

Having ^iven you these directions, I most earnestly be- 
seech you to peruse and practise them, that my labour may 
not rise up as a witness against you, which I intend for your 
conversion and salvation. Think on it, whether this be an 
unreasonable course, or an unpleasant life, or a thing un- 
necessary ? and what is reasonable, necessary and pleasant, 
if this be not? 

And if you meet with any of those distracted sinners, that 
would deride you from Christ and your salvation, and say, 
* this is the way to make men mad,' or, ' this is more ado 
than needs ; ' I will not stand here to manifest their brutish- 
ness and wickedness, having largely done it already, in my 
book called, " A Saint or a Brute," and " Now or Never," 
and in the third part of the " Saints' Rest :" but only I desire 
thee, as a full defensative against all the pratings of the 
enemies of a holy, heavenly life, to take good notice but of 
these three things. 

1. Mark well, the language of the holy Scriptures, and see 
whether it speak not contrary to these men : and bethink thee 
whether God or they be wiser, and whether God or they must 
be thy Judge ? 

2. Mark, whether these men do not change their minds, 
and turn their tongues when they come to die ? Or think 
whether they will not change their minds, when death hath 
sent them into that world where there is none of these deceits ? 
And think whether thou shouldst be moved with that man's 

q Col. ii. 20— i3. ' Gal. ii. 20. 


words, that will shortly change his mind himself, and wish he 
had never spoke such words * ? 

3. Observe well, whether their own profession do not 
condemn them ; and whether the very thing that they hate 
the godly for, be not that they are serious in practising that 
which these malignants themselves profess as their religion ? 
And are they not then notorious hypocrites, to profess to 
believe in God, and yet scorn at those that " diligently seek 
him ? to profess faith in Christ, and hate those that obey 
him? to profess to believe in the Holy Ghost as the sanctifier, 
and yet hate and scorn his sanctifying work ? To profess to 
believe the day of judgment and everlasting torment of the 
ungodly, and yet to deride those that endeavour to escape it? 
to profess to believe that heaven is prepared for the godly, 
and yet scorn at those that make it the chief business of 
their lives to attain it? to profess to take the holy Scriptures 
for God's word and law, and yet to scorn those that obey it? 
to pray after each of the ten commandments, " Lord have 
mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law," and 
yet to hate all those that desire and endeavour to keep them? 
What impudent hypocrisy is joined with this malignity ! 
Mark, whether the greatest diligence of the most godly be 
not justified by the formal profession of those very men that 
hate and scorn them ? The difference between them is, that 
the godly profess Christianity in good earnest, and when they 
say whai^ they believe, they believe as they say : but the un- 
godly customarily, and for company, take on them to be 
Christians when they are not, and by their own mouths 
condemn themselves, and hate and oppose the serious 
practice of that which they say they do themselves believe *. 

8 As the Athenians, that condemned Socrates to'death, and then lamented it, and 
erected a brazen statue for his memorial. 

t Acosta saith, that he that will be a pastor to the Indians, must not only resist the 
devil and the flesh, but must resist the custom of men which is grown powerful by 
time and multitude : and must oppose his breast to receive the darts of the envious 
and malevolent, who, if they see any thing contrary to their profane fashion, they cry 
out, a traitor! an hypocrite I an enemy ! lib. 4. c. 15. p. 404. It seems among papists 
and barbarians, th6 Serpent's seed do hiss in the same manner against the good 
* among themselves, as they do against us. 



The Temptations whereby the Devil hindereth Men's Conversion : 
with the proper Remedies against them. 

The most holy and righteous Governor of the world, hath 
so restrained satan and all our enemies, and so far given us 
free-will, that no man can be forced to sin against his will : 
it is not sin if it be not (positively or privatively) voluntary. 
All our enemies in hell or earth, cannot make us miserable 
without ourselves ; nor keep a sinner from true conversion, 
and salvation, if he do it not himself; no, nor compel him to 
one sinful thought, or word, or deed, or omission, but by 
tempting and enticing him to be willing : all that are grace- 
less, are willfully graceless. None go to hell, but those that 
choose the way to hell, and would not be persuaded out of it; 
none miss of heaven, but those that did set so light by it, 
as to prefer the world and sin before it, and refused the holy 
way that leadeth to it. And surely man that naturally 
loveth himself, would never take so mad a course, if his 
reason were not laid asleep, and his understanding were not 
wofully deluded : and this is the business of the tempter, who 
doth not drag men to sin by violence, but draw and entice 
them by temptations. I shall therefore take it for the next 
part of my work, to open these Temptations, and tell you the 

Temptation i. 'The first endeavour of the tempter is, in 
general, to keep the sinner asleep in sin : so that he shall be 
as a dead man, that hath no use of any of his faculties ; that 
hath eyes and seeth not, and ears but heareth not, and a 
heart that understandeth not, nor feeleth any thing that con- 
cerneth his peace. The light that shineth upon a man asleep, 
is of no use to him : his worklieth undone : his friends, and 
wealth, and greatest concernments are all forgotten by him, 
as if there were no such things or persons in the world : you 
may say what you will against him, or do what you will 
against him, and he can do nothing in his own defence. 
This is the case that the devil most laboureth to keep the 
world in ; even in so dead a sleep, that their reason, and their 
wills, their fear, and hope, and aU their powers shall be of no 


use to them. That when they hear a preacher, or read the 
Scripture, or good books, or see the holy examples of the 
godly ; yea, when they see the grave, and know where they 
must shortly lie, and know that their souls must stay here 
but a little while, yet they shall hear, and see, and know all 
this, as men asleep, that mind it not, as if it concerned not 
them at all ; never once soberly considering and laying it to 

Direct, i. For the remedy against this deadly sin, 1, Take 
heed of sleepy opinions, or doctrines and conceits which tend 
to the lethargy of security. 2. Sit not still, but be up and 
doing : stirring tends to shake off drowsiness. 3. Come into 
the light : live under an awakening minister, and in wakening 
company, that will not sleep with you, nor easily let you 
sleep : agree with them to deal faithfully with you, and 
promise them to take it thankfully. 4. And meditate oft on 
wakening considerations. Think whether a sleepy soul 
beseem one in thy dangerous condition. Canst thou sleep 
with such a load of sin upon thy soul ? Canst thou sleep 
under the thundering threatenings of God ? and the curse of 
his law ; with so many wounds in thy conscience, and ulcers 
in thy soul ? If thy body were sick, or in the case of Job ; 
yea, if thou hadst but an aching tooth, it would not let thee 
sleep ; and is not the guilt of sin, a thing more grievous ? If 
thorns, or toads and adders were in thy bed, they would 
keep thee waking ! and how much more odious and dangerous 
a thing is sin ! If thy body want but meat, or drink, or covering, 
it will break thy sleep ; and is it nothing for thy soul to be 
destitute of Christ and grace ? A condemned man will be 
easily kept awake : and if thou be unregenerate, thou art 
already condemned *. Thou sleepest in irons ; in the captivity 
of the devil; among the walking judgments of God; in a 
life that is still expecting an end ; in a boat that is swiftly 
carried to eternity; just at the entrance of another world ; 
and that world will be hell, if grace awake thee not. Thou 
art going to see the face of God ; to see the world of angels 
or devils, and to be accompanied with one of them for ever : 
and is this a place or case to sleep in ? Is thy bed so soft ? thy 
dwelling so safe ? God standeth over thee, man ; and dost 
thou sleep? Christ is coming, and death, and judgment 

a John iii, 18. 


coming, and dost thou sleep? Didst thou never read of the 
foolish virgins, that slept out their time, and knocked and 
cried in vain vi^hen it was too late''? Thou mightest more 
wisely sleep on the pinnacle of a steeple in a storm, than have 
a soul asleep in so dangerous a case as thou art in. The 
devil is awake, and is rocking thy cradle ! How busy is he 
to keep off ministers, or conscience, or any that would awake 
thee ? None of thy enemies are asleep ; and yet wilt thou 
sleep, in the thickest of thy foes? Is the battle a sleeping 
time ; or thy race a sleeping time, when heaven or hell must 
be the end? While he can keep thee asleep, the devil can 
do almost what he list with thee. He knows that thou hast 
now no use of thy eyes, or understanding, or power to resist 
him : the most learned doctor in his sleep, is as unlearned, 
actually, as an idiot, and will dispute no better than an un- 
learned man. This makes many learned men to be ungodly : 
they are asleep in sin. The devil could never have made 
such a drudge of thee, to do his work, against Christ and thy 
soul, if thou hadst been awake. Thou wouldst never have 
followed his whistle to the ale-house, the play-house, the 
gaming-house, and to other sins, if thou hadst been in thy 
wits, and well awake *". I cannot believe that thou longest to 
be damned, or so hatest thyself, as to have done as thou hast 
done, to have lived a godless, a graceless, a prayerless, and 
yet a merry, careless life, if thy eyes had been opened, and 
thou hadst known, and feelingly known, that this was the 
way to hell. Nature itself will hardly go to hell awake. 
But it is easy to abuse a man that is asleep. Thou hast 
reason; but didst thou ever awake it to one hour's serious 
consideration of thy endless state and present case? O 
dreadful judgment, to be given over to the spirit of slumber*^ ! 
Is it not high time now to awake out of sleep ^ ? When the 
light is arisen and shines about thee ! When others that care 
for their souls, are busily at work ! When thou hast slept out 
so much precious time already ! Many a mercy, and perhaps 
some ministers, have been as candles burnt out to light thee 
while thou hast slept ! How oft hast thou been called already ! 
" How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard H" Yet thou hast 
thundering calls and alarms to awake thee. God calls, and 

* Matt. XXV. 5. ^ «^ Prov. vH. 23, «4. "iRoin.xi. 8. 

* Rom. xiii. 1 1. f Prov. vi. 9, 10. 


Ministers call ! Mercies call, and judgments call ! and yet 
wilt thou not awake? " The voice of the Lord is powerful : 
full of majesty ; breakeththe cedars ; shaketh the wilderness :" 
and yet cannot it awake thee ? Thou wilt not sleep about far 
smaller matters ! at meat, or drink, or in common talk, or 
market. But O ! how much greater business hast thou to 
keep thee awake ? Thou hast yet an unholy soul to be renewed ; 
an ungodly life to be reformed ; an offended God to be re- 
conciled to ; and many thousand sins to be forgiven ! Thou 
hast death and judgment to prepare for; thou hast heaven 
to win, and hell to escape ! Thou hast many a needful truth 
to learn, and many a holy duty to perform ; and yet dost 
thou think it time to sleep ? Paul, that had less need than thou, 
did watch, and pray, and labour, day and night s. O that 
thou knewest how much better it is to be awake ! While 
thou sleepest, thou losest the benefit of the light, and all the 
mercies that attend thee : the sun is but as a clod to a man 
asleep ; the world is as no world to him ; the beauty of 
heaven and earth are nothing to him ; princes, friends, and 
all things are forgotten by him ! So doth thy sleep in sin 
make nothing of health, and patience, time, and help, minis- 
ters, books, and daily warnings. O what a day hast thou 
for everlasting, if thou hadst but a heart to use it ! What a 
price hast thou in thine hand '' ! Sleep not out thy day, thy 
harvest time, thy tide time ! " They that sleep, sleep in the 
night '." " Awake, and Christ will give thee light ^ !" ** Awake 
to righteousness, and sin not M'^ O, when thou seest the light 
of Christ, what a wonder will it possess thee with, at the 
things which thou now forgettest! What joy will it fill thee 
with ; and with what pity to the sleepy world ! But if thou 
wilt needs sleep on, be it known to thee, sinner, it shall not be 
long. If thou wilt wake no sooner, death and vengeance 
will awake thee. Thou wilt wake when thou seest the other 
world ; and seest the things which thou wouldst not believe, 
and comest before thy dreadful Judge ! " Thy damnation 
slumbereth not""." There are no sleepy souls in heaven or 
hell ; all are awake there ; and the day that hath awakened 
so many, shall wajcen thee. Watch, then, if thou love thy 

s Acts XX. 31. 1 Thes. iii. 10. ^ Prov. x. 5. * 1 The?, v.7. 

^ Rom. xiii. 12. Ephes. v. 14. ' 1 Cor. xv. 34- "' % Pet. ii. 3. • 

. VOL. II. F 


soul, lest thy Lord come /* suddenly and find thee sleeping." 
" What I say to one, I say to all. Watch"'." 

Tempt, 11. 'If Satan cannot keep the soul in a sleepy, 
careless, inconsiderate forgetfulness, he would make the un- 
regenerate soul believe, that there is no such thing as re- 
generating grace ; but that it is a fancied thing, which no 
man hath experience of, and he saith, as Nicodemus, " How 
can these things be"?" He thinks that natural conscience is 

Direct, ii. But this may be easily refuted by observing, 
that holiness is but the very health and rectitude of the soul ; 
and is no otherwise supernatural, than as health to him that 
is born a leper. It is the rectitude of nature, or its disposition 
to the use and end that it was made for. Though grace be 
called supernatural, 1 . Because it is not born with us : and 
2. Corrupted nature is against it : 3. And the end of it is the 
God of nature, who is above nature : 4. And the revelation 
and other means are supernatural (as Christ's incarnation, 
resurrection, &c.) : yet both nature, and Scripture, and ex- 
perience tell you, that man is made for another life, and for 
such works which he is utterly unfit for, till grace have 
changed and renewed him, as it doth by many before your 
eyes °. 

Tempt. III. ' But, saith the tempter, if supernatural grace 
be necessary, yet it may be born in you. Infants have no sin ; 
Christ saith, " Of such is the kingdom of God : Abraham is 
your Father ; yea, God p." You are born of Christian parents ' 

Direct, m. See the full proof of original sin in all 
infants, in my " Treatise of the Divine Life," Part 1. Chap, 
xi. xii. Grace may indeed be put betimes into nature, but 
comes not by nature "i. " Except you be born again, you 
cannot enter into the kingdom of God ■"." " If any man be 
in Christ, he is a new creature : old things are passed away : 
behold, all things are become new ^" But how vain is it for 
him to boast that he was born holy, who finds himself at the 
present unholy. Shew that you have a holy, heavenly heart 
and life, and then you are happy, whenever it was wrought. 

"» Mark xiii. 34—37. " John iii. 4. 

" See 2 Cor. V. ir. Gal.ti. 15. ir. 19. John iii. 3.5,6. Matt, xviii. 3. lPet.i.23. 
P John viii. 39. 41. q Rom. viH. 9. 16. ix, 8. Eph. ii. 3. 

■■John iii. 3. 5. '2 Cor. 5. 17- 


Tempt. IV. * But, saith the tempter, baptism, is the laver 
of regeneration : you are baptized, and therefore you are re- 
generated. The ancients taught that all sins were washed 
away in baptism, and grace conferred/ 

I)irect. IV. Answ. The ancients by baptism, meant the 
internal and external acts conjunct : the soul's delivering up 
itself to God in the covenant, and sealing it by baptism * : 
JEind so it includeth conversion, and true repentance, and faith : 
and all that are thus baptized are pardoned, justified, and 
holy. But they that have only sacramental regeneration, or 
the external ordinance, are not for that in a state of life ; for 
Christ expressly saith, that *' except you are born of the 
Spirit" as well as ** water, you cannot enter into the kingdom 
of heaven"." And Peter told Simon Magus, after he was 
baptized, that he was ** yet in the gall of bitterness, and bond 
of iniquity "." It is not the " putting away the filth of the 
flesh, but the answer of a good conscience^." Christ 
cleanseth his church "by the washing of water by the word ^.'- 
But if you had been cleansed in baptism, if at present you 
are unclean, and unholy, can you be saved so ? 

Tempt. V. 'When this faileth, the tempter would per- 
suade them, that godliness i? nothing but a matter of mere 
opinion or belief: to believe all the articles of the faith, and 
to be no papist nor heretic, but of true religion, and to be 
confident of God's mercy through Christ: for " he that b^- 
lieveth shall be saved *." 

Direct, v. To this you must answer, that it will not save 
a man, that his religion is true, unless he be true to it ! Read 
James ii. against such a dead faith. Saving faith is the 
hearty entertainment of Christ, as our Lord and Saviour, and 
the delivering up the soul to him to be sanctified and ruled, 
as well as pardoned. " Knowledge pufFeth up, but charity 
edifieth. He that knoweth his master's will and doth it 
not, shall be beaten with many stripes ^." It is sad that men 
should think to be saved by that which will condemn them ! 
by being of a right opinion, and a wrong conversation ; by 
believing their duty, instead of doing it ; and then presuming 
that Christ forgiveth them, and that their state is good. 
Opinion and presumption are not faith. 

' Matt, xxviii, 19, 20. "John iii. 5, 6. * Ac4^s viii. 13. ^ 1 Pet. iii, 21. 
» Eph. V. 26. * Mark xvi. 16. •> Luke xii. 47. 


Tempt. VI. ' But, saith the tempter, holiness is the ex- 
cellency of holy persons ; but vulgar, unlearned people may 
be saved, without such high matters, which are above them.' 

Direct, vi. But God telleth you, that "without holiness 
none shall see him *=." The unlearned may be saved ; but the 
ungodly cannot '^. Holiness is to the soul, as life to the body : 
he that hath it not, is dead ; though all have not the same 
degree of health : sin is sin, and hated of God in learned and 
unlearned. All men have souls that need regenerating at 
first : and as all bodies that live, must live on the earth, by 
the air, and food, 8ic., so all souls that live, do live upon the 
same God, and Christ, and heaven, by the same Word and 
Spirit ; and all this may be had by the unlearned. 

Tempt. VII. ' But, saith the tempter, God is not so un- 
merciful as to damn all that are not holy : this is but talk to 
keep men in awe ; and not to be believed.' 

Direct, vii. But if God's threatenings be necessary to 
keep men in awe, then are they necessary to be executed. 
For God needs not awe men by a lie. He best knows to 
whom he will be merciful, and how far ! Did you never read, 
Isa. xxvii. 11. " It is a people of no understanding : therefore 
he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that 
formed them, will shew them no favour." And Psal. lix. 5. 
'* Be not merciful to any wicked transgressors." Is he not 
just, as well as merciful^? Do you not see that men are 
sick, and pained, and die, for all that God is merciful ? And 
do not merciful j udges condemn malefactors ? Are not angels 
made devils by sin, for all that God is merciful ? The devil 
knoweth this to his sorrow. " And if God spared not the 
angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell," will he be 
unjust for you? 

Tempt, viii. * But Christ died for all: and God will not 
punish him and you both, for the same fault.' 

Direct, viii. Christ died so far for all that have the 
Gospel, as to procure and seal them a free and general par- 
don of all their sins, if they will repent, and take him for their 
Saviour, and so to bring salvation to their choice. But will 
this save the imgodly, obstinate refusers? Christ died to 
sanctify, as well as to forgive \ and to " purify to himself a 

t Heb. xii. 14. ^ Psal. i. 6. « Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. f Eph, y, 27. 


peculiar people, zealous of good works ^" and " to destroy 
the works of the devil ^/^ and to bring all men under his 
dominion and government \ " If any man have not the Spirit 
of Christ, the same is none of his ''." 

Tempt. IX. ' No man can be certain of his salvation ; but 
all must hope well: and to raise doubts in men's hearts, 
whether they shall be saved or no, will not help them ; but 
puzzle them, and cast them into despair.' 

Direct. IX. But is there so little difference between a 
child of God, and of the devil, and between the way to 
heaven, and the way to hell, that they cannot be known 
asunder? Hath not Christ taught us plainly how to know 
them^ ? and bid us " give diligence to make our calling and 
election sure ™ ?" If all men must hope that they shall be 
saved, then most must hope for that which they shall never 
have : but it is no hope of God's making, which deceiveth 
men. Should so great a matter as our everlasting joy, or 
misery, be cast out of our care, and ventured so regardlessly 
in the dark, when it is it that we have life, and time, and all 
for, to make it sure ? And what hurt can it do you, to find 
out the truth of your own condition ? If you are indeed un- 
regenerate, and unholy, discover it now in time, and you have 
time to be recovered. You must despair of being saved, 
without conversion ; but that preventeth absolute, final des- 
pair. Whereas, if you find not out your case till time is 
past, then hope is past ; and the devil hath you in endless 
desperation, where he would. 

Tempt. X. * If this prevail not, the devil will seek to carry 
it by noise instead of reason ; and will seek to keep you in 
jovial, merry, voluptuous company, that shall plead by pots, 
and plays, and pleasures ; and shall daily make a jest of god- 
liness, and speak of the godly with scorn, as a company of 
fanatic hypocrites.' 

Direct, x. But consider, that this is but the rage of fools, 
that speak of what they never understood. Did they ever 
try the way they speak against? Are they to be believed 
before God himself? Will they not eat their words, at last, 
themselves ? Will their merry lives last always ? Do they die 
as merrily as they live ? and bring off themselves as well as 

gTit. ii. 14. »» I John iii. 8. * Rora. xiv. 9. Lukexix. 27. 

^ Rom. viii. 9. » Psal. i. & xv. 1 John iii. «» 2 Pet. i. 10. 


they promiBed to bring off you**? He that will be cheated of 
his salvation, and forsake his God for the ranting scorns of 
a distracted sinner, is worthy to be damned. 

Tempt: XI. ' Next, he telleth them, that a godly life is so 
hard and tedious, that if they should begin, they should 
never endure to hold on ; and therefore it is in vain to try it.' 

Direct, xi. But this pretence is compounded of wicked- 
ness, and madness. What, but a wicked heart, can make it 
80 hard a thing to live in the love of God, and holiness, and 
in the hope and seeking of eternal life ? Why should not 
this be a sweeter and pleasanter life, than drinking, and 
roaring, and gaming, and fooling away time in vain ; or than 
the enjoying of all the delights of the flesh ? There is nothing 
but a sick, distempered heart against it, that nauseateth that 
which in itself is most delightful. When grace hath changed 
your hearts, it will be easy. Do you not see that others can 
hold on in it, and would not be as they were, for all the 
world ? And why may not you ? God will help you : it is the 
office of Christ, and the Spirit to help you : your encourage- 
ments are innumerable. The hardness is most at first : the 
longer it is the easier. But what if it were hard ? Is it not 
necessary ? Is hell easier, and to be preferred before it ? And 
will not heaven pay for all your cost and labour ? Will you 
sit down in desperation, and resolve to let your salvation go, 
upon such silly bug-bear words as these ? 

Tempt. XII. * Next, the devil's endeavour will be, to find 
them so much employment with worldly cares, or hopes, or 
business, that they shall find no leisure to be serious about 
the saving of their souls.' 

Direct. XII. But this is a snare, though frequently pre- 
valent, yet so irrational, and against so many warnings and 
witnesses, even of all men in the world, either first or last, at 
conversion, or at death, that he, who after all this will neg- 
lect his God, and his salvation, because he hath worldly 
things to mind, is worthy to be turned over to his choice, and 
have no better help or portion in the hour of his necessity 
and distress. Of this sin I have spoken afterward. Chap, 
iv. Part 6. 

Tempt. XIII. ' Lest the soul should be converted, the 
devil will do all that he can, to keep you from the acquaint- 

« See Ptov. xiii. 20. xxviii.7- Eph. v.lT, 11. 


ance and company of those, whose holiness, and instructions 
might convince, and strengthen you ; and especially from a 
lively, convincing minister; and to cast you under some 
dead-hearted minister and society.' 

Direct, xiii. Therefore, if it be possible, though it be to 
your loss or inconvenience in the world, live under a search- 
ing, heavenly teacher ; and in the company of them that are 
resolved for heaven. It is a dead heart indeed, that feeleth 
not the need of such assistance, and is not the better for it 
when it has it. If ever you be fair for heaven, and like- 
to be converted, it will be among such helps as these. 

Tempt. XIV. * But one of the strongest temptations of 
satan is, by making their sin exceeding pleasant to them, 
for the gain, or honour, or fleshly satisfaction ; and so in- 
creasing the violence of their sensual appetite and lust, and 
making them so much in love with their sin, that they cannot 
leave it. Like the thirst of a man in a burning fever, which 
makes him cry for cold drink, though it would kill him': the 
fury of the appetite conquering reason. So we see many 
drunkards, fornicators, worldlings, that are so deeply in love 
with their sin, that come on it what will, they will have it, 
though they have hell with it.' 

Direct, xiv. Against this temptation, I desire you to 
rej^d what I have said after. Chap. iv. Part 7. Chap. iii. 
Direct. 6. 8. O that poor sinners knew what it is that they 
so much love ! Is the pleasing of the flesh so sweet a thing 
to you? and are you so indifferent to God, and holy things? 
Are these less amiable ? Do you foresee what both will be at 
last ? Will your sin seem better than Christ, and grace, and 
heaven, when you are dying? O be not so in love with 
damning folly, and the pleasure of a beast, as for it to des- 
pise the heavenly wisdom and delights ! 

Tempt. XV. * Another great temptation is, the prosperity 
of the wicked in this life ; and the reproach and suffering 
which usually falls upon the godly : if God did strike every 
notorious sinner dead in the place, as soon as he had sinned, 
or struck him blind, or dumb, or lame, or inflicted presently 
some such judgment, then many would fear him, and forbear 
their sin ; but when we see no men prosper so much as \ht 
most ungodly, and that they are the persecutors of the holy 


seed, and that sentence against an evil work is not speedily 
executed, then are their hearts set in them to do evil*'.' 

Direct, xv. But, alas! how short is the prosperity of the 
wicked! Read Psal. Ixxiii. xxxvii. Delay is no forgiveness : 
they stay but till the assize : and will that tempt you to do 
as they ? How unthankfully do sinners deal with God ! If he 
should kill you, and plague you, that would not please you ; 
and yet if he forbear you, you are emboldened by it in your 
sin. Thus his patience is turned against him ; but the stroke 
will be the heavier when it falls. Dost thou think those men 
will always flourish ? Will they always domineer and revel 7 
Will they always dwell in the houses where they now dwell, 
and possess those lands, and be honoured and served as now 
they are? O how quickly, and how dreadfully will the case 
be changed with them ! O could you but foresee now, what 
faces they will have, and what heavy hearts, and with what 
bitter exclamations they will at last cry out against them- 
selves, for all their folly, and wish that they had never been 
deceived by prosperity ; but rather had the portion of a 
Lazarus ! If you saw how they are but fatted for the slaugh- 
ter, and in what a dolorous misery their wealth, and sport, 
and honours will leave them, you would lament their case, 
and think bo great a destruction were soon enough, and not 
desire to be partners in their lot ! 

Tempt. XVI. ' Another temptation is, their own pros- 
perity. They think God, when he prospereth them, is not 
so angry with them as preachers tell them : and it is a very 
hard thing, in health and prosperity, to lay to heart either 
sin or threatenings, and to have such serious, lively thoughts 
of the life to come, as men that are wakened by adversity 
have : and especially men that are familiar with death. 
Prosperity is the greatest temptation to security, and delay- 
ing repentance, and putting off preparation for eternity. 
Overcome prosperity, and you overcome your greatest 

Direct, xvi. Go into the sanctuary; yea, go into the 
church-yard, and see the end : and judge by those skulls, 
and bones, and dust, if you cannot judge by the forewarnings 
of God, what prosperity is p ! Judge by the experience of all 

° Eccles. viii. 11. > i 

P See my Sermon on Prov. i. 32. in the end of *' The Vain Religion of the Formal 


the world! Doth it not leave them all in sorrow at last? 
Wo to the man that hath his portion in this life ! O miserable 
health, and wealth, and honour, which procureth the death, 
and shame, and utter destruction of the soul ! Was not he 
in as prosperous a case as you, that quickly cried out in 
vain, for a drop of water to cool his tongue 'i? There is none 
of you so senseless as not to know that you must die. And 
must you die ? Must you certainly die ? and shall that day 
be no better prepared for? Shall present prosperity make you 
forget it, and live as if you must live here for ever ? Do you 
make so great difference between that which is, and that 
which will be, as to make as great a matter of it as others, 
when it comes ; and to make no more of it when it is but 
coming ? O man, what is an inch of hasty time ! How quickly 
is it gone ! Thou art going hence apace, and almost gone I 
Doth God give thee the mercy of a few days or years of 
health, to make all thy preparations in for eternity, and doth 
his mercy turn to thy deceit, and dost thou turn it so much 
contrary to the ends for which it was given thee ? Wilt 
thou surfeit on mercy, and destroy thy soul with it ? Sense 
feeleth and perceiveth what now is, but thou hast reason to 
foresee what will be ? Wilt thou play in harvest, and forget 
the winter ! 

Tempt. XVII. * Another great temptation to hinder con- 
version, is the example and counsel of the great ones that 
are ungodly ; when landlords, and men in power, are sen- 
sual, and enemies to a holy life, and speak reproachfully of 
it, their inferiors, by the reverence which they bear to world- 
ly wealth and greatness, are easily drawn to say as they. 
Also, when men reputed learned and wise, are of another 
mind : and especially when subtle enemies speak that re- 
proach against it, which they cannot answer.* 

Direct, xvii. To this I spake in the end of the first part 
of this chapter. No man is so great and wise as God. 
See whether he say as they do in his Word ! The greatest 
that provoke him can no more save themselves from his ven- 
geance, than the poorest beggars ! What work made he 
with a Pharaoh ! and got himself a name by his hard-heart- 
edness and impenitency ! He can send worms to eat an ar- 

1 Lute xvi. 


rogant Herod, when the people cry him up as a god ! Where 
are now the Caesars and Alexanders of the world ? The ru- 
lers and pharisees believed not in Christ ^ Wilt thou not 
therefore beliere in him? The governor of the country 
condemned him to die ; and wilt thou condemn him ? " The 
kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take coun- 
sel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying. Let 
us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords 
from us*." Wilt thou therefore join in the conspiracy? 
When " he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh j the Lord 
shall have them in derision." — " He will break them with an 
iron rod, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel," un- 
less they " be wise, and kiss the Son, and serve the Lord with 
fear, before his wrath be kindled, and they perish*." If thy 
landlord, or great ones, shall be thy god, and be honoured 
and obeyed before God and against him, trust to them, and 
call on them in the hour of thy distress, and take such a 
salvation as they can give thee. Teach not God what choice 
to make, and whom to reveal his mysteries to : he chooseth 
not always the learned scribe, nor the mighty man ; Christ 
himself saith, ** I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and 
prudent, and hast revealed them to babes : even so. Father, 
for so it seemed good in thy sight" !" If this reason satisfy 
you not, follow them, and speed as they. If they are greater 
and wiser than God, let them be your gods''. " You see 
your calling, how that not many wise men after the flesh, 
not many mighty, not many noble are called : but God hath 
chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise ; 
and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to con- 
found the things that are mighty ; and base things of the 
world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, 
and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are y." 
It is another kind of greatness, honour, and wisdom, which 
God bestoweth on the poorest saints, than the world can 
give. Worldlings will shortly be weary of their portion : in 
your baptism you renounced the world, with its pomps and 
vanity ; and now do you deify, what you then defied ? 

Tempt. XVIII. * Another temptation is, to draw on the 

»■ John vii. 48. • Psal. ii. 2, 3. * Psal. ii. 4. 9. 10—12, " Matt. xi. 25. 26. 
* Read Mr. Bolton's Assize Sermon, on 1 Cor. i. 26 — 28. y 1 Cor. i. 26. 

ChAP. I.] CttttlSTIAN ETHICS. t5 

sinner into euch a custom in sin, and long neglect of the 
means of his recovery, till his heart is utterly hardened/ 

Direct, xviii. Against this, read after. Chap. iv. part 2. 
against hardness of heart. 

Tempt. XIX. * Another temptation is,, to delay repen- 
tance, and purpose to do it hereafter.* 

Direct, xix. Of this I entreat you to read the many rea- 
sons which I have given, to shame and waken delayers, in 
my book of " Directions for a Sound Conversion." 

Tempt. XX. * The worst of all is, to tempt them to flat 
unbelief of Scripture, and the life to come.' 

Direct, xx. Against this, read here. Chap. iii. Direct. 1. 
Chap. iv. Part 1. and my " Treatise against Infidelity." 

Tempt. XXI. ' If they will needs look after grace, he will 
do all he can to deceive them with counterfeits, and make 
them take a seeming, half conversion for a saving change.' 

Direct. XXI. Of this read my " Directions for Sound 
Conversion," and the " Formal Hypocrite," and " Saints' 
Rest," Part iii. Chap. 10. 

Tempt. XXII. ' If he cannot make them flat infidels, he 
will tempt them to question and contradict the sense of all 
those texts of Scripture which are used to convince them, 
and all those doctrines which grate most upon their galled 
consciences ; as, of the necessity of regeneration, — the fewness 
of them that are saved, — the difficulty of salvation, — the tor- 
ments of hell, — the necessity of mortification, — and the sinful- 
ness of all particular sins : they will hearken what cavillers 
can say for any sin, and against any part of godliness ; and 
with this they wilfully delude themselveis.' 

Direct, xxii. But if men are resolved to join with the 
devil, and shut their eyes, and cavil against all that God 
speaketh to them to prevent their misery^ and know not, 
because they will not know ; what remedy is left, or who 
can save men against their wills ? " This is the condemna- 
tion, that light is come into the world, and men love dark- 
ness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. He that 
doth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest 
his deeds should be reproved ^." In Scripture, " some things 
are hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned 

» John iii. 19. 20. 


and unstable, wrest to their own destruction*." Of particu- 
lars read the end of my " Treatise of Conversion." 

Tempt, xxiii. * Yea, satan will do his worst to make 
them heretics, and teach them some doctrine of licentious- 
ness suitable to their lusts : it is hard being wicked still 
against conscience in the open light : this is kicking against 
the pricks : too smarting work to be easily borne. There- 
fore the devil will make them a religion which shall please 
them, and do their sins no harm : either a religion made up 
of loose opinions, like the Familists, Ranters, Libertines, 
and Antinomians (and the Jesuits too much) ; or else made 
up of trifling formalities, and a great deal of bodily exercise, 
and stage-actings, and compliment, as much of the Popish 
devotion is : and a little will draw a carnal heart to believe 
a carnal doctrine : it is easier to get such a new religion, 
than a new heart. And then, the devil tells them that now 
they are in the right way, and therefore they shall be saved. 
A great part of the world think their case is good, because 
they are of such a sect or party, and of that, which they are 
told by their leaders, is the true church and way.' 

Direct, xxiii. But remember, that whatever law you 
make to yourselves, God will judge you by his own law. 
Falsifying the king's coin, is no good way to pay a debt, 
but an addition of treason to your former misery. It is a 
new and holy heart and life, and not a new creed, or a new 
church or sect, that is necessary to your salvation. It will 
never save you, to be in the soundest church on earth, if you 
be unsound in it yourselves ; and are but the dust in the 
temple that must be swept out : much less will it save you, 
to make yourselves a rule, because God's rule doth seem too 

Tempt. xxTv. ' Another way of the tempter is, to draw 
men to take up with mere convictions, instead of true con- 
version : when they have but learned that it is necessary to 
salvation, to be regenerate, and have the Spirit of Christ, 
they are as quiet, as if this were indeed to be regenerate, 
and to have the Spirit. As some think they have attained 
to perfection, when they have but received the opinion that 
perfection may here be had ; so abundance think they have 
sanctification and forgiveness, because they now see that 

» 2 Pet. iii. 16. 


they must be had, and without sanctification, there is no 
salvation : and thus the knowledge of all grace and duty, 
shall go with them for the grace and duty itself; and their 
judgment of the thing, instead of the possession of it : and 
instead of having grace, they force themselves to believe 
that they have it.' 

Direct, xxiv. But remember, God will not be mocked : 
he knoweth a convinced head, from a holy heart. To think 
you are rich, will not make you rich ; to believe that you 
are well, or to know the remedy, is not enough to make you 
well. You may dream that you eat, and yet awake hungry. 
All the land and money which you see, is not therefore your 
own. To know that you should be holy, maketh your unho- 
liness to have no excuse. Ahab did not escape by believing 
that he should return in peace : self-flattery in so great and 
weighty a case, is the greatest folly. ** If you know these 
things, happy are ye if ye do them**." 

Tempt. XXV. ' Another great temptation is, by hiding 
from men the intrinsic evil and odiousness of sin. What 
harm, saith the drunkard, and adulterer, and voluptuous sen- 
sualist, is there in all this, that preachers make so great ado 
against? What hurt is this, to God or man? that they 
would make us believe that we must be damned for it; and 
that Christ died for it ; and that the Holy Ghost must mor- 
tify it? " Wherefore," say the Jews% " hath God pronounced 
all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or 
what is our sin, that we have committed V — He that know- 
eth not God, knoweth not what sin against God is : espe- 
cially when the love of it, and delight in it, blindeth them.' 

Direct, xxv. Against this, I entreat you to ponder on 
those forty intrinsical evils in sin, which I have after named. 
Chap. iii. Direct. 8. and the aggravations. If the devil can 
but once persuade you, that sin is harmless, all faith, all re- 
ligion, all honesty, and your souls and all, are gone. For 
then, all God's laws and government must be fictions : then, 
there is no work for Christ as a Saviour, or the Spirit as a 
Sanctifier, to do ; then, all ordinances and means are trou- 
blesome vanities; and godliness and obedience deserve to 
be banished from the earth, as unnecessary troublers of 
mankind ; then, may this poison be safely taken, and made 

»> John xui. 17. " Jer. xvi. 10. 


your food. But O how mad a conceit is this ! How quick- 
ly will God make the proudest know, what harm it was to 
refuse the government of his Maker, and set up the govern- 
ment of his beastly appetite, and misguided will I and that 
sin is bad, if hell be bad. 

Tempt. XXVI. * The devil also tempteth them to think, 
that though they sin, yet their good works are a compensa- 
tion for their bad ; and therefore they pray, and do some 
acts of Pharisaical devotion, to make God amends for what 
they do amiss.' 

Direct. XXVI. Against this consider, that if you had 
never so many good works, they are all but your duty, and 
make no satisfaction for your sin. But what good works 
can you do, that shall save a wicked soul ? and that God 
will accept without your hearts ? Your hearts must be first 
cleansed, and yourselves devoted and sanctified to God : for 
an evil tree will bring forth evil fruit : first make the tree 
good, and the fruit will be good ! It is the love of God, and 
the hatred of sin, and a holy and heavenly life which are the 
good works that God chiefly calleth for ; and faith, and re- 
pentance, and conversion, in order to these. And will God 
take your lip-labour, or the leaving of your flesh by way of 
alms, while the world and fleshly pleasure have your hearts ? 
Indeed, you do no work that is truly good ! The matter may 
be good : but you poison it with bad principles and ends. 
** The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, nor in- 
deed can be ; but is enmity against God^." 

Tempt. XX VI I. ' Some are tempted to think, that God 
will not condemn them because they are poor and afflicted 
in this life, and have their sufferings here : and that he that 
condemneth the rich, for not shewing mercy to the poor, 
will himself shew them mercy.' J 

Direct. XXVII. Hath he not shewed you mercy? and is ^ 

it not mercy which you vilify and refuse ? even Christ, and 
his Spirit, and holy communion with God ? or must God 
shew you the mercy of glory, without the mercy of grace ? 
which is a contradiction. Strange! that the same men 
that will not be entreated to accept of mercy, nor let it save 
them, are yet saying, that God will be merciful and sav4 

* Rom. viii.7. 


And for your poverty and suffering, is it not against your 
will ? you cannot deny it : and will God save any man for 
that which is against his will ? You would have riches, and 
honour, and pleasure, and your good things in this life a^ 
well as others, if you could tell how : you love the world as 
well as others, if you could get more of it. And to be car- 
nal and worldly for so poor a pittance, and to love the 
world when you suflfer in it, doth make you more inexcus- 
able than the rich. The devils have suffered more than you, 
and so have many thousand souls in hell ; and yet they 
shall be saved never the more. If you are poor in the world, 
but rich in faith and holiness, then you may well expect 
salvation*. But if your sufferings make you no more holy^ 
they do but aggravate your sin. 

Tempt. XXVIII. * Also the devil blindeth sinners, by 
keeping them ignorant of the nature and power of holiness 
of heart and life ! They know it not by any experience : 
and he will not let them see it and judge of it in the Scrip- 
ture, where it is to be seen without any mixed contraries j 
but he points them only to professors of holiness, and com- 
monly to the weakest and the worst of them, and to that 
which is worst in them, and sheweth them the miscarriages 
of hypocrites, and the falls of the weaker sort of Christians, 
and then tells them, this is their godliness and religion ; 
they are all alike.' 

Direct, xxviii. But it is easy to see, how these men de- 
ceive and condemn themselves. This is as if you should 
plead that a beast is wiser than a man, because some men 
are drunk, and some are passionate, and some are mad. 
Drunkenness and passions, which are the disturbers of rea- 
son, are no disgrace to reason, but to themselves : nor were 
they a disgrace themselves, if reason which they hinder were 
not honourable. So no man's sins are a disgrace to holi- 
ness, which condemneth them : nor were they bad them- 
selves, if holiness were not good, which they oppose. It is 
no disgrace to the day-light or sun, that there is night and 
darkness : nor were darkness bad, if light were not good. 
Will you refuse health, because some men are sick ? nay, 
will you rather choose to be dead, because the living have 
infirmities ? The devil's reasoning is more foolish than this ! 

* James ii. 5. 


Holiness is of absolute necessity to salvation. If many that 
do more than you, are as bad as you imagine, what a case 
then are you in, that have not near so much as they ? If 
they that make it their greatest care to please God, and be 
saved, are as very hypocrites as the devil would persuade 
you, what a hopeless case then are you in, that come far 
short of them? If so, you must do more than they, and not 
less, if you will be saved: or else out of your own mouths 
will you be condemned. 

Tempt. XXIX. * Another way of the tempter is, by draw- 
ing them desperately to venture their souls ; come on them 
what will, they will put it to the venture, rather than live 
so strict a life.' 

Direct, xxix. But, O man, consider what thou dost, and 
who will have the loss of it ! and how quickly it may be too 
late to recall thy adventure ! What should put thee on so 
mad a resolution ? Is sin so good ? — is hell so easy ? — is thy 
soul so contemptible ? — is heaven such a trifle? — is God so 
hard a master? — is his work so grievous, and his way so bad ? 
— doth he require any thing unreasonable of you? — hath God 
set you such a grievous task, that it is better to venture on 
damnation than perform it? You cannot believe this, if you 
believe him to be God. Come near, and think more deli- 
berately on it, and you will find you might better run from 
your food, your friend, your life, than from your God, and 
from a holy life, when you run but into sin and hell. 

Tempt, xxx. * Another great temptation is, in making 
them believe that their sins are but such common infirmities 
as the best have ; they cannot deny but they have their 
faults ; but are not all men sinners ? They hope they are not 
reigning, unpardoned sins.' 

Direct, xxx. But, O liow great a difference is between 
a converted and an unconverted sinner ! — between the fail- 
ings of a child and the contempt of a rebel ! — between a 
sinner that hath no gross or mortal sin, and hateth, bewail- 
eth, and striveth against his infirmities ;— and a sinner that 
loveth his sin, and is loath to leave it, and maketh light of 
it, and loveth not a holy life. God will one day shew you 
a difference between these two, when you see that there are 
sinners that are justified and saved, and sinners that are 


Temptations to take Mortal Sim for Infirmities. 

Tempt. I. * But here are many subordinate temptations, 
by which satan persuades them that their sins are but infir- 
mities : one is, because their sin is but in the heart, and ap- 
peareth not in outward deeds : and they take restraint for 

Direct, i. Alas ! man, the life and reign of sin is in the 
heart : that is its garrison and throne : the life of sin lieth 
in the prevalence of your lusts within, against the power of 
reason and will. All outward sins are but acts of obedience 
to the reigning sin within ; and a gathering tribute for this, 
which is the king. For this it is that they make provision ^ 
On this all is consumed^. Original sin may be reigning sin 
(as a king may be born a king) : sin certainly reigneth, un- 
til the soul be (Converted and born again. 

Tempt. II. * The devil tells them it is but an infirmity, 
because it is no open, gross, disgraceful sin : it is hard to 
believe that they are in danger of hell, for sins which are 
accounted small.' 

Direct, ii. But do you think it is no mortal, heinous siri, 
to be void of the love of God and holiness? — to love the flesh 
and the world above him ? — to set more by earth than heaven, 
and do more for it? However they shew themselves, these 
are the great and mortal sins. Sin is not less dangerous for 
lying secret in the heart. The root and heart are usually 
unseen. Some kings (as in China, Persia, &c.) keep out of 
sight for the honour of their majesty. Kings are the spring 
of government ; but actions of state are executed by officers. 
When you see a man go, or work, you know that it is some- 
thing within which is the cause of all. If sin appeared with- 
out, as it is within, it would lose much of its power and ma- 
jesty. Then ministers, and friends, and every good man 
would cast a stone at it ; but its secresy is its peace. The 
devil himself prevaileth by keeping out of sight. If he were 
seen, he would be less obeyed. So it is with the reigning 
sins of the heart. Pride and covetousness may be reigning 
sins, though they appear not in any notorious, disgraceful 
course of life. David's hiding his sin, or Rachel her idol, 
made them not the better. It is a mercy to some men, that 
God permitteth them to fall into some open, scandalous sin, 

f Rom. xiii. 14. » James iv. '^. 



which may tend to humble them, who would not have been 
humbled nor convinced by heart-sins alone ^. An oven is 
hottest when it is stopped. 

Tempt. III. ' Satan tells them, they are not unpardoned, 
reigning sins, because they are common in the world. If 
all that are as bad as I, must be condemned, say they, God 
help a great number.' 

Direct, iiu But know you not that reigning sin is much 
more common than saving holiness ? and that the gate is 
wide, and the way is broad that leadeth to destruction, and 
many go in at it ? Salvation is as rare as holiness ; and 
damnation as common as reigning sin, where it is not cured. 
This sign therefore makes against you. 

Tempt. IV. ' But, saith the tempter, they are such sins as 
you see good men commit : you play at the same games as 
they : you do but what you see them do ; and they are par- 

Direct, iv. You must judge the man by his works, and 
not the works by the man. And there is more to be looked 
at, than the bare matter of an act. A good man and a bad 
may play at the same game, but not with the same end, nor 
with the same love to sport, nor so frequently and long to 
the loss of time. Many drops may wear a stone : many 
stripes with small twigs may draw blood. Many mean men 
in a senate have been as great as kings : you may have many 
of these little sins set all together, which plainly make up 
a carnal life. The power of a sin is more considerable than 
the outward shew. A poor man, if he be in the place of a 
magistrate, may be a ruler. And a sin materially small, and 
such as better men commit, may be a sin in power and rule 
with you, and concur with others which are greater. 

Tempt, v. * But, saith the tempter, they are but sins of 
omission, and such as are not reigning sins.' 

Direct, v . Sins of omission are always accompanied with 
some positive, sensual affection to the creature, which di- 
verteth the soul, and causeth the omission : and so omission 
is no small part of the reigning sin. The not using of rea- 
son and the will for God, and for the mastering of sensua- 
lity, is much of the state of ungodliness in man. Denying 
God the heart and life is no small sin. God made you to' 

•» See Jer. iv. 14. Hosea vH. 6, 7, 


do good, and not only to do no harm : else a stone or corpse 
were as good a Christian as you, for they do less harm than 
you. If sin have a negative voice in your religion, whether 
God shall be worshipped and obeyed or not, it is your king : 
it may shew its power as well by commanding you not to 
pray, and not to consider, and not to read, as in command- 
ing you to be drunk or swear. The wicked are described 
by omissions : — Such as " will not seek after God : God is 
not in all his thoughts*;" — such as " know not God, and 
call not on his name'';" — that have "no truth, or mercy, or 
knowledge of God^ ;" — that " feed not, clothe not, visit 
not" Christ in his members™ ; — that hide their talents". In- 
deed, if God have not your hearts the creature hath it ; and 
so it is omission and commission that go together in your 
reigning sin. 

Tempt. VI. ' But, saith the tempter, they are but sins of 
ignorance, and therefore they are not reigning sins : at least 
you are not certain that they are sins. 

Direct, vi. And, indeed, do you not know that it is a 
sin to love the world better than God? and fleshly plea-, 
sure better than God's service ? and riches better than grace 
and holiness? and to do more for the body than for the 
soul, and for earth than for heaven? Are you uncertain whe- 
ther these are sins? And do you not feel that they are your 
sins? You cannot pretend ignorance for these. But what 
causeth your ignorance ? Is it because you would feign 
know, and cannot ? Do you read, and hear, and study, and 
inquire, and pray for knowledge, and yet cannot know ? Or 
is it not because you would not know, or think it not worth 
the pain to get it ; or because you love your sin ? And will 
such wilful ignorance as this excuse you ? No ; it doth make 
your sin the greater. It sheweth the greater dominion of 
sin^ when it can use thee as the Philistines did Samson, put 
out thine eyes, and make a drudge of thee ; and conquer thy 
reason, and make thee believe that evil is good and good 
is evil. Now it hath mastered the principal fortress of thy 
soul, when thine understanding is mastered by it. He is 
reconciled indeed to his enemy, who taketh him to be a 
friend. Do you not know, that God should have your 
heart, and heaven should have your chiefest care and dili- 
» Psal. X. 4. ^ Jer. x. 25. • Hos. iv. 1. ^ Matt. xxv. » Matt. xxv. 


gence ; and that you should make the Word of God your 
rule, and your delight, and meditation day and night? If 
you know not these things, it is because you would not 
know them : and it is a miserable case to be given up to a 
blinded mind ! Take heed, lest at last you commit the hor- 
ridest sins, and do not know them to be sins. For such 
there are that mock at godliness, and persecute Christians 
and Ministers of Christ, and know not that they do ill ; but 
think they do God service °. If a man will make himself 
drunk, and then kill, and steal, and abuse his neighbours, and 
say, I knew not that I did ill, it shall not excuse him. This 
is your case. You are drunken with the love of fleshly 
pleasure and worldly things, and these carry you so away, 
that you have neither heart nor time to study the Scriptures, 
and hear, and think what God saith to you, and then say 
that you did not know. 

Tempt. VII. * But, saith the tempter, it cannot be a mor- 
tal, reigning sin, because it is not committed with the whole 
heart, nor without some struggling and resistance : dost 
thou not feel the Spirit striving against the flesh? and so it 
is with the regenerate p. The good which thou dost not do, 
thou wouldst do ; and the evil which thou dost, thou 
wouldst not do : so then it is no more thou that dost it, but 
sin that dwelleth in thee. In a sensual, unregenerate per- 
son there is but one party, there is nothing but flesh ; but 
thou feelest the combat between the flesh and the Spirit 
within thee." 

Direct, y II. This is a snare so subtle and dangerous, 
that you have need of eyes in your head to escape it. Un- 
derstand, therefore, 1. That as to the two texts of Scripture, 
much abused by the tempter, they speak not at all of mor- 
tal, reigning sin, but of the unwilling infirmities of such as 
had subdued all such sin, and walked not after the flesh 
but after the Spirit ; and whose wills were habitually bent 
to good, and fain would have been perfect, and not have 
been guilty of an idle thought or word, or of any imperfec- 
tion in their holiest service, but lived up to all that the law 
requireth : but this they could not do, because the flesh did 
cast many stops before the will in the performance. But 
this is nothing to the case of one that liveth in gross sin and 

o John xvi. 2. p Gal. v. 17. Rom. vii. 20— 23. 


an ungodly life, and hath strivings and convictions, and in- 
effectual wishes to be better, and to turn, but never doth it. 
This is but sinning against conscience, and resisting the 
Spirit that would convert you ; and it maketh you worthy 
of many stripes, as being rebellious against the importu- 
nities of grace. Sin maybe resisted, where it is never con- 
quered : it may reign nevertheless for some contradiction. 
Every one that resisteth the king doth not depose him from 
his throne. It is a dangerous deceit to think that every 
good desire that contradicteth sin doth conquer it, and is a 
sign of saving grace. It must be a desire after a state of 
saving grace. It must be a desire after a state of godliness, 
and an effectual desire too. There are degrees of power : 
some may have a less and limited power, and yet be rulers. 
As the evil spirits that possessed men's bodies were a legion 
in one, and but one in others, yet both were possessed ; so 
is it here. Grace is not without resistance in a holy soul : 
there are some remnants of corruption in the will itself, resist- 
ing the good ; and yet it followeth not, that grace doth not 
rule : so it is in the sin of the unregenerate. No man in 
this life is so good as he will be in heaven, or so bad as he 
will be in hell : therefore none is void of all moral good. 
And the least good will resist evil in its degree, as light doth 
darkness. As in these cases : 

1. There is in the unregenerate, a remnant of natural 
knowledge and conscience : some discoveries of God and 
his will there are in his works : God hath not left himself 
without witness "i. This light and law of nature governed 
the heathens : and this, in its measure, resisteth sin and 
assisteth the conscience. 

2. When supernatural, extrinsic revelation in the Scrip- 
ture is added to the light and law of nature, and the ungodly 
have all the same law as the best, it may do more. 

3. Moreover, an ungodly man may live under a most 
powerful preacher, that will never let him alone in his sins, 
and may stir up much fear in him and many good purposes, 
and almost persuade him to be a true Christian ; and not 
only to have some ineffectual wishings and strivings against 
sin, but to do many things after the preacher, as Herod did 

q See Acta xiv. 17. xvii. 27. Rom. i. 19, 20. ii. 7, 8, 9. 


after John, and to escape the common pollutions of the 

4. Some sharp affliction, added to the rest, may make 
him seem to others a true penitent : when he is stopped in 
his course of sin, as Balaam was by the angel, with a drawn 
sword, and seeth that he cannot go on but in danger of his 
life ; and that God is still meeting him with some cross, 
and hedging up his way with thorns (for such mercy he 
sheweth to some of the ungodly) : this may not only breed 
resistance of sin, but some reformation. When the Baby- 
lonians were planted in Samaria they feared not God, and 
he sent lions among them ; and then they feared him, and 
set up some kind of service to him, performed by a base sort 
of priests ; ** they feared the Lord, and served their own 
gods," thinking it was safest to please all\ Affliction 
maketh bad men most like to the good. 

5. Good education and company may do very much : it 
may help them to much knowledge, and make them profes- 
sors of strict religion ; and constant companions with those 
that fear sin, and avoid it ; and therefore they must needs 
go far then, as Joash did all the days of Jehoiada *. As 
plants and fruits change with the soil by transplantation, 
and as the climate makes some blackmoors and some white, 
so education and converse have so great a power on the 
mind that they come next to grace, and are often the means 
of it. ; • ^•. c}y/:-''!\i.i:-\ 

6. And God giveth to many, internally, some grace of 
the Spirit, which is not proper to them that are saved, but 
common or preparatory only. And this may make much 
resistance against sin, though it do not mortify it. One that 
should live but under the convictions that Judas had when 
he hanged himself, I warrant he would have strivings and 
combats against sin in him, though he were unsanctified. 

7. Yea, the interest and power of one sin may resist 
another : as covetousness may make much resistance against 
sensuality and pride of life, and pride may resist all dis- 
graceful sin. 

Tempt. VIII. ' But, saith the tempter, it is not unpar- 
doned sin, because thou art sorry and dost repent for it 

' 2 Pet. ii. 20. • 2 Kings xvii. 25. 32, 33. *■ 2 Chron. xxiv. 2. 


when thou hast committed it : and all sin is pafdbtied that 
is repented of.' 

Direct, will. All the aforesaid causes which may make 
some resistance of sin in the ungodly, may cause also some 
sorrow and repenting in them. There is repenting and sor- 
row for sin in hell. All men repent and are sorry at last ; 
but few repent so as to be pardoned and saved. When a 
sinner hath had all the sweetness out of sin that it can yield 
him, and seeth that it is all gone, and the sting is left behind, 
no marvel if he repent. I think there is scarcely any 
drunkard, or whoremonger, or glutton (that is not a flat in- 
fidel), but he repenteth of the sin that is past, because he 
hath had all out of it that it can yield him, and there is no- 
thing left of it that is lovely : but yet he goeth on still, 
which sheweth that his repentance was unsound. True re- 
pentance is a thorough change of the heart and life ; a 
turning from sin to a holy life, and such a sorrow for what is 
past as would not let you do it, if it were to do again. If 
you truly repent, you would not do so again, if you had all 
the same temptations. 

Tempt. IX. * But, saith the tempter, it is but one sin, and 
the rest of thy life is good and blameless ; and God judgeth 
by the greater part of thy life, whether the evil or the good 
be most.' 

Direct, ix. If a man be a murderer, or a traitor, will you 
excuse him, because the rest of his life is good, and it is but 
15iie sin that he is charged with ? One sort of poison may 
kill a man ; and one stab at the heart, though all his body 
else be whole : you may surfeit on one dish : one leak may 
sink a ship. " Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet 
offend in one point, is guilty of all"." Indeed God doth 
judge by the bent of thy heart, and the main drift and en- 
deavour of thy life. But canst thou say, that the bent of thy 
heart, and the main endeavour of thy life is for God, and 
heaven, and holiness ? No : if it were, thou wert regenerate ; 
and this would not let thee live in any one beloved, chosen, 
wilful sin. The bent of a man's heart and life may be sinful, 
earthly, fleshly, though it run but in the channel of one way 
of gross sinning ! As a man may be covetous, that hath but 
one trade; and a whoremonger, that hath but one whore ; 

u Jam. ii. 10. See Ezek. xviii. 10, 11. 


and an idolater, that hath but- one idol. If thou lovedst 
' God better, thou wouldst let go thy sin ; and if thou love 
any one sin better than God, the whole bent of thy heart 
and life is wicked : for it is not set upon God and heaven, 
and therefore is ungodly. 

Tempt. X. *Eut, saith the tempter, it is not reigning, un- 
pardoned sin, because thou believest in Jesus Christ ; and 
all that believe,' are pardoned, and justified from all their sin." 

Direct, x. He that savingly believeth in Christ, doth 
take him entirely for his Saviour and Governor ; and giveth 
up himself to be saved, sanctified, and ruled by him : as 
trusting your physician, implieth that you take his medicines, 
and follow his advice, and so trust him ; and not that you 
trust to be cured while you disobey him, by bare trusting : 
so is it as to your faith and trust in Christ ; it is a belief or 
trust, that he will save all those that are ruled by him in or- 
der to salvation. ** He is the author of eternal salvation to 
all them that obey him ^." If you believe in Christ, you be- 
lieve Christ : and if you believe Christ, you believe, " that 
except a man be converted, and born again, he cannot enter 
into the kingdom of heaven ^ ;" and that he that is ** in 
Christ, is a new creature ; old things are past away, and all 
is become new ^ ;" and that " without holiness none shall 
see God **." And that " no fornicator, effeminate, thieves, 
covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners, murderers, liars, 
shall enter into, or have any inheritance in the kingdom of 
Christ^." If you believe Christ, you must believe that you 
cannot be saved, unless you be converted. It is the devil, 
and not Christ, that telleth you you may be pardoned and 
saved in an unholy, unregenerate state : and it is sad, that 
men should believe the devil, and call this a believing in 
Christ, and think to be saved for so believing ; as if false 
faith and presumption pleased God ! Christ will not save 
m.en for believing a lie, and believing the father of lies before 
him : nor will he save all that are confident they shall be 
saved. If you think you have any part in Christ, remember 
Rom. viii. 9. " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he 
is none of his *'.*' 

» Heb. V. 9. y John ill. 3. 5. Matt, xviii. 3. ^ 2 Cor. v. 17. 

* Heb. xij. 11. ''1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. Ephes. v. 4 — 6. Rev. xxi. 27. 

• See more of Temptations, Chap. iii. Direct. 9. 



Directions to Young Christians, or Beginners in Religion, 
for their Establishment and Safe Proceeding **. 

Before I come to the common Directions, for the exercise 
of grace, and walking with God, containing the common 
duties of Christianity, I shall lay down some previous in- 
structions, proper to those that are but newly entered into 
religion ; presupposing what is said in my book of Directions 
to those that are yet under the work of conversion, to ]^re- 
vent their miscarrying by a false or superficial change. 

Direction i . * Take heed, lest it be the novelty or reputation 
of truth and godliness, that takes with you, more than the 
solid evidence of their excellency and necessity : lest, when 
the novelty and reputation are gone, your religion wither and 
consume away.' 

It is said of John and the Jews, by Christ, "He was a 
burning and a shining light, and ye were willing for a season 
to rejoice in his light''." All men are affected most, with 
things that seem new and strange to them. It is not only 
the infirmity of children, that are pleased with new clothes, 
and new toys and games ; but even to graver, wiser persons, 
new things are most affecting, and commonness and custom 
dulls delight. Our habitations, and possessions, and ho- 
nours, are most pleasing to us at the first; and every con- 
dition of life, doth most affect us at the first. If nature were 
not much for novelty, the publishing of news-books would 
not have been so gainful a trade so long, unless the matter 
had been truer, and more desirable. Hence it is, that 
changes are so welcome to the world, though they prove, 
ordinarily, to their cost. No wonder then, if religion be the 
more acceptable, when it comes with this advantage. When 
men first hear the doctrine of godliness, and the tidings of 
another world, by a powerful preacher opened and set home, 
no wonder if things of so great moment affect them for a 
time. It is said of them that received the seed of God's 

» I have since written a book on this subject, to which I refer the reader for fuller 
b John V. 35. 


Word as into stony ground, that " forthwith it sprung up" 
and they "anon with joy received it^;" but it quickly 
withered for want of rooting. These kind of hearers can no 
more delight, still in one preacher, or one profession, or way, 
than a glutton in one dish, or an adulterer in one harlot ; 
for it is but a kind of sensual or natural pleasure that they 
have in the highest truths ; and all such delight must be fed 
with novelty, and variety of objects. The Athenians were 
inquisitive after Paul's doctrine, as novelty, though after, 
they rejected it, as seeming to them incredible. " May we 
know what this new doctrine whereof thou speakest, is ? for 
thou bringest certain strange things to our ears : we would 
know therefore, what these things mean. (For all the 
Athenians and strangers which were there, spent their time in 
nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing**)." 

To this kind of professors, the greatest truths grow out 
of fashion, and they grow weary of them, as of dull and or- 
dinary things : they must have some new light, or new way 
of religion, that lately came in fashion : their souls are weary 
of that manna, that at first was acceptable to them, as angel's 
food. Old things seem low, and new things high to them ; 
and to entertain some novelty in religion, is to grow up to 
more maturity : and too many such, at last so far overthrive 
their old apparel, that the old Christ, and old Gospel are left 
behind them. 

The light of the Gospel is more speedily communicated, 
than the heat : and thi§ first part being more acceptable to 
them, is soon received : and religion seemeth best to them at 
first. At first they have the light of knowledge alone : and 
then they have the warmth of a new and prosperous pro- 
fession. There must be some time for the operating of the 
heat, before it burneth them : and then they have enough, 
and cast it away in as much haste as they took it up. If 
preachers would only lighten, and shoot no thunderbolts, 
even a Herod himself would " hear them gladly, and do many 
things after them :" but when their Herodias is meddled 
with, they cannot bear it. If preachers would speak only 
to men's fancies or understandings, and not meddle too 
smartly with their hearts, and lives, and carnal interests, the 
world would bear them, and hear them as they do stage- 

<= Matt. xiii. 5. 20. ^ Actsxvii, 19— 21. 


players, or at least as lectures in philosophy, or physic. A 
sermon that hath nothing but some general, toothless notions, 
in a handsome dress of words, doth seldom procure offence 
or persecution. It is rare that such men's preaching is dis- 
tasted by carnal hearers, or their persons hated for it. ** It 
is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun ^ ;" but not 
to be scorched by its heat. Christ himself at a distance, as 
promised, was greatly desired by the Jews ; but when he 
came, they could not bear him : his doctrine and life wer£ 
so contrary to their expectations. "The Lord whom ye 
seek, shall suddenly come to his temple even the Messen- 
ger of the Covenant whom ye delight in : behold, he shall 
come, saith the Lord of Hosts. But who may abide the day 
of his coming ? and who shall stand when he appeareth ? for 
he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap ^" Many 
when they come first (by profession) to Christ, do little think 
that he would cast them into the fire, and refine them, and 
purge away their dross, and cast them anew into the mould 
of the Gospel s. Many will play awhile by the light, that 
will not endure to be melted by the fire. When the preacher 
cometh once to this, he is harsh, and intolerable, and loseth 
all the praise which he had won before, and the pleasing no- 
velty of religion is over with them. The Gospel is sent to 
make such work in the soul and life, as these tender persons 
will not endure. It must captivate every thought to Christ, 
and kill every lust and pleasure which is against his will ; and 
put a new and heavenly life into the soul. It must possess 
men with deep and lively apprehensions of the great things 
of eternity. It is not wavering, dull opinions, that will raise 
and carry on the soul, to such vigorous, constant, victorious 
i action, as is necessary to salvation. When the Gospel 

'*• ' cometh to the heart, to do this great, prevailing work, then 
these men are impatient of the search and smart, and pre- 
sently have done with it. They are like children, that love 
the book, for the gilding and fineness of the cover, and take 
it up as soon as any ; but it is to play with, and not to learn : 
they are weary of it when it comes to that. At first many 
come to Christ with wonder, and will needs be his servants, 
for something in it that seemeth fine : till they hear that the 
Son of Man hath not the accommodation of the birds or 

e Eccles. xi. 7. ^ Mai. iii. 1—3. » Rom. vi 17. 


foxes ; and that his doctrine and way hath an enmity to their 
worldly, fleshly interest, and then they are gone. They first 
entertained Christ, in compliment, thinking that he would 
please them, or not much contradict them ; but when they 
find that they have received a guest, that will rule 
them, and not be ruled by them, that will not suffer them 
to take their pleasure, nor enjoy their riches, but hold them 
to a life which they cannot endure, and even undo them in 
the world, he is then no longer a guest for them. Whereas, 
if Christ had been received as Christ, and truth and godli- 
ness deliberately entertained, for their well discerned excel- 
lency and necessity, the deep rooting would have prevented 
this apostasy, and cured such hypocrisy. 

But, alas ! poor Ministers find, by sad experience, that 
all prove not saints that flock to hear them, and make up 
the crowd; nor that " for a season rejoice in their light," 
and magnify them, and take their parts. The blossom hath 
, its beauty and sweetness ; but all that blossometh, or ap- 
peareth in the bud, doth not come to perfect fruit: some 
will be blasted, and some blown down ; some nipt with 
frosts ; some eaten by worms ; some quickly fall ; and some 
hang on, till the strongest blasts do cast them down : some 
are deceived and poisoned by false teachers ; some by world- 
ly cares, and the deceitfulness of riches become unfruitful, 
and are turned aside : the lusts of some had deeper rooting 
than the Word ; and the friends of some had greater iiite- 
rest in them than Christ, and therefore they forsake him to 
satisfy their importunity : some are corrupted by the hopes 
of preferment, or the favour of man : some feared from Christ 
by their threats and frowns, and choose to venture on dam- 
nation, to escape persecution : and some are so worldly 
wise, that they can see reason to remit their zeal, and can 
save their souls and bodies too ; and prove that to be their 
duty, which other men call sin (if the end will but answer 
their expectations) : and some grow weary of truth and du- 
ty, as a dull and common thing, being not supplied with 
that variety, which might still continue the delights of no- 

Yet mistake not what I have said, as if all the affection 
furthered by novelty, and abated by commonness and use, 
were a sign that the person is but an hypocrite. I know 


that there is something in the nature of man, remaining in 
the best, which disposeth us to be much more passionately- 
affected with things, when they seem new to us, and are 
first apprehended, than when they are old, and we have 
\nown or used them long. There is not, I believe, one man 
of a thousand, but is much more delighted in the light of 
truth, when it first appeareth to him, than when it is trite, 
and familiarly known ; and is much more affected with a 
powerful Minister at first, than when he hath long sat under 
him. The same sermon, that even transported them at the 
first hearing, would affect them less, if they had heard, it 
preached an hundred times. The same books, which greatly 
affected us at the first or second reading, will affect us less 
when we have read them over twenty times. The same words 
of prayer, that take much with us when seldom used, do less 
move our affections, when they are daily used all the year. 
At our first conversion, we have more passionate sorrow for 
our sin, and love to the godly, than we can afterwards retain. 
And all this is the case of learned and unlearned, the sound 
and unsound, though not alike. Even heaven itself is spo- 
ken of by Christ, as if it did participate of this, when he 
saith, that *' joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that re- 
penteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, that 
need no repentance^." And I know, it is the duty of Minis- 
ters to take notice of this disposition in their hearers, and 
not to dull them with giving them still the same, but to pro- 
fit them by a pleasant and profitable variety : not by preach- 
ing to them another Christ, or a new Gospel : it is the same 
God, and Christ, and Spirit, and Scripture, and the same 
heaven, the same church, the same faith, and hope, and 
repentance, and' obedience, that we must preach to them, 
as long as we live : though they say, we have heard this an 
hundred times, let them hear it still, and bring them not a 
new creed. If they hear so oft of God, and Christ, and 
heaven, till by faith, and love, and fruition, they attain them 
as their end, they have heard well. But yet there is a grate- 
ful variety of subordinate particulars, and of words, and 
methods, and seasonable applications, necessary to the 
right performance of our ministry, and to the profiting 

? Luke XV. 7. 10. 


of the flocks : though the physician use the same apothe- 
cary's shop, and dispensatory, and drugs, yet how great a 
variety must he use of compositions, and times, and manner 
of administration ? 

But for all this, though the best are affected most with 
things that seem new, and are dulled with the long and fre- 
quent use of the same expressions, yet they are never weary 
of the substance of their religion, so as to desire a change. 
And though they are not so passionately affected with the 
same sermons, and books, or with the thoughts, or men- 
tion of the same substantial matters of religion, as at first 
they were ; yet do their judgments more solidly and tena- 
ciously embrace them, and esteem them, and their wills as 
resolvedly adhere to them, and use them, and in their live* 
they practise them, better than before. Whereas, they that 
take up their religion but for novelty, will lay it down when 
it ceaseth to be new to them, and must either change for a 
newer, or have none at all ^. 

And as unsound are they, that are religious, only because 
their education, or their friends, or the laws, or judgment 
of their rulers, or the custom of the country, hath made it 
necessary to their reputation. These are hypocrites at the 
first setting out, and therefore cannot be saved by continu- 
ance in such carnal religiousness as this. I know law, and 
custom, and education, and friends, when they side with 
godliness, are a great advantage to it, by affording helps, 
and removing those impediments that might stick much with 
carnal minds. But truth is not your own, till it be received 
in its proper evidence ; nor your faith divine, till you believe 
what you believe, because God is true who doth reveal it ; 
nor are you the children of God, till you love him for him- 
self ; nor are you truly religious, till the truth and goodness 
of religion itself, be the principal thing that makethyou re- 
ligious. It helpeth much to discover a man's sincerity, 
when he is not only religious among the religious, but among 
the profane, and the enemies, and scorners, and persecutors 
of religion : and when a man doth not pray only in a pray- 
ing family, but among the prayerless, and the deriders of 
fervent, constant prayer : and when a man is heavenly among 

h Fere idem itaque eritus est odii et amoris insani. Senec. de Ben. lib. vi. c. 25. 
EIz. 1649. p. 511. 


them that are earthly ; and temperate among the intempe- 
rate and riotous ; and holdeth the truth among those that 
reproach it, and that hold the contrary : when a man is not 
carried only by a stream of company, or outward advantages 
to his religion ; nor avoideth sin for want of a temptation ; 
but is religious, though against the stream, and innocent 
when cast, unwillingly, upon temptations; and is godly 
where godliness is accounted singularity, hypocrisy, fac- 
tion, humour, disobedience, or heresy : and will rather let 
go the reputation of his honesty, than his honesty itself. 

Direct, ii. 'Take heed of being religious only in opi- 
nion, without zeal, and holy practice ; or only in zealous 
affection, without a sound, well-grounded judgment : but 
see that judgment, zeal, and practice be conjunct. 

Of the first part of this advice (against bare opinionative 
religion), I have spoken already, in my " Directions for a 
Sound Conversion." To change your opinions, is an easier/ 
matter than to change the heart and life. A holding of the 
truth, will save no man, without a love and practice of the 
truth. This is the meaning of St. James, where he speaketh 
so much of the unprofitableness of a dead, ineffectual belief, 
that worketh not by love, and commandeth not the soul to 
practice and obedience. To believe that there is a God, 
while you neglect him, and disobey him, is unlike to please 
him. To believe that there is a heaven, while you neglect 
it, and prefer the world before it, will never bring you thi- 
ther. To believe your duty, and not to perform it ; and to 
believe that sin is evil, and yet to live in it ; is to sin with 
aggravation, and have no excuse, and not the way to be ac- 
cepted or justified with God. To be of the same belief with 
holy men, without the same hearts and conversations, will 
never bring you to the same felicity. " He that knoweth his 
master's will, and doth it not, shall be" so far from being ac- 
cepted for it, that he shall be " beaten with many stripes." To 
believe that holiness and obedience is the best way, will ne- 
ver save the disobedient and unholy. 

And yet if judgment be not your guide, the most zeal- 
ous affections will but precipitate you ; and make you run, 
though quite out of the way, like the horses when they haye 
cast the coachman or the riders ^ To ride post when you 

^ Scientia quae est remota a jasticia, calliditas potius quara sapientia appellanda 


are quite out of the way, is but laboriously to lose your 
time, and to prepare for further labour. The Jews that per- 
secuted Christ and his apostles, had the testimony of Paul 
himself, that they had a " zeal of God, but not according to 
knowledge." And Paul saith of the deceivers andtroublers 
of the Galatians (whom he wisheth even cut off), that they 
did zealously affect them, but not welP. And he saith of 
himself, while he persecuted the Christians to prison and to 
death, " I was zealous towards God as ye are all this day^" 
Was not the Papist, St. Dominick, that stirred up the per- 
secution against the Christians in France and Savoy, to the 
murdering of many thousands of them, a very zealous man? 
And are not the butchers of the Inquisition zealous men ? 
And were not the authors of the third Canon of the General 
Council at the Lateran, under Pope Innocent the Third, very 
zealous men, who decreed that the Pope should depose tem- 
poral lords, and give away their dominions, and absolve 
their subjects, if they would not exterminate the godly, 
called heretics ? Were not the Papists' powder-plotters zeal- 
ous men? Hath not zeal caused many of later times, to rise 
up against their lawful governors ? and many to persecute 
the church of God, and deprive the people of their faithful 
pastors without compassion on the people's souls ? Doth 
not Christ say of such zealots, . " The time cometh, when 
whosoever killeth you will think he doth God service ™'," 
(or offereth a service acceptable to God.) Therefore Paul 
saith, " It is good to be zealously affected always in a good 
thing "." Shewing you that zeal indeed is good, if sound 
judgment be its guide. Your first question mustbe. Whe- 
ther you are in the right way ? and your second. Whether 
you go apace ? It is sad to observe what odious actions are 
committed, in all ages of the world, by the instigation of 
misguided zeal ? And what a shame an imprudent zealot is 
to - his profession, while making himself ridiculous in the 

est, P. Scalig. The imprudencies of well-meaning men, have done as much hurt to 
the church sometimes, as the persecution of enemies, e. g. When Constantiue, the son 
of Constans, was emperor, some busy men would prove, from the orthodox doctrine 
of the Trinity, that liis two brethren, Tiberius and Heraclius, should reign with him : 
saying, Si in Trinitate credimus, tres etiam coronemus; which cost the chief of them 
a hanging. Abbas Urspergens. edit. Melanct. p. 162. , 

•'Rom. X. 2. Gal, iv. 17. ' Acts xxii, 3, 4.- °» John xvi, 2. 

"Gal.iv. 18. 



eyes of the adversaries, he brings his profession itself into 
contempt, and maketh the ungodly think that the religious 
are but a company of transported, brain-sick zealots ; and 
thus are hardened to their perdition. How many things 
doth unadvised affection provoke well-meaning people to, 
that afterwards will be their shame and sorrow. 

Labour therefore for knowledge, and soundness of un- 
derstanding ; that you may know truth from falsehood, 
good from evil ; and may walk confidently, while you walk 
safely ; and that you become not a shame to your profes- 
sion, by a furious prosecution of that which you must af- 
terwards confess to be an error ; by drawing others to that 
which you would afterwards wish that you had never known 
yourselves. And yet see that all your knowledge have its 
efficacy, upon your heart and life ; and take every truth as 
an instrument of God, to reveal himself to you, or to draw 
your heart to him, and conform you to his holy will. 

Direct, iii. * Labour to understand the true method of di- 
vinity, and see truths in their several degrees and order ; 
that you take not the last for the first, nor the lesser for 
the greater. Therefore see that you be well grounded in 
the catechism ; and refuse not to learn some catechism that 
is sound and full, and keep it in memory while you live.' 

Method, or right order, exceedingly helpeth understand- 
ing, memory, and practice **. Truths have a dependence on 
each other ; the lesser branches spring out of the greater, 
and those out of the stock and root. Some duties are but 
means to other duties, or subservient to them, and to be 
measured accordingly ; and if it be not understood which is 
the chief, the other cannot be referred to it. When two 
things, materially good, come together, and both cannot be 
done, the greater must take place, and the lesser is no duty 
at that time, but a sin, as preferred before the greater. 
Therefore it is one of the commonest difficulties among 
cases of conscience, to know which duty is the greater, and 
to be preferred. Upon this ground, Christ healed on the 
sabbath-day, and pleaded for his disciples rubbing the ears 

o Opus est imprimis duplici catechismo : uno compendario et brevi quem raerao- 
riter addiscant ; ubi summa sit eorum omnium quae ad fidem et mores Christiano 
sunt necessaria : altero uberiore, ubi eadem araplius, dilucidiusque dicantur, et copiosus 
confirmentur: ul ille prior discipulis potius, hie posterior ipsis praceptoribus usu sit. 
Acosta, lib.v. c. 14. p. 490. 

VpL. IT. H 


of corn, tktid for David's eating the shew-bread, and telleth 
them, that " the sabbath was made for man, and not man 
for the Sabbath, and that God will have mercy, and not 

Divinity is a curious, well-GompoBed frame. As it is not 
enough that you have all the parb of your watch or clock, 
but you must see that every part be in its proper place, or 
else it will not go or answer its end ; so it is not enough that 
you know the several parts of Divinity or duty, unless you 
know them in their true order and place. You may be con- 
founded before you are aware, and led into many dangerous 
errors, by mistaking th6 order of several truths ; and you 
may be misguided into heinous sins, by mistaking the de- 
grees and order of duties. As when duties of piety and 
charity seem to be competitors : and when you think that 
the commands of men contradict the commands of God : 
and when the substance and the circumstances or modes of 
duty are in question before you as inconsistent : or when 
the means seemeth to cease to be a means, by crossing of 
the end : and in abundance of such cases, you cannot easily 
conceive what a snare it may prove to you to be ignorant 
of the methods and ranks of duty. 

Objection. If that be so, what man can help being con- 
founded in his religion, when there be so few that observe 
any method at all, and few that agree in method, and none 
that hath published a scheme or method so exact and clear 
as to be commonly approved by Divines themselves. What 
then can ignorant Christians do ? 

Answer. Divinity is like a tree that hath one trunk?, 
and thence a few greater arms or boughs, and thence a 
thousand smaller branches : or like the veins, or nerves, or 
arteries in the body, that have first one or few trunks di- 
vided into more, and those into a few more, and those into 
more, till they multiply at last into more than can easily be 
seen or numbered. Now it is easy for any man to begin at 
the chief trunk, and to discern the first divisions, and the 
next, though not to comprehend the number and order of 
all extreme and smaller branches. So is it in Divinity : it 
is not very hard to begin at the unity of the eternal God- 

P Stoicidicunt virtutes sibiinvicem ita esse connexa»,utqui uuam habaerit, omnes 
habeat. Diog. Laert. in Zenone, lib. vii, 8egm.l25. p.444. 


head, and see there a trinity of persons, and of primary at- 
tributes, and of relations ; and to arise to the principal 
attributes and works of God as in these relations, and to the 
relations of man to God, and to the great duties of these re- 
lations, to discern God's covenants and chiefest laws, and 
the duty of man in obedience thereto, and the judgment of 
God in the execution of his sanctions i though yet many 
particular truths be not understood. And he that begin- 
neth and proceedeth as he ought, doth know methodically 
so much as he knoweth ; and he is in the right way to the 
knowledge of more : and the great mercy of God hath laid 
so great a necessity on us to know these few points that are 
easily known, and so much less need of knowing the many 
small particulars, that a mean Christian may live uprightly, 
and holy, and comfortably, that well understandeth his ca- 
^techism, or the cr^ed, Lord's prayer, and ten command* 
ments, and may find daily work and consolation in the use 
of these. 

A sound and well-composed catechism, studied well and 
kept in memory, would be a good measure of knowledge to 
ordinary Christians, and make them solid and orderly in 
their understanding, and in their proceeding to the smaller 
points ; and would prevent a great deal of error and mis- 
carriage, that many by ill teaching are cast upon, to their 
own and the churches' grief! Yea, it were to be wished, 
that some teachers of late had learned so much and Orderly 

Direct, iv. * Begin not too early with controversies in 
religion : and, when you come to them, let them have but 
their due proportion of your time and zeal : but live daily 
upon these certain, great substantials, which all Christians 
are agreed in.' ^^ 

1. Plunge not yourselves too soon into controversies : 
for, (1.) It will be exceedingly to your loss, by diverting 
your souls from greater and more necessary things : you 
may get more increase of holiness, and spend your time 
more pleasingly to God, by drinking in deeper the substan- 
tials of religion, and improving them on your hearts and 

(2.) It will corrupt your minds, and instead of humility, 
charity, holiness, and heavenly-mindednes«, it will feed 


your pride, and kindle faction and a dividing zeal, and 
quench your charity, and possess you with a wrangling, 
contentious spirit, and you will make a religion of these 
sins and lamentable distempers. 

(3.) And it is the way to deceive and corrupt your judg- 
ments, and make you erroneous or heretical, to your own 
perdition, and the disturbance of the church : for it is two 
to one but either you presently err, or else get such an itch 
after notions and opinions that will lead you to error at the 
last. Because you are not yet ripe and able to judge of 
those things, until your minds are prepared by those truths 
that are first in order to be received. When you undertake 
a work that you cannot do, no wonder if it be ill done, and 
must be all undone again, or worse. 

Perhaps you will say, that you must not take your reli- 
gion upon trust, but must " prove all things, and hold fast 
that which is good." 

Answer. Though your religion must not be taken upon 
trust, there are many controverted, smaller opinions that you 
must take upon trust, until you are capable of discerning 
them in their proper evidence. Till you can reach them your- 
selves, you must take them on trust, or not at all. Though 
you must believe all things of common necessity to salva- 
tion with a divine faith ; yet many subservient truths must 
be received first by a human faith, or not received at all un- 
til you are more capable of them. Nay, there is a human 
faith necessarily subservient to the Divine faith, about the 
substance of religion ; and the officers of Christ are to be 
trusted in their office, as helpers of your faith. Nay, let me 
tell you, that while you are young and ignorant, you are 
not fit for controversies about the fundamentals of religion 
themselves. You may believe that there is a God, long be- 
fore you are fit to hear an atheist proving that there is no 
God : you may believe the Scripture to be the word of God, 
and Christ to be the Saviour, and the soul to be immortal, 
long before you will be fit to manage or study controversies 
hereupon. For nothing is so false or bad, which a wanton 
or wicked wit may not put a plausible gloss upon : and 
your raw, unfurnished understandings will scarcely be able to 
see through the pretence, or escape the cheat. When you 
cannot answer the arguments of seducers, you will find them 


leave a doubting in your minds ; for you know not how 
plain the answer of them is to wiser men. And though you 
must prove all things, you must do it in due order, and as 
you are able : and stay till your furnished minds are capable 
of the trial. If you will needs read before you know your 
letters, or pretend to judge of Greek and Hebrew authors 
before you can read English, you will but become ridicu- 
lous in your undertaking. 

2. When you do come to smaller controverted points, let 
them have but their due proportion of your time and zeal. 
And that will not be one hour in many days, with the gene- 
rality of private Christians. By that time you have well 
learned the more necessary duties, you will find that there 
will be but little time to spare for lesser controversies. Opi- 
nionists that spend most of their time in studying and talk- 
ing of such points do steal that time from greater matters, 
and therefore from God and from themselves : better work 
is undone the while. And they that here lay. out their 
chiefest zeal divert their zeal from things more necessary, 
and turn their natural heat into a fever. 

3. The essential, necessary truths of your religion, must 
imprint the image of God upon your hearts, and must dwell 
there continually, and you must live upon them as your 
bread, and drink, and daily necessary food : all other points 
must be studied in subserviency to those. All lesser duties 
must be used as the exercise of the love of God or man, and 
of a humble, heavenly mind. The articles of your creed, 
and points of catechism are fountains ever running, afford- 
ing you matter for the continual exercise of grace : it is both 
plentiful and solid nourishment of the soul, which these 
great, substantial points afford. To know God the Creator, 
Redeemer, and Sanctifier, the laws and covenant of God, and 
his judgment, and rewards and punishments, with the parts 
and method of the Lord's prayer, which must be the daily 
exercise of our desires and love : this is the wisdom of a 
Christian, and in these must he be continually exercised. 

You will say, perhaps, that the apostle saith, *' Leaving 
the pjinciples of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to per- 
fection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from 
dead works %" &c. , 

Answer, 1. By " leaving" he meaneth not passing over the 

, q Heb. vi, 1. 


practice of them^ as men that have done with them and 
are past; but his leaving at that time to discourse of 
them, or his supposing them taught already : though he 
lay not the foundation again, yet he doth not pluck it up. 
2. By " principles" he meaneth the first points to be taught, 
and learned, and practised : and, indeed, regeneration and 
baptism is not to be done again : but the essentials of re- 
ligion, which I am speaking of, contain much more ; espe- 
cially to live in the love of God, vv^hich Paul calls " the 
more excellent way ^" 3. " Going on to perfection," is not 
by ceasing to believe and love God, but by a more distinct 
knowledge of the mysteries of salvation, to perfect our faith, 
and love, and obedience. 

The points that opinionists call higher, and think to be 
the principal matter of their growth, and advancement in 
understanding, are usually but some smaller, less necessary 
truths, if not some uncertain, doubtful questions*. 

Direct, v. ' Be very thankful for the great mercy of your 
conversion : but yet overvalue not your first degrees of 
knowledge or holiness; but remember that you are yet but 
in your infancy, and must expect your growth and ripeness, 
as the consequent of time and diligence.' 

You have great reason to be more glad and thankful, for 
the least measure of true grace, than if you had been made 
the rulers of the earth : it being of a far more excellent na- 
ture, and entitling you to more than all the kingdoms of the 
world. See my sermon called " Right Rejoicing," on those 
words of Christ, " Rejoice not that the spirits are subject 
to you ; but rather rejoice because your names are written in 
heaven*." Christ will warrant you to rejoice, though ene- 
mies envy you, and repine both at vour victory and triumph. 
If there be " joy in heaven in the presence of the angels" at 
your conversion, there is great reason you should be glad 
yourselves. If the prodigal's father will needs have the best 
robe and ring brought forth, and the fat calf killed, and the 
music to attend the feast, that they may eat and be merry °, 
there is great reason that the prodigal son himself should 
not have the smallest share of j oy : though his brother repine. 

r 1 Cor. xii. xiii. « Mark well 1 Tim. i. 4. and iv. 4. 2 Tidi.ii. 23. Tit. iil. 9. 
compared with John xvii. 3. Rom. xiii. 8 — 10. 1 Cor. xiii. 1 John Ki. 1 Cor* 
i. 23. XV. 1—3. ii. 2. Gal. ri 14. James ii. iii. 1. 
*■ Luke X. 20. " Luke xv. 23. 


But yet, take heed lest you think the measure of your 
first endowments to be greater than it is ''. Grace imitateth 
nature, in beginning, usually, with small degrees, and grow- 
ing up to maturity by leisurely proceeding. We are not 
new born in a state of manhood, as Adam was created. 
Though those texts that liken the kingdom of God to a grain 
of mustard-seed, and to a little leaven y, be principally 
meant of the small beginnings, and great increase of the 
church or kingdom of Christ in the world ; yet it is true 
also of his grace, or kingdom in the soul. Our first stature 
is but to be " new-born babes desiring the sincere milk of 
the Word, that we may grow by it*." Note here, that the 
new birth bringeth forth but babes, but growth is by degrees, 
by feeding on the Word. The Word is received by the heart, 
as seed into the ground *. And seed useth not to bring forth 
the blade and fruit, to ripeness, in a day. 

Yet I deny not, but that some men (as Paul) may have 
more grace at their first conversion, than many others have 
at their full growth. For God is free in the giving of his own, 
and may give more or less as pleaseth himself. But yet in 
Paul himself, that greater measure is but his smallest measure, 
and he himself is capable of increase to the last. And so 
great a measure at first is as rare, as his greater measure, at 
last, '}ji its full growth, is rare, and scarce to be expected now. 

And if God should give a great measure of holiness at 
first, to any now, as possibly he may, yet their measure of 
gifts is never great at iirst, unless they had acquired or re- 
ceived them before conversion. If grace find a man of great 
parts and understanding, which by study and other helps, 
he had attained before, no wonder if that man, when his parts 
are sanctified, be able in knowledge the first day i for he had 
it before, though he had not a heart to use it. But if grace 
find a man ignorant, unlearned, and of mean abilities, he 
must not expect to be suddenly lifted up to great understand- 
ing, and high degrees of knowledge by grace. Fof this 
knowledge is not given, now, by sudden infusion, as gifts 
were, extraordinarily, in the primitive church. You need 
no other proof of this but experience, to stop the mouth of 

" Laertius saith of Cleanthus, " Cum aliquando probro ille daretur, quod essettimi- 
dus. At ideo, inquit, pas-umpecco." Diog. Laert. lib. vii. Segm. 171 . p. 473. 
y Matt. xui. 31.33. 'iPet.ii. 2. * Matt. xiu. 


any gainsayer. Look about you, and observe whether those 
that are n^en of knowledge, did obtain it by infusion, in a 
moment ? or whether they did not obtain it by diligent study, 
by slow degrees ? though I know God blesseth some men's 
studies more than others. Name one man that ever was 
brought to great understanding, but by means and labour, 
and slow degrees ; or that knoweth any truth, in nature, or 
Divinity, but what he read, or heard, or studied for, as the 
result of what he read or heard. The person that is proud- 
est of his knowledge, must confess that he came to it in this 
way himself. 

But you will afek, ' What then is the illumination of the 
Spirit, and enlightening the mind, which the Scripture as- 
cribeth to the Holy Ghost? Hath not our understanding 
need of the Spirit for light, as well as the heart or will for 

Answ. Yes, no doubt ; and it is a great and wonderful 
mercy : and I will tell you what it is. 1. The Holy Spirit, 
by immediate inspiration, revealed to the apostles the doc- 
trine of Christ, and caused them infallibly to indite the 
Scriptures. But this is not that way of ordinary illumination 
now. 2. The Holy Spirit assisteth us in our hearing, read- 
ing, and studying the Scriptures, that we may come, by di- 
ligence, to the true understanding of it ; but'doth not give us 
that understanding, without hearing, reading, or study. 
" Faith Cometh by hearing ^." It blesseth the use of means 
to us, but blesseth us not in the neglect of means. 3. The 
Holy Spirit doth open the eyes and heart of a sinner, who 
hath heard, and notionally understood the substance of the 
Gospel, that he may know that piercingly, and eifectually, 
and practically, which before he knew but notionally, and 
ineffectually : so that the knowledge of the same truth, is 
now become powerful, and, as it were, of another kind. 
And this is the Spirit's sanctifying of the mind, and princi- 
pal work of saving illumination : not by causing us to know 
any thing of God, or Christ, or heaven, without means ; but 
by opening the heart, that, through the means, it may take 
in that knowledge deeply, which others have but notionally, 
and in a dead opinion : and, by making our knowledge clear, 
and quick, and powerful, to affect the heart, and rule the 

»» Rom. X. 17. 


life. 4. The Holy Spirit sanctifieth all that notional know- 
ledge which men had before their renovation. All their 
learning and parts are now made subservient to Christ, and 
to the right end, and turned into their proper channel. 5. 
And the Holy Ghost doth, by sanctifying the heart, possess 
it with such a love to God, and heaven, and holiness, and 
truth, as is a wonderful advantage to us, in our studies for 
the attaining of further knowledge. Experience telleth us, 
how great a help it is to knowledge, to have a constant love, 
delight and desire to the thing which we would know. All 
these ways the Spirit is the enlightener of believers. 

The not observing this Direction, will have direful 
effects ; which I will name, that you may see the necessity 
of avoiding them. 

1. If you imagine that you are presently men of great 
understanding, and abilities, and holiness, while you are 
young beginners, and but new-born babes, you are entering 
into the snare and condemnation of the devil, even into the 
odious sin of pride ; yea, a pride of those spiritual gifts 
which are most contrary to pride ; yea, and a pride of that 
which you have not, which is most foolish pride. Mark the 
words of Paul% when he forbids to choose a young beginner 
in religion to the ministry, '* Not a novice, (that is, a young, 
raw Christian) " lest being lifted up," (or besotted) " with 
pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil." Why are 
young beginners more in danger of this, than other Chris- 
tians ? One would think their infancy should be conscious 
of its own infirmity. But Paul knew what he said. It is 
(1.) Partly because the suddenness of their change, coming 
out of darkness, into a light which they never saw before, 
doth amaze them, and transport them, and make them think 
they are almost in heaven, and that there is not much more 
to bejattained. Like the beggar that had an hundred pounds 
given him, having never seen the hundredth part before, 
imagined that he had as much money as the king. (2.) And 
it is partly because they have not knowledge enough to 
know, how many things there are, that yet they are ignorant 
of ^. They never heard of the Scripture-difficulties, and the 

«= 1 Tim. iii. 6. 

^ Quidiscipulumrudem et elatura habet, contra ventum adverso flumine navigat, 
serpcntem niitrit, aconitum excolet, hostem docet. Petrarch, Dial. 41. lib. S. 


knots in school divinity, nor the hard cases of conscienoe ; 
whereas, one seven year's painful studies, will tell them of 
many hundred difficulties which they never saw : and forty 
or fiifty year's study more, will clothe them with shame and 
humility, in the sense of their lamentable darkness. (3.) And 
it is, also, because the devil doth with greatest industry, lay 
this net to entrap young converts, it being the way in which 
be hath the greatest hope. 

2. Your hasty conceits of your own goodness, or ability, 
will make you presumptuous of your own strength, and so to 
venture upon dangerous temptations, which is the way to 
ruin.j You will think you are not so ignorant, but you may 
venture into the company of Papists, or any heretics or de- 
ceivers, or read their books, or be present at their worship. 
And I confess you may escape ; but it may be otherwise, and 
God may leave you, to " shew you all that was in your hearts,'' 
as it is said of Hezekiah ^. 

3. And your overvaluing your first grace, will make you 
too secure, when your souls have need of holy awfulness and 
care, " to work out your salvation with fear and trembling V 
and to " serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly 
fear, as knowing that he is a consuming fire s," and security 
is the forerimner of a fall. 

4. It will make you neglect the due labour and patience 
in the use of means for further knowledge and increase of 
grace, while you think you are so well already. And so you 
will be worse than those that are ever learning, and never 
come to any ripe knowledge ; for you will think you are fit 
to be teachers, when you have need to be taught that which 
you will not submit to learn. And then ** When for the time 
ye ought to have been teachers, you will have need to be 
catechised, or taught again which be the first principles of 
the oracles of God, as havingneedofmilk, and not of strong 
meat." Mark here, how the Holy Ghost maketh time and 
exercise, necessary to such growth as must enable you to be 
teachers. Therefore he addeth, " But strong meat belongeth 
to them that are of full age ; ^those who by reason of use have 
their senses exercised to discern both good and evil''." 
Mark here, how wisdom and strength are to be expected. 

•* 2 Chron. xxxii. 31 . 25, «6. * Phil. ii. 12. « Heb. xiL 28, 29. 

*• Heb. V. 12—14. 


5. This over-hasty eonceit of your own ability, will 
tempt you to run into controversies, and matters that you 
are not fit for ; and so divert you from necessary and sea* 
sonable studies. 

6. It will make you over confident of all your own 
opinions, and stiff in ail your own conceits : too like him, 
Prov. xiv. IG. " The fool rageth and is confident." How 
many, and many a time have I heard a man, that understood 
not what he talked of, and could scarce speak sense, to 
plead for his opinion so confidently, as to scorn or pity the 
wisest contradictor, when his ignorance, and phrenetic con- 
fidence and rage, did make him a real object of pity, to men 
of ordinary understandings. There is a kind of madness in 
this disease, that will not leave you wit enough to know 
that you are mad. 

7. It will make you also very censorious of others : this 
ignorant pride will make you think other men's knowledge 
to be ignorance, if they be not just of your fond opinions : 
and other men's graces to be none, if they be not of your 
mind and way. None are so ready as such, to censure those 
that are better than themselves, or that they have no acquain- 
tance with, as being but civil, moral men, or being erroneous 
or deluded. It is a very loathsome thing, to hear an igno- 
rant, self-conceited fellow to talk of those that are an hun- 
dred times wiser and much better than himself, as magis- 
terially, with a proud compassion or contempt, as if he were 
indeed the wise man, that knoweth not what he saith. 

8. And it will make you rebellious against your governors 
and teachers, and utterly unteachable, as despising those that 
should instruct and rule you. You will think yourselves 
wiser than your teachers, while you are but in the lowest form. 
It is such that James speaks to, chap. iii. 1 . " My brethren, be 
not many masters (or teachers), knowing that ye shall receive 
the greater condemnation." And that whole chapter, well 
worth your studying, is spoke to such. 

9. And thus it will entangle you in heretical opinions, 
to which there is no greater preparatory, than pride posses- 
sing half-witted, young beginners in religion. 

10. And so it will make you troublers of the church, con-, 
tending unpeaceably for that which you understand not. 


11. And it tendeth to hypocrisy, making you give thanks 
for that which you never had, as puffed up with a knowledge 
that is not enough to keep you humble, and wanting the 
charity which would edify yourselves and others ^ 

12. And it tendeth to delude you in point of assurance of 
salvation, taking your own over-valuing self-esteem, for 
true assurance ; which is not ordinarily to be expected, till, 
grace be come to greater strength. 

13. Lastly, It tendeth to corrupt your apprehensions of 
the nature of Christianity itself; while you will judge of it 
in others, according to your own over- valued measure : when, 
if you knew it as it is, in the heart and practice of the sober, 
wise, humble, charitable, peaceable, mortified, heavenly be- 
liever, you would see that it hath a higher glory, than any 
that is manifested by you. 

I have named to you all these sad effects of overvaluing 
your beginnings in religion, that as you love your souls, you 
may avoid them. I take it to be a matter of exceeding great 
moment, for your safety and perseverance, that while you 
are infants in grace, you know yourself to be such ; that you 
may keep your form, and learn first, the lessons that must 
first be learned, and " walk thumbly with your God, and 
obey those that are over you in the Lord ™," and may wait 
on the Spirit, in the use of means, and may not rejoice the 
tempter, by corrupting all that you have received, and imita- 
ting him, in falling from your state of hope. 

Direct, vi. 'Be not discouraged at the difficulties and 
oppositions which will rise up before you, when you begin 
resolvedly to walk with God.' 

As discouragements keep off multitudes from religion, 
so they are great temptations to many young beginners to 
turn back, and as the Israelites in the wilderness, ready to 
wish themselves again in Egypt. Three sorts of discourage- 
ments arise before them. 1. Some from the nature of the 
work. 2. Some from God's trials. 3. And some from the 
malice of the devil and his instruments : or all these. 

1 . It cannot be expected but that infants and weaklings 
should think, a little burden heavy, and an easy work or 
journey to be wearisome: young beginners are ordinarily 
puzzled, and at a loss, in every trade, or art, or science. 

' i Cor. viii. 1. m Heb. xiii. 7. 17. 1 Thes. i. 5. 12. 


Young scholars have a far harder task, than when they are 
once well entered. Learning is wondrous hard and unplea- 
sant to them, at the first ; but when they are once well en- 
tered, the knowledge of one thing helps another, and they 
go on with ease. So a young convert, that hath been bred 
up in ignorance, and never used to hear prayer, or to hea- 
venly discourse ; nor to hear^ or join with any that did, will 
think it strange and hard at first. And those that were used 
to take their pleasure, and fulfil the desires of the flesh, 
and perhaps to swear, and talk filthily, or idly, or to lie, will 
find, at first, some difficulty to overcome their customs, and 
live a mortified, holy life : (yet grace will do it, and prevail.) 
Especially in point of knowledge, and ability of expression, 
be not too hasty in your expectation, but wait with patience, 
in a faithful, diligent use of the means, and that will be easy 
and delightful to you afterwards, which before discouraged 
you with its difficulties. 

2. And God himself will have his servants, and his gra- 
ces, tried and exercised by difficulties. He never intended 
us the reward for sitting still ; nor the crown of victory, 
without a fight ; nor a fight, without an enemy and opposi- 
tion. Innocent Adam was unfit for his state of confirma- 
tion and reward, till he had been tried by temptation. 
Therefore the martyrs have the most glorious crown, as 
having undergone the greatest trial. And shall we presume 
to murmur at the method of God? 

3. And satan, having liberty to tempt and try us, will 
quickly raise up storms and waves before us, as soon as we 
are set to sea ; which make young beginners often fear, that 
they shall never live to reach the haven. He will shew thee 
the greatness of thy former sins, to persuade thee that they 
shall not be pardoned. He will shew thee the strength of 
thy passions and corruptions, to make thee think that they 
will never be overcome. He will shew thee the greatness 
of the opposition and suffering which thou art like to un- 
dergo, to make thee think thou shalt never persevere. He 
will do his worst to meet thee with poverty, losses, crosses, 
injuries, vexations, persecutions, and cruelties, yea, and un- 
kindness from thy dearest friends, as he did by Job, to make 
thee think ill of God, or of his service. If he can, he will make 
them thy enemies that are of thine own household. He 


will stir up thy own father, or mother, or husband, or wife, 
or brother, or sister, or children, against thee, to persuade 
or persecute thee from Christ : therefore Christ tells us, 
that if we hate not all these, that is, cannot forsake them, 
and use them as men do hated things ; when they would 
turn us from him, we cannot be his disciples". Look for 
the worst that the devil can do against thee, if thou hast 
once lifted thyself against him, in the army of Christ, and 
resolvest, whatever it cost thee, to be saved. Read Heb. xi. 
But how little cause you have to be discouraged, though 
earth and hell should do their worst, you may perceive by 
these few considerations. 

(1 .) God is on your side, who hath all your enemies in his 
hand, and can rebtike them, or destroy them In a moment. 
O what is the breath or fury of dust or devils, against the 
Lord Almighty ? " If God be for us, who can be against 
us°?" Read often that chapter, Rom. viii. In the day 
when thou didst enter into covenant with God, and he with 
thee, thou didst enter into the most impregnable rock and 
fortress, and house thyself in that castle of defence* where 
thou mayst (modestly) defy all adverse powers of earth or 
hell. If God cannot save thee, he is not God. And if he 
will not save thee, he must break his covenant. Indeed, he 
may resolve to save thee, not from affliction and persecution, 
but in it, and by it. But in all these sufferings you will ** be 
more than conquerors, through Christ that loveth you :" 
that is, it is far more desirable and excellent, to conquer by 
patience, in suffering for Christ, than to conquer our perse- 
cutors in the field, by force of arms. O think on the saints* 
triumphant boastings in their God : " God is our refuge 
and strength, a very present help in trouble : therefore will 
not we fear, though the earth be removed, aiid though the 
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea?." When 
his " enemies were many" and " wrested his words daily,*' 
and " fought against him, and all their thoughts were against 
him," yet he saith, " What time I am afraid, I will trust in 
thee. In God I will praise his word ; in God I have put 
my trust : I will not fear what flesh can do unto me^i.** Re- 
member Christ's charge, " Be not afraid of them that kill 

«» Luke XIV. 26. Matt. x. » Rom. v'vu 31. P Psal. xlvL 1—3. 

1 Psal. Ivi. 1—5. ^K. 


the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But 
I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : fear him, which af- 
ter he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say 
unto you. Fear him^" If all the world were on thy side, 
thou might yet have cause to fear ; but to have God on thy 
side, is infinitely more. 

(2.) Jesus Christ is the Captain of thy salvation%and hath 
gone before thee this way himself, and hath conquered for 
thee I and now is engaged to make thee conqueror: and 
darest thou not go on where Christ doth lead the way ? He 
was perfected through suffering himself, and will see that 
thou be not destroyed by it. Canst thou draw back, when 
thou seest his steps, and his blood ? 

(3.) Thou art not to conquer in thy own strength, but by 
the Spirit of God, and the power of that grace, which is suf- 
ficient for thee, and his strength, which appeareth most in 
our weakness*. And you " can do all things through Christ 
that strengtheneth" you" : " be of good cheer, he hath over- 
come the world''." 

(4.) All that are in heaven have gone this way, and over^ 
come such oppositions and difficulties as these. They were 
tempted, troubled, scorned, opposed, as well as you ; and 
yet they now triumph in glory. '* These are they that come 
out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and 
made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are 
they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night 
in his temple : and he that sitteth on the throne, shall dwell 
among them^. And all that ever come to heaven, at age, 
are like to come this way. And doth not the company en- 
courage you? and the success of those that have overcome 
before you? Will you have the end, and yet refuse the 

(5.) Consider how much greater difficulties ungodly men 
go through to hell. They have stronger enemies than you 
have: the devil and wicked men are your enemies ; but God 
himself is theirs, and yet they will go on. Men threaten 
but death, to discourage you ; and God threateneth damna- 
tion, to discourage them ; and yet they go on, and are not 
discouraged. And will you be more afraid of man, than 

' Luke xii. 4 5. • Heb. ii. 10. * 2 Cor. xii. 9. " Phil. iv. 13. 

« JohnxvLSS. T Rev. vii. 14. 15. 


sinners are of God? and of death or scorns, than they are 
of hell? 

(6.) Yea, and you yourselves must cast your souls on 
these greater evils, if by discouragement you turn from the 
way of godliness. You must run into hell, for fear of burn- 
ing ; and upon everlasting death, to escape a temporal death, 
or less : you will choose God for your enemy, to escape the 
enmity of man : and how wise a course this is, judge you ; 
when, if you do but see that " your ways please God," he 
can " make your enemies be at peace with you," if he see it 
for your good^. If you will fear, fear him that can damn 
the soul. 

(7.) Lastly,. Remember what abundance of mercies you 
have to sweeten your present life, and to make your burden 
easy to you : you have all that is good for you in this life, 
and the promise of everlasting joy : "for godliness" thus 
** is profitable to all things^." What abundance of mercy, 
have you in your bodies, estates, friends, names, or souls, 
which are the greatest ! What promises and experiences to 
refresh you ! What liberty of access to God ! A Christ to 
rejoice in ! A heaven to rejoice in ! and yet, shall a stony or 
dirty way, discourage you more, than these shall comfort 

The sum of all is, your work will grow easier and sweeter 
to you, as your skill and strength increase. Your ene- 
mies ai*e as grasshoppers before you : the power of the Al- 
mighty is engaged, by love and promise, for your help : and 
do you pretend to trust in God, and yet will fear the face of 
man? " I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to 
them that plucked oflP the hair : I hid not not my face from 
shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me ; there- 
fore shall I not be confounded : therefore have I set my face 
like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is 
near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us 
stand together : who is mine adversary ? let'him come near to 
me. Behold, the Lord God will help me ; who is he that shall 
condemn me ? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment ; the 
moth shall eat them up*." "Hearken unto me, ye that 
know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law ; 
fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their 

y Prov. xvi. r. « 1 Tim. iv. Qm£, * Isa. 1. 6—9. 


revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, 
and the worm shall eat them like wool : but my righteous- 
ness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to 
generation''." He is no soldier for Christ, that will turn 
back for fear of scorns, or of any thing that man can do 
against him. 

And consider, whether heaven should be more easily 
come to ? They are things of unspeakable glory that you 
strive for : and they are unworthily despised, if any thing 
be thought too good to part with for them, or any labour, 
or difficulties, or sufferings too great to undergo to procure 

Direct. VII. * If it be in your power, live under a judi- 
cious, faithful, serious, searching, powerful minister*'; and 
diligently attend his public teaching, and use his private 
counsel, for more particular directions and application, for 
the settling and managing the affairs of your souls ; even 
as you take the advice of physicians for your health, and of 
lawyers for your estates, and tutors for your studies.* 

I give this direction only to those that may enjoy so 
^reat a mercy, if they will. Some live where no such mi- 
nister is. Some are children, or servants, or wives, that are 
bound, and cannot remove their habitations, or enjoy such 
liberty, by reason of the unwillingness and restraint of others. 
Some are so poor, that they cannot remove their dwelling, 
for such advantages. And some are so serviceable in their 
places, that they may be bound to stay under a very weak 
minister, that they may do good to others, where they have 
best opportunity. But let him that can be free, and pos- 

»> Isa. li. 7, 8. 

*= His maxirae utile est nSsse ita esse prmponendas verbis sententias, ut praepo- 
nitur animus corpori: ex quo fit, ut ita malle debeant veriores quara disertiores audire 
sermones, sicut malle debent prudentiores quam formosiores habere amicos. Nove- 
rint etiara nou esse vocera ad aures Dei nisi animi affectum : ita enim non irridebunt 
si aliquos antistites et ministros forte animadverterint vel cum barbarismis et soloecis- 
mis Deum invocare, vel eadem verba quae pronunciant, non intelligere, perturbateque 
distinguere. Vid. Filesacum de Episc. autorit. p. 103. Poenituit multos vanae ste- 
rilisque, cathedrae. Juven. Sat. 7. 203. Ruperti. p. 195. Ttalis Ciceronianis sum 
iniquior, quia tantum loquuntur verba, non res, et rhetorica ipsoram pleruraque est 
Kohcouvrtxii: est glossa sine textu : nux sine nucleo: nubessine pluvi^. Plumas sunt 
meliores quam avis ipsa. Bucholtzer, Take heed lest prejudice, or any corruption, 
possess your minds; for then all that you hear, will be unsavoury, or unprofitable to 
you. Magna debet esse eloquentia, quae invitis placeat, ait Senec. praef. libt 10. 



sess so great a mercy, accept it thankfully, though to his 
cost. As Christ said in another case, " Every man cannot 
receive the saying ; but he that can receive it, let him." 

There is abundance of diflPerence betv^een a weak, un- 
skilful, inexperienced, dead-hearted, formal teacher, and 
such a one as is described in the Direction. Some that are 
senseless or indifferent, in such matters as these, themselves, 
would persuade you to be so too, and look first in your set- 
tlement to your bodily conveniences, and be content with 
such a teacher as accidentally you are cast upon. And 
they will tell you, that the work of grace dependeth not on 
the preacher's gifts, but on the gift, and blessing of the Spi- 
rit of God. The Formalists and the Enthusiasts concur in 
this, though from different principles. But though God 
can frustrate the fittest means, and can work without means, 
or by that which is least fitted to the end, yet it is his ordi- 
nary way to work by means, and that for the soul, as well as 
for the body ; and to work most by the aptest means. And, 
I am sure, it is the duty of every teacher, to preach in the 
fittest manner that he can, for the people's edification ; and 
not to do God's work deceitfully, and inaptly, because God 
can bless the unfittest means : audit is the people's duty to 
attend upon the best they can enjoy, though God can equally 
,work by the weakest, or by none. As that pretence will not 
excuse the contemners of God's ordinances, that upon every 
little business stay at home, and attend upon no ministry 
at all ; no more will it excuse them, that refuse that help 
that is most suited to their edification, and take up with a 
worse, when they might have a better. We are not to neg- 
lect duty, upon a presumptuous expectation of miraculous 
or extraordinary works. When we Can have no better, we 
may hope for the greater benefit from the weakest ; but not 
when it is the choice of our own presumptuous, irreligious 
hearts. God can make Daniel and his companions to thrive 
better by eating pulse, than others that fed at the table of 
the king : and rather than sin against God, we must cast 
ourselves on him for unusual supplies, or leave all to his 
will. But few would therefore be persuaded causelessly 
to live on pulse, when they may have better. And one 
would think this truth, should have no contradiction, espe- 
cially from those men, that are apt to obscure and extenuate 


the Spirit's operations on the soul, and to confess no gra'ce, 
but what consisteth in a congruous ordination of means 
and circumstances. When their doctrine layeth all a man'* 
hopes of salvation, upon this congruity of means and cir- 
cumstances, should they afterwards teach men to underva- 
lue, or neglect the fittest, and wilfully cast their souls upon 
the most unfit and unlikely means ? But ungodliness first 
resolveth what to speak against, before it resolveth what to 
say ; and will contradict God's word, though it contradict 
its own ; and will oppose holiness, though by a self-op- 

But the spiritual relish and experience of the godly, is a 
very great preservative to them, against such deluding rea- 
sonings as these. It is harder for a sophister, of greatest 
subtlety or authority, to persuade him that hath tasted them, 
that sugar is bitter, or wormwood sweet, than to persuade 
him to believe it, that never tasted them. And it is hard to 
make a healthful man believe, it is best for him to eat but 
once a week, or best to live on grass, or snow. I doubt not, 
but those that now I speak to, have such experience and per- 
ception of the benefit of a judicious and lively ministry, in 
comparison of the ignorant, cold, and lifeless, that no words 
will make them indifferent herein. Have you not found the 
ministry of one sort enlighten, and warm, and quicken, and 
comfort, and strengthen you, much more than of the other ? 
I am sure I have the common sense and experience of the 
faithful on my side, in this, which were enough of itself, 
against more than can be said against it. Even new-born 
babes in Christ, have in their new natures, a desire, not to 
senseless or malicious pratings, but to the rational, sincere 
milk, {t6 \oyiKov aSoXov yaXa,) that they may grow by it, and 
to perform to God a rational service **. 

And it must needs be a very proud and stupid heart, that 
can be so insensible of its own infirmity, sinfulness, and ne- 
cessity, as to think the weakest, dullest Minister may serve 
their turns ; and that they are able to keep up their life, and 
vigour, and watchfulness, and fruitfulness, with any little, 
ordinary help. I cannot but fear, such men know not what 
the power and efficacy of the Word upon the heart and con- 
science mean ; nof what it is, to live a life of faith and 

^ Rom. xii. 1. 


holiness, and to watch the heart, and walk with God. If they 
did, they could not but find so much difficulty herein, and 
so much backwardness and unskilfulness in themselves, 
hereto, as would make them feel the necessity of the greatest 
helps ; and, it could not be but they must feel the difterence, 
between a clear and quickening sermon, and an ignorant, 
heartless, dead discourse, that is spoken as if a man were 
talking in his sleep, or of a matter that he never understood, 
nor had experience of. 

Alas ! how apt are the best to cool, if , they be not kept 
warm by a powerful ministry ! How apt to lose the hatred 
of sin, the tenderness of conscience, the fervency in prayer, 
the zeal and fulness in edifying discourse, and the delights 
and power of heavenly meditations, which before we had ! 
How apt is faith to stagger if it be not powerfully under-prop- 
ed, by the helpers of our faith ! How hardly do we keep up 
the heat of love, the confidence of hope, the resolution and 
fulness of obedience, without the help of a powerful ministry ! 
Nay, how hardly do we do our part in these, in any tolerable 
sort, even while we have the clearest, liveliest helps, that are 
ordinarily to be had ! And can any, that are not blind, and 
proud, imagine that they are so holy and good, that they are 
above the necessity of such assistance ; and that the weakest 
breath is enough to kindle the fire of holy love and zeal, and 
keep them in the fear and obedience of God ? Alas ! we are 
under languishing weakness, and must be dieted with the 
best, or we shall soon decay ; we are cripples, and cannot go 
or stand without our crutches. And there must be some sa- 
vour of the Spirit in him, that will be fit to make us spiritual, 
and some savour of faith and love in him, that would kindle 
feith and love in us ; and he must speak clearly and con- 
vincingly, that will be understood, and will prevail with such 
as we ; and he must speak feelingly, that would make us 
feel, and speak seriously, that would be much regarded by us, 
and would make us serious. 

And ministers are not set up only for public preaching, 
but for private counsel also, according to our particular needs. 
As physicians are not only to read you instructions for the 
dieting and curing of yourselves ; but to be present in your 
sickness, to direct you in the particular application of re- 
medies. And as lawyers are to assist you in your particular 


cases, to free your estates from encumbrances/ and preserve 
or rescue them from contentious men. Choose, therefore, 
some able minister to be your ordinary counsellor in the 
matters of God. And let him be one. that is humble, faith- 
ftil, experienced, and skilful; that hath leisure, ability, and 
willingness to assist you •. 

As infants in a family are unable to help themselves, and 
need the continual help of others, and therefore God hath put 
into the hearts of parents a special love to them, to make 
them diligent and patient in helping them : so is it in the 
family of Christ ; most Christians, by far, are young or weak 
in understanding and in grace. It is long before you will be 
past'the need of others* help, if ever, in this life. If you feel 
not this your infirmity and need, it is so much the greater. 
God will have no men to be self-sufficient : we shall all have 
need of one another, that we may be useful to one another ; 
and God may use us as his messengers and instruments of 
conveying his mercies to each other ; and that even self-love 
may help us to be sociable, and to love one another. And 
our souls must receive their part of mercy, by this way of 
communication, as well as our bodies : and therefore, as the 
poor, above all men, should not be against charity, and com- 
municating, that need it most ; so young Christians that are 
weak and unexperienced, above all others, should be mosjl 
desirous of help, especially from an able, faithful guide. . , 

But be sure you deal sincerely, and cheat not yourselves, 
by 'deceiving your counsellor, and hiding your case. To do 
so by your lawyer, is the way to lose your suit ; and to do so 
by your physician is tlie way to lose your life ; and to do so 
with your pastor, and soul-counsellor is the way to lose your 
souls. And let the judgment of your pastor or judicious 

* Acosta noteth it as a great hiudrance of the Indians* conversion, that their 
Teachera shift for belter livings, and stay not till they are well acquainted with the 
people, and that the Bishops are of thesame temper : Hate tauta clades est aiuiuamiu, 
ut satis deplorari non possit ; nihil sacerdos Christl prteclari profidet in salute Indo- 
rum, sine familiari et hoiiiinum et rerum notititk. lib. iv, c 10. p. 390. Sunt auteni 
inulti qui iojuncto munerc copiose se satis tacere esistiinant, orationem dominicau) el 
sy wbolum et salutationem angelicam, tuni pnecepta decalogi Hispan. idiomate iden- 
tideiu Indis recitnutes, eorum intantes baptixantes, mortuus se|>elientes, matriiiKmio 
juvcnescollocantes, et rem sacram festis diebus facientes.— Neque coivscJenti^, quain 
utiuain cauterixatam non habeant, mordentur quod dispersaa sint oves dornini, ^c 
c T. p. 373. 


friend about the state of your souls, be much regarded by you, 
though it be not infallible. How far such must be trusted, 

1 am afterward to open to you, with other of your duties be- 
longing to you in this relation, I now only proceed to ge- 
neral advice. 

Direct, viii. * Keep right apprehensions of the excel- 
lency of charity and unity among believers, and receive no- 
thing hastily that is against them ; especially take heed lest 
under pretence of their authority, their number, their sound- 
ness, or their holiness, you too much addict yourselves 
to any sect or party, to the withdrawing of your special 
love and just communion from other Christians, and turn- 
ing your zeal to the interest of your party, with a neglect 
of the common interest of the church ; but love a Chris- 
tian as a Christian, and promote the unity and welfare of 
them alls.* 

Use often to read and well consider the meaning and 
reason of those many urgent passages in Scripture, which 
exhort all Christians to unity and love. Such as John xi. 
62. xvii. 11. 21— 23. 1 Cor. iii. 10. 17. andxii. throughout: 

2 Cor. xiii. 11. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. Phil. ii. 1—3. 1 Pet. 
iii. 8. Rom. xvi. 17. 1 Cor. i. 10. iii. 3. and xi. 18. 
And John xiii. 35. Rom. xii. 9, 10. xiii. 10. 2 Cor. xiii. 
11, Gal. V. 6, 13, 22. Col. i. 4. 1 Thess. iv. 9. 1 John 
iii. 14. 23. and iv. 7, U. 16. 19, 20, 21. Surely, if the very 
life of godliness lay not much in unity and love, we should 
never have had such words spoken of it, as here you find. 
Love is to the soul, as our natural heat is to the body : 
whatever destroyeth it destroyeth life ; and therefore cannot 
be for our good. Be certain, that opinion, course, or mo- 
tion tends to death, that tends to abate your love to your 
brethren, much more which under pretence of zeal, provok- 
eth you to hate and hurt them. To divide the body is to 
kill it, or to maim it : dividing the essential, necessary parts 
is killing it : cutting off any integral part is maiming it. 
The first can never be an act of friendship, which is the 
worst that an enemy can do : the second is never an act of 
friendship, but when the cutting off a member which may 
be spared is of absolute necessity to the saving of the whole 
man, from the worse division between soul and body. By 

? Against uncharhableness and schism, see more in part ii. ch. 23. 


this judge what friends dividers are to the church, and how 
well they are accepted of God. 

He that loveth any Christian aright must needs love all 
that appear to him as Christians. And when malice will 
not sutifer men to see Christianity in its profession, and 
credible appearance in another, this is as well contrary to 
Christian love, as hating him when you know him to be a 
true Christian. Censoriousness (not constrained by just 
evidence) is contrary to love, as well as hatred is. 

There is an union and communion with Christians as 
such : this consisteth in having one God, one head, one 
spirit, one faith, one baptismal covenant, one rule of holy 
living, and in loving and praying for all, and doing good to 
as many as we can. This is an union and communion of 
mind, which we must hold with the catholic church through 
the world. And there is a bodily, local union and commu- 
nion, which consisteth in our joining in body, as well as 
mind, with particular congregations : and this, as we can- 
not hold it with all, nor with any congregation, but one at 
once ; so we are not bound to hold it with any that will 
drive us from it, unless we will commit some sin : statedly 
we must hold it, with the church which regularly we are 
joined to and live with ; and occasionally we must hold it 
with all others, where we have a call and opportunity, wha 
in the substance worship God according to his Word, and 
force us hot to sin in conformity to them. It is not schism 
to lament the sins of any church, or of all the churches in 
the world : the catholic church on earth consists of sinners. 
It is not schism to refuse to be partaker in any sin of the 
purest church in the world : obedience to God is not schism. 
It is not schism that you join not bodily with those congre- 
gations where you dwell not, nor have any particular call to 
join with them ; nor that you chuse the purest and most 
edifying society, rather than one that is less pure and pro- 
fitable to you ; * csBteris paribus,' supposing you are at li- 
berty : nor that you hold not bodily communion with that 
church, that will not suffer you to do it, without sinning 
against God ; nor that you join not with the purest church, 
when you are called to abide with one less pure. 

But it is worse than schism to separate from the uni- 
versal church: to separate from its faith is^ apostasy to 


infidelity. To separate from it in some one or few essential 
articles, while you pretend to hold to Christ the head is he- 
resy : to separate from it in spirit, by refusing holiness, and 
not loving such as are truly holy, is damning ungodliness 
or wickedness : to differ from it by any error of judgment or 
life, against the law of God, is sin. To magnify any one 
church or party, so as to deny due love and communion to 
the rest, is schism. To limit all the church to your party, 
and deny all or any of the rest to be Christians, and parts 
of the universal church, is schism by a dangerous breach of 
charity ; and this is the principal schism that I here admo- 
nish you to avoid. It is schism also to condemn unjustly 
any particular church, as no church : and it is schism to 
withdraw your bodily communion from a church that you 
were bound to hold that communion with, upon a false 
supposition that it is no church, or is not lawfully to be com- 
municated with. And it is schism to make divisions or par- 
ties in a church, though you divide not from that church. 
Thus I have (briefly) told you what is schism. 

1. One pretence for schism is (usurped) authority, which 
some one church may claim to command others that owe 
them no subjection. Thus pride, which is the spirit of hell, 
having crept into the church of Christ, and animated to 
usurpations of lordship and dominion, and contending for 
superiority, hath caused the most dangerous schisms in 
the church, with which it was ever infested. The bishop 
of Rome (advantaged by the seat and constitution of that 
empire) having claimed the government of all the Christian 
world, condemneth all the churches that will not be his 
subjects ; and so hath made himself the head of a sect, and 
of the most pernicious schism that ever did rend the church 
of Christ: and the bishop of Constantinople, and too 
many more, have followed the same method in a lower de- 
gree, exalting themselves above their brethren, and giving 
them laws, and then condemning and persecuting them that 
obey them not. And when they have imposed on other 
churches their own usurped authority and laws, they have 
laid the plot to call all men schismatics and sectaries, that 
own not their tyrannical usurpation, and that will not be 
schismatics and sectaries with them : and the cheat lieth in 
this, that they confound the churches' unity with their pre- 


tended authority, and schism with the refusal of subjection 
to them. If you will not take them for your lords, they cry 
out that you divide from the church : as if we could hold 
communion with no churches, but those whose bishops we 
obey ? Communion with other churches is maintained by 
faith and charity, and agreement in things necessary, with- 
out subjection to them. As we may hold all just commu- 
nion with the churches in Armenia, Arabia, Russia, without 
subjection to their bishops, so may we with any other 
church besides that of which we are members. Division or 
schism is contrary to unity and concord, and not to an 
usurped government : though disobedience to the pastors 
which God hath set over us is a sin, and dividing from them 
is a schism. Both the Pope and all the lower usurpers 
should do well first to shew their commission from God to 
be our rulers, before they call it schism to refuse their go- 
vernment. If they had not made better advantage of fire 
and sword, than of Scripture and argument, the world would 
not have laughed them to scorn, when they had heard them 
to say, 'AH are schismatics that will not be our subjects : 
our dominion and will shall be necessary to the unity of the 
church.' The universal church indeed is one; united under 
one head and governor : but it is only Jesus Christ who is 
that head, and not any usurping vicar or Vice-Christ. The 
bishops of particular churches are his ofl&cers ; but he hath 
deputed no vicar to his own office, as the universal head. 
Above all sects, take heed of this pernicious sect, who pre- 
tend their usurped authority for their schism, and have no 
way to promote their sect, but by calling all sectaries that 
will not be sectaries and subjects unto them. 

2. Another pretence for schism is the numbers of the 
party. This is another of the Papists' motives : as if it 
were lawful to divide the church of Christ, if they can but 
get the greater party ? They say, * We are the most, and 
therefore you should yield to us :' (and so do others, where 
by the sword they force the most to submit to them.) But 
we answer them. As many as they are, they are too few to 
be the universal church. The universal church, containing 
all true, professing Christians, is much more than they. 
The Papists are not a third part, if a fourth, of the whole 
church. Papists are a corrupted sect of Christians : I will 


be against dividing the body of Christ into any sects, 
rather than to be one of that sect or divided party, which is 
the greatest. 

3. Another pretence for schism is the soundness or or- 
thodoxness of a party. Almost all sects pretend that they 
are wiser and of sounder judgment than all the Christian 
world besides : yea, Ihose that most palpably contradict the 
Scriptures (as the Papists in their half-communion and un- 
intelligible service), and have no better reason why they so 
believe or do, but because others have so believed and done 

But (1.) the greatest pretenders to orthodoxness are not 
the most orthodox : (2.) and if they were, I can value them 
for that which they excel, without abating my due respect 
to the rest of the church. (3.) For the whole church is ortho- 
dox in all the essentials of Christianity, or else they were 
not Christians : and I must love all that are Christians with 
that special love that is due to the members of Christ, though 
I must superadd such esteem for those that are a little wiser 
or better than others, as they deserve. 

4. The fourth pretence for schism, is the holiness of the 
party that men adhere to. But this must make but a gra- 
dual difference, in our esteem and love to some Christians 
above others : if really they are most holy, I must love them 
most, and labour to be as holy as they ; but I must not 
therefore unjustly deny communion, or due respect, to other 
Christians that are less holy ; nor cleave to them as a sect 
or divided party, whom I esteem most holy. For the ho- 
liest are most charitable, and most against the divisions 
among Christians, and tenderest of their unity and peace. 

The sum of this direction is : 1 . Highly value Christian 
love and unity: 2. Love those most that are most holy, 
and be most familiar with them, for your own edification : 
and if you have your choice, hold local personal commu- 
nion, with the soundest, purest, and best qualified church. 
3. But entertain not hastily any odd opinion of a divided 
party ; or, if you do hold it as an opinion, lay not greater 
weight on it, than there is cause. 4. Own the best as best, 
but none as a divided sect ; and espouse not their dividing 
interest. 5. Confine not your special love to a party ; es- 
pecially for agreeing in some opinions with you ; but extend 


it'to all the members of Christ. 6. Deny not local commu- 
nion, when there is occasion for it, to any church that hath 
the substance of true worship, and forceth you not to 'sin. 
7. Love them as true Christians and churches, even when 
they thus drive you from their communion. 

It is a most dangerous thing to a young convert, to be 
ensnared in a sect : it will, before you are aware, possess 
you with a feverish, sinful zeal, for the opinions and inte- 
rest of that sect ; it will make you bold in bitter invectives 
and censures, against those that differ from them ; it will 
corrupt your church-communion, and fill your very prayers 
with partiality and human passions ; it will secretly bring 
malice, under the name of zeal, into your minds and words : 
in a word, it is a secret, but deadly enemy to Christian love 
and peace. Let them that are wiser, and more orthodox and 
godly than others, shew it, as the Holy Ghost directeth 
them : ** Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge 
among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his 
works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter en- 
vying (or zeal) and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie 
not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from 
above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying 
and strife is, there is confusion (or tumult), and every evil 
work. But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, 
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mer- 
cy and good fruits, without partiality (or wrangling), and 
without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown 
in peace of them that make peace''." 

Direct, ix. ' Take heed lest any persecution or wrong 
from others, provoke you to any unwarrantable passions and 
pjaoticps, and deprive you of the charity, meekness, and 
innocency of a Christian ; or make you go beyond your 
bounds, in censuring, reviling, or resisting your rulers, who 
are the officers of God.' 

Persecution and wrongs are called temptations in Scrip- 
ture, because they try you, whether you will hold your in- 
tegrity. As many fall in such trials, through the fear of 
men, and the love of the world, and their prosperity ; so 
when you seem most confirmed against any sinful com- 
pliance, there is a snare laid for you on the other side, to 

h James iii. l3 — 18. 


draw you into passions and practices, that are unwarran- 

Those that are tainted with pride, uncharitableness, and 
schism, will itch to be persecuting those that comply not 
with them in their way : and yet, while they do it, they will 
most cry out against pride, uncharitableness, and schism 
themselves. This is, and hath been, and will be too ordina- 
ry in the world. You may think that schism should be far 
from them, that seem to do all for order and unity. But 
never look to see this generally cured, when you have said 
and done the best you can : you must, therefore, resolve, 
not only to fly from church-division yourselves, but also to 
undergo the persecutions or wrongs of proud or zealous 
church-dividers. It is great weakness in you, to think such 
usage strange : do you not know that enniity is put, from 
the beginning, between the woman's and the serpent's seed ? 
And do you think the name, or dead profession of Christiani- 
ty, doth extinguish the enmity in the serpent's seed ? Do 
you think to find more kindness from proud, ungodly Chris- 
tians, than Abel might have expected from his brother 
Cain ? Do you not know that the Pharisees (by their 
zeal for their pre-eminence, and traditions, and cere- 
monies, and the expectation of worldly dignity and rule 
from the Messiah,) were more zealous enemies of Christ, 
than the heathens were ? and that the carnal members of 
the church, are oft the greatest persecutors of the spiritual 
members ? "As then he that was born after the flesh, did 
persecute him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is 
now'" (and will be). It is enough for you, that you shall 
have the inheritance, when the sons of the bondwoman shall 
be cast out. It is your taking the ordinary case of the god- 
ly for a strange thing, that makes you so disturbed and pas- 
sionate, when you suffer : and reason is down, when passion 
is up. It is by overwhelming reason with passion and dis- 
content, that '* oppression maketh" some " wise men mad'' :" 
for passion is a short, imperfect madness. You will think 
in your passion, that you do well, when you do ill ; and you 
will not perceive the force of reason, when it is ever so 
plain and full against you. Remember, therefore, that the 
great motive that causeth the devil to persecute you is not 

 Gal. iv. 29. k Eccles. vii. 7. 


to hurt your bodies^ but to tempt your souls to impatiency 
and sin : and if it may be said of you as of Job, ** In all 
this Job sinned notV' you have got the victory, and are 
" more than conquerors ™." 

Doth it seem strange to you, that " few rich men are 
saved,'^ when Christ telleth you it is *' so hard," as to be 
*' impossible with men " ?" Or is it strange, that rich men 
should be the ordinary rulers of the earth ? Or is it strange, 
that the wicked should hurt the godly, and the world hate 
them that are " chosen out of the world ?" What of all this 
should seem strange ? Expect it as the common lot of the 
faithful, and you will be better prepared for it. 

See therefore that you " resist not evil ^''^ (by any re- 
vengeful, irregular violence) : *' Let every soul be subject 
to the higher powers, and not resist lest they receive dam- 
nation p." Imitate your Lord, that " when he was reviled, 
reviled not again ; when he suffered he threatened not, but 
committed all to him that judgeth righteously ; leaving us 
an ensample, that we should follow his steps •!." An angry 
zeal against those that cross and hurt us is so easily kindled 
and hardly suppressed, that it appeareth there is more in it 
of corrupted nature than of God. We are very ready to 
think that we may " call for fire from heaven " upon the ene- 
mies of the Gospel : but ** you know not what manner of 
spirit ye are then of '^.^ But Christ saith unto you, " Love 
your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them 
that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use 
you, and persecute you ; that ye may be the children of your 
Father which is in heaven \" You find no such prohibition 
against patient suffering wrong from any. Take heed of 
giving way to secret wishes of hurt to your adversaries, or 
to return reproachful words against them : take heed of 
hurting yourself by passion or sin, because others hurt you 
by slanders or persecutions. Keep you in the way of your 
duty, and leave your names and lives to God. Be careful 
that you keep your innocency, and in your patience possess 
your souls, and God will keep you from any hurt from 
enemies, but what he will cause to work for your good. 

1 Job i. 22. "* Rom. viii. 37—39. " Luke xviii. 27. 

« Matt. V. 39. P Rom. xiii. 1—3. i 1 Pet. ii. 21. 23. 

r Luke ix. 55: * Matt. v. 44, 45. 


Read Pslam xxxvii. " Commit thy way unto the Lord ; 
trust also in him ; and he shall bring it to pass. And he 
shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy 
judgment as the noon-day. Rest in the Lord, and wait pa- 
tiently for him : fret not thyself because of him who pros- 
pereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth 
wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake 
wrath : fret not thyself in anywise to do evil*." 

Direct, x. * When you are repenting of, or avoiding any 
extreme, do it not, without sufficient fear and caution of the 
contrary extreme.' 

In the esteem and love of God, your ultimate end, you 
need not fear overdoing : nor any where, when impediments 
and backwardness or impotency, do tell you that you can 
never do too much. But sin lieth on both sides the rule 
and way : and nothing is more common, than to turn from 
one sin to another, under the name of duty or amendment. 
Especially this is common in matter of opinion : some will 
first believe, that God is nothing else but mercy, and after, 
take notice of nothing but his justice. First, they believe 
that almost all are saved, and afterwards, that almost none : 
fitst, that every profession is credible, and next, that none 
is credible without some greater testimony : first, that Christ 
satisfied for none at all that will not be saved, and next, that 
he died for all alike : first, that none are now partakers of 
the Holy Spirit ; and next, that all saints have the Spirit, not 
only to illuminate and sanctify them, by transcribing the 
written Word upon their hearts ; but also to inspire them 
with new revelations, instead of Scripture. First, they think 
that all that Papists hold or do, must be avoided ; and after, 
that there needed no reformation at all. Now, they are for 
legal bondage, and anon for libertinism : to-day, for a liberty 
in religion to none, that agree not with them in every circum- 
stance ; and to-morrow, for a liberty to all : this year, all 
things are lawful to them ; and the next year, nothing is 
lawful, but they scruple all that they say or do. One while, 
they are all for a worship of mere show and ceremony ; and 
another while, against the determination of mere circum- 
stances of order and decency, by man. One while, they cry 
up nothing but free grace ; and another while, nothing but 

t Psal. xxxvii. 5—8. 


free will. One while, they are for a discipline stricter than 
the rule ; and another while, for no discipline at all. First, 
for timorous compliance with evil; and afterwards, for 
boisterous contempt of government. Abundance of such 
instances we might give you. 

The remedy against this disease, is, to proceed delibe- 
rately, and receive nothing, and do nothing rashly and un- 
advisedly in religion. For, when you have found out your 
first error, you will be affrighted from that, into the contrary 
error. See that you look round about you ; as well to the 
error that you may run into on the other side, as into that 
which you have run into already. Consult also with wise, 
experienced men : and mark their unhappiness, that have 
fallen on both sides ; and stay not to know evil by sad ex- 
perience. True mediocrity is the only way that is safe : 
though negligence and lukewarmness be odious, even when 
cloaked with that name. 

Direct, xi. * Let not your first opinions, about the con- 
troverted difficulties in religion, where Scripture is not very 
plain, be too peremptory, confident, or fixed ; but hold them 
modestly, with a due suspicion of your unripe understand- 
ings, arid with room for further information, supposing it 
possible, or probable, that upon better instruction, evidence, 
and maturity, you may, in such things, change your minds.' 
I know, the factious, that take Up their religion on the 
credit of their party, are against this Direction : thinking 
that you must first hit on the right church, and then hold, 
all that the church doth hold ; and therefore change your 
mind in nothing, which you this way receive. I knoW, also, 
that some libertines and half believers, would corrupt this 
Direction, by extending it to the most plain and necessary 
truths ; persuading you to hold Christianity itself, but as an 
uncertain, probable opinion. 

But, as God's foundation standeth sure, so we must be 
surely built on his foundation. He that believeth not the 
essentials of Christianity, as a certain, necessary revelation 
of God, is not a Christian, but an infidel. And he that be- 
lieveth not all that he understandeth in the Word of God, 
believeth nothing on the credit of that Word. Indeed faith 
hath its weakness, on those that are sincere ; and they are 
fain to lament the remnants of unbelief, and cry, " Lord in- 


crease our faith : help thou our unbelief." But he that ap- 
proveth of his doubting, and would have it so, and thinks the 
revelation is uncertain, and such as v^^ill warrant no firmer a 
belief, I should scarcely say, this man is a Christian. Chris- 
tianity must be received as of divine, infallible revelation. 
But controversies about less necessaiy things, cannot be de- 
termined peremptorily, by the ignorant or young beginners, 
without hypocrisy, or a human faith going under the name 
of a Divine. I am far from abating your Divine belief of 
all that you can understand in Scripture, and implicitly of 
all the rest in general. And I am far from diminishing the 
credit of any truth of God. But the reasons of this Direc- 
tion, are these, 

1 . When it is certain that you have but a dark, uncertain 
apprehension of any point, to think it is clear and certain, 
is but to deceive yourselves by pride. And, to cry out 
against all uncertainty, as scepticism, which yet you cannot 
lay aside, is but to revile your own infirmity, and the common 
infirmity of mankind, and foolishly to suppose that every 
man can be as wise and certain, when he list, as he should be. 
Now reason and experience will tell you, that a young, un- 
furnished understanding, is not like to see the evidence of 
difficult points, as, by nearer approach, and better advantage 
it may do. 

2. If your conclusions be peremptory, upon mere self- 
conceitedness, you may be in an error for aught you know : 
and so you are but confident in an error. And then how far 
may you go in seducing others, and censuring dissenter's, and 
come back when you have done, and confess that you were 
all this while mistaken yourselves. 

3. For a man to be confident that he knoweth what he 
knoweth not, is but the way to keep him ignorant, and shut 
the door against all means of further information. When 
the opinion is fixed by prejudice and conceit, there is no 
ready entrance for the light. 

4. And, to be ungroundedly confident, so young, is not 
only to take up with your teacher's word, instead of a faith 
and knowledge of your own, but also to forestall all diligence 
to know more : and so you may lay by all your studies, save 
only to know what those men hold, whose judgments are 
your religion : too popish and easy a way to be safe. 


5. If. you must never change your first opinions or ap- 
prehensions, how will you grow in understanding? Will 
you be no wiser at age, than you were at childhood, and 
after long study and experience, than you were before ? Na- 
ture and grace do tend to increase. -i oih 'io 

Indeed, if you should be never so peremptory in your 
opinions, you cannot resolve to hold them to the end : for 
light is powerful, and may change you whether you will or 
no : you cannot tell what that light will do, which you never 
saw. But prejudice will make you resist the light, and make 
it harder for you to understand. 

I speak this upon much experience and observation. 
Our first, unripe apprehensions of things, will certainly be 
greatly changed, if we are studious, and of improved under- 
standings. Study the controversies about grace and free- 
will, or about other such points of difficulty, when you are 
young, and it is two to one that ripeness will afterward make 
them quite another thing to you. For my own part, my 
judgment is altered from many of my youthful, confident 
apprehensions : and where it holdeth the same conclusion, 
it rejecteth abundance of the arguments, as vain, which once 
it rested in. And where I keep to the same conclusions and 
aro-uments, my apprehension of them is not the same, but I 
see more satisfying light in many things, which I took but 
upon trust before. And if I had resolved to hold to all my 
first opinions, I must have forborne most of my studies, and 
lost much truth, which I have discovered, and not made that 
my own, which I did hold : and I must have resolved to live 
and die a child. 

The sum is. Hold fast the substance of religion, and every 
clear and certain truth, which you see in its own evidence : 
and also reverence your teachers ; especially the universal 
church, or the generality of wise and godly men ; and be not 
hasty to take up any private opinion : , and especially to con- 
tradict the opinionof your governors and teachers, in small 
and controverted things. But yet, in such matters, receive 
their opinions but with a human faith, till indeed you have 
more, and therefore, with a supposition, that time and study 
is very like to alter your apprehensions ; and with a reserve, 
impartially to study, and entertain the truth, and not, to sit 
still just where you were born. 



Direct, xii. 'If controversies occasion any divisions 
where you live, be sure to look first to the interest of common 
truth and good, and to the exercise of charity. And become 
not passionate contenders for any party in the division, or 
censurers of the peaceable, or of your teachers, that will not 
over-run their own understandings, to obtain with you the 
esteem of being orthodox or zealous men ; but suspect your 
own unripe understandings, and silence your opinions till 
you are clear and certain ; andjoin rather with the moderate 
and the peacemakers, than vdth the contenders and dividers.' 

You may easily be sure, that division tendeth to the ruin 
of the church, and the hindrance of the Gospel, and the in- 
jury of the common interest of religion". You know it is 
greatly condemned in the Scriptures. You may know that 
it is usually the exercise, and the increase of pride, unchari- 
tableness, and passion ; and that the devil is best pleased 
with it, as being the greatest gainer by it. But, on the other 
side> you are not easily certain which party is in the right : 
and if you were, you are not sure that the matter will be 
worth the cost of the contention : or if it be, it is to be con- 
sidered, whether the truth is not like to get more advantage 
by managing it in a more peaceful way, that hath no conten- 
tion, nor stirreth up other men so much against it, as the 
way of controversy doth. And whatever it prove, you may 
and should know> that young Christians, that want both 
parts, and helps, and time, and experience to be thoroughly 
seen in controversies, are very unfit to make themselves 
parties ; and that they are yet more unfit to be the hottest 
leaders of these parties, and to spur on their teachers, that 
know more than they. If the work be fit for another to do, 
that knoweth on what ground he goeth, and can foresee the 
end, yet certainly it is not fit for you. And therefore for- 
bear it till you are more fit. 

I know those that would draw you into such a conten- 
tious zeal, will tell you, that their cause is the cause of God, 
and that you desert him and betray it, if you be not zealous 
in it : and that it is but the counsel of flesh and blood which 
maketh you pretend moderation and peace : and that it is a 
sign that you are hypocrites, that are so lukewarm, and car- 

^ Stoici dicunt cum nemine stultorum esse litigandum : oranesque stultos insa- 
nire. Diog. Laert, in Zenone, lib. viii^ Segm. 124.~ p. 444. 


nally comply with error : and that the cause of God is to be 
followed with the greatest zeal and self-denial. And all 
this is true, if you be but sure that it is indeed the cause of 
God ; and that the greater works of God be not neglected 
on such pretences ; and that your zeal be much greater for 
faith, and charity, and unity, than for your opinions. But 
upon great experience, I must tell you, that of the zealous 
contenders * in the world, that cry up * The cause of God, and 
Truth,' there is not one of very many, that understandeth 
what he talks of; but some of them cry up the cause of God, 
when it is a brat of a proud and ignorant brain, and such as 
a judicious person would be ashamed of. And some of them 
are rashly zealous, before they have parts or time to come to 
any judicious trial. And some of them are misguided by 
some person or party, that captivateth their minds. And 
some of them are hurried away by passion and discontent. 
And many of the ambitious and worldly are blinded by their 
carnal interests. And many of them in mere pride, think 
highly of an opinion, in which they are somewhat singular, 
and which they can, with some glorying, call their own, as 
either invented by them, or that, in which they think they 
know more than ordinary men do. And abundance, after 
long experience, confess that to have been their own erro- 
neous cause, which they before entitled the cause of God. 
Now when this is the case, and one crieth, * Here is Christ,' 
and another, * There is Christ ;' one saith, * This is the cause 
of God,' and another saith, * That is it ;' no man that hath 
any care of his conscience, or of the honour of God and his 
profession, will leap before he looketh where he shall alight ; 

* Consuming zeal, doth use at lasttoburn up the ownerj of jU. Whatever they 
say or do against others, in their intemperate violence, they teacb others at la^t to 
say and do against tliera, when they have opportunity. How the orthodox tauglit 
the Arians to use severity against them, may be seen in Victor. Utic. p. 447 — 449. 
in the edict of Hannerychus : Legem quam dudum Caristiani Imperatores nostri 
contra eos et alios hzereticos pro honorificentia JEcclesiaj Catholicae dederunt, advcr- 
sas nos illi proponere non erubuerunt. v. g. Rex Hun.&c. TriumphalisetMajes- 
tatis Regiae probatur esse virtutis, mala in autores consilia retorquere : quisquis 
enim pravitatis aliquid invenerit, sibi imputet quod inpurret. Nullos conventus ho- 
mousion Sacerdotes assumant, nee aliqujd raysteriorum, quae magis polluunt, sibi 
vindicent. Nullam habeant ordinandi licentiam. Quod ipsaruralegura continentia 
demonstratur quas induxisse Imperatoribus, &c. viz. ut nulla, exceptis superstilionis 
suae antistitibus, Ecclesia pateret; nuUis liceretaliisaut convictusagere, autexercerc 
conventus, nee Ecclesias, aut in urbibus, aut in quibusdam minimb locis. 


or run after every one, that "will whistle him with the name 
or pretence of truth or a good cause. It is a sad thing to go 
on many years together in censuring, opposing, and abusing 
those that are against you, and in seducing others, and mis- 
employing your zeal, and parts, and time, and poisoning all 
your prayers and discourses, and in the end to see what mis- 
chief you have done for want of knowledge, and with Paul 
to confess, that you were mad in opposing the truth and ser- 
vants of God, though you did it in a zeal of God through 
ignorance. Were it not much better to stay till you have 
tried the ground, and prevent so many years grievous sin, 
than to escape by a sad repentance, and leave behind you 
stinking and venomous fruits of your mistake ? And worse, 
if you never repent yourselves. Your own and your brethren's 
souls, are not so lightly to be ventured upon dangerous, un- 
tried ways. It will not make the truth and church amends, 
to say at last, * I had thought I had done well.' Let those 
go to the wars of disputing, and contending, and censuring, 
and siding with a sect, that are riper, and better understand 
the cause : wars are not for children. Do you suspend your 
judgment till you can solidly and certainly inform it; and 
serve God in charity, quietness, and peace, and it is two to 
one, but you will live to see the day, that the contenders 
that would have led you into their wars, will come off with 
so much loss themselves, as will teach them to approve your 
peaceable course ; or teach you to bless God that kept you 
in your place and duty. 

In all this, I deny not, but every truth of God is to be 
valued at a very high rate : and that he that shall carry him- 
self in a neutrality, when faith or godliness is the matter in 
controversy, or shall do it merely for his worldly ends, to 
save his stake by temporizing, is a false-hearted hypocrite, 
and at the heart, of no religion. But withal I tell you, that 
all is not matter of faith or godliness, that the Autonomian- 
Papist, the Antinomian-Libertine, or other passionate parties 
shall call so.' And, that as we must avoid contempt of the 
smallest truth, so we must much more avoid the most heinous 
sins, which we may commit for the defending of an error. 
And, that some truths must be silenced for a time, though 
not denied, when the contending for them is unseasonable, 
and tendeth to the injury of the church. If you were mas- 


ters in the church, you must not teach your scholars to their 
hurt, though it be truth you teach them. And if you were 
physicians, you must not cram them, or medicate them to 
their hurt. Your power and duty is not to destruction, but 
to edification. The good of the patient is the end of your 
physic. All truth is not to be spoken, nor all good to be 
done, by all men, nor at all times. He that will do contrary, 
and take this for a carnal principle, doth but call folly and 
sin by the name of zeal and duty, and set the house on fire 
to roast his egg, and with the Pharisees, prefer the outward 
rest of their sabbath, before his brother's life or health. 
Take heed what you do when God*s honour, and men's souls, 
and the church's peace are concerned in it. 

And let me tell you my own observation. As far as my 
judgment hath been able to reach, the men that have stood 
for pacification and moderation, have been the most judi- 
cious, and those that have best understood themselves, in 
most controversies that ever I heard under debate among 
good Christians : and those that furiously censured them as 
lukewarm or corrupted, have been men that had least judg- 
ment, and most passion, pride, and foul mistakes in the 
points in question. 

Nay, I will tell you more of my observation, of which 
these times have given us too much proof. Profane and for- 
mal enemies on the one hand, and ignorant, self-conceited 
wranglers on the other hand, who think they are champions 
for the truth, when they are venting their passions and fond 
opinions, are the two thieves, between whom the church hath 
suffered, from the beginning to this day. The first are the 
persecutors, and the other the dividers and disturbers of the 
church. Mark what the Holy Ghost saith in this case, 
" But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that 
they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must 
not strive ; but be gentle unto all men y." " Do all things 
without murmurings and disputings : that ye may be blame- 
less and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the 
midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom 
ye shine, as lights in the world V " If any man teach other- 
wise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is ac- 

y 2 Tim. ii. 23, 24. * Phil. ii. 14, 15. 


cording to godliness ; he is proud, knowing nothing, but 
doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh 
envy, strife, railings, evil-surmisings, perverse disputings of 
men of corrupt minds, &,c. ^" " Neither give heed to fables 
and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather 
than godly edifying, which is in faith : now the end of the 
commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and a good 
conscience, and faith unfeigned ^" 

Yet I must here profess, that if any false-hearted, worldly 
hypocrite, that resolveth to be on the saving side, and to 
hold all to be lawful, thelt seemeth necessary to his safety or 
preferments, shall take any encouragement from what I have 
here said, to debauch his conscience, and sell his soul, and 
then call all those furious zealots that will not be as felse to 
God as he ; let that man know, that I have given him no 
cloak for so odious a sin, nor will he find a cover for it at 
the bar of God, though he may delude his conscience, and 
bear it out by his carnal advantages before the warld. 

Direct, xiii. * Know that true godliness is the best life 
upon earth, and the only way to perfect happiness. Still 
apprehend it therefore, and use it as the best : and with great 
diligence resist those temptations which would make it 
seem to you a confounding, grievous, or unpleasant thing/ 

There are all things concurrent in a holy life, to make it 
the most delectable life on earth, to a National, purified mind, 
that is not captivated to the flesh, and liveth not on air or 
dung. The object of it is the eternal God himself ; the in- 
fallible Truth, the only satisfactory good ; and all these 
condescending and appearing to us, in the mysterious, but 
suitable glass of a Mediatot ; redeeming, reconciling, teach- 
ing, governing, sanctifying, justifying and glorifying all 
that are his own. The end of it is the pleasing and glorify- 
ing our Maker, Redeemer and Sanctifier ; and the everlast- 
ing happiness of ourselves and others. The rule of it is the 
infallible Kevelation of God, delivered to the church by his 
Prophets, and his Son, and his Apostles, and comprised in 
the Holy Scriptures, and sealed by the miracles and opera- 
tions of the Holy Ghost that did indite them. The work 
of godliness is a living unto God, and preparing for ever- 
lasting life, by foreseeing, foretasting, seeking, and rejoicing 

• 1 Tim.iU. 3-6. •'1 Tira. i. 4, 5. 


in that endless happiness which we shall have with God ; 
and by walking after the Spirit; and avoiding the filthiness, 
delusions and "Taxations of the world and the flesh. The 
nature of man is not capable of a more noble, profitable and 
delectable life, than this which God hath called us to by his 
Son. And if we did but rightly know it, we should follow 
it with continual alacrity and delight. Be sure, therefore, 
to conceive of godliness as it is, and not as it is misrepre- 
sented by the devil and the ungodly. Read what I have 
written of this in my " A Saint or a Brute." 

As long as a man conceiveth of religion as it is, even 
the most sweet and delectable life, so long he will follow it 
willingly and with his heart, and despise the temptations 
and avocations of fleshly gain and pleasure. He will be 
sincere, as not being only drawn by other men, or outward 
advantages, nor frightened into it by a passion of fearful- 
ness, but loving religion for itself, and for its excellent 
ends ; and then he will be cheerful in all th^ duties of it ; 
and he will be most likely to persevere unto the end. We 
cannot expect that the heart or will should be any more for 
God and godliness, than the understanding practically ap- 
prehendeth them as good. Nay, we must always perceive 
in them a transcendant goodness, above all that is to be 
Jound in a worldly life ; or else the appearing goodness of 
the creature, will divert us, and carry away our minds. We 
may see in the very brutes, what a power apprehension hath 
upon their actions. If your horse be but going to his home 
or pasture, how freely will he go through thick and thin ! 
But if he go unwillingly, his travel is troublesome and slow, 
and you have much ado to get him on. It will be so with 
you in your way to heaven. 

It is therefore the principal design of the devil, to hide 
the goodness and pleasantness of religion from you ; and to 
make it appear to you as a terrible or tedious life. By this 
means it is that he keeps men from it : and by this means 
he is still endeavouring to draw you back again, and frus- 
trate your good beginnings and your hopes. If he can thus 
misrepresent religion to vyour understandings, he will sud- 
denly alienate your will and corrupt your lives, and make 
you turn to the world again, and seek for pleasure some- 
where else, and only take up with some heartless lip-service. 


to keep up some deceitful hope of being saved. And the 
means which satan useth to these ends are such as these : 

1 . He will do his worst to overwhelm you with appear- 
ing doubts and difficulties, and bring you to a loss, and to 
make religion seem to you a confounding, and not a satisfy- 
ing thing. This is one of his most dangerous assaults upon 
the weak and young beginners. Difficulties and passions 
are the things which he makes use of to confound you, and 
put you out of a regular, cheerful seeking of salvation. 
When you read the Scriptures, he will mind you of abun- 
dance of difficulties in all you read or hear. He will shew 
you seeming contradictions ; and tell you that you will 
never be able to understand these things. He will cast in 
thoughts of unbelief and blasphemy, and cause you, if he 
can, to roll them in your mind. If you cast them not out 
with abhorrence, but dispute with the devil, he hopes to 
prove too hard, at least, for such children and unprovided 
soldiers as you : and if you do reject them, and refuse to dis- 
pute it with him, he will sometime tell you that your 
cause is naught, or else you need not be afraid to think of 
all that can be said against it ; and this way he gets advan- 
tage of you to draw you to unbelief: and if you escape 
better than so, at least he will molest and terrify you with 
the hideousness of his temptations ; and make you think 
that you are forsaken of God, because such blasphemous 
thoughts have been so often in your minds : and thus he 
will one while tempt you to blasphemy, and another while 
affiright and torment you with the thoughts of such temp- 

So, also, in the study of other good books, he will tempt 
you to fix upon all that seems difficult to you, and there to 
confound and perplex yourselves : and in your meditations, 
he will seek to make all to tend, but to confound and 
overwhelm you ; keeping still either hard or fearful things 
before yaur eyes ; or breaking and scattering your thoughts 
in pieces, that you cannot reduce them to any order, 
nor set them together, nor make any thing of them, 
nor drive them to any desirable end. So in your prayers 
he would fain confound you, either with fears, or with 
doubtful or distracting thoughts about God, or your sins, 
or the matter or manner of your duty, or questioning whe- 


ther your prayers will be heard. And so in your self-ex- 
mination, he will still seek to puzzle you, and leave you 
more in darkness than you began, and make you afraid of 
looking homeward, or conversing with yourselves : like a 
man that is afraid to lie in his own house when he thinks it 
haunted with some apparitions. And thus the devil would 
make all your religion to be but like the unwinding of the 
bottom of yarn, or a skein of silk that is ravelled ; that you 
may cast it away in weariness and despair. 

Your remedy against this dangerous temptation is, to ' 
remember that you are yet young in knowledge, and that 
ignorance is like darkness that will cause doubts, and diffi- 
culties, and fears ; and that all these will vanish as your 
light increaseth : and therefore you must wait in patience, 
till your riper knowledge fit you for satisfaction. And in 
the mean time, be sure that you take up your hearts most 
with the great, fundamental, necessary, plain and certain 
points, which your salvation is laid upon, and which are 
more suited to your state -and strength. ' If you will be 
gnawing bones, when you should be sucking milk, and 
have not patience to stay till you are past your childhood, 
no marvel if you find them hard, and if they stick in your 
throats, or break your teeth. See that you live upon God 
in Christ, and love and practise what you know, and think 
of the excellency of so much as is already revealed to you. 
You know already what is the end that you must seek, and 
where your happiness consisteth; and what Christ hath 
done to prepare it for you, and how you must be justified, 
and sanctified, and walk with God. Have you God, and 
Christ, and heaven to think on, and all the mercies of the 
Gospel to delight in ; and will you lay by these as common 
matters. Or overlook them, and perplex yourselves about 
every difficulty in your way ? Make clean work before you / 
as you go, and live in the joyful acknowledgment of the 
mercies which you have received, and in the practice of the 
things you know, and then the difficulties will vanish as 
you go on. 

2. Another of satan's wiles is, to confound you with the 
noise of sectaries, and divers opinions in religion ; while 
the Popish sect tells you, that if you will be saved, you 
must be of their church ; and others say, you must be of 


theirs : and when you find that the sects are many, and 
their reasonings such as you cannot answer, you will be in 
danger either to take up some of their deceits, or to be 
confounded among them all, not knowing which church 
and religion to choose. 

But here consider, that there is but one universal church 
of Christians in the world, of which Christ is the only king 
and head, and every Christian is a member. You were sa- 
cramentally admitted into this catholic church by baptism, 
and spiritually by being " born of the Spirit." You have 
all the promises of the Gospel, that if you believe in 
Christ you shall be saved ; and that all the living members 
of this church are loved by Christ as members of his body, 
and shall be presented unspotted to the Father, by him who 
is the Saviour of his body *= ; " and that by one Spirit we 
are all baptized or entered into this one body ^" If then 
thou hast faith, and love, and the Spirit, thou art certainly 
a Christian, and a member of Christ, and of this universal 
church of Christians. And if there were any other church, 
but what are the parts of this one, then this were not uni- 
versal, and Christ must have two bodies. Thou art not 
saved for being a member 6f the church of Rome, or Corinth, 
or Ephesus, or Philippi, or Thessalonica, or of any other 
such ; but for being a member of the universal church or 
body of Christ ; that is, a Christian. And as thou art a 
subject of the king, and a member of this kingdom, what- 
ever corporation thou be a member of (perhaps sometime of 
one, and sometime of another) ; so thou art a subject of 
Christ, whatever particular church thou be of : for it is no 
church if they be not Christians, or subjects of Christ. For 
one sect then to say, Ours is the true church, and another to 
say. Nay, but ours is the true church, is as mad as to dis- 
pute whether your hall, or kitchen, or parlour, or coal-house 
is your house ; and for one to say. This is the house, and 
another. Nay, but it is that : when a child can tell them, 
that the best is but a part, and the house containeth them 
all. And for the Papists that take on them to be the 
whole, and deny all others to be Christians and saved, ex- 
cept the subjects of the Pope of Rqme, it is so irrational, 
anti christian a fiction and usurpation, and odious, cruel, 

c Ephes. V. 23—27, <> 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. 


and groundless a damnation of the far greatest part of the 
body of Christ, that it is fitter for detestation than dispute. 
And if such a crack would frighten the world out of their 
wits, no doubt but other bishops also would make use of it, 
and say. All are damned that will not be subject to us. But 
if you would see the folly and mischief of Popery, both in 
this and other points, I refer you to my " Treatise of the Ca- 
tholic Church f my " Key for Catholics ;" my " Safe Re- 
ligion;" my ** Disputations against Johnson;" and my 
" Winding-Sheet for Popery." 

3. Another temptation to confound you in your religion, 
is, by filling your heads with practical scrupulosity ; so that 
you cannot go on for doubting every step whether you go 
right : and when you should cheerfully serve your Master, 
you will do nothing but disquiet your minds with scruples, 
whether this or that be right or wrong. Your remedy here 
is, not by casting away all care of pleasing God, or fear of 
sinning, or by debauching conscience ; but by a cheerful 
and quiet obedience to God, so far as you know his will, and 
an upright willingness and endeavour to understand it bet- 
ter, and a thankful receiving the Gospel pardon for your 
failings and infirmities. Be faithful in your obedience ; but 
live still upon Christ, and think not of reaching to any such 
obedience, as shall set you above the need of his merits, and 
a daily pardon of your sins. Do the best you can to know 
the will of God and do it. But when you know the essen- 
tials of religion, and obey sincerely, let no remaining wants 
deprive you of the comfort of so great a mercy, as proves 
your right to life eternal. In your seeking further for more 
knowledge and obedience, let your care be such as tendeth 
to your profiting, and furthering you to your end, and as^ 
doth not hinder your joy and thanks for what you have re- 
ceived : but that which destroyeth your joy and thankful- 
ness, and doth but perplex you, and not further you in your 
way, is but hurtful scrupulosity, and to be laid by. When / 
you are right in the main, thank God for that, and be fur- 
ther solicitous so far as to help you on, but not to hinder 
you. If you send your servant on your message, you had 
rather he went on his way as well as he can, than stand scru- 
pling every step whether he should set the right or left foot 
forward ? and whether he should step so far, or so far, at a 
time, &c. , Hindering scruples please not God. 


4. Another way to confound you in your religion, is, by 
setting you upon overdoing by inventions of your own : 
when a poor soul is most desirous to please God, the devil 
will be religious, and set him upon some task of voluntary 
humility or will-worship, as the apostle speaks of. Col. ii. 
18. 20—23., or set him upon some ensnaring, unnecessary 
vows or resolutions, or some Popish works of conceited su- 
pererogation, which is that which Solomon calleth being 
" righteous over-much ^" Thus many have made duties to 
themselves, which God never . made for them ; and taken 
that for sin, which God never forbad them. The Popish 
religion is very much made up of such commandments of 
their own, and traditions of men. As if Christ had not 
made us work enough, men are forward to make much more 
for themselves. And some that should teach them the laws 
of Christ, do think that their office is in vain, unless they 
may also prescribe them laws of their own, and give them 
new principles of religion. Yea, some that are the bitterest 
enemies to the strict observance of the laws of God, as if it 
were a tedious, needless thing, must yet needs load us with 
abundance of unnecessary precepts of their own. And thus 
religion is made both wearisome and uncertain, and a door 
set open for men to enlarge it, and increase the burden at 
their pleasure. Indeed, Popery is fitted to delude and 
quiet sleepy consciences, and to torment with uncertainties 
the consciences that are awaked. 

And there is something in the corrupted nature of man, 
that inclineth him to some additions and voluntary service 
of his own inventions, as an offering most acceptable unto 
God. Hence it is that many poor Christians do rashly en- 
tangle their consciences with vows, of circumstances and 
things unnecessary, as to give so much, to observe such 
days or hours, in fasting and prayer ; not to do such or 
such a thing that in itself is lawful ; with abundance of such 
things, which perhaps some change of providence may 
make accidentally their duty afterwards to do : or disable 
them to perform their vows : and then these snares are fet-^ 
ters on their perplexed consciences, perhaps, as long as they 
live. Yea, some of the Autonomians teach the people, that 
these things indifferent are the fittest matter of a vow ; as 

«^ Eccles. vii. i6. . 


to live single, to possess nothing, to live in solitude, and the 
like : indeed all things lawful, when they are vowed, must be 
performed : but it is unfit to be vowed if it be not first pro- 
fitable and best, for ourselves or others ; and that which is 
best is not indifferent, it being every man's duty to choose 
what is best. Vows are to bind us to the performance of 
that which God had bound us to be by his laws before : 
they are our expression of consent and resolution by a self- 
obligation to obey his will : and not to make new duties of 
religion to ourselves, which else would never have been our 
duty. . 

To escape these snares, it is necessary that -you take 
heed of corrupting your religion by burdens and mixtures 
of your own devising. You are called to obey God's laws, 
and not to make laws for yourselves. You may be sure that 
his laws are just and good, but your's may be bad and fool- 
ish. When you obey him, you may expect your reward and 
encouragement from him : but when you will obey your- 
selves, you must reward yourselves. You may find it enough 
for you to keep his laws, without devising more work for 
yourselves ; or feigning duties which he commanded not, 
or sins which he forbad not. Be not rash in making vows : 
let them reach but unto necessary duties ; and let them 
have their due exceptions when they are about alterable 
things. Or, if you are entangled by them already, consult 
with the most judicious, able, impartial men, that you may 
come clearly off without a wound. There is a great deal of 
judgment and sincerity necessary in your counsellors, and a 
great deal of submission and self-denial in yourselves, to 
bring you safely out of such a snare. Avoid sin whatever 
you do : for sinning is not the way to your deliverance. 
And, for the time to come, be wiser, and lay no' more snares 
for yourselves ; and clog not yourselves with your own in- 
ventions, but cheerfully obey what God commandeth you, 
who hath wisdom and authority sufficient to make you per- 
fect laws. Christ's "yoke is easy," and his " burden 
light ^" and " his commandments are not grievous s." But 
if your mixtures and self-devised snares are grievous to you, 
blame not God, but yourselves that made them. 

Another of satan's ways to make religion burdensome 

' Matt. xi. 30. (f 1 John v, 3. 


and grievous to you is, by overwhelming you with fear and 
sorrow. Partly, by persuading that religion consisteth in 
excess of sorrow, and so causing you to spend your time 
in striving to trouble and grieve yourselves unprofitably, as 
if it were the course most acceptable to God : and partly, 
by taking the advantage of a timorous, passionate nature ; 
and so making every thought of God, or serious exercise of 
religion, to be a torment to you, by raising some overwhelm- 
ing fears : for " fear hath torment, ''" In some feminine, 
weak and melancholy persons, this temptation hath so 
much advantage in the body, that the holiest soul can do 
but little in resisting it ; so that though there be in such a 
sincere love to God, his ways and servants, yet fear so 
playeth the tyrant in them, that they perceive almost nothing 
else. And it is no wonder if religion be grievous and unr 
pleasant to such as these. 

But, alas \ it is you yourselves that are the causes of this, 
and bring the matter of your grievance with you. God hath 
commanded you a sweeter work. It is'a life of love, and joy, 
and cheerful progress to eternal joy that he requireth of you ; 
and no more fear or grief, than is necessary to separate you 
from sin, and teach you to value and use the remedy. The 
Gospel presenteth to you such abundant matter of joy and 
peace, as would make these the very complexion and tem- 
perature of your souls, if you received them as they are 
propounded. Religious fears when they are inordinate and 
hurtful, are sinful, and indeed against religion ; and must 
be resisted as other hurtful passions. Be better acquainted 
with Christ and his promises, and you will find enough in 
him to pacify the soul, and give you confidence and holy 
boldness in your access to God *. The spirit which he.giveth / 
is not the spirit of bondage, but the spirit of adoption, of 
love, and confidence ^. 

6. Another thing that maketh religion seem grievous is, 
retaining unmortified, sensual desires. If you keep up your 
lusts, they will strive against the Gospel, and all the works 
of the Spirit will strive against them K And every duty will 
be so far unpleasant to you, as you are carnal, because it is 
against your carnal inclination and desire. Away, therefore, 

h 1 John iv. 18. * Heb. iv. 16. Ephes. iii. 12. Heb. x. 19. 

'' Rom. viii. 15. Heb. ii. 15. 


with your beloved sickness, and then both your food and 
your physician will be less grievous to you. " Mortify the 
flesh, and you will less disrelish the things of the Spirit. 
For the carnal mind is enmity against God : for it is not 
subject to his law, nor can be "^." iJ eliicxs (^iaH 

7. Another cause of confounding and wearying is, the 
mixture of your actual sins, dealing unfaithfully with God, 
and wounding your consciences by renewed guilt, especially 
of sins against knowledge and consideration. If you thus 
keep the bone out of joint, and the wound unhealed, no 
marvel if you are loath to work or travel. But it is your 
sin and folly that should be grievous to you, and not that 
which is contrary to it, and would remove the cause of all 
your troubles. Resolvedly forsake your wilful sinning, and 
come home by ** repentance towards God, and faith towards 
our Lord Jesus Christ"," and then you will find, that when 
the thorn is out, your pain will cease ; and that the cause of 
your trouble was not in God or religion, but in your sin. 

8. Lastly, To make religion unpleasant to you, the 
tempter would keep the substance of the Gospel unknown to, 
or unobserved by you. He would hide the wonderful love 
of God revealed in our Redeemer, and all the riches of saving 
grace, and the great deliverance and privileges of believers, 
and the certain hopes of life eternal : and the kingdom of 
God, which consisteth in righteousness, and peace, and joy 
in the Holy Ghost, shall be represented to you as consisting 
in errors only, or in trifles ; in shadows and shews, and bo- 
dily exercise, which profiteth little**. If ever you would 
know the pleasures of faith and holiness, you must labour 
above all to know God, as revealed in his infinite love in the 
Mediator ; and read the Gospel as God's act of oblivion, and 
the New Testament and Covenant of Christ, in which he 
giveth you life eternal. And in every duty draw near to God 
as a reconciled Father, the object of your everlasting love 
and joy. Know and use religion as it is, without mistaking 
or corrupting it, and it will not appear to you as a grievous, 
tedious, or confounding thing. 

Direct, xiv. ' Be very diligent in mortifying the desires 
and pleasures of the flesh ; and keep a continual watch upon 
your senses, appetite, and lusts ; and cast not yourselves 

'ii' ,- la Rora. vm.7, 8. » Aet8 xx. 21. ° 1 Tim.iv. 8. 


upon temptations, occasions, or opportunities of sinning, 
remembering that your salvation lieth on your success.' 

The lusts of the flesh, and the pleasures of the world, are 
the common enemies of God and souls, and the damnation 
of those souls that perish. And there is no sort more liable 
to temptations of this kind, than those that are in the flower 
of their youth and strength. When all the senses are in 
their vigour, and lust and appetite are in their strength and 
fury, how great is the danger ! and how great must your di- 
ligence be if you will escape ! The appetite and lust of the 
weak and sick, are weak and sick as well as they ; and 
therefore they are no great temptation or danger to them. 
y^The desire and pleasure of the senses do abate, as natural 
strength and vigour doth abate. To such there is much less 
need of watchfulness : and where nature hath mortified the 
flesh, there is somewhat the less for grace to do. There 
needs not much grace to keep the aged and weak from for- 
nication, uncleanness, excessive sports, and carnal mirth : 
and gluttony and drunkenness also, are sins which youth is 
much more liable to. Especially some bodies that are not 
only young and strong, but have, in their temperature and 
complexion, a special inclination to some of these, as lust, 
or sport, or foolish mirth ; there needeth a great deal of dili- 
gence, resolution, and watchfulness for their preservation. 
Lust is not like a corrupt opinion, that surpriseth us through 
a defect of reason, and vanisheth as soon as truth appeareth ; 
but it is a brutish inclination, which, though reason must 
subdue and govern, yet the perfectest reason will not extir- 
pate, but there it will still dwell. And, as it is constantly 
with you, it will be stirring, when objects are presented by 
the sense or fancy, to allure. And it is like a torrent or a 
head-strong horse, that must be kept in at first, and is hardly 
restrained if it once break loose and get the head. If you 
are bred up in temperance and modesty, where there are no 
great temptations to gluttony, drinking, sports, or wanton- 
ness, you may think awhile that your natures have little or 
none of this concupiscence, and so may walk without a guard ; 
but when you come where baits of lust abound, where women, 
and plays, and feasts, and drunkards are the devil's snares, 
and tinder, and bellows, to inflame your lusts, you may then 
find to your sorrow, that you had need of watchfulness, and 


that all is not mortified that is asleep, or quiet in you. As 
a man that goeth with a candle among gunpowder, or near 
thatch, should never be careless, because he goeth in con- 
tinual danger ; so you that are young, and have naturally 
eager appetites and lusts, should remember, that you carry 
fire and gunpowder still about you, and are never out of 
danger while you have such an enemy to watch. 

And if once you suffer the fire to kindle, alas ! what 
work may it make, ere you are aware ! ** Every man is tempt- 
ed when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin : and 
sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death?." Little 
knoweth the fish, when he is catching, or nibbling at the 
bait, that he is swallowing the hook which will lay him pre- 
sently on the bank. When you are looking on the cup, or 
gazing on alluring beauty, or wantonly dallying and pleas- 
ing your senses with things unsafe, you little know how far 
beyond your intentions you may be drawn, and how deep 
the wound may prove, how great the smart, or how long 
and difficult the cure. As you love your souls, observe 
Paul's counsel, ** Flee youthful lusts 'i V Keep at a full dis- 
tance : come not near the bait. If you get a wound in your 
consciences, by any wilful, heinous sin, O what a case will 
you be in ! How heartless unto secret duty ! afraid of God, 
that should be your joy; deprived of the comforts of his 
presence, and all the pleasure of his ways ! How miserably 
will you be tormented, between the tyranny of your own 
concupiscence, the sting of sin, the gripes of conscience, 
and the terrors of the Lord ! How much of the life of faith, 
and love, and heavenly zeal, will be quenched in a moment ! 
I am to speak more afterwards of this ; and therefore shall 
only say, at present, to all young converts that care for 
their salvation ; " Mortify the flesh," and " always watch, 
and avoid temptations." 

Direct, xv. ' Be exceeding wary, not only what teachers 
you commit the guidance of your souls unto, but also with 
what company you familiarly converse ; that they be neither 
such as would corrupt your minds with error, or your hearts 
with viciousness, profaneness, lukewarmness, or with a fe- 
verish, factious zeal : but choose, if possible, judicious, 

P James i. 14, 15. i 2 Tim. ii. 32. 

VOL. II. % 


holy, heavenly, humble, unblamable, self-denying persons, to 
be your ordinary companions, and familiars ; but especially 
for your near relations/ 

It is a matter of very great importance, v^hat teachers 
you choose, in order to your salvation. In this the free 
grace of God much difFerenceth some from others : for, as 
poor heathens and infidels have none that know^ more, than 
what the book of nature teacheth (if so much) ; so in the se- 
veral nations of Christians, it is hard for the people to have 
any, but such as the sword of the magistrate forceth on 
them, or the stream of their country's custom recommendeth 
to them. And it is a wonder, if pure truth and holiness be 
countenanced by either of these. But, when and where his 
mercy pleaseth, God sendeth wise and holy teachers, with 
compassion and diligence to seek the saving of men's souls ; 
so that none but the malignant and obstinate are deprived 
of their help. 

Ambitious, proud, covetous, licentious, ungodly men, 
are not to be chosen for your teachers, if you have your 
choice. In a nation where true religion is in credit, and 
hath the magistrate's countenance, or the major vote, some 
graceless men may join with better, in preaching and de- 
fending the purity of doctrine, and holiness of life : and 
they may be very serviceable to the church herein ; es- 
pecially in expounding and disputing for the truth. But 
even there, more experienced, spiritual teachers are much 
more desirable: they will speak most feelingly, who feel 
what they speak : and they are fittest to bring others to 
faith and love, who believe, and love God and holiness them- 
selves. They that have life, will speak more lively than the 
dead. And in most places of the world, the ungodliness of 
such teachers makes them enemies to the truth, which is ac- 
cording to godliness : their natures are at enmity to the life 
and power of the doctrine, which they should preach : and 
Lhey will do their worst to corrupt the magistrates, and 
make them of their mind : and, if they can but get the sword 
to favour them, they are, usually, the cruellest persecutors 
of the sincere. As it is notorious among the Papists, that 
the baits of power, and honour, and wealth, have so vitiated 
the body of their clergy, that they conspire to uphold a 
worldly government and religion ; and, in express contra- 


diction to sense and reason, and to antiquity, and the judg- 
ment of the church, and to the Holy Scriptures, they cap- 
tivate the ignorant and sensual, to their tyranny and false 
worship, and use the seduced magistrates and multitude, 
to the persecuting of those that will not follow them, to sin 
and to perdition. Take heed of proud and worldly guides. 

And yet it is not every one that pretendeth piety and 
zeal, that is to be heard, or taken for a teacher. But 1. 
Such as preach, ordinarily, the substantial truths which all 
Christians are agreed in. 2. Such as make it the drift of 
their preaching, to raise your souls to the love of God, and 
to a holy, heavenly life, and are zealous against confessed 
sins. 3. Such as contradict not the essential truths, by er- 
rors of their own : nor the doctrine of godliness, by wicked, 
malicious applications. 4. Such as drive not on any ambi- 
tious, tyrannical designs of their own, but deny themselves, 
and aim at your salvation. 6. Such as are not too hot in 
proselyting you to any singular opinion of their own: it 
being the prediction of Paul to the Ephesians, " of your 
ownselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to 
draw away disciples after them''." 6. Such as are judi- 
cious with holy zeal, and zealous with judgment. 7. Such 
as are of experience in the things of God, and not young 
beginners, or novices in religion. 8. Such as bear reve- 
I'ence to the judgments of the generality of wise and 
godly men, and are tender of the unity of the church ; and 
not such as would draw you into a sect or party, to the con- 
tempt of other Christians ; no, not to a party that hath the 
favour of rulers and the people, to promote them. 9. Such 
as are gentle, peaceable, and charitable ; and not such as burn 
with hellish malice against their brethren, nor with an un- 
godly, or cruel, consuming zeal. 10. Such as live not sen- 
sually and wickedly, contrary to the doctrines which they 
preach ; but shew by their lives, that they believe what they 
say, and feel the power of the truths which they preach. 

And your familiar companions have great advantage to 
help or hinder your salvation, as well as your teachers'. 

' Acts XX. 30. 

• Magnum virtutis preesidium societas bonorum, socius exemplo excitat, sermone 
recreat, consilio instruit, orationibus adjuvat, autoritate continet, quae omnia solitudini 
desunt. Jos. Acosta, lib. iv. c. 13. Dicunt Stoici Amicitiam solos inter bonos, quos siW 


The matter is not so great, whom you meet by the way, o^ 
travel with, or trade, and buy and sell with, as whom yoii 
make your intimate, or familiar friends. For such have both 
the advantage of their interest in your affections, and also 
the advantage of their nearness and familiarity ; and, if they 
have but also the advantage of higher abilities than you, 
they may be powerful instruments of your good or liurt. If 
you have a familiar friend, that will defend you from error^ 
and help you against temptations, and lovingly reprove your 
sin, and feelingly speak of God, and the life to come, indit- 
ing his discourse from the inward power of faith, and holy 
experience ; the benefit of such a friend may be more to 
you, than of the learnedest or greatest in the world. How 
sweetly will their speeches relish of the Spirit from which 
they come! How deeply may they pierce a careless heart! 
How powerfully may they kindle in you, a love and zealto 
God and his commandments ! How seasonably may they 
discover a temptation, prevent your fall, reprove an error, 
and recover your souls ! How faithfully will they watch 
over you ! How profitably will they provoke, and put you 
on ; and pray with you fervently when you are cold ; and 
mind you of the truth, and duty, and mercy, which you for- 
get ! It is a very great mercy to have a judicious, solid, and 
faithful companion in the way to heaven. 

But if your ears are daily filled with froth and folly, with 
ribaldry, or idle stories, with oaths and curses, with furious 
words, or scorns and jeers against the godly, or with 
the sophistry of deceivers, is it likely this should leave a 
pleasant, or wholesome relish on your minds ? Is it likely 
that the effect should not be seen, in your lean or leprous 
hearts and lives, as well as the effects of an infected, or un- 
wholesome air or diet, will be seen upon your diseased bo- 
dies? He is ungodly, that liketh such company best: and 
he is proud and presumptuous, that will unnecessarily cast 
himself upon it, in confidence that he shall receive no hurt : 
and he is careless of himself, that will not cautiously avoid 
it : and few that long converse with such, come off without 

invicemstudiorum similitudo conciliet, posse consislere. Porro amicitiara ipsam so- 
cietatem quandarn esse dicuiit omnium, quae sunt ad vitam necessaria, cum amicis ut 
nobis ipsis utamur : atque propter seipsum amicum eligendum pronuntiant, amicorum- 
que raultitudinem inter expetenta ponunt : inter malos non posse constare araicitiam. 
Laert. in Zenone, lib. vii. segra, 124'. p. 443. 


some notable loss ; except when we live with such, as Lot 
did in Sodom, grieving for their sin and misery; or, as 
Christ conversed with publicans and sinners, with a holy, 
zeal and diligence to convert and save them ; or, as those 
that have not liberty, who bear that which they have not 
power to avoid. 

Among the rest, your danger is not least from them 
that are eager to proselyte you to some party, or unsound 
opinion. That they think they are in the right, and that 
they do it in love, and that they think it necessary to your 
salvation, and that truth and godliness are the things which 
they profess, — all this makes the danger much greater to 
you, if it be not truth and godliness indeed, which they 
propose and plead for. And none are in more danger than 
the ungrounded and unexperienced, that yet are so wise in 
their own esteem, as to be confident that they know truth 
from error, when they hear it, and are not afraid of any de- 
ceit, nor much suspicious of their own understandings. 
But of this before. 

The like danger there is of the familiar company of luke- 
warm ones, or the profane. At first, you may be troubled 
at their sinful or unsavoury discourse, and make some resis- 
tance against the infection ; but, before you are aware, it 
may so cool and damp your graces, as will make your decay 
discernible to others ! First, you will hear them with less 
offence ; and then, you will grow indifferent what company 
you are in ; and then, you will laugh at their sin and folly ; 
and then, you will begin to speak as they ; and then, you 
will grow cold and seldomer in prayer, and other holy du- 
ties ; and, if God prevent it not, at last, your judgments will 
grow blind, and you will think all this allowable. 

But of all bad company, the nearest is the worst. If 
you choose such into your families, or into your nearest, 
conjugal relations, you cast water upon the fire ; you impri- 
son yourselves in such fetters, as will gall and grieve you, 
if they do not stop you ; you choose a life of constant, close, 
and great temptations : whereas, your grace, and comfort, 
and salvation, might be much promoted, by the society of 
such as are wise, and gracious, and suitable to your state. 
To have a constant companion to open your heart to, and 
join with in prayer, and edifying conference, and faithfully 


help you against your sins, and yet to be patient with you 
in your frailties, is a mercy, which worldlings neither de- 
serve nor value. 

Direct. XVI. ' Make careful choice of the books which 
you read. Let the Holy Scriptures ever have the pre-emi- 
nence, and next them, the solid, lively, heavenly treatises, 
which best expound and apply the Scriptures ; and next 
those, the credible histories, especially of the church, and 
tractates upon inferior sciences and arts : but take heed of 
the poison of the writings of false teachers, which would 
corrupt your understandings : and of vain romances, play- 
books, and false stories, which may bewitch your fantasies, 
and corrupt your hearts.' 

As there is a more excellent appearance of the Spirit 
of God in the Holy Scriptures, than in any other book 
whatever, so it hath more power and fitness to convey the 
Spirit, and make us spiritual, by imprinting itself upon our 
hearts. As there is more of God in it, so it will acquaint us 
more with God, and bring us nearer him, and make the rea- 
der more reverent, serious, and divine. Let Scripture be 
first and most in your hearts and hands, and other books be 
used as subservient to it. The endeavours of the devil and 
Papists to keep it from you, doth shew that it is most neces- 
sary and desirable to you. And when they tell you, that 
all heretics plead the Scripture, they do but tell you, that it 
is the common rule or law of Christians, which, therefore, 
all are fain to pretend : as all lawyers and wranglers plead 
the laws of the land, be their cause never so bad, and yet 
the laws must not be therefore concealed or cast aside : and 
they do but tell you, that, in their concealment or disho- 
nouring the Scriptures, they are worse than any of those he- 
retics. When they tell you, that the Scriptures are misun- 
derstood, and abused, and perverted to maintain men's errors, 
they might also desire that the sun might be obscured, be- 
cause the purblind do mistake, and murderers and robbers 
do wickedly by its light : and that the earth might be sub- 
verted, because it bears all evil doers : and highways stopt 
up, because men travel in them to do evil : and food prohi- 
bited, because it nourisheth men's diseases. And when 
they have told you truly of a law or rule (whether made by 
pope or council), which bad men cannot misunderstand or 


break, or abuse and misapply, then hearken to them, and 
prefer that law, as that which preventeth the need of any 

The writings of Divines are nothing else but a preaching 
the Gospel to the eye, as the voice preacheth it to the ear. 
Vocal preaching hath the pre-eminence in moving the afFec^ 
tions, and being diversified according to the state of the 
congregations which attend it : this way the milk cometh 
warmest from the breast. But books have the advantage in 
many other respects : you may read an able preacher, when 
you have but a mean one to hear. Every congregation can- 
not hear the most judicious or powerful preachers ; but 
every single person may read the books of the most power- 
ful and judicious. Preachers may be silenced or banished, 
when books may be at hand : books may be kept at a 
smaller charge than preachers : we may choose books which 
treat of that very subject which we desire to hear of; but 
we cannot choose what subject the preacher shall treat of. 
Books we may have at hand every day and hour ; when we 
can have sermons but seldom, and at set times. If sermons 
be forgotten, they are gone. But a book we may read over 
and over until we remember it ; and, if we forget it, may 
again peruse it at our pleasure, or at our leisure. So that 
good books are a very great mercy to the world. The Holy 
Ghost chose the way of writing, to preserve his doctrine 
and laws to the church, as knowing how easy and sure a 
way it is of keeping it safe to all generations, in comparison 
of mere verbal tradition, which might have made j^s many 
controversies about the very terms, as there be memories or 
persons to be the preservers and reporters. 

Books are (if well chosen) domestic, present, constant, 
judicious, pertinent, yea, and powerful sermons : and always 
of very great use to your salvation : but especially when 
vocal preaching faileth, and preachers are ignorant, un- 
godly, or dull, or when they are persecuted, and forbid to 

You have need of a judicious teacher at hand, to direct you 
what books to use or to refuse. For among good books there 
are some very good that are sound and lively : and some are 
good, but mean, and weak, and somewhat dull : and some 
are very good in part, but have mixtures of error, or else of 


incautious, injudicious expressions, fitter to puzzle than 
edify the weak. I am loath to name any of these latter 
sorts (of which abundance have come forth of late) : but 
to the young beginner in religion, I may be bold to recom- 
mend (next to a sound catechism) Mr. Rutherford's Letters ; 
—Mr. Robert Bolton's Works ;— Mr. Perkins's ;— Mr. 
Whateley's;— Mr. Ball, of Faith ;~Dr. Preston's ;— Dr. 
Sibbs's ;— Mr. Hildersham's :— Mr. Pink's Sermons ;— 
Mr. Jos. Rogers's ;— Mr. Rich. Allen's;— Mr. Gurnall's ; 
— Mr. Swinnock's ;— Mr. Jos. Simonds's. And to establish 
you against Popery, Dr. Challoner's Codex Credo Eccles. 
Cathol. ;— Dr. Field, of the Church ;— Dr. White's Way to 
the Church, with the Defence ; — Bishop Usher's Answer 
to the Jesuit ; and Chillingworth, with Drelincourt's Sum- 
mary. And for right principles about Redemption, &c. 
Mr. Truman's Great Propitiation ; and of Natural and Moral 
Impotency; — and Mr. William Fenner, of Wilful Impeni- 
tency ; — Mr. Hotchkis, of Forgiveness of Sin. To pass by 
many other excellent ones, that I may not name too many. 

To a very judicious, able reader, who is fit to censure 
all he reads, there is no great danger in reading the books 
of any seducers : it doth but shew him how little and thin a 
cloak is used to cover a bad cause. But, alas! young sol- 
diers, not used to such wars, are startled at a very sophism, 
or at a terrible threatening of damnation to dissenters 
(which every censorious sect can use), or at every confident, 
triumphant boast, or at every thing that hath a fair pretence 
of truth or godliness. Injudicious persons can answer al- 
most no deceiver which they hear : and when they cannot 
answer them they think they must yield, as if the fault were 
not in them but in the cause, and as if Christ had no wiser 
followers, or better defenders of his truth than they. Med- 
dle not, therefore, with poison, till you better know how to 
use it, and may do it with less danger, as long as you have 
no need. 

As for play -books, and romances, and idle tales, I have 
already shewed in my " Book of Self-Denial," how per- 
nicious they are, especially to youth, and to frothy, empty, 
idle wits, that know not what a man is, nor what he hath to 
do in the world. They are powerful baits of the devil, to 
keep more necessary things out of their minds, and better 


books out of their hands, and to poison the mind so much 
the more dangerously, as they are read with more delight 
and pleasure : and to fill the minds of sensual people with 
such idle fumes, and intoxicating fancies, as may divert 
them from the serious thoughts of their salvation: and 
(which is no small loss) to rob them of abundance of that 
precious time, which was given them for more important 
business ; and which they will wish and wish again at last 
that they had spent more wisely. I know the fantastics 
will say, that these things are innocent, and may teach men 
much good (like him that must go to a whore-house to learn 
to hate uncleanness ; and him that would go out with rob- 
bers to learn to hate thievery) : but I shall now only ask 
them as in the presence of God, 1. Whether they should spend 
that time no better ? 2. Whether better books and prac- 
tices would not edify them more. 3. Whether the greatest 
lovers of romances and plays be the greatest lovers of the 
book of God, and of a holy life ? 4. Whether they feel in 
themselves that the love of these vanities, doth increase 
their love to the W^ord of God, and kill their sin, and pre- 
pare them for the life to come ? or clean contrary ? And I 
would desire men not to prate against their own experience 
and reason, nor to dispute themselves into damnable impe- 
nitency, nor to befool their souls by a few silly words, which 
any but a sensualist may perceive to be mere deceit and 
falsehood. If this will not serve, they shall be shortly con- 
vinced and answered in another manner. 

Direct, xvii. * Take heed that you receive not a doctrine 
of libertinism as from the Gospel ; nor conceive of Christ as 
an encourager of sin : nor pretend free grace for your carnal 
security or sloth : for this is but to set up another Gospel, 
and another Christ, or rather the doctrine and works of the 
devil against Christ and the Gospel, and to turn the grace 
of God into wantonness.' 

Because the devil knoweth that you will not receive his 
doctrine in his own name, his usual method is, to propound 
and preach it in the name of Christ, which he knoweth you 
reverence and regard. For, if satan concealed not his own 
name and hand in every temptation, it would spoil his game, 
and the more excellent and splendid is his pretence, the 
more powerful the temptation is*. They that gave heed to 

* Ego, si qui, judices, hoc robere animi, atque hac indole virlutis ac continentiaB 


seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, no doubt thought 
better of the spirits and the doctrines, especially seeming 
strict (for the devil hath his strictnesses), " as forbidding to 
marry, and abstinence from meats which God hath created 
to be received with thanksgiving"." But the strictnesses 
of the devil are always intended to make men loose. They 
shall be strict as the Pharisees in traditions and vain cere- 
monies, and building the tombs of the prophets, and gar- 
nishing the sepulchres of the righteous, that they may hate 
and murder the living saints that worship God in spirit and 
in truth. Licentiousness is the proper doctrine of the devil, 
which all his strictness tendeth to promote. To receive 
such principles is pernicious : but to father them upon 
Christ and the Gospel is blasphemous. 

The Libertines, Antinomians, and Autonomians of this 
age, have gathered you too many instances. The Libertine 
saith, " The heart is the man ; therefore you may deny the 
truth with your tongue, you may be present at false worship, 
(as at the Mass,) you need not suffer to avoid the speaking 
of a word, or subscribing to an untruth or error, or doing 
some little thing ; but, so long as you keep your hearts to 
God, and mean well, or have an honest mental reservation, 
and are forced to it by others, rather than suffer, you may 
say, or subscribe, or swear any thing which you can your- 
selves put a lawful sense upon in your own minds, or com- 
ply with any outward actions or customs to avoid offence 
and save yourselves." 
^ The Antinomians tell you, that " The moral law is abro- 
gated, and that the Gospel is no law ; (and if there be no 
law, there is no governor or government, no duty, no sin, no 
judgment, no punishment, no reward ;) that the elect are 
justified before they are bom, or repent, or believe ; that 
their sin is pardoned before it is committed, that God took 
them as suffering and fulfilling all the law in Christ, as if it 
had been they that did it in him: that we are justified by 
faith only in our consciences : that justifying faith is but 

fuit, ut respueret omnes voluptates, omnemqne vttae suae cursum conficeret: quem 
non quies, non remissio, non aequalium studia, non ludi, noa convivla delectarent ; 
nihil in vita expetendum putaret, nisi quod esset euro lande et cum dignitate conjunc- 
tuiu : hunc mea sententia divinis quibusdam bonis instructum atque ornatum puto 
Cic. pro M. Coel. 39. Op. vol. iii. p. 1054. 
" iTim.iv. J,3. 


the believing that we are justified : that every man must be- 
lieve that he is pardoned, that he may be pardoned in his 
conscience ; and this he is to do by a Divine faith, and that 
this is the sense of the article, * I believe the forgiveness 
of sins,' that is, that my sins are forgiven ; and that all are 
forgiven that believe it : that it is legal and sinful to work 
or do any thing for salvation : that sin once pardoned need 
not be confessed and lamented, or at least we need not ask 
pardon of sin daily, or of one sin oft : that castigations are 
no punishments ; and yet no other punishment is threatened 
to believers for their sins ; and, consequently, that Christ 
hath not procured them a pardon of any sin after believing, 
but prevented all necessity of pardon : and therefore they 
must not ask pardon of them, nor do any thing to obtain it : 
that fear of hell must have no hand in our obedience, or re- 
straint from sin. And some add, that he that cannot repent 
or believe, must comfort himself that Christ repented and 
believed for him : (a contradiction.)" Many such doctrines 
of licentiousness the abusers of grace have brought forth''. 

And the sect which imitateth the father of pride in af- 
fecting to be from under the government of God, and to be 
the law-givers and rulers of themselves and all others (which 
I therefore call the Autonomians), are licentious and much 
more. They equally contend against Christ's government, 
and for their own. They fill the world with wars and blood- 
shed, oppression, and cruelty ; and the ears of God with the 
cries of the martyrs and oppressed ones ; and all that the 
spiritual and holy discipline of Christ may be suppressed, 
and seriousness in religion made odious, or banished from 
the earth, and that themselves may be taken for the center, 
and pillars, and law-givers of the church, and the con- 
sciences of all men may be taught to cast off all scruples or 
fears of offending God, in comparison of offending them ; 
and may absolutely submit to them ; and never stick at any 
feared disobedience to Christ. They are the scorners and 
persecutors of strict obedience to the laws of God, and take 
those that fear his judgments to be men affrighted out of 
their wits ; and that to obey him exactly (which, alas ! who 

^ For sound principles in these points, read Mr. Gibbon's Sermon ou Juslifi- 
cation, in the Morning Exercises at St. Giles's ; and Mr. Truman's two books before 
named, and Le Blank's Theses in Latin, with Thes. Sahnuriens, &c. 


can do that doeth his best) is but to be hypocritical or too 
precise : but to question their domination, or break their 
laws (imposed on the world, even on kings and states with- 
out any authority), this must be taken for heresy, schism, or 
a rebellion like that of Corah and his company. This lu- 
ciferian spirit of the proud Autonomians hath filled the 
Christian world with bloodshed, and been the greatest 
means of the miseries of the earth, and especially of hin- 
dering and persecuting the Gospel, and setting up a Phari- 
saical religion in the world : it hath fought against the 
Gospel, and filled with blood, the countries of France, 
Savoy, Rhsetia, Bohemia, Belgia, Helvetia, Polonia, Hun- 
gary, Germany, and many more : that it may appear how 
much of the satanical nature they have, and how punctually 
they fulfil his will. 

And natural corruption containeth in it, the seeds of all 
these damnable heresies : nothing more natural to lapsed 
man, than to shake off the government of God, and to be- 
come a lawgiver to himself, and as many others as he can ; 
and to turn the grace of God into wantonness. Therefore 
the profane, that never heard it from any heretics but them- 
selves, do make themselves such a creed as this; that " God 
is merciful, and, therefore, we need not fear his threatenings, 
for he will be better than his word : it belongeth to him to 
save us, and not to us, and, therefore, we may cast our souls 
upon his care, though we care not for them ourselves. If 
he hath predestinated us to salvation, we shall be saved ; 
and if he have not, we shall not, whatever we do, or how well 
soever we live. Christ died for sinners, and therefore, though 
we are sinners, he will save us. God is stronger than the 
devil, and, therefore, the devil shall not have the most. That 
which pleaseth the flesh, and doth God no harm, can never 
be so great a matter, or so much offend him, as to procure 
our damnation. What need of so much ado to be saved, or 
so much haste to turn to God, when any one that at last doth 
but repent, and cry God mercy, and believe that Christ died 
for him, shall be saved ? Christ is th-e Saviour of the world, 
and his grace is very great and free ; and, therefore, God 
forbid that none should be saved but those few that are of 
strict* and holy lives, and make so much ado for heaven. 
No man can know who shall be saved, and who shall not ; 


and, therefore, it is the wisest way, to do nobody any harm, 
and to live merrily, and trust God with our souls, and put 
our salvation upon the venture ; nobody is saved for his 
own works or deservings ; and, therefore, our lives may serve 
the turn as well, as if they were more strict and holy." This 
is the creed of the ungodly; by which you may see how na- 
tural it is to them, to abuse the Gospel, and plead God's 
grace, to quiet and strengthen them in their sin, and to em- 
bolden themselves on Christ to disobey him. 

But this is but to set Christ against himself: even his 
merits and mercies, against his government and Spirit : and 
to set his death, against the ends of his death : and to set 
our Saviour against our salvation : and to run from God and 
rebel against him, because Christ died to recover us to God, 
and to give us repentance unto life : and to sin, because he 
died to save his people from their sins, " and to purify a pe- 
culiar people to himself, zealous of good works *." " He 
that committeth sin, is of the devil ; for the devil sinneth 
from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was 
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil ''." 

Direct, xviii. ' Watch diligently, both against the more 
discernible decays of grace, and against the degenerating of 
it into some carnal affections, or something counterfeit, and 
of another kind. And so also of religious duties.' 

We are no sooner warmed with the celestial flames, but 
natural corruption is inclining us to grow cold ; like hot 
water, which loseth its heat by degrees, unless the fire be 
continually kept under it. Who feeleth not that as soon as 
in a sermon, or prayer, or holy meditation, his heart hath got 
a little heat, as soon as it is gone, it is prone to its former 
earthly temper, and by a little remissness in our duty, or 
thoughts, or business about the world, we presently grow 
cold and dull again. Be watchful, therefore, lest it decline 
too far. Be frequent in the means that must preserve you 
from declining : when faintness telleth you that your sto- 
mach is emptied of the former meat, supply it with another, 
lest strength abate. You are rowing against the stream of 
fleshly interest and inclinations ; and, therefore, intermit not 
too long, lest you go faster down by your ease, than you get 
up by your labour. 

» Matt. i. 21. Tit. ii. 14. ^ 1 John iii. 8. John viii. 44. 


The degenerating of grace, is a way of backsliding, very 
common, and too little observed. It is, when good affec- 
tions do not directly cool, but turn into some carnal affec- 
tions somewhat like them, but of another kind. As, if the 
body of a man instead of dying, should receive the life or 
soul of a beast, instead of the reasonable, human soul. For 
instance : (1.0 Have you believed in God, and in Jesus 
Christ, and loved them accordingly ? You shall seem to do 
so still as much as formerly, when your corrupted minds 
have received some false representation of them ; and so it is 
indeed another thing that you thus corruptly believe and 
love. (2.) Have you been fervent in prayer? You shall be 
fervent still. If satan can but corrupt your prayers, by cor- 
rupting your judgments or affections, and get you to think 
that to be the cause of God which is against him ^ and that 
to be against him, which he commandeth ; and those to be 
the troublers of the church, which' are its best and faithful 
members : turn but your prayers against the cause and 
people of God, by your mistake, and you may pray as fer- 
vently against them as you will. The same I may say of 
preaching, and conference, and zeal : corrupt them once, 
and turn them against God, and satan will join with you for 
zealous and frequent preaching, or conference, or disputes. 
(3.) Have you a confidence in Christ and his promise, for 
your salvation ? Take heed lest it turn into carnal security, 
and a persuasion of your good estate, upon ill grounds, or 
you know not why. (4.) Have you the hope of glory ? Take 
heed lest it turn into a careless venturousness of your soul, 
or the mere laying aside of fear, and cautious suspicion of 
yourselves. (5.) Have you a love to them that fear the Lord ? 
Watch your hearts, lest it degenerate into a carnal, or a 
partial love. Many unheedful young persons, of different 
sexes, at first love each other with an honest, chaste, and 
pious love ; but imprudently using too much familiarity, 
before they were well aware, it hath turned into a fleshly 
love, which hath proved their snare, and drawn them further 
into sin and trouble. Many have honoured them that fear 
the Lord, who insensibly have 4eclined to honour only those 
of them that were eminent in wealth and worldly honour, or 
that were esteemed for their parts, or places by others, and 
little honoured the humble, poor, obscure Christians, who 


were at least as good as they. Forgetting that the " things 
that are highly esteemed among men, are abomination in the 
sight of God ^ ;" and that God valueth not men by their 
places and dignities in the world ; but by their graces and 
holiness of life. Abundance that at first did seem to love 
all Christians, as such, as far as any thing of Christ appeared 
in them, have first fallen into some sect, and over-admiring 
their party, and have set light by others as good as they, and 
censured them as unsound, and then withdrawn their special 
love, and confined it to their party, or to some few ; and yet 
thought that they loved the godly as much as ever, when it 
was degenerate into a factious love. (6.) Are you zealous for 
God, and truth, and holiness, and against the sins and errors 
of others ? Take heed lest you lose it, while you think it 
doth increase in you. Nothing is more apt to degenerate 
than zeal. In how many thousands hath it turned from an 
innocent, charitable, peaceable, tractable, healing, profitable, 
heavenly zeal, into a partial zeal for some party or opinions 
of their own? and into a fierce, censorious, uncharitable, 
scandalous, turbulent, disobedient, unruly, hurting and des- 
troying zeal, ready to wish for fire from heaven, and kindling 
contention, confusion, and every evil work. Read well 
James iii. (7.) So, if you are meek or patient, take heed lest 
it degenerate into stupidity or contempt of those you suffer 
by. To be patient is not to be merely insensible of the af- 
fliction ; but by the power of faith to bear the sense of it, 
as overruled by things of greater moment. 

How apt men are to corrupt and debase all duties of re- 
ligion, is too visible in the face of the far greatest part of 
the Christian world. Throughout both the Eastern and the 
Western churches, the Papists, the Greeks, the Armenians, 
the Abassines, and too many others, (though the essentials 
of religion through God's mercy are retained, yet) how much 
is the face of religion altered, from what it was in the days 
of the apostles ! The ancient simplicity of doctrine, is turned 
into abundance of new or private opinions, introduced as 
necessary articles of religion, and alas, how many of them 
false ! So that Christians being too proud to accept of the 
ancient test of Christianity, cannot now agree among them- 
selves what a Christian is, and who is to be esteemed a 

c Luke xvi. 15. 


Christian ; and so they deny one another to be Christians, 
and destroy their charity to each other, and divide the 
church, and make themselves a scorn by their divisions, to 
the infidel world ; and thus the primitive unity, charity and 
peace, is partly destroyed, and partly degenerate into the 
unity, charity, and peace, of several sects among themselves. 
The primitive simplicity in government and discipline, is 
with most, turned into a forcible, secular government, ex- 
ercised to advance one man above others, and to satisfy his 
will and lusts, and make him the rule of other men's lives, 
and to suppress the power and spirituality of religion in the 
world. The primitive simplicity of worship, is turned into 
such a mask of ceremony, and such a task of formalities and 
bodily exercise, that, if one of the apostolical Christians 
should come among them, he would scarce think that this is 
the same employment which formerly the church was ex- 
ercised in, or scarce know religion, in this antic dress. So 
that the amiable, glorious face of Christianity, is so spotted 
and defiled, that it is hidden from the unbelieving world, 
and they laugh at it, as irrational, or think it to be but like 
their own. And the principal hindrance of the conversion 
of heathens, Mahometans, and other unbelievers is, the cor- 
ruption and deformity of the churches that are near them, or 
should be the instruments of their conversion. And the 
most probable way to the conversion of those nations is, the 
true reformation of the churches both in East and West : 
which, if they were restored to the ancient spirituality, ra- . ' 
tionality, and simplicity of doctrine, discipline, and worship, 
and lived in charity, humility, and holiness, as those, whose 
hearts and conversations are in heaven, with all worldly 
glory and honour as under their feet ; they would then be 
so illustrious and amiable in the eyes, even of heathens and 
other infidels, that many would flock into the church of 
Christ, and desire to be such as they : and their light would 
so shine before these men, that they would see their good 
works, and glorify their heavenly Father, and embrace their 

The commonest way of the degenerating of all religious 
duties, is into this dead formality, or lifeless image of reli- 
gion. If the devil can but get you to cast off the spirituality 
and life of duty, he will give you leave to seem very devout. 


and make much ado with outward actions, words and beads ; 
and you shall have as much zeal for a dead religion, or the 
corpse of worship as will make you think that it is indeed 
alive. By all means take heed of this turning the worship 
of God into lip-service. The commonest cause of it is, a 
carnality of mind (fleshly men will thiiik best of the most 
fleshly religion) : or else a slothfulness in duty, which will 
make you sit down with the easiest part : it is the work of 
a saint, and a diligent saint, to keep the soul itself both re- 
gularly and vigorously employed with God. But to say 
over certain words by rote, and to lift up the hands and eyes 
is easy : and hypocrites that are conscious that they are 
void of the life and spirituality of worship, do think to 
make all up with this formality, and quiet their consciences 
and delude their souls with a handsome image. Of this I 
have spoken more largely, in a book called, " The Vain 
Religion of the Formal Hypocrite." 

Yet run not here into the contrary extreme, as to think 
that the body must not worship God as well as the soul, or 
that the decent and edifying determination of the outward 
circumstances of religion, and the right ordering of worship, 
is a needless thing, or sinful ; or that a form of prayer in it- 
self, or when imposed, is unlawful ; but let the soul and 
body of religion go together, and the alterable adjuncts be 
used, as things alterable, while the life of holiness is still 
kept up. 

Direct, xix. ' Promise not yourselves long life, or pros- 
perity and great matters in the world, lest it entangle your 
hearts with transitory things, and engage you in ambitious 
or covetous designs, and steal away your hearts from God, 
and destroy all your serious apprehensions of eternity.* 

Our own experience, and the alterations which the ap- 
proach of death makes upon the most, do sensibly prove 
that the expectation of a speedy change, and reckoning 
upon a short life, do greatly help us in all our preparation, 
and in all the work of holiness through our lives. Come 
to a man that lieth on his death-bed, or a prisoner that is 
to die to-morrow, and try him with discourse of riches, or 
honours, or temptations to lust, or drunkenness, or excess ; 
and he will think you are mad, or very impertinent, to tell 
him of such things. If he be but a man of common reason, 



you shall see that he will more easily vilify such temptations, 
than many religious persons will do, in their prosperity and 
health. how serious are we in repenting and perusing our 
former lives, and casting up our accounts, and asking, what 
we shall do to be saved, when we see that death is indeed 
at hand, and time is at an end, and we must away ! Every 
sentence of Scripture hath then some life and power in it; 
every word of exhortation is savoury to us ; every reproof of 
our negligence and sin, is then well taken ; every thought of 
sin, or Christ, or grace, or eternity, goes then to the quick. 
Then time seems precious, and if you ask a man whether it 
be better spent in cards, and dice, and plays, and feastings, 
and needless recreations, and idleness, or in prayer, and holy 
conference, and reading and meditating on the Word of God 
and the life to come, and the holy use of our lawful labours ! 
how easily will he be satisfied of the truth, and confute the 
cavils of voluptuous time-wasters ! Then his judgment will 
more easily be in the right, than learning or arguments before 
could make it. In a word, the expectation of the speedy 
approach of the soul into the presence of the eternal God, 
and of our entering into an unchangeable, endless life of joy 
or torment, hath so much in it to awaken all the powers of 
the soul, that if ever we will be serious, it will make us 
serious, in every thought, and speech, and duty. And 
therefore as it is a great mercy of God, that this life, which 
is so short, should be as uncertain, and that frequent dangers 
and sicknesses call to us to look about us, and be ready for 
our change ; so, usually, the sickly that look for death, are 
most considerate : and it is a great part of the duty of those 
that are in youth and health, to consider their frailty, and 
the shortness^ and uncertainty of their lives, and always live 
as those that wait for the coming of their Lord. And we 
have great reason for it, when we are certain it will be ere 
long ; and when we have so many perils and weaknesses to 
warn us ; and when we are never sure to see another hour ; 
and when time is so swift, so quickly gone, so unrecoverable, 
and nothing when it is past. Common reason requireth 
such to live in a constant readiness to die. ^ 

'1 Quaniquam, O Dii boni ! Quid est in hominis vita diu? da enim suprernum 
tempus : expectemu8 Tariessiorum regis aetatera : fuit cnim (ut scriptura video). 
Arga^ilbonius quidara Gadibus, qui octoginta rggnavit annos, centum et viginti vixit : 


But, if youth or health do once make you reckon of 
living long, and make you put away the day of your depar- " 
ture, as if it were far off; this will do much to deceive and 
dull 4h.e best, and take away the power of every truth, and 
the life of every good thought and duty, and all will be apt 
to dwindle into customariness and form. You will hardly 
>keep the faculties of the soul awake, if you do not think still 
of death and judgment, as near at hand. The greatest cer- 
tainty of thy greatest change, and the greatest joy or misery 
for ever, will not keep our stupid hearts awake, unless we 
look at all as near, as well as certain ! This is plain, in the 
common difference that we find among all men, between 
their thoughts of death, in health, and when they see indeed 
that they must presently die. They that in health could 
think and talk of death with laughter, or lightly, without any 
awakening of soul, when they come to die are oftentimes as 
much altered, as if they had never heard before that they are 
mortal. By which it is plain, that to live -in the house of 
mirth is more dangerous, than to live in the house of mourn- 
ing; and that the expectation of long life, is a grievous 
enemy to the operations of grace, and the safety of the soul. 

And it is one of the greatest strengtheners of your 
temptations to luxury, ambition, worldliness, and almost 
every sin. When men think that they shall have many 
years leisure to repent, they are apt the more boldly to trans- 
gress : when they think that they have yet many years to 
live, it tempteth them to pass away time in idleness, and to 
loiter in their race, and trifle in all their work, and to over- 
value all the pleasures, and honours, and shadows of felicity 
that are here below. He that hath his life in his house or 
land, or hath it for inheritance, will set more by it, and be- 
stow more upon it, than if he thought he must go out of it 
the next year. To a man that thinks of living many years, 
the favour of great ones, the raising of his estate, and name> 
and family, and the accommodations and pleasings of his 
flesh, will seem great matters to him, and will do much witH 
him, and will make self-denial a very hard work. 

sed mihi ne diuturnum quidem quidquam videtur, in quo est aliquid extremum. Cum' 
enimid advenit; tunc illud quod praeteriit, effluxit: tantum remanet, quod virtute^^et- 
recte f^ctis consecutus sis. Horae quidem cedunt, et dies, et menses, et anni : nee 
praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur, nee quid sequatur, sciri potest. Cic. Sen. 69. 
vol. vii. p. 8 is. 


Therefore,^ though health be a wonderful great mercy, as 
enabling him to duty that hath a heart to use it to that end ; 
yet it is by accident a very great danger and snare to the 
heart itself, to turn it from the way of duty. The best life 
for the soul is, that which least endangereth it by being over- 
pleasing to the body, and in which the flesh hath the small- 
est interest to set up and plead against the Spirit. Not but 
that the largest stock must be accepted, and used for God, 
when he trusteth us with it ; for when he setteth us the hard- 
est work, we may expect his greatest help. But a dwelling 
as in tents, in a constant unsettledness, in a moveable condi- 
tion, having little, and needing little, never feeling any thing 
in the creature to tempt us to say, " Soul take thy rest ;" 
/ this is, to most, the safest life, which giveth us the freest ad- 
vantages for heaven. 

Take heed, therefore, as you love your souls, of falling 
into the snare of worldly hopes, and laying designs for rising, 
and riches, and pleasing yourselves in the thoughts and pro- 
secution of these things, for then you are in the readiest way 
to perdition ; even to idolatrous worldliness, and apostasy 
of heart from God, and opening a door to every sin, that 
seems but necessary to your worldly ends ; and to odious 
hypocrisy for a cloak to all this, and to quiet your guilty 
minds with something that is like religion. When once you 
are saying with worldly security, as he, Luke xii. 18, 19. 
" I will pull down my barns, and build greater ; and there 
will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to 
my soul. Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years ; 
take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry :" you are then be- 
fooling yourselves, and near being called away, as fools, by 
death, verses 20, 21. And when, without a sense of the un- 
certainty of your lives, you are saying, as those in James 
iv. 13, 14. " To-day, or to-morrow we will go into such a 
city, and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and get 
gain ; whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow :" 
You forget what your lives are, that they are " a vapour, 
appearing a little while, and then vanishing away," verse 14. 
" Boast not thyself therefore of to-morrow ; for thou know^ 
est not what a day may bring forth ^." 

Direct, xx. ' See that your religion be purely divine, 

^ Prov. xxvii. 1. ' 


and animated all by God, as the beginning, the way, and 
the end ; and that first upon thy soul, and then upon all that 
thou hast or dost, there be written " HOLINESS TO THE 
LORD :" and that thou corrupt not all with an inordinate, 
hypocritical respect to man K' 

To be holy, is to be divine, or devoted to God, and ap- 
propriated to him, and his will, and use ; and that our hearts 
and lives be not common and unclean. To be godly, is to 
live to God ; as those that from their hearts believe, that he 
is God indeed, and that '* he is the rewarder of them that 
diligently seek him,'' that he is " our God all-sufficient, our 
shield and exceeding great rewards." ''And that of Him, 
and through Him, and to Him are all things ^," that all may 
give the glory for ever unto him. As God is infinitely above 
all creatures, so living upon God and unto God, must needs 
advance us above the highest sensual life : and therefore re- 
ligion is transcendently above all sciences or arts. So much 
of God as is in you and upon you, so much you are more 
excellent than the highest worldly perfection can advance 
you to. God should be the first, and last, and all in the 
mind, and mouth, and life of a believer. God must be the 
principal matter of your religion. The understanding and 
will must be exercised upon him. When you awake you 
should be still with him \ Your meditations of him should 
be sweet, and you should be glad in the Lord. Yet, crea- 
tures under him, may be the frequent, less principal matter 
of your religion ; but still as referred unto him. God must 
be the author of your religion : God must institute it, if you 
expect he should accept it and reward it. God must be the 
rule of your religion, as revealing his will concerning it in 
his Word. God must be the ultimate end of your religion : 
it must be intended to please and glorify him. God must 
be the continual motive and reason of your religion, and of 
all you do : you must be able truly to fetch your reason 

^ De bonis et raalis ita disserebat Plato : Flnera esse, Deo sirailem fieri. Virtu- 
tera sufficere quidem ad bene beateque vivendum : caeteruni instrumentis indigere, 
corporis bonis; robore, saninate, integritatesensuum,etcaeterisid genus. Exteriori- 
bus item, puta opibus, generis claritate, gloria. Ea et si non afFuerint, nihilominus 
tamen beatura fore sapientem. Arbitrator et Deos hnmana cernere atque curare,- 
et dsmones esse. Porro in dialogis jusfitiam divinam legem arbitratus est, uL ad 
juste agendum potentiiis persuaderet, ne post mortem poenas improbi luerent. Laert. 
in Plat. lib. iii. sect. 78, 79. pp. 213, 214. 

8f Heb. xi. 6. Gen. xv. 1. xvii. 1. •> Rom. xi. 36. ' Psal. cxxxix. 18. 


from heaven, and to say, * I do it because it is his will ; I do 
it to please, and glorify, and enjoy him/ God must be taken 
as the sovereign Judge of your religion, and of you, and of 
all you do : and you must wholly look to his justification 
and approbation, and avoid whatever he condemneth. Can 
you take God for your Owner, your Sovereign, your Saviour, 
your sufficient Protector, your Portion, your all ? If not, you 
cannot be godly, nor be saved. If his authority have not 
more power upon you, than the authority of the greatest 
upon earth, you are atheistical hypocrites, and not truly re- 
ligious, whatever you pretend. If '' HOLINESS TO THE 
LORD," be written upon you, and all that is your's, you are 
devoted to him, as his own peculiar ones. If your names be 
set upon your sheep, or plate, or clothes, you will say, if an- 
other should take them, * They are mine ; do you not see 
my mark upon them V Slavery to the flesh, the world, 
and the devil, is the mark that is written upon the ungodly 
(upon the foreheads of the profane, and upon the hearts of 
hypocrites and all) : and satan, the world, and the flesh 
have their service. If you are consecrated to God, and bear 
his name and mark upon you, tell every one that would lay 
claim to you, that you are his, and resolved to live to him, 
to love him, to trust him, and to stand or fall to him alone. 
Let God be the very life, and sense, and end of all you do. 
When once man hath too much of your regard and ob- 
servation, that you set too much by his favour and esteem, 
or eye him too much in your profession and practice ; when 
man's approbation too much comforteth you, and man's dis- 
pleasure or dispraise doth too much trouble you; when 
your fear, and love, and care, and obedience are too much 
taken up for man ; you so far withdraw yourselves from 
God, and are becoming the servants of men, and friends of 
the world, and turning back to bondage, and forsaking your 
Rock and Portion, and your excellency : the soul of religion 
is departing from you, and it is dying and returning to the 
dust. And if once man get the pre-eminence of God, and 
be preferred and set above him, in your hearts or lives, and 
feared, trusted, and obeyed before him, you are then dead 
to God, and alive to the world ; and, as men are taken for 
your gods, you must take up with snch a salvation as they 
can give you. If your alms and prayers are done to be seen 


of men, and to procure their good thoughts and words ; if 
you get them, make your best of them ; " for, verily," your 
Judge hath " said unto you, you have your reward ^" 

Not that man is absolutely to be contemned or disre- 
garded. No ; under God, your superiors must be obeyed ; 
you must do wrong to none, and do good to all, as far as in 
you lieth ; you must avoid offence, and give good example, 
and, under God, have so much regard to men, as to " be- 
come all things to all men, for their salvation." But if once 
you set them above their rank, and turn yourselves to an 
inordinate dependance on them, and make too great a mat- 
ter of their opinion or words concerning you, you are losing 
your godliness or divine disposition ; and turning it into 
man-pleasing and hypocrisy"*. When man stands in com- 
petition with God, for your first and chief regard, or in op- > 
position to him, or a sharer in co-ordination with him, and 
not purely in subordination to him, he is to be numbered 
with things to be forsaken. Even good men, whom you 
must love and honour, and whose communion and help you 
must highly value, yet may be made the object of your sin, 
and may become your snare. Your honouring of them, or 
love to them, must not entice you to desire inordinately to 
be honoured by them, nor cause you to set too much by 
their approbation. If you do, you will find that, while you 
are too much eyeing man, you are losing God, and corrupt- 
ing your religion at the very heart. And you may fall 
among those, that, how holy soever, may have great mis- 
takes in matters of religion, tending to much sin, and may 
be somewhat censorious against those that are not of their 
mind ; and so the retaining of their esteem, and the avoid- 
ing of their censures, may become one of the greatest temp- 
tations of your lives. And you will find, that man-pleasing 
is a very difficult, and yet unprofitable task. Love Christ, 
as he appeareth in any of his servants, and be followers of 
them, as they are followers of Christ, and regard their ap- 
probation as it agreeth with Christ's : but O ! see that you 

» Matt. vi. 1—3. 

™ Igitur alte spectare si voles, atque banc sedem, et aaternara domura contueri : 
neque te serraonibus vulgi dederis, nee in praemiis humanis spem posueris rerura tua- 
rum : suis te oportet illecebris ipsa virtus trahat ad verura decus. Cic. Somn. Scip. 
7. op. vol. vii. p. 918. Hsec coelestia semper spectato : ilia humana contemnita. Id. 
Ibid. p. 917. 


are able to live upon the favour of God alone, and to be 
quieted in his acceptance, though man despise you ; and to 
be pleased, so far as God is pleased, though man be dis- 
pleased with you; and to rejoice in his justification, though 
men condemn you with the most odious slanders, and the great- 
est infamy, and cast out your names as evil doers. See 
that God be taken as enough for you, or else you take him 
not as God : even as enough without man, and enough 
against man ; that you may be able to say, " If God be for 
us, who can be against us ? Who is he that condemneth ? it 
is God that justifieth"." " Do I seek to please men? For 
if I yet pleased men, I should not be a servant of Christ*"." 
** Thus saith the Lord ; Cursed be the man that trusteth in 
man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth 
from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, 
and shall not see when good coraeth. — Blessed is the man 
that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he 
shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth 
out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat com- 
eth, but her leaf shall be green ; and shall not be careful in 
the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruitP." 
" Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils : for 
wherein is he to be accounted of *i ?" 

Having given you these Directions, I must tell you in 
the conclusion, that they are like food, that will not nourish 
you by standing on your table ; or, like physic, that will not 
cure you by standing in the box : they must be taken and 
digested, or you will find none of the benefit. It is not the 
reading of them, that will serve the turn to so great use, as 
the safe proceeding and confirmation of beginners, or no- 
vices in religion : it will require humility to perceive the 
need of them ; and labour to learn, digest, and practice 
them. Those slothful souls, that will refuse the labour, 
must bear the sad effects of their negligence : there is not 
one of all these Directions, as to the matter of them, which 
can be spared. Study them, understand them, and remem- 
ber them, as things that must be done. If either a sense- 
lessness of your necessity, or a conceit that the Spirit must 

" Rom. viii. 31. 33, 34. ° Gal, i. 10. p Jer. xvii. 5—8. 

n Isa. ii. 22. 


do it, without so much labour and diligence of your own, 
do prevail with you, to put off all these with a mere appro- 
bation, the consequent may be sadder than you can yet 
foresee. Though I suppose you to have some beginnings of 
grace ; I must tell you, that it will be, comparatively, a sad 
kind of life, to be erroneous, and scandalous, and trouble- 
some to the church, or full of doubts, and fears, and pas- 
sions, and to be burdensome to others and yourselves I Yea,, 
it is reason that you be very suspicious of your sincerity, if 
you desire not to increase in grace, and be not willing to use 
the means, which are necessary to your increase. He is not 
sincere, that desireth not to be perfect : and he desireth not 
sincerely, who is not willing to be at the labour and cost, 
which is necessary to the obtaining of the thing desired. 
I beseech you, therefore, as you love the happiness of pru- 
dent, strong, and comfortable Christians, and would escape 
the misery of those grievous diseases, which would turn your 
lives into languishing, unserviceableness, and pain ; that 
you seriously study these Directions, and get them into 
your minds, and memories, and hearts ; and let the faithful, 
practice of them be your greatest care, and the constant 
employment of your lives. , 


The General Grand Directions for Walking with God, in a 
Life of Faith and Holiness : containing the Essentials of 
Godliness and Christianity . v 

I AM next to direct you in that exercise of grace, which is 
common to all Christians. Habits are for use : grace is gi- 
ven you, not only that you may have it, but also that you 
may use it. And it is fit that we direct you how to use it, 
before we direct you how to know that you have it ; because 
it is grace in exercise that you must discern ; and habits are 
not perceived in themselves, but by their acts : and the 
more lively and powerful the exercise is, the more easily is 
grace perceived : so that this is the nearest and surest way 


to a certainty of our own sincerity : —he that useth grace 
most and best, hath most grace ; and he that hath most, and 
useth it most, may most easily be assured that he hath it in 
sincerity and truth. 

In these Directions, I shall begin with those great inter- 
nal duties, in which the very life of all religion doth consist ; 
and the general practice of these principles and graces : and 
all these generals shall be briefly set together, for the easi- 
ness of understanding and remembering them. And then 
I shall give you such particular Directions, as are needful, 
in subordination to those generals. 

Grand Direction i. * Labour to understand well the na- 
ture, grounds, reason, and order of faith and godliness : and 
to believe upon such grounds, so well understood, as will 
not suffer you to stagger, or entertain a contrary belief.' 

Ignorance and ungrounded, or ill-grounded persuasions in 
matters of religion, are the cause that abundance of people 
delude themselves, with the empty name and dead profession 
of a faith and religion which they never were indeed posses- 
sors of. I know there are low degrees of knowledge, compara- 
tively, in many that are true believers : and that there may be 
much love and holiness, where knowledge is very small or nar- 
row, as to the objective extent of it : and that there is a know- 
ledge that puffeth up, while charity edifieth : and that in many 
that have the narrower knowledge, there may be the fastest 
faith and adherence to the truth, which will conquer in the time 
of trial. But yet I must tell you, that the religion which 
you profess, is not, indeed, your own religion, if you know 
not what it is, and know not in some measure the true 
grounds and reasons why you should be of that religion. If 
you have only learned to say your creed, or repeat the words 
of Christian doctrine, while you do not truly understand the 
sense ; or if you have no better reasons why you profess the 
Christian faith, than the custom of the country, or the com- 
mand of princes or governors, or the opinion of your teachers, 
or the example of your parents, friends, or neighbours, you 
are not Christians indeed. You have a human belief or 
opinion, which objectively is true ; but subjectively in your^ 
selves, you have no true, divine belief. I confess, there may 
be some insufficient, yea, and erroneous reasons, which a 


true believer may mistakingly make use of, for the proof of 
certain fundamental truths ; but then that same man hath 
some other reason for his reception of that truth, which is 
more sound : and his faith is sound, because of those sound, 
infallible principles, though there be a mixture of some other 
reasons that are unsound. The true believer buildeth on 
the rock, and giveth deep rooting to the holy seed *. Though 
some deluded men- may tell you, that faith and reason are 
such enemies, that they exclude each other as to the same 
object, and that the less reason you have to prove the truth 
of the things believed, the stronger and more laudable is 
your faith ; yet, when it cometh to the trial, you will find, 
that faith is no unreasonable thing ; and that God requireth 
you to believe no more, than you have sufficient reason for, 
to warrant you, and bear you out ; and that your faith can 
be no more, than is your perception of the reasons why you 
should believe ; and that God doth suppose reason, when he 
infuseth faith, and useth reason in the use of faith. They 
that believe, and know not why, or know no sufficient reason 
to warrant their belief, do take a fancy, an opinion, or a 
dream for faith. I know that many honest hearted Christians 
are unable to dispute for their religion, or to give to others 
a satisfactory account of the reasons of their faith or hope ; 
but yet they have the true apprehension of some solid reasons 
in themselves ; and they are not Christians they know not 
why : and though their knowledge be small as to the number 
of propositions known, yet it doth always extend to all that 
is essential to Christianity and godliness, and they do .not 
believe they know not what : and their knowledge is greater 
intensively, and in its value and operation, than the know- 
ledge of the most learned ungodly man in the world. 

Though I may not here digress, or stay so long, as largely 
to open to you the nature, grounds, reason, and method of 
faith and godliness which I am persuading you to understand, 
yet I shall first lay before you a few propositions, which will 
be useful to you, when you are inquiring into these things, 
and then a little open them unto you. 

Prop. 1. A life of godliness is our living unto God as 
God, as being absolutely addicted to him. 

2. A life of faith is a living upon the unseen, everlasting 

a Matt. vii. 24, xiii. 5—8. 


happiness as purchased for us by Christ (with all the neces- 
saries thereto), and freely given us by God. 

3. The contrary life of sense and unbelief, is a living, in 
the prevalency of sense or flesh, to this present w^orld, for 
want of such believing apprehensions of a better, as should 
elevate the soul thereto, and conquer the fleshly inclination 
to things present. 

4. Though man in innocency, needing no Redeemer, 
might live to God without faith in a Redeemer ; yet lapsed 
man is not only unable to redeem himself, but also unable 
to live to God without the grace of the Redeemer. It was 
not only necessary that he satisfy God's justice for us, that 
he may pardon and save us without any wrong to- his holi- 
ness, wisdom, or government ; but also that he be our 
teacher by his doctrine and his life, and that he reveal from 
heaven the Father's will, and that objectively in him we 
may see the wonderful, condescending love and goodness 
of a reconciled God and Father, and that eflectually he il- 
luminate, sanctify, and quicken us by the operations of his 
Word and Spirit, and that he protect and govern, justify, 
and glorify us ; and be the Head of restored man, as Adam 
was the root of lapsed man, and as the lapsed spirits had 
their head : and therefore we must wholly live upon him as 
the Mediator between God and man, and the only Saviour 
by merit and by efficacy. 

5. Faith is a knowledge by certain credible testimony 
or revelation from God, by means supernatural or extraor- 

6. The knowledge of things naturally revealed (as the 
cause by the effect, &c.) is in order before the knowledge or 
belief of things revealed supernaturally. 

7. It is matter of natural revelation that there is a God ; 
that he is infinite in his immensity and eternity, in his power, 
wisdom, and goodness ; that he is the first cause and ulti- 
mate end of all things ; that he is the preserver and over- 
ruling disposer of all things, and the supreme governor of 
the rational world, and the great benefactor of all mankind, 
and the special favourer and rewarder of such as truly love 
him, seek him, and obey him : also that the soul of man is 
immortal ; and that there is a life of reward or punishment 
to come, and that this life is but preparatory unto that : that 


man is bound to love God his Maker, and serve him, with 
all his heart and might, and to believe that his labour is not 
vain : that we must do our best to know God's will, that we 
may do it. This, with much more, is of natural revelation, 
which infidels may know ''. 

8. There is so admirable a concord and correspondency 
of natural divinity with supernatural, the natural leading 
towards the supernatural, and the supernatural falling in so 
meet where the natural endeth, or falls short, or is defective, 
that it greatly advantageth us in the belief of supernatural 
divinity *=. Nay, as the law of nature was exactly fitted to 
man in his natural innocent estate ; so the law and way of 
grace in Christ is so admirably and exactly fitted to the 
state of lapsed man for his recovery and salvation, that the 
experience which man hath of his sin and misery may 
greatly prepare him to perceive and believe this most suit- 
able Gospel or doctrine of recovery. And though it may 
not be called natural, as if it were fitted to innocent nature, 
or as if it were revealed by natural, ordinary means, yet 
may it be so called, as it is exactly suited to the restoration 
of lapsed, miserable nature ; even as Lazarus's restored soul, 
though supernaturally rjestored, was the most natural asso- 
ciate of his body ; or as the bread, or milk, or wine, though 
it should fall from heaven, is in itself the most natural food 
for man. 

9. The same things in divinity, which are revealed na- 

'' Laertius saith of the Magi, that they did Deorum vacare cultui : signa statuas- 
que repudiare, et eorura in primis, qui mares esse Deos et foeminas dicunt, opinionetn 
improbare. Prooeraiura, sect. 6. p. 5. He saith also, that the said Magi held, 
and Theopompus with them, that men should live again, and become immortal. 
The like he saith of many other sects. It is a thing most irrational to doubt of the 
being of the unseen worlds, and the more excellent inhabitants thereof, when we 
consider that this low and little part of God's creation is so full of inhabitants. If 
a microscope will shew j'our very eyes a thousand visible creatures which you could 
never see without it, nor know that they had any being, will you not allow the pure 
intellectual sight to go much further beyond your microscope ? 

•= Thales' sayings in Laerlius are, Pulcherriraura, raundus ; a Deo enim factus est. 
Maximum, locus j capit enim omnia. Velocissimum, mens ; nam per universa dis- 
currit. Fortissimum, necessitas ; cuncta enim superat. Sapientissimum, tempus ; 
invenit namque omnia. Sciscitanti cuidam, utrum prius factum esset, nox an dies : 
nox ait, una prius die. Interrogatus, lateret ne Deos homo male agens : ne cogitans 
qudera, inquit. Interrogatus quidnam esse difficile ; se, inquit, ipsuni noscere : quid 
contra facile ; alteri consilium dare. Quid suavissimam ; conscqui quod velis. Quid 
Dens ; quod initio et fine caret. Diog. Laert. lib. i. sect. 35, 36. pp. 21, 22. 


turally to all, are again revealed supernaturally in the Gos- 
pel ; and therefore may, and must be the matter both of 
natural knowledge and of faith. 

10. When the malicious tempter casteth in doubts of a 
Deity, or other points of natural certainty, it so much dis- 
crediteth his suggestions, as may help us much to reject 
them when withal he tempteth us to doubt of the truth of 
the Gospel. 

11. There are many needful appurtenances to the ob- 
jects of a Divine faith, which are the matter of a human 
faith. (Of which more anon.) 

12. Christ, as Mediator, is the way or principal means 
to God, as coming to restore man to his Maker. And so 
faith in Christ is but the means to bring us to the love of 
God (though in time they are commixed). 

13. Knowledge and faith are the eye of the new creature, 
and love is in the heart :- there is no more spiritual wisdom 
than there is faith ; and there is no more life or accept- 
able qualification, or amiableness, than there is love to God. 

14. All truths in divinity are revealed in order to a holy 
life : both faith and love are the principles and springs of 

15. Practice affordeth such experience to a believing 
soul, as may confirm him greatly in the belief of those su- 
pernatural revelations, which he before received without 
that help. 

16. The everlasting fruition of God in glory being the 
end of all religion, must be next the heart and most in our 
eye, and must objectively animate our whole religion, and 
actuate us in every duty. 

17. The pleasing of God being also our end, and both of 
these (enjoying him and pleasing him), being in some small 
foretastes attainable in this life, the endeavour of our souls 
and lives must be by faith to exercise love and obedience ; 
for thus God is pleased and enjoyed. 

18. All things in religion are fitted to the good of man, 
and nothing to his hurt: God doth not command us to 
honour him by any thing which would make us mi- 
serable, but by closing with, and magnifying his love and 

<l Conjungi vult nos inter nos, atque connect! per mutua beneficia charitatis : adeo 


19. But yet it is his own revelation by which we must 
judge what is finally for our good or hurt ; and we may not 
imagine that our shallow or deceivable wit is sufficient to 
discern without his Word what is best or worst for us : nor 
can we rationally argue from any present temporal adversity 
or unpleasing bitterness in the means, that * This is worst 
for us, and therefore it is not from the goodness of God ;' 
but we must argue in such cases, ' This is from the good- 
ness and love of God, and therefore it is best." 

20. The grand impediment to all religion and our sal- 
vation, which hindereth both our believing, loving, and 
obeying, is the inordinate, sensual inclination to carnal self 
and present transitory things, cunningly proposed by the 
tempter to ensnare us, and divert and steal away our hearts 
from God and the life to come. The understanding of these 
Propositions will much help you in discerning the nature 
and reason of religion. 

Grand Direct, ii. ' Diligently labour in that part of the 
life of faith which consisteth in the constant use of Christ 
as the means of the soul's access to God, acceptance with 
him, and comfort from him : and think not of coming to 
the Father, but by him.' 

To talk and boast of Christ is easy, and to use him for 
the increase of our carnal security, and boldness in sinning : 
but to live in the daily use of Christ to those ends of his 
office, to which he is by us to be made use of, is a matter 
of greater skill and diligence than many self-esteeming pro- 
fessors are aware of. What Christ himself hath done, or 
will do, for our salvation, is not directly the thing that we 
are now considering of; but what use he require th us to 
make of him in the life of faith. He hath told us, that his 
flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed ; and that 
except we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have no life 
in us. Here is our use of Christ, expressed by eating and 
drinking his flesh and blood, which is by faith. The ge- 
neral parts of the work of redemption, Christ hath himself 

ut tota justicia et praeceptutn lioc Dei, communis sit utilitas hominum. O miram cle- 
mentiam Domini ! O ineffabilem Dei benignitatem ! praemium nobis pollicetur, si 
nos invicem diligamus ; id est, si nos ea praestemus inviceni, quorum vicissim indi- 
gemus: et nos superbo et ingralo animo, ejus remittiraur voluntati, cujus etlamim- 
perium beneficium est. Hieron. ad Celant. See my book of the " Reasons of the 
Christian Religion." 


performed for us, without asking our consent, or imposing 
upon us any condition on our parts, without which he 
would not do that work : as the sun doth illustrate and 
warm the earth whether it will or not, and as the rain fall- 
eth on the grass without asking whether it consent Or will 
be thankful ; so Christ, without our consent or knowledge, 
did take our nature, and fulfil the law, and satisfy the of- 
fended Law-giver, and merit grace, and conquer satan, death, 
and hell, and became the glorified Lord of all^ : but for the 
exercise of his graces in us, and our advancement to com- 
munion with God, and our living in the strength and joys 
of faith, he is himself the object of our duty, even of that 
faith which we must daily and diligently exercise upon him : 
and thus Christ will profit us no further than we make use 
of him by faith. It is not a forgotten Christ that objectively 
comforteth or encourageth the soul ; but a Christ believed 
in, and skilfully and faithfully used to that end. It is ob- 
jectively (principally) that Christ is called our wisdom, 
1 Cor. i. 30. The knowledge of him, and the mysteries of 
grace in him, is the Christian or Divine philosophy or wis- 
dom, in opposition to the vain philosophy which the learned 
heathen boasted of. And therefore Paul determined to 
know nothing but Christ crucified, that is, to make osten- 
tation of no other knowledge, and to glory in nothing but 
the cross of Christ, and so to preach Christ as if he knew 
nothing else but Christ ^ And it is objectively that Christ 
is said to dwell in our hearts by faith s. Faith keepeth him 
still upon the heart by continual cogitation, application, 
and improvement : as a friend is said to dwell in our hearts 
whom we continually love and think of. 

Christ himself teacheth us to distinguish between faith in 
God (as God), and faith in himself (as Mediator) : " Let not 
your heart be troubled : ye believe in God^:" (or, believe 
ye in God ?) *' believe also in me." These set together are 

« Vel propter unionem inter creaturam et creatorem necessaria fuit incarnatio- 
Sicut in Diviuitate una est essentia et tres personae ; ita in Christo una persona et tres 
essentiae ; Deltas, aiiima, et caro. Christus secundum naturam diviuitatis est genitus ; 
secundum animam creatus ; et secundum camera factus. Unio in Christo triplex est ; 
Deitatis ad animam J Deitatis ad carnem; et aniinae ad camera. Paul. Scaliger. 
Thes. p. 725. Christus solus, et quidem secundum utramque naturam dicitur Caput 
ecclesiae. Id. p. 726. 

f See 1 Cor. i. 23. ii. % Gal. vi. 14. f Ephes. iii. 17. *• John xiv. 1. 


the sufficient cure of a troubled heart- It is not * Faith in 
God, as God/ but ' Faith in Christ as Mediator/ that I 
am now to speak of: and that not as it is inherent in the 
understanding, but as it is operative on the heart and in the 
life : and this is not the smallest part of the life of faith, by 
which the just are said to live. Every true Christian must 
in his measure be able to say with Paul, '' I am crucified 
with Christ : nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liv- 
eth in me : and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live 
by the faith o;f the Son of God, who loved me, and gave 
himself for me'." The pure Godhead is the beginning and 
the end of all. But Christ is "the image of the invisible 
God, the first-born of every creature ; and by him all things 
were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visi- 
ble and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or 
principalities or powers, all things were created by him and 
for him : and he is before all things, and by him all things 
do consist. And he is the head of the body, the church ; 
who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead ; that in 
all things he might have the pre-eminence^." " In him it 
is that we who were sometime afar off are made nigh, even 
by his blood. For he is our peace, who hath reconciled 
both Jew and Gentile unto God in one body by the cross, 
having slain the enmity thereby : and came and preached 
peace to them that were afar off", and to them that were nigh. 
For through him we both have an access by one Spirit unto 
the Father : so that now we are no more strangers and fo- 
reigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the 
household of God^" *' In him" it is " that we have bold- 
ness and access with confidence through faith in him"" ; he 
is the way, the truth, and the life : and no man cometh to 
the Father, but by him"." It is " by the blood of Jesus that 
we have boldness " (and liberty) " to enter into the holiest : 
by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us 
through the vail, that is to say, his flesh." Because *' we 
have so great a Priest over the house of God, we may draw 
near, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith °." " By 
him it is that we have access by faith into this grace wherein 


k Col. i. 16—19. 

' Eph.ii. 13—18. 


njohnxiv. 6. /., 

.. oHeb. X. 19— 22. 

VOL. n. 




we stand, and boast in hope of the glory of God**." So 
that we must have ** all our communion with God through 

Supposing what I have said of this subject in my " Di- 
rections for a sound Conversion," Direct. 5., (which I hope 
the reader will peruse,) I shall here briefly name the uses 
which we must make of Christ by faith, in order to our holy 
converse with God"^. But I must tell you, that it is a doc- 
trine which requireth a prepared heart, that hath life within 
to enable it to relish holy truth, and to dispose it to dili- 
gence, delight, and constancy in practice. A senseless 
reader will feel but little savour in it, and a sluggish reader, 
that suffereth it to die as soon as it hath touched his ears 
or fantasy, will fall short of the practice and the pleasure of 
this life. He must have faith that will live by faith : and 
he must have the heart and nature of a child, that will take 
pleasure in loving, reverent, and obedient converse with a 

1. The darkness of ignorance and unbelief is the great 
impediment of the soul that desireth to draw near to God. 
When it knoweth not God, or knoweth not man's capacity 
of enjoying him, and how much he regardeth the heart of 
man ; or knoweth not by what way he must be sought and 
found : or when he doubteth of the certainty of the word 

pRom. V. 1,2. 

1 Ex apostolica et veteri traditione, nemo baplizatur in ecclesia Christi, nisi prius 
rogatus, an credat in Deura Patrem, et in Jesum Christum Dei Filium, et in Spiritum 
sanctum, respondent, firmiter se credere : quantum vis ergo hebes sit, si judicii ali- 
quid habet, et ita rogatur et ita respondet, prorsusque ita expresse credere jubetur : 
naraque implicite et involute non isthasc solum, sed quaecunque Divinae literae produnt, 
credit, de quibus tamen non omnibus interrogatur, quod ea expresse scire omnia, 
illi minime opus sit. Acosta lib. v. c. 6. p. 461. Christian religion beginneth not at 
the higliest, but the lowest : with Christ incarnate, teaching, dying, &c. Dr. Boy's 
postil. p. 121 . out of Luther. 

' Sane omnium virtutum radix et fundamentum fides est ; quae certantes adjuvat, 
vincentes coronat, et coelesti dono quosdam defectu signorum remunerat : nihil enim 
quod sincerae fidei denegetur, quia nee aliud a nobis Deus, quam fidem exigit : banc 
diligit, banc requirit, huic cuncta promittit et tribuit. S. Eulogius Mart. Arch. Tolet. 
Memorial. Sanct. p. 4. Notandum, quod cum fides mortua sit praeter opera, jam ne- 
que fides est : nam neque homo mortuus, homo est. Non enim sicut spiritum corpore 
meliorem, ita opera fidei praeponenda sunt, quando gratia salvatur homo, non exope- 
ribus sed ex fide : nisi forte et hoc in quffistione sit, quod salvet fides quae cum operibus 
propriis vivit; tanquam aliud genus operum sit, praeter quae salus ex fide proveniat : 
nee autem sunt opera quae sub umbra legis observantur. Didymus Alexand. in Jac. c. 2. 


which declareth the duty of the hopes of man ; all this, or 
any of this, will suppress the ascending desires of the soul, 
and clip its wings, and break the heart of its holy aspirings 
after God, by killing or weakening the hopes of its success. 
Here, then, make use of Jesus Christ, the great revealer 
of God and his will to the blind world, and the great con- 
firmer of the Divine authority of his word. Life and immorta- 
lity are brought more fully to light by the Gospel, than ever 
they were by any other means. Moses and the prophets 
did bring with their doctrine sufficient evidence of its cre- 
dibility. But Christ hath brought both a fuller revelation, 
and a fuller evidence to help belief. An inspired prophet 
which proveth his inspiration to us, is a credible messenger ; 
but when God himself shall come down into flesh, and con- 
verse with man, and teach him the knowledge of God, and 
the way to life, and tell him the mysteries of the world to 
come, and seal his testimony with unquestionable proofs, 
who will not learn of such a teacher ? and who will deny 
belief to such a messenger, except absurd, unreasonable 
men ? Remember then, when ignorance or unbelief would 
hinder your access to God, that you have the ablest teacher 
and the surest witness to acquaint you with God in all the 
world. If God had sent an angel from heaven, to tell you 
what he is, and what he requireth of you, and what he will 
do for you, would it not be very acceptable to you ? But 
he hath done much more ; he hath sent his Son * : the Deity 
itself hath appeared in flesh : he that hath seen God, and 
he that is God, hath come among men to acquaint them 
with God : his testimony is more sure and credible than any 
angel's : " God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, 
spake in times past to the fathers by the prophets, hath in 
these last days spoken to us by his Son *. No man hath 
seen God at any time ; the only begotten Son, who is in the 
bosom of the Father, he hath declared him "." We have 
** neither heard the voice of God, nor seen his shape *. No 
man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God ; he hath 
seen the Father y. No man knoweth the Father save the 

^ Dilectio Dei misit nobis salvatorem : cujos gratia salvati sumus : ut possi*- 
(karaus banc gratiam, communicatio facit spiritus. Ambros. ia 2 Cor. xiiit. J.3. 
t Heb. i. 1—3. " John i. 18. '^ John v. 37. v John vi. 46. 


Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him''." 
What more can we desire, that is short of the sight of the 
glory of God, than to have him revealed to us by a messen- 
ger from heaven, and such a messenger as himself hath seen 
him, and is God himself? Plato and Plotinus may describe 
God to us according to their dark conjectures : something 
we may discern of him by observing his works : but Christ 
hath declared what he saw, and what he knew beyond all 
possibility of mistake. And lest his own testimony should 
seem questionable to us, he hath confirmed it by a life of 
miracles, and by rising from the dead himself, and ascend- 
ing visibly to heaven, and by the Holy Ghost, and his mira- 
culous gifts which he gave to the messengers of his Gospel. 
Had it been no more than his resurrection from the dead, it 
had been enough to prove the utter unreasonableness of 

2. It is also a great impediment to the soul in its approach 
to God, that infinite distance disableth us to conceive of 
hiiii aright. We say as Elihu, " Behold, God is great, and 
we know him not ^" And indeed it is impossible that mor- 
tal man should have any adequate apprehensions of his 
essence. But in his Son he" hath come down to us, and 
shewed himself in the clearest glass that ever did reveal him. 
Think of him, therefore, as he appeared in our flesh : as he 
shewed himself in his holiness and goodness to the world. 
You may have positive thoughts of Jesus Christ : though 
you may not think that the Godhead was flesh, yet you 
may think of it as it appeared in flesh. It may quiet the 
understanding to conceive of God as incarnate, and to know 
that we cannot yet " know him as he is," or have any ade- 
quate conceptions of him : these may delight us till we 
reach to more. 

3. It hindereth the soul's approach to God, when the 
infinite distance makes us think that God will not regard 
or take notice of such contemptible worms as we ; we are 
ready to think that he is too high for our converse or de- 
light. In this case the soul hath no such remedy, as to 
look to Christ ; and we see how the Father hath regarded 
us, and set his heart upon us, and sent his Son to seek and 
save us. O wonderful, astonishing condescension of eternal 

-'■ Matt. xi. 27. » Job xxxiv. 26. 


love ! Believe that God assumed flesh to make himself fa- 
miliar with man ; and you can never question whether he 
regard us, or will hold communion with us. 

4. It hindereth our comfortable access to God, when we 
are deterred by the glory of his infiniteness and majesty. 
As the eye is not able to gaze upon the sun unless it be 
overshadowed ; so the soul is afraid of the majesty of God, 
and overwhelmed by it when it should be delighted in it. 
Against this there is no such remedy, as to behold God 
appearing to us in his Son, where his majesty is veiled, 
and where he approacheth us familiarly in our nature, 
to invite us to him with holy confidence and reverent 
boldness. Christ did not appear in a terrible form : women 
durst discourse with him : beggars, and cripples, and dis- 
eased people durst ask his help : sinners durst eat with him. 
The proud contemned him, but the lowly were not frighted 
from him. He took upon him the " form of a servant," and 
made himself of no reputation, that he might converse fa- 
miliarly with the meanest and those of no reputation. 
Though we may not debase the Godhead, to imagine that 
it is humbled in glory, as it was on earth, in the flesh of 
Christ ; yet this condescension is unspeakable encourage- 
ment to the soul to come with boldness unto God, that was 
frighted from him. 

5. When the guilt of sin affrighteth us from God, and 
we are thinking that God will not accept such great offen- 
ders as we have been, then Christ is our remedy, who hath 
paid our debt, and borne our stripes, and procured and 
sealed us a pardon by his blood ^. Shall pardoned sins 
drive us from him that pardoned them ? He hath justified 
us by his righteousness. The curse and condemnation are 
terrible indeed ; but he hath taken them away, and given us 
a free discharge. 

6. The infirmities also of our souls, in duty, are often- 
times a great discouragement to us, in our approaches to 
the most holy, jealous God. To find so little knowledge of 
God, so little love to him, such cold desires, such wander- 
ing and distracted thoughts, such dull requests : it is hard 

•> O Domiue Jesu doles non tua seel mea vulnera! Ambros. de fide ad Grat. 
lib. ii. c. 3. Nos immortalitate male usi sumus ut moreremur : Christxis mortalitate 
bene usus est ut viveremus. August, de Doct. Christ, lib. i. c. 14. 

Jt^2 CHRISTIAN directory! [pART I. 

to have lively and thankful apprehensions of God's accep- 
tance of such defective, lame meditations or prayers ; but 
we are apt to think that he will abhor both them and us, and 
that he can take no pleasure in them, yea, that it is as good 
not to pray at all. Here faith hath full relief in Christ : 
two things it can say from him to encourage the fearful soul : 
(1.) That our acceptance with the Father is through the 
merits of his Son : and he is worthy, though we are unwor- 
thy. If we have but the worthiness of faith, and repentance, 
and sincere desire, Christ hath the worthiness of perfect ho- 
liness and obedience for us. We go not to the Father in our 
own names, but in his : and whatever we ask the Father in 
the name of Christ according to his will, he will give it us *=. 
(2.) That all the infirmities of our souls and services are 
forgiven us through Christ: he hath undertaken to answer 
for them all, and to justify us from all such accusations. By 
faith thou mayst, as it were, hear Christ thus speaking for 
thine encouragement: ' Go boldly, poor sinner, into my 
Father's presence: fear not the guilt of thy sins, nor the 
imperfection of thy prayers ; as long as thou truly repentest 
of them, and desirest to be delivered from them, and trustest 
in me, I am thy worthiness; my righteousness is perfect 
without spot ; I have taken all thy faults and failings upon 
me : I have undertaken to answer for all the imperfections 
of thy holy things : sincerity is thy endowment ; perfection 
is mine : trust me in the performance of the trust which I 
have undertaken.' 

7. Sometimes, the soul that would draw near to God, is 
overwhelmed with grief and terror, so that the sense of sin, 
and danger, and misery, do even distract men, and cast them 
into an agony ; so that they say with David, " My soul re- 
fused to be comforted : I remembered God and was troubled : 
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Thou bold- 
est mine eyes waking : I am so troubled that I cannot 
speak ^.'' Yea, they think they feel God thrust them from 
him, and tell them that he hath utterly forsaken them. In 
this case, faith must look to Christ, ana remember that he 
was in an agony when he prayed, and in a greater agony 
than ever you were, so that he sweat even drops of blood : 
and yet in that agony he prayed more earnestly ^. He him- 

•^ John xvi. 23. xiv. 13. xv. 16. ^ Psal. Jxxvii. 2—4. * Luke xxii. 44. 


self once cried out upon the cross, ** My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me :" and yet he was the beloved of the 
Father, and is now at his right hand in glory : and all this 
he did that we might not be forsaken. He hath removed the 
enmity : he hath reconciled us to God : by grief he passed 
himself to joy, and he will wipe away his servants' tears, and 
cause their griefs to end in joy. 

8. Sometimes, the soul that would draw near to God, is 
molested with a storm of hideous temptations, and even con- 
founded with a swarm of disordered, perplexed thoughts. 
Satan assaulteth it with temptations to despair, temptations 
to horrid blasphemous thoughts ; temptations to entangle, 
intermit, corrupt, or pervert the duty which they are about ; 
so that the soul is discouraged, overwhelmed, and broken 
with the inward assaults, and troubles, and distractions 
which it undergoeth. In this case, faith hath a Saviour 
suitable to our relief. It can look to him that was tempted 
in all points like as we are, without sin, and is now such an 
High Priest as can be touched with the feeling of our infir- 
mities ; and, therefore, we may come boldly to the throne of 
grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in 
time of need. " In all things it behoved him to be made like 
unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful 
High Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconci- 
liation for the sins of the people : for he himself having 
suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are 
tempted ^" He submitted not only to be tempted by satan, 
but tempted in a wilderness, where he had no man to comfort 
him ; and to be tempted to the most horrid blasphemy and 
wickedness, even to fall down and worship the devil him- 
self : and he suffered the tempter violently to carry him to 
the pinnacle of the temple. Matt. iv. What should we think 
of ourselves, if we had been used thus ? Should we not think 
that God had utterly forsaken us ? He suffered himself to 
be tempted also by men : by the abuses and reproaches of 
his enemies ; by the desertion of his followers ; by the car- 
nal counsel of Peter, persuading him to put by the death 
which he was to undergo. And he that made all tempta- 
tions serve to the triumph of his patience, and conquering 

f Heb. iv. 14—16. ii. 17, 18. 


power, will give the victory also to his grace, in the weak- 
est soul. 

9. It would be the greatest attractive to us to draw near to 
God, and make the thoughts of him pleasant to us, if we 
could but believe that he dearly loveth us, that he is recon- 
ciled to us, and taketh us for his children, and that he taketh 
pleasure in us, and that he resolveth for ever to glorify us 
with his Son, and that the dearest friend that we have in the 
world, doth not love us the thousandth part so much as he. 
And all this in Christ, is clearly represented to the eye of 
faith. All this is procured for believers, by him: and all 
this is given to believers in him. In him God is reconciled 
to us. He is our Father, and dwelleth among us, and in us, 
and walketh in us, and is our God s. Light and heat are 
not more abundant in the sun, than love is in Jesus Christ. 
To look on Christ, and not perceive the love of God, is as 
to look on the sun, and not to see and acknowledge its light. 
Therefore, whenever you find your hearts averse to God, and 
to have nO pleasure in him, look then to Jesus, and observe 
in him the unmeasurable love of God : that you maybe able 
to comprehend with all the saints, " what is the breadth, and 
length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of 
Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you may be filled 
with all the fulness of God ''." Love and goodness are that 
to the will, which delicious sweetness is to the sensitive ap- 
petite. Draw near then, and taste the feast of love which 
God hath prepared and proposed by his Son. Dost thou 
not see or feel the love of God ? Come near, and look upon 
God incarnate ; upon a crucified Christ ; upon the Covenant 
sealed in his blood ; upon all the benefits of his Redemption ; 
upon all the privileges of the saints ; and upon the glory 
purchased, possessed, and promised by him. Put thy hand 
into his wounded side, and be not faithless, but believing : 
and then thou wilt cry out, " My Lord, and my God." 

10. So. also, when the soul would fain perceive in itself 
the flames of love to God, it is the beholding of Christ by 
faith, which is the striking of fire, and the effectual means 
of kindling love. And this is the true approach to God, and 
the true communion and converse with him : so far as we 

s 2 Cor. vi. 16—18. »" Ephes. iii. 18, 19. 


love him, so far do we draw near him, and so far have we 
true communion with him. O what would the soul of a be- 
liever give, that it could but burn in love to God, as oft as in 
prayer, or meditation, or conference, his name and attri- 
butes are mentioned or remembered ! For this, there is no 
such powerful means, as believingly to look on Christ, in 
whom such glorious love appeareth, as will draw forth the 
love of all, that by a lively faith discern it. Behold the love 
that God hath manifested by his Son, and thou canst not 
but love him, who is the spring of this transcendent love. 
In the law, God sheweth his frowning wrath : and therefore 
it breedeth the " spirit of bondage unto fear :" but in Christ 
God appeareth to us, not only as loving us, but as love 
itself; and therefore as most lovely to us, giving us the 
spirit of adoption, or of filial love, by which we fly, and cry 
to him as our Father. 

1 1 . The actual undisposedness and disability of the soul 
to prayer, meditation, and all holy converse wuth the blessed 
God, is the great impediment of our walking with him : and 
against this, our relief is all in Christ. He is filled with the 
Spirit, to communicate to his members : he can quicken us 
when we are dull : he can give us faith when we are unbe- 
lieving : he can give us boldness when we are discouraged : 
he can pour out upon us the Spirit of supplication, which 
shall help our infirmities, when we know not what to pray 
for as we ought. Beg of him then, the spirit of prayer : 
and look to his example, who prayed with strong cries and 
tears, and continued all the night in prayer, and spake a 
parable to this end, that we should always pray, and not 
wax faint. Call to him, and he that is with the Father will 
reach the hand of his Spirit to you, and will quicken your 
desires, and lift you up. 

12. Sometimes, the soul is hearkening to temptations of 
unbelief, and doubting whether God observe our prayers, 
or whether there is so much to be got by prayer as we are 
told. In such a case faith must look to Christ, who hath not 
only commanded it, and encouraged us by his example ; but 
also made us such plentiful promises of acceptance with 
God, and the grant of our desires. Recourse to these pro- 
mises will animate us to draw nigh to God. 

13. Sometimes the present sense of our vileness, who are but 


dust and despicable worms, doth discourage us, and weaken 
our expectations from God. Against this, what a wonder- 
ful relief is it to the soul, to think of our union with Christ, 
and of the dignity and glory of our Head ! Can God de- 
spise the members of his Son ? Can he trample upon them 
that are as his flesh and bone ? Will he cut off, or forsake, 
or cast away the weakest parts of his body ? 

14. Sometimes, the guilt of renewed infirmities or decays 
doth renew distrust, and make us shrink ; and we are like 
the child in the mother's arms, that feareth when he loseth 
his hold, as if his safety were more in his hold of her, than 
in her hold of him. Weak duties have weak expectations 
of success. In this case, what an excellent remedy hath 
faith, in looking to the perpetual intercession of Christ. Is 
he praying for us in the heavens, and shall we not be bold 
to pray, and expect an answer ? O remember that he is not 
weak, when we are weak ; and that it concerneth us, that he 
prayeth for us : and that we have now an unchangeable 
priest, who is able to save them to the uttermost, or to per- 
petuity, " that come (sincerely) to God by him, seeing he 
ever liveth to make intercession for them K" If you heard 
Christ pray for you, would it not encourage you to pray, 
and persuade you that God would not reject you? Un- 
doubtedly it would. 

15. Sometimes, weak Christians, that have not the gifts 
of memory or utterance, are apt to think that ministers in- 
deed and able men, are accepted of God, but that he little 
valueth such as them. It is here a great encouragement to 
the soul, to think that Jesus our great High Priest, doth 
make all his children priests to God. They are " a chosen 
generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar peo- 
ple ; that they should shew forth the praises of him that hath 
called them out of darkness into his marvellous light : an 
holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to 
God by Jesus Christ^." Even their " broken hearts and 
contrite spirits, are a sacrifice which God will not despise ^" 
He knoweth the meaning of the Spirit's groan. 

16. The strength of corruptions which molest the soul, 
and are too often struggling with it, and too much prevail, 
doth greatly discourage us in our approach to that God that 

* Hcb. vii. 24, 25. '' 1 Pet. ii. 5.9. ' Rom. viii. 26, 27. 


hateth all the workers of iniquity. And here faith may find 
relief in Christ, not only as he .pardoneth us, but as he hath 
conquered the devil and the world himself, and bid us be 
of good cheer, because he hath conquered, and hath all the 
power given him in heaven and earth, and can give us vic- 
torious grace, in the season and measure which he seeth 
meetest for us. We can do all things through Christ that 
strengtheneth us. Go to him then by faith and prayer, and 
you shall find that his grace is sufficient for you. 

17. The thoughts of God are the less delightful to the 
soul, because that death and the grave do interpose, and we 
must pass through them before we can enjoy him : and it is 
unpleasing to nature, to think of a separation of soul and 
body, and to think that our flesh must rot in darkness. But 
against this, faith hath wonderful relief in Jesus Christ. 
*' Forasmuch as we were partakers of flesh and blood, he 
also himself likewise took part of the same, that through 
death he might destroy him that had the power of death, 
that is, the devil ; and deliver them who through fear of 
death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage ""." What 
an encouragement it is to faith, to observe that Christ once 
died himself, and that he rose from the dead, and reigneth 
with the Father : it being impossible that death should hold 
him. And having conquered that which seemed to conquer 
him, it no more hath dominion over him, but he hath the 
keys of death and hell. We may now entertain death as a 
disarmed enemy, and say, " O death, where is thy sting? O 
grave where is thy victory ?" Yea, it is sanctified by him 
to be our friend, even an entrance into our Master's joy : it 
being best for us to depart and be with Christ". And, there- 
fore, death is become our gain **. O what abundance of 
strength and sweetness may faith perceive from that promise 
of Christ, " If any man serve me, let him follow me, and 
where I am, there shall also my servant be p." As he was 
dead, but now liveth for evermore, so hath he promised, that 
" because he liveth, therefore shall we live also *i." But of 
this, I have written two treatises of death already. 

18. The terror of the day of judgment, and of our parti- 
cular doom at death, doth make the thoughts of God less 

■n Heb. ii. 14, 15. " Phil. i. 23. ° Phil. i. 21. 

P John xii. 26. i John xiv. 19. 


pleasing and delectable to us. And here, what a relief is it 
for faith to apprehend that Jesus Christ must be our Judge. 
And will he condemn the members of his body ? Shall we be 
afraid to be judged by our dearest friend ? — by him that hath 
justified us himself already, even at the price of his own 

19. The very strangeness of the soul to the world un- 
seen, and to the inhabitants and employments there, doth 
greatly stop the soul in its desires, and in its delightful ap- 
proaches unto God. Had we seen the world where God 
must be enjoyed, the thoughts of it would be more familiar 
and sweet. But faith can look to Christ, and say, ' My 
Head is there : he seeth it for me : he knoweth what he pos- 
sesseth, prepareth, and promiseth to me : and I will quietly 
rest in his acquaintance with it.' 

20. Nay, the Godhead itself is so infinitely above us, 
that, in itself, it is inaccessible ; and it is ready to amaze and 
overwhelm us, to think of coming to the incomprehensible 
Majesty : but it emboldeneth the soul, to think of our glo-^ 
rifled nature in Christ, and that, even in heaven, God will 
everlastingly condescend to us in the Mediator. For the 
mediation of redemption and acquisition shall be ended, 
(and thus he shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father,) 
yet it seems that a mediation of fruition shall continue : for 
Christ said to his Father, *' I will that they also whom thou 
hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold 
my glory '^." We shall "rejoice," when the '* marriage of 
the Lamb is come^" " They are blessed that are called to 
his marriage supper*." '' The Lord God Almighty and the 
Lamb are the temple and the light of the new Jerusalem"." 
Heaven would not be so familiar, or so sweet to my thoughts, 
if it were not that our glorified Lord is there, in whose love 
and glory we must live for ever. 

O Christian! as ever thou wouldst walk with God, in 
comfortable communion with him, study and exercise this 
life of faith, in the daily use and improvement of Christ, 
who is our life, and hope, and all. 

Grand Direct, iii. ' Understand well what it is to believe 
in the Holy Ghost : and see that he dwell and operate in 

' John xvii. !24. * Rev. xix. 7. ' Ver. 9. 

" Rev. xxi. 22, 23. 


thee, as the life of thy soul, and that thou do not resist or 
quench the Spirit, but thankfully obey him.' 

Each person in the Trinity, is so believed in by Chris- 
tians, as that in baptism, they enter distinctly into covenant 
with them ; which is, to accept the mercies of, and perform 
the duties to, each person distinctly y. As to take God for 
our God, is more than to believe that there is a God ; and 
to take Christ for our Saviour, is more than barely to believe 
that he is the Messiah : so to believe in the Holy Ghost, is to 
take him for Christ's agent or advocate with our souls, and 
for our guide, and sanctifier, and comforter, and not only to 
believe that he is the third person in the Trinity. This, 
therefore, is a most practical article of our belief. 

If the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost be the unpar- 
donable sin, then all sin against the Holy Ghost, must needs 
have a special aggravation by being such : and if the sin 
against the Holy Ghost be the greatest sin, then our duty 
towards the Holy Ghost, is certainly none of our smallest 
duties. Therefore the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and our 
duty towards him, and sin against him, deserve not the least, 
or last place in teaching, learning, and most serious consi- 

Two sorts do most dangerously sin against, or abuse the 
Holy Ghost. The first are the profane, who through cus- 
tom and education, can say * I believe in the Holy Ghost,' 
and say, that * he sanctifieth them and all the elect people 
of God ;' but hate or resist all sanctifying works and mo- 
tions of the Holy Ghost, and hate all those that are sancti- 
fied by him, and make them the objects of their scorn, and 
deride the very name of sanctification, or at least the things. 

The second sort are the enthusiasts, or true fanatics, 
who advance, extol, and plead for the Spirit, against the 
Spirit ; covering their greatest sins against the Holy Ghost, 
by crying up, and pretending to the Holy Ghost*. They 

y Scrutari temeritas est, credere pietas, nosse vita. Bernard, de consid. ad Eu- 
gen. lib. 5. 

* Deus est principium effectivum in creatione, refectivura in rederaptione, per- 
fectivum in sdnctificatione. Job. Combis comp. Theol. lib. iv. c. 1. 

* Rejectis propheticis et apostolicis scriptis, Manichaei novum Evangelium 
scripserunt : ei ut antecellere communi bominum multitudini et semidei viderentur, 
simularunt entbusiasmos seu afflatus, subito in turba se in terram objicientes, et velut 
attoniti diu tacentes ; deinde tanquara redeuntes ex specu Trophonio et plorantes, 


plead the Spirit in themselves, against the Spirit in their 
brethren, yea, and in almost all the church : they plead the 
authority of the Spirit in them, against the authority of the 
Spirit in the Holy Scriptures ; and against particular truths 
of Scripture ; and against several great and needful duties, 
which the Spirit hath required in the word ; and against 
the Spirit in their most judicious, godly, faithful teachers. 
But can it be the Spirit that speaks against the Spirit ? Is 
the Spirit of God against itself? Are we " not all baptized 
by one Spirit" (and not divers or contrary) " into one bo- 
dy^?" But it is "no marvel, for satan to be transformed 
into an angel of light, or his ministers into the ministers of 
Christ, and of righteousness, whose end shall be according 
to their works *=.'* The Spirit himself, therefore, hath com- 
manded us, that we " believe not every spirit, but try the 
spirits whether they be of God ; because many false pro- 
phets are gone out into the world '^t^' '* Yea, the Spirit 
speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall de- 
part from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doc- 
trines of devils*." Therefore take heed that you neither 
mistake nor abuse the Holy Spirit. 

I. The doctrine concerning the Holy Ghost, to be be- 
lieved, is briefly this: — 1. That the Holy Ghost, as given 
since the ascension of Christ, is his agent on earth, or his 
advocate with men (called by him the Paraclete). Instead 
of his bodily presence, which, for a little space, he vouch- 
safed to a few, being ascended, he sendeth the Holy Spirit, 
as better for them, to be his agent continually to the end, 
and unto all, and in all that do believe ^ 2. This Holy Spi- 
rit, so sent, infallibly inspired the holy apostles and evange- 
lists, first to preach, and then to write the doctrine, of Christ, 
contained (as indited by him) in the Holy Scriptures; per- 
fectly imprinting therein the holy image of God s. 3. The 
same Spirit in them, sealed this holy doctrine, and the testi- 
mony of these holy men, by many miracles and wonderful 
gifts, by which they did actually convince the unbelieving 

multa vaticinati sunt; prorsus ut AnabaptistSB recens fecerunt in seditione Monaste- 
riensi. Etsi autetn in quibusdam raanifesta simulatio fuit, tamen aliquibus veipsa a 
Diabolis furores immissos esse certura est. Carion. Chron. lib. iii. p. 54. 

b 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. <= 2 Cor. xi. 13—15. ^ 1 JohqLv. 1. 

« I Tim. ir. 1. ^ John xvi, 7, 8. 

K Jobn XV. ?6. John xvi. 13. Gal. iii. 1—4* H^b-ii. 3, 4- 


world, and plant the churches. 4. The same Spirit (having 
first by the apostles, given a law or canon to the universal 
church, constituting its offices, and the duty of the officers, 
and the manner of their entrance,) doth qualify and dispose 
men, for the stated, ordinary, ministerial work (which is to 
explain and apply the aforesaid Scriptures), and directeth 
those that are to ordain and choose them (they being not 
wanting on their part) ; and so he appointeth pastors to the 
church •*. 5. The same Spirit assisteth the ministers (thus 
sent in their faithful use of the means,) to teach and apply 
the Holy Scriptures, according to the necessities of the peo- 
ple, the weight of the matter, and the majesty of the word 
of God. 6. The same Spirit doth, by this word (heard or 
read), renew and sanctify the souls of the elect ; illuminating 
their minds ; opening and quickening their hearts ; prevail- 
ing with, changing, and resolving their wills, thus writing 
God's word, and imprinting his image by his word, upon 
their hearts ; making it powerful to conquer and cast out 
their strongest, sweetest, dearest sins ; and bringing them 
to the saving knowledge, love, and obedience of God in 
Jesus Christ'. The same Holy Spirit assisteth the sancti- 
fied, in the exercise of this grace, to the increase of it, by 
blessing and concurring with the means appointed by him 
to that end ; and helpeth them to use those means, perform 
their duties, conquer temptations, oppositions, and difficul- 
ties, and so confirmeth and presei^veth then^ to the end. 8. The 
same Spirit helpeth believers, in the exercise of grace, to feel 
it, and discern the sincerity of it in themselves, in that mea- 
sure as they are meet for, and in these seasons when it is 
fittest for them. 9. The same Spirit helpeth them, here- 
upon, to conclude that they are justified and reconciled to 
God, and have right to all the benefits of his covenant. 
10. Also, he assisteth them actually to rejoice in the dis- 
cerning of this conclusion. For though reason of itself 
may do something in these acts, yet, so averse is man to all 
that is holy, and so many are the difficulties and hindrances 
in the way, that, to the effectual performance, the help of 
the Spirit of God is necessary. 

By this enumeration of the Spirit's operations, you may 
see the errors of many detected, and many common ques- 

h Eph. iii. 2—4. 8. 13. * Acts xxvi. 18. John xiv. 16, 26. 


tions answered. 1. You may see their blindness, that pre- 
tend the Spirit within them, against Scripture, ministry, or 
the use of God's appointed means : when the same Spirit 
first indited the Scripture, and maketh it the instrument to 
illuminate and sanctify our souls. God's image is, (1.) Pri- 
marily, in Jesus Christ his Son. (2.) Derivatively, by his 
Spirit, imprinted perfectly in the Holy Scriptures. (3.) And 
by the Scripture, or the holy doctrine of it, instrumentally 
impressed on the soul. So that the image of God in Christ, 
is the cause of his image in his holy word or doctrine, and 
his image in his word, is the cause of his image on the heart. 
So a king may have his image, (1.) Naturally, on his son, 
who is like his father. (2.) Expressively, in his laws, which 
express his wisdom, clemency, and justice. (3.) And ef- 
fectively, on his subjects and servants, who are by his laws 
reduced to a conformity to his mind. As a man may first 
cut his arms or image on his seal, and then by that seal im- 
print it on the wax ; and though it be perfectly cut on the 
seal, it may be imperfectly printed on the wax ; so God's 
image is naturally perfect in his Son, and regularly or ex- 
pressively perfect on the seal of his holy doctrine and laws ; 
but imperfectly on his subjects, according to their reception 
of it in their several degrees. 

Therefore, it is easy to discern their error, that tell men 
the light or Spirit within them, is their rule, and a perfect 
rule, yea, and that it is thus in all men in the world ; when 
God's Word and experience flatly contradict it, telling us 
that infidels and enemies of God, and all the ungodly are in 
darkness, and not in the light ; and that all that speak not ac- 
cording to this Word, (the law and testimony) have "no light 
in them;" and therefore no " perfect light to be their rule ''." 
The Ministry is sent, to bring them from darkness to light : 
therefore, they had not a sufficient light in them before'. 
" Wo to them that put darkness for light, and light for dark- 
ness ^ :" telling the children of darkness, and the haters of 
the light, that they have a perfect light and rule within them, 
when God saith, " They have no light in them ".'^ " He that 
saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in dark- 
ness even till now''," The light within a wicked man, is 

•^ Isa. viii. so.' i**^" ' ' * Acts xxvi. 17, 18. *» Isa. v. 20. 

n 1 John i. 4— 8,vl n • , » 1 Jolm ii. 9—11. - . 


"darkness" and ** blindness," and therefore not his rule. 
Even the light that is in godly men, is the knowledge of the 
rule, and not the rule itself at all, nor ever called so by God. 
Our rule is perfect ; our knowledge is imperfect : for Paul 
himself saith, " We know in part : but when that which is 
perfect is come, then that which is in part, shall be done 
away : now we see through a glass darkly p." " The Gospel 
is hid to them that are lost," being '* blinded by satan *i." 

There is an admirable, unsearchable concurrence of the 
Spirit, and his appointed means, and the will of man, in the 
procreation of the new creature, and in all the exercises of 
grace, as there is of male and female in natural generation ; 
and of the earth, the sun, the rain, the industry of the gar- 
dener, and the seminal virtue of life and specification, in the 
production of plants with their flowers and fruits. And as 
wise as it would be to say, it is not the male but the female, or 
not the female but the male that generate th ; or to say, it is not 
the earth but the sun, or not the sun but the rain, or not the 
rain but the seminal virtue, that causeth plants with flowers 
and fruits : so wise is it to say, it is not the Spirit but the 
word and means, or it is not the word and means but the 
Spirit, or it is not the reason, and will and industry of man, 
but the Spirit : or, if we have not wisdom enough to assign 
to each cause its proper interest in the effect, that therefore 
we should separate* what God hath conjoined, or deny the 
truth of the causation, because we comprehend not the man- 
ner and influence — this is but to choose to be befooled by 
pride, rather than confess that God is wiser than we. 

2. You may here discern also, how the Spirit assureth and 
comforteth believers : and how palpably they -err, that think 
the Spirit comforteth or assureth us of our salvation with- 
out the use of its evidencing grace. The ten things men- 
tioned pp. 190, 191, is all that the Spirit doth herein. But to 
expect his comforts without any measure of discerning his 
graces, which can only rationally prove our right to the bles- 
sings of the promise, this is to expect that he should comfort 
a rational creature not as rational, but darkly cause him to 
rejoice he knoweth not why : and that he should make no 
use of faith to our comfort: for faith restesth understand- 
ingly upon the promise, and expecteth the performance of 

P 1 Cor.xiii. 9. 10. 12. i 2 Cor.iv. 5, 4. 



it to those that it is made to, and not to others. Indeed 
there is a common encouragement and comfort, which all 
men, even the worst, may take from the universal, condi- 
tional promise ; and there is much abatement of our fears 
and troubles that may be fetched from probabilities and un- 
certain hopes of our own sincerity and interest in the pro- 
mise. But to expect any other assurance or comfort from 
the Spirit, without evidence, is but to expect immediate 
revelations or inspirations to do the work, which the Word 
of promise and faith should do. The soul's consent to the 
covenant of grace, and fiducial acceptance of an offered 
Christ, is justifying, saving faith/, every man hath an object 
in the promise and offer of the Gospel for this act, and 
therefore may rationally perform it. (Though all have not 
hearts to do it.) This may well be called, faith of adherence : 
and is itself our evidence, from which we must conclude, 
that we are true believers ; the discerning of this evidence, 
called by some, ' the reflex act of faith,' is no act of faith at 
all, it being no believing of another, but the act of conscience, 
knowing what is in ourselves. The discerning and conclude 
ing that we are the children of God, participateth of faith 
and conscientious knowledge, which gave us the premises 
of such a conclusion, 

3. You may hence perceive also how we are said to be 
" sealed " by the Spirit '^ : even as a man's seal doth signify 
the sealed to be his own : so the " Spirit of holiness in us, " 
is God's seal upon us, signifying that we are his\ Every 
one that " hath the Spirit," is sealed by having it : and this 
is his evidence, which, if he discern, he may know that he 
is thus sealed. 

4. Hereby also you may see what the *' earnest and 
first fruits of the Spirit" is* : the Spirit is given to us by God, 
as the earnest of the glory which he will give us. To whom- 
soever he giveth the spirit of faith, and love, and holiness, 
he giveth the seed of life eternal, and an inclination thereto, 
which is his earnest of it. 

5. Hereby also you may see how the Spirit witnesseth 
that we are the children of God : the word * witness ' is put 
here principally for evidence : if any one question our adop- 
tion, the witness or evidence which we must produce to 

' Eph. i. 13. Rom. viii. 9. Eph. iv, 30. <• 3 Tim. ii. 19. » g Cor. i. 22. 


prove it, is the " Spirit of Jesus sanctifying us," and dwelling 
in us : this is the chief part (at least) of the sense of the 
text, Rom. viii. 16. Though it'is true, that the same Spirit 
witnesseth by (1.) Shewing us the grace which he hath given 
us ; (2.) And by shewing us the truth of the promise made 
to all believers : (3.) And by helping us from those promises 
to conclude with boldness, that we are the children of God : 
(4.) And by helping us to rejoice therein. 

II. I have been the longer (though too short) in acquaint- 
ing you with the office of the Holy Ghost (supposing your 
belief that he is the third person in the Trinity) because it is an 
article of grand importance, neglected by many that profess 
it, and because there are so many and dangerous errors in 
the world about it. Your great care now must be, L To 
find this Spirit in you, as the principle of your operations : 
and, 2. To obey it, and follow its motions, as it leadeth you 
to communion with God. Of the first I have spoken in the 
first chapter. For the second, observe these few Direc- 

Direct, i. * Be sure you mistake not the Spirit of God 
and its motions, nor receive, instead of them, the motions 
of satan, or of your passions, pride, or fleshly wisdom.* — It 
is easy to think you are obeying the Spirit, when you are 
obeying satan and your own corruptions against the Spirit. 
By these fruits the Spirit of God is known. 1. The Spirit 
of God is for heavenly Wisdom, and neither for foolishness 
nor treacherous craftiness". The Spirit of God is a spirit of 
Love, delighting to do good ; its doctrine and motions are 
for love, and tend to good ; abhorring both selfishness and 
hurtfulness to others ''. 3. He is a Spirit of Concord, and is 
ever for the unity of all believers ; abhorring both divisions 
among the saints, and carnal compliances and confederacies 
with the wicked y, 4. He is a Spirit of Humility and self- 
denial, making us, and our knowledge, and gifts, and worth, 
to be very little in our own eyes'"; abhorring pride, am- 
bition, self-exalting, boasting, as also the actual debasing 
of ourselves by earthliness or other sin*. 5. He is a Spirit 

" Psal. xix. 7. xciv. 8. Jer. iv. 22. I Cor. H. 4—7. =« Gal. v. 21, 22. 

yiCor.xn. Eph. iv. 3— 6. 13. iCor.i.lO. iii.3. Rom. vi. 17, 18. 
* Nemo igitur vir magnus sine aliquo afflatu Divino unquara fuit. Ciq. Naf. 
D. ii. 166. * Matt, xviii 3. Ephes. iv. 2. 


of Meekness, and patience, and forbearance ; abhorring stu- 
pidity, and inordinate passion, boisterousness, tumult, envy, 
contention, reviling, and revenge'^. 6. He is a Spirit of 
Zeal for God, resolving men against known sin, and for 
known truth and duty ; abhorring a furious, destroying 
zeal, and also an indifferency in the cause of God, and a 
yielding compliance with that which is against it''. 7. He 
is a Spirit of Mortification, crucifying the flesh, and still 
contending against it, and causing men to live above all the 
glory, and riches, and pleasures of the world : abhorring 
both carnal licentiousness and sensuality, and also the de- 
stroying and disabling of the body, under the pretence of 
true mortification*^. 8. The Spirit of Christ contradicteth 
not the doctrine of Christ in the holy Scripture, but moveth 
us to an exact conformity thereto^. This is the sure rule 
to try pretences and motions of every spirit by : for we are 
sure that the Spirit of Christ is the author of that Word ; 
and we are sure he is not contrary to himself. 9. The mo- 
tions of the Spirit do all tend to our good, and are neither 
ludicrous, impertinent, or hurtful finally : they are all for 
the perfecting of sanctification, obedience, and for our sal- 
vation. Therefore unprofitable trifles, or despair, and hurt- 
ful distractions and disturbances of mind, which drive from 
God, unfit for duty, and hinder salvation, are not the mo- 
tions of the Spirit of God^ 10. Lastly, The Spirit of God 
subjecteth all to God, and raiseth the heart to him, and 
maketh us spiritual and divine, and is ever for God's glory s. 
Examine the texts here cited, and you will find that by all 
these fruits the Spirit of God is known from all seducing 
spirits, and from the fancies or passions of self-conceited 
men. - ' : , 

Direct, ii. ' Quench not the Spirit, either by wilful sin 

b Matt. xi. 28, 29. Eph.iv. 2. James iii. 1 Pet. ii. 20— 23. Gal, v. 20. 
Rom. xii. 18—20. Ephes. iv. 31. Col. iii. 8. 

' Gal. iv. 18. Numb. xxv. 11, 13- Titus ii. 14. James iii. 15. It. Lukeix. 55. 
Rev. iii. 16. 

d Rom. viii, 1. 13. Gal. v. 17. Rom. xiii. 13, 14. 1 Cor.ix. 27. 2 Pet. ii. 19. 
Col. ii. 18. 21. 23. e isa. viii- 20. 

'2Tim. i. 7. Rom.viii. 15. Isa. xi. 2. Gal. v. 22. Zech.xii.lO- iPet.iv. 
14. 2 Cor. iii. 6. 

s 1 John iv. 5, 6. 1 Cor. vi. 11. 17- 20. Eplies. ii. 18. 22. Phil. iii. 3. 19, 
20- 1 Pet. i. 2. iv. 6. 


or by your neglecting of its offered help.' — It is as the spring 
to all your spiritual motions ; as the wind to your sails : you 
can do nothing without it. Therefore reverence and regard 
its help, and pray for it, and obey it, and neglect it not. 
When you are sure it is the Spirit of God indeed, that is 
knocking at the door, behave not yourselves as if you heard 
not. 1. Obey him speedily : delay is a present, unthank- 
ful refusal, and a kind of denial. 2. Obey him thoroughly : 
a half obedience is disobedience. Put him not off with 
Ananias and Sapphira's gift ; the half of that which he re- 
quireth of you. 3. Obey him constantly: not sometime 
hearkening to him, and more frequently neglecting him ; 
but attending him in a learning, obediential course of life. 

Direct, iii. * Neglect not those means which the Spirit 
hath appointed you to use, for the receiving of its help, and 
which he useth in all his holy operations.' — If you will meet 
with him, attend him in his own way, and expect him not in 
by-ways where he useth not to go. Pray, and meditate, 
and hear, and read, and do your best, and expect his' bless- 
ing. Though your ploughing and sowing will not give you 
a plentiful harvest without the sun, and rain, and the bless- 
ing of God, yet these will not do it neither, unless you 
plough and sow. God hath not appointed a course of 
means in nature or morality in vain, nor will he use to meet 
you in any other way. 

Direct, iv. * Do most when the Spirit helpeth you 
most.' — Neglect not the extraordinary measures of his as- 
sistance : if he extraordinarily help you in prayer, or medi- 
tation, improve that help, and break not off so soon as at 
other times (without necessity) : not that you should omit 
duty till you feel his help : for he useth to come in with 
help in the performance, and not in the neglect of duty : but 
tire not yourself with affected length, when you want the 

Direct. \. ' Be not unthankful for the assistance he hath 
given you.' — Deny not his grace : ascribe it not to nature : 
remember it to encourage your future expectations : un- 
thankfulness and neglect are, the way to be denied further 

Quest. ' But how shall I know whether good effects be 


from the meians, or from my reason and endeavour, and when 
from the Spirit of God V 

Ans. It is as if you should ask. How shall I know whe- 
ther my harvest be from the earth, or sun, or rain, or God, 
or from my labour ? I will tell you how. They are all con- 
causes : if the effect be there, they all concur : if the effect 
be wanting, some of them are wanting. It is foolish to ask, 
which is the cause, when the effect is not produced but by 
the concurrence of them all. If you had asked, which cause 
did fail, when the effect faileth ? there were reason in that 
question : but there is none in this. The more to blame 
those foolish atheists, that think God or the Spirit is not 
the cause, if they can but find that reason and means are 
in the effect. Your reason, and conscience, and means 
would fall short of the effect, if the Spirit put not life 
into all. 

Obj. * But I am exceedingly troubled and confounded 
with continual doubts about every motion that is in my mind, 
whether it be from the Spirit of God, or not.' 

Answ. The more is your ignorance, or the malice of 
satan causing your disquiet. In one word, you have suf- 
ficient direction to resolve those doubts, and end those 
troubles. Is it good, or evil, or indifferent, that you are moved 
to? This question must be resolved from the Word of God, 
which is the rule of duty. If it be good, in matter, and 
manner, and circumstances, it is from the Spirit of God, 
(either its common or special operation) : if it be evil or in- 
different, you cannot ascribe it to the Spirit. Remember 
that the Spirit cometh not to you, to make you new duty 
which the Scripture never made your duty, and so bring an 
additional law ; but to move and help you in that which 
was your duty before. (Only it may give the matter, while 
Scripture giveth the obligation by its general command.) 
If you know not what is your duty, and what not, it is your 
ignorance of Scripture that must be cured : interpret Scrip- 
ture well, and you may interpret the Spirit's motions easily. 
If any new duty be motioned to you, which Scripture com- 
mandeth not, take such motions as not from God : (unless 
it were by extraordinary, confirmed revelation.) 


Grand Direct, iv. * Let it be your chiefest study to attain 
to a true, orderly, and practical knowledge of God, in his 
several attributes and relations ; and to find a due impressiort 
from each of them upon your hearts, and a distinct, effectual 
improvement of them in your lives/ 

Because I have written of this point more fully in ano- 
ther treatise^ ** Of the Knowledge of God, and Converse 
with Him," I shall but briefly touch upon it here, as not will- 
ing to repeat that which there is delivered : Only, let me 
briefly mind you of these few things : 1. That the true know- 
ledge of God is the sum of godliness, and the end of all our 
other knowledge, and of all that we have or do as Christians, 
As Christ is a teacher that came from God, so he came to* 
call and lead us unto God ; or else he had not come as a Sa- 
viour. It -is from God that we fell by sin, and to God that 
we must be restored by grace. To save us, is to restore us 
to our perfection, and our happiness ; and that is to restore 
us unto God\ 

2. That the true knowledge of God, is powerful and ef- 
fectual upon the heart and life : and every attribute and re- 
lation of God, is so to be known, as to make its proper im- 
press on us : and the measure of this saving knowledge, id 
not to be judged of, by extensiveness, or number of truths 
concerning God which we know, so much as by the cleai- 
ness, and intensivenesss, and the measure of its holy effects 
upon the heart. 

3. This is it that denominateth both ourselves, and all 

•* Laertius in Zenone, saith, Dicunt Stoici Deum esse animal imniortale, ratio- 
nale, perfectum ac beatum, a raalo omni remotissimum, providentia sua mundum et 
quce sunt in mundo administrans omnia: non tamen inesse illi humanae formae linea- 
menta. Caetenun esse opificem immensi hujus operis, sicut et patreni omnium. 
Eumque mullis appellari nominibus juxta proprielates suas. — Quosdam item esse dae- 
mones dicunt quibus insit hominum miseratio, inspectores rerura humanarum; heroas 

quoque solutas corporibus, sapientum animas. Bonos aiunt esse divinos, quod in 

Seipsis quasi habeant Deum. Malum vero impium et sine Deo esse, quod duplici 
ratione accipitur, sive quod Deo contrarius dicatur, sive quod aspernetur Deum : id ta- 
men malis omnibus non convenire. Pios autem et religiosos esse sapientes, peritos 
divini juris omnes. Pietatem esse scientiam divini cultus. Diis item eos sacrificia 
facturos, castosque futuros. Quippe ea quae in Deos admittuntur peccata detestari, 
Diisque charos ac gratos fore quo sancti justique in rebus divinis sint.* 

* Vide Diog.Laert. lib. vii. sect. 147, &c. Mr. Baxter'scitations from Laertius, 
tend to convey too favourable an opinion of the principles of the Stoics, if they are 
taken thus detached from their context. The reader should peruse the whole of the 
seventh book. (T. C) ^ 


our duties HOLY : when God's image is thus imprinted on 
us ; and we are like him by the new birth, as children to 
their father^ and by his knowledge, both our hearts and 
lives are made divine ; being disposed unto God, devoted to 
him and employed for him ; he being our life, and light, 
and love. 

4. This is the sum of the covenant of God with man, 
" I will be thy God, and thou shalt be my people." And 
the other parts of the covenant, " that Christ be our Sa- 
viour, and the Holy Ghost our Sanctifier," are both subser- 
vient unto this ; there being now no coming unto God, but 
as reconciled in Christ our Mediator, and by the teaching 
and drawing of the Holy Ghost. To be our God, is to be to 
us an absolute Owner, a most righteous Governor, and a most 
bountiful Benefactor or Father ; as having created us, re- 
deemed and regenerated us ; and this according to his most 
blessed nature, properties, and perfections. 

5. It is not only a loose and inconstant effect of your 
particular thoughts of God, that is the necessary impress 
of his attributes (as to fear him, when you remember his 
greatness and justice) : but it must be a habit or holy na- 
ture in you, every attribute having made its stated image 
upon you ; and that habit or image being in you, a constant 
principle of holy, spiritual operations. A habit of reverence, 
belief, trust, love, &c. should be, as it were, your nature. 

6. Not that the knowledge of God in his perfections, 
should provoke us to desire his properties and perfections : 
for to have such an aspiring desire to be gods, were the 
greatest pride and wickedness. But only we must desire, 
(1.) To be as like God, in all his communicable excellencies, 
as is agreeable to our created state and capacity. (2.) And 
to have as near and full communion with him, as we can at- 
tain to and enjoy. 

7. The will of God, and his goodness, and holiness, are 
more nearly propounded to us, to be the rule of our con- 
formity, than his power, and his knowledge. Therefore his 
law is most immediately the expression of his will ; and our 
duty and goodness lie in our conformity to his law : being 
holy as he is holy. 

Because I may not stand on the particulars, I shall give 
you a brief, imperfect scheme of that of God, which you 
must thus know. 


I. In his 

Quod sit. 



One; and indivisible : C » 1. Tiie FATHER, 

In Three Persons.* 

Immense : and in- <( 2. The SON, 




3. Eternal. ^ 

f^t' Necessary, '\ 
■^ 2. Independent, V 
V. 3. Immutable. J 


II. In his 
Quid sit. 

III. In his 

Quails sit. 


3. The HOLY GHOST. L3. Immutable, 

1. Simple : uncompounded. 

2. Impassionate, incorruptible 

3. Invisible, intactable, &c. 

1. POWER, 


3. WILL. 



and LIFE 





and HAPPY. 



3. LOVING and 
Enjoying Himself. 


I. The EFFI- 
CIENT Cause 
of all things : 
Rom. ix. 36. 
'OF HIM," 

II. The DIRI- 
GENT Cause: 
HIM ;" 

III. The FI- 
NAL Cause : 
"TO HIM," 

are all things : 
To him beGlory 
for ever : Amen 


and Conserver. 

ER and Sa- 

RATOR and 


or LORD : most 
Absolute, Free, 
and Irresistible. 

2. Our RULER 
or KING : 

l.By Legislation: 

2. Judgment : 

3. Execution : 
Absolute, Per- 
fect, True, Ho- 
ly, Just, Mer- 
ciful, Patient, 

3. Our BENE- 
l.Most Loving: 
3. Most Amiable: 
(Patient, Merci- 
ful, Constant.) 

Causally and 






1. Our Life, 
and Strength, 
and Safety. 

2. Our Light, 
and Wisdom. 

3. Our Love 
and Joy : 
and so our 
End&c Rest, 
& Happiness 


1. Perfecting 
our Natures in 
Heavenly Life. 

2. Whom we 
shall behold in 
Glorious Light. 

3. Whom we 
siiall Please and 
Love ; and be 
Pleased in him, 
and Loved by 
him ; Rejoice in 
and so Enjoy 
him. Perfectly 
& Perpetually, 

See these practically opened and improved, in the First Part of my " Divine Life." 
The more full Explication of the Attributes fit for the more capacious, is reserved for another 


For the right improvement of the knowledge of all these 
attributes of God, I must refer you to, the forementioned 
treatise. The acts which you are to exercise upon God, 
are these : 1 . The clearest knowledge you can attain to ' : 
2. The firmest belief : 3. The highest estimation: 4. The 
greatest admiration : 5. The heartiest and sweetest compla- 
cency jor love : 6. The strongest desire : 7. A filial awful- 
ness, reverence, and fear : 8. The boldest, quieting trust and 
confidence in him : 9. The most fixed waiting, dependance, 
hope, and expectation : 10. The niost absolute self-resig- 
nation to him : 11. The fullest and quietest submission to 
his disposals : 12. The humblest and most absolute subjec- 
tion to his governing authority and will, and the exactest 
obedience to his laws . 13. The boldest courage and forti- 
tude in his cause, and owning him before the world in the 
greatest sufferings. 14. The greatest thankfulness for his 
mercies. 15. The most faithful improvement of his talents, 
and use of his means, and performance of our trust. 16. A 
reverent and holy use of his name and word : with a reve- 
rence of his secrets ; forbearing to intrude or meddle with 
them. 17. A wise and cautious observance of his provi- 
dences, public and private ; neither neglecting them, nor 
mis-interpreting them ; neither running before them, nor 
striving discontentedly against them. 18. A discerning, 
loving, and honouring his image in his children, notwith- 
standing their infirmities and faults ; without any friendship 
to their faults, or over-magnifying, or imitating them in any 
evil. 19. A reverent, serious, spiritual adoration, and wor- 
shipping, in public and private, with soul and body, in the 
use of all his holy ordinances ; but especially in the joyful 
celebration of his praise, for all his perfections and his mer- 
cies. 20. The highest delight, and fullest content and com- 
fort in God, that we can attain : especially a delight in 
knowing him, and obeying and pleasing him, worshipping 
and praising him, loving hiin, and being beloved of him, 
through Jesus Christ ; and in the hopes of the perfecting of 

' De'diis ita ut sunt loquere. Bias in Laert. Leg. Pauli Scaligeri Theses de Ar- 
chetype Mundo, Ep. Cath. 1. 14. God never wrought miracle to convince Atheism, 
because his ordinary works convince it. Lord Bacon, Essay 16. Nee vero Deos 
ipse, qui intelligitur a nobis, alio modo intelligi potest, nisi mens soluta quaedam et 
libera, segrcgata ab onini concretione mortaii, oraniaquc scutiens et raovens, ipsaque 
pradiia motu sempiterno. Cic. Tuse. I. 66, 


all these, in our everlasting fruition of him in heavenly glory. 

All these are the acts of piety towards God ; which I 
lay together for your easier observation and memory : but 
some of them must be more fully opened, and insisted on. 

Grand Direct, v. * Remember that God is your Lord, 
or Owner : and see that you make an absolute resignation 
of yourselves, and all that you have, to him as his own ; and 
use yourselves and all accordingly : trust him with his own, 
and rest in his disposals.' 

Of this, I have already spoken in my '* Sermon of Christ's 
Dominion," and in my " Directions for a sound Conver- 
sion :" and therefore must but touch it here. It is easy, 
notionally to know and say that God is our Owner, and we 
are not our own : but if the habitual, practical knowledge of 
it, were as easy, or as common, the happy effects of it would 
be the sanctification and reformation of the world. I shall 
first tell you, what this duty is, and how it is to be perform- 
ed ; and then, what fruits and benefits it will produce, and 
what should move us to it. 

I. The duty lieth in these acts: 1. That you consider 
the ground of God's propriety in you; (1.) In making you 
of nothing, and preserving you. (2.) In redeeming you 
by purchase. (3.) In regenerating you, and renewing you 
for himself. The first is the ground of his common natural 
propriety, in you and all things. The second is the ground 
of his common, gracious propriety in you and all men, as. 
purchased by Christ, Rom. xiv. 9. John xiii. 3. The third 
is the ground of his special, gracious propriety in you, and 
all his sanctified, peculiar people. Understand and ac~ 
knowledge what a plenary dominion God hath over you^ 
and how absolutely and wholly you are his. 2. Let it ex- 
ceedingly please you, to think that you are wholly his : it 
being much better for you, as to your safety, honour, and 
happiness, than to be your own, or any's dse. 3. As God 
requireth it in his covenant of grace, that he have his right,, 
by your consent, and not by constraint; so you must thank- 
fully accept the motion, and with hearty and full consent of 
will, resign yourselves to him, as his own, even as his crea- 
tures, his ransomed ones, and his regenerate children, by a 
covenant never to be violated. 4. You must carefully 
watch against the claim and reserves of carnal selfishness ; 


lest while you confess you are God's, and not your own, 
you should secretly still, keep possession of yourselves 
against him, or re-assume the possession which you surren- 
dered. 5. You must use yourselves ever after, as God's, 
and not your own*". 

II. In this using yourselves as wholly God's, consisteth 
both your further duty, and your benefits. 1. When God's 
propriety is discerned and consented to, it will make you 
sensible how you are obliged to employ all your powers of 
soul and body to his service ; and to perceive that nothing 
should be alienated from him, no creature having any co- 
ordinate title to a thought of your hearts, or a glance of your 
affection, or a word of your mouths, or a minute of your 
time. The sense of God's propriety, must cause you to keep 
constant accounts between God and you ; and to call your- 
selves to a frequent reckoning, whether God have his own, 
and you do not defraud him ; whether it be his work that 
you are doing ; and for him that ypu think, and speak, and 
live? And all that you have, will be used as his, as well as 
yourselves : for no man can have any good thing, that is 
more his own, than he is his own himself. 

2. Propriety discerned, doth endear us in affection to 
our owner. As we love our own children, so they love their 
own fathers. Our very dogs love their own master's better 
than another. When we can say with Thpmas, " My Lord, 
and my God," it will certainly be the voice of love. God's 
common p^ropriety in us, as his created and ransomed ones, 
obligeth us to love him with all our heart; but the know- 
ledge of his peculiar propriety, by regeneration, will more 
eflfectually command our love. 

3. God's propriety perceived, will help to satisfy us of 
his love and care of us : and will help us to trust him in 
every danger; and so take off our inordinate fear, and 
anxieties, and caring for ourselves ^ The apostle proveth 
Christ's love to his church, from his propriety, " No man 

•' Sit igitur hoc a principio persuasum civibus, dominos esse omnium rerum ac 
moderalores Deos, eaque, quae gerantur eorum ger ditione ac numine eosdemque op- 
time de genera homiuum mereii, et, qualis quisque sit, quid agat, qnid in se admittat, 
qua mente, qua pietate cylat religiones, intuerl, pioruraque et impiorum liabere ra- 
tionem. Cic.Leg. ii. 15, 16. 

• Esse Deos et eorum providentia mundus administrari, eosdemque consulere 
rebus humanis nee solum vuiiversis, verum etiam singulis. Cic. de Divin. I, 117.^ 


ever yet hated his own flesli'"." God is not regardless of 
his own. As we take care of our cattle, to preserve them, 
and provide for them, more than they do for themselves, for 
they are more ours than their own ; so God is more concern- 
ed in the welfiE«*e of his children, than they are themselves, 
they being more his than their own. Why are we afraid of 
the wrath and cruelty of man ? Will God be mindless and 
negligent of his own ? Why are we over-careful and dis- 
trustful of his providence ? Will he not take care of his 
own, and make provision for them? '' God, even our own 
God shall bless us "." God's interest in his church, and 
cause, and servants, is an argument which we may plead 
with him in prayer, and with which we may greatly encou- 
rage our confidence. *' For my name's sake will I defer 
mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I 
cut thee not off. For mine own sake, even for mine own 
sake, will I do it : for how should my name be polluted ? 
and I will not give my glory to another °." " But now, thus 
saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that form- 
ed thee, O Israel ; Fear not : for I have redeemed thee , I 
have called thee by thy name ; thou art mine. When thou 
passest through the waters, I will be with thee, &c. p." If 
God should neglect our interest, he will not neglect his own. 

God's propriety in us discerned, doth so much aggravate 
our sin against him, that it should greatly restrain us ; and 
further, our humiliation and recovery when we are fallen : 
" Ye shall be holy unto me : for I the Lord am holy, and 
have severed you from other people, that ye should be 
mine*!." " I sware unto thee, and entered .into a covenant 
with thee, and thou becamest mine, saith the Lord''," when 
he is aggravating Jerusalem's sin. " Ye are not your own : 
for ye are bought with a price : therefore glorify God in 
your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods^" Justice 
requireth, that every one have his own. 

5. It should silence all murmurings and repinings against 
the providence of God, to consider that we are his own. 
Doth he afflict you ? and are you not his own ? Doth he 
kill you ? are you not his own ? As a • ruler, he will shew 
you reason enough for it in your sins : but as your absolute 

^ n» Ephes. V. 29. " Psal. Ixvii. 6. <» 1 Chron, xvii. 21, 22. Isa. xlviii. 9. 11. 
^ P Isa. xHii. 1,- 2. i Lev. xx. t6. ' Ezek. xvi. 8. » 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. 


Lord and owner, he need not give you any other reason, than 
that he may do with his own as he list. It is not possible 
that he can do any wrong to that, which is absolutely his 
own. If he deny you health, or wealth, or friends, or take 
them from you ; he denieth you, or taketh from you nothing 
but his own. Indeed, as a governor and a father, he hath 
secured the faithful of eternal life : otherwise, as their owner, 
he could not have wronged them, if he had made the most 
innocent, as miserable as he is capable to be. Do you la- 
bour, and beat, and kill your cattle, because they are your 
own (by an imperfect propriety) ? and dare you grudge at 
God for afflicting his own, when their consciences tell them, 
that they have deserved it, and much more ? 

And that you may not think that you have resigned your- 
selves to God entirely, when you do but hypocritically pro- 
fess it, observe : 1 . That man is not thus resigned to God, 
that thinketh any service too much for God that he can do. 
2. Nor he that thinketh any cost too great for God, that he 
is called to undergo. 3. Nor he that thinketh that all is 
won, of his time, or wealth, or pleasure, or any thing which 
he can save or steal from God : for all is lost that God hath 
not. 4. Nor he that must needs be the disposer of himself, 
and his condition and affairs, and God must humour him, 
and accommodate his providence to his carnal interest and 
will, or else he cannot bear it, or think well of it. 5. Re- 
member that all that is bestowed in sin upon God's enemies 
is used against him, and not as his own. 6. And that he 
that hideth his talent, or useth it not at all, cannot be said 
to use it for God. Both idleness, and alienating the gifts 
of God, are a robbing him of his own. 

III. To help you in this work of self-resignation, often 
consider: 1. That if you were your own, you were most 
miserable. You could not support, preserve, or provide for 
yourselves : who should save you in the hour of temptation 
or distress ? Alas ! if you are humbled Christians, you 
know so much of your own insufficiency, and feel yourselves 
such a daily burden to yourselves, that you have surd, 
enough of yourselves ere now. And beg of God, above all 
your enemies, to save you from yourselves ; and of all 
judgments, to save you from being forsaken of God, and 
given up to yourselves. 2. Remember that none in the world 


hath sufficient power, wisdom, and goodness, to take the 
full care and charge of you but God : none else can save 
you, or sanctify you, or keep you alive one hour : and 
therefore it is your happiness and honour that you are his. 

3. His right is absolute, and none hath right to you but he. 
None else did create you, redeem you, or regenerate you. 

4. He will use you only in safe and honourable services, 
and to no worse an end, than your endless happiness. 5. 
What you deny him, or steal from him, you give to the 
devil, the world, and the flesh. And do they better de- 
serve it ? 6. You are his own in title, whether you will or 
not; and he will fulfil his will upon you. Your consent 
and resignation is necessary to your good, to ease you of 
your cares, and secure you from present and eternal misery. 

Grand Direct, vi. ' Remember that God is your Sove- 
reign King, to rule and judge you : and that it is your rec- 
titude and happin'fess to obey and please him. Labour 
therefore to bring your souls and bodies into the most ab- 
solute subjection to him, and to make it your delight and 
business sincerely and exactly to obey his will.' 

Having resigned yourselves absolutely to God, as your 
owner, you are next to submit yourselves absolutely to God, 
as your governor or king. How much of our religion con- 
sisteth in this, you may see in the nature of the thing, in the 
design of the law and Word of God, in the doctrine and ex- 
ample of Jesus Christ, in the description of the last judg- 
ment, and in the common consent of all the world *. Though 
love is the highest work of man, yet is it so far from dis- 
charging us from our subjection and obedience, that it con- 
straineth us to it most powerfully and most sweetly, and 
must itself be j udged of by these effects. " If ye love me, 
keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, 
and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. If any man love 
me, he will keep my words : and my Father will love him, 
and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings "." " If ye 
keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love ; even 
as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in 

* Aristippus rogatus aliquando quid habeant exunium Philosophi? " Siomnes," 
inquit, " leges intereant, aequabiliter vivemus. Diog. Laert. lib. ii. sect. 69. p. 120. 
«• Johiixiv. 15. 21 23,24. 


his love. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I com- 
mand you """ " If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye 
do them y." " For this is the love of God, that we keep his 
commandments, and his commandments are not grievous ''." 
'' He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his command- 
ment, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso 
keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfect- 
ed : hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he 
abideth in him, ought himself also to walk, even as he walk- 
ed. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every 
one that doth righteousness is born of him *." " Whosoever 
abideth in him, sinneth not : whosoever sinneth, hath not 
seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man 
deceive you : he that doth righteousness is righteous, even 
as he is righteous. He that committeth sin, is of the devil ; 
for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose 
the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the 
works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not 
commit sin ; for his seed remaineth in him : and he cannot 
sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God 
are manifest, and the children of the devil : whosoever doth 
not righteousness is not of God. And whatsoever we ask, 
we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and 
do those things that are pleasing in his sight ^." " Blessed 
are they that do his commandments, that they may have 
•right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates 
into the city *=." 

I set together these teBtiijionies of the Scripture, that 
the stream of Divine authority may carry you to a lively 
sense of the necessity of obedience. 

I shall here first tell you what this full subjection is, and 
then I shall direct you how to attain it. 

I. As in God there is first his relation of our King, and 
4^en his actual government of us, by his laws and judgment : 
so in us, there is first our relation of subjects to God, and 
then our actual obedience. We are subjects by divine ob- 
ligation, before we consent (as rebels are) : but our consent 
or self-obligation is necessary to our voluntary obedience, 
and acceptation with God. Subjection is our stated obliga- 

'^ John XV. 10. 14. y Johnxiii. 17. ' l John v. 3. 

» 1 John ii. 4. ^ i John iii. 6—10. 22. « Rev. xxii. 14. 


tion to obedience. This subjection and habit of obedience, 
is then right and full, 1 . When the sense of God's au- 
thority over us, is practical, and not notional only. 2. 
And when it is deep rooted and fixed, and become as a na- 
ture to us : as a man's intention of his end is, that hath a 
long journey to go, which carrieth him on to the last step : 
or as a child's subjection to his parents, or a servant's to his 
master, which is the habit or principle of his daily course of 
life. 3. When it is lively, and ready to put the soul upon 
obedience. 4. When it is constant, keeping the soul in a 
continual attendance upon the will of God. 5. When it 
hath universal respect to all his commandments. 6. When 
it is resolute, powerful, and victorious against temptations 
to disobedience. 7. When it is superlative, respecting 
God as our supreme King, and owning no authority against 
him, nor any but what is subordinate to him. 8. When it 
is voluntary, pleasant, cheerful, and delectable to us to obey 
him to the utmost of our power. 

II. To bring the soul to this full subjection and 
obedience to God, is so difficult, and yet so reasonable, 
so necessary, and so excellently good, that we should not 
think any diligence too great, by which it is to be attained. 
The Directions that I shall give you, are, some of them to 
habituate the mind to an obediential frame, and some of them 
also, practically to further the exercise of obedience in par- 
ticular acts. 

Direct, i. * Remember the unquestionable, plenary title 
that God hath, to the government of you, and of all the 
world.' — The sense of this will awe the soul, and help to 
subject it to him, and to silence all rebellious motions. 
Should not God rule the creatures which he hath made ? 
Should not Christ rule the souls which he hath purchased ? 
Should not the Holy Ghost rule the souls which he hath re- 
generated and quickened ? 

-Direct, ii. * Remember that God is perfectly fit for thq 
government of you, and all the world.'— You can desire no- 
thing reasonably in a governor, which is not in him. He 
hath perfect wisdom, to know what is best : he hath perfect 
goodness, and therefore will be most regardful of his sub- 
jects' good, and will put no evil into his laws. He is al- 
mighty, to protect his subjects, and see to the execution of 

VOL. II. p 


his laws. He is most just, and therefore can do no wrong, 
but all his laws and judgments are equal and impartial. He 
is infinitely perfect and self-sufficient, and never needed a 
lie, or a deceit, or unrighteous means to rule the world ; nor 
to oppress his subjects to attain his ends. He is our very 
end, and interest, and felicity ; and therefore hath no interest 
opposite to our good, which should cause him to destroy 
the innocent. He is our dearest Friend and Father, and 
loveth us better than we love ourselves ; and therefore we 
have reason confidently to trust him, and cheerfully and 
gladly to obey him, as one that ruleth us in order to our own 

Direct, in. * Remember how unable and unfit you are 
to be governors of yourselves.' — So blind and ignorant ; so 
biassed by a corrupted will ; so turbulent are your passions ; 
so incessant and powerful is the temptation of your sense 
and appetite ; and so unable are you to protect and reward 
yourselves, that methinks you should fear nothing in this 
world more, than to be given up to " your own heart's lusts, 
to walk in your own (seducing) counsels'^." The brutish 
appetite and sense, hath got such dominion over the reason 
of carnal, unrenewed men, that for such to be governed by 
themselves, is for a man to be governed by a swine, or the 
rider to be ruled by the horse. 

Direct, iv. * Remember how great a matter G6d maketh 
of his kingly prerogatives, and of man's obedience.' — The 
whole tenor of the Scripture will tell you this. His pre- 
cepts, his promises, his threatenings, his vehement exhor- 
tations, his sharp reproofs, the sending of his Son and Spirit, 
the example of Christ and all the saints, the reward prepared 
for the obedient, and the punishment for the disobedient ; — 
all tell you aloud, that God is far from being indifferent 
whether yon obey his laws or not. It will teach you to re- 
gard that, which you find is so regarded of God. 

Direct, v. * Consider well of the excellency of full 
obedience, and the present benefits which it bringeth to 
yourselves and others.'— Our full subjection and obedience 
to God, is to the world and the soul, as health is to the 
body. When all the humours keep their due temperament, 
proportions^ and place, and every part of the body is placed 

J Psal. Ixxxi. 11, J 2. 


and used according to the intent of nature, then all is at 
ease within us : our food is pleasant ; our sleep is sweet ; 
our labour is easy : and our vivacity maketh life a pleasure 
to us : we are useful in our places, and helpful to others 
that are sick and weak. So is it with the soul that is fully 
obedient : God giveth him a reward, before the full reward : 
he findeth that obedience is a reward to itself; and that it 
is very pleasant to do good ; God owneth him, and con- 
science speaketh peace and comfort to him : his mercies are 
sweet to him : his burdens and his works are easy : he hath 
easier access to God than others. Yea, the world shall find, 
that there is no way to its right order, unity, peace, and 
happiness, but by a full subjection and obedience to God. 

Direct, vi. ' Remember the sad effects of disobedience, 
even at present, both in the soul and in the world.' — ^When 
we rebel against God, it is the confusion, ruin, and death 
of the soul, and of the world. When we disobey him, it is 
the sickness or disordering of the soul, and will make us 
groan : till our bones are set in joint again, we shall have no 
ease : God will be displeased, and hide his face : con- 
science will be unquiet : the soul will lose its peace and joy : 
its former mercies will grow less sweet : its former rest will 
turn to weariness : its duty will be unpleasant, : its burden 
heavy. Who would not fear such a state as this ? 

Direct, vii. * Consider, that when God doth not govern 
you, you are ruled by the flesh, the world, and the devil.* — 
And what right or fitness they have to govern you, and what 
is their work, and final reward, methinks you should easily 
discern. " If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die ^." *' And 
if ye sov*^ to the flesh, of the flesh ye shall reap corruption ^" 
It will strike you with horror, if in the hour of temptation, 
you would but think : * I am now going to disobey God, and 
to obey the flesh, the world, or the devil, and to prefer their 
will before his will.' 

Direct, viii. * Turn your eye upon the rebellious na- 
tions of the earth, and upon the state of the most malignant 
and ungodly men ; and consider, that such madness and 
misery as you discern in them, every wilful disobedience to 
God doth tend to, and partaketh of in its degree.' — To see 
-a swinish drunkard in his vomit ; to hear a raging bedlam 

• Rom. viii. IS. ^ Gal. vi, 8. 


curse and swear; or a malignant wretch blaspheme and 
scorn at a holy life : to hear how foolishly they talk against 
God ; and see how maliciously they hate his servants, one 
would think should turn one's stomach against all sin for 
ever. To think what beasts or incarnate devils many of the 
ungodly are. To think what confusion and inhumani- 
ty possess most of those nations that know not God, one 
would think should make the least degree of sin seem 
odious to us, when the dominion and ripeness of it are so 

Direct, ix. ' Mark what obedience is expected by men : 
and what influence government hath upon the state and af- 
fairs of the world, and what the world would be without it.' — 
And sure this will make you think honourably and delight- 
fully of the government of God. What would a nation be 
without government, but like a company of thieves and law- 
less murderers ? or like the pikes in a pond, that first eat up 
the other fish, and then devour one another : the greater 
living upon the less. Bears and wolves would live more 
quietly together, than ungoverned men, (except those few 
that are truly subject to the government of God.) Govern- 
ment maintaineth every man in his propriety ; and keepeth 
lust and madness from breaking out; and keepeth peace 
and order in the world. What would a family be without 
government ? Children and servants are kept by it in their 
proper place and work. Think then how necessary and ex- 
cellent is the universal government of God. 

Direct, x. * Think well of the endless rewards and pu- 
nishments, by which God will procure obedience to his 
laws, or vindicate the honour of his government, on the 
disobedient.' — That the world may see that he giveth suffi- 
cient motives for all that he requireth, he will reward the 
obedient with everlasting blessedness, and punish the rebels 
with endless misery. You shall not say that he bids yoti 
work for nothing. Though you can give him nothing but 
his own, and therefore can merit nothing of him, in 
point of commutative justice ; yet, as he is a Governor and 
a Father, he will put so wide a difference between the 
obedient and the rebellious, that one shall be judged to 
everlasting joy, with a '' Well done, good and faithful ser- 


vant," and the other, to "everlasting punishment «." Is 
there not enough in heaven, in a life of endless joys with 
God, to make obedience lovely to you, and to make sin 
loathsome ? Is there not enough in hell, to deter you from 
disobedience, and drive you unto God ? God v^^ill rule 
vi^hether you will or not. Consent to be obedient, or he will 
punish you without asking your consent. 

The Directions for the nearer exciting of your Obedience^ and 
confirming your full Subjection, are these : 

Direct, i. ' Keep still the face of your souls upon God, 
and in the sense of his greatness, and of his continual pre- 
sence, and of his particular providence.' — And this will 
keep you in an obediential frame. You will easily then per- 
ceive, that so great a God cannot be disobeyed, without 
great iniquity and guilt. And, that a God that is conti- 
nually with you, must be continually regarded. And, that 
a God that exactly observeth and mindeth the thoughts and 
words of every man, should by every man be exactly minded 
and observed. This will help you to understand the mean- 
ing of the tempter, when you perceive that every temptation 
is an urging of you to offend, for nothing, so great a God, 
that is just then observing what you do. 

Direct, ii. * Always remember whither you are going ; 
that you are preparing for everlasting rest and joy, and 
must pass through the righteous judgment of the Lord : and 
that Christ is your guide and governor, but to bring you 
safely home, as the Captain of your salvation : and that sin 
is a rejecting of his help, and of your happiness.' — Think 
not that God doth rule you as a tyrant, to your hurt or ruin, 
to make his own advantage of you ; or by needless laws, 
that have no respect to your good and safety ; but think of 
him, as one that is conducting you to eternal life, and would 
now guide you by his counsel, and afterwards take you to 
his glory. Think that he is leading you to the world of 
light, and life, and love, and joy, where there are rivers of 
pleasure, and fulness of delight for evermore, that you may 
see his face, and feel his love, among a world of blessed 
spirits ; and not be weeping, and gnashing the teeth, with 

g Matt. XXV. 


impious, impenitent souls. And is not such a government 
as this desirable ? It is but like the government of a phy- 
sician, to save his patient's life. Or like your government 
of your children, which is necessary to their good, that 
cannot feed or rule themselves. Or like a pilot's governing 
the ship, which is conveying you to possess a kingdom ; if 
the mariners obey him, they may safely arrive at the desired 
port; but if they disobey him, they are all cast away and 
perish. And should such a government as this is, seem 
grievous to you? or should it not be most acceptable, and 
accurately obeyed? 

Direct, in. * Still think, what dangers, difficulties, and 
enemies you must pass through to this rest, and that all 
your safety dependeth upon the conduct and assistance of 
your guide.' — And this will bring over self-love to command 
your strict obedience. You are to pass through the army 
of your enemies ; and will you here disobey the Captain of 
your salvation ? or would you have him leave you to your- 
selves ? Your disease is mortal, and none but Jesus Christ 
can cure it ; and if he cure it not, you are lost for ever. No 
pain of gout or stone is comparable to your everlasting 
pain ! and yet will you not be obedient to your physician ? 
Think, when a temptation comes, ' If there were a narrow 
bridge over the deepest gulf or river, and all my friends and 
happiness lay on the further side, and I must needs go over 
whether I will or not ; if Christ would take me by the hand 
and lead me over, would I be tempted to refuse his help, or 
to lose his hand ? or if he should offer to lose me, and leave 
me to myself, should I not tremble, and cry out as Peter, 
** Lord, save me ^," or as the disciples, " Save, Master, we 
perish V And should I not then hold him fast, and most 
accurately obey him, when he is leading me to life eternal, 
that I may escape the gulf of endless misery V 

Direct, iv. * Remember still, how bad, and blind, and 
backward, and deceitful, and weak you are yourselves, and 
therefore what need you have of the greatest watchfulness, 
lest you should disobey your pilot, and lose your guide, be- 
fore you are aware.' — O what a heart have we to watch ! A 
lazy heart, that will be loitering or sitting down, when we 
should be following our Lord. A foolish heart, that will 

*» Malt. xiv. 30. 


let him go, while we play with every play-fellow in our way. 
A cowardly heart, that will steal away, or draw back in 
danger, when it should follow our general. A treacherous 
heart, that will give us the slip, and deceive us, when we 
seemed surest of it. A purblind heart, that even when it 
followeth Christ, our guide, is hardly kept from missing the 
bridge, and falling into the gulf of misery. Think well of 
these, and you will obey your governor. 

Direct, v. ' Forget not the fruits of your former obedi- 
ence and disobedience ;* — if you would be kept in an obedient 
frame. Remember, that obedience hath been sweetest after- 
ward : and that you never yet found cause to repent or be 
ashamed of it. Remember, that the fruit of sin was bitter, 
and that when your eyes were opened, and you saw your 
shame, you would fain have fled from the face of God ; and 
that then it appeared another thing to you, than it seemed 
in the committing. Remember what groans, and heart's 
grief it hath cost you : and into what fears it brought you 
of the wrath of God : and how long it was before your 
broken bones were healed : and what it cost both Christ 
and you. And this will make the very name and first ap- 
proach of sin, to cast you into a preventing fear. A beast 
that hath once fallen into a gulf or quick-sand, will hardly 
b6 driven into the same again. A fish that was once stricken 
and escaped the hook, will fear and fly from it the next time. 
A bird that hath once escaped the snare, or the talons of 
the hawk, is afterwards afraid of the sight or noise of such 
a thing. Remember where you fell, and what it cost you, 
and what you escaped which it might have cost you, and 
you will obey more accurately hereafter. 

Direct, vi. * Remember, that this is your day of trial, 
and what depends upon your accurate obedience.' — God 
will not crown untried servants. Satan is purposely suffer- 
ed to tempt you, to try whether you will be true to God or 
not. All the hope that his malice hath of undoing you for 
ever, consisteth in his hope to make you disobedient to God. 
Methinks these consderations should awaken you to the 
most watchful and diligent obedience. If you were told 
beforehand, that a thief or cut-purse had undertaken to 
rob you, and would use all his cunning and industry to do 
it, you would then watch more carefully than at another 


time. If you were, in a race to run for your lives, you 
would not go then in your ordinary pace. Doth God tell 
you before, that he will try your obedience by temptation, 
and as you stand or fall, you shall speed for ever ; and will 
not this keep you watchful and obedient? 

Direct vi. * Avoid those tempting and deluding objects, 
which are still enticing your hearts from your obedience ; 
and avoid that diverting crowd and noise of company or 
worldly business, which drowns the voice of God's com- 
mands.' — If God call you into a life of great temptations, 
he can bring you safely through them all : but if you rush 
into it wilfully, you may soon find your own disability to 
resist. It is dangerous to be under strong and importunate 
temptations, lest the stream should bear us down : but espe- 
cially to be long under them, lest we be weary of resisting. 
They that are long solicited do too often yield at last : it is 
hard to be always in a clear, and ready, and resolute frame : 
few men have their wits, much less their graces, always at 
hand, in a readiness to use. And if the thief come when 
you are dropped asleep, you may be robbed before you can 
awake. The constant drawings of temptations do oft-times 
abate the habit of obedience, and diminish our hatred of sin 
and holy»resolutions, by slow, insensible degrees, before we 
yield to commit the act. And the mind that will be kept 
in full subjection, must not be so diverted in a crowd of 
distracting company or business, as to have no time to 
think on the motives of his obedience. This withdrawing 
of the fuel may put out the fire. 

Direct, viii. * If you are unavoidably cast upon strong 
temptation take the alarm ; and put on all the armour of 
God, and call up your souls to watchfulness and resolution, 
remembering that you are now among your enemies, and 
must resist as for your lives.' — Take every temptation in its 
naked, proper sense, as coming from the devil, and tending 
to your own damnation, by enticing your hearts from your 
subjection unto God : suppose you saw the devil himself 
in his instruments, offering you the bait of preferment, or 
honour, or riches, or fleshly lusts, or sports, or of delight- 
ful meats or drinks, to tempt you to excess ; and suppose 
you heard him say to you plainly, * Take this for thy sal- 
vation ; sell me for this thy God, and thy soul, and thy ever-^ 


lasting hopes ; commit this sin, that thou mayst fall under 
the judgment of God, and be tormented in hell with me for 
ever. Do this to please thy flesh, that thou mayst displease 
thy God, and grieve thy Saviour : I cannot draw thee to 
hell, but by drawing thee to sin : and I cannot make thee 
to sin against thy will ; nor undo thee, but by thy own con- 
sent and doing : therefore, I pray thee, consent and do it 
thyself, and let me have thy company in torments.' This is 
the naked meaning of every temptation : suppose, there- 
fore, you saw and heard all this, with what detestation then 
would you reject it ? With what horror would you fly from 
the most enticing bait? If a robber would entice you out 
of your way and company, with flattering words, that you 
might fall into the hands of his companions, if you knew 
all his meaning and design beforehand, would you be en- 
ticed after him ? Watch, therefore, and resolve when you 
know beforehand the design of the devil, and what he in- 
tendeth in every temptation. 

Direct, ix. * Be most suspicious, fearful, and watchful 
about that, which your flesh doth most desire, or finds 
the greatest pleasure in.' — Not that you should deny your 
bodies all delight in the mercies of God : if the body 
have none, the mind will have the less : mercy must be dif- 
ferenced from punishment ; and must be valued and relished 
as mercy : mere natural pleasing of the senses is in itself no 
moral good or evil. A holy improvement of lawful plea- 
sure is a daily duty : inordinate pleasure is a sin : all is in- 
ordinate which tendeth more to corrupt the soul, by enticing 
it to sin, and turning it from God, than to fit and dispose it 
for God and his service, and preserve it from sinning. But 
still remember, it is not for sorrow, but delight that draweth 
away the soul from God, and is the flesh's interest which it 
sets up against him. Many have sinned in sorrow and dis- 
contents : but none ever sinned for sorrows and discontents : 
their discontents and sorrows are not taken up and loved 
for themselves ; but are the effects of their love to some 
pleasure and content, which are denied them, or taken from 
them. Therefore though all your bodily pleasures are not 
sin J yet seeing nothing but the pleasures of the flesh and 
carnal mind are the end of sinners, and the devil's great and 
ehiefest bait, and this only causeth men's perdition, you 


have great reason to be most afraid of that which is most 
pleasing to your flesh, and to the mind as it is corrupt and 
carnal : escape the delusions of fleshly pleasure, and you 
escape damnation : you have far more cause to be afraid of 
prosperity than of adversity ; of riches than of poverty ; of 
honour than of obscurity and contempt ; of men's praises and 
applause than of their dispraises, slanders, and reproach ; 
of preferment and greatness than of a low and mean con- 
dition ; of a delicious than of less tempting meats and drinks ; 
of curious, costly, than of mean, and cheap, and plain attire. 
Let those that have hired out their reason to the service of 
their fleshly lusts, and have delivered the crown and sceptre 
to their appetites, think otherwise. No wonder if they that 
have sold the birthright of their intellects to their senses, 
for a mess of pottage, for a whore, or a high place, or a do- 
mineering power over others, or a belly-full of pleasant meats 
or liquors, do deride all this, and think it but a melancholy 
conceit, more suitable to a hermit or anchorite than to men 
of society and business in the world. As heaven is the 
portion of serious believers and mortified saints alone, 
so it shall be proper to them alone, to understand the 
doctrine and example of their Saviour, and practically to 
know what it is to deny themselves, and forsake all they 
have, and take up their cross and follow Christ, and 
by the Spirit to mortify the deeds of the body'. Such 
know that millions part with God for pleasures, but none 
for griefs ; and that hell will be stored with those that pre- 
ferred wealth, and honour, and sports, and gluttony, drink, 
and filthy lusts, before the holiness and happiness of be- 
lievers ; but none will be damned for preferring poverty, 
and disgrace, and abstinence, hunger, and thirst, and chas- 
tity, before them. It must be something that seemeth good, 
that must entice men from the chiefest good : apparent evil 
is no fit bait for the devil's hook. Men will not displease 
God, to be displeased themselves ; nor choose present sor- 
row instead of everlasting joys : but for the " pleasures of 
sin for a season" many will despise the endless pleasures. 

Direct, x. 'Meet every motion to disobedience with an 
army of holy graces, with wisdom, and fear, and hatred, 
and resolution, with love to God, with zeal and courage : 
* Luke xiv. 26—29. 33. Rom. viii. 5—7. 13. Col. iii. 1—4. 


and quench every spark that falls upon your hearts before 
it breaks out into a flame.' — When sin is little, and in its in- 
fancy, it is weak and easily resisted : it hath not then turned 
away the mind from God, nor quenched grace, and disabled 
it to do its office. But when it is grown strong, then gracis 
grows weak and we want its help, and want the sense of the 
presence, and attributes, and truths of God, to rebuke it. 
O stay not till your hearts are gone out of hearing, and 
straggled from God beyond the observance of his calls. 
The habit of obedience will be dangerously abated, if you 
resist not quickly the acts of sin. 

Direct, xi. ' Labour for the clearest understanding of 
the will of God, that doubtfulness about your duty do not 
make you flag in your obedience, and doubtfulness about 
sin, do not weaken your detestation and resistance, and 
draw you to venture on it.' — When a man is sure what is 
his duty, it is a great help against all temptations that would 
take him oif ; and when he is sure that a thing is sinful, it 
makes it easier to resist. And therefore it is the devil's 
method to delude the understanding, and make men believe 
that duty is no duty, and sin is no sin ; and then no won- 
der if duty be neglected, and sin committed : and therefore 
he raised up one false prophet or other to say to Ahab, ' Go, 
and prosper ;' or to say, * There is no hurt in this :' to dis- 
pute for sin, and to dispute against duty. And it is almost in- 
credible, how much the devil hath got when he hath once 
made it a matter of controversy. Then every hypocrite hath 
a cloak for his sin, and a dose of opium for his conscience, 
when he can but say, * It is a controversy ; some are of one 
mind, and some of another : you are of that opinion, and I 
am of this.' Especially if there be wise and learned on both 
sides ; and yet more, if there be religious men on both sides ; 
and more yet, if he have an equal number on his side ; and 
most of all, if he have the major vote (as error and sin have 
commonly in the world). If Ahab have but four hundred 
lying, flattering prophets to one Micaiah, he will think he 
may hate him, reproach him, and persecute him, without 
any scruple of conscience. If it be made a controversy, 
whether bread be bread, and wine be wine, when we see and 
taste it ; some will think they may venture to subscribe or 
swear that they hold the negative, if their credit, or livings, 
or lives lie upon it ; much more if they can say. It is the 


judgment of the Church ! If it be once made a controversy, 
whether perjury be a sin, or whether a vow materially law- 
ful bind, or whether it be lawful to equivocate, or lie with 
a, mental reservation for the truth, or to do the greatest evil, 
or speak the falsest thing with a true and good intent and 
meaning, almost all the hypocrites in the country will be 
for the sinful part, if their fleshly interest require it ; and 
will think themselves wronged, if they are accounted hypo- 
crites, liars, or perjured, as long as it is but a point of con- 
troversy among learned men. If it be once made a contro- 
versy, whether an excommunicated king become a private 
man and it be lawful to kill him, and whether the pope may 
absolve the subjects of temporal lords from their allegiance 
(notwithstanding all their oaths) ; and if such learned men 
as Suarez, Bellarmine, Perron, &c., are for it (to say nothing 
of Santarellus, Mariana, &c.), you shall have a Clement, a 
Ravilliac, a Faux, yea, too great choice of instruments, 
that will be satisfied to strike the blow. If many hold it 
may, or must be done, some will be found too ready to do it, 
especially if an approved General Council (Lateran. sub 
Innoc. III. can. 3.) be for such Papal absolution. We have 
seen at home, how many will be emboldened to pull down 
Government, to sit in judgment on their King, and condemn 
him, and to destroy their brethren, if they can but say that 
such men think it lawful. If it were but a controversy once, 
whether drunkenness, whoredom, swearing, stealing, or any 
villany be a sin or not, it would be committed more com- 
monly, and with much less regret of conscience. Yea, good 
men will be ready to think that modesty requireth them to 
be less censorious of those that commit it, because in con- 
troverted cases they must suspect their own understandings, 
and allow something to the judgment of dissenters : and so 
all the rules of love, and peace, and moderation, which are 
requisite in controversies that are about small and difficult 
points, the devil will make use of and apply them all to the 
patronage of the most odious sins, if he can but get them 
once to have some learned, wise, or religious defenders. 
And from our tenderness of the persons, we easily slide to 
an indulgent tenderness in censuring the sin itself: and 
good men themselves, by these means, are dangerously dis- 
abled to resist it, and prepared to commit it. 
, Direct. XII. * Take heed lest the devil do either cast you 


into the sleep of carnal security, or into such doubts, and 
fears, and perplexing scruples, as shall make holy obe- 
dience seem to you an impossible or a tiresome thing/ — 
When you are asleep in carelessness, he can use you as he 
list : and if obedience be made grievous and ungrateful to 
you,** your heart will go against it, and you will go but like 
a tired horse, no longer than you feel the spur : you are 
half conquered already, because you have lost the love and 
pleasure of obedience ; and you are still in danger lest dif- 
ficulties should quite tire you, and weariness make you yield 
at last. The means by which the tempter effecteth this must 
afterward be spoken of, and therefore I shall omit it here. 

By the faithful practice of these Directions, obedience 
may become, as it were, your nature ; a familiar, easy, and 
delightful thing : and may be like a cheerful servant or child, 
that waiteth for your commands, and is glad to be employed 
by you. Your full subjection of your wills to God will be 
as the health, the ease, and quietness of your wills : you 
will feel that it is never well' or easy with you, but when you 
are obedient and pleasing to your Creator's will. Your 
" delight will be in the law of the Lord ^," It will be sweeter 
than honey to you, and better thgji thousands of gold and 
silver: and this not for any by respect, but as it is the " law 
of God ;" a " light unto your feet," and an infallible guide 
in all your duty. You will say with David, '* I will delight 
myself in thy statutes ; I will not forget thy word. Thy 
testimonies are my delight and my counsellors. Make me 
to go in the path of thy commandments, for therein do I 
delight ^" And, " I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, 
thy law is within my heart™." And, " Blessed is the man 
that feareth the Lord ; that delighteth greatly in his com- 
mandments °." 

Grand Direct. \ II. 'Continue as Ihe covenanted scho- 
lars of Christ, the Prophet and Teacher of his church, to 
learn of him, by his Spirit, word, and ministers, the farther 
knowledge of God, and the things that tend to your salva- 
tion ; and this with an honest, willing mind ; in faith, hu- 
mility, and diligence ; in obedience, patience, and peace.' - 

^ Esal. i. 2. ' Psal. cxix. 16. 24. 35. 47- TO. 77. 174. • 

«Psal.xl. 8. "Psal. cxii. 1. 


Though I spake before, of our coming to God by Jesus 
Christ, as he is the way to the Father ; it is meet that we 
distinctly speak of our relation and duty to him, as he is 
our teacher, our captain, and our master; as well as of 
our improving him, as Mediator immediately unto God. 
The necessity of believers, and the office and work of Christ 
himself, doth tell us, how much of our religion doth consist 
in learning of him, as his disciples. " A prophet shall the 
Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like ' 
unto me, him shall you hear°." This was the voice that 
came out of the cloud in the holy mount, " This is my be- 
loved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him p." There- 
fore is the title of disciples commonly given to believers. 
And there is a twofold' teaching, which Christ hath sent his 
ministers to perform ; both mentioned in their commission. 
Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. The one is, to " teach the nations ;" 
so as to make disciples of them, by persuading them into the 
school of Christ, which containeth the teaching of faith and 
repentance, and whatever is necessary to their first admis- 
sion, and to their subjecting themselves to Christ himself, 
as their stated and infallible Guide. The other is, the 
teaching them further to know more of God, " and to ob- 
serve all things whatsoever he commanded them." And 
this last is it we are now to speak of, and I shall add some 
sub-directions for your help. 

Directions for Learning of Christ, as our Teacher. 

Direct, i. ' Remember who it is that is your teacher : 
that he is the Son of God, that knoweth his Father's will, 
and is the most faithful, infallible Pastor of the church.'-^ 
There is neither ignorance, nor negligence, nor ambition, 
nor deceit in him, to cause him to conceal the mind of God. 
There is nothing which we need to know, which he is not 
both able and willing to acquaint us with. 

Direct, ii. * Remember what it is that he teacheth you, 
and to what end.' — That it is not how to sin, and be damn- 
ed, as the devil, the world, and the flesh would teach you ; 
nor how to satisfy your lusts, or to know, or do, or attain 
the trifles of the world : but it is how to be renewed to the 

" Acts vii. 37. p Matt. xvii. 5 . 


image of God, and how to do his will, and please him, and 
how to be justified at his bar, and how to escape everlasting 
fire, and how to attain everlasting joys : consider this well, 
and you will gladly learn of such a teacher. 

Direct. III. ' Let the book which he himself hath indited 
by his Spirit, be the rule, and principal matter of your learn- 
ing.' — The Holy Scriptures are of Divine inspiration : it is 
them that we must be j udged by, and them that we must be 
ruled by ; and, therefore, them that we must principally 
learn. Men's books and teachings, are but the means for 
our learning this infallible word. 

Direct, iv. * Remember that, as it is Christ's work to 
teach, it is your's to hear, and read, and study, and pray, 
and practise what you hear.' — Do your part, then, if you ex- 
pect the benefit. You come not to the school of Christ to 
be idle. Knowledge droppeth not into the sleepy dreamer's 
mouth. Dig for it, as for silver, and search for it in the 
Scriptures, as for a hidden treasure. Meditate in them day 
and night. Leave it to miserable fools, to contemn the 
wisdom of the Most High. 

Direct, v. * Fix your eye upon himself, as your pattern 
and study, with earnest desire to follow his holy example, 
and to be made conformable to him.' — Not to imitate him 
in the works which were proper to him as God, or as Media- 
tor ; but in his holiness, which he hath proposed to his dis- 
ciples for their imitation. He knew how effectual a perfect 
example would be, where a perfect doctrine alone would be 
less regarded. Example bringeth ^doctrine nearer to our 
eye and heart; it maketh it more observable, and telleth us 
with more powerful application, * such you must be, and 
thus you must do.' The eye maketh an easier and deeper 
impression on the imagination and mind, than the ear doth : 
therefore Christ's example, should be much preached and 
studied. It will be a very great help to us, to have still up- 
on our minds, the image of the holy life of Christ ; that we 
be affected, as if we always saw him doing the holy actions 
which once he did. Paul calls the Galatians, '* foolish," 
and " bewitched," that *' obeyed not the truth, when Christ 
had been set forth as crucified among thfem, evidently before 
their eyes *i." Papists think that images serve well for this 

1 Gel. iii. 1. 


turn : but the records of Scripture, and the living images of 
Christ, whom they persecute and kill, are far more useful. 
How much example is more operative than doctrine alone, 
you may perceive by the enemies of Christ, who can bear 
his holy doctrine, when they cannot bear his holy servants, 
that practise that doctrine before their eyes. And that 
which most stirs up their enmity, hath the advantage for 
exciting the believer's piety. 

Let the image of Christ, in all his holy examples, be al- 
ways lively written upon your minds. 1. Let the great ones 
of the world remember, that their Lord was not born of such 
as bore rule, or were in worldly pomp and dignity, but of 
persons that lived but meanly in the world (however, they 
were of the royal line) : how he was not born in a palace, 
but a stable, and laid in a manger, without the attendance 
or accommodation of the rich. 

2. Remember how he subjected himself unto his reputed 
father, and his mother, to teach all children subjection and 
obedience \ 

3. And how he condescended to labour at a trade, and 
mean employment in the world ; to teach us that our bodies, 
as well as our minds, must express their obedience, and have 
their ordinary employment ; and to teach men to labour and 
live in a calling ; and to comfort poor labourers, with as- 
surance that God accepteth them in the meanest work, and 
that Christ himself lived so before them, and chose their 
kind of life, and not the life of princes and nobles, that live 
in pomp, and ease, and pleasure. 

4. Remember how he refused not to submit to all the 
ordinances of God, and to fulfil all righteousness, and to be 
initiated into the solemn administration of his office by 
the baptism of John% which God approved, by sending 
down upon him the Holy Ghost : to teach us all to expect 
his Spirit in the use of his ordinances. 

6. Remember how he voluntarily begun his work, with an 
encounter with the tempter in the wilderness, upon his fast- 
ing : and suffered the tempter to proceed, till he moved him 
to the most odious sin, even to worship the devil himself: 
to teach us that God loveth tried servants, and expecteth 
that we be not turned from him by temptations ; especially 

>• Luke ii. 51. • Matt. iii. 15— 17. 


those that enter upon a public ministry, must be tried men, 
that have overcome the tempter : and to comfort tempted 
Christians, who may remember, that their Saviour himself 
was most blasphemously tempted, to as odious sins as ever 
they were ; and that to be greatly tempted, without con- 
senting or yielding to the sin, is so far from being a sin in 
itself, that it is the greatest honour of our obedience; and 
that the devil, who molesteth and haunteth us with his temp- 
tations, is a conquered enemy, whom our Lord in person 
hath overcome. 

6, Remember how earnestly and constantly he preached ; 
not stories, or jingles, or subtle controversies, but repen- 
tance, and faith, and self-denial, and obedience. So great 
was his love to souls, that, when he had auditors, he preach- 
ed, not only^in the temple and synagogues, but in mountains, 
and in a ship, and any other convenient place ; and no fury 
of the rulers or Pharisees could silence him, till his hour 
was come, having his Father's commission. And even to 
particular persons, he vouchsafed, by conference, to open 
the mysteries of salvation * : to teach us to love and attend 
to the plain and powerful preaching of the Gospel, and not 
to forbear any necessary means for the honour of God, and 
the saving of souls, because of the enmity, or opposition of 
malicious men, but to '* work while it is day, seeing the 
night is coming when none can work "." 

7. Remember how compassionate he was to men's bo- 
dies, as well as to their souls ; going up and down with un- 
wearied diligence, doing good ; healing the blind, and lame, 
and deaf, and sick, and possessed ; and how all his miracles 
were done in charity, to do good : and none of them to do 
hurt : so that he was but living, walking LOVE and MERCY. 
To teach us to know God, in his love and mercy ; and 
to abound in love and mercy to our brethren ; and to hate 

' the spirit of hurtfulness, persecution, and uncharitableness ,• 
and to lay out ourselves in doing good ; and to exercise 
our compassion to the bodies of men, as well as to their souls ^ 
according to our power. 

8. Remember how his zeal and love endured the re- 
proach, and resisted the opposition of his friends, who went 
to lay hold on him as if he had been beside himself'' : and 

*■ John iii, and iv. " John ix. 4. *^ Mark ui.20, 21. 



how he bid Peter ** Get behind me satan ; thou art an offence 
unto me : for thou savourest not the things of God, but 
those of men," when in carnal love and wisdom he rebuked 
him for resolving to lay down his life, saying, " Be it far 
from thee, this shall not be unto thee y." To teach us to 
expect that carnal love and wisdom in our nearest friends, 
will rise up against us in the work of God, to discourage 
us both from duty and from sufferings : and that all are to 
be shaken off; and counted as the instruments of satan, 
that would tempt us to be unfaithful to our trust and duty, 
and to favour ourselves by a sinful avoiding of the suffer- 
ings which God doth call us to undergo. 

9. Remember how through all his life, he despised the 
riches of the world, and chose a life of poverty, and was S 
companion of the meanest, neither possessing sumptuous 
houses, or great attendance, or spacious lands, or a large 
estate. He lived in a visible contempt of all the wealth and 
splendor, and greatness of the world : to teach us how lit- 
tle these little things are to be esteemed ; and that they are 
none of the treasure and portion of a saint ; and what a folly 
it is to be fond of such snares, and diversions, and tempta- 
tions which make the way to heaven to be to us, as a 
needle's eye. 

10. Observe, how little he regardeth the honour and 
applause of men ; how *' he made himself of no reputation, 
but took upon him the form of a servant," refusing to be 
" made a king," or to have a " kingdom of this world." 
Though he told malignant blasphemers how greatly they 
sinned in dishonouring him, yet did he not seek the honour 
of the world : to teach us how little the thoughts or words 
of ignorant men do contribute to our happiness, or are to 
be accounted of ; and to turn our eyes from the impenitent 
censures of flesh and blood, to the judgment of our Al- 
mighty Sovereign, to whom it is that we stand or fall. 

11. Remember, how little he made provision for the 
flesh, and never once tasted of any immoderate, sinful plea- 
sure. How far was he from a life of voluptuousness and 
sensuality ? Though his avoiding the formal fastings of the 
Pharisees, made them slander him as a " gluttonous per- 
son," and " a wine-bibber ^" as the sober Christians were 

y Matt. xvl. 22, 23. =» Phil. ii. 7. ^ John vi. 15. ^ Matt.xi. 19. 


called * carnivori', by those that thought it unlawful to eat 
flesh J yet so far was he from the guilt of any such sin, that 
never a desire of it was in his heart. You shall neyer find 
in the Gospel that Christ spent half the morning in dres- 
sing him, choosing rather to shorten his time for prayer, 
than not to appear sufficiently neatified, as our empty, 
worthless, painted gallants do : nor shall you ever read 
that he wasted time in idle visitations, or cards, or dice, or 
in reading romances, or hearing stage-plays : it was ano- 
ther kind of example that our Lord did leave for his disciples. 

12. Mark also, how far Christ was from being guilty of 
any idle, or lascivious, or foolish kind of talk : and how 
holy and profitable all his speeches were. To teach us also 
to speak as the oracles of God, such words as tend to edi- 
fication, and to administer grace unto the hearers, and to 
keep our tongues from all profane, lascivious, idle speeches. 

13. Remember that pride, ^and passion, are condemned 
by your pattern. Christ bids you " Learn of me ; for I am 
meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your 
souls *"." Therefore he resolveth that " except" men " be 
converted and become as little children, they shall not ente^ 
into the kingdom of heaven ^." Behold therefore the Lamb 
of God, and be ashamed of your fierce and ravenous natures. 

14. Remember that Christ your Lord and pattern did 
humble himself to the meanest office of love, even to wash 
the feet of his disciples : not to teach you to wash a few 
poor men's feet, as a ceremony once a year, and persecute 
and murder the servants of Christ the rest of the year, as 
the Roman Vice-Christ doth ; but to teach us, that if he 
their Lord and Master washed his disciples* feet, we also 
should stoop as low in any office of love, for one another '. 

1^. Remember also that Christ your pattern spent whole 
nights in prayer to God ; so much was he for this holy at- 
tendance upon God^: to teach us to "pray always and 
not wax faint s." And not to be like the impious God-haters, 
that love not any near or serious addresses unto God, nor 
those that use them, but make them the object of their 
cruelty or scorn. 

« Matt. xi. 28, 29. ^ Matt, xviii. 3. ^ John xii. 14. 

^ If irfo«ux^ in Luke vi. 12, do signify an oratory, it yet iniporteth that he con- 
tinued for prayer in it. ^ Luke xviii. 1. 


16. Remember also that Christ was against the Pharisees' 
outside, hypocritical, ceremonious worship, consisting in 
lip-labour, affected repetitions, and much babbling ; their 
* touch not, taste not, handle not,' and worshipping God in 
vain, according to their traditions, teaching for doctrines 
the commandments of men. He taught us a serious, spirit- 
ual worship : not " to draw nigh to God with our mouth, 
and honour him with our lips, while our hearts are far from 
him f but to " worship God who is a Spirit, in spirit and 
truth ^" 

17. Christ was a sharp reprover of hypocritical, blind, 
ceremonious, malicious Pharisees ; and warneth his disci- 
ples to take heed of their leaven. When they are offended 
with him, he saith, " Every plant which my heavenly Fa- 
ther hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone, 
they be blind leaders of the blind '\" &c. To teach us to 
take heed of Autonomous, supercilious, domineering formal 
hypocrites, and false teachers, and to difference between 
the shepherds and the wolves. 

18. Though Christ seems cautiously to avoid the owning 
of the Roman usurpation oyer the Jews, yet rather than of- 
fend them he payeth the tribute himself", and biddeth them 
" render to Caesar the things that are Csesar's, and to God 
the things that are God's ^" The Pharisees bring their 
controversy to him hypocritically, "Whether it be lawful to 
give tribute to Caesar or not?" (For that Caesar was an 
usurper over them, they took to be past controversy.) And 
Christ would give them no answer, that should either en- 
snare himself, or encourage usurpation, or countenance their 
sedition : teaching us much more to pay tribute cheerfully to 
our lawful Government, and to avoid all sedition and offence. 

19. Yet is he accused, condemned, and executed among 
malefactors, as aspiring to be " King of the Jews," and the 
judge called, '* none of Caesar's friend," if he let him go : 
teaching us to expect, that the most innocent Christians 
should be accused, as enemies to the rulers of the world, and 
mistaken governors be provoked and engaged against them, 
by the malicious calumnies of their adversaries ; and that 
we should, in this unrighteous world, be condemned of those 

^ Malt. XV, 6—9. John iv. 23, 24. Matt, xxiii. * Matt. xv. 12 — 14. 

k Matt. xvii. 25—27. • Matt. xxii. 21. 


crimes of which we are the most innocent ; and which we 
most abhor, and have borne the fullest testimonies against. 

20. The furious rout of the enraged people deride him 
by their words and deeds, with a purple robe, a sceptre of 
reed, a crown of thorns, and the scornful name of '* King 
of the Jews ;" they spit in his face, and buffet him, and then 
break jests upon him : and in all this, "being reviled he 
reviled not again, but committed all to him that judge th 
righteously ^" Teaching us to expect the rage of the ig- 
norant rabble, as well as of deluded governors ; and to be 
made the scorn of the worst of men : and all this without 
impatience, reviling, or threatening words ; but quieting 
ourselves in the sure expectation of the righteous judg- 
ment, which we and they must shortly find. 

21. When Christ is urged at Pilate's bar to speak for 
himself, he holds his peace : teaching us to expect to be 
questioned at the judgment-seat of man ; and not to be 
over careful for the vindicating of our names from their most 
odious calumnies, because the judgment that will fully jus- 
tify us is sure and near. 

22. When Christ is in his agony, his disciples fail him ; 
when he is judged and crucified, they "forsook him and 
fled ™ : to teach us not to be too confident in the best of 
men; not to expect much from them in a time of trial, but to 
take up our comfort in God alone, when all our nearest 
friends shall fail us. 

23. Upon the cross he suffered the torments and igno- 
miny of death for us, praying for his murderers : " leaving 
us an example that we should follow his steps " ; and that 
we should think not life itself too dear to part with, in obe- 
dience to God, and for the love of Christ and one another % 
and that we forgive and pray for them that persecute us. 

24. In all this suffering from men, he feels also so much 
of the fruit of our sin upon his soul, that he crieth out, 
" My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me V To teach 
us, if we fall into such calamity of soul as to think that God 
himself forsaketh us, to remember, for our support, that the 
Son of God himself before us cried out. My God, why hast- 
thou forsaken me ? And that in this also we may expect 

» 1 Pet. ii. 21—23, •» Matt. xxvi. 56. » 1 Pet.ii. %i. <> 1 John iii. i6. 


a trial to seem of ourselves forsaken of God, when our 
Saviour underwent the like before us. 

I will instance in no more of his example, because I 
would not be tedious. Hither, now, let believers cast their 
eyes : if you love your Lord you should love to imitate him, 
and be glad to find yourselves in the way that he hath gone 
before you. If he lived a worldly and sensual life, do yOu 
do so ; if he was an enemy to preaching, and praying, and 
holy living, be you so : but if he lived in the greatest con- 
tempt of all the wealth, and honours, and pleasures of the 
world, in a life of holy obedience to his Father, wholly pre- 
ferring the kingdom of heaven, and seeking the salvation of 
the souls of others, and patiently bearing persecution, deri- 
sion, calumnies and death, then take up your cross, and 
follow him in joyfully to the expected crown. 

Direct, vi. ' If you will learn of Christ, you must learn 
of his ministers, whom he hath appointed to be the teachers 
of his church.* — He purposely enabled them,inclineth them 
and sendeth them to instruct you : not to have dominion 
over your faith, but to be your spiritual fathers, and " the 
ministers by whom you believe, as God shall give" (ability 
and success) " to every one" as he pleases, ** to plant and 
water," while ** God giveth the increase, to open men^s 
eyes, and turn them from darkness to light," and to be " la- 
bourers together with God, whose husbandry and building 
you are," and to be "helpers of your joy?." Seeing there- 
fore Christ hath appointed them under him, to be the ordi- 
nary teachers of his church, he that " heareth them" (speak- 
ing his message) " heareth him," and he " that despiseth 
them despiseth him'^." And he that saith, *I will hear 
Christ but not you,' doth say in effect to Christ himself, *I 
will not hear thee, nor learn of thee, unless thou wilt dis- 
miss thy ushers, and teach me immediately thyself.' 

Direct, vii. * Hearken also to the secret teachers of his 
Spirit and your consciences, not as making you any new 
law or duty, or being to you instead of Scriptures or minis- 
ters ; but as bringing that truth into your hearts and prac- 
tices, which Scriptures and ministers have first brought to 
your eyes and ears,' — If you understand not this, how the 

P See 2 Cor.ii 4. Actsxxvi. 17, 18. 1 Cor. iii. 5. iv. 15. "i Luke x. 16. 


office of Scripture and ministers differ from the office of the 
Spirit and your consciences, you will be confounded as the 
sectaries of these times have been, that separate what God 
hath joined together, and plead against Scripture or mi- 
nisters, under pretence of extolling the Spirit, or the light 
within them. As your meat must be taken into the stomach, 
and pass the first concoction before the second can be per- 
formed, and chylification must be before sanguification ; so 
the Scripture and ministers must bring truth to your eyes 
and ears, before the Spirit or conscience bring them to your 
hearts and practice. But they lie dead and ineffectual in 
your brain or imagination, if you hearken not to the secret 
teachings of the Spirit and conscience, which would bring 
them furtber. As Christ is the principal teacher without, 
and ministers are but under him ; so the Spirit is the prin- 
cipal teacher within us, and conscience is but under the 
Spirit, being excited and informed by it. Those that learn 
only of Scriptures and ministers (by reading or hearing), 
may become men of learning and great ability, though they 
hearken not to the sanctifying teachings of the Spirit or to 
their consciences : but it is only those that hearken first to 
the Scriptures and ministers, and next to the Spirit of God 
and to their consciences, that have an inward, sanctifying, 
saving knowledge, and are they that are said to be taught 
of God. Therefore, hearken, first with your ears what Christ 
hath said to yOti without, and then hearken daily and dili- 
gently with your hearts, what the Spirit and conscience say 
within. For it is their office to preach over all that again 
to your hearts, which you have received. 

Direct, viii. * It being the office of the present ordinary 
ministry, only to expound and apply the doctrine of Christ, 
already recorded in the Scriptures, believe not any man that 
contradicteth this recorded doctrine, what reason, autho- 
rity, or revelation soever he pretend. ' To the law and to 
the testimony ; if they speak not according to these, it is 
because there is no light in them^' — No reason can be reason 
indeed, that is pretended against the reason of the Creator 
and God of reason. Authority pretended against the highest 
authority of God is no authority : God never gave authority 
to any against himself; nor to deceive men's souls ; nor to 

»" Isa. viii. 20. 


dispense with the law of Christ ; nor to warrant men to sin 
against him ; nor to make any supplements to his law or 
doctrine. The apostles had their * power only to edification, 
but not to destruction ^' There is no revelation from God, 
that is contrary to his own revelation already delivered as 
his perfect law and rule unto the church ; and therefore 
none supplemental to it. If an *' apostle or an angel from 
heaven ' per possibile vel impossibile ' shall evangelize to us 
besides what is evangelized," and we " have received," he 
must be held *' accursed*." 

Direct, ix. ' Come not to learn of Christ with self-con- 
ceitedness, pride, or confidence in your prejudice and errors : 
but as little children, with humble, teachable, tractable 
minds.' — Christ is no teacher for those that in their own 
eyes are wise enough already : unless it be first to teach 
them to " become fools" (in their own esteem, because they 
are so indeed) " that they may be wise "." They that are 
prepossessed with false opinions, and. resolve that they will 
never be persuaded of the contrary, are unmeet to be scho- 
lars in the school of Christ. " He resisteth the proud, but 
giveth more grace unto the humble ^." Men that have a high 
conceit of their own understandings, and think they can 
easily know truth from falsehood as soon as they hear it, 
and come not to learn, but to censure what they hear or 
read, as being able to judge of all, these are fitter for the 
school of the prince of pride and father of lies and error, 
than for the school of Christ. " Except conversion" make 
men as " little children," that come not to carp and cavil, 
but to learn, they are not '' meet for the kingdom of Christ^." 
Know how blind and ignorant you are, and how dull of 
learning, and humbly beg of the Heavenly Teacher, that he 
will accept you and illuminate you ; and give up your un* 
derstandings absolutely to be informed by him, and your 
hearts to be the tables in which his Spirit shall write his 
law, believing his doctrine upon the bare account of his in- 
fallible veracity, and resolving to obey it ; and this is to be 
the disciples of Christ indeed, and such as shall be taught 
of God. 

Direct, x. ' Come to the school of Christ with honest, 

• 1 Cor. X. 8. 2 Cor. xiii. 10. ' Gal. i. 6- 8. 

« 1 Cor. iii. 18. * 1 Pet. v. 5. ^ Matt, xnii. 3. John ii. 3—5. 


willing hearts, that love the truth, and feign would know it 
that they may obey it ; and not with false and biassed 
hearts, which secretly hinder the understanding from enter- 
taining the truth, because they love it not, as being con- 
trary to their carnal inclinations and interest.' — The word 
that was received into " honest hearts " was it that was 
as the seed that brought forth plentifully ^. When the heart 
saith unfeignedly, ' Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth ; 
teach me to know and do thy will ;' God will not leave such 
a learner in the dark. Most of the damnable ignorance and 
error in the world is from a wicked heart, that perceiveth 
that the truth of God is against their fleshly interest and 
lusts, and therefore is unwilling to obey it, and unwilling 
to believe it, lest it torment them because they disobey it. 
A will that is secretly poisoned with the love of the world, 
or of any sinful lusts and pleasures, is the most potent im- 
pediment to the believing of the truth. 

Direct, xi. * Learn with quietness and peace in the school 
of Christ, and make not divisions, and meddle not with 
others' lessons and matters, but with your own.' — Silence, 
and quietness, and minding your own business, is the way 
to profit. The turbulent wranglers that are quarrelling with 
others, and are religious contentiously, in envy and strife, 
are more likely to be corrected or ejected than to be edified. 
Kead James iii. 

Direct, xii. * Remember that the school of Christ hath a 
rod; and therefore learn with fear and reverence "*.' — Christ 
will sharply rebuke his own, if they grow negligent and of- 
fend : and if he should cast thee out and forsake thee, thou 
art undone for ever. " See," therefore, that " ye refuse not 
him that speaketh : for if they escaped not, who refused him 
that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we 
refuse him that speaketh from heaven^." '* For how shall 
we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at first 
began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us 
by them that heard him : God also bearing them witness 
both with signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts 
of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will*'." " Serve 
the Lord therefore with fear, and rejoice with trembling: 

« Matt. xiii. 23. * Heb. xii. 28, 29. Phil. ii. 12. 

'' Heb. xii. 25. «= Heb. ii. 3, 4. 


kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish, in the kind- 
ling of his wrath ^." 

Grand Direct, viii. ' Remember that you are related to 
Christ, as the Physician of your souls, and to the Holy 
Ghost, as your Sanctifier : make it therefore your serious 
study, to be cured by Christ, and cleansed by his Spirit, of 
all the sinful diseases and defilements of your hearts and 

Though I did before speak of our believing in the Holy 
Ghost, and using his help for our access unto God, and con- 
verse with him ; yet I deferred to speak fully of the cleans- 
ing and mortifying part of his work of sanctification till 
.now ; and shall treat of it here, as it is the same with the 
curing work of Christ, related to us as the physician of our 
souls : it being part of our subjection and obedience to him, to 
be ruled by him, in order to our cure. And what I shall here 
write against sin, in general will be of a twofold use. The one 
is, to help us against the inward corruptions of our hearts, and 
for the outward obedience of our lives, and so to further the 
work of sanctification, and prevent our sinning. The other 
is, to help us to repentance and humiliation, habitual and 
actual, for the sins which are in us, and which we have al- 
ready at any time committed. 

The general Directions for this curing and cleansing of 
the soul from sin, are contained, for the most part, in what 
is said already : and many of the particular Directions also 
may be brought from the sixth Direction before going. I 
shall now add but two general Directions, and many more 
particular ones. 

Direct, i. I. The two General Directions are these : 
1. ' Know what corruptions the soul of man is naturally de- 
filed with : and this containeth the knowledge of those fa- 
culties, that are the seat of these corruptions, and the 
knowledge of the corruptions that have tainted and per- 
verted the several faculties.' 

Direct, ii. 2. ' Know what sin is, in its nature or intrin- 
sic evil, as well as in the effects.' 

1. The parts or faculties to be cleansed and cured, are 
both the superior and inferior. 1. The Understanding, 

^ Psal. ii. 11, 12. 


though not the first in the sin, must be first in the cure : for 
all that is done upon the lower faculties, must be by the 
governing power of the will : and all that is done upon the 
will, according to the order of human nature, must be done 
by the understanding. But the understanding hath its own 
diseases, which must be known and cured. Its malady in 
general is ignorance ; which is not only a privation of ac- 
tual knowledge, but an undisposedness also of the under- 
standing to know the truth. A man may be deprived of 
some actual knowledge, that hath no disease in his mind 
that causeth it : as in a case that either the object be ab- 
sent, and out of reach, or that there may be no sufficient re- 
velation of it, or that the mind be taken up wholly upon 
some other thing, or in case a man shut out the thoughts of 
such an object, or refuse the evidence, which is the act of 
the will, even as a man that is not blind, may yet not see a 
particular object, 1. In case it be out of his natural reach : 
2. Or if it be night, and he want extrinsic light : 3. Or in 
case he be wholly taken up with the observation of other 
things : 4. Or in case he wilfully, either shut or turn away 
his eyes. 

It is a very hard question to resolve, how far and where- 
in the diseases of the understanding may be called sin. Be- 
cause the understanding is not a free, but a necessitated 
faculty : and there can be no sin, where there is no liberty. 
But to clear this, it must be considered, 1 . That it is not 
this or that faculty that is the full and proper subject of sin, 
but the man : the fulness of sin being made up of the vice 
of both faculties, understanding and will, conjunct. It is 
more proper to say. The man sinned, than. The intellect or 
will sinned, speaking exclusively as to the other. 2. ' Li- 
berum arbitrium,' free choice is belonging to the man, and 
not to his will only, though principally to the will. 3. 
Though the will only be free in itself, originally, yet the in- 
tellect is free by participation, so far as it is commanded by 
the will, or dependeth on it for the exercise of its acts. 4. 
Accordingly, though the understanding primitively and of 
itself, be not the subject of morality, of moral virtues, or of 
moral vices, which are immediately and primarily in the 
will, yet participatively its virtues and vices are moralized. 


and become graces or sins, laudable and rewardable, or vi- 
tuperable and punishable, as they are imperate by the will, 
or depend upon it. 

Consider then, the acts, and habits, and disposition of 
the understanding: and you will find, 1. That some acts, 
and the privation of them, are necessary, naturally, origi- 
nally, and unalterably : and these are not virtues or sinful 
at all, as having no morality. As, to know unwillingly as 
the devils do, 4nd to believe, when it cannot be resisted, 
though they would ; this is no moral virtue at all, but a 
natural perfection only. So 1. To be ignorant of that 
which is no object of knowledge, or which is naturally be- 
yond our knowledge, as of the essence of God, is no sin at 
all. 2. Nor, to be ignorant of that which was never reveal- 
ed, when no fault of ours hindered the revelation, is no sin. 
3. Nor, to be without the present, actual knowledge or 
consideration of one point, at that moment, when our 
thoughts are lawfully, diverted, as in greater business, or 
suspended, as in sleep. 4. But to be ignorant, wilfully, is 
a sin, participatively in the intellect, and originally in the 
will. 5. And to be ignorant for want of revelation, when 
ourselves are the hinderers of that revelation, or the merito- 
rious cause that we want it, is our sin : because, though 
that ignorance be immediately necessary, and hypothe- 
tically, yet, originally and remotely it is free and voluntary. 

So, as to the habits and disposition of the intellect : it 
is no sin to want those, which man's understanding in its 
entire and primitive nature was without. As, not to be 
able to know without an object, or to know an unrevealed 
or too distant object, or actually to know all things know- 
able, at once. But there are defects or ill dispositions, 
that are sinfully contracted ; and though these are now im- 
mediately natural ® and necessary, yet being originally and 
remotely voluntary or free, they are participatively sinful. 
Such is the natural man's disability or undisposedness to 
know the things of the Spirit, when the Word revealeth 
them. This lieth not in the want of a natural faculty to 
know them, but, 1. Radically in the will. 2. And thence 
in contrary, false apprehensions which the intellect is pre- 
posessed with, which resisting the truth, may be called, its 

« Maxima pars honiinura morbo juctatur eodem. Hor. lib. ii. Sat. 3. v. 121. 


blindness or impotency to know them. And 3. In a strange- 
ness of the mind to those spiritual things which it is utter- 
ly unacquainted with. 

Note here, 1 . That the will may be guilty of the under- 
standing's ignorance, two ways : either, by positive averse- 
ness prohibiting or diverting it from beholding the evidence 
of truth : or, by a privation and forbearance of that com- 
mand or excitation which is necessary to the exercise of the 
acts of the understanding. This last is the commonest way 
of the sin in the understanding ; and that may be truly 
called voluntary which is from the will's neglect of its office, 
or suspension of its act, though there be no actual violation 
or nolition. 

2. That the will may do more in causing a disease in the 
understanding, than it can do in curing it. I can put out a 
man's eyes, but I cannot restore them. 

3. That yet for all that, God hath so ordered it in his 
gracious dispensation of the grace of the Redeemer, that 
certain means are appointed by him, for man to use, in order 
to the obtaining of his grace, for his own recovery : and so, 
though grace cure not the understanding of its primitive, 
natural weakness, yet it cureth it of its contracted weakness, 
which was voluntary in its original, but necessary, being 
contracted. And, as the will had a hand in the causing 
of it, so must it have, in the voluntary use of the aforesaid 
means, in the cure of it. So much to shew you how the 
understanding is guilty of sin. 

Though no actual knowledge be so immediate as to be 
without the mediation of the sense and fancy, yet supposing 
these, knowledge is distinguished into immediate and me- 
diate. The immediate is when the being, quality, &c. of a 
thing, or the truth of a proposition is known, immediately, 
in itself, by its proper evidence. Mediate knowledge is, 
when the being of a thing, or the truth of a proposition is 
known by the means of some other intervenient thing or pro- 
position, whose evidence afFordeth us a light to discern it. 

The understanding is much more satisfied when it can 
see things and truths immediately, in their proper evidence. 
But when it cannot, it is glad of any means to help it. 

The further we go in the series of means (knowing one 
thing by another, and that by another, and so on) the more 


unsatisfied the understanding is, as apprehending a possi? 
bility of mistake, and a difficulty in escaping mistake in the 
use of so many 'media/ 

When the evidence of one thing, in its proper nature, 
sheweth us another, this is to know by mere discourse or 

When the medium of our knowing one thing, is the cre- 
dibility of another man's report that knoweth it, this is 
(though a discourse or argument too, yet) in special, called, 
belief: which is strong or weak, certain or uncertain, as the 
evidence of the reporter's credibility is certain or uncertain, 
and our apprehension of it strong or weak. 

In both cases, the understanding's fault is either an 
utter privation of the act, or disposition to it ; or else a 
privation of the rectitude of the act. When it should know 
by the proper evidence of the thing, the privation of its act 
is called ignorance or nescience, and the privation of its rec- 
titude is called, error (which differ as not seeing, and seeing 
falsely). When it should know by testimony, the privation 
of its act is simple unbelief, or not-believing ; and the pri- 
vation of its rectitude is, either disbelief, when they think 
the reporter erreth, or misbelief, when it believeth a testi- 
mony that is not to be believed. 

So that you see by what is said, that the diseases of the 
mind to be cured, are 1. Mere ignorance. 2. Error ; think- 
ing truth to be falsehood, and falsehood truth. 3. Unbe- 
lief. 4. Disbelief. Ajid 5. Misbelief. 

But as the goodness is of chief regard, in the object ; so 
the discerning of the truth about good and evil, is the chief- 
est office of the understanding. And therefore, its dises- 
teem of God, and glory, and grace, and its misesteem of the 
fleshly pleasure, and worldly prosperity, wealth, and ho- 
nour, is the principal malady of the mind. 

2. The diseases of the Will, are in its inclination, and 
in its acts. 1. An inordinate inclination to the pleasing of 
the fleshly appetite and fantasy, and to all carnal baits and 
temporal things, that tend to please it; and inordinate acts 
of desire accordingly. 2. An irrational backwardness to 
God, and grace, and spiritual good, and a refusal, or noli- 
tion in act accordingly. These are in the will, 1 . Because 
it is become much subject to the sensitive appetite, ftnd 


hath debased itself, and contracted, by its sinful acts, a sen- 
sual inclination, the flesh having the dominion in a corrupt- 
ed soul. 2. Because the intellect, being also corrupted, 
oft-times misleadeth it, by over-valuing transient things. 
3. Because the will is become destitute (in its corrupted 
state) of the power of Divine love, or an inclination to God 
and holy things, which should countermand the seduction 
of carnal objects. 4. And the understanding is much des- 
titute of the light that should lead them higher. 5. Because 
the rage of the corrupted appetite is still seducing it. Mark 
therefore, for the right understanding of this, our greatest 
malady : • 

1. That the will never desireth evil, as evil, but as a car- 
nal, or a seeming good. 2. Nor doth it hate good, as good, 
but as a seeming evil, because God and grace do seem to 
be his enemies, and to hurt him, by hindering him of the 
good of carnal pleasure, which he now preferreth. 3. Nay, 
at the same time that he loveth evil as it pleaseth the flesh, 
he hath naturally, as a man, some averseness to it, so far as 
he apprehendeth it to be evil : and when he hateth God and 
holiness as evil, for hindering him of his carnal pleasure, he 
naturally loveth them, so far as he apprehendeth them to be 
good. So that there is some love to God and good, and 
some hatred to evil in the ungodly : for while man is man, 
he will have naturally an inclination to good as good, and 
against evil as evil. 4. But the apprehension of sensitive 
good is the strongest in him, and the apprehension of spi- 
ritual good is weakest ; and therefore, the will, receiving a 
greater impress from the carnal appetite and mind, than 
from the weak apprehensions of spiritual good, is more in- 
clined to that which indeed is worst : and so, things car- 
nal have got the dominion, or chief, commanding interest 
in the soul. 5. Note also," that sin receiveth its formality, 
or moral evil first in the will, and not in the intellect or sen- 
sitive appetite : (for it is not sin, till it be positively or pri- 
vately, immediately or mediately voluntary.) But the first 
motions to sin are not in the will, but in the sensitive ap- 
petite : though there, at first, it be not formally sin. 6. 
Note, that neither intellect, object, appetite, or sense, ne- 
cessitate naturally the will to sin, but it remaineth the first 
in the sin and guilt. 


It is a matter of great difficulty to understand, how sin 
first entered into the innocent soul : and it is of great im- 
portance, because an error here is of dangerous consequence. 
Two sorts seem to me to make God so much the necessi- 
tating cause of Adam's first sin (and so of all sin), as that it 
was as naturally impossible for Adam to have forborne it, 
according to their doctrine, as to have conquered God : — 
1. Those that assert the Dominican, immediate, physical, 
pre-determining pre-motion j (which no created power can 
resist.) 2. And those that say the will acts as necessitated 
by the intellect, in all its acts (and so is necessitated in all 
its omissions) ; and that the intellect is necessitated by ob- 
jects (as, no doubt, it is, unless as its acts are * sub imperio 
voluntatis') ; and all those objects are caused and disposed 
of by God. But, it is certain that God is not the cause of 
sin; and therefore, this certainty over-ruleth the case 
against these tenets. 

At present it seemeth to me, that sin entered in this me- 
thod. 1. Sense perceiveth the forbidden thing. 2. The 
appetite desireth it. 3. The imagination thinketh on its 
desirableness yet further. 4. The intellect conceiveth of it 
(truly) as good, by a simple apprehension. 5. The will ac- 
cordingly willeth it, by a simple complacency or volition. 
Thus far there was no sin : but 6. The will here adhered to 
it too much, and took in it an excess of complacency, when 
it had power to do otherwise : and here sin begun. 7. And 
so, when the cogitations should have been called off : 8. 
And the intellect should have minded God, and his com- 
mands, and proceeded from a simple apprehension, to the 
comparing act, and said, * The favour of God is better, and 
his will should rule,' it omitted all these acts, because the 
will omitted to command them ; (yea, and hindered them.) 

9. And so, the intellect was next guilty of a ' non-renuo,' — 
* I will not forbid or hinder it' (and the will accordingly). 

10. And next of a positive deception, and the will of con- 
sent unto the sin, and so it being ** finished, brought forth 

If you say. The will's first sinful adhesion in the sixth 
instance, could not be, unless the intellect first directed it 
so to do ; I deny that, because the will is the first principle 
in men's actions ' quoad exercitium,' though the intellect be 


the first as to specification : and therefore, the will could 
suspend its exercise, and its excitation of the mind. In 
all this I go upon common principles : but I leave it to fur- 
ther inquiry: 1. How far the sensitive appetite may move 
the locomotive faculty, without the wilFs command, while 
the will doth not forbid ? And whether reason be not given 
man, as the rider to the horse, not to enable him to move, 
but to rule his motion : so that as the horse can go, if the 
rider hinder not, so the sensitive appetite caii cause the ac- 
tions of eating, drinking, thinking, speaking sensually, if 
reason do but drop asleep, or not hinder. 2. And so, whe- 
ther in the first sin, (and ordinarily) the sensitive appetite, 
fantasy, and passion, be not the active movers, and the ra- 
tional powers first guilty only by omitting their restraining 
government, which they were a;ble to have exercised ? 3. 
And so, whether sin be not (ordinarily) a brutish motion, 
or a voluntary unmanning of ourselves ; the rational powers 
in the beginning, being guilty only of omission or privation 
of restraint ; but afterwards brought over to subserve the 
sensitive appetite actively ? 4. And so, whether the will, 
which is the * principium actus quoad exercitium,* were not 
the first in the omission ? The intellect having before said, 
* This must be further considered,' the will commanded not 
that further consideration, when it could and should ? 

However, if it be too har^ for us to trace our own souls 
in all their motions, it is certain, that the will of man is the 
first subject of moral good and evil : and uncertainties must 
not make us deny that which is certain. 

The reader who understandeth the importance and con- 
sequence of these points, I am sure will pardon me, for this 
interposition of these difficult, controverted points, (which I 
purposely avoid, where I judge them not very needful in Or- 
der to the defence or clearing of the plainer, common truths :) 
and as for others, I must bear their censure. 

The degree of sinfulness in the will, lieth in a stiffness, 
and obstinacy, a tenaciousness of deceitful, temporal good, 
and an eagerness after it ; and stubborn averseness to spi- 
ritual good, as it is against that temporal, fleshly good. 
This is the will's disease^. 

3. The sinfulness of the memory, is in its retentiveness 

f Aniiui labes nee diutumitate evanescit, nee manibus allis elui potest. 


of evil, or things hurtful and prohibited » ; and its looseness, 
and neglect of better, spiritual, necessary things. If this 
were only as things present have the natural advantage to 
make a deeper impress on the fantasy, and things unseen 
and absent have the disadvantage, it were then but a natu- 
ral, innocent infirmity : or, if in sickness, age, or weakness, 
all kind of memory equally decay. But it is plain, that if 
the Bible be open before our eyes, and preaching be in our 
ears, and things unseen have the advantage of their infinite 
greatness, and excellency, and concernment to us, yet our 
memories are like walls of stone, to any thing that is spiri- 
tual, and like walls of wax, on which> you may write any 
thing, of that which is secular or evil. Note here, also, 
that the faultiness of the memory, is only so far sinful, as it 
is voluntary : it is the will, where the sin is as in its throne, 
or chiefest subject. Because men love carnal things, and 
love not spiritual things, therefore it is that they mind, and 
understand, and remember the one, and not the other. So 
that it is but as imperate, and participatively, that the me- 
mory is capable of sin. 

4. The sinfulness of the imagination, consisteth in its 
readiness to think of evil, and of common, earthly things, 
and its inaptness to think of any thing that is holy, and 
good : and when we do force ourselves to holy thoughts, 
they are disorderly, confused, unskilfully managed, with great 
averseness. — Here, also, voluntariness is the life of the sin. 

5. The sin of the affections, or passions, consisteth in 
this : — That they are too easily and violently moved, by the 
sensitive interest and appetite ; and are habitually prone to 
such carnal, inordinate motions, running before the under- 
standing and will (some of them), and soliciting and urging 
them to evil ; and resisting and disobeying the commands 
of reason and the will : but dull and backward to things 

K Non incestum vel aspersione nquse vel dierum numerotoUitur.* 
* The first of these quotations is incorrect; and in the second, the sense is alter- 
ed by writing "non," for <' nam." The words of Cicero are as follows: — Caste 
jubet lex adire ad deos, animo videlicet, in quo sunt or^inia: nee tollit castimoniam 
corporis : sed hoc oportet inlelligi, cum multum animus corpori praestet ; observe- 
turque, ut casta corpora adhibcantur, multo esse in animis id servandum magis. Nam 
incestum vel aspersione aquae, vel dierum numero tollitur : animi labes nee diuturni- 
tate evanescere, nee ariinibus uUis elui potest. Cic. Leg. ii. 24. - (T. C.) 



spiritually good, and to execute the right dictates of the 
mind and will. 

6. The sin of the sensitive appetite, consisteth in the in- 
ordinate rage or immoderateness to its object, which causeth 
it to disobey the commands of - reason, and to become the 
great inciter of rebellion in the soul ; violently urging 
the mind and will to consent to its desires. Materially, 
this dependeth much on the temper of the body : but for- 
mally, this also is so far sinful as (positively or privatively, 
mediately or immediately) it is voluntary. To have an ap- 
petite simply to the object of appetite, is no sin ; but to 
have a diseased, inordinate, unruly appetite, is a sin : not 
primarily in itself considered ; but as it is voluntary, as it is 
the appetite of a rational free agent, that hath thus disor- 
dered the frame of its own nature. 

7. The sin of the exterior parts, tongue, hand, eyes, feet, 
&c. is only in act, and not in habit ; or, at least, the habits 
are weak, and subject to the will. And it is in the execu- 
tion of the sinful desires of the flesh, and commands of the 
will, that the same consisteth. These parts also are not the 
primary subjects of the guilt, but the will, that either posi- 
tively puts them upon evil, or doth not restrain them when 
it ought : and so they are guilty but participatively and ser 
condarily, as the other imperate faculties are. It is not good 
or evil, merely as it is the act of the tongue, or hand; but as 
it is the tongue or hand of a rational free agent (agreeable or 
disagreeable to the law). If a madman should speak blas- 
phemy, or should kill, or steal, it were no further sin, than 
as he had voluntarily contracted the ill disposition which 
caused it, while he had the use of reason. If a man's hand 
were held and forced by another, to do mischief utterly 
against his will, it is the sin of the chief agent, and not of 
the involuntary instrument. But no force totally excuseth 
us from guilt, which leaveth the act to our rational choice. 
He that saith, * Take this oath, or I will kill thee or tor- 
ment thee,* doth use force, as a temptation which may be 
resisted, but doth not constrain a man to swear : for he 
leaveth it to his choice, whether he will swear, or die, or 
be tormented: and he may, and ought to choose death, ra- 
ther than the smallest sin. The will may be tempted, but 
not constrained. 


Direct, ii. ' Labour clearly to understand the evil of sin, 
both intrinsical in itself, and in its aggravations and effects/ 
— When you have found out where it is, and wherein it doth 
consist, find out the malignity and odiousness of it. I have 
heard some Christians complain, that they read much to 
shew them the evil of sin in its effects, but meet with few 
that shew them its evil in itself suflSciently. But, if you see 
not the evil of sin in itself, as well as in the effects, it will 
but tempt you to think God unjust in over-punishing it ; and 
it will keep you from the principal part of true repentance 
and mortification ; which lieth in hating sin, as sin. I shall 
therefore shew you, wherein the intrinsical malignity of sin 

1. Sin is (formally) the violation of the perfect, holy, 
righteous law of God. 

2. It is a denial or contempt of the authority, or govern- 
ing-power of God : as if we said, ' Thou shalt not be our 
Governor in this.' 

3. It is an usurping the sovereign power to ourselves of 
governing ourselves, in that act : for when we refuse God's 
government, we set up ourselves in his stead ; and so make 
gods of ourselves as to ourselves, as if we were self-sufficient, 
independent, and had right hereto. 

4. It is a denying or contempt of the wisdom of God, 
as if he had unwisely made us a law which is unmeet to 
rule us. 

6. It is a setting up of our folly in the place of God's 
wisdom, and preferring it before him ; as if we were wiser 
to know how to govern ourselves, and to know what is fit- 
test and best for us now to do, than God is. 

6. It is a contempt of the goodness of God, as he is the 
maker of the law : as if he had not done that which is best, 
but that which may be corrected or contradicted, and there 
were some evil in it to be avoided**. 

7. It is a preferring our naughtiness before his goodness, 
as if we would do it better, or choose better what to do. 

8. It is a contempt or denial of the holiness and purity 

•» See Plutarch's Tract, entitled, " That Vice is sufficient to make a man wretched." 
Si non ipso honesto raovemur ut viri boni simus, sed utilitate aliqua, atque fructu, 
callidi sumus, non l)oni j si emolumentis, non suapte natura, virtus expetitur, vana 
erit virtus, quae malitia recte dicitur. P. Seal. p. 744. 


of God, which sets him against sin, as light is against 

9. It is a violation of God's propriety or dominion, 
robbing him of the use and service of that which is absolutely 
and totally his own. 

10. It is a claiming of propriety in ourselves, as if we 
were our own, and might do with ourselves as we list. 

11. It is a contempt of the gracious promises of God, 
by which he allured and bound his obedience. 

12. It is a contempt of the dreadful threatenings of God, 
by which he would have restrained us from evil. 

13. It is a contempt or denial of the dreadful day of 
judgment, in which an account must be given of that sin. 

14. It is a denying of God's veracity, and giving him 
the lie : as if he were not to be believed in all his predictions, 
promises, and threats. 

15. It is a contempt of all the present mercies, (which 
are innumerable and great) by which God obligeth and en- 
couxageth us to obey. 

16. It is a contempt of our own afflictions, and his 
chastisements of us, by which he would drive us from our 

17: It is a contempt of all the examples of his mercies on 
the obedient, and his terrible judgments on the disobedient, 
(men and devils) by which he warned us not to sin. 

18. It is a contempt of the person, office, sufferings, and 
grace of Jesus Christ, who came to save us from our sins, 
and to destroy the works of the devil ; being contrary to his 
bloodshed, authority, and healing work. 

19. It is a contradicting, fighting against, and in that 
act prevailing against the sanctifying office and work of 
the Holy Ghost, that moveth us against sin, and to 

20. It is a contempt of holiness, and a defacing, in 
that measure, the image of God upon the soul, or a reject- 
ing it. A vilifying of all those graces which are contrary to 
the sin. 

21. It is a pleasing of the devil, the enemy of God and 
us, and an obeying him before God. 

22. It is the fault of a rational creature, that had reason 
given him to do better. 


23. It IS all willingly 4one and chosen by a free agent, 
that could not be constrained to it \ 

24. It is a robbing God of the honour and pleasure which 
he should have had in our obedience ; and the glory which 
we should bring him before the world. 

25. It is a contempt of the omnipresence and omniscience 
of God, when we will sin against him before his face, when 
he stands over us, and seeth all that we do. 

26. It is a contempt of the greatness and almightiness 
of God, that we dare sin against him who is so great, and 
able to be avenged on us. 

27. It is a wrong to the mercifulness of God, when 
we go out of the way of mercy, and put him to use the 
way of justice and severity, who deli ghteth not in the death 
of sinners, but rather that they obey, repent, and live. 

28. It is a contempt of the attractive love of God, who 
should be the end, and felicity, and pleasure of the soul. 
As if, all that love and goodness of God, were not enough 
to draw or keep the heart to him, and to satisfy us and 
make us happy ; or, he were not fit to be our delight. And 
it sheweth the want of love to God : for if we loved him 
rightly we should willingly obey him. 

29. It is a setting up the sordid creature before the 
Creator, and dung before heaven, as if it were more worthy 
of our love and choice, and fitter to be our delight; and, 
the pleasure of sin were better for us than the glory of 

30. In all which it appeareth, that it is a practical atheism, 
in its degree ; a taking down God, or denying him to be 
God : and a practical idolatry, setting up ourselves and 
other creatures in his stead. 

31. It is a contempt of all the means of grace, which are 
all to bring us to obedience, and keep us or call us from our 
sins : prayer, sacraments, &c. 

32. It is a contempt of the love and labours of the minis- 
ters of Christ ; a disobeying them, grieving them, and. frus- 
trating their hopes and the labours of their lives. 

33. It is adebasingof reason, the superior faculty of the 

* Voluntariura est orone peccatura. ToUe excusationera : nemo peccat invitus. 
Martin, DuniJens. de Morib. Nihil interest quo animo facias, quod fecisse vitiosiuw 
est, quia acta cernuntur, animus non vidctur. Id. ibid. 


soul, and a setting up of the flesh or inferior faculties, like 
setting dogs to govern men, or the horse to rule the rider. ' 

34. It is a blinding of reason, and a misusing the noblest 
faculties of the soul, and frustrating them of , the use and 
ends which they were made for : and so it is the disorder, 
monstrosity, sickness, or death of the souP. 

35. It is, in its measure, the image of the devil upon the 
soul, who is the father of sin : and, therefore, the most 
odious deformity of the soul ; and this, where the Holy 
Ghost should dwell, and the image and delight of God 
should be. 

36. It is the moral destruction not only of the soul, but 
of the whole creation, so far as the creatures are appointed 
as the means, to bring or keep us unto God : for the means, 
as a means, is destroyed when it is not used to its end. A 
ship is useless if no one be carried in it. A watch, as such, 
is useless, when not used to shew the hour of the day. All 
the world, as it is the book that should teach us the will of 
God, is cast by, when that use is cast by. Nay, sin useth 
the creature against God, which should have been used for 

37. It is a contradicting of our own confessions and pro- 
fessions : a wronging of our consciences : a violation of our 
covenants and self obligations to God. 

38. It is a preferring of time before eternity, and regard- 
ing things of a transitory nature, and a moment's pleasure, 
before that which never shall have end. 

39. It is a making a breach in the harmony and order of 
the world : as the dislocation or deformity of a particular 
member, is the trouble and deformity of all the body ; be- 
cause the comeliness and welfare of the whole, containeth 
the comeliness, proportion, and welfare of all the parts. 
And as the dislocation or breaking of one part in a watch 
or clock, is against the use of all the engine; so every man 
being a part of the kingdom of God, doth, by sin, make a 
breach in the order of the whole : and also giveth an ill ex- 
ample to other parts, and makes himself unserviceable to 
the body : and dishonoureth the whole body with the blot of 
rebellion : and lets in j udgment on the world ; and kindleth 

•^ Sick bodies only suffer ill j but sick souls both suffer ill, and do ill. Plutarch's 
Morals, p. 314. 


a consuming fire in the place where he liveth ; and is cruel 
and injurious to others. 

40. Sin is not only a preferring the body before the soul, 
but it is also an unmercifulness, or cruelty against ourselves, 
both soul and body, and so is contrary to the true use of the 
indelible principle of self-love : for it is a wounding and 
abusing the soul, and defiling the body in this life, and a 
easting both on the wrath of God, and into the flames of hell 
hereafter, or a dangerous venturing them into the way of 
endless damnation and despair, and a contempt of those in- 
sufferable torments. All these parts of malignity and poi- 
son are intrinsical to sin, and found in the very nature of it. 

The common aggravations of sin being written of by 
many, and easily gathered from what is said of the nature of 
it : I shall briefly name only a few. 

1 . The infinite perfection of God in all those blessed at- 
tributes and relations, which sin is against, is the greatest 
aggravation of sin. 

2. The inconceivable glory of heaven, which is despised, 
is a great aggravation of sin. 

3. So is the greatness of the torments of hell, which sin- 
ners despise and venture on. 

4. So is the great opposition that God hath made against 
sin, having said and done so much against it, and declared 
himself to hate nothing else immediately in the world, 

6. The clearness of evidence against it, the nothingness 
of all that can be said for it, is also a great aggravation of it. 

G. So is the fulness, and fitness, and power of all the 
means in creatures, providences, and Scriptures that is vouch- 
safed the world against it. 

7. So is the experience and warning of all ages, the re- 
pentings of the converted, and the disowning it by almost 
all> when they come to die. Wonderful ! that the ex- 
perience of the world for above five thousand years, will 
teach them no more effectually to avoid so mortal, pernicious 
a thing. 

8. The nearness to us, also, is an aggravation. It is not 
a distant evil, but in our bowels, in our very hearts : we are 
bound so strictly to love ourselves, that it is a great aggra- 
vation to do ourselves so great a mischief. 

9. The constant inhesion of sin, is a great aggravation : 


that it is ever with us, lying down and rising up, at home and 
abroad ; we are never free from it. 

10. That it should poison all our common mercies, and 
corrupt all our duties, is an aggravation. But we shall take 
up some of these anon. 

The special aggravations of the sins of God's own chil- 
dren are these ^ 

1. They sin against a nearer relation than others do; 
even against that God that is their Father by the new birth, 
which is more heinous than if a stranger did it. 

2. They are Christ's own members ; and it is most un- 
natural for his members to rebel against him, or do him 
wrong. ■') 'n ty? 

3. They sin against more excellent operations of the 
Spirit than others do, and against a principle of life with- 
in them. 

4. They sin against the differencing grace, which ap- 
peared in their conversion. God took them out of a world 
of sinners, whom he passed by when he could as well 
have sanctified them. And should they so quickly thus re- 
quite him ? 

5. They sin against the pardon and justification which 
they have already received. Did God so lately forgive them 
all their former debts ; so many, so great, and heinous sins, 
and that so freely to them, when the procurement was so 
dear to Christ ? and should they so soon forget, or so ill 
requite so great a mercy ? 

6. They sin against a more serious covenant, which at 
their conversion they entered into with God, than other 
men do. 

7. They sin against all the heart-breaking or humbling 
sorrows which they have tasted of at their conversion, and 
since. They have known more of the evil of sin than others, 
in their sad experience of its sting. 

8. They sin against more knowledge than other men. 
They have known more what sin is, and what Christ is, and 
what the will of God is than others ; and therefore deserve 
to be beaten with many stripes. 

9. They have oftener confessed sin than others, and spoke 

' See the Assemblies larger Catechism about Aggravations of Sin. 


odiously of it, as the vilest thing, and aggravated it to God 
and man. 

10. Their many prayers against it, and all their labour 
in hearing, and reading, and sacraments, and other means, 
do aggravate it. 

11. They make a greater profession of strict obedience, 
and therefore sin against their own profession. 

12. They have renewed their promises of obedience to 
God, in prayer, at sacraments, and at other times, much 
more than others. 

13. They have had more experience than others, of the 
goodness of obedience, and of the comforts and benefits 
that attend it, in the favour of God, and communion with 
him therein. 

14. Their sins are aggravated, by all the reproofs and ex- 
hortations which they have used to others, to tell them how 
unreasonable and bad it is to- provoke the Lord. 

15. They sin under greater hopes of glory than others 
do ; and provoke that God with whom they hope to live 
for ever. 

16. The high titles of love and praise which God doth 
give them in his Word, do aggravate their sin. That he 
should call them his treasure, his peculiar people, his 
jewels, and the apple of his eye, his sons and daughters, 
and a holy people, and priests to God, and boast of them as 
a people more excellent than their neighbours ; and after 
this they should sin against him. 

17. They have had audience with God, the answer of 
prayers, and many a deliverance and mercy in this life, 
which others have not, which aggravate their sins, as 
being thus contemned, and as obliging them more to God 
than others. 

18. They dishonour God, more than any others, by their 
sins. His honour lieth not so much upon the actions of the 
ungodly, as on those that are nearest to him. 

19. They harden the wicked more, than such sins in 
other men would do. They cause them to blaspheme, and 
reproach the godly for their sakes, and say ' These are your 
religious men ! You see now what their strictness is.' And 
they hinder the conversion and salvation of others : they 


grieve the godly, and wrong the church and cause of God, 
much more than the sins of others do. 

20. Lastly, They please the devil more than the sins of 
other men. How busy is he to have drawn a Job to sin ! 
and how would he have boasted against God, and his grace, 
and his servants, if he had prevailed ? when he boasted so 
much before, in the false presumption of his success? As 
if he could make the godly forsake God, and be as bad as 
others, if he have leave to tempt them. 

II. I shall next give you some particular Directions, be- 
sides those foregoing, to help you to think of sin as it is, that 
you may hate it : for your cleansing and cure consist in 
this : so far as you hate sin it is mortified, and you are 
cured of it. And therefore as I have anatomized it, that you 
may see the hatefulness of it, I shall direct you to improve 
this for your cure. 

Direct, i. ' Labour to know God, and to be affected with 
his attributes, and always to live as in his sight.' — No man 
can know sin perfectly, because no man can know God per- 
fectly. You can no further know what sin is than you 
know what God is, whom you sin against. For the formal 
malignity of sin is relative, as it is against the will and at- 
tributes of God. The godly have some knowledge of the 
malignity of sin, because they have some knowledge of 
God that is wronged by it. The wicked have no practical, 
prevalent knowledge of the malignity of sin, because they 
have no such knowledge of God. They that fear God will 
fear sinning ; they that in their hearts are bold, irreverently 
with God will, in heart and life, be bold with sin : the atheist 
that thinketh there is no God thinks there is no sin against 
him. Nothing in the world will tell us so plainly and 
powerfully of the evil of sin, as the knowledge of the great- 
ness, wisdom, goodness, holiness, authority, justice, truth, 
&c. of God. The sense of his presence, therefore, will 
revive our sense of sin's malignity. 

Direct. 11. * Consider well of the office, the bloodshed, and 
the holy life of Christ.' — His office is to expiate sin, and to 
destroy it. His blood was shed for it : his life condemned 
it. Love Christ, and thou wilt hate that which caused his 
death. Love him, and thou wilt love to be made like him. 


and hate that which is contrary to Christ. These two great 
lights will shew the odiousness of darkness. 

Direct, in. ' Think well both how holy the office and 
work of the Holy Ghost is, and how great a mercy it is to 
us.'— Shall God himself, the heavenly light, come down into 
a sinful heart, to illuminate and purify it ? And yet shall I 
keep my darkness and defilement, in opposition to such 
wonderful mercy ? Though all sin against the Holy Ghost 
be not the unpardonable blasphemy, yet all is aggravated 

Direct, iv. ' Know and consider the wonderful love and 
mercy of God, and think what he hath done for you ; and you 
will hate sin, and be ashamed of it.'— It is an aggravation 
which makes sin odious even to common reason and inge- 
nuity, that we should offend a God of infinite goodness, who 
hath filled up our lives with mercy. It will grieve you if you 
have wronged an extraordinary friend : his love and kindness 
will come into your thoughts, and make you angry with 
your own unkindness. Here look over the catalogue of 
God's mercies to you, for soul and body. And here ob- 
serve that satan, in hiding the love of God from you, and 
tempting you under pretence of humility to deny his great- 
est, special mercy, doth seek to destroy your repentance 
and humiliation also, by hiding the greatest aggravation of 
your sin. 

Direct, v. ' Think what the soul of man is made for, and 
should be used to, even to love, obey, and glorify our 
Maker : and then you will see what sin is, which disableth 
and perverteth it.' — How excellent, and high, and holy a 
work are we created for and called to ? And should we de- 
file the temple of God ? and serve the devil in filthiness and 
folly, where we should entertain, and serve, and magnify our 

Direct, vi. * Think well what pure and sweet delights 
a holy soul may enjoy from God, in his holy service : and 
then you will see what sin is, which robbeth him of these 
delights, and preferreth fleshly lusts before them.* — O how 
happily might we perform every duty? and how fruitfully 
might we serve our Lord ? and what delight should we find 
in his love and acceptation, and the foresight of everlasting 


blessedness, if itwetenot for sin? which bringeth down the 
soul from the doors of heaven, to wallow with swine in a 
beloved dunghill. 

• Direct, vii. * Bethink you what a life it is which you 
must live for ever, if you live in heaven; and what a life the 
holy ones there now live : and then think whether sin, which 
is so contrary to it, be not a vile and hateful thing ?'^Either 
you would live in heaven, or not. If not, you are not those 
I speak to. If you would, you know that there is no sin- 
ning ; no worldly mind ; no pride ; no passion ; no fleshly 
lust or pleasures there. Oh, did you but see and hear one 
hour, how those blessed spirits are taken up in loving and 
magnifying the glorious God in purity and holiness, and 
how far they are from sin, it would make you loathe sin 
ever after, and look on sinners as on men in Bedlam wal- 
lowing naked in their dung. Especially, to think that you 
hope yourselves to live for ever like those holy spirits ; and 
therefore sin doth ill beseeiti you. 

Direct, vm. * Look but to the state and torment of the 
damned, and think well of the diflference betwixt angels 
and devils, and you may know what sin is.' — Angels are 
pure ; devils are polluted : holiness and sin do make the 
difference. Sin dwells in hell, and holiness in heaven. Re- 
member that every temptation is from the devili to make 
you like himself; as eveiy holy motion is from Christ, to 
make you like himself. Remember when you sin, that you 
are learning and imitating of the devil, and are so far like 
him™. And the end of all is, that you may feel his pains. 
If hell-fire be not good, then sin is not good. 

Direct, ix. * Look always on sin as one that is ready to 
die, and consider how all men judge of it at the last.' — What 
do men in heaven say of it? and what do men in hell say of 
it ? and what do men at death say of it ? and what do con- 
verted souls, or awakened consciences, say of it ? Is it then 
followed with delight and fearlessness as it is now ? is it 
then applauded ? will any of them speak well of it ? Nay, 
all the world speaks evil of sin in the general now, even 
when they love and commit the several acts. Will you sin 
when you are dying? 

Direct, x. ' Look always on sin and judgment together/ 

n> John viii. 44. 


— Remember that you must answer for it before God, 
and angels, and all the world; and you will the better 
know it. 

Direct, xi. ' Look now but upon sickness, poverty, 
shame, despair, death, and rottenness in the grave, and it 
may a little help you to know what sin is.' — These are 
things within your sight or feeling ; you need not faith to 
tell you of them. And by such effects you might have 
some little knowledge of the cause. 

Direct, xii. ' Look but upon some eminent, holy persons 
upon earth, and upon the mad, profane, malignant world; 
and the difference may tell you in part what sin is.' — Is 
there not an amiableness in a holy, blameless person, that 
liveth in love to God and man, and in the joyful hopes of 
life eternal? Is not a beastly drunkard or whoremonger, 
and a raging swearer, and malicious persecutor, a very de- 
formed, loathsome creature ? Is not the mad, confused, ig- 
norant, ungodly state of the world a very pitiful sight? 
What then is the sin that all this doth consist in? 

Though the principal part of the cure is in turning the 
will to the hatred of sin, and is done by this discovery of 
its malignity ; yet I shall add a few more Directions for the 
executive part, supposing that what is said already has 
had its effect. , 

Direct, i. ' When you have found out your disease and 
danger, give up yourselves to Christ as the Saviour and 
Physician of souls, and to the Holy Ghost as your Sanctifier, 
remembering that he is sufficient and willing to do the work 
which he hath undertaken.' — It is not you that are to be 
Saviours and Sanctifiers of yourselves (unless as you work 
under Christ). But he that hath undertaken it, doth take 
for his glory to perform it. 

Direct, ii. * Yet must you be willing and obedient in 
applying the remedies prescribed you by Christ, and ob- 
serving his directions in order to your cure.' — And you must 
not be tender, and coy, and finical, and say. This is too bit- 
ter, and that is too sharp ; but trust his love, and skill, and 
care, and take it as heprescribeth it, or giveth it you, with- 
out any more ado. Say not. It is grievous, and I cannot 
take it: for he commands you nothing but what is safe, and 
wholesome, and necessary ; and if you cannot take it, you 


must try whether you can bear your sickness, and death, 
and the fire of hell ! Are humiliation, confession, restitution, 
mortification, and holy diligence worse than hell ? 

Direct, iii. ' See that you take not part with sin, and 
wrangle not, or strive not against your Physician, or any 
that would do you good.' — Excusing sin, and pleading for 
and extenuating it, and striving against the Spirit and con- 
science, and wrangling against ministers and godly friends, 
and hating reproof, are not the means to be cured and 

Direct, iv. ' See that malignity in every one of your 
particular sins, which you can see and say is in sin in 
general.' — It is a gross deceit of yourselves, if you will 
speak a great deal of the evil of sin, and see none of this 
malignity in your pride, and your worldliness, and your 
passion, and peevishness, and your malice, and uncharita- 
bleness, and your lying, backbiting, slandering, or sinning 
against conscience for worldly commodity or safety. What 
self-contradiction is it for a man in prayer to aggravate sin, 
and when he is reproved for it, to justify or excuse it? 
For a popish priest to enter sinfully upon his place, by sub- 
scribing or swearing the Trent Confession, and then to 
preach zealously against sin in the general, as if he had 
never committed so horrid a crime ? This is like him that 
will speak against treason, and the enemies of the king, 
but because the traitors are his friends and kindred, will 
protect, or hide them, and take their parts. 

Direct, v. * Keep as far as you can from those tempta- 
tions which feed and strengthen the sins which you would 
overcome.' — Lay siege to your sins, and starve them out, by 
keeping away the food and fuel which is their maintenance 
and life. 

Direct, vi. * Live in the exercise of those graces and 
duties which are contrary to the sins which you are most in 
danger of.' — For grace and duty are contrary to sin, and 
killeth it, and cureth us of it, as the fire cureth us of cold, 
or health of sickness. 

Direct, vii. ' Hearken not to weakening unbelief and 
distrust, and cast not away the comforts of God, which are 
your cordials and strength.' — It is not a frightful, dejected, 
despairing frame of mind, that is fittest to resist sin ; but it 


is the encouraging sense of the love of God, and thankful 
sense of grace received (with a cautelous fear). 

Direct. VIII. 'Be always suspicious of carnal self-love, 
and watch against it.' — For that is the burrow or fortress of 
sin ; and the common patron of it ; ready to draw you to it, 
and ready to justify it. We are very prone to be partial in 
our own cause ; as the case of Judah with Tamar, and 
David when Nathan reproved him in a parable, shew. Our 
own passions, our own pride, our own censures, or back- 
bitings, or injurious dealings ; our own neglects of duty, 
seem small, excusable, if not justifiable things to us ; 
whereas we could easily see the faultiness of all these in 
another, especially in an enemy : when yet we should be 
best acquainted with ourselves and we should most love 
ourselves, and therefore hate our own sins most. 

Direct, IX. * Bestow your first and chiefest labour to kill 
sin at the root : to cleanse the heart, which is the fountain ; 
for out of the heart cometh the evils of the life.* — Know 
which are the master-roots ; and bend your greatest care 
and industry to mortify those : and they are especially these 
that follow; 1. Ignorance. 2. Unbelief. 3. Inconsiderate- 
ness. 4. Selfishness and Pride. 5. Fleshliness, in pleasing 
a brutish appetite, lust or fantasy. 6. Senseless hardheart- 
edness and sleepiness in sin. 

Direct, x. 'Account the world and all its pleasures, 
wealth and honours, no better than indeed they are, and 
then satan will find no bait to catch you.' — Esteem all as 
dung with Paul ; and no man will sin, and sell his soul, for 
that which he accounteth but as dung. 

Direct, xi. * Keep up above in a heavenly conversation, 
and then your souls will be always in the light, and as in 
the sight of God, and taken up with those businesses and 
delights, which put them out of relish with the baits of sin.' 

Direct, xii. ' Let Christian watchfulness be your daily 
work ; and cherish a preserving, though not a distracting 
and discouraging fear,' 

Direct, xiii. 'Take heed of the first approaches and 
beginnings of sin. Oh how great a matter doth a little of 
this fire kindle ! And if you fall, rise quickly by sound 
repentance, whatever it may cost you.' 


Direct. XIV. * Make God's Word your only rule : and 
labour diligently to understand it.' 

Direct, xv. ' And in doubtful cases, do not easily depart 
from the unanimous judgment of the generality of the most 
wise and godly of all ages.' 

Direct, xvi. ' In doubtful cases be not passionate or 
rash, but proceed deliberately, and prove things well, before 
you fasten on them.* 

Direct, xvii. 'Be acquainted with your bodily temper- 
ature, and what sin it most inclineth you to, or what sin 
also your calling or converse doth lay you most open to, 
that there your watch may be the stricter. (Of all which 1 
shall speak more fully under the next Grand Direction.) 

Direct, xviit. ' Keep in a life of holy order, such as 
God hath appointed you to walk in. For there is no pre- 
servation for stragglers that keep not rank and file, but for- 
sake the order which God commanded them.* — And this 
order lieth principally in these points : 1. That you keep in 
union with the universal church. Separate not from Christ's 
body upon any pretence whatever. With the church as 
regenerate, hold spiritual communion, in faith, love and 
holiness : with the church as congregate and visible, hold 
outward communion in profession, and worship. 2. If you 
are not teachers, live under your particular, faithful pastors, 
as obedient disciples of Christ. 3. Let the most godly, if 
possible, be your familiars. 4. Be laborious in an outward 
calling. / 

Direct, xix. ' Turn all God's providences, whether of 
prosperity or adversity, against your sins.' — If he give you 
health and wealth, remember he thereby obligeth you to 
obedience, and calls for special service from you. If he 
afflict you, remember that it is sin that he is offended at, 
and searcheth after ; and therefore take it as his physic, and 
see that you hinder not, but help on its work, that it may 
purge away your sin. 

Direct, xx. * Wait patiently on Christ till he have 
finished the cure, which will not be till this trying life be 
finished.* — Persevere in attendance on his Spirit and means ; 
for he will come in season, and will not tarry. " Then shall 
we know, if we follow on to know the Lord : his going forth 
is prepared as the morning, and he shall come unto us as 

VOL. II. _ s 


the rain : as the latter and former rain upon the earth"." 
Though you have oft said, *' There is no healing ^ he will 
heal your backslidings, and love you freely p. Unto you 
that fear his name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise 
with healing in his wings "^ : and blessed are all they that 
wait for him •"." 

Thus I have given such Directions as may help for hu- 
miliation under sin, or hatred of it, and deliverance from it. 

Grand Direction ix. * Spend all your days in a skilful, 
vigilant, resolute, and valiant war against the flesh, the world 
and the devil, as those that have covenanted to follow Christ 
the Captain of your Salvation.' 

The flesh is the end of temptation, for all is to please it% 
and therefore is the greatest enemy. The world is the mat- 
ter of temptation : and the devil is the first mover, or 
efficient of it ; and this is the trinity of enemies to Christ 
and us, which we renounce in baptism, and must constantly 
resist. Of the world and flesh, I shall speak chap. iv. Here 
I shall open the methods of the devil. And first I shall 
prepare your understanding, by opening some presupposed 

1. It is presupposed, that there is a devil. He that 
believeth not this, doth prove it to others, by shewing how 
grossly the devil can befool him. Apparitions, witchcrafts, 
and temptations, are full proofs of it to sense ; besides what 
Scripture saith. 

2. It is supposed that he is the deadly enemy of Christ 
and us. He was once an angel, and fell from his first es- 
tate by sin, and a world of evil spirits with him ; and it is 
probable his envy against mankind might be the greater, as 
knowing that we were made to succeed him and his follow- 
ers, in their state of glory : for Christ saith, that we shall 
" be equal with the angels." He shewed his enmity to man 
in our innocency, and by his temptation caused our fall 
and misery. But after the fall, God put an enmity into the 
nature of man against devils, as a merciful preservative 
against temptation : so that as the whole nature of man ab- 

n Hosea vi. 3. *> Jer. xiv. 19. p Hosea xiv. 4. 

q Mai. iv. 2.  Isa. xxx. 18. 

» See my Treatise of '^ Crucifying the World, and of Self- Denial." 


horreth the nature of serpents, so doth the soul abhor and 
dread the diabolical nature. And therefore so far as the 
devil is seen in a temptation now, so far it is frustrated ; 
till the enmity in nature be overcome by his deceits : and 
this help nature hath against temptation, which it seems our 
nature had not before the fall, as not knowing the nialice 
of the devil against us *. 

There is a natural enmity to the devil himself put into 
all the woman's natural seed : but the moral enmity against 
his sinful temptations and works, is put only into the spi- 
ritual seed by the Holy Ghost (except what remnants are in 
the light of nature). I will be brief of all this and the next, 
having spoken of them more largely in my "Treatise 
against Infidelity," Part iii. 

The deviFs names do tell us what he is. In the Old 
Testamenthe is called, 1. The * Serpent,' Gen. iii. 2. The 
Hebrew word translated ' devils,' in LeviL xvii. 7. and Isa. 
xiii. 21. signifieth hairy, as satyrs are described : and some- 
times he-goats ; because in such shapes he oft appeareth. 
3. He is called * Satan,' Zech. iii. 1. 4. 'An evil Spirit,' 
1 Sam. xviii. 10. 5. ' A lying Spirit,' 1 Kings xxii. 22. 
For he * is a liar, and the father of lies,' John viii. 44. 6. 
His offspring is called * A Spirit of uncleanness,* Zach. xiii. 
2. 7. And he (or his spawn) is called * A Spirit of fornica- 
tion,' Hos. iv. 12. that is, idolatry. 8. ' A perverse Spirit, 
causing staggering and giddiness as a drunken man,' 
Isa. xix. 14. 

In the New Testament, 1. He is sometimes called simply 
' A Spirit,' Mark ix. 20, 26. Luke ix. 39. x. 20. 2. Some- 
times TTvevfiara aKaOapra, ' unclean Spirits/ Luke vi. 18. as 
contrary to the Holy Spirit ; and that from their nature and 
effects. 3. And after AaifjLoviov, * Demons,' a word taken in a 
good sense in heathen writers, but not in Scripture ; because 
they worshipped devils under that name, (unless perhaps 
Acts xvii. 18. 1 Tim. iv. 1.) And Aaifitjjv with respect to 
their knowledge, and as some think to the knowledge pro- 
mised to Adam, in the temptation. 4. Ilapa^wv, *the 

t Of the Temptations to hinder Conversion, see before, chap. i. 

" Vide Pool's Synopsis Critic, in Levit. i. 17. In these latter the word * Spirit' 
signifieth the ill disposition, which satan as a tempter causeth, aud so he is known by 
it as his offspring. 


Tempter/ Matt. iv. 6. ' Satan/ Matt. iv. 1 Pet. v. 8. 6. 
eyfipo^> 'An Enemy/ Matt. xiii. 28. 39. 7. * The strong 
man armed/ Matt. xii. 8. * Angels/ 1 Cor. vi. 3. 2 Pet. ii. 
4. ' Angels which kept not their first state/ Jude vi. 9. * A 
Spirit of divination/ Acts xvi. 16. 10. * A roaring lion/ 

1 Pet. V. 8. 11. ' A murderer/ John viii. 44. 12. ' Belial/ 

2 Cor. vi. 15. 13. ' Beelzebub/ Matt. xii. the ' god of flies.' 
14. * The prince of this world/ John xii. 21., from his power 
over wicked men. 15. ' The god of this world/ 2 Cor. iv. 
5., because the world obey him. 16. * The prince of the 
power of the air/ Ephes. ii. 2. 17. ' The ruler of the dark- 
ness of this world.' Ephes. vi. 12. ' Principalities and 
powers.' 18. * The father of the wicked/ John viii. 44. 
19. ' The dragon, and the old serpent/ Rev. xii. 20. Ata- 
j3oAoc, 'the calumniator' or * false accuser/ often. 21. 
o Trovr)pQq, * the evil one/ Matt, xxiii. 19. 22. * An evil 
spirit/ Acts xix, 15. 23. AttoXXvwv, * the destroyer/ and 
* Abaddon/ the * king of the locusts/ and * angel of the 
bottomless-pit/ Rev. ix. 11., (unless that speak of anti- 

3. He is too strong an enemy for lapsed, sinful man 
to deal with of himself. If he conquered us in innocency, 
what may he do now? He is dangerous, (1.) By the great- 
ness of his subtlety. (2.) By the greatness of his power. 
(3.) By the greatness of his malice : and hence, (4.) By his 
constant diligence ; watching when we sleep % and " seek- 
ing night and day to devour ''." 

4. Therefore Christ hath engaged himself in our cause, 
and is become the ** Captain of our salvation *'." And the 
world is formed into two armies, that lies in continual war : 
the devil is the prince and general of one, and his angels and 
wicked men are his armies : Christ is the king and general 
of the other, and his angels ^, and saints are his army. Be- 
tween these two armies, are the greatest conflicts in the 
world ^ 

5. It is supposed also that this war is carried on, on 
both sides, within us^ and without us ; by inward . solicita- 
tions, and outward means, which are fitted thereunto. 

a Matt. xiii. 25. ^ 1 Pet. v. 8. Rev. xii. 4. 

^ Heb. ii. 10. d Heb. ii. 14. 

^ See my Treatise against Infidelity, as before cited. 


6. Both Christ and satan work by officers, instruments, 
and means. Christ hath his ministers to preach his Gos- 
pel, and pull down the kingdom of satan. And satan hath 
his ministers to preach licentiousness and lies, and to re- 
sist the Gospel and kingdom of Christ ^ Christ hath his 
church, and the devil hath his synagogue. Christ's soldiers 
do every one, in their places, fight for him against the devil. 
And the devil's soldiers do every one, in their places, fight 
against Christ. The generals are both unseen to mortals : 
and the unseen power is theirs : but their agents are visible. 
The soldiers fight, not only against the generals, but against 
one another ; but it is all, or chiefly, for the generals' sakes. 
It is Christ that the wicked persecute in his servants s ; and 
it is the devil whom the godly hate and resist in the wicked. 

But yet here are [divers notable differences. 1. The 
devil's servants do not what they do in love to him, but to 
their own flesh ; but Christ's servants do what they do in 
love to him, as well as to themselves. 2. The devil's army 
are cheated into arms and war, not knowing what they do ; 
but Christ doth all in the open light, and will have no ser- 
vants, but those that deliberately adhere to him, when they 
know the worst. 3. The devil's servants do not know that 
he is their general ; but Christ's followers do all know their 
Lord. 4. The devil's followers disown their master and 
their work : they will not own that they fight against Christ 
and his kingdom, while they do it ; but Christ's followers 
own their Captain, and his cause, and work ; for he is not a 
master to be ashamed of. 

7. Both Christ and satan work persuasively, by moral 
means, and neither of them by constraint and force. Christ 
forceth not men against their wills to good, and satan can- 
not force them to be bad ; but all the endeavour is, to make 
men willing; and he is the conqueror that getteth and 
keepeth our own consent. 

8. Their ends are contrary, and therefore their ways are 
also contrary. The devil's end is, to draw man to sin and 
to damnation, and to dishonour God : and Christ's end is, 
to draw men from sin, to holiness and salvation, and to ho- 
nour God. But Christ maketh known his end, and satan 
concealeth his end from his followers. 

f 1 Cor. iii. 5. iv. 1. 2 Cor. ii. 15. Acts. xiii. 8—10. e Actsix. 4, 


9. There is somewhat within the good and bad for the 
contrary part to work upon : and we are, as it were, divided 
in ourselves, and have somewhat in us that is on both sides. 
The wicked have an honourable acknowledgment of God, 
and of their greatest obligation to him ; a hatred to the de- 
vil ; a love of themselves ; a willingness to be happy ; and, 
an unwillingness to be miserable ; and a conscience which 
approveth of more good than they do, and condemneth 
much of their transgression. This is some advantage to the 
persuasions of the ministers of Christ to work upon : and 
they have reason capable of knowing more. 

The soldiers of Christ have a fleshly appetite, and the 
remnants of ignorance and error in their minds, and of earth- 
liness, and carnality, and averseness to God in their wills ; 
with a nearness to this world, and much strangeness to the 
world to come. And here is too much advantage for satan 
to work on by his temptations. 

10. But it is the predominant part within us, and the 
scope of our lives which shew which of the armies we be- 
long to. And thus we must give up our names and hearts 
to Christ, and engage, under his conduct, against the devil, 
and conquer to the death, if we will be saved. Not to fight 
against the bare name of the devil ; for so will his own sol- 
diers, and spit at his name, and hang a witch that makes a 
contract with him : but it is to fight against his cause and 
work, which is by fighting against the world and the flesh, 
and for the glory of God. 

In opening to you this holy war, I shall First, Shew you 
what we must do on the offensive part : Secondly, What on 
the defensive part. And here I shall shew you, I. What it 
is that the tempter aimeth at as his end. II. What matter 
or ground he worketh upon. III. What are his succours 
and assistance. IV. What kind of officers and instruments 
he useth. V. What are his methods and actual temptations, 
1, To actual sin : 2. Against our duty to God. 
'First, Our offensive arms are to be used, 1. Against the 
power of sin within us ; and all its advantages and helps : 
for while satan ruleth and possesseth us within, we shall 
never well oppose him without. 2, Against sin in others, 
as far as we have opportunity. 3. Against the credit and 
honour of sin in the world. As the devil's servants would 


bring light and holiness into disgrace, so Christ's servants 
must cast disgrace and shame upon sin and darkness. 4. 
Against all the reasonings of sinners, arid their subtle fal- 
lacies, whereby they would deceive. 5. Against the passions 
and violent lusts, which are the causes of men's other sins. 
6. Against the holds and helps of sin, as false teachers, pro- 
fane revilers, ignoranc€, and deceit. Only take heed, that 
on this pretence we st^p not out of our ranks and places, to 
pull down the powers of the world by rebellions : " For the 
weapons of our warfare are not carnal." 

Secondly, As to our defence, I. The ends of the tempter 
which must be perceived, are these : 1. In general, his aim 
is at our utter ruin and damnation, and to draw us here to 
dishonour God as much as he can. But, especially, his aim 
is, to strengthen the great heart-sins, which are most mor- 
tal, and are the root, and life, and spawners of the rest : es- 
pecially these, 1. Ignorance, which is the friend and cloak 
to all the rest. 2. Error, which will justify them. 3. Un- 
belief, which keeps off all that should oppose them. 4. 
Atheism, profaneness, unholiness, which are the defiance of 
God and all his armies. 6. Presumption, which embolden- 
eth them, and hides the danger. 6. Hardness of heart, 
which fortifieth them against all the batteries of grace. 7. 
Hypocrisy, which maketh them serve him as spies and in- 
telligencers in the army of Christ. 8. Disaffection to God, 
and his ways and servants, which is the devil's colours. 9. 
Unthankfulness, which tends to make them unreconcileable 
and unrecoverable. 10. Pride, which commandeth many re- 
giments of lesser sins. 11. Worldliness, or love of money 
and wealth, which keepeth his armies in pay. 12. Sen- 
suality, voluptuousness, or flesh-pleasing, which is the great 
commander of all the rest**. For selfishness is the devil's 
lieutenant-general, which consisteth chiefly in the three last 
named ; but especially in pride and sensuality. Some think 
that it is outward sins that bring all the danger ; but these 
twelve heart-sins, which I have named to you, are the 
twelve gates of the infernal city, which satan loveth above 
all the rest. 

II. The matter and grounds of his temptations are these, 
1 . The devil first worketh upon the outward sense, and so • 

h Animi raoUes et tetate fluxi, dolis baud difficulter capiuntur. 


upon the sensitive appetite. He sheweth the cup. to the 
drunkard's eye ; and the bait of filthy lust to the fornicator ; 
and the riches and pomp of the world to the covetous and 
proud : the glutton tasteth the sweetness of the dish which 
he loveth : stage-plays, and tempting sports, and proud at- 
tire, and sumptuous buildings, and all such sensual things 
are the baits by which the devil angleth for souls. Thus 
Eve first saw the, fruit, and then tasted, and then did eat. 
Thus Noah, and Lot, and David sinned. Thus Achansaith, 
" I saw (the garments, silver, and gold) I coveted them, and 
I took them '." The sense is the door of sin. 

2. The tempter next worketh on the fantasy or imagina- 
tion, and prints upon it the loveliest image of his bait that 
possibly he can, and engageth the sinner to think on it, and 
roll it over and over in his mind, even as God commandeth 
us to meditate on his precepts. 

3. Next he worketh by these upon the passions or affec- 
tions : which fancy having inflamed, they violently urge the 
will and reason ; and this according to the nature of the 
passion, whether fear or hope, sorrow orjoy, loveor hatred, 
desire or aversion ; but by none doth he work so danger- 
ously as by delight, and love, and desire of things sensual. 

4. Hence heproceedeth to infect the will (upon the sim- 
ple apprehension of the understanding), to make it inordi- 
nately cleave to the temporal good, and to neglect its duty 
in commanding the understanding to meditate on preserving 
objects, and to call off the thoughts from the forbidden 
thing : it neglecteth to rule the thoughts and passions ac- 
cording to its office and natural power. 

5. And so he corrupteth the understanding itself, first 
to omit its duty, and then to entertain deceit, and to ap- 
prove of evil : and so the servant is put into the govern- 
ment, and the commanding powers do but serve it. Reason 
is blinded by sensuality and passion, and becomes their ser- 
vant, and pleads their cause. 

By all this it appeareth, 1. That satan's first bait is or- 
dinarily some sensible or imaginary good, set up against 
true spiritual good. 2. That his first assault of the reason 
and will is to tempt them into a sluggish neglect and neu- 
trality, to omit that restraint of sense, thought, and passion, 

' Jos. vii. 21. 


which was their duty. 3. And that, lastly, he tempteth 
them into actual compliance and committing of the sin : 
and herein, 1 . The bait which he useth with the understand-^ 
ing is still * some seeming truth.' And, therefore, his art 
and work is to colour falsehood, and make it seem truth ; 
for this is the deceiving of the mind : and therefore for a sin- 
ner to plead his mistake for his excuse, and say, * I thought 
it had been so or so ; I thought it had been no sin, or no 
duty ;' this is but to confess, and not to excuse : it is but 
as much as to say, ' My understanding sinned with my will, 
and was deceived by the tempter and overcome.' 2. And 
the bait which he useth with the will is always some ap- 
pearing good : and self-love and love of good is the prin- 
ciple which he abuseth, and maketh his ground to work 
upon ; as God also useth it in drawing us to good. 

III. The succours and auxiliaries of the devil, and his 
principal means are these : 1. He doth what he can to get 
an ill-tempered body on his side ; for as sin did let in bo- 
dily distempers, so do they much befriend the sin that 
caused them. A choleric temper will much help him to 
draw men to passion, malice, murder, cruelty, and revenge. 
A sanguine and bilious temper mixed, will help him to draw 
men to lust, and filthiness, and levity, and wantonness, and 
time-wasting pleasures : a sanguine temper mixed with a pi- 
tuitous, much helpeth him to make men blockish, and regard- 
less, and insensible of the great concernments of the soul : a 
phlegmatic temper helpeth him to draw people to drowsy 
sluggishness, and to an idle, slothful life, and so to ill 
means to maintain it, and to a backwardness to every work 
that is good. A healthful temper much helpeth him to draw 
people to gluttony, drunkenness, lust, ambition, covetous- 
ness, neglect of life eternal • a sickly temper helpeth him to 
tempt us to peevishness and impatiency : and a melancholy 
temper helpeth him in all the temptations mentioned but 
even now. 

2. He useth his greatest skill to get the greatest fleshly 
interest on his side : so that it may be a matter of great 
pleasure, great advancement, and honour, and applause, or 
great commodity to a man, if he will sin ; or a matter of 
great suffering, and great disgrace, and great loss to him 
that will not sin, or that will be holy and obedient to God : 


for fleshly interest being the common matter of all his temp- 
tations, his main business is to magnify this as much as 
may be. 

3. He maketh very great advantage of the common cus- 
toms of the country that men live in : this carrieth away 
thousands and millions at once. When the common vote 
and custom are for sin, and against Christ and holiness, par- 
ticular persons think themselves excused, that they are no 
wiser, or better than all the country about them. And they 
think they are much the safer for sinning in so great a 
crowd, and doing but as most men do ; and he that contra j 
dicteth them cometh on great disadvantage in their eye, 
when he is to oppose an army of adversaries, and seemeth 
to think himself wiser than so many. 

4. Also he is exceeding industrious to get education 
on his side ; he knoweth how apt men are to retain the 
form which they were moulded or cast into at first : if he 
get the first possession, by actual as well as original sin, he 
is not easily cast out. Especially when education doth 
conspire with common custom, it delivereth most of the 
people and kingdoms of the e^rth into his hands. 

5. Also be is industrious to get the approved doctrine of 
the teachers of the people on his side. If he can get it to 
pass once for a revelation or command of God, he will 
quickly conquer conscience by it, and take down all resist- 
ance : he never doth war more successfully against God, than 
when he beareth the name of God in his colours, and fighteth 
against him in his own name. Mahometans, Jews, Papists, 
and all heretics are the trophies and monuments of his vic- 
tories by this way. Mischief is never so much reverenced, 
nor proceedeth so successfully, as when it is made a reli- 
gion ! When the devil can charge men to do his business in 
the name of God, and upon pain of damnation, he hath got 
the strongest weapons that ever he can make use of. His 
ordinary bait is some fleshly pleasure ; but he goeth high in- 
deed when he presumeth to offer the everlasting pleasures ; 
he tempted Christ with all the kingdoms and glory of the 
world ; but he tempteth many millions of souls with the 
offers of the kingdom of heaven itself. For he will offer 
it to them that he is endeavouring to keep from it, and 
make it the bait to draw men from it into the way to hell. 


6. He is exceeding diligent to get the wealth and pros- 
perity of the world on his side : that he may not seem to 
flatter his servants with empty promises, but to reward 
them with real felicity and wealth. And then he would 
make the sinner believe that Christ is the deceiver, and pro- 
miseth a kingdom which none of them ever saw, and which 
he will not give them ; but that he himself will not deceive 
them, but make good his promises even in this life without 
delay : for they see with their eyes the things which he pro- 
miseth, and they shall have them presently in possession, to 
secure them from deceit. 

7. He is exceeding industrious to get common fame and 
reputation on his side: that he maybe able to keep his 
cause in credit, and to keep the cause of Christ and holi- 
ness in disgrace. For he knoweth how exceeding prone 
men are to fall into the way of honour and esteem, and 
which most men praise ; and how loath they are to go in 
the way which is hated and evil spoken of by the most of 

8. He is very diligent to get the sword and government 
of kingdoms, and states, and countries, and cities, and cor- 
porations into his hands, or on his side ; for he knoweth 
the multitude of the ignorant and vulgar people are exceed- 
ing prone to be of the religion of those that are able to 
help or hurt them, and to follow the stronger side : and that 
the will and example of the ruler is as the first sheet or 
stamp, which all the rest are printed after. Therefore he 
will do his worst, to give the greatest power to the most un- 
godly : if the Turk be the emperor, the most of the vulgar 
are like quickly to be Turks ; if a Papist be their king, the 
most of them are likely to be Papists. Look into the pre- 
sent state of the Heathen, Infidel, Mahometan, Papal, and 
profane parts of the world, and into the history of all agesi 
past, and you will see with grief and admiration how much 
the devil hath got by this. 

9. Also he is very desirous to get our society and com^ 
panions on his side, who are near to us, and have frequent 
opportunities to do us good or hurt. For he knoweth by 
long and great experience how powerfully they draw, and 
how frequently they speed. 

10. And he is very industrious to get our friends that 


have power over us, and greatest interest in us, on his side. 
For then he hath won our outworks already. 

11. Lastly, He is desirous sometimes to get the name 
and appearance of virtue and piety on his side : that those 
that are to do his work may have a winning carriage, and so 
a venerable name, and the cloak of virtue may serve his 
turn for the promoting of the destruction of piety itself. 

IV. By what hath been said, you may understand what 
kind of officers and instruments the tempter useth. 1. He 
commonly useth men that are themselves first deceived and 
corrupted, as fit instruments to deceive and corrupt others. 
These will carry it on with confidence and violence ; the 
employment seemeth natural to them, they are so fit for it : 
they will be willing to make other men of their mind, and 
to have the company of others in their way. A drunkard 
is fit to make a drunkard ; and a filthy fornicator to entice 
another into the sin ; and a gamester to make a gamester ; 
and a wanton time-waster to draw another to waste his time 
in wantonness and foolish sports : an ambitious or proud 
person is fit to kindle that fire in others : a swearer is fittest 
to make a swearer; and so of many other sins. 

2. The devil usually chooseth for his instruments men 
that have no great tenderness of conscience, or fear of sin- 
ning, or of hurting souls. He would have no such cowards 
in his army, as men fearing God are as to his ends : it must 
be men that will venture upon hell themselves, and fear not 
much the loss of their own souls ; and therefore must not 
be too tender or fearful of destroying others. Butchers and 
soldiers must not be chosen out of too tender or loving sort 
of people ; such are not fit to go through his work. 

3. He usually chooseth instruments that are most deeply 
engaged in his cause ; whose preferment, and honour, and 
gain, and carnal interest shall be to them, as nature is to a 
dog, or wolf, or fox, or other ravenous creature : who think 
it a loss, or danger, or suffering to them, if others be not 
hindered in good, or inade as bad as they. Thus Demetrius 
and the other craftsmen that lived upon the trade are the 
fittest to plead Diana's cause, and stir up the people against 
the apostles ^. And the Jews were the fittest instruments 
to persecute Christ, who thought that if they " let him 
alone, all men would believe on him, and the Romans 

k Acts xix. 24. 38, 39. 


would come and take away both their place and nation ; 
and that it was expedient for them that one man die for the 
people, and that the whole nation perish not^" And Pilate 
was the fittest instrument to condemn him, who feared that 
he should else be taken to" be none of Caesar's friend. And 
Pharaoh was the fittest instrument to persecute the Israel- 
ites, who was like to lose by their departure. 

4. When he can he chooseth such instruments as are 
much about us and nearest to us, who have an opportunity 
to be often speaking to us, when others have no oppor- 
tunity to help us : the fire that is nearest to the wood or 
thatch is more likely to burn it than that which is far off* : 
nearness and opportunity are very great advantages. 

5. If it be possible, he will choose such instruments as 
have the greatest abilities to do him service : one man of 
great wit, and learning, and elocution, that is nimble in dis- 
puting, and can make almost any cause seem good which 
he defendeth, or bad which he opposeth, is able to do more 
service for the devil than an hundred idiots. 

6. If possible, he will choose the rulers of the world to 
be his instruments ; that shall command men, and threaten 
them with imprisonment, banishment, confiscation, or 
death, if they will not sin : as the king of Babylon did by 
the three witnesses and Daniel"" : and all persecutors have 
done in all ages, against the holy seed. For he knoweth, 
that (though not with a Job, yet with a carnal person) "skin 
for skin, and all that a man hath will he give for his life.'* 
And therefore, they that have the power of life, and liberty, 
and estate, have carnal men by the handle that will rule them. 

7. He maketh the rich his instruments ; that, having the 
wealth of the world, are able to reward and hire evil doers ; 
and are able to oppress those that will not please them. 
Landlords and rich men can do the devil more service than 
many of the poor : they are the Judas's that bear the bag. 
As the ox will follow him that carrieth the hay, and the 
horse will follow him that carrieth the provender, and the 
dog will follow him that feedeth him, and the crow will be 
where the carrion is ; so carnal persons will follow and obey 
him that bears the purse. 

8. The devil, if he can, will make those his instruments, 

' John xi. 48, 50. «» Dan. iii. and vi. 


whom he seeth we most esteem and reverence: persons 
whom we think most wise and fit to be our counsellors : we 
will take that from these, which we would suspect from 

9. He will get our relations, and those that have our 
hearts most, to be his instruments. A husband, or a wife, 
or a Delilah, can do more than any others : and so can a 
bosom friend, whom we dearly 4ove : when all their interest 
in our affections is made over for the deviPs service, it may 
do much. Therefore we see that husbands and wives, if 
they love entirely, do usually close in the same religion, 
opinion, or way, though when they were first married, they 
differed from each other. 

10. As oft as he can, the devil maketh the multitude his 
instrument : that the crowd and noise may carry us on, and 
•make men valiant, and put away their fear of punishment. 

11. He is very desirous to make the ambassadors of 
Christ his prisoners, and to hire them, to speak against their 
Master's cause ; that, in Christ's name, they may deceive 
the silly flock, " speaking perverse things to draw away 
disciples after them"." Sometimes by pretence of his au- 
thority and commission, making poor people believe, that 
not to hear them, and obey them in their errors, is to be dis- 
obedient rejecters of Christ ; (and thus the Romish party 
■carry it.) Sometimes by their parts, and plausible, persua- 
sive speeches ; and sometimes by their fervency, frighten- 
ing people into error : and by these two ways most here- 
tics prevail. None so successfully serveth satan, as a false 
or bribed minister of Christ. 

12. He is exceeding desirous to make parents them- 
selves his instruments for their children's sin and ruin ; and, 
alas ! how commonly doth he succeed ! He knoweth that 
parents have them under their hands, in the most ductile, 
malleable age ; and that they have a concurrence of almost 
all advantages. They have the purse, and the portion of 
their children in their power : they have the interest of love, 
and reverence, and estimation : they are still with them, and 
can be often in their solicitings : they have the rod and can 
compel them. Many thousands are in hell, through the 
means of their own parents ; such cruel monsters will they 

n Acts XX. 30. 


be to the souls of any others, that are first so to their own. 
If the devil can get the parents to be cursers, swearers, 
gamesters, drunkards, worldlings, proud, deriders, or railers 
at a holy life, what a snare is here for the poor children ! 

V. In the method of satan, the next thing is to shew 
you how he labours to keep off all the forces of Christ, which 
should resist him, and destroy his work, and to frustrate 
their endeavours, and fortify himself: and, among many 
others, these means are notable : — 

1. He would do what he can to weaken even natural 
reason, that men may be blockish, and incapable of good. 
And it is lamentable to observe, how hard it is to make 
some people either understand or regard. And a beastly 
kind of education doth much to this : and so doth custom 
in sensual courses ; even turn men into brutes. 

2. He doth what he can to hinder parents and masters 
from doing their part, in the instructing and admonishing 
of children and servants, and dealing wisely and zealously 
with them for their salvation. Either he will keep parents 
and masters ignorant and unable ; or he will make them 
wicked and unwilling, and perhaps, engage them to oppose 
their children in all that is good ; or he will make them like 
Eli, remiss and negligent, indifferent, formal, cold, and 
dull ; and so keep them from saving their children's or ser- 
vant's souls. 

3. He doth all that possibly he can to keep the sinner in 
security, presumption, and senselessness, even asleep in sin ; 
and, to that end, to keep him quiet, and in the dark, without 
any light or noise which may awake him ; that he may live 
asleep as without a God, a Christ, a heaven, a soul, or any 
such thing to mind. His great care is to keep him from 
considering : and therefore, he keeps him still in company, 
or sport, or business, and will not let him be oft alone, nor 
retire into a sober conference with his conscience, or serious 
thoughts of the life to come. 

4. He doth his best to keep soul-searching, lively minis- 
ters out of the country, or out of that place ; and to silence 
them, if there be any such : and to keep the sinner under 
some ignorant or dead-hearted minister, . that hath not 
himself that faitli, or repentance, or life, or love, or holiness, 
or zeal, which he should be a means to work in others : and 


he will do his utmost to draw men to be a leader of men 
to sin. 

5. He doth his worst to make ministers weak, to dis- 
grace the cause of Christ, and hinder his work, by their 
bungling and unskilful management ; that there may be 
none to stand up against sin, but some unlearned or half- 
witted men, that can scarce speak sense, or will provoke 
contempt, or laughter in the hearers. 

6. He doth his worst to make ministers scandalous, 
that, when they tell men of their sin and duty, they may 
think such mean not as they speak, and believe not them- 
selves, or make no great matter of it, but speak for custom, 
credit, or for their hire. And that the people, by the wick- 
ed lives of the preachers, may be emboldened to disobey 
their doctrine, and to imitate them, and live without repen- 

7. He will labour to load the ablest ministers with re- 
proaches and slanders, which thousands shall hear, who ne- 
ver hear the truth in their defence : and so making them 
odious, the people will receive no good more by their preach- 
ing, than from a Turk, or Jew, till the very truth itself, for 
itself prevail. And to this end especially, he doth all that 
he can to foment continual divisions in the church ; that 
while every party is engaged against the other, the interest 
of their several causes, may make them think it necessary to 
make the chief that are against them seem odious, or con- 
temptible to the people ; that so they may be able to do 
their cause and them no harm : and so they disable them 
from serving Christ and saving souls, that they may disable 
them to hurt themselves, or their faction, or their impotent 

^ 8. He doth what he can to keep the most holy minis- 
ters under persecution; that they may be as the wound- 
ed deer, whom all the rest of the herd will shun ; or like a 
worried dog whom the rest will fall upon ; or that the peo- 
ple may be afraid to hear them, lest they suffer with them ; 
or may come to them only as Nicodemus did to Christ, by 

9. Or, if any ministers, or godly persons warn the sin- 
ner, the devil will do what he can that they may be so small 
a number, in comparison of those of the contrary mind, that 


he may tell the sinner, ' Dost thou think these few self-con- 
ceited fellows, are wiser than such, and such, and all the 
country 'i Shall none be saved but such a few precise ones V 
*' Do any of the Rulers or of the Pharisees believe in him ? 
But this people that knoweth not the law are cursed''." 
That is, (as Dr. Hammond noteth,) " This illiterate multitude 
are apt to be seduced, but the teachers are wiser." 

10. The devil doth his worst to cause some falling out, 
or difference of interest or opinion, between the preacher or 
monitor, and the sinner ; that so he may take him for his 
enemy. And how unapt men are to receive any advice 
from an enemy, or adversary, experience will easily convince 

11. He endeavoureth that powerful preaching may be 
so rare, aijd the contradiction of wicked cavillers so fre- 
quent, that the sermon may be forgotten, or the impressions 
of it blotted out, before they can hear another to confirm 
them, and strike the nail home to the head ; and that the 
fire may go out before the next opportunity come. 

12. He laboureth to keep good books out of the sinner's 
hands, or keep him from reading them, lest he speed as the 
eunuch P, that was reading the Scripture, as he rode in his 
chariot on the way. And, instead of such books, he put- 
teth romances, and play-books, and trifling, or scorning, 
contradicting writings into his hands. 

13. He doth what he can to keep the sinner from . inti- 
mate acquaintance with any that are truly godly ; that he 
may know them no otherwise than by the image which igno- 
rant or malicious slanderers or scorners do give of such : 
and that he may know religion itself but by hearsay, and 
never see it exemplified in any holy, diligent believers. A 
holy Christian is a living image of God, a powerful convin- 
cer and teacher of the ungodly ; and the nearer men come 
to them, the greater excellency they will see, and the greater 
efficacy they will feel. Whereas, in the devil's army, the 
most must not be seen in the open light, and the hypocrite 
himself must be seen, like a picture, but by a side-light, and 
not by a direct. 

14. Those means which are used, the devil labours to 
fnistrate, 1. By sluggish heedlessness and disregard. 2, 

" John vii. 48, 49. P Acts viii, 

VOL. 11. T 


By prejudice and false opinions, which prepossess the mind. 
3. By diversions of many sorts. .4. By pre-engagements to 
a contrary interest and way ; so that Christ comes too late 
for them. . 5. By worldly prosperity and delights. 6. By 
ill company. 7, And by molesting and frighting the sin- 
ner, when he doth but take up any purpose to be converted ; 
giving him -all content and quietness in sin, and raising 
storms and terrors in his soul, when he is about to turn. 

The Methods of Christ against the Tempter ^ i c j i : ah 

Before I proceed to satan's particular temptations, I 
will shew you the contrary methods of Christ, in the con- 
duct of his army, and opposing satan. 

I. Christ's ends are, ultimately, the glory and pleasing 
of his Father and himself, and the saving of his church ; 
and the destroying the kingdom of the devil ; and next, 
the purifying his peculiar people, and calling home all that 
are ordained to eternal life. 

But more particularly, he looketh principally at the 
heart to plant there, 1. Holy knowledge. 2. Faith. 3. God- 
liness, or holy devotedness to God, and love to him above 
all. ' 4. Thankfulness. 5. Obedience. 6. Humility. 7. 
Heavenly-mindedness. 8. Love to others. 9. Self-denial, 
and mortification, and contentment. 10. Patience. And 
in all these., 1. Sincerity ; 2. Tenderness of heart; 3. Zeal, 
ewid >holy strength, and resolution. And withal, to make 
us actually serviceable, and diligent in our master's work, 
for our own and others' salvation. 

II. Christ's order in working is direct, and not back- 
ward, as the devil's is. He first revealeth saving truth to 
the understanding, and affecteth the will, by shewing the 
goodness of the things revealed: and these employ the 
thoughts, and passions, and senses, and the whole body ; re- 
ducing the inferior faculties to obedience, and casting out 
by degrees, those images which-had deceived and prepos- 
sessed them. ; iiiii^iM. 

The matter which Christ presenteth to the soul, is, 1. 
Certain truth from the Father of lights, set up against the 
prince and kingdom of darkness, ignorance, error, and 
deceit. 2. Spiritual and everlasting good, even God him- 


self, to be seen, loved, and enjoyed for ever, against the 
tempter's temporal, corporal, and seeming good. Christ* 
kingdom and work are advanced by light : he is for the pro- 
moting of all useful' knowledge ; and therefore, for clear 
and convincing preaching, for reading the Scriptures in an 
known tongue, and meditating in' them day and night, and 
for exhorting one another daily ; which s^tan is against. 

III. The means by which he worketh against satan^ are 
such as these. 1. Sometimes he maketh use of the very 
temper of the body as a preparative; and (being Lord of 
all) he giveth such a temperature, as will be most service- 
able to the soul : as a sober, deliberate, meek, quiet, and 
patient disposition. But sometimes he honoureth his grace 
by the conquest of such sins, as eVeft bodily disposition 
doth entertain and cherish. 

2. Sometimes by his providence, he withdraweth the 
matter of temptations, that they shall not be too strong for 
feeble souls : but sometimes his grace doth make advan- 
tage of them all, and leave them for the magnifying 6f its 
frequent victories. ' 

3. Sometimes he giveth his cause the major vote amoh^' 
the people, so that it shall be a matter of dishonourable sin- 
gularity, not to be a professed Christian : and sometimes, 
but exceeding rarely, it is so with the life of godliness and 
practice of Christianity also. But ordinarily, in the most 
places of the world, custom and the ftiiiltitude are' aigainst 
him, and his grace is honoured^ by prevailing against these 
bands of satan. 

vf 4. He maketh his niinisters his principal instruments, 
qualifying, disposing, and calling them to his work, and 
helping them in it, and prospering it in their hands. 

5. He maketh i« the duty of every Christian, to do hU 
part to carry on the work ; and furnisheth theih with love^^ 
audi coTnp£tssion, and knowledge, and zeal in their several 
measures. j ) ^ ^ ; . 

6. He giveth :« vei'y strict charge to parents tb devote 
their children, with themselves, to God ; encouraging them 
with the promise of his accepting and blessing them ; and 
commandeth them to teach them the word of God, with' 
greatest diligence; arid to bring them up in the nurture afid 
fear of Go<L .^^ ^ - - '■■■■■ - - - -■■■-' 


. 7,. He giveth princes and magistrates their power, to pro- 
mote his kingdom, and protect his servants, and encourage 
the good, and suppress iniquity, and further the obedience 
of his laws: though, in most of the world, they turn his 
enemies, and he carrieth on his work without them, and 
against their cruel, persecuting opposition. 

8. His light detecteth the nakedness of the devil's cause, 
and among the sons of light, it is odious, and a common 
shame. And as " wisdom is justified of her children," so 
the judgment of holy men condemning sin, doth much to 
keep it under in the world. 

9. His providence usually caste th the sinner, that he 
will do good to, into the bosom and communion of his holy 
church, and the familiar company and acquaintance of the 
godly, who may help him by instruction, affection, and ex- 

10. His providence fitteth all conditions to their good ; 
but especially helpeth by seasonable, quickening affliction^. 
These are the means which ordinarily he useth. But the 
powerful, inward operations of his Spirit, give efficacy to 
them all. 

Temptations to particular Sins ; with Directions for Preser- 
vation and Remedy. 

In Chapter i. Part 2. I have opened the temptations 
which hinder sinners from conversion to God : I shall now 
proceed to those which draw men to particular sins. Here 
Satan's art is exercised, 1 . In fitting his baits to his particular 
use : 2. In applying them thereto. 

Tempt. I. ' The devil fitteth his temptations to the sin- 
ner's age. The same bait is not suitable to all. Children 
he tempteth to excess of playfulness, lying, disobedience, 
unwillingness to learn the things that belong to their salva- 
tion, and a senselessness of the great concernments of their 
souls. He tempteth youth to wantonness, rudeness, gulo- 
sity, unruliness, and foolish inconsiderateness. In the be- 
ginning of manhood he tempteth to lust, voluptuousness, 
and luxury ; or if these take not, to designs of worldliness 
and ambition. The aged he tempteth to covetousness, and 
unmoveableness in their error, and unteachableness and 


obstinacy in their ignorance and sin i thus every age hath 
its peculiar snare.' 

Direct, i. The remedy against this hy 1.1 o be distinctly 
acquainted with the temptations of your own a ^e : and watch 
against them with a special heedfulness an 1 fear. 2. To 
know the special duties and advantages of i our own ag^, 
and turn your thoughts wholly unto those. S ^.ripture hath 
various precepts for the various ages : study your own part. 
The young have more time to learn their duty, and less care 
and business to divert them ; let them therefore be taken up 
in obedient learning. The middle age hath most vigour of 
body and mind, and therefore should do their master's work, 
with the greatest vigour, activity, and zeal. The aged should 
have most judgment, and experience, and acquaintedness 
with death and heaven ; and therefore should teach the 
younger both by word and holy life. 

Tempt. II. * The tempter also fitteth his temptations, to 
men's several bodily tempers. The hot and strong he tempt- 
eth to lust. The sad and fearful to discouragement and 
continual self-vexations ; and to the fear of men and devils. 
Those that have strong appetites, to gluttony and drunken- 
ness. Children, and women, and weak-headed people, to 
pride of apparel, and trifling compliment. And masculine, 
wicked unbelievers, to pride of honour, parts, and grandeur, 
and to an ambitious seeking of rule and greatness. The 
meek and gentle he tempteth to a yieldingness unto the 
persuasions and will of erroneous and tempting persons : 
and those that are more stiff, to a stubborn resistance of all 
that should do them good. He found it most suitable to 
tempt a Saul to malice ; David, by a surprise, to lust ; Ab- 
salom to ambition ; Peter to fearfulness, and after to com- 
pliance and dissimulation, to avoid the offence and displea- 
sure of the weak ; Luther to rashness ; Melancthon to fear- 
fulness ; Carolostadius to unsettledness ; Illiricus to inor- 
dinate zeal ; Osiander to self-esteem; (if historians have 
given them their due.) One shoe fitteth not every foot.' 

Direct, ii. Let your strictest watch be upon the sins of 
your temperature ; far greater diligence and resolution are 
here necessary than against other sins. And withdraw'the 
fuel, and strive against the bodily distempers themselves. 
Fasting and labour will do much against lust, which idle- 


j^e^s axtd fuljiess continually feed ; and so the rest have their 
several cures. Know also what good your temper doth give 
you special advantage for j and let ...it be turned unto that, 
,aii4 still employed in it, ^k^I^^ k iiv^^ u. a a vs. 

J . Tempt. III.* The tempter suiteth his temptations to your 
estates, of poverty or riches >; the poor he tempteth to mur- 
mur a^nd be impatient under their wants, and distress them- 
selves more with griefs and cares; and to think that their 
SiUiferings may save them without holiness, and that, neces- 
sary labour for their bodies may. excuse them from much 
miftding the concernments of their souls ; and either to cen- 
sure and hate the rich through envy, or to flatter them for 
gain. The rich he tempteth to an idle, time-wasting, vo- 
luptuous, fleshly, brutish life 5 to excess in sleep, and meat, 
and. drink, and sport, and apparel, and costly ways of pride, 
and idle discourse, and visits, and compliments ; to love the 
wealth and honours of the world, and live in continual .pleas- 
ing of the flesh ; to fare deliciously every day, and to waste 
their time in unprofitableness without a constant calling ; 
and to be unmerciful to the poor, and to tyrannize over their 
inferiors 'I.' . ( 

Direct, iii. Here also observe regardfully where your 
danger lieth, and there keep a continual watch. Let the 
poor remember, that if they be not rich in grace, it is long 
of themselves ; and if they be they have the chiefest riches, 
ftnd have learnt in all estates to be content ; and have great 
cause tp be thankful to God, that thus helpeth them against 
the love and pleasures of the world. Let the rich remem- 
ber, that they have not less to do than the poor, because 
they have more committed to their trust ; nor may they ever 
the more satisfy the inordinate desires of the flesh : but they 
have more to do, and more dangers to fear and watch against, 
as they hav€ more of their Master's talents to employ, and 
give account for at the last. 

Tempt. IV. ' The devil suiteth his temptations to men's 
daily work and business. If it be low, to be ashamed of it 
through pride ; if it be high,; to be proud of it ; if it be hard, 
to be weary and unfaithful in it, or to make it take up all 
their minds and time ; if it be about worldly things, he 
tempteth them to be tainted by it with a worldly mind : if 

1 Pfov. XXX, 8, 9. Luke xvi. 


they labour for themselves, he tempteth them to overdo ; if 
for others, he tempteth them to deceitful, unfaithful negli* 
gence and sloth. If they are ministers, he tempteth them 
to be idle, and unfaithful, and senseless of the weight of 
truth, the worth of souls, the brevity of time, that so their 
sin may be the ruin or the loss of many. If rulers, the devil 
useth his utmost skill to cause them to espouse an interest 
contrary to the interest of truth and holiness ; and to cast 
some quarrel against Christ into their minds, and to per- 
suade them that his interest is against their's, and that his 
servants are their enemies.' 

Direct, iv. See that your work be lawful, and that God 
have called you to it, and then take it as the service which he 
liimself assigneth you, and do it as in his sight, and as pass^ 
ing to his judgment, in obedience to his will : and mind not 
so much whether it be hard or easy, low or high, as whether 
you are faithful in it. And if it be sanctified to you, by 
your intending all to the pleasing of God, remember that he 
loveth and rewardeth that servant that stoopeth to the low- 
est work at his command, as much as he that is employed 
in the highest : do all for God, and walk in holiness with 
him, and keep out selfishness (the poison of your callingsX 
and observe the proper danger of your places, and keep a 
constant watch against them. 

i Tempt, v. ' The devil suiteth his temptations to our 
several relations. Parents he tempteth to be cold and re- 
gardless of the great work of a wise and holy education of 
their children. Children he tempteth to be disobedient^ 
unthankful, void of natural affection, irreverent dishonourers 
of their parents. Husbands he tempteth to be unloving, 
unkind, impatient with the weaknesses of their wives ; and 
wives to be peevish, self-willed, proud, clamorous, passion- 
ate, and disobedient. Masters he tempteth to use their ser- 
vants only as their beasts, for their own commodity, without 
any care of their salvation and God's service ; and servants 
he tempteth to be carnal, untrusty, false, slothful, eye-ser- 
vants, that take more care to hide a fault than not to commit 
it. Ministers and magistrates he tempteth to seek them- 
selves, and neglect their charge, and set up their own ends 
instead of the common good ; or to mistake the common 
good, or the means that tend to it. Subjects and people 
he tempteth to dishonour and murmur against their gover- 


nbrs, and to censure them unjustly, and to disobey them, 
and rebel ; or else to honour, and fear, and serve them more 
than God, and against God/ -^ -? 

Direct, v. Here learn well the duties and dangers of 
your own relations, and remember that it is much of your 
work to be faithful and excellent in your relations. And 
mind not so much what other men owe to you, as what you 
owe to God and them. Let masters, and ministers, and ma- 
gistrates first study and carefully practise their own duties, 
and yet they must next see that their inferiors do their du- 
ties, because that is their office : but they must be more 
desirous that God be first served, and more careful to pro- 
cure obedience to him, than that they be honoured or 
obeyed themselves. Children, servants, and subjects must 
be taken up in the well-doing of their proper work ; re- 
membering that their good or hurt lieth far more upon that, 
than upon their superior's dealings with them, or usage of 
them. As it is your own body, and not your superiors', 
which your soul doth animate, nourish, and use, and which 
you have the continual sense and charge of; so it is your 
own duty, and not your superiors', which you have to 
do and to answer for, and therefore most to mind and 
talk of. 

Tempt, VI. ' The tempter also suiteth his temptations 
to our advantages, and hopes of rising or thriving in the 
world : he seeth which is our rising or thriving way ; and 
there he layeth his snares, accommodated to our designs 
and ends, making some sinful omission or commission 
seem necessary thereto. Either Balaam must prophesy 
against the people of God, or else God must keep him from 
honour, by keeping him from sin. If once Judas be set on, 
'What will you give me ?' The devil will teach him the way 
to gain : his way is necessary to such sinful ends.' 

Direct, vi. Take heed therefore of overvaluing the 
world, and being taken with its honour, pleasure, or prospe- 
rity : take heed, lest the love of earthly things engage you in 
eager desires and designs to grow great or rich. For if once 
your heart have such a design, you are gone from God : the 
heart is gone, and then all will follow as occasion calls for 
it. Understand these Scriptures, " Labour not to be rich. 
-^He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent, — .He 
that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye. — But they tjiat will 


be rich fall into temptations and a snare, and into many 
foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction 
and perdition : for the love of money is the root of all evil ; 
but godliness with contentment is great gain. — Seek not 
great matters for yourselves ^"- Be dead to the world: fear 
more the rising than the falling way. Love that condition 
best, which fitteth thee for communion with God, or maketh 
thee the most profitable servant to him ; and hate that most, 
which is the greatest hinderance from these, and would most 
enslave thee to the world. " vcq 

Tempt. VII. * The tempter suiteth his temptations to our 
company : if they have any error or sin, or are engaged in 
any carnal enterprise, he will make them snares to us, and 
restless until they have ensnared us : if they love us not 
he will make them continual provocations, and set before 
us all their wrongs, and provoke us to uncharitableness and 
revenge. If they love us he will endeavour to make their 
love to us to be the shoeing-horn or harbinger of their er- 
rors and evil ways, to draw us to their imitation. He find- 
eth something in all our company, to make the matter of 
some temptation.' 

Direct, vii. Converse most with God : let faith make 
Christ and angels your most regarded and observed company; 
that their mind and presence may more affect you than the 
mind and presence of mortal men. Look not at any man's 
mind, or will, or actions, without respect to God who go- 
verneth, and to the rule by which they should all be suited, 
and to the judgment which will open and reward them as 
they are. Never see man without seeing God : see man 
only as a creature dependant on his Maker's will. And then 
you will lament and not imitate him when he sinneth ; and 
you will oppose (and Christ saith **hate%") and not be se- 
duced by him, when he would draw you with him to sin and 
hell : had Adam more observed God than Eve he had not 
been seduced by his helper. Then you will look on the 
proud, and worldly, and sensual, as Solomon on the sloth- 
ful man's vineyard, ** I saw and considered it well, I looked 
on it, and received instruction'." You would not long for 
the plague or leprosy, because it is your friend's disease. 

Tempt. VIII. * The tempter maketh advantage of other 

' Pi-ov. xxiii. 4. xxviii. 20 — 22. Phil, vi, 9. Jer.xlv. 5. 
* Luke xiv. 26. * Prov. xxiv. 30 — o'L 


men's opinions or speeches of you, or dealings by you ; and 
by every one of them would ensnare you in some sin: if 
they have mean thoughts of you, or speak despising or dis- 
honouring words of you,; he tempteth you by it to hate 
them, or love them less, or to speak contemptuously of 
them.: If they applaud you, he tempteth you by it to be 
proud ; if they wrong you, he tempteth you to revenge ; if 
they enrich you, or are your benefactors, he would make 
their benefits a price to hire you to some sin, and make you 
pay as dear for them as your salvation cometh to. If they 
scorn you for religion, he would make you ashamed of 
Christ and his cause ; if they admire you, he would draw 
you by it to hypocrisy. If they threaten you, he would 
draw you to sin by fear, as he did Peter ; if they deal rudely 
with you, he tempteth you to passion, and to requite them 
with the like, and even to distaste religion itself, if men 
professing religion be against you, or seem to do you any 
wrong. Thus is every man a danger to his brother.' , 

.L Direct, viii. Discern in all men what there is of God to 
be your help, and; that make use of ; and what there is of 
satan, sin, and self, and that take heed of. Look upon every 
man as a helper and a tempter; and be prepared still, to 
draw forth his help, and resist his temptation. And remem- 
ber, that man is but the instrument ; it is satan that tempt- 
eth you, and God that trieth you by that man ! Saith David 
of Shimei, " The Lord hath bidden him :" that is, he is but 
God's rod to scourge me for my sin, as my son himself is. 
As satan was his instrument in trying Job, not by God's ef- 
fecting, but permitting the sin : observe God and satan in 
it^more than men. 

DLL.Tejnpt. IX. * His temptations also are suited to our fbre^ 
received opinions and thoughts. If you have but let in one 
lustful thought, or one malicious thought, he can make great 
advantage of that nest-egg to gather in more, as a little 
leaven to leaven the whole lump : he can roll it up and 
down, and do much to hatch it into a multitude. If you are 
but tainted with any false opinion, or prejudice against 
your teacher, your ruler, or your brother, he can improve 
it to such increase, and raise such conclusions from it, and 
more from them, and reduce them all to practice, as shall 
make observers with astonishment say. Behold how great a 
matter a little fire kindleth.' 


Direct, ix. Take heed what thoughts you first admit in- 
to ^ your mind: and especially cherish and approve none, 
but upon very good trial and examination. And, if they 
(pxove corrupt, sweep clean your fantasy and memory of them?, 
.that they prove not inhabitants, and take not up their lodg- 
ings in you, or have not time to spawn and breed. And fill 
up the room with contrary thoughts, and useful truth, and 
cherish them daily that they may increase and multiply : 
and then your hearts will be like a well peopled kingdoja,, 
able to keep their possession against all enemies. v* 

Tempt. X. * Also he fitteth his temptations to your na- 
tural and acquired parts : that if you are weak, he may 
either discourage you, or, which is more usual and danger- 
ous, make you think better of them than they are, and to 
think you know much, when it is next to nothing ; and to 
make you wise in your own eyes, and easily to receive an 
error, and then to be confident in it : not to discern between 
things that differ ; but to be: deceived into false zeal, and 
false ways, by the specious pretences and shews of truth; 
and then to be zealous for the deceiving of others. Also 
that you may be a dishonour to truth and godliness, by your 
weakness and ill management of good causes ; and may give 
them away through your unskilfulness t:Q the adversary.. If 
you are of stronger wits and parts, the tempter will draw you 
to despise the weak ; to take common gifts for special grace, 
or to undervalue holiness and humility, and overvalue learn- 
ing and acuteiiess. He will tempt you, dangerously, to 
loathe the simplicity of Christianity and of the Scriptures, 
as to style and method, and to be offended at the cross of 
Christ. So that such persons are usually in greater danger 
of infidelity, heresy, pride, and insolent domineering over 
the flock of Christ, than vulgar Christians that have lower 

Direct, x. Labour to be well acquainted with yourselves. 
If you are weak, know your weakness, that yau may be hum- 
ble, and fearful, and seek for strength and help. If you are 
comparatively strong, remember how weak the strongest are ; 
and how little it is that the wisest know ! And study well 
the ends and use of knowledge ; and that all that you know 
may be concocted into love and holiness ; and use it as re- 
• membering that you have much to give account of. 


Tempt. XI. * Moreover the tempter will fetch advantage 
against you from your former life and actions. If you have 
gone out of the way to heaven, he would harden you by cus- 
tom, and make you think it such a disgrace or trouble to 
return, as that it is as good go on, and put it to the venture. 
If you have done any work materially good, while your 
heart and course of life are carnal and worldly, he would 
quiet you in your sinful, miserable state, by applauding the 
little good that you have done. If a good man have erred or 
done ill, he will engage his honour in it, and make him 
study to defend it, or excuse it, lest it prove his shame : and 
tempt men, as he did David, to hide one sin with another. 
If he get hold of one link, he will draw on all the chain 
of sin.' - ,: .0 

Direct, xi. Take heed, therefore, what you do; and 
foresee the end. Let not the devil get in one foot : try 
your way, before you enter it. But if you have erred, come 
off, and that thoroughly and betime, whatever it cost, for 
be sure it will cost more to go on. And if he would make 
a snare of the good that you have done, remember that this 
is to turn it into the greatest evil : and that there must be a 
concurrence and integrity of good, to make you acceptable, 
and to save you. Heart and life must be good to the end. 

Tempt. XII. * Lastly, He fitteth his temptations to the 
season. He will take the season just when an evil thought 
is most likely to take with you ; and when the winds and 
tide do serve him : that will take at one time, (when a man 
hath his wits and heart to seek) which would be abhorred 
at another. In afflicting times, he will draw you to deny 
Christ with Peter, or shift for yourselves by sinful means. 
In prosperous times, he will tempt you to security, world- 
liness, and forgetfuliiess of the night and winter which 
approacheth. The timing his temptations is his great ad- 

Direct. XII. Dwell as with God, and you dwell as in 
eternity, and will see still that as time, so all the pleasure, 
and advantages, and dangers, and sufferings of time, are 
things, of themselves, of little moment. Keep your eye 
upon judgment and eternity, where all the errors of time 
will be rectified, and all inequalities of time will be levelled, 
and the sorrows and joys that are transitory, will be no 


more : and then, no reasons from the frowns or flatteries of 
the times will seem of any force to you. And be still em- 
ployed for God, and still armed and on your watch, that 
satan may never find you disposed to take the bait. 

The Tempter's Method in Applying his Prepared Baits. 

Tempt. I. ' The devil's first work is, to present the tempt- 
ing bait, in all its alluring, deceiving properties : to make it 
seem as true as may be to the understanding : and as good 
and amiable as may be to the will. To say as much as can 
be said for an evil cause ; he maketh his image of truth and 
goodness as beautiful as he can : sin shall be sugared, and 
its pleasure shall be its strength " : sin shall have its wages 
paid down in hand "" : he will set it out with full mouthed 
praises. ' O what a fine thing it is to be rich, and please 
the flesh continually ! to have command, and honour, and 
lusts, and sports, and what you desire ! Who would refuse 
such a condition that may have it V " All this will I give 
thee," was the temptation which he thought fit to assault 
Christ himself with. And he will corrupt the history of 
time past, and tell you that it went well with those that 
took his way y. And for the future, he will promise them, 
that they shall be gainers by it, (as he did Eve) and shall 
have peace, though they please their flesh in sinning ^. 

Direct, i. In this case, first, inquire what God saith of 
that which satan so commendeth. The commendations and 
motions of an enemy are to be suspected : God is most to 
be believed. 2. Then consider, not only whether it be good, 
but how long it will be good ; and what it will prove at the 
end ; and how we shall judge of it at the parting. And 
withal, consider, what it tendeth to ; whether it tend to 
good or evil : and, whether it be the greatest good that we 
are capable of. And then you will see, that if there were 
no good, or appearance of good in it, it could do a volun- 
tary agent no hurt, and were not fit to be the matter of a 
temptation. And you will see that it is temporal good set 
up to deceive you of the eternal good, and to entice you 
into the greatest evil and misery. Doth the devil shew thee 
the world, and say, ''All this will I give thee?" Look to 

" Heb. xi. !25. " 2 Pet. ii. 15. y Jer. xliv. 17. ^ Deut. xxix. 19. 


Christ who sheweth thee the glory of the world to come, 
with all things good for thee ia this world, and saith more 
truly, " All this will I give thee/' The world and hell are 
in one end of the balance, and pardon^ holiness, and heaven 
are in the other. Which now wilt thou prefer ? If the devil 
have more to give thee and bid for thee than Christ, let him 
take thee. 

Tempt, II. * The tempter laboureth to keep God, and 
Christ, and heaven out of sight, that they darken not the 
splendour of his bait, and to hide those potent reasons 
from them, by which they might easily repel the temptation : 
so that though they are well known and sure, and Scripture 
be full of them, they shall none of them be ready at hand to 
use, when the temptatioiJ cometh ; so that to them they 
shall be all as nothing: and this he doth by unbelief and in^ 
considerateness.* -i "''^  -^ - ^ 

Direct, n. Live by? faith. 'See that God the Father,.' 
the Redeemer, and the <:Hx)ly Spirit dwell within you, and 
take up your hearts, and your hopes be placed all on heaven, 
and that these be your very life and business ; and then yoti 
will always have that at hand, which may repel the tempter.' 
A heart taken up with God and Christ, conversing in heaven,, 
is always fortified, and prepared to meet every temptation^ 
with abhorrence; ? Let your souls.be still possessed with 
as constant apprehensions of the evil of sin, the danger of 
sinning, the presence, authority, and holiness of God, the 
wi'ong that sin doth him, the hurt it doth ourselves and? 
others, and what it did to Jesus Christ, as you have of the' 
danger of fire, and water, and poison ; and then the tempter 
will not «peed. .f ;  •■ > ^ < •  ' 

. Tempts III, * Iti&the great care; of the devil to keep a«.t; 
of sight, that he be not seen himself in the temptation. lAs? 
the angler keepeth himself behind the bush, and the fowler 
hideth himself from the birds; or else they would fear, antf. 
fly, and escape; so doth the devil use all his art, to hide 
himself from the sinner's observation;- that the deluded souli 
shall little think that the devil is so near him, and; hath so- 
great a hand in the business. If the ambitious or covetous, 
worldling saw the devil offer him the bait, and heard him 
say, "All this will I give thee;" he would have the smaller 
list to take the bait. If the devil ^appeared to the whore- 


monger, and brought him his whore, and encouraged him to 
his filthiness, it would coolhislust: or if he appeared to the 
drunkard, and presented him the cup, he would have but 
little list to drink?; if the proud. an-d the malicioxis saw Jthe 
devil at their backs^ rejoicing -in their sin, and putting them 
on, it might affright them half into their wits. Thereforef 
the great endeavour of the devil is,^^ tb persuade men that it is 
not he that makes the motion to them: it is such a friend; 
or such a neighbour, or geatleman, or minister, or wise man ; 
it is not the devil ! till the fish is caught, and the bird is in 
the net'; and then the author of all appeareth to kill them, 
and carry them away, without any concealment/ 

Direct, iii. Mark but the tendency and the manner of 
the temptations, and you may perceive the author. Who 
else is it that is so much against God^ and against your ever- 
lasting happiness ? Who else is it that would so abuse your 
reason, to prefer things temporal, before things eternal, and 
the brutish pleasures of a corruptible flesh, before the interest 
of immortal souls ? Who else so contradicteth all the Word 
of God? Read God's warnings, and he will tell you who it 
is. Take every temptation then, whoever be the messenger, 
as if thou sawest the devil standing by, and making the 
motion to thee, and heardest himself exhort thee to sin., 
Suppose you saw him conducting you to the whore-house, 
the play-house, the ale-house,- and making you entertain- 
ment as the master of the game ? How then would you 
take it ? And what would you do ? Would you go and be 
angry at the precise preacher that would hinder you ? And 
would you take the devil's part ? No, nature hath possessed 
you with a fear of him, and an enmity to him : use it for 
your safety. It cannot be good for you that comes from 
him ! He hath a fouler face to appear to you in than ever 
yet you saw, when you have done his work and are where 
he would have you. O know with whom you have to do ! 

Tempt. IV. ' The tempter is most careful also to hide 
from men the nature and tendency of the temptation itself; 
that they shall not know that it is a temptation when they 
are tempted, but shall have nothing in sight but the bait 
which they desire. The angler doth not only hide himself 
from the fish, but also his rod, and line, and hook as much 
as he can ; the fowler covereth his nets : so that either the 


fish and bird shall not see the snare, or shall not know what 
it is, and what it is there laid for. So when the bait of 
pleasure, and honour, and wealth is presented by the devil, 
to the fornicator, gamester, proud, or covetous, they shall 
not see what the devil is doing now, and what a game he is 
playing for their souls ! They shall not perceive the con- 
nection that there is between the pleasure and the sin, and 
the sin and the threatening, and the threatening and the 
judgment, and the judgment and the everlasting punish- 
ment. When Judas was bargaining with the Pharisees, 
he knew not that the devil was in him, driving on the match.' 

Direct, iv. Be wise and suspicious: blindness or fool- 
hardiness will lead you into the snare. Be wise that you 
may know the tendency of every thing that is presented to 
your thoughts, and may be able to perceive a danger. Be 
suspicious and cautelous, that you make a sufficient trial, 
and go upon sure grounds, and avoid the very appearance 
of evil : when it is hell that you fear, come not too near. 
Play not as the fly about the candle ; salvation is necessary ; 
but preferment, or wealth, or liberty, or credit, or life itself 
are not necessary to you ! Prove all things : flatter not 
yourselves into the snares by foolish hopes, [and judging of 
things as the flesh would have them to be, rather than as 
they are. If no danger appear, turn up all coverings, and 
search and see that none be hidden. The devil hath his 
gunpowder-plots, and mines which may blow you up before 
you are aware. Not only lawfulness and indiflerency, but 
great good is the pretence for greatest evil. 

Tempt, v. * It is the tempter's care to bring the tempting 
object near enough, or draw the sinner near enough to it : 
the net must come to the fish, or the fish to the net : the 
distant fire will not burn the wood. The devil's chief con- 
fidence is in the sensitive appetite, which worketh strongest 
at hand. If he get'the drunkard into the alehouse and shew 
him the cup, he hath half conquered him already :, but if he 
be scrupulous and modest, some one shall drink a health, or 
importune him, and put the cup into his hand. The thief 
with Achan shall see the bait, and the sight will work a 
covetous desire. The glutton shall have the tempting dishes 
before him, and be at a table which by variety of delicious 
food, is fitted to become his snare ; whereas if he had nothing 


set before him, but the poor man's simple food which hath 
nothing in it fit to tempt him, he might easily have 
escaped. The fornicator shall have his beautiful dirt 
brought near him, and presented to him in a tempting dress ; 
for at a sufficient distance there had been little danger. The 
ambitious person shall have preferment offered him, or 
brought so fair to his hand that v^^ith a little seeking it may 
be attained. The fearful coward shall be threatened with 
the loss of estate or life, and hear the report of the can- 
nons, guns and drums of satan. Peter ; is half conquered 
when he is got among questioning company in the high- 
priest's hall. Thus David, thus Lot, thus ordinarily sinners 
are drawn into the snare.' 

Direct, v. As ever you would preserve your innocency 
and your souls, fly as far from tempting objects as you can: 
I say as you can, without distrusting God in the neglect of 
a certain duty. A wife, or a servant that are bound cannot 
fly : nor must we leave undone our certain duty upon an un- 
certain danger, which may otherwise be avoided : but keep 
off" from the temptation at as great a distance as you can : 
the safest course is the best when your souls lie at the stake : 
if it be not necessary, plead not the lawfulness of what you 
do, when it is a temptation to that which is unlawful. You 
say, it is lawful to wear such curious ornaments, and set out 
yourselves in the neatest dress ; but is it lawful to be proud 
or lustful, or to consume your time unprofitably ? If not, 
tempt not yourselves or others to it. Keep away from the 
place where the snare is laid. Look first to the end before 
you meddle with the beginning. Why should I eat that 
which I know I cannot digest, but must cast it up again ? 
And why should I taste that which I must not eat? 
And why should I desire to have that set before me, and to 
look upon that which I must not taste ? Come not near if 
thou wouldst not be taken. What dost thou at the alehouse 
with a cup before thee, if thou wouldst not be drawn to ex- 
cess of drink ? If thou be subject to excess in eating, make 
not thy own table thy temptation. Fly from the temptation 
as thou wouldst do from hell, or from the devil himself. 
See not the bait of lust, or come not near, if thou be in-» 
clinable to lust, saith Solomon, " Remove thy way far from 
her, and come not nigh the door of her house ; for her end 
yot. jj. V 


is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword : her 
feet go down to death, her steps take hold on hell. Her 
house inclineth to death and her paths unto the dead : none 
that go to her return again, neither take they hold of the 
paths of life. Her house is the way to hell, going down to 
the chambers of death. Whoso is simple let him turn in 
hither : and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith 
to him. Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret 
is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there ; 
and that her guests are in the depths of hell. Lust not after 
her beauty in thy heart, neither let her take thee with her 
eyelids. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes 
not be burnt*? Remember that you pray daily, *' Lead us 
not into temptation :" and if you will run into it yourselves, 
are not your prayers hypocritical and an abuse of God ? If 
you would be saved from sin, you must be saved in God's 
way : and that is by flying from temptations ; and not draw- 
ing near, and gazing on forbidden objects, and tempting your- 
selves : even as God's holy means must be used by all that 
would come to holiness and heaven ; so the devil's must be 
avoided by him that would escape sin and hell. 2. But if 
you cannot remove far enough from the snare, then double 
your fear, and watchfulness, and resolution : fly with Joseph 
from the sin, if you cannot go out of the house. How care- 
fully should every foot be placed, when we know that every 
step we tread is among snares ! Rule your senses, if you 
cannot remove the bait : make Job*s covenant with your 
eyes, that you look not on that which would allure ! Let 
every sense have a constant watch. 

Tempt. VI. * The next great work of the tempter is, to 
give us the fairest opportunities to sin, and to remove all 
impediments, and shew men encouraging hopes and invi- 
tations. He will shew the thief which way he may steal ; 
and shew the covetous man which way he may thrive, and 
deceive, and over-reach ; and the ambitious man which way 
he may rise ; and the fornicator how he may obtain his desire, 
and sin unknown : and then he tells them how easy it is ; now 
no one seeth you ; you may do it without fear or shame. 
It is the devil's great care to take all things out of the way 
that would affright, or hinder sinners ; that they may have 

- "^ Prov. V. 8. IV. 5. ii. 18, 19. vii. 27. ix, 16. 18. vi. 25. S7, 28. 


full opportunity to invite them. Therefore he is very desi- 
rous that public impediments should be all removed ; 
especially in a godly magistrate and minister, and that the 
common disgrace of sinning may be taken off, and, if it may 
be, turned against religion, or fall on them that are the 
greatest adversaries to sin.' 

Direct, vi. It is therefore a principal part of your wis- 
dom and watchfulness, to avoid the opportunities of sinning, 
and keep out as many impediments as may be in your own 
way. It is a most foolish and sinful thing in some men, 
who think it a brave thing to have power to do hurt, though 
they pretend they abhor the doing of it : he that saith he 
hateth oppression, yet would have a power to oppress ; to 
have all men at his will and mercy he thinks is brave : so 
they that would not be gluttonous would have a tempting 
table still before them, presuming that their own will is a 
sufficient preservative against the sin : so they that would 
not be ensnared with lust, have yet a desire to appear as 
comely, and lovely, and desirable as may be, and to be as 
much beloved, that they may have other affections at com- 
mand ; and also to have opportunity offered them, that they 
may sin if they will. And is thy will so well established, 
mortified and unchangeable, as to be so far trusted ? O 
foolish sinner that no better knowest thyself, nor observest 
thy danger ? Nor perceivest that this very desire to have 
the power to do evil sheweth a degree of the evil in thy 
heart, and that thou art not yet so far from it as thou must 
be, if thou wouldst be safe. Contrive thyself (if thou be 
wise and love thyself) into the greatest difficulty of sinning 
that thou canst. Make it impossible, if it may be done. 
The power is for the act. Desire not to be able to sin, if 
thou wouldst not sin ; not that natural power to do good 
should be destroyed because it is also a power to do evil, 
but cast as many blocks in the way of thy sinning as thou 
canst, till it amount to a moral impossibility. Desire the 
strictest laws and governors, and to be still in the eye of 
others, and contrive it that thou mayst have no hope of 
secrecy. Contrive it so that it may be utter shame and 
loss to thee if thou sin. If thou be tempted to fornication, 
never be private with her or him that is thy snare. If thou 
be tempted to deceive and rob those that trust thee, avoid 


the trust, or if ever thou have done it, restore and confess 
that shame may preserve thee. 

Tempt. VII. ' Next the tempter importunately soliciteth 
our thoughts or fantasies, to feed upon the tempting thing : 
that the lustful person may be thinking on the objects of 
his lusts ; and the ambitious man thinking on his desired 
honour ; and the covetous man of his desired wealth, his 
house, or lands, or gainful bargains j and the malicious 
man be thinking of all the real or imaginary wrongs, which 
kindle malice.' 

Direct. Nil. Keep a continual watch upon your thoughts. 
Remember that this is the common entrance of the greatest 
sins : and if they go no further, the Searcher of hearts will 
judge thee for the adultery, murder, and other sins of thy 
heart. But especially see that your thoughts be so em- 
ployed on better things, that sin may never find them va- 

Tempt. VIII. * The tempter also is diligent to keep the 
end from the sinner's eye, and to persuade him, that there 
is no danger in it, and that it will be as good at last as at 
first. He cannot endure a thought, a word of death or 
judgment, unless he can first fortify the sinner, by some 
presumptuous hope, that his sins are pardoned, and his case 
is good : either he will make him believe him, that there 
is no such danger to the soul as should deter him; or else 
he keepeth him from thinking of that danger. He is loath 
a sinner should so much as look into a grave, or go to the 
house of mourning, and see the end of all the living ; lest 
he should lay it to heart, and thence perceive what worldly 
pleasure, wealth, and greatness are, by seeing where they leave 
sinners. If one do but talk of death, or judgment, and the 
life to come, the devil will stir up some scorn, or weariness, 
or opposition against such discourse. If a sinner do but 
bethink himself in secret, what will become of him after 
death, the devil will either allure him, or trouble him, and 
never let him rest, till he have cast away all such thoughts 
as tend to his salvation. He cannot endure, when you see 
the pomp and pleasure of the world, that you should think 
or ask. How long will this endure ? And what will it prove 
in the latter end?' 

Direct. VIII. Go to the Holy Scriptures, and see what 


they foretel concerning the end of godliness and sin : God 
knoweth better than the devil, and is more to be believed. 
You may see in the Word of God, what will become of saints 
and sinners, godly and ungodly, at the last, and what they 
will think and say, when they review their present life ; and 
what Christ will say to them, and how he will judge them, 
and what will be their reward for ever. This is the infalli- 
ble prognostication, where you may foresee your endless 
state. In this glass continually foresee the end. Never 
judge of any thing by the present gust alone. Ask not only 
how it tasteth, but how it worketh, and what will be the 
effects : remember that God's law hath inseparably con- 
joined holiness and heaven; and sin unrepented of, and hell; 
and seeing these cannot be separated indeed, let them never 
be separated from each other in your thoughts. Otherwise 
you will never understand Christ or Satan. When Christ 
saith, " Wilt thou deny thyself, and take up the cross, and 
follow me ;" his meaning is, shall I heal thy carnal, worldly 
heart and life, and bring thee by grace to the sight of God 
in endless glory ? You will never understand what prayer, 
and obedience, and holy living mean, if you see not the end, 
even heaven, conjoined to them. When the devil saith to 
the glutton, * eat also of this pleasant dish ;' and to the 
drunkard, * take the other cup ;' and to the fornicator, * take 
thy pleasure in the dark ;' and to the voluptuous, * go to 
the play-house, or the gaming-house ; come, play at cards 
or dice ;' his meaning is, * Come, venture upon sin, and 
fear not God's threatenings, and refuse his word, and Spirit, 
and grace, that I may have thy company among the damn- 
ed, in the fire which never shall be quenched.' This is the 
true English of every temptation. Open thy ears then, and 
whenever the devil, or any sinner, tempteth thee to sin, 
hear him as if he said, * I pray thee leap into the flames of 

Tempt. IX. * If the tempter cannot quickly draw men to 
the sin, he will move them at least to abate their resolution 
against it, and to deliberate about it, and hear what can be 
said, and enter into a dispute with satan, or some of his in- 
struments ; telling them, that it is a sign of falsehood which 
will not endure the trial, and that we must prove all things. 
And while the sinner is deliberating and disputing, the ve- 


nom is working itself into his veins, and sense is secretly 
undermining and betraying him, and deceiving his mind, 
bribing his reason, and seducing his will : just as an enemy 
will treat with those that keep a garrison, that, during the 
treaty, he may send in spies, and find out their weakness, 
and corrupt the soldiers : so doth the devil with the sinner/ 

Direct, ix. Remember that it is Christ, and not satan, 
that you are to hear. Truth is strong, and can bear the 
trial, before any competent judge ; but you are weak, and 
not so able to judge -as you may imagine. Ignorant, un- 
skilful, and unsettled persons are easily deceived, be the 
cause never so clear. If it be a cause untried by you, it is 
not untried by all the godly, nor unknown to him that gave 
you the Holy Scriptures. If it be fit to be called in ques- 
tion and disputed, take the help of able, godly teachers or 
friends, and hear what they can say : matters of endless life 
or death, are not rashly to be ventured on. But if it be a 
thing past dispute, in which you have been already convinc- 
ed and resolved, reject the tempter, and tell him, that you 
owe him not so much service, as to dispute with him, whe- 
ther you should care for your salvation ? Else there will be 
no end, till you are betrayed and undone : innocent Eve is 
deceived, when once it comes to a dispute. Be not like 
Balaam, that tempted God, and would not be satisfied with 
his answer. 

Tempt. X. * Also the tempter overcometh very many, by 
making them presumptuously confident of their own strength : 
saying. Thou art not so weak as not to be able to bear a 
greater temptation than this. Canst thou not gaze on beau- 
ty, or go among vain and tempting company, and yet choose 
whether thou wilt sin ? It is a child indeed that hath no 
more government of themselves. Cannot thy table, thy 
cup, thy house, thy lands, be pleasing and delectable, but 
thou must needs over-love them, and turn them to sin ? 

Direct, x. O know thy own weakness! The treacherous 
enemy which thou still carriest about thee, who is ready to 
open the back-door to the devil. Remember that flesh is 
on the tempter's side ; and how much it can do with thee 
before thou art aware. Remember what an unsettled wretch 
thou art: and how many a good purpose formerly hath 
come to nothing ; ahd how oft thou hast sinned by as small 


a temptation. Remember that without the Spirit of Christ, 
thou canst do nothing, nor stand against any assault of sa- 
tan ; and that Christ giveth his Spirit and help in his own 
way, and not to those that tempt him to forsake them, by 
thrusting themselves into temptations. Shall ever mortal 
man presume upon his own strength, after the falls of an 
Adam, a Noah, a Lot, a David, a Solomon, a Hezekiah, a 
Josiah, a Peter ? and after such ruins of multitudes of pro- 
<fessors, as our eyes have seen ? '' All these things hap- 
pened unto them for ensamples, and they are written for 
our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come. 
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest 
he fall V 

Tempt. XI. * It is a great project of the devil, and suc- 
cessful with many, to draw them to venture on the sin, by 
shewing them first the effectual remedy, the abundant mer- 
cy of God, the sufficient satisfaction made by Christ, the 
full, and free, and universal promise ; that these are suffi- 
cient to cleanse the soul of any sin : therefore you need not 

Direct, xi. But God is just, as well as merciful; and 
there are ** vessels of wrath," as well as vessels of mercy. 
Judge how God will use his mercy, and who shall have it, 
by his own word : for he knoweth better than you, to whom, 
and how far to shew mercy. Is the tempter himself saved. 
Jot all God is merciful? And the Gospel hath far sorer 
punishment than the law, to the abusers of grace. Christ 
is the most dreadful Judge to the wicked, as well as the ten- 
derest Saviour to his own. There is enough in his grace to 
save the penitent : but if you will sin upon presumption that 
grace will save you, you have small reason to think that you 
are penitent, or ever will be, without a very merciful change. 
How many can you name that ever were converted and for- 
given, that lived wilfully in sin, because the remedy was 
sufficient? I doubt not but many such have been recalled ; 
but this is not the way to hope : it is a terrible thing to sin 
deliberately and wilfully, because of the greatness of mercy, 
or the sufficiency of the death of Christ ! No man but the 
penitent convert is saved by Christ ; and this is clean con- 
trary to penitence and conversion. Christ doth not as 

b 1 Cor. X. li, 12. 


mountebanks, that wound a man, to shew people how quick- 
ly their balsams can cure him ; or make a man drink a toad, 
to shew the power of their antidotes : but he cureth the 
diseases which he findeth (in believers), but causeth none. 

Tempt. XII. * Also the tempter telleth the sinner, how 
certain, and easy, and speedy a remedy he hath in his own 
power : it is but repenting, and all sin is pardoned.' 

Direct. -Sill. 1. Is it in thy power ? If so, the greater is 
thy sin, that sinnest more when thou shouldst repent : if it 
be easy, what an inexcusable wretch art thou that wilt not 
do it, but go on ? 2. But repentance is the gift of God *= ; 
and is he like to give it to them that wilfully abuse him in 
expectation of it ? 3. As easy as it is, it is but a few that 
truly repent and are forgiven, in comparison of those that 
go on and perish. 4. The easiest repentance is so bitter, 
that it is far easier to forbear the sin : it is better not wound 
yourselves, than have the b'est salve, if you were sure of it. 
5. The repentance which is caused by mere fears of death 
and hell, without the power of heavenly love to God and 
holiness, is but the repentance of the damned, and never 
procureth pardon of sin : the devil hath such a repentance, 
as well as such a faith, which will not save him. 

Tempt. XIII. * Satan also emboldeneth the sinner, by 
telling him how many have repented and sped well, that sinned 
as bad, or worse than this : he tells him of Noah, and Lot, 
and David, and Peter, and the thief on the cross, and Paul, 
a persecutor, yea, and Manasseh, &c.' 

Direct, xiii. But consider whether any of those did thus 
sin, because that others had escaped that sinned before 
them. And think of the millions that never repented and 
are condemned, as well as those few that have repented. Is 
repentance better than sin ? why then will you sin ? Is sin 
better than repentance? why then do you purpose to repent ? 
Is it not base ingratitude to offend God wilfully, because he 
hath pardoned many offenders, and is ready to forgive the 
penitent ? And should a man of reason wilfully make work 
for his own repentance ; and do that which he knoweth he 
shall wish with grief that he had never done ? If some have 
been saved that fell into the sea, or that fell from the top 
of steeples, or that drunk poison, or were dangerously 

c 2 Tim. ii. 25, 26. 


wounded, will you therefore cast yourself into the same 
case, in hope of being saved? 

Tempt. XIV. * The tempter persuadeth the sinner, that 
it cannot be that God should make so great a matter of sin ; 
because the thoughts of a man's heart, or his words, or 
deeds are matter of no great moment, when man himself is 
so poor a worm : and whatever he doth, it is no hurt to 
God. Therefore you need not make such a matter of it.' 

Direct, xiv. If God so much regard us as to make us, 
and preserve us continually, and to become our Governor, 
and make a law for us and judge us, and reward his servants 
with no less than heaven ; then you may easily see that he 
80 much regardeth us, as to observe whether we obey or 
break his laws. He that so far careth for a clock or watch, 
as to make it and wind it up, doth care whether it go true 
or false. What do these men make of God, who think he 
cares not what men do ? Then he cares not if men beat you, 
or rob you, or kill you, for none of this hurteth God ? And 
the king may say, if any murder your friends or children, 
why should I punish him? he hurt not me. But justice is 
to keep order in the world, and not only to preserve the go- 
vernor from hurt : God may be wronged, though he be not 
hurt. And he will make you pay for it, if you hurt others ; 
and smart for it, if you hurt yourself. 

Tempt. XV. * The tempter laboureth to extenuate the sin, 
and make it seem a little one ; and if every little sin must 
be made such a matter of, you will never be quiet.' 

Direct, xv. But still remember, 1. There is deadly poi- 
son in the very nature of sin, as there is in a serpent be he 
never so small : the least sin is worse than the greatest pain 
that ever man felt ; and would you choose that, and say, it 
is little? The least sin is odious to God, and had a hand in 
the death of Christ, and will damn you if it be not par- 
doned : and should such a thing be made light of? And 
many sins counted small may have great aggravations, such 
as the knowing, deliberate, wilful committing of them are. 
To love a small sin is a great sin ; especially to love it so 
well, that the remembrance of God's will and love, of Christ, 
and heaven, and hell, will not suffice to resolve you against 
it. Besides, a small sin is the common way to greater : 
" When lust hath conceived it brings forth sin, and sin 


when it is finished brings forth death ^." '* Behold how 
great a matter a little fire kindleth^" The horrid sins of 
David and Peter had small beginnings. Mortal sicknesses 
seem little matters at the first. Many thousands have sin- 
ned themselves to hell, that began with that which is ac- 
counted small. 

Tempt. XVI. * Also the devil draweth on the sinner, by 
promising him that he shall sin but once, or but a very few 
times, and then do so no more : he tells the thief and the 
fornicator, that if they will do it but this once, they shall be 

Direct, xvi. But, O consider, 1. That one stab at the 
heart may prove incurable. God may deny thee time or 
grace to repent. 2. That it is easier to forbear the first time 
than the second ; for one sin disposeth the heart unto an- 
other ; if you cannot deny the first temptation, how will you 
deny the next ? When you have lost your strength, and 
grieved your helper, and strengthened your enemy and your 
snare, will you then resist better wounded, than now when 
you are whole? 

Tempt. XVII. * But when the devil hath prevailed for 
once with the sinner, he makes that an argument for a 
second : he saith to the thief, and drunkard, and fornicator, 
it is but the same thing that thou hast done once already ; 
and if once may be pardoned, twice may be pardoned ; and 
if twice, why not thrice, and so on V 

Direct, xvii. This it is to let the devil get in a foot : a 
spark is easier quenched than a flame ; but yet remember 
that the longer the worse : the oftener you sin, the greater 
is the abuse of the Spirit of God, and the contempt of 
grace, and the wrong to Christ, and the harder is repent- 
ance ; and the sharper if you do repent, because the deeper is 
your wound. Repent therefore speedily, and go no further, 
unless you would have the devil tell you next, it is now too 

Tempt. XV III. ' The tempter maketh use of the greater 
sins of others, to persuade men to venture upon less. Thou 
hearest other men curse, and swear, and rail, and dost thou 
stick at idle talk ? How many in the world are enemies to 
Christ, and persecute his ministers and servants, and dost 

^ James i. 14, 15. * James iii. 5. 


thou make so great a matter of omitting a sermon, or a 
prayer. Or other holy duty V 

Direct, xviii. As there are degrees of sin, so there are 
degrees of punishment : and wilt thou rather choose the 
easiest place in hell than heaven? How small soever 
the matter of sin be, thy wilfulness and sinning against 
conscience, and mercies, and warnings, may make it great 
to thee. Are great sinners so happy in thy eyes, that thou 
wouldst be as like them as thou darest ? 

Tempt, XIX. ' Also he would embolden the sinner, be- 
cause of the commonness of the sin, and the multitude that 
commit either that or worse, as if it were not, therefore, so 
bad or dangerous.' 

Direct, xix. But remember, that the more examples 
you have to take warning by, the more inexcusable is your 
fall. It was not the number of angels that fell, that could 
keep them from being devils and damned for their sin : 
God will do justice on many as well as on one. The sin is 
the greater, and therefore the punishment shall not be the 
less. Make the case your own : will you think it a good 
reason for any one to abuse you, beat you, rob you, because 
that many have done so before ? He should rather think, 
that you are abused too much already, and therefore he 
should not add to your wrongs. If when many had spit in 
Christ's face or bufFetted him, some one should have given 
him another spit or blow, as if he had not enough before, 
would you not have taken him to be the worst and cruel- 
lest of them all ? If you do as the most, you will speed as 
the most. 

Tempt. XX. * It is a dangerous temptation when the 
devil proposeth some very good end, and maketh sin seem 
the fittest, or the necessary means to accomplish it : when he 
blindeth men so far as to think that it is necessary to their sal- 
vation, or to other men's, or to the welfare of the church, or 
progress of the Gospel, or the pleasing of God, then sin will 
be committed without regret, and continued in without 
repentance ; on this account it is that heresy, and will- 
worship, and superstition are kept up : " Having a shew of 
wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting the 
body^" It is for God that much of the wickedness of the 

f Col. ii. 18 21- '^3. 


world is done against God : it is for the church and truth, 
that Papists have murdered and persecuted so many.' 

Direct, xx. Remember that God needeth no sinful 
means to attain his ends : he will not be beholden to the 
devil to do his work ; he would not have forbad it, if he 
would have had you done it. He is never at such a loss, 
but he can find right means enough to perform his work 
by : it is a great part of our wisdom which our salvation 
lieth on to choose and use right means, when we are re- 
solved on a right end. It is a horrible injury against God 
to entitle him to sin, and make it seem necessary to his ends 
and honour. Good ends will not justify evil actions. What 
sin so odious that hath not had good ends pretended for it? 
Even Christ was murdered as a malefactor for good ends, 
at least pretended, even to vindicate God's honour from 
blasphemy, and Caesar from injury, and the nation from ca- 
lamity. And his disciples were killed that God might be 
served by it, and pestilent troublers of the world taken 
away ^. 

Tempt. XXI. ' He would make us presume because we 
are God's children, and special grace cannot be wholly 
lost, and we have found that once we had grace, therefore 
we may venture as being safe.' 

Direct. XXI. But many thousands shall be damned, that 
once thought they had the truth of grace. It is a hard 
controversy among learned and godly men, whether some 
in a state of saving grace do not fall from it and perish ; 
but it is past controversy, that they shall perish that live 
and die impenitently in wilful sin. To plead truth of grace, 
for encouragement in sin, is so much against the nature and 
use of grace, as may make you question the truth of it. 
You can be no surer that you have true grace, than you are 
that you hate all known sin, and desire to be free from it. 
Christ teacheth you how to answer such a horrid tempta- 
tion, '* If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down : for 
it is written, he shall give his angels charge over thee " 
— " thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God*"." Sonship, 
and promises, and truth of grace, are incongruous argu- 
ments to draw you to sin, and heinous aggravations of 
sin so committed. 

e John xvi. 2. Acts xxiv. 5. xvii. 6- ^ Matt. iv. 6, 7. 


Tempt. XXII. ' The devil oft most dangerously imitateth 
the Holy Ghost, and comes in the shape of an angel of 
light : he will be for knowledge in the Gnostics ; for unity 
and government in the Papists ; for mortification in the 
Friars ; for free-grace and tenderness of our brethren's con- 
sciences in the Libertines ; for peace and mutual forbear- 
ance in the Socinians ; for zeal, self-denial, and fearlessness 
of men, and pretended revelations and spirituality in the 
Quakers. He will be against heresy, schism, error, dis- 
obedience, hypocrisy, pretendedly, in haters and perse- 
cutors of holiness and reformation ; and when he will seem 
religious, he will be superstitious and seem to outgo Christ, 

Direct, xxii. Keep close to Christ, that you may know 
his voice from the voice of strangers ; and get holy wisdom 
to try the spirits, and to discern between things that differ : 
let the whole frame of truth and godliness be in your head and 
heart, that you may perceive when any would make a breach 
in any part of it. The devil setteth up no good but in or- 
der to some evil. Therefore, examine whither it tendeth ; 
and not only what it is, but what use he would have you 
make of it. And love no evil, because of any good that is 
pretended for it; and dislike or reject no good because-of 
any evil use that is by others made of it. . And whatever 
doctrine is brought you, try it thus : — 1. Receive, none that 
is against the certain nature, attributes, and honour of God. 
2, Nor any that is against the light or law of nature. 3. 
Nor any that is against the Scripture. 4. Nor any that 
is against holiness of heart and life. 5. Nor any against 
charity and justice to men. 6. Nor any (about matters to 
to be ordered by men) that is against order ; nor any against 
government and the peace of church and state. 7. Nor any 
that is against the true unity, peace, and communion of 
saints. 8. Nor any that is certainly inconsistent with great 
and certain truths. Thus try the spirits, whether they be 
of God. 

Tempt. XXIII. * The tempter usually draweth men to 
one extreme, under pretence of avoiding another ; causing 
men to be so fearful of the danger on one side, as to take 
no heed of that on the other side.' 

Direct, xxiii. Understand all your danger; and mark 


the latitude or extent of God's commands ; and watch on 
every side : and you must know in what duties you are in 
danger of extremes and in what not. In those acts of the 
soul that are purely rational about your ultimate end, you 
cannot do too much : as in knowing God, and loving him, 
and being willing and resolved to please him. But passions 
may possibly go too far, even about God ; especially fear 
and grief, for they may be such as nature cannot bear, with- 
out distraction, death, or hindrance of duty. But few are 
guilty of this ; but towards the creature, passions may easily 
exceed : and in external actions towards God or man there 
may be excess. But especially in point of judgment, it is 
easy to slide from extreme into extreme. 2. And you 
must know in every duty you do, and every sin which you 
avoid, and every truth you receive, what is the contrary or 
extreme to that particular truth, or sin, or duty ; and keep 
it in your eye. If you do not thus watch, you will reel like 
a drunken man from side to side, and never walk uprightly 
with God. You will turn from prodigality to covetousness, 
from cruel persecution to libertinism, or from libertinism 
to persecuting cruelty, from hypocritical formality to hy- 
pocritical pretended spirituality, or from enthusiasms and 
faction to dead formality. But of this I have spoken at 
large. Chap. v. Partii. " Directions to Students." 

Tempt. XXIV. * On the contrary, the tempter usually 
pleadeth moderation and prudence against a holy life, and 
accurate, zealous obedience to God ; and would make you 
believe, that to be so diligent in duty, and scrupulously 
afraid of sin, is to run into an extreme ; and to be righteous 
over-much, and to make religion a vexatious, or distracting 
thing, and that it is more ado than needs.' 

Direct, xxiv. This I have answered so oft, that I shall 
here say but this : that God cannot be too much loved : nor 
Jieaven too much valued, nor too diligently sought or obey- 
ed : nor sin and hell be too much avoided : nor doth any 
man need to fear doing too much, where he is sure, when he 
hath done his best, to do too little. Hearken what men say 
of this at death. 

Tempt. XX v. * The tempter would persuade us, that one 
sin is necessary to avoid another ; and that of two evils you 
must choose the less, as if there were no other way. Thus 


James and John did by sinful, uncharitable zeal, desire to 
punish sin ' : Peter would sinfully fight against the sinful 
Jews ^. Thus he bids men lie, to avoid some dishonour to 
God and religion ; and persecute, to preserve the unity of 
the church, and keep out sin ; and commit a lesser sin them- 
selves, to escape a greater.' 

Direct, xxv. This is to abuse God, as if he had made 
that necessary which he forbids, and had not provided you 
lawful means enough to use against every sin. This is wil- 
fully to do that, which you pretend you are unwilling to do, 
even to sin. Of two evils avoid both, but be sure you con- 
sent to neither. 

Tempt. XXVI. * He pleadeth Christian liberty, to entice 
to sin, especially to sensuality. Hath not Christ purchased 
you liberty to use the creatures ? All things are yours. No 
men but the godly have just title to them.' 

Direct, xxvi. He never purchased us liberty to abuse 
the creature, as poison to hurt ourselves ; to hinder mortifi- 
cation, and strengthen our enemy, and our snare, and to 
steal away our hearts from God. It is a liberty from sin, 
and not a liberty to sin, that Christ hath purchased us. 

Tempt, xxvii. ' He pleadeth the necessity of wife,, 
children, estate, life, &c. Necessity makes it lawful.' 

Direct, xxvii. There is no necessity of sinning. He 
cannot be Christ's disciple, that thinks it more necessary to 
save his life, or provide for wife, and children than to obey 
his Lord ; God must be trusted with these. 

Tempt. XX VI II. * But, saith the tempter, it is natural 
to lust, to love honour, ease, pleasure, &c. ; therefore it is 
no sin.' 

Direct, xxviii. Nature is corrupted and sinful ; and it 
is natural to you to be rational, and to rule your sense and 
appetite by reason, and not to do what lust or appetite de- 
sireth : else man is but a beast. 

Tempt. XXIX. * But, saith the tempter, authority com- 
mandeth it : it is your parent's, or master's will, and you 
must obey.' 

Direct, xxix. There is no power but from God ; there- 
fore none against him, or above him. They must be obeyed 

' Luke ix. 54. k Matt, xxvi. 52. 


in all things lawful, but not in sin. They cannot save you 
nor themselves from the wrath of God. 

Tempt. XXX. ' But, saith the tempter, you have promised 
or vowed that you will do it, and are not at liberty.' 

Direct, xxx. The vow of a lawful thing must be kept ; 
but if you vow to sin, it is another sin to perform it, and to 
wrong God or man because you have vowed to wrong him. 

Tempt, xxxi. * But, saith the tempter, it is a controversy, 
and many learned and good men think it is no sin.' 

Direct, xxxi. You have the more reason to be fearful and 
cautelous, when you see that the case is so obscure, and the 
snare so subtle, and are sure that many learned and good 
men on one side or other are deceived before you. Remem- 
ber, God is your king and judge, who will not take it for an 
excuse for sin, that learned or good men did it, or defended 
it. Consult not with flesh and blood, but with God. 

Tempt, xxxii. * But, saith the tempter, will you be sin- 
gular, and be pointed or hooted at by all?' 

Direct, xxxii. In doctrine I will not be singular from 
the Holy Catholic Church of God : in worship I will not in 
singularity or schism separate from the communion of 
saints ; but in doctrine I will be singular from infidels and 
heretics ; and in a holy life I will be singular from the un- 
godly, and profane, and sensual ; lest if I do as they, to 
avoid their scorns, I speed as they. 

Tempt, xxx 1 1 1. * But you are weak, and you cannot help 
it, till God will give you grace to do it.' 

Direct, xxxiii. Therefore I must not be wilful, and neg- 
ligent, and rash, and do that evil which I may forbear, nor 
resist and refuse that grace, and help, and mercy, without 
which I can do nothing. 

Tempt, XX XIV. ' But you repent, and ask God forgive- 
ness through Christ, every night, for the sins of the day.' 

Direct, xxxi v. Repenting is a sorrowful turning of the 
heart from sin to God. You repent not if you turn not. To 
mock God with such hypocritical praying and repenting, is 
itself a heinous sin. Will you take it for repenting, if a man 
that spits in your face and beateth you, shall do it every 
day, and ask your forgiveness at night, and purpose to do it 
still, because he asked forgiveness ? 


Tempt. XXXV. 'But every man sinneth daily : you do 
but as the best men in the world do/ 

Direct, xxxv. No true Christian that is justified, hath 
any sin, but what he hateth more than loveth, and would 
fain be rid of, and striveth against in the use of holy means. 
He hath no beloved sin which he would not part with, but 
had rather keep than leave. 

Tempt, XXXVI. * But those that seem strict and godly 
are hypocrites, and secretly as bad as you.' 

Direct, xxxvi. This is just hke the devil, the accuser of 
those that are sancfified and justified by Christ : the father 
of malice and lies: to charge that on them,' which he coh- 
fesseth is secret and he cannot prove. So he said of Job, 
that if he were touched in his estate or body, he would for- 
sake his godliness : but he was found a liar. But be it how 
it will, I am sure I must be holy or I shall not see God, and if 
" I hve after the flesh I shall die ^ :" and other men's misery 
will be no ease to me. 

Tempt, xxxvu. * But, saith the tempter, if you will not 
sin, come but near it, and do that which is lawful.* 

Direct, xxxvii. Indeed we must not run into a con- 
trary extreme, under pretence of flying far enough from sin : 
but if you keep out of other sin, you cannot go too far from 
any. To be near sin, is to be near God's wrath, and near 
that which tendeth to hell fire. And to come near it is the 
common way of coming to it. He that could wish he might 
do it, is infected at the heart already. Keep a tender con- 
science, and a constant sense of the danger of sinning. 

Tempt. XXXVIII. * It is a great snare, when sin is got 
into credit, 1 . By putting fair names upon it, calling luxury 
and gluttony keeping a good house, and a good table ; tip* 
pling is called, drinking a cup with a friend ; lust and filthi- 
ness are called love ; worldliness is called thriftiness and 
good husbandry ; idleness and loss of time are called the 
leisure of a gentleman ; slothfulness is called a not being 
too worldly ; time wasting sports are called recreations ; 
pride is called decency and handsomeness ; proud revenge 
is called honour and gallantry ; Romish cruelty, and per- 
secution, and wasting the; church, are called keeping up 
iorder, obedience, and unity ; disobedience to superiors is 

' Heb. xii. 14. Rom. viii. 9. 13. 
VOL. II. . X 


called aot fearing man ; church'divisions are called strict- 
ness and zeal. 2. Especially if a sin be not in disgrace 
among the stricter sort, it greatly prepareth men to commit 
it : as breaking the Lord's day, beyond sea, in many reform- 
ed churches : and at home, spiritual pride, censoriousness, 
backbiting, disobedience, and church-divisions are not in 
half that disgrace among many professors of strictness, as 
they deserve, and as swearing, &c. are.' 

Direct, xxxviii. Remember, that whatever be the name 
or cloak, God judgeth righteously, according to the truth : 
names may deceive us, but not our Judge. And sin is still in 
disgrace with God, however it be with men. Remember, the 
more comely the paint and cover are, the greater is the dan- 
ger, and the more watchful and cautelous we should be. It is 
not imperfect man, but the perfect law of God, which must 
be our rule. The great success of this temptation should 
deter us from entertaining it. What abundance of mischief 
hath it done in the world ! 

Tempt. XXXIX. * Sometimes, the devil tempteth men to 
some heinous sin, that, if he prevail not, at least he may 
draw them into a less. As cheating chafferers will ask 
twice the price of their commodity, that, by abating much, 
they may make you willing to give too much. He that 
would get a little, must ask a great deal. He will tempt you 
to drunkenness, and if he draw you but to tippling or time- 
wasting, he hath got something. If he tempt you to forni- 
cation, and he get you but to some filthy thoughts or im- 
modest, lascivious talk or actions, he hath done .much of 
that which he intended. If he tempt you to some horrid 
cruelty, and you yield but to some less degree, or to some 
unjust or uncharitable censures, you think you have con- 
quered, when it is he that conquereth.' 

Direct, xxxix. Remember, that the least degree of sin 
is sin, and '* death the wages of it." Think not that 
you have escaped well, if your hearts have taken any of 
the infection, or if you have been wounded any where, 
though it might have been worse. If the tempter had 
tempted you no further but to a lustful, malicious, or proud 
thought or word, you would perceive that if he prevail, he 
conquereth : so may you when he getteth this much, by a 
shameless asking more. 


Tempt. XL. 'He tempteth us sometimes, to be so fearful 
and careful against one sin, or about some one danger, as 
to be mindless of some other, and lie open to his tempta- 
tion. Like a fencer that will seem to aim all at one place, 
that he may strike you in another while you are guarding 
that. Or like an enemy, that giveth all the alarm at one 
end of the city, that he may draw the people thither, while 
he stormeth in another place. So satan makes some so 
afraid of worldliness, that they watch not against idleness ; 
or so fearful of hardheartedness, and deadness, and hypo- 
crisy, that they watch not against passion, neglect of their 
callings, or dejectedness ; or so fearful of sinning or being 
deceived about their salvation, that they fear not the want 
of love, and joy, and thankfulness for all the mercy they 
have received, nor the neglect of holy praise to God.* 

Direct, xl. Remember, that as obedience must be entire 
and universal, so is satan's temptation against all parts of 
our obedience ; and our care must extend to all if we will 
escape. It would cure your inordinate fear in some one 
point, if you extended it to all the rest. 

Tempt. xLi. ' Sometimes, by the suddenness of a temp- 
tation, he surpriseth men before they are aware/- f;^^ ^'*'''^ 

Direct, xli. Be never unarmed nor from your watch' : ^'^- 
pecially as to thoughts, or sudden passions, or rash words, 
which are used to be committed for want of deliberation. 

Tempt. XLI I. ' Sometimes, he useth a violent earnest- 
ness, especially when he getteth passion on his side. So 
that reason is borne down ; and the sinner saith, ' I could 
not forbear.* 

Direct, xlii. But remember, that the very eager unruli- 
ness of your passion, is a sin in itself: and that none can 
compel you to«in: and that reason must deliberate and 
rule ; or else any murder or wickedness may have the ex- 
cuse of urgent passions. 

Tempt. xLiii. ' Sometimes he useth the violence of 
men : they threaten men, to frighten them into siii.* 

Direct, xliii. But are not God and his threatenings more 
to be feared ? Do men threaten imprisonment, or death, or 
ruitii? And doth not God threaten everlasting misery ? And 
can he not defend you from all that man shall threaten, if it 
be best for you ? See the portion of the fearful. Rev. xxi. 8. 


Tempt. xLiv. * Sometimes variety of temptjitions dis- 
tracteth men, that they do not look to all at once/ 

Direct, xliv. Remember, that one part of the city un- 
guarded, may lose the whole in a general assault. 

Tempt. XLv. * Sometimes he ceaseth, to make us secure, 
and lay by our arms, and then surpriseth us.' 

Direct, xlv. Take heed of security, and satan's ambush- 
ments. Distinguish between cessation and conquest. You 
conquer not every time that you have rest and quietness 
from temptation. Till the sin be hated, and the contrary 
grace or duty in practice, you have not at all overcome : and 
when that is done, yet trust not the devil or the flesh ; nor 
think the war will be shorter than your lives, for one assault 
will begin where the other ended. Mak£ use of every ces- 
sation but to prepare for the next encounter. 

Tempt. XLV I. ' He will tempt you to take striving for 
overcoming ; and to think because you pray and make some 
resistance that sin is conquered ; and because your desires 
are good, all is well.' 

Direct, xlvi. But all that fight do not overcome : " If a 
man strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he 
strive lawfully™." ** Many will seek to enter and shall 
not be able "." 

Tempt. XLVI I. ' He foUoweth the sinner with frequency 
and importunity, till he weary him and make him yield.' 

Direct, xlvii. 1. Remember, that Christ is as importu- 
nate with thee to save thee, as the devil can be to damn thee ; 
and which then should prevail ? 2. Be you as constant in 
resistance : be as oft in prayer and other confirming means. 
Do as Paul °, who prayed thrice (as Christ did in his agony), 
when the prick in the flesh was not removed. 3. Tempt 
not the tempter, by giving him encouragement : a faint de- 
nial is an invitation to ask again. Give him qurckly a flat 
denial, and put him out of hope, if you would shorten the 

Tempt. XLviii. * Lastly, The devil would sink the sinner 
in despair, and persuade him now it is too late.' 

Direct, xlviii. Observe his design, that it is but to 
take off* that hope which is the weight to set the wheels of 
the soul agoing. In all, he is against God and you : in 

n'lTJm.ii. 5. « Luke xiii. 24. » 2 Cor. xii. r, 8. 


other sins he is against God's authority ; in this he is 
against his love and mercy. Read the Gospel and you will 
find, that Christ's death is sufficient, the promise is univer- 
sal, full and free, and that the day of grace is so far continued 
till the day of death, and no man shall be denied it that 
truly desireth it : and, that the same God that forbid deth 
thy presumption, forbiddeth also thy despair. 

Temptations to draw us off from Duty. 

Tempt. I. ' The greatest temptation against duty is, by 
persuading men that it is no duty. Thus in our days we 
have seen almost all duty cast off by this erroneous fancy. 
One saith, * that the holy observation of the Lord's day is 
not commanded of God in Scripture.' Another saith, * What 
Scripture have you for family prayer, or singing psalms, or 
baptising infants, or praying before and after sermon, or for 
your office, ordination, tithes, churches, &c. Another saith, 
* That church government and discipline are not of divine 
institution.' Another saith, that ' baptism and the Lord's 
supper were but for that age.' And thus all duty is taken 
down instead of doing it.' 

Direct, i. Read and fear. Matt. v. 19. " Whosoever shall 
break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men 
so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven ; 
but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be 
called great in the kingdom of heaven." Denying duty, is 
too easy a way of evading obedience, to serve turn. Deny- 
ing the laws that bind you to public payments will not save 
you from them ; but for all that if you deny, you must be 
distrained on. And God will make it dearer to you, if you 
put him to distrain on you for duty. Must he go to law 
with you for it ? He will quickly shew you law for it, and 
prove that it was your duty. Open your doubts to able 
men, and you will hear more evidence than you know ; but 
if pride and false-heartedness blind you, you must bear your 

Tempt. II. ' Saith the tempter, * it is a duty to weak 
ones, but not for you : you must not be still under ordi- 
nances, in the lower form : every day must be a Sabbath 


to you, and every bit a sacrament, and every place as a 
church : you must live above ordinances in Christ.' 

Direct, ii. We must live against Mosaical ordinances?; 
but not above Christ's ordinances : unless you will live 
above obedience, and above the government of Christ 'K 
Hath not Christ appointed the ministry, and church-helps, 
" till we all come to a perfect man ' ?" and promised to " be 
with them to the end of the world * ?" It is befooling pride 
that can make you think you have no need of Christ's in- 
stituted means. 

Tempt. III. * But thou art unworthy to pray or receive 
the sacrament : it is not for dogs.' 

Direct, in. The wilful, impenitent refusers of grace, are 
unworthy. The willing soul, that fain would be what 
God would have him, hath an accepted worthiness in Christ. 

Tempt. IV. * But while you doubt, you do it not in faith ; 
and therefore to you it is sin.' 

Direct, iv. But is it not a greater sin to leave it undone ? 
Will doubting of all duty excuse you from it ? Then you 
have an easy way to be free from all ! Do but doubt 
whether you should believe in God, or Christ, or love him, 
or live a godly life, and it seems you think it will excuse 
you. But if you doubt whether you should feed your child, 
you deserve to be hanged for murdering it, if you famish it. 
If you dou-bt of duty, it is duty still, and you are first bound 
to lay by your doubts. But things indifferent, left to your 
ichoice, must not be done with a doubtful conscience : it 
was of such things that Paul spake. 

Tempts V. ' The devil puts somewhat still in the way, that 
seemeth necessary, to thrust out duty.' 
J Direct, v. God hath not set you work, which he alloweth 
you no time for. Is all your time spent in better things ? 
Is it not your carnal mind that makes you think carnal 
things most needful? Christ saith, '* One thing is needful *." 
*' Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and 
all these things shall be added to you ".'1 Had you that 
love and delight in holiness as you should, you would find 
time for it. An unwelcome guest is put off with any excuse. 

P Col. ii. 18. 21. 1 Scetny two sheets for the Ministry. 

•■ Ephcs. iv. 13. * Matt, xxviii. 'iO. 

I Luke X. 42. " Matt. vi. 33. 


Others, as poor as you, can find time for duty, because they 
are willing. Set your business in order, and let every 
thing keep its proper place, and you may have time for every 

Tempt, VI. * But you are so unable and unskilful to pray, 
to learn, that it is as good never meddle with it.' 

Direct, vi. Set yourselves to learn, and mark those that 
have skill : and do what you can. You must learn by prac- 
tice : the unskilfullest duty is better than none. Unworded 
groans come oft from the Spirit of God, and God under- 
standeth and accepteth them \ 

Tempt. VII. * It will be so hard and long to learn, that 
you will never overcome it.' i;  

Direct, vii. Willingness and diligence have the promise 
of God's help. Remember, it is a thing that must be done. 
When your own disuse and sin have made it hard, will you 
put God and your souls off with that as an excuse ? If you 
had neglected to teach your child to speak or go when it is 
young, should he therefore never learn ? Will you despair, 
and let go all your hope on this pretence ? Or will you hope 
to be saved without prayer and other holy duty ? How fool- 
ish are both these ? Sick men must eat, though their sto- 
machs be against it : they cannot live else. lu jyoii? 

Tempt. VIII. 'But thou findest thou art but the worse 
for duty, and never the better for it.' 

Direct, viii. Satan will do what he can to make it go 
worse with you after than before. He will discourage you 
if he can, by hindering your success, that he may make you 
think it is to no purpose : so, many preachers, because they 
have fished long and catched nothing, grow cold and heart- 
less, and ready to sit down and say, as Jeremiah, ** I will 
not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name y." 
So in prayer, sacrament, reproof, &c. the devil makes great 
use of this. What good hath it done thee ? But patience 
and perseverance win the crown. The beginning is seldom 
a time to perceive success : the carpenter is long at work 
before he rear a house ; nature brings not forth the plant or 
birth the first day. Your life-time is your working time. 
Do your part, and God will not fail on his part. It is hi» 
part to give success ; and dare you accuse him, or suspect 

* Rom. viii. 26, 27. y Jer. xx. 9. 


him ? There is more of the success of prayer to be believed 
than to be felt. If God have promised to hear he doth 
hear, and we must believe it whether we feel it or not. 
Prayers are often heard long before the thing is sent us 
that we prayed for : we pray for heaven, but shall not be 
there till death. If Moses's message to Pharaoh ten times 
seem lost, it is not lost for all that. What work would ever 
have been done, if on the first conceit of unsuccessfulness 
it had been given off? Be glad that thou hast time to 
plough and sow, to do thy part, and if God will give thee 
fruit at last. 

Tempt. IX. * But, saith the tempter, it goeth worse with 
thee in the world, since thou settest thyself to read, and pray, 
and live obediently : thou hast been poorer, and more 
despised since, than ever before : Thou art ** a derision 
daily, every one mocketh thee''." This thau gettest by it. 

Direct, ix. He began not well, that counted not that it 
might cost him more than this to be a holy Christian : if 
God in heaven be not enough to be thy portion, never serve 
him, but find something better if thou canst. He that can- 
not lose the world cannot use it as he ought. If thou hadst 
rather be at the devil's finding and usage than at God's, 
thou art worthy to speed accordingly. Nay, if thou think 
thy soul itself worse, remember that we are not worst when 
we are troubled most : physic makes sick, when it works 

Tempt. X. * Satan filleth many with abundance of scru- 
ples about every duty, that they come to it as sick persons 
to their meat, with a peevish, quarrelling disposition. This 
aileth, and that aileth it ; something is still amiss, that they 
cannot get it down ; this fault the minister hath in praying 
or preaching ; or the other circumstance is amiss, or the 
other fault is in the company that join with them : and all 
IB to turn them off from all.' 

Direct. X. But do you mend the matter by casting off 
all, or by running into greater inconveniences ? Is not their 
imperfect prayer and communion better than your idle 
neglect of all, or unwarrantable division ? It is a sign of an 
upright heart to be most about heart-observation, and quar- 
relsome with themselves ; and the mark of hypocrites to be 

* Jer. XX. 8. 


most quarrelsome against the manner of other men's per- 
formances, and to be easily driven by any pretences from 
the worship of God and communion of saints. 

Tempt. XI. * The devil will set one duty against another : 
reading against hearing ; praying against preaching ; pri- 
vate against public ; outward and inward worship against 
each other ; mercy and justice, piety and charity, against 
each other ; and still labour to eject the greater.' 

Direct, xi. The work of God is an harmonious and well- 
composed frame : if you leave out a part you spoil the 
whole, and disadvantage yourselves to all the rest ; place 
them aright, and each part helpeth and not hindereth an- 
other ; plead one for another, but cast by none. 

Tempt. XII. ' The commonest and sorest temptation is 
by taking away our appetite to holy duties, by abating our 
feeling of our own necessity : when the soul is sleepy and 
feeleth no need of prayer, or reading, or hearing, or medi- 
tating, but thinks itself tolerably well without it ; or else 
grows sick and is against it, and troubled to use it ; so that 
every duty is like eating to a sick stomach, then it is easy 
to tempt it to neglect or omit many a duty : a little thing 
will serve to put it by, when men feel no need of it.' 

Direct, xii. O keep up a lively sense of your necessities : 
remember still that time is short, and death is near, and you 
are too unready. Keep acquaintance with your hearts and 
lives, and every day will tell you of your necessities, which 
are greatest when they are least perceived. 

Tempt. XIII. * The tempter gets much by ascribing the 
success of holy means to our own endeavour, or to chance, 
or something else, and making us overlook that present 
benefit, which would greatly encourage us : as when we are 
delivered from sickness or danger upon prayer, he tells you 
so you might have been delivered if you had never prayed. 
Was it not by the physician's care and skill, and by such an 
excellent medicine ? If you prosper in any business. Was it 
not by your own contrivance and diligence V 

Direct, xiii. This separating God and means, when God 
worketh by means, is the folly of atheists. When God hear- 
eth thy prayer in sickness or other danger, he sheweth it by 
directing the physician or thyself to the fittest means, and 
blessing that means ; and he is as really the cause, and 


prayer the first means, as if he wrought thy deliverance by 
a miracle. Do not many use the same physician, and me- 
dicine^ and labour, and diligence, who yet miscarry ? Just 
observation of the answers of prayer might do much to cure 
this. All our industry may say as Peter and John, " Why 
look ye so earnestly on us, as if by our own power or holi- 
ness we had done this^?" when God is glorifying his grace, 
and owning his appointed means. 

Tempt. XIV. * Lastly, the devil setteth up something else 
in opposition to holy duty, to make it seem unnecessary. 
In some he sets up their good desires, and saith, God know- 
eth thy heart without expressing it ; and thou mayst have 
as good a heart at home as at church. In some he sets up 
superstitious fopperies of man's devising, instead of God's 
institution. In some he pretendeth the Spirit against ex- 
ternal duty, and saith. The Spirit is all ; the flesh profiteth 
nothing. Yea, in some he sets up Christ himself against 
Christ'<s ordinances, and saith. It is not these, but Christ, 
that profits you.' 

Direct, xiv. This is distracted contradiction : to set 
Christ against Christ, and the Spirit against the ordinances 
of the Spirit. Is it not Christ and the Spirit that appointed 
them ? Doth he not best know in what way he will give his 
grace? Can you not preserve the soul and life, without 
killing the body? Cannot you have the water, and value the 
cistern or spring, without cutting off the pipes that must 
convey it ? O wonderful ! that satan could make men so 
mad, as this reasoning hath shewed us that many are in our 
days. And to set up superstition or pretend a good heart 
against God's worship is to accuse him that appointed it 
of doing he knew not what, and to think that we are wiser 
than he ! And to shew a good heart by disobedience, pride, 
contempt of God and of his mercies ! 

Temptations to frustrate holy Duties, and make them ineffectual. 

The devil is exceeding diligent in this : 1 . That he may 
make the soul despair, and say. Now I have used all means 
in vain; there is no hope. 2. To double the sinner's misery, 
by turning the very remedy into a disease. 3. To shew his 

^ Acts iii. 1 2. 


malice against Christ, and say, I have turned thy own means 
to thy dishonour. 

Consider, therefore, how greatly we are concerned to do 
the work of God effectually. Means well used are the way 
to more grace, to communion with God, and to salvation ; 
but ill used, they dishonour and provoke him, and destroy 
ourselves : like children that cut their fingers with a knife, 
when they should cut their meat with it. 

Tempt. I. * Duty is frustrated by false ends : As 1. To 
procure God to bear with them in their sin : (whereas it is 
the use of duty to destroy sin.) 2. To make God satisfac- 
tion for sin (which is the work of Christ). 3. To merit 
grace (when the imperfection merits wrath). 4. To prosper 
in the world and escape affliction ^ (and so they are but 
serving their flesh, and desiring God to serve it). 6. To 
quiet conscience in a course of sin (by sinning more in offer- 
ing the sacrifice of fools). 6. To be approved of men (and 
verily they have their reward*'). 7. To be saved when they 
can keep the world and sin no longer, (that is, to obtain 
that the Gospel may all be false and God unjust.)' 

Direct, i. First see that the heart be honest, and God, 
and heaven, and holiness most desired, else all that you do 
will want right ends. \hihi^j( 

Tempt. II. * When ignorance or error make men take 
God for what he is not, thinking blasphemously of him, as 
if he were like them, and liked their sins, or were no lover 
of holiness ; they frustrate all their worship of him.' 

Direct, ii. Study God in his Son, in his Word, in his 
saints, in his works : know him as described before, Chap, 
iii. Direct, iv., and see that your wicked, corrupted hearts,, 
or wilful forgetting him, blind not your understandings, a . 

Tempt. III. ' To come to God in ourselves and out of 
Christ, and use his name but customarily, and not in faith 
and confidence.' 

Direct, in. Know well your sin, and vilenes8,and desert, 
and the justice and holiness of God, and then you will see 
that if Christ reconcile you not, and j ustify you not by his 
blood, and do not sanctify and help you by his Spirit, and 
make you sons of God, and intercede not for you, there is 
no access to God, nor standing in his sight. 

^ James iv. 3. e Matt. vi. 5. 


Tempt. IV. ' The tempter would have you pray hypocri- 
tically, with the tongue only without the heart : to put off 
God with a few customary words, with seeming to pray (as 
they do the poor, James ii. with a few empty words) either 
in a form of words not understood, or not considered, or 
not felt and much regarded ; or in more gross hypocrisy, 
praying for the holiness which they will not hjave, and 
against the sin which they will not part with.' 

Direct, iv. O fear the holy, jealous, heart-searching God 
that hateth hypocrisy, and will be worshipped seriously in 
spirit and truth, and will be sanctified of all that draw near 
him '^, and saith they " worship him in vain, that draw nigh 
him with the lips, when the heart is far from him ^." See 
.God by faith, as present with thee, and know thyself, and 
it will awaken thee to seriousness ^ 

Tempt. V. * He would destroy faith and hope, and make 
you doubt whether you shall g6t any thing by duty.' 

Direct, v. But, 1. Why should God command it, and 
promise us his blessing if he meant not to perform it ? 
2. Remember God's infiniteness, and omnipresence, and 
allsufficiency : he is as verily with thee, as thou art ther€ : 
he upholdeth thee : he sheweth by his mercies, that he re- 
gardeth thee ; and by his regarding lower things : and if he 
regard thee, he doth regard thy duties. It is all one with him 
to hear thy prayers, as if he had never another creature to 
regard and hear. Believe then, and hope and wait upon him. 

Tempt. VI. * Sometimes the tempter will promise you 
more by holy duty, than God doth, and make you expect 
deliverance from every enemy, want and sickness, and 
speedier deliverance of soul, than ever God promised ; and 
all this is to make you cast away all as vain, and think 
God faileth you, when you miss your expectations.' 
i Direct, vi. But God will do all that he promiseth, but 
not all that the devil and yourselves promise. See what 
,God promiseth in his Word. That is enough for you. 
Make that and no more the end of duties. 

Tempt. VII. * The tempter usually would draw you from 

the heart and life of duty, by ascribing too much to the 

outside : laying too much on the bare doing of the work, 

the giving of the alms, the hearing of the sermons, the say- 

d Lev. X. 3. « Matt. xv. 8, 9. ^ See Heb. iv. 13. Hos. viU. 12, 13. 


ing of the words, the handsome expression, order, manner ; 
which in their places are all good, if animated with spirit, 
life and seriousness.' ' " .; » 

Direct, vii. Look most and first to the soul in duty, and 
the soul of duty. The picture of meat feedeth not ; the 
picture of fire warmeth not : fire and shadows will not nou- 
rish us. God loveth not dead carcasses instead of spiritual 
worship ; we regard not words ourselves, further than they 
express the heart. Let the outer part have but its due. 

Tempt. VIII. 'He tempteth you to rest in a forced, 
affected, counterfeit fervency, stirred up by a desire to take 
with others,' 

Direct, viii. Look principally at God and holy motives, 
and less at men, that all your fire be holy, fetched from 

Tempt. IX. 'He would keep you in a lazy, sluggish cold- 
ness to read, and hear, and pray as asleep, as if you did it not.' 
Direct, ix. Awake yourselves with the presence of God, 
and the great concernment of what you are about, and yield 
not to your sloth. 

Tempt. X. * He would make you bring a divided, distract- 
ed heart to duty, that is half about your worldly business.' 

Direct, x. Remember God is jealous, your business with 
him is great, much lieth on it, call oif your hearts, and let 
them not stay behind ; all the powers of your souls are little 
enough in such a work «. 

Tempt. XI. * Ignorance, unskilfulness, and unacquaint- 
edness with duty, are a great impediment to most.' 

Direct, xi. Learn by study joined with practice : be not 
weary, and difficulties will be overcome. 

Tempt. XII. * Putting duty out of its place, and neglect- 
ing the season that is fittest, makes it oft done slightly.' 

Direct, ^u. Redeem time, and dispatch other business, 
that idleness deprive you not of leisure : and do all in order. 
Tempt. XIII. * Neglecting one duty is the tempter's 
snare to spoil another. If he can keep you from reading, 
you will not understand well what you hear : if he keep you 
from meditating, you will not digest what you hear or read. 
If he keep you from hearing, you will want both matter and 
life for prayer, and meditation, and conference : if he keep 

K Ezek. xxxtii. 31. 


you from godly company, you will be hindered in all, and 
in the practice : no one is omitted, but you are disadvan- 
taged by it in all the rest.' 

Direct, xiii. Observe how one duty helpeth another, 
and take all together each one in its place. 

Tempt. XIV. ' Sometimes the tempter doth call you off 
to other duty, and puts in unseasonable motions to that 
which in its time is good : he interrupts prayer by medita- 
tion, he sets seeming truth against love, and peace, and 

Direct, xiv. Still know which duties are greatest, and 
which is the due season for each, and do all in order. 

Tempt. XV. * He spoileth duty, by causing you to do 
it only as a duty, and not as a means for the good of your 
own souls, or only as a means, and not as a duty : if you do 
it only as a duty, then you will not be quickened to it by 
the ends and benefits, nor carried by hope, nor fit all to the 
end, nor be so fervent or vigorous in it, as the sense of your 
own good would make you be. And if you do it only as a 
means, and not as a duty, then you will give over or faint, 
when you want or question the success : whereas, the sense 
of both would make you vigorous and constant.' 

Direct, x v. Keep under the sense of God's authority, 
that you may feel yourselves bound to obey him, whatever 
be the success ; and may resolve to wait in an obedient 
way. And withal, admire his wisdom in fitting all duties to 
your benefit, and commanding you nothing but what is for 
your own, or others' good, or to his honour : and mark the 
reason and tendency of all ; and your own necessity. 

Tempt. XVI. * The tempter hindereth you in duty, as 
well as from duty, by setting you a quarrelling with the mi- 
nister, the words, the company, the manner; the circimi- 
stances; that these things may divert your thoughts from 
the matter, or distract your mind with causeless scruples.' 

i^^ Direct, xvi. Pray and labour for a clear judgment, and 
ailtipright, self-judging, humble heart, which dwelleth most 
at home, and looketh most atthe spiritual part, and affecteth 
not singularity. 

Tempt. XVII. * The tempter spoileth duty by your in- 
constancy : while you read or pray so seldom, that you have 


lost the benefit of one duty, before you come to another, 
and cool by intermissions.' 

Direct, xvii. Remember that it is not your divertise- 
ment, but your calling, and is to your soul, as eating to your 

Tempt. XVIII. * Sometimes satan corrupteth duty by 
men's private passions, interest, and opinions, making men, 
in preaching and praying, to vent their own conceits and 
spleen, and inveigh against those that differ from them, or 
offend them, and profane the name and work of God : or 
proudly to seek the praise of men.* 

Direct, xviii. Remember that God is most jealous in his 
worship, and hateth hypocritical profaneness, above all 
profaneness. Search your hearts, and mortify your pas- 
sions; and especially selfishness, remembering that it is a 
poisonous and insinuating sin, and will easily hide itself 
with a cloak of zeal. 

Tempt. XIX. * False-hearted reservedness is a most ac- 
cursed corrupter of holy duty : when the soul is not wholly 
given up to God, but sets upon duty from some common 
motive ; as, because it is in credit, or to please some friend, 
purposing to try it awhile, and leave it, if they like it not.' 

Direct, xix. Fear God, thou hypocrite, and halt not be- 
tween two opinions. If the Lord be God, obey and serve 
him with all thy heart : but, if the devil and the flesh be 
better masters, follow them, and let him go. 

Tempt. XX. Lastly, * The tempter hindereth holy duty 
much, by wandering thoughts, and melancholy perplexities, 
and a hurry of temptations, which torment and distract 
some Christians, so that they cry out, * I cannot pray, I can- 
not meditate ;' and are weary of duty, and even of their 

Direct, xx. This sheweth the malice of the tempter, and 
thy weakness ; but, if thou hadst rather be delivered from 
it, it hindereth not thy acceptance with God. Read for 
this, what I have said Chap. v. Part 2. at large ; especially 
in my Directions to the Melancholy, 

I have been forced to put off many things briefly here, 
which deserved a larger handling ; and I must now omit the 
discovery of those temptations, by which satan keepeth 
men in sin, when he hath drawn them into it. 2. And those 


by which he causeth declining in grace, and apostacy. 3. 
And those by which he discomforteth true believers ; be- 
cause else this Direction would swell to a treatise ; and 
most will think it too long and tedious already, though the 
brevity which I use, to avoid prolixity, doth wrong the mat- 
ter through the whole. Acquaintance with temptations is 
needful to our overcoming them. 

Grand Direct, x. ' Your lives must be laid out in doing 
God service, and doing all the good you can, in works of 
piety, justice, and charity, with prudence, fidelity, industry, 
zeal, and delight ; remembering that you are engaged to 
God, as servants to their Lord and master ; and are entrust- 
ed with his talents, of the improvement whereof you must 
give account.' 

The next relation between Christ and us, which we are 
to speak of, (subordinate to that of King and Subjects,) is 
this of Master and Servants. Though Christ saith to the 
apostles, "Henceforth I call you not servants, but friends'*;" 
the meaning is not that he calleth them not servants at all, 
but not mere servants, they being more than servants, hav- 
ing such acquaintance with his counsels as his friends. For 
he presently, verse 20. bids them " Remember that the ser- 
vant is not greater than the lord." And John xiii. 13. "Ye 
call me Master and Lord ; and ye say well, for so I am." 
And Matt, xxiii. 8. " One is your Master, Christ ; and all 
ye are brethren:" so ver. 10. And the apostles called 
themselves the " servants of Jesus Christ' ;" and " of God''." 

He is called our Master, and we his servants, because 
he is our Rector, * ex pleno dominio' with absolute proprie- 
ty, and doth not give us laws to obey, while we do our own 
work, but giveth us his work to do, and laws for the right 
doing of it : and it is a service under his eye, and in depend- 
ance on him for our daily provisions, as servants on their 
lord. God hath work for us to do in the world ; and the 
performance of it he will require. God biddeth his sons, 
" Go work to day in my vineyard' ;^' and expecteth that they 
do it™. His " servants" are as " husbandmen," to whom 
*' he entrusteth his vineyard, that he may receive the fruit"." 

h John XV. 5. ^ Rom. i. 1. and 1 Cor. iv. 1. Phil. i. 1. ^ Tit. i. 1. 
.' Matt. xxi. 28. «» Ver. 31. " Ver. 33, 34. 41, 43. 


" Faithful servants" shall be " made rulers over his house- 
hold °." Christ delivereth to his servants his talents to im- 
prove, and will require an account of the improvement at 
his coming P. Good works, in the proper, comprehensive 
sense, are all actions internal and external, that are morally 
good : but in the narrower acceptation, they are works, not 
only formally good, as acts of obedience in general, but 
also materially good, such as a servant doth for his master, 
that tend to his advantage, or the profit of some other, whose 
welfare he regardeth. Because the doctrine of Good Works 
is controverted in these times, I shall first open it briefly, 
and then give you the Directions. 

1 . Nothing is more certain, than that God doth not need 
the service of any creature ; and that he receiveth no addi- 
tion to his perfection or felicity from it ; and, consequently, 
that on terms of commutative justice, (which giveth one thing 
for another, as in selling and buying,) no creature is capa- 
ble of meriting at his hands. 

2. It is certain, that on the terms of the law of works, 
(which required perfect obedience as the condition of life,) 
no sinner can do any work so good, as in point of distribu- 
tive, governing justice, shall merit at his hands. 

3. It is certain, that Christ hath so fulfilled the law of 
works, as to merit for us. 

4. The redeemed are not masterless, but have still a Lord, 
who hath now a double right to govern them : and this go- 
vernor giveth them a law : and this law requireth us to do 
good works, as much as we are able, (though not so terribly, 
yet) as obligingly as the law of works : and by this (of 
Christ) we must be judged : and thus we must be judged 
accordmg to our works : and to be judged is nothing else 
but to be justified or condemned. Such works, therefore, 
are rewardable according to the distributive justice of the 
law of grace, by which we must be judged. And the an- 
cient fathers, who (without any opposition) spoke of good 
works as meritorious with God, meant no more, but that 
they were such as the righteous Judge of the world will re- 
ward, according to the law of grace, by which he judgeth 
us. And this doctrine being agreed on as certain truth, 
there is no controversy left with them, but whether the 

o Matt. xxiv. .45, 46. p Matt, xxv, 14. 



word 'merit' was properly or improperly used: and that 
both Scripture, and our common speech, alloweth the fa- 
thers' use of the word, I have shewed at large in my " Con- 

6. Christ is so far from redeeming us from a necessity 
of good works, that he died to restore us to a capacity and 
ability to perform them, and hath new-made us for that end. 
'* He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all 
iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of 
good works '^." " For we are his workmanship, created in 
Christ Jesus to good works, which God hath before ordain- 
ed that we should walk in them''." 

6. Good works opposed to Christ, or his satisfaction, 
merit, righteousness, mercy, or free-grace, in the matter of 
justification or salvation, are not good works, but proud 
self-confidence and sin : but good works, in their due su- 
bordination to God's mercy, and Christ's merits and grace, 
are necessary and rewardable. 

7. Though God need none of our works, yet that which 
is good materially pleaseth him, as it tendeth to his glory, 
and to our own and others' benefit, which he delighteth in. 

8* It is the communicating of his goodness and excel- 
lencies to the creature, by which God doth glorify himself 
in the world : and in heaven, where is the fullest communi- 
cation, he is most glorified : therefore the praise which is 
given to the creature, who receiveth all from him, is his 
own praise. And it is no dishonour to God, that his crea- 
ture be honoured, by being good, and being esteemed good : 
otherwise, God would never have created any thing, lest it 
should derogate from himself: or, he would have made them 
bad, lest their goodness were his dishonour ; and he would be 
most pleased with the wicked, and least pleased with the 
best, as most dishonouring him. But madness itself abhor- 
reth these conceits. 

9. Therefore, as an act of mercy to us, and for his own 
glory, (as at first he made all things very good, so) he will 
make the new creature according to his image, which is ho- 
ly, and just, and good, and will use us in good works ; and 
it is our honour, and gain, and happiness to be so used by ^ 
him. As he will not communicate light to the world, with- 

q Tit. ii. 14. ' Ephes. ii. 10. 


out the sun, (whose glory derogateth not from his honour :) 
so will he not do good works in the world, immediately by 
himself only; but by his servants, whose calling and daily 
business it must be, as that which they are made for, as the 
sun is made to give light and heat to inferior things. " Let 
your light so shine before men, that they may see your 
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven*." 
Christ was far from their opinion, that think all good works 
that are attributed to good men, are dishonourable to God*. 

10. He is most beholden to God, that is most exercised 
in good works. The more we do, the more we receive from 
him : and our very doing itself is our receiving ; for it is he 
that " giveth us both to will and to do," by his operation in 
us" ; even " he, without whom we can do nothing"." 

11. The obligation to good works, that is, to works of 
piety, justice, and charity, is essential to us as servants of 
the Lord. We are practical atheists, if we do not the works 
of piety to God : we are rebels against God, and enemies to 
ourselves, and unmeet for human society, if we do not the 
works which are good for ourselves, and for others, if we 
have ability and opportunity. This is our fruit which God 
expecteth ; and if we bear it not, he will hew us down, and 
cast us into the fire. 

12. Though doing no hurt will not serve turn, without 
doing good, yet it is not the same works that are required of 
all, nor in the same degree, but according to every man's 
talent and opportunities y. 

13. God looketh not only nor principally at the external 
part of the work, but much more to the heartof him that 
doth it : nor at the length of time, but at the sincerity and 
diligence of his servants. And therefore, though he is so 
just, as not to deny the reward which was promised th^^tt, 
to those that have borne the burden and heat of the day ; yet 
is he so gracious and bountiful, that he will give as much, 

» Matt. V. 16. 

t Vir bonus est qui prodest quibus potest, nocet autem uemini. P. Scalig. Ne 
pigeat evangelicum rainistrum, aegrotum visitare, xenio aliquo recreare, famelicum 
cibario saltern pane pascere, nudum operire, paupereni cui non est adjutor, a divituni 
calumniis et potentia eripere, pro afflictis principem magistratumve convenire : rem 
familiarem consilio augere, morientibus sedulo et benigne astare, lites et dissidia com- 
ponere, &c. Acosta lib. iv. c. 18. p. 418. 

» Phil. ii. 13. "" John xv. 5. > Matt, xxv, 14, 15, &c. 


to those that he findeth as willing and diligent, and would 
have done more if they had opportunity^. You see in all 
this, what our doctrine is about good works, and how far 
those Papists are to be believed, who persuade their igno- 
rant disciples, that we account them vain and needless 

Directions for faithful serving Christ, and doing good. 

Direct, i. * Be sure that you have the holiness, justice, 
and charity within, which are the necessary principles of 
good works.* —For "a good tree will bring forth good fruit, 
and an evil tree evil fruit : make the tree good, and the fruit 
good : a good man out of the good treasure of his heart, 
bringeth forth good things : and an evil man out of the evil 
treasure of his heart, bringeth forth evil things." As out of 
the heart proceed evil works % so out of the heart must good 
works come ^. Can the dead do the works of the living ? 
or the unholy do the works of holiness ? or the unrighteous 
do the works of justice? or the uncharitable do the works 
of charity ? Will he do good to Christ in his members on 
earth, who hateth them ? Or will he not rather imprison 
them, than visit them in prison ; and rather strip them of 
all they have, than feed and clothe them ? Or if a man 
should do that which materially is good, from pride, or 
other sinful principles, God doth not accept it, but taketh 
all sacrifice but as carrion, that is offered to him without 
the heart. 

Direct, ii. ' Content not yourselves to do some good ex- 
traordinarily on the by, or when you are urged to it; but 
study to do good, and make it the trade or business of your 
lives/ — Having so many obligations, and so great encou- 
ragements, do what you do with all your might. If you 
would know whether you are servants to Christ, or to the 
flesh, the question must be, which of these have the main 
care and diligence of our lives : for as every carnal act will 
not prove you servants to the flesh, so every good action 
will not prove you the servants of Christ. 

Direct, iii. * Before you do any work, consider, whether 
you can truly say, it is a service of God, and will be ac- 

« Matt. XX. 12—15. » Matt. xv. 19, 20. »> Matt. vii. 16—20. 


cepted by him. See therefore that it be done, 1. To his 
glory, or to please him. 2. And in obedience to his com- 
mand.' — Mere natural actions, that have no moral good or 
evil in them, and so belong not to morality, these belong 
not to our present subject, as being not the matter of ra- 
tional (or at least of obediential) choice. Such as the wink- 
ing of the eye, the setting of this foot forward first, the 
taking of this or that meat, or drink, or instrument, or com- 
pany, or action, when they are equal, and it is no matter of 
rational or obediential choice, &c. But every act that is to 
be done deliberately and rationally, as matter of choice, 
must be moralised or made good, by doing it, 1. To a right 
end ; and 2. According to the rule. " Whether we eat, 
or drink, or whatsoever we do (that is matter of rational 
choice), must be done by us to the glory of God "=." All 
works tend not alike to his glory ; but some more imme- 
diately and directly, and others remotely : but all must ul- 
timately have this end. Even servants that labour in their 
painful work, must ** do it as to the Lord, and not (only, or 
ultimately) to men, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, 
but as the servants of Christ," from whom they must have 
their greatest reward or punishment '^. All the comforts of 
food, or rest, or recreation, or pleasure which we take, 
should be intended to fit us for our master's work, or 
strengthen, cheer, or help us in it. Do nothing, deliberately, 
that belongs to the government of reason, but God's service 
in the world ; which you can say, he set you on. 

Direct. IV. * Set not duties of piety, justice, or charity 
against each other, as if they had an enmity to each other ; 
but take them as inseparable, as God hath made them.' — 
Think not to offer God a sacrifice of injury, bribery, fraud, 
oppression, or any uncharitable work. And pretend not the 
benefit of men, or the safety of societies or kingdoms, for 
impiety against the Lord ^. 

Direct, v. * Acquaint yourselves with all the talents 
which you receive from God, and what is the use to which 

«^ 1 Cor. X. 31. ^ Ephes. vi. 5—8. Col. iii. 22—25. 

« Some think, they merit by curing the hurts 'which they have caused them- 
selves. Nequitia est, ut extrahas raergere j evertere, ut suscites ; ut emittas, inclu- 
dere. Non enim beneficium, injuriae finis: nee unquam id detraxisse meritum est, 
quod ipse qui deiraxit, intulerat. Seneca de Bcnef. lib. vi. c. xxvi. Elz, p, 512. 


they should be improved.' — Keep thus a just account of 
your receivings, and what goods of your master's is put into 
your hands. And make it a principal part of your study, 
to know what every thing in your hand is good for to your 
master's use ; and how it is that he would have you use it. 

Direct, vi. •' Keep an account of your expences ; at least 
of all your most considerable talents : and bring yourselves 
daily or frequently to a reckoning, what good you have done, 
or attempted to do.* — Every day is given you for some good 
work. Keep, therefore, accounts of every day : (I mean, in 
your conscience, not in papers.) Every mercy must be 
used to some good : call yourselves, therefore^ to account 
for ev«fy mercy, what you have done with it for your mas- 
ter's use. And think not hours, and minutes, and little 
mercies may be passed without coming into the account. 
The servant that thinks he may do what he list with shillings 
and pence, and that he is only to lay out greater sums for 
his master's use, and lesser for his own, will prove unfaith- 
ful, and come short in his accounts. Less sums than 
pounds must be in our reckonings. 

Direct. V 11, * Take special heed that the common thief, 
your carnal self, either personal or in your relations, do not 
rob God of his expected due,* and devour that which he re- 
quireth.' — It is not for nothing that God calleth for the 
first fruits. *' Honour the Lord with thy substance, and 
with the first fruits of all thine increase : so shall thy barns 
be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with 
new wine ^" For, if carnal self might first be served, its 
devouring greediness would leave God nothing. Though 
he that hath godliness with contentment hath enough, if he 
have but food and raiment : yet, there will be but enough 
for themselves and children, where men have many hundreds 
or thousands a year, if once it fall into this gulf. And, in- 
deed, as he that begins with God, hath the promise of his 
bountiful supplies ; so he whose flesh must first be served, 
doth catch such an hydropic thirst for more, that all will 
but serve it: and the devil contriveth such necessities to 
these men, and such uses for all they have, that they have 

f Prov. iii. 9, 10. So Exod. xxiii. 16. 19. xxxiv. 22. 26. Lev. ii. 12. 14. 
^'ellem. x. 35. Ezek. xx. 40. xliv. 30. xlviii. 14. 


no more to spare than poorer men : and they can allow God 
no more but the leavings of the flesh, and what it can spare, 
which commonly is next to nothing. Indeed, though holy 
uses in particular, were satisfied with first fruits and limited 
parts, yet God must have all, and the flesh (inordinately or 
finally) have none. Every penny which is laid out upon 
ourselves, and children, and friends, must be done as by 
God's own appointment, and to serve and please him. 
Watch narrowly, or else this thievish, carnal self will leave 
God nothing. 

Direct, viii. * Prefer greater duties (cseteris paribus) 
before lesser : and labour to understand well, which is the 
greater, and to be preferred.' — Not that any real duty is to 
be neglected : but we call that by the name of duty which 
is materially good, and a duty in its season ; but formally, 
indeed, it is no duty at all, when it cannot be done without 
the omission of a greater. As for a minister to be praying 
with his family, or comforting one afflicted soul, when he 
should be preaching publicly, is to 'do that which is a duty 
in its season, but at that time is his sin. It is an unfaithful 
servant that is doing some little char, when he should be 
saving a beast from drowning, or the house from burning, 
or doing the greater part of his work. 

Direct, ix. * Prudence is exceeding necessary in doing 
good, that you may discern good from evil, discerning the 
season, and measure, and manner, and among divers duties, 
which must be preferred.' — Therefore labour much for wis- 
dom, and if you want it yourself, be sure to make use of 
theirs that have it, and ask their counsel in every great and 
difficult case. Zeal without judgment hath not only en- 
tangled souls in many heinous sins, but hath ruined churches 
and kingdoms, and under pretence of exceeding others in 
doing good, it makes men the greatest instruments of evil. 
There is scarce a sin so great and odious, but ignorant zeal 
will make men do it as a good work. Christ told his apos- 
tles, that those that killed them, should think they did (jod 
service. And Paul bare record to the murderous, persecut- 
ing Jews, " that they had a [zeal of God, but not according 
to knowledge." The Papists' murders of Christians 
under the name of heretics, hath recorded it to the world, in 


the blood of many hundred thousands, how ignorant, carnal 
zeal will do good, and what sacrifice it will offer up to God^. 

Direct, x. * In doing good prefer the souls of men be- 
fore the body, ' cseteris paribus/ To convert a sinner from 
the error of his way is to save a soul from death, and to 
cover a multitude of sins ^,' — And this is greater than to 
give a man an alms. As cruelty to souls is the most heinous 
cruelty, (as persecutors and soul-betraying pastors will one 
day know to their remediless woe,) so mercy to souls is the 
greatest mercy. Yet sometimes mercy to the body is in that 
season to be preferred (for every thing is excellent in its 
season). As if a man be drowning or famishing, you must 
not delay the relief of his body, while you are preaching to 
him for his conversion ; but first relieve him, and then you 
may in season afterwards instruct him. The greatest duty 
is not always to go first in time ; sometimes some lesser 
work is a necessary preparatory to a greater ; and some- 
times a corporal benefit may tend more to the good of souls 
than some spiritual work may. Therefore I say still, that 
prudence and an honest heart are instead of many direc- 
tions : they will not only look at the immediate benefit of a 
work, but to its utmost tendency and remote eflTects. 

Direct, xi. ' In doing good, prefer the good of many ; espe- 
cially of the church or commonwealth, before the good of one 
or few'.* — For many are more worth than one ; and many 
will honour God and serve him more than one : and there- 
fore both piety and charity require it. Yet this also must 
be understood with a ' caeteris paribus ;' for it is possible, 
some cases of exception may be found. Paul's is a high in- 
stance, that " could have wished himself accursed from 
Christ," for the sake of the Jews, as judging God's honour 
more concerned in all them than in him alone. 

Direct, xii. " Prefer a durable good that will extend to 
posterity, before a short and transitory good.' — As to build 

% ' Sell all and give to the poor, and follow mc' But sell not all, except tJiou 
follow me : that is, except thou have a vocation, in which thou raayst do as much 
good with littlo means, as with great. Lord Bacon's Essay 13. 

•» Jam. V. 20. 

• Absurdura est unum laute vivcre, cummuiti esuriunt. Quanto enim gloriosius 
tsl raultis benefacere, quam niagnifice habitare? Quanto prudentius in homines 
q\i;im in lapides, et in aurum impensas faccrc. Clem, Alexand. ii. Psedag. 12. 


an alms-house is a greater work than to give an alms, and to 
epect a school than to teach a scholar ; so to promote the 
settlement of the Gospel and a faithful ministry is the greatest, 
of all, as tending to the good of many, even to their everlast- 
ing good. This is the pre-eminence of good books before a 
transient speech, that they may be a more durable help and 
benefit. Look before you with a judicious foresight; and 
as you must not do that present good to a particular person, 
which bringeth greater hurt to many ; so you must not do 
that present good to one or many, which is like to produce 
a greater and more lasting hurt. Such blind reformers have 
used the church, as ignorant physicians use their patients, 
who give them a little present ease, and cast them into 
greater misery, and seem to cure them with a dose of opium 
or the Jesuit's powder, when they are bringing them into a 
worse disease than that which they pretend to cure. O when 
shall the poor church have wiser and foreseeing helpers ! 

Direct, xiii. * Let all that you do for the churches' good 
be sure to tend to Holiness and Peace ; and do nothing 
under the name of a good work, which hath an enmity to 
either of these.' — For these are to the church as life and 
health are to the body ; and the increase of its welfare is 
nothing else but the increase of these. Whatever they pre- 
tend, believe none that say they seek the good and welfare 
of the church, if they seek not the promoting of holiness 
and peace : if they hinder the powerful preaching of the 
Gospel, and the means that tendeth to the saving of souls, 
and the serious, spiritual worshipping of God, and the unity 
and peace of all the faithful ; and if they either divide the 
faithful into sects and parties, or worry all that differ from 
them, and humour them not in their conceits ; — take all 
these for such benefactors to the church, as the wolf is to " 
the flock, and as the plague is to the city, or the fever to the 
body, or the fire in the thatch is to the house. " The wis- 
dom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle," &c. 
But if ye have bitter envying, and strife in your hearts, 
glory not, and lie not against the truth : this wisdom de- 
scendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish ; 
for where envying and strife is, there is confusion and 
every evil work." Jam. iii. 14— -18. 

Direct, xiv. ' If you will do the good which God accept- 


eth, do thUt which he requireth ; and put not the name of 
good works upon your sins, nor upon unnecessary things ^f 
your own invention : nor think that any good must be ac- 
complished by forbidden means/ — None know what pleas- 
eth God so well as himself. Our ways may be right in our 
own eyes, and carnal wisdom may think it hath devised the 
fittest means to honour God, when he may abominate it, 
and say. Who required this at your hand ? And if we will 
do good by sinning, we must do it in despite of God, who 
is engaged against our sins and us. Godneedethnot our lie 
to his glory : if Papists think to find at the last day their fop- 
pish ceremonies, and superstitions, and will-worship, their 
** touch not, taste not, handle not," to be reckoned to them 
as good works ; or if Jesuits or Enthusiasts think to find 
their perjury, treasons, rebellions, or conspiracies numbered 
with good works ; or the persecuting of the preachers and 
faithful professors of godliness to be good works ; how la- 
mentably will they find their expectations disappointed ! 

Direct, xv. ' Keep in the way of your place and calling, 
and take not other men's works upon you without a call, 
under any pretence of doing good.' — Magistrates must do 
good in the place and work of magistrates ; and ministers 
in the place and work of ministers ; and private men in their 
private place and work ; and not one man step into another's 
place, and take his work out of his hand, and say, I can do 
it better : for if you should do it better, the disorder will 
do more harm than you did good by bettering his work. 
One judge must not step into another's court and seat, and 
say, I will pass more righteous judgment. You must not 
go into another man's school, and say, I can teach your 
scholars better ; nor into another's charge or pulpit, and say, 
I can preach better. The servant may not rule the master, 
because he can do it best ; no more than you may take an- 
other man's wife, or house, or lands, or goods, because you 
can use them better than he. Do the good that you are 
called to. 

Direct, xvi. * Where God hath prescribed you some par- 
ticular good work or way of service, you must prefer that 
before another which is greater in itself.' — This is explica- 
tory or limiting of Direct, viii. The reason is, because God 
knoweth best what is pleasing to him, and " obedience is 


better than sacrifice." You must not neglect the necessary 
maintenance of wife and children, under pretence of doing 
a work of piety or greater good : because God hath pre- 
scribed you this order of your duty, that you begin at home 
(though not to stop there). Another minister may have a 
greater or more needy flock ; but yet you must first do good 
in your own, and not step without a call into his charge. 
If God have called you to serve him in a low and mean em- 
ployment, he will better accept you in that work than if you 
undertook the work of another man's place, to do him 
greater service. 

Direct, xvii. ' Lose not your resolutions or opportu- 
nities of doing good by unnecessary delays.' — *' Withhold 
not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the 
power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour. 
Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give ; when thou 
hast it by thee''." — " Boast not thyself of to-morrow ; for 
thou knowest not what a day may bring forth ^" It is two 
to one, but delay will take away thine opportunity, and raise 
such unexpected diversions or difficulties as will frustrate 
thine intent, and destroy the work. Take thy time, if thou 
wilt do thy service : it is beautiful in its season. 

Direct, xviii. * Yet present necessity may make a lesser 
work to be thy duty, when the greater may better bear de- 
lay.' — As to save a man's life in sickness or danger, when 
you may after have time to seek the saving of his soul. 
Not only works of mercy may be thus preferred before sa- 
crifice, but the ordinary conveniences of our lives ; as to 
rise, and dress us, and do other business, may go before 
prayer, when prayer may afterwards be done as well or 
better, and would be hindered if these did not go before. 

Direct. XIX. ' Though ' cseteris paribus' the duties of the 
first table are to be preferred before those of the second, 
yet the greater duties of the second table must be preferred 
before the lesser duties of the first.' — The love of God is a 
greater duty than the love of man (and they must never be 
separated ) : but yet we must prefer the saving a man's life, 
or the quenching a fire in the town, before a prayer, or sa- 
crament, or observation of a sabbath : David eat the shew- 
bread, and the disciples of Christ rubbed out the corn on 

^ Prov. iii. 27, 28. ' Prov. xxvii. 1. 


the sabbath-day, because the preserving of life was a greater 
duty than the observing of a sabbath, or a positive, cere- 
monial law. And Christ bids the Pharisees, " Go, learn 
what this meaneth, — I will have mercy, and not sacrifice :" 
the blood of our brethren is an unacceptable means of pleas- 
ing God, and maintaining piety, or promoting men's several 
opinions in religion. 

Direct. XX. * Choose that employment or calling (so far 
as you have your choice) in which you may be most ser- 
viceable to God.' — Choose not that in which you may be 
most rich or honourable in the world ; but that in which 
you may do most good, and best escape sinning. 

Quest. * But what if in one calling I am most serviceable 
to the church, but yet have most temptations to sin ? And 
in another I have least temptations to sin, but am least ser- 
viceable to the church (which is the ordinary difference be- 
tween men in public places and men in solitude), which of 
these should I choose V 

. Answ. 1. Either you are already engaged in your calling, 
or not ; if you are, you must have greater reasons to desert 
it than such as might require you at first not to choose it. 
2. Either the temptations to sin are such as good men ordi- 
narily overcome, or they are extraordinarily great. You 
may more warrantably avoid such great ones as you are not 
like to overcome than small or ordinary ones. 3. Either you 
are well furnished against these temptations, or not : if not, 
you must be more cautious in approaching them ; but if 
you are, you may trust God the more boldly to help you out. 
4. Either they are temptations to ordinary, human frailties 
in the manner of duty, or temptations to more dangerous 
sin : the first will not so much warrant you to avoid doing 
good for to escape them as the latter will. 5. The service 
that you are called to (being supposed great and necessary 
to be done by somebody) is either such as others will do 
better or as well if you avoid it, or not. If the church or 
common good receive no detriment by your refusal, you may 
the more insist on your own preservation : but if the neces- 
sities of the church or state, and the want of fitter instru- 
ments, or any apparent call of God, do single you out for 
that service, you must obey God whatever the difficulties 
and temptations are : for no temptations can necessitate you 


to sin, and God that calleth you can easily preserve you ; 
but take heed what you thrust yourselves upon. 

Quest. * But may I change my calling for the service of 
the church, when the apostle bids every man abide in the 
calling in which he was called""?' 

Amw. The apostle only requireth men to make no 
unlawful change, (such as is the forsaking of a wife or 
husband) nor any unnecessary change as if it were neces- 
sary (as in the case of circumcision): but in the next 
words he saith, " Art thou called being a servant? care not 
for it ; but if thou mayst be made free, use it rather." He 
bids every man abide with God in the place he is called to, 
but forbids them not to change their state when they are 
called to change it ". He speaks more of relations (of single 
persons and married, servants and free, &c.) than of trades 
or offices : and yet, no doubt, but a single person may be 
married, and the married must be separated ; and servants 
may be free. No man must take up or change any calling, 
without sufficient cause to call him to it ; but when he hath 
such cause, he sinneth if he change it not. The apostles 
changed their callings, when they became apostles ; and so 
did multitudes of the pastors of the church in every age. 
God no where forbids men to change their employment for 
the better, upon a sufficient cause or call. 

Direct, xxi. ' Especially be sure that you live not out 
of a calling, that is, such a stated course of employment, 
in which you may best be serviceable to God.' — Disability 
indeed is an unresistible impediment. Otherwise no man 
must either live idly, or content himself with doing some 
little chars, as a recreation, or on the by : but every one 
that is able, must be statedly, and ordinarily employed in 
such work, as is serviceable to God, and the common good. 
Quest. * But will not wealth excuse us V Answ. It may ex- 
cuse you from some sordid sort of work, by making you 
more serviceable in other : but you are no more excused 
from service and work of one kind or another, than the 
poorest man : unless you think that God requireth least 
where he giveth most. Quest. * Will not age excuse us V 
Answ. Yes, so far as it disableth you; but no further. 
Object. 'But I am turned out of my calling.' Answ. You are 

«n 1 Cor. vii. 20. " lb. ver. 24. 


not turned out of the service of God : he calleth you to that, 
or to another. Quest. ' But may I not cast off the world, 
that I may only think of my salvation V Answ. You may 
cast off all such excess of worldly cares or business as un- 
necessarily hinder you in spiritual things : but you may not 
cast off all bodily employment and mental labour in which 
you may serve the common good. Every one that is a mem- 
ber of the church or commonwealth, must employ their parts 
to the utmost for the good of the church and commonwealth : 
public service is God's greatest service. To neglect this, 
and say, I will pray and meditate, is as if your servant 
should refuse your greatest work, and tie himself to some 
lesser, easy part. And God hath commanded you some 
way or other to labour for your daily bread, and not to live 
as drones on the sweat of others only. Innocent Adam 
was put into the garden of Eden to dress it : and fallen man 
must " eat his bread in the sweat of his brow " : and he 
that " will not work must be forbidden to eat p." And in- 
deed it is necessary to ourselves, for the health of our bodies, 
which grow diseased with idleness ; and for the help of our 
souls, which will fail if the body fail : and man in flesh must 
have work for his body as well as for his soul. And he that 
will do nothing but pray and meditate, it is like will (by 
sickness or melancholy) be disabled ere long either to pray 
or meditate : unless he have a body extraordinary strong. 

Direct, xxii. 'Be very watchful redeemers of your 
time, and make conscience of every hour and minute, that 
you lose it not, but spend it in the best and most service- 
able manner that you can.' — Of this I intend to speak more 
particularly anon ; and therefore shall here add no more. 

Direct, xxiii. * Watchfully and resolutely avoid the en- 
tanglements and diverting occasions, by which the tempter 
will be still endeavouring to waste your time,, and hinder 
you from your work.'— Know what is the principal service 
that you are called to, and avoid avocations : especially 
magistrates and ministers, and those that have great and 
public work must here take heed. For if you be not very 
wise and watchful, the tempter will draw you before you are 
aware, into such a multitude of diverting cares or businesses, 
that shall seem to be your duties, as shall make you almost 

o Gen. iii. 19. p 2 Thess. iii. 6. 10. 12. 


unprofitable in the world. You shall have this or that little 
thing that must be done, and this or that friend that must 
be visited or spoken to, and this or that civility that must 
be performed ; so that trifles shall detain you from all con- 
siderable works. I confess friends must not be neglected, 
nor civilities be denied : but our greatest duties having the 
greatest necessity, all things must give place to them in 
their proper season. And therefore that you may avoid the 
offence of friends, avoid the place or occasions of such 
impediments : and where that cannot be done, whatever they 
judge of you, neglect not your most necessary work. Else 
it will be at the will of men and satan, whether you shall 
be serviceable to God or not. 

Direct. XXIV. * Ask yourselves seriously, how you would 
wish at death and judgment that you had used all your wit, 
and time, and wealth ; and resolve accordingly to use them 
now.' — ^This is an excellent direction and motive to you, for 
doing good and preventing the condemnation which will 
pass upon unprofitable servants. Ask yourselves, will it 
comfort me more at death or judgment, to think or hear, 
that I spent this hour in plays or idleness, or in doing good 
to myself or others ? How shall I wish then I had laid out 
my estate, and every part of it ? Reason itself condemneth 
him that will not now choose the course which then he shall 
wish that he had chosen, when we foresee the consequence 
of that day. 

Direct, xxv. ' Understand how much you are beholden 
to God (and not he to you) in that he will employ you in 
doing any good : and how it is the way of your own re- 
ceiving ; and know the excellency of your work and end, 
that you may do it all with love and pleasure.' — Unacquainted- 
ness with our master, and with the nature and tendency of 
our work, is it that maketh it seem tediouB and unpleasant 
to us : and we shall never do it well, when we do it with an 
ill will, as merely forced. God loveth a cheerful servant ; 
that loveth his master and his work. It is the main policy 
, of the devil to make our duty seem grievous, unprofitable 
and wearisome to us : for a little thing will stop him that 
goeth unwillingly and in continual pain. 

Direct. XXVI. * Expect your reward from God alone, and 
look for unthankfulness and abuse from men, or wonder not 


if it befal you.'— If you are not the servants of men but of 
God, expect your recompence from him 'you serve. You 
serve not God indeed, if his reward alone will not content 
you, unless you have also man's reward. " Verily you have 
your reward," if with the hypocrite you work for man's 
approbation. Expect, especially if you are ministers or 
others that labour directly for the good of souls, that many 
prove your enemies for your telling them the truth, and 
that if you were as good as Paul and as unwearied in seek- 
ing men's salvation, yet the more you love, the less you will 
(by many) be loved : and those that he could have wished 
himself accursed from Christ to save, did hate him and 
persecute him, as if he had been the most accursed wretch : 
a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among the people, 
and one that turned the world upside down, were the names 
they gave him ; and wherever he came, *' bonds and imprison- 
ment did attend him ;" and slandering, and reviling, and 
whipping, and stocks, and vowing his death, are the thanks 
and requital which he hath from those, for whose salvation 
he spared no pains, but did spend and was spent. If you 
cannot do good upon such terms as these, and for those that 
will thus requite you, and be contented to expect a reward 
in heaven, you are not fit to follow Christ, who was worse 
used than all this, by those to whom he shewed more love 
than any of his servants have to shew. " Take up your 
cross, and do good to the unthankful, and bless them that 
curse you, and love them that hate you, and pray for them 
that despitefuUy use you and persecute you, if you will be 
the children of God 'J." 

Direct, xxvii. * Make not your own judgments or con- 
sciences your law, or the maker of your duty ; which is but 
the discerner of the law of God, and of the duty which he 
maketh you, and of your own obedience or disobedience to 
him.' — There is a dangerous error grown too common in the 
world, that a man is bound to do every thing, which his con- 
science telleth him is the will of God ; and that every man 
must obey his conscience, as if it were the lawgiver of the 
world ; whereas, indeed, it is not ourselves, but God that 
is our lawgiver. And conscience is not appointed or autho- 
rised, to make us any duty, which God hath not made us ; 

1 Matt. V, 


but only to discern the law of God, and call upon us to ob- 
serve it : and an erring conscience is not to be obeyed, but 
to be better informed, and brought to a righter performance 
of its office. 

In prosecution of this Direction, I shall here answer se- 
veral cases about doubting;. 

Quest. I. * What if I doubt whether a thing be a duty 
and good work, or not? must I do it while I doubt? Nay, 
what if I am uncertain whether it be duty or sin?' 

Ansiv. 1. In all these cases about an erring or a doubting 
conscience, forget not to distinguish between the being of 
a duty, and the knowledge of a duty : and remember, that 
the first question is. Whether this be my duty? and the 
next. How may I discern it to be my duty ? And that God 
giveth it the being by his law, and conscience is but to know 
and use it : and that God changeth not his law, and our du- 
ty, as often as our opinions change about it. The obliga- 
tion of the law is still the same, though our consciences err 
in apprehending it otherwise. Therefore, if God command 
you a duty, and your opinion be that he doth not command 
it, or that he forbids it, and so, that it is no duty, or that it 
is a sin ; it doth not follow, that indeed God commands it 
not, because you think so : else it were no error in you ; 
nor could it be possible to err, if the thing become true, be- 
cause you think it to be true. God commandeth you to love 
him, and to worship him, and to nourish your children, and 
to obey the higher powers, &c. And do you think you shall 
be discharged from all these duties, and allowed to be pro- 
fane, or sensual, or to resist authority, or to famish your 
children, if you can but be blind enough to think that God 
would have it so? 2. Your error is a sin itself: and do 
you think that one sin must warrant another ? or that sin 
can discharge you from your duty, and disannul the law ? 
3. You are a subject to God, and not a king to yourself: 
and therefore, you must obey his laws, and not make new 

Quest. II. * But is it not every man's duty to obey his 
conscience V 

Answ. No : it is no man's duty to obey his conscience 
in an error, when it contradicteth the command of God. 
Conscience is but a discerner of God's command, and not 

VOL. TI. z 


at all to be obeyed strictly as a commander, but it is to be 
obeyed in a larger sense, that is, to be followed, wherever it 
truly discerneth the command of God. It is our duty to 
lay by our error, and seek the cure of it, till we attain it, 
and not to obey it. 

Quest. III. * But is it not a sin for a man to go against 
his conscience V 

Answ. Yes : not because conscience hath any authority 
to make laws for you ; but because interpretatively you go 
against God. For you are bound to obey God in all things ; 
and when you think that God commandeth you a thing, and 
yet you will not do it, you disobey formally, though not ma- 
terially. The matter of obedience is the thing commanded : 
the form of obedience is our doing the thing, because it is 
commanded ; when the authority of the commander causeth 
us to do it. Now you reject the authority of God, when 
you reject that which you think he commandeth, though 
he did not. 

Quest. IV. * Seeing the form of obedience is the being 
of it, and denominateth, which the matter doth not without 
the form, and there can be no sin which is not against the 
authority of God, which is the formal cause of obedience, 
is it not then my duty to follow my conscience V 

Answ. 1. There must be an integrity of causes, or con- 
currence of all necessaries to make up obedience, though 
the want of any one will make a sin. If you will be called 
obedient, you must have the matter and form, because the 
true form is found in no other matter : you must do the thing 
commanded, because of his authority that commandeth it. 
If it may be called really and formally obedience, when you 
err, yet it is not that obedience which is acceptable : for it 
is not any kind of obedience, but obedience in the thing 
commanded, that God requireth. 2. But, indeed, as long 
as you err sinfully, you are also wanting in the form, as well 
as the matter of your obedience ; though you intend obe- 
dience in the particular act. It is not only a wilfully op- 
posing and positive rejecting the authority of the comman- 
der, which is formal disobedience ; but it is any privation of 
due subjection to it; when his authority is not so regarded 
as it ought to be ; and doth not so powerfully and effectual- 
ly move us to our duty as it ought. Now this formal disobe- 


dience is found in your erroneous conscience : for if God's 
authority had moved you as it should have done, to diligent 
inquiry and the use of all appointed means, and to the avoid- 
ing of all the causes of error, you had never erred about 
your duty. For if the error had been perfectly involuntary 
and blameless, the thing could not have been your particu- 
lar duty, which you could not possibly come to know. 

Quest. V. * But if it be a sin to go against my conscience, 
must I not avoid that sin by obeying it? Would you have 
me sin V 

Answ. You must avoid the sin, by changing your judg- 
ment, and not by obeying it : for that is but to avoid one 
sin by committing another. An erring judgment is neither 
obeyed nor disobeyed without sin : it can make you sin, 
though it cannot make you duty : it doth ensnare, though 
not oblige. If you follow it you break the law of God in 
doing that which he forbids you ; if you forsake it and go 
against it, you reject the authority of God, in doing that 
which you think he forbids you. So that there is no attain- 
ing to innocence any other Way, but by coming first to know 
your duty, and then to do it. If you command your ser- 
vant to weed your corn, and he mistake you, and verily 
think that you bid him pull up the corn, and not the weeds ; 
what now should he do? Shall he follow his judgment, or 
go against it ? Neither ; but change it, and then follow it ; 
and to that end, inquire further of your mind till he be bet- 
ter informed i and no way else will serve the turn. 

Quest, VI. * Seeing no man that erreth, doth know or 
think that he erreth, (for that is a contradiction) how can I 
lay by that opinion, or strive against it, which I take to be 
the truth V 

Answ. It is your sin, that you take a falsehood to be a 
truth. God hath appointed means for the cure of blindness 
and error as well as other sins ; or else the world were in a 
miserable case. Come into the light, with due self-suspicion, 
and impartiality, and diligently use all God's means, and 
avoid the causes of deceit and error ; and the light of truth 
will at once shew you the truth, and shew you that before 
you erred. In the mean time, sin will be sin though you 
take it to be duty, or no sin. 

Quest. \u. * But seeing he that knoweth his master's 


will and doth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes ; 
and he that knoweth it not, with few ; is it not my duty 
chiefly to avoid the many stripes, by avoiding sinning 
against my conscience or knowledge V 

Answ. 1. Your duty is to avoid both: and if both 
were not sinful, they would not both be punished with 
stripes. 2. Your conscience is not your knowledge when 
you err, but your ignorance. Conscience, as it signifieth the 
faculty of knowing, may be said to be conscience when it 
erreth ; as reason is reason, in the faculty, when we err. 
And conscience, as to an erring act, may be called con- 
science, so far as there is any true knowledge in the act : 
(as a man is said to see, when he misjudgeth of colours, or 
to reason, when he argueth amiss.) But, so far as it erreth, 
it is no conscience in act at all : for conscience is science, 
and not nescience. You sin against your knowledge, when 
you sin against a well-informed conscience, but you sin in 
ignorance when you sin against an erring conscience. 3. 
And if the question be not, what is your duty, but which is 
the smaller sin, then it is true, that (cseteris paribus) it is a 
greater sin to go against your judgments, than to follow it. 
But yet, other imparities in matter and circumstances, may 
be an exception against this rule. 

Quest. VIII. * But it is not possible for every man pre- 
sently to know all his duty, and to avoid all error about his 
duty. Knowledge must be got in time. All men are igno- 
rant in many things : should I not then in the mean time 
follow my conscience V 

Answ. 1. Your ignorance is culpable, or not culpable. 
If it be not culpable, the thing which you are ignorant of is 
not your duty. If culpable (which is the case supposed), 
as you brought yourself to that difficulty of knowing, so it 
will remain your sin till it be cured ; and one sin will not 
warrant another. And all that time you are under a double 
command, the one is to know, and use the means of know- 
ledge ; and the other is to do the thing commanded. So 
that how long soever you remain in error, you remain in 
sin, and are not under an obligation to follow your error, 
but first to know, and then to do the contrary duty. 2. And 
as long as you keep yourselves in a necessity, or way of sin- 
ning, you must call it sin as it is, and not call it duty. It is 


not your duty to choose a lesser sin before a greater ; but 
to refuse and avoid both the lesser and the greater. And if 
you say, ' you cannot,' yet, remember, that it is only your 
sin that is your impotency, or, your impotency is sinful. 
But it is true, that you are most obliged to avoid the great- 
est sin : therefore, all that remaineth in the resolving all 
such cases, is but to know, of two sins, which is the 

Quest. IX. * What, if there be a great duty, which I can- 
not perform, without committing a little sin? Or, a very 
great good, which I cannot do, but by an unlawful means ? 
As, to save the lives of many by a lie.' 

Answ. 1. It is no duty to you, when you cannot do it 
without wilful sin, be it never so little. Deliberately to 
choose a sin, that I may perform some service to God, or do 
some good to others, is to run before we are called, and to 
make work for ourselves, which God never made for us ; 
and to offer sin for a sacrifice to God ; and to do evil that 
good may come of it ; and abuse God, and reject his govern- 
ment, under pretence of serving him. " The sacrifice of the 
wicked is an abomination to the Lord : how much more 
when he bringeth it with a wicked mind *" ?" " He that 
turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer 
shall be abomination ^'' " Be more ready to hear, than to 
offer the sacrifice of fools : for they consider not that they 
do evil*." 2. If you will do good by sinning, you must do 
good in opposition to God : and how easily can he dis- 
appoint you, and turn it into evil ! It is not good indeed, 
which must be accomplished by sin. The final good is 
never promoted by it : and all other good is to be estimated 
by its tendency to the end. You think that good which is 
not so, because you judge by the present feeling of your 
flesh, and do not foresee how it stands related to the ever- 
lasting good. 

Quest. X. ' Seeing then that I am sure beforehand that I 
cannot preach, or hear, or pray, or do any good action with- 
out sin, must I not, by this rule, forbear them all V 

Answ. No : because your infirmities in the performance 
of your duty, which you would avoid and cannot, are not 
made the condition of your action, but are the diseases of it. 

' Prov. xxi. 27. xv. 8. * Prov. xxviii. 9. * Eccles. t. 1. 


They are not chosen and approved of. The duty is your 
duty notwithstanding your infirmities, and may be accepted 
of: for you cannot serve God in perfection till you are per- 
fect : and to cast away his service, is a far greater sin, than 
to do it imperfectly. But you may serve him without such 
wilful, chosen sin, if not in one way, yet in another. The 
imperfection of your service is rep6nted of while it is com- 
mitted ; but so is not your approved, chosen sin. For a 
man to make a bargain against God, that he will commit a 
sin against him, though the action be the same which he 
hath often done before in pardonable weakness ; this is to 
turn it to a presumptuous, heinous sin. If he do it for 
worldly gain or safety, he selleth his obedience to God for 
trifles. If he do it to serve God by, he blasphemeth God; 
declaring him to be evil, and a lover of sin, or so impotent 
as not to be able to do good, or attain his ends by lawful 
means. It is most dangerous to give it under our hands to 
the devil, that we will sin, on what pretence soever. 

Quest. XI. ' What, if 1 am certain that the duty is great, 
and uncertain whether the thing annexed to it be a sin or 
not ? Must I forbear a certain duty for an uncertain sin ? 
Or forbear doing a great and certain good, for fear of a 
small, uncertain evil V 

Answ. 1 . The question * de esse' must go before the ques- 
tion * de apparere.' Either that which you say you are un- 
certain of, is indeed a sin, or it is none. If it be no sin, then 
you are bound both to search till you know that it is no sin, 
and not to forbear your duty for it. But if really it be a 
sin, then your uncertainty of it is another sin : and that 
which God bindeth you to, is to forsake them both. 2. 
Your question containeth a contradiction : you cannot be 
certain that it is a duty at all to you, any further than you 
are certain whether the condition or means be lawful or a 
sin. What, if an auditor in Spain or Italy say, ' I am cer- 
tain that it is a duty to obey my teachers ; but I am uncer- 
tain whether their doctrines of the mass, purgatory, and the 
rest, have any untruth or sin in them ; therefore, I must not 
forbear certain obedience for uncertain sin.' Or if a priest 
among them say, ' I am certain that it is a duty to preach 
God's word, but I am not certain that the Trent Articles 
which I must swear or subsciibe, are sinful or false ; there- 


fore I must not leave a great and certain duty for an un- 
certain sin/ The answer to them both is easy. 1. It is 
your sin that you are uncertain of the sinfulness of those 
things, which God hath forbidden : and God biddeth you 
first to search the Scriptures, and cure that error. He made 
his law before your doubts arose, and will not change it be- 
cause you doubt. 2. You contradict yourselves by a mis- 
take. You have no more certainty that you should obey 
your teachers in these particulars, than you have that the 
things which they teach or command you, are not against 
that law of God. You are certain that you must obey them 
in all things not forbidden by God, and within the reach of 
their office to require. And you are as certain that it is un- 
lawful to obey them against the law of God, and that God 
must be obeyed before man. But whether 'you must obey 
them in this particular case, you cannot be certain, while 
you are uncertain whether it be forbidden of God. And the 
priest must be as uncertain whether it be any duty of his at 
all, to preach God's word, as he is uncertain of the lawful- 
ness of the Trent oath or subscription, unless he can do it 
without. If a subject say, * I am certain, that to govern 
the kingdom well, is a great, good work and duty, but I am 
uncertain whether to depose the king if he govern not well, 
and set up myself, be a sin ; therefore, the certain good 
must overrule the uncertain evil.* , I give him the same an- 
swer, 1. It is your sin to be uncertain whether rebellion be a 
sin : and God bindeth you to lay by the sin of your judg- 
ment, and not to make it a shoeing-horn to more. 2. You 
are sure that governing well is a good work ; but you should 
be as sure, that it is no duty of yours, nor good work for 
you to do, as you are sure that you are but a private man 
and a subject, and never called to do the good of another's 
office. A private man may say, ' I am sure preaching is a 
good work ; but I am not sure that a private, unordained 
man may not statedly separate himself to do it.' But he 
can be no surer that it is a duty to him, than he is that he is 
called to it. 

Quest. XII. * Well, suppose my ignorance be my sin, and 
suppose that I am equally uncertain of the duty, and of the 
sin annexed ; yet, if I have done all that I am able, and re- 


main still unresolved, and after my most diligent inquiry, 
am as much in doubt as ever, what should I then do V 

Ansio. ] . If you had, by any former sin, so forfeited 
God's assistance, as that he will leave you to your blindness, 
this altereth not his law and your obligations, which are 
still the same (to learn, understand, and practise). 2. But 
if you are truly willing to understand, and practise, and use 
his means, you have no cause to imagine that he will thus 
forsake you : undoubtedly he appointeth you no means in 
vain. If you attain not sufficient resolution to guide you in 
your duty, it is either because your hearts are false in the 
inquiry, and biassed, or unwilling to know the truth, or do 
it ; or because you use not the true appointed means for re- 
solution, but in partiality or laziness, neglect it. 

Quest. XIII. ' Suppose still my ignorance be my sin, 
which is the greater sin, to neglect the good work, or to 
venture on the feared evil that is annexed ? I am not con- 
scious of any unfaithfulness, but human frailty, that keep- 
eth me from certainty. And no man is so perfect as to have 
no culpable ignorance, and to be certain in every point of 
duty. Therefore I must with greatest caution avoid the 
greatest sin, when I am out of hope of avoiding all. On one 
side, it is a common rule that I must do nothing against 
conscience (no, not a doubting conscience), though I must 
not always do what it biddeth me. ** For he that doubteth 
is condemned if he eat: for whatsoever is not of faith is 
sin." On the other side, if all duty be omitted which 
conscience doubteth of, I may be kept from almost every 

Answ. The heart is so deceitful that you have great 
cause to watch, lest human frailty be pretended, for that 
error, which a corrupted, biassed, partial mind, or wilful 
laziness is the cause of. Diligent study, and inquiry, and 
prayer, with a sincere desire to know the truth, may suc- 
ceed, at least, to so much satisfaction, as may keep your 
minds in quietness and peace, and give you comfort in your 
way, and preserve you from all such sin as is inconsistent 
with this your safety and acceptance with God. But yet it 
is true that human frailty will occasion in the best, uncer- 
tainties in some particular cases ; and though God make it 
not our duty of two sins to choose the less, but to refuse 


both, yet he maketh it our duty more diligently to avoid 
the greater than the less. And ofttimes the case is so sud- 
den, that no inquiry can be made. And therefore I confess, 
a Christian should know which sins are greatest and to be 
most avoided. At present I shall lay down these following 
rules, premising this, that where accidents and circumstan- 
ces, which make sins great or small, are to be compared, 
they are ofttimes so numerous and various, that no rules 
can be laid down beforehand, that will serve all turns, no 
more than in law and physic, any law-books or physic- 
books will serve all cases, without a present, experienced, 
judicious counsellor. Present Prudence and Sincerity 
must do most. 

Rule I. * In things altogether indifferent, nothing must 
be done that conscience doubteth of, because there is a pos- 
sibility or fear of sinning on the one side, but none on the 
other : and in that case, it is a certain sin to venture on a 
feared sin.' But then, it is supposed that the thing be in- 
different, as clothed with all its circumstances, and that 
there be no accident that taketh away its indifferency. 

Rule II. * In case the thing be really unlawful, and I 
think it to be lawful, but with some doubting, but am clear 
that the forbearing of it is no sin ; there the sin is only in 
the doing it:' because all is clear and safe on the other 

Rule m. * There are many sins which are always, and 
to all persons, in all cases, sins ; and not doubted of by 
any, without gross unfaithfulness or negligence ; and here 
there is no room for any doubting, whether we must do that 
good which cannot be done without that sin ; it being cer- 
tain that no such good can be a duty.* As, to commit ido- 
latry; to blaspheme God; to deny Christ; to deny the 
Scriptures ; to hate, or reproach, or oppose a holy life ; to 
be perjured ; to approve, or justify the sin of others, &c. It 
can be no duty which cannot be done without the wilful 
yielding to, or committing these, or any known sin. 

Rule IV. * There are some duties so great, and clear, 
and constant to all, that none but a profligate or graceless 
conscience (or one that is fearfully poisoned with sin), can 
make a doubt of it deliberately.' These, therefore, come 
not within the case before us. 


liule V. * If moral evil be compared only with natural 
good, or moral good with natural evil, there is no doubt to 
be made of the case : the least sin having more evil in it 
than the prosperity or lives of millions of men have good 
(considered in themselves as natural good) : and the least 
duty to God having more good in it than the death of mil- 
lions of men (as such) hath evil/ For the good of duty and 
the evil of sin are greatened by their respect to God, and 
the other lessened as being good or evil only unto men, and 
with respect to them. 

Rule VI. * Where I am in an equal degree uncertain of 
the duty to be omitted, and of the sin to be committed, it is 
a greater sin to venture doubtfully upon the committing of 
a positive sin that is great (in case it prove a sin), than 
upon the omitting a duty which (in case it prove a duty) is 
less ; and on the contrary, it is worse to venture on the 
omitting of a great duty, than on the committing of a small, 
positive sin.' As suppose my own or my neighbour's house 
be on fire, and I am in doubt whether I may take another 
man's water to quench it against his will : or if my own, or 
my child's, or neighbour's life be in danger by famine, and 
I doubt whether I may take another man's apples, or pears, 
or ears of corn, or his bread, against his will, to save my 
own life or another's. Really, the thing is already made 
lawful or unlawful (which I now determine not) by the law 
of God ; but in my unavoidable uncertainty (if I be equally 
doubtful on both sides), it is a far greater sin (if it prove a 
sin) to omit the saving of the house or life than to take an- 
other man's water, or fruit, or bread, that hath plenty (if 
this prove the sin). So if king and nobles were in a ship, 
which would be taken and all destroyed by pirates, unless 
I told a lie, and said, they are other persons ; if I were 
equally in doubt which course to take, to lie or not (though 
sin have more evil than all our lives have good), yet a sinful 
omitting to save all their lives is a greater sin than a sinful 
telling of such a lie. Suppose I am in doubt, whether I 
may lawfully save an ox, or ass, or a man's life, by labour 
on the sabbath-day ? or David had doubted, whether he 
might eat the consecrated shew-bread in his necessity ? it 
is clear, that the sinful neglect of a man's life is worse 
than the sinful violation of a sabbath, or the sinful use of 


the consecrated bread. If I equally doubt, whether I may 
use a ceremony, or disorderly, defective form of prayer, and 
whether I should preach the Gospel to save men's souls, 
where there are not others enough to do it ; it is clear, that 
sinfully to use a ceremony, or disorderly form of prayer, is 
* caeteris paribus ' a lesser sin than sinfully to neglect to 
preach the Gospel and to save men's souls. On the other 
side, suppose I dwelt in Italy, and could not have leave to 
preach the Gospel there, unless I would subscribe to the 
Trent confession, or the canon 3d of Concil. Lateran sub 
Innocent III., one of which requireth men to swear for 
transubstantiation, and to interpret the Scriptures only ac- 
cording to the unanimous consent of the fathers (who never 
unanimously consented to any exposition of the greatest 
part of the Scriptures at all) , the other decreeth the pope's 
deposing temporal lords, and disobliging their subjects from 
their allegiance ? On the one side, I doubt whether by sub- 
scribing I become not guilty of justifying idolatry, perjury, 
and rebellion, and making myself guilty of the perjury of 
many thousand others : on the other side, I doubt, whether 
I may disobey my superiors who command me this sub- 
scription, and may forbear preaching the Gospel, when yet 
I apprehend that there are others to preach it, and that 
my worth is not so considerable as that there should be any 
great loss in putting me out and putting in another, and 
God needeth not me to do him service, but hath instruments 
at command, and that I know not how soon he may restore 
my liberty, or that I may serve him in another country, or 
else in sufferings at home, in such a case the sinful justify- 
ing of perj ury or rebellion in whole countries is a far greater 
sin than the sinful omission of my preaching : for he thai 
justifieth perjury destroyeth the bonds of all societies, and 
turneth loose the subjects against their sovereigns. Or if 
I, being a minister, were forbidden to preach the Gospel 
where there is necessity, unless I will commit some sin ; if 
I doubt on one side whether I should disobey my superiors, 
and on the other whether I should forbear my calling, and 
neglect the souls of sinners ; it is a lesser sin ' caeteris pa- 
ribus' to disobey a man sinfully, than to disobey God, and 
to be cruel to the souls of men to their perdition sinfully. 
Or if I have made a vow, and sworn that I will cast away a 


penny or a shilling, and I am in doubt on one side whether 
I be not bound to keep it as a vow, and on the other whe- 
ther it be not a sin to keep it, because to cast away any of 
my talents is a sin, in this case, the sinful casting away 
of a penny or a shilling is not so great a sin as sinful per- 
jury. If Daniel and the three witnesses had been in equal 
doubt, whether they should obey the king or pray to God 
(as Dan. vi.), and renounce the bowing to his idol (Dan. iii.), 
the sinful forbearance of prayer as then commanded, and the 
sinful bowing to the idol, had been a greater sin than a sin- 
ful disobeying the king's command in such a case, if they had 
been mistaken. 

Rule VII. ' If I cannot discern whether the duty to be 
omitted, or the sin to be committed be materially and in 
other respects the greater, then that will be to me the greater 
of the sins which my doubting conscience doth most 
strongly suspect to be sin, in its most impartial delibera- 
tion.' For if other things be equal, certainly the sinning 
against more or less conviction or doubting must make an 
inequality. As if I could not discern whether my subscrip- 
tion to the Trent confession, or my forbearing to preach, or 
my preaching though prohibited, were the greater sin, in 
case they were all sinful ; but yet I am most strongly sus- 
picious of sinfulness in the subscription, and less suspicious 
of sinfulness in my forbearing in such a case to preach, and 
least of all suspicious of sinfulness in my preaching though 
prohibited : in this case to subscribe sinfully is the greatest 
sin, and to forbear sinfully to exercise my office is the next, 
and to preach unwarrantably is the least. 

Rule VIII. * If I could perceive no difference in the de- 
grees of evil in the omission and the commission, nor yet 
in the degrees of my suspicion or doubting, then that is the 
greater sin which I had greater helps and evidence to have 
known, and did not.' 

Rule IX. * If both greater material evil be on one side 
than the other, and greater suspicion or evidence of the sin- 
fulness also, then that must needs be the greater sin ' 

Rule X. * If the greatness of the material evil be on one 
side, and the greatness of the suspicion and evidence be on 
the other, then the former (if sin) will be materially and in 
itself considered the worst j but the latter will be formally 


the greater disobedience to God.' But the comparison will 
be very difficult. As suppose, that I swear to God that I 
will cast away a shilling, or that I will forbear to pray for a 
week together ; here I take perjury to be a greater sin than 
my casting away a shilling, or forbearing to pray a week: but 
when I question whether the oath should be kept or not, 
I have greater suspicion that it should not than it should, 
because no oath must be the bond of the least iniquity. 
Here, if the not keeping it prove a sin, I shall do that 
which is the greater sin in itself if I keep it not ; but I 
shall shew more disobedience in keeping it, if it be not to 
be kept. 

Rule XI. * If it be a doubtful sin that I suspect on one 
side, and but a single one on the other, it maketh an in- 
equality in the case.' As suppose that in my father's family 
there are heretics and drunkards, and I swear that in my 
place and calling I will endeavour to cast them out. My 
mother approveth my vow ; my father is against it, and dis- 
chargeth me of it because I did it not by his advice. On 
one side, I doubt whether I am bound, or may act against 
my father's will: on the other side, I as much doubt 
whether I am not perjured, and disobedient to my mother if 
I do it not, and whether I disobey not God, that made it 
my duty to endeavour the thing in my place and calling 
before I vowed it. 

Rule XII. * There is a great deal of difference between 
omitting the substance of a duty for ever, and the delaying 
it, or altering the time, and place, and manner.' For in- 
stance, that which will justify or excuse me for shortening 
my prayer, or for praying but once a day, or at noon rather 
than in the morning, or for defect in method, or fervency, or 
expressions, may not justify or excuse me for denying, re- 
nouncing, or long forbearing prayer. And that which may 
excuse an apostle for not preaching in the temple or syna- 
gogues, or not having the emperor's or the high-priest's al- 
lowance or consent, or for not continuing in one city or 
country, would not excuse them if they had renounced their 
callings, or totally as to all times, and places, and manner 
of performance, have ceased their work for fear of men. 

Rule XIII. ' If the duty to be omitted, and the sin to be 
committed, seem equal in greatness, and our doubt be equal 


as to both, it is commonly held safer to avoid the commis- 
sion more studiously than the omission.' For which there 
are many reasons given. 

Rule XIV. ' There is usually much more matter for fear and 
suspicion * caeteris paribus ' of sins to be committed than of 
duties to be omitted, when the commission is made neces- 
sary to the doing of the duty.' Both because it is there 
that the fear beginneth : for I am certain that the good 
work is no duty to me, if the act be a sin which is its ne- 
cessary condition. Therefore so far as I suspect the act to 
be sinful, I must needs suspect the duty to be no duty to 
me at that time. It is not possible I should be rationally 
more persuaded that the duty is my duty, than that the 
condition is no sin; if it were the saving of the lives of all 
the men in the country, I could no further take it to be 
my duty, than I take that to be no sin by which it must be 
done ; it being a thing past controversy, that we must not 
sin for the accomplishment of any good whatsoever. And 
also because the sin is supposed to be always sin ; but few 
duties are at all times duties : and the sin is a sin to every 
man, but the duty may be another man's duty and not mine. 
For instance, Charles V. imposeth the Interim upon Ger- 
many : some pastors yielded to it ; others refused it, and 
were cast out. Those that yielded, pleaded the good of the 
churches, and the prevention of their utter desolation ; but 
yet confessed that if the thing imposed were sinful, it was 
not their duty to do it for any good whatsoever, but to seek 
the good of the church as well as they could without it : 
the other that were cast out, argued, that so far as they were 
confident the Interim was sinful, they must be confident 
that nothing was their duty that could not be done without 
it ; and that God knew best what is good for his church, 
and there is no accomplishing its good by sin and God's 
displeasure ; and that they did not therefore forsake their 
ministry, but only lose the ruler's licence, for they resolved 
to preach in one place or other till they were imprisoned, 
and God can serve himself by their imprisonment or death 
as well as by their preaching. And while others took their 
places that thought the Interim lawful, the churches were 
not wholly destitute ; and if God saw meet, he could restore 
their fuller liberties again : in the mean time, to serve him 


as all pastors did for three hundred years after Christ (with- 
out the licence of the civil magistrate) was not to cast 
away their office. Another instance : the zealous Papists, 
in the reign of Henry III. in France, thought that there was 
a necessity of entering the League, and warring against the 
king, because religion was in danger, the preservation 
whereof is an unquestionable duty. The learned and mo- 
derate lawyers that were against them, said, that there being 
no question but the king had the total sovereignty over 
them, they were sure it was a sin to resist the higher 
powers, and therefore no preservation of religion could be 
a duty, or lawful to them, which must be done by such a 
certain sin : sin is not the means to save religion or the 

Rule XV. ' When a thing is not prohibited and sinful, 
simply in itself, but because of some accidental, or conse- 
quential evil that it tendeth to, there a greater accidental 
or consequential good, may preponderate the evil, and make 
the thing become no sin, but a duty.' It is a matter of ex- 
ceeding difficulty to discern ofttimes, whether a thing be 
simply and absolutely forbidden, or only by accident, and 
alterably ; and to discern which accident doth preponderate. 
There are so many observations that should here be taken 
in, and so much of a man's life and peace is concerned in it, 
that it deserveth a treatise by itself. And therefore, I shall 
not meddle with it any further here, lest an insufficient trac- 
tate be worse than none, in a case where error is so easy and 

Rule XVI. * As to the danger of the sinner himself, there 
is a great deal of difference between an error and sin of hu- 
man frailty, when the service of God, and true obedience, 
and the common good, are sincerely intended ; and an error 
and sin of false-heartedness and sloth, when selfishness is 
the secret spring of the error, and carnal interest the real 
end, though God and his service be pretended.' And usual- 
ly, the concomitants will shew something of this to others. 
For instance ; two magistrates and two ministers submit 
to some questioned imposition ; all pretend that the glory 
of God, and his service, is it that prevaileth with them to 
submit. The one of the magistrates faithfully serveth God 
afterward with his authority, and sheweth thereby that he 


meant sincerely : the other doth no good in his place, and 
sheweth his hypocrisy. One of the ministers preacheth 
zealously, and privately laboureth as one that thirsteth for 
the saving of souls : the other preacheth formally, and cold- 
ly, and heartlessly, and never converteth a soul, and neg- 
lecteth the work which he pretended was his end. 

Grand Direct, xi. * Let it be most deeply engraven on 
thy heart, that God is infinitely good, and amiable : thy 
grand benefactor and father in Christ ; the end of all thou 
art and hast; and the everlasting rest and happiness of thy 
soul : see therefore that thy inflamed heart be entirely and 
absolutely offered up unto him by the mediation of his Son, 
to love him, to trust him, to delight in him, to be thank- 
ful to him, to glorify him, and through faith to long for 
the heavenly glory, where all this will be perfectly done 
for ever. And first let us speak of Love.' 

I did in the first Direction persuade you to lay a good 
foundation in faith and knowledge. In the second, I direct- 
ed you how to live upon Christ. In the third, how to believe 
practically in the Holy Ghost. In the fourth, I directed you 
to the orderly and practical knowledge of the attributes of 
God. In the fifth, how to know God practically in his first 
grand relation, as he is your owner. In the sixth, how to 
know him practically in his second grand relation, as he is 
your king and governor : and in subordination to his govern- 
ing relation. In the seventh, I directed you in your relation 
of disciples to Christ your teacher. And in the eighth, I 
directed you in your relation of patients to Christ your 
physician, and the Holy Ghost as your sanctifier. In the 
ninth, I directed you in your relation of soldiers to Christ 
the captain of your salvation. In the tenth, I directed you 
in the relation of servants to Christ your master. And now 
being past those subordinate relations (to the second), I 
proceed to direct you in your third grand relation to God as 
your Benefactor, Father, and Felicity. And because there 
are divers great duties in this General, I shall first begin 
with this of Love : and afterwards speak distinctly of the 


Directions for loving God as our Father and Felicity. 

Here I shall first give you these general preparatives, 
(and then give you Directions for the exercise of holy love.) 
1. You must understand the Nature of love to God. 2. You 
must understand the Differences of this love. 3. You must 
understand the Reasons of it. 4. And the Contraries of it. 
5. And the Counterfeits of it. 

I. For the understanding of its Nature observe these 
things: 1. It is not the love of a particular good, but of 
the infinite. Universal Good. The creature is a particular 
good, and our love to it is a particular, limited love, confined 
as to a point. God is the universal good ; and our love to 
him is not limited by the object, but by the narrowness and 
imperfection of our faculties themselves. As suppose you 
had variety of candles in your room, and you had diamonds, 
and other refulgent things ; you love each of these with a 
particular love, for their splendour and usefulness; and 
you more easily observe and feel the motion of this confined 
love. But light itself, as light, you love with a more uni- 
versal love : which is greater, but not so sensibly observed. 
(Not as we speak of notional universals in logic, which have 
no existence but in particulars ; but of the natural, transcen- 
dent, infinite good, eternally existent, and arbitrarily ap- 
pearing in some created particles.) As the love of an infi- 
nite light would differ from the love of a candle ; and the 
love of an infinite heat, from the love of a fire ; and the love 
of infinite wisdom itself, from the love of a wise man ; and 
the love of infinite goodness itself, from the love of a good 
man ; so doth the love of God, from the love of a particular, 
created good. 

2. Our love to God is not ordinarily so passionate, as 
our love to creatures : because the nearness and sensible- 
ness of the creature, promoteth such sensible operations : 
but God is not seen, or felt, or heard, but believed in by 
faith, and known by reason. And the narrowness of the 
creature making resistances, stops, and difficulties, occa- 
sioneth a turbulent passionateness of love ; when the infi- 
niteness of God hath no such occasion. Our love to crea 
tures is like the running of a stream, in a channel that is 



too narrow for it, where stops and banks do make it go on 
with a roaring violence : but our love to God is like the 
brook that slideth into the ocean, where it is insensibly de- 
voured. Therefore our love to God must principally be per- 
ceived, not in violent passions, but in 1. A high estimation 
of him. 2. In the will's adhering to him. 3. And in the 
effects (to be mentioned anon). Yet when a passionate love 
is added to these, it may be the most excellent significatively 
and effectively. Some philosophers think that God cannot 
at all be loved with a passionate love, because he is a pure, 
immaterial being, and therefore, cannot be the object of a 
material act or motion, such as our passions are : and there- 
fore, that it is some idol of the imagination that is so loved. 
But, 1 . If they mean that his pure essence, in itself, is not 
the immediate object of a passion, they may say the same 
of the will itself: for man (at least in flesh,) can have no 
other volition of God, but as he is apprehended by the in- 
tellect. And if by an idol, they mean the image of God in 
the mind, gathered from the appearances of God in creatures) 
man in flesh hath no other knowledge of him : for here we 
know him but darkly, enigmatically, and as in a glass,, and 
have no formal, proper conception of him in his essence. 
So that the rational powers themselves, do no otherwise 
know and will God's essence, but as represented to us in a 
glass. 2. And thus we may also love him passionately ; 
it being God in his objective being, as apprehended by the 
intellect, that we both will and passionately love. The mo- 
tion of the soul in flesh, may raise passions, by the instru- 
mentality of the corporeal spirits, towards an immaterial 
object: which is called the object of those passions, not 
merely as the passions of a rational agent j it being more 
nearly or primarily the object of the intellect and will, and 
then of the passions, as first apprehended by these superior 
powers. A man may delight in God ; or else, how is he 
our felicity ? and yet, we know of no delight which is not 
passion. A man may love his own soul with a passionate 
love ; and yet it is immaterial. When I passionately love 
my friend, it is his immaterial soul, and his wisdom, and ho- 
liness, which I chiefly love. 

3. It is not only for his excellencies and perfections in 
himself, nor only for his love and benefit to us, that grace 


doth cause a sinner to love God ; but it is for both conjunct- 
ly : as he is good, and doth good, especially to us, in the 
greatest things. 

4. Our first special love to God, is orderly and rationally 
to be raised, by the belief of his goodness in himself, and 
his common love and mercy to sinners, manifested in his 
giving of his Son for the world, and giving men the condi- 
tional promise of pardon and salvation, and offering them 
Christ and life eternal ; and all this to us as well as others : 
and not to be caused by the belief or persuasion of his spe- 
cial, peculiar, electing, redeeming, or saving love, to us 
above others, that have the same invitations and offers. It 
is the knowledge of common love and mercy, and not of 
special love and mercy to us, as already possessed, that is 
appointed to be the motive of our first special love to God. 
(Yet there is in it, an apprehension that he is our only pos- 
sible felicity, and that he will give us a special interest in 
his favour, if we return by faith in Christ unto him.) For, 
1. Every man is bound to love God with a special love; 
but every man is not specially beloved by him : and no man 
is bound to love God, as one that specially loveth him, but 
those that indeed are so beloved by him : for else they were 
bound to believe a falsehood, and to love that which is not ; 
and grace should be an error and deceit. The object is be- 
fore the act. God's special love must in itself be before 
its revelation ; and, as revealed, it must go before our belief 
of it: and, as believed, it must go before our loving it, or 
loving him as such, or for it. 2. The first saving faith is in- 
separably conjunct with special love. For Christ is believed 
in and willed, as the way or means to God as the end : 
(otherwise it is no true faith.) And the volition of the end 
(which is love), is in order of nature before the choice or use 
of the means, as such. And if we must love God as one 
that specially loveth us, in our first love, then we must be- 
lieve in him as such, by our first faith : and if so, it must be 
to us a revealed truth. But (as it is false to most that are 
bound to believe, so) it is not revealed to the elect them- 
selves : for if it be, it is either by ordinary or extraordinary 
revelation : if by ordinary, either by Scripture directly, or 
by evidences in ourselves, which Scripture maketh the cha- 
racters of his love. But neither of these : for Scripture pro- 


miseth not salvation to named, but described persons : and 
evidence of special love there is none, before faith and re- 
pentance, and the first love to God. And extraordinary re- 
velation from heaven, by inspiration or angel, is not the or- 
dinary begetter of faith : for faith is the belief of God speak- 
ing to us (now) by his written word. So that where there is 
no object of love, there can be no love : and where there is 
no revelation of it to the understanding, there is no object 
for the will : and till a man first believe and love God, he 
hath no revelation that God doth specially love him. Search 
as long as you will, you will find no other. 3. If the wick- 
ed were condemned for not loving a false or feigned object, 
it would quiet their consciences in hell, when they had de- 
tected the deceit, and seen the natural impossibility and 
contradiction. 4. The first love to God is more a love of 
desire, than of possession : and therefore, it may suffice to 
raise it, that we see a possibility of being for ever hap- 
py in God, and enjoying him in special love, though yet we 
know not that we possess any such love. The nature of the 
thing proclaimeth it most rational and due, that we love the 
Infinite Good, that hath done so much, by the death of his 
Son, to remove the impediments of our salvation, and is so 
far reconciled to the world in his death, as by a message of 
reconciliation, to entreat them to accept of Christ, and 
pardon, and salvation freely offered them, and is him- 
self the offered happiness of the soul. He that dare say 
that this much hath not an objective sufficiency to en- 
gage the soul in special love, is a blind under-valuer of won- 
derful mercy. 5. The first special grace bringeth no new 
object for faith or love, but causeth a new act upon the for- 
merly revealed object. 

5. But our love to God is greatly increased and advantaged 
afterwards, by the assurance or persuasion of his peculiar, 
special love to us. And therefore, all Christians should 
greatly value such assurance, as the appointed means of ad- 
vancing them to greater love to God. 

6. As we know God here in the glass of his Son, and 
word, and creatures, so we most sensibly love him here, as 
his goodness appeareth in his works, and graces, and his 
Word, and Son. 

7. The nearer we come to perfection, the more we shalJ 


love God for himself and his infinite natural goodness and 
perfections ; not casting away the respects of his goodness 
and love as to ourselves ; but highliest regarding himself 
for himself, as carried to him above ourselves. 

II. Though love, in its own nature, be still the same ; 
and is nothing but the rational appetite of good : or the 
will's volition of good apprehended by the understanding ; 
the first motion of the will to good, arising from that natural 
inclination to good which is the nature of the will, and the 
' pondus animae,* the poise of the soul ; or from healing grace 
which repaireth the breach that is made in nature ; yet love 
in regard of the state of the lover, and the way of its impe- 
rate acting, is thus differenced. I. Either the lover is in 
the hopeful pursuit of the thing beloved : and then it is De- 
siring, Seeking Love. 2. Or he is, or seemeth to be denied, 
destitute, and deprived of his beloved (in whole, or in part) : 
and then it is Mourning, Lamenting Love. 3. Or he en- 
joyeth his beloved: and then it is Enjoying, Delighting 
Love. 1. The ordinary love which grace causeth on 
earth, is a predominancy of seeking, desiring love, encou- 
raged by some little foretastes of enjoying, delighting love, 
and, in a great measure, attended with mourning, lamenting 
love. 2. The state of deserted, dark, declining, relapsing, 
and melancholy, tempted Christians, is, a predominance of 
mourning, lamenting love, assisted with some help of seek- 
ing, desiring love; but destitute of enjoying, delighting 
love. 3. The state of the glorified is perfection of enjoy- 
ing, delighting love alone. And all the rest are to bring us 
unto this''. 

III. The Reasons why love to God is so great, and high, 
and necessary a thing, and so much esteemed above other 
graces, are : Litis the motion of the soul that tendeth to 
the end ; and the end is more excellent than all the means 
as such. 2. The love, or will, or heart is the man ; where 
the heart or love is, there the man is : it is the fullest re- 

" Nobilius et prjestantius est charitatem exercere in Deo, quam virtutes propter 
Deum. Charhas compendiosissima ad Deum via est per quam celerrime in Deum 
pervenitur j nee sine charitate aliqua virtus supernaturaliter hoinini sapit : charitas 
enim rorma omnium virtutum est. Per hoc charitatis exercitium, homo ad tantam sui 
abominationem venit, ul non solum seipsum conteranat, verura etiam se ab aliis con. 

temni aequo animo ferat j imo etiam ab aliis contemptusgaudeat. Thaulerus, flor. 

c, r. p.lt4. 


signation of the whole man to God, to love him as God, or 
offer him the heart. God never hath his own fully till we 
love him. Love is the grand, significant, vital motion of 
the soul ; such as the heart, or will, or love is, such you may 
boldly call the man. 3. The love of God is the perfection 
and highest improvement of all the faculties of the soul, 
anxi the end of all other graces, to which they tend, and to 
which they grow up, and in which they terminate their ope- 
rations. 4. The love of God is that spirit or life of moral 
excellency in all other graces in which (though not their 
form, yet) their acceptablenessi doth consist, without which 
they are to God as a lifeless carrion is to U8. And to prove 
any action sincere and acceptable to God, is to prove that 
it comes from a willing, loving mind, without which you 
can never prove it. 5. Love is the commander of the soul ; 
and therefore God knoweth that if he have our hearts he 
hath all, for all the rest are at his command ; for it is, as it 
were, the nature of the will, which is the conunanding fa- 
culty, and its object is the ultimate end which is the com-, 
manding object. Love setteth the mind on thinking, the 
tongue on speaking, the hands on working, the feet on go-^ 
ing, and every faculty obeyeth its command. 6. The obe- 
dience which love commandeth participateth of its nature, 
and is a ready, cheerful, sweet obedience, acceptable to 
God, and pleasant to ourselves. 7. Love is a pure, chaste, 
and cleansing grace ; and most powerfully casteth out all 
creature pollution from the soul : the love of God doth 
quench all carnal, sinful love ; and most effectually carri- 
eth up the soul to such high delights, as causeth it to con- 
temn and forget the toys which it before admired. 8. The 
love of God is the true acknowledging and honouring him 
as good. That blessed attribute, his Goodness, is denied or 
despised by those who love him not. The light of the sun 
would not be valued, honoured, or used by the world, if 
there were no eyes in the world to see it : and the goodness 
of God is to them that love him not, as the light to them 
that have no eyes. If God would have had his goodness to 
be thus unknown or neglected, he would never have made 
the intellectual creatures. Those only give him the glory 
of his goodness, that truly love him. 9. Love (in its at- 
tainment) is the enjoying and delighting grace : it is the 


very content and felicity of the soul, both as it maketh us ca- 
pable to receive the most delightful communications of God's 
love to us, and as it is the soul's delightful closure with its 
most amiable, felicitating object. 10. Love is the everlast- 
ing grace, and the work which we must be doing in heaven 
forever. These are the reasons of love's pre-eminence y. 

IV. The love of creatures hath its Contraries on both ex- 
tremes, in the excess and in the defect ; but the love of God 
hath no contrary in excess : for Infinite Goodness cannot 
possibly be loved too much (unless as the passion may pos- 
sibly be raised to a degree distracting or disturbing the 
brain). The odious vices contrary to the love of God are, 
1. Privative ; not loving him. 2. Positive ; hating him. 3. 
Opposite; loving his creatures in his stead : all these con- 
cur in every unsanctified soul. That they are all void of 
the true love of God, and taken up with creature love, is 
past all doubt ; but whether they are all haters of God, may 
seem more questionable. But it is as certain as the other ; 
only the hatred of God in most doth not break out into that 
open opposition, persecution, or blasphemy, as it doth with 
some that are given up to desperate wickedness ; nor do 
they think that they hate him. But the aversation of the 
will is the hatred of God ; and if men had not a great aver- 
sation to him, they would not forsake him, and refuse to be 
converted to him, notwithstanding all the arguments of love 
that can be used to allure them. Displicency, nolition, and 
aversation are hatred. 

If you think it impossible, that men can hate God, whom 
they confess to be infinitely good, consider for the true un- 
derstanding of this hatred, 1. That it is not as good that 
they hate him ; 2. and it is not God simply in himself con- 
sidered ; and therefore it is not all in God ; 4. and it is not 
the name of God ; 5. but it is, 1. God as he seemeth unsuit- 
able to them, and unfit for their delight and love ; which 
seeming is caused by their carnal inclination to things of 
another nature, and the sinful perverting of their appetites, 

y Austin, (Tract. 9. in Johan.) having shewed that among men, it maketh no one 
beautiful to love one that is beautiful, saith, Anima nostra foeda est per iniquitatera: 
atnando Deum pulchra efficitur: qualis amor qui reddat pulchrura amantem? Deus 
semper Pater est : amavit nos foedos, ut ex fcedis faceret pulchros : pulchri erimus 
amando eum qui pulcher est. Quantum in te crescit amor, tantum crescit pulchri- 
tude ; quia ipsa charitas animae pulchritudo est. 


and the blindness and error of their minds. 3. And it is 
God as he is an enemy to their carnal concupiscence ; whose 
holy nature is against their unholiness, and hateth their sin, 
and his laws forbid them the things which they most love 
and take delight in ; and so they hate God, as a madman 
hateth his keeper and physician, and takes them for his 
enemies ; and as a hungry dog doth hate him, that keepeth 
him from the meat which he loveth, or would take out of 
his mouth. 3. And they hate God, as one by his holiness, 
justice, and truth is engaged to condemn them for their sin, 
and so (consequently to their sin) is their enemy that will 
destroy them (unless they forsake it) : when their wills are 
enslaved to their sins, and they cannot endure to be forbid- 
den them, and yet see that God will damn them in hell-fire if 
they cast them not away : this filleth them with displacency 
against God, as holy and just. 4. And then, consequently, 
they hate him in the rest of his attributes : as his omni- 
science, that he always seeth them ; his omnipresence, that 
he is always with them ; his omnipotency, that he is irresist- 
ible and able to punish them : his very mercy as expressed to 
others, when they must have no part in it ; yea, his very 
immutability, eternity, and being, as he is to continue an 
avenger of their iniquity : so that the wicked in despair do 
wish that there were no God ; and in prosperity, they wish 
he were not their Governor and Judge, or were unholy and 
unjust, allowing them to do what they list without account 
or punishment. Thus God is hated by the wicked accord- 
ing to the measure of their wickedness, and carnal interest, 
and concupiscence which he is against. Where you may 
note, l.that the hatred ofGodbeginneth at the sensual love 
of things temporal which he forbiddeth ; 2. that the wicked 
great ones of the v/orld, and those that have the strongest 
concupiscence, are justly the greatest haters of God, as 
having the greatest adverse interest, and being most in love 
with the things which he prohibiteth and will condemn. 
. V. The Counterfeit of love to God is something that 
seemeth like it, and yet is consistent with prevalent hatred, 
or privation of true love, and maketh self-deceiving hypo- 
crites. 1. One is when so much of God is loved as men 
think hath no opposition to their lusts and carnal interest 
^as his mercy and readiness to forgive) ; and then they 


think that they truly love God, though they hate his holiness 
and other attributes. 2. Another counterfeit is, to love God 
upon mistakes, imagining that he is of the sinner's mind, 
and will bear with him and not condemn him, though he 
continue sensual and ungodly : this is not indeed to love 
God, but something contrary to God. If men's fantasies 
will take God to be like the devil, a friend to sin, and no 
friend to holiness, and false in his threatenings, &c. and 
thus will love him ; this is so far from being indeed the 
love of God, that it is an odious blaspheming of him. 3. 
Another counterfeit is, to love God only for his temporal 
mercies, as because he preserveth and maintaineth them, 
when yet he is resisted when he would give them things 
spiritual. 4. Another is, when the opinionative approbation 
of the mind, and honouring God with the lips and knee, are 
mistaken for true love. In a word, whatever love of God 
respecteth him not as God indeed and is not superlative, 
but is subservient to creature love, is but a counterfeit. 

VI. The Directions for the exercise of the love of God 
are these. 

Direct. I. ' Consider well that the love of our Creator, 
Redeemer, and Regenerator, is the very end for which we 
are created, redeemed, and regenerated; and how just it is, 
that God should have the end of such excellent works : and 
that by neglecting or opposing the love of God which is the 
end, we neglect or oppose the works of creation, redemption, 
and regeneration themselves.' — Let us plead these works of 
God with our hearts, and say, [' O sluggish soul ! dost thou 
forget the use for which thou wast created, and for which 
thou wast endued with rational faculties ? Dost thou repent 
that thou art a man, and refuse the employment of a man ? 
What is the means or instrument good for, but its proper 
end and use of action? God made the sun to shine, and it 
shineth ; he made the earth to support us and bear fruit, 
and it doth accordingly : and he made thee to love him, 
and wilt thou refuse and disobey ? How noble and excel- 
lent is thy employment in comparison of their's ? Is the 
fruit of the earth, or the labour of thy beast, or the service 
of any inferior creature, so sweet and honourable a work as 
thine, to know and love thy bountiful, glorious Creator ? 
How happy is thy lot ! how blessed is thy portion in com- 


parison of their's ? And dost thou forsake thy place, and 
descend to more ignoble objects, as if thou hadst rather been 
some silly, sordid animal ? If thou hadst not rather be a beast 
than a man, why choosest thou the love and pleasures of a 
beast, and refusest the love and pleasures of a man? Is 
creation, and the image of God in a rational, free soul, a 
thing to be thus contemned for nothing ? What is the sun 
good for, if it should yield no light or heat ? And v^rhat art 
thou good for more than the beasts that perish, if thou 
knov^^ not and love not thy Creator ? If God should offer to 
unman thee and turn thee into a horse or dog, thou M^ouldst 
think he thrust thee into misery ; and yet thou canst vo- 
luntarily and wilfully unman thyself, and take it as thy ease 
and pleasure. If death came this night to dissolve thy na- 
ture it would not please thee : and yet thou canst daily de- 
stroy thy nature, as to its use and end, and not lament it ! 
It were better I had never been a man, nor ever had a heart 
or love within me, if I use it not in the holy love of my 
Creator. It is true, I have a body that is made to eat, and 
drink, and sleep ; but all this is but to serve my soul in the 
love of him that giveth me all. Life is not for meat, or 
drink, or play; but these are for life, and life for the higher 
ends of life. 

* 2. Look unto thy Redeemer, drowsy soul ! and consi- 
der for what end he did redeem thee : Was it to wander a 
few years about the earth, and to sleep, and sport a while in 
flesh ? Or was it to crucify thee to the world, and raise 
thee up to the love of God ? He came down to earth from 
love itself, being full of love, to shew the loveliness of God, 
and reconcile thee to him, and take away the enmity, and 
by love to teach thee the art of love. His love constrained 
him to offer himself a sacrifice for sin, to make thee a priest 
thyself to God, to offer up the sacrifice of an inflamed heart 
in love and praise ; and wilt thou disappoint thy Redeemer, 
and disappoint thyself of the benefits of his love ? The 
means is for the end ; thou mayst as well say, I would not 
be redeemed, as to say, I would not love the Lord. 

* 3. And bethink thyself, O drowsy soul, for what thou 
wast regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit ? Was it not 
that thou mightst know and love the Lord ? What is the 
Spirit of Adoption that is given to believers, but a Spirit of 


predominant love to God'? Thou couldst have loved 
vanity, and doted on thy fleshly friends and pleasures, 
without the Spirit of God ; it was not for these, but to 
destroy these, and kindle a more noble, heavenly fire 
in thy breast that the Spirit did renew thee. Examine, 
search, and try thyself, whether the Spirit hath sanctified 
thee or not. Knowest thou not, that if " any man have not 
the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his*?" And if 
Christ and his Spirit be in thee, thy love is dead to earthly 
vanity, and quickened and raised to the most holy God. 
Live then in the Spirit, if thou have the Spirit : to walk in 
the Spirit is to walk in love. Hath the regenerating Spirit 
given thee on purpose a new principle of love, and done so 
much to excite it, and been blowing the coals so oft, and 
shall thy carnality or sluggishness yet extinguish it? As 
thou wouldst not renounce or contemn thy creation, thy 
redemption, and regeneration, contemn not and neglect not 
the love of thy Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator, which 
is the end of all.'] 

Direct, ii. ' Think of the perfect fitness of God to- be 
the only object of thy superlative love; and how easy and 
necessary it should seem to us, to do a work so agreeable to 
right reason and uncorrupted nature ; and abhor all temp- 
tations which would make God seem unsuitable to thee.' — 
[' O sluggish and unnatural soul ! should not an object so 
admirably fit, allure thee ? Should not such attractive good- 
ness draw thee ? Should not perfect amiableness win thee 
wholly to itself? Do but know thyself and God, and then 
forbear to love him if thou canst ! Where should the fish 
live, but in the water ? And where should birds fly, but in 
the air? God is thy very element : thou diest and sinkest 
down to brutishness, if thou forsake him or be taken from 
him. What should delight the smell, but odours ? or the 
appetite, but its delicious food ? or the eye, but light, and 
what it sheweth ? and the ear, but harmony ? and what 
should delight the soul, but God ? If thou know thyself, 
thou knowest, that the nature of thy mind inclineth to know- 
ledge ; and by the knowledge of effects, to rise up to the 
cause, and by the knowledge of lower and lesser matters, to 
ascend to the highest and greatest. And if thou know God, 

« Gal. iv. 6. * 2 Cor. xiii. 5. Rom. viii. 9. 


thou knowest, that he is the cause of all things, the maker, 
preserver, and orderer of all, the Being of beings, the most 
great, and wise, and good, and happy; so that to know 
him, is to know all ; to know the most excellent, indepen- 
dent, glorious being, that will leave no darkness nor unsa- 
tisfied desire in thy soul. And is he not then most suitable 
to thy mind ? If thou know thyself then, thou knowest that 
thy will, as free as it is, hath a natural, necessary inclination 
to goodness. Thou canst not love evil, as evil ; nor canst 
thou choose but love apprehended goodness, especially the 
chiefest good, if rightly apprehended. And if thou know 
God, thou knowest that he is infinitely good in himself, and 
the cause of all the good that is in the world, and the giver 
of all the good thou hast received, and the only fit and sui- 
table good, to satisfy thy desires for the time to come. And 
yet, shall it be so hard to thee to love, so agreeably to per- 
fect nature, so perfect, and full, and suitable a good ? even 
Goodness and Love itself, which hath begun to love thee ? 
Are any of the creatures which thou lovest so suitable to thee? 
Are they good, and only good, and perfectly good, and un- 
changeably and eternally good ? Are they the spring of com- 
fort, and the satisfying happiness of thy soul ? Hast thou found 
them so? or dost thou look to find them best at last? Foolish 
soul ! canst thou love the uneven, defective, troublesome 
creature, if to some one small, inferior use it seemeth suita- 
ble to thee ? and canst thou not love Him, that is all that ra- 
tional love can possibly desire to enjoy? What, though 
the creature be near thee, and God be infinitely above thee ? 
He is nearer to thee than they. And, though in glory he 
be distant, thou art passing to him in his glory, and wilt 
presently be there. Though the sun be distant from thee, 
it communicateth to thee its light and heat, and is more 
suitable to thee, than the candle, that is nearer thee. What, 
though God be most holy, and thou too earthly and un- 
clean? is he not the fitter to purify thee, and make thee 
holy ? Thou hadst rather, if thou be poor, have the com- 
pany and favour of the rich that can relieve thee, than of 
beggars that will but complain with thee. And if thou be 
unlearned and ignorant, thou wouldst have the company of 
the wise and learned that can teach thee, and not of those 
that are as ignorant as thyself. Who is so suitable to thy 


desires, as he that hath all that thou canst wisely desire ; 
and is willing and ready to satisfy thee to the full ? 
Who is more suitable to thy love, than he that loveth thee 
most, and hath done most for thee, and must do all that ever 
will be done for thee, and is himself most lovely in his infi- 
nite perfections ? O poor, diseased, lapsed soul ! if sin had 
not corrupted, and distempered, and perverted thee, thou 
wouldst have thought God as suitable to thy love, as meat 
to thy hunger, and drink to thy thirst, and rest to thy 
weariness, and as the earth, and water, the air, and sun are 
to the inhabitants of the world ! O whither art thou fallen? 
and how far, how long hast thou wandered from thy God, 
that thou now drawest back from him as a stranger to thee, 
and lookest away from him, as an unsuitable good V] 

Direct, iii. * Imagine not God to be far away from thee, 
but think of him as always near thee and with thee, in whose 
present love and goodness thou dost subsist.' — Nearness of 
objects doth excite the faculties : we hear no sound, nor 
smell any odour, nor taste any sweetness, nor see any colours, 
that are too distant from us. And the mind being limited 
in its activity, neglecteth, or reacheth not things too dis- 
tant, and requireth some nearness of its object, as well as 
the sense : especially to the excitation of affections and 
bodily action. A distant danger stirreth not up such fears, 
nor a distant n^isery such grief, nor a distant benefit such 
pleasure, as that which is at hand. Death doth more deeply 
affect us, when it seemeth very near, than when we think 
we have yet many years to live. So, carnal minds are so 
drowned in flesh, and captivated to sense, that they take 
little notice of what they see not, and therefore think of 
God as absent, because they see him not : they think of him 
as confined to heaven, as we think of a friend that is-in the 
East Indies, or at the antipodes, who is, if not out of mind 
as well as out of sight, yet too distant for us delightfully to 
converse with him. [' Remember always, O my soul, that 
none is so near thee as thy God. A Seneca could say, of 
good men, that * God is with us, and in us.' Nature taught 
heathens, that * in him we live, and move, and have our 
being.' Thy friend may be absent, but God is never absent 
from thee: he is with thee, when, as to men, thou art alone. 
The sun is sufficient to illuminate but one part of the earth 


at once ; and therefore must leave the rest in darkness. But 
God is with thee night and day ; and there is no night to 
the soul, so far as it enjoyeth him. Thy life, thy health, 
thy love, and joy, are not nearer to thee than thy God : he 
is now before thee, about thee, within thee, moving thee to 
good, restraining thee from evil, marking and accepting all 
that is well, disliking and opposing all that is ill. The light 
of the sun doth not more certainly fill the room, and com- 
pass thee about, than God doth with his goodness. He is 
as much at leisure to observe thee, to converse with thee, to 
hear and help thee, as if thou wert his only creature : as 
the sun can as well illuminate every bird and fly, as if it 
shined unto no other creature. Open the eye of faith and 
reason, and behold thy God ! Do not forget him, or unbe- 
lievingly deny him, and then say, * he is not here.' Do not 
say, 'that the sun doth not shine,' because thou winkest. 
O do not quench thy love to God, by feigning him to be out 
of reach, and taken up with other converse ! Turn not to in- 
ferior delights, by thinking that he hath turned thee off to 
these : and love him not as an absent friend ; but as the 
friend that is always in thy sight, in thy bosom, and in thy 
heart ; the fuel that is nearest to the flames of love.'] 

Direct, iv. ' All other graces must do their part in as- 
sisting love, and all be exercised in^ subservience to it, and 
with an intention, directly or remotely, ta promote it.* — 
Fear and watchfulness must keep away the sin that would 
extinguish it, and preserve you from that guilt which would 
frighten away the. soul from God. Repentance and morti- 
fication must keep away diverting and deceiving objects, 
'which would steal away our love from God. Faith must 
shew us God as present, in all his blessed attributes and per- 
fections. Hope must depend on him, for nearer access and 
the promised felicity. Prudence must choose the fittest 
season, and means, and helps from our special approaches 
to him, anxi teach us how to avoid impediments ; and 
Obedience must keep us in a fit capacity for communion 
with him. The mind that is turned loose to wander after 
vanity the rest of the day, is unfit in an hour of prayer or 
meditation, to be taken up with the love of God. It must 
be the work of the day, and of our lives, to walk in a fitness 
for it, though we are not always iji the immediate, lively ex.- 


ercise of it. To sin wilfully one hour, and be taken up 
with the love of God the next, is as unlikely, as one hour to 
abuse our parents, and provoke them to correct us, and the 
next to find the pleasure of their love ; or one hour to fall 
and break one's bones, and the next to run and work, as 
pleasantly as we did before. 

And we must see that all other graces be exercised in a 
just subserviency to love ; and none of them degenerate in- 
to noxious extremes, to the hindrance of this, which is their 
proper end. When you set yourselves to repent and mourn 
for sin, it must be from love, and for love : that by in- 
genuous lamentation of the injuries you have done to a 
gracious God, you may be cleansed from the filth that doth 
displease him, and being reconciled to him in Christ, may 
be fit to return to the exercises and delights of love. When 
you fear God, let it be with a filial fear, that comes from 
4ove, and is but a preservative or restorative for love. Avoid 
that slavish fear, as a sin, which tendeth to hatred, and 
would make you fly away from God. Love casteth out this 
tormenting fear, and freeth the soul from the spirit of bon- 
dage. The devil tempteth melancholy persons to live before 
God, as one that is still among bears or lions that are ready 
to devour him : for he knoweth how much such a fear is an 
enemy to love. Satan would never promote such fears, if 
they were of God, and tended to our good. You never 
found him promoting your love or delight in God ! But he 
careth not how much he plungeth you into distracting ter- 
rors. If he can, he will frighten you out of your love, and 
out of your comforts, and out of your wits. A dull and 
sluggish sinner he will keep from fear, lest it should awaken 
him from his sin ; but a poor, melancholy, penitent soul he 
would keep under perpetual terrors : it is so easy to such to 
fear, that they may know it is a sinful, inordinate fear ; for 
gracious works are not so easy. And resist also all humi- 
liation and grief, that do not, immediately or remotely, 
tend to help your love. A religion that tendeth but to grief, 
and terminateth in grief, and goeth no further, hath too 
much in it of the malice of the enemy, to be of God. No 
tears are desirable, but those that tend to clear the eyes from 
the filth of sin, that they may see the better the loveliness 
of God. 


Direct, v. ' Esteem thy want of love to God, (with the 
turning of it unto the creature) to be the heart of the old 
man ; thy most comprehensive, odious sin : and observe 
this as the life of all thy particular sins, and hate it above 
all the rest.' — This is the very death and greatest deformity 
of the soul : the absence of God's image, and Spirit, and ob- 
jectively of himself. [* I never loathe my heart so much, as 
when I observe how little it loveth the Lord. Methinks all 
the sins that ever I committed, are not so loathsome to me, 
as this want of love to God. And it is this that is the venom 
and malignity of every particular sin. I never so much 
hate myself, as when I observe how little of God is within 
me, and how far my heart is estranged from him. I never 
do so fully approve of the justice of God, if it should con- 
demn me, and thrust me for ever from his presence, as when 
I observe how far I have thrust him from my heart. If there 
were any sin, which proceeded not from a want of love to 
God, I could more easily pardon it to myself, as knowing 
that God would more easily pardon it. But not to love the 
God of love, the fountain of love, the felicity of souls, is a 
sin, unfit to be pardoned to any till it be repented of, and 
partly cured : Christ will forgive it to none that keep it : 
and when it is incurable, it is the special sin of hell, 
the badge of devils and damned souls. If God will not 
give me a heart to love him, I would I had never had a 
heart. If he will give me this, he giveth me all. Happy are 
the poor, the despised, and the persecuted, that can but live 
in the love of God. O miserable emperors, kings, and 
lords, that are strangers to this heavenly love, and love their 
lusts above their Maker ! Might I but live in the fervent 
love of God, what matter is it in what country, or what cot- 
tage, or what prison I live ? If I live not in the love of 
God, my country would be worse than banishment ; a pa- 
lace would be a prison ; a crown would be a miserable com- 
fort, to one that hath cast away his comfort, and is going to 
everlasting shame and woe.'] Were we but duly sensible of 
the worth of love, and the odiousness and malignity that are 
in the want of it, it would keep us from being quiet in the 
daily neglect of it, and would quicken us to seek it, and to 
stir it up. 

Direct, vi. * Improve the principle of self-love, to the 


promoting of the love of God, by considering what he hath 
done for thee, and what he is, and would be to thee/ — I 
mean not carnal, inordinate self-love, which is the chiefest 
enemy of the love of God ; but I mean that rational love of 
happiness, and self-preservation, which God did put into in- 
nocent Adam, and hath planted in man's nature as neces- 
sary to his government. This natural, innocent self-love, is 
that remaining principle in the heart of man, which God 
himself doth still presuppose in all his laws and exhorta- 
tions : and which he taketh advantage of in his works and 
Word, for the conversion of the wicked, and the persuading 
of his servants themselves to their obedience. This is the 
common principle in which we are agreed with all the wick- 
ed of the world, * that all men should desire and seek to be 
happy, and choose and do that which is best for them- 
selves ;' or else it were in vain for ministers to preach to 
them, if we were agreed in nothing, and we had not this 
ground in them to cast our seed into, and to work upon. 
And if self-love be but informed and guided by understand- 
ing, it will compel yoa to love God, and tell you that no- 
thing should be so much loved. Every one that is a man 
must love himself: we will not entreat him, nor be beholden 
to him for this : and every one that loveth himself, will love 
that which he judgeth best for himself: and every wise man 
must know, that he never had, nor can have any good at 
all, but what he had from God. Why do men love lust, or 
wealth, or honour, but because they think that these are 
good for them ? And would they not love God, if they prac- 
tically knew that he is the best of all for them, and instead 
of all ? [* Unnatural, unthankful heart ! canst thou love 
thyself, and not love him that gave thee thyself, and gives 
thee all things ? Nature teacheth all men to love their most 
entire and necessary friends : do we deserve a reward by 
loving those that love us, when publicans will do the like ? 
Art thou not bound to love them that hate thee, and curse, 
and persecute thee ? What reward then is due to thy un- 
natural ingratitude, that canst not love thy chiefest friend ? 
All the friends that ever were kind to thee, and did thee 
good, were but his messengers to deliver what he sent thee. 
And canst thou love the bearer, and not the giver ? He 
made thee a man, and not a beast. He cast thy lot in his 



visible church, and not among deluded infidels, or miserable 
heathens that never heard, unless in scorn, of the Redeemer's 
name. He brought thee forth in a land of light, in a reform- 
ed church, where knowledge and holiness have as great ad- 
vantage, as any where in all the world : and not among de- 
luded, ignorant Papists, where ambition must have been thy 
governor, and pride and tyranny have given thee laws ; and 
a formal, ceremonious image of piety must have been thy 
religion. He gave thee parents that educated thee in his 
fear, and not such as were profane and ignorant, and would 
have restrained and persecuted thee from a holy life. He 
spoke to thy conscience early in thy childhood, and pre- 
vented the gross abominations which else thou hadst com- 
mitted. He bore with the folly and frailties of thy youth. 
He seasonably gave thee those books, and teachers, and 
company, and helps, which were fittest for thee ; and blest 
them to the further awakening and instructing of thee, when 
he passed by^others, and left them in their sins. He taught 
thee to pray, and heard thy prayer. He turned all thy fears 
and groans to thy spiritual good. He pardoned all thy 
grievous sins : and since that, how much hath he endured 
and forgiven! He gave thee seasonable and necessary 
stripes, and brought thee up in the school of affliction ; so 
moderating them, that they might not disable or discourage 
thee, but only correct thee, and keep thee from security, 
wantonness, stupidity, and contempt of holy things, and 
might spoil all temptations to ambition, worldliness, volup- 
tuousness, and fleshly lust. By the threatenings of great ca- 
lamities and death, he hath frequently awakened thee to cry 
to Heaven : and by as frequent and wonderful deliverances> 
he hath answered thy prayers, and encouraged thee still to 
wait upon him. He hath given thee the hearty prayers of 
many hundreds of his faithful servants, and heard them for 
thee in many a distress. He hath strangely preserved thee 
in manifold dangers. He hath not made thee of the basest 
of the people, whose poverty might tempt them to discon- 
tent; nor set thee upon the pinnacle of worldly honour, 
where giddiness might have been thy ruin, and where temp- 
tations to pride, and lust, and luxury, and enmity to a holy 
life, are so violent that few escape them. He hath not set 
thee out upon a sea of cares and vexations, worldly busi- 


nesses and encumbrances; but fed thee with food con- 
venient for thee, and given thee leisure to walk with God. 
He hath not chained thee to an unprofitable profession, nor 
used thee as those that live like their beasts, to eat, and 
drink, and sleep, and play, or live to live ; but he hath 
called thee to the noblest and sweetest work ; when that 
hath been thy business, which others were glad to taste of 
as a recreation and repast. He hath allowed thee to con- 
verse with books, and with the best and wisest men, and to 
spend thy days in sucking in delightful knowledge : and 
this is not only for thy pleasure, but thy use ; and not only 
for thyself, but many others. O how many sweet and pre- 
cious truths hath he allowed thee to feed on all the day, 
when others are diverted, and commonly look at them 
sometimes afar off! O how many precious hours hath he 
granted me, in his holy assemblies, and in his honourable 
and most pleasant work ! How oft hath his day, and his 
holy, uncorrupted ordinances, and the communion of his 
saints, and the mentioning of his name and kingdom, and 
the pleading of his cause with sinners, and the celebrating 
of his praise, been my delight ! O how many hundreds 
that he hath sent, have wanted the abundant encourage- 
ment which I have had ! When he hath seen the disease of 
my despondent mind, he hath not tried me by denying me 
success, nor suffered me, with Jonas, according to my in- 
clination, to overrun his work ; but hath enticed me on by 
continual encouragements, and strewed all the way with 
mercies: but his mercies to me in the souls of others, have 
been so great, that I shall secretly acknowledge them, 
rather than here record them, where I must have respect to 
those usual mercies of believers, which lie in the common 
road to heaven. And how endless would it be to mention 
all ! All the good that friends and enemies have done me ! 
All the wise and gracious disposals of his providence ; in 
every condition, and change of life, and change of times, 
and in every place wherever he brought me ! His every 
day's renewed mercies ! His support under all my languish- 
ings and weakness ; his plentiful supplies ; his gracious 
helps ; his daily pardons ; and the glorious hopes of £i 
blessed immortality which his Son hath purchased, and his 
covenant and Spirit sealed to me ! O the mercies that are 


in one Christ, one Holy Spirit, one Holy Scripture, and in 
the blessed God himself! These I have mentioned, unthank- 
ful heart, to shame thee for thy want of love to God. And 
these I will leave upon record, to be a witness for God 
against 'thy ingratitude, and to confound thee with shame, if 
thou deny thy love to such a God. Every one of all these 
mercies, and multitudes more, will rise up against thee, and 
shame thee, before God and all the world, as a monster of 
unkindness, if thou love not him that hath used thee thus.'] 

Here also consider what God is for your future good, as 
well as what he hath been hitherto : how allsufficient, how 
powerful, merciful and good. But of this more anon. 

Direct, vii. ' Improve the vanity and vexation of the 
creature, and all thy disappointments, and injuries, and 
afflictions, to the promoting of thy love to God.' — And this 
by a double advantage : First, by observing that there is 
nothing meet to divert thy love, or rob God of it ; unless 
thou wilt love thy trouble and distress ! Secondly, that thy 
love to God is the comfort by which thou must be supported 
under the injuries and troubles which thou meetest with in 
the world : and therefore to neglect it, is but to give up thy- 
self to misery. [* Is it for nothing, O my soul, that God 
hath turned loose the world against thee ? That devils rage 
against thee ; and wicked men do reproach and slander thee, 
and seek thy ruin^ and friends prove insufficient, and as 
broken reeds? It had been as easy to God, to have pros- 
pered thee in the world, and suited all things to thy own 
desires, and have strewed thy way with the flowers of 
worldly comforts and delights ; but he knew thy proneness 
to undo thyself with carnal loves, and how easily thy heart 
is enticed from thy God :- and therefore he hath wisely and 
mercifully ordered it, that thy temptations shall not be too-, 
strong, and no creature shall appear to thee in an over ami-, - 
able, tempting dress. Therefore he hath suffered them to 
become thine enemies i and wilt thou love an enemy better 
than thy God ? What! an envious and malicious world ! a 
world of cares, and griefs, and pains ! a weary, restless, 
empty vrorld ! How deep and piercing are its injuries ! 
How superficial and deceitful is its friendship ! How seri- 
ous are its sorrows ! What to yish shews and dreams are its 
delights ! How constant are its cares and labours ! How 


seldom and short are its flattering smiles ! Its comforts are 
disgraced by the certain expectation of succeeding sorrows : 
its sorrows are heightened by the expectations of more : in 
the midst of its flatteries, I hear something within me say- 
ing, ' Thou must die ; this is but the way to rottenness and 
dust.' I see a winding-sheet and a grave still before me : I 
foresee how I must lie in pains and groans, and then become 
a loathsome corpse. And is this a world to be more de- 
lighted in than God ? What have I left me for my support 
and solace, in the midst of all this vanity and vexation, but 
to look to him that is the allsufficient, sure, never-failing 
good ? I must love him, or I have nothing to love, but en- 
mity or deceit. And is this the worst of God's design, in 
permitting and causing my pains and disappointments here ? 
Is it but to drive my foolish heart unto himself, that I mjay 
have the solid delights and happiness of his Irove ? O then 
let his blessed will be done ! Come home my soul ; my 
wandering, tired, grieved soul ! Love, where thy love shall 
not be~lost : love Him that will not reject thee, or deceive 
thee ; nor requite thee as the world doth, with injuries and 
abuse : despair not of entertainment, though the world deny 
it thee. The peaceable region is above. In the world thou 
must have trouble, that in Christ thou mayst have peace. 
Retire to the harbour, if thou wouldst be free from storms. 
God will receive thee, when the world doth cast thee off", if 
thou heartily cast off" the world for him. O what a solace is 
it to the soul, to be driven clearly from the world to God, 
and there to be exercised in that sacred love, which will ac- 
company us to the world of love.'] 

Direct, viii. * Labour for the truest and- fullest concep- 
tions of the goodness and excellencies of God, which are 
his amiableness ; and abhor all misrepresentations of him 
as unlovely.' — That which is apprehended as unlovely can- 
not be loved : and that which is apprehended as evil, is ap- 
prehended as unlovely. Therefore, it is the grand design of 
satan to hide God's goodness, and misrepresent him as evil : 
not to deny him to be good in himself, for in that he hath 
no hope to be believed ; but to persuade men that he is not 
good to them, or to make them forget or overlook his good- 
ness. Not to persuade them that God is evil in himself; 
but that he is evil to them, by restraining them from their 


beloved sins, and hating them as sinners, and resolving to 
damn them if they go on impenitently. This, which is part 
of the goodness of God, he maketh them believe is evil, by 
engaging them in a way and interest, which he knoweth 
that God is engaged against, and enticing them under the 
strokes of his justice. And he tempteth believers themselves 
to poor, diminutive, unworthy thoughts of the goodness and 
mercifulness of God, and to continual apprehensions of his 
wrath and terrors. And if he can make them believe that 
God is their enemy, and think of him only as a consuming 
fire, how little are they like to love him? If Christians knew 
how much of the devil's malice against God and them, doth 
exercise itself in this, to make God appear to man, unlovely, 
they would more studiously watch against such misrepre- 
sentations, and fly from them with greater hatred *. Not 
that we must first, by the advice of arrogant reason, and 
self-love, as some do,' draw a false description of goodness 
and amiableness in our minds, and make that the measure of 
our judgment of God, his nature, attributes, and decrees ; 
nor take his goodness to be only his suitableness to our 
opinions, wills, and interest. But we must take out from 
the Word and works of God, that true description of his 
goodness which he hath given of himself, and expunge out 
of our conceits whatsoever is contrary to it. Think of God's 
goodness in proportion with his other attributes. [* O my 
soul, how unequally hast thou thought of God! Thou 
easily believest that his power is omnipotence, and that his 
knowledge is omniscience ; but of his goodness, how nar- 
row and poor are thy conceivings ! As if it were nothing 
to his power and knowledge. How oft hast thou been 
amazed in the consideration of his greatness, and how seldom 
affected with the apprehensions of his goodness ! Thou 
gratifiest him that would have thee believe and tremble, as 
he doth himself, and not him that would have thee believe 
and love. How oft hast thou suffered the malicious enemy 

a O orator, in tua oratione plus dilige Deum quam teipsum et alia : et si hoc fa- 
cis Justus es et prudens, et de charitate et sanctitate habituatus. Qui habitus est 
amicus tuus in oratioue. O Orator ! quando orabis pro corumlssis, justitiam Dei te- 
cum teneas diligendo ; non autem odiendo : quia si sic, misericordia Dei non posset 
esse tua arnica, eo quia-injustus esset ; et tuus habitus esset crudelis et a spe et cha- 
ritate prolongatus, et tuum amare in odire esset perversum, de quo odire esset in aeter- 
num habituatus. Raim. LuUius, Arte Magna de Applic. c. cxiv. p. 537, 558. 


to accuse God to thee, and make thee believe that he is a 
hater of man, and hateful to man, or a hater of thee, that he 
might make thee hate him ! How oft hast thou suffered 
him to draw in thy thoughts a false representation of thy 
dearest Lord, and shew him to thee as in that unlovely shape ! 
How oft have thy conceptions dishonoured and blasphemed 
his love and goodness, while thou hast seemed to magnify 
his knowledge and his power ! Think of him now as love 
itself! As more full of goodness, than the sea of water, or 
the sun of light ! Love freely and boldly, without the stops 
of suspicions and fears, where thou art sure thou canst never 
love enough : and if all the love of men and [angels were 
united in one flame, they could never love too much, or come 
near the proportion of the glorious goodness which they 
love ! Cast thyself boldly into this ocean of delights. 
Though the narrowness of thy own capacity confine thee, 
yet, as there are no bounds in the object of thy love, let not 
false, unbelieving thoughts confine thee. O that I were all 
eye, to see the glorious amiableness of my God ! O that I 
were all love, that I might be filled with his goodness ! O 
that all the passions of my soul were turned into this holy 
passion ! O that all my fears, and cares, and sorrows, were 
turned into love ! And that all the thoughts that confusedly 
crowd in upon me and molest me, were turned into this one 
incessant thought, of the infinite goodness of my God ! O 
that all my tears, and groanings, yea, and all my other 
mirth and pleasures, were turned into the melodious songs 
of love ! And that the pulse, and voice, and operations of 
love, were all the motion of my soul ! Surely in heaven it 
will be so, though it is not to be expected here.'] 

Direct, ix. / The great means of promoting love to God 
is duly to behold him in his appearances to man, in the 
ways of Nature, Grace, and Glory. First, therefore, learn 
to understand and improve his appearances in Nature, and 
to see the Creator in all his works, and by the knowledge 
and love of them to be raised to the knowledge and love of 
him.' — Though sin hath so disabled us to the due improve- 
ment of these appearances of God in nature, that grace 
must restore us, before we can do it effectually and accept-, 
ably; yet objectively nature is still the same in sub&tance, 
and affordeth us much help to the knowledge and love of 


God. He kjioweth nothing of the world aright that know- 
eth not God in it, and by it. Some pote, that the greatest 
students in nature are not usually the best proficients in 
grace ; and that philosophers and physicians are seldom 
great admirers of piety ; but this is to judge of the wise by 
the foolish, and to impute the ignorance and impiety of 
some to others that abhor it. Doubtless, he is no philo- 
sopher, but a fool, that seeth not and admireth not the 
Creator in his works. Indeed, if a man doth wholly give 
himself to know the shape and form of letters, and to write 
them curiously, or cut them in brass or stone, or to print 
them, and not to understand their significations or use, no 
wonder if he be ignorant of the arts and sciences, which those 
letters well understood would teach him ; such a man may be 
called an engraver, a scrivener, a printer, but not a scholar : 
and no better can the atheist be called a philosopher or a 
learned man, that denieth the most wise Almighty Author, 
while he beholdeth his works, when the nature and name of 
God is so plainly engraven upon them all. It is a great 
part of a Christian's daily business to see and admire God 
in his works, and to use them as steps to ascend by to him- 
self. ** The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all 
them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable 
and glorious ; and his righteousness endureth for ever. He 
hath made his wonderful works to be remembered^." — " 1 
meditate on all thy works ; I muse on the works of thy 
hands ^." — ** I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk 
of thy doings **."—** For thou. Lord, hast made me glad 
through thy work. I will triumph in the works of thy 
hands. A brutish man knoweth not ; neither doth a fool 
understand this *. As the praising of God's works, so the 
observing of (Jjod in his works is much of the work of a 
holy soul. " Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised ; 
and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall 
praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty 
acts, I will speak of the glorious honour of thy Majesty, 
and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the 
might of thy terrible acts ; and I will declare thy great- 
ness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great 

b Psal. cxi. 2, 3, 4. « Psal. cxliii. 5. 

** Psal. Ixxvii. 1 2. « Psal. xcii. 4—6. 


goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. All thy 
works shall praise thee, O Lord ; and thy saints shall bless 
thee. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all 
his works ^" — ** That which might be known of God is 
manifest in them ; for God hath shewn it unto them. For 
the invisible things of him from the creation of the world 
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are 
made ; even his eternal power and Godhead : so that they 
are without excuse s.'' If we converse in the world as be- 
lievers and rational creatures ought, we should as oft as 
David repeat these words : " O that men would praise the 
Lord for his goodness, and for his wondrous works to the 
children of men ! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of 
thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. They 
that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great 
waters ; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders 
in the deep*"." But this is a subject fitter for a volume (of 
physics theologically handled) than for so short a touch. 
What an excellent book is the visible world for the daily 
study of a holy soul ! Light is not more visible to the eye 
in the sun, than the goodness of God is in it and all the 
creatures to the mind. If I love not God, when all the 
world revealeth his loveliness, and every creature telleth me 
that he is good, what a blind and wicked heart have I ! O 
wonderful wisdom, and goodness, and power which appear- 
eth in every thing we see ! in every tree, and plant, and 
flower ; in every bird, and beast, and fish ; in every worm, 
and fly, and creeping thing ; in every part of the body of 
man or beast, much more in the admirable composure of 
the whole ; in the sun, and moon, and stars, and meteors ; 
in the lightning and thunder, the air and winds, the rain and 
waters, the heat and cold, the fire and the earth, especially 
in the composed frame of all, so far as we can see them set 
together ; in the admirable order and co-operation of all 
things ; in their times and seasons, and the wonderful use- 
fulness of all for man. O how glorious is the power, and 
wisdom, and goodness of God, in all the frame of nature ! 
Every creature silently speaks his praise, declaring him to 
man, whose office is, as the world's high-priest, to stand 

^ Psal. cxlv. 3—7. 10. 17- ? Rom. i. 19, 20. ^ Psal. cvii. 21—24. 


between them and the great Creator, and expressly offer him 
the praise of all. " When I consider thy heavens, the work 
of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast or- 
dained ; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the 
son of man, thatthou visitest him? For thou hast made him 
a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with 
glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion 
over the works of thy hands ; thou hast put down all things 
under his feet. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy 
name in all the earth ! O that men would praise the Lord for 
his goodness, and declare his wondrous works to the chil- 
dren of men ! The earth is full of the goodness of the 
Lord '." Thus love God as appearing in the works of nature. 
Direct, x. ' Study to know God as he appeareth more 
clearly to sinners in his Goodness in the works of Grace; 
especially in his Son, his covenant, and his saints, and there 
to love him, in the admiration of his love.' — Here love hath 
made itself an advantage of our sin and unworthiness, of 
our necessities and miseries, of the law and justice, and the 
flames of hell. The abounding of sin and misery hath 
glorified abounding grace ; that grace which fetcheth sons 
for God from among the voluntary vassals of the devil, 
which fetcheth children of light out of darkness, and living 
souls from among the dead, and heirs for heaven from the 
gates of hell ; and brings us as from the gallows to the throne. 
1. A believing view of the nature, undertaking, love, obe- 
dience, doctrine, example, sufferings, intercession, and 
kingdom of Jesus Christ, must needs inflame the believer's 
heart with an answerable degree of the love of God. To 
look on a Christ and not to love God is to have eyes and 
not to see, and to overlook him while we seem to look on 
him. He is the liveliest image of Infinite Goodness, and 
the messenger of the most unsearchable, astonishing love, 
and the purchaser of the most invaluable benefits, that 
ever were revealed to the sons of men. Our greatest love 
must be kindled by the greatest revelations and communi- 
cations of the love of God. And " greater love hath no 
man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends^" 
That is, men have no dearer and clearer a way to express 

* Psal. viii. 3. 6. 9. xxxiii. 5—9. Read fsal. Ixv. •' John xv. 13. 


their love to their friends ; but that love is aggravated la- 
de ed, which will express itself as far for enemies. " But 
God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were 
yet sinners Christ died for us. And if, when we were ene- 
mies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, 
much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his lifej." 
Steep, then, that stiff and hardened heart in the blood of 
Christ, and it will melt : come near, with Thomas, and by 
the passage of his wounds get near unto his heart, and it 
will change thy unkind, unthankful heart into the very na- 
ture of love. Christ is the best teacher of the lesson of 
love that ever the world had ; who taught it not only by his 
words, but by his blood, by his life, and by his death : if 
thou canst not learn it of him thou canst never learn it. 
Love is the greatest commander of love, and the most ef- 
fectual argument that can insuperably constrain us to it : 
and none ever loved at the measure and rates that Christ hath 
loved. To stand by such a fire is the way for a congealed 
heart to melt, and the coldest affections to grow warm. A 
lively faith still holding Christ, the glass of infinite love 
and goodness, before our faces, is the greatest lesson in the 
art of love. 

2. Behold God also in his Covenant of Grace, which 
he hath made in Christ. In that you may see such sure, 
such great and wonderful mercies, freely given out to a 
world of sinners, and to yourselves among the rest, as may 
afford abundant matter for love and thankfulness to feed on 
while you live. There you may see how loath God is that 
sinners should perish; how he delighteth in mercy; and 
how great and unspeakable that mercy is. There you may 
see an act of pardon and oblivion granted upon the reason- 
able condition of believing, penitent acceptance, to all man- 
kind : the sins that men have been committing many years 
together, their wilful, heinous, aggravated sins, you may 
there see pardoned by more aggravated mercy ; and the ene- 
mies of God reconciled to him, and condemned rebels saved 
from hell, and brought into his family, and made his sons. 
O what an image of the goodness of God is apparent in the 
tenor of his word and covenant ! Holiness and mercy make 
up the whole — they are expressed in every leaf and line I 

' Rom.v. 8— 10. 


The precepts, which seem too strict to sinners, are but the 
perfect rules of holiness and love, for the health and hap- 
piness of man. What loveliness did David find in the law 
itself ! and so should we, if we read it with his eyes and 
heart : it was sweeter to him than honey ; he loved it above 
gold ; he crieth out, " O how I love thy law ! it is my me- 
ditation all the day""." And must not the Lawgiver then 
be much more lovely, whose goodness here appeareth to 
us ? " Good and upright is the Lord ; therefore will he teach 
sinners in the way "." — " I will delight myself in thy com- 
mandments, which I have loved : my hands also will I lift 
up to thy commandments, which I have loved ; and I will 
meditate on thy statutes °." How delightfully then should I 
love and meditate on the blessed Author of this holy law ! 
But how can I read the history of love, the strange design 
of grace in Christ, the mystery which the angels desirously 
pry into, the promises of life to lost and miserable sinners, 
and not feel the power of love transform me ? ** Behold, 
with what love the Father hath loved us, that we should be 
called the sons of God p." How doth God shed abroad his 
love upon our hearts, but by opening to us the superabun- 
dance of it in his Word, andopening our hearts by his Spirit 
to perceive it? O when a poor sinner that first had felt the 
load of sin, and the wrath of God, shall feelingly read or 
hear what mercy is tendered to him in the covenant of grace, 
and hear Christ's messengers tell him, from God, that all 
things are now ready ; and therefore invite him to the hea- 
venly feast, and even to compel him to come in, what melt- 
ing love must this affect a sinner's heart with ! When we 
see the grant of life eternal sealed to us by the blood of 
Christ, and a pardoning, justifying covenant, so freely made 
and surely confirmed to us, by that God whom we had so 
much offended, O what an incentive is here for love ! 

When I mention the Covenant I imply the Sacraments, 
which are its appendants or confirming seals, and the in- 
vesting the believer solemnly with its benefits : but in these 
God is pleased to condescend to the most familiar com- 
munion with his church, that love and thankfulness might 
want no helps. There it is that the love of God in Christ 

"> Psal cxix, 127. xcvii. " Psal. xxv. 8. 

o Psal. cxix. 47, 48. P 1 John iii. 1. 


applieth itself most closely to particular sinners ; and the 
meat or drink will be sweet in the mouth, which was not 
sweet to us on the table at all. O how many a heart hath 
this affected! How many have felt the stirrings of that 
love, which before they felt not, wljien they have seen Christ 
crucified before their eyes, and have heard the minister, in 
his name and at his command, bid them * Take,' and * Eat,' and 
' Drink ;' commanding them not to refuse their Saviour, but 
take him and the benefits of his blood as their own ; as- 
suring them of his good-will and readiness to forgive and 
save them? 

3. Behold also the loveliness of God in his holy ones, 
who bear his image, and are advanced by his love and mer- 
cy. If you are Christians indeed, you are taught of God to 
love his servants, and to see an excellency in the saints on 
earth, and make them the people of your delight '^. And 
this must needs acquaint you with the greater amiablenes^, 
in the most Holy God, that made them holy. O how oft 
have the feeling and heavenly prayers of lively believers, 
excited those affections in me, which before I felt not! 
How oft have I been warmed with their heavenly discourse ! 
How amiable is that holy, heavenly disposition and conver- 
sation which appeareth in them ! Their faith, their love, 
their trust in God, their cheerful obedience, their hatred of 
sin, their desire of the good of all, their meekness and pa- 
tience ; how much do these advance them above the igno- 
rant, sensual, proud, malignant, and ungodly world ! How 
good then is that God that makes men good ! And how 
little is the goodness of the best of men, compared to his 
unmeasurable goodness ! Whenever your converse with 
holy men, stirs up your love to them, rise by it presently 
to the God of saints, and let all be turned to him that giveth 
all, to them and to you. 

And as the excellency of the saints, so their privilege 
and great advancement, should shew you the goodness of 
God, that doth advance them. As oft as thou seest a saint, 
how poor and mean in the world soever, thou seest a living 
monument of the abundant kindness of the Lord. Thou 
seest a child of God, a member of Christ, an heir of heaven. 
Thou seest one that hath all his sins forgiven, and is snatch- 

1 Psal.xvi. 1,2. 1 Thes. iv.9. 


ed as a brand out of the fire, and delivered from the power 
of satan, and translated into the kingdom of Christ. Thou 
seest one for whom Christ hath conquered the powers of 
hell ; and one that is freed from the bondage of the flesh ; 
and one that, of the devil's slave, is made a priest, to offer 
up the sacrifices of praise to God. Thou seest one that 
hath the Spirit of God within him ; and one that hath daily 
intercourse with heaven, and audience with God, and is 
dearly beloved by him in Christ. Thou^eest in flesh a com- 
panion of angels, and one that hath the Divine nature, and 
must shortly be above the stars in glory, and must be with 
Christ, and must love and magnify God for ever. And is 
not the amiableness of God apparent, in such mercy be- 
stowed upon sinful man ? And should we not now begin to 
admire him in his saints, and glorify him in believers, who 
will come with thousands of his angels, to be glorified and 
admired in them at the lasf? O the abundant deliveran- 
ces, preservations, provisions, encouragements, which all 
his servants receive from God ! M^ho ever saw the just for- 
saken, even while they think themselves forsaken ? " For 
the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; 
they are preserved for ever. The law of his God is in his heart ; 
none of his steps shall slide. Mark the perfect man, and 
behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace \" 
*' Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints*." 
" Ye that love the Lord, hate evil : he preserveth the souls 
of his saints ; he delivereth them out of the hand of the 
wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for 
the upright in heart"." " O love the Lord all his saints ! 
for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully reward- 
eth the proud doer''." 

Direct, xi. ' Insist not so much on your desires after vi- 
sion, as to undervalue the lower apprehensions of faith : but 
love God by the way of faith, as in order to the love of in- 

We are exceeding apt to be over-desirous of sight ; and 
to take nothing as an object fit to affect us, which sense 
perceiveth not. When we have the surest evidence of the 
truth of things unseen, it hardly satisfieth us, unless we may 

' 2 Thes. i. 10. * Psal. xxxvii. 25, 28, 31, S7. * Psal. cxvi. 15. 

u Psal. xcvii. 10, 11. « Psal. xxxi. 23. 


see or feel. And hereupon, our love to God is hindered ; 
while we think of him aa if he were not, or take the appre- 
hensions of faith, as if they were uncertain, and little dif- 
fered from a dream. Yea, it proveth the ground of most 
dangerous temptations to infidelity itself. While we take 
that knowledge which we have of God, in the way of faith, 
the love and communion which is exercised thereby, to be 
as nothing ; we are next tempted to think, that there is no 
true knowledge of God, and communion with him to be at- 
tained. And when we have been searching and striving 
long, and find that we can reach no more, we are tempted to 
think, that the soul of man is made but as the beasts, for 
present things, and is incapable of those higher things, 
which are revealed in the Gospel ; and that if there were in- 
deed a life to come, and man was made to enjoy his God, 
we should get nearer to him than we are, and know him 
more, and love him better. [' But is it nothing, O pre- 
sumptuous soul, to see God in a glass, in order to a nearer 
•sight ? Is it nothing to have the heavenly Jerusalem des- 
cribed and promised to thee, unless thou see it and possess 
it? Wilt thou travel to no place, but what thou seest all 
the way ? Wouldst thou have nr difference betwixt earth 
and heaven ? What canst thou have more in heaven, than 
immediate intuition ? Wouldst thou have no life of trial, 
in obedience of faith, before the life of fruition and reward ? 
Or canst thou think that a life of sight and sense, is fit for 
trial and preparation, to shew who is meet for the rewarding 
life ? Unthankful soul ! Compare thy state with that of 
brutes : is it nothing, for thee to know thy Maker in the 
works of his creation and providence, and in the revelations 
of grace, and the belief of promised immortality, unless thou 
presently see him in his glory ? When these thy fellow 
creatures know him not at all ? Compare thyself now, with 
thyself as heretofore, in the days of thy ignorance and car- 
nality. Hadst thou then any such knowledge of God, as 
thou now undervaluest ? or any such communion with him, 
as thou now accountest next to none ? When the light first 
shined in thine eyes, and thou hadst first experience of the 
knowledge of God, thou thoughtest it something, and re- 
joicedst in the light: if then thou couldst have suddenly 
attained but to so much, as thou hast now attained, wouldst 


thou have called it nothing ? Would it not have seemed a 
greater treasure to thee, than to have known both the In- 
dies as thine own ? O be not unthankful for the little which 
thou hast received, when God might have shut thee out in 
that darkness which the greatest part of the world lieth in, 
and have left thee to thyself, to have desired no higher know- 
ledge, than such as may feed thy fancy, and pride, and lust. 
Art thou so far drowned in flesh and sense, as to take in- 
tellectual apprehensions for dreams, unless thy sense may 
see and feel ? Wilt thou take thy soul, thyself for nothing, 
because thou art not to be seen or felt? Shall no subjects 
honour and obey their king, but they that have seen his 
court and him ? Desire the fullest and the nearest sight ; 
the purest and the strongest love ; and desire and spare not 
the life where all this will be had : but take heed of being 
too hasty with God, and unthankful for the mercies of the 
way. Know better the difference betwixt thy travail and 
thy home : and know what is fit for passengers to expect. 
Humbly submit to an obedient waiting in a life of faith : and 
make much of the testament of Christ, till thou be at age to 
possess the inheritance. Thou must live, and love, and 
run, and fight, and conquer, and suffer by faith, if ever thou 
wilt come to see and to possess the crown.'] 

Direct, xii. * It is a powerful means to kindle the love 
of God in a believer, to foresee by faith the glory of heaven, 
and what God will be there to his saints for ever^.! — And 
thus to behold God in his Glory, is the use of Grace. 
Though the manner of knowing him thus by faith, be far 
short of what we there expect, yet it is the same God and 
glory that now we believe, which then we must more openly 
behold. And therefore, as that apprehension of love will 
inconceivably excel the highest which can be here attained ; 
so the forethoughts of that, doth excel all other arguments 
and means to affect us here ; and will raise us as high as 
means can raise us. The greatest things, and greatest inte- 

y Read Julian Toletan. his Prognosticon. Si in coelis fidelibus haec servatur 
heeriditas, frivola qusedam et tepida proferunt aliqui, putantes earn se percipere in 
terrena Jerusalem ; mille anais existimant esse deliciarum praemia proprietate recep- 
tnros: qui interrogandi sunt, quomodo astruant delicias corporales, dum dicatur banc 
haereditatem nee corruoipi posse nee marcescere. Didyraus Alexand. in Petr. 1. 
cont. Millenjir. 


rest of our souls being there, will greatly raise us to the love 
of God, if any thing will do it : to foresee how near him we 
shall be ere long ; and what a glorious proof we shall have 
of his good will ; and how our souls will be ravished ever- 
lastingly with his love ! To think what hearts the blessed 
have that see his glory, and live with Christ ! How full of 
love they are ! and what a delight it is to them thus to love ! 
must needs affect the heart of a believer. [* Lift up thy 
head, poor drowsy sinner ! Look up to heaven, and think 
where thou must live for ever ! Think what the holy ones 
of God are doing! Do they love God, or do they not? 
Must it not then be thy life and work for ever ? And canst 
thou forbear to love him now, that is bringing thee to such 
a world of love ? Thou wouldst love him more, that would 
give thee security to possess a kingdom which thou never 
sawest, than him that giveth thee but some toy in the hand. 
And let it not seem too distant to affect thee : the time is 
as nothing till thou wilt be there : thou knowest not but 
thou mayst be there this night. There thou shalt see the 
Maker of the worlds, and know the mysteries of his won- 
drous works. There thou shalt see thy blessed Lord, and 
feel that love which thou readest of in the Gospel, and en- 
joy the fruits of it for ever. There thou shalt see him that 
suffered for thee, and rose again, whom angels see and wor- 
ship in his glory. Thou shalt see there a more desirable 
sight, than those that saw him heal the blind, and lame, and 
sick, and raise, the dead ; or those that saw him in his trans- 
figuration ; or than those that saw him on the cross, or after 
his resurrection ; or than Stephen saw when he was stoned ; 
or Paul when he was converted ; yea, more than it is like 
he saw when he was in his rapture, in the third heavens ! 
O who can think believingly on the life which we must 
there shortly live, the glory which we must see, the love 
which we must receive, and the love which we must exer- 
cise, and not feel the fire begin to flame, and the glass in 
which we see the Lord, become a burning-glass to our af- 
fections!'] Christ and Heaven are the books which we 
must be often reading ; the glasses in which we must daily 
gaze, if ever we will be good proficients and practitioners in 
the art of holy love. 

Direct, xin. * Exercise your souls so frequently and di' 

VOL. II. c c 


ligently in this way of love, that the method of it may be fa- 
miliar to you, and the means and motives still at hand, and 
you may presently be able to fall into the wQ.y, as one that 
is well acquainted with it, and may not be distracted and 
lost in generals, as not knowing where to fix your thoughts.' 
— I know no methods alone will serve to raise the dead, and 
cause a carnal, senseless heart to love the Lord. But I 
know that many honest hearts, that have the spirit of love 
within them, have great need to be warned, that they quench 
not the Spirit ; and great need to be directed how to stir 
up the grace which is given them : and that many live a 
more dull, or distracted, uncomfortable life, than they would 
do, if they wanted not skill and diligence. The soul is 
most backward to this highest work, and therefore hath 
the greater need of helps : and the best have so much need 
as that it is well if all Will serve to keep up loving and grate- 
ful thoughts of God upon their minds. And when every 
trade, and art, and science, requireth diligence, exercise, 
and experience, and all are bunglers at it at the first, can 
we reasonably think that we are like to attain any high de- 
grees, with slight, and short, and seldom thoughts ? 

Direct, xiv. ' Yet let not weak-headed or melancholy 
persons, set themselves on those methods or lengths of me- 
ditation, which their heads cannot bear ; lest the tempter 
get advantage of them, and abate their love, by making re- 
ligion seem a torment to them ; but let such take up with 
shorter, obvious meditation^, and exercise their love in an 
active, obediential way of living.' — That is the best physic 
that is fitted to the patient's strength and case : and that is 
the best shoe that is meetest for the foot, and not that which 
is the biggest or the finest. It is a great design of satan, 
to make all duties grievous and burdensome to us ; and 
thereby to cast us into continual pain, and fear, and trou- 
ble, and so destroy our delight in God, and consequently, 
our love. Therefore pretend not to disability for carnal 
unwillingness and laziness of mind ; but yet mar not all by 
grasping at more than you are able to bear. Take on 
you as you are able, and increase your work, if God in- 
crease your strength. If a melancholy person crack his 
brain with immoderate, unseasonable endeavours, he will 
but disable himself for all. 


Direct, xv. ' Keep clear, and hold fast the evidences of 
thy sincerity, that thou mayst perceive thy interest in the 
love of God, and resist the temptations which would hide 
his love to thee, and cause thee to doubt of it, or deny it.' — 
Satan hath not his end when he hath troubled thee, and 
robbed thee of thy peace and comfort : it is worse that he is 
seeking to effect by this : his malice is more against God, 
than against thee ; and more against God and thee, in this 
point of love, than in any other grace or duty. He know- 
eth that God esteemeth this tfiost : and he knoweth if he 
could kill thy love, he kills thy soul. And he knoweth how 
natural it is to man, to love those that love him, and hate 
those that hate him, be they never so excellent in themselves. 
And therefore, if he can persuade thee into despair, and to 
think that God hateth thee, and is resolved to damn thee, 
he will not despair of drawing thee to hate God. Or if he 
do but bring thee to fear that he loveth thee not, he will 
think accordingly to abate thy love. I know that a truly 
gracious soul keepeth up its love, when it loseth its assu- 
rance ; and mourneth, and longeth, and seeketh in love, 
when it cannot triumph and rejoice in love : but yet there 
are some prints left on the heart, of its former apprehen- 
sions of the love of God : and such souls exceedingly dis- 
advantage themselves as to the exercises of love, and make 
it a work of wondrous difficulty. O ! it will exceedingly 
kindle love, when we can see God's surest love-tokens in 
our hearts, and look to the promises, and say, * They are all 
mine ;' and think of heaven, as that which shall certainly 
be our own : and can say with Thomas, ** My Lord, and my 
God :" and with Paul, that " The life which I live in the 
flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, that loved me, 
and gave himself for me." Denial of our grace may seem 
to be humility, but it tendeth to extinguish love and grati- 

' But,' you will say, * I must avoid soul-delusion and 
Pharisaical ostentation on the other side. And few reach 
assurance ; how then should we keep up the love of God V 

Answ. 1. Though I am not come to the point of trying 
and discerning grace, I shall give you this much help in the 
way, because it is so useful to the exercises of love. (1.) If 
you have not enjoying, delighting love, yet try whether you 


have not desiring, seeking love. Love appeareth as truly, 
in desiring and seeking good, as in delighting in it. Poor 
men shew their love of the world, by desiring and seeking 
it, as much as rich men do in delighting in it. What is it 
that you most desire and seek? (2.) Or if this be so weak 
that you scarce discern it, do you not find a mourning and 
lamenting love ? You shew that you loved your money, by 
mourning when you lose it ; and that you loved your friend, 
by grieving for his death, as well as by delighting in him 
while he lived. If you heartily lament it as your greatest 
unhappiness and loss, when you think that God doth cast 
you off, and that you are void of grace, and cannot serve and 
honour him as you would, this shews you are not void of 
love. (3.) Ifyou feel not that you love him, do you feel 
that you would fain love him, and that you love to love 
him ? If you do so, it is a sign that you do love him. 
When you do not only desire to find such an evidence of sal- 
vation in you, but when you desire love itself, and love to love 
God. Had you not rather have a heart to love him perfectly, 
than to have all the riches in the world? Had you not ra- 
ther live in the love of God, if you could reach it, than to 
live in any earthly pleasure ? If so, be sure he hath your 
hearts. The will is the love, and the heart : if God have 
your will, he hath your heart and love. (4.) What hath 
your hearts if he have them not ? Is there any thing that 
you prefer and seek before him, and that you had rather 
have than him ? Can you be content without him, and let 
him go, in exchange for any earthly pleasure ? If not, it is 
a sign he hath your hearts. You love him savingly, ifyou 
set more by nothing else than by him. (5.) Do you love 
his holy image in his Word ? Do you delight and meditate 
in his law ? Is it in your hearts ? Or do you pray, " In- 
cline my heart unto thy testimonies ^ ?" If you love God's 
image in his Word, (the wisdom and holiness of it) you love 
God. (6.) Do you love his image on his children ? Ifyou 
love them for their heavenly wisdom and holiness, you so 
far love God. He that loveth the candle for its light, doth 
love the light itself and the sun : he that loveth the wise 
and holy, for their wisdom and holiness, doth love wisdom 
and holiness themselves . The Word and the saints being more 

» Psal. i. 2. xl. 8. cxix. 36. 


in the reach of our sensible apprehensions, than God him- 
self is, we ordinarily feel our love to them, more sensibly 
than our love to God ; when indeed it is God, in his Word 
and servants that we love ^. Though, for want of assurance 
you feel not the delights of love, have you not a heart that 
would delight in it, more than in all the riches of the world, 
if you could but get assurance of your interest? Would it 
not comfort you more than any thing, if you could be sure 
he loveth you, and could perfectly love him and obey him ? 
If so, it is not for want of love that you delight not in him, 
but for want of assurance. So that if God have thy heart, 
either in a delighting love, or a seeking and desiring, or a 
lamenting, mourning love, he will not despise it or reject it. 
" He is nigh to them that be of a broken heart :'' " A bro- 
ken and contrite heart is his sacrifice, which he will not des- 
pise :" The " good Lord will have mercy on every one that 
prepareth their hearts to seek him, though they do it not ac- 
cording to the preparation of the sanctuary ^." By these 
evidences, you may discern the sincerity of love in small 
degrees : and so you may make love the occasion of more 
love, by discerning that goodness of God which is mani- 
fested to you in the least. 

2. But suppose you cannot yet attain assurance ; neg- 
lect not to improve that goodness and mercy of God which 
he revealeth to you in the state that you are in. Love him, 
but as Infinite Goodness should be loved, who " so loved 
the world as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting 
life *=." Love him, as the most blessed and merciful God, 
who made you and all things, and hath given to the world 
an universal pardon, on condition of their penitent accep- 
tance, and offereth them everlasting life, and all this pur- 
chased by the blood of Christ. Love him, as one that of- 
fereth you reconciliation, and entreateth you to be saved : 
and as one that delighteth not in the death of the wicked, 
but rather that they turn and live : and as one that would 
have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the 
truth, though he will save none but the penitent, that do 
acknowledge the truth. And when you love him sincerely 

a 1 John iil. 14. Psal. xv. 4. •» Psal. xxxiv. 18. li. 17. 

* John iii. 16. 


on these accounts, you will have the evidence of his special 
love to you. 

Direct, xvi. * Improve thy sense of natural and friendly 
love, to raise thee to the love of God.' — When thou seest or 
feelest vsrhat love a parent hath to children, and a husband 
to a vs^ife, or a wife to a husband, or faithful friends to one 
another ; think then, [* What love do I owe to God \ O 
how inconsiderable is the loveliness of a child, a wife, a 
friend, the best of creatures, in comparison of the loveliness 
of God ! Unworthy soul ! canst thou love a drop of good- 
ness in thy friend ; and canst thou not love the ocean of 
goodness in thy God? Is a spark in the creature more 
amiable than the fire that kindled it ? Thou canst love thy 
friend for all his blemishes, his ignorance, his passions, and 
manifold imperfections : and canst thou not love thy God, 
who hath none of these, nor any thing to discourage or damp 
thy love ? Thou lovest, and deservedly lovest thy friend, 
because he loveth thee, and deals friendly with thee : but O ! 
how much greater is the love of God ! Did ever friend love 
thee, as he hath loved thee ? Did ever friend do for thee, 
as he hath done ? He gave thee thy being, thy daily safety, 
and all the mercies of thy life ! He gave thee his Son, his 
Spirit, and his grace ! He pardoned thy sins, and took thee 
into his favour, and adopted thee for his son, and an heir of 
heaven! He will glorify thee with angels in the presence 
of his glory ! How should such a friend as this be loved ! 
How far above all mortal friends ! Their love and friend- 
ship is but a token and message of his love. Because he 
lov€th thee, he sendeth thee kindness and mercy by thy 
friend : and when their kindness ceaseth, or can do thee no 
good, his kindness will continue, and comfort thee for ever. 
Love them therefore as the messengers of his love : but 
love him in them, and love them for him, and love him much 

Direct, xvii. ' Think oft, how delightful a life it would 
be to thee, if thou couldst but live in the love of God : and 
then the complacency will provoke desire, and desire will 
turn thy face towards God, till thou feel that thou lovest 
him.' — The love of a friend hath its sweetness and delight : 
and when we love them, we feel such pleasure in our love, 
that we love to love them. How pleasant then would it be 


to love thy God ! [* O blessed, joyful life, if I could but 
love him as much as I desire to love him ! How freely could 
I leave the ambitious, and the covetous, and the sensual, 
and voluptuous, to their doting, delusory, swinish love! 
How easily could I spare all earthly pleasures ! How near 
should I come to the angelical life ! Could I love God as I 
would love him, it would fill me with continual pleasure, 
and be the sweetest feast that a soul can have. How easily 
would it quench all carnal love ! How far would it raise 
me above these transitory things ! How much should I con- 
temn them, and pity the wretches that know no better, and 
have their portion in this life ! How readily should Hobey, 
and how pleasant would obedience be ! How sweet would 
all my meditations be, when every thought is full of love ! 
How sweet would all my prayers be, when constraining love 
did bring me unto God, and indite and animate every word ! 
How sweet would sacraments be, when my ascending, flam- 
ing love, should meet that wonderful, descending love which 
Cometh from heaven to call me thither, and in living bread, 
and spiritual wine is the nourishment and cordial of my 
soul ! How sweet would all my speeches be, when love 
commanded them, and every word were full of love ! How 
quiet would my conscience be, if it h9,d never any of this 
accusation against me, to cast in my face, to my shame and 
confusion, that I am wanting in love to the blessed God ! O 
could I but love God with such a powerful love as his love 
and goodness should command, I should no more question 
my sincerity, nor doubt any more of his love to me. How 
freely then should I acknowledge his grace, and how heartily 
should I give him thanks for my justification, sanctification, 
and adoption^ which now I mention with doubt and fear ! 
O how it would lift up my soul unto his praise, and make 
it my delight to speak good of his name ! What a purify- 
ing fire would love be in my breast, to burn up my corrup- 
tions ! It would endure nothing to enter or abide within 
me, that is contrary to the will and interest pf my Lord ; but 
hate every motion that tendeth to dishonour and displease 
him. It would fill my soul with so much of heaven, as 
would make me long to be in heaven, and make death wel- 
come, which is now so terrible. Instead of these with- 
drawing, shrinking fears, I should desire to depart and to 


be with Christ, as being best of all. O how easily should 
I bear any burden of reproach, or loss, or want, when I thus 
loved God and were assured of his love ! How light would 
the cross be ! And how honourable and joyful would it 
seem, to be imprisoned, reviled, spit upon, and buffetted for 
the sake of Christ ! How desirable would the flames of 
martyrdom seem, for the testifying of ray love to him that 
loved me at dearer rates than I can love him ! Lord, is 
there no more of this blessed life of love to be attained here 
on earth ? When all the world reveals thy goodness ; when 
thy Son hath come down to declare thy love, in so full and 
wonderful a manner ; when thy Word hath opened us a win- 
dow into heaven, where afar off we may discern thy glory ; 
yet, shall our hearts be clods, and ice ? O pity this utikind, 
unnatural soul ! This dead, insensible, disaffected soul ! 
Teach me by thy Spirit, the art of love ! Love me, not only 
so as to convince me that I have abundant cause to love thee 
above all, but love me, so as to constrain me to it, by the 
magnetical, attractive power of thy goodness, and the insu- 
perable operations of thy omnipotent love.'] 

Direct, xvin. * In thy meditations upon all these incen- 
tives of love, preach them over earnestly to thy heart, and 
expostulate and plead with it by way of soliloquy, till thou 
feel the fire begin to burn.' — Do not only think on the ar- 
guments of love, but dispute it out with thy conscience, and 
by expostulating, earnest reasonings with thy heart, en- 
deavour to affect it. There is much more moving force in 
this earnest talking to ourselves, than in bare cogitation, 
that breaks not out into mental words. Imitate the most 
powerful preacher that ever thou wast acquainted with: and 
just as he pleadeth the case with his hearers, and urgeth the 
truth and duty on them, by reason and importunity, so do 
thou in secret with thyself. There is more in this than most 
Christians are aware of, or use to practise. It is a great 
part of a Christian's skill and duty, to be a good preacher to 
himself. This is a lawful and a gainful way of preaching. 
Nobody here can make question of thy call, nor deny thee a 
licence, nor silence thee, if thou silence not thyself. Two 
or three sermons a week from others, is a fair proportion ; 
but two or three sermons a day from thyself, is ordinarily 
too little. Therefore, I have added Soliloquies to many 


of these Directions for Love, to shew you how, by such 
pleadings with yourselves, to affect your hearts, and kin- 
dle love. 

And O that this might be the happy fruit of these Di- 
rections with thee that art now reading or hearing them ! 
That thou wouldst but oifer up thy flaming heart to Jesus 
Christ our great High Priest, to be presented an acceptable 
sacrifice to God. Or, if it flame not in love as thou desirest, 
yet give it up to the Holy Spirit to increase the flames. 
Thou little knowest how much God setteth by a heart. He 
calleth to thee himself, "My son, give me thy heart *^." 
Without it, he cares not for any thing that thou canst give 
him : he cares not for thy fairest words without it : he cares 
not for thy loudest prayers without it : he cares not for thy 
costliest alms or sacrifices, if he have not thy heart. " If 
thou give all thy goods to feed the poor, and give thy body 
to be burned, and have not love, it will profit thee nothing. 
If thou speak with the tongue of men and angels, and hast 
not love, thou art but as sounding brass, or a tinkling cym- 
bal. If thou canst prophesy, and preach to admiration, and 
understand all mysteries and knowledge, and hast faith to 
do miracles, and have not love, thou art nothing ^." Thou 
hast but a shadow, and wantest that which is the substance 
and life of all. Come then, and make an agreement with 
God, and resolve now to offer him thy heart. He asketh 
thee for nothing which thou hast not : it is not for riches 
and lands that he seeketh to thee ; for then the poor might 
say as Peter, ** silver and gold have I none :" give him but 
such as thou hast, and it sufficeth. He knoweth that it is 
a polluted, sinful heart; but give it him, and he will make 
it clean. He knoweth that it is an unkind heart, that hath 
stood out too long ; but give it him yet, and he will pardon 
and accept it. He knoweth that it is an unworthy heart ; 
but give it him, and he will be its worth : only see that you 
give it him entirely and unreservedly ; for he will not bar- 
gain with the devil, or the world, for the dividing of thy 
heart between them. A half-heart and a hollow-heart, that 
is but lent him till fleshly interest or necessity shall call for 
it again, he will not accept. Only resign it to him, and do 
but consent that thy heart be his, and entirely and absolutely 

d Prov. xxiii. 26. « 1 Cor. xiii, 1 — 3. 


his, and he will take it and use it as his own. It is his own 
by title : let it be also so by thy consent. If God have it 
not, who shall have it ? Shall the world, or pride, or fleshly 
lust ? Did they make it, or did they purchase it ? Will they 
be better to thee in the time of thy extremity ? Do they bid 
more for thy heart than God will give thee ? He will give 
thee his Son, and his Spirit, and image, and the forgiveness 
of all thy sins : if the greatest gain, or honour, or pleasure 
will win it and purchase it, he will have it : if heaven will 
buy it, he will not break with thee for the price. Have the 
world and sin a greater price than this to give thee ? And 
what dost thou think that he will do with thy heart ? and 
how will he use it, that thou art loath to give it him ? Will 
he blind it, and deceive it, and corrupt it, and abuse it, and 
at last torment it, as satan will do ? No ; he will more illu- 
minate it, and cleanse it, and quicken it ^ : he will make it 
new, and heal and save it s : he will advance and honour it 
with the highest relations, employments, and delights : for 
Christ hath said, " If any man serve me, let him follow me"; 
and where I am, there shall also my servant be. If any man 
serve me, him will my Father honour ^." He will love it, 
and govern it, and comfort it, and the heart that is delivered 
to him shall be kept near unto his own. *' For the Father 
himself loveth you," saith Christ, " because you have loved 
me K" Whereas, if thou deliver not thy heart to him, it \yi\l 
feed on the poison of luscious vanity, which will gripe and 
tear it when it is down : it will be like a house that nothing 
dwelleth in, but dogs, and flies, and worms, and snakes : it 
will be like one that is lost in the wilderness, or in the night, 
that tireth himself in seeking the way home, and the longer 
the worse : despair and restlesness will be its companions 
for ever. Let me now once more in the name of God be- 
speak thy heart. I will not use his commands or threaten- 
ings to thee now, though these, as seconds, must be used, 
because that love must have attractive arguments, and is 
not raised by mere authority or fear. If there be not love 
and goodness enough in God, to deserve the highest affec- 
tions of every reasonable creature, then let him go, and give 
thy heart to one that is better. Hear how God pleadeth his 

f Psal. li. 10. Ephes. ii. 1. Jer. xxiv. 7. e Ezek. xxxvi. 26. 2 Cor. v. 17. 

h John xU. 26. ' John xxvi, 27. 


own cause with an unkind, unthankful people, ** Hear O ye 
mountains the Lord's controversy. O my people what have 
I done unto thee ? and wherein have I wearied thee ? testify 
against rae^." What is there in him to turn away thy 
heart ? Let malice itself say the worst, without notorious 
impudence, against him : what hath he ever done that de- 
serveth thy disaffection and neglect ? What wouldst thou 
have to win a heart that is not in him ? For which of his 
mercies or excellencies is it, that thou thus contemnest and 
abusest him ? What dost thou want that he cannot, yea, 
or will not give thee ? Doth not thy tongue speak honoura- 
bly of his goodness, while thy heart contradicteth it, and 
denieth all ? What hast thou found that will prove better 
to thee ? Is it sin or God that must be thy glory, rest, and 
joy, if thou wilt not be a fire-brand of restlessness and mi- 
sery for ever ? What sayst thou yet sinner ? Shall God, or 
the world and fleshly pleasures have thy heart ? Art thou 
not yet convinced which best deserveth it, and which will be 
best to it ? Canst thou be a loser by him ? Will he make 
it worse, and sin make it better? Or wilt thou ever have 
cause to repent of giving it up to God, as thou hast of giving 
it to the world and sin? I tell thee, if God have not thy 
heart, it were well for thee if thou hadst no heart. — I had a 
thousand times rather have the heart of a dog, or the basest 
creature, than that man's heart that foUoweth his fleshly 
lusts, and is not unfeignedly delivered up to God, through 

If I have not prevailed with your hearts for God, by all 
that I have said, your consciences shall yet bear me witness, 
that I shewed you God's title, and love, and goodness, and 
said that which ought to have prevailed : and you shall find 
ere long, who it is that will have the worst of it : but if you 
resolve and give them presently to God, he will entertain 
them, and sanctify, and save them : and this happy day and 
work will be the angels joy: and it will be my joy, and 
especially your own everlasting joy. 

Grand Direct, xii. ' Trust God with that soul and body 
which thou hast delivered up and dedicated to him ; and 

^ Mic. vi. 2, 3. 


quiet thy mind in his love and faithfulness, whatever shall, 
appear unto thee, or befall thee in the world.' 

I shall here briefly shew you, 1 . What is the Nature of 
this trust in God \ 2. What are the Contraries to it. 3. 
What are the Counterfeits of it. 4. The Usefulness of it. 
And then 5. I shall give you some Directions how to attain 
and exercise it. 

I. To trust in God, is, upon the apprehension of the allr 
sufficiency, goodness, and faithfulness of God, to quiet our 
hearts in the expectation of the safety or benefits from him 
which we desire, rejecting the cares, and fears, and griefs 
that would disquiet them, if they had not the refuge of these 
hopes "". It containeth in it a crediting the Word or nature 
of God, or judging it to be a sufficient ground of our secu- 
rity and expectation : and then security and expectation 
built upon that ground, make up the rest of the nature of 
trust. Looking for the benefit, and finding a complacency 
and quietness of mind in the ground discovered, and ceasing 
all other cares and fears, which would else disquiet us. 
Aquinas and other school-men, often call affiance, * spes ro- 
borata,' a confirmed hope. There is a two-fold trust in God : 
one is, for that which he hath not promised to do, but yet 
we think that we find reason sufficient, from his nature it- 
self, and relations, to expect : this may be more or less cer- 
tain and strong, as our collection of the will of God, from 
his nature, is more or less sure and clear. The other is, 
when we have not only God's nature, but his promise also to 
trust upon : and this giveth us a certainty, if we certainly 
understand his promise. To the last sort I may reduce that 
trust in God for particiilar benefits, when we have only a pro- 
mise in general, which maketh not the particulars known 
and certain to us : as the promise, that all shall work to- 
gether for our good, doth give us but a probability of health 
or outward protection and deliverances, because we are un- 
certain how far they are for our good. All that is promised 
is sure : but whether this or that be good for us, must be 
otherwise known. But those general promises which contain 

• Of the nature of Affiance and Faith, I have written more fully in ray disputa- 
tion with Dr. Barlow, of Saving Faith. 

n» SOLA fide Deo SOLI constaater adha^re, A SOLO cunctis eripiete malis. 
Peucerus's Distich, in his ten years imprisonment. Scult. Curric. p. 22. 


particulars as surely known as the promise itself, do make 
every one of the particular benefits as sure, by promise, as 
the general : as, the promise of the pardon of all our sins, 
ascertaineth us of the pardon of every sin in particular. 
Where there is a promise, we trust God's faithfulness as 
well as his nature ; but where there is none, we trust his na- 
ture only. As a child doth quietly trust his parents, with- 
out a promise, that they will not kill, or torment, or forsake 
him. But because man is apt to make false collections of 
God's will from his nature, he hath given us such clear ex- 
pressions of it in his Word, as may bring us above uncertain 
probabilities, and are sufficient for faith to ground upon 
(supposing God's properties) for our government and peace. 
And it is certain that all collections of God's will, which are 
contrary to his Word, are the errors of the collector. 

In what I have said in this Direction, I desire you chiefly 
to observe these three things : 1. That God's nature and 
love, are the sufficient, general security to the ^soul. 2. 
That his promise is the sufficient, particular security. 3. 
And that our unfeigned, self-dedication to him, is our suffi- 
cient evidence of our interest in his love and covenant, 
which may warrant our special trust and expectations. 

II. The Contraries to trust in God, are : 1. Privative : 
not trusting him : not seeing the ground of just security in 
his love and promise : not crediting what is seen : not ceas- 
ing disquietness and distrustful cares and fears. 2. Posi- 
tive distrust : supposing the allsufficiency, goodness, and 
promises of God, are not sufficient grounds of our expecta- 
tion and security ; and thereupon disquieting our minds 
with sinful fears, and griefs, and cares, and shifting endea- 
vours for ourselves some other way. And this hath various 
degrees: in some it is predominant; in others not. 3. 
Opposite or adverse : when we trust ourselves, or friends, or 
wealth, or something else instead of God, either against him, 
without him, or in co-ordination with him. 

III. The Counterfeits of this trust are these: 1. When 
indeed we trust in our wit, or power, or shifts, or friends, 
or in some means or creatures only, or in co-ordination with 
God ; but pretend and think that we do it but in subordi- 
nation to him, and that our primary trust is in him alone. 
The detection of this is by trying how we can trust God 


alone, when he giveth us a promise and no probable means. 
2. Pretending to trust God alone in the neglect of those 
means which he hath appointed us to use, and in the ne- 
glect of those duties which he hath made the condition of 
his promises ; and this trust is but a self-deceiving cover 
for sin and sloth. 3. Pretending to trust God in the use of 
self-devised, sinful means ; when he hath promised a bless- 
ing to no such means, but threatened them with a curse. 
4. Thinking we trust God, when it is some false revelation 
of the devil, or some delusion of deceivers, or some dream, 
or fancy, or brain-sick, proud conceit of our own, which in- 
deed we believe, and ground our trust upon : as those do 
that are deluded by false prophets and false teachers, and 
fantastical fancies of their corrupted imaginations. 6. 
When men in presumption and carnal security will rashly 
venture their souls in the darkness of uncertainty (as well 
as in the neglect of a holy life) and cast away all the sense 
of their miserable state ; and all the necessary fear and care 
that tended to their recovery, and persuade themselves that 
they are in no great danger, or that their care will do no 
good, and call all this a trusting God with their salvation. 
7. A pretending to trust God for that which is contrary to 
his nature : as to love the wicked with complacency, or to 
take them into heaven. 8. A pretending to trust God for that 
which is contrary to his Word : as to save the unregenerate 
and unholy ; and so ' not believing him * itself, is taken for 
a believing in him, or trusting him. 9. Pretending to be- 
lieve and trust him for that which neither his nature or his 
Word did ever declare to be his will, in matters which he 
hath kept secret, or never gave us any revelation of; such 
is that which some call a particular faith : as to believe in 
prayer that some particular never promised shall be granted, 
because we ask it, or because we feel a strong persuasion 
that it will be so. 

Quest, * But is not such a particular faith and trust 
divine and solid?' — Answ. To expect any particular mercy 
which God's nature, or Word, or works do tell us that he 
will give is sound and warrantable : and to expect any par- 
ticular thing which by inspiration, prophecy, or true extra' 
ordinary revelation shall be made known to us ; for this is a 
Word of God : but all other belief and expectation is but 


self-promising and self-deceiving. And wise men will not 
easily take themselves for prophets, nor take any thing for 
an inspiration, or divine, extraordinary revelation, which 
bringeth not the testimony of cogent evidence. 

IV. There are three great Uses and Benefits of this trust 
in God, which highly commend it to us, and make it neces- 
sary. 1 . It is necessary to our acknowledgment and ho- 
nouring of God. It is a cordial, practical confession of his 
power, and wisdom, and goodness, and truth : for where any 
one of these is wanting, there is no ground of rational trust. 
And the greater the danger or assault against us is, the 
more God is acknowledged and honoured by our trust ; for 
then we declare, that no creature or impediment can dis- 
appoint his will : but that his power is above all power, and 
his wisdom above all wisdom, and his goodness and fidelity 
constant and invincible. Whereas distrust is a denying of 
God in some of his attributes, or a suspecting of him. 2. It 
is necessary to ourselves, for the quiet, and peace, and com- 
fort of our minds, which else will be left unavoidably to con- 
tinual disquietness and pain, by vexatious fears, and griefs, 
and cares, unless stupidity or deceit should ease them. 3. 
It is necessary to prevent the errors and sinful miscarriage of 
our lives. For if we trust not in God, we shall spend all 
our thoughts and labours in the use of sinful means ; we 
shall be trusting idolatrously to the creature, and we shall 
be shifting for ourselves by lies or any unlawful means, and 
lose ourselves by saving ourselves, as from God, or without 

Hence it is, that trust in God is so frequently and ear- 
nestly commanded in the Scriptures, and such blessings 
promised to it, as if it were the sum of godliness and reli- 
gion. " Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and mak- 
eth flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 
— Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose 
hope the Lord is**. — Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is 
he°. — Blessed are all they that put their trust in him?. 
— O taste and see that the Lord is good : blessed is the man 
that trusteth in him^i." Safety, stability, comfort, salva- 

n Jer. xvii. 5. 7. ° Prov. xvi. 20. 

P Psal. ii. 12. 1 Psal, Ixxxiv. 12. xxxiv. 8. 


tion, all mercies are promised to them that trust in God"". 
So faith in Christ is called trust' ; and idolaters and world- 
lings are described, by trusting in their idols and their 

Directions for a quieting and comforting Trust in God. 

Direct, i. ' Let thy soul retain the deepest impression of 
the almightiness, wisdom, goodness, and faithfulness of 
God, and how certainly all persons, things, and events are 
in^his power j and how impotent all the world is to resist 
him, and that nothing can hurt thee but by his consent.' 
— The principal means for a confirmed confidence in God 
is to know him, and to know that all things that we can 
fear are nothing, and can do nothing, but by his command, 
and motion, or permission. I am not afraid of a bird or a 
worm, because I know it is too weak for me : and if I 
rightly apprehend how much all creatures are too weak for 
God, and how sufficient God is to deliver me, his trust 
would quiet me. " Fear thou not ; for I am with thee ; be 
not dismayed ; for I am thy God : I will strengthen thee ; 
yea, I will help thee ; yea, I will uphold thee "." — They that 
know thy name will put their trust in thee''." — " Hearken 
unto me ye that know righteousness, the people in whose 
heart is my law ; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither 
be afraid of their revilings : for the moth shall eat them up 
like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wooU." 

Direct, ii. ' Labour for a sound and clear understand- 
ing of the promises of God, that thou mayst know how far 
he calleth thee to trust him.' — For to think that he pro- 
miseth what he doth not, is not to trust him, but to deceive 
thyself ; and to think that he doth not promise what indeed 
he doth, is to cast away the ground of trust. 

Direct. Ill* ' Yield not to the tempter, who would either 
entice thee into terrifying guilt, and blot thine evidences, 
or else hide them from thee, and keep thee doubtful and 
suspicious of the love of God.' — For almost all that the dis- 

•* Psal. xxxiy. 22. xxxtu. 3. 5. 40. xci. 2. 4. cxxv. 1. Isa. 1. 10, 

» Matt. xii. 21. Ephes, i. 12, 13. 

' Psal. cxv. 8. cxxxv. 18. Amos vi. 1. Mark x. 14. Prov. xi. 28. xxviiit 26, 

« Isa. xli. 10. « Psa. xi. 10. y Isa. li. 8. 


trustful soul hath to say for itself, to justify its distrust, is, 
I am not sure that the promises are mine. Remember still, 
that a heart dedicated to God, or consenting to his cove- 
nant, is your fullest evidence ; and suffer not this to be hid 
or blotted. Wilful sin and guiltiness breeds fears, and will 
interrupt your trust and quiet till it be forsaken. 

Direct, iv. * Remember the grounds of confidence and 
quietness which God hath given you in his Son, his cove- 
nant, his Spirit, his sacraments, and your own and others^ 
manifold experiences.' — I name them all together, because 
I would have you set them all together before your eyes. 
Will he not give you *' all things with him," that hath " given 
you his Son?" Is not Christ a sufficient undertaker and 
encourager ? Are not his covenant, promise, and oath suffi- 
cient security for you ? " Wherein God, willing more 
abundantly to shew to the heirs of promise the immutability 
of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath ; that by two im- 
mutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, 
we might have a strong consolation y." And are not the hea- 
venly seal and earnest of his Spirit sufficient to confirm 
us^?" And have you tried God so oft, and yet cannot you 
trust him ? Our frequent experiences, though the least of 
all these helps of trust, are very powerful, because they are 
near us, and almost satisfy sense itself ; when all our bones 
say, " Lord, who is like unto thee, who deliverest the 
poor^!" &c. 

Direct, v. * Consider of the greatness of the sin of dis- 
trust : how it denieth God in his attributes, and usually 
supposeth the creature to be above him.' — Either thou 
doubtest of, or deniest his power to help thee, or his wis- 
dom as deficient in making his promises, or finding out the 
means of thy deliverance, or his goodness and love, as if he 
would deceive thee, and so his truth and faithfulness in his 
promises. And if thou fear a man how great soever, when 
God calleth thee to trust him for thy help, what dost thou 
but say. This man is more powerful than God ? Or God 
cannot deliver me out of his hands ? If it be' want, or sick- 
ness, or death which thou fearest, what dost thou but say 

y Heb. vi. 17, 18. ^ 2 Cor. i. 22. v. 5. Eplies. i. 13, 14. iv. 30. 

» Psal. XXXV. 10, 


in thy heart, that God either knoweth not what is best for 
thee so well as thou knowest thyself, or else is not powerful 
or gracious enough to give it? nor true enough to keep his 
promise? ** He that believeth not, makes God a liar^." 

Direct, vi. * Remember that trusting God doth, as it 
were, oblige him, and distrusting him doth greatly disoblige 
him, especially when any thing else is trusted before him/ 
— If any man trust you upon any encouragement given him 
by you, you will take yourselves obliged to be trusty to 
him, and not to fail any honest trust ; but if he trust you 
not, or trust another, you will turn him off to those that he 
hath trusted. God may say to thee. Let them help thee 
whom thou hast trusted : thou trustedst not in me, and 
therefore I fail not thy trust when I forsake thee. 

Direct, vii. * Remember that thou must trust in God, 
or in nothing.' — For nothing is more sure, nor more fre- 
quently experienced, than that all things else are utterly in- 
sufficient to be our help. Shall we choose a broken reed, 
that we know beforehand will both deceive and pierce us ? 
Woe to the man that hath no surer a foundation for his 
trust than creatures? The greatest of them are unable; and 
the best of them are untrusty and deceitful. How sad is 
thy case, if God turn thee off to these for help in the hour 
of thy extremity! Then wilt thou perceive, that "it is 
better to trust in the Lord, than to put any confidence in 
princes *"." — "The righteous also shall see, and fear, and 
laugh at him : Lo, this is the man that hath made not God 
his strength ; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, 
and strengthened himself in his wickedness ^." — " But they 
that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, that cannot 
be removed, but abideth for ever^." Creatures will cer- 
tainly deceive thy trust, but so will not God. 

Direct, viii. * Believe and remember the particular pro- 
vidence of God, which regardeth the falling of a sparrow on 
the ground, and numbereth the very hairs of your heads ^' 
— And can you distrust him, that is so punctually regard- 
ful of your least concernments ? that is always present, and 
watcheth over you ? You need not fear his absence, dis- 

b 1 John V. 10, 11. *= Psal. cxviii. 8, 9. ^ Psal. lii. 6, 7. 

« Psal. cxxv. 1. fMatt. X. 30. 


regard, forgetfulness, or insufficiency. Doth he number 
your hairs, and doth he not number your groans, and 
prayers, and tears? How then doth he wipe away your 
tears, and put them all as in his bottle s? 

Direct, ix. ' Compare God with thy dearest and most 
faithful friend, and then think how boldly thou canst trust 
that friend if thy life or welfare were wholly in his hand ; 
and how much more boldly thou shouldst trust in God, who 
is more wise, and kind, and merciful, and trusty than any 
mortal man can be.' — ^When thou art in want, in prison, in 
sickness and in pain expecting death, think now if my life, 
or health, or liberty were absolutely in the power of my 
surest friend, how quietly could I wait, and how confidently 
could I cast away my fears, though I had no promise what he 
would do with me ; for I know he would do nothing but what 
is for my good : and is not God to be trusted in much more ? 
Indeed a friend would ease my pain, or supply my wants, 
or save my life, when God will not : but that is not because 
God is less kind but because he is more wise, and better 
knoweth what tendeth to my hurt or good? My friend 
would pull off the plaster as soon as I complain of smart ; 
but God will stay till it have done the cure. But, surely, 
God is more to be trusted for my real, final good, though my 
friend be forwarder to give me ease. All friends may fail ; 
but God never faileth. 

Direct, x. ' Make use of thy natural love of quietness, 
and thy natural weariness of tormenting cares, and fears, 
and sorrows, to move thee to cast thyself on God, and quiet 
thyself in trusting on him.' — For God hath purposely made 
thyself and all things else insufficient, unsatisfactory, and 
vexatious to thee, that thou mightst be driven to rest on 
him alone, when nothing else affords thee rest. Cares, 
and fears, and unquietness of mind are such thorns and 
briars as nature cannot love or be content with : and you 
may be sure that you can no way be delivered from them, 
but by trusting upon God. And will you choose care and 
torment, when so sure and cheap a way of ease is set before 
you ? Who can endure, to have fears torment him, and 
cares feed daily upon his heart, that may safely be delivered 
from it ? An ulcerated, festered, pained mind is a greater 

s Psal. Ivi. 8. Rev. vii. 17. 


calamity than any bodily distress alone. And if you be cast 
upon your own care, or committed to the trust of any crea- 
ture, you can never rationally have peace. For your own 
ease and comfort then betake yourselves to God, and cast 
all your care and burden on him, who careth for you, and 
knoweth perfectly what you want*'. Read often Matt. vi. 
from ver. 24. How sweet an ease and quietness is it to the 
mind that can confidently trust in God ? How quiet is he 
from the storms of trouble and the sickness of mind, which 
others are distressed with ? *' Thou wilt keep him in per- 
fect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee : because he 
trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the 
Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength*. — He shall not be 
afraid of evil tidings ; his heart is fixed, trusting in the 
Lord ; his heart is established ; he shall not be afraid''. 
— Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up 
for them that fear thee ; which thou hast wrought, for them, 
that trust in thee, before the sons of men. Thou shalt hide 
them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man ; 
thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife 
of tongues. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen 
your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord^ — What time I am 
afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word ; 
in God have I put my trust : I will not fear what flesh can 
do unto me™." How easy and sweet a life is this ! 

Direct, xi. * Remember that distrust is a pregnant, 
multiplying sin, and will carry thee to all iniquity and mi- 
sery if thou suffer it to prevail." — Distrusting God is but 
our entrance upon a life of error, sin, and woe. It pre- 
sently sets us on idolatrous confidence on flesh, and sinful 
shifts, and stretching conscience ; it deludeth our judg- 
ments, and maketh every thing seem lawful, which seems 
necessary to our safety and welfare ; and every thing seem 
necessary, without which man cannot accomplish it. All 
sinful compliances, and temporizings, and man-pleasing, 
and believing sinful means to be no sin, proceed from this 
distrust of God. 

Direct, XII. * Suffer not distrustful thoughts and rea- 

h 1 Fet.v. 7. MatL vi. 32. * Isai. xxvi.3, 4. '' Psal.cxii. 7, 8. 

» Psal. xxxi. 19, 20 . m pgal. hi. S, 4. 


sonings in thy mind, but cast them out, and command them 
to be gone.' — Cogitations are the instruments of good and 
evil in the mind of man ; they cannot be acted but by 
thoughts, and the will hath more command of the thoughts 
than it hath immediately of the passions themselves. If you 
cannot trust God so quietly as you would, nor keep under 
every fearful apprehension, yet keep out, or cast out the 
thoughts which exercise your sin, and turn your thoughts 
to something else. If thoughts do not actuate it, your dis- 
trustful fears and cares will vanish. What are your cares, 
but the turmoiling of your thoughts ? continually feeding 
upon difficulties and trouble, and tiring themselves with 
hunting about for help ? Cast away the thoughts, and the 
cares are gone. You may do much in this if you will, 
though it be difficult. " Take no thought for your life, 
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your 
bodies, what ye shall put on. Which of you, by taking 
thought, can add one cubit to his stature ? And why take 
ye thought for raiment "?" 

Direct, xiii. * When commands will not prevail, rebuke 
and chide thy unbelieving heart, and reason it out of its dis- 
trustful cares, and fears, and sorrows.' — Say to it, as David 
oft, *' Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art 
thou so disquieted within me? Trust in God, for I shall yet 
give him thanks, who is the health of my countenance, and 
my God**." O foolish soul ! hast thou yet learned no better 
to know thy God ? Doth he support the heavens and the 
earth, and the whole creation? and yet canst thou not rely 
upon him? Is he not wise enough to be trusted with the 
conduct and disposal of thee? Is he not good and gracious 
enough to be trusted with thy life, estate, and name, and 
welfare? Is he not great and powerful enough to be trusted 
against the greatest danger, or difficulties, or opposition 
that ever can befall thee? Is he not true and faithful 
enough to be trusted, whatever improbabilities may arise 
before thee? Where dwelt the man, and what was his 
name, that ever trusted him in vain, or was ever failed or 
deceived by him ? Are not his Son, and Spirit, and cove- 
nant, and oath, sufficient pledges of his love for thy secu- 
rity ? How oft hath he performed his promises to thee, and 

n Matt. vi. 25. 27, 28. » Psal. xlii. & xliii. 


heard thy cries, and helped and saved thee in thy distress ? 
How oft hath he confuted thine unbelief, and shamed thy 
distrustful fears and cares ? and then thou couldst resolve 
to trust him better in the next distress. And shall all his 
wonders of mercy be forgotten? and all thy confessions, 
thanksgivings, and promises be now repented of, contra- 
dicted, or recanted, by thy renewed distrust and unbelief? 
Is he not the same God, that hath so frequently and abun- 
dantly had mercy on thee ? Is he not the same God, that 
hath saved all that trusted in him, and wrought such won- 
ders for his servants in the earth, and brought so many safe 
to heaven ? " Our fathers trusted in him ; they trusted, 
and he delivered them ; they cried to him, and were deli- 
vered ; they trusted in him, and were not confounded p." 
And is he not sufficient for thee, that is sufficient for all the 
world? Who ever sped ill that trusted in him? or who hath 
prospered by trusting in themselves or any other, without 
him, or against him ? Unworthy soul ! wilt thou atheistically 
deny the sufficiency, or truth, or goodness of thy God? 
Shall thy distrust deny him, or blaspheme him ? Wilt thou 
idolatrously set up a worm above him? Is there more in 
man, or any thing else, to hurt or ruin thee, than in God to 
save thee ? Whom wilt thou trust, if thou trust not God ? 
Darest thou think that any other is fitter for thy confidence? 
Thou wouldst be quiet and confident if thy dearest friend 
had thy life or welfare in his hands ; and art thou troubled 
now it is in the hands of God? Is he enough to be our 
endless happiness in heaven, and not to be thy confidence 
on earth ? Canst thou trust him to raise thy body from the 
dust, and not raise thy state, or name, or troubled mind ? 
Either take him for thy rock and hope, or never pretend to 
take him for thy God. If thou trust not in him, thou must 
despair, or trust against him ; and whom wilt thou trust to 
save thee from him ? Hadst thou no more encouragement 
to trust him but this, that he hath bid thee trust him, thou 
mightst be sure he never would deceive thee. Lament, 
therefore, thy disquietment and self-tormenting fears ; la- 
ment thy injurious distrust of thy most dear Almighty Fa- 
ther. Choose not vexation, when the harbour of his love is 
open to secure thee. If men or devils are against thee, say 

P Psal. xxii. 4, 5. 


as those, believers, " We are not careful to answer thee in 
this matter ; our God whom we serve is able to deliver us ^.** 
Go on, with Daniel, in praying to thy God, and trust him 
with the lions' jaws. *' Commit thy way unto the Lord ; 
trust in him, and he shall bring it to pass^" *' Some trust in 
chariots, and some in horses, but I will remember the name 
of the Lord our God^" '* Trust in him, for he is thy hope 
and shield*." 

Direct. XIV. * Take not the sayings of the tempter or thy 
own distrustful heart for the sayings of God, or for any rea- 
son against thy confidence in him.' — Some take all the ma- 
licious suggestions of the devil, for the reasons of their dis- 
quietness and fears, as if it were the Spirit of God that 
raised all the terrors and molestations in them, which are 
raised by the enemy of God and them : and they fear when 
satan bids them, thinking it is the Spirit of God ; and they 
dare not trust God when he commandeth them, for fear lest 
it be the will of satan. Some are so strongly affected with 
their own conceits and fancies, that they think God saith 
all that their hearts or fancies say, and make one fear the 
reason of another. Thy heart is not so wise or good, as 
that thou shouldst take all its words for the words of God. 
Thy " flesh and thy heart" may " fail thee," when God, who 
is the " rock of thy heart and thy portion," will never fail". 
Thy heart may say, I have no grace, no help, no hope, when 
God never said so*. Thy heart may say, I am a reprobate, 
forsaken of God, he will not hear me, the time of grace is past, 
when God never said so. Thy heart may say, I am undone, 
I can find no comfort in any friend, no evidence of grace 
within me, no comfort in God, in Christ, or in the promises, 
no comfort in my life, which is but a burden to me ; I can- 
not pray, I cannot believe, I cannot answer the objections 
of satan, I can strive no longer against my fears, I cannot 
bear my wounded conscience. All this is the failing of the 
heart ; but proveth not any failing of God, whose grace is 
sufficient for thee, and his strength is manifested in thy 
weakness. The heart hath a thousand sayings and conceits, 
which God is utterly against. 

1 Dan. iii. 16, 17. ■" Psal. xxxvii. 5. * Psal. xx. 7. 

' Psal. cxv. 9, 10, 1 1 . " Psal, Ixxiii. 26. " Psal. Ixxvii. 7, 8, 9, 10. 


Direct, xv. * When you cannot exercise a trust of assu- 
rance, exercise the trust of general faith, and hope, and the 
quiet submission of thyself to the holy will of God/ — The 
common pretence of distrust is, * I know not that I am a 
child of God :' and * it beseems the ungodly to fear his 
wrath/ But, as the Gospel is tidings of great joy to any 
people where it cometh ; so is it a word of hope and trust* 
At least trust God so far as infinite goodness should be 
trusted, who will damn none but the finally obstinate re- 
fusers of his saving grace. And with Aaron '', hold your 
peace, when he is glorifying himself in his corrections. Re- 
member, that the will of God is never misguided ; that it is 
the beginning and end of all things ^ ; that it never willeth 
any thing but good ; that it is the centre and end of all our 
wills. There is no rest or quietness for our wills, but in the 
will of God : and his will is always for the good of them 
that truly desire to be conformed to it, by obedience to his 
commands, and submission to his disposal. Say, therefore, 
with your Saviour, " Father, if it be thy will, let this cup 
pass from me ; but not as I will, but as thou wilt." There 
is nothing got by struggling against the will of God ; nor 
anything lost by a quiet submission to it. And, if thou love 
it, and desire to obey and please it, trust in it, for it will 
surely save thee. 

Grand Direct, xiii. * Diligently labour that God and Ho- 
liness may be thy chief Delight : and this holy Delight may 
be the ordinary temperament of thy religion.' 

Directions for Delighting ourselves in God. 

Direct, i. ' Rightly understand what delight in God it is 
that you must seek and exercise.' — It is not a mere sensi- 
tive delight, which is exercised about the objects of sense 
or fancy, and is common to beasts with men : nor is it the 
delights of immediate intuition of God, such as the blessed 
have in heaven : nor is it an enthusiastic delight, consisting 
in irrational raptures, and joys, of which we can give no ac- 
count of the reason ^. Nor is it a delight inconsistent with 

^ Lev. X. 3. y Rev. iv. 11. Rom. xi, 36. 

* Of enthusiastic impressions I have said more in my Directions for the Cure of 
Church Divisions, and in the defence of it, and in other books. 


sorrow and fear, when they are duties ; but it is the solid, ra- 
tional complacency of the soul in God and holiness, arising 
from the apprehensions of that in him, which is justly delec- 
table to us. And it is such, as, in estimation of its object, 
and inward complacency and gladness, though not in pas- 
sionate joy or mirth, must excel our delight in temporal 
pleasure ; and must be the end of all our humiliations, and 
other inferior duties. 

Direct, ii. * Understand how much of this holy delight 
may be hoped for on earth.' — Though too many Christians 
feel much more fear and sorrow in their religion than de- 
light, yet every true Christian doth esteem God more delec- 
table, or fit, and worthy of his delights, if he could enjoy 
him : whereas to the carnal, fleshly things do seem more fit 
to be their delights. And though most Christians reach 
not very high in their delights in God, yet God hath pre- 
scribed us such means, in which, if we faithfully used them, 
we might reach much higher. And this much we might 
well expect : 1. So much as might make our lives incom- 
parably more quiet, contented, and pleasant to us, than are 
the lives of the greatest or happiest worldlings. 2. So much 
as might make our thoughts of God and the life to come, to 
be ready, welcome, pleasant thoughts to us. 3. So much 
as might greatly prevail against our inordinate griefs and 
fears, and our backwardness to duties, and weariness in 
them, and might make religion an ordinary pleasure. 4. So 
much as might take off our hankering desire after unneces- 
sary recreations and unlawful pleasures of the flesh. 5. So 
much as might sweeten all our mercies to us, with a spiri- 
tual perfume or relish. 6. So much as might make some 
sufferings joyful, and the rest more easy to us. 7. And so 
much as might make the thoughts of death less terrible to 
us, and make us desire to be with Christ. 

Direct, iii. * Understand what there is in God and holi- 
ness, which is fit to be the soul's delight.' — As, 1. Behold 
him in the infinite perfections of his being : his omnipo- 
tence, omniscience, and his goodness ; his holiness, eternity, 
immutability, &c. And as your eye delighteth in an ex- 
cellent picture, or a comely building, or fields, or gardens, 
not because they are yours, but because they are a delecta- 
ble object to the eye ; so let your minds delight themselves 


in God, considered in himself, as the only object of highest 
delight. 2. Delight yourselves also in his relative attri- 
butes, in which are expressed his goodness to his creatures : 
as his allsufficiency, and faithfulness or truth, his benignity, 
his mercy, and compassion, and patience to sinners, and his 
justice unto all. 3. Delight yourselves in him as his glory 
appeareth in his wondrous works, of creation and daily pro- 
vidence. 4. Delight yourselves in him as he is related to 
you, as your God and Father, and as all your interest, hope, 
and happiness are in him alone. 5. Delight yourselves in 
him as his excellencies shine forth in his blessed Son. 6. 
And as they appear in the wisdom and goodness of his 
Word, in all the precepts and promises of the Gospel *. 7. 
Delight thyself in his image, though but imperfectly printed 
on thy soul ; and also on his holy servants ^. 8. Delight 
yourselves in the consideration of the glory which he hath 
from all his creatures, and the universal fulfilling of his will : 
as the prosperity and happiness of your friend delighteth 
you, and the success of any excellent enterprises, and the 
praise of excellent things and persons, and as you have a 
special delight in the success of truth, and the flourishing 
order, and unity, and peace, and prosperity of kingdoms, es- 
pecially of the church, much more than in your personal 
prosperity, unless you have selfish, private, base, unmanly 
dispositions ; so much more should you delight in the glory 
and happiness of God. 9. Delight yourselves in the safety 
which you have in his favour and defence ; and the treasury 
which you have in his allsufficiency and love, for your con- 
tinual supplies in every want, and deliverance in every dan- 
ger ; and the ground of quiet contentedness and confidence 
which is offered to fearful souls in him. 10. Delight your- 
selves in the particular discoveries of his common mercies 
to the world, and his special mercies to his saints, and his 
personal mercies to yourselves, from your birth to this mo- 
ment, both upon your souls, and bodies, and friends, and 
names, and estates, and affairs in all relations. 11. Delight 
yourselves in the privilege you enjoy of speaking to him, 
and of him, and hearing from him, and adoring and wor- 
shipping him, and singing, and publishing his praise, and in 
the communion which your souls may have with him through 

a Psal. cxix. 162. .Tcr, xv. 16. ^ Gal. ii. 20. 1 Cor. xv. 10. 2 Cor. vii. 1&. 


Christ, on his days, and e*' all times, in his sacraments, and 
in all your lives. And say as Solomon, ** And will God in- 
deed dwell on earth ? Will he dwell and walk with sinful 
men ? When the heaven of heavens cannot contain him *=." 
"Let those that seek him rejoice and be glad in him*^." 
Let us be glad to go to the house of the Lord, and join with 
his holy assemblies in his worship. '* The streams" of his 
grace " make glad the city of God, the holy tabernacles of 
the Most High : God is in the midst of her ; she shall not 
be moved®." 12. Delight yourselves above all in the fore- 
thoughts and hope of the glory which you shall see and en- 
joy for ever. I do but name all these for your memory, 
because they are before spoken of in the Directions for love. 
Direct, iv. * Understand how much these holy delights 
are pleasing unto God, and how much he is for his people's 
pleasure.' — For it much hindereth the joy of many Chris- 
tians, that they think it is against the will of God, that such 
as they should so much rejoice; or at least that they ap- 
prehend not how much he hath commanded it, and how 
great a duty it is, and how much pleasing to their God. 
Consider, 1. It is not for nothing that the nature of man is 
made capable of higher and larger delights, than the brutish, 
sensual nature is : and that in this we are made little lower 
than angels. 2. Nor is it for nothing that God hath made 
delight and complacency, the most powerful, commanding 
affection, and the end of all the other passions, which they 
professedly subserve and seek : and the most natural, inse- 
parable affection of the soul, there being none that desireth 
not delight. 3. Nor is it in vain that God hath provided 
and offered such plenty of most excellent objects for our de- 
light, especially himself, in his Attributes, Love, Mercy, Son, 
Spirit, and Kingdom : which brutes were not made to know 
or to enjoy. 4. Nor hath he given us in vain, such excel- 
lent, convenient, and various helps, and inferior prepara- 
tions which tend to our delight ; even for body and mind, 
to further our delight in God. 5. Nor is it in vain that he 
maketh us yet more nearly capable by his Spirit ; even by 
affecting humiliations and mortifying, cleansing, illuminat- 
ing, and quickening works : and that the kingdom of heaven 
consisteth in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy 

«: 1 Kings viii. 27. <i Psal. xl. 16. « Psal. xM. 4. 


Ghost : and that the Spirit hath undertaken to be the Com- 
forter of believers, who is sent upon no low or needless 
work. 6. Nor did Christ purchase his people's joys in vain, 
by the price of his grievous sufferings and sorrows. Having 
borne our griefs, and being made a man of sorrows, that we 
that see him not, might rejoice in believing, with joy un- 
speakable and full of glory. 7. Nor is it in vain that he 
hath filled his word with such matter of delight and comfort, 
in the most glad tidings that could come to man, and in 
such free, and full, and faithful promises. 8. Nor hath he 
multiplied his commands for his rejoicing and delight, in 
vain ; again and again commanding us to rejoice, and always 
to rejoice. 9. Nor is it insignificant that he hath forbidden 
those worldly cares, and fears, and griefs which would de- 
vour their joys. Nor that he hath so clearly shewed them 
the way to joy, and blameth them if they walk not in it. 

10. He filleth up their lives with mercies, and matter of de- 
light, by his direction, support, provisions, and disposals : 
and all this in their way of trial, and in the valley of tears. 

11. How tender is he of their sufferings and sorrows ; not 
afflicting willingly, nor delighting to grieve the sons of men. 

12. He taketh not away their delight and comfort, till they 
cast it away themselves, by sinning, or self-afflicting, or 
neglecting his proposed pleasures. 13. He never faileth to 
meet them with his delights, while they walk in the way 
prescribed to that end : unless when it tendeth to their 
greater pleasure, to have some present interruption of the 
pleasure. 14. In their gre