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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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TiiE Epistle Dedicatory,.,, iv 

Advertisement Explicatory viii 

The Preface , xix 



What St. Paul nieaneth by the works of the law 1 

What by the Spirit 5 

How the Spirit is said to be given after faith 6 

The Testimony of the Spirit, then, a sufficient proof of the 

truth of the Gospel 9 

The commonness of the miraculous works of the Spirit .... 9 

Their sufficiency to prove the Gospel true 11 

The certainty of the tradition of the Scriptures to us 15 

The reason of the need of miracles, then 20 

But not to continue 21 

Usel. An information of the certain truth of the christian 

religion, to convince the doubtful 22 

The truth of seeming contradictory Scriptures, and of 
the most seeming improbable passages, and of the 

most terrible passages . . 27 

Everlasting punishment of the wicked proved 29 

Use this, 1. In all temptations to infidelity 38 

2. In dulness and declining 42 

3. In sadness ,t ^^ 




Use 2. The main argument ever used to prove the truth of 

the christian religion ^ ^^ 

3. What the testimony of the Spirit is, and who have it . 49 

4. What it is to believe in the Holy Ghost, and to be 

baptised in his name 50 

5. What is the sin against the Holy Ghost , . 55 

The Second Doctrine, That is the true doctrine and religion, 

by which the Spirit is given : cautions for the right 

understanding of this 57 

The reason 61 

Quest. Must we try the doctrine by the Spirit, or the Spirit 

by the doctrine ibid. 

Use 1 . The argument used against infidelity 65 

2. What clear light seekers contradict, that say we have 

lost the Scriptures and church 68 

3. There is but one true church and religion 71 

4. To convince the revolters of these times 75 

5. To those that have not the Spirit 77 

A Corollary, Demonstrating the life to come, and future hap- 
piness or misery 78 

A Determination of this question, Whether the miraculous 
works of Christ and his disciples do oblige those to be- 
lieve who never saw them : — 

The order of inquiry into the christian faith 86 

By what signs the christian religion hath been delivered 

down to us 87 

The certain tradition of these to us 89 

The difference between popish and necessary tradition .... 92 

That the apostles delivered these to the first churches .... 93 

How miracles oblige us , 94 

The sufficiency of that testimony 95 

Ten arguments to prove the affirmative of the question. ... 97 

Sixteen objections of the apostates answered 117 

Of the miracles mentioned by Augustin and other ancient 

doctors 121 

Our certainty infallible, and, in a sort, physical, maintained 

against Peter Hurtado de Mendoza 1 24 





Sect. 1. The text, 1 John v. 10 explained 131 

2. What the witness in ourselves is 134 

3. The reasons why all true believers shall have the wit- 

ness in themselves 137 

4. Use 1. The advantage of believers against tempta- 

tions to infidelity 1 39 

How great a mercy this is, Sect. 5, 6, 7, &c 141 

Object, T find not this witness in me answered 146 

So many pretend to the Spirit that I can believe none 

of them 149 

But how shall I know which of them hath the Spirit, 

when so many pretend to it? 151 

Quest. But how shall I know whether I have it ? 153 

How a Christian should make use of the witness of the Spirit 

within him, for the resisting of temptations to unbelief 155 
Object. All this is but your own prejudice, which a Turk may 

boast of in his own religion 165 

It is not the truth of the Gospel, but your belief of it 

that makes all these impressions on you 1 67 

What need you a testimony within, if you can see 

such evidence in the word without 168 

Doth not that want evidence, which a reasonable man 

cannot believe ? 170 

You prove the Scripture true, because you believe it ; 

whereas you should believe it because it is true . . 171 
But what is your private spirit to convince another 

man? 172 

Quest. What need we make use of Scripture, or ministers, if 

we have the witness in ourselves ? ibid. 

Is not he most likely to be in the right, in particular 

controversies, that hath most of the Spirit? ..,.,, 178 
What an advantage it is in cases of particular temptations and 

controversies to have the Spirit , 180 

Sect. 23. Twenty considerations, evincing the necessity of 
common knowledge, called human learning, not- 
withstanding the witness and helps of the Spirit . 183 



Sect. 24. All sins, but especially those that most quench the 
Spirit, have a natural tendency to infidelity ; and 
wounding the conscience by sensuality, is a com- 
mon way to it 198 

25. Ungodly men are incompetent judges of the matters 

of the christian faith 201 

26. The way to firm belief is to taste and try, that we 

may have christian experience 202 




Sect. 1 . Satan's course in tempting men to infidelity 205 

The reasons of this discourse 209 

Sect. 2. The text opened 211 

Your children, who 213 

Matt. xii. 30 reconciled with Luke ix. 49, 50 216 

The Father's judgment of the sin against the Holy 

Ghost 217 

The papists' and prolestants' judgment of it 220 

Whether this sin be absolutely unpardonable, the judg- 
ment of the ancients, and later writers 223 

Why it is unpardonable 225 

3. The author's judgment, 1. On the negative, what is not 

the sin against the Holy Ghost, in twenty-four pro- 
positions 226 

And what it is, in twenty propositions 235 

Whether a malicious opposing the internal illumin- 
ation of the Spirit be this sin 243 

Of the sense of Heb. vi. 4 — 6, and whether all total 

apostasy be this sin 246 

The sum of all 251 

4. Doct. How the enmity of Christ, his doctrine and 

works against Satan's kingdom, prove that it was 
not by Satan's power, but by God's, that Christ and 
his disciples did their works 253 

The enm.ity on Satan's part proved, from his nature, 

interest, designs, and actions 254 

Proved from Satan's transacticjns with witches, by 

many histories of them 255 

5. Proved by possessions and other violence on the body 271 



Sect. 6. By apparitions and voices 272 

7. By Ills endeavours to bring the world to idolatry, with 

the success 273 

8. By his endeavours to raise heresies, and the means. . 277 
Heretics and schismatics, what, and of l:ow many 

sorts 278 

The history of the Simonians, Nicolaitans, gnostics, 

and other heretics, before popery 279 

The introduction and use of popery 288 

Tlie introduction and success of Mahometanism .... 290 
The raising of errors and heresies since the Reform- 
ation : of the anabaptists and enthusiasts, Para- 
celsus, Weigelius, Behmen, Racket, &c 293 

Of the late miscarriages in England, by the prelates 
and their adversaries, and the rise of our wars and 

sects. Satan's enmity to Reformation 295 

Ranters and Quakers 298 

9. Satan's enmity against Christ, proved by open perse- 

cutions, by Jews, gentiles, heretics, papists 301 

10. By the inbred hatred in the hearts of all the servants 

of Satan through the world, to the kingdom and 

true subjects of Christ 311 

1 1. By his contrary precepts and persuasions 316 

12. Proofs of Christ's enmity to Satan, from his nature, 

interest, design, and works ^ 319 

Of the enmity 32 1 

Two armies formed under two generals 323 

Christ conquereth for us when we suffer 328 

14. Christ's personal conflicts and conquests; with thirty 

particular discoveries of the enmity 329 

Uses and consectaries, 1 . Of the certain truth of the 

Gospel 361 

2. The matter of fact was so undeniable that the most 
malicious enemies of Christ did confess his miracles 365 

3. The sin against the Holy Ghost so unreasonable 
and impious, that it is no wonder if it be unpardon- 
able 370 

Other uses for practice, with directions to conquer 
Satan 375 

An answer to Mr. Lyford's exceptions, proving that 

the blaspheming pharisees did not believe 380 





The text opened. Regeneration comprehendeth remission of 

past sins 397 

Doct. Of men's proneness to question God's word when they 

understand it not 401 

The nature and working of this arrogancy of reason 403 

The causes of this arrogancy and questioning of God's word . . 411 
Use. The frowardness of man's corrupt heart in the matters of 

salvation 419 

Reasons to deter men from this arrogancy 422 

Object. Should we believe without reason 429 

Should we believe contradictions? 430 

An answer to twelve of the common cavils of infidels against 

the Scripture. 432 





Chap. I. Of the nearest truths, and, 1. Of human nature, or 
the knowledge of ourselves; where note that the 
question about the soul's immaterial substance is 
referred to the Appendix, or Conclusion 457 

II. Of man, as related to the things below him , , . . 460 

III. Of men as mutually related to each other 461 

IV. Of man, and other things, as produced by the 

first cause , » , 465 

V. What this cause is in itself; that it is God 472 

VI. Of God, as related to his creatures, especially, 

to man; and, 1. As his Owner 489 

VII. Of man's relation to God, his Owner 493 

VIII. 2. Of God's relation to man as his Ruler, where 
it is proved that God ruleth man morally by laws 

and judgment ....,,,,... 495 







I. Tlie Spirit's extrinsic witness to the Truth of Christianity, on Gal. iii. 1 — 3. 

With a determination of this question, Whether the miraculous works of 

Christ and his disciples do oblige those to believe who never saw 

them ? Aff. 
JI. The Spirit's internal witness to the Truth of Christianity, on 1 John v. 10. 
HI. For prevention of the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost. A 

demonstration, that the Spirit and Works of Christ were the finger of God : 

or, the holy war between Christ and Satan, on Matt. xii. 22 — 33. 

A Postscript against Mr. Lyford's Exceptions. 
IV. The arrogancy of reason against Divine Revelations repressed: or, proucl 

ignorance the cause of infidelity, and of men's quarrelling with the word 

of God, on John iii. 9. 




Lurd Prtsidetit of the Council of State for the Government 

of Scotland. 

My Lord, 

When you wore pleased to tell me your thoughts of the accept- 
ableness of the attempt in the second part of my book called 
*The Saint's Rest,' and of how great use it would be to have that 
work yet more fully done ; 1 told you, I had some popular 
sermons more by me on that subject, which, though they look 
not like such a full performance^ might yet, as a supplement to 
the aforesaid discourse, afford some help to the settling of 
tempted souls in the faith. Upon some unexpected occasions 
which fell out when 1 was with you, with which your Lordship 
was well acquainted, I put the first of these papers then into the 
press, which moved so slowly, that it hath not reached the last 
till now. Such as they are, 1 here present them to you, with 
the thankful acknowledgment of those great undeserved respects 
and favours which I then received from vou. And as I first 
present them to your hand, so do I wish the first and fullest 
effects of them uj)on your heart : for though I doubt not but 
you are established in the foundation of the faith, and resolved 
in these great matters long ago, and therefore are none of those 
for whom I principally publiivh this book ; yet may the strongest 
believer on earth receive an increase of their faith, even in the 
principles and essentials of the clu'istian verity. Oh ! what 
raised, vigorous, and constant affections should we have to God 
and the life to come; and what resolute and invincible indus- 
try for the attainment of them, with a contempt of all these 
terrestrial toys, if we were not so defective either in a sound 
belief, or a serious consideration of these transcendant, incom- 
parable, but invisible things I We should then apply ourselves 
to the living God, and study his pleasure, and wholly fit ourselves 
thereto, and hang upon him with greater obseivancy and expect- 
ation, than any sensual, amI)itious parasites do study to humour 
the priiu-es of the earth, or conform themselves to their uncer- 

E 2 


tain minds. The life of the highest unsanctified monarch would 
then appear to us as children's games, or dreams ; and as a 
sordid, base, unprofitable drudgery, in comparison of the life of 
the poorest saint ; who is daily taken up with attendance upon 
God, and is, by faith, a courtier and family servant of the infinite 
Sovereign of heaven and earth ; whose heart is employed in 
loving him, his tongue in praising him, and his life in serving 
him ; while he remaineth on earth hath his conversation in 
heaven ; and walketh and converseth with God in the spirit, 
while he walketh and converseth with men in the flesh ', having 
surer interest in the love of God than the highest favourites in 
their prince's love ; that hath access to him on every just occa- 
sion 3 and hath his ear in every just request; that liveth here 
upon his grace, and groundedly expecteth to be shortly in his 
glory ; where they that followed Christ in the regeneration, 
denied themselves, forsook all for him, and suffered with him, 
shall reign with him, and behold the glory that is given him ; 
and they that lived here in contemned obscurity, whose happi- 
ness was not known to the unbelieving world, shall then shine as 
the stars, and be as the angels of God. O were this blessedness 
but well believed and considered, how could it be so neglected ; 
so coldly desired, mentioned, and sought after, as commonly it 
is 5 and so many thousands lose it, by such sottish laziness, and 
ungrateful contempt ? Certainly no cold or dull affections, no 
half or halting resolutions, no mean, reserved, slight endeavours, 
beseem that man that calls himself a Christian : for to be a 
Christian is to be soundly persuaded of all the fore-mentioned 
felicity of the church and the necessary means by which it must 
be obtained, through the purchase of our Redeemer. And it is 
no middle things (nothing but highest affections, resolutions, and 
attempts, with invincible patience, and unwearied diligence) that 
beseem that man who professeth to seek so high a blessedness 
as to live eternally with angels in the glorious presence of God. 
Either it is true that there is such a state to be obtained by 
believers, or it is not true. If it be true, and truly believed, 
away, then, with all the pleasures of sin ! away with the flatter- 
ing glory of the world ! away with these deceitful nominal 
riches 1 Let these be their portion who believe no better ; we 
must use inferior things, indeed, for God, if he put them in our 
keeping : but we have higher matters to mind, and to enjoy. 
No matter how dear it cost us, nor what we suffer, nor how 
much we cross this murmuring flesh j we are sure we shall be no 


losers, nor repent the bargain when we come to li_eaven. What 
palpable self-contradiction is it, for a man to live a carnal or 
careless life, or to be but coldly, superficially, and reservedly 
religious, who professeth to believe the resurrection of the 
body, the life everlasting, with the rest of the articles of the  
christian faith ! But if they take these things for fables, why 
do they not speak out, and say so, but dissemblingly seem to be 
Christians, when they are none ? As for such, I shall speak to 
them in that which followeth, and through the whole book. 

My Lord, I had not poured out all these words to you, but 
on supposition that your name will entice hither the eyes of 
some that need them more than you. And yet I will not so 
injuriously flatter you as to say 1 imagine you need them not 
at all. It is impossible that an imperfect soul in flesh, in the 
midst of the honours and employments of the world, should 
have no need to be remembered of the things invisible, or to be 
quickened in the prosecution of that which he doth remember. 
Wise men have been overreached by the subtle tempter, 
to fall in love with vanity and vexation : the sensual object doth 
powerfully, though unreasonably, beguile, because of the natural 
eagerness of the flesh ; which is so greedy of the bait that it 
will scarce forbear, even when we see the hook. He that 
standeth over the graves of his ancestors, and looketh upon his 
father's skull, and asketh, ' Where is now their worldly honours, 
and what good have their pleasures and prosperity done them ?' 
is yet prone to embrace the same deceits, and neglect the 
certain, durable felicity. It is hard so long to restrain the 
senses, while faith and reason have leave to speak. Those that 
were no bal)es have lost their eyes in the dust of riches, and the 
smoke of honours. A strong head may turn round on the pin- 
nacle of a steeple. I had rather stand on the ground, and look 
up at them with pity and admiration, than stand with them and 
look down with fear : it hath made some men wheel sick but 
to gaze upon their vain glory. You know, I doubt nor, better 
than I, that these mountain tops are tempestuous habitations, 
where men are still in the storms of envy and jealousies ; where 
it is hard pleasing men ; and where there are the greatest hin- 
derances to the pleasing of God ; and where few find that 
pleasure which they expected to themselves. Like the philo- 
sopher's storm at sea, Ubi ventus neque manere sinit, nee navl- 
fjcire. A tottering state, and (juiekly -overturned. We need 
not go to such as Belisarius for our proof; the end of all the 


living proveth it. If" envy and ingratitude let them alone, death 
will not. The most shining glory will be quickly burnt to a 
snuffj though no churlish blast should sooner extinguish it. It 
hath cost many a man full dear to mount into the saddle, that 
hath quicklv been unhorsed ; but he that rideth longest must 
come down at last. When they have cast away their salvation 
to attain their wills, some of them have proved like Servilius's 
consules diales ; or like Vatinius, on whom Cicero broke the 
jest, that ejus anno magnum ostentumfvit, quod eo consule nee 
bruma, nee ver, nee astas, nee autwmms fvisset : if not like 
Bishop Fisher, whose head was cut off when the cardinal's hat 
should have been set on. Kings and parliaments, honour and 
nobility, are things, we see, that cannot perpetuate themselves. 
Not that all dignities are therefore to be refused ; but less de- 
sired, mere feared, and more cautelously used. That they may 
be received as Emilius did his consulship, Qid neyavit se illis 
habere gratiam ; non enim ob id turn designatum imperatorem^ 
quod ipse desiderat imperiuni, sed quod ipsi hnperatorem. ' Not 
because they want honour and rule, but because the people 
want good rulers.' And thev must be held as Seneca did his 
friends, who could say. Mild amicorum defunctoriim cogitatio, 
dulcis ac blanda est ; habui enim illos fanquam amissurus, amisi 
tanquam habeam. Self must be denied, and flesh must be re- 
sisted, yea, subdued and mortified, by all that will be saved. 
But to do this in the fulness of wealth, or height of honour, 
where self-denial will be so dear, and where the flesh hath so 
much to hold or lose, and therefore hath so nuich to plead, this 
is the great difficulty which maketh the salvation of such so 
rare. It is a hard, but most necessary lesson for great men, to 
live to God, and not to themselves ; to devote themselves wholly 
to the service of Christ, and to make it their daily study and 
business to do good, and to make themselves friends of the 
mammon of imrighteousness. Those few that learn this holy 
wisdom, are doubly obliged to the love of God, and should be 
doubly thankful. Animosius enim a mereatore quam a vectore 
solvitur votum, &c. Sen. But because this grace is so exceeding- 
rare, and the highest mountains are usually most unfruitful, and it 
is so hard to get that way to heaven, we have little reason to be in 
love with our temptations, nor to be too keenly set on that which 
so much endangereth our everlasting welfare, and which hurteth 
most where it is most beloved. Jf we lose it for the advantage of 
our souls, let it go 3 we hnve the consent of reason that opiauda 


estjactura, quos lucro majore compensatur. If any step before us, 
we have small cause to envy them ; nunquam erit feUx^ quern 
torquehit felidor . — Hen. The fulfilling of aspiring desires, would 
be but the cutting off the ambitious man's delight : for there 
is more pleasure in the expectation of such things than in the 
possession ; it being the nature of terrestrials to promise more 
than they can perform, and to seem better at a distance than 
when you draw too near. In the hope and prosecution of them 
there is delight, such as accompanieth delusions and golden 
dreams; but when a man hath all he would have, his stomach 
is overset, and the ))leasure is gone ; which made the moralist 
thus comfort men of the lower rank : Aye pothis yratiaspro /tis 
qme accepisti; reliqua eapecta, et nonduin plenum te esse 
ycuide. Inter volvptates est si/peresse qvod speres. What 
pleasure is then in the sure grounded hopes of the saints ! But 
I must stop. 

My Lord, as I was unwilling to direct to you a mere com- 
plimentary empty epistle, so am I encouraged to use this freedom 
with you, because I am very confident you can discern a faithful 
monitor, both from an accuser on the one side, and from a 
flatterer on the other. That the God of peace may establish 
you, sanctify von throughout, and keep you blameless and un- 
defiled, is the hearty prayer of. 

Your much obliged servant, 

in the faith of Christ, 

Kidilennin'^ter, Au'^uit 20, 16o."i. 



Especially about the necessity of God's execution of his threaten- 
ings, or of Chris fs satisfaction : to prevent misunderstanding. 

Lest any understand what I liave said a few pages hence, as 
if I wholly denied common innate principles, observe, that it 
is only actual connate knowledge that I deny, and in respect to 
which I say that the soul is rasa tabula ; but I confess a natural 
passive power for the knowing of them, and a greater disposition, 
or aptitude in the intellect to understand them, than conclusions 
drawn from them ; and so that an infant also may have a sanc- 
tified intellect, by such aptitude and disposition. But I think 
not that ever these would be acted, in an ordinary natural way, 
without the help of some sense. 

Also, that I may not be misunderstood in that great contro- 
verted point, about the necessity of the execution of vindictive 
justice in man's suffering, or Christ's satisfaction, I shall briefly 
declare my thoughts about it, in these few propositions. 

Prop. I. It is not a mere necessitas consequentia, ox \og\cs\ 
necessity of the verity of an enunciation that we inquire after ; 
for it is on all hands confessed, that Christ's death was thus ne- 
cessarv. 1 . Necessitate immutabilitatiSf ex suppositione decreti 
divini. 2. Necessitate infallibilitatis, ex suppositione prasci- 
entidn divince. .3. Necessitate hifaUibiUtatis et veracitatis 
divincB, ex suppositione pnedictionis. Because God decreed it, 
foreknew it, and foretold it. 

2. We do not mean a simple necessity in existing, as God is 
ens necessarium. For all creatures are confessed to be con- 
tingent beings. 

3. Nor yet do we mean an hypothetical necessity, existentia 

qua res quundo est, necessario est. For this is but logical, and 
is undoubted among us. 

4. No man among us doth affirm that God doth necessarily 
punish sinners by such a natural necessity as inanimates, or 

brutes, act by, that do it quantum in se, &c. Ut ignis urit. 


5. Nor yet do any affirm that it is by enforcement necessary 
to God ; either violentice, for that is only in natural agents ; or 
coactio?iis, which is on free agents, for none can force God 
against his will. 

6. Whereas some talk de necessitate detei^mlnationis among 
men, as when the will is determined by God, and the practical 
intellect, (habits and objects concurring,) and thereupon raise 
disputes, whether answerably in God, his eternal wisdom and 
communicative nature may not be said to determine his will, to 
create the world in time, and do whatever is done, and so whe- 
ther there were not necessitas determinatioms ? And also, whe- 
ther there were not necessitas ad finem\ that is, whether it were 
not best that God's glory should be attained, and thus attained, 
and no other way would have been so well, and whether all this 
be declared by the event? I suppose these be arrogant, pre- 
sumptuous disputes, which I dare not offer to determine. Only 
I say, that I suppose, as to man, they lay a false ground; see- 
ing the intellect doth not properly determine the will, but only 
necessarily concur as a propounder of the object, (which is but 
a moral cause of the determination,) that so the will may deter- 
mine itself. And of God's own determination of our wills, yea, 
in gracious acts, a reverend divine, in a late writing, (Mr. 
Capel, Part 4 of Tempt, p. 2>'^^ saith, " We do not determine 
God's will, nor doth God immediately determine our wills, but 
by infusing a life and soul, as it were, of grace. By an habit 
of grace, deserved for us by Christ, God makes our wills deter- 
mine themselves to follow him ; and this the Scripture calls, not 
a forcing, but a drawing of us, not as we draw a man to the 
gibbet, but as we draw a man to a wedding who hath the wed- 
ding garment, or as we draw a sheep after us with a bush of 
ivy, as we draw children after us with nuts and apples, by way 
of persuasion, indeed, which is so forcible, that Scripture calls 
it a kind of constraining." 

7. But let us suppose, for I shall not contradict it, that the 
common determination is right, that God created the world, not 
necessarily, but freely ; not only as freedom is opposite to co- 
action, and to any extrinsic, imposed necessity, which are 
unquestionable, but also to an intrinsical necessity, so that his 
wisdom, and communicative nature, or glory, did not necessi- 
tate the creation of the world, but that he so willed to create 
it, that consuhrat'is conmlerandiSy he might have nilled it, and 
in this sen^e did freely create it. I say on this common ground 


supposed we shall proceed, though I fear such high inquiries 

8. God having freely created the world, and made man as 
he is, a reasonable creature, it followed, by a necessary result- 
ancy from the nature of man, and compared with God, that 
man was God's subject, and to be ruled by him, and God was 
his sovereign Ruler. This necessity is the same as there is of 
every relation, a pofiHione subject}, fuiulantenti, termini. It is 
a contradiction for a rational creature to be made by God with 
a capacity of, and inclination to, an immortal felicity in the 
fruition of God ; and yet that this creature should not be God's 
own, and his subject, and God be to him, by right of that crea- 
tion, both Proprietary and sovereign Rector. 

9. When God is once become the Rector of mankind, it is 
necessary that he actually rule him (supposing that he continue 
his being, nature, and bO that relation). To be a ruler, is to be 
one to whom it belongeth to rule actuallv. It is necessary, 
therefore, from God's natural perfection, that he do the work 
of that relation which he hath himself assumed, and thereby 
undertaken to do; both justice and veracity, wisdom and good- 
ness, require it. If God should sav, ' I will be man's ruler,' but 
will not rule him, it would imply some contradiction or unfaith- 
fulness. And therefore to do so would be the same as to say so. 

10. If God must necessarily rule, he must necessarily give 
laws, and execute them ; for legislation and execution, whereto 
judgment is usually necessary, are the parts of government : at 
least let us first conclude the necessity of legislation ; for it is a 
contradiction to rule the rational creature without a law. 

1 I. As we know no necessity of creation, so know we no ne- 
cessity of God's making positive laws; but that God did it so 
freely that he might have done otherwise, or not done it, while 
man was in innocency ; though some think that even then, su- 
pernatural revelation and positive precepts were of necessity ad 

12. The whole law of nature, which was such to innocent 
man, did necessarily result from the nature of man, as related to 
God and his fellow-subjects, and as placed in the midst of such 
a world of objects ; and so is legible in rerum natura. It is a 
contradiction for man to be man, so related to God and the 
creatures, and not to be obliged to esteem and love God above 
all, and to obey all his commands, to love one another, and 
other duties of the law of nature. 


13. There are some duties that are founded in the relation of 
our very rational nature to the holy, perfect nature of God, as 
to esteem him and believe him to be most powerful, wise, good, 
&c. ; to reverence, love, and obey him, &c. ; and some duties 
that are founded ifi the relation of our natures one to another, 
and some from the inseparable, innocent principle of self-love. 
All these have their necessary original with our natures, by re- 
sultancy therefrom; and God cannot (that is, he will not, because 
he is perfect) dispense with them : nor yet reverse them but by 
destroying our natures, which stand so related, and are the foun- 
dation thereof. But yet those are not absolutely necessary for the 
future; because it is not absolutely necessary that God should 
continue those natures in being. He may annihilate them, sup- 
posing that he had not declared that he will not, and then these 
natural duties cease upon the cessation of the subject ; but while 
man is man, it is coutradictorv and impossible that such natural 
good should not be good, and such natural evil as is contrary to 
it be evil. 

14. There are some duties of the law of nature founded in 
natural, but mutable, accidents, relations, moods. These are 
indispensable duties, while these relations or other accidents re- 
main, which are the foundation of them ; but God can destroy 
the obligations, by changing and destroying those relations and 
accidents : so he did warrant the Israelites to take the Egyptians' 
goods, by changing the proprietarv; and so he can dissolve most 
of the obligations of the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth com- 
mandments, as to this and that particular person, by a change 
of the person or thing, but not dispense with it rebus sic stan- 

15. By what hath been said, the great question may be de- 
termined, whether any thing be eternally good or evil ; or any 
thing indispensal)ly good or evil ; or whether God wills things 
because they are good, and nills them because they are evil, or 
ihey are good and evil because (lod willeth and nilleth them ? 
for it being from the relation of the human nature to the Crea- 
tor and fellow-creatures, that natural duty doth result, it is im- 
possible that it should quoad existentiam be a duty before the 
creation. All duty is some one's duty ; but when there was no 
subject it could be no one's duty: therefore no duty; hut quoad 
essentiam in esse cognito, we may say, that this or that was good 
or evil from eternity; which is no more but this, that if there 
had been such creatures in being, from eternitv, this or that 


would have been their duty, and so that it was a true proposi- 
tion from eternity, (liad propositions been then framed,) that such 
duty woukl be due from such creatures. But, in time, the bare 
creation of man in such a world doth constitute these principal, 
natural duties, without any further constituting will of God ; and 
duties they will be, while man is man ; so that God could not 
continue man in his nature and place in the world, and yet cause 
these duties to cease : it being a contradiction. And so as to 
all the approbatory, exhortatory, remunerative will of God, it 
may truly be said that he wills these natural duties because they 
are good, and not that they are good because he wills them. 
As, also, that there is no further free act of his will necessary to 
make them good, or duty, besides this making man and the na- 
ture of creatures ; but as to God's creating will, which laid the 
foundation of this duty, it may truly be said, that all such duties 
are duties because he willeth them ; for he might have chosen 
to have made man, or have made him not man, but somewhat 
else. On the contrary, we may see how to judge of evil, and 
how to understand those passages of the ancients, that God 
nilleth evil because it is evil. As Athenagoras de Resmrecl, 
Mort. For what God willeth not, he therefore wiileth not, 
either because it is unjust or because it is unmeet. 

16. Duty being once constituted, the dueness of punishment 
to the sinner resulteth from the sin and law, and the nature and 
relation of God and man, by unavoidable necessity. It cannot 
be ne per dk'inam ]Jote7itiam, that there should be a sin which 
makes not punishment naturally due to the sinner ; or a sin 
which deserveth not punishment. Every law doth oblige aut 
ad obedientiam, aut ad pmiam ; and this is so essential to a 
law, that if duty only were expressed without any penalty, yet, 
by the law of nature, penalty would be due to the offender. The 
common light of nature manifested in correcting children and 
servants, and punishing subjects, and in all government through 
the world, doth put this out of doubt, besides the law of God. 

17. It is not, therefore, to the breach of natural precepts only, 
but to the breach of positive precepts also, that punishment is 
naturally due. For though God do freely make positive laws, 
yet punishment necessarily is due to the breach of them : no- 
thing in morality is more clear to the light of nature, than that 
all sin against God deserveth some punishment. 

18. Law doth not, as such, or by its essential act, preceptive 
or comminatory, determine that the duty shall eventually be 


performed, or the punishment on the disobedient eventually 
executed. Nor doth it so oblige the law- giver to punish as that 
he may in no case dispense with it ; but obligeth the offender to 
suffer, if he executeth it, by constituting the dueness of the pe- 

19. Yet two ways do such laws speak de eventu^ as well as 
de debito pceruB. First in that they are given as norma Judiciif 
as well as qfficn : this is one of the known ends and uses of the 
law. So that when God made his first laws for mankind, in the 
promulgation of them he did as much as say to the world of 
mankind, 'According to these laws shalt thou live; and according 
to these laws will 1 judge you :' which comprehendeth in it two 
assertions de eventu. 1. That God will so ordinarily execute 
his own laws, that the people to whom they are given have great 
cause to expect it. 2. That he will not at all miss of the ends 
of them in respect of such execution ; and therefore, though he 
have not parted with his supra legal power ; yet will he never re- 
lax his laws, but upon valuable considerations in political res- 
pects ; that is, on such terms as the ends of those laws (or of 
the legislator in making them) may be as well, or better, at- 
tained, as by the proper execution of them. So that some pre- 
diction de eventu is implied in the very nature and end of the 
law, in that it was made to be norma judicii. Secondly, and to 
the law of grace there is also affixed a peremptory commination, 
which doth not only constitute, as all laws, the debitum panm^ 
but also doth predict the certain execution, and foretel that there 
shall never be any remedy ; and so the legislature is, in point of 
veracity, as it were, obliged to execute ; that is, he hath revealed 
that he will so do. 

20. As Qod, having thus necessarily made the law of nature, 
on supposition of nature itself, doth, by that law, also necessarily 
determine of the dueness of punishment to every sinner, and that 
this shall be the course of judgment, so this justice will give to 
all their due, and will make a difference by rewards and punish- 
ments between them that differ as righteous and unrighteous ; 
and his wisdom cannot suffer the frustration of his legislation, 
or the missing of the ends of government, nor those great evils 
that would follow the non-execution of justice according to its 
evident natural tendency. 

21. If God, having necessarily given man a law agreeable to 
his nature, should permit him, without punishment, to violate 
that law, it would naturally produce, or necessarily tend tOj 


these sad effects. 1 . It would be an apparent occasion to draw 
men to further sin, when they see tliat the law is not executed. 
2. It would draw men to contemn the law as a mere shadow, 
and a thing not to be feared or regarded. 3. It would draw 
them to accuse the law-giver of levity, mutability, or over- 
sight and imprudence, in making his laws, or insufficiency to 
attain his ends. 4. It would draw men to think that God in 
his law did dissemble, and, in some sort, lie ; for the purpose of 
the threatening is to awe sinners, by telling them what they 
must expect if they transgress, and how they shall be judged ; 
therefore, if ordinarily there should no such evil befal them, 
they are put into false expectations, and scared with a shadow 
of deceiving words. And so it would be a great breach on 
God's part in the frame of morality or policy, and plain impru- 
dence, if not injustice in government, to cause such inconve- 
niences, and lay such impediments in the subjects' way, to turn 
them from obedience, and cross his own ends and the nature 
of government. 

22. Legislation, judgment, and execution, are proper parts 
of government. He, therefore, that must necessarily govern, 
must necessarily make laws, and cause thein to be executed. 

23. It is commonly through their own imperfection that law- 
givers are fain to dispense with their own laws, or may fitly do 
it ; but God hath no imperfections. 

24. If some cases may fall out (as in case of small or secret 
sin, &:c.) that God might dispense with his laws without any of 
the fore-mentioned inconveniencies, yet ordinarily he cannot do 
it without changing the course of nature first. Nor in case of 
the first great breach of his laws : so that we need not (to our 
purpose) dispute whether God can pardon no sin without satis- 
faction ; but whether he could in wisdom and justice pardon 
Adam's sin, or the ordinary course of sin in the world, without 

2.5. It was not only the positive law, but also the law of nature, 
which Adam did transgress by inconsiderateness, unbelief, ad- 
hering to the creature, and apostasy from God : and so do all 
the simiers in the world. \or is it possible to sin against a 
particular, positive law, but we shall also sin against a natural 
law, particular, or general, or both. 

2G. From all this it seems clear to me, that after man's sin, 
there was a necessity of his punishment, or of satisfaction instead 
of it. And this necessity is a moral neces:5ity ml fiaem reyimi- 


nis : resulting from. 1. The nature of man, as the subject go- 
verned. 2. The etids of government, viz., God's glory, and 
man's obedience, and the common good. 3. The nature of the 
law, which is the instrument of government, making punish- 
ment due to sinners, and being the rule of judgment. 4. From 
the nature of sin. And, 5. From the nature of that rectorship, 
or governing office or work, which (lod assumed. And, 6. From 
the most wise, holy, just nature of God, thus governing. So 
that it is not from any of these alone, l)ut from them all con- 
junctly, as related among themselves : and the necessity ap- 
peareth in the contradictions which would follow on the contrary 
doctrine. For if sin, and such sin, shall go unpunished, and 
such laws be unexecuted, without a valuable consideration or 
satisfaction, then God, as Rector, must miss the great ends of 
government itself, (which enter its very definition,) and that 
through his own defect; and so shall be an imprudent, or 
unjust, or impotent governor. 

27. The reason why Christ's satisfaction is a valuable consi- 
deration for the relaxing of the threatening, as to the sinner 
himself, is, because that it is at least as excellent a means for 
the attainment of the said ends of government as the punish- 
ment of the sinner would have been ; seeing in this there is as 
full a demonstration of governing justice, wisdom, and power, 
and of God's holy, sin-hating nature, and as full a vindication 
of the law from contempt, and as full a warning to sinners that 
they presume not, as if themselves had suffered ; and that 
because Christ did not satisfy for their final impenitency, infide- 
lity, or rebellion, or final, reigning, unmortified sin, and so took 
them not from under government, nor made them lawless fi)r 
the futiu-e. by his satisfaction or merits. And moreover, here 
is a further demonstration of wisdom and inconceivable mercy, 
and a preservation of sinners from perishing, to the everlasting 
praise of God, their Redeemer. 

28. This necessity of punishment was not absolute before the 
creation, but only hy])othetical de fvtwo, on supposition of 
creation: for God might have chosen (for aught we know, with- 
out any ill conse(|uents) to have made no such creatures as men 
or angels ; and if there had been no such world, there would 
have been no need of ])U!iishment : or, he could have pre- 
vented it, by such confirming grace as should have prevented 
the sin. 

29. I)\it thi'5 is not like their opinion thai make no nece'^sity 


hereof, but only on supposition of God's decree that Christ 
should satisfy. For if we overlook his decree, yet supposing 
but these two things: I. The creation of man, and such a 
man. 2. And his wilful sinning, there is then a necessity ex parte 
reif by unavoidable resultancy from the aforesaid particulars, as 
related together. Any man may see, that if God should have 
made mankind perfect, and given him a perfect law, and have 
told him, that if he broke it, he should not be punished, that 
this would have been such imprudence and injustice, as 
the holy, wise, and righteous God, as Rector of mankind, to such 
determined ends, could not be guilty of; and God need not rule 
us by delusory, vain fears. 

30. It is said by some very learned and reverend men, that 
God freely made the world, though he necessarily made it good; 
he freely made positive laws, though he necessarily made them 
wiselv and just; he freely annexeth threatenings to his laws, 
though necessarily they are just threatenings; he freely sentenceth 
or judgeth, though he necessarily judge justly ; he freely ex- 
ecuteth his sentence by punishing, though he necessarily punish 
justly. And the reasons given, are, 1. Because God executeth 
his sentence as Dominvs. 2. Because his threatenings bind 
him not to punish, but man to suffer. 

To all this I answer briefly and distinctly : 1 . The great dis- 
pute wherein the nature of liberty lieth, we here pretermit, 
supposing that they who thus oppose it to necessity do not mean 
any of that liberty which J)r. Twiss, Herebord, and others, have 
maintained to be consistent with necessity; that is, with such a 
necessitv as we have now in hand. 2. I contradict not the two 
first assertions, that God freely made the world, and positive 
laws. 3. I find not the contrary-minded affirmmg that he freely 
made natural laws. 4. 1 deny all the following assertions, viz. : 
that he doth freely, 1. Annex penalties to positives; 2. Or to 
natural precepts; 3. Or that he freely judgeth ; 4. Or freely 
executeth, unless in the sense as freedom is consistent with the 
foresaid necessity. 5. When it is here confessed that God doth 
necessarily make his laws, penalties, sentence, and execution 
just, either the meaning is, that however he do them it is 
therefore just because he doth them, or else that he necessarily 
doth that which is ex natnra rei, first considerable, as good and 
just before he doth it. If the first be the sense, then here is no 
necessity of God's (U)iiig one thing rather than another ; as that 
he should ratlier make u law to punish the disobedientj than the 


obedient ; or that he should damn the wicked rather than the 
just ; but it is only necessitas respectus et denominationis ; a 
necessity that whatever law he make, were it to punish men for 
well-doing, should have the respect and denomination of a 
righteous law, because he makes it. But this is false. Not as 
some say, because right and wrong, good and bad, in this sense, 
are eternal ; but because God first makes the differing natures 
of good and bad, right and wrong, in the nature of things in 
creation and disposition, before he makes any further particular 
laws : much more before execution. 

2. But if the latter be the assertor's sense, that God necessa- 
rily doth that which is first considerable as good and just, ex 
natura rei, then I grant it, and from that concession shall prove 
what is denied; for what is it that is meant by justness in 
threatening, judging, and punishing ? If it be only that he go 
not above men's desert, and lay not too much on them, this is 
but a negation of injustice; it is not justum, but 7ion injustum; 
but if they mean any thing positive, 1. Then will it essentially 
contain the punishment itself; 2. And by what reason they will 
prove that God must threaten, judge, and punish justly, by the 
same will I prove that he must threaten, judge, and punish. 

Particularly, the most wise and righteous Governor of the 
world must needs make wise and righteous laws, and pass a 
wise and righteous sentence, and wisely and justly execute it. 
Thus must we conclude de modo; but de reipsa the conclusion 
is as necessary as de modo. God is, upon creation, by necessary 
resultancy, the only Sovereign Ruler of the world : or if they 
have a mind to make this a free act of his own after creation^ 
let them take their own way. He that is the Governor of the 
world, must needs govern it; he that governeth man, must needs 
give him laws : for that is the most essential act of government, 
taking laws in the full sense, as signifying any sign of the rec:- 
tor's will, making due or right to or from the subject. He that 
makes laws for government must needs oblige the subject to 
obedience, or to punishment in case of disobedience ; for these 
are in the general natu;e of a law ; or, if the last be denied, he 
that obligeth to duty must needs make punishment to be due to 
the disobedient : nay, by a natural resultancy it is so due. He 
hath put out the eye of the natural light, so far, that demeth 
that sin deserveth punishment ea: natura rel, if no law l)ut that 
of nature did threaten it. He that will restrain man from sin, 
and so govern etTectually according to the nature of man, must 

V'OL. XX. C 


restrain him by fears, which is his natural passion to such ends; 
and that by the apprehension of" danger, and that by the threaten- 
ing of danger. He that must govern by threatening laws, must 
judge and sentence by those laws ; for judgment is a part of 
government, and the law is norma judicii ; so that to have go- 
vernors and laws, and yet for judgment to be unnecessary to 
mortal man, is a contradiction. He that must judge according 
to his laws, must execute his judgment, except upon a valuable 
consideration the ends of government mav be obtained bv relax- 
ing them. If it be said that God could have attained those 
ends without punishment or satisfaction, I answer: Not without 
miracles, or destruction, or alteration of the very frame of nature 
itself, which was not to be expected, for it would have been a 

As to the two reasons of their opinion, I answer : To the first, 
God, who is Rector, is also Dominus Absolutus ; but he execu- 
teth no sentence as Dominus, but as Rector ; for it belongeth 
not to him in that relation, punishment being a part of govern- 
ing justice; and God's relations contradict not each other in 
their works. 

To the second I answer : Though God's threatenings, as such, 
or directly, bind him not to punish us, yet, 1. His assumed re- 
lation of Rectorship, 2. And his making that law to be norma 
judicii, do declare that to be his proper work to execute them ; 
and that he is, as it were, obliged, in point of wisdom and go- 
verning justice, to do it, except as afore excepted. 

Thus I have, in more words than 1 hoped to have despatched 
it when I began, explained my meaning in several passages, and 
given in my thoughts, somewhat rudely, on that great contro- 
versy, which I did, 1. Because of the great weight of it, espe- 
cially to the present business of confirming our Christianity ; 2. 
Because, having there spoken somewhat sharply, and less expli- 
citly on this point, I was afraid lest by one I should oft'end those 
whom I intended not in that speech, and by the other become 
more liahle to misunderstanding. 

August 20th, 1655. 


I CANNOT but expect that so slender a discourse, on so weighty 
a subject, should seem to some judicious men unnecessary ; and 
that I owe them satisfaction concerning the reasons of this at- 
tempt. I confess I have many a time privately wished, and 
sometimes publicly expressed my desires, that some of the ablest 
teachers in the church would purposely undertake this weighty 
task of drawing out the chiefest arguments, for the defence of 
the christian cause and truth of Scripture, which lie scattered 
so wide in the writings of the ancients, and might afford much 
light to shame the cause of unbelievers, 1 know Marsilius 
Ficinus, Lodovicus Vives, the Lord du Plessis, especially Grotius, 
and others have done much already this way; but yet, 1 think, a 
fuller improvement may be made of their arguments, at least to 
the advantasre of those that we have now to do with. The ac- 
count that I can give of the publication of this discourse is only 
this. 1 find myself most effectually excited to action, cateris 
paribus, by the nearest objects ; but especially when they are 
the greatest as well as the nearest. It hath long grieved me to 
see how the stream of errors, that beareth down this present age, 
doth plainly lead to thegiilph of infidelity. While I only heard 
and read of infidels in the remote parts of the world, I was either 
of their judgment that thought it best not once to name, much 
less confute, so vile a sin, or at least 1 was not awakened to the 
sight, because the enemy was no nearer ; but when I perceived 
such a formidable approach, I thought it time to look about us. 
It is many years since I observed the tendency of the prevailing- 
giddiness, unriiliness, and levity of these times. When, through 
the great ignorance, looseness, or ungodly violence of too many 
ecclesiastics, the officers of Christ among us had once lost their 
authority, and were grown into contempt, the people grew sus- 
picious of almost all that they had taught them, and the proud, 
self-conceited, wanton professors did see no further need of 
guides, but contemned all that was truly government, and re- 
joiced in it as a part of their christian libertv that they were from 



under the yoke of Christ. They either chose to themselves a 
heap of teachers, or thought themselves sufficient to be their own 
guides, yea, and the teachers of others ; they take themselves 
no longer for children, and, therefore, will go to school no 
more ; they vvill be disciples of Christ, if either the name will 
serve or he will come down from heaven and teach them imme- 
diately himself; but if he must teach them by these his ministers 
or ushers, he may go look him new disciples for them. Here- 
upon this pride and passion leads them to open schism ; and 
they gather into separated societies where they may freely vent 
themselves with little contradiction, and where the spirit of 
light and unity doth seldom trouble them in their self-pleasing 
way. They now scorn that M'hich once they called ' The Church.* 
It is none of the smallest points of their zeal, nor the least piece 
of their pretended service to God, to make his messengers and 
some of his ordinances odious unto others, and to deride them 
in their conference, preaching, and prayers ; they now rejoice 
that they have got out of the supposed darkness of this or that 
error, which they suppose all the priests, as they call them scorn- 
fully by an honourable name, to be involved in. The devil and 
seducers having got them at this advantage, they are presently 
told that it is yet many more things that the priests have de- 
ceived them in, as well as these ; and so they fall upon one or- 
dinance of God after another, till they have made them think 
hardly of them all. The first of them that must be here op- 
posed is infant baptism, that their posterity may be kept more 
disengaged from Christ, and so great a part of his church may 
be unchurched, and the breach may begin where the closure and 
engagement did begin; but especially that the seducer may the 
better succeed, by beginning at a point which may hold so inuch 
disputation, and whose evidence the more dull, unexercised wits 
cannot easily discern, because the Scripture hath not spoken of 
it so expressly as they expect, or would prescribe. Here, also, 
they grow to many singularities in the Lord's supper, and other 
ordinances : singing of God's praises in David's psalms they fall 
to deride ; first, as it is done in mixed assemblies, and, next, as 
by any at all. Praying in families they account unnecessary, 
for, as in infant baptism, the proof, though plain enough to the 
humble and wise, yet is not palpable enough for them ; cate- 
chizing thev deride as superstitious forms; and teaching children 
is to make them hypocrites, because they cannot yet understand. 
Here their foolish reason controlleth tlie confessed prece))ts of 


the word. (Deut vl. and xi., Eph. vi. 4.) In doctrlnals they 
presently fall into a subdivision : the one-half of them are pela- 
gian anabaptists, the other are antinomian anabaptists ; but 
these foxes that are thus sent out to fire the harvest, are so tailed 
together for and by their joint opposition to the truth and the 
university of the church, and by their consent to an universal 
liberty or toleration, that their manifest differences disjoin not 
their posteriors, nor hinder them much from setting all their 
faces against the church of Christ. The pelagian party pro- 
ceedeth next to be Socinians ; and they find by the light of their 
benighted reason, that it was the deceit of the anti-christian 
priests that persuaded men that Christ or the Holy Ghost is God ; 
and that they may escape anti-christianity, they will deny Christ's 
Godhead, and his satisfaction for sin ; and when they have come 
so near the borders of infidelity as to make Christ and the Spirit 
to be but creatures, a little thing leads them the other step, 
even to take him with the Mahometans to be but a prophet ; 
and lastly, with the Jews and infidels, to blaspheme him as a 
deceiver. The other stream or subdivision that went the anti- 
nomian way, do often turn libertines in opinion and conversation, 
and thence turn familists, seekers, and, lately, ranters or quakers. 
And here some of them, to save their reputation, do play with 
the name of Christ and Scripture, and the life to come ; but 
when they dare speak out you may know their minds, that they 
take the Scripture to be fabulous delusions, and Christ to be an 
impostor, and the resurrection of the dead to be an idle dream. 
But where they dare not speak out, for fear of making themselves 
odious and marring all their work, their course is sometime to 
keep their opinions to themselves ; so that you may live many 
years with them and never shall know what religion they are of. 
This is the course especially of the more subtle and politic part 
of them ; and I wonder not at it, for there is nothing in their 
opinions that should induce them to be very zealous in promoting 
them. But those of them that are of hotter or less reserved 
minds do use to vent themselves more freely ; and that is com- 
monly against all our ministry, churches, and ordinances; against 
supernatural grace, and all truths of supernatural revelation, that 
they can contradict without too great suspicions, especially 
against the immortality of the soul, though that be a truth, that 
nature may reveal. Also, they will be much quarrelling with the 
Scripture, and labouring to prove it guilty of self-contradictions 
and untruths; and vilifying it as a dead letter. By. this, those 


tliat hear tlieni not j)laitilv revile Christ, may smell them out ; 
and thus the divided and suhdivided streams do all fall together 
into the gulph of infidelity, and there they are one in the depth 
of sin and misery that would not be one with the church of 
Christ, in faith, sanctity, and everlasting felicity ; though, I con- 
fess, some few I have known that have come to infidelity by a 
shorter way. 

Having the unhappy opportunity, many years ago, of dis- 
coursing with some of these, and perceiving them to increase^ 
I preached the sermons on Gal. iii., which are here first printed. 
Long after this, having again and again too frequent occasion 
to confer with some of them, the nearness and hideousness of 
this deplorable evil did very much force my thoughts that way, 
especially when I found that I fell into whole companies of 
them, besetting me at once, and with great scorn and cunning 
subtlety endeavoured to bring my special friends to a contempt 
of the Scripture and the life to come ; and also when I consi- 
dered how many of them were once my intimate friends, whom 
I cannot yet choose but love with compassion, when I remem- 
ber our former converse and familiarity : and some of them 
were ancient professors, who have done and suffered much in a 
better cause ; and whose uprightness we were all as confident of 
as most men's living on earth. All this did make the case more 
grievous to me ; yet I m.ust needs say that the most that I have 
known to fall thus far were such as were formerly so proud, or 
sensual, or giddy professors, that they seemed then but to stay 
for a shaking temptation to lay them in the dirt; and those of 
better qualifications, of whose sincerity we were so confident, 
were very few. It yet troubled me more that those of them, 
whose welfare I most heartily desired, would never be drawn to 
open their minds to me, so that I was out of all capacity of 
doing them anv good, though sometime to others they would 
speak more freelv. And when I have stirred sometime further 
abroad, 1 have perceived that some persons of considerable qua- 
lity and learning, having much conversed with men of that way, 
and read such books as ' Hobbs' Leviathan,' have been sadly 
infected with this mortal pestilence: and the horrid language 
that some of them utter cannot but grieve any one that heareth 
of it, who hath the least sense of God's honour, or the worth of 
souls. Sometimes they make a jest at Christ ; sometimes at 
Scripture ; sometimes at the soul of man ; sometimes at spirits; 
challenging the devil to come and appear to them, and professing 


how far they would travel to see him, as not believing that in- 
deed he is ; sometimes scorning at the talk of hell, and pre- 
suming to seduce poor, carnal people that are too ready to believe 
such things, telling them that it were injustice in God to punish 
a short sin with an everlasting punishment ; and that God is 
good, and therefore there cannot be any devils or hell, because 
evil caimot come from good : sometimes they say that it is not 
they, but sin that dwelleth in them ; and therefore sin shall be 
damned and not they : and most of them give up themselves to 
sensuality, which is no wonder ; for he that thinks there is no 
greater happiness hereafter to be expected, is like enough to 
take his fill of sensual pleasure while he mav have it; and, as I 
have said once before, he that thinks he shall die like a dog, is 
like enough to live like a dog. 

Being awakened by these sad experiences and considerations 
to a deeper compassion of these miserable men, but especially to 
a deeper sense of the danger of weak unsettled professors, whom 
they labour to seduce, another providence also instigating 
thereto, I put those sermons on Gal. iii. to the press ; and remem- 
bering that the end of a larger discourse on 1 John v. 10 — 12, 
was somewhat to the same purpose, I added it thereto; and 
next added the two following discourses, which were not preach- 
ed, as supposing them conducible to the same end : and though 
I am truly sensible that it is so hastv, superficial, and imperfect a 
work, as is very disagreeable to the greatness of the matter; 
yet, 1. Because of the aforesaid irritations; 2. And because 
that in so sad a combustion, every one should cast in the water 
that he hath next at hand to quench the flames ; 3. And be- 
cause I saw many others so backward to it, not only with- 
drawing their help, but some of them opposing all such endea- 
vours ; 4. And because I had begun on the same subject before, 
in the second part of the ' Saint's Rest,' and intend this but for 
a supplement to that, I thought it therefore my duty to do this 
little, rather than nothing. 

Having given this account of my endeavours, I shall add a 
few words to the persons, for whose sake 1 publish this discourse : 
and that is principally to the raw, unsettled Christians that are 
tempted by Satan or his instruments to infidelity; and also, to 
those apostates that are not unrecoverable, and have not sinned 
unto death, for of the other I have no hope. To these, my 
request is, that they would impartially read and consider what I 
have here said, and that in the reading they would so far abate 


their confidence of their opposite conceits, and so far suspect 
their own understandings, that the truth may not come to them 
upon too much disadvantage, nor find the door to be shut 
against it by pride and prejudice, but at least may have equal 
dealing at their hands. When men, that have no great reason 
to be self-confident, by any excellency of learning and height 
of understanding more than others, will still suspect the mat- 
ter, rather than their own capacity, whenever they find not that 
clearness or convincing evidence which they expect, what 
likelihood is there that these men should receive information ? 
Alas ! it is but few of the multitudes of Christians that have a 
clear knowledge of the true grounds of the christian belief. And 
then, when they hear the contradiction of seducers and are put 
to give a reason of their hopes, they are presently at a loss ; and 
when they find themselves nonplussed, they have not the reason 
or humility to lay the blame on themselves, where it is due, and 
to lament their own negligence and unprofitableness, that by so 
much means have attained to no better understanding; but 
they presently suspect the truth of God, as if it were not pos- 
sible that there should be light and they not see it; or as if there 
could be no answer given to the cavils of the adversary, because 
they themselves are unable to answer them ; and as if others 
could not untie the difficulties, or reconcile the seeming contra- 
dictions of the word, because they cannot do It. And when 
once these men are possessed with a suspicion of the Scriptures, 
almost every leaf will seem to them to afford some matter to 
increase their suspicions, and every difficulty will seem an un- 
truth ; and a thousand passages will be such difficulties to 
them, which are plain to men who are exercised in the word. 
What student Is there in law, or physic, or any science, that is 
not stalled with multitudes of difficulties at the beginning, which 
seem to him, in that his Ignorance, to be his author's self-contra- 
diction, when competent study doth show him that it was his own 
mistake. There is more necessary in the hearer to the receiving of 
truth, than in the speaker to the delivering of it : as Phocion salth, 

H AiKaia ireiOu} s t^s t« \eyovl6s e'r* Swdfj-fus, fiaWotf rj rrjirS aKsovl^ SiadfiTeus. 

'.Just persuasion proceedeth not so much from the power of the 
speaker, as from the disposition of the hearer.' (Epistle 198, 
p. 29.5.) Many old professors among us, are so much wanting 
in all that knowledge of the Scripture language and phrase and 
Jewish customs, and many other things that are necessary to 
the full understanding of Scripture, that It cannot be expected 


that they should so far be acquainted with the the meaning of 
every passage as to be able to confute the cavils of the adver- 
saries. Yea, teachers themselves are imperfect herein, and 
that after all their care and study. What a weakness is it, then, 
for men that are utterly ignorant of the sacred languages and 
most other pre-requisite helps, to think themselves capable of a 
full understanding of every difficulty in the word of God, merely 
because they have been long professors, and have often heard and 
read it. 

But perhaps they will object : ' If we are so unable to under- 
stand them, why then do you propound your reasons to us to be 
understood ?' I answer : 'We must distinguish between the un- 
derstanding of the plain, fundamental truths, and the under- 
standing of all the difficulties ; and between a natural and 
moral disability to understand ; and between the nearest power 
and a remote. And so, 1. Those may be able to understand 
the substance of Chistianity and the reasons for its verity, that 
be not yet able to understand every difficult passage in the word, 
nor to reconcile all the pretended contradictions. 2. If you can- 
not understand this substance and truth of christian religion, it 
is not through a mere physical but a moral disability, which 
much consisteth in the viciousness of your will. . If you have 
proud, self-conceited, malicious, passionate, impatient hearts 
that will not set the understanding a-work in a diligent, im- 
partial consideration of the truth ; what wonder, if you do not 
know it. 3. You are in a remote capacity to come to the 
knowledge of all those difficulties that now so puzzle you, 
though you are not in the nearest capacity. As a scholar that 
is but reading English is capable of understanding Greek and 
Hebrew, when he hath used sufficient means and waited therein 
a sufficient time, but he is not capable of understanding them 
at present ; so you are capable of fuller satisfaction in Scripture 
difficulties, if you would have waited onGod in the state of willing, 
humble, and diligent learners, and stayed the time. But if you 
will needs be persuaded that you are capable of understanding 
all the first day, while your understandings are unfurnished with 
those preparatory truths, that must necessarily dispose you to the 
reception of the rest, what wonder if you perish in your pride 
and folly ! How should you come to the top of the stairs or 
ladder but by the lower steps. 

Object. Sure, vou distrust your reasons, which makes you 
discourage us from trying them and judging of thcni. 


Answ. 1. Not at all : I only distrust the present capacity of 
your raw, unfurnished, or unsanctified understanding. Receive 
my reasons as they are, and I doubt not of their success. 2. Nor 
do I at all discourage y"u from the exactest trial, only I would 
have you try according to your own capacity. Let the tho- 
roughly learned, well-studied, sanctified man both thoroughly 
try and freely judge ; but surely the ignorant should try as 
men that know their ignorance ; and the unlearned and unstu- 
died should search as learners. There is a great deal of differ- 
ence between searching as a learner, and disputing as a caviller, 
or boldly determining as a competent judge. 

Object. We were your disciples long enough, and yet are 
unable to see any sound reason for your belief. 

Answ. It is not being at school, but diligent learning that 
bringeth knowledge. If you have been never so long professors 
and hearers, and were negligent and unprofitable, doth it follow 
that all is false that vou have not learned, or do not understand ? 
To the shame of your own faces may you speak itj if you have 
been so long professors, and never learned the true grounds and 
reasons of your profession, nor so much of the truth of christian 
religion, as might have kept you from apostasy. You will one 
day find that this was along of yourselves. 

Object. Do not you almost all confess yourselves that there is 
no proof or sound reason can be given for the christian religion 
and the truth of Scriptures ? The papists say (as Knot against 
Chillingworth) that it cannot be proved, unless it be first grant- 
ed, that there is an infallible living judge, whose infallibility may 
be proved before and without Scripture. The protestants prove 
that there is no such judge, and they say, that popery tendeth 
to infidelity; nay, do not your own divines expressly say, that it is 
not to be proved that Scripture is God's word, but to be believed ; 
and that it is Socinianism, or smells of it, to go about by reason to 
prove it ; that it is principlaia indemuiistrabile, PariTeus in Rom, 
Proleg. c. 2. p. 27.; and that it is preposterous and impious to ask, 
whence know vou Scripture to be God's word ; and a question 
not to be heard but exploded. Have you not been publicly 
told yourself, that it is the primo creditum, to be believed, and not 
to be known ; and that it is a princij^le not to be proved by any 
dispute, nor to be questioned, and that there is no disputing 
witli him that denieth it. So that you confess yourselves unable 
to dispute with us or to prove it. 

Answ. Though I am sorry that any have been occasions of liar- 

PREFAf'li. XXVlt 

deningyou by affording you the matter of this objection, yet see- 
ing you have got it by the end, as I have oft heard to my grief 
from some of your most learned friends, I shall show you the vanity 
of it : 1 . The weaknesses of men are not the weakness of our re- 
ligion, nor any proof of it. What if we be imperfect in the know- 
ledge of our own religion, yet may we infallibly know that it is 
true indeed. No men in the world are generally so ignorant and 
imperfect in their own profession of any science or art, as divines 
(yea, the best divines) are in theirs. And what of that ? Is 
divinity, therefore, the less certain or excellent? No; the 
very reason is because there is no science so sublime, mysterious, 
and transcendent as this is ; and, therefore, the science is the 
most excellent, and the professors and teachers of it are most 
highly honored by that excellency of the doctrine, though they 
be so defective in it. He that studieth things visible before his 
eyes, may see and therefore know, and yet in these things we 
are everywhere at a loss ; but who can expect that he that 
studies the nature and acts of the infinite God, and the incom- 
prehensible, invisible things of the life to come, should be perfect 
in his knowledge of them. An imperfect knowledge of these 
highest things is more excellent than the fullest knowledge of 
things below : no wonder, therefore, if divines be weak and 
oft mistaken ; and yet this is no disparagement to the truth. 

2. It is not all our divines, nor most, nor I hope many, neither, 
that say as you here object. Why, therefore, should all (vea, and 
the christian cause) be quarrelled with for the mistakes of 
some few ? 

3. And it is well known that it is in their disputations against 
some adversary that they are angry with, that most of these few 
do turn that way ; and it is too common to run into an extreme 
in the heat of contention. Are any of the ancients of that 
mind, who write so voluminously for the christian cause, as 
many of them have done ? Read ' Austin de Civitate Dei ' 
'Eusebius's Praeparatio,' and ' Demonstratio Evangelica,^ yea, 
almost any one of the fathers, and then judge. Thev that had 
to do with heathens, were not tempted to this opinion, as they 
are that have to do with papists and Socinians. And read 
almost any common-place book, or body of divinity written by 
the reformed divines, and see whether they do not largelv prove 
by sound reasons, the Scripture is the word of God ? Even 
Paraeus himself, whom you object (in 'Ursine's Catechism' p. (J,) 
hath thirteen arguments to prove the truth of our religion, 


before he comes to the witness of the Holy Ghost, as the 14th. 
Polanus is large and excellent in it, and few pass it by. Yea, 
our very catechisms contain it, as Mr. Ball's, that hath done it 
very well. So that you may see it is but very few, and those 
for the most part perverted in the heat of contentious studies, 
that think there is no sound reason to be given for the christian 
religion, or the truth of Scripture, or that we ought not to 
prove it, or that it is an indemonstrable principle, or that the 
divinity of it is the pr'imo creditum. 

4. And as for those that say, ' it is not to be questioned but 
believed', and do dissuade men from having disputes against it, 
or hearkening to temptations to doubting, I think they speak well, 
if you will understand them well. For 1. Thou must observe 
whom they speak this to : not to heathens that never had the 
light made known to them ; but to Christians that have 
already believed. 2. And you must observe what it is that they 
say ; not that Scripture is unreasonable, or that we cannot give 
sound reasons to a heathen to prove our religion, and the 
Scripture to be divine, nor that we ought not so to do, for their 
conversion ; nor yet that young Christians should not be taught 
such arguments for the strengthening of their faith, and defend- 
ing it against such as you : or that they should not study them to 
that end ; but that they should not question, that is, with 
doubt, or suspicion of the truth, which they have believed, 
whether it be truth, or not. For when God hath given sufficient 
evidence of his truth, we may study for a clearer sight of that 
evidence as learners, but we ought not to doubt of the evidence, 
or to study as neutral or jealous unbelievers ; but to abhor 
every temptation that would draw us to unbelief. We must not 
be like Balaam, that when God had told him his mind, would 
take no answer, but go on the same errand to him, after he had 
sufficient reason to be resolved. And I think it had been better 
with you, if you had met such temptations yourselves with 
abhorrence ; and if you must try them further, if you had done 
it as learners, by your teachers' help, and not have thought your 
unfurnished understandings to have been competent judges in 
such a case without the assistance which God had provided 
for you. 

5. Moreover, the learned, judicious divines that speak of our 
disability to prove to another that the Scripture is the word of 
God, do use to give you these two expository restrictions, which 
also are to be taken or implied by many that express them not: 


1 . They speak not of a defect in our evidence or in the sound- 
ness of our reasons given, as if we could not give you such 
reasons as you are bound to be convinced by, but they speak of 
the defect of your reason for the reception of our reasons ; and 
say, that through your darkness and pravity^ no reason, how 
sound soever, will satisfy you without supernatural grace. 2. They 
deny not that you may come to a common belief by the persua- 
sion of these reasons and the common help of the Spirit ; but 
only that you can have the special saving faith of the saints, 
without the Spirit's special grace. An historical belief, which is 
true in its kind, they confess you may come to by rational 
persuasions, without special grace : but not that deep and firm 
belief, which shall carry over the will effectually to God in 
Christ, and captivate the whole man into the obedience of his 

6. And as for the papists, as it is their interest and pre-en- 
gagement and contentious study, that causeth this and other 
their errors ; so in this they are not of one mind among them- 
selves, and therefore, their error is no disparagement to the 
cause of Christ. 

7. No more is the error of these on the other side, who, 
through darkness, passion, or inconsiderateness, are carried to 
takethe part of infidels against Christianity ; so far as to say, that 
we have no reason for our religion, or that it is not to be proved 
by any dispute, or that it is to be believed and not to be known 
or proved that Scripture is God's word, or that our religion is 
true. I say of them in this, as of you : we may have proof 
and full proof, though neither they nor you can see it. None 
of them all is able to confute the proofs that are brought by 
Austin, Eusebius, or the rest of the fathers for the christian 
faith ; nor to answer the apologies of Justin Martyr, Athenag- 
oras, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tcrtullian, Origen, Lactantius, 
Arnobius, Minutius Foelix, Athanasius, Cyril Alexand., with 
many more on this subject. None of these quarrelsome men 
can confute the arguments that our ordinary common-place 
books and bodies of divinity, or catechisms written by reformed 
divines, do bring to prove the Scripture to be the word of God. 
Nor the treatises of Ficinus, Lod. Vives, Mornay, Grotius, Jack- 
son, &c. that are written to that end. If either you or any 
peevish, factious men that will so far befriend you, will undertake 
such a task, I doubt not but they shall find enough to vindicate 
the christian cause and doctrine, and to manifest their error» 


For my own part, I am willing to give to contenders the last 
words in the most evident points, which are not of necessity to 
salvation. J have seen so nuich the fVuit of disputations, and 
what an intolerable provocation it is to some men to be contra- 
dicted, and how strongly it tcmpteth them to passion, untruth, 
and palpable injustice, and the disadvantage of the clearest 
reasons, when prejudice is to encounter them, that I shall be as 
little in contradiction of such impatient souls as 1 can ; and if 
they will maintain that homo is not aninial rationale, if they 
enforce it not against spirituals, I shall give them the day. 
But yet while God gives me life, and abilitv, and opportunity, 1 
undertake to make good against them or you, that there is 
sound proof to be given of the two principles of our faith, viz. : 
that God is true, and that Scripture is his word ; and that these 
are first, in true order of nature, to be known, before they are to 
be believed^'^e d'wina, though a human faith is usually prepara- 
tory, and that we are not unfurnished of solid arguments to 
deal with a heathen or infidel, or to establish a tempted Christian 
in the faith ; and that he that will tell an infidel, or tempted 
Christian, or a papist, or any adversary of our churches, that we 
have no sound reason to be Christians rather than infidels, and 
that we have no solid proof that Scripture is God's word, shall 
deal liker a b^rayer than a preacher of the word of the Gospel, 
and is imfit to preach to the unbelieving world. And if any of 
you that are infidels are encouraged by their conceits, I tell 
you, we shall easily manifest the vanity of such conceits, whether 
they are from you or them. 

Object. But it is not only these few, but the most of you are 
disagreed among yourselves, on what grounds or reasons you 
take the Scriptures to be the word of God. Though most of you 
say, in general, that you have sufficient reasons for it ; yet, when 
you come to manifest them, how many minds are you of? That 
which to one seems an irrefragable reason, another doth con- 
temn ; so that all of them are slighted by one party or other. 
The papists' reason is from the authority of their infallible 
church. The protestants, some of them say that Scripture is as 
the sun that is seen by its own light ; and so our belief of it is 
resolved into itself. Others fetch their reasons from the at- 
testation of miracles ; others resolve all into the private testi- 
iiionv or revelation of the Spirit. You know more than one 
have told you lately that we cannot believe this by a divine 
faith, but by the testimony of God : nor must we fetch this tes- 


timony out of the Scriptures ; for tins were to believe the Scrip- 
tures before we believe them : therefore the ground is the wit- 
ness of Cod to our spirits. The witness of God to their spirits, 
they say, is the first ground on which their faith is built, and this 
is by a secret causing us to believe, and so some truth is believed 
without reason. 

Answ.^l. I have before given you my answer, as to the pa- 
pists, and those few of our own that run into such extremes. 
All arguments be not weak, which some men dare deny. Is not 
the highway right except every man hit it? A drunken man 
may go beside it, and a wise man that is not used to it may 
miss it, or by credulity may be turned by others out of his way ; 
and yet the way may be right and plain too for all that. Will 
you think nothing certain in philosophy, because philosophers 
are of so many minds ; or will you renounce all physicians be- 
cause they ordinarily disagree ; or, as one saith, if a Londoner 
have a journey into the country, which his life lieth on, will he 
not go his journey because the clocks disagree ; or will he not 
set on till all the clocks in London strike at once, or will never 
give any credit to a clock till then ? 

2. Our divines disagree not so much as you pretend. Their 
ordinary judgment is this, which we shall easily make good 
against your opposition, that Scripture hath not sensible evi- 
dence, or the things believed are not evident; but yet there is 
sufficient evidence of the verity of them, in that it is evidently 
proveable, that God is the Author of that word, and that God 
cannot lie : that our evidence objective of the divinity of Scrip- 
tures is partly the internal light of their own perfections, 
partly in providential attestations, especially miracles, and partly 
in the effects : that the Holy Ghost, by special inspiration, 
was the Author of these Scriptures, and by extraordinary en- 
dowments was the Author of those miracles which were wrought 
for its confirmation, and is also the Author of the faith of the 
believer, and having wrought that faith and the rest of God's 
image, the cff"ect is a further argument to confirm the faith that 
was wrought before : but yet they say not that the Holy Ghost 
doth cause men to believe without any evidence ; which were to 
see without light, or to know or believe that which is no object 
of assent. There is evidence of truth in Scripture, and there 
are sound reasons for the christian faith, before the Holy Ghost 
persuades men to believe them. The Holy Ghost is not sent to 
cure the Scripture of obscurity or any defect, but to cure men's 


eyes of blindness that cannot see that which is visible to seeing 
men. The Spirit is not given to make our religion reasonable, 
but to make sinners reasonable, in habit and act, for the be- 
lieving it. The Spirit, therefore, is not first any objective cause 
of our belief, unless you speak of the Spirit in the apostles or 
others, and not in men's selves, but it is the efficient cause ; nor 
doth he cause us to believe by enthusiasm, or without reason, 
but he works on man as man, and causeth him to believe no- 
thing but what is credible ; and his causing us to believe is by 
showing us the credibility of the thing, or the evidence of the 
truth to be believed, and elevating the soul to the belief thereof. 
And for those that contradict this, it may suffice me now to 
tell you that their singular opinion is no disparagement to the 
Scripture, or the christian cause. If they will either make the 
Spirit to cause an act without its object, that is, faith without 
apparent reasonable credibility in the thing believed, or if they 
will make the first work of faith to be enthusiastical, and intro- 
duce a constancy of new revelations ; if they will assign such a 
work to the Holy Ghost of their own heads, beyond the work 
which Scripture assigneth, which was so to inspire the penmen 
of Scripture, that it may be a sufficient revelation, and then to 
illuminate men's understandings by a cure of their depravity, 
that so they may believe, and effectually to excite the heart 
thereto, if they will accuse the Scripture of being an insufficient 
revelation, or if they will accuse the christian verity of unrea- 
sonableness, or being a doctrine that hath no proof j if they will 
profess that we have no rational means to confute or convince 
an infidel, nor to confirm a tempted professor of Christianity; 
if they will tell all infidels that we can give them no such sound 
reasons for our faith, as should bind them to believe, by making 
it their duty, and condemn them if they believe not ; but will 
justify all such infidels from being guilty on that accv^unt; if 
they will say that natural verities are not presupposed to those 
of supernatural revelations, and may not afford some proof of 
our principles of faith ; if they will unavoidably cast themselves 
into the circle which the papists, falsely, charge upon protest- 
ants in general, but is the case but of these few, to wit, to prove 
by the Spirit that Scripture is God's word, and to prove by 
Scripture that this is God's Spirit, circularly ; or if they will 
teach men to be enthusiasts, and to plead new revelations and 
witnesses of the Spirit, of which they can give no proof that 
they are of God ; if they will tell n^en of a Spirit, which is not 


to be tried by the word whether it be of God or not, seeing its 
testimony must be believed before we believe the word ; if they 
will contradict themselves, and make two first credibles, that is, 
Scripture to be God's word, and that it is God's Spirit that wit- 
nessethit; if they will deny that honour to the Scripture to be 
'propter se credibile, and yet give the same honour to the testi- 
mony which they say they have from the Spirit ; if they will 
cross the experience of all those Christians that know of no in- 
spiration or testimony of the Spirit which caused them to see a 
truth without any persuading objective evidence, but caused 
them to believe, because they believe ; seeing no more reason, at 
the same time, why they should believe, than why they should 
not believe ; finally, if indeed they see no reason why they are 
or should be Christians themselves, nor can give to him that ask- 
eth them a reason of their hope; I say, if all this be so with 
them, it is not so with me ; it is not so with other reformed 
divines ; it was not so with the ancient fathers of the church that 
confuted the infidels ; nor was it so with the apostles who made 
full proof of their doctrine to the world, and set to that seal 
that is not yet void or taken away. You may see these men suf- 
ficiently confuted by our divines, especially by Rob. Baronius 
cow^ra Turnebull, and Thes. Salmuriens. de S. Script, et Testim. 
Spir. For their quarrels with us, we leave them till we shall 
meet them in the presence of that God whose light will effect- 
ually dispel all our darkness and reconcile our differences, and 
mollify our angry, self-conceited minds, and where it shall be 
known which of us was in the wrong. 

But as to all the friends of infidelity, as we have showed you 
already such reasons of our belief as will convince you, or con- 
demn you, so are we ready yet to produce more. We undertake 
not to cure your prejudice, or blindness, or sensual opposition to 
the word of God, or proud arrogancy that causeth you to cen- 
sure the word which you should learn, and therefore we under- 
take not to cause you to believe. And for those of you that have 
done despite to the Spirit of grace, we have little hope that ever 
you should be true believers ; but yet we undertake to produce 
such reasons for our religion as should wholly prevail with a rea- 
sonable man ; and I dare say there are such, even in this imper- 
fect discourse, which here I offer you ; but much more by the 
more judicious, and upon more deliberation, may be said. 

Object. You niiigiiify your own reasons, but you know otiier 
men of your own religion do vilify them, and maintain them to 



be insufficient. You know who saith of you and your reasons, 
' Tliere are some who lav much, if not too much, upon univer- 
sal tradition;' a thing hardly known, for certain, by any, but 
almost impossible to be known to the many : and yet you expect 
that we should be moved by that which we cannot know. 

Answ. 1 magnify the word of God, and its certainty, and the 
soundness of those reasons which God affordeth us to prove that 
certainty, but not my own reasonings in the managing of them. 
That writer doth not there expressly invalidate any argument 
that I use. He saith, ' Perhaps I give too much to that tradi- 
tion ;' but tells not you or me wherein. I have told you how 
much I give to it, as plainly as I can speak, in the preface be- 
fore the three last editions of the second part of the ' Saint's 
Rest.' We use not the word ' universal,' for that which hath 
the consent of all men in the world, no more than I mean all 
the world by the universal church. But that which is opposed 
to the private tradition of the Romanists, and hath a certain 
moral universality, and is built, as to the certainty, upon com- 
mon, rational, and natural grounds, and not on the Romish pre- 
tended authority, or infallibility. If none can know a history or 
tradition of this nature, then can no Englishman know whether 
the laws of this land, which he saw not made, l)e indeed such 
laws, or mere forgeries : and so his estate and life must depend 
upon tliat which, for ought he knoweth, hath nothing to do with 
him. In vain, then, do we cite our disputations with the papists, 
the writings of Austin, Aquinas, Bellarinine, or the Council of 
Trent, Constance, Basil, &:c. For how know we that any of 
these be their writings, or that ever there were such a thing as 
the Council of Trent, or ever such men as Austin, Aquinas, or 
Bellarmine, in the world. If the papists quarrel with Luther, 
Melancthon, and the Augustin Confession, we will not tell them 
it is uncertain whether ever there were such a man as Luther or 
Melancthon, or such a thing as that confession. No ; we are 
certain, I say certain, of these things. Unlearned men may, 
ordinarily, be certain of them. We have yet fuller and clearer 
tradition to ascertain us that this Scripture was delivered down 
from the apostles, as I have showed elsewhere. 

I would n(jt be he that should so much wrong the christian 
cause, and strengthen the l.ands of infidels, as to deny or ques- 
tion the certainty of this infallible tradition, by which the 
Scripture hath been brought down to our hands, for more than 
I will now speak of. When I have heaid somebody tell me bet- 


ter than I have yet been told, how we shall know which books 
of Scripture are canonical without this tradition, I should the 
less set by it. Have we a certainty of the canonical books, or 
have we none ? If we have none, then who can say of one par- 
ticular book, 'This is God's word, or this is true ?' And if we 
know not any one book to be canonical, then it is almost all one 
to us, as if we knew not that there is any canonical at all. Nor 
can we comfort ourselves, or confute an adversary effectually 
from the Scripture. If we do know certainly some books to be 
canonical, it is either by the certainty of tradition, joined with 
the characters of excellency in that book, or by those characters 
alone, or some other way. If, by the bare inspection of the 
books, and the witness of the Spirit, tlien 1 will appeal to all 
that have the Spirit, whether they could have known by the 
Spirit, without such tradition, that the prophecy of Jonas, 
Nahum, Haggai, &c., were any more canonical than Baruch ? 
or Eccle:?iastes than the wisdom of Solomon ? We are certain 
enough which is Homer's Iliad, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Virgil's 
yEneid, Seneca's Epistles, Cicero's and Demosthenes' Orations, 
to this day ; much more Cleonard's, Cambden's, or Lilly's 
Grammar, which our schools preserve. And v/hy may we nut 
be as certain of those sacred writings, of which the church hath 
been always so careful, and had preachers to publish them, and 
weekly assemblies to hear tliem, through the christian world ? 
If we may be sure that we have Mahomet's Alcoran by tradition, 
why may we not be sure by it that we have true writings of the 
apostles, and the Gospel of Christ ? But I have said enough of 
these matters in the following discourse. 

I shall only conclude with these two requests to two sorts of 
people, to whom I now speak. 

I. To those that are but haunted with temptations to infidel- 
ity, but not yet quite overcome. In the name of God, make 
not light of such hideous injections : meet them not but with 
dread and detestation : wrong not the grace of God and all the 
discoveries that he hath made to you of his truth, so much 
as to entertain Satan into a free dispute against it, upon e([ual 
terms ; and be sure that you be not arrogantly confident of the 
competency of your understandings to deal with those difficulties 
which are the ground of the temptations ; but make out for 
help to some able, experienced divine. You may perceive by the 
ujalice against God, by the importunity and tendency of the 
temptation, that it is certainly of the devil, and to be regarded 

D 2 


accordingly. Your studying to increase your apprehensions of 
the evidence of christian truth, and to be stablished in the faith, 
and able to defend it, is not your sin ; but all the suspicions 
and doubts of the truth of Scripture, whicli in those studies you 
are guilty of, are your sin. To be tempted is common to the 
good and bad ; to be imperfect in believing was the case of the 
disciples, who said, ' Lord, increase our faith ;' but to be over- 
come by the tempter, would be your everlasting undoing. Play 
not, then, with such motions and cogitations, as may be your 
utter ruin, but you are sure beforehand, can never, but by the 
conquest over them, do you any good. If you suffer the devil 
to be still stirring in your fantasies, and raising doubts of the 
truth of your end, what a lamentable clog will it be to you in 
your way. What a cooler in all duties, and a destroyer of your 
comforts in life and at death. 

2. And for those that are already apostatized from the faith, 
though I have but little hope to be heard, I shall earnestly crave 
thus much at their hands, which'they themselves may perceive to be 
but a reasonable request: that they will be at so much pains, before 
^they adventure any further, as to open their minds to some able 
minister, and to hear but what can be said against them ; and 
that without prejudice, passion, or scorn, with meekness and 
willingness to know the truth. Though 1 abhor your sin, yet 
the Lord knoweth that it is unfeigned love and compassion to 
your souls that causeth me to make this motion to you. Your 
condition is no grief to you, because you believe not your ap- 
proaching misery. The beast that knoweth not the butcher's 
mind, is as careless within an hour of his death, as if no harm at 
all were near him. But would you have a man that knows your 
danger and the terrors of the Lord to have no more pity on you 
than vou have of yourselves. The Lord knows, I have oft, with 
a sad lamenting heart, looked on and thought of some in this 
condition, who have formerly been my familiar friends, and 
gone with us in company to the house of God, and seemed 
to be of us ; though since they are gone from us ; to think 
what everlasting calamity is near them, Avhile they least fear 
it, or are most confident in their unbelief. Alas ! it is no 
deliverance from danger to imagine that there is no danger. 
Your unbelief shall not frustrate the threatenings of God, but 
bring them on you. God's word will prove true, whether you 
believe it or not. It is merely your own ignorance and present 
incapacity of understanding the Scripture, that makes you first 


suspect them as improbable, and afterwards reject them as false, 
and afterwards fall to scorn them as ridiculous. How certainly do 
I know, that God will shortly show you your mistakes, and make 
you know that the crookedness was in your conceptions, but his 
word was straight : that you should rather have suspected your 
shallow wits, than his sacred word ; and that it was your own 
imaginations that were false and ridiculous, but the word was true. 
When God hath set open to you the plain meaning of that word, 
which you censured by misunderstanding it, you will be asham- 
ed of that folly, which now you take to be your wisdom. At 
present 1 shall but propound these questions to your serious 
consideration : 

1. Was it not by a way of sin that you came to your unbe- 
lief; and is that like to be true and right which men are led to 
by their wickedness ? I have known few come to your case 
but by one of these two ways : either by wounding their con- 
sciences by some secret wickedness, so that they could not quiet 
them but by believing that there is no punishment ; or else by 
proud self-conceitedness and separation. 

2. May you not perceive that it is the devil that hath ticed 
you into this snare, by the cause that it befriendeth, and the 
tendency of it to the strengthening of his kingdom and increase 
of wickedness, by the manner of the temptation, and the direct 
opposition to God and all goodness ? 

3. Do you not sin against the light of nature when you con- 
tradict the common principles of mankind ? Almost all the 
heathens and infidels on earth do believe that there is a life to 
come, where it shall go ill with the wicked and well with the 
righteous; even the savage Indians, that have had no notice of 
supernatural revelations, do commonly believe this ; and whence 
should the world, that never heard of the Gospel, have the 
knowledge of this, but from nature itself ? In denying, there- 
fore, the life to come, and the different estates therein, you go 
against the light of nature and common principles of the world. 

4. But if you believe an everlasting state of happiness or 
misery, must there not be some way to that happiness ? And 
what religion in the world doth show you that way with any 
probability, but the christian religion ? We are sine that there 
is a true religion : tuul we are sure that heathenism, Judaism, 
and Mahometanism, are false or insufficient religions, and tlieie- 
fore it must be the christian religion, 

0. Is it likely that God should make so intelligent a creature, 


that is capable of doing him perpetual honour, for the mere mo- 
mentary business of this life ; or, rather, to join him to those 
spiritual natures that shall attend him to everlasting ? 

6. Doth not God actually govern the world by the hopes and 
the fears of another life ? This is past ([uestion, by the world's 
common experience : lower things have a lower place; but it 
is the hope of happiness, or fear of misery everlastingly, that is 
the principal instrument of the government of mankind. 
Without this, all would soon come to ruin and confusion. 
Name one commonwealth on earth, that hath been governed 
and kept up without this ; and certainly God needs not a lie 
to rule men by : he can rule his creature without false promises 
or threatenings, without the means of false hopes or fears : of 
which more anon. And why should he give him a nature 
unsatisfied with things below, and looking after everlasting 
things, and fearing everlasting misery, if there were no such 
things ? The brutes have no such thoughts of a world to come, 
nor trouble themselves with hopes or fears about it, nor are 
governed by such means. And why ? but because they were 
never intended for such an end. Certainly that creature must 
be ordinated to an everlasting end, who is ruled by his Creator 
in the hopes and fears of an everlasting end. 

7. Is it not certain that God is the Governor of the world ? 
Had there been no creator, there had been no creature. For 
earth and stones, or beasts or men, are not things likely to make 
themselves ; nor can that which is nothing make itself to be 
something : for by what power should nothing cause any thing ? 
And if God made the world, he must needs, as having the only 
right and sufficiency, be the chief Ruler of the world ; and if he 
must be their Ruler, he must actually rule ; and if he must rule, 
he must rule with justice, and justice makes an equal difference 
between the obedient and disobedient (v/hich we see in this life, 
is far from being accomplished) : when even death itself is 
suffered by the obedient, because they will not disobey. And 
whether justice do not tell us, that there must be an everlasting 
happiness or misery, to them whose natures are formed to an 
expectation of it, by the Creator himself, and whose lives 
are managed by such expectations, 1 leave to consideration. 

S. Are they not apparently the worst men on earth, and the 
likest unto brutes, that are nearest to your mind ? And are not 
Christians, for all their faults, the wisest and the best men on 
earth ? There is very little of the world that believe not in 


Christ, but what is notoriously vicious, if not barbarous. And 
it there be any part of America, that ackiiowledgeth not the 
hfe to come, it is those that are man-eating cannibals, or so 
savage as that they seem almost to have unmanned themselves. 

9. Doth not your own conscience sometime stir and gripe 
you, and teil you that yet there is somewhat within you that 
beareth witness to your capacity of an everlasting state ? 

10. Lastly, should not the least probability of a matter of 
such moment as everlasting joy or misery is, persuade a man of 
reason to let go all the pleasures of sin, rather than lose but 
such a possibility of everlasting happiness, or venture on such a 
probability of everlasting misery ? Are you sure that there is no 
such thing ? Are you sure that you shall die as a beast ? I do 
not think you dare say so. What then will become of you, if your 
conjectures prove false ? as most certainlv they will. ^Vhat if 
there be a heaven to lose, and a hell to suffer ; and you will 
not believe it till you feel it : where are you then r You might 
have been sure that you could lose but little, if vou had followed 
Christ, but a little sensual, transitory pleasure, which no man 
ever repented of losing, when he was dead. But you are not 
sure but you may lose everlasting felicity, and suffer everlasting 
misery, by your rejecting Christ : which of these two then is 
the wiser bargain, or better beseems a reasonable man ? 

To conclude, if you have not yet * blasphemed the Holy Ghost, 
or so far forsaken God as to be quite forsaken of him, nor trod- 
den under foot the blood of the covenant as an unholy thing, so 
far as that Ciirist will leave you to yourselves, 1 may -hope to 
prevail with you to set seriously to the work, and make a more 
diligent and inipartial in(iuiry into the grounds of the christian 
faith; and, among other means, that you will read, consideratelv, 
this book with that whereof it is a supplement, viz., the second 
part of the ' Saint's Rest,' and ' Grotius, of the TriUh of the 
Christian Religion,' now translated into English ; and if any 
thing in the reading seem uusatisfaciorv, that you will debate the 
case with some that are j\idifious, and do not conclude incon- 
siderately and peremptorilv against that w!;ich vou never tho- 
roughly understood ; as, also, that you will beg, bv earnest 

* yVsto t!:e nature of the sin iiJuiiist the Jinlv (JliO.-t, hesi'ip-; the consent of 
the Aitheis, ill tlie main exfifessed in the thini part; see mi 10i.i:jtle dt" Pliocion, 
fully to tiie same sense aiid pii!])ose. Inter. P.j.ifit. ejn.s., p. UiT, 16?). Kpis-t. \'-27 . 
Ami against Jnliiui's and otJK r a; estates' aeeusations of Chi isl's law s ; see an 
excellent distouiae, ib. p. i75. Epist. 187. Xeiro<^ipai 'Ao-7r«6apia). 


prayer, the assistance of God, to acquaint you with the truth, 
for I suppose you yet to beheve that there is a God. If you are 
given up to so much contempt of God and your own souls, that 
you will not be at thus much labour for your information, or 
while you read you will strive against the light, and rather proudly 
disdain than faithfully consider, and humbly learn the things 
which you understand not } I have discharged my conscience j 
take that you get by it. 

A lamenter of the apostasies, non-proficiency, and conten- 
tiousness of these times, 


August 14, 1655. 





Gal. iii. 1, 2. 

" Oh, foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye 
should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath 
been evidently set forth, crucified among you .?" 

" This only would I learn of you. Received ye the Spirit by 
the worhs of the law, or by the hearing of faith ?" 

Nothing is more necessary to the understanding of the 
apostle's meaning, than first to know the question that he 
disputes of; and to that end we must know whom he disputes 
against, which was those or such hke false teachers which are 
spoken of in the fifteenth of the Acts, as many passages in 
this epistle would easily manifest, if we thought it needed proof. 
The doctrine which they taught, was, that it was needful to be 
circumcised, and to keep the law of Moses, and that to salva- 
tion. That they taught not only circumcision, but the whole 
law, is evident, verse 5. That they made it necessary to salva- 
tion, is plain, verse 1 ; yet these men did not deny Christ, nor 
teach men to do so directly. The converted Jews were so great 
honourers of their law, as knowing it was of divine ordination, 
and their fathers had been so severely chastised for the breach 
of it, and so many prophets had been sent to confirm it, that 
thev thought that doctrine could not be true which taught them 
to reject tiie law, or maintained the abrogation of it : on the 
other side, they were so convinced by the miracles of Chrir,t and 
his apostles, that tlie testimony of Christ was true, and that he 
came from God, that they could not disbelieve him, nor reject 
his doctrine. It must be confessed that their trial was great 
in this strait, seeing all loyal subjects of God should not rashlv 
believe an abrogatioii of his law. In this great )ierplexity, not 
finding cut the right way, they resolve to join both together j 

THE spirit's witness TO 

the law they thought they must keep, for they were sure God 
had ordained and commanded it : Christians they must needs 
be, for they could not resist the light of the doctrine and glo- 
rious miracles that were wrought ; therefore, they would keep 
the law, and yet continue Christians. Their great mistake was 
in not understanding the nature, and meaning, and use of the 
law. They thought, that as it commanded them such a task 
of duty, so the doing of that duty must needs be pleasing to 
God ; and consequently that man must needs be held most 
righteous that most exactly kept that law ; for God could not 
choose but love and justify them that kept his own law. Where, 
note, that it was not, 1 . Out of self admiration principally, or 
a conceit of any excellency of works as works, that was the 
root of their error, but it was an admiration and b.onouring of 
the law of God, thinking that it were a derogation from its 
perfection, to say either that it was useless as to justify men, 
or that it was not a way, yea, a perfect way to life and happi- 
ness : 2. You must note carefully, that it is not the law as 
delivered to Adam, which the apostle or these Galatians here 
spake of, which supposed the subject to be perfectly innocent, 
and, therefore, that it was not perfect obedience without any 
sin that these Jews did look to be justified by, for they could not 
be so blind as to think they had no sin, for then they would 
never have offered sacrifice for expiation of it, nor have confessed 
sin, nor prayed for pardon, which it is certain the Jews did use 
to do, but they thought, that though they were sinners, yet by 
the obeying this law of Moses God's wrath would be appeased : 
that is, partly by their sacrifices, which they thought did ex- 
piate sin of themselves, as being a sufficient means, through the 
virtue of God's ordination and mercy for that end, and partly 
by returning to obedience again : so that they took not this to 
be a law of perfect works made to perfect man, as the only con- 
dition of his salvation, as Adam's law v.as, l)ut a law of perfect 
obedience for the future, vet not as the only condition of life, 
but prescribing a course, in the use whereof God would paidou 
their sins, if they obeyed sincerely ; or, as Paul Burgens. on 
Jam. saith of his countrvmen. the Piiarisees, that their opinion 
was, that he was righteous, whose obedience wiis more than his 
disobedience, and the contrarv unrighteous. The root of their 
error, therefore, was, that they looked only at the task of duty 
prescribed by the law, as if it meant that the bare doing of it 
should justify them, and procure pardon, especially their sacri- 


fices and other ceremonies ; and did not look at the promise, 
which was a thing distinct from the law ; nor yet at the meaning 
of these sacrifices and ceremonies, which secretly directed them 
to look for pardon and justification by Christ : they took up 
with the letter and immediate sense of the law, and did not 
understand the end of it : they knew not that Christ was the 
end of the law to every one that believed. The justification 
that they looked for, did not consist in perfect obedience, as 
Adam's did, and should have done, (those mistake that think 
so,) but partly in their obedience to Moses's law, and partly in 
God's merciful pardoning them for and upon the mere use of 
sacrifices, and the like ceremonies. They did not look to be 
justified or saved without mercy and pardon, but to have mercy 
and pardon by their task of legal duties, as such, and as the only 
and sufficient means : so that their error lay in the excluding 
the use of Christ and faith. They saw not that these sacrifices 
were but types of Christ, and had all their virtue from the sa- 
crifice of Christ, which was then undertaken, and in moral being, 
though not in natural being, or performed : not that these 
Jews that were before Christ should not use sacrifices and cere- 
monies ; nor yet that they should not expect ever the more 
acceptance from God upon the use of them, for certainly God 
appointeth no duty or means in vain. But, 1. They should 
have understood, that Christ's sacrifice was the thing typified ; 
2. And that from hence they were to expect the pardon of all 
their sins, as the meritorious cause ; and from these sacrifices 
and ceremonies, but only as the most inferior, remote conditions 
on their part, i. e. as the matter of the law, wherein they were 
required to be sincerely obedient ; 3. And that faith in Christ, 
1. As promised; 2. As typified in these ceremonies, was the 
principal condition on their part required for obtaining pardon 
and justification by Christ to come ; and therefore they should 
have believed the more easily in Christ when he was come, in 
that they might see their law in him fulfilled ; and they should 
have understood that it was but a temporary law, and was to 
cease when the Messiah was come. It scarce needed any abro- 
gation, because there was a clear cessation when the end was 
accomplished, and the term expired, of which tlie Messiah did 
give them full assurance. Much less should thev have been so 
tenacious of it, when the apostles had so fully cleared to them 
the cessation. 

1 have thought it necessary to open this the more carefully to 
you, because it is most necessary to the understanding of Paul's 


epistles, and especially about the doctrine of justification, to know 
well what he means by the law, for else yo\i cannot know what 
he means by works ; and certainly you will find that he means 
most commonly the law of Moses, and not the law as given to 
Adam, prescribing perfect obedience to a perfect creature, as the 
only condition of life, and knowing no pardon ; and that he speaks 
not of any such justification as excludeth pardon, but contrary. 
It is a wonderful hard, yet very necessary question, what form 
this law of Moses had, and to what use it was, and how different 
from that of nature, and that of Christ and pure grace. Camero 
hath taken most pains in it ; but I will not now say any more 
of that than I have done. 

So then the question here debated was : Whether the keeping 
of Moses's law were necessary to justification and salvation, and 
therefore to be joined with Christianity. 

Against this, Paul had before disputed by several arguments ; 
and here, in the beginning of this chapter, having a sensible 
argument to urge upon them, which none that had the free use 
of reason could resist, he ushers it in with a sharp and confident 
exprobration, calling them foolish or mad ; and asking them, 
who had bewitched them. Sec. As if he had said, 'When men are 
blind and err against their own sense and experience, it is a 
mark they are mad and bewitched by some power of an evil 
spirit : but so it is with you,' &c. 

Thereupon, in the words of my text he challengeth them to 
answer but this one argument: That doctrine and way is the 
right doctrine and way of salvation, by which ye received the 
Spirit ; for the Spirit is an unquestionable seal of the doctrine. 
But it was not by the works of the law that ye received the 
Spirit, but by the hearing of faith. Therefore, &c. 

The words contain, 1. Paul's confidence in this particular 
argument, having the nature of a challenge to them, to answer 
it if they can : this one thing would I learn of you, &c. 

2. The argument itself propouiided interrogatively and dilem- 
matically, as Christ did by the Jews about John the Baptist, that 
so while they were studying an answer they miglit perceive their 
error; as if he .'hould have said, either you received the Spirit 
])y the works of the law, or by f;iith ; not by the law, therefore 
by faith. 

Here are several terms to 1)e o])ene(i : 1. \\'hat is meant by 
the works of the law? 2. What by the hearing of faith ? 3. By 
the Spirit ? Of which briefly in oidcr. 

1. I have said as mucli alreadv to the former as I shall now 


say 5 that is to say, that it is the works of Moses's law. But if 
any shall ask, 1. Was it the ceremonial, or the moral ? I an- 
swer, both. All the law of Moses, but more principally the 

Q. But faith of Christ is part of the moral law, therefore it 
cannot be of that. 

A. The moral law, commanding the duty of the law of 
nature, is but part of a law, commonly called the matter, by 
divines, and not the whole law ; and it is, 1 . Part of the matter 
of the law given to Adam ; 2. Part of the matter of the law of 
Moses ', 3. Part of the matter of Christ's new law. Now Paul 
speaks of it here not as the law of Christ, nor directly as the law 
made to Adam, but as the law given by Moses ; and so even 
the moral law perhaps may fitly enough be said to be abrogated 
or ceased, though the same moral law, as part of Christ's law, 
still be in force, and I think as part of the first law of nature. 

Quest. Doth not Paul argue against justification by the works 
of the law of nature, as well as of Moses ? Answ. Not directly, 
but by consequence he concludeth against it : I mean, his argu- 
ment will hold « fortiori against justification by the law to 
Adam ; for if that law cannot justify, which was given to sin- 
ners, as sinners, and hath in it a way prescribed for pardon, 
much less will that now justify, which was given to man as in- 
nocent and perfect, and knows no pardon of sin. 

2. By the hearing of faith is meant the hearing and so re- 
ceiving of the doctrine of faith, or doctrine of Christ; not that 
hearing is here put for preaching, as Erasmus thought, which 
Beza well confuteth; but hearing implieth believing or obeying 
the doctrine heard ; for all that hear, or to whom the word is 
preached, believe not, and so have not the Holy CJhost, but those 
that so hear as to believe and obey ; and therefore Grotius 
gathers hence, tliat the Holy Ghost is not given but to minds 
vet purified, which is his frequent observation, which yet needs 
much explication and caution, and might more clearly in the 
right sense be gathered from other texts. 

3. But the great question here is, what is meant by ' Holy 
Ghost ?' Calvin modestly leaves it undetermined : Paraeus thinks 
it is rather meant of the Spirit of sanctification than the gifts of 
miracles : Deodate and many others, conclude truly, it is not to 
be wholly restrained to eitlicr ; nor either wholly excluded. I 
think it is meant of that eminent measure of the Spirit, proper 
to Gospel times which Christ gave his disciples j but especially 


for working of miracles, and speaking with tongues, which was 
proper to that age for the confirmation of his doctrine. 

It is a great difficulty, 1 confess, to understand wliat is meant 
by the Holy Ghost in many texts of Scripture, which promise it 
to believers, or which mention the giving it after believing ; 
because faith itself is certainly a gift of the Holy Ghost. For 
the resolving this briefly, understand, that operations on the 
soul are ascribed sometimes to the Father, sometimes to the Son, 
according to the several seasons of working and states of men 
when it is given, and covenants under which it is given. It was 
the Spirit of God as Creator, or of the Father according to 
Scripture-speech, wliich Adam had in innocency : but it is not 
called the Spirit of Christ the Redeemer. After the fall and 
promise Christ was made Head of all, upon his undertaking, and 
so did send forth his Spirit ; but according to the infancy of the 
Church, and the obscure way of then revealing the Gospel, it 
was in so low a degree, that it is not so frequently nor plainly 
called the Spirit of Christ. As the grace of Christ, and the 
glory of heaven are revealed very darkly there ; so is the Spirit's 
working, which leads thereto. Yet was there then so much of 
the Redeemer's Spirit, that is, of recovering grace given, as 
might and did suffice to save men ; but there was a greater 
fulness of the Spirit promised in the time of the Gospel, and 
given when Christ was ascended to glory. This is called the 
Spirit sent by Christ from the Father ; or by the Father at the 
intercession of Christ, and the Spirit of the Son. So that as 
now the Son doth more visibly receive his power, and more 
clearly manifest his office and commission, and show men their 
duty ; so he now more openly owneth all the works of grace, 
tending to the recovery of simiers. And so he giveth such a 
further and a fuller measure of the Spirit, for sanctification and 
for gifts, and for the service of the church, that is by an excel- 
lency called the Spirit of Christ : so that though there were a 
Spirit before, yet this fuller measure is properly called the Spirit 
of Christ : because it is that measure which is given by Christ 
come in the flesh, and was not given before under the law. So 
that here is the first reason why it is called the Spirit of Christ, 
as it is meant of the Spirit of sanctification. And it seemeth 
that faith goes beTore this gift of the Spirit : that is, by the 
help of the word preached, and God's ordinary means, men may 
be brought to believe by that degree of the Spirit that before 
was given to the church. 


And therefore it is called the drawing of the Father, " No man 
can come to me, except the Father draw him;" (John vi. 44 ;) but 
when they do beheve, the fuller measure is given them. Or else, 
as Mr. Hooker saith, ' We must distinguish between the Spirit's 
entrance into the soul ; and its stablishment or abode tliere. 
The giving of faith,' saith he, ' is but the Spirit's making its way 
into the heart (as some birds make their way into a hard tree, 
where they will make tiieir nest, and breed their young) ; but 
when faith is given or wrought there, then the Holy Ghost may 
be said to be and dwell within us.' Or else, as Rivet against 
Grotius saith, 'we must distinguish the habit and act'. The act 
of faith, he thinketh, is the first thing that the Spirit worketh : 
itself being instead of a habit, and when it hath brought the 
soul to believe actually, afterwards come in these habits of 
grace, which are called the Holy Ghost given ; or as the sun at 
its rising sending forth its beams before it. This is the ordinary 
doctrine, which, I confess, I have been more against formerly 
than now I am. 

2. Besides this sanctifying Spirit of Christ, proper to Gospel 
times, there is also a miraculous pouring out of the Spirit, 
proper to the first age of the church, enabling men to work 
miracles, and speak with tongues. This was given purposely to 
confirm Christ's testimony to the world, and therefore was to 
endure but till a sufficient seal were put to his testimony or 
doctrine. The Holy Ghost usually, in the New Testament, 
is meant of both these jointly, and so I understand it here. 
And as it would be an unfit question to ask, wliether by the 
Holy Ghost were meant the gifts of healing or tongues, or of 
other miracles, as if it must needs be meant of only one : so it 
is unfit to ask, whether it be meant of sanctification or miracles ? 
Yet as the same Spirit which wrought in the several members, 
wrought sanctification in none but the elect, who should be 
saved, but wrought the gift of miracles in multitudes that had 
no saving grace, and therefore this w^as the more connnon ; so 
therefore I doubt not but the gift of miracles is more principally 
intended in these words, than that of sanctification. 

My- reasons are, 1. He that will carefully observe the lan- 
guage of the Holy Ghost, shall find, tliat this word, ' Spirit,' or 
' Holy Ghost,' is most usually, in the New Testament, taken for 
the extraordinary gifts of that age. 

2. The apostle appeals to the witness of the Spirit here, as 
that which most undeniably did prove the truth of Christ's 

S THE spirit's witness TO 

doctrine : now, though sanctification may do much here, yet so 
much might be said from heathens' virtues ; and especially of 
the sanctification of some before Christ, among the Jews, that 
this was not so likely to have made that great conviction of the 

3. The apostle appeals to this, as an open known testimony 
which might be seen of all. But the work of the Spirit of 
sanctification alone is so secret in the heart, and wrought by 
such degrees, that it is not so open a testimony. 

4. The apostle appealeth to it as a public thing, which the 
whole church might be convinced by : but so they could not so 
easily be by sanctification, as by miracles, for every man had 
not sanctification ; and those that had it not, could not see it 
as certain in others 5 nor see the glory of it. Biit for miracles, 
as most had the gift, so those that had not, might see it openly 
in those that had. 

5. The text itself, in the 5th verse, expressly saith, it is the 
gift of miracles : " He therefore that ministereth to you the 
Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doth he it by the works 
of the law, or by the hearing of faith ?" Where Grotius noteth; 
that the old manuscript which he had out of the King of 
England's library, (being brought by Cyril of Constantinople 
out of Egypt,) hath the same words as be in this second verse* 
" Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law," &c. So that, 
what can be more express. 

6. But my greatest argument is from many other Scriptures, 
that run all in the same sense, which I shall have more oppor- 
tunity anon to mention. 

Parseus's arguments for the contrary, are these ; 1. Miraculous 
gifts were not given to all, but few. A. 1. To far more than 
the gift of sanctification it is likely. 2. The rest might see 
them, though they could not work them, and that was testimony 

2. He saith they happened to some that followed not Christ, 
"We saw one casting out devils, and we forbade him, be- 
cause he followed not with us." (Mark ix. 39.) Therefore 
those gifts must not be the proper effect of the Gospel. A. A 
very bad argument. 1. The text saith, it was in the name of 
Christ that they cast out devils, and therefore it was the effect 
of Christ's name. 2. Multitudes believed in Christ that did 
not follow him with the twelve apostle^. 3. It is evident that 
none had that gift then but from Christy and he gave it none 


but for confirmation of the Gospel. 4. It would confirm his 
testimony the more, if his name in the very mouth of an unbe- 
liever would work such miracles. 

Argument 3. He argueth, because elsewhere the apostle 
draweth them to the spirit of promise, by which they are 
sealed, asEph. i. 13, 2; Cor. i. 22. Ansvv. Neither do these 
texts exclude, but principally include the gift of miracles. The 
Spirit of promise was that promised Spirit, and not only that 
Spirit which assureth men of their part in the promise, as many 
do amiss expound it. 

His fourth argument is, because in the fifth verse following he 
mentioneth miracles, therefore not in this second. Answ. The 
clean contrary seemeth to me hence to be proved ; because the 
apostle plainly speaks of the same thing in the fifth verse, and 
second, and not of divers things. 
Now to the point. 

Doct. The Spirit of Christ, especially for working mira- 
cles, was given in those times so commonly, evidently, and con- 
vincingly to the churches of believers, that the apostle durst 
appeal to that one testimony alone for the confirmation of the 
christian doctrine ; and that with such confidence, as concluding 
them bewitched into madness, that would not be convinced by it. 
For explication, we must do these things in their order. 
1. I shall prove to you that this Spirit was given commonly; 
2. Convincingly, or miraculously ; 3. Evidently, or undeniably ; 
4. That the apostle appealeth to it, as is said. 2. The reason 
why Christ would thus send the Spirit. 3. The use of all. 

1. The commonness of this gift is proved both by the promise 
and the history of the performance. (Mark xvi. 17.) "These 
signs shall follow them that believe ; in my name shall they cast 
out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up 
serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not liurt 
them ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." 
(Matt. X. I.) He gave this power first to his disciples, and 
(Luke X. 1, 17, 19,) he gave the same power to the seventy 
disciples 3 and in Acts ii. 1, 2, &c., you may see the promise 
fulfilled, not in some, but all that were present, one hundred 
and twenty, at least. 

John the Baptist could prophesy of this as the great mark of 

Christ's baptism. " He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost 

and fire." (Matt. iii. 11.) And (Acts iv. 31, 33) " When they 

had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled 

VOJ.. XX. E 

10 THE sFiurr's witness to 

together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, aud with 
great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the 
Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all." 

The generality of Samaria, who are said all to believe, re- 
ceived the Holy Ghost by the apostles' praying, and laying on 
of hands ; (Acts viii. 17;) insomuch that Simon would have 
bought that gift of them with money, to be able to give the 
Holy Ghost. (Acts x. 44.) When Peter preached to the con- 
gregation which Cornelius had gathered together, the Holy 
Ghost fell on all them that heard him; so that the believing Jews 
were astonished when they heard the gentiles speak with tongues, 
and magnify God. (Verse 46.) So the disciples were filled 
with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. (Acts xi. 15 ; Actsxiii. 52.) 
Paul laid his hands on the twelve men there, and they all re- 
ceived the Holy Ghost, and all spake with tongues, and 
prophesied. (Acts xix. G.) Paul, writing to the Corinthians, 
saith, " That by one Spirit we are all baptised into one body, 
whether Jews or gentiles, bond or free, and have been all made 
to drink into one Spirit;" and what Spirit that was, the following 
verses show, where he saith, " The manifestation of the Spirit 
is given to every man to profit withal ; to one is given, by the 
Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge 
by the same Spirit ; to another, the working of miracles ; to 
another, prophesy ; to another, discerning of spirits ; to another, 
divers tongues ; to another, tlie interpretation of tongues ; but 
all these worketh that one and same Spirit, dividing to each man 
severally as he will." (Cor. xii. 12, 13.) So that in one kind or 
other, and most extraordinarily, all Christians then had the 
Spirit. (1 Cor. xiv.) The gift of tongues was so common in 
that church, and consequentlv likely in all, for that was none of 
the best, that Paul is fain to restrain their too much exercise of 
tl.em, and to desire them to study, and be zealous rather for the 
gift of prophesying, and, if they did speak with tongues, pray that 
they might interpret, and show the end of tongues. (Verse 22.) 
They are for a sign to unbelievers, and not for believers. And 
(verse 2G) he chideth them thus, " How is it then, brethren, that 
when you come together every one of you hath a psalm, hath a 
doctrine, hatli a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation ? 
Let all things be done to edification. If any man speak in an 
unknown tongue, let it be bv two or three at the most, and that 
by course, and let one interpret ; but if there be no interpreter, 
let him keep silence in the church, and let him speak to himself, 


and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the 
other judge; for you may ail prophesy one by one, that all may 
learn." (Jam. v. 14, 15.) He directeth them that are in sick- 
ness to seek to the elders, to heal them by prayer and anointing 
in the name of the Lord. And Christ saith, "That many shall 
say to him in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy 
name, and in thy name cast out devils, and done manv wonder- 
ful works ?" (Matt. vii. 22 ;) who yet were workers of iniquity, 
and shall be rejected for ever. I will add no more proof of the 

2. That those gifts of the Spirit were so miraculous as to be 
sufficient for convincing those that were not bewitched into mad- 
ness by the devil, may appear, both from the commonness al- 
ready mentioned, and the greatness of them being so far above 
nature. 1 . For not one, nor two, but so many thousands of 
people, in so many several churches, to speak tongues that they 
never heard, to prophesy, to heal the sick ; some of them to give 
men up to Satan, to be destroyed by him by a word, and some 
of them to make the lame to go with a word speaking, and 
some of them to raise the dead ; so that even the clothes that 
went from Paul's body, healed the sick. When they were in 
prison an earthquake comes and causes the doors to fly open for 
Paul and Silas, and the tremljling jailor comes in, and lets them 
out ; and the angel takes off Peter's bolts, and opens the doors, 
and frustrates the meeting of the rulers that would have judged 
him. Beside all those wrought by Christ himself, in raising the 
dead, giving sight to them born blind, &c., the works are so 
many and so great through the whole story of the Gospel, that 
I think it vain to cite particular texts to men that read the Scrip- 
ture. Now if any man shall question whether this might not 
be done without divine testimony to the doctrine which it ac- 
companieth ; that is, in plain English, if any man be tempted 
to the incurable sin against the Holy Ghost, to think that all 
this is done by the devil, and not by God, I would have him 
consider these things : 

1. There is a God. 

2. This God is the Ruler of the world. 

3. He is good, merciful, and just. 

4. His will revealed is a law to the creature. 

As man is not made to be lawless or ungoverned, so God is 
his chief Governor, and without that knowledge of his will, we 
cannot obey him, nor can we know his will without revelation. 

K 2 

12 THE spirit's witness to 

5. No man that is well in his wits can expect that God 
should speak to us immediately, and that no other Revelation 
is to be trusted. Alas ! man cannot endure his voice, nor see 
him and live. 

G. If, therefore, any shall prove to us that they come from 
God, and are his messengers to reveal his M'ill, we must believe 
them according to the proof that they bring. 

7. If any shall seal the doctrine that he bringeth in the name of 
God, with the testimony of such numerous, evident, undeniable 
miracles, it is the highest proof of the truth of his doctrine 
that flesh and blood can expect. And if God do not give us 
sufficient help to discover a falsehood in this testimony, 
we must take it for his voice and truth. For if God shall let 
men or devils use the highest mark of a divine testmony to 
confirm a lie, while they pretend it to be divine, and do not con- 
trol this, he leaveth men utterly remediless. For we cannot go 
up into heaven to see what hand these things are wrought by. 
We are certain they cannot be done without divine permission 
and commission. And we are sure that God is the true, just, mer- 
ciful Governor of the world ', and as sure that it belongeth to a 
rector to promulgate, as well as enact his own laws : and that 
they cannot oblige us till promulgated, i.e. sufficiently revealed. 
And if he shall suffer any to say, ' God sent me to you on this 
message,' and to back this affirmation with such a stream of 
miracles, through a whole age, by many thousand hands, and 
shall not any ways contradict them, nor give us any sufficient 
help to discover the delusion, then it must needs be taken for 
God's own act, seeing by office he is our Rector; or else, that 
God hath given up the world to the disposal and government of 
the devil. Now, let any man of right reason judge whether it 
be possible that the just and merciful God, being naturally our 
Governor, as we are his creatures, should give permission or 
commission to the devil to deceive the world in his name, by 
changing and working against the very course of nature, and 
by means that no man can possibly try, and so leave his creature 
remedilessly to be misled and perish. And whether this 
be not plainly to say, God is not just, nor merciful, or 
is not the Governor of the world ; and whether that be not 
to deny that there is a God; for if he be not just, and 
good, and Governor, he is not God. So that he that denieth 
Christianity, and Scripture verity, must deny the Godhead, if he 
know the arguments for it. 


Now, for the discovery of a deceit in such a case as the tes- 
timony of miracles, I know but two ways by which man can 
discover the deceit, if there be any. 1. By some truth of God, 
which is revealed to us by a more certain means than those 
miracles are which this new revelation doth contradict ; 2. Or 
by some greater works by which God shall presently contradict 
the testimony of those wonders or miracles, as Moses did by the 
Egyptians. Now, we have neither of these contradictions from 
God, against the doctrine of Christ or his apostles. So far are 
they from contradicting former, or certainly revealed truths, 
that they consent with truth before revealed ; and Christ, as the 
Light of the world, hath given us the kernel and clear explica- 
tion of all. And so far was God from sending any to work 
greater miracles for the contradicting of Christ, that the poorest 
of his followers, for many a year after, did do wonders without 
any such contradiction. No enemy of the church did ever 
pretend to any such testimony against him. I would fain know, 
in one word, whether God can reveal his -will to us or not ? If 
not, then he cannot be our Rector. If he can, then by what more 
evident and convincing way, supposing we cannot see himself? 
3. The nexc thing we are to prove, is, that those gifts and 
works of the Holy Ghost were evident and undeniable. And 
here are two questions in this one; 1. Whether they were 
evident and undeniable to the first witnesses ; 2. Whether they 
are so to us. That is, whether the history of them be certain : 
and for the first, it is left beyond all doubt. For, 1. The works 
were numerous, done both by Christ himself and his apostles : 
and the wonderful gifts of the Spirit were common in every 
church, and in one kind or other on the generality of Christians, 
as I have before proved ; 2. They were continued for many 
years together, even from Christ till the end of the apostles' 
time, and not all ended of long time after. For Irenaeus saith 
the dead were raised, and lived again among them, in his days. 
And Tertullian (and after him Cyprian) made pul^lic challenges 
to the pagans and persecuting rulers, to bring their possessed 
with devils into the christian assemblies, and if they did not 
cast them out, and make them confess themselves to be devils, 
and Christ to be the Son of God, then they were content to 
suffer. 3. They were done in various places at great distance ; 
at Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, Galatia, and 
through a great part of the world. 4. They were done before 
multitudes of people, and that ordinarily ; not in a corner, but 

14 THE spirit'?* VViTNKSS TO 

in the face of the whole world. 5. And that in the presence 
if not upon the persons, of the enemies themselves. All this 
appeareth in the whole story of the Gospel. 

More than once did Christ feed many thousands with a few 
loaves, hv miracles : oft did he heal and cast out devils in the 
presence of the multitude; so that the Pharisees took their 
advantage by it, because he would heal on the Sabbath day. 
They examined the blind, the lame, and others, whom he healed, 
and had their own confession of the cure. He turned water into 
wine, publicly at a marriage feast. He would not raise Lazarus 
till he was ready to stink, that the glory of God might be ma- 
nifest in his resurrection ; his disciples were the constant 
witnesses of other miracles, and might most easily discern 
whether he were a deceiver or not ; and would they follow one 
through such difficulties and misery, and to death itself, in hope 
of a resurrection to glory, by him whom thev knew to be a 
deceiver ? At his death, the earth did quake, the temple rent, 
the land was shut up in darkness for three hours together, 
without any eclipse. Were there not witnesses enough, then, of 
this ? His resurrection the soldiers could partly witness by the 
terror, and the disciples by their frequent sight of him. And 
Thomas must be convinced himself by putting his finger into 
his side, till he was forced to cry out, " My Lord and my God !" 
who (but even now) said, " Except I see and feel, 1 will not 
believe." Yea, above five Imndred brethren saw him at once. But 
yet there is more than all this; the Holy Ghost fell sopubliclyon 
the disciples, that the Jews and men of all countries that were 
then in Jerusalem, came flocking together, to hear them speak 
every one in his own tongue, which they had never learned, nor 
understood before. Gifts of healing and castiisg out devils were 
common among the disciples in all churches long after this. 
Christ chose especially these two, both to signify his healing, 
recovering work and office, and his love to man's welfare, and 
his enmity to Satan, and that he came to destroy his work and 
kingdom, and save men from him. It continued long after this 
the ordinary practice of the disciples to speak in strange lan- 
guages in the open assembly ; so that unbelievers that came in 
among them, were ordinary witnesses of it ; so that all the 
world that lived near them might see the Spirit of Jesus in his 
church, not to speak of all the other miracles which the apostles 
did. This Spirit, residing in men's souls, appearing visible in 
the actions, audible in the prophecies, languages, and other 


gifts of the disciples, prevailing against the devil, and healing 
the diseased, and thus openly manifesting itself in all parts of 
the world, and before all the people where Christianity was en- 
tertained, is such a witness to Christ, and his testimony and 
doctrine, and to those writings which the chief actors of those 
miracles published, that he that denieth it, renounceth sense 
and reason, and openly fighteth against the God of heaven. If 
here were not witness enough, then we were incapable of a suf- 
ficient testimony. And yet I shall say more to this anon, from 
the sanctifying work of the same Spirit. 

2. All that remains for the further clearing of this, is to 
inquire whether there be also a certainty of the history which 
delivereth the report of those things down to us. I have for- 
merly proved to you herein, 1 . That the authors of those histo- 
ries or reports deceived not the world, but published only 
undoubted truths ; 2. And that we have most certainly received 
their writings, or records, without any considerable corruption or 
alteration. I will now suppose you remember what I have said 
of both these already, and will only add these few words more. 
1. 1 have told you already that the law of nature effectually 
teacheth all men, 1. To love themselves, and their own lives and 
liberty; 2. And to love truth, and hate known falsehood, 
where they have not some carnal advantage to make it seem 
lovely, that it is not possible that so many thousands of men 
could be found that would, to their o\v\\ utter undoing in the 
world, take on them to work so many miracles, and see them 
wrought, and would follow a profession in mere delusion of 
others, or as willingly deluded themselves. That which now I 
will say, is only these two things : 

1. The history of these things was not only delivered by these 
writings, which we call the Scriptures, but so generally received 
both before they were written and since, by the very evidence of 
the actions themselves, that churches of Christ were gathered 
and planted thereby, through a great part of the world ; so that 
the conversion of so many countries by the very present power 
of the Holy Chost appearing in them, and among them, which, 
undoubtedly, had an evidence and glory as great as the work 
which was wrought thereby, were a living public history of the 
glorious works of the Spirit which did convince them. The 
world, which was brought to believe by these miracles of the 
Holy Ghost, was the legible history of the truth of those mi- 

16 THE spirit's witness TO 

2. But the main thing that 1 would have you note, is that 
which my text affordeth, that those things were generally pub- 
lished, both byword and writing, through all countries, and espe- 
cially in that same country where they were chiefly done ; and 
that in the very same age, and among the same people, that are 
mentioned as witnesses of these things. This is a proof beyond 
all exception : it was not like a story raised in the next age, 
when all the witnesses were dead. Now, I desire every tempted 
or doubting soul seriously to think of this one plain truth. When 
all the writers, and many preachers of the gospel, shall publish 
up and down Judea, that Christ at such a time and in such 
a place fed so many thousand miraculously, turned water into 
wine, healed such multitudes, raised the dead, could not any 
man have discerned the falsehood of this, if it had been false ? 
Nay, when they mention the pharisees' own examination and 
conviction of the matter of fact, would not these enemies of the 
Gospel have easily confuted them ? Nay, what need the phari- 
sees, then, and the Jews, to this day, father all these works on the 
devil, if they were not really done ? For men to wiite and tell 
the world, that on such a day, at such an hour, there was an 
earthquake, and a general darkness, and the temple rent, if this 
were no such matter, would it not make them the shame and 
scorn of the world for liars ? 

Could not all the country tell whether it were true or not ? 
Would not this have made those that followed them all forsake 
them, and proclaim their shame ? If thousands of men should 
seek credit to their testimony by telling us in England that there 
were earthquakes and general darkness at such an hour, would 
thev get any followers by this report, if it were false ? Paul saith, 
that of the five hundred brethren that saw Christ at once after 
his resurrection, the greater part were alive at the time when he 
wrote it. If this were false, how easily were it disproved, when 
it is written and published that men of all nations about did 
hear the disciples speaking in their own tongues the wonderful 
works of God at.Ierusaleni, when the Holy Ghost fell upon them: 
if this had been false, would it not have made all men forsake 
such notorious liars, and those that before did believe them to 
turn off? or, at least, would not the enemy have refuted the 
report ? But, to come nearer the scope of my text, when it 
shall be written and published that the Holy Ghost was so com- 
mon in every church, and on all Christians everywhere, that all 
had either gifts of healing, or tongues, or miracles, or pro- 


phesying, or interpretation of tongues, or the like ; if this were 

1. Every unbeliever that was near them could know it to be 
false; and then, 1. Some would have confuted it. 2. None 
would have believed it, and been converted by it. 

2. Every Christian would have known this to be a false 
report, for men to write and publish that they had those gifts, 
which they knew they had not ; and do those works which they 
do not, it would certainly have made all Christians deride and 
forsake them, and some of them publish the deceit. But yet 
to come closer to my text : when the apostle shall reprove the 
church, as Paul did the Corinthians, for too much using and 
affecting the gift of tongues, and endeavour to restrain them in 
it, and bid them use it but by two or three, and not so much 
neither without an interpreter, if there had been no such gift as 
this of tongues among them, (or the rest which he mentioneth 
of healing and miracles,) would not these Corinthians have 
derided Paul ? Would they not have been unchristianed and 
unchurched by such reproofs as these ? But yet, to come nearest 
of all, when false teachers come among them, and persuade 
them of the necessity of obeying the law of Moses in conjunc- 
tion with Christ ; and some bring the person of the apostle 
Paul into disgrace with them for opposing this : when the apostle 
shall make this open challenge to them to answer this argument, 
*Did you receive the spirit, and do you work miracles by the 
works of the law, or by faith in Christ ?' When he shall appeal 
to the miracles which he wrought among them, to prove the 
truth of his apostleship, " Verily the marks of an apostle were 
wrought among you in all patience, in signs and wonders, and 
mighty deeds." (2 Cor. xii. 12.) When he shall threaten to 
deliver offenders to Satan, and make them supplicants to be 
spared. (1 Cor. v., and 2 Cor. ii.) Nay, when he shall appeal to 
the Spirit in themselves, received by his ministry, and tell them, 
" He that hath not the spirit of Christ is none of his ; and 
Christ dwelleth in them, unless they are reprobates." And if 
he do dwell in them, and they have the Holy Ghost, it was by 
his ministry and the faith of Christ. (2 Cor. xiii. 5,) Is it 
possible that any man of reason should be deceived by them 
that spoke such things, if they were not true ? 

When men's minds are exasperated against us, thevwill be glad 
of any matter against us : so were many of the Corinthians and 
Galatians against Paul ; they were become his enemies for telling 

18 TMK SI'lim's WIINESS -lO 

them the truth, in oj)positioii U) tlio Jewish (.'hristian;?. Now 
was this a likely way for him to vindicate himself or the christian 
doctrine, to make solemn appeals to themselves, even the whole 
churches, whether the Holy Ghost which they generally had, 
and the miracles which were commonly done among them, were 
not hy the doctrine and faith of Christ ? ^'et so he doth in 
my text ; 1. To call them angrily, hewitched fools and madmen, 
for going against the same doctrine, hv which themselves had 
received the Spirit, and hy which miracles were still done among 
them : would they not all have hated the very name of Chris- 
tianitv, if this had iseen false ? ! j)rav do hut put the like case 
to ourselves, if we were in a case of douht hetween several 
teachers, and one of them should write thus to puhlic churches, 
even the churches of England, Scotland, Holland, Germany; 'I 
appeal to yourselves, whether you did not hv that doctrine 
which I delivered to you, receive the Holv Ghost, by which 
vou all received either gifts of tongues, healing, prophesying, or 
the like, bv which miracles are still wrought among you ? I 
challenge you to answer this argument; if you were not be- 
witched fools and madmen, you would never oftcr to turn from 
that doctrine by which yourselves do these things, to that bv 
which you never received the Spirit.' If all this were false, 
would not all these churches forsake that teacher, and renoimce 
the doctrine which depended upon so notorious an untruth ? 
And could not every enemy, yea, every silly person, know 
whether this were true or no ? \A'ould they not all say, ' Why, 
what doth the man mean to talk of common miracles, and that 
done among us, and by ourselves, and of the Spirit in us, when 
we know we have no such thing?' And yet Paul's epistles to 
the Corinthians and Galatians run in this strain : I think God 
suffered those false teachers to oppose the truth the rather that 
we might see afterward how it was defended. I conclude, 
therefore, that if ever any history in the world had certain 
evidence of the truth of the fact in it, and that there was no 
deceit, or overreaching of t!ie ignoiant by shows, then cer- 
tainly this histor\' of the (tospcl hath much more; for greater 
is scarce ))ossible. 

2. And that we have the records or transcripts of those his- 
tories or writings, without any considerable corruption, is a truth 
that any learned man may be as easily satisfied in, without any 
special illumination of the Spirit ; a truth that hath fuller 
evidence than for any otiiej- l)ook in the world can be pro- 


duced. For, I. The copies were numerous which were dis- 

2. And that in many languages. 

3. And that in places at tlie remotest distance. 

4 And all Christians in all those places held their religion 
npon this revelation. 

5. And every heretic, and men of all opinions, alleged the 
same Scriptures. 

6. No one church could corrupt it in any material part, but 
all the Christians in the world would have discovered it, and 
cried him down. 

7. It was the constant business of ministers, whereof then 
every church had many, ordinarily to preach this same doctrine 
and Scripture. They had no greater work to mind, nor any 
other, but publicly and privately to acquaint people with this 
doctrine, and keep them in obedience to it : and if no lawyer 
or person can corrupt our Magna Charta but all the land 
would know it, and be on the head of him ; how much 
less could any corrupt one charter by which all the men in 
England should hold all their estates, and have every man a copy, 
or most men, and have in every town an officer on purpose to 
teach people tlie meaning of it. No one schoolmaster in Eng- 
land can corrupt Lilly's Grammar, because it is in every 
school, and is the work of every schoolmaster to teach it, and 
they would all presently discern it. 

S. We have yet copies of the Scripture extant of very great 
antiquity. There is, or lately was, one in England, sent to the 
king from Cyril, Patriarch of Constantinople ; a very fair copy 
brought out of Egypt, which was wrote about two hundred and 
twenty years after the apostles' time. 

9. All the writings of the fathers, in every age since, are full 
of citations of Scripture passages, and all according to our present 
Scripture in the substance. Clemens Romanus, that lived with 
Paul, and Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus, and Tertullian, and 
Origen, Cyprian, and all the rest downward, quote abundance of 
sayings out of those same Scriptures : and all thecopies dispersed 
abroad agree in all substantials. 

10. And consider also that all the churches had the same 
truths doctrinal and historical among them in those times, by 
unwritten tradition also, as is said before ; for they were preached 
before they were written. So that it may far more reasonably 
be questioned, whether those acts of parliament, or our present 

20 THE spirit's witness to 

Magna Charta be not counterfeit, or Lilly's or Cambden's 
Grammar, whicb yet no man of any brains can suspect, than 
whether these Scriptures which we receive and use, were the 
true writings of those holy apostles. The hand of universal 
tradition hath delivered them to us with more certainty than if 
we had received them from the hands of any apostle ourselves. 
For our sense may sooner deceive us than the universal sense of 
the first age, and the universal sense and credit of all succeeding 

11. Lastly. None of the enemies of Christianity, that in all 
ages have wrought against this, do deny these writings to be 
those which the apostles wrote and delivered ; as may be seen 
in those of Celsus, Porphyry, Julian, yet extant in the fathers. 
Else Julian need not rail against Paul and John as he doth, for 
affirming Christ to be God, and other such things, if he durst 
have denied those to be their writings, as in Cyril, Alexandria, 
Nazianzen, and others that write in confutation of Julian, you 
may see. Blessed be that holy providence of the Governor of 
the world, that hath so spread, promulgated, and maintained 
his law to this day, that no writings in the world of any 
antiquity have near the like certainty. 


1 . But why is it that Christ would thus convincingly send 
abroad such abundance of the Spirit in those days ? Answer, 
1 . He had the old law of Moses to repeal ', and that was well 
known to the Jews to be God's own law. And therefore if he 
had not brought that seal of God to his commission, and such 
as men might well know to be his seal, no wonder if every true 
subject of God had disobeyed him. Men must not believe 
God's law ceased or abrogated without good proof. 

2. Christ had a new law to promulgate, even the law of 
faith and Gospel ordinances, and he must both manifest his 
authority before they could be received and submitted to, and 
also give his Spirit to enable men to keep them : for as he 
required new duties of fallen, disabled man, so he must give a 
strength proportionable. 

3. Yea, then himself was to be entertained as the Redeemer 
of the world ; wliich was a new work and office, and man's 
salvation was to lie \ipon the receiving of him : and this they 
neither could do, nor ought, without sufficient evidence or proof, 
that he was the Redeemer indeed. And therefore he saith, ' If I 
had not done the v.orks ^vhich no ni;ui else could do, you had 


not had sin'. If any prophet came as from God with any new 
revelation, he was to prove himself to be a prophet ; much more 
when Christ shall affirm himself to be the Son of God, the 
Redeemer of the world. 

2. Quest. But why did not Christ continue this communication 
of the Holy Ghost to his churches still, seeing our unbelief is 
strong, and we have still need of such help as well as they ? 

Answ. 1. We have the full use and benefit of the Holy Ghost 
which was given then , that seal that was then set to the christian 
doctrine and Scriptures stands there still. When Christ hath 
fully proved to the world the truth of his mediatorship, office, 
and doctrine, must he still continue the same actions ? Is it 
not enough that he sealed it up once, but must he set a new 
seal for every man that requireth it in every age ? Then mira- 
cles would be no miracles. Must your landlord seal your lease 
anew, every time you will causelessly question his former seal ? 
Then, if Christ had done miracles among a thousand, every 
man that was not present, should come and say, ' Do the like 
before me also, or I will not believe.' Will you put God to this, 
that either he must work constant miracles in every age, and 
before every man, or else he must not be believed ? What, if 
all Christ's works had been done at London, and we had not 
seen them here in the country, or, what, if all this town had 
seen them except one man ; should no man believe them but he 
that did see them ? Should no man l)elieve that there hath 
been any wars and fighting in England, but those that saw the 
battles ? or, what, if these things had been done in our fore- 
fathers' days, should not we have believed them except they had 
been done in ours ? We have as full testimony of Christ's and 
his apostles' true works, as we can have of any of these. 

2. Also I answer, Christ doth still continue his Spirit to his 
churches, and every true member thereof, but not to the same 
use ; and therefore not to enable them to the same work as then. 
" Tongues are not for them that believe, but for them that 
believe not," saith Paul ; (1 Cor. xiv. 22 ;) that is to show them 
the power of Christ, and so convince them. But now the Scrip- 
ture is sealed by these, there is not the same use or need of 
them. But because there is still need of the subduing of cor- 
ruptions, and sanctifying our natures, and enabling us to keep 
the law of Christ, and conformingus to his holy image; there- 
fore, the Spirit of sonship or sanctification is still con- 
tinued. And let me tell you, even this Spirit hath enough in it 

22 THE spirit's witness to 

to convince both the world and tlie saints, of the truth of the 
doctrine and Scripture of Christ. For the godly themselves, I 
have told you already, that this Spirit of Christ is a witness 
within them, and how it witnesseth. And for the world, had 
they but eyes to see the excellency of holiness, they might see 
that the righteous is more excellent than his neighbour, and 
that it is certainly an excellent, true, and perfect law and doc- 
trine, which doth produce so excellent an effect. But the 
wickedness of men's hearts hindereth them from discerning the 
validity of the testimony ; because they cannot see the excel- 
lency of grace, which is so contrary to their lusts and carnal 
pleasures. The things of the Spirit are spirituallv discerned ; 
but they have their senses free, and, therefore, can better see 
the glory of the miracidous works of the Holy Ghost : and, 
therefore, those are fitter to convince them. But for true Chris- 
tians themselves, they have that within them both objectively 
and efficiently, those glorious experiments and potent workings, 
which will not suffer them to change their religion. 

The uses that we shall make of this doctrine now, are these, 
all for information of your understandings. 

1. Of what certain truth the christian religion and Scrip- 
ture is. 

2. What is the greatest argument to prove the truth of these. 

3. What the testimony of the Spirit is, and who have it. 

4. What it is to believe in the Holy Ghost, and to be baptized 
in the name of the Holy Ghost. 

5. W^hat it is to sin against the Holy Ghost. 

Use 1. The challenge and appeal that Paul here makes to 
the Galatians, I dare make to all the world : and undertake to 
])rove that man bewitched into a madness, that will not be con- 
vinced by this only argument. 

W^hence came the Holy Ghost, which the Lord Jesus did 
send down upon his church, which sat on the disciples in the 
likeness of fiery cloven tongues, that filled all the churches in 
all parts of the world at once, how distant soever, with 
the miraculous gifts of strange languages, prophesying, inter- 
pretation, healing, casting out devils, or the like. That 
fell on men ordinarily, and in such numbers as soon as ever the 
apostles laid their hands on them after thev were baptised ! 
That putteth such a new nature into the soul of every saint, and 
writeth the law of Jesus in his very heart; and raiseth him 
with strong and constant hopes of such a future resurrection 


and glory, that he will go through all difficulties and suflferiugs to 
attain it ; that overcomes all fleshly lusts, and keepeth under 
such inclinations as all the rest of the world are mastered hy ; 
that makes such low and silly creatures to live in the sweet, 
delightful forethoughts and contemplation of the life to come ; 
and causes men so earnestly, frecjuently, seriously, reverently, 
and delightfully to converse with the holy, invisible God ! I 
say, whence is this spirit, but from the holy and almighty God ? 
If you doubt whether such a spirit were poiued out so abundantly 
and miraculously, I have proved it already. Paul appeals to the 
very men that saw and enjoyed it, and they durst not, they could 
not, deny it. The enemy, the very pharisees, could not deny it. 
If you would open your eyes, you might yet see very much of it 
in the holiness of the saints. But prejudice and hatred to holi- 
ness blind you. Can any but the living God, who first 
breatheth into man the breath of life, breathe forth such a Spirit 
of miracles and holiness into the world, and make men new 
creatures, by causing them to be born of the Spirit ? Can any 
but God so raise the dead, and command over all the powers on 
earth, and cast out Satan by a spirit of miracles, in instruments 
of greatest natural weakness, till he hath made the Roman 
empire, and the rest of the kingdoms of the world, to acknow- 
ledge Christ their Lord ? Doth it belong to any but God to 
rule the world, and send forth a new spirit and power upon 
men's souls ? These works have such certain evidence of reality, 
that the Jews confess them, and the Turks acknowledge them, 
and upbraid the Jews for not believing God by his prophet Jesus. 
And Mahomet threatens judgments against the Jews for it in 
his Alcoran ; saying, "That Christ was the word and power of 
God sent to convince the world bv miracles ;" so thev have as 
full an evidence of a divine power in them. Almightiness, 
and goodness, and wisdom, in infiniteness, do make up the 
nature of the eternal God. And all these do evidently appear 
in this sending of the Holv Ghost. 

1. It is a work beyond a mere created power, as all the effects 
of it show, 

2. If any Jew should think that a devil might do such works 
of omnipotency without God, yet at least let him be convinced 
by the work of sanctification, which demonstrates God's perfect 
goodness, as the other doth his greatness. Dare they think that 
the devil is become a spirit of holiness, or loveth holiness ? 
Will he sanctifv men's natures, and make them heavenly, and 

24 THE spirit's witness to 

destroy their sin, and keep them in a course of obedience unto 
God ? Why, then, doth he so contradict this doctrine and these 
holy ways, and so jjotently hinder our endeavours in every 
congregation and soul ? Why is it that he arnieth all the un- 
godly rout of the world against those holy doctrines and ways ? 
That man is certainly bewitched by the devil into madness, that 
can indeed believe that the devil is the sanctifier of men's souls, 
and the author of a doctrine to destroy men's sins, and bring 
them into such exact obedience unto God. 

3. If all this will not serve, let the wisdom of God be ob- 
served both in the stream of the doctrine and in the effect of 
the Holy Ghost in illuminating the church ; so that you may 
look over all the rest of the world at this day, and easily see that 
they are all but barbarians, even in human common knowledge, 
in comparison of the Christians, especially in the things of God, 
they are utterly blind. 

Indeed, Christ did at Rome and Athens cause a star of human 
learning to arise, but it was only for a time 3 and at that season 
a little before his own coming in the flesh, of purpose to direct men 
to the Sun of Righteousness, and to be an usher to prepare the 
way for the Gospel j and when the Gospel was come, he hath 
now delivered \ip even all the learning in the world that is 
worth the speaking of, unto his church, and continued even 
these common gifts of the Spirit therein. 

4. If all these convince not, let me add this one thing more. 
This good, almighty, holy God is the Governor of the world : if 
he made it, he surely ruleth it : if he be not Sovereign he is not 
God ; and, being God and Governor, he must needs be a faithful 
and merciful Governor, as I said in the beginning : and can he 
then stand by and suflfer, and give commission to the devil to 
publish such a holy doctrine, and send forth such a spirit of mi- 
racles and of holiness, and that over all the church, and into the 
hearts of all the most honest people in the world in all ages follow- 
ing ; and all this to deceive the world, and to confirm a false- 
hood, and God never contradict him, nor give men any means 
to discover the delusion ? Shall he suffer the deceit to come 
from heaven, or another world, and shall there not a remedy 
come from heaven ? Shall he lend the devil his omnipotency, 
and holiness, and wisdom, to deceive his own creatures, when 
himself hath undertaken to be their Governor? Shall he suffer 
miracles to be wrought to delude, and himself work none to rec- 
tify us? Hath he taken on him the office of making and pro- 


mulgating his own law, for the governing of his people, that 
would fain know his will and do it ; and, then, shall he suffer 
the devil to publish laws in his name, manifesting his very nature, 
and requiring obedience to him, and seal these with such a 
spirit, as is afore-mentioned j and all this to mislead us, while 
God stands by and never once controls him, but leaves us reme- 
diless ? Is this the part of the Governor of the world ? Is this 
like the way of a merciful, holy, wise, almighty God ? Lay all 
this together, and lay it well to heart, and I dare say again that 
that man is bewitched into madness by the devil, that dare be- 
lieve that God hath given up his holiness, wisdom, almightiness, 
and government of the world to the devil. And by all this you may 
see how vile a thing the sin against the Holy Ghost is ; and why 
so heavy a doom is passed on them that are guilty of it j of 
which more anon. Shall God suffer such a creature on his earth, 
endued with reason, that shall imagine such things as these 
against him ? Why it is, in effect, to say the devil is God ; and 
can the heart of man entertain a more horrid blasphemy ? And 
may not he justly be their God, and they given up to his dis- 
posal ? For what is it to be God, but to be infinitely wise, pow- 
erful, and good, and to be the faithful, sovereign Ru!er of all 
things ? And when men shall dare to think that God hath given 
up the rule of the world to the devil, and enabled him to send 
forth a spirit of power, wisdom, and holiness, to seal a holy doc- 
trine, and all to delude men, and this without any control: 
surely, these men are no less guilty than I here charge them. Is 
not God righteous, that must judge the world ? Whither shall 
a poor soul go for justice, if God have no more ? whither shall 
he go for mercy, if the God of iieaven have no more mercy ? 
or who shall be able to defend us, if God be not able to rescue 
his own prerogative from the hands of Satan ? Let me repeat 
the question that I put before ; do you think that the God of 
heaven is able to reveal his laws to the world, and give them a 
sufficient testimony of their verity, and set to any seal whereby 
he may be kno\vn to be their author ? if not, how will he 
govern the world ? Can he rule without making known his will, 
or promulgating his enacted law ? And can he make known his 
will without any certain, satisfying revelation, that it is he that 
speaks? And if you think God can reveal his mind, will you 
hut tell me how you would have him do it ? How should he do 
it more fully and convincingly ? What seal would you have 
him use \vhere]>y he may be better known, than this of the 


Spirit of power ami holiness? He that wouki have God .speak 
face to face to such worms as we, kiiovveth not what lie saith. 
Wouldest thou be consumed and burnt up as the stubble ? Canst 
thou endure the sight or voice of God ? Dost thnu know him 
if thou see him, or hear him, or woulilst not thou say still, 
' How know I hut it was an e,vil spirit, and not God ? ' Knowest 
thou not that God i? invisible, and mortal eyes cannot see him ? 
It is past my reach to know what more satisfying- evidence and 
seal thou canst desire from God than he hath given : and if thou 
wouldst have none, thou canst not be governed. 

If any say. I would have God reveal all by the light of nature, 
a,s he hath done the law of nature. 

Answ. Such men know not what they sav : thev know not 
what the law and light of nature is. Reason, or the understand- 
ing, is but the mere visive faculty, as it were : it is but a seeing 
power, and doth not actually see any thing, till it be revealed 
from without. The understanding is a bare sheet of paper, and 
knows nothing but what maketh its way into it by the sense, 
and what it thence gathers. I\Ian hath no actual knowledge 
by mere nature ; never infant ordinarily iiad any. And if it 
were possible for the reasonable soul to reuiain in a body, where 
all the five senses are dead (as hearing and seeing is in some) 
the soul would know nothing ; our understandings, therefore, or 
reason, are not the law of nature, nor the light of nature, except 
improperly ; when they have received the species, and there is 
a transcript of the law of nature, written on them, then they 
may be so called, in the same sense as sanctification may be 
called the law of grace,>.because Christ writeth his law there in 
our hearts. But truly and properly the law of nature is natura 
reruniy the common nature of all God's visible workmanship, 
both ourselves, and all the rest of the creatures within ( ur 
knowledge. These are God's book, or law, because they reveal 
so much of God to us, as from whence we may gather much of 
his will by his nature, and so know much of our own duty. 
Now let me ask any admirer of reason or nature in the world : 
Do you think that this great, dark book of nature doth speak 
God's will so fully and plainly to our purblind souls, as the 
clear, express revelations of the word and Spirit do, who also 
enlighteneth the eye to discern it ? Are not the few great wits 
of the world puxzledin tiiebook of nature, especially those that 
had no further light? and wliat, then, shall all the ignorant world 
do bv it ? IS it not a verv little of God that the wisest could 


find out this way, when the siiliej^t woman can know far more 
by the supernatural revelation ? Nav, had you rather have the 
mere dark premises to gather conclusions from, than to have 
God from heaven deliver you the conclusion to your hand ? 
Are not God's arguments and collections more certain than 
those of your weak understanding ? Nay, and for the evidence, 
do you think that natural works are more convincing than 
supernatural ? Can you see more of God in the ordinary course 
of nature, than by miracles that cross nature, or work above 
it ? Why then do you desire miracles ; and say, ' Except we see 
signs and wonders we will not believe ?' Lord, how perverse is 
blind man grown by his strangeness to God ! The ordinary 
works of God almost none regard, because they are ordinary. 
But they say, if God would work miracles, they would believe : 
if he that made the sun move, would make it stand still ; if he 
that made the sea flow would make it dry land ; if he would 
raise the dead, and show himself evidently above nature : and 
when God hath done so, then they are ready to sav, ' For ought 
I know, it may be the work of the devil ; 1 would have him 
reveal things to my reason by the wav of law or nature.' 
Well, if you will not know his law, you shall know his sentence. 

What I have said concerning the truth of the christian religion, 
and Scripture in general, will hold clearly to each })articular 

1. If Scripture be so certainly true, then those passages in it 
that seem to men contradictory, nmst needs be true ; for thev 
do but seem so, and are not so indeed. Ignorance makes men 
think all dark and self-contradicting which they read. It 
would make one pity some wretched souls, to hear how con- 
fidently they ^vill charge some texts with contradictions, through 
their mere ignorance of the plain sense, which when knowing 
men have manifested to them, they are ashamed of their rash- 
ness. It is ordinary, in all studies, for men to quarrel with that 
which they understand not, and say, as Nicodemus, ' How can 
these things be ?' Which yet, when they have well studied the 
matter, they discern to be easy, familiar, and well reconcileablej 
as in resolving a riddle, or finding out some new invention. If 
you set a man to it without help, he studieth and vexeth him- 
self, and at last giveth it up as impossible; but when vou have 
showed him the mystery of it, he marvelleth at himself presently 
that he could not see it easily. And yet, when men are possessed 
wirh presumption, and void of a due reverence and fear of God, 

F 2 

28 THE spirit's witness to - 

thougii they neither understand these difficulties in the languages 
and phrase, which is necessary for the clearing of seeming con- 
tradictions; and though they understand not the customs of 
the country, nor the situation of places where Scripture facts 
were done, with many the like things necessary to the clear 
discerning of the truth ; yet they are ready presently to fly in 
the face of God, and to charge the Scripture with contradiction: 
as if God understood not himself, because they understand him 
not : as if the Holy Ghost were as much in the dark as they 
are. Alas ! that silly man should be no more conscious of his 
own weakness of understanding, and no more apprehensive of 
the dreadful Majesty of God, and the unsearchableness of his 
ways, and how little it is to be expected that his mysteries 
should be so easily discerned by the world ! That men that 
know, or may know, the great diseases of their own eyes, should 
yet rather quarrel with the sun, when any thing seems dark 
or doubtful to them ! If we were reading but some indentures, 
or other instrument, which we knew were drawn by an able 
lawyer ; if we met with some passages that seemed difficult or 
contradictory ; we should presently question our own under- 
standing, because we have not so much skill in law matters as to 
be able to pass a censure on it, rather than we would believe 
it to be a contradiction indeed : or, at least, we should think 
the transcriber had slipped : yet is there no seeming contradiction 
in Scripture, but these unbelievers may see a fair reconciliation 
and solution, if they will be at the labour to read expositors. 

2. if our religion and Scripture be so certainly true, then the 
most improbable passages are true, as well as the rest: I mean 
those which to the ignorant seem unlikely. The opening of 
the sea to the Israelites ; the standing still of the sun for 
Joshua; Jonah's living in the belly of a whale; the raising of 
the dead, and the resurrection of Christ himself; the earthquake, 
and darkness at Christ's death, 8cc. Here,. also, the wickedness 
of man's nature appeareth. If God send a prophet, or his Son, 
into the world to acquaint them with his will, they call for 
signs and wonders, and except they see these they will not 
believe : and they pretend, that if they could but see such miracles 
wrought, thej would all believe : and when they are wrought, 
some that see them believe them ; the rest will question the 
power that doth them ; and the next age will make these very 
miracles the occasion of their unbelief; and say, 'These are un- 
likely things, I win never believe that such things were done :' 


and yet these unbelieving wretches see as great works as any 
of these every day before their eyes. Is not the so swift 
moving of such a body as the sun as great a work as its 
standing still ? Sure, motion requireth as mucli power as not 
to move doth. Is not the course and tide of the sea, and its 
limitation and restraint, as great a work as its standing still, 
and being dried up for a passage to the Israelites ? But or- 
dinary things men take no notice of; as if God did them not 
at all, because he doth them every day : and so, if God do 
daily miracles, they are slighted, and cease to be miracles ; 
men say, ' Nature doth it :' as if nature were any thing but 
God's creature, or the order he hath placed among his crea- 
tures ; and if God do such wonders but seldom, men will not 
believe them. The like may be said of seeming improbable 
doctrines, as the resurrection, the last judgment, heaven, hell, 
and whatever else in Scripture flesh and blood can hardly digest. 
Scripture being proved true, all these must needs be true. 

3. Also, if Scripture he certainly true, then the most terrible 
passages in it are certainly true ; nothing is more hardly believed 
by men than that which will be most tormenting to their minds, 
when it is believed that none shall be saved but the regenerate 
and holy ; and those that live not after the flesh, but the Spirit, 
and love God in Christ above all the world, even their own lives ; 
and that, besides these few, all the rest shall be tormented in 
hell for ever. This is the doctrine that flesh and blood will 
hardly down with. They say or think they will never believe 
that God will be so unmerciful ; as if God must needs be less 
merciful than man, because he is more just and holy, and will 
not be so indulgent to their flesh and sin as they are themselves, 
and would have him to be. And I have known even godly men, 
through the remnant of their corruption and darkness in the 
things of God, and the violence of temptation, much troubled 
with their unbelief in this particular. But God cannot lie : the 
Scripture being true, and the christian religion certainly true, 
every part of it must needs be true. But because sensual nature 
looks for sensible demonstration, or proof, let me ask the unbe- 
lievers this one question : 'Do you believe that which you see and 
feel, and all the world feels as well as you ?' You know that all 
mankind liveth here a life of trouble and misery; we come into 
the world in a very poor condition, and we ))ass througli it in 
dailv labour and sorrow, and wo pass out of it through the dread- 
ful pang*^ of tleath. What incessant labour have the most of 

30 THK spiHii'»< a\iim;5.'^ to 

them at |)l<)iigli mul cait, and thrashing, and other hard work, 
in your several trades ; and when one day's work is over, you 
must go to it again the next, and after all this, how much want 
and mi'^erv, how many a hard meal, and pinching cold and 
nakedness some of you undergo; how much care and grief 
of mind to pay debts, to provide for children, yea, to provide 
meat, and drink, and clothes, besides wrongs from men of high 
degree and low, the rich oppressing you, and your own poor 
neighbours often abusing you- Do you not see and feel how 
sicknesses do torment us? When one pain is over, another is at 
hand. Have you not seen some, under such terrible fits of the 
gout, or stone, or other diseases, that they thought no torment 
could be greater ; some with their legs rotting, and must be cut 
off; some with loathsome cancers and leprosies on them many 
years together ; some fastened to their beds five or six, yea, 
twelve years together; some that have lost their eyesight, have 
lost almost all the comfort of life ; some that never could see ; 
some that never could hear or speak ? 1 have known some in 
such pain that they have cried out they did not believe there 
was greater in hell ; some are mad, and some idiots : are not all 
these in a very miserable case ? Now, I would ask you further, 
if God may, without any unmercifulness, do all this to men, 
and that as a chastisement in the way to bring them to repen- 
tance ; if he may, without unmercifulness, make a David cry 
out in misery, and wash his couch with his tears ; and make a 
Job to lie scraping his sores on a dunghill ; why should you 
think he cannot, without unmercifulness, torment incurable sin- 
ners in hell ? Further, I would ask you this question ; suppose 
you had lived in Adam's paradise, or some condition of pleasure 
and rest, where you never had tasted of sickness, or labour, or 
want, or feared death, if God's word had there told you but that 
man shall endure so much misery as 1 have here mentioned and 
men dailv suft^"er, and should die at last for his sin ; would you 
have said, ' 1 will never believe God would be so unmerciful ? ' 
You thatsav so now, would likely have said so then in this case ; 
for feeling the pleasure yourselves, you would on the same 
ground have said, ' God is unmerciful if he should make man so 
miserable ; ' and yet you see and feel that God doth it, and we 
know that he is not unmerciful. 

Moreover, you see how he useth your poor beasts here ; how 
they are made your servants, and you labour them from day to 
day, till thev are readv to lie down under it : and vou beat them 


at your pleasure, and at last you kill them. Xay, men will not 
stick to kill the most beautiful birds, or other creatures, and 
perhaps twenty lives must sometimes go, for to make one meal for 
men at their feasts ; and yet consider, I. These creatures never 
sinned, and so never deserved this, as wicked men deserve their 
torments ; 2. Vet you accuse not God of unmercifulness for giving 
them up to this misery ; 3. Nor do you accuse yourselves of 
unmercifulness for using them thus ; 4. Much less will any man 
be so mad as to say, sure this is not true, that the poor crea- 
tures suffer so much, because Cod is more merciful. 

Yet further, 1 would ask you^ do you not know that you and 
all men must die? and would you not be contented to suffer a 
terrible degree of misery everlastingly, rather than die ? What- 
soever men may say, it is certain they would. Though not to live 
to us is better than to live in hell, yet men would live in very 
great misery, rather than not live at all, if they had their choice. 
We see men that have lived, some in extreme poverty, some in 
great pain, for manv years, that yet had rather continue in it 
than die. If, then, it be so great a misery to be turned again 
into nothing, that you would rather suffer everlasting pain in 
some measure, methinks you may discern a probability that 
God's word should be true, which threatens yet a greater pain : 
for is it not likely that the judge will inflict more than the pri • 
soner will choose or submit to ? 

Once more let me ask you, did you never see a toad or snake; 
and do you not know there are such creatures in the world ? 
Would you not think it a very grievous misery to be turned into 
a toad or serpent ? And would you not rather endure much mi- 
sery, as a man, than be such a creature ? And were he not a 
madman that would say, ' 1 will not believe that there is such a 
creature as a toad, because God M'ould not be so unmerciful as 
to make such?' VN'^hy now consider; if God did make such 
creatures so far below you, when he might have made them 
men, and vet these creatures never sinned against him, judge 
yourselves, whether it be not very probable to reason, and very 
just, that God should bring men that wilfully siti in the abusing 
of his grace, into a far worse condition than a toad. If God 
might justlv have made thee a toad, when he made thee a man, 
and continued thee so for ever, and that without any sin of 
thine, then how much more evident is the justness of his deal- 
ings, in dooming those to everlasting torments that have obsti- 
nately, throughout all their lives, refused his mercy. And yet 

32 THE spi hit's witness to 

even these toads and snakes are loth to die, and thereby show 
that yet there is a greater evil which they are capable of, and 
that without sin. Have you all these so sensible demonstrations, 
yea, do you see the sinful world lie under war, and blood, and 
famine, and pestilence, and yet will you not believe that God's 
threats of everlasting torments are true ? 

Yet once more let me ask you, did you never know a man in 
desperation under intolerable pangs of conscience ? Alas ! it is 
frequent ; jso that some of them have said, as Spira, that they 
had the torments of hell already on them, and wished they were 
in hell, that they might feel the worst, so that their lives are a 
burden to them ; that though their friends watch them never so 
carefully, they cannot keep them from making away themselves. 
Is not here a plain foretaste of hell on earth ? When no pain 
is upon the body, no losses nor crosses on them in the world, 
and yet their minds lie under this torment. 

Nay, is there not naturally in all men living, a fear of suffer- 
ing in another world ? Even as there is naturally an apprehen- 
sion of a God who is holy and just, so also a fear of the execution 
of his judgments hereafter. And as atheists, when they have 
done their worst, they cannot be perfect atheists, nor blot out 
all apprehensions of a God from their minds ; so when they 
have done their worst, they cannot perfectly get rid of those 
natural fears of everlasting sufferings ; but even when they are 
drowning them in the pleasures of sin, and stopping the mouth 
of conscience with the noise of worldly delight and business, 
and are drinking away, or playing away, or laughing away 
their fears, yet still they stick in their very hearts, and are so 
rooted that they can never pull them up, though they may 
stifle them. And very few are given over to such desperate 
unbelief, but many a griping fear doth stir within them, and 
they dare not be much alone, nor dare seriously bethink them- 
selves one hour, whether there be such things in the life to 
come, or no. They dare scarce hear the minister preach of 
them, lest, with Felix, they should tremble. They are ready 
to say, what if these things should be so, what a case I am in 
then ? And when these men have fallen among infidels, who have 
furnished them with all their confident cavils, and most subtle 
arguments against the truth, and make them believe that there 
is neither heaven nor hell hereafter, and so make them more 
atheistical than the mere sin of their nature alone could make 
them ; vet still these fears do dwell in tlieir verv hearts, and 


all the paganish arguments in the world, will not whoU)- root 
them out. Especially, when they come to die, how few of 
these is there but are far more afraid of misery in another world 
than they are of death itself alone. And are not God's threats 
of hell, then, to be believed ? Nay, yet let me propound one 
question more to you : Is there nothing in it, that there is in 
man's nature such a strange fear of devils, and spiritual enemies, 
and misery? So that children that have no understanding 
are afraid at the naming of them ; that we are afraid to go in 
the dark, or into a church among the graves, in the night, upon 
a conceit that an evil spirit may be there ; nay, the fear of 
these things is far greater than the fear of death itself, and yet 
not one man of a thousand ever saw the devil appear in any 
shape, and, it may be, never spoken with any man that did ; and 
yet he cannot overcome these fears. Yea, if you do but dream 
in the night that you see the devil in any shape, or that he 
followeth you, or layeth hands on you, it is a greater terror 
than to dream that you are beset with thieves, or that you must 
die. Nay, we have known dying men that have not seemed 
afraid of death in any extremity, and yet they have thought, 
shortly after, that they have seen the devil stand by them, and 
then they have cried out in the greatest amazement and horror; 
as being far more scared than they were by death itself. It 
seemeth to me that this natural fear of devils comes from that 
real captivity that men are in to the devil, from which the 
saints themselves are not perfectly delivered till the last enemy 
death he conquered ; though they are so far delivered that they 
are not his captives, but only have yet some of the effects of 
his tyranny. " For Christ hath destroyed, by death, him that 
hath the power of death, that is, the devil, that he might deliver 
them who through fear of death, all their lifetime, were subject 
to bondage." (Heb. ii. 14, 15.) But this deliverance is not per^ 
feet in the time of this life. And, indeed, fear of spiritual 
enemies, and of punishments in the world to come, so deeply 
rooted in the soul of man, seemeth to me to be even nature's 
acknowledgment of the truth and justice of everlasting punish- 

Besides all this, yet it is evident that God is just, and the 
Governor of the world, and therefore must be just in judgint^, 
and executing his laws ; and it is as evident that in this life 
there is not that difference made between the rigliteous and 
the wicked which their different lives, and God's justice, do 

34 THE slMRir'.s niTN'EsS TO 

require. It happens to the righteous according to the 'vork 
of the wicked, and to the wicked according to the work of 
the righteous, (Eccles. viii. 14.) If there were no punishment 
for the wicked, nor happiness to the godly, after this life, cer- 
tainly either God were not the Governor of the world, or else 
he governs it not in justice ; and he that dares imagine either 
of these, must say next, that there is no God. 

1 have said thus much more than the main argument in hand, 
to prove the truth of the torments of hell, hecause sensual men 
do look for arguments from sense : arguments which they may 
see and feel, as well as understand ; and because fleshly men 
think tliat God should not be so merciful, if he should so 
torment them ; self-love makes men partial judges in their own 
cause. There is not the worst murderer, or felon, but thinks 
the judge unmerciful that sentenceth him to death. Yea, the 
foolish child thinks his own father unmerciful, for whipping him : 
silly sinful man is unfit to judge of the proceedings of their God. 

Object. Jjut the wicked socinians, and some others, that argue 
against the necessity of Christ's satisfaction, have taught these 
men to object thus : that there is no necessity of suffering for 
sin, and God will not torment his creature without necessity. 
God can forgive it, say thev, in mercy, without any wrong to 
his justice. For the end of punishment is but to deter men from 
sin, and preserve obedience, and there will be no use for that in 
the world to come : and therefore the i)unisliment shall not be 
continued in, the world to come. 

Ans. To all this I answer, 1 . There is a moral necessity of 
suffering for sin; for God is necessarily the Governor of the 
world, and necessarily just : and having made a law which is 
in its ordination niade to be both the rule of men's actions, and 
of God's judgment, (norma actiomim, moralium, and norma 
judiciij according to the common nature of law, it is therefore 
necessary, that God rule according to his law : not that he 
hath given up his power to dispense with a law ; but by making 
these laws for his instrument, in governing the world, whose 
use is to be norma jvdicli, as well as 7'egula uctioniim, he hath 
restrained his power as to the exercise, signifying that this shall 
be the way of his governing and judging; and therefore he will 
not dispense with them but upon a valuable consideration. 2. 
And l)esides, there is vet a further moral necessity adfinein, that 
he may attain the right ends of government, wliich by ordinary 
moral means cannot otherwise be attained ; but the law and 


lawgiver would be contemned, and men sin more presuinplnously, 
when they were from under that restraint. 3. Where they say, 
that these ends require not everlasting punishment, but only 
punishment here. 

I answer, There is no proper government but by law, the 
engine and instrument of government. These laws must have 
threats, and constitute the dueness of punishment, in case of 
disobedience : it is necessary, then, that these laws must be made: 
and man being a creature that must live for ever, either in joy 
or misery, it is necessary that the pain threatened be such as 
may have weight enough in suo genere, in a moral causality, to 
restrain from sinning. Now, if God should inflict that punish- 
ment only which he doth in this life ; then, 1. Man should not 
have been governed as man, that is as a reasonable creature, by 
hopes and fears of things to come, but as a beast : nor could 
virtue or vice be differenced or manifested ; nor the excellency 
of the one, or the vileness of the other, appear : for men should 
live by sense, and not by faith. The thief and the true man will be 
alike in practice, when the judge stands by, and they know they 
shall presently be hanged if they steal ; so the murderer and 
the lover of his brother, the adulterer and the chaste, will be 
both alike free from the act of sin in the midst of a congrega- 
tion. This is not properly obedience, or, at least, not obedience 
fit for a reasonable creature (who is made to be ruled by reason, 
and not by mere sense) to give to the high God. 2. liesides, it 
would not be sufficient to restrain men from sin, if God should 
only threaten temporal judgments, and not eternal. How 
would all the world be cast into confusion by this, while every 
murderer would venture to execute his malice, and every 
drunkard and adulterer would follow their lusts, and every 
voluptuous man would take his pleasure, if it were but to endure 
a short pain at death, and then be happy or free from misery 
for ever after. We see how thieves will venture a hanging, and 
everv offender venture on the punishment of the law. And some 
drunkards and adulterers have professed that they had rather 
live but one vear in their pleasurg than live to be old without it. 
So that reason may see, if God did not threaten an everlasting 
punishment, it would not be rationally sufficient for the govern- 
ment of the world ; except he should execute judgment 
presently still as they sin, and make the present bitterness 
greater than the sinful pleasure ; and so govern rational men, 
like unreasonable brutes. 8o that it is apparent there is a moral 

36 THE spirit's witness to 

necessity that God do threaten hell fire. And then, T think, it 
will easily appear that there is a necessity that he execute these 
threats : for thougli the law, as a law, do not oblige God to 
punish, but man to suffer, and do hut constitute the dueness of 
the punishment, yet this law is also, as I said, norma judicii, 
and so in the enacting this law, God doth, as it were, say, 
according to this rule 1 will govern and judge the world. The 
law saith, punishment shall be his due; justice saith, let men 
have their due. Besides, if God had only constituted the 
dueness of punishment, and not made known to men, that he 
would eventually execute his threats accordingly, then the hope 
of impunity would have encouraged men to sin. This is so 
evident, that we see men will still venture on sin, after God 
hath foretold them the very event ; and. say, they hope God 
will be better than his word. What, then, would men have done 
if God had not declared the event, but only the dueness of 
punishment ? And, therefore, God hath been pleased, in the new 
law, to add to the mere threat a peremptory decree, or a pre- 
diction, assuring them that this threat shall be executed without 
remedy, though in the first law he did not so ; and reason 
showeth the moral necessity of so doing. So it is now plain, it 
was necessary that God make such a law, that should threaten 
everlasting punishment, and that by such a peremptory threaten- 
ing, as should leave the sinner no hope of escape. And then 
it is past doubt that it is as necessary that God execute all such 
peremptory threatening, for God cannot lie. Though he may 
alter the dueness constituted by his law, and so dispense with 
the law, yet he cannot make falsehood become truth, and so 
dispense with his prediction. Besides the great doubt, whether 
stante rerum natura, he can dispense with the punishment of 
all law. So that the punishments in the world to come were 
a necessary means to govern aright this present world. 

And, besides, let me tell these bold men, that as the devils are 
made a warning to men that they sin not as they, lest they suf- 
fer as they ; so little do we know whether God will have any 
other world of creatures, to be continued after our great judg- 
ment, who shall be kept in obedience by the consideration of 
the punishment of these men that now de'^pise the mercy that 
is offered them. 

But they object that God could easily malce the creature so 
perfect as to obey him without the threats of such punishment. 

Answ. True ; l)ut it is ujjparent he hath not made him such, 


and who dare say he hath done amiss ? May not horses, and 
oxen and sheep, yea, toads and serpents, have more pretence to 
expostulate that they were not made men, than we have that 
God made us no better ? I will not meddle with the school- 
men's dispute, who maintain that it is impossible for God to 
make a creature impeccable, or indefectible. It seemeth that 
the upshot of the quarrel is, that man is but man ; that he is 
made a free agent ; and that God hath contrived to rule the 
world sapientially by the two great engines of free-will and ex- 
ternal objects. A will naturally inclined to good, and averse 
from evil, self-good and self- evil, and good and evil, life and 
death, set before him accordingly to determine him. So that the 
adversary doth seem herein to confess that another kind of 
world might be made by God, which could be governed well 
without ])romises and threats, but not this world of man, in the 
nature he is in. Even the most perfect measure of saving 
grace that is in this life supposeth the necessity of promises 
and threats, reward and punishment, for restraining from sin, 
and provoking to duty ; and in the life to come, the present 
fruition of so glorious an object will hold faster than any pro- 
mise or threat now can do : so I think it is evident that ever- 
lasting punishment to sinners is necessary. But if I could prove 
none of this, yet that they shall certainly be inflicted, may cer- 
tainly be concluded from the truth of Scripture. And for the 
necessity of them, or the justness, we will let God alone to con- 
vince the world, who will one day fully manifest both, and be 
justified when quarrelling unbelievers shall be condemned. 

But if men are resolved to perish, what remedy ? Yet, be- 
sides all this, let me tell you that it is not only this fore-dis- 
covered necessity for the avoiding following inconveniences, but 
there is also another necessity of punishing sin. Not a neces- 
sity physical, as if God punished sin as the fire burneth, without 
reason ; nor a necessity of coaction, as if any compelled him ; 
nor as if he would do otherwise, but could not choose : but it is 
a necessity of natural perfection, because of God's justice : for 
the very order and nature of things requireth that God should 
join natural evil to moral evil, and not make the wicked happy, 
nor the good unhappy, but the wicked miserable, and the good 
happy, according to their nature : for his law, in this respect, was 
groiuided upon the nature of things ; and therefore, as nature 
reciuired that God should make punishment due by law, so the 
same nature cf things requireth that it be inflicted by vindictive 

38 THK spirit's witness to 

justice; from which notliing hut sufficient satisfaction to that 
justice can free tiieni, and God neitiier can nor will go contrary 
to the nature of things, l^verv man will confess that if he had 
made a law that it should go well with the wicked, or that men 
should sin without punishment, it had heen an unjust law. And 
is it not as evidently unjust to do so in execution ? But of this, 
for full satisfaction, I pray read ' Amyraldus Thes. Salmurienses 
de Necessitate Satisfactionis.' 

4. Further, if Scripture he so certainly true, then all the 
promises and merciful passages are as certainly true. The 
careless world, that are not interested in them, do seem more 
easily to believe this, than those gracious souls to whom they 
do belong. But their faith is too easy to be sound ; and be- 
friended too much by Satan to be from God. But of this 

5. Let me now advise you further, seeing it is so fully proved 
that our religion and Scripture are the certain truth, that you 
would remember and make use of this doctrine at time of need ; 
especially in these several cases following, wherein men have 
more than ordinary need of it. 

1. When you are tempted by the devil, or by heathens, to 
unbelief and blasphemy, remember then, and make use of the 
proofs you have heard. These sorts of men are most liable to 
temptations, to unbelief, and flat heathenism, or Judaism. 1. 
Young, weak Christians, and especially giddy professors, who 
place most of their religion in opinions ; who fall in among 
seducers, before they are grounded in the truth. 2. Fleshly, 
sensual men, whose lusts and wicked desires are strong, and so 
rage within them, that they cannot endure the strictness of the 
christian religion. But while they do stay among professors, 
they are as birds in a cage, still seeking to get out, glad to hear 
of a more flesh-pleasing doctrine. 3. Especially if these men 
have wounded their conscience, and been false to the religion 
they did profess ; and secretly lived in the lusts of uncleanness 
or drunkenness, or the like sensual course. 'I'hey are glad to 
believe any doctrine that tells them of impunity in the life to 
come, that thereby they may quiet their consciences : God 
knows, a short and silly comfort. 4. "^Fhe proud and presump- 
tuous professors, timt study not the word of God with fear and 
reverence, and look into holy things with rashness and self- 
confidence, not knowing the weakness of their own understand- 
ing. In a word, all that receive not the love of the truth, that 


they may be saved, whom therefore God giveth up to believe a 
lie, that all may be damned that believed not the truth, but have 
pleasure in imrighteousness. (2 Thess. ii. 11, 12.) Truth looks 
to be entertained as truth, and to be preferred before all eamal 
interest ; which if it be not, these souls are justly left in dark- 
ness, by the departure of the Spirit of light and truth. 5. And 
some true Christians are liable to temptations to this horrid 
sin, especially when they are stronger, and so more able to bear 
it; (for it is observed, that God in mercy seldom sufFereth 
the weakest to be much exercised with such hideous tempta- 
tions ;) especially those Christians that let loose their reason to 
over-bold in([uiries, and expect too much that God should in 
all things satisfy their reason. 6. Also, those Christians that 
having, in their younger time, received the fundamental truths 
only on trust, do come new to the trying of them, upon occa- 
sion of any enemy questioning them, or of their own doubting 
thoughts ; these at the first are usually put hard to it, till they 
have time, and good helps, to try and to be well settled. 

7. And most people that are in deep melancholy, and next 
step to distraction, are presently assaulted with blasphemous 
thoughts. I have wondered oftimes to observe what an evident 
power God giveth Satan in this case. I have had multitudes 
of people come to me for counsel in deep melancholv, some for 
their bodies and some for their minds, and I scarce remember 
two of them, but they were strongly tempted to deny Christ 
and Scripture, and many to question whether there were a God. 
Many that, being very godly, were well grounded before, and 
many that, were worldlings, and never minded it much before : 
yet now they are assaulted with these blasphemous temptations. 

All these sorts, that are capable of receiving advice, I would 
entreat to consider of the evidence given in, by which it is mani- 
fest that our religion is most certain, and Scripture most true : 
the devil himself believes and treuibles, who would persuade 
you to unbelief. Methinks the very nature and manner of 
urging the temptation, the importunity, and unseasonableness, 
and other circumstances, may easily manifest to you that it is 
the devil that puts it on. And if it be from him, you may 
easily know it is truth and goodness which is so opposed by the 
father of lies and wickedness. The Scripture doth evervwhere 
speak evil of him, and therefore, no wonder if he be an enemy 
to it. There are divers of my acquaintance now in England, 
that formerly seemed to have some religion, who now are so 

40 THE spirit's witness to 

far turned from Christ, and have made shipwreck of faith, that 
the)' deny the truth of Scripture, and believe nothing upon the 
authority of its revelation ; and so do not believe in Christ as 
incarnate and crucified for sin, and as the Redeemer of the 
world by his blood. My heart is often moved with grief for 
these men's case, to think of the certainty of their approaching 
misery ; and the rather, when 1 have fears that some of them 
are past recovery. " For if they sin wilfully," by renouncing 
Christ through unbelief, " after the acknowledging of the 
truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a fearful 
looking for of judgment, and fire that shall devour the adver- 
sary." "Oh, how sore will be their punishment, that tread 
under feet the blood of the covenant, wherewith they were 
sanctified, and do despite to the Spirit of grace 1" When it is 
written : "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord : and 
the Lord shall judge his people : it is a fearful thing to fall into the 
hands of the living God." (Heb. x. 26, &c.) Yet, because I am in 
hope that some of them have not heard yet of this argument 
from the gift of the Holy Ghost, or not in its full force set 
forth ; and, therefore, that they have not yet sinned against the 
Holy Ghost j I will venture to add one word of request to them. 
In the name of the Lord that made them, I entreat them, if 
these lines come into their hands, that they bestow a few hours 
in the sober, impartial consideration of that evidence which I 
have here and formerly given to piove the certain truth of 
Scripture, and our religion. That they would try them with 
meekness and humility, as men that are not willing to be 
deceived, and, in the mean time, stop their ears against the 
impetuous clamours of their lusts, which they may know to be 
against reason, as well as against Scripture : and if they can 
yet pray, that they would beg of God to show them the truth; and 
if they cannot at first discern a full evidence of certainty, that 
they would a little suspect their own understanding, and read it 
over again, and come and open their objections to those that 
have studied these things more than themselves ; and if they 
can discern but a probability of truth in the Scripture, yet to 
consider whether it be not worse than stark madness to venture 
on a probability of everlasting damnation, and to cast away a 
probability of everlasting glory; and all this for a thing of nothing. 
]f it were another more probable way of salvation, that stood in 
competition with the way of Christianity, then the madness 
were not so great ; but when it is only for a httle fleshly pleasure. 


for a few days ; alas ! what a mad exchange or venture is this ! 
If you should lose these pleasures, your loss is not worth the 
naming : when death comes, the pleasant life and the sorrowful 
life are hoth alike. Nay, 1 believe, in my heart, that you that 
sell heaven for pleasure, have not near so much as you might 
have, in the way of Christ, in believing expectations of heaven : 
and it is strange, if the very terrors of your conscience, do not 
mar your mirth. Oh I then, when Christianity is revealed to 
you, with such clear demonstration as may put a reasonable 
man out of doubt ; what, do you mean to perish by wilful infi- 
delity ? You may see, in what is said already, that God calls 
you not to believe any thing, without reason to believe it, and full 
discovery of the truth. God doth not bid you to renounce your 
understanding. Christianity is not in shutting-your eyes, and 
following any teachers blindfold; it is opening your eyes, and 
using your understanding, and reasoning solidly and rightly, 
that God calls you to, and that is all that is necessary to your 
believing the truth. Therefore, renewing grace consisteth so 
much in illumination and opening of men's eyes, and turning 
them from darkness to light. There is no religion in the world 
hath true reason for it, but the Christian religion, or those 
parts of it which men of other religions do acknowledge : only 
you must needs know, both that lust and fleshly interests and 
inclinations will be strong hinderances to your believing of a 
doctrine whi«h is so much against them ; and, also, the clear 
apprehension of these things cannot be expected, either at your 
first study, or upon any slight view. If a man should teach the 
metaphysics or mathematics, yea, or any common doctrine or 
trade, you never think to understand him, and discern the evi- 
dence of truth in all his assertions at first. No ; nor till you 
have long and seriously studied it, and used yourselves to it. 
And shall these heavenly mysteries be so easily apprehended, or 
be so obvious to your understanding, that you may discern them 
at the first view ; especially, considering the native blindness of 
the understanding in spiritual things ? 

It may be you will saj^, this is not our first consideration of 
these things ; \ve have been Christians many a year. Answ. But 
were you not all the while Christians in name only ? Did you 
not take up your religion merely upon trust ; and believe 
Scripture to be the word of God merely upon tradition, and the 
authority of your teachers ? If you went no further, I may say 
you are yet new to study for the grounds of your religion, though 

vol- XX. G 

42 THE spirit's witness to 

you professed it before. The objections of the devil and hea- 
thenish seducers, which have drawn you from Christ and Scrip- 
ture, have but discovered the sandiness of your former foundation, 
and weakness of those grounds on which you had so carelessly 
built your faith, but they have not discovered the weakness of 
religion, and the christian doctrine itself, nor the weakness of 
those reasons by which other men can maintain it, though you 
could not, or cannot. And is it not a desperate betraying of 
your souls, that you fly discourse with those that have studied 
more than you, and will not open your doubts to those that have 
better reasons than you have to resolve them ? Should not any 
probability of eternal misery be avoided with greater diligence 
than thus much ? You think, by opening your doubts, men will 
account you blasphemers, and so you shall lose your credit, and 
you are confident that you are in the right, and you know already 
all that they can say, and therefore you will not open them to 
any that are able to judge of them ; but you do not know what 
can be said against them. Ministers do not use to deal with 
such blasphemous errors ordinarily in public, nor is it wisdom 
to do it; and therefore you hear not what they cau say. However, 
it is worthy your trying to hear the utmost, before you venture 
on eternal misery. 

2. As you should thus meditate on the certain truth of 
Scripture, when you are tempted to doubting, so also when your 
hearts are dull, and need quickening and exciting to duty ; as 
also when conscience groweth sleepy, and you dare, more easily 
than formerly, venture on sin. As it is the belief of the truth of 
Scripture and christian doctrine that is the first means of quick- 
ening the dead soul, and purifying the defiled heart; of mortifi- 
cation and vivification : so the same means that bred a spiritual 
life must breed spiritual strength, and maintain that life. By 
illumination God shows men the truth of his word, and the 
goodness of the things offered and promised therein ; even the 
desirableness of Christ, and the glory of his kingdom. By this 
sight the heart is touched, the will inclined to God, and longing 
desires after Christ provoked. Hereby love is kindled to Christ 
and glory, and the heart taken off from all inferior vanity, so 
that the apprehension of the truth and goodness of the christian 
doctrine, and thut which it holdeth forth, is the very instrument 
by which God doth his other works in the soul. Here other 
graces enter; and here the conversion of a sinner doth begin. 
This being so, it is evident that when any grace languisheth, 


or any corruption reviveth or gets strength, you must observe 
the same way in strengthening that grace, and destroying and 
getting down that corruption. Do you feel your love to Christ 
grow cold ? Go take a serious view of the truth of Scripture 
in general, and of those Scriptures in particular, that express 
his loveliness, and tell you what he hath done and suffered for 
you. Then it will make the fire break forth, and you will say, 
* Hath the Lord Jesus taken my soul from the very gates of hell, 
and ransomed me when all the world could not have done it ? 
and hath he chosen me to be one of his peculiar people, and 
renewed my dead corrupted soul, and, with the stamp of his 
image, marked me for his own ? Hath he pardoned, adopted 
me, and promised and prepared for me everlasting glory ? And 
shall I not love him ? or shall I love any thing else before him ? 
God forbid.' If you feel the love of the godly, or any of your 
brethren decay in you, go to Scripture, and consider the truth 
of those passages where Christ hath made this the mark of all 
his people; and saith, that he is a liar that professeth to love 
God, whom he never saw, and loveth not his brother, whom he 
seeth daily. (1 John iv. 20.) And where Christ hath given you 
his own ensample, both in stooping to wash his disciples' feet, 
and in laying down his life in love to us, and charged us even so 
far to imitate him, as if need be to lay down our lives for our 
brethren. And when you consider thoroughly that this is true, as 
being the word of God, it will do much to the cure ', especially 
if you believe also what God saith of your loveliness in his own 
eyes, and how tender he is of them for all their infirmities, and 
how you must be one body with them for ever in glory. If you 
feel your hearts grow dull to duty, that you grow customary in 
prayer, and hearing, and reproof, and meditation, do but take 
a serious consideration of the truth of Scripture, and it will do 
much to quicken you to think : is it not a certain truth of God, 
that these are appointed means for bestowing grace ? Is it not 
a real state of torments that I pray against; and a glory that 
hath God's own word for the ascertaining it whicli I pray for ? 
Oh, this will put life in prayer ! When you hear sermons, or 
read Scripture, and mix them not with this faith, they do not 
profit you. (Heb. iv. 2.) As much as you actually and firmly 
believe the truth of Scripture, when it speaketh of spiritual 
and eternal matters to you, so much and no more will it work 
upon your hearts. And therefore what great need have all mi- 
nisters to help their people to believe the word of God, seeing, 


44 THE spirit's witness to 

according to this belief, all the after- work succeedeth ? O with 
what reverence would men read every chapter, and with what 
affectionate worlcings of soul would every sermon be heard, if 
the truth of Scripture were firmly believed ! Could men believe 
the reports of judgment, heaven, and hell, and make so light of 
it as usually men do ? The same means, also, must quicken you 
in meditation, to consider deeply of the truth of what you think 
of. It is a dangerous case when Christians give way to a daily, 
customary deadness in duty, and go on in it without trouble, or 
any great resistance : it is the common way of backsliding, and 
declining in grace 5 the common way by which men grow strange 
to God. If thou have had never so sweet incomes this way, and 
communion with God in these duties, yet if thou once grow heart- 
less in them, and seek God as if thou didst not care for finding' 
him, ho. will hide his face, and will not be found of such a care- 
less soul. The lively reviews of the truth of Scripture is the way 
to awaken thy heart again, and make thy addresses to God more 
serious. Thiidi, oh ! how certainly shall the same wretch that 
is now kneeling before God, and begging mercy in so dull a 
manner, be shortly at the dreadful bar, (where there will be no 
mercy to those that prevail not for mercy now,) and there be 
sentenced to everlasting life or death. So when you are talking 
to one another of the life to come, or the way to it, see that 
you speak as men that believe the truth of Scripture, and then 
■your words will be as the oracles of God, and all your speeches 
be seasoned with salt. 2. The same means you must use, also, 
when corruption gets strength, or you grow venturous on sin. Oh! 
who durst let loose the reins to flesh-pleasing sensuality, that did 
but bclievingly consider, " If ye live after the flesh ye shall die 1 " 
(Rom. viii. 13 ;) and the fleshly mind is enmity to God ? Wlio 
durst give way to the fire of lust and passion that did believingly 
consider of the fire of hell ? Who durst give his heart to this 
])resent world, and turn all his thoughts, and words, and care 
about it, that did believingly consider of its vanity; or how 
much better things he might have in God ; and that he that 
loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him ? (1 John 
ii. 15.) And that to be a friend of the world is enmity to God. 
(Jam. iv. 4.) Who durst neglect holiness that did believe he 
should not see God without it? (Heb. xii. 14.) Who durst 
harbour unholiness, pride, and malice in his heart, that did be- 
lieve the image of the devil doth consist in them, and how sure 
a destruction attcndeth them ? Durst careless sinners spend their 


time in drunkenness, sporting, or the like vanity or wickedness, 
if they believed how much greater work they have to do, and 
what a reckoning they must make for all their time ? My ad- 
vice, therefore is, to every Christian that would strengthen his 
graces, get down corruption, or forbear sin, or practise duty, go 
take a view of the truth of Scripture. 

3. Another season when this lesson should be most made use 
of, is when we need the reviving of our hope and comfort. A 
man that is well awakened to apprehend what the heavenly 
glory is, must needs be deeply afflicted upon every doubtful 
thought of the truth of it. When affliction breaketh us, and 
lieth heavy upon us day and night, how should a poor creature 
bear it with any comfort, if he steadfastly believe not that relief 
and blessed change he shall have hereafter ? When a man is 
wearied with a vexatious, malicious world, and hath lived long 
as Lot did in Sodom, (2 Pet. ii. S,) how would he be over- 
whelmed with impatiency, if he did not think believingly of the 
deliverance at hand ! M^hen a man liveth in continual poverty 
or sickness, and hath scarce one day of ease to his flesh, were it 
not for the belief of his approaching happiness, how could he 
choose but wish he had never been born ? When we think of 
lying in the grave in rottenness and dust, how could nature bear 
it with any comfort, if our belief of God's word, which promiseth 
a resurrection, be not steadfast and firm ? This is the sovereign 
remedy against all disconsolation and maladies. Thou canst be 
in no trouble which hath not a particular, sufficient medicine in 
the word, if it be but applied by firm belief. There is enough 
in the word of God to comfort the poor, the sick, the oppressed 
and otherwise afflicted, that fear God; but if it be not believed, 
how can it comfort ? There is enough to comfort the doubting 
soul, tlie troubled conscience, the soul that longeth after God ; 
but if it be not believed, what good can it do ? There is enough 
in this Scripture to make every true Christian's life a continual 
feast, and fill their heart with continual gladness, and make them 
the merriest men in the world ; but then you must seriously and 
frequently bethink you of the truth of it. Here is the armour 
which will defend you against all assaults and terrors, and 
quench all the fiery darts of the devil ; but then it must be put 
on by faith. Christians do not walk uncomfortably for want of 
sufficient ground of consolation, (I mean those Christians that 
walk uprightly with God,) but for want of more faith to believe 
it. The Scripture doth both ascertain to them their happiness 

46 THE spirit's witness to 

for the future, and reveal it to their jjresent knowledge ; but if 
they think not on this believingly, no wonder if they live in sad- 
ness for all this. If any man make you a deed of gift of all his 
lands, if you believe it not to be current, you will be nothing 
comforted by it. O how it w'ould raise these drooping spirits 
that are so depressed by present afflictions and distresses, if they 
did but once a-day look on the promise of everlasting glory, and 
say, ' How infallible and certain a word is this ? ' and would 
look to their approaching enjoyment of Christ, and say, ' I shall 
shortly see the face of my dear Saviour, and then I shall be full ; 
I shall want, and suffer, and complain no more.' Though now 
we see him not, yet thus believingly we might rejoice with joy 
unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Pet. i. 8.) Certainly, if there 
were but one promise in God's book, it would make a Christian 
live comfortably, if it were well believed : had we but that one 
in John iii. 16, " God so loved the world that he," Sec, how 
merrily might a true believer live ! If Satan should say, 'Thou 
shalt be damned, thou shalt never see life ;' or if all the enemies 
we have in the world endeavoured our destruction, we could tell 
them all, ' God's word shall stand ; I have his promise that I 
shall not perish, but have everlasting life.' If Christians that 
live in never so great affliction, through sickness, poverty, op- 
pression, or the like, did well believe that one promise, " All 
things shall work together for good," (Rom. viii. 28,) how easily 
might they bear their sufferings. For what man will be so much 
grieved at that which he knoweth is for his good ; yea, and so 
great a good as the working and exceeding, eternal weight of 
glory ? 

Second Use. 

As you have seen in the First Use the certain truth of Scrip- 
ture and the christian religion ; so then see, next, what is the 
main argument by which the christian religion hath still been 
proved, and must be proved to the world's end ; even the 
Spirit of Jesus, working miracles and wonders in the first age 
of Christianity, openly in all the world, and working faith, and 
holiness, and consolation, in all saints, in all ages. 1 put both 
together, for they are but several gifts of one and the same 
Spirit, though eitb.er of them alone is sufficient to convince. 
Christ was to convince men of things so unlikely to common 
reason, and so far above nature, and also of so great concern- 
ment and necessity, that he must needs bring most evident, 


undeniable proof ; and so he did. They that would not be- 
lieve all his own miracles, nor believe his resurrection, should 
yet have a continuation of miracles to convince them ; when he 
is out of sight in heaven, they shall see him disposing of the 
world at his pleasure, and making the powers of earth and hell 
stoop to the poorest of his disciples. He sendeth forth a 
peculiar Spirit into his chosen, by which he will still live 
within and among them. As the bodies of men do live, and 
speak, and reason by the soul, so doth the church live and 
move by the Spirit of Jesus. If one had power to send the 
spirit of a man into the brute beasts in the whole country, and 
should make them speak, and discourse reasonably to any that 
come to them ; and all the country should see this done publicly 
on thousands, for many years together, would you not believe 
the testimony of him that did it, and say, he that hath power 
to do this is certainly of God ? So doth the Lord Jesus 
evince the verity of his testimony, by sending forth his divin , 
Spirit in men ; making them so publicly, in the face of congre- 
gations, do miracles, speak with tongues, cast out devils, for 
many years together ; and ever after to sanctify by it the souls 
of his people, mortifying and mastering the strongest corrup- 
tions, and raising them to those holy inclinations and affections, 
which mere nature is utterly strange unto. Unbelievers might 
have seen the former outward workings of the Spirit, and may 
vet see the certain proof that they were wrought : and be- 
lievers feel the inward for a witness in themselves, it much 
hurteth believers to forget what they once were, which, com- 
pared with what they are, will make the change more sensible 
- and eminent ; because they feel not as great a change still 
again and again, as they found at the ftrst, they forget the first, 
and overlook much of that mercy and evidence. If the sun 
did appear to the world yesterday, and to-day be under a cloud, 
and yet from thence afford the world its light, and some heat, 
is he not mad that will now question whether there be any sun 
or not ? We will believe them that yesterday saw it, though 
we had not ourselves seen it ; and we will confess that nothing 
else but the sun could thus enlighten the world. May not the 
glorious light of knov/ledge, the heat of holy affection, discover 
the Lord Jesus, though we live not in that age when he did 
shine visibly in daily, numerous miracles, having withal most 
certain testimony of these miracles ? As reasonably may we 
deny the sun, when we live in its light j or deny a man to be 

48 THE spirit's witness to 

leasonablej when we hear his discourse, as deny the testimony 
of the Lord Jesus, when we see the effects of his almighty 
Spirit. This Spirit he promised to send when he was ascended, 
to supply his own room, and that as a greater advantage to 
our faith and joy than his personal presence would have been. 
(John, xvi. 7.) This Spirit he promised to send to convince the 
world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, be- 
cause they believed not in him : that is, when they see the 
unquestionable evidence of his Spirit, they shall confess the 
sinfulness of their unbelief, and say, " Verily, this was the Son 
of God." Of righteousness, because he went to the Father, i. e. 
they shall then be convinced that he was righteous, and so was 
his testimonv, when they shall perceive that he remaineth not 
dead, but is ascended, and liveth with the Father in power and 
glory, all things being committed to his hands, when they see 
both men and devils obey him. Of judgment, because the 
prince of this world is judged, i. e. they shall then acknowledge 
that he is made the only Lord, and all judgment is committed 
to him, when they see him judging the devils themselves, and 
casting them out, and silencing all their oracles through the 
world, and destroying the kingdom of wickedness and darkness, 
and in bringing in light, and holiness, and consolation. Indeed, 
as God manifested himself the Creator by breathing into man the 
breath of life, whereby he became a living soul ; so Christ hath 
manifested himself the Redeemer, by breathing into man a 
divine nature, even the life of grace, whereby they become 
supernaturally living. And as it is madness for any man to 
doubt of God's creation, who hath a living soul, and discerneth 
't in others by the effects ; so is it madness for any man to 
doubt of Christ's redemption and salvation, that hath his Spirit 
dwelling in him, or discerneth it by its proper effects in others. 
And verily, if the blind world could see the things of the Spirit, 
they might discern the Spirit of Jesus in the holiness and 
heavenliness of these very people, whom they now hate and 
despise, as they can discern a reasonable soul in meii by their 
discourse. For though true special grace could not be so cer- 
tainly discerned from common grace, yet both common and 
special, as they are diffused through the church, do show the 
great power and virtue of Christ. 1 conclude, therefore, that 
the Spirit of Jesus Christ is his great convincing witness to the 


Third Use. 

The next information is this ; we see hence what is the testi- 
mony of the Spirit, and who 'they be that have this testimony. 
There is a twofold testimony of the Spirit, as to the thing 

1. Its testimony of Christ and the christian religion. 

2. Its testimony to the truth of our own graces, and of our 
adoption. What the former is you may easily discern by what 
is already spoken, that is both the work of miracles and sancti- 
fication. As for the latter, the Spirit's workings are some 
common, and some special ; the common, as miracles, tongues, 
prophecies, &c., formerly, and many common gifts now, may 
prove a man a common Christian. For Christ giveth to common, 
sanctified Christians those gifts of his Spirit which he giveth 
not to any of the heathen world. But yet these will not prove 
him a true Christian in the favour of God. But that the special 
gifts of sanctification will prove. It is not, therefore, at least 
principally, any internal voice, or the Spirit, saying within a 
a man, *Thou art the child of God,' which is the witness of the 
Spirit 5 but as the Lord Jesus hath made a promise of giving his 
Spirit to all that are his ; so when he perforraeth that promise 
they may iiereby know that they are his. It is the having this 
Spirit, and the working of this Spirit in us, that first witnesseth 
to our souls the power, goodness, and truth of Christ, and next 
witnesseth our own adoption, because he giveth it to none but 
to sons. " For because we are sons, (so made upon our 
believing), God sendeth forth the Spirit of his Son into our 
hearts, crying Ab!>a Father." (John i. 11, 12.) When we find 
the Spirit working child-like love, and child-like hope, and 
child-like dependence upon God, and desires after him, and 
recourse in prayer to him, we have then the certain witness of 
our adoption. (Gal. iv. 6 ; Rom. viii. 15, 16.) For by this 
work of the Spirit, causing us to cry Abba Father, and causing 
us to speak to God from child-like affection, and so helping 
our infirmities in our prayer, doth the Spirit witness with our 
spirit that we are the childjen of God. (Rom. viii. 15, IH, 26.) 
As many as are led by the Spirit of God may conclude they are 
the sons of God ; (Rom. viii. 1 4 ;) that is, if they live not after 
the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Verse 13.) It is the Spirit dwelling 
in us, then, which is the testimony. (Verse 9.) And if any man 
have not this Spirit of Christ he is none of his. (Verse 9.) It is 
therefore objectively that this Spirit testifieth. It is the seal, and 

50 THE spirit's witness to 

pledge, and witness of our adojDtion ; as the having of a reasonable 
soul, and the workings of it, witness our humanity. Those, there- 
fore, that look after a witness otherwise efficient, that is, the Spirit 
within, to tell them they are the children of God, may on both 
sides delude and undo themselves. -They that have no grace, 
may think they have, wliile their own deluded hearts persuade 
them they are good Christians. How readily would most of our 
worldlings think their presumption were the witness of the 
Spirit ! And those that have true grace may think they have 
none, because they discern not such a witness : whereas, if they 
faithfully enquired after the indwelling and working of Christ's 
Spirit in their souls, mortifying the flesh, and causing them to 
live to Christ, according to his law, they would have the sure 
witness, and that which they might sooner find. Yet I know, 
that when even from hence they conclude their sonship, the 
Spirit helpeth them in that conclusion. It is the Spirit itself, in 
its powerful, victorious workings, that is the white stone, and 
infallible seal of the love of God. 

Fourth Use. 

Next, we are hence informed what it is to believe In the 
Holy Ghost, and what it is to be baptised into the Holy 
Ghost. We find mention of the Spirit of God upon the 
prophets and holy men in the Old Testament, before Christ's 
coming in the flesh ; and the salvation of man then did lie in 
their believing this Spirit's speaking in the prophets, and re- 
vealing God's will to them. Those natural discoveries, which 
are made by the mere book of the creatures, was not then suffi- 
cient to instruct men in the truths and duties necessary to sal- 
vation. God saw it meet, even from the creation of the world, 
even to innocent Adam, to add some supernatural revelation : 
and we find now, by full experience, the defectiveness of mere 
natural discoveries, called the law or light of nature. Therefore 
had God still some special messengers, whom he designed to 
this work in former ages, that by them his Spirit might speak 
to the world : and they that believed not, but resisted- these 
prophets, were said to resist the Holy Ghost. (Acts vii. 51.) For 
that I judge the true meaning of the text, not excluding other 
resistance. Yet as Christ was not then so fully revealed, or so 
fully described to those believers to whom he was then pro- 
pounded ; so the Holy Ghost was not so explicitly propounded 
to be believed in, nor the doctrine of the Trinity then so fully 
opened. Yet then, as they were to believe in the Messiah, or 


Saviour to come, so they were to believe that the Spirit of God in 
the prophets, foreteUing his coining, was a true witness ; and 
therefore their prophecy is called a sure word, whereto we do 
well to look and trust, as to a light shining in a dark place. 
(2 Pet. i. 19.) But now, since the coming of Christ in the 
flesh, both the Son and the Holy Ghost are more fully revealed, 
the Holy Ghost by himself, and the Son by the Holy Ghost, and 
the Father by the Son and Holy Ghost, in a special manner. 
And though the Spirit in the prophets were truly the Spirit of 
Jesus foretelling his coming and salvation, yet the more eminent 
measure and working of the Spirit, given since Christ's coming, 
especially in the first ages of the church, for the confirmation of 
Christianity is peculiarly called the Spirit of the Son. (Gal. iv. 
6; Phil. i. 19.) Therefore, when we are said to believe in the 
Holy Ghost, it is not only that there is a Holy Ghost, or to be- 
lieve the doctrine of the Trinity; but it is to believe, first, that 
Jesus Christ did send forth his Spirit into his prophets before his 
coming, and more fully into believers since his coming, to be his 
infallible witness to the world, to convince the unbelieving, and 
confirm believers : and that this Spirit was poured out on the 
church, especially on the apostles, causing them to prophesy, 
and speak strange languages, and cast out devils, and heal dis- 
eases ; and that the same Spirit is given to all true believers, in 
all ages, to guide, and sanctify, and comfort them, working 
their hearts to God by Christ, and sealing the love of God to 
their soul, striving against and conquering the flesh. 2. And, 
further, to believe that the witness of this Spirit is certain and 
infallible, and that it is and must needs be the Holy Spirit of 
God which doth such miracles as were then wrought, and attest- 
eth and revealeth so holy a doctrine, and worketh in men's souls 
so holy and blessed eftects ; and therefore that Jesus Christ is 
the Son of God, who sealeth his doctrine by sending into be- 
lievers this Spirit. When we read of the glorious workings of 
the Holy Ghost of old, and see the holy workings of it still, to 
believe that this is the Spirit of Christ, which he promised to 
send for the confirming of his doctrine, and guiding his church, 
and applying his merits and benefits : this is to believe in the 
Holy Ghost, as to the assenting part. And then as to the con- 
senting part, (for the will hath its part also in this work of be- 
lieving in the Holy Ghost, as well as in believing in Christ,) it is 
a hearty consent that this Spirit shall be our Confirmer, Guide, 
Sanctifier, and Comforter in particular; with a sincere resolu- 

52 THE si'irit's witness to 

tion to yield to his revelations, to obey his guidance and mo- 
tions, and give up ourselves to his sanctifying work : this is be- 
lieving in the Holy Ghost. 

And then by this you may easily see what it is to be baptised 
into the name of the Holy Ghost ; for it is but the obsignation 
of this our faith on our part, and receiving of Christ's obsigna- 
tion of the promise of the Holy Ghost on his part. We do not 
only, by baptism, profess to believe that there is a Holy Ghost, 
but we profess to believe the truth of his witnessing to Christ 
and his doctrine, and to trust our souls on his teaching and reve- 
lation, and take him for our Guide and Sanctifier; and to believe 
on him, as that Holy Spirit which Jesus Christ, in his bodily 
absence, hath sent to supply his room, and to be, as it were, the 
soul of his church, and actuate everv true believer. 1 know none 
that more fully opens the sense of the Scripture and primitive 
church, concerning believing in the Holy Ghost, than Tertullian, 
de Prescript., where he citeth the creed, or foundation of religion, 
which the church believed and professed in those times, and by 
which the ortliodox were known from all heretics, Christum 
misisse vicariam vim Spiritus sancti qui credentes agat', having 
spoken of Christ's own working miracles before. Every word 
of it deserveth consideration. 

1. He speaks of the Holy Ghost as sent into the world, and 
not only as proceeding from the Father and the Son before the 
world was made. 

2. He speaks of liim as sent by Christ, and so flowing from 
liim, the Head, to his members, and testifying to him. 

3. To show the manner of his indwelling and working, he 
calls it vim Sjnrilus sancti, the power or active force of the 
Holy Ghost, because, essentially, he is every where, but he is not 
pleased every where to exercise or manifest his force; and he 
chooseth this phrase rather than an habit or an act ; and I con- 
ceive it more fit than either to signify that which we receive 
from Christ, called by the name of the Holy Ghost ; for the 
habit and act are but the effects of this force of the Holy Ghost. 
By this force he moveth the soul to action so effectually that it 
prodiiceth a hal)it; and he saith, not the substance, or person, 
or essence of the Holy Ghost is sent or given, but the force or 

4. He calls it incariam vim, to show that this Spirit is sent 
from Christ, the Head, upon his personal departure from the eartli, 
and ascending to heaven to supply the room of his bodily pre- 


seiice, both in testification, and in sanctification, and consolation 
of his people, as he told his disciples : " f tell you the trutli, it 
is expedient for you that I go away ; for if I go not away, the 
Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart 1 will send him 
to you." (John xvi. 7-) It is not expedient for the body that 
the head be contiguous to every member, but rather that it join 
locally only to the highest part of the body, and send forth the 
animal spirits into the whole body ; and the life and motion of 
the feet and hands, that stand remotest from the head, is vet 
an infallible mark, both that there is a head, and that it conveyeth 
spirits to those members, and those members have a conjunction 
and communion with the head : so is it most expedient that 
Christ, our Head, should be bodily present in heaven, but send 
his Spirit to his lowest and remotest members ; and he that 
feeleth or seeth the certain effects of this Spirit, is mad if he 
doubt of the life and efficacy of the Head; so that this Spirit 
is instead of Christ's personal presence, even as the magistrate 
is in the stead of the sovereign, through the body of the common- 
wealth. Nor doth this intimate any personal inequality between 
the Son and the Holy Ghost, but only a subserviency in operation. 

5. The office that Tertullian and the primitive church here 
giveth the Spirit, is ut credentcs ayat, to actuate believers, as 
the soul actuates the body : not that man's soul is merely passive 
herein, as the body is to the soul; for the soul is of a more ac- 
tive nature, being itself a spirit ; but as to the spirituality, and 
holy and heavenly manner of action, it comes from this Spirit. 
It actuated the Jfirst church after Christ with a force extraordi- 
nary, by miracles, prophecies, healing, languages, &e., and it 
still actuateth the whole body of Christ, according to their ne- 
cessity, for the perfecting of them in the application of Christ's 
blood and merits. 

6. It is especially the eminent degree of the Spirit which is 
here meant, that is given to believers after their faith ; and 
therefore he saith, qui credentes agat. Though, as I have said, 
the Spirit of prophecy that foretold of Christ was Christ's Spirit 
too, and so is the Spirit that bringeth men to Christ, by causing- 
them to believe. Yet this is but the Spirit moving without, and 
knocking at the door first, and making his way into the soul, 
and then he dwelleth in the soul afterwards. Sure I am the 
Scripture speaks of giving the Holy Ghost upon and after 
believing frequently, and that must be some gift eminently, and 
by an excellency called the Holy Ghost. Yet even that Spirit 

54 THE spirit's witness to 

which is given to believers, may be said to be given to unbe- 
lievers also, though not in the sense as he is given to believers ; 
yet in a lower sort he may be said to be given or propounded to 
them, not only as it moveth at the hearts of unbelievers, (though 
not effectual to sanctification,) but also as its workings in 
believers, discovered in the fruits, are an objective means to con- 
vince unbelievers. So saith Paul " If an unbeliever come 
in, he will fall down and say, God is in you of a truth." 
(1 Cor. xiv. 25.) And Christ himself promising the Spirit to his 
disciples, saith, that the same Spirit shall reprove the world of 
sin, of righceousness, and of judgment, (John xvi. 8,) but he is 
sent to dwell in believers only, " I will pray the Father, and he 
shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for 
ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, 
because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ye know 
him, for hedwelleth with you, and shall be in vou." (John xiv. 16.) 
Yet he addeth, " 1 will not leave you comfortless, I will come 
unto you." To show them that when the Spirit hath done all 
his work, Christ will return personally, and do the rest of his 
work also, which shall be the bringing them yet a greater 
comfort than that of the Spirit. 

The first work was to be done by Christ on the cross in 
satisfying, and by Christ on the earth in preaching and working 
miracles, and giving an example of holiness to his followers. 
There was so great comfort in this, that his disciples grieved to 
think of leaving him. The second work is to be done in heaven 
by Christ mediating, and on earth by the Spirit whom he will 
send to his church. By this shall the benefits of his former 
works, even of his death and satisfaction, be applied : and there- 
fore this is yet a more comforting work to believers, because it 
brings that mercy near us that before was far off, and that to 
our hearts, and into our possession, in part, which before was in 
the hands of Christ, and in a conditional promise : and there- 
fore the Holv Ghost, that performeth this work, is called a 
Comforter. The third and last work is by Christ returning to 
his church again : when the Holy Ghost hath done his works on 
our hearts, and perfected them, then will Christ sentence them 
to life everlasting, and present them perfect and spotless to his 
Father, and bid ihem enter into the joy of their Lord. This is 
the most comfortable work of all which he here frequently also 
promiseth. In the mean time the Holy Ghost is his substitute, 
as it were. " These things have I spoken while I am present 


with you ; but the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father 
will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring 
all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you. 
" But when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from 
the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedethfrom the Father, 
he shall testify of me : and ve also shall bear witness, because 
ye have been with me from the beginning." (John xv* 25, 26.) 
So that the work of the Spirit is first to be Christ's witness ; 
and then, secondly, to be his Agent hi the souls of believers ; 
and therefore Christ is said to dwell in them by his Spirit ; 
(Rom. viii. 11 ; 1 Cor. iii. 18.); and they are said to be the 
temple of the Holy Ghost, which dwellelh in them. (1 Cor. 
iii. 16. 17 ; 2 Tit. i. 14.) And he that hath not the Spirit 
of Christ, is said to be none of his. (Rom. viii. 9.) So that 
I conclude the Spirit, by extraordinary works formerly, and 
by holy actuating the church to the end, is Christ's great witness 
to the world : and thus we believe in the Holy Ghost, and thus 
we are baptised into him : for, as to believe in Christ, and to be 
baptised into him, respecteth him, not only as God, nor only as 
God and Man, according to his nature, but also as Redeemer, 
according to his office ; and that with a special applicatory 
respect unto ourselves; so also the same may, and must be said of 
our believingin the Holy Ghost, andbeingbaptised into his name. 

So much for that use. 

5. Hence we may perceive also what it is to sin against the 
Holy Ghost ; I mean that sin which is especially so called, and 
is the unpardonable sin. I dare not be too bold in such a 
conti-overted point. But it seemeth to me to be the total 
rejection of this great testimony of Jesus Christ given to the 
world, when men see or hear this testimony fully, and are 
convinced of the matter of fact, that such a Spirit the Lord 
Jesus did send into his Church at first, working these miracles, 
and prophecies, and tongues, which we read of, and see also the 
effects of this Spirit in the holiness of Christ's doctrine, and his 
people's lives, and yet will not believe that this Spirit is divine ; 
but when they have no other shift or means, they blasphemously 
say, it is the spirit of the devil, or by the power of the devil, that 
these things were wrought. This is Athanasius's opinion, and 
this seemeth punctually agreeable to that text of Scripture 
where Christ mentioneth this sin. I shall sav the less of this 
now, because I have before told you my judgment of it. Only 
observe, that it is not temptations or motions to this sin that is 

56 THE spirit's witness to 

unpardonable ; nor every sinful attendance to such temptations, 
or hearkening or inclining to them. But it is when the tempta- 
tion so far takes, that the sin is prevalent against the contrary 
witness and motions ; and when men do conclude fully and 
resolvedly, that the Spirit of Christ is the spirit of the devil. 
This sin is therefore unpardonable because incurable : for the 
Spirit will not stay with such a soul, but leave them remediless ; 
as Christ hath sent no greater remedy of unbelief, than the 
witness of his Spirit. Therefore, they that totally reject this 
have no rem.edy left for their cure : for the Spirit may follow 
them, and solicit them, till such a total blasphemous rejection. 
Even as when Christ himself is totally rejected by apostacy, 
sinners are left hopeless because helpless, and helpless because 
there remaineth no sacrifice for their sin, when the only Sacri- 
fice which was once offered for them is rejected. (Heb. x. 16.) 
Whether it be only this objective testimony of the Spirit, whose 
refusal is the sin against the Holy Ghost, or whether also the 
total rejecting of the effective testimony of the Spirit of Christ, 
when its motions come to so high a degree, be the sin against 
the Holy Ghost, 1 will not now determine : but the former 
methinks is clear. Only one great doubt here lieth in the way. 

Object. If that be so, then the conversion of the Jews may 
seem hopeless or desperate, because to this day they confess the 
miracles of Jesus Christ, and the other workings of his Spirit, 
but maintain that he did these by the help of the devil. 

Sol. To which I answer, 

1. It is God's great mercy to his church which made Christ's 
workings, nay, his apostles, so pubhclvandeminently miraculous, 
that all these enemies of his truth do confess them, and main- 
tain the infallible medium of the christian faith, while they 
deny the conclusion ; which one would think should much 
confirm all Christians in the faith. 

2. I Answer, that as it is with the papists, so it is with the 
Jews, they be not all of one mind : the leaders have grosser 
principles than most of the common people do entertain. 

3. And consider, may not that be one reason why the Jews 
are yet uncalled ? Why all nations flock in to Christ wherever 
the gospel yet came into the world, though God hath suffered 
the sword of the Turk to deter many countries from Christianity 
again, and only Jews continue uncured, except now and then 
two or three that come in ; may not that sin against the Holy 
Ghost cause the commonness of obstinate, incurable infidelity ? 
It i> worth the ol'serviuG:. 


4. May not God cause this generation of the Jews, whom he 
means to convert, to be free from this sin, which else would 
hinder their conversion, and vvliich hath hindered the conversion 
of so many of their predecessors. 

5. And the rather, because, indeed, w^e cannot say it is most of 
the Jews that are now guilty of it; for though the generality con- 
fess the miracles of Christ and his disciples, blessed be God fof 
it, yet we read and hear but of few of them that lay this upon a 
diabolical power, and so blaspheme the Holy Ghost : but most 
of them have a foolish fable, that Christ had found out the right 
pronunciation of the ineffable name, and by the power of that, 
did all his miracles ; and they "think, if any other could find out 
that name, he might do the like ; I mean, that nomen Tetra- 
grammaton, which we call Jehovah : so that I see not any cause 
that men have of discouragement, in any attempt for the con- 
version of any Jew, as if they all or most did now lie under that 
unpardonable sin, the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. 

There is none, besides Jews, on earth, that I am more afraid 
of, with respect to this sin, than some that lately were professors 
of religion amongst us, and now are turned to deny Scripture 
and Christianity, and make a derision of the word of God : 
especially those of them that are convinced of the matter of 
fact, and judge all to be done by the power of Satan : but I 
hope there are but ie'W of those. The Lord teach every be- 
liever to take heed of any thing that is like this sin, or that hath 
any tendency to it; and to tremble at every temptation that way, 
and speedily fly from it : for it is a fearful thing to fall into 
the hands of the living God, who hath said, "Vengeance is mine, 
and I will repay ;" for our God is a consuming fire : and doubt- 
less, Christians and all others have need to be very careful what 
entertainment they give also to the Spirit's motions within them; 
lest by unkind neglects, and frequent repulses, they grieve and 
expel him, that should convince and enlighten them, sanctify 
and comfort them ; and then they will be left to be filthy still, 
and comfortless for ever. 

I might have added somewhat here more fully, to show you 
^vhat it is to resist the Spirit, and what to quench and grieve 
the Spirit, and what for the Spirit to depart from men : but 
you may gather thus much from what hath been said. 

Doctrine If. 
Having done with the main doctrine, which I intended from 


58 THE spirit's witness to 

this text, I shall add a few words of that which lieth next 
before us. 

That doctrine, religion, and way, in which the Spirit of Christ 
is given, is the only true doctrine, religion, and way to salvation ; 
and, therefore, every one that would certainly know the true 
doctrine, religion, and way to salvation, should inquire by which 
religion or way it is, that he or others have received the Spirit 
of Christ. 

Here I must first give you some explicatory cautions for the 
right understanding of this part ; secondly, give you the reason 
of it for confirmation ; thirdly, Jipply it. 

1. He that is capable of making use of this rule, must be a 
man that either hath the Spirit himself, or else seeth the clear 
effects of it in others, or is convinced of the truth of Scripture 
report of these effects. Those churches that the apostles 
wrote to, had the Spirit themselves, some of them for miracles, 
and some for sanctification ; and those that had it not for 
miracles, could frequently see these miracles wrought by others 
that had it. Those, therefore, now, that either have the Spirit 
of sanctification or common illumination, or live among those 
that have it, and are able to discern the Spirit by its effects, 
are capable of making use of this rule of judging of doctrine 
and religion by the Spirit : but those that neither have the 
Spirit, nor live among those that have it ; or if they do, yet are 
not able to discern it by its holy effects in men's speeches and 
conversations, nor yet do believe Scripture reports of the former 
workings of the Spirit. These can never come by the means 
to know the true doctrine and religion : for being ignorant of 
the means, they must be ignorant of the conclusion and end. 

2. He that is capable of making right use of this rule, must 
be sure that he take not that for the Spirit which is not ; and 
so mistake a delusion, or melancholy fancy, and confident self- 
conceitedness, or distempered passion, for the Spirit of God : 
otherwise, a man will not only lose the use of this rule of 
trying and knowing the true religion by the Spirit, but he will 
be carried likely to a false, by this false means. Satan himself 
is transformed into an angel of light to deceive ; and his 
ministers transform themselves into ministers of light. (2 Cor. 
xi. 14.) And therefore every spirit that bringeth light, or 
seemeth to do so, is not this Spirit of God ; nor is every 
minister that preacheth light a minister of this Spirit of Christ. 
Those that inwardly are ravening wolves, yea, grievous wolves, 
devouring the flock, shall yet come in sheep's clothing, with 


seeming innocency and fair pretences. (Matt. vii. 15 ; Acts xx. 
29.) And they that creep into houses, and lead captive silly 
women laden with iniquity, ever learning, but never coming to 
the knowledge of the truth, shall have a form of godliness. 
(2 Tit. iii. 5, 6.) If one of Montanus's disciples, or one of our 
ranters, should take their strange satanical delusions or possessions 
for the Spirit of Christ as they do, no wonder if they be enemies 
to the true religion : for that Spirit comes not by Christ's doc- 
trine, nor leads to his way and end : and it is a duty of great 
moment to try the spirits. 

3. You must carefullv understand, that this rule is no further 
to be extended to any doctrine, or trial of it, than it can well 
be proved that this doctrine was the means of conveying the 
Spirit : and, therefore, that it reacheth not to every circum- 
stance or accident of that doctrine, and every manner of de- 
livery, or every qualification of the instruments that deliver it. 
We are certain that the first church received the Spirit by the 
preaching of the faith in Christ, and not by the works of the 
law; and therefore, we are certain the christian religion is the 
true religion, and not the Jewish ceremonies j and conse- 
quently, that every part of Christ's doctrine is true : for if 
Christ be proved once true in his main testimony, that lie is 
the Son of God and Saviour of the world, then is it impossible 
but that all is true which is his doctrine. So clear is this, 
that Mahomet himself, in his Alcoran, confesseth it, (for God 
would have his truth have the confession of enemies also,) and 
therefore he feigneth, that though Jesus taught nothing but 
truth, yet his disciples depraved his doctrine. And how ? For- 
sooth, by blotting out Mahomet's name, whom Christ promised 
to send as the comforter. As if the former Christians had any 
reason to blot out his name, or the latter in his own days could 
have done it undiscerned, when no Bible then in the church 
had his name in it. But to pass by these foolish adversaries j 
J say, it is a good argument, the christian doctrine is true, be- 
cause by it the Spirit was and is given. 

But now you cannot argue for the goodness of the preacher, 
or for such or such an accidental manner of preaching, or for 
such a man's opinion in other smaller things, that these are 
certainly of Christ, because you received the Spirit by that 
man's doctrine, or such a manner of preaching. For example : 
if Judas say, by his preaching men received the Spirit, there- 
fore I am a true believer ; this is no good argument : or if 

H 2 

(JO THE spirit's witness TO 

Peter should have argued, by my preaching men received the 
Spirit : therefore my dissembling, or my denying Christ, was 
good ; this is ill arguing. So, perhaps, men may receive the 
Spirit from a minister's preaching that hath an ill method, or 
an ill delivery or gesture 5 it will not follow that the Spirit is 
a witness to these faults of his : nor may you thus argue, I 
received the Spirit by such a method of preaching, therefore 
that is the only method. For it was not the method, or de- 
livery, or gesture of the man, but tiie christian doctrine by 
which you received the Spirit : men of divers ways and 
opinions about inferior things, may yet all preach the same 
christian doctrine, by which the Spirit may be conveyed. A 
pres])yterian, or independent, or episcopal man, as they are 
iiov/ termed, may none of them argue thus : ' By my doctrine 
men received the Spirit, therefore these opinions are true.' 
No man ever received the Spirit by the preaching for episco- 
pacy, or presbvtery, or independencv, as such, or in these parts 
wherein they differ from others, and whence they have their 
names : the like may be said of some other such controversies. 
Yet this must be acknowledged, that if God do ordinarily bless 
one way of preaching, or one sort of men to be his instruments 
for conveying the Spirit more than all others, it is a very pro- 
bable mark, that he favoureth that very way of preaching, and 
sort of men. Plain preachers, and zealous, are often more blessed 
to be instruments in this work, than cold or dull, or daubers, 
or quaint-wordy preachers. Hence, we may well argue thus : 
Most men receive the Spirit by plain, zealous preachers, and 
few by dull or daubing ones, and therefore God approveth the 
former more than the latter. Yet here you must take heed of 
a mistake, by stretching this rule further than ever God intended 
it, or the nature of it will bear. As if one should argue thus : 
' Presbyterians succeeded more than episcopal or independent : 
or independent succeeds more than presbyterian or episcopal : 
therefore, God more approveth of them ;' it is not a certain 
argument; for, perhaps, the reason of God's approbation may 
be from something else, wherein they differ, that is of greater 
moment than these parts. Perhaps, most of this or that opinion 
may be more godly, zealous, conscionable preachers, and there- 
fore may be more successful ; wn.ereas, if the other were such, 
they might succeed too, for all their opinion. Yet this may be 
granted, that if God ordinarily give up the men of one judg- 
ment to wicked lives, and their doctrine doth more harm than 


good ; or though tlieir lives be good, yet God useth not to 
bless their doctrine to the saving of souls, and ordinarily useth 
to bless the doctrine of others, and that both to the sanctifying 
of themselves and their hearers ; this is a strong probable ar- 
gument that God favoureth not that opinion which bringeth 
forth no better fruits. You see, then, in what sense this Spirit 
must be received. 

Reason. That doctrine, religion, and way in which the 
Spirit is given, must needs be the true doctrine, religion, and 
way to salvation, because God will not bless any other with 
such noble success. It is the end and use of God's own doc- 
trine and way to convey the Spirit to his people ; and he that 
hath appointed means of his own to that end, will not bless 
others, l)ut his own thereto. It is the highest honour of his 
own ordinances, which he will not give to any other : the 
Spirit will not ride in any chariot, but what is of God's own 
making ; the conveying of the Spirit is the chiefest seal that 
any doctrine can have ; and, therefore, God will not set his 
seal to any falsehood. So that I need no more proof of this. 

Quest. But do not our divines ordinarily teach that we must 
try the Spirit by the doctrine, and not the doctrine by the 

Ansvv. This is a great question, and because it is much 
tossed, and of great use for these times, I will speak to it the 
more exactly, though briefly. 

1. You must distinguish between the doctrine of Scripture, 
and the doctrine delivered now by particular men. 

2. You must distinguish between the Spirit that hath already 
sealed the christian doctrine, and the particular spirits that now 
men have, or pretend to have. 

1 . The first doctrine delivered to the church and to Adam 
by God himself, needed no other witness, he having the cer- 
tainty of sense and knowledge that it was of God. 

2. This doctrine he delivered down to his posterity, which 
they received, till iMoses' time, by tradition, and needed no 
new testimony for the sealing of it, but only a hand or mouth 
still to report and deliver it. 

3. When God added a new system of doctrhies by IMoses, 
there was a necessity of some new means for to discover the 
truth of it : and here the people had, first, for the moral law, its 
clear agreement with the law of nature written in them. 2. For 
the whole they had, partly the voice of God, and the sight of the 

62 THE spirit's witness to 

flaming mountain ; and partly many and frequent miracles upon 
every rising of unbelief to convince them. 

4. What was added afterwards by particular prophets in each 
age, was not any doctrines or new parts of God's law, but pre- 
dictions about matters of fact, or reproof, or counsel in particu- 
lar cases : and here the witness was partly the holiness of the 
men, and partly the fulfilling of their prophecies : and partly the 
agreement of their counsels and reproofs to the general law. 

5. But then for the doctrine of Christ and his apostles : though 
he had many witnesses, yet his main witness was his own 
miracles and his Spirit ; even that Spirit by which he, as it were, 
animated the body of his church, and so Christ's doctrine was 
proved by the Spirit. ' 

6. But now Christ by his Spirit hath sealed and well proved 
his doctrine : that doctrine standeth as our rule hereafter, to 
try both all doctrines and spirits by. For a doctrine sealed by 
the Spirit of truth, must needs be truth, and, therefore, nothing 
can be truth that disagreeth from it. And the rather must men 
bring all hither for trial, because this doctrine is not only true, but 
full and sufficient ; no more being to be added ; it being given to 
make the man of God perfect and wise to salvation ; and is able 
to build us up, and give us the inheritance : and Christ having 
promised to be with them that preach this very doctrine, to the 
end of the world ; and having purposely given to his church the 
preachers of this doctrine for the edifying of the saints, and per- 
fecting his body, till they all come to the stature of his fulness, 
to a perfect man ; and he will sanctify and cleanse his church 
by the washing of water by his word, that he may present it 
spotless and without blame. And Paul chargeth him to keep 
what he had delivered to him till the coming of Jesus Christ. All 
this you know is Scripture, and, therefore, this word is not only 
true, but a perfect rule, and consequently being thus sealed up 
by the Spirit of miracles and sanctification already, it is now the 
rule of doctrine and spirits. 

Quest. But how was that Spirit known by which Christ first 
proved his word ? Was there any way of knowing the Spirit to 
be of God, but by the word ? 

Answ. Thus : that Spirit which certainly comes from the 
highest wisdom, power, goodness, faithfulness, and holiness, doth 
certainly come from God. This reason can see as plain as the 
eye can see the sun ; but such was and is the Spirit of Jesus, by 
which he attested his doctrine : therefore, 


1 . It came from the highest wisdom, as appeareth both in the 
doctrine itself reveahng the hidden things of God, and the way 
of salvation, and opening the secrets of men's hearts ; 2. And 
by the effects, in that it illuminateth the simple, and maketh 
Christians the wisest men in the world. 

Object. They say so themselves, but how will that appear ? 

Answ. I will not stand now on the answer of this, being on 
the by : but this one thing I will say ; it appeareth in that all 
men sooner or later are of cheir mind. The wiser any heathen 
philosopher is, the nearer he is to the doctrine and way of 
Christians : Plato, Plotinus, Seneca, Cicero, were the wisest, 
and they were likest to Christians. 1. Most dying men say, as 
they say in most things, though they were against them never so 
much before ; they speak against sin, and commend a holy life, 
and acknowledge their folly in judging otherwise. 3. Those 
that are converted, and have had experience of both ways, are 
the fittest judges. 

2. The Spirit of Christ comes from the highest power ; for 
none but the Almighty could do such things, and could animate 
so many thousand mean people for many years after with the 
same spirit, and by this means subdue the world far and near in 
so short a time, to a doctrine so con^^rary to flesh and blood. 

3. The Spirit of Jesus Christ came from the highest good- 
ness ; for it discovereth the greatest perfection of the author, 
and the greatest love to mankind, especially to the good, that is 
possible to conceive of, both in the way to salvation by the re- 
demption through Christ, and in the end, in the glory prepared 
for believers. 

4. The Spirit of Christ comes from the highest truth and 
faithfulness : for, as the prophets foretold it, and Christ, before 
he went from earth, promised it, so did he perform it ; and the 
doctrine it sealeth is but the doctrine of the fulfilling of former 
prophecies and doctrines, and exactly agreeth with all the former 
word of God. 

5. The Spirit of Christ came from the most perfect holiness, 
as appeareth undeniably in the holy contents of it, and holy de- 
sign which it prosecuteth. Scripture is most perfectly contrary 
to all vice, without respect to any fleshly pleasure or interest; 
and most perfectly contrary to all the laws of nature, and pre- 
scribing the most holy, perfect means to everlasting blessed- 
ness. So that thus the Spirit of Christ might easily be known, 
by which he proved his doctrine. If, therefore, any Spirit 

64 THE spirit's witness to 

should now contiadict the same doctrine, it is impossihle that 
the Spirit should be of God : for the same Spirit of truth will 
not say and unsay, and be on both sides : that which contra- 
dicteth the Spirit and doctrine of highest wisdom, power, 
goodness, truth, and holiness, can never be the Spirit of God ; 
and, indeed, there is not now any Spirit in the world that can 
make the least probable pretences against the doctrine of the 
Scripture. The Spirit of consolation and adoption is the same, 
and so given ; and so is the Spirit of illumination the same, and 
given only by the Scripture : and for any Spirit that shall con- 
tradict Scripture, it can never be holy, nor true, nor faithful, as 
contradicting truth : nor is there any that can pretend to om- 
nipotency, for there is none that speaks against Scripture that 
ever wrought one true miracle ; much less multitudes of un- 
controlled miracles, such as cofirmed the Scripture : so that 
you see how doctrines must be tried ; at first by the Spirit ; 
and then both spirits, and their words by that doctrine. 

Quest. But may we not then try men's doctrine now by the 
Spirit ? 

Yes ; both by the Spirit and Scripture together, but not 
otherwise. If you see any doctrine by which God giveth the 
Spirit of holiness, that is certainly a holy doctrine, and of God ; 
but if you take not Scripture along, you may easily be mistaken 
in this : only thus much I say, that yet to this day, if any man 
be a heathen, or tempted to heathenism, or Judaism, and doubt 
of the doctrine of Scripture and Christianity, this man may try 
the Scripture by the Spirit still : that is, by the Spirit which 
Christ gave in the first time, with the Spirit of illumination and 
holiness, which he giveth to this day ; and by this Spirit he 
may certainly know the Scripture to be the word of God : but 
when a man, upon the testimony of this Spirit, acknowledgeth 
the Scripture, he must try all particular motions, and personal^ 
real, or pretended revelations, by this Scripture; for he re- 
ceiveth the Scripture as a rule, and therefore must use it as a 
rule : and even Christ himself and his apostles, though they had 
such variety of miracles to testify for them, yet still appealed to 
the prophets that were before them ; acknowledging that it 
would not be of God if it contradicted his prophets or former 
word; and that was it that was the great occasio\i of the Jews' 
unbelief; because Christ took down the law of ceremonies, they 
thought he contradicted the word of God, not understanding 
that these were as positives, and therefore alterable by God. So 


types, and therefore to cease, when the thing typified was come. 
Besides all this, there is great difference between the Spirit 
witnessing to Scripture by way of inward persuasion tliat it is 
true, and the witness of the Spirit's glorious and blessed effects, 
wrought by that doctrine, and objectively witnessing. The 
Scripture might be said to need this latter to make it a sufficient 
revelation ; but it is we only that need the former to cure our 

Use. I. 

Let all that are tempted to any doubting about the truth of 
the christian religion and doctrine of Christ, consider well of 
this argument : what religion is there in the world that hath pos- 
sessed the professors of it with a new Spirit, and such a Spirit 
besides the christian religion ? Only this religion hath been 
sealed by such a Spirit as beareth the lively image of God ; a 
Spirit of wisdom and omniscience, discovered by prophecies, 
languages, &c. ; a Spirit of omnipotency, discovered by miracles ; 
a Spirit of holiness, discovered in the holiness of the doctrine 
and the holiness of the receivers ; a Spirit of goodness, disco- 
vered in the excellency of all ; and that love and mercy that is 
manifested to mankind. Mahomet disclaimeth all miracles, and 
confesseth, in his Alcoran, that Jesus was the word of God, 
and spake the truth, and condemneth the Jews most bitterly for 
not believing in him. The Jews hold part of the truth, and they 
had miracles for the establishment of their positive ceremonies ; 
but they are blinded, that they cannot see either the tendency of 
these ceremonies to Christ, the truth, or the miracles, by which 
God did again seal to the taking of them down. Their prophe- 
cies, which they maintain, are one part of Christ's testimony, 
and those miracles, which themselves confess he did de facto, 
are another part of it : so that they are but, as Austin speaks, 
'The library keepers of the church.' The heathens that worship 
multitudes of gods, even they know not what, have neither su- 
pernatural revelation nor sound reasoning, but go contrary to 
both. The deficiency of the mere light of nature needs no other 
proof than the experience of all those parts and ages of the world, 
that have had nothing but the light of nature, who have gene- 
rally lived in gross ignorance and wickedness ; and withal, the 
sad experience of our own weakness and pravity, and how little 
we can reach with all helps and means ; much less by the mere 
light of nature, besides that certainty we have of supernatural 

66 THE spirit's witness to 

revelation de facto. He that would be of no religion must needs 
believe that there is no God ; for if there be a God, he must 
needs be the Maker of the creature, and must needs be wor- 
shipped by the creature, and obeyed as our Lord : and he that 
is thoroughly an atheist is not thoroughly a man : and, therefore, 
seeing there is no other religion that a man can, with any strong 
show of reason entertain, and seeing he that will appear a rea- 
sonable creature must be of some religion, it followeth, that to 
renounce tbe christian religion is to renounce reason, and to 
doubt of it is to be injurious to reason itself. This is the only 
religion that doth convey the Spirit into those that do profess 
it. I know there is a certain work that every religion hath upon 
the minds of them that do believe it ; and, because every religion 
hath somewhat that is good in it, as the acknowledgment of 
a God, and that he is good, true, just, &;c. ; therefore, every 
religion may do some good in the souls of men ; that is, the 
common truths of God which men of these religions do hold, 
though mixed with wicked and abominable opinions, may do 
some good on the minds of men : but because they hold so small 
a part of the truth, and because they mix that truth with so 
much error, and detain it in unrighteousness, therefore the gene- 
rality of them are given up to vile affections and wicked conver- 
sations, and the best of them never manifested any spirit of true 
sanctification or of miracles. Nay, besides that, the mixture of 
contrary opinions destroyeth the force of that truth which they 
acknowledge : it cannot have its natural effect upon their souls 
for want of the concurrence of an internal efficient j for the 
christian religion hath both these advantages, of all other reli- 
gions. 1. Objective; 2. Effective. 

1 . Tt propoundeth such truths of so high and glorious a nature, 
and offereth benefits of so excellent, desirable, and attractive a 
nature ; and, withal, contains so full and sufficient a number of 
these truths and benefits, having the whole chain, and not as 
Jews, heathens, or Mahometans, some few broken links only ; 
that herein it hath the advantage for elevating the soul to God, 
and purging it from sin, above all other religions : such as the' 
seal is, such will be the impression. Objects make an impres- 
sion on the understanding, as a seal in the wax. If, therefore, 
each religion should make its impress on the soul according to 
its own nature, you should see on all other religion a little of 
God, and much of Satan ; a little light, and much darkness and 
confusion \ but in the christian religion only, you should see the 


very image of our Maker, his wisdom, truth, goodness, power, 
and holiness. No wonder if a doctrine of heaven produce a 
heavenly mind and life, and if a doctrine of love do make men 
loving, and if a doctrine of mercy do make men merciful, and if 
a doctrine of humility do make men humble, and a perfect doc- 
trine do fill up all those sad wants and chasms that imperfect 
ones leave in men's minds ; when the heathenish doctrines, on 
the contrary, ])roduce little but pride, vain glory, covetousness, 
voluptuousness, and makes them all slaves to the flesh. If ever 
paganism were in splendour, it was among the learned Romans, 
and that even then when Christianity came and shamed it; 
and, as a glorious sun, dispelled its darkness : and vet what a 
monstrous age of wickedness was that learned, civil age; and what 
a horrid place of all villainy was that learned, civil place of Rome, 
who called almost all other barbarians to them. What should 
we talk of the worst of them, when even their great, learned men, 
that condemned the vices of the world, and their excellent, virtu- 
ous princes, whom they called gods when they were dead, for 
their virtues; even these were sinks of sensuality ; as if they had 
been made to pour in meat and drink, and take their fleshly 
lusts, ^^'hen they have commended all their excellent virtues, 
yet all is concluded with some confession of the whole gallons 
of wine that they were wont to drink at once, or that they would 
eat till they cast it up at table, or scarce any but had his whores 
commonly ; that was one of Rome's venial sins ; then valiant 
acts infighting for their country, or acts of justice to men, were 
the substance of all the best part of their religion ; for all that 
help they had from the church of God near them. 

2. Besides this objective advantage, Christianity hath an ef- 
fective advantage. Man's soid is so far depraved and enslaved 
to sensuality, and mastered by inferior things, and its inclinations 
corrupted and turned to them, that now a mere objective help is 
not enough. The object is a suflicient seal, but the understand- 
ing turns away from it, and will not receive it: it is not as wax, 
but as water, or as iron ; either it will not receive, or will not 
retain, the impression. The best principles of religion find men's 
understandings and wills like a bottle already full of water, into 
which you cannot pour any wine, because it is full ; besides all 
the prejudice and other hinderances raised by the flesh. Now, 
therefore, if there be not a Spirit within to take the seal in hand, 
and make the impression deeply and effectually, all doctrine will 
be for the most part lost. This, therefore, is the great advan- 

08 TiiK spirit's witness to 

tage of the christian religion, that besides what the doctrine 
tendeth to of" itself there is the Spirit of God within that doth 
second these doctrines, and take the received species of them, 
and irnj)ress them on the soul, and doth this effectually and po- 
tentlv, according to the mightv, irresistible j)o\ver of the agent. 
I confess (and I would more would confess it considerately) that 
its way of working is secret to us, as is the way of the Spirit's 
forming us in the womb : some question; whether it be physical 
or moral, this way or that way; I think it may be called both, 
and many learned disputers do, in a blind zeal for the glory of 
God's strength, deny him the glory of his admirable wisdom, as 
if he governed not the rational creature, and healed and sancti- 
fied the souls of heWevers, j^cr viam sapienlice, but only perviam 
omnipoientice ; yea, as if his wisdom itself had not in it such an 
omnipotency as God will have to be observed and glorified, but 
the manner is past our clear and exact apprehension ; and he 
that knows himself, and his distance from God and spiritual 
things, will not wonder at that. But yet, though we know not how 
^the Spirit worketh, yet through the great mercy of God, we feel 
that it doth work, and what it doth work ; and hence we see 
those holy affections in Christians, those holv breathings after 
God, and that sense of the evil of sin, and that conscience of 
duty, and those groans excited by the spirit of prayer, and those 
mindings of the things of another world, and those joys and spi- 
ritual comforts in life and death, and that ability to deny the 
flesh its desires, and to overcome all temptations from things 
below, and to suffer in hope of an unseen glory, and that hearty 
love to one another, and that ability to forgive enemies, with 
many the like excellencies, which are not in any other sort of men 
in the world. I speak of those that have truly and thoroughly 
received the impress and spirit of this religion, though even the 
half Christians go bej'ond all other men by far ; for even they 
are often cleansed from the pollutions of the world by the know- 
ledge of the Lord and Saviour Christ. God v.ill not give forth 
the Spirit with a false religion ; no, not to make forcible these 
few truths of his own which the heathen, or Jewish, or Maho- 
metan world doth detain in unrighteousness. So that you see 
the truth of the christian religion by the Spirit of holiness; be- 
sides that of miracles formerly. 

Use II. 
You see here, also, what clear, evident light it is that those 


men among us ilo sin against, who say we have lost our Scrip- 
tures, and our church, and our ministry in antichristiau 
darkness, which hath choked the truth, and destroyed and 
drowned the certainty of all ; and that, therefore, we nnist have 
new jDrophets, or apostles, and a new spirit of miracles, for the 
restoration of all. Do these men think that God must seal one 
and the same Scripture and religion with miracles, as often as 
they will be unbelieving ? Is it not enough that he sealed it 
with the miracles of an age, before a thousand of witnesses in 
open congregations, in many countries ; and that even those 
that quarrelled with the apostles, were forced to confess it, as 
being eye and ear-witnesses, being challenged to deny it if ihey 
could ? INIoses once sealed his doctrine by miracles ; should 
the Jews say, they would not believe it, except it were so sealed 
over again, in every age ? Should not these wretches, that in 
their ignorance cry for signs and wonders afresh, forgetting, or 
undervaluing, the old, (like the Israelites in the wilderness.) do 
better to blame tlieir own unbelieving hearts, than God's pro- 
vidence ? and rather beg and wait for a spirit of faith, than 
a spirit of miracles ? Blessed be the great Governor of the 
world, and Lord of the church, that hath delivered us his Scrip- 
tures, and the testimony of his first miracles, in so clear, so 
certain, so infallible a way, as no book or matter of fact in the 
world hath the like. For all that is said against Rome, true or 
false, this is certainly true, that God hath kept them in the 
acknowledgment of his Scripture, though tliey sinfully magnify 
unwritten|traditions of doctrines ; yet they confess all the Scrip- 
ture to be the word of God, and to be true, which we maintain, 
and have carefully preserved it to this day. And what silly 
souls are those to think, either that Rome could have corrupted 
the Scripture considerably, if they had Jjeen willing, (there being 
so many thousand copies among them, and some of more con- 
science than such corrupters wooild be,) or that the church of 
Rome was the only keeper of Scripture ? Do they not know 
there are far more Christians in the world than all those of the 
church of Rome are ? And that all they have kept the Scripture 
among them as safely and certainly as we could desire, as to 
all considerable things ? Have not all the Greek churches in 
Muscovy, and through all the Turks' dominions in ^\sia and 
Africa, the Scripture pure? And have not the Ethiopian 
churclies, which are exceedingly large, all the same Scripture as 
the church of Rome have, and we have ? Is there nnv book 

70 THE spirit's witness TO 

that ever the world saw, that had such means to preserve it 
from alteration or corrujDtion ? When so great a part of the 
world, and almost all the learned part of the world, have had it 
among them, as that which they held their hope of salvation by, 
and that which they take for their guide in worshipping God, 
having all ministers, whose constant office hath been to read 
it, and expound it in the open congregations ; and have, every 
week, one day in seven set apart, wherein all the people should 
come together to hear the Scripture lead and expounded to 
them, as the law, by which they all must live, and by which God 
will judge them at the last. Let men be men, and not renounce 
their reason, nor turn stark mad, and let them tell us how it is 
possible that such a book should be considerably depraved, and 
the depravation take so generally through all the world, as that 
all the books should be the very same to this day ? Except here 
and there a letter or inconsiderable word that differs through 
the fault of some transcribers : as our printers may now misprint 
a word. 

2. Besides, do not these men see God accompanying this 
doctrine to this day, with the Spirit of sanctification and 
consolation ? Certainly these men do but tempt God, and 
delude themselves and others, by talking of the loss of Scrip- 
tures, and church, and ministry, and manifest their own gross 
ignorance and unbelief. Though, for my part, I confess that I 
am strongly persuaded that some wicked, subtle Jesuits have 
fomented this opinion among us : for they may well know, that 
if they can once get the people to believe, that either there is 
no church or ministry, or Scripture, or else it must be the 
church of Rome, all reasonable men will easily believe rather 
that the church and ministry of Rome is true, than that there is 
none. For he that believeth not that there is a church, doth scarce 
believe, 1 think, that there is a Christ, the Head of the church. 
There are many such books lately gone forth, that confirm me in 
this opinion ; such as ' William Parker's Answer to the Assem- 
blies' Confession of Faith,' which maintains the main substance of 
the doctrine of Rome ; only, instead of pleading the infallibility 
of the church or pope, they plead the necessity of new prophets. 
But it is easy, when that doctrine is once received, to show men 
the vanity of their grounds, and bring them to receive the same 
doctrines, upon other grounds : their prophets will be gazed 
after but a few days. A little time ever discovereth the folly 
of such pretenders 5 and then how easy is it for a papist to 


challenge such to dispute about the grounds of their religion, 
and to show them that their prophets are deceivers; and 
therefore they must rather hearken to their church? In the 
mean time, it is a sad providence to us, that so many should be 
permitted to call other men, and their ways of worship, anti- 
christian, and so long cry out of antichrist, till they are almost 
papists already, and more likely than others to turn such, when 
they are tempted. 

Use III. 

Hence, also, we may be informed that all these several parties 
in the world, by what name or title soever distinguished, that 
hold the substance of the christian religion, are not so many 
diiferent religions, but are all but one true religion, and, con- 
sequently, are all one church. But that there be no quarrel 
about mere words, take notice that I use the word, 'religion' 
not for every particular opinion or practice about the immediate 
worship of God, but for the body or frame of such doctrines 
and practices, called, commonly, our faith and profession : as 
Christianity is called one religion, or the christian faith, and Ma- 
hometanism another, and Judaism another. Otherwise, taking 
the word ' religion '..for some particular parts of that frame, and 
that not essential, but merely integral, so it may be said, that 
there are as many religions among us, as there are particular 
differences about the worship of God. Yea, if you extend it to 
opinions or practices, which by the owners, are supposed and 
called essentials or fundamentals ; and on a conceit of such 
necessity, are added to the main frame or body, yet not de- 
stroying or nulling that frame or body to which they are so 
added : in this sense, also, I confess, there are many religions 
in the christian world, and many churches. But [ shall now 
choose to take the word religion and church in tlie primitive 
sense, and so I say, that there is but one true religion and 
church in the world, and that is, the christian religion and 
church : from which I exclude all and only those sects, parties, 
heretics, or infidels, that hold not the whole essence of this 
religion and church : both those that deny the whole or any 
one essential part, so denying it, as that they do not hold it. 

Here observe these three parts of my assertion : 

1. They are not many religions, but one. 

2. Not many churches, but one. 

3. And every one is of the true religion and true church, 
and that is apparent from my text and experience set together 5 

72 THE spirit's witness -TO 

because among all these several parties there is that doctrine 
and religion by which God doth convey the Spirit of sanctifica- 
tion now, and which he did seal with the Spirit of miracles at 
its first promulgation. 

1. It is the fundamental and substantial parts, and not every 
inferior opinion, that denominate a religion. There are not 
so many religions in the world, as there are differences about 
the expounding of this or that particular text of Scripture, or 
as there are different opinions about inferior things ; those 
among us, therefore, are silly people, that think we have as 
many religions as we have different parties. The ignorant 
people think that the episcopal party are of one religion, and 
the presbyterian of another, and the independent and separatist 
of another ; and they think, that when the ' Common Prayer ' 
was in use, there was one religion on foot, and now it is down, 
there is another : as if the nature and denominating form of re- 
ligion lie in every accident or circumstance : so the papists would 
make the world believe, that we are of as many religions dif- 
ferent among ourselves, as we have variety of opinions ; when yet 
tliey maintain as great or greater differences among themselves, 
without any conceit of variety of religions. Witness the many 
and great differences, so long and hotly agitated, between the 
Dominicans and Jesuits, about grace, free-will, predestination, 
&ZC.; their quarrels about the virgin Mary's native innocency ; 
the difference between the Spanish and the Italian parties in 
the Council of Trent, about episcopacy. Yea, the great ir- 
reconcilable difTerence that continues to this day among them, 
about the very master-part of their new-devised creed, ' Where 
is the seat of infallibility and supreme church power ?' one 
party saith, it is in the pope alone ; another, as the French 
clergy saith, it is in a general council ; and some say, it must 
be in a concurrence of both : and it is very observable what a 
case they have brought themselves into, and what a loss they 
are at in matters of religion, and what uncertainty they would 
bring all the christian world to, in religion, if they would but 
follow them ; for thev receive the Scripture for the word of God, 
upon the authority of the church, and the church must be the in- 
fallible church ; and they are not yet agieed among themselves, 
what or who that infallible church is. Plow well, then, do they 
believe the Scripture and their religion : but this, on the by. 
I'here are not, then, so many religions as there are different 
o])inions; except these differences be in the fundamental parts. 


2. Nor are there so many different churches, as tliere are 
different opinions : Christ hath but one invisible church on 
earth ; nor but one universal, visible church, containing all that 
make profession of the true religion, or doctrine of Christ, in 
the fundamentals ; to call any other a church is to contradict or 
equivocate; Jews, Mahometans, pagans, are no church. Par- 
ticular, visible churches, there are many, which are diversified 
by the variety of their meetings : for so every assembly of men, 
professing the true religion, is a true church ; and if lawfully 
combined therein, they are a true political church ; but all 
these are but parts of that one universal, visible church. 
Indeed, we use to give several parts of this church also the 
name of such and such a church, from some accidental respects : 
as to call it a national church, because it hath the advantage 
of a special association, by living in one country, under one 
magistrate, or because they are actually associated : so we call 
the church of England, Scotland, France, &c., as we call the 
same sea, the English, or French, or German sea : so also, from 
variety of opinions, we call one the church of the protestants, and 
another of the anabaptists, another of the Arminians ; so the 
Lutheran, Calvinistic churches : but these are all so diversified 
merely from accidents or circumstances, and not as if there were 
any essential difference between them : for then they could not be 
so many churches ; for Christ hath but one church, divided into 
so many congregations and associations, and diversified accord- 
ing to their various degrees of knowledge and purity; read Mr. 
Marshall's late sermon of *The Unity of the Church,' and Mr. 
Samuel Hudson, of 'The Church Universal:' not that we dream 
of any visible, supreme power over this one visible church. 
The papists understand not well the nature of the church's 
political constitution, or else they would never talk of that : 
but yet a visible organical church it is, even one political 
republic : but the sovereign power or head is none but Christ, 
who is visible to the glorified part of his church in heaven, but 
not seen of the imperfect part on earth : and particular churches 
are not as so many commonwealths, but as so many corpora- 
tions making up one commonwealth, and all under Christ, but 
none under one another ; being all free, and having all their 
own officers and privileges ; yet, all bound to maintain the 
strictest, and most general, and extended association, that na- 
ture and opportunity will permit, for the unity, strength, and 
edification of the wliole. This is that one visible, yea, or^an- 

VOL. XX. 1 

71 THK spirit's witness TO 

hed church of Christ : a true, political church, even as visible, 

though not in that sense as the deluded papists do imagine : 

but of this elsewhere. 

3. And as all these are one church, and of one religion, so 
they are all of the true religion : or else they could not be of 

one, and any one of them be true. Some will think this too 
charitable a conclusion ; that so many erroneous parties should 
all be of one and of the true religion ; but it is as true and 
necessary, as charitable. He that should deny it, should, as 
much as in him lieth, rob God of the chiefest fruit of his crea- 
tion, providence, and redemption ; and Christ Jesus of the 
chiefest fruit of his blood, resurrection, and of all those miracles 
which he hath wrought in the propagation of his Gospel ; and 
the Holy Ghost of the fruit of his work of sanctification. It is 
too bold an attempt for any earth-worm to venture on to give 
Christ's spouse a bill of divorce. If the husband of the church do 
it not, what are we that we should do it ? Christ hath paid so 
dear, and done so much to redeem them, and sanctify to himself 
a peculiar people, zealous of good works, that he will not take it 
well of those that shall deny them to be his own. I know how 
zealous ignorance hath proved in these last times, the devil's 
master-piece for the disuniting of the church ; and those that 
are once possessed with the spirit of delusion, have nothing more 
common in their mouths, than that such a party are heretics, 
and no church of Christ; and such a party are antichristian, 
and no church of Christ ; and only they, or such as they, are 
his church. I would they knew how little thanks Christ will 
give them for this dealing. If they heard him speak his mind 
to them, it would be this; ' You know not what spirit you are 
of.' Zealous men do often run before their understandings, and 
little know their own hearts. They think it is the Spirit of 
God, and the love to his truth, that actuate them : but they 
know not what spirit they are of ; nor how much passion, 
raised by different judgments, and fed by the hot words of men 
of their own party, is used to go coloured with the name of 
holy zeal, and even deceiveth often the truest Christians : for 
we are not better than .James and John. Christ hateth putting 
away, and he loveth not that we should attempt the putting 
away of his spouse. What God hath joined, let no man put 
asunder; especially if the conjunction be so near as head and 
body ; and the covenant so strong as the blood and Spirit of 
Christ, and the bond of the everlasting covenant. Where 


Christ writeth his name, and saith, 'They arc mine,' let men 
take heed of hlotting it out, and saying, 'Tliey are the devil's.' I 
know we may find faults enough in any church that I know on 
earth, to give some poor colour to these attemjjts ; such a 
church is erroneous, and such a one is superstitious, and such a 
one is lukewarm ; I would they were all better : and so they 
will be one day. But it ill becomes poor sinners to be more 
quick-sighted in spying out the faults of Christ's churches, or 
more severe in charging it on them than Christ is. It be- 
longeth to him to do it, if it must be done 5 and let not us do 
it before him ; it is Christ that justifieth, who shall condemn 
them ? Every fault or error is not an unchurching fault. O 
how the God of unity and peace abhorreth the zealous censures 
and separation of these mistaken men. Christians should 
imitate their Lord, and get that tender, gentle, lamb-like Spirit 
that he useth to his poor people. He will , not break the 
bruised reed j he carrieth the lambs in his arms, and gently 
driveth those with young. God is love, and his people should 
be loving. Were it but one particular sinner, we should sadly 
think of those plain and terrible Avords of Christ, "Judge not, 
that you be not judged ;" and who art thou that judgest 
another man's servant ? To his own master he standeth or 
falleth ; the points between us and them in difference are con- 
trovertible, but these texts are as plain as tlie highway; God 
will give us little thanks to say of one poor, weak Christian , 
' Thou art no Christian/ and to deal by our brethren as Job's 
friends ; and to appropriate to ourselves alone the common 
salvation, and say, ' Christ is mine, and not thine.' None shall 
take his sheep whom the father hath given him out of his hands ; 
and none should attempt it. But to judge whole churches, 
and say, they are no churches, is a matter yet of far greater 
moment ; to say she is an harlot that Christ calleth his spouse. 

Use IV. 

Oh, that the revolters of this age would but make use of this 
rule of the apostle ! Here is such abusing of ministry and 
doctrine, and church, and separating from us, as if we were the 
most abominable people in the world. But shall I entreat those 
that are the true servants of Christ, and know what it is to be 
partakers of his Spirit, that they would ask themselves the 
apostle's question, Received ye the Spirit by the doctrine 
commonly preached in England, and by the ministers of 


76 THE spirit's witness TO 

England, or not ? If you did, how can you deny them to be 
the true church and ministers of Christ? If you did not receive 
the Spirit by us, or by the doctrine which we preach, I dare 
say you never received it. O, ungrateful children, that when 
we have prayed and preached and spent ourselves for their souls, 
and then think to have the comfort of them as our children 
in Christ, and they should be our crown and joy ; then do 
they turn against us, reproach us, and account us their enemies, 
because we tell them the truth. Doubtless, there is a strong 
engagement lieth on men to those that God makes the means 
of their first conversion ; else Paul would not so glory in it, and 
tell the Corinthians, that though they had never so many 
instructers, yet he was their father. Must we travel in birth of 
you till Christ be formed in you, and then do you not only as 
brute beasts, that when they are grown up, forget their own 
dams, but even revile us, and prove our greatest grief, and the 
sharpest thorns we have in our side. I know the ministers of 
Christ are faulty, and deserve all this as permitted by God : but 
yet God will let these men know one day, that this is not equal 
dealing from them. More particularly, you that are turned to 
antinomianism, and think that our ministers preach not free 
grace, no not the Gospel, but the law. Tell me, received you 
that Spirit by that which you call the preaching of free grace ? 
I know free grace must be preached, but I mean that which you 
miscall so. Nay, let me not ask you for yourselves only, but 
for others ; have you known any considerable number of men ; 
nay, any one man that ever received the Spirit by that doctrine 
which telleth them that Christ hath not only suffered and 
fulfilled the law in their very persons, so that they are judged as 
having done it in him; but also he hath repented for them, 
believed for them, and also obeyed the Gospel for them ; that, 
therefore, they are justified before they are born or before 
they believe or repent : that, therefore, they are under no 
law but that of man; not so much as under the law of 
Christ, except only as the work of sanctification in them may 
figuratively be culled a law : tliat, therefore, they need not 
pray for pardon of sin ; nor be humbled for sin, as if it were not 
pardoned till they repent of it, seeing all their sins^ be they 
never so many and heinous, were pardoned at once before they 
were conunitted ; and tliat faitli procureth only the sense of 
pardon in our own consciences. Did you ever know this doctrine 
convey the Spirit ? Nay, do not all that receive it, or most. 


turn loose and licentious, and cast off duty more than before ? 
I might say the like of some other sects among us that love not 
to be named. Though I said before, that every particular opinion 
is not to be tried by this rule, but the substance of religion ; 
yet those assemblies that God so forsakes, as not to convey his 
Spirit among them, have reason to suspect their way. 

Use ike last. 

If all this be so, then, alas, what a case are those poor souls 
in among us that have none of the Spirit at all : yea, those that 
make a mock of the Spirit ! Alas, that after so long preach- 
ing of the Gospel, there should yet be so many such found 
among us ! If you be asked how you received the Spirit, would 
not some of you mock at it ; and others say plainly you know 
not what it is to have the Spirit ? The Lord open your eyes to 
see your misery, and let me tell you thus much of it at present, 
though I resolve to be short. 

1 . If any man of you have not the Spirit of Christ, that man 
is none of his; (Rom., viii. 9;) and what a case are you then 
in. If you be not Christ's, then Christ is not your's, and then 
what will you do against the accusation of the law, and of 
Satan, and of your own consciences ? What will you do against 
the guilt of sin ? What will you look to for comfort at your 
dying hour ? What will you set between God's anger and your 
naked, guilty souls ? How will you stand before God in judg- 
ment, or make answer to all that will be brought in against you? 
Oh ! the thousand bills that will be there brought in ', the least 
whereof may condemn you for ever. Then you will say, 'Oh ! if 
I had but part in Christ, then I would answer all; but nothing else 
will do it.' Is there any other name by which you can be saved? 

2. Let me tell you, if you have not that Spirit you are stran- 
gers to God. You cannot go to him sincerely, and call him 
Father. You cannot pray; for this is the spirit of prayer ; no 
wonder, then, if you be neglecters or despisers of prayer, and 
disaffected to God. 

3. If you have not God's Spirit, you are yet in your pollution ; 
you are unclean ; for it is the Spirit that must sanctify you. 
You know not what holiness is, though without it you shall not 
see God. (Heb. xii. 14.) No wonder if you undervalue or deny 

4. You will not be able to resist temptation ; for it is the 
Spirit that must strive against the fiesh, and conquer it. No 

78 THK spirit's witness IO 

wonder if you yield to every temptation, and live as Satan's 

5. You have no true consolation ; for the Spirit is the Com- 
forter : nor ever will have any sound comfort without him. The 
Lord teach you to beg for this Spirit, to seek and wait for it in 
the use of God's means, till the Lord Jesus shall be pleased to 
pour it upon you : for without the Spirit of Christ you are but 
the slaves of the devil, and animated by him in every evil work. 
And, as instead of a right guide and sanctifier you have a seducer 
and corrupter of your hearts and ways, so at last, without sound 
conversion, you will find that, instead of a comforter, you have 
a cruel tormenter„ 


A Demonstration of the Life to come, and Tmmortality of 

the Soul. 

There is an absolute necessity of the apprehensions of re- 
ward or punishment in the life to come : for it is impossible 
that without it the world should be governed. No man's life, or 
goods, or good name, would have any considerable security, if 
no punishment or reward were expected but in this life ; it being 
so easy a matter for a servant to rob his master secretly, or an en- 
vious man to kill or poison another secretly, and so all the 
world would be set on wickedness. 

Now, 1 assume, if the apprehension of future rewards or 
punishments be so necessary, then certainly it is a truth that 
there are such future rewards and punishment. Else we should 
imagine that God cannot govern the world without deceit or a 
lie, as his engine; which, as it is highest blasphemy, so as 
clearly against the light of nature, as the denial of the God- 
head : for to be so impotent, and so evil, is to be ao God. Even 
among the Romans, when nature was as much rectified and 
elevated, as ever it was without the doctrine of faith and invi- 
sible blessedness, yet not only every tyrant did destroy men at 
pleasure, but the angry master must cast his servants into his 
fish ponds, oi otherwise put them to death, whenever they dis- 
pleased him, if it were but by the breaking of a glass : and the 
servants, perhaps, as commonly poison, or secretly kill the mas- 
ter; insomuch that, even in cruel Nero's days, Seneca saith. 


' Quisquam vitam mam contempsit, tucn dominum est. Recognosce 
exemplum eorimi qui domesticis insidiis perierunt, aut aperta 
vi, aid dolo ; et intelliyes non pauciores servorum ira cecidisse, 
quam regum.' (Ad Lucil,, Epist. iv.) And yet, then there were 
common apprehensions of a life to come, and a belief of differ- 
ent estates there of the good and bad ; so that we cannot say 
that the order which was maintained among them was without 
the special help of this belief: and this being still acknowledged 
in all, or almost all, the nations on earth to this day, is the 
chief means of that little order and restraint of sin that is 
found among even idolaters and pagans. This I am ready more 
fully to vindicate. 





** Blessed are they thatiiave not seen, and yet have believed." — John xx.2i). 



Having put the foregoing papers to the press, I thought it 
not unmeet to adjoin these here following, as being on the same 
subject, and to the same purpose. It was but the hasty deter- 
mination of a question, in one of our usual monthly disputa- 
tions, which are maintained by the ministers of this association, 
for our mutual edification. It was a more private conference 
with some miserable men, who maintained the negative, which 
occasioned the choice of this question, as being the matter then 
freshest in my mind, and heaviest upon my heart, because of 
the misery of such apostates, and the danger that I perceived 
some to be in, through their subtlety and industry. By expe- 
rience of them, I am caused to expect, that the apostatised 
should prove hardened ; and that many who profess themselves 
their greatest adversaries, should still contribute to their harden- 
ing, by refusing to defend their own religion, and backbiting and 
reproaching those that do it. If the Lord will bless these weak 
endeavours for the confirmation of thy faith, the repelling of 
temptations, and the preventing of thy ruin by thy great sin of 
unbelief, the quarrels of adversaries, and offended friends, will 
be the easier borne, by 

Thy well-wilier, 


A DSiirERMiNATlON, &c. 


Whether the miraculous loorks of Christ and his disciples do 
oblige those to believe, ivho never saw them? 

The necessity is manifold and evident of discussing and right 
determining this weighty question. I. For the soundness and 
stabiHty of our own belief of the christian verity ; and conse- 
quently for our salvation. 2. For the avoiding the great sin 
against the Holy Ghost. 3. For the confutation of all infidels, 
and in particular those apostates in England, who go under the 
name of sceptics, or seekers. Sad experience acquainteth us, 
that some such men there are, who being fallen from Christ- 
ianity, and in their hearts disowning Christ and the Gospel, 
and being loth openly to defy, deride, or blaspheme him, be- 
cause it would mar their reputation with men, do, therefore, 
first and openly deny only, that there is any present church, or 
Gospel ministry : forsooth, all is lost in the antichristian fac- 
tion. They know how easy it will be to prove that there is no 
head, if they can once prove that there is no body ; and how 
soon they might make Christ appear to the world more con- 
temptible than Mahomet, if they could persuade men that he 
had never any church, but only in one age of the world, and 
that confined to so narrow a compass : for they say, he had no 
church before his incarnation, because the mystery was hid till 
then ; and he had none when miracles ceased, nor where they 
were not ; because Christ said, " If I had not done the works 
that no man else could do, ye had no sin : and these signs shall 
follow them that believe : in my name they shall cast out 
devils, they shall speak with new tongues," &c. (Mark xvi.) 
Hereupon they maintain, that miracles being ceased, there are 
now neither churches. Christians, ministers, or Scripture, known 
to them : and that the world, for want of such miracles, is not 
now bound to believe the Gospel ; that is, in plain terms, infi- 
delity is no sin : faith in Christ is no duty : it is no fault to be 

84 THE spirit's witness to 

an infidel : no duty to be a Christian ; which must be grounded 
on this, that either the Gospel is false, or we have no evidence 
of its truth ; for if there be evidence of its truth, no doubt it is 
our duty to believe it ; could they persuade men that Christ, 
the Redeemer, who came to seek and to save that which was 
lost, was so unhappy or unsuccessful in his undertaking, as that 
his dear-bought church did die in the shell, or when it was 
newly hatched, and was strangled in the very birth or infancy, 
and that he had no body or kingdom but the beholders of those 
miracles : no wonder if they next persuaded them that he was 
a mere pretender and deceiver. Yet you would think by their 
arguing, that they gave Christ freely this portion of honour to 
have had a true church, and truly proved the verity of his 
Gospel, so far as his miracles did extend ; but, indeed, they be- 
lieve not this much ; as who can, that denieth the rest ; for if 
you plead the argument of miracles with them, for the verity of 
Christ's doctrine, they will tell you that antichrist and Satan 
may do the like ; and, therefore, that this is no sufficient argu- 
ment : and so, I fear, they blaspheme the Holy Ghost. Some 
half disciples that follow them in the dark, . go not yet so far, 
nor discern yet, the bottom of their designs. And I much fear, 
lest the Jesuits have had a strong hand in this damnable seduc- 
tion, thinking to convince the world that at last we must be 
papists, or no Christians : of the Roman church, or of none. 
2. To loosen men from their former grounds, church. Scripture, 
ministry, that at least they may have free audience, and room 
and advantage to put in for their interest. To fortify us in 
our Christianity, against the vain cavils of pagans, Jews, and 
these apostate infidels, is the scope of this dispute. 

For explication of the terms, I shall say no more than is ne- 

1. By * miraculous works' we mean, principally, those works, 
1. Which were so above and against the established course of 
nature, that none but God himself could do them, being above 
the power of angels or men. 2. Those which angels could do, 
but not without the special help of God, or at least without his 
special commission, but still above the course of nature; that is, 
above the power of natural causes, working in the order that God 
at first established them in, and, by his common providence, 
doth sustain and actuate them. The most observable of these 
was Christ's own resurrection, and conversing afterwards with 
his disciples on earth ; and then all the miraculous actions of his 


foregoing life : his ascending up into heaven before their eyes ; 
his pouring out the Spirit on his disciples ; the miraculous works 
of that Spirit : so frequent ; on and hy so many ; in so many ; 
in so many places ; uncontrolled by any adverse power; of un- 
questionable evidence, for verity and greatness ; and I yet see 
not but that the work of sanctification is truly miraculous ; for 
though it be by natural means, and take advantage of some 
natural principles and inclinations in the soul, yet is the princi- 
pal cause the Spirit of God, which worketh supernaturally, by 
doing that by those natural means, and on those faculties, which 
the means in an ordinary course of nature could not effect. So 
that it is nevertheless miraculous, though it is by instruments, 
or on a prepared subject : as an infant's arm cannot do that 
with a sword, which Sampson or Achilles could have done ; so 
a creature cannot do that by persuasion or other natural means, 
as God doth in this work. So far as the instrument or means 
doth work on natural men, that ordinary effect, which is but an- 
swerable to its own strength and the disposition of the recipient, 
so far the work is not miraculous ; but as it is elevated by an 
almighty arm, to do greater things than by any other it can be 
used to, or than the common course of natural providence doth 
use it to, so far methinks it is truly miraculous. This is not only 
agreeable to their doctrine, who take regeneration to be strictly 
a new creation, and theirs who think that no angel is or can be 
an efficient cause of it, and theirs who think that by a physical 
specification it differs from the highest degree of common grace ; 
but it is also agreealjle to them that suppose the title of creation 
to be improper, and them that think an angel may be the instru- 
ment of the Holy Ghost in eft'ecting it, and them that think that 
saving-grace doth differ from common grace, but by a moral 
specification, and a natural gradation and modality. 

So that, in a word, it is the extraordinary gift of the Holy 
Ghost, for supernatural works, that we must extend the word 
' miracles' to : but those we deal with, will not take sanctification 
to be such a confirming, miraculous work ; and, therefore, as to 
them, we must restrain it to the rest. 

2. By ' Christ's disciples,' we mean, both the apostles, and all 
those believers besides thein, who had these miraculous gifts of 
the Spirit. 

3. By 'obliging' we mean, constituting it our duty, to believe : 
that is, doing their part toward such an obligation. 

4. By the words ' to believe,' we mean, to believe the Gospel. 


,5. By ' those that never saw them,' we mean it of any though 
in those first ages that never saw them : but specially those in 
these latter days. 

But because the point of obligation is it that needeth most 
explication ; and I told you that miracles do their part towards it, 
and so not the whole, it will be most necessary that I show you 
what is their part ; and to that end, that I show you what part 
it is that other causes and requisites have herein ; and to that 
end also, that I show you in what order it is that we do in rea- 
soning arise to the christian belief. 

Understand, therefore, that the first question in order to be 
propounded, is neither, which is the true church, nor, whether 
the Scripture be the word of God. The doctrine is not for the 
words and writing ; but the book, writing, and words;, is for the 
doctrine ; and that for God's glory, and our happiness. It is 
natural to man, or within the reach of nature itself, to know 
that there is a God that made him, and ruleth him ; and to 
whom he should chiefly live ; who is his principal efficient, and 
should be his ultimate, intended end : if any deny this, they will 
not, I hope, deny that it is natural to man to will happiness in 
general to himself, that is, he loveth himself. Jn our natural 
course of reasoning, therefore, we thus proceed. 

1. We inquire, what course a man should take to please God 
that made him, and to save his soul ? or, at least the latter, if 
he be mindless of the former, fn answer to this, it is presently 
told him by preachers, or the common doctrine of the country, 
or some other means, that this must be only by Jesus Christ, and 
in the christian religion ; and, therefore, he must become a 
Christian, and live as such, if ever he would attain these ends. 

2. The next inquiry, then, will be, who is this Christ ? And 
what is this Christian religion, both for faith and life ? The 
answer to this will be, by telling him what Christ is, and hath 
done, and will do, and what he hath prescribed us to do : in a 
word, by reciting the creed or christian doctrine in the essen- 
tials, and the absolutely necessary parts of the christian practice. 

3. The means of acquainting us with this much, that this is 
de facto the present christian religion, is by tradition of some 
sort, either bv preaching private instruction, showing us the Bible, 
or other books th.it do contain the said doctrine. 

4. The next inquiry will be, ' How it appears that this re- 
ligion is of God, and so is true ?' 

The answer will be, that Christ came down from heaven to 


deliver and establish it, and confirm it by miracles, and sent his 
apostles to preach it to the world, and gave them and multi- 
tudes of others the Holy Ghost, by extraordinary, supernatural 
works to confirm it ; and Ijeing thus sealed, to deliver it down 
to the world, and to settle churches in which, and officers by 
whom, it shall be successively explained, and propagated to the 
end of the world ; and he continueth the sanctifying works of 
that Spirit, as of standing necessity, and so writeth the same 
doctrine or laws in the hearts of his true disciples. 

5. In inquiring after the verity of all this, we arise by these 
degrees from our present state, and the things which we see, 
to the former, and things that we never saw. And first, we are 
most likely to look upon the professors of that religion ; and 
though we cannot see the sanctity of their hearts, nor clearly 
the glory of their lives ; yet may it be discerned, that they are 
indeed of another spirit, and of higher hopes, and nobler resolu- 
tions, and contempt of things below, and in general of a more 
innocent, honest, and sublime conversation, than the rest of the 
world are. Many primitive. converts were first moved by this 
observation. Yet this is not enough. 

6. The next question, therefore, in our assent will be, whether 
this religion were indeed delivered down from Christ and his 
apostles to the first churches, and from them to us, by a succes- 
sion of believers to this day ? 

And first, we inquire, Was this religion delivered down from 
the first churches till now ? 

The answer to this, or the means by which we are resolved, 
is, 1. Assertory; 2. By proof. The first being used by well 
known teachers, who are discerned to be of honest lives, and 
have no deceiving intent, and to be learned and skilful in their 
ow;i profession, doth often serve with the ignorant vulgar to pro- 
duce such an assent, as helpeth to a saving belief of the main 
doctrine, and draws them to be sincerely of the christian re- 
ligion. But as all should aspire after clear evidence, and see the 
proof, so those that are able to judge of it, may soon discern a 
sufficiency in it. 

7. The proof, that this is the religion which was delivered 
from the first churches, is in these particulars : 1 . In siyni.'t, 
that is, in the continents and infallible signifiers of this religion. 
2. In evidentia traditionis, in the evidence of a certain tradi- 
tion of it, in and by these signs and continents. The mind of 
one man is made known to another by signs, seeing we cannot 

88 THE spirit's witness to 

see the naked face of another's soul ; much less can we immedi- 
ately see the essence and mind of God, and, therefore, must have 
signs for the discerning of his will. These signs are: 1. The 
very words of Christ, and his apostles in their writings, com- 
monly called the canonical Scriptures ; which not only reveal 
the essentials of our religion, but also the necessary accomplish- 
ments and accidents. 

2. The second thing that per modum signi containeth the 
christian religion, is the forms, ordinances, and constant practices 
of the church. I. By forms, I mean, 1. The form of words 
called *The Creed,' containing the sum of the christian belief. 2 
The form of words called *The Lord's Prayer,' containing the sum 
of our necessary requests, and directory for prayer. 3. The form 
of words called ' The Decalogue,' containing the sum of moral, 
natural duty. These three forms have been constantly preserved 
in the church, and contain the sum of the christian religion. 
And the Scripture itself is a form of words, more copious, com- 
prehensive, and fitted to particular uses and cases. Let them, 
therefore, that are against all forms, see here, on the by, how 
foolishly they would reject the christian religion ; and lose the 
sword, by losing the scabbard ; the meat, by losing the dish ; 
the soul, by destroying the body that it dwelleth and appear- 
eth in. 

3. The third thing that, by way of sign, doth evidently de- 
clare the christian religion, is the established church ordinances, 
and constant practice of them. Among these, I especially 
enumerate, 1 . The catechising of those without, by which they 
were taught the sum of religion : as also the preaching of the 
Gospel for their conversion, where the same doctrine was deli- 
vered to them, and which was the constant practice of Christ's 
ministers. 2. The ordinance of baptism, for entrance into the 
church, which summarily comprehended the main body of the 
christian religion ; for there the person baptised, by himself if 
at age, did confess his sin and misery, and profess repentance 
and belief in God the Father that made him and all things; in 
Jesus Christ that redeemed him, and died, rose again, and 
ascended into heaven, and will judge the world, and reward his 
people with everlasting life, and punish the rebellious with ever- 
lasting punishment ; and in the Holy Ghost who was the Witness 
of Christ, and the Sanctifier of his church. He professed also 
his resolution for future obedience, and hereupon was baptised 
into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost : so that 


baptism itself, with its profession, contained the very covenant 
of grace on God's part and man's, as entered there and solemnly 
confirmed or sealed, and so contained the sum of the christian 
religion. 3. To this we must add the communion of the church, 
in the participation of the Lord's Supper, which was another 
seal for the confirmation of the same mutual covenant, and so 
the sum of the same religion. 4. The like we may say of the 
constant prayers of the church to God, in the name of Christ; 
and the constant hymns and praises of God and the Redeemer, 
for the grace of redemption and the hopes of glory, which show 
what was the christian religion. 5. Add to these the constant 
preaching and reading of the Gospel in the church, for the in- 
struction and edification of the faithful, besides that to the un- 
believing for their conversion : by which the substance of the 
christian religion, for faith and practice, was frequently incul- 
cated on all. 6. Add, also, hereunto, the church's constant 
practice of discipline, first, in avoiding the scandalous, and re- 
jecting the obstinate by suspension and excommunication : 
secondly, the open confessions, and discoveries of repentance, 
and requests for readmission, which were used by the rejected : 
thirdly, the open absolution of them upon such manifestation of 
repentance. All which show what the christian religion was as 
to the purity of their practice. 7. To these may be added their 
opposition to, and conflicts with, all the depravers of their doc- 
trine or practices. And thus church ordinances and practices 
were the continents and signs of the christian religion : and if 
we can prove the continuation of these, we undeniably prove 
the continuation of the religion. 

2. The next part of this proof doth consist in the evidence 
of tradition, that, de facto, all these things were so. Where, 
first, observe that God hath, by abundance, provided for the 
security of his people's belief. If we had not all these fore- 
mentioned proofs, yet one of them might satisfy beyond all con- 

As, first, if we could only prove the tradition of the canonical 
Scriptures, from the apostles' days till ours, we should thereby 
prove the tradition of the christian religion in them expressed, 
viz., that this is the faith once delivered to the saints. 

Secondly. If we could only prove the tradition and use of the 
said church forms, the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Decalogue, 
though we had not seen the Scripture, or could not prove its 
tradition, or incorruption, yet did we fully prove the tradition of 

VOL. X.K. K 

90 Till'. hPIRIl's VVnNKSS To 

the christian religion. So that the heing of the christian reli- 
gion is not shaken, if the Scripture were unknown, or if we 
could not vindicate them, but only the well-being and accom- 
plishment of our religion. 

Thirdly, if the aforesaid ordinances alone were proved, it 
would prove the succession of religion, which indeed doth so 
much consist in their performance ; but through God's abundant 
provision, we have nil tl.ese characters of our continued religion, 
and the evidence of all and each part, as clear as that ever King- 
James or King Henry did reign in England : so that it affordeth 
us an infallible certainty. To run over the particulars briefly : 

1 . We do show an unbeliever, before his eyes, the Scriptures 
extant in the original languages, and several translations ; and 
we prove, by most unquestionable records, that these are the same 
that have been delivered down to us from the first churches. 

For, first, we show them manuscripts, yet extant, of exceeding 
antiquity : we have one in England that came from Alexandria, 
above 1300 years old. 

2. We show them very ancient translations. 

3. We show them, openly, the unquestionable writings of all 
divines, historians, lawyers, councils, &c.; assuring us that these 
holy writings came down to us, as the apostles', from the first 
churches; all pleading these Scriptures, appealing to them, and 
filling their books with the express citations of their words. 

4. We show them the arguings of exasperated heretics, who 
all plead the same Scriptures, and acknowledge them even while 
thev wrest and abuse them ; yea, very few of them did ever 
attempt the depraving of them, and those few to their great 

5. We show them the infallible records of several countries 
and nations in the world, east and west, and south and north, 
that this Scripture hath been among them and translated into 
their languages, Ethiopic, Persian, Arabic, Syriac, Sclavonian, 
&c. ; which old translations do still remain, and, in all things 
of moment, agree. 

6. We show them infallible records of multitudes of Christians, 
that for the doctrine of this Scripture have sacrificed their lives. 

7. We show them the laws of the Roman empire since Con- 
stantine's days, confirming the Scripture and religion, and the 
edicts of former emperors; some persecuting it, and some abating 
those persecutions. 

8. We sliow them the Jews now living, the great enemies of 


the christian name, who never deny but that this is the same 
Scripture and rehgion that was, by the apostles, delivered down 
to us. 

9. We show them all the nations of Mahometans now living, 
who, for the chief part, do confess the same. 

10. We show them all the records of the former carriages of 
the enemies of Christianity : 1. Both in the controversial writings 
of our own with them, as Origen, Athanasius, Eusebius, Cyril, 
Augustin, Sec, with all our apologies to the heathens, as Justin's, 
Athenagoras', Lactantius', Clemens Alexandrinus', Arnobius', 
&c. 2. And also the writings of the enemies themselves, so 
many as are extant ; in all which it appears that they took it for 
granted, and denied not, that this is the same Scripture and re- 
ligion which was delivered to us from the beginning. 

1 1. We show them the ministers of the Gospel now in being, 
and prove, by all the unquestionable records of friends and foes, 
that there hath been a succession of such ministers from the 
apostles till now. Of the necessity of succession in a particular 
church, I speak not, nor of the necessity of an uninterrupted 
succession of a regular ordination by man to that office ; but 
that a succession there hath been in the universal church, and 
each particular where the Gospel hath continued, of men of this 
office, whose employment was constantly to preach this Scrip- 
ture, and build men up in this religion, and guide them in the 
practice of it : all this is confessed by the persecutors that mur- 
dered them, as well as by the whole history of the church, and 
that part of the world. 

12. We show them the present cliurches in being, I mean the 
people that profess and practise this religion, and receive this 
Scripture ; and we show them the unquestionable records of 
the church and the enemies ; attesting, that such a people or 
churches there have been since the apostles' days. What man 
will make question of this ? And, if there have been Christians, 
then there hath been the christian doctrine and religion : they 
are the sutjjects of this religion. He that proves there have 
been societies of Stoics, Piatonists, or Peripatetics, so long, doth 
prove that their doctrine hath been so long. If there have 
been christian churches so long, then there hath been the 
christian religion so long. 

13. We show them undoubted records of the constant, solemn 
assemblies of Christians, to profess and practise this religion. 

14. And also of the Lord's day appointed to be the solemn, 

K 2 

92 THE spirit's witness to 

separated time, besides others, for such constant assemblies : 
all which tend to the preservation and certain proof of the 
continuation and tradition of that Scripture and religion. One 
part of their work was to read the Scripture in their assemblies. 

And as we thus prove the undoubted tradition of Scripture, 
so do we, 2. Also, of all the fore- mentioned forms of religion. 
Not only as these are delivered in and with the Scripture, but 
compendiums delivered to the people by themselves ; so that in 
the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Commandments, with baptism, 
&ic., was the substance of the christian religion so delivered, that 
men were saved by it before the Scripture was seen, I mean the 
New Testament, and thousands might, for ought we know, be 
saved by it after, that knew not the Scripture ; yet, was not 
the Scripture, therefore, unnecessary, or less excellent : for 
thougli the sum of religion, enough to the being of Christianity, 
and so much as may save, might by tradition be preserved from 
age to age, in a form of words, yea, though there had been no 
writing in the world. 

Yet, first, writing the same thing is a surer and easier way, 
and leaves it most undoubted to posterity, that there hath been 
no change. 2. And it was not so easy, nor so probable a way, 
without writing, to have preserved uncorrupted such copious 
doctrines, histories, and larger instructions, as were necessary to 
the well being of the church : and, therefore, God was pleased, 
both for our more undoubted security, and for our fuller inform- 
ation, to deliver it us down in writing, even in the very words, 
as it was delivered to his churches, by the direction of the 
Holy Ghost. 

3. The same may be said concerning our certainty of the 
third particular, viz., the tradition of church ordinances, which 
contain the sum of the christian religion. All the aforesaid 
fourteen arguments, besides many more that might be given, do 
prove all three. 

Object. Doth not this, with the papists, ascribe too much to 
tradition? Answ. No: there are several sorts of tradition. 1. As 
to the agent. 2. As to the manner of the action. 3. As to 
the end, in all which, our tradition differs from theirs. 

1. We allow the apostles' delivering of the word to the 
churches by voice. 

2. And by writing. 

3. And the church's delivering that writing, and forms of 
doctrine, and directories for practice, by word or writing to 
their posterity. 


And 4. Parents delivering all this (book writing and verbal 
forms and custom of ordinances) to their children. 

5. And all ministers delivering them by word, or writing, to 
those whom they teach. ' 

6. And writers of all ages delivered the truth, historically, 
or doctrinally. 

7. The unanimous consent of other churches, manifested in 
their immediate professions and practices. 

8. The declaration of such consent by councils, on fit occa- 
sions congregated. 

9. The concessions of heretics. 

10. The testimony of infidels. All these traditions we make 
use of. 

But the tradition of a visible head or vicar of the catholic 
church ; or of an infallible person ; or of a particular church, 
pretending to be the universal, this we do disclaim. 

2. And as to the manner, we allow an apostolical authoritative 
tradition by the apostles ; and a ministerial authoritative tra- 
dition by every minister, and a tradition by testimony from all 
the churches, and enemies also : but a tradition by way of 
decision by one pretending now an authority of being judge to 
all the world, when the other churches see not his grounds, this 
we leave to the Romanists. 

3. Also, a tradition for the conveying of Scripture from age 
to age, and a tradition of the sum or compendium of Scripture 
doctrine in a form by itself; this we allow. But a tradition of 
necessary, unwritten verities to supply the supposed defects of 
Scripture, and to add the doctrine that there is wanting, as if it 
were but part of God's word, this we leave to the papists. Yet, 
if we had assurance that any other doctrine were delivered down 
from the apostles, which is not in Scripture, though it were but 
by word of mouth, we would receive it as of God : but we know 
of no such evidence of any such traditions, and therefore cannot 
entertain them. 

And thus I have resolved that question, whether this which 
we now profess be the religion which was delivered by the first 
churches, and so by the apostles ? 

Sect. S. If any will suppose that the other part of the ques- 
tion doth need a farther distinct resolution, viz., vvliether the 
apostles delivered it to the first churches, as they did to us ? 
1 answer, first. It is proved by most that hath been said ah-eadv. 
Secondly, It was the apostles that turned them to Christianity j 

9-i IHK SPirU'l's WITNESS lo 

Mild that is, to this icHgioii which we inquire after. They hud 
not been made churches or Christians by the apostles, if they 
had not received the christian religion from them. Thirdly, 
They prove it by the apostles' own writings to them. Fourthly, 
All about them would have evinced them of forgery else, if 
they had pretended to have their religion from the apostles, 
when they had not. Fifthly, The apostles had no worldly glory 
or dignity, which might incite so many thousands to forge their 
names. Sixthly, It was impossible for so many persons of so 
many distant nations through the earth, to agree in such an 
action. Seventhly, The apostles themselves would have dis- 
cerned and disclosed it in their own days. Eighthly, All the 
enemies of the church, Jews, and heathens, and heretics, 
confess, without the least doubt, that it was from the apostles 
that the churches received the christian religion. Ninthly, 
Had it been from any other, they would not have hid it, hut have 
gloried in their leader, and he in his design. Tenthly, No other 
came with that authority of miracles, which might compel belief, 
so that to say, the first churches had not the christian religion 
from the apostles, is to be blind against the fullest convincing 

Sect. 9. We have thus followed our religion up the stream, 
till we have brought it unquestionably to the apostles themselves : 
our next question, then, in order to be resolved, will be, how it 
is proved that the apostles spoke truth, in their preachings and 
waitings of the christian religion ? To which we answer, the 
great argument (not excluding divers others) is, from the infal- 
lible testimony of the Holy Ghost, by multitudes of apparent, 
uncontrolled miracles, sealing to their doctrine, and illuminating 
men, and writing this Gospel in their hearts. 

And thus w-e are by degrees come up to the matter of our 
question, of the obligation of miracles : concerning which I shall 
first lay down these preparatory conclusions, and then affirm the 
question, and prove the affirmative. 

Propos. 1. Miracles do oblige bv wav of sign or seal, as 
declaring God's interest in, and owning of the testimony to 
which thev are annexed. 

This is concerning the way of their obligation : they oblige 
most directly to credit the testimony. 

Propos. 2. The seal of miracles was not affixed to every 
word that an apostle should speak, nor did it make them in all 
things impeccable or infallible, But it is affixed to those ^vorks, 


which they were coiumissioued to perform, and obligeth us to 
beheve, that in doing the works, which, as apostles, they were 
sent upon, they did not err : tliat is, in being witnesses of 
Christ's oral doctrine, life, miracles, death, resurrection, and 
ascension. And in delivering his doctrine to the world, teaching 
them to observe all things whatsoever he commanded them. 

Propos. 3. All that they did in preaching this doctrine, and 
writing it to the churches, being the work on which they were 
thus sent, it followeth that their miracles sealed all this ; and 
so that every word of their writings of this subject are of certain 
and sealed truth. 

Propos. 4. Those that affirm that it was but the doctrine of 
Christianity that was sealed by the Holy Ghost, and in which 
they were infallible, but that their writings were in circumstan- 
tials, and by passages, and method, and words, and other modal 
respects, imperfect and fallible as other good men's, (in a less 
degree,) though they heinously and dangerously err, yet do not 
destroy, or hazard the christian religion by it. For if we could 
not prove, that every historical, chronological, or personal 
by-passage, or difficult lesser point there delivered, were sealed 
by the Holy Ghost, yet if we can prove that the christian 
religion contained in that writing was so sealed, it sufficeth to 
confirm that religion, beyond doubt. 

Propos. 5. The supernatural works of Christ, and the Holy 
Ghost in his disciples, did indispensably oblige all that beheld 
them, to believe that the testimony was divine, which they were 
affixed to. This is the very root of all the controversy between 
the Christian and the infidel ; and hither all is at last devolved. 

If thev that saw these miracles were not bound to believe 
the testimony which they sealed to be of God, then it must be 
either because their senses were deceived, and they uncertain 
whether they might credit their eyes and ears ; or else because 
the testimony itself was invalid, and insufficient to compel 
belief. There is no third reason imaginable. For if they were 
certain that their sight and hearing deceived them not, but that 
they did indeed see and hear what they supposed they did ; and 
2. If the testimony of the Holy Giiost, which they saw and 
heard, were unquestionably divine ; then there is no doubt but 
the doctrine, or the testimony of the preachers was divine, 
which was sealed with this testimony of the Holy Ghost. 

1. And for the first, if any man say, that all their eyes and 
ears were deceived, and that the thousand'? who supposed that 

96 THE spirit's witness to 

they spoke with tongues, or heard others do it, or saw the great 
works that were done, were all mistaken ; they will sure take 
their own senses to be fallible as well as other men's, and not 
advance themselves in point of sensibility above the rest of 
mankind. And if none else will doubt of the truth of Christi- 
anity, but those that doubt of the certainty of sense, we may 
well leave it at this issue, and give over arguing for it. And for 
such men, I would have them honoured with no other disputa- 
tion, than to be tied to the fool's post, and whipped till they are 
sure that they feel the smart, and are able to conclude of the 
certainty of sense. 

2. And for the latter point, that the Holy Ghost, that is, a 
Spirit of such wisdom, power, and holiness, as appeared in the 
doctrine, miracles, and lives of the disciples, is indeed the Spirit 
of God, and a sufficient seal to the christian faith, it is so clear 
to the very light of common reason, and I have said so much for 
it already, that I will say but thus much now. 

The full resolved denial of this truth, is the sin against the 
Holy Ghost : to say, that it was Satan that was the Spirit from 
whom proceeded the wise doctrine, mighty works, and holy 
hearts and lives of Christ's disciples, may well be the incurable, 
unpardonable sin, supposing it be concluded with the whole 
heart, when it is so horrid a blasphemy, as to make the devil 
himself to be God, by ascribing God's attributes and prero- 
gatives to him, and doth reject the last and most potent 
evidence that can be expected for conviction. For if Satan can 
be such a spirit of wisdom, power, and sanctity, and if he can 
do such miracles without control from heaven, to persuade 
poor mortals to an entertainment of error, and to delude the 
world, who have no sufficient means to discover the delusion j 
then it plainly follows, that the devil is the wise, powerful, and 
Holy Spirit, and that he is the governor of the world ; that is, 
that he is God, or that God hath so little mercy or justice as to 
give up the world to the power of the devil to be remedilessly 
deluded by him, so that they that fain would know the true way 
of worshiping God, yet cannot know it. And that God hath 
lent his seal to the devil to sign his delusions. And he that will 
rather believe this than the christian faith, deserves remedilessly 
to perish for his blasphemous, malicious infidelity. 

Moreover, I demand of them that denv the sufficiency of this 
evidence "of the Holy Ghost, what evidence tliey do desire, or 
will take for sufficient to compel them to believe, Avhich is fit 


for God to use with such creatures as we ? We are not capa- 
ble of seeing God himself, or hearing him speak immediately 
to us ; nor hath the voice or tongue of a man, though he can 
create both. If one should rise from the dead, it would be far 
more questionable and less convincing. Angels we know not, 
the good from the bad, nor when they speak rightly j but so 
much evidence as this can afford, was afforded : for the voice 
from heaven was heard of Christ, " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom 1 am well pleased, hear him." The angels were seen 
with Christ in the mount, and sitting by his grave ; and divers 
times they appeared to the apostles. I conclude, therefore, that 
if the Holy Ghost so given were not a sufficient proof that the 
testimony and doctrine of the apostles was of God, it is past mv 
understanding to discover what evidence would be sufficient. 

I do all this while suppose that the first churches did see and 
hear these works of the Holy Ghost, because that is anon to be 
proved ; and I now have showed that sense being certain, and 
the works a certain seal of God, it must needs follow that all 
they that did indeed see and hear them, were obliged to believe 
beyond all doubt, that the doctrine which they did confirm was 
owned by God, and so was of certain truth. 

Having proved that miracles obliged them that saw them to 
believe, I now come to affirm and prove the question. 

Propos. 6. The Holy Spirit of Christ, appearing in his own 
and his disciples' doctrine, works, and lives, doth indispensably 
oblige, even those who never heard them preach, or saw those 
works, to believe the certain truth of the christian faith, and, 
consequently, of the Holy Scriptures. 

This proposition supposeth that such a spirit of miracles 
would oblige us to believe, if we ourselves did see them : for, 
1. This is proved. 2. The infidel seekers whom we deal with, 
pretend to confess it, at least, in their ordinary discourse; so 
that the doubt is, whether our not seeing do hinder our 
obligation ? I prove the proposition by these arguments fol- 
lowing : 

Argument I. 

All they to whom the Gospel and the aforesaid miracles are re- 
vealed in sufficient evidence of their certain truth, are 
])ound, by the seal of those miracles, to believe the doc- 
trine of the Gospel to be of God. But to us, and millions 
more, that never saw them, the Gospel and the said mira- 

98 THK spirit's witness to 

cles are revealed in sufficient evidence of their certain truth. 
Therefore, we are hound by the seal of those miracles, 
though we never saw them, to believe the doctrine of the 
Gospel to be of God. 

Bv ' sufficient,' I mean, in its own place and kind sufficient ;' 
but not absolutely and in all kinds : for evidence supposeth 
many other things, especially in the receiver, to actual intellec- 
tion or belief. A sound understanding in due reasoning, and 
by the sup])osed helps which are common in the church, may 
discern this evidence : therefore it is sufficient. 

The major is pant doubt. The reason why they that saw 
miracles were obliged by them to believe, is because they had 
sufficient evidence of their certain truth that siich things were 
done. But we that do not see them may have such evidence. 
Therefore, they may oblige us as well as them : what can we ex- 
pect more from God to oblige us, than a sufficient revelation of 
that which carrieth the signification of his will ? All that needs 
proof, therefore, is the minor ; whether have we such a certain 
revelation, or may any that saw not have it ? 

I prove, first, that there is a certainty of matters of fact, 
without seeing them. 

Secondly. That we have such of these in question. 

1. For the first, universal consent doth save me the labour of 
further proof. All men confess that there is certainty in some 
reports and histories. Many a thousand in England that never 
saw any fighting, are yet certain that we have had a war in 
England ; and many that never saw him are certain that we had 
a king, and that he was beheaded. We are certain there are 
such countries as France, Spain, Italy, though we never saw 
them. So that all men grant that some human testimony hath 
such a certainty. And that we have, de facto, a certain revela- 
tion that this Holy Ghost vvas poured out on the first churches, 
and wrought miracles among them before their eyes, I prove 
thus: If we have an infallible testimony of this, from those same 
men who possessed this Holy Ghost and saw these miracles, then 
we have a certain revelation of it. But that we have such an 
infallible testimony I prove : and, first, I will sho\v you the tes- 
timony itself; secondly, the infallibility of it. 

The first christian churches, generally, have attested to us, de 
facto, that such a S])irit was poured forth, and such miracles 
wrought, by these five means, which, taken conjunctly, make up 
the fullest testimony that we can reasonably desire. 


First, By the preaching and doing of these miracles, they 
were converted, and became Christians and churches : it was 
the preaching of Christ's miracles, resurrection, and ascension, 
and of the Holy Ghost to be given, and the sight of what was 
done by the apostles in confirmation of it, that wrought the 
change, and brought them in. This is still visible in the Gospel 
which was preached. So that the very being of all those 
churches, is their full attestation to the truth of the miracles, 
and giving of the Holy Ghost. That which never was, at least 
in their apprehensions, could not have produced such great al- 
terations, and strange effects in the world. And to imagine 
that all their senses did deceive them, is ourselves to become 
mad, in feigning them to be so from whom we see the effects of 
a sound mind. And that it was indeed miracles that did convert 
them, appears, 1. In that it is recorded fully in the writings, 
which themselves have delivered to us (of which more anon) ; 
2. in that the doctrine delivered to them being supernatural, 
above the reach of common reason, and contrary to the interest 
of the flesh, was unlikely to have been entertained without such 
means ; 3. And it is confessed by the enemies. So that I may 
well take the conversion of the multitudes of unbelievers, and 
the very being of the churches for one evidence that they saw 
the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the miracles then wrought. 

Secondly, The same hath the church attested by owning the 
Holy Scriptures, and delivering them as the unquestionable 
writings of the apostles. The substance of the Gospel is much of 
the miracles and resurrection of Christ. The ' Acts of the 
Apostles' containeth many of their miracles : both that and the 
Epistles do testify that the gift of the Holy Ghost was then 
common to the disciples ; and that whole households, and great 
part of cities, (as Samaria, &c.,) received the Holy Ghost by the 
laying on of the apostles' hands, (so that Simon would have 
bought that power with money,) and that commonly in the 
churches for many years after; by this Spirit they spake with 
tongues, and prophesied, and healed the sick, &:c. i mention 
not all this as now supposing these Scriptures to be divine, but 
as proving them divine by the Holy Ghost, and using thf^m now 
as the testimony of the first churches. For we had (as is proved) 
all these Scriptures from them, commended to us as the writings 
of the apostles, and words of truth : which testimony or ap- 
probation they would never have given if they had known all 
these reports to be false. So that the church's act of delivering 

100 THE spirit's witness TO 

US the Scripture as true, doth attest the truth of those matters 
of fact, whereof themselves were the eye and ear-witnesses. 

Thirdly, The same truth of these miracles was attested by 
those first churches, by their great sufferings and confessions 
before magistrates, and ordinary martyrdom, which they under- 
went, because they would not deny the truth of these very things, 
and because they proclaimed them. 

Fourthly, The same truth of these miracles the first churches 
have attested, by vocal and practical tradition. Neighbours did 
assert it, and teach it their neighbours : parents delivered it to 
their children. They made it the greatest act of charity to 
convince a neighbour of it, that he might believe : and- the 
greatest act of love and parental duty, to acquaint their children 
with these things. As to this day, we do not only show the 
bible to children and neighbours, but we distinctly acquaint them 
with the main contents, and sum of the christian religion, and so 
did the first churches : by which they attested that the things 
were true. 

Also, their constant practising the religion thus confirmed, 
doth attest it both in the public ordinary worship of God, and 
in their lives towards men. 

Fifthly, It was most fully attested by the standing office and 
constant work of the preachers of the Gospel. Two sorts of 
preachers were then among them. Some that were to go abroad 
and persuade Jews and heathens of the truth of this Gospel, and 
make them disciples, and baptise them. Some that were re- 
sident with particular churches already called, to teach them more 
fully the doctrine, which these miracles did confirm, and to 
guide them in the practice of it. It was the office and daily 
business of these teachers, to acquaint them with that Gospel 
which declareth these great works. They had special meetings 
every Lord's day to that very end, even in remembrance of 
Christ's resurrection (which very day, much more all the works 
of the day, is a record of their believing it to be true). These 
ministers were men known and approved of by the churches, so 
that as the skill in physic, law, philosophy, &c., hath been de- 
livered down by a succession of teachers of these sciences, one 
teaching another, and fitting him to teach it to otiiers again, so 
hath the sum of sacred history and doctrine been delivered. The 
apostles, by their own consent, appointed over the churches in 
their days teachers and overseers, whose office it should be to 
teach these things. 


I leave it, therefore, as utterly past doubt, by these five ways 
of attestation, that we have the universal testimony of those 
first churches, that the report of these miracles and gift of the 
Holy Ghost, is a certain truth. And themselves being the pos- 
sessors, agents, or eye-witnesses, could not be deceived, unless 
they were all mad. 

2. I am next to show^you the infallibility of their testimony, 
that certainly they have not all conspired to deceive the world, 
but did themselves believe what they did thus profess to believe : 
it is commonly objected, that the acts of a free agent being 
contingent, and all men being defectible and fallible, therefore 
we can have no proper absolute certainty upon the testimony of 
any men. But as man's freedom is servato or'dine finis, and as 
nature doth infallibly incline him to his natural end, so a man 
may pass an infallible judgment of man's acts, where the pre- 
valent interest of nature and the end are certainly visible : and 
that not only in cases past, but in prognostics of things to come. 
And, therefore, (as is said,) I certainly know by human testi- 
mony, that men were burned for supposed heresy in Queen 
Mary's days, that King Edward before her, and Queen Elizabeth 
after her, did befriend the reformed doctrine and worship. And 
though I cannot say it of any one man, yet I am certain of a 
whole city, country, or nation, that they will not all hang them- 
selves, or famish themselves wilfully, unless they be intoxicated, 
or bewitched, or all run mad. 

And that the church's testimony in question is infallible, you 
may see in these particulars following. 

1. They were thousands of persons attested it, and not only 

a few. 

2. They were of several countries through the world, for the 
apostles divided the world among them, for the propagation of 
this Gospel. 

3. They were people of several languages, dispositions, and 

All this showeth, first, that so many persons and countries 
could not possibly have a prevalent motive to carry them all 
purposely to deceive the world wjth a volume of lies ; no more 
than all the people of England can have a prevalent motive to 
persuade them all, to pretend that we have had a war here, and tell 
the world of our several fights, when there was no such matter. 
Allow the remnants of common honesty and veracity to have 
their reasonable force, and consider the strength of what is 

102 THK spirit's witness to 

pretended to bear it down in so many, and you will see that 
there is no possibility of such a deceit. 

Secondly ; and it showeth, that such men could not possibly 
forge such a volume of miracles, if they would : for first, they 
could not all come together, nor have any opportunity to agree 
in the contrivance, being in several parts of the world ; nor 
was it ever imagined by their fiercest or most foolish adversaries, 
that they did such a thing : could all the poor, persecuted 
Christians in Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Ephesus, Corinth, 
Philippi, Rome, and the rest of the world, combine to delude 
all their posterity and the rest of the world, by telling them 
that such a history of miracles was true, when it was not ? 

4. But, yet further, this will appear if we consider, how 
many malicious Jews and heathens were among them, that 
might have easily evinced such a deceit, and made them for it 
the shame of the world : yea, when miracles were wrought before 
these enemies, and the gift of tongues used in their hearing ; for 
they were purposely for the convincing of unbelievers. 

5. Yet do the enemies confess the fact, else what need the 
pharisees have blasphemed the Holy Ghost ; and said, ' They 
were done by the power of beelzebub :' yea, Julian, and the 
worst enemies of the Christians, did confess them. The Turks, 
to this day, do confess them : so doth Mahomet, <^heir prophet, in 
his Alcoran : and so do the very Jews themselves, that now live. 

6. Consider, also, that the apostles had many enemies in the 
church, such as fell into heresy, and being convinced by miracles 
of the truth of Christianity, and yet taking it for a heinous sin 
to take down the law of Moses, they joined both together, and 
so opposed the apostles ; and, therefore, would soon have dis- 
covered so gross a delusion as this is supposed to be. 

7. Yea, and the apostles appealed to miracles, and the gift of 
the Spirit, as the proof of their apostleship against all these false 

S. Yea, when many of their followers were drawn away by 
them, and began to think meanly of them in comparison of the 
seducers, they appeal to these works for the satisfying of the 
people, both of their office and doctrine ; insomuch as Paul, with 
much sharpness, asks the Galatiuns who had bewitched them, 
and calls them foolish, and challenges them to answer, 1. Whe- 
ther themselves received this Spirit by the law or faith ; 2. And 
whether they that yet work miracles among them did it by the 
law or faith. (Gal. iii. 1 — 3.) 


9. Consider, also, whether such writings, preachings, and 
provocations would not have caused the apostles to be derided 
of all, and have turned back those that were inclined to Christi- 
anity, if they had not been true. To persuade them first to 
believe a volume of Christ's miracles, done in the open world, 
and to believe his resurrection and ascension ; and to make the 
giving of the Holv Ghost to be that seal, which should credit 
this report with their hearers ; and to preach and write to them- 
selves, that this Holy Ghost was commonly given by the laying 
on of their hands, yea, given to these their hearers, yea, so com- 
mon, that he that had not the Spirit of Christ was none of his ; 
and to tell them of miracles still among them, and persuade 
them to desire rather the more edifying gifts, wh^n they speak 
to the church, than the gift of tongues, which was to convince 
unbelievers, &:c. If all these things had been feigned, would 
they not rather have tended to make all men condemn them, 
who might so easily know it, and could not but know it, than to 
stablish them in the faith, or turn the world ? 

10. It is most certain that all the first churches, who have 
delivered us the report of these gifts and miracles, did not intend 
to delude us, because they lost their own worldly profits, plea- 
sures, and honours by this profession, and lived a life of great 
suffering to the flesh, and multitudes laid down their lives in the 
cause ; and is it possible, I say possible, that many countries, 
or so many thousand persons of so many parts of the world, 
should combine to ruin themselves and cast themselves on una- 
voidable calamity, contempt, and, many of them, death itself, 
and all to deceive the world, in a matter by which themselves 
can be no way advantaged ? I think I need to say no more to 
prove this impossible. You see then that the first Christians 
were Christians indeed, (for that is all I have to prove,) and did 
believe what they pretended to believe, and were not all dis- 
semblers nor cheaters of the world in the testimony which they 
delivered them. 

If any object that the certainty of some of the things before 
mentioned dependeth so much on history and records of anti- 
quity, which unlearned men are unacquainted with, and therefore 
they cannot be obliged to believe, 1 answer, in these particulars : 

1. The thing is nevertheless evident, because you know it not. 

2. It concerneth all men to do what they can to attain that 
ac(|uaintance with history and antiquity, by which they may be 
enabled to see the truth in its fullest evidence. 

104 THE sptrit's witness to 

3. No man can know that the * Magna Charta,' the 'Petition 
of Right,' or any statute of this land, are indeed genuine and 
authentic as being the acts of such kings and parhaments, but 
upon the credit of tradition. Shall the unlearned, therefore, 
conclude that they are not bound by any such statute law, or 
custom, or that the tenure of their liberties and lands, by such 
a charter, is uncertain or bad ; because that no man can know 
but by records of antiquity, whether these statutes and charters 
be authentic or no? Doubtless, men that are not acquainted 
with antiquity, have a sufficient means to know that these are not 
forged statutes or charters ; for they have the concurrent testimo- 
ny of all that are skilled in the laws, and have had better opportu- 
nity to search records and understand antiquity, than they have 
had; yea, and they may be certain that all these do not deceive 
them, when they know that there can be no motive to draw them 
to such a thing, but much against it, and if some were deceivers 
others would discover it, with divers the like considerations. So 
that the most unlearned man is so far bound to believe the sta- 
tute against felony to be authentic, and in force, that he shall 
justly be hanged if he break it; and it shall be no sufficient ex- 
cuse for him to say, ' I could not tell without skill in antiquities, 
whether this statute were counterfeit or not.' 

4. The case is much alike here in the point in hand. When 
all divines or other learned men, that are acquainted with history, 
do unanimously affirm that these records are certain, and when 
the way to the same knowledge is open to all that have time and 
help to study it, we may, by a human faith, be here infallibly 
certain, as an unlearned man may be that there is such a place 
as Jerusalem or Rome ; or as a scholar that understands the 
Latin or Greek, but not a word of Hebrew, may yet be certain, 
by a concurrence of evidences, that there is such a thing as the 
Hebrew tongue, and such books as Genesis, Exodus, &c., written 
in it, and that the translators do not herein deceive him. And 
this is one use of ministers in the church ; and the people may 
and must believe their teachers with a human, yet certain faith, 
that these records have been thus delivered to us down by tra- 
dition, and other parts of historical verities before mentioned. 

Argument II. 

The contrary doctrine of the apostates is self contradicting and 
absurd ; for, whereas, they pretend that they, and thcv 


only, are bound to believe, that see the miracles ; by this 
means, they leave God incapable of convincing the world 
by miracles : for miracles would lose their convincing force, 
and be as no miracles, if they were common to all, and in 
all ages. For it is not so much the power that is manifest 
in that work simply considered, that proves it any testi- 
mony to the doctrine, or that would convince ; but it is 
the extraordinary application of omnipotency that sealeth 
the truth. It is a work of as great power to cause the sun 
to move as to stand still, or the sea to keep its course as to 
change it, or the living to continue in life, as for the dead 
to rise, and to give eye- sight at birth or in the womb, and 
to give it twenty years after : but it would not have con- 
firmed Christ's doctrine so much, if Lazarus had not died, as 
if he be raised again ; or that a man be born with eye-sight, 
as that he be restored to it that was born blind ; and so of 
the rest. Now, these men would have every man, in every 
country and age in the world, to see miracles, or else not 
to be bound to believe ; and I think, on the same ground, 
they must see particular miracles, for the sealing of each 
particular truth that they receive ; and, then, miracles 
would be common, and so lose their force and be as none : 
then, every infidel would say ; 'This is a common thing.* 
If it were as common for the sun to stand still as to move, 
or for the dead to be raised, as the sick to be healed, or a 
child to be born ; do you think it would be a fit evidence 
to convince these unbelievers of the christian truth. 

Argument III. 

That doctrine which would deprive all the world of the benefit 
of God's miraculous works, except those that see them, 
though others are capable of it, is a false doctrine j but 
such is the doctrine which we here oppose : ergo. 

That others are capable of such benefit, is proved before : 
as also by the experience of all ages. May not this age re- 
member God's works in reforming the churches ; in delivering 
this nation from the Spanish invasion, in eighty-eight ; from 
the powder-plot, &c., for the confirming of our faith and confi- 
dence in God, and exciting our hearts to a thankfulness for his 
mercy. May we not, yea, must we not be awed and warned by 


106 THE spirit's witness to 

God's recorded former judgments; even those that were done 
in the days of our forefathers, and in all generations that come 
to our knowledge : but if we are not bound to believe them, 
because we ourselves did not see them, then we cannot improve 
them, or get the benefit : and if we are not bound to believe 
our ancestors, and the histories or records of the church, or 
those that are skilful therein, concerning works that are mi- 
raculous, and therefore more observable, then we are not bound 
believe to them, concerning other deliverances or judgments. 
There is no way for us to be acquainted with such matters of 
fact, but either by our own sight or by immediate revelation 
from heaven, or by tradition and testimony of them that saw 
them. He that expecteth either to live in the sight of miracles, 
or under the immediate revelation from heaven of historical 
things, is a very vain, unreasonable man. The testimony of 
those that saw, must be the medium between their senses and 
^ours, and must be to us instead of sight. I say, tradition 
is to us instead of sight, and that is the proper use of it : and 
he that would rob the world of the benefit of all God's works, 
which they have not seen themselves, is no good friend to them, 
nor a very wise man. Must none believe that the world was 
drowned with water, but those that saw it ? Must none believe 
that Christ was incarnate, but they that saw him ? If they 
must, then they must on the same grounds believe his miracles, 
though they did not see them : if not, they must not believe 
that there was ever a king in England, or that there is any 
such place as Rome or .Jerusalem, or any country but England 
on earth, because they never saw them. 

Argument IV. 

That doctrine which would rob God of the honour of all his 
most wondrous works, which we never saw, is a false and 
wicked doctrine. But such is the doctrine which we here 
oppose : therefore. 

Should God have no glory for bringing Israel out of Egypt, 
by any but that age that saw his wonders ? Why, then, doth 
he call for it in all following ages ? These men think that the 
Israelites of following ages were not bound to believe the very 
preface to the Ten Commandments ; that God brought 
them out of the land of Egypt, and the house of bondage. 


Should this age give God no glory for any deliverance in for- 
mer ages^ or any work of providence that was done since the 
beginning of the world till now ? What a foolish and impious 
conceit is this ; they may as well say, that he that liveth all 
his days in this town, or is cloistered in a cell, should not be- 
lieve that the world is any bigger than he sees, nor should give 
God any glory for the rest of his workmanship. Human tes- 
timony is the light by which we. must behold his former works 
to his praise. 

Argument V. 

If we are not bound to believe God's wondrous works, which 
we see not, then our ancestors, or teachers, are not bound 
to tell them us. But the consequent is false. Therefore, 
so is the antecedent. 

Why should men be bound to tell us that which we are not 
bound to believe upon their report ? God bindeth no man to 
use any means in vain. But that we are bound to tell others 
of God's wondrous works, is clear in nature, as well as Scrip- 

1. What greater use have we our tongues and languages 
for ? 

2. Our allegiance to God requireth it. 

3. Our love to men, to posterity, to the world, requires it. 

4. Our love to truth will bind us to propagate it. I do not 
think, for all their foolish cavilling, but that if one of these 
apostate infidels should see the dead raised, or should have an 
angel from heaven deliver them a book, and say, 'This is the 
truth ;' they would think it their duty to tell it abroad, and 
other men's duty to believe their report. Is it not our duty to 
tell to posterity the deliverances which God had wrought for 
us ? And for those that have seen any mercy or judgment in 
peace or war, to tell those that saw it not ? But why should 
they tell those that are not bound to believe them ? 

Argument VI. 

That doctrine which would put out the eyes of the world, and 
bring them all to folly and barbarous ignorance, and would 
destroy all teaching, and all human converse, societies, 


108 THE spi hit's Witness to 

and government, is false and detestable : but such is the 
doctrine wlilch we here oppose : therefore, 

If we are not l)ound to believe men, when thev report the 
most wondrous works of God, then we are not bound to believe 
them in lesser things, which we first see not, or know not 
ourselves. And if so, then the fore-mentioned consequents will 

1. Take away from men the credit of history, and let them 
know nothing but what hath been in their own days, and what 
a mole do you leave man. But further take away from him the 
credit of human testimony, and let him know nothing of any 
other country, or of his own, but what he sees, and you so far 
put out his eyes, that you leave him scarce a man, and may 
next shut him up again in the womb. 

2. How shall any man teach another any art, language, or 
science, if the scholar ought not to believe his teacher ? If he 
that would teach you Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, tell you the 
power of each letter, and the signification of each word, and 
you say, * J am not bound to believe you, because I know it not 
to be true myself/ how then will he learn ? So in other cases. 
And if there be no teaching or learning, what knowledge will 
there be ? If children must practise this doctrine also, and not 
learn any thing of their own fathers or mothers, because they 
know it not first themselves, and therefore need not believe 
them ; then we should have a world of infants, and they would 
not be taught so much as to speak. But the best is, this idiot 
doctrine is so unnatural, that it must be violated before it can 
be practised : you must belie^'e others, before you can learn 
that others are not to be believed : and, therefore, children are 
not in much danger of it. He that tells me that I am not bound 
to believe others, I hope will give me leave to suppose, then, that 
T am not bound to believe him that tells me so : for by believ- 
ing him I shall cross his doctrine : nor will he suppose that I 
should credit him more than others, or than all the world. 

3. There can be no societies kept up, without believing one- 

4. No, nor any human converse. If men should live every 
one as purely independent from the rest of the world, no men 
could enter into any contracts or covenants. 

5. Nor could there be any government of any commonwealth. 
The subject should not be bound to believe that he hath a king. 


unless he sec him, nor that the laws are true and genuine, 
and not forged; nor could men buy or sell, or have any secu- 
rity of their properties for want of witnesses, nor be accused of 
any crime, or wrong doing, because no witnesses should be to 
be believed. If a man's estate and life shall be in the power 
of two or three witnesses by the laws of God and nature, except 
where there is just exceptions against them, and proof of the 
contrarv to what they attest ; sure, this is on supposition of 
some powerful inclination to verity in nature, and of so much 
wiatural honesty and conscience in mankind, as that so great 
concernments may be laid upon them. How much more then, 
should so many thousand witnesses be believed in a case, for 
God and our souls, where we know that they cannot possibly 
deceive us ? 

Argument VII. 

That doctrine which would tie God to be at the beck of every 
unreasonable infidel, to satisfy him by miracles, when he 
hath afforded him ordinary, sufficient means, '_is a false and 
ungodly doctrine. But such is the doctrine which we here 
oppose : therefore, 

That ordinary, human testimony is a sufficient means to 
inform us of the certainty of former miracles, I have already 
showed : and also that those miracles are sufficient attestations 
on God's part of his owning the doctrine so attested. If, there- 
fore, every infidel after all this say, I will not believe unless I 
see, they deserve rather punishment than satisfaction. Then, if 
God had showed a miracle to a thousand, yea, to all the city or 
country, except one man, he must do all over again for the 
convincing of that one man, because he will believe no man 
else. This were to subvert the whole frame of providential 
government, and to turn extraordinaries into ordinaries, and to 
teach all men to live by sense. But thus God will not do to 
satisfy every or any unbeliever. 

Argument VIII. 

If God do not use such common, repeated miracles to convince 
the world with, of the verity of the christian religion, 
then they are not necessary absolutely to that end, But 
God doth not use such, &:c. Therefore, 

110 THE spirit's witness TO 

That miracles are now ceased, at least so as not to be com- 
mon to every man, is beyond doubt. And that God withdravv- 
eth not any means without which the world cannot rationally 
be convinced, is as certain : they that affirm the contrary must 
affirm that he now obligeth us not to believe, that is, that it is 
no duty to be a Christian ; which I have disproved before ; and 
use this argument against those seekers only, who yet pretend 
not to renounce their Christianity. 

Argument IX. 

God doth still effectually convince millions of men of the cer- 
tainty of the christian religion, and that without renewed 
miracles. Therefore there is a sufficient way of such con- 
viction without them. 

Ab esse ad posse, ah actu secundo ad poientiam^ ah efficientia 
ad sufficientiam, the argument is past doubt. If God ordinarily 
do it, then it may be done, and then the way is sufficient, and 
the other not of absolute necessity. If any infidel say that all 
these that seem convinced of the truth of the Gospel are de- 
luded, and take their own imaginations for certain apprehen- 
sions, 1 answer, 1. They themselves know the contrary to their 
own satisfaction. 

2. Some of them are able to show sufficient reasons of their 
faith and hope to others, and have often done it. 

Argument X. 

Lastly : I shall, for the sake of those that yet own Christianity, 
produce some Scripture testimonies, from whence it shall 
appear that it was not the intent of God to work miracles 
before all that ought to believe, nor to continue them to all 
following ages, but to send down a sufficient testimony that 
formerly they were wrought, and thereby to oblige posterity 
to believe : and also that we are obliged to believe the tes- 
timony of our ancestors and teachers, as they are bound to 
instruct us. 
1. "That I might show these, my signs, before him, and that 
thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, 
what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have 
done amongst them, that ye may know how that I am the 
Lord." (Exod. x. 1, 2.) Here you have, 1. The convincing evi- 


dence, God's miracles. 2. The person that saw them was Pha- 
raoh. 3. Yet must the Israehtes declare them to posterity, and 
therefore posterity must believe them. 4. And that to prove 
to them that God is the Lord. 

2. " Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your 
fathers ? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell 
their children, and their children another generation. That 
which the palmer-worm hath left, hath the locust eaten," &c. 
(Joel i. 2 — 4.) You see here tradition must be instead of the 
sight of the fact. 

3. " And it shall come to pass when your children shall say 
unto you. What mean you by this service ? That you shall say. 
It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, who passed over the 
houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the 
Egyptians, and delivered our houses." (Exod. xii. 14, 17, 26, 
27, 42.) Here is tradition by ordinance and words, which pos- 
terity must believe. 

4. "For I spake not with your children, which have not 
known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the Lord 
your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched-out 
arm, and his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of 
Egypt, unto Pharaoh the King of Egypt, and unto all his land, 
and what he did unto the army of Egypt," &c. " But your eyes 
have seen all the great acts of the Lord, which he did. And 
ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou 
sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, when 
thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write 
them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates, that 
your days may be nndtiplied, and the days of your children." 
(Deut. xi. 2—7, 19, 21.) 

5. See, also, Deut. xxix. 22 — 27j &c. 

6. " That this may be a sign among you, that when your 
children ask their fathers in time to come, saying. What mean 
you by these stones ? then ye shall answer them. That the 
waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of 
the Lord, when it passed over Jordan ; the waters of Jordan 
were cut off; and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the 
children of Israel for ever." (Josh. iv. 6, 7> 22 — 24.) 

7. See, also. Josh. xxii. 24 — 32. ' 

8. " Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, that 
you may tell it to the generation following." (Psalm xlviii. 13.) 

9. " Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to 

112 THE spirit's witness to 

the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable. 
I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, 
and our fathers have told us ; we will not hide them from their 
children, sliowing to the generation to come the praises of the 
Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath 
done ; for he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a 
law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should 
make them known to their children, that the generation to come 
might know them, even the children which should be born ; who 
should arise and declare them to their children, that they might 
set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep 
his commandments, and might not be as their fathers," &c. 
(Psalm Ixxviii. 1 — 8.) 

10. "This shall be written for the generation to come : and 
the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord." (Psalm 
cii. 18.) 

11. "One generation shall praise thy works to another, and 
shall declare thy mighty acts." (Psalm cxlv. 4. See ver. 5 — 7, 

12. "The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham," 
8cc. " This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto 
all generations." (Exod. iii. 15.) 

13. "Ye shall dwell in booths seven days," &c., "that your 
generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell 
in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt," &c. 
(Levit. xxiii. 42, 43.) 

14. Psalm Ixxxix. 1. 

15. " And ye shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem 
and all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of 
the earth." (Acts i. 8.) 

16. " This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all wit- 
nesses ; " (Acts ii. 32 ;) "And killed the Prince of Life, whom 
God hath raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses." 
(Acts iii. 14, 15.) 

17. "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew 
and hanged upon a tree ; him hath God exalted with his right 
hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour," &c. " And we are his 
witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost," &c. 
(Acts V. 30—32.) 

18. " The word which God sent unto the children of Israel," 
&c., " which was published throughout all Judea," &c. ; " how 
God anointed Jesus of Naz;areth with the Holy Ghost and with 


power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were 
oppressed of the devil ; for God was with him : and we are 
witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews 
and in Jerusalem, whom they slew and hanged on a tree ; him 
God raised up the third day, and showed him openly, not to all 
the people, but to witnesses chosen before of God, even to us 
who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead : 
and he commandeth us to preach unto the people, and to testify 
that it is he which was ordained of God, to be the Judge of 
quick and dead." (Acts x. 38 — 4 1 .) 

19. "But God raised him from the dead, and he was seen 
many days of them, which came up with him from Galilee to 
Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we de- 
clare unto you glad tidings," &c. (Acts xiii. 30, 31.) 

20. See, also. Acts i. 22, and iv. 33, and xxii. 15, and xxvi. 
16; 1 Pet. V. 1 ; Heb. ii. 3; Luke iv. 22; John i. 15, 32, 34, 
and V. 33, and xii. 17, and ix. 35, and xv. 27 ; Acts xxiii. 1 1 ; 
1 John i, 2, with divers others, which all show that it was the 
office of the apostles, and the duty of all others that saw Christ's 
miracles, to bear witness of them, and that others should re- 
ceive that witness. And though God did enable those first wit- 
nesses to seal also their witness with the gift of the Holy Ghost, 
given by God at the laying on of their hands or at their preach- 
ing, or by miracles, yet those that saw not those miracles were 
bound to believe their witness ; and the Gospel was bv them 
committed to others, that were by preaching, though mostly 
without miracles, to convince the rest of the world, and propa- 
gate it to posterity. 

21. "And the things which thou iiast heard of me among 
many witnesses, the same commit thou unto faithful men, who 
shall be able to teach others also." (2 Tim. ii. 2.) This is 
the way of propagating the Gospel. So, 1 Tim. vi. 20. 

1 coriclude with that of Christ to Thomas : " Because thou 
hast seen me thou hast believed : blessed are they that have 
not seen, and yet have believed." (John xx. 29.) I might have 
added even those texts that reciuire parents to bring up their 
children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and to 
teach them the doctrine of redemption and salvation : and he 
that saith either that every parent can work miracles, or that 
no child is to belie^'e his parents that cannot work them, is 
unworthy to be the parent or instructer of children, much more 
to be a teacher of men, 

114 THE spirit's witness TO 

We must next answer some of the apostates' objections. 

Obj. 1. Imagination is strong, and the multitude easily de- 
ceived, as we see by experience. 

Answ. Yet sense is a certain judge, and it is not easy to 
deceive the senses of so many thousands, through the space of 
so many years together, so as to persuade both cities, congre- 
gations, and countries, that they see and hear what they do not, 
and to venture their credit, estates, lives, and everlasting hopes 
upon it ; show us such an experiment. 

Obj. 2. Men of other religions are as confident that they 
received them from God, as the Christians, and yet are mis- 

Answ. I know but of three religions in the world beside the 
christian, that any considerable number do embrace. 

1 . The greatest part of the world are idolaters, that worship 
many feigned deities, and know not God. These are, for the 
generality, brutishly ignorant and sottish, and pretend to no 
more than custom and nature, for the reason of their religion ', 
and are able to say nothing considerable for what they do, as 
hey that converse with them in the Indies or other parts do 
fully testify. 

2. The Mahometans, whose leader pretended to be a pro- 
phet, and hath made them some ridiculous laws against the law 
of nature itself, confirmed by no miracles nor divine testimony^ 
but having got a rout of barbarians to follow him, he and his 
successors did prosper in war, and so his party have advanced 
his religion, merely by the sword ; he confessed that Christ was 
the word of God, and a great prophet, and confessed his mira- 
cles, and thundered out threatenings against the Jews for not 
believing on him ; only he revileth his followers for making 
him to be God ; as is to be seen in his Alcoran. So that this 
is a confirmation of the christian faith. 

3. The Jews, who had indeed the witness of God, concerning 
the truth of their law : but do sin in not receiving the testi- 
mony of his truth of the Gospel. 

Obj. 3. But how many sects are there among Christians 
themselves ? And every one is confident of the truth of his 
religion, and say, ' They had it down from the apostles,' and 
who knows which of them is in the right ? Or, how can we 
believe any of them, when they are no better agreed among 
themselves ? 

Answ. Christians are all of one faith or religion, and ill 


agreed in that one faith. They all believe the articles of the 
Creed, commonly called the apostles ; and all take the Lord's 
Prayer for a rule for their prayers, and the Ten Commandments, 
as a sum of moral duty ; they all believe the same Gospel, and 
confess the necessity of faith, repentance, and new obedience ; 
they all hold the canonical Scriptures to be the word of God, 
and of certain truth. Their differences are partly about some 
corrupt additions, whereof the papists are especially guilty, and 
partly about some expositions of more difficult j)assages. And 
doth it follow, that there is no full certainty of the christian 
religion and canonical Scripture, wherein they are all agreed, 
because they are disagreed in some other things ? It was never 
the mind of Christ to make all his disciples perfect on earth, 
and, therefore, while they are imperfect learners, they must 
needs differ. Rather, it is a sign that our religion and canon- 
ical Scriptures are certain, when so many parties among their 
hottest contentions are yet all agreed in them. I shall further 
answer this under the next objection. 

Obj. 4. But they agree not in their very translations of the 
Scripture ; nay, their very copies in the original languages 
agree not, so that they are not sure that they have a true, 
uncorrupted Scripture. What certainty, then^ can there be of 
their religion ? 

Answ. 1. Right translating proceeds from the skill of the 
translator ; if that be imperfect, what is that to our religion, or 
Scripture ? 

2. Translators differ not in matters of moment. 

S. Take that for certain that they are agreed in. 

4. The copies in the original do differ in so small, inconsider- 
able passages, and so admirably accord, that it affordeth us a 
full argument to evince them to be incorrupt in all things 
wherein they do agree. 

5. Though the apostles were directed by the Holy Ghost in 
speaking and writing the doctrine of Christ, so that we know 
they performed their part without errors, yet the delivering 
down of this speech and writings to us is a human work, to be 
performed by the assistance of ordinary providence : and, 
therefore, we are not, with the seekers, to expect an infallibility 
in such tradition to be confirmed by new miracles ; nor, with 
the papists, to expect an infallibility in such testimony or tradi- 
tion upon any extraordinary gift of infallibility conferred by the 
Holy Ghost upon the pope, or any particular persons ; but an 

116 THE spirit's witness TO 

infallible certainty v.e have upon common rational grounds, 
advantaged and strengthened much from the special piety, 
honesty, and veracity of the christian church ; which certainty 
of the incorruption of Scriptures and christian religion in all the 
material points may yet consist with some literal or verbal 
errors in the copies, and with some corruptions or doubtful 
controversies, that may creep into the churches. For it is not 
an apostolical work to deliver down to posterity the writings or 
words which the apostles first wrote and spoke ; but it is a 
human and christian work : and, therefore, though God pro- 
mised to his apostks his Spirit to lead them into all truth, and 
hath promised to be with ministers in preaching this Gospel to 
the end of the world; yet hath he not promised us the same 
exact infallibility or impeccability in preaching, as to every 
circumstance, as they had at first in speaking or writing : nor 
hath he promised so to guide every printer, or the hand of each 
transcriber of the Scriptures, that none of them shall err. But 
our religion or Scriptures is nevertheless certain in the doctrine, 
for all this : for the doctrine depends not on these slips, or 
questioned passages. 

6. We have an infallible certainty of the printed statutes of 
this land, that they are not forged : yet may tlie printers 
commit some errors in the printing them. And will you 
conclude, if you find a word misplaced, or false printed, that, 
therefore, it is uncertain whether ever the parliament made such 
a statute ? The lawyers, also, and the judges themselves, may 
differ about the sense of some passages in those statutes, and 
some may be of one mind, and some of another ;~ is the statute, 
therefore, counterfeit, or is it not obligatory to the subject ? 
Cambden's or Lily's Grammar may be misprinted, or the 
writings of Cicero, Virgil, or Ovid, which were written before 
the Gospel, and yet v/e are past all doubt that the writings are 
not forged. 

Obj. 5. But 1 am not bound to believe every man that tells 
me he brings the Gospel : men may say that is the Gospel 
which is not the Gospel. 

Ansvv. Doth it follow, that because you are not bound to every 
man, therefore you are bound to believe no man ? You must 
believe no man that tells vou a lie, nor anv man that saith he 
brings you the truth, and vet gives vou no evidence of what he 
saith to be true. But must vou not therefore believe him that 
tells you the truth, and proves it to be so ? Or, dare you say, 


after impartial examination, that we give you no evidence of the 
truth of the Gospel ? You must not beheve every man that saith 
he hath a letter to you from such a friend, or a pardon of some 
offence from the prince. But if you see it under his hand and 
seal, which no man can counterfeit, must you not then believe 
it ? You must not believe every man that saith sucli or such a 
law was made by the parliament, which you must obey ; but if 
all the heralds and messengers of the commonwealth do proclaim 
it, and the commonwealth acknowledge it, and they produce 
sufficient proof that the parliament did enact it, and tell you by 
what records you may prove it yourselves, if you will be at the 
pains, as they have been, and no man hath any thing of weight 
to say against it, should you not believe such a report? You 
are bound to believe every man that gives you evidence of the 
truth of his report, or shows you sufficient reason why you should 
believe him : but so do the preachers of the Gospel, ergOy Sec. 

Obj. 6. Christ saith, " If I had not done the works that no 
man else could do, ye had no sin ?" 

Answ. But he doth not say, if you had not seen them, you 
had no sin. The revelation of them by any sufficient means, 
will leave an unbeliever without excuse. 

Obj. 7. But why should we be obliged by miracles unseen, any 
more than the Jews in Christ's time ? 

Answ. Because we have sufficient proof of them, though not 
the sight: and if the Jews had had such proof of them, it would 
have obliged them, as to this day it doth. 

Obj. 8. By that rule Christ need not to have done miracles in 
any place but one, and then have sent word of it to the rest of 
the world, and consequently all the miracles of his apostles 
should be needless : but Christ did them not needlessly, er(/o, 
they are needful to us. 

Answ. If God so far condescended to our infirmity, as by mul- 
titudes of miracles to make his seal so evident, that we may be 
put out of doubt that none can counterfeit it, should his creature 
be so ungratefully impudent as to require yet more, and tie him 
to satisfy his unreasonable expectations. What, if six or eight 
of the plagues of Egypt had been a sufficient means to have left 
Pharaoh inexcusable^ if he would not believe, may not ten 
plagues leave him yet more inexcusable ? And shall no man be 
thought inexcusable that hath not as many ? This is to make 
foolish sinners the rulers of the world, yea, of God himself, and 
they must teach him what to do. Yea, ungrateful wretches are 

118 THE spirit's witness TO 

SO quarrelsome with his very mercies, that they will not be 
pleased. If God work but few, the seal is supposed questionable 
and obscure, because, perhaps, there might be some deceit in 
them : if he work many to put it out of doubt, then either they 
must be pronounced needless, or else every man must see the 

Obj. 9. But there are contradictions in the Scripture, and 
great weaknesses in style and method ; how then can we believe 
that they were sealed by God ? 

Answ. 1. So ignorant men do think of other writings, or of 
any science, when they do but half understand them. They 
that understand them are able to see the falsehood of this ob- 
jection. Were men but any whit humble, they would rather 
suspect their understandings of mistakes, than the Scriptures of 
contradiction. When one showeth these self-conceited infidels 
the plain sense of the words, and how easily they are reconciled, 
which they thought contradictory, they have then nothing to 
say, but be ashamed of their rash and ignorant conclusions, 

2. If we could not free the text from every charge that in 
smaller things is laid upon it, and if we could not prove the 
writers infallible, and free from all mistakes in their writings, 
yet might we be sure that the doctrine of Scripture, in the main, 
is God's word, and that the christian religion is of God. 
Obj. I will not believe him in any thing, that speaks falsely in 
one. Answ. An ignorant answer. If a man mistake in a 
doubtful matter, will you not believe him in a matter that hath 
evidence beyond doubt ? All historians are fallible, and liable to 
error ; and if they describe to you such or such a fight, or the 
acts of such a parliament, they may easily err in some smaller 
circumstance, as the just number of the slain, the particular 
terms of every act, &c. ; and yet the main part of their history 
may be of infallible verity that such a fight there was, and who 
conquered, and that such and such laws were enacted. We are 
certain of many of the reports of heathen historians, who yet 
may err in some things ; much more of the reports of godly, 
conscionable men, when it is clear they could not be deceived, 
or deceive. So that all the credit of the Gospel and christian 
religion doth not lie on the perfect freedom of the Scriptures 
from all error : but yet we doubt not to prove this their per- 
fection against all the cavils o infidels, though we can prove 
the truth of our religion without it. 

The like may be said of the supposed weaknesses of Scripture, 


in method and terms, which is but the censure of proud igno- 
rance : it was not agreeable to the design of Scripture, or the 
occasions of its writing, that it should be written in an exact, 
logical method ; neither histories, laws, nor epistles, are used to 
be so written, and such are the Scriptures : and it was necessary 
that the language should be suited as to the matter, so to the 
capacity of the generality of the readers. It is God's great 
wisdom and mercy, that he will rather offend the proud, than 
lose the weak. 

Moreover, if we could only prove that the Holy Ghost was 
given to the penmen of holy Scripture, as an infallible guide to 
them in the matter, and not to enable them to any excellency 
above others in the method and words, but therein to leave 
them to their natural and acquired abilities ; this would be no 
diminution of the credit of their testimony, or of the christian 
faith. Indeed, as God's word is not given to men to repair 
their understandings about mere natural common things, (unless, 
on the by, it may do this in physics,) but in spirituals, so doth 
it suppose both reason, and the necessity of common arts and 
sciences, for the rectifying and helping of reason in naturals, 
which Scripture and grace do then teach them to improve for 
the highest and noblest ends. 

Obj. 10. But there are in Scripture such improbable 
things in the history of some miracles, and in the threatenings 
of hell, &c., that we cannot believe that they came from God. 

Answ. All things seem improbable, that are beyond the 
understanding of the reader, and contrary to his former conceits. 
Is there any thing that is too hard for God ; or any thing that 
requireth a greater power than the making of the world ; the 
motion of the sun, and the upholding of the frame of nature in 
its vigour and course, &c. : if we knew the power that did it, 
as well as we know the difficulty of the work to a human 
power, we should not think it improbable to God. 

And for the necessity of the punishing of impenitent sinners, 
I have spoken of it sufficiently elsewhere. 

Obj. 11. But you are not agreed which is the canonical 
Scripture : the papists take in all the apocryphal books, which 
you reject. 

Answ. That is no diminution of the authority of those that 
we are agreed on : and the whole christian religion is contained 
in those. Nor do we differ about any book of the New 

120 THE spirit's witness to 

01)j. 12. It was long ere the Scriptures were gathered Into 
one book, and before some of the books of the New Testament 
were received ; some of the primitive churches received 
them not. 

Answ. 1. It is not binding them in one book that adds to 
their authority, nor binding them in many that diminisheth it ; 
else the bookbinder might make or mar the Scripture at his 
pleasure. 2. When the epistles were written to several 
churches at a great distance, there must needs be some space 
of time before the latter writings could be communicated to all 
others, by those churches to whom they were written : and till 
they were communicated with sufficient evidence for their recep- 
tion, no wonder if they were doubted of. And that cautelous- 
ness of the church doth the more confirm us of their care in the 
rest. 3. It was but James, and 2 Peter, the two last epistles 
of John, and the Revelations, that were doubted of, and some 
light question of the epistle to the Hebrews. And the doctrine 
of Christianity is so much contained in all the rest, that if they 
be received, it cannot be doubted of. Believe those books that 
all received ; for the objection reacheth not them. 

Obj. Clemens' epistle to the Corinthians was a while read 
in churches, as Eusebius saith. 

Answ. 1. Not as canonical, but as some yet read the Apo- 
crypha. 2. There is nothing in that epistle, but what is con- 
sonant to the apostles' doctrine, and therefore confirming to the 
christian faith. 

Obj. 13. But it was many years after Christ's resurrection be- 
fore the Scriptures of the New Testament were written. Where 
then was your religion, and your bible ? 

Answ. The living preachers that had seen Christ's miracles, 
and wrought more to confirm the doctrine which he taught 
them were instead of books ; and so were the daily miracles 
that were wrought, and the laws that were written in the hearts 
of the disciples : but when the apostles were to be taken from 
earth, as they left a succession of Christians, of preachers, and 
of church ordinances, which might by tradition preserve to 
posterity the substance of the christian religion ; so did they leave 
their doctrine more fully in writing, as a more certain and 
perfect means to preserve, not only the substance, but the 
whole ; which writings are bv infallible, human testimony or 
tradition, brought safe to our hands, being free from all wilful or 
material depravation : for which, to God be glory inhis churches. 


Obj. 14. There are as confident reports of miracles wrought 
since, yea, and some of them for the confirming of error, as. 
those of the Scriptures, which you so m.uch build upon ; and 
yet you give not so much to these: for example, ^Augustine 
De Civitate Dei,' lib. xxii. cap. 8, hath very many; whereof some 
are said to be done before many witnesses ; some in the public 
assemblies, and in his own presence. See also his ' Retract.' 
lib. i. cap. 13; and 'Confess.' lib. 9. cap. 7; and ' De Unitate 
Eccles.' cap. 10; and 'Serm.De Divers.' xxxix.: and 'Ambros.' 
epist. Ixxxv. ; and 'Serni.' cxci.; ' Sidonium Apollinar.' lib. 7. 
epist. i.; ' Gregor. Turonens.' lib. 1; ' Mirac' cap. 47, attest 
the same miracle. 

And that error was confirmed by it, it is clear, in that most of 
them were done at the memories or shrines of Stephen, or some 
other martyrs, and some of them upon prayers to the martyrs, 
and, as Augustine thought, upon the procurement of those mar- 
tyrs ; and some were done by the sign of the cross, as Innocen- 
tia, an eminent woman in Carthage, is said to be cured sud- 
denly of a cancer in her breast. Athanasius, and many others, 
mention the ejection of devils by the sign of the cross. 

Answ. 1 . There is so great a difference between these mira- 
cles and those of the Gospel, for frequency, greatness, evidence, 
and unquestionable certainty, and also between the certainty of 
the attestation and tradition of the one and the other, that the 
one is only probable, or morally certain, the other hath a cer- 
tainty that may well be called physical, and is clearly infallible. 
The curing of a disease, or the raising of a dead man, attested 
by a few witnesses, or by a congregation, is not like an age of 
miracles, whereof some were done before thousands, and by 
which so many countries were convinced and made disciples. 

2. Yet I further answer, that even these miracles are attested 
by so many and honest witnesses, such as Austin, and many of 
the fathers, that they are credible to reason ; and though they 
have no such certainty as those mentioned in Scripture, yet are 
they strongly probable, and morally certain. Both, therefore, 
may well be believed, but with a different belief, according to 
the different evidences. 

3. And that these latter were not wrought in attestation of 
any error, but of the truth of Cluistianity, is evident in the pro- 
fessions of those that wrought them, and those that report 
them. It was not to attest any undue worship of the martyrs or 
the cross, but to attest the truth of that faith which the martyrs 

vol.. XX. M 

122 THK simrit's witness to 

sealed with their blood, and to advance the honour of Christ, 
whom the infidels derided, because he was crucified. So Augus- 
tine, in the next (ninth) chapter saith, * Whereto do these mira- 
cles attest, but to this faith, in which Christ is preached to have 
risen from the dead in the flesh, and with the flesh to have 
ascended into heaven; for the martyrs themselves were martyrs, 
that is, witnesses of this belief, and giving testimony to this be- 
lief, they endured the great hatred and cruelty of the world, and 
overcame it, not by resisting, but by dying. For this faith did 
they die, who could obtain these things of the Lord, for whose 
name they were slain. For this faith, their wonderful patience 
did precede, that so great power in these miracles might follow 
after. For if the resurrection of the body to an everlasting 
state, either went not before in Christ, or will not come as is 
foretold by Christ, or as is foretold by the prophets by whom 
Christ was foretold ; why, then, can the martyrs do such things, 
who were slain for that faith, by which this resurrection is 
preached ?' &c. 

4. Consider that the case of the church, then, and their 
manner of using the cross, and the memories or relics of the 
martyrs, was much different from that of the papists now ; and 
therefore the most religious, godly people did use them then 
without scruple, though now such people refuse the popish use 
of them : for then the church lived among persecuting heathens, 
and their Christianity was a hazard to their lives, so that 

1. There was a special necessity of some encouragements 
from God answerable to their great trials, or else how should 
men have endured them, and Christianity have been maintained 
and increased as it was ? Flesh will be flesh, and life w^ill be 
sweet, and death w-ill be to nature the most unwelcome and ab- 
horred guest in the world ; and Cod works in a way agreeable 
to man's nature, by outward means of encouragement, as well 
as by inward corroboration. Therefore was lie pleased to en- 
courage men to the flames, to the sword, to the jaws of wild 
beasts, and all the torments of bloody tyrants, by doing mira- 
cles, rather at the memories or graves of the martyrs than else- 
where ; and hereby making their names honourable, and such a 
death more evidentlv desirable. 

2. There was then greater reason to expect miracles than 
now; even for the convincing of the heathens, that they 
might be drawn to believe : for though miracles ceased to be 
ordinary or so freijuent after the apostles' times, yet did God 


continue them, in some degree, for many lumdred years, that 
by degrees they might help the extirpation of infidehty. 

And it was a more reasonable and less culpable thing then, 
for the Christians to use the sign of the cross, before heathens 
that scorned a crucified Christ ; and to honour the martyrs, 
and choose the place of their graves or memories for their 
prayers, where thev found God to do such extraordinary things 
for the encouragement to martyrdom, and attestation of his 
truth, than it is now for us to do such things, where the case is 
altered, and the reason ceased ; much less should we use them 
with religious worship to the creature, as giving it that which 
is proper to God. 

5. If it were granted that the use of the cross, and the pray- 
ing at the memories or graves of martyrs, was then an error, 
yet is it clear that it was not them, but the christian faith, that 
God attested by those miracles ; for so the reporters profess, 
and so the Christians judged and did expect : and God may 
well attest his own doctrine, even where there may be some 
mistakes in men's seeking or expecting his attestation. He 
would not neglect the owning of Christianity against the learned 
and cruel heathens, because of some small circumstantial errors 
in his servants. 

6. And where it is said, " These miracles were done by pray- 
ing to the martyrs •/' I answer, I. If that had been so, yet the case 
is answered in what is said already : ' It was not such prayers 
as the papists use to deceased saints and martyrs now, as sup- 
posing them to know our particular wants, and to be able to 
relieve us;' of which I desire you to peruse 'Bishop Usher's Answer 
to the Jesuit's Challenge,' on this point of praying to the saints. 
2. But, indeed, there is no such thing appears in the words of 
the reporter. Indeed, there is twice mention made in Austin 
there of praying ad martyres, but that I suppose to be no more 
than apud murlyres^ id est, apud riittrtyrum memorias ; ad 
being usually put for apud. It is true, also, that Augustine 
mentioneth the martyris' inipetration of the things, or else their 
actual instrumentality in effecting them; he knows not whether. 

But, first. This is but his own iuterpietation of the matter. 

Secondly, He speaks not of any particular prayers of the 
martyrs for persons in such particular distresses, but of impe- 
tration in general, whereby he may understand either, 1. That 
their holy lives and martyrdom v.'cre so acceptable with God, 
which the fathers commonly called meritorious, that he would 

M 2 

124 THE spirit's witness to 

do such works for the manifestation of his acceptance, and 
encouragement of others to the like : 2. Or, that their present 
perfection in glorv makes tliem so pleasing to God, that he 
will thus manifest it : 3. Or, that their general supplications 
for their distressed hrethren on earth, are heard and do obtain 
such particular deliverances 5 all which do imply no particular 
knowledge of all our particular cases, nor yet any warrant that 
we should pray to them. 

Thirdly, But if it could be proved that the use of the cross, 
and the praying to martyrs at their graves, in subordination to 
Christ, were approved by miracles, we should ha\e more reason 
to approve of such practices, than to question the miracles or 
doctrine of the Scriptures. 

Obj. 15. But when you have made the best of it you can, 
you have but a moral certainty of the truth of the christian 
religion, which dependeth upon the credit of the witnesses, and 
therefore may deceive you, and strictly, is no certainty at all : 
for man's actions are contingent, and his nature, as you confess, 
exceedingly corrupt ; and, therefore, your human testimony of 
these miracles may be false. 

Answ. 1. Jf it were but a moral certainty, yet may it be so 
great that he were mad that would not so far believe it, as to 
venture all his hopes and happiness upon it. If, by the laws 
of nations, men's estates and lives shall stand or fall, upon the 
testimony of two ordinary witnesses, which afford scarcely a 
moral certainty, how much more credible may a fuller testi- 
mony be. If your own father, brethren, kindred, and honest 
neighbours, should all say and swear, that they saw such or 
such a thing with their eyes, or heard men speak such languages 
with their ears ; would you not so far believe them, as to ven- 
ture your life upon the truth of it ; especially, if they would all 
die in the attesting of it ; and, yet, more especiallv, if you must 
venture much more than your live;-, by refusing to believe it. 

2. But I say, that in our case we have not only a moral cer- 
tainty, but a natural ; or, that we may not quarrel about words, 
call it what you please, but it is a certa.inty as infallible as that 
of sense itself. This 1 have proved alreadv, and for further 
clearing it I will consider tlie words of one that denieth it, and 
that shall be Peter Hurtad de Mendoza, in his ' Physic. Disput. 
8. de Anima,' sec. 3, sec. 23 — 25, p. 570: (I have elsewhere 
examined the words of Eada and Rob. Baronius, denying faiih 
to have evidence, in my 'Reply to Mr. Blake.') Hurtado asks 
this question : "To what species we must reduce the evidence 


of a testimony?" and he answers, "To a moral certainty; 
because tliough we have a physical evidence of the testimony, 
yet of the thing testified we have not simply evidence, but ob- 
scurity. But if we did evidently know the testimony of God, 
then we should evidently know the thing testified, because it is 
gathered from two evident principles, viz.. That God cannot lie, 
and that he revealed that thing." 

To this, I reply, We have infallible evidence that these 
miracles were done in confirmation of the christian faith ; and 
consequently that it is revealed by God. For the further clear- 
ing of which, let us follow this author yet further : he next asketh, 
" What sort of evidence is that by which I believe that there is 
such a place as Rome, upon the witness of so many men attest- 
ing it ? " Answ. It is physical ; for it is impossible, even in a 
physical sense, that so many men in so many ages should so lie, 
so that f have no less evidence that there is a city called Rpme 
than that all fire is heating. 

Obj. Then human faith may have physical evidence ? 

Answ. I deny the consequence, because that it is not an act of 
faith, but of knowledge ; for it resteth not upon human testi- 
mony, but on a physical repugnancy, by which I see that so 
many men could not combine to lie ; but human faith resteth 
on the testimony of one or more men, who could physically 
combine to lie, and therefore it is obscure and uncertain. The 
reason is at hand ; because that former assent ariseth from two 
principles, which suffer not any dissent. The first is this : It 
is impossible for so many men in so many ages to meet or com- 
bine to lie. The second is. So many men in so many ages do 
witness this. So far the author. But I infer that the same, 
or as infallible, physical evidence' have we of the truth of the 
miracles by which the Holy Ghost did witness to the christian 
faith ; for first, it is naturally impossible that so many churches 
in so many countries of the world, at such a distance, should 
combine to lie, in telling the world that the Holy Ghost was 
given, and tongues spoken, and miracles done among them for 
so many years, if it had not been so. 2. Consider well, that 
though man be a free agent, yet he hath a nature as well as a 
free will ; and that voluntas ipsa est qucedam natura ; the un- 
derstanding naturally inclines to truth ; the will hath naturally 
good, as good, for its o'bject; and evil, as evil, it shunneth. 
And though yet it be free, and its acts contingent as to the 
means, because of its own, and the understandings' intermina- 
tion, yet its freedom is servcdo ordlne Jiuis^ and his willing of 

12() iHi': sTi kit's witness to 

his own ft'licity ;v'-^ the end is witli a tVeedotii consistent with a 
necessity, and is natural, th()n<;h not strictly per moduin nainrcc, 
as hrutcs dosirc their ohjects. Man, as well as brutes, hath a 
nature that cannot but love itself", and desire its own welfare, 
and abhor death and niiserv, temporal and eternal ; and, there- 
fore, though here and there a man, in some desperate passion, 
ni;iy make away himself, vet we are physically certain that it 
nuist be a thing which tliev do in(le(>d believe, that must per- 
suade cities and countries of people in their wits, to cast their 
estates and li\es into the hands of liloodv tyrants, and utterly 
ruin their worldly hopes. It is, therefore, a very natural impossi- 
bility that so many thousands, of so many parts of the world, 
should entertain a doctrine, which pretendeth to be underpropped 
by freciuent miracles, and these done in their sight, and by 
or upon themselves, and which promiseth to give the Holy 
Ghost to all that receive it, for the ett'ecting of some extraordi- 
nary gifts, and to deliver this doctrine and the records of it to 
the world as true, and to forsake all worldly hopes, and cast 
themselves on ap|)arent misery in the world, and lay down their 
lives in the attesting of these things, \vitli()UL any hopes of worldly 
advantages by it, if they did not l)elieve or judge these things 
true ; and they could not judge the objects of their osvn siglit 
and hearing true, if they had not known them so to be ; and 
especially, when they do all this in ho])e of a blessedness in the 
life to come, where it is impossible that so many men of reason 
should expect to be blessed for conspiring in a lie, but rather to 
be everlastingly cursed and miserable, i)y the justice of that Ciod 
from whom they expect their reward. 1 conclude, therefore, 
that the case being resolved into man's natural i)rinciples and 
inclinations so clearly as it is, there is a natural evidence of the 
truth of these miracles. If it be a physical certainty that there 
is a city of Rome, it is also a physical certainty that there were 
such and such parliaments in iMigland, and that they enacted 
such and such laws as now bear their names, and that there was 
such a man as Cicero, A'irgil, Ovid, xAristotlc, who wrote  uch 
orations, poems, systems of sciences, .!^'c. ; and a much clearer, 
{jhysical certainty have we (inconi])ar:d)ly clearer) that the 
Holy Ghost was given, and such miracles wrout;,ht in attestation 
of the truth of the christian doctrine. 

liut Hurtado proceeds thus : 

Obj. 2. "Then the testimony of the martyrs gives us a physical 
evidence of the mysteries of faith ; because it is impossible that 
so nianv martyrs should combine to lie." 


Answ. I deny the consequence; because they confess they know 
not evidently the tilings which they affirm. So that though it 
be evident that they all believed the mysteries for which they 
died, yet are not tlie mysteries themselves evident ; because that 
which I testify cannot be more evident to him that heareth, by 
my testimony, than it is to me; but these mysteries were ob- 
scure to the martyrs, therefore to us. But in the former case of 
the question, where so many witnesses have evidence of the thing 
attested, and their testimony is evidently true, there the thing 
itself is evidently true to us. 

To which I reply, that the latter is our very case, and his an- 
swer is not to the case that we have in hand ; for the question 
should not be only of the martyrs, but of all the churches of the 
first age ; and it should not be directly of the mysteries of faith, 
but of the miracles which they did or saw, which were matters 
of frequent public fact. Therefore, 1 say, 1. The martyrs had 
as full evidence, in the latter ages, that they received from their 
teachers and ancestors the records of christian doctrine and 
miracles both, as the witnesses which you mention have that they 
saw Rome ; and, 2. The first churches had as good evidence 
that the Holy Ghost was extraordinarily given, and miracles 
wrought before their eyes, and strange languages spoken among 
them and by themselves, which they were never taught by man, 
as your witnesses are certain that they saw Rome. 3. And that 
these miracles, being the effects of God's power, are his own seal, 
which caimot be set to a lie, to lead the world into remediless 
delusion, this is a most evident consequent from the great prin- 
ciple, That there is a God; and that this God is merciful, just, 
wise, faithful, and the Ruler of the world. So that upon this 
philosopher's own grounds, it is clear that the first churches 
having evidence of the miracles, had thence evidence of the cer- 
tainty of the doctrine ; though the mysteries of that doctrine 
were not evident in itself; nor did these churches ever doubt of 
the truth of the miracles, much less profess that they had no 
evidence of them, as he saith they did of the mysteries, butcon- 
trarily, became churches by the cogency of that evidence. 

In all this I have spoken nothing of those inherent evidences 
of its verity, which the christian doctrine containeth in itself; 
it being most evident that no good spirit would lie in the name 
of God, nor deceive the world by false pretending his authority : 
and that no evil spirit, either could do such miracles, without 
that commission, which the faithful and gracious Ruler of the 

128 THE spirit's witness, &c. 

world would never grant; or would, if he could, by such extra- 
ordinary means promote a doctrine that reproacheth and dis- 
graceth him, and destroyeth his kingdom, and tendeth wholly 
to bring man back to God, and restore man to the purity of his 
holy image, and to a blessed communion with him that made 

Nor do I, in all this, make much mention of that evidence, a 
jwsteriore, even the Holy Ghost within the believer himself, and 
the blessed effects of this doctrine upon his soul ; though every 
believer hath this witness in himself, whereby he is confirmed in 
the faith; because this is an evidence which unbelievers have 
not in themselves, nor can well discern in others; and we speak 
of those that even an infidel may behold, as also because I have 
spoken of this heretofore, on 1 John v. 10 — 12. 

Obj. 16. But why have we not miracles still, as well as 
they heretofore ? 

Answ. Having said enough to this before, I will only add the 
words of Austin, in answer of this question, wherewith he begins 
the aforesaid cap. viii. lib. 22. de Civit. Dei. " I might say, that 
before the world believed, miracles were necessary that he might 
believe. He that yet asketh for miracles, or wonders, that he 
may believe, is himself a wonder, who believeth not when the 
world believeth. But they speak this, that it might be thought 
that no such miracles were ever wrought. Whence, then, is 
Christ, as taken up into heaven in the flesh, every where pro- 
claimed with so great belief ? Whence is it that in so learned 
times, which reject all impossibilities, the world did believe in- 
credible things too miraculously, without any miracles ? Will 
they say the things were credible, and therefore believed ? Why, 
then, do they not themselves believe them ? Our answer, there- 
fore, in short, is this, Either an incredible thing which was not 
seen, was believed, because of other incredible things, which 
were done and seen ; or else, certainly, a matter so credible 
that it needeth no miracles to evince it, doth convince these 
men of their great infidelity." So far Austin. 

And Ambrose answereth the same question thus, in cap. xii. 
p. ad Corinth : "At the first, miracles were necessary, that the 
foundations of faith might be firmly laid : but now they are not 
necessary, because the people draw each other to the faith, by 
their simple preaching, and the sight of their good works." 

See, also, how Chrysostome answers the same objection, in 
Honal. xxxiii. in Mutt. 







" But wLen the Comforter (or Advocate) is come, whom I will send unto you 
from the Father ; the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he 
shall testify of me. And ye also shall bear witness, because ve have been with 
me from the beginning."— John xv. 26, 27. 



While the foregoing sermons on GaU iii. 2. were in the 
press, I thought it not unmeet to peruse this sermon and annex 
it thereto, to make up the discourse more useful to true behevers. 
I confess I did purposely handle this text more largely when I 
preached on it, with the 1 1th and 12th verses, for the explica- 
tion of another point ; and this was but slightly touched on the 
by; yet because it is suitable to the rest, and seasonable for 
weaklings in these shaking times, I have chosen to annex it, in 
hope it may somewhat conduce to their establishment, whereto 
I desire of God that He will use and bless it. 


1 JOHX V. 10. 

" He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the ivitness in him- 
self. He that believeth not God, hath made Jam a liar ; 
because he believeth not the record that God gave of his 

Sect. I. 

The apostle havinc:, in the fourth and fifth verses, extolled 
the grace of faith in Christ, from its successful victory over the 
world ; doth proceed, in the following verses, to magnify it : 
1. From the full and certain testimony, which doth animate 
and support it. 2. From the nature of its ohject and office. The 
first he doth in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th verses; the latter 
in the 1 1th, and 12th, and some following. In the 6th, 7th, and 
Sth verses, the witnesses are enumerated : in the 9th verse, the 
validity and unquestionable authority of the testimony is proved. 
In the 10th verse is declared, I. The jnivilege of true be- 
lievers, and the advantage which they have for further cer- 
tainty : 2. Theheinotisness of the sin of infidelity. 

Though it be the first part of the 10th verse which I am 
now to handle, yet, because we cannot so well understand 
what is meant by ' the witness ' here, unless we look back to 
the precedent verses, let us briefly consider them. 

In the 6th verse, the apostle, extolling the object of faith, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, declareth with what convincing evidence he 
showed himself unto the world : " He came by water and blood, 
and it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is 
truth." Whereupon he further enumerateth the glorious trinity 
of witnesses in heaven, and the trinitv of witnesses on earth. 
(Verse 7, 8.) The extraordinary diversity of reading in these 
two verses, and the specious arguments brought for each of 
them, I purposely overpass, as not concerning much my in- 
tended business ; but what these witnesses are I shall briefly 
inquire. 1. The Father, the Word, and the Spirit, are the 

132 THE spirit's witness to 

three in heaven, which bear witness : it is on earth that they 
witness ; but it is in heaven that these witnesses are in glory. 

1. The Father witnessed of the Son, as by describing him in 
prophesies and promises, before his coming, so by many notable 
attestations at his birth, and afterwards sending a choir of 
angels to predicate and honour his nativity ; leading men to 
him by an extraordinary star, and other like means ; and in an 
eminent manner at his more solemn entering upon his office, at 
his baptism, proclaiming him by a voice from heaven to be his 
Beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased ; and to this testi- 
mony the text may seem to have some special respect : as also, 
he owned him by a voice from heaven, before his suffering. 
(JoTin xii. 28.) And divers other ways." 

2. The Lord Jesus himself, the Word of the Father, hath 
fully attested his own office and doctrine, not by naked affir- 
mations only (for if he so bore witness of himself, he tells us, 
his witness were nothing.) But by proving his mission and 
commission from the Father, by the prophets, by his doctrine, 
and by the works which he did : which were such as perfectly 
answered his commission, and such as ijo man else could do. 

3. The Spirit bore witness to Christ and his truth, both in 
the mouths of those prophets that foretold his coming, and by 
a more full attestation, when he was come, when he was bap- 
tised, it lighted on him in the form of a dove ; in himself and 
his disciples, it gloriously appeared, as I have more largely ex- 
pressed in the foregoing discourse. 

But for the three witnesses on earth, though we are agreed 
in the matter, yet expositors are not of one mind about the 
sense of the words in this text ; what is meant by Spirit, water, 
and blood. The first doubt is, what is meant by the Spirit ? 
If it be the Holy Ghost, then is not this witness on earth, the 
same with one of those in heaven ? To avoid this, some like 
those copies that leave out the 7th verse ; some, as Piscator, 
by the Holy Ghost here, understand the Gospel : some take it 
only for the spirits which with the water and blood went 
out of the side of Christ on the cross. I rather judge that in 
the 7th verse, by the Spirit is meant the Holy Ghost considered, 
not as he is in heaven in glory, but witnessing on earth : but in 
the 8th verse is meant the same Holy Spirit, as he is and wit- 

" Matt. xvii. 5 ; \xkv. 17, uiiil iii. Ifi ; John v. 32 ; viii. 18 ; v. 30 ; i. 1 ; iv. 
26; V. 17, &c.; vi. 2!), &c. ; vii. 4G ; viii. 12, &c. ; x. 21, &c., and i. 3;'., 34 j 
1 Jolm i, 1 j Acts ii. 3, i, 32, and Ix. 3 — G. 


nesseth here on earth. For as. he appeared in the shape of a 
dove on Christ, and of fiery tongues on his disciples, so is he 
said to be, to dwell and work in the souls of believers. 

The cleansings in the law were by water and blood : by 
blood for expiation, and by water for actual abstersion.'' But 
as Christ was to be the true efficient of what these were the 
types, seeing the law itself could neither expiate nor cleanse a 
defiled soul, so especially was the gift of the Spirit, a thing be- 
yond the compass of the law, and the eminent privilege of 
those Gospel times, and the special witness to the verity of his 
word. It is not unlikely, that in the Gth verse the apostle had 
respect to Christ's fulfilling the legal types, as Calvin, Piscator, 
and others judge, and so here also : but how was it that he 
fulfilled them ? I see no reason why we should restrain the 
sense to any one act or passage of Christ's life, as many do, 
but more comprehensively expound It thus. It was both expi- 
ation of guilt, and abstersion of the filth of sin, that lost souls did 
need for their recovery : it was both which the law prefigured 
to be done by the Messias : it is both that he did ; and sent forth 
his Spirit in a most eminent, triumphant manner to do the one, 
and by wonders also to bear witness to his name in the world.'^ 
He was himself baptised, first with John's baptism of water, 
and then by the Holy Ghost, descending on him as a dove, at 
the chief entrance upon his work ; and lastly, by a baptism of 
blood in the Exitus, toward the finishing of his preparations on 
earth. He sweat water and blood in the garden in his agony. 
He shed water and blood from his side upon the cross.*^ He 
lived accordingly, a life, first of pure innocency, without sin ; 
secondly, a life of suffering, even to the death of the cross, both 
to expiate our sins, and to seal his testament, and to teach us 
self-denial and patience, by his example ; thirdly, he walked in 
the power of the Holy Ghost, doing wonders, and doing good, 
and was quickened and raised by the Spirit from the dead. 
And as these testimonies were left by him on certain record, 
so did he accordingly transcribe it upon the souls of his dis- 
ciples, and do these works also on them, and drew out his 
image on their souls, and left his cures, and wondrous gifts 
thus visible on earth, to be witnesses of him in the world. 

•' John X. 2,-., 3f!, 38 ; v. .",2, ."G ; xiv. 2 ; xv. 24, 2(\ ; xvi. 13, and xiv. 2C,; 
Acls xi. 22; 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. 

•^ John i.28; Eph, v. 27; Tit. iii.."); Htb. x. 22 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 2:);[sa. i. 
IG; Jer. iv. 14. 

*■ John xviii. 37; 1 Tim. vi. 13. 

\o'i THE SIM hit's WITNlfSS TO 

First, 'i'hc Spirit he poured out on his church, even to the 
astonislunent of the world, and the conviction of unhelievers, 
by the various and tnii^hty works whicii were done ; and he 
gave it to be resident in true believers, as his house and 

Secondly, He cleanseth them bv his word and Spirit, from 
their former uncleanness, even the filth of sin. 

Thirdiv, He washeth them in his blood bv the application 
of it, in its fruits, from the guilt of sin : he bringeth them to so 
much self-drnial, as in preparation and resolution, to lav down 
their lives, and shed their blood for him : and when he calleth 
them to it, he wonderfully sustaineth them, so that his people 
are living witnesses of iiis power and truth. The Spirit of 
power on the first churches, and the Spirit of holiness on all, is 
his infalHlile witness ; his sanctified ones, that are cleansed 
from their former wickedness, are his witnesses ; his j)ardoned, 
justified, adopted ones, are his witnesses. And as they are 
thus objectively a tlircefold witness to him, so are tliev actually, 
effectively, and expressly. Thev give him themselves, and 
fullest testimony in a threefold baptism as it were. They are 
!)aptised with water, and there openly own liim, and take him 
for their Redeemer : thev are ofttimes baptised with blood in 
actual martyrdom, and so own him to the death : and in tlie 
sacrament of his supper they feed upon his blood, and renew 
their resignation, and their testimony of bini. Thev are bap- 
tised with the Holy Ghost, and then exalt him in the throne of 
their souls, and his kingdom is set up within them. 

And thus we see what are the three witnesses on earth, viz. 
the Spirit, water, and blood.' 

Sect. n. 

Let us now see what is that, "^^'itness in ourselves," whicli the 
text in hand mentioneth : 1 see no reason to restrain this 
neither, to any one way of having the witness in ourselves, but 
shall take it more comprehensively. 

1. He that believeth bach a witness in himself, in that he 
hath received God's testimony of his Son ; and so that whicli 
was external, is admitted within, and that which \\'as an object 
aptitudinal, oii'ered, propounded, and the reception of it com- 

' Acts i. ."), 8, atui ii. 1. 

' Iti tlie first age, ainl loiii;- aller, the fliiiitht's iispil to mix wine and water 
ill tlif sacrauieiit : n'i ai>|-ears in ' Justin Martyr's A]ii>liin\ ,' ami iiiuny oiliers. 


inanded, is now become an object actually believed and enter- 
tained. And tbus all believers have the witness in themselves, 
as the object is in the present act, and so in the recipient agent. 

Obj. That is no more than to say ; 'He that believeth doth 

Answ. It is to declare what believing is ; it is the reception 
of the divine testimony : and so upon our believing, that 
which was before only without us, written in our books, or 
spoken by men, is now within us, transcribed by the Spirit of 
grace upon our hearts : but, yet, though this be part of the 
sense, I take it not for the whole, therefore I add : 

2. He that believeth, hath the witness in himself, in a 
radicated habit of the aforesaid belief, supposing him to be 
a sound believer ; for it is the Spirit of Christ that worketh 
this faith ; that not only revealeth the object from without, but 
useth it also on the soul, as a man doth a seal by impressing 
it on the wax : and the same Spirit confirmeth and maintaineth 
this habit, having made it his office to be the sanctifier of 
believers, and the finisher of their faith : so that as he be- 
lieveth, so he shall believe ; the Spirit of life, being the pre- 
server and maintainer of his faith. 

3. He hath, also, the witness in himself, more confirmedly, 
in that the same Spirit is at hand to be the exciter of his faith ; 
and not only to give him a habit, or power ; but, also, to cause 
him to bring it forth into act, so that it is no small advantage 
against teuipations to infidelity, which he that soundly believeth, 
hath already in himself. 

4. He that believeth, hath, by the same Holy Spirit, not only 
his understanding thus cleared and persuaded, but, also, his 
will effectually inclined to Christ, and to God the Father, by 
him : and his heart affected so much with the goodness that is 
in him, and the goodnes? that hath flowed from him ; in the 
wonders of love, which he hath manifested to sinners ; and with 
the goodness, which he is in hope of, when the promises are all 
fulfilled ; that there is by these, as it were, a new nature within 
him : he hath new thoughts, new designs, new desires, hopes, 
love, delights; he is now driving a new trade in this world, for 
another world, and set upon a work which before he was a 
stranger to ; so that he is now become in Christ a new creature : 
"Old things are passed away, and all things are become new." 
(2 Cor. V. 17.) He that would now tempt bini to infidelitv, 
and persuade him from Christ, must not only persuade him 
against his radicated, maintained belief, hut also against his 

136 THE spirit's witness to 

love, his desire, his hope, his joys, against his very heart, and 
new nature. 

5. And it increaseth his advantage, that this love, desire, 
hope, and whole new disposition, is radicated, maintained, and 
excited l)y the same Holy Spirit, who dvvelleth in the soul, and 
nianageth it for Christ, even as its helief itself is ; and the very 
radication, maintaining, and exciting of true helief, is the radica- 
tion, confirmation, and exciting of these, as the moving of the 
first wheel is the moving of the rest. 

6. But the most ohservahle part of the sense, is this : that all 
these received impressions on the soul, are a standing testi- 
mony in us, which we may have recourse to for the future, for 
the repelling of temptations, and the confirmation of our faith. 
They are a witness within us, as the objects or evidence, for our 
future belief, and not only, as I said before, as the received ob- 
ject of our present belief. Our present actual, and habitual faith, 
and renovation of our souls, and the sacred inclinations and 
actions therein contained, are a standing evidence within us ; 
as the written word and the miracles of Christ are without us ; 
from which we may soundly argue for the verity of Christianity, 
and may look on them as an infallible testimony for Christ. 
For none but the sacred Redeemer of the world, approved by 
the Father, and working by his Spirit, could do such works, as 
are done on the souls of all that are truly sanctified. 

7. And I suppose it is not the least part of the apostles' mean- 
ing, *'That he that believed then, had that extraordinary Spirit 
of wonders, in one kind or other, which was purposely then given 
to be a seal to the christian verity, and the great witness of 
Christ;" (Mark xvi. 17;) for the promise was fulfilled then in 
one sort or other, in one measure or other, to all believers ; at 
least to all morally, that is, to the generalitv, or ordinarily. 

I shall not add here, that immediate witness of the Spirit 
within us, which some assert is only sufficient ; which is neither 
an objective testifying from without, nor an objective testifying 
by the aforesaid works of grace within; nor an effective testi- 
mony, by producing our helief of the objective, all which 
I have asserted ; but is moreover, first, either another in- . 
objective testimony, as by an inward word or enunciation 
of another to our mind ; secondly, or else an efficient testify- 
ing, by causing us to believe without the objective evidence; or, 
only upon this last supposed internal enunciation of his own : 
for these enthusiasms or inspiratior.s, let them boast of them 
that have them ; but let them not blame me, if I prove them 


not common, or necessary to all ; nay, if I prove that the former 
without them, are a sufficient testimony within us, of the truth 
of Christ's doctrine. Concerning this controversy, I refer the 
learned reader to what is already fully written of it, by Rob. 
Baronius in ^Apodix. Cont. Turnebull.' against Spalatensis, and 
by Amyraldus in ' Thes. Salmuriens.' in the disputation of Scrip- 
ture, and the Spirit's testimony. And, withal, I mention not 
here the Spirit itself the efficient, as dwelling in us, distinct from 
his works, because it is not the -rh fxaphpsv that is here said to 
be in ourselves ; but the h ho^plvpio.-, not the testis, but the testi- 
monium ; though the English word ' witness ' signify either ; 
and though 1 know that other places of Scripture speak of the 
Spirit himself within us. 

You see then the chief difficulty in the text explained, What, 
it is to have the testimony or record in ourselves. 

Quest. But have all believers this testimony within them- 
selves, or some only ? 

Answ. All : but not all in one degree ; nor all in the same 
sort, as some have had it. The spirit of sanctification is com- 
mon to all true believers ; but so is not the spirit of miracles, 
or extraordinary gifts, though this also was ordinary in the first 
age of the christian church. 

Quest. Is it only believers that have this witness in them- 
selves ? 

Answ. Not only true and sound believers, but also hypocrites, 
unsound and half-believers had the spirit of miracles in the 
first age, which was a testimony within them 5 but only true 
and sound believers have the spirit of sanctification : and I think 
it was only such sound believers that had * the promise ' of the 
Spirit for extraordinary gifts and miracles ; and that all other 
had it, above and beyond promise, as to any promise made to 
themselves ; but yet as the fulfilling of a promise to the 
church, and to some that might receive the benefit of them. But 
it is of no great moment, especially to our present business, 
which way this last is determined. 

Sect, in. 

The reasons why God will have "All true believers to have 
the testimony of their christian religion in themselves," are 
these, among others, so far, as we may presume to give a reason 
of God's will, from the thing : 

Reas. 1. It was God's will in revealing Christ to the world, 

vol.. XX. N 

138 THE spirit's witness to 

that his revelation sliould be a means of the les^toration, and 
perfect feliciiv of his chosen ones; which it could not be at a 
diistunce, nor without bcinii^ cnteitained into the inwards of their 
souls. For it was the soul that was wounded, and it is the soul 
that must have the cure, to which end, the application of th.e 
plaster is necessary. That light which shall illuminate a dark 
understanding, must be received into that understanding itself. 
That life which quickeueth, nuist be in the substance, which 
is cpiickened bv it. If an external revelation or testimony of 
Christ, had been a fit means of itself, to recover men's souls, 
though they never received it, then might the Gospel save all 
alike, even the haters and despisers of it, as well as its truest 
friends ; which is an unreasonable conceit ; nay, what is it to 
be healed and recovered from our blindness, by the Gospel, but 
to be ourselves informed, convinced, and enlightened by it ? 
and what is that, but to have received this testimony in 
ourselves ? To be haj)py, is to be made perfect m ourselves, 
and in that perfection to enjoy God, our end ; and our perfection 
lieth in the image of God upon us, which partly consisteth in 
knowledge; (Col.iii.lO); andina clear reception, and discerning 
of his truth. It is not a light, or felicity, which is barely 
reported to us, that solaceth and satisfieth the soul of man, but 
a light and felicitv, which he partaketh of himself. 

Reas. 2. It is the nature of God's real possessed gifts, to 
manifest both themselves and their proper causes, to the soul 
that possesseth them ; according to their degrees, and freedom 
of operation. Though sometimes, through darkness, delusion, 
and the stirrings of the contrary corruptions within us, we may 
be brought to overlook them, and doubt of their truth. Light 
hath a self-discovering property, to them that can see, and life 
is a testimony of its own existence, to the person that hath it ; 
and so are the particular actions of life : and as grace is the 
testimony or discoverer of itself, so also of its cause. It beareth 
God's name in the face or nature of it : it is his oun image, 
and therefore may discover much of him to the soul that l)eareth 
tliis image. The effects of the Spirit and doctrine of Christ, do 
show what that Spirit and doctrine are. If it make men holy, 
it is itself more holy. 

Reas. ."J. It is the order of God's works, that every foregoing 
part doth tend to tlie promoting of that which is to follow ; as 
the revelation of Christ is the means of our believing, so our 
believing is a means of our fuller sanctification, and so fur, of 


our receiving tlie Spirit: as in the first age it was a means of 
their receiving the spirit of miracles and wonders : and that 
spirit and holiness is again a means of our increased belief; 
even hy testifying objectively to us the verity of the promise, 
which we find thus fulfilled in ourselves; and therefore God 
will have us to have the witness in ourselves. 

Reas. 4. it is God's purpose, in possessing his people with 
his Spirit, to make them the living monuments of his truth and 
goodness, that they may bear upon them his image and super- 
scription ; and as he is honoured by the truth and purity which 
is found in his laws, so will he be by the like excellencies that 
are found in his saints. They shall also be everlastingly em- 
ployed in his praises, which must proceed from a heart that is 
filled with the lively sense of his goodness, and from a clear 
understanding of that for which they praise him, and therefore 
they must have the witness in themselves. 

Sect. IV. 

Use. If all true believers, having the Spirit of Christ, have 
the witness of the truth of the Gospel in themselves, we may hence 
be informed, how great an advantage such true believers have, 
above all other men in the world, for the resisting and over- 
coming of temptations to infidelity, and for a clearer discerning, 
and faster holding of the truth of the christian doctrine. Among 
others, vou may observe the difference in these particulars 
following. « 

1. Unbelievers have a testimony indeed without them, but it 
is but without them, and therefore not so near at hand for 
their use ; 'but believers have it engraven on their very hearts, 
and as near to them as the very motions and inclinations of 
their own souls. 

2. Unbelievers, therefore, have but an external light and 
object, without an inward light, or eye to discern them : for this, 
which is the witness within, is also the power of discerning the 
testimony, which is without. But the sound believer hath this 
visive power, and the light within to fit him to receive that 
from without. Like will to like. You may easier draw water 
to water, and by a place where water is before, than to or by 
the drv ground. You may more easily kindle fire, where 
fire is before, than where is none. The first degrees dispose to 
the reception of more. There is something in the eye that hath 
a nearer likeness and connaturality to the light without us, pro- 

N 2 

140 THE spirit's witness to 

ceeding from the sun, than the hands or feet, or other parts 
have, or else the eye would see no more than they. And there 
is something in a holy, believing soul, which is thns kin to the 
truth of the Gospel, which is without us, and therefore doth fit 
the soul to entertain it. 

3. The true believer, therefore, hath a double testimony ; one 
without, and one within : but the unbeliever hath but the single 
external testimony alone. 

4. The witness within us, is more sensible and affecting. That 
which lieth as near us as our own hearts, is liker to work more 
effectually and deeply, than that which is at a greater distance. 

5. The witness within us is still at hand, when the temptation 
comes : such Christians do carry their armour about them. They 
live still in arms. Whenever the tempter assaulteth them to 
stagger at God's promises, through unbelief, they have arguments 
in their own hearts to answer the temptation : so that they are 
not likely to be found unprovided, as other men are. Men's 
Bibles may be out of the way ; their teachers may be out of the 
way; their memories may fail them, if they trusted only to 
these. The reasons which one day a little moved them, may 
be forgotten the next day ; or they may forget where the chief 
strength of them lieth ; or they may receive them with greater 
prejudice or disadvantage, as being staggered or perplexed 
with what is said or suggested to the contrary. But the settled, 
habituate testimony within us, is not so much liable to changes ; 
though, I know, that through temptations and distempers of 
soul, this also may sometime be much obscured. But yet it 
hath a great advantage of the other. 

6. The witness within us is a permanent witness. It will go 
with us, which way soever we go ; it will accompany us through 
all straits and difficulties to the end : but the external testimonv 
may be taken from us. Men may take from us our Bibles, our 
teachers, and our friends ; or they may imprison us, where we 
cannot enjoy them : but they cannot take from us the Spirit of 

Consider, therefore, I beseech you, Christians, first, how great 
a mercy it is, that you have received ', secondly, and how you 
ought to improve this mercy ? 


Sect. V. 

1. And first, it may easily appear to you to be a very great 
mercy, if you do but consider these things following : 

First, consider what it is that this testimony doth witness 
within you. It is the doctrine of your redemption and 
deliverance, by the Son of God, and of your future glorification 
in the fulfilling of his promises. If the happy news of man's 
recovery by a Mediator, should not have been true, then were 
we all still in our sin, and our faith and hope were but vain and 
delusory. " If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, 
and your faith is also vain ; yea, and we are found false 
witnesses of God, because we have testified of God, that he 
raised up Christ j whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead 
rise not : for if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised ; and 
if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain ; ye are yet in your 
sins : then they also which are fallen asleep  in Christ, are 
perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of 
all men most miserable : but now is Christ risen from the dead, 
and become the first-fruits of them that slept." (1 Cor. xv. 
14, 16, 17.) What hope or consolation have we, but what 
depends upon the truth of the Gospel. If these glad tidings 
should fail us, all fails us. What else doth give us assurance 
of a future felicity ? And without that, how wretched and 
despicable a creature is man ; and how low and base are all 
the transactions and passages of his life, if they be not ennobled 
by their respects unto that end ! Even the blindest infidel that 
denieth the truth of the Gospel, methinks, should easily confess 
the goodness of its promised happiness ; and therefore see 
cause to wish that it were true, unless, as he hath brought 
himself under its terrors. 

You see, then, it is the best news that ever came to the ears of 
man, that is attested to you by the witness within you : it is 
that which may cause you to live in hope, and peace, and joy ; 
and to die in hope, and peace, and joy, while you believingly 
look to a blessed immortality, and upon your resurrection, as 
secured in the resurrection of Christ, and his promise of yours. 
Other men may confess that the truth of this is desirable ; but 
vou have the truth of it witnessed in your own hearts : to carry 
about with you such a witness, is to carry about tlie matter of 
continual joy. The same Spirit which is your sanctifier is 
your comforter, at least, by maintaining in you the grounds and 

N'i VUE SI' I kit's wriNKSS TO 

fit matter of toiisolation. How happy is such a soul that hath 
not only the voice hehind him, saying, ' This is the way, walk 
in it 5' but also the witness within him, that this voic6 is 
divine, and telling him of the end, which by that way he may 
attain. No wonder if the life of such a man be as a continual 
feast, and if he have a peculiar joy, as he hath a peculiar testi- 
mony, even such as the stranger meddleth not with. 

Sect. VI. 

Obj. But if all believers have such a consolatory witness 
in themselves, first, why are so many of them still troubled with 
doubtings, even about the truth of God's testimony ? Secondly, 
Why are so many of them so dejected and disconsolate, and 
live as pensive, and sad a life as others ? 

Answ. 1. One reason is, because they do, by quenching and 
grieving the Spirit, too commonly hinder the fulness of the work, 
wherein this inward testimony doth consist ; and so the Gospel 
is written on their hearts, in so small a character, that it is not 
easy to read and understand it ; besides the many blots which 
it receives by some provoking transgressions. They that cheer- 
fully obey the Spirit in his teaching and guidance, and receive 
the fuller character of the Gospel upon their hearts, and so are 
more fullv conformed to their Head, " being transformed by the 
renewing of their minds, that they may prove what is the good, 
and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Rom. xii. 2.) These 
have a stronger and more confirmed belief, and usually the 
sweet effects of that belief, in a greater measure than others do 

2. Yet, because this testimony, which all believers still have, 
is but objective ; that is, such a work on their own souls, which 
is a sufficient evidence of the truth of the Gospel ; it mav be 
often overlooked, and the belief and comforts not obtained, 
which yet, in its kind, it is sufficient to afford : for it is not in 
every kind, but in its own kind, that the evidence is sufficient ; 
and therefore doth suppose the concurrence of other necessaries. 
There must be a studious observation of this record, and, to that 
end, a keeping it from blots : and the same spirit, which dwelleth 
in us for sanctification, must excite the soul to this observation and 
improvement, and help us to read these evidences in ourselves : 
so that in a neglected, distempered heart, when there is na- 
turally still a remnant of sin, and confusion, and accidentally 
more confusion ; and when men are so strange to themselves, as 


most of US are, and so little addicted to self-converse, and so 
little acijiiainted with it, and cast also so many impediments in 
their own way, and draw a veil over their evidences. What 
wonder if ,we do too defectively reap the fruit of them, and if 
such have yet much staggerings at the promise of God, and 
much disquietness and sadness in themselves ? 

3. And for consolation, it is not the highest, nor the most ne- 
cessary part of the Spirit's works ; and therefore he oft layeth 
it hy, when so doing is necessary to the promoting of our sanc- 
tification, and will oft trouble us, or suffer us to be troubled, 
that he may heal us of tliat which is the cause of our trouble, 
and would else trouble us for ever. Though it be his office to 
be the Comforter, yet he doth not always comfort, because he 
must, by sorrow, prepare for seasonable, well-grounded comfort. 
You may have an expert phjsician with you, who may go on 
successfully in the cure, and yet not always give you present 
ease, but sometimes give you that which will irritate the disease, 
and increase your pain. Though the kingdom of God doth partly 
consist in joy in the Holy Ghost, yet as sorrow doth frequently 
prepare the way, so is it by sorrows frequently clouded and in- 

The witness within us, then, is a standing cause of consola- 
tion ; but yet if through our folly we mar our own comforts, 
and make not use of the matter of them within us, or occasion 
the Spirit to leave us unto sadness, for the killing of some sin, 
and the promoting of our holiness ; this is not a reason to 
question the inward testimony, but to reprehend our own folly 
and neglect. 

Sect. VII. 

2. It may further appear how great a mercy it is to have this 
witness in ourselves, by the earnest desires of believers to have 
more of it, when they have experience of the advantage of that 
measure, which they have obtained. When a Christian, in 
temptations, hath had recourse to the Gospel written in his 
heart, and hath had some support and confirmation by that wit- 
ness in himself, though the voice were very low, and the chaiac- 
ters but obscure, oh, how glad would he be of a further degree 
of that evidence ! Could he hear that voice speak hmder, and 
see the evidence of that transcript more clearly, it would be 
sweeter to him than to win the whole world. V\'hen the tempter 
would hide Christ and his grace from our eyes, what a comfort is 

144 THE spirit's witness to 

it, not only to find him, but even to find him in ourselves : for 
this telleth both together that there is a Christ, and that he is 

Sect. VIII. 

3. The greatness of the sin of unbelief, and the danger into 
which it leads the sinner, or in which it leaves him, do tell us 
what a mercy it is to have the witness in ourselves, for the saving 
of us from that sin and danger. Alas ! what a case were thy 
soul in, if infidelity should prevail ! There may be so great 
a conflict in thy mind, through the imperfection of thy faith, 
and the insinuations of the tempter, as to force thee to cry out 
*Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.' But if unbelief get the 
mastery, how miserable is thy case. Thou wilt then be left in 
thy lost condition ! Thou wilt die in thy sin, and perish ever- 
lastingly for want of healing, while the Physician did offer thee 
his help, and was rejected : for how can it be expected that the 
Physician should heal those that will not believe him, nor trust 
themselves in his hands for a cure ? That Christ should save 
those that take him for a deceiver, and do not believe that he is 
able to save them, and therefore do not trust themselves on his 
sufficiency for salvation. He that believeth not is condemned 
already, and that in point of law, not only because he is in gene- 
ral a sinner, but in special, because he hath not believed in the 
name of the only-begotten Son of God. (John iii. IS — 20.) 
*^He that believeth not shall not see life; but the wrath of God 
abideth on him." (John iii. 36.) No wonder, then, if a tempta- 
tion to infidelity be received by a gracious soul with trembling 
and abhorrence, considering what would be the issue, if it did 
succeed. How great a mercy, then, must it needs be, to have so 
near and powerful a remedy against this desperate sin and dan- 
ger, as is this witness that is continually resident in the saints. 

Sect. IX. 

4. As the sin of unbelief is great, and the punishment no less 
than eternal danmation, so are the temptations to it many and 
strong, and therefore the mercy is so much the greater to have 
the witness in ourselves. What can a Christian look upon in 
the world, which the malicious tempter will not make the matter 
of his temptation. The spirituality, the strangeness and seeming 
improbal)ility of the matter, the plainness of the style, the seem- 
ing contradictions in the several parts, with many other the like, 


doth he use as arguments to assault our beHef with ; and the 
stronger are all these temptations against us: first, because they 
find so much darkness in ourselves. Since we fell from God, 
and holiness, and happiness, we have lost most of the knowledge 
of that God, and holiness, and happiness, which we fell from. 
They are enjoyed much by knowledge ; to lose them, therefore, 
is to lose the knowledge of them. The devil hath, therefore, a 
great advantage to deceive us, when he speaks to us about mat- 
ters that we are naturally so unacquainted with ; yea, in losing 
God we have lost ourselves, and therefore are very much strangers 
to ourselves ; and so know not our own souls, and therefore are 
the more easily drawn to doubt of tlieir immortality, and capacity 
of higher, supernatural enjoyments. Secondly, yea, we have not 
only a defect and darkness, but an opposition to the doctrine 
of our supernatural felicity, restored by Christ, till grace do 
overcome it. Being fallen from God to the creature, we adhere 
to this creature as we should have done to God ; and because it 
hath our hearts we are unwilling to look after a higher felicity, 
and therefore unwilling to hear of it and believe it. We savour 
not, naturally, the things of the Spirit, and therefore have no 
mind to believe them to be true ; and how hard it is for some 
men to believe that which they are loath should be true, expe- 
rience may easily acquaint us. Men are fallen into a condition 
so near that of brutes, that it is more easy to persuade them that 
they shall die as the brutes, and are capable of no more felicity 
when this life is ended, than the dog or the swine, whom they 
lived like on earth. Having forfeited their hopes of eternal life, 
and so come short of the glory of God, it is more easy to per- 
suade, that there neither is, nor ever was any such glory, of 
which they had any hopes or possibility. Thirdly, the stronger 
also are these temptations to unbelief, because man is now so 
mastered by his sense, and hath so much weakened his reason 
by subjugating it to his flesh, that he is hardly drawn to look 
higher than sense can reach. Because we see not God, or Christ, 
or heaven, or hell, we are apt naturally to question whether they 
have indeed any being, and to say as Thomas, "Except I may 
see or feel, I will not believe;" yea, men are ready to doubt of 
the very being of their souls, which is themselves, and which is 
that which doubteth, because they cannot see the soul. Fourthly, 
especially these temptations to infidelity are the stronger in that 
man's soul in its corrupted state is disposed to l)e]ieve Satan, 
and not to believe God 3 for as this was his first sin, so was the 


soul thereby hal)itiiatecl according to that act^ further than God 
hath done any tiling to cure and remedy it. Though we must 
needs know that God is more to be credited than the devil, in 
general, vet when it comes to particulars he is so far above us, 
and the breakings forth of his light and truth are so strange to 
us, and also we are conscious that we are fallen under some 
enmity to him, and therefore are the more apt to suspect what he 
saith and doth ; and his ways are all so cross to our corrupt 
conceits and interests, and the persuasions of Satan so suitable 
to both, that it is no wonder if we are more readv to believe the 
tempter than God. Fifthly, and vet stronger are these tempta- 
tions to infidelity, because of the subtilty of the tempter, and the 
many devices that he hath to overwit us, and his importunity 
and violence in driving them on ; which if we should mention 
particularly, would be the matter of a volume. And is it not a 
great mercy for a soul that is thus assaulted, to have the witness 
in himself; and so great a help against the power of these 
temptations ? 

Sect. X. 

But, it is like, some will here say ; * I know it is a great mercy 
to have such witness in ourselves, but I find not any such witness 
in me : I inquire into my own soul, and I can perceive no such 
matter : I hear talk of the Spirit dwelling in us, and that if any 
man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his : but, 
yet, I camiot find that Spirit in myself.' 

Answ. As for those that have not this Spirit, no wonder if 
they find it not : but, if, indeed, thou be one that hast it, I 
would ask thee these iew questions, and desire thee to give a 
deliberate answer, before thou concludest that thou hast not 
the Spirit. 

Quest. 1. Do you not, in your inquiry into your hearts, 
expect to hear or feel some effective, persuading witness of the 
Spirit, besides the holy changes of its sanctifying work upon 
you ; yea, perhaps without any reference to that sanctifying 
work at all. If you do, for ought I know, you look for that 
which you have no reason to expect, much less, to depend upon 
as the only witness. The Spirits holy changes upon your 
heart, are a standing, objective testimony, which you ought to 
improve to your own consolation ; and it is your exciter and 
helper in that improvement : but, if you will expect a voice or 
witness within you, to tell you the same things by immediate 


revelation, and not to dediice them from that permanent testi- 
mony, I shall not marvel if you miss of your expectations. 

Quest. 2, Do you not mistake the matter of this inward 
testimony, as if it were more to be sought in some other sort of 
changes by the Spirit, than in that renovation of the soul, 
and implantation of God's image. If you think that the 
• witness of the Spirit lieth in higlier notions, or raptures, or 
ecstasies of the mind, or in sudden inspirations, or extraordinary 
gifts, which were common in the first age ; no wonder, then, if 
you find not the witness : that witness you may find without 
you, in the apostles and first churches, when it was purposely 
given as a public seal to the public testimony, which they gave 
of Christ ; but I cannot encourage you to expect that within 
yourselves. As the doctrine of the apostles was to be delivered 
down in writing, for the use of the church to the end of the 
world, so was the seal of their extraordinary gifts to be 
annexed, for the like public use of the church, to the confir- 
mation of that doctrine : and, so, both their doctrine and their 
gifts were not for themselves, or for that age alone, but for all 
us that do succeed : but this being not the case of their succes- 
sors, what wonder, if their successors have none of those gifts. 

Quest. 3. Do you not ascribe all the workings of the Spirit 
in you, to yourselves, and say ; ' This is but the work of mine 
own reason, or conscience, or voluntary endeavours, and not of 
the Spirit of God.' If you do thus, no wonder, if you have the 
Spirit, and overlook it. 'If you will needs divide what God 
hath joined together, and sav ; ' This is the work of reason, 
conscience, or my own will, therefore not of the Spirit :' you 
do but use the Spirit's witness against the honour of the Spirit, 
and against yourselves. You should argue contrarily ; thus : 
'My reason, conscience, or will, would never have moved thus, 
or been thus disposed, if the Spirit of Cliri^t had not thus dis- 
posed and moved them, and taken ofif' their contrary inclina- 
tions ; therefore, even this inclination and operation of my own 
reason, conscience, and will, is the true effect of the Spirit, and 
the standing witness of Christ and his Gospel in my soulj' for 
the Spirit worketh on us, and so by us. ^V^here is it that tlie 
Spirit giveth light, but into our own understandings ; and, how 
perceive we that light, but bv the rational apprehensions and 
discourses of those understandings. Have we any other faculty 
or means of perceiving them ? How doth the Spirit assure us 
of any thing, but by giving in some evidence of it to our 

148 THE spirit's witness to 

understandings ; or causing us more clearly to discern that 
evidence which we discerned not all, or but obscurely before. 
It is, therefore, to and with our consciences, that the Spirit 
doth witness, and not without them. The like, we may say, 
of his work upon the will ; when he exciteth it, he ca\iseth it to 
excite itself. All faculties would lie dead, or more disor- 
derly, if the Spirit did not set them in joint, and guide them in  
their work : their orderly right motions, therefore, being the 
effects of the Spirit, are this testimony of the Spirit within us, 
which we speak of. 

Quest. 4. Do you not overvalue your natural corrupted fa- 
culties, and think they may go further than indeed they can ? 
Jf when the Spirit doth set your souls in frame, and elevate 
them to God, and take off their earthly or sensual dispositions, 
you will then persuade yourselves that nature doth all this of 
itself, and that it is but the operations of unsanctified reason, 
what wonder then, if you overlook the Spirit? This is one 
danger of having too mean thoughts of our depravedness, and 
too high thoughts of our natural abilities, lest it draw men to 
rob the Spirit of his honour, and say, that corrupt nature hath 
done those works which were done by the Holy Ghost. I will 
not say, that they who ascribe the sanctifying works of the Spirit 
to depraved nature, are guilty of that blasphemy, as they are 
which ascribed his miraculous works to Beelzebub; but it looks 
so much that way, that vve should the more carefully avoid it. 
Let those take heed of this, that are ready to say, ' That no men 
have the Spirit, and all that pretend to it, are deluded by the 
strength of their own imaginations, and mere teaching, educa- 
tion, and industry, may produce all those effects, which we 
ascribe to the Holy Ghost.' I say, let these men take heed, lest 
they run too near to the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, 
before they are aware. 

Quest. 5. Do you not forget the state that once you were in, 
and the great change which the Spirit did then make upon you, 
and because you feel not such further alterations proportionable 
to that first, vou conclude that you have not the Spirit at all ? 
1 am sure this is a very common case : as the forgetting of the 
miserable state we were in, in the late wars, doth make us under- 
value our present peace, which then we would have accounted 
an excellent mercy; so d(jt!i the forgettiug of our wicked dis- 
posiiions, and conversations in our state of unregeneracv, make 
us undervalue our present state of grace. We have lived since 


that first change, without any more changes so great, and 
notable as that was, and therefore we have forgotten what once 
we were, and Hve as if God had never changed us as to the 
comfortable apprehensions of the mercy. But cannot you re- 
member, when it was much otherwise with you ; and that once 
God made a great alteration on you ? And doth it not still 
remain ? Remember how little savour you had once of the 
things of the Spirit ; how little mind to Christ, or holiness ; 
how wholly, you were given up to the pleasures of the flesh, or 
the profits of the world, and what a mastery your lusts had over 
you ? Was it not a work of power, and love, and wisdom, and 
holiness, and therefore a work of the Spirit of Christ, by which 
all this is altered in you, and you are not now the persons that 
you were ? Who else could have so changed your minds and 
ways ? 

Quest. 6. Do you not look for a greater measure of this tes- 
timony, and the comfortable effects of it, than you have reason 
to expect on earth ? Or, at least, till you have done more in 
attending the conduct of grace, and in resisting and conquering 
the enemies of your peace ? And do you not thereupon conclude, 
that you have not the Spirit, because you have not so great a 
measure of the Spirit, as you expect ? There is a great dif- 
ference between having not the Spirit, and not having so much 
of the Spirit. 

Quest. 7. If none of these be your case, then diligently 
inquire whether you have not wronged and grieved the Spirit, 
and by some stubborn untractableness, or wilful disobedience 
and yielding to your lusts, occasioned the Spirit to leave you in 
the dark, and so far to withdraw his operations and manifesta- 
tions of himself, as to let you feel more of your lusts than of 
his graces, and to doubt whether you have the Spirit within you 
or not ? 

These questions I would have those Christians considerately 
to answer, that have the witness in themselves, but know not 
that they have it. 

Sect, XI. 

Obj. But we see so many pretend to the Spirit that are 
conceited of their own opinions and ways, and some of them on 
that pretence, maintaining tlie vilest doctrines and practices, 
and the more heretical or mad they are, the more strongly and 
confidently do they pretend to have the Spiritj that we cannot 

150 THE spirit's witness to 

believe that any have it at all : for the one are as confident of 
the Spirit, as the other. 

Answ. 1. The conclusion of this objection is mijust and unrea- 
sonable : unjust, for it condenineth one man for the fatilt and 
folly of another, and takes one man to have an ill title because 
another man's evidences are nought. If two men shall have a 
cause before you as their judge, about a title to lands or goods, 
and you find the plaintiff to be a deceiver, and his title bad, will 
you say to the defendant, ' Thy title is bad too, because he was 
as confident that his was good as thou art of thine ? ' And it 
is unreasonable, too, not only to judge of one man's pretences 
by another's, but to judge his pretences to be false who evidenceth 
at least the probability of their truth, because another man's are 
false, who manifesteth their falsehood. Suppose you discourse 
with a wise man and a fool or madman ; and the one is as con- 
fident that he is a wise man, as the other ; will you, therefore, 
judge that neither of them are wise, when you hear the words of 
wisdom from the on6 as you do the words of folly from the other ? 
If you have two neighbours who would both be taken for honest 
men; and one lives honestly, and the other dishonestly; will you 
conclude, that neither of them are honest because both are not? 
So is it here. Some men pretend to a spirit of holiness and hea- 
venliness, and withal do live holy and heavenly lives; others boast 
more confidently of the same spirit, while they hate the doctrines 
and ways of holiness, and maintain the most impure opinions and 
practices : will you judge, that either both these must have the 
Spirit which they pretend to, or neither? One showeth you his 
faith by his works, and the spirit within him by the fruits of the 
Spirit, while the other shows you his delusion or dissimulation, 
by the fruits of the flesh. 

2. It is the ordinary way of the deceiving spirit, to do his 
works by an apish imitation of the Spirit of Christ. His chief 
means to resist Moses, and harden the Egyptians in their unbelief, 
was by imitating him as far as he could in his wonders, that the 
Egyptians might say, 'Our magicians can do this as well as you ; * 
and so might think that the cause was equal, bv the effects, till 
God showed that he ])ermitted them but for a fuller discovery of 
bis power in vanquishing them. About the time that Christ came 
in the flesh, the devil stirred up many false Christs, to seduce 
the poor Jews, that while they said ' Lo here is Christ, and lo 
there,' he might be the less regarded ; and by raising up many 
to lay claim to the same dignity, Christ's own claim might be 


the more questionable in the eves of the world. When the 
apostles went out with a spirit of power and wonders, to con- 
vince the world of the doctrine of Christ, the chief resistance 
tliey had was by the imitating spirit, who would do wonders too. 
Simon Magus was the head of the heretics, who would contend 
ai^ainst the apostles by his wonders, till he was vanquished by 
the Spirit of Christ : his successors, Menander, Ebion, Cerin- 
thus, Valentinus, Basilides, Carpocrates, and Marcion, with their 
sects, were animated by magical works. By the same way did 
the pagan Apollonius resist the truth, more successfully than he 
could do by his philosophical disputations : the same course 
doth Satan take in our times. He raiseth up heretical, impious 
men to boast of the Spirit, and cry up 'The Spirit,' 'The Spirit,* 
that thereby he may disgrace the Spirit, and make men believe 
that all pretences to the Spirit are as false as theirs : he stirs 
up the quakers, ranters, and others that pretend to communion 
with angels, appearing to them in visible shapes, that by seeming 
to be acted by an extrinsic power, by their motions, frenzies, 
ecstasies, and strange speeches, he may draw men to question 
whether the Spirit of the apostles and Christians of old were not 
. some such diabolical possession or deceit. This being the known 
and ordinary artifice of the deceiver, to seek by an imitation of 
the Spirit of Christ, to shake men's faith, and make them believe 
that it is the same Spirit that causeth the one and the other: 
we have little reason to be shaken by such palpable and old 

Sect. XII. 

Quest. But when so many pretend to the Spirit, how shall we 
know which of them it is that are deceived, and who hath the 
Spirit indeed, and who not ? 

Answ. I will first lay you down some negative rules, to show 
you which is not the Spirit of Christ ; and then I shall direct 
you to discern it in yourselves. 

1. That spirit which opposeth God, or his nature and attri- 
butes, is not the Spirit of Christ : for it is the office of Christ 
to lead men to God, and for the honour of his Father did he 
come into the world. Justin Martyr saith, in 'Dialog, cum 
Tryphon,' " That he would not have believed Christ himself, if 
he had spoken against the Father." 1 am sure we have reason 
to believe that it is not Christ, nor his Spirit, that shall speak 
against him. Whatever s])irit denieth the infiniteness, immor- 


tality, incomprehensibility, omnipotency, wisdom, or goodness 
of God, his hoUness, faithfiihiess, truth, justice, or mercy, it is 
certain that spirit is not of Christ. For Christ is one with the 
Father as God, and the way to him as Mediator ; and therefore 
cannot be the author of any blasphemy against him in his at- 

2. Whatever spirit contradicteth the evident light and law of 
nature, is not the Spirit of Christ : for Christ came to repair 
and perfect nature ; and all truth is God's truth ; and the 
light and law of nature is his light and law. 

3. Whatever spirit shall contradict the Holy Scriptures, is 
certainly none of the Spirit of Christ : for Christ is the author 
of Scripture, and confuted Satan himself by its authority ; and 
Christ is not divided, nor against himself. The Spirit of God 
is not against the word of God ; for God is not a contradicter 
of himself, because he cannot lie. We may well, therefore, 
try the spirits of our times, by the word which before our times 
was sealed by the Spirit. All the spirits of this age that con- 
tradict any doctrine delivered in the Scriptures, are certainly 
spirits that contradict Christ's Spirit, and therefore are de- 
ceivers, whatsoever they may pretend. 

4. Every spirit that is against holiness and purity of life, is 
a spirit of uncleanness, and not of Christ : for Christ's Spirit is 
eminently a sanctifying Spirit, sent by him from the Father to 
make us holy as he is holy. 

5. Every spirit that is against order, and is a friend to con- 
fusion, is against Christ, and is none of the Spirit of Christ. 
For God is not the God of confusion, but of peace, and com- 
mandeth that all things be done in order. (1 Cor. xiv. 33.) 
And hath established an order among angels, men, brutes, and 
inanimates, yea, some among the devils themselves. God hath 
set in his church, some prophets, some apostles, some evange- 
lists, some pastors and teachers, for the edifying of the body. 
(Ephes. iv. 11, 12.) And he hath appointed rulers under him 
in the commonwealth, and made it one of his Ten Command- 
ments, that we shall honour our parents, and so our rulers ; 
and made authority of parents a natural result. Those, there- 
fore, that would level the powers in church or state, that God 
hath set up, and- despise dominion and authority, which he 
hath commanded us to obey, are certainly possessed with an 
antichristian spirit, which is far unlike to the Spirit of Christ. 


Sect. XIII. 

Quest. But how then shall I know that I have the Spirit of 
Christ ? 

Answ. By the nature of its effects. 1. The Spirit of Christ 
doth renew the soul to God's image. And one of God's attri- 
butes is to be the living God. His being is the ground of the 
rest. The Spirit of Christ is no fancy, dream, or delusion, nor 
worketh an imaginary change on the soul, but a real change, 
making the soul alive that was dead in sin, and becomes a 
principle of life within us. To be really alive to God, and dead 
to the world, is the certain effect of the Spirit of God. Would 
you know whether a godly man be alive or dead ; observe him 
in his desires and endeavours after God, and there you shall see 
by his action, and earnestness, that he is alive. But if you 
would try whether a carnal man be alive or dead, you must see 
by his desires and endeavours for the flesh, that he is alive ; for 
by any that he hath after God, you cannot see it. 

2. As wisdom is one of the attributes of God, so is the Spirit 
of Christ, a Spirit of wisdom. He teacheth men to know God 
from the creature, heaven from earth, holiness from sin ; and 
what to choose, and what to refuse. He acquainteth them with 
duty and danger, and the reward that is before them : he 
maketh them wise to do good, to discern the methods and wiles 
of the devil, and escape them, and to manage their christian 
conversation in the world. Even those that are simple in 
worldly matters are thus far made wise by the Spirit of Christ ; 
without great wisdom, there is no escaping the snares of the 
deceiver, and getting safe to heaven. By this holy wisdom, 
which is foolishness in the eyes of worldly men, you may 
discern that you have the Spirit of Christ. 

3. As God is holy, so is Christ's Spirit a Spirit of holiness, 
and given us on purpose for the destroying of our sins, the resist- 
ing and conquering the desires of the flesh, the healing of our 
diseases, the implanting the graces of God in our souls, and 
working our hearts and lives to an obedience to his will. If you 
have this Spirit, it striveth against the fleshy (Gal. v. 17 ;) and 
it inclineth your hearts to the things above, and is still mortify- 
ing your lusts, and bringing you nearer God. It is the business 
of this Spirit to bring back the creature to God, whom we did 
forsake ; and, thciefore, it must give us more of the knowledge of 
him, and love to him, and confidence in himj and make us morq 


lo4 THE spirit's WITNESS TO 

zealously devoted to his will. The spirit, therefore, that is 
impure, and encourageth men in sin, and cries up carnal liberty, 
and draweth not the heart to God, but from him, is certainly 
none of the Spirit of Christ. By this many carnal pretenders 
of our times may be convicted. 

4. As God is love, so is Christ's Spirit a Spirit of love, by 
which we are taught to love God, and our brother, yea, and our 
very enemy: and so to dwell in God, by dwelling in love, and 
God also dwelleth in us. (1 John iv. 10 — 16.) "They tiiat learn 
of Christ, are meek and lowly." (Matt. xi. 28, 29.) " They that 
keep his commandments do love one another." (John xv. 17.) 
" The wisdom from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, 
easy to be entreated, full of mercy, and good fruits." (Jam. iii. 
17, 18.) "They are taught of God, by this Spirit within them, to 
love one another." ( 1 Thess. iv. 9.) The most of the heretical 
spirits of these times do hereby show that they are not of Christ ; 
their very religion lieth in railing at ministers, and reproaching 
those that are not of their way, and bearing down all that resist 
their designs ; by how much injustice or unmercifulness, they do 
not much regard. How full are all places of the effects of this 
spirit ? Men's selfishness, and cruelty, and envious zeal, and 
spleen against their brethren that are not of their minds, doth 
tell us that too many among us do little know what spirit they 
are of. 

5. As God is almighty, so is Christ's Spirit a Spirit of power: 
though it will not do all that it can, yet it will do that which 
none else can do : though it do not here perfect us, nor subdue 
our sins absolutely, yet doth it make us conquerors, and more. 
(Rom. viii.37.) Itrooteth up the strongest and deep rooted lusts ; 
it prevaileth against prejudice, custom, and nature ; it con- 
quereth corrupted sensuality, and keepeth the ordered senses in 
subjection ; it mastereth the nearest interest of tiie flesh, and 
self ; and the highest interest of the greatest on earth, or of our 
nearest carnal friends, that do oppose it ; it levelleth high 
imaginations, and taketh down all within us, which exalteth 
itself against God. (2 Cor. x. 4, 5.) If the Spirit in the word be 
thus mighty and powerful in making the first change on a carnal 
heart, how much more easily may we see that it must be so 
with the Spirit in the soul, which it hath possessed. This Spirit 
doth not only strive against sin, but concjuer it, nor suffer a 
man to spend his days in fruitless resistances, but doth give sin 
its death wound j so that in whomsoever this abideth, sin shall 


not have dominion over him. (Rom.vi. 1 i.) You see, then, how 
you may know that you have this Spirit. 

Sect. XiV. 

Jf all true believers have the witness in themselves, then it 
follows, that when Satan would tempt them to infidelity, thev 
should not only have recourse to their Bibles, but also to their 
hearts. Here, therefore, I come to the second part of the 
application before promised, to show you what use we should 
make of this testimony, and how to improve it, for the confirm- 
ation of our faith. O what an excellent help is here, that the 
poorest Christian hath against such temptation, beyond all the 
furniture of the most learned that want it ! This advantage 
will furnish us both against temptations to infidelity in general, 
and against temptations to any error that is plainly contrary to 
the essentials of Christianity. 

1. If the devil, or any seducer, would draw you to doubt, 
whether there be indeed a Christ or not, and whether he 
did rise again, and be now living, what an excellent advan- 
tage is it against this temptation, when you can repair to your 
own hearts, and there find a Christ within you, 1 mean, his 
Spirit possessing you, and ruling you for him ; and his very 
nature and image in you, and such workings of his upon you, 
which none can imitate. O, saith the sanctified soul, have I 
felt Christ relieving me in my lost condition, binding up my 
broken heart, delivering me from my captivity, reconciling me 
to God, and bringing me with boldness into his presence, whom 
1 had offended, and saving me from God's wrath, and law, and 
my own conscience ; and now, after all this, shall I doubt 
whether there be a Christ, or whether he be alive ! Have I felt 
him new creating me, and making all things new to me, so 
strangely opening my darkened eyes, and bringing me from 
darkness into his marvellous light, and from the power of Satan 
to God ; binding the strong man, and casting him out, and 
bringing down the strongest holds in my soul ; and yet shall 1 
question, whether there be a Christ or not ? Hath he made 
me love the things which 1 hated, and hate that which I loved ? 
Hath he given me such a taste of the powers of the world to 
come, and possessed me with the hopes of glory with himself, 
and given me a treasure and portion in God, and set my heart 
where my treasure is, and caused me in some measure to have 
my conversation in heaven ; and yet shall 1 doubt again, whether 

o 2 

156 THE spirit's witness to 

he be the Christ ? What an impudent spirit is it that would 
tempt me against so much experience ? As Athanasius saith 
to the heathens in his time, " If Christ be not ahve, how doth 
he yet destroy your idols, and cast out devils, and convert, and 
subdue the world to himself. Are these the works of a dead 
man ?" Though you see him not, yet by these you may see 
that he yet liveth ; so may the true Christian say. Is it the work 
of a dead man to make me alive ? To bring such a clod so near 
to heaven ? To set up a new kingdom, and laws within me ? 
Sure, he that did all this in me, is alive. He that every day 
helps me to pray, and hears my prayers, and plainly shows me in 
the accomplishment that they are heard, he is not dead but 
alive ; or else I should not have these benefits of his life. Because 
he lives, therefore do I live also, and therefore am I in hope 
of living with him for ever ; whereas, if he were dead, my hopes 
would die, and justice would have caused me to die ere now. My 
very life confirms me, that there is a Christ, to keep off the 
penalty which justice would else inflict. It is because God is 
merciful to me in his beloved, and pleased in him, in whom he 
was well pleased ; and because in him his compassions fail not, 
therefore it is that I am not consumed. Thus may a true 
believer argue, from the testimony that is within him, against 
this temptation. 

If deceiving infidels get abroad among us, and seek to turn 
men from the faith of Christ, they may prevail with those that 
gave Christ no deeper room, than in their fantasy, and that 
never did heartily close with him in love. If you out-reason 
these men, yea, if you can turn the scale of fleshly interest to be 
against the profession of Christ, they will be easily drawn to let 
him go ; but for those that have the Spirit of Christ within 
them, it is not so with them ? If they cannot answer the cavils 
of an infidel, yet they can hold fast the ground of faith. Christ 
hath deeper room and interest in them. He is held faster 
by the heart than by the head alone. Love will hold Christ 
when reason alone would let him go. If you will draw such a 
soul as this to infidelity you must draw him out of the arms 
and embracement of Christ. His ear is, as it were, nailed to his 
door : because he loveth him, he will not leave him. If a sin- 
ner will the hardlier leave his lusts, or worldly profits, because 
he loveth them, blame not a Christian, if he be loth to leave 
Christ, who hath so loved his soul, and whom his soul so loveth. 
*^ Who shall separate him from the love af Christ ? Shall tribu- 


lation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or 
peril, or sword ? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all 
the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, 
in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him 
that hath loved us ; for I am persuaded that neither death, nor 
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things pre- 
sent, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other 
creature, shall be alile to separate us from the love of God 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. viii. 35 — 39.) See 
here how fast that lively faith, which works by love, doth hold 
the Lord Jesus Christ ! Though a superficial bare assent may 
let him go. I know expositors agree not about the sense of the 
words, ' the love of Christ.' Calvin, Beza, Martyr, Pareus, Par, 
&c. do take it as spoken of Christ's love to us, and not of our 
love to Christ. Piscator takes it for the sense or feeling of 
Christ's love to us. Ambrose, Augustine, and others of the an- 
cients, understand it, of our love to Christ. Our English an- 
notations say it may be taken for either, but rather for ' our love 
to Christ.' The Pelagian expositors are glad of the seeming ad- 
vantage that ours, before-mentioned, do give them, in expound- 
ing it of ' God's love to us,' and not ' of ours to him ;' and 
thereupon infer that it is God's love in Christ, to those that love 
him, that is here meant; (yer. 28 ',) as if he should say, ' What 
can cause Christ to cease loving those that love him?' But 
then say they, * Here is nothing to deny that we may be drawn 
from loving Christ, and so from being the objects of his foremen- 
tioned love ; and therefore they note that sin is not here enume- 
rated among the rest of the causes. Erasmus and Deodate take 
in both, supposing it to speak both of our love to Christ, and 
Christ's love to us, which I conceive to be the soundest exposi- 
tion; but, most nearly, i conceive it speaks of our love to 
Christ, but ultimately, and principally of the love of God in 
Christ to us : for, first, none could reasonably imagine that our 
tribulation, distress, famine, nakedness, &c. should be so many 
assaults on God to draw him from loving us, but rather assaults 
on us to draw us from loving God ; nor can it be imaginable that 
angels, principalities, powers, things present, or to come, should 
be thought by any to have any considerable strength for the 
overcoming or expunging of God's love to us, while we love 
him ; and therefore it were no great glory for the apostle thus 
triumphantly to say, lie was persuaded of that which no man 
doubts of, that God cannot be overcome, or moved from his love. 

158 I'lIK SPI hit's WITNKSS lO 

by the extrinsic opposing powers of" the creatures. Secondly, it 
is said that ' in all these things we are more than con([uerors.' 
It is not said God is conqueror. It is we, therefore, that were 
assaulted, and not Christ : it was we, therefore, that were drawn 
by these enumerated trials, to have relinquished our love to 
Christ, and not Christ that was tempted by them to relinquish 
his love to us: and I am loth, with Piscator and some others, to 
take it for the feeling of Christ's love to us, because, first, many 
Christians are drawn from the feeling of his love. Secondly, and 
then it would not be true of all Christians universally, but of 
some eminent champions that are strong in the faith. And the 
word ' separate' shows that it is spoken, both of us and Christ, 
and that it is not so much of the sense of love, as of the love 
itself. I take the apostle's meaning, therefore, to be, as if he 
should say, ' What can unclasp those mutual embracements, 
between Christ and his people ? Or what can separate us from 
Christ, by withdrawing or destroying our love to him, and con- 
sequently turning his love from us ? We have many assaults, 
but all in vain.' And if our love to Christ be thus secured, then 
is the saint's perseverance sure ; but if his love to those that love 
him be firm, and not our love to him ; then if we cease loving 
him, he would cease to love us, and be unreconciled to us, as 
he was before our believing. It is the embracements of a mutual 
love that is here meant, as I suppose. Christ hath hold of the 
believer in the arms of his love ; and by an answerable love, 
though infinitely weaker, the believer also hath hold on Christ. 
Who now can separate them that are thus closed in these 
embracements ? The first reason of the stability of the love of 
the saints, doth lie in the stability of the love of Christ. We 
love him, because he loved us first ; and he loveth us with a 
further love of complacency, because we love him ; and we 
persevere in loving him, because his love to us doth persevere. 
It is not easy to draw a truly-loving believer from the arms of 
his beloved. He remembereth that love of his first espousals, 
how Christ took him up, and washed him from his blood, and 
spake peace to his wounded self-condemning soul. He remem- 
bereth the straits he brought him out of, and -the misery which 
he rescued him from. O, what should I have done, thinks he, 
if I had not had a Christ : what should I have done in my 
fears and griefs : what should have I said to an accusing con- 
science : how should I have escaped the jaws of the devourer : 
how should I have lived one day in peace upon earth, when 


God had once made known to me my condition ! He reniem- 
bereth also the frequent refreshings, which he hath had from 
the Spirit and grace of Christ ; the assistances in duty, the 
conquests which by him have been obtained against the enemy : 
and all these reviews do renew his love ; and with such thoughts 
and remembrances as these in his mind, and with such a sacred 
fire of love in his heart, how excellently is he fortified against 
temptations to unbelief ! This love is strong, and the waters 
of manv temptations cannot quench it : if the tempter would 
give him the substance of, worldly goods and riches, yea, all the 
kingdoms of the world, and their glory, to draw the soul from 
Christ, they would be despised. A bare belief is only in the 
head, which is but the entrance into the inwards of the soul : 
but when Christ hath our love, he is in the castle of the heart ; 
and then the word hath rooting in us ; and therefore in time of 
trial we shall stand. Love is accompanied with hope and 
desire, so far as we want the thing we love ; and it is not easy 
to take a man off from his strongest desires, and highest hopes. 
Love is always accompanied with delight, so far as we enjoy the 
thing we love, and know that we do enjoy it ; and a fruition in 
taste and earnest we have of Christ in this life. And it is, then, 
no wonder if the tempter have a hard task of it, to draw the 
soul from him, whom he is delighted in. Worldly men will 
not let go their vanities ; no, nor children their toys ; no, nor 
foolish wretches their foulest sins ; because they do delight in 
them. No wonder, then, if the sons of wisdom, the members of 
Christ, and children of the kingdom, do hold fast their delights. 
Did not faith work by this love, desire, delight, and hope, 
it would be dead, being alone, as to this resisting of temptations. 
These are the ways in which it putteth forth its strength. 
These are the arms by which it holdeth fast the Lord. Every 
grace is employed in its own place, for the entertainment of 
Christ, and the retaining him with vs. They all sit together, 
do compose that spiritual frame or furniture, which makes us 
convenient habitations for the Spirit. He, therefore, that hath 
this nature, these affections, and these experiences accompanying 
his belief, may well make Paul's cliallenge, "What shall sepa- 
rate us from the love of Christ ?" O, thou malicious devil, that 
dost haunt me with thy darts ! O, you deluded heretics and 
infidels, that fill my ears with your foolish sophisms, and trouble 
me with your disputes against the Lord, my Redeemer ! Go 
to them that know him only by the hearing (,f the ear, if you 

160 THE spirit's witness to 

mean to prevail : but I have known him by the sweet expe- 
riences of my soul. Go to them that make a religion of their 
opinions, and whose belief was never any deeper than their fan- 
cies, and whose piety never reached any higher than to certain 
abstinency and negatives, and to tasks of formal duty ; these 
you may possibly draw a\vay from Christ, and make infidels of 
them, that were never true believers. Go to them that never 
knew what it was to love Christ, nor to desire after him, nor to 
delight in his salvation, nor to hope for his promised blessed- 
ness hereafter ; but have been only the shells or shadows of 
believers, annumerating themselves with the strictest professors, 
while they were strangers to their new natures, and inward 
frame of mind. It is like you may prevail with these, by 
subtle seducement, or allurements, or threats ; but do you think 
to do so by me ? Why, what weapons, what arguments, do 
you think to prevail by ? Shall tribulation be the means ? 
why, I have that promise in the hand of my faith, and that 
glory in the eye of my hope, that will bring me through tribu- 
lation. Shall distress do it ? why, I will rather stick so 
much the closer to him that will relieve me in distresses, and 
bring me unto his rest. Will you affright me by persecution ? 
I am assured that this is the nearest way to heaven, and I am 
blessed of Christ, when persecuted for righteousness. Shall 
nakedness be the weapon ? I had rather pass naked out of 
this world to heaven, than be clothed in purple, and be stripped 
of it at death, and cast into hell. Adam's innocent nakedness, 
and Lazarus's rags, were better than that epicure's gay apparel. 
(Luke 16.) Shall famine be the means ? Why, man liveth 
not by bread only ; I had rather my body famished, than my 
soul. I have meat to eat that ye know not of; even the bread 
of life, which whoso eats shall live for ever. If I eat and drink 
with you, I must hunger and thirst again ; but this living water 
will spring up within me to everlasting life, and then I shall 
thirst or hunger no more. Will you affright me from Christ, 
by the sword of violence ? I know that the Lord, whom I be- 
lieve in, and serve, is a])le to deliver me out of your hands ; 
buc if he will not, be it known to you, I will not forsake him : 
for your sword shall be but the key to open the prison doors, 
and let out my soul, that hath long desired to be with Christ. 
If you tell me of peril, I know no danger so great, as of losing 
Christ and salvation, and bearing his wrath that can kill both 
body and soul in hell. Do I not read in certain history of 


that noble army of martyrs that loved the Lord Jesus to the 
death, and gloried in tribulation, and would not by the flames, 
or jaws of lions, be separated from Christ ? Did not they pass 
through that Red Sea, as on dry ground to the promised land. 

Was not the Son of God in the flames with them, to strengthen 
and support them ? Though they were killed all the day long, 
and accounted as sheep to the slaughter, yet did they not forsake 
the Captain of their Salvation ; who was made perfect by suffer- 
ing, and gave them an example : nay, in all this they were 
triumphing conquerors ; they triumphed in the flames, to the 
confusion of Satan and all their enemies, as Christ triumphed on 
the cross, destroying by death the prince of death. (Heb. ii. 
14.) Through him that loved them to the death, they were 
enabled to love him to the death. I am confident that all your 
assaults will be vain, by which you would separate me from the 
love of God, in Christ. If vou would do it bv the threats of 
death, I will remember it will prove the passage to life, and that 
Christ doth threaten everlasting death. If you would do it by 
the baits of life, I will prefer the everlasting life before it. If 
evil angels assault me, as thinking themselves too strong for me, 
they will find that I am preserved by a stronger than they. 
Were it possible for a good angel to dissuade me from my Lord, 
and to preach to me another Gospel, as he would cease to be 
good, so I would hold him accursed. 

Principalities, aerial or terrestrial, cannot overtop the Divine 
and Sovereign Lord of the redeemed. Powers, aerial or terrestrial, 
will never overpower him. Present hopes, or fears, or enjoy- 
ments, are transitory and contemptible. Future evils will soon 
be past ; and all future things are as ineffectual as the present. 
The height of honours would not entice; the depths of distresses 
would not discourage. No power, from the highest to the lowest 
of creatures ; no state, from the highest to the lowest of condi- 
tions, shall separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus 
my Lord; either from the love wherewith through Christ I love 
him, or the love wherewith he loveth me through Christ. 

Thus may the confirmed, experienced believer be confident, 
that the bands and cords of love will never by fraud or force be 
untwisted ; and that none shall take them out of the Father's 
hands, who is greater than all ; and, therefore, none shall take 
them out of the hands of Christ ; and that no persecution shall 
cause that faith to wither, which in a good and honest heart 
hath taken root. 

162 . THE Sl'l hit's Wn'NKSS TO 

And tliiis you see what an advantage it is against temptation 
to infidelity, to have the impress of the Gospel of Christ on our 
hearts, and the witness in ourselves. 

Sect. XV. 

2. So if the tempter should persuade such a man to doubt 
whether the Gospel be true, or be God's word, this believer may 
have recourse into his soul for a testimony of it; thence he can 
tell the tempter, by experience, that he hath found the promises 
of this Gospel made good to him. ' Christ hath there promised 
to send his Spirit into the souls of his people, and so he hath 
done by me ; he hath promised to give light to them that sit in 
darkness, and to guide their feet into the ways of peace ; to 
bind up the broken-hearted, and set at liberty the captives ; and 
all this he hath fulfilled upon me : all that he hath spoken about 
the power of his word and grace, and the nature of its effects, 
I have found upon myself. The help which he promised in 
temptations, the hearing of prayers, the relief in distress ; all 
these 1 have found performed j and, therefore, 1 know that the 
Gospel is true.' 

3. If the tempter would persuade you that there was no need 
of a Redeemer, the believer hath a testimony of the contrary 
in himself. Experimentally he hath been convinced of the need 
of a Redeemer, and so hath advantage against this temptation. 

4. If the tempter would persuade you that Christ came but 
to seek himself, and only to be believed on, and magnified in 
the world, here also the true believer hath the witness in himself, 
from whence he can conclude, and prove, that Christ came into 
the world to save sinners, to be a physician to the sick, to seek 
and to save that which was lost, and to pull down the kingdom 
and powers of darkness : for of all these he hath experience in 
himself, and from hence may sufficiently repel this temptation. 

5. If any should question whether there be, indeed, such a 
thing as a sanctifying Spirit of Christ sent forth into the souls 
of believers, to recover them to God (as many carnal persons, 
and deceivers of late, do,) the true believer may have recourse 
to his own heart, and prove the thing by the testimony within 
him. He can think of the sins that this Spirit hath mortified, 
and of the heavenly image which it hath planted on his soul, and 
the discoveries and changes which it hath made within him, 
which flesh and blood could not have made, and thus can expe- 
rimentally confute such deceivers. 


Thus you may perceive, tliat it is the duty of the saints to 
fetch arguments from within them, for the repelling of such 
temptations, and the confutation of all suggestions to unbelief: 
and here, if ever, to show ourselves instructed to the kingdom 
of God, by fetching out of our treasure things new and old. 
If the wiser heathens, yea, almost all the pagan world, could 
gather that there was some life for us after this, from those 
small sparks of virtue which they found in man's nature, how 
much more easily and solidly may we conclude, both this and 
much more, from the spiritual principles, inclinations, and 
actions, which are wrought on the souls of the sanctified, by 
the grace of Christ, and the power of the Gospel ? Doubtless, 
there is something within a true Christian that takes part with 
Christ against all contradictors, as there was something in the 
new-created man, Adam, that would have taken part with God, 
if any had denied the Godhead : yea, and as there is something 
yet in the common sort of mankind, that would make them 
rise up against him that should be a professed atheist. Do not 
tempt God, upon confidence of this, by thrusting yourselves into 
the mouth of temptation, or lending your ears to heretical de- 
ceivers or infidels ; but if you are cast upon such temptations, 
make use of this antidote, and observe whether there be not 
somewhat within you, that contradicteth the seducer, and riseth 
up against the blasphemies which are suggested ? If a child 
should be persuaded to think ill of liis own father, whatever 
arguments were brought to persuade him, the very natural love 
of a child would contradict them, and much advantage him 
against any slanderous reports that might be raised of him. 
Another man that neither so well knoweth him, or loveth him, 
would be far more easily drawn to believe them ; but there is some- 
what within him that will not let a child believe them so easilv. 
If a deceiver should say to him, ' This man is not thv father, and 
hath nothing to do with thee; he meaneth but to undo thee, 
and desireth not thy ^ood,' would not something within, even 
natural love, and experience of his father's kindness, establish a 
son from crediting such a deceiver ? Believers have an inward 
roo^^d love to Christ. They love him above father, mother, 
house, land, or their own lives. They have tasted also and tried 
how good he is : and is it easy to break these bonds, and make 
such an one believe that the Gospel is false, or that Christ is not 
indeed the Messiah ? When Christ standeth without, and 
knocks at the door of men's hearts, he then pleadeth but his 

164 THE spirit's witness to 

right for admittance, and though his arguments be very cogent 
with evidence, and he fully proveth all that he saith, yet it is 
less wonder that he is kept out by unbelief, because, though he 
have the right, yet his enemy hath the possession. But in a 
true believer, Christ hath possession, as well as right : and, 
therefore, it will be harder for the enemy to dispossess him, by 
drawing that soul again to infidelity. His Spirit keeps posses- 
sion ; his graces all keep possession ; his precepts and promises 
also without, do hold them to their allegiance. His threatenings 
awe them, and are as a wall of fire before them, and they have 
their eyes opened to see the angel with the sword. He telleth 
them, that if any man drawback, his soul shall have no pleasure 
in him. (Heb. x. 38.) That it is impossible for those who 
were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, 
and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the 
good word of God, and the powers of the world to come ; if 
they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing 
they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him 
to an open shame. (Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6.) I see no necessity that 
this must be understood of the unregenerate and unjustified ; yet 
doth it not affirm, that eventually any sanctified, justified person 
shall come into this sad condition, but it warneth them that 
they do not, and telleth them the danger, that hereby it may be 
prevented : for Christ causeth his people's perseverance, by 
telling them of the possibility, facility, and danger, in itself, of 
not persevering. So that all these advantages do fortify a true 
believer against infidelity : but especially in that the precepts, 
and promises, and threatenings of Christ's law, are all written 
over again in his heart : these are they that hold fast. A 
precept, and promise, and threatening in the Bible, may do 
much ; but when a true Christian is tempted to unbelief, he can 
say, ' There is a precept to the contrary written in my heart : 
there is a threatening against infidelity written in my heart : 
there is a promise to believers written in my heart. How then 
can I do this great evil : and sin against the law that is within 
me : and the Lord that doth possess me ? 

You see, then, what hope the devil hath to speed by such 
temptations, and wliere it is, that the upstart generation of 
cunning infidels in this age, here in England, must seek their 
prey, and find matter to make unhappy proselytes of; not 
among the experienced, well-grounded, renewed, and truly 
regenerate ones, that have a Christ in their hearts, as well us 


his name in their books, but among those that are merely no- 
minal, titular, traditional and superficial Christians : of such as 
these is their apostatized party composed. 

Obj. But some that have seemed as godly and experienced 
Christians as the best, have of late fallen to deny Christ and 
everlasting life. 

Answ. 1. All seemers have not the witness in themselves, 
nor the law of Christ put into their hearts. 

2. I hope some of those that deny the fundamentals opiniat- 
ively and speculatively, may hold them virtually and prac- 
tically ; and that their infidelity is not yet rooted or habituated, 
nor hath extirpated the better habits which were in them, 
though it have so far prevailed with their fantasies, opinions, 
and tongues. 

3. If it were proved that some true believers do apostatize 
unto perdition, yet would the doctrine which we are upon re- 
main unshaken, that it is a great advantage against temptations 
to unbelief, to have the witness in ourselves. 

Sect. XVI. 

Obj. May not a Turk or a pagan say the like, that there is 
something within them that dissuadeth them from a change ; 
and resisteth all motions that would draw them from their 
religion ? That is, there is prejudice, through education, cus- 
tom, company, and interests, and prepossession ; and there is 
a kind of love to their own idols, and conceits hereupon. And 
what is yours more than this ? 

Answ. My answer consisteth of two parts, which I desire you 
to observe together. 1. It is easy to possess men with preju- 
dice, and with love, and friendship, to a false teacher, false 
religion, or way, which hath nothing in nature against it, but 
for it; but it is not easy to possess men with the like persua- 
sions and affections to that which nature is not for but against. 
If Mahomet will promise men dominion on earth, and sen- 
sual felicity after that they are dead, and make a sensual life to 
be the way to it, what wonder if nature be easily drawn to this 
religion ? Here is much in carnal hearts to befriend it, but 
little to gainsay it. But if Christ call men from all their pleas- 
ing sins, and instead of satisfying their flesh do require them 
to take it as their enemy, and to crucify it; and instead of 
making them great in the world, do call them to leave all, and 
deny themselvesj and take up their cross and follow him^ if 

166 THE spirit's witness to 

they will be his disciples ; and setteth men upon high and 
spiritual employments, and all in hope of a reward, which is 
unseen : here flesh and blood will resist ; carnal nature will 
rise up against it ; this will not easily down, till more than 
human strength effect it ; so that you may see the case is so 
different between the christian religion and others, that it will 
no way follow, that we may love Christ without a supernatural 
work, because a man may love Mahomet without it. 

2. And further note, that we do make a great difference 
among Christians themselves, between those that believe and 
love Christ merely uj>on such prejudice, custom, or interest; 
and those that believe in him, and love him sincerely, and upon 
right grounds. And we confess, that those of the former, being 
but superficial and seeming Christians, may be drawn away to 
infidelity : but what is that to their case, that have a true faith 
and love ? There is a double difference between these and the 
other : one in the object of their faith and love, and another in 
the act. For, first, it is but the cheap and easy part of the christ- 
ian religion, which those customary professors do indeed enter- 
tain in love ; and so they love Christ but as the author of 
these : and so they make another thing of christian religion in 
their conceits, than indeed it is ; and it is not indeed that re- 
ligion which they embrace or love, but the name of it, and 
some parcels torn from the rest ; but it is not so with the sin- 
cere : and then, secondly, it is but a superficial, dreaming, in- 
effectual belief, that they receive the very history of the rest ; 
and therefore not accepted by a sovereign love. 

Such a faith and love as Mahometans have to Mahomet, 
such many seeming Christians have to Christ ; and these are 
not the confirmed ones, by the testimony in themselves. But 
such a rooted faith and love, as is proper to the saints, in one 
that so crosseth their carnal inclinations and interests, as is 
aforesaid ; this cannot be found in any but in Christians. Men 
of other religions have no such object for faith and love, and 
no faith or love for such an object. 

Consider, also, that so much of God as there is remaining, 
even in those religions which otherwise are false ; so much, it 
is, even by the professors of it, resisted and opposed, in the 
points that are cross to carnal interests and inclinations : and, 
therefore, we find that even among the heathens, as Seneca and 
others tell us, an abstemious, temperate, contemplative man, 
that would not do evil as freely as others, was the common 


scorn ; so that the very sparks of virtue that appeared among 
them, had ill entertainment by the vicious vulgar ; though they 
could, good cheap, afford them applauses when they were dead, 
as the wicked among us still will do of the saints that lived 
before them. 

Sect. XVII. 

Obj. But if the Gospel were false, yet, if you do but believe 
it to be true, will it not make all those impressions on the mind, 
which you so magnify. If one tell me of an everlasting joy or 
torment, will it not make me deeply affected, and chiefly apply 
myself to the minding thereof, if I do but believe it, whether it 
be true or not : so that it is the weight of the matter, and your 
belief of it, that causeth all these effects, and not the truth of it. 

Answ. I confess, I have known some much staggered by this 
objection, but I doubt not to show you the vanity of it ; as 
followeth : 

1. You suppose that which is not to be supposed, viz. 5 that 
the doctrine is not true which we believe, or that it is not of 
God, when you say, 'It would have such effects, though it were 
not of God, if we did but believe it:' and that you ought not 
in this disputation to suppose that is manifest, in that we first 
prove it to be of God, by former arguments, before we plead 
this argument, from the testimony within us. 

We use not this our first reason of belief, but as a confirming 
reason, procuring a stronger belief : for we do not first believe 
Scripture to be of God, bacause it hath done such works on us ; 
but we believe it by other cogent reasons, that so it may do 
such works on us. It is a believed doctrine, that mortifieth 
our lusts, and raiseth up our liearts to God. 

Let us suppose such a disputation between the tempter and 
Adam, in his innocency. The devil saith : ' This great world 
which thou seest and art a member of was not made by God, 
but by me.' 

Adam saith : ' I know it was made by God ; for as none but 
God can make such a frame, so I have seen God in it and by it, 
and by this sight of him my soul hath been possessed with such 
lively apprehensions of his infinite wisdom, and goodness, and 
greatness, and hath received such admirable impressions here- 
upon, that I am fully confirmed by these effects within me, that 
it is the work of God.' 

The tempter replieth j ' This is but the effect of thine own 


belief, for whether God made iter no, thou wilt thus admire God 
for it, if thou do but believe that he made it.' Here the 
tempter mliy not suppose that God made not the world ; though 
Adam be but proving it, the contrary may be supposed, because 
this argument from the impress and effects is but a confirming 
argument, supposing it proved before by other arguments j 
That none but God could make this world, and that God did 
make it. 

We can first show the image of the Creator on the world, 
and thereby prove that it is his workmanship ; but, afterwards, 
when Adam findeth the impress upon his heart, he is more con- 
firmed in it, against all temptations. 

So do we first prove, by the intrinsic nature of the word 
itself, and by the extrinsic assistant testimony of miracles, and 
wondrous works, that the Scripture is of God, and the doctrine 
is his truth ; and then we are confirmed in it by the effects of 
it upon our own souls. We first show the image of God, and 
his Son Christ in the Gospel, and then we find the same image 
imprinted by the Gospel upon our hearts. Suppose a prince 
have a broad seal that no one can counterfeit, and which he 
hath also extrinsically testified to be his own ; if I have a grant 
of some lands, which I hold by writings under that seal, if any 
affirm that the great seal itself is counterfeit, I will prove the 
contrary : first, from the seal and extrinsic testimony; and, then, 
from the impress of it, which I possess: and, if any say, ' if the 
same seal were counterfeit, yet, it would make the same im- 
press ;' I should answer, ' That I prove both from the quality 
of the seal and impress, that it is not counterfeit.' 

2. Note, therefore, that we argue not from the impress upon 
the soul, as an impress, but as such an impress, from the quality 
or nature of it ; and finding it to be the very image of God, we 
are the more confirmed, that the seal that made it did bear 
the same image, and was his. 

Sect. XVIII. 

Obj. What 4ieed you a testimony within you, if you can see 
the same image of God in the word without you, and so believe 
before : is not the same sufficient to confirm your belief which 
did beget it ? 

For answer to this objection, I add in the third place : 

3. The image of God is more easily discerned in the effects or 



impress upon our owa hearts, than in the word alone; especially 
more easily in both than in that one. The one begetteth faith, 
the other a stronger faith: I showed you the advantages before. 
You more plainly discern the image in the wax than on the seal, 
especially when the impress and effects are so near us, and con- 
sist in the very apprehensions, and feelings, and workings of our 
own souls, which will force us to an observation. 

Besides, the effect is something more express and operative, 
and in that respect more illustrious, than the word itself, which 
is the cause. The fire in the flint is not so discernible as in the 
flax; the seed of the living creature doth not contain the image 
of it so actually, expressly, and discernibly, as the birth itself 
doth. God's word is his seed, and the new creature is the effect; 
not that there is any part of the new creature which is not ac- 
tually and expressly required in the word ; but that it is to us 
more discernible, as to the excellency and beauty in the creature, 
than in the seed; in the effect, than in the course; in the obe- 
dience, than in the precept ; only the present imperfection of the 
effect, while the cause is perfect, doth make some difference on 
the other side ; but yet in the nature of the thing, the effect is 
to us more discernible : nay, the operative nature of the effect 
is such, that it is ofttimes more discernible, even to a stander- 
by ; which caused the apostle to require that wives should, there- 
fore, walk uprightly with unbelieving husbands, that if any obey 
not the word, they might without the word be won by the con- 
versation of their wives. 

Moreover, you suppose that which is not to be supposed in 
this objection, viz., That we can believe, and so believe this 
word to be of God, if it were not so indeed ; that is, if he do 
not, l)y a special work of his grace, cause us to believe it ; for, 
first. Where man was most guilty he is most depraved : as man 
sinned bv turning from God, so is he become a stranger to God, 
and blind in the things of God, and of his own recovery and 
salvation ; and as his sin was especially in believing Satan, and 
denying belief to God, so is he now viciously disposed to the 
same. Secondly, And, moreover, the way of our recovery is 
supernatural, and therefore must have a supernatural light within, 
as well as without, to reveal it to such a low, depraved soul. 
Thirdly, And, especiall)-, man's corrupted sense and will hath 
got the mastery of his understanding and reason, so that he 
cannot easily believe what he is exceedingly unwilling should be 
true; but all unregenerate men are exceedingly unwilling that this 


170 THE spirit's witness TO 

word should be true, both because it tells them of their sin and 
misery, and future danger, and because it would take them off 
from their carnal delights, and would call them to a life which 
they are utterly undisposed to. By all which it is apparent, that 
though you may believe the doctrine of Mahomet, or any com- 
mon or carnal doctrine, without any grace of God, yet -so can 
you not the doctrine of Christ, because it is of another nature- 

Obj. What kind of doctrine is that, that a reasonable man 
cannot believe ? It seems, then, it wanteth evidence of its 

Answ. It wanteth not evidence suitable to its nature, and to 
an enlightened understanding, or to sound reason ; but its evi- 
dence is not of itself sufficient to the carnal mind : not because 
it wanteth due evidence, but because reason is wanting to that 
mind ; for reasonable, carnal men are not reasonable, as to the 
exercise, in these spiritual things. Well doth the Scripture call 
them blind, fools, and madmen, besides themselves, and unrea- 
sonable men. How foolish was Aristotle himself, and all his 
brethren, about matters of his own salvation, for all the strength 
of his reason in natural things. 

5. Lastly, You must difference between a common, superficial, 
speculative belief and apprehension, and a deep, effectual faith ; 
and then I add further, by way of answer to this objection, that 
if you speak of a common, superficial belief, the objection itself 
is false ; for if this were not God's word, and yet I did so super- 
ficially believe it to be his word, that belief would not change 
and renew my heart, nor do those great things wherein this 
testimony within me doth consist. It must be a special, effectual 
belief, produced by the help of a special grace added to the word, 
which must do these works upon the souls of men. Such a be- 
lief as mere tradition, education, custom, prejudice, or worldly 
advantages, yea, or bare hearing and reading will produce, will 
not do these works ; and if it were not the word of God, he 
would never accompany it by that special power and work of his 

Both these last parts of my answer are evident in the thing 
itself, and in daily, undeniable experience. 

First, It is apparent, that besides a bare belief, there is also 
necessary, a sober, impartial consideration of the things believed, 
before they can make such a change upon the heart and life ; 
for else they will slide away, and be ineffectual. Now, in things 
of this nature, it is not the mere external revelation, without 


internal, accompanying grace, that will bring the mind to such 

Besides, while the heart of man is hardened, this consideration 
will not take effect j but all men's hearts are so hardened till 
grace soften them ; so tliat you do but set a seal to a stone or 
wax, that is not softened, while you read the word to a carnal 
heart, unless the Spirit set in with the reading. Also, men are 
engaged to contrary courses, and that so strongly that none but 
the spirit of grace can disengage them, and cause them to receive 
the due impress of the word, which will turn them another way. 

Secondly, Experience also may satisfy us in this point against 
the objection ; for we see that many hundreds sit under the same 
word, and some do believe effectually, and some do believe su- 
perficially, and some believe not at all ; yea, and (lest you lay 
the difference on any preparations in the nature, temper, or 
education of the persons,) first, many that were of better natures, 
more sober, considerate temper, and of an engaging education, 
yet believe not, or not effectually; when others that wanted 
such advantages do believe : secondly, and the same men that 
hath heard the same word seven years, or twenty years together, 
in vain, or persecuteth it as Paul did before his conversion, are 
after all that changed by it on a sudden, and receive it, and pro- 
mote it. 

And, to conclude, we see also by common experience, that 
thousands who do superficially believe the Scripture to be the 
word of God, and to be true, do yet find none of this change 
upon their hearts, nor that impress from the word, which may 
be a witness in themselves ; so that it is not all that believe the 
word to be true, but all that effectually believe it, that have 
this effect. Such a belief as common means may produce, doth 
it not ; but the special belief in the regenerate doth it. 

Obj. You seem thus to prove the Scripture true, because you 
believe it ; whereas you should believe it, because it is true : 
for what is this witness in yourselves, but your own belief. 

Answ. 1 first prove it true, or at least discern it to be true, 
by other evidence, without me ; and then I believe it, because 
I see that evidence that it is of God, and so is true; and having 
so believed it, i find those excellent effects of that belief in mv 
soul, which do more strongly persuade me, that it is the word 
of God, than 1 was before persuaded, and do confirm me against 
all temptations to ajDOstacy : so that my first belief, is not be- 
cause I do believe ; nor mv second or following belief neither : 

p 2 

172 THE spirit's witness TO 

but the first is, because 1 see by other evidence the truth of the 
word ; and the second is, because b'y believing I have such 
divine and excellent effects upon my soul. 

Sect. XIX. 

Quest. But will this argument be of any use to persuade or 
convince another, or is it only for yourself ? We that see not 
vi'hat is in your heart, cannot be convinced by mere latent rea- 
sons. Show us such works, and we will believe you. 

Answ. 1. The principal use of this internal testimony, we 
acknowledge, is for the establishment of the believer himself ; 
and therefore the principal success of this argument, is upon 
liimself : and therefore we do not use it as our first or princi- 
pal argument, for the convincing of others. 

2. Yet there is so much in it, for the use of others, as should 
move them to make trial of that doctrine and religion which 
others profess to receive such effects from ; especially, consider- 
ing, first, that they are sober and credible persons, and not light, 
deluded, vain, fantastical people only, that so profess : and if 
such testimonies shall be refused, and that of so many thousand 
persons of all degrees, ages, and sexes, and that in all coun- 
tries and times, and that in a matter of fact, or about the in- 
ward experience of their own souls ; what testimony then 
should be regarded ? And how would human converse be 
maintained, and human affairs be transacted, if such testimonies 
as these shall be judged invalid ? 2. Moreover, the external 
effects in the lives of the saints are so great, and so discernible 
bv those that do converse with them ; especiallv, whose near- 
ness and familiarity doth give them the opportunity of a more 
full discovery, that even the unbelievers may see that which 
should convince them, that it is a true, divine, and excellent 
doctrine, which hath such excellent effects in the lives of the 
believers. And so great is this evidence, even to others, that 
if they be not convinced by it, or at least drawn to try that 
word and religion, which iiuth such effects, they are left inex- 
cusable, and may justly be condemned, as sinning against 
reason itself, and shutting their eyes against a visible evidence. 
Thus far, therefore, the testimony in one, may be useful to 

Sect. XX. 

Quest. If the witness in ourselves be so full and convincing 
as \ou sav, then, what need liave we any more to make use of 


the Scriptures. Let the unconverted have recourse to Scripture, 
who have not the Spirit, but for us that have it, why should we 
leave a higher teacher to go to a lower. The like may be said 
as to the ministry of men : 'When we have once the" Spirit, 
and are taught of God, we need not learn of men any more :' 
for the promise is, that we shall not teach one another ; 
saying, " Know the Lord, for all shall know him from the least 
to the greatest." 

Answ. This reason is, most plainly, contrary to common 
reason, experience, and Scripture itself. First, It is not only 
one thing that man wanteth to enable him to understand the 
matters of his salvation ; he wanteth first an outward word of 
revelation. Secondly, He wanteth an outward teacher, to tell 
him the meaning of the very terms themselves, which were 
written in Hebrew and Greek, and to remove difficulties out of 
his \vay. Thirdly, He wanteth inward light to cause him to 
understand this word, when he is thus taught : accordingly 
God supplieth this threefold want; the first, by giving him 
the Scripture ; the second, by giving him the ministry, and 
other occasional teachers ; the third, by giving him the illumina- 
tion of the Spirit, to help him to see by the former means, and 
to make the word and ministry to be effectual. I do not put the 
Spirit last, as if he were the least and lowest help, but because 
that in order of nature, the other two must go before, and the 
Spirit comes and sets them home, and makes them successful. 
He that knoweth not the office of the Spirit, nor to what use it is 
that he is given of God, but looketh that he should do a work which 
he is not sent to do, nay, which he abhorreth, that is, to teach 
men without, if not against, the Scripture and the ministry ; 
no wonder, if he meet with a spirit of delusion, while he thinks 
he hath the Spirit of God. There is a twofold work of the 
Spirit necessary, to reveal to us the truths of Christ : the first, 
is the inspiration of prophets and apostles to reveal it to us 
from without, by preaching or writing, and to seal it by mi- 
racles. This witness of the Spirit was given when the Scripture 
was written, and delivered to the church, and so is past alreadv, 
but still in force for our use and to our confirmation ; the 
second, is that illumination which must cause us to understand 
the word and ministry; this is it that we are now speaking of, 
and which is necessary in ourselves. 

It is a mad thing for a man to say, ' I have eyes in my head 
that are not blind, and therefore I have no need of the light 

174 THE spirit's witness to 

of the sun ;' or to say, ' 1 have eyes and sun, and therefore 
have no need of the light in the air, which cometh from the 
sun ;' or to say, ' I have all this Hght, and therefore 1 can 
read by it without a book ;' or to say, ' I have both hght and 
book, and therefore can read without a teacher :' for if a man 
would read, or see any other the like object, he must have all 
these, or more than one ; you must have eyes, and eyes that 
have the power of seeing, and that not hindered by any inflam- 
mation or other disease ; and you must have the light from the 
smi or candle ; and you must have a book, and have it opened, 
and have one to teach you so far as you have not learned. 

God hath appointed you these three necessary means of your 
illumination and direction ; the word, the ministry, and the 
Spirit : " What God hath joined, let no man separate." If 
you will foolishly go set one of these against another, or make 
one to exclude the other, as being sufficient without it, when 
God hath set them all together and made them all necessary, 
assigning to each a several part in the work of your iilunjina- 
tion, you will abuse God and yourselves, and go without the 
light while you despise the necessary cause of it. You may as 
well say, ' I have meat, and therefore need no teeth ;' or ' I 
have meat and teeth, and therefore need no stomach ;' or, ' I 
have all these, and therefore need no natural life and spirits 
to digest my meat.' All these are several concauses to produce 
that effect ; the office of the meat, the teeth, the stomach, the 
natural heat and digestive power, is not all one, though all to 
one end ; nor is any one of these sufficient to that end without 
the rest, though each one may" be sufficient to its own use: so 
the office of the Scripture is not the same with that of the 
ministry or Spirit ; nor the office of the ministry the same with 
that of the Spirit and the word ; nor the office of the Spirit the 
same with that of the word or ministry ; though, yet, all have 
the same end and full effect, that is, the illumination of the 
sinner. Will you then say, that one is insufficient, unless it 
be sufficient without the rest ? No ; the sufficiency of them 
must be judged of in respect to their own several offices and 
parts in the work. The word is sufficient to produce faith 
and holiness, by the help of ministry, ordinarily, or some other 
guide, and of the Spirit, as ever necessary. The Spirit is suffi- 
cient to cause you to understand the word by the help of man's 
ministry, though he can do it without, yet this is his under- 
taken office, and he will not teach men to contemn his own 


ordinances and means. Will you say, that no wheel in your 
watch or clock is perfect, unless it will do the whole work 
without the rest : or will you throw away all the wheels save 
one, because that one is perfect, without fault, when they are 
all appointed to work and move together, and none of them to 
serve without the rest. 

And, first, for Scripture ; it is the very book and matter 
which the Spirit is sent to teach us to understand. What do 
you expect the Spirit should teach you to understand but the 
word. Would you have him bring you another Gospel, when 
Paul would hold an angel from heaven accursed, if he should 
do so. (Gal. i. 7 — 9-) Will you say, that a schoolmaster is 
insufficient in his school, if he teach not his scholars without a 
book : or, will you throw away your grammar or other books, 
because you have a good schoolmaster, and say, books are for 
hem that come not to school. When Christ told his mind to 
his apostles, and bid them tell it to the world ; teaching them 
to observe all things whatsoever he commanded them, he pro- 
miseth to be with them to the end of the world; (Matt, xxviii, 
20;) that is, to be with the teachers of that same doctrine, 
which by these apostles was to be delivered, and not of a new 
doctrine. Paul chargeth Timothy to keep these things to the 
coming of Christ, (1 Tim. vi. 14.) 

These are the truths which the first pastors communicated 
to the next, and those were to communicate it, as to the people, 
so to faithful m.en, that might preserve it as they had done, 
(2 Tim. ii. 2.) This is the word that is able to make men wise 
unto salvation; (2 Tim. iii. 14, 15;) and to give them an 
inheritance among the sanctified. (Acts xx. 32.) By this 
word, it is, that those must be washed, and cleansed, and sanc- 
tified, whom Christ will present pure and spotless to his Father 
at the last. (Eph. v. 26.) So that, to set the Spirit against 
his own word, and to cast it off on pretence that you have that 
Spirit, who is the author of it, and enjoyeth it, and is purposely 
sent to teach it you, and lead you by it into truth, and sanctify 
by that word of truth ; this is impudent, unreasonable abuse, 
both of the Spirit and word, as, one day, deluded souls will find. 

2. And for the ministry, if men were not stark blinded by 
the father of delusions, they could never imagine that God hath 
discharged them from submission, learning, or obedience to 
their lawful guidance by the word, as long as they confess the 
Scriptures to be true. Hath not God set in the body several 

17t) THE spirit's witness TO 

members, not having all the same office ? All is not an eye, 
nor all a Imnd, nor is the body witiiout an eye or hand. 
(1 Cor. xii. 14, 17, 19, 28.) The apostle commandeth Timothy 
to commit the same things which he had learned, to faithful 
men, who might be able to teach others also. (2 Tim. ii. 2.) 
He directeth him how to choose, and ordain elders in every city, 
and what men to choose and ordain. (1 Tim. iii. ; Tit. i. 5.) 
He tells him that he that desireth the office of a bishop, desireth 
a good work. (1 Tim. iii. 1.) Peter biddeth the elders, "Feed 
the flock of God which is among you, (or as some read it, in 
your charge, or under you,) taking the oversight thereof, not by 
constraint, but willingly, not for tilthy lucre, but of a ready 
mind," &c. (1 Pet. v. 2 — 4.) The command is most express to 
all the churches of the Hebrews: " Obey them that have the rule 
over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as 
they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and 
not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you." (Heb. xiii. 17-) 
And (verse 7 and 24) they are twice more called, "Them that 
rule over them, and (as verse 7) that preach to them the word of 
God." And the apostles ordained elders in every church. 
(Acts xiv. 23.) These were commanded to teach in season, and 
out of season ; (2 Tun. iv. 1, 2 ;) and therefore must be heard. 
They must feed the flock over which the Holy Ghost doth make 
them overseers. (Acts xx. 28.) Mark, the Holy Ghost doth make 
men overseers and pastors of the churches, and yet these men 
would cast off overseers, because they have the Holv Ghost. 
Christ committeth to them as ambassadors, the preaching of the 
word of reconciliation in his name; (2 Cor. v. 19 — 21 ;) and 
as guides, the ruling of the Church of God. (1 Tim. iii. 4, 5 ; 
Heb. xiii. 7, 17 ;) and calleth them wise stewards whom tlie 
Lord makes rulers over his household, to give them their meat 
in due season. (Luke xii. 42.) He saith, the eiders that rule M'eli, 
are worthy of double honour, especially they that labour in the 
word and doctrine. (1 Tim. v. 17.) He brandeth the disobedient 
and untractable, with the name of unruly men, whom Christians 
must avoid ; whether it be the aruKToi, that are as soldiers that 
keep not rank and file, and will not know their colours ; or the 
^vvjT6raKToi, that know not how to be obedient, or submit to 
rule and government. The first sort, mentioned 1 Thess. v. 14, 
the second sort. Tit. i. 10, 6, though we translate both ' unruly.' 
And is it not for the use of believers that have the Spirit, that 
these officers are set in the church, and is it not the church of 


believers that is commanded to hear and obey them ? Nay, 
hath not Christ set them in tlie church purposely for the 
edifying of the body, and the perfecting of the saints, till we 
all come to a perfect man, &:c. (Eph. iv. 11 — 14.) And 
purposely to keep Christians, that they may not be as children 
tossed up and down with every wind of doctrine according to 
cunning sleights and subtilty of men, by which they lie in wait 
to deceive ? Nay, doth not Christ himself rule and teach by 
them as his officers ? and say, " He that despiseth you de- 
spiseth me, and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent 
me/' (John xiii. 20 ; Mark ix. 39 ; Luke ix. 48.) So that 
it is most evident that it was never Christ's intent to take down 
that ministry which by himself was set up, nor to make it need- 
less, till men are perfected and have no more sin. 

And as for that part of the objection from Jer. xxxi. 34, 
it is plain that it was far from the mind of the Holy Ghost, to 
make the ministry unnecessary to them that have the Spirit. 
For as the Spirit was given by the ministry of the apostles, so 
the same apostles were necessary for the building up of them 
that had the Spirit, and therefore did use to visit and teach the 
churches to that end, and set elders over them to be their con- 
stant guides and teachers. The text, indeed, doth assure us, 
that knowledge and the means of it shall much more abound 
under the Gospel than before ; and that more persons shall 
have knowledge, and greater knowledge, and that of the Spirit's 
preaching. But the plain meaning of the words, " They shall 
teach no more every man his neighbour and brother, saying. 
Know the Lord, for they shall all know me," &c., seems to be 
this, they shall not be ignorant of God, as heathens, nor as to 
the elect, without the saving knowledge of him, as hypocrites, 
and therefore shall not have need to be taught to know God, 
as men that do not know him : it shall be no such rare thing to 
know the Lord. But first, this denieth not, but that they may 
have need to be taught to know more of God, though not simply 
to know God. We need not teach men that which they know 
of God already ; but we need to teach them so much as they do 
not know. And Paul himself saith of himself and all men, 
*'^That we know but in part here." (1 Cor. viii. 2, and xiii. 9.) 
" And we must grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 
(2 Pet. iii. 18; Phil. iii. 12, 15.) We have need to be fed 
Avith strong meat, after we have lived on milk, and to be taught 
higher when we have learned the })rinciples. (Heb. v. 11, 12, 

178 THE spirit's witness TO 

and vi. 1 — 3.) It seems these objectors would not learn of 
Paul himself, if he were alive, because he is a man. Secondly, 
And is there not much necessary to be known, besides the simple 
knowledge of God himself? We must know ourselves, and 
know many truths, and duties, precepts, promises, and threats, 
temptations, and dangers, rewards, &;c. So that thougli the 
elect after conversion, have not need to be taught simply to 
know God ; yet they have need to be taught a further measure 
of the knowledge of God, and also to know his will and word. 

As there Is no mention in Luke xv. of righteous persons that 
need no repentance, that is, no such conversion or repentance as 
the impenitent and unconverted need, which is a turning from a 
state of reigning sin to God, though yet they need the repentance 
of imperfect saints, and therefore must daily pray, " Forgive us 
our trespasses;" and he that saith, " tie hath no sin, is a liar, 
and dcceiveth himself, and the truth is not in him : for in many 
things Ave offend all." (1 John i. 8; James iii. 2.) So is it 
here; the illuminate do not need to be taught to know the 
Lord, as the blind world that know him not. Such a phrase 
also Christ useth to the woman of Samaria : " He that drinketh of 
the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst." (John iv. 14.) 
That is, shall never have that necessity of hew supply as before 
he had : he shall not have the thirst of emptiness and former 
need, but yet he shall have the thirst of loving desire, and need 
of greater pleasure : so here. 

Quest. Is it needful for that man to use extrinsic arguments to 
prove the Scripture and christian religion to be of God himself, 
and to resist temptations, who hath the witness within himself 
to prove it by ? 

Answ. God's evidences must not be separated, much less must 
one be pleaded to the neglect of the rest. We find the apostles 
oft pleading the first arguments of miracles, and the eye- 
witnesses' credit, and the like, with the churches of believers : 
as the work within us is not the first testimony, but a secondary 
confirming testimony, so doth it not make the first unnecessary 
or void. Our internal testimony hath relation to, and depen- 
dance on the evidences that are in, and with the word itself 
without us. Besides that, by the external we must convince 

other men. 

Sect. XXI. 

Quest, ^^'^ill this testimony within us be as useful and ad- 
vantageous to us, in particular points of controversy, as in the 


main matter of Christianity itself? May we not think that he 
that hath most of the Spirit, is likest to be in the right ? 

Answ. You must difference between those particular points 
that are essential to Christianity, or of necessity to salvation, and 
those that are very useful, though not absolutely necessary, and 
those that are niceties of smaller use ; also you must difference 
between the spirit of holiness in general, and some special gift 
of the Spirit in particular. And so I further answer : 

1 . In points essential to Christianity, or of absolute necessity to 
salvation, the witness within them will keep right the elect, who 
are true believers, when more learned, subtle men maybe deceived. 

2. In points of very great use to salvation, though not of 
absolute necessity, such true believers have a great advantage 
to hold right against all temptations, from this witness, or work 
of grace within them. But yet as they may possibly fall into a 
scandalous sin, and be recovered, so they may possibly for all 
the witnesses within them, be led into some foul and dangerous 
error, to the great wrong of the Gospel, the trouble of the church, 
and the wounding of themselves. Yet cattei'is paribus, there 
being equal helps, and other advantages, a godly man is more 
likely here to be in the right, than an ungodly : but yet some- 
times an ungodly man is more likely to be right here than he. 

3. In the knowing of natural things, or the grammatical con- 
struction of the Scripture, and so in opening many particular 
texts, and in understanding and maintaining the truth in many 
particular, lower controversies, though the spirit of holiness be 
much advantage to men, yet the particular and more common 
gifts of the Spirit, which ordinarily accompanieth natural wit 
and diligent study, is a greater advantage ; and, therefore, it is 
ordinary for the Spirit of interpretation to be given, where the 
the Spirit of sanctification is denied ; and for God to give many 
the saving knowledge of himself in Christ, to whom he gives 
not the knowledge of many truths in nature or theology, nor 
the knowledge of the meaning of much of the Scripture, as to 
having those helps which are necessary thereto ; for in these 
things, and in natural knowledge, God is pleased to work by 
natural means, and by men's industrious studies. 

4. He that hath both the Spirit of sanctification, and acquired 
gifts of knowledge together, is the complete Christian, and likely 
to know much more, than he that hath either of these alone. 
Where nature, grace, industry, and outward helps all meet to- 
gether, they make the most useful, accomplished men. 

180 THE spirit's witness to 

5. They that have the greatest measure of the Spirit, are 
bound to use study aud human helps, in subordination to the 
Spirit. ])iligence and common helps, with God's ordinary 
blessing, may bring- them in a natural, acquired knowledge, and 
grace will sanctify it, and cause them to use it aright for God. 

Sect. XXII. 

But because they are points of great use, I will review two of 
these before-mentioned, and show vou, First, That it is a great 
advantage against temptations, to those particular sins or errors 
that are plainly against holiness, to have this witness of the 
Spirit of holiness in ourselves ; Secondly, That it is a great ad- 
vantage even to the holiest man, to the clear understanding and 
opening of Scriptures, to have natural and acquired knowledge, 
commonly called human learning, and to be a laborious, diligent 

1. And for the first, all the reasons before-mentioned do 
prove it ; for if the Spirit do so much befriend Christianity in 
the main, it must needs also befriend the several parts of it, and 
apparent means and necessaries to its support. 

First, If anv man should tempt a sanctified man to doubt 
whether the Gospel written by Mark, or John, were the word of 
God ; the same Spirit wliich attesteth to the christian doctrine 
in general, would do much by its testimony to fortify him in this. 
He would find something within him so suitable to those Scrip- 
tures, as would hold him to them in an honour and admiration ; 
and so of others. 

Secondly, If a libertine should tempt him to think that sin is 
no great evil, nor displeasing to God, and that it is only as men's 
consciences make it, and judge of it : the Spirit of holiness 
within him, would fortify the believer against this temptation. 
Alas, he hath felt that sin is bitter ; and he hath that within 
him, that will force him so to judge 1 It goes against his pre- 
sent taste, as bitter things are to us ; and it will need to be a 
very sul)tle argument, that should force the veriest fool, or 
child, or any man of sound senses, to believe that gall or aloes 
are sweet, when he hath tasted them. There is a Spirit in a 
saint, that is an enemy to sin, and causeth a hatred of it, 
wherever he comes ; and, therefore^ is a great help against all 
such temptations. 

Thirdly, If any man should tempt a true Christian to question 
any of God's attributes, especially those manifested in his deal- 


ings with men, as whether he he wise,' and knoweth all things ; 
whether he he holv, just, and hateth sin ; or whether he be 
good and merciful to those that fear him ? The witness within 
him would help him very much to resist such temptations. All 
these attributes of God are written out in the believer's heart, 
and make up God's image there ; he hath tried that God is most 
wise and good, and holy, and just, and great: if any should say, 
that God is the cause of men's sin, he hath that within him that 
will not suffer him to entertain that conceit; if any should tempt 
him to carnal, corporeal conceits of God, he hath that within 
him that will not suffer him to be of such a mind. 

Fourthly, If any should teach him, that there is no heaven, 
nor hell, but what is in men's own conceits ; he hath that within 
him that will not suffer him to be of that opinion. The very life 
of grace within him, doth carry up his heart to heaven, and it 
is the end of his very religion and life ; and the fear of God 
within him, doth cause him to fly from the jaws of hell, and he, 
as it were, hears the Spirit say to him, as the angel to Lot, when 
he carried him out of the danger of Sodom's flames : "Escape, 
fly for thy life : look not behind thee :" the Spirit within him 
causeth him to fear God, as one that can destroy both body and 
soul in hell fire. 

Fifthly, If any should tempt him to doubt, whether Christ 
hath any congregate church on earth, as the seekers do ; he 
hath in him the experience of comfortable communion in that 
church ; and withal he hath that within him, which will not 
suffer him to have such base, extenuating thoughts of Christ, as 
if he were a titular king without a kingdom, or could not con- 
vey to men the benefits which he hath purchased, or had failed 
to fulfil his promises to his church, or to make good his ground, 
and maintain his interest. 

Sixthly, If they would tempt him to deny that Christ hath 
any ministers in office, or to revile the godly ministers as anti- 
christian, or to reproach them as no ministers of Christ, he hath 
that experience of Christ speaking in them, and working by 
them, and maintaining by them his truth, and order in his 
churches ; which is a witness within him against such tempta- 

Seventhly, If he be tempted to ways of separation and divi- 
sion, to withdraw from the minister as unworthy to rule him, or 
from the church as unworthy to communicate' with such as he, 
and so to betake himself causelessly into separate societies; he 

182 THE spirit's witness to 

hath a witness within him of the sinfuhiess of such a course. 
That one Spirit within him, hath possessed him with an inchua- 
tion to unity, and such fears of divisions, and sense of their 
mischiefs, as a man hath of the dividing or wounding Ids own 
hody : it hath given him that sense of his own unworthiness, 
tliat humihty, that charity to others, that he is far readier to say, 
' 1 am not worthy to join with the church,' than 'The church is 
not worthy to join with me.' He feels such an insufficiency, 
and ignorance in himself, that he rather takes himself exceed- 
ingly heholden to a niinister, that will teach him, than grudges 
to be taught, or says, ' 1 will not be catechised, be ruled, by 
such as you.' He so loves the church, order, discipline, ordi- 
nances, and ministers of Christ, that he will not easily be drawn 
from them. 

Eighthly, If any should tempt him to withdraw from the com- 
munion of the church in the Lord's Supper, the comfortable ex- 
perience which he hath had there, in the strengthening his faith, 
the quickening his graces, and killing his sins, would very much 
strengthen him against such temptations. 

Ninthly, If he should be tempted to forbear the hearing of 
the word, or the singing of psalms to God's praise, or the 
prayers of the church ; he hath that experience of the happy 
effects of these on himself, and that in his own heart, which cor- 
respondeth with these ordinances, that it will much corroborate 
him against the reasonings of deceivers. 

Tenthly, If he be tempted to cast off the instructing of his 
family, or worshipping God in it, he hath within him a witness 
that family worship is due to that God, who must govern and 
provide for, and defend him and his family ; and his experience 
of the fruits of it, will do much to confirm him against such 

Eleventhly, Against the main body of the Antinomian doc- 
trine, which iieth open to a plain discovery, and tendeth to a 
neglect, and remissness in our duty ; he hath that within him, 
that by testifying against it, may give him great advantage to 
escape. I will not stand to mention the particulars, having 
done it elsewhere. 

Twelfthly, In a word, if any temptation do assault him, to 
any branch of atheism, infidelity, or ungodliness and libertinism, 
taking him off from duty, or encouraging him to sin, the wit- 
ness within him will speak against itj and is a singular ad- 
vantage to him for his preservation. 


Especially in such cases as these, is this inward estahlishment 
more necessary : 

1. When men are so furiously, or subtilely, or incessantly 
assaulted by the tempter, that their reason seems to be non- 
plussed, and they are at a loss. 

2. When they fall among seducers, who by interest or seem- 
ing piety, and sheep's-clothing, or by cunning reasonings, or 
confident affirmations, or terrible threats, would bear them 
down from truth and unity, and do even bring them to a stand. 

3. When poor Christians are of so weak parts of reason, that 
they are not able to dispute against deceivers, then their inward 
experiences, and the Spirit, is evidently necessary. 

4. When a man is in sickness, or near death, having his body 
and senses weakened, and so is less fit to make use of his reason 
in a disputing way, he may make singular use of the witness 
within him against all temptations. 

Sect. XXIII. 

I come now to the second point to show you, that in points 
that are more separ-able from saving grace, learning, wit, indus- 
try, and outward helps, may be so great advantage, that an 
ungodly man may excel in all these, and a godly man may be 
very weak : an ungodly man may be ordinarily in the right, when 
a godly man, without such helps, may be mistaken. And there- 
fore it is a desperate, and destructive conceit in any man, to 
think, that because he hath the Spirit, he is therefore more 
able to expound Scripture, or teach it to the people, or under- 
stand controversies, than learned men that have not the Spirit 
of holiness ; or to think, that they should go to an ignorant, 
godly man for resolution and teaching, rather than to a knowing 
man that is not godly, as if the former were most likely to know such 
truth. And upon this conceit, men cry down human learning, 
and ministers for esteeming it, and cry up the Spirit, to a use 
that God doth not intend it. I have no mind, the Lord knows, 
to set up any thing of man against God, nor God's common 
gifts above his special, nor to draw any soul into an undue 
esteem of any thing that is in their guides, but only to show 
them the naked truth. I would entreat, therefore, all poor 
deluded souls, that are carried away with these forementioned 
mistakes, to lay by their prejudice and passion awhile, and to 
weigh impartially these following considerations. 

1. Consider, God is the author of nature, as well as of grace j 

184 THE spirit's witness to 

and so of all truths about nature, as well as about grace. AH 
light is from the Father of lights, and all truths from the God 
of truth : it is therefore a wicked thing to call the knowledge 
of God's creatures ' human learning,' in contempt, or as if it 
were not of God ; only, indeed, it is a more common knowledge, 
and therefore not proper to the church, and sanctified ones ; 
but yet when sanctified, it is so proper to them. 

2. Consider, as God is the author both of nature and grace, 
so of nature before grace ; and so natural truths, or the know- 
ledge of the nature of things, doth necessarily go before the 
knowledge of our recovery by Jesus Christ. And therefore, as 
both are contained in Scripture, so doth the word begin with 
the discovery of nature, before it mention the revelation of 
grace ; " In the beginning God created the heaven, and the 
earth," &;c. ; is the beginning of the Bible, Our physics are 
the first part of God's word, laid down in Genesis, before the 
rest ; and the necessity of this is evident. If God and man 
must enter a covenant, or if man must be under a law, having 
rewards and penalties, and the creatures are the materials of 
the duties and conditions : we must needs know first that God 
is, and what God is, as far as necessary for sueh as we, and 
what man is, and what the creature is that we must use, and 
what the reward and punishment are. Morality is but the mo- 
dality of natural being ; and the being should be considered 
before the mode : so that this part of philosophy, which we 
call our physics, is necessary and divine, delivered in God's 
word, and first delivered ; yea, and it is oft repeated, as in Job, 
the Psalms, &c. And it was, and should be a great part of 
men's study to know God's works, and God in them : for, saith 
the Spirit of God, " His works are great, sought out of all 
them that have pleasure therein." (Psalm cxi. 2, 3.) O how 
many high and excellent praises are given to God, by the saints 
in Scripture, in the contemplation of his works. 

3. Consider, that the very creatures themselves, even the 
frame of heaven and earth, are a book written by the finger of 
God, containing in legible characters his image, 1 mean the 
discovery of his glorious power, and wisdom, and goodness. 
He made man perfect, as a part of this perfect world, and set 
him here to see, and love, and honour his Creator, as beholding 
him in the face of this glorious creation. So that it was man's 
duty to read this l)ook, and find, and honour, God in all. But 
man stopped in the creature itself, and overlooked God, and so 


fell from God to the creature. Jesus Christ having undertaken 
the restoring us unto God, doth not destroy, but restore this 
creation : God is still our Maker ; we have still the book of the 
creature before us, though blotted by the just punishment of 
our sin. It is still our duty to study, see, and admire God in 
this creation : though we have another work, even of redemp- 
tion, to admire, and the Lord's day specially appointed for that, 
yet doth not that destroy the former, but advance it. We are 
brought back to the Creator by Christ the Redeemer, and bound 
now to magnify him for the works of creation, as much as 
before. It is a great sin of many, and most Christians, that 
they forget this, or make so little conscience of it. 

If you say, ' But what is all this to the matter of human 
learning ?* I answer that in the next consideration. 

4. Consider, that which you call human learning, is either 
the knowledge of things or words. It is honourable, in that it 
is knowledge ; for ignorance and darkness is the kingdom of 
Satan. That learning, which consisteth in knowing things, is 
first and principally about the nature of them, to know what 
they are : and this, you see, we are directed to in the word 
of God, and by the book of the creature, which showeth itself 
to us. So that our physics, which is a great part of human 
learning, is but the knowledge of God's admirable works ; and 
hath any man the face to call himself God's creature, and yet 
to reproach it as vain human learning, if any shall know the 
glorious works of his Creator ? The like 1 may say about the 
quantities and (|ualities of these works, and the uses of them 
for man's good, which take up the rest of the sciences and arts, 
which you call human learning, about things. And is this to 
be blamed, which the very word and works of God commend ? 
Why, man, darest thou say that God hath made any thing, 
which it is a dishonour for us to study and know, except his 
secrets, which we cannot know ? 

Indeed, if any would pry into these secrets, or pretend to 
know more of God's works than he doth or can know, or do de- 
liver his ungrounded conceits as certainties, or do lav more 
necessity or excellency in the knowledge of smaller things than 
of great, or do take up in the creature, and study it but for itself, 
and the mere delight or honour of knowing, and do not look 
to God, and search after him in all his works, or if he do not 
employ his learning and knowledge, when he hath it, to God's 
service, but to sin, or to his own vain-glorious ends : in any of 

\OL. XX. Q 

186 THE spirit's witness to 

these cases, I excuse no learned men ; but this is but the abuse 
of learning. I confess it is too commonly so abused, and our 
books have too much vanities and uncertainties ; but meat and 
drink is as much abused as learning, and yet you despise it not 
as needless. It is true, also, that many heathens excelled in this 
learning, and that they abused it in these above-said ways : but 
yet it was a divine light that manifested so much of truth, even 
to these men ; and it was God's truth which they received by 
the study of the creatures, though they detained it in unright- 
eousness. Yea, so much excellency was in it, that the abuse of 
it will leave them without excuse, though they never had the 
Scriptures, nor heard of Christ. " For that which may be known 
of God, is manifest in them, for God hath showed 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." (Rom. i. 19, 20.) And dare you vilify that learning 
that so clearly giveth us the knowledge of the invisible things of 
God ? You see, then, the study of God's works is a Christian's 

And for the other part of learning, the knowledge of words, 
our sin and natural infirmity have made it a matter of that ne- 
cessity. We cannot converse together without understanding 
one another's speeches. 

This learning, which consisteth in the knowledge of words, is 
either the knowledge of their signification, either primitive and 
proper, or borrowed and improper ; to which uses are grammar 
and rhetoric ; or else the knowledge of their disposition, and use 
in reasoning, and directing, or expressing the mind, which logic 
performeth. And is there any man so unreasonable as to think 
either of these unnecessary ? Is it not needful to understand 
the signification of Scripture words and phrases, before we can 
understand the matter by those words ? And is it not needful 
to discern when men do reason solidly, and when they jangle 
and miss the matter, or cunningly deceive ? When men speak 
sense, and when they speak nonsense ? What is a man without 
words, sense, or reason, but a beast ? A grammarian is one that 
knows the meaning of the words, and a logician, one that knows 
how to use them reasonably. And would you be without either 
of these ? If any abuse these to cavilling sophistry, that is no 
more reason against the right use of them, than that men should 
not use reason, because bad men do abuse it. Consider, there- 


forej what leaniing, true learning, is, and then you will see that 
there is small reason to contemn it. When men speak against 
a thing before they know what it is, no wonder if they know not 
what they say. 

5. The angels, and the glorified spirits of the just, know more 
of God's works, and all these words and matters in question, 
than the greatest scholar on earth doth, and if you come to 
heaven, you will know more yourselves, at least of that much 
which will then be useful to be known. And will you despise 
that knowledge, as human, which is angelical, and wherein the 
most perfect do most excel ? 

tJ. Can you understand any Scripture, without the help of 
this learning, in yourselves, or others ? The Spirit delivered it 
to the world in Greek and Hebrew, can you so understand it, 
before it is translated ? If not, then the knowledge of those 
tongues is necessary in the translators. And would you have us 
so wholly take up all on trust from them, from age to age ever 
after, as not to know whether they translate it true or false ; 
or whether there be any such thing as they tell us ? If you 
yourselves must take it upon trust, from those that do under- 
stand it, when you do not, methinks you should so much the 
more honour and reverence them, whom you are fain to be so 
much beholden to, and whom you must trust in a matter of such 
concernment to your salvation ; as, whether ever any of this was 
in the text of the Hebrew and Greek, which you find in the 
English ? Sure that which is so laudable to the translators, is 
not to be contemned in your teachers. 

What if the Rhemist papists tell you, that the Bible is falsely 
translated, I pray you what answer will you give them, if none 
of your teachers knew it to be otherwise, whose words you must 
take as credible persons ? Send a Hebrew and Greek Bible 
into Wales or Ireland, and when that converteth souls without 
an interpreter, then I will begin to think learning less necessary : 
yea, or when yourselves can so understand it. Beside?, if there 
be not some knowledge of the situation of jjlaces, of the customs 
and state of that country, of the proverbial speeches of those 
times and places, with divers like things, it is not probable that 
you should understand much of the Scriptures. 

7. Consider well, to what use and end it is, that the Spirit of 
holiness is sent, and then you will never think that this Spirit 
will serve you without common learning. This sanctifying 
Spirit is given to sanctify, that is, to give us the saving know- 



ledge of God by the in;;erpreted or expounded word, and to draw 
up our hearts from the creature to him, and to conform us to 
our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we have beheved : but it is not 
the office of this spirit of holiness, as such, to teach men the 
knowledge of all natural truths, or the signification of words 
and phrases. Many thousands that have the Spirit cannot un- 
derstand a Hebrew or Greek Bible, nor could they have told, by 
this time, how the year, or the week, goes about, nor how many 
years have been since Christ, nor what a year is, nor what day of 
the week goes over their heads, if they had never had the help 
of astronomers or learned men. The Spirit of holiness is given 
to bring men safe to heaven, and so it will do ; but not to make 
them understand every natural or theological truth. 

8. Consider : your very learning to speak, or read, or write, is 
as much human learning as the learning to know the nature of 
creatures, and sense of strange languages : and if you renounce 
these, which you neither have by nature or grace, what persons 
would you be ? You may as well say, therefore, that the Spirit 
will serve without learning to write, or read, or speak ; for the 
difference of the cases is only in degree, and not in kind. 

9. Consider well that there are several employments that 
God hath for men in the world, and in the church; and, accord- 
ingly, there are several gifts of the Spirit. For salvation, he 
giveth the Spirit of saving grace, which shall teach men effec- 
tually the need of Christ, the evil of sin, and the like, but not 
every other truth. Those whom he will employ as interpreters of 
Scripture, and teachers, and guides to others, he will furnish 
with gifts that are necessary for such employments. And a man 
may teach others, that may not be sanctified or saved himself; 
and many are sanctified and saved that are unfit to teach others. 
Are all prophets ? Are all apostles ? Are all teachers ? Is all 
the body an eye, or hand ? God may give teachers a spirit of 
teaching, and he gave Saul a spirit of government, and many 
wicked men, in the first age, a spirit of teaching, interpreting 
tongues, miracles ; and deny these to better men, because he 
intendeth not them to the same use. Public gifts are for public 

10. Consider, you must di>itingulsh between extensive and in- 
tensive knowledge; between knowing more and more truths; 
and knowing the same truths better, and more effectually. The 
Spirit of holiness is not given, to know more truths by, than an 
unsanclified man can know, but to know the same better. You 


cannot name any truth which a gracious man knoweth, but an 
hypocrite may have a speculative knowledge of the same, and 
say the same words concerning it, as he can say. But grace 
makes a man know that heartily and affectingly, which another 
knows but superficitiUy : but though the Spirit cause not the 
sanctified to know any man more for number of truths than an 
hypocrite may know; yet the commoner gifts of the Spirit, by 
study and learning, cause many ungodly men to know many 
truths, which thousands of the godly never knew : which truths, 
in their place, are usual and excellent. 

11. Consider that it is the work of the Spirit of holiness to 
cause you savingly to know, at least, fundamentals, and the sub- 
stance of christian religion ; but it belongs more to learning and 
a commoner gift of the Spirit to enable men to defend these same 
fundamentals in disputation against an adversary, and orderly, 
methodically, and aptly to teach them to others, and rationally 
to explain them. 

12. It is the work of the Spirit of holiness to give men saving 
grace in possession, but it more belongs to the common gifts of 
wit and learning, to define or describe these same graces, or 
movingly to talk of them. Many a man that never had faith or 
love, can give you a true definition of faith and love ; and many 
a man that hath them cannot tell you what they be. Thousands 
believe savingly, that have not wit enough to tell you truly 
what believing is ; and many thousands have the Spirit that 
know not what the Spirit is. So that an unsanctified man may 
more truly, and more exactly describe any grace, by the help of 
learning, than you have it by the Spirit of holiness, though you 
feel the powerful effects of it, which he never felt. I can give a 
truer description of any county in England, and the distance of 
one town from another by my maps, though I know not the 
places, than most men that live in those counties that do, be- 
cause they know but a smaller part of it; and yet they know 
their own homes better, and their knowledge is more sensible 
and experimental, and beneficial to them. 

And, by the way, you may hence perceive that ministers or 
others should be very cautious how they cast any from church or 
communion, because they cannot tell them how they were con- 
verted, or what failh, or love, or holiness is. Seeing the Spirit 
gives these graces to many, to whom he gives not wit to define 
them, nor words to tell you what they do know of them. Their 
lives will tellyou better than their tongues,whether they be sincere. 

190 THE spirit's witness to 

Obj. But how can men have faith, or love, that know not 
what it is ? 

Answ. They feel how it works within them, but they cannot 
describe it to themselves, or others. Are not divines themselves 
disagreed about the definitions of faith, repentance, and almost 
all graces ? May not millions of poor men have health of bodv, 
that cannot tell you what health is ; and have the humours in 
right temper that cannot tell you what those humours are ? 
How little know we what our own natural, animal, or vital spirits 
are ; how our food is concocted ; how sanguification, and carni- 
fication are effected ; how little know we of the soul itself, by 
which we know, and the life by which we live ? What wonder, 
then, if a man have grace, that knows but little what grace is ? 
as one saith, (Lod. Vives,) " God gave man a soul to use, rather 
than to know." So I may say of grace, God gives men grace to 
use, rather than to know, define, describe, or dispute about. 

13. It is not tlie work of the Snirit, at least ordinarilv, to 
teach men any particular truths, but what mere experience 
teacheth, without the use of outward means, by the industry 
and study of ourselves, or others, or both : but the Spirit work- 
eth by these, and blesseth these to you. Every godly man hath 
more love to truth in general, and is more disposed to the re- 
ception of it, than others ; and by the consideration of the fun- 
damentals, the Spirit hath given him the knowledge of them : 
but as it was not without their own consideration, that the first 
were known, so are they not actually acquainted with all truths, 
that after they shall know. It is not the work of the Spirit, to 
tell you the meaning of Scripture, and give you the knowledge 
of divinity, without your own study and labour, but to bless 
that study, and give you knowledge thereby. Did not Christ 
open the eyes of the man born blind, as suddenly, as wonder- 
fully, and by as little means, as vou can expect to be illumi- 
nated by the Spirit ? And yet that man could not see any 
distant object out of his reach, till he took the pains to travel 
to it, or it was brought to him, for all his eyes were opened. 
When he was newly healed, he could not have told what was 
done in Samaria, nor seen what was in Jericho, nor what a 
town Tyre or Sidon was, unless he would be at the pains to 
travel thither. And if he would see Rome, he must be at so 
much more pains, as the place was more distant. Would you 
have been so silly as to say, ' This man can presently see Sa- 
maria, Tyre, Rome, because Christ hath opened his eyes?' So 


is it here. If Christ have anointed your eyes with the eye salve 
of the Spirit, and removed the inward impediments of your 
sight, yet it is not that you may presently know all truths, 
which you never heard of, or read of, or studied to know. You 
must study, and study again ; and the further off, and more 
difficult the truths are, the more must you study, and then ex- 
pect to know by the blessing of the Spirit : let experience 
witness. Did you not hear all those truths which you know 
from the mouth of some teacher, or other person, or else con- 
sider and study of them yourselves, before you came to know 
them by the Spirit ? Go not, then, out of God's way, if you 
expect his blessing. 

14. Doth not experience commonly tell you, that men know 
Hiore that study and have learning, than those that do not ? 
Are not the ministers and other learned men, and godly people, 
that have studied the Scriptures long, the most knowing people 
in England? Nothing but mad ignorance or impudence can deny 
it. What man breathing knew as much the first hour he received 
the Spirit, as he doth after many years' study and diligent labour? 

15. To reject study on pretence of the sufficiency of the 
Spirit, is to reject the Scripture itself : for as a man rejecteth 
his land that refuseth to till it, or rejecteth his meat if he refuse 
to eat it, though he praise it never so much ; so doth he reject 
the Scripture that refuseth to study it, or to study that which 
must first be known, or is necessary thereto. Meditation 
digesteth the word, which else is cast up again. 

Obj. We would have men study Scripture, but not human 

Answ. You would have men study Scripture, but not learn 
to understand the words of it, or the languages it was written 
in ? What a contradiction is that. You would have men 
study God's word, and not his works ? The book of super- 
natural revelation, and not the book of nature ; as if both were 
not God's, or both our duty ? 

Obj. Let men study the works of God, and spare not, but 
not books of human learning. 

Answ. May we not take the help of those that have studied 
the same works l)efore us ? Then, if every man must begin 
all anew, and must make use of no other man's helps and ex- 
periments, we shall know but little, and knowledge will make 
but a pitiful progress. If we may take the help of men by 
talking with them, why not by reading their writings ? How- 

192 THE spirit's witness to 

ever, it seems you will allow us tutors in human learning. Hath 
not God made men to be helpful to one another, and comnui- 
nicative of their knowledge? If these wise objectors knew not 
of any place or country in the world, but what themselves have 
seen, or of any actions in former ages, or later, but what they 
were eve witnesses of, what moles would thev be ? You mav 
next persuade us to creep into our mothers' wombs again, and 
refuse human help to come forth. If you will read or talk with 
travellers, to know what is in other parts of the world ; and 
read history to know what is in other ages of the world : why 
may not we read and hear philosophers, to know what they 
have found out about the nature of the creatures ? 

If you would never know any thing in physic by any books or 
teachings of those before you, that have learned more than you, 
but every man must begin all again himself, how many would such 
physicians murder; and what sots would they be ! If you knew 
no more in astronomy, about the motions of the sun, moon, &;c., " 
the times and seasons, than you can find out yourselves by the 
observation of the heavens, what wise astronomers would you be ! 
What forgetful men are our enemies to human learning, that 
think the Spirit enough without it; that yet thev will every year 
buy a new almanac ! Away with them hereafter, or else away 
with your folly ; for, certainly, almanacs are certain parcels of 
the most aspiring, human learning, such as they are. 

16. Consider whether, under pretence of magnifying the Spirit, 
you do not bewray most notorious pride in the magnifying of 
yourselves, and the contempt of those whom you are bound to 
learn of. Is it not palpable pride for you that never bestowed 
the twentieth part of the study and pains, as the ministers of the 
Gospel have done, to understand the Scripture, to be conceited 
that you understand it as well as thev? Is it a knowledge that 
comes irrationally into man, he knows not how, when he never 
mindeth it ? Is not the Spirit and diligent study together, like 
to do more for increase of knowledge than the Spirit will do 
■without such studies ? WHiy should you, in proud censorious- 
ness, think that godly teachers have not the Spirit as well as 
you ? They value it as much; they prav as hard for the Spirit ; 
they confess the need of it as much as you ; they have the same 
God, the same Christ, and the same promise as you; they show 
forth the fruits of it in holiness as much as you ; and vet proud 
men dare lift up themselves in l)oasting of the Spirit, and des- 
pising their godly, painful teachers, as being without the Spirit : 


not only saying, as Korah and his conspirators, ' Ye take too 
much upon you ; are not all the Lord's j)eople holy ?' but also 
saying, ' It is only the people that are holy, and the priests are 
unholy.' And when all is done they can give no other proof of 
it, but either some common, human frailties, or the falls of some 
few, or the wickedness of the ungodly ones whom their faithful 
teachers are as willing to cast out as they, and whom they dis- 
own as well as they do. You will confess that a man that hath 
studied physic all his days, is likely to be a better physician 
than you that never studied it ; and a man that hath studied 
law, is likely to be a better lawyer ; and that he were a proud 
man that would say, ' Though I never studied these things, yet 
by the Spirit I know them as well as you.' And you would see 
your pride as well in this case of theology, if you did but know 
and consider that the Spirit worketh by means and man's in- 
dustry ; and that the gift of interpretation, understanding lan- 
guages, and the creatures, is not a gift of sanctitication, but 
such as is common to unsanctified men, and especially to make 
men useful to others, and publicly serviceable to the godly where 
they live. 

17. It is God's command that ministers should study to show 
themselves workmen that need not be ashamed, and to divide 
aright the word of truth. (1 Tim. iv. 15.) And give them- 
selves wholly to these things. (2 Tim. ii. 15.) And all Chris- 
tians that will have knowledge must " apply their heart, and 
incline their ear to it ; they must cry after knowledge, and lift 
up their voice for understanding : they must seek her as silver, 
and search for her, as for hidden treasure ; and then, in this way. 
they shall understand the fear of the Lord, and find the know- 
ledge of God : for the Lord (thus) giveth wisdom, out of his 
mouth Cometh knowledge and understanding." (Prov. ii. 2 
. — 6.) It is the description of the godly blessed man, (Psalm 
i,) that he doth meditate in God's law day and night ; and 
therefore he doth not expect, that the Spirit should teach it to 
him, or give him the fruits of it, while he is at no labour to 
procure it, but forgetteth or neglecteth it : and for the study 
of the holy languages, and God's works, I have proved it our 
duty before. So that you may see, that they who pretend the 
Spirit as sufficient without hard studies and learning, they con- 
tradict the Scriptures which the Spirit did endite, and so make 
the Spirit contrary to the Spirit, lint we will believe the Spirit 
in the word, rather than that in them. 

194 THE spirit's witness to 

18. The Scriptures plainly tell us, that there are several 
ages of men in Christ, some babes, some young men, and some 
fathers; (I John ii. 12, 13 ; 1 Cor. iii. 1 ;) and that they 
are to grow by degrees, according to their time and standing 
in the church, from one age to another, and from lesser know- 
ledge unto more. " For when for the time ye ought to be 
teachers, ye have need that one teach you again, which be the 
first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as 
liave need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that 
useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness, for he is a 
babe ; but strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, 
even those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised 
to discern both good and evil." (Heb. v. 1'2 — 14.) Note 
here, First, That there are some truths hard, and some easier ; 
some called strong meat, and some called milk. Secondly, 
That many may understand the easy principles, and feed on the 
milk, who vet understand not the harder truths ; and vet both 
these sorts have the same Spirit : and therefore all that have 
the Spirit, understand not hard truths. Thirdly, Nay, these 
babes that have the Spirit, are said to be dull of hearing, and 
to have been long hearing from their teachers, and yet under- 
stand not ; so hardly did they learn, though they had both 
Spirit, word, and teachers. Fourthly, Note, that these young 
Christians, though they had the Spirit, must still live under 
men's teaching, for further knowledge. Fifthly, Specially note, 
that it was expected that they should have grown in knowledge, 
according to, first, their time, aiid standing in the church ; 
secondly, and according to their use and exercise of their senses 
to discern. So that for all men have the Spirit, yet God ex- 
pecteth not that they should be strong men in knowledge the 
first day ; nor understand hard truths, till they had time, teach- 
ing, and exercise ; yea. and oft they come short after all this, 
for want of their own use and exercise with diligence. 

Hence it is, that when Paul giveth direction, what kind of 
persons should be ordained bishops, he saith, " Not a novice, 
(that is, a late convert, or young Christian) lest being lifted up 
with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil." (1 Tim^ 
iii. 6.) It is here a matter well worthy your observation, 1. 
That young converts are not expected to have that measure of 
grace, as old, exercised Christians. 2. That young converts or 
novices, are far more apt and more likely to fall into the condem- 
nation of the devil, by being lifted up with pride, than old, ex- 


perienced Cliristians are. These things are not spoken in vain 
by the Spirit ; and these times have sadly manifested the truth 
of them, among us. The Lord teach young Christians to lay 
them seasonably to heart. 

Nay, further, note this, if it were the work of the Spirit to 
give so full a measure of knowledge at the first to every one 
that hath it, as these think, then how could any of those Scrip- 
ture passages be true, that tell us the saints do grow and in- 
crease, and that it is the nature of grace so to do ; that at first 
it is as a grain of mustard seed : and we are commanded "To 
grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ." (2 Pet. iii. IS.) Doth not all this plainly show, that 
grace is usually least at first, and must be still on the thriving 
hand ; and so must our knowledge. How, then, can young, 
inexperienced Christians think, that because they have the 
Spirit, they must know as much as their teachers, who have 
had longer time, and greater helps and studies. 

19. Consider, also, that so great is the deceitfulness of the 
heart of man, and so cunningly doth the devil transform him- 
self into an angel of light, to deceive men, that it is the easiest 
matter in the world for a man to be confident that he hath 
the Spirit of God, when it is only his own proud imagination, or 
a spirit of delusion. The midtitudes of heretics in the first 
ages of the church, did seem to have much of an extraordinary 
spirit, but it proved a wicked spirit, by their wicked doctrines 
and lives, even from Simon Magus, their leader, to many ge- 
nerations after him. Those men have not most of the Spirit 
that boast most of it; nor are they ever the more likely to have it, 
for quick concluding that other men are without it, whose hearts 
they know not. It is the easiest matter in the world to boast 
of the Spirit, and reproach another as carnal ; but it is those 
that have the Spirit indeed, who have the fruits of the Spirit, 
and those have the greatest measure of it, that abound most in 
these ; they that have the most effectual apprehensions of the 
greatness, and goodness, and wisdom of God ; of their own sin, 
and the need of Chiist and grace ; of the truth and excellency 
of the life to come, and the vanity of this life : they that are 
most conformed to Christ in humility, meekness, and lowliness of 
mind, esteeming others above themselves, and serving one 
another in love ; that have most hatred to sin, and care to 
subdue it, and victory over it, and can most deny the flesh its 
unjust desires ; that are mean in their own eyes, and seem fitter 

11)6 THE spirit's witness TO 

to themselves to learn than to teaclij in honour preferring one 
another; that are most sensible of the excellency of the unity 
of the church, and Christ's order therein ; and therefore most 
abhor division and unjust separations; and that most willingly 
obey their overseers in the Lord, and submit to their just 
guidance, and love one another ; that have the sweetest and 
most serious use of God's ordinances, and the greatest delight 
in God himself, and readiness to die ; these are they that have 
most of the Spirit : but, alas ! most that now boast of it, to 
the contempt of their guides, how far are they from this state \ 
What railing accusations do they fill their writings and speeches 
with, most unlike to the language of the Spirit of Christ. 
What impotent slaves are they to their passions ; and what 
proud boasters, and what despisers of government, unruly and 

20. Lastly, consider whether it be not a most vile abuse of 
the Spirit of God, to make it a patron and shelter of idleness ; 
besides the other fore-mentioned evils. God sets men to search 
the Scriptures, to seek, and cry, and dig for knowledge ; to 
inquire of teachers and one another ; to meditate and study 
the Scripture day and night, that their profiting may be known 
to all : and these wretched souls will not only disobey God, and 
indulge their flesh by ease and idleness, thinking these labo- 
rious studies too dear a price to pay for knowledge, or too hard 
a means to use in subserviency to the Spirit ; but besides this 
carnal contempt of the light, they will reproach those that are 
more diligent and studious than themselves, and most impu- 
dently lay their own fault on their teachers ; calling them, 'Lazy 
drones and idle ;' because they spend their life and strength in 
most laborious studies, and searching of the Scripture, and 
because they do not leave this work to go to thresh or plough, as 
if that were the harder and more needful work for them that 
have set their hands to the plough of Christ : and, yet, which 
is the very top of their wickedness, they dare father all this 
upon the Spirit ; as if labour and study were needless, because 
they have the Spirit. Is it not enough for you to despise God 
and his word by your fleshly ease and idleness, refusing to study 
and meditate on Scripture day and night, but you must also 
blame them that are at more pains than yourselves ; yea, 
impudently blame them for your fault of idleness ; yea, and 
pretend the Spirit for all this wickedness. No wonder if God 
be avenged on such dealings, by giving you up to a spirit, that 


indeed doth befriend and own your own course. In the first 
part, yow imitate the ungodly world, who will not only refuse 
godliness themselves, as too grievous to their flesh, but also 
reproach them that will not do so too ; and so you will not 
only refuse the pains of studying the word and works of God, 
but reproach those that refuse it not as you do ; but then you 
doublv exceed other ungodly ones, for they are not so shame- 
less as to charge the godly, just with their own crime of profane- 
ness, much less to father their wickedness on God's ^Spirit. 

I know you use to allege that of Christ to his disciples, 
" Take no thought what to answer, for in that hour it shall be 
given you." But consider, 1. This was part of the extraordi> 
nary gift of the Spirit, proper to those times for the sealing up 
of Scripture. Those apostles had the use of languages without 
study; must not we, therefore, study for them ? who then should 
have translated you the Bible ? 2. What, if God encourage us 
yet, to take no thought what to answer a persecutor, or (as Dan. 
iii.,) "not to be careful to answer them in that matter, as trusting 
Christ with our cause and lives;" doth it follow, that, therefore, 
we must take no thought what to preach or pray, or how to 
understand the word aright ; when Scripture hath expressly 
commanded the contrary : " Meditate upon these things; give 
thyself wholly to them, (what time then shall we have to thresh ?) 
that thy profiting may appear to all : take heed unto thyself, 
and unto the doctrine, and continue therein ; for in doing this 
(in this painful way of study, and not in idleness) thou shalt 
both save thyself and them that hear thee." (1 Tim. iv. 15 ; 2 
Tim. ii. 15; Josh. i. 8, Psalms i., ii., cxix. 97, 99; 148, and 
cxliii. 5.) 

I have said more than at first I intended on this point, be- 
cause of our sad experience of the common abuse of such con- 
ceits of the spirit, and because of tlie lamentable success which 
the deceiving spirit now hath through this nation ; such as I 
scarce ever heard, or read of in any credible history. 

Yet again I will say, that there is no reason in all this, why 
any should deny the Spirit in the saints, or think that all do 
falsely pretend to it because some do, or that there is no such 
thing because some falsely boast of it : the best things may be 
abused, and the al)use of them is most dangerous, 'i'he Spirit 
saveth some, but is falsely pretended to by others ; even as the 
name of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, is made by wicked 
men the common cloak for their sins, and thev ])retend them-« 

198 THE spirit's witness to 

selves to be Christians and God's servants, as confidently as those 
that are so. But it doth not thence follow, that God hath no 
servants on earth, or that there are no true Christians. Wiiat, 
if the devil, wiio is an enemy to God, will say he is God, and 
engage witches and wicked men to worship him as God, (as in 
the heathen idols he did,) will you, therefore, say that there is no 
God, because of the devil's false pretences ? So what if the 
same devil transform himself into a spirit of light and righteous- 
ness, and so go forth, and be a lying spirit in the mouths of 
deluded ones, and say that he is the Spirit of God, will you, 
therefore, conclude that there is no Spirit of God ? Then you 
let the devil have his will, if he can so far wrong the Spirit, and 
blind you to your destruction. 

Sect. XXIV. 

I should add here yet one other use of the point in hand. If 
the Spirit of holiness be such a witness to Christ, and such an 
advantage to the soul, against all temptations to infidelity, then 
you may see that all quenching and grieving the Spirit of grace, 
hath a tendency to infidelity itself, and doth obscure Christ's 
testimony that is within us, and so weaken our faith. And, 
therefore, what wonder if loose and careless professors of Chris- 
tianity do stagger at the truth of God's word, or be weak in the 
belief of it? And what apparent need is there that all Chris- 
tians should be very obedient to the Spirit, and take heed of 
the frame of their hearts and lives, lest they roll themselves 
into infidelity before they think of it, or know where they are. 
By these several ways, doth wilful sinning, and neglect of our 
hearts and lives, lead men towards infidelity itself. 

1. By blotting out that evidence which was within them, of 
the truth of Christ, and so leaving it so dark, that they can 
hardly discern it. When they have weakened, and blurred their 
own graces, and too much defaced the image of Christ within 
them, then it is easier than before to bring them to doubt whether 
the Gospel have such noble effects : whether grace be so real a 
prevailing power : whetiier it be any more than the fruit of men's 
education or industry, or some melancholy disposition, or acci- 
dental and common alteration on the mind ? They can judge 
of it sensibly no otherwise than as they find it themselves, and 
weak grace is next to none. And thus they lose their precious 
advantages, and lay open their souls to the vilest of temptations. 

2. A careless life and wilful sinning do tend to infidelity, 


by weakening tlie faith itself by which they should believe. Not 
only blotting Christ's evidence within them, but also blinding 
their own eyes, and disabling themselves from that act by which 
it must be discerned. For as all other graces, so faith itself 
will decay, as the strength of sin increaseth. No wonder, then, 
if such complain of blasphemous suggestions, and darkness of 
evidence of the truth of the word, and that they are assaulted 
with doubtings about it, when they have cast this dust into their 
own eyes, or drawn this web over them. It must be a clear eye 
that must discern supernatural mysteries, and the things of 
another world. Had you obeyed Christ and his Spirit, in holy 
diligence, and an even conversation, you might have had all 
your graces thrive, and faith with the rest, and so have been 
better able to believe ; and then that would have appeared an 
evident truth to you, which now you look at with wavering 

3. When men have taken to a course of wilful sinning, they 
grieve and quench that Spirit which must help them in believing, 
and therefore no wonder if they believe but weakly, without this 
help. I do not here consider the Spirit objectively, as I did 
before, in the fruits of it, but efficiently or actively, as that which 
must breathe upon his own graces, and assist the soul in the very 
exercise of them. How can you look when you have dealt 
so unkindly with the Spirit, that it should keep back the 
tempter, or clear your eyes and help your faith ? What wonder 
if that faith be weak which is a fruit of the Spirit, when you 
have so far provoked the Spirit himself to depart ? You make 
but an ill combat- with the tempter, if you drive away this guide. 
If you defile his house and temple, no wonder if he leave you 
in the dark. 

4. If you once take to a course of wilful sinning, you will 
contract such a love to your sin, that it will breed an unwill- 
ingness in you (so far as it prevails) to believe the word of God 
to be true ; because you would not leave your sin, you will be 
loth that word should prove true, that would separate you 
from it. (John iii. 19.) When men's deeds are evil, no wonder 
if they love darkness rather than light : and your wills do much 
to master your understanding. 

5. By wilful sinning you wound the conscience, and bring 
yourselves again under the terrors of God, and darken the evi- 
dences of your interest in his special love, and bring yourselves 
into doubting of your own salvation. And all this hath a plain 

200 THE svi hit's witness to 

tendency to infidelity : for if once you find your condition so 
sad, you will begin to wish that God's threatenings were not 
true, that so they might not fall ujdou yourself. When you 
once think, that if God's word be true, you are undone, it will 
sorely tempt you to wish it were not true. And if you do but 
once wish it false, the devil may the more easily tempt you to 
l)elieve it is false : for he hath a great advantage when he hath 
got so much room in a man's will. And a man will far more 
easily believe what he would have to be true, than what he 
would not: experience tells us this. It is a great power that 
the will hath upon the understanding in judging and believing. 
It will cause a man to study for reasons to delude himself, and 
take a seeming reason for current, and gladly hearken to any 
one that will seduce him, by speaking that which he would have 
to be true. It will make him snatch at any show of an argu- 
ment, and stop his ears against all that is said against it. It 
will make him look on the clearest evidence for truth, with so 
much prejudice and passion, that it will be unlikely to convince 
him, till God shall set in for the penal manifestation of his 
justice, or by a gracious conviction for his recovery. 

Hence it is that we so ordinarily find, that a galled conscience 
by wilful, heinous sin, is as great a leader of men to infidelity, as 
the mere force of the most subtile, argumentative deceits. When 
a man that seemed religious, and believed in a sort that Scrip- 
ture was true, shall secretly or openly live in whoredom, drunken- 
ness, deceit, and unjust gain, or any the like wasting, crying sin, 
when conscience is still gnawing him, and frighting him with the 
thoughts of judgment and everlasting five; so that the man must 
needs believe one of the two, either that Scripture is false, or 
that he is in danger of being undone for ever : no wonder if 
he choose the former, and turn his ear to seekers and infidels, and 
pick up some crumbs of comfort from their dung. Men are 
naturally loth to judge hardly of themselves, or to believe that 
which is against them, and concludeth them miserable. They 
first consider what they would have to be true, before they con- 
sider what is true indeed ; and by such foolish devices they keep 
up a little quiet in their minds for a while, and keep off tlie 
terrors of execution by persuading themselves that there will be 
no assize. But, O how short, how sad a kind of ease is this 1 
How much better were it, to open the windows of the soul, and 
freely let in the light of Christ, and patiently consider of the 
worst, while there is remedy, and believe the threatening, while 


the execution may be i)revented, than to find it all remedilessly 
true, when it is too late. Ignorance or unbelief of certain danger 
is a poor way of escape. If it were but a sudden death that 
made an end of them it were some ease to die unexpectedly, 
and not to know or believe till they feel the stroke ; for then the 
foregoing- fears would be put by ; but this will be the increase 
of a perpetual misery, when men shall have everlasting leisure to 
review their folly, and to bethink themselves that they might 
have escaped if they would have believed the danger in time, 
and so have applied themselves for the prevention. 

Sect. XXV. 

Hence, also, you may further see how incompetent judges unu 
godly men are of the truth of Scripture and christian religion, 
and how little the contradiction of such opposers should be re- 
garded. You see how incapable an unsanctified heart and a 
wicked life do make them of a sound, effectual belief, till God 
set in with his special grace ; and, therefore, if multitudes of 
such, both Jews and heathens, believe not the Gospel, but op- 
pose and persecute it, it is no wonder. If you say, ' This is to 
disclaim all witnesses but those of your own mind ; why may 
not other men see the truth of your Gospel, if it be true indeed ? ' 
I answer : it is not to disclaim men because they are not already 
of our mind, but because, by a vicious heart and life, they made 
it so easy for themselves to be deceived. If Christ's doctrines 
were but as the common precepts of philosophy, which man's 
nature and carnal interest did little contradict, then you might 
indeed think that one man might as well believe it as another ; 
but Christ comes with his doctrine as a physician, to heal and 
save men's souls, and therefore finds them all that he comes to, 
under those diseases which have a contrariety and loathing of his 
medicines accompanying them. The temper of their corrupted 
hearts is against his truths. It is no more wonder if such believe 
not in Christ, than if a sick stomach abhor or cast up its physic. 
If the philosophers themselves affirm, that young men of un- 
tamed passions are unmeet auditors of moral philosophy, we may 
well say that carnal men of earthly, blinded minds, and unmor- 
tified lusts, are unmeet judges of christian verities 3 and such 
were all that ever rejected or opposed Christianity. It is true 
that those which were converted by it were ill judges of this 
doctrine too, till God enlightened them ; but free-grace did, by 
the word, cause them to believe the word, and so make them 


202 THE spirit's witness, &:c. - 

more able to discern between truth and falsehood, in matters of 
that nature, for the time to come. 

Sect. XXVI. 

Lastly, it is hence apparent also, that the way to have the 
firmest belief of the christian faith, is to draw near and taste, 
and try it, and lay bare the heart to receive the impression of 
it, and then, by the sense of its admirable effects, we shall know 
that which bare speculation could not discover. Though there 
must be a belief on other grounds first, so much as to let in the 
word into the soul, and to cause us to submit our hearts to its 
operations, yet it is this experience that must strengthen it, and 
confirm it. " If any man do the will of Christ, he shall know 
that his doctrine is of God." (John vii. 17.) The melody 
of music is better known by hearing it, than by reports of it ; 
and the sweetness of meat is known better by tasting, than by 
hearsay ; though upon report we may be drawn to taste and 
try. So is there a spiritual sense in us of the effects of the 
Gospel on our own hearts, which will cause men to love it, and 
hold it fast against the cavils of deceivers, or the temptations 
of the great deceiver. 

So much of this witness within us, as far as concerneth our 
present design, viz., the strengthening of believers against temp- 
tations to infidelity. 

And oh, that my dear Redeemer would pour out upon my 
soul a fuller measure of his Spirit, to enlighten and enliven me, 
and make me more conformable to his image and will, and to 
keep continual possession within me for himself; that T might 
always bear about me a living, effectual testimony of Christ in 
my breast; and may have yet more of this advantage against 
temptations, which I have here opened unto others : and 
whatsoever I have spoken mistakingly of this Spirit, or defect- 
ively ajid unworthily of its admirable, curious, and yet unsearch- 
able works, the Lord of mercy forgive it, with the rest of my 
transgressions, in the blood of his well-beloved ! 











MATTHEW xii. 22—33. 

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and 
dumb : and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb 
both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, andsaid^ 
Is this the Son of David ? But when the Pharisees heard it, 
they said. This man casteth not out devils but by Beelzebub 
the prince of the devils. And Jesus kneiv their thoughts, and 
said unto them. Every kingdom divided against itself is brought 
to desolation ; and every city or house divided against itself 
shall not stand : and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided 
against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand ; and if I 
by Beelzebub cast out devils, by ivhom do yovr children cast 
them out ? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I 
cast out devils by the Spi?'it of God, then tlie kingdom of God 
is come unto you. Or else, how can one enter into a strong 
man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the 
strong man ; and then he will spoil his house ? He that is 
not with me is against me, and tie that gathereth not with me 
scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of 
sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blas- 
phemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And 
whosoever speaketli a ivord against the Son of Man, it shall 
be forgiven him : but whosoever speaketh against the Holy 
Ghost, it shall not be forgiven Mm, neither in this world, 
neithe)' in the world to come. 

Because it hath pleabed God to make faith in his Son Jesus 
Christ, the means of" obtaining pardon of all other foregoing 
sins, it is the great design of the enemy of mankind to keep us 
from this faith, or to destroy it in the bud : and because God 
hath made the extrinsic witness of the Holy Ghost in his mighty 
and wonderful works,|to be the chief objective means, or last 



argument by which unbelievers may be convinced of the truth 
it is therefore the chief design of the devil to hide from men's 
eyes the force of this argument. To which end I have long 
observed that he proceedeth by these degrees. 1 . He labours, 
if it may be to keep men ignorant of the very matter of fact, 
that ever such works were done by Christ or his disciples. To 
which purpose, if he can, he will keep from them the Gospel 
itself. If not, he will cause them to overlook and not observe 
these wonders which it doth contain. 2. If men must needs 
know the Gospel, what it saith of the glorious works of Christ, 
his next endeavour is to make them conceive that all the history 
of these wonders is fabulous, and that never any such things 
were done as is here reported. By this temptation he assaulteth 
but few learned men who are well versed in antiquities, and 
must know that, by abundant, unquestionable history, and the 
very confessions of the enemies, the report of these works have 
been brought down to our hands ; but rather he thus assaulteth 
the ignorant and half-witted men, who have gathered up a little 
of that knowledge which grew near to their own doors, but 
scarce knew what hath been done in other parts of the world, 
or what was done in any considerable time before them, espe- 
cially if he can once get them to distrust their guides, and per- 
suade them that nothing is to be taken upon trust from others, 
in such matters as our salvation is so much concerned in ; and 
so deprive them of the benefit of the knowledge of their teachers. 
Two sorts, therefore, are in greatest danger of this temptation. 
First, Those that are unreasonablv diffident of all men. Be- 
cause some are liars, therefore they will believe none ; and be- 
cause some histories are not to be credited, they will judge so of 
all. Having not judgment to discern between the credible and 
the incredible ; between that history which comes with evidence 
of truth and that which doth not ; nor between that which we 
have cause to suspect and that which we have not. Yet do they 
hold their lands and lives by men's testimony. Two witnesses 
may take away either ; which were an unjust constitution, were 
there not some natural credibility in men, and some natural 
friendship to truth as truth. If these men would believe no- 
body, and nobody believe them, how would they live and con- 
verse with mankind ? If one could thus persuade an obscure 
countrvman that no man is to be credited, you might easily 
persuade him that there is no such city as London, and no 
prince, no council, &c., and that we never had a king in England. 


There are some cases, wherein it is folly to believe men ; and some 
wherein it is a kind of madness not to believe, where the circum- 
stances are such as may plainly show us that there is no deceit. 
2. Those also are liable to this dangerous temptation, who 
have broken loose from under the guidance and reverence of their 
teachers, and have got contemptuous or suspicious thoughts of 
them ; by which they are rather induced to question a truths be- 
cause thev report it, than to believe them, as learners must do 
if they will profit. If the devil can once bring men into this 
unruliness and disorder, by their pride, so that they can know no 
more than their own reading or hearing with the ordinary help 
of the Spirit will afford them, and so lose the treasures of further 
knowledge, which is laid up for them in their guides, whose lips 
should preserve knowledge, and at whose mouth they should in- 
quire of the law; (Mai. ii. 6,7;) no wonder if such should 
question whether this which they read in English be the same 
Scriptures which were indited by the Spirit, and written at first 
in Hebrew and Greek. Much less can we marvel, if they be 
liable to sore temptations, when they read of Christ and his 
apostles, and their mighty works, to doubt whether ever 
there were such persons on earth, or whether they ever did 
such works or not. And we see already, by most fearful ex- 
perience, that those people who first cast off their guides, and 
received evil thoughts of them as men not to be credited, are 
many of them already turned infidels, and deny the Holy Scrip- 
tures to be true. God knew when he set up the office of pas- 
tors in his church, that common people would not all have 
hearts or time to use so much means for the obtaining of the 
full and settled knowledge of the matters of the christian faith, 
and thereunto belonging, as is necessary for the encountering of 
all sorts of temptations ; and therefore was it his will that some 
should wholly give themselves to this work; (1 Tim. iv. 15;) 
that they might be, by office, the helpers and strengtheners of 
their brethren ; and as men repair to physicians for advice for 
their bodies, and to lawyers for their estates, so they might do to 
their overseers and teachers for their souls ; and from them re- 
ceive help for the repelling of temptations, and for establishment 
in the faith. If one can make a silly countryman believe that 
lawyers are so false that none of them are to be credited, and 
that he should believe no man in such matters, you may next 
persuade him that all the laws of the land are counterfeit, and 
never made by king or parliament, because he never saw the 


records or rolls, or had opportunity himself to use those means 
that might fully satisfy him. 

It pleased Christ at first to do his works in the presence of 
some chosen witnesses, and before one nation or people, and to 
show himself, after his resurrection, but to some ; and to send 
them, as chosen witnesses to the rest of the world, and to re- 
quire the people, in all nations where they came, to believe their 
report. They could not at first hearing believe them as divine 
messengers, coming from God with extraordinary authority ; 
but thev must believe them as common men, about matters of 
fact with a human faith ; who still professed that they were eye- 
witnesses of Christ's resurrection, that they saw his works, and 
heard his words ; and then they brought them up to a divine 
faith, by a further divine evidence. That such things were 
indeed done and said, they believed on the credit of the eye and 
car-witnesses, having not opportunity of seeing and hearing 
themselves. That it was God that did and said them, they 
were convinced by the full evidence of divine wisdom, power, 
and holiness, that was in the words and deeds, the Spirit effect- 
ing that conviction : that the words of God were all true, they 
believed by a divine faith, because they were of God that can- 
not lie. So to this day God will have the first part to be 
handed down from the first witnesses by others, especially suc- 
ceeding officers appointed to that end. That the first witness 
did indeed give in to their successors both their verbal testi-^ 
mony, and also the testimony which we now deliver in the 
sacred writings, that these things were spoken and done, this 
people must receive much upon the credit of others, especially 
appointed by office to preserve and teach them. But that these 
works and words were of God, the vSpirit must persuade l)y 
showing them the divine evidence; and that they are true must 
be believed because they are of God. So that if God be pleased, 
from first to last, to make so much use of the witness of man, 
for the begetting of faith, it is no wonder if the tempter have 
much advantage to make those men infidels that despise their 
guides. And will not receive the just and uu{[uestionable testi- 
mony of men. 

3. The next and last shift of the devil is this : if he cannot 
keep men from believing that ever such works of Christ were 
done, and so cause them to discredit the matters of fact, then 
he will persuade them that God is not the author of them. For 
if man once discern that they are the works of God, he will not 


easily be persuaded that they are delusory or evil : as when 
once thev discern that the word is of God, they may well be- 
lieve that it must needs be true. For he that cannot believe 
that God is true of his word, and good in his works, can hardly 
believe that there is a God : which almost all the world do pro- 
fess to believe. 

That mere man is the author of such miracles is so utterly 
improbable and impossible, that I cannot find that the devil 
himself doth expect it should be credited, and therefore is not 
very industrious to persuade men to believe it. But all his 
drift is to draw men to believe that he himself is the author of 
them. As I find it in Scripture, so do I by constant observation 
of Satan's order and wiles in drawing men to infidelity, that this 
which I have laid down is his usual method. If he cannot 
keep men from knowing of Christ and his works, he would 
keep them from believing the truth of the report. If he can- 
not keep men from believing that such works Avere done, his 
last refuge is to persuade them that it was by witchcraft or some 
power of the devil, and not by God. And if you dispute with 
an infidel, Jew, or pagan, in this order must you be put to deal 
with them. You may rationally prove, from the most credible 
history, that Christ lived on earth, and wrought miracles, and 
died, and rose again, and appeared to more than five hundred 
brethren at once, and in the sight of his disciples ascended into 
heaven, and sent down the Spirit upon his disciples, causing 
them commonly to speak strange language, and to cast out 
devils, and work miracles for a long time, both far and near. 
You may make them confess all this, or deny as crediijle records 
as any are in the world : and so go against the most palpable 
light. And therefore the Jews do ordinarily yet confess either 
all or most, at least, except the resurrection of Christ. 

But then, the last fort that you must drive them out of is this, 
they tell you, 'The devil can do as much as all this; and he 
may do it for his own ends ; though we ourselves can do no 
such works : yet little do mortals know what invisible powers 
there are, or what an evil spirit may do ; and therefore these 
may be the works of the devil, as many the like are which are 
done by conjurers and witches.' 

I have thought meet, therefore, to speak somewhat on this 
subject, and to add it to the foregoing discourse. Though I 
easily foresee that it will be offensive to some, u-ho will say, 

1. That M-e do but bring scruples and temptations to men's 
mind, which else they might never think of. 


2. That Scripture is not to be proved, but to be believed. 
But the reasons of my resolution and endeavours herein are 
these : 

1. Because, if the foundation be not well laid, the building 
may be the easier shaken. Such Christians do soonest turn 
infidels, that were Christians they knew not why, or not ou 
sound grounds that will endure an assault. 

2. Because the lively exercise and prosperity of all graces 
doth much depend on the stability of our belief. 

3. Because I find that there are abundance of young stu- 
dents, and other Christians, assaulted with these temptations, 
of which I have heard many complain that dare not make them 
known to many. 

4. Because I have felt the experience in myself of the mali- 
cious suggestions of the tempter in these things. 

5. Because I see such abundance of people that lately seemed 
to believe the Scripture, and to live godly, to turn either pro- 
fessed infidels, or secret deriders of Scripture, or sceptics that 
know not whether it be true or false : who go under the names 
of libertines, familists, seekers, Behmenists, quakers, ranters, 
&c. And it were worth the labour if any of these might be 
recovered. If not, I think it is high time for us to stop up the 
breach, and if it may be, to prevent the apostasy of the rest, 
that we may not all turn infidels, while we zealously begin in 
contendings about inferior things. 

6. Because I find, as is said, that this is the devil's last as- 
sault ; and the last is usually the sorest : and the overcoming 
of the last is the conquering of the enemy, and the winning of 
the day. 

7. Because I find that those that are assaulted with this 
temptation are usually men that must see reason for what they 
hold : and if we can evince this, (which is far from being diffi- 
cult, in regard of evidence), that Christ's great works and his 
disciples, were done by the Holy Ghost, and not by evil spirits, 
then I think we show the credibility and certainty of the christ- 
ian religion, and that it hath evidence, and is as demonstrable 
as the nature of such a subject can bear. 

8. And lastly, I do this because of the heinousness and 
dangerousness of this sin of infidelity, especially as against the 
Holy Ghost, it being thus the unpardonable sin, and the sin 
that fasteneth all other upon the soul : all these reasons have 
persuaded me to this work. 

And for the two foregoing objections 3 the latter of them is 


answered in my seventh reason, and is so unbeseeming the 
mouth of a true Christian, that 1 will not say against it what it 
deserves, because I know it will exas])erate many that do 
befriend it ; and as to the former, I say : 

1. Christ himself, here in the text, hath put this occasion 
before me into people's minds, so that they cannot say, T raise 
occasions of doubting ; they hear the Gospel read more com- 
monly than they are like to read this discourse. 

2. That faith stands but totteringly, that standeth only be- 
cause men hear not what infidels say against it. 

3. The common temptations of Satan, and vile reasonings of 
the apostates of this age, do show that these scruples are not 
unheard of; and that there is more need to mention them, that 
we may destroy thetn, than to silence them, that we may keep 
them from being known. 

SecL II. 

Having said thus much, by way of preface, of the reason of 
my discourse, I come next to the opening of the text ; and 
therein it is not so much mv intent to determine what the sin 
against the Holy Ghost is, which divines commonly dispute 
of, as to tell you how it may be proved that the works of Christ 
and his di«ciples were not from Satan, but from the Holy Ghost, 
or the power of God. 

Yet, because I would go upon clear grounds, and make the 
text as plain before us as I can, I shall say something of the 
nature of this sin against the Holy Ghost, though I have oft 
spoken of it already ; and I shall crave the patience of those 
readers, who love not to be stopped in their way with men's 
names and judgments, while I yet make some mention of them 
for the sake of others, and I will do it somewhat briefly; and 
because the weight of the point, and great difference of men's 
judgments, will occasion me to mention the more of the ancients, 
I will meddle with the fewer of our latter expositors. 

Text. " Then was brought unto him one possessed with a 
devil, blind and dumb ; and he healed him, insomuch that 
the blind and dumb both spake and saw." 

1. Many wonder that there were so many in those days 
possessed with devils, seeing there are so few in these. Mr. 
Mead thinks that mad men went then among the possessed. 
Luther thought all mad men, or most, were possessed by the 
devil. However these hold, as there are some such yet amongst 


US which we have known, so it is most certain, that what way • 
soever that possession did appear, there were many such, not 
only then, but of many ages after, and are at this day, where 
the devil doth reign with the least contradiction. The true 
reason of the change is, because Christ hath mastered him and 
bound him up, and, in a sort, driven him out of his kingdom, 
so that he cannot do as before he did : of which we shall 
have occasion to speak more anon. 

2. It was not deafness and dumbness that were the only 
evidences that this person was possessed, but these were con- 
comitant effects. 

3. The cure was done so suddenly, and without means, that 
caused that conviction which the next words import. 

" And all the people were amazed, and said. Is this the Son 
of David ?" (Ver. 23.) The evidence of God's power began 
to convince the less prejudiced and less hardened, that Christ 
was the Messiah. 

" But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow (or 
he) doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub, the prince of 
the devils." (Ver. 24.) 

1. The fact was so evident they could not deny it : this, 
therefore, was the last refuge for their infidelity. 

2. They supposed that by some contract with that ruling 
devil, he had power to cast out those that were inferior. Not 
only Calvin, Beza, Grotius, &:c., but many of the ancients con- 
clude, that among the devils there is a certain order, and one 
that is the chief, and in power above the rest. Not only those 
texts prove this that call him " The prince of the world, the 
prince of the powers of the air, &:c. ;" (Eph.ii. 2; John xii. 
31, xiv. 30, and xvi. 11;) but many others. He is here and 
elsewhere named Beelzebul or Beelzebub, that is, as is commonly 
interpreted, the god of flies, so called, as some think, by the 
Philistines, who supposed themselves freed by him from a plague 
of flies ; or because of the flies that stuck on the blood of his 
sacrifices, as Haymo, and others ; or in contempt by the Jews, 
as some think. Most suppose it is the same that is called Baal 
and Bel, and originally King Belus, as the said Haymo, (Hom. 
on Luke xi.). But Dr. Lightfoot saith, (Harmon, of the N. T.^ 
sect. 35,) the word Beelzebul was taken up for the more detesta- 
tion 'as importing the god of a dunghill ;' and the sacrificing to 
idols they called dunging to an idol. 

If there ]>e no sort of God's reasonable creatures without 


order and government, no not the devils themselves, who have 
their prince, (and for angels our writers manifest it from many 
Scriptures,) what strange blindness is it in those men, that would 
only have the church without any order or government, and in 
this to be worse than the kingdom of Satan ! That would have 
the people be both governed and governors by a major vote, 
and so properly have no governors at all I When yet they are 
convinced by experience, that no other political societies can 
be so guided or preserved : armies and commonwealths must 
have rulers : all societies, all reasonable creatures in earth, 
or hell, or heaven, must have rulers : and must the church only 
have none ? As some say, no teachers in office : as others, 
those teachers have no power of government. 

" And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, every 
kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and 
every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." 
*' And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself, 
how shall then his kingdom stand ?" (Ver. 25, 26.) 

1. Here it is supposed that Satan hath a kingdom which he 
is desirous to uphold, a house that he would fain keep, a work 
which he would fain carry on : of which more anon. 

2. Christ argueth from an acknowledged principle, that 
dividing tends to destroying. 

3. He supposeth Satan not to be ignorant of this principle, 
nor so loose to his own principles and wicked interest, as to be 
drawn against it to the destruction of his own kingdom ; would 
we could say as much of many godly men, or seemingly godly, 
as to Christ's kingdom and interest. All this is most unques- 
tionably true : of which more anon. 

4. Christ is said to know this in their hearts, though they 
spoke it with their mouths ; because it was not to him that they 
spoke it, but to the people who began to be convinced by the 
greatness of the work. 

5. It is not only this one conclusion, which he knew in their 
hearts, or which he fits his answer to, that this particular work 
was done by Beelzebub ; but also that he himself was a friend 
of Satan's kingdom, and in a league with him, and did his 
work, and deluded men by magical power. And, therefore, 
Christ's following words, and these in this verse, do tend to clear 
him both in this fact, and in the main. 

"And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your chil- 
dren cast them out? Therefore, theyshall be your judges. "(Ver. 27.) 


Here is the second argument of Christ to confute their 
calumny. Most expositors do by " your children" understand, the 
disciples of Ciuist, who were children of the Jews : or at least 
some that followed not, who yet cast out devils in his name : 
some both these together ; some unde rstand it of the Jewish 
exorcists mentioned Acts xix. 13; or such as, being taught 
from Solomon a form of words, did cast out devils in the name 
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob : of which sort some think that 
really they did so, by the power of God, as we may do now by 
fasting and prayer sometimes. Others think, it is an argument 
ad hominem only, because they seemed to do so, or boasted of 
it. Cyril of Alexandr. 'De rect. Fide,' (p. mihi, 30/ ;) Hieron. 
'Anct. Imperfecti operis.' Euthymius, Hilary, and other of the 
ancients, take it to speak of Christ's disciples ; so doth Haymo; 
(Hom. in Luke xi. ;) so doth Lyra ; but withal of those that 
followed him not, and yet cast out devils, which I suppose is 
most likely to be the sense ; so doth Erasmus, Beza, Musculus, 
Piscator, and most others of our latter writers. Cajetan takes 
it either of the Jewish exorcists, or those that followed not 
Christ, yet did it in his name. Calvin and Grotius suppose it is 
not meant of the disciples, but the exorcists. But 1 see no 
validity in their reasons. The force of the argument of Christ 
lieth here : q. d. ' You see many that were born and bred 
among you, of your own neighbours and kindred, yea, some that 
follow not me, by the use of my name do cast out devils : and 
you cannot imagine that all these should be in such a league 
with Beelzebub.' These, therefore, shall be your judges ; that 
is, sufficient witnesses to condemn you in judgment, as now 
their actions are the aggravation of your blasphemy. 

" But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the king- 
dom of God is come unto you." (Ver. 28.) 

As if he should say, ' Jf all these your blasphemous shifts be 
vain, and it be evidently God's power which I use in these works, 
then you are brought to a stand, you have no more to say, but 
must confess me to be the INIessiah, and you may clearly see that 
the Messiah is come ; for if a divine testimony, apparently such, 
will not convince you, what will ? ' Note, that Christ's medium 
is not, if I cast out devils ; but if I do it, and that by the finger 
of God ; that he did it, they saw ; that he did it by the finger 
of God, he proved before, and further proves after ; that his 
doing it by the finger of God doth infallibly confirm his doctrine, 
and so prove him to be the Messiah he now concludes : and it 


is like he hath respect to tlieir own just expectations, concerning 
the power of the Messiah when he cometh, as if he should say, 
* You know the Messiah and the kingdom of God shall come in 
power ; and so you now see it in my conquering of Satan, and 
casting him out of his possession -, ' and this he prosecutes in the 
next verse : 

'' Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and 
spoil his goods, except he first hind the strong man, and then 
he will spoil his house ? " (Ver. 29.) 

Christ's first argument fully proved that what he did was against 
Satan's v/ill, because it wa* against his interest ; and therefore 
it was not done by his power, and consequently Christ was not 
his confederate, but his enemy. Here he goeth further, and 
proveth himself the Messiah, and to work by a power superior^ 
to Beelzebubj (as well as against him,) because he bindeth him, 
and casts him out; so that here is a double consequence to be 
inferred : First, he that doth these things is against Satan ; and, 
secondly, he that can do such things is above Satan, or the 
power by which he doth it is above him, and therefore divine. 

" He that is not with me is against me ; and he that gathereth 
not with me, scattereth abroad." (Ver. 30.) 

There are divers thoughts among expositors about the sense 
of these words, though it be of no great moment to the main 
business which of them holds. Some think Christ here begins 
to turn his speech to the pharisees, to convince them of their 
sin, and so tells them that if they do not vindicate him from 
such reproaches they are his enemies ; some think that he re- 
specteth both his own vindication and their danger, by such 
dealing, as if he should say, ' So far am I from being a con- 
federate of Beelzebub, that I am the Captain of the field against 
him, and you shall find that, except you will join with me in 
fighting against him, you shall be taken as mine enemies your- 
selves.' To this purpose is Erasmus' paraphrase. Some sup- 
pose that Christ would only prove here, that he himself is not 
for Satan, but against him, because he is not a furtherer, but a 
hinderer of his work and interest ; others suppose that hence 
he would only infer, that Satan is not for Christ, biit against 
him (and therefore doth not lend him his power) because that 
their designs are contrary ; but I conceive that these two last 
together make up the true sense, Christ arguing (as Grotius 
notes) a minore, but concluding thence a mutual enmity between 
Satan and him : as if he should say, ' Your own proverb saith, 


he that is not with me is against me ; and if neutrality shall be 
taken for enmity in such cases of war, how much more evident 
is the enmity "between me and Satan where there is such a con- 
flict, and when I conquer him and cast him out ? ' The Jews 
had another proverb among them seeming contrary to this, 
which Christ elsewhere doth accommodate to his present occa- 
sion, " He that is not against us, is with us." Both ordinary 
among soldiers in the wars : when they have no need of men's 
help, or might rather expect their hinderances and resistance, 
they will say, ' If they be not against us, they are for us ;' that 
is, it will tend to the promoting of pur business, and we must 
look for no better from such kind of men. But when it is sub- 
jects and obliged persons that they speak of, or when their help 
is necessary and expected, then they say, ' If they be not for us, 
they are against us :' we may justly take and use all neuters as 
enemies. So I conceive when Christ maketh use of these two 
proverbs, in the one he doth, in the words ' for me,' speak of 
men's true aflfection and friendship ; in the other text he doth, 
in the words ' for us,' speak only of the event and tendency of 
these men's actions to the furthering of his cause. When Christ 
would prove that he is not a confederate of Satan, he doth it 
by the former proverb, "He that is not for me is against me ;" 
but I am so far from being for Satan, that I destroy his king- 
dom. When the disciples saw one casting out devils in Christ's 
name, and forbade him because he followed not with them, 
Jesus said, " Forbid him not ; for he that is not against us, is 
for us ;" (Luke ix. 49, 50 ;) that is, it somewhat tendeth to the 
furthering of our work. It is against Satan, and in such as pro- 
fess not subjection to me it is somewhat if they do not resist 
and hinder the passage of the Gospel, much more if they bring 
any honour to my name. So we may say still, ' If you would know 
whether Christ will take you for his friend, and number you with 
the saved, then know that if you are not for him you are against 
him, and if j'ou gather not with him you scatter abroad.' But if 
you would only know how far he will tolerate you in his vine- 
yard, the visible church, and how far your profession may be 
eventually for him and his cause, then remember that ' He that 
is not against liim is for him;' if he make but a common or 
hypocritical profession of his name. 

" Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy 
shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy 
Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men : and whosoever speaketh 


a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him ; but 
whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be for- 
given him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." 
(Ver. 31,32.) 

This is the text of greatest difficulty, which hath occasioned 
that great diversity of expositions which we have to inquire 
after : 

1. What the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is that is 
here mentioned ? 

2. What the speaking against the Son of man is ? 

3. What is meant by that affirmation, that all sins and blas- 
phemies shall be forgiven ? 

4. What is meant by the negative exception, that the blas- 
phemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven in this life, or that 
life to come ? 

5. The reasons of this negative exception ? 

1. The first of these is it that there is the greatest difference 
about. Some few think that Christ dotli not speak to the pha- 
risees as if he judged them then guilty of that sin, when he 
spake to them, but as forewarning them lest they should be 
guilty of it. But most judge the contrary : and it seems that 
Christ speaks these words as showing the pharisees the greatness 
of their sin and misery. I find not that the most ancient of the 
christian writers did much inquire into the nature of this sin, 
as far as their writings left us do discover. Cyprian mentions 
it among other great sins, which should hinder them from too 
easy receiving of the lapsed into the church. (Epist. 10. ad 
Quirim. 3.) Cyril. Hierosol. in treating of the Holy Ghost, men- 
tioneth it as a reason why he should be cautelous in his words, as 
if he were afraid lest he should be guilty of it I)y some unmeet 
expref,sion of the Spirit. Epiphanius. (Hseres. 34. vel 54. contr. 
Theodotianos) makes it to be the vilifying of the Holy Ghost, or 
denying his Godhead. Hilarius Pictaviens. (in Matt. Com. 12.) 
makes it to be the denying of Gcd in Christ. But Can. 5. a 
little more fully, he saith, that " Peccatam in Spiritum est Deo 
virtutis potestatem negare^ et Christo subsfantiam adimere 
aternitatis.'" This may well be noted as apart of this sin, when 
unbelief hath no other refuge but the flat denial of God's power, 
or attributing the evident effects of it to another ; it is this sin, 
or near it ; as anon we shall see. It mav be, those ancients laid 
the stress of the argument in the text on this, who use from 
this text to prove that Christ did his miracles, vi aut virlute 
divina, "by the power of God," (as they expound the words,) as 

VOL. XX. s 


Tertul. ^ Cont. Marcion.' (Lib. 4.) Euseb. 'Praepavat. Evangel. 
7.,' Greg. Nyssen. Novatian. 'De Tiinit.' And those that hence 
prove the Godhead of the Holy Ghost, as Damascen. 'De ortho- 
dox. Fide de Sp. Sanct.' (c. 10.) 'Greg. Nazianz.' (Orat. 24) ; 
and many more. Hierome seems to take this sin to be the blas- 
phemous denial of the Godhead of the Holy Ghost too ; for he 
expostulateth against readmitting such from this text, though 
in other places he seems to be more accurate. 

Austin hath many expositions of this text, and descriptions of 
this sin in several places, which hath occasioned the schoolmen, 
and other papists, to make six sorts of the sin against the Holy 
Ghost, as taking them from him. But he doth most solemnly, 
and as of set purpose, set himself to open it, (Tom. 10. Paris.) 
*De Verbis Dom.' c. 1 1, where he noteth that Christ speaketh not 
of every word or blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, but of one 
certain sort of sin or blasphemy against him ; for he saith, the 
Gentiles, Jews, and heretics, do ordinarily blaspheme the Holy 
Ghost, who are yet afterward converted and forgiven : as when 
it is said that God tempteth no man, it is not meant absolutely 
of every kind of temptation, but of a certain kind only; there 
being tentatio adducens peccatum, a temptation to draw to sin, 
which God never useth ; and tentatio pi'obans fidem, a tempta- 
tion for trial of faith, which God useth. He rejecteth also their 
exposition that make it to be any heinous sin after baptism ; and, 
in conclusion, he determineth that it is the sin of final impe- 
nitency, and the final refusing that remission^ vvhich by the 
Spirit is given in the church ; not as the papists expound him, 
as if he meant that all that refuse penance, (especially as a sa- 
crament,) or priestly absolution, or indulgence, did sin against 
the Holy Ghost ; but he means, all those infidels that will not, 
by baptism in faith and repentance, come into the church, where 
remission of sin is. And therefore, in conclusion, he giveth you 
his sense of both together, thus : ' Ilia est blasphemia cordis 
impcenitentis, qua resistitur 7'emissiom peccatorum qua fit in 
ecclesia per Spirituni Sanctum.' 'It is the blasphemy of an impe- 
nitent heart, by which it resisteth remission of sin, which is 
given in the church by the Holy Ghost;' that is, finally resisteth 
it, as before. So that a finally, impenitent unbeliever, doth, in 
Austin's judgment, sin against the Holy Ghost. And I think 
there is much of the truth in this, so you take it not as meant of 
all such persevering infidels, which seems not to be in Austin's 
mind ; but of those only that are such upon a resistance of a 
certain evidence of the Spirit. 


Ambrose seemeth to come nearer the matter, though briefly, 
and to take this sin to be the sacrilegious blasphemy of infidels, 
by which they take and affirm the very gracious and powerful 
works of Christ to be the works of the devil, thereby likening 
Christ to Satan. For hesaith, (To. 4. de Poenit. c. 4,) that this 
is expressed of them who said Christ cast out devils by Beelze- 
bub, " Quod Satame harediias in Us esset qui SatancB compara- 
rent salvatorem omnium, et in regno diaboli constituerent gratiam 
C/tristi :" that is, 'They are the inheritance of the devil, who 
compare the Saviour of all to the devil, and did place Christ's 
grace in the devil's kingdom.' And more fully (De Spirit. Sanct. 
lib. I.e. 3.) Si c/uis corporis specie deceptus humam remissius 
aliquid sentit de Christi came, quam dignum est, hahet culpam ; 
non est tamen exclusus a venia, quam fide possit adsciscere; si quis 
vera Spiritus Sancti digmtate7n, majestatem et potestatem abnegat 
sempiternam, et putat non in Spiritu Dei ejici dcemonia, sed in 
Beelzebub, non potest ibi exoratio esse veniiB, nbi sacrilegii ple- 
nitudo est : that is, ' If any one, being deceived by the shape of his 
human body, shall have lower thoughts of the flesh of Christ 
than is meet, he is culpable ; yet is he not excluded from pardon, 
which by faith he may attain. But if any one deny the eternal 
dignity, majesty, and power of the Holy Ghost, and thinketh 
that devils were not cast out by the Spirit of God, but by Beel- 
zebub, there can be no obtaining of pardon, where there is the 
fulness of sacrilege.' 

Chrysostom's exposition is much to the same purpose, that 
this sin against the Holy Ghost is the blaspheming of that 
divine power of the Spirit, which is apparent in miracles as 
distinct from the contempt of Christ, as appearing in his hu- 

Athanasius (if his) hath a discourse purposely of this sin, to 
show that it is the contempt and blasphemy against the divine 
power, in these miracles plainly discovered, and the refusing of 
Christ notwithstanding such a testimony. 

To the same purpose doth Isidor. Pelusiota expound it ; that 
those sin against the Holy Ghost, that, seeing Christ's miracles, 
vet will not believe. 

It is to small purpose to mention the mistakes of Origen and 
Theognostus herein, as Athanasius ubi sup. reporteth them : oi 
the mistake of the Novatians, as others report of them, that 
thought tiie denying of Christ, yea, every gross sin after bap- 
tism, was this sin against the Holy Ghost. 

s 2 



Hesychius, in Leviticus, takes it to be final unrefoiniedness 
and desperation. 

Basil. (Magn. in Ethic, def. 35,) takes him to be guilty of this 
sin, who, seeing the fruits of the Spirit every way correspondent 
to piety, ascribeth them not to the Spirit, but to a contrary 
power. And (Reg. 273) he stretcheth it too hard in the appli- 
cation, saying, that is the sin against the Holy Ghost, when 
men ascribe the fruits of the Holy Spirit to the enemy : as 
most do who call the godliness of true Christians by the name 
of vain glory ; and their zeal by the name of anger, and the 
like (if this be Basil, and not Eustathius Sebastienus.) 1 will 
trouble you with no more of the ancients as to this point ; only 
add, that I now see in them that the right exposition of this 
place was not so unknown then as I sometime thought, for all 
that difference among them, which Dan. Heinsius, Pelargus, 
Maldonate, and so many more do wonder at. 

Our later expositors are somewhat more unanimous ; but 
whether so near to the truth as most of the ancients, or many 
at least, we shall further inquire. 

The papists do ordinarily reckon up out of Austin six several 
sorts of sin against the Holy Ghost: Lyra (in Matt, xii.) comes 
up to our ordinary exposition of the protestant divines, that it 
is a sinning maliciously against the known truth : and thinks 
that the pharisees knew Jesus to be the Christ, and would 
prove it from that : " This is the heir, come let us kill him." 
(Luke xix.) 

Cajetan (in Matt, xii.) takes it to be the denial of the sancti- 
fying Spirit, and the ascribing Christ's powerful works to the 

Maldonate (in Matt, xii.) having showed the mistakes of Phi- 
lastrius, that makes every heresy to be this sin ; and of Beda, 
that makes it to be the denial of remission by the Holy Ghost 
in the ordinances of Christ, in the church baptism, and the 
Lord's Supper, and many other mistakes herein, doth come near 
the matter himself; concluding that from the nature of this 
sin in the pharisees, here mentioned, the descrij)tion of the sin 
against the Holy Ghost must be gathered : and saith it is the 
ascribing of the manifest works of the Spirit to the devil. And 
he saith, that Pacianus, Anastasius, (Q. (JS,) Hieroine, Ambrose, 
Basil, speak to the same purpose as he about the nature of the 
sin, though they all agree not about the point of irremissibiiity. 
Our own writers commonly agree that it is a set, malicious 


opposiiig the known truth : yet some put more as necessary. 
Most of them make it to be, 

1. Against the Holy Ghost enHghtening them, and working 
on them, and moving them within, and not only or chiefly 
against the objective testimony of the Holy Ghost in his works 

2. And to be ever against knowledge. 

3. And of set malice. 

4. Many join opposition as necessary to make it up too. 

5. And some say, ' It is only the sin of those that are or 
have been of the church.' We shall consider of the truth of 
these anon. 

Beza, (on I John v. 4, 6,) saith, ^It is an universal apostasy 
from God, whereby the known Majesty of God is of set malice 

Bucer, (in Marlorat.m he.,) saith, 'That they whose conscience 
is convinced that it is the word of God which they oppose, and 
yet cease not to oppose it, do sin against the Holy Ghost, be- 
cause they sin against his illumination.' 

Musculus {in loc.) thinks it is baptised, illuminated persons, 
who knowingly, maliciously, and against conscience, do resist 
the truth. And he thinks that the pharisees did it against 

Calvin, {in loc.) thinks so too : and saith, ^ Such do sin against 
the Spirit dwelling in them ; turning the work of God mani- 
fested to them by the Spirit to his dishonour, maliciously fol- 
lowing Satan their captain.' 

Piscator {in he.) saith, ' It is he that denieth the truth mani- 
fested to him by the Holy Ghost, and hateth and persecuteth it.' 

Pelargus thus describeth it, {in he.,) ^ It is a voluntary and 
malicious renouncing the truth of the Gospel evidently known, 
joined with a tyrannical, sophistical, or hypocritical opposition, 
or with an Epicurean contempt of God, with an incurable con- 
tumely of the heavenly truth, and an incurable desperation.* 

Deodate {in he.) expoundeth it of him who hath been driven 
by the extreme wickedness and impiety of his heart to utter 
words of blasphemy and outrage against God and his truth, of 
which he hath had the seal of persuasion and knowledge in his 
heart by God's Spirit : which is tlie chief sin of the devil and 
the damned, and the very height of the wicked's malice. 

Stella (on Ijuke xi.) doth join with them in supposing that the 
pharisees did not indeed think that Christ's works were done 


by Beelzebub ', but only would have persuaded others so against 
their own knowledge. 

Cartwright, Harm, {in loc.) saith, "That sin is not found among 
papists, Jews, or Turks, but such only as profess the Gospel, 
or at least are approvers of the Gospel and word of God." 
Better saith Pareus {in loc.) : "It is their sin, who being convinced 
of Christ's doctrine and divine works, do yet ascribe them to 
the devil." U you would see their judgments yet more fully, 
almost every common-place book will show it you. 

The Lutheran divines do go somewhat further, and make the 
sin against the Holy Ghost to be not only such a wilful resisting 
of known truth, but also an excusing of the Spirit of grace out 
of our hearts, and so they think the truly sanctified may fall into 
it. Yea, they are conceited that by this way they have the 
advantage which we have not, for reconciling this text, Matt, 
xii., with Heb. vi. and x., this saying that all sin except that 
against the Holy Ghost shall be forgiven, and that in Heb. 
making apostasy incurable : whereby they, but ungroundedly, I 
think, do conceive that we who deny the apostasy of any saints, 
must deny also the existence of the sin against the Holy Ghost, 
which is taken by many to be the same. Whereas, they 
make them both possible ; and, indeed, there are some who 
hold the falling away of some saints, who think they may be 
again restored ; and some who think they nmst and will be 
restored ; and some who hold, indeed, that some of them may 
totally fall from grace, but that such can never be restored, they 
being the very persons meant in Heb. vi,, and their sin, though 
not only theirs, being that against the Holy Ghost. I only name 
these as mistaken expositions of this text. 

Illyricus makes this sin to be a persevering opposing of 
known truth, and persevering impenitency, whereto he also 
addeth, sinning against conscience, which he saith, driveth out 
the Spirit and depriveth a man of his adoption. Twenty more 
of the Lutherans might be mentioned, that go that way, but it 
would be but a trouble to the reader, and therefore I pass that by. 

Before I tell you what I take to be the sin against the Holy 
Ghost, I shall but briefly consider of the rest of the propounded 
questions, and tell you somewhat of others' sense of them, and 
then resolve of them altogether : for I take it in so weighty a 
point, to be too bold and unmeet when I purposely explain 
such a text, to tell you my own thoughts only, without pre- 
mising the judgment of others. 


The second question is : What is it to blaspheme, or speak 
against the Son of Man ? It is agreed by the most, that the 
sense of these words is this : He that shall speak contemptu- 
ously or reproachfully of Christ as a mere man, supposing him 
to be no more ; and 2. That is so persuaded only because of 
his visible humanity and the common frailties which he is 
pleased to submit to, or from something which might easily, to 
a rash judgment, have an appearence of the sinful infirmity also 
of man^ as his eating and drinking with publicans and sinners, 
&c. ; this man shall have pardon. 

3. The third question is : What is meant by the affirmation, 
"That all such sin shall be forgiven ?" And it is commonly 
agreed on, that it is not the meaning of it, that all such indi- 
vidual sins shall be actually forgiven to all men ; but as some 
say, 'They are more easily and ordinarily forgiven:' as others 
say, ' They are forgiven to the penitent, and only they :' which 
dependeth on the next. 

Quest. 4. What is meant by this negative ; * That the blas- 
phemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven in this life or in 
that to come.' 

Answ. It is the difficulty of this, that hath made the first 
question so difficult ; what this sin is. Two opinions are very 
ordinary here : some think that the meaning is, ' They shall be 
more hardly and more rarely forgiven that blaspheme the Holy 
Ghost, but that it was never the mind of Christ to conclude in 
proper sense that it should never be forgiven.' Of this opinion 
was Chrysost., in loc, who saith, that ^ This sin is pardonable 
and pardoned to many, but that it is less pardonable and venial 
than other sins, because it is against a fuller discovery of the 
truth ; Christ they knew not while he appeared to them as a 
man, but the Spirit they might see in his works.' 

Theophilact followeth him in this exposition, saying, that 
* He that seeth Christ among publicans and sinners, and so blas- 
phemeth him, though he repent not, yet shall not be called to 
account, that is, shall not be condemned, so be it, he have a 
general repentance of sin ; but he that saith Christ's miracles 
are done by Beelzebub, shall not be forgiven unless he repent, 
that is, particularly, of this sin.' 

Ambrose makes Simon Magus in a sort guilty of this blas- 
phemy, and yet to have hope of pardon by Peter given him. 

Augustin makes all the blasphemy pardonable, which others 
take this sin to consist of, and saith, that ' Gentiles, Jews, and 


heretics do blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and'yet have remission ;' 
but he certainly concludeth final impenitence, which he took 
this sin to consist in, to be unpardonable. 

The papists commonly say that, of divers sorts of the sin 
against the Holy Ghost, only final impenitency is absolutely un- 
pardonable ; but all the rest are more hardly forgiven than other 
sins. So the Rhemists, against whom Dr. Fulk contendeth that 
this sin is never forgiven. Lyra saith it is not easily pardoned. 

Erasmus speaketh yet more doubtfully, that he shall scarce 
have pardon. 

Maldonate will be stricter than Chrysostom, and therefore 
blameth him for expounding it of a more difficult obtaining of 
pardon; and doth himself expound it of an impossibility of 
pardon, as considering simply the nature of the sin which hath 
no excuse ; but not impossible to God, who can pardon that 
which is inexcusable, as it is impossible for a rich man to enter 
into heaven, as to any human power, but possible with God. 
Thus he falls in with Chrysostom while he seemeth to dissent. 

So Cajetan expoundeth, ' It shall not be forgiven,' that is, 
not pardoned regularly. There is no rule to assure it; but yet 
saith he, ' God is above all rules.' 

The Lutheran divines also, do many of them, go that way of 
making this sin remissible. 

Wigandus and Mat. Index in Syntagm. Doct .Christian, (part ii. 
page 712, and 716,) make it to be unpardonable while he re- 
niaineth in it ; but labour to prove that we must not wholly de- 
spair of such as commit this sin, but that some of them may be 
recovered. But C. Pelargus doth contend for the absolute un- 
pardonableness of it, against Bellarmine, Barradius, Salmeron, 
with their associates, in Matt. xii. 

Grotius pleadeth for Chrysostom's sense, and those that go 
that way, and from " Heaven and earth shall pass away," Sec, 
(Matt. V.,) which is, " It is easier for heaven and earth to pass 
away than my word," &c. (Luke xvi. 17.) He gathereth that 
the former member doth not affirm, but make the latter more 
difficult ; and so he thinks there is here such a Hebraism ; and 
the sense he giveth thus, ' Any crime that can be can be com- 
mitted, even calumnies, which are among the greatest crimes, 
shall more easilv be forgiven than that calumnv which is com- 
mitted against the Holy Ghost.' Like that, 1 Sam. ii. 25. "If 
one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him ; but if 
a man sin against the Lord, ^vho shall plead for him ?" 


But the reformed divines do commonly expound it of abso- 
lute unpardonableness, and judge all the former expositions of 
those ancientSj and papists, and Lutherans, to be forced and un- 

Some question there is also about the distinction of forgiving 
in this life, or the life to come ; whence the papists would 
vainly gather their purgatory; but the reformed divines, and 
the ancients commonly, do expound it one of these ways : 
either as if he should say, ' He shall be punished both in this 
life and that to come;' or, 'he shall neither have the temporal nor 
eternal punishment remitted ;' or, ' he shall neither be forgiven 
and absolved by the church here, nor by Christ hereafter:' or 
simply, ' he shall never be forgiven :' or, ' he shall neither have 
that Gospel pardon, which all true believers have in this life, nor 
that sentential absolution which they shall have in judgment.' 
(See Dr. John Reignolds, of this cle lib. Apocr.) 'What 
Christ speaketh about the unpardonableness of blasphemy 
against the Holy Ghost, is in direct facing of their tenet, 
which held that blasphemy was atoned for by death, th-ough 
by nothing else;' saith Dr. Lightfoot, 'Harmon, of N. T.,' 
(sect. XXXV. page 30,) for which he citeth the words of the 

The fifth question is : What are the reasons why this sin is 
more unpardonable than others ? 

Some say, because it is against God himself directly, and not 
only against Christ as man. Others, because it is that high degree 
of malicious wickedness, which is in the devils themselves, and 
therefore not fit for God to forgive : because, saith Ambrose, it 
makes the Saviour of all to be like Beelzebub, and placeth 
God's grace in the devil's kingdom. Many say, because others' 
sins deserve some excuse, that is, may admit excuse ; but this 
hath no excuse. So divers of the ancients, as Theodoret, (in 
Heb. X.,) of the sinning wilfully there mentioned, which is taken 
to be the same. 'That which is not wilfully done,' saith he, ' de- 
serveth some pardon,' that is, is capable of it. So that it seems 
they mean there is nothing in this sin which may move to mercy, 
or to abate the punishment, as matter of excuse. So, also, Mal- 
donate, and many of his way. Our divines ordinarily say, ' be- 
cause it excludeth repentance;' 'not,' saith INIusculus, 'because it 
is against conscience ; but because it is not repented of.' 'And 
that is,' say they, ' because through God's just judgment they are 
given unto blindness and to a reprobate sense, and forsaken 


Utterly by the Holy Ghost, whom they have maliciously simied 

Some very few run into that mistake, as to fly rather to God's 
eternal decree of not giving them repentance, than to the nature of 
the sin that makes them incapable of it; but this puttcth no dif- 
ference betAveen them and the rest of the non-elect. That which 
sticks with these is, that they are loth to yield that Christ died for 
those that sin against the Holy Ghost, or for any but the elect ; 
and, therefore, they are loth to confess that he procured for them 
and bestowed on them the illumination or other gifts of the Holy 
Ghost, which they reject, as if they were given to them as mer- 
cies and means tending to recovery, and therefore they would 
not yield that for rejecting such means and mercies they are 

Erasmus giveth in his thoughts thus, of the reason of the un- 
pardonableness of this sin : " He that sinneth of frailty and is fit 
for pardon, shall have it ; but he that blasphemeth the Holy 
Ghost, whose manifest power he seeth in his works, shall scarce 
have pardon here or hereafter." (See Amyraldus, his way of open- 
ing this ' De CEconomia trium personarum,' p. 45, et sequentib.) 

This variety of expositions is no disparagement to the words 
of Christ, but showeth, as Austin saith, and out of him ' Camera- 
nus in Conciliat. hvjus loc.,^ that such depths are left for our 
exercise and humiliation. 

Sect. III. 

Having told you the judgment of learned expositors about this 
text, and the nature of this sin against the Holy Ghost, I shall 
next presume to tell you which I take to be the true sense of the 
words, and what this sin is, and how far unpardonable, and why, 
seeing among such variety of expositions we cannot receive all ; 
and I shall lay down my thoughts in several propositions : First, 
for the negative, which is not this sin, and then as to the affirma- 
tive, what it is. 

1. Every gross sin after baptism, or after solemn repentance 
and confession of the baptised, is not the sin against the Holy 
Ghost. This we assert against the Novatians (if they be not 
wronged) it is proved, in that many such have been known to 
repent and be recovered : as, also, because there is no description 
of this sin in the Scripture agreeth to it. 

2. Every sin, yea, gross sin, which is committed against know- 
ledge and conscience, is not the sin against the Holy Ghost ; 


else all men that commit gross sin, who are men of any know- 
ledge or conscience, should be guilty of it, or most men at least ; 
and none should be more guilty than those true believers that fall 
into any gross sin, as David did ; for, doubtless, their knowledge 
of it is greatest, and their conscience most likely to rise up against it. 

3. Every sin, though gross, which is committed upon deliber- 
ation and consideration of God's prohibition and displeasure of 
Christ's death, of the evil of the sin, the ill effects, and the like 
moving reasons against it, is not the sin against the Holy Ghost, 
which is here spoken of. Though these be heinous aggravations 
of any sin, (and it is a very sad case that any that fear God should 
in such manner offend,) and will likely raise doubts of their sin- 
ceritv in their hearts, and well may do in any that should fre- 
quentle do this ; yet here is no evidence to prove it to be the 
unpardonable sin. 

4. It is not every sin against the Holy Ghost, no, nor every 
blasphemy against him, that is this unpardonable blasphemy 
here mentioned j for then, every one that ignorantly blasphemed 
him, should be unpardonable ; and, then, few Jews, or Turks, 
or infidels, that have lived within the sound of the Gospel, 
should be curable, and so pardonable. 

5. It is not all opposing or persecuting the known truth, 
which is the sin against the Holy Ghost ; it may be a particular 
truth and not the main christian faith, that is so opposed ; or it 
may be done in a spleen against the person that holdeth it, rather 
than against the truth itself; or it may be done by fear of men, 
to escape some outward danger or suffering : as some in Queen 
Mary's days were noted to burn others against their con- 
sciences, lest they should be suspected of heresy themselves ; 
and one is said to sit with others in judgment against one of 
them contrary to his conscience, who afterwards suffered him- 
self: or else it may be from an imperfect light, not thoroughly 
convincing him of the truth, but leaving him in some doubts 
that he holdeth that truth, who yet by temptation may persecute 
it, as making against some lust or carnal interest of his own : 
and if it will not prove murder or adultery to be the sin against 
the Holy Ghost, because they are done deliberately and against 
conscience, as David's were, I see not then, how it should prove 
persecution to be that sin on that account that it is against 
conscience ; although perhaps it may prove the person graceless. 

6. It is not all malice against God, or hatred of him, that is 
this blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, for there are haters of 


God of a lower rank mentioned in the second commandment 
and other places of Scripture ; yea, every man, at least, that is 
unregenerate, hath some of this sin. Our natural apostasy lieth 
in a fulling from God to our carnal selves and the creature ; 
and consequently in an enmity to him, as one that would cross 
us in our way, and take us off our desired pleasures, and punish 
us for our sin ; though we do not say, that every man is a 
hater of God, who hath any the least hatred to him in his heart, 
because we must denominate men from the affection that is 
predominant ; otherwise all the godly might be called haters of 
God, seeing no doubt, so far as they are imperfect, their love to 
him is imperfect, and they have some measure of displacency 
against his Spirit and ways, and so himself for them. 

7. The sin against the Holy Ghost doth not consist in the 
hatred of God or his truth as good ; for that is not possible, at 
least to man while he is in the flesh. 

8. All persecuting the known truth out of malice, seemeth 
not to me to be the sin against the Holy Ghost, which is here 
mentioned ; for if there may be a malice against truth in men 
unregenerate, yea, all of them, though not blasphemers of the 
Spirit ; and if they may persecute the known truth as is before 
showed, then this inward malice will, or at least may, have a 
hand in that persecution. The rage of all wicked men's lusts 
doth boil against whatsoever doth oppose them, and if God 
do not restrain such rage, and keep the apprehension of the 
danger of resisting upon their hearts, no wonder if ungodly men 
do in their passion even persecute the truth in malice, because 
it crosseth them in the way of their sin. 

9. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not only the sin 
of professed Christians, or only of those that approve of Christi- 
anitv ; nor is always against the knowledge and judgment of 
the sinner: and therefore they err that say, that Jews, Turks, 
and papists, are not liable to this sin ; and for aught I see, so do 
they that would find out such a sin as they describe in this text. 
They cannot prove that the pharisees here spoken of did believe 
Christ to be the Son of God, or the Messiah, or that indeed 
his miracles were done by the Holy Ghost, and not by Beel- 
zebub. For 1. The Scripture saith, even of the rulers, that 
through ignorance they crucified Christ, and had they known 
him, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. 2. -It 
is most improbable that they who so longed for the Messiah 
should crucifv him v,hen they knew him, and yet deny him. 


3. They continued to expect the Messiah while they crucified 
him and after, and so do their posterity from them to this day. 

4. They delivered down this blasphemy to their posterity, as 
the reason of tlieir not believing in Christ, because tliey sup- 
posed that his miracles were done by magic and by Beelzebub. 

5. If the contrary doctrine were true, the pharisees were 
Christians in mind by belief, and only hypocritically denied 
their own belief; and then they denied him only with their 
tongue, and not with the judgment : so Peter denied him too, and 
cursed and swore that he knew not the man. Jf they say that 
thev rested not in him, nor accepted him with the will, but 
hated him, while they believed in him by bare assent, I answer : 
1. Will not an assent have some power on the will, according 
to the nature and measure of it. If the understanding deter- 
mine not the will, it surely doth much towards a determination, 
so that a common assent is like to produce a common consent, 
as a special assent doth a special consent. 2. I dare not say 
that the pharisees that blasphemed the Holy Ghost were so 
far Christians as to assent to the truth, till I see some Scripture 
or reason to prove it. jMany texts say the contrary, that they 
believed it not. 

Nay, it is a very hard question to me whether it be not only 
infidels that sin thus against the Holy Ghost. And, as to this 
sin, which is described here in this text, it seems to me that it 
doth belong only to infidels, the pharisees being such, and the 
sin reprehended in them being an aggravated infidelity, breaking- 
out in blasphemy of the tongue, and wholly supported by a blas- 
phemy of the mind. I doubt much whether any man that be- 
lieves that Christ is the Redeemer, can be guilty of this sin, as 
in this text described. Oidy all the doubt is whether the text, 
Heb. vi. 10, do not describe a sin against the Holy Ghost, which 
Christians may commit, which falls under the genus here men- 
tioned, though not the same in specie with the pharisees ; or, 
whether that sin mentioned in Hebrews be the sin which is here 
called unpardonable. 

And, 1. If Ludov. de Dieu's Exposition hold good, it is out 
of doubt that the text, Hel). vi., hath another sense. He thinks 
that it is not the commonly illuminate, but the truly godly be- 
lievers that are there spoken of; and that it is so far from the 
intent of the Holy Ghost to tell us that such do so fall away, as 
that it is his scope to tell us the contrary ; q. d. if such should 
thus sin, it were impossible to renew them by repentance. 


l^hereforc it is impossible they should thus sin; and the sense 
of the Syriac interpreter, he saith, is, ' Nonpossunt itemm2)ec- 
care,ut dermo renoventur ad resipiscentiam, et denuo crucifigant^ 
&c. ' It is impossible they should again sin to be renewed again 
to repentance, and crucify again to themselves the Son of God :' 
and the Arabic, ' Non possunt, &c. id revcrtantur in peccatum 
quo renoventur ad resipiscentiam,^ &c. ' It cannot be that they 
should return to sin to be renewed to repentance.' Or, if the 
exposition of some of the ancients be right, that it speaketh 
only of the not renewing of baptism, it would be little to this 
business. Or else, of not readmitting them by penance, or any 
other means, into the church, or into a participation of their 
prayers. For myself, 1 conceive that the arguments to prove 
that it is not true believers that are here meant, are not cogent. 
If the apostle have respect to visible church members' privi- 
leges and benefits ; of such it is but as they signify the true 
membership with the privileges of such. Yet I see not, if it be 
concluded that they are true Christians that are here mentioned, 
that it will follow that such do eventually thus ai)ostatise : for, if 
we do not receive L. de Dieu's Exposition as seeming strained, 
yet a threatening supposeth not that the subject will offend and 
be punished, but is a means purposely appointed to keep him 
from so offending. The legislator that saith no traitor shall 
escape death, doth not thereby tell us that there will be traitors, 
but tells us what shall befall them if there shall be such, and tells 
it us to that end, that, if it nniy be, there might be none, but 
the threatening might deter them from the crime. 1 think it is 
God's purpose to keep all his truly sanctified ones from apos- 
tasy. 1 am sure it is his purpose to keep his elect. But, withal, 
I believe that he hath decreed that the end shall be accom- 
plished by the means ; and that is, that men shall be kept from 
apostasy by a holy fear of apostatising, excited by the S])irit 
and threatenings of Christ, supposing also the co-operation of 
other graces. But whether this text of Heb. vi. speak of the 
same sin as Matt. xii. ; I will delay the more full inquiry till I 
come to the description of this sin. 

10. It is not every one that denieth Christ's miracles or the 
apostles', that is guilty of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. 
For if for want of sufficient information, or of true faith, he 
believe not that ever such works were wrought, this is not an 
ascribing them to the devil, nor a denying that the Holy Ghost 
onlv can do such works. INlanv that have believed none of t!ie 


Scripture to be true, or that ever Christ and his apostles did 
indeed perform the works that are there mentioned, have yet 
afterward believed upon better information, and the illumination 
of the Spirit of grace. 

11. It is not every word of blasphemy to the same import- 
ance as the pharisees here mentioned, that is this unpardonable 
sin against the Holy Ghost. For this sin lieth not in the bare 
words as separated from the thoughts of the heart. If a man in 
a frenzy, or in a melancholy, violent temptation, or in a fear to 
save his life, as Peter sinned, or on the like occasion, should 
speak those same words as the pharisees did, that Christ did cast 
out devils by Beelzebub, this were not the unpardonable sin, 
if he think not so as he speaks, nor obstinately stand in it. It 
is common with most melancholy people that are near to 
distraction, or very deeply melancholy, to be violently haunted 
by the tempter to utter some blasphemous words against God ; 
so that they are grievously perplexed, and are scarce able to 
forbear ', and if they yield to the temptation, they think it is the 
unpardonable blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. But the 
chief seat of that sin is in the heart : it doth not consist in bare 
words : unless the rest of the description be found in it, the 
words prove it not. 

12. It is not every doubt or shaking of our faith in this point, 
that is the unpardonable blaspheming of the Holy Ghost ; much 
less is it the temptation itself that will prove it. Even a godly 
man may be tempted to sin against the Holy Ghost : yea, and 
may too much give ear to the tempter, so that it may bring him 
to suspicions of Christ's works, or cause him to question in some 
doubtfulness, whether they were indeed by the power of God 
or not. But then he is not overcome by these temptations. 
Though they draw him to some sin, yet not to this unpardon- 
able sin : though they cause his faith to shake, yet not to fail : 
though he begin to doubt, yet he recovereth, and turneth not 
an infidel. So that he comes not to conclude these works were 
done by Beelzebub, and so to blaspheme. 

13. It is not the blaspheming of particular, more obscure, 
private, doubtful works of the Spirit, that is the unpardonable 
sin. We are commanded not to believe every spirit, but to try 
the spirits whether they be of God or not. If it fall out that 
in this trial of the spirit, of a private man, or a party, we should 
mistake now, and think it is an evil spirit, when it is the 
Spirit of God, this is not the sin in question. If a man see you 


full of the jov of the Holy Ghost, andrashly say and think it is 
a diabolical delusion, or if he hear some true doctrine from you, 
and, mistaking in that point himself, shall rashly say, that it is 
the devil that teacheth it you. This is not the unpardonable 
sin against the Holy Ghost. For this may stand with true faith 
in Christ, because it is not a blasjiheming of tliat work of the 
Spirit, which is the great and necessary seal of the Gospel, but 
of a more private work ; and, therefore, even the godly, in a 
mistake and in a rash zeal, may be guilty of it. If a papist 
shall say, that it is the devil and not the Holy Ghost that leads 
the Protestants 3 or the Lutherans shall say so by the Calvinists, 
or the anabaptists by the defenders of infant baptism, this is not 
the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost here in question, though 
another sort of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost it is. Here 
are divers in this age that pretend to extraordinary revelations, 
or workings and teachings of the Spirit ; and some to commu- 
nion visibly with angels ; if we go to try these spirits, whether 
they be of God or not, and find that the spirit of the ranteis is 
a spirit of wickedness 3 the spirit of the libertines and antino- 
mians, of licentiousness 5 the spirit of the Behmenists and 
quakers leadeth to popery, and to railing and contempt of the 
ministry, and seeing that their doctrines are contrary to the 
AVOi-d of God, we conclude that it is an evil spirit that moves, 
that shakes, that transporteth these men. If now there should 
be some one true prophet among them, or one that indeed 
is acted by the Spirit of God in the main, and should really have 
visible converse with angels, which we will believe when it is 
proved, and yet mix with it some of the errors of the rest, and 
be taken for one of them, if we should mistakingly tell this man 
that it is an evil spirit that acteth him, or that he converseth 
with, this is not the unpardonable sin here mentioned, for the rea- 
son before expressed. The like we may say in many the like cases. 
14. If a man should be falsely informed by those he liveth with, 
that Christ and his disciples were all wicked livers, and should 
not hear what can be said for his better information, and thus, 
hearing the miracles of the Gospel with such prejudice, should 
believe and say, that they were all done by magic or evil spirits, 
which is like to be the case now of many of the Jews, though 
this be near to the unpardonable blasphemy, yet I think it is not 
it, while men hear not the tiue case, but are merely perverted by 
other men's lies, though they may hear the truth about the mat- 
ter of fact, which they blaspheme. 


15. The blasphemy against the Spirit, described in this text, 
is not the mere resisting, opposing, quencliing, or hating the 
internal efficiency of the Spirit in the sinner himself, as many 
take it to be, who make it to be a sin against internal illumina- 
tion only : but it is a sin against the external, evidencing, testify- 
ing works of the Spirit; and for aught I know, it may be com- 
mitted as well by those that never had any internal illumination 
at all, any more than heathens and common, unbelieving Jews 
have, as by those that were illuminated. I find not any extra- 
ordinary illumination that these pharisees had; but contrarily 
that they had eyes and saw not, and hearts and understood not, 
and were blinded by Satan : it was an external work of the 
Spirit, which they blasphemed, and not an inward illumination 
of their own minds. 

16. All final infidelity or impenitence, I think, is not this 
blaspheming of the Holy Ghost. Thousands may die impeni- 
tently, and in negative unbelief, that never heard of Christ. Many 
may die in positive infidelity, that have heard of Christ's doc- 
trine, but not of his Spirit and miracles, or not in any manner 
fit to convince. Many may have a vulgar, superficial belief of all 
these, and yet die impenitently as to their other sins. 7'hough 
these shall certainly perish ; yet, I think, it is not as blas- 
phemers of the Spirit. 

^17. It is not all desperation that is the sin against the Holy 
Ghost. Indeed, as desperation falls in with infidelity, or is 
grounded on it, as when men despair that ever the promises of 
God should prove true and be performed, so desperation may be 
this unpardonable sin, if it be joined with this blaspheming of 
the works of Christ, as infidelity itself may be; but otherwise 
when a man believes that the Gospel is true, but despaireth that 
ever he himself shall be saved by it, I take not this to be the 
sin against the Holy Ghost, though it be one of those thaS 
Austin once supposed it. 

IS. Presumption is not the sin aganist the Holy Ghost j 
though it be another that Austin once conceited to be it, if the 
papists mistake him not. I mean by presumption, either a false 
persuasion that we are the sons of God, when we are not, or 
else, a boldness in sin upon an ungrounded conceit of God's 
mercy ; which are the things that we commonly call by that 
name. For, alas ! the most of mankind, before conversion, are 
captivated by that sin, and tlie relics remain after. 

19. It is not all envy at the grace or gifts of our brother that 



is this unpardonable sin, though that be another that the school- 
men fetch from Austin : no, nor doth it directly or properly lie 
in such an envy at all : that sin is great, but not the sin in 

20. It is not all epicurean contempt of the christian religion, 
as Melancthon thought, as Pelargus allegeth him, that is this 
sin against the Holy Ghost. Epicurus was never guilty of this 
sin himself; and those, who, from an epicurean spirit of sensu- 
ality, do contemn the christian religion, may yet not do it in a 
blaspheming of the works of the Spirit ; but, perhaps, never 
heard or considered of those works ; and, therefore, many such, 
for aught we know, may be recovered. 

21. It is not all falling away from grace received that is this 
unpardonable sin ; the godly may fall in part from true grace. 
Others may fall quite away from some common gifts of mercy, 
and yet neither sin this unpardonable sin here in the text; though 
apostasy may in another respect prove unpardonable, as final 
impenitence doth. 

22. I think that the sin against the Holy Ghost consisteth 
not in the total excussion of special, sanctifying grace once re- 
ceived : because I think that those that have received this are 
preserved by Christ from such a total excussion or apostasy. 
Otherwise, if I did believe that there ever were such a total 
apostasy, I should think it were either of the same nature wi^h 
this before us, or at least very near it, and of the like conse- 

23. No soul is guilty of this unpardonable sin, who believeth 
that Christ is the Son of God, and the Redeemer of the world, 
and would fain have part in the merits and mercy of his Re- 
deemer. The sin against the Holy Ghost casteth out this. It 
is the sin of infidels ; or, at least, of men who would have none 
of Christ if they might : those, therefore, that would have Christ, 
and yet fear they have committed this sin, they know not what 
it is, nor what they are afraid of. 

24. It is a sign that a man hath not committed the sin against 
the Holy Ghost, when he is troubled with fears lest he have 
committed it, and complaineth of his danger and sad condition. 
For it is the nature of that sin to harden a man in confidence 
against Christ, and make him think he ought to be an infidel ; 
and, therefore, will rather despise Christ, than be grieved lest he 
have lost him, or shall be deprived of his benefits. These fears, 
lest you have sinned against the Holy Ghost, do show that you 


would not so sin : and if you would not, you have not ; they 
show that you would not lose your part in Christ, nor be de- 
prived of the fruits of his death and merits : and that shows that 
you yet believe in the death and merits of Christ, and do not 
blaspheme him as a confederate of Beelzebub, as the pharisees 
here did. So that of all people, poor, troubled, complaining 
Christians have least cause to fear that they have sinned against 
the Holy Ghost. It is those that never fear it, that are most like 
to be guilty of it : for it maketh men secure. 

So much for the negative : to tell you what is not the sin 
against the Holy Ghost, before I come to tell you what it is, 
which I have not done in way of contention or contradiction of 
others, but only for the better discovery of the sin, and to prevent 
the causeless fears or desperation of any, who, by imagining that 
they are guilty of it when they are not, may be drawn to cast 
away their hopes, and give up all as lost. 

For the affirmative what this sin is, I think it best to proceed 
towards the discovery of it by certain preparatory conclusions, 
ascending to it by just degrees : because that truths are con- 
catenated, and one tendeth to introduce another into our under- 

1 . The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, that taketh 
away the sins of the world ; who, coming on that business to 
^ke away sin, by the sacrifice of himself hath made a sufficient 
satisfaction for the sins of all men, and prescribed a way by 
which he will have the benefits actually conferred. 

2. The sufficiency of this satisfaction is to be measured, 
judged of, and denominated, in relation to the ends for which it 
is said to be sufficient; and those ends are freely determined of 
by the Father and the Redeemer, whose death, therefore, is 
sufficient, not to all things, but to what he willed it, or to those 
ends to Vvhich he did intend it. 

3. The death of Christ was never intended to be a sufficient 
satisfaction for all sin absolutelj^, howsoever aggravated. It was 
no satisfaction for some, and therefore no sufficient satisfaction. 
It pleased him to except some aggravated sins from all pardon, 
in his Gospel, and consequently in his dying, and in his intentions 
about the ends and effects of his death. Not, as some conceit, 
merely because they were the sins of such persons, viz., the non- 
elect, whom, say they, he died not for ; for indeed he hath given 
to those men a conditional pardon of other sins, but not of 
these; but it hath pleased him to except the very sin itself con- 



sifleied in its own aggravated nature, from all pardon, without 
laying the reason only on the subject in whom it is found. 

4. There must be somewhat, therefore, in the nature of that 
excepted sin, that must make it unfit for God to pardon it ; or 
else it would be pardoned as well as others. And that must be 
either the greatness of it, or some special contradiction or incon- 
sistency that it hath with the frame of God's design in the 
pardoning and recovering of sinners. The former it is not 
likely to be, at least, simply and proximately ; for the greatest 
sinners have mercy offered them, and may have it on God's 
terms : so that if the greatness of their sin lie not in a contra- 
diction of God's terms of pardoning, they cannot hinder them 
from pardon. So that if you ask, why cannot such sins be 
pardoned, the proper answer is, because Christ hath procured 
and granted out in the Gospel no pardon of them. But if you 
further ask, why hath he not granted a pardon of them in the 
Gospel, the answer is, because they were unfit for pardon, as 
having a special contradiction to the causes of a pardon, and to 
that design which the free will of God hath laid : and so it is 
indeed the greatness, but not simply, but respectively, as being 
thus aggravated by an opposition to this pardoning grace; that 
is, the reason (as far as we may give one from the nature of the 
thing) why the excepted sins are unpardonable, and Christ hath 
made no satisfaction for them. ^ 

5. The sin against the Holy Ghost, therefore, must lie in 
some such contradiction to the pardoning terms or way of God, 
rather than in the absolute greatness of the sin. 

(j. The tenour of Christ's promise, or covenant, by which he 
pardoneth sin, is, that whosoever believeth and repenteth, shall 
have all his sins pardoned. And this is in force to persons of 
every age, and at every season in this life. So that, by the 
tenour of this grant or covenant, final unbelief and impenitence 
are excepted from pardon directly, and nothing else: but con- 
sequentially, whatsoever is inseparably concomitant with them, 
or is inconsistent with faith and repentance in this life. That 
which is made the condition of pardon, is so far as a condition 
most plainly thereby excepted from pardon itself; that is, the 
non-performance of that condition is so excepted : else a man 
might have the benefit without condition, and then it were no 
condition, seeing it suspcndeth not the benefit. 

7. The sin against the Holy Ghost, therefore, must needs be 
some aggravated sort of infidelity or impenitence, or some in- 


separable concomitant of them. But a mere concomitant it is 
not, seeing it containeth in itself, as this text declareth, a reason 
of its own nipardonableness. It seemeth, therefore, that it is 
a sort of infidelity or impenitence itself. Yet that all infidelity, 
nor all final infidelity or impenitence is not this sin, is probably 
showed before. 

8. There is somewhat, therefore, to be found in the nature or 
present aggravations of infidelity and impenitence, that may 
conclude them unpardonable, besides the mere duration or final 
perseverance of them : and that is it that is found in the sin 
against the Holy Ghost, and which constituteth that unpardon- 
able sin : so that all final infidelity or impenitence is not the 
sin against the Holy Ghost; but the sin against the Holy 
Ghost, now in question, is always infidelity and impenitence, 
and always proveth final ; but it is this specific sin before it 
be final : it is not the sin against the Holy Ghost because it is 
final, (that is, persevering to the end,) but it proves final because 
it is the sin against the Holy Ghost. 

Obj. But how can that stand with Christ's words, who saith 
that all sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven, except the blas- 
pheming of the Spirit ; then either final infidelity and impeni- 
tence are the blaspheming of the Spirit, or else they must be 
forgiven j and so infidels and impenitent persons will be saved ? 

Ansvv. I know this objection hath seemed so difficult, that it 
^"liath turned many out of that which I take to be the right wa}' ; 
but J think that this is the just solution. When Christ saith that 
all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men, he 
speaks of the sin as it is in its own nature at present, without 
respect to the duration of that sin. As it is not every individual 
sin that he meaneth, so is it not sin as thus circumstantiated or 
modified ; but sin specifically considered as it now is. There is 
no manner of sin, no sort of sin, but is pardoned to some men 
or other, except this sin against the Holy Ghost ; but this is 
never pardoned to any. Though final infidelity and impenitence 
be never pardoned, yet the same sins are pardoned when they 
prove not final ; and this is all that the text means, I think ; 
but now the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost hath that in its 
present nature, from whence it may be concluded unpardonable, 
and from whence it will necessarily prove durable to the end. 
As for all other sorts of infidelity they may be cured, and some- 
times are, and therefore prove not final, but are forgiven 3 but 
this ever proves final, and therefore is never forgiven. 


9. It is the will of Christ to save his people from their sins 
themselves, as well as from the punishment of them ; and to 
pardon no sin but what is mortified so far that it S^ve not do- 
minion over us. He will carry on the work of salvation entirely ; 
both sanctification and justification, or pardon together. What- 
soever sin, therefore, is incurable, the same is unpardonable. 

10. Though the Spirit of Christ maybe called a supernatural, 
that is, uncreated cause, a cause not working in a necessary, 
established, natural course, but freely ; and though the graces 
of the Spirit may be called supernatural, in th.at they grow not 
naturally in us, nor are procured by any mere natural causes or 
works of ours ; yet doth it please God to work on man as man, 
as an intellectual, rational, free agent, and so to^'ork bv means 
and ways agreeable to our natures, though supernaturally enforced 
and elevated, and more successful : whence is the common say- 
ing, that infused habits are wrought in us according to the 
manner of acquired habits. 

11 . As Christ hath granted the pardon of all other sins to them 
that will believe and repent, so hath he granted the pardon of 
former unbelief and impenitence to all that will believe and re- 
pent hereafter ; as hath been, on the by, expressed before. 

12. He that will not believe in Christ by the mere obscurer 
predictions of the prophets, might yet believe by the plainer 
preachings of John the Baptist, who pointed out Christ, and 
said, " This is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the 
world ;" and he that will not believe by the testimony of John, 
might yet believe by the observation of the doctrine and holy 
life of Christ himself; and might know that never man spake 
like him, and that those were not the words of an impostor, nor 
of a common man. And he that would not believe by the works 
of Christ, or by any thing which they could observe in his person, 
might yet believe by the observation of his mighty works, which 
he did by the power and Spirit of God, and especially when that 
Spirit was^given so fully and so commonly, and poured out upon 
his disciples in so many countries, so that thousands of them did 
speak strange languages, heal diseases, cast out devils, prophesy 
or work miracles in one sort or other; and what I speak of sight, 
I say also of just report. He that will not believe upon just 
information of Christ's mere words, might yet believe upon in- 
formation of his mighty works, and of his communicating such a 
Spirit to his church to do the like. 

13. He that will not believe upon the report of the glorious 


works of Christ and his servants, because he is not persuaded 
that ever such things were done, but thinks it is misrejDorted by 
partial men ; though his own wicked increduHty be the cause, 
yet may he afterwards, by further evidence, be convinced that 
such holy, wise, and mighty works were indeed done, and so may 
come to believe. 

14. He that is fully convinced either by sight or the testimony 
of others, or any other way, (if any other may be expected,) that 
such holy and mighty works were done by Christ and his dis- 
ciples, as the Scripture mentioneth, bearing on them such evi- 
dences of a divine power, or the finger of God, and yet will not 
believe that Christ is the Messiah, or Redeemer of the world, 
hath no other ordinary or extraordinary, external, objective 
means to convince him, which have in them a greater evidence, 
or may be expected to do that which the former cannot do. If 
such a man, therefore, be converted, it must be either by the same 
means which he rejecteth as insufficient, or by a weaker means, 
or by none at all. To be converted by none, is not God's way 
of working with the rational creature; to be converted by smaller, 
when greater are enjoyed, and both smaller and greater despised, 
is as little his way as to do it by none. He that having opened 
the eyes of the blind, causeth him to see by the means of extrin- 
sic light, doth thereby cause him to see more by a greater pro- 
portioned light than by a less; and never causeth him to see the 
light of a candle, who can see no light in the sun when it shineth 
in his face. It must, therefore, be by the same objective means 
which he despiseth, or not at all, that he must be converted and 
brought over to believe. 

15. He that is so convinced, as is aforesaid, of Christ's works, 
and seeth this seal of his Spirit's operations annexed to his holy 
doctrine, and yet doth not believe that Christ is the Messiah or 
Redeemer, that his testimony is true, and the testimony of his 
apostles true which is thus confirmed, it must be either because 
he believeth not yet that those works are of God in a special 
manner, or else because he believeth that God is not true of his 
word, or in his works, nor to be trusted, but is a deceiver of man- 
kind. If he believe this latter, then there is no higher testimony 
left for his conviction ; he that will not believe God when he 
knows it is he, doth not indeed believe him to be God, that is, 
to be the most perfectly good and true. Nor can we reasonably 
expect that he should believe any other, seeing there is no truth 
or faithfulness in the creature but what is derived from the true 


and faithful God ; or if he wouhl beUeve a creature, when he 
takes his Maker to be a liar, this belief could not conduce to his 

On the other side, if he will not yet believe that those works 
are of God, and the signs of his approbation, he must think that 
eitlier they are of men only, or by devils ; for good angels do 
what they do in obedience to God. The former he cannot be- 
lieve without madness, because the weakness of man himself is 
so well known, that all men know that of themselves no man is 
able to raise the dead, to pour out such a spirit, and to do such 
other works as were done ; nor did the Jews themselves, or any 
enemies of Christ on earth, that ever I read of, who were con- 
vinced that the works themselves were done, ever imagine or 
object such a thing, that such things were done by human power: 
if they had so believed, they had deified the creature against all 

It must, therefore, be Satan, or his power, that these works 
must be ultimately ascribed to, by those that considerately 
deny them to be of God. But to whomsoever they ascribe 
them, they leave themselves incurable, unless that means con- 
vert them whieli they do now reject. For there is no means 
left within the reach of the wit of man, by which God should 
evidence to men his owning of a doctrine or testimony of man, 
in a way agreeable to our nature, and the frame of God's works, 
which should be more clear and convincing than this which we 
have in hand. It is not fit for God to turn his creation upside 
down, nor subvert the frame and course of nature, to convince 
unbelievers. He is not a body, and therefore cannot be seen 
himself by mortal eyes ; nor is he a voice, and therefore must be 
heard by a created voice. Angels are spirits, and not bodies, and 
therefore if they shall appear to us, it must be in an assumed, 
borrowed shape. And if they did, we should not easily know 
whether they were good or bad spirits, and whether they were 
sent of God, or not : but should be left much more in doubt 
than these works do leave us. Yet so far as apparitions of 
angels have been useful to his people, God hath made use of 
them for the confirmation of liis truth, both in the New Testa- 
ment and the Old. He, therefore, that will not be convinced 
that such a Spirit is of God, and such works of God, as the 
doctrine of Christ and his apostles were sealed with, doth leave 
himself incapable of conviction, there being no greater evidence 
of God's attestation to be expected on earth ; and though men 


may imagine that a messenger from the dead might be more 
convincing, indeed it is far less, and of more doubtful credit ; 
and if men beheve not, or will not be persuaded by a word so 
confirmed by the Spirit from heaven in such works, " Neither 
will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead." (Luke 
xvi.) Or if we could imagine a possibility of more convincing, 
effectual evidence, yet we cannot tie God to our fancy, nor 
expect that he should use all means to satisfy us, that we can 
imagine might tend to our conviction. We must know what is 
fit for creatures to expect, in a rational and settled way of govern- 
ment, and not what is possible to be done : and God is fittest to 
judge what ways of revelation are convenient for him to use, 
and mankind to receive. 

It is madness to expect that God should make the sun to 
stand still in the firmament, to convince every unbeliever ; or 
that he should take us up to heaven, or let us have a sight of 
hell, to convince us. He that will choose his own evidence and 
sign before he will be convinced, would make himself the ruler 
of the world, and doth not submit to the rule of his Maker. 
What evidence can be mentioned de facto of a divine attesta- 
tion, that ever God gave to mankind in any case, that is higher, 
clearer, and more convincing than those works by which he 
hath sealed to the Scriptures, and especially by the Spirit of 
Christ in himself and his disciples ? 

16. That he who doth make this the refuge of his unbelief, 
to impute the works of Christ and his disciples to Beelzebub, 
doth thereby make the devil to be as God, and God to be as 
the devil, and so, besides the casting away of the highest and 
utmost evidence of conviction, doth most intolerably blaspheme 
the Spirit of God ; this I shall have occasion more fully to 
manifest in the body of this ensuing discourse. 

17. As it is manifested that he who rejecteth this evidence 
of the Spirit must be convinced by the very same which he 
rejecteth, or never be convinced ; so it is further manifest that 
he who hath been convinced tiiat these works were done, and 
y.et upon deliberation doth resolvedly reject them as no testi- 
mony of God, cannot be convinced afterwards by the same tes- 
timony, without some greater illumination and operation of the 
Holy Ghost upon his mind, than he had at the first considera- 
tion. For he can expect no greater, but the same external, 
objective cause of his conviction : which, being but the same, 
will do but the same work. Only it is true that God could, if 
he pleased, and it were fit, send such an inward light into his 


soul, that should convince him of what he saw not before, even 
in and by the same external evidence. But without this special 
illumination of the Holy Ghost, it cannot be done. 

18. It seems to me from this and other texts, that he who 
goes so far as is before mentioned against the Holy Ghost, viz., 
as after conviction of the truth of Christ's and his disciples' 
works, to deny them to be of God, and father them on the 
devil, and so to call God's Spirit, Beelzebub, and on this ground 
to be an infidel and impenitent, hath done such despite to the 
Spirit, and so heinously abused God by this blasphemy and 
rejecting of his grace, that he will utterly forsake that man, 
and judgeth it unfit to call him home to repentance, and taketh 
him for an incapable object of his mercy, and therefore will 
certainly give him up to a perseverance in his infidelity and 
impenitence to the end, and will never pardon him in this life, 
nor absolve him at judgment, but condemn him to everlasting, 
remediless misery : and that this is God's decree, and these 
limits he hath set to the exercise of his pardoning mercy in 

And thus, by these steps, we are come up to the nature of 
the blasphemv against the Holy Ghost, and the unpardonable- 
ness of it, and the reasons of that unpardonableness. In a 
word, it seems that the sin, as laid down to us in this text, is 
this : 

When a man is convinced that Christ and his apostles, or 
other disciples, did perform those many and mighty works 
which are mentioned of them in the Gospel, as working of 
miracles, speaking with strange languages, living in holiness, 
especially of Christ's own resurrection from the dead, or many 
of the chief of these ; and yet shall be so far from taking these 
for a divine attestation, and believing in Christ as the Messiah, 
and receiving his holy doctrine confirmed thereby, that they 
shall in their hearts determine and be resolved that it was by 
the power of the devil that these works were done, and so 
make this the ground or refuge of their obstinate unbelief; in 
so doing, they commit the unpardonable sin of blasphemy 
against the Holy Ghost, whether they utter the blasphemy with 
their lips or not. 

J 9. Whether the bare rejecting of these acknowledged works, 
if the rejecter should not father them on Satan, be this unpar- 
donable sin, if hereby a man take refuge for his unbelief, I shall 
not now determine. Only say, 1 . That tliis which I have de- 
scribed is clearly it : and 1 will stop my determinations in 


what is clear. 2. That, as I have showed, it is scarce reason- 
ably conceivable that these works, when once acknowledged, 
can be ascribed to any other but Satan, if they be disbelieved, 
or how a man can reject this testimony by any other than this 
blasphemous way. 3. But if another way may be imaginable, 
I will not secure that person from the guilt of this unpardonable 
sin, though I will not charge him with it, but shall leave that 
as J find it* 

20. Another hard question lieth before us; whether it be only 
the blaspheming of this objective testimony of the Spirit that 
is the unpardonable sin, or whether also there be not a certain 
kind or degree of the inward illumination, and working of the 
Spirit, and that for repentance and sanctification, as well as to 
belief; which whosoever rejecteth, or at least in such or such a 
manner rejecteth, doth commit this unpardonable sin ? I did 
before conclude, that it is not only against this inward illumin- 
ation : now let us see whether it be at all specifically consist- 
ing herein. 

I know that it is commonly thought that a malicious rejecting 
this internal light is the unpardonable sin. I purpose in so 
great a matter to deal cautelously. It is no small error to tell 
men that that is an unpardonable sin which is not, or that that 
is a pardonable sin which is unpardonable. I have, I think, 
plainly discovered from the text one description of the unpar- 
donable sin : if any will bring more, it must be well proved 
from Scripture. Yet this I may say, 

1. The inward work of the Spirit is either of common gifts, 
as learning, and the like, by succeeding our industry ; or it is in 
extraordinary gifts, which yet are not certainly saving, as mira- 
cles, tongues, prophecies. Sic, such as the sealing Spirit gave 
for the confirmation of christian religion at the first ; or thirdly, 
it is in the special saving graces of Christ. The first of these 
concerneth not our present business. For the other two the 
Spirit is first considerable as effecting them ; and then the effect 
itself is considerable as it should be reviewed by us, and be the 
objective cause of some further effect. Now when our question 
is, whether rejecting the Spirit within ourselves may be the 
unpardonable sin? 1 answer distinctly: 1. If the Spirit be 
considered as the efficient cause of miraculous gifts, it effects 
them irresistibly, where such gifts were given, and the resisting 
of that work is not this sin. 

2. If we speak of this gift of miracles as an effect of the 


Spirit; so according to Christ's usual way of conveyance, I 
think it was in none but beUevers, at least by that called an 
historical faith ; and therefore it could not be that sin which is 
an aggravated infidelity. Yet in sensu diviso I believe that the 
same man that is now such a believer, having the Spirit of 
miracles, may fall away to infidelity, and lose that Spirit ; and 
that he may so lose it, as to sin against the Holy Ghost : not 
by resisting that Spirit as efficient, but by rejecting the testi- 
mony of its works objectively considered : so that if one that 
had found such gifts in himself should conclude that those 
gifts were from Satan, and so turn infidel and blasphemer, thus 
he may as well sni against the Holy Ghost which was within 
him, as without him. 

3. As for the gift of sanctifying grace, which is it that con- 
cerneth us in these days. 1. I suppose that when the Spirit 
hath effected it in us, it is not lost ; yet in specie it may be 
said, ' That for such a man that hath had such grace to lose it 
and ascribe it all to Satan, and so blaspheme the Spirit that 
gave it,' this would be the unpardonable sin j because, though 
the grace of sanctification in others may not be such a full, 
convincing evidence, because we cannot see their hearts, yet 
the grace in ourselves doth so expressly bear the image of God, 
that it may be a full, convincing testimony of the truth of 
Christ ; and so the blaspheming of it, objectively considered 
in our reviews, may be this sin. But as long as such a thing 
doth ever exist, we need not say so much of this, only we may 
say ; ' That though it never be, yet if it should be,' it would be 
the sin against the Holy Ghost : 1 say not that all aj)ostasy 
would be so, but this so aggravated. And perhaps we may ex- 
pound some texts as forbidding or threatening such a sin, 
though it never shall be. But if they should be in the right that 
affirm against us a total apostasy of the truly sanctified as in 
being, then this would deserve a fuller consideration than now 
1 conceive it doth. 2. And if you consider the Spirit of sanc- 
tification, not objectively but efficiently, then either in the 
effecting of grace, or before such effecting. In the effecting, it 
cannot be so resisted ; for if it do effect it, the person is a 
believer and sanctified ; if before, then either before a true, 
consequent sanctification, and that is not the unpardonable sin 
which hath sanctification and pardon following it ; or it is said 
to be before it only, as being in duty as to us, and by appoint- 
ment from God in order to it ; and here sticks the doubt. 


whether the Spirit drawing us towards Christ or sanctificatioii 
may be so far resisted, as that the sin shall be unpardonable ? 
If so, then it is either specified such from the degree or kind of 
work that is resisted, or from the manner of resistance. If it 
be from the degree or kind of grace or work resisted, then did 
not some sanctified ones once resist that same degree or sort of 
grace, before a greater or more effectual work did come and 
cause them to believe? If you say, no; then you must say that 
the same grace in kind and degree doth cause one man to 
believe which resisteth not, and another it doth not cause to 
believe who resisteth, and so no grace is necessary to overcome 
that resistance and make a difference ; and then it is man's 
will that must make God's grace effectual, and God did not 
give any more to him that believeth, than to him that believeth 
not. And whose doctrine this is, and how commonly and justly 
rejected, is known. But if you say that it is from the manner of 
resistance that this sin is specified, that manner must be showed. 
Is it the hatred of the truth, or maliciousness of our resistance ? 
I have showed, that according to the degree of sin that is in us, 
there is a malice against the truth in all ; not as truth, for so it 
is in none on earth, but as it is contrary to our carnal inclina- 
tions and interest. It must, therefore, be some certain degree 
or kind of malice, if it lie in that ; but that I have not seen 
opened yet. Yet, 1. I will not say that certainly no resistance 
of the Spirit of grace in its efficacy is this sin : though 1 am not 
yet convinced of it, I dare not, in so weighty a cause, to i)e so 
confident and bold as to warrant any from that danger. 2. I 
am not of the mind of that learned doctor of ours, who thinks 
that the Spirit is never resisted in its efficiency, but only by dis- 
obedience in its precepts : I confess his arguments are pretty 
catches to show wit, and nonplus some disputers, but, methinks, 
they are not cogent. 3. And I add, ' That though this resisting 
the highest degree of common, gracious operations of the Spirit 
be not (as I rather think it is not) the sin here in question, yet 
such a malicious, obstinate resistance there may be, as may leave 
a man in a case next to this, or so far forsaken that he is never 
likely to escape ; that though his sins be pardonable, yet it may 
be a hundred to one that they will never be pardoned, as a most 
dangerous disease may be called curable where not one of a 
hundred is ever cured of it ; so dangerous may it prove to go so 
far in striving against the Spirit of grace : many a thousand that 
did not commit the unpardonable sin, as I suppose, are yet for 


their rejecting of grace, and obstinacy therein, forsaken by the 
Spirit, and given up to blindness and to a reprobate sense, and 
strong delusions, so that they never repent nor are recovered to 
salvation.' If any think I conclude not peremptorily enough in 
these weighty and difiicult points, I desire that the said weight 
and difficulty may excuse my cautelousness : so much of the 
description of this sin. 

Obj. But that text, Heb. vi. 4 — 6, seemeth not to agree 
to your description of this sin ; for you make it to be the sin of 
infidels : there it is made the sin of such as were illuminated, 
and had been made partakers of the Holy Ghost. You make it 
to be a blasphemous rejecting of the objective testimony of the 
Spirit : there it seems to be an excusing of the internal gifts 
of the Spirit received. 

Answ. 1. I have already showed that it is not very clear that 
it is the same sin that this text speaks of, at least as existing; 
but, perhaps, either a threatening of the godly to deter them 
from that sin, or a description of another sin. 2. But I confess 
I rather incline to think it the same sin, and therefore let that 
be now supposed : and, 1. I say that, m seiisu composito, I said 
the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit vvas the sin of infidels ; but 
not in sensu diviso always. They are infidels when they commit 
it; but before, some are, and some are not. This sin (Heb. vi.) 
is total apostasy, and surely that is an apostasy to infidelity; and 
therefore such total apostates are all infidels. 2. Jt seems to 
me that this sin (Heb. vi.) is the rejecting of the objective tes- 
timony of the spirit of miracles or extraordinary gifts, by 
which the truth in those times was confirmed. For, l.They 
themselves are said to have tasted of the heavenly gift, and the 
powers of the world to come, and were made partakers of the 
Holy Ghost : and it will be granted that this was not the spirit 
of true sanctification, if the thing were ever existent ; therefore 
it is most likely to be the spirit of extraordinary gifts, com- 
monly called the Holy Ghost in those times, which those had 
that shall cry one day in vain, " Lord, have we not done many 
wonderful works, and cast out devils in thy name ?" (Matt, vii.) 
And if they had themselves this spirit of wonders, and yet fell 
away to total infidelity, it seems they did reject even the objec- 
tive testimony of that spirit as insufiicient. 2. They could not, 
in those days, but be convinced of the matter of fact, that such 
works were done, when, in all churches, many of them were so 
common. 3. May UQt the crime that is charged on them inti- 


mate this, that they crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him 
to open shame ? That is, as some learned expositors think, 
they judged him such a one as the Jews did that crucified him, 
and, to his open dishonour, accused him of that same crime, 
and so justified their putting him to death : that is, they judged 
him an impostor: and so to judge of Christ, notwithstanding 
the testimony of those miracles which they had been convinced 
of, is the sin which we have been describing. 4. They could 
not be believers without believing Christ's resurrection, at least, 
which is one great miracle; therefore they must needs reject 
the testimony of that. 

If you say that these are not said to ascribe these works to 
Satan, I answer, it seems implied in that, as is showed before, 
there is scarce another way to total infidelity imaginable with 
them that are convinced of the works as to matter of fact : but 
whether the rejecting of that testimony, without ascribing it to 
Satan, may be that sin or not, I before left undetermined. 

Obj. All total apostasy is here made the incurable sin; but 
all total apostasy is not the sin which you have described. 

Answ. 1. It is unproved that it is all total apostasy that is 
mentioned in Heb. vi.; it being expressed only of them that had 
been partakers of the Holy Ghost, that is, most likely for the 
operation of wonders, which all that profess Christianity do not 
partake of. It is said also that they crucify Christ afresh, which 
it is doubtful whether, in that sense, all total apostates do. 

2. Or if it should extend to all total apostates of those times 
and places, who must needs know that such mighty works were 
done, and such a Spirit given, yet it followeth not that it must 
needs extend to all total apostates in after ages through the 
world ; of whom many became professed Christians by educa- 
tion, example of others, for reputation, or they knew not why, 
having no consideration of these great works, nor any know- 
ledge in themselves or others of such a Spirit. If these shall 
afterwards totally withdraw their profession, on a false conceit 
that such a Spirit was never given to attest the christian verity, 
it is doubtful whether this be the incurable apostasy which this 
text describeth, which supposeth that the persons themselves 
had the Holy Ghost and its illumination, and lived among his 
mighty works. 

3. If a man have been, indeed, a believer historically, he 
must needs believe that miracle of Christ's resurrection, which is 
essential to the christian faith ; and if he withdraw not that be- 


lief of the matter of fact, and yet believe not Christ to be the 
Messiah or Mediator, it is hard to conceive on what other 
grounds he can do it tlian as against the Holy Ghost. 

4. However, because this text is very dreadful, I will not un- 
dertake to prove any total a))ostate free from this sin, but leave 
it to a better expositor, having found out that which is undoubt- 
edly this sin ; and the case of such apostates must needs be 
very dreadful, if it be not this sin that they are guilty of, having 
fled so far from grace as they have done, so that it is unlikely 
that ever they should be restored : especially if God had ever 
permitted true believers to apostatize totally, there being but 
one regeneration, but one baptism to signify and seal it, I should 
think there is but one resurrection from spiritual death, and 
that it were most likely that their sin were this incurable sin, 
from which they could not be renewed to repentance. And as I 
have said, 1 see not but the text may speak of such, as sup- 
posing the sin to be possible in itself, and such as we are in 
danger of, and should fall into, if grace by warnings and threat- 
enings did not prevent it: though yet it be not future as to the 
event, because by these means it will be prevented. 

Obj. But why should not a total apostasy in the will, affec- 
tions, and practice, be the unpardonable sin, though it be not 
total as to the understanding in point of belief? Is it not an 
aggravation of sin that it be against knowledge ? and is it not 
most like to the sin of the devils, who believe, and yet are total 
apostates from God ? 

Answ. 1. If such a sin as a total apostasy of the will, with- 
out that of the understanding, may be found in man, I will not 
excuse it from this charge, though I will not affirm that it is the 
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, but will leave it to further 

2. It is not, I think, the absolute greatness of the sin, that 
we must here look at, but the inconsistency with the remedy. 

3. I do not yet conceive how in this life the will can totally 
apostatize without the understanding : the case is much diiferent 
between men on earth and the devils or damned. They may 
have their belief and knowledge, with a total apostasy in morals, 
and a full hatred of God and the Redeemer, because that abso- 
lute desperation duth accompany that belief, so that they look 
upon God as their irreconcilable enemy. But men on earth 
are in another case. To believe in Christ the Saviour here, is 
to believe in one that would be their Saviour, and offereth salva- 


tion to them, and hath not given them any cause to despair: 
And if you say, that by a causeless or mere penal despair they 
may be brought to it here, I must needs say, that I never knew, 
nor heard, nor read of any such, tliat by total desperation were 
brought to a total apostasy of heart, and absolute hatred of 
God, or the Redeemer. But other apostates we know too many. 

If any think that these answers that I have given do not free 
this text, Heb. vi., from a seeming contradiction to Matt, xii., 
unless we take all total apostasy to be the sin against the Holy 
Ghost, and so give it another description than I have done, 
I leave them to consider whether that saying, "All manner of 
sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven," may not be meant as 
Grotius expounds it, not as affirming them remissible but easier 
to be remitted, or nearer to it : as Luke expresseth that by, 
" It is easier for heaven and earth," &c., which Matthew expressed 
by, " Heaven and earth shall pass," &;c. I mention not this as 
my own opinion, nor yet as taking the exposition of the following- 
clause in his way, to be so probable as this ; viz. that, unpar- 
donableness is but hardly pardoned : but it is this clause alone 
that I speak of. 

And though, in the point of irremissibleness, I have told you 
my own thoughts already, as being loth to strain such express 
words as those that say, " This sin shall not be forgiven ;" yet, if 
any should bring such reasons as should force me from that 
exposition, that which seems next to it in probability is this 
following : That it is Christ's purpose here to signify the reason 
why infidelity is the unpardonable sin. As if he should say, 
" If I had not done the works which no man else could do, and 
manifested fully the attestation of God by these miracles and 
works of the Holy Ghost, then you might have been saved by 
your former belief in the Messiah, without believing determin- 
ately that 1 am he : but now if you believe not that I am he 
when I have showed you the attestation of God, you shall die in 
your sins, unpardoned. 

And thus it should make only final unbelief against the Spirit's 
testimony to be unpardonable, and, therefore, unpardonable 
because the testimony is so full. This exposition supposeth 
that if Christ had not sealed his doctrine with such a Spirit and 
such works, then men might have been saved on those terms on 
which salvation was before attainable, that is, among the Jews, 
by believing in the Messiah to come, indeterminately. 

Near unto this also is the following exposition, which taketh 



the word " forgiven" in the text, for the conditional grant of 
forgiveness as it is given out by God in Christ ; as a grant of 
pardon under the Sovereign's hand is commonly called a pardon, 
though but conditional, especially when the condition is but 
acceptance, as in our case ; which usually runs in the terms of 
an absolute grant. As if Christ should have said, "If you sin 
against the Creator's moral law, you shall have a pardon in my 
blood, on condition you will believe. If you will not believe 
upon the sight of my person, and hearing of my doctrine only, 
1 will vouchsafe you the remedy of my miracles, and those 
works of the Spirit which are the very finger of God discovered 
to you. But if you will not by this remedy be brought to believe, 
you shall never have a pardon upon another condition, nor ever 
have a higher objective remedy to cure your infidelity, that so 
you may have pardon thereof. 

Yet this exposition supposeth that there may be an after 
success of the same remedy, though no grant of another j and 
so a pardon thereupon be received. 

Some go further, and expound it thus 5 as if all blasphemy 
against Christ's manhood, and all rejecting of him, if he had 
done those extraordinary works, should be pardoned without a 
particular repentance, by the general repentance for sins of 
ignorance. But this rejecting and blasphemy of the testimony 
of the Spirit shall not be pardoned without a particular repent- 
ance : and consequently a man might live and die in the former, 
and yet be saved, but not in the latter. If this extend only to 
the Jews that had not the discovery of Christ's works before, 
and that had a general belief in the Messiah, then it is near to 
the former exposition. But if it extend to the gentiles that 
have no faith in the Messiah at all, and suppose them to have 
actually a repentance on which they are forgiven without faith 
in Christ, yea, forgiven their rejecting of Christ, in case they 
hear only of his person, sufferings, and doctrine, without his 
miracles, then it goeth much further than the first exposition. 

Note, that in all these expositions it is agreed, that though 
this blaspheming of the Holy Ghost be not a sin against 
knowledge and belief, (as others think,) that is, a sin of the will 
and tongue against the judgment, as at present convinced, yet 
is it ever a sin against the highest means of knowledge and 
belief. It is not believing when they have the fullest evidence 
to force belief, though it be not a blaspheming of what they do 
indeed believe. 



To gather the sum of all into a few words, for the sake of 
weak memories. This much is out of doubt with me, that this 
siti lieth ill the rejecting of the objective testimony of the Spirit 
extraordinarily then attesting Christ's doctrine, as being the 
highest and last objective remedy of unbelief. The three 
persons in the blessed Trinity have each one their stiveral ways 
of recovering man, and for the remission of his sin, and there 
are several ways of sinning against each of them, as men sin 
against their dispensations. When we had sinned against the 
Creator and his perfect law, he gave us his Son to be our Re- 
deemer. There was his proper work for our pardon, together 
with the acceptance of the price of redemption, and the giving 
us into the hands of his Son, as his redeemed ones. The Son 
made satisfaction to justice, and sent forth to the world a con- 
ditional pardon under his hand and seal, with his word and Spirit, 
to persuade them to accept it. This is his work for our pardon, 
antecedent to our believing. The Spirit enditeth and sealeth 
this written, delivered pardon, by mighty works, and importu- 
neth the hearts of sinners to accept it. If it be accepted. 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost do actually pardon us. If it be 
not accepted merely as sent by the word of the Son, we sin 
against the Son by unbelief. If it be not accepted or believed, 
as sealed and urged by the Spirit, (yea, or if sealed extrinsically 
only,) then it is the sin against the Spirit, supposing that seal be 
discerned and considered of, and yet resolvedly rejected. So 
that here are three, the last remedying means rejected at once. 
When man was fallen, the Father provideth a sacrifice for his 
sin, and but one sacrifice : the Son tendereth to us a remedying 
covenant, and but one such covenant. The Spirit of Christ, 
especially in his extraordinary works, is the convincing, attesting 
seal, to draw men to believe, and there is but one such Spirit 
and seal. He that sinned against the law of works, hath all 
these remedies in their several orders. But if you refuse this 
one sacrifice, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin. If you 
refuse this one remedying covenant, there is no other covenant 
after it to be expected : and if you refuse this sealing and sanc- 
tifying Spirit, which would draw you into the covenant, there 
is no other spirit or seal to be expected. Thus much is out of 
doubt : and, therefore, he that finally continueth to refuse this 
sacrifice, covenant, and seal of the Spirit, shall perish for ever. 
But then, whether the text further mean that he that doth 
once, or at any time, refuse this Spirit, shall be certainly given 



over to final infidelity or iinpenitency, and whether the same 
means which was once refused, may not afterwards, by a greater 
internal help and light, become effectual, this I will not peremp- 
torily determine, but only tell you my present opinion ; that 
because the text doth speak so expressly, it is safest to interpret 
it so ; that whosoever doth blaspheme the Spirit, as is before 
described, shall be forsaken, and left to final infidelity and im- 
penitency, and so never have the pardon of his sin. 

And whether there be any certain degree of the inward mov- 
ing or illumination of the Spirit, which when it is obstinately 
resisted, or rejected, doth leave the sinner certainly remediless, I 
leave to the inquiry of them that know more. 

Quest. But it is strange that, in a case of so great moment, 
God would leave things so dark and doubtful to us. 

Answ. So much as was most necessary for our knowledge is 
most clear. For the rest it sufficeth to know that such a thing 
is a sin, and of heinous aggravation, and bringeth the sinner into 
exceeding danger ; and seems rather an act of God's great wis- 
dom to leave those men in some doubt, whether their sin be 
curable or no, who would venture to go to the utmost line, and 
to approach so near to the uncurable sin. It tendeth to the pre- 
vention of that sin in others, to let men know the doubtfulness 
of recovery : and yet it may tend to the recovery of those that 
are in it, to leave it but doubtful, that they may not be shut up 
under diabolical despair : especially while the main promise is 
cleared and secured to us. That whosoever believeth and re- 
penteth shall have pardon. So that it is now the duty of all 
men to believe and repent, rather than to stand inquiring 
whether they have committed the unpardonable sin ; and by so 
doing they may be assured that they have not committed it. 
For he that can repent and believe, did certainly never commit 
that sin. This, therefore, is the surest and speediest way to 
quiet them that are afraid that they have committed that sin. 
So much for the opening of the text. 

Sect. IV. 

Having, in the explication of the text, endeavoured to make 
known to you, what the sin against the Holy Ghost is, I come 
next to the maiji thing intended, which is to endeavour the pre- 
vention of this sin ; and that in the handling of this following 
doctrine, which is offered to us in Christ's reply to the Pharisees. 
(Verse 25, 26, 28—30.) 


Doct. The enmity of Christ, his doctrine and works, against 
Satan and his kingdom, his opposition to him, and conquests 
over him, are a certain evidence that it was not hy his power, 
but by the power of God, that Christ did perform his wonderful 
works : and his apostles in hke manner performed theirs. 

The doctrine hath two parts, which we must distinctly handle. 

1. That there is such enmity between Christ and Satan; such 
a combat of Christ against Satan, and such a conquest of him. 

2. That by these it is certainly proved, that Christ was none 
of Satan's confederates, nor did work by his help or power. 

The former must be done by comparing the disposition, 
interest, and works of Christ and Satan together, that so we may 
fully behold the contrariety ; where we first show you what is the 
disposition, interest, and work of Satan, and then show you how 
Christ doth contradict and conquer him, and show his enmity to 
him in all. 

Let us, therefore, distinctly consider, 1. Of the nature. 2. 
The interest. 3. The designs. 4. And the actions and en- 
deavours of Satan ; and of the nature, interest, design, and 
actions of Jesus Christ ; and you will see the same contrariety 
between them, as is betwixt darkness and light, death and life, 
evil and good. 

That there are such unhappy spirits as we call devils, or evil 
angels, I will not be beholden to the infidel to acknowledge; and 
to evince it to that sort of them that we are now to dispute 
against, is needless : for if they were not convinced of it, they 
would not ascribe the works of Christ to such spirits. And for 
the sadducees that believe not that there are good or bad angels, 
they shut their eyes against the light of the sun, and deny the 
undoubted discoveries of sense itself. 

For, 1. We see that this earth on which we live is but a very 
small part of God's creation, and as a spot to the rest of his 
visible works ; we see that there are sun and moon, and other 
planets, and a vast space above us, and about us. We see, also, 
that even this lower and baser world doth so abound with living 
creatures, that almost no place is destitute of a plenty of in- 
habitants. The earth is inhabited by man with all sorts of beasts ; 
vea, the worms and moles do live within it. The water is re- 
plenished with fishes ; the air with birds and flies. And if the 
baser world be so replenished with i)ihabitants, is it likely that 
the more high and noble parts of the creation are wholly empty 
and uninhabited ? or, if the earth have creatures so rational as 


man, is it likely that the more noble parts are furnished with 
such as are destitute of reason only ? or, is it not to reason itself 
most strongly probable, that the more comprehensive and noble 
parts of the creation, which are above us, are furnished with more 
noble and rational inhabitants ? 

2. And that some of these are evil, by their own fall and 
faults is further evident, as shall be declared anon. And because 
the proof of the being of devils will be despatched in our proof 
of their nature and works, to make short of it, we will refer it 
thither, and so next proceed to that. 

1. The nature of these angels or evil spirits is considerable, 
either in regard to their substance, and physical powers, and en- 
dowments ; and so they still remain excellent creatures ; which 
is the honour of their Maker, but small comfort to themselves ; 
or else it is considerable in regard of their moral qualities ; and 
so they are most vile, and wicked, and totally depraved, and 
turned from God. The consequent whereof is their penal 
misery proportioned to their sin. 

Their evil, corrupted natures are the fountains of their interests, 
designs, and actions; and, therefore, they all follow this vitiated 
nature ; v/hich the abuse of their own free-will, by sinning and 
rebelling against God, was the first cause of. 

This wicked nature disposeth them, 1. To dishonour God, 
because they hate him, as being totally apostatized from him, 
and punished by him, and know him to be unreconcilable to 
them, as they are to him. 

2. Their nature inclineth them to seek their own honour, and 
to draw that which is due to God unto themselves. 

3. They are natural haters of virtue and holiness. 

4. They are natural haters of the good angels, who are con- 
trary to them, and stand fast in the perfect obedience of God, 
and do resist and overcome these evil spirits. 

5. They hate all mankind, and wish their ruin; but especi- 
ally the saints, with their deepest hatred. 

6. They love that which is evil, and are wholly inclined to it. 
II. From these six parts of their wicked inclinations, we may 

know wherein their wicked interest doth consist : and then we 
may know who is for them, and who is against them. 

1 , The chief part of their interest is placed by them in the 
injury of God ; though they cannot hurt him, they will wrong 
him, and so come as near it as they can. The kingdom of 
Satan is chiefly in hindering the kingdom of God. 


2. Their interest lieth in being believed and worshipped 
themselves instead of God. 

3. And in the suppression of true piety and righteousness, and 
banishing it out of the world. 

4. And in the dishonour of the good angels, and prevalency 
against them, if they could. 

5. In the ruin and destruction of mankind, and the dis- 
turbance and vexation of the saints that are against them. 

6. And in the abounding and predominancy of all kind of sin, 
and the defiling and corrupting the works of God. Herein lieth 
Satan's interest, agreeable to his nature. 

III. By this it is easy to know his designs, and what is the 
work that he would carry on in the world ; for it is but this 
promoting of his interest according to his depraved nature. 
For these it is that he is so vigilant and diligent ; for these ends 
he walketh night and day, and employeth all his endeavours to 
accomplish them. 

But I suppose by this time I hear the sadducee calling for my 
proof of these things, and asking, ' How shall we know that the 
devils have such inclinations, interests, and designs ? ' To which 
I answer, that we that believe God's supernatural revelations in 
his word, do know it thereby j but for those that do not, they 
may know it by the evil actions of these spirits, which are so 
agreeable to these natures, interests, and designs. 

IV. We shall next, therefore, speak of these actions of Satan, 
by which all the former are fully manifest. Three or four of 
these discoveries I have spoken of already in my second part of 
the ' Saint's Rest,' but yet shall add a few words more con- 
cerning them on this occasion. 

1. By his transactions with witches, it is fully manifested that 
the devil is such a one as the Scripture doth describe him to be, 
and hath such designs and endeavours as we have now mentioned. 

As for those men that will not believe that there is such a 
thing, but suppose all the talk about witches to be delusory, and 
that they are but fantasms that delude the persons themselves, 
or forced confessions by which they delude others, if they be not 
so proud as to scorn to hear reason, nor so lazy as to refuse the 
easy means of better information, nor so mad as to be incapable 
of understanding the plainest, satisfactory evidence, I would tell 
them how they may be cured of their error. First, Let them 
read well, with sobriety and impartiality, but these few small 
books following: Nicolas Remigius * Daemonolatreia;' Joh. 


Bodiiius De ^ Magorum Daemonomania ;' Jac. Sprangerus, an 
inquisitor of Collen, with his colleague, his 'Malleus Malifico- 
luni ;' Paulus Grellandus, a lawyer that judged them in Italy; 
Danceus, ' Dialog. De Sortiariis;' Ulricas Molitor, his 'Disputa- 
tion to the Emperor Sigismond, ahout Witches ;' Joachimus 
Camaracensis 'De NaturaDaemoniorum;' Turquemeda Hispanus 
Hortus; Pet. Mamoreus 'De Sortilegis j' Henr. Coloniensis 'De 

Secondly, let them take a journey into Essex and Suffolk, 
and inquire of the cause why such multitudes of them were lately 
put to death ; or let them confer with the justices of assize, or 
peruse the records, and see what was proved against them, and 
then I doubt not but there may be much done to their convic- 
tion ; and if neither serve turn, let them fall out with some 
witch, and try whether they have power to do them hurt, so it 
may be done without discovery and danger. 

The writers before-mentioned are themselves competent wit- 
nesses, having been divers of them questors, or judges, that have 
themselves heard all the examinations and evidence, and the rest 
men that had sufficient opjjortunity to be informed of them. 

Sprangerus and Grillandus wrote the histories of such as they 
condemned, when they had put multitudes of them to death ; so 
did Remigius, adding to those that himself had examined the 
histories of others, as they are upon record in the rolls of those 
courts or judicatories that did condemn them. In the like way 
had Bodin his information, partly from their own mouths and 
the witnesses, and partly from the court-rolls and the judges ; 
and the writers are for learning, sobriety, judgment, impartiality, 
and known credibility and fidelity, beyond exception. If men 
of such place and reputation in their countries had wrote so 
many falsehoods about matters of public fact, done before the 
country at assizes, or in open courts, and had falsely alleged so 
many public records, it would easily, speedily, and certainly have 
disgraced them ; and they tell you the year, the month, and oft 
the day, the place, the persons' names, and tell you where you 
may yet find the records. 

Remigius tells us of eight or nine hundred that were put to 
death for witchcraft in that small compass, in Lorraine ; besides 
about eight hundred more that escaped. A notable witch in 
France, called Cenomanus Triscalanus, when he was condemned, 
promised to discover others if he might be pardoned ; and, upon 
king's pardon, was brought into public assemblies and conven- 


tions, where he knew the faces of those whom he had seen at 
their hellish sabbatisms, and, upon the sight of them, told the 
inquisitors how they should find them marked : which they 
found accordingly. But he accused so many rich and poor, that 
favour and tenderness of the number and quality caused the 
persecution to surcease. This man confessed before the king 
(Carol. IX.) and a great company of his nobles, the very same 
things as the rest of them commonly did confess, about their 
assemblies, and the manner of their solemnities : Bodin and 
Remigius mention this. And the same Bodin tells us of thirty 
of them at once, falling out among themselves, and enviously 
accusing one another, and all confessing the thing to the death, 
and reporting the same manner of their common assemblies as 
the rest do : this was apud Cenomannus, in France, but newly 
then done. The manner of their assemblies we shall speak of 
anon. Of the many Valerian witches also that made the same 
confession of the manner of their contracts and assemblies, 
Danaeus and Bodin give us the history ; in Savoy the place is. 
If now the incredulous will say, that all these people were 
falsely accused and unjustly burned, besides the sufficient 
witnesses, and the competency of the judges, their own confes- 
sion may confute that objection. Jf it be said that they were 
forced to it, the contrary is certain of multitudes tbat confessed 
at the first accusation : yea, many of them refused to petition 
for their lives, but begged that they might presently die, profess- 
ing that they were so cruelly used by the devil for not fulfilling 
his desires, or for having thoughts of repentance, that they had 
rather die than live such a life, which they could no longer 
endure : many of them also have been seen in their assemblies, 
and taken in the fact. Many of them have, by anointing them, 
taken their husbands and children along with them, who have 
accused them on sight, and they have confessed all. Yea, some 
have been seen at their meetings in the daytime, though that is 
not common, and in the midst of their feast, who at the naming 
of God or Jesus Christ have all vanished, and left their plate 
behind them, which hath been brought to the magistrate, and 
the owners known by it, and been burned upon confession of 
the fact. And lest you say, that it is only silly, miserable people 
that are a-weary of their own lives that make such confessions, 
there have been many noble women, and counts, and barons, put 
to death in France, that have confessed all themselves, as Bodin 
and Remigius will tell you, with their names, the time, place, 
and confessions. Yea, doctors of divinity of tlie popish 


profession, that have been executed upon confession, and unde- 
niable proofs. If you say, that all these were but phantasms and 
delusions, 1 answer : 

1 . If that were so, yet must it be a diabolical power that must do 
so much to delude men's phantasies ; and an evil spirit it must 
needs be, that would by such delusion abuse them unto evil. 

2. But could a delusion carry people so many days' journey 
from home, where others have been seen and found them ; 
even those that did but anoint themselves with their ointments ? 
Could a delusion bring them into the sight of others ? Could 
it enable them to do so much mischief in killing men, cattle 
and trees, corn and fruits, which they have commonly con- 
fessed, and hath been proved by the effects ? 

We had here at Worcester, the last assize save two or three, 
a witch condemned, among other things, for bewitching a gar- 
dener's child in Evesham, a girl, who voided flint stones and 
pebbles for many months, (by the uterine or urinary passage,) 
which were showed in the open court, of the bigness of a man's 
thumb some of them, of which the reverend pastor of that place, 
Mr. Hopkins, can give any man that doubteth satisfaction, and 
that sufficient search and observation was used to remove all 
suspicion of deceit. A hundred the like examples might be 
produced to satisfy any reasonable man that these things are 
not all phantasms. 

Some of them have been seen in a storm falling down in the 
tops of trees, as birds do after their flight, some on the tops of 
houses : many have confessed that they raised storms, and 
were carried in clouds many and many times, and describe the 
manner how it was done. Many of their husbands have ac- 
cused them, that often missed them out of bed in the night : 
some of them have beaten them, till they forced them to con- 
fess all; and the menbeing possessed with a desire to see whether 
it were true or not, and how the business was carried, have 
pardoned their wives on condition they would sliow them their 
meetings ; who being anointed with their ointment, have been 
presently carried thither, where they have found so great a 
number met together, as caused them to admire, and having 
accused their wives and those they have known, the thing was 
by them confessed, and they were put to death. 

It is true that sometimes their minds are carried or em- 
ployed without their bodies ; a certain proof, saith Bodin, that 
the separated soul can nevertheless live, and move, and know, 
though without the body, and so is immortal. 


At Bourdeaux, 1571, one of the witches confessing that she 
was wont to be at the meetings, and what they did there, (just 
as the rest commonly did,) the master of requests. Monsieur 
Delot, was desirous to see the truth of her confession by some 
experiment : she told them that she could do nothing while she 
was a prisoner : whereupon they let her out, and before them 
she anointed her naked body with a certain fat, which she had 
with her, and presently fell down as dead, and without any 
feeling at all : after five hours, coming to herself and rising up, 
she told them many things which were newly done about the 
country, which they found to be true by present inquiry, (lio- 
din, p. 177.) 

In the year 1549, apudNanctas, seven men undertook, before 
many j)eople, to tell them, within such an hour, what was done 
in ten miles' compass : they presently fell down as dead, and so 
lay for three hours' space : and then rising up, told them what 
was done through the whole town, and a greater distance : 
whereupon they were accused of conjuration, or witchcraft, and 
put to death. (Idem, p. 178.) 

So Turretanus, the judge that condemned her, reported of one 
that lay as dead before the fire, and her master beat and burnt 
her, and perceiving her utterly senseless left her as dead ; but 
in the morning she awaked, and complained of her sores ; and 
being accused before the judge, confessed she was at an assem- 
bly, and confessed many evil deeds that she had done, and was 

But yet it is more ordinary to have the body itself carried to 
their meetings, than to have these extasies, as many hundred 
proofs have manifested. And Sprangerus and his colleagues 
write that they understood by the confession of many that they 
had condemned, that they could sometime go abroad only in 
spirit, and sometime in the body, as they desired themselves. 

But it would be unseasonable and unsavoury to some readers, 
in a treatise of this nature, to be too particular, or too large, 
though for my part I conceive these kind of sensible demon- 
strations to be the most likely means to convince them that 
believe not the word of God, and a means not to be overslipped, 
or made so small use of as ordinarily we do. 

And for those that yet will not believe that these things are 
true, I think they have far more to say for their incredulity, if their 
own eyes only had seen them ; and yet it is likely they would 
have believed their eyes. One of the best arguments to know 
when sense is not deceived, is when the object appeareth to all 


men, or most men of sound senses, the same as to some, but if it 
be but one or two that see it, the deception is much more possible 
or probable: if all men's senses are deceived, then are we incapa- 
ble of any certain knowledge or perception ; and still I say, a rod 
or cudgel is the best argument to confute that error, that such 
may be beaten till they are sure they feel. If the testimonies of 
judges, justices, lawyers, and juries, that have examined and 
heard the witnesses, and are themselves as tender of wrongfully 
putting people to death as these infidels are ; if the confessions 
of so many hundred witches at the halter or fire be not suf- 
ficient; if the records of so many judicatures be not sufficient ; 
if men of so greai piety, honesty, judgment, and impartiality, 
may not be credited in a case which bringeth no gain to them- 
selves ; if the testimonies of so many several nations as France, 
Lorraine, Germany, Italy, tliat all have so abounded with witches, 
and put to death so many, be not sufficient ; if the experience 
of all countries in the world, and all ages, who have found that 
same sort of wretched persons, be not sufficient; and, lastly, if 
the fresh experience of so many scores in a narrow compass at 
once imprisoned and put to death in our country, attested by 
so many thousand competent witnesses, and the frequent ex- 
periences of the judges in their circuits, be none of them suf- 
ficient to convinc(! these infidels, I shall leave it either to God's 
grace or the devil's torments, ere long, to convince them. 

Having spoken thus much of the certainty of the thing that 
there is such a transaction of the devil with witches, and con- 
sequently that there is a devil, and multitudes of them, I shall 
next inquire how his inclinations, interests, and designs are 
manifested in tliis way. 

1. And first, It is plain that he is a hater of God, and an 
enemy to his honour ; whereto 1 will add, as the main point, 
that I am now to prove, that he is also a hater of the Lord 
Jesus, and an enemy to his name. Nothing more manifest than 
these are. For it is his constant custom, or most ordinary, to 
initiate all his professed disciples, I mean witches, by their 
renouncing God and their baptism, and religion, and the Lord 
Jesus. This is the first thing that they must do, when they will 
be witches indeed. And so many hundred have testified, by their 
own confessions, the truth of this point, even when they have 
been at the bar, or stake, and all agree so generally in it, that 
there is not the least room left for rational doubting. 

Doctor Guilhelm. Edelinus, of the Sorbonne, in Paris, was 
condemned for witchcraft, 1453, (Johan. Charterius hath M'rote 


the history,) on Dec. 24. He confessed that he was oft carried 
by night into tlie meetings of the witches, and there renounced 
God, and adored the devil in the shape of a he- goat. 

In the year 1571, a blind man, condemned for witchcraft at 
Paris, revealed many others ; one of them was a lawyer, who 
confessed, that by an obligation, which he made with the devil, 
he renounced God; and wrote this obligation with his own 
blood. This Bodin, Remigius, Sprangerus, and Grillaiidus tell 
you is the common confession of nudtitudes, whom they ex- 
amined and condemned, and others of their knowledge, and 
the records of the judicatures ordinarily testify it ; and this in 
several countries, Lorraine, France, Germany, and Italy, they 
all ordinarily confess the same thmg. 

In the year 1524, in the castle of Saint Paul, in the duchy of 
Spoletain, Paulus Grillandus having three in examination, the 
first confessed that, fifteen years before, she was brought by an 
old witch into the assembly of the witches, where the devil was 
among them, at whose persuasion she renounced God, and the 
christian faith and religion, binding herself by an oath to be 
faithful, and to obey the devil's commands, putting her hand to 
a book, which had a writing in it to that end ; promising also 
to be present at the nightly solemnities and feast-days, when 
she was commanded, and to bring with her as many as she 
could ; and that after that she had killed manv men. 

Apud Cenomannus, saith Bodin, lately very many were burnt 
that confessed all these things, that they went to these meet- 
ings, and thus behaved themselves on their sabbaths, as they 
call them : at least, saith he, thirty witches in their falling-out, 
moved with envy, accused one another ; whose confessions did 
all with one consent testify their being carried to the meeting, 
their adoration to the devil, their dancings, and their abjuration 
of religion. 

The history of all the Valerian witches in Savoy, in the year 
1574, is written by Danaeus and Bodin, and their confession was 
the very same, that they were carried to the meetings, and there 
abjured God, adored the devil, with much more, of which we 
shall speak anon. I will forbear giving more examples of this, 
it being so common. 

And a second argument also there is, that the devil is both 
an enemy to God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and also is afraid 
of his very name ; in that it is the constant confession, both 
of the witches themselves, and of those that have been enticed 
by them to their meetings, that if they use but the name of 


God, or Jesus Christ, the whole company immediately vanish, 
and if they use the name of God in the midway as they are 
carried thither, they are presently let fall ; and therefore those 
that entice them to their meetings do still charge them not to 
mention the name of God, or Jesus Christ, unless it be in dis- 
dain or reproach. There are many histories of this in the 
writers before named, which would seem very strange and 
scarcely credible, had we not so sufficient a testimony of the 
persons' own confessions. 

Saith Bodin, there was newly a witch condemned at Lochia, 
in France, on this occasion ; her husband oft missing her out of 
bed, and finding her excuses false, suspected her of adultery, and 
threatened to kill her, unless she would tell him whither she 
went. The woman being afraid of her life confessed all, and 
told him if he would, he should see himself whither she went : 
and so giving him an ointment, and pronouncing certain 
words, they were both carried to the sands at Bordeaux, many 
days' journey off : the man seeing himself in the midst of a great 
company of men and women, and devils in an ugly shape, 
though it was human, cried out, ' My God ! where are we ?' And 
immediately the whole company vanished. The man finding 
himself naked, in the morning got some help of a countryman 
that he met, and when he got home went straight to the justice, 
and accused his wife, who presently confessed all the matter. 

At Lyons, a great woman who was an adulteress, and had 
that night lain with her adulterer, anointed herself in the night 
by a candle, and vanished ; which the man seeing, did so too, 
and was carried after her, and found himself presently in an 
assembly of witches in Lorraine : and being afraid, and praying 
to God, they all, vanished. The man finding himself naked and 
alone, as soon as he got home, accused the woman, who was 
burnt, having confessed the whole matter. 

The like Bodin writes of a nobleman at Melodunum, who 
was enticed to see one of their meetings for the strangeness. 

The like story had doctor Grillandus, that near Rome, in the 
year 1526, a countryman espying his wife anoint herself, and 
then vanish, did so cudgel her at her return, that he made her 
confess where she had been, and promised the next time to 
show him all : who, after the anointing, was carried with her : 
but though she charged him not to name God unless in mock- 
age or blasphemy, yet before the end of the feast, he disobeyed 
that direction, and all vanished : the man found himself naked 
and alone, and when it was day, he was informed that he was 


in the county of Beneventa, and being fain to beg clothes and 
to beg his bread, in eight days space he got home, a hundred 
miles, and accused his wife, and she accused others, who were 
all burnt. 

The same author testifieth, that in the year 1535, in the 
Duchy of Spoletain, a girl thirteen years of age, was enticed by 
an old witch into an assembly of them : who in a wonder cried 
out, ' Blessed God, what is all this ?' and they all vanished : and 
the witch was burnt upon her discovery of it to the people that 
found her the next morning. 

I have mentioned these stories, to show how the devil hates 
and fears the name of God. In Remigius you may see later 
examples of the like concerning the name of Jesus Christ, at 
which the company have all vanished : sometimes calmly, 
oft-times with a violent whirlwind, or tempest. But 1 will 
forbear the reciting the particulars, because you may there 
see them. 

2. The same transactions of Satan with witches doth cer- 
tainly prove the second branch of his inclination, interest, and 
design to advance himself, and to be adored. All the fore- 
mentioned writers and many others do bring us sufficient tes- 
timony of many hundreds of these unhappy wretches, confessing 
that, at their first engagement, they promise to worship and 
obey the devil : and that he hath his constant assemblies where 
they all meet, that are thus devoted to him : that they are carried 
thither through the air, some by one means, and some by 
another, but all by his power. These meetings they celebrate 
most commonly in the night, on a certain night in the week, 
where sometimes many hundreds (where these wretches abound) 
do meet at once. There usually they meet with as many 
devils as there are witches : but one is as the chief and great 
master of the assembly. He appeareth to them most commonly 
in one of these two shapes : either like a big, ill-favoured black- 
man, or like a he-goat. The first thing that the assembly 
must do, is to adore their great master, and the ceremony com- 
monly is by kissing his posteriors when he is in the shape of a 
goat 5 then they must all dance round, back to back ; next that, 
the devils and their servile drudges must couple as fornicators 
used to do : and after that they have a loathsome feast, ever 
without salt ; and so they must give an account what mischief 
they have done since the last meeting, and then receive more 
powders and ointments to do more, and then they are carried 
home again : this is the ordinary work and manner of their as- 


semblies: besides which they must do him a more frequent 
homage in their houses. These things be not private dreams, 
or uncertain stories of two or three men in a corner, but the 
common confession of many hundreds, if not thousands of them 
in judgment and at the stake, tlirough France, Lorraine, Savoy, 
Germany, and Italy, delivered to us in writing by the judges 
themselves, impartial, honest, and very learned men. So that 
it is apparent by all this, that the devil's design is to rob God 
of his honour, and to be adored himself. Were it not for 
troubling the reader, I would recite many particular histories 
out of the foresaid authors to confirm it : but we have too much 
proof of it nearer home. As Christ must have his days of holy 
assemblies, so will the devil have his nights ^i wicked assem- 
blies ; as God must be adored, so will Satan be; as God will 
there teach his people by the ministry of his officers and church 
guides, so will Satan oft make speeches to them to persuade 
them to do evil, as they also commonly confess : as Christ will 
have us meet to be exercised in holiness, and learn to live 
holily, and mortify fleshly lusts : so the devil will have meetings 
for a strange, hellish filthiness and copulation ; as Christ hath 
his holv sacramental feasts, in the communion of the saints, so 
hath the devil his abominable feasts for his impious confederates. 
As Christ will be worshipped also in our families in private, so 
would Satan ; as Christ would have us be much in prayer to 
God, so the devil would have them much in seeking somewhat 
of him : inasmuch that he tormenteth and giveth them no rest, 
if they be not asking somewhat of him, of what nature we shall 
see next. Yea, some of them at their first entrance, saith Bodin, 
think not' enough to renounce God and the faith of Christ, 
unless also they be baptized to the devil, and take to them a 
new name. And many of them have his marks upon their flesh, 
as hath been proved past doubt. 

3. For brevity's sake, I will speak to the other parts of Satan's 
interest and designs together ; and by these same dealings of his 
with witches, it is most certain that he is, 1 . An enemy to all 
virtue and religion ; and, 2. An enemy to mankind, and one 
that seeketh and delighteth in their destruction ; and, 3. A 
lover and jn-omoter of all wickedness, as I have told you it is 
common with them in their assemblies, and also at other times, 
to exercise unclean copulation with their disciples, someway the 
devil findeth to find exercise for their filthy lusts. I have been 
credibly informed of the like in England, by godly, judicious 
men, counsellors, justices, and others, that they have heard 


witches confess such copulation with the devil; and the name 
of God, as I have told you, he will not endure unless it be in 
mockery or blasphemy : not that he is so afraid of bare names, 
or crosses, or 'relics, or consecrated creatures, or words, as 
the papists imagine, for certain history assures us that he easily 
ventureth on all these. 

Bodin giveth us divers confessions of witches at judgment or 
death, that they held their meetings ofttimes at a notable cross 
which stood at the meeting of several high-ways, accounted by 
the papists a terror to the devil. 

Remigius telleth us of an abbess, named Magdal. Crucia, 
1545, who perceiving herself, after long reputation for a holy 
woman, suspected for witchcraft, to prevent further danger, fled 
to the pope and accused herself as a penitent, before any other 
did accuse her ; and she confessed that, since twelve years of age, 
the devil had used to lie with her for thirtv years, and that when 
she was at mass he hath oft carried the host to her hand from 
the altar, the people seeing it go through the air to her, but 
seeing none bear it; by which means she got the reputation of 
a saint. It was Pope Paul the Third that pardoned her. " This 
story," saith Bodin, (p. 206,) " was made known through the 
whole christian world ;" where he tells of divers nuns of the 
same sort. » 

He telleth us, also, of divers that have confessed, * That when 
the devil hath given them power to do any cure, they had di- 
rection to pretend that the image of such a saint must do it, 
and so to send people to that image, and there to pray to it, and 
present some certain things before it, and walk thrice about the 
chapel or temple, and so come home, and the cure was done.* 
The reason that the witches gave of this was, ' That by it they 
might exercise thfeir witchcraft without discovery or suspicion ;' 
but it is like the devil had further ends to draw people to such 
idolatrv.at least it is clear that he doth not hate nor fear such idols. 

Many authors, besides Bodin and Remigius, give us the relation 
of all the nuns in a nunnery in Germany, at Kentrope, at once 
possessed with devils, or mad, and seemed so to others ; and 
one witch in the house confessed the fact, that she had bewitched 

And for the delight that the devil hath in men's destruction, 
it is apparent by these tliree discoveries here : 

1. In that it is the ruin of these poor creatures' souls that 
he seeks ; and when he hath brought them once to the stake, 

VOI-. XX. X 


he hath his desire of them in this Hfe ; and if they do but offer to 
forsake him, or begin to repent, he beats them, and vexeth them, 
and giveth them no rest till they have cast away those thoughts. 
And yet it is very observable u'hat wages the devil giveth his 
servants for their work, and what it is they sell their salvation 
for : he doth but delude them, and not keep promise with them 
about the earthly pleasures that they expect of him. Scarce 
any of them grow rich or great in the world by his service ; 
though he feed them, he doth not refresh or satisfy them ; 
though he carry them, yet most of them say it exceedingly 
wearieth them. All the pleasure that he seems to offer them 
proves but grief; and if they complain, he beateth and abuseth 
them ; so that their life is a very misery to the flesh, as their 
death, without true repentance, is the beginning of everlasting 

2. His malice also is further evident, in that he engageth 
all these his drudges, to draw as many with them to their 
assemblies, and into his service as they can ; even as Christ 
would have us draw as many as we can to his worship, 
and to obedience for their own salvation ; insomuch that it is 
noted that the children of witches are so ordinarily of the same 
profession, thet they are more to be suspected than any other 
sort. Saith Bodin, (p. 154,) ' I may not conceal this, that one 
witch is oft enough to make five hundred more ; for there is 
not so ready a way again for those that are addicted to the 
devil to get his favour and to keep peace with him, as to 
draw many to his subjection ; so that ordinarily the wife draws 
the husband, and the mother the daughter ; and whole families 
sometimes do thus persist for divers ages, as hath been proved 
by infinite judgments ;' that is, trials upon testimony and con- 
fession ; so far he : and both he and many more give us abun- 
dance of examples. 

3. Moreover, the employment which the devil sets them 
about doth show, beyond all doubt, that he delighteth in mis- 
chief, and is an enemy to mankind. It is a desire of revenge 
for some supposed wrong, that is oft the first occasion of his 
appearing to them. In their meetings and at other times he 
gives many of them a powder, which some of them say is the 
ashes of some child that they have murdered and burnt, and 
that they must cast in the way where those are to go whom 
they would hurt. To some he giveth other means, and to some 
a power to do it by words. There is few of them, if any, but 


are employed to do mischief, either in tormenting men and 
children, or killing them, or killing cattle, or corn, or fruits, or 
trees, or sinking ships at sea, or destroying men's houses or 
labours, or one such thing or other; this ours in England have 
at large confessed ; thousands in the countries before named, 
beyond sea, have confessed this at their death. 

' A French baron, Baziorum Baro, that was put to death 
for witchcraft, did not only confess that he had killed eight 
children, and was purposed to have killed the ninth, and to 
have sacrificed him to the devil, even his own child, that he 
might gratify Satan ; but also confessed that he did in his own 
closet, upon his knees, pray to the devil, who appeared to him 
in the likeness of a man, and did sacrifice to him ; for the devil 
promised him admirable matters, and to make him a great 
man 5 but when that he saw that he was a prisoner, and under 
such suffering, he confessed all, and was put to death : and it is 
yet undetermined what shall be done with his estates.' Saith 
Bodln (p. ISO). 

Multitudes of them have confessed that thev have killed those 
that have offended them, and killed cattle, corn, &c. ; yea, many 
of them have eaten the flesh of those they have killed, and to that 
end, some transformed themselves into the likeness of wolves, 
that they might do it the more easily and securely. 

'In the year 1573, the parliament of Dolens did, on the 18th 
day of January, pass sentence of death on Giles Garner, of 
Lyons, which sentence was printed and published at Orleans, 
Paris, and Seines. He was convicted on these articles : That 
on Michael's day he had, in a place there named, taken a girl 
of about ten or twelve years of age, and killed her ; with hands 
like the feet of a Avolf ; and had devoured the flesh off her arms 
and thighs, and brought some of it to his wife : also, that a 
month after, in the same shape, he took another girl, and had 
killed her that he might devour her, as he himself did confess, 
if three men had not hindered him : also, that fifteen days after, 
in a place named, he had killed a boy ten years old, and had 
eaten the flesh off his arms, thighs, and belly : and, lastly, that 
he killed another boy, at a village named, and that in the shape 
of a man, and not a wolf, v/ith a purpose to have eaten him, if 
he had not been hindered, as he himself of his own accord, 
without any forcing, did confess ; for which cause, he was con- 
demned to be burnt alive.' Saith Bodin (p. 185). 

The like story is annexed, of one Michael Verdun, and Peter 

X 2 


Biirgot, condemned by Jo. Roinus, 1521, at Vesontio, in 
December : mentioned by Wierus, also. 

And, whatever the reason be, it is observed that tliev are most 
cruel to children, and the devil doth pot them on more ordi- 
narily to kill them than any others ; insomuch, that there have 
been confessions from themselves of many hundred children that 
they have killed. And herein the devil also is contrary to 
Christ, who is tender of such little ones, took them up in his 
arms and blessed them, and said, " Of such is the kingdom of 
God," being oifended with his disciples, that kept them from 

And that this work of destroying and mischief is the very 
service that Satan employeth them in, is manifest in that he 
gives them no rest, unless they be doing hurt, and is still urging 
them to it; and taketh an account of them, bow they perform 
it. INIany of those lately put to death in Suffolk, (whereof one 
was an old reading parson,) confessed this, that their imps would 
give them no rest unless they were doing some hurt ; when they 
have seen a ship at sea, thev have urged them to send them to 
sink it, which was presently done. 

At Poictiers, in the year 1564, three men and one woman 
were burned, (being condemned by Salvertus, the president,) who 
were convicted of the death of abundance of men and cattle, 
by means of a certain powder which the devil gave them, and 
they put under the doors or thresholds. These confessed that 
they were wont to meet in a very great company, at a certain 
cross, in a crossway, where the devil gave them their powder, 
to kill man or beast ; and in the end of the meeting, would 
thunder out these words, with a terrible voice, ' Avenge your- 
selves, or you shall die.' 

Some of them confessed, that at their meetings, every one 
must give an account how they used their powder, or what hurt 
they have done since the last meeting : where one tells of such 
a man or child killed, another of such a beast, another of such 
fruits; and those that give account of no hurt done, are beaten, 
some upon the soles of the feet, some elsewhere, and the rest 
laugh at them. 

Some of them confess that if they do not the hurt that they 
are set on, they mu>,t redeem their peace with doing it on some 
others, and ofttimes on their own. Insomuch, that many have 
confessed they have killed their own children, because they 
could have no rest else, when they had once refused to do it to 


Others. Yea, ofttimes thev have a desire to hint some that the 
devil hath no power over, and though they use all their witch- 
crafts, they cannot hurt them, because God preserveth them : 
yet then will Satan vex them, if they hurt not another in their 
steads. Insomuch that many of them in prison do beg that 
they may die, because they live such a miserable life, being 
beaten and tormented by Satan for not ])leasing him, when yet 
he keeps not promise with them ; nor, saith Bodin, is it found 
in all the trials and judgments that ever one of them was one 
penny the richer for them : and Remigius .«aith, of all that he 
condenmed, or heard of, though many seemed to receive money 
from him, there was but one that could say, that it proved and 
continued money indeed. 

Saith Bodin, (p. 150,) ' I know a man (who shall be nameless, 
because he is vet living) that ac([uainted me, that he was very 
much vexed with a spirit that followed him, and beat him, and 
pulled him, and kept him waking, and would not give over 
though he entreated him, but still called on him, ' Command 
me somewliat to do.' And in hope to have been cased, he had 
taken a journey to Paris. When 1 perceived that he durst not 
open all to me, I asked him what profit he had got by the service 
of that master ? He answered that he was put in hopes to get 
riches and honours, and to know secret things ; but the spirit 
had still deceived him, and told him three lies for one truth ; and 
that he was never the richer for him of a farthing, nor did he 
ol)tain the things which he desired, and for which he sought to 
him ; and where, as he hoped to have attained many hidden 
sciences, about the spirits, of planets, and the virtues of stones, 
and the like, he had learned nothing of him at all, but he was 
still calling on him to be avenged on his enemies, to cheat and 
deceive, and to do mischief. I told him, it was not hard to be 
freed from such a master, if, whenever he came, he would call 
on God for help, and with a pure mind and sincere heart would 
addict himself to the service of God. From that time I never 
saw the man, and whether he repented or no, I know not. He 
called the spirit his little master.' %o far Bodin. 

1 will stop the recital of more such examples, lest I seem 
tedious to the reader. By thus nmch it is most clear and past 
doubt, that the devil's transactions with the witches doth cer- 
tify us that he is an enemy to God, to goodness, to all mankind, 
and a lying, unclean, and wicked spirit, seeking to be adored^ 
and delighting in all mischief and wickefl works. 


If yet any seem to doubt of these matters, as if they were 
but fantasms and dehjsions, I shall only add one testimony and 
one history more that such may be understood, if they will not 
understand. The testimony is Augustin's, in the fifteenth 
book, ' De Civitate Dei,' who saith, that the devil's copulation 
with such persons is so frecjuent, and so fully attested by so niany 
that had experience of it, and that have heard it from their 
mouths, that it seems mere impudence to deny it. 

The history that 1 shall mention is one of Guilielmus Linenrsis, 
a doctor of divinity, of the popish profession, who was put to 
death for witchcraft, ami confessed tliat he had made a cove- 
nant with the devii, which was found written in his pocket. He 
renounced all religion, and oft adored the devil, sometimes being 
like a man, sometimes like a goat: and the service he was 
bound to do for the devil was, to preach against jjutting witches 
to dealh, and to persuade as many as he could that they were 
but silly, deluded, melancholy people, and not witches indeed, 
and that their confessions were not sufficient to put them to 
death ; whereupon his preaching so far succeeded as to take off 
the people and incpiisitors, and to slack the persecution of them, 
by which means the witches were abundantly nndtiplied in those 
parts. He penitently confessed this, and was condemned, De- 
cember 12, 1453. Pet. Mamorius ' Lib. de Lamiis' hath written 
the history. And Cardinal Benno, Platina, and others of their 
own writers, do testify that there were many of the popes that 
dealt with the devil by covenants or witchcraft, for worldy 
greatness or carnal delights, and were rewarded by him in the 
end as they deserved. 

If any reader should be so weak as to be offended, because I 
insert so much of these matters in a theological discourse of 
so high a nature, I desire them to consider, 

1. That it is matter suitable to the subject that I am treating of. 

2. It is that way of demonstration which is become necessary 
to that sort of infidels, that I have now to deal with, who will 
not believe the testimony of the Scriptures. 

.'). It is such a sensible discovery as the best have use for, to 
the resisting of some temptations, and may afford them no 
small advantage for the confirmation of their faith, of which 
see Zanchy, in his chapter of the ' Uses of the Doctrine de 
malis Angelis.' 

4. An.d it is a providence of God that such things are 
permitted ; and such a j)rovidence as we ought not to wink at. 


or neglect, but must be accountable what good use we make 
of it. 

5. I doubt the not considering such matters as these doth 
make most of us too insensible and regardless of the full nature 
of our spiritual and corporal dangers, and makes us the more 
dull and formal in that necessary daily prayer, 'Deliver us from 
the evil one ;' and consequently the more liable to his malice 
and power ; and that it makes us the more unthankful for what 
Christ hath done for our deliverance from the thraldom and 
slavery of Satan; and for God's daily restraining him, and 
saving us from his rage. I think, as the Israelites' deliverance 
out of Egypt from Pharaoh's bondage, which was the type of 
this deliverance of ours, was so great a mercy that it is prefixed 
before the Ten Commandments, that they might know that God 
ruled and commanded them therein as a redeemed people j and 
it was the name by which God would be known ; he that deli- 
vered them out of Egyptian bondage, and they were still to 
remember it ; so our deliverance from the slavery of the devil, 
which he would exercise over both our souls and bodies, is that 
great mercy which is procured to us by the Redeemer, which, 
as it is remembered in our baptism, when we renounce the 
devil, so it is to be daily remembered and valued, and thankfully 
enjoyed by us. 

So much for the first way of Satan's discovery of his in- 
clinations, designs, and interest, viz., his transactions with 

Sect. V. 

The second sort of his actions is by apparent, extraordinary 
violence exercised on men's bodies, whether by possessions, 
obsessions, or other violence, by which he tormenteth and 
abuseth them, and manifesteth himself a hater of mankind, 
and one that deiighteth in doing hurt. Such things we have 
seen with our eyes ; such things all ages and countries have 
testified ; such things the most learned and rational physicians 
profess they have seen, who are as apt as others to ascribe 
extraordinary things to natural causes. I have already in the 
' Saint's Rest,' (part II. c. vii, sec. 3,) cited many. Bodin saith, 
(p. 147,) that * There was then living, when he wrote, a woman, 
called Domina Rossa, (he names the place in France,) who, 
from the eighth year of her age, was thus abused by the 
devil. She would be suddenly bound to a tree, or to a bed's 


foot, or to a manger in a stable, or one hand bound to the 
other with a cord, a twig, or hemp, or the hair of a horse- 
tail, and that so speedily, that no one could discern the doing 
of it.' Doctor Picardus, and other divines, saw her, when she 
was brought to Paris, in the year 1552, and spent all their 
skill in vain for her deliverv. Hollerius, the physician, at 
first laughed at them, and said she was melancholy, but after- 
wards, when in a great company of people he saw with his 
own eyes, the girl standing between two or three women, 
and, crying out, had her hands so suddenly bound together, 
that they could not untie the bond, but were fain to cut it, he 
confessed it was an evil spirit. 

Augustin 'De Civitate Oei,' (lib. xxii. cap. 8,) and in divers 
other places, doth confidently affirm that he hath seen divers 
possessed or tormented by Satan, and how cured ; so do many 
others, if not most of the fathers, Greek and Latin, give us 
full testimonies of the like, though the papists, the vile abusers 
of history, have done their best to overwhelm and bury the 
credit of all, in their heaps of lies, and not content with Meta- 
])hrastes, and their lying legends, their Staphilus, Cochlaeus, 
ilolserus, Lindanus, Thyr^eus, and others, have vented their 
foolish, malicious fictions of Luther, Zuinglius, Carolostadius, 
Bucer, Calvin, and who not that was contrary to them. 

Sect. VL 

The third way by which Satan's designs are manifested to be 
mischievous is, hy the vexation of men by apparitions, noises, 
voices, and other such means, hy which he hath suddenly 
afifrighted some to death, some out of their Avits, some into 
grievous diseases, and some he long continueth thus to vex ; 
and many he hath affrighted to the use of unlawful means for 
their deliverance. Of all these sorts, or most, I could mention 
examples not far from this place, were it fit or necessary. And 
I know divers persons of good repute for judgment, and godli- 
ness, and fidelity, yet living, some in places of honour in the 
commonwealth, and some of reverend esteem and credit, that 
will give full testimony to the truth of these apparitions. And 
we have known houses so haunted and disquieted by them, that 
the inhabitants have been either driven out, or much troubled 
bv them. The whole countries also have flocked to some places 
to hear them, where there were at set times constantly, either 
whistlings that would answer them in tunes, or voices that would 


speak to them. And we have sufficient proof of such as would 
familiarly talk, discourse, and dispute with them. 

The poor Indians are so familiar with them, that hy appa- 
ritions and the power of witches to do some cures, they are 
enticed to the worshipping of devils. So that our English 
preachers at New England do find it a hard matter to convert 
these deluded wretches from this evil ; and to bring them to 
forsake their witches, which they call Powwaws : for then, say 
they, who shall help us when we are sick ; and whither shall 
we go for healing ? For though the devil delights to torment men's 
very bodies, and commonly such servants of his are even in 
outward respects the most miserable people on earth ; yet some 
kind of cures he will do on their flesh, which yet doth usually 
relieve them but for a while, that thereby he mav draw them to 
worship him, and seek to him, and depend upon him, to the 
ruin of their souls. 

Partly to this, and partly to the foregoing section, belongs 
the misery of those called Vcntrilo(iui, that have a devil speaking 
within them ; for, doubtless, such there have been. Lodovic. 
Calius Rhodiginus in his 'Lect. Antiq.' (lib. 8, cap. 10.) hath this 

'Lest any should take this as a fabulous matter to be laughed 
at, I do hereby testify, that at this very time, even when I am 
publishing these things, there is in my country a woman of low 
quality, named Jacoba, out of whose belly 1 myself have heard 
the voice of an unclean spirit, small indeed, but articulate, and 
wholly intelligible ; and innumerable people more have heard it 
as well as I, not only of Rhodigium, but almost out of all Italy. 
For the minds of great men being greedy to know things to 
come, they oft sent for her, and stripping her of all her clothes, 
lest there should be any deceit, did see and hear her. The 
devil's name was Cincinnatulus. To this name, when he was 
called, he would readily answer. If he were asked any question 
about things past or present, though they were the most hidden 
secrets, he would oft give wonderful answers : but if he were 
asked about things to come, he would always lie ; and some- 
times discover his ignorance, by using a grumbling, unintelligible 
voice.' So far Caelius Rhodiginus. 

But havhig spoken enough of this in the fore- mentioned 
writing already, 1 shall forbear the adding here of any more. 

Sect. VII. 
The fourth way by which Satan hath discovered his cnmitvto 


God and men's souls, and his desire to be adored, is, his uni- 
versal endeavours, and too great success, to bring all the world 
to the sin of idolatry ; a sin that one would think reason itself 
should have so disgraced and banished, that it should have found 
entertainment with none but very sots, that had not the use of 
their reason. Yet, how hath it prevailed in all ages, in all 
countries on earth, and among all ranks and sorts of men, and 
doth so in the far greatest part of the world to this day ; how 
commonly did they adore the creatures ; how many gods did 
they worship, and how base ; what flocking was there to their 
oracles for advice ; how confident were they, not only that those 
images did represent their gods, but that they came down into 
them, and dwelled in them, as our souls do in our bodies 3 what 
beast, or bird, or plant almost, that was not a God to one nation 
or other ? And though 1 will not enter on the dispute, whether 
all their oracles were the mere delusions of men, or whether they 
were the real abuses of the devil himself 3 yet, as it is scarcely 
likely that so many ages and nations, and men of all sorts, 
philosophers and princes and all, should be so generally per- 
suaded that such a thing there was if there had been no such 
thing, but without something real to uphold it, the reputation of 
oracles would have been destroyed in a much shorter time ; so 
if it were indeed nothing but a fantasm or delusion, it was cer- 
tainly such a delusion as must needs have the devil's help to 
manage it and drive it on. It was devils that all these nations 
did adore and sacrifice to ; and, by the work, we may see who 
was the master and contriver of it. He that seeth the great 
Turk obeyed through all his empire by so many nations, may 
well conclude that there is some power of his own employed for 
the procuring of this obedience, and keeping all these nations in 
subjection to him ; and he that seeth so much of the world ad- 
dicted to idolatry and worshipping of devils, may well know that 
there is some contrivance of the devil's that hath a hand in it, 
and that it is himself that procureth his own worship. From 
the time of Adam to this day, the far greatest part of the world 
have been enslaved to him. What were all the world but idola- 
ters, except Israel, and a few proselytes, from Abraham, or Jacob, 
from whom they were so named, till Christ ; and how hardly 
were the Israelites themselves kept from this sin ? Though they 
were plagued for it both grievously and frequently, though they 
oft saw God witnessing against it by miracles, yet were they 
returning to it again and again j so that the prophets, one after 


another, were sent to reclaim them, and yet they relapsed, till, 
dfter many breakings, at last it broke them off, and broke them 
all to pieces, and there was no remedy. The learned Athenians 
were drowned in idolatry ; the wise and valiant Romans were 
befooled and enslaved by it ; and after all the light of the Gos- 
pel, at this day, near two third parts of the world are thought 
to be idolaters (not reckoning the Mahometans among them, 
but only such as are properly heathens or pagans). He that 
cannot see the inclination, interest, and design of the devil in 
all these effects of it, and in this planting, building, and main- 
taining of his own kingdom, is certainly very blind. 

They that would know what nations, and how much of the 
world are yet heathenish idolaters, may, to spare the reading of 
manv, see it in short in Brierwood's 'Inquiries,' (cap. xii. p. 8(d, 
&c.,) and in Alstedius's ' Encyclopaedia,' (lib. xviii.,) 'Geograph.' 
(part 111. cap. xii.) 

Nay, among some of the wilder Indians, and other Americans, 
it is confidently affirmed by many navigators, that the devil 
useth to appear to them in visible shapes, and so to be worship- 
ed by them commonly, as here he is by witches. And the 
Jesuits, and others, that have dwelt among them, have given us 
the more full and particular assurance of it. To omit what is 
said of the Brazilians, and many of the most barbarous sort, I 
shall only add somewhat of the Japonians, a people more in- 
genious. In the Jesuits' ' Epistles from the Indies,' collected and 
published by Pet. Maffaeus, (lib. i.,) Caspar Vilela writes to this 
purpose. ' Sometimes the witches, by the devil's help, do work 
some cures : one was missing many days, and by their help he 
suddenly appeared again. Another being dead, and carried to 
burial, when the bier was opened, there was no corpse to be 
found. Bv these and the like arts doth the devil deceive the 
miserable Japonians ; who, to the rest of their wickedness, 
which is great, do add this cruelty, that they murder their own 
infant children. They are forbidden to think of the end of 
their lives, lest by the fears of death they should be deterred 
from their wickedness : and therefore they wish a sudden death, 
and think him blessed that so dieth. And some of them do 
worship the devil, and most familiarly converse with him, whom 
they call Jamabuxas : these, to get a reputation of holiness, do 
grievouslv punish themselves ; they stand, they watch, and use 
very little meat for two or three months, till the devil tell them 
he is satisfied 3 and taking some of their mad companions with 


them, they get into a ship which they purposely sink, and so 
drown themselves. Besides, the devil is very busy to have the 
common people worship liim in the shape of brute beasts. 
And as thev are worshippmg oxen he possesseth one of the 
men : and when they ask him his name, he tells them that he 
is the king of oxen. When they desire him to depart, he tells 
them he will not go out of the man, unless they will build him 
a temple. If they promise it, he departeth ; if they perform 
not their promise, he returneth again, and tortureth the poor, 
oppressed man with divers torments, till they build him a tem- 
ple, in which they worship the images of divers sorts of wild 
beasts, as deities : and some of them make it death for any one 
to kill an ox. Sometimes, also, with his enchantments he makes 
the hunters sick if they kill a wild beast ; and, therefore, for 
fear, they humbly worship such beasts as the devil. All which 
he doth to this end, that mortals forsaking the true worship of 
God, might change the glory of the incorruptible God into the 
likeness of corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts, 
and serpents. The superstition of the Japonians is manifold. 
Some of them worship I know not what dead man, called 
Amida, others one whom they call Xaca. Lastly, the sun and 
m«on also arc worshipped by them as gods, and so is the devil 
himself, to whom they build a temple : and in his temple they 
paint him much more ugly and deformed than we do. They 
have divers convents also of both sexes, distinguished by the 
white, red, or black colours of their garments, being of most 
filthy life and manners.' So far Vilela. 

The like you may find in the Epistle of Ludovicus Froius, (lib. 
iv. pp. 191, 192,) who added, ' That there is a devout sect of 
them that make their dwellings in the tops of the highest hills, 
and will pass over any rivers by the mere help of the devil : 
who, that he may ensnare the wretches more effectually in error, 
doth command them to go up to the top of a certain very high 
mountain, M'here they must wait for his coming till the ap- 
pointed time. And then, about noon or evening, the devil 
oftereth himself to them, whom they worship under the name 
of Amida, and he passcth through the midst of their assembly : 
after they have once thus seen him, their superstition is so 
deeply fixed in the very breasts and marrow of them, that it 
can never after by any reasons be plucked out.' So far Lud. 
Froius, where he addeth much more of the devil's appearing to 
them, and their worshippiui; him, whicli J omit. 


See much more of them, and their wickedness in Maffieus 
* Histor. Indie' (lih. xii. p. 565 — 567). It were easy to give you 
like reports of manv more of those unhappy nations, hut for 
tediousness. (See, to tlie same purpose, ' Olaus Magnus de gen- 
tibus Septentrionahbus.') 

Yea, the Si use themselves, that so much excel the rest, are 
yet idolaters, and worshippers of devils. 

Pet. MaflFaeus ' Histor. Indie' (lib.vi. pp. 271, 272) saith thus of 
them : ' Many of them adore dumb images and informed stones; 
for such are commonly the gods of the gentiles. Moreover, 
some make gods of the inventors of any arts, or of others that 
publicly or privately deserved well of them, and some of their 
parents, or dear friends, and to them do they erect statues and 
build temples, and make vows, and oiler incense ; and not only 
to the dead, but which is more detestable, to them while they 
are alive ; others do, with all devotion, worship the sun, and 
moon, and stars, and specially heaven itself, whence all good 
comes on the earth. Some also worship infernal monsters, 
girded about with snakes, and vomiting out hre, as we |ncture 
devils in Europe, and that not so much to obtain anv good from 
them, as to escape hurt by them : because, meeting ofttimes 
with such sights, they are the more afraid of them.' So far 
Maffaeus, with more to the like purpose. And about the Bra- 
zilian witches (lib. xv. pp. 686, 6S7). 

Sect, VIII. 

- The fifth way by which Satan discovereth his malicious incli- 
nations and designs, and especially his enmity to the Gos])el of 
Christ, and the salvation of the world, is by his incessant en- 
deavours to raise heresies, and the power by which heanimateth 
and maintaineth them. As when Moses first set upon his office 
to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, Satan had his magicians 
to imitate and resist him : so when Christ first sendeth forth 
liis disciples to seek and save that which was lost, Satan sendeth 
forth his ministers, partly by imitation, partly by opposition, and 
partly by divisions to hinder, and, if it might have been, to mar 
the work. The strange spirit that animated these men, the 
magical arts that they used, the vain fancies and abominable doc- 
trines which they owned, the wicked lives they led, the unhappy 
ends they came to, and the palpable interpositions of the devil 
for their seducement and confirmation, plainly showed from what 
fountain they sprung, and by what father they were begotten. 


Because it is so common a thing for angry and factious men 
to call one another heretics, I will here tell you what kind of 
men I mean, before I proceed further. 

By a heretic, I mean one that, pretending to the name of a 
Christian, doth yet cut off himself from the catholic church by 
some error, subverting the essentials or fundamentals of the 
christian faith, and usually by actual separation from true 

Where you may see that there are three sorts of heretics : 
The first are those that hold such errors as directly subvert the 
foundation, or so far subvert it that he cannot possibly hold the 
foundation itself while he holdeth that error, and yet doth not 
actually separate from the society and external communion of 
the church. This man is a heretic in heart and tongue, and 
such a one as cannot be saved ; but yet not a heretic of the 
highest strain, nor of the most common sort. 

The second sort are those that, holding such damning doc- 
trines, do withdraw also from the external communion of the 
catholic church, or true, orthodox Christians, and do set up 
separated churches of their own, pretending usually to more 
soundness in doctrine or worship than the true assemblies have 
among them. These are the common heretics of all ages of 
the church, who are composed of two parts, damning doctrine 
and schism, or separation from the catholic church ; the first as 
the soul, the second as the body. By the first, they separate 
from the church as invisible ; by the second, from the church as 
visible : or, to speak more properly, by the first they separate 
from the true, internal, spiritual communion of the church ; by 
the second, they separate from the external communion of it. 

The third sort of heretics are those that separate only from 
the external communion of the catholic church ; of which there 
are also three distinct sorts. 

1. Those that separate only corporally upon some perverse 
conceit, that they should be defiled if they join in any of their 
assemblies, or the like reason, or on some error about commu- 
nion not fundamental thereto : 1 will not determine whether the 
name heretics or schismatics is more proper for them. 

2. Those that corporally separate upon the denial of the 
fundamentals of external communion, though they deny not the 
fundamentals of internal communion, or of faith ; for such a 
distinction of fundamentals must be observed, as those that 
deny the office of the ministry, or a church-government, or any 


essential part of that government, and upon that account separate 
from all the catholic communion : some call these heretics, and 
some schismatics : while we understand the matter, there need 
not be so much strife about the name. I incline to think that 
some of this sort may be saved, though salvation among them be 
rare and difficult. 

The third sort is those that, besides the corporal separation, 
and the denying of fundamentals of communion (external), do 
also hold some dangerous error in other doctrines, which, though 
it subvert not the foundation or christian faith, doth yet sorely 
wound it : the salvation of these, also, I suppose possible, though 
difficult, if they so continue. 

Though some call this latter sort all schismatics, yet, strictly, 
I suppose a mere schismatic is one that doth divide particular 
churches, yet holding communion with the universal church, and 
that both internal and external ; for he may close with some 
particular churches, though he divide others. And these are of 
three sorts : 

1. Those that separate from a true, particular church, without 
just cause, either through disobedience or the like sinful ground. 

2. Tliose that separate not from the church, but yet stir up 
divisions and make parties in it. 

3. Those that hold the principles of such schismatical courses 
in their minds, though they yet practise them not : these are but 
mentally schismatical, and not fully schismatics. 

Having showed you whom I mean, I proceed to show how the 
devil hath showed his designs, and his opposition to Christ, by 
raising and encouraging such in all ages of the church. 

The first heretics that we read of were the false apostles 
that troubled the church so about the Jewish law, teaching that 
a man could not be saved unless he were circumcised, and kept 
it; against whom the Synod (Acts xv.) was congregate, and 
against whom Paul oft contended, as the Epistle to the Galatians 
and Romans especially manifest. These so far prevailed as to 
draw the Galatians, as it were, to hearken to a new Gospel ; to 
disobey the truth, so that Paul was afraid he had bestowed on 
them labour in vain ; yea, they that would before have plucked 
out their eyes for him, did now take him for their enemy, be- 
cause he told them the truth. 

Next rose up Simon Magus, a Samaritan, who, by his strange 
magical works, was admired by the people, and called the great 
power of God, to whom they all gave heed at Samaria, from 


the least to the greatest, l)ecause of a long time lie had be- 
witched them by his sorceries, giving out that he was some 
great man : but seeing a higher power manifest itself in the 
miracles of the disciples, and in the giving of the Holy Ghost, 
he was convinced into a belief that Jesus Christ was the Son of 
God, and baptised into his name ; yet never closing with him in 
sincerity, as his Saviour, he continued his former nature and 
designs, desiring to promote his own greatness, and not Christ's 
interest and honour (as all his servants did) by his new profes- 
sion : and, therefore, would have bought of the apostles, with 
money, the power of giving the Holy Ghost, that he might have 
this added to the rest of his wonders to make great his name, 
and to bring him yet into higher admiration of the people. 
Whereupon he incurred that heavy censure of Peter, (Acts viii. 
2G,) wliich though, upon a seeming penitence, which he was af- 
frighted into, was so far mitigated, as that a possibility of pardon 
was opened to him, yet was he forsaken bv that Spirit and grace 
which he so abused, and given up to himself, and so became a 
leader of a deluded society, and an opposer of the apostles. 
To Rome he would go on Satan's work, as they did on Christ's : 
and there, by his witchcraft, he got into so much admiration in 
the days of Claudius, that he was taken, for a god, and had a 
statue set up to him with this inscription : ' To Simon, the 
holy god ;' or as others, ' To Simon, the magician, a god.* 
(See Justin Martyr's ' Apolog. 2 ' of this.) In his contending with 
the two apostles, Peter and Paul, for the glory of his magical 
works, he would needs fly in the sight of the people, and at the 
prayers of the two apostles, tumbled down, and either presently 
or shortly after ended his wretched life. This is attested by 
not one or two, but most of the writers of the first ages, that 
meddle with matters of church history. (See Epiphanius of it, 
' Lib.Hseres.21.' Cyril. Hierosol. ^ Catech.es. 6.') ' When he pro- 
fessed (saith he) that he would go up to heaven, and was carried 
in the air in the devil's chariot, the servants of God, on bended 
knees, in concord, manifested that which Christ had said, ' If 
two of you, consenting, shall ask any thing, it shall be done.' 
Sending up against the magician the dart of concord by 
prayers, they cast him down to the earth." 

So Arnobius, Advcrs. Gentes, (lib. 2,) saith; 'The Romans 
saw the race or course of Simon IMagus, and his fiery chariots 
blown away by the mouth of Peter, and vanishing away when 
Christ was named. I say, they saw him, that trusting to false 


gods, and being betrayed by them when themselves were afraid, 
was precipitated by his own weight, and lay with his legs broke, 
and being carried to Brunda, being weary with torments and 
shame, he again cast himself from the top of a high place.' 
So Philostrius, (lib. iii.,) 'De Hseres. and Theodoret,' (lib. i.,) 'De 
Hoeret. Fabul. Sulpit. Sever. Histor.,' (lib. ii.) besides others. 

How abominable the heresy of this magician was, may ap- 
pear by all the history of the church. 

Irenaius (lib. i. cap. 20.,) saith ; " That being by many 
glorified as a god, he taught them that it was he who appeared 
among the Jews as the Son, and descended in Samaria as the 
Father, and came into other nations as the Holy Ghost ; and 
that he is in the highest power, even the Father, who is over 
all, and doth endure men to call him by several names. He led 
about a concubine, one Selene, or Helena, a Tyrian, whom he 
called the first conception of his mind, the mother of all things, 
by whom, at first, he mentally conceived angels and archangels, 
by whom, he said, this world was madej also, that his Enoea 
being here detained, was the Helena that occasioned the war of 
Troy, and the blinding of Stesichorus, and passing from body 
to body, at last was cast into a brothel-house, and this was the 
lost sheep which he came purposely from heaven to seek and 
deliver from bonds, and to give salvation to men by the know- 
ledge of him; for seeing angels did not well govern the world, 
because every one sought to be the chief, he came to mend 
things, and descended transformed, and assimulated to powers, 
and angels, that he might to men appear as a man, being, 
indeed, no man, and so was thought to have suffered in Judaea, 
when, indeed, he did not suffer. The prophets, he said, were 
inspired by those angels that made the world, therefore those 
that trusted in him and his Selene need not regard them any 
more, and being now freemen may do what they list, for men 
are saved according to his grace, and not according to righteous 
works ; for works are not naturally but by accident righteous, 
as the angels appointed that had made the world, bringing men 
into bondage by such kind of precepts ; therefore he promised 
that the world should be loosed, and these that be his set free 
from the rule of them that made the world. Their mystical 
priests, therefore, do live in lust, and use witchcraft as they are 
able, and use exorcisms and enchantments, &:c. :' thus Irenteus. 
Of which Epiphanius speaks more largely, reporting yet more 
of their filthy mysteries, and how he taught them that the Hesh 



perished and rose not again, the soul only surviving, and that 
the Gnostics had their original from him. 

By all this it appeareth that this witch was the devil's agent, 
and that he had his help and doctrine both from him, and that 
he was sent to disgrace and oppose Christ and his doctrine, 
making the world believe, that it was he that in Jerusalem did 
seem to suffer under the name of Jesus, but indeed suffered 
not : and the world of wickedness that this wretch intro- 
duced by these sottish doctrines, backed with his witchcrafts, 
and the great success he had, and the trouble he put the church 
to, do show who was the master of the design. 

' Next to Simon succeeded Menander,' saith Irenaeus, (lib. 
i. c. 24,) ' a Samaritan, who also attained to the height of witch- 
craft. He taught them that the first power was unknown to 
all, but that it was he that was sent from the invisible to be the 
saviour of mankind, and that the world was made by angels, 
whom he also, as Simon said, were sent forth by Ennoia ; and 
that there is given by her to those that are taught of her such 
magical knowledge, that they may overcome the angels that 
made the world ; and that his disciples do, by his baptism, 
receive resurrection and die no more, but persevere without 
growing old or dying ;' thus Irenseus : to which Epiphanius 
addeth, ' That he was Simon's disciple, and in most matters 
retained the doctrine of his master, but boasted that he was 
greater than his master was ;' but, saith Epiphanius, ' As those 
Egyptian asps, that, being put together in a vessel,, the strongest 
eats up all the rest, and at last eats off his own hinder parts ; so 
have these heresies been destroyed and rooted out.' 

Next to Menander arose Saturninus, (or as Epiphanius, Satur- 
iiilus,) an Antiochian, who retained much of the former doctrine, 
adding ' That they were seven angels that made the world, and 
man after their image, and that the Jews' god M'as one of the 
seven, whom Christ came to destroy, because he would not be 
ordered, but would be over the rest ; and that Christ did but 
seem to be born, to walk, to eat, to die, but did not so indeed : 
and that good and bad angels making the world, they made one 
good man and another bad ; and the bad striving against the 
good, Christ came to help the good : that the spark of life that 
at first was put into man, returning to its own kind is safe 
in all : but the rest, which is man indeed, and was of the angels, 
perisheth. Marriage and generation (he said) is of Satan ; many 
of his followers eat not of living creatures, and, by abstinence. 


deceive many. The prophecies (he said) were some from the 
angels that made the world, and some from Satan.' Thus Ire- 
nseus : and Epiphanius saith the same. 

To Saturninus was joined Basilides, who would seem to ad- 
vance these devilish heresies to a more rational sublimity, as 
they that list may read in Irenaeus, Epiphanius, Tertullian, Euse- 
bius, and others. He added, also, that Christ did not suffer on 
the cross, but took on him the form of Simon, and stood by and 
laughed at them, and turned Simon of Cyrene into his shape, 
and so it was he that was crucified : and that he that will be 
saved must not believe in him that was crucified, but in Jesus 
that came in the shape of a man, and was thought to have been 
crucified. They make all actions indifferent, and the use of all 
lust. They make three hundred and sixty-five heavens and 
principal angels, as there be days in the year. Those that know 
their mysteries, know all men, but are known of none : but all 
must not yet be revealed. 

Their foundations they lay in feigned notions about invisible 
things, as Jacob Behmen of late did his. They say there was one 
unbegotten principle, who only is the parent of all things. Of 
him was begotten the mind, that is, Christ ; of the mind was 
begotten the word ; from the word came prudence ; from that 
virtue and wisdom ; from both these principalities, powers, 
and angels. These made the first heaven, and begot more 
angels : those made the second heaven and begot more, and 
so on. 

To these succeeded Carpocrates, and the Nicolaitans, whose 
inhuman filthiness was such, and their devilish conceits so many 
and vile, that I will forbear to mention them. Only this, they 
made themselves like Christ, and some of them to be equal to 
him, and some the same with him, that good and evil differed 
not in deed, but in men's opinion. They worshipped images ; 
they lived in such horrid ways of lust and filthiness as is not to 
be named. Epiphanius himself unhappily fell in among them, 
and knew their ways from their own mouths and actions, but 
Ivippily escaped when they would have drawn him to their lusts. 
They have multitudes of amazing words and notions, like our 
Behmcnists, that would bring a man into a suspicion of witch- 
craft to read them. They used witchcrafts, and several sorts of 
enchantments, and kept devils in familiarity with them, that, 
l)y their means, they might increase their knowledge and 

Y 2 


To these succeeded the Cerinthians, the Cerdonites, the 
Ebionites, the Valeiitinians, the Maicionites, who, as they had 
all the general name of Gnostics, from their own proud pre- 
tences of the knowledge of such mysteries as the catholic 
church was ignorant of, so were they called by the names of 
their several succeeding leaders, because every one added or 
altered somewhat from the doctrine of the former, yet holding 
the same in the main : and the Valentinians were more noto- 
riously than the rest known by the name of Gnostics, and the 
Nicolaitans and Carpocratians also assumed it before them. 

That all these heresies were certainly of the devil, appears 
thus : 

1. By the devilish doctrine which they preached. 

2. By the most unclean, abominable lives which they lived, 
and ceremonies which they used. 

3. In that they all were the offspring of Simon Magus, a 
witch : for, as Irenseus shows, (lib. i. cap. 30,) they were all his 
disciples, and continued the substance of his doctrines, with 
some additions, though many of them would not own his 

4. Jn that they used enchantments themselves, yea, and had 
familiarity with devils. 

5. And Christ still prevailed against them, and broke them in 
pieces : though the devil was still repairing his house as fast as 
Christ broke it down, and raising a new sect-master to make up 
the breach when an old one was rooted out. 

And besides the main difference (which lay in the purity of 
doctrine and life) wherein the church of Christ did differ from 
these heretics ; that was another, that the church was still one, 
and known by the simple name of Christians and Catholics ; 
but the heretics were many, and every age had a sect partly 
new, and of a new name, and sometimes many in an age. 

The plain design of the devil in all this was to uphold his 
own honour and kingdom, and to dishonour God and ruin souls, 
and to make the christian faith seem questionable to the world, 
by the multitude of sects that still pretended to the Christian 
name ; and to make Christ's doctrine and followers seem abo- 
minable, while some that were called Christians were truly 

I will give it you in the words of Epiphanius, who follows 
Irenaeus in this a])plication, as lie doth in much of the history. 
When he mentioned their familiarity with devils to further 


their aspiring to higher things, he adds, ' Which sort of men 
Satan seems to have fitted and sent for a reproach and stum- 
bling block to the church of God ; as having put on themselves 
the name of Christians, that for their sakes the nations being 
offended, should abhor the profit of the church of God ; and 
should refuse the truth declared to them, because of their 
savage wickedness, and incredible vileness ; that I say, their 
frequent villanies being taken notice of, they might persuade 
themselves that those also are such that are of the holy church 
of God : and so may turn away their ears, as I said, from the 
true doctrine of God ; or at least beholding the dishonesty of 
a few, might cast the same reproaches upon all. And in- 
deed, this is the cause that most of the gentiles, wherever they 
apprehend any of that sort, will have no society with us, either 
as to giving, or receiving, or counsel, or hearing the word of 
God, and will not so much as lend us their ears, so much are 
they driven off and deterred by the wicked crimes of these men.' 
So far Epiphanius of the use of these sects, which the devil 

I have heard some of their successors, that are among us now, 
say, that these men were wronged by Epiphanius and others, 
both as to their doctrine and life : but it is not one or two, but 
all the church histories of those times, and discourses that occa- 
sionally mention them, that say the same things ; so that if men 
be not impudently and wilfully incredulous, the truth of the 
history in the main is unquestionaljle. Nay, I have mentioned 
but a small part of the abominations of these sects ; and if they 
will but read Epiphanius himself, they will see much more : 
and he himself doth it with an apology, professing that he was 
loth to have done it, lest the very naming of such abominations 
should do hurt : and professing that much is so vile, that he 
will not name it. And the more competent witness is he, in 
that he fell in among them, and was either one of them no- 
tionally, or very near it. And before and after him, the church 
writers generally confirm his testimony. Clemens Alexandrinus 
deals largely with them : indeed, for the Nicolaitans, Clem. 
Alexand. ' Stromal.' (lib. iii.) and ^ Eusebius Histor.' (lib. iii. c. 
23) and 'Theodoret' (lib. iii.) do say, that they falsely pre- 
tended the name of Nicolas to their heresy, as Ignatius ' Ad 
Trallianos ' seems also to intimate. Yet Irenaeus, Tertullian, and 
Epiphanius, and Hierome, thought that he himself was their 
leader. However, we know what they were, and that even 


Rev. ii. 6, they are called by the name of Nicolaitans. And 
let our heretics, that would befriend them, note that God saith 
there, " He hateth them :" and it is well known that the 
Simonians, Menandriaus, Carpocratians, Basilideans, Valenti- 
ninans, and the rest of the Gnostics, were, in the main, of the 
same litter and feather as the Nicolaitans, whom God said he 
hateth. And indeed, if they would take the testimony of Scrip- 
ture against them, they might find more texts that condemn 
them than this. For they were most of them before the death 
of all the apostles ; and it is evident that John calls them anti- 
christs in his epistle, as being the men that denied Christ to 
have come, and suffered in the flesh, but said he did it in an 
apparition, or mere show, as such witches as their leaders 
perhaps might do. 

It may be, some will be ready to blame me for so much as 
mentioning these old heresies, and taking up their names 
among us, lest it do hurt ; but as the subject in hand doth lead 
iTie to it, so doth the sad judgment of God that hath lately be- 
fallen us. It is in vain now to keep men from these heresies by 
concealing them, for a great part of them are visible among us ; 
they have infected men that seemed to have had some fear of 
God 5 I shall say more of these anon : in the mean time, note, 
that there is a great and notorious resemblance of the heresies 
of these times unto those. I know some will say, * That if the 
Gnostics were so filthy, then those among us are not like them, 
for they seem strict, and self-denying, and mortified :' but note, 
that though all held the main points of their erroneous belief 
alike, yet they did differ somewhat in the point of lust and 
fleshly living among themselves; for, as Irenaeus shows, (lib. i, 
c. 30,) Saturninus and Marcion were called continent, and so 
was their sect, for they forbade marriage, or persuaded men to 
abstain from it, ' thereby,' saith Irenseus, ' frustrating the ancient 
work of God, and obliquely accusing him that made man male and 
female for generation ; and those that forbade the eating of 
flesh, were ungrateful to him that made all for their use.' Just 
so are there two sects among us lately sprung up, the one began 
in uncleanness and blasphemy, and all abominable riotousness, 
vmder the name of ranters ; the other pretend to the extreme 
mortification of the Eremites, or rather of those last mentioned, 
and are called Behmenists and quakers, and yet in the main 
principles of their faith, wherein they disagree from the true 
church, they are among themselves agreed ; as also, for the 


most part of them, in their practice of reproaching all ministers 
and godly people that are not of their way. 

1 must confess it is my opinion that we have been much to 
blame in not making known to common Christians somewhat 
more of the nature of the heresies of the first ages, and the 
effects of them, by which they might have been better fortified 
against them ; for now, for want of such information, the poor 
wretches take old, rotten, damned heresies, for new light from 
the Spirit of Christ, and many are ready, upon that very notion 
and account, to run after them to their own perdition, little 
knowing or thinking that ever these heresies were in the world 
before, and how they were used by Christ and his church. 
Had they but known when and how their highly honoured 
fancies did first arise, and what they brought forth, and how 
they sped, and what men they were that handed them down 
from Simon Magus till the time of their burial, the devil could 
not so easily have dug them up again, and have got religious 
men to make a feast of them. My brethren, therefore, that may 
blame me now for mentioning them, must accept of this excuse 
of my doings, instead of a conformity to their minds, till my 
own be altered. 

By the way, it is to be noted, that the success that the devil 
had by those old heresies, by which he attended the springing 
church, and the Gospel of Christ, besides the hinderance of 
men's conversion in particular, was this : he occasioned the 
crimes of these heretics to be charged on all Christians, (as out 
of Epiphanius, I said before) ; so that the common reports among 
the heathen, that the Christians did eat their own children, 
and that they put out the lights at their meetings, and were 
unclean together, were raised from the wickedness of these 
Simonians and Gnostics ; and withal, by this means, the per- 
secution of the Christians was much increased and renewed, 
though yet the heretics themselves were not persecuted, as 
Justin Martyr affirms, (Apolog. 2,) and Origen., (lib. vi. cont. 
Celsum,) which might come from hence. 

1. Because the heretics taking all outward actions to be 
indifferent, and good and evil to consist but in opinion, as some 
of their spawn among us also do, did judge it lawful to sacrifice 
to idols, or do any such thing that the magistrate bid them do, 
(which is Hobbs's religion,) rather than to suffer persecution; 
whereby they escaped, when the Christians, that were more 
tender-conscienced, and knew of a higher Lord and Master in 
heaven, durst not do so. 


2. And withal it is plain, that the devil was the grand agent, 
both in the heresy and the persecution, and, therefore, would 
not persecute his own, having no mind to destroy his own 

I might, but for tediousness, run down this sad history of the 
devil's sowing the tares of heresy from age to age till this very 
day, wherein, it will appear, that he is a devoted enemy to 
Christ and his church ; but I will overpass most of them, which 
you find in Epiphanius, Austin, Philastrius, or Theodoret, at 
pleasure, and only note next, his attempts to bring in Mahouiet- 
anism and popery. 

For the latter, he was as vigilant to corrupt the church itself, 
as to draw heresies out of it ; to which end, he made special 
use of the pride, and pomp, and secular honours, and greatness 
of the bishops ; so that, by degrees, he brought into most 
churches on earth too much error in some matters of doctrine, 
too much formality and superstition instead of true rational 
devotion in the worship of God, and too much tyranny and 
usurpation of authority over their brethren, instead of the true 
discipline and goverinnent of Christ. Mow much the church 
of Rome miscarried in all these, especially in this last, above 
all the churches on earth, is also too evident to those that are 
not imwilling to see. 

And it is to be noted, that the more that, or any church 
was corrupted, the less careful was the devil to raise heresies out 
of it, or separations from it, because he had rather, if it might 
be, hereticate the whole ; and while he had so great hopes and 
likelihood of poisoning their daily food and habitations at 
home, he was the less careful to draw them into dangers abroad ; 
nor would he disturb them much with the clamours of heretics, 
while themselves did grow apace so like to them. This is the 
reason why the chmch of Rome hath had fewer separating 
heresies, since it began to be corrupted, schismatical, and tyran- 
nical, than it had when it was more pure, and than the catholic 
church had in the first and purer times. 

And, doubtless, this design of the devil, to corrupt the church 
of Rome, and cause them to claim an universal episcopacy and 
headship over the whole catholic church, and to make that the 
centre of the church's union, is so evidently like himself, and 
suited to his ends, and so contrary to Christ, that he may easily 
be known to be his, (that is, Christ's) adversary. Whether the 
pope be the antichrist or not, I am sure the devil shows him- 


self an antichrist in his exaltation and usurpation. The mil- 
lions of souls that have been drowned in superstition, and led 
blindfold in commended ignorance, do show who hath been the 
pilot in that sea. The blood that hath been shed in Germany, 
France, Spain, Italy, England, and other nations, by fire and 
sword, for the suppression of a reformation, and extinguishing 
of the light, do show, that he, who was a murderer from the 
beginning, hath led on the inquisitors and blood-suckers to the 
work. The wilful opposing of evident truths, the obstinate 
refusal of all healing means, the carnal maintaining of their 
own interest, and rejecting all counsels of the prudent and 
moderate, doth show who it is that befriendeth their usurpa- 
tion : so doth the ground which they have laid for perpetual 
dissentions, by the horrible schism, which they have caused 
and continue, making the catholic church a new thing, even 
the same with the Roman, and proudly calling the whole christ- 
ian world to own their bishop as their head and governor, and 
declaring all that refuse it to be out of the catholic church, and 
resolving upon an everlasting separation from all that cannot 
so far stoop to them, and so unchurching all the churches of 
Christ in the world, except their own, and these that make 
themselves their subjects, and by proclaiming themselves infal- 
lible, putting us out of all hopes of a cure of the least of their 
abuses, injuries, or errors, till the sword cure it, or God open 
their eyes. All this shows that the devil hath been playing as 
great a game at Rome (by these pretended St. Peters) of late, as 
he did by Simon Magus in the beginning : besides all the cor- 
ruptions in doctrine and worship, which they have introduced, 
teaching men to pray to and for the dead, to adore the bread 
and worship it with divine worship, to worship images, to pray 
to God in a tongue which they understand not, when they 
might as easily use that which they do understand, maiming 
the Lord's supper, with too many the like ; professing that 
they can live perfectly, without sin, yea, and meritoriously, and 
supererogate besides, and lay up a treasury of merits to re- 
deem souls from purgatory : these, and abundance more, show 
that the prince of darkness hath had too great a hand in ruling 
their conclave and counsels, and an evil angel hath kept the 
kevs too long of the castle of St. Angelo, or else there had not 
been such key keepers imposed upon their church. 

If yet any question whether the devil hath had a hand in 
introducing their tyranny and errors, and in laying the founda- 
tion of their schism and corruptionsj let him but peruse the 


histories of one six or seven hundred years before Luther's time, 
and see how their popes entered, how they reigned, and how 
they ended. Let but their own writers, Platina, Ciaconius, 
Stella, and many more, be heard, who will tell you how some of 
them bought the popedom of the devil, how divers were con- 
jurers, and multitudes horrible adulterers, or murderers. The 
mere English reader may, in short, take up with what Ur. 
Prideaux will inform him, from the year six hundred and six till 
one thousand six hundred and twenty three, and after ; that is, 
from the beginning of Boniface the Third, till near the end of 
Urban the Eighth. 

Thus hath the prince of darkness, Beelzebub, showed us his 
designs, and led on the armies that have marched against 
Christ, improving his craft and power, and deluding poor souls 
to be his unhappy instruments to blow out the glorious light of 
the Gospel, and hinder its efficacy, and disturb and tear in pieces 
the church, hold those in thraldom that Christ will rescue out 
of his hands. 

And it is not altogether to be passed over, for the further 
discovery where the kingdom of Satan most consisteth, that the 
devil had formerly, in the times of popery, incomparably more 
power among men to appear to them, and haunt their houses 
and vex them, than now he hath. It is certainly known, that 
till the reformation, the haunting of houses and apparitions 
were much more common than now. And, at this day, it is 
much commoner among the papists than the protestants ; I 
have spoken with old people, very credible for true godliness and 
honesty, that have professed when they were young, they have 
lived in such houses with papists, where they were vexed with 
them frequently day and night. I know, when we ask the 
papists the reason of tins, they say 'It is because Satan will not 
trouble his own.' But, by that rule, all the Indians and barbarous 
heathens should not be his own, whom he commonly so troubleth. 
He will exercise his tyranny, and domineer as far as God 
restraineth him not : and we see he is more restrained with us 
than with them. Though I know, that as here he hath too many 
wicked men which are his servants, so he may and doth some- 
time exercise the like tyranny ; but it is not so common as it is 
with them. The like I may say of witches, which with them 
have been more numerous, saving that of late so great a number 
were found in two or three counties here. 

The next work of Satan against the church, that we shall 
mention, is his setting up Mahomet, whose Alcoran was vented 


about the time that Pope Boniface the Third obtained of Phocas 
his universal supremacy, above six hundred years after Christ. 
It is a doubt among divines, whether the Mahometans should be 
reckoned infidels or heretics. For they confess, even Mahomet 
in his Alcoran, that Jesus Christ was a great prophet, tiiat he 
was the mind of God, the wisdom of God, the word of God, and 
the Messiah which was foretold in the law, and by the prophets; 
that he was born of the Virgin Marv, conceived without any 
earthly father, by divine inspiration ; that he was righteous ; 
that he gave sight to the blind, healed the lame and sick, and 
raised the dead to life again ; that he was taken up into heaven, 
and shall come again. Thus much of his Gospel God hath forced 
these multitudes of his enemies to attest. 

But then they take up some of the old heresies, and say, 
that Christ was not crucified, but his image, or one like him, the 
Jews being deceived. They say, he shall come again on earth, 
at the end of the world, to confirm the law of Mahomet ; the 
first propiigators of the christian faith, they say, were good and 
holy men ; but they would sottishly persuade men, that our 
books and religion are since corrupted, and that Mahomet's 
name is wiped out, of whom great matters were there spoken. 

Whether we name them heretics or infidels, the matter is not 
great ; but we know that they deny Christ's Godhead, as the 
Socinians do, being taught it by Sergius, the Arian monk, who 
was Mahomet's schoolmaster, and the maker of their religion. 
And though they thus far own Christ absolutely considered, yet, 
compared with Mahomet, they neglect him ; and under pretence 
of the fore mentioned defection they hate the churches of Christ 
on earth, and are persecutors and professed enemies to the 
christian name. 

So that a double hand of Satan is apparent in their profes- 
sion ; first, in the framing and founding of it ; and secondiv, in 
carrying it on. As he did by the rest of the heretics, so he hath 
done by them ; while they retain and acknowledge some truths, 
as the unity of the Godhead, &c., they are made instruments of 
destroying the rest, and of ruining the professors of the true re- 
ligion. 1 know Satan could not have procured them their great 
successes and victories, if God had not permitted or had a hand 
in it ; but our sins had made us ripe for such a judgment. Vic- 
tories and worldly powers have been the planters and propaga- 
tors of their faith. 

That it is of Satan, and one of his master-pieces in the great 
war that he hath with Christ, is manifest : 


1. By the ancient heresies that bred it, and that it con- 

2. By the dotages and self-contradiction of their Alcoran. 

3. By the wickedness of it; encouraging them still to blood, 
allowing them four wives and as many concubines as they please, 
and promising them a sensual felicity hereafter ; and contra- 
dicting the word of God in particulars, when they acknowledge 
the truth of it in general. 

4. By the suitableness of it to carnal minds, and the ready 
reception that it findeth with such ; so that the vilest barbarians 
are quickly made Mahometans ; and there is a greater part of 
the world this day that are Mahometans, than Christians, merely 
by the force of the sword, and the sensuality of their religion. 

5. And they will not suffer it to be disputed, nor reasoned of, 
but absolutely believe without asking for any evidence of its 

6. And the management and issue clearly shows it is but the 
devil's second army (next to the Pagans), by which he seeks to 
hold his possession, and to hinder Christ's kingdom, and perse- 
cute his subjects. For, by force they have already banished the 
most of the christian religion from a great part of the world, 
where once it was glorious ; and the rest they are still infesting; 
and those under their power they keep in much thraldom, and 
suffering, and disgrace. So that it is most clear, that the setting 
up of Mahometanism was one of the most successful oppositions 
that ever the devil made against Christ and the Christian cause; 
having thereby rooted or kept out Christianity from so great a 
part of the earth by such silly, palpable dotages. 

After Mahometanism, let us consider how he hath yet pro- 
ceeded to defile, or destroy if it might have been, the remaining 
church of Christ, by renewing heresies to this day. 

When Satan perceived that he could no longer keep up the 
tyranny and errors of popery undisturbed, but that Christ would 
send out such a light as should disgrace and dispel his darkness, 
he reneweth his old attempts again, and setteth upon Christ in 
his own kingdom, and falls upon the reformation in its own 
quarters. And as he set out Simon Magus, at first, to follow 
Simon Peter, and Paul, at the heels, and disturb them in their 
work, and disgrace Christianity, partly by diversity, and partly 
by the evil doctrines and lives of such as pretend to be Christ- 
ians ; so did he send out the like sect-masters after Christ's re- 
formers, to stand up against them by the same artifices, and to 
disturb the labourers, and disgrace the reformation, by the di- 


versity and evil doctrines and practices of those who pretended 
to be reformers with them. 

Two trained bands doth Satan here send out to encounter 
the church and truth of Christ. The first are a mixed company 
that all go under the name of anabaptists ; the other are en- 
thusiasts, that go under divers names, but agree in their main 
design, of whom I shall speak anon. 

It was the subtlety of Satan to begin with the point of infant 
baptism, both because it was not all so expressly mentioned in 
Scripture, as some greater matters are, and, therefore, would hold 
more controversy and talk, and he might more easily bring them 
to a confidence in their mistakes, or at least a suspicion of our 
doctrine ; and also because if he could so far loose them from 
Christ as to make them repent of their former dedication to him, 
and disclaim it, he might think to have the more power over 
them himself. However it were, experience certainly informetii 
us that this egg did multiply to such a generation of vipers, as 
threatened to eat out the bowels of the reformed churches. They 
made the reformation odious to many. They began in a seem- 
ing simplicity and harmlessness, asif wehadnot reformed enough, 
but they must carry on the work where we left it, and cast out 
children from the church, as we cast out separation and errors ; 
but when the spirit within them had once vent and field-room 
for agitation, it soon discovered itself to be of the great deceiver. 
In Germany, Thomas Muntzer preached the people into a rebel- 
lion, and got a numerous army of the seduced ones into the 
field, and while he promised them victory, they were routed and 
hewed in pieces, and himself put to a terrible death. In the 
city of Munster, they made head against the bishop, who was 
their prince ; and expelled him and the magistrates, and put 
some to death, and made John of Leyden their king, who, after 
a little barbarous cruelty and domineering for a few weeks, was 
put to death with many of his new subjects, at the taking of the 
city. Yet some of them lived, and broke out into various sects : 
David George headed one party of them, and taught them that 
he was the Holy Ghost ; and as the Father's doctrine saved them 
till Christ, and the Son's Gospel till now, so the doctrine of this 
David, who was the Holy Ghost, was as much higher than the 
doctrine of the Son, as the Son's was higher than the Father's. 
Thus did he take hands with the second sect, the enthusiasts, 
and join two into one. 

The second sect had manv heads, in some things differing one 


from another. Some followed Schvvenkfeldius, and some lurked 
and made no great noise with their opinions, as being not able 
to make any great party. Of these, the chief leader was Para- 
celsus, a drunken conjurer, who had converse with devils, as 
Simon Magus, the first master of the heretics, had ; by which 
it is not hard to know whence he had his nevi^ doctrines. This 
is not only testified by Erasmus, in his disputation against him, 
but by George Wetter, a godly, learned man, that was Paracelsus' 
companion for two years together, who told him what wages 
Satan would pay his servants, and asked him why he would 
follow that course, and he answered him that he would shortly 
repent, and forsake them. Joannes Oporinus, also, Theodore, 
Zuingerus, Bullinger, Conrad, Gesnerus, and others, do witness 
that he used magic, and devils, and would be so frequently 
drunk that men could scarcely tell when to speak with him. Opo- 
rinus had been his amanuensis and companion, and saith, he 
saw neither learning nor godliness in him, but skill in medi- 
cines : and that he would sit up till midnight, and then leap 
down on his bed with his sword by his side, and rising up, 
would so lay about him on the walls and floor with his naked 
sword, that Oporinus was oft afraid he would have cut off his head. 
This Oporinus was the learned, famous printer of Basil. Yet 
this Paracelsus was the great corrupter of divinity, the father of 
many new conceits contradictory to Scripture : upon his founda- 
tion his successors built, as Menander did on Simon Magus, 
and Saturninus, and Basilides, and others, on his. John Arndt 
magnifieth him ; Weigelius calls him exceedingly illuminated, 
and his theology he calls the pure and incorrupt Scripture of 
the prophets and apostles : this Weigelius was the chief of his 
followers and successors. Then steps in John Arndt, Julius 
Sperber, Jesaias Stiefel, and Ezekiel Meth, Paul Felgenhaver, 
and Jacob Behmen, whose books, much taken out of Paracelsus, 
and furthered by Kempis, Taulerus, and others, are now trans- 
lated into English by some admirers of him, possessed by the 
same conceits. The cloudy nonsense, or wilful obscurity, draws 
them into admiration of them first, and they think there is sure 
some admirable mysteries in those enigmatical expressions, and 
so they are tired on to so long an expense of time in the search, 
till they are habituated to his arrogancy and folly. What his 
doctrines are, what new prophecies he produceth, and disco- 
veries of things before and about the creation, angels, the soul, 
heaven and hell, &c., which the Scripture revealeth not, is too 


commonly known in his books, which yet are pretty well locked 
up, and made more harmless by such ridiculous and yet hideous 
bombardical words, as Basilides, Valentinus, and the first he- 
retics used. And indeed, never had the world a generation so 
like them in doctrinals as some of these late enthusiasts. Weig- 
elius' books have a gnostic title ; they all pretend to a higher 
knowledge of mysteries about angels, spirits, and spiritual states, 
and God himself, than the church knoweth ; and yet they give 
us neither reasons with Aristotle, nor miracles with Christ and 
his apostles, to cause us to believe any of their new revelations :' 
as if we must take them on their bare (scarce intelligible) words. 
They that would see more of these German prophets, and how 
Behmen had his doctrine from the books of Paracelsus ; let them 
read Beckman's ' Exercitations,' (p. 346, 347,) and so forward. 

From Germany let us pass a little into England, and see how 
the same devil in enmity to Christ hath here sent out his false 
prophets to hinder the reformers, and to have destroyed, if it 
might be, the work of reformation. 

Just such another sect as some of the old gnostics did arise 
under the name of the family of love, who made one Henry 
Nichols the leader of their party. They turned almost all the 
supernatural revelation in Scripture to an allegory, and so denied 
even Christ's incarnation, death, and resurrection, and ascen- 
sion in sense, while they seemed to believe the words that did 
express it. They very much gloried in the light and spirit within 
them, and called the written word but the letter, and so would 
have brought down God's law as a dead letter, and have set up 
their own conceits, passionate fancies, and dreams, as the Spirit. 
Abundance of horrible doctrines they added, like those of the 
old Gnostics, their predecessors. You may see some of them in 
Mr. Bailye's 'Dissuasive,' and Mr. Rutherford 'Against Fami- 
lists,' &c. To these were annexed, in Germany, the Libertines, 
who denied the immortality of the soirl, and made good and 
evil to lie but in opinion, and many more like them of old (of 
which see Calvin, against them, and in his ' Psychopanichia'). In 
England they were called Antinomians, and some of them were 
much worse in doctrine and life than others. These two sects 
did here usually mix. The common road of this heretical devil 
being ordinarily by separation to anabaptistrj', from anabap- 
tistry to antinomianism or Pelagianism, for there the way parted, 
and from antinomianism to libertinism, and so to familism, and 
so to hell without repentance. 


Of this tribe was Hacket, Co})pinger, and Arthington, who 
lived a while as wrapped up in the Spirit, and in antinoniian fan- 
cies, and a great number of their party called Grundletonians, 
from a village in Yorkshire, where they lived or met. I had an 
old, godly friend that lived near them, and went once among 
them, and they breathed on him as to give him the Holy Ghost; 
and his family, for three days after, perceived him as a man of 
another spirit, as half in an ecstacy, and after that he came to 
himself, and came near to them no more : but the hanging of 
Hacket, who died blaspheming, which story is so commonly 
known that I need not mention it, did much mar their matters; 
and Arthington's recantation, in a book called his ' Seduction,' 
did stay many : for he and Coppinger were the two witnesses 
that were to proclaim up and down London that Hacket was the 
Christ that was come to judge them. 

Whilst these heretics assaulted the reformation and the 
Gospel on one hand, the devil v»as as busy to stir up the church 
governors themselves to the disrelish of godliness, to supersti- 
tion, and tyranny, on the other hand, who, upon the difference 
about ceremonies and subscription first, and afterwards upon the 
introduction of more of their forms of worship without law, 
did suspend, silence, expel, imprison, many learned, godly, 
sober ministers, that were most diligent in pulling down the 
kingdom of Satan, and did him the greatest hurt, by rescuing 
the ungodly out of his hand ; besides a multitude of godly peo- 
ple that were troubled, banished, and driven to seek remote 
habitations, even as far as America. Upon which Satan got a 
further double and great advantage, besides the grievous breach 
and ruins that he made in the church. The first was, that he 
made practical godliness become odious and a scorn among the 
people, and the godly to ])e reproached as puritans, and men 
that were needlessly precise. The second was, that he kindled, 
on this occasion, a deeper discontent, in the minds of some of 
the persecuted, against their persecuting governors than was 
meet, and set them in too keen an opposition against them. By 
which means the devil prepared us to those factions and ani- 
mosities which presently broke out into an unhappy war : in 
which war, as in all wars, the reins being more loose, and sol- 
diers having both provocations to stir up their pride, passion, 
and dissent from their enemies to the height, and also opportu- 
nity to vent their opinions, and to propagate them with less con- 
tradiction, because they were removed further from the inspec- 


tion of able ministers, and were put into a proud, domineering, 
and licentious capacity : it came to pass that a few separatists 
and anabaptists, that were at first in the city and army, did 
grow in two or three years' time to a multitude, and by the 
policies of Satan and his instruments, did propagate and spread 
their conceits through the countries, and cast both church and 
state, and the minds of men into such distempers that they 
had fuller opportunity to fish when the waters were thus trou- 
bled; and the papists secretly fomenting the whole work, and all 
Satan's heretical agents combining upon their common interest, 
and upon the libertine account of toleration for them all ; at 
last, by many flagitious and abominable practices, they got so 
far into the saddle, and to that height and number, and to those 
advantages for the propagation of their way, which our eyes 
have seen, and the faithful have lamented, so that now they 
are upon the Munster principles, many of them seeking after 
reign and dominion, and think the time is come, or near, when 
the rebaptised saints must judge the world, and the kingdom 
must be theirs, and they must rule and break the nations, at 
least, for a thousand years. 

A man would scarcely have believed that saw the first spring of 
separation and anabaptistry among us, that it would have 
produced those fearful effects, which we have since beheld. 
The devil knew better what was contained virtually in that seed, 
and what an inundation might follow the first breaches of our 
schisms, than we did : or else he would not have so far out-gone 
us in diligence ; somewhat more we should have done to resist 
him, and less to assist him, than we did. He hath now got such 
an army of heretics to spit their venom daily in the face of 
Christ, that we may hear easily, by their voices, whether Satan 
be for Christ or against him. From separation and anababtistry 
and antinomianism, they have proceeded to ^such madness and 
abominable conceits, and to so great variety of them, as I scarcely 
read of in any time of the church, except in the days of the 
Simonians, Nicolaitans, and the rest of the gnosticks in and near 
the days of the apostles, and in the time of David George and 
some others, in the reformation. 

And here I may well note the seasons that this destroyer 
takes, for the sending forth his lying spirits, and spreading his 
heresies: it is when and where Christ is doing his greatest 
works. The apostles and their next successors, that had the 
most glorious work to do, had also the sharpest assault and 

VOL. XX. z 


greatest opposition from these heretics. The work of reforma- 
tion in the days of our fore- fathers had the next part of Satan's 
malicious opposition. How loth was he that such works as 
these should have gone on ! In England, he saw of late how 
earnestly men were set upon a full reformation ; w^hat resolution 
there was in rulers, and what desires in many of the people, to 
have seen a plenty of faithful teachers, and discipline faithfully 
exercised, and God purely and seriously worshipped ; so that 
that great work was never half so likely to have been accom- 
plished, if the enemy had not subtlely interposed, and corrupted 
the heads and hearts of so many, and made them the destroyers 
that but a little before were forward to build. We could not 
foresee, in the height of our successful beginnings, that which 
Paul could then see in theirs. (Acts xx. 29, 30.) What 
grievous wolves should enter, not sparing the flock, and that of 
our own selves should men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw 
away disciples after them. But, alas ! while we slept, that 
envious enemy hath sowed these tares 3 so that I think we may 
almost compare with the first heretics for vileness and variety. 

Some we have that turn Socinians, denying Christ's Godhead 
and satisfaction, and the Godhead of the Holy Ghost ; some 
turn libertines, and some familists ; some seekers, and that of 
divers strains. Some down-right infidels, under that and other 
titles ; even deriding the holy Scriptures, and Christ himself, 
as far as they dare speak out for fear of blemishing their repu- 
tations. No heaven or hell do they believe but what is now 
within them, nor any higher felicity than to be epicures, nor any 
life after this which they shall live. And herein are far worse 
than almost all the pagans on the earth, yea, than the savage 
Americans, who commonly believe a life of happiness or misery 
hereafter. May you not see in these men how Satan befriendeth 
Christ ? Nay, that the devil drives them on is yet more 
apparent, in that these very men, that believe no life to come, 
are yet as diligent and busy to make others of their mind, and 
increase their party, as if they had the greatest motives to impel 
them. Whereas, rationally, he that thinks man so contemptible 
a creature as to die like a dog, hath no reason miich to regard 
whether men entertain his opinion or no ; though he that 
believeth an eveilasting joy or torment may see reason enough 
to move him to such endeavours, that men may escape the 
misery, and be happy. 

Besides these, we have had, and yet have, a horrible, hateful 


sect of men called ranters, who make it their very religion to 
swear out the most full-mouthed oaths by multitudes, and openly 
blaspheme the God of heaven, and so meet, and dance, and roar 
together ; and commit whoredoms and filthiness without shame, 
owning it, and glorying in it, when they have been punished or 
examined : so that they seem to match the Simonians and 
Nicolaitans. They fall into trances, and there lie with their 
bodies swelled, and strangely acted, and then fall into their 
raptures and blasphemings. When the law began to restrain 
these for their wicked practices, the same deceiving spirit raiseth 
up another sect in their stead, called quakers,'who hold many 
of their doctrines, and take their course in other respects ; only, 
instead of ranting, open wickedness, they pretend to as great 
mortification of the flesh as the ancient Eremites, and more. 
They fall into trances, swell, quake, and tremble, and yell, and 
roar, and after the fit is over, fall a threatening judgments, 
sometimes against common sins : but the very life and venom 
of all their speeches and endeavours is against the ministry, to 
make them odious in the eyes of the people. As I have seen 
the letters of the ranters so full of the most hideous blasphemies 
against God, as I- thought had never come from any but the 
damned, so have I had letters from these quakers myself, so full 
of railing and reviling, from end to end, as I never saw before 
from the pen of man, either mad or sober, nor ever heard from 
the mouth of any. Of these two last sorts, divers have run 
ul)out naked, and some said they were Christ. One ran naked 
into Whitehall chapel in the time of worship : one eat his own 
dung, in imitation of Jeremy. To know more of them, see the 
relation of Richard Gilpin's case. Some of them pretend yet 
to greater sobriety, and make no great noise in the world ; and 
those are but few, and men of commendable parts, who are deeply 
possessed with the fancies of Jacob Behmen, the German Para- 
celsian prophet, and the Rosicrucians, and set themselves mainly 
to a mortification of bodily desires and delights, and advancing 
the intellective part above the sensitive, (which is well,) but the 
doctrine of Christ crucified and justification by him is little 
minded by them. They do, as the quakers, maintain the popish 
doctrine of perfection, that they can live without sin, or that 
some of them can. They aspire after a visible communion with 
angels, and many of them pretend to have attained it, and fre ' 
quently to see them. The rest have that immediate intuition 
of verities by the spirit within them, or by revelation, that it is 

Z 2 


above mere rational apprehension, and therefore they will not 
dispute, nor be moved by any arguments or Scriptures that you 
bring, affirming that ratiocination cannot prevail against their 
intuition. The sum of their doctrines is, that we must be perfect, 
and for subjecting the flesh to the intellect, we must live in con- 
templation, lay by all offices in the commonwealth, and own no 
fleshly relations, as they call them, not the relation of brother 
or sister, not the relation of a magistrate, or of a master, not 
the relation of a father or mother, son or daughter, nor love 
any because of such a relation, but only as justice binds us to 
requital for what they have done for us. That none should own 
the relation of husband or wife, nor love each other as so re- 
lated. That we should endeavour to be perfect, and therefore 
to forbear all carnal acts of generation, as being of sin and of 
the devil, and therefore husband and wife should part asunder, 
or abstain. That all things should be common, and none 
should own propriety, with abundance more, which are founded 
on certain vain, unproved fancies of Behmen, that God at first 
created man a spiritual body, in one sex only, and that contain- 
ing both sexes virtually, having an angelical power of spiritual 
generation, and that this gross corporeity, and diversity of sex, 
marriage, and generation, are all the fruits of sin and Satan, 
with abundance more such audacious vanities, not worth the 

The truth is, there is a strange combination of the endea- 
vours of the papists and the devil in most of these late heresies. 
The matter and manner, the strange imposture, and transporta- 
tions and motions, and wicked, abominable lives of some of 
them, and railing of others, do show that he is the father of it : 
so do the intolerable doctrines which they bring, and the oppo- 
sition that all make to Christ, or the christian faith and 

And that the popish priests or Jesuits are the leading, busy 
actors of the whole game, we easily discern, both in that they 
are frequently discovered in it, and in that the whole frame of 
the design hath a popish aspect, and the face of their doctrines 
shows that they came from Rome. Their main business is to 
bring down the credit of the Scriptures and ministry, and if 
that were done, the papists would think they had the day. 
They also directly lead to their monastical and eremetical so- 
litude, and making that rigour to the body, and denying 
marriage, propiiety, and worldly employments, to be for their 


righteousness, which they trust in, and in this they must be 
perfect. But, doubtless, the issue of this (as the powder plot, 
and all other wicked attempts have done) will cast such a shame 
on the face of Rome, that it will prove no small wound to their 
cause, and, 1 hope, much cross their own expectations. I confess 
it doth very much to turn my heart from them further than else 
it would be. 

1. To see that their cause is such, and their doctrine such as 
needeth and owneth such abominable ways to maintain it ; and 
that their most zealous, learned men are such as dare own and 
practise such wicked courses. Doth Christ's kingdom need such 
hellish plots and attempts for the sustaining of it ? If the 
Roman kingdom were Christ's, it would not stand on such cursed 
props, nor would they go to hell for armour to defend it. It 
appears, that they will rather introduce all the heresies, blas- 
phemies, and infidelity itself, by their secret seductions, than 
they will neglect to promote their own interests and designs. 

2. And it confirms me much against them to see that the 
devil and the pope are both of a mind, and that Satan doth so 
notoriously join with them in the design, and show so much of 
his power and malice in the prosecution of it. 

I have been somewhat long upon this work of the great enemy, 
to show how he brings up his band of heretics against Christ. 
I shall be more brief in the rest ; though they are such as might 
hold us long, if we stood upon the application of them to the 
matter in hand, as the usefulness doth deserve; for they all put 
it out of doubt, that Satan is the leading enemy of Christ. 

Sect. IX. 

The sixth way by which the devil hath showed his enmity to 
Christ, is by open persecution of his subjects, and violence 
against his Gospel and kingdom ; in which, though he could go 
no further than God in wisdom saw good to permit him, yet so 
far hath he gone, as that the effects of his hellish rage are the 
subject of many voluminous histories, which being common in 
men's hands, I shall say but little of it. 

As Satan was a murderer from the beginning, (John viii. 24,) 
maliciously supplanting our new-created progenitors, and draw- 
ing them under the guilt of threatened death, so when the 
eternal Word did interpose for their redemption, and opened 
again to man a door of life, the malice of the enemy is so far 
from being abated, that it is more enraged and engaged against 


US than before. He had before a malicious hatred to man, but 
now he hateth him as recovered yet more, and hath a special 
enmity to the promised seed, both Christ and all his members. 
And so speedily and openly doth this appear, that he arms one 
of Adam's sons against the other upon this account. The first 
man that was born into the world is so far overcome by this 
envious spirit, as to murder his brother, because his own works 
were evil, and his brother's good. (1 John iii. 12.) And thus 
did he still rage against the promised seed, as in Egypt by 
Pharaoh and his witches or magicians, from whom Moses bore 
the reproach of Christ, that is, which the serpent principally in- 
tended against Christ, and which was cast upon him for the cause 
of Christ. (Heb. xi. 26.) So also from generation to generation. 

But the seed incarnate, and seed now come on earth among 
men, did yet draw out more of the rage of the enemy than the 
seed as merely promised did. How quickly is Herod enraged 
by the tempter to seek his life, while he is yet in infancy, even 
to the murdering of multitudes of infants for his sake ! How 
cruelly doth that devil that provoked Herod to keep his bro- 
ther's wife, provoke him also to imprison and behead the fore- 
runner of Christ, John the Baptist ! When it pleased the Lord 
Jesus to submit himself to an extraordinary combat with the 
tempter, (Matt, iv.,) how maliciously did he seek to draw him to 
sin, even that sin which is most abominable, the worshipping 
of himself instead of God. Of purposie did Christ submit to 
this conflict ; because as happiness was lost by the first Adam, 
through the victory of the tempter, so must it be recovered by 
the second Adam, through his victory over the tempter. He 
that did conquer must thus be conquered, that sinners might 
be rescued from the captivity in which he held them. First, 
Christ must overcome by obedience, tried to the utmost by 
temptation, and then he must also overcome by suffering. By 
overcoming temptation he must overcome Satan as tempter, 
who had got the rule of the will of man ; and by death he must 
overcome him as the prince of death, that had got the power of 
eKecuting God's sentence. (Heb. ii. 14.) 

The continual rage of Satan's instruments against Christ 
while he was on earth, did further testify his hatred of Christ. 
Though they confessed the glory of his works, and the excel- 
lency of his words, and though none of them could convince 
him of sin, yet they hated him. The reason he tells them, 
*^ Because they were of their father the devil, who was a mur- 


derer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth." (John 
viii. 44.) It is evident that it was an extraordinary enmity of 
Satan that possessed the Jews with this rage against Christ, 
through God's permission, and wise and gracious ordering for 
the redemption of the world : for the Jews were at that time in 
an expectation of the Messiah, and ready to run after any other 
that called himself the Messiah. Those that came in their own 
name, without any testimony of mission from God, they would 
receive : but Christ that came, in his Father's name, with his 
testimony of prophecies, miracles, and the rest, him they re- 
ceived not. When false Christs came presently after him, ac- 
cording as he had foretold, they run out after them, one after 
another, even to rebellion against the Romans, and the desola- 
tion of their nation. 

• All Christ's sufferings, as they were the effects of man's sin, 
and God's hatred of sin, and his governing justice, considering 
Christ as made sin for us ; so were they the effects of the malice 
and rage of the devil, who now was at the sword's point with 
him, and at the closing stroke, and was doing the worst he 
could against him. This was the time that the serpent must 
eminently bruise his heel. Christ himself tells the Jews that so 
it was when they came to take him, that this was their day and 
the power of darkness. (Luke xxii. 53.) That is, in which the 
prince and power of darkness must so far prevail as to cause his 
shameful death, or else he could not be a sacrifice for sin, nor 
conquer and triumph by a resurrection, and lead captivity cap- 
tive, and give the gifts of the Spirit to men upon his ascension. 
And therefore he would not call for that help from heaven, nor 
those legions of angels which were at his will, because this was 
the time of the power of darkness : but when his hour was not 
yet come, nor this murdering piece of the enemy ready to be dis- 
charged, then, though he were daily teaching among them in the 
temple, and stirring up their rage, yet laid they not hands on 
him. Two hours of the power of darkness did Christ espe- 
cially meet with ; the aforesaid hour of temptation in the wil- 
derness, where the tempter must be let loose in an extraordi- 
nary kind ; and this hour of his suffering. It was Satan that 
here buffetted Christ by the hands of wicked men ; that spit 
upon him by their mouths, that crowned him with thorns ; that 
crucified and pierced him, and put him to death, and would 

have kept him there if all the power of hell could have done it. 
When Christ had overcome and was ascended into glory, the 


enemy draws his sword against his servants, and provokes the 
deluded Jews to persecute them, and the high priests and phari- 
sees to stir up the people, and also the Roman power against 
them. How furiously are the apostles threatened and scourged, 
even when they confirmed the doctrine of Christ by miracles ! 
(Acts iii.) How cruelly ife Stephen stoned to death ! How 
quickly is James killed, and Peter imprisoned to the like intent ! 
Paul haleth men and women to prison, to compel them to blas- 
pheme ; and when he could persecute them no longer, he is per- 
secuted himself, imprisoned, scourged, tossed up and down, hav- 
ing many conspiracies against his life 3 everywhere are the 
Christians spoken against and persecuted, cast out of syna- 
gogues, called before kings, hated of all wicked men, having all 
manner of evil sayings and doings against them, for the sake of 
Christ, as he had foretold them it should be. So cruelly wefe 
the apostles themselves used, that it is supposed, that of the 
twelve, with Paul adjoined, there were none but John that 
escaped their murderous hands, the rest being all offered in 
martyrdom for Christ ; and to John himself they did their worst, 
and banished him when they could not kill him. Their succes- 
sors also succeeded them in their sufferings. The common lot 
of Christians was reproach, imprisonment, and cruel death ; so 
that the Holy Ghost doth warn them all to expect it, telling 
them that through many tribulations they must enter into the 
kingdom of heaven, and that all that will live godly in Christ 
Jesus must suffer persecution, and not think the fiery trial 
strange. Few of the pastors of the church did then escape 
martyrdom. So that of thirty Roman bishops successively very 
few escaped this death. The like was the lot of other pastors, 
at Jerusalem, Alexandria, Carthage, and the rest of the world 
where Christianity was set up. 

That this was the doing of the malicious serpent, appeareth 
evidently : 

1. In that the worst of men were their greatest persecutors : 
Nero led the way, and was most cruel ; Domitian, and most of 
the rest, were of his strain ; the best emperors and people had 
the least hand in it, for the most part. 

2. In that it was for the maintaining of idolatry that this 
cruelty was exercised, together with the suppression of the 
christian faith. 

3. The savage and hellish cruelty that they exercised doth 
manifest it. It were endless to mention the multitudes that 


were torn in pieces by wild beasts, hanged, burned, crucified, 
torn with pincers, thrust in with stakes from the fundament 
through the mouth, whipped to death, cast down from the rocks, 
beheaded, thrust by hundreds into places where they were burnt 
together, drowned, hung up by the heels, roasted on spits and 
gridirons, pressed to death, pricked with nails and reeds to 
death, hanged by one hand, or by the middle till they died, 
men and women hanged naked by one foot till they died, put by 
multitudes into the fish-ponds and waters to be frozen to death, 
their skins flayed off alive, stoned to death, beaten with 
clubs, and many the like torments. The English reader 
that would see it in a narrower room, may read Mr. Samuel 
Clark's * Martyrology.' Could any thing but hellish, unmerci- 
ful malice kindle and foment such flames as these ? Nay, they 
hewed their own soldiers to death by multitudes, that were 
Christians, and spared not men of any degree. 

4. It is yet more apparent that it was the devil that thus 
raged, because they were his agents that were the great inciters 
of the emperors hereunto, as well as his interest that was the 
ground of the quarrel. For not only Apollonius Tyanaeus, that 
famous sorcerer, but all the rest of the magicians or witches 
were the great upholders of idolatry, and opposers of the Christ- 
ians, and causers of their sufferings. And doubtless it was not 
God that set the conjurers on work, but their own master, by 
God's permission. 

5. IVIoreover, this persecution doth more fully discover the 
enmity that Satan hath against Christ, in that it was the Christ- 
ians that were culled out to this cruel usage, when others were 
honoured, or let alone. Indeed, the Jews were hardly used, but 
not in that manner as the Christians, for their religion, but the 
ground and manner was far different. 

1. One main reason" was, because they so oft rebelled against 
the Romans, which the Christians did not. 

2. And God hath subjected them to misery for their infidelity. 

3. And yet a great cause was, because they held so much of 
God's truth as the doctrine of the Old Testament, and did oppose 
the pagan's multiplicity of gods, and their idolatry : for which 
the devil doth owe them also a grudge. 

But for all that taught or did any thing against Christ and 
his ways, or maintained any vanity of wickedness, they were not 
troubled. The philosophers might be of as many sects as they 
pleased, and oppose one another as bitterly, and vet never be 


haled to torments, unless any, with Socrates, would presume to 
speak against idolatry, the worship of devils ; and then he also 
might feel it. Every country might have gods of their own, and 
as great variety as they would, and never be put to death or 
troubled for it. Only the Christians are the men, through all 
the world, that must be hated and persecuted. Nay, it is very 
observable that though the heretics, that went under the name 
of Christians, were the occasion of their reproaches, yet did they 
suffer them in their filthiness, and fall upon the orthodox 
Christians. Justin Martyr, in his ' Second Apology,' tells them 
that "Whatever these heretics be, it is most certain that they are 
not persecuted, nor put to death for their opinions." Origin, 
* Against Celsus,' (lib. vi,) showing that the Simonians were then 
quite worn out, for all they accounted idolatry indifferent, and 
so avoided persecution, saith further, ^' Immo nee uUa persecutio 
contra Simonianos unquam exerta est ; sciebat enim maliis 
damon doctrine Jesu insidiator, nihil periculi mis rebus immi- 
nere a Simonis discipiiUs :" that is, 'Yea, there was never any 
prosecution raised against the Simonians; for the evil spirit 
that plotted against Christ's doctrine did know that there was 
no danger from Simon's disciples likely to befall his cause or 
affairs.' If an army invade a country, Which are half English 
and half Spaniards, and shall cull out the English and put them 
to the sword, and let the Spaniards alone, may not any man know 
that the general and commanders of the army are friends to the 
Spaniards, or special enemies to the English ? So, when all 
idolaters, heretics, and impious persons are befriended, and only 
Christians and professors of truth destroyed, may you not see 
that it is their grand enemy, and a friend to idolatry and heresy 
that is the author of it ? 

6. Moreover, it is evidently from Satan, in that it is so pro- 
pagated in the hearts and cruel actions of persecutors from age 
to age. It is not only one age, nor one emperor that hath taken 
this course ; but as at first, ten successively, with some breath- 
ing calms under the most sober rulers, of the heathen emperors ; 
so afterwards when the heretics themselves got in power, they 
were as bloody and cruel as the pagans. A^lso, it was not in one 
coiuitry, or under one prince's laws alone, but evervwhere they 
found the same hellish malice and its effects. And it was the 
magicians that instigated them in other countries too, above any 
other men. It was they that set Sapores, king of Persia, on 
his cruel persecution ; and so in other places. 


How cruelly did the Arian emperors, Constantius and Valens, 
use the Christians ! Fourscore ministers, that came to Valens to 
complain of the Christians' sufferings, were burned together in 
a ship. 

The Vandal Arians, under Gensericus, and many of his barba- 
rous successors, are yet more cruel, and put the true Christians, 
especially the ministers, to as exquisite torment as the pagans 
had done before them. Some were sawed asunder, some were 
made the food of swine, some anointed with honey and hung up 
for wasps to eat, some dragged by the heels, naked, through 
thorns and briars and stony ways, with many the like torments. 

And what the Christians have suffered from the Turks, and 
other Mahometans, through all their dominions, I think I need 
not recite. 

And as you have heard what Satan hath done by infidels and 
heretics, which withdraw from the church j so, thirdly, if he can 
but get any that call themselves Christians, and hold the funda- 
mental truths, to be false to their own profession, and to engage 
themselves in any worldly, ambitious designs, or to entertain 
any corruptions in doctrine, worship, or government, how ordi- 
narily doth he make use of these for the violent opposition and 
persecution of the truth and servants of Christ ? Whoever be 
the instrument, he careth not, so it be Christ and his kingdom 
that is opposed ; yea, he had rather do it by them that pretend 
to be his servants than by any others, for then, 1. He can make 
their very misguided zeal an instrument of his cruelty ; 2. And 
he can make the world believe that all these being Christians, 
their religion is uncertain, and their natures as cruel as any others, 
when they so contend and persecute each other; 3. And it 
gratifieth his malice more to turn the name and profession of 
Christianity against Christ, and to fight against him under his 
own colours, than to do it by open adversaries : 4. besides that, 
such venom and corruption in the bowels of the church hath a 
greater tendency to its ruin than the withdrawing of any parts 
from it can have. 

And, indeed, it is but false friends and real enemies, such as 
seem Christians, but are not so indeed, nor were ever truly joined 
unto Christ, whom Satan employeth in these works of cruelty 
(excepting what lesser injuries may be done in a passion, as 
Asa did). 

When Satan had by degrees seduced the church of Rome to 
so many innovations and errors, and had got such interest among 


them, and engaged them in such an ambitious, tyrannical enter- 
prise as to domineer over all the christian world, both princes, 
pastors, and people, and to corrupt the doctrine and worship of 
Christ, upon this account he maketh them his instruments for as 
cruel and bloody persecutions of Christ's churches, and as mali- 
cious endeavours to hinder the light of the Gospel, as ever were 
performed by infidels, Mahometans, or the filthiest heretics that 
ever I read of. I shall give but a touch on this, because it is so 
largely recorded in Fox's 'Acts and Monuments,' and Mr. Clark's 
' Martyrology,' besides many others, which, for all their rage 
against them, shall stand as records of their hellish cruelty, to 
all generations. 

Their murders upon so many thousands of the Albigenses and 
Waldenses, godly people of France, both there and in other coun- 
tries whither they fled, is beyond most of the heathen's persecu- 
tions. Of many hundred thousand persons that were judged to 
be of the Waldenses' faith, against the pope's usurpation and 
corruptions, they so slaughtered, and scattered them and con- 
sumed them, that few of their societies were there left visible. 
Their own bishops complained that they could not provide lime 
and stone to build prisons for them, nor defray the charge of 
their food ; the world was even amazed at the cruelties which 
they exercised. Thousands of men, women, and infants, they 
burned together in caves, forced them headlong from the rocks, 
burned them at stakes, and many ways butchered them, and at 
last assaulted them bv armies, and forced them to defend them- 
selves against this papal cruelty. They raised armies against 
them out of many nations, as against infidels, to merit paradise 
by their murders; and continued these wars for very many years; 
burning their towns, and driving the women, with their children, 
into the snowy mountains and caves to perish, or inhumanly 
butchering them. 

To recite the cruel slaughters that they made also in Bohe- 
mia, would be too long. The horrible murders that since then 
they have made in France, breaking faith with them, and killing 
them in the churches, when they were met to worship God ; 
were it but that one massacre at Paris, and other cities and 
countries thereupon, it were enough to show that it was the 
hellish enemy of Christ and his Gospel, that led them on; and 
to tell all generations to come what principles hell and Rome 
are acted by, and how insatiable their thirst is for the blood of 
upright, righteous men ! It is generally suj)posed that they 


murdered, at that time, ten thousand persons in Paris, and thirty 
thousand within a few weeks in that and other places : and 
that even then when they pretended peace, and seemed to live in 
quietness, suddenly rising in one night to this hloody execution. 

Through the great mercy of God, we in England have tasted 
but little of their fury in comparison of their sufferings. Yet 
what days we had in part of Henry the Fifth's reign, and Henry 
the Eighth, and especially in Queen Mary's, and how many 
were stifled in prisons, and burnt at stakes, up and down the 
land, in four or five years' space, Mr. Fox in his ' Acts and Monu- 
ments ' hath acquainted you, and it is too near us to be quite 
unknown or forgotten. 

The Spanish invasion, in 1588, was but a threatening. 

The gunpowder-plot, by which they would have blown up 
the heads of the nation, lords, bishops, and commons, at once, 
in preparation to the rest of the tragedy 3 this was but a Romish 
squib to make sport with. Such murders as were committed 
on Henry the Third, and Henry the Fourth, kings of France, 
are but a popish salutation. A breakfast they gave us in Ire- 
land of the cruel bloodshed of so many thousand, in a few days, 
as hath brought by the ensuing revenging war such a dinner to 
the actors as such inhuman wretches might well expect. 

It were endless to mention the blood that these leeches have 
sucked, by the devil's appointment, in the Netherlands, Germany, 
Italy, Spain, and other countries. Were there no more to 
discover the hellish and Romish fury, but the Spanish inquisi- 
tion only, it might for ever shame and confound the agents and 
their principles : it were too long to relate all their subtle, de- 
ceitful examinations, tedious imprisonments in a dark, narrow, 
nasty hole, separate one from another, where it is worse than 
death for any to give them the least relief, or let them speak to 
one another, or hear from one another ; and this, perhaps, for 
two or three years, if they die not the while : and then they are 
tormented with the most cruel tortures that they can devise : 
their bodies stripped stark naked, in a remote dark cellar, the 
inquisitors sitting on seats, appointed for the purpose, to direct 
the tormentors, and intermix their examinations and reproaches; 
their hands are first tied behind them, and cords tied thereto, 
and weights at their feet, and so they are drawn up by a pulley 
to the top of a gibbet, and let down again, and at last strap- 
padoed ; when they are drawn to the height with greater 
weiglits at their feet, they are suddenly let fall almost to the 


ground, where the cord stops them, and puts all their limbs out 
of joint : besides which they anoint some of their feet with oil, 
and set them to a fire to scorch, and then lay them on their 
backs in a narrow trough, where a keen cross bar under their 
backs, doth hinder them from coming to the bottom, and there, 
covering their faces with a fine cloth, they open their mouths 
and pour water from on high till they drive the cloth into their 
throats, and then pluck it out again. Their thighs and legs 
they bind with small cords, and strain them till they sink into 
the flesh. And in all this, they will not permit the modest 
virgin, or gravest matron or lady, to have the least rag to hide 
her nakedness. 

And all this is to force them to recant and confess others, 
even all that they have but talked with about matters of religion, 
that so they may have more of the same employment. And 
when all is done, they array them in a coat all over painted 
with devils and fire, and lead them forth before the people on a 
scaffold, with their tongues tied with their devices, and so to a 
fire, where they are burnt to death. 

These are the generation that crept into our armies and cities, 
and country in England, and provoke the deluded people to call 
for liberty of conscience, that the papists may have liberty here, 
who deal thus mercifully with others, where they have full 

By this time, I hope, it is no hard matter to discern what a 
friend Satan is to Christ and his kingdom, who will not by his 
good will let one godly Christian escape his rage, but pursues 
them in all ages, in all countries, with all sorts of torments and 
cruelties, by all sorts of enemies ; and will not suffer so much 
as any propagation to be made of the Gospel, any discovery of 
saving truth, or opposition to darkness and wickedness, but he 
presently raiseth a war against it, and sendeth forth his blood- 
hounds to fall upon the instruments, and all that do befriend 

Obj. Other men suffer in the world at the hands of others as 
well as at Christians. 

Answ. 1 have said already that Satan is an enemy to all 
mankind ; but as his malice is most against Christ and his 
kingdom j so by what hath been said it may appear, that he 
doth not so openly rage against any others. Though yet, while 
he seems to favour and befriend them, and use them as his 
servants, he doth indeed exercise more cruelty on them than he 


doth on the faithful in their sharpest torments that he inflicteth 
on their bodies. 

And, indeed, he is but preparing them for the everlasting 
torments, by making them here his slaughter-men, and drench- 
ing their souls in the guilt of blood ; which also in this life 
doth sometimes overtake them, as was before noted of the Irish ; 
who having murdered many hundred thousands of their peace- 
able neighbours, in a manner exceeding all former persecutions, I 
think, that ever were read of by pagans, Turks, or former papists, 
for hellish cruelty, were at last, by the revenging sword of war, by 
plague and famine, the most of them swept off from the face of 
the earth. Concerning which, and the Spanish Inquisition 
especially, and other things here recited, I again wish you to 
peruse Mr. Clarke's ' Martyrology,' which I think a very useful 
book, for common people who have not learning, time, or means, 
to read over those many large volumes in several languages 
which are there contracted ; it being very necessary that they 
should be acquainted with the combat that hath been maintained 
between light and darkness, the war that Satan hath managed 
against Christ, from the beginning to this day ; and who have 
been Satan's instruments, and what their exploits. And I 
believe that those who are tempted to popery, will find in such 
history a competent preservative. 

Sect. X. 

If all this afford not sufficient evidence, let this also be added, 
to clear the rest, that there is in the very hearts pr natures of 
the servants of the devil, of what place, degree, or nation soever, 
throughout the world, an inbred hatred and enmity to the 
kingdom and true subjects of Jesus Christ. 

This is apparent in the whole course of their lives, whereby 
it is manifest that it is not only the effects of misinformation 
and prejudice received from others, or of bare education, or 
difference of opinions, or the like, but the effect of those dif- 
ferent masters whom they serve, and captains whom they fight 
under, and spirits which do actuate them, and principles and 
doctrines by which they are acted. 

By these tvvo ways is this enmity fully manifested. 

1. By the hatred which they have to Christ's ways and 

2. By their resistance and reluctancy against his persuasions, 
and the difficulty of drawing men over to his ways. 


1. For the first, it is evident that it is not only the heathens, 
heretics, or papists, but every wicked man and servant of the 
devil that hath an enmity in his heart to Christ and his ways. 
Though they are born with us in the same country, of the same 
ancestors ; though they profess to believe the same articles of 
faith, and be of the same religion, yea, though they will cry 
out against former persecutors, and honour the memory of the 
martyrs that have suffered for Christ, and keep holy days for 
them, vet have they a general hatred to the ways and servants 
of Christ themselves. Nor can any infidel say, that this is a 
quarrel among Christians themselves, and therefore no proof of 
Satan's enmity to Christ. For, 1. All know that multitudes 
will be of that religion which the prince is of, and take that side 
that saves themselves, and tendeth most to their worldly ad - 
vantage, 2. And Christ taketh none for his servants indeed 
but those that are heartily so, and soundly believe his Gospel, 
and hope for salvation, and love him as their Redeemer, and 
God by him, and so live according to his laws. These, and 
these only, are Christians indeed. Those that are of Hobbs's 
religion, to be Christians, because the prince commandeth them 
so to be, as if Christ had no power to command them himself, 
nor the Father had laid any such command on men, and those 
that are seeming Christians they know not why, upon mere 
custom, and because it is in credit, professing to believe what 
they believe not indeed, and calling that God's word which they 
are resolved not to obey, Christ will not own those for his people. 
Whatever their title be, or whatever religion they thus custo- 
marily profess, it is certain that they are the servants of the 
devil, who obey him, whose hearts are devoted, and lives em- 
ployed to his service. The name of Christ may be easily en- 
tertained for worldly advantages, but the christian doctrine, 
nature, and conversation, all these men do unanimously abhor ; 
only while the common grace of Christ is preparing them, 
they may lie under convictions, and have some good wishes and 
purposes for him, and by the restraint of that common grace, 
they may be hindered from open rage and persecution, and so 
they may by the prosperity of the godly : but when they are 
loose, they show what they are. 

For all this we need not go to history for our proof : we have 
had experience of it all our lives to this day : even here among 
us, where religion and piety is in as much credit, and hath as 
much countenance, as most ever it had in the world, yet there 


is not a man that is discerned to fear God, and live after the 
laws of Christ, but he is the scorn and by-word of the ungodly 
about him : so that in the best times, in one degree or other, 
the apostle's words are verified, that all that M'ill live godly in 
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Tim. iii. 12.) Mark 
that; he doth not say, ' All that will say they are Christians;* 
but, * All that will live godly in Christ Jesus.' For these have 
the true christian nature, and obey him whom they do profess. 
Where is there a city, or village, or family, where the servants 
of Satan and Christ live together, but Christ's servants are 
hated ? Yea, no relations or interests will reconcile them. If 
the children obey Christ, they are opposed by their own parents : 
husband and wife are at enmity on this account; masters hate 
their servants for serving that Christ whom they themselves do 
call their Lord. Though they never hurt them or do them any 
wrong, yet wicked neighbours do hate the godly. Yea, though 
they live in greater love, and patience, and meekness, and in- 
nocency, than any others, and though they are faithful to them, 
and do them all the good they can, yet are they hated by them. 

And that this is the devil's quarrel, is yet more evident in 
that the worst of men that have most of the diabolical nature, 
and live after the will of the devil, are the greatest enemies to 
all true Christians. If there be any nation so unhappy as to have 
a sensual, wicked prince, he is presently a persecutor of all that 
live godly : if he have Nero's wicked heart, he will likely have 
Nero's bloody hands. What covetous extortioner or oppressor, 
what whoremonger, drunkard, swearer, blasphemer, curser, 
railer, do you know almost, that is not a bitter enemy to godli- 
ness, and to the people that most diligently obey and worship 

And it is not only their persons, but it is their doctrine and 
practices which they hate ; that tenderness of conscience, and 
carefulness to please God, and avoid all known sin ; that 
diligence in holy worship, reading Scriptures, praising God, 
praying to him, &;c., which Christ commandeth : these are the 
things which their natures do abhor. 

As the papists in Ireland, some of them stamped the English 
Bible under feet, and cursing it, said ; ' This is it that hath 
bred all the quarrels;' so even among those that profess the 
same faith with us at home, it is the Gospel, and the worship 
of God, and obedience to Christ, that is the occasion of all the 
quarrel. When the wars had let them loose in England, mul- 



*itudes found this to their sorrow ; when, if a man had but 
prayed or sung a psalm in his family, he was ready to be 
dragged out of his house as a roundhead and traitor. This is 
a known truth up and down England in garrisons and villages. 
And before that, when the vulgar spirit of malignity was but a 
little let loose, (by the bishops' persecutions of godly men,) upon 
occasion of the book of dancing and sports on the Lord's day, 
and of bowing to altars, and such like ; it did so commonly 
rage, that it was, all over the land, a matter of common scorn 
and reproach for a man to pray in his family, or read God's 
Word, or sing a psalm; nay, if he would not come out and 
dance as they did, or look on as one of them, or would not go 
with them to the alehouse, or would not swear in his common 
talk, he was the common by-word, as a precisian or puritan. 
So that if we had no other proof of Satan's hostility to Christ, 
this one would put the question out of doubt : when, through 
the whole christian world, the servants of Satan are haters of 
Christ's servants, how near to them soever they be, and are 
manifesting their malice on all occasions as far as they dare ; 
when kingdoms, cities, towns, families, are all daily embroiled 
in this dissension, and the witnesses of this war between Satan 
and Christ, I know not how we should any longer doubt which 
side it is that Satan is on. If, after all this malice and bloodshed, 
men will yet think that he is on Christ's side, let them taste of 
his fury that believe it not when they see it. 

2. Moreover, the enmity is apparent in the hearts of all 
Satan's servants unto Christ, by the resistance that they make 
before they will be recovered, and by their obstinacy against all 
means that should persuade them to turn to Christ. Though 
you show them the clearest reasons, and silence all their 
objections, and convince them that it is their own good and 
happiness that Christ would draw them to, yet will it not bring 
them over to his way. Though they profess to believe him to 
be the Son of God, and their Redeemer, and his Gospel to be 
true, and make it their religion to be his servants by profession, 
yet will they not be so indeed. How many sermons are lost 
upon them ? How many plain instructions, exhortations, and 
earnest persuasions lost ? How much patience, mercy, and 
other means in vain as to their recovery ? What other religion 
in the world are men so backward to, till Christ overpower them, 
and change their hearts ? What faithful minister hath not had 
experience of this ? What godly Christian hath not proved it ? 


Certainly there is a hellish power in men's souls that bolts the 
door to keep out Christ, and strives to keep his old possession. 
O the niuhitude of subtle and fierce temptations, by which the 
great adversary keeps up his kingdom ! And what a stir there 
is before a soul is recovered from his power. Truly all faithful 
ministers of the Gospel, who are Christ's ensigns, and are 
employed under him for the carrying on of his war, have so 
great experience of a satanical opposition to their message and 
ia])ours and to Christ himself, that I should think they need no 
other evidence of the enmity, for the repelling of any tempta- 
tion to the contrary. O the painful life that faithful pastors 
are put to by the mere opposition of the serpent to their labours ! 
What work doth he make them ! What work of theirs doth he 
mar ! What studies and earnest endeavours doth he frustrate ; 
and cause them oft to lie down in sorrow and say, " Who hath 
believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord 
revealed ?" How oft doth he send them home with tears, for 
the ignorance, and sensuality, and obstinacy of their people ; 
and make those our enemies for telling them saving truth, who 
are obliged by so many bonds to entertain it ! Yea, how many 
ancient, laborious ministers do see so little fruit of their labours, 
that even in old age and at death, they are almost ready to cry 
out, in the grief of their hearts, ' We have laboured in vain, and 
spent our strength for naught !' Never can we speak to a poor 
sinner for his conversion, but Satan within him speaks and 
pleads against us, and ordinarily shuts his ears, and hardens his 
heart against all that we can say. Never do we stand up in 
public to speak to people for their conversion in the name of 
the Lord, but Satan stands up against us, and contradicteth us. 
When we think we have such clear demonstrations that no man can 
gainsay them, they are not convinced. When we speak as plain as 
we are able, they understand us not, but we are to them as barba- 
rians. When we beseech tiiem in the name of Christ, they yield 
not. When we tell them, it is the adversary that dissuadeth them, 
and make it appear that it is for their ruin, and that it is filth 
and dung that they sell Christ and the hopes of salvation for : 
yet doth it not prevail to take them off from the ways that 
apparently lead to their destruction, nor to cause tiiem to enter- 
tain the counsel of Ciirist. Many a time have I been so confi- 
dent of the clearness of the cause, that 1 should have made no 
question of prevailing, at least so far as to bring men to consi- 
deration, and to the use of means for their further information, 

A A 2 


if it had not been the power of Satan that did withstand us. 
Such an evident folly and unreasonableness is there in the ways 
of Satan and bin, that one wouUl think less ado might serve to 
persuade men of reason from them unto Christ. It were strange 
if ministers that live in this warfare, and spend their time and 
strength in it, and suffer so many knocks and hard usages from 
the enemy, should not be convinced, and thoroughly convinced, 
that such a war there is, and that Satan is the resolved enemy 
of Christ. 

Sect, XI. 

Yet further, the devil's enmity against Christ is apparent in 
his contrary precepts and persuasions. The ways that he would 
draw men to are as contrary to Christ's ways as darkness is to 
light, and death to life. Hence is the conflict that preachers 
have with him in their ministry, and all men in their hearts and 
lives, that will escape him. What truth of Christ, especially 
that is practical, doth not Satan malign, and stir up men to 
contradict ? What one holy duty doth Christ command, which 
Satan doth not incessantly oppose, and seek to draw us from ? 

If you ask, ' How is this manifest that Satan useth such en- 
deavours ?' I answer, ' By the sense and constant observation of 
his temptations with their effects.' Consider these temptations, 
both as exercised on the wicked or on the godly, and the truth 
of the point will easily hence appear. 

What a multitude of subtle devices hath he to hinder the 
conversion of a sinner to Christ; what prejudice and false con- 
ceits doth he possess him with. How many several ways doth 
he take, sometimes by enticements, and the pleasing baits of 
worldly glory, and the delights of the flesh ; sometimes by ter- 
rors, by threatenings, persecution, or adversity. When he is 
foiled at one weapon, he presently betakes himself to another ; 
when he is beaten out of one hold, he hath another to retire to. 
How many sorts of baits hath he to cover his hook ! Temp- 
tations of all sorts, fitted to men's age, their callings, their 
relations, their former actions, their bodily temperature and 
constitution, and the times they live in, and the persons they 
converse with. What have we to do with which he maketh not 
a snare ; what mercy do we receive, what creature do we use, 
which he maketh not a temptation to us ; what man that was 
ever recovered from his power may not look back and remember 
the wiles and devices by which he was before detained, and the 


devil's industry to have kept him from Christ, and hy what means 
he hindered his conversion so long ! Certainly, every soul that 
is recovered to Christ by the Gospel is fetched out of the very 
paws and mouth of the lion, and snatched as a brand out of the 
fire, and fetched as it were from the very suburbs of hell. The 
resistance is such, by such shifts and solicitations, that it fully 
discovereth the devil to be the author. 

And as for the godly that are recovered, because they are yet 
in the way, and not at the end, in the field, and not with the 
crown on their heads, it is God's will that the enemy shall have 
leave to assault them while they are here ; and in such a manner 
he doth it that they can discern that it is of him. They cannot 
set upon a work that is pleasing to Christ, but the tempter re- 
sisteth them. When do they ever study, or preach, or exhort, 
but he resisteth them ; when do they set upon the reformation 
of any faults in themselves, in their families, in the neighbour- 
hood, or in the church, but Satan resisteth them ! Christians, 
you have a singular advantage above all men to discern the 
malice of Satan against Christ, and so to be confirmed in the 
truth of your belief, and to repel all blasphemous temptations to 
the contrary. How can you ever doubt whether Satan be against 
Christ, who live in the combat, and have fought under Cluist 
against him so long, and felt so many of his sharp assaults, and 
received so many wounds and foils by him, as you have done ? 
Have recourse to your own experience, for it must needs be a 
great advantage ; and, especially, note how the enmity is dis- 
closed in these particulars following : 

1. Do you not observe that the bent of Satan's temptation is 
against God and the Lord Jesus Christ ? How doth he per- 
suade men to false, unworthy thoughts of God ; to think of him 
either as unholy, to encourage them to sin, or, as cruel and 
unmerciful, to take off their love from him and drive them to 
despair ; yea, where he hath opportunity, he persuadeth them 
that there is no God. When men fall into melancholy, which 
it seems doth give some advantage to his temptations, whether 
he were before godly or ungodly, knowing or ignorant, it is ten 
to one but he is violently tempted either to believe thai" there is 
no God, no Christ, no Scripture true, nor the soul immortal, or 
else to speak out some blasphemous words of God, Multitudes 
of persons have I spoken with in this case that have been so ter- 
ribly assaulted with these temptations day and night, that they 
could not rest. Though some of them scarce ever thought be- 


fore of such matters, nor ever heard them from any other, and 
others of them never doubted of them ; yet now, which way 
ever they go, and whatever they do, such thoughts come into 
their minds. Many have I known live in continual fear lest 
they should blaspheme God, and could hardly keep in the words, 
and wherever they were, they were still haunted with such soli- 
citations to blasphemy ; they could not hear or pray, but they 
were urged to blaspheme ; and some of them have been over- 
come, and have let out blasphemous words, and then the tempter 
hath persuaded them that their sin was unpardonable : such a 
miserable life have many under his continual, malicious buffetings. 
And though there be something in the melancholy disease that 
may cause troubles and perplexities of mind ; yet why it should 
still work thus against God, and Christ, and Scripture, and that 
in almost all persons, and so violently, I cannot imagine, if the 
hellish enemy did not take advantage hereof for these temptations. 
2. Do vou not find that the bent of all temptations is against 
the truth and ways of Christ, and those holy works that he 
calls vou to ? What are they but to draw you from holiness 
to unholiness, from obedience to disobedience, from heavenli- 
iiess to earthliness, from temperance to sensuality, and, in a 
word, from every virtue unto every vice, or at least to those 
where he hath most hopes to prevail ? Do you not feel some- 
times, if not very often, when you should be earnest with God 
in secret prayer, an unreasonable withdrawing and disturbance 
within you ? It is a duty that costs you nothing, and sub- 
jecteth you to no losses or hazards in the world ; and yet when 
you would draw so near to God, do you not find that you are 
drawn back ; and though you have leisure and liberty, yet the 
tempter will draw you to be unwilling, and all the while you 
are at it, is either taking down your aifections, carrying off 
your thoughts, casting in distempers, or urging you to be short, 
make haste, and give over before you have well begun ; so that 
you may easily feel that there is a devil that is against your 
communion with God, and envieth him his worship, and would 
have you rise and go away without the blessing ? The like you 
may find in your meditations, if you do but set yourselves pur- 
posely and seriously to meditate of Christ or the life to come, 
or any necessary subject, how doth the tempter clog you, or 
take you off, or keep down your affections, so that you can 
hardly make any thing of your meditations. If you endeavour 
by gracious conference or counsel to win others, or to edify 


each other ; how many diversions and hinderances shall you 
meet with ! Whereas, in vain talk, in folly and sin, you may 
go on without such resistance. What sin is there that you may 
not even feel Satan pleading for, and promoting or commending 
to your hearts ! How often is he kindling the fire of lust, and 
blowing at the coal of pride and ambition, and enticing you to 
an esteem of the things of the world, or to venture upon some 
forbidden pleasures, and to account them far greater pleasures 
than they are ! Truly, I feel that enmity to Christ, hi^ truth, 
and ways, in the daily solicitations or temptations of the devil, 
either hindering good, or drawing to evil, that methinks should 
do much to convince a very infidel, if he did feel the like- that 
certainly the doctrine of Christ is true, and his ways are good, 
or else the serpent would not oppose them. I find he is 
fighting against Christ and his Spirit in me, day and night. 
M^hence can all that unreasonable dissuasion and withdrawing 
from Christ and duty else proceed ? I know the heart is bad, 
and may bring forth such fruits without much tillage ; but as 
the heart would not have been so evil, but for the evil one that 
deceived us. : so as bad as it is, I can find that there is an insti- 
gator of it unto further evil than else it would of itself commit, 
and that when it is let alone, it is not so prone to evil, nor so 
backward to good, as it is under such temptations. He that 
hath such a fight within him, and lives himself in the continual 
trouble and duty of a soldier, and is fain still to stand on his 
watch and guard, or else be overthrown, and feel the wounds, 
hath less reason than any man else in the world to doubt 
whether Satan be an enemy to Christ, or whether it be not a 
good cause that hath so bad an enemy. 

Thus 1 have manifested on Satan's part, that he is at utmost 
enmity with Christ, and therefore could not be the causer of 
his miracles, nor lend him his power for the building of his 
church ; and so that the sin against the Holy Ghost, which the 
pharisees were guilty of, was a most unreasonable sin, and a 
rejecting of their Physician against so full a testimony of God, 
that it was a righteous thing that they should die in their sins. 

Sect. XII. 

I shall next proceed to show you, on Christ's part, that he is 
as great an enemy to Satan, as Satan is to him ; and by his 
nature, interest, design, and works, to make it plain that he was 



SO far from being beholden to hinn for his help, that it is Christ 
alone that must utterly confound him. 

And 1. For the nature of Christ, it is manifest to us by his 
doctrine and his works, that it was most holy ; seeing so holy 
a doctrine and life could not else have proceeded from it. He 
challenged his adversaries to convince him of sin, (John viii. 46,) 
but never man could do it. It was his good deeds that were 
charged upon him as his crimes, as that he healed on the Sab- 
bath day, that he was among sinners as a physician among the 
sick, that he called himself the Son of God, &:c. 

That he was merciful, and a lover of mankind, was as evident 
as light is in the sun : as we shall touch anon when we come 
to his works. This was a nature perfectly contrary to the 
nature of devils, who are unclean, impure spirits, and haters of 
God and man. Satan was a devouring roaring lion j Christ 
was the Lamb of God. Satan rageth against those that hurt 
him not ; Christ prayeth for his enemies : Satan would set all 
the world upon blood and revenge ; Christ bids them forgive 
and love their enemies, and learn of him to be meek and lowly, 
and commandeth Peter to put up his sword. 

2. And for his interest, it is perfectly contrary to that of 
Satan. If God be dishonoured, and man destroyed, and him- 
self honoured, the devil hath what he would have. If God be 
honoured, and man saved, and Satan shamed and confounded, 
Christ hath what he would have. Satan's kingdom consisteth 
in sinfulness and contentions, divisions and revenge, and in the 
ruin, and misery, and calamities of mankind : Christ's kingdom 
consisteth in righteousness towards God and man, in peace with 
God and among ourselves, and in joy in the Holy Ghost. (Rom. 
xiv. 17; Jam. iii. 16, 17.) 

3. So also was the design of Christ most perfectly contrary 
to the design of Satan. The design of Satan was to rob God 
of his due obedience and honour, and man of his grace and 
salvation, and to be man's idol himself : the design of Christ is 
to glorify his Father, (John xvii. 4, and xiii. 31, 32,) to bring 
man to his true obedience, (Acts xxvi. 18,) to restore him to 
the grace of God, and recover him to salvation, and to root out 
all idolatry, and especially the worship of devils from the world. 
I do but name these briefly, because it is his works wherein ail 
these are manifested, and in the mention of those works we 
shall have occasion to review them. 


Sect, XIII. 

When God had created man, it was his pleasure that he 
should perform to him a tried obedience, and that he should 
have life and death propounded to his choice, and his happiness 
or misery should be in the hands of his own will, and that the 
tempter should have leave to assault him with his temptations, 
seeing God had given him so many helps against them, as in 
reason should have sufficed to hold him to God, against the per- 
suasions of the strongest temptations; and seeing that obedience 
is little worth, which will be cast off as soon as men are tempted 
to disobey. Upon this permission the tempter makes his onset, 
and quickly deceiveth man, and wins the day. By this conquest 
he got a double power over man, the Lord in judgment leaving 
him to be delusively ruled and ruined by him, whom he had 
chosen before his Maker to believe and obey. First, he had got 
an interest in his mind and will, and so could rule him by his 
temptations. Secondly, he was made God's executioner, and so 
had a power to punish him. But mercy provided a remedy, and 
the Son of God interposed, and undertook the rescue of the sin- 
ner, and the preservation of the world, and the recovery of God's 
honour in the reparation of the injury, and to assume the nature 
of man to these ends ; that so he might conquer Satan in the 
nature that was conquered, and might offer himself a sacrifice 
for the demonstration of justice in the same nature. The first de- 
claration of this undertaking was unto the serpent himself, 
(Gen. iii. 15,) but doubtless in the ears of man to his comfort. 
Where note the first breaking out of the enmity. Satan had 
played the enemy to man, and deserved to be taken by him as 
his enemy. The promise to man is part of the condemnation of 
the serpent. That is man's recovery and life, which is his 
misery and destruction. " I will put enmity between thee and 
the woman, and between thy seed and her seed ; it shall bruise 
thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." By the serpent is 
meant both the instrumental serpent, whom the devil used (as 
no doubt Eve knew ; it being not agreeable to the nature of 
spirits to be of themselves visible, but to borrow corporal instru- 
ments and visors when they will sensibly converse with man,) 
and also here is meant the devil himself, the tempting serpent. 
V»y the enmity is meant a very natural antipathy or hatred of 
one another; which shall be born and bred in man and corporal 
serpents, and continue in Satan 3 and is not only caused by 


extrinsical means, informations, or accidents ; and which no 
rhetoric can extirpate, any more than nature can be extirpated 
by arguments. This enmity is on man's part, 1. In the woman 
herself; and 2. In her seed. A threefold seed she was to have, 
and, in their measure, it was to be in them all. 

1. In her natural seed as such, there was a natural enmity put 
from that day, to the diabolical nature ; as there was unto the 
terrene, serpentine nature. So that as a man abhorreth all the kind 
of serpents, and either flieth from them, or seeketh to kill them, 
so doth he now naturally abhor the devil, and would fly from 
him or hurt him if he could. 

That this enmity is put into our whole nature, appears, 1. Jn 
that we all find it there. Good and bad abhor the devil. Even 
they that serve him, yet abhor him. 

2. In that we find it true of the instrumental, terrene serpent, 
that our whole natures have an enmity to their whole nature. 

3. In that it is expressly spoken of the seed of the woman 
without exception. 

4. In that it is first spoken of the woman herself in order be- 
fore any of her seed : whence we may conclude : 1. That if it 
were by that sentence put into her, then must it be in us. 2. 
And if first in her, then by her conveyed to us as her seed. 

Yet is this no enmity to the wicked works that Satan tempteth 
to : for we are naturally his captives as to them ; and this is by 
a voluntary captivity; but it is to the person and nature of the 
devil himself, whom man now fears and abhors as his enemy and 
tormentor. And, therefore, it is said, that we are all our life- 
time subject to bondage, through the fears of that death where- 
of Satan is the prince. (Heb. ii. 14.) 

From hence it may appear, both that this enmity to the dia- 
bolical nature was not in man before the fall, and that sinful 
man hath some advantage hereby for the resisting of tempta- 
tions, and the entertainment of those means that tend to his 

The second seed of the woman is the supernatural seed, Jesus 
Christ ; indeed the seed of the woman, though not of the man : 
in him there is an enmity answerable to his nature and office j a 
perfect enmity to the satanical nature, as sinful and murderous, 
and cruel to man ; and an enmity of office and design. 

The third seed is the church regenerate, who have, as men, a 
participation of the first enmity ; and as regenerate and united 
to Christ, a participation in their degree of the latter enmity, 


even such as was in Christ himself, which is against the evil 
works of Satan, as well as against himself and his penal execu- 
tions and torments, which all men hate. 

The perfect enmity, then, is in the perfect seed, who, as he 
conveyeth to us his holy nature, doth proportionably convey to 
us an enmity to Satan and his works : and as he actually em- 
ployeth us as soldiers in his army to fight against Satan, so do 
we participate of the enmity of his design and office ; but at 
such a distance as is the private soldier from the general ; 
saving that his ministers and other subordinate officers partake 
yet somewhat more of this enmity as to office and employment, 
for they are standard-bearers and leaders under Christ the gene- 
ral in this warfare, and so are doubly engaged against Satan. 

And as the regenerate participate of both sorts of enmity, so 
the unregenerate partake both of the enmity against Satan, and 
the enmity against Christ : for as they are naturally the seed of 
the woman, they have an enmity against the diabolical nature 
or kind, and against them as executioners of wrath upon men ; 
and as they are wicked, so they partake of the diabolical dispo- 
sition, and so are at enmity to the holy disposition of Christ and 
his sanctified ones : so that Christ must war against them when 
he warreth for them ; against their resistance when for their de- 
liverance, for they are voluntary captives, and will join with the 
enemy, and fight against him that pursueth for their recovery, 
before they will be brought back. Yet this they do not as for 
Satan, for they are personally at enmity with him, and so far as 
they can but see him in a temptation, they are the more forti- 
fied against it; but it is as for themselves, even their carnal 
selves, to whom they are fallen, and addicted upon their fall 
from God : for the deceiver still blindeth them, and makes them 
believe that his ways are for their good. 

Thus you see two armies formed presently upon man's fall. 
The devil is general of one, even Beelzebub, who is called the 
prince of the devils. His angels, or companions in sin, are the 
first and chief part of his army, who walk to and fro, compass- 
ing the earth, (Job i. 7j 22,) lying in wait to deceive and de- 
vour: for as they were multitudes of evil spirits that fell with 
the chief of them, so they are all of his disposition and king- 
dom, and manage the same design against man ; and wicked 
men are the other part of his army. This army is employed to 
hold what Satan had got, and to hinder the rescue and redemp- 
tion of his captives, and to fight against Christ that hath under- 


taken the work, and against all those especially that are in any 
special way by Christ employed for the recovery of souls ; and, 
consequently, to make man twofold more miserable by rejecting 
of the remedy. 

The other army is commanded by the blessed Son of God, who 
is therefore called the Captain of our salvation ; for the design 
of it is to fight with Satan, and rescue and bring back his cap- 
tives unto God, and so to save them from the wrath to come. 
The soldiers of this army are both the good angels and the 
regenerate part of men. Whether the angels were ministering 
spirits to Adam in innocency, is more than I find made known 
in Scripture, and therefore think it unsafe and imprudent to con- 
clude, either that they were or they were not. But it is certain that 
they were afterwards ; and if they were so before, yet it is certain 
that it is a new office and task that they have now undertaken; 
even to help towards the rescue and recovering of the captives. 
If thev do not now begin to be angels or messengers from God to 
man, or ministers for man's good, yet they now begin to be em- 
ployed in this way of service, under Christ, for their restoration. 
They have all listed themselves now under the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and are contented to be employed by him for the saving of sin- 
ners. The Son must sit on God's right hand till he make his 
enemies his footstool ; and the angels are all his ministering 
spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of sal- 
vation. (Heb. i. 13, 14.) Nor do they disdain to stoop to this 
service of Christ for lost man. For, though they are excellent 
spirits, yet are they his servants " by whom God made the 
worlds, and whom he hath appointed heir of all things, who, 
being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his 
person, and upholding all things by the word of his power ; 
when he had, by himself, purged our sins, he sat down on the 
right hand of the Majesty on high : being made so much better 
than the angels, as he hath, by inheritance, obtained a more ex- 
cellent name than they." (Heb. i. 2 — 4.) 

Thus find we these angels executing their office : sometimes 
ministering to Christ himself in the flesh ; (Matt. iv. 1 1 ;) some- 
times searching into the mystery of redemption. (1 Pet. i. 12.) 
More than twelve legions of them were ready to have rescued 
him from the hands of the Jews if he would have desired it. 
(Matt. xxvi. 53.) They subserved in the delivery of the law to 
Moses; (Gal. iii. If); Acts vii. 53 ;) they attended Christ into 
the world, revealing him to the shepherds, and unanimously 


praising God at his birth. (Luke ii. 9 — 14.) So far were they 
from disdaining their incarnate Lord, or his service for lost sin- 
ners, that tlie heavenly army, or host, do praise God for it, saying, 
" Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace ; good will 
towards men ;" and when in this warfare one captivated sinner 
is recovered, there is joy in heaven among these angels. (Luke 
XV. 7, 10.) They are present with us in our assemblies, which 
are the well-ordered troops and companies of this army ; and 
their presence we must regard. (1 Cor. xi. 10.) lliey are wit- 
nesses of our good or ill behaviour ; (Eccl. v, 6 ; 1 Tim. v. 21 ;) 
and, therefore, to be reverenced as the chief of our fellow-soldiers 
or servants, but not worshipped. (Col. ii. IS.) " See thou do 
it not, for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren, the 
prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book; 
worship God." (Rev. xxii. 8, 9.) 

You see, then, that the angels are a chief part of the army of 
Christ, and serve under him for the saving of sinners from the 
devil ; and, therefore, you find them contending with the devil, 
though with the meekness of the lamb, saying, " The Lord re- 
buke thee." (Jude 9.) They convey the departing souls of the 
righteous unto Christ; (Luke xvi. 22;) they encamp round 
about them that fear the Lord, and deliver them, (Psalm xxxiv. 
7,) even as they carried Lot from the flames of Sodom, and could 
do nothing till he were come forth. (Gen. xix. 15, 10, &c.) 
And no wonder that they stoop to the help of man ; for it is to 
the angelical similitude or dignity that Christ doth advance us, 
and join us to them, by making us like them or equal to them. 
(Luke XX. 36.) We are now their particular charge, (Matt, 
xviii. 10,) that we may be hereafter their companions. (Acts xii. 
15.) They help to the increase, preservation, and defence of the 
church. (Acts viii. 26 ; x. 7, 22; xi. 13, and xii. 1 1 ; Dan. iii. 28, 
and vi. 22 ; Isa. Ixiii. 9.) When the whole army are drawn forth 
in their glory they are a principal part : you may take a view of 
all in Heb. xii. 22. : " We are come to Mount Sion, unto the 
city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innu- 
merable company of angels ; to the general assembly and church 
of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the 
Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to 
Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of 
sprinkling," &c. And in the head of this army will Christ appear 
at the end of the world, when he hath won the field and comes 
in triumph to confound his conquered enemies, and to be glorified 


in his redeemed, delivered saints, that they who have now 
passed through this warfare " in patient, enduring trihuLitions 
and persecution, may, in that righteous judgment of God, he 
counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which they suffered ; 
it being the righteous thing which God will then do to recom- 
pense tribulation to them that trouble us, and to us that are 
troubled rest with the saints, when the Lord Jesus shall be re- 
vealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking 
vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the 
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be punished with 
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from 
the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his 
saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." 
(2 Thess. i. 5—10.) 

And as the angels are one part of his army, so are the saints 
another, who must fight for themselves under Christ's conduct, 
of whom we shall have occasion to say more anon. 

Thus you see the Redeemer's army moulded, and of what 
members it is composed. We should next observe their progress 
and exploits ; but lest you mistake in the matter of their success, 
by mistaking the design and nature of the fight and conquest, 
mark well these things following, by the way, before we go 

1. That it pleased God in his sentence of sinful man, to lay 
on him unavoidably certain temporal calamities, and to enable 
the serpent to bruise his heel. So that we must eat our bread 
in the sweat of our brows, and the earth must be cursed for 
our sakes, and we must return to dust from whence we came, 
as to our flesh. 

2. And, therefore, it is none of the Redeemer's undertaking 
to prevent these sufferings and death. 

3. But his work is to save us from our sins, (Matt. i. 21,) and 
from the wrath to come, (1 Thess. i. 10,) and to reconcile us to 
God, (I Cor. v. 19, 20,) and justify, sanctify, and glorify us. 
(Rom. viii. 30; 1 Cor. vi. 11.) And to sanctify our present 
sufferings to these ends, (Rom. xxviii. IS,) and to moderate 
their sufferings in order thereunto. (Heb. xii.) 

4. And the way of our conquest is not always nor principally 
in a visible prosperity and worldly greatness and dominion : but 
ordinarily by patience and contentedness in our suflferings : it 
being grace and the prosperity of the soul that we fight for, it 
must be done by that way that hath the true and certain ten- 


dency to these ends, and not by carnal pleasure and prosperity 
which are ordinarily our greatest adversaries. In patience we 
must possess our souls, if we would secure them against the 
storms of Satan. (Luke xxi. 19.) It was this way that Christ 
himself did conquer, who is the author and finisher of our faith, 
who, for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, 
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the 
throne of God. And we must consider him that endured such 
contradiction of sinners against himself, lest we be wearied and 
faint in our minds. (Heb. xii. 2, 3.) We must follow him 
bearing our cross if we will conquer : for we have need of 
patience, besides doing God's will in actual obedience, that we 
may inherit the promised crown. (Heb. x. 36.) It is not by 
conquering kingdoms, and becoming masters of other men's 
possessions, but by taking joyfully the spoiling of our own goods, 
knowing in ourselves that we have in heaven a better and an 
enduring substance, (Heb. x. 34,) when for his name' sake we 
are killed all the day long, and counted as sheep to the slaughter, 
when we suffer tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, naked- 
ness, sword ; in all these things we are conquerors and supex- 
conquerors, through the Captain of our salvation that hath led 
us this way. (Rom. viii. 35, 36.) For as this our Captain 
was himself made perfect by suffering, (not in his nature and 
holiness, for that was before perfect, but in his military work, 
and actual obedience, and righteousness therein consisting, and 
his aptitude to be the leader and deliverer of others,) and this 
for the bringing of many sons to glory, (Heb. ii. 10,) so will he 
have us follow him in the way that he hath trod, and through 
many tribulations to enter into his kingdom ; and to suffer with 
him, that we may reign with him, (Rom. viii. 17,) and in this 
way he will not be ashamed to call us his fellow-sl)ldier3 or 
brethren. (Heb. ii. 11 — 13.) Thus must we in ourselves 
be made partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that when his 
glory shall be revealed, we also may be glad (as triumphing 
victors) with exceeding joy. And if thus we are reproached 
for Christ, we are happy ; for the Spirit of God and of glorv 
resteth on us. (1 Pet. iv. 14 — 16.) Blessed, therefore, is he 
that thus endureth temptation : for when he is tried he shall 
receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them 
that love him. (James i. 12.) Here is the patience, and faith, 
and victory of the saints. 

I know the carnal heart will be ready to say, ' If this be your 


victory, I desire none of it ; any one may so conquer, as to be 
trodden down and ruined.' Whereto, I answer, the power and 
victory of Christ is still manifest, in these particulars following. 
1. In that it is not in the power of the tempter to conquer 
the graces of the saints, nor to separate them from the love of 
God in Christ, (Rom. viii. 38, 39,) which he had rather do if 
he could, than to trample upon their bodies, or keep them in 
poverty or trouble for a time. He can be content to let you 
have dignities and honours, so he could but rob you of the 
dignity of saints, and cast out the image of God again from 
your souls. He can let you enjoy the pleasures of sin for a 
season, that thereby he might deprive you of the celestial plea- 
sures. He will let young men rejoice, and their hearts cheer 
tbem in the days of their youth, and walk in the ways of their 
own heart, and the light of their eyes, if they will but forget 
that for all these things they must come to judgment. (Eccl. xi. 
9.) He judgeth not himself, as he persuadeth blind infidels to 
judge, that it is better to win the world than to save our souls ; 
he would let you have the kingdoms and glory of the world, if 
it were in his power, so you would but give him the worship 
due to God. (Matt. iv. 9.) Our victory, therefore, lieth in 
maintaining our innocency, and not obeying his wicked seduce- 
ments, and this may be as well and better done in adversity 
than in prosperity : adversity, therefore, is no sign that Satan 
is the conqueror. 

2. Moreover, the business of Satan i^ to keep men from 
God ; if Christ, therefore, do bring men nearer to God by ad- 
versity, he conquereth the tempter that would keep them from 
him : but it is clear by experience, that the souls of the faithful 
are kept closer to God in suffering times, than in prosperity ; 
they are then more sensible of the vanity and emptiness of all 
worldly things, and weaned from them, and do fly to God with 
more earnest desires, and more sensible of the folly of sinning 
than at other times : and, sure, the soul is most victorious 
against Satan, that is nearest God, and hath most of his love, 
whatever befall the body in the mean time. 

3. If an increase of all graces appear on the soul in time of 
affliction, then is it not very hard, to an opened eye, to see 
Christ's victory in the afflictions of his people ; for that which 
makes a man better, is the best condition, in the judgment of 
Seneca himself, and of reason : but grace useth to increase in 
^affliction, therefore we may well account it our victory. 


4. If God be most honoured by his people in adversity, when 
they suffer for his cause, then we may well see, that, even in our 
sufferings, Christ may be conquering, for it is God's dishonour 
that the tempter doth endeavour ; but, it is certain, that God is 
usually more honoured at such times, when his graces are 
exercised in the eye of the world, and when his servants confess 
him in the midst of persecution. How hath Christ been more 
honoured on earth than by the martyrdom of his followers, 
and their confessing him in the midst of the most cruel tor- 
ments ? 

5. If Satan be most confounded, dishonoured, and dis- 
appointed in the sufferings of the faithful, then may they well 
be said to conquer in their sufferings ; but it is certain, by all 
experience, that Satan hath been never so confounded, shamed, 
and disappointed, as when his cruelty and wickedness is most 
manifestly discovered, and his way thereby the more abhorred, 
and yet the righteous the more confirmed. The histories of 
heathenish and popish persecution, that are upon record for the 
view of posterity, will give a greater wound to the cause of 
Satan in their hands, than ever it had been like to have re- 
ceived by our prosperity. How many thousands among our- 
selves have been confirmed in a hatred of popery, by the 
French massacre, the Spanish Inquisition, the cruelty in Queen 
Mary's days, the Gunpowder Plot, the Irish butcheries, &:c., that 
have known little of the arguments that are used by either side 
in disputation. 

6. If Christ's kingdom thrive by his people's sufferings, he 
may well be said to conquer by them. But that his kingdom 
hath thriven by our sufferings always in puritv, frequently in 
numbers of his true disciples, the experience of all suffering- 
ages can bear witness. 

You see now that there are two armies in the field of this 
world, one under Christ, and the other under Satan, and what 
are their several interests and designs, and what it is to con- 
quer, and by what means Christ and his soldiers overcome, and 
how you may judge rightly of the issue of the fight, who hath 
the better, and who the worse. 

Sect. XIV. 

We sliall next a little consider of the historv of Christ's eon- 
f^icts vi'ith Satan, and the success, and show you l)v how many 
ways he hath fully discovered to us, that he k the chief enemy 



of hell. And I will, for brevity, overpass all the history of the 
Old Testament, and begin at the New. 

1. Before he came in the flesh, the angels are sent from 
heaven to acquaint men that he came on this very business, 
and to this end, to conquer Satan, and rescue his captives, and 
save his people. (Matt. i. 21.) "Thou shalt call his name 
Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." (Luke i, 
30—35 ; Luke i. 68—80.) 

2. Before he was born himself, John the Baptist is sent into 
the world as his forerunner ; and before Christ doth solemnly 
set upon his great work, John must be sent to prepare his way. 
He is sent to bid Satan defiance, and to proclaim and begin the 
hotter part of the war, being " filled with the Holy Ghost even 
from the womb, to turn many of the Children of Israel unto 
God : to go before Christ in the spirit and power of Elias ; to 
turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobe- 
dient to the wisdom of the just ; to make ready a people pre- 
pared for the Lord:" (Luke i. 15 — 17:) to give knowledge 
of salvation to his people for the remission of their sins, through 
the tender mercy of God, to give light to them that sit in 
darkness and the shadow of death. (Luke i. 77, 78.) For it 
was his office to be the voice crying in the wilderness, saying, 
" Prepare ye the way of the Lord :" and to bid them " Repent, 
for the kingdom of God is at hand," and to tell them of the 
promised salvation which was raised up, " That we might be 
saved from our enemies, and from the hands of all that hate us ; 
that we being delivered from the hands of our enemies, might 
serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, 
all the days of our life." (Luke i. 70 — 7G-) This man hath 
the honour to initiate Christ into the solemn entrance upon his 
military work by his baptism, which had the same general 
nature with our baptism, but not the same in special. It 
was not to convey to him the remission of sin, as it is to us, 
for he had none ; nor was it to engage him to himself, as we 
are engaged to him : but it was to engage him solemnly in the 
same military work against sin and Satan ; as the general may 
glory in wearing the same colours which he gives his soldiers, 
to signify that they are of a party, and go all on one and the 
same design ; only one as general, and the rest as common 
soldiers. Though we be not to do the same works against Satan 
in all things as Christ, yet are we to fight against him in our 
ranks and places, as Christ did in his. He is entered as general 
and king by his baptism, and we as soldiers and subjects, by ours. 


At this his baptismal engagement, and takhig the field, John 
gives him his testimony, " Behold the Lamb of God that taketh 
away the sins of the world." And the Father giveth him his 
testimony by a voice from heaven : " This is my beloved Sou 
in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. iii. 17; Luke iii. 22.) 
And the Holy Ghost beareth witness in descending on him in 
the form of a dove/ (Luke iii. 22.) Thus you see Christ take 
the field in his own personal engagement. 

3. Being thus engaged himself, he is immediately set upon 
personally by the tempter, being led into the wilderness by the 
Spirit, and purposely submitting himself hereunto. The reason 
of this conflict I told you before. As the first Adam being as- 
saulted quickly after his entrance into paradise, and institution 
of the sacramental trees was overcome by the tempter, so must 
the second Adam overcome the tempter, and that in a like con- 
flict hand to hand, presently after his baptism. Satan must 
lose his prisoners in the way he got them, and Christ must do 
what Adam could not. The victory must be got by the public 
person in our nature before it be got by each man indivi- 
dually in his own person ; for so was it lost. Here was the first 
great overthrow of the adversary. Here was the serpent's head 
broken as he is the tempter, as on the cross it was afterwards 
broken, as he is the tormentor, as is said before. And as Adam 
lost the day before he had any offspring, so Christ wins it in his 
own person, before he doth solemnly begin to preach the Gos- 
pel, or calleth any of his disciples, as far as I can find in the text. 

That this was a solemn combat, and a considerable part of 
Christ's work, appears by the solemn preparation and manage- 
ment : for though Christ's fasting forty days in the wilderness 
was a preparation to all his after-performance, as well as this 
one, yet more immediately for this as a special part of it. 

It was not merely a fantasm, as some have imagined, that 
Christ was thus assaulted and used; and yet it seems to be in 
the spirit, though real, as Paul was taken up into the heavens ; 
how far in the body, or out of the body, I think we cannot judge. 

Nor should it be matter of offence to any, that Satan should 
have so much power of Christ as to carry him, as is there ex- 
pressed, seeing it was but in order to the temptation, and by 
Christ's own submission and consent, and did but prepare for 
the greater conquest ; and the enemy departed as overcome, at 
his command. This was the issue of this leading conflict, be- 
tween the two generals hand to hand. 

BB 2 


4. When Christ had thus conquered Satan himself, he pre- 
sently invited men to take his colours, and goeth about preach- 
ing the Gospel liimself, saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the 
kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the Gospel." 
(Mark i. 14, 15.) His first call is to sinners to relinquish the de- 
ceiver, and come out of their captivity : for what is repenting, 
but forsaking sin and Satan, and returning unto God ? Luke tells 
us his text that he preached on once at Nazareth, which shows 
us his design : " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he 
hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor : he hath 
sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to 
the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at 
liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of 
the Lord." (Luke iv. 16, 18.) This is his next assault of Satan, 
by his own personal preaching. 

5. The next thing he doth is to choose his twelve apostles, 
and constitute them commanders of his army under him ; with 
whom, also, he joineih seventy disciples ; and to these he gives 
commission to make an onset upon Satan, and exercise the 
power of his word and Spirit. These go forth and cast out 
devils, and work wonders, and come home as young soldiers 
encouraged by this first success, and triumphing that the devils 
were subject to them. 

6. The whole course of Christ's life was perfectly contrary 
to the will of Satan, and perfectly conformed to his Father's 
Avill. A life of perfect innocency is a life of victory over the 
tempter. He never yielded to his wicked desires, so much as in 
one sinful thought, or word, or deed, being holy, harmless, 
undefiled, separate from sinners, like unto us in our troubles, 
but not in our sins. (Heb. iv. 15.) By all this, also, he set us a 
pattern that we should imitate him as near as we could, and 
resist and conquer as he had done. If a life of perfect, un- 
blameabJe innocency, and perfectly devoted to God, be tiot a 
full proof that Christ was an enemy to Satan, then light is not 
contrary to darkness. 

7. The whole work of his life towards others was contrary to 
Satan, and was nothing else but a destroying of his kingdom. 
We read not of any thing else that he did on earth. 

L Whereas, Satan is an enemy to the honour of God, what 
did Christ else but seek his Father's glory, and do his will, in 
the saving of men ? He rectifieth our misapprehensions of his 
nature : he tells us of his spirituality, his greatness, his good- 


iiess, his holiness, his righteousness, (Jolui iv. 6; xvii. 1 1, 25, 26 ; 
Luke xi. 2; Matt. v. 45, 48,) and giveth him the glory of his 
attributes and works. He giveth men the most perfect instruc- 
tions for God's worship, and taketh them off all self-invented 
and false ways. (Matt. v. and vi. throughout 3 and Matt. xv. 
S, 4, 8, 9.) ^ 

2. Whereas, it is the devil's work to draw men to sin, and 
keep them from God ; it was Christ's work to go up and down 
to preach the doctrine of life, and to tell them the necessity of 
repentance, and offer them grace if they would accept it, and 
return. So that he accounted it his meat and drink to seek the 
salvation of a poor Samaritan woman, (John iv. 32,) and therein 
to do his Father's will. He was so often with sinners as a physi- 
cian for their cure, that the pharisees reproached him for being 
their companion, because he disliked their proud separation, and 
practised, on the contrary, the course of compassion for their 
recovery and restoration. 

3. It is the devil's work to do all the hurt that he may, even 
to men's bodies as well as souls ; it was Christ's work to do 
good, and only good. Of all his miracles that he wrought, 
there was never any wrought in malice and revenge. He used 
not the divine power to blind, or lame, or kill, any men : no, not 
his worst enemies when he could easily do it, and justly might 
have done it ; but he goeth up and down doing good, (Acts x. 
38,) giving" sight to the blind, limbs to the lame, health to the 
sick, and life to the dead. He feeds the hungry, and hath com- 
passion on them that are ready to faint. What is the whole 
history of his life, but a catalogue of good works ? When men 
reject his Gospel, he will not take them at the worst, but rebukes 
his disciples that would have called for fire from heaven, and 
tells them, " They knew not what spirit they were of; that is, 
in this desire : they considered not how unlike it was to his 
Spirit, or his design and business in the world, who came not to 
destroy men's lives, but to save them." (Luke ix. 55, 56.) 

8. Christ's enmity to Satan appeareth in this, that he openly 
professeth to take him for his chief foe, and sendeth him a 
defiance, and telleth him, that he will maintain his kingdom in 
despite of all his policy and power. Mark well that speech to 
Peter : (Matt. xvi. 18 :) "I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, 
and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of 
hell shall not prevail against it." Whether it be Peter's con- 
fession, or Peter him^^elf that is here called the rock, is no great 


matter, as to the popish interest. For the same promise that is 
here made to Peter upon this personal occasion, is elsewhere 
made to the rest of the apostles. The Church is built on the 
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself 
being the head corner-stone ; (Eph. ii. 20 ;) so that it is more 
than Peter that is the foundation, that is, the principal living 
witnesses of Christ's life, death, and resurrection, and the prin- 
cipal instruments of the propagation of his kingdom. 

The church of Christ seemed not so great, nor did any thing 
visible to the world then promise so great an increase of it, as 
might give occasion of such a prediction : but here you may 
see closely laid together these observable things : 

1. That it was Christ's purpose and design to gather him a 

2. That the apostles, who at that time did not so much as 
tmderstand the doctrine of Christ's death, resurrection, or 
ascension, which afterwards became fundamental articles of 
faith, must yet be the instrumental foundation of the church, 
and these weak men must become the invincible rock. 

3. That it was the gates, that is, the powers of hell that 
Would be the oppugners of this church, and Christ expecteth 
their most malicious and furious assault. 

4. That yet these hellish powers should not prevail j but 
though they should assault and storm this church and rock, yet 
should they not take it, or overcome. 

5. That he lets them know this before hand by way of defiance. 

6. And that even when he knew that he must shortly be put 
to death, having first suffered many things of the priests and 
elders of the Jews, as in the next following words he tells his 
disciples : where Peter, this rock, is yet so far from being fitted 
for so great matters as Christ speaks of, that he takes him aside 
and rebukes him, and saith, " Be it far from thee ; {q. d.j) God 
forbid that this should befall thee j favour thyself." 

7. By all which it is evident that Christ foreknew the things 
to come, and how his church should be gathered, prospered, 
and preserved against all the malicious rage of hell. 

9. Christ's enmity to Satan is also evident in the enmity that 
he manifested to all that tended to the interest of Satan, and 
furthering of his kingdom : what did ever offend him, but that 
which pleased the devil ? What did he condemn but that which 
the devil desired and promoted ? Nay, when any advice was 
given him that tended to the furtherance of the kingdom of 


darkness, though it were for his own bodily ease or safety, yet 
did he abhor it. Take that notable example, (Matt. xvi. 22,) 
when Peter had made a faithful confession of Christ, and 
received that great commendation and promise from Christ 
thereupon : " Tliou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my 
church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it :" 
yet, presently, when Christ begins to tell them of his sufferings 
at Jerusalem, Peter, in a carnal, misguided love, takes Christ and 
rebuketh him, and saith, " Far be it from thee. Lord, this shall 
not be unto thee ; (q. d.;) God forbid that any such evil should 
befall thee ; favour thyself ; do not wilfully cast away thyself." 
One would think that Christ should have taken Peter's loving 
advice in good part, it being but to persuade him to save his 
own life. But Christ knew that if he should not conquer Satan 
on the cross, the world must perish ; and there was no recover- 
ing us out of our misery, and therefore that this counsel of 
Peter did tend to the greatest advantage of the devil's kingdom, 
that could be imagined. The thanks, therefore, that he gives 
him is but this j he looks angrily about him, and saith, " Get 
thee behind me Satan : thou art an offence unto me ; for thou 
savourest not the things that be of God, but the things of man." 
Here is a strange change of speech to that man, that he had but 
a little before so commended and honoured : he was the rock 
even now, and now he is Satan. It was some foul change in 
Peter ; some great evil that could procure this. Where do you 
read Christ ever speaking with so great severity, except once or 
twice to the obstinate pharisees that blasphemed the Holy Ghost? 
When his disciples were rejected, and would have had fire from 
heaven to revenge the quarrel, he doth but rebuke them. When 
he was on the cross in his sufferings, he prayeth his Father to 
forgive the murderers : so far was he from this severity merely 
for himself, especially when it was but for his bodily interest. 
But here, when the advice seemeth for him, how severe is he 
with Peter ! He gives him the devil's name, Satan, because he 
did the devil's work, and pleaded his cause, as if he had been 
an adversary to man's redemption. The indignation was on 
this account, that Peter befriended the enemy's design, and so 
proved a Satan, and a tempter unto Christ ; and therefore he 
tells him that he was an offence to him, as savouring more of 
the things of man than of God : and bids him get behind him, 
or get out of his sight 5 a word, v/hich one would think enough to 
have broken the heart of Peter j the very same word which he 


useth to the devil, when his temptation came to be intolerably 
impudent and blasphemous, " Get thee behind me, Satan." 
(Luke iv. IS.) How clear a demonstration is here of the irre- 
concilable enmity of Christ to the devil and his interest, 
before he showed it in the conquering of his own immediate 
temptations ! And here he showeth it by repelling a temptation 
from one of his own apostles, whom Satan had prevailed with 
to be his instrument. 

10. But the great, the full, the admirable discovery of the 
enmity of Christ to the kingdom of Satan, was this : that he 
thought not his whole humiliation from first to last too much, 
for the overthrowing of it, nor too dear a price for the redemp- 
tion of his captives. 

He condescended first in his incarnation, to assume our na- 
ture, the most astonishing condescension that ever the world 
knew ; that he, " Who being in the form of God, thought it 
not robbery to be equal with God ; and did make himself of no 
reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was 
made in the likeness of men ; and being found in fashion as a 
man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, 
even the death of the cross." (Phil. ii. 5 — 9.) 

All his life was a wonderful condescension ; to walk among 
men in human nature, and converse with sinners, and be de- 
spised, reproached, and abused, by his own creatures, and to 
submit to human frailties, except sin, even as great princes, 
when they will command their armies, will sometimes submit to 
the hard condition and oflices of soldiers ; so did Christ in his 
military state. 

Yea, all his bloody sweats, and scorns of sinners, his crown 
of thorns, his cross, his death, his grave, do all testify the 
enmity he bore to the kingdom of the devil, that would endure 
mid stoop to all this to expugn it, and to undermine him. 
He openly proclaims his end in all this: "That he might 
destroy, through death, him that had the power of death, that 
is, the devil ; and deliver them, who, through fear of death, 
were all their life time subject to bondage." (Heb. ii. 14.) He 
tells the world what enemy he was opposing on the cross, and 
that his work was but to redeem us from that enemy ; (Eph. i. 
7, and ii. 14 — 17;) that we might have redemption through 
his blood, even the remission of sins, and breaking down the 
])artition wall, and abolishing in his flesh the enmity, to make 
in himself of twain one new man, so making peace ; and that 


he might reconcile both unto God, in one body by the cross, 
having slain the enmity thereby ; " For it pleased the Father 
that in him should all fulness dwell ; and having made peace 
through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to 
himself: who, blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that 
was against us, which was contrary to us, took it out of the 
way, nailing it to his cross ; and having spoiled principalities 
and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over 
them in it." (Col. i. 14, 20, 21, and ii. 14, 15.) They were 
foolish men that crucified Christ, but he overlooks them, and 
takes notice of the enemy that he came thither to contest with, 
and makes his cross a means of victory, and place of triumph, 
even over those powers that fain would have overcome him. 

And as Christ hath done thus much against Satan on the 
cross, so we shall next see what he hath done against him 
since, in his doctrine, and by it on the hearts of men, and openly 
in the world, and first in his word. 

11. It is one of Christ's principal works by his doctrine, to 
make the devil more odious to the sons of men, and to bring 
them into a fuller knowledge of his mischievous disposition and 
designs, that so they may avoid him, and more valiantly resist 
him ; to which end, he first gives them to know his nature by 
liis names, and calleth him by all those names that may make 
him hateful to man, or awaken them to the war which he calls 
them into against him ; and certainly, this is so contrary to 
Satan's interest, that none but the foes of reason can imagine 
that Satan was the author of it, or did lend Christ his power to 
attest it by miracles. 

By all these names of disgrace do we find the devil named in 
the Gospel. 

1. He is called, frequently, Satan, an adversary; to let us 
know that it is he against whom we are listed under Christ. 
(Matt. iv. 10 ; 1 Pet. v. 8.) 

2. He is called ix¥''h the enemy. (Matt. xiii. 28, 39.) The 
name bv which we denote those whom we oppose, and that 
liate us. 

3. He is oft called Aid§o\(^, because he is a calumniator, or 
false accuser ; and he who, by accusing us, would have God to 
condemn us. 

4. He is called " Tiomphs, the evil one, or the wicked one, 
(Matt. xiii. 19,) which is the most hateful title in the world, as 
signifying him to be both the first in evil for time, and the deep- 


est in evil for degree ; as being the very worst of all creatures, 
and also the father or cause of evil to others by his temptations, 
5. He is called <i nupd^uv the tempter; (Matt. iv. 3;) to ac- 
quaint who it is that would drive us from God and happiness, 
and how he would do it. 

' 6 He and his companions are called UveSfxala aKdeapra, unclean 
Spirits oft ; as being of a filthy disposition, and the cause of 
men's uncleanliness, and contrary to the holy, sanctifying Spirit 
of Christ, whose office is to purify our hearts and cleanse us from 
our sins. 

7. He is called the strong man armed, keeping his house and 
goods in peace, till Christ come and bind him and cast him out. 
(Matt. xii. 29.) 

8. He is called the serpent, and the old serpent; (Rev. xii. 9, 
14;) both to let us know his subtlety and his enmity, and venom- 
ous, hurting power, and to remember us of the mischief he did 
us by his first deceiving us. 

9. He is called the dragon, the great red dragon ; yea, all 
these four names, or five, are given him together ; (Rev. xii. 9 ;) 
the great dragon, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, 
which deceiveth the whole world. 

10. He is called "A roaring lion, seeking whom he may de- 
vour." (1 Pet. V. 8.) Yea, all these three titles are given him 
together: the devil, our adversary, and as a roaring lion, &:c. 

11. He is called a murderer from the beginning; (John viii. 
44 ;) to tell us what he hath done to us, what he is doing and 
would do, and what he would have men do to themselves and 
to others, both soul and body. 

12. They are called the angels that kept not their first estate ; 
(Jude 6 ;) to let us know their apostasy. 

13. He is called Belial ; (2 Cor. vi. 15 ;) as being the head of 
all those rebels and outlaws that have cast off the yoke of sub- 
jection unto God. 

14. Of the name Beelzebub we have spoken before. 

15. He is called "The prince of this world ;" (John xii. 21 ;) 
as being the leader of worldly men who rebel against God. 

16. He is called the god of this world, because these worldly 
rebels make him their god, and he would be honoured and 
obeyed as God. (2 Cor. iv. 5.) 

17. He is called "The prince of the powers of the air;" (Eph. 
ii. 2 ;) to show that he hath a kingdom or army of evil spirits, 
against whom Christ and his army must wage war. 


18. He is called "The ruler of the world/' (Eph. vl. 12,) 
because rebels are ruled by him against God. 

19. He is called "The father of murderous, wicked men;'* 
(John viii. 44 ;) to show that all wickedness had its rise from him. 

20. He is called, Rev. ix. 11, by three names: The Angel of 
the bottomless pit, as being destined there to be miserable, and 
to be the companion of those whom he can draw thither with 
him ; also Abaddon, which signifieth a destruction and mischief, 
as being the very plague and ruin of mankind, a name perfectly 
contrary to the name of Jesus Christ, the anointed Saviour, who 
is anointed to the office of saving men from this destruction j 
also, he is there called Apollyon, the destroyer to the same pur- 
pose, as delighting in our destruction, and making it his very 
business. Many other names are given the devil in the New 
Testament, and in the Old, which 1 will not stand to recite j 
by all which Christ endeavoureth to make Satan odious, and men 
jealous of him, and watchful against him, and fully manifesteth 
his enmity to him. 

12. The Lord Jesus doth not only by names, but by asser- 
tions, lay upon Satan the odium and blame of all the evil that 
hath been done in the world, as the original of it : and heaps 
Upon him so much disgrace by the opening of his vileness, as 
never was done by any other : never was Satan so stigmatized, 
and reproached, and laid naked as in the Gospel ; so that among 
all Christians the name of the devil is the most odious, accursed 
name that is imaginable, and intimateth a perfect irreconcila- 
ble enmity to them, and in them to him : when among the 
pagans it was a name of less dishonour, and they made less 
difference between good spirits and evil, and called both demons 
by the same name ; and manifested no such enmity to them, 
though some God had planted in nature, ever since the fall. 

The first sin that ever was in the world, Christ chargeth 
upon Satan as the deceiver. He publisheth his own sin, " As 
not abiding in the truth, and falling from his first estate ;" 
(John viii. 44. ; Jude 6 ;) and saith, " That there is no truth 
in him." (John viii. 44.) He telleth us that it was he that 
deceived Eve ; (2 Cor. xi. 3 ;) and that he is a murderer from 
the beginning. All the resistance that his Gospel hath in the 
world, and all the sins that yet are committed, he proclaimcth 
Satan to be the cause of, by his temptations. He chargeth 
him with sowing tares of heresy and profaneness in his field ; 
(Matt, xiii, 39 j) and as doing this as his enemy. He tells us 


that it is the devil that taketh away the seed that was sown, 
that men receive not the word of life. (Luke viii. 12.) He 
calleth wicked men the children of the devil. (John viii. 44 ; 
1 John iii. 10.) He tells us that all that commit sin are of 
tlie devil, so far as they are sinners ; and if sin prevail, Satan 
prevails ; and tells how the two families may he known asunder. 
(1 John iii. 8 — 10.) In this the children of God are manifest, 
and the children of the devil : whosoever doth not righteousness 
is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. He is 
said to sin from the beginning, and to be that wicked one, and 
Cain who killed his brother, to be of that wicked one. (1 John 
iii. 8, 12.) When Paul, a leader in Christ's army, doth charge 
one of Satan's champions, Elimas the witch, (Acts xiii. 10,) he 
doth it so as to charge his general through him : ' O full of all 
subtlety and mischief; thou child of the devil, thou enemy of 
all righteousness ; wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways 
of the Lord !' When Judas was disposed to betray him, Christ 
telleth us the reason, the devil put it into his heart, and entered 
into him. (John xiii. 2, 27.) And before saith of him, (John 
vi. 70,) that he was a devil, as being on his side, and to do his 
work. Do but mark the Scripture expressions, and you will 
see through all a constant war carried on between Christ and 
Satan ; and a hostility in all Christ's words and actions to 
Satan and his kingdom. It was Satan that filled the heart of 
Ananias to lie to the Holy Ghost. (Acts v. 3.) The man of 
sin, and son of perdition, is the servant of Satan, and his coming 
is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and 
lying wonders, and with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness 
in them that perish. (2 Thess. ii. 8 — 10.) This is one of 
Satan's chief commanders, and therefore an antichrist. All 
those fugitives that forsake their colours, and turn from Christ, 
do turn aside after Satan. (I Tim. v. 15.) When Christ 
cashiereth anv, and turneth them out of his church, and.de- 
livereth them to destruction, he is said to deliver them to 
Satan. (1 Cor. v. 5 ; 1 Tim. i. 20.) When Paul was hindered 
from coming to the Thessalonians, once and again he saith it 
was Satan that hindered him. (1 Thess. ii. 18.) And when the 
churches of Smyrna were to be persecuted, it is said that the 
devil shall cast some of them into prison. (Rev. ii. 10.) The 
congregations and company of heretics and ungodly men, who 
are the church's enemies, he calleth the 'Synagogues of Satan.' 
(Rev. ii. 9, and iii. 9.) For th.ey are those societies by whon" 


Satan's work is done, and those assemblies in which he is served 
publicly, as by the witches in their assemblies he is more se- 

Yea, when rulers of nations are drawn into sin and misery, it 
is by the malice of this common enemy. It was he that " stood 
up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." 
(1 Chron. xxi. 1.) It was he that "was a lying spirit in the 
mouth of Ahab's prophets." (1 Kings xxii. 22.) And when 
judgment is to be executed, especially on the people of God, it 
is he that is commonly permitted to be the executioner, for God 
will employ his creatures according to their own natures and 
offices ; when he will burn, it shall be usually with fire ; when 
he will drown, it shall be with water; and so, when he M'ill 
destroy, he will send a destroying angel, v/hose nature doth more 
incline him to destroy ; when the Israelites murmur, he sendeth 
evil angels among them, and they are destroyed of the destroyer. 
(I Cor. X. 10: Psalm Ixxviii. 49.) These are the dogs that 
God sendeth to drive home his sheep. 

The idols also of the heathen, and idolaters, are called devils, 
and being God's greatest enemies, and to which he beareth the 
greatest hatred. (Lev. xvii. 1 ; Deut. xxJtii. 17-) "They sacri- 
fice to devils, and not to God, to new gods, newly come up, 
whom their fathers feared not." (Chron. xi. 15.) When Jero- 
boam had made him priests of the meanest of the people for 
his calves, and had expelled the priests of the Lord, it is said 
that he " made him priests for the high places, and for the 
devils, and for the calves that he made :" and " they are said to 
sacrifice their sons and daughters to devils." (Psalm cvi. 33.) 
These things are spoken to the reproach of devils, by the Spirit 
of Christ in his prophets before his coming, conformable to 
which are his own and his apostles' si)eeches since. 

By all this, Christ's enmity to Satan is most evident, he 
having done and said so much to his disgrace, and making his 
name odious to all his disciples^ that thereby he may fortify 
them against his temptations, and encourage them to the war 
to which he calleth them. 

13. Moreover, to testify this enmity yet further, Christ listeth 
all his servants in their baptism, of purpose to fight under him 
' against Satan and his kingdom : so that it is essential to a dis- 
ciple of Christ to be a soldier against the devil. How full an 
evidence is this to shame all blasphemous suggestions, as if 
Christ were on Satan's side, and borrowed his power 1 No won- 


der if the devil would have men to renounce their baptism ; for 
it is the very entrance into an engagement to fight under Christ 
against him to the death. This the church hath used generally 
to express in baptism; and therein to require that the baptised 
do renounce the devil with the world and the flesh, his instru- 
ments and agents : so that so many baptisings as there are in 
the world, so many solemn engagements are there to oppose the 
devil, and so many abrenunciations of him. 

14. And the laws that Christ Jesus giveth his people do yet 
more fully discover this enmity, and put all perfectly out of 
doubt. For, 1. He commandeth them in general to resist the 
devil, and do all that they can against him ; (James iv. 7; ) not 
to give place to the devil, (Eph. ii. 27,) but to stand against his 
wiles : (Eph. vi. 11:) and he pronounceth such open hostility, that 
if his followers will not abstain from all wilful correspondence 
with Satan, they shall be no servants of his. He will have them 
defy him, and hate all his ways, and not to have familiarity with 
any of his open, known servants. They must cast such out from 
among them, and not so much as eat with them, nor receive 
them into their houses, or bid them God speed, lest by so doing 
they be partakers of their evil deeds. They must rebuke a bro- 
ther if he do that which is pleasing to Satan, and withdraw 
from him, if he do not hear and amend, that he may be to us as 
a heathen, or a publican : (1 Cor. v. 10, 11,7; 2 John x. 1 1 ; 2 
Thess. iii. 6, 14 ; Matt, xviii. 15 — 17 and he is to be delivered 
to Satan, in some cases, as is aforesaid : and, lest any should 
think they may play on both sides, Christ assureth them of the 
contrary, that they cannot serve him, unless they will set them- 
selves against the devil and his works ; for there is no possibility 
of reconciliation or communion. " The things which the gen- 
tiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God ; and I 
would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye can- 
not drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils : ye cannot 
be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do 
we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he ?" 
(I Cor. X. 20 — 22.) And we must not join in marriage with the 
known servants of the devil, because of this enmity and neces- 
sary distance. " Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers : 
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness; 
and what communion hath light with darkness ; and what con- 
cord hath Christ with Belial ? or what part hath he that be- 
lieveth with an infidel ; and what agreement hath the temple of 


God with Idols ? for ye are the temple of the living God ; as 
God hath said, I will dwell In them, and walk In them, and I 
will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, 
come out from among them, and be ye separate, salth the Lord, 
and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you, and 
will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, 
salth the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor, vl. 14, &e.) 

This Is the discipline of Christ's army, and this is one of hi 
laws of war, that no man shall have familiarity or converse with 
the enemy, upon pain of his displeasure. 

More particularly : the laws of Christ are most expressly 

contrary to the will and Interest of the devil. It would be too 

long a task particularly to survey them, though it is our best and 

most cogent evidence of the point In hand. The devil's work 

is to rob God of his glory, and of the hearts and service of the 

sons of men ; Christ's laws do enjoin us to love God with all 

our heart, and soul, and might. It Is the devil's employment to 

go up and down, and compass the earth to draw men from 

honouring God, and even to draw them to curse him to 

his face. (Job I. 6 — 9, and II. 2^-6.) The Lord Jesus 

condemneth all blasphemers and desplsers of God, and com- 

mandeth us the greatest reverence to his majesty. He will neither 

permit us to take his name in vain, or swear rashly by It; nor 

yet to swear by any creature, that we give not away his glory 

to another. He will not have us worship so much as an angel, 

much less the souls of men, and much less stocks, and stones, 

and images ; or sun, or moon, or stars, and, least of all, the 

devils 'j whereas, it Is Satan's design to draw the world to worship 

the creature instead of the Creator, and change the truth of 

God Into a lie, and the glory of the Incorruptible God into an 

Image made like corruptible man, and birds, and beasts, and 

creeping things. (Rom. I. 23,25.) Satan would draw men to 

routs, and riots, and profane assemblies, and keep them from 

the assemblies where God Is truly worshipped. Christ hath 

appointed the first day of every week to this end, that In the 

solemn assemblies we might learn our duty, and send up our 

requests to heaven, and give God the homage of praise which we 

owe him (in our measure). Satan Is an enemy to all good 

order and government, and human society. Christ commandeth 

us order, and obedience, and telleth us that God is not a God 

of confusion. Satan is the prince of malice, hatred, contention, 

and divisions. Christ Is the prince of peace, and love, and 


unity, and concord, and strictly chargeth his soldiers to main- 
tain these among themselves, and to avoid all mutinies and 
schisms ; and tells them that this is the second commandment 
like to the first, that we love our neighbour as ourselves, and 
that this is his new commandment, that we love one another, 
and that in so doing we shall be known to all men to be his 
disciples, and shall please him, and be like to God, who is 
love. Yea, he commandeth us to love our enemies, bless them 
that curse us, and pray for them that hurt and persecute us, if 
ever we will be the children of our heavenly Father, and so his 
true disciples. How perfectly contrary is all this to Satan, his 
disposition, and will, and way, who delighteth in blood, desola- 
tion, and misery, and is always putting his servants to seek 
revenge, and kindling thoughts of malice, censoriousness, and 
bitterness in their breasts ? 

The devil tempteth men to do hurt to one another, and to 
murder : Christ condemneth those that shall but be rashly 
angry with their brother, or call him fool, or use any such rail- 
ing and reproachful words. Satan is a spirit of nncleanness, and 
a tempter to uncleanness and filthy lusts : Christ condemneth 
as much as an unruly eye, even looking on a woman to lust 
after her. Satan is a robber, and a tempter of others to stealing 
and robbery : Christ condemneth the coveting of that which is 
another's, and the very desiring to be rich. (1 Tim. vi. 9 ; Prov. 
xxiii. 4, and xxviii. 20, 22.) In a word, there is nothing in all 
the world more perfectly contrary to the will of Satan than is 
the law of Christ ; whatever his wicked nature doth desire, or 
commend, or endeavour after, it is here discommended and 
strictly forbidden. 

Yea, further note, the exceeding enmity appeareth in the 
exceeding strictness of these laws of Christ ; he will not allow 
us so much as to speak one word that is pleading to the devil, 
nor to think one evil thought. Though he will pardon our 
infirmities, of his grace, yet will he not allow the least ; yea, 
he makes us know, that without the sacrifice of his blood, the 
least could not be pardoned. 

See here, by the way, a most full testimony for Christ out of 
the mouths of his very enemies. Do they not reproach his 
laws for being so jirecise and strict, and taking them so much 
off from their sinful pleasures. Here, tlien, is a witness that 
Christ is no friend to sin, or the spirit of ini(|uity tl\at tempteth 
men to sin. Of ihoic that I have known turn iufidelsj some of 


them have done it on this account, because while they professed 
themselves the servants of Christ, they were so restrained and 
hamjDered by his strict and rigid laws, that it was a weariness to 
them, not having renewed, suitable dispositions, and they could 
endure it no longer, but as soon as the vain reasonings of some 
apostates against Christ had let loose their infidelity, and 
opened them a gap, they quickly ran out. Would you have 
Christ show yet more enmity to Satan and his kingdom, in 
his laws ? surely, those that already so much grudge at the 
strictness of them would not. 

15. If all this be not enough, let the sanction of these laws be 
called in for a witness, whether Christ be at sufficient enmity 
with the devil. 1 have already told you of the penalty of 
church censures, and delivering up to Satan : besides which he 
himself will chastise his children when they offend, and make 
them smart if they will be meddling with sin. He commandeth 
parents, masters, rulers, and all in authority, to correct evil 
doers, and if they will not repent and reform, he will judge 
them to everlasting misery; and by his laws hath made hell to 
be their portion ; so that they who will serve the devil here, 
shall be sent as cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the 
devil and his angels, and live with him that ruled them. 
Would you yet wish a higher discovery of Christ's enmity with 
the devil? 

More particularly he condemneth, especially, all idolatry, and 
worshipping of devils, and approveth of God's law, that saith ; 
" Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live ;" and yet could the 
blasphemous pharisees take him to be one himsejf. Is it like 
a friend of Satan's kingdom, to put to death all his confederates 
here, and to denounce everlasting torments against them here- 

16. If this yet suffice not, consider Christ's threatenings 
against the devils themselves : as he proclaimeth their present 
misery, as you have heard, so doth he threaten their future 
misery. He maketh us know that they are apostate angels 
accursed from God, and that they have " left their first habita- 
tions, and are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness 
unto the judgment of the great day." (Jude 6.) He telleth us 
God spared not the angels when they had sinned, but cast 
them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness 
to be reserved unto judgment. (2 Pet. ii, 4.) Yea, he lets the 
devils know, to their terror, that though they now tempt, and 



vex, and grieve, the saints, who are Christ's followers, yet shall 
these saints judge them. (1 Cor. vi. 3.) Yea, "The God of 
peace shall bruise Satan under our very feet." (Rom. xvi. 20.) 
As he promised, so will he perform it ; that, though the serpent 
bruise our heel, yet shall our heel bruise the serpent's head. 
How can the devil, who is the prince of the sons of pride, 
endure to be thus reproached, and vilified, and threatened, and 
triumphed over, if he knew how to help it. Surely, he that doth 
threaten everlastingly to torment him, is none of his friends or 

17. The very business of Christ, by his Spirit, word, ministry, 
mercies, and judgments, is to overthrow Satan's kingdom, and 
bring men out of his service and captivity. What is Christ's 
work that he is still driving on in the world ? Is it not the 
converting and confirming of souls ; and what is that but to 
deliver them from the devil, and bring them home again to God. 
What else doth he require renovation forj why else doth he 
send his Spirit to renew us ? This is the work that he sendeth 
all his messengers on, to beseech men to be reconciled to God, 
and forsake the devil that drew them to forsake him. Every 
soul that Christ converteth is translated from the kingdom, and 
delivered from the power of darkness, and brought into the king- 
dom of the Lord Jesus. (Col. i. 13.) And to this end he telleth 
his ministers that he sendeth them " to open their eyes, and to 
turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan 
unto God, that they may receive remission of sins, and an in- 
heritance among them that are sanctified by faith in Christ;" 
(Acts xxvi. IS ;) "That we may save ourselves, and them that 
hear us." (1 Tim. iv. 16.) " In meekness instructing those that 
oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repent- 
ance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may 
recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are 
taken captive by him at his will." (2 Tim. ii. 25, 26.) Men 
that are not wilfully blind may see here what relation Christ 
standeth in to Satan, even as the general of the field, command- 
ing all that army that is against him, and seeking the rescue of 
his captives from his hands. 

18. Consider, further, what a notable combat there is between 
Christ and Satan for the rescue of everv sinner that is recovered. 
It is not done easily, nor by an arm of flesh. Satan is the 
strong man armed ; the heart of every unconverted sinner is his 
garrison 3 his armour, and ordnance, and fortifications, are 


temptations, deceit, prejudice, passion, sensual rage, and carnal 
interests, and worldly allurements : by these he keepetii his 
garrison in peace, till Christ come and hesiege him ; and then 
what a storm is made ; what trouble and fear is the soul brought 
into ! Christ planteth against it the ordnance of his word, he 
dischargeth the terrible threatenings of his wrath, and tells the 
sinner he must change his master or burn in hell ; there is no 
remedy; it must be one of these two. He fitteth his ministers, 
who are to make this battery, with a holy skill for his work, 
and giveth them his Spirit, which is, as the gun-powder in our 
battering-pieces, the chief cause of all the execution j so that, 
as they fight against principalities and powers, and spiritual 
wickednesses in high places, (Eph. vi. 12,) so are they furnished 
with spiritual ordnance for that end. I speak not my own 
thoughts, but the word of Christ : *' Though we walk in the 
flesh, yet do we not war after the flesh ; for the weapons of our 
warfare are not carnal, but 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 ; 
and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience." (2 Cor. 
X. 'S — 6.) You see here the battery raised, and the ordnance 
mounted and doing execution. Converted souls have felt all this. 
Upon this battery the jailor came trembling in to Paul and Silas, 
(Actsxvi.,) begging for quarter, and asking what he should do to be 
saved. Upon this battery three thousand yielded at once, (Acts 
ii.,) and being shot to the heart, with a healing bullet, they also 
cry for quarter, and offer to yield themselves to mercy, crying 
out to Peter and the rest of the apostles, " Men and brethren, 
what shall we do ? " One of these did light on Saul, a persecutor, 
by the high-way, and struck him down, and made him also yield 
to mercy, and cry, " Lord, what wouldest thou have me to do ? " 
(Acts ix.) Many a thousand did the apostles, by these engines, 
bring to submission in the narrow compass of Judea, in a very 
short space. When men stand out long, Christ sendeth to them 
some ministers to parley with them and offer them mercy, that 
they may know it is not an enemy to them but to Satan, that 
doth make the assault, and to acquaint them his intentions are 
all for their good ; and usually it is one that hath found the like 
mercy himself, and endured such a battery as they now do en- 
dure, that " knowing the terrors, and the goodness, and mercy 
of the Lord, he may persuade men." (2 Cor. v. II.) And if 

c c 2 


Christ resolve to win that soul, he will not withdraw the siege 
till he have hattered to the ground their former prejudice, and 
levelled their high imaginations, and taken down their impenitent 
obstinacy, and dismounted all their carnal reasonings, and brought 
the thoughts into a captivity to Clirist, and bound the strong 
enemy, and cast him out ; but usually the conflict is sharp first, 
or long, or both. Many strivings and troubles doth the soul first 
endure, Christ haling it one way, and the devil another way, so 
that the man is almost torn to pieces. Sometimes he would 
repent and return, and then he is off again ; the enemy will not 
so let him go, but pleasures, profits, and carnal company are all 
brought out to bring him back ; then he would sit down and be 
quiet in his sins, but Christ will not let him alone, but battereth 
his heart again, till at last he forceth him to yield, and by the 
power of love, assisted with holy fear, constraineth him to judge, 
that if Christ died for all, then were all dead, and that he died 
for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto them- 
selves, but unto him that died for them and rose again." (2 Cor. 
V. 14, 15.) 

I do most seriously profess, that if I had but this one argu- 
ment to prove the enmity of the Lord Jesus against the devil 
and his kingdom, even the experience of the great conflicts in 
the work of a true conversion, I should think it enough to con- 
fute all the cavils of infidels, and all the blasphemers in the 
world. Can a soul, that hath felt how Christ assaulted Satan 
and expelled him, by what means he did it, and what it cost, 
be ever persuaded more to question his holy, sin-hating nature 
and design ? 

19. Yet further, to manifest this enmity to the utmost, the 
Lord Jesus doth possess all his sanctified true disciples with such 
a spirit of enmity to Satan and his ways, and so contrary to 
him, as they never had before, and as none else but they in the 
world do possess : he giveth them a Spirit which maketh them 
new creatures, and turneth their very hearts from the works of 
darkness, and maketh them hate the tempter and his tempta- 
tions : a Spirit which washeth, sanctifieth, and purifieth them, 
and maketh them ashamed of that which was their glorying. 
(Rom. vi. 21 ; 1 Cor. vi. 11.) A S})irit which warreth in them 
against Satan and the flesh, and is contrary to it. (Gal. v. 17 ; 
Ezek. xi. 1.9, and xxxvi. 26.) They that walk in this Spirit do 
not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. (Gal. v. 16.) By this Spirit, 
he that rose from the dead doth (luieken thein that were dead 


in trespasses and sins, and walked therein in time past, ac- 
cording to tiie course of this world, according to the prince 
of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in 
the children of disobedience ; among whom they also had 
their conversation in the time past, fulfilling the desires 
of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the chil- 
dren of wrath, even as others. (Eph. ii. 1 — 3.) Where this 
Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom from Satan's bonds. 
(2 Cor. iii. 17.) This Spirit makes men like to God, and 
therefore must needs make them unlike the devil : for it makes 
us holy as he is holy, and perfect in some sort, as our heavenly 
father is perfect. (Matt. v. 48.) And he that is joined to the 
Lord is one Spirit. (I Cor. vi. li, 17.) It is a Spirit of 
holiness and life, (Rom. i. 4, and viii. 2, 10,) given us on 
purpose for the mortifying of the flesh, (Rom. viii. 13,) and 
to make us fervent in serving the Lord; (Rom. xii. 11 ;) and 
if any man have not this Spirit, he is indeed none of Christ's. 
(Rom. viii. 9;) nor will he own any worker of iniquity. \^Matt. 
vii. 23.) For by one Spirit we are all baptised into his one 
body, and are all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Cor. xii. 
13.) This Spirit doth the second Adam, who for us was made 
a quickening Spirit, (1 Cor. xv. 44,) bestow upon all his mem- 
bers, to cast out all the interest of Satan, and make them a 
habitation of God. (Eph. ii. 22.) How strong soever the 
prince of darkness is. and how weak soever we are in our- 
selves, yet he of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is 
named doth grant us, according to the riches of his glory, to 
be strengthened with might by this his Spirit in the inner man, 
that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, where Satan 
dwelt before by infidelity, and we may be rooted and grounded 
in love. (Eph. iii. 15 — 17.) The evil spirit that is in men 
lusteth after envy. (Jam. iv. 5.) But this Spirit doth cause 
us to abound in love, and by it we are taught of God to love 
one another. Of all other, this is one of the fullest evidences 
of the holiness of Christ, that he hath possessed his people 
with such a spirit of holiness ; and the fullest evidence of his 
hostility with the devil, when he possesseth his people with a 
new nature, in some sort divine, so exceedingly contrary to the 
satanical nature : so that it sets their hearts against him and 
his ways, and awakeneth them to a vigilancy against his deceits, 
and maketh all their new desires and endeavours to be nothing 
but an opposition to him and his kingdom. If you know not 


whether Christ were a friend to Satan, or befriended by him, open 
your eyes, dehided infidels, and see what is the business that he 
hath set his disciples on, and what is the drift of the lives of 
his truest followers through the world. What do they but hate 
the devil and his ways, pray against him, speak against him, 
withdraw his followers, disgrace his service, pull dovi'n his king- 
dom with all their diligence ? I challenge the vilest infidel on 
earth to show me that society of men, that are so unlike the 
devil, and so averse to him and his service as the true servants of 
Christ are : again, I challenge them to show me such a society. 

20. And as the saints' contrariety to Satan, so the constant 
conflicts which, bv the workings of the Holv Ghost, thev feel 
against him in themselves, is a full evidence of Christ's enmity 
to him. What true believer doth not perceive a continual war 
between Christ and Satan in his own soul ? Christ is working 
his heart to God, and Satan is drawing him downwards to the 
creature : Christ is lifting him heavenward, and Satan clogs 
him, and draws him to the earth : Christ would possess him 
with right thoughts of God, and his ways, and the life to come ; 
and Satan would blind him, and possess him with delusions and 
false conceits. Christ would bring us to a contempt of this 
world in comparison of a better : Satan would be still setting 
us upon ambitious, covetous, rising designs, and have us lay up 
our treasure on earth. Christ is still working us to meekness, 
humility, and self-denial : Satan is fermenting our hearts with 
pride, self-esteem, and self seeking. Christ is still working us 
to unity, love, and peace, to forgive wrongs, and calm and mo- 
derate all our passions, and to love our enemies, and study to do 
all the good that we can : Satan is still sowing the seeds of 
division, and hatred, and contention, and revenge ; breaking in 
pieces churches, commonwealths, families, and relations, raising 
tumultuous passions in men's minds, and drawing them from all 
good, and provoking them to all evil. And though he cannot 
have his will where Christ hath cast him out, yet doth he by his 
suggestions let them know what his will is, if he might have it.~ 

Yea, in the very point in hand, about our believing in Christ, 
we find a war in us between the persuasions of Christ's Spirit 
and of Sn.tan. So industrious is the enemy to draw us to in- 
fidelity, that if the Spirit of Christ did not resist him, and carry 
on his work, there would not be a believer in the world. And 
truly I cannot believe tliat the devil would so incessantly tempt 
us to disbelieve the Scriptures, if they were according to his 


mind ; or to depart from Christ by unbelief, if Christ had 
been his confederate. 

I must profess that this hath been a mighty support to me in 
temptations of this nature, and hath showed me manifestly the 
falsehood of the deceiver, and the truth of Christianity : the 
more the tempter hath importuned me to doubt, the more sen- 
sible I have been of this war in my own soul. I daily, also, on 
other occasions, do find such a conflict between Christ's Spirit 
and Satan, that my life is a warfare : and the church may well 
be called militant, while it abides in this condition. I know all 
these wars in my soul do certainly prove that there are some con- 
trary, invisible powers that raise them, and therefore that there is 
a spirit of light and of darkness, and a spirit of good and of evil, 
which are in wars one against another. I find by many pas- 
sages in the manner of the conflict, that it is not merely from 
myself, but hath a higher cause. I know also thus much more, 
that there is no strife, but there is something that is striven 
for; hence, I am confirmed that the promises of Christ are true, 
and that there is an everlasting glory and misery. Else, why 
should Satan keep such a stir to deprive me of the one, and 
bring me into the other ; and why would Christ do so much to 
save me, if there were no salvation. There is some prize that 
the enemy expecteth if he could conquer, and that can be 
nothing but my everlasting undoing. There is also some prize 
that Christ so contendeth for, and that is certainly my ever- 
lasting felicity. So that the very experience of this war in my 
own soul dotii much conduce to the confirming me in the faith. 
21. Consider further, that all the wits of men and angels 
could never have laid such a design for the vanquishing of Satan, 
as Christ hath revealed in the Gospel, and came down on earth 
to execute. That so powerful a commander should be made 
general of the church, that Satan can have no hopes to win the 
field : that mercy should be so wonderfully magnified in our 
redemption, and God therein represented amiable to man, when 
Satan had drawn us, even in our innocency, to look on God as 
one that envied us our knowledge and delight : and thus the 
heart is drawn up in love to God by the constraining power of 
his wonderful love. That justice should be so eminently de- 
monstrated, and the lawgiver vindicated, and the breach that 
was made in the frame of government and morality repaired, 
and God manifested so holy, and such a hater of sin, and yet 
the sinner saved from destruction. That so free a pardon should 


be tendered to the world, and salvation offered on such gracious 
terms, without the least derogation from God's law, or the least 
impediment to holiness and good works, yea, to the greatest 
promoting and advantage of it that could be imagined : and 
that free grace should be so far from indulging and strengthen- 
ing sin, that it is its greatest enemy, and giveth it the most 
mortal wound; all this was beyond the wit of any creature to 
have designed. That when man had come short of the glory 
of God by his fall, tHe Son of God should become the Captain 
of our salvation, and lead us up to that, or a greater glorv. That 
by a death which he deserved not he should destrov the death 
that we deserved. That we should be reconciled to God by his 
death, and saved by his life. That he should become a sacrifice 
for sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the 
righteousness of God in him. That the human nature that 
Avas so debased and depressed by the malicious temptations of 
apostate angels, should, by the occasion of that debasement, 
receive such advancement, and be set above the angelical nature, 
in. the government of the world, and should judge those eyil 
spirits that did seduce us. That under this head the eternal 
God should gather him a selected corporation for his praises, 
and for this wonderful mercy of redemption should have the 
thanks of his glorified saints for ever. These, with many other 
mysterious and wonderful passages of this design, do show the 
greatest enmity to the kingdom of the devil that can be con- 
ceived of, and would convince poor infidels if they did but well 
discern the perfect, well-jointed frame of the whole design. 

22. Consider yet further; what admirable helps hath Christ 
vouchsafed us in his word for the vanquishing of Satan, bv the 
repelling of his temptations. What is a great part of this 
Gospel, but a directory to his church for the management of 
this war, and how we may so demean ourselves as to conquer ? 

1. He doth unmask the deceiver, and telleth us, both generally 
and particularly, of his stratagems, depths, methods, wiles, and 
snares. (Rev. ii. 24 ; 1 Cor. vii. 5, 6 ; 2 Cor. ii. 1 1.) Never were 
his destroying projects so disclosed : so that now we mav escape 
unless we will either wilfully wink, or put our foot into the snare 
when we see it, or swallow the bait when we knovv' of the hook. 

2. He hath opened unto us the ends of the tempter, and the 
danger of yielding, and told us of the everlasting misery that he 
would lead us into. 

S. He calleth on us frequently to take heed, to watch, and 


stand on our defence, and to beware of carelessness and sleeping 
in this danger. 

4. When we fall asleep, he giveth us the loudest alarun>s and 
warning-pieces to awake us, enough, one would think, to rouse 
up the most careless soul alive ! 

5. He telleth us of the devil's malice and design, that he is 
our adversary, and walketh about like a roaring lion, night and 
day, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet. v. 8.) 

6. He furnisheth us with all the christian armour for defence 
and offence. 

7. He teacheth us how to put it on and use it. Let us tran- 
scribe one direction. " Be strong in the Lord, and in the power 
of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be 
able to stand against the wiles of the devil : for we wrestle not 
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, 
against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual 
wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole 
armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, 
and having done all to stand. Stand, therefore, having your 
loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of 
righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the 
Gospel of peace ; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith 
ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one ; 
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the word of God ; praying always with all prayer and 
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all per- 
severance and supplication for all Saints." (Eph. vi. 10 — 20.) 

8. Also he doth animate and encourage us to be valiant and 
stand to it, and not to turn our backs or yield. Not to give 
place to the devil, (Eph. iv. 24,) nor forsake our ground. He 
telleth us into how many shapes he will turn himself to deceive : 
sometimes into a serpent, and sometimes a roaring lion, and some- 
times into an angel of light, pretending to bring us a greater 
light than Christ hath given us, as he would give xVdam a greater 
knowledge and wisdom, and as the first heretics were made 
believe by him, they knew more than the apostolical churches, 
and therefore were called gnostics. His ministers also do 
transform themselves into the ministers of righteousness, and 
M'ill pretend to preach righteousness, and justification, more 
exactly than Christ's ministers do. (2 Cor. xi. 14 — 16.) But 
into how many shapes soever he shall turn himself, Christ telleth 
us, if we do but resist the devil, h.e will fly. (Jam. iv. 7-) 


9. Yea, he is pleased himself to lead us on, and to bid us 
follow him and trust him, and hath given us an example for us 
to imitate. 

10. Yea, and he giveth us a promise, not only of his assis- 
tance, but of a certain victory, assuring us, that " Greater is he 
than is in us, than he that is in the world ;" ( 1 John iv. 4 ;) and that 
the God of peace will bruise Satan under our feet ; and bids us 
be of good cheer, for he hath overcome for us, and will over- 
come in us, and in the greatest trials we shall be over-con- 
(juerors through him, (Rom. viii. 37,) and that none shall pluck 
us out of his hands, (John x. 28, 29) nor the gates of hell be 
able to prevail against his church. 

23. If all this be not yet enough, consider the work, the 
havoc, the destruction, that Christ hath already made against 
Satan in his kingdom, and the niccess that the aforesaid means 
have had. When he was on earth himself, though he did many 
great works, yet still he omitted not the casting out of devils : 
and the same power he gave to believers, when he was ascended ; 
(Mark xvi. 17, IS) he commanded them forth, and they could 
not resist the power of his word ; he forced them to confess 
his superiority and prevailing power ; he made them acknow- 
ledge that he did torment them l)efore the time of his full 
and final conquest, by casting them out of their possessions, 
and overcoming their cruel, malicious endeavours ; (Matt. ix. 
32, 33; xii. 22, &c.; xv. 22, &c. ; xvii. 17—19, &c. ; Mark 
v. 15-— 18; Luke iv, 33, 34, &c. ; iv. 42, &c. ; xi. 14, &;c.;) 
and he healed all that were possessed with devils ; (Acts x. 38;) 
and the principal enemies that his apostles set against, were 
conjurers, that worked by the help of the devil, as you may find 
by the foil they gave to Simon Magus, the leader of them, and to 
Elimas, the sorcerer, whom Paul blinded ; (Acts xiii. 9 — 12 ;) 
and they forced out the devil from a damsel that had the spirit 
of divination, and got her masters much gain by soothsaying, 
when they were confessed by him to be the servants of the 
living God; (Acts xvi, 16 — IS;) when the Jewish exorcists 
thought to do the like by the bare name of Jesus and Paul, the 
devil prevailed over them, and caused them to fly naked and 
wounded. (Acts xix. 13 — 16.) So many books of magic and 
conjuration, or their black art, did the Gospel cause tliem at 
once to bring forth and burn at Ephesus, that the price of them 
came to fifty thousand pieces (or siiekels) of silver : (Acts xix. 
IS, 19 :) a mighty blow to the devil's kingdom. ^ 


Yea, it is certain, from current history and church records, 
that the gift of casting out devils, and making them confess 
themselves mastered by Christ, did remain in the church for a 
long time after the apostles, even for three or four hundred 
years at least, though not in that glory and frequency as with 
them. I have formerly showed out of Cvpiian, TertuUian, &c., 
how the Christians did provoke their judges to try them upon 
this account, and offered themselves to suffer, if they did not 
make the devils in the possessed confess themselves to be devils, 
and show themselves afraid of Christ. Yea, the writers of the 
first ages frequently mention it as a thing that the pagans 
themselves knew, as you may briefly see (besides divers others) 
in those testimonies which Grotius hath gathered on this point, 
in his ^Annotations on Mark,' (xvi. 17,) out of Justin Martyr's 
' Colloq. cum Tryph.;' Ireneeus, Origen, TertuUian, Minutius 
Foelix, and Lactantius. 8ce also what I cited before, in the 
disputation out of Augnstin, ' De Civitat. Dei.' No where 
could Satan keep his possession, where the power of Christ did 
assault him. 

2. And as Satan was thus cast out of men's bodies, so were 
all his oracles overthrown ; and they that had before deluded 
the world, did suddenly cease when Christianity did approacli ; 
Porphyrins complains of this against the Christians, as being 
the cause of the silence of their idol gods ; thus also did Christ 
vanquish Satan, and remove him from his throne. 

3. Also Christ did overthrow the worshipping of devils, and 
root out that idolatry that carried away the world. Before the 
light of the Gospel did break forth, what abominable idolatry was 
exercised through the earth, even in the most learned and civil 
nations, at Athens and at Rome ; but the Gospel brought them 
all to shame, and expelled this darkness, and wherever it 
comes, idolatry flieth away, according to the measure of its 

4. When Satan raised up his witches and enchanters to up- 
hold his kingdom, and bring idolatry again into credit, as Apol- 
lonius and the rest, the Gospel prevailed against all their power 
and devilish devices. 

5. When Satan raised up the most learned philosophers to re- 
sist the Gospel, yet did it prevail against all the power of their 
carnal wit. And doubtless it was the purposed designment of 
God that the Gospel should be sent forth in such a place and 
age, where were the most learned enemies that were in all the 


world, that so all their learning might be non-plussed, and the 
Gospel of Christ might triumph over it. When were there so 
many learned men in the world, as about the time of Christ, and 
his apostles, and the following time when the Gospel was con- 
flicting with the opposition of their sciences ? If ever reason or 
learning could have disgraced Christ and his truth, it would 
have been then. But Christ used other kind of weapons than 
theirs. They pleaded with words, and he with mighty works : 
they used sophisms ; and he sinned into men's souls with an in- 
superable light. Their weapons were weak and carnal ; but his 
were strong and spiritual ; their wisdom to him was foolish- 
ness, and his seeming foolishness proved wiser than they ; and 
by weak and simple means and instruments did he overcome and 
confound their might and strength. 

6. Yea, when the Jews themselves did plead abused Scripture 
against them, yet were they confounded, and their resistance of 
the Gospel hath brought on them such a curse as hath made 
them the astonishment of the world. Even the same that Christ 
foretold should befall them 5 and the same that they wished on 
themselves, (not knowing what they said,) " His blood be upon 
us and upon our children.^' 

7. And when Satan raised an army of heretics, Simonians, 
Nicolaitans, gnostics, and the rest, though they came instructed 
with witchcraft, and wicked arts, yet Christ confounded them, 
and a little time did break each sect in pieces ; and when new 
sects succeeded them, the like did befall them ; so that those 
that were the great scourge and vexation of one age, as the 
libertines, ranters, quakers, the offspring of separation and ana- 
baptistry, are now with us, were scarce known to the next, but 
by their names and by report. The church of Ephesus had 
Nicolaitans among them; but they hated their doctrine as Christ 
himself hated it. (Rev. ii. 6.) The church of Smyrna had blas- 
phemers among them, that said they were Jews, but were not, 
but were the synagogue of Satan ; but they prevailed not. (Rev. 
ii. J), 10.) The church of Pergamos dwelt even where Satan's 
seat was, and had them that held the doctrine of Balaam, teach- 
ing men to cat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornica- 
tion ; they had also them that held the doctrine of the Nicolai- 
tans, which Christ hated ; and yet they held fast Christ's name, 
and denied not his faith, even in those days wherein his faithful 
martyr Antipas was slain among them, where Satan dwelt. 
(Rev. ii. 12 — 15.) The churches of Tliyatira had among them 


the woman Jezebel, who called herself a projahetess, and did 
teach and seduce the professors of Christianity to commit forni- 
cation, and eat things offered to idols ; and though the church 
were guilty of tolerating this, yet Christ did confound these 
heretics, and cast the woman Jezebel into a bed, and them that 
committed adultery with her, into great tribulation, and killed 
her children with death, that all the churches might know that 
it is Christ that searcheth the reins and hearts, and will give to 
every one according to their works ; and those that had not 
known this doctrine, and these depths of Satan, he cautioneth 
and directeth that they may persevere and overcome. (Rev. ii. 
20 — 25.) The church of Sardis had some among them that de- 
filed their garments, but the faithful kept clean. The churches 
of Philadelphia were troubled with some of the synagogue of 
Satan, whicii said that they were Jews, and were not, but did 
lie ; yet did they keep the word of Christ's patience, and Christ 
did keep them from the hour of temptation. (Rev. iii. 9 — 11.) 
Thus you see how common it was with the churches to be pes- 
tered with heretics ; and vet the light of the Gospel, and Christ's 
discipline, did quickly scatter them and confound them, as they 
sprung up. 

S. And when Satan made his hottest onset by his band of 
persecutors, even in the midst of persecution did the church 
increase her strength and glory ; and the martyr's blood was 
the church's seed, as Tertullian speaks. No fire was hot 
enough to consume the Gospel ; no rage was strong enough to 
bear down Christ ; no sword was sharp enough to pierce his 
truth ; but he goes on and prevails, and overcomes the very 
persecutors. And here let all be laid together, and let it be 
well noted what a victory Christ obtained of Satan, when he 
conquered the Roman empire in special : when Satan had afoot 
all these bands at once, and all of them his strongest and best 
armed soldiers, viz. the Jews, with their misinterpreted law ; 
the idolaters, with their oracles and popular rage for the defence 
of their ancient worship ; the conjurers and sorcerers with their 
devilish conjurations; the heretics witb their witchcrafts and 
juggling delusions ; the great learned philosophers of all sects, 
with orators, jjoets, and the rest of their learned men ; their 
raging, unmerciful persecuters, and the great and potent em- 
perors, that had mastered and then ruled so much of the world, 
(the Roman empire being then in the height of its glorv,) vet 
all these could not subdue the Gospel, nor hinder the persecuted 


Christians from such success j as that sorcery, conjuration, 
oracles, idolatry, heresy, persecution, all is overthrown ; and the 
Roman emperor lavs down his crown at the feet of Christ, and 
subjecteth all his glory to his will. 

But yet a greater victory than all this was the overcoming 
of men's corruptions, and conquering their fleshly lusts, and 
purifying so many milHons of polluted souls, and setting up 
Christ's government, where Satan had long ruled. And so this 
kingdom of Christ within us is his most excellent kingdom 
upon earth. And thus you see Christ's enmity to Satan by the 
utter destruction and ruin that he hath made in his kingdom. 

24. Yet further consider what an army Christ hath vet afoot 
against Satan to this day, and how they are emploved ; and by 
that time all this is laid together, we may well say that those 
blasphemers are bewitched into madness, that can yet imagine 
that Satan did lend Christ his help, or is a friend unto his 
cause, or Christ to his. 

In the present army that Christ hath afoot, let us but consider 
these three things, or parts. His officers, his common soldiers, 
and his warlike instruments, arms, and ordnances. 

1. For his officers, the very business that he calls them to, 
is to spend and be spent for the saving of souls and destroying 
of Satan's work. What are they to study all the week, but 
how to resist the deceiver, and save men from his snares ? 
What are they to preach in public of, but to cry down the 
powers and works of darkness, and turn men from the power 
of Satan unto God, and to proclaim all those to be rebels that 
follow the deceiver ? What else must they watch over their 
people for in private, but to res.cue them from his deceits ? 
To this end must we reprove and instruct them with all 
patience, meekness, and long suffering. (2 Tim. ii. 25.) AVhat 
is it that they must pray for else on their people's behalf? Yea, 
and they must first see to the saving of themselves, and look to 
themselves as well as their doctrine, (1 Tim. iv. 16,) and must 
be sure to be found well-grounded in the faith ; and such as are 
delivered from Satan themselves, and no other should be chosen 
to this work. Nor should they be novices, or young converts, 
that have not had sufficient standing and experience ; lest 
themselves, being pufred up with pride, should fall into the con- 
demnation of the devil. (I Tim. iii. 6.) So that look how 
many true ministers of Christ are upon the earth, so many 
leading enemies of Satan there are, proclaiming Christ's enmity 


to him, setting him daily at defiance, beating him out of his 
possessions, and recovering to God the souls that he capti- 

2. Consider also Christ's common soldiers, and their employ- 
ment. What is the life of a Christian, but a militating against 
Satan ? What else doth Christ call him to ? And what else 
is he as a Christian employed in ? So that look how many 
true Christians are on the face of the earth, so many professed, 
avowed enemies of the devil there are. that live upon the spoils 
of his kingdom, and lay out themselves to procure its over- 

3. Consider also the armour and ordnance of the saints. 
All God's graces, I have before showed you, are against Satan ; 
and so are all the ordinances of Christ. In baptism, I have 
already showed, we are listed against him and renounce him : 
preaching, I have showed, is the battering of his garrisons : 
The Lord's Supper is a renewing of that first covenant, wherein 
we were engaged against him, and a remembering us of our 
duty and engagement. Prayer is directed purposely to the ruin 
of his cause. Reproofs and admonition are the reclaiming of 
his deceived ones. Discipline is for a just separation of Christ 
and Satan, the precious and the vile, and the shaming of all 
that is like him, and the weeding of his tares from the church 
of Christ. 

You see, then, how the devil is assaulted and daily baited by 
the christian army through the world. So many true Christians 
as there are, so many daily or frequent prayers are put up against 
the interest of the devil ; and so many there are that bend them- 
selves to disgrace him, and destroy his works. 

Hence it is that the very name of Satan is so odious, especially 
among them. How many volumes are written by them against 
him and his designs ; and how disgracefully do they speak of 
him in them all ! The very libraries of the christian world are 
such a wound to Satan, and such mortal darts in his sides, tliat 
he would have, by any cost, prevented or consumed them if he 
could. There it stands on record, what he is, and what he hath 
done, and how he hath been used in former ages, e. i/. saith 
Augustin, 'Cone, ad Catechum. Contr. Judseos;' Pag. et 
Arrian., (torn. vi. p. 23.) "What is the devil ? He is an angel, 
by pride separated from God, who stood not in the truth ; the 
author of lies; deceived by himself, and desiring to deceive 
others. This Satan is become the adversary of mankind, the 


inventor of death, tlie institutor of pride, the root of malice or 
evil, the head of wickedness, the prince of all vices, and the 
persuader of filthy thoughts.' Thus is the devil assaulted daily, 
and by all this army is Christ opposing him, and therefore, 
doubtless, is his greatest enemy. 

25. Consider, also, how Satan reigneth where Christ hath not 
pursued him with his Gospel, as among the poor Indians, where 
he appears among them and is worshipped by them, and where 
Christ hath withdrawn his Gospel. If men knew and considered 
the difference between those places and these we live in, they 
would surely see that Christ is Satan's enemy. 

26. Consider, also, how little is done against Satan by any 
other besides Christ. How did he prevail before Christ's op- 
posing him ; and who is there on earth that hath done so much 
against him as Christ hath done; and how would he have reigned 
if Christ had let liim alone ? All the learning and civility of the 
Greeks and Romans did rather confirm than extirpate their 
idolatry and worshipping devils ; and, indeed, all the light that 
doth oppose him among any other sects are but some sparks 
that Christ hath lent them, and some small reflections of the 
Gospel on them. 

27. Note, also, that constant experience telleth us that all sin 
and wickedness doth befriend infidelity : this is a known truth. 
The more any man woundeth or debaucheth his conscience by 
living in wilful sin, or selleth himself for carnal pleasure, to work 
wickedness, the more he is disposed to infidelity, and the easier 
is he drawn from Christ ; and the worst men are his enemies, 
and the best his truest servants, through the world ; which shows 
the enmity between him and iniquity. 

2S. Besides, Christ promiseth the crown to those only that 
fight manfully against Satan, and overcome. (Read Rev. ii. and 
iii., which shows his resolved enmity.) 

29. Moreover, the very nature of the happiness that he pro- 
miseth, is to be perfectly rescued from Satan and his sinful 
works, and to be as unlike him as is possible for us to be, and 
to be separated as far from him as heaven is from hell : this, 
also, further declares the enmitv. 

30. Lastly, If vet after ail tliis any will be hardened in this 
vile infidelity, they shall find at last, when he comes to judgment, 
whether Christ were a friend to Satan or not; when they them- 
selves shall be condemned to those torments whicli were at first 
prepared for the devil and his angels. I run over these passages 


SO briefly because I have stood so long upon this point, and the 
evidence is so clear that it seems needless to say more. 

Some think that Michael, the archangel, was Christ ; but it 
is most likely that he is a prince among the holy angels, and so 
a leader of the army of Christ : certain it is that he is a chief 
agent in this warfare ; and as he strove with the devil about the 
body of Moses, (whether Moses's dead body, or Moses in the 
basket when he was exposed to the waters, I determine not,) so 
we find some description of this war in Rev. xii. 7, &c. : "And 
there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against 
the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed 
not, neither was their place found any more in heaven ; and the 
great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil and 
Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. He was cast out into 
the earth, and his angels were cast out with him ; and I heard a 
loud voice saying, in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength, 
and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ ; for 
the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them 
before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the 
blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they 
loved not their lives unto the death j therefore rejoice, ye heavens, 
and ye that dwell in them : wo to the inhabitants of the earth, 
and of the sea, for the devil is come down unto you, having great 
wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And 
when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he perse- 
cuted the woman which brought forth the man-child j and the 
dragon was wrath with the woman, and went to make war with 
the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, 
and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Whatever be the 
particular drift of these words in general, I am sure they discover 
his enmity, conflict, and success. 

And thus you have seen (I doubt not to call it) a full demon- 
stration, " That for this very purpose the Son of God was mani- 
fested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (I John 
iii. 8.) And that he is already fallen before the Gospel, Spirit, 
ministry, and other servants of Christ, as lightning from heaven. 
(Luke X. 18.) 

So much of Christ's holy war. 

The Uses, or Consectaries, 

The premises thus demonstrated do afford us further light for 
our information in these three following points or consectaries ; 


1. From what is said, it is manifest even to reason that Christ 
is indeed the Messiah and Son of God, and Saviour of the world, 
and his Gospel true, and the christian religion is of evident 

For if Christ's mighty works were not wrought by Beelzebub, 
as the blasphemers of the Holy Ghost did imagine, then it is 
most certain that they were of God : for that they were truly 
done, I have showed before in the first discourse ; and none can 
make doubt of it that is not a stranger to the records of the 
world, and especially of the church ; or that knows with what 
clear, unquestionable evidence these matters of fact have been 
brought down to our hands. And, as Augustin saith that the 
world should be converted by miracles, when there were, indeed, 
no miracles, would be itself the greatest miracle : and then, that 
no human power could raise Christ from the dead, or do the 
works that he and his disciples after him performed in several 
countries and nations of the world, is so far past question, that I 
never met with man yet that doubted of it. It remaineth, there- 
fore, that it must be either by the power of God or of Satan, 
that these works were done. Of this the pharisees themselves 
were easily convinced, and therefore had no other refuge for 
their unbelief, but only to blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and say 
that it was by Beelzebub that all these things were done : and, 
indeed, there is nothing else that is left them to pretend : and 
how vain and absurd this blasphemy is, I dare say, is demon- 
strated in what is already said; so that it remains that the Gospel 
is certainly of God, and these glorious works of Christ are of God, 
there being no other power to which they can be ascribed. Nay, 
here being, moreover, the fullest, positive evidences that it is the 
very work of the Almighty God, that Christ hath set a foot, and 
is still carrying on. If proof may be called proof, this is proved. 

Quest. But are not the miracles themselves a sufficient argu- 
ment to prove themselves to be of God, without fetching all this 
proof from the scope and use of them ? 

Answ. They are themselves sufficient. 1. For all the devils 
in hell are not able to do that which Christ and his apostles did, 
if they were willing. 2. And if they had a natural power, yet 
want they a moral power or license from God : for it is as cer- 
tain as that God is the just and faithful Governor of the world, 
that he would never give devils leave to delude them by such mi- 
racles, without controling them, and giving us sufficient light to 
discover the deceit. All this is fully proved before. 


But yet, though miracles are sufficient of themselves, God 
hath abundantly provided for our satisfaction ; and lest any 
should say that evil spirits are so far from our knowledge that, 
for ought we know, they may do as great matters as all these : 
or, at least, may blind the eyes of the beholders, to make them 
think that they are done indeed; as when witches seem to be 
turned into wolves and cats, to the eyes of others, and their 
own : and how far Satan can cheat poor mortals we cannot tell. 
I say, lest any should think they have this excuse for their infi- 
delity, the Lord hath given them, as full evidence, that Satan is 
no friend to these works of Christ, as that the light of the sun 
proceedeth not from the abyss, or seat of darkness. Blessed be 
the Lord of truth and light, that hath set such an unquestion- 
able seal to his Gospel, and given such an advantage to the 
faith of his people, atld called us to believe nothing but what he 
hath evidenced to us to be true, by giving us so full an evidence 
that it is his revelation : that we may more comfortably do or 
suffer for our religion, and forsake all the world for the glory 
that is promised us, when we are so sure that it is God himself 
that hath promised it. Had God but left us in the dark in this 
point, what a loss should we have been at in every duty and 
temptation ? How could we have resisted the lusts of the flesh, 
and the allurements of this world, if we had not had good assu- 
rance that there are better things hereafter this way to be at- 
tained ? How could we have laid out ourselves heartily in God's 
service, or endured the scorns of the licentious world ; or have 
differed from them in our course, and have forborne to run with 
them into riotous excess ? Who will run cheerfully that doubted 
whether there be any prize ; or sow in tears that knows not 
that he shall reap in joy ? But, now, how cheerfully may we 
run ; how light may we make of all our sufferings ! With what 
alacrity and delight may we go through all duties, when we know 
who it is that hath promised, and on whose word we trust our 
souls ! Now, what an argument is here ready to shame and repel 
all temptation, to make us contemn this empty world, and deny 
our flesh and carnal self, and patiently run the race that is be- 
fore us, and, in a word, to be Christians indeed, and to live ac- 
cording to the rates of our profession or belief ! Oh ! what a 
blessed help is here to get up the heart in each day to God, and 
to facilitate our meditations on heavenly things. Alas ! all the 
striving in the world would never have stirred our hearts to hea- 
ven, if we had not seen a glory to entice them, Love is not 

RD 2 


driven but drawn ; and nothing would have drawn them l)ut that 
which is true as well as good ; and no truth is fit to take with 
man but that which hath evidence ; nor any beyond the measure 
of its evidence. I know the schoolmen, and some of our own most 
reverend divines do say that the christian religion is evidenter 
C7'edibile, sed noti evidenter vermn. But, indeed, nothing is cre- 
dible but what is true, nor evidently credible but what is evi- 
dently true. But, then, this I confess is true, and so their words 
may be admitted that it is evidently credible, because it is evi- 
dently a divine testimony, and I desire no more evidence of 
truth ; but it is not evidenter verum in se, but only in the credit 
of the testifier : but though there be not evidentia rei, it is as 
good if there be evidence that it is God who doth attest it : so 
that evidence of verity there must be ; for, as Mr. Richard 
Hooker saith of them that would not have Scripture proved to 
be God's word, but believed only, * How bold and confident 
soever we may be in words, when it comes to the trial, such as 
the evidence is which the truth hath, such is the assent j nor can 
it be stronger, if grounded as it should be.' 

If we live faithfully, if we suffer cheerfully, if we die com- 
fortably, and lay down our bodies in the dust in hope, we may 
thank God that hath given us such evidence of his truth, such 
helj)s to discern them, and his Spirit to fit us for the receiving 
and improving of them. 

And therefore what a great wrong is it to the souls of 
believers, both that teachers do no more to the well-laying of 
this foundation, and that themselves do no more study and 
consider of these evidences ! Certainly, whatever may be 
tlie most confident belief, that is like to be the most constant 
which is settled by sound evidence. And, for want of this it is, that 
seekers, and quakers, and apostates, do now of late prevail, to 
overthrow the faith of some, because that when they hear the 
objections which they never heard before, they are unable to 
answer ; and the faith which was built on borrowed grounds, 
doth fall at the first assault ; and they think they have found 
the falsehood of their former religion, when they have discovered 
only the falsehood or infirmity of their former belief. 

And if men should resolvedly resist seducers, yet Satan him- 
self will be ready to assault them: and if they never be tempted 
to doubt of the truth, yet can they never so well improve 
that faith, to holiness and consolation, which hath not evidence 
in our minds that it is certainly God himself whom we do believe. 


The fullest evidence discerned doth certainly beget the 
strongest faith, and the strongest faith will produce the greatest 
holiness and consolation : so that you may perceive how much 
doth lie on this. 

And, doubtless, evidence itself is none to us, if it be not dis- 
cerned. And the frequent and serious consideration of it doth 
help to make the deepest impression ; and, therefore, those that 
never hear or read these evidences, do want very much that 
advantage that God hath provided for their faith ; and those 
that daily consider them in their strength, will find their faith 
exceedingly increased, and so all graces increased there withal. 

Yet I know that it is the common method of the devil to set 
in most cunningly and violently with his temptations;, when a 
Christian doth first set himself to look for evidence of the truth 
of his religion, and bring it under consideration; and, therefore, 
many imagine that all such seeking for proof is but the way to 
loosen men's belief, and overthrow them ; but they should rather 
direct such novices in the faith, which way they should go about 
this work most safely, using the best evidence, and taking along 
with them the help of judicious teachers, and waiting for the 
reception of certainty by degrees, seeing it is not possible by 
ordinary means that all the evidence should be received in the 
beginning, and at once ; I say such directions for the right 
managing of this work may be very necessary to them; but wholly 
to take them off and persuade them to take up all their faith on 
trust, and make up that in blind confidence, which they have not 
in true evidence, this will prove no wise or friendly advice at last. 

The second consectary is this : from hence it appeareth that 
the matter of fact was then so evident, that the most malicious 
enemies of Christ did acknowledge that such mighty works were 
done by him : this was, then, past all doubt among the worst and 
most cruel of his persecutors : only all the question was, by what 
power he did them ? For this was the only refuge that they 
had left them for their unbelief, that it was by sorcery, and by 
the power of Beelzebub that these works were done. 

What I say of Christ's own works, is true also of the disci- 
ples' works after his ascension. Say these pharisees : " What 
shall we do to these men ? for that indeed a notable miracle 
hath been done by them, is manifest to all them that dwell in 
Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it ; but that it spread no 
further among the people, let us straightly threaten them that they 
speak henceforth to no man in this name," (Act? iv. 16, 17.) 


We see, then, that they were past all doubt that these niiracles, 
were done, though they blasphemed the Spirit by which they 
were done. 

So when the Holy Ghost did fall upon the church, "They 
heard them speak with other languages as the Spirit gave them 
utterance; and when it was noised abroad, the multitude of devout 
Jews came together, that were come out of all nations to Jeru- 
salem, and they were confounded to hear them speak in all their 
own languages, and they were all amazed, and marvelled, saying 
one to another. Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans ? 
and how hear we every man in our own tongue wherein we were 
born, Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the inhabitants 
of Mesopotamia, and Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus and 
Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of 
Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews, and proselytes, 
we do hear them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works 
of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying, 
what meaneth this ? Others mocking said, these men are full 
of new wine." (Acts ii. 2 — 5, 12, 13.) 

You see there is no question here, whether the thing was 
done ; but only what was the cause of it. Whether it was 
God's Spirit by which they spake these languages ? or whether 
all the Church were drunk, and drunkenness could cause such 
a thing ? And, indeed, there could be no doubt of the fact, 
when not only the multitude in so populous a city were witnesses 
of it, but also when they might have gone to the christian 
assemblies, and heard the like again for their conviction in all 
countries and nations round about where the Gospel was spread, 
and this for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty, if not a hundred 
years together. So that there was no room left for doubting 
about the matter of fact^ whether such things were done indeed 
or not. 

And to this day we find that the Jews, by tradition from their 
imbelieving ancestors, do tread the same steps, confessing 
Christ's works, but accusing him either of sorcery, or of I know 
not what acquaintance with the ineffable name, by the virtue 
whereof they say he did them. And so we find in their own 
writings yet, that when the Christians dispute with them, they 
will not begin with Christ's works or doctrine, but will only 
begin with the description of the Messiah, and then they argue 
thus : ' If the description of the true Messiah belong not to Jesus 
Christ, then, whatever were his works or doctrine, he cannot be 


the Messiah : but that description belongs not to him.' The 
major they would prove from their carnal, false description of 
the Messiah, who must be the temporal deliverer of their nation 
from captivity, which Christ hath not done. All this you may 
see in their own writings j as in their history wrote by Salomo, 
filius Virgae, translated by Georg. Gentius, you may find where, 
in the disputations before the pope and the King of Arragon 
which they boast of, they conclude, that ' If we will show them 
a man of the tribe of Juda, that shall gather together